Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flying Saucer Review Volume 2: The Phenomenon.

I'll begin by apologizing for the lack of cogent imagery that accompanies this blog--my inability to illustrate anything [where I'm located now] cripples some of that. But "pretty" is not the big thing now, so onwards. The 1956 FSR contained approximately 110 case mentions. Of those, 71 were "Objects" [something structural seen at distance]. 15 more were "Lights" [odd behaving but not seen as a structure]. This left only 24 other types of cases, or about 22%. So, the phenomenon was still largely USAF-like or Keyhoean. There were 8 picture cases and 4 radar cases. Still, a la USAF/Keyhoe. Of the twelve remaining incidents, 6 were CE2s, two were CE3s, and four were of miscellaneous types [one being a CE1]. Therefore, unless one wanted to credit contacteeism, the amount of High-strangeness being reported was pretty low. I'll use the 1956 Walt Disney advertisement below to help amuse you while I thumbnail describe some of the more interesting reports.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
{Remember folks that I don't have access to my files to check these cases out against other information. I'm going on what's in the FSR and what I remember about the cases--often very little except distant bells ringing--there are an awfully lot of incidents out there. So, if a case seems intriguing to you, don't necessarily just trust that it's "good" just because I've put it in here. Research it yourselves.} There was a report from Kalispell, MT for the evening of September 3/4, 1956. It was a multi-witnessed case which involved both military and civilian personnel. What they saw was described by some as a triangle and by others as an orange ball of light. One witness said that it looked like a triangle with an aura of colored glow around it, which could be a clue to reconciling the differences. Radar couldn't pick it up, but it was easily seeable. The military scrambled jets but a low ceiling of clouds [the object was skimming the mountains (apparently) beneath them] thwarted the jets. ---- Another interesting "object" case was from Cheltenham, UK in June [day not specified] 1956. Here three apparently independent witnesses viewing from different locations saw what they felt was a huge object "ten times the size of any existing aircraft" soundlessly hovering, starting, hovering, starting for a ten minute sighting. The thing "was blazing with light which came from inside and showed through extremely large square windows". If this incident had any decent sort of follow-up at all [even news interviews] it should count as a powerful case due to the separateness of the witnesses. ---- The third "objects" case which i thought good was from Pasadena,CA [actually in the air from a plane]. The date was January 3, 1956. Two civilian owners of an aerial photography company were returning from a job when they encountered three brilliant orange disks at about 4000 feet. Wouldn't you know it: these professional photographers had their equipment stowed and couldn't get to it. The best that they could do was to try to track the objects, making tight turns to keep the objects in front of them if they could. They estimated the objects at 50 feet in diameter. Their plane eventually got circled by the three at a distance of perhaps 4 to 5 miles. If anywhere close on their distance estimate, the photographers calculated the UFO speed at around 1200mph. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------All of the radar cases were interesting, particularly the one at Paris' Orly Airport, but I'm moving on. In late 1955, Florida was having a mini-flap. On October 30, a police officer of the Williston force saw six lighted objects flying in formation with one lagging behind. One of them turned and dropped lower. The officer pursued and the object flew directly over him. The thing was a brilliantly bright "wash-tub-shaped" whats-it. The environment around him became very hot and he got "pins-and-needles" all over. The object just continued on its way and was gone. One other person had a fairly good view of this thing as well. It was reported to the USAF. ---- My favorite [believable] case for this volume is Gjersjoen Lake, Norway, [date not given in FSR, but I've seen something on this elsewhere--again, sorry]. There were two witnesses, a [paintings] painter and his neighbor. An object came around a hill and swung about to travel down the lake. This light began to follow their car [at least they were sure that they were being pursued]. It flew in front of them and stopped in the road. The painter stopped his car. They felt that the thing [now appearing to them as a shiny disk with wing-like protrusions] was scrutinizing them. It radiated a strong greenish-white light which seemed to break over them in waves. It sat there and rotated part of its structure. It seemed to have some kind of cockpit on top, though they saw no entities. As in the previous case they got "pins-and-needles" over their faces. The driver's watch stopped functioning, and needed extensive repair to get it running again. The object took off straight up, and the witnesses drove home. On arriving at his house, his wife ran out and asked him if he had purchased a new car. Its former beige color was now a shiny tint of green. The next day the car had returned to normal, though it is doubtful that the witnesses had.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now, the outer limits of this year: I mentioned the strange business of Elisabeth Klarer last time. I'll let you take that from there--there are other tales to tell. [and I'm not going to do justice to any of them]. I'll start with something that we all know about: the 1952 Sonny Desverges ["Florida Scoutmaster"] case. What we know is that Desverges initially reported a believable close encounter where he got burnt and maybe shocked, and a trace effect was found. Then he magnified the story past all credibility [fighting off aliens heroically on the rim of their spacecraft] which, coupled with his reputation as a teller of whoppers, ruined the case. Except it didn't. The reason that it didn't was one of the most mysterious radiation effects in the literature. The plants at the site had their roots "burned" as if microwaved several inches below the ground. Ruppelt could never get this out of his craw, took the case to the Robertson Panel, talked about it when he lectured new intelligence officers, and probably went to his grave puzzled. Well, me too. FSR had two mentions of Desverges-related information: one positive [out of Ruppelt's book] and one negative [from a person who interviewed Desverges during his whacko period, and found him, well, whacko.] My take on this case is that it is one of the best trace cases in UFOlogy with one of the worst primary witnesses. UFOlogists reveal something about themselves when they discuss this case. Do they allow "character" to trump physical evidence?, or the other way around?--------------------------I'm going to jump now to a situation that I regard as distressingly similar. This is the Salvador Villanueva Medina case of mid-August 1953. He was a cab driver who was ferrying Americans to the border when the car broke down. The tourists abandoned him and he spent the night at the vehicle. During that night he was visited by two individuals who claimed to be extraterrestrials. They discussed their planet and asked questions in return. Later he watched them leave in their craft. This is a very convoluted story, and I am concerned about bringing it up. This is for two reasons: a). the story needs a lot of telling and I haven't the energy; but mainly b). the story needs my file on the case. In that file are the data that makes this a far more believable case than what's been argued about out there on the web. The web has its persons who use cases like Villanueva's to bash prominent UFO writers like Vallee and Phillips and many others. In fact there is a site wherein one researcher does an admirably huge amount of work gathering information and quotes about the case. The trouble is, he, in my reading, has missed all the earliest and most significant information about this event. The debunk-and-trash masters use [understandably] a small book under Villanueva's name which tells of travels to Venus and all manner of outlandish claims which had no place in the original tale. In this, the case is just like Desverges. [a picture of the cover of the wild tale is above]. The real story is told not by Desmond Leslie in FSR [as almost everyone goes back to] but rather by Bryant Reeve and his wife Helen in their "romantic" book, but also in some rare letters and notes to the also-rare newsletter of the Detroit Flying Saucer Club. [now you see why I need my files]. Those sources tell a perfectly credible story of how Villanueva decided to break silence at a lecture by Reeve well before Adamski had anything to do with the story, and before Adamski made a telling visit to Villanueva where he quizzed him for information. Reeve et al went out to the site and, with difficulty found it. There were unusual charrings of bushes at the landing area, and this is why it appears in catalogs of landings [Vallee] and traces [Phillips]. I can't say whether Villanueva had a CE3 or not. What I believe that I can say is that his original story came out in a "natural" way, was told without excessive puffery, and was checked out by Reeve and several locals. If later Villanueva decided to supplement his taxi-driver's salary with a bogus tale, well, Sonny Desverges you've got company. I don't rate the "Mexican Adamski" case high like I do the scoutmaster case, because I don't have the quality of investigation to trump the later personality-defect. But I refuse to toss it entirely away either.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Just a few other things: the September 8, 1956 TwinFalls, ID calf-napping case was mentioned here. This is where it was reported that a ranch owner/attorney and two employees witnessed a UFO "abduct" a 400 pound steer from the pasture. This case was later panned by the UFO community who felt they had found errors in it. But James McDonald made his own investigation of the event and got a clearer story of what went on, thus placing it back into the credible category for Big Mack and myself. [again, sorry for my missing files---maybe when I return home for a week's break I can rescue some of this information if any of you want the more detailed stuff on some of this; I'll need a specific request though].----Also, the Monelmore,Ireland case made the magazine. This is where a farmer was confronted with a small object falling in his fields. It was an elongated sphere [three foot six by two feet in its diameters]. It was red and rubbery. On the top was a knob and round the middle went four white stripes which faded into the red color. He picked it up and walked off with it! Stopping to push his way through a hedge, he laid the thing down. It promptly whisked up and out through the skies not to be seen again. The "little one that got away". -----A last brief mention needs be made of the article by Charles Maney of the new NICAP. He wrote to describe his collection of reports on angelhair cases. Maney had collected 17 incidents of which 14 had a UFO associated and 9 had the disintegration or sublimation effect. The high strangeness element of disappearance due to sublimation [or some thorough disintegration] is the key to any of this and my reading of the phenomenon is that this aspect is extremely rare after 1955. If that's true, it's a shame, but it also says one more time:this phenomenon changes the way it expresses itself. I would "go to war" for angelhair with the Marysville, OH and Puente, CA cases, and add in the classics from Oloron and Gaillac in France. Other than those, I'm not sure what I've got in this category. [even though my own angelhair file at home has nearly a hundred claims in it]. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Folks, I'm not sure how much good I or 1956 FSR did here, but I think that both of us were trying to do what we could under non-ideal circumstances. At least, as you see directly above, all this talk has inspired someone to make more pie, and that is something the world needs more of.


  1. In one of the Loren Gross publications (the one where he kind of loosely compiled news clippings he liked from the 70s and 80s) he had a clip from good ol' Battle Creek, Michigan, Enquirer and News of an angel hair with UFO case from about 1981, I think. Gross only quoted a small part of it, but I plan to retrieve a copy when I hit the library there in a few weeks. I'll let you know - and get you a copy for your files.
    I'm always glad to hear of Prof. Charles Maney of Defiance College. It makes you wonder if in the basement of the library or a storage shelf in a lab there is a jar of angel hair or its sublimated air/remains.
    I have a copy of NICAP's "Challenge of Unidentified Objects" (1961) that, besides my fragment of the Ubatuba magnesium (I'M KIDDING!!) is one of my few "sacred objects". It's signed by Maney: "Let us be diligent in the search for truth. Charles A. Maney"
    I happened upon it at a book/antique store in Allen, Michigan, on a research trip to nearby Hillsdale, and didn't quite know what I had until later.

  2. I'm obviously getting to the point in this blog where I can't remember what I've already talked about and what's been written elsewhere, but in case I haven't said this yet: Charles Maney got wind of the Marysville case and wrote to the schoolteacher and the principal. They arranged for the kids to each write down what they saw [in separate rooms] and the letters were passed on to Maney. Those letters are, to my knowledge, "lost". THEY are the treasure lurking out there somewhere to be brought to light, methinks. As far as angelhair "jars": the one that Battelle got had substance but it ultimately sublimated inside the jar. Whether it could still exist and still contain the sublimation products is an adventurous notion. The Puente jar went to the Air Force and was never heard about again. It sits on a shelf in Warehouse 13 in North Dakota. [kidding folks--no internet conspiracy here]. The reasonable-to-imagine existing treasures here are the still-secret laboratory analyses by Battelle and the USAF, if they were ever done. Folks in France need to get on the hunt about Gaillac and Oloron.

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