UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

If UFOs are ephemeral or neurological, how does one explain this?

Stephen Michalak Falcon Lake, Manitoba 1967
Sonny Desvergers West Palm Beach, Florida 1952

Or this from http://science.howstuffworks.com/space/aliens-ufos/ufo-burn.htm

During the great sighting outbreak of early November 1957, a number of close encounters had a disturbing consequence: burns and related injuries to witnesses. One of the most dramatic occurrences took place at an army base at Itaipu along Brazil's Atlantic coast. At 2 A.M. on November 4 two guards saw a luminous orange disc coming in over the ocean at a low altitude and an alarming rate of speed. As it passed above the soldiers, the disc came to an instant stop.

The two witnesses suddenly felt a wave of heat and a horrifying sensation as if they had burst into flame. Their screams brought other soldiers stumbling out of their barracks just in time to see the UFO streak away. At that moment the fort's entire electrical system failed. Amid great secrecy the two men were rushed to a military hospital and treated during the next few weeks for first-and second-degree burns to ten percent of their bodies.

But there were other burn cases as well. In the afternoon of the same day as the Itaipu incident, the engines of several cars along a rural highway near Orogrande, New Mexico, ceased to function as an egg-shaped object maneuvered close by. A witness who stood particularly close to it contracted a "sunburn." In the early morning hours of November 6, outside Merom, Indiana, a hovering UFO, which bathed his farm in light, also seriously burned René Gilham's face. He ended up spending two days in the hospital.

At around 1:30 A.M. on November 10 a Madison, Ohio, woman saw an acorn-shaped UFO hovering just behind her garage. She watched it for half an hour. In the days afterward she developed a body rash and vision problems that her doctor believed suggested radiation poisoning.



  • That's exactly it Rich. These cases are mind boggling and the skeptics run a mile from this kind of stuff (focusing instead on easy targets like the Roswell circus and MJ-12). The psycho-sociological school - and I agree with them on most things, and their work is invaluable - likewise run a mile from these kind of cases. And no I don't think it has anything to do with ET. I don't pretend to know what is going on.

    The journalist Frank Edwards compiled a number of cases like this, and one has to look at the physical trace/effects phenomena as a whole (burned grass and the like). The Falcon Lake case is one of the most important in ufology and deserves far more attention.

    Ted Phillips's work on physical cases as a whole is invaluable here. Physicist Peter Sturrock's workshops, and the subsequent reports/essays with other contributors (much of it collected in the landmark 'The UFO Enigma' that he edited) did much to put UFOs on a physical scientific footing, one that would meet academic and scholarly credibility and requirements, by emphasizing the physical aspects. Sturrock like Hynek always understood the central importance of emphasizing the 'physical' side of ufology (not the same as reducing it to scientific materialist principles).

    It's why a case like Socorro remains baffling and important despite the attempts to explain it away.

    By Blogger Lawrence, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • Fort Itaipu was a hoax, a story probably based on the US Levelland sightings a few days earlier.

    A few remarks:
    The date you quote is Nov 4. Other sources give it as Nov 5 or Nov 6. Which is it, if any?

    None of the witnesses, doctors or staff at the hospital is named, nor are their dates of discharge known.

    Dr Olavo Fontes related this story in (I think) the APRO Bulletin. It sounded plausible at the time but no names were ever given. Either he invented the tale or someone passed it to him.

    There is a website or blog about it somewhere.

    As on Kevin Randle's blog, the James Stokes tale is very likely a similar hoax, as the USAF said in a press release a few days later.

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • CDA:

    The accounts and their dates come from the web-site linked above them.

    As Lawrence notes, it's the Michalak episode that intrigues.

    Rutkowski has provided the best exegesis of that event.

    You might seek it out.

    The Desvergers tale may be a hoax but that isn't conclusive.

    The point is that some burn episodes have occurred, not all of them hoaxes, although I agree, names and details need to be verified.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • The Michalak story reeks. It is almost surely a complete hoax and Michalak shows continuous and frequent signs of attempted deception, signs which were noticed immediately by the police in a report and continued on and on. This is the kind of story that gives UFO "research" such a bad name.

    The Condon report collects some of the MANY inconsistencies:




    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • Rich, you brought up this case a few years ago. As then, and as now, it is possible that the burn patterns were self induced. There is to much perfect symmetry to the burn patterns.

    Why would someone do such a thing? You and I know perfectly well that people do the most outrageous things when looking at both overt and covert psychotic behaviors.

    Do we know Michalak's medical past, to include any psychiatric issues that may have been "buried" in his personal history?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • Tim,

    As you surmise, Michalak's past may account for a ruse, and Desvergers also.

    Yet, Michalak may have stumbled upon a prototype craft, tested by the U.S. in Canada.

    The incident isn't clear by a long shot. just as the Desverger's episode is iffy.

    That's the damnable aspect of most UFO incidents: hoaxes, delusional episodes, mingled with really odd events?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • I don't find Michalak convincing - but I actually did manage to meet a fellow enthusiast whose father was actually present at the scene when Michalak came out of the woods. Had dinner with Hynek as it turns out.

    One of the things I heard was that there had been a local sprat of sightings associated with power lines in the area at the time... Reminded me of stuff Keel wrote about.

    By Blogger Clayton Robertson, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • @Lawrence while I'm not a fan of Falcon Lake as a CE2 - I think the Brazilian cases offer the best human effects evidence.

    By Blogger Clayton Robertson, at Wednesday, September 03, 2014  

  • I think the Brazilian cases offer the best human effects fabrication.

    By Blogger Curt Collins, at Thursday, September 04, 2014  

  • I think another interesting psychological study could be made of the personality that consistently visits a site covering a subject they believe to be "fake" just to leave comments denying the stories. That is some sort of pathology for sure.

    By Blogger Arcturus, at Monday, September 08, 2014  

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