Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mixed Menangerie {just to keep an oar in the water}.

I've been back home for a rare week: two doctor's appointments, an ecovillage meeting, a Cursillo meeting, an all-day UFO "fest" with my four buddies, some serious shopping for Mom's "entertainment" later in WVA, some semi-serious lawn care after a month away, etc. That translated to no free time, and not even a glance towards the blog. Finally, on my last day here with the resource library, I get a brief chance to turn a few pages. Too late for anything profound, but at least I can shuffle through the stack of unsorted documents which someday will be filed, and tell a couple of tales. Maybe it will interest you a little. If something which makes sense happens to come out of this unfocussed spontaneity, well, that's a surprising bonus. So, let's muse a little on the mysteries of the disorderly stacks.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's [to the left] an interesting [to me] slip of paper from the Project Blue Book files in late 1952. This is months after the twin hullabaloos of saucers all over the skies of Washington DC in July. The guys at Washington National control tower and the other related radar professionals were still seething about the USAF "explanations" of their radar observations of those two evenings, and had said as plainly as possible that they knew exactly what they were looking at [Hard Targets] and they were not "weather phenomena" of any sort. One can imagine elite professionals like Harry Barnes responding to Air Force allusions that he didn't know how to interpret a radar signal. Well, here they are again in late November of the year and they've got more anomalies at Washington National. Barnes, or whoever spoke with the Air Force on this one, made it perfectly clear: "1. No temperature inversions present. Adiabatic charts coming from Maj. Fournet. 2. Source states blips very similar to Wash. radar sighting from Control Center on 19 Jul and 26 Jul 52." So there!!! Back at you, USAF!!! Over the next couple of years there was a study of some of these sorts of sightings in the DC area, where the military scientist concluded that they could not possibly have been due to inversions and related ducting or illusory signals. Menzelian radar debunking took a big, but unpaid-attention-to, hit that day. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a strange thing [hope you can read at least some of it on the left]. [the blocky letters on the page are mine, as well as the script at the bottom; the script at the top is Hynek's]. This is a 1952 military case over Arizona. The pilots began observing "puffs of black smoke" appearing in the vicinity of their plane, with no other objects in view. They assumed that the puffs must be from someone launching some sort of ordnance from the ground. This had to be serious ordnance as they were flying at 10,000 feet. Various bursts and various changes of course to attempt to investigate took place over twenty minutes. The smoke puffs were uniform in size [20 feet diameter] and color [yellow] and created rough disturbed air. To explain this as a "normal" sort of phenomenon, one needs to imagine some one or some organization on the ground capable of firing high altitude smokebombs at military planes and doing so using up a lot of arsenal [to no obvious end] and time/effort. All this without warning the air force pilots that such a thing was going to happen. This dud bombardment continued over a 25 mile range. Well, I guess that's possible but it doesn't seem very convincing to me. But if not that: what??-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The thing on the left is just a mystery from Allen Hynek's personal files. Stuffed inside his Moonwatch file folders was this [apparent] "photo case". It consists of three strips of paper: two are parts of a film strip [duplicates] of ten frames each, and one is a blow-up of one area of that. On the back of the blow-up are a few scribbled notes, unfortunately not sufficiently enlightening. These notes are similar enough that they could be in Hynek's own hand. They indicate that the film was of an event of September 8, 1953. They refer to a camera on a telescope, which could mean a Phototheodolite. if so, that could also mean the White Sands area or places like Edwards AFB. He says that the object was not noticed visually at the time. The fact that the bottom comments are jocular in nature also leads me to believe that this could be Hynek writing [and particularly in his 1950s mode]. What's interesting to me is that he placed this thing in his Moonwatch files of the 1960s. By that time he was convinced that anomalous observations of similar things through Moonwatch cameras, and occasionally photographed as well, were real and quite unexplained. One can see Hynek in the 1960s at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Headquarters of Moonwatch, scratching his beard and saying, "stuff like this has been reported to me for a long time. " ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some of that same "stuff" was the pile of Moonwatch reports from the official Moonwatchers but also coming out in the papers. One of those was the Grumman report that we recently saw in this blog, but others were just everyday Joe and Jolenes who had their cameras at the ready. One of those several news reports, with the photo, is at the left. These are unusual in UFO photo history in that they are of a different sort than the majority of things which turn out [with far too great a frequency] to be hoaxes. These are almost all genuine to my reading. They are distant lights, yes, but they have the attraction of having been seen by many independent people, and having remained unexplained. Hynek thought this material, as he gathered it [somewhat surreptitiously] alongside the Moonwatch work, was priceless, and very close to incontrovertible evidence of a UFO phenomenon. Well, I'm with you on that old man. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Something that popped up in the pile which had a coincidental nature to it, so I thought I'd pass it along, was this page from the old and valuable Australian Flying Saucer Review. As it has to do with the Reverend Browning Cressy event that we've just seen featured in the 1961 volume of FSR. it seemed worthy to show. I'm doing that because you can see illustrated a recreation of Lionel Browning as he saw the "mothership and babies" that evening. Hopefully you can also read these early remarks on the case. On the second page of the AFSR article [not reproduced here] Browning mentions that the disks "came towards the ship [i.e. the mothership] like flat stones skipping along water". Shades of Kenneth Arnold, eh? A comment on the second page also emphasized that Browning and his wife were not the only witnesses. A Mrs. Doris Bransden of Cressy said: "It was a fantastic sight--like a lot of little ships flocking around a bigger one." Apparently, there were several other witnesses as well. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were quite a few more really interesting bits of data of our subject [i.e. wilder and woolier encounters] but I'm being pretty conservative today it seems, so here's something else in that vein. {funny, isn't it, that I can be "conservative" by "only" giving powerful evidence that the UFO phenomenon is real?}. The document at the left is another Project Blue Book report from Hynek's personal files. It tells of a July 1952 military incident wherein three observers, in the company of five civilians, saw a round rotating object move in and hover directly overhead of the group. [this sort of behavior always clinches the non-accidental "agenda" of whatever these things are doing, in my mind]. The thing covered a large apparent swath of sky ["eight inches", apparently meaning arm's length]. It was metal-colored and glowed lightly. No noise was mentioned, and we can assume that despite hovering overhead the large thing was silent. It "turned on its side and formed a long circular tube". Maybe this just means seeing it edge-on, maybe it means something weirder than that. Then it flipped back to "round", and "immediately disappeared". Hynek writes "INTERESTING" on the page. Well, uhh, yeh. He then asks Mark Chesney [showing that these scribblings were in the seventies at the early CUFOS] to write the case up and show him the "abstract". ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Instant disappearance---I noticed about a dozen cases of this type as I paged through the pile. It's a form of high strangeness that not a lot is made of in our business. That's probably because it's hard to distinguish between something which instantly disappears "in place", and something that whisks away so rapidly that the eye cannot take pictures fast enough to see it do so. My intuition is that both things happen: i.e. some encounters end with a very rapid moving away [you get reports where the observer notes great speed of departure at the near limit of what they can follow, so why not assume that some leave a little faster still?], and some just "wink out" right where they are. That second type is harder to defend, but this case smacks of that sort of thing. A crowd of people staring right at the thing, and big, and it's just no longer there. If we had cases like the Cheshire Cat of Alice-in-Wonderland, that would be solved: part disappearing while the rest remained in place would be pretty good evidence of such tomfoolery. But despite often hearing comments to the contrary, it is my experience that few to none UFO cases [which are credible] have Cheshire Cat exits involved with them [sometimes there's a leftover glow but not part of the device]. So, who knows about "instant disappearance?" Maybe so, maybe not. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But we can all take heart that with a species as brilliant as we are, the solution to all this is just around the corner. Yep. I believe that. Yep. No doubt. Anytime now.

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