Wednesday, May 06, 2020

In search of the mark of the UFO (a tribute to Ted Phillips and UFO physical trace research)

I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Ted Phillips, the well known Missouri based researcher who specialised in UFO landing “physical trace” cases.  In 2011 he indicated that he had collected over 4,000 cases of this type from 93 different countries.
Here is a listing of “high strangeness” UFO physical trace cases that Ted Phillips compiled.  Many famous cases are included in this list such as Trancas, Socorro, Valensole, Tully, Falcon Lake, Delphos, Langenberg, and Trans en Provence:
Trancas recreation:
Dr. Bucher's drawing perspective with my added pink stick person
Socorro drawing: Copyright Ray Stanford/John Lucas (used with permission)
15/1930 Largentiere, France: multiple witness, cone-shaped, lands very close, projects beams, traces. 
8/??/1933 Nipawin, Sask., 0700: multiple witness, disc with 6 legs, occupants, 30 minutes, traces.
2/5/1934 Malselv, Norway: multiple witness, humanoids, footprints, traces.
12/25/45 Newland, MO: multiple witness, 2 minutes, house damage, traces.
7/11/46 Njurunda, Sweden: multiple witness, sphere, human effects, 7 ft crater liquid traces.
4/24/50 Varese, Italy: multiple witness, humanoids, human effects, metal fragments, four circular imprints, burns. 
1952 Lamonte, MO: multiple witness, 16 ft dehydrated ring.
8/27/52 Lumberton, NC, 0030: 5 witnesses, blue-white object 30 ft away, 30 ft diameter, depressed traces. 
11/??/53 Gjersjoen Bridge,Norway: multiple witness, human effects, EM, traces.
6/21/54 Ridgeway, Ont.: multiple witness, round 50 ft object, EM, dehydrated ring.
9/10/54 Quarouble, France, 2230: multiple witness, animal reaction, area heated to high temperature, imprints. 
9/24/54 Becar, France: multiple witness, humanoids, traces.
9/24/54 Ussel, France, 2300: multiple witness, 5 minutes, tree damage, traces.
9/27/54 Premanon, France, 2050: multiple witness, disc, humanoids, traces.
10/2/54 Benet, France, 2130: 2 discs, 5 minutes, oily traces.
10/3/54 Montmoreau, France 2250: multiple witness, oval object, traces.
10/4/54 Montceau, France: multiple witness, disc, 10 minutes, traces.
10/10/54 Donjon, France 1830: multiple witness, fired at glowing object, metal traces. 
10/14/54 Meral, France: orange disc landed, humanoid, 10 minutes, luminescent steam, layer of white, sticky substance at site.
10/20/54 Lusigny Forest, France 1830: 6m ovoid, intense heat, rain falling, steam, area dehydrated. 
11/5/54 La Roche-Brenil, France: multiple witness, orange object lands, humanoids, human effects, 12 ft ring, ash-like appearance.
12/12/54 Campinas, Brazil: multiple witness, 3 objects, liquid dropped from one object, like a silvery rain, brilliant glowing stain.
8/??/55 Cayerer, France 2200: multiple witness, egg-shaped object, humanoids metal traces.
8/21/55 Kelly-Hopkinsville, KY 2030: multiple witness, humanoids, luminous traces.
11/2/55 Williston, FL 2220: multiple witness, disc, humanoids, human effects, traces.
Fall, 1956: Bethel, CT: multiple witness, ring of burnt grass 18 ft in diameter, traces of nickel & chromium. 
5/10/57 Beaucourt, France 2250: multiple witness, 8 minutes, humanoids, traces.
11/4/57 Fort Itaipu, Brazil: multiple witness, EM, radiation, burns.
10/??/58 Stroudsburg, PA 1900: multiple witness, disc, beam, traces.
10/??/59 Mariannelund, Sweden 1855: multiple witness, disc, EM, humanoid, gray-white substance found at site.
12/9/60 Carignen, France 2030: multiple witness, glowing 14 ft object, animal reaction, humanoid, dehydrated ring. 
10/21/63 Trancas, Argentina 1900: multiple witnesses, disc on ground several minutes, animal reaction, EM effects, humanoids, numerous traces.
04/24/64 Socorro, NM 1745: daylight, egg-shaped object with four structured legs, primary witness, several confirming witnesses, humanoids, burns, imprints.
07/01/65 Valensole, France 0530: daylight landing, single witness, humanoids, human effects, dehydration and imprints + central shaft hole.
09/15/65 Silverton, South Africa 0000: multiple police, road landing, traces. 
01/19/66 Tully, Australia 0900: daylight sighting, single witness, 30 ft trace. 
05/??/66 Whiteman Air Force Base, MO: multiple witness, daylight landing in wooded area, humanoid, tree damage, burnt traces, imprints.
11/22/66 Roaring River State Park, MO 1000: multiple witness, daylight, photographs of object ascending 300 ft away, tree damage, multiple traces. 
3/20/67 Tuscumbia, MO 0630: daylight landing, single witness, animal reaction, occupants and object 15 ft away, central shaft, traces.
3/21/67 New Baden, IL 0200: multiple witness, landing, Air Force investigation, imprints, human effects, very odd liquid.
5/20/67 Falcon Lake, Canada : single witness, daylight, 0 ft away from object, human effects, traces.
07/13/69 Van Horne, Iowa 2300: multiple witness, disc, 40 ft circular area- dehydrated in soybean field. 
08/30/70 Itatiaia, Brazil 2145: multiple witness, 35 ft away, shots fired at object, light beam, severe human effects, dehydrated circular trace.
11/02/71 Delphos, KS 1900: single primary witness, 4 confirming witnesses, 40 ft away, several minutes, human effects, animal effects, 8 ft glowing ring + tree damage.
06/26/72 Fort Beaufort, South Africa 0800: multiple witness, long duration event, daylight, imprints.
08/17/72 Norton Sound, Alaska 0000: multiple witness, long duration landing, Air Force investigation, traces. 
9/14/72 Houston, MO 2000: multiple witness, two events, animal reaction, EM effects, scorched oval+3 imprints+tree damage.
06/28/73 Columbia, MO 0100: multiple witness, animal reaction, human reaction, EM effects, close approach, 35 minutes, tree damage, imprints. 
09/0174 Langenburg, Sask. 1100: single witness, daylight, 15 ft away, 5 objects, animal reaction, human reaction, 5 rings.
10/08/78 Jenkins, MO 0700: multiple (7) witness, two objects, one on ground two hours, 180 ft away, traces. 
12/29/80 Piney Woods, Texas 2100: multiple witness, object close over road, heat, possible radiation effects. 
01/08/81 Trans en Provence, France 1700: single witness, small disc lands briefly, 8 ft ring at site. 
01/20/88 Mundrabilla, Australia: multiple witnesses, multiple confirming witnesses, object attempted to lift car, witness touched base of object, damage to car + traces.
10/01/95 Piacabucu River, Brazil 2300: multiple witness, luminous object, 5 m circular site + four 10 cm x 15 cm imprints, 1.5 cm deep. 
It was the 1966 Roaring River State Park Missouri that drew Ted into a long research relationship and friendship with Dr. J. Allen Hynek. A witness from the case was known to his brother-in-law and by early 1968 he had conducted a phone interview with the witness. As the episode involved physical effects and UFO photos he contacted Dr. Hynek.  Hynek came to lecture at the University of Missouri in Columbia in October 1968, and a meeting with the witness was arranged, so Dr. Hynek could examine the photos and negatives.  In November Ted and his wife Ginger were invited to Chicago. Ted was invited to become a part of Hynek’s “invisible college” – a small collective of researchers. Ted agreed to specialise in “physical trace” cases. As the listing above confirms, Ted specialisation was a very productive research venture. 
Given that the Roaring River State Park case of 1966 was the catalyst I will quote Ted Phillips own report:
“On November 22, 1966, B & several friends were deer hunting near the Roaring River State Park, in southwestern Missouri. 
“They had been away from their camp site for about one hour. J B talked with a friend who had just passed by the camp & he stated that everything seemed to be normal at that time. 30 minutes later, between 09:00 & 10:00, B was returning to the camp site. When he was about 100 yards from the camp he noticed a faint column of smoke. He ran to the area & found the tent smoldering. He could see no flames or sparks, a pair of leather shoes & some records were still smoking. He could feel no great heat coming from the remains. In 30 minutes the tent & equipment had been destroyed. He noticed a dead tree about 15 feet 
from the tent which was burning at the top, it was about 15 feet tall. 
“He photographed the tree showing the burning top section after seeing the UFO. The tent was 12 x 18 feet in size. The aluminum poles supporting the tent were singed, but not burned, aluminum cots inside were melted. 
“The tent was under two trees & they were not damaged at all. 
                       
                        
(Ted Phillips' investigation file)
“As he was looking through the remains he heard a low humming sound & saw an object rising from a valley just beyond the tent area. When the object was first seen it was just above the horizon, it was at that time that the first photograph was taken. The second photograph was taken seconds later as the object began to gain speed & climb. 
“As the object climbed & gained speed the humming sound seemed to become more intense. The sighting lasted perhaps 20 seconds. When last seen the object was moving toward the northwest & was some 40 degrees above the horizon. B could see what appeared to be a dark band or rim around the center of the object. The UFO was aluminum in color & reflected the diffused sunlight. An antenna is visible at the top of the rear section. “The object was stable during flight. After the object disappeared the observer paced the distance from the point of observation to the area where it had ascended, the distance was about 300 feet. He estimated the diameter at 25 feet, with a thickness of 8 feet. About 15 minutes after the object disappeared, two F-104's flew over the area at very low altitude, they made one pass, flying toward the southeast. These aircraft were also seen by others in the area. 45 minutes after the incident, a single engine aircraft flew over the area from the northeast toward the southwest, it was not a military aircraft. The fire resulted in about $600.00 damage to the tent & equipment, B claimed.
“B stated that he always carried a camera around his neck while hunting in hopes of photographing a deer. The camera used was an Argoflex 620 twin lens. The main lens is an Argus Coated Verex, 75 mm f/4.5 Anastigmat. Shutter speeds from time to 1/200 second. Apertures f/4.5. f/6.3, f/9, f/12.7, f/18. Witness stated that he probably used a shutter speed of 1/50 second & an aperture of f/8 (which would be f/9). If the camera was focused at infinity (he said, he usually left the focus there in case he should see a deer & could grab a quick photo) the depth of field would be 41' to infinity. 
“The witness let Allen take the negatives to Northwestern University where it was examined & appeared to be normal in every respect. 
“Astronomical Data: Sun transit at 11h59 m, Az 149d, Alt 26d11 m N.Weather Data: High scattered clouds, mostly thin, wind NNW at 5 to 10 mph, temperature at 1000 was 37d.” 
It was indeed a fascinating and compelling case and the beginnings a decades long focus on UFO “physical trace” cases for Ted Phillips.
One of my own earliest cases was also a “physical trace” case. I also would go on to focus on such cases. My case took place on the north coast of New South Wales at a place called Bungawalban.  
                         
The north coast area had become the focus of intriguing UFO phenomena during 1969.  There was something tangible for those like me who while curious enough had not actually witnessed UFOs.  There was a rash of unusual ground effects in the area, the most prominent being a large flattened saccaline crop site near Bungawalban found on April 17th.  The talk was of flying saucers and that this was a "saucer nest".   The fact the property involved, was owned by the local Member of Parliament, ensured the affair leapt into national prominence.   I joined the curious throng.  The 15-foot crop had been flattened in four distinct patches, the largest being about 60 feet by 15 feet.   Locals familiar with it ruled out lodging - a phenomenon that can affect crops in a similar manner.  Two night shift flood mitigation dredge employees working about a quarter mile north of the farm observed a glow in the sky in the direction of the saccaline patch, on the night of April 16th.   A neighboring farmer had also apparently observed "top-like objects" hovering or moving about in the area, on a number of nights prior to the discovery of the impressions.  While at the time direct evidence for a UFO correlation to the physical traces at Bungawalban was weak, I found the incident fascinating.  It helped galvanise my burgeoning interest into a more active research and investigation role.  A few years later I would learn of a striking UFO encounter at Harwood Island, also in the north coast region, which occurred on April 20th, 1969.  That incident suggested that the Bungawalban affair might indeed have been UFO related.   While intriguing the Bungawalban physical trace incident lacked one personal element for me.   I was not there when the crop was affected.  It was several days before I could get out there and certainly there were many people there before me. 
While fascinating the "nests" found lacked clear UFO connections. The case at Harwood Island, on the north coast, provided that missing dimension. The case remained hidden for a few years, until the witness, a local woman, wrote to me.
                        
On April 20th, 1969, 3 days after the Bungawalban find, the Harwood Island woman was out walking at about 7.30 pm.  She saw and heard a large patch of 2-year-old sugar cane rustling and waving violently, on what was a still night.  A very powerful beam of light came across the top of the cane and very slowly turned about a half circle until it was in front of the witness.  The woman felt as if some powerful force was lifting her off the ground and drawing her towards the source of the beam.  This "force" stopped when the "high beam" went out.  The woman found herself still on the ground.  She could then clearly see a strange object over the top of the cane. The "high beam" had been replaced by a sort of "low beam" and "cabin lights" emanating from a large helmet shaped object, situated only some 40 to 50 feet away, and about 8 to 9 feet above the top of the cane (which itself was about 8 to 12 feet high).  The woman described the object, "It was a dark shiny, grey colour all over, and the glow from the inside lights were pale yellow, pinkish red, and a very faint tint of green.  The glow came on to the brim of the object and around the head part of it.  Out of the top was this thin trail of smoke. Below the object the violent movement in the cane had given way to a mere slight rustling. It seemed that after about a minute the arrival sequence was totally reversed, with the violent movement in the cane reoccurring.  A whistling sound commenced then nothing.  The woman did not see the object depart, but assumed it just disappeared at fantastic speed.  Recollect that the witness said the experience had taken place at about 7.30 pm. Another woman and her daughter were fishing nearby, downstream from the Harwood bridge.  They saw "a very bright red light, with a whitish tail, which appeared to be suspended above the bridge.  We saw it for several seconds and then it just disappeared."  They said their sighting occurred around 8 pm, half an hour after the striking close encounter.  
                                           
When I came to live in Sydney in 1975 I was asked to join the committee of the UFO Investigation Centre by its co-ordinator David Buching. Given my experience in “physical trace cases” and my university background in chemistry David passed onto me a publication that had recently come into their hands. It was the 1975 Center for UFO Studies publication compiled by Ted Phillips – “Physical Traces associated with UFO Sightings.”  It listed 561 cases.  Its Australian listings were limited and I set about focusing on cases of this type in Australia.  In 1979 I presented a study of 237 accounts of Australian “physical traces.”  I included that study and expanded on it for a world wide review of such data, which was published in a 15 paged chapter – “Physical Traces” – in the 1987 book “UFOs 1947 – 1987 The 40-year search for an explanation” compiled and edited by Hilary Evidence with John Spencer. 
                                   
It was inevitable our paths would cross, because we were looking for the same things – physical evidence for UFOs. While we never met, Ted Phillips and I did correspond over the decades.  Our intersections, as it turned out, were more than just about UFO “landing” cases and physical traces. 
I would later see Ted turning to hunting UFOs in the field by way of trying to carefully evaluate if UFOs had a propensity to focus on specific localities, namely localised UFO flap areas, or UFO “hot zones.” Back in October 1975 I was presenting a paper to a UFO conference – UFOCON 1 in Terrigal, New South Wales (NSW): “The UFO Flap – a context for scientific study”, which built on my field work on the Dorrigo plateau in northern NSW, mainly at Tyringham-Dundurrabin and Kempsey during the early 1970s.
Bill Chalker at Tyringham
UFO sighting with photos late May 1973, at Tyringham
It was 1999 that Ted Phillips started investigating what he would call the “Marley Woods”, an area located in Oregon County, in the south of Missouri.  It became the subject of an extended study of what seemed a localised flap area – a UFO “hot zone” – it even had “physical traces.”
No wonder I admire the research and legacy that Ted Phillips has left us.  I hope we can make the full depth of it widely available.
One of Ted’s photos of his good friend Allen Hynek was recently incorporated in the cover of an excellent cultural study by MJ Banias “The UFO People – a curious culture” (2019).  
In my 1987 review I wrote, “The physical trace found in the wake of a UFO landing at Medford, Minnesota, on November 2, 1975, is an important one, particularly because of the nature of the analytical follow-up.  Dr. Edward Zeller, Professor of Geology, physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas, Radiation Physics Division, Space Technology Laboratory, undertook thermo-luminescence testing of samples for radiation testing of samples.  “Some of the samples show almost ten times the amount of luminescence that others do and that’s unusual. We wouldn’t expect that level of variability in soil samples that under the microscope look very similar.  The Medford site samples look to be quite uniform initially, and therefore we expect them to have similar luminescent properties.  We find large scale variation in the glow curves, but no large scale variation in the microscopic appearance of the samples. The only thing we can say is that these high variability conditions are unusual.  Exactly what they mean, I can’t tell you.”  Dr. Zeller concluded, “Like so much of the other data which has been obtained on the UFO phenomenon, the results of the thermo-luminescence studies on the Medford case are inconclusive.  An anomaly seems to exist between the expected natural order of things and the observed relationships.  Unfortunately, inadequate information is at hand and convincing proof of the cause of the anomaly cannot be obtained.”  
Ted Phillips and Dr. J. Allen Hynek at the Medford site
My friend, Dr. Geoff Stevens, who worked at the Atomic Energy Commission’s Sydney site of Lucas heights undertook thermo-luminescence studies of at least 2 Australian UFO cases: Kettering, Tasmania in 1976 and Orange, NSW in 1977.  Neither indicated excessive temperature or radiation caused the “physical traces” found at each UFO encounter.  I had investigated the Orange case with Dr. Stevens on site.
(from "The Kettering Tasmania Landing - a study"
by Keith Roberts & Dr. Geoff Stevens, 
FSR, Vol. 24, No.3, November, 1978)
The Kettering UFO landing site (TUFOIC)
Orange 1977 investigators & site photo (UFOIC)
Striking UFO “physical trace” cases seem rare these days, but they do occur. When they do occur we should try to document them as best as we can. 
Here is one example I was involved with:
                                              
Coogee UFO landing 2008 
(my site photo with drawing (based on witness drawing) 
superimposed at event location)
(Bill Chalker, UFOIC)
 Bill Chalker at Coogee site at similar time of night (UFOIC)
Road surface repair at site of UFO encounter (UFOIC)
The incident occurred at about 4 am on February 29th 2008 at Coogee, a seaside Sydney suburb. A man walking down a street, observed a flash of light. In that direction he saw a large spherical shaped object sitting on the street T intersection. He could see a little man in a window at the top of object. The witness became frightened, retreating behind a large electrical signal box. The being appeared to move a lever, a “shutter” came down over the window area, and the object took off at tremendous speed at about a 45-degree angle. The bitumen road surface appeared to have a white circle effect left behind and at least one nearby tree appeared to have been burnt. The witness reported noticing heat coming from the object. The duration of the incident was about 5 minutes. The road surface was repaired soon after by local council road maintenance crew as the road is a very busy route mainly during the day. I met the witness on March 19th. I first visited the site on the night of March 19th and revisited the area on a number of occasions since then. I have samples of the burnt tree bark. I was also advised that soon after the incident a new electricity telegraph pole was placed at the intersection and repair work was undertaken on the electrical wiring connections. I was unable to establish if these matters are related to the February 29th event. The witness is a shy man of nervous disposition and seems unlikely to be the type that would make up a story of a UFO incident, and does not appear to have much knowledge of the UFO subject. I was therefore very struck by the similarity of the Coogee witness’s description and drawings to two overseas cases – Cussac, France (August 29, 1967) and Goffstown, New Hampshire, USA (November 2, 1973). The Goffstown NH 1973 encounter also occurred around 4 a.m.
                                    
The drawing of the Goffstown incident 
with the UFO hovering over the car 
was done by Brian James. 
See the APRO Bulletin January February 1974, pg. 6. 
The Cussac France 1967 encounter – the beings “floated” into the top of the UFO.

GEPA No.15, June 1968:
Fantastic interpretation of the entry of the "black dwarfs"
Boarding the sphere
(1) The first character rises, swings and enters, head first, 
in the sphere, imitates (2) by the second; the third straightens
(3) and does the same; the fourth rises and then descends (4).
This argues against the prevailing debunking explanation that the children saw a helicopter with commando crew re-entering via tethers. Yep, Ive seen film of similar manoeuvres, but not quite through the rotor blades on top; usual to the lower sides, if you want your people to survive rotor blade chopping!
Compare the drawings of these encounters with the drawing based on the Coogee witness’s rough sketch, that I have superimposed onto the location the witness identified.
Even though UFO "physical trace" events seem rarer in recent decades, those that do occur should be carefully looked at.  I have been pleased to have contributed to helping define the UFO “physical trace” picture, that Ted Phillips so strikingly gave a strong focus to.  It reminds us that some UFOs or UAPs have a physical reality.  That is a strong and potent anchor point to investigate the wider and often stranger dimensions of the UFO mystery.
Ted Phillips provided a great legacy for serious UFO research – a focus on UFO landing “physical traces.” 
Ted Phillips (1942-2020) RIP

Monday, April 13, 2020

BAASS interest in Australian and Chinese UFO investigations

"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."
This is a quote from my February 24, 2020 post:

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

While I've been taking an interest and occasionally participated in the attempts of many researchers to unravel the real story of the BAASS/ATTIP saga, my own advocacy of "an open science of UFOs and UAPs" has always meant I've looked at both BAASS and ATTIP as not good examples of "open science", in fact they are rather secretive. The efforts of researchers such as Keith Basterfield, Curt Collins, Roger Glassel and many others would be greatly assisted if both organisations had been more open and transparent.  That was not part of their agenda it seemed. The progress and evolution of a real UFO/UAP science would be benefited if it was part of their agenda. As some of these players moved on to vehicles like TTSA, caution seems appropriate, given that even TTSA are not very transparent. Instead of "jig-saw puzzles", "breadcrumbs" and fragments in a convoluted tale of clandestine investigations, we might have had an evolution of an open UFO/UAP science.  While there are notable exceptions and great attempts to do "open science" in this area, the secretive approach seems to dominate. When organisations like MUFON chase after relationships with secretive type organisations then open UFO science and UFO research will be threatened.

I had these sorts of issues in mind when in 2010 I had overtures from Robert Bigelow's BAASS organisation to assist them with UFO data from Australia and China:
Rumours and evidence had been flying around at the time that the BAASS/MUFON "marriage" was in trouble.  We know how that played out, so the caution I noted in my response should be understandable.  Given that Robert Bigelow seemed wedded to the commercial imperative as well, I thought it was reasonable to note the "financial renumeration" aspect. Researchers and civilian organisations were generally known to be working on limited or non-existent budgets, thus my comment here was I thought more reasonable. I was more concerned that this was going to be all one way and that feedback would be unlikely.
Here was my response:


I was expecting some sort of collegial response and perhaps some discussion on the issue of reciprocity, and perhaps even some suggesting on support for the work required to get the data together. However I guess my comments, particularly on transparency and sharing were not in line with what BAASS had in mind. 
So in the end that was it.  No response was received and that was the full extent of my relationship with BAASS.  
Did BAASS reach out to others in Australia and China?
As far as Australia was concerned I have asked Keith Basterfield and Paul Dean.  Neither were aware any such efforts.
With China I would not have expected to have been told of any direct BAASS overtures, particularly given that face-to-face dialogue often produced the best results. However I have not heard of any such overtures from my range of contacts.  I had not reached out to find out either.
As it turned out the BAASS funding from officialdom had ended and mass lay offs of BAASS personnel followed.  I have not tried to see if Robert Bigelow tried to undertake seperate enquiries.  Maybe we will see evidence of such efforts, if there were any, in the likes of Jacques Vallee's journals.  He told me he was working on the 20000 to 2009 volume. I hope that a volume for 2010 to 2019 might emerge but that might be too much to expect.
Well lets see what emerges.
If there are any parties that would like to contact me please do so at billozfiles@tpg.com.au 

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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onEXmLX2ZZQ

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.”


THE INTERRUPTED JOURNEY

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.