High Strangeness: November 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Three-Letter Agency!

I'm about to take some time away from the blog for the holiday weekend, so it figured that some supremely silly news pops up in UFOland before I could get away...

It seems several figures in the UFO community who have been very vocal about the so-called "Roswell Slides" are claiming that their email accounts have been hacked by a certain "Three-Letter Agency."
Way to cover up that UFO crash, Three-Letter Agency.

This news does two things: first, it perpetuates the age-old "government cover-up" meme that the conspiracy buffs cling to so desperately, but second, it bestows some semblance of authenticity to the slides themselves and thus legitimizes the efforts of the "Roswell Dream Team" to keep their narrative alive. And, it should be pointed out, it does so just as the Slides are in danger of slipping off the radar screen and being relegated to the mountainous scrap heap of useless and forgotten Roswell "evidence."

So the question you have to ask -- well, you don't have to ask it because I'm about to -- you're welcome.... The question I will now ask is: if that certain Three-Letter Agency was trying to discredit the Slides and foul up the efforts of those promoting the Slides, why would they be taking actions that only serve to draw attention to the Slides? It makes no sense.

You can go back a step further and ask -- and, again, I am about to ask for you: If the Slides are legit, why didn't that certain Three-Letter Agency find them and take custody of them before the cleaning lady found them in the attic? They've only had since 1947 to track them down... For a certain Three-Letter Agency that's supposed to be so clever and diabolical, they sure screwed that one up.

Methinks that the only Three-Letter Agency at work here is endlessly inventive and self-serving "RDT."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Aztec UFO Surprise

One of the more interesting things I've discovered while researching the life and career of UFO guru Dr. J. Allen Hynek is how much disdain he had for "commercially inclined individuals, addicted to sensationalism, who have not had access to the Air Force material, who do not know of the many detailed investigations undertaken by the Air Force, but who presume to speak and write with flamboyant authority and with naïve disregard for scientific accuracy.” 

That quote comes from a 1955 newspaper column written by Hynek. In that column, Hynek held out special scorn for people like author Frank Scully, whose 1950 book "Behind the Flying Saucers" told the wild tale of a crashed flying saucer and some recovered alien corpses...

I've written about this before, but it keeps coming up as I work on this chapter of the book, and it has direct relevance to a very strange experience I had a while back... Here are highlights of my account from the Hynek book:
Funny, I imagined it would look different, somehow...

By the time Frank Scully’s book was discredited, the story of the 'Aztec crash,' as it came to be known, had taken on a life of its own—a very maddening, illogical, inexplicable life, as it turns out. Case in point: In a private letter shared with this author by an acquaintance in 2013, a family friend had written to my acquaintance on March 24, 1952 about an unusual experience he had had earlier that month at the Air Force aviation research plant in Palmdale, California. The Air Force serviceman revealed in the letter that, after a day of routine training, he and his fellow airmen were shown three flying saucers by “Dr. Ria and Knudsen (scientists under Einstein).”
            “Then we really had a surprise,” the letter went on. “They showed us the men that flew them. They were normal in every way, features normal, etc. Only they all had a perfect set of teeth.” The three creatures, who had apparently died of suffocation in the earth’s atmosphere, were dressed in a fashion that “resembled the 1890’s.” They ranged in height “from 39 to 42 inches,” although they “were not midgets, but perfectly proportional.”
            The man and his comrades were then left for an extended time to study the saucers and occupants. “It just held me so dumbfounded that I walked around with my mouth open for the two weeks,” he wrote. When the two Doctors finally returned, they showed the servicemen how to disassemble and re-assemble the alien craft: “The Doc’s each took a side of it and leaned on it. There was a light snap and it fell conveniently into two pieces… Inside was little seats (sic), big enough to take care of the 16, that were originally in the ship (the rest are at Wright Field, Columbus, Ohio).”
            This stupefying letter, still in its original mailing envelope postmarked March 25th, 2 PM, 1952, Glendale, CA, had been filed away by its puzzled recipient for over 60 years, but its very existence defies all reason. For six pages the man went on, describing the saucers and their occupants in the exact same words and numbers used by Frank Scully two years earlier in his book, but why would the Air Force have co-opted such a ridiculous story?
Even if that could be explained, there are so many other unanswered questions that the entire affair threatens to collapse under its own weight: If the saucers and occupants had been spirited away to Dayton, Ohio (not Columbus, as the letter states) in 1948, why would some of them be in Palmdale, California, in 1952? Palmdale was an aviation research center, so even if it could be argued that captured saucers were there to be reverse engineered, why would the alien bodies have been shipped west with them? Why would the existence of flying saucers and aliens in the custody of the U. S. Air Force, something that would undoubtedly rank as the world’s most explosive secret, be so casually revealed to a group of anonymous serviceman, who were then allowed to write home about it? Why would the servicemen have been repeatedly inundated with incomprehensible information and then left in isolation for days or weeks at a time? Was the dumbfounded airman being hoaxed himself, or was he in on a much bigger, much more misguided hoax directed at the recipient of the letter, a hoax designed to subtly condition Americans for the possible discovery of extraterrestrial life?
Weird, or what...?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

L'arche de l'espace

Well, well, well... Look what's in the news all of a sudden...
Airbus has filed a new patent for a UFO-like airplane that looks like something right out of a Sci Fi movie. RT today described the radical Airbus design as a “bagel plane” where passengers sit in a ring. The Financial Times, which was the first to announce the new design in a November 16 story, reported that the UFO-like shape addresses key structural problems faced by aircraft engineers for cylindrical designs. Will the new Airbus design use a traditional propulsion system such as aviation fuel that is currently the standard for civilian aircraft? The UFO-like design makes more sense if Airbus was preparing for an innovative future propulsion system for the aviation industry – antigravity!
The article, appearing in yesterday's Examiner.com, includes a reproduction of the U.S. Patent Application submitted by Airbus Operations of Toulouse, France. The basic idea of the "bagel plane" is that passengers sit in a circle around a central hub, from which, presumably, the flight attendants can keep a better eye on them.

Although the schematic does not specify what will go in the central hub, it's easy to imagine that a well-stocked bar could fill the space, or a cozy open fireplace, or perhaps a stage on which live musical reviews or theater-in-the-round could be presented. Nor does the schematic indicate that the circular passenger cabin rotates while the plane is in flight, but I assume this will, in fact, be a part of the package. Why have people arranged in a circle and then just have them sit there? Especially since it doesn't appear that anyone will actually get a window...

Most exciting is the news that the bagel plane will be propelled by an anti-gravity drive, although I do question why the French get to be the first to use this new technology. Anyway, it seems to be a done deal, so we'd better get used to calling it "anti-gravité."

As I was reading about the anti-gravité bagelship, I realized with a shock that I had seen this schematic before. In fact, I had just seen it only a couple weeks ago, when I was writing about The Gobbler, the saucer-shaped restaurant near here that I believe is being converted even now into a Space Ark... Look at the frame grab below, taken from the local newscast and showing the proposed renovations to The Gobbler's floorplan, and tell me it's not the same exact flipping thing!

Seating schematic for The Gobbler. Or should I say 'Le Gobbler'?
I don't know what's worse: having my worst conspiracy paranoia confirmed by this patent application, or realizing that the Space Ark being built only a few miles from me in semi-rural Wisconsin is, in fact, intended to save only the French from la catastrophe mondiale...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Thing in Lake Rotorua

In the course of researching my book about Dr. J. Allen Hynek, I have found myself going down some strange, unexpected byways of UFOlogy, some of them puzzling, some of them confounding, all of them fascinating...

A few days ago I came across another oddity: an aquatic UFO case that Hynek investigated in the early 1970s, when he was in New Zealand. I'm still working on figuring out the extent to which Hynek investigated the case, but in the process I've been having an entertaining email exchange with Lxxx, the woman who was one of the main witnesses to the event, and it's a great story.

Claiming that her memory was not as good as it used to be, Lxxx directed me to Carl Feindt's Water UFO website, which is probably old hat to many of you but was a first to me. There are enough water UFO's to warrant a website and a "Research Endeavor?" News to me.

Anyway, at the site I found the story of Lxxx and her then boyfriend Rxxxxx, who had been out on a date the night of July 3, 1971, and found themselves parked in their Hillman Minx near the shore of Lake Rotorua, in the town of Rotorua on the northern island of New Zealand. The time was about 1:45 a.m., and Lxxx and Rxxxxx were the only people in the area... it was a very quiet night
Lxxx heard a strange beeping and asked her boyfriend what is was. Looking around for the source of the beep, they both noticed something odd 25 to 30 yards out on the water, out behind a tourist boat and a moored seaplane... It was a circular, domed saucer in -- or on -- the water.

The report didn't say explicitly what she and her boyfriend were doing in their car on the lakeshore at 1:45 a.m., and I don't want to make any assumptions, but both witnesses did report having to roll down the car window to see what was going on out on the water... Draw your own conclusions.

Rxxxxx reported later in the "CAPR Bulletin" that the object "appeared to be an inverted plate with a small dome on the top. The dome was dark grey, and the base of the saucer appeared to be light-grey to white in colour. There was a fog around the base of the object, therefore I couldn't tell if it was floating or hovering. Set off-centre on the dome there was a bright red light which rotated clockwise, and seemed most intense when pointed towards the car, at the same time as the light pointed towards the car, a metallic sounding "beep" rang out, the frequency of both the light and the beep was about once per second."

Lxxx's report echoes Rxxxxx's in minute detail: "To my surprise I saw a huge dome or half of a saucer shaped object which appeared to be sitting of hovering in between the float plane and a small boat anchored on the lake. I couldn't judge what size it was but it was very large and seemed to be a whitish colour. There was a fog around the base of the object. There was also a red or orange light in top (just like a traffic cops car) and it was flashing in a clockwise direction as far as I can make out and beeping at one second intervals as the light turned towards the car. This sounds quite strange I realise."

After fleeing the scene, Lxxx's and Rxxxxx's curiosity got the best of them and they returned to the lakeshore some fifteen minutes after their sighting... Alas, The Thing in Lake Rotorua had vanished.

Forty-three years later, Lxxx didn't have much to add: "not so sure it was unique (probably was pretty amazing at the time seeing it had landed on the lake...well slightly hovering)" she wrote to me. "I dont know if the ufo came from under the water when we heard the beeping or whether it just came from the air as it just appeared out on the lake (close) by seeing it from the side window of the car."

"It sounds a bit of a comedy," she wrote, "but it's true."

Lxxx went on to tell me that her family has experienced a variety of strange occurrences over the years, some of them quite creepy, including one that resonated with me very strongly...
"On one occasion in the early hours of the morning (my son) and I witnessed two pinpoint lights in the sky flying about, and then a big exchange of what looked like zig-zag lightning between them. Whether they were fighting or exchanging something, remains to be seen, but it left us stunned... Then they sped off.  That amazed me at the time.  I thought are they exchanging information.... or fighting."
Zig-zag UFOs, anyone? Are these unique to me and Lxxx?
The reason this story resonates with me is that when I was a child I had a recurring alien invasion nightmare in which I was out in the backyard at night with my family when the sky suddenly filled with brilliant UFOs that looked like zig-zag lightning laid on its side... There were always millions of these things filling the sky, and I knew they were coming for us...

No idea what it means, but I am naturally intrigued by Lxxx's story and I hope she'll remember more details as we continue our correspondence. In the meantime, I confess to being a little confused: should we be watching the skies... or the lakes?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Comet That Never Was

So it's come to this: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/nov/13/philae-comet-lander-alien-cover-up-conspiracy-theories-emerge?CMP=fb_gu

Philae comet lander alien ‘cover-up’ conspiracy theories emerge

Probe landing attracts allegations that 67P is not a comet but alien object kept secret by Nasa and European Space Agency
On Wednesday afternoon, the European Space Agency made galactic history when their Rosetta Mission successful landed its Philae probe on a speeding comet, the first time such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.

As with everything from the moon landing to the death of Elvis, an alternative version of “what really happened” as the Philae probe landed on comet 67P did not take long to emerge.

According to an email published on the website UFOSightingsDaily.com – which does a regular trade in alien sightings – this mission is part of a European Space Agency and Nasa cover-up to disguise the comet’s true alien nature. The email, allegedly from a secret whistle-blowing employee of the ESA, accuses the agency of “blatant cover-ups” in wanting to land on the speeding comet and attaches photos which claim to reveal the “true inner workings of Comet 67P”.
The Philae Lander: Making "First Contact" with an alien species?
The article gets stupider and stupider as it goes on, but the basic gist is that Comet 67P is some sort of alien space bouy. Because I guess the cleverest way to conduct a cover-up is to webcast it live worldwide... Hide in plain sight, as the saying goes.
"It does show signs on its outside of machine like parts and unnatural terrain. Whatever this object is, it did not ask to be found or scrutinised.”
I should try to stay open-minded. Maybe someone will discover some old Kodachrome slides of so-called Comet 67P...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

UFOs: "Old Hat"

I know I may get some crap for this, but I've been transcribing the interview I conducted a few months back with Dr. David Jacobs, and I'm once again finding myself impressed and intrigued by some of his observations.

The interview was, of course, for my book about the career of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, but Dr. Jacobs inserted quite a few asides about UFOlogy in general, and I think one of them is worth mentioning here. At one point in the interview, when we were talking about Dr. Hynek's impact on UFO research, Dr. Jacobs made this statement:

"Everything we could possibly learn about UFOs we had already learned by the mid-1970s."

Then, after admitting with a chuckle that "everybody will disagree with me," he continued on his theme:

"Everything that has come out about UFOs since then is verification that there are UFOs. It’s extremely important: the more verification we get, the better. And people say the new thing now is triangular UFOs; there were triangular UFOs back when. The number of triangular UFOs is different… but it’s still verification, it doesn’t tell us anything."
Although the volume of UFO sighting reports remains very high, he said, the level of interest in the phenomenon from the scientific and academic communities has never been lower. He then went on to list several reasons for this sad state of affairs.

First, he thinks that "The UFO phenomenon is old hat," and it's hard to argue otherwise, in my opinion. UFOs haven't really put on much of a show in a long, long time. Back in the day we could always count on UFOS to buzz Washington, D.C., to lure Air Force pilots to their deaths and to abduct all sorts of people, but what have they done for us lately?

Second, Jacobs thinks that the saturation of cable TV with UFO programming has, in a way, cheapened the phenomenon. "Like ghosts or angels, it’s a matter of faith and belief and not necessarily of (research)," he said. "Therefore it’s less important for science and more important for sociology."

Third, he feels that UFO research has become dominated by conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories, as compelling as they can be, are, in the end, a distraction. "As a historian of 20th Century U.S. history, I fail to find the evidence for conspiracy to be compelling," he told me. "But, you can’t prove a negative. You can’t prove there isn’t a conspiracy."

(Case in point, just yesterday this news item appeared: "UFO Experts Say 'We Are Not Alone'". Does anyone think this is good for UFOlogy?)
Serious UFO Meeting

Fourth, Jacobs knows from personal experience that nothing angers and alienates (no pun intended) scientists and academics like abduction cases.

Surprised? I was, and I still am. Throughout the interview, Dr. Jacobs acknowledged his less-than-stellar status in the field of UFOlogy, but always in good humor. I thought he had a lot of interesting and worthwhile things to say about the state of UFO research, and I'll go into more of that in the book.

For now, I'm interested to learn what readers thinks of the observations I've recounted here. Has Jacobs got it right? I think he has. What do you think?