Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Subtle Thumbprint Of The UFOs ?

As we've seen earlier in this blog, whoever is the major agency behind the UFO phenomenon has taken great pains over 60 years NOT to give us anything easy on which to base a "science" of UFOs, and therefore a path to acceptance of their existence by the consensus-reality makers of our culture. This cleverness on "their" part extends to apparently deliberate variation in UFO appearances, the lack of substantial "leavings", and a refusal of "predictability". This makes life tough for the hopeful UFOlogist, wishing to at least have the general culture not call him a fool. Jacques Vallee, always a quick study in these matters, concluded over 30 years ago that the UFO "problem" could not be solved by scientific approaches, and so began to attempt other ways of doing so. Poher's statistical work on the length of time that a real UFO manifested [vs a false one] was a statistical pattern--not enough to convince the National Academy of Sciences, but pretty good evidence for us. Colorado felt early in the game that UFO reality was a no-brainer "yes", but the next step, was it physically/externally present as an "objective" reality, was not as easy to simply admit. This blog is about a wonderful start on a research project that might be a strong indicator of both external/physical objectivity and perhaps even more. For it, we owe an old Allen Hynek associate: Fred Merritt.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have no photo of Fred Merritt or I'd honor him "personally". All I can do is tell you a little of who he was when this work was done. Most folks don't know that when Allen Hynek left USAF consultancy with the cancellation of Blue Book, it was not at all obvious that he could start up a civilian UFO organization. Fortunately in Chicago was an energetic man named Sherm Larsen, who had begun a NICAP affiliate. Sherm argued, successfully, that with the impending dissolution of the parent organization the valuable NICAP files should be brought to Chicago, where they'd serve as the basis of a new research group. [most of these files DID make it to what became CUFOS, thankfully ]. Getting together with Allen Hynek about a new synthesis ultimately got Hynek to agree to a merger of Larsen's group and Hynek's files and contacts under the description of a new more science-oriented operation. One of Sherm's colleagues was Fred Merritt, a Chicago businessman and an unusually science-interested "amateur". Before even meeting Hynek or Vallee, Merritt was trying to do statistical work on the case pile. He reasoned that the "landing trace" cases were the best chance one had of finding the elusive objective reality. For whatever reason he concentrated on those cases where the object seen was undebatably a structured object [to all appearances]. These were the cases where the object had extended "landing pods" rather than just rested on the ground. He began to plot these cases by various size-related properties. And he began to notice a pattern hidden in his pile. That pattern is in the graph above. [I colored the chart to make it stand out. The color labels for the "domains" are also, obviously, mine, but I don't think I'm misleading you there. Those labels are taken directly from Merritt's own descriptions of the case types. This is even true of my word "trickster", as Merritt defines these cases as associated with entities that he describes as the "Mob from Magonia" who play pranks on people.] Before getting further into this, we need to be honest and admit that the case numbers are few. But the pattern he saw is extremely interesting anyway. Notice that the domains, the case clusters, do not intersect. I find that VERY interesting. If I was dealing with an "unreal" phenomenon pushed up by human errors and stupidities, I'd insist on this graph smearing together with much more randomness. This graph, if true, is characteristic not of randomness but of several distinct "behaviors" of things going on in nature--whether artificial or "merely" some nature-produced physical manifestation. In fact, it looks to me like several sorts of UFOs. [but not an "infinite" variety of them]. The disks are a surprisingly tight domain. And, they have [when associated with Merritt's tripod landing traces] significant size [the leg patterns themselves are about 15 to 25 feet in diameter] which could allow "occupants" of a size something like ourselves. Merritt said that these disks averaged about 35 feet in diameter and, when associated with occupants, those occupants were "normal" height. Keep remembering what he is doing: only tripod cases--not everything. If you have enough type cases, though, ALL such graphs should be smeary--not separable into tight domains. If Merritt is correct, and this pattern holds [at least through the times that he did it--remember we have deliberate Confusers at work here too, so they could have later cleaned up this mistake] then he may have found that we have not only physically real presence [rather than only a variety of force projections] but possibly something even more interesting to me. Among the UFOnauts he may have found the "tricksters", the "Mob from Magonia". That green domain is significantly separate from the disks. Merritt was amused by them. He said that the occupants were small pranksters, and often "flew" in "aerodynamically-absurd" shapes. I can't help being a bit thrilled by Merritt's try here. I can't tell you if his pattern plays out either longer or stronger with more data. Ted Phillips' catalogue of traces is a wonderful thing, but doesn't contain the type of detail to test this further. I do have a rare copy of Fred Merritt's original catalogue but it's on loan to friends and I can't tell you if there is more there--probably not as the sheets I have look like summary graphs from that exact data. Maybe someone of you can either find that someone has already advanced this, or will do it yourself. The only time that I ever had a personal conversation with Ted Phillips, he told me, without going into it, that once he heard the witness' description of the object involved in a trace, he knew exactly what the trace would look like before he arrived on the scene. Maybe something like what Fred Merritt found was part of what Ted knew.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To wrap up the day with a little light fun, let's just tell a few UFO landing pod case stories. I just picked a few of the better ones out of the file cabinets--my opinion, so don't take them overly seriously. Case 1: early May 1971; near Kocevje, then Yugoslavia. A young woman [17] was riding home on her bicycle slightly after 8pm. Off the road was a reddish glow accompanied by a buzzing sound. There was a slight hollow area in the field, and the red object seemed nestled down in there. She showed remarkable courage and stopped to explore closer. The thing was a giant red glowing "egg" standing on three short legs. She watched for a time, but the uncanniness of the thing ultimately unnerved her and she retreated to her bike and rode away. She kept looking back all the way home and finally saw it take off, landing legs now pulled up, and ascending in a spiraling flight. When she got home, she found that her mother had also seen the object from that distance. Later a neighbor reported seeing the thing as well. They were all ridiculed by the local police. The next day, the witnesses went to the site and found traces which were not well described by the UFO investigator. [some 'holes' were described but you can't tell if he means pod traces or something more like soil-sampling holes]. Regardless, here we have a multi-witnessed three pod disk of a size that would have fit Merritt's pattern. Case 2: August 16, 1974; Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Three young boys were walking in the woods near their homes at about 8pm. Their cat began acting very strangely and they saw above the trees a metal disk flashing colored lights and making a loud noise. The cat ran to its owner and jumped into his arms. The disk moved away slowly and seemed to land in a nearby sandpit. Just before landing it extended three landing pods and emitted a blast of hot air so strong that the resultant sand dust covered the boys, standing 150 feet away. Two boys immediately ran home, but one hung around a moment longer. He said that the disk was bigger than his father's car and had a box-like structure on top. Then he too ran away. Only one neighbor took them seriously, and she went to the site the next day. There she found three indentations from the gear, and a circular spot surrounding them where "carbonized deposits" remained. She collected samples from this area and [coincidentally?] developed a numbness in her fingers, which lasted for a week [this same sort of effect occurred at the Delphos landing trace when the mother of the witness handled the whitish material of the mark]. She called the RCMP. They refused to investigate, but a college prof did and found no radioactivity. Her soil samples were sent to a university lab for analysis. The lab was "baffled" by the carbonization. "A high degree of heat would be required to produce such results, but even simulated conditions would not extend so far into the sandy soil." [translation: he subjected the sandy soil to great heat and still couldn't get the effect to occur below the surface, although the UFO was able to do so]. This is a nice case, not because of the credibility of the young witnesses, but because it has scientific testing with puzzling results.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Case 3: February 5, 1971; near Kinnula, Finland. This case depends only on the witness testimony as researchers weren't informed about it until it was too late to see a physical trace. Also, since this was at an isolated logging camp, there was no chance for an independent witness. But, there are two witnesses and good field workers to do the interview, so what the heck. The encounter took place at about 3pm. The witnesses were near the end of their work day and had just turned off the saws. A domed disk then showed up over the trees, metal-colored and having four landing legs. It was 15 -16 feet in diameter. It settled down only about 30 feet away. An opening appeared in its underbelly an a little being floated out. It was less than three feet tall and clad in a green diver's suit type covering. The thing approached one of the men, gliding rather than sinking into the snow. The man being approached was a high risk kind of guy, and moved towards the "robot" to engage it. The green thing then turned to retreat to the craft. In the windows of the domed disk, other creatures were seeable with humanoid forms but no details discernible. Uncaring about extraterrestrial relations, the guy made to grab and hold the "green man", but as he grabbed its foot, it, which had mysteriously floated off the ground, forcefully moved to the craft--its assailant yelping due to a hand burnt by the heat that was apparently projected right through the boot. The resultant burn scars were still visible when the researchers finally got to interview these fellows two months later. Once the green man was inside, the craft picked up with a slight humming sound, closed the hatch opening, and rapidly sailed away. The forest workers felt "stiff" after their encounter, but nothing else other than the burns. They walked to the landing site and saw the four pod marks with round plates at their ends in a square 2 meters on a side. Earlier that day, someone had seen a ball-of-light-type UFO in Kinnula, but that is the closest thing we have to confirmation. The workers' productivity immediately dropped off as they were constantly distracted over the next weeks, wondering if the thing would return.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I should tell more, but my one-typing finger probably feels like that guy's hand in the last one. So, just one more. Case 4: June 26, 1972; Fort Beaufort, South Africa. --[notice how important it is to pay attention to non-US cases]. There were a bunch of people over the years who investigated and talked about this incident, and someone who wanted to do a comprehensive search on this could do better than I. This took place in farming country at about 8am. [some say 9am]. One of the workers came running to the farm owner to report "an ugly thing" which was present near the farm's reservoir. This "thing" was emitting smoke and fire. The owner left and saw a fiery ball [initially red but later changing colors]. It seemed at about tree-top level. It was less than a meter across. The laborer shouted and the thing immediately moved sideways almost 300 yards and seemed to hide behind a bush. Then it reappeared and continually changed colors from red to green to yellow-white. The owner decided that the only thing to do was shoot it. [ah, the greatness of humanity]. He went back to get his gun and called the police. Police showed and everyone went out to confront the whatever-it-was. The owner then unloaded 8 shots at the thing, feeling that he had heard a palpable hit on the eighth. The police joined the fun with a few shots of their own. Then a round black yet shiny object of the same size appeared. More shots were fired but with no effect. Seeming to appear and disappear without an understandable method of doing so, the thing entered thick bush areas and was heard crashing about in them. The witnesses to this whacko experience were the trigger-happy farm owner, two happy-to-go-along policemen, and four farm laborers. Later, search of the area revealed 9 places where the thing had apparently touched down. The marks in question have been poorly described both by location/proximity to each other and to shape. There's been a suggestion that they came in threes. If so, this is tripod like despite the rest of the weirdness--it would fit Merritt's Mob from Magonia. The pod marks seem to have shown a structure to their flat surface, as if the pods twisted into the wet clay on settling down. All very intriguing and bizarre--quite in line with a trickster. I'll let it go with a quote from the Natal Mercury newspaper: "Incredible isn't it, that policemen and a farmer could have tried to shoot out of the sky in broad daylight what might have been a spacecraft from a friendly planet?...If it was a vehicle from outer space, manned by intelligent beings, do you suppose they now regard the inhabitants of Earth as hostile? Belligerent? Aggressive? Or just plain stupid?" Hmmm...tough multiple choice.


  1. Sometimes the universe is just too weird. After posting this stuff, and going up to make some phone calls and act like I was part of the real world, I happened to pick an old reference off the shelf, and there was Fred Merritt writing a paper on his trace pattern work. So, for any of you owning a copy of the CUFOS 1976 Symposium Proceedings, and already knowing all this, I apologize. I found that neither Fred's paper nor Mark Rodeghier's IUR reprint of it [nor Mark's insightful remarks therein] talk about this work in the same way that I did here, so maybe it wasn't a waste afterall. Still, a couple of hours later the thing falls in my lap...leprechauns again.

  2. Professor,

    I discovered this blog about a week ago. I'm one of 'those people' who have a long-time interest in UFOs (and in fact I also collect the literature in the hope of assembling a comprehensive library before some of the earlier books on the subject vanish into history).

    Merritt's pattern work gives one key insight: there probably is NOT a single agency behind the phenomena. I've suspected for some time that it's possible that the cases that present as ETH are, in fact ETH, the obviously Magonian-created cases are in fact the Magonians/Tricksters, etc, etc. I believe it to be entirely possible that the Earth has had extraterestrial visitors who visit in waves (followup expeditions, perhaps?), who potentially lost a landing craft in 1947, and who might be just as puzzled by the Trickers as we are ourselves.

    This would explain the amount of confusion that seems to surround the subject.

  3. I welcome your comments and agree with most of them completely. It might be of some interest to go back to some of the earlier posts [ex. Mischief Makers, or the last What-will-they-be-like post, or the encounters with the Middle kingdom post (maybe even Wilde Shamrocks' picture-poem)] and you can see where we agree. My two UFO buddies and I, on our Sunday evening "explorations" in the files, have a list of about a dozen hypothesis categories that we keep in mind when probing into a particular encounter. Most of the time the case sounds like anomalous aerial technology. Some of the time it sounds like trickster-ism. On very rare occasions it sounds like something diabolical or merely parapsychological/spiritual. Once in a while there is something so meaningless and apparently non-directed that it seems like some sort of "intrusion" from GOD-only-knows where. We absolutely refuse to succumb to the [for us, irrational] temptation to forge a Universal Theory of UFO Files without a very powerful reason for doing so. We think that the urge to produce such a theory has led some smart people into strange, and wrong, waters. The nice thing about our "attitude" is that we're ready to be wrong as well.

  4. From: A Different Anonymous Poster

    Examination of the results from Ray Stanford's Project Starlight International shows that there is scientific data that can be collected. Hopefully he will write a book about it and share the largess of his work. There ARE subtle fingerprints in the data too, just as spectra in imagery can tell you alot about whether the object is ordinary terrestrial or not.

  5. Let's hope that all Ray's years of work pay off in good convincing data. All of us should be rooting on our colleagues to "score" in their various paths on this complexity.

  6. The famous CIA spook of the Kennedy era, Lansdale, is supposed to have advocated projecting images of Jesus and other religious figures on clouds during the Bay of Pigs incursion into Cuba. If not an anti-Lansdale myth, it's a WASP stupidity re Roman Catholic "peasants". But centuries earlier, it would have worked--and been absorbed into the portent literature, for us, and I suspect for the Church hierarchy. It's all imitation Vallee, but what phenomena today fall neatly into "misconstruals" and "dismissals" files? Drat, where are James Jesus Angleton and Kim Philby when you need them...? Frank John Reid

  7. Dear Frank, good to hear from you. In 1952 [you probably already know this but others might not] Donald Menzel came to the Pentagon to try to suck some support and money out of the air force for his anti-ufo machinations. General Garland, Psy-warfare expert Stefan Possony, Ed Ruppelt et al were too sharp for that and trashed Menzel's ideas. In a "secondary"[?] exchange between Menzel and Possony, the psy-war expert floated the idea of using UFOs as a psy-war tool due to the false projection/image ideas that Menzel was referring to. Menzel smelled a trick to get him to admit that his ideas might end up in a Classified situation and therefore being silenced. He said: "You mean like Jesus Christ over the Kremlin?!!" and angrily told them that they would not get him into that sort of discussion and that he would publish his anti-ufo ideas just as he pleased. I mention it to show that the ideas were well in the air.

  8. In the Merritt diagram the x axis labeling is clipped - what is there?

    Thanks professor

  9. My scanner has an absolute mind of its own on such matters. Fred's axis is labelled in "blocks' rather than in some scale. The "blocks" are the kind of object reported. They go: no object//light//cigar//disc//other. Actually any axis which produced such a firm separation is very surprising and I can deal with this object-type separation fine. In a random business you would expect a size smear [up and down for any craft type] along that line or block, and you don't get it.

  10. Form follows function, at least in our world. This holds true both for human creations as well as those of the natural world. Humans have created an enormous variety of aircraft in order to accomplish specific tasks: and even those which accomplish the same task, i.e. commercial airliners for example, evolve in form over time as well as vary at the present time. Would it be unreasonable to apply this principle to the phenomena as well? Doing so doesn't attempt to address the questions of "who" and "from where" but perhaps thinking about it as "what does this form seem suited for?" may provide an analytic framework. Perhaps form correlates with context as well in some pattern yet to be clearly delineated.

  11. This thought is certainly rational and people should test it to see what they can see. My experience so far is that the agency behind the UFO phenomenon seeks to deliberately destroy the "form follows function" rule as far as external obsevables are concerned. I've studied things like the "forms" of UFOs and beams-or-no-beams in vehicle interference cases [as mentioned in an earlier post]and found that the things seen are apparently irrelevent to the engine stoppages. Still, there may be subtler patterns, possibly resident as errors of agenda planning, which we may uncover by hard looking.

  12. please forgive mistakes in spelling in these long-distance comments---too much turkey and dressing fogs the brain.

  13. prof

    in my opinion , you shouldnt lump all form of psychic ufo phenomena as trickster / magonia sourced. The magonia denizen , tricksters, little people, ghost/apparition for all we know might be their different mask they wear. as catholic you know what i am talking about, spirit of fallen angels who deceive mankind. there are multitude of these with different rank and task, personally i think the lowest rank are the trickster who love to scare humans, their higher ranks are what is known as angel of light that was mentioned in bible, that is a fallen angel pretending as an angel of light. Its this pretender that are the greatest deceiver of mankind.

    These beings or the agency behind the phenomena , they are spirits but they also can manifest physically on earth, as earth was to be their domain after their fall from heaven. Their primary task is to deceive mankind farther away from God and their UFO charade are meant to influence human's belief. Thats why you wont find any kind of proof whatsoever to UFO , the closer you think you get, the farther the phenomena ran away..

    off course all these are my own personal conclusion based on reading ufo cases and my Christian background. I am aware of the spiritual world around us and the danger involved if man try to play with spiritism, the simple example is playing with ouija board.



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