High Strangeness: Can We Get Back to Talking About UFOs Now? -- Part II

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Can We Get Back to Talking About UFOs Now? -- Part II

Since I blogged last week about the strange 1980 Fort McCoy UFO report I'm investigating for MUFON, more information has come up, so I thought I'd post an update.

True to his word, the witness mailed me a packet of documents, including a list of servicemen who were on duty at Ft. McCoy the night the event occurred, a written account of the sighting that exactly matches what he had written in his MUFON report and related to me in our phone interview, and this drawing of the object he saw...

Fort McCoy UFO, as drawn by witness -- note the two tiny "occupants"
I wish the image had reproduced better, but the original was drawn on plain typewriter paper some 35 years ago, so it's a wonder it survives at all...
I'm glad to be able to write about this case again, because I got some interesting comments after my first installment, and I want consider them. First was this:

Lance said...
Hi Mark

Your approach here does not put me in the mind of scientific inquiry.

Lance, I'm not sure if you're commenting on my reportage in general or on some particular aspect of my narrative. I did say, before commenting on the witness' vocal cues and manner of speech, "Now I'm going to be very unscientific here and tell you what I found persuasive about this man's story..." Yes, I was being subjective in my observations. When I can hear stress in the witness' voice and sense the witness struggling for words to describe what he/she saw, I think it's reasonable to take that into consideration. In truth, that is very often the only thing I have to work with. In this case, while those cues certainly didn't prove anything, they did add to the witness' credibility in my eyes.

And, as I mentioned, this case scored a very high 48.85 Certainty Rating on the Ballester-Guasp Evaluation tool, and the BGE is 100% objective.

Then there was this odd exchange, over which I am still puzzling....
Tim Printy said...
Did I miss the information or is there a date and time associated with this sighting. If you don't have these basic details, it is not a very good case at all.
Mark OC said...
Tim, the witness does have a date and time, although after 35 years he admits he may be a little off on the date. In any case, it should be easy enough to date the presence of the Cuban refugees at Fort McCoy to get at least a rough time frame.

Tim Printy said...
So we have a date that the witness recalls but it may not be the precise date and time. If we don't have a precise date with a reasonably approximate time, it will be difficult to determine if what he saw was extraordinary or something ordinary that he misinterpreted. I doubt that any directions and elevations will be any more accurate. This is just another one of those UFO ghost stories that can't be verified or analyzed in any meaningful way. 
Okay, so... the witness reports that the event took place at about 9 or 10 p.m. on September 11, 1980, but, because this was an event that took place nearly 35 years ago, he can't be precisely sure of the date. That shouldn't be a huge surprise, but I don't understand Tim's attitude that without an exact time and date, the report is crap. And even if it "can't be verified or analyzed in any meaningful way," which I admit may be true, why is it not worthy of our attention?
I did a little digging and found an account in the Fort McCoy base newspaper that gives a timeline of the incarceration of Cuban immigrants at Fort McCoy in 1980. The timeline includes the following:
Sept. 7.  Cuban refugees protested their confinement and future move to Fort Chaffee and tear down fence.
That means that the witness and his comrades had to form their human fence on the 7th, which lends support to the witness dating the event on the 11th. And that's just the first piece of supporting evidence I've found. I may still find more.

Finally, purrlgurrl, I want to address your doubts in my next post. You suggested that the witness may have had an intense dream experience, and that the behavior of his superiors suggests that they didn't see anything that night. The notes the witness sent me include more detail of what was going on at the base in general and with him in particular in the days, hours and minutes before and after the sighting, however, and I think the additional information is worth considering.

Stay tuned!

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