UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A [Psycho] Analysis of the Leo Dworshak 1932 UFO contact tale(s)

Going through Leo Dworshak’s 2003 account of alleged several UFO encounters in 1932, including a tour by extraterrestrials of their ship, one finds details that just don’t add up. For instance…

While Mr. Dworshak’s litany of his and his brother’s farm living seem genuine, they are fraught with inaccuracies, that one of our fellows (who comes from a long-time farming family of some note) points out.

The two boys, one twelve (Mike) and the older one (Leo) would have been subject to the duties of farming on a regular, grueling day, especially during the August/September time-frame, which is the period just before harvest when farmers prepare for the final days of crop care, to insure the farm remains economically viable.

The period recounted was during the heart of the great American Depression, and the boys (the only help that their father-farmer had at his disposal) would not be allowed to take off for the UFO sojourns recounted, for the amount of time Mr. Dworshak provides. It’s not feasible or realistic.

Moreover, the dinners (pork, mashed potatoes, fresh beans) Mr. Dworshak noted were out of place for depression area farmers, and Killdeer, North Dakota was hard hit by the depression as noted by records of the time.

(That the dinner scraps were given to the farm’s animals also doesn’t ring true.)

Mr. Dworshak relates the financial reality in the last page [71] of his small book:

“Dad … was badly hurt financially by the Depression and lost a large amount of money in a packing house business that failed between  1929 and 1930.”

The boys, having stumbled upon the alleged craft they first spotted in 1932, finally, after a few sightings, get to meet the craft’s insiders and get an offer to enter the craft for a tour.

They had to go through a “process” to eliminate “germs” … and when the alleged extraterrestrials told the boys to take off their clothes to enter the craft – more on this aspect later here – Mr. Dworshak writes that he was glad both he and his brother had taken a bath the night before.

The area was in a severe drought, and baths for anyone would have been rare, and surely for boys not doing farm work (as Mr. Dworshak’s “memoir” indicates).

Once, during a visit inside the craft, Mr, Dworshak writes that he saw clouds, through the shell of the ship, in the night sky and on a monitor of some kind.

The area was, again, in the midst of that severe drought. Clouds would be rare or non-existent.

The farm-life depicted by Mr. Dworshak was atypical and actually errant, considering the context (of 1932 in Killdeer, North Dakota).

But those things aside, it’s the ongoing contact and rumination about the “men” visitors Mr. Dworshak met as a boy and continued to meet well into the 1960s, from which he accumulated  his socialistic-theology about the visitors and their purpose for visiting the Earth.

(Why they chose Killdeer, North Dakota, as they were determined to thwart a possible future ecological Earth disaster, doesn’t make sense. Nothing untoward happened in the Killdeer area during the ensuing years.)

Mr. Dworshak fixates on a group of twelve (and that number for other elements of his “memoir”) who supposedly live among us, trying to offer help with the troubles that beset mankind, but are ignored by those they’ve approached.

The page after page of quasi-new age jargon and thought is not far removed from Adamski’s motivations of his space brothers, or that of other 1950s contactees.

The taking off of clothes to enter the ship, not once when he was a boy but later in life also, is like other sexual-like incidents one finds in contactee stories.

That Mr. Dworshak is reminded of priests – he was a German Catholic – when he was with his visitors can lead one to a surmise, but that isn’t necessary to derive an explanation for Mr. Dworshak’s odd but interesting story.

One needn’t employ the theories of Mimesis by Erich Auerbach to understand the subtext of Mr. Dworshak’s extended hallucination(s).

Mr. Dworshak was afflicted by one of several possible dissociative states or hallucinatory etiologies, including memory hallucination or psycho-sensorial hallucination or vestibular hallucination.

But I think there is the possibility, without having access to Mr. Dworshak’s medical records but considering his age, that he suffered diabetic hallucinosis.

(His reminiscences are also like those who suffer oneirica deliria.)

What we have is a man who is not insane but contained by an event or events in his past that affected him and his memory of something traumatic that happened with him and his beloved brother in 1932, continuing into a period that followed his brother’s death in Korea in 1950.

Nowhere did Mr. Dworshak provide anything tangible or specific he allegedly learned from his visitor friends.

His conversations with his space friends, from another galaxy, over the years were so generic as to be inadequately fanciful (thus the lack mimetic consideration).

Now, should we dismiss, out of hand, his account(s)? That would seem to be the intellectual thing to do, however…

Mr. Dworshak may have had, despite the incongruity and insubstantial body of his stories and remembrances, a true contact with something alien or extraterrestrial over the years, but it seems highly unlikely; his story seems fictional and not in a good way.

Either way, his story is odd and interesting, but not in the UFO sense but, rather, in a psychoanalytic way, much as the Betty/Barney Hill episode is or the Travis Walton “abduction” and others in ufological lore.

What causes persons to recount, not as contrived falsehoods necessarily, such tales as that of Mr. Dworshak is grist for study – not UFO study but psychological or neurological study.

This is one shallow UFO tale that can either be dismissed or accepted as a kind of reality, a reality that has nothing to do with the UFO phenomenon except as a template for mental conditions that provoke UFO reports which interfere with the few actual reports of UFOs that may represent something truly odd and interesting.



  • I am surprised at the dearth of comments on this odd tale and I suspect while a neurological cause cannot be eliminated, my personal take is the elaborate nature of this narrative makes me suspect it is a legacy tall tale like so many others that don’t involve UFO’s. In some cultures, this is considered an amusing high art and in our era there are some who believe hoaxes are a valid art form, however perverse they may be.
    I can think of other psychiatric causes but at this point, they seem like a moot point.
    In my teenage years, for a season I worked on ranch and I can attest that there was no time for leisurely creative screwing around. We got up at 5 a.m, had breakfast at 8 a.m and were occupied with just routine tasks till 6-7 pm. Everyone was "beat".
    The Depression era hardships that counter this fairy tale ring true from so many sources, I have little doubt that this is a tall tale.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, December 31, 2014  

  • Based on historical wheat production records for the 20 year period between 1922 and 1942, 1932 was one of the BETTER North Dakota wheat production years between (8th best), not one of the worst. 1932 was NOT a drought year.

    Production in 1931, 1934, and 1936 was terrible, but NOT 1932, which was actually the BEST year in the 1930s. See:


    And if there was good wheat production in 1932, I presume there could also be good bean and potato production, and enough to feed the hogs so they could also have some pork.

    The point is dismissing the story for the Dworshak's saying they took a bath or saw clouds or ate beans and potatos is silly in the extreme. And even at the height of the dust bowl, I'm sure there were still clouds and the occasional bath.

    You can, e.g., go on wunderground.com and look up REAL 1936 weather records for Bismark, ND (the records for any cities in the area do not go back further), and see that for August 1936, nearly half the days showed rain, thunderstorms, and/or fog. And the same was true for about a third of the days in September.

    1936 was the absolute worst year for wheat production (less than 20% of 1932), and they still had at least some rain (and I presume accompanying clouds).

    There may be a good many other reasons to reject the account, but making up completely bogus ones simply for the sake of debunking is intellectually slovenly.

    I would very like to see Rich's "records of the time" for Aug/Sep 1932 that support his claims that there were literally no clouds, no bath water, no beans, etc. About the only of his arguments these real records might support is that the boys should have been been busy helping with a harvest, since 1932 appears to have been a GOOD farming year, not a terrible one. In fact, Rich's arguments contradict one another. You can't be busy with a harvest at the same time unable to grow food because it is too dry.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Wednesday, December 31, 2014  

  • The information about the weather David came from a query to:


    In your zeal to accept a clammy story as an ET event, as usual, you make excuses for the tale that flies in the face of the "facts" as provided by the story teller himself as noted by my inclusion of his page 71 comment.

    1932 was NOT a good farming year for anyone, as Dworshak himself tells us.

    But the idea that farm boys were free to roam the country side is even more ludicrous if the farm was having a bumper crop.

    You make a mockery of common sense David.

    That's why you remain at the fringe of UFO history.

    No one had food to waste or bath water to spare in 1932, in Killdeer or anywhere else.

    But that's only partial bits to a fantastic tale, considered in totality, not piece meal.

    You have got to get your mind in sync with reality, total reality not your ET reality David.

    You starting to rave, like a lunatic.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 31, 2014  

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