Two Pre-1947 UFO accounts: One Socorro-like, the other with "missing time"
Lynn Picknett, in The Mammoth Book of UFOs, referenced here in an earlier posting, has two pre-1947 UFO accounts that I find extremely interesting.
One took place in New Appollonia, Thessaloniki County, Northern Greece , the account originally from Strange magazine by Thanassis Vembos.
A son (A.I.) recounted a story told to him by his father (P.I.).
P.I. encountered in a clearing, while out to cut trees and gather dry leaves, two odd beings and a craft. P.I. approached them The two beings “were tall, taller than ordinary men, with big heads and short hair. Their eyes were red … Both had dark skin, not brown … but red, bronze, suntanned. Their faces seemed sunburned and bloated. They were wearing uniforms, something like English military outfits, The two ‘people’ were standing in front of a large ‘thing.’ The object was egg-shaped and had a height of about 3 meters [9 feet]. Its width was enough for two standing occupants and the craft was standing upon 3 or 4 ‘legs.’ … [the craft] was half metallic and half glass (its upper half was transparent). There was an opening on its metallic portion … and a little ladder with 3 or 4 steps.”
P.I. called out to the two “people” whereupon “They stepped back, climbed the ladder, and entered the craft … they were clearly visible within the crystal half of the craft. One of them was staring [at P.I.] and the other was doing something unknown. They pulled the ladder inside and suddenly there was a noise [italics mine], like something that was activated. Then on the top of the craft, something like a balloon appeared or rather inflated, and the craft took off vertically. During its ascent no flames or smoke were visible, and no noise was heard. P.I thought that one of the craft’s occupants waved once at him” and taking a few steps looked up to see the object had become small as a bird.” [Pages 36-37, italics mine throughout]
P.I. then found a corked bottle from which a thick liquid spilled out and combusted spontaneously also consuming an axe that P.I. had with him. Telling the story in his village, P.I. was laughed at.
P.I. was in his mid-fifties when this happened and A.I. his son was twenty when he was told the story. (P.I. was said to be a respected shepherd “who inspired something like awe” among the villagers, because he could “hypnotize snakes and make them wrap around themselves around his waist like a belt.”) [Page 37]
The story resonates with me because it has, noted by my italics, some elements that are similar to the 1964 Socorro incident: two beings (tall not small however), the egg-shaped craft, small like Zamora’s craft with a ladder and sitting on 3 or 4 legs, but no noise upon take-off, and its quick disappearance into the distance, much as police officer Lonnie Zamora described the flight of the craft he spotted in the desert.
The second account Ms. Picknett provides took place in 1939 in Guisborough, Cleveland, North-East England.
A mother and her son were taking a walk, “climbing up [a] local beauty spot” where the mother heard “a strange humming sound, apparently coming from the ground under their feet.”
Then “there was a strong smell of something burnt, like burnt paper, then a big, white globe of light suddenly appeared …there in the middle of the field.”
“Then two little men appeared on the brow of the hill … they were tiny, maybe about three feet [900 cm] high. They were wearing some kind of shiny material, a sort of light greenish colour, and had close-fitting helmets made of a similar kind of material. They were jabbering away to each other in high-pitched voices. Then they looked a us and pointed, getting excited. The globe of light moved closer to us … rolled right round us very slowly …then it stopped, although the humming sound got louder under us …
“Then suddenly everything stopped. The humming noise and vibrating disappeared and the globe of light and the little men seemed to dematerialize. Puf! Just like that, into thin air …” [Pages 38-39]
But then the mother and son “heard some weird high-pitched laughter that seemed to come from the air.” … The light [sky] turned strange – sort of nasty thick yellow, and there was that ugly burning smell again. We both felt very tired …[the son, narrator] fell into a sleep state and when awakened by his Mum, the yellow light had gone, and they set off again downhill, but couldn’t find their way, even though they had been in that place dozens of times.
Finally they found themselves on the path they took earlier, but not at its top but near the bottom, hundreds of yards down from they were when they experienced the strange happenings. They had gone up the hill about 2 p.m. and assumed it was about 4 p.m. but it was 6:30 p.m. and the husband/dad had been scouring the neighborhood for them.
Telling their story to him, he shrugged it off as a dream. And others whom they told also disbelieved them. But, allegedly, a neighbor (a policeman) said he and two mates “had encountered what looked like a small shiny airship that made a disproportionately loud humming sound but vanished into thin air before they could investigate, and a twelve-year old girl said she’d seen an ‘angel’ among the heather (and been slapped by her father for telling lies).” [Pages 40-41]
Ms. Picknett says the story wasn’t caused by war-hysteria, but did have the feel of being “pixie-led” – happenings from the fairy realm.
The tale wasn’t able to be corroborated by the mum When asked about it, when she was in a nursing home and aged, she couldn’t recall the episode.
The story has the element of “missing-time” common to other UFO tales, and the humming sound is not unique, and the two little men (always two?) is striking.
The event has all the attributes of a folie à deux, and Brit David Clarke must surely put this in a category of folklore, but I’m not so hasty to do that.
Both tales presented here reek of something odd and real, even if hallucinatory.