Monday, March 09, 2020

James Fox's new documentary "The Phenomenon"

I've had the opportunity to watch James Fox's new documentary "The Phenomenon" which is due out in September. I will be reviewing it shortly. The 1966 Westall school case is featured and in a way is book-ended with the fascinating 1994 Ruwa Zimbabwe case, with its theme of "contact" with some of the children of Ariel School - a potent way of ending the documentary. An extended credits follows, with a number of interspersed cuts of significant video comments. "The Phenomenon" is a strong UFO/UAP documentary, one of the best I think, which not only captures important key aspects of the current renaissance of UFO credibility, but also delivers a powerful summary of some of the classic touchstones of UFO reality. Through clever use of the extraordinary history of the UFO controversy as an empowering trajectory through a complex and troubled enigma - an entertaining, engaging and powerful statement about UFO/UAP reality. Be sure to check out "The Phenomenon" when it lands in a theatre or platform accessible to you.
The trailer:

Monday, February 24, 2020

In Search of an open science of UFOs and UAPs, not one bound by secrecy

Investigative writer Tim McMillian has written an excellent article in Popular Mechanics magazine (February 2020) “Inside the Pentagon’s Secret UFO Program.” In particular I was drawn to 2 aspects of the piece – the discussion of a 2009 BAAS report and a study review of injury cases involving UFOs or UAPs. They represent an insight into the activities of Robert Bigelow’s BAASS organisation research into the UFO/UAP subject during the period 2000 to 2009. We have seen previews of this in accounts of Bigelow’s forerunner to BAASS, namely NIDS, particularly through Jacques Vallee’s most recent “Forbidden Science” journal publication (“Forbidden Science 4 – the Spring Hill Chronicles – the Journals of Jacques Vallee 1990-1999”) covering the 1990s. Here now we have some insights into the decade that followed. Further insights may come from “Forbidden Science 5” (covering the period from 2000 to 2009). We may yet get some disclosures and releases from Bob Bigelow himself or from others involved in this convoluted saga of secret investigations into the UFO/UAP mystery.
Tim McMillian’s states in his Popular Mechanics article:
In July 2009, BAASS provided a comprehensive report to the DIA at the conclusion of the first-year option of the AAWSAP contract. The 494-page “Ten Month Report,” as it’s called, is chock full of strategic plans, project summaries, data tables, charts, descriptions of biological field effects, physical characteristics, methods of detection, theoretical capabilities, witness interviews, photographs, and case synopses—each one entirely, explicitly about unexplained aerial phenomena. Throughout the report, “the sponsor” is mentioned, however, the DIA is never explicitly named. The first pages list the names of every contractor working for BAASS with appropriate security clearances to have access to the program. Amongst dozens of credentialed names, some of those listed are very familiar to the UFO community, including Puthoff, Davis, Jacques Vallee, and Colm Kelleher. Regardless of one’s existing opinions of the UFO phenomena, the sheer volume of content in the BAASS Ten Month Report is astounding. Some of the notable content of the 2009 BAASS Ten Month Report includes: Overview of the BAASS Physics Division’s efforts to conduct research on advanced aerospace vehicles, including the development of standardization for measurement of physical effects and signatures associated with UAP.
Overview of BAASS research for measuring and gleaning the effects on biological organisms from UAP.Mention of Skinwalker Ranch in Utah as a “possible laboratory for studying other intelligences and possible interdimensional phenomena.”
Strategic plans to organize a series of intellectual debate forums targeted to broad audiences pertaining to the “potential disclosure of an extraterrestrial presence.”
Plans to create a “medical physiological UAP effects program.”Request for Project Blue Book files that have not been made public.
Mention of BAASS program dubbed “Project Northern Tier,” which involved securing documents related to instances where dozens of UFOs flew over restricted airspaces of facilities housing nuclear weapons.
● A possible UAP landing reported to BAASS by the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and its STAR Team (rapid response field investigators funded by BAASS in March 2009). ● Project databases of UAP-related materials compiled through various partnerships, and the intent to expand these databases by coordinating with foreign governments. ● Summaries of multiple UAP events both inside the U.S. and in foreign countries.● Photographs of UAPs provided by various sources, including foreign governments.
The UFO field has its historians and excellent researchers who have contributed extensively to many of these points, indeed much of focuses described above are taken from publically available research material. However as all this is now turning up in BAASS generated documents, thus BAASS proprietary and owned, we may not get access to this data, unless Robert Bigelow and BAASS see a benefit in their public release. I would certainly encourage them to do so in the interests of open scientific research into UFOs and UAPs.

BAASS and the AATIP programme were looking for possible disruptive technologies that may have been evident in UFO (UAP or AAV (Advanced Aerial Vehicles) encounters. The BAASS/MUFON STAR Team programme may have yielded just such an incident in the year the arrangement began, namely 2009 and the case: The Port Jervis New York state incident of 25 November 2009.  While the BAASS report described in the Popular Mechanics article was reported as being sent to the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in July, 2009, it is clear that BAASS were also generating monthly reports and they were focused on UFO data from BAASS activities and material from other sources, such as UFO researchers.

The Port Jervis case was initially reported as an intriguing example of a “car stop” case.  For me, it became even more intriguing when I learnt that it might be a remarkable example of a type of UFO phenomena that I had been studying for some time, namely “solid light.” This aspect was not evident in the initial public MUFON reporting of the case and became a contested part of the case when primary MUFON investigator Chuck Modlin described the event in the Canadian Close Encounters TV series during 2013.  In the show the episode dealing with the case – “Christmas Lights” – included me talking about the phenomenon of “solid lights” in a generic way. I had gone to Toronto to be filmed in a number of specific cases.  My linkage to the Port Jervis case was unknown to me until I saw the early drafts of the episode.  Up until then I merely knew the case to be a striking recent example of a “car-stop” case, often referred to a possible “EM” or “electromagnetic” car-stop case, the latter, because of the sense of a possible mechanism for the apparent stopping of a car.

I have presented this information before, but developments need it to be restated again. Perhaps parties within AATIP, BAASS, MUFON & To the Stars Academy (TTSA) may be able to examined this information and clarify the issues I raise here.

The timing of the AATIP’s funded activities and Robert Bigelow’s involvement had me wondering. With MUFON’s James Carrion, Jan Harzan, Chuck Modlin & John Schuessler meeting with Bigelow in 2008, leading to the short lived BAASS/MUFON marriage and AATIP running from 2007 to 2012, at least in terms of funding, 

I'm wondering if this dynamic at all explains the big disconnect between the public MUFON version of the striking November 2009 Port Jervis close encounter event being a "EM" case and then to have a "hidden" aspect of the case - the possible "solid light" aspect emerge via Chuck Modlin with the Canadian Close Encounters series I was involved with.  I was pushing "solid light cases" with the film group but I was dismayed to have Port Jervis emerge with this aspect, given that up until then it was only viewed as a striking "EM" case. 

I learnt that Bigelow was keen to buy the car involved, but I gather the witness did not want to part with it.  I learnt of some of the MUFON data on this case, but it didn't really give any detail on a "solid light" aspect.  Chuck Modlin pushed the “solid light” aspects, previously unknown, in the CE programme coverage of the incident. I was surprised to find myself being used in this episode as up until then I was not aware of the “solid light” aspects of the Port Jervis case. Neither were my MUFON contacts. So the question that needs to be asked is whether MUFON publically described a limited account of the case to their membership and to the UFO community, and a more detailed version, incorporating details about “solid light” was communicated to Mr. Bigelow’s organization. 

I aired these speculations on my OZ Files blog back on 1 March, 2018, which drew a critique from a MUFON board member, but he has since accepted that there does indeed appear to be a “solid light” aspect to the Port Jervis case, particularly after I highlighted that I had contacted Chuck Modlin soon after the Close Encounter segment came to my attention, namely in December 2013. 

I had written:
You may have seen the preliminary video without the CGI that had you and Richard Lang talking about the 2009 Port Jervis event.  In that piece I am also included but I am talking generally about "solid light" type cases.  
Robert Powell contacted me as I was included in that incomplete segment. I told him that I was not speaking with any knowledge of the Port Jervis case.  Indeed up until I saw the preliminary video I saw it mainly as an excellent recent example of an "EM" style "car stop" case and was not aware of any "solid light" dimension to it.
It was not drawn to my attention while I was in Toronto so I assume it came up later.  I had focused through my coverage of a number of cases (1966 Burkes Flat Australia, 1972 Taize France & 1994 Plauen Germany) rather curious "light" aspects and got into "solid light" phenomena in Toronto.
As background, over the last few years I have been increasing my focus on "solid light" cases worldwide and have received assistance and data from researchers around the world.  Part of my initial motivation was a early 1970s case at Kiama in Australia and a more recent Chinese military case from 1998 which had very striking "solid light" elements.
Here is a link to a piece I did recently which covers some of that background:
I have also included another similar piece (text only - with photos its a big file) that was published in the new e-magazine "UFO Truth": "Solid light Descending."
Given this background you will understand why I am interested in the focus of the "close Encounter" segment on the Port Jervis event.  The Newroad video implies a discrete "solid light" beam coming down (in a telescope fashion?) impacting on the car in the locality where the high magnetic readings were recorded, as well as you referring to the witness saying the beam stopped 6" from the ground - truncation, another characteristic of solid light cases. 
The only reference I came across in the MUFON database was "When he looked at the lights they seemed very bright but they didn’t illuminate the ground; the witness said he can’t explain this aspect as it doesn’t make any sense to him."   

I have now seen part of the CGI "reconstruction" of the case in the Discovery teaser trailer just released.  It seems to have a very low altitude object and a "solid light" beam coming down onto the "windscreen area."  Is this accurate?
I would be extremely grateful if you are able to tell me as much as possible about this element in the case.  
Was the "solid light" aspect evident from the beginning of the investigation or did it come up later?  
Is there any interview - video/tape - in which the witness describes the detail of the "solid light element?"
As the CGI "recreation" has the beam "impacting" with the windscreen and the voiceover (?) referring to the high Trifield meter readings correlating with the "light beam" impact point - I'm assuming the recreation might not be accurate or incomplete or we haven't seen it all yet.  
How did the witness describe the "beam" appearance, progression", duration, apparent contact location(s) with the car? - was it the windscreen, the bonnet and/or elsewhere?
Was there an actual correlation? I gather the high readings were "full scale" readings, nothing quantitative? 
Was any video taken of the Tri-field meter readings of the car in question and the control vehicle?  I have seen some photos?
If any "beam" contact occurred with the windscreen I am wondering if there was any evaluation of optics/spectral changes in terms of transparency etc referenced with the control vehicle.
Many questions I know, but this "solid light" aspect fascinates me and I am looking for a precise account of it with any witness account of it.
I look forward to hearing from you on this most fascinating case.

Chuck Modlin did respond:
“I remember the event quite well; the beam touched the car from the doors forward. This part of the car became magnetized with the windshield and all parts that were illuminated by the beam. There were a number of strange effects noted; the windshield and the hood of the car seemed to have electrostatic field effect best way I can describe it, feeling like a repulsive field. I did tape the witness remembering what happened, he was going to exit the vehicle opening his door he saw the beam stop 6 inches above the ground. The other effect noted was my instruments which contained metal nickel hydride batteries were drained to zero in about 45 seconds, my Nikon D700 auto-winder pack and the primary battery. My other gauss meters rechargeable battery to. The only meter functioning was my Tri Field meter; it had a Duracell 9 volt battery.
“What was of concerned to me when I tested for an electrostatic field with the Tri Field indicated none present, (I attempted to discharge the vehicle NO effect) my instruments meter reading magnetics’ showed full scale deflection. “I then switched my instrument to read RF no movement of the meter it was indicating zero deflection; which indicated my analog meter movements function was working. Since this case I purchased a gauss meter which is an analog instrument similar to a compass measuring gauss, I also purchased a flat transparent screen with metal filings suspended in oil and a cube with oil and metal filings. These are intended to show a picture of the magnetic flux lines. If you saw the compass readings in the report no matter where we put the compass in the magnetic field it pointed North indicating a possible monopole magnetic, South only; Which is not possible with our current technologies. We can produce one in a lab for a few microseconds. 
“Here are some of my thoughts regarding this case. The video showing the part of the case with the beam going in the window is incorrect it actually illuminated the whole front section of the car to the door posts on both drivers and passenger’s doors. This was one of those cases where I wish I had about 3 more EE's and a like number of PHD physics people at my side trying to explain what we were seeing.
“I hope this gives you some insight to this case it had so much going on it was hard to gather all the facts. I asked the witness to go in and have his oil filter and oil changed at my cost he did not. It sure would have been nice to hand the oil filter to a lab and them explain a monopole oil filter. We have had some Orbs next to other cars which magnetized parts of the vehicles, we now ask to do and oil change and filter change our lab has noted strange changes in the oils chemistry. With changes to the particulates in the filter as well.”

Chuck Modlin has reconfirmed the “solid light” aspect more recently with the MUFON board member who had contacted me. I am hopeful that an updated report will be issued by MUFON on this intriguing case, that will more fully reflect the “solid light” aspects. 

I had written the above (with regard to the Port Jervis case) in July 2018 but we still don’t seem any closer to clarifying the issues raised here.  I look forward to seeing a detailed report on the 2009 Port Jervis case that fully elaborates both the “car stop” aspects and the alleged “solid light” aspect. Maybe the BAASS report elaborates on this.

Another interesting aspect of the Popular Mechanics story is the release of the 2009 review paper prepared by Dr. Christopher “Kit” Green, which examined events in which people may have incurred injuries in relation to exposure with UFOs or UAPs. 

I recollect that Dr. Green contacted me several years after the 2005 publication of my book “Hair of the Alien” which focused on the Peter Khoury case.  I had assumed he was interested in the DNA work I had described in the book. At that time, I was really only aware of his past CIA connections, the so-called “Aviary” story and some of Jacques Vallee’s recollections about him in his early “Forbidden Science” journals.  I was not keen to put the research of the Peter Khoury case too deeply into a possible clandestine orbit, so I advised Dr. Green that the main details on the case and the research were in my book and on my blogs and that should he be interested in any further details, to let me know.  I never heard from him again on this matter.

Given the timing of his review report on injury cases, I pondered whether he may have had an interest in altogether closer “alien” biological exposures, injuries and effects. In my book “Hair of the Alien” I described adverse symptoms that Peter Khoury had in his 1992 encounter, during which he may have ingested possible “alien” flesh. I made a comparison of this experience with that of the Zulu sangoma Credo Mutwa, where he describes the ingestion of “alien flesh” and what seemed to be a form of anaphylactic shock – a bizarre element, but I suggest you read the detail described on pgs. 166-168 of my book.  The details are a little graphic, so I will not share them here, besides detailed context is needed before one can take these elements potentially seriously.

With regard to Dr. Green’s review, my colleague Keith Basterfield highlighted that the only Australian cases (and there were only 3) did not seem to qualify as human injury cases related to UFO/UAP encounters.  Indeed, I had carefully investigated one of the cases, and spoken with the witnesses – a Finnish couple who experienced a UFO/UAP event back in 1971 near Gladstone, Queensland, one involving apparent “missing time”, and an “interrupted journey” which may have involved possible teleportation. The car had been affected with possible related paint damage. See my 1996 book “The OZ Files – the Australian UFO story.”


On the night of 1 August 1971 a Finnish couple, Ben and Helen, were returning home after visiting friends. The couple left Gladstone soon after 11.35 p.m. Having found no petrol stations open, they were very low on fuel but decided to risk the trip to Rockhampton, hoping to find an open petrol station in one of the small centres on the way, before their tank ran dry. The night was foggy and dark. By midnight, they had arrived at the Calliope River Bridge. After passing over it, and beginning to travel along the straight stretch of road that followed, they saw a Caltex station on the left side of the road, north of Mount Larcom, some 30 kilometres beyond the Calliope River Bridge.The station was closed but, after driving a bit past it, Ben became aware that he could see ‘a green light at the level of the treetops’ in the rear view mirror. His wife confirmed the presence of two green lights.
Then, Ben said, ‘Suddenly we had a feeling that we had been driving straight forward all the time. The road seemed straight, foggy, and surrounded by trees [in this area the roads are usually winding]. And we had a feeling that we were repeating the same words over and over again. We thought we should have been arriving at Mount Larcom.’

Suddenly, the couple saw a light to their left and, above them, a circle of lights, similar to those on a merry-go-round or carousel. The next thing they saw was the Port Alma road sign, some 60 kilometres north of Calliope River. Immediately after this observation, the couple found themselves at a railroad crossing outside Rockhampton, about 30 kilometres from Mount Morgan. Ben said, ‘We wondered how we had managed to get so far and why we had not seen any villages on the way. We should have seen at least four of them. We felt that something strange had happened to us. We were afraid. I took a rifle out of the trunk and loaded it. We drove to Rockhampton with the rifle on my knees. Our dog, Candy, who usually sleeps on the back seat, was afraid and wanted to come to the front seat.’

In the middle of Rockhampton, the couple found an open petrol station. It was there that the bizarre nature of the trip really struck home. They were shocked to find that the time was only 15 minutes past midnight. Only 40 minutes had passed since they had left Gladstone. At the average speed which the couple estimated they were driving at, some 65 kph, the trip time should have been over an hour, probably closer to two hours. It seemed that the couple covered the distance in almost half the required time and, on top of that, had no conscious recollection of passing through any villages. They only remembered the Caltex station and the Port Alma road sign.

The service station attendant in Rockhampton became very interested in that. Then peculiar things were discovered on the car. The 1971 Valiant sedan was covered with a very thin film of odourless oil. The attendant could not identify it but suggested it would be used on ‘very fine machinery unknown to him’. In the comers of the oil-covered bonnet, four round marks, two in each rear comer, were noticed. All were identical, being one eighth of an inch deep and nine inches in diameter. In the middle of each circle there was a spot—a one inch solid circle. Oil traces ran in two stripes from the circles towards the nose of the car. A defect in the duco, described as being burnt, was found on the right- hand-side front of the bonnet, above the headlight.

The mystery deepened as the number of people gathering around the car, in curiosity, grew. Ben said, ‘After a while another driver came to the station. He said he had passed us before the Calliope River. He couldn’t understand how we could have arrived at Rockhampton before him. Finally, we went to the police station and told our story to a young officer there. After examining the oil and marks on the bonnet, all he could say was, ‘I have often fallen asleep at the steering wheel and woken up after 200-300 miles.’

The couple wanted to contact the local newspaper but, at that hour, it was closed. They drove around Rockhampton for a while, with their car drawing stares wherever they stopped. In an effort to reconcile events, Ben says, ‘Slowly it dawned on us what happened. As we were so concerned about the petrol station, UFOs lifted us from Calliope River, past Mount Larcom, to the Caltex Service Station, and from there, during a second lift, via Port Alma Junction, to the railway crossing a couple of miles from Rockhampton. We continued our trip around three o’clock and had 300 miles of foggy driving ahead of us. We were wishing that UFOs would come and help us again, but that didn’t eventuate. During the following day we did inspect our car more carefully and thought that the paint work had burned, lifting off in flakes. This wasn’t the case; as the oil, mixed with dust, had started to dry up, it produced this flaking. We tried and found out the mixture of oil and dust was water soluble.’

The experience changed the couple’s lives to a degree. They subsequently saw a number of UFOs and Helen had several possibly related experiences of telepathy. An analysis was done on the ‘burnt’ spot on the bonnet by Finnish UFO researchers and it was concluded that the site came in contact with extreme heat.

Hypnotic regression was also attempted on the couple, but nothing further was elicited. Each time hypnosis was induced, and recall of that evening was attempted, both would begin to shake violently. The hypnotist gave up the attempt. Subsequent ‘recollections’ suggest memories of a strange entity and a strange environment. I have spoken with the couple more recently. They remain puzzled by the experience.

As for Australian cases of a more compelling kind that appear to involve “injuries” in relation to a UFO/UAP encounter I could have supplied him with some more relevant case data.  For example, the following case:

Three men - Bob L., "Yo Yo" W., and Brian K. - experienced such an encounter on the outskirts of Cooktown, Queensland, on May 17th, 1959.  They were crocodile hunting by boat in a swamp area.  By 4.30 am, they had shot 3 or 4 crocs, when their attention was attracted to a piercing humming.  A huge circular object suddenly came into view.  It hovered at about tree top level some 100yards away.  The object, estimated to be about 50 yards across, appeared to be football shaped with a band of half moon shaped windows.  It seemed to be issuing some sort of vapour.  The sighting lasted some 20 minutes, during which time the men mostly lay hidden in long grass.  Brian K. and W. stood up during the sighting.  The UFO eventually moved in a semi circle, then rose slowly and disappeared at high speed.  All three men discussed the extraordinary event, but agreed not to talk to anybody about it.  

Bob L. alleges all manner of severe physical effects as a consequence of this experience.  He alleges that Brian K. died shortly after the sighting.  He feels it was due to fact that K. stood up during the incident. He does not know what happened to W.  Bob alleges the encounter led to loss of the use of his legs, severe headaches, sporadic loss of vision, and speech detoriation beyond an existing speech impediment problem.  He has had extensive hospitalisation and some institutionalisation, all of which he links direct and indirectly to his experience in 1959.   I interviewed Bob L. during 1976.  He was still suffering from a severe speech impediment, however the UFO event and post event history was told with some lucidity, albeit with difficulty.   Whether the post event traumas were in anyway connected with the 1959 incident it is now impossible to determine.  Too many complicating circumstances made the determination of any cause and effect relationship untenable.

I have always been an advocate of open scientific research into the UFO/UAP mystery. So I hope that maybe we will eventually get a more transparent UFO/UAP investigation, even from government, private aerospace & science organisations, than the one dominated now by secret and restricted narratives. Getting to the heart of the UFO mystery will be benefited by such an open collaborative approach.  The secretive approach may soon be eclipsed by the sea change in serious open scientific research organisations and individuals, that has been accelerating in recent years, towards a more sensible examination of the UFO mystery.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Tales of two centenaries – The Damned & the identified.

It is fitting and wonderful that in the centennial anniversary year of the publication of Charles Fort's iconic work “The Book of the Damned” in 1919 that a 402 page (A4 size) book, “Redemption of the Damned” by Martin Shough with Wim van Utrecht, has appeared. Published by Anomalist books it is further described as "Vol.1: Aerial Phenomena" and subtitled "A Centennial Re-evaluation of Charles Fort's ‘Book of the Damned.’ I see “Redemption of the Damned” as the best book of 2019 focusing on research and investigation of UFOs.  It should be studied intensely by anyone who investigates UFOs and UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena).
Fort began his provocative book with the memorable proclamation. “A procession of the damned. By the damned, I mean the excluded. We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded.”
Charles Fort was our first ufologist, in that he not only collected reports of strange aerial apparitions, lights in the sky, aerial phenomena and anything odd in the sky, he also speculated about what they were. His speculations about the aerial oddities he collected were often playful, often somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but he was more about stirring up conventional thinking, rather than trying to explain the reports.  Hence we were exposed to wild ideas like armies of giant space vampires and “superconstructions” travelling between the planets. While Fort’s “aerial fodder” was mainly from the 19th century and American and Euro-centric, they anticipated the popularisation of “aerial phenomena” into “flying saucers” by 1947 and into the UFOs and UAPs of today. 
Scottish based research Martin Shough brings to Forts “procession of the damned” his wide eclectic knowledge and intense UFO/UAP research experience, seen admirably in his collaboration with Chris Aubeck in “Return to Magonia – Investigating UFOs in History” (2015). With “Redemption of the Damned” he is ably assisted by Belgian based researcher Wim Van Utrecht, best known for his CAELESTIA project, which sort to find explanations for anomalies, rather than promoting mysteries.
The authors examined all 82 of the aerial mysteries described by Fort in his Book of the Damned.  They bring a huge amount of research to focus on these “damned” anomalies, focusing on a wide range of contextual material, modern day thinking and a vast amount of data. The result seems at first to be hardly the “redemption of the damned” of the book title, as they come up with convincing explanations for most and possible explanations for the balance that still frustrate certainty.  Some of their explanations might be a stretch, but it’s the detail, the process and the exploration that is laid out, that impresses.
Thus we see a clear reflection of the UFO/UAP controversy that exists today and here lies the books greatest benefit.  It should be the focus of everybody that calls themselves UFO or UAP researchers and/or investigators to undertake such detailed investigations, with a focus to explain.  It’s the approach I have always used, namely that most “UFO or UAP reports” are probably explainable and those that are not become the focus of ongoing investigation to determine if that are consistently UFO or UAP material. That sort of approach ensure that what remains are probably our best candidates for determining whether a consistently unexplained phenomenon or phenomena emerges. 
“Redemption of the Damned” reminded me most of Allen Hendry’s 1979 book “The UFO Handbook” in which the IFO (Identified Flying Object) becomes the central message. More appropriately they are an effective calibration of all the aerial and associated mysteries we focus on as researchers and investigators. 
There is much to fascinate, learn and enjoy in this wonderful study “Redemption of the Damned.” Vol. 2, “Sea and Space Phenomena” from Fort’s Book of the Damned is planned, so there is more more to look forward to from this highly recommended collaboration of Martin Shough and Wim van Utretch.
The only Australian entry is a 1879 event which I also described in my 1996 book “The OZ Files – the Australian UFO Story” with this opening caveat:  “With the advent of white colonisation, documented accounts of UFO sightings began to appear. Most of the early accounts could probably be explained if more information was available. A number, however, seem to defy easy explanation.”
“In 1879 Mr S. Worsley Clifton, Collector of Customs, at Fremantle, Western Australia, forwarded the following account of a ‘remarkable meteor’ to R.J. Elleig of the Melbourne observatory. Elleig in turn passed it on to the science journal Nature, which published the following account of the apparition: ‘A small black cloud on a clear day appeared in the east, travelling not very swiftly towards the north-west. It burst into a ball of fire with an apparent disc the size of the full moon, blood-red in colour. It left a train of black or dark-coloured vapour across the heavens which was visible for three-quarters of a hour. No sound was heard, sky perfectly clear, and the thermometer, 100 degrees Fahrenheit, in the shade.’”
Martin Shough and Wim van Utretch are limited here in their study. They highlight that Nature might have erred, in that the witness was most likely Leonard Worsely Clifton.  They describe him in a bit of detail. I agree that Fort’s “explanation” is imaginative: “that around something coming from the intense cold of inter-planetary space--that is of some regions: our own suspicion is that other regions
are tropical--the moisture of this earth's atmosphere would condense
into a cloud-like appearance around it… Or that something with the velocity of an ordinary meteorite could not collect vapor around it, but that slower-moving objects--speed of a railway train, say - may.” 
I’m inclined to agree with Martin Shough and Wim van Utretch that its most likely ‘a slow daylight fireball” but like the best of anomalies further study may verify this or may make this explanation more contentious.
As I entitled this piece “Tales of two centenaries – The Damned & the identified”, by way of a slight Dickensian flourish (namely playing with the title of his famous novel “A Tale of Two Cities”), let me elaborate the other centenary that attracted me.  
A great deal of attention has been given here in Australia this year (2019) to the great England to Australia Air Race of 1919, which was won by a flying team of 4 – pilots Ross and Keith Smith and their mechanics Walter Shiers and James Bennett. A new book “Anzac & Aviator – the remarkable story of Sir Ross Smith and the 1919 England to Australia air race“ by Michael Molkentin, and documentary “The Greatest Air Race” narrated by Aussie astronaut Andy Thomas, tell the the amazing and wonderful story.
What has that got to do with our focus here?  Well it comes down to this early 1947 letter that appeared in the Advertiser newspaper of Adelaide South Australia months before Kenneth Arnold’s sighting in June 1947, 25 February 1947 to be precise..  The letter was in response to “aerial phenomena” sightings in South Australia.  These were also described in “Return to Magonia.”
‘Objects in the sky.
To the Editor
Sir- When the late Sir Ross Smith was covering the last phase of his epic flight from England to Australia, and was scheduled to arrive in Adelaide during the early afternoon, the late Harry Butler left Adelaide in his small monoplane, nicknamed the Red Devil to meet the big Vickers Vimy over the Adelaide Hills, being a little ahead of his schedule, Harry Butler filled in his time with aerobatics and stunting. Most of which occurred over our nurseries situated just S.E. of Mount Barker. 
While watching him very intently, two large black objects travelling at terrific speed in a parallel course, passed very high above him, travelling from north to south. These were quite large and were very high but nevertheless their speed was such as to make Harry butler’s machine appear as if it were stationary. 
The day was cloudless and for a moment I thought my eyes were playing tricks, but subsequently my foreman, who was half a mile away at the time, asked me what the two black things were that passed Butler’s machine. During the evening of the same day, my father in law who lived about a mile away asked an identical question. Both these people gave the same description and direction of flight which exactly coincided with my own observations. 
The speed and density of the objects definitely precluded any possibility of there being a mirage.
H N Wicks.
Balhannah Nurseries Balhannah.’ 
I described my research and investigation into this intriguing story on my blog “The Search for Historical UFO reports” back on 25 December 2015, from my report to a November 2011 Magonia Exchange & Project 1947 discussion:
Our intrepid 1919/1920 "Knights of the Air."
Captain Ross Smith
I have now had the opportunity to look at the Adelaide Advertiser around that date. The coverage of the events leading up to the Vimy landing (The Smith plane) suggests that the 1947 recollection by H.N. Wicks of the 1920 events may be confused. The "two large black objects" may well have been the biplanes being flown by Captains A.R. Moore and Captain Loftus. These planes eventually escorted the Vimy piloted by the Smiths - the stars of the day's spectacle - called "Our Knights of the Air" by the local paper. Elsewhere in the papers coverage we see reference Captain Butler having a delayed take off, finally leaving sometime after 1pm. The planes of Moore and Loftus appear soon after, preforming "evolutions" over the aerodrome. The Vimy was first seen at 1.45 pm not far from Mount Lofty. It was soon joined by the two local planes piloted by Moore and Loftus, finally landing soon after 2.12 pm. As for Captain Butler's plane, it seems his flight was 
a matter of some anxiety. He turned up at 2.45 pm, saying he had been unable to "pick up" the Vimy, described elsewhere in the coverage as "a mammoth compared with the other machines." He put his inability to find the Vimy down to the mist in the hills. 
So I suspect that the various observations of Mr. Wicks recollected in the 1947 letter to the editor, were of Captain Butler flying over the area and the other two objects sighted were the two other local pilots Moore and Loftus. 
Happy to hear of any other suggestions. So far I haven't picked up on any March 1920 accounts or letters suggesting mysterious objects flying around that day.” 
In the spirit of “Redemption of the Damned” I rest my case (for the moment, pending further research of the Wick’s account) and leave you with this piece - “Tales of two centenaries – The Damned & the identified.”

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas & best wishes for a happy new year

Merry Xmas & a happy new year. This is my Xmas card to all my friends, fellow travellers, associates & pals with maybe a little of Billy's irreverent excesses thrown into the mix.
and Bill Nighy having a lot of fun inhabiting the role of an ageing rock star with a new number one which he calls "crap":
I hope your Christmas is a safe one & a happy one. Rather than snow we would be happy for some awesome rain to put those terrible fires out and wind to blow the smoke away.
Bring on the new year - I hope its a good one

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

"UFOs and the Paranormal in Focus Today" lecture by Bill Chalker

My lecture for AIPR on 30 November 2019:
"UFOs and the Paranormal in Focus Today"
Bill Chalker
UFO Researcher and Author, Sydney, NSW
The linkage of UFOs with paranormal phenomena will be examined in this lecture. UFOs have had a lot of attention lately from the mainstream press. The New York Times and Politico broke a story about a secret Pentagon UFO program which received massive and sustained attention. Consciousness is being described as a big factor. Remote Viewing pioneer Dr. Hal Puthoff is deeply involved. What lies behind Robert Bigelow’s Skinwalker Ranch? Is this a tipping point in UFO research and the paranormal? Bill Chalker will take you behind the headlines and reveal a story with a focus on UFOs and psychic phenomena.
The full programme:
The Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research, Inc.
with the support of the Cardigan Fund
The AIPR Mini-Conference 2019
Venue: North Sydney Community Centre
(The Morton Room, Ground Floor)
220 Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW (rear of Stanton Library; near North Sydney Station)
(car-parking, 200 spaces)
Date: Saturday, November 30th, 2019
Time: 1:00pm to 5:30pm
Donation $20 (Concession $10)
UFOs, Hauntings, and Remote Viewing
Chaired by Dr. Tony Jinks
School of Psychology
Western Sydney University
(Penrith Campus) Kingswood, NSW
*    *    *
Mini-Conference Programme
Lecture 1 (1:00pm to 2:00pm)
"UFOs and the Paranormal in Focus Today"
Bill Chalker
UFO Researcher and Author, Sydney, NSW
The linkage of UFOs with paranormal phenomena will be examined in this lecture. UFOs have had a lot of attention lately from the mainstream press. The New York Times and Politico broke a story about a secret Pentagon UFO program which received massive and sustained attention. Consciousness is being described as a big factor. Remote Viewing pioneer Dr. Hal Puthoff is deeply involved. What lies behind Robert Bigelow’s Skinwalker Ranch? Is this a tipping point in UFO research and the paranormal? Bill Chalker will take you behind the headlines and reveal a story with a focus on UFOs and psychic phenomena.
Lecture 2 (2:00pm to 3:00pm)
"Haunted Port Arthur: An Analysis of Over 1000 Reports"
Dr. Tony Mowbray
                             Psychologist, Researcher, Melbourne, VIC.
Presently, haunt phenomena at Port Arthur in Tasmania are still experienced in multiple locations across the site and documented by both patrons and staff, making Port Arthur a suitable place to investigate these experiences. This talk will present some of the findings from a qualitative analysis of over 1000 documented reports of haunt-type experiences at the site of Port Arthur.
*    *    *
Tea Break - 1/2 hour (3:00pm to 3:30pm)
*    *    *
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr. Tony Jinks and Mr. Attila Kaldy Preview:
TRACK: Search for Australia’s Bigfoot
*    *    *
Lecture 3 (3:45pm to 4:30pm)
"Haunt and Poltergeist Clearing in Australian Residences”

Lance Storm & Robb Tilley
Paranormal Researchers & Investigators
BRIEF REPORT: Lance Storm and Robb Tilley present the findings of their clearing study.
*    *    *
Lecture 4 (4:30pm to 5:30pm)
"The Science and Applications of Remote Viewing”
Sandra Hilleard
Remote Viewer, Remote Viewing Trainer and Researcher, Perth, WA
PART 1: Sandra’s journey into the field of Remote Viewing (controlled extrasensory perception; ESP) began after she personally experienced spontaneous ESP a number of times, to the point where she could no longer deny the reality of this human ability. She is currently the only active researcher in RV in Australia. She has successfully assisted law enforcement agencies around the world. In her talk, Sandra will present the science and applications of RV, and she will share both her current research project as well as some of the amazing cases she has worked on.
[Short Break]
PART 2: In this second session, Sandra will demonstrate RV techniques with the active participation of the mini-conference audience.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Project Rainfall - The Secret History of Pine Gap ... and UFOs?

Tom Gilling, author of numerous books such as the wonderfully strange "The Sooterkin"and true crime & history collaborations and outings such as "Evil Life", brings a welcome external look at "Australia's most secret place," with his book "Project Rainfall - The Secret History of Pine Gap" (Allen & Unwin, 2019).
Part of the interest here is that given Gilling has access to newly released data, the memoirs of NSA spy David Rosenberg and others, and the contributions of academics and activist such as the late Prof. Des Ball - my own original pathway to the secrets of Pine Gap with "A Suitable Piece of Real Estate - American Installations in Australia" (1980) and "Pine Gap"(1988) and his collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Richelson - "The Ties that Bind" (1985) - along with a whole lot of other material.
Author Tom Gilling (image ex Text Publishing)
Tom Gilling touches all the appropriate bases and even dives into a final chapter entitled "A saucerful of secrets", tipping the narrative arc into "a twilight zone between information and speculation that made it irresistible to UFO fantasists." (Gilling, page 72).  To quote Gilling, "The cloak of secrecy the CIA had thrown over its flying saucer investigations also covered its spying operations at Pine Gap, and with similar results: in both cases, the public suspected the agency was up to more than it would admit.  The mystery surrounding both UFOs and Pine Gap convinced many Australians that the two were linked." (Gilling, 288)
Tom Gilling then offers a parallel narrative where a real linkage seems thin indeed on the evidence he plays around with, but we have been down this path before.  See my October 2011 post "Pine Gap - a reality check" where I described more explicit Pine Gap UFO "connections," along with my interview with former NSA electronic intelligence agent David Rosenberg.  I contacted David about Tom Gilling's book.  He had heard of it but had not yet read it.  Should he share some takes on the book I'll update this blog accordingly. David Rosenberg book "Inside Pine Gap - the Spy who came in from the cold" (2011) was redacted in part due its NSA overview, with some relaxed, and other materials included in the 2018 edition "Pine Gap - the Inside story of the NSA in Australia" which emerged with the ABC drama series "Pine Gap."
David Rosenberg ex NSA/Pine Gap with Bill Chalker in 2011

I mentioned JIB's Bob Matham's 1966 get together with 3 CIA officials Albert Wheelon, Carl Ruckett & Leslie Dirks at the future Pine Gap site in my 2011 post and in my contribution to the 2012 UFO History group's opus "UFOs and government" which I had located in Jeffrey Richelson's excellent book "The Wizards of Langley - Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology" (2001). Tom Gilling errs slightly in attributing a 1965 CIA memo entitled "Evaluation of UFO's" to Bud Wheelon. He concurs with the memo by way of signing off on it, but the author is actually Donald Chammberlain, assistant director , Scientific Intelligence. Bob Matham's assisted me with some correspondence and helped me find his JIB nuclear intelligence head Harry Turner who ran his own "UFO wars" within the clandestine worlds of Australian scientific and military intelligence - see my contributions "The OZ Files" (1996), "Hair of the Alien" ((2005) for a chapter on Turner's secret investigations into an early Australian abductee - Vicki Klein) and the 2012 "UFOs and Government" Australian chapter. 
 Bob Mathams, JIB
 Albert Wheelon CIA
Carl Ruckett CIA
Leslie Dirks CIA
Tom Gilling's dance through the Pine Gap & UFO "connection" is largely driven by Gerald Haines' "CIA 's role in the study of UFOs, 1947-90: A die-hard issue" and Australian files available through the archives. He dwells on the 1972 Benstead photos over Lake Hume. UFOIC's Bill Moser passed the photos onto CSIRO scientists Dr. Keith Bigg who ultimately felt they were a double  exposure. The coverup contention is tenuous at best, particularly given Norman Benstead never saw anything UFO like when he took the photo.  It may have been a nice lens flare perhaps, but Dr. Bigg's suggestion that he destroy his recreation shots make have contributed to the "cover-up" claim, where there was none.  It was Dr. Bigg who told me back in the 1970s, when I was cordially discussing with him a UFO landing case with ground traces from Emerald Beach in 1970, "Never admit that your interest is in UFOs or you'll get nowhere.  You're more likely to get cooperation in hunting witches.  Think up a "scientific" reason." Hmmm, I'm a long way passed that, but science has been a guiding approach in my UFO research and studies.
I recommend Tom Gilling's open study of Pine Gap, but there are some caveats on the ramble into UFOs. See my "Pine Gap- a reality check" for a look in that murky area.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Kary Mullis - the PCR Nobel Prize laureate and the "alien racoon"

Kary Mullis (1944-2019)
 from evilleeye
I was sadden to hear of the passing of Kary Mullis, who I had interviewed in my research of the Peter Khoury case.  I was interested in the man who had contributed to revolutionising biochemistry with the discovery of PCR and the strange story he told of a weird night up at his northern Californian cabin, and the bizarre fallout of the experience.  Here is my account of his experience:
From my “Hair of the Alien” manuscript (2005)
The Nobel Laureate
Thanks to Kary Mullis for his information and interview, and of course for his remarkable PCR concept that ultimately transformed the field of biochemistry. Thanks for the invitation to relax with a beer and “watch the boats go by” some day in California, but just the same I think I’d like to hang out for a while at his Mendocino county property “racoon” hunting, if the opportunity arises. 

The PCR DNA scientific work would not have been possible without the Nobel Prize winning discovery of the concept by Dr. Kary Mullis.  His indirect contribution via his PCR concept discovery to the work carried out by biochemists working with me as part of the Anomaly Physical Evidence Group (APEG) should at least be alluded to.  There is however a rather remarkable aside that directly involves this famous and controversial scientist in the general alien abduction controversy.  I spoke directly with Kary Mullis to verify what follows.
On a Friday night in April 1983, Dr. Kary Mullis a biochemist was driving up to his cabin in Mendocino county in northern California.  During that drive to his Anderson Valley cabin Mullis conceived one of the great discoveries of modern chemistry - the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a surprisingly simple method for making unlimited copies of DNA, thereby revolutionising biochemistry almost overnight.  Kary Mullis described his discovery in Scientific American.[i]  Mullis was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery.
On another Friday night, during the summer of 1985, Kary Mullis drove up to his cabin.  Arriving around midnight after driving for about 3 hours, Mullis dumped groceries he bought on the way, switched on the lights (powered by solar batteries) and headed, with torch in hand, to the outside toilet located about 50 feet west of the cabin.  He never got there that night.  Quoting from his 1998 book “Dancing naked in the mine field” Mullis encountered something extraordinarily weird on the way.  “ the far end of the path, under a fir tree, there was something glowing. I pointed my flashlight at it anyhow. It only made it whiter where the beam landed.  It seemed to be a raccoon.  I wasn’t frightened.  Later, I wondered if it could have been a hologram, projected from God knows where.”
“The raccoon spoke. “Good evening, doctor,” it said.  I said something back, I don’t remember what, probably, “Hello.”
from globalgreyebooks
“The next thing I remember, it was early in the morning.  I was walking along a road uphill from my house.”
Mullis had no idea how he got there but he was not wet from the extensive early morning dew.  His torch was missing.  He was never able to find it.  He had no signs of injury or bruising.   The lights of the cabin were still on, along with the groceries on the floor.   Some 6 hours had gone by unaccounted for.  Later in the day he found that an area of his property - “the most beautiful part of my woods” - had inexplicably become a place of dread.  A year or so later Mullis exorcised this fear John Wayne style shooting the wood up. While his attempt at psychotherapy proved successful it did not help him find out what had happened that night in the summer of 1985.   Mullis would become the only known Nobel prize laureate to claim an experience of what might be an alien abduction.
 from my friend Dr. Horace Drew
Kary Mullis describes himself as “a generalist with a chemical prejudice”. Others have described him as “Hunter Thompson meets Stephen Hawking” or  “the world’s most eccentric and outspoken Nobel Prize-winning scientist”. It is not easy to dispose of Mullis’ experience as a drug or alcoholic hallucination.  Mullis states he was not affected by either, that midnight.  In turned out he was not the only one to have experienced strange events at the cabin.  
His daughter, Louise, disappeared for about 3 hours after wandering down the same hill.  She also reappeared on the same stretch of road.  Her frantic fiancée was about to call the local sheriff.  Mullis had told no one of his experience until his daughter called to tell him to buy a book - Whitley Strieber’s “Communion”.  She was ringing to also tell her father about her strange experience.  By coincidence when she rang, Mullis had already been drawn to the book and was up to the point where Strieber reports strange “owls” and little men entering his house.
In his book, Mullis concluded, “I wouldn’t try to publish a scientific paper about these things, because I can’t do any experiments. I can’t make glowing raccoons appear.  I can’t buy them from a scientific supply house to study.  I can’t cause myself to be lost again for several hours.  But I don’t deny what happened.  It’s what science calls anecdotal, because it only happened in a way that you can’t reproduce.  But it happened.”
Kary Mullis confirmed all this and more when I spoke with him in 1999.[ii]  Another person encountered a “glowing raccoon” between the cabin and the toilet. This was a friend of Mullis, who did not know of the “raccoon” story and was a first time visitor, during a party at the cabin after the announcement of the Nobel Prize win in 1993.  This man did not stick around and fled up the hill towards the house.  On the way he encountered a small glowing man, which then suddenly enlarged into a full sized man who said something like, “I’ll see you tomorrow”.  The man, who was not experiencing a drug or alcohol induced hallucination left with a friend without informing anyone.  They returned to their hotel at a nearby town.  That night the man inexplicably found himself outside in the hotel car park troubled and terrified by the impression he had somehow been back at the Mullis cabin.  He and his friend returned the following night to the Mullis cabin.  The celebratory party was carrying on from the previous night.  As the man arrived he was shocked to see the “full sized man” seen as an enlarging apparition the night before drive up in a car.  This was too much for the first time visitor.  He left in a panic, holding Mullis somehow responsible for the previous nights events.  Sometime later in tears he revealed the full story to Mullis, who identified the man his friend he had seen as his elderly neighbour.  Mullis checked with his neighbour and sure enough he had come to the party on the second night, arriving to be seen by the terrified visitor.  However he was certain he was not there on the first night, not in person and not lurking as a glowing raccoon or a small glowing man that enlarged into a vision of himself.  
Given this sort of activity on his property it perhaps isn’t surprising that Kary Mullis told me he thinks the nature of his experience is even stranger than abducting ETs.  Instead he speculates about multi-dimensional physics (a la Michio Kaku’s “Hyperspace” (1994))[iii]at a macrocosmic level - “like anything can god-damn happen and the speed of light is not really the limit in terms of interactions with other cultures or whatever.  This stuff about grabbing people or subjecting them to all kinds of experiments - its just anthropology at a level we don’t understand quite yet”.  As for PCR testing of biological samples from abductee experiences he indicated, “You might imagine that I thought of that myself.  As for instance in “you can have some of mine, if I can have some of yours”.”  He feels that the idea of an alien culture needing our DNA to survive is very unlikely and an alien presence on a scale suggested by some of the bleaker takes of the alien abduction scenario seem improbable. Mullis had become aware of “The Threat – the secret agenda: What the aliens really want … and how they plan to get it”, a 1998 book by historian and abduction researcher David Jacobs that argues for an alien secret agenda to create alien-human “hybrids”, which are in the process of integrating into our planet and supplanting mankind.[iv]  Kary Mullis speculated with me that any culture that could conquer the barrier of space-time could have easily conquered the far simpler problems of complex biochemistry and would not need us in the manner described in the grey alien - human “hybrid” agenda theories.  
The very strange nature of the experiences that befell Kary Mullis, his daughter Louise, and his friend remind us of the bizarre dimension of this alien abduction controversy.  Strangeness and reality unbound are the siren calls of this phenomenon. Discontinuities of memories feature aplenty.  Extraordinarily bizarre recalls are often ignited by seemingly innocuous events or by revisiting ground zero.  Sometimes memory is seemingly contorted, manipulated or just shut down during a person’s engagement with this strange phenomenon. The boundaries of reality and the unreal become blurred. Sometimes it seems our world is intersecting or interacting with a bizarre quantum hyperspatial playground.   

[i]“The Unusual Origin of the Polymerase Chain Reaction”, by Kary Mullis, Scientific American, April 1990. The complex evolution of the PCR process and Kary Mullis’ role is covered in the book “Making PCR – a story of Biotechenology” by Paul Rabinow (University of Chicago Press, 1997). A briefer account in the context of the extraordinary contribution of DNA analysis is described in “The Improbable Origins of PCR”, a chapter in “Blood Evidence” by Dr. Henry Lee & Frank Tirnady (Perseus Publishing, 2003).
[ii]This is the extent of the story Kary Mullis told in his book “Dancing Naked in the Mind Field” (Bloomsbury, 1998), Chapter 13 “No Aliens allowed.” The rest of his story came out in my interview with him on April 4 1999.
[iii]See Michio Kaku, “Hyperspace – a scientific odyssey through parallel universes, time warps, and the 10thdimension” (Oxford University Press, 1994).
[iv]See David Jacobs, “The Threat” (Simon & Schuster, 1998)