Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FSR 1958: Veering towards the Lunatic Fringe.

Flying Saucer Review took a turn for the worse, in my opinion, in 1958. Whereas earlier it was a fairly naively presented forum for all sorts of guesswork about what saucers were and portended, now it was beginning to act like it had the answers. The answers were those that were being given by the contactees like Adamski et al. And massive landings and revelations were just around the corner. This crystallization of foggy vision had to be a direct reflection of the state of mind of editor Brinsley LePoer Trench. Trench must have been that sort of gullible romantic that needed an answer, even if answers were before their time. As stated the other day, some of the most powerful "evidence" cases had recently occurred, and they seemed to feed the fires of those who now "knew" not only that the UFOs were real anomalistic aerial phenomena [a rational deduction] but also that all the contactee claims were true [an irrational one --- contactee claims could conceivably be true (at least here and there) but cases like Levelland or Trindade hardly said a thing about the veracity of Adamski or Howard Menger]. Nevertheless, FSR was acting like great "physical" cases supported "metaphysical" and boldly claimed ideas. "Science" this was not. I haven't read the next year yet, so I don't know whether there was any backlash to this extremism by Trench. Will let you know in time.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The first two numbers of FSR in 1958 were pretty "clean". Very little wild unsupported claiming was going on. Only the Reinhold Schmidt hoax, which was reported upon sympathetically, marred a fairly good presentation of UFO facts and ideas. The last two-thirds of the year was a travesty. Averaging over five major articles an issue on contactee and hoax claims, the magazine presented Adamski three times, George Hunt Williamson three times, Howard Menger, Dana Howard, and Wilbert Smith each twice, and thoroughly discredited Brazilian hoaxer, Dino Kraspedon, four times. Pages were awash with wonderful loving messages to Earth from ascended beings on Venus and other planets, complete with prophetic warnings about stopping nuclear war. One can see how such ideas would bubble up in those harried times, and why they would "sell". [I am in favor of interstellar amity and the avoidance of being blown apart as much as anyone, but why so many would put their brains in the rubbish bin to simplistically get behind these charlatans still boggles me a bit]. ------------- these attitudes allowed the magazine to completely buy the photographs of Giampiero Monguzzi [of which the illustrations accompanying this section are two of his seven shots]. Any person familiar with miniature photography would immediately recognize the tell-tale out-of-focus areas closest to the camera, which amateurs [like myself] almost always get when we're trying to photograph a small model from a "fooling" angle to make it appear large. Nevertheless, the FSR screamed: "MONGUZZI TAKES SAUCER PHOTOS OF THE CENTURY". Well, pretty sad. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Another thing that they bought without assessment [when US organizations like NICAP and CSI and APRO did not] was the so-called "Straith Letter" wherein it was claimed that the State Department [of the US] had sent Adamski a private letter telling him that they knew that he was on the right track in all he said and encouraged him to keep it up. This letter was a deliberate attempt by Gray Barker and an immature [but State-department-connected {through his father}] young goon named Jimmy Villard. In a bizarre, almost bordering on insane at times, set of letters deposited in the Barker collection at the library archives in Clarksburg, WV, Villard and Barker drool and cackle about how they are doing this great foolery, despite the probably criminal offense of using State Department stationary to do it. Villard, by the way, says that he has many other types of official stationary and will be happy to employ them in a similar way. [obviously none of this latter ever gets to FSR; it was found by myself on an archival trip many years ago]. The bottom line is that the Straith Letter was wholly a hoax, and FSR was happy to buy the whole thing without thought. The second point is that the field had acquired many truth-criminals of varying kinds, and you had to be on guard with crap detectors up and operating at all times. Adamski and Menger, Barker and Villard, have established behaviors that are alive and well today---all over our field. The lesson of our history is to be like CSI or NICAP and not FSR when it comes to such matters. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I probably shouldn't waste all our times on the next thing, but it was boosted as a big deal in England at the time, and [somewhat tellingly] has not been discarded by some UFO enthusiasts even today---plus it's an interesting story. So--let's tell a barroom tale. This is the way FSR told it: Three men were out driving near Scarborough in North Yorkshire, when their motor cut out. They saw a glowing object in the sky which seemed to come to Earth a short distance away. One guy went out and located an object at the site, but couldn't carry it [or wouldn't], so he went back to get his buddies. On returning to the place, they passed a man and woman, who did not speak. The object was no longer there when they arrived. Telling their story around, an ad was placed in the paper for a reward for the thing. Someone responded to the ad and a deal was made to pay ten pounds for it. "It" was a disk-like object made largely of copper, 18 inches in diameter and weighing 35 pounds. There were two vent holes scorched about, and a shaft running down the middle. The thing was handed over to a writer named "Avendel"/"Avenel", a pseudonym. Allegedly he knew about UFOs [which was apparently not true]. Some markings were present on the outside, but not decipherable. The thing was nick-named the "Silpho Moor artifact" from the spot of its find. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sometime in here, the thing was pried apart. Within the disk was a "thin copper book", 6"x5", and composed of seventeen thin sheets upon which "glyphs" were written/stamped. This book was given to a local cafe owner to translate. This he did, claiming the message to be a missive from extraterrestrials. The Manchester UFO society agreed with him. "Avendel" said that he thought it was a clever statement by some humans who were using this gimmick to give us needed "philosophy". The Teeside UFO group said that they had the material chemically analyzed and it was normal terrestrial copper which had been sealed together using normal solder. Their conclusion was that it was a slightly elaborate hoax. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I know that you're dying to hear the ET message so here it is: the outside read--"Friends. Message inside to be dealt with by philosophers, not officials. Good wishes, Ulo." hmmmm....philosophers, eh? The inside read [in part--all that FSR reported]: "My name is Ulo, and I write this message to you, my friends on the planet of the sun you call earth. Where I live I will not say. You are a fierce race, and prepare space travel. No one from another planet has ever landed on the earth and your reports to the contrary are faulty....It is impossible to receive radio over far distances owing to natural waves in space, unless key of several frequencies is used, but we can receive single frequencies from near transmitter-recorder in space vehicles". As far as us being nuisances was concerned, we were interfering with their distant-controlled probes: "Our recording vehicles on return are sometimes found to have atoms radiating and we can't touch except by machine". Doubtless many other knowledge gems were omitted by FSR in its coverage. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Other resources added little to this which has been supportive of any reality [other than a hoax] as far as my own reading goes. Lord Dowding, who, despite being a British Air Marshall, doesn't seem to be wired too tight, claimed that he opened the disk and perused the copper book and its translation, and was convinced that it was a true elaborate language. The cafe owner who did the translating said that he could "get into the mind" of the writer and knew that this was a real well-used language. [the language was by the way composed of almost entirely "Ts" and "Vs" stamped at a variety of angles.] Leonard Cramp, who was thought by some people at the time as a person who occasionally made sense, was informed by "Avendel" that the copper book was meant for Cramp [how he "felt" this we don't know] and Cramp believed him. The cafe owner later said that Ulo blew his cover in the text and it was revealed that he was from Mercury. The respectable British UFO group BUFORA said, quite late [2005] that they believed that the persons involved had admitted the hoax. Regardless of all this, the current editor of FSR is said to have re-affirmed his belief in the reality of the ET artifact, even stating that the top of the disk was made of not just copper but copper so advanced that it was transparent. Yikes. The man can't even read the back copies of his own publication. A good story. And good lessons if we're willing to take them. {I hope that it's obvious that the illustrations are FSR's pictures of the device and the stamped markings}.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The last bit is the tale that I [liberally] put in my high-strangeness files, rather than just toss it the rubbish bin, where it, with commentary, probably should go. I'm keeping it out because it has an interesting feature and I think that unlike typical contactees, the woman involved was probably honest. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Cynthia Appleton had just put the babies to bed for an afternoon nap when she got a feeling of a "presence". Looking about, she ultimately noticed the fuzzy outlines of a man standing near her fireplace. He was like an unfocussed television picture which gradually hardened down to crystal clarity. [sounds like the old pre-program commentary from the Outer Limits to me]. His entrance was preceded by a high-pitched whistle. She was scared, but he somehow calmed her. He did not say things aloud, but somehow communicated directly with her mind. He wore a tight-fitting silvery plastic thing with a high Elizabethan collar. He was tall and fair. He claimed to be from another world and that they needed something from the bottom of our seas--apparently Titanium. He said that we were wasting our time with brute force rockets [he didn't state it that way] and spread his hands forming another tv screen in the air. On screen was a large domed disk and ET personnel. He ended up telling her that they live in peace and harmony and that he would return. As he faded out, some newsprint that he had happened to be standing upon was charred.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About a month and a half later, he came back. Same fuzzy TV screen routine preceded by the whistle. [she had the day before just blacked out and tumbled to a crash off a, gratefully low, piece of furniture]. She was at the same spot when her ET visitor came again. This time he was in a subsidiary capacity to a bigger wheel. As they firmed up they were "solid" and you could not see through them. They were dressed the same with different hairstyles. This time they spoke aloud. [and in a clipped formal english]. They told her that they had to knock her out the previous evening in order to prepare her mind so that they could get through. Her mind was special, and very few people could allow contact. [You will be delighted to know that they were from Ghanas Vahn on Venus--a fact that I know you will apply with discretion]. She should not try to touch them as it could be hazardous to her health. {at this point in the magazine, editor Trench, totally sold on the affair, enthused about the newspapers being charred by radioactivity and gamma rays---which, at charring doses, would have fried her}. They didn't want to appear to too many of us because of panic. They also informed her that Russia was building a death ray which would decompose matter without explosions. {they missed that prophecy rather widely}. They then left, leaving her, as on the previous occasion, with a splitting headache. FSR sold the ranch for this story, but it seems to me to more likely be the product of a sensitive and honest young woman, who had a couple of [hopefully temporary] seizures, with accompanying fantasies. I don't say this lightly. Such micro-seizure dream-like states are in the literature with a lot of stress-induced fantasy imagery. It is at least a serious alternative hypothesis. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Well, I hate to be a skeptical ogre about things, so lets briefly end with a good old Charles Fort-like anomaly. 1886:August 3rd. "Monsieur Poey and Monsieur Touvelet saw numerous objects crossing the face of the Sun. Some of them were round and others were triangular". So, take that, Don Menzel!!

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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The LIGHTS That Got IN: unenlightening experiences in the world of high strangeness.

Don't ask me why I picked these incidents to write about today; it's just another mystery of the Universe. They all involve light behaving strangely, but that's about all that I can say about them--I certainly can't explain them. The only thing that I am even the slightest bit confident in saying is that they probably don't all come from the same source. Still..... Let's begin with the most well-attested-to weird light experience that I have in my files: the Toledo Donuts.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Toledo Donuts occurred outside of the Oregon town of Toledo in a rural setting near Pioneer Mountain. The dates were the month of March 1966. There had been several UFO sightings in the area. Before the flap was over, at least 25 people had seen some aerial oddity or they had seen "The Lights". Exactly when the events began at the Reeves home is a bit unclear [at least to me] but my little stack of resources seem to say this: the daughter of the house was walking home with friends when they saw a reddish glow in the field. On closer approach, it seemed to be a domed shaped something with boiling smoke around it. Going on further, they saw another object shaped like a flashlight. The daughter threw a rock at it. A bunch of big lights suddenly turned on in the air and scared the girls home. Some morning later, Mrs. Reeves was awakened by a rosy glow in the bedroom and a high-pitched hum. She turned to look out the bedroom door and saw a watermelon-sized red "cloud" hanging in the air. It then just disappeared. Following that, the family was treated, on several nights over the next few weeks, to pulsing donut-shaped lights which crawled all over the interior walls of the house. Despite the family trying to end this "invasion" of uncanny visitors by blocking out all the windows, they still manifested on the walls. The light-spots were from 1 to 30 inches in diameter and would just manifest and suddenly go out. Others saw the lights. One neighbor saw small, round disk-shaped lights flying outside in the apple orchard. Another, deliberately camping out on the family's request, saw a blue spot manifest on one end wall, and another similar spot on the other end of the house, as if some beam had penetrated clear through. No source could be located for the beam [if it was one] and no evidence could be seen inside the house that a beam was passing through. The deputy sheriff was one of seven witnesses to this oddity, and it was he who ultimately looked up and spotted an orange object maneuvering high above. With a high-pitched whine, the object disappeared. The details of the case were sent to Dr. J.B.Rhine, the world-famous parapsychologist at Duke, but he was as perplexed as anyone. He remarked that there are often light manifestations in poltergeist cases, but those are described from European cases and not American ones. [We also know from previous posts that the European light phenomena do not manifest in this exact way anyway]. The Toledo case remains a wild and wooly mystery. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But it's not completely alone. John Timmerman interviewed a husband and wife living on a farm near Heath, Ohio. In 1981, they had a close encounter with something very strange. Something had awakened all the dogs and they could hear, just outside, people talking in what seemed to be a foreign language. They were afraid to look outside and the sounds ultimately subsided. In the morning, they found long twelve-inch "scratches" on the ground as if someone had made them walking. The trail led all the way to the fence line and then seemed to pass through the fence rather than showing signs of climbing over it. Then, sometime later, but connected [rightly or wrongly] in their minds, came the lights. These were perfectly white, round spots on the bedroom walls at night. "At night when the lights was out, you could see it. It would come in and go clear around this room and sometimes stay there....and it was perfectly round and it would start here and go clear around that wall. And it bugged me so much, it about drove me crazy. I put the blinds, the curtains, so that this light could not come in. But it did anyway, believe it....This happened probably about a month straight, I suppose this happened...no matter where I put them curtains and how I pulled them, we still had that light going around that room....Well, it stayed there maybe until morning, or if the light came in the room you couldn't see it....It moved around as though someone was looking the whole room over." John asked them how they slept. "Not too well, believe it".-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------There are two more cases of lightspots on the walls in my files, both from 1962 and both from California [Anaheim and Azusa]. In both cases the lights were about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The light phenomenon which is pictured [poorly by me] in the illustration accompanying this section, refers to a 1997 case from Bloomington, Illinois wherein the couple saw a multicolored "orb" appear on their kitchen wall. The thing was about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and seemed to bob as it cruised 3 feet high across the floor. as it came near them, it suddenly expanded to about five inches in diameter. All the time it oscillated in colors throughout the spectrum. When it reached the oven, it merely disappeared without a noise. I include this experience here because it seems to have some small similarity to the wallspots and seemed flat to the wall to begin with. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Another marginally similar event occurred in Brussels, Belgium in 1970. Here a man was walking in the evening when he saw a patch of light on the ground ahead of him. This was big, about 7 to 8 meters in diameter. As he approached it began to vibrate and became phosphorescent green. It then assumed a shape like a bell, 5 meters high. "the inside seemed formed of thousands of tiny luminous particles which moved agitatedly in all directions, giving the impression of great nervousness." The thing, without noise, odor or heat, moved away across the ground and disappeared behind a mound. Can patches of light sense the presence of humans? We're Out Proctor now.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are cases where beams mysteriously enter bedrooms for no apparent reason. The drawing on the lower left represents a case from Traunstein, Austria in 1975. Here a beam seemed to pass through the window of a 75 year-old lady who was trying to get to sleep [the beam didn't help]. "It was a ray; bright as burning magnesium, crossing my room like a line....it was eerie--a sharp outlined stripe, flat....There was no sound, not even a crackle...it shot in and went as far as the kitchen, perhaps to the door of our flat--and back out". It did not illuminate the room. It seemed to come in, fast but gradually, and be pulled back out. It seemed to be "flat", a la two dimensional or at least extremely thin. The path seemed to curve downwards slightly as it crossed the room. Yep, an everyday event in Austria.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In 1956, in Waipukurau, New Zealand a 58 year-old farmer was up at 2am due to some cramping muscles. He got to walking in hopes of working them out. Over his shoulder came a beam of light, hitting his mirror. Turning, he saw a beam of bluish-silver colored light coming down at an angle into his room. It was a round "pipe" in cross-section, and was composed of light so dense that he could see nothing through it. But it did not illuminate the room. The farmer stared directly into the light which seemed so intense, but it did not negatively affect his eyes at all. [reminds me of the people who see the "spinning Suns"]. He stepped towards his window, and the beam switched right off. In its place was a distant object of the same distinctive blue color. One more step and it too went off.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The other illustration above is for the 1972 Logrono, Spain case. Here a BOL entered the bedroom of a student of theology at a college in NE Spain. His tape recorder had been playing music but the station had gone off the air. This didn't deter a Ball-of-Light from entering his room and heading for the recorder. This thing was very bright and football-shaped; a smoothly luminous form. Once opposite the recorder's night table, it extended a "solid" beam of light into the cassette slot of the machine [or at least thereabouts---our theology student was trying to creep as deeply under the covers as he could]. The BOL then ascended and went directly out of the window. It is not stated how the student worked this phenomenon into his theology.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are, of course, a nearly unlimited number of cases of BOLs. I've picked out a few which seemed to "materialize" inside the structure of a building,[or some aspect of their "act" did] rather than to "fly in". In the late 19th century, apparently in a small town in New Hampshire [the correspondent to the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research wasn't very specific on this] two members of a farm family were going to bed when they noticed a light in the kitchen which they thought was a fire on the stove. The child went to bed while the mother investigated. She found a patch of light moving on the wall, gradually growing from a nail's-head size to the diameter of a dinnerplate. It then "flashed" all over the room. [apparently then just simply disappearing]. The next night, despite taking precautions of blocking up the windows with the curtains, the light materialized again in three different appearances, racing about the walls. The family members interpreted this as a warning of an impending death in the family, which subsequently occurred. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The illustration with this section [again, caveat emptor, this was done by me, and so is not to be taken overly seriously] refers to an incident in Gloggnitz, Austria in 1977. Here a 19 year-old radio mechanic was lying in bed when the room was "invaded" by a 50cm hollow ball composed of "electric red" bars. This thing hovered and slowly moved towards his door. Jumping up, he accidentally bumped the thing with his leg. It then dimmed and the bars shrank in diameter. They gradually went to nothing and the thing was gone. There was no noise, no heat, no physiological sensation at all. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------In 1968, in Miami, Florida, two people were going to bed when something came right through the solid [and closed] front door to settled in the air at their feet. It was a soccerball-sized ball of light. It then went up to the ceiling and over their heads. Staying tight to the ceiling, the thing broke into five equal pieces, which danced and cavorted about. [one wonders if I should say "Pixies" instead of "Pieces"?] "They were bright white and emitted no light." One object moved away from the others as if on an exploration of the room. "It cast no shadow on anything or lit anything..." The male got up and approached the light which was dancing on the wall. He tried unsuccessfully to see into it. Then he tried to touch it. At this point the "explorer light" shot up to the ceiling and proceeded to lead the other four in a line back out the door. Going outside, the couple saw their visitors dancing above their rooftop, finally coalescing into one, and zig-zagging away at great speed. Although the guy kept this event in memory, the girl did not. She only recalled it years later when they were outside watching meteors and re-told the encounter.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In 2003, the distressingly-named Booger Bottom, Georgia was witness to another "light mystery". Here three adults were driving in an SUV when a "red swirling object" appeared outside. Suddenly "50" red silver-dollar-sized globes manifested inside the vehicle. The lights seemed "curious" to them, as if "scanning" them. Then they just left, leaving the witnesses with the impression that they had an encounter with intelligences of some kind. The woman was quite concerned that, whatever they were, they might come back and "cart us off". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The only thing that correlates all this stuff to me is "Light Behaving Badly". What that leads to, I can't say [though it's fun to guess]. There seems to be some playing about with "dimensionality" [i.e. how many dimensions are these things going to bother to use in their manifestations?] And/or there is playing around with space, as in winking out of it or passing right through other things in it. Whether the lights have a relationship to any actual "substance" at all is not obvious in any of these cases. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A possibly germane thing occurred in 1975 in Annadale, New York. Here two [unfortunately for credibility] 15 year-old boys saw an orange football-shaped object some distance away. They watched for ten minutes. The light began to collapse, very slowly, in upon itself. Without any noise or notable sensation, the "big football" became a "basketball" and kept folding in, getting smaller and smaller until it disappeared. NICAP investigation felt that the boys were trustworthy and somewhat shook up by their experience, and some charred vegetation and sheared tree limbs were found at the scene---the boys had mentioned, and knew of, none of that. Was this a light form removing itself from our space? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------And, probably not germane, but reminiscent [somewhat] of our Midnight in Finland incident, there was a 1962 encounter in Campbell, Ohio. Here two adults were in the lady's driveway getting ready for a trip at night, when they saw two glowing balls of light directly ahead of them. {just over the house in line of sight}. The things cleared the tree-line with a zig-zag motion and a pulsing orange glow. They seemed to be connected to one another by a deep-red bar. The son and his mother got out of their car to watch. The things flew directly over their heads. While overhead, the middle bar seemed to disappear and the sphere on the left changed from orange to bright silver. [like a mirror]. It radiated light like "falling glowing snowflakes". This glowing lasted from 3 to 5 seconds, whereupon the silver mirror turned back into orange and the "snowflakes" seemed to flow back into the sphere. [this flake like falling is what reminded me a bit of the Finland incident]. there was no sound nor heat throughout the experience. This experience was sent in a letter to Jim McDonald, but I don't know if he followed it up.
So there we are: misbehaving lights. Your guess as to what was behind them is as good as anyone's. Still, they as a group have a vague intuition of trying to form some kind of pattern to me. This post's been a long one, and if too long I apologize--but you see what happens when I have my files around. Now it's back to WVA and no files--so we'll do the best we can from there.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Listening

Something short, folks, but maybe slightly interesting anyway: during my first sequence home in West Virginia helping care for my Mom, I had a couple of experiences wherein it was pointed out to me why listening [and doing so without threat] is so important. People told me several of their own anomalistic life stories; something that could never have happened at the early "social-dance" level of having conversations. A couple of them were interesting enough that I'll pass them along. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But before I do, I want to salute the best listener that UFOlogy has ever had: John Timmerman, former treasurer of CUFOS. [That's John to the left attending a symposium at his beloved Cornell]. During his active years, John was the perfect listener, the perfect "front door" to the UFO "store". Affable, gentlemanly, completely non-threatening, John could stand there with his traveling mall UFO exhibit and have every type of person come up to him and tell him, even while being taped, of experiences which they had told no one else. John was a great treasure and we'll probably never have another like him. [John still lives in Lima, Ohio by the way, and if any of you know him, he would probably like a friendly phonecall. Don't make it too lengthy if you do, though as that wonderful old man doesn't have the energy of youth any more.] John's "harvest" of more than a thousand novel UFO reports from his mall days served as the basis of the book, Grass Roots UFOs, which I was privileged to write for him. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I am no John Timmerman, but at least I get this "listening thing" right once in a while. While back in WVA, I "risked" telling several people that I was a UFO researcher---most were polite. A few listened to the conversations that ensued and offered their own anomalistic experiences. [often not even UFOlogical]. My brother's girlfriend admitted to having an out-of-body-experience [brief but powerful and scary to her] which was induced by a trance-like suggestion. My mother, of all people admitted that she had seen a young girl follow my sister-in-law out of the room, when there was no young girl in the house---this is the house which has had many apparitional events---but being told that there was no young girl, mother decided that there must have been something wrong with her vision, despite having described the girl in great detail and definite "concreteness". One of my brothers admitted to having another one of his many clairvoyant incidents---he has so many of these that I've forgotten exactly what this one was. And there were more. The one "report" that I had enough sense to write down and so can give to you with some detail, was a UFO case from Nevada in 1972. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The witness [I don't know whether he wants to become internet famous so I'll just call him "The Plumber" as that's what he was doing when we sat down with him one day ---- he's a friend of the family by the way so they know him] was, way back in 72, working with an oil-exploration group, owned by his grandfather, in the desert near a range of low mountains. They knew the land well, having explored all over it. His crew occasionally saw black project flyovers [once a low-flying Blackbird; and once a crash of some craft that the military told them was to be talked about, if at all, as a meteorite--if the company wanted to continue to be occasionally hired by them]. On this day, their gaze was alerted to a flash of bright silver which very rapidly whisked along the nearby range. It came to a very abrupt, non-inertial, stop, and hovered there. The hovering was many seconds, maybe even a couple of minutes. It was plenty of time to see the object as an elongated cigar-shaped object with no other features---and no noise. After its pause, the thing re-oriented itself and flashed away. They knew that the range was 25 miles long, and, if the object was at the range's distance as they thought, the speed of the object would have been 90,000mph. If we give them credit for being anywhere in the ballpark [and that's the best we can do], the craft's velocity was startling. When they got back to base, he told his grandfather of the incident. The old man was one of those people who wouldn't admit that any such things were real [even though he had seen one himself] and finally told him to not make much out of it, as "people have been reporting this sort of thing out here for years". Interesting in a lot of ways, methinks; and something that would have never have been told without a sympathetic environment. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Listening is a real talent---especially friendly, non-judgmental listening. John Timmerman was the Master. Hail, John !, and GOD bless you for teaching me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Communion in the Mountains: a Mystical Experience.

I rarely get a chance to read the "other" journal that I brought with me to WVA because of a feeling that I have to stay at FSR if I'm ever going to make a dent in it. But today was an exception, and the exception was Exceptional Human Experiences, edited by Rhea White. EHE reviews many anomalistic publications, mainly in the parapsychological field, but it is quite wide in its scope. Most of the material is in the form of short review thumbnails of serious journal articles, and this is usually inadequate to do more than whet your appetite for the whole paper. But there are also full essays, and occasionally a re-telling of an EHE by a real witness. That latter is the cause of this post today, as I think that the EHE that I read is interesting and worth passing on. It is some kind of mystical communion [in my opinion] had by a woman in the silence of the awe of the mountains.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The woman reporting the "encounter" was a teacher at a college, and for purposes of this narrative went by the pseudonym "Dr. Jean Smith". She and her husband were camping in Arizona and hiked into the mountains where nothing was to be heard except for the occasional calls of birds. --- "I was standing in front of a wall of granite boulders of all sizes and shapes when all of a sudden I heard the most beautiful singing I have ever heard. There were no words but the joyous music just kept on. I stood there rooted to the spot, entranced, hardly daring, literally, to believe my ears. The music came from the boulders.----I looked around, and as I did it was as if I became a truly genuine part of the universe. I had the wonderful feeling of sharing or being shared with. It was as if the sky above and the clouds, the breeze, the bushes--everything realized I could participate. I felt somehow as if I really belonged. ---- All restlessness in me was stilled and I was filled with a glorious sense of peace and love. Gradually, the other occupants of the universe became aware that this stranger (I) was becoming part of the experience, they (sky,clouds,rocks,desert,bushes) moved over, as it were, and gave me place among them. 'She is aware, she knows' seemed the communication, and I was humbly grateful for this quiet acceptance. They kind of moved over and let me in joyously, as if happy to have me............all the while, the beautiful voices singing from the boulders kept on............I really can't find the right words.No words can truly relate the wonder and joy of that time--the music, the singing kept on..........."------------------------------------------------She went on to feel the possibilities that we humans could indeed get our own acts together, simply because these "others" can. The Unity there held hope for a better world than our dis-unified one. Her husband, meanwhile, was completely mystified. He couldn't hear the Music. All he could see was his entranced wife. He almost had to drag her away from the spot, not knowing what was going on. "Dr. Smith" was in her fifties when she heard the singing in the mountains [in 1978]. In the nineties she still wondered if she should return to the wall of granite and re-meet whatever was/is there. ------------------------------------I can add nothing to her wonder-filled experience. What lay at the base of it who can say? Rhea White knew this lady and gave her bona-vides. Was it GAIA, Spirit Guides, Little People, the Manitoug of the Superstition Mts, ghosts, angels.....you can build your own model. It certainly does not seem to have been "ordinary". And I wish that I had been there and heard the boulders sing too.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Midnight In Finland: A high-strangeness diversion, just for fun.

July 29, 1985: Saarijarvi, Central Finland. Two guys were camping at a summer cottage near Lake Kalajarvi. The area was technologically primitive, no regular electricity, and things were done with portable batteries, for example. Forest was everywhere---sounds rather nice to me. One guy was in the cottage, while the other went to their car to move it off the grass at the cottage's front. He noticed a sparkling light on the ground about 50 feet away. It was an about half meter "spot" on the ground. Thinking it must be coming down from some beam, he looked around but located no source. The color was reddish and very dynamic in its sparkling character. Coming closer, he saw that the light seemed to be drifting down onto the spot from above--but it didn't go all the way up, seeming instead to just materialize at about 3 meters and drift down in "tape-like" short banners. There was no sound at all associated with the phenomenon. He tried to feel warmth from the area, but there was none. Adventurous and a bit more confident, he put his hands into the descending light.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"All of a sudden, the light clung to my hands while sparkling, and I became enormously scared. I tried to shake it off and rubbed my hands together, but it just spread around. I couldn't feel it at all, however, it didn't have any weight, it didn't burn, and I couldn't sense any smell. [at least it wasn't like "The Attack Glob From Magonia"; maybe red is friendlier than green despite the fact that this is St. Patrick's Day]. When I couldn't feel the light in any way, I dared to take more of it in my hands, taken from about 20 centimeters off the ground, where the light was more dense. Then I started to run towards the summer cottage with the light sparkling in my hands." ------While he was running, the light did not react to the air as it moved by, merely sitting there unaffected. He explained the situation to his buddy, who was boggled into silence. He spread his fingers and the sticky light stretched between them. [max distance he could spread was 5mm. Outside he felt that the light stayed attached to itself at least up to 3meters]. This light accompanied his fingers sort of like an aura, and did not light up the interior of the cottage [a particularly strange element in this]. After about a half-minute the light began to fade and it ultimately went out. This gave him the added courage to go back out to investigate again.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"I went out to reinvestigate the light phenomenon on the forest road, but it too had disappeared." His friend refused to come out at all. Finally, being alone at midnight became too uncanny and, frightened, he returned to the cottage for a very restless sleep. In the morning, an on-spot investigation showed no remnant effects. One evening later, he returned to the spot with others and nothing happened. UFO Research of Finland did what appears to be a good investigation. There were no traces. Witness testimony reaffirmed that the light did not illuminate anything outside its location [i.e. light in the hands did not illuminate the arms; light in the light column did not illuminate the nearby tree nor bush]. This was "light" which was disobeying fundamental laws, or it was not physically "here" at all, but rather an appearance projected to the senses from elsewhere and never in our three-space... Or...Whatever was going on, this "light" was imageable in the consciousness without passing normally through the environment--or, if it did, it passed as wavelengths which were not reflected or re-emitted, by the environment, but still signaled "red" when hitting the retina. Although this case has no UFO, and there is no good reason to put it into UFO files, it may say something about certain UFO cases. These are the cases [not overwhelmingly common but still a few handfuls] wherein the UFO is described as bright but does not reflect off the water or the ground. Whatever went on at midnight in Central Finland, we owe the Finnish researchers a debt of gratitude for being on the ball and recording this strange [to say the least] occurrence. [from the UFO Research of Finland Annual Report of 1985.]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FSR 1957: The Human Side of UFOlogy

FSR in 1957 was like a child with attention-deficit-disorder in a toy shop, if one wishes to be as charitable as possible, or an adult with MPD, several personalities of which were fantasy-prone. My feeling is that the charitable characterization is the one which applies to most of it---flying saucers were a great mystery, and not at all solved yet for them. The pictures above show the big kids having fun outdoors on a flying saucer night out, with Desmond Leslie [perhaps the only one in the picture who "already knew the answers"], acting out his somewhat absurdly posed role of pointing to an alleged saucer in the sky with one hand while pointing to a drawing of an Adamski scoutship with the other.[ hmmm...on magnifying the picture, I see that I have defamed Desmond---he is pointing to the closest thing to a scoutship that's on there but the "real" scoutship is in the bottom right of the array.] FSR was open to all comers at this time, and probably that was OK for the moment. As we know, NICAP, whether they were ultimately right or wrong, crystallized too early around a narrow range of the phenomenon for "political" reasons and the character of its leader. Of the let's say four [NICAP, APRO, FSR, CSI-NY] major civilian players in the english-speaking world, APRO and CSI-NY straddled the most rational middle ground, taking things as they came, but with crap detectors functioning at high enough levels to be seriously critical of the obviously bogus. Which of these approaches one feels most sympatico to oneself is of course a matter of our own biases. I personally like CSI-NY, but feel the wider-open door of APRO to be very useful in getting the "unexpected" so that analysis can be done at all. Ted Bloecher's approach to CE3s [in later years] would have been an ideal model if anyone [in the general UFO-seeing public] would have been able to locate his "door" as a spot to deposit their reports. This has always been why I am not as critical of overly-enthusistic UFO hawkers in today's field [if they are still part of the community in the sense that they are willing to share information]. They serve as "welcoming entries" for cases, even including the most strange. It's a tough line to walk: open enough to encourage high-strangeness reporting, but having personal standards rational enough to not lead people astray. FSR overdid it on the "openness" element, but in the end it was understandable [especially for the moment] and harvested a whale of a lot of intriguing reports. [This is the great value of MUFON today and no one should take that away from that organization. If the Journal would hold up the other end of this difficult stance (rational editorship and filtering), the more conservative elements of our community should stand and applaud.] But we live in an imperfect world and so must continue to talk with one another if we are to utilize all our strengths. FSR didn't do the critique part that well, and it's happened very few times in UFOlogy's history.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Still, very solid things showed up in FSR. They reported on the stunning press conference of Keyhoe's Naval Academy buddy, chief of Naval research into missiles, Admiral Delmar Fahrney, wherein he launched NICAP as a public force. Fahrney left little doubt that he felt that the evidence was overwhelming that the flying disks were real, and not the product of Earth technology, and had intelligence behind them. FSR came to the wrong conclusion [thinking that this plus Ruppelt plus the UFO film heralded a great revelation of facts by the military], but were properly informed and impressed by Fahrney, nevertheless.-------------------- FSR was also aware of the release of Project Blue Book Report#14. This document is a whole story in itself, and no one in the UFO community realized what was behind its release. [they thought they knew but did not]. BBR#14 was released not just because Air Force irritant, Dr. Leon Davidson, was making noise, but because the Blue Book debunkers [George Gregory{project BB chief}, Francis Arcier{Chief BB consultant}, Lawrence Tacker{Pentagon "UFO Spokesman"} and the Pentagon's Congressional liaison] had decided that it could be used as a weapon against Keyhoe and similar thorns in their side. Paradoxically, just like the Colorado Project report later, everybody read it as they wanted to--nay-sayers saying it said nay, and yay-sayers saying it said yay. [even Ruppelt was read this way]. Weirdly, almost everyone was celebrating. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A few other clearly good things happened: people in those days had very little to read [which was making any sense, anyway]. Keyhoe's books created a foundation. Aime Michel's two books augmented that [and so too, to an extent, Jimmy Guieu's, if anyone could get it]. Ruppelt came along as the cornerstone, validating everything else. But there it really ended [as far as English-language was concerned]. Then Max Miller created the little book you see alongside. Despite being only an inflated magazine-looking thing in size, it was filled with generally good material and, of course, very sympathetically told. It is today a small forgotten gem. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------An unusual news story deserves some mention. The USNavy was anxious to make some headway with the press [just general PR] and invited a bunch of reporters to visit a base in Hawaii [tough assignment]. Once there the reporters found that the flyers at the base hadn't received any cautions about talking about UFOs when asked. The reporters asked. The flyers stated that they had specific orders regarding encounters with UFOs thus blowing apart the Air Force's consistent claims that there was nothing to the subject. When the Navy flyboys said that they were empowered to fire on them if necessary, well, that was not only sensational, but a huge embarrassment to the USAF. One assumes that the USN was chuckling behind their serious military demeanors at the Pentagon.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FSR continued to be highly welcoming to contactee tales and all manner of speculation no matter how unsupported it was. The bogus "Tibetan monk", T.Lobsang Rampa [Ramps in West Virginia are a particularly nasty relative of the Onion], got two whole articles to spew his hoax. Adamski got an Exclusive Special Report to FSR in one issue. And my favorite [congenial] lunatic, George Hunt Williamson, got three major features. [I am the holder of the GHW papers, and he holds an almost affectionate place in my heart--despite my view that 90% of what he claimed was fantasy]. Williamson at that time was in the jungles of Peru [really--I've read the files and seen a few pictures--and his wife Betty "left me" some Amazonian plants in one folder] where he was attempting to re-establish an ancient order of ?shamans?priests? of a remnant Atlantean race--no kidding. Someday he hoped that through trance mediumship he would receive the directions to find the lost cities of Atlantaen Paititi deep somewhere in the jungles or underneath the mountains. Of course UFOs were the signs that all this was about to be revealed to him. Believe me, that story is a LOT longer than what's known, especially by FSR. Brotherhood of the Seven Rays, here we come!----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There were many other idiosyncratic, odd, or even believable things in this year's issues. NICAP's Charles Maney had an article on Science right after one by Rampa. Percy Wilkins wrote three interesting, and somewhat romantic [but not crazy] articles about possible life on Mars and the Moon. FSR insider, Bernard Finch, wrote about the possibility of an anti-gravity drive. Arthur Constance broached the idea that UFOs could be the three-dimensional appearances of the penetration of our space by ultradimensional realities [inspired by Abbott's Flatland]. There were three articles on 19th century air anomalies. Someone spoke very supportively of the Scully crash story. Most unexpected by me, a short article put forward the idea that it was likely that some extraterrestrials were already mixing and working among us. ---------------------------------------------------------Among all this mish-mash of news-gathering and imaginative thinking, FSR actually tried to build a case investigation network. By the end of the year they had 30 sign-on field investigators scattered across Britain, led by Brinsley LePoer Trench himself as "chief investigator". One cannot say that they weren't serious. They were also trying to establish regular contacts with researchers world-wide. Probably the most dependable of those was New Zealand's Harold Fulton, shown at the telescope above.
So, so long to FSR 1957 for now. The original founder, Derek Dempster, above, celebrated his retirement from saucers by taking a trip to the US, where he studied...well...saucers.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Flying Saucer Review Volume 3: the Phenomenon

The 1957 FSR was just ahead of the great "electromagnetic wave" of November 1957 and therefore contained none of it. Nevertheless it's still an interesting read. The picture above is, by the way, a copy of FSR of this era once owned by Isabel Davis of CSI-NY (which I am privileged to own). You can read from her notes on the front page what she was most interested in. (this same sort of "sacred object" appears at the bottom of this post for anyone who has the history bug in them).---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[since I'm barely getting the new scanner to cooperate with the computer, I've scanned a few images from these old FSRs. I don't view these photo cases of particularly great significance {although the bottom of the three might be genuine} but they'll give you something to look at while I type away]. The 1957 FSR contained about 146 cases. An even 100 of these were "objects" and 15 were "lights". * incidents involved photos, and 6 radar. That's 129 out of 146 [88%] being Keyhoean/USAF UFOlogy. Of the 17 other cases, six were CE2s, three were CE3s, two were underwater USOs, three CE1s, an "angelhair, an icefall, and one "high-strangeness" episode. Most of these cases were not very impressive, as reported, in my opinion, but some are worth mentioning. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My favorite case of the lot is: Edwards AFB, CA, of early May, 1957. FSR got this report from Coral Lorenzen's APRO Bulletin and both felt it was significant although neither knew the half of it. In the morning two technicians drove to their theodolite tracking camera base and saw a globular white object high above. Unpacking their camera to get ready for their day's work, they called HQ and asked if they could shoot some of their film at the object. HQ said OK. They took several hundred feet. Going back to HQ, they reported again on what they saw and the film was developed. The techs had seen a domed object [clearer through the spotting scope on the side of their theodolite] and something fuzzier but congruent with that showed on the film. This film was also seen, post-development by their boss. The next morning [or so] they were met by officers who quizzed them at length and tried to belittle what they'd seen. One of the techs told later UFO researcher Tom Tulien that he came near to punching the guy. The story leaked to the papers and California newspapers carried it [that's how it got out to people like Coral]. The base tried to pass it off as a balloon but these guys WERE the guys who tracked all that stuff. Even Blue Book wrote it off as a balloon, but the operations officer at the base [a Lieutenant Colonel] looked into it himself, tracked the location of the base's morning balloon launch and found that it was not possible that this was the balloon. He said so in an official report to Blue Book. It made no difference to them that the "solution" was impossible, a balloon it was going to be. We have the great good fortune in this case that James McDonald interviewed one of the technicians and the boss, and Tom Tulien filmed the other [and his boss,too, I believe, for the UFO Oral History Project]. {you see once again folks that I'm writing this off the top of my head without the file, but I can promise you that this is at least 98% correct and errs in no significant area.} The Edwards AFB phototheodolite case is one of the very strong cases because of quality of witness expertise and solid follow-up investigation. It's also great for demonstrating the manipulative and unconcern-for-the-truth policy of the USAF. ----{and to repeat: the photo alongside has nothing to do with this incident, but is rather the "Savage" photo, which is likely a hoax by one of our teenage boys.}---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
{the photo alongside here actually has a chance of being a rare good one as it originates, according to these sources, from a solar eclipse expedition in 1954, and by a professional photographer on one of the planes. The two black dots are "smudges" (whether by the original development or by FSR, I don't know), and the "UFOs" are the light ovals--well, maybe}. As to other "good" cases, there were probably many. I have trust in the early research team in Brazil of Faria, Simoes, and Perriera. Faria sent FSR two cases of plane pacing that sound solid. In one of them, a UFO flew alongside a Real Airlines flight between Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte for ten minutes, disappearing when they reached the Rio area. In the other, the same airlines had a plane paced between Rio and Vitoria. The object was ropund with a structure on top and shown intense light from both top and bottom. The thing seemed to have portholes from which intense light poured. These things were seen by both crew and passengers. Another case by Faria involved two farm owners and several friends in Niquelandia, Brazil. Their conversation was interrupted by a very bright beam of light. Some of the witnesses decided to walk towards the beam. This thing was a round object hovering just above the ground and radiating so much light [a greenish tint] that they could hardly look at it. As one witness approached, the lights blacked out, and the object just disappeared. --------------------------------------------A few other brief notes: a) the April 4, 1957 radar case at the RAAF bomber base at West Freugh, UK, seems a whacking good one. The British air ministry tried to pass this off as a balloon but even their radar operators disagreed. --b). The June 20, 1957 sighting at Lothian in Scotland intrigues me. Here three adults, a husband and wife, and their minister, saw a brilliant silvery sphere overhead. They were able to view it through binoculars. It had a reddish top and stayed motionless despite a stiff wind. After seven minutes, the thing just winked out of ... existence? A compass that they'd been using then began acting erratically. ---c). There was a terrific display in Northern England on the night of August 21. Golden/silver cigar-shaped object[s] were seen "Teeside to Tyneside" gracing the skies and wowing multiple independent witnesses. ---d).in Balfour, New Zealand, two guys tried unsuccessfully to catch a mini-UFO. Shades of the Irish farmer from Monelmore we mentioned last time!---e). In 1845, it was reported that the crew of the brig Victoria, sailing the Mediterranean east of Asia Minor, saw three luminous bodies rise out of the water one-half mile from the ship. ---f). and, oh yes, just to make a liar out of me, Christchurch, New Zealand reported a drop of "Angelhair"
I am traveling home this weekend but will try to get the socio-cultural part of FSR-V3 out before. While home, I may not be facing that much "order" that week to blog, but will do what I can.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flying Saucer Review Volume 2: The Phenomenon.

I'll begin by apologizing for the lack of cogent imagery that accompanies this blog--my inability to illustrate anything [where I'm located now] cripples some of that. But "pretty" is not the big thing now, so onwards. The 1956 FSR contained approximately 110 case mentions. Of those, 71 were "Objects" [something structural seen at distance]. 15 more were "Lights" [odd behaving but not seen as a structure]. This left only 24 other types of cases, or about 22%. So, the phenomenon was still largely USAF-like or Keyhoean. There were 8 picture cases and 4 radar cases. Still, a la USAF/Keyhoe. Of the twelve remaining incidents, 6 were CE2s, two were CE3s, and four were of miscellaneous types [one being a CE1]. Therefore, unless one wanted to credit contacteeism, the amount of High-strangeness being reported was pretty low. I'll use the 1956 Walt Disney advertisement below to help amuse you while I thumbnail describe some of the more interesting reports.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
{Remember folks that I don't have access to my files to check these cases out against other information. I'm going on what's in the FSR and what I remember about the cases--often very little except distant bells ringing--there are an awfully lot of incidents out there. So, if a case seems intriguing to you, don't necessarily just trust that it's "good" just because I've put it in here. Research it yourselves.} There was a report from Kalispell, MT for the evening of September 3/4, 1956. It was a multi-witnessed case which involved both military and civilian personnel. What they saw was described by some as a triangle and by others as an orange ball of light. One witness said that it looked like a triangle with an aura of colored glow around it, which could be a clue to reconciling the differences. Radar couldn't pick it up, but it was easily seeable. The military scrambled jets but a low ceiling of clouds [the object was skimming the mountains (apparently) beneath them] thwarted the jets. ---- Another interesting "object" case was from Cheltenham, UK in June [day not specified] 1956. Here three apparently independent witnesses viewing from different locations saw what they felt was a huge object "ten times the size of any existing aircraft" soundlessly hovering, starting, hovering, starting for a ten minute sighting. The thing "was blazing with light which came from inside and showed through extremely large square windows". If this incident had any decent sort of follow-up at all [even news interviews] it should count as a powerful case due to the separateness of the witnesses. ---- The third "objects" case which i thought good was from Pasadena,CA [actually in the air from a plane]. The date was January 3, 1956. Two civilian owners of an aerial photography company were returning from a job when they encountered three brilliant orange disks at about 4000 feet. Wouldn't you know it: these professional photographers had their equipment stowed and couldn't get to it. The best that they could do was to try to track the objects, making tight turns to keep the objects in front of them if they could. They estimated the objects at 50 feet in diameter. Their plane eventually got circled by the three at a distance of perhaps 4 to 5 miles. If anywhere close on their distance estimate, the photographers calculated the UFO speed at around 1200mph. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------All of the radar cases were interesting, particularly the one at Paris' Orly Airport, but I'm moving on. In late 1955, Florida was having a mini-flap. On October 30, a police officer of the Williston force saw six lighted objects flying in formation with one lagging behind. One of them turned and dropped lower. The officer pursued and the object flew directly over him. The thing was a brilliantly bright "wash-tub-shaped" whats-it. The environment around him became very hot and he got "pins-and-needles" all over. The object just continued on its way and was gone. One other person had a fairly good view of this thing as well. It was reported to the USAF. ---- My favorite [believable] case for this volume is Gjersjoen Lake, Norway, [date not given in FSR, but I've seen something on this elsewhere--again, sorry]. There were two witnesses, a [paintings] painter and his neighbor. An object came around a hill and swung about to travel down the lake. This light began to follow their car [at least they were sure that they were being pursued]. It flew in front of them and stopped in the road. The painter stopped his car. They felt that the thing [now appearing to them as a shiny disk with wing-like protrusions] was scrutinizing them. It radiated a strong greenish-white light which seemed to break over them in waves. It sat there and rotated part of its structure. It seemed to have some kind of cockpit on top, though they saw no entities. As in the previous case they got "pins-and-needles" over their faces. The driver's watch stopped functioning, and needed extensive repair to get it running again. The object took off straight up, and the witnesses drove home. On arriving at his house, his wife ran out and asked him if he had purchased a new car. Its former beige color was now a shiny tint of green. The next day the car had returned to normal, though it is doubtful that the witnesses had.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now, the outer limits of this year: I mentioned the strange business of Elisabeth Klarer last time. I'll let you take that from there--there are other tales to tell. [and I'm not going to do justice to any of them]. I'll start with something that we all know about: the 1952 Sonny Desverges ["Florida Scoutmaster"] case. What we know is that Desverges initially reported a believable close encounter where he got burnt and maybe shocked, and a trace effect was found. Then he magnified the story past all credibility [fighting off aliens heroically on the rim of their spacecraft] which, coupled with his reputation as a teller of whoppers, ruined the case. Except it didn't. The reason that it didn't was one of the most mysterious radiation effects in the literature. The plants at the site had their roots "burned" as if microwaved several inches below the ground. Ruppelt could never get this out of his craw, took the case to the Robertson Panel, talked about it when he lectured new intelligence officers, and probably went to his grave puzzled. Well, me too. FSR had two mentions of Desverges-related information: one positive [out of Ruppelt's book] and one negative [from a person who interviewed Desverges during his whacko period, and found him, well, whacko.] My take on this case is that it is one of the best trace cases in UFOlogy with one of the worst primary witnesses. UFOlogists reveal something about themselves when they discuss this case. Do they allow "character" to trump physical evidence?, or the other way around?--------------------------I'm going to jump now to a situation that I regard as distressingly similar. This is the Salvador Villanueva Medina case of mid-August 1953. He was a cab driver who was ferrying Americans to the border when the car broke down. The tourists abandoned him and he spent the night at the vehicle. During that night he was visited by two individuals who claimed to be extraterrestrials. They discussed their planet and asked questions in return. Later he watched them leave in their craft. This is a very convoluted story, and I am concerned about bringing it up. This is for two reasons: a). the story needs a lot of telling and I haven't the energy; but mainly b). the story needs my file on the case. In that file are the data that makes this a far more believable case than what's been argued about out there on the web. The web has its persons who use cases like Villanueva's to bash prominent UFO writers like Vallee and Phillips and many others. In fact there is a site wherein one researcher does an admirably huge amount of work gathering information and quotes about the case. The trouble is, he, in my reading, has missed all the earliest and most significant information about this event. The debunk-and-trash masters use [understandably] a small book under Villanueva's name which tells of travels to Venus and all manner of outlandish claims which had no place in the original tale. In this, the case is just like Desverges. [a picture of the cover of the wild tale is above]. The real story is told not by Desmond Leslie in FSR [as almost everyone goes back to] but rather by Bryant Reeve and his wife Helen in their "romantic" book, but also in some rare letters and notes to the also-rare newsletter of the Detroit Flying Saucer Club. [now you see why I need my files]. Those sources tell a perfectly credible story of how Villanueva decided to break silence at a lecture by Reeve well before Adamski had anything to do with the story, and before Adamski made a telling visit to Villanueva where he quizzed him for information. Reeve et al went out to the site and, with difficulty found it. There were unusual charrings of bushes at the landing area, and this is why it appears in catalogs of landings [Vallee] and traces [Phillips]. I can't say whether Villanueva had a CE3 or not. What I believe that I can say is that his original story came out in a "natural" way, was told without excessive puffery, and was checked out by Reeve and several locals. If later Villanueva decided to supplement his taxi-driver's salary with a bogus tale, well, Sonny Desverges you've got company. I don't rate the "Mexican Adamski" case high like I do the scoutmaster case, because I don't have the quality of investigation to trump the later personality-defect. But I refuse to toss it entirely away either.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Just a few other things: the September 8, 1956 TwinFalls, ID calf-napping case was mentioned here. This is where it was reported that a ranch owner/attorney and two employees witnessed a UFO "abduct" a 400 pound steer from the pasture. This case was later panned by the UFO community who felt they had found errors in it. But James McDonald made his own investigation of the event and got a clearer story of what went on, thus placing it back into the credible category for Big Mack and myself. [again, sorry for my missing files---maybe when I return home for a week's break I can rescue some of this information if any of you want the more detailed stuff on some of this; I'll need a specific request though].----Also, the Monelmore,Ireland case made the magazine. This is where a farmer was confronted with a small object falling in his fields. It was an elongated sphere [three foot six by two feet in its diameters]. It was red and rubbery. On the top was a knob and round the middle went four white stripes which faded into the red color. He picked it up and walked off with it! Stopping to push his way through a hedge, he laid the thing down. It promptly whisked up and out through the skies not to be seen again. The "little one that got away". -----A last brief mention needs be made of the article by Charles Maney of the new NICAP. He wrote to describe his collection of reports on angelhair cases. Maney had collected 17 incidents of which 14 had a UFO associated and 9 had the disintegration or sublimation effect. The high strangeness element of disappearance due to sublimation [or some thorough disintegration] is the key to any of this and my reading of the phenomenon is that this aspect is extremely rare after 1955. If that's true, it's a shame, but it also says one more time:this phenomenon changes the way it expresses itself. I would "go to war" for angelhair with the Marysville, OH and Puente, CA cases, and add in the classics from Oloron and Gaillac in France. Other than those, I'm not sure what I've got in this category. [even though my own angelhair file at home has nearly a hundred claims in it]. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Folks, I'm not sure how much good I or 1956 FSR did here, but I think that both of us were trying to do what we could under non-ideal circumstances. At least, as you see directly above, all this talk has inspired someone to make more pie, and that is something the world needs more of.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ideas In The Air: FSR in 1956.

For the year 1956 Brinsley LePoer Trench took over FSR editorship and founder Derek Dempster stepped aside to be a temporary consultant on his way to "retiring" from UFOs. The magazine didn't change that much at first glance. But Dempster was fairly open to contacteeism and Desmond Leslie's Adamski stories, while Trench leaned towards a more conspiratorial and governmental style UFOlogy [until he flipped entirely and decided that the UFOs were coming from inside the Earth.] Still, there was generally speaking an emphasis on the actual case incidents [thankfully]. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trench was in government himself and so maybe conspiracy theories came naturally to him. He was certainly helped in this by 1956. Keyhoe came out with his new book, The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, which would set the idea in concrete for NICAP [also just getting its act together,] and people like Trench. Maybe it was an inevitable product of the time to believe that the governments were nearly all-knowing in such matters and if you lived in a democracy they should let you in on all they know. The by-product of this approach was: if they'd just "come clean" you wouldn't have to do the investigative work yourself as a part-time hobby. We, of course, still have this approach and this attitude today [despite the likelihood that with the exception of some deep dark insider secrets like Roswell the government doesn't know much more about the rest of the phenomenon than we do]. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For a not-very-conservative publication like FSR, the Keyhoe conspiracy-of-silence hypothesis was reinforced by the Gray Barker publication about the experience [with government agents] of Albert Bender--seen at the right. Barker's book is probably one of only two things that you can read of his that you might believe most of without filling your head with crap. [the other is his original report on the Flatwoods Monster]. Barker's book set the foundation for the idea that the government sent around intelligence agents to everyday citizens and, perhaps deliberately, intimidated them into shutting up.{Read Jerry Clark's commentary below for a deeper insight as to the exact beginnings of this idea}. Thus arose, and multiplied in Bizarro-land, the theories of the Men-in-Black, transforming into ultrasecret "unknown agency" operatives and on to Aliens of all sorts and agendas. We weren't quite there yet, but in 1956 the idea that governments were actively shutting up civilian witnesses was on the ascent. A frequent early contributor to FSR [John Pitt] and a fellow Brit, David Whiteman [the editor of a rather fine and nearly forgotten early UFO newsletter named Uranus], had an interview with a government official to question him about such tactics and agendas that the UK government might have. Pitt and Whiteman got the same stonewalling that you would have expected from the US government [if anything, my feeling about the UK's Air Ministry is that it was/is even worse than the USAF about UFO uncooperativeness.] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fortunately no one was forgetting about phenomenology. And the star of that show was Ed Ruppelt's book. This hit British Ufologists with the same power that it hit the US scene. I need to say this again: it makes no difference whatever what Ruppelt himself believed. His book hit UFO-sympathetic [and as far as I can tell just curious] people like a bolt of light. Ruppelt validated Keyhoe, and especially so in Britain. Keyhoe's books were extremely intriguing, but their very "American Dime Novel" character of the hero-detective [Keyhoe] collecting clues from his inside sources, and its contrived dialogues, made some wonder how much of this was fiction. Ruppelt ended almost all of that concern--at least as far as any doubts about Keyhoe's first two books. FSR was blown away by Ruppelt. The discussion about whether the UFOs were real and not military technology was essentially over. ----------This "conclusion" was reinforced from an unexpected direction-->Brazil. The Brazilian government and its Air Force hierarchy announced in a lengthy presentation by its major UFO players, that UFOs were real and mysterious and had been seen over one of their air bases for hours. [this is quite a story, and FSR didn't know the half of it]. Concurrently, three outstanding UFOlogists organized a civilian UFO research group, which had Brazilian Air Force input. [FSR didn't know that last part of it, either].------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another famous [at the time] thing that occurred was the release of the movie UFO, which Ruppelt, Chop, and Fournet consulted upon. As far as "Art" was concerned the movie was mostly terrible with wooden acting [Chop, Ruppelt, and Fournet could have probably done better playing themselves], no "plot", and an incoherent story line. But for we UFO fans, the movie delivered a lot of good information and good vibes. And you got to see the Tremonton and Great Falls films at the end. Still, FSR was unimpressed and the lack of "art" held the day for them. Two of America's young UFO hot-shots [Max Miller from the west coast and Ted Bloecher from the east] begged to differ however and wrote a team article praising the film and recommending that everyone go see it. Miller liked the re-enaction of the Mantell crash and the seeing of the two real films but not a lot else. Bloecher liked what Miller liked but was particularly enthused about the re-enaction of the 1952 Washington DC overflights. Ted went on to speak of the solidity of the cases chosen and was upbeat nearly all the way. This is another of those things in UFOlogy where everyone, in their way, is right--rather than the way we usually treat such matters that all the other guys are wrong. I, as you might guess, am with Ted, but I can appreciate the views of Max and FSR. They are correct but, for me, are emphasizing the lesser things.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A topic of some interest was featured in this year by FSR. An [amateur?] astronomer interested in UFOS, W.K.Oliver, wrote a short article describing his own observation of a "transient lunar phenomenon" [TLP]. Such mysteries have been going on for some time, but this might be the first time that they were featured in a UFO-oriented magazine. TLPs are unexplained light phenomena [usually light flashes or glows] seen on the lunar surface [apparently] which puzzle the establishment because the Moon was supposed to be geologically dead. An example of a TLP from 1953 is on the photo accompanying this part of the post. Oliver took care to record his observation of an amber light which turned out to be parked in the vicinity of the prominent crater Kepler. The light [as usual] never moved, and [as usual] simply winked out after 23 minutes of viewing. Oliver said that he had no idea what could have caused this, but we know better---he wrote this up for a flying saucer publication, didn't he?-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TLPs and their analogous [rarer] events on Mars have been with us for a long time. Probably the most famous claim of TLP is from Gervase of Canterbury in 1178. He wrote that he and many other monks watched as explosive bursts of light emanated from the upper limb of the crescent Moon [repeatedly one evening]. Some modern scholars [not of UFOs] have reasoned that what the monks saw was a large meteorite impact which formed a major crater in that vicinity. During the forties and fifties the Japanese astronomer [forgot his name--forgive me, things like this will happen regularly without my library] witnessed flashes on the planet Mars that Clyde Tombaugh seriously thought might indicate Martian civilization and the application of atomic power. Most TLPs are considered by debunkers to be false light sources caused by the Sun's reflecting off high lunar mountains just within the "terminator" [the dark/light shadowline which creeps across the Moon's face]. Many TLPs are, however, nowhere near the terminator and Oliver's was one of them.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morris K. Jessup wrote a short article about the State of American UFology. It wasn't mainly about that, in my opinion, but rather an introduction to the larger UFO community of his idea that UFOs have been around since ancient times and the best source for such proof of that is the Bible. Stating that he is happy and encouraged by what he sees as a decline in fringe nutty groups [I have no idea why he would think that he saw that in 1956] he goes on to [in my mind] try to create another one. We know that Jessup was well on his way to abandoning his scientific approach and ,essentially, found the "ancient astronaut theory" for UFOs,{ again, see Jerry's commentary below for the real origins of the thought in Charles Fort et al}, but it is still a little shocking to hear him speculating that we may be in the "End Times" and UFOs will play a major role in it. He slips in a vague line about Mexico playing a large role in this, which no one could have possibly understood, but I'll let you in on a little of the "secret". Jessup thought that certain low altitude ancient volcanic craters in northern Mexico were cones formed unnaturally by old UFO landing sites, and that "recent" sightings in the area indicated that they were about to become UFO-active again. Well, take it or leave it. Jessup was convinced that these pseudo-volcanoes were the key to the UFO mystery--tell me what you find when you go down there.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Far from avoiding the encouragement of fringe concepts, FSR featured an article about the Trance-control dictated alternative [updated?] "Bible", OAHSPE. This huge writing was produced by John Newbrough through trance spirit control direction in the late 1800s. It inspired a religious group called the Faithists, who carry on today. [Newbrough is the man on the left]. Newbrough wrote the massive document after many months of meditations and messages, when one day a "line of light" fell across his hands as he sat at the type writer and off he went for fifty weeks of typing labor. Arthur Constance wrote the FSR piece and frankly wrote a lot of bilge for the early years. Still, maybe you will feel that this is the exception. What impressed Constance was the mention of all manner of aerial "ships" coming here to Earth bearing Angelic Beings for our ultimate, and well-needed, conversion to a spiritual culture having no divisive angry gods. Well, I can get behind some of the jist of that, but Oahspe still doesn't seem much like the solution to the UFO mystery to me. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'll mention just one other thing, and then leave the "statistics" and "most interesting cases" for a second entry when I get time. This was the year when we got one of those puzzlers that couldn't possibly be true but wasn't immediately apparent that it wasn't. The "case" was the Elisabeth Klarer affair. It broke in FSR as a photographic case [one picture of which is on the left], and to me was not at all an obvious hoaxed set of pictures. In fact, they looked rather "nice". One person who gave them a serious consideration was CSI-NY's Isabel Davis. Then came two conflicting things: Klarer claimed meeting an extraterrestrial in the Natal Drakensberg mountains in a separate incident [later] and achieving a relationship with him [Adamski plus Villas-Boas = Klarer], and information came out that she was a prominent person with no previous weirdnesses. So what-in-the-h___ was going on? Because it was so much easier to just forget her, almost everyone did--and her pictures alongside. A long time later Cynthia Hind re-interviewed Klarer and she stuck to her wild tale to the bitter end. I am unlike almost all other serious UFOlogists in that I haven't quite consigned everything about this stuff to the waste bin. I don't understand this thing well enough so I don't completely discard it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Therefore, if that liberality on my part hasn't completely horrified you, you might want to tune into the 1956 FSR wrap-up for a couple of handfuls of interesting cases and the revelation that there are two more highly controversial cases that I don't toss out.

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