UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A UFO Event: Not an atypical UFO account

The  bizarre 1979 Robert Taylor “UFO encounter” has shown up again in internet UFO discussions.

It’s been a favorite of mine, because it is bizarre, and seemingly unique, yet it isn’t unique but a template for explaining other UFO accounts.

Here’s the Wikipedia rendition of the tale:

And here is an explanation in that Wikipedia summary:

“Patricia Hannaford, founder of the Edinburgh University UFO Research Society and a qualified physician advised Campbell on medical aspects of the case. She suggested that Taylor's collapse was an isolated attack of temporal lobe epilepsy, and the fit explained the objects as hallucinations. Symptoms such as Taylor's previous meningitis, his report of a strong smell which nobody else could detect, his headache, dry throat, paralysis of his legs and period of unconsciousness suggested this cause.”

This explanation could apply to many of the ground level UFO reports, and some abduction accounts: the Pascagoula and Travis Walton encounters to name a few.

The problem is, and has always been, the lack of intensive investigation by UFO “researchers” who often just study and recount UFO events superficially, juxtaposed with a bias that is based in the ET hypothesis; that is, flying saucers and UFOs derive from extraterrestrial visitation.

Now there are many UFO accounts that cannot and should not be addressed by a neurological or psychological etiology.

But separating the wheat from the chaff, as it were, could eliminate many UFO reports from the mysterious category, allowing a scrutiny of the truly strange phenomenological sightings, something Blue Book or the Condon study didn’t do and UFO investigators are not doing and never have.

If ufology is dead, and it is, a new approach and sobriquet should surely take into account the ramifications of biology, psychology, neurology, and other disciplines that have been ignored by the amateurs who’ve mucked up most, if not all, UFO accounts in the literature, including that UFO albatross, Roswell.



  • Another fine case example demonstrating the medical and psychological state of a witness should be one of the first data points to be evaluated.

    As you stated, a UFO researcher will always start first from the premis that what was "witnessed" was extraterrestrial.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Sunday, September 20, 2015  

  • Had Robert Taylor any previous UFO sightings or encounters of any kind? Also did anyone discover any familiarity with UFO literature that he may have had before the incident? As an abduction it does not seem to follow the usual line. It has a certain uniqueness in UFO lore, but of course this does not imply it was a genuine physical experience.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, September 21, 2015  

  • CDA:

    See Wikipedia link.

    He had medical incident.

    Seeing previous UFOs or not has nothing to do with his experience. (That just muddies the waters.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 21, 2015  

  • I was living in Scotland at the time of the Robert Taylor event. It does not seem to be generally reported that one of his neighbours ( I think a father of a famous golfer ) saw a strange object fly over his roof in about the same time frame. The alleged object also left ground traces that could not be accounted for....Alan Price

    By Blogger alan price, at Tuesday, September 22, 2015  

  • And those torn pants, Alan, are baffling.

    But the "explanation" does fit, although I'm not ruling out a possible odd encounter with something strange from elsewhere.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, September 22, 2015  

  • Good evening,

    Some food for though:

    The rolling balls on the ground may let think that Robert Taylor has observed earth lights and was knocked down by the EM field,causing a temporal lobe epilepsy. Such effects are exceptional; people may report sometimes that the air was charged with electricity before the phenomenon occurs or an ozone or sulphur door after the event, but that's all.

    An example of a case when a person fell unconscious after observing a luminous sphere is given at page 13 of the July 2009 issue of the Phenomena magazine:


    The case:

    "Doug Pickford, of the Staffordshire Green Dragon UFO Group, reports that on 16th June 1991 "Bill", a business acquaintance, was returning home from Chester to Leek and stopped near Rushton, north of Rudyard Lake to relieve himself. He had drunk several cups of coffee in Chester, which at one thirty a.m. were producing the expected diuretic effect. He noticed that he was close by the Bridestones, a neolithic chamber with standing stones he could see clearly in the midsummer night. Above the stones he was astonished to see light like a giant golden torch which illuminated the whole area, shooting out a shower of bright sparks. Uninterested in either archaeology or the paranormal, Bill ran back to his car and tried to start it, but in vain.

    Then he saw that the light from the stones, in the form of a golden ball, was moving directly towards him. Paralysed either by fright or some unknown force, Bill found the intense light was hurting his eyes and at this point became unconscious. When he finally came round he found himself lying outstretched on the ground beneath a group of trees he later found to be some 600 feet from the road where his car still stood. The ball of light had vanished, but he found he was stripped to the waist and minus his shoes. As he got to his feet, he brushed down his trousers and found them emitting a shower of sparks as though charged with static electricity. He staggered to his car and found it unlocked, the key still in the ignition, and in a bundle beside it were his shirt and shoes! As he dressed, he noticed that they were quite warm. He got into the car and it started up at once. As he drove off at some speed he noticed the time on the dashboard clock - 3.05 a.m. One and half hours had unaccountably disappeared. On arrival home he told his wife he had been in a motor accident and it was some days before he told her the truth. He told no one else, until finally he decided to consult Doug Pickford, a long standing acquaintance whose discretion he knew he could trust."

    Again, all of this can be questioned because of the anecdotal nature of the reports and one can said that explaining these
    cases by earth lights is explaining one unknown by another unknown but it is worth to mention.

    Best regards,


    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Wednesday, September 23, 2015  

Post a Comment

<< Home