UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Seeing things

I am of the persuasion that people who say they saw or see something actually do see something.

How they interpret (describe) what they see or saw is another matter, but that they did, indeed, become aware of something they think their mind received visually is a matter of reality (subjective or objective, take your pick) for me.

Did Ezekiel see God in that famous chariot-like thing he recounted in The Hebrew Scriptures (the Holy Bible)? Did the disciples of Jesus walk with Him, after his death on the Road to Emmaus?  Did the children of Fatima see a woman [The Virgin Mary] clothed in white? Did Bernadette Soubirous also see The Virgin Mary at Lourdes? Did Juan Diego see, also, the Virgin Mary in Guadeloupe?
Did Kenneth Arnold see a line of flying things near Mt. Rainier in 1947? Did the Lonnie Zamora see an egg-shaped craft sitting on the desert floor in Socorro, New Mexico in 1964? Did the May boys and others actually see, in 1952, The Flatwoods “monster”?
Did people see something fall from the sky in Kecksberg, Pennsylvania in 1965? Did a number of people see something odd over Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in 2006?

Note, I’m excluding such iffy observations as the Trent/McMinnville sighting (and photographs) or the alleged Rendlesham incident or the Betty/Barney Hill episode among others, because they are encrusted with a patina of confabulation.

Do schizophrenics see the things they say that intrude on their being and minds? Do people see apparitions (ghosts)?
Do we see what we think we are seeing? (This goes to conscious awareness and the questions of consciousness, which I don’t want to belabor at the moment here.)

For me, when a credible, and seemingly normal person or even a supposedly mentally disturbed person says they see something, I think they really have seen something.

This goes to lots of things, but it’s UFOs we’re dealing with here.

So, if I read or hear that someone, a rational being by our usual standards of measurement and dictates, I take them at their word, until or unless something otherwise presents itself to make me squirm.

For instance, I think the Pascagoula fellows saw what they said they saw. Even if it was a folie à deux, they saw, in their minds, what they say they saw. [Tim Hebert, help me out here.]

And all those little creatures that French men and women saw in the 1950s were actually visually present to them as they reported.

(I’ve excluded the infamous Lotti incident as a real bona fide ET encounter and have explained why in several postings here and elsewhere some time ago.)
It seems that a kind of outrageous reality has occasion to intrude on our consciousnesses.

Eric Wargo, explains the mechanisms of those intrusions at his site – thenightshirt.com.

So, did those who saw the Virgin Mary or the observers of flying saucers [UFOs] actually see what they say (think) they saw, or were their sightings merely hallucinations, or are hallucinations real onto themselves inesse?

We can’t say – no one can – for sure, but I’m giving the observers the benefit of the doubt(s).



  • Rich,

    There is reality... and then there is reality. It may go beyond just people seeing certain things. I'll give you two examples.

    In the fall of 1982 I was working in the Precision Measurement Room at the Rocketdyne Divison of Rockwell International. Rocketdyne made the main engines for the space shuttle. When STS-4 was launched in June 1982 there was a major [but not catastrophic] failure about 30 seconds before main engine cut off {MECO] in the low pressure fuel pump.

    When the engine was returned to Rocketdyne for failure analysis the component that failed part was brought to use to measure and document the extent of the "damage". I won't go further into the details of the part or the engine but I will tell you twenty years ago there were TV video and films made which covered what happened when the component failed.

    I am certain I actually saw one of those films posted on the internet and the white plume of smoke in the engine exhaust that appeared when the failure occurred. Those films are no longer anywhere to be found. There were postings and articles acknowledging a "minor failure had occurred". None of those items can be found now either.

    So did I actually spend four hours measuring a titanium part that had broken and NASA has "cleaned up internet" of all traces of the films and press or did something really weird happen to reality?

    Another strange event:
    In 1993 I was still working for Rocketdyne on swing shift I had some errands to run before I went to work but the kitchen garbage can was full so I took the trash down from my apartment to the dumpster. The dumpsters were empty. I went back up changed clothes which took only 10 minutes and went out to the carport but I couldn't leave.

    The trash truck had just arrived to empty the dumpsters which were filled to over flowing. There was no possible way those dumpsters could have been filled in 10 minutes. None at all. I checked with my wife because I had mentioned that the trash and she confirmed my telling her about this event [I just reconfirmed it with her]. So did I have a major memory foul-up or did something strange happen?

    Both events could be explained in "rational ways".
    1) NASA white washed everything shuttle related after the loss of the Columbia with a little help of the news media re-editing all of their online video and Google removing any references to text evidence or YouTube Video.
    2) The failure did not occur and I was deluded into thinking I worked on that part.
    3) I misremembered when the trash truck arrived and when I took out the trash. Even though I remember telling my wife at that time the order of events as I experienced them.

    I'll add two more for your consideration from my father's papers [more specifically related to UFOs] posted at my under utilized blog, The Zeroth Circle. The two events are posted at:

    https://zerothcircle.blogspot.com/2014/08/sightings-little-sun-above-barn.html and at http://zerothcircle.blogspot.com/2014/08/sightingsthe-ufo-jackpot-found-at-trash.html

    Did he and my mother actually see those things? Did the things they saw have mundane explanations? In 1971 my father was 48 years old and working as a Senior Design Engineer for TRW Systems [Now a part of Northrup-Grumman]. you can find his resume here: http://zerothcircle.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-resume-and-technical-highlights-of.html

    I do believe that honest people report what they see or experience. Regardless if it does not "fit" with "mundane" explanations. Of course that belief will not sit well with some folks who have their own take on things where everything is explicable only in mundane terms.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Yes, to some degree Pascagoula case appears to support the folie a deux type of delusion, but based on what I've read at this point, I'm not 100% sure. What was the true relationship of the two men? Is it not somewhat odd that a 19 y/o would be hanging out with a 42 y/o?

    Reading Joe Nickles' article he makes the case that one was psychologically dominant over the other, thus supporting the folie a deux hypothesis. Honestly, I need to read more about the case

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Tim:

    I wrote a piece, a while back, about the Pascagoula boys, and hinted (only hinted) at a homoerotic relationship.

    A few readers went spastic, to where I pleaded the dominant theory also, to avoid bloodshed.

    The homoerotic relationship is pertinent for many reasons, as you will see when you read a full account of the incident.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • I thought that I had read that before...perhaps it was your past posting that jogged my memory. Despite all of the uproar and sensitivity (gay relationship) those are some of the hard questions that need to be asked.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • I was careful, Tim, to point to a homoerotic relationship, not a homosexual relationship.

    It was only hinted in my posting, not an accusation, but some pro-gay readers or ultra-liberals were aghast.

    Nonetheless, the "experience" was very likely a folie a deux, induced by the relationship and the alcohol (maybe drugs) being imbibed at the time by the two fellows.

    They saw something. surely.....what it was remains an open question for me....but the described beings fit an hallucination more than ETs.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • On another note concerning the Fatima vision, it was widely, even to this day, reported that two of the three children involved in the sighting died due to cancer caused by possible "radiation" exposure. This was not true, the two died from complications from the Spanish Flue outbreak. This was well documented in a write-up from the 1930s that I read a few years ago. This certainly does not discount what all three stated that they saw.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Those Spanish "flues" will get you every time. [I kid]


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Rich: "I was careful, Tim, to point to a homoerotic relationship, not a homosexual relationship

    Odd in this day and age that you would have received push-back. There was a certain dynamic with the two. Homoerotic vs. that of homosexual, both point to a relationship of some kind, and really is no different than the relationship dynamics with the Betty and Barney Hill. Simply one psychologically embeds the experience of the other.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • "Those Spanish "flues" will get you every time."

    As will a slip of the finger on the keyboard:)

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • @Tim:

    What is an hallucination? Is it seeing something that is "false" and/or "imaginary" [as in a kind of hysteria / delusion which has no basis in any kind of "reality" at all]?

    Is it a label for a percipient seeing / partaking of "non-socially accepted" truth / reality that might be valid [for the percipient] in the context of that altered reality?

    Is it simply a label we use to "tag" psychological events that are not "possible" or "acceptable" or "provable" in the context of generally held, socially acceptable "shared reality?

    Or are there other explanations [above and beyond actual physical neurological medical issues]?

    I'm not trying to ask loaded questions but I am trying to understand what a clinical view of these kind of perceptions in regards to these events might be. Its been 40 years since I took Abnormal Psychology so I'm not conversant with the "state of the art".

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Regarding the Hickson/Parker encounter. I agree; they experienced something very strange. Didn't Hickson's watch allegedly stop? And isn't there a tape recording of Hickson and Parker (in a jail cell?) discussing the reported event as something that actually happened? Does not smell like a hoax.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Joel,

    The concept of a hallucination covers visual, auditory, touch (tactile) and smell. There may be other subsets, but this covers mostly what I deal with.

    What causes these hallucinations? Numerous theories out there, but no one is 100% in agreement...this is not unusual in psychiatry and neurology.

    If I have a patient with advanced Parkinson's Disease with a global cortical Lewy Body involvement, there will be visual hallucination caused by an influx in dopamine. This is one of many organic examples.

    Getting to the main thrust of your question, a hallucination is a sensory distorted perception of ones environment. I say it's a distortion based on their perceived sensory reality that does not fit the norm reality. But their reality is just as real to them as what I, you, or others hold as being real. They interact based upon the stimuli.

    Referring back to the Pascagoula case and other similar cases, I've often wondered if one could have a brief transient hallucinatory event. The complexities of the brain attempting to process information can be interesting. Does an increase in cortisol levels play a factor, or is there a brief influx of dopamine in the neural synapses that induce a brief hallucinatory episode? Again, dopamine and sertonin surges have been shown to increase hallucinations. These are the questions that I've wondered and have been researching for the past few years.

    Rich makes the case, and a decent one at that, what these people see is truly what the see. But how and why is the question.

    And...I still search for any evidence that Capgras delusions is responsible for a portion of the abduction episodes.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • My take on the Pascagoula case:


    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • @Tim

    In the second linked example above from my father's papers, he reported seeing something that "appeared to be normal" but when he went back to that same location the next day he reported that what he saw the day before could not possibly have been "real".

    It is in "situations" like these in sightings that the question arises: Was what he saw the first day an "organic" or "delusional" episode or was there something that "manipulated" what he saw?

    I realize you cannot answer such a question and if one were to propose it was "manipulation" I'd have to wonder at how such a thing would even be feasible as a technology. From the current state of human technology, as far as I am aware, direct manipulation of the sensory functions of a human being is "impossible".

    It is a fact that my father did die some 41 years later from the effects of an organic brain disease / dementia which ended with an inoperable brain aneurysm. He was diagnosed with the degenerative dementia about 8 years before he died [three months short of 90 years of age]. Would such a dementia reach that far back?

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hessdalen lights, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hessdalen lights, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Thanks Julien.

    You know, we can discuss the topic rather extensively here, if comments are kept within a reasonable range, of thought and length.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Rich, you do realize that if [and I do say IF] your musings on the "simulationist argument" were true, it would moot the whole discussion of what these various percipients were experiencing?

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • No, Joel...you miss the point.

    People see things or think they do.

    It's a matter for researchers (or interested parties) to determine what they saw or think they've seen. That's all.

    Nothing is a simulation to the observer, even those within a Matrix simulation.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Joel,

    "It is a fact that my father did die some 41 years later from the effects of an organic brain disease / dementia which ended with an inoperable brain aneurysm. He was diagnosed with the degenerative dementia about 8 years before he died [three months short of 90 years of age]. Would such a dementia reach that far back?"

    Dementia is characterized by short term memory loss, loss of executive functions, judgment, etc. It tends to show up in our later years, but there are exceptions. Your father wrote extensively, yes? My suggestion is to read his work. Look to see if it makes reasonable sense based on his educational background and life experiences. I've read some of his work, courtesy of Rich, but that was only a snippet. Look at his entire body of work and that should provide some clues.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 16, 2016  

  • Thanks, Tim.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Tuesday, May 17, 2016  

  • "People see things or think they do."

    I agree. If people claim they saw something then in their minds they did. It doesn't matter if we believe them or not. They still saw what they claimed even if it wasn't visible to us.

    Of course this excludes liars pulling a prank or hoax.

    I think that some of it is pathological in nature while other explanations are also possible.

    I've seen things that others haven't. My family and friends have too. To us it was real but who really knows for certain? We do believe we saw whatever it was we described.

    I'll note that much could be explained by:

    1) Undiagnosed medical conditions.

    2) Prescription drug interactions or side effects.

    3) Psychological effects tied to emotion (fear, joy, anxiety, etc.).

    4) Stress and physical or mental fatigue.

    5) Just an active imagination or fascination with something.

    There are other reasons too, but these are reasonable pathological explanations even if we don't completely understand why they manifest in this way.

    Schizophrenics often believe things that aren't real, but to them they are because they experience it. Common is the symptom where aliens are speaking through a radio in a person's tooth - it's been well documented in medical literature.

    And while we are discussing visual sightings, what about our sense of smell, touch, or hearing? These also often accompany visual phenomenon.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Tuesday, May 17, 2016  

  • Brian...

    I've always wanted to zero in smells during UFO encounters, even those sightings high up. (Was the observer affected by fumes or vapors that had nothing to do with what they were seeing?)

    And sound. It's an important thing to consider but is generally set aside in UFO reports.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 17, 2016  

  • You may well "give observers the benefit of the doubts" but this does not mean reality. We often hear of sane, sensible, trustworthy people seeing strange things. But how do we really know they are sane or sensible or trustworthy?

    We know, or think we know, because they are either personal friends or occupy high positions where such characteristics are the norm. Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia when he saw his UFO. He had also served in the navy. Therefore, so people say, he must be beyond reproach and know what he was talking about when he saw his UFO and reported it. And if General so-and-so says he saw something strange, then he saw something strange and did not mistake it for anything else.

    Timothy Good often refers to his "impeccable sources" in his books. Since he usually does not identify these sources, why should we believe him in his description? An 'impeccable' person can identify a strange object 99 times out of 100, and will say nothing further. So what? He can still make a mistake the 100th time and then report it as a UFO.

    It then becomes an unidentified object, simply because he erred once in a hundred times. He would of course be 99% right and thus become 'impeccable' in some people's estimation, wouldn't he?

    In the end, nobody is perfect, or impeccable. We live in a (very) imperfect world, occupied by imperfect (to some extent) people.

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, May 18, 2016  

  • But CDA, most people are honest, setting aside those Roswell hysterics and a few involved with the Kodak mummy slides fiasco.

    If someone -- a normal, by measurable standards (my psychological field) someone -- say they see something, I accept that they have actually seen something.

    What they something is may be up for grabs, but their mind has received a perceptible image apparently.

    Your view is cynical, warped by spending too much time in the Roswellian environment where lies, hoaxing, and confabulation reign supreme.

    Get out into that occasional British sunshine and absorb the beauty of our simulated reality.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 18, 2016  

  • "Roswell hysterics?"

    You ought to be over here now, and witness the REAL hysteria going on over this referendum on the EU. You know, all the terrible things that could happen if we vote 'exit'.

    Believe me, it IS getting hysterical. But I digress.

    What to make of abductions? Hysteria or not? There are a number of sober, sane and sensible people who have been abducted, or say they have. Maybe even some in high positions (although I don't recall any to hand). They are 'impeccable' too. There was no reason for them to either lie or imagine something, was there?

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, May 18, 2016  

  • Abductees or experiencers have an episode that may hark back to a childhood trauma, usually sexual in nature, but that doesn't mean they haven't really experienced something (or haven't really seen something, mentally anyway).

    Will Bueche, a colleague and friend of psychiatrist John Mack is a more than credible experiencer or abductee, so when he tells us that he was "abducted," I suspect he had a bizarre, odd episode and isn't lying or crazy.

    What his abduction actually entailed is grist for study, neurologically and psychologically, maybe even biologically. (I've covered all this in earlier posts here and elsewhere.)

    Most abductees are not lying, merely recounting a strange happening.

    I'm not interested in abduction accounts, and interacted (via e-mail and phone)with Dr. Mack. shortly before he died in that London traffic accident.

    For me, and maybe him, there was a sexual etiology embedded in abduction accounts.

    As for Britain and the EU, it's a mess for you Brits and for the rest of the European economy and countries.

    I'm wishing you the best.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 18, 2016  

  • @ CDA

    "You ought to be over here now, and witness the REAL hysteria going on over this referendum on the EU. You know, all the terrible things that could happen if we vote 'exit'."

    Yes it may be bad, but no worse than here come our presidential elections in November.

    Depending on the vote, we could be looking at a return to American isolationism, a neofascist administration, expulsions, deportations, witch hunts, deliberate use of the A-bomb, torture, government backed racism, and a purposely declared national bankruptcy that will cause world wide economic collapse, more war, and more global problems.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Wednesday, May 18, 2016  

Post a Comment

<< Home