Tuesday, November 29, 2011

 

More about Kecksburg

In my posting of 16 October I dealt briefly with the Kecksburg case and mentioned that Tim Printy had one of the best summaries of it on his web site. He has recently issued Vol. 3 No. 6 of his pdf format magazine SUNlite, which is available HERE.

He, with Robert Young, gives as much documentation and informed comment as any ufologist could possibly want. In his introduction he writes:


The Kecksburg case stands as one of those UFO cases that never should have been one. If it weren't for the exaggerated claims of of a few dubious individuals and the efforts of several UFO promoters, the case would have remained in the dust bin of "old solved mysteries". However, when it comes to making something out of nothing, UFOlogists are experts.

While reading the materials and eyewitness testimonies, I found it most interesting that all sorts of people claim to have been present but there is little evidence to confirm they were there. Some of these witnesses came from tens of miles away and had no idea where to go to find the crash site. They then managed to get past all the local crowds and sneak into areas that were supposedly well guarded. Others were able to see underneath the tarp covering the "object" and, despite the flatbed driving rapidly by, were able to see distinctive writing. I wish my eyesight was this good in the dark. A lot of these stories just don't sound realistic to me but, to a UFO crashologist, they are golden nuggets to be presented as factual.

If the facts about Kecksburg presented in great detail on Tim Printy's web site don't convince you that the object was a fireball and the UFO crash story was nothing but misperception and fantasy, then nothing will.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

 

UFOs and nukes

Few ufologists will be unaware of the continuing controversy about the alleged interference by UFOs with nuclear missiles. Robert Hastings is the most notable proponent of this belief and anyone unfamiliar with his views on the subject can read about them on his UFOs and Nukes web site. One of Hastings's favourites is the Big Sur incident of 1964, when a nuclear missile with a dummy warhead was test fired and was allegedly shot down by a UFO.

However, those who are impressed by the details published by Hastings, and others, about the amazing UFO interference with this missile test have possibly not read the detailed rebuttal of this story by Kingston George, who ought to know rather more than most people about this matter, having been the project engineer. His version is available HERE on the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry web site.

The point I wish to make here is that you must choose between believing either that the saucers are constantly interfering with the nuclear deterrent capability of the USA, and other nations, or that it is all a lot of nonsense. If you believe the assertions of Hastings and friends then you must realise that you also must believe that nuclear weapons systems are quite useless, as the activities of the UFOs make them totally unpredictable. Will the space people allow them to be launched or not if a nuclear conflict seems inevitable?

Monday, November 14, 2011

 

Unreal UFOs

It is often claimed that some UFO sightings provide important evidence of unusual aerial objects because there are multiple witnesses. One interesting example is the Rogue River, Oregon, sighting of 24 May 1949, where five witnesses reported seeing a circular object, silver in colour, which was in view for up to three minutes. Investigators could not correlate this sighting with the presence in the area of any known aircraft, and there is no generally acceptable explanation of the incident. A detailed assessment is available on Bruce Maccabee's web site.

Although there were five witnesses, they were all together in a boat and they all knew one another. There were no independent witnesses. Thus they obviously compared their impressions before talking to investigators. For example, in this case they apparently agreed that the object was at a height of 5,000 feet. I think it is generally agreed that witnesses can influence one another so that the version given to investigators tends to be that of the person with the most forceful personality in the group. However, there is another possibility, which is that in some such cases the witnesses might have been "seeing" something which did not exist. I must make it clear that I am not suggesting that this happened in the Rogue River case, or any particular case, but I am sure many of you can think of a number of cases where this might usefully be considered.

Many years ago the psychiatrist,C.G. Jung raised this matter in his book Flying Saucers: A modern myth of things seen in the skies. I quote from the English translation by R.F.C. Hull (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959).


Apart from collective visions, there are on record cases where one or more persons see something that physically is not there. For instance, I was once at a spirtualistic séance where four of the five people present saw an object like a moon floating above the abdomen of the medium. They showed me, the fifth person present, exactly where it was, and it was absolutely incomprehensible to them that I could see nothing of the sort. I know of three more cases where certain objects were seen in the clearest detail (in two of them by two persons, and in the third by one person) and could afterwards be proved to be non-existent. Two of these cases happened under my direct observation. Even people who are entirely compos mentis and in full possession of their senses can sometimes see things that do not exist. I do not know what the explanation is of such happenings. It is very possible that they are less rare than I am inclined to suppose. For as a rule we do not verify things we have "seen with our own eyes", and so we never get to know that actually they did not exist. I mention these somewhat remote possibilities because, in such an unusual matter as the Ufos, one has to take every aspect into account.



How does one decide which UFO sightings are of real objects and which ones are of unreal objects? Perhaps if there were other potential witnesses nearby at the time who saw nothing unusual that would indicate a UFO that had no objective existence, but if there was independent confirmation then the sighting would have to be taken more seriously. How many interesting UFO reports pass this test? Any serious suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

 

Moon rock and meteorite

The recent reports in the news media about the American grandmother Joann Davis getting into trouble with NASA over trying to sell a speck of moon rock, which had been given to her husband by astronaut Neil Armstrong, reminded me of an incident which occurred some time in the early 1970s, when Alan Sharp had the honour of being Science Editor of Merseyside UFO Bulletin which eventually became Magonia. Sharp was keen on astronomy and geology, and was president of Liverpool Astronomical Society from 1967 to 1970. He was engaged on some science project concerning the structure and composition of the moon and had been given (or lent) a few tiny bits of moon rock (I don't know the technical details).

One evening, he called to see me at the house where I lived at the time with my parents and my brother, and proudly announced that he had a piece of moon rock to show us. He produced a small tobacco tin stuffed with cotton wool. In the middle of this was a tiny grain of moon rock, which we gazed at respectfully as we passed it around. Finally it was handed to my father. "I can't see anything", he said.

Panic! Where was it? Frantic searching ensued, but of course it was not found as, after all, it looked no different from any other piece of grit unless subjected to expert examination under a microscope. Nevertheless, Sharp called round the next day and asked my mother for the vacuum cleaner, which he applied to our entire living room, including our cat, and desperately sifted through the contents of the dust bag, with negative results, of course.

He was greatly distressed by this incident, even though no NASA officials or American cops tried to arrest him. When we told others about this, though, it resulted in a great deal of what Americans call knee slapping and falling about.

There was another episode that I recall involving Alan Sharp and (alleged) extraterrestrial material. At about the time of the moon rock incident, or perhaps a little later (it was a long time ago, and I can't remember the details, as I'm getting on a bit) Sharp was appointed to the post of mathematics master at St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, a local grammar school which I had attended in the 1950s. I told Sharp that there used to be what was said to be a meteorite in the centre of the quadrangle. It certainly looked like a meteorite, when compared with photographs in astronomy books and meteorites in museums, and I would estimate its size as about 25 cm (10 inches) long. No information about its provenance was available, just rumours that it had been found somewhere locally or had been dug up when the school's foundations had been laid. It disappeared during the building of the school hall and was never heard of again.

Alan Sharp eagerly questioned the physics master who had been there when I was a pupil, and was still teaching there, but he denied all knowledge of it, as did everyone else he questioned. This was, of course, a mystery in itself. If anyone out there knows anything about this mysterious object, perhaps they will let me know.

Monday, November 07, 2011

 

The 25th Reich, UFOs and Nazis, Again!


According to the press release: 'The 25th Reich is a rollicking, WWII sci-fi adventure - full of time-travel, duplicitous Nazi robots, faulty spaceships and giant mega-fauna...

'Based on the classic novella, 50,000 Years Until Tomorrow by J.J. Solomon, and with a screenplay penned by Amis, David Richardson and Serge DeNardo, the movie is a homage to sci-fi and WWII movies of the 1940's and 50's.'



Filmmakers as well as ufologists seem obsessed with the notion that the Nazis created UFOs and advanced spacecraft....

 

Projecting UFOs

For all you UFO fakers (experimental hoaxers, etc), there is a news item titled,

'Volumetric projector makes 3D objects that float in space' at:


http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-11/07/volumetric-projector

We shouldn't get too excited as its inventor Marc Re├čl says, the effect isn't too strong, with low contrast. "The number of projectors is important, and we believe at least 100 are necessary for producing sharp and crisp images." So we needn't abandon our low-tech and cheap Chinese lanterns just yet. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

 

The continuing Roswell obsession


I remember once hearing Mark Pilkington giving his impression of American ufology as: "Roswell, Roswell, Roswell, Roswell . . ." How true, I thought, how very true. And I still think so; there is no escape. Here are two examples of American ufology's continuing Roswell obsession.


Kevin Randle has a posting on his blog A Different Perspective, October 31, titled "Roswell Investigation Dream Team". You will note that this team consists of Kevin Randle, Tom Carey and Don Schmitt. If you don't know why I consider these people to be an unlikely trio to discover the Utimate Truth about Roswell, then see my review of Carey and Schmitt's book Witness to Roswell and the article about Randle and Schmitt in The Roswell Files website.

There are comments about "The Dream Team" in the 1 November posting in The UFO Iconoclast(s) blog,
which also includes amazing news of Anthony Bragalia having discovered "some revelatory and truly significant material" which is "not trivial and opens cans of worms . . . "

Two predictions from me:

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