Sunday, August 28, 2011

DATA-NET: Traces in the Field.

Another "entry" courtesy of DATA-NET: I've decided to use the picture of the old "Ham Radio" type system used at Mitchell AFB, NY as the "signature" for these things. Mitchell was the base which received many of the early UFO reports by citizens, particularly in the NYC area, and was the early USAF ADC center ... so it has a little UFO connection. But "our" Hams were spread all across the globe 20 years after this picture, but I wouldn't have put it past the USAF to have been listening in somewhere. The reports described below were in DATA-NET newsletters of the December 1969-January 1970 era.

A case which I don't believe that I've written about yet on the blog, but which intrigues me, is the Quincy, IL "carlift". [I MAY repeat cases from earlier blog entries, but will try not to do so unless there's a good reason --- It is hard to remember whether some case has already appeared and I don't believe that the "Search" function here is infallible]. Anyway: Quincy, IL , November 30, 1969.

I have earlier written a thumbnail of this case for Fran Ridge's NICAP site, and include it above. Does DATA-NET differ from the information that I have in my original file?? As you can read: a family of three was driving near Quincy when they found their car paced by an object. This object did so for two minutes, then made a sharp "90-degree" turn, crossed the road, made a downward swoop at the car, and apparently lifted it about 10" off the road, the car settling back down with a "Thump". DATA-NET differs from my original file in saying that the over-head passage was at about 50', and that the object was a "disk" rather than an "equilateral triangle with rounded sides". It also differs in that Walt Andrus claimed that several similar cases had been reported, which I doubt. ONE spectacular "slow-lifting" very close encounter had recently taken place in Plattville, IL, but "several" is probably stretching it. Nevertheless, such "mass displacement" cases were the most fascinating things to Jim McDonald, who was constantly looking for the "scientific/physical" in the UFO phenomenon.

This case above was not in DATA-NET but in my own files back in Michigan, wherefrom I wrote it up for Fran's NICAP. As you can read it is a pretty spectacular set of traces. I've placed it above because DATA-NET had another case from the same Chapeau, Quebec//Pembroke, Ontario location four months later. In fact, the DATA-NET article mentioned that Chapeau/Pembroke had three other UFO cases in between.

The incident(s) in DATA-NET were from September 2nd, 1969. This time a waitress [named] watched a flashing red-&-white light flying about while she was getting home from her shift at 4:30am. Upstairs in her room, she then saw a small craft exit from the larger light. The smaller craft flew into the yard and proceeded to go from window to window of the building as if searching the insides. Naturally, she was terrified and went into the interior corridor, where she spent the next two hours.

Meanwhile, two other people [named] reported witnessing a similar object around the same time. This was a small lightform, green-silver in color, with an antenna-like thing protruding from its side, and making a whirring noise. They said that this lightform came to within six feet of them, and it had itself come from a larger red flashing object in the sky. The "Pembroke Peeping Tom", I suppose.

The next case that I just feel that I MUST have mentioned at some earlier point in this blog, was the Van Horne, IA CE2trace. But....

Above is another thumbnail from the NICAP site. I guess in something that is as complicated as UFO studies, one shouldn't have "favorites", but this is one of mine. If I was forced to "go to War for the defense of UFOs" with 100 cases, this would be one of them. The reason: a terrific credibility context and plenty of "trace" of the physicalness of the event. Since several people are, in one significant way or another, involved, Van Horne is my favorite CE2t. [all the responsible parties are named].

You can read the thumbnail [hopefully]. The "standard-issue" disk rising from the soybean field and leaving a destroyed area in the farmer's crop upon inspection by him the next morning, is not the most elaborate of UFO tales, but one of the most believable. Although we were just too early to do the proper laboratory testing in this case, at least several researchers did investigate it literally in the field. If anyone asks me why I believe that some UFOs are not simply products of our minds, two of the first words I'll utter are "Van Horne".

Above is a very poor quality [but still neat] picture of the farm owner and, I believe it's his daughter, who was one of the two witnesses of the UFO lift-off, in the patch of dehydrated soy crop. It gives some dimension to the trace.

About two months later there began a series of UFO events in the [somewhat] nearby town of Elkader, Ia. Essentially all of these were in farming country and witnessed by farming people. And a number of them resulted in traces being left behind. The Elkader mini-flap is a happening almost unknown in UFOlogy today. But DATA-NET had several notations about it.

September 7th: child saw object take off from farm field; it left trace found next day;
September 8th: Another daytime "landing" seen; trace found five feet from previous one;
September 9th: another landing seen; farming families are named;
September 10th: two more marks found in pasture;
September 11th: children saw UFO hovering over power pole; it just disappeared;

Sometime around here, the news was leaking out that a series of UFO sightings were occurring in this area and the UFO community finally got the word. Walt Andrus apparently showed up to look into it from his roost in Illinois, and Ted Phillips showed up from Missouri. Ted drug Allen Hynek and Fred Beckman down from Chicago to walk the fields with him. They were there in the week prior to the 26th of September to see the traces and talk to the farming families involved. As they did, they discovered that another incident had occurred on those farms back on the 6th of August. There were eight witnesses to that object, which did not land nor leave a trace. Hynek et al then apparently went back to their homes. So, of course, the UFOs struck again.

September 26th: UFO seen maneuvering near the power pole; picture attempted;
September 27th: object seen taking off from ground; once in air, just disappears.

The news reporters stated that all the landing traces appeared to be three depressions in a perfect triangle, the leg distances about 60" apart. The whole landing area of a 6-foot diameter circle is also clearly visible. It was not stated what the general landing area was formed by, so I'll assume that, since the pod-points were depressions, the general circles were due to effects on the plants [i.e. dehydrations or something like that].

The Elkader swan-song was on December 7th. Then, a private pilot from Elkader and his passenger [husband and wife, named] saw an airborne pulsating light while flying over nearby Monona. He pursued the object at 300 feet [estimation for the object; he was at 1500]. The object was traveling at 150mph. The object had about the relative size of a marble held at arm's length and looked like a pure white globe. It pulsed at one beat per second. Its changes of flight indicated to the witnesses that "it was definitely under intelligent control". The pilot returned to the Elkader airport, told of the sighting, and then with two other persons [named] again took off to attempt to re-encounter the thing. They did not. But they did encounter another odd lighted object, which would extinguish its light whenever a plane would be coming near it, and then reappear later.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Chicago, J.Allen Hynek was scratching his beard and thinking of starting the Center for UFO Studies.

Well...yes...thank you for all your nice thoughts at my wonderful write-up of the Elkader mystery. It was surely one of the best write-ups of these matters ever written... of course it might have been the ONLY one. Hmmmm...that puts a bit of a damper on things. It's readable at least... sort of.

Friday, August 26, 2011

DATA-NET: Now You See Me Now You Don't.

In a desperate attempt to find something interesting and relatively non-challenging to do, I have temporarily decided that slowly perusing an old UFO newsletter is within my energy level. We'll see how it goes and if anything interesting emerges.

DATA-NET was a production of a network of Ham Radio operators in the late 1960s. Before the days of the internet this was a great idea, even though it took a lot of work and coordination. The general idea was that a radio web of independent citizens might operate like a widespread news service about UFO cases, some of which people elsewhere in the country would never hear about. In some cases the local Ham would merely report the story out of the local paper; in rare cases that might have even stimulated a bit of a personal field trip or interview. The internet makes this a bit obsolete today, but it would still be a good way to rescue UFO cases from oblivion if there was an actual network of truly dedicated individuals. Theoretically that's what MUFON is supposed to do, of course, but to my eye it rarely happens, or if it does, the rest of us never see the results.

DATA-NET is a glimpse into the past and is long gone as a newsletter. It was always a rarity, and the only ones that I read were the short stack at the Center for UFO Studies. They, however, began sending Ivan Sanderson their newsletter in late 1969 ["Volume 3, Number 6"], and so that gives me the rare opportunity to read more. So, I am.

These cases are not illustrated. DATA-NET was just typing on a page, so what I'll do here is simply try to thumbnail cases and leave it up to your imagination.

August 7th, 1969; Schenectady, NY. A husband and wife [named in article] reported a "large mass of white light" weaving through the sky. It then separated and became three small disks. After a while the three disks merged back into the large mass form and flew away. Shortly it returned, and .... "just disappeared". The witnesses said several other unnamed motorists stopped to watch this as well. Yep, just another normal day in Schenectady.

August 18th, 1969; Santa Cruz Island, CA. Many witnesses had seen unidentifiable pairs of lights [several pairs] on the 16th. Two evenings later, three members of a family [all named in article] saw pairs of yellow-orange flickering lights high in the sky. They watched sharing binoculars for about three minutes. There were 8 to 10 pairs [people didn't think to count] stretched out side by side [i.e. one pair after the other --- whether the pairs made a straight line isn't stated, but the orientation of the two lights in a pair was the same { i.e. if the first pair was one above the other, the rest were in that exact appearance relative to the other pairs; or, to put it another way: all lines from the pairs would have been parallel in the sky --- the reason why I've belabored this is that if all these orientations were the same, it looks more likely that the things could have been one object}].

As the witnesses, and now another neighbor [also named] watched, the pairs began blinking out one after the other at three second intervals. Finally just one was left. That pair hung there for a bit, changed color, dimmed, and disappeared. Both the husband and the neighbor reported the event to the Coast Guard.

September 12th, 1969; Muldrow, OK. A mother and her 14 year old daughter [named in the article] were sitting on their porch when a very large red ball of light just suddenly appeared [i.e. it didn't "rise" like the Moon]. The sky was clear and moonrise did not occur until much later that evening. The ball did not move nor make any sound, it just perched there in place. The object then faded to pink. Then to white. Then took on a fluffy cloud form. Always unmoving, for about 20 minutes. Then it simply was no longer there. The family tried to find others who may have seen the mystery but could not. That might mean that the phenomenon was actually fairly close by. The more exotic idea is that of the technically-produced "privileged viewing angle" where an object might be seen only along a particular line-of-sight.

So, that will do hopefully to keep our minds spinning a bit. I always am watching for "disappearance" cases. They may just be do to our own visual limitations, but many of them do not seem to fit that mundane hypothesis. Many such cases might just be the advanced technology "Portal" system. Now we see "them"; now we don't.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Something Quick

Someone just sent me the following case, and it is interesting. Hope you think so too. The incident, if other resources have not contradicted it, could possibly be one of those rarest of UFOlogical birds: the pre-20th century UFO phenomenon in action. Well, here it is:

The Summer of 1851, the Hohen Tauren mountains in the Tyrolian Alps. On his normal summer vacation, high school history and geography "professor", Karl Schneider, was going to indulge in one of his great pleasures: a climb of a major alpine mountain. He began his climb at 4:30am and by 3pm had reached one of the little climbers' huts which were there as mountaineering shelters. He sat down on a stone to rest. The Sun was brilliantly shining without a cloud in the sky.

"Suddenly I heard a noise like a faint chord played on a distant organ. It grew in intensity until it became a loud humming. I looked up--- and there it was in the sky--- the object that I shall call a 'heavenly body' for want of a better word.

"It looked to me like a potter's wheel at first, flying through space, and it moved across the sky with unbelievable speed. It made a full circle, remaining in my view all that time, that is for the better part of a minute. It was silvery, but not made of silver, but a strange unknown metal that glittered in the sunlight and dazzled my eyes.

"It was round in shape, but slightly narrowing at one point, and from this narrowing point came a thick fog that sometimes looked like ordinary smoke, sometimes turned milky-white, and sometimes scintillated yellowish in the Sun."

When the thing had completed its circle for him, it "twisted" in the air and shot straight upwards and away. At that time Schneider noticed a sort of muzzle like the nose of a swordfish on the leading edge. On ascent, the rear area burst forth blue and red flames. Schneider admitted that he could not guess the thing's size, but said that if he had to guess, he'd say 100 meters in diameter or larger.

It was not until he returned down the mountain and discussed the sighting with friends and family, that the idea grew on him that he must have seen some machine from distant space. It became in his mind a "Sternenschiff", a Ship from the Stars.

Of course no one believed him, even his wife [although he had no reputation whatever for making things up, nor general tomfoolery, earlier]. Even Christian Churches railed against his idea of an outer space intelligence. Their narrowness was not ready to think about multiple "humans" all needing Christ-like visitations and redemptions. To his credit, Schneider never went back on his tale, even under extreme heat to do so. He returned many times to that little schutzhut to keep a lonely vigil in hopes of seeing the Starship again.

Well, if no one knows more: I like it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dark Season

It may be the heat-of-summer but for the world of anomalies it has been Winter. In a fairly short period of time, five significant figures in our world have passed away. I place no anomalistic/mysterious meaning to this unfortunate cluster; it has happened because "our" cohort of ancient warriors-for-the-cause has simply grown old. But, because there were so many, it moves me to break "silence" for a moment [I still don't know when I'll fire up the engines on this blog, but I'm hopeful for it to be soon]. A few words about each of my colleagues is proper.

Hilary Evans. In some ways I had the least in common with Hilary and in some ways the most. We met only once in person but someone thought to take a picture of it, as you see above. That's Hilary on the right, Jerry Clark on the left, Peter Rojcewicz partly hidden by Jerry, and myself. And who is doing the talking?? Hah! Jerry of course!

Hilary Evans was to my experience an intelligent and very civilized man. I believe that he went into his studies with an open mind, and came out believing things that I did not. We had many similar interests [not only UFOs but strange creatures and hauntings and all those wonderful olden "British" things]. But Hilary ended believing that it was we humans who made them all up. He was a proponent of the "psychosocial theory" of anomalies, although perhaps its most gentlemanly, non-slandering advocate. I could have no respect for the theory while having much respect for him.

Strangely, if I was to try to predict what his "legacy" was to be, I'd say none of that. His legacy, to me, is the Picture Library of illustrations for stories about the anomalistic and paranormal. That library, created by him and his wife, empowers the writing and knowledge-transmitting process and will expand consciousness for ages.

William Corliss. I never met William Corliss in person. When the Society for Scientific Exploration gave him our "Dinsdale Award" for a person giving outstanding service to the exploration of the anomalies, I'd missed that meeting. Oh well. As one of Bill's earliest buyer-subscribers, I think that I've the right to call him by his first name anyway. And I probably own thirty or more of his publications.

Those publications, going by the name of The Sourcebook Project, give Bill the distinction of being the modern [and more organized] Charles Fort. Bill, like Fort, held the Thing-which-does-not-fit as a sacred object. Like Fort, he refused to let it be forgotten. He was a sort of hero-warrior for the Truth.

He was also outlandishly overworked trying to keep up with a whole world of mystery-producers and deniers. He and I once thought that we might take six 19th century "treatises" on alternative North American history [most of it "Was Columbus the First?" types of things], and if I could provide him the nice clean page copies, he'd work them into a sourcebook publication. He was all fired up for this, and if we pulled it off, we'd do another set of six or so. Well, I did [using my prof's interlibrary loan muscles] and he didn't. I couldn't blame him. His side of his own work was ridiculous for one guy. Just another example of why we get nowhere fast.

Bill's legacy is obvious. If you are interested in the anomalies and don't have a nearly complete set of his sourcebooks, well, you're crippled.

Stuart Appelle. Because we were both members of the Center for UFO Studies executive board, I knew Stuart very well. The picture above is from a CUFOS meeting. MIT professor David Pritchard happened to be visiting that day, so we lined up while George Eberhart took a picture. Pritchard is in the center. Stuart's beside him on our left with me on the left edge. Jennie Zeidman is on the far right with a beaming Don Johnson [who made UFOCAT] next to her. Peeking out from the back is CUFOS President Mark Rodeghier. I think that George took the picture fast to try to freeze Mark out of it [those two being very old friends].

Stuart was an intellectual. He wrote perhaps the clearest and unflaggingly toughest-minded essay on abductions ever composed. [It was published in the University of Kansas book, UFOs and Abductions, edited by David Jacobs --- if anyone wants to cut through the crap in this field, you should read Stuart's essay [and maybe the correlated writings of Eddie Bullard]. Stuart also replaced me [Thank God's good blessings!!] as the editor of The Journal for UFO Studies after I'd established it for five years. I got to sit back and write and loaf instead of bug authors about their poorly-written or overdue papers. For that I am eternally grateful to Stuart.

Stuart's legacy?? JUFOS and that essay and several presentations at scientific psychology meetings, when others were too cowardly to present. He represented UFOlogy at a MUCH higher level of discourse than found down in UFOria.

Bob Girard. Well, what was our relationship?? I was a very long time buyer of UFO resources from Bob, who very slowly began to have a peculiar correspondence --- sentences attached to e-mails or the bills that I paid. That gradually developed into an understanding of what was important to each of us on a level far beyond a check or book in the mail. Bob and I eventually discussed in this clipped cryptic way "Life, the Universe, and Everything".

What few realized about Bob [due to his angry flamboyant prose that filled his booklists] was that Bob Girard had a big heart. Yes he was an angry guy. It was because he cared about important things. And you didn't have to agree with his "solutions" in order to see this. Bob's "ontology" and my own were very different. But I could still see in him a sort of Old testament-style Prophet, railing in our streets for us to wake up, expand our minds, and make our world a better freer place. That part of what he was "preaching" any thinking person could relate to.

What's Bob's legacy?? Bob has left the largest legacy of any of these five fellows. He was a dispenser of Magick. His books have spread around the world, opening uncounted numbers of minds to hidden, unpopular, or forbidden thoughts. His books that he sold to us cast their strange light in our minds and, yes, wake us up. Maybe we write something. Maybe others read it. Bob has dropped pebbles into the MindPond of the species, and the ripples from them will ride the surface for a very long time.

Budd Hopkins. Budd was a friend. He was also a very nice guy. That's him, of course, on the right above, with Eddie Bullard in the middle. You will notice that Eddie and I had to wear our badges, but with Budd there was no need. I knew Budd pretty well. He asked me to serve as the introducer.facilitator on the weekend workshops set up by him with Bob Bigelow funding to inform psychology and counseling professionals about the abduction phenomenon. Budd would speak, as would David Jacobs and John Carpenter, and I'd do the introductions and facilitate the Q&A. I did two of those for him [NYC and LA], and I think that they did two more [at least one with John Mack].

Budd was a very intelligent man. He COULD if he wanted to, think like a scientist, despite having no training. He often relied on folks like myself to bring him up to speed on what science said, although he didn't always in the end buy it. At heart, and in the part of the "heart" that is in the mind, though, Budd was an artist and an intuitive. Science was NOT going to rule the day with Budd when he just somehow "knew better". That's where we always parted company on his theories, but we always retained our friendship and respect. And, I have to admit, I have never been as hard on Budd's theoretical vision of what is going on with CE4s as I could have been --- it just never felt right to be that critical of a friend.

What is Budd's legacy?? It could be significant, if the future of CE4 research produces more quality forms of evidence than it has so far, but it could be one of those things in anomalies that very slowly withers away. I'm really hoping that the latter is not true. I believe that no matter what direction our scholarship and investigation might go in this area, Budd's priority in gathering mountains of data [My Lord I hope that he really HAS saved the initial tapes from the late 1970s as he always told me he would] should serve as the foundationstone for what progress we make. Budd's legacy might well depend upon those old original audiotapes which he used to set the pattern of his book Missing Time. Unless some independent analysts can some day take those sessions apart, the whole work may dissipate into fog.

I very much dislike that thought. I suggested that he MUST get the early tapes analyzed objectively many times. He always agreed with me ... but upon turning away, there were two dozen more alleged abductees wanting sessions with him. The only project that really mattered never happened.

Well .... Goodbye to old warriors and old friends.

I am not sad. In my ontology [whether they believed or not] they have passed into the "heaven-stage" of life and now know far more than I do. AND far more than they did too. Hopefully they all have a good sense of humor.

I say goodbye with a cloud which Bill Corliss would have loved. God Speed, brothers.