High Strangeness: O, What a Tangled Web We Weave

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

O, What a Tangled Web We Weave

I started the say today with a lot of questions about the UFO sighting report that I got involved in last week:

Would my State Director seriously make me try to get my hands on the oil filter and old motor oil from the witness' dad's SUV? Would the witness' grandmother agree to share a copy of the mysterious letter she's been hanging onto since 1952, describing a captured flying saucer and dead aliens at a US Air Force Base? Would some Canadian "news of the weird" website post the original UFO sighting report online and turn the whole affair into a three-ring circus?

The answers, in order, are: Yes; Yes; and Oui.

So, while it's good to get those questions answered, it's not good that this whole affair has now become so confused and treacherous... And believe me, it has become treacherous. It's become a minefield of synchronicity and cause-and-effect anomalies that has had my head spinning all day....

Let's start with the first bombshell of the day, shall we? First thing this morning, I get an email from my friend Mxxx, who is the director of Dr. J. Allen Hynek's Center for UFO Studies, or CUFOS (where I've been doing the lion's share of my research for the book about Dr. Hynek). Mxxx has just seen a report of a Wisconsin UFO case on a Canadian website called Who Forted? and he wants me to look into it for him because the case involved the vehicle's dash lights flickering, and Mxxx has spent a lot of time researching cases where UFOs have had physical effects on cars. This was a bombshell because he had no idea I was already investigating that very case!

So I wrote back to him and arranged to call him later to tell him about my case report. Then the second bombshell hit: the witness' dad wrote to me to say that his mother had decided it was ok to send me a scan of the 1952 UFO letter, on the condition that I not copy it or reprint it anywhere. The bad part of that is I agreed to the mother's terms and so I can't tell you anything that's in the letter, but it turns out it's not actually all that bad after all, which I will get to later.

Then comes bombshell #3: My State MUFON Director seriously wants me to get the oil changed on the witness' dad's SUV. This guy has already shared the vehicle's VIN with us, so that we can examine an identical SUV and see if it displays the same magnetic anomaly that I found in the first vehicle. But now he seems to think enough's enough, and he no longer wants his SUV to be part of the greatest discovery in human history. So that could be a problem for me down the line, and I'm really not sure what to do about it.
Shocking fact: a UFO that can go undetected on the world's most sophisticated radar can be revealed by magnetic anomalies in used engine oil. It's always the little things...
Okay, so... Normally I would draw the line at three bombshells per post, but today has been a very strange day so I find I must smash my own preconceptions and add more: When I talked to Mxxx at CUFOS this afternoon, I gave him the details of the UFO case report, which he thought was interesting, if not spectacular. But then I started to tell him about the letter from 1952 that described the flying saucers and the aliens and the magnets and the teeth, and it was really hard because I'm not supposed to share it with anyone but I had to share it with Mxxx, don't you see? Because he knows this stuff, and if anyone's going to be able to tell me if this is something worth investigating, it's him.

So, I started to give him the narrative in carefully selected bits and pieces, because I'm really not supposed to tell him anything, and he stops me and says, "Holy cow, I think I've read this very same thing in a book!" So he goes and grabs a book from the CUFOS archives, and starts reading a passage that is almost verbatim what is written in this mystery letter that's been lost in this woman's attic in Wisconsin since 1952!

The book is called Behind the Flying Saucers, written in 1950 by a guy named Frank Scully, and if I have to tell you how weird that is you should just stop reading right now, because the rest of this will be lost on you. Anyway, aside from the astounding facts that A) Mxxx recognized the passage from an obscure book written in 1950 and B) just happened to have that book at his fingertips, it's pretty stunning that this book actually does describe almost the exact events in this letter written two years later, and in virtually the same language!

Mxxx and I then tried to figure out how this strange coincidence could have occurred, and Mxxx, brainiac that he is, quickly narrowed it down to four possibilities. Have I mentioned that he's a statistical analyst? That gives him a slight edge in this whole figuring-things-out business.

Anyway, here are Mxxx's four possibilities:
  1. The person who wrote the letter had read Scully's book and was pulling the leg of the person he was writing to.
  2. A friend of the person who wrote the letter had read Scully's book and hoaxed the writer, who then repeated the story as if it were true.
  3. The person who wrote the letter had been subjected to a strange psychological study by the Air Force, in which he was shown either real evidence of an alien landing or fake evidence of an alien landing, or a combination of real and fake evidence, to sow confusion in his mind and in the minds of the American public about whether UFOs were real or not. The fact that he was allowed to write and send the letter could indicate that this is exactly what the Air Force was hoping to accomplish. And here it is, 60 years later, still messing with people's minds, so bravo, Air Force!
  4. Everything that the writer described in the letter was true.
Mxxx felt pretty strongly that #4 was the least likely possibility, which is disappointing, but I understand his reasoning. In the end, we both felt that #3 was the most likely, and the most compelling, and, to be frank, the creepiest.

And, damn, if it is #3, there must be a hell of a lot more to the story... Stay tuned, folks.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark, was listening back to your guest slot with Martin Willis from a few months back and you recounted this story from your blog. It's a pretty fascinating case, with (as you identified) many possible explanations. One of the first things that occurred to me has some pretty depressing overtones for those of us that hope that there is some sort of nutty shadow government UFO conspiracy underway; given the multitude of spy planes that we had in the air in the 50's is it possible that a covert disinformation campaign was launched to trick people into thinking that U.S. built "UFO's" were actually craft from outer space? This would have been a great cover to protect our projects from the USSR... Thanks for your cool blog!

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Thanks for the comment!

If this was a plot to trick people into thinking that US built UFOs were from outer space, it sure was a complicated way to do it. There must be an easier way...