Monday, March 29, 2010

Flying Saucer Review Volume 4: The Phenomenon.

I'm back in West Virginia after a hectic week of trying to get everything done back home. Good friends really helped out all the way. So, blog-wise, once I settle back in here, it will be year-by-year with FSR once more, with occasional entries from elsewhere. This time it's FSR's 1958 volume. ------- 1958 had 110 cases listed [not counting a few UFO-sounding things from the 19th century "scrapbooks" that they occasionally printed.] The reports began to spread out a bit more [beyond Keyhoe-Land] in this year. "Only" two thirds of the cases were "objects", "lights" and radar cases.There were twelve photo cases, most looking seriously bogus [with one extremely notable exception].There were thirteen CE3 encounters of very mixed quality, but none that I'd run to the bank with. [something in here could be good though; there wasn't enough detail to tell on the intuitively interesting ones]. There were seven CE2s, five of which were members of the famous late 1957 CE2e-m wave. There were two possible "angelhair" cases, two cases of alleged extraterrestrial messages on the radio, and one case that I'd put in my High-Strangeness category. My intuition is that you could take the reported cases, get the best data on them that was available, sift out the twenty best, and find that you could go into any skeptical war with that twenty and win in a fair game. That is because you would be anchored by a few of the most powerful cases in the literature. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The photo on the left is one of those. Most of you will recognize it immediately as one of the series taken by a Brazilian International Geophysical Year science ship just out of port at Isla di Trindade, Brazil in early 1958. I've heard a lot of skeptical remarks about these photos. The remarks are 100% crap. There is a large amount of documentation on this incident and the narrative of what happened there is defendable start-to-finish. Because of all the documentation, and the smoothly understandable story of how the film was handled [right up to the involvement of the President of Brazil], you may consider these as the "Anchor Case" for the UFO data category "Film Evidence" [perhaps even moreso than McMinnville, Tremonton, Edwards AFB, several Moonwatch pictures, et al]. As good UFO film evidence is so hard to come by, these are treasures. ---------------------------------------------------------------------Also mentioned in this volume were cases like Levelland [the Anchor Case for CE2em's], the James Stokes CE2em/physiological, the Elmwood Park,IL police report, the White Sands Proving Grounds guards report, the report by Aussie astronomers at Mt. Stromlo Observatory, the Lakenheath AFB Radar-Visual, and the incident by Sir George Jones, one of the movers-and-shakers of Aussie Air Power in the war. There were several other good ones as well. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of my favorite, and I believe not only underrated but essentially forgotten, cases was reported [twice] in FSR of this year. It's the case illustrated to the left. On September 4,1957 four jets, piloted by Portuguese Air Force officers, encountered a large object, shaped like a curved "bean shell" moving strangely. It would emit smaller objects like yellow BOLs which would move rapidly about the bigger thing. This event was happening mainly over Spanish airspace as the flight returned to its base near Lisbon. Captain Jose Lemos Ferreira decided to turn his squadron towards the big object to investigate. "Several minutes on our course we discovered a small circle of yellow light apparently coming out of the thing and before our surprise elapsed we detected 3 other identical circles on the right of the thing.The whole was moving and their relative positions changing constantly and sometimes very rapidly. ...As we were near Coruche the "big thing" suddenly and very rapidly made what looked like a dive, followed up by a climb in our direction. Then everybody went wild and almost broke formation in the process of crossing over and ahead of the UFO. ...As soon as we crossed over everything disappeared and later we landed without further incident." Although possibly a coincidence, the Portuguese scientific station at Coimbra registered high variations in their magnetic field readings during this latter part of the encounter. There are two further "sociological" things about this case. Captain Lemos Ferreira was no ordinary jet pilot. In another ten years or so he would become commanding officer of the entire Portuguese Air Force. Also [perhaps because of his obvious talent and the respect already given him] he was allowed to make his own personal detailed report to an FSR correspondent. Captain Lemos said: from now on don't give us that old stuff about Venus, balloons, aircraft, and the like. [saying, it seems to me, these words for the "benefit" of the USAF]. Amen, sir, and I salute you.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were a handful more worth commenting upon, but in my usual lazy way, I'm going to cut this a little shorter than a book chapter and just talk about two more. The first relates to the gentleman on the left. He is Lieutenant Colonel H.C. Petersen, and he was the chief of UFO investigations for the Danish Air Force. He was a unique character to say the least. Petersen not only had the formal UFO job, but was a completely convinced extraterrestrialist from maybe the beginning. He immediately began "sharing" Danish UFO cases with everyone who wanted to listen and founded a quasi-civilian UFO investigation organization on the side [which became Denmark's major civilian UFO group.] So, because Petersen was such an "enthusiast", we need to be a little careful with cases coming just from him. In the following case[s] we might be on solider ground because they are two incidents happening on the same date [November 20,1957] and about the same time, one military and one civilian. Both reports are about luminous objects seen by many people which flash colored lights and move and hover. These incidents are from the Isle of Bornholm. What makes this worth mentioning though is the civilian report from the same area the next day. Here the witness saw a triangular object flying very low and close. The top of it was transparent. Inside this dome were two human figures. In a nearby area, two other persons saw what they described as a triangular shaped object with beings moving inside. And in a third town, two more people saw a "T" shaped object without the beings. We were having a little flap of close encounters in Jutland with at least one old-fashioned CE3. Petersen was so impressed by what was going on that he gave out "advice" to the readers to not be afraid of UFOs but if they got a chance to approach a landed one to spread out their arms in a peaceful gesture and think friendly thoughts. [sort of mind-bogglingly surprising on many levels of thinking about it].----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The other story that I suppose that I can't get away without describing is the one that I call a high-strangeness case--the Cynthia Appleton encounter. But... the next post will be soon enough as my back is breaking now from this hard seat, and it's time to go to a friendlier chair. So, tomorrow or the next day, folks---blessings till then.


  1. Hey, Mike,
    I think this must be the Hans Petersen I met at a UFO conference in Mexico in 1977. He had an abrupt manner and a pronounced impatience with anybody who didn't buy into George Adamski's yarns, which were at the center of Petersen's UFO universe. He was one of the two hardest-core Adamski-ites I have encountered, the other being Adamski's Swiss associate Lou Zinsstag.

    Having one's memory jogged in this fashion causes me to wonder how many of the younger generation have any but the vaguest notion of who Adamski was. At one point, though it may be hard to believe, he was a huge presence in any UFO discussion. Everybody who was interested in UFOs had an obligation to have an opinion on the man.

  2. Hello, Prof.

    " could go into any skeptical war with that twenty and win in a fair game." I totally agree. If the game was fair, your blog would have no reason for being, I'm thinking. The 'fair game' is impeded by government, imo. Blogs like The Big Study and others serve a most useful purpose by slapping the government upside the head. I am reminded of Sallust's quote: " What prevents us from telling the truth, laughingly?" Please keep blogging. Regards.

  3. To Richard: many thanks-----To Jerry: actually I have thought about that knowledge gap problem across the generations, but have decided to ignore it. The reason is that no matter what one does, there would still be more to tell. My [brilliant] solution to this is to just go forward and if anyone becomes interested they will look it up and learn. I try to give enough background on things that I feel are important for us to know, but on things which, in the end, aren't important, I've been letting them slide. Of course that's my choice on importance and so I'll be right about 50% of the time on coin-flips. When I start missing ALL the coin flips, I'm going gremlin hunting.



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