High Strangeness: September 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

UFO Inventory

I realized this week that I was terribly behind with my MUFON investigations, which is not a good thing when you've just been promoted to Chief Investigator for the entire state. So, yesterday I logged into MUFON's Contact Management System to see how big a mess I was in.

Turned out things weren't as bad as I'd feared. I had five open cases going back to last July/August. Three of them I was able to close out because the witnesses had failed to respond to my repeated attempts to contact them, either by phone or email. I marked those, "Insufficient Data."

You see, when I first get a case, I generally attempt to make contact first by phone (unless the witness didn't leave a phone number, in which case I send an email). If I don't get through or don't hear back from the witness, I send an email. If I don't get a reply to the email, I send another.... But, you see how tough this is: at some point I can start to seem like a pest, and that's the last thing I want. I mean, it's the witness' fault that I'm becoming a pest, because they filed the report and by virtue of that fact they asked to be interviewed. So, by trying to interview them I'm only doing what they want. Except all of a sudden they don't want to do it, so I have to keep calling and emailing. This is very tricky, but at some point I have to pull the plug on these people and so I did.

That left two cases to investigate. One has been mired in a legitimate phone-tag and email-tag situation, largely caused by scheduling issues on my end. So, I am cutting this person some slack and trying once again to make an appointment. Here's the witness' account of his/her UFO experience:
I was sitting in my bed watching Netflix on my iPad. The lights are off and Im facing an open window. When this very very bright orange light appears above the treeline across the street. So bright it captures my attention from the show I was watching. It was slowly rising above the tree line. It was just so odd, because it was so bright. I got up and went to the window and watched the light hover. At first i thought someone lit off a firework, but it was way bigger and brighter than a firework and it didnt explode, it hovered. Then i thought it may be a helicopter flying towards me. But there was no sound. Then it seemed to float off to the north, and then started to ascend.
The big question here is, obviously, what was the witness watching on Netflix? What movie or TV show was so boring that an orange light floating in the sky would catch his/her attention?

The last case on my docket is brand new:
Was just sitting here reading a book, in my chair next to my upstairs room window. I casually looked out at the night and the sky and see to the West of Platteville WI an unknown far object flashing bright electric-like lights. That was 3:12am central time. Pink and green, but they look electric, it looks like the colors swirl around the whole object and its still there right now to the West of Platteveiile WI. It has moved higher and lower and now is up even higher straight up, its blinking and pulsating really fast now, its amazing how fast and bright this is!!!! Itd now 3:43 and the craft like light is still there. In the western sky of platteville wi.
This is an interesting sighting, all right, but I wonder why the witness found it necessary to mention three flipping times that it was sighted "west of Platteville, WI." Is the witness trying to tell me something? I checked the map and there are exactly two things west of Platteville, WI: 1) the Mississippi River, and 2) Iowa.

There is, however, something very strange to the east of Platteville, WI. There, four miles outside of town, on a mound known as Platte Mound, is a gigantic letter. Not just any letter: it's the letter 'M.' and it's not just any letter 'M': it's the world's largest letter 'M' in the world! And it's made of rocks!

You can see it here:
Or I suppose the 'M' could just stand for 'Mound'...
Legend says that the giant 'M' was built in the 1930's by bored mining students at the nearby University who figured out that 'M' stood for 'mining,' and who thought that any passersby who saw a giant 'M' on the side of a big mound would automatically jump that same conclusion. Here's what I think: if you want to spell 'Mining' in giant stone letters you should just spell the damn word out--these were mining students, for God's sake: they could always get more rocks! But that was a long time ago and no one really knows where the giant 'M' came from. The 'M' could just as easily stand for Mars or Mothership or Meet here, UFOs!

Anyway, I see an interesting line of questioning developing here. Because, from what I understand about geography, in order to clearly see a giant 'M' to the east of Platteville, you would almost certainly have to be hovering in a ship to the west of Platteville... I really hope this witness gets back to me...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

UFO Top Ten Repeat!

I called it! As soon as I heard that the Close Encounter case that I investigated in August, 2012 had been picked by MUFON as one of their Top Ten UFO Cases of the year, I knew I could do it again in 2013! Because, if The Case of the Lampshade Hovering Over the Backyard CE1K of 2012 was Top Ten-worthy, then The Case of the Refrigerator Zooming Across the Highway CE2K of 2013 was a shoo-in!

You can learn more about the 2012 case in this Topic: UFO video here, just posted today on YouTube by show host Rxxx Sxxxxxx (I come in around the 35:00 mark).

The 2013 case involved a young man home on break from college who witnesses a glowing, refrigerator-sized cylindrical object fly across a highway at night, just a few feet off the ground and about 60 feet in front of his car. The dash lights in the car flickered as the object passed, making this case a Close Encounter of the 2nd Kind. When I investigated, my compass went a little goofy every time I walked past the driver's-side door of the car, and on the strength of that we had the car's oil drained and the oil and filter analyzed for the presence of odd materials (there were none).

Today I talked with Rxxxxx, MUFON's Director of Research, and he informed me that this case is getting a serious look for the Top Ten list for 2013. Even though there was only the one witness and the encounter lasted only 5 seconds or so, the physical effects on the car's dash lights is enough to put this case in the running. And so, for the second time in as many months, I feel like a proud pappa!

I also feel like, Damn, this is easy!

Because this case is being looked at as a 2013 Top Ten candidate, Rxxxxx suggested that I contact the family again to see if I could do some follow-up research, and I think I'm going to give it a try. Has the magnetic anomaly in the car remained? We need to know.

The fabulous 99-cent Teslameter.
To find out, I will be using a slick new tool that Rxxxxx recommended. It's called the "Teslameter," and I downloaded it for 99 cents today on my iPad. Will MUFON reimburse me for the expenditure? Do UFOs abduct bears that shit in the woods? Of course not.

But it doesn't matter, because if this little device can help me crack the UFO mystery once and for all, it will be worth all 99 of those cents. What the Teslameter does is, it makes wavy white lines on a graph and registers something on a meter that keeps wobbling back and forth at around the "48" to "50" marks, all while these three colorful digital readouts register the values of some things labelled "X," "Y," and "Z." I have no idea what any of it means, but it looks cool and I am confident that when I walk it wound the car involved in the Close Encounter it will all become clear to me.

If the car does indeed have an inexplicable magnetic anomaly associated with it, I will suddenly be thrust into the center of the whole UFO world, and I certainly won't be grumbling about an un-reimbursed 99-cent expense then.

There is one thing I worry about. This app can only work because there is a magnetometer already built into my iPad. But why? I ordered it in black; that's it. I didn't tell Apple that I wanted a magnetometer. How--and why--did Apple put a magnetometer in my device? What did they know, and when did they know it?




Friday, September 20, 2013

UFO Power

There is a strange power at work in my life right now, and I'm at a loss to explain it. For a while now, just when I've need something for my book--a reference or a quote or an inspiration--it has come falling out of the sky and into my lap! Or sometimes delivered to my door by the mailman. But the effect is the same!

This past week has been a standout. I had been struggling with a few segments of my book on the career of Dr. J. Allen Hynek. First was my write-up about the 1952 Washington, DC UFO sightings. As spectacular as the sightings were, I was unhappy with my first pass at describing the event because it didn't have any dramatic or visual punch. The passage needed more, but I was not finding any inspiration so there it sat...

Well, a few days pass and I go to Kalamazoo to spend the weekend with the Council of Elders. I bring up the Washington events and that starts a roundabout discussion of the Elders' book, "UFOs and Government." I decide to revisit that book when I get home, and I come across a long quote from Dr. Hynek about a completely different matter: the Robertson Committee and its dismissive attitude towards the mind-blowing Tremonton movie film. I look up where this quote came from, and, lo and behold, it's from a UFO book from 1974 that I have never heard of: "UFO's, Past, Present and Future," by a guy named Robert Emenegger. I order the book from Amazon, and a few days later it drops into my lap. In the mailbox.

I start reading the book and what do I find but the most riveting description of the Washington DC flap, given in an interview by Al Chop, who was an Air Force spokesperson and PR flack in 1952 and was in the control tower at Andrews Air Force Base when the UFOs were flying around in the sky all over the capital... His account of what happened when the Air Force scrambled some F-94 jets to intercept the "unknowns" on the tower's radar screen was just what I needed for my book:
"The two F-94s appeared about two-forty A.M. on the scope, but as they appeared a frightening thing happened... the target blips disappeared off the scope. Our interceptors flew around for about fifteen minutes and returned to the base with negative results. As our interceptors left the scope, our targets reappeared.
Then Chop described what happened when one of the pilots turned back to try again and found himself among a group of "tremendous blue-white lights":
“We could tell by radar that they were getting very close. Then a second report came in. (The pilot) was somewhat excited, and I don’t blame him; he reported, ‘They’re all around me now.’ A pause, then: ‘They appear to be closing in on me…’Moments passed and the last remark I remember hearing was the pilot’s voice almost pleading: ‘What shall I do?’ Chop recalled. “Well, we saw the ‘unknowns’ appear to place themselves in a ring around his aircraft. We all just looked at each other. Ten or twenty seconds later, he reported, ‘They’re moving off now.’
That's some dynamite stuff, and I wouldn't have found it if I hadn't been looking for something completely different... 
 
Then there's item two. Up until 1952, Hynek had been a complete skeptic where UFOs were involved, but right around the same time as the Washington sightings, he starts to change his mind and wonder about things... It's a huge turning point in his life, and a huge moment in the book. But how to convey it? I was pretty happy with what I had on the page for starters but still felt there was something missing: I had it all down how he changed his mind but didn't quite have a handle on the essential "why?"

Well, as fate would have it, one of my readers here had commented recently about meeting Dr. Hynek back in the '70s, along with one of his best researchers, a guy named Allen Hendry... Ever since, I've been trying to find out how to talk to Mr. Hendry, but everyone tells me that he absolutely will not talk to anyone -- not even someone as charming as me -- about UFOs.
MISSING: One UFOlogist. Answers to "Allen." But then, don't they all?

It seemed I would never be able to learn anything about Mr. Hendry... but Mr. Hendry had made one mistake: he had written a book. And then he made another mistake: he allowed it to be sold, and resold. Sensing an opening, I tracked down and ordered a used copy of Hendry's long out of print 1979 opus, "The UFO Handbook," from Amazon and it fell into my lap two days ago. In the mailbox.
 
So I open my hardcover copy of Hendry's book and the first thing I see is that it's on loan from the Butte County Library, so God knows what the late fee's going to be on that. Next thing I see is that the foreword was written by some guy named Dr. J. Allen Hynek... Wait! What? Stop the presses!

I start reading Hynek's foreward, and there, in his own hand, is his account of WHY he changed his mind about UFOs... 

You will not be surprised to learn that I am not going to share that entire quote, because it's central to my book, but I will give you this teaser:
"I recognized that in the majority of cases the answer to this question was 'No.'" 
You know what you'll have to do to learn the rest of the story...

PS: Thank you Department 47 for the tip on Allen Hendry!

PSS: I also found what I was originally looking for at the beginning of this story! I figured you'd want to know.


 




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grand-daddy of All UFO Sightings -- Part IV

This is big: I have never done a four-part posting on High Strangeness, but this Grand-daddy of All UFO Sightings has got legs! It all started out last month when I read a shocking passage in a 1956 book called "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects" revealing that the U.S. government had a way to predict when and where UFOs would appear. I thought it was a bombshell, so I started asking every knowledgeable person I could find if they thought this was real...

So far, only one or two readers have gotten as excited about this as I have. The experts? They all shrugged it off.

But I do not give up easily, as anyone who has followed my attempts to restage "Roswell: The Musical" or witnessed my efforts to organize the Million Intruder March to penetrate the defenses of Area 51 can attest. Yes, the MIM is supposed to be happening this week -- today in fact -- but I'm not giving up! You can count on that.

So when I found myself in the presence of the Council of Elders last weekend I thought I would see how they would respond to my bombshell. As I have recounted in an earlier post in this series, these guys had already written it up in their book "UFOs and Government," and came to the following conclusion:
"Even without knowing anything more about this mysterious prediction, it is, to say the least, interesting because it came true. It is also of some direct interest to the subject of this book, as it indicates that people other than the Air Force had monitored UFO activity and had attempted to pattern and predict it."
I found that analysis lacking, so when I had to chance to talk to the disembodied brains face-to-cerebellum I asked them what they thought of the "UFO prediction" claim.

Apparently, control tower operators are gullible fools.
One of the brains jumped right in and said that the Air Force was doing a lot at that time to develop ECM, or electric counter-measures--including the ability to project false radar returns--and that the "prediction" was nothing more than someone letting the cat out of the bag that an intelligence agency was about to unleash a barrage of phony UFOs on Washington, D.C.-- a program they allegedly dubbed "Project Signpost"--to see how the military and the public would react.

It's an intriguing hypothesis, but I can't buy it, and here's why: I didn't think of it. Actually, that's only reason. The other reason is that if this were true, then the objects appearing in the skies above our nation's capital in July 1952 were all bogus decoys, and that's a stretch. For one thing, most UFOlogists, including the Elders, agree that there were true unknowns in the sky those two nights. So, since you can't have your cake and eat it, too, it follows that you can't have a sky full of unknown objects and a sky full of decoys... or if you do, then you've got the Grand-daddy of all coincidences.

I prefer to think that, if the Elders' theory is correct, it means ET knew the government was going to be sending out decoys and decided to descend on Washington in force just to fuck with everybody. That's a theory I can get behind.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

UFO Top Ten! -- Part II

The media frenzy continues!!

Since the news broke that one of the UFO cases I investigated had been chosen as one of MUFON's Top Ten cases for 2012, the phone has been ringing off the hook! Trouble is, it's the same guy calling over and over. Seems Milwaukee TV station Channel X wants to do a news segment on the sighting. That's fantastic; it will make my name a household word in southeastern Wisconsin and make more people aware of the great work MUFON does.

How to get in the Top Ten: draw a sketch like this.
But there is a catch: the witness, who was very happy to be interviewed over the phone last month by a newspaper reporter, is not too keen on having her face, home and neighborhood broadcast all over the region on television. Now, the TV news producer and the mighty MUFON PR machine have been very good about offering the witness all sorts of options for concealing her identity and location, and I applaud their efforts. Any other time, that might have done the trick, but it just so happens that the witness recently lost a family member and has been overwhelmed by grief. She has told me that she would love to do the TV segment but that she's too heartbroken to even consider it. She gave the ok for the TV guy to do a story just with me and Robert Powell, the MUFON National Director of Investigations... but only if we leave her and her location out of it.

To me that's the end of the discussion. The woman is grieving, so we thank her for everything she's done so far and leave her in peace. That's how I handled it, and that's what I reported back today to the mighty MUFON PR machine and to the TV news guy.

The mighty MUFON PR machine, I am happy to say, is ok with leaving the witness in peace but trying to do the segment with just me and Robert Powell, but I just got off the phone with the TV news producer, and man is he a jackass. He wants me to call the witness back and basically see how much time she needs to grieve before she's willing to do the news report. "I've got a month I can do this in!" he cheerfully reported to me. I told him again as nicely as I could that I was not going to to call the witness any more, so he tried to get me to give him her phone number and address...

Jack. Ass. What part of "death in the immediate family" do you not understand?

On a happier Top Ten note, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Robert Powell, MUFON Director of Investigations over the weekend at the gathering of the Council of UFO Elders--yes, he is a disembodied brain!--and I was able to ask him how my little old Close Encounter of the 2nd Kind case made it into the Top Ten.

He explained that he and his colleagues first have to go through the 4,000 or so UFO sighting reports that MUFON receives annually, and they eliminate about 3,000 of them right away, usually because there is insufficient information in the initial report and the subsequent investigation. Then they send the 1,000 remaining reports to the scientific screening panel made up of scientists and science majors, and those guys narrow it down to 500, then 100, then 10! The cases that make the cut, Robert explained to me, generally involve multiple witnesses (mine had two!), long time duration (mine lasted 25 seconds!) and proximity of the witnesses to the unidentified object (75 to 100 feet!).

You see what I did there? By pumping Robert for information while his guard was down, I now know exactly what I need to do to grab all ten next year!

Monday, September 16, 2013

UFO Good Guys

Quite an experience over the weekend... I traveled to Kalamazoo, MI, to spend time with a group of UFO historians I have dubbed The Council of Elders, and the experience surpassed all my expectations. Where else can you ask a simple little question about UFO lore and then get a two-hour answer (without bathroom breaks)?

The reason you get a two-hour answer is that every single member of the group has his or her brain chock fulla UFO history to a degree that is beyond astonishing, and once you get them talking they are morally and legally obligated to tell you the entire story, from prequel to sequel, often in one breath. If all the UFO records and archives around the world suddenly burst into flame and were reduced to ashes in mere moments, we would need to keep these guys forever indefinitely to preserve the last 60-some years of UFO research.

I arrived Saturday afternoon to find the group socializing in our host's driveway and garage, which is not so much a garage as a library, filled with the collected research files of famed naturalist and cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson. I mean, it's just all there, stacked from floor to ceiling! As our host explained to me, "I've never owned a car, so why not put his files in the garage?" Hard to argue with that.

The group members were discussing puzzling UFO cases that have recently come to their attention, including one tantalizing case where a woman heard a disturbance outside her house one night, went outside to see what it was, and found scorched footprints in her lawn... Scorched footprints!

There was a lot of talk about well-known good guys, bad guys and out-and-out doofuses in UFO history, which was fun because these folks knew all these people... They ripped into anything and anybody, and our host pronounced that it was okay because, well, we're all a bunch of assholes after all... 

Imagine my surprise to find they were all disembodied brains.
After a break for dinner we all reconvened in our host's basement, which had even more stuffed bookshelves and file cabinets than the garage. I had stayed pretty quiet for most of the day, got more social during dinner, then broke out my shell in the basement and asked my first UFO history question of the night; the one that triggered the two-hour answer. Turns out the period of time I was asking about is this particular gentleman's forte, so he had a massive amount of information to share... I am still digesting what I learned during those two hours, but will blog about it eventually. The point is, I had entered the conversation at last, and I was accepted, maybe not as an equal but as a fellow traveler worthy of being part of the weekend.

Sunday morning I spent some more time in the basement with the group and this time I stumped them with my latest Hynek-related historical mystery. I was proud of stumping them, but disappointed that they couldn't help me solve my mystery... Guess I'm on my own for that one.

By the time I left I had a huge packet of UFO papers in my hands and promises of more to come through the email. Then our host led me to his main file room and showed me his J. Allen Hynek files... I asked if I could come back another day to look them over and he said that he'd be happy to let me go through anything he's got. Then, as I left, he said, "Well, now you know what this is about, and now you're part of it."

Cool.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Everything Points to Nuts and Bolts!

I just had a pretty odd conversation about UFOs, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the CIA, Project Blue Book, Roswell, and other related topics, and it's probably going to take me a day or two to sort it all out and make sense of it...

Ostensibly, it was supposed to be an interview for my book about Dr. Hynek, and since the person with whom I had the conversation did actually spend many years working for Hynek's Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) you'd expect him to be pretty knowledgeable about Hynek. And he was, in some ways, very knowledgeable... But about halfway through the conversation I started feeling that everything he was saying about Hynek was something I could have found out from a dozen different books, and already had. There was just nothing in his talk beyond the most superficial, simplistic descriptions of Dr. Hynek.

He had one or two semi-insightful comments about certain moments in UFO research history that I will have to verify. If they turn out to be true I may be able to use them in the book...

Are you sensing my exuberance? Hard to miss, isn't it?

Let it go, people. Let it go.
The oddest part of the talk -- I really can't call it an interview because I never asked him any questions and I didn't take a single note the whole time -- came at the end when he tried to convince me that in his later years Dr. Hynek became obsessed with the alleged Roswell UFO crash (and many other reputed crashes like it). He further tried to convince me that at this same time in his life, Dr. Hynek had become single-mindedly focused on gaining access to the UFO crash research files of a fellow named Len Stringfield, and had not succeeded. Then he finally told me that the last time he had dinner with Dr. Hynek, Hynek had pounded the table and said, "Damnit, everything points to nuts and bolts! Nuts and bolts!"

So, according to this guy, after years of avoiding any intimation that he believed UFOs to be a physical, technological, "nuts and bolts" phenomenon, Hynek suddenly decided that "everything" points to the very thesis he spent 40 years rejecting for lack of evidence... Uh huh.

I just now flipped open Hynek's 1975 book "The Edge of Reality," co-written with the estimable Dr. Jacques Vallee, and I found this passage on page 67, in which Dr. Hynek discusses UFO crashes with friend Dr. Arthur Hastings:
HASTINGS: "One question that comes up is, if they're around, why aren't they leaving some physical residues? Why haven't they dropped a few nuts and bolts?"

HYNEK:"Ah, that comes up time and again! Why isn't there any hardware left behind? Surely they must crash sometimes, surely they must... Well, I think we should bring these things up. Sure, there are the obvious objections. We don't know the answer to that. Yet, there are a few cases where actual physical remains have been reported--but very few, and these have never been followed through to final proof. Not only would this require very ample funds but, well, what would constitute 'final proof?' On the other hand, if you were a bushman in Australia, how many parts from a Boeing 747 would you be picking up? The bushman might see an airplane fly over his territory for many years and not once be 'fortunate' enough to be witness to an air crash. Think of the thousands of commercial planes flying daily over the U.S., yet years go by without a single crash."
Granted, more than ten years passed between the time Hynek made this statement and the time of his death. So, it's possible that in ten years' time he did a complete 180 and decided that everything points to nuts and bolts. But I find it very unlikely...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grumpy Old UFO Investigators

It's official! I will be attending this weekend's Summit of the UFO Council of Elders, and I am psyched!

And, I am happy to say that I no longer feel that I will be seen as an intruder or a pest. I got a very nice email this afternoon from the host inviting me to come and join the fun and stay as long as I want!

The host of the soiree is Professor Michael Swords, one of the authors of the monumental book "UFOs and Government" and the mastermind behind the equally-impressive blog "The Big Study."  In all fairness, he really didn't know who the hell I was when Mark Rodeghier, the Scientific Director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, invited me along to the party, so he had every right to be a little cautious about my intentions. I don't know what eased his mind about me, but I'm grateful.

You cannot imagine my relief at this... After my meeting with Mark Rodeghier yesterday at CUFOS HQ, I was really beginning to wonder about the overall psychological health of the UFO community in general. We were discussing a historical mystery that I've come across in researching my Hynek book, and Mark said I needed to talk to a certain person who may have some helpful information, but he added something to the effect that I should be careful because this person pretty much hates everyone who tries to talk to him...

Great.

Then I asked him about a former CUFOS investigator whose name has come up in a different context and who I would love to interview for the book, and Mark shook his head and said, "Oh, he won't talk to anybody." Then he said that I might have better luck getting an interview with this person's wife, but he added that she was actually his ex-wife and that she was pretty cranky herself...

I have lost count of the grumpy, prickly, curmudgeonly, and quite-possibly-insane characters I have run afoul of in this investigation. For the most part, their negative energy is more than balanced out by the people who have been truly wonderful to interact with, but there are times when their sheer toxicity threatens to overwhelm me and I say a little prayer asking please, please don't let these people be the first humans to make contact with a superior alien race...
"Holy shit, these hu-mans are grumps. Destroy! Destroy!"
Then I start to worry that this may be my fate... What if I end up being a grumpy old UFO investigator? I already have the tendencies, I admit. Our property is right next to the city pool, and when people decide to use our driveway and lawn as a short-cut entrance to the parking lot, as they invariably do every summer, I'm always tempted to go all Gran Torino... But I don't have a gun or a baseball bat so I set up a barricade and scowl at anyone who comes close to it. Strangely, it's not as effective as it sounds.

So yeah, I need to be on guard against becoming the very thing I despise. Or, if I already have become the thing I despise, I need to be on guard against realizing it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Typographical Errors

This is a big week for me. Months and months of research on my book about Dr. J. Allen Hynek and UFO research are about to reach a crescendo, and I expect to come out of it with a wealth of incredible new material, both for the book and for this blog....

Tomorrow I visit the secret underground headquarters of Dr. Hynek's still-active UFO research organization, CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies), where I will learn the details of my secret mission to coax Hollywood special-effects genius Douglas Trumbull to join forces with CUFOS to capture photographic images of UFOs... And when I say "secret underground headquarters" what I really mean is that it's a mess of bookshelves and beaten-up filing cabinets in a guy's basement, but that doesn't change the fact that this could be a really cool meeting. I'll be sure to tell you as much as I can as soon as I  can!

In three days I am finally going to meet with a certain colleague X of Dr. Hynek's who may or may not have worthwhile information for my book. I'm doing it because I'm hoping something good will come out of it, but I'm not holding my breath. As regular readers may remember, colleague X is the same person who recently told another former Hynek colleague--colleague Y--something about me that made colleague Y start sending me abusive emails and swear never to talk to me... This despite the fact that colleague X had never actually met me and knew nothing about me. So, yeah, there's still some weirdness there, and it got even weirder when colleague X's "publicist" called me over the weekend and told me to hurry up and interview her client already. Nothing wrong with that, except that she called me at 9 fucking pm on Saturday night! I was trying to have a relaxing night with my family, and suddenly I have a "publicist" yammering on the phone about all these phone numbers and email addresses I need to jot down and how her client is just so so busy and if I want to book time with him I really need to do it now. I didn't write down a thing she told me, because I didn't believe for one second that she was a "publicist," but a couple days later I did make the appointment to talk to colleague X -- just to get it over with. Apparently he is super busy with a new book that's just come out and a movie that he's appearing in and an archaeological dig in New Mexico, and by the way, yada yada yada...

Ladies and Gentleman, Bob Dylon!
So, since he made a point of telling me all this, I thought it only proper to check out the book and the movie, and, well... to put it kindly, they both made me chuckle. The book looks like a complete rehash of every old Area 51 and Roswell story you've ever heard, so it will probably be a best-seller. Its reviews on Amazon were mostly positive, but a couple reviewers pointed out that the book is full of mistakes -- like using the term "Marshall law" when the author meant "martial law." That flowed into the website for the movie, which is rife with really boneheaded spelling and grammar goofs, such as a reference in the writer's bio --the writer's bio -- to famed folk singer "Bob Dylon," or a description of UFOs as a "space aged myth."

Sure, I know, every writer makes booboos... There are a milllion typos in this blog. But this blog is a conversation, not a book. It isn't being published, or being touted as a major Hollywood film (at least not yet). Sloppiness like that in a published book or a professionally-done website promoting a new motion picture is pretty awful.

Anyway... after that I'll be venturing to Kalamazoo, MI, to join the Council of UFO Elders as they eat pizza, drink beer, probably fart a lot and tell me what an insufferable pest I am to them all. Can't wait!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention: last night I did my first-ever Skype interview for a webcast called Topic: UFO, and I had a blast! The host was pretty chill, and made me feel right at home. We had a great talk about my Top Ten UFO case, of course, and the episode will be aired sometime later this month. Sadly, I have to share the hour with the other 9 MUFON "investigators" who are trying to steal the limelight from me, but I think my brilliance will shine through. At least that's what my wife assured me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Grand-daddy of All UFO Sightings -- Part III

A few weeks ago I wrote about the "Grand-daddy of all UFO sightings," the famous Washington, D.C, flap of 1952, and how it had apparently been predicted by a government scientists working for a top secret agency... I promised to write more, especially after getting such great feedback from so many readers--and being mentioned by fellow UFO blogger Jack Brewer in this great Examiner.com article--and today's the day. 

The idea that anyone could recognize patters in UFO reports that would enable them to predict future UFO sightings is, of course, revolutionary. If it could be done, we would potentially already know everything there is to know about UFOs... But if it could be done, and if it was done, why was it only done that once??

I can think of two reasons: 1) the UFOs figured out right away that we could predict their appearances and immediately changed their MO, or 2) the government has secretly been using this technique since 1952 and actually does know everything there is to know about UFOs... and isn't telling us!
Could our government be in cahoots with these fiends?
In Mr. Brewer's article, however, he raised the possibility that this was all part of a massive charade on the part of the U.S. military to test a new technology referred to as "Palladium," that would enable our side to project false radar blips onto the other side's radars. Which is unbelievably clever and sneaky, and is to be admired.

Now, it just so happens that in my research for my book on Dr. J. Allen Hynek, I came across a government memo that outlines just such a project... In the August, 1949 final report issued by Project Grudge, the Air Force's UFO investigation program, the following conclusions were reached:

a. “(T)hese flying objects constitute no direct threat to the national security of the United States.
b. “Reports of unidentified flying objects are the result of:
1.      Misinterpretations of various conventional objects.
2.      A mild form of mass hysteria or ‘war nerves.’
3.      Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetuate a hoax or to seek publicity.
4.      Psychopathological persons.
c. “Planned release of unusual aerial objects coupled with the release of related psychological propaganda could cause mass hysteria.”
Did you read the whole list? Item "c" kind of jumps out at you, doesn't it? Why the hell is the Air Force daydreaming about using the UFO phenomenon as a front for creating mass hysteria? On whom exactly are they thinking of unleashing this massive mind-fuck? The report doesn't say, but the reader is left with the uncomfortable impression that the authors could have the American public in mind...

There's more to the story, of course, and you can piece it together yourself in the Project Blue Book files (good idea), or you can wait until my book comes out (better idea)!



Thursday, September 5, 2013

UFOs on Film

Once again I have neglected the blog while I work on my UFO book, but you benefit in the end because you get to read previews of the book. If you follow along closely, you may never have to buy the book at all!

Over the last several days I've been digging into a seminal UFO case of which, to be honest, I was only dimly aware (sharp readers may have noticed that this sort of thing comes up with alarming regularity). I'm glad I discovered it though, because it's a very cool case, and a real pivot point in the history of UFO research. Had things gone differently back in 1952, who knows? We might have already made contact with E.T...

When UFO people talk about the flap of 1952, they usually talk about the two weekends that July when flying saucers of all shapes and sizes were zooming back and forth in the skies above Washington, D.C. It was a great time for everyone, and made it pretty much impossible for the Air Force to keep telling the American public "It's okay, folks, we've got this" where UFOs were concerned.

But the bigger event of 1952 had already taken place on a lonely highway outside Tremonton, Utah. On July 2nd, the Newhouse family--dad Delbert, mom Norma, kids Del, Jr., 14, and Ann, 12--were driving through Utah on a cross-country trip from Washington, D.C. to Oakland California. Dad Delbert was taking a new job in California, so the family loaded up the car and made a vacation of it.

Norma saw something odd in the sky that morning and Delbert pulled over to get a look. The sky was clear and blue, visibility was excellent. Far up above the car, a dozen or so shining white circles were meandering around in the sky. Thinking quickly, Delbert unpacked his movie camera, loaded a magazine of Ektachrome, and started shooting. What he ended up with was 40 seconds of film showing a group of bright objects behaving very strangely--one might almost say purposefully. I'll leave it to you decide after you watch the film here...

Look closely and you'll see a huge missed opportunity.
Newhouse's movie may look like the sloppy work of your shutterbug uncle, but get this: Delbert Newhouse, Sr., was a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Navy, he was a 21-year veteran, he had logged about 2,000 hours of flight time, and his title with the Navy was *ahem*"Chief Photographer."

The film got into the hands of military intelligence, set off alarm bells like you wouldn't believe, and was quickly sent to the two top government photographic analysis agencies in the known universe, one run by the Navy, the other by the Air Force. Their analysis, after some 1,000 hours of examining the film frame-by-frame, was this:

“It is the majority opinion of the group conducting this analysis that these images are light sources. This will explain the non-blinking and variations in luminosity—but not the velocity or acceleration factors. In either case, light source or reflective surface, it appears as if the objects are of a nature which we are not able to identify in terms of natural phenomena or commonly-known man-made objects.
“There is no indication of what kind of objects could have caused the images except that they must be of a construction, design, and material not commonly known. This is indicated by the computed acceleration rate and velocity. For the same reasons, birds, aircraft and balloons are ruled out.”
Holy fucking shit. Way bigger than Roswell, right? You'd think this would have been a 50-megaton bombshell... or at least caused a few ripples... or maybe mussed someone's hair a bit.

But no.

Even after getting the backing of a healthy portion of the intelligence community, the Tremonton Incident was listed in the official Project Blue Book case report as "Possible Pillow Balloons or Birds," but somewhere along the line, someone at a very high pay grade crossed out "Possible" and wrote in "Probable." 

And that's why nobody talks about the Tremonton Incident...

UFO Top Ten!

You asked for it; you got it! MUFON has finally taken the wraps off the Top Ten UFO sightings list of 2012--as chosen by real scientists--and I'm in it!

Read it HERE or here...





2012 UFO SIGHTINGS IS RECORD YEAR:
TOP 10 UFO CASES IDENTIFIED BY MUFON'S SCIENCE REVIEW BOARD

A record number of UFO sightings were reported to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) in 2012. Sightings reports increased from 5,650 in 2011 to 7,290 in 2012 – a 29 percent increase.
MUFON employs trained field investigators with backgrounds in science and law enforcement that interview witnesses to “identify” UFOs.  Although most of the reports are identified as known celestial objects, aircraft, meteors, etc., there are always a small percentage of the cases that remain as true “UFOs.”  These latter cases are carefully reviewed by a science board.
MUFON's recently formed Science Review Board (SRB) consists of scientists with degrees in physics, chemistry, geology and electrical engineering. Their work experience includes NASA, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Advanced Mico Devices, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and France's national space program, CNES.  The SRB has reviewed the best cases from the year 2012 and have identified the strongest 10 cases that cannot be identified as any known object.
These 10 cases include triangular craft that became translucent, a circular sphere that flew alongside a private aircraft and disrupted its electrical system, a pentagon-shaped craft that hovered over an automobile and the classic saucer-shaped craft that swayed from side-to-side.  These reports came from credible witnesses who had seen incredible things. As the pilot of the private aircraft stated, “I’ve never in my life seen anything like this happen. It was very unexpected because we did not see the vehicle [UFO] approach. The vehicle was about 30 feet in diameter which glowed and may actually have had some solid shape beneath the energy.”
MUFON was founded in 1969 and is the leading civilian UFO investigating body operating in the United States.

SUMMARY OF TOP 10 CASES OF 2012
All cases below are summaries of witness testimonies. Full investigative reports have been completed on all of these cases. Some case analysis is pending further study.

Case 36293: 2 p.m., February 18, 2012; near Chase City, Virginia
A father and son, both pilots, were flying in an Ovation II propeller-driven aircraft from Charlotte, NC, to Richmond, VA. They had just crossed the Virginia border and were near Chase City, VA, when they witnessed a bright, orb-like UFO hovering next to their plane. The skies were clear and their elevation was about 7,500 feet. They described the UFO as a bright, circular sphere about 30 feet in diameter. As the object approached their right wing, the plane temporarily lost power. The engine sputtered and all of the electrical equipment including the computers turned off. The pilots estimate that the object came within 50 feet of their right wing. A few seconds later, the plane regained all systems as the UFO swiftly shot away at an incredible speed.
I’ve never in my life seen anything like this happen. It was very unexpected because we did not see the vehicle [UFO] approach. The vehicle was about 30 feet in diameter which glowed and may actually have had some solid shape beneath the energy. What I could observe on the surface seemed to have some circular, swirling energy force which surrounded something I believe operated it from within.”
Both witnesses have extensive flying experience. One witness is a manager and the other is an executive with a master’s degree in economics. Neither had reason to falsify their report.

Case 36765: 3 a.m., March 25, 2012; at a correctional facility near Cleburne, Texas

Caption: Drawing of the object made by the witness. Date on the drawing is incorrect. It should read March 25 not March 24.
Cleburne is approximately 25 miles south of downtown Fort Worth. Two officers on duty at a correctional facility saw a triangular object to their south. It was a clear night and the moon was not out. The object flew over them very slowly, appearing to be going only about 5 mph. The primary witness said that as they walked through the parking lot the lights over them turned on. The object then sped up and was gone to the north in a second. He said he was looking directly at the object when it sped up. The witness believed the object was around 4,000 to 6,000 feet high and about a 1,000-foot distance from him. The witness said there was also a Joshua city police officer that came to the facility and said his dispatcher indicated there were several people who had called in reporting suspicious activity in the skies.
The witness said the lights on the object were white and not bright, but dim and in a series of circles. The object was triangular-shaped and the surface was dark. The object made no sound as it moved very slowly in the sky. He described it as slipping through the sky. He said it appeared to jerk as it moved like it was jumping from one location to another as it sped up. 

Case 41298: In mid-June 2012; near Sutter, California (rural area 40 miles NNW of Sacramento
A security guard was traveling to a construction site to relieve another officer near a levee off McClatchy Road west of Yuba City when he noticed a glowing white light amongst the trees. As he continued in the direction toward the light he continued to observe it until he came within about 650 yards of the object. He stepped out of his vehicle and observed the object with 10 x 50 binoculars and then his night vision scope to the WSW of his position. During the five minutes that he observed the object he noted its saucer-like shape as it glided a few feet above the tree line. It swayed from side-to-side as it slowly moved and continued to sway from side-to-side even as it hovered. The object would sometimes drop below the tree line and then back up as if it was doing a search. Based on the angular displacement of the object in the sky, it would have been between 50-100 feet across. The entire object glowed white and there were three flashing exterior lights that were blue, green and red. The craft emitted sufficient light that the security guard could determine its closeness to the trees because of the craft's light illuminating the tree tops. The officer took a phone with a 2-3 megapixel camera, but the object was too far away to see anything but a bright dot on the camera. The officer then drove to the levee to get his partner so that he could see the object, but when they returned the object was gone.

The witness is a 35-year-old security guard who has had law enforcement training and served in the army.

Case 41289: 10:15 p.m., July 13, 2012; rural area near Hartford, Wisconsin; 30 miles NW of Milwaukee
A mother in rural Wisconsin was standing in her driveway on the north side of her house saying goodnight to her daughter who was in the driver’s seat of her minivan with her 4-year-old son in the rear seat. Looking south from the minivan, the daughter could see the front of the house and the sky above, while the mother was facing north with her back to the house. The daughter saw something above the garage roof, stretching from the chimney on the house to a tree about 75 feet away. She stopped in mid-sentence and said, "Mom, what is that?"
The mother ran to the east corner of the house so that she could see the object. Meanwhile, the daughter quickly got out of the van and the two women ran around the east side of the house to the backyard. In that time, the object had moved 200 feet south from the mother's house and yard and could be seen behind a line of 100-foot-tall trees moving slowly west to east. Both women described the object as huge, big enough to cover the 150-foot-wide property, shaped like a lampshade or a cone with its top lopped off. It had a distinct outline and was brilliant white. The bottom of the object appeared to have a curved convex bulge to it, and there was a row of bright red lights along the lower edge of the object. The daughter saw the red lights "racing" in sequence, while the mother described them as "flashing." Both women described several rows of brilliant, white lights ringing the sloping sides of the object, as brilliant as the lights in a stadium.
The craft made no noise as it moved slowly over the neighbor’s property to the east, then accelerated. By the time the women ran to a space between two trees to see where the object was going, it already seemed to be several miles away and over Waukesha County. Then suddenly the red and white lights went out and the object disappeared into the night sky. The entire sighting lasted about 25 seconds.

Case 41918: 5:20 a.m., July 14, 2012; Highway 36 near the town of Milano, Texas, and a repeat event six months later near the same location
 
At about 5:20 a.m. on July 14, 2012, two men were traveling northwest on Highway 36 and had just passed through the small town of Milano, Texas. The two witnesses saw a pentagon-shaped, black object hovering over the highway ahead of them. At each apex of the pentagon were lights and a more intense light in the middle of the object. The lights at the corners were white and pulsated about once per second. As the witnesses drove under the object they could hear no sound coming from the craft above them. The witnesses saw what they thought were panel lines or vents on the underside of the craft.  They estimated that the object was 30 feet above them when they passed under it and the object was about 20-30 feet across. The driver did not want to stop and the two men continued onto their destination.

The primary witness has a BS in chemistry and is working on a master’s of science degree. The other witness, who was driving, has some college training.

It is interesting that a very similar case occurred on this same stretch of highway but six miles farther northwest and six months later, on December 20, 2012.  A 35-year-old female and her 16-year-old son were traveling in the same direction on the same road. The witness stated that she and her son first saw the object approach their vehicle from the east. She described the object as about 100 feet across with five sides and flashing lights on each corner. The color of the craft was a dull gray. The craft moved back to the east out of sight. She stated that it came back and hovered directly above their SUV. The witness stated that both she and her son felt threatened by the object. Her anxiety is best described in her own words, “We continued to watch it when suddenly it was RIGHT UP ABOVE our SUV! There are few words that will effectively relay to anyone that wasn't there just how large and utterly surreal looking this thing was. I was in shock and as a mother I became fearful this thing could be a potential threat considering how close it was. So I stepped on the gas to get away from it.” At this point the son began to video the object with his cell phone camera. It was too far away at that point to see any detail but it was clear from the voices that the mother was fearful.

Cases 37562, 37585 and 36704, April 17-19, 2012; Three separate triangle reports in the same region of Oklahoma and Texas

Three different reports of the same type object occurred in the areas of Tulsa and Oklahoma City as well as just across the Oklahoma-Texas border in Van Alstyne, Texas. All three witnesses described a silent, triangular object that displayed white lights on the apex of the triangle and a ruby-colored light in the center of the triangle. There was not sufficient information in the movement of the object to establish that it was not potentially a drone or experimental aircraft.
One of the witnesses was an individual working on drone aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. The individual was familiar with the triangular aircraft being used at Tinker AFB and did not believe the object he saw was a known drone because it was hovering in a stationary position and was completely silent.

Unlike the triangular object seen in March in Cleburne, Texas, these objects did not produce any type of movement that could not be explained by a new type of drone such as the X47-B or other experimental aircraft. The most likely explanation is that the military has developed a completely silent triangular aircraft that may be able to move at very slow speeds.

Case 38312: 9 p.m., May 19, 2012; Lawrenceville, Georgia; (rural property about 30 miles NE of Atlanta).
The witness in rural Georgia reported that on May 19, 2012, at approximately 9 p.m. she and four other family members observed nine bright objects pulsating or throbbing deep orange to light orange, each about the size of the full moon, moving ENE to SSW at near treetop level, hovering just above the trees in her backyard at a height of 500 feet to one mile, and then shooting upward into the sky one after another at a 45-degree angle and at an extreme rate of speed. It took each object only 1-2 seconds to disappear from view as it accelerated. One of the witnesses described the movement as, “...the only thing you could see is a streak...” A total of nine objects were seen to make this same pattern of hovering and then rapidly accelerating. Two days later the witnesses observed several helicopters of military design flying and hovering very low over their property. The military helicopters were seen around noon for the next three days. The helicopters were dark, flat-black, unmarked and very, very loud. As one witness stated, “The first time I saw it [the helicopter] he was just over the trees; as he was coming over he paused and he tilted the helicopter towards me and he physically did a buzz around me.” The witnesses took videos of the helicopters on May 22.

The witnesses are all credible. One has a college degree and is a nurse at a local medical facility. Another is a retired automotive executive. Two of the other witnesses are currently enrolled in college courses. The fifth witness is retired.

Case 41616: 10:30 p.m., July 18, 2012; Channahon, Illinois; a small suburb 35 miles SE of Chicago

This report comes from a 50-year-old male. It is best told in his own words.
I tend to sit outside once my wife turns in for the night. I sit and enjoy a cigar, read something, have a cold beer and let the dog do her business. I do this every night and on clear days I also take my small binoculars out and watch the stars, planets and the moon. I've witnessed meteors streak across the sky. I've watched satellites slowly move across the night sky. I've watched countless airplanes and helicopters, be they civilian, military, commercial, etc. in the sky over my home throughout the years but I NEVER witnessed anything of the type I witnessed on the night of July 18th, 2012.
I was out in my backyard around 10:30 p.m. having a cigar and waiting for my small dog to finish her 'ritual.' My wife and I have a large, handheld floodlight we take with us to check for skunks before we allow the dogs out. On the night in question, I was standing approximately 20 feet from my porch so the sensor on the porch light timed out. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and I looked up and thought I saw movement coming from the Ursa Minor Constellation. It seemed as though one of the stars was moving in a northerly direction. I thought it might be a satellite so I paid it no mind until it 'stopped' moving and seemed to blink. As I watched it for a few seconds it seemed as though the ‘air’ around the 'star' seemed to ripple sort of the same way heat does when watching it rise from the ground at a distance. It was then that I noticed it ‘moving’ again and thought it odd as the stars that make up the Constellation of Ursa Minor don't MOVE! So I shined the flood light at the 'star' that was moving and that's when I realized I was watching something very strange. It seemed to ‘absorb’ the light. It reminded me of the way water moves when a pebble is dropped and ripples. As I shined the light on it, it actually seemed to respond. It shined a light back at me! At first I thought it an optical illusion but when I did it a second time, and blinked the light several times, it repeated the sequence I had just done! This 'THING' was massive! Made no noise and moved very slow across the sky. It blocked out the stars for a few moments that I shined the light at it as if to let me know it was actually there. I know that sounds silly but that's what happened. I watched it slowly fade as if 'cloaking' again but I could make out the shape as it seemed to blink in and out as it moved. I lost sight of it as the tress blocked my view of it.”

Case 43607: 4 p.m., October 23, 2012; Ball Ground, Georgia; a town of about 1400 people

Two women and their two children saw a silent, black object that hovered almost directly over their home at a height of several hundred feet. The duration of the incident was about 30 minutes. Three short videos of the object were provided by the witness.

The videos show a somewhat circular object with lights that periodically flashed around its perimeter. This object is not yet identified and the videos are currently being studied.

Case 44556: 8:15 p.m., December 13, 2012; central Georgia about five miles from Dublin

At approximately 8:15 p.m. on December 13, 2012, the witness and a companion were traveling west on I-16 just west of Dublin, Georgia, when he observed a saucer-like craft approach his truck at treetop height from the right (north) shoulder of the interstate. The object slowly approached the witness' vehicle and hovered for a few seconds and then disappeared. The object was about 30 feet in diameter, had eight white lights around the underside perimeter and one white light, equal in size of those on the perimeter, in the center. The lights did not appear to illuminate the ground, only the object itself. The entire encounter lasted less than one minute with the object coming within 100 feet of the vehicle.

The object had smooth, easy movements like it was tracking his vehicle, which was traveling down a major interstate highway about 70 mph. The object moved toward the truck and, once it was directly overhead, the witness lost sight of it, although he did not see where the object went once it was directly overhead. The object seemed to be less than 100 feet high when the witness lost sight of it. The object had the look of spun aluminum, not shiny. It flew from east to west over the westbound lane of I-16. The entire incident lasted less than a minute.

The investigator was only able to talk to the driver as the second witness refused to talk about the sighting saying that it was too upsetting. The primary witness insisted that there were many other witnesses to this event but as of this date, no other witnesses have come forth.