|Where is Anthony Ranfone when we need him?|
|Where is Anthony Ranfone when we need him?|
"No astronomical explanation seems possible for the unusual object cited in this incident."
Incident #40 was another puzzler. This one took place in Phoenix, Arizona on July 7, 1947, when a private citizen witnessed a 20-30 ft elliptical gray object with a distinct “cockpit” that descended at 400 mph, spiraled twice and then quickly ascends and disappears. In an apparent first, the witness had a camera close at hand, and the two resulting photos proved to be quite problematic to Hynek."In everything but the course flown, the description given here answers to that of a fireball. The course indicated in this incident, however, appears almost fatal to such a hypothesis. No fireball on record, to this investigator’s knowledge, has been known to turn back on itself… To execute a curved trajectory would require highly extraordinary circumstances indeed, and a meteoric explanation for this incident must be regarded as most improbable."
"This case is especially important because of the photographic evidence and because of the similarity of these photographs to the drawings by Kenneth Arnold (Incident #17)…The present investigator would like to suggest that this incident, #40, being one of the most crucial in the history of these objects, be reopened for investigation. The actual camera used by Mr. Rhodes should be examined, and the original negatives preserved…
"(It is unfortunate that a competent investigator was not dispatched at once to ‘reenact the crime’ with Mr. Rhodes and to obtain sketches of the trajectory, etc., before details faded from his memory). It would be important to know at least the altitude and azimuth Mr. Rhodes’ camera was pointed at the time of his two exposures and the approximate time interval betrween exposures. Physical data like these are absolutely essential if we are to get anywhere in any basic physical explanation of these incidents.
"There remains the strong possibility that the entire incident is spurious, and the invention of an excitable mind. This strengthens the need for re-investigating; if spurious, this fact should be highlighted and even publicized, to quench enthusiasm for the irresponsible reporting of “saucers" and like objects."
|First of all, never lend your camera to a military intelligence officer. Second of all, get a real camera.|
"At the moment."At the moment there appears to be no logical explanation for this incident.
Air Force investigates ‘crashed UFO’ in Arizona desert (exciting tease)
...a “crashed UFO” in the Arizona desert just outside of Phoenix October 23, 2014, caused two F16 fighter jets to scramble to that location for a closer look, according to Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) field investigators conducting a training boot camp (enticing set-up).But then, in the unexpected twist, the story seems to be a complete put-on. Look at the photo of the "crashed saucer," a/k/a the kitchen collander of completely indeterminate size...
The UFO was actually a model created for the boot camp for use training the 25 field investigators who signed up (disappointing deouement).
|To be fair, it's not supposed to look "real," however, I don't think it's supposed to look silly, either.|
|"Let's get the hell out of here"|
#670: "Second Sight" -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
I love this episode, especially the over-the-top performance by guest star Richard Kiley, but the reviewer does not mince words: "Quite poor" is his final judgement.
(Remember, though, this is just one person's opinion, and his regular job at Playboy is writing the centerfolds' "Turn-Ons" and "Turn-Offs")
#664: "Meridian" -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
I was not happy with the final product, to be honest. I was hired to write a script from someone else's lame-ass story treatment: Brigadoon in Outer Space, only without Fred Astaire and the musical numbers. The producers bought the story from an intern, which I never understood because they all hated it. No one wanted to write the script, so they assigned it to me, as a test or punishment or something. Thanks, guys.
(Fun Factoid: I actually was proud of the script I turned in, but the show runner hated it and had the whole damn thing rewritten -- so in the end I'm blameless, which is actually very cool!)
#393: "For the Cause" -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
I'm pretty pleased with this one. The great Ron Moore of "Battlestar Galactica" fame wrote the script from my story. I had fun putting Cmdr. Sisko in a tight personal/professional bind in the Federation's conflict with the Maquis, and Ron added a whole lot more tension.
(Fun Factoid: Ron's scene with Sisko trying to talk his girlfriend out of breaking the law to aid the Maquis, knowing all the while he's going to fail, is my favorite moment in the episode)
#176: "Timescape" -- Star Trek: The Next Generation
"Maybe the most far-out TNG episode of all," wrote the reviewer, who I now suddenly love!
This was my first sale to Trek, and the only one where I didn't get my name in the credits. All they bought from me was a "story concept," because they needed a new script in 6 days or some absurd timeframe, and only producer Brannon Braga could kick out a script that fast.
(Fun Factoid: The Writers Guild doesn't have rules for "story concepts," so Paramount didn't have to give me credit. Whatever -- they paid me a pretty dandy fee for one sentence. Good work if you can get it!)
#158: "Who Mourns for Morn?" -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"A gift to fans, celebrating the doofy lookin' guy in the bar who never speaks," the brilliant reviewer wrote.
What can I say? This episode hit #72 on Anders' list, and it's pretty damn high here among 694 other episodes. It was nearly impossible for an outside writer to successfully pitch a comedy episode, but I was determined and after several attempts I finally scored.
(Fun Factoid: Everybody wanted to do an episode about the silent alien barfly Morn, but nobody could figure out how. "Morn's" alien makeup was an unarticulated mask, and there was no way Paramount would pay for a new mask, or pay to have the actor, Mark Shepard, say any dialog. My solution? Kill off Morn before the episode even starts, then do the story as "Citizen Kane" in space, with Quark trying to figure out what Morn's personal "Rosebud" means)
"We started getting telephone reports of an object appearing in the northern sky. It grew in size until it was rather large, and then it moved around and then it faded away. But, half of the people reported it was rushing at them; not just that it got bigger, but that it was rushing towards them. Which is a natural interpretation, if you see a round thing that gets bigger. We got reports from Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan and Indiana. My immediate thought was that there’s something actually there, and it’s pretty far away. And it must be pretty big. What have we got here? The Death Star?"Whatever it was, the witnesses who called in reports to the Air Force felt that they were in imminent danger from an object that was in very close range. When Bill interviewed those witnesses, however, he made a startling discovery:
"I started calling them back, and just started writing things down and plotting it all on a map. And, sure enough, all the lines of sight they reported converged, and they converged somewhere over Hudson Bay. Oh, that’s a long way away! Of course the baselines were pretty long, too; they were hundreds of miles apart, so we had a pretty good triangulation on this thing."
|A terrifying sight over Hudson Bay... Good luck, Canada!|
"In that particular case the expert was the guy who was wrong. He thought it was something on a collision course with them and he took evasive action, and he was the pilot of a commercial airliner. He took evasive action, and it was 200 miles away from him! So, it turned the whole prejudice thing upside down. The guy who was driving home drunk from the bar gave a pretty good report of it: he got the direction, the time, the appearance. He was pretty much in agreement with everyone else."That's something to think about... I'd say we need to give more weight to the testimony of drunk UFO witnesses, and less to the testimony of airline pilots.
"It was obviously something big, something high. It had to be high enough to be in space, because over the curve of the earth, something that appeared at that angle in the sky, 30 degrees up, had to be out of the atmosphere. Through the Air Force I was able to get the information; yes, there was a test. They were sending up a sounding rocket with a payload which was a load of heated barium which was released into space. They wanted to see how it would be excited by the electrons of the Van Allen Belt out in space. That would give them some indication how strong the radiation was up there. It was a valid scientific experiment."
Something for every UFO investigator to keep in mind, eh?"So now we had a case where people were reporting something that we knew had happened! We knew where it was, and we knew what it was. This was “an unusual thing seen under ordinary circumstances.” And, by golly, the observers came through that with flying colors. We were able to get data together that made sense; the correlations between the data from the different observers were what they should have been, and the observers were all ages and all occupations."