UFO Conjectures

Thursday, August 25, 2011

UFOs: Past, Present, Future

Wonders in the Sky by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck have countless sightings that are replicated in modern UFO literature, with modern sightings sometimes providing photographic support.

For instance, Vallee and Aubeck provide this sighting [Number 417] on Page 306 of the paperback:

12 January 1836, Cherbourg, France – A “luminous body…two-thirds the size of the moon” was witnessed at 6:30 p.m. “Central to it there seemed to be a dark cavity.”

Here is a series of photos taken by George Stock of Passaic, New Jersey July 28th, 1952:


The UFO depicted mimics the Cherbourg sighting listed in Wonders…

(And note that the Stock UFO resembles, almost exactly, a few other UFOs photographed in the 1950s and 1960s:




One of the allegedly hoaxed Heflin photos

Anthony Bragalia thinks UFOs are shape-changers.

Wonders….has a number of sightings that indicate shape-changing; e.g., Item 371, Page 274

This photo, which I think is fake, from Anthony's Wanaque research shows a luminance that showed up in the other photos below:



The questionable 1954 Darbishire photo

A plethora of sightings listed in Wonders…also indicates luminance; e.g., Pages 55, 103, 114, 123, 195, 235, 252, 253, 266, 283, 298, 305, 330 343.

Anthony also notes UFOs that emit rays of lights, as in the (in)famous Wanaque photograph.


Wonders…also lists sightings where rays of light are emitted; e.g. Item 167 Page 141; Item 329 Page 253; Item 346 Page 261; Item 410 Page 303

Then we find a rather well-known UFO photo that emulates the vapor-trail of the alleged Aurora prototype:


Wonders…lists some old sightings that also precede, by witness observation, the Aurora residue; e. g., Item 89 Page 96

My point?

That “modern” sightings antedate very similar, almost exact sightings and peculiarities as noted by Vallee, Aubeck, and Bragalia’s interests, among others, emulate ancient or older sightings which seem to confirm that something with a pattern is at work when it comes to UFO phenomena.

What’s old is new again, apparently….



  • If or when, these sightings are resolved, a lot of people are going to feel aggrieved that they dismissed them for decades. Moreso for those applying ridicule to witnesses.

    An indication, to me, that these sightings are often genuine is the broad uniformity of them. By this I mean they are 'flying objects' all. If an hallucinatory element was in play, we should expect to see far more randomised reports with more cultural signifiers. Where are the sightings of milk bottles, KFC signs or London buses?

    It's also intriguing how, in the West, we began using saucers in the 20s and 30s fiction when there was no awareness of the 'real thing.'

    I agree with you that the 'saucer shape' predates the culture and might be the best signpost to a technological presence from elsewhere. I've read several accounts where the object was described as dirty and that seems quite evocative. Who knows?

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Friday, August 26, 2011  

  • K:

    In perusing Wonders in the Sky and some old UFO magazines, I'm finding scads of incidents or sightings that evoke patterns:

    The persons in white clothing, for instance, which just showed up in a very recent sighting that Anomalist noted (from The Examiner) and which show up repeatedly in the Wonders listings.

    Also, "black UFOs."

    There is much material that needs to be examined methodically.

    But even the Wonders authors skim the sightings, listing them only with no evaluations or conjectures.

    That's what is disappointing about the book.

    But it remains a great data or informational source for those of us enamored of hypothetical ruminations.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 26, 2011  

  • Kandinsky,
    While they may not be categorized as hallucinations assuming you mean in the strictest sense, the perception of non existent phenomenon, they may have a spectrum of range of appearance that is a parallel path to the mind as well as the phenomenon in tandem, creating an image that corresponds to what is a extraordinary aerial vehicle in cultural terms more than individuated terms since anticipations and expectations seem to derive from the larger environment. I think that intuitively we know that, for example a rectangle ( a box) will not "fly" while a discus ( a disc) will. I think we do have a sort of bias in perception, so this may account for not seeing London buses. Maybe not.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, August 26, 2011  

  • The speculation that something can choose the form it is seen in, according to the best needs of the percipient, deserves to be considered. This suggests something close to omniscient which is an awkward thing to speak about sensibly…disempowering too!

    I think you touched on it in your fascinating ‘preliminary conclusions’ from a couple of months back. I keep hold of the ‘saucer’ as a technological object because it’s a good tether whilst exploring these other ideas. A number of disc reports may be as simple as witnesses seeing actual discs rather than reflections (or projections) of their beliefs.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • I'm with Kandinsky on this one.

    The Jungian suggestion that UFOs are projections or externalized perceptions of individuals is a psychological stretch.

    That may account for a few or some sightings, but not the whole panoply of sightings that have occurred over the years.

    While quantum theory allows for phenomena to be altered by observation, nowhere does quantum say that observation creates phenomena.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • "nowhere does quantum say that observation creates phenomena."
    Quantum effects create outcomes through anticipation, intent and observation and outcomes or effects are phenomenon, so I don't understand the basis of your statement. To coin a phrase, it seems like a stretch..

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • BTW..The transition from one state to another is where this observation effect occurs ( wave to particle)may be an indicator of the nature of the phenomenon, which seems to be more evident in accounts and the variety of craft that parallel our historical, technological and conceptual models which bias our anticipations as a secondary clue to the first.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Bruce:

    That observation affects quantum particles is a given.

    But to say that observation (measurement) creates particles, ex nihilo, makes observation an act reserved for the Divine.

    Outcomes are not "creation."

    Anticipation is not creation.

    Jung was obsessed with the mandala, and his hypothesis that UFOs were mandalas is intriguing but far-fetched.

    If one accepts Jung's thesis, one would have to posit that only the psychologically maladjusted saw or were/are able to see UFOs.

    The tangibility of most UFO sightings is obvious.

    Trying to put UFOs into a figment of imagination category does an injustice to the data and the facts.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Outcomes are not creative, and neither is anticipation as in what are expectations are? In this respect, I disagree inasmuch I think creation is theatricality and reciprocal on many levels of interface akin to phenomenology in regards to our perceptions as a "alternate reality". I did not mention Jung as a cog, although for all I know he may have some insights to offer. I think we are co-creators in this sense. I just wrote a post subtitled "Alice In wonderland Meets Jane In A Parallel Wonderland." Perhaps never the twain meets and is never likely to, just as the inside and the outside are distinct, yet have a relationship.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Bruce:

    I think I understand your thinking.

    Your postings and comments seem to indicate a belief that evanescent phenomena, UFO, ghosts, et al., have a tangibility -- one that is not exactly explainable by the usual parameters of human mental processes.

    You are enamored of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff whose theses deal with the issues of what is real and what is more real.

    That you feel intangible artifacts and perceptions are or can be reciprocal is acceptical to me theoretically but offends my practical, prosaic temperament.

    I'm old-fashioned when it come to such musings as those in which you are well-versed, and well-read.

    I'm a Thomas-the-Apostle kind of guy as I've noted before here...

    Let me put my hand in the wound in his (Jesus) side.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Why do you say "allegedly hoaxed Heflin photos"? Where is the evidence, any evidence,that the 4 polaroids were hoaxed? Why smear them that way without any substantiation? These are polaroids (no negatives) and this is pre-Photoshop so let's be careful what things we "allege" or casually attribute to unknown critics. There has been much photo analysis of these photos and those who allege hoax had better be able to rebut the findings of that analysis. To my knowledge they have not. Have you actually read the Ann Druffel, Robert Wood Eric Kelson photo analysis in the 2000 JSE? Can you explain how any hoaxer could have gotten "black particulate matter" to show up in two very different polaroids? Or explain the "wedge shaped portion of light" that Dr. Nathan of JPL discovered in an enlargement of the underside of the UFO in photo #2? If we keep calling photos an "alleged hoax" when there is no EVIDENCE of a hoax and much evidence that something unusual was photographed (whatever it was)how pray tell will we ever make progress in this area, or ever be taken seriously by intelligent people outside the UFO field?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Dominick:

    You do know the meaning of alleged, right?

    That aside, Anthony Bragalia did a piece about Heflin's photos at this blog a while back.

    You might take a look at it, to get the other side.

    The photos have been analyzed by others, and they think they are fake.

    You would do well to seek out the antitheses. (use Google)

    And yes, I'm familiar with the Druffel and Woods evaluation.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Past is prologue, as they say. Like the way several researchers have begun revisiting the "contactee movement", ostensibly to re-examine what had been previously dismissed, but I think it's mostly because there isn't much else to do.

    By Blogger Cullan Hudson, at Sunday, August 28, 2011  

  • Yes, Cullan:

    Ennui has caused a lot of us burnt out UFO devotees to go back to a happier, sillier time.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 28, 2011  

  • Tony Bragalia has made important contributions (Roswell metal, Wanaque photos)but his comments on the authenticity of the Heflin photos were not up to his usual high standards. Rex Heflin may have been a slightly weird fellow and, yes, several others have managed to suspend and photograph small "wheels" that resemble the UFO in one of the Heflin photos. (Even Blue Book as I recall did some suspending and picture taking).BUT SO WHAT? How do we get from "weird picture taker" and "it looks like a railroad wheel" to "alleged hoax"? There is something clearly missing here and what's missing is a rational accounting for what we DO know from the Heflin photoanalysis, and what those who allege "hoax" have not confronted or explained. In point of fact, no one has adequately account for the following: 1. No string or suspension devise shows up in either the Nathan early analysis or in the 2000 JSE article.2. Black particulate matter shows up in at least two of the photos. 3. The History Channel analysis some years back concluded that the UFO was some 20 feet in size and a considerable distance from the camera, confirming Heflin's account. (There are other anomolies, i.e. apparent ionization, radio interference, etc. also unaccounted for by critics).

    Could the photos still be fakes? Sure they could. But before we allege any hoax we had better be able to confront and refute the previous 3 conclusions from analysis of the actual photos. To my knowledge, no one has done that.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, August 28, 2011  

  • Dominick:

    I personally, find the Heflin photos interesting.

    They're Polaroids, right?

    Hard to fake...not impossible but difficult.

    Nonetheless, with some "debunking" one has to temper their remarks to remain somewhat objective.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 28, 2011  

  • "An in-depth analysis is underway that will characterize the
    blur of the object and incorporate this information into determinations of size
    and distance. This analysis will be offered for a forthcoming issue of this journal."

    That's the last sentence of the JSE Heflin paper, eleven years ago. Has it been published?

    It has processed images in it, but we are not provided scans of the originals for cont a lot of the 2000 paper is background storrol and absent them have no method of testing the validity of their work -- or to find something else.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Don:

    When Bragalia did his evaluation of the Heflin photos, I looked for that announced update, but found nothing.

    Perhaps Tony can enlighten us.

    He's pretty good at ferreting out lost or waylaid materials.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Looks like I scrambled the last paragraph.

    It has processed images in it, but we are not provided scans of the originals for control and absent them have no method of testing the validity of their work -- or to find something else.

    A lot of the 2000 paper is background story.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Don:

    The promised “in-depth analysis” and additional technical review of the Heflin photos by Ann Druffel and cohorts never materialized.

    In fact, when I spoke with James Moseley of Saucer Smear about the Heflin photos, he indicated that Anne was familiar with my article on Heflin and that she was very upset. And he was serious.

    Anne is now well into her 80s and has in part built her career around the Heflin saga.

    For her to acknowledge that it was just a hoax at this late date might kill her.

    Tony Bragalia

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Tony, there is no way of knowing if the Heflin images were hoaxed or otherwise. I don't think your analysis is any more conclusive than hers.

    Whether people choose to take the photos as 'saucers' or the wheels of toys, it hardly matters in the scheme of things.

    "Anne is now well into her 80s and has in part built her career around the Heflin saga.

    For her to acknowledge that it was just a hoax at this late date might kill her."

    Is that really your opinion? It's cold and dismissive.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Kandinsky: "Whether people choose to take the photos as 'saucers' or the wheels of toys, it hardly matters in the scheme of things."

    Of course not. However, whether it is a toy or a flying saucer does matter.

    "Is that really your opinion? It's cold and dismissive."

    In the great scheme of things, does it matter what you think?



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • Don:

    It does matter what most visitors here think.

    We don't post comments that are vitriolic or senseless, and we've cultivated a nice group of intellectual visitors, like Kandinsky (and you) who provide insights and commentary that are juicy and substantive, usually.

    So, yes, in the great scheme of our things, what someone thinks does matter.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • I am going to make a “concession” about the Heflin photos:

    They could be real. Perhaps I was too quick to so firmly declare them a hoax. The truth is this:

    Just as photos can never be “100%” proof of ET (as in the alleged Wanaque photos) we can rarely have “100% proof” that any photo is faked, unless there is a confession or obvious signs of trickery.

    That said, I am 95% convinced that they fabrications. When I talked to some that knew Heflin personally and lived near him, I knew immediately that something was amiss. Ed Riddle’s information helped to confirm this. And for the many reasons that I have outlined in my article on this, I would say that our time would best be spent elsewhere trying to arrive at UFO truth. I simply do not believe that we will find it in the Heflin photos.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • Rich "So, yes, in the great scheme of our things, what someone thinks does matter."

    I took it as a philosophical question. It was not a drive-by posting.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • Hahahaha...

    I got it Don.

    I just didn't want Kandinsky to think that he was being beleaguered by anyone here, our regulars.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • I just read what Don posted (both posts) and the potential for misinterpretation got me too.

    What I meant by 'the scheme of things' is that the photos can be taken any way that suits without significantly adding to, or detracting from, the overall mystery that inspires our interest.

    I apply that sentiment to my own thoughts too.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • Kandinsky, Don, et al.

    Bragalia, Kimball, Redfern, and even little old me agree with you Kandinsky.

    All the hoopla and hollering, plus idle conjecture about photo authenticity and everything else hasn't got us anywhere closer to what UFOs are or what the purpose of the phenomenon is.

    In the great scheme of things -- the ultimate death of us all -- what does it matter?

    UFOs are a hobby, or should be, to sustain us during our Earthly woes, that's all...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • I agree with Tony that we will probably not find UFO "truth" in the Heflin photos and that our research efforts are best directed elsewhere. BUT his concession that the photos might be "real" is interesting. It must be noted that Heflin never said that he had photographed an alien space ship or, to my knowledge, did he ever try to profit in any monetary fashion from the pictures. Indeed, Ann Druffel details (in Firestorm)that he was constantly harassed by "researchers" over the years and did not seek publicity. It must also be noted that Heflin claimed from the start that he had probably taken photos of some experimental aircraft from a nearby Marine base. (If true, that would make them "real.") And finally although the photo-analysis in 2000 may not satisfy all readers (what can?), nothing revealed in it contradicts anything in Heflin's original account. I can't recall any other photo case (including Trent) where the original verbal description and the later photo analysis mesh so tightly without revealing major inconsistency.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

  • The best evidence the Heflin photos are fakes is the behavior of the investigators. Ironic.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

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