UFOs: The Tangibility Factor
Are UFOs tangible?
While some ufologists, over the years, have compiled accounts of trace elements (indentations in the ground, for example) allegedly left by UFOs, a close examination of such reports leave much to be desired in the way of conclusive evidence.
Our favorite UFO sighting, which didn’t involve a UFO at all – the Zamora/Socorro sighting of 1964 – is a case in point.
The impressions supposedly left by the egg-shaped object Zamora spotted, and he did, indeed, spot an egg-shaped object, are what has always raised doubt in my mind.
Why did this one UFO set-down leave marks in the ground when every other UFO or flying saucer seen on the ground didn’t?
Because Zamora’s UFO was a Hughes Aircraft prototype.
(We like Anthony Bragalia’s prank theory of the Socorro sighting, but it is, for us, a bit flimsy when it comes to scrutinizing all the elements of the sighting as reported by Officer Zamora and details recovered by UFO researchers, even those who muffed their investigations: Hynek, Stanford, et al.)
Jerome Clark, in his 1998 work The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial [Visible Ink Press, Detroit], covers “Close Encounters of the Second Kind” – those UFO sightings where J. Allen Hynek placed UFO sightings that left traces or interacted with the environment [Page 82 ff.]
Clark admits that the evidence for the trace elements he cites are not incontrovertible as no one really examined the remnants or indicators supposedly left behind by UFO; experts in the kind of forensics needed to study what was claimed as UFO detritus just do not do so, and ufologists are just not have the expertise to perform a scientific or thorough scrutiny of elements said to have been left by or cased by a UFO encounter or sighting.
Clark provided some accounts of tree limbs being snapped off or waters being parted by a UFO, but there are no sightings in his CE-2 listing which left tangible residue behind, residue that could have provided grist for study.
Ronald Story in The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters [New American Library/Penguin NY, 2001] also provides a roster of sightings that include trace elements within the witness accounts: The Flatwoods “landing,” the 1954 Quarouble, France encounter, the Delphos, Kansas trace landing (where a “fairy-ring-like” spot was created).
[Ronald Story’s book is a must-have, must-read book for UFO aficionados. It covers the UFO waterfront, totally.]
What strikes me is that most of the accounts, almost all of them, in both books cited above contain descriptions of UFO sightings and encounters that are dream-like, oneiric in nature.
Tangible elements are not a part or parcel of UFO sightings, generally or specifically.
The fact, and it is a fact, that almost all UFO cases and accounts are evanescent rather than materialistic is where UFO researchers should muster their investigations.
The neural aspect, which we’ve been touting and which seems to invite counter debate by many, is the key to a UFO explanation I think.
Yes, I like, and always have, the nuts and bolts sobriquet for flying saucers, which became tempered by the term UFO, which has an ephemeral cachet, better suited to the phenomenon.
The more I look at sightings, old and new, the more I am convinced that UFOs are “creatures of the mind” more than creatures from alien galaxies or other worlds of any kind.
What causes the ephemeral UFO experience is where “ufology” should focus its efforts to explain the phenomenon.
The oneric idea allows for the multiplicity of sightings that are reported.
(Extraterrestrial visitations in the numbers indicated by reported sightings seem improbable; mathematically impractical.)