Friday, December 27, 2013

WANDERING IN THE WAKE OF THE UFOS


"The Trouble with your UFO hobby is that you have no evidence. "

Really?

"Yep. Pretty pathetic given all those years."


I think that there is pretty good evidence.

"Hah! If there was, we'd know about it."

I could show you....

"Don't bother."


There are unusual lights....

" What a joke!"



Well, there are a lot of them... and

That light Captain Hull and his co-pilot saw came in front of them and danced. ...

"Ah Shut-up! Who's Captain Hull? Some drunk?"

No, he's...

"I don't have time for this crap. So long."

Well, if you won't even look....

those non-inertials.... those displays which show 'it' knows exactly where the observers are... the military guys, even scientists/ astronomers...

"Lights in the sky. No more."


Well...

"Forget it, Waste of time... "



Well, he's gone... probably just as well...

Oh yes. No evidence. Technological objects by the dozens seen by aerotech engineers, pilots, people of every sort... Obviously physical, Obviously "built", Obviously "interested....

... no evidence.




Radar.... i guess those don't count.

We all know that radar is a useless technique. After all if it were useful our military would USE it, wouldn't we?




What we could really use would be some cases where the alleged things were close to the witnesses.

Too bad that we don't have any......



... or if the darned things would just leave some trace of their being here.

Too bad that never happens.







Or ANYTHING!! Anything at all! Electrical interference, mass displacement, "burns", paralysis --- ANYTHING!! Give me something!!

I guess we're just out of luck.



What about a picture? How about one by the military or one examined by them? But NOTHING! Nothing at all.



.... and if there WAS anything to this, you'd think that we'd get a glimpse of who's behind it once in a while.......


My friends, Doctor Hynek said that we have an "embarrassment" of riches in the case files. It is a difficult "embarrassment" however to employ. The good Doctor immersed himself in the pool of incidents; almost no one else will bother. People say that we've learned nothing. They mean that THEY've learned nothing.

... and to them I, an old fellow short of future years and tolerance, say: please just go away. That thing that you carry with you, which somewhat serves as a mind, wearies me.

JUST         GO         AWAY.........................................................................


I DO care a bit though about one thing: what should I do with these files, this pile of wasted paper and film in the eyes of the mind-dead?

... an embarrassment of riches....

which no one seems to care much about.

..... except we few.

Blessings, friends.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Short Post on a Tall Tale


Hi folks. Merry three days before Christmas. To celebrate that, this is a Three Toes before Christmas post. Well, OK... just a coincidence.

The reason for my posting this weird thing is that two weeks ago I got an information request here inquiring about something Ivan Sanderson did in 1948:

Did you find any files relating to Sanderson's investigation of the 1948 incident involving mysterious three-toed footprints found on Clearwater beaches in Florida, in which he theorized it might have been from a giant penguin? I think it was his first involvement in a cryptozoological investigation.


I didn't have time nor motivation then to look this up, and let it slide. But I'm trying to be helpful when I can, so yesterday I stumbled out into the SITU archives, not expecting much. This WAS after all a VERY probable hoax, and my own motivation was/is pretty low. But it turns out that Ivan spent a huge amount of time on this thing. {Warning: I'm still not going to go very deeply into this here --- it would be a full-blown research project.}

And, if you are a bit boggled by the "illustration" above: my system is still in malfunction mode as concerns scanning anything --- so, I decided for this to use the "Photo Booth" facility on this iMAC laptop to just take a few pictures for this. {comments on my own "alien bizarreness" as thus pictured should remain unspoken out of kindness.}


What I found in the archives was an entire three-ring notebook file on the claims. WAY too much to write a review on, particularly if the core reality is probably a hoax. But... of some interest to be sure.


There is a ton of original material resident in this file. And it dates right back to the beginnings in 1948-1949. The telegram above is from November 1, 1949, and original typed transcripts of radio program exchanges go back to 1948. Materials trickle forward through the 1950s. What this shows is that Ivan sunk his teeth into this potential anomaly and tenaciously held on for a long time. In other words, he took the thing very seriously.


But did he take it seriously as a possible Giant Penguin??? Well... whether this bothers any Ivan supporters or not ... Yep.

Hmmm... so was Ivan Sanderson a complete lunatic after all? Any skeptical debunker type person would probably jump on this as proof positive that Sanderson was indeed a lunatic. But, my view is much more moderate even given this.

What Ivan was was a romantic. He was hopeful of wonder and mystery. To begin with, this case was not at all obvious to anyone down at that Florida beach area who was investigating and reporting on it [i.e. police and newsmen.] AND, there were claims of many different witnesses, some in multiples. None of them claimed "giant penguins" but they did claim a large animal of some kind.

So what's with the "Penguin" hypothesis?? Ivan was a zoologist and a good one. He investigated the material available and noticed the dominant three-toe theme. This threw out [given the size] any known living beast, and tossed his mind back into palaeontology. Once there he began judging reptilian footprints and rejected that these current prints looked like any such things.

But maybe birds. He then noted similarities with the prints of penguins, and researched extinct possibilities. There he found the "giant" form of penguin --- not, I believe, anywhere as giant as shown in the drawing above, but Ivan-the-Romantic thought that if an outsized penguin existed formerly, maybe a larger variety of it had survived, maybe even as a much more aquatic dwelling form. He corresponded with fossil scientists about this [ummm... studiers of fossils, I mean; I don't think that any of the scientists were actual fossils themselves].


Years later, when the original hoaxer was being celebrated by a smiling press, SITU DID publish the notification of the hoax. Ivan's second wife, Marion Fawcett/ Sabina Sanderson, appended a note to that publication doing the wifely thing: she, who REALLY adored Ivan, wrote that it should be said that Ivan believed that the penguin prints were hoaxes all along, but just pursued the mystery thoroughly. Well, God Bless your loyalty my lady, but it's not true.

What IS true is that Ivan thought quite a lot about the hoax theory [several variants] and in the end rejected them as unlikely. He was intellectually honest to the end about this though, and said that nothing about this mystery had become resolved [anomaly vs hoax] in his mind. He stated his reasoning processes in detail in several chapters of a surprisingly long report.


What does all this say about Ivan? We shouldn't be down on him at all. His work on this was intense and full of adventure. ... and "honest". He tells what he thinks and why. So what if what he thought here was erroneous? It's OUR job to do our own thinking.

What does this say about cryptozoology? Just what we already knew: it's a "dangerous" field to take simply on face value. Separating the hoaxers from the gold is a real trial. Just like any of our interests, it is rife with human meatballism. Maybe worse, given the hunter and fisherman "traditions" of telling whoppers, and screwing around.

My bottom-line on this is: I like Ivan even a bit more. he saw a possible amazing thing, made a BIG commitment to study it, refused to easily throw it away, and told me exactly what he was thinking. I'd invite him over for Christmas dinner and a good bottle of wine if he was still with us.

Bless him in the afterlife; hope it's still a bit of an adventure for him to enjoy. And Holiday Blessings to you.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

IMPROBABLE POSSIBILITIES TOO


Let's try again....

1965, Clarendon, Australia [near Adelaide]. An orchard keeper went out in the evening to move several sprinklers, carrying with him a poorly-illuminating flashlight. He was about 400 yards away from his house when he was confronted with a dark shadow ahead. He pointed his flashlight at the thing and it appeared to be a clean-edged "beam of blackness" {he said "black light"} about six feet in diameter.

Shining his light up the beam, the sharp edges of the thing continued on up towards an array of eight or nine orange-colored lights, which seemed quite high up, but such judgement was difficult. Though he had been a WWII veteran and didn't scare easily, he said that seeing this thing was the scariest experience of his life.

Hmmm.... too weird for my imagination.


Let's give Adelaide, Australia another chance: in 2000 a man went outside in the late afternoon to clean up his trailer and a tarpaulin which attached to it. He noticed that, unsurprisingly, it had some leaves stuck to it. What WAS surprising was that the leaves were showing a brilliant orange color. Taken aback, he then saw that his hands were radiating the same color.

Looking upwards to try to find a source for this, he found no such radiating object, though the sky was a strange color {ridiculously he doesn't try to describe it} itself. Furthermore, his environment had "gone OZ" on him [my phrase, not his --- i.e. all sound had stopped: no birdsong, not even leaf-rustle].

He dwelt in this state for about a minute before rushing inside to tell his wife. When she came out, however, the world had returned to normal, green leaves and birdsong and ordinary light.

Strange Days in Adelaide.


About the Summer of 2002, witness/claimant on website refused to identify location. Woman was driving home from work just prior to midnight on a very isolated stretch of road {no structures nor lights anywhere about}. Suddenly the area lit up just as if it were daytime BUT THE LIGHT WAS BLUE. She could see all the roadside objects just as if it were normal, except for the color. The phenomenon seemed to extend as far as she could see in all directions. Nothing unusual was in the sky.

Then, as she raced out of there, the light switched off.

Obviously, we need some sort of interview on this. Typical case of the internet probably burying an interesting possibility.


1964, Montrose, IA on the Mississippi roadway. A lady was driving home when she crested a rise in the road [called Galland Hill]. As she topped this rise, "the whole air --- countryside and everything there at the top was a blood red. It looked like the place had been transformed into an inferno with no fire only this terrible red."

The event was localized, and she, extremely frightened, sped away and out of the anomalistic environment. She wrote to NICAP about this; another example of the pitiful fact that people had [and have] no proper place to report such experiences.


2005, Darwin, Australia. Two young women, roommates in a rented flat, were sitting on the floor talking. The windows were opened and quite a cacophony of insect and bird noises was manifest. Their pet cat was also sitting nearby. Then things got well beyond the norm. They felt a prickly sensation at the back of their necks. All external nature sounds stopped {love it when "OZ" happens in OZ}. The cat got agitated, it's hair standing up, just as their own. It began oddly pacing in a circle. Then the room turned completely yellow.

This yellow was "thick".

"I don't know how else to describe it, like you could cut a slice out of it, and an overwhelming heaviness came over the both of us." This "heaviness" seemed physical, and they felt somewhat bowed over with it. This state stuck them into a sort of paralyzed immobility while the cat, however, continued its odd circling. Then a slight movement of air coincided with the heaviness going. Shortly the light disappeared, the hair felt normal, the cat returned to natural behavior. And, they realized that the noises of Nature had returned.

I tell ya, there's mighty weird stuff goin' on in OZ.


1954, Newhaven Harbour, Sussex. Two adults had motored to the harbor to enjoy the view and spend time together. They stopped and she got out to view the ships, while he sat on the carseat with an open door. She turned and informed him that the lower part of his face was yellow. When he confirmed that in the car's mirror, she remarked that his hand was also yellow. Not to be alone in this, he then noticed that one side of her face was also yellow, and she had a circular yellow spot on her coat.

NONE OF THESE PATCHES CHANGED POSITION NOR BRIGHTNESS WHEN THEY MOVED.

As they glanced around, a line of white posts had taken on the same yellow from their base to halfway up their poles. This color was a distinct bright canary yellow shade. The phenomenon lasted a little over a minute, then switched off. While the experience was happening, the environment seemed otherwise unchanged, nor did they feel any other odd physiological effects.

The Sun was shining at the time, but through a dimming misty day. The report went to the Society for Psychical Research, which sort-of dismissed it as a "shared hallucination." Yeh, right.

This thing reminds me somewhat of another claim: 1961, Missoula, MT. It was reported to police authorities that somehow all manner of houses in the town had acquired an overnight appearance of yellow and orange circular patches on their white exteriors. People naturally would suspect meatballism, but the authorities seemed not to think so. On inspection, the patches seemed not to be color-add-ons [by teenage goofs for instance], but rather areas of the original paint discolored.

The "experts" of course tried to BS it away by imaging spontaneous changes in the paint, but with houses painted long ago and at different times, this was just hand-waving. The offending polka-dots cooperated by lasting only a few hours, before fading from their positions and from the experts' memories.


Is there any point to all this? You should decide for yourselves of course, but maybe it is a piece of the bigger puzzle in more ways than one.

My good buddy Jerry Clark was reading a book/article the other day wherein the author [not a student of anomalies] was nevertheless reflecting on "strange experiences." Jerry was struck, favorably, by one paragraph in particular:

***"I've come to the view that there's a place for an approach that dispenses with all the hand-wringing about what it means, and "could it be true?" and the self-conscious "no one's going to make a monkey out of me; I'm not going to have the wool pulled over my eyes no sirree!" pose, but simply accepts that this stuff happens, and now let's move on. The approach is not uncritical --- far from it, it considers obvious problems and challenges --- it just doesn't let itself get overwhelmed by skepticism." ***

Well, hooray for that fellow. That paragraph is, obviously, part of my life, and a foundationstone of this blog. And, about the Universe: it's a pretty big and DEEP place. Some say it runs on Quantum statistical "stuff." Do we really want to think that it can't burp up the occasional seriously odd event? there are probably many unexpected doors "out there."

... and what would happen to Out Proctor if all those doors were closed?

Happy Holidays, and stay safe friends.

Friday, December 13, 2013

IMPROBABLE POSSIBILITIES


Popcorn folks... just to be doing something.

Mainly weird claims of light phenomena.


Let's try something almost familiar to start:

1986: Icelandic Glacier. A group of twelve explorer-climbers had succeeded in climbing one of the glaciers and began their descent. They came to a sharp turn in the ice wall and were confronted by a "globe of multicolored light blocking the trail in front of them." Momentarily non-plussed, they conversed briefly, decided that they were not out of their minds, and began to approach the 30' diameter BOL.

This BOL seemed composed of every conceivable visual color, all of which were brilliant and "clear". As the group walked through this BOL, they could see the light colors all around them, and felt extremely calm. As they emerged, and this is perhaps the weirdest part of this, it was as if the light "clung" to their bodies for awhile, and they each had their own aura.

They turned and walked again through the BOL; some a number of times. Fascinating as this was, they knew that they had to complete their descent, and walked away. Turning, they saw the BOL shimmer, and then completely disappear --- ONLY THEN DID THEIR "AURAS" DISAPPEAR AS WELL!.

Hmmmm.... maybe that wasn't as "familiar" as I thought.


Well... try again.

Undated, possibly c.2000, Cleethorpes near Grimsby, UK. A husband and wife were at home, he gazing out the window, while she was on the phone. He spotted a ball of light [this was a small red one, not like my picture above --- sorry, you'll have to adjust] hurtling towards the house, and shouted to his wife to look out. She turned, dropping the phone, in time to see the BOL pass through the window and hit her husband right in the chest. BUT IT PASSED RIGHT THROUGH.

The wife ran over to her husband, who was apparently unaffected by the encounter. She raised up his shirt, and there was no evidence of the passage at all. The only resultant of the event was that it scared the heck out of them.

I view this as fair play. We walk through one BOL, so a BOL walks through us. Perfect symmetry.

Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking with it all the way Out Proctor.


OK. Let's see if we can find something more "reasonable".

2003, Richmond Park, Surrey {I think}, UK. Two {young?} males were walking in this park, when they saw a mass of light "pouring" itself over a wall. {Oh boy, here we go}. As it poured itself out, it constituted itself as a BOL and began bouncing along. It struck a tree, against which it appeared to stop as if "rubbing itself" against it [perhaps the paranormal BOL equivalent of a grizzly  bear]. It then bounced onto the road, crossing in front of a car, the driver of which also saw the thing. It went on and disappeared.

Then, as the two males continued to look in the area where the BOL had disappeared, from that position out stepped an creature looking like a small boy with an unusually large head. One dramatic flash later and the creature was also gone. One of the witnesses has become so interested in this that he set up a website [I never visited it] to inquire if any others had seen things like this, or other oddities in that park.

Now what have we? One BOL which we walk through; one BOL which walks through us; and one BOL out of which walks its own "inhabitant". The only case left is the one with no BOL at all and ourselves walking all over the place.

Well, we've plenty of that.


1950: Nairobi, Kenya. An older lady had a stroke which resulted in some paralysis. Her son was an executive with East African Railways and a no-nonsense pragmatic sort of fellow. Still, this was his Mom, and he would like to do something for her. Working for the railway administration was a South African who had gained reputation as a faith-healer. The railway executive reached out.

The purported faith-healer arrived at the man's house and went to meet with the older lady and her son and daughter-in-law. He seemed to go into some sort of trance as he laid hands upon the older lady, and began to vocalize. The man in this story was an avid astronomer with a dedicated outbuilding containing a good telescope. In the vocalization, the healer told the executive to go to his telescope and look at a certain area of the sky.

Out went the executive to look. There, where nothing belonged, were three "glowing objects". They then began to move and flew in formation across the sky. The man was flummoxed by all this. When he returned inside the main house, the healer broke from his trance, and the old lady sat up free of her paralysis. A reporter for the Daily Express in Nairobi interviewed the witnesses and wrote up the story. The editor refused to print it.

This tale is one of the messiest I've read in terms of grappling with hypotheses. What sort of a thing could have gone on here to incorporate the total elements? The one thing that we CAN be sure of is that the paper refused to print their reporter's interviews.


Let's try Africa again: 1970, Swakopmund, Namidia. {Namidian Desert}. Several mining engineers and other mining employees and their families were having a barbecue at their base camp in the desert. There were about 25-30 people there. It was well past sundown and the desert was pitch black and silent. The camp was located between mountain ridges on both sides which narrowed towards a river bed and and small gap leading out of the valley.

As the group enjoyed the last of the meal and star-gazing, a short distance down this valley erupted a wall of flame. This wall was about 80 feet high {an "eight story building"} and just like real fire, including palpable intense heat. The wall was complete in the sense that there were no gaps, like a theatre curtain made of flame. It even smelled like fireplace flame.

Panic broke out immediately and lasted through a few minutes, whereupon the phenomenon suddenly just switched off. The men all grabbed their guns and flashlights and went to the area where the fire wall seemed to have been. They found nothing. At dawn the next day, everyone went out, and again found no sign of the event --- even to lack of any grass scorching or sand discoloration.

And just to make this weirder if possible: shortly very small doll-like footprints were found near the camp's toolshed, though no such doll was around to create the impressions. Cats got into the act by behaving like weirdoes and demanding lots of lap-time and holding.

.... just another night in Namibia.

 ======================================================================

This site's acting up right now [won't load simple images], so I bail out at this moment. I have a handful more of these sorts of rare whackinesses, which I'll attempt to get to another day.

Happy Holidays and safe travel folks.

.... you don't think that "Friday the 13th" has anything to do with this do you?

Peace.



Thursday, November 28, 2013

THE UFO BEAUTY CONTEST, part five {and last, I think}.


One last time .....

The above is how you see this case represented on the internet [if it shows up anywhere at all].

The case: Waterdown, Ontario [often called Hamilton], March 18, 1975. A young man {19} was an amateur nature photographer, who was particularly interested in photographing raptors, in flight or otherwise. He'd been totally unsuccessful this day, and was beginning to go home.

He saw an unusual object flying strange flight paths, and decided to try to pick it up in the camera. His first shot hit the target, the second missed, and he got two more hits before it was out of range. In some ways this is weirdly like the Cluj situation. He went home and called the Hamilton newspaper. They asked him to bring his camera in and the film was developed there. People at MacMasters University, a local Astronomers organization, and finally an APRO field investigator were all impressed, and the photos deemed untampered. In Bondarchuk's UFO Canada {a pretty good "unknown" UFO book, by the way}, the photo series is referred to as "one of the most respected pieces of UFO evidence". This is a bit over-the-top in my view, as few people have even heard of it.


I hadn't heard of it either until I was sent two boxes of chaotic photographs by John Timmerman. He had neglected the job of trying to organize them for so long that he couldn't remember anything about the contents and was happy to stick me with the task of attempting identification. I was a failure on the majority and still refer to them as "John's Junk" affectionately. Some I could identify, and some were actually, blessedly, labeled. One of these labeled was an envelop with the Waterdown pictures.



These pictures {I found no negatives} were allegedly sent to Hynek to analyze. Except for him finding someone to play around with the exposure and magnification, I find no evidence that he did much, nor that he published it .... could be wrong here, and anything could be back at CUFOS.



These photos turn out to be sharper and somewhat different from the typical picture of this case as seen on the internet. In fact, what they show is either absurd or high strangeness.



This thing looks to me like an opaque "ball" {most of one anyway} sitting on the surface of a transparent thin disk. I'd not object to the hypothesis that it is a whole ball which protrudes slightly under the disk. Now what the heck is THAT?

Is it a "simple hoax"? Despite other aspects of the report? Could a small constructed object of these proportions sail well enough to get any distance in the air when thrown? Weird hoax construction regardless, if so.

If no hoax, then alternative hypotheses go rapidly towards zero. And, if no hoax, odd thoughts pass through ones mind as to whether there's any reason for the disk parts of crafts at all.

As to the theme of our last four posts: credibility is worse than with Cluj, though film development right out of the camera is a winner. Still, we have just one witness. Strangeness would be higher than Cluj, as the flightpath of the object was phenomenally loop-de-loop. The transparent disk is a bit strange as well.


I'll leave you to your meditations.....


or whatever you're doing today ......


..... and I'll end with my infamous Ohgi uh Bokum, and a hearty Happy Thanksgiving!!


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