Wednesday, May 19, 2010

FSR 1962: Volume 8 #2, March/April.

Flying Saucer Review returned to a much solider attitude about the phenomenon in the second number of the year. Almost absent were the uber-speculations and fantasy/fabrications of the contactee movement, and, in its place, much more about actual cases. What speculation that there was revolved around things like Michel's Orthoteny ideas, life in deep space, and whether WW2 foo fighters and UFOs were the same thing. To me it was a welcome change.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Orthoteny article was by the young Jacques Vallee, still in his native land and working with Aime Michel. Jacques had taken a pile of cases of North African incidents and plotted them as you see on the left. He was attempting to see if one could get straight-line phenomena from the data. Each reader will decide whether they are impressed with the graph or not. Although I have the greatest respect for Jacques, on this one I am not sold. Just like my responses to every Orthoteny plotting that I've seen so far, this one does not move me. For me it's still just eyeballing and connecting dots without a compelling reason to believe that there is meaning in this exercise. And, worse in this case, none of the multiple dot lines is time-restricted in any way [i.e. dots are for cases of different months and even years]. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Something of the same general category was reported in a separate article which has a bit more intrigue. Michel's book had one plot of four [five?] cases in a close-to-straight-line which had the virtue of occurring on the same day [see the lower map]. The contributor stated that this multi-point line was definitive in proof of Michel's idea. Well, it IS interesting but hardly definitive of anything. I'd be more impressed that these lines showed UFO aerial-mapping of our planet, if it could be shown that the cases had an orderly time-sequence to them, and the same appearing craft. and the same behavior. On top of that, it would be nice to graph every case of that same day, and see if eyeballed multi-point lines could be "intuited" all over the place. I know it's asking a lot, but such things would need to be demonstrated to me to eliminate the obvious alternative hypothesis that the lines are only the products of our own ability to create order out of messy piles, whether that order is objectively real or not. Still, I'm intrigued by the Italy-to-England line and won't simply toss it out.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There was a particularly interesting and pretty much forgotten case which got its own small article. This was "The Ivinghoe Flying Saucer" of February 1962, Aston Clinton, UK. The witness' drawings of the incident are at the left. The one witness was driving home at 3:30AM, when he spotted an low-hanging UFO [30 foot above ground or less] hovering above the road. It was oval shaped with squared dark marks around the disk edge. Its diameter was 40 feet. As he closed to twenty feet away, his car engine lost revs and no amount of "flooring it" made any difference. His lights, however, did not fade. Changing gears made no difference. The object paced his laboring car for 200 yards, when a white haze appeared to envelope it ["like a halo around the Moon"]. He knew that this thing was solid because his headlights reflected from it. The craft then veered sharply right whisking frost from trees as it passed nearby, and vanished with terrific acceleration. The witness went to the police, who assessed him as sober and sensible, and apparently convinced of the truth of his claim. UFO researchers met with him and walked the sighting area. No radiation was found, but several iron-containing objects were found to be "highly magnetic", which the team found interesting but not "conclusive" as there was no way to connect the remanent magnetism to the event. It's too bad that this was a single-witness case but it has the "feel" of a good one, nevertheless. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Otherwise, the phenomenology reported emphasized [what seemed to me to be] a raft of meteoric fireballs and one icefall, which probably had nothing whatever to do with UFOs, even though they were great fun to watch. It is constantly apparent to my reading of many, many UFO reports, that fireballs [usually the spectacular burning up of carbonaceous and/or stony pieces of meteors] were the source of a large number of "UFOs" which were so awesome in their way that no amount of talking would ever argue the witnesses out of their belief that they'd seen an ET spacecraft. I once had such a privilege and if I hadn't been educated in both astronomy and UFOlogy would be sure that it had to be a craft of some kind. A real WOW wonder, folks, believe me. The icefall trips off a bit of a historical memory too, as this was the time that Jim McDonald was sneaking in the UFOlogical backdoor by asking NICAP if they had a bunch of icefalls in their files---not hinting of his larger "forbidden" interests.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gordon Creighton returned again in this issue [now becoming a regular contributor, it seems] but not on Russian matters but with an article on WW2 "Foo Fighters". It was pretty good, though not as good as someone like Jan Aldrich or Keith Chester could write today. Creighton explained that he had been collecting old sightings for awhile, ever since he saw his own UFO back in 1941 [!!] while serving at the British embassy to Chiang Kai-Shek in Chungking, China. [what an interesting life that guy must have lived]. This interest led him to collect stories and newsclippings of foo-fighter type incidents through the war and after, and here in this article he was reviewing them. His tales are typical foos: either orangish or metallic balls playing chase with allied fighters and pacing alongside. Most times they just simply flew away or disappeared. Occasionally one would seem to explode. Creighton knew that the foos were in both the European and the Pacific theatres of war and that the public explanations for them [secret weapons of the enemy of either psychological or real damage intent, or natural phenomena such as St. Elmo's Fire] made no sense for the majority of cases. The fact that, later, both German and Japanese scientists wanted to know what they were too, speaks volumes against the "weapons" theories. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------All of that fits well with what the USAF was doing at the time in 1962. A couple of mentions were made of Air Force press releases stating that the UFOs were the products of errors and that "unknowns" were dropping [percentagewise] like a rock. This was the time when Robert Friend was heading Blue Book, but still under NICAP pressure in Congress to lie their way out of any public hearings suggestions. Friend's predecessor, George Gregory, had been whizzing phony "solutions" by the dozens just before Friend came on board, and nothing really had changed [despite Friend being a more likable man]. Because NICAP was firing its Big Gun, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, at Congress, there was reason to be worried. Unable to cast aspersions on the ex-CIA chief, the USAF resorted to bald-faced lying about what the UFO case files really said. To that, all of us in the UFO community can say:

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