High Strangeness: UFO Psychology

Thursday, July 16, 2015

UFO Psychology

I've been working a new UFO case for MUFON this week, and it has some interesting similarities to the fascinating 1980 Fort McCoy mass sighting report about which I've written so much lately.

This new case is also historical -- it took place in 1976, when the witness was about 11 years old. Like the Fort McCoy case, it involved multiple witnesses. And, like the Fort McCoy case, the witness' experience of the event is one of the most interesting parts of the story.

Oh, and it just happened to take place about 10 miles from Fort McCoy...

Creepy, eh?

The witness was camping out with friends on the shore of Perch Lake in the middle of Sparta, WI. He saw a strange "star" that was zipping back and forth in the night sky, so he decided to signal to it by flashing his flashlight. One of his friends thought this was quite stupid and begged him to stop, but he, being a bit of a jerk, kept doing it until the "star" disappeared.
UFOs in trees.... a perfect combination!

A few moments later, the 30-50' tree under which the 4 boys were sitting started to sway and twist as if a violent wind had hit it. Strangely, none of the other trees were affected. As the boys watched, brilliant beams of colored light shot out of something above the tree. The witness described the beams as seeming to be "shot from a cannon." The lights continued for just a minute or two, then stopped abruptly.

The boys gathered their gear and high-tailed it home. The witness' big brother and the brother's friend calmed the younger boys down and called the police. An officer came out to talk to the boys, and, although he couldn't confirm anything they told him, he at least didn't make the boys feel foolish for calling in a report.

That's about it as far as the report goes, but when we talked on the phone the other night, the witness filled added some new elements to the story...
  • The boys didn't feel threatened by the lights and movement, the witness told me, they were just in a state of high excitement because they didn't understand what they had just experienced... 
  • When the lights started flashing overhead, the witness felt as though he was frozen or mesmerized for a moment or two. He felt as though there was a brief "lapse of time," and, although he couldn't exactly call it a "missing time" event, he did say that he felt as though the object above the tree was reading his mind during that lapse.
  • The witness had mentioned in his report that he felt the encounter had been a sort of "invitation," and I asked him to elaborate. He said that when he and his friends calmed down that night, they went right back out to the lake and camped out in the yard adjacent to where the event had taken place, as if they wanted to see more, but from a somewhat safer position... To this day, he still goes out at night and flashes his flashlight into the sky, hoping to signal whatever it was he saw as a child.
He then told me a long, detailed, surprising story about how the event has affected his life and that of his friends, and, frankly, I still haven't figured out what to do with this information. The witness seems to sincerely believe that a number of odd and eerie life events affecting him and his friends have a direct connection to the initial sighting. These events involve criminal activity, psychic abilities and a general inability to function in society... The witness seems deeply sincere about this, and points to the "mind-reading" and "invitation" elements of the event to validate his beliefs, but... I can't go there.

The question I face now is this: do the iffy theories of how the event has affected the adult lives of the witnesses invalidate the report of the event itself? The witness is going to ask if the two remaining friends (the third died in the mid-1980s under suspicious circumstances, and his body was found not far from the 1976 sighting!) would be willing to talk to me, so I'll (try to) withhold judgement until then.

This has also left me pondering a deeper question. Both of these witnesses had compelling stories to tell, and both seemed to experience emotional upheaval when telling me of these events that were deeply rooted in their distant memories. The Fort McCoy witness seemed intensely stressed and afraid as he talked to me, but the light in the tree witness seemed intensely relieved, almost buoyant. What makes the difference?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the difference was benevolent and malevolent occupants of these crafts. Too bad this person wasn't older than eleven. That might give you a better handle on the story.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Now that's an interesting thought... If the other witnesses come through we may learn more.

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please provide more detail on this!

Dr Tim Brigham said...

An intriguing one. But to answer, No, I do NOT think these 'weird' elements invalidate the event. Rather, they may be more crucial to understanding it than we realize, at least that is the argument some (ie Jacques Vallee) have made, and which I sometimes tend to agree with.
Give us more details as you can.