UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

UFOs: Seeing the Light

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Michael Hesemann in his UFOs: The Secret History [Marlowe & Company, NY, 1998, Pages 420-421] provides this about a January 1975 UFO “landing” at the Army exercising grounds of Poligono de Toro de las Mardenas Reales near Navarra, Spain:

“A 4-man patrol noticed 2 bright lights on the northeastern side of the terrain … One seemed to land near a watchtower, whereas the other one rose up … and flew off in a northwesterly direction. The patrolmen radioed to [a] a sergeant on duty who was able to observe the second object through binoculars. He described it as ‘an inverted bowl of the size of a truck, with a cone of light coming out of it, shining down on the ground.’” [420]

This is an illustration of what was purposrtedly seen [Page 421]:


This is a circulated “photo” of a UFO allegedly sucking water from the Wanaque Reservoir sightings of 1966:


David Richie writes in his UFO book that “Suddenly the UFO rose to an altitude of several hundred feet and … directed a strong beam of light downward onto the ice covering the reservoir. The light flashed on and off intermittently for an hour, after which the object rapidly into the sky and was lost from sight.” [Page 231]

N.B. Our colleague, Anthony Bragalia thinks the Wanaque photo is authentic; I think it’s a fake.

We’ve covered light-beaming UFOs here several times, so I won’t retread that topic.

But I do wish to propose an hypothetical, and it’s this:

In the Psychiatric Dictionary, Fourth Edition [Edited by Hinsie/Campbell, Oxford University Press, London, 1970] under Essential Hypertension is this:

“A fully consummated aggressive attack has three phases. At first there is the preparation of the attack in phantasy, it’s planning nd its mental visualization … Second there is the vegetative preparation of the body for concentrated activity: changes in metabolism and blood distribution … Finally there is a neuromuscular phase … If the inhibition takes place … If the inhibition takes place as early as the psychological preparation for the aggressive attack, a migraine … develops.” [Page 359]

Oliver Sacks, in his book Hallucinations (covered here a short while back), relates how light becomes an intrusive neurological element in migraine headaches.

(Hildegard of Bingen, the 11th Century Christian mystic – also an earlier topic here – had visions of “strange flying objects and phantasies filled with light; she suffered, scholars say, from the “migraine aura.”)

In a review of Sacks’ book, in The New York Review of Books by Michael Greenberg [The Hallucinators Among Us, April 4, 2013] is this:

“People with normal eyesight who find themselves in situations of extreme visual monotony (such as prisoners in solitary … sailors on a long voyage, long-distance truckers, and high-altitude pilots) will often begin to hallucinate. Craving sensory input, regions of the brain become hyper-excited and spontaneously spark to action.” [Page 42]

So, did the sergeant in the Hesemann account see that light from the UFO or did he hallucinate the light? Or even the UFO as he described it.

(The patrolmen saw lights in the sky, setting up a mental premise for the sergeant perhaps. They didn’t see the “cone of light.”)

How many UFOs, or their attendant lights, are neurological?

(Photos of UFOs spewing lights, usually toward the ground, can’t be hallucinations, but authentic photos are rare or non-existent, the Wanaque photo notwithstanding.)

A neurological explanation for UFOs seems, to me, to be a viable, reasonable explanation for many UFO sightings, but can it explain all UFOs sightings and encounters?

What UFO sightings have elements that can’t be attributed to neurological malfunction or migraine?

That might be an area for study.



  • I don't think it's a either or proposition in terms of neurology versus the environment. Both are open systems, both inform each other. There is something unknown in the environment that impacts neurology and vice versa. Light is simply energy but it's not that simple. In this case it is atmospheric, whether it is manifested in anomalous experiential realities in so called hauntings ,or within a larger global scale, or physical scale that in both cases, influence neurology and has a transference effect of picking the pockets of the would be observer and turning these contents upside down according to what they anticipate.
    This can be measured if we remove the dichotomies we have placed in our own path. Someone once said you have to know a great deal to know very little. In ufology you have to know very little,to create a great deal of rubbish.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • This is just a variation of the ever popular, "It's all in their mind" UFO explanation.

    The fact that a purported UFO witness reports seeing a lighted object at a distance should not, ipso facto, be taken as evidence for a psychological, as opposed to a physical explanation for the witness' report.

    Back when I used to be an active investigator, one of the criteria I used (when it was available) to discriminate between whether the source of the report originated from some distance in front of the witness' eyes or from 5 inches behind them, was whether the sighted object obeyed the laws of optics.

    This can be determined if and when one or more of the witnesses uses some kind of optical device to view the object and the object's image in the device does what the laws of optics says it should.

    The optical device can be the witness' prescription glasses, a telescope, binoculars, or the view finder of a camera.

    In this case, one of the witnesses saw the object both with and without binoculars and reported greater visual detail, just as you would expect, if he were seeing a physically real object at a distance.

    By Blogger Larry, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • Larry:

    Did any seem to extrapolate from the observed light; that is, did the light evoke an imaginative creation?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • I touched on mechanisms causing visual agnosia in blog article awhile back as I was interested in Caravaca's distortion theory and curious about the trigger mechanism(s).

    The above mechanism was the high concentration of sodium chloride from a bolus infusion intravenously causing demylination of neurons in the amygdala causing a form of visual agnosia.

    The above is an extreme and rare occurance, but one does wonder if a brief increase in sodium chloride intake followed by a corresponding drop is one of the biological culprits in some of the UFO cases (as well as neurotransmitters flooding the system).

    Some sightings may indeed have a neuromolecular genesis when combined with other environmental factors.

    I hope to post future articles supporting the above hypothesis.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • I'm thinking, Tim, that people do see things....bona fide UFOs.

    And some have a neurological reaction that augments their experience, making it more than it really is.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • I do agree with you, Rich.

    Most people do see something, and it has nothing to do with a psycho-physiological component.

    It's the bizarre claims that may fit the neurological angle. The abduction phenomena comes to mind or the close encounter claims.

    I'm currently reviewing the Minot AFB, UFO-B-52 encounter, 1968. There are hints pointing to a psychological component. That does not explain the encounter in total, but it needs to be explored...whether people like it or not.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • I would remind Larry that all human experience is "all in the mind." We filter everything through our personal histories, the unique bank of objective data we have stored in our craniums, our strongly held beliefs about the universe (religious or otherwise), individual personalities (highly emotional or imaginative vs. dispassionately analytic), etc.

    We can view and experience the same phenomenon, yet see and interpret it differently to either a major or minor extent based on personal factors mentioned above. Therefore, in the strictest sense, all UFOs are in the mind.

    For me there's no question that UFO accounts come from a wide variety of causative events, most with mundane explanations (some of which are physiological/psychological), with only the smallest fraction being true unknowns.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • Larry, it's ironic that you use the phrase "ipso facto" because your dismissal of phychological factors is a colossal non sequitur.

    Everyone agrees there are lights in the sky. No one claims this is "evidence" there are no lights in the sky.


    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, August 17, 2013  

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