UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Professor rambles on about Wanaque's 1966 UFO sightings

Michael Swords, "The Professor," has added two more postings about the 1966 Wanaque UFO sightings to his blog, The Big Study.


He has a fourth posting in the works.

The Professor provides a rather complete run-down about what happened in 1966 at Wanaque, and had this to say about the beam-ray photo we've been interested in:

"Augie Roberts again did his thing, showing up with a photo [the infamous one with a fuzzy domed disk radiating a spreading lightbeam downward] and alluded that this was the Wanaque object. People bought it, and the story was printed. It is good to remind oneself that the original source for the "beam" story was a misquoted engineer, Fred Stein, who clearly debunked the misquote. Such matters would of course make little difference to Roberts.

FLYING SAUCER REVIEW was next with its April 1966 issue. In its World UFO Roundup pages, a fellow from Florida sent the newsclipping from the Newark Evening News of January 12th, and FSR transcribed it. This clipping could actually have been written by one of the witnesses as two different newsmen from east of Wanaque supposedly had observations. The information in this news story seems pretty good, so that FSR didn't misinform its readers much. However, the "bolt of light" directed out of the object towards the water is repeated. {I am going through these "references" because they are opening my eyes a bit as to how the UFO community's newsletters themselves embed bad information which will then stick in people's heads. In this case, unless you read, and believe, the NICAP work, you will come away thinking that this BOL beamed energy at the reservoir and burnt a hole in the ice. THAT, in turn might build up in your mind some odd theories about BOLs or UFOs.}."

Maybe he'll provide the source of the infamous photo in his next and last posting.

The Professor offers a  folksy patina for his blog postings -- after all, he is one of the UFO geezers -- and we like it.

It terminates any idea that he's dealing with a profound, academic matter.

While we don't give a fig about the Wanaque machinations, we are interested in that photo and hope it is addressed in a way that finalizes its authenticity, or lack of same.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

This is Your [UFO} Life

The February 25th, 2013 New Yorker has a review of Adam Phillip's latest book, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life.


The New Yorker's Joan Acocella offered the review [This is Your Life, Page 77 ff.]

I enjoyed the review because Mr. Phillips is a psychoanalyst and defender of Freud.


In the review, a favorable one (while Amazon customer reviews were a mixed bag), Ms. Acocella writes that Mr. "Phillips addresses most feelingly ... our wish to be understood."

"We need understanding sometimes, not every time. If we insist on getting it all the time ... "how could we ever be anything other than permanently enraged.?"

What does this have to do with UFOs? Nothing.

But it does have to do with some UFO buffs who frequent UFO blogs, forums, and web-sites. hoping to impart their assumed knowledge but who, in the absence of understanding -- because they've been obscure, arcane, or just ignorant -- get irate or worse.

The UFO community is rife with non-understanding, and the ruffians who get angry when their proffered expertise is ignored by others.

Many of you saw that here recently.

And one can find it readily at Kevin Randle's blog, UFO UpDates and other popular UFO sites on the internet.

I suggest that those who lurk and visit this blog but are incensed that they've been given short shrift because I, and others, think their thoughts stink, get their hands on the book or, at least, The New Yorker review.

That may go a slight way toward cleansing UFO commentary of the animus that is almost ubiquitous.


Wanaque from The Professor (Michael Swords)

Michael Swords has provided, at The Big Study, his take on the 1966 Wanaque UFO sighting(s):


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Extraterrestrial Contact?

Bruce Duensing has discovered and provided a report from Russia's Pravda which is more than interesting.


Thank you, Bruce.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Heflin Photos: Pro or Con

Dominick, a regular here, was irked by my mention that the Heflin UFO photos were hoaxed.

Here are two of the photos:



Dominick wrote this comment in my CIA/UFO posting, previous to this one:

"Rich, you can't just say that you are "in the hoax camp" without dealing with the photo-analysis that was done in JSE 2000 article. Deal with the finding of particulate matter in the photos. Deal with the difficulty of shooting a toy train wheel without confederates. Deal with the hazing and blueing which suggests strongly that the object filmed was a considerable distance from the camera. Deal with the smoke-ring photo...why fake it at all? No one, including Tony, has effectively dealt with any of this. Now unless we actually deal with these issues, we can't in good debate just simply say (and be taken seriously) that we are "in the hoax camp."

BTW, there is one "serious analyist" who does think that the Heflin photos are of some real craft in the sky. Me. I did not start that way. But an editor at the Orange County Register who knew of my interest in UFOs(and where I had previously written an economic policy piece) asked me do an OP/Ed on the Heflin photos back in 2009. And when I dug into the case, and especially into the photoanalysis, I became reasonably convinced that the photos were of some distant craft of the dimensions estimated by Heflin. (That Op/Ed appeared in the OCR on November 8, 2009). Was it ET? Probably not. But I'm reasonably convinced that it was a real flying object and that Heflin did not and, indeed, could not have faked it. And I'll stand by that until someone, anyone, deals effectively with the issues raised above." 

The Heflin photos have been discussed many times in the UFO community and on the internet.

One popular analysis is this one by Ann Druffel:


This is Richard Hall's exquisite take:


And here is Anthony Bragalia's observation about Heflin's photos (and a few other "famous" UFO images):


Again, from the copies of the photos, one can make analyses. The original Polaroid's are not needed to create a judicious, sensible analysis.

Of course, having the originals in hand would allow for additional information, but enough is provided by the copies for an adequate evaluation.

The toy-train wheel explanation makes sense to me, but Dominick isn't so moved by that determination.

And the smoke-ring photo baffles. Why was it created as a contrivance or what did it represent if it was an authentic image of the craft departing?

I see the apparent dust-raising below the craft in Image One above, but it isn't exactly below the object.

And like the Lee Harvey Oswald plaint about how many shots could he get off in the few seconds during which JFK was shot, how was Mr. Heflin able to get so many shots (four), using a Polaroid camera, before the UFO departed?

(This is the same question that presents itself about the famous Trent/McMinnville photos.)

The Heflin photos, like almost everything else UFO-related, creates controversy, and open-ended interpretations.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The CIA’s UFO Events

In The Lawless State: The Crimes of the U.S. Intelligence Agencies by Morton Halperin, Jerry Berman, Robert Borosage, and Christine Marwick [Penguin Books, NY 1976] on page 51, the heading is Drug Testing and Behavior Modification, the authors recount how “the CIA began to develop a defensive program of drug testing in the late 1940s and early 1950s, which turned into behavior modification experiments on unsuspecting individuals.”

Nick Redfern has researched this activity in books (The NASA Conspiracies. The Pyramids and the Pentagon, Final Events, Contactees, Men in Black) and online (The Mysterious Universe. NickRedfern.com, et cetera).

There is a plethora of information one can find by Google searches.

I’ve provided the testimony of CIA operative Bosco Nedelcovic who recounted the details of such experimentation which is the 1957 Villas Boas incident in Brazil.

And one might assume that the Betty and Barney Hill “abduction” was a military/CIA operation, as was the Pascagoula case.

The Scoriton Affair in England was, I’ve conjectured, a CIA/military invention, and I think Mr. Redfern believes that Rendlesham was also.

There are other UFO incidents that smack of contrivance or military/CIA interference: The Cash-Landrum case, the Falcon Lake episode, the Phoenix lights scenario, the 1958 Loch Raven Dam sighting/encounter, et cetera.

Nick Redfern suggests that some contactee tales were inspired by military of CIA machinations.

The Pentacle memo, referenced here the other day, inspired Jacques Vallee to extrapolate the kinds of behavior modification that The Lawless State book recounts.

That there have been bona fide and real UFO/flying saucer encounters and sightings since ancient times and well into the 1940s/50s up to the present time is without question.

It then becomes incumbent upon UFO buffs to discern which UFO report is meaningful as a profound result of a weird phenomenon and which is, possibly, a staged event that is grist for those who are more concerned about covert government activities than those who are enchanted by UFOs.

What we know, pretty much: Kenneth Arnold saw something strange near Mount Rainier in 1947, something odd (sociologically or militaristically) happened near Roswell in 1947, something(s) odd flew over Washington D.C in 1952, military installations have been subject to UFO or contrived CIA probing (events that need clarification), weird encounters (hallucinatory events) have been rife in Europe, South America, and many U.S. venues, and sub rosa groups inside government supported laboratories (Battelle, Sandia, et al.) and agencies (NSA, CIA, Army Intelligence, NASA, et cetera) or universities (MIT, the Naval Academy, Stanford, et al.) exist and have studied or are studying the UFO phenomenon.

We also know or think we know that some UFO photographs thought to be authentic are hoaxes: the Trent Photos, The Rhodes photo, the Heflin photos, and the ballyhooed Wanaque beam photo.

The UFO topic is a carnival or potpourri of sightings and events that are egregiously difficult to decipher, and deciphering has been left to ignorant or inept UFO aficionados who expend what little moronic intelligence they have trying to convince others that what they don’t know is the UFO truth.

The UFO truth is a deeply embedded truth, of something mentally devious or something endemic to the human condition and history that, like the existence of God, is not meant to be solved but is meant to irk the few humans who find the phenomenon to be worthy of time and effort.

UFOs are a curiosity, nothing more, in practical terms.

Pursuing the meaning or explanation of UFOs should not be encased in behavior that is serious or life-altering.

UFOs are only worthy of a hobby status, and not a hobby status that increases one’s status in life.

It’s a foolishness that invites derision from normal individuals and those connected to the UFO subject should take into account that spending time or money on UFOs is a pathology that would better be shunned, if only to maintain a semblance of sanity I na world that is intrinsically insane.