Thursday, May 20, 2010

FSR Volume 8 #3: May-June 1962.

FSR volume 8 #3 was almost "conventional UFOlogy" compared to its previous manifestations. It's possible that the feedback from readers' letters [mixed but with an obvious lean towards the more sensible] was convincing Girvan that a science-and-concrete-based UFOlogy was the way that you had to ultimately go to get anyone to respect you. {of course, this might change any minute, as I am deliberately not looking ahead to the next numbers to allow some freshness of "in the moment" to affect my feelings about each new issue}. #3 emphasized cases, scientific ideas, material testing, book reviews of non-contactee type writings. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Few mentions of "contacts" were made and the only one receiving a featured presentation was the "Pancake" case of Joe Simonton. This is because FSR regular Bernard Finch had queried Simonton by mail about his alleged meeting with three extraterrestrials in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Simonton, who always comes across as one of the open-eyed "just-plain-Joes" of all UFO history, wrote Finch a letter which then FSR printed. It's to the left. As you can read, Joe is claiming forthrightly that his experience was real and that he thinks he has good reasons to believe that these critters were ETs. He is obviously a bit miffed that the USAF took three of his four pancakes, and has been tardy about their analysis. He thinks that the pancakes were not made of Earth ingredients, although later test results disagreed with that. He is happy to "tell all" but is waiting for the Air Force to tell him it's OK to talk about the testing. [Hynek and Robert Friend seemed to think that Joe was an alright guy, too, by the way----where that leaves us when faced with an almost comic story, I don't know. Leprechauns, anyone?]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Professor Charles Maney of NICAP affiliation was featured again in the magazine, this time talking about the alleged "pure Tin" of the Campinas, Brazil, UFO case of December 1954. The Campinas business is still puzzling. The metal claimed by the witness to be seen falling from a classic disk-shaped object over her roof was stated by a Brazilian chemist to be "pure Tin" [all Tin or Tin oxidized] but when sent to CSI-NY and then on to Maney was found to be far from it. Maney's reading of the analysis showed it to be a metal mixture very like common solder. The trouble with this is that, according to the current article [@#%^*#! I wish I had my file on this one] all these "solder" readings were tested on material gathered later than the one originally reported upon and left in the custody of the Brazilian Air Force. Some of these later fragments still exist at the Center for UFO Studies, but the ones which really count may be buried in military files. The reason that I have some trust in the case [pure Tin or not] is that the details of it were researched by the Big Three [good] Brazilian researchers, Faria, Simoes and Perriera. Since these guys really cared about checking cases, I feel that the witness claims of a metal leaking disk overtop her home may well be a real incident. Too bad, as usual, that we lack the best data and report potentially associated with the case [i.e. the metal testing "re-done" by a second US lab on the original fragments].----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FSR reviewed the first Coral Lorenzen book in this issue. Awkwardly named The Great Flying Saucer Hoax, Coral meant to indicate that the military had perpetrated a great "saucers don't exist" hoax on the rest of us, even though one tends to read the title as tending the other way. Coral Lorenzen was more to FSR's liking than NICAP or Keyhoe. She didn't feel constrained by a need to look reasonable to conservatives and congress. This allowed her to engage in the higher strangeness aspects of UFOlogy, especially the CE3s. Her rather amazing Latin American connections empowered her APRO Bulletin and her books with strangeness extraordinaire. Much of this was in the book and Girvan liked it. Coral's theme [in 1961/2] was that the UFOs were dangerous, and were probably surveying the planet for their own nefarious purposes. Possibly even some colony area was in the works. All of this sounded right to Girvan, strangely forgetting his Adamskian "bringers of love and light messages". Easier to reach agreement upon was the idea that the military had indeed manipulated thinking on the subject and had occasionally silenced witnesses. Coral repeated an older story of a meteorologist who had visited Wright-Patterson in 1948, and had been shown diminutive "suits" taken from small bodies of beings that had died in a UFO crash. She was quoted, as a climax sign-off by Girvan: "The Earth is being observed by intelligent beings from outer space, but information reaching the general public promotes the opposite impression. A hoax has been perpetrated. We, the people, are the victims of that hoax. And we, the people, in our eagerness to worship the orthodox and embrace mediocrity, have also served to perpetuate that hoax." Well, lady, there is a lot of truth in that. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were articles which mentioned meteorites as a possible confusion in UFO cases, exobiological possibilities [mostly of a sensible presentation], and the idea that some few meteorites might contain fossilized life forms [of bacterial size]. The latter article [very short] was in aid of the idea of Panspermia [that life had been scattered about the Universe in fragments of "comets" et al, originating from one or more common sites of fully developed life forms.] This thought was mainly pushed to overcome the intuited problem of life formation being so hard to accomplish that it would be better to believe that it had only to happen once [or at least a small number of times]. As time has passed, the idea has been used to defend the exact opposite, namely that elementary life is so easy to form that the rudiments of it form in space itself. However you want to go, the finding of life forms, or life chemical precursors, in meteorites would enhance arguments that life in the universe is common and even based on the same general chemistry. FSR was intuiting that this sort of science, though not directly "UFOlogy", had potentially greatly to do with making the ultimate defense of the reasonableness of the field. Of course some scientists were not so moved---to even consider space travel possible.
Meanwhile, buried on page 27, a little paragraph said: "Another close approach to a car was reported on September 19-20, 1961, in New Hampshire when a Mr. and Mrs. Barney Hill, while driving around midnight, saw a bright object in the sky. Using his binoculars, he saw a band of light, convex as if on the edge of a flattened disc. The object seemed to be rotating." Hmmmm. Wonder if anything ever came of that?

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