Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Eagle River, Wisconsin Encounter: Interstellar Pancakes

Preamble: On April 18, 1961, Mr. Paul Simonton, a chicken farmer in Eagle River, Wisconsin claimed he witnessed a disc-shaped craft land vertically on his farm. A hatch opened, and when he approached he saw three human-looking 'men' inside. They asked him for some water. They appeared to be cooking pancakes on a griddle, and in exchange for the water they gave him four of the pancakes from griddle. The episode survived a rigorous assessment by the U.S. Air Force and is carried in their files as "unexplained."

Two photographs of Joe Simonton with one of the "alien pancakes". (source of first photo: Vilas County News-Review, April 27, 1961)

Incident: Wisconsin 's strangest close encounter of the third kind must surely be the incident during which Joe Simonton was given three pancakes by "Italian-looking" aliens.

A close encounter of the third kind is an actual meeting between humans and extraterrestrials, and Simonton's is easily the state's best known. Despite the unlikely manner in which the story unfolded, the episode survived a rigorous assessment by the U.S. Air Force and is carried in their files as "unexplained."

In 1961, Joe Simonton was a plumber; auctioneer and Santa Claus - annually, for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce. He reported his age as 55 or 60, depending on the interviewer: At 11 a.m., April 18, Simonton was having a late breakfast when he heard a sound like that of a jet being throttled back, something like the sound of "knobby tires on wet pavement." He went into the yard and saw a flying saucer drop out of the sky and hover over his farm. It was silver and "brighter than chrome," 12 feet in height and 30 feet in diameter. On one edge were what appeared to be exhaust pipes, 6 or 7 inches in diameter.

The disc landed and a hatch opened. Inside were three dark-skinned aliens, each about 5 feet tall and weighing about 125 pounds. They appeared to be between 25 and 30 years old and were dressed in dark blue or black knit uniforms with turtleneck tops, and helmet-like caps. They were clean-shaven, Simonton said, and "Italian-looking."

The aliens did not speak in his presence, but they had a silvery jug with two handles, heavier than aluminum but lighter than steel, about a foot high. It seemed to be made out of the same material as the craft. Simonton said it was "a beautiful thing, a Thermos jug-like bottle quite unlike any jug I have ever seen here [on Earth]."

Through ESP or something, Simonton got the idea that the aliens wanted water. He left the visitors, filled the jug from the water pump in his basement, then returned to the craft and gave the jug back. To do this, he had to brace himself against the UFO's hull and stretch up. From the subsequent Air Force report: "Looking into the [saucer] he saw a man 'cooking' on some kind of flameless cooking appliance." The alien was preparing pancakes.

Sketch of the UFO, based on a drawing supplied by Joe Simonton. (credit: FSR)

The interior of the UFO was dull black, even the three "extremely beautiful" instrument panels, and had the appearance of wrought iron. The contrast between the dark interior and shiny exterior so fascinated Simonton that he later said that he "would love to have a room painted in the same way."

In return for the water, one of the aliens - the only one with narrow red trim on his trousers - presented Simonton with three of the pancakes, hot from the griddle. As he did so, the alien touched his own forehead, apparently a salute in thanks to Simonton for his help. Simonton saluted back. Each of the pancakes was roughly 3 inches in diameter and perforated with small holes.

The head alien then connected a line or belt to a hook in his clothing and the hatch closed. The saucer rose about 20 feet and took off to the south, at a 45-degree angle. Its wake left a blast of air that tossed the tops of nearby pine trees. The craft took only two seconds to disappear from view.

Simonton ate one of the pancakes, ostensibly in the interest of science. "It tasted like cardboard," he told the Associated Press. The other two pancakes he gave to Vilas County Judge Frank Carter, a local UFO enthusiast. Carter, who called the aliens "saucernauts" ("I prefer Italians"), said he believed Simonton's story since he could not think of any way in which the farmer might profit from a hoax. Carter's son, Colyn, today a lawyer in Eagle River, told me, "I recall as a youngster that my dad took it very seriously."

Judge Carter sent the pancakes to what was then the country's top investigative group, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). They refused the opportunity to check it out. That put a damper on Judge Carter's plans; he had wanted to hold a seminar on the incident.

By this time, Simonton said, he was "irked by reporters making fun of the situation and laughing."

In response to all this, the Air Force dispatched its civilian UFO investigator, J. Allen Hynek. Hynek at the time was an astronomer at Northwestern University. He later became convinced that UFOs are real, and founded his own investigative agency, which took over NICAP's files after that group folded. Thanks to Hynek, a Northwestern University committee and the Air Force's Technical Intelligence Center analyzed one of Simonton's pancakes and found it to be made of flour, sugar and grease; it was rumored, however, that the wheat in the pancakes was of an unknown type.

The official Air Force assessment of it all: This case is unexplained. "The only serious flaw in the story is the disappearance of the craft in 'two seconds.' The rest of the story did not contain any outrages to physical concepts," reads the report. Simonton "answered questions directly, did not contradict himself, insisted on the facts being exactly as he stated and refused to accept embellishments or modifications. He stated he was sure that we wouldn't believe him but that he didn't care whether he was believed. He stated simply that this happened and that was that."

The private Air Force response was unearthed after a little detective work. It comes from a UFO handbook for Air Force personnel, written by Lloyd Mallan and issued in a popular edition by Science and Mechanics Publishing Co. In the book, Mallan refers to "J.S., a highly regarded, much respected citizen of Eagle River, Wis. -- a small rural community noted for its attractiveness to tourists."

(Unless there are more space-pancake recipients in Eagle River than otherwise reported, we can safely see through Mallan's clever attempt at disguise and positively identify "J.S." as Joe Simonton.)

One Air Force investigator, according to Mallan, said that Simonton "appeared quite sincere to me, did not appear to be the perpetrator of a hoax." But an Air Force Aeronautical Systems Division psychiatrist believed that Simonton had suffered a hallucination and subsequent delusion. The Air Technical Intelligence Center investigator said, "cases of this type could be injurious to the mental health of the individual if [he] became upset due to the experience. ...It was pointed out that experiences of this type, hallucinations followed by delusion, are not at all uncommon and especially in rural communities."

Additionally, according to Mallan, the Air Force took to heart an unsubstantiated rumor circulated by, among others, Raymond Palmer, a publisher of pulp flying-saucer and science-fiction magazines. Palmer reported to the Air Force his belief that Simonton had been hypnotized by an Eagle River real estate broker and was fed the pancake story so that he would repeat it and appear truthful. The motivation for this was economic, for the purpose of "a miniature Disneyland that is or was being built in the area."

Artist's impression of the Eagle River encounter, by Michael Buhler

To understand how incredible the rumor was, it is useful to look at the credibility of Palmer himself. One of his favorite theories was that flying saucers came from a secret hollow-Earth civilization ruled by a race called Detrimental Robots, which he abbreviated as "Deros." According to Palmer, the Deros manipulated humanity with their projected thought rays. Palmer's primary source -- actually, his only source -- was a Pennsylvania welder who drew upon "racial memory" for his accounts. (There apparently is no mention in Air Force files of the possibility that the Deros' thought-ray had been turned upon real estate agents, or Palmer, or even the Air Force, though I believe there is as much evidence for that as for an Eagle River Disneyland.)

But based on such sound "evidence," the Air Technical Intelligence Center, which headquartered Air Force UFO investigations, let the matter drop. Publicly, it was a mystery. The classified reason, revealed to Mallan, was that the Air Force would not pursue the matter "due to the possibility of causing [Simonton] embarrassment which might prove injurious to his health." This was an uncharacteristic kindness on the part of the Air Force; they regularly had been dismissing reports from pilots - even their own - as misidentifications or, worse, hallucinations. "There are sufficient psychological explanations for reports not otherwise explainable," concluded the Psychology Branch of the Air Force's Aeromedical Laboratory in 1949. Pilots, police, professors, besides regular folks -- all nuts. In the 60's, though, for a brief, shining moment, the Air Force took on a human face and it its collective tongue, bending over backwards to carry the case of a part-time Santa and full-time chicken farmer as unexplained. Some may smell a conspiracy here.

As for Simonton himself, in the end he was left with a bitter taste in his mouth, and it wasn't from the pancakes. "I haven't been able to work for three weeks," he told United Press International. "I'm going to have to start making some money." He said that the next time he saw a flying saucer he would keep it to himself.

He lied. In 1970 Simonton was visited by Lee Alexander, a UFO enthusiast active in a Detroit-based investigative group. Simonton told Alexander that he had had more visits from the aliens, but he had not told anyone because of the way his first report had been received.

And that is all we know. - "The W-Files: True Reports of Wisconsin's Unexplained Phenomena" - Jay Rath

Few mentions of "contacts" were made and the only one receiving a featured presentation was the "Pancake" case of Joe Simonton. This is because FSR regular Bernard Finch had queried Simonton by mail about his alleged meeting with three extraterrestrials in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Simonton, who always comes across as one of the open-eyed "just-plain-Joes" of all UFO history, wrote Finch a letter which then FSR printed. It's to the left. As you can read, Joe is claiming forthrightly that his experience was real and that he thinks he has good reasons to believe that these critters were ETs. He is obviously a bit miffed that the USAF took three of his four pancakes, and has been tardy about their analysis. He thinks that the pancakes were not made of Earth ingredients, although later test results disagreed with that. He is happy to "tell all" but is waiting for the Air Force to tell him it's OK to talk about the testing.

Source: "The W-Files: True Reports of Wisconsin's Unexplained Phenomena" - Jay Rath
Clark, Jerome - "The UFO Encyclopedia" - 1998
Coral and Jim Lorenzen, 'Encounters with UFO Occupants', APRO - 1976
John A. Keel - "Operation Trojan Horse" - New York, NY: Putnam - 1970

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Mothman Comes Home

I received the following email from a woman in Ohio who has concerns in reference to a sighting her and a girlfriend had six months ago. She stated that she substituted their names for anonymity. 'Megan' affirms that all other details...location, date and description of the incident are factual:

Sir - my name is Megan. I am forwarding a summary of an experience that I and a friend had in August 2010. My friend and associate Kyra and I traveled from Columbus, Ohio to Ravenswood, West Virginia on business. While we were there, I wanted to make a side trip to Gallipolis, Ohio in order to visit relatives I had not seen for quite awhile.

After our meeting and presentation, we drove onto Ohio Rt. 7 and traveled south along the Ohio River towards Gallipolis. We had a nice, though brief, visit with my relatives. Around 6PM, we left their home and drove a few miles north on Rt. 7 to check-in to a hotel near the local airport.

Around 7:30PM, we decided to get dinner and found a quiet restaurant so we could eat and work. After we finished, Kyra needed to go to the store and pick up a few items that she forgot to pack. We headed to a Wal-Mart that was nearby the restaurant.

After we finished shopping, we were walking to the car when I noticed a woman running through the parking lot. When she reached her car, she looked back in the direction of the store then hurriedly got into the car. I quickly looked in the same direction and saw what looked like a large bird flying above the roof of the store. It was difficult to see but when it swooped downward the parking lot lights would shine off of it. It looked like it was either oily or had shiny leather-like skin. Whatever it was, it had a wide wing span. I would guess it reached 8-10 foot across. It circled above the store for about a minute then just disappeared.

We were both somewhat shocked at what we witnessed but figured that it was just a huge bird. Since it was dark, I figured we had misjudged what it really was.

We drove back to the hotel and decided to call it a night so we could get an early start on the drive home in the morning. I got ready for bed but thought I’d watch some television first. By this time it was around 10PM or so.

I must have dozed off fairly quickly because the next thing I remember is frantic knocking on my door. I stumbled out of bed and checked who it was. It was Kyra and she was obviously upset. She rushed into my room and said “it’s here!” “What are you talking about?”- a little bit perturbed that she woke me up. She said that she was laying on the bed reading when she heard something in the hallway. She got out of bed, walked to the door and listened to what she thought was ‘scratching’ sounds. After a few minutes the sounds stopped, so she went back to bed. Not long after she lay down she heard more scratching sounds but, from outside her window. Again she got up and peeked through the curtains. This time, something looked back at her.

Our rooms were on the second floor in the back section of the hotel and both looked out onto a small parking lot and a large field beyond that. She could see, what she described as, a ‘bald ugly man with wings’ who was looking directly at her with 'large bulging eyes that lit up bright red.' It was there for only a few seconds. It then spread it’s wings while running at the same time towards the end of the parking lot and lifted off the ground like a bird.

“You’re kidding, right?” I muttered to her. “Meg, I swear to God – that thing is out there and it knows we saw it!” I knew the only way I was going to get some sleep was to allow Kyra to stay in my room. The next morning we woke early, checked out and drove back to Columbus.

Kyra didn’t mention the incident from the previous night during the ride. In fact, she has still never said anything else about it. We continue to be good friends and have a very good working relationship.

But – I got curious. I had never heard about the Mothman or any of the tales associated with it. I grew up in Texas and had only lived in Ohio for a few years. I moved into my Mom’s house after she had passed away. Her relatives lived throughout Ohio but I had never been told any of the stories.

This is the reason I am writing to you. We were near Point Pleasant, WV when we had this encounter. Do you think that it is possible that this was a Mothman? I read some of your posts recently and I’m starting to believe that Kyra actually saw something supernatural.

In light of the prophecies of danger that this thing is suppose to warn people about, Kyra has had some bad luck and tragedy since that day. Her husband suddenly left her, she had a fire in her house and she severely injured her leg in a fall. Could this be connected?

I personally don’t believe in predictions, either good or bad. But I will admit that these have been strange times since we witnessed ‘whatever.’

NOTE: I responded to 'Megan's' concerns with a lot more uncertainty...we really don't have many answers for the Mothman. Is it natural, supernatural or non-terrestrial. Some people think that it may be an escaped experiment performed by the government. What would you tell 'Megan?' ...Lon

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Congo Impact Crater, Aquatic Humanoids and UFO Over Brooklyn?

A computer model of the Luizi crater based on satellite data.
Diagram courtesy Ludovic Ferriere and SRTM/NASA

Huge Impact Crater Found in Remote Congo

NatGeo - A circular depression deep in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been confirmed as the first known impact crater in central Africa, a new study says. The find brings the number of known meteor craters on Earth to 182.

The so-called Luizi structure was first described in a German geological report from 1919. But without further fieldwork, it was impossible to say for sure that the 10.5-mile-wide (17-kilometer-wide) feature had been made by a meteor impact.

On other planets, such as Mercury and Mars, it's easier to identify impact craters based only on their shapes, since these worlds no longer have geologic forces making major changes to their surfaces.

But on Earth, many older craters have likely been erased by tectonic activity or erosion, while others are so covered with dense vegetation or sediments, like Luizi, that they're almost impossible to spot without satellites.

What's more, the crater-like structures we do see may have been made by volcanoes, collapsed underground chambers, and other forces that have nothing to do with impacts, said study leader Ludovic Ferrière, curator of the rock collection at the Natural History Museum of Vienna in Austria.

"On Earth, to confirm it's an impact, you have to go in the field because you need evidence of high pressures and temperatures," Ferrière said.

Crater Expedition Had Brushes With Snakes, Poachers

The researcher first became interested in the Luizi structure after seeing satellite pictures published in the 1990s.

By studying the available satellite data, Ferrière and colleagues estimated that the structure has an elevated rim about 1,148 feet (350 meters) high, as well as an interior ring and a central depression.

But to truly confirm Luizi as an impact crater, the researchers had to mount an expedition to the politically tumultuous DRC. (Related: "Rare Gorillas at Risk as Rebels Seize Congo Park.")

"I was working for a year just to find a contact there, because you need a local person to help you find your way around," Ferrière said.

With funding from the National Geographic Society/Waitt Foundation program, Ferrière—then a postdoc at the University of Western Ontario in Canada—visited the crater site in June 2010 with colleagues from the University of Lubumbashi. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

"I flew direct to Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the DRC. From there we had to drive from the city to the crater," he said.

"I had looked at maps and planned a route before I left. But when I got there, my contact told me there is no bridge across part of my intended path. We had to take some crazy gravel roads with big potholes inside. These are not good roads to drive on, even with a four-wheel-drive car."

The team set up camp in a small village about 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the crater rim, recruiting two local guides/porters and a soldier to help them safely navigate the wild terrain.

"The crater is in a national park, and I thought it would be like the jungles of South America," Ferrière said. "Instead it was a tree savanna—a big plataeu with dry grass. The grass was sometimes more than a meter [3.2 feet] high."

Standing on the rim of the Luizi structure, Ferrière could see skinny trees that seemed to fill the depression, with the crater's distant edge rising like small hills.

Despite the remote, wooded terrain, "we saw no large animals, only snakes. But we did see a lot of remnants of poachers. Sometimes we'd come to a site and the doused fires were still hot."

Ferrière's team spent about a week at the crater collecting samples, which were sent back to the lab in Canada for analysis.

"I found so-called shatter cones, which are features in the rock only found in impact structures," he said. The nested, conical shapes in such features are evidence that the bedrock has been exposed to extreme pressure from a shock wave.

The crater rocks also contained an abundance of shocked quartz, a version of the mineral known to form only from impacts or nuclear blasts, Ferrière said.

"Everybody will believe me now, I think, that this is an impact site."

The scientists think the Luizi crater was made by a meteor more than 0.6 mile (a kilometer) wide that slammed into what is now the DRC at about 45,000 miles (72,000 kilometers) an hour.

For now it's unclear how old the crater is—the scientists can say only that the affected rocks are about 575 million years old, "but we know it's younger than that, because the rocks have been excavated," Ferrière said.

"It would be nice to do more fieldwork, because the shape of the structure with this inner ring can tell us about the exact formation process involved," he added. In the meantime, the researcher will continue to study the rock samples, now housed at the Vienna museum.

"There is still a lot to discover" about Luizi, he said.


Aquatic Humanoids: Progeny of the Black Lagoon or Alternate Evolution?

Since the dawn of time legends have sprung up across the globe regarding strange, fish-tailed, half-human hybrids which were said to dwell in the briny depths of the world’s oceans, but there is a lesser known phenomenon regarding a unique breed of bizarre, bipedal beasts, which eyewitnesses claim to have encountered near the freshwater lakes and rivers of North America. Creatures which some insist owe more to fertile imaginations of Hollywood effects artists than to Darwin’s Natural Selection.

On March 5, 1954, filmmaker Jack Arnold unleashed what would become the last of the great Universal monsters onto the world with the release of the seminal “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” This scaly, fish lipped atrocity exploded across American screens in glorious 3-Dimensions and would soon after carve itself a niche not only in pop culture, but the psyches of theatergoers worldwide as the image of the archetypal “gill man.” Continue reading at Aquatic Humanoids: Progeny of the Black Lagoon or Alternate Evolution?


UFO Incident Over Okinawa, Japan

jazmaonline - One night in late 1986 or early 1987 in Okinawa Japan, I had a UFO in my backyard. I lived in a small house, off base, which sat at the left corner at the end of a cul-de-sac. The house had a back yard the size of a small volleyball court, enclosed by a 4’ high brick wall with a small side gate. Behind the house was a large park with a sloping hillside leading down to the ocean. My bedroom had a window that faced the street of the cul-de-sac and my daughter had the bedroom that looked out on the backyard. Her room had a large window that was long and set low, with the bottom ledge being about 2½’ above the floor. The window was dressed with a thin stick bamboo shade that let light through and provided some visibility to the outside, but did not cover the bottom of the window, providing full visibility to a two year old.

My daughter woke me up complaining of bright light in bedroom. It took me a few minutes to wake out of a deep sleep. My daughter was frightened and persistent, so I walked with her down the short hall to her room to see what she was afraid of. As I entered her room I could see a very bright white light coming through the window and filling the room. At first I thought that it was a large spotlight. We crept to the window, and on my knees with my daughter standing next to me, we peered outside.

I saw a saucer shaped object with a tall top not sitting on the ground but was floating above the ground at least two feet. The craft filled up most of the backyard. There were large lights in a single row along the widest edge of the craft giving off pastel colors of pink, blue, and yellow. The whole craft was enveloped with fog, but I could still see a few stars in the sky behind it. As we were peering out the window the fog became thicker and the light brighter, however the bright light was not coming from the colored lights but seemed to be coming from the fog itself. As the light shone brighter through the glass, it reminded me of sun shining through a window, catching all the tiny dust particles in its light. But, then I realized the particles were actually not dust particles, but the fog. The fog was rolling through the window, which was a solid pane of glass, and spilling on to the floor. At that moment, as I watched the floor filling with fog, spilling on us, I was afraid. I grabbed my daughter and we hid behind her rocking chair against all my common sense and instinct. I still remember thinking that we really weren’t hid at all, as we were only across the room from the window and in full view of it. I thought that it was a dumb hiding place but it seemed like we were frozen in awe and fear of what was happening and had to witness it.

The next morning I woke up in my own bed, and my daughter in hers. I did not know what happened after we hid, how I got to bed, or how my daughter got in her bed. To this day I still don’t have any knowledge of what happened. As frightened as we were, I would have taken her to bed with me and would not have left her in her room to sleep. Two weeks after the incident, my daughter pointed out a white scar in the shape of a half moon, on her ankle. She had not had any prior injuries to cause the scar and I did not have an explanation for the mark. Eventually the scar faded.

The scariest part of the whole incident was the fog because it was so invasive and that I cannot explain what events happened after we “hid”.


UFO Over Brooklyn?

myfoxny - A strange light or UFO in the sky over Williamsburg, Brooklyn was caught on camera Sunday night.

Phil DePaolo was walking his dog about 11 p.m. when he saw the mysterious object. He wanted to get a better look at the UFO so he went home and grabbed his video camera because he doesn't own binoculars.

He eventually started recording. His video shows the bright, flashing light changing colors high up in the sky. DePaolo says the lights were also strobing.

He said a second object came into the shot at one point.

"It was quite beautiful," DePaolo said. "That's why I was fascinated by it."

DePaolo says he has lived in the neighborhood since 1979 and has never seen anything like it before.

"There were a lot of stars out. It was a very clear night," DePaolo said. He added that he didn't hear any noise from the object.

DePaolo says he went inside to upload some of the video, went outside 15 minutes later to videotape more footage, but the object was gone.

"I don't believe it was a flying saucer, but it was something," DePaolo says.

DePaolo runs the New York Community Council, a civic organization that does advocacy work across New York City.


Click for video

Former United States Senator Alan Simpson has condemned the younger generation for listening to too much "Enema Man" and "Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog" in an interview. If I had an 'Asshole of the Week' he'd sure get the nod...Lon

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Haunted Ring

Last evening, I received the following anecdote. The writer wants to remain completely anonymous and fears that her and her husband may have started something that they cannot finish:

Hello – my husband and I had an experience that we just cannot explain. An associate at work suggested I write you so that you (or your readers) may be able to help us comprehend what has happened and if we are in any peril.

Last Autumn, my husband and I took a 7-day cruise vacation that left from Port Canaveral, Florida with ports of call in the eastern Caribbean. We really needed a break because of work stress and the constant activity endured by us helping to plan our daughter’s wedding. The cruise was going along nicely and as anticipated.

The final port of call was in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. I was looking forward to this destination since my sister had visited there previously. We has arranged for a catamaran sail as part of our day-long stop at port. After walking around the town for a few hours we reached the tour company that provided the catamaran ride to a small island a few miles from Philipsburg. It was a delightful excursion to and from the island with food and drink as well as pleasant interaction with the crew. But there was one aspect of this small trip that needs to be emphasized.

My husband and I took a walk on the beach of the small island (I forget the name of the island) and, after a while, decided to take a breather on a small outcrop of rocks. We sat and talked about dinner that evening and hoped we’d be able to be seated at a nice local restaurant since we had not made reservations. As we talked, my husband noticed something between several of the rocks. He reach down a pulled up a large ring that looked very old and seemed to be made of gold. We examined it and noticed that the design on the face was that of a bird and what looked like a lightning bolt. There was an inscription inside the band that read ‘Mes voiles coeur avec vous - Manon – 1723’ (Translates: My heart sails with you – Manon – 1723). I can speak French so I was able to translate the inscription.

My husband, who is a high school history teacher, speculated that it may have belonged to a French privateer at one time. He said that he’d wait and have it looked at when we returned home to Chicago. He placed it in his pocket and we continued with our day. We spent the late evening in our cabin relaxing on our cabin balcony and conversing about our trip.

The next morning, there was a knock on our cabin door. I looked at the clock - it was 7:15 am. My husband got up and answered the door. He was talking with our cabin steward whose voice I recognized. We invited him inside – he was quite distressed. He explained that the couple in the cabin beside ours had a terrible experience the previous evening and that they insisted we were responsible. We were very surprised by this information because we had never met this couple. The cabin steward explained that the couple did not want to cause trouble but they insisted that they talk to us. We agreed to meet them.

About an hour later, after we showered and had some breakfast, we walked next door to the couples’ cabin – the cabin steward accompanied us. A young woman answered the door, introduced herself to us and asked that we sit down. She was very nervous. I asked if anyone else would be talking with us. She explained that her companion was very wary of us and wanted to avoid our presence. My husband and I looked at each other in amazement. What had we done to incite fear in this couple?

A few seconds later, my husband motioned for me to look at the dresser. I turned and looked. The ring we had found the previous day was on the dresser. My husband turned to the young woman and asked “does that ring belong to you?” She started to cry, then she shouted “take it back and leave!” My husband stood up and said ‘wait one second’ as he turned towards the door and walked out. I knew where he was going – he was looking for the ring in our cabin. I looked at the young woman and said “look, what is going on here?” She did not answer.

The cabin steward suspected what was happening and said "if this is a theft, I need to report it.” I asked him to wait until my husband returned. Soon after, my husband walked backed into the cabin and said “it’s gone.” The young woman looked up and said, “yeah, we took it last night.” After assuring her that we would not report or prosecute the theft, she calmed down and explained what happened.

The young woman stated that the previous evening her and her companion were walking back to their cabin when then noticed my husband and I were getting ready to enter our cabin. My husband had reached into his pocket to retrieve the keycard and when he did, the ring somehow came out and fell to the floor. Neither one of us had noticed it but the couple both saw it hit the floor and bounce over to the opposite wall. After we had entered our cabin the couple picked up the ring and decided that it was now theirs.

As she continued to describe what had happened, she become more emotional as tears rolled down her face. She explained that after they had gone to sleep, the cabin lit up as bright as the morning sun – so bright that it woke both of them. Then they noticed deep horrific growling sounds coming from across the cabin near the sofa. As they watched, a woman in a billowy pink dress began to manifest before them. They were totally terrified and unable to speak or move. The apparition moved towards them and hovered above the bed. As it’s bright yellow eyes gazed upon them a voice rang out ‘Donner mon Seigneur son anneau!’ and again ‘Donner mon Seigneur son anneau !’ (Translated: Give my Lord his ring). The spectre continued to speak the same words until it finally faded away and the room turned dark.

“Now, take the ring and leave. I beg you not to report this.” I looked at the cabin steward. He was in shock - holding a rosary and praying under his breath. My husband said “Let’s go.” He grabbed the ring and we walked back to our cabin.

We talked about the ring and what we would do with it. We contemplated throwing it into the ocean. Then we wondered if there was historical value and if to donate it to a museum or university. That was five months ago and we still possess the ring. My husband said that he would like to have it researched but has yet done nothing. The ring is in a safety deposit box and it will remain there – just in case some of the young woman’s story was true.

Fortean / Alternative News: Woman's Alien Hybrid Claim, Bigfoot Files Lawsuit and Christie Brinkley's Close Encounter

‘I came from a government experiment...I’m only 34% human'

thesun - An expectant hush descends over the audience in the darkened room as the woman up front begins to twitch.

As she curls her toes inside her worn grey socks, Cathy Star Eagle's head falls forward and she talks in a low, monotone voice: "Greetings to all who have gathered seeking knowledge and universal truth."

We're clearly not at a conference for insurance salesmen.

The bizarre event is an extraterrestrial channelling session at the world's largest UFO conference, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Each year thousands of flying saucer fans from the UK and all over the world descend on the five-day event - which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary - to hear from a range of wackos. Sorry, speakers.

The Sun has bagged a spot at Cathy's much-anticipated sideshow - despite a ban on the Press - where she claims to pass on messages from The Ambassador telepathically.

Not surprisingly The Ambassador turns out to be an alien, otherwise known as Loran, from the planet M42 in the Orion star system. But to sceptics, Cathy's description of her ET pal doesn't really help her case.

She says: "Loran is about 4ft tall, copper in colour, with an Asian appearance. He has a little bit of hair, but not a lot.

"Be careful what you ask because he doesn't hold back - although he's always respectful and discreet."

Cathy, a somewhat overweight woman from nearby Tucson, is now in a trance-like state as she answers one question each from those present.

But rather than seize the chance to ask a real-life alien about intergalactic space travel, the audience are more interested in the mundane, quizzing agony uncle Loran on their house moves, career worries or relationship troubles.

One elderly man asks about his granddaughter, who is battling cancer.

Slowly Cathy, alias Loran, replies: "We do feel this situation is more positive than first thought. The malignancy is not as advanced as feared. Nutrition will be key to overcoming the disease."

Then she blinks back into consciousness with all the theatrics of a pantomime actor.

Ironically, after telling the man his granddaughter needs a better diet, we spot her later in the restaurant with an equally overweight friend tucking into mammoth-sized hamburgers and fries.

Meanwhile, the conference's vendor room is abuzz with activity as self-professed UFO experts flog all manner of merchandise. One book catches my attention - We Are Among You Already - and I approach the table for a look.

Author Jujuolui Kuita, 40, starts to chat and when I ask where she's from, she says cryptically: "From where here on Earth?"

She is in fact from Concord, California, although she insists she is a hybrid, with part-human, part-alien DNA.

She says: "My planet is Faqui in the Andromeda galaxy. Since birth I've known I was from another place. I felt isolated and different, that this wasn't my home.

"I am half reptilian and can shape-shift into another species called Fajan." I can't wait to see this.

"It's scary when it happens in public."

I really can't wait.

"Although other people don't necessarily notice because it happens at a higher frequency than they can see."

Just my luck.

Elsewhere in the vendor room Cynthia Crawford is doing a roaring trade in scary-looking alien sculptures.

The 61-year-old claims her £115 creations promote contact with extra-terrestrials.

Then Cynthia, of Apache Junction, Arizona, starkly states: "I came from a government experiment. My father told me about it. He had operated with the government in Korea and experimented with alien devices found in their crashed ships.

"My mom was drugged as part of a programme and impregnated with me. For that reason my DNA is only 34 per cent human and I've got very porous bones, which are typical of my alien family. There are many races - Zuma Zeta, Tall White Zeta and Blue Archturian. I love them all. I channel their energies into my sculptures."

Further along the hall Stan Romanek, one of the conference's main speakers and a famous "alien abductee", is selling his book, Messages.

The 48-year-old Colorado IT worker was a UFO sceptic until 2000 - when he says he saw his first flying saucer. Since then he claims to have been abducted several times and maintains his story is the most scientifically documented case ever.

Last year his footage of an alien apparently peering in the window of his home caused a media storm. It can be viewed on YouTube.

At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, he says: "You get a lot of whack jobs at conferences like this."

I like him already.

But he insists: "I'm just a regular guy who came into this community with no clue about UFOs. My first abduction occurred in 2001 when there was a knock on my door at 2am. There were three odd-looking creatures with abnormally large, almond-shaped eyes. They started leading me to the balcony and I felt a tap on the back of my head. Next thing I know, I'm waking up in bed with holes all over my back."

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about his case is a series of equations he produced under hypnosis.

He says: "I'm not from a maths background and I'm dyslexic, so the symbols look like gibberish to me. One of the equations ended up being the structure of an element we didn't even have at the time, element 115.

"Dr Claude Swanson, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has confirmed my equations are way above my level of comprehension.

"In fact, he believes they contain clues about the direction that physics is going to take and are beyond current theories in the field."


Bigfoot Suit Results in Bigfoot Suit...Whaaa?

yahoo - First there was a Bigfoot sighting. Now, there's a Bigfoot suing.

A performance artist and amateur filmmaker who dressed as the mythical beast says New Hampshire park rangers didn't have the right to kick him off a mountain where he had been scaring, or at least amusing, hikers while friends videotaped his antics.

Backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Jonathan Doyle is suing the state, arguing that the requirement to pay $100 for a special use permit 30 days in advance and get a $2 million insurance bond violates his free speech rights.

"The underlying activities are humorous, but the principle's important," said Jon Meyer, a lawyer representing Doyle. "We're talking about a very small-scale activity in a very large place. We don't believe there's any legitimate government role in regulation."

Doyle's attorneys say no one complained to the state park service after Doyle first dressed as Bigfoot, ran around the rocky top of Mount Monadnock, returned to human form and interviewed bystanders about what they saw Sept. 6, 2009.

"People loved it. It was socially engaging," Doyle, 30, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "When I showed up at the top of the mountain dressed as Bigfoot and beating my chest, everyone just laughed and hoorayed."

Hikers describing their encounters in a video Doyle posted on YouTube seemed happy to get in on the fun and inflate the legend.

"At first I thought it was just a man in a suit making some sort of documentary, but then I saw it devour this man's friend and a small child," one man said at the top of the popular hiking spot as others behind him relaxed, admired the view and drank water. "I still see blood on the rocks."
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A boy who looked to be about 10 said he even took a photo of the legendary monster, which is more strongly associated with the Pacific Northwest than New Hampshire. "Yeah. I'm gonna put it on eBay, sell it for like $50," he said.

When Doyle let it get out that he planned to return Sept. 19 to film a sequel, Monadnock park manager Patrick Hummel noticed. The subject line in an e-mail he wrote to his supervisor: "Bigfoot problem on Monadnock...not kidding."

Hummel said in the e-mail he planned to intercept Doyle and added, "If you want to waste 5 minutes of your time, he's on YouTube."

So when Doyle returned with a small band of costumed friends to film "The Capture of Bigfoot," they were captured themselves, sort of. Hummel interrupted the skit and barred them from filming, saying Doyle needed a permit.

"Here I am in a Bigfoot outfit, and he's an authority figure and he's got a job to do," Doyle said, during a telephone interview from the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he is waiting tables to support his artwork.

The interrupted skit — of Bigfoot sneaking up on a friend of Doyle's — had about 2,200 hits on YouTube as of Tuesday, while his Sept. 6 video had about 2,300.

Doyle said he thinks officials found his Bigfoot stunt — and the publicity it generated — tacky for a mountain revered by literary giants Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Monadnock is a scenic mountain with views of four states from its 3,165-foot-tall summit. Emerson and Thoreau both hiked it and wrote about it. New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union attorney Barbara Keshen said in her brief that it is said to be among the most-climbed mountains in the world.

A lawyer who was among the friends with him when Hummel stopped the filming forwarded details of the case to the ACLU.

"Jonathan Doyle started this thing with nothing but good humor and intentions," Keshen said. "But it does have serious overtones."

Keshen and the state both filed motions Tuesday seeking favorable verdicts. Doyle is seeking attorneys' fees, nominal damages and to be allowed to videotape on Monadnock without having to get a permit.

Both sides agree there's no need for a trial because no facts are in dispute. What they dispute is whether the administrative rule requiring permits, as it was applied to Doyle, violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and expression.

New Hampshire's department of resources and economic development, which oversees the park system, referred all questions to the attorney general's office because the case is in litigation.

Assistant Attorney General Matt Mavrogeorge said the rule is constitutional.

Doyle, who grew up in Keene and has attended several art schools but has yet to graduate, has done other stunts to elicit reactions. He created and drove a "Bat-Mobile" around Manhattan. He dressed as an angel and stood stock still in the main aisle of an Episcopal church. He also said he designs websites and murals and loves to paint.

"I don't want to be locked in a Bigfoot suit forever," Doyle said. "I'd like to be able to do more."

Bigfoot is the nickname given to sightings of large, hairy, human-like creatures that have been reported across the United States. Scientists are skeptical, at best, about its existence.


Millions of Dead Fish Clogged Redondo Beach, CA Marina

scpr - Millions of dead fish were found Tuesday floating in a Southern California marina. Boaters awakened to find a carpet of small silvery fish surrounding their vessels, said Staci Gabrielli, marine coordinator for King Harbor Marina on the Los Angeles County coast.

California Fish and Game officials believe the fish are anchovies and sardines.

Experts had yet to determine what happened, but Gabrielli said the fish appeared to have moved into the harbor to escape a red tide, a naturally occurring bloom of toxic algae that can poison fish or starve them of oxygen.

High winds overnight might then have trapped the fish in the harbor, crushing them against a wall where they used up the oxygen and suffocated, she said.

The dead fish were so thick in some places that Garbrielli said boats can't get out of the harbor.

Fish and Game authorities arrived and began taking samples of the fish.

"We have no idea how they got here," said spokesman Andrew Hughan. "There are thousands and thousands and thousands of fish."

King Harbor is on the Santa Monica Bay coast, about 22 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Click for video

NOTE: Millions of dead anchovies + lots of scavenging seagulls = bird crap everywhere


Connecticut Woman Arrested For Keeping Son in Dog Crate

theday - A 54-year-old woman appeared in Middlesex Superior Court today to respond to charges that she had kept her son in a dog crate at night because he was soiling his bed or bedroom, Old Saybrook police Sgt. Kevin Roche said.

Kathlyn Anthony, of 28 River Ave., was charged Sunday with risk of injury to a minor following several months of investigation that involved Old Saybrook police and the state’s Department of Children and Families.

Old Saybrook police learned from an Old Saybrook public schools employee in December that Anthony had allegedly been keeping her son in a dog crate at night for about two weeks, Roche said.

The plastic crate with a metal door measured 36 inches by 22 inches and was 30 inches high, Roche said. The family had once used the crate to house cats, Roche said.

“Apparently, the child who was in the crate was having some issues, or the mother was having some issues with the child defecating in the juvenile’s bed or within his bedroom,” Roche said.

Roche would not disclose the boy’s age or the school he attended to protect the child’s identity. He said the boy was adopted but could not say when he had been adopted or how many other children Anthony had.

Roche said Anthony had “sought out some other remedies – different agencies and different ways of correcting the issue – and it didn’t work,” Roche said.

“So she started using the dog crate as a way of – and I don’t want to say punishment – but that’s where he slept at night,” Roche said.


Christie Brinkley Convinced She Witness UFO / USO in Crete

contactmusic - Christie Brinkley is convinced she once saw a Ufo when she was living in Crete.

The model and actress insists she has been a believer there's life on other planets ever since.

Brinkley, the former wife of rocker Billy Joel, recalls seeing four bright lights in the sky as she was shopping one day.

She says, "This is (in) broad daylight and the lights are very, very bright... All of a sudden all four of the lights shot over the mountain to the other side of Crete (where I lived)."

Returning to her harbour village, she learned the lights had disappeared beneath the sea.

She adds, "There were no reports of any planes or anything like that and it just went under the water and never re-appeared."

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Ubatuba, Brazil UFO Fragments

Preamble: On September 14, 1957, Ibrahim Sued, a columnist for the Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Globo, printed a letter which he had received, concerning a UFO incident. Accompanying the letter were three small pieces of white metal. The writer of the letter described an event in which a "flying disk" exploded over the beach at Ubatuba, in Sao Paulo Province. Some of the metal, which had "rained down" from the exploding disk, was collected, and three small pieces were included in the letter to Sued.

Unfortunately, the signature on the letter was illegible. Furthermore, the identity of all witnesses to the original seaside event at Ubatuba remains unknown, despite extensive searches by the Brazilian representative of the AERIAL PHENOMENA RESEARCH ORGANIZATION (APRO), Dr. Olavo FONTES. This lack of witnesses is one of the greatest weaknesses of the Ubatuba case.

Dr. Olavo Fontes

Mr. Sued gave all three pieces of metal to Dr. Fontes, who in turn had one of them analyzed at the Mineral Production Laboratory of the Department of Mineral Production in the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Dr. Fontes personally delivered the samples to the chief chemist, Dr. Fiegl, an internationally known specialist.

A qualitative, phosphomolybdic acid test was first made on a small chip, which showed that the fragments were truly metallic.

One of the original fragments, designated Sample No.1 by Dr. Fontes, was subdivided into several pieces and two of the pieces were submitted to the Spectrographic Section of the Mineral Production Laboratory Semi-Quantitative Emission Spectrochemical Analysis.

One of the pieces was analyzed by Dr. Luisa Maria A. Barbosa. The analysis surprisingly revealed that the sample contained only the element magnesium.

A second fragment of Sample No.1 was submitted to a separate spectrographic analysis by Mr. Elson Teixeira of the Mineral Production Laboratory. Mr. Teixeira confirmed Dr. Barbosa's finding that Sample No.1 was pure magnesium.

Further tests were run on fragments of Sample No. 1. These included Debye-Scherrer-Hull powder pattern X-ray diffraction analysis, density measurement, and radiation tests. The interatomic spacings (d-spacings) of the samples closely matched those cited for magnesium metal by ASTM 4-0770. Six faint lines on this diffractogram could not be connected with known lines for magnesium, but were successfully related to magnesium hydroxide, Mg(OH)2. A white powder had been observed on the surfaces of the metal sample which was identified as Mg(OH)2.

The density of Sample No.1 was found to be surprisingly high: 1.866. This greater than normal density has also been cited as evidence of extraterrestrial on the assumption than an abnormal isotopic ratio was present. It should be noted that entrained magnesium oxide can explain the abnormally high density without involving unusual isotopic ratios.

The two other portions of Sample No.1 were given to the Brazilian Army and Navy respectively, but results of their analysis (if any) were never released.

Since the two small fragments analyzed by Dr. Barbosa and Mr. Teixeira were destroyed by their analytical procedure, no further portions of Sample No.1 are available for further verification of the original results.

The significance of Dr. Barbosa's and Mr. Teixeira's findings is that it is impossible to produce any element, terrestrially, that is absolutely spectrographically pure. These results, therefore, are often cited by proponents of UFO extraterrestriality as proof that the Ubatuba material must be EXTRATERRESTRIAL. Unfortunately, this supposition cannot be proven, due to the lack of any further Sample No.1 fragments for verification analysis.

The two other fragments received by Mr. Sued (Samples No.2 and No.3) were sent to APRO in Arizona and have been the subject of continuing analysis by various scientists. In the mid-1960s, Sample No.3 was loaned to the University of COLORADO UFO PROJECT for analysis. Dr. Roy Craig, a physical chemist, had it subjected to a neutron activation analysis at the National Office Laboratory, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, Internal Revenue Service, which determined that its purity was not as high as that which had been reported in Brazil. The CONDON REPORT failed to mention, however, that high purity had only been reported for Sample No.1, which had been consumed in Brazil, and had not been available to the University of Colorado. The analysis also determined that the sample contained an unusual amount of strontium, an impurity not present in conventional magnesium. The sample was thus subjected to metallographic and micro-probe analyses at Dow Chemical's Metallurgical Laboratory, which confirmed the finding.

In 1969, APRO loaned the fragments to this writer, who conducted nondestructive structural analyses. It was found that the material had undergone a directional crystal growth type of manufacture. Directional crystallization can add strength to materials and was being actively researched at the time (1969). However, the process was unknown when the fragments were recovered (1957). Unfortunately, it was not possible to conclusively prove directional crystallization for the main structure from which the fragments came, due to their small size. These findings were validated by Dr. Robert W. Johnson, of the Advanced Materials Division, Materials Research Corporation, who reviewed the writer's analytic report.

The Ubatuba magnesium was reportedly submitted to laser impact studies at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in the early 197Os and to mass-spectrographic studies at Stanford University in the mid-197Os. No results are available.


The Ubatuba Incident - Analysis by the Condon Committee

A sample of the Ubatuba debris (below) examined under a microscope (above) revealed a higher level of purity than occurs in nature.

One case described at great length in UFO literature (Lorenzen, 1962) emphasizes metal fragments that purportedly fell to earth at Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil from an exploding extra-terrestrial vehicle. The metal was alleged to be of such extreme purity that it could not have been produced by earthly technology. For that reason, this particular material has been widely acclaimed as a fragment of an exploded flying disc. Descriptions of the material's origin and analyses occupy 46 pages of the Lorenzen book and the material is referred to in a high percentage of UFO writings. These fragments of magnesium metal -- undoubtedly the most famous bits of physical evidence in UFO lore -- were generously loaned to the Colorado project by Jim and Coral Lorenzen of APRO for analysis.

The story which associated these fragments with an UFO is even more tenuous than most UFO reports, since the observers could never be identified or contacted because of the illegibility of the signature on the letter which described the event. According to the account by Olavo T. Fontes, M.D., a Rio de Janeiro society columnist wrote, under the heading, "A Fragment From a Flying Disc"

We received the letter: "Dear Mr. Ibrahim Sued. As a faithful reader of your column and your admirer, I wish to give you something of the highest interest to a newspaperman, about the flying discs. If you believe that they are real, of course. I didn't believe anything said or published about them. But just a few days ago I was forced to change my mind. I was fishing together with some friends, at a place close to the town of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, when I sighted a flying disc. It approached the beach at unbelievable speed and an accident, i.e. a crash into the sea seemed imminent. At the last moment, however, when it was almost striking the waters, it made a sharp turn upward and climbed rapidly on a fantastic impulse. We followed the spectacle with our eyes, startled, when we saw the disc explode in flames. It disintegrated into thou sands of fiery fragments, which fell sparkling with magnificent brightness. They looked like fireworks, despite the time of the accident, at noon, i. e. at midday. Most of these fragments, almost all, fell into the sea. But a number of small pieces fell close to the beach and we picked up a large amount of this material - which was as light as paper. I am enclosing a sample of it. I don't know anyone that could be trusted to whom I might send it for analysis. I never read about a flying disc being found, or about fragments or parts of a saucer that had been picked up. Unless the finding was made by military authorities and the whole thing kept as a top-secret subject. I am certain the matter will be of great interest to the brilliant columnist and I am sending two copies of this letter - to the newspaper and to your home address."

From the admirer (the signature was not legible), together with the above letter, I received fragments of a strange metal.....

Following the appearance of this account, the claim was published that analyses of the fragments, performed by a Brazilian government agency and others, showed the fragments to be magnesium of a purity unattainable by production and purification techniques known to man at that time. If this proved to be true, the origin of the fragments would be puzzling indeed. If it could then be established that the fragments had actually been part of a flying vehicle, that vehicle could then be assumed to have been manufactured by a culture unknown to man.

The first step in checking this claim was independent analysis of the magnesium fragments, and comparison of their purity with commercially produced pure magnesium. A comparison sample of triply sublimed magnesium, similar to samples which the Dow Chemical Company has supplied on request for at least 25 years, was acquired from Dr. R. S. Busk, Research Director of the Dow Metal Products Dept., Midland, Mich. Since it was assumed that extremely small quantities of impurities would need to be measured, neutron-activation analysis was selected as the analytical method. The samples were taken to the National Office Laboratory, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, Bureau of Internal Revenue, at which the personnel had no special interest in the UFO question. The neutron irradiation and gamma spectrometry were personally observed by this writer. The analysis was performed by Mr. Maynard J. Pro, Assistant Chief, Research and Methods Evaluation, and his associates. Original irradiation data and gamma-spectrometer read-out tapes are preserved in project files.

The material irradiated was a chip broken from the main fragment. It was immersed in HCl to remove surface contamination. After washing, the sample presented a bright, shiny, metallic surface. The absence of chlorine emissions in the gamma-ray spectra after neutron activation showed both that washing had been thorough and that chlorine was not present in the sample itself. The concentrations of eight impurity elements were measured. Results are given in parts per million parts of sample, with limits of error estimated on the basis of greatest conceivable error.


Dow Chemical and the Scientific Analysis of UFO Debris

by Joel Carpenter

Most students of the history of UFOs are familiar with the famous Ubatuba, Brazil case of 1957, in which metallic debris said to have been retrieved after the explosion of a UFO was determined to be magnesium metal of unusual composition. Few researchers are probably aware of another, surprisingly similar incident that occurred in the US at the dawn of the modern UFO phenomenon. This incident directly or indirectly involved a host of people and organizations that were later to have a major impact on the study of UFOs in the United States, and points out that there is still much to be learned concerning the early investigation of the phenomenon by the military, the intelligence community and even, perhaps, by the corporate world.

Project Blue Book's detailed case file on the second incident tells a weird and fascinating tale. According to Dow documents preserved in the file, the event began just after 5:00 on the afternoon of July 9, 1947, when a forty-five year old electrician named Raymond Lane and his wife were picking huckleberries near Midland, Michigan. A strange sizzling noise abruptly drew their attention to a bizarre mass of bright white, fiery sparks hovering about a foot above the ground and about a hundred feet away. It reminded them of a Fourth of July sparkler, but it was much bigger -- the size, as they later put it, of a bushel basket. The fireball burned brilliantly for about fifteen seconds before dying out. When the smoke drifted away, there was nothing left except some hot, light-and-dark-colored metallic-looking debris on the sandy soil. Lane collected fragments of the material in a tin can and considered whom to tell.

The mysterious fireball had appeared in a uniquely appropriate place. Midland happened to be the home of one of America's most well-equipped materials analysis facilities: the laboratories of Dow Chemical company, well known for its metallurgical expertise and a world leader in magnesium technology.

Shortly after World War I, Dow metallurgists had developed an alloy that the company called "Dowmetal" -- refined magnesium to which was added about six percent aluminum and one-half percent manganese. Dowmetal was widely promoted for automotive and aviation uses and was highly profitable for the company, eventually giving it a virtual monopoly on magnesium production in the US. In 1933 the company was approached by Belgian scientist Jean Piccard with a request to design and build a Dowmetal cabin for a record-setting high-altitude balloon flight. The design was highly successful and eventually enabled flights to over 70,000 feet. During World War II Dow's extremely lightweight, strong magnesium alloys became an indispensable ingredient of aircraft and missile structures. The company also became a contractor for an unusual flight test program that had a direct link to Project SIGN, the Air Force's 1948 UFO research establishment.

One of the most significant figures behind Dow's success was a chemist named John Josef Grebe [pronounced "gree-bee"]. Born Hans Josef Grebe in Uerzig, Germany in 1900, he emigrated to Ohio in 1914 and became a US citizen in 1921. Grebe graduated from the Case School of Applied Science in 1924 and was immediately hired by Dow. Considered a genius by his colleagues and known as the "Idea Man," Grebe was given free rein to work on projects of his own devising. He established the company's Physical Research Laboratory, an organization that produced a steady stream of valuable inventions, particularly in the field of plastics. Chemists under his direction were responsible for the discovery of several now-universally used plastics, such as styrene, Styrofoam, and polyvinyl chloride, and also developed a synthetic rubber that was vital to the US military in World War II.

Grebe even perfected a method of extracting magnesium from sea water, a process that became Dow's main source of the metal. After Japan's surrender Grebe was assigned to work with the Oak Ridge nuclear laboratory, and in 1946 he was an observer at the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests. He also worked closely with the US Army's Chemical Corps on the highly classified toxicological and radiological warfare programs (in fact, by 1948, Grebe would be named the Chemical Corps' chief technical advisor).

The morning after the fireball incident, Lane took his can of sandy debris to Robert S. Spencer, a senior researcher in Grebe's laboratory, whom Lane had met when he was a Dow employee some years before. Spencer contacted Edward Fales, the company's internal security chief, and together the men went to the site to investigate. Lane told the Dow officials that he thought the object had been a flying saucer, or possibly a meteorite, and that some small lumps of silvery metal in the debris he had scooped up might be platinum. (Ironically, there is no evidence that he or anyone else ever reported seeing an object in flight prior to the appearance of the fireball). Spencer immediately arranged to have the material analyzed. The Spectroscopy Laboratory quickly reported that the shiny pellets in the material were largely silver mixed with a few percent silicon, which probably came from the sand on which the molten material had solidified. The sample was checked for radioactivity, but did not blacken photographic plates. According to a report by Fales,

Preliminary tests of the material show the contents to be as follows: ordinary sand, not radio active [sic], but giving off an ammonia gas. A silver nugget, almost pure except for sand mixed in it, not radio active. Melted or fused sand which gives off ammonia, has little droplets of silver melted in the sand and some other material which is not radio active. The fused sand has some characteristics of the Los Alamos sand [i.e., the glassy material created by the Trinity nuclear explosion] but is not believed to be the same.

By the end of September the Lab had run more spectrographic tests on a small quantity of a fine, light, ash-like powder laboriously sifted from the debris. The powder turned out to be a material called thorite, which was discovered to be somewhat radioactive. The remaining portion of the debris yielded traces of iron, aluminum, magnesium, and other metals. There was also evidence of a significant amount of magnesium hydroxide, which some analysts took to be the remains of the combustion of a sizable amount of magnesium.

Interestingly, Dow handled the case as a purely internal matter at first. Fales' inquiries concerning Lane led him to conclude that he was a somewhat peculiar individual who was known to have basic technical expertise. On balance, the incident seemed likely to be the result of some kind of home-made fireworks experiment. The FBI was eventually contacted and an agent conducted a basic inquiry. As will be seen, there was no Air Force involvement with the case in 1947.

Activity surrounding the Midland fireball incident became dormant by the autumn of 1947 but was revived dramatically a year later, when on September 17, 1948, Grebe, then working with the Chemical Corps at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, requested an update on the investigation from Dow. An examination of Fales' dossier set him to speculating. In an October 11 memo to one of his Army superiors, he wrote that

The only technical point that would tend to discredit the report in a very slight way is that the particular spectrum analysis that was made of the sand that was supposed to have been picked up with the sample of the fused mineral matter, which contained nuggets of silver, had a different analysis from the sand picked up in the general area. It had rained, however, in the meantime, which would remove any magnesium hydroxide that might have been around.

As a whole, it would appear to me that, every bit of evidence found should be considered seriously as an indication that a self-consuming missile capable of producing a considerable amount of smoke and fire and leaving behind only the minimum residue required to produce a battery and radio transmitter is feasible and was probably observed.

This concept - that the small Midland fireball had represented the self-destruction of some kind of instrumented projectile - marked a drastic change in the official approach to the incident, bringing it in line with the fears in 1946 and 1947 that some anomalous meteor-like events were actually a type of "self-consuming missile" experiments.

It is not apparent from the available source material exactly why Grebe chose this juncture to reopen the case, but there are indications that similar studies were being performed at the time on other samples of apparent UFO debris that were considered to be possibly the remains of missiles. For example, on November 26, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a memo to the Air Force's Director of Special Investigations (IG), concerning a case similar to the Midland incident.

Just two days before Lane's 1947 experience, a group of people near the village of West Rindge, New Hampshire had been surprised by the sudden appearance of wisps of smoke and flame rising from nearby lawns and fields. Many small burned areas were discovered to be scattered in a 200-foot diameter circle and seemed to have been caused by hot fragments of metal that apparently had fallen from the sky. A witness turned several of the fragments over to a Professor "Rentges" of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for analysis. (This was typical phonetic FBI spelling -- "Rentges" was apparently J. Francis Reintjes of the MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory where Project Whirlwind, a powerful digital computer that would become the prototype for the SAGE national air defense network, was under development at the time). Reintjes expressed the opinion that the material, which had obviously been subjected to "terrific heat," resembled the lining of the rocket engines of German V-2 ballistic missiles he had seen in New Mexico. Four of the collected fragments, when pieced together, appeared to have been part of a hollow cylinder eight inches in diameter and having a wall thickness of three-sixteenths of an inch. The West Rindge material had been subjected to spectrographic analysis recently, Hoover reported, and was determined to be ordinary cast iron that "had been subjected to a very high degree of heat."

Additionally, in a letter titled "Flying Object Incidents in the United States", dated November 3, 1948, Col. Howard McCoy of Air Materiel Command's Technical Intelligence Division informed Chief of Staff General Hoyt Vandenberg that his Project "Sign" flying saucer analysts had interviewed Dr Irving Langmuir of General Electric concerning the possible origin of the objects, and that "it is planned to have another interview with Dr. Langmuir in the near future to review all the data now available, and it is hoped that he will be able to present some opinion as to the nature of the unidentified objects, particularly those described as 'balls of light.'"

Study of this particular type of flying object - apparently a tiny, remote-controlled or internally-guided probe - had gained urgency after the October 1, 1948 incident in which an Air National Guard pilot had engaged in a long nighttime dogfight over Fargo, North Dakota with a small, fast-moving blinking light that was apparently under intelligent control. It seems probable that this effort to carefully analyze fragments of suspected flying saucers was part of the escalating attempt to establish whether there was any credible evidence of a foreign terrestrial origin of the objects - an approach that achieved its highest expression with the publication, on December 10, 1948, of the Top Secret Air Intelligence Division Study 203, "Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the US". This study examined the possibility that flying objects reported over the continental US represented Soviet reconnaissance, training or provocation missions.

Meanwhile, John Grebe had taken his theory about the Midland case to the highest levels of Army missile research. In the middle of October he met with Col. Holger Toftoy, Army Ordnance, the commander of Project Hermes, the Army's multifaceted guided missile program based at White Sands, New Mexico. Shortly after the Nazi surrender Toftoy had supervised the removal of some one hundred V-2 missiles from underground factories and had them transported to White Sands. Under Project Paperclip, the German rocket engineers who had created the V-2, including Wernher von Braun, were moved to Fort Bliss to work with Toftoy's Ordnance team and General Electric, the contractor for Project Hermes, in reconstructing and launching the missiles.

Toftoy's log for October 18, 1948 records Grebe's surprising presentation:

Conference attended by Cols Toftoy, Roberts & Bainbridge (CC), Maj J.F. Gay & Dr. J. J. Grebe, (Chemical Corps), and Dr. Mugson. Chemical Corps reported analysis of fragments picked up from '"flying saucer" which vanished with a brilliant flash and bang near Midlin [sic], Michigan. Sand and clinker recovered from the locality contained nuggets of fairly pure silver and some thorium. The thorium was sufficient to give radio activity [sic] approximately 10 times natural background which could possibly be ascribed to thorium coated filaments in electronic equipment, although the quantity seems excessive. There was evidence also of mechanism [magnesium] which had been completely oxidized. Dr. Grebe advanced his hypothesis that small missiles of the order of 1 to 3 feet in diameter might be responsible, coming from distant sources. He considered that a rapidly rotating disc of mechanism [magnesium] and/or aluminum might have enough energy if properly utilized to propel the disc several thousand miles, and might be completely destroyed by burning in air. Remaining traces of silver and thorium might be ascribed to electronic control system. After discussion, it was agreed that Col Roberts should request the Bur of Standards group to investigate some of the mechanisms which might conceivably propel discs of this general type and TU will keep in close touch with these calculations (CMH). A meeting next Monday, 25 Oct, can be arranged with Dr. Grebe if indications are favorable. Dr. Grebe also briefly described a theory of his that a fish-shaped object with a modified tear-drop cross section would take off along the long axis and change position in flight to fly at an angle more like a flying wing. No wings or other aerodynamic surfaces that produce drag would be required.

Grebe clearly envisioned the Midland object as a small, unmanned vehicle containing 1940s state-of-the-art vacuum tube based electronic equipment, and given that he specified its range as "thousands of miles," he apparently believed that its source was the Soviet Union. The intriguing vision of a fast-spinning, flywheel-like object that would destroy itself at the end of its trajectory was novel, to say the least, but Grebe had a good reason for this idea. One of Dow's most secret and most vital wartime projects had been the development of a structural housing for the miniature radio transmitter that formed the heart of the "VT" - the proximity fuse.

The radar like VT fuse was designed to detonate an artillery shell at the exact moment that it passed within lethal range of its target, such as an aircraft or missile - or in anti-personnel applications, just as it descended to within a few yards of the ground. To do so, it incorporated a tiny radio transmitter and receiver built from highly miniaturized and ruggedized vacuum tubes. These tubes had to survive shock and acceleration amounting to thousands of g's when fired from a heavy gun, as well as the enormous centrifugal force of the shell's stabilizing spin. Dow's contribution was the design and production of a special plastic housing for the tiny tubes, and the project was carried out in such secrecy that most of the technicians on the project only learned of its exact function at the end of the war.

(The proximity fuse design effort was headquartered at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland and was directed by Merle Tuve, whose administrative assistant was an astronomer named Josef Allen Hynek.) Grebe's saucer concept amounted to something much like an artillery shell, possibly combined with an aerodynamic shape that would allow a degree of flight after the device arrived in the vicinity of its target. The VT shell had incorporated a novel battery that was energized when its chemicals mixed due to the shock of launching, and Grebe believed that the disc-missiles used something similar. Presumably the self-destructing feature would prevent US analysts from recovering intact specimens of the vehicle.

The "Bur of Standards group" referred to in the memo was the National Bureau of Standards' Ordnance Development department, a secret guided missile research establishment operating within the weights-and-measures agency, which had worked closely with the Army and Navy during WWII under the direction of Harry Diamond and Dr. A. V. Astin.

The Ordnance department's first products were highly classified miniature radio components for the proximity fuse. Diamond's group, along with Hugh Dryden, from the Bureau's Mechanics and Sound department, also developed some of America's first "smart weapons" during the war, including the "Robin," a television-guided bomb, the "Pelican," a passive-radar-homing glide bomb, and the "Bat," a 1,000-pound radar-guided anti-ship glide weapon.

To help pack more and more electronic components into missiles, the Bureau had perfected increasingly miniaturized vacuum tubes, and by the end of the war, its technicians helped invent a process for literally painting circuitry onto insulating substrates, the forerunner of modern printed circuits.

The Director of the Bureau of Standards since November 1945 was Edward U. Condon. The New Mexico-born physicist had been J. Robert Oppenheimer's roommate at the University of Göttingen, Germany, in the 1920s. He co-founded the MIT Radiation Laboratories and did fundamental work on radar theory and application at Westinghouse. When General Leslie Groves set up the Los Alamos laboratory of the Manhattan Project in 1943, he had asked Condon to be associate director under Oppenheimer. Later Condon had been a member of the executive committee of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), the forerunner of NASA.

When Condon left the Bureau of Standards in 1951, it was to become head of research and development at Corning Glass Works, a corporate relative of Dow (via the Dow Corning partnership). In light of the Air Force - sponsored University of Colorado UFO study in the 1960s which Condon directed (and during which his personal antipathy to the subject became legendary), it is tempting to speculate that Condon's involvement with UFOs actually might have begun a decade and a half earlier.

Unfortunately, there is as yet no evidence that the Bureau of Standards "disc propulsion study" that Toftoy advocated actually was undertaken. Interviews with several surviving members of the Bureau's Ordnance and Electronics departments have uncovered no recollection of any such project. Grebe's theory did, however, make enough of an impression at senior military levels that a report quickly reached General Vandenberg's office. Vandenberg cabled Project Sign on December 2 inquiring about Sign's investigation of the case. Project Sign admitted in a December 21 teletype that it had no details on the Midland incident and sheepishly requested copies of Grebe's report from the Chief of Staff.

Interestingly, there is some evidence that the Bureau of Standards was involved with yet another case concerning magnesium from a UFO. In 1952, five NBS scientists allegedly analyzed a fragment of metal supplied by Cdr. Alvin Moore, USN, who said that it had fallen on his property during the July 1952 "Washington, DC Invasion". The scientists subjected the material to a battery of tests, including spectrographic analysis, and concluded that it was an artificially produced artifact. It was composed mostly of magnesium, had a specific gravity of 3.48 and was filled with millions of microscopic iron particles. Like the West Rindge fragments, it appeared to be a section of a cylinder, which when complete would have been 10.4 inches in diameter. Cdr. Moore decided that Project Blue Book should know about the discovery. He mailed it to Captain Edward Ruppelt, who sent it on to the Battelle Memorial Institute, where Howard Cross gave it a cursory examination.

There are hints that Harry Diamond Laboratories, which eventually spun off from the Bureau of Standards to become part of the Army Research Laboratories, conducted a study of radar UFOs at some point in the early 1960s, but hard evidence is unavailable to date.

Dow's 1947 analysis of magnesium debris from a suspected UFO crash near its own headquarters foreshadows the company's involvement with the far more famous Ubatuba material. These fragments first surfaced in September 1957 (although other accounts exist - see Sources), when they were mailed anonymously to a reporter for a Rio de Janeiro newspaper, who in turn passed them to Dr Olavo Fontes, the Brazilian representative of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO). Coral and Jim Lorenzen, APRO's directors, were impressed by an analysis performed at a laboratory in Brazil, and upon obtaining the samples, Coral Lorenzen arranged to have Dow's magnesium experts study them.

The fragments probably reached the US immediately after the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik on October 4, and it seems likely that there was suspicion in some US circles that the Ubatuba episode could be related in some way to Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile experiments. Soviet Premier Khrushchev had boasted in August that his new ICBM could strike any point on earth, and now it had been used to launch a globe-circling satellite. In the feverish atmosphere of the post-Sputnik US defense community, no one could afford to overlook intelligence leads -- even tenuous ones. On December 1, 1957, US Army ground search parties were called out in Alaska after sightings of unusual meteors raised suspicions that part of the Sputnik launcher rocket had entered the atmosphere there.

The unusually high purity of the UFO-related magnesium detected by the Brazilian laboratory may have set off alarms in the US, and part of the debris was conveyed to Dow for analysis. Similar searches for fragments of downed Soviet spacecraft became quite frequent in the 1960s and 70s and would become known as "Moon Dust" events.

In 1967, under the auspices of the Air Force-sponsored UFO study based at the University of Colorado and headed by Edward Condon, investigator Dr. Roy Craig obtained a portion of one of the Ubatuba fragments in order to subject it to neutron activation analysis. Since the Brazilian analysis in 1957 had indicated that the material was extremely pure magnesium - purer than terrestrial technology could produce, according to APRO - Craig contacted Dr. R. S. Busk, head of Dow's Metal Products Department.

During or shortly after World War II, Dow had developed a sublimation refining process under which magnesium was heated to vapor and condensed in a vacuum chamber. After three such cycles, the material, for all practical purposes, was pure magnesium with only the most minute residue of other elements. Busk supplied Craig with triply-sublimed material as a reference sample, and while doing so, mentioned Dow's earlier test of the Ubatuba material. In a letter to the author, Craig recalled that

[P]ersonnel at the Dow laboratories were interested in UFO-related materials. They were most cooperative in furnishing pure magnesium samples and doing whatever analytical work I requested relating to the Ubatuba magnesium samples. I was surprised to learn that, years previously [possibly as early as 1958 - JC], they had done metallographic studies of the very samples of Ubatuba magnesium I was then asking them to analyze. They showed me the results of their earlier work, which they still had on file, and repeated the work for me.

Interestingly, Craig himself had worked for Dow for eight years at the Atomic Energy Commission's Rocky Flats Weapons Plant in Colorado, which was a Dow-managed facility that John Grebe had helped establish. Craig did not know Grebe, but they had mutual friends. He had never heard of the Midland case, and, perhaps not surprisingly, has no recollection of Condon describing any earlier involvement with UFO research.

The neutron activation analysis Craig oversaw showed that, in contradiction to the Brazilian claims, the Ubatuba sample contained more impurities than the triply-sublimed sample, and could in fact have been made by terrestrial technology. Controversy over the significance of the particular constituents of the Ubatuba sample continues, as does analysis of the material using the latest techniques.

Grebe continued to work on nuclear projects at Dow until he retired. He died in Sun City, Arizona in 1984. His younger brother Carl, a scientist himself, recalls discussing flying saucers with John in the 1940s, and though they never discussed the Midland incident in detail, he agrees with John's former Dow colleagues that the spinning, self-destructing missile described in the Toftoy memo is exactly the kind of idea that Grebe's fertile mind would produce. The parallels between the Midland and Ubatuba incidents, separated by a decade and by thousands of miles, are striking. Were both incidents simply hoaxes, or is there still more to be learned about Ubatuba? Even Dr. Olavo Fontes observed, in his report on the Brazilian analysis of the Ubatuba fragments, that

The mystery of that sudden explosion probably will never be solved. It may have been produced by the release of some self-destructing mechanism to prevent the machine from falling into our hands and thus giving us the chance to learn its secrets.


Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 23:19:09 +0100
Subject: Ubatuba Incident / Analysis of the Metal
To: NICAP A-Team, Current-Encounters

To simplify the matter, a simple exercise in order to understand the percentages of the three earthly Magnesium isotopes: Magnesium 24 has a percent abundance of 78.99%, Magnesium 25 has 10%. What is the percent abundance of Magnesium 26 ? Assuming we have no other isotopes, the total must be 100%, and we have: % of Mg24 + % of Mg25 + % of Mg26 = 100. Therefore, we obtain a percent abundance of Mg 26 = 100 ­ (78,99 +10)= 11,01% .

In the Ubatuba sample, the result obtained shows a percent abundance of Mg 26 equal to 14,3 % ( it appears that ­as it was not quite clear and even rather unclear in the article, the left page giving the value of 14.3- that concerning the Ubatuba sample, it turns out that the sample’s percent abundance was effectively of the exact value ­see right page-of (0.4085x100 / 2.842)= 14.37368 ) plus or minus 0,7%, value which is statistically significant and indicative of the existence of a sample notably different from the earthly one. Strangely enough, neither Dr Craig nor the Colorado project did take this into account, writing “it should be noted that the statistical counting error (0,7%) does not include other analytical errors such as relative counting geometry or neutron thermalization due to the relative sample sizes. It is felt therefore that the abundance of the Mg26 in sample 4527 is in reasonable agreement with the Mg26 abundances shown in the literature”.

Some biased judgment thanks to the “other analytical errors”(sic)? Why? Asking the question is giving the answer, as recognizing the true nature of Ubatuba sample would have been an implicit recognition, an implied acceptance of the strangeness of this sample, of its unearthly origin to say it bluntly. Note the fast neutron thermalization implies a slowing down of the neutrons becoming slow neutrons when the sample size is big enough, according to the fact that the neutron energy distribution is a Maxwellian distribution (Maxwell-Boltzmann molecular speed distribution ) like a thermal motion.

Ray Boundy and J. Lawrence Amos - A History of the Dow Chemical Physics Lab: The Freedom to Be Creative. New York: Marcel Dekker - 1990
Purchase your copy at Mothman Dynasty: Chicago's Winged Humanoids

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