Monday, October 28, 2013

The Absence of God

We’ve often noted two books dealing with God’s absence from human life:

The Hidden Face of God by Richard Elliott Friedman [Originally titled The Disappearance of God, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995] and The Hidden Face of God: How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth by Gerald L. Schroeder [The Free Press, NY, 2001].

Friedman takes a philosophical/theological approach while Schroeder takes a neurological position, both trying to show that God is ‘absent” from our lives but still exists.

Schroeder will appeal to those who like discussions of consciousness and Quantum Mechanics.

Friedman will appeal to those with a philosophical, Nietzscheian bent.

But do we really need Friedman or Schroeder to tell us that God is hidden or absent from human existence? God’s absence seems to be rather obvious, doesn’t it?

When the Hebrews called out to their God during the many assaults upon their communities, where was their God?

And when Jews were being slaughtered during WWII and subject to The Holocaust, did they not call upon their God to save them, but got no answer, no mercy?

And Christians who called for their God/Jesus to save them during the Roman onslaughts and decimation of Christian communities, men, women, and children alike, discovered that God/Jesus was nowhere to be found.

And God’s chosen messengers, Joan of Arc, Saint Lawrence, and Giordano Bruno, among other saints, also became aware that God/Jesus was not going to come to their rescue when they were being mutilated or burnt at the stake.

Today, when a Christian, Muslim, or Jewish person find themselves in a dire situation facing death, do they not beg God to provide surcease?

Do the Hindu Gods come to the aid of those, when in trouble, who worship that motley crew of deities?

God was manifest, it seems, for periods of time in antiquity, but often elusive and incorrigible even then.

That some (most?) persons think God is merciful and at hand when needed or at death shows the palpable ignorance of humankind.

One doesn’t need Mr. Friedman or Mr. Schroeder to enlighten us about the absence of God. It’s obvious from history and the human condition.

RR 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The CIA’s UFO Events

In The Lawless State: The Crimes of the U.S. Intelligence Agencies by Morton Halperin, Jerry Berman, Robert Borosage, and Christine Marwick [Penguin Books, NY 1976] on page 51, the heading is Drug Testing and Behavior Modification, the authors recount how “the CIA began to develop a defensive program of drug testing in the late 1940s and early 1950s, which turned into behavior modification experiments on unsuspecting individuals.”

Nick Redfern has researched this activity in books (The NASA Conspiracies. The Pyramids and the Pentagon, Final Events, Contactees, Men in Black) and online (The Mysterious Universe. NickRedfern.com, et cetera).

There is a plethora of information one can find by Google searches.

I’ve provided the testimony of CIA operative Bosco Nedelcovic who recounted the details of such experimentation which is the 1957 Villas Boas incident in Brazil.

And one might assume that the Betty and Barney Hill “abduction” was a military/CIA operation, as was the Pascagoula case.

The Scoriton Affair in England was, I’ve conjectured, a CIA/military invention, and I think Mr. Redfern believes that Rendlesham was also.

There are other UFO incidents that smack of contrivance or military/CIA interference: The Cash-Landrum case, the Falcon Lake episode, the Phoenix lights scenario, the 1958 Loch Raven Dam sighting/encounter, et cetera.

Nick Redfern suggests that some contactee tales were inspired by military of CIA machinations.

The Pentacle memo, referenced here the other day, inspired Jacques Vallee to extrapolate the kinds of behavior modification that The Lawless State book recounts.

That there have been bona fide and real UFO/flying saucer encounters and sightings since ancient times and well into the 1940s/50s up to the present time is without question.

It then becomes incumbent upon UFO buffs to discern which UFO report is meaningful as a profound result of a weird phenomenon and which is, possibly, a staged event that is grist for those who are more concerned about covert government activities than those who are enchanted by UFOs.

What we know, pretty much: Kenneth Arnold saw something strange near Mount Rainier in 1947, something odd (sociologically or militaristically) happened near Roswell in 1947, something(s) odd flew over Washington D.C in 1952, military installations have been subject to UFO or contrived CIA probing (events that need clarification), weird encounters (hallucinatory events) have been rife in Europe, South America, and many U.S. venues, and sub rosa groups inside government supported laboratories (Battelle, Sandia, et al.) and agencies (NSA, CIA, Army Intelligence, NASA, et cetera) or universities (MIT, the Naval Academy, Stanford, et al.) exist and have studied or are studying the UFO phenomenon.

We also know or think we know that some UFO photographs thought to be authentic are hoaxes: the Trent Photos, The Rhodes photo, the Heflin photos, and the ballyhooed Wanaque beam photo.

The UFO topic is a carnival or potpourri of sightings and events that are egregiously difficult to decipher, and deciphering has been left to ignorant or inept UFO aficionados who expend what little moronic intelligence they have trying to convince others that what they don’t know is the UFO truth.

The UFO truth is a deeply embedded truth, of something mentally devious or something endemic to the human condition and history that, like the existence of God, is not meant to be solved but is meant to irk the few humans who find the phenomenon to be worthy of time and effort.

UFOs are a curiosity, nothing more, in practical terms.

Pursuing the meaning or explanation of UFOs should not be encased in behavior that is serious or life-altering.

UFOs are only worthy of a hobby status, and not a hobby status that increases one’s status in life.

It’s a foolishness that invites derision from normal individuals and those connected to the UFO subject should take into account that spending time or money on UFOs is a pathology that would better be shunned, if only to maintain a semblance of sanity I na world that is intrinsically insane.

RR

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Sociologic need for “The Roswell Myth”

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

When a brief shining moment of societal importance – an alleged capture of an extraterrestrial machine – occurred near Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947, the population of the area thought they finally had garnered the recognition that had been passing them by.

After all, other places in America were being lauded and talked about, for being industrious, beautiful, or exploited by visitors – New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, et al.

The ho-hum areas of New Mexico – Corona, Roswell, Las Cruces, even Albuquerque – were Immune to public adoration; but Roswell/Corona much more so than most New Mexican towns and cities.

When the 1947 hubbub occurred, the citizens of Roswell/Corona were entranced by the thought they were finally being noticed by the world at large.

Unfortunately, the instant depreciation of the captured flying disc report by the United States Army deflated any possibility of a Roswell/Corona heyday. The citizenry was crushed.

They went back to their humdrum existences, feeling thwarted by the Army which took away their moment(s) in the sun.

But then along came a UFO buff, Stanton Friedman, in 1978, who offered a resurrection of that missed glory of 1947, and the residue of Roswellian wannabes grabbed the opportunity and beheld the extraterrestrial gospel of Mr. Friedman, with the hope that the world would now see their humble society as worthy of visitation, by visitors from outer space, who knew a great venue when they found one.

All the years of solitude and loneliness was taken away by Mr. Friedman and his UFO acolytes.

The Roswell citizens were not about to lose their new found cachet so they bolstered the imaginings of UFO believers with embellishments that were little different than those of the early Greeks or Egyptians who promoted their countries and cultures with mythical tales that made their habitations seem worthy of visit and encomiums.

The ploy worked and Roswell became a place of tainted honor for many and maintains that place of honor to this day.

The myth of a Roswell flying machine with “tourists” crashing nearby has been expanded creatively since 1978 and those old-timers, and their generational newbies, swell with pride that their inhabited part of the world is as important – maybe more so – than others.

The citizens, past and present, were blessed by a special visitation that rivals the descent of God upon the ancient Hebrews.

Thus, Roswell continues to resonate – among a few UFO devotees only – but it’s a resonation that can’t be allowed to be quelled, not this time.

RR

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Paglen Pictures – But where are the UFO/ET Pictures?


The October 22nd, 2012 New Yorker magazine had a profile of Trevor Paglen by Jonah Wiener [Prying Eyes, Page 54 ff.]

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Mr. Paglen is a fellow who is noted for his artistic photographs of highly secret places like Area 51.

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Mr. Paglen hopes to enlighten the population about such clandestine venues by making aesthetic images of those venues.

I don’t get the point exactly but found an effort by Mr. Paglen to be worthy of extrapolation.

That effort is this: Mr. Paglen has gathered a group of images that he, along with help of researchers at MIT and astronomer Joel Weisberg, will be launched on a satellite, the Echostar XVI, late in 2012.

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The intent is to provide the images, called The Last Pictures, for intergalactic aliens.

This is similar to the images that Carl Sagan helped create and gather for Voyager 1 which is at the outer edges of the Solar System and meant to enlighten galactic civilizations about the Earth and its inhabitants.

These “notes in a bottle” are interesting and projective; that is, they assume that life exists in the Universe and that life will find the images informative about another existence, us.

But questions arise…

If there is life elsewhere, why hasn’t it tried to communicate with us, via such imaged projectiles or something similar?

After all, UFO ET advocates would have us believe that flying saucers contain thinking humanoids.

And haven’t UFOs and their witnessed occupants mimicked humanity, in clothing and appearance, even appurtenances (such as belts, weaponry, footwear, helmets, et cetera)?

Even UFOs or flying saucers haven’t been more exotic than Earth’s aircraft designs.

So there would seem to be a similar engineering mind-set at work in the UFO phenomenon.

But even without UFO entities like us, science thinks that galactic civilizations would have the same mathematical sensibilities as our own, or even an evolved mental (or societal) ability not unlike ours so they would understand the images attached to Voyager 1 or Paglen’s satellite insertions.

Implicit in the Paglen and Sagan thrusts lies a belief that life isn’t unique to Earth.

But science refuses to accept visitations here from those outer lives.

And UFO buffs have got to ask themselves why UFO occupants haven’t tried to provide images of their cultures or civilizations.

That is one of the enduring mysteries of the UFO phenomenon: the lack of identification.

Your thoughts?

RR

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maxtrix UFOs? A UFO Stasis? Or something else?

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

The idea that UFOs are the products of an über-reality, not unlike that imagined in the Martrix franchise, cannot be dismissed out-of-hand, as far as some of us are concerned.

The idea of a separate, unique real reality, promulgated by Plato in his Cave analogy and others (philosophers, science fiction writers, physicists, film-makers, et cetera), becomes a viable thesis by virtue of its being thought by us, by humans.
You can pursue the concept yourselves by Googling transcendentalism and philosophical adjuncts, but most of you understand the idea and the Matrix films provide an easy introduction.

That we are being manipulated by a master game-player, that some of us think is God, is not hard to swallow, and allows for UFOs to be part of that game….the Game of God we’ve called it.

But if that is a bit too weird for the pragmatists among you, let me broach the UFO problem with this.

UFOs have been around, provably, since the dawn of thinking man.

The Aubeck/Vallee book, Wonders in the Sky, provides a litany of credible accounts that show the ubiquity of UFOs throughout history.
But the question to ask is why haven’t UFOs evolved in that long time period? (We’ve addressed this issue in an earlier post here.)

Pure UFOs remain pretty much as they have been witnessed over the millennia, despite the attempts to show them changing with the times, as the air-ship aficionados insist, writing that the air-ship (dirigible-like UFOs) were forerunners to the more stylized craft of the late 40s and 50s, right up to the present day.
But early UFO sightings and depictions of them are not different than today’s sightings and depictions, which means, as we see it, that UFOs are a static phenomenon, or many within the UFO genera are static.

That is, UFOs are an archetypal phenomenon – some of them anyway, maybe most of them.

The odd-UFOs are elements one can ascribe to mental aberrations (hysteria/hallucinations) or totally separate phenomena with attributes that mimic (not purposefully!) UFOs.

Jose Caravaca’s “Distortion Theory – delineated at his blog with us (http://caravaca-files.blogspot.com) -- could be put in to the Maxtrix “explanation” as his external agent as the causa essentia is not different than the machine/God of the Maxtrix hypothesis.
Then we have the multiple universe concept where UFOs are insertions from another parallel universe or adjacent, unseen world that sometime intersects with our universe, our reality.
What doesn’t make this idea valid for me is the appearance of machines or craft as part of such hypothetical intrusions.

Why would machines need to traverse the division between us and the others? Why not just step through or come into this reality as one might go from a car or plane into another geographical venue? The craft seems superfluous.

But does the machinery (the UFO artifact) act as a protective device, more than a transporting device?
As for alien visitors from galaxies far, far away, we’ve always eschewed the idea.

For some, the Earth is a Garden of Eden, a wondrous, one-of-a-kind planet which attracts aliens from other worlds because of its beauty, its flora and fauna, its minerals, or its water.
But there are so many other more ravishing places in the known universe that to think Earth is a primary stop for interstellar travelers is the quintessential ego-oriented view projected outward to life-forms who surely have seen better.
The continuing problem when it comes to UFOs is that the sightings have been lumped into a generic category: UFOs. Whereas the things represent phenomena, as we keep writing.

There is not one UFO species, but many, some real some not.

Since ufologists are generalists, no science has developed to cope with the many forms or species that make up the whole UFO panoply.

And does it matter, really?

UFOs are like insects or butterflies – many kinds with many different attributes but ultimately not important to humanity or one’s personal existence
RR

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Skeptics or Debunkers

Philip Klass and Donald Menzel did more to cause the science/media/public dismissal of flying saucers and UFOs than any other persons or groups extant during the voluminous era of the phenomena.

And they did it with a patina of rectitude that is not only unjustified but hellishly erroneous.

They were debunkers, not skeptics, and they had an agenda that was based in purposeful or aberrant denial.

Menzel in his books -- UFOs: Flying Saucers-Myth-Truth-History (1953), The World of Flying Saucers (1963, co-authored with Lyle G Boyd), and The UFO Enigma (1977, co-authored with Ernest H. Taves -- went to excruciating lengths to fit UFO sightings into a framework of astronomical and meteorological explanations that stretched credulity and Ockham’s Razor to the breaking point.


 Fixing a temperature inversion and the planet Venus as a confluent for sightings was a typical ploy. Wikipedia provides this about Menzel:


“All of Menzel's UFO books argued that UFOs are nothing more than misidentification of prosaic phenomena such as stars, clouds and airplanes; or the result of people seeing unusual atmospheric phenomena they were unfamiliar with. He often suggested that atmospheric hazes or temperature inversions could distort stars or planets, and make them appear to be larger than in reality, unusual in their shape, and in motion. In 1968, Menzel testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Astronautics - Symposium on UFOs, stating that he considered all UFO sightings to have natural explanations.
He was perhaps the first prominent scientist to offer his opinion on the matter, and his stature doubtless influenced the mainstream and academic response to the subject. Perhaps Menzel's earliest public involvement in UFO matters was his appearance on a radio documentary directed and narrated by Edward R. Murrow in mid-1950.
Menzel had his own UFO experience when he observed a 'flying saucer' while returning on 3 March 1955 from the North Pole on the daily Air Force Weather "Ptarmigan" flight. His account is in both Menzel & Boyd and Menzel & Taves. He later identified it as a mirage of Sirius.”
Klass was a brilliant, hard-working debunker. His knotty analyses of UFO events and sightings are almost legendary, but invariably wrong, because they are tainted by his inherent bias against UFOs as a viable phenomenon.
In the book, pictured above, Science and the Paranormal [Edited by George O. Abell and Barry Singer, Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY, 1983, Chapter 18, Page 310 ff.], Klass deconstructs the noteworthy Coyne helicopter confrontation with a UFO in October 1973 near Mansfield, Ohio.
Klass presents a detailed account of the Coyne encounter and its aftermath. The minutiae included in his “analysis” of the encounter provides a seeming overlay of forensic debate but when Klass’s approach is scrutinized, one realizes that his devaluation of the Coyne crew’s report rests on a usual Klass barb that Coyne and his crew misremembered what they did when they saw a UFO coming toward their helicopter.
Klass writes that they misperceived an Orionids fireball (or meteor) and miscalculated the timings of various aspects of the event: the fireball’s fly-by, the seconds during which the collective control was pressed to keep the helicopter from, firstly, hitting the ground and, secondly, from accelerating back into the sky.
The magnetic compass’s erratic behavior was an afterthought of Captain Coyne, inserted several years after the initial event and report(s) Klass suggests.
The inability to communicate with local air terminal towers was ascribed to the distances that intervened between them and the Bell helicopter Klass tried to document.
And the green glow the crew witnessed as the UFO allegedly flew over their helicopter came from the tinted glass at the fringe of the cockpit. The red glow of the UFO was that of the surmised fireball.
(J. Allen Hynek, an eminent astronomer himself said that the Orionid display didn’t produce fireballs.)
With a recent case of a pilot, waking from an in-seat nap, mistaking the planet Venus for an approaching airplane, putting his 747 into a dive that injured several passengers and attendants, one can accept the possibility that Captain Coyne and his crew were flummoxed by a stray Orionid meteor, except that Hynek said fireballs do not occur during the Orionid display.
Moreover, the crew’s actions indicated that the helicopter was influenced in some way by the approaching UFO, and the mistakes attributed to them by Klass as errant behavior is possible certainly but hard to accept as the mistakes that Klass piles up are too many and too egregious for a trained helicopter crew.
It’s far easier to accept that Coyne and his men actually had a near collision with a UFO – an Unidentified Flying Object (or thing).
Klass, like Menzel, presents a set of possibilities, all acceptable at a superficial level, but when weighed in the balance, require too many machinations to be reasonably feasible.
No, Klass and Menzel were not skeptics; they were debunkers….and not very skilled debunkers either, as their “explanations” always teetered on the edge of charlatanry; they were UFO atheists or something worse.
RR

Monday, April 09, 2012

Albert Camus, UFOs, and UFO Buffs

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.


The April 9th 2012 New Yorker has an article, Facing History: Why We Love Camus by Adam Gopnik [Page 70 ff.] from which I’ve culled these excerpts that can be applied to ufologists and those who debate about UFOs…

Writer Gopnik begins his piece with a laudatory take on French philosopher/writer Albert Camus’ good looks and writes this:

Looks matter to the mind…The ugly man who thinks hard…is using his mind to make up for his face. [Page 70]

You can name the prominent ufologists to whom that epithetical observation applies.

Gopnik, comparing the great Jean Paul Sartre with Camus – who were friends before a falling out – tells us that:

Camus was not only a better writer but a more interesting systematic thinker than Sartre. [ibid]

Referring to the mythical Sisyphus who, as you know, was doomed to rolling a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back to the bottom so that Sisyphus was never able to achieve any finality to his chore – which may be likened to those who pursue the Roswell incident or UFOs generally – Gopnik quotes Camus’ “most emphatic aphorism”:

One must imagine Sisyphus happy. [Page 72]

And about Editorial writers, which many UFO mavens are, Gopnik writes:

Editorial writers can seem the most insipid and helpless of the scribbling class.

Good editorial writing has less to do with winning an argument, since the other side is mostly not listening, than with telling the guys on your side how they ought to sound when they are arguing.

Not “Say this!” but “Sound this way!” is what great editorialists teach. [ibid]

Using Sartre’s mantras about history, one can apply Sartre’s words to a proper ufological position:

Sartre said that you couldn’t know how history [UFOs] would work out, but you could act as if you did.

Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is. [Page 73]

Quoting from Camus’ The Rebel (L’Homme Révolté):

It is those who know how to rebel, at the appropriate moment against history [UFO orthodoxy] who really advance its interests. [Page 74]

It is in the nature of intellectual life – and part of its value – to gravitate toward the extreme alternative position.

We want big minds to voice extreme ideas, since our smaller minds already voice the saner ones. [ibid]

And Gopnik reminds us that “Harvard and Yale pay some of their professors to tell…students that everything they believe is a bourgeois illusion.” [Page 74] -- which is a view recently promulgated by ZoamChomsky in comments here and errantly ballyhooed by our skeptical friends Lance Moody and Gilles Fernandez.

Debating the existence of UFOs or the reality of an alleged flying disk crash near Roswell has to be categorically intellectual in the absolute sense of the word intellectual.

Unfortunately, discussion of UFOs, Roswell, Kenneth Arnold and all the myriad other UFO sightings and reports has descended into intellectual anarchy, with a patina of religious fervor.

This is why some former UFO stalwarts have dropped out of the UFO scene: the debate has become too ratty for them.

And if we continue to see nutty views here that are contrary just to be contrary with no meaningful essence, we’ll have to consider taking some of our more sensible visitors – CDA, Kandinsky, Dominick, et al. -- to our academically [sic] tinged blogs and web-sites,

RR

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Influence of images on memory

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

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Spanish UFO researcher Jose Caravaca and I (among others) think that images seen in childhood may be responsible fro some UFO experiences later in life, brought into prominence by stress, neurological malfunctions, medicines, drugs (recreational and otherwise), alcohol, and other factors.

UFO investigators and researchers have generally neglected to ask UFO witnesses to events (alleged abductions among them) what they’ve eaten, drunk, or used just before their experience.

And investigators have not asked what magazines, movies, books, or, more recently, what television shows were part of their childhood entertainment.

Betty Hill, born in 1919, and her husband Barney could have been influenced by such imagery as these from the 1930s and 40s, found in Science Fiction magazines during their early lives:

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Travis Walton, born in 1953 would have been influenced by images prominent in the late 1950s and early 60s; the imagery embedded in his memory as delineated by Torkel Klingberg, Hans Forssberg, and Helena Westerberg in their work, Increased Brain Activity in Frontal and Parietal Cortex Underlies the Development of Visuospatial Working Memory Capacity during Childhood:

"The amount of information one can keep in working memory (WM) increases throughout childhood and early adulthood (Gathercole, 1999; Luciana & Nelson, 1998; Hale, Bronik, & Fry, 1997)."

And images such as these might have affected someone as “manly” as Walton….

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…or those who posit reptilian aliens in our midst…

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…or those who just see something in the sky…

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My point is that UFO research has been wanting and incomplete, no where near scientific and without the protocols and methodologies needed before the epithet “research” should even be mentioned.

That’s why I continue to excoriate UFO personages such as Kevin Randle, Jerry Clark, J. Allen Hynek, and Stanton Friedman. Their forays into UFO sightings and events were and are “vacations” not explorations.

(Images courtesy of Jose Antonio Caravaca)

RR

Monday, March 19, 2012

The UFO Planiverse

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

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A.K. Dewdney’s book The Planiverse [Poseidon Press, NY, 1984], a computer-oriented riff on Edwin Abbott’s Flatland [1884], provides a creative, imaginary look at existence in (or on) a venue that is only two-dimensional.

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Dewdney’s “computer-created characters” in his book have encounters that are not unlike some of those we’ve presented here lately -- from Jose Caravaca and our own files/discoveries.

The question is whether UFO encounters, as we’ve noted here and Jose Caravaca has delineated at his blog, The Caravaca Files, are generated by human imaginings alone or, as Señor Caravaca hypothesizes, they are a mixture of unconscious imagery and other sensory data, used by an outside influence, as yet to be determined our understood, for purposes equally not determined or understood?

Mr. Dewdney’s creative effort mocks or mimics strange encounters that are stumbled upon by his two-dimensional creatures as they engage in explorations which take them, inadvertently, outside their two-dimensional world.

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Have witnesses of strange UFO-defined craft and their often strange crews (entities) stumbled outside their three-dimensional world, inadvertently, into a realm from another or other dimension(s)?

And do their encounters provide interaction with beings inside those dimension(s)?

The idea that UFOs derive from inter-dimensional intersects is not new or accepted by most UFO aficionados.

But if Dewdney and Abbot’s imagined, two dimensional worlds that intermingle with a three-dimensional world (Spaceland in Abbott’s opus) and produce observations that are strikingly similar to the observations by UFO witnesses, can we dismiss the possibility that their insights are based in a reality that even they don’t recognize as having come from sources beyond them, as a kind of gift of intuition?

(Jung would allow that, as would some theological practitioners.)
My conjecture, in the realm of UFOs, can be taken as fringe or as a stepping stone for those inclined to ruminate on possibilities other than ET for UFO visitations.

RR

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

UFO Spectacular: Voronezh, Russia, 1989

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

A raft of sightings in the semi-rural city of Voronezh, Russia in September 1989 provide examples for Jose Caravaca’s “Distortion Theory” [http://caravaca-files.blogspot.com] and study for UFO buffs, ET believers, debunkers, skeptics, and mass hallucinatory aficionados.

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The gist of the event(s) may be found at these web-sites:

UFO Folklore-Myth and Legend

UFO Casebook

Phantoms and Monsters

And a fine account is proffered in Michael Hesemann’s excellent book [Marlowe & Company, NY, 1998, Page 249 ff.]:

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Noted Spanish UFO researcher Jose Antonio Caravaca has studied this group of sightings and created pictures, for his Spanish web-site, to match witness accounts:

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Some researchers believe, Jose Caravaca writes, that the inclusion of the symbol of UMMO is due to an attempt by authorities to undermine the credibility of the event.

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"But personally, for some children's drawings, I think it is a distortion of the Cyrillic letter writing ZH >I<"...

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"The most interesting thing is that they saw a symbol >I< on the UFO which was like the letter Z in Cyrillic. Even the city's name was included in the "letter" ZH Voronezh = BOPOHE>I< ; zh=>I<"

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"There is also the detail of the elongated artifact that throws light rays, and the robot that moved in a very clumsy [way]."

Señor Caravaca finds similarities to the 1856 movie, Earth vs Flying Saucers:

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The following photos of the children who saw and reported their experience and their accompanying drawings, from Mr. Hesemann’s book, give you an idea of what was allegedly seen by dozens of people, not just the children.

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From Hesemann book [Pages 251/253]

The news agency Tass presented the stories as legitimate or bona fide UFO accounts, but that was Soviet Russia and caveats are necessary.

Señor Caravaca sees elements in the witness accounts that bespeak mental intrusions by an agency (unknown) that uses unconscious or semi-conscious images in witness’ minds for purrposes not understood (yet) but palpable when the accounts are examined thoroughly.

The UFOs seen by witnesses are not extraordinary within the context of UFO lore, but the entities and the accoutrements of the event are extraordinary as recorded by Tripzibit at Unsolved Mysteries of the World [2/19/2010]:

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“In the afternoon of September 27, 1989, several children in Voronezh, an industrial center with a population of about one million, were playing soccer in a local park when a giant red sphere, 30 feet in diameter, landed right next to them. A huge crowd quickly gathered. Suddenly, a hatch opened in the craft and two creatures stepped out. One was a short robotic-looking figure, the other was a gigantic humanoids (12 to 14 feet tall) walked about the town, perhaps sightseeing. The alien appeared to have “three eyes,” was wearing a silver jumpsuit, bronze-colored boots, and a round disk on his chest.

Because there were so many witnesses, and because of the earlier wave of sightings, the event caused a huge sensation. The news agency TASS picked up the story, and before long, it was front-page news across the world. According to TASS, and a report in the newspaper Sovetskaya Kultura, two boys and a girl from a local school - Vasya Surin, Zhenya Blinov and Yuliya Sholokhova - were playing in a park on the warm evening of Sept. 27 when suddenly, at half past six, ''they saw a pink shining in the sky and then spotted a ball of deep red color'' about 10 yards in diameter. A crowd gathered, ''and they could clearly see a hatch opening in the lower part of the ball and a humanoid in the opening.”

The three-eyed creature, about over 10 feet tall and fashionably dressed in silvery overalls and bronze boots and with a disk on its chest, disappeared, then landed and came out for a promenade with a companion and a robot. The aliens seemed to communicate with each other, producing the mysterious appearance of a shining triangle, and activated the robot with a touch. Terrified, a boy began to scream, but with a stare of the alien's shining eyes, TASS said, the boy was silenced and paralyzed.

After a brief disappearance, the three returned, but this time one of the ''humanoids'' had ''what looked like a gun'' by his side - a tube about two feet long that it directed at a 16-year-old boy. The boy, whose name was not given in the report, promptly vanished, but reappeared. Immediately afterward, the aliens stepped back into the sphere, which took off straight up.

Residents of the city of Voronezh insisted that lanky, three-eyed extraterrestrial creatures had indeed landed in a local park and gone for a stroll and that a seemingly fantastic report about the event carried Monday by the official press agency TASS was absolutely true.

Lieutenant Sergei A. Matveyev confessed that he had not actually seen the aliens, but said he saw the spaceship and ''it was certainly a body flying in the sky,'' moving noiselessly at a very high speed and very low altitude. To be honest, Lieutenant Matveyev said, he was a little skeptical himself when he first saw the object. ''I thought I must be really tired,'' he said. ''but I rubbed my eyes and it didn't go away. Then I figured, in this day and age, anything is possible.''

Vladimir A. Moiseyev, director of the regional health department, said in a telephone interview that despite reports of widespread fear in the city, none of the witnesses had applied for medical help. But he said that ''certainly we are planning to examine the children.'' There was no explanation why, with the passing of two weeks, such an examination had not yet taken place.

Mr. Moiseyev, like other authorities in Voronezh, the editors of TASS, and indeed many of its readers, treated the report as a serious scientific phenomenon. No extra men are assigned to patrol the area because the department is short-handed, said the duty officer at the local Interior Ministry department, who identified himself only by his last name, Larin, but he said troops would be dispatched ''if they appear again.''

The TASS correspondent covering the case of the mysterious visitors to Voronezh, Vladimir V. Lebedev, seemed insulted that anyone would treat the story with anything but the full seriousness that it was given by the agency. In a telephone interview, Mr. Lebedev described conversations with dozens of witnesses and with experts who had examined the evidence and spoken to the children. He said there were about three landings of the U.F.O between Sept. 23 and Sept. 29.

In the latest development, not yet reported by TASS, Mr. Lebedev said that Genrikh M. Silanov, head of the Voronezh Geophysical Laboratory, asked the children to draw what they had seen. Drawings said to be similar. Though isolated from one another, he said, the children all drew a banana-shaped object that left behind in the sky the sign of the letter X.

Such descriptions, Mr. Silanov said, were reported as typical of U.F.O.'s in a 1976 article in the now defunct American magazine Saga. Mr. Silanov said that a rock that was reportedly found at the site and described as being not something found on earth was actually a form of hematite, which is found in various parts of the Soviet Union. While not a witness himself, Mr. Lebedev said he had visited the site. ''The traces were still seen,'' he said. ''I could see holes of a clear shape that resembled the footprints of an elephant.''

Several scientists investigated and failed to convince themselves that all this was hallucination. The landing was investigated by a wide variety of scientists including medical investigators, psychologists, criminologists, and more. It was discovered that numerous other people in the area had seen and even photographed the UFOs. Some of the witnesses suffered weird side effects such as insomnia. Others reported electromagnetic effects on their TVs and appliances.

Most exciting, however, was the analysis of the landing site. Depressions in the ground showed that the object weighed several tons. Radiation was found in the soil, as were unusually high levels of certain elements—in particular, phosphorus. The Voronezh landing remains one of the most famous UFO landings in Russian history, and as of yet, it is still unexplained.”


If the accounts are fabrics of a hoax, it’s a elaborate charade….but to what purpose?

The things that stand out are the symbols, concocted or actually seen, such as the disk on the chest of the entities.

Of course, Jose Caravaca’s “Distortion Theory” works to explain, somewhat, the event.

A good case can be made for mass hysteria or group hallucinations certainly.

For me, the extraterrestrial explanation doesn’t work, as once the entities debark from the “saucers” or UFOs, they resemble nothing like that reported in other UFO events, thus creating a whole otherworldly category.

Whatever happened in Voronezh in 1989, fact or fiction, the events intrigue, for many reasons, all worthy of study within the context of UFO lore.

RR