High Strangeness: June 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wingless Sky Monster! -- Part 2

I've been looking at an atlas this morning, trying to figure out the conundrum of the Wingless Sky Monster!, first reported here a few days ago. Like Dr. Hynek before me, I am troubled by the discrepancies between the time the flaming cylinder appeared in the sky in the Eastern Time Zone and the time it appeared in the sky in the Central Time Zone. Although the sightings are commonly reported as having taken place an hour apart, they seem to have taken place two hours apart, if the witnesses all reported the times correctly for their individual time zones. And since there's no reason to assume that they didn't, we can thus assume that there were two hours between the sightings in Macon, Georgia (1:45 EDT) and Montgomery, Alabama (2:45 CDT).

But, if the Wingless Sky Monster! was really traveling at 700 miles an hour, as two trained observers reported separately, then it only would have taken the WSM! about 20 minutes, give or take a few, to traverse the distance between Macon and Montgomery.

What does that mean? It means the WSM! had about an hour and forty minutes to kill between sightings. Now, what could a 700 mph wingless rocket do in an hour forty?  

Anything it wants to!

At 700 miles per hour, the WSM! could cover nearly 12 miles in a minute. That means it could cover nearly 1,200 miles in the hour and forty minutes between sightings. That's a quick jaunt of 600 miles out and 600 miles back for those crafty aliens.

Where did they go?

Looking at the atlas, I can see many possible destinations:
  • New Orleans, for some coffee and beignets?
  • Miami, for some beach time?
  • St. Louis, to fly under the arch?
  • Nashville, to hear some country & western?
  • Norfolk, to do, er... whatever people in Norfolk do?
  • Havana, to... Hey, wait a minute. Havana!
In 1948, when all this happened, Havana was a booming place, still 10 years away from when the Communist revolution went and spoiled everything. Could the WSM! have paid a visit to pre-revolutionary Fidel Castro and somehow altered world events? Could there be fine cigars involved? The WSM! was, after all, cigar-shaped! In fact, this was the first significant sightings of a cigar-shaped UFO, which suddenly takes on much greater significance than it might have otherwise...

I'm just going to put this out there... What if the Wingless Sky Monster!, which was described as a 100 foot long cylinder shooting a 50-foot cherry red jet of flame out of its tail, was really a test flight of a promotional campaign to advertise fine Cuban cigars in the U.S.?

Just take a look at this image and tell me I'm wrong...

You know what they say: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." But then, other times, a cigar is a UFO!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Scoop on the Atacama Humanoid!

Last night I was filling my son Cxxxxx in on my latest MUFON/UFO activities, and at one point he remarked that I deal with some pretty goofy people and wondered what made them like that. I thought about it for a minute and said, "Well, son, a lot of them just believe e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, no matter what."

And then today I got proof.

I blogged the other day about all the come-ons I've been getting in my email from MUFON, trying to entice me to attend the 2013 MUFON Symposium in Las Vegas next months, and how some of them have left me hot and some of them have left me cold. Well, today's brazen marketing ploy has left me speechless... and has made me very glad I'm not going to the Symposium.

Remember that pesky little shrunken, six-inch corpse that popped up a couple months ago and that nearly everyone in the UFO world was so ready to believe was the remains of an alien, and then it turned out it wasn't, but they all still believed it was an alien anyway?

It's back.

Well, strictly speaking, that's not true. Here's what the email subject line said:

"Evidence points to MORE-THAN-ONE Atacama Humanoid!!! Hear about it first at the Symposium!"

I am stunned. The first one was a bomb, so they're bringing out another one? The only way this could possibly be worthwhile is if the second one has a tiny little black mustache and goatee. But somehow I doubt we'll get that lucky.
Another Atacama Humanoid?? My cup runneth over...
In fact, the way the announcement is worded, there may not actually be a second Atacama Humanoid at all:

"EVIDENCE POINTS TO MORE-THAN-ONE ATACAMA HUMANOID! You'll hear about it at the Symposium for the first time! Dr. Steven Greer will be presenting evidence that indicates that the Atacama Humanoid may nor be alone... BE THERE FOR THIS MONUMENTAL DISCLOSURE! Secure your tickets by clicking here."

See what I mean? Dr. Greed--er, Greer--doesn't actually have a second little dwarf to show us, but he has evidence that the first one is not alone... Which, if you've been paying attention, has already been proven here at High Strangeness. Back in May, reader Mark D. Williams sent me this list of other tiny, shriveled-up corpses that could be related to Greed's--er, Greer's--Atacama baby.

Other examples: Alyoshenka from Russia: http://youtu.be/1uwdBdIFrqU. http://youtu.be/Zp8V7EHtXzk\

Pedro: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Pedro_Mountains_Mummy

Concepcion, Chile: http://www.indotalisman.com/humanoid.html
http://www.indotalisman.com/humanoid2.html
http://www.indotalisman.com/humanoid3.html
http://www.indotalisman.com/humanoid4.html

Parque Forestal, Chile: http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case380.htm
http://web.archive.org/web/20090303163637/http://www.wintersteel.com/Beings.html


So, as you can see, I've got the scoop right here, and I didn't charge you a cent for it. So, there's no need for you to go to the MUFON Symposium now. Well, there never was to begin with, but now there really isn't.



Seriously, I can no longer support or promote this event. It finally got too weird even for me.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The UFO Crazies

Something has come up this week in connection with my research for the Hynek book that has completely rattled me. I will write about it in time, maybe tomorrow, but right now it's just too disturbing to contemplate... It involves some UFO people being kind of crazy, and trying to drag me into their crazy shit, which I will not allow.

So, instead of writing about that just yet, I'll write about a different kind of UFO craziness--the fun kind!

My daughter Cxxxx just came back from visiting a cousin in Texas, and brought me a wonderful souvenir. Part of her vacation was a side-trip to a family wedding in New Mexico, and en route her aunt and uncle stopped at Roswell. Her first text to me said, "Dad I'm in Roswell! There's so much alien stuff here." Then later on she texted me that she had been abducted by alien greys, which worried me, but then she texted that a Reptoid was looking out for her, which eased my mind somewhat but not completely. Anyway, she got home ok the other day, so Thank you, Reptoid!

Last night, after much anticipation, she gave me my souvenir, pictured below. It's a copy of The Roswell Monitor UFO Quarterly, with a wonderful picture of smilin' George Takei, Star Trek's Lieutenant Sulu, making the Vulcan "live long and prosper" hand sign. Just from that I can tell how much my daughter loves me!
Love you, George! Always have, always will!
Cxxxx was a little embarrassed by the gift, though; she hadn't realized until after she bought it that it was the October-November-December, 1999 issue. But I didn't care. In fact, I love it even more because of its age... The paper has a real time-capsule vibe that I love, and I've been enjoying paging through it.

It turns out that George Takei, who declared that "UFOs do exist," had been in Roswell in the previous July as the guest of honor for UFO ENCOUNTER '99, and the Monitor was only then reporting on it, having somehow missed an entire quarter of the year. Temporal anomaly, anyone??

Anyway, the Monitor had a two-page spread dedicated to the event, listing all the weekend's highlights, such as these:

Friday, July 2, 5:45 P.M.: A motorcade from the Roswell Drag Racing Club escorted George Takei down Main Street to the Sally Port Best Western. Mr. Takei rode in a chauffeured lead car compliments of the Roswell Toyota dealer.

Friday, 6:30 P.M.: "Dinner with the Stars" banquet at the Sally Port Inn. Howie Nave was part of the entertainment of the approximately 135 in attendance. (NOTE: 135 what? Humans? Reptoids? What??)

Friday, 7:00 P.M.: The International UFO & Research Center hosted speaker Lyn Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan teaches RV in Alamogordo, New Mexico, his subject matter was, "The RV of underground alien bases on this planet." (NOTE: RV??)

Friday, 8:00 P.M.: "Roswell, the Musical" directed by composer Gene Murray of the "Texas" fame. Held at the New Mexico Military Institute Ampitheater, the production turned out to be, not just good, but great theatrical entertainment for the entire family and was repeated Saturday evening.

You get the picture: pretty much everything that happened all weekend was a "highlight," leaving no openings at all for lowlights. Which is what you want in an extraterrestrial carnival, really.

Anyway, I am very proud of my 14 year-old Roswell newspaper. It reminds me of simpler times, when crazy UFO people were just crazy, and not mean. And it just makes me happy every time I look at that picture of George Takei, grinning like a complete goofball after having been chauffeured to the Best Western, by the Roswell Drag Racing Club, in a Toyota...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hail to the Chief!

I have mentioned that I've been asked by my MUFON State Director to take over the reins as Chief Investigator for the State of Wisconsin, and I am still deciding. My encounter two weeks ago with the guy who claimed he was going to be killed in less than 48 hours by alien greys who were pissed at him for giving up on his dream to be a musician did make me question whether I really wanted to get even more involved with this world, but here I am, giving it another look...

Here's what the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual says about the Chief Investigator position:

"The Chief Investigator is a senior field investigator assigned to the position by the State Director. The C.I. must work closely with Field Investigators (first level and senior) and State Section Directors to ensure that the state's caseload is efficiently managed. The C.I. must be thoroughly familiar with MUFON's Case Management System (CMS). The C.I. may also provide periodic investigator training to state members. The C.I. is responsible for the initial review of the investigator's case report to assess its completeness, including reviewing the Vallee Definitions and Certainty Index calculations. In addition the C.I. may also actively manage an investigation at the request of the State Director."

Sounds easy, right? Well, that's what they want you to think. Here's what they don't tell you:
  • If a door opens on the side of a landed UFO, the C.I. has to go in first.
  • If a UFO crashes, the C.I. has to stay behind and clean up the debris.
  • If someone gets an implant, it's always the C.I.
  • When the aliens say "Take me to your leader," they're not asking to talk to the C.I.
  • The C.I. is always stuck with the alien corpses.
  • When collecting physical evidence, the C.I. always has to scrape up the glowing, gooey, pulsating stuff.
  • The C.I. has to deal with the Reptoids.
I do not want to go out in such an undignified manner.
See what I mean? It's the shit job of UFO investigating. It's like being a red shirt on Star Trek, only you don't even get the red shirt. It's like being Barney Fife without the bullet in the breast pocket. It sucks.

But facts are facts: the only way I'm ever going to take over this organization is to start at the bottom and claw my up through the ranks. I was promoted to State Section Director after just a few months as a grunt; so, who's to say I won't be plucked from the ranks of Chief Investigators to take on a much bigger role in a few more months? When a guy like me starts to rise as meteorically as this, there's some serious power vacuum at the top, and I intend to be sucked right up to the pinnacle of MUFON leadership!

I just don't want to deal with the Reptoids...




Monday, June 24, 2013

Do You Know What Dwells in the Desert?

I got an email from MUFON the other day asking me this question: Do you know what dwells in the desert?

I didn't know, actually, but because I am trying my darndest to be a better MUFON member I thought I should find out. Turns out, it's a trick question! What dwells in the desert isn't what you think it is at all. It's actually the MUFON 2013 Symposium, coming up this July 18-21 in Las Vegas, NV.

A little disappointing. I thought there was some major announcement coming in from MUFON HQ that was going to rock my world, and it was just a sales pitch for the damn convention. I shouldn't have been surprised, because for the past few weeks I've been getting one sensational email after another from MUFON directing me to attend the Symposium. The funny thing is, some of them are somewhat enticing, while others are absolutely not.

For instance, the day after I got the Do You Know...? email I got another one announcing that Dr. Steven Greer would be at the Symposium hosting a screening of his recent film "Sirius," which got a dismal Metascore of 16 on metacritic.com and a unique and perhaps prestigious "No score yet" on rottentomatoes.com.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know what a monumental turn-off this whole topic is for me. 'Nuff said.

But then today I got an enticing email with another shocking subject line: ***TO BE DISCLOSED AT THE SYMPOSIUM ---> Revealing radar simulations of data obtained from the Stephenville event...***

Damn! Another shocking recent UFO case that I know next to nothing about! When will MUFON get around to giving me a full debriefing??

I set aside my shock and read the email, and was shocked anew: Under the provocative title: ***Pending Disclosure*** the email said that "Robert Powell will be revealing a simulation of the radar data that was obtained from the Stephenville event in 1980. The simulations (sic) will display the movement of an unknown object without a transponder signal in the same location as described by the witnesses."

Still not knowing anything about "The Stephenville Event," I decided to do a little reading. This is what I learned: On January 8, 2008, an unidentified flying object (UFO) was apparently seen by witnesses on the ground and tracked by radar in the vicinity of Stephenville, TX.

Yep, that's it. That's the "event."

The thing is, this presenter, Robert Powell, is one of the author/editors of "UFOs and Government," a nearly 600 page epic about UFOs and, of course, Government, that is really an impressive piece of historical reporting and has become my benchmark for my book about Dr. J. Allen Hynek. So I'm inclined to think that he will put on a good show.

Does this former President hold the key to the UFO enigma?
I'm also swayed by a curious little detail about the Stephenville event. This UFO that was tracked on radar but slipped past military planes unnoticed was actually on a collision course with President George W. Bush's "Western White House" in Crawford, TX. And when I say it was on a collision course, I mean it was headed in roughly that direction. It was headed towards the general vicinity of Crawford, TX, where it might have encountered the President while he was out clearing brush.

It's an interesting thing to think about, isn't it? That super-advanced, unbelievably intelligent aliens from a distant world might have decided that the first human they wanted to contact was W?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wingless Sky Monster!

I have just spent the afternoon frying my brain, trying to solve a 65 year-old UFO puzzler, and I can suddenly understand why it has remained a puzzler for 65 years...

One of the UFO sighting cases Dr. J. Allen Hynek evaluated for the Air Force's Project Sign in 1948 involved a high-speed, mid-air fly-by between an Eastern Airlines DC-3 and a "double-decked, jet-propelled, wingless transport shooting a 40-foot flame out its back end." So amazing was the sight that newspaper headlines across America were describing it as a "Sky Devil-Ship," a "Flame-Spitting Aerial Monster," a "Mysterious Ball of Fire," and, last but not least, a "Wingless Sky Monster."

I have already written a haunting account of this case, known to UFO buffs as the Chiles-Whitted Incident, so I won't tell the whole story again. I'll just mention that when the pilot and co-pilot saw the Wingless Sky Monster, it was at about 2:45 am, in the skies near Montgomery, Alabama.

Why is this important? Because a ground crew grunt named Massey was on duty at an Air Force airfield in Macon, Georgia exactly one hour earlier, at 1:45 am, when he looked up and saw a freaking Wingless Sky Monster! streak across the sky and disappear to the southwest. His description of the object matched that of the airline pilots to an astonishing degree, and it was clear that they had all seen the same Wingless Sky Monster!

Or had they?

See, when Dr. Hynek started looking at the case, something troubled him. He was new at the job and still trying mighty hard to make his employers at the Air Force happy by positively identifying the WSM! as an ordinary, everyday astronomical occurrence. Well, an ordinary, everynight astronomical occurrence.
Behold, the Wingless Sky Monster!


And he tried hard, he really did. But something bugged him. The Air Force base where Massey saw the WSM! from the ground was in Georgia, which put him in the Eastern time zone. Chiles and Whitted were flying past Montgomery, Alabama, which put them in the Central time zone. So, Hynek wondered, if Massey saw the WSM! at 1:45 EDT and Chiles and Whitted saw it at 2:45 CDT, did they really see it one hour apart? 

It gets even more problematic when you consider that the two locations are 200 miles apart and both Whitted and Massey estimated that the WSM! was going 700 mph.
 

Holy shit, what is going on here?

Like I said, my brain is fried. I can't figure it out. Did one object appear in two places an hour apart, or did two eerily similar objects appear at the same moment 200 miles apart? Or did a single object travel 200 miles in an instant? Did it ever exist at all?

Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough, then Hynek tosses daylight freaking savings time into the mess! What if they really were an hour apart--or not--because of daylight savings time? And then, what if one of them crossed the International Date Line...?

In the end, Hynek made a bold judgement. “If those two sightings refer to the same object, there are two possible interpretations,” he wrote. “One is that the object was some sort of aircraft, regardless of its bizarre nature. The other possible explanation is that the object was a fireball.”  

Furthermore, Hynek decided that if the reported times were accurate, the object was an airplane, but if the times were incorrect the object was a meteor. 

So, despite the fact that he started out his report by claiming "There is no astronomical explanation, if we accept the report at face value,” he ended up deciding it was a meteor.

I still can't figure it out... But then, neither could the Air Force. Months after Hynek declared that it was a meteor, the Air Force reclassified it as a "true Unknown." Not a false Unknown, mind you, but a true Unknown. Then some time after that, they reclassified it as a meteor. I still prefer Wingless Sky Monster!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spurned!

When you work in the UFO game, you get used to sarcasm, disrespect and abuse from people who don't get it. What I'm not getting used to is sarcasm, disrespect and abuse from people inside the UFO game.

Not that it's happened much, but this week, while working on my book about Dr. J. Allen Hynek, it happened. One of my resources suggested that I make contact with one of his colleagues, and request an interview. This colleague, my source told me, had spent a lot of time working with Dr. Hynek as part of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), so he would be a fantastic person to interview for the book.

I emailed him the other day, gushing with excitement, and politely requested an interview. I even offered to let his read a sample chapter of the book, so that he could judge the quality of my work before agreeing. Pretty huge of me, right?

So the next day he replies to me with this:

"I am already quite aware of the quality of your work: http://www.milwaukeemag.com/article/12232011-CloseEncounters"

Huh? Did I just get slammed? I reread the note--which didn't take up much of my day, because it's so flipping short--and realized that, yes, I'd been slammed.

But slammed over what?? The link he sent is to a video I took of a legitimate double UFO sighting that I was involved in a year and a half ago. And it's real. It's the real thing! So, he seems to be slamming me for one of the least slammable things I've ever posted as part of my UFO work!

I don't get that at all. If he didn't like me because I slammed the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure or Sirius or the Atacama Humanoid or the general silliness that I encounter on a daily basis in the UFO world, that would make a little more sense. But my video of an honest-to-God mass UFO sighting that I took part in? It boggles the mind.

Still not believing that he had really just slammed me for something so boneheaded, I emailed the guy back and said something like, "Yeah, that was quite a night! Two UFOs in a row!" thinking he might respond to something completely innocuous.

Crickets.

Finally, late last night, I wrote to him again, saying, "I take it that your response to my interview request is no?" and I still have not heard back from him.

Ever feel like the whole world is against you? Like, everybody you know might gather in a field to spell out a gigantic "NO" and then hire a helicopter or maybe a more cost-effective option like a balloon and take an aerial picture of it and then wave it in your face? That's how this guy has made me feel.
So, I'm taking that as a no.

It's really a shame. Now I will probably never know what insights he could have given me into Dr. Hynek, and my book will that much the poorer for it. But I'm not going to drop the price or anything. Because the book is still going to be pretty fucking good.



Monday, June 17, 2013

Nasty, Sniveling Whiners

Well, even after my ill-fated investigation last week involving the death threat from the alien greys, I am still considering accepting my MUFON State Director's invitation to become Chief Investigator for the state of Wisconsin. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what duties the position entails, but in the meantime I'm trying to be a much more involved Certified UFO Field Investigator by catching up on the past few issues of the MUFON Journal.

It's a good thing I am, because big things are afoot, and if I'm going to become a high-ranking officer I need to have my finger on the pulse of the organization. First I read the June issue and it was full of all sorts of crap about the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, which I did not read about, so I closed that up and opened the May issue.

There I found some interesting news from the editor of the MUFON Journal, a guy named Roger Marsh. He announced that he is now blogging on Huffington Post, which is cool, and that he recently appeared on a HuffPost radio show to talk about MUFON's work, which is also cool. But what happened on the radio show was not cool at all. Also appearing on the show was astronomer Seth Shostak, who works on the very cool Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. You would think that Mr. Shostak and Mr. Marsh would have a lot in common, and would have a very pleasant conversation about alien life, but you would be wrong.

Mr. Marsh states that at the end of the show, Mr. Shostak got "nasty," and said that MUFON's search for evidence of aliens visiting Earth has "never turned over a single clue--not a single case--that suggests alien visitation."

That is nasty. It's also true, so settle down there, Mr. Marsh. And maybe you set off Mr. Shostak with your claim that what MUFON is searching for is "real," thereby insinuating that what SETI is searching for is in some way not real. That might have done it, don't you think?

Shaking my head, I turned to the President's column on the facing page, thinking I would find relief. I did for a time: President Dave proudly stated that MUFON has achieved "a stature never before possessed in our history," and went on to say that "we are sought after, consulted with, recognized and respected like never before." That's all pretty nice, and I was starting to feel really good about taking on more of a leadership role with the organization.

Then President Dave's column took a sharp left into crazytown: "Now, that does not mean we don't have our detractors," he wrote. "There will always be a few sniveling whiners who have not gotten the memo. And if they have, they could not read it.


Do not snivel or whine in front of this guy or he will call you out on it.
"There will always be those who just will not accept that they have lost," he continued in a childlike rant. "They will continue their childlike ranting in the face of the truth and the truth is that they are wrong and that MUFON is at the top of our game."

Okay, straight off, I will confess that I'm one of the ones who got the memo and could not read it. It was pretty smudged, and had a huge coffee stain right in the middle of it. But who are the sniveling whiners, and why will they not accept that they've lost? And what exactly have they lost? And why won't they accept that MUFON (and I include myself here) is at the top of its game?

President Dave played it pretty cagily here, but his message isn't lost on me. There is obviously another UFO investigation organization out there that is made up in its entirety of sniveling whiners who can't read memos, and we at MUFON must crush them under the weight of our investigative might.

Despite myself, I feel compelled to join the fight. I am with you, President Dave! I will accept the post of Chief Investigator for the state of Wisconsin and I will strike a mighty blow for MUFON!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Johannes Kepler of the UFO Game

One of the best quotes I've come across while researching my book about Dr. J. Allen Hynek appears in a magazine article profiling the Northwestern University astronomer and UFO researcher. The article, which appeared in the May 17, 1973 issue of New Scientist magazine, was entitled "The Man Who Spoke Out on UFOs," and it's one of the best interviews with Hynek that I've come across. Hats off to writer Ian Ridpath for his thoughtful and respectful approach to the interview, and for getting out of the way and letting the man tell his story in his own words.

The prize quote comes when the then 63 year-old Hynek describes his problematic relationship with the U.S. Air Force, for whom he worked as a consultant for many years. The Air Force had hired Hynek to explain as many UFO reports as possible as misidentifications of natural astronomical phenomenon--like meteors, comets or the planet Venus. Hynek delivered the goods quite reliably, but over time he realized that about 20 percent of the reports simply couldn't be explained... And he began to criticize the Air Force for ignoring these cases.

So when Ridpath asked Hynek why he didn't raise hell about this, Hynek responded that if he had, he would have lost access to all the UFO data the Air Force had accumulated over the years. Hynek then explained that he "played Kepler to the Air Force's Tycho Brahe."

Now, Kepler and Brahe were both 16th Century astronomers who did not like each other, but couldn't have accomplished anything without each other, which is why Hynek's quote is so wonderful. Brahe had amassed a huge body of astronomical observations over many years, but he needed Kepler to interpret the data, much as the Air Force needed Hynek to make sense of its reams of UFO data. And just as Kepler could never have devised his famous laws of planetary motion without Brahe's data, Hynek could never have developed his "Close Encounters" categorization system without the Air Force's decades of UFO reports.
Johannes Kepler, man of the world(s)
I had kind of forgotten this quote last week when I went to spend more time in the Northwestern University archives digging for gold in the Hynek archives. I was working on the first chapter of the book, covering Hynek's youth, and knew that the archives had some examples of Hynek's early fiction writing, from when he was a regular contributor to his high school's literary journal. The short stories didn't disappoint, but as I looked further through the files I came across a paper Hynek had written for an English class while he was an undergrad at the University of Chicago.

Hynek got an "A" on the paper, entitled “The Development of the Heliocentric Conception of the Universe,” and it's not hard to see why. The guy could write. In fact, in some ways he was much a better writer than speaker, and there were times in his career when he might have been much better off writing a letter instead of speaking in public... 

But I digress. I found some nice passages from the English paper and started to go home. Then I realized that I hadn't jotted down the date on the paper. I walked back to the archives and got out the file again. I got the date: November 12, 1928. But then I got something even better. Something caught my eye and I started reading the paper again. 

My God, how did I miss this the first time? Hynek was writing about Kepler in college!

In a remarkable passage describing Johannes Kepler’s 16th-Century discovery of his Laws of Planetary Motion, the 18 year-old Hynek seemed to have a dawning awareness of a deep kinship with the scientist. “Perhaps it seems strange that a man should have become so absorbed in one subject that he gave his entire life to the formulation of three laws,” Hynek wrote. “But Kepler was a mystic. He lived in poverty all his life, and he cared for nothing but the search for Truth. He held many mystical ideas about the stars such as that they influence the lives of man, and that each planet has a guiding angel that keeps it from straying off in space, but he never lost his clear reasoning powers in metaphysical speculation.”


I was stunned. So much in this paragraph written by Hynek at 18 could describe Hynek at 63 and beyond... Hynek was Kepler!

Monday, June 10, 2013

In Over My Head

There are some things they just can't prepare you for in MUFON Certified Field Investigator training. I learned that the hard way yesterday, and it's made me seriously question my commitment to all of this...

In my last post, I said that I had accepted an assignment to investigate an "entity encounter" case, largely because there was a chance it would involve the use of a Faraday Cage, and what could be cooler than that? So, yesterday afternoon, the "Experiencer" and I spoke on the phone to set up a night this week to do our interview. I already knew from his initial report that he claimed to have been in contact with "alien greys" and "reptoids" over the course of 20 years, and that they were now threatening him, so I knew it would be an involved interview and I needed some time to prepare myself mentally.

But five minutes after we set an appointment for tonight -- Monday -- and hung up, the Experiencer's wife called me and said, "What he didn't tell you is that last Tuesday they gave him one week to live, and that's this Tuesday, so if you don't do the interview until tomorrow that doesn't help us much."

I'm still not sure what was weirder: the news of the death deadline or the fact that Mrs. Experiencer delivered the news to me with such an utter lack of affect and concern. She gave me the news as if she was telling me that her husband had an appointment to take the car in for an oil change on Tuesday, so could we please schedule around that?

I didn't know what to make of it, but since it was the first time I had ever been asked to reschedule an interview so as to not interfere with a death curse, I thought it best to go ahead and move up the interview. So, twenty minutes later I'm on the phone with Mr. Experiencer, and I'm trying to keep him focused on the most recent, pertinent events, because I know if I let him go over the last 20 years of encounters with no filtering I'm going to be on the phone all day, and it's a nice day. Things started out well, my focusing strategy was working, but then Mrs. Experiencer got on the line and my worst nightmares all came true...

The woman kept telling her husband what to tell me, and how, and he meekly complied. And when he didn't explain things to her satisfaction, she took over the conversation. It quickly turned into her interview, and I realized that Mrs. Experiencer seemed much more convinced that her husband was going to die in two days than he was.

But there was way more... Turns out all the trouble started a year ago when the husband and the wife had a huge blowout fight over his career aspirations. It's the same fight every married couple has ever had since the beginning of time: He wants to be a musician. She does not want him to be a musician.

Guess who wins that fight? Mrs. Experiencer prevails, and Mr. Experiecer hangs up the Stratocaster. He decides to be a painter instead; not a house painter, but a Rembrandt painter. Because that's so much more promising. But then the alien greys get pissed. Really pissed. They claim that he has somehow broken his agreement with them by giving up on his music career, and they start with the death threats. This suggests to me that the alien greys don't like earth music and had hoped that Mr. Experiencer would develop a whole new sound that would take the human race by storm and that they could tolerate. Either that or they had plans to take over the music business, using Mr. Experience as their avatar, as it were. Pretty chilling, if you ask me.

Anyway, shortly after this fight, Mr. Experiencer hits the bottle -- but only for a week -- and starts to have mysterious medical emergencies for a stretch of many months, with lots more threatening appearances and messages from the alien greys, followed by an encounter with a Reptoid creature that seemed determined to protect him from the greys but still managed to cover his entire abdomen with bruises. Startling stuff, but, sadly, they did not take a picture of the bruises, and every time I tried to clarify the sequence of events, times and events kept switching around willy-nilly.

After 45 minutes of this, my brain had turned to stewed prunes. I just couldn't take any more. And to be clear, it was Mrs. Experiencer I was fed up with, and myself. She contaminated the whole interview, and it was my mistake allowing her to take part. Still, hoping I could salvage even a scrap of my Sunday, not to mention my sanity, I got off the phone, wrote up a quick report and sent it to Vxxxx, my State Director.

Become a musician or die! This matters to aliens.
Vxxx quickly sent it off to the MUFON National Abduction Research Director, who -- thank God -- said this could be a case of schizophrenia, that we were in way over our heads, and all we could do was advise Mr. Experiencer that if he feels genuinely threatened on Tuesday, he could go to the Emergency Room and wait it out there. All in all, some pretty reasonable advice. The Director also said that from her experience, alien greys are not likely to go around killing people over their career choices, so we got that issue settled.

I passed her information to Mr. Experiencer today and hoped it was all behind me. But then, just a short time ago, I got an email from him, saying the hasn't even begun to tell me the whole story, and saying, "I'd love to speak with you in person if you would be willing to schedule something"

My question is, when does he suggest we schedule this? Cause, tomorrow is Tuesday...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

UFO Convergence

The synchronicity continues!

This weekend, as I've been cleaning up my MUFON Investigation files, a couple of interesting things have happened. First of all, I checked in with Vxxxx, my State Director, to see if she still wanted me to be "Chief Investigator" and she does. This had kind of fallen off the radar screen lately, so I'm glad I asked. I'm definitely thinking about it again. It would be cool to have a hand in all the investigations in Wisconsin, as long as it doesn't cut into my time writing the book and, you know, living.

Right on the heels of that conversation, Vxxxx forwarded me an intriguing letter from a potential Close Encounter of the Third Kind "experiencer" and asked if I wanted to take on the investigation... I hesitated for a moment because this one sounds really intense. But I had to take it on in the end, in part because Vxxxx mentioned the potential need for a Faraday Cage. A Faraday Cage??? Yes, a Faraday Cage; a cage made of non-conducting material to shield a person, place or thing from electric charges. See photo below...

How could I pass up a case that can only be solved with the use of a Faraday Cage? Who could resist this?
I don't feel free to share any details of the case, because the witness seems to be in great distress, but I can't help wondering why I keep getting all these entity encounter cases...

No time to worry about that now, because in today's mailbag I got this thought-provoking comment:

"MUFON has been in existence since 1969. Since these beginnings and all those reports filed, someone must have drawn some conclusions. I went to the MUFON website and what I could find was that UFOs are still an 'unexplained mystery.' Is that the best you folks can come up with after all this time" 

First of all, what's with this "you folks" business? I just work here.

Second of all, UFOs still are an unexplained mystery, because if they were explained there would be no MUFON website to describe them as unexplained mysteries.

But, seriously, the commenter's question is completely fair. In all these years, after all these investigations, why hasn't MUFON drawn some conclusions and come up with an explanation?

There are many answers to that question, I think. MUFON and many other organizations and investigators and the U.S. Air Force have attempted many, many times to draw conclusions and explain the mystery, but they are always stymied by the elusive nature of the phenomenon. Just when someone thinks they've nailed it down, the phenomenon takes on a new form and leaves us even more puzzled than we were before. Without any completely unquestionable physical evidence that UFOs are physical objects, we can never be sure what they are or where they come from or who/what may be controlling them. All we ever have to go on is witness accounts, and experience has shown that we can never be absolutely, positively sure of those.

So, does MUFON have a reason to exist? I think so. For one thing, it gives thousands of people around the world a chance to tell someone about an experience they can't make sense of and probably can't talk to anyone about. Case in point: the witness involved in this new case with the Faraday Cage has been keeping his experiences to himself for years, for fear of ridicule. Without MUFON, he and many others would have no place to go.

In my one year of being a Certified UFO Field Investigator, I have seen this play out over and over... so many people are relieved, and even thrilled, that someone will listen to their story, take them seriously, and help them understand what they experienced. Witnesses have told me on numerous occasions how surprised they are to hear from me, because they never expected anyone to take their report seriously enough to follow up on it.

And the more cases we document and archive, the better the chances that someday someone will recognize a pattern and figure it all out. Or even figure out a tiny bit of it; I'm not picky.

Basically, my message to you, Mr. or Mrs. commenter, is, I've got this.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday UFO Grab-Bag

Lots of things going on as I close out this week, so I thought I'd just throw everything together in one post...

First of all, High Strangeness went over 40,000 page views this week! I owe it all to you. Just goes to show you some people will read anything if you add a photo to it.
I just added this picture to see if you would take the bait, and you did.
My meeting with "Mr. Roswell" Donald Schmitt didn't take place today, so all you folks fretting that my brain would be poisoned can take a deep breath. Both our schedules tightened up, and rather than squeeze in a brief meeting today I suggested we wait a week or two and try again when we both have a little more time. That gives me more time to strengthen the mental blocks I'll be using to shield myself from whatever it is he tries to throw at me. Thanks to all of you who warned me of his treacherous nature (without giving me any concrete examples of said nature).

Meanwhile, two of my UFO cases are drawing to a close. The case I started to investigate a few months back, involving a refrigerator-sized glowing object that flew across a highway in front of a kid in his car, and caused the dash lights to flicker is reaching its freshness date and has to be rotated out. This one was interesting because the car showed signs of magnetic residue and we pulled some motor oil and the oil filter for analysis... Well, the latest from the MUFON motor oil lab is that there may be something odd in the oil and they're checking the filter to see where the anomaly might come from (Uh... I've changed a car's oil a few times and usually whatever is in the filter came from the oil, not the other way around. Oh well, they'll figure it out). 

This case was also curious because the kid's family turned out to have so many other mysteries associated with them... a spirit presence in their house, visits from Shadow People, a creepy 1952 letter in the attic describing a captured flying saucers and alien corpses... I hate to close out the investigation because I never know what else this family might come up with! Anyway, I've written the Dad and asked him if he has any more bombshells for me before I close out the case...

My newest case, involving a nighttime sighting of two glowing red eyes in the driveway may be over before it began. The witness and I were supposed to talk last night, but he didn't answer the phone and so far he hasn't called back or emailed to reschedule. Maybe he decided they were just taillights after all...

Also, it has come to my attention that some people report their UFO sightings to organizations that are not MUFON! This has got to stop. Now. How are we supposed to make any progress in solving the UFO enigma once and for all if we're not getting all the data?

Somehow or another, a recent UFO sighting from right here in Wisconsin was reported to a UFO site operated out of Taiwan, and then written up in a Canadian newspaper -- called "The Canadian" of all things. Go read the article and watch the video; it's worth it, even if it wasn't reported to a proper Certified UFO Field Investigator. It's one of the strangest videos I've seen in a while; so much so that when the videographer suddenly coughed at about the 1:30 mark it scared the living shit out of me. 

My takeaway from this is that I need to step up my efforts to make Mr. and Mrs. Wisconsin and people around the globe understand that they need to report their sightings to MUFON! Any sightings at all: UFOs, aliens, shadow people, Atacama humanoids, chupacabra, Nessie, yeti, shadow people, Reptoids, my missing car keys. Report it to MUFON! MU-FON! MUFON! M! U! F! O! N!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

UFOs Make the World Go Around

After writing this morning's blog post about the UFO connection in the new Daft Punk CD, I was listening to the CD again and going over some of the other odd convergences that have come about in my life recently, and this one came to mind:

I have mentioned before that I wrote several episodes of "Star Trek" in the '90s, and the truth is I've been a Trekkie since TOS premiered in 1966. So of course I had to go see the new movie, "Star Trek Into Darkness," and even though I can't say much for it, part of me is still happy that "Star Trek" endures after nearly 50 years.

I have also always been a big fan of the 1970 British TV series "UFO," which has not endured for 50 years... outside of my heart, anyway. It's not in the same league as ST, but it has its moments, and it's a ton of fun. And of course it played a big part in my life-long fascination with UFOs. And it taught me that the Brits call UFOs "You-foes."

Star Trek never had this.
Set in the distant year 1980, "UFO" imagines a world where humans are under constant attack by green-skinned aliens from a mysterious world. The earth is protected by the brave men and women of S.H.A.D.O. (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation), which operates under complete secrecy from underneath a London film studio. Clever, right?

S.H.A.D.O. also operates a secret moonbase on the moon, and the women who run the place all have purple moon hair. Completely irrelevant fact, but most people, if they remember "UFO" at all, remember it because of the purple-haired moonbase women. Also, speaking of hair, the men of S.H.A.D.O. had sideburns that you would not believe.

Anyway, I was watching one of the old episodes of "UFO" the other night, and listening to the commentary track, which features actress Wanda Ventham, pictured below portraying S.H.A.D.O. second-in-command Col. Virginia Lake... Truth be told, little 10 year-old me had a huge crush on Ms. Ventham at the time, and even now the sight of this pic brings back those old stirrings...
S.H.A.D.O. operative Colonel Virginia Lake
So on the commentary track, the lovely Ms. Ventham mentions that because of her work on "UFO," she landed a gig on another TV series, and on that show she met her husband-to-be, whom she eventually married.

What is the point of all this, aside from the crushing reality that I never stood a chance with Wanda? The point is that she and her husband had a little boy who recently grew up to be Benedict Cumberbatch, the villain of "Star Trek Into Darkness."

No idea what it means, but it's weirdly random, and randomly weird. If not for "UFO," there would be no Benedict Cumberbatch, and, possibly, no "Star Trek Into Darkness."

Which just goes to prove (and I hope my wife is reading this) that everything -- everything -- ultimately leads back to UFOs. 

Daft Punk -- Contact!

I don't normally do music reviews here, since this is a blog about UFOs, but something's come up that I need to write about.

The past few weeks have been very interesting for me as a UFO writer/researcher/investigator, with all sorts of synchronicities and strange convergences occurring in every aspect of my life. Which I have been enjoying tremendously. I haven't written much about it because I'm waiting to see where it will all lead, but something curious came up this morning that I wanted to write about immediately, just because it's so cool...

My 53rd birthday was a couple weeks ago, and presents are still trickling in, thank God; I really believe that birthdays should last a month, but that's neither here nor there. The point is that just yesterday I got a box from Amazon, and it turned out to be a present from my oldest son and his girlfriend. And an awesome gift it was: the new Daft Punk CD, "Random Access Memories." The disc is fantastic from beginning to end, and I'm not surprised to see that it holds the #1 spot on the Billboard charts.
What did the Apollo astronauts see on their way to the moon? Besides the moon, I mean.
The first thing that I loved about the CD was "Giorgio by Moroder," the shout out to disco/synthpop/movie soundtrack God Giorgio Moroder, who scored everything from "Neverending Story" to "Cat People" to the sublime disco re-imagining of Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction film "Metropolis." It's a beautiful track.

What really grabbed me, though, was the final track, entitled "Contact." It starts out with a recording of NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan aboard the Apollo 17 space capsule describing the UFO that he and his crewmates Jack Schmitt and Ronald Evans, are seeing out their window...
,
“Hey Bob, I’m looking at what Jack was talking about and it’s definitely not a particle that’s nearby. It is a bright object and it’s obviously rotating because it’s flashing, it’s way out in the distance, certainly rotating in a very rhythmic fashion because the flashes come around almost on time. As we look back at the earth it’s up at about 11 o’clock, about maybe ten or twelve diame…Earth diameters. I don’t know whether that does you any good, but there’s something out there.” 

Of course, Cernan, Schmitt and Evans were not the only astronauts to have reported seeing UFOs in space, and I'm not sure why Daft Punk chose this particular incident, or why NASA gave them permission to use it, but on a purely aesthetic level it sure works. A very clever person has synched up the song to the final reel of "2001: A Space Odyssey," which I enjoyed quite a bit, but you don't need the video to enjoy the track... It's kind of cool and mystifying to hear the voice of a US astronaut reporting a UFO in real time.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

UFO Lies

It has been brought to my attention by commenters on this blog that some people in the UFO biz are dishonest liars, and that I should ask them why they are liars. This is a very serious matter and I am taking it seriously, but it occurs to me that if I ask a person why he/she is a liar, he/she will simply lie to me. So I am not going to ask.

I have also been asked, very bluntly, "What truths were you looking to get from this liar?" The answer is, if I were ever in a position to ask a question of such a person I would not ask anything that I didn't already know. That way, if he/she tells me anything legit, maybe I can use it in my Hynek book; if not, no great loss.

Does the UFO phenomenon attract liars?
I wonder, does the UFO phenomenon, by its nature, attract dishonest people, or do honest people become dishonest once they become involved in the UFO phenomenon? In a field that constantly challenges our definitions of reality and tests the limits of our perceptions, how do we define the truth?



Monday, June 3, 2013

It's Raining UFOs

I keep getting emails from my Masters at MUFON urging me to attend the MUFON Symposium next month in Las Vegas, and I am tempted to go. It's hard to resist when they keep sending me things like this:

Pieces Recovered From 1945 UFO Crash and Test Results to be Revealed!

So I click on the link in the invitation and find myself reading about the "two little Hispanic children" living "in the shadow of Area 51" who witnessed an "extraordinary event," a 1945 UFO crash that took place outside San Antonio, New Mexico. My curiosity was piqued, because I didn't realize that little Hispanic children were ever living in the shadow of Area 51. I'm glad they were in the shade, at least, but still. How long were they living there before the guards discovered them?

Seriously, San Antonio is about 800 miles from Area 51, so that would be one long shadow...

But I digress. As I started reading about the 1945 San Antonio crash and the debris that will be on display at the Symposium next month, I started wondering how many other UFO crashes have taken place that I didn't know of. Surely someone had put a list together?
UFO crash: not as rare as you think. Turns out, UFOs are always crashing all over the damn place.
Lots of people, it turns out, have put lists of UFO crashes together, but as so often happens in UFO world, none of the documents agree... One list goes up to 272 crashes, another lists only 34, some lists aren't numbered and I refuse to count them myself, while some are all but unreadable. Some of the lists include the status of recovered disks and the amount of alien corpses from each crash, which is pretty cool. By my count, we earthlings have in our possession three (3) intact flying saucers and 138 alien bodies in various states of aliveness or deadness. Also, there seem to have been 31 flying saucers that did not survive their crashes, but that presumably left behind at least a little wreckage or debris. 

This in interesting, too: according to one list, there have been a great many crashes with a dozen or more alien corpses discovered in the wreckage; one had 19 (all dead)! Don't get too excited, though: the corpses have all been shipped to Great Britain, one list tells us, "for storage and examination."

But here's the really stupid part, so stupid it must be italicized: none of these lists include a saucer crash in San Antonio, New Mexico in 1945.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

UFO Crash!

This is just a shame. I'm scheduled to meet up next week with one of the world's leading experts on the Roswell UFO crash, and I have nothing to ask him about it.

For those of you who don't know, way back in July, 1947, a ranch foreman in New Mexico found strange debris out on the range, brought it to the nearby Army Air Base in Roswell, and the Army hastily issued a press release declaring that it had "captured a flying saucer." A short time later the Army decided this had not been one of their best ideas, so they scrubbed the debris field clean, pulled the flying saucer story and then told reporters that the debris was from a downed weather balloon.

The gentleman I'll be meeting next week is Mr. Donald Schmitt, co-author of "Witness to Roswell" (2007, The Career Press), and pretty much the only guy in the world you want to talk to about Roswell. Trouble is, I don't want to talk to him about Roswell.

Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, the full title of Schmitt's book is "Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60-year Coverup." If you know anything about me and this blog, you know I'm not big on government conspiracy stories. Not that I discount them completely--God knows the government keeps plenty of secrets--but I just don't believe that the government has been in contact for decades with extraterrestrials, and keeps captured spaceships and alien corpses at Area 51 or Wright-Patterson. The big problem with that theory, which I have gone into in other posts, is that the aliens, if they existed, could announce themselves to the world anytime they wanted to, so the government isn't really "covering up" anything. Seems obvious to me that the supposed aliens hold all the cards here.
Nothing to see here. Move along!

But, that being said, I am looking forward to meeting Mr. Schmitt, because back in the day he worked with my man, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and was heavily involved with Hynek's Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). It will be interesting to pick the Schmitt-meister's brain about those early days working with the great man. I just hope he doesn't keep trying to steer the conversation to Roswell, because I'm just not that into it.

I have to confess something right here: I have just written the portion of the Hynek book that deals with the Roswell incident, and it takes up two paragraphs. It's just not that big a part of the story. In fact, Mxxx R, the current grand poobah of COFUS, specifically cautioned me not to make too big a deal of Roswell in the book, saying, "I can understand wanting to use Roswell to make this more resonant with today's reader, but of course Roswell came and went back in 47 and had no real effect on public attitudes."

So there you go. And, to back that up, Hynek never, to my knowledge, ever made any public comments about Roswell. Mr Schmitt may correct me on this, but my impression is that Hynek wouldn't touch Roswell with a 10-foot pole.

What say you?