UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

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 [1938], 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.

RR

14 Comments:

  • P.I. picks up a "corked" bottle of combustible fluid? Rather low-tech...

    More later after reviewing the second account...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, March 13, 2016  

  • Interesting, no?

    I have to say that the corked bottle wasn't definitely connected to the craft or occupants but found on the ground after they had departed.

    Either way, it's odd.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 13, 2016  

  • 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.”

    "The globe of light moved closer to us … rolled right round us very slowly … hen it stopped, although the humming sound got louder under us …" ... typical of an earth light. There also cases of ball lightning where an humming sound was heard.


    "“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]" ... again typical of earth lights. When there is no longer energy released from the ground, ionization ceases.

    "But then the mother and son “heard some weird high-pitched laughter hat 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." ... Effects of strong EM fields on witnesses?

    So, my hypothesis is that the "Little men" were luminous plasma columns and the globe of light was a typical earth light.

    The witnesses interpreted that as an extraterrestrial visitation because this is the most prevalent interpretation, even if what
    they observed was a totally different phenomenon.

    That's why I think that the field observation project on such luminous phenomena is so important.

    Best regards,

    Jean

    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Monday, March 14, 2016  

  • Jean:

    That "luminous phenomena" are perceived with so many UFO attributes (craft, beings, laughter, et cetera) strikes me as gilding the lily, as it were.

    It's easier to conceive of such "encounters" as fairy-like (with real pixies or giants) than phenomena misperceived.

    Your scenario, of mistaken perception, would call for a whole new psychiatric category, which is open for discussion maybe.

    (Thanks for the inserts of my copy in your commentary. It allowed me to catch the missing "t's" from my typing.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 14, 2016  

  • Do the original sources for these two tall tales pre-date 1947? If they don't (i.e. only published after that date) that's significant, regardless of what date the story tellers gave.

    I see the old canard of 'well respected' was trotted out again for the Greek sheperd. Sort of contradicted by the detail of his apparent ridicule from the villagers, don't you think?

    You may choose to believe these people weren't lying - I don't. The second tale especially suffers from getting carries away with itself.

    Ufology: Seventy years of tryin g far too hard...

    By Blogger scherben, at Monday, March 14, 2016  

  • Scherben...

    I agree. If the stories were recapped after 1947 and not original, from 1938-1939 sources, they could be discarded.

    But if they can be shown to pre-date 1947, as Ms. Picknett implies, they have merit with me. I can't imagine the "witnesses" creating bogus stories that resonate so keenly with later UFO reports....before the fact, as it were.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 14, 2016  

  • Dear Rich,

    "That "luminous phenomena" are perceived with so many UFO attributes (craft, beings, laughter, et cetera) strikes me as gilding the lily, as it were."

    My own field experience in investigating and reviewing cases in the province of Quebec, Canada, is that words like craft, beings,
    etc are just labels the witnesses give to things that they could not identify. The last year, I investigated a case where the witness called a "craft" a luminous green sphere that rose from the ground. In 1976, there was a case where witnesses called "humanoid" a ghostly shape that transformed itself into a sphere. As the ETH is the prevalent explanation, they will try to match the unknown phenomena they observe to the presumed explanation for UFOs. But when we ask for details, then we discover that the observed phenomena have nothing to do with extraterrestrial visitations.

    "Your scenario, of mistaken perception, would call for a whole new psychiatric category, which is open for discussion maybe."

    Don't be mistaken, these luminous phenomena look very weird and frightening when observed at close range and witnesses
    are almost right at invoking a surnatural explanation for them.

    Best regards,

    Jean



    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Monday, March 14, 2016  

  • Jean:

    In the cases cited -- ostensibly pre-1947 -- there would be no contamination from stories or accounts that make up the modern era of UFO lore.

    That the "witnesses" allegedly described what they experienced, and those descriptions resemble, very closely. what post-1947 witnesses experienced gives me pause to see such renditions as interesting in the extreme.

    The caveat that Scherben provides -- were the stories really pre-1947 -- or derived from second-hand creations at a later date is what would be better addressed.

    That some UFO witnesses interpret magnetic or meteorological phenomena as space craft or alien beings is okay with me.

    But to assume that all observations or accounts are explained by your thesis stretches credulity and is intellectually specious.

    Perhaps, a few UFO accounts may be likened to luminous phenomena, but all of them? I don't think so.

    That is too Menzelian for my taste.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 14, 2016  

  • Good evening Rich,

    No, I don't think that all UFO reports may be explained by earth lights. Only ones that have the characteristics of this phenomenon: luminous globes of light that appear, move and disappear as well as luminous shapes that appear near the ground. The Guisborough and Robert Taylor cases shows these characteristics, so this is why I relate them to earth lights.

    For the other sightings you link with possible AI probes (Von Neumann probes?), the problem is that each sighting describes a different object. The reports doesn't reduce to a limited set of devices. This problem was mentioned decades ago by Allan Hendry in his UFO Handbook and raises serious questions about the objective reality of the reports. Either the reports are a pure invention (hoax) or either a cause triggering an hallucination or an altered state of consciousness produces the accounts.

    Regards,

    Jean

    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Thursday, March 17, 2016  

  • You know my view(s), Jean....

    People see and report what they actually see (or experience), and it's "real" even if hallucinatory.

    And it's not a hoax or madness, a topic which I'll be exploring after I get Foucault/s "Madness and Civilization" shipping from Amazon.

    (I always thought UFOs should be epitheted as "phenomena" rather than a singular phenomenon. (Jerry Clark used to eschew such a designation when we interacted at UFO UpDates, but he was wrong.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 17, 2016  

  • > about three feet [900 cm] high

    You mean 90 cm.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Friday, March 18, 2016  

  • The quotation comes exactly as it appears in the book, Terry.

    \And 90 cm seems a bit tiny to me.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 18, 2016  

  • 90 cm is about three feet.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, March 19, 2016  

  • I looked at the book again, Page 39, to see if I had a typo and the bracket is [900 cm] which is 29+ feet....rather large but there it is.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 19, 2016  

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