UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, March 16, 2012

"Swamp Gas" site demolished

The site of the 1966 Frank Manor UFO sighting that provoked J. Allen Hynek's "swamp gas" explanation was hit by storms and tornados Thursday, March 14th, 2012 -- the anniversary of the 1966 sighting in Dexter/Ann Arbor.

Huron Farms is the sub-division built upon Mr. Mannor's land after it was sold to a developer.

Co-incidence surely....or is it?


  • Yes it is.

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • Yeah, coincidence.

    It's lovely timing though.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • Kandinsky and CDA...

    Just to raise a provocative point:

    What would be the odds that a tornado would hit a specific, notorious UFO site rather than any other Michigan site, even one a short distance away?

    Let me recommend a few books:

    There Are No Accidents by Robert H. Hopcke [Riverhead Books, 1997]

    The Jungle of Randomness: A Mathematical Safari by Ivars Peterson [John Wiley & sons, 1997]

    (I also have one about coincidences, but can't find it at the moment in the book racks here.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • If you are interested in real oddities and coincidences, here is one which in my view beats them all. It happened to mathematician J.E.Littlewood in a London boarding house. He labels it as 'truly remarkable'. It is given in LADY LUCK by Warren Weaver, chapter 13.

    I should add that Littlewood regards an event with a 1 in a million chance as "a mere trifle".

    I leave it to you to flavor.

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • And you'e too tired CDA -- from the Randle Roswell debate(s) -- to provide the passage you note?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • Yes indeed. Roswell is taking its toll; it is almost like an overdose of drugs, alcohol or sex. And I am no youngster. Quite an ordeal. Whew!

    I'll try and locate the story sometime soon.

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • Get some rest, Christopher, take a vitamin and locate that clarifying passage about Littlewood.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • Here's another piece of interesting, but un-UFO related, synchronicity offered simply for your pondering pleasure . . . an American Airlines jet crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11/2001, the 60th anniversary of the Pentagon's groundbreaking.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • Those books I recommended,PG, cover such incidents, in a way that shows some kind of purpose behind the happenings.

    Jung's work on Synchronicity applies also, but is a bit more arcane than the two books above.

    And I'll provide the info on the co-incidence book, when I find the darn thing.

    So many books (here), so little time (to read them all).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 16, 2012  

  • Here's a snippet from LIFE Magazine - http://i1140.photobucket.com/albums/n563/Kandinsky22/Michigan-FrankMannor-LIFEmagazine-1966.jpg

    It seems fitting that some kind of memorial is placed there. After all, the 'hullabalusion,' or otherwise, was pretty Zeitgeisty.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, March 17, 2012  

  • Thanks Kandinsky for the bit from Frank Mannor, the farmer who saw the "swamp gas."

    He was disillusioned by the ugly response after his notorious sighting.

    I met him during the sighting when he was interviewed by my boss at The Detroit News.

    He was a good ol' boy and gentleman, but that changed.

    The land he lived on was sold to a developer.

    I'm in touch with his son and will be posting what he has to say now about the sighting and aftermath, which he was an integral part of.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 17, 2012  

  • There are so many ways of looking at the Michigan sighting. Even Frank Mannor's subsequent life-path was that of an American Everyman and I view him as a sub-cultural icon of ufology.

    The way folk harassed the family or the guy with his violin trying to contact the aliens - all culturally interesting responses. People crowding the area isn't anything new although the level of ridicule seems somewhat disproportionate.

    In the famous broadcast of Mannor looking shaken and angry, it's hard not to feel some sympathy. It also, for me, raises the problems of how to gauge the honesty of eye-witnesses. He's clearly sincere and believable, but we've all had our fingers burned by similarly convincing folk.

    I wonder. Did you feel more or less certainty after meeting him?

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, March 17, 2012  

  • Yes, Kandinsky, Frank Mannor saw what he says he saw.

    He wasn't making anything up.

    You recall that some co-eds at Hillsdale College also saw a similar thing in the same time-frame.

    That simultaneous sighting was what made media skeptical of Hynek's explanation, even though the co-ed sighting was also near a boggy/swamp area.

    I generally believe witness testimony, caveated by the sensory mistakes that may be inherent.

    Most UFO witnesses are not liars.

    However, I am wary of memory accounts; memory flaws creep into accounts shortly after sightings and muck up the information being imparted.

    This wasn't the case with Mr. Mannor.

    He told his story, simply and nervously, never trying to capitalize on it (for money or fame).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 17, 2012  

  • Wasn't it Hynek's 'swamp gas' statement that led to a public outcry that in turn led to the setting up of the Condon Committee?

    Whereupon Condon eventually 'murdered' ufology. (Until it rose from the dead).

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, March 17, 2012  

  • Nope, Christopher...

    Hynek's "swamp gas" explanation led to Hynek's being called a stooge of the Air Force.

    Condon's committee was an Air Force ploy to discredit UFOs.

    Our scrutiny of Condon, online here, in one of the first postings, shows that Condon was a security risk but given a new clearance status if he'd go along with the Air Force, providing a bogus study of UFOs, the purpsoe being to eliminate further interest in the topic.

    The ruse was successful, like Roswell's weather balloon explanation, in removing UFOs from interest by scientific groups, media, and the public.

    The only people not gulled were and are UFO aficionados, who won't give up the phenomenon, as they see something more in it than the Air Force or government tries to imply.

    Swamp gas was a major gaffe for Hynek, who was openly laughed at after his statement during his Detroit Press Club news conference which I attended for my newspaper.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 17, 2012  

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