UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Snake in Rome -- nothing about UFOs however...

Some time ago I found this passage in a book about the Shroud of Turin by Ian Wilson.

The passage fascinated me, but I couldn't find anything more about the snake incident, searching everywhere for something more definitive.

I even had several journalists look for something thta might elucidate the episode.

Recently I submitted a query and the book excerpt to Chris Aubeck's Magonia Exchange, and got (only) this reply:

The reference from Magonia might be the incident, but the time-frame is wrong, unless Wilson's date of 846 A.D. (or CE if you prefer) is wrong.

So, I'm asking if any one of our intrepid readers knows more about the alleged panic in Rome by a snake -- any date, any place in the city?

N.B. Chris Aubeck has provided what appears to be the answer to my query above. I thank him profusely for that and offer the link HERE that clarifies.

However, a member of Chris Aubeck's Magonia Exchange provides this:

I don't think the passage above (Regulus and the snake) has any relation to the episode mentioned by the original poster, the date is way too early (3rd century BC) and I doubt such a confusion is possible.

However a quick check in all the relevant medieval chronicles I could think of, didn't bring anything either. Even though the date of 846 AD is quite eventful for Rome which suffered that year an attack by the Saracens, no chronicle mentions an incident with a snake. Should it have happened that same year, I doubt the chroniclers would have missed mentioning it, if only to put in perspective with the invasion.
Thus, unless the incident is mentioned in a single obscure source, I would tend to believe that the date mentioned by Wilson is wrong.

It might be worth mentioning though that Gregory of Tours mentions in his Historia Francorum (book X) a somewhat similar incident which happened in 589 A.D. (Source: Guadet, J. (ed.) Histoire ecclesiastique des Francs..., vol. 4, Paris, 1838, p.4):

Anno igitur quinto decimo Childeberthi regis diaconus noster ab urbe Roma sanctorum cum pigneribus veniens, sic retulit, quod anno superiore, mense nono, tanta inundatio Tiberis fluvius Romam urbem obtexerit, ut aedes antiquae deruerent, horrea etiam eclesiae subversa sint, in quibus nonnulla milia modiorum tritici periere. Multitudo etiam serpentium cum magno dracone in modo trabis validae per huius fluvii alveum in mare discendit; sed suffocatae bestiae inter salsos maris turbidi fluctus et litori eiectae sunt. Subsecuta est de vestigio cladis, quam inguinariam vocant.

In the fifteenth year of [the reign] of king Childebert [note: 590 A.D.], our deacon returning from the city Rome with relics of the saints reported that in the ninth month of the previous year the river Tiber so flooded the city of Rome that ancient buildings were destroyed and the store­houses of the church were overturned ; several thousand measures of wheat in them were lost. A multitude of snakes, and among them a great serpent [draco] like a big log, passed down into the sea carried away by the waters of the river, but these creatures, smothered among the stormy and salty waves of the sea, were rejected on the shore. Immediately after came the plague named inguinaria.

I don't know whether the two incidents are related but Gregory of Tours' story is the closest I could get to Wilson's mention. I'll keep looking though.




UFOs and the Death of God [Redux]


Reading through Wonders in the Sky by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck [Penguin Group, NY, 2009] one is struck how most of those sightings from antiquity through the Middle Ages up to the beginning of the 20th Century have a direct or tangential connection to persons or enterprises that have a religious patina.


As aficionados of UFOs know, modern sightings, mainly from 1945 on, are secular in nature; that is, UFOs or flying saucers were not attendant or dependent upon a religious overlay.

Why is that?

I conjecture that UFOs had an umbilical connection to those events and people who believed in God and practiced the Faith, no matter if what the denomination or premise what was: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Pagan, Mayan, Christianity, et alii.

But after the Death of God – and I believe that God died, not metaphorically as Nietzsche proposed, but actually – UFOs became attracted to humankind as a symbolic phenomenon, with meaning that has yet to be discerned.

UFOs and God is Dead -- 2009

Carl Jung’s magnificently clear rumination on the nature and reality of God in Answer to Job outlines how God, in a fit of divine despair, about how humans had been treated by Him and the vicissitudes of His creation, became incarnate, as Jesus Christ to atone for His (God’s) misbehavior, and ultimately die as a personal -- shall I say suicidal? – retribution to assuage the divine guilt.


However, that atonement, by partial Deicide, was short lived, and God’s aloof, distant, or hidden nature [See Richard Friedman’s The Hidden Face of God] brought about, in modern times, one of the most horrific episodes against humanity, and a chosen element of that humanity: The Holocaust.


In that human catastrophe and its aftermath, God died -- He either did Himself in (a total act of Decide) or died of a divine heartbreak; either way, God Himself – not his surrogate (Son) but God Himself died in h mid-1940s A.D.

Thus UFOs, whatever they were or are were transmogrified by the Divine denouement, but destined to intervene in human affairs by an eternal mandate of God, had to continue the “mission” and secular sightings became the norm, and the religious connection was set aside or lost from that point on.

This doesn’t explain, admittedly, what UFOs are, their essential makeup, nor their purpose. But it may explain by Vallee’s and Aubeck’s litany of ancient UFO sightings have been replaced by a litany of secular UFO sightings.


To augment my bizarre thesis, I suggest readers here check out an article in the current New Yorker: Is That All There Is? by James Woods, about Secularism [August 15/22 issue, Page 87 ff.]



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nick Redfern lightens the "darkness"

Nick Redfern's new blog has fun with things strange.

Click here to visit

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Morphing/Shape-shifting UFOs or “Nuts and Bolts” machines



Anthony Bragalia, and I, as is our wont, are having a small debate about the nature -- the essence -- of UFOs.

He thinks they are morphing/shape-shifting vehicles of some kind.




Here is his view, for example, about the Wanaque UFOs:

The more people that I have talked with or have had email dialog with who were there - the more I am convinced that it was 'unearthly.' The morphing metal and morphing UFO aspect of my research - and the description/s of the UFO at Wanaque as changing from globular to even cigar shape - that is also...weird

And his total view:

UFOs are beyond merely “extraterrestrial.” If such vehicles do bring beings here to Earth, these vehicles much be at once physical and paraphysical. Though comprised of material elements, they must in some way be capable of “changing state” so that they can traverse the cosmos. The true meaning of “ET” is “extra-temporal.” They are beyond time- or certainly a single star. They transcend and manipulate the very space between two places by warping time to their great advantage. They must do so to travel such great distances.

Yet, at their very essence- these remain physical beings in physical craft.

If galactic flight exists, matter must not be immutable. If the alien is coming here, the “alien” must be able to in some way “morph” the matter of which their vehicles are comprised. This allows the “physicality” of the vehicle to modify itself to the rigors of the bending of space and of time.

The material must be “intelligently adaptable” - a “smart material” which can change as the Universe that it traverses changes, in order that it might get here. Shape memory materials that are “future-engineered” would serve an essential purpose. After having been “changed up” by molecular and energetic morphing to traverse the galactic distances- they would then have to “return” to their original “solid” and tangible state. They would have to “remember” themselves in the material world.

-Anthony Bragalia

I, however, think UFOs – the flying saucer kind – are material, tangible objects, of a bolts and nuts kind.



Sure, some UFOs are amorphous and seemingly change structural configuration, and have for many years, if witness accounts are accurate.

And UFOs seem to have “evolved” of late into something less tangible than they were once seen as.

Some UFO mavens think UFOs may be living entities.

Click here to read Rob Morphy’s take for Mysterious Universe on that.

But, for me, the flying saucer sobriquet is the one I’m stuck with, mentally, and it represents what I’ve seen and what brought me to the phenomenon in the first place.

Tony’s view is adumbrated, I think, by his research into the malleable metal hints for the alleged Roswell debris. (He has accumulated evidence that is more than circumstantial about such metal and its connection to the 1947 Roswell incident. I remain skeptical about Roswell and the debris story, but I have to admit that Tony has found and raised some intriguing issues that don’t allow me to dismiss the Roswell debris angle out-of-hand.)

The bulk of UFO reports, over the years, indicate, to me, that something hard-constructed has been seen, and sometimes landed or interacted with people.

(Today that isn’t happening, and the reason why eludes. However, I’m apparently stuck back in the 50s, when flying saucers were extant and “real.”)

What’s your take, if you have one?


Monday, August 08, 2011

What on Earth? Inside the Crop Circle Mystery – A Suzanne Taylor film

I have a review of the film titled above at a few of our blogs:

The Explicator


The RRRGroup

The film is nicely done, and while I don't think crop circles exactly intertwine with UFOs, some people do.

And those who do might like to check out Suzanne Taylor's fine documentary about the crop circle phenomenon.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Wonders in the Sky

David J. Hufford, Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania provides the forward to Jacques Vallee’s and Chris Aubeck’s book (pictured above).

Professor Hufford is erudite and insightful.

Here are some examples from his Foreward:

I [Hufford] was pursuing the heretical idea that folk belief traditions might actually incorporate accurate observations…

[Vallee in his books, Anatomy of a Phenomenon and Passport to Magonia] recognized the difference between the core phenomenology of [UFO] reports and the local language and interpretations that clothed that core in traditional accounts.

Criticizing conventional UFO investigators for “confusing appearance and reality” [Vallee] said that “The phenomenon has stable, invariant features….But we have also had to note carefully the chameleonlike character of the secondary attributes of the sightings.

The willingness of [Vallee and Aubeck] to cast a very wide net, andn ot to allow the particular cultural interpretations of events to limit their view, offers us a remarkable opportunity to seek patterns that may lead to new understandings.

Those with a view of these matters narrowly focused on a particular interpretation, especially the extraterrestrial idea, may be annoyed by the mixing of the aerial and the religious, the political and the mystical and more.

The problem with “spaceship” is not that it is anomalous; it is that it is an interpetation rather than an observation.

But Vallee and Aubeck undercut these judicious remarks by Professor Hufford by making these comments in their Introduction:

We will show that unidentified flying objects have had a major [sic] impact not only on popular culture but on our history, on our religion…

…the fact would remain that an unexplained phenomenon has played and continues to play a fantastically important role in shaping our belief systems, the way we view our history and the role of science.

…their [UFOs] impact has shaped human civilization in important ways.

UFOs have never had a “major” impact on humanity or civilization or history or religion.

The phenomenon has always been a remote and peripheral aspect of societal life, of human existence.

UFOs, today, are as inconsequential to humanity and society as a whole as they have always been, despite Vallee’s insistence that UFOs have been and are integral to life on Earth.

Irritated by Stephen Hawking’s postion vis a vis UFOs – “I am discounting reports of UFOs. Why would they appear only to cranks and weirdos?” – Vallee and Aubeck obviously don’t agree.

The persons seeing UFOs are not cranks and weirdos. Hawking is wrong. The people who study UFOs are the cranks and weirdos.