Saturday, October 29, 2011

DATA-NET: Addendum.

A couple of other things that I blew in my coverage in the last blog. One of them is quite interesting [to me at least].



There was mention of the continuance of New Zealand landing cases in the 1970 DATA-NET case reports. In a coincidence, I stumbled across a set of images of the Ngatea trace, which we mentioned here a few posts back. It was in a rather rare Australian UFO newsletter. So I thought I'd let you see that for what it's worth [above].

There was also a lengthy presentation of VJ Ballester-Olmos and Jacques Vallee's study of Spanish landing cases. Really surprised me to see such a thing in DATA-NET. The Ballester-Olmos group study was comprised of 100 cases in the Iberian peninsula up until 1970. Five of those cases were at the end of the study from 1970. My favorite among the 1970s was from Cazalla de la Sierra (Sevilla, Spain). In that case four witnesses saw an object which looked two-dimensional, [two meters high and one meter wide], like an illuminated "door" inserted into our space. Dogs were disturbed by the thing and one man almost decided to open fire on it. After watching it for a few minutes, the "door" just vanished.

Well, that was neat, but the best thing to come from the study was confirmation of Poher and Vallee's "Law of the Times". [Please look up the earlier blog post on this way back somewhere][try February 10, 2010, I think]. Graphing the cases according to when the encounters occurred, out came a peak at the 10-11pm area with a secondary peak at about 3am or some such era in the early am. Vallee went on to make a few assumptions about what this portended, and calculated a huge "close encounter" phenomenon happening [mainly unseen and unreported] peaking early in the am. My analysis differs from Vallee's and I see the curves as being two separate peaks [ET agendas?] as you can see on the older post.

Regardless of whether Jacques or I or Rumplestilskin is correct, publishing Ballester's study inspired the DATA-NET crew to analyze the DATA-NET reports in bulk using all the cases which had a definite time of day. Their curve for 138 cases is shown below. Again the surprising double-peaked curve arose, hitting the "just before midnight" peak on the nose, and being closer to dawn on the secondary peak. Because DATA-NET did not include ONLY close encounters like the Poher/Vallee/Ballester studies did, this could cause some drift. But still I see the trend here again as remarkable. The "Law of the Times" might be one of the biggest proofs of the reality of the UFO phenomenon that we have. And the fact that the main graphs are for close encounters, we see that the issue of mistaking ordinary things for anomalistic ones is basically a non-issue.

Three cheers for DATA-NET and The Law of the Times. Having seen a UFO myself I didn't really need it, but it's nice to see anyway. {And that Portal by the side of the road wasn't bad either}.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DATA-NET & Others: 1970 was a very bad UFO year ... or WAS it??


As I've been trudging through DATA-NET, it has been dawning on me that I am in one of the sparsest years in the UFO history annals. The era just post-Colorado is infamous for being "low-grade ore", despite having a lot of investigator interest [with MUFON just starting and Hynek rounding up his Invisible College.] So.... how bad really was this year??

Glancing at my list of cases in my files back home in Michigan, yes, the numbers do seem to be down, though not catastrophically so. Looking at the number of cases that came to John Timmerman that I used for the Grass Roots UFOs book... yep, same thing. Less numbers. Were the cases themselves of lower quality??



I don't think that you could say that. The illustration above is of the famous Haderslev, Denmark policeman encounter. [ the Maarup case]. This was one of the first cases in which the UFO community was struck by the "impossible" telescopic light [extendible/retractible] emission of some of these things. "Solid Light" some named it. Sort of the macroscopic predecessor of Darth Vader's light saber. DATA-NET had several entries about this, including a second encounter by Maarup in which he got a series of [as usual, not very helpful] pictures of another object up the road [different night]. A poor-quality filmstrip of those shots is below left.

As I wandered through DATA-NETs year, I came across five instances of what the witnesses thought was "instant vanishment". Unfortunately, these represented lighted objects at night which just seemed to turn off, which therefore might be exactly what they did, but the witnesses seemed to think that whatever it was just wasn't there any longer. These sudden disappearances took place in Lemoore, CA; Walthamstow, UK; District Huambo, Angola; Murray Hills, Ontario; and New Milton, UK. Another case from Renmark, South Australia, probably was just a fancied-up flare.

There were several other cases of very peculiar light. Arles, France emitted "spirals" of light [patently abnormal for what should be a radiant phenomenon]. Knoxville, TN emitted "streamers" of light, and several independent witnesses gave wildly different descriptions of the object. Chicoutimi, Quebec displayed a hovering machine with four "arms" [landing pods??] in the middle of which extended a telescopic light beam. These games with Light are features which immediately remove the incidents from terrestrial high-technology and put them far up on the strangeness scale.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Several "odd" things were reported further as the DATA-NET survey went on. One was the Pell City, AL cylinders case. [The cylinder on the left isn't meant to illustrate it, but it's an entertaining artwork].

A husband and wife were driving between Pell City and Leeds when they saw a cylinder with flattened ends in the sky. It was a solid-looking white color. It moved east to west when another one appeared in the west moving towards it. That one altered its course to approach the former head-on. When they "collided" [actually it was just like a "touch"], the cylinder coming from the west just disappeared, leaving the first cylinder continuing on it's westward journey. This is one of those UFO cases where one just throws up ones hands and moves on.

A few more, not quite so strange: Kristiansand, Norway--- A chauffeur was driving when he became dazzled by a blinding light and stopped his car. Getting out, he saw a ball of fire coming at him about thirty feet from the ground. It stopped directly in front of his car. [well, I take it back; this one IS strange]. Suddenly he was hit by some projection of force and knocked down. Shortly he heard the crash of glass, his windowshield. He got up in time to see the fireball speeding away. He said that it was 60' in diameter. As he described the thing, it was clear that he was discussing a DISK of fire about 9-10 feet thick diminishing to a thin edge. It even had a tower on top and an opening in the bottom.

Cholla Bay, Mexico--- The witness was strolling on the beach when a light was seen coming across towards him. The light turned out to be a "saucer". No noise. Dead calm night and water. The thing hovered about 200-300 feet up. It then switched on a broad lightbeam which it could control to become pencil sharp at the point where it touched the surface. Then for no seeable reason a cloud formed around the craft. The beam shut off and another shot upwards from the top. It moved away slowly, being seen by a fisherman as it did so. Other green lights gave it an eerie glow as it left.

Compton, South Australia--- Witnesses saw a brightly lit object four nights in a row. On one evening the thing was surrounded by red rays all about as it hovered near the ground. On another night the thing seemed actually to land. In the night between, a neighbor of the original witness attempted to phone out to another neighbor [presumably to tell them to come out and watch]. Just as the last number would be dialed [several times], the light would mischievously go out.


Vader, WA--- mysterious big footprints. Uh oh..... On both sides of a weekend in December, a family had weird experiences. On the Friday there were large [15"] footprints through the snow all over. Gravel was pushed down by the weight. On the following Monday, they and a neighbor saw a domed disk in the sky. Later in the week the lady and her kids were spooked by a dark shape in their bedrooms and fled the house with the children. On returning the rooms looked rifled but nothing was stolen. ?What to make of any of that?

Toiyabe National Forest, CA--- One of the lead persons in the DATA-NET HQ was on a trip camping and talked with a forest ranger at his look-out station in the forest. This fellow was on record as saying that he had seen a very large cigar-shaped object discharging smaller disks. Other rangers had called in confirming this. When asked by the DATA-NET guy later, the ranger completely backed off, saying that he couldn't say anything about it. Pressed further, he seemed about to say something several times, but ended up with "I could lose my job". However, he himself pressed the UFOlogist for information about cases, especially landings. The DATA-NET guy asked him if he had seen occupants. He hesitated and said "we are under strict orders to say nothing". Shortly a voice of a buddy in another room interrupted with: "Yes, you have said too much. You always talk too much anyway". Finally, in a last private moment he said: "I know damn well they are real".

This brought back memories of the forest rangers in the Washington State forests [Yakima]. They when they were willing to talk, had countless high strangeness tales to tell. Do the UFOs spend special interests in the deep woods? If so, Why??


I decided to look at some of the other cases in 1970 as well. My own files are a bit slight of numbers there but still contain >50 cases of which I find >30 pretty interesting. One of the most outstanding, which has been mentioned in this blog earlier, and which was also mentioned briefly in DATA-NET, is the Doreen Kendall [pictured at left; the case is pictured above] encounter from Cowichan, British Columbia. This is an outstanding CE3 incident wherein a nurse at a hospital saw a domed disk with a transparent bubble and entities inside "pause and display" itself outside the facility window. This pause-for-effect business reminds me of the Moreland incident in Blenheim, NZ with approximately the same appearing craft. The fact that other staff members saw the craft as it moved away makes this a powerful and puzzling CE3; maybe one of the best.

Other 1970 cases which one might want to look up are Namdalen, Norway [with a strong OZ effect], Itataia, Brazil [a CE2electromagnetic and physiological case], Jabrielles-les-Bordes, France [a very close encounter CE2physiological/paralysis case], Wild-&-Wooly Imjarvi, Finland [skiers confronted by craft, extremely strange light phenomena, and weird entity], Helleland, Norway [with a close fly-over and partial car-lift], the Saladare, Ethiopia Marauding fireball, which we looked at not long ago here, and a handful of Spanish landings.

A case worth singling out, since we haven't before, was the Lake Anten, Sweden incident.

The Lake Anten incident is probably one of the better CE2trace cases.What we have here is a case of multiple independent witnesses seeing a maneuvering red globe of light [forward and back horizontally, up and down vertically], which seemed to drop low towards the ground as well. None of these witnesses were very close to the thing, but there were 13 of them in three different viewing angles.

The morning following the sighting several people went over to the area where the object seemed to come close to the ground, and discovered a ground trace looking like three burnt circular depressions in an equilateral triangle about ?* inches on a side. The picture above is of the area. The diagram that I saw seems screwed up. {?*}Numbers of diameters of the marks [40cm] and the side of triangle measurements don't jibe. I'm going to crudely eyeball the side dimension at about ten feet.

The investigators were on site pretty quickly and they did a good Scandinavian-quality report. They took soil samples and gave them over to an institution for nuclear chemistry to test. The test graph is on the left. The soil from the ground marks showed a weak but definite gamma radiation peak at 660kev [the graph here reads "600kev", but the UFOlogist who typed in the number seems to have blown that, as the words in the report say 660.] The nuclear tester hypothesized that this was from the decay of a Barium isotope, which was formed from a Cerium-137 unstable isotope. No chemical analysis of elements [looking for Cerium] was stated though that would have been a good thing to do. Whatever...the radiation signal here is a rare thing in UFOlogy, and makes the hoax concept a less viable solution to the case.


Just for the fun of it, I decided to look for 1970 cases in the Timmerman files from Grass-Roots UFOs. Again 1970 was down in numbers and I used very few of those 27 {?} cases in the book. The reason for the "?" is that some cases were definitely stated to be 1970, and some stated things like "1970 or 1971". In my counts of cases by year, I gave all such things "1/2" a case credit. Anyway, there was an encounter from Sterling, IL where a young boy was out playing and a small rocket about as big as he was came slowly cruising by. Naturally fascinated, he grabbed on to it trying to hold it back and wrestle it to the ground. The rocket was impervious to his efforts and continued its very slow pace [him hanging on valiantly] until he realized that he was doing no good, and he released his hands.

In Grand Island, NE area a husband and wife were driving on a road with a little elevation alongside a valley. Out in the dark valley they could see car tail-lights going across on some other road. But there was also a "shouldn't-be-there" curtain of reddish light that hung down across the valley towards which the automobile tail-lights were heading. Mystified, the couple watched the lights drive right into the Red Veil, but not come out the other side.

In Baltic, SD a woman was awakened at about two am by a whirring sound outside her window. She courageously got her dog and went out to survey the grounds. Then, from an unseeable source somewhere above her, came strange uninterpretable sounds, but like someone talking to her. This really terrified her and she brazened it out, but was walking extra fast back to her front door and inside the house. Then another voice erupted which she didn't believe was directed at her but at the first voice. "Just giving that one guy heck, probably for scaring me out of there".

Furnace Creek, CA --- the case I call "Don't make the Ball mad!"

Two young men in their twenties were walking back to the small house they roomed in while working on the staff of a desert hotel. Their shift had ended at 2:30am. They saw a cactus-like shape off the left side of the road, where nothing should have been. Then there was a green flash without sound. Then it flashed again. Then once more.

This was getting freaky. A red ball of light appeared fifteen feet behind them. It floated about at head height and was the size of a beachball. They ran.

The BALL followed. One man fell, scraped his knee, scrambled up and followed the other into their house where they slammed the door.

The BALL stopped at the boundary of their yard and waited. It pulsed. When it grew large it would be transparent and faint. When it shrank it would get to the size of a grapefruit and blaze so brightly that it lit up the mountainside behind it. This red light was so strong that it made the dust particles in the air inside their house sparkle, adding a fairy-like eeriness to the experience.

Now inside and with a closed door, macho behavior began to return. One guy said: "why don't you go out and try to communicate with them?" The other guy replied:" why don't YOU? You're bigger than me." What was going on in the second guy's mind was that the Thing was getting impatient with them staying inside.

After four minutes of waiting, the BALL backed away. Across the road, it began creating a vortex at the base of the hill.

"The rocks started rising in the air...They'd shake from side to side. There were hundreds of them, the largest being the size of melons. They started going around in a circle, like it had complete control over them. Then the thing went way up in the air and it looked kind of like a tornado and it was all red. The only noise that you could hear was this clickety clack clickety clack when the rocks hit together."

Then the light went out and everything crashed down the mountainside and onto the road. The BALL blinked back on again at the top of the mountain and meandered away.

One of the men spent a sleepless night staring out from the bedcovers. The other spent it staring out the window. The next day both of them quit their jobs and got out of there. Hard to criticize that particular reason for unemployment.

So, was 1970 a bad UFO year? Not, I guess, if you were listening in to the whole world, and not just the USA scene.

But if you were so stupid as to make the BALL mad, it could have been a VERY bad year.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Did PLATO Speak to EARTH in the 19th Century??


Unless we believe that some trance control medium channeled the Plato above, I don't think THAT Plato attempted to communicate, but maybe the Plato in the picture below did. Yeh, the odds are pretty low, but let's see what happened anyway.


This will be another somewhat disorganized post as it's too complicated for any clear understanding by me. But it's interesting enough to give it a try.

I bumped into an old 19th century article about Transient Lunar Phenomena [TLP] in the lunar crater Plato by accident, and that started a miniature look-see. The story has a little useful history.

Sometime back in the mid-to-late 1700s, a German amateur astronomer [but a good one] named Johannus Schroter began an almost obsessive attempt to map the surface features of the Moon. He did a pretty good job considering the equipment of the time and his work inspired many others to get on the bandwagon. [Schroter is on the left].

While he was at his mapping, he began to notice peculiarities which occasionally showed on the surface, most often around the crater Aristarchus. Due to this, Schroter could legitimately be called the Father of TLP studies. Although Aristarchus dominated the TLP observations, and has continued to do so till this day, there were a few observations of anomalies in or around Plato listed in his work. These were mainly in the year 1788.

But it was a different sort of an inspiration which would instigate the "Platonic Mystery" which we'll talk about later. This was the apparent disappearance of an entire crater [Linne]. A key character influenced by that story was the famous American astronomer, William Pickering [shown below], of the Lowe Observatory of Echo Mountain, CA. The apparent disappearance of an entire crater off Schroter's and subsequent lunar mappers' charts boggled much of the astronomical world at the time and put energy into the process of close-mapping the Moon. Pickering was fascinated by the alleged changes and began to note differing "glows" or amounts of lunar albedo surrounding what was left of Linne, and then of other craters, and came to a hypothesis that the Moon had primitive life forms which grew and "migrated" seasonally. These ideas by Pickering were in the late 1800s and early 1900s.


Pickering did not contribute much to the Plato mystery until about then. In 1904 he noted that a bright hazy object was seen on the floor of Plato after ten days of observations showing nothing unusual. Then three days later the bright spot was replaced by a black elliptical shadow. Simultaneously, a large white area appeared to the NNE. Pickering stated that this confirms beliefs that the crater shows "conspicuous changes". [as an aside, he also saw a very bright "object"/light on Mars in 1894].



Even though the stimulus for this posting was due to events in the 1870s etc, I put in these later notes to show that interest in changes in Plato continued long thereafter.

Another prominent example of that is the famous "Hook" of Plato seen in the mid-20th century by major British lunar astronomers HP Wilkins and Patrick Moore. This feature, which was rarely seeable in the shadow-forms of presumably the Plato ridge mountains, created a long mystery hunt reaching almost till today. In this case it may be that a solution involves a combination of just the right Sun angle and a coincident matching up of the extended shadow with at curved rifted "valley" inside the wall.

I'm not sure if these two renditions are both Moore's or if they are one of each, but the existence of peculiar linear streaks on them puzzles me. What are they meant to represent??


So....back to the mid-1800s. What happened then to get all this roiling?? Our main story character is William Radcliffe Birt [sorry, I couldn't find a picture]. Birt as a young man worked for the famous astronomer John Herschel and got thoroughly fired up with observational astronomy. When he was 55 years old [1859] he became obsessed with mapping the Moon. I don't know why. In two years he was presenting his first manuscript to the Royal Astronomical Society. It's subject: mapping the crater Plato. A description of the day might say: " There are many other bright spots and streaks on the floor of Plato; but the streaks seem to resemble those which extend from some of the principle craters, ... and brighter patches appear to be merely enlarged portions of these streaks...." [1863, from a summary by a colleague].

Birt and others hoped for some support from the British Association for the Advancement of Science and received a small stipend in concert with setting up a "Lunar Committee" in 1864. This allowed him to engage in continued regular observation and mapping. But the BAAS got tired of this and cut off funds. This was in spite of what came to be known as the "Linne Affair", which should have excited anybody.


The Linne Affair struck astronomy in 1867. It happened due to the fact that early Lunar mappings by people like Schroter and Johann T Madler had shown the crater Linne to be one of the most conspicuous craters on the plains, but sometime in 1866, the director of the Athens Observatory, Julius Schmidt, discovered to his amazement that it had simply disappeared. The crater seemed to be replaced by a shallow white patch. [NASAs modern photography of the site seems to indicate that Linne is a very shallow crater and not at all like it was described by Madler et al]. {Madler is to the left; Schmidt is to the right]. Later astronomers decided that the only solution to this was that all the early observers were mistaken, and that nothing could have happened.


Nevertheless, lunar observers at the time were usually quite sure that significant changes on the Moon were possible and it was in that spirit that Birt and associates like the Reverend William Dawes [to the left] pursued the changes on the Plato floor. Stupidly the BAAS withdrew their support just as Birt completed an extensive study of mysterious changing light phenomena in Plato. These observations came out into the public in 1872.

Birt found now-you-see-them-now-you-don't spots, streaks and stated that the floor of Plato darkens during the Lunar day. This latter phenomenon could well be an illusion due not to Plato's darkening, but rather to the surrounding plain lightening up faster [due to "soil" constituents/reflectivity] as they received the "daytime" Sun. But the spots and streaks are not so easily solved and people still argue it out today.

Birt and his colleagues following [he had to quit in 1877 due to bad health] produced maps and data tables demonstrating their beliefs in a changeable Plato. The map below is indicative of their work, and just a glance shows not only craters within the big crater, but also light spots, patches, and streaks, very prominently. These people were obviously convinced of a great deal of action down below.

Birt's writings for the April, May, June period of 1870 are as spectacular as any. In these he defends the quality of the observations by remarking that most of the phenomena were multiply witnessed, often by four different observers. He stated for instance that during the period in question ten spots within Plato grew in illumination while others nearby DID NOT. The same thing was found elsewhere in Plato, at a different time era, but in reverse [i.e. spots or streaks dimming while others nearby did not]. These simultaneous and different brightenings or dimmings convinced Birt that this could not possibly have anything to do with terrestrial atmosphere conditions, and the nearby locations of some of the differently acting spot areas showed that this was not due to some simple Sun-angle illusion. In fact, what Birt did was present a picture of Plato in 1869-1870 gradually showing differing brightening and dimming light areas just as in some slow irregular pulsing of different floor areas. Birt himself may have imagined something "patterned" going on, as he too thought that crater floors might have some changeable vegetation of some kind.


As you see in 1877 the Cornhill Magazine published an article entitled "Is the Moon Dead?". It was quite smart, and began with a strong general education take on the science and best guesses about Lunar formation. Near its end it mentions Madler and Schmidt's Linne disappearance as proof that the Moon is "alive" in at least a geological sense. The darkening of Plato's floor was rejected as illusion, and with that the idea of lunar vegetation. It leaves the reader with the idea: changeable floors, yes; life, no.

None of that deterred Birt's colleagues and followers from their observations. By 1879-1882, they felt that they had a whole datapile of new lightenings and dimmings of spots and streaks. Reading closely, you also hear of what sounds like a "cloudy" or hazy mist which occasionally obscures the floor.

Modern astronomers, of course, would like to turn all this into nonsense. They admit that even with NASA lunar fly-bys the great dark basin of Plato can look pretty mysterious [I particularly like the photo, made by an amateur, but obviously a terrific one, which you see on the left.] Occasionally you still get articles from astro-professionals attempting to beat up on the old guys' observations. I recently read one from the British Astronomical Association attempting to explain everything by shadow elongations [spots, streaks, false lightenings, whatever]. They never even addressed the original observations of Birt in 1870 and AS Williams et al a decade later.

What we are supposed to take away from all this is: of course nothing odd of any sort can be going on in Plato. The Moon is dead, in every sense: Get it? There aren't any TLPs of any real puzzlement. Get real. What are you, some uneducated morons??


In 2009, a respected amateur astronomer witnessed a strange unaccountable "ashen glow" blanketing the entire Plato floor.

Uh oh....


Maybe something is still mysterious about the Moon afterall.

And it's almost Halloween.

THE SKY IS FALLING: Return of the Blob.


My friend-in-anomalies Frank Reid sent me this notice today. "The Real Life Blob: Is mysterious translucent jelly found in Cumbrian Fells from outer space?". Hah!! We've been THERE before on the blog!.


Here's one of the pictures of Scottish blobs lying at their leisure. Everyone is puzzled. The theories have been spread around from "meteors" [pretty weird meteors to get through the atmosphere without damage to their nearly insubstantial content --- they seem to be almost entirely water --- I guess that they'd have to slowly float down without anyone ever seeing such a thing], to the remains of eaten frogs [despite no parts of frogs found] to something associated with deer rutting season [despite being a completely information-less comment] to something associated with algae [despite a scientist saying that he could find essentially no algae other than minor contaminant in a similar batch which was discovered in 2009]. The article claimed that sporadic incidents of this stuff could be traced back as far as the 14th century. Like our famous "angelhair", it is said to simply disappear completely in time.


This is the second picture of the blobs. They seem to be the only relaxed entities in the story. We looked at various forms of blobness way back in, I think, February of 2010. If the technology will allow me, I'm going to try to insert a few blob cases which were posted then.

A). 1955: Baltimore, MD--"a fuming spherical mass drifted over Baltimore and landed in the city". Thus began a note to Wright-Patterson AFB and Project Blue Book. Many people congregated about it including the police. People tried to puncture it, but it healed up. One guy tried to squash it with a tire, but couldn't damage it. Police cordoned off the area, and after several hours, the thing degenerated and left behind a yellowish residue. Analyzed at the morgue, the residue contained Metallic oxides and animal tissue. Blue Book was told that the answer was "a detergent bubble filled with exhaust gasses from a diesel locomotive in a railway yard." !! [this is one of the goofiest "explanations" in my files of an "answer" not meeting the reported characteristics of the event]. But, there you are.---

B). 1950: Philadelphia, PA--Four policemen saw an "airborne object" which sailed above the city before landing in an urban field. The thing was six feet in diameter and glowed purplish and misty. One of the policemen tried to pick it up, but some of it adhered to his hands, dissipated, and left a sticky residue. The officers watched for 30 minutes while the blob slowly disappeared. Lest one believe that the story was just made up, the policemen reported the event to the FBI and the relevant document still exists. At least no one tried to explain this one as containing train engine exhausts.----------------------------------------------------------

C). 1979: Frisco, TX--A lady woke up one morning and walked outside. There on her lawn were three purple blobs. They were small, about breadloaf sized. As she watched, one of them "just faded away". The other two persisted. They "looked like smooth whipped cream, purple... I stuck this stick into the object. It went in easily, very easily. I punctured it. On the inside it was the same thing--just like real whipped cream, and it looked like it was melting". When the police arrived, an officer tried to pick one up. He said that it was "pretty warm". He put the blobs into boxes and they were sent to a the local Natural Science Museum. The curator said that the blobs were emitting an acidic liquid and contained uranium [!!] and a strange pattern of specks of lead. These weirdos were then sent on to NASA in Dallas and placed in freezers to preserve them. The NASA spokesperson said: "It's kind of like plum-pudding. It has round solid chunks in it that remain after the goo goes away. We don't know what it is." Uhhhhhh...what?! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D). 1966: near Ellicotteville, NY--The NICAP subcommittee field investigators said at the beginning of their report: "[This] is a report, which for the first time we have encountered, dealing with something seemingly more fantastic and even more out of science fiction". Uh Oh. [the case refers to my drawing that accompanies this section]. Two buddies were riding motorcycles along route 219 in NY. One several yards ahead of the other. The lead cyclist saw an object coming on an intersecting course from the right about 10 feet off the ground. He judged that it would pass between the two of them. The thing was a watermelon-sized oval glob, dull green in color. Turning he watched the thing pass just in front of his friend, swerve into him, and attach itself to him !! Wrapping itself around his lower leg, the friend tried to kick the thing off, losing his shoe in the process. The glob became more interested in the shoe, and left to go after it. It seemed to briefly inspect the shoe from above it, rise in the air, and fly away over the hillside. The close-up description was: smooth surfaced and jelly-like in "feel". Translucent dull green. Oval in shape while in the air, but flexible in contact. May have made a soft whirring [dare I suggest "purring" ?] sound. Produced a large red mark on the person's leg with a white oval center, 4 to 6 inches in size. Around this were 5 or 6 [how can they not have a single count?] puncture marks. {maybe I should give them a break on that if the marks were really small and hard to see}. The victim of the "Attack Glob From Magonia" never became ill, and the red/white area went away in a day, leaving only the pin-pricks. Yep. Just another day in the life.--------------------------------------------------------

Both the first and second case were referred to in the new article. In fact, and I had no idea about this, the Philadelphia case was stated to be the inspiration for the Science Fiction film "The Blob". Well, our blobbish friends from Magonia got more famous than I knew.

Maybe someday soon we'll figure out the Scottish Highlands Blobs. But, re-reading the other cases, algae swells and deer ruttings floating down in Innercity Philadelphia don't seem to cut it. Could Science have failed to provide answers to everything?? Lord save us! Whoops. Not allowed to mention the Lord in Science.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

THE SKY IS FALLING: a Walk on the Wild Side with DARPA and the Air Force, Postscript.


As we saw over the last few posts, one of the things that people were trying to use to write off the Connecticut fall[s] of 1960 was the soviet satellite Sputnik IV. Well, it was still up there alive and well. However "what goes up must come down" [unless we're talking about anti-gravity], so Sputnik IV ultimately did too. Below is the SAO/Moonwatch article announcing proudly a surprising success witnessing the act.

So... good for them. When did that satellite come down? Ah, the night of September 4th-5th, 1962.

Wait... When did the Hartford fall happen? September 4th? Now just a cotton-pickin' minute!! YOU laughing at me again, Universe!!??



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

THE SKY IS FALLING: a Walk on the Wild Side with DARPA and the Air Force, Part Three.

Let's try to wrap this up today, folks. It will not be a satisfying wrap-up for some pretty good reasons. Whereas in the two previous posts, we were on pretty solid documentable historic ground, today there will only be some of that, and the rest of the story will melt into mystery. But let's do what we can. I'll try to be clear as to when I'm guessing.

I think that it's useful to begin with a refresher on the main cast-of-characters. Our "star" is, of course, T. Townsend Brown, the eccentric inventor and gravity experimenter, whom we talked about a great deal yesterday.

Our supporting cast is led by Dr. Robert L. Brown, who is the real enigmatic person in this story. He was a legit astronomer at Southern Connecticut College, an accomplished satellite finder, and a member of the SAOs Moonwatch program.

Fred Whipple was the famous Harvard astronomer, meteorite expert, and Director of Moonwatch. Allen Hynek was his occasionally dunce-like second.

Robert Friend was the Major in charge of Wright-Patterson's Project Blue Book at the time.
Victor Cherbak was the head of the Air Force's secret project Harvest Moon/ Star Track for satellite tracking at the time. Dr. John T. Wasson was a physicist employed by the Air Force's Nuclear Studies Branch of its Atmospheric Circulation Lab.

Thumbnail refresher on the event: September 4, 1960 something is seen coming down in Hartford, CT. Some other witness hears it and goes out to find some object disintegrating and burning the lower part of a shed. Fire is extinguished, and pieces are collected, mainly on the criterion of being still hot. Police are called in, they bring Professor Brown, he says "not a meteorite" and says artificial. Reporter publishes story nationally via AP.

CIA may have gotten wind of this early. They have newsclipping on incident. Who knows what they are doing or thinking about it, but within the month they call the Director of the Smithsonian Institution and request that Carl W. Tillinghast, Director of the SAO, write up the entire incident and send the write-up to the CIA, attention: William Sturbitz [I believe the Smithsonian has misspelled his name, it is Sturbitts, and he is pictured above]. The CIAs interest in this is never revealed.

Meanwhile the Air Force Project Blue Book has gotten the news and views this as UFO in nature, and sends Dr. Wasson to the SAO to get the material. He is shocked to find that someone named T Townsend Brown has shown credentials allowing him to collect all the stuff. Wasson finds ways to scrounge what he can, interviews, photographs the site, and goes back to do some tests. [Wasson on the left].

Those tests leave doubts as to what's going on, and Major Friend and Blue Book want more material to work with. [I'll do my best to describe the test results below]. Major Friend is somewhat boggled by the disposition of this material to Brown [as are we], and attempts in the following month [second week of October] to acquire more, and more information generally. He meets with T Townsend Brown and discusses the situation. Brown refuses to give him more material, claiming that it's all being used. [note how Brown can just blow off the Air Force on this, however politely]. Brown does promise to send him complete reports of his investigations and to keep in close coordination with the Air Force. This document is cc'd to four people: Fred Whipple [SAO], Professor Robert Brown, Lt Colonel Gene DeGiacomo [USAF Cambridge Research Labs] [presumably the person that he is "coordinating" with], and Commander R.P.Luker.

A second letter is from TT Brown to Whipple. It is apparently a butt-covering letter, more for Friend's consumption than Whipple's. In it he reminds Whipple that Whipple himself said that the material was not meteoritic and "of no further interest" to Moonwatch. He reminded that Whipple that he personally delivered some samples to Cambridge Research Center at Bedford [this is Project Star Track]. He cc'd the letter to Friend and Commander Luker.

Then there is an exchange between Robert Brown and TTBrown. It contains eye-openers about the materials, which will be gone into later. The cc's there are Friend, Cherbak [Star Track], DeGiacomo [Presumably Star Track --- DeGiacomo was a Cambridge Labs guy who had some interests later in the X-15 project], and R.P. Luker. All of this frustrated Friend as he was politely stonewalled.

Friend is forced to go to Washington DC in December to combine a trip to attempt to foil one of Donald Keyhoe's strategies of affecting congress by using the siegegun UFO case of Red Bluff, CA by meeting with the "congress-manipulation" Pentagon team, led by Lawrence Tacker, and other visits having to do with this Hartford Fall. {Bob Friend and his Blue Book team are pictured below. Hynek isn't there; probably at Moonwatch. Bob is standing in the middle}.

But what in the heck, still, was going on?? OK, here comes what the unkind might call BS, but maybe we can tolerate as speculation. The guy above is Commander Robert P. Luker, in a picture taken as a young officer of a submarine between the wars. I have no idea of his career trajectory, but at the time of our incident he was in the Advanced Research Projects Agency in the Pentagon. ARPA/DARPA was our deep black projects creation and filled with military/CIA double operatives. Doubtless Luker was Navy/CIA too. Somehow, TT Brown had to know Luker. ARPA's big project was Defender. Part of Defender was theory and possible application of anti-gravity propulsion as we talked yesterday. Brown himself was a Navy Lt. Commander. These points-on-a-line are not difficult for me to imagine connected. Having just received patent approval for his system, I am going to speculate that Brown is well on the radar and on talking terms with ARPA personnel interested in Defender.

I don't feel badly about that one. Next? It bothers me. The news comes out in the papers of the Hartford fall. TT Brown is IMMEDIATELY on it. How? Well, he must read it and instantly go to Luker to get permission to go to SAO and take the material; and Luker gives him the muscle [insisting that TT Brown cooperate also with Star Track]. Well, OK, as to that bit. But two things: WHY does Brown think that this stuff is important from reading the newspaper? And how does he convince Luker that it may tell us something about anti-gravity? THIS is profoundly strange to me.

Has TT Brown gotten other information prior to going to Luker? Has someone told him that the materials have odd properties, or at least that they are likely from a spacecraft? No real answer but I'll take a swing at this later. It was only during his December trip that Friend was told by Luker that Luker was interested in the fall because it might be part of Sputnik IV [a BS statement] and, oh by the way, one of the samples seems to be losing mass for no apparent reason. Well....OK...it would be nice to get the tests. But we don't get them, or at least Blue Book doesn't.


Well, let's see what Wasson's and Wright-Patterson's tests say at least. Whether Wasson himself did any actual tests on the material he was able to acquire isn't clear. It seems likely that he did not. He did however report on the details of the fall, including the disintegrating mass burning with a violent [coned] green flame. He described the sorts of materials found [see the panels above and below] and how they were collected. Presumably he sent this stuff on to Wright-Patterson where it was lab-tested by WADD [Wright Air Development Division]. They MAY have done some preliminary tests which we don't have, and may have complained about the quantity of material, sending Friend off on his beggar's journey. Somehow WADD finally got around to some serious tests in April/May 1961 and it is those results we have in Blue Book.



What did they say? The analysts categorized the "collection" as Stones/Slag/Carbonaceous/ and Aluminum. You can see why the meteor idea was dumped quickly. The analyst appears to me to have worked on what interested him. He wasn't interested in what he called "stones" or "slag" so he didn't test them. As we have had numerous "slag" falls in the UFO literature we'll give him an "F" for that.

His analysis of the "coal" and "coke" like samples was uninspired. He noted that one coal-like sample contained Barium in amounts up to ten times or more higher than the background samples taken. He makes no intelligent comments on anything he measures here.

His analysis of the pieces of aluminum isn't much better. Aluminum immediately gives the lie to any "natural" explanation and points directly at the "manufactured". After flailing amount with more lack of clear speaking, he says that the Aluminum samples are also extremely high in Barium particularly on their surface layers. He makes a guess that the samples are 50% Aluminum and 15% Barium.

He then scribbles some pencil notes about radioactivity. There was absolutely no gamma radiation activity. However there was a significantly high beta [electrons] radiation emission. He makes a guess about isotopic presence to explain this.


This analysis inspired Blue Book to evaluate the case as "furnace slag", despite the fact that almost nothing about the case description nor the labwork would allow that. Doubtless, Blue Book was happy to stop thinking about it.


But we can't stop thinking yet. This whole business still stinks. What was going on with TT Brown? Maybe [red-alert: full scale BS ahead] it is the other Brown [above] we should be looking at.

Dr. Robert L. Brown was a closet wonderer about spacecraft himself. When the Hartford fall occurred, RL Brown seems to have already concluded that this "stuff" was not only NOT meteoritic but also NOT an Earth-orbited satellite. It was a different sort of orbiting object, and artificial. How might this have an effect on TTB? Well, that's tough. But what if TTB upon reading the paper called RLB and talked to him? What if RLB said that he thought that this could be linked to a UFO? TTB now would be ready to roll. But how would this get Luker convinced?

Again red-alarm speculation. Brown believed that UFOs ran by having surfaces which were superchargeable with electricity. He thought that this anti-gravity effect would be maximized by exotic materials, perhaps exotic alloys. An off-center Patent Office scientist named Carl Frederick Krafft believed exactly that, and speculated about how such new alloys might be formed. He published some ideas on these matters including an essay on " Anti-Gravity and Saucer Propulsion" in 1956. [or thereabouts].

We don't have enough ammo for our gun here. But something about that fall made TTB think it had something to do with UFOs and possibly anti-gravity. Somehow he was able to use his reasoning to get Luker to authorize him to take the material and work on it. But, something else happened. Hartford was not the only fall that RLB received. He got another ball-shaped, flaking mass from Woodbridge, near New Haven, CT. RLB believed that this fall was from the same "craft" that produced the other one, just on different orbits. He believed he had just proved that an unknown orbiting object existed.

Maddeningly, he does not give the date of the Woodbridge fall. His language sounds as if the dates could have been close, but the social commentary about the witness makes one believe that it occurred after. This is too bad, because IF it had occurred earlier, RLB could have told TTB something that would CERTAINLY have created action in both TTB and Luker. This Woodbridge object seemed to be losing mass.

RLB had a colleague do some preliminary weighings and they noticed this at Southern Connecticut College. He and TTB talked, and RLB sent the sample to TTB. TTB then began his own measurements, finding the same diminishing mass. RLB speculated about some kind of oscillating mechanism, but TTB said that their measurements did not indicate this, but rather a simple downward trend. He then unloaded a last mind-blowing salvo: other materials in close contact with this object "took on" the characteristics of this mass-losing anti-gravity effect. !!!

So, you want more, do you?? Too bad, that's all there is. Could there be missing reports in DARPA files about this?? Come on!! The government would never hold back on us. The thing is, maybe only Brown, his research buddy, JF King, and the other mysterious man in the picture below, may have known the whole story. Was that Woodbridge "particle" really losing mass??

All we can say is that Blue Book knew without doubt that the whole thing was furnace slag. Yep. That's it.

You KNOW they're laughing at us....
Now, the last thing I need to know about this, is why JF King's anti-gravity patent earned a couple of years later looks a lot like an Adamski saucer??

NO. I don't want to know. ..... pass the Excedrin.



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