Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Small Contribution to a Big Discussion: The Legend of Atlantis and Pre-Columbian Voyages to the Western Hemisphere.

This is not one of my more "romantic" posts, so forewarned. I don't find evidence for a supercivilization pre-dating our well-known ancient histories, even though I do believe that the Legend of Atlantis had some basis in fact. What I have to say here is largely repetitive for those who have made a study of this area, but maybe there are some minor additions to the discussion even there. In a oddly curved way, the idea for this post came from my re-noticing a smallish artifact from my collection. It is pictured above with a coin-stamp for sizing, and I'll mention it's small role later. [It's a piece of thin beaten copper from PreColumbian Peru.]

Almost anything that we could honestly claim to know about the idea of "Atlantis" comes from the almost-as-legendary Athenian statesman and diplomat, Solon [from whom our current politicians could learn a lot]. Plato tells us that he, through a non-linear but reasonable way, got his information about Atlantis ultimately from Solon, and if we can't believe that, we can't get anywhere at all on this subject. But for me, it's an easily believable statement. Plato's Timaeus and Critias are therefore the primary documents for the concept of Atlantis.

Despite being probably the best statesman Athens ever had, Solon was under some political stress at a later time in his life, and decided to retire, sort of. He then did what many influential Greeks might do: take a trip to the city which would become "Alexandria" in Egypt. This was the centerpiece of Egyptian commerce with other nations, and well-known to many persons such as Greeks, Phoenecians, Hittites, Israelites, et al. It was also a center of religion and of knowledge, even before the much later atrocity of the burning of the Alexandrian Library.

It was here that Solon says that he learned of the old story of Atlantis from Egyptian priest-scholars in that dynamic city. We can imagine that as a powerful visiting dignitary, and a potentially valuable close ally, Solon's visit was not "pure pleasure" and rather more serious discussions about Athens and Egypt took place [particularly as there were states very aggressive and dangerous to both in the region].

Solon says that he was told that there was a time long ago when the Athenians and the Egyptians fought side-by-side against a mighty foe. They were "brothers-in-war" and rightly should be so "today". That mighty foe was dimmed in the mist of time, but many facts were allegedly still on record in the Egyptian library. It was an island power "beyond the Pillars of Hercules", whose ships threatened all seafarers. Its chief cities were described and some of its culture. It was destroyed by a great cataclysm, sinking beneath the sea.

And all that we know, and in honesty that's about it period.

But Atlantis is a great concept, so persons of all stripes have tried to elaborate on it. There are two great clumps of theory types which have evolved: the ones based on Trance Mediumship and the ones based on Archaeology. If anyone wants to buy into any of the trance medium-based concepts, that is their right. I'd consider it, but I find exactly Zero supporting evidence for anything that any of these people have said. The fact that every one of these theories requires that entire high tech civilizations have disappeared from the planet leaving no tangible traces, nor any other method of substantiating credible information, leaves me decidedly unwilling to walk Out Proctor on this trail.

The Archaeological Band of theories though are different. They all have at least some connectivity to other investigatible facts, and take conscious concern with facts already established by serious research and scholarship. Of these theories, the one which has from its beginning intrigued me the most is the idea that the monstrous explosion of the Volcano of Thera was centrally involved with the legend. This is and has been a rich hypothesis to explore, and, in my opinion, has still much to offer in spite of the intense attacks it has received.

You know the basis for the idea. Crete was the powerful sea-going force in the Mediterranean for the period c.2500-1400BC and therefore must have been a formidable naval foe for Egypt and any other power. The Greeks were "nothings" in this era, especially as regards sea travel. Cnossus on Crete was the center of the culture, but the island to the north, Thera, was a wealthy second focus of strength. It unfortunately was also on the extrusion of a very large volcano. Sometime during the 1400-1300BC period or thereabouts [it's a lot tougher than one thinks to nail these dates down any tighter], the big volcano shook and blew. It not only blew but it blew factors more violently than things like Krakatoa. Mt. St. Helens was a mere firecracker. Thera of course was wiped out. A huge tidal wave would have rushed outwards. As the caldera collapsed, the inrush was followed by a jerking back of the waters, and then the counteraction of a second rebound tidal wave. Estimations exist in the literature of 600 foot tidal waves bearing down on the northern coast of Crete.

All manner of objections to this theory immediately let fly. "The date is wrong"--- to me pretty small change. Exaggerating "legends" by factors of ten or other magical numbers is common in giving something a more legendary status. "Thera didn't blow in 1500BC" --- who cares? The Minoan civilization existed as a power then, and Thera blew sometime in the "same distant past" thereafter. "Thera didn't end the power of the Sea Kings" [in other words the Minoan civilization didn't drop like a shot just due to this catastrophe]. I'm always amused by this argument. Certainly no one would deny that the volcano took out the number two Minoan city rather completely. And how does one argue that this sort of blow doesn't weaken you? No one seriously thinks that 600' tidal waves bearing down on your northern coast [where many of your ports exist], is going to be a benign economic experience. AND, and this is always conveniently left out of the argument, the ashfall from Thera should have been horrendous on Crete, and agriculture should have taken a longterm blow of big proportions. "Sudden Death"? No. Seriously weakened condition? You bet.

Lots of other stuff has been floated to oppose the Theran Solution to the origins of the Atlantis legend. To me none of them really stand unless one pretends to literal obsessiveness about a tale told Solon about something that happened nine centuries earlier than the telling.

I choose to believe the following:
a]. The Egyptians had a foe who lived on an island in the Sea, they knew not where. That foe mysteriously weakened and ultimately disappeared in the wake of several colossal events. It was reported that this catastrophe completed destroyed an island leaving nothing but a sea of thick mud. This legend was maintained in memory by the Egyptian priests [along with countless other pieces of knowledge which became the Library of Alexandria] for the intermediate centuries between those times and the visit of Solon.
b]. The Greeks too had a cultural legend of a mighty sea power "beyond the Pillars of Hercules" which disappeared in a huge catastrophe which destroyed much of the coast facing the east and southeast. Their more primitive Mycenaean sailors may have discovered the sea of mud just beyond the Pillars.
c]. The two legends were ripe to rejoin for a political reason.

But what of this "Pillars of Hercules" business? Everyone knows that the Pillars of Hercules are the lands on each side of the Strait of Gibraltar. Well, no. The Pillars of Hercules were the Greek way of symbolizing the Edge of the Known World. In Solon/Plato's time they WERE at the Straits of Gibraltar. But c.1000BC they were at the Straits of Messina, between Italy and Sicily, according to our best reading of old myths. And back in Minoan times, the much less seaworthy Mycenaeans would have viewed the Pillars as islands just to the southeast of the mainland. And what would be the first land just beyond those Pillars? Thera.

So what else makes this make any sense? This guy --- Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II. He was pharaoh just at the time of Solon. And he SHOULD be pictured on his knees as he was a weak one. Faced with major threats to Egypt from the near-eastern powers, Necho decided to take a page out of the books of past Pharaohs and put on some sort of spectacular display to make a show of power and revitalize the Egyptian psyche. He tried a couple of gimmicks which didn't work. Desperate for a success, he decided to order his navy to circumnavigate Africa. With a lot of help from Phoenecian sailors, they did.

Stick-in-the-mud historians have doubted that the Egyptians pulled this off. To that I laugh. I believe that in every instance that I've come across where there has been doubt about humans' abilities to pull something off, the doubters have been proven wrong. We have many flaws, but we are awfully brave, tenacious, and clever. Necho's naval commander and his Phoenecians circumnavigated Africa, you can count on it. Why so confident? Necho was desperate for a "winner". He and his admiral already knew it could be done. Heck, his "phoenecians"[probable heirs to the knowledge of the old Sea kings anyway] had probably done it already themselves and had maps.

So the Egyptians went 'round Africa, so what? I believe that this is just the most public of the "trips" that Egyptian explorers made around and through Africa over years and centuries. They would have known about peoples, about legends, about mines and various items of produce and trade. They might well have seeded some colonies here and there. This is easily within their abilities and time available.

Did they? There are wisps of smoke indicating this all over the place. Even in Egyptian painting itself there are all sorts of indications of depth knowledge of Sub-Saharan ["Black"] Africa. It wasn't all just "Nubians". There are signs in some still-existing legends of ideas of stories harking back to ancient Egypt in 20th century West African legends. Lots of smoke --- a raging fire in my opinion.

Far down the East African coast in what is modern Zimbabwe, there are areas of very old rock paintings. One which has particularly intrigued archaeologists is "The White Lady" [lower of the two pictures]. Analysts of this painting see it as of strong Egyptian influence, and maybe of a Mediterranean type person.

I ran into something which supports at least some of this. I was writing a cryptozoological paper trying to identify the animal represented in the god Set, when Richard Greenwell challenged me that Set was only a Giraffe. That was preposterous, and to this day I believe that Richard was only teasing me to get me to write more about the archaeo-and-biological side of my publication. It was good that he did, because I found, down near the White Lady, other paintings which appear to show "Set Masks" with Egyptian-style wigs associated with the representation. For our purposes, it is a near certainty that loads of strong Egyptian influence existed so far down the east side of the continent, that it is a mere whimsy for a sailor to decide to round the Cape of Good Hope.

And then? They'd keep going and circumnavigate Africa. Or would it be that straightforward?

As you can see from the upper map, Atlantis has been located about anywhere you'd care to throw a dart. What I think is very likely is that some of these early Africa continental sailors DID think that they found Atlantis [or what was left of it], and THAT IT WAS THE SARGASSO SEA.

I noticed something a while ago on maps of the sea. When coming up the west coast of Africa, there are currents which try to shear you off course towards South America. You might find yourself landed on the northeast coast of Brazil, or sailing along the northern edge of South America, or trying to get back east and home, and running into the Atlantic Gyre which is the Sargasso Sea. And what would one find there? A creepy dead zone of floating debris miles and miles wide. How could it possibly be? What catastrophe could have resulted in this? Hmmmm... Where is this place? Hmmmm.... Beyond the Pillars of Hercules.

Necho's expedition had just returned to the same Egyptian port which Solon was visiting only months or so earlier. The information from the circumnavigation was no doubt the talk of the town. It doesn't make any difference whether Necho's expedition went off-course or not; the point would be that as Solon arrived, all the past information about "what was out there" would be currently active in the consciousness of the priests and the Egyptian statesmen. Necho needed allies. Here was Solon. Let's tell him how we fought together against the power beyond the Pillars. Solon probably liked the idea whether he believed it or not. It served a purpose.

I find it intriguing, to say the least, that ancient-looking Amphoras have been found off the eastern coast of Brazil. "They surely shouldn't be there". Shouldn't they? [The picture above was from one of Ivan's dump piles that he never got around to filing, but seemed on the road to doing so. Ivan would be interested in such things since he believed that the "Copan Elephant" was real, and his theory was that it had been a shipborn import from Eastern Africa by way of West Africa].

Again, the smoke surrounding Pre-Columbian visits from ancient civilizations is thick. The distinctively non-Amerindian bearded guy on the cup is just one pottery representative. The cloth weaver fellow's views remind me that the Smithsonian was so impressed with an analogous analysis of pottery designs that it set up a large exhibit touting proof that Chinese sailors had visited the Pacific side of Latin America in ancient times. If one dumps the "Atlantis" add-on from the weaver's analysis above, and goes directly with Egypt, you have a perfect twin of an idea.

So, now trivially, back to my own little artifact way up there at the start of this post. What's its story? Maybe not much, but.... far back in time, cultures were trying to figure out the concept of money. Pure barter is nice for community interaction, but a perfectly horrible way to try to run a diverse economy. One badly needs a "commonly accepted unit of exchange". Ultimately: "money". The thing above was an early try from the eastern Mediterranean. It is a copper ingot [pretty thick and heavy] meant to symbolize the hide of an ox --- and on faith be acceptable/tradable as if an ox-worth of value. Hides of all kinds tended to have this similar shape, the extensions a reminder of the animal's legs.

This sort of representation in copper was also allegedly an early attempt at money in Egypt. Way up top is my artifact. It IS copper and it could be viewed as pounded into something like a hide shape. The people who allegedly know these things say that it IS supposed to represent some form of the "copper hide" style of money [though it would have to either be "small change" or a culture at a more advanced stage of the money concept, where things are miniaturized to make commerce less a weightlifting event]. So, the point? If my artifact IS a hide-type pre-currency, the fact that it comes from Peru makes things interesting. From whom did these guys get the idea, not just of a trading unit but of this specific idea of a trading unit? Maybe nothing. Maybe something.

Just for fun: a last Romance.

This is another artifact in my collection. It's a particularly crumby one --- note the terribly malformed lip of the cup and the ragged base --- an unfinished dud.

This cup comes from Crete at roughly the time of Thera's big blow.

Here is our honorable hard-working potter beginning a new cup. Suddenly horrendous thunderings and shakings occur, throwing him and his work to the floor. When he comes to his senses, he runs from his shop. Sometime later he sweeps the debris aside into a spoils pile. Centuries later, an archaeologist thinks that he's found treasure....

well, maybe he did.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hopefully starting up again soon

Hello, folks. I've made the transition back to Wheeling today, and, even with the things involved with going to visit Mom [nearly] daily, I think that I'll be able to post a bit more regularly. I gathered a few things from a Sanderson "paper trash box" which weren't so trashy as most, and, although not profound, may well get me jump-started. So, hopefully, onwards.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Everyday Spirituality: Cycles and Lines.

---------- [Fair Warning: I know that not everyone who occasionally reads the blog is interested in things Spiritual. It has been a long time since I have posted one of these. These posts are not about any of the famous anomalies. They are closenesses to Nature and closenesses to what is for me the Spiritual. If such matters have no meaning for you, you will miss nothing by skipping this post and waiting for the next. This is an awake meditation, and a "communion". It has meaning to me. And for me, it IS related to many of the things that are discussed on this site] ----------

My street ... my city ... my home.

Sitting outside this morning for meditative prayer, the world seems just about as it should. The humans are doing pretty well for a change. All up and down the edges of the streets my neighbors are putting out the recycle bins and caring a little for the Earth. The recycling program that twenty+ years ago, I helped get started --- one of the three things in my life of which I am proud. My good neighbors... doing their parts.

Nature seems to like it. Sun today after a week of gloom and weeping rain. Nature has decided to show off instead today with her colors. Hidden in those colors is the great cycle of Life itself. Nature is saying something important.

To the birds this is just fine. A pair of Blue Jays come to visit --- still very interested in one another after all the months of their year. They take turns searching the ground and standing watch. They fly off so astoundingly close and precisely that their wings seem to touch, almost as one being. Overhead a flock of geese travels away from the local cornfields long harvested. They too are eerily one as they fly. A young couple walks their dog --- she is talking and he is actually paying attention to her and smiling. She is happy. Something in the air.

My own walk today is full of its own happiness. The Sun is hitting the tops of the trees and it is a leaf-fall day. Showers regularly happen. I pass under a brilliant cathedral just as one begins... letting the golden magic drift by from the sky. Are the trees weeping? or are they rather shedding unneeded burdens? Do they know that this will all happen again in time?

Beneath these cathedrals Stars have fallen from the Skies. They fall so that other stars will shine in their turn. It isn't sad, it's Life.

Stars fall. Great glorious brilliant beautiful Stars. Dad fell long ago. Mom is hanging to her branch awaiting her call. She will fall... in the body... like the leaves. That is the Cycle. But she will go to Dad and the Spiritual World in the Soul.

It is the Cycle of the World and the linear life of the Soul. The old Irish knew this. That is why their Waycrosses are the Circle-and-The-Cross. It is sad to be the one left behind, but they will wait for me.

Back home, sitting looking out to Nature and God's Presence just beneath, my paper birch gives me another shower of gold. She is not concerned. She knows the Cycle is there ready to be energized by the linear Light. Things are right with the Universe.

The shadow of the neighbor's house just moves away from the nearby grass and trees. There is the dew. There is the Light shining within it.

A whole world is in that dew, that light, ready to explode into beauty and life again. And God is there maintaining it all, and waiting for us to come home.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Bill Chalker wrote the other day. He's contemplating making a review of so-called "solid light" UFO cases, and I welcome that. Bill's a hard-science-trained UFOlogist and might just be able to make some sense of a real puzzlement in this field. He asked me if I'd scour my files for such cases [since I'd foolishly admitted to having around 44 of such things], and so I did, making a list for him to pursue and build his analysis more robustly [Bill already had a bigger bunch than that].

Since the blog was sitting here drowsing away the time, I thought that it wouldn't be entirely a waste for me to put that list up here and BS a bit about this phenomenon in anticipation of Bill's better ideas. So, like it or not, here it is.

It's of some value to try to define this concept, since it certainly is not obvious what we're talking about.

In my understanding the term "solid light" came from witness testimony--- the light beam seemed "solid"; it was as if the beam extended like a solid tube, etc. This phrase stuck but is probably a bad one. The light effects that we're witnessing in these cases behave not like solids but like "regular" light which is abnormally "contained" somehow. Things don't seem to be "impacted" by these beams, only illuminated by them. The things [generally] seem to be more like spatially-constrained lasers [admittedly of wide diameter] than anything solid, and might well be more like tubes [i.e. hollow] than "full" beams. In the above definition, Keul has a fairly wide net that he throws to encompass many varieties of weird light UFO cases, and the reader may decide for oneself what sorts of things you want to include. In my list, I include mainly cases wherein the light behaves in a severely delimited space, moves slowly, and usually is seen to have a definite ["sawed-off"] end to the "beam".

Here's the first page: As you can see, there are two huge cases in this 14. Red Bluff is bullet-proof and as such anchors the phenomenon unassailably. Trancas is one of the wildest cases in the files by almost any measure. If it is true, then virtually anything is possible with light-manipulation. Bairnesville is a case with a Jim McDonald interview alongside the Ozzie field research. Connersville has a claim of what would have to be a tractor beam. The 1939 claim was reported very late unfortunately, but at least has as its investigator one of UFOlogy's best, Jenny Randles. The Brazil case is a "Light elevator" carrying entities.

The second 14 feature a good Ozzie case [Kiama] about which I wrote a kidding remark to Bill when I made this list for him [so I've covered it up with something slightly more serious]. The famous Scandinavian cases of Haderslev and Imjarvi [light curtain beneath UFO and light elevator, respectively]. Randlett is a great "anchor" case investigated by Frank Salisbury. Newton, GA was investigated by Hynek. Ellezelles is intriguing as it appeared smack in the middle of a concentrated flap on one date. Some "muscle" is accumulating for the phenomenon.

The third 14 offers the powerhouse Colusa, CA case with all manner of very high strangeness electrical activity and multiple witnesses. Bill has another personally-investigated incident which was buried in the 1973 Dundurrabin flap. Gaspesian Park, Quebec is one of my "intuitive" favorites.

The fourth page ended my own files as housed in the "High-Strangeness" category plus a few others. I was quite congratulatory of myself for delivering not only the 44 I promised but a few more. Of these, several seem potentially quite good [Bellevue; Dorset; Irlam; San Diego]. I cannot help but to be fascinated by the Cuba case coming from a secret NSA document.

I then decided to make a final page of some of the other odd light cases in the files. As I re-read the cases, it seemed that some of these should probably have been simply listed with the previous 52. Boyup Brook seems like a hollow lighttube; Burkes Flat "just" a weird bending of headlights; Taize some of each. Over-all the listings give a lot to chew on, and wonder what in the heck could be going on?

So, what is? Guess what? I have no clue. Big surprise, eh?

One thing we might say is that these slow light phenomena demonstrate an ability to manipulate things which we do not have. Since enough of the cases are quite strong, it appears that once again we've "proved" that the UFO phenomenon is both real and beyond our own current technological ability. So, perhaps we're not wasting our time thinking about this, even though we're underpowered.

Notice that I said "slow light" phenomena. I believe that this is getting closer to what's happening than calling this "solid light". Light has a velocity. That velocity is altered by the medium through which it passes, but in normal everyday Earth experience, is REALLY quick in our atmosphere. But "these guys" can slow it way down it appears. Even to stopping it.

Now it IS true that our own guys are finding ways to slow light down [by many factors of ten] and even stop it, releasing it to continue on its way with a later light signal stimulus. These experiments usually involve very cold or very hot plasma matter, using unusual elements to boot. So, we're a long way from what "those other guys" can do, but we HAVE demonstrated that the general concept is possible.

But we're a long way from duplicating this in other ways as well. People have been contacted by the beams, and even engulfed. There is no ultra-cold nor ultra-hot sensations. There is no "damage". The few reports report basically nothing at all sensorily --- just the lighttube. And it may be just that: a tube. In other words the lightbeam may be "empty" of the light which we see from the outside [other than minor scatter] and a true hollow tube. It seems almost like it is a ring-laser type of emission, which is somehow controlled in its speed of radiation [it is "slow"], and can be stopped and reversed. The nature of the tube would then be "seen" if at all in the "substance" of the tube wall.

We have almost no reports of persons observing the inside of the tube nor looking at the wall. In the Boyup Brook case, the witness was surprised that the inside seemed empty and he could look up the tube right into the emitting object. In a very obscure case written to the Colorado Project committee, the witness says that he was engulfed in a lighttube, elevated within it, and watched the tube walls on the way up. The walls were composed of "swarms" of very bright areas of scintillation and dark areas of about similar size, which moved dynamically in a chaotic mix all over the insides. This was a very unsophisticated man, who interpreted all of this in religious terms of being taken to a higher spiritual realm surrounded by both angels [of light] and demons [of darkness].

So we don't know what's going on, but have good reason to suspect that the phenomenon is real and technological. Mother Nature DOES make some light pillars Herself when the atmosphere is cold and calm and micro-ice crystals are just the right size and lying horizontally, but even She would be hard-pressed to extend and retract hollow lighttubes. And, I suppose that it isn't really necessary to say this, but the toy "lightsabers" on sale today are nothing more than jumped-up flashlights with connectable telescopic plastic tubes to "contain" the light. The only useful thought that this gives us is that the light-extension in some cases COULD be a material tube extended from the craft which was translucent. That's OK for some cases but not others which contact the witness, engulf them, or otherwise interact in a way inconsistent with a normal physical solid.

A last random thought in this series of embarrassingly random thoughts [but still somewhat fun, so sue me]: when our scientists work with slowing light and consequently manipulating the propagating medium, they are aware that they are "simplifying" some aspects of the medium and what it is encompassing. They are cutting out "noise", and getting better "control" of the space. Maybe that is what "the other guys" are doing with these manipulable light projections too. Maybe it's "safer". Maybe it allows easier anti-gravity work [tractor-beams or elevators?].

Well, I better shut up before public health service employees show up at the door.

Till next time folks.

Watch out for the Blue One... that's the elevator to Outer Proctor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The blog has been MIA for over three weeks [a long stretch for me], but with the burnout at the end of each Wheeling "session", the transition to Kalamazoo, and hosting seven UFO knuckleheads all last weekend, I'm not too apologetic. The blast effect of having those guys over has lessened [the kitchen sink is still a mess], and I'll try to start up a bit with the "meeting" as a beginning. If you recognize Kalamazoo's famous Bell's Beer in the photo above, you are not only a beer connoisseur but are having intuitions that certain UFOlogists can be bribed to be more congenial and talkative by the effects of good tasting alcoholic beverages.

The "illuminati" in secret discussion: Closest to camera = Will Matthews, my local UFO friend; going around the table then: Robert Powell [book project administrator and MUFON Director of research], Richard Thieme [ former MUFON and CUFOS associate and world traveling lecturer on subjects too esoteric to mention], Jan Aldrich [Mr. Sergeant Major of FOIAs], Don Schmitt [The only person who knows more about Roswell than the government], Jerry Clark [Of Whom there is no Whomer], and The Maestro of Abductions Scholarship, the esteemed Dr. Eddie Bullard. Note that no beer is on the table at the moment, so they were still making some sort of sense.

Kidding aside, the weekend was an intellectual and anomalistic blast.

Because it was at least interesting to me, I'll say a little about what we discussed in our saner moments.

Abductions: I was surprised [even as well as I know these guys] that not one of them was buying the hypothesis of a colossal numbers of abductions taking, or taken, place. Not even Eddie. Not even Jerry nor I, who considered Budd Hopkins a very good colleague and friend, and have felt similarly about Dave Jacobs. Everybody around the table considered the infamous Roper poll to be a piece of garbage as far as indicating anything about abductions is concerned, although it MIGHT be indicating "something" about "something" undetermined.

When the actual idea of a specific case was brought up, people tended to say "Buff Ledge sounds like a solid case. The Hills' case looks pretty good. Maybe Travis Walton's experience [the reported one, not the movie]. Maybe the three ladies in Louisville Kentucky.... " and so it would go with very few particular "on board experiences" cited. I was a bit amazed at the uniformity of the opinions, even Jan's, who I thought might go thumbs down on all of them, but he did not.

Well, what's the problem with all the others?, one might reasonably say. This is a group of UFOlogists who don't readily leap to conclusions on cases unless they are pretty solidly investigated, which includes good looking into witness credibility and using convincing investigative techniques. I'm not going to get "down-and-dirty" on any of that, but just leave that statement stand. Also, there are "many", in the sense of a couple dozen or so, CE4s which I did not mention above, which might join those noted, upon dragging out the case files and micro-analyzing them. But not thousands....

The ones which would come under serious negative evaluation would be things like Andreasson [where SOMETHING is going on, but unlikely to have anything to do with UFOlogy], Allagash, Linda Napolitano, any "recent" claims from the Rocky Mountain conferences [despite all of us loving Leo Sprinkle as a human being and a friend], etc etc .

We talked about many other things as well, of course; most far less controversial. We are happy that the UFOs and Government book is plowing forward in sales and recognition, and [slow as such things are], we're patiently optimistic that all the work will have been worth it. Don even bought an extra copy that I had and insisted on me signing it --- pretty embarrassing since he's one of my best friends in the "business".

Don also mentioned that he's working with a fellow who has a few, very small, [thumbnail-sized or smaller], pieces of potential Roswell debris. These bits of Aluminum/Magnesium+ alloy have VERY good provenance [for a change], and are exactly the sort of thing that one would imagine possible to get and test. We are hoping for a mysterious isotope shift in the data. THAT would "put the fox in the hen house".

We discussed "models" for what's going on. I gave my "Three Categories of Ultra-Advanced Civilizations" hypothesis, and the supplement that I felt was necessary to keep Roswell from being a hard-to-swallow "outlier". The guys seemed interested, but it was probably just that I was the one providing the food.

Jerry wanted to talk about his "experience anomalies" concept, with which he [and I] try to cope with the non-core-UFO phenomena like high-strangeness encounters with Faerie, ABSMs, Lake monsters, Black Dogs, the weird end of the MIBs, etc. Neither he nor I think that these things have anything to do with the physical textbook universe normally experienced [whereas we think that the core UFO phenomenon is nothing except that]. Jerry and I tend to lean towards a parallel sort of world, which "overlaps", or "slips", or creates "portals" occasionally, and "things get in" occasionally before slipping back. Or, maybe rarer, we slip over briefly. The other guys at the weekend we at least tolerant of this arrant nonsense on our parts.

Jerry brought up one of the encounters which has stuck in his craw for decades: the Samuel Eaton Thompson encounter way back in 1950. Read about it in his UFO encyclopedia or in his Extraordinary Encounters. Thompson comes upon a group of naked cherubic children, and shortly their parents, in the Washington state woods. Communication takes place, largely either nonsensical or romantically Utopian. None of which fits Thompson's own interests nor character. So what the heck was THIS?

I of course don't know. It sounds paranormal, but Thompson has much "physical" reason to believe that these are physically real entities. It sounds a lot like Faerie. But where's Faerie? I gave my not-even-close-to-half-baked concept of the privileged universe collapsing its wave functions [our universe], flanked by two reasonably robust parallel almost-twins-but-lesser foci to either "side" as the Universal Wave Front collapses "into the future". Between our universe and those, the slippages occur. Everyone agreed that I didn't need to warn them that this was almost certainly BS.

Much else was, of course, touched upon over the three days. We didn't solve the Mysteries of the Universe [thank Goodness, you say, plenty left for us!!], but we did solve part of the Mystery of leading a good life: Open your Hearts and Minds. Find things that make your feelings race. Pursue them honestly and with respect for the Truth within them. Join with good colleagues who become wonderful friends. And sit around your watchfires, like candles illuminating the darkness.

All my best friends are candles illuminating the night. Bless them, and you, all.