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