UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Field Guide to….

Extraterrestrials: A complete overview of alien lifeforms – based on actual accounts and sightings by Patrick Huyghe, Illustrated by Harry Trumbore [Avon Books, NY, 1996].


This 136 page book, by the Anomalist creator, is one of my favorites pieces of UFO literature.

It provides pithy UFO accounts (by Huyghe) and intriguing interpretive illustrations (by Trumbore) of creatures or things reported by persons who say they’ve had a UFO or flying saucer encounter.

Classic cases are provided, along with little-known or obscure UFO cases.

This one on Page 110 is particularly interesting, to me:

In July 1951, a man named Fred Reagan [from Gordon Creighton’s, Healing from UFOs in Flying Saucer Review magazine, Vol. 15, No. 5, 1969, pp.20-21] was flying a small plane when, he said, his light aircraft was struck by a lozenge-shaped UFO. [Since this happened in 1951, the reference should be to a flying saucer, I think.]

As the plane plummeted to Earth, Reagan felt he was being drawn upward by a “sticky, clinging force.”

He found himself inside the UFO [flying saucer], in the presence of small glistening beings, about three feet tall and looking like “huge stalks of metallic asparagus.”

The beings spoke to him in English – the episode occurred in The United States – and apologized for the accident.

They gave him a medical examination and found cancer, which they removed for the trouble they had caused him.

The beings then deposited him, without a bruise, in a farmer’s field near the wreckage of his airplane, which was embedded six feet into the ground.

Less than a year later, in May 1952, Reagan died at the Georgia State Asylum for the Insane, a news report writing that his death was the result of “degeneration of the brain tissue due to extreme atomic radiation.”

[This account, reiterated by Mr. Huyghe from the Creighton article, sat for a decade in the files of Flying Saucer Review; the reason for its prolonged archival situation is not explained.]

There are several intriguing things in this account:

The beings (and their craft), of course.

Their appearance, in particular.

The diagnosis of cancer by them, and its alleged cure.

The remarkable status of Mr. Reagan after his airplane’s crash.

The death of Mr. Reagan, by neurodegeneration of the brain, attributed to atomic radiation.

Is this an authentic event, reported as such by Mr. Reagan in 1951, or is it a confabulation by Mr. Creighton for his FSR article?

Mr. Creighton was a respected and honored member of the British Foreign Service, at one time, and a most credible UFO researcher according to the sources I accessed, so a bogus story by him seems unlikely.

Were the newspaper and media accounts of Mr. Reagan’s story vetted thoroughly at the time (1951-1952)?

We cannot know for sure, now, but let’s assume they were accurate or fairly so.

What really happened to Mr. Reagan and his piper cub airplane? (Any photos of either?)

Was the death certificate seen by others (reporters or family)?

Was the atomic radiation of Mr. Reagan’s brain intuited by him (for the UFO diagnosis of cancer and his account)?

(Paresthesia is a tingling sensation that some people feel when parts of their body are afflicted; neurodegeneration being an extreme form of paresthesia.)

Did Mr. Reagan have a biophysically induced hallucination, of the kind that Oliver Sacks delineates in his book, Hallucinations?

Did this cause Mr. Reagan to black out, losing control of his plane, something like that of Thomas Mantell?

Or did Mr. Reagan really encounter asparagus-like, metallic beings, who cured his cancer ( or perhaps caused his brain illness)?

Or is the whole episode a wish-fulfillment by Mr. Reagan; an hallucinated cure for a disease that he knew, somehow, he had?

[Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.]



  • To rescued by extraterrestrials with an advanced science that could cure his cancer while fatally poisoning him with their radiation? Makes perfect sense if you are mentally ill. Frankly this is a nonsensical scenario wrought from a science fiction pulp domain of a fevered dream, a wacky NDE made meaningful only by repetition.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • A cynical view BD?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • I had or have had a major cancer and went through one year of torturous cure which placed as they say, in remission. Anyone with the technological wherewithal to cure cancer in what is an organism of another species that would take extremely refined knowledge of same which would also mandate they would have to know radiation is poisonous to us, if anything, one glance at Hiroshima would do unless they were either incredibly stupid, or non existent. You can meddle with natures way, but it has to be based on something. So if we say, well they could have acquired this knowledge, why were they so miserly as to pick one example, especially plucked from a catastrophic descent of an airplane? I think this all about the poor fellow thinking or more accurately thinking he was special in some way, which points to delusion, which are as melodramatic as they are sort of sadly pathetic if one has some empathy for "special cases" .

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • But don't we have an "effect and cause" here....(not a cause and effect)?

    I think the story is a dynamic example of a neurological (organic) hallucination.

    Of course, Mr. Reagan didn't have an alien encounter. The tale is unique in the literature. fictive or actual.

    What was the etiology of the atomic radiation? A treatment earlier fro Mr. Reagan?

    Or like the Cash-Landrum trio, the result of contact with atomic substances?

    The story bristles with queer details: the metallic asparagus beings especially.

    Too bad, we do't have nor can we get more about the event or Mr. Reagan.

    That would open the door to other explanations for some UFO encounters, perhaps.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • I have to agree, though the premise of the account is interesting, it tends to border on fantasy.

    I've recently come across a peer reviewed article linking the use of "metaphors" in conjunction with close encounters/alien abductions. Simply, the abductee uses the "UFO" or alien presence as a metaphor when attempting to describe a traumatic event. I'll soon post it on my blog.

    Could the alien encounter provided Mr. Reagan with a metaphor to deal with a cancer and subsequent treatments...a psychological form of self-expression or mental adaptation?

    You've already touched on the key questions that have remained, and probably will remain, unanswered.

    Perhaps the key may lie in his occupation or past occupations as far as exposure to a radiation source...if that info is available.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • It does vaguely resemble a strange NDE, as some are not all roses, and can be just as terrifying as well, His reporting being pulled upward from the plane and taken to a curative environment, albeit an alien one, and being returned to life from what what would have been his own death in the plane does have equally vague correspondences. If we remove the aliens, and look simply at the narrative, this may or may not be a case of NDE. These accounts are always poorly reported at face value, either way.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • Rich, I was doing a search on Fred Reagan and found that the guy never existed...at least from this source from a Jerome Clark book:

    "Strange Skies: Pilot Encounters with UFOs"

    The story was made up by the writer(s) of Action Magazine who first published this fantasy...and it appears to be just that...intentional fantasy.

    At least that's Clark's take and others.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • Well, that's disturbing Tim...

    Creighton taking it as real, and Patrick Huyghe as well.

    Is there no accurate UFO reportage, anywhere?

    No wonder Zoam Chomsky is so doggedly skeptical.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • My first comment of "made meaningful only by repetition." seems to be verified by Tim,which which then seems to go back a few postings to the subject of intentional fictions which are repeated ad nauseum to the point of being institutionalised by "ufology"

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • It would explain why the story was and remains obscure.

    Move along folks, nothing to see here...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • However...

    As a fiction it's not bad.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • And looking at Clark's account, he, as usual, peppers his thesis that the story is fake, with possibly [fake], appears to be [fake], et cetera.

    Yes, the story is fictive-like, but Clark doesn't really refute it as an actual witness report, which may not be real, but as a report is real.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • How do you define real? A real fictive report or a report as a report can be considered real, even if the content is fictive? Or are you saying until it is proven otherwise, it remains ambiguous but a report none the less? You lost me.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • I was on my way out the door to dinner and rushed my comment.

    (That's my story -- real story -- and I'm sticking to it.)

    I was trying to say that Clark didn't refute anything -- as one can see by reading his account online.

    The report, as given by Reagan, could be real, as he understood it, but not real in actuality; an hallucination.

    It was a true rendering of what he think happened.

    But the whole story could be a fabric of his mind, which is how I understand the account.

    (If someone made up the story, it's imaginative, and interesting in its own way.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • In order for the story to have any hint of realism, Fred Reagan had to have been real, otherwise it's merely concocted fiction.

    Clark referenced T. Scott Crain and Kurt Glemser as doing an extensive background search for Fred Reagan via Georgia's Vital Records Unit. No Fred Reagan fitting the history to be found.

    "appears to be the ramblings of a ghost writer's vivid imagination."

    Clark's or Crain's quote?

    I read it to be that Clark seemed somewhat satisfied that the Reagan story was purely made up.

    Until we have proof that there was a real Fred Reagan, should we not view the story as Clark, Crain and Glemser believes it to be...fantasy?

    Rich, its done, move on to the next.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • When I read it "appears to be...," I'm offput.

    Sure the story may be apocryphal, or totally bogus, but that hasn't been proven exactly.

    The story is ripe with elements worth discussion.

    But if you insist, Tim, that I should move on, I'll consider doing so.

    I wouldn't want to screw up your...er, my blog.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • The only gleaning I get from fiction is that it demonstrates a truth in whatever manner. And the context from which this fiction is drawn in it's time is illustrative in a manner that goes beyond the tale itself, meaning the time and place it was written.The pulp aspect seemed palatable. The story's resemblance to an NDE episode came to me after stripping the aliens away, which is a sort of coincidence, considering there are reports of witnesses seeing their dead relations in a close encounter. I think the unknown truth remains stranger than any fiction.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • LOL...Of course its your blog and I'm merely a simple guest.

    Yet, its simple logic, no real Fred Reagan, no real story. That's not to mean that it's not a nice story.

    Am I off base with the above?

    I merely interpret Clark's writings/meanings differently...

    I know that he wrote something on Updates awhile back so I'll go and decipher what I can.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • You know I'm not a Clark fan. He's often a condescending fool.

    His writings bore me.

    Now Ron Story -- that's a writer and editor, as is Patrick Huyghe.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • OT,RRRGroup-:

    ...I doubt that your fascinating blog ever generated such a meltdown as this (which I intend as a complement, BTW):


    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • KP:

    I, too, was stunned by Kevin's redipping into the Mogul farce, taking a few skeptics I admire with him down that moribund trail.

    I don't get it.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • No Fred Reagan in the Georgia death register for 1950-1954.

    No mention of Fred Reagan in national newspapers in 1950-1954.

    There was a Fred Reagan in the Atlanta, Georgia phone book 1950-1951. In 1950 a student; in 1951 a salesman for Interstate Roofing and Siding, living at r355 Ptree NE.

    Absent the original news clipping, would seem to be another of those echo chamber stories reported ad infinitum without checking if original sources really existed.

    By Blogger The Lost Guide, at Wednesday, August 14, 2013  

  • Now that we are on Mogul (marvellous topic, don't you think?) could this guy Reagan have got his plane entangled with a huge Mogul balloon array, and confused it with a UFO?

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, August 14, 2013  

  • Nice work, Tim.

    Another case for UFO Retraction Index!

    (I'll keep working on the title.)

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, August 18, 2013  

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