Saturday, March 6, 2010

Flying Saucer Review Volume 1

Hello folks. I've managed to get through the first year of FSR and I thought it would be worth telling you what was in there [phenomenologically] as an overview. What this might ultimately be worth is that we could see how the UFO phenomenon gradually changed over the years, at least in our eyes. [that is, if I can keep finding a little time to keep this up--patience is an operative word, I'm afraid]. Here are some very crude statistics. Counting cases: I have made a decent count of cases but it is still a bit arbitrary [ex. If somebody goes on about someone like Adamski, I don't count it. If there's a single line on an incident in somebody's article, I probably won't count it. Etc. The point is, you might get a slightly different count than I do, if you were doing this, but it would probably be close.] That said, there were 84 cases mentioned. 62 of these things were what I call "objects" ["distant", not close encounters, things where the witnesses said that they saw structure {not simply a light}]. Hynek would have called these "daylight disks", and for this era he would have been mostly correct. The vast majority of these things were described as "disks", "saucers", "ovals". Very few other forms were noted. [I just call them "objects" by the way because some of this type of sighting occurs at night and some of it is not disk-like. This created confusion for Hynek's system as time went on]. Of the other 22 cases, 9 were "lights" and one was only a vaportrail. Three of the remaining 12 were Photo cases [I place all film cases in their own file]. Four cases seem to be CE1s. Two are CE3s. There are two "crash" claims [I included Hughie Green's Roswell mention as one of them], and only one was a CE2. As you can see, as far as this era [this is FSR for 1955] and this reference source is concerned, UFOs are plain-vanilla high-flying disks, just like the USAF and Don Keyhoe envisioned them. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Due to the rudimentary state of FSR at its beginnings, few cases were reported in much detail and therefore it was hard to be impressed with many of them. I was left to my intuitions as to any feeling about the "goodness" of the case as described. There were, however, three airliner cases which "felt" good at this distance. a). the best of these seemed to be a New Zealand case of October 30, 1955, reported by a National Airlines crew. This light was like a "revolving marine beacon" and paced the aircraft for five minutes. the crew felt that the light was seen beneath the cloud bank and climbed through the cloud bank when they did. What particularly intrigued me about this report was that two fishermen on the surface also reported the light keeping pace with the airliner--thus knocking the mistaken-celestial-object explanation for a loop. b). On about May 25, the crew of a Portuguese Air Lines plane reported that they had seen a UFO on their flight from Lisbon to London. It was cigar-shaped and fast. It approached from the left and flew under the nose of the plane. Its color was silver, and it had no exhaust. Someone tried to explain this as a child's balloon. [will the stupidity never end?] c). On February 2, 1955, the crew of a Linea Aeropostal Venezolana crew reported an encounter between Valera and Barquisimeto, Venezuela.This was a low-level flight [c. 7500 feet]. The object was Top-shaped, green above, red middle, and white bottom. It closed on their plane and flew alongside. The middle section emitted bright flashes, and the thing spun counterclockwise. It seemed to have portholes on its lower area. If these three cases were accurately reported and responsibly checked by anyone, you would almost think that you had "proved" a true UFO phenomenon on their merits alone.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were two Entity reports [not counting the "contactees" like Adamski and Nelson]. One of them might fall into the contactee category but I do not know enough about the case. This event allegedly happened on October 21, 1954. The witness was a lady living in an old farmhouse in the village of Ranton, England. She said that earlier in the day she had been feeling, quite persistently that "something" was going to happen. Then, in the later afternoon, she witnessed a 25-foot diameter saucer come down to her garden [only 20 feet away]. In the wall of the saucer was a transparent window, through which she saw two occupants. They had high foreheads, and golden hair which dropped to their shoulders. They stared at her until she became quite terrified. The witness then ran inside her house. The reason that I made the remark about contacteeism is that this lady considered herself a psychic, and believed that she had many instances of spirit manifestations. Whether she went on to combine these claims, I don't know. --------- The second entity report is one of my favorites. This is the August 20, 1954 experience had by two ladies in Mosjoen, Norway. The reason that I like this case is that we have two credible witnesses and a quick on the scene investigation. The two ladies [adult sisters] were out picking berries, when they thought that they saw another person doing the same thing. On approach it was a man, medium height, long brown hair and dark complected. He waved and they returned it. His clothing was like a fitted overall, and cinched with a broad belt. There were no buttons nor any fasteners visible. He emanated friendliness and security. They tried to talk to one another, but despite the multilingual abilities of the sisters, they were unable to understand anything he said [and apparently vice-versa]. He drew circles on the ground, as if [they thought] trying to indicate something about space. Then he signaled for them to come look at something, and they went along. It was a ten-foot diameter saucer , perhaps 4 1/2 feet deep. It was a metallic grey-blue. they watched from quite close as he opened a hatch and crawled in. The saucer rose, humming like a bumblebee, rotated rapidly, hovered at about 100 feet, spun faster and flew away in a great burst of speed. The ladies decided not to tell anyone, because they were sure to be called crazy, but one could not resist telling her husband, so the story [thankfully] came out. The site was quickly investigated by family members but no traces were found. Several outside investigators also got involved soon, and all interviews continued to be coherent. I am sure that most will disagree, but I view this encounter as one of the best CE3s in our literature. The case was attempted to be written off as a wayward US military helicopter pilot, but the number of discrepancies about that could fill a page. A few days later the soldier who was allegedly involved said that he had nothing to do with any of that and that any such claim was a joke. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were few other cases that gave me a confident air. I mentioned the Peseux, Switzerland case the other day. Another that was at least interesting was one of the first "engine stoppage" cases on record. There wasn't much information on this, but what it said was that in early October 1955, two men were driving a truck on a mountain road near Agrinion, Greece when they saw a luminous saucer approaching. As it flew overhead, their truck's engine stopped, and they felt faint.----- Another intriguing case, rather unique, was the Titicus Reservoir [NY] incident of September 17, 1955. There a husband and wife heard a loud splash and watched as a pink mushroom shaped object bobbed up to the surface and then subsided. Then there appeared two parallel lights at the water's surface further away. This thing seemed to be about 15 feet long and causing great turbulence in the water. The witnesses rowed generally in the object's direction to get a better look. Whenever they moved directly at it, it would come quickly in their direction, frightening them. when they moved off, so too would it. Finally thoroughly frightened, they rowed back as they came and retreated to their camp. The thing ultimately, soundlessly, moved rapidly down the lake and disappeared. A strange business, indeed.
That's the thumbnail condensation of the first year of FSR. I will try to follow on, and also to sprinkle in other [non-UFO] topics when I can. Until then: Watch the Skies!


  1. Hello, Prof.

    In 'Perelandra' by C.S. Lewis, one of the characters, Ransom, is confronted by an angelic being. Ransom asks the being to 'show itself' as it really is. The angel replies that Ransom's perceptual framework will not allow this to happen. The angel then runs thru several 'appearances' until it finds one that Ransom can perceive without mental/physical discomfort. The appearance is the standard angel form, and Ransom is relieved to see something he can identify. I wonder if some UFO events are bound by the same perceptual difficulty expressed by Lewis. Can humans see and identify what they do not recognize as being familiar? The UFO reality appears to be changing from what FSR reported 60 years ago. Perhaps it is we humans whose perceptual abilities are changing to a more finely honed vision. Fascinating stuff. Please continue your reading/blogging.

  2. I can't comment cogently on the theory that we're somehow getting better though my experience of the species would trend towards the opposite direction. The PERELANDRA scene, as my flawed memory imagines it, required that the supernormal beings needed to "slow down" their natural "velocity" and simplify their multidimensional complexity so that Ransom could integrate anything about their appearance. They had to do something so that they "fit" into our limited reality before Ransom had a chance to "make any sense" out of what he was watching. I suppose that you could attempt to apply such a fictional invention by Lewis to the phenomenon of a multiple-dimensional being penetrating our three-space, but our comprehension would seem to depend more on their efforts than ours if we followed the analogy. My experience with multiple-dimensional beings is a bit too incomplete to make a sensible comment I'm afraid.

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