High Strangeness: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let Them Know You Care

Sometimes I just have so much deadly important UFO stuff to write about that I forget to slow down and smell the roses... which have probably been charred at a UFO landing site. Today is one of those days: I've had major developments in the UFO sighting I'm investigating and in the J. Allen Hynek book project, and I need to blog about them both, but... but... I have been sidetracked by sweet smelling soaps.

I took the time to read the Letter from the President in the November MUFON eJournal, and boy was I wrong about that guy. Sure, the Captain is a crusty old dog, but in his column he got all mushy about the coming holidays. Take Thanksgiving, for instance. He's thankful for every MUFON member, and thinks every last one of us is "top notch," from the members of the Board of Directors to the lowliest misfit. I'm in there somewhere, so that's good.

But it's not just me he's thankful for: The Captain is thankful for our membership growth, for the increased stature of our organization, and for the "fresh, bright atmosphere sweeping through MUFON." He doesn't seem to have figured out yet just who is behind all those things, but I expect a call from him any day now.

So the Thanksgiving thing is cool, but it turns out he's crazy about Christmas too! In fact, he wants everyone to have a wonderful Christmas. And the way everyone has a wonderful Christmas is for everyone to get wonderful MUFON merchandise from the MUFON eStore in their stockings Christmas morning! Things like alien soap. "They smell great!" The Captain advises us, and you know he's right.

Just look at these adorable soaps and tell me you wouldn't be tickled to get one of these from your best gal or fella...

Manly yes, but aliens like it too!
It's an "Out of This World" value for only $13.50 (you knew I was going to go there, right?)!

But that's not all! The Captain also enthuses about "Ladies shirts with the MUFON logo made of Swarovski crystal. (These are "HOT")" When I first read this I was puzzled: how could I, a Certified MUFON Field Investigator, afford a ladies' shirt encrusted with fine crystal? And what lady would wear something so dangerous? I turned quickly to the Apparel section of the eCatalog and there it was... for only $35... the MUFON Sparkle Logo Ladies V-Neck Shirt!



 Two words: VA-VOOM

 Five words: TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER



 Five other words: BUILT... LIKE A BRICK MOTHERSHIP



I am so glad I took a break from the serious side of UFOs. I needed this.




Monday, October 29, 2012

Scared S**tless

I just talked with a 16 year-old girl who was scared shitless the other night by something in the sky. I know how scared she was, because she caught the whole episode on her phone...

Two days ago I got an urgent email from my MUFON State Director asking if I could drop everything and take a big case. What the hell, lady? This is my life. Does M ask 007 if he'll take an assignment? Of course I'll drop everything and take the case.

After several tries I finally got through to the first witness this evening, but not before watching the 8 minute video she included with her report. Is the video good? Well, it was shot at night on an iPhone by a terrified 16 year-old girl, so it's slightly below Blair Witch quality. You see a lot of detail on the ground, but in my first viewing I didn't see much of anything in the sky.

But the audio is another thing altogether. You might not know this is you're not a Certified UFO Field Investigator, but audio quality, unlike video quality, is unaffected by time of day it's recorded. Audio recorded after dark is just as clear and has just as much detail as audio recorded in broad daylight. It's an interesting fact.

Fear. It looks like this.
So the audio in this girl's recording is pretty gripping. You hear a mother and daughter wondering excitedly what they're looking at in the sky, comparing descriptions and reactions, wondering out loud if it's the north star or a helicopter, They quickly decide that it's neither, and for a while they follow the object, hoping to get a clean view of it. Then the object takes off at high speed and at this point the daughter starts to get nervous... "Mom, this is scaring me...(laughs nervously) Mom, it's a flying saucer! It's stopping, why is it stopping, a plane can't stop!"

They pull over to watch, and as the mom seems to grow more bold the daughter starts to have second thoughts about the whole thing. Then the light they've been following suddenly grows more brilliant, and they realize the object is coming towards them, fast. "It's coming over here, Go! MOM! GO! GO BACK!" Over and over again the girl pleads with her mom to go home, but for some reason I cannot fathom the mom refuses.

Daughter (crying): "Mom, PLEASE! Please! Let's go HOME!"

Mom (cruelly): "Why?"

Why? WHY? Because I'm about to pee in my pants on the seat of your car, mom, that's why.

Whew... I don't spook easily. In fact I haven't been scared since... well, the day I was born. That was bad. But listening to this girl's recording, I felt a serious chill. I'm not sure what she and her mom saw in the sky -- it might even have been a helicopter; at this point in my investigation I can't discount it -- but you can't listen to a 16 year-old girl dissolve into tears without feeling that something out of the ordinary is going on...

I still have to interview the cruel, unfeeling mom, and visit the site of the encounter, so there may be more to the story than what I've heard so far. But what I've heard so far is pretty compelling.

This is why I got into this racket!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fishin' for UFOs

I've been putting some time into my J. Allen Hynek book project, and thought I would publish a sneak peek here on the blog for my lucky readers. For the book proposal I need to write two sample chapters, and the chapter I'm working on first, "Chapter X," deals with the year 1973. That's the year that Dr. Hynek finally founded his long-dreamed-of scientific research organization, the Center for UFO Studies, or CUFOS. Not coincidentally, 1973 was also the year that the U.S. saw one of the biggest UFO "flaps" in history.

Starting in the summer of that year, people all over the country were seeing and reporting strange objects in the sky, but there was more to it than that. Over and over again these objects were landing, and creatures were being sighted outside the objects. The police were going nuts. The Air Force was keeping quiet.

Enter Charlie Hickson and Calvin Parker, to shipbuilders from Pascagoula, Mississippi, who set one night to catch some fish and ended up being caught themselves. Within 48 hours of their experience they were interviewed by Dr. Hynek himself, who had been flown down to Pascagoula by NBC News to investigate the occurrence. This is their story, as told by me...


Chapter X



It was the door that did it. When the door opened, everything fell apart.

Up until that moment, Calvin and Charlie still thought they might be able to understand what was happening to them, might be able to keep their grip on reality. It was such an ordinary October night, after all. A few relaxing hours fishing on the pier, then home to bed for a solid night’s sleep before starting the day shift next morning at Walker Shipyard.

Charlie Hickson felt obligated to give Calvin some normalcy. Older by some 23 years than his fishing companion, Charlie had promised his old friend, Calvin’s dad, that he would help the boy adjust to his new job and new surroundings. Pascagoula wasn’t much bigger than Calvin Parker’s hometown of Gautier, just up the Mississippi Gulf coast a few miles, but it was big enough to make a 19 year-old feel lonely and unmoored.

So they went fishing. Charlie knew a spot on the west side of the Pascagoula River, behind the Schaupeter Shipyard, where the redfish and speckled trout were almost always biting. The two men sat on the rusty pier, a few yards apart, watching the dark water and occasionally wondering out loud where the fish had all gone to that night.

By 9 p.m., the night had settled in and the talk had gone quiet, and the only sound was the lapping of the river. But then there was another sound. At first the humming didn’t even register. But in a second or two it had grown loud enough – or close enough – for both men to hear it.

Two flashes of intense blue light startled them, and the men looked around to see what was approaching.



They may have expected to see a police car, or a helicopter, or a boat approaching from the water side or a hundred other things, but instead the men found themselves staring at an impossibility.

The glowing, humming object approached them from across the bayou, dropping from the sky and then hovering a few feet off the water. It was oval, like an egg, and featureless, perhaps 30 to 40 feet across and eight to 10 feet tall. It gave off a pulsating blue light, the same hue as the flashes that had announced its presence. And it floated there, fifty yards away from them, while something inside prepared to come out.

“I looked to each side. I wanted to run,” Calvin recalled years later in a video interview, but he and Charlie were penned in; an auto salvage yard blocked escape on one side and the river blocked the other. “I had nowhere to run! I couldn’t swim at the time, so I didn’t want to take the chance of jumping in the water and drowning.”[1]



Imagine three of these things coming at you...
When the door opened in the side of the egg, Charlie and Calvin knew they should have taken their chances in the river. Three things – three creatures – floated silently out of the door and came towards them over the water. In the blue glow the creatures seemed to be gray, and although they never touched the ground they had legs, and were humanoid. The “oid” part, of course, is key; they had torsos, heads, arms and legs but nothing else about them was right. Instead of hands they appeared to have claws. The feet were more like rounded stubs. Pointed cones took the place of ears and noses. The heads and necks were fused into solid units, and rested implacably between the shoulders. There were no eyes in the gray faces, and the mouths were small slits that never moved.

Nothing was said. One of the creatures made buzzing sounds, but they did not speak. They simply took both men by the arms – two of them holding Charlie and one supporting Calvin – and floated them back to that door.

“I was scared to death,” Charlie recounted hours later in testimony to the Jackson County Sheriff. “And me with a spinnin’ reel out there – it’s all I had. I couldn’t – well, I was so scared – well, you can’t imagine. Calvin done went hysterical on me.”[2]

Even in his terror, Charlie tried to protect the younger man. There was nothing he could do physically – like Calvin he was essentially paralyzed once the creatures had touched him – but he was older and had seen hardship and violence in his life. His days in Korea had taught him bravery and denial, and he tried to call on both as the creatures took him, so that Calvin would see his calm and take comfort in it.

But Calvin blacked out the instant he was lifted off the ground; it was the only way he could cope. He did not consciously know that he had entered the egg until much later, and that was for the best.

Like those of many UFO witnesses, Charlie’s thoughts flashed ahead to the outcome of the encounter and he feared the worst: Would the beings kill him? Would they take him away somewhere? Would he ever see his loved ones again? “I kept thinking, ‘They will dredge the river and with no bodies they will assume we have drowned and washed out to sea,’” Charlie recounted in his book “UFO Contact at Pascagoula.”[3]
Once through the door, Charlie was unaware of Calvin’s whereabouts. He was only conscious of where he had been taken: a bright room with a spherical floating “eye” that emerged from the wall. Still weightless, his body now rigid, as if prepared for burial, Charlie felt the creatures leaning him back. The eye approached and seemed to peer at him, inspecting him, making sense of him in a way that Charlie could not make sense of his captors.

“The ‘eye’ came closer and stopped about six inches from my face,”[4] he said. “The end focused on me was a different color or type of material than the rest of it. I tried again to close my eyes, but some force kept them open. The eye lingered there for a while then started to move down my body and returned to move over my entire body. No pain, no sensation.” 
As the examination went on Charlie lost sight of the creatures. The buzzing stopped and Charlie knew he was alone, and that was almost worse. Had the creatures gone to examine Calvin? Would they come back? They communicated nothing: no purpose, no intention, no concern… Later, the men would decide that they must have been robots – how else to explain their lack of expression and disregard for gravity?





[1] Calvin Parker video statement, undated

[2] Charles Hickson interview conducted by Jackson County Sheriff Fred Diamond and Captain Glen Ryder, October 11, 1973

[3] UFO Contact at Pascagoula, 1983, Charles Hickson and William Mendez, self-published


[4] Ibid.

Copyright 2012, Mark O'Connell

Friday, October 26, 2012

My UFO Workload

Vxxxx, my MUFON State Director doesn't understand me. I emailed her the other day asking for more cases to investigate, and today she emailed all the Certified MUFON Field Investigators in the state asking if any of them could take over some of my cases for me. How does such a simple a message get so hopelessly garbled?

Anyway, to demonstrate my effectiveness, I turned in a case report just today, and I used the new case reporting form for the first time. A few weeks ago MUFON HQ in Cincinatti was threatening excommunication for anyone who failed to use this new reporting form, and now that I've used it I don't see what the fuss is about. See, to begin with I totally forgot about using the new form and filed my report on the old form... Then I got Vxxxx's email with her reminder to use the new form or else, and I quickly filled in the new form and snuck it in as an attachment to the old form. The thing is, there's not a whole lot of difference between the two.

But in case you ever wondered what an official Certified UFO Field Investigation case report looks like, here you go:

MUFON CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
INVESTIGATOR – Mark O’Connell
ID # 18761

CASE NUMBER – 42930

BALLESTER-GUASP RESULTS - TOTAL CERTAINTY INDEX IS – 0

LATITUDE LONGITUDE – 44.4683430000/-88.1045645000

SYNOPSIS – Night sighting: Witness saw two white luminous oblong objects descend from sky and disappear behind a building

OBJECT DESCRIPTION – White, luminous, oblong, about twice the size of a car.

EVIDENCE - None

WEATHER INFORMATION – Clean, starry sky, no wind

WITNESS CREDIBILITY – Moderate; he could not be sure he was describing the objects accurately, but he was eager to know if anyone else had seen the same objects that night.

WITNESS INTERVIEW AND STATEMENTS – Witness was driving to work at 11:50 pm on Saturday, September 29, 2012, in an industrial section of Green Bay. There was no traffic and the streets had no lighting. He saw a lighted, oblong object in the sky, about 20 degrees above the ground, descending in a straight line towards some industrial buildings. Although he was only a few miles from Austin Straubel airport, he was sure this wasnt a plane; it seemed to move about the same speed as a landing plane, but there were no wings, no sound and no green and red lights. He pulled over and got out of the car to watch as the object disappeared behind a three-story warehouse that was about 300 yards away. He expected the object to reappear on the other side of the building but it never did. Then he saw a second, identical object approaching from the same direction and descending at the same speed and angle. The oblong, glowing object disappeared behind the same warehouse and did not appear on the other side.

He went back the next day to inspect the two fields where he thought the objects might have landed, but he did not find any signs of a landing.

NATURAL PHENOMENON OR MAN MADE - Unknown

CORRELATING CASES - Unknown

CONCLUSIONS – The witness could not provide enough details to be sure of what he might have seen. Had he investigated the possible landing site at the time of the sighting, he could have gotten much more information, but he had to go to work and wasn’t able to follow up until the next day.

Pretty neat and orderly, isn't it? Too bad I had to classify the sighting as "Unknown," but the witness, sincere as he was, just didn't give me much to work with. And as a result, I am submitting my first UFO case report with a Ballaster-Guasp Certainty Evaluation of... ZERO. Do you get it? After all this work, filling the form out twice when I could have been playing solitaire, it turns out that there is absolutely zero certainty that this sighting even happened! I'm used to getting 12s and 13s on my cases, and I just got a zero. You have no idea how heartbreaking that is for me...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

BIGELOW!

I love it when I get comments from "Anonymous." It means I don't have to redact the writer's name and that saves a lot of wear and tear on my 'x' key. More than that, it usually means that someone is about to dish some dirt on someone in the UFO world.

The other day I posted about my new instructions from my MUFON State Director to advertise for new Certified UFO Field Investigators on Craigslist, and today Mr./Mrs. Anonymous replied with a whole lotta dirt...

"The reason why no one wants to be an investigator is because they are allowed to subject you to a 'lifelong background check' anytime they want for whatever reason. There are also a few things to sign your life away on through MUFON. Everything changed once Bigelow decided to run things. It seems like MUFON answers to a higher board than the one we are all thinking actually does."

BIGELOW! I should have known.

This is opening an old wound... A few years back MUFON leadership entered into an agreement with a reclusive Las Vegas millionaire named Robert Bigelow in which Bigelow would fund a UFO SWAT team through MUFON, and in return MUFON would hand over any and all physical evidence found at the site of a UFO sighting to Bigelow. Apparently a lot of rank-and-file MUFON members were outraged at this, because it meant MUFON was selling out.

Let me illustrate: Say a spaceship from another world crash lands in your town, and you're the first MUFON Certified UFO Field Investigator to show up (this is every Certified UFO Field Investigator's dream, by the way). Now just when you're tossing the wreckage of the spaceship and the alien corpses into the back of your station wagon and getting ready to call Geraldo, along comes this Bigelow fellow, who takes the wreckage, the corpses, and your station wagon and spirits them off to Las Vegas. Is that fair? It doesn't matter, because your MUFON leaders agreed to let him take it all -- you've been sold out, Investigator!

This is a symbolic representation of what happened to the MUFON-Bigelow partnership, or so we are told. If the partnership broke up, why is Anonymous so angry??
But Anonymous has more to talk about than just Bigelow: "Besides, the membership to MUFON is a farse now!!" Anon. continues. "Since they recently changed all the nuts and bolts with the STAR team and the 'newsletter', membership is now non existent. When you "subscribe to the newsletter" it does not mean you are a member anymore. Clearly it points out that you are a MUFON "subscriber" !"

The comment goes on, but, honestly, at this point I have no idea what Anonymous is talking about. All I know is that BIGELOW is forcing me to advertise on Craigslist for new Certified UFO Field Investigators, and I hate him for that.

Meanwhile, here is the response I've gotten to my Craigslist ad: one person tried to hire me for a shady job that was just too complicated to explain in an email, and another person... well, see for yourself:

I am passionate about UFO and their occurrences,I always look in the sky whenever i get a chance and explore the mystery. I would consider my luck if i get a chance to work on UFO's

I request you to give me the opportunity to work on UFO in my free time

thanks,
pxxxx


What the hell do I do with this? This is all Bigelow's doing!

This Vast Universe

My amazing wife sent me an amazing tweet this morning that has got me thinking big... But maybe not big enough.

The European Space Agency (when's the last time they put a man on the moon?) has released a 9-billion pixel photo of the 84 million stars at the core of the Milky Way Galaxy, and it's a stunner. Gaze upon this image and wonder at all the alien civilizations that could be lurking out there...

Big, huh? Now imagine a UFO being launched from every little pin prick of light in this image and you'll see what we're up against... It's no wonder my MUFON bosses are asking me to recruit new UFO Field Investigators on Craigslist.
I'm not sure which is more mind-boggling: the 84 million stars in the picture, or the 9 billion pixels that comprise the image, or the fact that the size of the image file is 24.6 Gigabytes, or the realization that some poor, undernourished astronomy grad student freezing his ass off high on a mountaintop in Chile had to count all this stuff.

It's all so staggeringly big that I was beginning to think that my sense of scale couldn't possibly stretch any more... Then I went to the website of the European Southern Observatory to see the original image in its original size, and there, under this whacking 9 Gigapixel image, is a button that says...

 'Click to enlarge.'

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Just a Drone, People! -- Part III

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that I often break huge stories that are routinely ignored by the rest of the media, and, in truth, by the rest of the world. But just because a news item only matters to me, that doesn't mean it's not important news, and I am periodically reminded of that by one of my readers.

For example, consider this item about the UFO on the flatbed trailer that I first wrote about here, and then here, and then here, and then, finally, and tragically, here. I wrote about it four times and it never went anywhere! Here's the United States in December, 2011, being overrun by Peterbilts hauling UFO's down our highways, and I'm the only person paying attention! And the fools in Cowley County, KS, are duped into helping the trucks haul the UFOs through their town!

I had a lot of questions about these strange UFO shipments at the time, and my concerns are still valid: If the "drones" were being shipped from California to Maryland, why were the trucks only actually spied en route in Kansas? Why weren't the "drones" simply flown to Maryland instead of being shipped by truck? And why, oh why, was the "drone" four feet shorter when it arrived in Maryland than it was when spotted in Kansas?

Well, reader txxxxxxxxxxx has got my back. And even if she is ten months late that still means something. She writes: "I'd say the jury is still out whether there is something fishy or not- impossible to be sure since as JD said the perspective is different. But I can tell you that is not the same rig. Same brand, but the apparatus atop the rig is not the same. Period. They may have had to change to a fresh horse at some point though."

I'll tell you what txxxxxxxxxxx, it's weirder than you can even imagine. Just check out this sequence of photos again. You and I both could see that the "objects" in the two photos were dramatically different from each other...



You and I could both see that the "object" sighted in Kansas was much taller than the "object" sighted in Maryland...


But now look at how even more different the "drone" looked when it finally rolled into Pyongyang, North Korea:


 Who are they trying to kid??

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Horses and Bayonets

Can we solve the UFO mystery with more horses and bayonets? Not likely, but I thought it was worth posing the question.

On to more important things. It occurs to me today that it can make one feel rather silly to be calling people up on the phone and introducing one's self as a Certified UFO Field Investigator calling to ask about their recent UFO sighting. I know what you're thinking: you just now figured that out? Well, no, I've always felt it, but I buried the feelings deep inside. Deep, deep inside. But they've come up again because I've been calling and emailing people the last couple of days trying line up investigations. In the process, I've ended up leaving a couple voicemail messages with witnesses, and for some reason when you start talking UFOs in a voicemail message the goofiness of the whole thing is hard to ignore...

"Hi, Mr./Mrs. XXXXXX, my name is Mark O'Connell, and I'm calling on behalf of MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network. I've been assigned to investigate your recent UFO sighting, and I'd like to arrange a time to go over the details of the incident..."

Maybe it's because when I talk to a person on the other end of the line, the words disappear the moment I've spoken them, but when I leave a message on an answering system, the words live on... Maybe it's just that typing "MUFON" is one thing, but saying "MUFON" out loud is altogether different... Or maybe it's that when you're speaking to someone directly your words only reach their ear, and when you leave a message, there could be a hundred people in the room when the message gets played back, and they could all be howling with laughter by the message ends.

Just try saying it out loud a few times. It sounds dumb.

But this is serious business, and I need to bury those feelings once again and just keep moving forward. Tonight I have had to chastise two other field investigators who are falling behind on their case reports in my four-county area. And one of them is my State Director! I've already sent her a mildly scolding email, and I have no idea how that will go over...

She has three cases outstanding: one involves a "VERY bright light," one involves a "solid orange light traveling northwest," and the third involves a "bright ball" that fell behind some trees. Honestly, how long could it take to investigate these?

The other guy has only one case outstanding, and that involved "12 to 15 glowing orange orbs." I can cut him some slack, because that's a lot of orbs to investigate, but I can't cut him much.

We have got to turn this around. We are a team, and we succeed and fail as a team. But if we do fail, is it my fault or theirs? I know what my guess is.






Friday, October 19, 2012

Desperate Measures... or... This Could Be A Huge Mistake

I'm a little confused by this. I got an email from my MUFON State Director directing me to place an ad on Craiglist in an effort to recruit new Certified UFO Field Investigators. Okay, but I thought Craigslist was where you went to look for a killer?

I guess I'm just not up on these newfangled social media.

Anyway, I trust my State Director, and I am sworn to obey her orders, so... off to Craigslist I go. She gave me and the other State Section Director some prepared text to place in the ad, and it went like this:

"Join the largest civilian organization investigating UFOs, Mutual UFO Network - Wisconsin needs investigators throughout the state. Check out the lower right hand corner of the MUFON website or write State Director, Vxxxx Lxxxxxx at Lxxxxx@xxx.com. Thanks!"

It's a little dry. If I was on Craigslist looking for a killer and I came across this, I would not be very enthused. It's all MUFON needs this and MUFON needs that; What's in it for me?

Would you join MUFON if you could have an alien encounter with this gal?
Worse yet: If I'm looking for Investigators in my section of the state, why would I have them contact my State Director? How does that add to my power base? 

After a great deal of thought, I have decided to post the ad as written... with a few minor alterations. Instead of the State Director's email, I am asking people to write to me directly at LoneWolf@highstrangenessufo.com

I'll give it a few days and see how it goes. If I haven't gotten any action in a few days, I'll repost the ad... with an actual sales pitch. This is potentially the most important, most thrilling thing a person can do with his or her life; the ad should get that point across! It should be all sexy images and empty promises, exactly what sucked me into this gig!
 
 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ancient Strangeness

There are some paradigms gonna be broken this weekend in Minnesota. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, my paradigms will be safe and sound in Wisconsin, because I only found out about the Paradigm Symposium of ancient alien lore today by pure chance, and I will not be going.

As UFO and paranormal events go, this one looks like a real corker. Erich Freaking von Daniken will be there, for God's sake. So will George Noory. Also the guy with the hair. I hate to miss that kind of paranormal starpower, especially when it's only a few hours away. This show has got it all: slick website, beautiful setting, sponsorships from basic cable series; you name it, they've got it.

Spotted in an article from Intrepid Magazine entitled "Are UFO Believers Crazy?" First, magazine writer, could you explain the nonsense term "UFO Believers"?
Naturally, I wanted to know who was behind the Symposium. Turns out the event is being put on by Intrepid Magazine and The Gralien Report, two big-time online journals of strangeness. Needless to say, I have never heard of either of them. I wonder why. Maybe because both journals seem to embrace a combination of pseudo-scientific speculation (in which I have great interest) and vehement conservative politics (in which I have none).

Here's a good example of what makes me uncomfortable with a UFO magazine. Articles entitled "How to Treat Your Own Gunshot Wound... Naturally!" make me uncomfortable. And yet, that article is featured in the online preview issue of Intrepid. And it's not a joke.

So, on balance, I'm not entirely disappointed not to be going. But I will be going in a way. I am signing on to follow as many of the presenters on Twitter as I possibly can, so I can learn the latest in strangeness and report back to you. Considering the Minneapolis Doubletree Hotel is liable to filled with hundreds of people staggering around with weeping gunshot wounds this weekend, it seems the safest way to attend.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My 31 UFO Cases

I am really enjoying the whole UFO Field Investigation process. UFO witnesses are just such nice people. The serious investigators are always talking about whether witnesses are credible or not -- Does he have a college degree? Is she an airline pilot? -- but I ask you, what does their "credibility" matter if they're not nice people? I'll take likeability over credibility any time.

I just called one of my witnesses to set up an interview next week (after I get home from a short vacation), and he was so excited to get my call, it made my night. Not only was he excited about being able to tell his story, he said that if the timing worked out I could interview all his other family members who had seen the same strange triangle in the sky...

It's a shame I have to wait a week to start the investigation, because my caseload is piling up. Now that I'm State Section Director, and am directly responsible for investigations in Jefferson, Walworth, Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties, I have 31 cases weighing on me. 31!

These four counties have a combined population of nearly 1.5 million, and that's not even including me. Let's say that 2 out of every 3 people, on average, see a UFO and report it to MUFON. That's a million cases to investigate! And that's all on me, folks, it's all on me.

Okay, I know, my case load may never get anywhere a million. Thirty-one may be as bad as it gets. And it's not like I have to investigate them all myself. Apparently I have a crew of investigators working for me, but since I've never been told who they are I'll just have to hope that we bump into each other on the rim of the crater that's left behind the next time a UFO lands in the four-county area.

Looking over the list, I see that there are some pretty exciting incidents to be investigated in my territory:
  • Observed fireball in sky seperate (sic) into several and spin like a pinwheel
  • fast moving pace went back 11 hrs later to possible landing site
  • Pulsing Sphers (sic) of light moving erratically in the eastern sky above Lake Michigan Wisconsin 
  • just happened to look just above the tree line and saw a very bright glowing solid ball of light falling straight down until it went past the tree line and could no longer see it.
  • Followed our car to our destination, no power in car, hovered over us and left
  • It was a perfect circle one demetion (sic) mint green glow appeared to be in another time zone, it was their (sic) but it was not
  • 3 UFOs zigzagging during meteor shower
  • A zig zagging flying object with flashing lights on the tips of what seemed to be a triangle shape
So, I've got a pinwheel, a possible landing site, spheres, circles and balls, stalled cars, other time zones, a couple of zig-zaggers, and possibly the stupidest aliens in the universe...

Meteor shower or alien invasion? I can't tell, either!
Why do I say that? It's the first thing I thought of when I read "3 UFOs zigzagging during meteor shower." You see, aliens have been using meteor showers for cover since way back when. You wait for a meteor shower over the earth, and you slip in a few ships between all the meteors and no one's the wiser. But it only works if the ships travel in a straight line. You know, just like the meteors do. To slip into the earth's atmosphere during a meteor shower and then go zig-zagging all over the place reveals a certain misunderstanding of strategic thinking among the aliens that I find quite reassuring.

I am also intrigued by the fact that three of these cases are historical. One took place in 1995, one took place in 1987, and one goes all the way back to 1967. This woman, Cxxxx Pxxx, waited forty-five years to report a UFO sighting?

Step to the front of the line, ma'am, and tell me everything you remember...




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's a Small UFO World -- Part 2

A while back I wrote about being contacted by an English professor who is planning on writing some poetry about the famous Betty & Barney Hill UFO abduction case, and I wanted to give an update on his progress.

Yesterday Txxx wrote to me to say that he was at the Betty Hill archives in New Hampshire, and he had this to report: "I'm here in the archives now . . . and they're incredible.  The personal detail from her correspondence and journals is vital to the book.  I'm getting the three-dimensional picture of her I need for the poems.  Later today, will be looking at the files on the chemical analysis of the dress she wore the night of the alleged abduction."

I'll be damned if I can figure out how you can write poetry about chemical analysis, but if anyone can do it I bet Txxx can.

Right around the same time Txxx was sending me this note, I was digging through the J. Allen Hynek archives at Northwestern University, and I was surprised to find a bit of synchronicity in the files... There, in the 1966 Correspondence folder, was a poem. Not just any poem. A sarcastic poem. A sarcastic pro-Martian poem. If there's anything harder than writing poetry about chemical analysis, it's got to be writing sarcastic pro-Martian poetry.

The poem, written by a Mr. Yxxxxxx on October 22, 1966, is entitled "Martian Gas." Mr. Yxxxxxx was, apparently incensed by Dr. Hynek's embarrassing "swamp gas" incident, and wanted to make the Doctor pay...

The swamp gas incident of March, 1966 was a significant moment in Dr. Hynek's career as the U.S. Air Force's official UFO debunker. Close to 100 people saw strange lights in the sky in and around Dexter and Hillsdale, MI over the course of two nights. Several of the witnesses were police officers, who of course are reliable witnesses, and several of the witness were sorority sisters, who of course are rotten witnesses. I don't know why, they just are.

Anyway, the sightings made the national news and the Air Force sent Dr. Hynek to investigate. Reporters were clamoring for an explanation, so a press conference was held. Even though he had barely begun his investigation, Dr. Hynek was being called on to make a statement, so he made one. Trouble is, he made the wrong one. He said that one possible explanation for the sightings was luminous "swamp gas."

The reporters apparently didn't hear the "one possible explanation" part of his statement, and they all ran with swamp gas as the official Air Force explanation, leaving poor Dr. Hynek at the podium saying, "But, it could also be..." to an empty house.

Well, the citizens of Dexter and Hillsdale did not take kindly to being publicly ridiculed by Hynek, and the next day newspaper headlines were heaping ridicule right back on the Doctor... Swamp gas? How stupid did he think they were?

Enter Mr. Yxxxxxx and his poem...
Would sorority sisters mistake this swamp gas for UFOs?

*ahem*

"Martian Gas"

In the midst of the twentieth century,
   when man reached for the stars
And probed the void with telescopes
   and inter-planet cars

And sought communication
    with life beyond our own,
We found we still had earth-men
    who feared the great unknown.

Scientist, astronomer and physicist but fair;
Yet, Air Force Apologist, most ex' trordinaire.
"Deny, debunk, deplore, decry the witness of your eyes.
Saucer-sighters are but fools delighting in their lies."

Mortal man is nor prepared
     for interstellar strife.
Leave him to the ignorance
     of just this earthly life.
Just as priests reserve the faith,
     scientists hide the plan;
Martian conquest needs no help
     from ordinary man.


Hynek never really lived down the swamp gas incident, and soon after he began to chafe at his role as the Air Force Apologist ex' trordinaire. From what I've uncovered so far, this is the only time he was heckled via iambic pentameter. But once is enough.





Monday, October 8, 2012

Flaming Helicopters!

I've taken on a new UFO investigation, and it could be The Big One. It's not a Close Encounter of Any Kind, but it's got some interesting details...

The witness, a student at a local university, was at a neighborhood party in Milwaukee last month when his mom looked up in the sky and saw what appeared to be a fireball... heading straight for the party!

The witness kept his cool, and his powers of reasoning, stating: "My neighbor said it was probably a helicopter or something, but helicopters usually aren't on fire and coming that fast."

As an investigator, this will be the first, and possibly the most crucial, element of the sighting that I need to address. Could a helicopter have been on fire and coming that fast? Just because they "usually aren't" on fire and coming that fast that doesn't mean that this one couldn't have been. Is this kid an FAA crash investigator? How many flaming helicopters coming that fast has he actually seen?

A common sight in the sky over Milwaukee.
There are just too many inconsistencies here... For example, the flaming not-a-helicopter did not actually wipe out the neighborhood party as expected. What did it do? According to the witness' report, it "stopped" and then headed up into the sky. That's weird.

So, a puzzling case, but here's what's really interesting about it: there were eight witnesses. The first thing this tells me is that this is a really small neighborhood. So it must not have been much of a party. If you're a college kid having a party at eight o'clock on a Saturday night and you've only got eight people there, and one of them is your mom, UFOs are the least of your worries.

Still, I have never investigated a sighting with this many witnesses. A significant number of witnesses will drive up the scoring on the Ballaster-Guasp Evaluation and give this case a very high Credibility Rating. And remember, the Credibility Rating is also driven higher the more time yours truly spends investigating the sighting. Imagine how many hours it will take me to interview eight witnesses! Dozens! The mind boggles!

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PS: I don't usually say where I find my pictures and images for this blog because I'm afraid of being sued and because admitting that I, who am opposed to intellectual theft, swipe pictures on a regular basis would expose my profound hypocrisy. But just this once I will make an exception. I found this picture of the exploding helicopter from the movie "Independence Day" on the awesome website Exploding Helicopter! I am a fan.