UFOs: Out of Context
While ruminating about the Robert Taylor 1979 event in Scotland, noted here the other day, it seemed to me that the episode, while receiving an acceptable (to me and others) etiology, was only partially viewed in its total context.
That is the time of day, location, weather, and Mr. Taylor’s medical examination were looked at thoroughly, but what about the societal context, of November 9th, 1979, the day of the “vision”?
And also what about the medical conclusion by physician Patricia Hannaford, that he had
an isolated attack of temporal lobe epilepsy?
What is the context for such a diagnosis; that is, how many temporal lobe epilepsies take place in the population – the occurrences, and where or how?
That the “explanation” is fine with me, doesn’t mean that the event is conclusively proven.
This also applies to other UFO events, Roswell among them, the Zamora/Socorro sighting, and such unique sightings as the 1966 Ann Arbor/Dexter/Hillsdale “swamp gas”
Every sighting has a context that transcends what witnesses and UFO “researchers” get into.
The Betty/Barney Hill “abduction” had an ongoing context that was superceded by the ET hypothesis, as has Roswell.
Roswell, in June/July 1947, had a vast context that has been buried by the bias that a flying saucer or saucers crashed there.
Roswell, amidst the New Mexico atomic bomb development (Los Alamos Laboratory, nearby), and such places as the nascent Air Force Materiel Command's Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirkland Air Force base, and Alamogordo, among other iconic atomic facilities, has never be studied sociologically; that is, no one had or has determined the mind-sets of the Roswell population: military personnel or, especially the public at large,
The context of the United States has been given a cursory glance by ufologists but nothing pertinent to the flying saucer awareness by Roswellians, particularly those who claimed to have witnessed the alleged crashed disks and/or bodies that were allegedly in them.
The weather conditions for June/July 1947 have been given a glance but not a distinct evaluation by bona fide meteorologists who might be able to clarify the extent of the said storms that occurred in the Roswell incident time-frame.
Other flying saucer sightings in the time period have been recounted and that helps clarify what was being lauded as odd flying craft in other areas, outside Roswell.
And that data would also apply to the 1964 Socorro event or the Robert Taylor episode.
Context means a totality of data and information that is absolutely necessary to determine what the reality of a reported or experienced event is.
History is more often than not remiss in getting the details correct of a significant event.
(This is made clear in a new book, Wellington: Waterloo and the fortunes of peace by Rory Muir [Yale University Press, 713 pp. $40], a recounting of the life of the Duke of Wellington that clarifies and corrects much that has been miscast by other biographers and historians of Napoleon’s famous defeat.)
For Socorro, the other similar sightings recounted in the time-frame, and the military testings of various new space technologies, need to be taken into account if one wants to get a handle on what police officer Lonnie Zamora saw.
To ascribe the Zamora sighting as an ET craft is a wished-for explanation without benefit of what was happening elsewhere and even in the vicinity of Socorro, also nearby the same facilities that influence the Roswell happening(s).
In the 1966 Ann Arbor (Dexter,) actually “swamp gas” sighting, an identical sighting at Hillsdale, fifty miles to the southwest, took place but was not particularly tied to the Ann Arbor/Dexter sighting by farmer Frank Mannor.
However, the Hillsdale sighting by college co-eds indicate that either Frank Mannor and the co-eds saw similar swamp gas emissions, highly unlikely it seems to me, or had similar hallucinations, also unlikely, or both (and all) saw something identical in nature, at the same time.
Did they see a military test craft from the Selfridge Air National Guard base located in Mount Clemens. Michigan, about fifty-five miles from Dexter and thus about one hundred miles from Hillsdale? Unlikely.
Were there other sightings no far away, in the time-frame, March 1966? Yes, but not explored by the press at the time or ufologists since, generally.
The other element of the Context was the hysteria generated by the press accounts more than anything else. People were seeing flying things all over the place.
But the Mannor account and the accounts of the Hillsdale College co-eds indicate that something peculiar was seen, by sane persons, free of neurological misadventures, as far as can be determined at this late date.
Context is everything, in history, news reportage, in medical or psychiatric evaluations, and UFO events.
That context is eschewed by UFO investigators, except superficially, goes to the heart of why UFOs remain an enigma.
It’s too late to do much about the classic cases, but I do think Roswell might be distilled if only reasoning UFO aficionados take hold of the encrusted mythos.