Friday, August 26, 2011

DATA-NET: Now You See Me Now You Don't.

In a desperate attempt to find something interesting and relatively non-challenging to do, I have temporarily decided that slowly perusing an old UFO newsletter is within my energy level. We'll see how it goes and if anything interesting emerges.

DATA-NET was a production of a network of Ham Radio operators in the late 1960s. Before the days of the internet this was a great idea, even though it took a lot of work and coordination. The general idea was that a radio web of independent citizens might operate like a widespread news service about UFO cases, some of which people elsewhere in the country would never hear about. In some cases the local Ham would merely report the story out of the local paper; in rare cases that might have even stimulated a bit of a personal field trip or interview. The internet makes this a bit obsolete today, but it would still be a good way to rescue UFO cases from oblivion if there was an actual network of truly dedicated individuals. Theoretically that's what MUFON is supposed to do, of course, but to my eye it rarely happens, or if it does, the rest of us never see the results.

DATA-NET is a glimpse into the past and is long gone as a newsletter. It was always a rarity, and the only ones that I read were the short stack at the Center for UFO Studies. They, however, began sending Ivan Sanderson their newsletter in late 1969 ["Volume 3, Number 6"], and so that gives me the rare opportunity to read more. So, I am.

These cases are not illustrated. DATA-NET was just typing on a page, so what I'll do here is simply try to thumbnail cases and leave it up to your imagination.

August 7th, 1969; Schenectady, NY. A husband and wife [named in article] reported a "large mass of white light" weaving through the sky. It then separated and became three small disks. After a while the three disks merged back into the large mass form and flew away. Shortly it returned, and .... "just disappeared". The witnesses said several other unnamed motorists stopped to watch this as well. Yep, just another normal day in Schenectady.

August 18th, 1969; Santa Cruz Island, CA. Many witnesses had seen unidentifiable pairs of lights [several pairs] on the 16th. Two evenings later, three members of a family [all named in article] saw pairs of yellow-orange flickering lights high in the sky. They watched sharing binoculars for about three minutes. There were 8 to 10 pairs [people didn't think to count] stretched out side by side [i.e. one pair after the other --- whether the pairs made a straight line isn't stated, but the orientation of the two lights in a pair was the same { i.e. if the first pair was one above the other, the rest were in that exact appearance relative to the other pairs; or, to put it another way: all lines from the pairs would have been parallel in the sky --- the reason why I've belabored this is that if all these orientations were the same, it looks more likely that the things could have been one object}].

As the witnesses, and now another neighbor [also named] watched, the pairs began blinking out one after the other at three second intervals. Finally just one was left. That pair hung there for a bit, changed color, dimmed, and disappeared. Both the husband and the neighbor reported the event to the Coast Guard.

September 12th, 1969; Muldrow, OK. A mother and her 14 year old daughter [named in the article] were sitting on their porch when a very large red ball of light just suddenly appeared [i.e. it didn't "rise" like the Moon]. The sky was clear and moonrise did not occur until much later that evening. The ball did not move nor make any sound, it just perched there in place. The object then faded to pink. Then to white. Then took on a fluffy cloud form. Always unmoving, for about 20 minutes. Then it simply was no longer there. The family tried to find others who may have seen the mystery but could not. That might mean that the phenomenon was actually fairly close by. The more exotic idea is that of the technically-produced "privileged viewing angle" where an object might be seen only along a particular line-of-sight.

So, that will do hopefully to keep our minds spinning a bit. I always am watching for "disappearance" cases. They may just be do to our own visual limitations, but many of them do not seem to fit that mundane hypothesis. Many such cases might just be the advanced technology "Portal" system. Now we see "them"; now we don't.

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