Thursday, May 6, 2010

Flying Saucer Review Volume 7: The Phenomenon.

Dear folks: you'll notice that this is one of those yearly FSR reviews that I've been doing. Once I get this [and the Part Two on the human side] out, it will probably be the last one just like this for a while. This care-taking situation that I'm in now just doesn't allow the scope of free time needed to get through a year of FSR with any discipline. What I'm going to try to do to keep this up [after a fashion] is to read a copy of FSR one at a time, and try to write something about it. Maybe that way I can grind on forward. Whatever--this is my next experiment, I guess. Now, back to FSR 1961. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------There were 111 cases mentioned during the year. 68 were "objects" and mostly of low quality. Adding in the "lights", "radars", and "ordinary CE1s" they accounted for 88+% of the pile--good, safe, Keyhoe-style UFOlogy. Five of the remaining 13 cases were film cases. These included one of the better ones in UFO history [see below]. There were also five CE3s. One was surely Whack, one was poor old Joe Simonton with his pancakes, and three were from Brazil, of which one was a clear hoax [and later admitted as so]. Maybe they were all hoaxes, but it's hard to be too tough on Joe, and two of the Brazilian cases are at least interesting. We were very slight on actual physical evidence in 1961 FSR, with only a trace case in Scotland, an angelhair case in Australia, and a "thing" fallen from nowhere [with no UFO associated] to look to. There were a few good cases so as not to make the year a total loss.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of the stars of the volume was the Namur, Belgium picture set taken by the "Belgian repairman". The photos were taken on June 5, 1955. This group of three photos has always intrigued UFO researchers [and myself] but I was taken even more by them when I finally read the FSR report. Perhaps the reason for that is irrational, but it is good enough for me: because it finally dawned on me that the researcher who wrote the case up was the great Aime Michel. I'm a fan of Michel, and I believe that almost everyone who has studied UFO history is. He was a very rare combination of incisive analytical intellect and creative deductive synthesis. Michel received the Namur evidence several years previously and did not want to give out the man's name [I believe that he stayed anonymous for decades and perhaps is still so]. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The witness stated that he saw the object arrive swiftly in the area and then slow to a hover. The witness who travelled with a camera [one of his few possessions] got it focussed and took one shot. It "posed" briefly, looking silvery gray and brightly shining. Beneath the disk where four legs as if landing supports. The craft then dove slowly, leaving a vapor trail, and he took a second shot. Michel got a meteorologist to examine the originals, and he thought that the trail was due to genuine atmospheric condensation. Given the weather conditions, the expert suggested that the disk had to be at least at an altitude of 1500 meters to produce a trail. If so, the minimum diameter of the disk was 12 meters [~40 feet]. All this made it seem unlikely to Michel that he was dealing with a fake object. Finally the object rose up and passed through its own trail, and the witness managed to get his third shot [this whole scene unfolded rapidly by the way, and he was lucky to get three]. The disk left at great speed. Michel was obviously very impressed, and because he was, so am I. UFO photographs tend to bring the ghouls racing out of their caves, dripping saliva, but I think that these three pictures might be able to survive their assault.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The biggest star of the publishing year was the Cressy, Tasmania case, as witnessed by Reverend Lionel Browning and his wife. Mentions of it appeared no less than in four places in FSR through the year. Often combined with the Father Gill case of Boianai New Guinea, these two incidents became like siege guns warding off charges that UFO cases were by disreputable persons, and unintelligent ones, who had seen rather ordinary things. Rather than mess up the case with my own writing, I'll let you read the core of the review, not in FSR but in the later excellent Australian summary:

A much lesser known but rather good disk observation comes from Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Here one of the witnesses was an excellent artist and we have her renditions of the sighting. Firstly, this incident was reported by a mother and daughter, but also seems to have been reported independently by at least one if not several others. The independent witness seems to have been retired military, but that also is not clear [the FSR write-up was by Leonard Cramp, which is the only bad thing about this case---the more I read of his thought processes, the more I get to feeling he is a bit of a lunatic. Regardless of that, he did a lousy write-up]. The two women had seen lights in the distance and stared as they approached. The lights resolved themselves into the distinctive disk shape that you see in Mrs. Taylor's drawings. The thing, as you see, was a neat domed disk with something like portholes in the dome. Cramp insisted on characterizing this as exactly like an Adamski vessel, in spite of the fact that there was no hint of three big ball-like landing pods on the bottom and the top really doesn't look exactly like it either. But Cramp was an Adamski enthusiast and lumped what he wanted to lump together. The object, despite its close approach, was completely silent, and its portholes shown bright orange light. Its whole base glowed in the same color. When the craft left, its speed was so shocking that the women felt dizzy in surprise. One possibly extremely odd thing: though the disk had left, near the ground remained a "glowing ring of light" which behaved as a smoke-ring in that it slowly rose and faded into the sky. Perhaps it was nothing more than "exhaust" of some kind--perhaps it was some much stranger remnant of light which signified the previous presence of a weird technology. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The last case that I'll [briefly] mention will be the angelhair example. The FSR notice came from a news story, but the case has been well documented elsewhere in Australian files, so I have a great deal of confidence in it. It happened at or near a place called Meekatharra almost 500 miles NE of Perth in West Australia. Here ten witnesses reported the passage of twelve round objects in six pairs passing "at regular intervals" over a period of about an hour [i.e. about every ten minutes or so another pair of the silvery round things would go over on the same trajectory]. The real strangeness was of course the "angelhair". The objects were seen to be trailing "streamers" as they flew. Once reaching the ground, a few of these streamers were grabbed up by witnesses. "I picked up one of the streamers, but it vanished in my hands as it touched my skin". Apparently, as usual, none of the stuff could be preserved long enough to get it into a safe container for testing. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lastly, there was more mention of the Grumman "satellite" photo, and FSR managed to get a version of the photo [which however was the black/white color reverse of the thing you see above.] Their version did not let you see the actual track. I then remembered that I'd sent my good version of the thing to Fran Ridge to post on his NICAP website, and so was able to get it there and post it for you here. Hopefully you can see the dashed line track of a never-explained "anomalous satellite". [running vertically just off the white arrow near the bottom]. So you see, all of us aren't nuts afterall---at least not all of the time.


  1. Prof: "I'm a fan of Michel".

    Tu aime, Michel?

    Prof: "this whole scene unfolded rapidly by the way, and he was lucky to get three".

    I'd suggest to you luck had nothing to do with it: I'd suggest the photographer simultaneously experienced at least two time streams, one which seemed to flash by in an instant, and another which seemed to last an eternity, during which the photographer not only seemed to be given all the time in the world to examine even the most seemingly banal aspects of the experience, but also had the distinct sense they were in contact with the UFO or/and its inhabitants, and that it was not only the UFO or/and its inhabitants which orchestrated the whole experience but dictated the precise moments when the photographer was to shoot.

    p.s., Prof, in pursuit of possibly better prints of these pics I stumbled on a site, UFO online by dandare, (Nov 30, 2007), which claimed the identity of the Namur photographer was Monsieur Muyldermans, but without giving details of the source of this information.


  2. "The Rev Browning stated...his wife drew his attention to a long cigar shaped object...the object...had four or five dark bands around its circumference".

    Reminds me a lot of the Chiles-Whitted drawings you wrote about a little while back.




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