UFO Conjectures

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Bell-Shaped UFOs -- long gone.....

Official UFO magazine’s November 1975 issue (pictured above) was fraught with some interesting material including a Phil Klass explanation of why he didn’t accept some “famous” UFO events/photographs: the Trent-McMinnville photos and the Heflin photos.

The Rand Corporation UFO document was almost interesting; a bit superficial but supplemental for those who’ve studied the “document.”

I found a piece by Wendelle Stevens, about Bell-shaped UFOs that had been photographed from Adamski’s right up into the 1970s, intriguing [Page 34 ff.]:
The article was replete with photos of bell-shaped UFOs:

But what happened to such accounts and the accompanying photos?

Why did people stop seeing bell-shaped UFOs? Why they did they stop photographing them? And why did they stop hoaxing them?

The Adamski-like flying saucers started to look dated, surely, so that might be one possibility for the demise of such UFO accounts.

But was not one of the bell-shaped sightings or photographs real, an authentic observation of a real craft with the bell-shaped configuration?

If all the sightings and/or photos were fraudulent, as was Adamski’s, why did the hoaxers predilect that configuration? Did they think that was what “actual” flying saucers or UFOs looked like?

Or were some flying saucers and UFOs actually bell-shaped for a period of time, just as the 1890s UFOs were airship-shaped?

And speaking of UFO shapes, why the dearth of UFOs with a shape like that observed and drawn by Kenneth Arnold?

Few sightings and no photographs that I've seen assume the Arnold-shaped UFOs. (The Rhoades photos, in the same time-frame as the Arnold sighting, are somewhat similar, but not like Arnold's drawing, obviously, nor are any other sightings or drawings like Arnold's, which seems to have been a singular event. )

The various configurations of UFOs over the years seem intrinsic to the mystery.

The transmogrification of flying saucers, during the modern era, has something to do with the enigma perhaps.

That aside, the Stevens’ exgesis of the bell-shaped UFOs in the magazine is the kind of analytical evaluation that is rare in UFO circles nowadays.

That's why "ufology" is dead or dying......



  • The UFOs illustrating this post are reminiscent of old-fashioned outdoor utility lighting (minus suspending or mounting devices). I’m not saying that’s for sure what they are, but it’s a first impression.

    Did witnesses see and photograph bell-shaped craft BEFORE Adamski circulated his photos?

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • PG:

    The earliest bell-shaped incident and photo Stevens addresses was the subsequently discovered to be fake photo of 1954, the Darbishire photo.

    Adamski's alleged photo was taken in 1952.

    The article had no bell-shaped photos or cases before 1952, but that would be an interesting thing to look into.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • Rich, what is missing from this article is what is being photographed and seen since the passing of the Adamski and Arnold saucers.

    Adamski's saucer is very much architecture: a cupola atop a dome atop a ring or cylinder atop a main body. It is interesting that the Adamski saucer appears at the same time as the Hollywood saucer (which doesn't have a cupola, and the dome is directly atop (or nearly so) the main body) which became the hat/sombrero, or "classic", saucer shape, often photographed and seen. This seems to have been replaced by the Bling saucer, maybe first seen in the movie ET. It is less a shape than a field of shiny, blinking, glowing stuff. Since night is the best FX set for such things, the daylight sightings substantially decline. Night is more mystical than daylight.

    Adamski became less nuts 'n bolts and more mystical and I'd guess the scout ships became less and less important to his story until they vanished. One of these days I'll get around to the later Adamski, I hope.

    The Arnold saucer is what the AF was looking for, and what the Navy alluded to having. In 1947, there are several drawings in the newspapers that closely resemble the Rhodes photos although they are unrelated. We don't know what Capt. Davidson drew for Arnold. Arnold said it was of a Rhodes photo. If one can avoid glossing the Rhodes photos with what we know (heel shape), it is possible to see what Arnold saw, although the drawing Arnold is showing is pure eye-candy, imo.

    According to the FBI interview, Rhodes mentioned the one unique feature of the object: its leading and trailing edges were swapped. It appeared to be flying backwards. The Adamski and Hollywood saucers were full discs.

    The 1947 Wave saucers do not have prominent domes; they are more like canopies; the exception is the Snake River saucer. There may be others.

    Are the schematics in the magazine article Leonard G. Cramp's?



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • No mention of Cramps, Don, but lots more photos, especially a few pulled from the 8mm film of the Lost Creek saucer (July 23, 1966); interesting (to me).

    I could scan the whole panoply of photos and put them online but we'd be beyond fair use then I think.

    The "flying backwards" aspect of the Rhoades saucer is also interesting -- the open, gaping portion of the craft leading in flight as if gulping air.

    I'm scouring early magazine articles for more photos, to see if any bell-shapes show up before the 1952 Adamski photo as PG asked.

    (I've looked for Rhoades and Arnold saucer types once before but didn't find any in the time-frame or ever.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • The leading edge of the existing designs, such as the ARUP planes and gliders and the Flying Flapjack, had a trailing rounded edge and the 'straight' edge leading. The Horten Parabola glider is an example of the leading edge being rounded, and the only one I can think of that made it off the drawing boards. That is one of the odd things about the Rhodes object. It is not quite a flying saucer as a pure disk, but not quite a conventional aircraft.

    Re: 1947, E.J. Smith referred to the "roughness" of the saucers' topside. There are similar accounts about "roughness". I have to find the citation, but of interest is an account by two women, described as lawyers, who referred to the topside being "faceted". Rhodes, according the the FBI interview, referred to the light spot on the object as being a "greenhouse". The CIC agent referred to it as a "cockpit". You will not easily find domes or bell shapes early on, but a flat disk shape with something topside that breaks the smooth shape but doesn't "protrude".

    In November 1950, Bod Considine wrote a series of articles on flying saucers. One focused on Scully's book. It included two drawings which look like the Rhodes object except they are full disks. No domes. There are others that are similar. I should collect them and post them on foreshadower.



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • And I keep asking, where are such "ships" today -- hoaxed or real?

    Why the change?

    If such sightings were ET, why the change?

    If such sightings were of prototypes, why the change?

    If such sightings were hoaxed, why have hoaxers not continued the design? Sci-Fi craft in movies, or on TV and in magazines "forced" an abandonment of such a "dated" design?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • I think people report (or hoax) the UFOs they expect to see, considering most sightings last for only seconds. In the 1940s they expected to see advanced military aircraft. In the 1950s they expected to see Adamski or Hollywood saucers -- but if you look through the many examples of pop culture saucers during the 1950s (toys, advertisements), the flat disk with cockpit is still a commonplace.

    I think it is simply what is available in images and language to the sighters that determines how they describe a very transient experience. Shape itself is difficult to determine if it is a true disk and very thin compared to its width or length; the description depends on the angle of view. Disks, rectangles, triangles can be "stealthy" to the eyes, much more so than solids like cones, cylinders, or spheres.

    The Hollywood saucer seems to have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for The Day The Earth Stood Still, 1951. He designed an organic shape with no hard edges, but with the suggestion of a dome and main body. Later, Hollywood saucers became more nuts 'n bolts with a distinct dome atop a disk. Then comes the awesome Bling saucer.

    I don't know what inspired Adamski. It was a unique design and very appealing.

    The likelihood for me is that we do not see a UFO; what we see are its effects, assuming the sighting is strong enough to overcome expectations.



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • Rich, perhaps the shape of the object is what we think it should look like, based upon what aeronautical designs permeates through the current media sources.

    No triangle UFOs in the 40, 50, and 60s due to the conventional straight or swept wing design on our air craft.

    I loosely suspect that saucer-bell shape ufos were victims of the decline in the use of hub caps on our car tires.

    Good and informative post...as always.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • Yes, Tim...

    And what happened to hub-caps, which were and may still be a collector's item?

    That famous Ford hub-cap photo always brings back memories of my first car: a 1950's Ford (Green and sooo cool).

    And I would have thought that the flying wing would be a template for UFO sightings. It has the look of a Sci-Fi or imagined ET craft.

    But not to be....even in the triangle format.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • R: Why the change?

    J: Possibly, because it's human beings that are seeing them. Does that mean that they ever really changed? Right now, statistically, the most common shape reported are round orbs. Think back to the woodcuts. Have things really changed?

    R: If such sightings were ET, why the change?

    J: We don't know anything about their origin. We're juxtaposing human rationale with speculation. Articulating shadows.

    R: If such sightings were of prototypes, why the change?

    J: As in human manufactured prototypes? If that's the case, prototypes do nothing but change. It would be truly odd if prototypical shapes did not change radically over time.

    R: If such sightings were hoaxed, why have hoaxers not continued the design? Sci-Fi craft in movies, or on TV and in magazines "forced" an abandonment of such a "dated" design?

    J: Manifest ego/imagination - Human nature.

    J: (in retrospect) Rich, the bell's relative shape is alive and well according to recent UFO reports. Nothing has really changed apart from the certain predominance of select shapes during various time frames. People will always hoax a plenty with faked photographic and video imagery. In fact, I tend to think that there are more faked reports including pseudo photographic substantiation, than there are those that include legitimate photographic evidence.

    It's critical to remember that Ufology is not a science and never will be. Even when rigorous principles are applied and adhered to within investigation, it's still a phenomena and therefore what we're really dealing with is an aspect of phenomenology at best. When it becomes a hard science, humanity will know unquestionably what is being observed. Hence the passing of a phenomena, the absence of the unidentified, and the emergence of a new level of embryonic knowledge, if only in remote observation. That's the only way ufology can morph from speculation to a real progressive science.

    By Blogger Jeff Davis, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • Thanks, Jeff...

    You started sounding like Bruce Duensing there -- for a moment.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 02, 2012  

  • Many years ( decades?) ago, I saw a contemporary side by side photographic comparison of the Adamski and a chicken brooder distributed at that time, long ago, by Sears. They were identical, except for the small flourishes that were presumably added later. At one time I searched in vain to find again, that catalog photograph but there were no archives as it were of old Sears catalogs.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • Bruce...

    That Sears chicken brooder from the catalog would be a great, fun find.

    I've looked for it too.

    And may try again.....it has to be somewhere, online or in a library archive.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • Very interesting...


    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • It is very, very interesting, Bruce.

    Thanks for the link...and readers, copy and paste Bruce's link in your browser. You'll find the Adamski craft "analysis" insightful.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • I suspect that as a entrepreneur, Adamski saw the the culture of the 1950's was ripe for his form of artistic "proof", with the Cold War,the threat of invasions of air space by atomic weapons or otherwise, the proliferation of cheaply produced science fiction films meant for the direct sale to a booming drive in movie market,etc. It was a time that peaked on these several fronts as expressions of a suppressed sort of felt yet non verbalized anxiety and as a way to gather them up and become sell-able, he sat at the bench and created what the people needed, a "verifiable" benchmark and target he could exploit. It would make a very entertaining film, perhaps one that Tim Burton would be the perfect director\writer for bringing to the screen.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • I think Adamski was a prophet for his mystical beliefs and anti-Soviet leanings (but pro-communist inclinations).

    The exploitation (for money ) was secondary, and inevitable, considering the capitalistic ambiance of the time.

    The shill was not the primary motivator as I see it.

    A Joseph Smith-like syndrome took over Adamski.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • I would somewhat agree inasmuch as mystical prophets of capitalism and the free markets all had deep philosophic imaginations, idealism and yearnings that were somewhat mystical mixed with an evangelical fervor to convert the unwashed. Watch any commercial for products whether they be presidents or Chop-)-Matics and there is Barnum's ghost sort of smirking. What is the difference between UFO Chasers and Adamski in a free market? I do think there is a reality much stranger than we can imagine behind the cartoon programming of either. The issue is giving people what they want without any sense of providing either directly or inadvertently, misinformation with not so much as waiting for a thank you. Cash or credit cards accepted.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • An obvious reason for the development of the domed or bell shaped saucers is ET ufology's need for interior space. If the Contactee is going to chat with his hosts in the officers' lounge over drinks and snacks, then there has to be room. Same with the portholes. How else to view the wonders of the solar system? Non-Contactee ET ufology needs room, too. You can't examine an abductee in a cockpit built for a pilot and navigator.

    Some Bling saucers look like beach front condos.



    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

  • Simply go on YouTube and enter keywords: Bell shaped UFO

    Many fake, maybe some real- but the image of the 'bell-shaped UFO' is alive and well.


    By Blogger AJB, at Tuesday, July 03, 2012  

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