UFO Conjectures

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Two UFO tales for your evisceration, from….

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

True Flying Saucers & UFO Quarterly [No. 4, Winter 1977], paraphrased, in part.

From Page 27:

…in the town of Gilroy, southeast of San Francisco, 19 year-old housewife Terry Smith and her 12-year old cousin, Imelea Lugo, were driving to Imelea’s home (about 11 p.m.).

“Suddenly out of nowhere…a large flying object swooped down ahead of their car, hovered…about 50 feet above the road, then began to bob up and down.”

They jumped from the car and ran and ran (about fifty yards) to the Lugo home, where they woke up Imelea’s parents, taking them outside.

Forty-five-year-old Jose Lugo, an auto parts salesman, and his wife tell what they saw:

“…About 100 feet above the house was this strange circular object with blinking red, blue and white lights flashing around a middle section. It was grayish colored, much bigger than an automobile, and had three legs for landing gears. The bottom of each landing gear had something resembling the rubber suction cup on a bathroom plunger.”

Mrs. Lugo added, “It just hung there in mid-air, so low I could see two window-like openings on top…the reflected lights from the UFO gave it a ‘gem-like quality.’

From Page 51 comes this account from Rivesville, West Virginia (also paraphrased in part):

A member of the author’s [Jennings H. Frederick] family, on April 23rd, 1965, had a strange encounter “with a saucer and what was apparently an 'alien being'.”

"Susan” saw, out her kitchen window, what she took for a child, perhaps on the way to school or a small person who “appeared to have been thrown into a pasture at the top of the hill."

Susan thought that maybe someone had run into an electric cattle fence that ran through the area.

She ran out of the house, and from her front porch, yelled, asking if anyone was hurt and needed help.

But instead of a reply, she was startled to see a saucer-shaped craft come down and land (near the little being? – the author doesn’t make this clear).

“Extending from the small ‘being,’ who…appeared to be three or four week tall, was a black cable…which [was] connected to the craft.”

Susan estimated the saucer to be about 5 to 10 feet long [!] and 5 feet in height.

The “being” was black or very dark green and looked more animal than human, “For it had a tail, about two feet long!”

The alien being had V-shaped ears – this was pre-Spock, 1965 remember – or rather ears that came to a point.

No mouth or eyes were seen and it looked to be humanoid [sic] in general features – one head, two legs, two arms.

“Susan didn’t try to communicate with this being but, instead, ran back into the house and locked the door.”

Looking out the window, she saw “the being collecting samples of grass, soil, etc.” (The “etc.” isn’t defined) –“and placing same in a pouch of some sort. He wore no helmet, and moved in a very jerky, or stiff, restrained manner.”

The craft was described as cream and silver colored, “with rows of small windows atop an upper deck. There was also a dome or crystal canopy on the upper surface which sparkled in the morning sun.”

“…the craft rotated in a clockwise direction…emitting a humming, or vibrating, buzzing sound.”

Susan saw the alien step aboard the craft, which rose rapidly, straight up, disappearing out of sight.

The author went to the alleged landing site and writes that he found tracks and soil indentations, some hair samples around footprints, which had four toes and a sharp heel.

He surmised that the craft was 25 feet in diameter and weighed more than a ton.
Now I ask you, what are we to make of such UFO tales?

Which one rings truer? Or do they both ring true? Or do they seem far-fetched and false?

The first account is a “typical” UFO sighting; the second is a Distortion-like account that Jose Caravaca’s theory might address.

But what do we get from either account?

Similarities to other UFO reports abound:

The three landing legs in the Gilroy account, the windows, and the blinking red, white, and blue lights.

In the West Virginia encounter, we find soil and grass samples being gathered by a strange-looking being who, purportedly, came from a saucer-like craft, moving like a robot, tethered to the craft, leaving remnants of his (or its) visit.

Are we to dismiss such stories?

Are they more important than sightings of anomalous craft flying in the skies, faster than a speeding bullet?

Do such tales help us in our search for an explanation of the UFO phenomenon (or phenomena)?

Are such witness accounts grist for sociological or psychological scrutiny?

Or are such events mere footnotes to human experience?



  • "Now I ask you, what are we to make of such UFO tales?"

    If there was anything to pin an investigation on, I'd guess these (and many others) would end up like the Dave Stephens case we discussed here last September.

    Not pretty, but fascinating.



    By Blogger don, at Thursday, March 01, 2012  

  • On a truly crass and commercial note . . . if one decides to publish and sell a magazine devoted to UFOs one has to fill every issue with UFO stuff, even if it's only dreams, delusions, tall tales, or outright fiction. So, buyer beware.

    I suspect this might be the case for one or two UFO bloggers and online publications (present company excepted) that seem to have fresh meat daily. Sorry, I just don't buy that the true UFO phenomenon is as pervasive as we're continually being sold.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Thursday, March 01, 2012  

  • These old humanoid encounters appeal to me and when the claimant includes gathering of *stuff,* I like them even more. It's probably more sensible to rule them all out as hysteria and hoaxes, but who knows? The Gary Wilcox account leaves me open-minded.

    The main reason for this comment is to point out the limitations of our own descriptive and interpretive ability.

    When reading of 'rubber suction cups,' eyes begin to roll and a groan begins. I began to picture landing legs with suckers and lamented the witness' lack of imagination - at least hoax with sparkle. Then again, would they be describing the profile of a suction-cup? If we saw such a shape, what better object could we compare to?

    Many an object has been described as having 'port-holes' and 'windows.' Perhaps witnesses have accurately described them? Or...were they describing light-sources, apertures that their pattern-seeking brains relayed as windows?

    One detail that caught my attention and might be a help in testing the second claim was the hair samples. If a location is in the article, it's usually straightforward to see what the weather was at the time. If it rained after the event, one would doubt the existence of a hair sample (washed away). If it was bone-dry, one would doubt the hair sample too.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Friday, March 02, 2012  

  • Kandinsky, yours is a very good point about language, and the current of metaphor and analogy available to anyone to describe 'unidentifiable' things.

    Consider "flying saucer", the origin of which is a matter of dispute. The phrase is from, afaict, the sports pages of newspapers; it was a term of art for referring to hockey pucks and skeets long before Kenneth Arnold used it. By 'saucer', did he mean crockery or a puck or skeet? Arnold had been an athlete.

    I've forgotten who wrote it, but a recent article questioned what Arnold meant by "bat shaped" and wondered whether Arnold was referring to the 'bats' in use at airports. Arnold was a pilot.

    More generally, during the 40s and 50s scientists, news reporters, military officers use 'satellite' and 'meteor' in ways we have not used since the space program. What we would call a re-entry vehicle, they might use "artificial meteor"; where we would say space station and satellite, they might use 'satellite' for both. One can find the same in Hollywood movies of the era, too.

    Today's accepted meanings come from the popularization of the space program.

    I think, as well, "outer space" was a vague concept in the minds of the public and the press.

    I don't know if those of us old enough to have lived back then, embedded in the culture, have any advantage in reading the texts than do younger people or perhaps foreigners. We should all be careful not to introduce anachronisms in our interpretations.

    Recognizing an anachronism, though, is the hard part, especially for common terms.



    By Blogger don, at Friday, March 02, 2012  

  • Don:

    You haven't been hanging around Bruce Duensing lately, have you?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 02, 2012  

  • I re-read your article and have to apologise for overlooking the location; it was early and a bad mistake.

    The weather for nearby Morgantown doesn't appear to support the account or the claims of further investigation. I couldn't get any closer than this for Rivesville..

    According to the 'Farmer's Almanac' website (farmersalmanac.com), the day and the days preceding the account had bad weather in the form of drizzle, fog and thunder. If accurate, this would make visibility poor. On a positive, it would be great weather for trackers as ground would be soft.

    On the negative, bad weather continued for some days after the date of the sighting. Several days of dampness and rain would make the possibility of finding hair samples rather remote. Also, the notion of 'hair samples' seems to me evidence of the author egging the pudding.

    I've used the Farmer's Almanac before for checking the weather and wind speed during reports from the 70s and 80s. When I've been able to cross-check their data with independent meteorological sources, they've been the same.


    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Friday, March 02, 2012  

  • Very nicely done, Kandinsky...

    I also thought the hair-sample bit was gilding the lily.

    If the area was farm country, and it was/is, there would have to be all kinds of hair and fur around.

    But the basic elements of the story intrigue, even if contrived.

    The author's picture was included, and he looks like a gentleman; well-dressed and coiffed -- a businessman and UFO hobbyist.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 02, 2012  

  • "Are we to dismiss such stories?"

    I do because there rarely is any documentation to stories in UFO magazines -- the Lorenzens being a notable exception. I have to "dismiss" because documentation is what I do.

    All these UFO magazine stories, are you doing anything with them? If you developed a catalogue of them, I'd be interested...just how many stories are there that contain red, white, and blue lights on the UFO, for example. How many have flashing lights, how many have steady lights?

    You know the drill.

    If you are not cataloguing, then are you dismissing these stories?



    By Blogger don, at Sunday, March 04, 2012  

  • So, Don, you're documenting such stories and the details in them, right?

    And what are you doing with all your documentation?

    Life is short, ya know...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 04, 2012  

  • Rich "So, Don, you're documenting such stories and the details in them, right?"

    I'm not interested in a UFO case because of the UFO. What I'm interested in is military and political history, post-war USA, as it is expressed in the flying saucer wave prior to Keyhoe and Scully.

    Rather than the UFOs, I'm interested in the people who investigated them. Remember there were no "UFO mavens" back then, so I mean the Army/AF and their civilian consultants.

    This is true of those cases after Scully and Keyhoe, too. What interests me about Socorro isn't the insignia or the hoax theory, but Menzel and Hynek, and most especially, La Paz.

    You see why I say I'm uninterested in ET, UFOs, or Ufology?

    "And what are you doing with all your documentation?"

    I'd be more inclined to be forthcoming if you had answered with what you are doing with these cases you offer us.



    By Blogger don, at Sunday, March 04, 2012  

  • Ah, those cases I keep thrusting forward here are meant to show that the UFO topic is a welter of insane witness testimony or a welter of realities that belie the one we're part of.

    Your documentation is for what?

    The hordes of ufologists you hope will knock on your door for edification and information that they can't get elsewhere?

    Why, again, I ask, is there this folly of accumulating or documenting things without a plan or conjecture to make such effort meaningful?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 04, 2012  

  • Rich: "Why, again, I ask, is there this folly of accumulating or documenting things without a plan or conjecture to make such effort meaningful?"

    I don't know. Maybe one of my many nieces and nephews will develop an interest, or maybe I'll meet a young man or women who can take the work and get their doctorate with it. Otherwise, it'll go into the trash when I die, or when I get too old to care about it.



    By Blogger don, at Sunday, March 04, 2012  

  • We are all hoarders of one kind or another, Don.

    I gave hundreds of UFO books, collected since my school days, many of the hard-to-find and not findable classics, to one of my sons a while back -- he had an interest.

    Somehow he tells me, they got ruined in a flooded basement.

    I wasn't only sick about that but I am disappointed in such cavalier, stupid care-taking.

    I hope your "heirs" do better.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 04, 2012  

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