Tuesday, July 02, 2019

"Unidentified", TTSA & the paranormal stew

("It shot a ray": from the Unidentified Episode 6 "teaser")
Watching the end of Episode 5 of TTSA/History channel's "Unidentified" series with its glimpse of the Italian helicopter UFO "encounter" which will be featured later this week in the final episode of this season had me wondering.

Tom Delonge had tweeted:
but reality seems a little adrift here.  Tom Delonge and Luis Elizondo were "briefed" by this person:
(image grab from the teaser at the end of Episode 5 of "Unidentified")
Clarbruno Vedruccio, who according to Edoardo Russo and associates from the EuroUfoNet list is "a physics PhD and inventor in EM field area, later integrated into the Italian Navy, best known for his controversial tumoral BioScanner (which he was allegedly proposed  a Nobel prize for, but now seemingly promoted & sold by himself). He's been interested in UFOs and active with CUN as a consultant and conference speaker for many years. He was the coordinator of Caronia phenomena Civil Protection commitee" 

Vedruccio appears to be telling Luis Elizondo that a military helicopter was shot down by a UFO and he can show him photos.  The photos it seems come from a local Caronia resident Antonino Spinnato, who seems to be a "repeater" in terms of numerous "UFOs", most seemingly dots in the sky.  He links them to UFOs and the mystery rash of fires that plagued the area.  See this link to the "Unexplained series":
You will note that Spinnato describes seeing a helicopter flying erratically with an odd object also seen in the sky.  No reference is made to this "UFO" firing a beam at the helicopter or bringing it down. He describes getting odd skin burns at night time. The photos taken of the helicopter and "UFO" were during the day.  So unless an entirely different event is involved, there seems to be something not right here.
A range of efforts were made to identify the cause of the mysterious fires that were allegedly occurring at the same time Spinnato was taking his "UFO" photos. 
One response to the wave of mysterious fires was the formation of the Caronia phenomena Civil Protection committee.  A whole range of strange events, beyond the mystery fires and Spinnato's "UFO" photos & adventures, were reported - a veritable "paranormal stew." This seems to have led to a deep dive into all things mysterious, with (in the addled spirit of "Ancient Aliens") 'aliens" & "UFOs" apparently near the top of the woodpile of eclectic explanations for some. This seems a thin explanatory leap.  Just because some things are not easily explained should not require a leap to aliens.
But TTSA and the History channel seem to have dived into that loop.
The Unidentified teaser shows a black and white image with a helicopter & "UFO" - a "recreation"? 
The colour photo is of the Caronia location - clearly the same location and at the bottom is one of Spinnato's photos, showing the "UFO" and helicopter. It all seems rather dubious and poorly played out, but lets wait and see what this episode 6 ending brings to this "paranormal stew" which seems a long way from UFOs, UASs & Nimitz encounters, but I'm sure TTSA will explain it all.
Update 6 July 2019:
I located an article on Jim Dean's Veterans Today Archive site  dated January 13 2013 where he facilitated a translation of researcher Daniela Giordano's article  "Cannot (of Caronia - A Double Mystery Still Unsolved". It contained some findings and conclusions by Vedruccio:
"THE PHYSICIST CLARBRUNO VEDRUCCIO, SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR OF GALILEO AVIONICA EXPLAINS THAT THANKS TO THE RESEARCH CARRIED OUT FOR MANY MONTHS, THE PHENOMENA WOULD BE CAUSED BY A PULSED BEAM OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES WITH HIGH POTENTIAL WHO TRAVELS THE SEA TO A HEIGHT BETWEEN THE SURFACE AND 15 METERS.
"THIS ELECTROMAGNETIC BEAM IS OF A TYPE COMPARABLE TO THE ELECTROMAGNETIC WEAPONS, DEVELOPED IN RECENT YEARS BY THE GREAT POWERS, BUT IN A WAY COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. IT IS ‘VERY CONCENTRATED AND LOOKS LIKE MICROWAVE BEAMS UHF (ULTRA HIGH FREQUENCY) TRANSMITTED IN THE BAND 300 MHZ TO 3 GHZ.
"A helicopter of the Civil Protection and a ship of the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy, armed with special equipment, scours the sea with the intent to verify and identify any artificial bodies or points atthe bottom of the sea, which may issue such a beam of electromagnetic waves.
"As late as 2006, the pilot of a Civil Protection Sirkosky helicopter is forced to land on a failure of the blades. Seems to have collided with something “invisible”.
Once on the ground he finds to his surprise that on the three blades of the helicopter something has removed and scratched the paint and the special coating film.
The scientific team investigates and excludes the possibility that there may be traces of organic material in the affected parts, in the case that the helicopter can be collided with the birds.
"The investigation then in progress had found “only” an altered change in the electrical conductivity inside the blades."
"And in a confidential file is possible to read the conclusions reached by the Italian authorities, “... advanced military technologies also of not terrestrial origin, in the future could expose entire populations to unintended consequences. The incidents of Canneto di Caronia may have been attempts to military engagement between unconventional forces , or a non-aggressive test in order to study the behavior and the actions, in an undetermined sample territorial sparsely populated .”
While intriguing the fact remains that there still does not seem to be a strong correlation to a confirmed UFO.  And there is no indication that anyone saw a "beam" being fired by Spinnato's "UFO" at the helicopter.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The famous Gill sightings of 1959 - 60 years ago on 26 June

Sixty years ago on 26 June 1959 something extraordinary occurred in the then Australian protectorate Papua New Guinea.
See these links to some of my previous engagements with this fascinating story.  On a personal level I had met William (Bill) Gill and found him to be a most impressive man and very credible as a witness.  26 June also resonates with me as its my birthday.
So to celebrate a great person and a remarkable experience examine the 2 stories at this link:
My tribute to the man and the experience:

Reverend William (Bill) Booth Gill (1928-2007)

and my essay on what he saw and what he believed:

Rev William Gill and the 1959 Boianai Visitants - what he saw and what he believed

Scroll through the link below for these 2 stories and also for, in particular, how the UFO story, and particularly the Gill sightings affected one of our greatest authors - Randolph Stow:

Randolph Stow, Visitants and the call of the UFO

The CUFOS IUR drawing done by Allen Hendry 
with Bill Gill's involvement
Bill Gill's own drawing

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Great UFO Death & Resurrection Show - UFO History, Fact & Fiction


7 April 2019, literally on the way to give my lecture at UFORIA in the West, at Penrith Library, Penrith, on the western outskirts of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, I learnt of the publication of a new book from Anomalist Books, one of those books that a Fortean and UFO researcher like me, would find of great value.

“Redemption of the Damned: Vol. 1: Aerial Phenomena, A Centennial Re-evaluation of Charles Fort's 'Book of the Damned'” by Martin Shough with Wim van Utrecht
From the Anomalist Book’s page:
"Now, on the centenary of Charles Fort’s first book, The Book of the Damned, comes a detailed study of this work. The authors have tackled all 82 of Fort’s anomalous observations in the fields of astronomy, meteorology, and atmospheric optics and subjected them to detailed critical scrutiny against period maps, investigation reports, and additional first-hand testimony. In this research, the advancing digitisation of the world’s historical, intellectual and scientific media – so much of which was not available to Fort at the time – is demonstrated to be a tool of considerable value... Redemption of the Damned is set out clearly and precisely, and there is the promise of more to come. It is the sort of study that true forteans have long hoped for and will welcome unequivocally as adding considerably to what we know of Fort, his work and its implication." — from the Foreword by Bob Rickard, Founding Editor, Fortean Times.
UFORIA in the west was put on by my Fortean friends Mike Williams and Rebecca Lang and it was an opportunity to give people snap shots of Fortean and UFO research.
I was giving my lecture: 
The Great UFO Death & Resurrection Show: UFO history, fact and fiction
A rough cut summary which will be fleshed out in detail in coming posts: 
The New York Times piece from December 2017 which highlighted both the secret Pentagon UFO programme AATIP, revealing its project head Luis Elizondo, and an extraordinary UFO encounter back in 2004, the USS Nimitz encounter, also revealing one of the key witness Commander Fravor, was a watershed of a huge amount of mainstream news coverage.
The turbulent interface of UFO history, fact and fiction - the media’s wild dance with UFOs - case study of Dr. Allen Hynek and the History Channel’s 'Project Blue Book' and the religious impulse - Dr. Diana Pasulka’s 'American Cosmic - UFOs, Religion & Technology'.
Rock star Tom Delonge, Dr. Hal Puthoff and To The Stars Academy.
The phenomenon: UFOs & 'solid light' - case studies: Kiama, NSW, Australia and Port Jervis, USA
Using science to try to understand what’s really going on - DNA & forensic investigation - case study: 'Hair of the Alien"
My presentation – a sort of personal rough “estimate of the situation” – an overview of what’s been happening and what my take is, is highlighted in this introductory photo essay.  Each of the slides reveals what I will try to cover in future posts. 
 The "death" of ufology and the numerous terms we make to hide the "elephant in the room"
 The December 20017 New Times story, Luis Elizondo, Robert Bigelow & the Nimitz imagery
 The SCU report and clarifying imagery
 details from the SCU report
 The David Beaty documentary, the Dr. Masters "time travel" dive & the Nimitz Hollywood "time travel" saga for the lighter side of things?
 The TTSA milieu and the Unidentified branding of TTSA "science"?
 Prof Diana Pasulka's take on UFOs, religion & technology but lets not forget Jacques Vallee's advice to her.  The blind-folded trip into the desert and her account of the properties of the item found are a long way from a scientific account of the provenance and nature of the find.
Here is an excellent example of twisting and distorting real history - the History channel's "Project Blue Book" - Mark O'Connell, who wrote the Allen Hynek biography was not impressed.  While ignorance is bliss - perhaps one can just accept it blindly as entertainment, I couldn't. I spent time with Allen Hynek back in 1984 at his Chicago home.  I doubt he would have been impressed, beyond the initial tilt at celebrity.  Try reading his book "The Hynek UFO Report" for a more accurate take on Project Bluebook.
 Science & UFOs is a hard slog - slow careful investigations of intriguing evidence:
 without avoiding the stranger aspects of the phenomenon - abduction claims, "Strange Evidence", apparitional accounts & paranormal dimensions.
Lets not forget the weight and impact of UFO history
A good start is Jerome Clark's mammoth undertaking
"The UFO Encyclopedia"
I was pleased to be a part of it,
but it was a rushed job.
Back to my wild ride through the UFO Expo - UFOria in the West:
My Fortean friends covered the following themes:
Fortean friends: 
Tony Healy, Rebecca Lang, Mike Williams and me, 
post UFORIA in the West
Paul Cropper 
The Yowie Phenomenon
Stories of giant, hair-covered creatures are common in Aboriginal tradition. Europeans have described similar encounters since the early 1800s. What is the source of these mysterious reports? Is there really an undiscovered animal lurking in the Australian bush or are skeptics correct in dismissing sightings as hoaxes or mistaken identity? Author Paul Cropper reviews the evidence.
Tony Healy 
Mysterious New Zealand
Like Australia, New Zealand has produced a wide range of strange animal reports, ufo sightings and even weirder stories.
Alien big cats, moa survivors, lake monsters, giant, hairy ape-men and the elusive waitoreke.
Tony will take us to several of NZ’s cryptozoological hot spots:
To the Canterbury Plains in search of mysterious black panthers and cougars.
To the swamps and streams of Southland in search of the semi-mythical, otter-like Waitoreke.
To several lakes and rivers that Maori people believe are guarded by spirits called Taniwhas, which can take the form of giant lizards. Coincidentally (?) many British settlers reported seeing “crocodiles” in those same lakes and rivers.
To several North Island locations that, in Maori tradition, were/are frequented by giant, hairy, yowie-like cannibals; the Maero aka Moehau. At two of those locations he will introduce us to Pakehas (non-Maoris) who have encountered the fearsome creatures and lived to tell the tale.
To Arthurs Pass, South Island, to interview one of the three people who saw what they believe was a Moa in 1993.
Phantom airships, Min Mins, UFOs, great balls of fire:
While on the trail of those mysterious animals, Tony found time to visit places noted for other types of strange phenomena:
A North Island property reportedly plagued by Min Min-type nocturnal lights and repeated lightning strikes.
The ufo and fireball-plagued town of Greymouth.
Several localities in Southland that featured in the “phantom airship” flap of 1909. (A couple of those locations have produced ufo and “spook light” reports in the modern era).
(now it is obvious who would be the ultimate guide to a Fortean trip through New Zealand & OZ )
Damien Nott
Paranormal aspects of UFO phenomena
Damien will be presenting his hypothesis on the possible links between UFO and other paranormal phenomenon, a subject known as 'high strangeness'.
He will be showing possible links he has uncovered, as well as talking about his own experiences with multiple witnesses and showing video/photographic evidence pertaining to this.
Damien will also be presenting an experiment that has kept him busy for the past few months relating to UFO captures taken using multiple cameras with composite exposure techniques. Be prepared for some highly unusual footage and a thought-provoking afternoon.
Much of my lecture focused on the Nimitz encounter and attempts to understand it.  
I address this in my previous post:
A “UFO science redux” – the SCU Nimitz report: “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle” 
Thanks to Robert Powell of the SCU – the Scientific Coalition for Ufology – which advocates “scientific Inquiry of UFOs, USOs and UAPs” – I have had an opportunity to review SCU’s excellent study of the popularly called Nimitz encounters that occurred in 2004. I highly recommend the SCU study which can now be read in full on their site at:
along with some of SCU’s interviews with key witnesses Kevin Day, Jason Turner and Gary Voorhis. 
The report - “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle” is authored by Robert Powell, Peter Reali, Tim Thompson, Morgan Beall, Doug Kimzey, Larry Cates, and Richard Hoffman.  
Its format is an excellent template for future case studies – namely that of a peer reviewed scientific report with detailed referencing, documentation and extensive appendices backing up the content of core 21-page report.  Given that the total document is 270 pages long the SCU Nimitz report will serve as a foundational reference point for the debate, discussion and further research. 
I have used my 7 April 2019 Penrith, Sydney lecture “The Great UFO Death & Resurrection Show:UFO history, fact and fiction” and the SCU Nimitz report as entry points into a commentary on the winds of change that have dominated the UFO scene since the December 2017 New York Times story.  The story was a dramatic awakening for mainstream media and the general public on the UFO phenomenon and a staging point for the “abduction” of the current trajectory of the evolution of the UFO story by the Luis Elizondo/Tom Delonge and To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTSA) team. Now with the History Channel “Unidentified” series underway (I’ve seen the first 3 parts as I write - 17 June 2019) the Nimitz story of 2004 is being revealed in more detail by the TTSA investigation. 
The TTSA investigation as revealed in the History channel’s programme “Unidentified” proceeds as a fairly standard UFO investigation, despite TTSA general take that the UFO research that occurred prior to the arrival of the secretive Pentagon UFO programme AATIP and the somewhat opaque TTSA agenda, was just a tasty entrée.  The TTSA seem to posit that now all that really is important is the story that TTSA are revealing.  The manner in which they are revealing it is troubling as it lacks the in depth availability of detailed data.  So far it seems that the limited data that TTSA has released on the Nimitz case along with the elaboration of it on the History channel’s “Unidentified” is going to be TTSA’s version of “scientific ufology” – the new TTSA mediated UFO/UAS era. One hopes for more transparency and a great deal more substantive data anchored in open scientific scrutiny. The closest we have got to that preferred position is in the “UFO science redux” I previously alluded to, namely the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (CSU) Nimitz report: “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle.” 
I was forced to wonder where was the full scientific reporting of TTSA on the Nimitz affair. The outing their coverage is receiving in the “Unidentified” series is intriguing, such as the USO (Unidentified Submarine Object) connection along with the UFO/UAP activity concentrations that focused at the coordinates that the Princeton petty officer Kevin Day describes – 28.91 degrees N 118.26 degrees West – namely Guadalupe Island off the Baja Pennisula coast of Mexico – the alleged destination of the Nimitz encounter UAPs/UFOs – according to Day.  Whether this connection and the full complex details of the Nimitz affair get more fully documented, way beyond the popular media presentations (such as the show “Unidentified”), will for me, at least, be the measure of credibility and responsibility of TTSA’s dive into “UFO science.” 
Of course the whole USO angle is nothing new in UFO research.  
Ivan T. Anderson trawled this era in some detail in his 1970 book “Invisible Residents – A Disquisition upon Certain Matters Maritime, and the Possibility of Intelligent Life under the waters of This Earth.” It became the focus of Carl Feindt’s UFO research, first through his www.waterufo.net website and his subsequent book “UFOs and Water.” Sadly Carl passed away recently but his book and research is a wonderful legacy.  One would hope that TTSA has examined this research.


I’m no stranger to this aspect as well. I wrote the following in an OZ Files blog back in June 2006:

“UFOs and water – the USO Enigma.

“Recently I worked with the History Channel in the preparation of a programme on Unidentified Submarine Objects (USOs). I described a number of Australian examples, such as the January 1962 encounter between the HMAS Voyager and a large and deep USO that was tracked by sonar doing some 100 knots. The local camera man told me of his own experience while working for BBC TV on a programme on RAF Leuchars base in Scotland. There he saw a map with multiple recorded UFO sightings in the area. He was told by one of the fighter pilots that encounters with UFOs were common. In an informal moment a RAF pilot showed the camera man a photo of a UFO with what appeared to be an entity shape in what seemed to be a dome cupola. The pilot claimed he had taken the photo from his jet cockpit as the UFO flew along side his aircraft. This experience appears to have occurred back in the 1960s, which puts it in the same era as a USO incident that alleged to have taken place off the Scotland coast. In that case a USO was "flushed" off the sea bottom and rose at speed out of the ocean in sight of the crew of a number of RN ships. This story emerged in an investigation I did into a striking Nowra NSW area close encounter which featured RAN interest, alleged radar interference, and a possible attempt to retrieve a UFO/USO! The USO enigma is an enduring and potent part of the UFO phenomenon.”
 Filming for the History Channel USO outing
 in front of the Sydney Harbour Opera House

Given the outing that the USO is having via TTSA and the History channel’s “Unidentified” series, it is worthwhile to describe the striking Nowra event alluded to in my 2006 blog. This account emerged from a UFOIC investigation I undertook with Robb Tilley and Dominic Kelly back in 1992. I also described it in my 1996 book “The OZ Files – the Australian UFO Story.”
                     AN EXTRAORDINARY AFFAIR NEAR NOWRA
Elizabeth C. and her family regularly took their Christmas holidays on the South Coast of NSW.  One evening, Elizabeth stated she was driving an old Valiant car carrying 4 other people (her ill husband - who was asleep and under medication, and had no involvement in the incident; her two daughters, Jennifer (ca. 17) and Robyn (ca. 11 - 12); and Jennifer's boyfriend, Trevor G. (ca. 23, an off duty army officer) and a dog, on the Princes Highway, heading north.   The group was returning from an outing at Darris South, to their holiday spot at Shoalhaven Heads.
The date of the incident was originally estimated as the Christmas period of either 1972 or 1973.  Further information has confirmed the likely date as around early January, 1973.  The approximate time of the incident was 3.30 am. The duration of the event was approximately 15 minutes or more - the time it takes to drive at moderate speed along the Princes Highway, from the turn off to Sussex Inlet to just before the turnoff road to the Royal Australian Naval base, HMAS Albatross (Air Naval Station, Nowra) - a distance of approximately 24 kms.  This estimate is most likely understated as collectively the witnesses refer to durations between 15 to 30 minutes.
The encounter appears to have begun just as the group passed the turnoff to Sussex Inlet.  The seating arrangement in the car was as follows: Mrs. Elizabeth C. (r.h.s front - driver seat), Mr. C. (asleep in the l.h.s front), Mr. Trevor G. (l.h.s rear seat), Jennifer C. (middle rear), and Robyn C. (r.h.s rear).   The dog was on the floor in the rear.  Jennifer C. indicated that she remembers changing seats at various times with Trevor G.  Trevor was fairly certain that he had been located at the l.h.s rear window.
Mrs. C. drew the attention of the others to the presence of a light ahead.  To Elizabeth it appeared to look like the light from an approaching semi-trailer. Then it seemed to move to her left (the western side of the road) and approached the car, like an aircraft passing by.  It was as the object approached them on their left that the events took on an extraordinary turn.   The object, until then, largely perceived as a bright light source, appeared to reverse direction and take up a parallel flying position in the groups travelling direction.   This represented a 180ochange in direction for the UFO.  At this point the object appeared to be very large, at very low level (virtually at ground level) and quite close, off the road to their left. It maintained a parallel course with them for approximately the next 24 kms.
Mrs. C. described the object as large, with red lights under what looked appeared to be portholes.  The red lights looked like a thin ribbon of light.  Mrs. C. said the night was very dark.   At that point the UFO was apparent as a large disc-shaped object with possible “window” features along its length.  There appeared to be a distinct “searchlight” like beam effect that rotated around the bottom of the object.   At least one of the witnesses, Trevor,  the army officer, who was in the best position to see the extraordinary display, was certain that there were figures that could be seen in the windows of the object.
At a point near the turnoff to HMAS Albatross Naval base, the object seemed to suddenly vanish.  It appeared to have instantly relocated to a high altitude and moved in a large arc around Nowra and then headed out to sea, where it was lost to sight.
Later that morning one of the group investigated a disturbance at their campsite at Shoalhaven Heads.  She joined a large number of holidaying campers at the ocean edge. The disturbance was apparently due to a number of helicopters passing low over the campsite, heading out to sea. The member of the group observed the helicopters over a fiery mass in the water.  It was alleged that this object was UFO related and that the helicopters were involved in an attempted retrieval!
Because of their earlier experience and the campsite events, 3 members of the group - Mrs. C., her daughter, Jennifer, and Trevor - went to HMAS Albatross to report their experience.  Instead of a light hearted or unwelcome reception the group were the subject of an apparent high level and detailed interview.  They were told they seemed to be the closest people to the UFO, which seemed to have had numerous witnesses.  The army officer was certain he was told that the base radar had been affected by the UFO during the incident.  He also indicated that after he had returned to his army unit he was interviewed about the south coast experience by intelligence officers.
In company with Dominic Kelly and Robb Tilley, I interviewed Mrs. C. in detail at her residence during August, 1992.  We found her to be an impressive and compelling witness.  We were left in no doubt that she was describing what appeared to be an extraordinary experience to the best of her abilities.  I was subsequently able to interview Trevor G. and Jennifer C. and I was impressed with their testimony.  There seems little doubt that something extraordinary happened but to date official confirmation has alluded us.  Unfortunately nothing substantial was confirmed in official enquiries.  
Getting back to the “great UFO death & resurrection show” that seems to be afoot of late – the Nimitz saga, the nature of the TTSA insertion into the UFO story, the convoluted ATTIP story, the Bigelow NIDS/BAASS enquiries, the “new” religious impulse divined in the UFO subject via Diana Pasulka’s “American Cosmic – UFOs, Religion, Technology,” the media’s wild embrace of UFO fact and fiction (for example the History channel’s colourful “Project Bluebook” series riding on Dr. Allen Hynek’s more compelling UFO legacy), and even the so-called “UFO leak of the century” – the alleged Wilson/Davis “leak”, and even US President Trump’s nods to the subject – all these and many more are like unresolved jigsaw puzzles raining from the sky.  We don’t even know if we are collecting and collating pieces of the same jigsaw puzzle.  But the ongoing efforts to tease out the detail, depth and legitimacy of all these different aspects, let alone the steady occurrences of UAP/UFO phenomena, seems to ensure that there will be a fascinating UFO controversy continuing to develop beyond the limited picture the media are embracing. We live in interesting times.
“Anime Girl & Jigsaw Pieces Sky Art” by Kiro Horime

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

A “UFO science redux” – the SCU Nimitz report: “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle”

Thanks to Robert Powell of the SCU – the Scientific Coalition for Ufology – which advocates “scientific Inquiry of UFOs, USOs and UAPs” – I have had an opportunity to review SCU’s excellent study of the popularly called Nimitz encounters that occurred in 2004. I highly recommend the SCU study which can now be read in full on their site at:
along with some of SCU’s interviews with key witnesses Kevin Day, Jason Turner and Gary Voorhis. 
The report - “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle” is authored by Robert Powell, Peter Reali, Tim Thompson, Morgan Beall, Doug Kimzey, Larry Cates, and Richard Hoffman.  
Its format is an excellent template for future case studies – namely that of a peer reviewed scientific report with detailed referencing, documentation and extensive appendices backing up the content of core 21-page report.  Given that the total document is 270 pages long the SCU Nimitz report will serve as a foundational reference point for the debate, discussion and further research. 
The abstract of the report highlights the strengths and limitations of this case study but also notes that further study of this case would be enhanced by access to further the military data that is out there, yet to be revealed in the public domain.
The abstract:
"On November 14th of 2004, the U.S. Navy's Carrier Strike Group Eleven (CSG 11), including the USS Nimitz nuclear aircraft carrier and the USS Princeton missile cruiser, were conducting a training exercise off the coast of southern California when the Navy's radar systems detected as many as 20 anomalous aerial vehicles (AAV). These AAV's were deemed a safety hazard to an upcoming air exercise and the Captain of the USS Princeton ordered an interception with two F/A-18F Navy jets. This paper examines the publicly available subset of those data: Eyewitness information from the pilots and radar operators; Freedom of Information Act releases of four Navy documents; and a Defense Intelligence Agency released video taken by an F/A-18 jet using an AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR). Analytical calculations based on radar notes, testimony from pilots, and the ATFLIR video are used to derive the velocity, acceleration and estimated power demonstrated by the AAV maneuvers. Calculated AAV accelerations ranged from 40 g-forces to hundreds of g-forces and estimated power based on a weight of one ton ranged from one to nine gigawatts. None of the navy witnesses reported ever previously seen military or civilian vehicles with these maneuvering abilities. Manned aircraft such as the F-22 and F-35 are limited to nine g-forces and the F-35 has maintained structural integrity up to 13.5 g-forces. Our results suggest that given the available information the AAV's capabilities are beyond any known technology. The public release of all navy records associated with this incident to enable a full, scientific and open investigation is strongly recommended." 
The core of the report is covered by its introduction, data, analysis, discussion & conclusions. The Appendices reveal a wealth of data – glossary, FOIA Requests and replies (Robert Powell was at this long before the case was made famous by the “breakthrough” New Times story of December 2017, indeed the SCU investigation began in the latter part of 2016), documents referenced, advanced target forward looking infrared radar (FLIR), video provenance, background information on Carrier Strike Group Eleven, acceleration, speed & power calculations based on radar observations, calculations of size, distance & angular size, acceleration, speed, & power calculations based on blind point distance, acceleration, speed & power calculations based on FLIR video, a video analysis, and witness & associated information.  Given that the report is based on limited information gleaned from witness information, statements, limited documents and what seems a lower quality version of the FLIR video released, so much more seems possible if more of the military data and the clearer version of the video becomes available. Witnesses refer to seeing a clear version and confiscation of hard drive data from the aircraft involved in the encounters. 
The wider extent of the encounters is documented, such as the following: “PettyOfficer Voorhis was in charge of the Aegis computer suite’sCooperative Engagement Capability system. He recalls that withintwelve hours of the AAV event a helicopter landed on board. He wasapproached by non-uniformed personnel who asked him to relinquishall of the CEC information including radar data, electronicsinformation, data recordings, communications—everything that was notrequired for the ship’s operation and navigation. He requested their IDbut this was refused. He told the men that the Captain’s permission would be required and subsequently the Petty Officer received orders from the Captain to relinquish the information to the gentlemen and he did so. He turned over all the information which was stored on magnetic tapes. He also erased all other magnetic tapes that were backups. Petty Officer Voorhis stated, As far as my Captain was concerned, you do everything they say period; or you go to jail.” 
Page 10 of the report has a very helpful reconstruction in visual form of Commander Fravor’s engagement with the so-called “TIC-TAC”
and on page 9 is reconstruction of its shape and appearance. 
The conclusions of the core report seem well sustained by the limited data examined:
“In three separate instances we have calculated acceleration rates based on testimonies of military witnesses with years of experience and knowledge related to military aircraft characteristics and capabilities. These witnesses include two United States Naval Academy graduates, one with the rank of commander and the other a lieutenant commander.The accelerations demonstrated by the AAVs are beyond the capabilities of any known aircraft in the public domain. We do not know the origin of the AAVs nor do we have any information on their means of propulsion. We do believe that sufficient information has been provided in this paper to justify the release of all information related to this incident so that a complete scientific investigation can be conducted.”  
The totality of the report represents an important focus of further research on the case. It is hoped that the report, which has already been circulated to select members of the US Congress, might lead to a more detailed release of data on this case and others, thus allowing for an even better analysis.
“To the Stars Academy” (TTSA), which has former AATIP director Luis Elizondo and key scientist Dr. Hal Puthoff as part of their group, have yet to openly publish a strong scientifically orientated report on the Nimitz affair.  I am impressed with a lot of the players within TTSA but transparency and detailed documentation release don’t seem to be key features of their activities to date.  I hope that soon changes and more comes from them beyond the intriguing collaboration with the History Channel – “Unidentified: Inside America’s Investigation.”   Robert Powell told me, “My (NIMITZ) investigation proceeded the TTSA but I don't believe that it proceeded the work that Luis and Hal did as part of AATIP. Both of them were at our SCU conference and were impressed with the work that we have done." But what of the "science" in TTSA.  While TTSA, Luis Elizondo and Hal Puthoff have made some fascinating contributions to this field, openly available detailed documentation and data would enhance their contributions so much more.  I look forward to what may emerge. 
I applaud the efforts of SCU to bring about an environment of intelligent, forceful and open research and discussion in this controversial area. Their Nimitz report is the kind of careful, scientific and peer reviewed report that will help legitimise the UFO/UAP/AAV subject as having scientific merit.  
The SCU analysis argues for technology beyond ours, based on publicly available data.  I note it also make an appeal for DOD/government release of data.
I hope that some day soon that data availability and transparency and open scientific dialogue and research becomes the norm rather than the exception.

I have been a long time advocate of a “serious open (UFO) science.”  In my 1996 book “The OZ Files – the Australian UFO story” I concluded:
Throughout this book you have seen glimpses of “something”.  No doubt some are misinterpretations or insoluble misidentifications of prosaic or unusual known phenomena.  Never-the-less, there are many events here that are the stuff of apparently genuine “unknowns”.  For example 1954 - Nowra, 1959 - Boianai, and 1980 - Rosedale.   The difficulty is that much of this material has been uncovered in a less than satisfactory way.  This has been the remarkable legacy of both amateur researchers and forbidden science. The UFO phenomenon is still waiting to see the transition to serious open science.
“What is needed is unfettered, substantial funding to do good science, not well intentioned limited science that emerges from limited funding and part time committment.  All to often we have a litany of lost opportunities, that have gone begging, due to the lack of resources and an absence of focused scientific and multidisciplinary research.  From time to time through the smokescreen of political and bureaucratic compromises, in both official and civilian efforts, we have seen glimpses of what might have been. 
“For now I wait, buoyed by the extraordinary dimensions of the UFO phenomenon, which this history has revealed to you.  Given what has passed before us, I hope we do not give up the chance to properly confront and understand a fascinating and important mystery.  A lot of Australians have already faced that mystery in a personal way.  It is time we take up the challenge.” 
I have continued with that focus through my UFO research and investigations to this day. My 2005 book “Hair of the Alien” provided a potential DNA template that could be pursued.  I examined the Peter Khoury case from that perspective and put forward an “alien DNA paradigm” hypothesis – controversial I know, but still it was an attempt to do a little science in an extremely controversial area. 
In 2012 I began writing a column for the bi-monthly Australian Ufologist magazine entitled “Science and the UFO controversy” and continued with it until the magazine ceased publishing in early 2018.   
Many important key touchstones were described in that 6-year focus, some of which I also described on my blogs:
"Signposts on the long road to a UFO science" which covered (the July 2014 Paris CAIPAN/GEIPAN workshop) Jacques Vallee stated: "This is really a dream come true for many of us." 
In seems to me that the SCU report “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle” is yet another robust and welcome “signpost on the long road to a UFO science.”  I welcome it and other contributions that follow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

UFO Weirdness in the West

I'll be lecturing at the following Penrith event along with Paul Cropper, Tony Healy & Damien Nott.  Hope to see you there:
Ufo Weirdness In The West
Penrith City Library, Peter Goodfellow Theatrette
601 High Street, Penrith, NSW 2750
On Sunday 7 April 2019 at 1:30pm









Here is an event you don't want to miss.
Book via this link:
Bill Chalker - 1.30pm
The Great UFO Death & Resurrection Show:
UFO history, fact and fiction
The New York Times piece from December 2017 which highlighted both the secret Pentagon UFO programme AATIP, revealing its project head Luis Elizondo, and an extraordinary UFO encounter back in 2004, the USS Nimitz encounter, also revealing one of the key witness Commander Fravor, was a watershed of a huge amount of mainstream news coverage.
The turbulent interface of UFO history, fact and fiction - the media’s wild dance with UFOs - case study of Dr. Allen Hynek and the History Channel’s 'Project Blue Book' and the religious impulse - Dr. Diana Pasulka’s 'American Cosmic - UFOs, Religion & Technology'.
Rock star Tom Delonge, Dr. Hal Puthoff and To The Stars Academy.
The phenomenon: UFOs & 'solid light' - case studies: Kiama, NSW, Australia and Port Jervis, USA
Using science to try to understand whats really go on - DNA & forensic investigation - case study: 'Hair of the Alien'
Paul Cropper - 2.15pm
The Yowie Phenomenon
Stories of giant, hair-covered creatures are common in Aboriginal tradition. Europeans have described similar encounters since the early 1800s. What is the source of these mysterious reports? Is there really an undiscovered animal lurking in the Australian bush or are skeptics correct in dismissing sightings as hoaxes or mistaken identity? Author Paul Cropper reviews the evidence.
Tony Healy - 3.00pm
Mysterious New Zealand
Like Australia, New Zealand has produced a wide range of strange animal reports, ufo sightings and even weirder stories.
Alien big cats, moa survivors, lake monsters, giant, hairy ape-men and the elusive waitoreke.
Tony will take us to several of NZ’s cryptozoological hot spots:
To the Canterbury Plains in search of mysterious black panthers and cougars.
To the swamps and streams of Southland in search of the semi-mythical, otter-like Waitoreke.
To several lakes and rivers that Maori people believe are guarded by spirits called Taniwhas, which can take the form of giant lizards. Coincidentally (?) many British settlers reported seeing “crocodiles” in those same lakes and rivers.
To several North Island locations that, in Maori tradition, were/are frequented by giant, hairy, yowie-like cannibals; the Maero aka Moehau. At two of those locations he will introduce us to Pakehas (non-Maoris) who have encountered the fearsome creatures and lived to tell the tale.
To Arthurs Pass, South Island, to interview one of the three people who saw what they believe was a Moa in 1993.
Phantom airships, Min Mins, UFOs, great balls of fire:
While on the trail of those mysterious animals, Tony found time to visit places noted for other types of strange phenomena:
A North Island property reportedly plagued by Min Min-type nocturnal lights and repeated lightning strikes.
The ufo and fireball-plagued town of Greymouth.
Several localities in Southland that featured in the “phantom airship” flap of 1909. (A couple of those locations have produced ufo and “spook light” reports in the modern era).
Damien Nott 3.50
Paranormal aspects of UFO phenomena
Damien will be presenting his hypothesis on the possible links between UFO and other paranormal phenomenon, a subject known as 'high strangeness'.
He will be showing possible links he has uncovered, as well as talking about his own experiences with multiple witnesses and showing video/photographic evidence pertaining to this.
Damien will also be presenting an experiment that has kept him busy for the past few months relating to UFO captures taken using multiple cameras with composite exposure techniques. Be prepared for some highly unusual footage and a thought-provoking afternoon.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A look back at a close encounter in Beaufort, Victoria, Australia, in 1969 - a formative year in my UFO research

UFO Close encounter at Beaufort Victoria in 1969
my artist impression drawn in 1971
of Tim Oliver's 1969 sighting 
1969, mid July (either Friday 11 or 18July) UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) report Close Encounter Beaufort, Victoria 
Report by Bill Chalker, UFOIC 
Bill Chalker was originally alerted to this incident via Greg Hardy, who had been a high school student with Bill at Grafton.  Both then went to the University of New England at Armidale, Greg doing Economics and Bill doing Science.  1971 was the first year of their university studies.  The primary witness to the encounter Tim Oliver (name originally (1971) not for publication, but Bill Chalker confirmed in 9/3/19 phone call that Tim was ok with his name being associated with the report in any publication) wrote a 15-page letter to Bill Chalker in the wake of his “UFOs and the solid Light Enigma” article appearing in the UFO special issue of New Dawn magazine (January/February, 2019). Bill spoke with the witness again (9/3/19) after relocating original source material on his investigations back in 1971 (48 years ago). Bill Chalker also spoke with Tim’s 92-year old mother who witnessed the event.  She confirmed Tim’s account provided initially to Bill back in 1971 and reconfirmed in 2019. 
(extracted from letter by Bill Chalker to Bill Moser UFOIC secretary dated 31/8/71.  Fortunately I had retained a carbon copy of my letter. I have not been able to locate the “full report” I referred to in the letter) 
“A 1styear Economics student (very studious and consistently trains) (Tim Oliver) told me that around 8.30, on a Friday night in middle July, 1969 (either 11thor 18th) he was training near a golf course, on the outskirts of Beaufort, Victoria, when he saw a red “star” over a hill about a mile away. On closer inspection it proved to be a hovering saucer. He quickly returned home, and by the time he returned with his mother in the family car, the saucer had been joined by another, the same in all respects. They were travelling slowly about 50 feet in the air, about 200 feet apart and approx. parallel to 3-tierred high powered tension lines (66,000 volts), at about 20 mph (miles per hour), heading eastwards, roughly in the direction of Ballarat (about 40 miles away).  As they drove the car up to the outside of the golf course, both UFOs appeared to respond to their presence by turning towards them, but they resumed their parallel course, once the car engine was turned off (i.e. EM effects – (2019 comment: well maybe.  Tim confirmed they had turned the car on and off at least twice getting this response each time.  He and his mother were becoming concerned, so they did not persist)). Tim got to within 50 feet of the object leading.  Each were about 30 feet in diameter, saucer-shaped, with an upper flat topped cupola, bearing about 24 square windows from which came the bright red lights.  They did not spin and they made absolutely no noise, and both he and his mother (who had watched from the golf course fence) watched as the UFOs disappeared in the direction of Ballarat, still flying parallel to the power lines.  This incident could be interpreted in the same way John G. Fuller considers in the famous Exeter sightings revealed in his book, “Incident at Exeter.”  By the way the witness requested that his name be withheld, and that of a friend, who had seen 2 or 3 UFOs, 3 weeks after his own sighting, just north of the Beaufort township.  I have made a full report on this sighting and I honestly believe that he and his mother had in fact seen 2 real metallic UFOs.” 
In his letter of 1/2/19 Tim Oliver describes his sighting from nearly 50 years before:
(he refers to August, 1969, but his mid July 1969 dating he supplied to me in 1971 would be more reliable):
“I’d like to present an “11thcase” of my own(he was referring to my top 10 list that was carried in an interview of me by Robbie Graham that was published in the early 2019 New Dawn Special Issue) on/in August 1969, while living in Victoria near Ballarat.
“Background- I was always into exercise & fitness & have run 4 miles/day most days since 1968. Ran in City-to-Surf, won lap of lake @ Ballarat, won cross-country’s @ University of New England, ran a 4-minute mile etc. (Armidale, 1974) was a student @ UNE(University of New England) in Economics & Accounting 1971-73.
“8.00 p.m. @ night. No sound from these craft & “red” port holes. They came closer & closer & revealed a “classic” grey saucer shape like 2 dinner plates, one inverted on the other to make a dome on the top with a shallow dish on the bottom.
“Both were tree height & moved intelligently, independent of each each other, just drifting along @ about 50 feet height (no sound), no props, no jets.
“I was 16 @ time, 1969, & studying Leaving Certificate (Form 5) Physics & Chemistry & heard of flying saucers but that’s all.
“Ran home, got my mother & we drove down to the Golf Club.
“The 2 Space ships were still “drifting” along following the 66,000 volt power lines towards Ballarat.
“The car generator? (In those days), no alternator & lights seemed to attract them, as they “responded” to the starting and stopping the motor, coming towards us each time we started engine.  We had an old 1958 Morris Marshal with no electronics, as it didn’t cut our lights or engine, as you hear in some cases.
“I stood right under both as they drifted east.  There was no wind – a cold clear night typical of Ballarat weather in Winter.
“Red Port holes” & Saucers the size of an airliner.  Many trees were in the golf course of 200 acres & whole the space craft dodged these in complete darkness at such low height was a miracle, especially with no apparent drive/noise system.
“After much time they accelerated east @ an “unbelievable” speed, far beyond helicopters or aircraft of that time.
“Sorry for poor writing as I’ve written this “off the cuff” in about 20 minutes after all theseyears past!  My mother Joan is 92 & still alive as a witness.  She could verify thison(phone number supplied – and indeed she does – see below).
“It was a “miracle” of my life @ 16 years, never seeing anything like it again.
“Many people see strange lights etc but this was the close up real thing, like seeing planes land @ an airport, only I was even closer. These craft were intelligently controlled!!
“The Golf course was basically a dairy farm for cows.  You should have seen the “bloodshot fear in their eyes & the “mooing,” their upset.  Even though the spaceships came over with no sound, the cows “knew” this wasn’t any normal aircraft.  They are basically placid creatures, as Dad had cows.  They were scared by the abnormal crafts!!” 
I contact Tim’s mother Joan, speaking with her on 10/3/19. She confirmed Tim’s account and went on to describe her take on the events. Tim had gone riding to check if anything was wrong with it. He had witnessed this strange light and had returned to get her to witness it as well.  They had stopped in the middle of the street to watch the strange lights.  They were in their car and the 2 lights approached them. His mother was scared and had wanted to run into nearby houses to get more witnesses. They flew away over pine plantations towards Ballarat. She told Tim that they should tell Bill, his father, but Tim not to as he’ll think you are mad. Indeed, that’s what Bill said when Joan told him. 
Joan told me they were round, apparently spinning and a greyish colour.  They had portholes and looked like what you see in classic flying saucer photos. They appeared bigger than cars.  
“it really did happen … I was scared.  I was there. It did happen,” Joan told me. 
Their sighting occurred in mid July 1969.  
Only a month later I had an intriguing experience.  I would not learn of the Beaufort sighting until 1971.  
My own experience at Grafton on 30 August 1969:
Mid afternoon on found me relaxing on a surfboard in the middle of the Clarence River.  My reverie was interrupted when I noticed streams of fine white filament coming down over the river.    I was immediately fascinated as this was a great opportunity to directly sample what I took to be a good example of a fascinating natural phenomenon.  I took the streams to be the floating web of migratory balloon spiders.  I also knew that in UFO lore exotic material of a similar appearance was occasionally linked to UFOs - namely "angel hair" - thought by some researchers to be a by product of whatever strange processes powered flying saucers.  So that afternoon I paddled over to the riverbank where large amounts of this "spider web" were coming down.   I thought that getting a good look at this stuff and keeping samples would be a handy resource or a calibration for the unlikely prospect of coming across alleged UFO related "angel hair" - an exotic item of UFO physical evidence.   
What I was not prepared for was the improbable.   There in my hands was material that did not quite fit into the migratory spider web category.  There were no tell-tale baby spiders.  As the baby spiders can quickly detach themselves from the web, the absence of spiders did not in itself intrigue me.  What followed did.   I began rolling up a copious amount of the material in my hands.  The filaments diminished in size (not too unusual given the viscous changes that can occur in those conditions, particularly with the possible addition of water from my hands), and then the material eventually dissipated into nothing visible and leaving no trace.  It gave the impression of rapid sublimation from solid to gas, but no vapours or odour was noticed.  The properties of spider’s web are well known, and apparently disappearing to touch is not one of them!   
With the realisation that that I may be dealing with something exotic I raced to a nearby friend’s residence to get some sample jars.  The fall of filaments had been quite profuse and much of it had come down along the riverbank.   When I returned a few minutes later there was none in evidence.  While only a very light breeze was apparent, the topography was such that spiders web should have been still in great profusion.  I even entered the water and investigated the riverbank for a considerable distance in the direction of apparent travel.   There was no trace of the filament fall.  The material did not seem to be spider’s web.   So called "angel hair" had the reported characteristic of quickly disappearing.   Was this the apocryphal "angel hair" - the "manna" of the saucers!  
I subsequently found out that at the same time, a number of Grafton people, including my own parents, had seen a possible UFO, described by some as an elongated white mass", traveling in a trajectory that would have passed over my river position but in a direction at right angles to the aerial flow of material I had witnessed.   Perhaps the "UFO" may have been a more compacted mass of the filaments I had seen traveling in a different direction?   I have since wondered if the “UFO” was even connected with what I saw at low height above the riverbank.  I did some checking and found that there may have been a HIBAL Ashcan high altitude balloon launched the day before from Wilcannia.  It may have also been seen at Kyogle, as reports were also made on the same day or the following day.  This may suggest that the “elongated white mass” could be explainable.  What I handled – the web like material that appeared to sublimate, cannot be as easily explained.  While tantalising the experience with this strange material was ultimately frustrating.  I had it right there in my own hands.
Earlier in 1969 the north coast of New South Wales (NSW) was the scene of widespread UFO reports and physical trace finds - "UFO nests". One of them was my primary entry point into the physical dimensions of the UFO phenomenon. 
I joined the curious throng that descended upon the strange crop damage site at Bungawalban, on the property of local parliamentarian Ian Robinson. The story became a nationwide media sensation. I would later learn of striking UFO encounters in the region such as at Harwood Island that seemed to involve levitation of the witness caught in the beam of light from a disc shaped craft.
  my sketch of the Harwood Island encounter