The Big Study

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

YAKIMA: Opening the First Curtain

I'll explain a bit about why the topic.

A group of UFOlogists {The UFO History Group} are in the earliest planning stages of producing a large book on The UFO Phenomenon to act as a companion piece to UFOs and Government. Our honored colleague, the inestimable Dr. Thomas Edward Bullard, noticed that most of the cases we were talking about were "old", and wondered if they could be supplemented with newer ones. Eddie then plowed through every MUFON Journal of the 1980s and 90s looking, and made a list.

OK, I thought, typical Eddie Bullard warrior-worker behavior --- I wonder if any of them are any good? So, I started reading the journals. Most of the cases weren't too impressive, but something else was: a series of articles by Greg Long documenting the goings-on at Yakima from the 70s and 80s. These, for those of you unfamiliar, are the famous "Yakima Lights" from the area of the Native American Reservation near Toppenish, WA. Because I had volunteered to be the author of the chapter on anomalous lights for the book, I thought that I better refresh my memories here. I almost wish that I hadn't.

You can see the main area here. West of highway 12 the green area around Toppenish is a forested stretch overlooked literally by a handful of forestry fire lookout stations, from which come most of the reports of strange goings-on. The two big mountains to the left are Mt. Rainier in the top left, and Mt. Adams to the bottom left quadrant. It is an area where a gentleman named Arnold made a little flight in 1947.

The outer world began to become aware of Yakima strangeness in the 1950s, but this didn't focus until the arrival of a fellow named Willard {Bill} Vogel in the 70s. I don't have a picture of Bill Vogel to show you and wish that I had; he certainly deserves that much at least. Vogel became chief of the fire lookouts of the area, and got to know everyone quite well, including most of the local people. It was inevitable, given his job, that when an anomalous light was reported which might have been a fire, but when searched for produced no evidence of such, he began hearing the stories of the mystery lights. To begin with, he viewed these as tall tales, but then he began witnessing the lights himself.

It didn't take long to be convinced that something unexplained was present there. The witnessings were too frequent. {There is one veteran fire lookout who has seen over a hundred incidents.}

Vogel thought that these encounters might well have something to do with UFOs, and so he contacted J. Allen Hynek about them. The Colorado Project had just been used by the Air Force as their excuse to cancel the Blue Book Project, and Allen was out of a UFO job... but still plenty interested. Vogel quickly became an associate of the very earliest rendition of the Center for UFO Studies.

Hynek was getting along well with Coral and Jim Lorenzen of APRO post-Colorado, and through them was located an APRO investigator-consultant, David Akers, who came to Toppenish and, with permissions, began filming and measuring magnetic field shifts in the early seventies. {I also have no picture of David Akers, and he deserves the honors, too.}

{above: a Yakima area fire lookout station }

Vogel collected a huge number of reports. Akers got some pictures and a lot of measurements. Vogel stated to Hynek that in the 1972-1974 period, he logged just a little short of a hundred anomalous lights and objects reports. It certainly was a place to go if you wanted to have a personal "UFO experience." Allen Hynek then DID go there and interviewed many of the witnesses and the fire lookouts in particular.

Dorothea Sturm, the lookout lady who has seen the over-hundred lights has, perhaps better credentials to characterize them than anyone else. The nocturnal lights tend to fall into two main types: bright red-orange balls, sometimes with yellow centers, and white balls of light, sometimes with other colored lights "on" them. They tend to be seasonal, so come in August, September, October.

Here are a few of our anomalous friends:

... and an impressive lot they are. 

Well, so far so good... nice well-behaved anomaly, and apparently so relatively regular and located that we might just be able to do some "science" on this. 

This somewhat optimistic-bordering-on-arrogant thought is precisely that expressed by two physicists at the famous Rockefeller-Sturrock Conference held at the Rockefeller estate so long ago that I don't remember when it was. The happy fellows in the picture are, right to left, Jean-Jacques Velasco, Richard Haines, Mark Rodeghier, Erling Strand, and a certain blog writer. I don't remember who took the picture, could have been either John Schuessler or Francois Louange.

The point of the photo is that Erling Strand was there to tell of his work in the Hessdalen Norway lightfield. After a bit of stage fright { there were two physicists there who were assholes and tried to intimidate people --- most of the folks were nice }, Erling caught his second wind and described very professional research work filming and measuring light incidents, sounding nearly exactly like the project of David Akers. Even the two assholes were impressed, and stated [loudly] that, Well! At least THIS was something that they could go up there for a week and solve!! I have not noticed them doing it ... nor anyone else, when it comes to "solving" it. 

However, John Derr gave it a try.  John's a good guy. And he has been generally sympathetic to UFO research. But the Yakima situation gave him an opportunity to crack into the scientific literature with a piece of work close enough to establishment thinking that it didn't violate their comfort zone too much {just like the Rockefeller physicists.} 

John tried to correlate the anomalous light sightings with Earthquake stresses. He was pursuing, to a point, the idea that underground shifts of igneous rocks composed of things like quartz/granite would produce piezoelectric ["pressure-electric"] currents and fields in enough strengths to manifest light effects at the surface. This, by, admittedly, no known mechanism, would somehow create not-yet-understood plasma-like masses of excited gases or something-or-others, and would "explain" Earthquake Lights and animal reactions pre-quakes, and anomalous BOLs in general. There is nothing at all wrong with studies like this and we should applaud John and creative explorers like him. There is only wrong in buying it if it doesn't deal with all the facts. 

John was humble about the work, and surely he was onto SOMETHING, but how far one could take it, who knows? Much wilder and yet close-minded theorizers like Michael Persinger have taken the work far beyond the data, and by ignoring many things have concluded that the work solves essentially everything in the anomalies world. The famous Persinger Earthstress theory says in simple: the earth's interior grindings create electric fields which produce light phenomena of many sorts accompanied by mental deranging brain environments leading to hallucinations which explain everything else. It is an absurdity of a "Universal" theory of reductionism that I will not honor with further comment here. 

Whereas IF Yakima presented only interesting lights-in-the-sky, one might very seriously entertain John's work as a viable first step towards a theory for them, Yakima doesn't stop there.

We'll draw back the second curtain in a day or two...........

Till then, Peace. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Very Short Flight Out Proctor With Ivan

A brief thing, just because....

Ivan was a friend of Vincent Gaddis [and I think that Gaddis somewhat inspired him about the underwater stuff and the Bermuda triangle and on to the "Vile Vortices."] Gaddis wrote for Argosy in 1964 on the Bermuda Triangle, and Ivan followed up in the same magazine in 1968. Gaddis sent him a report by a military person on vacation going to Bermuda, and encountering a freak, rather unexplainable, turbulence with radio knock-out, which fed into Ivan's growing idea of "Vile Vortices" around the globe.

But it was Ivan's own Argosy piece which brought him two letters which set his mind spinning.

One of these was from a B-26 pilot/navigator flying in Korea in 1955. This material found its way into Ivan's book Invisible Residents  [which in itself imitates Gaddis' Invisible Horizons.] The fellow was navigating at the time and on their way north-to-south through the middle of the Korean peninsula, he found that they had a ground speed of 550 knots. Knowing what his engines were doing at the time, this meant that, if this was correct, they were getting a wind assist of 265 knots. At jet stream altitudes this was barely possible, but they were only at 7000 feet. Plus there was no evidence of any such high wind at all.

The military guy and the pilot just laughed it off, as just some strange thing, and flew the rest of their route. But the anomaly grated on the navigator, and the more that he thought about it, the harder it was to let it go. Many years later [thankfully he had good notes], he read Ivan's article and wrote him.

Ivan wasn't comfortable with interpreting the letter but felt that it was interesting and maybe important. Fortunately PURSUIT had on the editorial staff a very good anomalies researcher, ufo-expert, and an experienced professional pilot, Robert Durant.

Ivan asked Bob to work on these ideas with him, and he ended up asking several key questions of the witness, who was happy to correspond.

In that correspondence, Bob determined that the witness was very sharp about navigation, and his facts convincing as to their accuracy. BUT, if these facts were as stated, and it would take someone of Bob's intelligence and openness to see this, this anomalous speed phenomenon could not have been a simple meteorological freak wind storm.

Durant determined that the data held by the witness was incompatible with the idea that the jet stream somehow came all the way down to 7000 feet and just blew the plane along. Not only does the jet stream never do this [low-level 265 knot winds], but even if it had the experience of the navigator and crew should have been different. Everything instrumentally and sensationally indicated that the B-26 was operating normally, and there was no indication of "entering" a forceful wind area which sped up their pace by double.

The only theory which fit the data in Bob's mind was that the aircraft made its turn towards the north-to-south flight path and all measurements showed that everything was normal. [the B-26 was at 230 knots and its true groundspeed was 250 knots.] Bob postulates that it entered an anomalously fast area of air sometime after the turn and rode with that excess speed most of the way down the peninsula. He says that there would be great turbulence at that point, but my reading does not see the navigator saying that there was any odd turbulence at all --- I believe that Bob just assumed it because not assuming it was just too weird. 

Even then, the event remains stranger yet. The speed readings for the B-26 were stable at 230 knots during this "fast"[550 knots] time. The ride seemed smooth. This shouldn't have been possible with a violent extremely high speed wind carrying them. Such chaotic systems are not homogeneous and cause all manner of turbulence. It was, as Bob concluded, as if the plane had entered a bubble of atmosphere moving at greater speed than all the surrounding atmosphere, but being relatively smooth and calm within itself. "I know how absurd this sounds, but it is the best 'explanation' --- the only explanation which fits the reported facts." 

Ivan would later privately disagree.

From the same article came a response from a different witness to the unusual. This fellow was flying in a C-97 transport from Kwajalein to Guam, a trip taken often. After two hours of flight, navigational checks indicated normal flight direction and speed. But at the third hour, the navigational measurements indicated that they had been traveling at 110 knots faster than expected [despite clear, normal conditions. The correspondent said that he nearly fell off his chair at the calculation. He checked and rechecked, but no error. At the end of that hour, the plane's speed was dropping well back towards normalcy, but it had traveled 340 nautical miles in that time "for no apparent reason."

Durant also corresponded for Ivan about this. They determined that instead of the expected nne-to-ssw wind of 10-40 mph, the actual air-assist measured was a nearly flat east-to-west "wind" of 70-110 mph. Making some reasonable assumptions about when the "third hour wind" began and ended, an estimate of 190 knots was not unreasonable as a guess for this anomaly. Bob said: where's the turbulence? Where's the drift? "Something very weird is going on here."

Bob's model for what was happening in these cases was that the aircraft had gotten enclosed within some bubble which being internally smooth did not indicate to the travelers that they were in anything at all. YET, the portion of the atmosphere that they WERE in was moving at a super rate compared to the normal outside. The bubble insulated the planes from any sense of this abnormal, should-be-violent motion. But how could such a thing be possible? Bob apparently had begun to believe that this "space" that surrounded the aircraft was abnormal in some fashion, perhaps even not truly part of normal reality at all. 

Ivan, not content to merely go Out Proctor with Bob, decided to go "All-The-Way-Fool" and do him one better. Not part of normal space? Yes! BUT, this area of space which the planes had flown into were realities wherein the rate of time flow was different. It wasn't bubbles of air which were going fast, it was Time which was going slow.

THAT's the ticket! That's what's odd about certain areas of the planet, and how certain anomalies take place! Shiftings into parallel physical realities with different time rates.

This is what the Vile Vortices were. These were areas more likely to suddenly glitch and encompass planes, boats, people, "stuff" into parallel physical conditions, mostly like our own, and transport such catches anywhere and everywhere ... or nowhere.

In Ivan's notebook file on the Vile Vortices, he had a couple of letters from a gentleman whose thoughts make little sense to me. One of the pages is above. REAL SPACE VANISHES INTO IMAGINARY TIME.

I can't imagine that Ivan understood a bit of it.

But he liked it ... and kept it.

Got a plane to catch.

Peace, friends.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Moment of being serious about a very good man

A very good friend of mine, and a friend of all UFOlogy, died this past Sunday in Ohio.

John had been fading for several years now and his passing was doubtless a blessing ... but the world just seems a little grayer knowing that such a good guy is no longer living here with us.

John was Treasurer for CUFOS and I sat with him through many arduous board meetings as we fought the near-impossible task of getting the Center through one year after another. Like any good Treasurer, the highlight of every meeting was John fussing endlessly over the check at the restaurant for the Saturday evening meal --- it was our standing joke.

John, as many of you know, spent literally years taking the CUFOS photo exhibit all over North America [and occasionally beyond] making needed cash for the Center, and collecting the most fascinating array of case reports from passing exhibit viewers. I called his audiotapes and transcripts of his interviews "The Timmerman Files" and they were the richest raw case materials I'd ever read. John knew that he would never write these cases up, and they risked being lost. He and I decided that I'd give him a piece of his lifelong dream, and publish his work as a book, Grass-Roots UFOs. Writing that book for John was the finest thing that I ever did in UFOlogy, as it made him so happy.

John has shot up and passed the Pearly Gates by now [probably one of the persons that I've known who St. Peter didn't need to check his bona fides], and knows the answers to UFOs. Hopefully those answers have given him smiles and good laughs.

This next thing is probably nothing, but I mention it anyway. John died on Sunday [I don't know when]. I was sitting in my bedroom here in the new house on that day reading. There was a rather loud crash. Looking around for an explanation, I spotted the set of five pictures that I have on my wall to represent the five main directions of my life {Catholic Spirituality, Family, Explorations, Science/Teaching, and UFOs/CUFOS}. One of those five had chosen to fall off the wall with the clatter. Guess which one.

Did John pay a last visit to an old friend on his way up the Light Tunnel?

I wouldn't put it past him.

Love you, John.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Out Proctor?: Doesn't scare me ... much.

This might be the last smorgasbord entry like this; the Chaos is killing me --- plus, I've overstayed my welcome Out Proctor. Even the trees are starting to look weird.

I have a friend who has fairly strong arachnophobia. {I don't care for the eight-leggers myself.} Coming across this tree would not be his favorite Nature experience. But, despite first impressions, it remained an anomaly.

1982: Kumaor Hills, India. A British photographer came upon this tree and snapped the picture. Naturally curious, he was informed by the locals that the webs just showed up not long previously. No other trees were or had ever been so affected, nor was this tree so impacted in the past. Thinking the obvious, the tree was inspected for spiders --- there weren't any. Thinking the next obvious, the tree was inspected for things like tent caterpillars --- there weren't any. In fact there were no insects involved with the webbing at all, as far as anyone could see. No birds would land on the thing. The webbing clung strongly, resisting strong winds and rain. Beneath the webs, the tree seemed to still flourish.

I'm with the birds on this one. Leave well enough alone.

Attack of the Giant Furballs? Well, not quite but pretty odd. 

1969 [Ivan himself was able to write the commentary on this one]: Heydon Lake, BC. 

A gentleman named Robert Davidson lived near this small lake with his wife. One day Davidson saw a large globular thing floating near the shore and grabbed it. He pulled it out, thought that it was mighty odd, and carried it up to the house. As days went on, there were more wooden-ish globs and he piled them up much to the consternation of his wife, who wished that he'd just stop it and toss them back into the lake. 

Davidson however was too curious for that and notified a friend who wrote for the newspaper. This fellow was also curious and decided to follow Davidson's story further. The first serious look-see was by a PhD botany expert from the Provincial Museum of British Columbia. Dr. Szcazwinski noted that the thing of course was not alive, and seemed to consist of grass or roots or a mixture of things like that. He said that he'd never seen such a huge specimen of such a "ball-of-grassroots" as this 27" circumference thing. 

Heydon Lake is five miles long, one and a half mile wide, and very deep. it's a nice size and shape for a mini-Nessie, or perhaps the Vancouver area Wasgo Sea Serpent of the Haidas. {maybe these are its "leavings"? --- uhh, sorry, impolite commentary.} Some people theorized that the globs were caused by the balling up of sawdust from lumbering. One was taken to B.C. Forest Products and it was judged completely unlike any such debris. Another was taken to the research labs at the BC provincial research center, and these guys were very interested in the things, but couldn't come up with a theory. 

Adding to the mystery, Mrs. Davidson pointed out that if one handles the fibreballs, one can get an acidic or caustic or ? irritation from something in them. Her own hands showed peeling. The litmus tests show a slight acidity. Also weird, the fibres seem "glued together" somehow --- vigorous rubbing of the outside surface does not dislodge any of it. One day Mrs. Davidson came down to the newspaper office and dumped a whole truckload of them off [happily no doubt]. The largest of the fuzzballs weighed 16 1/2 pounds. She said that in her opinion it is the wind that is doing it, somehow rolling up debris in the lake. The newsman disagreed. He speculated that there was a large unknown underground river which rages upon the coming of snowmelts and rips up peat and other organics to make the balls. Ivan said that he tended to side with "geology" on this one, tossing his hat in the ring as a supporter of an underground river. 

Hmmmm..... sounds like the nefarious remnants of some underground Deros out of Richard Shaver's imagination to me.    {well, not really. I'd rather go with a Wasgo Furball than that.} 

.... or discarded underwater soccer balls from the Mer-people's World Cup? The above-ground people's Cup was held near there afterall, just this year. 

1969: off the coast of Cornwall, UK. 

Some guy named Simon Regan, who was allegedly a professional diver, was off the Cornish coast as part of a science team investigating puzzling deaths of fish and seals, which seemed to have something like burn marks on them. He had rented a small trawler at Penzance and sailed around Lands End to the northern coast. This area was off Nancekuke, near a Ministry of Defense laboratory suspected of chemical weapons research. The suspicions and reasons for picking this environmental location were obvious. 

Upon diving there, he experienced a loud cacophony of sounds. At about 20 foot depth, "screaming, humming, whining, and drumming" sounds assaulted him. At around 100 feet, things get stranger. Voices began to emerge from the chaotic earlier sounds. These voices speak various languages: French, English, and perhaps Russian could be distinguished. Finally, there is music. Regan said that he heard a Rachmaninoff and a Brahms that he was familiar with { these folks have good taste at least.} 

Regan talked about this with several divers. They'd all heard it. One 25-year veteran diver said:

"I've been diving {off Nancekuke} for five years. We have all heard the strange sounds off the coast near Hayle and Nancekuke. At first we didn't take much notice. We thought they were probably some sort of underwater detection device, dreamed up by the boffins. But a few days ago, when I was diving all day with three other men, we all heard strange voices speaking in French. The deeper we got the louder they got. Many other divers have heard music --- always classical. " 

Hmmm.... three theories come to mind:
1). made up bunk [source is poor]; 
2). sound transmission from British, French, and Soviet submarines doing their stupid games;
3). water entities alternating between complaining about human pollution and playing good music.

I like "3", but I'll bet on "1". [perhaps with a dash of "2".] 

1961: rural Lake County, OR.

Two young couples were driving back home at night. Rounding a sharp curve, they were blinded by the lights of a car in imminent collision. Brakes were too late and there was a violent crash. The reporter of this event briefly saw a woman thrown out of the other car before blacking out. 

The black-out seemed very brief. She found herself swimming in a beautiful pool in natural surroundings of flowers, forest, and singing birds. Then another singing began. Thinking that this wonderful singing was a Heavenly Choir, she allowed herself to float lazily in this perfect state. But suddenly the sounds of trumpets, like Gabriel's Horn, joined the symphony and brought her out of her reverie. She knew that she had to get to shore; she didn't belong in this paradise and had to leave. As she gained the bank of the lake, she was immediately back to her normal consciousness.

Her boyfriend lay across her unconscious, and she pushed him off. Pushing at the car door, it gave way. She crawled out of the wreckage to hear men yelling orders as rescue personnel were already on the scene. She was taken to hospital with a broken nose, fractured skull, and dislocated hip, along with all the bruises. But mostly she thought of the wonderful paradise of beauty and music that she'd experienced. Her life had one other experience that we might call an NDE, and during that one she also heard the "Heavenly Choir." 

Not the sounds off Cornwall, true, but something far more significant?

Let's come back to Earth.... 

1984: Colville Reservation, WA. 

A farm operator on Native American land, Fred Timm [with his two sons] worked both wheat fields and ranched cows. One day his sons were out herding the cattle when, near a wheat field, they came across a fresh hole in the ground. The hole was not geometrical but roughly "pear-shaped", about ten feet long and seven wide at its fattest point. The depth of the hole varied within a 1 1/2 to 2 foot range. The sides were fairly sharp. 

Then they noticed the chunk of earth which came out of the hole lying 70+ feet away, The dimensions of the giant clod matched the hole precisely in size and shape. It was as if, as observers stated, a giant cookie-cutter had come to Earth and removed the piece and dumped it 73 feet away. The chunk was estimated to weigh greater than two tons. 

The mystery deepened when the brothers observed that there was no sign of Earth-moving equipment anywhere. There were no tracks of any kind. Somehow a huge piece of soil had been taken up from the ground forcefully, and placed back down gently enough so that the Superclod retained its shape. 

Things got worse. Investigators looked closely at the straightline path between the hole and the displaced earth piece. There was no debris from the Superclod along that line. But there WERE small "droppings" elsewhere. Those droppings indicated that the airborne clod went from its natural location to where it landed by "flying an arc." [The only other explanation seemed to be that, if the chunk "flew a straight line", then the debris had to be displaced in the arc by strong winds ... which just happened to pick up at the beginning of the "flight", smoothly gain strength throughout the travel until the halfway point, and then smoothly drop back to zero at the landing site ... or some other such unexpected wind coincidence.] The clod also rotated during its travel, landing 20degrees counterclockwise to its original orientation. 

All manner of hilariously stupid "explanations" have been floated so that Skeptics can sleep well at night; nothing comes remotely close to even being worth remembering. Even the desperation "it's a hoax" speculation falls short given the number of investigators involved and the absence of serious [heavy] equipment marks. 

This just seems to be a "pure" Fortean phenomenon --- deal with it.

1966: Trenton, NJ. 

A lady had returned to her home from a shopping trip, and had gone into her bedroom to put away what she had purchased. An explosion erupted in her room. Looking about, she saw two holes in the window area of the room: one in the inner glass pane, the other in the "storm sash" just outside it. The two holes lined up, she realized with a chill, with her head when the eruption occurred. Glass was all over the room, reaching as far as covering her bed. BUT WHATEVER BLEW OUT THE TWO HOLES NEVER REACHED HER, nor was there any sign whatever of anything which could have punched through the double window. The sheer curtains which covered the window were undamaged, even though glass [pulverized] covered the floor. Just flat-out weird.....

A gardener was cutting grass nearby, just on her property, at the time, but heard and saw nothing. There was no sonic boom. Along the line-of-sight of the holes [about nine feet above the ground] entry would have been a tight fit as a nearby tree was pretty much in the way. Within the bedroom no sign of anything coming in [other than the glass] and no sign of any marking on the wall opposite. 

OK. What-the-heck?!  Somehow, if we are to take this literally, some force phenomenon [energy or material projectile] entered in a straight line from just outside a window and expended its force in two limited ways: 1). it pulverized glass in a neat circular pattern, and 2). it then distributed the pulverized material within a space without impacting any other matter [curtains or Mrs. Green's person] and dissipated with no further sign of its existence. It did this with one instant of explosive sound. 

Yep. I'll have this one worked out over lunch. Trending towards a tiny speck of antimatter projected by Norbbobble Szank's notoriously out-of-control space-warping research on Epsilon Eridani. 

1984: Dylife, Wales. 

There was a guy who liked Welsh mining history [in an amateur way] and spelunking down in old mines. {not my cup of tea if the wiggle spaces get at all narrow, but some people, including Ivan I believe, like it --- he was fascinated by cave creatures.} {Ivan might have liked this adventure too, although some things seem a little to close for comfort.} 

Our adventurer was in one old mine, by himself as it had been abandoned long ago. There were the usual abandoned mine noises, but our spelunker enjoyed them. He was making slow progress in a wet level of the mine when he came to a pool of water. He prodded around with his stick which he took for just this safety purpose, and began to hear a stranger than usual noise. Instead of the ordinary wind-driven wheezings of old shafts, this was a humming; not a motor humming, but like a human humming. 

This humming seemed to come from the other side of the pool. He couldn't see anything. Wondering if another spelunker was down there already and further along, he turned off his light, reasoning that if his companion had one he would now see it. Ten yards in front of him there was indeed something. 

It was a shape sized like a small man. It glowed, not like a flashlight, but a subdued pale blue glow. The shape seemed to hum its subterranean tune. 

Our hero got the hell out of there. 

Back at the local pub that evening his story regaled the oldtimers. When he'd finished, one came up to him and privately said that years previous he and friends had seen lights emerge from that mine level and fly slowly away in the sky. 

I KNEW UFOs would get here somewhere. Demons, Faeries, ET, or swamp gas --- as usual, everything's still at play. 

1986: Pittston, PA.

Once upon a time, a family of six, a very Catholic family of six, began getting what can only be called poltergeist experiences in their home. Unfortunately this was the nasty sort of poltergeist, not the mild fooling-around type that my brother and sister have in their house. 

The Smurl family got loud banging during prayer time, dark shadows moving, walking and animal hooves sounds, toilet flushing ... bunches of stuff which was at a minimum distracting. Being conservative Catholics, the family thought that demons were at work [they reported one "lifting" of the husband during prayers], and called for an exorcist. The Church wouldn't send an exorcist over, but the ghost-buster investigators were happy to arrive. These folks claimed to record all the claimed sounds, and to take film of not-very-clear things which they deemed intriguing, but as usual with such matters, nothing really emerged as evidence. The TV ghostbusters echoed the call for the Church to send in exorcists. 

..... well, as you know, I am a good Catholic boy, and "still" have unshakeable faith in angels and demons [really, no joke], but I don't know about this. Lots of poltergeist cases, especially the violent ones, have turned sour with heavy scrutiny. Still, if the family was telling the truth about something other than sounds and smells [like the levitation], maybe the Church should have risked embarrassing themselves and sent an exorcist in. My personal philosophy is that none of these things are "demons", but rather are other spiritual manifestations [if real] --- something of the unquiet spirit of a deceased person or a paranormal psychic imprint upon a place or a member of the Middle Kingdom, who would do better to be out in the natural world with the rest of Faerie.  But as this is the greatest confusion to me of any category of anomaly, I freely admit that I am at pure BS stage, and refuse to go All-the-Way-Fool with any conviction whatever. ... just bring on the data. 

Hamsters --- The Dark Side.

Well, that tears it. 

Gotta plane to catch. 

See you in about a week. Peace. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Still Deep Out Proctor: Missed my astral plane.

I'm changing my mind about "not being sure that I believe any of this {recent} stuff". I believe that quite a lot of it HAPPENED but I can't come up with HOW. Oh well, the curse of our interesting hobby persists. .... soldiering on.

Well, THAT was startling, not as startling as it was to our witness though.

1983: Te Ngaere, NZ. A lady was sitting in her living room, presumably enjoying the thunderstorm raging outside [I know that I like them anyway.] BIG BOOM right outside her door. As she stared at the brightening area beneath the door, a flow of light began to enter the room. There had been some metal tools strewn in one area of the floor, and the lightflow became a blob moving to and settling into the middle of the surrounding tools. "Arms" then reached out of the blob and sought out the tools, weaving around them and then retracting back into the blobby mass. Now the "arms" reappeared and extended again. No sound and no odor was apparent. Suddenly the blob retracted its arms again, and took off for the slot beneath the doorway and back outside. The lady didn't regret the egress of her weird visitor.

Of course this seems like some form of lightning --- shall we call it "Blob Lightning?" It's visitation lasted about 15 seconds and so its existence would have been longer than that, maybe much longer. No matter whether we wave off such experiences as "ball lightning" or not, the fact that electrical lightning is composed of particles with the same negative charge means that they all should be repulsing each other and no such balling-up should be happening at all [there are some esoteric theories which try to explain this, but they ARE theories and pretty much debated.] Most "living room type" ball lightning experiences have quite a bit of literal sizzle sound and "ozone odor" to them, so this one was odd in that sense too. Just something natural ---- well, "natural" yes; "just", no.

1976, some town in Hawaii. [sounds like Honolulu, but unstated.]

A husband and wife, he a 20 year military officer, were in their apartment overlooking the harbor. The wife was in the kitchen and he in the living room. Suddenly the condo was filling with a burning smell but no smoke. The wife was screaming: "I'm burning! SOFT burning!"

When the husband ran in, she had ripped off her terrycloth housecoat and was stamping on it. This was a useless act, as it turned out that there was no fire there. The housecoat when inspected smelt of scorching but there was no smoke. The fabric in one place [high on her back] showed a definite scorch mark. The mark did not penetrate the entire thickness of the fabric, although her skin was mildly burned beneath that point at her upper left shoulder.

The wife thought that somehow she must have caught fire from the stove, despite the location of the scorch in such an unlikely place. She felt as if she was "soft burning" and it definitely hurt. The thought of both of them was: could this have been a very mild form of spontaneous human combustion that they had heard about? In the decade or more since the occurrence and the report to SITU, there had never been anything else remotely like this.

One wonders if some action that she forgot got her upper back somehow close to the stove despite the awkwardness in doing so, and this is all we need to explain this. Or did some burning remnant of a neighbors fire drift in their window unnoticed and alight [and a-light] on her back?

Sometime during 1973, Niagara Falls, ONT.

A group of tourists were near Horseshoe Falls enjoying the scene. A short distance away, a parked car with nobody in or around it suddenly turned on its lights. As tourists watched, the headlight lenses then shattered. The horn then began blowing and the engine turned on. Finally the whole car burst into flames and, as a last suicidal gesture to the universe, the windshield exploded. When the fire authorities arrived they said: nothing to see here; just a short circuit.

Uhhhh.... WHAT!?

Well, you can read this one. 1983: Wharncliffe, WV.

A family moves into a Church as All Hell Breaks Loose in their nearby home. "Fire shooting six inches" out of electrical sockets, and fires continuing even after the power is turned off. Fires appear in trash containers, closets, rugs, mattresses, bulletin boards ... the bulletin boards were in the Church after the family moved over.

Just another evening near Proctor, WV.

In 1971, Edwin Robinson of Falmouth, ME was in a serious traffic accident, which left him blind. Fast forwarding to 1980, Edwin Robinson was blessed with another accident --- he got struck by lightning and knocked unconscious. He lay there for awhile and finally regained his senses. They were not the only thing that he regained. Opening his eyes he noticed a change. Shortly his ability to see focussed things returned after the nine year hiatus. One of his first treats was seeing his two granddaughters for the first time. He remarked: Isn't this great!!!?

Yes sir, that it is --- very odd, but great nevertheless.

Another sort of "revitalizing force?"

1935?: Navaho reservation.

A New York physician named Harlow Brooks is visiting the people trying to do what good he can. He sees a young woman with a "generalized" case of tuberculosis on a "relentlessly deteriorative course." Dr. Brooks and the western hospital could do nothing for her. The girl's relatives decided to give up there and go back to their native shaman. The shaman lead the girl on a week long ritual process, which Dr. Brooks observed to have almost killed her. She was removed and taken back to her parents' home. Dr. Brooks ultimately got around to the part of the reservation where she and her family had their home, and she was there, smiling, happy, and seeming in good health. Everything that Dr. Brooks could assess showed him a patient apparently fully cured. {this report was written up in the American Journal of Surgery by Brooks.}

1981: another article, this time in The Journal of the American Medical Association, written by Dr. Richard Kilpatrick, described a female patient, also a Native American, who had a confirmed condition of end-stage kidney disease. As the hospital could do nothing, she returned to the village in which she'd grown up, and the local shaman was consulted. Kilpatrick didn't know what the shaman did, but when saw the lady again, she was suddenly completely cured. His comment in JAMA: "How in the world did a village witch-doctor cure terminal medically intractable nephritis?"


1988: London, UK.

Sir Alfred J. Ayer, age 87, was hospitalized for pneumonia and getting back to health when he choked on his hospital dinner and ... well ... died. He was worked on for four minutes trying to restart his heart. When it did finally regain its lifecycling rhythm, he slowly came to. One of the things that he reported was having a near-death experience.

Some readers will recognize Ayer's name as belonging to one of the world's most outspoken prominent atheists [until the new crop of Dawkins, Hawking, Gould et al came along]. So, an NDE for Ayers was something unexpected, especially by him. ... and it was a bit different.

In his "encounter" Ayers saw a brilliant red light which "confronted" him. It was so bright that it was painful, even when he tried to look away. Ayers had no normal communication, but was somehow convinced that this red light "was responsible for the government of the Universe." He believed that it was communicated to him somehow that the Light had "ministers" and that two of these "creatures" were placed in charge of Time and Space. These creatures, he saw, had bungled their jobs, and Time and Space were badly jumbled.

How did this event affect our leading atheist? He stayed an atheist. But his past convictions were shook up a little. He admitted that his previous conviction that his medical death would "be the end of me" was now weakened, and maybe that will not be the end. Perversely holding onto his lifelong fatalism, though, he added that he hoped that it would still be his end.

Puzzling "philosophy", eh? Too proud to change? Too afraid that something else might be waiting? Something very emotionally strong is going on here for this bright man to fervently hope that his death will be his utter end, and, viewing life in the biggest picture, his existence, fading from all memories, will be finally purposeless. Steven Weinberg, physics Nobelist, was at least intellectually honest enough to recognize that his own fatalistic obliteration meant an ultimately meaninglessness to his individual life. ... and that the whole of human existence had a fundamental tragedy about its course.

Sad. Gentlemen, your philosophy is not for me, but I'll pray for you happily.

Back to the NDE: what can we make of it? It's a "Light" which seemed to be a ruling Entity. But the experience was mixed with odd thoughts as well about the guardians of right-function of time and space --- I haven't noticed much falling apart of Time and Space myself, and I don't think that Science has either. Maybe those "glitches", and "jottles" ... hmmmm.


Time to rest my overheated neurons --- no redlight NDE for me tonight.

Back in a couple of days with another bunch of the weird outlier stuff.

Till then, Peace.