Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Influence of images on memory

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

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:


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 those might have affected someone as “manly” as Walton….

…or those who posit reptilian aliens in our midst…

…or those who just see something in the sky…

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.

RR

Monday, March 19, 2012

The UFO Planiverse

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

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.

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.

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.

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.]:

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:

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.

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





"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"

"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:

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.

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]:

“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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

UFOs: Before and After

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

Our esteemed colleague, Spanish UFO researcher Jose Antonio Caravaca has sent us a raft of pictures from various sources that preceded, by many years, the UFO craze that ensued 1947.

1946.jpg
From 1946

Señor Caravaca ties many of the images to his Distortion Theory – which can be found at his blog, which you can access by clicking HERE.

And I find many to precede some notorious sightings in the UFO literature, except for this one, well after the fact, by the artist, who didn’t know about the connection when he drew it I surmise:

cloera.jpg

1211 England, Gravesend, Kent: During a Sunday mass it is said that the congregation saw an anchor descend and catch on a tombstone in the churchyard. The churchgoers rushed outside to see a strange 'ship' in the sky, with people on board. One occupant of the vessel leaped over the side, but did not fall: 'as if swimming in water' he made his way through the air toward the anchor. The people on the ground tried to capture him. The man then 'hurried up to the ship.' His companions cut the anchor rope, and the ship then 'sailed out of sight.' The local blacksmith made ornaments from the abandoned anchor to decorate the church lectern.
(From Bibleufo.com)

Then there are the airship depictions that surfeited fictional science stories well before the sightings of the late 1890s and early 1900s:

pe-airships.jpg

How about the pre-Adamski scenarios:

pre-adamski.jpg

Or the pre-Sonny Desvergers event of 1952:

pre-desvergers.jpg

And the Villas-Boas case of 1957:

pre-villa-boas.jpg

Or the State Trooper Herbert Shirmer case of 1967:

pre-shirrmer.jpg

And, of course, the Travis Walton “abduction” of 1975:

pre-walton.jpg

And all the other alleged abductions:

pre-abductees.jpg

As you can see, there are images that may well have impacted UFO afflicted people neurologically, resulting in their experiences.

This is not to say that all UFO events are induced from images perceived and retained unconsciously, but it surely presumes that some were.

Jose Caravaca is developing a theory that explains much, not all perhaps, but much.

At any rate, I find the images interesting, and will provide many more upcoming…

RR

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Symbol for God or UFOs?

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.


P.V. Glob’s The Mound People: Danish Bronze-Age Man Preserved [Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 19704] identifies this image (No.74) as “The goddess of Earth meets the god of heaven, Slänge in Bohulän”:

godcircle.jpg"

Barry Fell’s America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World [Simon & Schuster, NY, 1978. Page 73] identifies this as a “cross” from a Basque tombstone in the French Pyrenees:

circlestone.jpg

Stuart Piggott’s Ancient Europe from the beginnings of Agriculture to Classical Antiquity [Aldine Publishing Co., Chicago, 1965, Page 143] presents these images (in one panel) as Rock-carvings of chariots or carts, horses and wheels. Late second-early first millennium B.C. at Frännarp, Sweden:

wheels1.jpg

wheels2.jpg

Philip Van Doren Stern’s Prehistoric Europe from Stone Age Man to the Early Greeks [W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., NY, 1969, Page 229] shows this as a Norwegian rock carving of a large boat carrying a sun disk:

boatcircles.jpg

We have all seen the cross-within-a-circle image in many cave drawings and primitive artifacts.

(And it is seen as a wheel in many later primitive drawings and paintings.)

In its later incarnations, it is listed as a pagan symbol adopted by Christianity, and shows up in many venues of the British Isles (Ireland, particularly).

But the uppermost drawing here comes from a time period between 3000 B.C. and 600 B.C., well before an articulated Pagan era.

Why the cross in a circle then?

The boat drawing comes from the Neolithic era (about10200-8800 B.C.) and shows the symbol for the sun god, according to Stern – the larger circle on the boat-deck, but what about the two circles above the boat, in the sky?

There are not two suns in the Earthian sky, and the Moon and Sun would not show up congruent to one another as depicted, even in Velikovsky’s therories.

The Basque tombstone carving may be a Christian articulation of a Pagan symbol, but is it just that?

Carl Jung’s mandala symbols, derived from Oriental cultures, are said to be unconscious manifestations of the God archetype – the wholeness of existence as reflected in the ornate symbols revered by holy men and religions indigenous to the Asian sub-continent mostly.

But the earlier “mandalas” depicted, as shown above, primitve as they may be, indicate something else – something otherworldly: divine or ?

Can we extrapolate a reality that impinged upon early man, which caused them to note that reality?

And if so, what was the essence of that reality? Divine interpositions or Extraterrestrial intrusions?

Can we ever know? Does it matter?

RR

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Again, why cave art, and did other-worldly agents bring it about?

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.


Secrets of the Ice Age: The World of the Cave Artists by Evan Hadingham [Walker and Company, NY, 1979], pictured above, makes clear that no one knows, for sure, why primitive mankind painted on cave walls or produced stone art.

And some cave art is not representational such as this abstract rendering from Abri Leuillet in the Paris Basin, dating from the Neolithic period:

abstract6.jpg
Page 285

Mr. Hardingham presents the mystery of why art seems to have waned after the Ice Age:

bookquote6.jpg
Page 267

The idea that cave art was totemic in nature, or created for magical rituals is wrong, writes Mr. Hadingham.

Of course, there are some totemic drawings, just as there depictions of a sexual nature or hunting scenes.

And the idea that such art stemmed from a leisure, art-for-arts sake has been discounted also.

Why do I persist in presenting the cave art scenarios here?

I think that something happened that encouraged the primitive or aboriginal mind, as was the case on Easter Island; that is, either paranormal, extraterrestrial, or supernatural (an intrusion by divinity) agents instigated or sparked such art, maybe by just being present.

And UFOs or other-worldly beings played a controlling part in this esthetic turn by early mankind, which disappeared for a while to show up at the outset of the Sumerian/Egyptian cultural beginnings.

But if “outside” agents brought on the creativity, why didn’t it continue in an overt form?

Also, there is no and has been no overt esthetic thrusts or evidence of such artistic endeavors by those beings encountered in UFO events of the modern era.

Beings imagined or real, encountered by humans, have been unique in their unesthetic contact.

Was the artistic spark lit long ago and left to geminate on its own?

Did the gods or ET infuse humankind with an artistic DNA factor and then let it fester on its own, and if so, why?

Or is an outside agent needed at all?

What caused early man (and modern man) to draw (or paint)?

Do we need an outside source as an explanation?

Even the Ancient Astronaut theorists are loath to wax enthusiastically about aliens inculcating art among their processes for humanity’s “evolution,” pressing the alleged primitive technological and/or architectural input.

But there’s more here….something not quite right, about early mankind’s sophisticated approach to rendering pictograms when writing and speaking were hardly developed,

And is there a UFO tie-in?

RR

Monday, March 05, 2012

ET is in the Eye of the Beholder


Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

Jacquetta Hawkes’ The Atlas of Early Man [St/ Martin’s Press, NY, 1976] presents her views on the Çatal Hüyük peoples (covered in an earlier post here).

Ms. Hawkes, in her splendidly illustrated book, marvels at the beauty of the Çatal Hüyük art, and writes that “…the most memorable manifestations are painted vultures with vast wings, their hooked and feathered beaks pecking at little headless human bodies":

headless2.jpg

Her book’s art reproductions also included this statue found at Eridu, Mesopotamia from the al-Ubaid period [circa 4000 B.C.]:

eridu.jpg

What are we to make of the Çatal Hüyük “little people” or the Eridu “alien”?

Do we accept the idea that primitive artists, like their modern counterparts, created imaginary figures and representations which belie the reality that encompassed them?

That is, did primitive peoples visualize, in their minds, what they depicted? And why, considering the vicissitudes of their existence, did they portray the images they did?

Do peoples under stress slip into psychotic-like reveries, which they lay down on walls or as sculpted works?

The Çatal Hüyüks were obsessed with placing murals on their walls; murals that contained images of death, leopards, and vultures eating headless, little people.

Why?

And the peoples of Eridu reproducing amongst their realistic art…

head5.jpg

a piece (further above) that looks an awful lot like the beings described in UFO encounters.

What causes such transformations – from the real to the “unreal” by Neolithic cultures that had stresses more pertinent that the distained stresses of the modern artist?

There are clues to something in early art – something more than febrility or creative posturings.

But what could that be?

An actual representation of something unearlthly? Perhaps.

Or a neurological glitch that is intrinsic to human kind, and could even be called “Original Sin” should one want to bring Augustine’s views into the topic.

RR

Sunday, March 04, 2012

UFOs and Çatalhöyük


Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

A review in The Atlantic [March, 2012, Page 74 ff.], lauding Ian Hodder’s new book (pictured above), published by Thames and Hudson, tells of a Neolithic settlement extant 9400 years ago:
Çatalhöyük.

The settlement of about 8000 people, who built and lived in mud-brick houses, was odd for an umber of reasons….

The inhabitants built their houses so close together that entry had to be through the roofs. The propinquity didn’t allow for streets or walking paths.

The houses also acted as cemeteries; the dead buried beneath the floors or in the hearths.

“The inhabitants decorated their interior walls with plaster reliefs and with elaborate murals depicting wild animals…and such cheery scenes as vultures swooping down on headless people.

They regularly – annually or even monthly – replastered their walls and floors, covering these bizarre and beautiful murals…creating a blank canvas for new pictures.”

This compulsive, obsessive behavior was not extrinsic to the Çatalhöyük society, but endemic.

The people didn’t create their settlement near arable land but chose, rather, a site that was an insect-infested marshland that had a proximity to the dense clays they needed to make the plaster for their murals and drawings.

The whole purpose of the Çatalhöyük life-style and existence was the ongoing creation of those murals – nothing else, Hodder conjectures, mattered more to them.

As with the Tassili and other cave-wall paintings we’ve inserted at this blog, one wonders what possessed these primitive peoples to place “art” about anything else in their lives.

To use the Çatalhöyük model, can we conjecture that those who pilot or inhabit UFOs also are obsessed with something – not art, but the archeological wonders that Earth presents and which is unknown in their environments.

The intimations of extraterrestrial intrusions that Ancient Astronaut theorists see in cave paintings may indicate an obsession by galactic or dimensional visitors not unlike that of the Çatalhöyük people.

That is, beings, alien or Earthian, have obsessions that make little sense to “normal” people, which keeps archeologists and “ufologists” flummoxed.

Can we ever really know what primitive man was thinking, or what possible extraterrestrial visitors have as a raison d’être?

RR