Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WANAQUE 1966: part two.


THE EXPERTS DO THEIR THING:

I don't believe that the experts have a lot to be proud of here, but I don't know the whole story, and should keep my opinions moderate.

The Air Force was in top form throughout. They didn't even investigate the case formally as far as I can tell. This did not stop various representatives from voicing their theories that the BOL sightings were planets seen under odd atmospheric situations [maybe some were but that three-arc passage on January 11th... Sheesh!], or helicopters, which didn't exist with strobe beams [which turned out also not to exist], to ECHO satellite spottings, which is so preposterous as to make one wish that you could make citizen arrests on military people for violations of brain function. Yep, the good ol' Air Force was in its prime.

This case was NICAP's. They were the only big UFO group which was properly placed geographically AND with responsible intelligent personnel. And, on the surface, it seems that they rolled into Wanaque in force. The big mystery to me is : WHERE is the full case information on this very complex series of incidents? It MIGHT be somewhere buried in files or lost, but I've not seen even good hints of it.

NICAP published its January/February 1966 UFO Investigator with a two-column write-up of the investigation. The illustration above was its lone picture. Here are some of the highlights:

1]. NICAP taped the first witness, Howard Ball, newspaperman, who saw the thing in the north about 6:20pm. Well, that's good. Very little content was revealed, but Ball's statement that the thing moved away from him to the NNW is the wrong way for the rest of the scenario. No concern about this is mentioned.
2]. Next it's reported that the thing is south at the dam. I'd have wondered about that, but NICAP did not seem to be bothered. The fact that the FATE Magazine article writers seem to have gotten the sequence correct indicates to me that it was POSSIBLE to string these observations together. NICAP allegedly had something like SEVEN people there.
3]. Officer Dyckman was apparently interviewed [by Katchen and Paz?] and this too is good. Some quoting of him is made. Were the other officers interviewed?? They certainly were a cooperative friendly bunch to everyone who asked.
4]. The bogus rumors of a beam burning a hole in the ice was debunked [Standing applause on that] by interviewing engineer Fred Stein [this fellow is called Steines and Stennes also in print, so who knows what his name is].
5]. It is simply stated that officer Theodora saw the thing blinking on and off in the am hours and head off north --- other sources said west into the mountains. Was this an interview?
6]. January 12th evening Wardlaw and Cisco [actually Sisco, they got the two guys mixed up] are stated as seeing a disk which maneuvered faster than a jet. NICAP language seemed straining a bit to maximize "strangeness".
7]. No further comment was made about reports from the 13th, 14th, 19th, nor any civilians whatever. I'm not at all "happy" with the effort here.

Well, SOMETHING at least was done, fragmented as it was. There has to be a reason for this: too busy, bigger fish to fry, not "strange" enough --- who knows? No mention of this occurs in other NICAP publications, and Dick Hall doesn't think enough of the case to put it in his UFO Evidence Two. ... Sigh.

Well, in consolation, everyone else was worse. Hayden Hewes was next to publish about the case in his Interplanetary Intelligence Report of March 1966. He was quick because Augie Roberts was on his board of experts. THAT of course spells immediate doom and the half=page report has exaggerated enthusiasms. Several Hundreds of people saw the thing , for example. Augie Roberts contributed the photo above for Hewes, claiming to have camped out several days and finally snapped this on January 22nd. You be the judge as to how impressed you are with this streak of light on a photo filled with streaks of light. Roberts claims to have interviewed a person not named anywhere else, Tom Garrison, who saw the thing come down to treetop level, dimming and brightening. If that last is true, it adds something.

FLYING SAUCER REVIEW was next with its April 1966 issue. In its World UFO Roundup pages, a fellow from Florida sent the newsclipping from the Newark Evening News of January 12th, and FSR transcribed it. This clipping could actually have been written by one of the witnesses as two different newsmen from east of Wanaque supposedly had observations. The information in this news story seems pretty good, so that FSR didn't misinform its readers much. However, the "bolt of light" directed out of the object towards the water is repeated. {I am going through these "references" because they are opening my eyes a bit as to how the UFO community's newsletters themselves embed bad information which will then stick in people's heads. In this case, unless you read, and believe, the NICAP work, you will come away thinking that this BOL beamed energy at the reservoir and burnt a hole in the ice. THAT, in turn might build up in your mind some odd theories about BOLs or UFOs.}.

APRO followed in its May/June BULLETIN with a column=length report. This case was WAY out of APRO's territory and they probably should have just left it alone. Working it seems entirely from newsclippings, they put forward some accurate information, then restate the bogus "bolt-of-light" comment which Stein/Steines/Stennes refuted, and claimed wild maneuvering at the dam for two-and-a-half hours.

Lastly, the main clown of UFOlogy, James Moseley, decided to cover the incidents in his June 1966 version of Saucer News. This was about a page and a half. Stating that he himself lived only twenty miles away [something which, I guess, authorizes his opinion], he says that he led an investigation of these matters with Augie Roberts, Timothy Green Beckley, and two other members of his staff, The writeup is mainly from newsclippings but, if you can trust it, does mention a few interesting things.

1]. It perpetuates the allusion that the thing produced a hole in the ice [negative points for that];
2]. It knows that Officer Cisco's wife saw the thing in the daytime, despite misspelling her name;
3]. It knows about the CBRangers' "fat cigar" case, with radio e-m effects--- missed by NICAP;
4]. It knows about Wallach's case, though it doesn't quite get it right [also missed by NICAP];
5]. They seem to have actually interviewed David Sisco, who wondered about draining water;
6]. It knew of a later March case where the Mother Superior of the local convent spotted the thing;
7]. And of course it took a shot at NICAP, Don Berliner, and the Air Force.

This COULD have added something to the case if any of the civilian observers had been really interviewed and those findings written up. But no way --- hard field work and analysis is no fun. As usual, there is no depth whatever in anything Moseley did.


The final "contribution" of the external UFO community at this time was an extensive article written for [maybe] the New York Daily News [his employer] but available to the UFO community via one of DELL's Flying Saucers: UFO Reports [#2]. The author's name: Joseph Goodavage. Some of you might recognize that. I will try not to let it prejudice me.

Goodavage goes to Wanaque early on with an assignment from his newspaper. He finds the local Reservoir Police extraordinarily friendly and cooperative, even staying over at one's home. On the evening of the 13th, Joe Cisco takes him out on the perimeter road to a "private" type viewing area. It's 10pm and cold. Cisco stays in the car, but Goodavage braves it out. Then:

"... something hanging in the sky, its light flashing bright and dim in rapid sequence. It first moved with a lazy pendulum-like action, then spurted at breath-taking speeds for short distances. Every few seconds it made completely impossible 'angular' turns. Once, it shot vertically upward, came to an incredible dead stop, then spiraled downward until it came to rest --- seeming on top of some trees between two small mountains. I estimated its distance at about two miles. ... Then it fluttered-wobbled slowly off toward the west".

This description, if one assumes that the mad gyrations were of somewhat short distances, is quite in keeping with other reports and may in fact be a good one. The object, by the way, seems to have been simply a bright white BOL. Goodavage was hoping to see more detail than this and employed the trick of looking slightly to the side of the BOL when it hovered. He thought that he might be seeing discrete portholes. We should not value this limits-of-vision remark too highly however. Then, sudden vanishment.

At the moment of disappearance, Goodavage had three "impressions", which each of us can take as internally or externally caused.
1). He felt a prickling sensation all over his body, as if hair was rising on hands, legs, head, and torso;
2). He felt that some pressure was pressing on him all around;
3). and after a few steps toward the squad car: a crackling whining electric motor sound all around, seeming to come from overhead.

Officer Cisco felt nor heard any of this.

He says quite a few other things, about other possible reports by witnesses, but his own experience is the dramatic element of the piece. He speaks of another newsman who is sold on the beam and hole-in-ice element, and seems to credit the story himself. He speaks of witnessing with other locals a distant red BOL. He speaks of another case of a flickering BOL which just goes out. [seen by him and two of the police]. He talks about the Wallach case, getting his name right and a more detailed story. Peculiarly he names Don Berliner as a guy who came along shortly after the event and suggested testing the stopped car to the police. Now, if Don knew of the Wallach case, why in the Hell is it not in the NICAP newsletter report?? Something messed this up at NICAP HQ. Goodavage shows his feet-of-clay by publishing the picture above as a picture of the thing, when any mildly educated sciency person recognizes it instantly as a galaxy. [ I've taped the reader's "hey you got fooled" letter about this on the top of the picture as you see]. Pretty embarrassing. He also accepts a pretty nearly preposterous statement by an acquaintance who claims to be friends with CIA director Allen Dulles, who just happened to sloppily inform him that the CIA was setting up a special UFO study unit. Yep. Dulles. Very wide-between-the-teeth type of guy.

I take two things away from Goodavage's article:
A). He made a honest effort to get information on the events, and proved that the local police were beyond cooperative so as to allow him to do so;
B). His own case is interesting and probably legit. We would need an interview with Joe Cisco to nail that down. The strange element in his sighting is however up for debate. Not only does it honestly bring up subjectivity, but there is another small reason, for me, to doubt it.

Goodavage was one of "us" folks in a very recognizable way: he loved all manner of anomalies and "forbidden mysteries". When he wasn't wasting his time on conventional astrology [whoops, I said I'd try NOT to downplay his good sense by going there --- so apologies], he flirted rather heavily with the effects of magnetic fields on the human nervous system, once volunteering for some rather high intensity exposures. These interests led him to the work of Michael Persinger, and Persinger's theories that you can explain essentially any anomalous report, honestly made, by the brain of the reporters being zig-zagged by fluctuating magnetic fields. I'll go no further into Persinger's claims. They are precisely like Menzel's. They might just explain an occasional odd report, but generally they miss the mark by miles.

Rather, what I think is at least a little interesting is that Goodavage wrote the above book, all about Solar Storms altering the ionosphere and affecting central nervous systems. This, in its way, is precisely in the wheelhouse of his own Wanaque experience. In fact the alleged CIA-knowing buddy told him that electromagnetic fields from the UFO were exactly what caused his three "impressions". Well, maybe [if so the UFO went invisible and right over his head]. But here's why I regard this weakly: I don't think that Goodavage believed it himself. Here was this book, screaming for him to mention his own form-fitting experience, and ... nothing. No mention at all.

Perhaps that's too much surmise on my part, but I'm going to take his case only so far.


That's enough for part two.

If you're wondering what the above picture is, too bad. I know and I'm not tellin'. Why should I have to do all the work anyway...

Hint: it's completely meaningless.

Was Wanaque??

Till next time, when things begin to get more interesting. [how's that for a teaser?]


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WANAQUE 1966, part one: microcosm of UFOlogy


This seems very complicated, so let's just plough into it and see if any sense can be made.

First, a little note as to how the idea to look into the case[s] even arose recently.

The Center for UFO Studies had a communication from an old colleague, Greg Long, who had written a very good review book on the Yakima, WA "UFO" phenomenon [which is largely but not wholly BOL experiences]. The business is fascinating to say the least, and a good read.

Greg wanted to congratulate me and the UFO History Group on UFOs and Government, and to float the idea that one thing that he has always wanted to do was to write a general review book on the BOL phenomenon worldwide. [A huge task]. He said that our book "pushed him over the edge" in his resolve. And, I, for one, can't wait to see what he does with the topic, as, to me, the Balls-of-Light are the area in UFOlogy most easily seen as "natural physical phenomena" OR part of the UFO phenomenon OR some ancient nature-spirit phenomenon OR even in the "ghost" category. Other aspects of UFOlogy seem to drift much more strongly towards one hypothesis or another. BOLs seem to resist that.

In order to kickstart his research, he was data-gathering and had focussed on three cases that he wanted some file material on. Wanaque was one of them. CUFOS in Chicago has tried to help and so have I. When I looked at my case files, I was a little surprised to find only bare shreds on Wanaque. Maybe I shouldn't have been. The UFO world is a big place and you can't read it all. All of us are going to be ignorant , even on famous pieces of it now and then.

But I wanted to be at least a little helpful, so I began looking for resources. .... and got stuck in this thing. This is REALLY complicated, and generally poorly investigated [at least as far as the resources available to me would indicate]. But it definitely "has a story". So, admitting that we're playing with a deck missing several cards, what can be said?

A: WHAT DID "THE PAPERS" SAY?



When you dive into Wanaque, you find that you're not dealing with one "UFO" case but many. For purposes of sanity, it's convenient [though mildly inaccurate] to consider the Wanaque cases to be mainly composed of two clusters of incidents in 1966, one in mid-January and the other almost exactly nine months later in October. In this first swipe at the phenomenon, I'm going to look only at the January incidents.

The second thing that strikes you [very favorably] is that the January cluster has a boatload of witnesses, lots of whom are "in plain sight", and many of whom are policemen. So... good start.

The third thing is that no REALLY good investigation seems to have been made. Because of that, I'm going to begin by saying what the newspapers got from the witnesses and put in their stories. The cast-of-characters above figures prominently in this, and several of them in the October events as well.


The above is my guess at the January action. Take it with a grain of salt. Who knows?, it might even be correct. Secondly, my scanner took the day off on reproducing any intensity of red. So, what we're supposed to get from the map is a long [now light pink line] arcing north to south from Ringwood all the way out of the picture past Pompton Plains. That long arc may have been the first stage of the events of January 11th. Then, the thing returns on the orange line, hangs about the Raymond Dam on the Wanaque Reservoir, then the blue line indicates the third stage over the city and leaving again south. After a break of a few hours, and now early in the January 12th hours, the thing seems to show up over Wyckoff and take the heading indicated towards the Dam where it hangs about again. These pathways are what I can surmise from the newspaper clippings, plus a blow-by-blow article out of FATE Magazine, which although written by guys I don't automatically trust, does, in this case, seem to match the news reports pretty well.

So, allegedly: something was seen in the north over Ringwood at about 6:20-6:30pm. It cruised southward passing over Wanaque city, including the high school, the dam, the mining pit south of town, the highway crossover point on Ringwood Avenue, and leaving to the southern horizon. This southern passage seems to have been a relatively slow, steady cruise, but one which caught people's, then police attention. There wasn't much to it otherwise: a slow-moving bright light, much brighter than a star.

B. STAGE TWO: It seems to be on the trip back that everyone gets involved.

By 6:45pm, the thing is seen coming back. Officer Joe Cisco spots it, then Officer Delano sees it hovering over the Raymond Dam [The Raymond Dam is directly under the point of the orange arrow on the map]. This is c.7pm. Delano radio's Officer Dyckman, who with two teenage boys, also sees the light. Generally this light is described as very bright, low in the sky, probably slowly dimming and brightening, but NOT rapid pulsing, slow-moving or hovering, silent, and possibly turning. Dyckman seems to have gotten much more excited about the thing than anyone else, being described as "visibly shaken". He also is one of the few who thinks the light is extremely blindingly bright, and who describes it as "discoidal" or oval.

Fairly soon after this Officer Theodora also sees the light, and it seems to be he who wonders about a hole in the reservoir ice he sees. As the thing seems to be happy to hang around the reservoir awhile, even the Mayor and several councilmen go out to see it. The Mayor brings his 14-year-old son, who notices that the light is slowly changing hues from white to red to green to white again. Some of the observers get to watch occasional erratic whipping about, dipping, and approaching the water surface activities. On one of these dips, the object's light shone strong on the surface producing a circle about 9' in diameter. The observers judged, due to this view, that the object was quite small, in the 2-to-9 foot diameter range. Three reservoir engineers were at the top of the dam to observe, and made this estimate. One was reported in the newspapers as seeing a "beam" directed at the waters. This was typical bad newspaper rumor mill reporting, and the engineer did not say that.

By 8pm to 8:30pm, the visitor apparently decided to leave.

C. STAGE THREE: A cruise over the town and back south.

The BOL began to move, again leisurely, sometime after 8pm, going north over the city and pausing over the Lakeland Regional High School. It then turned back south and seems to have paused over the Houdaille sand-mine pit in Haskell. It left southerly over Pompton Lakes and beyond. This southernly excursion had occurred after almost a full hour of wandering or hovering near the dam.

People stayed out looking for a return, but by midnight nothing more happened. Then, at about 2am, the two officers named, oddly, Cisco [Joe] and Sisco [David] got word that the thing had been seen over Wyckoff to the East and was traveling towards the dam. It arrived at the dam at about 2:30am and was witnessed there by three officers: Sisco, Wardlaw, and Theodora. Theodora tried to get a picture but the print showed only a small fuzzy light. The event concluded at about 4:15am, when, it seems, the light just suddenly disappeared [although the reports could be a lot clearer on this for my taste].


D. PEERING INTO THE AFTERMATH ZOO.

Word got around quickly [this IS afterall very near the Ultimate Zoo, New York City], and by the 13th lots was happening, almost all unproductive. Cars of thrill-seekers were all over cramping up the roads and causing accidents [this went on for days]. TRUE Magazine allegedly sent a man down, though I have nothing on that element of this, unless he was the same guy who was writing for the New York Daily News. Sadly, UFO mischief-maker, Augie Roberts, was a nearby resident and he showed up to add to the confusion. [Roberts was one of that merry little band of screw-offs which included Gray Barker and Jim Moseley, who early on decided to make UFOlogy a personal playground with no regard for truth.] Roberts immediately began discoursing authoritatively about UFOs, claiming to have a picture of the Wanaque thing, and speculating that the government was testing antigravity technology over the reservoir. Yep, a true seeker.... of something. The USAF didn't do any better, immediately announcing that the witnesses had seen Venus and Jupiter.

There were two alleged sightings just before midnight and at 4am on the morning of the 13th. The midnight sighting was by two guys who saw a similar bobbing reddish-tinged BOL of very bright light.  The 4am sighting was of a very bright baseball-sized light which swooped in on the Water Treatment Plant , didn't like it as much as the reservoir, and took back off at high speed. The USAF shortly rumored the possibility of a helicopter with a bright strobe beam, but the local base commander went public with the news that the base didn't have any helicopters. This was replaced by some Air Force goon's opinion that the witnesses had been seeing one of the two Echo satellites. The stupidity of some of these people beggars the imagination. Over 1000 waited patiently in crammed cars for new sightings which didn't come.

Luckier were two members of a swarm of CB Rangers who had come over to do 24/7 reconnaissance in the evening. None of them saw anything on night one, but on the next night, two guys claimed something completely different: a dark-colored "fat cigar-shaped object" about 30-40 feet long. It had amber-colored lights of fluorescent quality. They claimed that it was only 150 feet away. I have found no one who did anything with this case. The two also said that their radios malfunctioned when the thing was around. Meanwhile, Augie Roberts said that the object wouldn't remain in the area long --- on what grounds is anyone's guess.

On the 15th and 16th NICAP showed up in force. Committe members White and Pagano first, then Don Berliner leading a contingent from DC including even Gordon Lore [I wish it had been Ted Bloecher and Isabel Davis, maybe we'd have gotten a more comprehensive case file.] The locals were impressed, believing NICAP to be a quasi-official part of the federal government. Somewhat less impressive was the letter received by the Mayor from UFO/Paranormal nut, Ted Owens. Signing himself as "The Rainmaker", he stated that the Mayor should send him money so he and his family could come up from Philadelphia. At that time, he would use his powers to "call in" the UFO, because he knew just how to do that. The Mayor did not request funding from City Council.

Nothing happened until the 19th, when a local engineer was confronted by a bright blue BOL which swooped down on his car. He immediately took his car off the road and watched as the thing seemed to perch on the telephone wires. Another car came and seemed to just suddenly stop functioning --- this was surmise by the engineer due to the suddenness of the stop. He immediately floored his accelerator and left the scene. Police went looking for the other car unsuccessfully.

Nothing happened again for a week. NICAP came back on the 27th to lead a well-attended town meeting on the subject. The only known result of this was the setting up of a three part series on UFOs for the local newspaper.


That's part one, folks. More weirdness and maybe even some light next time ... if I get any clarity myself. Till then, blessings on what is for me a fine snowy wintry evening.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Everyday Spirituality: Beauty.


{ this is my normal caution for readers coming here to read about anomalies. This isn't one of those days. On rare occasions I post something about the felt presence of the spiritual in ordinary circumstances that any of us experience. Some folks are uncomfortable with "too much poetic spirituality" so I'm putting out the warning. Just wait until next time and I'll be back to "abnormal". I'm reading something from Ivan about a UFO case and may try to make sense of it then.}


But for me this is at least as important.


There are those who find it difficult to feel the Spiritual on a day like this, but for me it permeates everything. Like the Minnesota folksinger, Peter Mayer, sings: " Now, the challenging thing becomes, not to look for Miracles, but finding where there ISN'T one". The whole Creation is one Great Miracle Act, and you can feel the presence and hear the Voice that brought it all about if you just open eyes, ears, soul and listen.

That chilly scene is dense with beauty. What "beauty" is I don't know, and will never know. But it's there.


Philosophers across the centuries have failed to understand beauty, and science's efforts are even more off the mark. I'll not try. There just seems to be a certain "rightness" about the beautiful, something more than the subject of the beautiful display itself. That "beyond" touches us with its rightness, and "communes" somehow. One feels that the beauty "comes into you" if you let it, and makes you feel more whole.


Despite the gorgeous glory of Ms Gene Tierney above, beauty isn't at all about gender attraction of the animal kind. In fact, that is almost precisely NOT what beauty is about. Beauty CAN be in the gorgeous, but it can be in the decidedly NON-gorgeous. I was sitting outside enjoying this "beautiful" wintry day and along came "an old friend". For years I have watched this old black man shuffle along walking his old black dog. I hadn't seen him for quite some time, and hoped he was doing well. There he was: a big hello, a smile, a how're you doing?, a that's great!. It was right. It was fine. It was beautiful.


The Lord was giving me great privileges today. His wonderful Creation, the Old Man and the Old Dog, the snowflakes and the exercise of shoveling them. There were marvels everywhere. Just beside my outdoor chair stands a table. Just a couple of days ago it was perfectly snow-layered, and, yes, beautiful. Yesterday the slight warming created the phenomenon that you see: the snow had crept back "just so" all around the edge.

The scientist in me knows that this [really amazing when you meditate upon it] regularity is caused by fundamental physical laws. The frontier scientist in me knows that these laws are expressions of physical law laid down far back at the very beginning of the Universe. The spiritual person, who IS me, knows that I am in the presence of the still-operating Creative Word of God.

There It is, in the most ordinary of things: God's Voice still speaking.

"The challenging thing becomes, not to look for Miracles, but finding where there isn't one".


The continuing sounds of those Words can be heard and seen everywhere if we just let ourselves open to them.

Marvels. Marvels uncountable. Even in the Old Man and the shoveling of the snow.


Blessings folks. As the Pieman says: God makes The Apples; I just make the Pies.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Short Triviality: The Rope Trick addendum.


More sifting through Sandersonia: doing this the other night, my buddy came across a reference to the odd lights phenomena occurring during the so-called "Welsh Religious Revival". The reference had nothing to do with the Indian Rope Trick. It DID remind me that The British Society for Psychical Research had a member do quite an effort of researching that phenomenon and they had published a lengthy report in their PROCEEDINGS.

Forgetting two things [one, I already had a reprint of that exact thing from William Corliss; and two, my copies of early SPR materials is composed almost entirely of the little Journals and not the Proceedings], I happily indulged my ignorance with paging through the Journals looking for new information. There was one discussion of the Welsh Revival lights which was interesting, but not enough to make an added posting here. But, in the process, I turned a page and there was a person sending in her personal witnessing of the Indian Rope Trick.


Maybe this isn't worth posting either, but I believe that it is. This will certainly be a rarely-seen piece of "evidence" about a debated phenomenon, [as we saw earlier in the blog], but regardless of the validity of this particular claimed event, this brings up "analytical" questions.

As you can [hopefully] read: the witness here was a married woman visiting India with her husband, and not very interested in these "conjuring" matters. She was on an upper story verandah looking down on the action described from some height. The "trickster" was in the square below. She then says the most unbelievable thing:  "They, among many other tricks, did the 'rope trick'. That is, one of them threw a rope into the air which hitched itself up to apparently nothing in the sky above; ONE COULD SEE THE ROPE GOING STRAIGHT UP AS FAR AS ONE COULD SEE ANYTHING {obviously I'm doing the capitalization of this mind-bending comment}, and it certainly did not on being thrown up at once fall back to the earth again."

Now --- she is asking us to believe that she sees this conjuror, standing well-below the verandah that she is on, and who is directing himself to his audience down there at street-level [she doesn't even feel connected to the performance], toss a rope which not only soars past her verandah's height but so far into the sky that she can't make out the top. Then a boy climbs the whole thing and he too goes out of sight. Regardless of the rest of the claims, they don't add much to the enigma here, as they are very like normal stage magic.

Well.... she's lying, or she's weirding out some way, or she's telling something that really happened.

Guessing time: a]. I don't get the mere lying hypothesis. She's known to one of the members. Her letter doesn't seem to be "selling" anything. She seems humble about her tale, and even, frankly, a bit of a dingbat. [even though a highly literate one]. I'm not comfortable that this is a lie.

b]. I can hardly swallow the "it really happened" hypothesis. Despite our previous blog entry, wherein Jacolliot gives us reason to believe that real yogis can demonstrate very unusual abilities, they seem never to be street-entertainers, nor in any way pandering to the random citizenry. The whole atmosphere of the event is wrong.

c]. Did she weird-out?, and if so how? Someone, as you read, tried to tell her she was "hypnotized". Yeh, right. On the high verandah with a hundred other people both close and distant. THAT would be a greater wonder than the rope going up in the air. But if not THAT, what?

I have no good ideas, but I weakly prefer that there is something wrong with her memories of this that is not lying. What could it be? Could the event have never happened but she had a very vivid dream about the famous trick as it is grossly famously described? In the seven years between the alleged event and the writing of her letter, did the vivid dream shift from dreamscape to realityscape? When I was very young, such mixing up of dream and reality happened occasionally, and in my Mom's last years it happened quite frequently to her. I have no evidence of course, but one wonders.


If such reports COULD be dream shifts, then they tell us something about investigating the anomalies: get there quickly investigators, and have multiple testimonies or other supporting evidence.

At least this post gave me the excuse to "honor" Batman doing the ropetrick, but mainly Yvonne Craig being Batgirl in full regalia.

So it wasn't a waste of time afterall.

Peace and have a little fun, too.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Siftings: NUNNEHI.



Hello folks. Now that Ivan Sanderson's book and notebook and journal collection is in fairly good order, [read: on shelves and pretty accessible], the long task of sifting through the "unorganized boxes of paper" is beginning in earnest. The above pictures show some "once-through" sorted materials at the top, and a partially mined "chaos box" at the bottom. Going through these things is an adventure, but since such a high percentage of it is VERY low-grade ore, it helps to have someone to sit across the table with and share the job. Other than that, believe it or not, I find the task pretty tedious.

But, it has its rewarding moments.


In that box above, completely separate from any similar content, Ivan had a very poor-quality copy of several pages of James Mooney's MYTHS of the CHEROKEE from the Bureau of American Ethnology Annual Report for 1897-8. He had cut up these pages and pasted them onto a few sheets of paper with no attribution whatever --- there could have been other pages somewhere else or lost, but this was just an enigma. I don't know why I even bothered to squint away at the crumby document, but I'm glad that I did. [As you can tell from my lead-in, the title page above, nor the picture pages below, were with the cut up "article"; I found them later when I got interested enough to do the detective work on what this was].

What it was was the field information gathered about a type of paranormal being [society of beings] who resemble old Celtic ideas of the Siddhe --- not the little people of Faerie, but the full-sized entities more like the Tuatha DeDanaan. I was surprised by both the tale told and the fact that Sanderson was even interested, as he shows little interest in such things elsewhere in the collection. Ivan didn't really like the paranormal that much. Maybe he thought that this tale hinted of something more like a "lost tribe".

Well, I am very interested even if Ivan was only luke warm. The introduction to the story that I'm going to tell shortly spoke of this "race" of "magical"/ paranormal beings called the Nunne'hi. They were described as full-sized persons, looking just like the local Native Americans, and mainly friendly and occasionally helpful. As they were described I got more interested. They liked singing and dancing in the forests. Some were said to reside under ancient mounds --- WHOA! just a minute, I thought, what's going on here? The Cherokee and the Celts aren't supposed to have made up the same myths!

Then I read the story which had been collected. There it was: the characteristic of a tale about an actual Encounter, rather than a dramatized folkwisdom tale for around-the-campfire.

The story takes place in a forested mountain setting which would be just fine for ancient Ireland or Wales or Scotland. This tale differed from the others in that Mooney's informant [colleague?] got it first hand from the person to whom it had happened. Not only did Wafford [Mooney's confidant] hear this from the experiencer, but had heard it previously from several second hand sources [which is why he looked the fellow up for an interview]. All of Wafford's sources said that this man was "a truthful, hard-headed man". Here is what he was told:

When he was 10-12 years old he was practicing with bow-and-arrow near the river and got tired of it. He sat on the riverbank building a fish trap, and was piling up some stones to wall in the fish. A normal looking stranger came up to him, remarked that this looked like hard work, and he should take a break. The boy was quite willing to do that, but didn't know if the next offer [to come up the river and have dinner at the stranger's house] was the right thing to do. But customs were different in those days, and the boy went along.

The house was fine and the people very friendly. He had a nice meal, and while doing so, a friend of his family arrived at the stranger's house, and that made him feel at home. He played with the family's children, went to sleep, woke in the morning, had breakfast, and began to get started for home. He and the original gentleman began walking down a path between a cornfield on one side and a peach orchard on the other. Soon the trail connected with another one, and the man said: go by this trail to the ridge ahead and you'll come to the river road. That will take you straight home. And he turned and went back to his house and farm.

And this is the punchline....


The boy walked just a little way towards the river, and, in curiosity, turned and looked back. There was no peach orchard nor cornfield. There was no house nor trail. There was only the mountainside and the trees.

The Irish know all about what happened there. Whether it's called "The Lost Sod" or the "World Alongside", the boy had passed into the parallel world of the Nunne'hi and, just there, passed back out again.

He continued uneventfully back home, where he was greeted by many who had been looking for him. In explanation, he told his story. He saw the family friend who had visited that house also that evening. But the friend said: no, I have been with everyone else looking for you. His family told him that no house was there and that the family friend was an impersonation by the Nunne'hi. They told him that there have sometimes been the sounds of drumming coming from that mountainside, but he had visited no men, but the Nunne'hi.


The more that I find of this stuff [and it has been a walloping great mound of it], the less possible I believe that one can sustain that nothing paranormal is going on in these incidents. How is the "coincidence" of these characteristics across the ocean possible, if not because they both arise from a real underlying shared cause? The Cherokee even have their second and separate group of knee-high little people to go along with the 5+ footers. I will probably go to my grave "All-The-Way-Fool" in my belief in this all-too-infrequently-manifested reality. "They" are one of the few things that I've not experienced and would like to do so.  Just for fun.


Of course, if The Trickster is the same sort of entity operating covertly, then maybe I have already had the pleasure. Still, wouldn't mind seeing a little circle of forest-path dancers one day.

Till next time... Peace and hope you had some love on Valentine's Day.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Charles Fort: "I Think We Are Fished For."


Folks, here's something WAY Out Proctor. I can't get serious enough to plough into anything very deeply, so, what the heck, might as well have some fun.

In August of 1970 something very odd seemed to have happened in Caldwell, NJ, more or less in the backyard of John Keel, SITU, and Ivan Sanderson. Naturally [?UNnaturally?], they got involved.

Keel seems to have found out about this first, and he may even have been the one to write the article below describing the anomaly.

That article states, as hopefully you can read for yourself, that many residents of Caldwell plus the police had seen what appeared to be long stretches of glistening wire in the sky. This whatever-it-was was high in the clouds and seen only at the just-right Sun angles. Being up there so long, it was attracting a lot of attention.

The "line in the sky" looked to be stretched tight. It seemed to begin unseen, stretch across long distances, and end unseen. What was it attached to? How was it possible? If only the thing would drop down, maybe we could figure something out.

Well, drop down it finally did.


When in late August Keel told Sanderson about the line-in-the-sky, SITU consultant Berthold Schwarz went up to Caldwell. Sanderson may have gone with him as the article [below] in PURSUIT says "We" went up.

The original write-up by Keel for the SITU rival magazine, INFO Journal, said that on August 31st, the main witnesses of the second stage of this saga heard a significantly loud BOOM, which was coincident with what appeared to be a portion of the skyline falling to the ground nearby.

Specimens were taken by witnesses and by police, John Keel was given some of the stuff by the prime witness, and the sheriff's office scooped up the rest. Keel claimed to know that the material was nylon fishing line, a "fact" that he seems to have deduced himself by visiting a fishing goods store and eyeballing the products there.

Schwarz' report to SITU was slightly different, though similar in the important claim. Schwarz was told that there seemed to be several "lines-in-the-sky", not just one. Schwarz or Sanderson took samples given to Schwarz and had them looked at by chemists at DuPont. The substance was said to be a caprolactam nylon.

The incident of the falling-down seems to mean that something severed and that "one end" fell to the ground. This "end" was then pulled on by the property owners, whereupon the line snapped. Allegedly later, another end dropped down and four boys pulled down another wad of it taking about an hour to do so.



... and since YOU want to see what it looked like, here it is.

The smaller piece was given to Sanderson by Keel; the longer piece was given to Sanderson by Schwarz. The material is flexible but somewhat stiff. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the stiffness as this could be the result of 40+ years of age. The stuff is translucent and slightly tinged towards the yellow.

... now don't I deserve a little round of applause for showing everybody what this stuff looked like? OK. OK. It's just my job. I get it. Still, I'm treating myself to a nice lunch featuring ... FISH!!


A little over a year later, Ivan was back at it in PURSUIT. "More Sky-Lines" the title said. Well, it's hard to say that I welcomed that or not. Fishinglines hanging across the sky is a pretty freaky element of a Universe to be living in, and might be one of those things that you'd like to believe got made up by someone, or just forget about it. But nope. Here was Ivan again to torment us.

In the new article Ivan reveals that the amount of the lines which fell into a swimming pool filled a 55-gallon drum. Also, SITU was having a tough time nailing the exact substance down, as DuPont had come to the conclusion that although this was a type of nylon, they didn't make that type. Allegedly also, and a bit surprising to me since the diameter of this stuff is so small, the lines were hollow --- like very thin long tubes. Over time, these hollows filled up with some other solid chemical. Maybe this was a degeneration product of the substance being exposed to whatever it was in the lab.

Then by a mind-bending coincidence, Sanderson was confronted with another witness from an entirely different town. This witness had the lines fall on her fire escape and it was so entangled that she'd just left it there. This stimulated another "field excursion" [to Manhatten Island!], and a second and somewhat different specimen of a fishingline from the sky was obtained. This, and a second fall in a yard nearby, had happened at much different months/days [at least one of these dates is March 21st, 1971; the second incident would have been in 1972].

Well, isn't that great?! Something mind-boggling that I'd like to forget, and now Ivan's piling it on.


OK, you anomalies-greedy folks: here's what the second stuff looked like.


... and here they are side-by-side.

The "new" stuff is slightly thinner, more flexible, and more "silvery". Other than that, it's just as confusing --- assuming no one's lying.

But Ivan has no mercy. He then insisted upon telling us that another such case had just happened in Elberton, Georgia. It WASN'T just crazy folks in the NYC area. (FATE magazine reported this one too, so it had a little more reach than just Keel and SITU).

Here again was a long shining "kite-string" stretching across the sky. The primary witness' son-in-law climbed a building to snag onto it and haul in several yards. Now, the description of this stuff is whacko-weird. Read it for yourself: different materials depending upon which "direction" it was being pulled from??? Now "consarn it!" THAT doesn't make ANY sense at all. Something's wrong with the "translation" by the news writer. ------------- I hope.

Well, maybe that's the end of that...............

Oh come on!!!


There are times when you think that you're a Wise Owl, when you're obviously just a Boggled Bird.

This is one of those times. I have no idea whatever what really lies behind this. It would be easy to be one of those birds who gets up in their restricted universe box, reads this, and rapidly writes it off as kite strings [or some similar knee-jerk hypothesis]. Maybe something like that is the answer, but as the football analyst says: "Not so fast, my friend!!". I am going to need some reasonable thought about how such lines stay up there for days and weeks. I am going to need some reasonable thought as to how they seem to be stretched tight. I am going to need some reasonable thought as to why you can tug on these things from ground level, feel quite a bit of resistance, finally becoming so great that the line snaps.

Reductionist materialist model?? Great!! I'm up for it. But show me the money. Maybe we have large white Cloud Owls having tugs-of-war while "sitting" happily in their fluffy white Aerial Kingdoms. Sounds about as good as some of the alternatives....


Out Proctor we go, in search of greater chaos. Here's ole "Uncle Ray" of Tucson, AZ talking about little streamers coming down from a UFO and attaching themselves to a local's TV antenna. "Angelhair"? Sure, I guess.... do we know what we're talking about even though we've made up a label??


Hmmmmm..... little lengths of thin wire coming down in a yard in Pennsylvania in 1959..... a 750-foot length of thick cable draped across houses in Oakland, CA in 1946............ uh..........


Are you serious?!!!!!!!!!

UFOs on a YoYo string..................................uh oh.


Miniature fairies going up and down a string appearing from the ceiling........... call the CSICOPS!!



OK. Who's happier about this? Charles Fort or Aime Michel's cat?? Doubtless both are reveling in their afterlives at their intellectual superiority over the rest of us. Actually, it might be one of THEM who's doing this. .... hmmm .... hypothesis # 48976257885.

Well, it can't get any worse.



..... garden hoses just disappearing into the ground..... maybe it can get worse.


But at least we know what THAT's all about ... yep, sure we do.... no question.


That's IT!!! Richard Shaver and Ray Palmer!!! THEY're behind all of this! Finally, something makes sense.


From the classic work, Poems of the Legends of Out Proctor, a rare book:

Far UP in the Holler
There's an Ole Fishin' Hole
Not Many Has Found It
And Fewer Has Tole.

It ain't got no Bottom
That's easy to see
But look jist the Right Way
At the Bottom YE be.

Far UP in Out Proctor
There's an Ole Fishin' Hole
There's Goblins around It
And for Us they troll.

Mountain William

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