UFO Conjectures

Sunday, January 26, 2014

UFOs: The Fascinating Eras

Copyright 2014, InterAmerica, Inc.

UFOs, as an evanescent phenomenon or a serious phenomenon, remain for some of us an intriguing mystery.

I’ve divided, for myself, the phenomenon into to arbitrary categories that hold my interest.

UFO sightings from ancient times, up into the 1800s – best illuminated in the Aubeck/Vallee collection, Wonders in the Sky [Jeremy p.Tarcher/Penguin, NY, 2009] – is a compendium that enlightens the mystery, the phenomenon, in a way that isn’t so much scientific but mystical, for me.

The events noted from various sources/collections has to create, for inquisitive minds, something worthy of rumination. For instance, take this event from 1752:

A man named “Yaska” reportedly met a stranger dressed in white who took him to a flying cauldron. He believed he visited another world, and then returned to Earth. [Page 257]

The book’s litany of such items takes us to, without really going further, to the Airship wave of the 1890s, which continued into the early 1900s.

The Airship sightings, no matter how interpreted, can be viewed with a kind of journalistic awe, they are so rife with imaginative content.

Then, from 1947 into the 1960s, flying saucer and UFO reports provide the core of the sci-fi-like aspect of the phenomenon.

We have the iconic Kenneth Arnold/Mt. Rainier sighting of 1947 and a plethora of other sightings (Roswell excluded) that stir one’s imagination.

These include such sightings as the Chiles-Whitted observation, the Washington D.C, radar intrusions, plus dozens of others, supplemented by the contactee tales, which have been well accounted in Nick Redfern’s book, Contactees.

In that period are the odd encounters, mostly in Europe and South America, such as the Lotti/Italy event and the Petare, Venezuela episode of 1954, but also a few in the States as Flatwoods and the Kelly/Hopkinsville confrontation of 1955.

These “encounters” with strange creatures, small and large, invite queries for those who want to know just exactly what was going on.
There is the Villas-Boas “abduction” event and the 1961 Betty/Barney Hill kidnapping, the 1964 Socorro incident plus the farcical 1966 “swamp gas” sighting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that besmirched UFO accounts, from then on out, because the investigator used an explanation that was errant on its face but stuck with the public/media mind.

No many important sightings until the 1975 Travis Walton experience, which created the alien abduction scenario one last time.
(Although the 1978 resurrected Roswell story took hold of the ufological imagination, that matter isn’t grist for me and others who see something fundamentally profound in the phenomenon itself, which has nothing to do with extraterrestrial visitations.)

Despite a few somewhat significant UFO sightings after 1975 (Phoenix, Stephenville, and O’Hare), the UFO phenomenon has settled into a backwater of probative inquiry by news media and saner elements of society.

The phenomenon has become anthropological or archaeological fodder for those, like myself, who still find the topic interesting.

UFOs have had their heyday, and the subject is old-hat now, and not worthy of time or money, except by the vestigial remnants of UFO aficionados who have little else on their existent plates.



  • Here's more fodder for your psychological / anthropological musing from the writings my late father:

    Let me relate an incident which happened in my personal life that could possibly be related to the abduction phenomena. I was working for the EI duPont de Nemours Co. at the Atomic Energy Commission's Savannah River Plant near Aiken, SC as an Instrument Shift Engineer at the 105-P nuclear reactor facility when this happened in April of 1954.

    [N.B.: The position required a Q clearance.]

    I was married and had three small sons, [names redacted].

    At the time we had bought a piece of land near the intersection of county highways 37 and 39 in Barnwell County, SC just west of Springfield and were living in a house trailer at the site of a house which had burned down. The trailer was crowded and in an effort to expand the living space, I had started to build a small house about 20'X40' next to the trailer. The foundation and sub-floor was finished but the upper part had not yet been completed.

    I was working second shift at the plant at the time from 3pm to 11 pm. I got home after 12 midnight. My wife, [name redacted], was upset because there was a strange smell present in the trailer similar to rotten oranges and she thought it was the Freon refrigerant leaking out of the refrigerator. She insisted that we move the refrigerator out of the trailer on to the floor of the yet unfinished house. The refrigerator was not a small trailer unit but a full size 14 or 15 cubic foot model and was very heavy. I didn't like the idea of moving it but she insisted. Well, we got it moved and it began to sprinkle rain soon after we got it moved. We finally got to bed very late.

    Later that night [my wife] woke up and looked toward the west end of the trailer where the children slept and saw an unbelievable sight! There floating in the air about five feet off the floor was a "thing" that glowed with sort of a luminous color about the brightness of the moon and underneath looked like a jellyfish. The central part was about 6" in diameter and there were tentacles hanging down below of a greenish hue, the thickness of a pencil and moving in the air with a scintillating motion. She called my name trying to wake me up but I didn't wake up so she turned towards me (on her right) and there curled around my neck was another of these things! She said "Oh my God" and pulled the cover over her head. She felt a flash of intense heat beginning at her feet and traveling up to her head when she blacked out. She was unconscious until we both woke up the next morning! I slept through the whole thing.

    She told me about what had happened and it sounded incredible to me. She was wearing a nylon hair net when it happened. The next morning the hair net was found to have melted and was matted into her hair. I had to pick it out a piece at a time! Now nylon begins to melt at about 470°F and the bits of hair net showed that they had been at a much higher temperature than the minimum melting temperature because of the tiny size of the droplets of nylon. The hair net appears to have exploded in an extreme burst of heat. We could not think of anything that could account for the heat flash and unconsciousness. We kept this to ourselves and didn't tell anyone about it. Several times later we smelled the same odd smell but never had any indication of a re-occurrence of a similar kind of incident and never saw the "things" again. Now I have no proof that what [my wife] saw is connected with the abduction phenomenon, but what she saw was different to say the least.


    Psychological issues or Anthropological memetics don't melt nylon. I would love to hear your 'musings' on this.

    By Blogger gishzida, at Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

  • Of course, gishzida, there are bona fide UFO experiences.

    But they exist in the past and we have no events, such as that which you have presented, happening today, so...

    We have to look back at UFO episodes as if they are archaeological.

    (Do you people now how to read? My posting and past postings make my position rather clear, for the literate.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

  • Apparently I have misunderstood your take on things... but I have only recently discovered this blog so am unfamiliar with your "position".

    At what point does the past differ from "recently"? 5 years 10 years? 20 years?

    In the 1960s my father did a whole investigation of a landing site in Death Valley.

    I know that he was chasing "lights in the desert" and finding "burn spots" in the 1980s and early 90s... Some of the lights appeared to have emerged from the ground. When he began to mark the spots the activity went away.

    The problem may be more that the current crop of [alleged] UFO researchers or alleged "contactees" are spinning their own "make money fast" schemes rather than trying to "do science" or be truthful.

    My father placed no trust in MUFON or some of the other organizations that allegedly are "legitimate". He felt they had a very specific agenda / theory [the ET Hypothesis] and refused to actually look at anything which did not match their agenda.

    By Blogger gishzida, at Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

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