High Strangeness: March 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

UFOlogy the Way it Used to be Done

I sure wish someone would secretly leave a sheaf of top-secret government UFO documents at my doorstep, or surreptitiously drop a roll of undeveloped UFO-related film in my mailbox. That's how UFOlogy used to be done back in the day. If you just waited around long enough, a smoking gun would magically and anonymously appear in your life and you could blow the UFO mystery wide open!
Jim Marrs, R.I.P.

I was reminded of this fact this week as I read the late Jim Marrs' epic 1997 UFO book Alien Agenda. Jim had kindly written a cover blurb for my book, The Close Encounters Man, shortly before he passed away last year, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never read any of his books before now. So, it was with a sense of duty -- and excitement -- that I started Jim's book this week, and I am delighted to report that I am enjoying the hell out of it. Jim's balls to the wall, I-never-met-a-conspiracy-theory-that-I-didn't-love approach is strangely infectious, and it takes me back to my earliest days of reading classic UFO books by Frank Edwards, John Fuller, Brad Steiger and John Keel. It's just pure, unmitigated, old school UFO fun, and makes me wish I had gotten to know Jim before he passed.

Just yesterday I got to the part in the book where he relates the sad, strange story of the MJ-12 documents, and it got me thinking... Jim introduces the story this way:
"On December 11, 1984, UFO researcher and TV producer Jaime Shandera heard his daily mail drop through the slot in his front door. He also heard his screen door shut. Opening the door, he found a brown envelope. It bore no return address but was stamped and more a cancellation mark. Inside was a roll of thirty-five millimeter Tri-X black-and-white film."
The film turned out to bear images of classified documents revealing the existence of a top-secret government UFO study called "Operation Majestic 12," or "MJ-12" for short. MJ-12 was a panel of twelve very prestigious scientists, military people and scholars who had allegedly been brought together on the authority of President Eisenhower in 1952 to secretly study UFOs. How and why this material just happened to appear in Shandera's mailbox is anybody's guess, but, like I said, that's how UFOlogy worked back in those days.

So, I'm reading about the bizarre mythology that has come to surround MJ-12, it's sketchy members and its sketchy activities, and I start to get this very strange and very strong feeling of Deja Vu... MJ-12 is a team of "elite" quasi-governmental experts brought together to focus their incredible brainpower on solving the UFO mystery once and for all, and yet, as Marrs relates their history, they never seemed to produce any findings of any value -- at least, nothing that could be verified. "The whole thing," Marrs wrote, "carried the odor of rotting fish."

Hmmmm... What current team of "elite" quasi-governmental experts brought together to focus their incredible brainpower on solving the UFO mystery once and for all does this remind me of?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Strange Case of the Left-Handed UFO -- Part III

The other day I wrote this letter to Kathleen Marden, niece of UFO abductees Betty & Barney Hill (and abduction researcher for MUFON):
 I have an odd question for you about your aunt and uncle: were either of them left-handed?

I ask because, ever since I researched their experience for my book, I've been puzzled by the fact that much of their account had a distinct "left-handed" bias. I've written about it in my blog here and here. I've never come across this in any other case I've investigated, but it makes me wonder whether humans experience contact with UFOs and aliens largely through the right brain. If that's the case, it opens up interesting questions about how aliens might make use of humans' split brains to control the way we perceive and experience them.

Have you noticed anything like this in your abduction researches?

Kathy was kind enough to write back, and here's what she had to say about the left-handed bias in Betty's & Barney's recollections of their abduction:
I am not aware that either Betty is or Barney was right-handed. The craft was first sighted to Betty’s right. It flew to their right as they drove south. It remained on the right side of their vehicle until it’s swooped down over their car. If then moved to their left and Barney followed it into the close encounter field. Route 175 is to the left of route 3, the route they had been traveling on. The dirt road was to their left and the craft landed on the left side of the dirt road.

Best wishes,

Kathleen Marden

So, even though she seems to be downplaying my suspicions, she only adds to the mystery with her mention that the craft landed on the left side of the road. I hadn't come across that in any of my reading, and it conforms to my left-bias theme... She also leaves open the possibility that Barney and/or Betty could have been left-handed -- she just doesn't seem to remember one way or another.

I am still left wondering what, if anything, it could mean. Could the brain hemisphere diagram below offer any clues? If the right hemisphere picks up sensory stimulus from the left side of the body, and so much of the Hills' recollections skew left, did they experience their abduction through the creative side of their brain? And if they did, what does that mean? I'm not saying that the Hills created their experience -- since it was largely a shared experience, I don't see how that's possible. But it could mean that they perceived their experience in their right brains because the aliens have figured out that that's the best way to get abstract, reality-bending information to us.

It's also worth recalling that the aliens communicated with Barney telepathically, but they communicated with Betty verbally. Speech, language and comprehension are functions of the left brain, as are recognition of words, letters and numbers, but do verbal and telepathic understanding take place in the same part of the brain? I doubt that anyone can answer that.

The search for answers continues.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A UFO on the Mar-a-Lago lawn

I've been reading and hearing a lot this week about Trump's decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, and how Trump and his Keystone Cops White House staff are playing up that news to divert attention from the Stormy Daniels affair. The more the press and the public are obsessing over this radical and unexpected development in foreign policy, the less we're paying attention to the fact that our president is paying off porn stars to cover-up his extramarital affairs. Makes sense.

Politico sums up Trump's approach to Presidenting pretty nicely, I think:

[Last night’s announcement] spotlighted an instinct that has defined Trump’s early foreign policy: say the things others wouldn’t say; do the things they didn’t dare.
“He likes to be the first. He likes doing things no one has ever done before,” one senior Trump official said.

As I was reading this, it occurred to me that Mr. Trump is missing out on the biglyest distraction of all time. I think you know where I'm going with this:


Think about it: if Donald Trump announced today that we have been and continue to be in contact with extraterrestrial beings, and then he trotted out an alien or two, and arranged for them to land one of their saucers, or triangles, or orbs, on the White House lawn (or, more likely, at Mar-a-Lago), all of his troubles would be forgotten in an instant. Trump would go down in the history books as The President Who Made First Contact. He would be the ultimate President who did what no other Presidents would dare. And, in the furor that resulted, the public and the press would be all, "Stormy who?" "Russia, what?" 

Seriously, why fret about an earthly nemesis like Kim Jong Un when we could be dealing with a real "Little Rocket Man?"
Disclosure: Why didn't it happen this week?
 It would be a  a double-whammy WIN-WIN for Trump, something that he would never be able to resist. Not only would all his scandals and controversies be swept under the rug immediately and for all time, but he could lay claim to the biggest, greatest brag ever to be bragged by anyone: "I exposed the government's UFO coverup, and revealed the existence of ET!"

Which only goes to prove that Disclosure is a load of hooey, because if there really was a huge UFO bombshell, if this option really was open to Trump, if this was something he really could do, this would have been the week he'd have done it. And the fact that he didn't tells me that there's no Disclosure bombshell to drop.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Strange Case of the Left-Handed UFO -- Part II

This gets stranger and stranger...
Barney Hill's UFO, drawn under hypnosis.

In a previous post, I examined the odd fact that so much that's been documented about the 1961 Barney & Betty Hill UFO abduction displays a pronounced bias to the left side of both Barney's and Betty's testimony. I listed the many examples from my own research and then from a recent book on the event here.

Since I wrote that, I went through my kindle copy of John G. Fuller's masterwork, "The Interrupted Journey," and, guess what? The phenomenon persists!

Here's a list of some of the left-skewed passages from Fuller's book. This could have been a longer list, but I excluded many quotes that duplicated those mentioned in the last post. Also, obviously, these excerpts are taken out of context, which in some cases can affect their apparent meaning.  I should also point out that I have not counted the number of "left" references and compared that to the number of "right" references. Also, some of the excerpts come from Fuller's text and some come from the transcripts of the Barney's and Betty's hypnotic sessions. Finally, since these excerpts are from a kindle book, I don't see much point in listing the page numbers. With all that in mind, read on:
  • "To the left of the moon, and slightly below it, was a particularly bright star, perhaps a planet."
  • "Then, slowly, a red light came out on the left side of the object..."
  • "A curve to the left in the road now shifted the object to the right of the car..."
  • "Betty would insist I should take a right turn, but I would insist on making a left."
  • "... I become confused, and I realize I want to go straight and not to the left."
  • "I pinch my right arm... it's not my right arm, it's my left arm."
  • "He had a black scarf around his neck, dangling over his left shoulder."
  • "He actually drew a cuiye (sp?) representing the left side of the face, and drew the left eye on it, without any other detail."
  • "And Betty is standing off to the left of the car with the binoculars..."
  • "And I was going around the left side of the base."
  • "And I came to a complete stop, and I reached down on the floor of the car to my left..."
  • "And it moved to my left."
  • "And I got out of the car, and I put my left leg on the ground and two men helped me out."
  • "Only one spoke, the one who was on my left."
  • "There was a light behind my left shoulder. Like a spotlight."
  • "And I could feel them rustling around on the left side of the table I was lying on."
  • "My hair was closely examined, and he removed a few strands and then cut a larger piece on the back left-hand side."
Finally, my favorite "left" reference, from Barney's recollection of the drive that brought the Hills to their rendezvous with fate. I like this quote because it strongly indicates that both Betty and Barney were aware on some level that "turning left" while driving through North Woodstock was somehow not the correct thing to do...
  • "Then I drove down the highway, and I went through North Woodstock and then made a left turn, And Betty was looking at me sort of puzzled. And yet she did not question what I was doing. And I could sense what she was thinking. And I said, 'I know what 'm doing all right. I know we're on the right road.'"
Of course, it wasn't the right road. Not at all.

Friday, March 2, 2018

AV Club Names "The World's Top UFO Reseachers" & Claims They "Chose Tom DeLonge."

Seriously, this is the title of a story that ran in the AV Club yesterday:

Why the world's top UFO researchers chose Tom DeLonge as their mouthpiece

The article goes on to name two, and only two, "world's top UFO researchers" who have mildly nice things to say about rock star and koozie salesman Tom DeLonge: Alejandro Rojas and Nick Pope.

Rojas: "This is a cool guy you want to hang with and you want to be buddies with."

Pope: "People do get starry-eyed."

What did I miss?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Strange Case of the Left-Handed UFO

Here's a puzzler:

Betty and Barney Hill, UFO abductees
In one of the famous UFO incidents I dramatize in The Close Encounters Man, my biography of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a weird little motif appears in the testimony of the two witnesses that has always troubled me. I'm referring to the 1961 abduction case of Barney and Betty Hill, in which the couple were allegedly intercepted by aliens while driving along a lonely highway in the middle of the night, taken aboard a spaceship and medically examined. It's such a famous story that I won't go over the entire event here, because if you've heard of it then you probably know most if not all of the particulars.

But there are some details I need to point out. I presented them in the book pretty clearly (Chapter 14: Mr. UFO, pp. 208-210), hoping that someone would recognize the emerging theme and perhaps ask me about them in one of my interviews, or comment on it here in the blog. But after nearly nine months, no one has commented on it, at least not to me.

Here's the mystery: No less than five times in the Hills' depiction of their experience, recalled only under hypnosis several years after the fact, they described actions taking place to the left. Here's how I described the relevant passages of their account in my book:

#1 -- Page 208, paragraph 3:

"They were somehow diverted off of Route 3 and onto what seemed to be a small side road; Betty remembered Barney making a sharp left-hand turn."

#2 -- Page 209, paragraph 3:
"Betty was directed down a corridor—again a left-hand turn—and taken to a room."

#3 -- Page 209, paragraph 4: 
"First, the man she came to regard as the “Doctor” took a skin scraping, then swabbed her ear—the left one."

#4 & #5 -- Page 210 paragraph 3:
"Then the man touched Barney’s teeth, and a number of other men clustered around the left side of the table. Barney felt something covering his groin, then felt a scratching very lightly along his left arm."

I have a hard time believing this is purely coincidental; it appears to be a full-blown case of cosmic, left-handed synchronicity, but what the hell does it mean? I don't believe I've ever come across this kind of directional bias in any other UFO case I've ever studied. Do we perceive things to our left any differently than things to our right? Do we process and perceive reality any differently between our left and right sides? I've done some casual googling, looking for psychological studies that analyze left- or right-bias, and have come up empty-handed. The left hemisphere of the brain is, of course, in charge of logical thought, and it controls the right side of the body, so that doesn't seem to get me anywhere.

The thing that really strikes me is this: why would the Hills mention the direction of these actions at all? I mean, why should it matter? Did the hypnotherapist, Dr. Simon, ask his questions in a way that would prompt responses that specifies direction? I doubt that, but I will need to go over the full transcripts of the Hills' hypnosis sessions at some point to look for clues. Another look through The Interrupted Journey, John Fuller's legendary account of the Hill case, is also warranted.

In the meantime, though, I just scanned through my kindle copy of Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience by Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden, the Hills' niece, and was shocked to find that the "to the left" motif pops up over and over again in their book as well. Here are some of the many examples:
  • "At that moment the UFO shifted position from right to left in front of the car and hovered again in midair."
  • "And, I can see my mistake by this fork and I had continued to the right when I should have made a very sharp left turn, which would have brought me into the city in a different way."
  • "North of Lancaster, near Groveton, Betty observed a star below the moon on the lower left-hand side."
  • "Hynek revealed that she observed the planet Jupiter on the lower left side of the moon and the bright moving object above it, directly left of the moon."
  • "And I looked and I could see that this thing that I thought was a plane had made a turn to the left toward Vermont and kept turning, started coming right back."
  • "He was a 'not too big' man dressed in a military-style cap and black shiny jacket, with a scarf dangling over his left shoulder."
  • "And when I did, the object, which was to the right of the car on Betty's side, made an arc-like turn--or not a turn, but a swinging motion over to the left of my side."
So, am I being paranoid, or am I onto something here? If anyone out there knows the significance of this left-hand phenomenon, please enlighten me. It's kind of driving me crazy...