UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ufological Drilling Down! (No one does that or has done that.)

It’s clear to me that UFO enthusiasts and those claiming to be researchers or investigators are facile when it comes to examining current and past (classic) UFO events.

Blue Book was lame, and so was the ersatz Condon UFO Committee.

(The exception seems to be the French cynics, as evidenced by many of the skeptical research papers, including the one I added here, from Gilles Fernandez, the other day; a really forensic attempt to clarify a UFO tale.)

UFO reports, scrutinized by so-called ufologists, including some a prolific as David Rudiak and Tim Printy (one an ET promoter, the other a rabid dissenter/skeptic), don’t dig past the top layer of sightings, although they pretend to.

In the 1996 Ann Arbor/Dexter/Hillsdale “swamp gas” sighting that Hynek attested to at a Detroit press conference was alluded to and investigated superficially.

No one, not the media surely, or Hynek or any UFO investigator, went to the Dexter site where at alleged craft was spotted by Frank Mannor and his son.
 No water was taken from the swamp where the sighting allegedly occurred. No photos were taken of the surroundings or the in situ spot where the supposed craft was seen.

The whole episode, along with the concomitant sighting at Hillsdale, fifty miles, give or take, away was never really investigated or studied in any significant way, UFO aficionados and media trumped by Hynek’s superficial explanation.

The same thing happened at Socorro, Ray Stanford’s shallow take notwithstanding and with the Betty/Barney Hill scenario: no one really checked her marred dress or the markings on the Hills car….I mean really checked.
 The Gorman interaction with a foolish acting UFO was never really studied just as the iconic Arnold “flying saucer” sighting wasn’t. (No one checked what he had eaten or drank before his flight over the Cascades, or what medicines, if any, he may have taken.
And was his plane checked for emissions in the cockpit? No.)

I could go on but you get the gist.

Even the touted skeptical reviews of such sightings, with photos, as the Trent/McMinnville has never gotten a real look, despite the jumble of material by Bruce Maccabee or Bob Sheaffer. (Neither contacted farmer Trent’s son or daughters to see what they could impart.)
While a lot of copy is often engorged about noted sightings (the Phoenix lights or O’Hare, for instance), nothing is done from an on-site check or with equipment to check veracity of witnesses or the surrounding environments at the time of the alleged events.

Most UFO investigators use the internet to gather what they use as material for their voluble but only knee-deep musings.

On-site investigation is often grab-and-run, as the Stanford Socorro take on the Zamora sighting, or the “swamp gas” imbroglio.

(The Roswell slides fiasco is a case study of how not to do UFO investigations, but that affair is not atypical. It is tantamount to how all UFO investigations have been done over the years and even now, when one can do so much more with the technologies available.)

Drilling down is not what ufologists do.

Creating massive amounts of hoary detritus is what the whole UFO literature is made of.

No wonder skeptics have cachet.



  • Not quite true, Rich. There was substantial "drilling down" into the August, 1965 Rex Heflin case and photos although skeptics rarely acknowledge that fact. First, let's note that Dr. James McDonald (along with LANS), one of the most serious scientific investigators associated with UFOs, studied the case thoroughly and provided copious notes on his findings. Weather reports for the day in question were checked; Heflin's supervisors were quered as to the radio interference that Heflin reported..they confirmed his account; Investigators went to the original site and confirmed tree branches (the smoke ring photo) and other measurements; radar techs at the El Toro Marine base were interviewd; a similar case (the Ralph Joseph case) in the first week of August, 1965 was investigated and corroborates what Heflin saw.

    Most importantly, however is the study of the high resolution prints of the 4 Polaroids reported in the Journal of Scientific Exploration (Vol. 14, No.4, Winter 2000. No strings; no suspended model; and, the clincher, black particulate matter trailing behind the UFO which matches that found in the "smoke ring" photo. (See my discussion of all of this in the OCR, November 8, 2009). No one to my knowledge can explain any of this in a conventional manner. You want drilling down? Well here it is. Now what?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • Sorry Dominick:

    That's not drilling down.

    No one checked Heflin's psychiatric profile or the chemical reactions on the Polaroids themselves to see if the images' chemical structure was the same as the rest of the chemical structure on the rest of the film.

    You think that a lot of words mean something....quantity over quality.

    The Heflin incident and photos from it has been woefully handled, not forensically at all.

    Heflin may have grabbed pictures of something odd, a UFO.

    But the examination of him and the photos have been facile.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • A psychiatric profile is drilling down?! I put most of psychiatry (as a science) in with dowsing and tea leaf reading. Come on, Rich. Heflin could be a raving nut (he wasn't) or a super scholar with 3 ph.ds (he wasn't)or he could have slept with his mother til he was 43. Who cares? Even if Heflin were clinically insane it would not effect 99% of what matters in this case. Instead, we must look to "best evidence" in such cases (if it were real laboratory science we would look to replication but that's not possible in these UFO incident cases). So what is the best evidence here? There is a reasonable story that holds up after many years, there is some hard evidence in this case and there is some reasonable analysis. He took 4 polaroid photos that show exactly what he reported. He told essentially the same story for years and was never caught in any lie to my knowledge; nothing got exagerated over time. (Indeed, he reported somethng (the "light beam') that could only be determined 35 years later with beter technological tools). No evidence of models, or extra polaroid photos or strings have ever surfaced. The reasonable conclusion is that he "grabbed pictures of something odd, a UFO". I agree. If there is no other reasonable explanation,(do you have one Rich?) then that is where we are. What the UFO was is anyone's guess but at least we know (with reasonable certainty) what it is not. In the absence of UFO crash evidence, that's reasonable "drilling."


    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • Dominick:

    You're not being forensic.

    Heflin's mental state, whether determined psychiatrically or neurologically (as is today's practice) wasn't checked.

    That Heflin maintained his story is proof of nothing, and you know that.

    Sheaffer's (and others) take on the "UFO" is to be considered, not dismissed.

    That the "object" photographed is aerially primitive is a red flag.

    The images on the Polaroid prints, discussed by photographers at our UFO site, were never analysed, chemically; that is Polaroid prints can be examined to see if the image on one part of print was taken at the same time as images on the print as a whole.

    This is to determine if the image was superimposed or added apart from the whole photo.

    That wasn't done ,and hasn't been done, since the prints were compromised and now lost I think.

    There a few "explanations" I could offer, as Sheaffer has.

    But let me ask you....what do you think Heflin got photos of? An ET craft hovering over a bean field near a highway, in no-mans-land?

    The ufological work you present is "fracking" buddy -- not drilling.

    It was a worthy effort but hardly thorough or imaginatively scientific.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • Nothing necessarily wrong with "fracking" my friend. Gets us oil just like drilling.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • Hahahaha...perhaps, Dominick, perhaps.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • As to your list of objections above:

    Heflin's mental state is irrelevant to the facts established independently; Sheaffear's "take" IS to be dismissed...it's goofy like much of Sheaffear's alleged analysis; the object is aerial primitive but that cuts both ways (if the power source is exotic it may not matter); a chemical analysis of the polaroids to see if the images were super-imposed? Are you serious? This implies some super hoax, probably for money, and there is not even a whisper of this around this case; and finally, NO, the original polaroids are not lost. If you have the funds you could probably get them and do your own analysis.

    What's the UFO you ask. Probably some advanced drone protype off that near-by Marine base (which is what Heflin suggested). Failing that, I have no idea.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • Ah, a drone (pre-drone) or configured balloon?

    Now we're getting somewhere.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 23, 2015  

  • It might have been interesting to see how many witnesses of close encounters scored high across that constellation traits like suggestibility, creativity and fantasy-proneness. This isn't because I suspect all claimants to be delusional (I don't). It's because I doubt the physical reality of the objects and entities people describe.

    It's tough to score people across schizotypy when the scale was designed to include UFO sightings as an indicator. If an individual was part of a multiple-witness UFO sighting, they'd be rendered an unreliable witness due to being 'schizotypal.' Vicious circle right there.

    Educational levels don't appear to offer much by way of analysis; sightings seem to be reported across social and educational demographics.

    It would have been fascinating to have seen blood analysis of people like Gary Wilcox or even Zamora. You're certainly one of thousands to feel bemused by the missed opportunity to photograph the Hill's mottled trunk or even keep the shoes. What happened to Val Valerian's car? Why weren't Carl Higdon's miraculously cleared lungs given more of an evidential push? Sheriff B Goode's healed bite is one that intrigues me so much. If only someone had asked for confirmation from his family and friends? If they'd responded negatively, the whole case could be cast aside.

    In contrast, Vallee and Michel seem to have investigated and 'drilled' the heck out of that 'Dr X' case and I still can't help but doubt the claimed episodes.

    In a sense, we're not blaming UFO researchers for the missed opportunities. They were untrained and probably rue some of their decisions in hindsight. *If* there are 'UFO phenomena' rather than 'UFO syndromes,' maybe we'll never know. It seems that either term creates the same result when it comes to solid evidence.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • The "problem" for me, Kandinsky, lies in my predilection that people are not generally crazy, and what they end up telling us, about a UFO sighting or encounter (as with other things more mundane) is basically on target.

    But the vicissitudes of witness accounts belie accuracy often times.

    However, investigators have been inept, because they are untrained, as you note.

    Even such accomplished men as Vallee or McDonald took an unscientific look at UFO cases pretty much, ignoring or not taking into account details that were (or are) overwhelmed by the vibrancy of sightings, the surreality or sensational aspects of many accounts, like Pascagoula or Zamora's sighting.

    No one, to my knowledge, has taken into account what Higdon and Parker or Taylor, in that odd Scotland encounter I like to present often here, what those men may have ingested before they had their experience.

    Taylor's breakfast or medicine, Higdon and Parker's "hootch."

    What about the Hills? Was their car defective, emitting carbon monoxide perhaps? What did they eat before heading home from vacation?

    Was the neurology of any of these witnesses affected by externals?

    In the Trent case or Heflin's, what peripheral elements were excluded from their photographic binge?

    What happened with Heflin right before and immediately after his photo-taking?

    And with the Trents, as I noted in my posting, what did the kids know and when did they know it (to use the Watergate mantra)?

    I do know that the Ann Arbor "swamp gas" event was treated shabbily by media and Hynek, both. Frank Mannor was disgusted by how cavalierly his experience and he, himself, was treated.

    As for Kenneth Arnold, was his eyesight ever checked, at the time?

    The same for Zamora.

    The whole panoply of UFO investigation is gaffed by such ineptitude(s).

    Dominick thinks Heflin's sighting and photos were treated thoroughly and competently and they were, considering the usual sloppiness of UFO investigation but I see the case as wanting.

    Not to press for forensic UFO investigation has allowed half-baked "researchers" to control the phenomenon's study, and that's why "ufology" is such a joke.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • I think you're spot on. It's also the case that the horse appears to have bolted and ufologists have little to do but argue whether it was a horse, pony, zebra or unicorn.

    If we could start all over again from, say, 1947, we could apply more rigorous research standards to incidents and reports.

    Quite a few of us would appreciate resolutions for our favourite cases. There's this skeptical myth that we're all trying to 'prove' it's 'aliens.' On the contrary, most of those I respect are trying to make sense of the reports and 'aliens' aren't high on their list of possibilities.

    If poor Bob Taylor had something like a mini-stroke, I'd cheerfully project such an explanation on other single-witness encounters. Frank Mannor's emotional response has always struck a chord with me. Not that he was incapable of having a 'hullaballucination,' it was the way he was savaged in his town by peers and media. Line of sight photographs could have been taken, plots measured out and physical signs looked for.

    If another flap or wave ever occurs, will it be any different?

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Does Dominick know that Heflin was an expert maker of models and photographing them? This was revealed in a UK TV show way back in the spring of 1968. I remember it well. This does not, of course, prove he faked his photos but it is strongly suggestive.

    Not only that, but much more recently the actual model train wheel that he probably used in those photos was identified by someone (maybe Brad Sparks). I forget exactly when, but the case was discussed at length on the UFO Updates Forum.

    He also embellished his story with all that talk of being visited by NORAD agents. Presumably to add intrigue and a 'conspiracy' slant to his tale.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • The Taylor account intrigues, not only as a UFO encounter but as a possible neurological glitch, Kandinsky,

    (Also, I have to note that I confounded your Higdon account with the Hickson/Parker Pascagoula event. I did that before morning coffee, so that's my excuse.)

    I'd like to see a wholesale re-examination of some "classic" UFO cases, not all, but a few.

    I know many UFO enthusiasts hate the recapping but real science often looks again at past material in their disciplines.

    It helps further the truth of things.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • CDA:

    Dominick, and a few other UFO aficionados (Rudiak among them) like to ignore such minutiae as that which you note about Heflin.

    It's the blind-spot caused by that old saw: the will to believe.

    The Heflin photos, like the Trents or the Rhodes shoe-heel photo, fascinate but the details around them get short shrift because of that desire to see something exotic or alien in them -- a kind of salvation for a hidden (or dead) God.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • It's a difficult pursuit. Was it Hickson who became quite New Age and went on to describe having several other encounters and 'mystery voice' incidents? He sort of paralleled the trajectory of Betty Hill too.

    I think having an imaginary encounter or a real one can create the same effects. For example, exposure to an otherworldly intelligence will always alter our perspectives regarding reality and thereby our relationships with beliefs and others. In that sense, the after-effects may not always be indicative of an objective event.

    This is why it would be potentially enlightening to see how suggestible witnesses and claimants could be. Physical evidence is an honest pursuit and yet character traits might be more illustrative of what lies behind some encounter reports. A susceptibility to experiencing unusual incidents might still be evidence that there's something other than us at play. Maybe it just strengthens the case for psychosocial explanations. Who knows?

    Like yourself, a 'neurological glitch' and what would stimulate one is something that intrigues me more than most other explanations. The accompanying narrative could be explained by exposure to cultural icons. However, it's the 'trigger' that fascinates and whether something unknown ever pulls it.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Many of us (UFO enthusiasts) find acceptable the idea that some UFO events come about from a neurological trigger of some kind.

    However, others (I think Eric Wargo falls into the category) might see such events as something more than a detour of consciousness or reworking of same.

    That is, some think that paranormal events (UFOs among them) are actual intrusions into our reality (or into our consciousness, where that debate becomes complex).

    When younger, I saw lights cavorting in the night sky over Detroit, and my chums with me saw them also. A call to the Detroit TIMES was shrugged off by the news desk: kids calling in with a "flying saucer" sighting.

    But the lights were real and unusual, and I nor my friends were hallucinating or suffering a minimally mass hysteria.

    I also experienced that massive glowing square or rectangle hovering over Detroit for an hour or so, not moving or dissipating but either rising into the sky or fading from view eventually.

    Also seen by my buddies, with whom I was playing touch football in the median of a large Detroit highway, and noted by media (and Fate magazine).

    Nothing as spectacular as the Taylor or Hickson/Parker experiences but real enough to tell me that something(s) odd were appearing in the sky.

    So, brain malfunctions can't account for or don't account for some UFO sightings as I see it.

    But in the sensational sightings, researchers need to hone their skills and apply rigorous methodologies to determine what really occurred, in toto, not just superficially.

    Unfortunately, Roswell, the Hills case, and Rendlesham (among others) have been marred by advocates of extraterrestrial visitation.

    That's ruined the opportunity, perhaps, to get back to a pristine set of data and information which could explain such events.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • I've had two very good sightings and one of them has to be thrown out because the other two witnesses don't remember it. The other one assures me that extraordinary sightings occur that cannot be explained by mental aberrations, cultural will-to-believe or misperceptions. It creates a sort of metaphysical tension doesn't it? A teasing of possibilities?

    It's also why I'm interested in suggestibility. What we all saw should have been observable to a ~third of Southern England and a fair swathe of Northern France. Apparently not and that raises questions, for me, of how 'real' the stimuli of these sightings are. The lights in the sky are like signals in search of the suggestible. Why do they appear only to register in the visual cortex of a tiny minority of percipients/witnesses?

    In pursuit of that idea, I've spent some time looking at the landscapes and populations of particular UFO reports. For example, Vallee's early saucer sighting arguably created a 'missionary (for wont of a better word)' who's generated a lot of interest and beliefs. If we look at the location, it's difficult to understand how a flying saucer could hover above the highest, most visible point of a well-populated town and be seen by fewer than a handful of people.

    For those who've had similar experiences, they act like a chamfer on the hard edges of their reality. They trickle doubts into what is possible and what is not. Then we get the 'God in the gaps' tendencies that uncertainty creates. This, in my opinion, brings us back to the human element because the experiences seem extremely reflective.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • I'm fascinated by the "fact" that your two fellow witnesses don't remember the sighting you apparently shared.

    Do you have an insight as to why they forgot?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • So am I as it opens up at least a couple of trains of thought.

    The sighting occurred in the early 90s when one of my friends suggested we look for a satellite in the night sky. It appealed to me because there had been news about the decommissioning of Mir and the idea was fresh. Well the three of us looked up and soon identified a satellite/Mir. As we watched its trajectory, my friend asked something like, 'What the hell is that?' It took me and Chris a moment or two to see what he meant. It was a point light that remained in the same area of sky and maintained a triangular holding pattern. The satellite/Mir continued on its path and the other light seemed to be the same magnitude and moved at about the same speed.

    We watched this light for a few minutes and it didn't change its behaviour. Eventually we went on our way and never spoke of it again. This was quite normal really because it only crossed my own mind a very few times. It was last year before I asked Martin if he remembered the incident and he said no with barely a second's thought. Not wanting to be persistent, I left it at that; plus it seemed important that he remembered without prompts so I didn't give any details. Chris had had a beer or two when I asked and likewise didn't recall.

    Based on that, it'd be foolish to put much stock in the memory.

    The other sighting (mid 2000s) is distinctly remembered by all four of us although it had the greatest impact on me. It shook my assumptions of what's possible. It was also seen by around a dozen strangers a few yards away from us.

    This is why suggestibility interests me. People see UFOs and (correctly) forget all about them. In contrast, others become enchanted by the mystery and find themselves becoming like Typhoid Marys or PR agents for the unknown.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • The kids (at the time) wouldn't recall the sightings we shared either.

    Only because they were absorbed in the games we were playing.

    Odd lights or flying saucers did not thrill them nor do they thrill the media people I deal with daily.

    Currently, my crowd prefers selfies and self-glorification and dog pictures they like to add to Facebook.

    I wonder what the Hopkinsville, Kentucky witnesses (to creatures "attacking" their house) might think about the event today.

    Some companions of mine saw what they thought were ghosts at a local, run-down shack not long ago. They never fixated on their alleged sighting, moving on to banal experiences and insipid life-styles.

    For some reason, extraordinary events do not permanently resonate with many, sadly, not allowing further methodical pursuit of what they experienced.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • CDA, please drop the psychological bull about my explanation of the Heflin photos. I never said or concluded that the pictures depict anything "alien" and my quest for truth has nothing to do with any "salvation for a hidden (or dead) God" whatever that means. The photos depict a genuine UFO, as even Rich can admit, and if you don't think that they do, please provide your own explanation of the object (and black particulate matter) in the photos. But before you respond please read the articles referenced and/or Ann Druffel's account of the entire case in "Firestorm".

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Here is the Druffel account, in full, so readers can see why Dominick is so enthused by the Heflin photos:


    There is an MIB connection to Mr. Heflin's total experience and lots of mysterious goings-on, even a note of odd behavior by Heflin, but also analysis of the photos that give credence to Dominick's acceptance (and mine) that something odd was seen and photographed, perhaps, or ingeniously hoaxed, but to what purpose?

    This is a good case, like the Trents, that needs more investigation, even though the main witnesses are gone.

    Was the UFO a prototypical drone? Possibly.

    Was it a toy train wheel? Possibly but, again, to what purpose. Heflin never tried to capitalize on the photos, but did he seek a modicum of fame by hoaxing them? Maybe, but that seems to have been futile.

    Like many UFO sightings or events, there is an intrusion of craziness that convolutes the search for truth or an equitable explanation.

    Heflin's photos represent one such instance of that.

    (And Dominick, there are many in the UFO community -- you are not one it seems -- who see UFOs as a harbinger of alien help for and to humanity, which has lost its God.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Regarding psychological assessments, I suggest the medical work-up go beyond just the mind. A psychological profile helps, however failure to consider medical issues aside from those of the brain is poor research.

    Many witnesses may suffer from medical disorders, drug interactions, undiagnosed illnesses, etc. best assessed by a primary care doctor.

    You only get 50% of the story from a psych eval alone.

    And of course no one does either with UFO witnesses.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • I agree, Rich, that there is an "intrusion of craziness that convolutes the search for truth" in almost all of these cases. I think, however, that that is inevitable and that we must (though it's difficult) overlook it and get to the facts. It's inevitable because we are always dealing with a seemingly random event, with individual witnesses that we would not necessarily pick, and with a strange phenomenoa that appears to defy rules and natural laws that we expect to be obeyed. so things inevitably get crazy. And it gets worse.

    Take this Heflin "thing" whatever the hell it is. It looks very strange for a flying object and leaves a smoke ring! What the hell is that about?! So I make allowances for people like Ralph Heflin who seem caught up in something unusual and don't really know how to handle it. I wonder how rational I would remain if visited (allegedly) by 2 men from NORAD and queried endlessly by UFO investigators bent on breaking my story. And that's why we must come back to the reasonable issues. Were there strings; no. Has any confederate ever surfaced?, No. Any model ever discovered or other polaroids? No. Weather reports consistent with photos; Yes. Radio interference report confirmed by supervisor? Yes. And then the photo analysis which I will not repeat here. I believe that Heflin saw and photographed something real...a real UFO. Crazy? Of course, but so is the Trump phenomenon.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Dominick:

    You have attributed words to me that I never uttered!

    It was RR who said those words (the ones you put in quotes). Alas, my own posting was not published (overlooked?) so you never had the thrill of seeing what I actually wrote. I will repeat part of it here, which is that Heflin was a skilled model maker, which was his hobby. And yes, he was a hoaxer.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • CDA:

    Your comment is online....what makes you think it wasn't posted?

    I referred to it also.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • RR:

    Yes it is now. Were my eyes deceiving me? Maybe things got out of order timewise. But Dominick still referred to words I did NOT use, but that you did use.

    And the NORAD agents' visits? Pure fiction I suggest. Which means Heflin was indeed a hoaxer (at least in this respect).

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Sorry, CDA, you are correct about my incorrect attribution. I did not see your post but only Rich's comment. Sorry about that. As to your post which I missed, I think the weight of the evidence is that Heflin did not hoax the photos, i.e., did not (somehow) take polaroid pictures of a train wheel. I'd be curious, btw, as to how he inserted the black particulate matter into the photos.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • The suggested requirements by all of us appear to recommend that witnesses volunteer for psych evaluations, blood tests, family medical histories and references from professional and personal referees. Simultaneously, scientists would forensically analyse the flora and fauna of locations whilst others would analyse aerospace ventures and weather patterns.

    It's a lot to ask for.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Yes, Kandinsky, a lot to ask for but worth the effort, if a case seems significant.

    It would be a real scientific/forensic operation, unrealistic, economically perhaps, but there it is.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 24, 2015  

  • Wow, an interesting and lively discussion -but I question the notion of a "real scientific/forensic operation" being accepted by one experiencing a single event. Also, the battery of tests, itself yet to be defined, would not be of little expense and to be paid for by whom? And for that matter administered by whom?

    If an observer is so shaken by an experience that they agree to such is one thing. But who is really going to agree to a battery of tests especially if it suggests a question of their sanity or sobriety or etc? -A common few (really) drinks doesn't make one hallucinate but after a few glasses of wine would you volunteer for an official sobriety test? Bloodwork?

    Pilots, military, cops, or others acting in official capacities may be required to, but others? Maybe those who are seeking notoriety would be the only ones to agree in order to sell their fabrications or intentional exaggerations.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Tuesday, August 25, 2015  

  • Okay fellows....

    Don't get loony here.

    Of course no one would subject a person who saw a light in the sky to the forensic model.

    Forensics would be and should be applied to cases such as Arnold's, the Trents, the Hills, Socorro, Roswell (of course),Pascagoula, Walton, et al. -- significant events or alleged significant events, not fly-bys.

    Geez, no wonder "ufology" fails; no one thinks UFOs deserve real scientific study, preferring to maintain the myth only (as Zoam Chomsky, Gilles Fernandez, and a few others speculate).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 25, 2015  

  • Medical records can be released from one's primary care physician with authorization by the patient. There is little to no cost with this. If someone has not seen their physician in the last year or more, a physical work up would be needed. One could even consult with the MD directly with patient authorization.

    If a witness wants to make a sighting or experience claim but doesn't want to have it investigated thoroughly or release such information then how reliable is the witness in the first place?

    But I believe this thread is really focused on investigative technique or lack thereof aside from the health of the witness. Health and mental status is just one aspect.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Tuesday, August 25, 2015  

  • RR

    The loony thing is to suggest that the forensics (drilling down) you suggested could be applied to anyone other than a volunteer.

    If anyone suggested investigating any or all the lights in the sky observers that would be loony. Odd moving lights in the sky seen (especially at night) do bring about curiosity by observers but about something that can't really be investigated. -And I don't think anyone was suggesting that anyway.

    To apply forensics to cold case material evidence that might be available could apply but that would include chain of custody, agreement of those possessing the materials or the site of the occurrence and so forth not to mention what was to be investigated in the first place.

    Forensic investigation are expensive and require trained investigators and specialized equipment that isn't generally available unless we could include or persuade the Air Force or other government or scientific groups that profess no interest. Of current interest is, of course, that if it has already been done or was to be done in the future would it be released to the public if something profound was actually obtained.

    Note: SETI claims they will immediately release first contact I believe.

    It might be considered just who otherwise could or would comprise "go team" and to just what and how they would go to and what resources they would have. Does SETI have a terrestrial "go team" standing by for an event? Surely the military has them.

    Alas, what we wait for is the "landing on the White House lawn" or significantly large population's daylight ground level extended observation, with lots of photography and etc. If there was such an event then surely there would be police, military and scientific interest that would include the forensic follow up to some still undefined extent.

    Anything else seems loony.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Wednesday, August 26, 2015  

  • Bryan:

    I'm suggesting what archaeologists and paleontologists do, not what some "murder lab" does (as portrayed on TV).

    You want to be serious about UFOs but draw a line at being so, citing costs, chain of custody problems et cetera.

    That, as Gilles Fernandez tells us, is "ufology."

    Either UFO enthusiasts (researchers, investigators) should apply forensics and/or forensic thinking or they should get out of the "business."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 26, 2015  

  • RR

    On all of that we can agree. Ufology can certainly be ufoology as we have discussed here many times.

    As I mentioned, governmental including military reticence is a disturbing and unfortunate reality.

    -And I keep going back to thinking of SETI too.

    Surely scientific anomalies like quantum stuff, ball lightning and sprite type stuff, and super secret military stuff also come into play in observations confusing (or inducing) serious UAP research.

    Maybe all of that is what UAPs actually are, just currently unknown phenomena to be later understood without any ETH involvement. But back to SETI...

    As you know, I find the null hypothesis irritating, a short sighted skeptical reflex that ignores the above. You have said that many UAP observations reported are probably in good faith and I agree with that too -while we all know that the fakers are certainly out there.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Wednesday, August 26, 2015  

  • Yes, UFOs (like paranormal events) attract the nuts and scammers, some in the UFO community too, as we found with the Roswell slides fiasco.

    So separating the wheat from the chaff is daunting, but not impossible.

    It's just that the nuts/scammers present unnecessary obstacles, as do some skeptics for whom anything outside their sphere of "normalcy" makes them argumentative.

    UFO study is fraught with an odd phenomenon trying to be solved by odd persons.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 26, 2015  

  • In regards to Betty and Barney Hill, already in the mid 1990's we remarked on our ufo radio show that little detail of the rest stop, or restaurant, where Barney complained that the food didn't taste right and that everybody was staring at him. A little while later and further down the road, the beeping sounds and their abduction began. But we found that little detail odd. And we like to zoom in on little, odd details. As we found other things odd: http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/05/the-night-doctors-the-terror-behind-the-abduction-phenomenon/

    As for the rest of your manifesto - I have called for a number of years now for a universally agreed set of protocols for ufologists - let's simply ape science -that would also involve an accessible database and accessible evidentiary materials (Simonton's pancake, the Ubatuba fragments, the slag that rained down on Harold Dahls boat and so forth) for a new analysis. You know, CSI UFO. Since neither is in place and since ufology is not science and ufologists, contrary to scientists, hardly ever agree upon anything, I wish you luck in your endeavor:)

    I find it very tellingly and a very interesting observation that demographically speaking, the odd persons in ufology are all white. Please point out to me the black or colored ufologist, as (s)he is not there, or should I count? But what can we learn from that? I am intrigued by that.



    By Blogger theo paijmans, at Wednesday, August 26, 2015  

  • Theo -

    That's an interesting observation. We can however state that people of different color do experience the phenomenon.

    As for all Ufologists being Caucasian, we do have Maussan in Mexico and he's not white.

    Why no Asians? That also seems odd.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Sunday, August 30, 2015  

  • Sorry this is late, Rich, but a few corrective notes for Dominick:

    > Heflin's mental state is irrelevant to the facts established independently

    1) What facts about the UFO were established? The only one I see in your first comment is this: "a similar case (the Ralph Joseph case) in the first week of August, 1965 was investigated and corroborates what Heflin saw."

    An undemonstrated claim is similar to another undemonstrated claim? However is that corroboration? The people who wrote the JSE article you cite disagree with you on that point:

    "It is impossible, of course, to declare a UFO photo absolutely authentic unless one had the actual UFO nearby with which to compare it."

    2) Heflin's mental state is important. And it is misleading to speak in terms of insanity only. As Kevin Randle writes in his Scientific Ufology, page 17:

    "There is nothing to examine in an eyewitness account except the background of the witness, to see if he or she has a habit of telling tall tales, has trouble distinguishing between real objects and the imagined, and if he or she is a solid citizen not given to flights of fancy."

    > a chemical analysis of the polaroids to see if the images were super-imposed? Are you serious?

    Dominick, it is possible to create double-exposes with the Polaroid 101, which Heflin used (see link).


    Was this possibility investigated and eliminated as a cause? If not, isn't it possible that double-exposure could explain the following statement from the JSE article?

    "Dr. Nathan had noticed an unexplained 'blurring' around the UFO, which was not caused by motion of the craft or camera."

    > He told essentially the same story for years

    Randle, page 121-2: "The lie seemed to be designed to explain how the photograph of the smoke ring had been taken. It was designed to explain an apparent discrepancy in the time line. The appearance of the truck -- which diverted his attention -- covered the point easily." Randle adds that the "NICAP investigator thought that this one aspect of the tale might be a falsehood."

    He does not think Heflin merely made a mistake of memory: "But if it was true, why didn't he mention it [that is, the truck] again, after telling the Air Force about it?"

    CDA adds that Heflin admitted in 1968 that he made models. John Rimmer wrote a summary of this May 9 BBC programme on UFO Updates, which included, "Rex Heflin revealed that he was a been [sic] model maker..."

    Richard Hall responded: "Having just reviewed the tape, I confirm that this is a fair and reasonable summary of the program..."


    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, September 05, 2015  

  • > In regards to Betty and Barney Hill, already in the mid 1990's we remarked on our ufo radio show...

    Theo, is that tape or transcript online?

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, September 05, 2015  

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