UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ufology: A lack of nuance, culture, and/or refinement


While some UFO researchers are skilled at ferreting out minutiae and quantum-like details inside some UFO events, their work lacks nuance, refinement.

Context is an overview for them, as it is for most UFO bloggers and webmasters.

Subtlety is not the forte of “ufologists” or UFO mavens.

The grotesque grammatical assault on language and meaning is exampled by a plethora of UFO blogs and List-habitues which are eschewed by those with some semblance of sensibilities, but avidly followed by those who haven’t a clue about grammatical structure or the meaning or words nor a care for refinement of thought and online behavior.

UFO events and sightings have been and are treated cavalierly, even callously.

The nuance of sightings is sidelined and the sensationalist elements of UFO sightings and events are hyped and published with zeal.

The “bull in a China shop” behavior prevails and is the modus operandi of almost every UFO aficionado we’ve experienced over the years and in this blog’s comments all too often.

Commentary here, and at our other blogs, even from media persons, is usually shorn of mental discipline and good taste, to say nothing of the dearth of refined intellectualism.

Knowing a lot of smoldering aspects of UFO sightings, classic and newer, doesn’t make for research, sensate investigation, unique theorizing, nor an analogy for science.

And that’s been the problem and is the problem with the whole UFO shebang, since the beginning but worse now than ever before, as the lowest rabble have infiltrated the subject matter and absconded with it.

Fortunately, we’ve been able to control our environment, keeping out the riff-raff and ne’er do wells such as….well, you know….

We’ll continue to exploit our ability to keep this UFO bailiwick as cultured, as intellectual, as refined, as nuanced as we are able.

We hope that our regulars agree…..

Friday, April 01, 2011

A video review of Nick Redfern's Final Events

Author Joseph Farrell provides an 8 minute YouTube "review" of Nick Redfern's book, Final Events.

Nick Redfern's take on the Flatwoods incident of 1952

There can be few very people within the realms of cryptozoology and ufology that have never heard of the so-called Flatwoods Monster, or Braxton County Monster, of 1952 - a story that is told in-depth in Frank Feschino's 2004 book, The Braxton County Monster: the Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed.

And as Feschino notes in his book: "On the night of September 12, 1952, a shocked American public sought answers when strange unidentified objects were seen flying through the sky over Washington, DC, and the eastern United States..."

He continued: "One of the strange objects crash-landed on a rural hilltop in Flatwoods, West Virginia..." Feschino also noted that a group of schoolboys were witness to the descent of the device and, with two adults, "...headed off to look for the object. Soon a twelve-foot tall being from the downed craft terrified these innocent people."

So, what was the monstrous entity? A cryptid? An alien? Some form of definitively Fortean beast? Or something else? Over the years, a whole range of theories have surfaced, and, as with so many such cases, the debate continues.

Indeed, check out this link and you'll see that over at UFOMystic, good friend Greg Bishop has dug deep into this puzzle, and has addressed another angle - namely that relative to the involvement of Remotely-Piloted Vehicles of a definitively terrestrial nature.

And, on this latter point of the Machiavellian hand of officialdom possibly playing a role in the Flatwoods affair, I stumbled across something the other day that makes me wonder if it may well have some bearing on what was seen at Flatwoods.

Call me crazy (and doubtless some will!), but I think the following data - which is directly relative to the use of superstitions and paranormal entities and ideas in warfare - may well have a bearing on the diabolical beast of Flatwoods.

A couple of days ago, I obtained a copy of an April 14, 1950 RAND publication titled The Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare, written by Jean M. Hungerford, for the the U.S. Air Force.

The 37-page document is a truly fascinating one and delves into some very strange areas. But, what really caught my eye, was a section of the document that quoted from a book titled Magic: Top Secret, which was written in 1949 by one Jasper Maskelyne, a fascinating character (as the name-link demonstrates) who was up his absolute neck in new and novel ways to fool the enemy.

Hungerford quotes the following from Maskelyne in her report, which concerns a truly alternative psychological warfare operation that occurred during the Second World War, and less than a decade before the Flatwoods Monster was seen:

"Our men...were able to use illusions of an amusing nature in the Italian mountains, especially when operating in small groups as advance patrols scouting out the way for our general moves forward. In one area, in particular, they used a device which was little more than a gigantic scarecrow, about twelve feet high, and able to stagger forward under its own power and emit frightful flashes and bangs. This thing scared several Italian Sicilian villages appearing in the dawn thumping its deafening way down their streets with great electric blue sparks jumping from it; and the inhabitants, who were mostly illiterate peasants, simply took to their heels for the next village, swearing that the Devil was marching ahead of the invading English."

Hungerford continued to quote from Maskelyne's book in her report: "Like all tales spread among uneducated folk (and helped, no doubt, by our agents), this story assumed almost unimaginable proportions. Villages on the route of our advance began to refuse sullenly to help the retreating Germans, and to take sabotage against them; and then, instead of waiting for our troops to arrive with food and congratulations of their help, the poor people fled, thus congesting the roads along which German motorized transport was struggling to retire. The German tankmen sometimes cut through the refugees and this inflamed feeling still more, and what began almost as a joke was soon a sharp weapon in our hands which punished the Germans severely, if indirectly, for several critical weeks."

There are a number of issues worth noting here. First, the height of the Flatwoods Monster and the British Army's devilish scarecrow were the same: 12-feet. In addition, the cover of Frank Feschino's book shows the Flatwoods Monster emitting lights. And the 12-foot scarecrow in Italy gave off "frightful flashes and bangs" and had "great electric blue sparks jumping from it."

Second, the RAND report that specifically refers to this Italian escapade - that Jasper Maskelyne described in his Magic: Top Secret book - was prepared for psychological warfare planners in the U.S. Air Force. And, in his book on the beast of Flatwoods, Feschino notes that the Air Force took careful interest in the Flatwoods affair and what was being reported on the affair by the media.

The RAND report was submitted to the Air Force in April 1950, and Flatwoods occurred in September 1952. Is it possible that in this two-year period USAF psychological warfare planners created their very own - albeit updated and modified - version of the British Army's 12-foot-tall flashing monster to try and gauge what its reaction might be when unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace?

There's also the settings, too: the British Army's operation was focused on little, isolated villages in Italy. And Flatwoods is a little, rural town in Braxton County, West Virginia that, even as late as 2000, had a population of less than 350.
Those who suspect the the Flatwoods Monster was some form of cryptozoological creature, Fortean entity, or alien being, may well scoff at my speculations and musings.

However, when we can say for sure that the British Army was using 12-foot, illuminated scarecrow-style critters for psychological warfare reasons in the Second World War, is it really a stretch to think that the USAF might have tried something similar in 1952 with their very own 12-foot-tall freak?

One final thing: the foreword to Frank Feschino's book was penned by acclaimed ufologist, Stanton T. Friedman, who wrote the book Top Secret Majic (with a "j"). This should not be confused with Jasper Maskelyne's Magic Top Secret (with a "g)!

Folie à beaucoup: The Roswell Psychosis

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Folie à beaucoup – communicated insanity, induced insanity…suggestibility plays a part…It happens that paranoid or paranoiac and rarely hypomanic patients not only can make those with whom they [associate] believe in the delusions, but they so infect them that [those contacted] continue to build on the delusions. [The Psychiatric Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Leland E. Hinsie, M.D. and Robert J. Campbell, M.D., Oxford University Press, London, 1970]

Roswell is an example of how a group of normal individuals can act in psychotic collusion, spurred by a bizarre incident that was instigated by one person, acting on a possible mercenary whim.

(The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is a current example of the rampant psychology underlying what we see as the prime motivator for the Roswell incident.)

Mac Brazel is reported to have sought the way to gather a reward for discovering a flying disk, which was generated by his findings of some somewhat strange debris on the farm where he was foreman, debris from a balloon or some other aerial mishap.

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The debris is a sidebar here. Whatever Mac Brazel found is irrelevant to our point. His “debris” caused him, perhaps, to try to obtain some needed money – he was a poor man by 1947 standards, as were many who farmed in the New Mexico area in which Roswell and Corona are located – from an offer of $3000 to anyone who could produce fragments of a flying disk.

(The source of that offer is not clear, and really has little to do with our hypothesis here. Brazel may have only wanted attention, or got caught up in a mild hysterical episode that afflicted the Proctor family with whom he was commiserating about the “stuff” he had found.)

Brazel’s foray into Roswell generated an interest by the Army base there, and Walter Haut, Jesse Marcel, Sr., and others were infected by the “flying disk” suggestion of Brazel or the media frenzy caused by the prior Arnold sighting and other flying saucer stories that were prevalent at the time.

Once the story was tamped down by saner voices (the Army’s Ramey and Blanchard) and news media lost interest, the people who were initially involved with the inadvertent scam went back to their humdrum lives; that is until Moore, Friedman, Berlitz, et al. resurrected the “incident” and cause an unrepression of the folie à beaucoup.

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Once the floodgates of the original flying disk scam were reopened, coupled with suggestibilities by the UFO “researchers,” the Roswell myth was born and has spread as folies do to others who came into contact with the original Roswell witnesses or who come into contact with those – the UFO researchers -- who’ve met with the original participants in Brazel’s ultimately unproductive scam.

Dee Proctor has been a prime participant in the original Brazel instigated brouhaha, dissembling the story in a post 1947 folie à deux. And other alleged Roswell witnesses have engaged in the folie or started a new folie for reasons of nefarious kind.

Our point is that Mac Brazel started, for whatever reason(s), inadvertent or otherwise, a cascading series of events that developed (and continues) under the psychiatric sobriquet of a folie à beaucoup.

Roswell may only be that, a psychotic episode that resonates with persons today as psychologically significant as it did back in 1947.

The Braxton/Flatwoods Monster

Kevin Randle has been torturing visitors to his blog with a protracted take on his involvement with the so-called Braxton/Flatwoods "monster" incident from 1952.

Click here for a WORD document (from our archives) of Matt Mullins' succinct account of the story.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A List of Best UFO Sightings?

While we’ve ragged on Paul Kimball for his filmed list of the best UFO sightings ever, we came across a list by former flying saucer “expert” William Spaulding, who provided his take on some top UFO sightings and events for The People’s Almanac’s The Book of Lists #2 by author Irving Wallace and family [William Morrow and Company, NY, 1980, Page 417 ff.].

His first offering was the McMinnville/Trent photos which we deem as bogus.

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His next sighting was the 1952 Nash-Fortenberry Pan-Am encounter, over Norfolk, Virginia.

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The third listing was the 1952 Washington D.C. incidents.

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The fourth episode was the Ralph Mayher [sic] film of 1952.

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Fifth was (another) 1952 radar/visual sighting of a USAF B-29 training crew over the Gulf of Mexico

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Six on Spaulding’s list was the Kimball/Sparks B-47 incident, so there is some consensus that the sighting was and is significant.

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Seventh in Spaulding list of eight is a November 1957 on the outskirts of Levelland, Texas where witnesses had encounters with a large UFO.

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And eighth on Spaulding’s list was the 1976 Iranian encounter.

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We won’t elaborate on Spaulding’s list, as we see lists as entertainment rather than edifying information.

But we note that Kimball and Sparks are not the only UFO aficionados to see the RB-47 event as a significant UFO encounter.

Again, the RB-47 sighting is interesting, but so are dozens of other sightings, including the B-29 sighting (number five, above) which has as many or more technical accoutrements as the RB-47 incident.

UFO hobbyists, each, have their favorite UFO sightings or stories – mine include the 1966 Ann Arbor/Dexter/Hillsdale sightings; the infamous “swamp gas” sightings.

But have any of these classic sightings given us a clue to the UFO enigma? Nope. So listing them is a futile, silly endeavor, that passes for research for some “ufologists” but they are fun to read, right?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

UFO MATRIX MAGAZINE Presents 50 Years of Close Encounters


October 15th & 16th, 2011. King’s Croft Hotel, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Betty and Barney Hill alien abduction account, UFO MATRIX is staging a two-day conference. The conference will have a line-up of UFO researchers and experiencers plus new books signings and other unique UFO items for sale.

The full line-up of speakers is:

Travis Walton (USA).:

Abductee whose experience was made into the l993 Paramount movie ‘Fire in the Sky’, and author of the book of the same name.

Kathleen Marden (USA):

The niece of Betty Hill and co-author of ‘CAPTURED – The Betty & Barney Hill UFO Experience.’

Nick Pope & Bridget Grant (A joint researcher/experiencer presentation).

Mike Hallowell.

Philip Mantle & Rosalind Reynolds (A joint researcher/experiencer presentation).

Robbie Graham.

Malcolm Robinson & Garry Wood (A joint researcher/experiencers presentation).

John Hanson.

Dave Hodrien.

This will be Kathleen Marden’s first ever presentation in the UK and Travis Walton has not lectured here since the release of his movie in 1993.

Kathleen will be speaking on both days and each presentation will be different.

All speakers subject to change.

Ticket Prices:

Single day £30.00 per person

Saturday & Sunday ticket: £50.00 per person.

Full details and conference online ticket ordering at: www.healingsofatlantis.com

TICKETS NOW ON SALE

UFOs, String Theory, Quantum Gravity

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Physics has become as discombobulated and goofy as “ufology.”

String Theory for Dummies by Andrew Zimmerman Jones and Daniel Robbins [Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, 2010] presents a pithy overview of string theory and quantum physics; an overview that shows just how crazy the study of physics has become, and how physicists have resorted to mathematics as a kind of abracadabra to help them find an answer to the mysteries of the Universe that discombobulate them.

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Ufology, that faux research sobriquet use by UFO hobbyists to provide cachet for their irrational attempts to uncover the nature of UFOs, is loopier than string theory, but is also encumbered by overt pathological participants whereas physicists keep their pathology suppressed, masking it with calculus and other mathematical formulae.

Physicists are trying to discover the reality of the Universe.

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Ufologists once tried to uncover the mystery of flying saucers and then generic UFOs, but have since devolved into a babbling clique of pseudo-researchers who are so flummoxed by the enigma they once hoped to explain that they are now babblers of nonsense that borders on total insanity.

The UFO phenomenon is not amenable to mathematics, it seems – but who has tried to use math to provide a theoretical paradigm?

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Moreover, UFOs have attracted crazies of all types, while physics (quantum, string, and classical) attracts brilliant loonies who see beyond the prosaic and mundane to theoretical models of the Universe that may provide profound truths of our existence.

The study of UFOs takes us nowhere and thus far has only provided babbling of a pathological kind. (See Alfred Lehmberg’s ditherings for example.)

One holds out hope for a rational denouement in the realm of physics (string theory notwithstanding).

But in the realm of UFOs? One should keep their distance, remaining aloof and disconnected, if only to remain compos mentis.

Nick Redfern makes a deal with the Devil?

Nick Redfern flirts with the forces of Evil (or someone does).

See what he means by clicking here

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UFO Regurgitation: A Warning!


One of the problems when UFOs are the subject matter is the propensity for bloggers and UFO aficionados to pad the discussion with a redundant recap of hoary UFO stories: Roswell for instance, and others like the L.A. battle of 1942, Socorro, the Betty/Barney Hill “abduction” among many others.

The RB47 incident, noted here, and regularly by Paul Kimball at his blog, The Other Side of Truth, is also an example of a UFO sighting that gets an extended work over.

We try to avoid presenting hackneyed flying saucer tales at our blogs, only posting such referential stories when and if there is new light to be shed upon them, as is the case when Anthony Bragalia delves into the Roswell event with his memory metal angle.

But, some who visit our blogs can’t help themselves and often regurgitate known and banal details from the classic UFO sightings. It’s a matter of showing off their accumulated knowledge about UFOs we think, or a disregard for the sensibilities of those who are trying to find new, unique insights to the UFO enigma.

Let us assure you that we won’t go down that trail of insipid rehashing, as is the pattern at such blogs as Kevin Randle’s A Different Perspective.

That is, we shall try to limit our postings and comments here to views that are truly unique or new.

Fleshed out theories of what UFOs may be shall be the grist for content here, not purloined hypothesizing or regurgitated material, taken wholesale from other blogs/sites or books and archives that true UFO hobbyists are well acquainted with.

We’ll try to be inventive in our thinking and conjectures. And we’ll try to curtail grandstanding by those who need to display their assumed acumen when it comes to an almost profound mystery: UFOs.

Therefore, if you are a regular here, know that an onslaught of UFO drivel, acquired from sources not your own, will be ignored and not posted.

That’s our caveat for the time being…..

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nick Redfern: Our writer of choice about things Fortean

Nick Redfern's writings are a must for us and should be for you too. (He's one of the best Fortean researchers writing today.)

Click here for a note about an anthology of his writings

Sunday, March 27, 2011

UFO Skeptics and Believers


This quote appears on page 105 of Consciousness Beyond Life by Pim van Lommel. M.D. [HarperOne, 2010] (which we’ll be posting on soon for the connection of Near Death Experiences to the abduction phenomenon):

Skeptic and believers are all alike. At this moment scientists and skeptics are the leading dogmatists. Advance in detail is admitted: fundamental novelty is barred. This dogmatic common sense is the death of philosophical adventure. The universe is vast. –Alfred North Whitehead

What concerns us, besides the skeptic/believer propinquity, is the absolute anti-intellectualism of UFO mavens – their inherent stupidity, ignorance (how ill-read and uneducated they are).

But that for another time, and place…..