Monday, February 28, 2011

Cold case - abduction - Todmorden UK

Hi

With the passage of time, old cases are being re-investigated in the light of today's knowledge. There have been major advances in our understanding of the human brain, and the way in which it works. A two part article in the English "Fortean times" (January and February 2011) takes a look at a classic English abduction case, from 31 years ago.

The article:

"A Policeman's lot: Part 1 & 2" is authored by Peter Brookesmith (click here); David Clarke (click here) and Andy Roberts (click here.)

The November, 1980, Alan Godfrey, alien abduction case occurred in the location of Todmorden, in West Yorkshire, England.

Police Constable Alan Godfrey was driving alone in a police car on a cold wet night, when a large object caught his attention. He described it as a fuzzy oval with light beneath it. Leaves were shaking on bushes. Both his car's VHF radio and personal UHF 'batphone' failed. he drew a sketch of the object; there was a burst of light and he found himself driving the car 100-150 yards further up the road from where he had been. A circular marking was found on the roadway. Later, it was said that three other police officers saw an object nearby at about the same time.

Godfrey underwent hypnotic regression in August 1981 and "something resembling an 'abduction' account emerged."

The case attracted much attention and it has gone down in the UFO literature as a classic UFO abduction.

Potential explanation:

"Jenny Randles believes there is a strong case for his seeing an unidentified atmospheric phenomena (UAP) - a catch-all term for a range of light phenomena that includes earthlights, ball lighting and atmospheric plasma and vortices similar to those proposed by Terence Meaden as the source of some crop circles." (p.46.)

"An analysis of 10,278 UFO sightings between 1947 and 2001 shows, that, as a ratio of population against sightings numbers, sightings are 12 times more frequent within the sparsely populated region that the national average...73 per cent of all alien contact reported within the Pennines occurred within 10 miles of Todmorden." (p.46.)

Jenny based her conclusion on the facts:

* Godfrey's UHF and VHF radios experienced electrical interference when the UFO was present.
* A low pressure frontal system had just gone through.
* The UFO was described as "like a glowing, spinning top."

Andy Roberts:

Andy Roberts thinks "Godfrey may well be reporting his own experience but that it is unlikely to have taken place in our consensus reality...no physical evidence...no other witness to any part of it has come forward..."

There was a report that three other police officers had seen something unusual just 15 minutes before Godfrey, but it later turned out that this had occurred 4 days before.

Godfrey "Stated repeatedly that when he first saw the object his first thought was that it was a bus." (p.48.)

The article postulates: "Godfrey had been up all night. It's the later part of his shift, and he's been unsuccessfully hunting cows up and down the back streets of Todmorden. He's driving up the road, tired, through a light drizzle. Suddenly he sees something at a bus stop opposite the Mons Mill. Whatever it is, by his own account, it reflected the headlights of his police car. He can't immediately recognise the object but thinks it is a bus.

"As he's tired, perhaps confused, mind processes this information, he slips into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and in this hallucinatory state, voila, the bus becomes a UFO. The ASC lasts long enough for him to test the radios, sketch the object, and drive his car 100 yards (90m) or more up the road before he comes around."

Where did the UFO imagery come from?

A saucer shaped building "The Futuro," saucer shaped with elliptical windows, had been parked at various sites around Todmorden between 1969 and 1980's.

"The bus-and-ASC hypothesis is the simplest and most elegant explanation, and it accounts for all the elements of his story."

In support of the ASC is that fact that Godfey had undergone previous odd events:

1. In childhood, a ball of light appeared in his bedroom.
2. At age 18 - a woman and a dog stepped out in front of his car, he braked, got out but there was nothing there.
3. At age 23 he was found wandering in a daze.

My comments:

1. There are documented instances where an individual has claimed an abduction while other people physically present with them, saw nothing, e.g. the 1972 Frankston, Victoria, Maureen Puddy case (click here).

2. However, one crucial piece of information seems to have been missed from this article. Was there or was there not a bus scheduled to be at that bus stop at the time? If so, did anyone interview the driver of the vehicle or any passengers? I suggest that as the article does not mention checking whether or not a bus had been present, then the investigators did not do so. If they had, and a bus was there, their hypothesis would be greatly strengthened.

3. Usually, one cannot locate the possible source of imagery which generated a specific UFO report. Here the authors identify a very unusual saucer shaped building which had been around Todmorden for years.

Similarly, if you read other case accounts of the Maureen Puddy case you will find that Maureen spoke of a "mushroom" shaped object in the room where she was, but yet the VUFORS investigator stated "She picked off a little gadget from the dashboard of her car and to my amazement it was exactly what I had envisaged from her description of the 'mushroom.' A small compass on a suction cup." (Click here for more on this.)

4. I think one needs to give serious consideration to the possibility that some abductions occur in an altered state of consciousness. What this exactly means, remains to be further researched.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cold cases - Project HIBAL

Hi all

Introduction:

In a previous post I suggested that some Australian UFO reports may have been caused by stratospheric balloon flights.

I recently had the National Archives of Australia digitise four Project HIBAL files, which was a project which flew stratospheric balloons in Australia, between 1960 and 1969, and whose balloons may have caused some UFO reports.

The file series:

Series B441, control symbol 70/002919 parts 1 to 4 is titled "USA Upper Atmospheric Sampling - HIBAL - Mildura." The four files were owned by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The Project:

The use of high altitude balloons for scientific research has a long history (click here). Project HIBAL in Australia was originally approved at a meeting of the Defence Committee on 20 October 1960 as agenda item 91/1960 as part of Project "Ash-Can." The operational agency for the USA was the US Atomic Energy Commission and for Australia it was the Department of Supply.

Project HIBAL was originated to study radioactivity in the atmosphere at heights which could not be reached by aircraft (See earlier posts on Operation Crowflight in Australia.) The operational base for the Project was Mildura, Victoria (click here for more.)

Details:

The balloons flew to a height of between 50,000 and 120,000 feet and flew over areas of New South Wales; Victoria and South Australia.

Each balloon lifted a load consisting of an air sampling unit, telemetry and radio tracking equipment. The balloon could be up to 280 feet tall and 150 feet in diameter. A light aircraft followed the balloon to assist determine the location of payload descent.

Sometimes the balloons did not burst after dropping the payload, and floated way beyond the expected area of operations. For example, HIBAL flight 15 on 9 March 1961 floated over Marrabel and Saddleworth in South Australia. In May 1962 flight number 93 made it all the way to Canberra, ACT. Flight 123 on 22 June 1963 got to Cowell in South Australia.

Check files:

The four files between them contain the dates of flight of 301 HIBAL research balloons flying between 1960 and 1966 which would allow Australian UFO groups in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to check their UFO databases against the HIBAL launch dates. I would urge UFO groups in these states to do so.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New book alert - Bullard

Hi readers

I found one more new book in the pile by my bed. "The myth and Mystery of UFOs" by Thomas E Bullard. 2010. University press of Kansas. Lawrence, Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-1729-6.

Introduction:

Bullard's 24 page introduction uses the 7 November 2006 observations of a "...dark gray, unlighted, elliptical or Frisbee-shaped object..." (p.1.) over O'Hare Airport, Chicago in the USA to introduce the concept of a divide between popular and official approaches to the UFO subject.

He uses this instance to state the theme, which arises time and time again throughout the book that "UFOs seldom attract a serious glance from scientists, academics, the elite media, or government authorities." (p.5.) He goes on to offer a number of suggestions as to why this is.

At the end of the introduction, Bullard states his own position on UFOs. "In the end I side with the believers. My conclusion is not based on personal preference but on familiarity with the evidence." (p.24.)

"Who goes there?"

After reviewing the Kenneth Arnold sighting of 1947, where the media used the name "flying saucers" despite Arnold's observation being of heel shaped objects, Bullard illustrates the "...glaring contrast between the documentary version and the version in UFO literature," (p.34.)when discussing the 1975 USAF base "intrusions."

"if the UFO mystery begins with individual experiential texts, the subsequent discussions that add related cases, interpretations, glosses, controversies, and associations also belong with UFO discourse. All such UFO talk integrates into a systematized or partially systematized network, to form a loose, protean, but unitary state. Such a cumulative end result also needs a name. The term to recognise this entirety is "myth." (p.40.)

Myths-what are they?

"One appealing quality of myths is its comfortable, human-friendly way of thinking." (p.43.)

"Attributes most helpful for understanding the relationship of myths to UFOs:
1. A myth is, at heart, a narrative text about events...
2. As a mode of expression myth exchanges an idiosyncratic for a collective representation...
3. Myths function to create meanings, express values, and serve social or personal needs...
4. Myths grow by association of ideas and tend toward inclusiveness...
5. In creating a belief world, mythmaking sacrifices some part of literal truth for a more coherent and desirable fiction...
6. An identifiable pattern of events and understandings distinguishes a myth...
7. Myths are more than false belief..." (pp43-45.)

How do you relate UFOs and myths?

"UFOs are inherently strange and fantastic. They behave in "magical" ways, remain embroiled in controversy and provoke a sense of awe, mystery, and power. For such reasons UFOs fulfil;l some basic criteria of myth..." (p.45.)

"One recurrent effort to relate UFOs to myth has treated them as part of an incipient religion." (p.46.)

"The growth and Evolution of UFO Mythology"

"...the UFO myth has grown out of observations and experiences, theories and speculations, media images and quarrels with official authority." (p.53.)

Chapter two traces "UFO mythology through four phases distinguished by characteristics of the reported phenomenon and interests of the people pursuing it." (p.53.)

Bullard describes these four ears as (1) Formation years 1947-1963;" (2) The era of high strangeness 1964-1974;" (3) Chasing the Next big thing 1975-1990;" and (4) The 1990's and beyond:uforia without UFOs."

Chapter three:

"UFOs of the past is used to illustrate that there have always been strange things seen in the skies. These range from the Romans' "Prodigies'" through the scientific recognition of such things as meteors, auroras, and weather events; to "airships." Bullard's view on the US 1896-1897 "airship" wave is that "...a disappointment lurks beneath the surface: not one of the thousand or so reports seems to describe a genuine UFO" (p.111) and that "Under critical examination even the most promising treasures of the past usually pan out as fool's gold." (p.119.)

Bullard then goes on to look at Gods, monsters and fairies - the myth of the "Others."

In mythical terms, "Space Brothers" parallel tradition idealization of the good "Other," while Grays often represent the bad "Other." (P.244.) Bullard argues that "What sets UFO aliens apart from supernaturals, Plinian monsters, and wild men is the uniquely modern concept of superiority through technology." (p.244.)

Next comes...

In two chapters titled "Explaining UFOs" - "An Inward Look" and "Something Yet Remains" Bullard tackles the issue of "psychosocial" hypotheses versus a mysterious residue after conventional explanations have been taken into account. On 'psychosocial" Bullard concludes "Psychosocial theory is powerful but not airtight." (p.284.)

"...a favourite supportive argument for UFO relies on consistency of description in their reports." (p.294.)

Referring to the work of David Hufford, Bullard notes that "Hufford's experience-centered approach has turned around the academic study of anomalies and restores respectability to experiential claims..." (p.303.)

High strangeness cases "...offer enough evidence to criticize yet resists every effort to explain them away..." (p.308.)

Bullard then offers the following threads:

1. "The alleged event fulfills basic authenticity requirements."
2. "Quality testimonial and instrumental evidence supports an anomalous record."
3. The strange quality oft he alleged event lies not in the vagueness of inadequate description but in the unusual character of well-specified incidents."
4. "A coherent account merges from reports of an anomalous event."

5. "The alleged event bears some similarity to other accounts."
6. "The alleged event differs in some respects from expectations."
7. "The report of an alleged event had undergone strenuous critical examination but survives alternative explanations with the anomalousness of the event intact."

In summary:

Pulling these threads together, Bullard concludes: "By these standards a small but non negligible body of reports gathers impressive eyewitness testimony and instrumental corroboration for an anomalous and seemingly unconventional phenomena." (p.311.)

"These cases suggest that the character of UFO narratives depends in some part on the character of UFO events, and those events owe their character to a source independent of UFO mythology. Even allowing for human fallibility and self-deception, a genuine mystery seems top be left over." (p.311.)

Bullard argues that the lack of knowledge as tot he nature of the events should not preclude studying the subject. "As social facts and cultural phenomena, UFOs deserve a prominent place in academic inquiry. Intriguing claims in quality reports rate UFOs as worth their hire for scientific research as well." (p.312.)

Finally, Bullard concludes "With a willingness to meet the mystery on its own terms, scientists can observe and learn about UFOs in field studies that will take time and lack the decisiveness of experimental proof, yet still compile a gradual understanding of whatever comprises the mystery." (p.313.)

Comments:

I found this book quite hard to read, but persevered due to the fascinating way that Bullard builds up his lines of evidence to argue that the UFO "mystery" outweighs the UFO "myth."

The work is extensively noted, and contains a lengthy "selected bibliography" plus an in depth index, which helps the reader find their way.

Like Leslie Kean's work "UFOs" this is an important contribution to the latest growing call for a proper scientific study of the UFO phenomena.

Have you read this book, and what did you think?

Friday, February 18, 2011

New book alert - Miller & Osborn

Dear readers

Adelaide's cooler and wetter summer continues this year. Traditionally today would be sunny, and 40 degrees Celsius. Instead it is a maximum of 24 degrees and rain has been steadily falling for several hours. So, it will be wet for the start of the Adelaide Fringe, a performance festival of several hundred, diverse shows at dozens of venues scattered through the City.

This post takes a look at a new Australian book titled "Something is Out There" by authors Julie Miller and Grant Osborn, published by Arena/Allen & Unwin. 2010. Crows Nest, Sydney. ISBN 978-1-74237-132-0 363pp. My copy from my local library.

Three parts:

This book is a three part work. Part one is the "Supernatural;" part two "UFOlogy" and part three "Cryptozoology." This post will concern itself only with part two.

The book has been compiled from the authors' travels through Australia talking to UFO witnesses and researchers.

Chapter 13 looks at "Wycliffe Well-Australia's UFO Capital." It starts with the authors own "UFO" encounter with a white light travelling behind their vehicle for a while before disappearing into "thin air." They then interview the owner of the Big4 Holiday park at Wycliffe Well, Len Farkas, where Farkas informs them that the light "It's an alien probe...from the big craft."

Self-promotion has seen Wycliffe Well, a small, remote, locality in the Northern Territory elevate itself to some prominence on the world UFO scene. Farkas himself, has seen "Scores of alien craft in his 25 years at Wycliffe Well." (p.144.) While there, the authors interviewed employees and others about their own sightings.

Other Northern Territory sightings are related in this chapter including a photograph which "Shows Australian soldiers posing at nearby Devils Marbles in October 1942, with a small silver craft hovering nearby, clearly in shot." (p.146.)

"The UFO Hunter"

Interestingly, this chapter starts off with a tirade against some UFOlogists. " An irksome obstacle often encountered when investigating the UFO underground is the secretive and paranoid nature of many research groups. Phone messages are not returned, emails remain unanswered and personally written requests sent to anonymous postal boxes seem to wind up in the dead letter office." (p.153.)

The authors then introduce Alan Ferguson of Darwin, who "...claiming as he does to have photographed more than 30 mysterious aerial craft..." They review his methods and results.

The "Tully saucer nest" is the subject of a subsequent chapter which also recounts details of other circular markings.

Next, the authors cover the 1966 Westall case and their visit to Clayton South to meet one of the female witnesses. The authors also do a little academic research by contacting the Department of Defence, the national Archives of Australia and local police, but find, as others have done before them, that there are no official documents to be found on this case.

Valentich:

No Australian book on UFOs would be complete without the mention of the Frederick Valentich aircraft/ufo encounter and subsequent disappearance of the aircraft. Chapter 18 covers this event, while chapter 19 looks at the topic of "min min" lights.


The final chapter "UFO hotspots" discusses the authors' thoughts on where to go to see UFOs in Australia and their list includes, the Northern Territory, the Grampians in Victoria and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

Comments:

I found this book extremely light weight, with little to no, analysis of the events described in it. Interestingly, the book contains no details on the authors. Every other book I have read tells you who the authors are, their backgrounds, why they are interested in the topic they write about; their qualifications in writing the work, and their thoughts on the topic, plus how to contact them. There is nothing of this kind here.

There is no index and the references cited are almost always to other books.

All in all, not a book I would buy to add to my library.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Did aliens seed the Earth?

Hi readers

One suggestion as to how we all arrived here, is that we started with the introduction of alien bacteria from very early visiting aliens. Now someone is suggesting that we "give back" the same thing, to elsewhere in the Universe.

An article in the "New Scientist" volume 209 number 2798, dated 5 February 2011, by Stephen Battersby and titled "Go forth & multiply" (pages 41-43) sets out the views of Michael Mautner. Mautner's views ( read more click here) originally appeared in an article in the "Journal of Cosmology" volume five, page 982.

Mautner proposes that we should launch large numbers of very small spacecraft, packed with bacteria, and send them off to planets around other stars.

An editorial in the 5 February 2011 New Scientist, talking of Mautner's idea says "A twinkling flotilla of spacecraft cast into the darkness might be the ultimate expression of the selfish gene." It continues "...it should be pointed out that we are not necessarily the first creatures to have thought of this. Our Betelgeusian forefathers may have had the same idea 4 billion years ago, and set their seeds to fall on the fresh earth."

Comment:

Maybe the occupants of UFOs are our gardeners, tending the results of that seed?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Parallel universes and UFOs?

Hi readers

Some advocates of the UFO phenomenon argue that the origin of UFOs is from a parallel universe. Science, has of late, discussed the concept of parallel universes as just, that a concept. However, there may be more to it than that.

In an opinion interview between physicist Brian Greene and writer Amanda Gefter in "New Scientist" magazine, volume 209 number 2798 dated 5 February 2011, Greene says "We have no concrete evidence today of parallel worlds. But there are multiverse scenarios in which we might have access to other universes...I'm particularly fond of the brane multiverse, which is the idea from string theory that we may be living on a membrane that is floating in a higher dimensional space. I think there's a chance that we may test it shortly."

Greene's new book is titled "The Hidden Reality" published 2011 by Alfred A Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-26563-0 (click here for more on the book.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Space Contact the Day After"

Dear readers

Both Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) advocates, and UFOlogists have in the past disagreed, as to whether or not extraterrestrials have every visited, or are now visiting, the Earth. However, the search by SETI advocates continues.

The latest article which I have come across on SETI is from "Scientific American" magazine (click here for the magazine website) , volume 304 number 1, January 2011, pages 26-31. It is written by Tim Folger and titled "Space Contact the Day After."

"Within decades advances in computing power will allow astronomers to scan enough stars in our galaxy to have a reasonable chance at detecting a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization."

"News of the discovery of an extraterrestrial signal will reach the public almost immediately. A conspiracy to hide or suppress the evidence of an alien intelligence would be all but impossible."

"The content of the signal may never be understood. The assumption that mathematics or physics could serve as a cosmic lingua franca among civilizations may be misguided."

"Would revealing our existence to the universe at large attract the attention of hostile aliens? Such fears are probably groundless, despite the warnings of some prominent scientists."

Comment:

One of these prominent scientists was Stephen Hawking (click here to read about this warning.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New book alert - Redfern

Hi readers

"Final Events: and the Secret Government Group on Demonic UFOs and the Afterlife" came out about four months ago. Written by Nick Redfern (click here for Nick's website) it was published 2010 by Anomalist Books, San Antonio, TX. ISBN 1933665483.

Some of the persons interviewed for the book were Guy Malone,and his partner Nicole (click here); Joe Jordan (click here) ; Dr Michael S Heiser (click here,) and UFO researcher and Minister, Ray Boeche.

The premise is that there was a secret project, within the US Department of Defence, originating in the 1950's. This Project is said to have looked at a variety of things, but included contact with entities which were shown to be demonic and not extraterrestrials.

New book alert - Harris

Hi readers

This post is to alert you to a new book by investigative journalist Paola Harris (click here for her website.)

The book is titled "Exopolitics: Stargate to a New Reality" published through authorhouse a leading self publishing company, released this month, ISBN 978-1-4567-2220-3. 328 pages. (Click here to go to authorhouse.)

It was recently reviewed by Michael E Salla, on the Exopolitics Institute website. In part Salla writes: "In her newly released book...she discusses nine protocols for extraterrestrial contact...her work in documenting whistleblowers and experiencer testimonies has made her one of the founders of the new academic discipline of exopolitics which she believes is the key to forging a new international political reality."

When asked by Salla why focus on whistleblowers and experiencer testimony, Harris responded "They make the field credible. Most are military and pilots and scientists working for Black Projects."

Although I have not yet seen a copy of the book, Paola's wesbite gives some clues as to whom these military personnel and experiencers are. The website shows she has interviewed:

- A "Colorado Doctor" who had kept an audio recording of a telephone conversation with Colonel Phillip Corso in 1998

- Captain Robert Salas

- Former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer

- Experiencer Stan Romanek.

I await reading the book with interest.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Life with the aliens - part five

Dear readers

It is a relatively cool Adelaide summer's day today, forecast is for a maximum of 27 degrees Celsius. There was a refreshing drop of rain yesterday. In one day we had the whole average month of February's rainfall.

"Life with the aliens - part five"

The subject of today's post is part five of a series of articles by UK UFOlogist, Jenny Randles. This series appeared in the UK Fortean Times magazine, number 269, dated January 2011, pages 28-19. I have detailed parts 1-4 in previous posts.

"In part one...we found that an interpretation of an incident is filtered through the personal perceptions or beliefs of the witness."

"In part two ...we discovered that witnesses often suffered severe migraines, blackouts or memory disruption, and have even been diagnosed as suffering from medical conditions such as temporal lobe epilepsy..."

"Part three...revealed the fact that alien contact witnesses often have atypical childhoods..."

"Last month...we examined evidence that such messages might be received in an altered state of consciousness..."

Jenny then takes us through the case of "Jayne." "Her dreams were also vivid and at times lucid-so real that they were often hard to distinguish from reality." Jayne had "...many psychic experiences, including precognition and out-of-body experiences. And she had a phenomenal memory of her very early life."

Jenny then reviews the work of Dr John Lilly, and his visionary experiences.

"Over the years, several alien contact witnesses have, by chance, been seen by third parties during their adventures. In nearly all cases the observer saw the witness as if 'asleep', 'drunk' or simply 'away with the fairies.' In other words, they were in an altered state of consciousness but had 'gone nowhere.'"

Alien reality:

Jenny then lists the pro and con arguments:

Pro:
1. Consistency of alien contact stories.
2. Evidence of pattern repetition.
3. Small residue of alien knowledge.

Con:
1. No physical evidence proof.
2. Little new science or philosophy passed on.
3. Taxonomy of aliens not what we'd expect.

Conclusion:

"Much of what we see within the alien contact story says more about ourselves than another species 'out there.' It emerges like a global dream being dreamt by visually creative people who are skilled at entering altered states of consciousness. Here, via waking lucid dreams, they receive a messages that comes from within, perhaps via an alien intelligence beamed like a Galactic Open University programme for the benefits of anyone with the right 'equipment.' It may operate long term, in evolutionary timescales, and help us evolve. But it sells itself to the witness by imposing a dramatic encounter narrative, accepted as real but in essence a vision that distorts senses, sounds and images of the real world to temporarily adopt what is perceived."

"The evidence suggests that no spaceships are visiting us. No little grey men are stored in government freezers. But an alien influence could exist, and have consequences for the witness-a drive to evolve through enhanced intelligence, apparent ESP, increased creativity, spiritual or philosophical development. Any physical consequences are side effects, perhaps of the trauma of contact, or of the medical condition that a opens up the witness to having these experiences in the first place."

Jenny closes with the case of "Shirley." She reported seeing a UFO, waves of energy came from it. She had a rash and nausea. In 1986 Jenny interviewed her and found a history of ESP, vivid dreams,and alien contact. Beings fed Shirley information. "Maybe other races have discovered a better way of bridging the cosmos, using the one thing all intelligent species probably share-the power of consciousness."

Comments:

My co-blogger, Keith Basterfield, investigated Australian abduction accounts back in the 1980's and 1990's. Like Jenny, he found that abductees had an above average incidence of paranormal experiences, were often creative (artists etc); and had above average early life memories. This was documented at the time in a series of articles in the International UFO Reporter (click here for article list) and in Keith's second book, published in 1997 (click here.) One of Keith's catalogues also documents some of this data (click here.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

More National Archives of Australia files digitised

Members of the Australian UFO Research Association (AURA) had many UFO files in the National Archives of Australia (NAA) digitised, during the Disclosure Australia Project 2003-2008 (http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org/)

Newly digitised UFO files:

Recently, I paid to have three more UFO files in the NAA, digitised. These are:

1. File series A703, control symbol 580/1/1 Part 1 titled "Reports on Flying Saucers and Other Aerial Objects." This is the initial part of a 35 part series of files, which covers hundreds upon hundreds of raw Australian UFO reports made to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) between the early 1950's and the early 1980's. There are some interesting reports on this series of files which have been documented on the Disclosure Australia website.

2. File series A703, control symbol 554/1/1 Part 1, titled "Investigation of Flying Saucers-Policy." This is the initial part of a three part file series which documents the policy deliberations of the RAAF, the agency charged by the Australian Government to investigate UFOs.

3. File series A13693, control symbol 3092/2/000. Titled "Scientific Intelligence-General-Unidentified Flying Objects." It took two years of correspondence between myself and the Minister of Defence's Office to locate and have this file declassified. It was kept, between 1957 and 1971, by the Department of Defence's Joint Intelligence Bureau. (See Pauline's previous post on Defence Intelligence agencies and UFOs here.)

You can read all these files for yourself at the NAA website at http://naa.gov.au/ Click on "RecordSearch"; click on "search now as a guest"; In the box "Keywords" type in "flying saucers." A list of files will appear, find the three above. Click on them and open up the digital copy and read.

Other digitised files of interest:

While checking out the above three files, I noticed that the following files have also now been digitised for reading online.

1. A9300, control symbol Royal, T R H -the pilot involved in the 1944 Bass Strait UFO/aircraft encounter.

2. A9301, control symbol 434500 - Keith William Flitcroft - a member of the committee of the Queensland Flying Saucer research Bureau in 1959, alongside T R H Royal.

"June Marsden"

If you have read the post (click here to read) concerning the Australian Security Intelligence Agency (ASIO) file on several Australian UFO groups, you may recall the name "June Marsden."
Adelaide UFOlogist Fred Stone accused Marsden of being the cause behind the current unrest.

I checked the NAA for any files on Marsden, there are 10 in all. The files date between 1935 and 1959, and all have a current status of "Not yet Examined" meaning no one has requested the files be examined for opening to the public. All, but one, (the other being by the Department of Army) were generated by the Government Patent Office for "Literary Works." The titles of the works include, "Follow your stars to success" (1935); "Astrology series 1" (1940) , and "Strange happenings" (1959.)

Interestingly, in the NAA description of the files, "June Marsden" is said to be the professional name of Edna Grace Ingram-Moore (1935) or Enid Ingram-Moore (1937.) Mrs Ingram-Moore also used the professional name of Barbara Fayre (1940.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cold case - Bass Strait - 1944

A very intriguing event is said to have taken place in February 1944, over Bass Strait, an area of ocean between mainland Australia and the Australian state of Tasmania. This post provides some previously unknown information about the case.

Sources of the account:

(1) "The crew of a Beaufort bomber flying at 4,500 feet over Bass Strait, during February 1944, bore witness to what may have been Australia's earliest "electromagnetic" (EM) case.

At about 2.30am the plane gained a most unusual companion. A "dark shadow" appeared along side the plane and kept pace with it, at a distance of only some 100 to 150 feet. The Beaufort was traveling at about 235 miles an hour. The object appeared to have a flickering light and flame belching from its rear end. Only about 15 feet of the rear end of the UFO was visible to the bomber crew, apparently due to "reflection of the light from the exhaust." The strange object stayed with the bomber for some 18- to 20 minutes, during which time all radio and direction finding instruments refused to function. It finally accelerated away from the plane at approximately three times the speed of the bomber. Upon landing the pilot reported the incident to his base superiors, but he claimed he was only laughed at."

Source: Chalker, C. 1996. "UFOs sub rosa down under." "The Australian Military & Government role in the UFO controversy." Page 8. Retrieved 24 January 2011 from http://www.project1947.com/forum/bcoz1.htm

(2) "In a previous Newsletter, we noted a case recorded in the 1957 UFO magazine, "Australian Saucer Review" 3(1):16 from an original report form. The event was said to have happened in February 1944.

Mr T R H Royal was piloting a Beaufort bomber over Bass Strait when a dark "shadow" appeared alongside and kept pace for eighteen to twenty minutes. The object seemed to have a flickering light, and belched flames from its rear end. It maintained a distance of thirty to fifty metres from the aircraft before accelerating away. During the event all radio and direction-finding equipment is said to have malfunctioned.

The Project's researcher in Canberra went to the National Archives and obtained permission to inspect Mr Royal's personal service records. These records indicated that he was with No 1 O.T.U. (Operational training Unit) in early February 1944. However, there was no record of his name in the Squadron Diaries or any indication that he had flown over Bass Strait. He was a Non Commissioned Officer Pilot.

The only mention of his name was when he was with No 8 SQN in September 1945 where he flew his first sortie on the 30 September 1945 on an unarmed reconnaissance mission over the Sepic River area of Papua New Guinea. This information came from the RAAF Historical Records, Russell Offices in Canberra."

Source: Newsletter Number 12 of the Disclosure Australia Project dated April 2004, available at http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org/

Further research:

1. The earliest reference I have been able to find for this case was from 1957, 13 years after the event is said to have happened.

2. I went to the website of the National Archives of Australia (NAA) to see if they held a record on a T R H Royal, to see if we can place him over Bass Strait in February 1944. I located a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) record, for one Thomas Richard Horace Royal. File series A9300, control symbol Royal, T R H. It shows Royal's date of birth was 28 October 1915. he was born in Townsville, Queensland.

3. A digitised version of the file (37 pages) is available for public viewing. This allowed me to ascertain that:
- He enlisted in the RAAF on 12/9/1940
- He was in aircrew from 24/4/43
- On 27/9/43 he was posted to no 85 FTS, Bundaberg, Queensland
- He undertook a flying course between 22/11/43 and 12/4/44
- He became a pilot on 9/4/44
- On 18/4/44 he was posted to 2ED
- Served in New Guinea between 31/8/45 and 20/12/45
- Discharged from the RAAF on 29/5/46
- Died on 4/12/69.

Additional information:

(1) "At the turn of the year 1942...Rick Royal...was flying a submarine reconnaissance and weather flight over Bass Strait...There was a most savage weather front that night and every other aircraft previously airborne had either landed or crashed so that his aircraft was the only one in the area. As a matter of fact they were only just flying, pretty well lost and with one motor packing it in.

Suddenly he saw a brilliant light below, showing through the hazy cloud in which he and his crew were flying. Abruptly the bright glow climbed to travel along with them, just off the starboard (right) wing tip. Little could he see except the rear portion of what was evidently a solid object, lit up by a brilliant, flaming tail, perhaps ten or more metres long. Every manoeuvre to get away or closer to the thing was exactly matched, so that their distance did not vary. Ricky noticed very definite signs of a strong static field: the radio hissed continually while the hair on the back of the necks of the crew stood up...only the gyro compass remaining unaffected. Suddenly the spurt of flame lengthened, and the object shot ahead leaving them rocking in its wake.

In strict confidence, Ricky expressed the opinion that the almost miraculous return to base by his aircraft was somehow due to the presence of the strange object. he gave no indication of how they had been aided to stay airborne, but he was sure that they would normally first have crashed.

To reduce the load on the remaining motor the crew had thrown out anything loose including the parachutes so they had no choice other hope for a safe landing from a very nerve-wracking flight."

Source: Flitcroft, Keith. 2005. "The Martian Factor." Poseidon Books.

My comments:

1.Flitcroft states that the event happened in 1942 which is at odds with the previously known February 1944 given in the 1957 source.
2. The NAA have the service records for a Keith William Flitcroft. See file series A9301, control symbol 434500. A digitised version is available.
3. Flitcroft was a committee member of the Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau, in 1959, as was T R H Royal.

(2) "The crew of a Beaufort bomber flying at 4,500 feet over Bass Strait, during February 1944, bore witness to what may have been Australia's earliest "electromagnetic" (EM) case. At about 2.30am the plane gained a most unusual companion. A "dark shadow" appeared alongside the plane and kept pace with it, at a distance of only some 100 to 150 feet. The Beaufort was travelling at about 235 miles per hour. The object appeared to have a flickering light and flame belching from its rear end. Only about 15 feet of the rear end of the UFO was visible to the bomber crew, apparently due to "reflection of light from the exhaust." The strange object stayed with the bomber for some 18 to 20 minutes, during which time all radio and direction finding instruments refused to function. It finally accelerated away from the plane at approximately three times the speed of the bomber. Upon landing the pilot reported the incident to his base superiors, but he claimed he was only laughed at. Such a reaction seems extraordinary in retrospect since it turns out that Beauforts figured heavily in official RAAF list of planes that "went missing without trace" during World War Two in the bass Strait area-an area that was not linked to any significant enemy activity. I have been told that Beaufort's had a mechanical problem that may have accounted for some of these losses...

The Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau came to the attention of ASIO (our domestic security and intelligence organisation) because the group had sought communication with Russian scientists about the idea that the 1908 Tunguska event was caused by an alien spacecraft. An ASIO officer reviewed the activities of the group and the backgrounds of the committee members. The dubious inspiration for ASIO's interest was largely deemed of little merit, but an ASIO report was written in August 1959. It described Ricky Royal, then the QFSRB's Vice President and technical officer, as "an ex-Air Force Officer and radio technician. His interests in these matters stemmed from a sighting of a U.F.O. over Bass Strait during the last war. he is a fanatic in matters relating to U.F.O.s and all attempts to prove their validity and would resort to any means to obtain information concerning them." As a technical officer for the group Royal had set up a 'technical laboratory," which led to a "light beam transmitter" being built. This was to be sued to signal UFOs.

At a public lecture in Brisbane in September 1961 Royal apparently got "carried away" with the moment. A group history of QFSRB (now UFO Research (Qld) written by Annette Bramelt (or Brameld) reveals that Royal "had said, from the platform, that he had been in contact with UFO's during his stint as a pilot with the RAAF during the war. He had witnesses and the incident was written into his log-book, but was "hushed up" by the particular Department. No exception was taken to his statement at the time..." The ASIO officer mentioned above had become a member. He told the QFSRB president that "it had been unwise for (Royal) to have made the statement, that the incident was unlikely to have been hushed up, and that the speaker would have trouble verifying the statement/" The president Stan Seers suggested the ASIO man should attend the next meeting and speak to Royal himself. This occurred but Royal resigned from the committee "with a strongly worded letter." A letter was drafted "to convey to him (the group's) regrets at his action and also (their) sincere thanks for all his valuable work; to assure him of (the group's) undoubted belief in his sighting story; to offer assistance in tracing crew members or in any other way...and to express the hope that he would soon be working with (them) again."

Source: Chalker, Bill. 2007. "UFO History Keys" column. Australian newsstand publication "UFOlogist" September-October issue.

More comments:

1. The ASIO reference to Ricky Royal as above, may be read at page 40, on the digitised file in the NAA. File series A6122, control symbol 2155, title "Flying Saucer Research Bureau (Qld)" internal ASIO file number 3/2/979 Volume 1. It is part of an ASIO report dated 4 August 1959 addressed to the Regional Director, Queensland, marked "secret." The subject was "Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau." Paragraph 8 of the report reads:

" The vice- President and technical Officer, Ricki Royal is an ex-Air Force Officer and radio technician. His interest in these matters stemmed from a sighting of a U.F.O. over Bass Strait during the last war. He is a fanatic in matters relating to U.F.O.s and all attempts to prove their validity and would resort to any means to obtain information concerning them."

On the 7 August 1959, the report was forwarded to ASIO Headquarters for their information.

Summary of research:

1. Documentation of the event goes back to 1957, 13 years after the event is said to have happened.

2. Royal certainly served in the RAAF during World War Two.

3. However, neither the 2004 research, nor the 2011 research, can place him as the pilot of a RAAF aircraft over the Bass Strait in February 1944.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Government and science ignore UFOs

Dear readers

Adelaide is experiencing its coolest maximum for some weeks, a top of only 22 degrees Celsius today.

Leslie Kean:

In her book "UFOs," Leslie Kean has a chapter titled "Militant Agnosticism and the UFO Taboo." The chapter is written by Dr Alexander Wendt and Dr Raymond Duvall. They are political scientists in the US, who published a paper "Sovereignty and the UFO" in a scholarly journal named "Political Theory." (Click here to read the paper.)

Leslie Kean sums up that paper by stating "Provided a complex, detailed, and deeply thoughtful analysis of why governments systematically ignore the UFO phenomenon even despite the over-whelming evidence for its existence." (p.269.)

"There is a taboo on this book-the UFO taboo...in elite culture - the structure of authoritative belief and practice that determines what "reality" officially is." (p.271.)

"One manifestation of the UFO taboo is official disinterest in responding to UFOs or in finding out what they are..to take UFOs seriously is to call one's seriousness into question..." (pp271-2)

"Out thesis is that the origins of the taboo are political. As political scientists, we are concerned with a possible connection between the need to dismiss the UFO and the way in which modern people organize and govern our societies. The inability to see clearly and talk rationally about UFOs seems to be a symptom of authoritative anxiety, a socially subconscious fear of what the reality of the UFO might mean for modern governments." (pp275-6.)

"In sum, the UFO creates a deep, unconscious insecurity in which certain possibilities are unthinkable because of their inherent danger. In this respect the UFO taboo is akin to denial in psychoanalysis: the sovereign represses the UFO out of fear of what it might reveal about itself." (p.277.)

Vallee and Aubeck:

Turning to another book, "Wonders in the Sky" by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck. In their introduction, the authors state:

"We will show that unidentified flying objects have had a major impact not only on popular culture but on our history, on our religion, and on the models the world humanity has formed since it has evolved a culture that includes writing, science, and the preservation of historical records ion stone, clay, parchment, papers and electronic media." (p.9.)

They then pose the question, "So why hasn't science taken notice?" and go on "Given the robust nature of the phenomenon and the enormous interest it elicits among the public, you would think that interdisciplinary teams of historians, anthropologists, sociologists and physical scientists would rush to study it." (p.9.)

"The answer lies with the arrogance of academic knowledge and in the fact that our best and brightest scientists have never bothered to inform themselves about the extent and reliability of the sightings." (p.9.)

Thus, both Governments and Science ignore the UFO phenomenon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

ASIO and Australian UFO groups

Hi

During the period when the Disclosure Australia Project (http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org/) was actively pursuing Australian Federal government UFO files, I requested files, if any, held by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) (http://www.asio.gov.au/) on a number of Australian UFO groups.

Initially, none was found. However, later, unannounced, one file did turn up in the files of the National Archives of Australia (http://www.naa.gov.au/)

The file:

File series A6122, control symbol 2155 titled "Flying Saucer Research Bureau (Qld)" was that file.

Recently, on revisiting this ASIO file in the Archives, I was surprised to find that the digital version now has more released pages on it.

There is now a memo from the OIC South Australia Police Special Branch, dated 4 January 1962 with a copy to ASIO, South Australia, which went on to ASIO headquarters. This memo is a cover letter for a report.

The report, reference 2188/67) has a subject of "Australian Flying Saucer Research Society. Allegations of attempted take-over by pro-communist Sydney group." It states that Fred Stone, a former president of the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society (AFSRS) had called into South Australian Police's Special Branch (click here for more.) Stone told them that he feared the AFSRS "...were in danger of being taken-over by a Sydney group known as the UFO Investigation Centre, whose headquarters was situated in Sydney, New South Wales."

The report continued "Former members of the Adelaide committee, who resigned on the 3rd November 1961, were concerned at this manoeuvre as they believed the Sydney society was "pink" in outlook..."

Stone stated that the present unrest had been instigated by Mrs J Ingram-Moore, otherwise known as June Marsden..." For more on June Marsden see a piece by Bill Chalker here.

Stone mentioned the names of some UFOIC members; namely Andrew Tomas, Dr Lindtner and Dr Clifford.

In preparing the report, the South Australian Police Special Branch had obtained information from the News South Wales Police Special Branch. The information provided by the NSW branch included personal details on each of the three men, then concluded "The UFO Investigation Centre has not previously come under the notice of this Branch. The only person referred to in the attached report...is Dr Lindtner." The report included information about organisational affiliations of Lindtner's.

The NSW Special Branch's input concluded with "In view of the above information, it would appear that Mr Stone's fears may not be entirely groundless."

My comments:

1. It would appear that some unknown person requested ASIO to review its previously non-release of this specific report, and was successful.
2. The release of these papers provides a little more insight into Australian UFO group "politics" of the 1960's.
3. From this ASIO file we know that ASIO had looked into three Australian UFO groups, namely the Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau (based in Brisbane) the UFO Investigation Centre (Sydney) and the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society (Adelaide.)
4. For more on this ASIO file please read the Newsletters of the Disclosure Australia Project at http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org/.
5. You can look at the digital version of this file by following:
a. Go to http://www,naa.gov.au/
b. Click on "RecordSearch" top right hand corner of the screen
c. Click on "search now as a guest"
d. Click on the tab "RecordSearch advanced search"
e. Click on "items"
f. In the box "item control symbol" type in 2155
g. Go through the list until you find the Queensland file
h. Click on the file and then open up the digital version.


















Thursday, February 3, 2011

Secret UFO study in the USA?

Dear readers

If you have been watching the news, via any source, you will see that our state of Queensland has been battered by a category 5 cyclone - a very unusual weather event indeed. Here in Adelaide, South Australia, in the last week we have experienced 42 degree Celsius heat. Today it is forecast to be 34 degrees.

In today's post I return to a subject dear to my heart, which is intelligence agencies and UFOs. I have previously posted about the CIA's interest in the subject in the 1970's (see posts on Dr Christopher "Kit" Green.) Have we any evidence that intelligence agencies continued an interest beyond the 70's?

Leslie Kean's book:

In her new book, "UFOs'" (see the post re this here) Leslie Kean, discusses this topic in chapter 23 titled "Government cover-up: Policy or Myth?" Among other things, she relates the finding of a document from the United Kingdom. The document, Kean states, "...comes close to verifying the existence of such a secret group in America-the only legitimate, confirmed government document to do that, to my knowledge." (p.238.)

The document:

The one page document was written in 1993, titled "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Study" and proposed a study, which was later carried out as Project Condign. "The document "Initiated by the Defence Intelligence Staff... Written by his counterpart in the DIS, it was addressed to Pope's superior "SEC(AS)2," the Air Staff deputy director, and classified "Secret UK eyes A." (p.238.)

Kean presents a relevant paragraph:

"2. I am aware, from intelligence sources, that XXXXX believes that such phenomena exist and has a small team studying them. I am also aware that an informal group exists in the XXXXXXXXXXXX community and it is possible that this reflects a more formal organisation." (p.239.)

Kean's analysis concludes that the first redaction is "Russia" and the second redaction "US intelligence."

Later she says "If indeed, this interpretation is correct, and I have every reason to believe that it is, this document references a secret group within the US intelligence world actively studying UFOs." (p.240.)

Then "The public position of the US government is that they haven't investigated UFOs since 1970...But this British document-the provenance of which is beyond dispute-potentially blows this claim out of the water." (p.240.)

Have any readers come across any more information of this secret study, and any others since 1993?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A mystical experience

Many years ago I interviewed a young woman here in Adelaide, South Australia, who had a range of unusual experiences, including a near-death experience; a UFO abduction-like experience and what can only be called, a mystical experience (click here.)

The latter occurred while she was sitting, stationary, in her car, in broad daylight. In the sky she saw what appeared to be a bright light in the sky which was approaching her vehicle. She then experienced a "oneness with the universe." This fitted neatly in with other descriptions I came across which have been labelled "mystical experiences."

The issue of the "Scientific American" magazine dated December 2010, volume 303 number 6, carried an article "Hallucinogens as medicine" by Roland R Griffiths (click here) and Charles S Grob (click here) (pp53-55.)

The "in brief" abstract of the article reads:

"Hundreds of research reports on hallucinogens appeared during the 1950s and 1960s. Illicit use resulted in outlawing of the drugs. Restrictions on research, moreover brought study to a halt.

"Hints from the early set of studies suggesting that these chemicals might help treat patients with various psychiatric disorders were not pursued because of strictures on research.

"A new wave of studies of hallucinogens, primarily psilocybin, ( click here for more) has begun to address whether the drugs can effectively treat the anxiety of cancer patients or help addicts kick their habit.

"Early results from new trials point to the promise of these therapies, with some patients reporting profound spiritual experiences, and hence the ability to make important life changes."

From the article:

"Sandy Lundahl, a 50 year old health educator...swallowed two blue capsules...a high dose of psilocybin...producing changes in mood and perception yet only very rarely active hallucinations...Her response indicated that during the time spent in the session room she had gone through a profound mystical-like experience similar to those reported by spiritual seekers in many cultures and across the ages - one characterised by a sense of interconnectedness with all people and things, accompanied by the feelings of transcending time and space, and of the sacredness and joy."

One line of research "...delves into whether hallucinogens - induced states of altered consciousness - and in particular mystical-like experiences - might ease various psychiatric and behavioral disorders..."

My comment:

It is interesting that we are now, again studying these mystical experiences in the laboratory, where previously we only encountered them in spontaneous settings like the Adelaide woman I mentioned above.

Near-death experiencers also report a decreased on the fear of death; and a spiritual factor features quite heavily in these experiences.

For my own catalogue of Australian UFO abduction abstracts click here.

National Archives of Australia - more new UAP files available

Background Over the years, Australian researchers have found around 150 files in the National Archives of Australia (NAA), dealing with t...