High Strangeness: UFOs & Couples

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UFOs & Couples

How many witnesses is the ideal number of witnesses in a UFO sighting? One? Two? Five?

Back in 1952, in an address to the American Optical Society, Dr. J. Allen Hynek declared that the ideal UFO sighting was:
  • one that had not yet been explained; 
  • one with more than one witness, at least one of whom was a trained, practiced observer; 
  • and one that lasted more than one minute. 
All well and good, but in the case of the "more than one witness" thing, it better be more than two, and they better be complete strangers..

Why do I say this? Because the famed Ballester-Guasp "Report Evaluator" (or the BGE, as we pros call it) that my bosses at MUFON use for determining the "Strangeness Index" for a UFO sighting gets a little weird where two witnesses are concerned. For instance, under the category "Familial/Social Relationship between witnesses," your choices are 1) Unknown, 2) Professional/Co-workers, 3) Friends, 4) No Relationship, and 5) Family or Single Witness.

Get that? If you have 53 UFO witnesses, that's a lot of witnesses. But if they're all related, they count as one witness on the BGE. Thank God I have never had to investigate a case that took place at a family reunion...

Further down the Evaluation form, the category titled "Geographical Relationship at time of sighting" you have these choices: 1) Unknown, 2) Together/Single Witness, and 3) Independent/Separate. So this time your 53 witnesses aren't family members, so they count separately, which is great! Unless they're all "Together," say, attending a UFO conference, in which case, once again, they become a single witness.

Very strange.

This has become an issue over the past few months as I've investigated a rash of UFO sightings in my small town in southern Wisconsin. We have been in the middle of a genuine UFO flap all summer long, and every time a new case has been reported to MUFON, I'm the guy who gets the case.

Here's the weird thing. All four of the sightings I've investigated here in my town have had odd similarities. Not enough to qualify as a pattern, not enough to creep me out, but enough to have me scratching my head a lot...

First of all, the four cases all involved married couples as witnesses, so you know right away that the BGE is going to make them all single-witnesses cases, which is stupid. But then there's this: in all four cases, the witnesses observed fairly similar objects at about the same time at night that all appeared at approximately the same altitude and distance, and all behaved in remarkably similar fashion. In two of the cases, the witnesses reached a point when they "freaked out" and thought the objects were watching them. In all of the cases, the objects were discovered in essentially the same manner and all disappeared from view not so much by flying away but by more or less fading out of the witnesses' awareness.

Then it gets weirder: In three out of the four cases, the husband worked in the IT field and the wife was a licensed or certified healthcare professional. How the hell do you explain that? There's no setting for that on the BGE. Believe me, I checked.

There's a great old saying that I'm sure was said by someone very wise but that I remember from the James Bond novel "Goldfinger." When the secret agent and the super criminal cross paths for the third time, Goldfinger declares that: "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

If three times is enemy action, what is four times?
Is that what's going on here? Is there some kind of enemy action taking place? Does it, like so many things in life, revolve around me?

I for one, would like to find out. My problem is, I have no way of doing so. As I pointed out earlier, the Ballester-Guasp Report Evaluator doesn't come close to helping me with this, and in fact makes the situation harder for me to deal with because it arbitrarily cuts my witness pool in half!

This is serious. What I'm confronting is the fact that there really are no evaluation tools available to the UFO investigator that can adequately address the manifold weirdness of the phenomenon. The BGE is held up to be the ultimate strange-o-meter, but it simply can't explain what I've been encountering this summer... There must be an answer: either I need to invent an expansive new evaluation tool or come up with a way of investigating a UFO sighting that just accepts as default that the weirdness factor is going to be off the charts all the time, every time. I'll let you know what I decide...


purrlgurrl said...
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purrlgurrl said...

The husbands worked in IT and all the wives worked in health care. No big weird mystery there. These are pretty much the only fields where one can find employment in America's "new economy". In fact, where I live if you can't write code or take blood pressure you're a member of the long-term unemployed or underemployed. This is not in the least bit facetious. If you can't do one or the other here, then you're a barista, a retail sales associate, or restaurant wait staff.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Hi purrgurl, I didn't take it as a facetious comment at all. I think you make a good point, and I thank you for commenting!