Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stopping Point

All. I have to stop this little experiment in the history of the anomalies [especially with focus on UFOs] . Hopefully the stoppage will be brief or moderate anyway. Things in Wheeling make this really hard to trudge on. Very little feedback on anything plus the occasional carping about my refusal to believe in every possible thing makes it unrewarding as well. Add to that a daily life with high points like arranging a prepaid funeral, or cleaning up a Will, or organizing bank accounts et al, ahhh, joy indeed. The straw that has broken me was when the high winds at home brought my willow tree down on my house, and I am 500 miles away from being able to deal with that. So, I am going to shed some lead. I don't like it, and if any of my UFO buddies wants to take over and occasionally produce blogs here, e-mail me at my "home" address and I'll tell you what the codes are to get in the saddle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In the midst of all this negativity, my Mother remains much the same each day [a blessing for the most part] and has actually had two more brief psychic manifestations at the old historical home where she lives. [one a brief vision of a lady leaving the room, and the other the moving aside of the draperies on her bedroom window]. So, even awash with mundane crud, my life is still lightly touched by the spiritual. Thank God at least for that, and may The Force be with all of you while I'm silent.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Coral In The Desert: Searching for Socorro.

Hello folks. I have a brief gap of time here, so I'll squeeze in a blogpost. This is about Coral Lorenzen of APRO and the quest she entered upon following Lonnie Zamora's encounter at Socorro. Coral was probably the outstanding female UFO researcher of our times, [although people like Jennie Zeidman, Jenny Randles and a few others deserve mention too]. Her fieldwork should be taken seriously. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many people know that Coral and Jim Lorenzen had long UFO research careers working out of Tucson, Arizona, and a few know that they began their "hobby" in Wisconsin. Only those interested in UFO history realize that much of their important work occurred while they were working in government jobs in the Alamagordo/HollomanAFB area of New Mexico. They were the primary UFOlogical source for information for the James Stokes affair, just after Levelland, and had many contacts, even in the military, in what was a particularly UFO-friendly environment. The famous [and controversial] UFO photograph to the left [usually written off by conservatives as a noctilucent cloud or some similar weather phenomenon] was a Holloman area case looked into by Coral who felt that the woman's testimony about the thing's fast speed was honest, and so trusted the photo. [My memory is dull on this point, but what softly rings in it is that Coral knew the witness---if so, then maybe one should keep this photo in the graybasket rather than the trashbasket.] The real point is that Coral knew many people in the Socorro neighborhood including some with military connections.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Holloman was of course one of the hot spots for military research as well as UFO activity. The picture at the left is the rocketsled track at which John Stapp [himself a UFO witness] set the land speed record at Holloman. In the Ruppelt era, Holloman had a UFO friendly commanding officer who sent cases directly to Dewey Fournet at the Pentagon, and apparently was a firm "believer" [in Ruppelt's words] in the reality of flying disks and the likelihood of an extraterrestrial hypothesis. This same commanding officer was there during the 1957 Levelland flap and facilitated in the local newspaperman/UFO writer [Terry Clarke] in hunting down part of the Stokes story. [These are my memories anyway---yep, the @#%&#!! unavailable files problem again--- oh well, I at least think that I'm giving you the honest scoop on the way, if anyone ever wants me to make a bigger effort to document any of these things where I'm going on memory, I think that I'll be able to do that with a little more effort even though my files are 500 miles away---so ask]. So, Holloman had a UFO-rich past, and a UFO-friendly [at least in part] military, who Coral could possibly tap into. So off she went to see what else there was to see. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What she found might have been the source of some later bogus speculation about UFO landings that has had a long and inglorious life in UFO Conspiracy Land. This is my own BS so don't take it too seriously, but i wonder if this whole business about a Holloman UFO landing and a "treaty" with the Aliens may have started here. Coral doesn't say this. But what does she say?---------------------------This information is from an article published in Flying Saucer Review of JAN/FEB 1965. It is entitled "Socorro Sequel", and it's contents were new and/or forgotten to me. After Zamora's sighting, Coral was on high alert. She got a tip from [probably] one of her military sources that there had been a B-57 encounter with a UFO which was reported to the mission controller at Holloman. The B-57 was asked to turn and attempt to re-encounter the object. When it did so, the pilot radio-ed that the UFO had landed on the ground. This was April 30th, 1964, just a few days after Lonnie saw his "landed UFO". Coral called her long-time friend and APRO associate, Terry Clarke, and asked him what he had heard. He responded that his contact had heard the military transmissions on this, and that they had said exactly what Coral had been told by her own source. Clarke added that there had apparently been another earlier sighting, and that there was a rumor that Holloman had a UFO in a hangar at the base under heavy guard. is Coral, in 1964, getting information about landings near Holloman and a UFO in a hangar. Sounds like the start of a Big Story to me. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coral, as a sensible person, who doesn't want to foolishly run far ahead of the facts, tried to find out more. She dug up an incident prior to Zamora, of unidentified lights on the missile range, which scared a guard so badly that he emptied his sidearm on the UFO and ran off hysterically. He was hospitalized and required sedation. Her appetite thoroughly whetted, she kept digging, finding two more incidents on the missile range in May. She said that she was able to get checking reports from different sources, and had no doubts that these incidents were happening. When she published a press release on these sightings, the brass at Holloman responded the next day with one of their own. In it they admitted that they had tracked two unknowns on radar and were looking into the incidents. They denied that they had an "egg-shaped saucer" under guard in one of their hangars. In her summary, Coral basically agreed with them. She said that she had gotten plenty of witness testimony or insider information which matched up to indicate that the various cases of a desert landing and radar trackings had occurred, and that even the frightened guard case was "solid" in her mind. But she placed no credence in the captured saucer in the hangar. "All my sources trace back to a single airman who spoke in a shop in Albuquerque". Her opinion was that such things arise from a commonly-experienced phenomenon: "The fellow was either making a bid for attention and/or was mistakenly excited by a closely guarded hangar". And that's where she stood.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think that Coral knew what she was talking about. But the story has blown up until it is truly out of this world. Some people place it back in 1954 now. Some change its location to Edwards AFB. The great Edwards AFB filming case was a true UFO, but it was a phototheodolite case and we have superb records of it. Ike Eisenhower has gotten into the story [so we've got to move it back ten years to 54] despite no real documentation at all. Somehow Robert Emenegger gets involved with this [in his book UFOs: Past, Present, Future; and a subsequent TV movie] and speculates [?] in a fictional [?] ending of his book, that such a landing [without Ike] "might" happen in the future [Wink Wink?]. People have interpreted this as Emenegger actually having seen film of this event [some say that the still shot two pictures above is a piece of that film, whereas I see it as either a hoax or a foggy picture of a poorly functioning Coanda principle vehicle like the AVRO car]. Emenegger seems to have been happy to encourage such speculation, but frankly I've never been able to make any sense of what he's really saying. -----------------------------------------------FAR beyond Emenegger are the elaborations of the story, which one might say culminates in the [I just can't be kind here] institutionalizable story telling of William Cooper. I once sat in an audience when he regaled us with all manner of poppycock, including that you could traipse about on the Moon without an air supply [no helmet] and NASA knew it and was lying about everything to us. Even the co-chair of Michigan MUFON at the time [no conservative he] looked at me like he was about to throw up. Philip Corso's "contribution" to the conspiracy is almost as bad. All this could be viewed as high humor of course, except it is what turns you and me into ridiculed laughingstocks by almost anyone with a sensible head on them. ---------------------------------------------------Coral, as usual during those days, did us a service. She dug out evidence that Holloman was having its own little ongoing UFO flap through the period that produced the Zamora sighting. She also gave us early warning that the "landed UFO in the Hangar" at Holloman in 1964 was the product of the loose talk of one airman in an Albuquerque store. A tale that she could find no support for at the time. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Has Coral strengthened the case for Socorro? Well, you could read it that way. She is also reminding us that lots of stuff gets tested in and around Holloman. [The picture at top is of a public sponsored entry for one of the big aeronautical prizes that go on nowadays, ultimately in hopes of developing an aerospace plane]. And maybe Holloman DID have some hi-tech gadgets in their hangars. And maybe one of them was egg-shaped---it just wasn't alien. I know. My buddy Don Berliner just retched. But I can't help it. I just don't have enough to elevate Socorro to the front rank like my friends do. I guess I'm just a bad boy on this one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crawling Out Of The Desert, 1963-1964.

------{the image above has been approved for posting on this blog by its artist, Chris Lambright, to whom thanks is given for facilitating the process of spreading knowledge to as wide an audience as possible}--------- Hello again, folks. Busy-ness in Wheeling has been extreme and little to no FSR reading has occurred. Worse, FSR has been pretty boring in this era. But things might be a-changing as 1964 was the year that UFO phenomenology began to rouse from its slumber. Most of the 1963-1964 FSR year was occupied with either low-excitement level stuff or heated discussions about Michel's Orthoteny theory. Michel, Menzel, and Vallee were the main combatants. Despite all their best efforts, little was clarified for me. The BAVIC line is still intriguing due to its straightness and date concentration, but little else is. Certain people were raving about these lines being lines on great circle routes around the planet, when in fact any two points connected by a "straight line" on a sphere [i.e. straight in the sense that the only arc they have is in relation to the center of the sphere] are automatically on a great circle with the center of the Earth. Nevertheless everyone seemed having a good old time with this. -----------------------As to getting out of the data desert, I suppose that it was only cosmic harmony that the case that catalyzed a whole new era of hope and excitement came out of the desert as well, and from New Mexico at that. So to Socorro we go.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The story's so well known that it feels awkward to re-tell it. I'll be as brief as possible. April 24, 1964, Patrolman Lonnie Zamora is pursuing a speeder when he is distracted by a blue flame off the road. Thinking that there is a fire he changes pursuit and ends up driving off-road towards the site and a roaring sound emanating from that direction. He stops after clearing a hill and notices a metallic-appearing almost car-shaped thing on the ground a ways off. It was white but shiny, and had two human looking figures beside it. The thing was an oval with its long axis horizontal, and an insignia on the side. It had "landing legs". One of the figures spotted Zamora's car and seemed excited/surprised. Zamora then moved closer in his vehicle, cleared another dip in the terrain, and exited the patrol car only about 50 feet away. He heard the loud roar again and saw a blue flame apparently emerging from the bottom. [the figures were no longer in sight]. Afraid now, due to the flame and sound, he hit the dirt after running away. Gathering his courage, he risked a look and saw the object moving off slowly [almost laboriously] in the sky at a low altitude. He reported to base and looked around at the burning desert bushes. When a colleague arrived, they looked more thoroughly, spotting several markings on the ground. Reports were made and others [such as another patrolman, a sheriff, and an Army captain from White Sands] ultimately walked the scene and took measurements and pictures. Both NICAP and APRO got involved, and lastly Allen Hynek for Blue Book. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Almost everybody was impressed in their different ways. The main commonality on the "impressed" list was the character of Lonnie Zamora. Zamora was not a complicated man. He was a diligent worker who everyone rated excellent on honesty and "moderate" on IQ. He was a concrete man who reported things as he saw them and did his job without imagination. ---------------------------The second thing about the case was that something had certainly happened. There were burnt areas of vegetation with burning more prominent on one side than another, just as one would believe it should be from a central source. There were several types of ground marks, four of which made a kind of symmetrical distribution on the proper place for the "landing". And over time, there were several other reports [none nearly as good as Zamora's] which could easily have been of the same object. There seemed little doubt that an object of some size was "parked" in the Socorran desert when Lonnie arrived, and took off from that spot with a flaming display which burnt up parts of the nearby plants. And, in reasonable deduction, took at least two persons with it when it flew, and did so with a substantial roar. No heightened radiation count was noted by the testings, nor anything particularly odd about the soil [though I would have rather had our modern analyst Phyllis Budinger do the work]. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Attempts at explanations were swift. In the newsclipping to the left, a guy famous in UFO circles from almost the beginning, Lincoln LaPaz, the meteor expert from the University of New Mexico and of Green Fireballs fame, mentioned his feeling that the Zamora object was a Vertical Take-off prototype [for the Lunar Lander [Lunar Excursion Module/ LEM]?]. The NASA administrators at White Sands said that it DID sound a bit like that, but that they would not be building such a module for another year. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------With NICAP, APRO, and Hynek getting fired up [and even FSR finally published a note on this at year's end] , it was obvious to the debunkers that this had to be squashed. Menzel, with his endless ability to just make things up, decided that high school students had rigged up a device to embarrass Zamora because he was hard on their drinking and driving habits. No evidence for this was ever uncovered despite Blue Book chief Quintanilla making some effort to do so. The concept of students rigging a device which operated on a jet-propelled engine a la a LEM, and capable of carrying two people, and being massive enough to make holes in the ground etc etc etc [ex. even knowing when to do this or even if anyone would see it] beggars the imagination, and Blue Book and any sane analyst dropped it. [howlingly, this old Menzelianism has re-emerged recently with only a grade advancement to college students. And no evidence whatever.] Menzel himself gave up on the idea and decided that Lonnie had dropped his glasses wasn't seeing clearly and misinterpreted a dust devil as a craft with flame-spewing exhaust and burning bushes and two people alongside. Yep. Makes sense, that does. Phil Klass who was often even less shameless than Menzel, decided that Zamora played the dupe in a totally fabricated scheme by the local mayor to whip up tourist business in a failing economy. As, once again, lying is not usually a criminal offense, Klass was free to just spew crap without regard to any evidential support, and walk away with his famous smirk on his face. All that degenerated into the BS it was in time. But what was Socorro?--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lonnie had drawn an egg-shaped craft with a metallic luster and an insignia on the side. I think that its asking a bit much for him, at 50 feet, to get this insignia correct with precision, but people have worked at it as if it held some sort of key. Leon Davidson thought that it might have really been some jumbled up rendition of CIA, thus supporting his speculations that all anomalous UFOs are products of secret US government technology. Whereas SOME UFOs may be products of Black Projects, one would hope that no one believes Davidson's idea anymore. And, one can be almost certain that no organization like the CIA would paint its name on the side of a secret craft [or probably anything at all]. I have a hat that says CIA on it, which will make it certain to anyone that I am the only person in the room that everyone can be sure is NOT CIA. Still, what about Socorro? Was it really high-strangeness anomalous? Or could it have been Earth technology? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacques Vallee, who was just over from France and had transferred to working in graduate school with Hynek at the time was also intrigued with Socorro. He, of course, viewed Zamora as an honest reporter, doing the best that he could. But Jacques thought that Socorro sounded like "local" technology too. As time went by Vallee found the ad at the left, which he saw as a possible example of an insignia that may have been painted on Zamora's craft. {I have been informed that this image was rather found by Jim Klotz of CUFON, to whom I am happy to acknowledge }. No direct link has been made to VTOs or LEMs etc with this company, but it is the idea that counts here, if it is at least reasonable to contemplate. --------------------------------------------------------I am going to surprise [shock?] some of my UFO buddies and say that the LaPazian/Valleean theory for Socorro should not be discarded. Why would I say such a horrible thing? After all, Socorro is the highest rated UFO case among UFO veterans when you ask them to pick their favorite cases and then numerically weigh their responses and add them up. It has never been mine. Whereas Menzelianisms sicken me, and Klassisms make me wish for a debunker prison, this case, to me, lacks the qualities of strangeness required to make it something that I would "take with me into War". What do we really have here? We have an object which flies laboriously slow and low, apparently using "common" jet propulsion. No maneuvers, no silent hovering [it in fact makes a h___of a racket], no sudden accelerations or any such shocking feat of "magic tech". We have two guys on the ground who could well be humans. And...nothing else. Where does the UFOlogical enthusiasm come from? I think that the "enthusiasm" came from the "desert". The UFO community was so thirsty for a blockbuster case, that this one, obviously true and unsolvable, became praised beyond all reason. The "enthusiasm" is a product of an accident of history. To feed these fires, "we" had to knock out every thing that came up which might explain it--reasonable things like balloons, or rocketry or VTOs, not idiot-drivel like dust devils or tourist fraud. As we eliminated the things we heard about, we could fool ourselves into believing that we had eliminated everything. In many cases, we CAN do this. It is because of high strangeness. Socorro doesn't have it. We can't get cocky with a case like this. {P.S. my friend and colleague, and one of UFOlogy's finest old veterans, Don Berliner, tells me that he personally interviewed Zamora back in the Old Time. Lonnie told Don that at one point in the leaving of the object, things DID go eerily silent. If this is real phenomenology and not a product of some subjective response by him, then this DOES add a real high strangeness element to the case, and I will have to upgrade it. } ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The idea that somewhere in the military research areas or somewhere in the developmental departments of the aerospace industry some group was working on something similar in shape or performance to a VTO/LEM in April of 1964 should not be regarded as crazy just because it's not what we want to hear. The table to the left seems to indicate that some prototype work on a lunar surveyor was taking place in the exact area at the exact time. The table talks of helicopters being involved and Lonnie saw no such things. So maybe this surveyor work had nothing to do with Socorro. But maybe some other project that we have no documents about did. This isn't "unreasonable debunking": the burden of data is on us. If we don't have the strangeness, we have a weak case. I'd like Socorro to be a blockbuster as much as anyone, but I'll take Bill to Gill to Hill [and RB-47, Yukon giant, Tehran, Coyne, Red Bluff, et al] any day. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My esteemed colleague [and I do not jest with that respect] Kevin Randle, has written in his blog a superb defense of the Socorro case, which I recommend to all. In it he points out that Colonel Eric de Jonckheere made an attempt to run down military projects which could match the characteristics of what Lonnie saw. This seems to have been a legitimate effort, and he found no such project to report. Well, OK, kudos to Colonel de Jonckheere and to Kevin; but it does not satisfy me. The reason is just this: we have all come across incidents where certain organizations did not feel at all impelled to tell some military office everything that they knew or were doing. And, we know too that private aerospace companies work on their own prototypes secretly in hopes of presenting people like the Air Force with working models of "proof of Principle" while secreting away what they are doing from their competition. Do I have proof that this happened? No. But in the UFO business I don't have to. The burden's on us, who think we have an anomaly. If we don't have the strangeness, then the human technology alternative is always in play. The worst thing about this sort of thing to me, as I've read through the years of UFO "unidentifieds", is that if we [the UFO community] can get someone in the military to say that "they" have no device that meets the characteristics of an encounter, we immediately buy into that, since it's what we want to hear, and focus on getting rid of the Menzelianisms etc, now that the "black project" category is [allegedly] taken care of. We'd never trust the military in any other instance, but we buy in there. Only when a case has enough strangeness that we KNOW the military has no such thing is the Black Project card eliminated. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know whether Zamora saw a truly exotic anomaly or not. That's the whole point isn't it? I can list over a hundred encounters which contain strangeness and credibility at levels so that I have no need for Socorro to be on the list. MIGHT Lonnie have seen an ET spacecraft? Well, yes. Would I want to defend it in front of my non-UFO friends? No--not if I was going to put the whole thing into an honest perspective, and give all dogs their due. Nevertheless, it is an amusement to me that a relatively weak case [but very timely and visual] became the icon for the new 1960s wave which contained so many powerhouse events. This was not like Kenneth Arnold and that other great catalyst--THAT was a blockbuster in its own merit. No psycho-sociologist I. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------An unrelated event which heralded an different sort of watershed: Waveney Girvan suddenly died at the end of 1964. He was replaced as FSR editor by Charles Bowen--regarded by all as its finest editor. So, UFOlogy and FSR began anew together as they moved into 1965.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where do You draw the Line?

It was good to be back home last week and re-connect with my "former" life, my UFO friends, and even my UFO files. Those files allowed me to post "From BILL to GILL to HILL" and it felt good to get that basic element of UFO history out there. As I was writing and reading those files, the staged reluctance that people have towards the UFO phenomenon [example: accepting none, or accepting some, or accepting anything regardless] kept coming up over and over. The stage at which a person would seem to "draw the line" seemed usually NOT to be data driven but rather some sort of deep emotional thing. That is, it seemed to depend on some quality of the person which had little to do with any particular case or group of incidents---subjectivity totally trumping objectivity. I of course shouldn't be at all surprised. We have been doing this at every "level" right on up to culture-wide from the beginnings of what historians can determine about us. So, I thought, at the risk of engaging in a "load of dingos kidneys", I might take a little walk along our path of theological/non-human belief systems to see if anything worth noting about our subject resides there.-----------------------------------------------------------The lead illustration at the top refers to who we were at our earliest historically-studyable stage. All-powerful gods were all about [though thankfully not frequently overt] in the mountains, the forests, the seas. Finally almost all the cultures decided to put them in the heavens. They did this because the gods didn't show up much in person, and it was nice to have them increasingly out of the way. The Mesopotamians were way ahead of the curve in this, as their high gods [The Annunaki] were placed as the seven gods of the heavens [Sun, Moon, and five seeable planets] and, most importantly, were to run our planet according to laws [The Me's] and not Zeus-like whimsy. Fate and unpredictability begin to fade in our concern, and the possibility of figuring out what those laws were [i.e. Science] became a believable pursuit. The Mesopotamian astronomers buttressed this belief in order by demonstrating that the lucky seven gods DID in fact behave themselves in an orderly predictable fashion in the skies. The older era of "bad" gods who liked to toy with you would ultimately fade, and, if replaced at all, would be replaced by lesser creatures like demons, restless spirits, djinn, rogue angels, leprechauns, et al---possibly just around the bend of the road, but not gods. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The monotheism of the Creator God of the Bible ultimately took over the heavens. There were all sorts of reasons for this from theological inevitability of a single primary power to the way the idea was joined to the friendliest most "human" companion God of all [Jesus Christ] , who whether believable by any particular person or not, was certainly a bringer of a message of love and forgiveness that was not only welcome but served to remove the almighty hand of Old Testament justice a bit further away. [Many so-called Christians have never gotten the point of love and forgiveness vs. smiting the unjust but that is not my problem]. The fairly violent Old Man with the great white beard was greatly moderated by having Jesus stand in between. And all the really bad and meddlesome guys that had been messing around with us all these centuries became just bad [and lesser] spirits who, in the end were impotent on anything which mattered to our spiritual lives. We with the help of the Good Fellow Upstairs could begin to ignore them entirely at last and make our own way in the world free at last from whimsical deleterious behaviors of paranormal entities. Of course they did have a habit of continuing to manifest here and again, but by gum we were vanquishing them to the shadows and never need fear them again. In a strange way, denying that they even existed seemed the best way to keep them out of ones life. [Catholicism has, by the way, never denied that these entities exist. The stance of the institution is that they very much DO exist and whether they are essentially evil or just malicious by choice, they are dangerous and should be avoided]. Alongside this theological evolution, astronomy was moving in the same general direction.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Greek model of the Universe was an Earth-centered one which they stole from the astronomers of Babylon. It was probably inevitable also. The Earth afterall seemed to be the center of everything, seemed to be the biggest thing involved, and, what-the-heck, WE were on it. The Greek astronomers basically took the Babylonian model and turned everything into spheres. Earth was round not flat; and the planetary "wanderers" went all the way around it in their sphere-paths. Since circles were "obviously perfect", all this made sense...sort of. The fact that it didn't work didn't hinder it from buttressing the God model which was growing alongside. The planets and stars became guided by angels, GOD sat in high heaven overlooking all, and, most importantly, WE and our Earth were that ALL. No one else existed except us and no one else was the reason for this creation. There were certainly no aliens. And by now, any entity which one might imagine who would be on the same standing as we humans, was impossible or worse [heretical]. Nice. Neat. Getting all the complexity out of the way. You. Me. And God. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is being described is the most basic simplified cultural foundationstone model of reality. The complexity of the ancients had been almost entirely expunged. Any "development" of add-on ideas from here would be fought by the culture, and individuals would have to "feel" their way into tolerance of each new thought and often to their peril in some ways. UFOs at each stage of their acceptability fit right into this pattern.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Something that I may be easily wrong about, but which seems to me to have played a role in this intellectual life of the [at least western] world, has been the insertion of the Holy Spirit into a more active role in the belief structure. As the role of the Holy Spirit became more prominent, other more concrete concepts diminish a bit. Ideas become more "personal" and less "institutional". Inspiration and the Inner Life become more of a feature of our thinking, and more radical forays are possible. Maybe, just maybe, says the deep thinker, what the Earth bound "authorities" are telling me has been royally screwed up by their human errors. Maybe "I" am the one who is right, and they have mis-read everything. Of course thinking like this too early in the development of society can get you killed. Thinking that there was a "plurality of worlds" and life on all of them got Bruno killed. Thinking that we weren't the geographical center of the Universe still brings wrath down on you from some persons today. Some concepts have importance far beyond fact or reason.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Major rock-and-roll fast intellectual change had to wait until you were unlikely to be killed or sanctioned if you voiced it. Society evolved democracies and democracies evolved Evolution. The inevitable end of the Evolution trail was not the violence-and-anger-producing Biological evolution of human form, but the Evolution of the entire Universe. The Big Bang to Big Brain view of Big History grew out of geology and then biology, but went truly cosmic with astronomy and the application of physics to stellar evolution and the formation of galaxies. Except for the distractions of people fearing the Man-Ape idea and old holders-on of the We're-The-Center concept, the larger culture has bought into this overarching model of reality rather rapidly. One unexpected early buyer-in was the Catholic Church, which said that it saw no violation of its theology in either Natural Selection nor the scientific view of many worlds like Earth "out there". And, given the size of this new found Universe, there were many worlds indeed.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This was and is already too much a violation of "what's important" for some people to tolerate. To some, the scriptures say that it is the human race that is the central reason for the Creation, and any hint that we're not deserves a stoning. [Pat Robertson is one who believes such violence]. For these persons UFOs have gone far beyond the line and need to be voided from consciousness or reinterpreted as demonic. ----------------------------------------------------------------On the other hand, the edge of scientific respectability wants to find and contact all these "others", who surely must be out there. So SETI arises as the next logical extension of the Cosmic Evolution paradigm at a baby-step increase of hypothesis, which if you play your cards well, won't cause you to be hurt or ostracized by the new model-making powers. But now the society has evolved far enough that it is no longer a culture. To be a culture the residents need to generally hold the same things to be true, and live with a model of reality that in some way plays an active role in their lives. That commonly held model of reality with its attached values motivates the population of a culture to act with some commonalities--that is, as a culture. But the culture of the United States is no more, and other countries, in the global age, seem to be following in its wake. Here and now, large groups can both hate and like the same model of reality , and consequently hate one another. Even something as seemingly innocuous as SETI is no such thing. It attacks the "hearts" of people in sub-cultures. In such matters, facts [and thereby Science] have never played much of a role. This is not about facts. It is about something deeper inside.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So along comes BILL. The stage of UFOlogy which we've called "BILL" after Bill Nash of the 1952 Chesapeake Bay sighting, was characterized by all manner of flying disk incidents which, taken together, make up a massive argument that some of those "other worlds" out there have sent some of their technology here. We, who study and "like" UFOs, would like to think that they are the simplest extension of the model of cosmic evolution that has swept the intellectual world. There shouldn't be much resistance. But, WOW. We all know how far off that assumption is. But why? Why THAT level of rejection? It can't be "science". This is way too emotional and thorough than that. This is, in fact, precisely like the reaction that all the new ideas that we've been talking about have gotten historically. This is emotional. This is fear. Something about UFOs is threatening some persons important-to-the-public-saying-of-truth that the concept threatens to unravel their lives or their worldview in some way. It is a line that they dare not cross. No amount of "science" will induce them to do so.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The actual showing up of UFOs has caused all manner of shake-ups in communities other than that of scientists. The shake-ups are, surprisingly more often understandable in these other communities than the almost completely irrational response of the sciences. Christian oriented religions are naturally led to worry about the basic over-reaching theology of sin, incarnation, and redemption. The not-really-silly cartoon says it all. Is the idea that God would have to incarnate on every advanced life-bearing planet in the universe too much to swallow? Some theologians would rather not have to think about multiple worlds in these terms; others don't sweat it: leave it up to God to deal with--He's big enough. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On the other hand, organizations like the military would rather the idea go away for several reasons, the most clearly real one being that it scares the crap out of too many of the citizens and makes their job harder. Almost every established power on our planet [religious, governmental, economic] has got it, by definition, pretty good the way things are. They want control. They want what they understand. They don't want any wildcards. Advanced non-human technology flying around is the ultimate wildcard, with the possible exception of the ancient whimsical gods coming back to town....or is it the same thing?----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, here "they" [or somebody at least] come. "GILL" is the next step in the natural expected evolution of the action. All of a sudden we see little guys messing about near the technology. One wonders if they are reported as "little" so often because that makes them more acceptable ["If it gets right down to it we can punch them out"]. But here they are and what are you going to do, mentally, about it? At this point some UFOlogists actually jump ship. It's not a lack of convincing data--just look at the Gill case. This step has SCARED them somehow. Whether they fear mockery because talking about entities [no matter how "logical"] is just too much for their friends to swallow, or because they are somehow creeped out by the thought that "they" are really here and not at safe sky-high distances with unmanned craft, or...? Not only is the general society one more step "alienated" [double entendre deliberate] by these close encounters of the third kind, but quite a few students of UFO incidents run away at this point too. Because I have come to see all of these responses [both on organizational and individual levels] as arising from fears of varying kinds, I am wondering if it does not take a remarkably healthy mind to both study UFOs and at the same time remain properly analytical and skeptical. Since that sentence is entirely too self-congratulatory the court recorder is authorized to strike it from the record. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So along comes HILL. Well...ahem...I have to rat on myself and say that these encounters are constantly threatening to push me over the line towards irrational denial just as I have been accusing others of doing. I'm fighting it. The D#x% line is awfully close by. Something about these things feels "wrong" but I think that it's one of those deep-seated [and not even verbalizable] intuitions, that is likely to be wrong, and at least beneath the dignity of an objective scholar. I am happy with myself that I've hung in there with the data on cases like the Hills and Buff Ledge [both in serious ways Walt Webb cases] and am on the side of the data-angels, I believe. But the experience has been enlightening. It gives me the tangible sensation of something similar to what I believe hurls people off the open-minded path, even far earlier in the game. The picture to the left IS pretty scary, but I don't think that, for me at least, that's what it's about. Maybe it's just the idea of grindingly ugly uncaring about sentient beings. I can accept that such is possible in an individual, but a whole civilization? And, I don't really know what I feel about all this, let alone what others feel---but I know a great number of UFOlogists who will not touch CE4s with a stick. And, as far as I can tell, that response has come out of them immediately--not as a result of patient examination of the data. Whether they admit it or not--it's fear of something...maybe simply of being a fool. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We've gone through a long evolution of worldviews since the gods came streaming down out of the heavens to mess around uncaringly with humanity. There are those who would happily [for reasons which elude me] interpret us as having come full circle. Even if they are here [which I believe] and even if they're behaving like a bunch of thugs [which I don't], to me they are no more than another element of the Creation, wandering their own free-will paths and making their choices. I run into similar good or bad people everyday. In my cosmology, that's life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

From Bill to Gill to Hill: Part Three--Hill.

The Betty and Barney Hill CE4 is the most famous UFO case other than Roswell. It is also, with Roswell, the most detailed. Because of that, I'll be skipping a lot of the detail in order to keep this short of a book. If you want to read a book, you can read John Fuller's The Interrupted Journey, which still does a good job of narrating the encounter. Very little, other than the hullaballoo about the "star map", has developed since Fuller did his very good work. [The star map is mentioned in Fuller but the raft of speculations about it came later.] For our purposes, "HILL" is the third step in the ["logical"? inevitable? reasonable?] chain of experiences which constitute the backbone of mainstream UFOlogy. "If there are aerial technologies, and if there are occupants associated with them, then there might be some instances where a human was taken on board". Whereas step two is almost forced by step one, step three is not. One can readily imagine "visitations" wherein no such close contact took place, and likewise imagine reasons why it might not be desirable by the visitors. So, although evidence for step one is rather overwhelming, and therefore the lesser but still substantial pile of step two cases have a strong foundation from which to find acceptance, "on-board experiences" are in a much more readily doubtable position and require an extra dose of solidity to make them believable. Some say such evidence is all over the place and the dilemma is solved. I don't find it so. Most of the popular evidence for on-board experiences, I find, turns out to be claim rather than substance. Some people say evidence for on-board experience is non-existent. I don't find that extreme to be true either. [the mere fact that both these positions exist in the UFO community shows how unsure all this CE4 business is, and how poorly the advocates have made their case.] My view, and I am just one more puzzled onlooker, is that there are a few well-documented and well-researched CE4s to find credibility in, but not a lot. This doesn't mean that a lot have not happened; it means that the work on them is, to me, unconvincing. The case that comes as close to "convincing" as any other is the Hill case. It is in many ways the "same" as most of the modern popular claims, but since it was nearly the first and widely publicized [even in a movie] presents the possibility that later likenesses are wannabees rather than realities. It also differs from the highly restrictive story prominent today, wherein all cases have to be almost assembly line clones of one another. Hopefully I'll remember to remark on some of the [what are to me] critical differences. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
{this narrative of the case is taken as much as possible from the directly agreed upon thoughts of Betty Hill}. On the night of September 19/29, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were returning to their home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire through the White Mountains. They saw a bright object in the sky. Barney stopped the car and got out to look at it with binoculars. [Barney is at the left returning to the scene]. It reversed path and flew erratically. [This path was upon consideration geometric in nature like a continuous drawing of three-sided boxes or a square-toothed line in the air as it went forward]. They continued driving and occasionally stopping. Then the object approached the car more closely and to the front. It was flat with wrap-around windows. Barney got out and watched intently. He saw figures within the windows dressed in shiny black uniforms. Barney felt that there was some communication which terrified him and he ran back to the car laughing hysterically and saying that they were going to capture them. He rapidly drove off to the sound of close-by beeping noises directed at the car. Thirty miles further on, after not seeing the object again, they were bombarded by the same sounds. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------They arrived home apparently without incident and Betty called her sister telling her some of the story. Her sister called a physicist who suggested that radiation be checked. She also called police who suggested the Air Force. The Pease AFB official initially thought that they're nuts, but became interested when Barney got on the phone and told details of how the object looked. ---------------------On the 21st Pease called back and said they've been working on the case. They were filing a report for Blue Book. Both Betty and Barney were pretty frightened by the experience, and, despite not being particularly interested in UFOs before--especially Barney--, became of the opinion that they have had a close UFO encounter. Barney went to the local library and checked out a book by Keyhoe. Betty, always an "action" person, wrote Keyhoe soon [the 26th] and asked him for reading suggestions. She also mentions that their fascination about this is so great now, that they want to return to the site in hopes of re-seeing the object. -----------------------Keyhoe, always the paranoid when it came to anything smelling of contact, did not immediately respond substantively. Sometime later, Dick Hall wrote to legendary field case researcher Walt Webb and asked him to look in on the incident. This was not until mid-October. Meanwhile, as of September 30th, Betty began having vivid dreams of being captured and taken on board for a physical examination. Betty wrote these down, but hid them away and did not tell Barney. And Barney remained disturbed by all this, believing that he had some kind a mental block about something that he subconsciously didn't want to remember.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Walt Webb visited the Hills on October 21st. His interview went well, he liked them and vice versa, and his report was his usual thorough job. He mailed it back to Keyhoe with "case sounds like a humdinger". Keyhoe had Webb's report on his desk when he was visited by two IBM personnel. Robert Hohmann was a science/engineering writer working out of the New York area [Kingston], and C.D. Jackson was a senior engineer, working out of [apparently] Huntsville, Alabama, where Werner von Braun's rocket boys worked. The Huntsville facility was a hot bed of UFO interest in the 1950s with senior engineers speaking to the press favorably on the subject, and von Braun's mentor, Hermann Oberth, residing there twice, his opinions on the extraterrestrial nature of UFOs well known. Hohmann and Jackson had become interested in the early 1900s attempts to receive extraterrestrial signals [by Tesla, Marconi, and Todd---H&J felt that TMT had succeeded] and had become convinced about UFOs at the same time. Keyhoe, probably impressed by the IBM credentials, pointed to Webb's brand new report and let them read it. This led to them ultimately contacting the Hills and visiting them on November 25th. They got along well, and during the conversations it became apparent to H&J that there was a significant period of lost time in the narrative. That along with Barney's mental block, indicated that there was more information to be dug out. [Betty said that they knew from the beginning that their arrival home was way too late, but had not focussed on that as significant.] Sometime thereafter a good friend of the Hills from Pease suggested hypnosis to pry the info out. Nothing happens immediately though. -----------------------------------------------------Worried that maybe all this is due to illness of some kind causing hallucinations, the Hills see a doctor in early 1962. Nothing is recommended. In the summer, Barney sees a psychiatrist about on-going anxiety. Again nothing. Betty may have mentioned her "capture" dreams during a UFO talk during this time. Barney remains very disturbed and by the end of 1963, friends at Pease encourage them to undergo hypnosis to find the cause. That is when Benjamin Simon was contacted. Simon had been formerly in the military and had used hypnosis for trauma victims of war. He was then in private practice [and expensive]. He worked with the Hills [in separated sessions] for seven months, once a week, and ended every session with suggestions that they would not remember the content of the hypnosis until the treatments were over. From these sessions came, of course the classic "abduction" account that is iconic for the genre. ----------------------------------I'll not go through all of that. Briefly, it involved the involuntary taking of the Hills from their car, dragging Barney along, placing them in separate rooms of a round craft, examining them on tables, messing about with Barney's private parts, being friendly with Betty, showing her the star map, and, among other things, letting them go with the comment that they wouldn't remember. Tapes of at least some of these sessions exist and are often spectacularly emotional. Simon was perplexed. The responses were so genuine that they had to be true at least in the minds of the Hills. But the story was so far beyond his ken that it had to be false. Publicly he seemed to always be grasping for some exotic psychiatric solution to the case, while admitting that the Hills were good honest people. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Of course everyone wanted to know about the creatures. As the story went, there were a great many of them, about a dozen or so being seen on the road at the first capture. Many if not all of these were described as wearing black uniforms and ballcaps. They were short, greyish or pallid, with thin limbs, large skulls with relatively broad foreheads, large deep-set eyes with pupils, significant sized noses and mouths. Their chests were broad though their hips were not. Mumbling or ooooo-ing sounds issued from them. The "leader" seemed to communicate with Betty non-verbally [telepathically?]. Note that although having areas of similarity with modern ideas of "Grays" which dominate the literature [and are claimed by some researchers to be the only real "alien" type], there are several differences. Although the eyes are broad, they are deep-set and not wrap-around like some form of ET-sunglasses. This is a much more understandable evolutionary feature, as are pupils, mouths, and noses. Hills' creatures also can make sounds. Although the necks are thin, they are not pencil-thin, as if belonging to robots or stick figures rather than organic beings. One thing that makes little sense either for Hills' ETs or modern "Grays" are the ultra-thin hips. No creature of evolutionary descent would have hips so narrow that the huge heads couldn't make it through the birth canal. One rescues this by saying that a) we're only dealing with males [and females are significantly sexually dimorphic] ; b) the race has been engaged in genetic engineering on a significant scale and has altered their basic forms and reproductive methods; or c) we really are only dealing with robotic techno-creations. The only one of these which could save the modern speculation that these things are interested in messing about with human genetics for their own uses, is number one. The robots don't need anything biological, and super-genetic engineers don't need any help. And I don't buy the line about hybridization at all, as using human genes for anything is a waste of time when you're that advanced and can make anything you want for yourselves without invading the bedrooms of several million people. Note also two further major discrepancies with the common tale. This is no bedroom visitation [that begins showing up with gusto in the late 1970s in the HUMCAT reports to Ted Bloecher, and as an avalanche following Budd Hopkins' Missing Time.] The second thing is: Betty and Barney are not "repeaters". They have no on-going "abductions" over and over and stretching back through to childhood. Betty used to scoff [or worse] at this idea, which she stated very explicitly as the product of bad hypnosis techniques [more akin to stage hypnosis than the professional variety that Simon used, she said] and was in her view dangerous and leading people astray. She even went on a little crusade of sorts trying to talk "miss-led" persons out of their ET-abduction beliefs. Whatever one thinks of all that, the Hills had the benefit of a professional, highly qualified practitioner, who was not biased towards UFOlogy, and who documented everything, the contents of which are open for all to see. It's difficult to find these qualities in many CE4 situations, which reduces them to "believe it or not" in my mind. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A unique element of the case is the star map. This is a display in the room to which Betty was taken and which manifested itself sort of like a three dimensional holographic map "in" the wall. Betty asked the "leader" what this was, and it was clearly indicated as a map containing the home star system of the UFOnauts. Solid lines on the map were said to connect star systems which were commonly visited, and dashed lines were said to extend to systems only occasionally visited. Betty was told the names of none of the stars, and was not pointed out the location of the Sun on the map. All she had were her hypnotically-retrieved memories of the map's shape. This she set down during one session. People immediately began to try to figure the map out. Betty herself was fascinated and tried her hand. [It is interesting that Hohmann and Jackson, knowing nothing of any star map yet, talked to the Hills about their opinion of the likely location of ET life. Betty's "solution" contained neither of their two stars. She was an honest lady and an independent thinker]. During the 1970s, an Ohio State Master's degree student, Marjorie Fish, was creating a three dimensional map of the local star space. She heard of the Hills' map, and searched her own. She felt that she found a match and it was a non-random one. She denominated the Hill stars as all the Sun-like stars in the nearby space generally to galactic south of the Sun. It was an exciting claim [and could even be true]. "Home" was Zeta Reticuli, which is where that obscure system enters pop culture today. ----------------------------------------------------------------------Of course, astronomer skeptics yelled foul. Carl Sagan led the charge claiming that many such matches could be found in a place as big as the galaxy ["billions and billions", remember?] and that this was not a good geometrical match anyway. Well, he's right and wrong all at once [as nearly all extremist screamers turn out to be]. He's right about being able to draw a very large number of connections which would look vaguely like Betty's diagram---billions and billions it is. Marjorie Fish knows that. She felt that the connection of all the sun-like nearby stars, and only the sun-like nearby stars was intriguing. She's right, even if Carl doesn't want to give her that. It also doesn't prove that her match is true. It is intriguing. It is not proof of anything. Carl also showed that if you take away the connecting lines, the stars of the Hill map look nothing like the stars of the Fish map, as to geometry. He's right. But why would anyone want to erase those lines since they were the outstanding feature of Betty's memory? Carl has set up a straw man, just like all dishonest debaters do. What we should admit is that if Betty remembered this correctly [and that is asking a lot], she remembered a certain number of stars, in approximate positions, fortified by a clear set of connecting lines. Fish's map meets those criteria. And going to Sun-like systems makes some exploratory and even "colonial" sense. That's what we can say. That's all we can say--but it is more than Carl Sagan was willing to say. Intellectual honesty is an endangered species in all of the anomalistic studies.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Allen Hynek ultimately went to New Hampshire [lot closer than Papua] to visit Betty and Barney, and even Benjamin Simon came to give a last hypnosis session, essentially for UFOlogy's "grand old man". Hynek was wowed [despite being, admittedly a clutz at asking questions]. Barney's terror blew him away. Hynek never knew what he should make of this [you can read his fiddling commentary in his book] but he was sure that he was witnessing the effects of something real. I'm with him on this. For me, the "All-The-Way-Fool" position is that the Hills' experience is what it seems to be: an on-board encounter. As a memorial of the great time, each one of the five members of that last session took home a card with them signed by all---a repro of it is above. A rather fine thing, methinks, and good sentiments.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Supplement to "GILL".

Here are two documents that you might find interesting. One is a letter from Bill Gill to Allen Hynek answering some questions. The second is a letter from early CUFOS board member Fred Beckman to Donald Menzel clearing him up on some things. Gill to Hynek 1973:

Beckman to Menzel, 1973:

From Bill to Gill to Hill: Part Two--Gill.

"Gill" is the second step in the [symbolical] sequence of mainline UFOlogical hypotheses. It is representative of the claim that the technological aerial manifestations are associated [at least sometimes] with occupants, and that these occupants have a humanoid form. The illustration above recreates the main scene of the second of three nights in June 1959 when Father William Gill [an Anglican missionary] and 38 of his local associates saw a hovering disk and humanoids standing atop it. Though the painting above is as of daylight, the Sun had set and the light was dimming--in fifteen minutes it was close to what we would refer to as dark. Also, this painting is, as far as I can tell, oriented towards the ENE, whereas the sighting would have been [for the main object] towards the WNW---think of the painting as being like one of those photo illustrations that you see sometimes where the printer got the negative backwards. [at least this is what I think I am looking at]. It has some small relevance because some people have tried to get rid of this case by saying it was of astronomical bodies [you can guess who]. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the summer of 1959, Father Norman Cruttwell [also an Anglican missionary ] was becoming interested in UFOs. [Cruttwell is pictured to the left]. He had begun getting reports from all manner of people along the coast of Papua/New Guinea of things from strange lights [often called "Tilley Lamps" in imitation of a hand-carried lantern of that day] on up to discoid objects. He collected these and tried to plot them on a map [see to left] in hopes of preserving the data, and maybe finding something out. We owe Cruttwell for giving us what would probably have been lost evidence of a localized miniwave occurring in a very isolated part of the world [who knows how many others of this type there have been?] Because the cases were fascinating, Cruttwell asked his friends to watch out for them and tell him when they heard of a new one. One of those friends was Bill Gill. Gill didn't think that there was anything to these things initially, and responded skeptically to a claim of a "wrong-way sputnik" by a friend [Dr, Ken Huston] at a dinner earlier in the year. He himself saw a "Tilley Lamp" light which shouldn't have been where it was, but also wrote that off. Then his main associate at the mission, Stephen Gill Moi, told him that he had seen a disk. [Everyone remarks about the similarity of Moi's middle name with Gill's. Moi was named after a famous man in the area some many years previously, as were many Papuans. He got his middle name long before Bill Gill arrived on the scene. Gill's own name is apparently a real coincidence, as he was not related to the former individual].----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What Moi saw was a disk out over the sea in the vicinity of the mission. No one else is reported as having witnessed it. Moi's crude drawing is at the top of the left paper as seen in Norman Cruttwell's notes. It is meant to represent a hovering disk with "persons" on its top surface, and projections sticking downwards. [The next drawing down is Moi's drawing of the disk from the famous sighting with Gill and the others, and, as you can tell, Stephen feels that it was the same or an identical object]. Bill Gill, still doubtful at this time, took down Stephen's report and sent it first to another missionary, David Durie, and then to Cruttwell. He listed the Tilley Lamps reports that had come to him, and then wondered if Stephen's "disk" might be just the subconscious mind filling in details which weren't there. He signed the letter "Doubting William". --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------That mindstate didn't last long. One day after he had composed his letter, "Moi's disk" showed up over the beach to the WNW of the mission, and Gill and many others saw it for themselves. Gill's drawing of that object is the lower right object in the collage to the left. What everyone ignores about this encounter is that there was a fairly comprehensive low cloud cover this first night, and the object would go up into the clouds and come back down through. As it did so, you could see the base of the clouds illuminated by the object's glow. The thing finally dropped down low enough so that the details sketched could be seen. It looked pale yellow or orange, and the outlines of the "men" were determinable. A narrow blue beam shot up at a 45-degree angle. When that beam was turned off, the "men" went out-of-sight and the disk rose through the clouds. The thing appeared again about an hour and a half later, looking the same but with the addition of bright "light panels". The projecting "legs" were then seen to number four. Smaller UFOs seemed scattered about as well, one of which was directly overhead. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It was the next night that "they" waved. This time Gill's medical assistant saw the object and ran to get Gill out to see. It was about in the same location. Four humanoid figures were again on top of the craft. They seemed to be working on something. Gill waved at them [he may have done this with a flashlight initially, as that was the custom to signal to a boat offshore---Gill was still of the opinion that this object somehow had to be an American flying machine with military onboard]. A figure waved back. A local named Ananias waved two hands, and two of the humanoids waved back. Then both Gill and Ananias waved, and all of the humanoids waved back. As it got darker, a flashlight was used to signal a series of dots and dashes. The craft seemed to respond to this also by wig-waggling in the air. Some coming and going went on on deck, and the blue beam flashed twice. As it seemed obvious that the occupants were not going to land, and having watched the action for an hour with nothing more happening [and remembering that Gill thought that this was probably American] Gill went inside to eat dinner and then to celebrate Evensong Services. After the church services, the UFO was gone.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The next evening, a UFO was seen further to the south but quite high. Three other small lights were seen as well "like tiny pretty things" which seemed to come and go. Whether these third night things were legit UFOs or not is not too relevant to the previous two evenings but they could have been a swansong.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gill's [and the 38 others] sightings were reported by Cruttwell to the newspapers. Gill himself had said to his friends that he had become much changed in his views after thinking over the events of those evenings, and now was seriously contemplating Cruttwell's "visitation" theory [i.e. the ETH]. The newspapers were happy to publicize the story. Australian UFO researchers went to Gill's Australian residence [he was just transferring when the events happened] and got another set of interviews. Finally the RAAF created a file on the incidents. The papers were impressed with Gill's qualities, so were the UFO researchers and the government. Most people ignored the native Papuans, although Cruttwell did not, and Gill had asked them to sign a paper briefly describing what they had seen. With all the testimony, and with the character of Gill, the only way around the case was to find some kinds of mistaken identity type alter-explanations. The RAAF tried first but, although they felt they might write off the "little UFOs" as mistaken stars or planets, the big disk with the people was far beyond that. The RAAF essentially gave up. Gill, with a fair amount of reluctance, gave several interviews and talks about the events and steadfastly refused to speculate about the ultimate nature of the objects that he and his associates had seen. He also refused to allow patently wrong debunking "explanations" to stand, feeling that neither position was an appropriately honest theory. He was always happy to answer a specific question about the encounters, even from irritating persons like Menzel. To his death, Gill remained cooperative, conservative, civilized, and intelligent. We couldn't have asked for a better guy.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To make this a truly multi-witnessed case, one needs to really interview the local population that participated rather than just say that they did. [this happens all the time in UFO research: writers claim that a case is multi-witnessed when in fact all information comes from just one person]. Fortunately, the Papuans were interviewed by both Cruttwell and later by Allen Hynek. [This shows how impressed Hynek was by the case--a trip to Papua to interview locals is quite a commitment]. I have no direct transcripts of Cruttwell's work in my files, but I do have some of Hynek's. It's quite hilarious in a way. Hynek tries through an interpreter [Ananias] to quiz the folks about this case and others in true western professorial style---they have no idea what he's talking about. It took Hynek forever to understand that they were talking about several different cases, and that he had to be very specific. [there were people pointing in all different directions when he'd ask them where they saw the UFO.] [Also he didn't take in that with a moving UFO they would point to where they saw it first; which would differ with different witnesses]. Speed meant nothing. When Hynek tried to get a duration by trying to get them to slowly draw their finger across the sky, they just went whoosh in the air. Finally he began to get it and determined that they were all talking sense afterall, and it was him that was screwing the works up. Thankfully, the picture emerges that what they signed the original paper [for Gill] about was essentially confirmed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cruttwell did a longer term and better job of following up on a variety of things: talking to the main witnesses [Daisy and Annie, I think their names were, above; plus Ananias, Louie, Montaigne--and, I assume Stephen]. He took photos of the area, and tried to picture Bill Gill's method of estimating the sizes. Gill asked Ananias or someone like him to walk along the beach until he presented to Gill's eye the approximate size of the figures that they'd seen on-board. Assuming that Ananias was approximately the same height as the humanoids [yes, a guess, but not an unclever one] he could get a crude guess at the distance the UFO was away at its closest. That guesstimate was 300-500 feet away---a figure if anywhere at all in the ballpark makes for a very close astronomical body indeed. At that point, one needs to defeat the entire story practically to have any chance of debunking it. At a minimum one needs to say that no "men" existed and no "waving" happened. Menzel of course felt that he was easily up to the task. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Menzel and later Klass [in cruder "Klass-less" ways] began by slurring the witnesses. Gill had terrible vision Menzel said and spent the whole hour forgetting to put his glasses on. Yep. That surely happened. The "natives" were "children" psychologically and worshipped the "great white father" and would agree to anything he said---Gill laughed at that. Although they got along well, he said that it was far more likely that they'd agree with nothing he said on such a matter. Stephen was a Gill worshipper, as he even named himself after him---we've seen the error of that already. Gill was a whacko in that he stopped watching [after an hour] and left for dinner and church services---Klass could not imagine such a thing [I can easily imagine Klass lacking imagination, especially when it comes to a clergyman wanting to get dinner before presenting his church service.] Klass, then decided [and he stands precisely alone in this among any allegedly serious investigators] that Gill was in fact a liar. He made it all up to "please" Cruttwell. Well, one need not honor such garbage with any more commentary. The only semi-intelligent attempts to debunk the case have been Menzelian-style astro-smeared-out-mistakes. Venus is of course our object of choice, but the Menzels of the world have tried several other planets as well. As you can see from the illustration: James McDonald tried his hand at seeing if any of that could make sense, and found "no". Menzel decided that Gill must have had little discontinuities on his eyelashes which fooled him into believing that he was seeing little men waving at him. There was really no shame too great for Menzel to come up with. Weirdly Allen Hynek tried his best Menzel on this too [strongly aided by Allan Hendry, who rarely believed in anything despite being "analyst" of CUFOS] and thought that all the little UFOs could be explained, but, grudgingly, not the big one. Exactly why this was even approached this way, given sighting details and low cloud cover boggles me, but I guess if you're a scared-to-death academic you have to do even the absurd to dare to speak about it later. The bottom line is: There have been no explanations. Recently, a modern debunker has tried to resuscitate the old magnified mirage of the rump end of a brilliantly lighted squid boat as his own new idea. Pathetic bunk of a desperate mind. The disk was at thirty degrees elevation and higher. The miraged boatsmen saw the Papuans and responsively waved. What are these guys talking about? What motivates them? They are terribly afraid, but of what?------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Below is one of the covers of the IURs of CUFOS in 1977 which reviewed the Boianai case. Despite Hendry and Hynek's occasional loss of common sense, they are pretty good issues and even admit that the big disk with the guys on top is unassailable. McDonald of course saw the same thing. In his interview with Gill, during his Aussie trip, Big Mac found out that the whole outline of the disk, including the occupants, had a dark area around it, which had a glow around the outside of that--as if the object had a field of some kind separating it from the space around it. This field/glow changed shape with the movement of the humanoids, maintaining its distance outlining all the elements associated with the craft. Very high strangeness stuff, and my favorite case of our whole pile of encounters.


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