Besides posting book reviews, once in a while I will be posting articles on the subject of pulps. I hope we can generate more interest for the Blog. If you would like to share an article on the pulps, you can send me a message in the Comments of a post.
A Florida witness in Escambia County reported a "massive, totally quiet triangle-shaped object" that flew over her neighborhood at the tree top level, according to testimony in Case 64835 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.
The witness was outside in a vehicle at 7 p.m. on November 13, 2014, when the incident occurred.
"It was so large that when I stopped my car to look, it was all I could see out of my windshield and windows," the witness stated. "It didn't make any sound at all, and the trees didn't sway or make any noise, like they would if something like a helicopter or other craft flew so close to them."
The witness watched while the object flew overhead.
"It was right over my head, only the distance from the ground to right over the trees."
The Flap of 1973 and musings of a MUFON Field Investigator...
The year 1973 was a very challenging year for me. I was living in Dayton, Ohio, was newly married, and working as a teacher in a preschool. I was the MUFON State Section Director for the Dayton metropolitan area and in my spare time, did volunteer work for the Air Force Museum. I had been busy trying to get a local chapter in place and conducted meetings in my garage which I had converted into a room. About 20 people would attend my periodic meetings and I started building up a Field Investigations team of about five people. This kept me very busy...until later in that year.
Dayton had reports periodically (around 5-10 cases a month). Many of them had the typical prosaic explanations we see today, namely bolides, the planet Venus, and aircraft from Wright Patterson AFB. By around the latter part of September and into October, that number increased to between 50-60 a week. The usual explanations no longer seemed to fit anything. You would get a call that as many as 20 residents in a community had seen an object performing loops in the sky or hovering for long periods of time only to shoot off at an amazing speed. A police officer in Lebanon, Ohio, watched as an object did unusual moves in the southern sky with many other policemen and residents watching. The officer managed to capture an image of the object as it veered overhead. Later, it was on the cover of the National Enquirer and written up by Bob Pratt, a well know writer who routinely covered the UFO stories for the tabloid.
Between 1991 and 1994, Nick Pope, a now-retired employee of the British Ministry of Defense, who was attached to an outfit of the MoD called the Secretariat of the Air Staff, spent approximately 20 percent of his working week officially investigating UFO sightings and encounters, specifically from within the confines of his office.
In other words, Pope never conducted on-site investigations of UFO activity, nor did he ever visit the homes of UFO witnesses to conduct personal, face-to-face interviews while he was with the MoD's "UFO project."
Although a believer in the notion that some UFOs likely have extraterrestrial origins, Pope takes a very dim, and distinctly skeptical, view of the idea that some Men in Black might be (a) clandestinely operating from within certain British Government and military departments and (b) traveling the country silencing witnesses.
Pope related his opinions to me on such matters in a 1994 interview: "Men in Black stories? From what I understand, at some of these UFO conferences, the front rows are taken up by Walter Mitty-type characters who dress in black with sunglasses and taking notes on everything. If there was one thing that anyone who was trying to be unobtrusive would not do, it would be that."
He continued: "I think any allegations about people turning up on someone's doorstep and wanting to know about UFO sightings, what you're dealing with is either people who are lying, and saying it happened when it didn't; or, perhaps more likely, people who have genuinely been visited by someone, but where that someone is some Walter Mitty-type character who likes to think he's some sort of James Bond secret agent."
Pope concluded: "If anyone's going around saying: 'You must keep quiet about that,' it's the exact opposite of what we do at the Ministry of Defense. So, it's nothing to do with us."
As earnest and honest as Nick Pope's opinions most assuredly are, they are devastatingly way off-target, as the British Freedom of Information Act has demonstrated. Although Pope never left the confines of the MoD to investigate even a single a UFO case, others, attached to different British, official departments, with their own secret agendas, most certainly did.
Now that we have covered some of the basics, let's take a look at what I personally carry with me into the field. Not everyone will feel the need to carry everything I do, but my philosophy is that it's always best to be prepared for anything. Let's take a look at the evidence kit first.
This is the evidence kit available from MUFON, and it can be ordered on our website in the store. I augmented it with an L-scale that I ordered from a C.S.I. supply warehouse, and some waterproof index cards that I got from the local Army surplus store Camp and Pack here in S.L.O., along with a waterproof pen (not shown). It includes a bag of arrowstone for taking casts, which is a lot better to work with than plaster of paris. It also comes with a variety of sample containers and evidence bags, and tamper-proof evidence seals.
This is the gear that I keep in an extra crate, and take with me as needed. Most of the evidence kit I keep in a nice, small-sized watertight case, and keep it stored in my closet until needed. I don't recommend keeping any of your equipment in your vehicle all the time. The heat isn't good for most items, and some of the stuff is rather pricey if you have to replace it due to someone breaking in your car! Notice next to the caution tape I also have a roll of "Danger" tape. Some people aren't stopped by the word "Caution". I find "Danger" works better.
When I leave my vehicle in the field, if it's not on my back it's in my duffel or evidence kit. Extra items are carried in my "Alice Pack", also from S.L.O. Camp and Pack. It includes a tent that can be set up in seconds in case of sudden bad weather, that is big enough for two people and their gear, a sleeping bag rated at 27 degrees with a liner that's good for another 10 degrees, camp shovel, machete, 2,000,000 candle power spotlight, full face shield, and a welders helmet (if something is too bright to see you'll be glad you have it).
This brings us to the last, and one of the most important items-radios. Communications in the field can be of utmost importance, so it's important that you have reliable radios that you can trust. Mine have a 36 mile range, but keep in mind that range is dependent on "line-of-sight". Anything in the way such as hills or buildings will drastically cut down the distance you can talk, so in some instances you might need to have a person in a "relay" position. I also prefer to use the headsets so my hands are free. They can be set for either VOX or PTT.
A California witness at Indio reported watching a yellow-white sphere that increased and decreased in size by 50 percent before ascending straight up into the night sky, according to testimony in Case 64711 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.
The witness was in his backyard with the family dog about 8:53 p.m. on April 15, 2015, when the object was first seen.
"At approximately 82 degrees north I saw movement of a yellow-white object with movement in a southward direction," the witness stated. "The object was 10 degrees off of true north to the west."
The witness described the object's movements.
"The object then stopped and blossomed by 50 percent or greater with color changes to greenish-yellow for about one to two seconds. The object then diminished to its original size in the stationary location about 87/88 degrees north."
OHIO MUFON will host the MUFON of Ohio Conference June 6th, in Ashland Ohio. Featuring James Fox, Nick Redfern, and Terry Ray. Please see mufonohio.com for more information.
MINNESOTA MUFON will host the Lakes Area Paracon, July 10-11, 2015. Featuring Jerome Clark, Kevin Randle, Adrian Lee and more. Please see lapig.org for details.
GEORGIA MUFON will host a monthly meeting Saturday, May 9, 2015 2-5 p.m. Hosted at Northlake Barbara Loar Library, Atlanta, GA. Agenda, Discussion.
PHOENIX MUFON welcomes Nick Redfern on May 9 for his lecture on "The Real Men In Black." Arizona Historical Society Museum. 2-5 p.m. Meeting is open to the public. Dinner and skywatch at the Superstition Mountains afterward. All info at phoenixmufon.com.
ERIE UFO CONFERENCE: May 16, 2015. Don Schmitt, Peter Robbins, John Ventre, Phyllis Budinger, Tom Wertman and Bill Konkolesky. Visit mufonpa.com to register.
MICHAEL SCHRATT will present to Phoenix MUFON on June 13 with his lecture entitled "Inside The Black World." Arizona Historical Society Museum. 2-5 p.m. Meeting is open to the public. Raffle and Group Dinner afterward. All info at phoenixmufon.com.
ALABAMA MUFON holds a monthly meeting at the China Grill Buffet, 9016 Madison Blvd, Madison, AL 35758. Second Saturday of every month, 11:30 am.