UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

UFO Elaborations

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

Lance Moody’s recent uncovering of extrapolations by Delbert Newhouse in his late accounts of what transpired during and after his filming of “objects” in Utah in 1952 (the Tremonton film) brings to mind that most initial flying saucer and/or UFO sightings end up being elaborated upon by the originators of such sightings/reports.

I’m exempting Lonnie Zamora whose 1964 Socorro sighting remained fixed and steady right up to his death.

But most other UFO incidents are made elaborate, after the fact, and a 2013 account of the December 1980 Rendlesham episode, recently aired by Destination America’s Alien Mysteries program, indicated, for me, that psychological mechanisms are at work in most UFO accounts.

There are a number of psychiatric and psychological designations that can be applied to the structure of the elaborations made by UFO witnesses: secondary elaboration, displacement, et cetera.

But one doesn’t need to resort to psychiatric etiologies to determine that persons build upon their sightings as time goes along.

These aren’t confabulations but, rather, elaborations, that the UFO witness adds, piecemeal, to flesh out what was a semi-traumatic event for them.

In the aired Rendlesham case, Jim Penniston and John Burroughs did the heavy lifting of the British incident, abetted by Nick Pope, for whom the sighting rivals the 1947 Roswell incident in New Mexico.
In the broadcast, it becomes clear, in this 2013 rendering, that hypnosis fed and extended the incident from its original telling to what has now become an elaborate tale of time traveling, abduction, and government/military cover-up and meddling.

Burroughs and Penniston have come to believe that what they experienced is now determined to be, at least as far as Penniston is concerned, a possible visitation by our descendants from the future.

(The possibility would explain the vast incursions of UFOs that doom the idea of interplanetary visitations to this speck in the Universe.)

However, once hypnosis is used in the exploration of mental memory, one has to throw out the offerings that come forth: they are beleaguered by disconnected memories and extraneous mental detritus, which is why Freud and Psychoanalysis abandoned the procedure early on for that psychological practice.

In the Newhouse/Tremonton elaborations one can determine that a need to fortify a singular event was endemic to Delbert Newhouse’s desire to provide a strident legacy that didn’t happen once his film was dismissed as probably birds in the sky.

The same kind of need for “fame” and/or a significant legacy seems to have afflicted many of the Roswell citizens, who were or are aging without anything notable to add to their meager lives and Roswell was and is a vehicle which has allowed some notability.

Roswell elaborations are legion, and mostly unraveled or unraveling as time has gone by and UFO investigators actually pursue the “facts” in each teller’s tale.

The first flying disk notable, Kenneth Arnold, himself, resorted to building upon his iconic sighting, he abetted by Ray Palmer and also a need to have a worthwhile legacy.

The Betty Hill and Travis Walton elaborations, whether true or not, came much after the initial accounts and, while not outright lies, like that of George Adamski and others, are accretions that disrupt the original story they provided.

Each UFO case needs a psychological evaluation to determine why the stories have been built upon or elaborated.

Yet, that takes us away from the UFO phenomenon and into the personalities of UFO lore, not addressing the enigma itself – a waste of time and effort if one only wants to know what UFOs are or may be.

Nonetheless, it’s an effort worthy of psychological, neurological, and sociological study should one be so inclined.

I only note it here as the Rendlesham program was so blatantly about elaboration and not UFOs, per se, that it irked to see the phenomenon flummoxed by such a charade.



  • Given human nature, extrapolations of UFO accounts are probably inevitable. That said, however, they need not doom a rational analysis OF THE ORIGINAL ACCOUNT AND EVENT. There are two possibilities here. One, simply ignore later extrapolations and ONLY deal with original accounts. And two, weigh the seriousness of the extrapolation. If I originally report one saucer and later "remember" 4--with domes--that's serious and likely reason for disqualification. On the other hand, if I later remember that there were some high clouds in the sky, who cares?

    In this regard, I'm curious about the so-called Newhouse extrapolations. I've seen most of the interviews and read most of the accounts. What, Lance and Rich, are the nature of the alleged Newhouse embellishments and are they serious enough to cast doubt on his filmstrip and the Navy speed measurements?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, December 12, 2013  

  • Dominck:

    Go to Kevin Randle's blog...he's provided his own elaboration of the Newhouse situation, to correct the record.

    It's a nicely done account of the Film and Newhouse.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 12, 2013  

  • I was pleased to see Kevin's change of mind in this case. I think it speaks well of his reasonable approach to this stuff.

    Briefly Dominick, without embellishment, Newhouse's case is just as his film---tiny white dots in the sky.


    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, December 12, 2013  

  • Totally disagree. Given what I have said above, there are no serious embellishments in the Newhouse story that would allow an honest analyist to dismiss this case as simply "tiny white dots in the sky". Facts: multiple witness sighting by a more than qualified observer with supporting motion picture film; hundreds of hours of serious military analysis that does not support birds or ballons; speed analysis under various assumptions that appears to rule out conventional explanations.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Friday, December 13, 2013  

  • Dominick,

    If that comforts you, then have at it. Apparently you didn't read the discussion over at Kevin's site...or you didn't understand it.


    By Blogger Lance, at Friday, December 13, 2013  

  • Lance, give me a break. You must be fairly new to all of this. Some of us have been around this subject (and this case) for decades and simply don't find anything in Kevin's summary (excellent though it is) that is startling or that in any way totally discredits Newhouse's observations or the speed analysis by the military analyists. It's interesting. We talk about "embellishments" in UFO cases over time (and that happpens) but the really interesting phenomenon (for me) is the increasing skepticism (by the newbies) as we move away in time from original reports and analysis. The fact remains that Newhouse described objects with structure, not dots in the sky, and the hundreds of hours of military analysis done at the time(not the summary judgments by the Robertson Panel or Condon)calculated speeds that were not consistent with birds or baloons. (BTW, there are many similar film strips of similar "dots", mostly from Mexico, in the last 20 years). Space ships? I really doubt it. But something interesting and yet to be adequately explained...

    By Blogger Dominick, at Friday, December 13, 2013  

  • Well, I know Rich doesn't want to get into nuts and bolts details but your reply shows a complete lack of knowledge about anything related to this case.

    For instance, the supposed structure claim didn't happen in 1952--it isn't in the original reports. We first hear that in a pro UFO movie in 1956! I know that UFO believers have a low tolerance for logic but this kind of flawed and biased understanding of what might be evidence is why UFO's are completely ignored by science.

    Again, I know that it comforts you to believe but don't try to preach to the unconverted if you don't even know the verses.


    By Blogger Lance, at Friday, December 13, 2013  

  • This seems cynical but I suspect that Burroughs and Penniston later embellished their account to make money - ufo conferences, interviews, tv docs, maybe a book. I think they did what Whitley Streiber did....give the ufology audience more of what they want. And, like Streiber, there was a kernel of truth to the experiences but then they were creatively enhanced.

    I do think something happened to Penniston and Burroughs and several others there. Whether it was non-human or a military psyops should be questioned by the investigators that have dipped in and out of the Rendlesham affair for years now.

    It's more than a little fishie to me that these ufos showed up more than once at an active military base and got up close and personal with the servicemen. That, to me, seems like psi-ops.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • Susan:

    Nick Redfern and I agree with you.

    It smacks of a psychological test or experiment.

    And I do think the guys are hoping to capitalize on the "event."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • After Adamski was exposed as a fraud (see Jim Mosley's great expose), the believers still insisted that his first encounter was real.

    Rendlesham supporters capitalize on confusion to promote the case, minimizing the huge red flags that indicate the case is MUCH less than the usual breathless believer descriptions.

    Ian Ridpath has systematically dismantled the case and I have not seen any credible response to the points he raises.


    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • And I saw another show last night (Alien Files) from 2012.

    The guys were speaking with impunity and sounded like con-men foisting a magic elixir on viewers.

    Why Nick Pope and others keep promoting Rendlesham as a major UFO event/sighting baffles.

    Do they think that all of us are that stupid? (Apparently they do)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

Post a Comment

<< Home