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ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
As this exciting book goes to press, a flock of
new reports on sightings of unidentified flying objects
has been noted in such divers areas as Michigan,
Texas, Massachusetts, Louisiana and Connecticut.
At the moment the most widely observed and
authenticated reports come from the Michigan area
where, according to metropolitan newspapers, 1SOme
persons, including an off-duty deputy, phoned the
Washtenaw County sheriff's office, and police
agencies in Bad Axe, some 1 miles north, were
also swamped with calls q
Indicative of the importance of these sightings is
the fact that Maj. Donald b. Kehoe, Ret. U.S.A.F.,
publicly accused our Air Force of suppressing evi
dence concerning the UFOs and, in a recent news
paper article, it was stated that "In Washington,
meanwhile, House Republican leader Gerald Ford,
Mich., called for a Congressional investigation of
unidentified flying object sightings.1
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON is the most
rational and scientifically oriented examination of
the UFO question yet produced. It is the updated,
_ comprehensive, authoritative report on unidentified
flying objects-as immediate and factual as today's

f
f

newspaper
Aboullhe outhor:
Jacques Vallee, born and educated in France, holds
degrees in mathematics and astronomy. He is a
consultant on the Mars Map Project, and a math
ematician-analyst connected with Northwestern
University. Formerly he was a research associate
at the MacDonald Observatory of the University
of Texas. Before coming to the United States he
was a 'government scientist at the Paris Obseratory
associated with the arificial satellites project, and
participated in the theoretical study of a radar
alert system, a classified french defense project.
1I|) |I
r|r|
The detailed and unbiased report of UFOs
by
JACQUES VALLEE
ACE BOOKS, I NC.
1 1 20 Avenue of the Americas
New York, N.Y. 10036
Copyight, 1965, Henr Regnery Compay
Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 65-19161
No portion of this book may be reprnted witout per
mission of the publisher.
A ACL STA BOOKby arangement wit
Henry Regnery Co.
Prnted i U.S.A.
8

CONIENI5
THE LEGEND OF "FlYI NG SAUCERS"
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE IN THE UNI VERSE
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY

THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM


FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON

TYPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR

THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES


220
REFERENCES
Z
PREFACE TO THE REVISED ACE EDITION
TH APPEARCE of this book's orgial edition in June 1965
has coincided with to remarkable events: the success of
the Mariner IV mission, which has given us the frst objec
tve vew of the Martan landscape and a sudden burst of
sightings of unidented fyg objects over al fve cont
nents of te world. For the months of July and August alone,
the United States Air Force received more repors than in the
prevous three years combined. At the same time, the Air
Force estimated the number of objects it had been unable
to identy since inception of U Project Blue Book at close
to seven hundred.
Takng into account these two events, which have greatly
contibuted to the evolution of the public's vew of our
problem, this book's appearance in a paperback edition has
given me te opportunity to make certain additions and
changes i te text. Some of these modifcations suggested
themselves as patters noticeable i early observations which
appeared in full light during te world wave of sightings in
1965. Other additions fl gaps which exist in the literature
of the subject. For instance, the "loss" of a planet by nine
teenth centry astonomers-the story of the observations of
Vulcan-has never received the attention it deserves. Sim
ilarly, I have included in my chapter on "Theories and
Hypotheses" a new review of the arguments in favor of the
concept of UFO "hostilty."
My analysis of theories concerg life and intellgence i
the universe has been greatly expanded. Also has my sec
ton on psychological and emotional patters associated with
the generation of the sightings. A presentation of UFO phe
nomena within the framework of rationalism is proposed in
answer to criticisms ofered by some scientists. These wrters
have insisted that UFO obseratons were essentially void of
any scientic vaue and should simply be disregarded, no
matter how reliable or qualed the observer, as belonging
to the sae category as manifestations of wtchcraft or ap-
7
PREFACE TO THE REVI SED ACE EDI TI ON
paritions of ghosts. "UFO Phenomena," wrote Charles A.
Schweighauser of the McDonnell Planetarium, "must be reg
ulated to the same classifcation assigned to unicors and
leprechauns." We feel our new presentaton of the problem
wil answer this misconception.
Once again I want to make very clear the explicit
distinction between dealing with repors as scientifc data
('they may lie, but they le i patter') and believing i
their content as such.
Although the bok has not been received by "Hying sau
cer" groups and cults with the enthusiasm which generally
characterizes them, the reviews of ANATOMY OF A PHE
NOMENON in the general press have been exceptionally
serious and provocatve, showing that the American opinion
i much better iformed and more seriously concered by
te subject than is generally beleved.
What has prompted me to publish general survey of
the feld ad to make a new appraisal of the scientc value
of te accounts i queston was the realization that unusual
aerial phenomena and the myths associated with them con
sttute one of the live issues of our times and, therefore,
proper feld for detailed investgaton ad research. How such
research can be conducted within the framework of ration
alsm and why it can lead to an increase of our lowledge
of the physical and mental universe are the subjects of u
book.
5
JACQUS VALLEE
Chicago, January 1966
PREFACE TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION
EV since the amazing series of sightings of unidentied
Hying objects in France in 1954, I have been deeply inter
ested in te problem of the origin, behavior and physical
nature of the UFO phenomenon. When I was authorized
to study the general fles of the United States D Force I
welcomed this opportunity to clarify my ideas concerning
the ofcial approach to the sightings and to understand better
the attitude of the scientifc and mitary authorities toward
t problem.
In the course of this research I had access to many i
terestig reports which had never been made publ\. Simul
taneously, I was able to conduct a thorough analysis of the
European fles kept up-to-date by a number of researchers,
some of whom worked i collaboration with professional
scientists acting privately. This resulted in the accumulation
of a unique collection of data, the volume of which is at
present double that of the ofcial fes.
I soon reached a point in my personal research at which
I realized that I was rapidly approachig the limits of my
competence, and that it was becomig increasingly impor
tat for me to receive the advice of spcialists of other dis
ciplnes. Unfortunately, communicaton between scientists still
follows medieval patters and any attempt on my part to
bring the subject into the open would have resulted in mis
uderstanding. Thus I deterined to restct my work to a
few specifc points which could be ivestigated with scien
tc -istuments without resultig in sensatonal interpreta
tons or exaggerated publicity. But the reactons to some
earlier publications on the subject led me to realize that by
considering the scientic issue alone and trying to avoid a
publc debate I was seeing only part of the problem. I then
came to believe that one should not ty to "prove" that
UFOs constitute a new phenomenon of an unknown, pos
sibly acial, natur

before one has made attempt to un-
9
PREFACE TO THE ORI GI NAL EDI TI ON
derstand why such violent reaction are provoked by de
thought of extraterrestal intelligence.
My writig this book in a popular form i deliberate, be
cause it i my opinion that my subject i important and
concers not only the scientist, but the military man, the
philosopher, the man of the cloth and the general public
as well.
It would be unrealistc on my pa not to expect this
book to be misinterpreted. It seems certain that any mention
of the problem of extraterestrial intelligence by a profes
sional scientit (even i he insists that this is only a conven
ient hypothesi among others which he plans to study) wil
be commented upon by groups of enthusiasts as an indica
ton that new evidence, unkown to the general public, has
been obtained. I can categorically state that such i not the
case. Furthermore, the positon I am taking here i purely
individual. It does not refect the vewpoint of a group, nor
the opinion of the research institution with which I am as
sociated, nor that of any of the groups wth which I have
been associated in the past. In bringng my opinion into the
open I simply make use of a privilege every scientist has,
namely, the right to publish his views even when they are
in opposition to generally accepted ideas.
I have endeavored to write a book that will help interested
researchers become seriously acquainted with the problem,
and I have tried to be objective in presenting summares
of all current theories related to the main points in the dis
cussion. Thi book is documented wth references," and i
lustrated with pictures designed to aid the reader i visual
izing a dif cult problem-one which is unsolved after twen
ty years of analysis by outstanding scientists. Every state
ment of importance is supported by documentary authority.
On several occasions I have had to admit that I culd not
commit myself to any partcular point of view, but I have
always kept an open mind and have been careful not to
reject extreme hypotheses merely on the ground of thei
"fantastic" chaacter, for nothing can be more fantastic than
natual phenomenon not yet recognized and classied by
the human mind. I so doing, however, I have not lost
"Numbers in parentheses wthin the text refer to te bib
liography at the end of te bok.
10
PREFACE TO THE ORI GI NAL EDI TI ON
sight of the fact that "an open mind does not mean credulity
or a suspension of the logical facultes that ae man's most
valuable asset" (Menzel, [121]).
The interest of research i not solely what prompted me
to take d frightening step; I was impressed by the deep
emotion and the cry of anguish in many of these reports,
which should be viewed as a challenge by al scientists;
ay citizen who becomes so concered by the events he
witnesses tat he writes a detailed account of tem has the
right to ask us to study this report as a piece of scientc
inforation, and 'ith an open, objectve mind. We must
view with contempt and irony those who will continue to
call the problem ridiculous only because they do not kow
te soluton. "Ridicule," wrote one of the eminent researchers
i ts feld, "i not part of the scientifc method, and the
public should not be taught that it is" (Hynek, [176]).
Ths book is not intended to convice; the author him
self i far from having reached a defnite opinion as to the
nature of the puzzling phenomenon he studies. The numer
ous observations quoted in t work are not there to prove,
but to ilustrate only. They are taken from reliable, but not
exceptional, reports, because our purpose i neither to shock
nor to demonstrate, but to lead the reader to the idea that
the phenomenon, whatever its nature and origin, can only
be studied in ters of classes, not as a collection of individu
al oddities. Dr. Menzel's work" has indicated that the aver
age report could often be explained, asumig the witnesses
had been the victims of some combination of physical or
mental aberrations. As the number of reports of higher than
average reliability becomes larger and larger, however, this
approach loses its appeal to the scientic mind, and one i
led to the idea that either an entrely new type of mental
aberraton, indeed most extraordinary, has taken an impor
tant place in the life of our civilization, or that the UFO
phenomenon i unique in nature, i of large amplitude and
thus deserves a special ivestigaton.
"Dr. Donald Menzel, director of the Harvard College
observatory, has published two major books on the UFO
Phenomenon: Flying Saucers (Harvard University Press,
1953) and The Worl of Flying Saucers (Doubleday, 1964),
co-authored wt Mrs. L. Boyd.
11
PREFACE TO THE ORI GI NAL EDI TI ON
How to progress in such an investigation with the great
est guarantee of scientifc accuracy is the subject of m
bok. The phenomenon under study is not the UFO, which
is not reproducible at will in the laboratory, but the repor
written by the witness. This report can be observed, studied
and communicated by professional scientists; thus defne,
the phenomenon we investigate is obviously real. Our prob
lem is no longer to explan, but to analyze. We are dealing
wth "the science of stucture, not the science of substance"
(Eddington). The queston, then, is no longer to beleve or
disbelieve, since we do not have elements of comparon
upon which to base such a judgment; the queston L rater
how to derive proper methods of investigation, classicaton
and control which wll satisfy al guarantees necessary i the
rational progress of knowledge to which science is devoted,
without refusing to consider certain hypotheses. Among tese,
of course, is the possibilty that the UFO phenomenon is
an attempt at contact with our civilization by nonuman
knowledge for nonhuman purposes, possibly prompted by
nonhuman emotions and perceptons.
This possibility has been neglected because, i te pres
ent context, its discussion involves a danger of seeing "meta
physical" consideratons reitoduced into scientifc reasoning.
This is a danger we wil not only to avoid, but to op
pose and defeat as wel. We will show that only rational
analysis on the basis of actual facts can guide an attempt
to understand pssible manifestations of extraterrestal in
telligence, and that possible connections with traditonal
interpretations or legends should be considered ony on
speculative basis.
I should thank many persons for having helped, gded
or stimulated this work. I will mention only a few i u
long list. My wife has certainly done more than anybody
else to give me the confdence I needed to undertake such
a book. The comments of Air Force ofcials, especially Dr.
Allen Hynek's, on my classifcation system and project of
revsed catalogue have been ivaluable. And I wish to ex
press my gratitude to Dr. Donald Menzel for having cit
cized and helped clarify several ill-defned points i our
early attempts at rationaliation of the UFO phenomenon.
Without Aime Michel's remarkable contribution to the clar
ifcation of the UFO problem it would be impossible today
to attain a good understanding of the important European
I2.
PREFACE TO THE ORI GI NAL EDI TI ON
sightngs, and we owe to h much of the recent progress
made in the consttution of the fles. I am indebted to Har
vey Plotick and Samuel Randlett, whose work on the man
uscript served greatly i making t book presentable to
the public. The authorization given by A. M. Rener to use
one of his paintngs, publshed here for the frst tme, i
grateful y ackowledged.
I3
Chapter 1
THE LEGEND OF"FlTlNG SAUCERS"
AS OLD AS MAN HI MSELF?
On January 24, 1878, John Martin, a Texas farmer and
"a gentleman of udoubted veracity" saw a dark fying ob
ject crusing high in the sky "at a wonderful speed" and
ued the word "saucer" to describe it. The story appeared
i the January 25, 1878 edition m the Dennison Daily News
under the heading "A Strange Phenomenon." It recounted a
piece published by the old Dallas Heral, which is worth
preserving here as the fst te account of 'fying saucer'
described as such:
Mr. John Martin, a farmer who lives some six miles
north of this city (Dallas), whie out huting, had his
attention diected to a dark object high up i the norther
sky.
The peculiar shape, and the velocity wth which the
object seemed to approach, rveted his attention, and he
stained hs eyes to discover its character. When frst
noticed it appeared to be about the size of an orange,
which cntnued to grow in size."
After gazing at it for some te, Mr. Martn became
"Many witesses make the same mistake as Joh Martin
when reporng apparent diameters: Was the size of the
object comparable to that of an orange seen a few feet
away? A few yards away? A few miles away? The apparent
size of an object seen i the sky should always be com
pared to the apparent size of the moon or the sun. See the
note on page 133 i t respect.
15
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
blind from long lookng and left of viewing in order to
rest his eyes. On resuming his view, the object was a
most overhead and had increased considerably in size
and appeared to be going through space at a wonderful
speed. When directly over him it was about the size of
a large saucer and was evdently at a geat height.
John Martn seems to have been a true pioneer; seventy
years later another man, Kenneth Aold, spoke of "fying
saucers." This tme the word was here to stay.
The legend of the fying disks has exited throughout his
tory. Apparitons of stange objects in the sky have for cen
turies str ed ppular emotion and have at tes caused
crises and panics. Some writers have gone so far as to try
to attbute them to "unknown civilizations" said to have
preceded us on t planet ( 2). Such past societies, they
argue, coud have reached very high level of evolution and
developed space tavel; or they culd have remained at a
stage of low technology under the domination of extater
restrial "visitatons" who are said to have departed from ou
planet for some unkown reason, leavg almost no taces.
According to the same writers, some of our religious texts
might have been inspired by such contacts with a super
civilization. Posnansky and Kiess, as wel as Epstein, have
studied the Tiahuanaco monuments and have interpreted
some of their features as possible indexes of extaterrestrial
"visitatons" i prehistoric tmes. Tschi Pen Lao, of the Uni
versity of Peking, has also discvered remarkable drawings
on a Hunan mountain and on an island i Lake Tungting.
Possibly made i 45,000 B.C., these granite carvings depict
people wth large tunks, and cylindrical objects in the sky
on which similar beings are seen standig. In 1961, the
Russian astonomer Alexander Kazantsev brought to the at
tention of the readers of the Soviet magazine Smn dis
cover made by Henri Labate in the Tassil plateau in Sa
hara of sculpted rocks showing human beings wit strange
round heads, and other mysterious scenes. These sculptures
were dated 6,000 B.c.
Along the same line, the prophet Ezelel's vsion has often
been commented upon in books dealng with unidented
fyng object. Thi description (Ezelel, chapter 1) of a
16"
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
stange machie cming fom the sky and landing close 0
the Chebar Rver in Chaldea (now part of Iraq) i 593
B.C. includes expressions said to be similar to those com
monly used by witesses of modem sightings of UFOs.
Ezekiel says that out of a whirlwd from the north 0@
peared a fer sphere. J remarked i [3, and 4) :
Ezekiel's narratve i the Bible is mainy concered wth
describing this icident i h ow phraseology, however
vague it may seem to us today. Ezekiel lived i a era
m few metals' ad no machies. The war chariot and the
plough were the last word i their "technology." For t
reason it was extemely difcult for Ezekel to poray
wit h vocabuar the event he witnessed.
According to the same sources, an attempt to reconstct
from Ezekel's words a model of the phenomenon in modem
ters would lead to the concepton of a mache rather
tan a natual phenomenon such as a mirage:
The vehicle which Ezekel obsered had fou distc
pilars. From each pilar protruded two wings, eight i
al, which moved about. At the base of each column
there were rings with cicular openings. The four colM
formed a cubic body over which there was a tansparent
dome. For lack of any better term Ezekiel defned it
a "fmament." A throne of sapphire stone crowed the
dome, encircled by a raibow. The reference to sapphire,
amber, crystal and beryl may be allusions to platics which
certain parts of the ship were made of.
The prophet describes te workings of this extaordiar
craft. Except for the wings no other parts moved. The
wings produced a sound "like the noise of great waters."
A fery and thuderou exhaust issued from the bae of
the engine.
The incident is so objectively depicted tat it could
hardly be considered a tale to impress superstitous ls
teners. This ship had other unusual features-it could ex
tend a "hand" giving Ezekiel a roll with inscriptions
"wit and without." Then the prophet was taken on
17
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
board the craf to Tel Abib Mountains. There he remained
"speechless" for seven days . ... 0
This is a tpe of interpretaton cmmonly found in the
lterature that deals with our problem. The terinology also
should be noted. The words "ship," "craft," "engine" are
used without justcaton. The scientst, obviously, w not
b guided by situatons thus presented. But the explanaton
given by Dr. Donald Menzel (that Ezekiel observed a sun
dog) is equally unconvincing.
Wilkins and Drake (5, 6) have gven numerous indic
tons of luminous disks i the sky at day, L lghts at night,
under the Roman Empire. Some of these accounts describe
beings associated wth the objects. ( I Ezekel's story the
fgure of a man surounded with a blnding light was men
toned.) Prodigiorum Liber, as well as in Lv, it is said that
in many places there appeared men in white clothing coring
from very far away; in Ai a shield Hew though the sky;
two moons were seen at night; ghost whips appeared in the
sky; luminous lamps were seen at Praeneste-all t i 218
1.L. If the Romans had had a more developed cmmunica
tions system, they would probably have interpreted this ser
ies of observations as a "UFO wave" similar to te celebrated
series of sightigs i the United States which we w review
later.
I 213 1.L. in Hadia an "altar" was seen in the sky,
accompanied by the for of a man in white clothing. A total
of a dozen such observations between 222 and 90 1.L. can be
listed, but we have elinated many more sightngs reviewed
i the literature because we felt that tey culd best be
explained a misinterpretatons of meteors or atospherc
phenomena.
We will not attach much weight to rmors of such an
tquity. A Sagan remarked ( 7):
We require more of a legend than te appariton of a
stange being who does extaordinar work and lves i
the sky A descripton of the morphology of i-
0It is well know, of course, that Elijah was taken away
in similar fashion: "Ad it cre to pass, as they stil went
on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of
fre and Eljah went up by a whlwnd ito Heaven."
18
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
telligent non-human, a clear account of astronomical re
alities for a primitive people, or a transpaent presentation
of the purpose of contact would increase the credibilit
of the legend.
It is, however, interestg to fnd that such repor were
made, and in practcally the same terms as the modem
ones, concernig stange vehicles fying across the sky long
before the advent of Christ. B. Le Poer Trench, for istance,
quotes i his book (182) from a papyrus found damaged,
with many gaps in the hieroglyphics, among the papers of
the late Professor Alberto Tull, former director of the Egyp
tan Museum at the Vatcan, and translated by Prince Boris
de Rachewiltz, who stated that the original was par of te
annas of Thutmose III, circa 1504-1450 B.c.:
I the year 22, of the third month of winter, sith hou
of the day . . . the scribes of the House of Life foud it
was cicle of fre that was coming in the sky . . . it
had no head, the breath of it mouth had a fou oor.
Its body one rod long and one rod wide. It had no voice.
Their hearts became confused through it: then tey laid
themselves on their belles . . . they went to the Pharaoh
.. ' . to report it. His Majesty ordered . . . has been ex
amined . . . as to all which is written in the papyr rol
of the House of Life. His Majesty was meditatng upon
what happened. Now after some days had passed, these
thigs became more numerous in the sky than ever. They
shone more i the sky than the brightess of te su, and
extended to the limits of the four suppors of the heav
ens. . .. Powerful was the position of the fre circles. The
ary of the Pharaoh looked on with h in thei midst.
It was after supper. Thereupon, these fre cicles ascended
higher in the sky towards the south ..
These facts are certainly worthy of study. Unforately,
we have no chance to gather more inforation today con
cerning te "men in whte clothing," and it would be of lttle
help to go now collecting samples on the shores of the
Chebar River. But we can at least be sure that these re
ports were not provoked by a psychological reacton to
atomic fear, or to mass hallucination typical of overcrowded
cities. Certail
>
no explanation based on the asserton that
19
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
the alleged UFO's are misinterpreted conventional object
could be consistently correct over such perods of te.
HAST THOU SEEN YE UFO?
A plai near Mortier's Cross-Herefordshie.0
Edward: Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
Richard: Tir ee glorious suns, each a perfect sun
Not separated with the rackng cloud,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shinig sky.
See, see! They join, embrace and seem to kss,
As if they vowed some league inviolable:
Now are they one lamp, one light, one su,
In this the heaven fgures some event.
|
(Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part III, Act II, Scene I)
|
We have on fle more than three hundred UFO sightngs
'
pror to the twentieth century and, although it is difcult
to comment upon them i the light of scientifc analysis, we
feel they should be teated exactly as modem reprts in
respect to their psychological and sociological aspects. Many
of these accounts were written during the nineteenth cen
tury, but this should not be presumed to favor the "modem"
character of the UFO myh, for some of the older reports
indicate that series of objects had been witnessed much
earlier; but most of the accounts were lost and resulted only
i a few general notes i some very rare manuscripts.
|
Of sightgs before the year 1800, after elminating
lage number of descriptions too vague to be included i
ou catalogues, we have fnally retained sixty observatons
manifesting a fair degree of homogeneity wth the balance
of ou fles. Remarks worth studyig, for itance, are those
presented by Drake ( 8) :
Agobard, Archbishop of Lyons, wrote in "De Grandie
et Tonitrua" how i 8
4
0 T.1. he found the mob in Lyons .
lynching three men and a woman accused of landing from
cloudhp from the aerial region of Magonia. The great
Geran philologist, Jacob Grimm, about 1820 described
0Quoted in B. Le Por Trencl ( 182) .

20
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
the legend of a ship from the clouds, and Montanus,
eighteenth century writer on German folklore, told of
wizards fying in the clouds, who were shot down. The
belief of Beings from the skies who surveyed our Eart
persisted i hua cnsciouness thoughout the Middle
Ages.
Several dawings and engravngs clearly depicting phe
nomena treated in the same way in which the modem
public interprets UFOs should be added to the lists of hs
torical documents to be studied in this context, as Profes
sor C. G. Jung pointed out (9). Aateurs i Europe cud
easily fnd many more docuents and reports simply by
consultng te innumerable local lbraries in castles, church
es, monasteries throughout Great Britain, France, Holand,
Belgium, Gerany, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Itay, Por
tugal and Spai. Ou selections were not accumuated
through direct research and therefore represent only a small
sample. We hope that researchers with advanced knowledge
of hstory w examine more carefully this mine of ior
maton.
Their attention, for example, should be directed to the
ship that was seen speedng across the sky, at night, i
Sctland i A.D. 60. In 763, while King Domnall Mac
Murchada attended the fai at Teltown, in Meath County,
ships were also seen in the ai. U 919, in Hungary, spheri
cl objects shining like stars, bright and polished, were re
pored going to and fro i the sky. Somewhere at sea, on
July 29 or 30 of the year 966, a lumious vertical cylder
was seen; this may well have been the frst report made i
a very fascinating series which we will discuss later. I
Japan, on August 23, 1015, to objects were seen giving
birth to smal luminous spheres. At Cairo in August, 1027,
numerous noisy objects were reported. A large silvery dk
i said to have come close to the ground in Japan on August
12, 1133.
Drake ( 183) gives a tanslaton of the Annales Lauri
senses for the year A.D. 776, which reads:
Now when the Saons perceived things were not going
in their favor, they began to erect scafoldng from which
they could bravely storm the castle itself. But God i
good a well a jut. He overcae their valou, and on
21
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
the same day they prepared an assault agast the Chris
tians, who lived within the castle, the glory of God ap
peared in maniestation above the church within the fort
ress. Those watching outside in that place, of whom may
stil live to this very day, say they beheld the likeness
of two large shields reddish in colour in motion abve
the church ( et dicurt vidisse instar duorum scutorum
colore rubeo flammantes et agitntes supra ipsam eccles
iam) , and when the pagans who were outside saw ts
sign, they were at once thown into confusion and terri
fed with great fear they began to fee from the castle.
These sightings sometimes come in series, afectng selected
areas. We translate the followng account ( 10), which con
tains a confrmaton of the remarks by Drake quoted above:
In 927 the town of Verdun, like the whole easter par
of France, saw fery armies appearing i the sky. Flodo
ard's chronicle reports that they few over Reims on a Sun
day morning in March. Similar phenomena happened sev
eral times under King Pepin the Short, under Charle
magne, under Louis I, the Debonair. These sovereigns'
capitularia mention penalties against creatures that travel
on aerial ships. [Italics mine-Author.] Agobard, the arch
bishop of Lyons, is said to have freed thee men and 0
woman who had come dow from one of these spaceships,
and were accused by the mob of being emissares sent by
Grimoald, Duke of Benevento, to spoil te French harests
and vintage by thei enchantments. Emperor Charle
magne's edicts forbid the perrbing of the ai, provoking
of storms by magical means and the practicing of math
ematics." Agobard's manuscrpt, which can be consulted
at the National Library, mentions that the astronauts cap
tured in Lyons were obviously foreigners and that "by an
inconceivable fatality, these unfortunate people were so
insane as to admit they were wzards." The mob klled
them, and teir corpses were fastened to boards and
"Lecky points out (198) tat Mathematicus was the name
given to astrologers. A law of Diocletian says: "Artem geo
metriae disci atque exerceri publice interest. Ars autem math
ematica damnabilis est et interdicta omnio."
22_
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
throw into the rivers. . . . In March, 842, multicolored
aries were seen marching in the sky .... These sightngs
of inferal armies were noctual. They several tmes L
companied the seige of Jerusalem.
A similar occurence took place in Thann, Alsace, where
chapel was built in 1160 after three lights had been observed
over a fr-tree. A luminous cross was seen in 1188 between
Gisors and Neaufes-Saint-Martin; a cross carved i stone
still marks the spot.
We observe here that the appearances of lights or phe
nomena interpreted as objects, seen in the sky, were not i
general associated with the idea of "visitors" or wt the
possible arrival of fantastic creatures, but rather with re
ligious beliefs, and were treated as manifestations of super
natural forces. After the twelth century, reports became more
documented; religious chronicles give more space to local
events and a larger quantity of information is recorded by
monasteries. On January 1, 1254, at Saint Alban's Abbey, at
midnight, in a serene sky and clear atmosphere, with stars
shining and the moon eight days old, there suddenly ap
peared in the sky a kind of large ship, elegantly shaped, well
equipped and of marvelous color. (Matthew of Pas,
Historia Anglorum, quoted i Wilkins [5], with numerous
other good reports.) The observation made in 1290 at By
land Abbey, Yorkshire, of a large silvery disk fying slowly
is a classical one and can be found in a number of books. On
November 1, 1461, a strange object shaped like a ship,
from which fre was seen fowng, passed over the tow of
Aras in France (5). Jacques Duclerc, a chronicler, and con
selor to King Philip the Good, writes a detailed acconnt of
this sighting in his Memoirs of a Freeman of Arras: "A fery
thing like an iron rod of good length and as large as one
half of the moon was seen in the sky for a little less than
a quarter of an hour."
A incunabulum made in 1493, which belonged to the
Saint Airy Library and is now visible in a museum in Ver
dun, may contain the earliest example of the representation
of UFOs in Europe. The author of the manuscript, the
Geran Humanist Hartmann Schaeden, describes a strange
sphere of fre sailing through the sky, following a straight
path from south to east, then turning toward the setting sun.
A ilumination depicts cigar-shaped for i a blue sky,
23
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
I
surounded by fames, flying over the green, hilly count-
side. The date of the sighting seems to have been 1034.
A round shape with a rotatg light or beam was des
cribed, accompanied by two fery suns, in the sky of Eru
in 1520. A "cloud cigar" was possibly seen i France on
October 12, 1527 (11).
With the observatons of Nuremberg (April 14, 1561) and.
Basel (August 7, 1566), of which drawings were made and
are preserved in Zurch, we reach period analyzed in de
tail by Professor Jung. Again, the Nuremberg sightig in
volves large tubes shown in inclined positions, from which
spheres originate, generally three or four. Spheres and dsks
were seen and appeared to fght each other in aerial dances.
The same behavior was described in Basel, where the ob
jects were large black spheres.
After the year 1600 many good references will be found
i the books of Charles Fort, i addition to the reviews by
Wilkins. It should, however, be pointed out that the ac
counts Fort seem to prefer concer luminous objects' in the
sky associated with earthquakes and cataclysms on the
ground, and that these should be considered with exteme
caution. An article (quoted i [12]) has discussed ts pos
sible connection between seismic phenomena and atospherc
perturbatons. We do not seem to be dealing here with re
ports of the same nature, although it is understandable that
Fort could b puzzled by such descriptions, at a te when
the nature of earthquakes was not at all understood.
On March 6, 1716, the astronomer Haley saw an object
which illuminated the sky for more than two hours i such
way that he could read a printed text i the light of this
object. The time of the observation was 7: 00 P.M. After
two hours, the brightness of the phenomenon was react
vated "as if new fuel had been cast on a fre" ( 5).
Interesting reports are also given by Wilkins for March
19, 1718 (Oxford), December 5, 1737, and especially De
cember 16, 1742 (London). But this book cannot possibly
elaborate upon all of these cases; it can only be suggested
that extensive studies be made to deterine whether these
old documents refer to phenomena of the same general type
as the moder reports, as this preliminary study would seem
to indicate. We will have to discuss, for instance, the sight
ing of "luminous spheres coring out of brght cylnder"
X
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
in Augermanland, Sweden, in 1752, in connection with simi-
lar sightings in modem times.
, In the latter part of the eighteenth century and durng
the nineteenth centmy observations of UFOs made by as-
tonomers were quite common. The modem gospel that "a-
tonomers have never seen UFOs" is untrue. Old astra-
.
nomical chronicles are very interesting in this respect: On
Augt 9, 1762, an object was seen in front of the sun
by two diferent obseratories i Switzerland. On June 17,
1777, Charles Messier observed a large number of dark
spots (13). On August 18, 1783, at 9:25 P.M., at Windsor
Castle, Tiberius Cavallo, a Fellow of the Royal Society,
described a peculiar luminous phenomenon (see page 146).
I Greenwich, on August 30, 1783, there was seen a very
stange object giving rise to eight satellites which disap
peared slowly toward the southeast. These observations by
professional scientists reached their peak i the nneteenth
century.
UFO'S I N THE NI NETEENTH CENTURY
Ater the year 1800 the repors of objects in the sky be
come so numerous and well documented tat one can lay
asid
e
the popular rumors and study only accounts pub
lshed in the scientifc press. They represent a large amount
of data, and their reliabilty is excellent.
Consider for exaple this observation by John Staveley
(5) on August 10, 1809, at Hatton Garden, London, pub
lished by the Journal of Natural History and Philosophy
and Chemistry:
I saw many meteors moving around the edge of a
black cloud from which lightigs fashed. They were like
dazzling specks of light, dancing and trapsing thro' the
clouds. One increased in size till it became of the bri
liancy and magnitude of Venus, on a clear evening. But
I could see no body in the light. It moved with great
rapidity, and coasted the edge of the cloud. Then it be
came stationary, dimmed its splendour, and vanished.
I saw these strange lights for minutes, not seconds. For
at least an hour, these lights, so strange, and in innumer
able poits, played in and out of this black cloud. No
lghtng came from the clouds where these lights were
Z
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
playg. A the meteors icreased in size, they seemed
to descend e
Concerg obseraton at Embrun, France, on Septem
ber 7, 1820, Franroi Aago wites i the Anm|cs de chimie
et de physue:
Numerous obserers have seen, durng an eclipse of the
moon, stange objects movig i straight lnes. They were
equally spaced and remained i lne when they made
D. Their movements showed a military precision.
These old repor are often marked by much ingenuity
and navete. They show nineteenth-century astronomy as a
very dynamic science whch had nothing of the dogatc
character we obsere today. Observatons were honestly re
ported ad published, even when they did not ft ito the
classical patters, and it i most clear that no scientc per
iodical-except, maybe, the French joural LAstmncmic
would publish today any of the three obseratons that we
are going to quote now, and whch can be found in LAnncc
Scientifue ( Onzieme Annee, p. 28 and Douzieme Annee,
p. 43). The fst obseraton i dated Juy 30, 1866 and
reads:
A German astonomer has made a very stange obser
vation that seems to prove that shootng stars sometimes
cme as low as one kilometer above the groud. The
astronomer i question i M. Behrmann, of the Royal Ob
serator of Geottingen, aeady kown for work of the
fst order and some very iportant discoveres i the
theoretical feld.
On Ju!y 30, 1866, at 9 P.M., this observer was looking
at the clouds accumulated on the orental horizon when
al of a sudden he saw, at a poit he had had i sight
for about half a minute, a shooting star of third to fourh
magntude. He had the ipression the meter was pierc
ing the layer of clouds, whch was much too thck to al
low te vision of a shotg star by tansparence. The
cloud fom which ths phenomenon had emerged did not
have an elevation i excess of ffteen degrees. The shoot
ing star remaed visible for about four tenths of one
second, very approximately estimated by M. Behrman.
20
#
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
It disappeared again into the clouds after a fight of fve
to six degrees.
Another most interestig obseration, relative to the
category of the meteors0 has been made by M. Heis on
October 4, 1866 at 8:30 P.M. M. Heis, who was study
ing the Milky Way, very clearly saw a dark body de
tach itself against the light background of this cluster of
stars. It had the proper motion of a shoting star. This
dark meteor followed an arc of eleven to twelve degrees
before it was lost in the dark blue-black of the sky.
.
The third report reads:
On August 21, 1867 at 8:30 P. M.
,
the inhabitants of
Moncaeri (Piemonte, Italy) have had the unusual sight
of a bolide fyg under the clouds, at a small distance
from the ground, over a very large space. These are the
cicumstances of this phenomenon: One half of the sky
was alost completely covered with dark clouds, especial
ly in te southeast. Al of a sudden a magnifcent lum
inous meteor came from the northwest under Ursa Major
and few under the clouds as it went towards the south
east. Between these clouds and the ground it followed a
straight trajectory over about ffty degrees. It was of fst
magnitude and about the apparent diameter of Jupiter;
its clor was very bright red. The altitude of the clouds
did not exceed 300 meters.
In July, 1868, at Capiago, Chile, an aerial construction
emitting light and giving of engine noise was Dterpreted
locally as a giant bird with shining eyes, covered with large
scaes clashing to produce a metallc noise ( 15 and 16).
On March 22, 1870, an observation was made aboard the
"Lady of the Lake" in the Atantic Ocean at 547' N. and
0Some scientists think such observations have no place i
study of the UFO phenomenon since their authors them
selves reported the objects as "meteors." These scientists for
get that the word "meteor" has only recently received a
precise defnition. The nineteenth-century astronomers used
it with a great variety of meaning. De Monetmont, i 1840,
pinted out the greek root [meteros meaning high, elevated)
and defned meteors as "phenomena of the , such as the
rainbow, the aurora boreal, the thunder, etc."
27
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
2752" W. The object seen was a disk of light gray clor.
What appeared to be the real part was suroundd by a
halo and a long tail emanated from the center. This UFO
was vewed between 20 and 80 elevation for half an hour.
It few against te wind and Captain Banner made a draw
ing of it.
On April 24, 187 4, a Professor Schafarick saw in Prague
"an object of such a stange nature that I do not know
what to say about it. It was of a blindng white and crossed
slowly the face of te moon. It remained visible after
wards .... " ( 18)
On January 24, 1878, John Martin used the word "sau
cer" to describe his UFO. On May 15, 1879, at 9:40 P.M.,
from the "Vultur" in the Persian Gulf two giant luminous
wheels were observed spinning and slowly descending. They
were seen for t-fve minutes, had an estimated dameter
of forty meters and were about four diameters apart. Simi
lar "giant wheels" were seen the year after, again i May
and in the same part of the ocean, but by another ship,
the steamer Patna (20 ) .
This observation of May 1880 was published by the scien-
tifc periodical Knowldge in the following terms: 0

Seeing so many meteorological phenomena in your ex


cellent paper, KNOWLEDGE, I am tempted to ask for,
an explanation of the following, which I saw when on _
board the British India Company's steamer Patna whie!
on a voyage up the Persian Gulf. In May, 1880, on a
dark, ca night, about 11:30 P.M.
,
there suddenly ap
peared on each side of the ship an enormous luminous
wheel whiling round, the spokes of which seemed to
brsh the ship along. The spokes would be 200 or 300
yards long, and resembled the birch rods of the dames' '
schools. Each wheel contained about sixteen spokes, and
0Ivan T. Sanderson has conducted a special study of:
about 100 such cases observed during the last centu and
discusses tem in an artcle publshed in Fate Magazine,
(July 1964, p. 42). Notng tat luinescent plankton must
be the imediate source of light, he suggests that the ex-'
taordinary patter-the wheel without r-"i produced .
by a rotating source of radation tat tiggers emission of
light by the plankton." '
"
THE LEGEND OF "FlYI NG SAUCERS"
made the revolution in about twelve seconds. One coud
almost fancy one heard the swish as the spokes whizzed
past the ship, and, although the wheels must have been
some 00 or 000 yards in diameter, the spokes could be
distinctly seen all the way roud. The phosphorescent
gleam seemed to glde along fat on the surace of te
sea, no lght being visible i the air above the water. The
appearance of the spokes could be alost exactly repre
sented by standing in a boat and fashing a bul's-eye
lanter horizontally along te surace of the water roud
and round. I may menton that the phenomenon was also
seen by Captai Aver, commander of the Patna, and
Mr. Manning, third ofcer.
Lee Fore Brace.
P.S.-The "wheels" advanced along with te ship for
about tenty minutes.-L.F.B.
On June 11, 1881, at
4
. 00-- between Melboue and
Sydney, the two sons of the Prince of Wales, one of them
te future king of England, saw a stange celestial object
simiar to a fully illuinated ship. ( See The Cruie of the
, Bacchante, written by the two princes. )
'
I the last twenty years of the nineteent cent we

have found eighty-four obserations of interest, thirty-four


of which were published in b detail i the scientc press.
These alone would justy a systematc investgaton. The
proporon of witesses with a high scientc standing is
greater i these reports then, for example, tose of 1947.
|They give more detaied descriptons, and by the precision
and clarity of the accouts low that they were not the
products of mass hallucinaton or emoton. Among them, we
fnd our second detailed accout of a "landing," the fst
one being the Ezekel icident. On Aprl 10, 1897, at Carlin
vle, Ilnois, an object landed i the felds but took of as
' soon as the witnesses came close to it. Its shape was that
of a cigar with a dome [21 ) .
A large number of the reports publshed in the scientic
press concer objects of the general aspect of a bolde, but
folowing stange paths, sometimes at very low speeds. Al
though we would lke to d of these phenomena as pecul
iar, but natural, astonomical objects, it i difcult to do so
i many instances, and Flammarion designated them under
te new name of "bradyes." A typical example i foud i
29
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
L' Asronomie, the bulletin of the French Astonomical So
ciety, for the year 1883. The report reads:
O Febrary 23, 1883, at 7: 00 P.M., as I was obser
ig the sky i the drecton of Orion, i. e. , toward the south 1
I saw lumious poit appearg behind Alpha Orion [
and slidig to Siius after a double U as show on the
attached fgure. Ths was not, however, a period of te _
year with abudt shootg stars. This bolde had the
luminosity of fourth-magitude star. Its maximum lu- '
osity was estated by me to correspond to the third
magnitude when it was i A, and it had a minum i ;
B, where it remaied statonary for a whie. It contued
J
toward Sirius wth a brightess corresponding to the
four magnitude. I lost sight of it as i it had gone l
behd Sius and had not reappeared.
Te year 1883 was rch i reports; no less than twelve
have so far come to our- attenton. Durig the sM er, at
Segeberg, the chidren and the teacher of an elementar
school saw two fery spheres i the sky with the apparent
diameter of the full moon; they taveled side by side, not
very fat, on a north-south course. On August 12, i the
morg, the astonomer Jose Bonilla, of Zacatecas Obsera
tory in Mexico, saw and photographed "formations" of cir
cular objects which crossed the disk of the sun on a west
east course. They were separated by regular interal ad
were i goups of ften to twenty. The author of the re
port counted 283 such objects. Earlier i the year (April 15
and 25) similar formations had been seen over Marseilles,
France. But the reliability of tese obseratons L always
be cntested: How tained were the authors of these re
ports? How can we be sure that the alleged objects were
not focks of bids?
I 1885 we have six reports, fve of them from L'Asron
omie. Two of these reports are of special interest to us i
ou attempt to show that the UFO phenomenon i not of
recent origin. The frst report we will quote here is dated
August 22. The tie was 8: 15 A.M. and the place, Saigon:
M. Reveillere and Lieutenat Guiberteau have witnessed
a very strange meteorological phenomenon. Looking toward ;
te south and having i fron of them the Souther Cross,
30
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
tese scientist saw a magnifcent red object, larger tan
the planet Venu and having a fairly large lateral moton.
Both observers were wthout instment. They saw the
meter appear suddenly i the south, and disappear in the
southeast. It elevaton was between 15 and 20. Its mo
ton, practically level with the horon, wa not faster than
that of a cloud i an average wd. It took seven or eight
minutes for t meteor to tavel on an arc equal to about
one-third of the celestal sphere, and it disappeared be
hind a cloud of average opacity. One of the witesses,
M. Guiberteau, thought he saw te meteor abve the ci
clouds, when according to M. Reveillere te meteor
lost some of its brightess because of the clouds, and th
brightess varied according to the thickess of te cloud.
It i dfcult to decide what tis meteor was.
The secnd report was made on November 1, 1885, at
0. 30 r.m.,at Andrianople, Tukey, and reads:
M. Mavrogordato, of Constantnople, cals our attenton
to the following stange observatons which have been
cmuncated to h.
( 1 ) On November 1, at 0 30 r.m.,there was seen, west
of Andrianople, an elongated object givng of a stong
lunosity. It seemed to foat i te air and it appar
ent disk was four or fve tmes larger than the ful moon.
It taveled slowly and ct light on the whole camp be
hind te staton wth a brightess about ten tmes greater
than a large electic bulb.
( 2) I the morg m November 2, at daw, a ver
luminous fame, frst bluish, then greenish, and moving at
a height of fve to six meters, made a series of ts
around the ferryboat pier at Scutari. Its blinding luminos
ity lghted te steet and fooded the inside of the houses
with light. The meteor was visible for one miute and
a half and fnally fel into te sea. No noise was heard
when te imersion took place.
Ae these two meters realy bolides? One might doubt
it. At any rate, tese obseratons are qute interestg
( L'Asromie, 1885, and R. Veillith, [22] ) .
One may think of the phenomenon tered "bal lighting"
i connecton wit the second incident. Ball lightig is a
3I
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
natural, but stil largely mysterious, phenomenon. In our
opmwn, UFO fles do contain several very good accounts
of objects which fal into this category, and some of the
best we have ever read are in the fles of the Aerial Phen
omena Group of the U.S. A Force i Dayton, Ohio. It i
certainly unfortnate that no physicist with interest in this
feld ha ever studied these reprts. 0 Such an investgaton
would also reveal that may sightings have been "explained
away" as ball lightigs because no intelligent answer could :
be found, and te specialist woud be sre at some of ;
the repor placed in ts category. We have here an old ,
example of the sae attitude, from L' Astronomie agai,
dated November 12, 1887, and fatly called "bal lighting" :
I the North Atlantc Ocean a new case of ball lighting, j
one of those so stange and stil so inexplicable efects,
has been observed. On November 12, 1887, at midnight,
near Cape Race, a huge ball of fre appeared, slowly I
emerging from the ocean to an altitude of sixteen to seven- l
teen meters. This sphere started moving against the wid
and stopped close to the ship from which it was ob- !
served. Then it rushed away in the sky and disappeared
i the southeast. The whole observaton h lsted fve
minutes. [Italics mineAuthor. ]
.
Durig the night of January 8, 1888, luminous bodies f
were seen fying through the sky in lines for one hour, ac-
cording to the Memoirs of te Mior Brothers of Ragusa, :
Italy.
U 1893 several observatons of dsk and "wheels" at sea .
were made, mainly between Japan and China. In the United '
States, on December 20, 1893, another huge "wheel" giv
ing of noise appeared; it remained motionless for ffteen min-

utes before leaving. U Oxford, England, on August 31,
1895, at 8: 00 P.M. , a dk was seen rising above some tees
0 A a courtesy, several professional scientists, including
this writer, have received permission from the interested au
thorities to study the nonclassifed reports. Physicists con
cered with the interretaton of bal lightings could prob
ably obtain information on specifc cases through simiar chan-
1
.
nel.
m
I
3!
'
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
and disappearing in the east ( Dr. J. A. H. Muray) ( 192) .
In Chicago, on April 2, 1897, at 2: 00 A.M., amazed citizens
clambered to the top of a skyscraper to observe an enormous
fying object which seemed to have fs at each end and
a beacon. On the tenth of the same month the "landig"
in Carlinvlle, Illinois, which we mentioned earlier, was re
ported. On the ffteenth an object i the shape of a cigar
was seen at Benton, Texas, and several other places. It
crised toward the southeast, and wa described as "a mag
nifcent sight." The Chicago object, or a similar one, was
observed on April 19, at 9: 00 P.M., at Sistervile, West Vir
ginia, with fashing colored lights. "
But Le Roy, Kansas, is the place we will have to remem
ber. "Last Monday night, about 10: 30," said Alexander Ham
ilton,
we were awakened by a noise among the cattle. I arose,
thinkng that perhaps my bulldog was performing some
of his pranks, but upon going to the door saw to my
utter astonishment an airship slowly descending upon my
cow lot, about forty rods from the house.
Calling my tenant, Gid Heslip, and my son Wal, we
seized some axes and ran to the corral. Meanwhile, the
ship had been gently descendng until it wa not more
thai thirty feet above the ground, and we came withi
ffty yards of it.
It cnsisted of a geat cigar-shaped portion, possibly
three hunded feet long, with a carriage undereath. The
carriage was made of glass or some other transparent sub
stance alterating with a narrow strip of some material.
It was brilliantly lighted within ad everything wa plain
ly visible-it wa occupied by six of the strangest beings
I ever saw. They were jabbering together, but we could
not understand a word they said.
"Since the publicaton of the frst editon of this book, a
systematic investigation of the 1897 wave has been under
taken by D. Hanlon. His careful analysis of many reports
of that period reveals an amazing number of sightings, some
of them by thousands of witesses. The signicance of d
series of events seems to have escaped even the attenton of
Charles Fort.
33
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Every part of the vessel which was not tranparent was
o a dark reddish color. We stood mute with wonder
ad fright, when some noise attacted their attenton and
tey tued a light directly upon us. Imediately on catch
ing sight of us they ted on some unknown power, and
a great turbine wheel, about t feet in diameter, which
was slowly revolving below the craft began to buzz and
the vessel rose lightly as a bird. When about three hudred
feet above us it seemed to pause and hover directly
over a two-year-old heifer, which was bawling and jup
ig, apparently fast in the fence. Going to her, we found
a cable about a half-inch in thickess made of some red
material, fastened in a slip kot around her neck, one end
passing up to the vessel, and the heifer tangled in the
wire fence. We tried to get it of but could not, so we cut
the wie loose ad stood i amazement to see the ship,
heifer and al, rise slowly, disappearing in the northwest.
We went hoe, but I was so frightened I could not
sleep. Rising early Tuesday, I started out by horse, hoping
to fnd some trace of my cw. This I failed to do, but
coring back in the evening found that Link Tomas, '
about three or four miles west of Le Roy, had foud the
hide, legs , and head in h feld that day. He, thinking
someone had butchered a stolen beast, had brought the
hde to town for identicaton, but was greatly mystied
in not being able to fnd any tracks in the soft ground. Af
ter identifyg the hide by my brand, I went hore. But
every time I would drop to sleep I would see the cursed
tg, with its big lights and hideous people. I don\
kow whether they are devils or angels, or what; but
we all saw them, and my whole family saw the ship, and
I don't want any more to do with them.
Hamilton has long been a resident of Kasas and is
kow al over Woodson, Allen, Cofey and Anderson
counties. He was a member of the House of Representa- '
tves. He staked his sacred honor upon the tuth of h
story.
An afdavit follows :
A there are now, always have been and always \vll b
skeptics and unbelievers wheever the truth of anyhing
bordering the improbable i presented, ad kO\ving that
some igorant or suspicious peple wil doubt the tuth-
34

THE LEGEND OF "FlYI NG SAUCERS"


flness of the above statement, now, therefore, we, te
undersigned, do hereby make the following afdavit:
That we have kown Alexander Hamilton for one to
tty years, and that for the tuth and veracity we have
never heard his word questoned, and that we do verily
believe his statement to be tue and correct.
Signed: E. W. Wharton, State Oil Inspector
M. E. Hunt, Sheriff
W. Lauber, Deputy Sheriff
H. H. Witer, Banker
H. S. Johnson, Pharmacist
J. H. Sttcher, Attorey
Alexander Stewart, Justce of the Peace
F. W. Butler, Druggist
James W. Mart, Registar of Deeds
and H. C. Rolns, Postaster
Subscribed and swor before me ti 21st day of April,
1897 ( 45).
On April 25, 1898, at 9: 32 P.M., i Belgrade, a stange
meteor was observed which, accrding to J. Michailovitch,
professor at Belgrade Observatory, remained motonless in
the sky for more than six minutes. In Lille, France, a red
object was seen motionless for ten miutes on September 4,
' 1898, then left a few sparks and went away.
ASTRONOMERS LOSE A PLANET
If the reader ever attends a lecture on the subject of the
solar system, he will undoubtedly be told about Mercury,
Venus, Mars and its two satelltes Phobos and Deimos; Jup
iter, Satu, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are similarly una
voidable. If he is lucky he w hear a word about the as
teroids : Ceres and Juno, Eros, Hermes and a few others
such a Pallas. At the end of two hours his head will be
flled with more names of Roman and Greek gods than can
conceivably cohabit on the narrow summit of Olympus. And
then, i he has a chance to pause for a while before retur
ing to h earthly occupations, maybe he will notice that
thi cohort of divinities i stl incmplete: The great Vul
can is missing; the colorful fgure of the God of Industy and
subterranean regions is nowhere to be seen.
At this point, however, the reader defnitely should not
35
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
raise his hand and demand an explanation, for he would at
once get into trouble with two centuries of astonomy.
The tuth is, there once was a planet called Vulcan i our
solar system. Its orbit was iterior to that of Mercury, and
it would be observed when pasing i front of the sun. It
revolved aroud the sun in nneteen days at a distance of
0. 1427 atronomical unit. The iclination of its orbit was
12 10" and the longitude of its ascending node, 1259'. Its
exence was predicted by theor and attested by the ob
servatons of numerous astpomers of great reputation. A
0 matter of fact, it was most fashionable around 1880 to
observe dark spherical bodies that crossed the disc of the
b i one or two hours. Thus, we read i L' Annee Scen
tifque of 1878 ( p. 1
6
) tat:
The scientifc public ha leaed uth the greates s
jacion that durg the eclpse of the su of 29 July
1878, M. Watson, director of the D Arbor (Michigan)
observatory has seen on the disk of the b a body ani
mated with a geat velocity. ( Italics mine-Author)
Such cataction regarding what must be caled today
UFO report foud its justcaton i the fact that celes
tal mechanics, in 1878, predicted the existence of such
a planet revolving around the sun inside the orbit of Mer-
C. The director of Pa Observatory, Le Verer, had
computed the precise point where the planet Neptune could
be discovered-and it was. \hy not apply the same method
to the perrbations of Mercury? L Verrier indicated that
these perturbations must b caused by a nearby planet. A
outstandng astronomer and an extaordinary cmputer, he
had re-examined the moton of all the planets in the solar
system and had published new tables giving their positons
wth a precision long unequaled; but Mercury resisted hs
analysi: There was a dscrepancy of 32 of arc per century
that could not be accounted for. Le Verrier verifed that an
error on the mass of Venus culd not be responsible for this
diference, and he cncluded that it had to be caused by
the gravitational perrbatons of one or several intramercur
ial planets. ( It i now know that such planets need not
exist i order to explain the peculiar motion of Mercury.
The correct theory was developed i this centry and is a
result of the work of Eintein. But prerelativistic astronomy
3
6
-
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
culd only represent the dif erence i ters of newtonian
forces. }
Le Verrier's theoretcal consideratons were not confmed
untl March 1859, when Dr. Lescarbault made an obsera
ton that seemed to prove tat the intamercurial planet
did exist. The scientic community received the obseraton
wth enthusiasm, as shown the docuents quoted below, and
the new planet wa called Vucan. L Verrier immediately
started his researches and computatons anew. He stated that
Dr. Lescarbault's observatons were most reliable and left
hm no doubt on the existence of at least one intamercual
body. But his work did not lead to any new breakthrough
unt about 1876. During t perio new observatons ac
cumulated and Le Verrier gathered about thirty of the mos
reliable ones: All were relatve to dark bodies seen in font
of the sun! Among these thirty, he selected fve that led
to determinatons of the moton of an intamercurial planet
which were in agreement withn half a degree of arc'.
From the computed elements of Vulcan's orbit, the date
of the next tansit could be predicted as October 2 or 3,
1876. But the mysterious object was not again obsered then;
Le Verrier died te folowing year, unshaken i his convic
ton that Vulcan must exst. That is why M. Watson's ob
servaton of a fourth-magntude body during the eclipse o
1878 was received with such enthusiasm; Watson was no
amateur. Diector of D Arbor observatory, he was a special
L in the asteroids, the discverer of many of them, ad the
autho of a wel kow ad authoritative astonomical
teatise. At Paris Observatory, M. Gaillot, a man who had
for sixteen years asisted Le Verier in his computatons,
showed that Watson's observaton was cmpatible with one of
the possible orbits calculated by Le Verrier for Vulcan. But
the theory always failed to predct the retu of the enig
matc object. A scientc book published in 1912, notig
that "the most recent observatons have brought no new
element to the soluton of the problem," borrowed the fol
lowng conclusions from te atonomer Tisserand:
1. We feel one must abandon the hypotesis of a single
0The fve obseraton are no. 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 i te
table given on page 42.
37
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
planet producing the pertubatons observed in the mo
tion of Mercury. This seems to result from the body of
observations made duing solar eclpses, especially that of
29 July 1878.
2. If there are intamercurial planets whose dimensions
are comparable to those of the object M. Lescarbault
saw in front of the sun, these planets must be in very small
number; otherwise, they could not have escaped detec
ton by astronomers such as Canngton and Sporer, who
describe and measure the most minute spot on the solar
surface.
3. These planets alone could not produce the pertur-
bations of the moton of Mercury.
.
4. One must come back to one of Le Verrier's frst
ideas, namely, that there i a ring of asteroids between
Mercuy and te sun.
Shortly thereafter, Einstein's theory of relatvty accounted
for the iregularites of the orbit of Mercury, and the theor
retcal need for intamercual planets vanished. Much re
lieved, astonomers suddenly forgot all about Vulcan. Dis
credit and ridicule fell on - people who saw objects i front
of the sun. The observatons rerded by so many excellent
scientsts were hasty pushed into oblivion. Not a word of
apology or justicaton appeared i the astonomical ltera
ture. The observatons of the mysteriou planetoid that once
had been called Vulcan remaied uexplaied. Te name
of Le Verrier, one of the most pwerful minds of the ne
teenth century, remained in astonomy for many remarkable
works, but it was forg9tten tat he had spent an important
fracton of his astronomical career studying the moton of
the mysterious object. The care whch he took in this study
i evdenced by the following account of h visit to Les
carbault in 1859.
Wen the director of Paris Observatory received the letter
written by Lescarbault, amateur astonomer who prac
ticed medicine in the small vlage of Orgeres, he was deeply
ivolved in the computaton of possible orbits for an inta
mercual body. He had published his vews on the problem
some tie before, and this publicaton had been followed by
much correspondence between h and several astonomers
who had observed objects i front of the sun. Le Verrier
went to the Academy of Sciences to explain that these ob-
3
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
serations were not good enough to sere as a basis for cm
putaton. Many other astonomers sent accounts of mobile
objects which were similarly rejected. It is interesting to
ask what these objects were. But they were not the missing
planet.
Lescarbaut's obseraton, on the contary, seemed to ap
ply very wel to the mysterious body. A iterestg point
was that Lescarbault had stared to look for planets in the
vicinity of the su long before Le Verrier published hs
theretcal views.
U h letter, he explais how on March 26, 1859, he
saw a black circular dot which had a proper moton of
tanslaton across the su, t indicating that the object
was a planetary body. The angular diameter was less tha
one quarter that of Mercuy, a seen by the sae observer
on May 8, 1845:
The duaton of the passage of the new planet was
one hour seventeen minutes, and twenty two seconds of
sidereal tme. " I have te cnvicton that, some day, a
black dot, perfectly cicular, very small, w be seen agai
passing in front of the su. . o This black dot will be,
with a great degree of probability, the planet whose mo
ton I folowed on March 26, 1859, and it w become
possible u compute all the elements of its orbit. I tend
to believe tat its dstance to the b i smaller than
that of Mercury.
This object must be the planet or one of the planets
whose existence in te vicity of the solar globe you have
announced a few monts ago, M. Director, using t
same wonderfu power of computaton that made you
reognize the existence of Neptune i 1846, when you
determined its positon at the fronters of our planetar
world, and taced its path acoss the depths of Space.
Such cmmunication, remarks L' Annee Scientifique, caled
for all of Le Verrier's attenton:
"Le Verrier verifed that t was the tme of tansit along
a crd measuring 9'17". The tme the object would have
taken to cross the sun along a diameter was 4 hours, 26
minutes, 48 second.
39
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
,
Assumig it was real ad absolutely accurate, d ama-J
teur astronomer's discvery might have taken away from,:
h a fracton of the efectve glory, since the physician
/
of Orgeres had observed te itramercurial planet six:
months before Le Verrier placed the question in front]
of the scientc world. The geat minds, however, do not ,
stop at such narrow views. They consider only the gen-t
era! interest of science, where others would pettily be con-r
cemed over their own reputaton. M. Le Verrier hasty'
veried the calculatons m h county corespondent and `
found them to be correct. He could not understad, how- `
ever, how this observation, made six months earler, had l
not yet been announced to te scientsts. Under these
condtions, M. Le Verrier took the best decision; with a .
friend, M. Valee, he stared towards Oregeres on De
cember 31, 1859.

When he arved i this ty village, M. Le Verrier staed


/
by gathering inforation about Dr. Lescarbault. Everyonei
answered that he was a leaed man, sur ounded by the!
friendship and high regad of al, practicing with honor ad:
dignty his noble profession of physician. They had only '
one crtcism: "He looked too much at the stars."

Thus informed, ou two tavellers kocked at the door,


of the astonomer, who opened it i person and remained!
very much surprised to fd i front of h two visitors from
Pars, one of them no less than the Director of the Observa-1
tory and member of the Academy and Senate. M. Le Verrier
was soon convinced that Dr. Lescarbaut was a serious scien
tst. He had not publihed h discovery because he hoped
to see the object a second tme. He had designed and built
a smal observator that Le Verrier inspected with the most ,
minutous care, and he answered all of L Verrier's ques-
tons concering the good scientifc conditions of hi obser-
vatons. However, there was no ink or paper in Lescar
;
bault's observator. The simple man used chalk to write h"'
obserations on a board of pine-wood, a practice borowed]
from the professional woodcraftsmen. When he wished to '
re-use the board he eraed everyhing with his smoothing- !
plane. The board on which the obserations of March 26
were wrtten had fortunately been preserved. Le Verrier
found it i a comer of the room, received Dr. Lescarbault's
perssion to tae it wth m to Par as an authentic docu-
40
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
ment of the important observaton, ad presented it to the
Academy i January, 1860. Long arcles were publshed on
the remarkable discovery. No one doubted that Lescarbault
had observed Vulcan. He received the Cross of the Legion
of Honor and was invited by the physicians of Paris to
banquet to be held in one of the most fashionable hotel i
the Capital, an invitation the simple man declined.
As Lescarbault's observation provided a serious indcation
in favor of the theory of intamercurial planets, astonomers
started to review the documents tat pointed in the same
directon. A number of observatons tus came back to
light.
Such was the observation by Messier on June 17, 1777,
about non, of a considerable number of small, dark globes
which crossed the sun in fve minutes-too fast for Le Ver
rier's theory. On October 20, 1839, de Cuppis, then a st
dent at the Roman College, obsered a black dot, perfectly
circular, which took si hours to cross the diameter of the
b. Such observatons were so commonplace that an Amer
ican astonomer, Herrick, of New Haven published a memoir
enttled:
Observations concering certain peculiar spots tending to
prove the existence of a planet inside the orbit of Mercury.
Herrick quoted the following obseratons : 0
1 ) Gruthinsen had seen to small, well-defned spots i
font of the sun on July 26, 1819.
2 ) Pastorf, of Buckholz, saw two remarkable spots on
23 October 1822 and Z 25 July 1823. I 1834, he saw
two small objects that passed six tmes in front of the sun
at diferent tmes during te year. The largest had an
apparent diameter of three seconds, the smallest, from 1
to 1. 25" of arc. Both were perfectly circular. The smalest
was sometmes before, sometmes after the other. The
largest distance obsered between them was one min
ute and siteen seconds. They were often very close to
gether and employed several hours to cross the diameter
of the sun. Pastorf saw similar objects on October 18,
1836; Novermber 1, 1836; ad February 10, 1837.
0See also Buys-Ballot: Changements de Temperature de
pe7ant du Soleil et de la Lune; and Flauquerques de V
i
vers: Correspondence Astronomique du Baron de Zach.
41
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Study of the history of astonomy thus shows tat the
obseraton of dark objects in front of the dsk of the su
wa a fequent event dug the neteenth centy. We
have establshed that professional atonomers such as L
Verier, who gatered abut t such accut, authen
tcted these obseratons and devoted to their close study
an iportant facton of thei scientc le. Yet we mu
admit today that the celestal object whose tansit was ob
sered by the good doctor of Oregeres and by astonomer -
Watson rea unidented. The followng tble provides ;
a reference for these accounts-obseratons of plet
whch Lot be found today:
No. Date Obserer !
1 Jue 17, 1777 Messier
2 Oct. 10, 1802 Frtc
3 Juy 26, 1819 Gruthsen
4 1822 to 1837 Pastor
5 Oct. 20, 1839 De Cuppis
6 Mach 12, 1849 Sidebotham
7 March 26,1859 Lescarbault
5
March 20, 1862
Lummi
9
Juy 19, 1878
Watson
THE ATOMI C EXPLOSI ON OF JUNE 30, 1 908
T incident has received considerable atenton fom
Sovet and Aerca scient and i stl a subject of cn
troversy.
The event took place about 800 kometers North of the
Ba Jake, at 12: 17 A.M. an artcle for the French mag
azme L Express ( No. 734) , Claude Feuilet notes that the
engieers of the Tras-Siber Rairoad brought to Moscow

THE LEGEND OF "FlYI NG SAUCERS"


the frst details of the disaster : "Beyond the forests, hudreds
of miles away, we saw a huge column of fre rsing in the
sky, crow
n

d by a boiling cloud that was shaped lke


mushroom.
Feuillet also notes that two farmers, named Semenov and
Kosolopy, were about forty miles away from the blat; one
said that his shirt had been but on his back, the other
told of his silver samovar being fused. At Ikoutsk Obser
vatory, perturbations of the earh's magnetic feld similar
to tose that follow nuclear explosions were recorded. The
sky became luminous over a area 500 miles in radius and
the noise was heard at tc tat distance. The lumiosity
of the atosphere remained so high that for several weeks
people in the Caucasus could read a printed text at night
without any other source of light. Stange clouds, of
smoky color, yellow and greenish, drited toward Africa. Re
cently, the study of the wood of centy-old tees in Sibera,
Ariona and Califoria showed tat the radioactvity of the
earth's atosphere had very clearly increaed about 1908.
The frst expedition sent by the Academy of Sciences of
te USSR was caught i the swamps and had to D back.
U 1927, explorer Kulik was able to reach the site of the
explosion and discovered an apocalyptic spectacle. Every
tace of life had been erased over a huge area. Twenty
years after the explosion, no new vegetation had grown.
Kulk declared: "The tees have not been destroyed from
te bottom up, as in a fre, but from the top and only on one
side. . . . It appears that a blast of a fantastic violence has
lteraly crushed anatural life."
According to the London Daily Express of May 4, 1959:
The inhabitants of the Jenissei distict of Sibera saw
ggantc bal of fre. Immediately afterwards there was
a colossal explosion which devastated a forest area of
seventy miles in diameter. The shock waves were regis
tered in England. Scientists looked i vain for taces of
meteorite and a crater. Curiously, in the cente of the
devastated region only the tops of tees had been snapped
of.
The Sydney Sun, Austalia, quotng from the ofcial Czech
tade-union newspaper, Frace, stated that the Russian scien
tst Kazantsev had written i a book clled A Guest from
43
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
l
the Universe that people living near the explosion died of a
ten-uow illness wt the same symptoms exposure
to atomic radiaton and that the explosion had its biggest
I
impact at some distance from it center, exactly le
atomic explosion.
BETWEEN 1 900 AND 1 946
More than one hundred reports of unidentifed Hyng ob- .
ject seen i the air, on the ocean or on the ground are
kown to for this perio. Agan, a number of them come
from the scientc press. Again, we want to stress the fact
tat these "old" reports do not lack any of the fantastc
characteristics of recent obserations, although they were
made under very diferent cnditons. We w fd extaor
dinary descrptions, icluding kidnappigs and even fright
fu report of a being eight feet tall who is said to have
landed on January 22, 1922! More serously, the descripton
made at Fatma, Portugal, of a silvery disk which Hew
through the sky, was seen by seventy thousand witesses and
was photographed as it maneuvered, deserves a place i
our resume of the "Hying saucer" legen (23, Z, 180) .
But we are not free to comment on such incidents; hy
potheses are iexpensive, easy to make. One shoud re
fain from ofering hypotheses when one is not able to pro
vide at the same time a reliable way of checkng them and
an objective basis for more advanced investigatons. We
wish, therefore, to limit ourselves to those reports whch
can be vered by the investigator; we will comment on
them little as possible i order to keep these data as
free fom distortion a we can.
On October 28, 1902, at 3: 05 A.M., an object was seen
by the second ofcer and two other wtnesses aboard the
"Fort Salisbury" at 531' S. and 442' W. It was a huge,
illuminated object, which san and disappeared. No ship was
reported missing in this pa of the ocean. On February 28,
1904, i the Atlantc Ocean, the U. S. S. "Supply" saw three
red spheres larger than the sun remain below te clouds
for a while, then ascend and disappear.
The observation is described in te Monthly Weather Re
view of March 1904, page 1 15, in the followng terms:
The followng report, kndly communicated by the
9
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
editor of The Pilot Chan, is dated U. S. S. Supply, at sea.
1. I have the honor to report that three somewhat re
markable meteors were obsered from this ship at 6: 10
A.M. ( Greenwich Mean Time: 3 hours, 12 minutes ) Feb
ruary 28, 1904, in lattude 3558' N. , long. 12836' W.
2. The meteors appeared near the horizon and below
the clouds, traveling in a group from northwest by north
( tue) directly toward the shp. At frst their angular mo
ton was rapid and clor a rather bright red. A they
approached the ship they began to soar, passing above
the clouds at an elevation of about 45 . After rising above
the clouds their angular moton ceased, when they ap
peared to be moving diectly away fom the earth at an
elevation of about 75 and in direction west-northwest
(tue) . It was noted that the color became less pronounced
as the meteors gained in angular elevation.
3. When sighted, the largest meteor was in the lead,
folowed by the second in size at a distance of less than
tc the diameter of the larger, and then by the third
i size at a siilar distance fom the second in size. They
appeared to be travelling in echelon, and so contnued
long as in sight.
4. The largest meteor had an apparent area of about
si suns. It was egg-shaped, the sharper end forward.
This end wa jagged in outle. The after end was regu
lar and ful in outline.
5. The second and third meteors were round and showed
no iperfections in shape. The second meteor was esti
mated to be twice the size of the sun in appearance, and
the third about the size of the sun.
6. When the meteors rose there was no change in their
relative positions; nor was there any time any evidence of
rotaton or tumbling of the large meteor.
7. I estmated the clouds to be not over one mile high.
8. The near approach or these meteors to the surface
and thei subsequent Hght away from the surface ap
peared to be most remarkable, especialy so as their
actual size could not have been great. That they did
come below the clouds and soar instead of cntinuing,
their ( celestial? ) course i also equally certain, as the
angular motion ceased and the color faded, as they rose.
The clouds in passing between the meteors and the ship
45
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
completely obscured the former. Blue sky culd be seen
in the intervals between the clouds.
9. The meteors were in sight over two minutes and
were carefully obsered by three people, whose account
agree as to details. The ofcer of the deck, acting boat
swain Frank Garey, U. S. Navy, sighted the meteors ad
watched them until they disappeared.
In December of the same year an object with a beacon
was seen in several cities in Massachusetts (including Wor
cester and Boston) . It wa long object with red lght,
cruising at a variable speed.
On March 29 the next year (1905) at 10: 00 P. M. a ver
tical luminous tube "like hot, red-orange iron rod" was
reported at Cardif, Wales. At Llangollen, Wales, was seen
on September 2, 1905 a black object with short wings, ap
parently ten feet long, which seemed to have four legs ( 27) .
There seems to have been a "wave" of reports in May,
1909, in Great Britain; it was perhaps the frst wave re
ported a such. The Weekly Dipatch of May 23, 1909,
published a list of twenty-two towns "visited" by fying ob
jects between May 16 and May 23, and nineteen tow
visited before that period. A light was again seen at San
ford twenty minutes after a similar "light" had been seen i
the sky at Southend on May 9, 1909, at 11: 00 P. M. We have,
of curse, no way of determining if the two sightings were
of the same "object."
Fort says that
. . . upon the night of March 23, 1909, at 5: 10 o'clock
i the moring, two constables, i diferent parts of the
city of Peterborough, had reported having seen an ob
ject, carrying a light, moving over the city, with sounds
like the sound of a motor. In the Peterborough Adver
tiser March 27, is publshed an interview with one of
the constables, who described "an object, somewhat ob
long and narrow in shape, carrying a powerful light."
On June 3, 1909, at 3: 00 A. M. , men on the Danih stea
er "Bintang," cruising in the Malacca Strait, saw bril
liantly lghted wheel under the surface of the ocean. This
peculiar object came to the surface and was seen spinning.
On the sixteenth of the same month, we fd i L'Astronomi
( 22, 28 ) the following article:
46
l
1

THE LEGEND OF "FlYI NG SAUCERS"


M. Beljonne, at Phu-Lien Observatory, Tonkin, sends us
peculiar bolide obserations. The frst one, especially re
markable, was made at Dong Hoi, Annam, by M. Delin
gette, Inspector in the Civil Guard, head of the meteoro
logical station.
At Dong Hoi, on June 16 at 4: 10 A.M. , a bolide of an
elongated shape, tuncated at both ends, few over the
city on a west-east course, casting a great luminosity. The
witesses-Hoang Nic, of Dong Hoi; Tran Ninh, of Sa
Dong-Danh; Quyen, of Dong-Duong-Hoi; and Danh Lui,
of the same vllage-who were fshing at sea, reported
tat the phenomenon lasted fom eight to ten minutes,
between the time the object appeared and the tme it
fell into the sea, at about si klometers from shore.
After Great Britain and Southeast Asia, the 1909 wave
shifted to New Zealand, where the most massive and pre
cise occurences have been recorded. Local researchers in
vestgated these forgotten sightings and uearthed te "wave"
i 1964.
The very clear patter of "waves" shown by the reports
of the period 1880-1910 is going to vanish during the next
few years. A few observations of a remarkable character will,
however, come to light.
Several most interesting reports can be found in a pr
vately printed book by Orvil R. Hartle" titled A Carbon
Experment? Mr. Hartle ha made a number of investiga
tons in his area, and he provides evaluations of the reliabili
of the witesses (most of whom he has personally met and
interviewed) as well as the relation of their observations.
According to his work, a remarkable observation was made
"a week prior to Halloween 1909" (i.e. at the end of Oc
tober or in the frst days of November as the New Zealand
wave had just subsided) by a group of people from Church,
Indiana. These people were on a hay-ride when they saw
an object which frightened their horses:
The driver had to stop to quiet the team. The UFO
appeared very large and a source of "bright white light"
with tendrils of light extending below the object giving
0Nf 1702 K Steet, La Porte, Indiana.
47
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
the appearance of the tentacles of an octopus, these ten
tacles of light having a phosphorescent color.
One of the witesses reported it was "the most frightening
experience she ever had." The similarity of the descripton
with that given at Arkansas City in 1956 (see page 230) or
the obseration of Le Vauriat ( France) in 1962 is certainly
stiking.
I the south of the China Sea, on August 12, 1910, at
midnight, a bright wheel spinning close to the surface was
seen from the Dutch ship "Valentijn." At Porto Pricipal,
Peru, i January of 1912, an "aerial ship" was reported at
tee height. The same month, in the U. S., a Dr. Harris saw
a very large, intensely black object in front of the moon.
Another "wave" seems to have occurred in Great Bri
ti i 1913. The frst observaton of that year wa made
on the morg of January 4, 1913, at Dover, England:
An unkown fying object was seen moving toward the sea.
O January 17 at Cardif a huge fyng object which left
a smoke tail was observed. The witnesses were Captain
Lindsay, chief constable, and another person. The London
Standrd of January 31 published a list of towns "visited"
by UFO's. Among them were Cardif, Newprt and Neath.
The wave apparently lasted three weeks.
One night, early in the fal of the year 1917, Mr. John
Boback, of Mt. Braddock, Pensylvania, missed the last steet
car home and had to walk the railroad track between Youngs
town and Mt. Braddock. At approximately 12: 30 A.M., he
observed what he descrbes a "saucer-shaped" object wt
"rows of lght and a platfor" at rest on the ground in a
pasture to his left approximately 100 feet distance. According
to Orvil Hartle's book, from which we extract d report,
the following occur ed:
Mr. Boback, very much fightened, said he froze and
obsered the unidentifed object for a "couple of minutes."
Then the object took of into the air with "high-pitched
sharp sound," travelling in a gradually sloping upward
ascent away from m at a speed comparable to that of
a slow-moving airplane.
Mr. Boback at that time was seventeen years of age and
he states there is no possibility this object could have
been an aircraft of any sort, as this was before he saw h
48
-
|

'
THE LEGEND OF "FlYI NG SAUCERS"
frst airplane. Boback's size description of the ukow
object was "about the size of a car."
Rows of oblong or oval windows or ports circled the
upper porton in what Boback describes as a "dome." He
says he is sure he saw forms at the windows inside. Mr.
Boback also asserts that since that time he has told many
people of h experience, ony to be scofed at wth dis
belief.
During the early twenties, according to Frank Edwads,
took place the fst sightg of fying dscs from the air.
One of the pioneers of the days of "barn-storming" fying,
a pilot named Bert Acosta, told h friends that one day,
as he was fying somewhere i the south-west, he suddeny
notced
. . . about half a dozen things fying way of h star
board wing. He said they seemed to be about two hun
dred yards away, and they looked just lke manhole
covers! He told us how they few alongside him for fve
minutes or so, and had no trouble in keeping up with
him. I fact they "rabbled" along beside him, and fally
ted, changed course, and few away. Bert said he had
never seen anyg like it before, and he had no idea
what the things were, but, he had no doubt that they
were very real.
On August 5, 1927, at 9: 30 A.M. , in Mongola, Nicolas
Roerich and his caravan were watching the fght of an eagle
when they observed a huge elongated object speeding
through the sky: "We al saw, i a directon fom north
to south, something big and shinny refecting the su, le
a huge oval moVing at great speed. Crossing our camp, this
thing changed i its direction from south to southwest. And
we saw how it disappeared i the intense blue sky. We even
had tme to take our feld glasses and saw quite distinctly
an oval for with shiny surface, one side of which was
brilliant from the sun" ( 5, 191; the date in [5] is probably
incorrect ) . In 1921 in Marseilles the frst report of a UFO
"kdnapping" kown in moder times was made. Unfortu
nately, we do not know the exact reference of this infor
mation, found in the G. Quincy catalogue ( l l ) without any
49
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
indcation of source. We wil not consider this repor very
seriously.
In the frst days of November, 1928, a man who now
lives in La Porte, Indana, "a solid citizen," plumber by
tade, and Ofcer of Eagles Lodge, and his brother, were
driving cattle at night across a praiie four miles norheast
of Milton, North Dakota. The tme was approximately 10: 30
P.M., when they saw an object shaped like "a soup-bowl
ted upside down" which had four or fve rays of light
extending to the ground aead of the craft in its Bight. It
was 20 to 25 feet in diameter, fying 15 to 20 feet above the
ground, and appeared to be made of polshed metal "judgng
from the lights on the vehicle." Seen for 15 to 20 seconds,
d object allegedly came within 100 or 150 feet from the
witesses, who heard a sound similar to that of ai coming
out of a tube.
In 1931, a Mr. Chichester, who was fying above the
Tasman Sea from New South Wales to New Zealand in his
private plane, saw an object resembling a silver pearl fashing
like a bright beacon and going ver fast, then losing speed,
accelerating again and vanishing. In October, 1935, at
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a disk was seen motionless i the sky
by numerous witesses, among whom was the French stu
dent of Africa, Pierre Ichac. In 1941, a team of mountain
eers searching for three missing Alpinists i Switzerland are
sad to have found taces tending to show that the three
men had stopped where sore fying object had landed,
since three holes i a triangle of tteen meters were seen
in the snow, and their footprints did not contnue. The r&
liability m such a report, of course, is m. More signifcant i
the observation made on February 26, 1942, aboard the
"Tromp," of the Royal Netherlands Navy { 31 ) : A large
aluminum disk came toward the ship at a ver high speed,
circled it and left. During the war, many luminous spheres
were seen by bomber pilots i Gerany and in the whole
of wester Europe, Scandinavia, Greece and Turkey. Lieu
tenant E. Schulter, of the 415th U. S. Night Fighter Squad
ron, met eight to ten balls of red fre fying at a high speed
tent miles north of Strasbourg, France, on November Z,
1944. Lieutenants Henry Giblin and Walter Cleary saw
a huge fery object above their plane on November 27, 1944
at Speyer, Germany. In December, 1944, a Major Leet, a
bomber pilot, watched a disk folow the plane's maneuvers
5
0
-
'
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
at Klagenfurt, Austria, at night. Lieutenants David McFalls
and Edward Baker, fyng over Haguenau, France, on De
cember 22, 1944, at 6: 00 P. M. , saw two very bright lights
approaching them from te ground. These lights remained
behind the aircraft; they appeared to be "under pedect con
tol." But observations of this tye are not very conclusive;
enormous orange lights can be caused by refections or even
by phenomena of atmospheric distortion, as Dr. Menzel has
pointed out. More difcult to interret in terms of natura
phenomena are sightings such as the one made in Kingsport,
Tennessee, in 1945 by Charles Hamlet and Edward Cate, who
saw an object "in the shape of a chimney." It was a "won
derful" color, and crossed the sky at high speed.
The lights seen at night by pilots during the war have
been called "faa-fghters." As we have seen, they were mere
ly balls of light, red or orange, without detais or structure.
They do not seem to have been detected on radar. Seen at
night or during the day, they followed the planes even into
the clouds. But these reports have to be considered with
caution, for the beha
V
or of the objects is ver often tat ot
a distorted image of the aicraft itself or a refection of some
ground object. The warte conditions, the bith of a new
technology involving rockets, electronic guidance and the
ever-present fear of "secret weapons" make the sightigs of
that period dfcult to analyze.
Mter World War II comes a period of UFO history on
which we have a foridable amount of data. It seems un
realstic to try to write single book about them; an en
cyclopedia would almost be requed. We will, however,
attempt to organize these data and to show why we should
be concered with the existence of this phenomenon. Be
fore we do, we will briefy review the older reports on a
statistical basis.
STATI STI CAL ASPECTS OF UFO HI STORY
If we try to sum up the inforation found in old re
ports and to draw general conclusions from them, we culd
do so along the following lnes :
( 1) In modem and even in historical times, reports of
observations have been made by scientists as well as by the
general public concerg fyng disks in the sky, objects
seen at sea and on the ground. Only i recent ties, how-
51
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
ever, has the idea of space tavel been associated with this
tpe of vision; this is one of the reasons that old reports, in
terpreted at the time in very dif erent contexts, are not gen
erally recognized as manifestatons of te same phenomenon.
( 2) Careful stdy of the best reports made before this
centry tends to show that:
a) The objects described are similar i appearance to
what has been observed since May, 1946.
b) Public emotion over these incidents and the scientifc
reacton to them since 1946 is exact duplicaton of the
popular fears of "signs in the sky" i the Middle Ages and
of scientic statements made dung the eighteenth and nine
teenth centuries concering such unusual events.
( 3) Apar from the fact that one count ( the United
States ) has now undertaken ofcial investigaton of the
modem sightigs, and that we tend today to interpret in a
technological context ( space tavel ) what was interpreted
i a religious context (signs of God's wishes or decisions ) in
older times, the behavior of the phenomenon appears ex
temely similar in early and recent repors.
( 4) No massive accumulaton of observatons seems to
have occured before May, 1946, that could be compared with
the planetide "waves" we have exerienced since then.
However, local "peaks" of obseratons can be detected when
a sufcient amount of data is gathered; these have defnitely
been recognized as waves by the local populations, at least
i 1909 and 1913, when newspapers publshed lsts of re
ports and fragmentary statstcs.
( 5) These peaks do not appear to follow a defnite, con
tnuous patter as modem waves do. They are separated
by interval of several years, but we are unable to deter
mine if the gaps between the man periods of activity are
due to a lack of inforaton and bad communication b
tween dferent parts of the world in tose days, or to some
real discontinuity in whatever phenomenon underlies the
UFO behavior.
( 6) The main periods of actvity we can delineate on the
basis of our present data are:
a) a possible wave in the last six months of 1881, wth
observations i Mexico, Puerto Rco, Chile, the U. S. and
Great Britain;
b) a possible wave in the last six months of 1885, with
signicant observatons in France, te Middle East and the
52
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
Far Eat. These three periods are separated by gaps
of total inactivity: not one signifcant repor beteen De
cember, 1881, and November, 1882; only one in 1882 and
one in the frst six months of 1883; no signifcant repor
during the frst six months of 1884; only two in the last si
months of that year; and two again in the fst i mont
of 1885. We are unable to fd any recognizable pater
i the frequency distibuton of UFO repors untl 1897.
c) A peak was reached in 1897 over the U.S. Middle
West, from Chicago to Kansas City, with report i Sait
Lou and in Ohio, and even some in Texas, Colorado ad
West Virginia. Then we fnd the frst landing of a classic
"fying saucer" with dome, in Carlinville, Illinois-al t
i one month, April, 1897, which would deserve atenton
i for no other case tan that of the butchered cow i Le
Roy, Kansa.
d) There is an apparent concentration of sightngs i
the spring of 1905 and aoter one in December. It is dif
cult, however, to conclude that a wave has taken place.
e) We have a recognized wave in May, 1909, over Wales.
It extended to Asia in May-Jre and to New Zealand fom
July to September. U te New Zealad wave were present
al the characteristc patter ford after 1946. The last
sighting of the wave was made in Idiana.
f) We have another recognized wave in January-Feb
O8, 1913, over Great Britai, with a possible extension ito
Canada.
( 7) Between 1914 and 1946 the phenomenon had not
completely dsappeared, but no patter can be established,
at least from our data, and it seems difcult to beleve tat
ay lage series of observatons culd have passed M
tced; both the efciency of commuications systems and te
growing popular interest in science, as well as the concer
for aeral fight and the development of aircraft and balloon
technology, were such that all conditions were present for
UFO waves to develop fully if they b been mere con
sequenes of misinterpretation, hallucination and newspapers
interest in fantastic sories. For t-two years however,
the sky remained empt of rkow objects. The sitaton
wa to change suddenly i the spring of 1946, when the
Scandinavian wave developed, as we will see i Chapter
3.
(8) We feel that our documents for the period between
3
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
1870 and 1914 are sufcient to justfy an atempt to cre
late UFO activity with the oppositons of Mars. Correlaton
of these limited data has so far given negative resuts, as
shown in the folowig table:
Date of peak
( UFO waves )
Dec. 1881
summer-fall 1883
sMer-fall 1885
Apr. 1897
1905
May-Sept 1909
Jan.-Feb. 1913
Closest oppositon Average difference
of Mars i mont
Dec. 1881
Feb. 1884
Mar. l886
Dec. 1896
May 1905
Sept. 1909
Ja. 1914
0
+
4
+5
-4
+2
+12
One should use exteme cauto i interpretng, i any
decton, the existence or absence of crrelatons such as
tese. It may, or may not, be interestng to remark here that
the "dead" period of UFO activity h been one of the
rhes in science-fction stories of all kinds, and has seen
the gwing interest of the moton-picture idust in fan
tstc and "horror" tales which might have resulted in an
icreaing number of hoaxes and hal uciatons, and even
in UFO waves, i the "psychologcal" theory of UFOs were
cret. A early as 1916, Oto Ripert's fl Homonculu
was about the creaton of an acia man by mad scientst.
In 1914 and 1920 the Geran industy produced two fs
on the subject of the "Golem" ( Paul Wegener and Henrik
Galeen) . U 1924 the fl Orl's Hands was made, after a
novel by Maurice Renard. In 1926 Fritz Lang created
Metropolis, and we should not forget that 1920 saw the
intoducton of the word "robot," wt a play by Karel Ca
pek, Rossum's Universal Robots ( R. U. R. ) . I 1928, Frit
Lang did The Woman in th Moon (Di Frau im Mond) .
Te fst "tip to the moon" had been made by the French
5
'
THE LEGEND OF "FLYI NG SAUCERS"
pioneer Meles in 1902 ( 32) , ad the celebrated series of
Frankenstein and John Carer of Mars were created durng
this perod. UFO sightngs are motvated by some mech
anism through whic te public can release hidden fears and
satsfy a need for fantastc or horg tales, why did
"saucer wavesn not coincide wit such science-fcton feast
as the Orson Wells radio adaptaton of The War of the
Worlds in 1938 or with te happy tme of the geat comics
and thei moton-picture versions, such as Flash Gordon
( Frederick Stephani, 1936} or Flsh Gordon's Trip to Mars
( 1937) ?
I our opinion, the theor that the public generates and
propagates UFO rumors as a way of releasing psychological
tensions is denied by the absence of correlation betwen
important periods of interest in science fction and peaks of
UFO actvity.
On the other hand, our analysis of modem repors wl
show that the idea tat individuals "see fying saucers"
when they are so motvated or looking for fantatc exper
iences is denied by the fact that thousands of Scandinavians
saw and reported fyng disks, fying cigars and even ob
jects on the groud in 1946, and that no one among tem sug-
" gested that these objects could be of interplanetary origin.
We d ths tends to prove that the birth, gow and ex
pansion of a UFO wave L an objective phenomenon inde
pendent of the conscious or unconscious wl of the wit
nesses, and thei reactons to it. Furthermore, we wil now
see that the peranence of the myth of the "signs in the
sky" is even more remarkable when placed wthi the cn
text m the changing conceptons of le i the unverse.
55
Chapter 2
LIFE AND I NTELLIGENCE lNTHE UNIVERSE
Those who explore outer space should expect to fnd
lvig forms when they get there.
Dr. Douglas J. Henessy, Fordham University
A PHI LOSOPHI CAL I SSUE
IN RECEN YAS there has been a stong reactvaton of
iterest in the question of whether lie and intelligence are
found throughout the universe. Because of our newly ac
quired potential for space exploration it becomes increasing
ly important to evaluate the possibility that natural processes
have already brought about the development of intelgent
races elsewhere in the unverse, icludig races capable
of tavelng through space owig to a technology equal
or superior to ours. Such races, because of thei possible
technological supriority to M might even represent a threat,
i not to our existence on this planet (to which we may
suppose we should be best adapted) , at least to our ex
pedtons to the various worlds of our solar system within
the next decades. It is, therefore, iportant to take a new
scientic look at the problem of life in the universe; we w
present a brief summary of existng data and considerations
about the probability that intellgent races able to commu
nicate with us or to visit our planet do exst.
THE ANCI ENT VI EW
The ancient Greek philosophers in the sith century 1.L.
considered life to be a property of matter and taught that
the world had always been alive. Oparin and Fesenkov ( 33)
remark that "the panspermic theory" ( formulated by Aa-
5
6

|
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE
xagoras and maintaining that invsible "ethereal germs of
life" were dispersed throughout te world, giving rise to
all living creatures including ma) was further developed
by Roman philosophers :
The doctine was later adoped by eary Chistianity and
formed par of the teachfugs of the fathers of the Church.
For example, so authoritative a theologian as Saint Au
gustine taught that the world was flled wit hidden
germs of life, the invisible, mysterious seeds ( occulta ger
mina) of a spiritual principle, which generated te va
ious living creatures from earh, ai ad water.
But many ancient philosophers were much more specifc
i their theories :
The whole of this vsible universe [said Lucretus] is
not unique i nature, and we must believe that there
are, i other region of space, other eas, other beigs
and other men.
Also, these words related by Proclus ( Commentares on
te Times ) :
God made an immense ea that the Immortals called
Selene, ad men the Moon, i which there are a great
number of habitations, mountais, and cites.
Even in these remote tes, wites Bailly i his Hi
toire de l'Astronomie Ancienne, the opinion of the plu
rality of the worlds was adopted by a the philosophers
who had enough genius to comprehend how great it
wa, and how worthy of the author of Nature.
Anaxagoras taught the inhabitability of the moon as
article of philosophical doctine, claiming it contained, like
ou globe, waters, mountains ad valleys (Plutarchus, De
Placitis Philosophorum, Lib II, Cap XV) . A well-known be
lever i the motion of the Earth, he was persecuted and
was threatened by execution for havng contended that the
sun was larger than the Peloponnesos.
Heraclides developed the teachings of Philolaus and those
of Nicetas of Syracuse to the point of claiming that each
star is a small universe, having, lie our own, an Earth, an
atosphere and an immense extent of ethereal substance.
7
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Xenophanes, the founder of the School of Ele, taught
the plualty of the worlds and said:
Anthropomorphism L a natural tendency, to such an
extent that, i oxen wanted a god, they would conceive
it an ox, and lions as a lon, just as the Ethiopian do
when they imagine black divnites, and the Thraces, who
give thei gods a rde ad savage face. ( See Noursson
Proges de la Pensee Humae. )
It L also worh notng that Aristote himself said that the
incorrptbility of the Heven was the only reason that pre
vented him fom acceptng other earths and other skes
( De Coelo, Lib II, Cap. III ) .
Epicurus said that, since the causes that produced the
world were infite, their efects too had to be ite. And
Metodore of Lampsaque, among other philosophers, pointed
out that it would be just as absurd to put only one world
i the inity of space, as to contend that only one ear of
wheat could gow i a vast pla (Lalande, Astonomie, L
III, a. 3376) .
But Lucretius, of all the ancient philosophers, left the
most convincing plea i favor of the multplicity of life i
the universe:
If the innumerable creatve steams move and fow
under a thousand diferent fors across the ocean of in
fnite space, could they have generated only the orb of
the earth and its celestal sphere in thei fecund Hght?
Should we believe that beyond this world, sch a vast
accumulaton of elements les condemned to an idle rest?
No, no . . i generatng principles have given birth to
masses from which sprang the sky, the waters, the earth,
and its inhabitants, one must assume that H the remaining
emptiness elements of matter have given rise to innumer
able animated beings, seas, skies, earths, and have dis
persed through space worlds similar to the one which
swings under ou steps through aerial steams. Every
te immense matter wl fd a space to contain it and
no obstacle to its development, it wl give birh to life
under varied forms; and i the mass of the elements L
such that, in order to number them, the ages of all be
ings, added together, would b insufcient, and i nature
has given them the same faculties it gave to the generating
principles of ou globe, ten the elements have spread
5

LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE


beings, mmtals and worlds i other regions of space. (De
Natura Rerum, Lib. II, v. 1051-1045)
I these old discussions we do not only fnd very moder
arguments developed, but we even see philosophers askng
some of the questions that moder exobiologists study quite
intently ( see Aime Michel's Hypotheses and the Feasibilty
of Contact, page I71 ) . Witness this extract from "The Trav
el of the Young Anacharsis i Greece" Chapter 2, a
work dated of the fourth century B. C. :
As Nature is even richer by the variety than by the
number of the species, I spread i the various planets, ac
cordng to my fancy, peoples who have one, two, thee
or four senses in supplement. I then compare their geniuses
with those Greece has produced, and I must confess
that Homer and Pythagoras inspie my pity.
THE PLURALI TY OF THE I NHABI TED WORLDS
The popularity of theories of older philosophers, as wel
as Lucretius' views of the Earth 'swinging through aerial
steams,' came to an abrpt stop when Christianity devel
oped. The Ptolemaic system postulated that the earth, with
its privleged position in the center of the uiverse, was the
only world supporting lfe: There was, it seems to us, more
tan a mental parallel between the idea of the uniqueness
of God as it was expressed by the Scholastics and that of
the uiqueness of mankind. At any rate, how this theory
prevailed during the Middle Ages is well kown, although
the theme of extraterrestial le remained a ppular one and
great souce of inspiration to the alchemists and the phil
osophers of Hermeticism Flammarion, i his excellent book
on the subject ( La Pluralite des Mondes Habites, Paris,
1862) even fnds a curious passage in a treatise of theologi
cal philosophy, showing that the dispute was by no means
setted by the end of the sixteenth century:
Beyond this world, i. e. , beyond the empyreus sky, exists
no body; but in this infnite space (i it is permitted so to
speak) where we are, God exists in His Essence and may
have formed infnitely more perfect worlds, as certain
theologians claim. . . . ( Christophori Clavii Bambergensis
i Sphaeram Joannis de Sacro Bosco Commentarius, Ven
ice, 1591, p. 72) .
U
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
But the geat philosophers of the end of the Middle Ages
-Nicolas de Cusa (author of the treatise De Docta Ignoran
ta ) , Michel de Montaigne, Gailileo, Tycho Brahe, Cardan,
and Thomas Campanella ( Author of The City of te Sun)
-all gave support to te teor of the pluraty of the
worlds, as the Coperican system, which relegated the earh
to a position equal to that of the other planets revolving
around the sun, and suggested the possibility that lfe
might have developed on other worlds similar to ous.
Giordano Bruno, i his book De l'Inito, Unverso e Mu
d, expressed d theor plainly: "There are innuerable
suns and innumerable earths, which revolve around their
suns, as ou seven planets revolve around our sun . . . . Tese
worlds are inhabited by living creatures." Afer a long i
carceraton, he died in an auto-da-fe i 1600 for this heresy.
But the stuggle he had intated contnued, and after te
Coperican system had gained full recogniton Berard de
Fontenelle culd publish, in 1686, a book afg that life
existed throughout the universe.
It is tue that Fontenelle presented his tesis only a
diverting topic for a conversation in a noble saln. Ten years
later, however, atonomer Huygens, then almost seventy,
wrote his Cosmotheros, which Flammarion calls the most
serious work on the subject and where we read that . . .
. . . a great number of men have ben unable to apply
themselves to this study [of life in space], either because
of thei lack of dispositon or because they did not have
the opportunity to do so or because they were prevented
by some caue. We do not blame them by any means.
But, if they think that the care we put into these researches
must be condemned, we appeal to more leaed judges.
Even before Fontenelle, Cyrano de Bergerac had wrtten
in his Histoire des Etats et Empires de la Lune et du Soleil
( about 1650) :
I beleve that the planets that roll around the Sun
are as many inhabited worlds, and that the fxed stars are
as many suns that have planets around them, i. e. , worlds
we do not see from here because they are too smal and
because their borrowed light cannot cme to us. How,
in good faith, could one imagine that such vast globes
are only desert expanse and that ours, because we camp on
it, has been constucted for a dozen lttle arrogants?
6D
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE
The seventeenth and eighteenth centues are full of works
favorable to this doctine, especially tose of Leibnitz, Ber
nouilli, Voltaire, Newton, Swedenborg, Bufon, Bailly, Bode,
Herschel, Lalande, and Laplace.
Brewster wrote in More Worlds Than One ( Chap. IV) :
On a planet more magnifcent than ours, could there
not exist a type of intelligences the weakest of which
would still be above that of Newton? Do not its inhabi
tants use telescopes more penetating or microscopes more
powerful than ours? Do tey not have more subtle proc
esses of induction, more fertile means of analyzing, and
deeper combinations? There, have tey not resolved the
Three-Body Problem, explained the enigma of the lumini
ferous ether and wrapped the transcendant strength of the
mind into the defnitions, axioms, and teorems of geom
etry?
I his Histoire Generale de Ia Nature, Emmanuel Kant
writes that the physical and moral perfection of the inhabi
tants of the planets increases i proportion to the distance
of their worlds to the sun. According to this theory, the in
habitants of Mercuy and Venus are to material to be
reasonable and their intellectual faculties are not developed
enough for them to have the responsibility of their acts. The
inhabitants of Earth and Mars are in an intermediate state
between perfection and imperfection, in perpetual struggle
with matter that tends to ineror instincts and spirit which
tends to good.
Herschel, in Outlines of Astronomy ( ch. XIII, Sec. 592)
makes the authoritative statement:
One should have leared very little from the study of
astronomy in order to suppose tat man is the sole ob
ject of the care of h creator, ad in order not to see,
in the vast and amazing instrument that surrounds us,
p
laces destined to other races of lving beings.
Bode, the German astronomer who wrote a treatise on
te happiness of the inhabitants of the sun, believed, like
Herschel, Humboldt and Arago, that te structure of the sun
might perit the development of life . . . . Thus, because of
lack of new observatonal data, the queston was to remain
for a long time within the liits of philosophical discussions
of te tpe orignated by Fontenele and lttle progress was
61
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
made. The problem of life on other worlds, however, wa
studied in many of the popuar books on astronomy, oc
casionally giving rise to theories of a perfectly fanciful
character. Already Fontenelle had described very amazing
inhabitants on the soil of other planets; thus, Mercuras
"must be fools because of their excessive vivacity," while on
Satur "the inhabitants are so dul that it takes them a
whole day to comprehend ad answer a question." The sti
ing contrast between such extrapolations, designed to please
an elegant and superfcial publc, and the serious techncal
and physical discussions which illustrated the development
of the scientifc spirit adds a humorous touch to such treatises
as the Lettres sur l'Astronomie by Albert de Montemont,
where we read, concerg the inhabitants of comets :
We have now to examine the question of the inhabi
tants that live, according to what is said, on the surface
of comets. Without doubt, if they exist, they have been
created especially for them. Thus, we can imagine that
i order to keep about the same temperature, they re
duce their atmosphere when they come close to the sun and
that when this atosphere is later expanded, it surrounds
them lke a coat to protect them against the rigorous
cold, when they go away from the star that vivifes them
(
46) .
However, when he cmes to consider the sun, Monte
mont writes :
According to Herschel, it is a solid body, surrounded
by an atosphere of fery clouds that would let us see
the dark nucleus when they open slightly. This famous
astronomer does not hesitate to believe it is inhabited.
But, a remarked by M. Voion, what organized living
beings can we iagine i the mdst of this eternal blaze?
Later, in a note, d same wrter adds that, according
to Herschel, there is a second layer of clouds around the
sun that protects the dark globe of the nucleus from the
heat and luminosity emitted by the upper layer. "Fially he
allowed hisel to conclude that the dark globe of the
sun could be inhabited by beigs similar to ourselves. . e
But here Herschel's views are purely hypothetical and, a
such, do not desere our attention." And he remarks :
62-
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE
This idea that the sun L inhabitable seems so extrava
gant at frst sight that in England, in a lawsuit where a
man named Eliott was tried for attempted murder of a
man naed Boydell, the Court was told that M. Eliott
had written a letter to the Royal Society of London
where he maintained that the sun could be inhabited, this
i order to substantiate the idea that M. Eliott was in
sane. This fact surprised the jur very much, and con
tributed greatly to the verdict, that was that the crme
was understandable, gven te state of insanity of the
accused (46 .
So much for the inhabitants of te sun.
THI S PRODI GI OUS DREAM
It is in the langage of poet that the geatness of the
idea of the plurality of the worlds has found its most beau
tiful expression. Many writers have tured to imaginary in
habitants of other worlds in times of distress and anguish
and disaster, times only too fequent on Ear. Such was te
cry of Young i The Night:
0 you, situated far from my weak dwelling, at a dis
tance the fastest rays of my b could not travel in cen
tury, I wander far from my native land. I am loking
for new marvels, for Man's admiraton. Neighbors to the
abode of happiness, are you mortals or gods? Are you
rolony come from heaven?
As I am speaking to you, a fatal war is tearing apart the
moaning Europe: This is how we call a tiny comer of
the universe, where insane kings agitate themselves . . .
0 you, inhabitants of these distant worlds, answer me:
Those who send you to your death, do they sit upon
thrones too? In your world, does te furore of destruction
create the gods? Do conquerors fd glory by spreading
the blood of men?
Ponsard, in Galilee, had the inttion that diferences be
tween M and the "extraterrestials" might be not only phys
ical, but aso mental, and he writes :
63
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
. . . Other fecundated skes
Are inundated with stars, beyond our skes :
Everywhere is action, motion and soul !
Everywhere, rolng around their fery centers,
Are inhabited globes, whose thiking inhabitants
Live as I live, feel as I feel:
Some lower, and others, maybe,
Higher tan we, on the steps of existence!
Chales Bonnet, in his Contempltions de l Nature, was
prophetic and promised manknd a total knowledge of the
organization of the cosmos:
Inhabitants of the Earth, you have been given reasonig
powers strong enough to lead you to the conviction that
these other worlds existed: Are you never to wal upon
them? Will the inftely good Being who shows them to
you from these great distances forever deny their en
trance to you? No: Destned to take your place some day
among celestial hierarchies, you shall fy as they do from
planet to planet. Eterally, you shall go from perfecton
to perfection. All that was denied to your terrestrial per
fection, you will obtain under this glorious regime: you
shall know as you have been kown.
While Victor Hugo remaked i Pos-Sciptum d W Vi:
"The souls spend eterit crossing imensity": T
is what the Druids were saying two thousand years ago.
Had they already a sor of intuition of the Plurality of
the Worlds? They raised their heads; they contemplated
the stars; and they made dprodigiou dream.
THE MODERN VI EW
Present-day discussion the exstence of lfe i the
universe refect all the arguments and the struggles which
we have just reviewed too briefy. From the cndence of
the early materialists to the dry theories of nineteenth-cen
tur rationalists, every doctrine has contibuted to the cm
plex image modern man has of the earth's environment and
of the possibility of fnding there friendly or unfriendly for
of life. To a large degree, modem scientists have leaed to
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE IN THE UNI VERSE
use geat caution i this feld during te violent fghts that
took place at the beginning of this centuy on the sub
ject of the "Maras." A remarked by Opar and Fesenkov
( 33)
i the nineteenth cntury and even in the begnning
of our ow, science had vey ltle factual inforaton
concerg the physical nature of the planets and the
conditons required for the originaton and existence of
life. T gave rise to all sorts of speculatve and ver far
reachng i(rences frequenty based on very doubt
uncrtically accepted and caua obseraton.
Such were te assertons by Lowell, tendng to present
the Maa "canals" as engneering stuctures designed for
the tansportaton of water fom the polar caps to the
equator of the planet; although the existence of dark spot
selectvely appearg i lines on the Martan surface i an
obseratonal fact, there i a very large step between the
obseraton of such phenomena and their iterpretaton
consequences of the actvity of itelgent beigs, a theory
that asks moe questons mit solves. We will certainly have
to be very carefu not to jump siarly to conclusions i our
interpretation of UFO reports. Cert persons have a natural
tendency to attibute to some sort of intelligence any natural
phenomenon they are not yet able to understand. A oppo
site iclinaton is found among people who w attibute
everg to ilusion and te imaginaton of the obserer.
These D0 atitudes simply illustate once more the Prnci
ple of the Leat Efort: It i less expensive and much easier
to accept any phenomenon we do not uderstand as either
the indicton of some unkow, "occult" power, such as a
divie or intelligent manifestaton, or as a pure hallucination
than to udertake objective research. Physics is stll b of
concepts and theores whose forulaton owes much to the
, early days of science when the fst approach was commonly
accepted.
It seems surprsig that M like Pickering cud have
' serously believed that the moon was inhabited by insects
whch provoked the obsered modicatons of some lunar
feates by their migatons, when one could d of severa
physical causes explaiing the facts.
Some scientsts, even today, consider life a primary attbute
65
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
of matter, as the early Grek philosophers did, and conse
quently no conditons, even those on the surfac of the
stars, shoud exclude its pssibility; but t reasonig cr
taiy lacks scientc gounds. The problem we wl be cn
siderng here is resbcte to the probability of te origina
ton of le on planets ad tei satellites, either in ou solar
system or in other plaetary system in par of the ga.
We v 1do so under the hypothesis stated by Sagan:
The producton of self-replcatg molecua systems b
a forced process which is boud to occu becaue of the
physics and che of prtve planetay environment.
Such sel-replicatng systems, situated in a mediu Iled
wth replicatng precuors, satfy all the requireents
for natural selecton ad biologic evoluton ( 7) .
We wil, however, work under a df erent cncepton of
possible intellectual dif erences between intelgent fors of
le; while Saga seems to have considered ony oe level of
intellectual capacity, we wl ty to broaden t picte. We
wil review astonomicl evidence of conditons extg i
ou solar system and ty to evaluate the probability of visi
taton by space tavelers presentg the same general type of
intelligenc we possess, ad coming fo words cmpaa
ble to ours. For, as unreasonable a it seems to build mod
els of uiversal itelligence i which only ou q of in
telect is allowed to prsper, it would be perfecy ujusted
to generale beyond the present data of biology ad make
asumptons concerg intelligence on an ite sce.
LI FE IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM
U h book on Mas {47) , Richardson remarks tat sci
entts today are exceedingly closemouted when it cmes
u admittg the extence of lving organms on oter pla
ets." But such an atttude is not based entrely, a some
people seem to t on lack of imagnaton or pure stub
borness. A scientc evidence seems to poit agaist te
idea of indigenous lfe on the moon in historical tmes.
Mercury, on one hand, and the planets outside the As
teroid Belt, lie Jupiter ad Sat are not lely to have

been conducive to the development of any sort of lfe. We


wll not, however, presume tat there ae sufcient gounds ;
.
|
b
.
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE
at te present tme for u to extend this statement to the
satellites of these planet, about which very little is know.
For example, Titan ( Sat's sixth satellite) , with a diame
ter of 5,000 klometers, or 1. 5 tat of the moon, and a mass
double that of our satellite, is lkely to have an atmosphere;
the possibity, however smal, of fnding some sort of life
on such satellites, even at very low temperates, cannot be
rejected a priori.
Mas and Venus, so appealg to ma's imaginaton, re
main today the two mai subject of argument among as
tonomers and . biologists. Very lttle, however, can be said
about condtions on Venus. The remarkable performance of
Marer II ha not solved te many difcult questons con
cerg that planet, which i sur ouded by a very dense
atosphere. Never has te soi of Venus been obsered,
and the discussion of the natue and propertes of te ele
ment of it atosphere L an opn feld, the subject of
many contoversies and discoveries to come.
Mars i stil very much a mystery. At the closest opposi
tions, it can b seen with the apparent diameter of a smal
crater on the moon, and it seem obvious that only spac ex
ploraton, usig automatc probes equipped wth pecial cam
eras or oter devices, provides 0 means of solving the prob
lems posed by that planet to te physicist and te biolo
gist ( 63) . The soil of Mars, however, i observable. Pera
nent and variable confguraton well clouds and polar
caps cvered with hoarfrost L be recognied and mapped.
Agreement seems to have been reached concerg the prob
able denity and compositon of its atosphere ( 94% nito
gen, 4% argon, 2% carbon dioxde, and tace of water
vapor) . Polarimetric studes have provided speci'alist with
reasonable estmates of the chemical natue of the lght,
red, peranent areas. But the dark, changing area, often
said to have been caused by vegetaton or to have allowed
its develoment, are stll very much a subject of argument.
Accordig to Lederberg and Sagan ( 48) ,
. . . some terestial micoorganisms suve in purported
simuatons of the average Maran envronment ( 49, 50) .
Most would fare porly, and whether any can prolierate
i an accurately simulated envronment is less clear. In
any event, how wel the Maran organisms have leaed
to cope with the same cnstaint remains to be seen.
67
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
But so ltle i really kow about the existng local phys
ic conditons, which may df er considerably from those
predicted by our present "models," that no simple er
can be given to any queton about te path life culd have
followed on that planet.
A cnsiderable change L perceptble today i te ideas
entertained by biologists dealing with the fors of lie that
may suve i environments ver dferent fom our. Exer
iments realzed since 1960 tend to show that the ealy cn
cepts that made oxygen 0 necessar element for lfe were
exaggerated to a large extent. Cucumber seedlngs raised
i only two percent oxygen { vs. 21% in ou air) L be
fozen for an hour and ten thawed without dying: T
L but one of the experments made by Dr. Saford Siegel
of Union Carbide Research Laboratories that led m to the
discovery that hig fors of plant-life such as ba, culd
suve well in environments generally considered as exteme,
and tat low oxygen content of te atosphere actually i
proved resistace to feezing.
m te sae seres of experments, it was found that cac
D gew in subzero cold when the oxygen content of
te atosphere was reduced to 0. 05% and tat turtles
remaied norally actve when the atosphere was reduced
to a tent of noral sea-level pressure.
Wen he simulated 0 Jupiter-type atosphereammonia,
metane, and hydrogen-the same autor found tat some
bactera were very happy i this mixtre. Most exobiolo
gt cnsider that water L essental to le, and wate ex
on Mars, although not in abundant quantty. But some
speiats in plant physiology, such a Dr. Fran Salis
buy, conider that C fors of life could use water as
a vtamin rather than as 0 basic consttuent, and would
thus require only itesimal amouts of water in order to
suve. These ideas show 0 considerable departure fom
te taditonal concepton on the possibilty of fnding lfe
on other planets, i our solar system and elewhere.
METEORI TES
Meteorites are the only physical evidence we possess on
which reseach of living organsms such as germs or microbes
of exta-terestial orign might be attempted in the labora
tory. According to a report by C. Meuner, Pasteu tied to
68 .
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE
extact viable bacteria from meteorites, but obtained nega
tive results. In 1932, C. Lipman published a report i which
he stated that he had obtained microbes identcal to the
ordiary earthly bacteria, but it seems probable that he had
been unable to prevent the penetaton of earthly bacteria in
to his samples during the analysis. By 1834, however, Berze
lius had analyzed the Alais meteorite and had found that
it contained carbonaceous materal; and Flammarion writes
( Pluraite des Mondes Habites, p. 404):
If spctoscopic analysis shows te existence of water on
the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Sat, chemical ex
aminaton of the carbonaceou material foud i certai
aerolites has recenty show to M. Berthelot, the promo
ter of organc chemisty, that the most probable origin
( not to say the certain orgin) of d carbonaceous mater
ial belongs to an organc reig whose chemic prciple i
si to tat of our vegetal reign on earth.
Bertelot's cmmunicaton ( Ne Comptes Rendus) is ao
quoted in Flammarion's book:
Cert meteors cntain a carbonaceous material whose
existence and origin indicate a most iteresting problem.
These materials cntain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen ad
can b cmpared with uc compounds, ultimate resi
dues of organic substances. It would be most iportant
to be able to go back from t residue to the material
that generated it. Stated i these terms, the queston les
outside the feld of kowledge of our present science. But
a frst step in this diecton can be made by going back,
not to the generators themselves, but to compounds that
derive from it through reglar reactons. I have described
a "universal method of hydrogenaton" that allows trans
formation of any organic compound into corresponding
hydocarbns. Ths metod is applcable even to carbon
aceous materials such as charcoal and coal; it changes
them into carbides similar to those of the oils.
I have appled the same method to the carbonaceus
material i the Orgueil meteorite, and I have produced
a non-negligible quantity of forenic carbides
_2n 2u(2
cmpaable to the oils of petoleum, although with more
dif culty tha from coal.
I wish I had been able to study these carbides i more
69
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
detail; unfortunately te amount of material at my d
posal was too small to permit more than the cncluion
that variou carbides-some gaseous and some lqud
were formed. U any case, t formaton shows a new
aalogy between the carbnaceous material in meteorites
and the carbonaceous compound or orgaic orig tat
ae foud at the surface of the earth.
The stor of the Orguei meteorite was arized by
Flarion i the following ter:
An aerolte falen on May 14, 1684 in the sout of
Frace, at Orgueil {Ta-et-Garonne) . . . contained wa
ter and peat. But peat is fored by decompositon of
veget in water. Te Orgueil aerolite therefoe comes
fom a glob where there is water, and certain substances
analogous to terestal vegetaton.
I 1961 (a century aer Flammarion wote tese lines ) a
new study of this meteorite was undertaken by American
scientsts and a vaety of cmplex hydrocarbons were found.
The authors of ts dicovery ( B. Nagy, D. Hennessy ad W.
Neischeim) wote that . . . .
. . . The mass-spectometic analyses reveal that hydo
carbons in the Orguei meteorite resemble i many i
portant aspects the hydrocarbons in the product of lv
ing beings and sediment on er. Based on tese pre
lnary studes, the compositon of the hydocabon i
te Orgueil meterite provdes evdence for biogenic ac
tvty.
Accordng to Mason ( 51 ) ,
. . . the quattes of hydrocarbons i the meteorite indi
cate tat there can be no reasonable doubt that tey were
present when it entered te earth's atosphere and ae
not the result of terestl cntaminaton. They are ty
extaterestrial i origin.
Considerable discussion aose on t point when reseach
ers, including Edwad Aders of te University of Chicgo,
poited out that the compouds may have been fored in
nonbiological reactons catalyzed by high-energy radiaton i
space. But in November, 1961, G. Claus and B. Nagy an
nounced the discover of "microscopic-sized pacles, re
7
q
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE IN THE UNI VERSE
sembling fossil algae, in relatvely large quantities within the
Orguei and Ivuma carbonaceous meteorites." If it can be
proved that these particles are not terrestrial contaminants
or crystals of organic or inorganic compounds, this fnding
would be evidence of life in te parent bodies of these me
teorites, whether i the solar system or beyond. And even
i this conclusion is in doubt, it is still certain that rather
complex hydrocarbons and other organic substances have
been produced i outer space.
THE PROBABI LI TY OF CONTACT
The credit goes to Dr. J. E. Lipp for the frst scientc
investigation of the possibility that extaterrestrial beings are
endeavoring to make contact with us, L at least to main
tai our civilzaton under some kind of observation at close
range. His work was done for the U. S. A Force's Project
Sign and has ony recently been declassied. The report
( 52) , never made publc, concered itself with the invest
gaton of the unidentied fying objects which had been
closely analyzed by the A Techncal Intelligence Center
( ATIC) in Dayon. Much of te data i ts section i di
gested from d repor.
The problem wa well stated by Dr. Lipp when he wrote:
Conceivably, among the myriads of stellar systems in te
Galaxy, one or more races have discovered methods of
tavel that woud be fantastic by our standards. Yet, the
larger the volume of space that must be included i or
der to stengthen this possibity, the lower wil be the
chace that the race involved would ever fd the Ear.
. . . A super-race (unless tey occur frequently) would
not be likely to stble oer Planet III of Sol, a ffth
magntude star i the rarefed outsks of the Galaxy.
In order to evaluate the probable nuber of such races,
Dr. Lipp statscaly analyze neighborig stars, fndng twen
ty-two that can be considered as having potentialy habita
ble planets in a sample spherical volume of sixteen light
years' radius. Assuming this volume to to be representatve, the
cntent of ay reasonable volue of radus larger than
71
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
fve parsecs can be computed. 0 It is then necessar to make
an "educated" guess as to the number of habitable planets.
"Th guess," adds L. Lipp, "w be made with low con
fdence, since intelligent lfe may not be randomly distibu
ted at a" we assume that there is one habitable planet
per eligble star, and i we make the hypothesis that man
is average in the spectum of technical advancement, en
vironenta difcultes, etc., then one-half of the other planets
are behind us, while the other half are ahead of us and have
achieved various level of space tavel. We can thu imag
ine that i our sample volume of sixteen lght-years' ra
dus there ae eleven races of beings who have begn
space explorations. Te forula giving the number of races
exploring space in a spherical volume of radus t larger than
sixteen lght-years is, therefore: S 11 ( r/16) 3,
On the basis of these cacuatons, Dr. Lipp concludes that
the chance of space-tavelers existng at planets attached
to neighboug stars is very much greater than the chance
of space-travelg Maans: i the Martans are now viit
ig M without cntact, it can be assued that they have
just recently succeeded i space tavel and that ou civil
izaton would be practcally abreast of theirs. But the
chance that Martans, uder such widely divergent con
dtons, woud have a civilaton resembling our ow is
extemely smal.
T reasoning is based, of course, on the assumpton that
inteligent lie is randomly dstibuted. A direct consequence
of such a hypothesis is that i "unidented objects" were
show to be of Martan orgin, we should expect relatons
between both planets to have existed in a dstant past, pos
sibly before ou civation developed on eath, and a com
mon origin of both races could be sought. For chance
alone does not seem to be able to explain that two civiza
ton so close to each other could idependently reach the
same state of technologca development practically at te
01 we denote a S te number of eligible stars, as r the
radius of the volume considered, i light-years, we have
S 22 ( r/16) 3. Note that 1 parsec 3.26 lght-years
210,000 ties the mean dstance eah-su.
72
LI FE AND I NTElLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE
same moment. And if the alleged Martians have possessed
space travel long before Mg ten the nonexistence of "con
tacts" coud be explained by postulating that enough kow
ledge had been accumuated i the past concering our
plaet. F. L. Whipple ( 6) carefuly conidered the possi
bity of intelligent life on Mars:
U we have correctly reconstucted ths history of Mars,
there i little reason to believe that the life processes may
not have followed a course silar to terrestial evoluton.
With t assumpton, three general positions emerge. I
teligent beings may have protected themselves against
the excessively slow loss of atosphere, oxygen and water,
by cnstctg homes and cites wth the physical con
dtons scientifcally contolled. A a second possibility,
evoluton may have developed a being who can withstand
te rigors of the Martan climate. Or the race may have
perished.
These possibilities have been sufciently exanded i
the pseudo-scientifc literature to make further amplca
ton superfuous. However, there may exist some interestig
restictons to the anatomy and physiology of a Martan.
Rarity of the atosphere, for exaple, may . require a
cmpletely altered respiratory system for warm-blood crea
tures. the atospheric pressure i much below the
vapor pressure of water at the body temperature of the
indvidual, the process of breathing with our type of
lugs becomes impossible. On Mars the critical pressure
for a body temperature of 98. 8 F occurs when column
of the atosphere contais one sixth the mass of a simi
b column on the Earth. For a body temperature of 77
F the critcal mass ration i reduced to about one twelfth,
ad at 60 F to about one twenty-fourth. These critical
values are of the same order the values estimated for
the Martan atosphere. Accrdingly the anatomy and
physiology of a Ma may be radically diferent fom
ou.
Dr. Lipp's repor was written in 1949, and much progress
i the study of the possibility of Martian lfe has been made
since. I ( 53) F. Salisbu writes:
Of all the proposals put forth to account for the ob
73
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
sered Maran phenomena, the idea of life on Mars
seems to be the most tenable . . . . If in place of struggling
lchens we assume a thriving vegetation cover, ten it i
easy to add other members of the biotic community.
plant-lke organisms have solved the problem of growth
in the Martian envionment so well, one might surely ex
pect to fnd mobile fors comparable to our anial
that feed on plants. And from there it is but one more
step ( granted, a big one ) to intelligent beings. In view
of the evidence, we should at least try to keep ou mind
open so that we coud suve te itial shock of en
countering them.
The alterate possibility, which, in Dr. Lipp's model,
leads to higher probabilities than the system of the "space
traveling Martians," is that of visit by superior galactc
commutes. It will be discussed i more detail i a WL
at the end of this volume, where we will see that it is by
no means fanciful to estimate that the number of inhabita
ble systems is about 3 to 5 per cent of the number of stars
( S. S. Huang, 1963) -yielding eight billion inhbitable
planetary sys
tems in our galay.
THE SEARCH FOR SI GNALS F ROM RATI ONAL BEI NGS
The search for signs of intellgence in the uiverse i
old preccupation of many professional and amateur scien
tists. The observation of what was often recorded as "bright
fashes" on Mars led nineteenth century scientists to the idea
that light signals coud be used for communication among
beings lving on diferent planets. Profes9r Pickering, who
observed Mars at Lowell Observatory at the end of the nie
teenth century, seems to have been certain of the existence
of such 'signals.' ( Many of the phenomena described, how
ever, are indistnguishable from Class I clouds. ) Such brght
phenomena, suggested Sir Francis Galton in 1896, could be
produced by "an immense assemblage of large heliographs. "
From there, he imagined the building of a code for a te
exchange of information between Mars and the Earth.
More than ffty years earlier, in his course in astronomy
at the Sorbonne, Arago ued to mention the suggestion of
a German gemetrist to enter in communication with possi
ble inhabitants of the moon: His design was to send a
74 -
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE IN THE UNI VERSE
scientc commission to the open plains of Siberia, where
lage nwnber of mirrors woud be built along predetermined
geometical fgures on the ground. These mirrors would re
fect the light from the Sun towards the moon. Should the
iabitats of te moon answer wth a similar patter of lght,
it would be possible to devise an ideographic language that
would perit to initiate exchange of information.
Al these proposals have, of course, a chierical aspect.
But tey lead to interestg problems i the theory of
communications. Extensive work ha been done in recent
decades on methods that cqud be used by to space com
munites to teach one another basic lnguistic concepts and
later come to a useful exchange of scientic informaton. A
systematc approach has been proposed by a noted topolo
gt, Dr. Has Freudenthal of the University of Utecht,
Netherlads, in a book entited LINGOS: Desgns of a Lan
guage for Cosic Intercourse ( 1950 ) .
Wen radio wave-lengths started to be used early i t
century, some stange echoes were reported by exprimenters
ad sometimes attributed to an intelligent souce outside te
earth. In 1927, 1928, and 1934, i parcuar, such pertuba
tons (whose origin wa probably atmospheric ) were noted
( 199) . These echoes could be attibuted, said Dr. Brace
wel, a Stanford astonomer, to an acial planetoid placed
i solar orbit by another civaton. The tansmissions woud
be "signals" the satellite woud send after picking up the
terrestial broadcasts. A science-fcton novel by Muray Lei
ster, "The Invaders of Space," uses a similar argwnent.
The pioneer of wireless telegaphy, Nicolas Tesla, said he
had picked up "a series of tiplets" whch he thought were
of Maran origin. Simiarly, Maconi attributed to the Mar
tans some uexplained signals received on h yacht "Elec
ta." But modem researchers place the possible soucs of
intelgent signals much father away i the universe.
Thus, Aprl 12, 1965, the ofcia Soviet agency Tass
diclosed tat Gennady Sholomitsky, a radio-astonomer,
had for several months observed a radio-source ( lsted as
CTA-102 and situated i directon of the constellaton Pe
gasus ) that emitted "fckerig" radio waves wit a perodi
city of one hundred days. The ofcial announcement of these
observations made at the Sterberg Astronomical In
sttute in Moscw. Dr. Iosif S. Shklovsky, a leading soviet
atonomer, called te object "an absolutely new, stl u-
75
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
kown type of cosmic object i the galaxy," and there wa
wide speculaton, not only on the physical natue of the
object but also on the pssible acial origin of the signa
it emitted. A year before, a forer student of Dr. Shklovsky,
Nicolas Kardashev, had publihed in the Astonomica Jour
nal of the Soviet Academy of Sciences the theory that radio
sources CTA 21 or CTA 102 mght be space beacon ued
by a super-race.
The wester press devoted cnsiderable place to the in
foraton; a certain uneasiness perceptible in the a
tcles and coments it published.
For several years, the attenton of the American atono
mers has been focued on observatonal projects siar to
the Russian one. I 1960, the U. S. National Radio-Astonomy
Obseratory conducted a three-month efort to study pat
ters of possible "rational" org in the radio signals cm
ing fom the diecton of Tau Cet and Epsilon Eridani, to
stars of a type suitable for the development of a planetar
system supporg lfe. L. Drake was director of t pro
ject, called Project OZMA afer the princess in "the land
of Oz," a ppular series of books for children.
A study made for NASA i 1964 by the Brookngs In
stituton under the directon of Donald N. Michae waed
that the discovery of lie i the unverse could be a tet
to the stability of our own civzaton because of its psy
chological impliations. And te report isisted that "whie
the discvery of intellgent lie i other parts of the universe
is not likely in the immediate ftre, it could, nevertheless,
happen at any time."
The same report added:
Societies sure of thei ow place have disintegrated
when confronted by a superior society, and others have
surived even though changed. Clearly, the beter we
can come to understand the factors involved i responding ;
to such crises, the better prepared we may be.
The problem of detection of signals fom ratonal beigs
is here seen to converge to the problem of iterpretaton of
the UFO Phenomenon. And an obvous queston i: Wy
do scientists show so much excitement at the possibilty of
deciphering radio signal from distat civilizatons but ne
glect to investigate thousands of reports by reliable obser-
1
LI FE AND I NTELLI GENCE I N THE UNI VERSE
ers on earh that indicate objects of foreign origin may
tavel through our skies?
It i safe to work on projects aed at the long-ter
study of signals coming from a star eleven light-years away.
But in so doing, we neglect the fact that advanced civiiza
tons (of the type that would use an artifcial star as a
beacn for gaactic navigaton) might have abandoned ra
do communication as we !ow it as obsolete and inade
quate a very long time ago. Is it not natural to imagine
that such a superior society might have developed means
of tansportation that would be fantastc by our standards?
The kowledge of sociolog such a race might have accu
mulated through observaton of the path of itelligent evo
luton on hundreds of planets would stagger the imaginaton.
Would not this race know the dangers of direct contact
mentoned i the Brookings report?
The atosphere of secrecy that sur ouds te projects
tat have succeeded OZMA and te obvious cmpetton
between the Russians and the Aericans in t feld
show clearly enough how fa we are from understanding
the real problems posed by the uversal nature of lfe ad
itelligence. Is not, then, a project such as OZMA a futie
ad childish manifestation of ou shyess, a we stand on
te border of space and dae not realze the obviou? Can
we fnd manifestations of exa-terrestial intellgence much
nearer to us? We will ty in this book to gather documents
and to develop a language to answer this difcult queston.
But Project OZMA wl remain in scientc history a
the fst practical attempt made by man to parcipate i the
cncer of rational beigs i the uverse.
77
Chapter d
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEIR RELIABI LITY
SOURCES OF DOCUMENTATI ON
O STY efciently an nesearched phenomenon requires
time and 0 combinaton of techniques utlzed by a homo
genous team of investigators. A second important problem
is data collection. 0
Ou hypotheses concering the UFO problem may prove
incomplete, or naive, or wrong. But we feel that i we have
only been able to gather a cllecton of facts which could
be employed as the basis of research by other scientsts
our contibuton will have been positve.
I this intoducton to the descripton of modem reports
we want to delineate the feld of our exploraton; the de
tails themselves w be foud fther in the book, but we
feel it necessary to impress upon our reader i advanc the
high degree of consency an reliability of UFO dta.
"Noise level" in UFO report is undoubtedy very high ( by
"noise level," we mean that fracton of the report which are
explainable i terms of meteors, arcraft, balloons, arcia ,
satellites, hoaxes or any natural phenomenon or conventon
al object misinterpreted by te witess ) . When speaking of
UFO data, however, we will always be referring to a sub
set of these reports which has been fltated by competent
"Those among our readers who wish to call our attenton
to published or unpublished reports or to periodical or
reviews from any part of the world dealng with our prob
lem w be most welcome, for our research relies entrely
upon a process of data gathering as complete as possible.
78

MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T


analysts in such a way that al common misinterpretatons
have been eliinated. To these selected sightings w be
attached, during the frst step of the analysis, a description
i general ters and a reliability index. The handling of te
iforaton cntained in te report wil be described as a
process with several stages involvng a series of decisions,
but the reliability of the operaton i kept at a high level
throughout this process, as explaied and illustated else
where ( 189, 193) .
The frst result obtained i t analysis will probably
come as a surprise to most "Hying saucer" enthusiasts; we
are in m agreement with the previous statistical estmates of
the U. S. A Force concering te proportion of sightngs
which can be explained by cnventional efects : generally
between 70 and 90 per cent.
The fles we have developed over the yeas are the re
sut o the analysis of a number of reports double in number
those in the official fles, on which these previous estmates
were based. This is a very large amount of data. Collec
ton of new inforation from priate or ofcial souces does
not necessarily result in an increase of the fles' volue; in
numerous cases, more inforaton results i te eliinaton
of reports which had previously been considered as doubt
h or, as the air force woud say, "insufcient infora
ton." But we do not classify te reports according to the
amount of data they cntai; "isufcient data" alone i no
gound for elimination. A more detailed discussion of ai force
methods w show how naive it i to label "insufcient
inforaton" the very phenomenon you are studyg; tk of
a physicist discontinuing his research because he does not
have "sufcient inforaton" about the stucture of the atom,
o the FBI allowing a criinal to escape because te wit
ness' descrpton of his face i not sufciently accurate!
When we speak of the sightigs we have on fle, we re
peat that we do not mean te number of observatons
made, or reported, or studied by us, but only the volume of
a selected sample considered of scientc value. We itend
to aalyze the global and idivdual features of these ac
counts to show that they defne a truly unique phenomenn,
which cannot be explaind by combinations of odinary
efects. We tend to think tat tere must exist a common
caue tat has produced 0 of these efect. I M opinion,
79
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
there are reasons to think that t cause may b related to,
or a manifestaton of, extaterestal intelligence.
We have been helped in our data collecton problem by
several persons, among whom Ame Michel deseres the
frst mention. We have also found much inforaton i sci
entc or popular periodicals. We w see that American
sightings are generally less interestg than obseratons made
elsewhere i the world, or at least are less important tan
is generally thought; the UFO phenomenon did not begin
in the U. S. , with the Kenneth Aold incident over Mount
Ranier i June of 1947. The modem aspect of this actvity
was frst observed in Europe at the end of the wa. The
frst important "wave" which can be accurately taced oc
curred in Sweden in July-August, 1946, one year before A
nold allegedly saw a formation of silvery disks from h
private airplane in the state of Washington. The most ipr
tant sightngs have been made in Europe, many of them
in France in autumn of 1954. The high populaton density
of that area of the world and the small dimensions of the
loca communities have produced reports of a high reliability;
the witesses are almost always kown and the exact locaton
of the object can be pinpoited on the map.
UFO waves are kown to have taken place in Russia, Po
land, Hungary and other communist countes. Some of the
reports involved are quite detailed. Witness t artcle i
Ogoniok, No. 11, March, 1958, by Soukanov (88; see ao
87, 89) :
Recently, not far from Moscow and at an alttude of
about three thousand meters, a stange object fying at
great speed was seen. The witnesses maintained that it
had exactly the shape of a disk, of relatvely large dimen
sions. No one was able to say what ths disk wa, or
where it came from. Very fantastc interpretatons and ,
hypotheses have been started by thi incident. A lttle
later, the disk came dow toward the ground with a
motion in spiral and stared upward again, ted over
and, suddenly speeding, disappeared behind a nearby
forest.
We have here, incidentally, another example of a te of
behavior well known to French researchers : the "dead-lea
80
#
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY
fall or descending spiral moton; we wil see several other
good cases of the same type.
Similarly, consider the folowing report, dated Warsaw,
October 1960:
A mysterious luminous object, rsing and dropping and
changing directon of fght, appeared in the skes over
Pozna yesterday. Newspaper reports said te object wa
seen by many Pozan residents as well as by police
guards and railway gad.
Pravda on January 8, 1961 refers to . a photogaph taken
in one of the norther disticts of the county", which "furth
er stimulated the interest in 'fying saucers',"
There were, adds the artcle, many rumors on te appear
ance of 'cosmic saucers' over cites of Uzbekistan and Tajik
tan.
Austalia, New Zealand and New Guinea have been im
portant areas of UFO actvity, but the only source com
parable with the U. S. or wester Europe in sheer numbers
of sightings is South America. Some of the "waves" in d
region have been very carefully studied by local organiza
tons. The inforation provided by M. Vogt has been found
especially relable. Olavo Fontes has contributed to the study
of the Brazilan reports. m Spain, Antonio Ribera has shown
that waves occurred i 1950, and his compatriot Eduardo
Buelta has made the frst b statstcal analysis of the general
patter folowed by te successive waves. ( Their work wl
be discussed in detail and te references will be indicated
in the Bibliography fther i the book) . I Great Britain, the
Flying Saucer Review, publihed bimonthly, has opened
its columns to all writers interested in d feld and has sup
plied coherent needed clarifcaton.
Scientifc publicaton, although important sources of in
formaton on early sightngs, teat modem UFO reports with
great reserve. A we have pointed out, we do not obsere
the phenomenon unde study, but rather a "sociological im
age" of it, generated i the minds of other human beings
and tansmitted through society. Each of the steps involved
in t process i afected by distortion and noise. As we wil
see, however, the "noise" associated with UFO rumors is of
dif erent quality from what we expect generaly from popu-
51
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
lar channels of tadition. We are dealing with a very deep
and complex system of stmuli whose study cannot be un
dertaken without askng fundamental questions cncerg
our vision of the world as a whole.
A MOMENT OF HI STORY
No survey of the UFO phenomenon has been made by
hstorians or sociologists, although it would seem, from te
contnual accumulation of sightngs since 1946, that we
are faced with a problem of sociological signifcance. the
absence of such stdies, no complete documentaton L avail
able, and only very few scientists have seen the meanngful
reports ; the majority of them have been discouraged by te
"sensatonal'' interretation of the facts presented in the news
papers, and by the number of obvious misinterpretatons
and
h
oaxes, among which the tue phenomenon seems very
difcult to fnd. Intelligent and serous reports, however, do
exist; about 10 to 30 percent of te eight thousand Amer
ican sightings kept up to date in Dayton by ATIC could
be called intiguing, to say the least. It is the opiion of
this writer that their accumulation constttes a tue pheno
menon i itself, wel worth detailed and extensive scientc
study.
Whether or not UFOs were seen, or imagied,
during pre
cedg centuries, the Middle Ages or even in Biblcal and
legendary times remains an open question. Their modem
eic seems to have started somete during World War II,
when many pilots reported stange lights apparently under
intelligent contol. The frst great peak of sightngs took
place after the war, one year before the Mout Rainier in
cident and the 1947 U. S. wave. Th wave reached its
maimu by mid-July, 1946, and afected te norher re
gions of Europe. We will t here to clarify the incidents of
that perod, from comments that appeared in the French
press (94) .
The frst account we have been able to fnd comes from
te newspaper Resance of Juy 19, 1946:
During the last few monts the populatons of the
souther part of Sweden, and those of the norther part
have been somewhat disturbed; fom time to te, es
pecially at night, bright meteors, tavelng at fantastc
52
#
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T
speeds, cross their skies. Within fractons of seconds, these
bolides appear and disappear, vanishig into the deep
ness of space with an inferal roaring.
The frst description imediately evokes the thought of
ordinary meteors, misinterpreted by people stll very much
under the stress of a terrible war. But L'Aurore m Juy 27
gives more specifc detais :
More than fve hundred rocket-propelled projectles ae
said to have been seen over Sweden since the begining
of July. According to some sources, the projectes that
streak across the Swedish sky look lke jet planes, but
make less noise than uual aircraft. Others describe
them as like "sea gls without heads." On the map, te
projectiles do not show unifor trajectories. They go to
ward the west as wel as the south, which leads to te
possibilty that they are guided by remote cntol of
some sor. It has been ipossible to get hold of any of
tese "V-I's"; al of them have falen into the lakes.
We are already far from the meteor explanation; the ob
jects are interpreted by the witnesses as materia products
of huan technology. The reference to the Geran "V"
weapons i very idicatve of the psychology prevailg i
Europe at that te; at no te during the entre "wave"
was a hyothesis of the extaterrestral origin of the objects
made by the witnesses or by the newspapers. It seemed evi
dent to everyone that the observed objects were 0 new
type of aircraft or rocket. It i iterestng to remember that
d respnse was also te reacton of many scientsts in the
United States in te period 1947-1950; the situaton, how
ever, soon became more complcated. We read i LLtc,
Augst 8:
I an ofcial statement made publc on August 6 i
Stockhol, General Nil Ahlgeen, chief of the Swedsh
D Defense, has announcd that some of the objects have
been seen at low alttudes, tat more than three hunded
have been reported between July 9 and July 12, that they
maneuvered i half-cicles and appeared to come from
the south most of the te. One of the objects i said 0
have fallen into Lake Overkalix, i norther Sweden.
83
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
I Le Monde, August 9:
Lieutenant Lenna Naclan, of the Swedih A De
fense, has seen one of the objects as a sphere of fre sur
rounded by fames of a lght yellow. The object was
fying at an altitude of about one thousand meters and
its speed, despite the height allowed the eye to follow
its course. Accordig to experts, the meteoric hypothesis
is absolutely rejected. Thousands of letters reportg te
object have ar ved from 0 over Sweden.
mLiberati
p
n-Soir, on the sae day:
They generally arrve from the south and do not follow
staight tajectory. Some of them change direction, either
slowly or abruptly. The longest tajectory recrded by
Swedish observers is one tousand klometers long, which
i three times the range of the German V-rockets. Many
of them come from the south, follow the Baltic coast, then
cure their path toward norter Russia.
Etoile-Soir, August 14:
The mystery deepen sice it has been impossible to
fd fragments of the rocket shells recently reported. It
ha been ofcially annouced i Maeham, capt of
the Aaland Islands, midway beteen Sweden and Finland,
that luminous phenomena have been observed tere on
Suday night, for the fst te.
The same day, i Pari-Presse:
Everyone speak about it i Stockhol; i the stet,
i the restaurants ad at home, the only dicussion is
about the lumious bmbs which fy mysteriously over
Sweden at low alttude. Popula imagination is stricken.
Fatastc descriptions of te phenomenon are circulatg,
Between July 19 ad Juy 30, tree hundred reports
have been submitted to mitay authorites. Oters stl
ar ive every day.
To the student of UFO rmors, such reports are familiar;
the "meteors" of the fst days have become "fying bombs"
O
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY
or "luminous spheres" fying at low altitude, able to change
direction, leaving no fragments and exciting popular iag
inaton. Their range i fatastc, compared with te tech
nological state of development at the time. Still, the thought
of war are so current and so strong that al descriptons
ae in terms of destctve technology: bombs, shell, rock
et. The termiology, however, w slowly change.
La Depeche de Pari, August 17:
Copenhagen, August 16: According to the Danish press,
a new rocket wa seen last night by numerou witesses
over Copenhagen.
Le Figaro, on the same day:
London, August 16: A rocket-like projectle has ex
ploded over te island of Mahoe. A large number of glass
windows have been broken.
On the prevous day, Lc Mon had described a simia
phenomenon over Finland:
Helsi has anouncd tat a fying bomb exploded on
Tuesday afteroon over the city of Tammersfors, in wes
ter Finland. Witesses heard a loud explosion, ten saw
a cloud of smoke i the center of which appeaed a
luminous phenomenon. Another rocket has been seen
over Helsink on Tuesday night.
Liberation-Soir, August Z
The Swedih military autority continues t o receive
numerous reports about the mysterious projectiles which
fy over the county. The following facts have been found:
( 1 ) There are two kd of projectles, tose which
have a level fight at eight hundred klometers per hou
with a bright lght i the rea, and tose which fal
verticaly from a greater height wit a superior speed e
( 2) None of these projectiles has exploded on the
ground. No one has been wounded and no damage has
been caused. Some of the projectiles may have exploded
in the air, but no fragent has been found.
5
ANATOMY OF IHEHOMEHOH
Aer that date, the .ituaton bcomes more ommg,
because of the obvious futt of the ofcial explanations
(Hyng bor bs, projectiles, rocket) , but the fact become
more like what we have observed in recent years, i. e. , a
phenomenon apparently material, commonly interpreted by
wtnesses as a new type of aicraft, yet displayg maneuvers
in contadiction to the technology of the time. Of impor
tance, in ou opinion, i the report of landgs.
Epoque, August 28:
Some of the objects are said to change thei diecton
of fight ater landing, when they go back toward their
place of origin, according to the results of an investigaton
made by the correspndent of the Daily Telegraph i
Stockholm.
Another important fact is te exension of the "wave" to
other regions of the world:
Epoque, August 29:
Other objects have been reported from Switzerland and,
a few days ago, from Waterford, Ireland. The objects
seen in Sweden left a tail of fre similar to the tai of
comet. Others, on the cntary, have a light in front.
The American General James Doolittle has just ar ved
in Stockholm, ofCially on a business tp for the Shel
Company. I realit he L to cnduct an investgaton
along with the Swedish authorities.
L'Aurore, September 4: The arcle reports that tese "ex
taordnary craft" have been seen more and more fre
q
uently
over Sweden, Belgium and even France. But more complete
inforation is to be found i Le Figaro of September 5:
More tha to thousand ghost-rockets have bee re
ported during the past few months over Sweden. Ou
Englsh brother, the Daily Mail, has instucted it re
porter, Alexander Cliford, to cnduct an investgation on
the subject. We reproduce here the more important par
of his conclusions. Accordig to a message from Stock
hol sent by the English reporter, scientist are puzzled
5
#
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T
by the phenomena; in some circles they are attributed to
mass hallucination. Others thik they are due only to
meteors or luminous balloons use i meteorological ex
periments. They are the subject of jokes on the music-hall
stage, but the Swedish and Danish military staf are tak
ing the matter seriouly and have begun an ivestga-
ton. . . .
'
Mr. Cliford reports that a fairly large number of the
two thousand luinous balloons have been seen by re
liable witesses. These are, he says, the facts on which
alof them agree:
( 1 ) The projectiles ae in the shape of cigars.
( 2) Flames are projected out of thei tail. The color
is orange, but some people have said they were gren.
( 3) They tavel at an alttude of three hundred to one
thousand meters.
( 4) Their speed i about that of an airplane. Some
say a rather slow aiplane . . . .
( 5
)
They do not make any noise, except a slight whist
ling.
Nobody has mentoned wings, but some have said they
saw fns, and this is where science comes in to say that
the thing is ipossible; no wingless projectile could fy so
slowly, especially i silence. Mr. Cliford mentons that,
durng a certain period, these fying bombs seemed to
tavel fom southeast to norhwest, but the frst ones have
been reported last May fom the exteme north of Scan
dinavia and, generally speaking, their lines of tavel have
slowly shifted toward the south. The more recent of
them have been obsered over Denmark. The stange
thing is that no physical evidence has been found. \ere
explosions have taken place, researches and excavatons
have been made, but nothg has been found.
The reacton to the. 1946 Scandinavian wave i tical
of what can be expected of political and scientifc commu
ntes confronted with a new phenomenon and intent upon
placing it within kown cncepts. More generally, we w
observe that the features of the UFO phenomenon remain
permanent, but the repor made in a certain epoch are
written in terms of that parcula feld of human actvity
which seems to provide the largest volume for the expansion
of power over Natue: mythology for the Greeks, religion
57
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
ut the end of the netenth cent, technology in our
era. At the time of the Scandinavian events, UFO r
mors were cOmpletely unow. Since 1915 no important
report had been made public. The Fatima phenomenon,
which is now claimed by UFO students, was iterpreted
H purely religious. The repors of "stange lights" seen by
pilots duig te war ( "foo-fghters" ) were not kown to
civilians. And no evdence was found that te phenomenon
was other than conventional. Only now, with the experence
we have accuulated in dealng wit the UFO problem,
can we observe that no answer has been found, almost
twenty years later, to the Swedish incidents, and we can
daw an interesting paralel between them and similar events
recorded in oter counties. Unfortunately, most of the in
formation concerg these early Scandinavian reports lies
in stacks of forgotten letters or fles of newspaper clippings.
Much could be brought to light by extensive study of these
documents; on the bais of the data we have seen, there
does not seem to have been one single voice suggesting that
the "objects" seen in 1946 might have been of interplanetary
origin; lack of "sensationalism" has alowed tese events to
be forgotten, while the systematc exploitaton of the Ameri
can incidents of 1947 had the opposite efect.
THE AMERI CAN PERI OD ( 947- 952)
Te 1947 American scare was tiggered by the wide pub
licity given to the Aold incident. But scientists i the U. S.
immedately had the same reacton as their European col
leagues the year before. The explanaton, they thought, was
obvous. American technology was engaged in a series of
revolutonary research projects, especialy i the felds of
physics and aerodyamics. It is uderstandable tat the idea
of interplanetary "visitors" was the furthest thing fom their
minds; this suggestion was supported only by newsmen in
terested in selling copy and by a handful of enthusiasts;
their arguments were very feeble. For most American scientst
the physical existence of the objects reported could not be
denie. They were not astonomical phenomena like meteors,
but experimental devces. A few, icluding the Scandinavians,
saw the hand of Moscow behind the mysterious airships.
Others, knowing that Russian engineers were then far fom
capable of developing aircraft of such fexibility and speed,
55

MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY


concluded that the objects must be secret experimental de
vices of American origin. This was the most logical explana
ton, and the general publc accepted it for a very long time,
even when reports were received which could not be ac
counted for under this reasoning.
The original problem-meteors or seret weapons?-has,
through the years, slowly evolved. Today, the two theories
usualy put fort are the "mirage-hallucinaton-eror" theory
of Dr. Menzel, and the "extaterestial'' hypothesis, which
explains the "objects" as acial devices of nonhuman ori
gin. Both involve many speculatve elements which cannot
b completely' tested today by scientic means, and bth
have inherent weak point, as we will see later.
The idea that the objects were craft of terrestial ( U.S.
or Soviet) origin was abandoned when such reliable observ
ers as meteorologist, ballistcs exprts and pilots described
behaviors incompatble wth what human physiology could
endure in classical propulsion aircraft. Most of these sight
igs were made i the southwester U. S. fom 1947 to 1952.
1947
When te 1947 wave started, a total of fve atomic bomb
explosions-Alamogordo ( July 16, 1945) , Hiroshima (Aug
ust 6, 1945) , Nagasak, Crossroads A and Crossroads B
had aheady taken place. "Of these, the frst two were in
positons to be seen fom Mars, the third was very doubt
ful ( at the edge of Earth's dsk in daylight) and the last two
were on the wrong side of the Earth" ( 52) . At the tie of
Alamogordo and Hiroshma, Mars was 165,000,000 and
153,000,000 miles away from the earth, respectively.
Hence the suggeston (see Dr. Lipp's repor, [52] ) that
other galactc communites may have kept a long-ter rou
tne watch on earth and may have been alarmed by the
sight of our A-bombs as evidence that we are warlike and
on the threshold of space exploraton.
I Apri of 1947, i Richmond, Virginia, an interesting
observaton had aeady been made. A weatherman tack
ing a balloon with a theodolite saw a disk-shaped object, with
a fat bttom and a dome on top, cross his feld. On about
the eighteenth of May, at sunset, a fat cigar-shaped object
crossed the sky very rapidly. In another account, the "cigar"
89
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
was described as a disk seen at an angle; it was white and
sped to the northwest. On May 19, between 12: 15 P. M. and
1 : 15 P. M. at Manitou Springs, Colorado, a silvery object
was seen cming from the northeast; it remained moton
less for several minutes, then started "dancing" -maneuverig,
climbing, diving and fnally rising against the wind. These
acrobatcs are typical behavor, often observed i France
and in other part of the world.
About Jue 10, 1947, two weeks before th Arl sght
ing, a UFO wave occurred i Hungary; it could hardly b
considered "a psychological fap conecutve to the Aold
icident." Approximately ffty reports were submitted des
cribing "silvery balls" which crossed the sky i b day
light at great speed 30
)
.
On June 14 at 2: 00 P.M., at Bakersfeld, Calfora, Rch
ard Rankn, a U. S. pilot, saw a "formaton" of ten objects
fyg nort; this observation i one of the "udented" of
that period, stll classied under this category in the of
cial fles. One might reasonably insist on te similarity of
this incident to the Aold case, for one cannot scientcaly
discuss UFO reports in indvidual terms, but only in term
of clsses an behvors. Rankn was fying from Chcago
to Los Angeles when he saw ten "saucers" in a tangular
formaton; they seemed to be dk with a dameter of tirty
meters, fying at nine hundred klometers per hour. Te
dmension-thirty meters-is another cnstant in UFO de
scripton by pilots. It seems to be an invarant of the ob
jects seen in Hight, as opposed to the smaller denions of
the "objects" allegedly witnesed on the ground, which sel
dom exceeded eight meters.
The Aold incident took plac on June Z, but it i by
no mean one of the best reports of that period. It hap
pened that Aold gave his story to newsmen and that the
whole coutry found it across the front pages of their news
papers the followg moring. But on June 28, at 2: 00 P.M.
an 0 force jet pilot, a Lieutenant Amstrong, fyng t
miles north of Lake Meade, Nevada, saw a formaton of fve
or six white dk at an altitde of six thousand feet. The
same day, at 3: 45 P. M. , M. Beuscher, at Rockfeld ( sixteen
miles northwest of Milwaukee) , saw more than seven "dk"
above his far. He described them as blue objects that
made no noise, and few south. According to a news pro-
90 -
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LITY
@M L thC 80mC d0y, 8m0 OD]CCt8 WCtC 8CCu u mO8
0tCt n thC 0tCDOOu.
hC uCXt d0y, 0t 4: 45 P. M. , 8CVCn mC8 HOm L0tOn, OW0,
8 Du8 dtVCt U0VCug tOm LC8 NOuC8 tO N08Ou Lty 80W
OuC OD]CCt OOWCd Dy Out OthCt8, thCu thutCCn uCW OD]CCt8
COmug HOm thC OQQO8tC dtCCUOu 8t 0u 0UtudC C8U8tCd
0t tWCVC huudtCd CCt. hC 8h8QC O thC8C Ct0t W08 OV0,
8nd thCy OOkCd, 8d thC WUC88, kC uVCttCd Q0tC8 O
WhtC COOt. hOy m0dC thC uO8C O 8 dyu0mO 8ud d80Q-
QC0tCd u thC nOth-nOtthWC8t.
LuC mODg, C0tly n ]uy O 1947, 8CVCt8 WhtC \L8
WCtC 8CCn `BghUg n thC 8ky OVCt L0mDtdgC, N0880Chu-
8Ctt8, 8t 0 .8ut88UC 8QCCd, mC thO8C OW COud8 8CCu DC-
OtC 0 8tOD.
O ]uy 3, 1947, 8t 2: 30 P.M., 8t 0tDOt8dC, 8Outh O
tOOk8V C, N0uC, ]Ohu . LOC W0tChCd 8 8CtC8 O OD-
jCCt8 WhCh g0Vc O 8 tO0 thCy WCtC n thC uOtth 0ud
WCtC QtOCCCGg uOtthWC8t 8t hgh 8QCCd. C C8U8tCd
thCtd0mCtCt8t OuC huudCd CCt [ thty mCtCt8 ) .
hC m8t tWO WCCk8 O ]uy 8Cm tO h0VC m0tXCd U
CtC8t O d W0VC. bCVCt8 Out8t0udug OD8CtV8UOu8 WCtC
m8dC duug th0t QCtOd, 8ud thCy 8hOW mO8t u UC Ch0t-
0CtCt8UC8 th0t WCtC tO DC OD8CtVCd Ou 0tCt d8tC8. Lu ]uy
8, 1947, 8t 9: 20 P.M., 8QhCtC8 OD]CCt8 WCtC 8CCu yug
8g0u8t thC Wud 0t Cght thOu0ud CCt, uOt 08tCt U0n
UtCC hudCd mC8 QCt hOu thC 8ghtng 08tCd 8CVCt0
muutC8, 0ud tOOk Q0CC 0t NmOC A OtCC 0C n L0u-
OD8, WhCtC C0tlCt thC 80mC d0y tWO mt8ty CnguCCt8
h0d W8tChCd 8 mCt8lC duk Ot tCu muutC8. hC OmC0
UC0UCut gVCu th8 C08C 8 nOt kuOWu tO d Wttct. uOthCt
C088C0 C0C 8 thC Wu 0L, d0hO, nCdCut O ugut
13: DuC U8k W03 0 CgCdy 8CCu yug 0t 8 VCty OW
0UtudC 0DOVC 8 OtC8t, 0ud ttCC8 WCtC 80d tO DCud DC-
OWt 08 undCt 0 VOCut Wud.
hC 1947 W0VC O8t mtCu8ty 0ud 8uD8dCd 0t thC Cud O
ugu8t. C h0VC mCuUOuCd hCtC Omy 8 VCj CW 8ghUng8
0mOug thC mOtC ntctC8Ug, Dut 8 muCh 0tgCt gu0utty
O tCQOtt8 8 kuOw, 0ud thC8 8CCm tO tCQtC8Cut Ouy 0
VCty 8m0 t0CUOn O thC 8ghtug8 th0t WCtC 0Ctu0y m0dC
Dut WCtC nOttCQOtCd, Ot WCtC OtgOttCn Ot O8t. hC Wttng8
O thO8C WhO, kC E. ]. HuQQCt, 8tudCd tm8 QCtOd ndC0tC
th0t 8 VCty mQOt0ut 8CtC8 O OD8CtV8tOu8 W08 m8dC, 0nd
th0t tCQctCu88Ou8 WCtC COu8dCt0DC.
91
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
1948
Only isolated incidents were reported prior to the next
period of signifcant actvity, which came i the summer of
1948. One of these incidents was the Mantel case, which
has been fairly well identifed as having been cused by
a Skyhook balloon which Mantell tied to chase too high
without proper oxygen equipment. Several icident were,
however, reported i January, but we are unable to de
cide from our data whether or not t sudden but of
obserations should be considered signicant. On Janu
ary 9, 1948 ( two days after the death of Captai Matel) ,
at 7: 20 P.M., there wa seen at Clinton, North Carola, for
t fve minutes an object of a q that w be foud
described in many French repor in 1954 and 1957: a
cneshaped UFO, red with a dfe geen tail, dancing ad
"fgting" in the sky at an amazing speed. Its brightess
was such that its contou could stl be dscered even when
it was hidden behnd some cloud. 0
On February 1, anothr UFO was reporte close to the
ground at Cicleville, Ohio, by Bruc Stevenson. ( See page
188 ) . Other observatons of iterest were made on Februar
20 at Boise and Emmett, Idaho. It is dicult to speak i
t instance of a "wave," but we do have indicton of
major UFO activity i the United States at that te. It
appears, fom our data, that it had vanished by te end of
February ( 30, 11, 95) .
In March of 1948 the phenomenon appeared in Itly.
On March 23, at Florenc, report were made of disks and
spheres leaving tails of smoke as they roared acoss the
sky. Similar accunts were published the next day concr
ing objects seen under the same conditons between 5: 0
P.M. and 6: 30 P.M. in Surrey and i Kent, England. Si
phenomena were observed in Birmingham at midnight.
Aprl, the phenomenon reted to the United States. U
the aferoon of Apr 5, Holloma ( New Mexc) A
Force Base personnel reported havig witessed an object
i the shape of a disk, tfve meters i diameter, exe
cuting a series of violent D and maneuvers-it i wort
0This class of objects reappeared over the United States
during the summer of 196.
92
#
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY
makng a note of the dmension of the "disk," as estated by
tese competent observers. Another disk was seen the same
day displaying similar behavior at Maila; and in Delaware,
Ohio, on Apri 8, there was observed what appears to be
the frst case of lage "luminous cigars" to be fonnd in mod
em reports; a we wil see, a nwnber of outstanding descrip
tons of t extaordinary and puzzling phenomenon were
made later, epecially in Frace in 1954 and in Autalia
more recently.
Actvity subsided after Apri, 1948, and the only re
prt tat contued to arive came fom Alaka. At t
point, it is veiy difct to suggest any hypothesi with
out entering very teacherous ground. By reading the re
ports that we have, which represent only a small sample
of te tue actvity, one does gain the impression tat i
te UFO phenomenon has a physical cause ths succession
of rmor (never before related within one study) is to
be linked to a physicl efect that taveled across the
planet in a few month and lef limited taces of its passage.
Such a common-sense interpretaton cannot be proved and
uually should not be tted. But everyg appears as
i t were the case. H we tied to interpret te reported
actvity in ters of machnes, we could cnsider that a
single fying object was responible for 0 the incidents.
This lmited actvity does not justy te ue of the word
"wave."
A tue wave, however, did occu in July of 1948. (The
1946 Swedih wave and the 1947 American wave also
reached thei maums i Juy. ) O July 8 witesses at
Osbor, Ohio, reported a sigtng. On the same day, ob
servatons were made in several par of France. On July
17, UFOs were seen arond New Mexico. But t period
i remembered maly because of an incident that occured
twenty miles southwest of Montgomery, Alabama, on July
Z at 2: 45 A.M. It is often referred to as the "Chiles
and Whitted case," after the name of the pilots of a Eas
ter Arles' DC-3, fom whch the object was observed.
Described as a thck, torpedo-shapd craft with two rows
of lights or "portholes," suronnded by a blue glow and
folowed by a tail of orange fames, H maeuvered sudden
ly,
as cllision with the aircraft seemed imminent, and dis
appeared. It might be of interest to remark that fve days
before, a "cigar" with eight lghts, havig "two decks and
93
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
no wings," had been obsered at The Hague, Holland. The
observations were made fom the ground, on four occasions.
The sae type of object was seen at Clark Aeld, on the
Philppine Islands, about August 1; the report describes a
torpedo-shaped UFO with a double row of lights.
On July 27, 1948, at 8: 35 A.M., a scientst at New Mexco
Universit, driving in the steets of Albuquerque, saw dis
tinctly for ten minutes a Ht and circular object that seemed
to be metallic disk motionless i the sky. In additon to h
scientic traiing, the witess had had more than two tou
sand hours of fight as a navy pilot and was, of course, famil
iar with classical aircraft. This sightng has never been re
ported ofcially, and the witess wishes to remai anony
mous.
After that date the frequency of sightngs decreased i
the U. S. , but the wave contued to develop elsewhere on
the planet. Unforunately, d actvity ht mainly Easter
counties, from which little inforaton can be obtained;
this may be the reason the wave appears to have died at
the end of July. On August 1, however, as we have already
noted, a sighting took place in the Philippines. The sae
day, a peak of reports developed i Saigon and, fa as
we can tell, in the whole of Southeast Asia. Samy Shon,
a French radio-television corespondent, was fyng between
Hong Kong and Saigon when al crew members and pas
sengers of the plane saw long, metalc fsh-like object re
fectng the sunlight. Below it tere appeared to be another
long, solid object. No fame or smoke was noted. The size
was esthnated as twce tat of a large bomber. Witout
diminishing speed, the caf made a ninety-degee t ad
vanished in the clouds. On August 2, UFO rumors spread
to the whole of Indocha with the characteristcs of publc
emotion and masses of reports tical of the classical "fy
ing-saucer wave."
In Moscow duing the fall of the same year, shnilar re
ports were made, and few sightngs of a new type oc
cured in the U. S. before the wave died completely. These
new incidents are best il ustated by the Goran case.
Gorman was piloting an F-51 aircraft over Fargo, North
Dakota, when he saw a light of estated diameter of
twenty to thrty centeters. It displayed "remarkable evo
lutions." This was on October 1, 1948, at 9: 00 P.M., and
the sighting lasted twenty minutes. The Gorman incident
U
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LITY
has been commented upon by writers as cong oppos
ing theories, al wth limited success. Twenty-minute bal
lightings would be more surprising to the physicist than
fying saucers piloted by vegetable men. The "light" was
seen close to te aicraft by contol-tower operators and
by peple in other locatons, who viewed it from very difer
ent angles and gave consistent descriptons, tendng to prove
that te phenomenon occupied a defnite location in space,
uike a distorted image of a rsing star or planet, or a
looming efect. But the idea that the light wa some knd
of "fying saucer" is clearly repulsive. The suggestion made
by certain enthusiasts tat the object was guded by re
mote contol "of some sort" is inadequate, a it raises more
questons than it awers. A we have are several excellent
reports by competent pilots and obserers, ad the recog
niton of a patter. A silar incident took place at Andews
Field near the Capital on November 18 at 9: 45 P.M. On
December 3 a stage "ball of light" of the same type was
seen, d tme at Faield-Suisun A Force Base in Calior
nia The "object" climbed toward a plane aganst a stong
wind and disappeared fom view at t touand feet
attude, stilrising.
1949
Nineteen hundred and forty-nine is another year tat
might reveal surprisig informaton to future investigators
i tey are able to gather more information concerng
sightgs i Asiatc countes. Between the two excellent
Aerican reports of Apri 24 ( Charles Moore} and August
20 ( Clyde Tombaugh) a wave may have taken place in
Sweden and the U. S. S. R. , but it is difcult to suppor this
assumpton fom ou present data. UFO actvity that year,
at any rate, seems to have begun somewhere in South
Aerica in March and developea- in the U. S. at the begin
ning of Apri. L March 21 the Adams-Anderson incident
took place ffteen miles north of Stuttgar, Arkansas where
an object with eight to ten lights ( again enthuiastcally
labeled "portholes" in the specialized jouals ) was seen tav
eling norh. It was associated wth a blnking blue light.
On Apr 6, several incidents occured at Wite Sads Prov
ing Grounds in New Mexico. The next day a huge "column
of metal" wa reported at Des Moines, Iowa; the UFO was
95
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
seen standing vertcaly in the sky, surrounded by fery
lights and blue, yelow and purple glows ; the witess
said that he had never seen anything more dread i h
entre life.
The Charles Moore icident i of interest, an ai force
document notes, becuse of the high technical qual
cations of the obserer. Preparing a site for the lauch
ing of a large test balloon at White Sands on April Z
1949, Moore was checking on crosswinds i the valley
between two mountai ranges and had lauched a smal
weather balloon, watching it in a teodolite, keeping it
on the cross hairs. He had a new man on the team who
wanted experience i tacking balloons. And so More
ted the theodolite to m, cautioning m to keep it
on and not lose it, because Moore did not want to waste
a balloon. Shortly after, Moore looked up to check the
balloon by unaided eye and thought he saw it moving
of to the east. He yelled to the ma that he had lost
the baloon, but the man said, "No, it i stl on the cr9ss
wires." Moore looked and cnfrmed this, and then rapid
ly switched the theodolite to the stange object, catchg
it after it had "passed through" the sun. It was elliptcal
two or three times as long as it was wide, movng along
its major axis, and covered te entre sky fom the south
west to the norheast in sity seconds. Five others saw it
and confed Moore's sightng. Moore checked h re
focus of the theodolite and found it had been focused
for infnity. Moore then launched another balloon and
tacked it througout its course of ninety thousand
feet. At no level were the wnds fom the soutwest
so a balloon is ruled out ( 45) .
In July, 1949, disks and spheres were repred Hyng
over Sweden and toward the U. S. S. R. The summer wa
quiet everywhere else, with no special sign of activty i
the United States untl the Las Cruces, New Mexico, in
cident of August 20, when the astonomer Clyde Tombaugh,
the discverer of Pluto and a well-kown planetar ex
per, sighted a geometic formation of rectangle-shaped lighb.
It was lost i the southeast. California, New Mexico and
Oklahoma were sources of reports later that year, and
U
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T
few observations were also made in Europe; they remain
vague and ill-defned.
As far as the "American" period i cncred, the most
important seres of sightngs took place from 1950 through
1952. But UFO activity during these three years was by
no means limited to North America; we wil see that paral
lel "waves" developed in Spa, North Africa and France,
as well as other countries. But the publicity that made the
UFO's famous had its origin i the American press durg
that period.
1950
Nineteen hundred and ffty u a very typical year for
UFO activit. A wave developed at the end of February,
reached a maxmu i the last two weeks of March and
decreased in the following months. The Unted States and
Spain shared the more iterestig observations, but the
Mediterranean Sea-from Italy to Turkey ad North Africa
as well-was vsited by parallel phenomenon. On March 1
8
a obseraton at Farmington, New Mexico, had several thou
sand witnesses. The phenomenon-another demonstraton of
"aerial fght" -lasted no less than one hour. The next day,
in Texas, a huge "cloud cigar" giving rise to secondary ob
jects was reported.
The Spanish observations of that period have been u
covered and partly analyzed by Ribera; ufortunately, not
all the details of these events have yet been published by
Spansh researchers. According to another source ( 96) , an
interestg sighting was made on April 27, 1950, at 5: 30
P. M. , twenty-fve klometers from Seville, going in the direc
ton of Malaga. The UFO was a fying disk, described with
a fair amount of detail. The observation, lasting twenty
seconds, was made by engineer from Switzerland who
was driving twoard Malaga with one of h friends :
It was an ellpsoid as could be fored by putting two
plates together, or like the body one would obtain by
wapping i one single package planet Sat and it
rings. The material seemed to be the same dull white
used by lamp manufacturers. The motion was most ir
regular. Sometimes it reminded M of that of a plate fal
ing through water.
97
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
This observation had another witness, who saw the ob
ject from the tow of Osuma ( eighty-eight kilometers
fom Seville ) after it had departed from the frst point. The
behavior reported here i again tpical; the zig-zag "dead
leaf' motion, which is described by some observers as simi
lar to that of an object falling through water, has been
observed on many occasions and in many countres.
In the nght of April 27, 1950, an aircraft fying toward
Chicago met a thick red dsk at to thousand feet altitude
just before reaching the South Bend Airport. The entre crew
and all of the passengers saw the object fying on edge
like a wheel. soon as the plane ted in the direction
of the object, it veered of at 450 miles per hour, went as
low as ffteen hundred feet altitude ( and was then seen
under the plane) and fnally left at great speed. The "disk"
was polished and streamlned, but no detail of structure was
vsible.
On May 22, 1950, the astonomer Seymour Hess, at Lo
well Observatory in Flagstaf, Arizona, saw a metalic disk.
On May 29, at 9: 20 P.M., twelve kiometers east of Mount
Veron, Captain Willis Sperr, of Aerican Ailnes, fying
from Washington to Tulsa, observed a bright blue fuorescent
light coming toward the aicraft. The "object" then stopped
and, as the plane contued, was seen agaist the moon
as 0 dark silouette i "the shape of a submarine," without
fns or wings. It appeared to be metallic and took of at
high speed when te pilot ted to make a tn to pursue
it.
1951
To the degree that 1950 was a typical year of actvity,
1951 was typically inactive. The largest number of reports
made in a to-week perod i fve ( frst hal of October) ,
but some of these reports are most interesting. UFO activi
t, it is clear, does not occu only in waves; in addition to
the recurrence of large peaks of reports one should consider
a constat phenomenon of local "faps" or isolated sightings
such as the following. A fat object of a blinding white
color was seen, on March 12, 1951, at 4 P. M. , for ff
teen minutes, at Corcelles-Neuchatel i Switzerland ( 97 ) .
The witnesses were Professor Alfred Lombard and hs fam-
9
8
'
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T
ily, and several other persons. The UFO was seen above
the lake. It followed a large course across the sky, leaving
a white and woolly smoke tail as it progressed with sud
den leaps forward. Someties it would remai perfectly
motonless. After ffteen minutes the object taveled in a
half-circle and ted upside-dow, appearing as a perlect
dik. It then took of vercally, at a fantastc speed, emit
ing no smoke or noise, and was lost i an instant.
We have already expressed ou feelings of puzzlement
concering the interpretation of sightgs of UFOs for
duratons of tenty miutes as "bal-lightning." Those who
are interested in a scientc description of such a tent
minute ball lighting are invited to such a teat by L' Asron
oie ( 98) , in which the beautiful object is reported. It
was red and remaied motonless for a while, then went
toward the northeast, then toward the soutwest, and at
the same tme it came closer to the ground. Later it began
to ascend again, only to asume a swging motion, after
which it went out of sight. The place was the little tow
of La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendee, France, and the date was
June 15, 1951, at 11: 30 P. M. The sk was clear, and the
moon and the stars were bright. According to the witness'
estate, the object was spherica ad the size of or-
ange.
.
On August 25, 1951, at 9: 58 P.M., a V-shaped object
was seen at Alburquerque, New Mexico, fying from nort
to south. It was larger tan a B-26 and few at fou
hundred miles per hour at altitude of eight hundred to
one thousand feet. It was a silver object with six or eight
lights grouped in pais. On either side of the cnter, six
to eight dark bands could be seen on the wing. No sound
was heard. The object defitely refected the lights of Cen
tal Avenue as it few over the aea. There were two wit
nesses, one of them a secuity guard at Sandia Base ( 99) .
The case has never been solved.
On November 29, 1951, at sunset, close to Highway 5
at Madisonville, Indiana, te duck hunters saw i the
sky an object which left a vapor trail; it came lower and
stopped just above them. One of the men took h gun and
raised it, but the UFO allegedly left at high speed, then
tued on one side, and they could see that it was dik
shaped and steamled. It care lower as i it were goig
99
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
to land, but did not; instead, it took of again. I the settng
sun it looked lke a white metalc object.
1952
A te worldwide wave occurred m 1952. So many sight
ings were made all over the planet between April and the
end of November that not even the exceptional ones can
be completely listed here. Rather than impsing on the
reader descriptions of the standard cases, such as the Wash
igton incidents ( which can be found in most book on the
problem) , I will ty to select a few lesser-know cases
tat might also prove of interest.
As early as January, at Gallup, New Mexico, several ob
jects that moved swiftly and occasionally remained in front
of te disk of the sun had been seen. On January 30, m
Korea, a huge disk that revolved like a large horizontal
wheel was observed for several minutes. It radiated an or
ange light from its whole suace and gave of bluish fames
fom the edge. On May 10, 1952, at 6: 00 P. M. , twelve per
sons in La Roche-sur-Yon saw a fat disk fully lighted; it
few witout noise and took of vertcally to overtake anoth
er UFO seen higher m te sky ( 100, 101 ) . O May 20,
1952, an aerial object was reported at Denham, England,
"giving rise to small disk tat scattered in all diection."
On June 12, a celebrated sighting was made at Le Bour
get Airport m Paris ( 102) . A large number of witesses
saw the '1ight," including te contol tower operators, pilots
in landing aircraft and persons living on the north side of
the city.
During the month of Juy-which marked the maxiu
of the wave-activity was equally divided beheen France,
North Africa and the United States. On July 6, for instance,
to bluish "disks" were seen at Than in Alsace; a lumi
nous sphere was reported at Bone, Algeria; and another
disk was seen at Bou-Hadjar, near Oran, during the night
of July 7.
Maximum intensity was reached in the last to weeks of
July, and then the wave decreased and fell to a minimum
in the second week of Semptember. But even ten it did
not die completely; a new burst of sightngs appeared in
European countries. The peak of the wave had been marked
by two sensational observations. made m vahington above
100
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T
the Capitol and the White House, a restricted-fight area
permanently controlled by radar. " The second lobe of the
intensity distribution, which took place in the fall, corre
sponds to another series of sensational sightings, those made
dung maneuvers of the nav of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organizaton (Operation Main brace) .
A sighting had already been made i Beine, a French
vllage in the departent of Yonne, on September 19. This
sighting was described in a scientc joua under the ttle
"suspicious object" (103) :
M. R. Sommer, pilot and aicraft manufacturer, coming
back from Beine to Chablis, Yonne, on September 19,
writes : "I was driving back i the night, which was dark,
without moon or stars. We came out of the vilage of
Beine and drove about fve minutes, when we were greatly
surprised to realize that a bright, unknown object had
appeared i the sky on the left side of the road. It had
the shape of an olive and a golden color. Its major axs
was vertical, The sightng was indeed fairylke. The phe
nomenon lasted for fve minutes. The minor ai of the
object was a little smaller than the apparent diameter of
the moon. A few minutes later, I visited the neighbor
ing villages and examined the churches, fearing the appa
riton might have been caused by iluminations or refec
tons; but everywhere I foud the same absolute ca,
and no important light to be seen. The road was
deserted."
The next day, three photographs of fying disk were
taken fom the aircraft carer "Frankli Roosevelt" during
Operation Mainbrace in the English Channel. The object was
fying extemely fast behind the NATO feet, and the wt
nesses, obviously, were numerous and competent i identi
fcaton of fying objects. The same day a number of sight
igs were made elsewhere i Europe; and the most im
portant military airbase in Denmark saw a fying dsk, ap
parently metalc, at 7: 30 P. M. It disappeared i the eat.
On September 21, six jet fghteres chased a bright spher-
"The approved explanation (meteorological ret on ra
dar) u not entirely convincing.
101
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
cal object for two minutes. One of the aircraft reting to
its base spotted the UFO again and tied without suc
cess to reach it. The same day, Morocco wa fooded with
reports of disks from Tangier to Marrakesh and Casablanca.
In the latter case, fve thousand persons attending a boxing
match saw the object. On September 22, the night shift
of a factory in Bayonne, France, watched for twenty min
utes the classica "swinging moton" of a UFO. Later that
day, an aircraft landing at Titellil-Caablanca Aeld was
passed at a low altitude by bright object. Witnesses
the ground simultaneously saw the UFO passing between
them and the plane, an indicaton that no optical ilusion
was occurring. On September Z, Operaton Mainbrace was
the occasion of a third UFO sighting. A jet fghter "meteor"
from Topclife Ai Force Base in Great Britain took of and
care close to the UFO, described as a whitish-silvery sphere
that revolved aronnd its 3 and few away before frther
observatons could be made.
On September 28, Denmark Sweden and the north of
Gerany and Poland were fooded wth dozens of report
involving spheres, disks and cloud cigars ( 104) . There were
thousands of witnesses ( 105) . Other "suspicious objects" were
reported in L' Astronomi ( 106) . The frst "landing" replete
with descripton of "lttle men" was reported i Frace about
October 15 at La Vigan, France (page 195) .
The most stiking events of the end of the 1952 wave
were the observatons made at Oloron and Gaillac. The
Oloron sighting took place about 12: 50 P. M. on October
- 17. The author of the best report i a Mr. Pringent, a teach
er, who was accmpaned by a number of other witesses.
He describes a white cylindcal object, long and thi, stand
ig at a 45 angle. The object was surrounded by about thirty
yellow disks with domes. These disks taveled in pairs and
maintained constant dstances beteen them; when they cae
closer to one another a sort of "electric arc" or discharge
would suddenly appear between the two objects. The radar
staton at Mont-de-Marsan was perturbed by the phenom
enon. In addition, the wtesses reported seeing white smoke
. coring out of the top of the cylinder, while flaments fel
to the ground in large amount. These fbers, sometmes called
"angel hair" in UFO terminology, dissolve spontaneously upon
touching the ground, as i formed of ionized particles in an
unstable state. It has been sugested that cases of "angel
10
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY
hai " often associated with sightigs of UFOs, are merely
due
'
to the migration of huge clouds of very young spiders;
this hyothesis has had little supprt, especially among biolo
gists.
The Oloron situaton was repeated at Gaillac ten days
later. Sixteen disks accompanied a "vertical cylinder" or
"cloud cigars," then hovered over the town for ten minutes,
while the same whitish substance fell from the sky and cov
ered the tees and houes, dissolving rapidly. A few minutes
after the Gailac sightng, a meteorological station at Brives
Chaensac sighted a silver metalc disk that crossed the sk
and few to the southeast. It was followed by another
UFO in the shape of a cigar, which remained motonless
i the sky for t seconds. There were fve witesses.
On October 28 Marc Perrot, an engineer in Paris, saw,
while taveling three kilometers from Nemours, an object
going toward Fontainebleau. This i related in L'Astrono
mie (103 ) . Later, Africa seemed also to be "visited." At
least one signifcant sighting was made i Bocaranga i
French West Afrca on November 22 ( 103) .
In Mont-de-Marsan on November 27, 1952, at 6: 30 A.M.
Paul Bellocq, a contractor-bulder, and several other persons
witessed a phenomenon that we w fnd reenacted in
the north of France during the 1954 wave: A luminous
object, i the shape of a disk, suddenly seemed to "split"
into two parts, whie hoverig above the witnesses; later
it rermited and left at a great speed (11 1 ) .
No sign of UFO activity comparable to what had been
obsered durng the 1950 and 1952 waves can be ford i
1953. Several of the best sightigs kown were, however,
made in that period. It is imporant to recognize that UFO
waves are sudden peaks of the number of sightings that
come as an addition to a constant phenomenon of low in
tensity, but whose abnormal character can hardly be de
ned. One of the most remarkable events in the history of
American sightings took place on August 6, 1953, when four
objects danced, moved rapidly or hovered for three hours
above an air flter center at Bismarck, North Dakota. U the
ofcial fles, the special report is several hrdred pages long.
It contains interviews and accorts made by many wit
nesses, mainly military personnel and pilots.
The intial incident had taen place at Black Hawk,
South Dakota, where a red object hovered and later sped
103
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
away on August 5 at 8: 05 P. M. It was seen by obserer
on the gound, tacked by radar and chased by a jet fghter
unt the piot had to give up. The object having left toward
the nmth, communicaton was established with Bismarck,
two hundred miles north of Black Hawk. But before indi
viduals i Bismarck saw the object, several cans quite
independently reported seeig it between te two bases i
South and North Dakota.
The object was obsered at Bismarck at 1 1 : 42 P.M. It
appeared as a point-source having a general curved course
with sudden erratic jumps. It went up and dow, ted and
deviated fom its general course, until it came close to the
a flter cnter. It ten hovered and glde slowly in full
view of many witesses who folowed its movements from
rooftops, makng marks to record the exact sequence of
maneuvers. The object disappered between midnight and
1 : 00 A.M., but three oter objects arrived at midnight.
Globemaster C-154 in the aea did not see the four UFOs,
but observers on the gound notced one of the objects sud
denly fashng, as i signalling to the aircraft, and two others
did the same after a whle. Their apparent alttude was of
te order of ten thousand feet. They never came close
enough for any stuctre to be discerible, and they went
away suddenly after tree hours of maneuvering i te clear
nght.
Ten days later, according to a scientifc report ( 113) , two
objects were obsered close to te gund i Tours, France.
(page 195) . O August 23, at noon, a flm was taken at Port
Moresby, New Gunea-where most amazing events were to
take place in 1959-by a wtess of very high reliability. The
f, an ofcial document, shows a disk coming out of a
peculiar "cloud" and makng ninety-degee ts. Other
sightings of interest were made the same month, for exam
ple at Coyote Pass, Calforia, on August 25, and in Ver
non, France, on August 31. A of these sightings are inter
esting, but no "wave" can be detected. And no activty oc
curred that could be compared with the series we have
described above, or with the French wave of 1954.
THE FRENCH PERI OD ( 53- 0)
Because of the psychological impact of the French wave
of 1954, the patter observed during that period have
104
-

MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY


become important references
.
in the analysis of UFO behavior,
and te vadous maneuvers observed have been given names
of French towns. But the 1954 wave, as well as its suc
cessor, covered the entire planet. We lave already noted the
simiadty between French and Amedcan observatons i the
1950 and 1952 waves. Many of the 1954 descriptions ap
peared to be truly new and unprecedented when Michel
published his important fndings, but we will see that the
patter had been set long ago, and that the only peculiar
ity in the French wave is the amazing number of reports.
"Landings," "cloud cigars" and "aerial fghts" had already
been observed in almost every county on the globe when
the pedod studied by Michel opened; but nobody had
paid much attention to the similarities because a particu
lar cae was always forgotten before the next one hit the
front page.
The French wave of 1954, however, was inescapable.
Dozens of reports were made every day i September, Oc
tober and November, and te phenomenon was so intense,
the ipact on public opinon so deep, the newspapers'
reactons so emotiona that scientc refexes were saturated
long before a serious investigaton could be organized. As
result, no scientist could rsk his reputaton by studying
openly a phenomenon so emotionally distorted; French sci
entsts remained silent untl the wave passed and died. Ex
tensive fles were not collected, for the clippings of one single
month represented an amazing volume of paper, so that only
an efcient organizaton of experts could have completed
the task. By the tme the wave died, the problem had
been ridiculed; the situaton has remained in this state
of paralysis ever since . .
The name of the lttle town of Veron, forty miles north
west of Paris, became associated wt a category of sight
ings after an observation made on Augst 23; the sighting,
which took place at 1: 00 A.M., is recognized as the frst
landmark of importance in the wave.
A Veron businessman, Berard Miserey, had just put his
car away when, coming out of the garage, he saw a pale
l
ght iluminatng the tow, which had been i complete
darkess a little whie before. The night was completely
clear and the mon was at last quarter, and hence was
ring about that tme.
Looking at the sky, he saw a huge, silent, motonless, lui-
105
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
nous mass, apparently suspended above the bank of the
river some three hundred yards away. It culd have been
compared to a gigantic cigar stading on end.
"I had been watching this amazing spectacle for a couple
of minutes," Mr. Miserey later reported
when suddenly from the bottom of the cigar came
object lke a horizontal disk, whch dropped at frst i
free fall, then slowed, and suddenly swayed ad dived
horontally across the river toward me, becoming ver
luminous. For a very short tme I could see the disk ful
face; it was surounded by a halo of brilliant light.
A few minutes after it had diappeared behind me,
going southwest at a prodigious speed, a simiar object
came from the cigar and went through the same man
euvers. A trd object came, then a fourth. There was
then a long interval, ad fnally a ft disk detached
itself from the cigar, which was stl motonless. Thi !
disk dropped much lower than the earlier ones, to the
level of the new bridge, where it remained stl for an
instant, swaying slightly. At that tme I could see very
clearly its circular form and its red luminosity-more in
tense at the center, fading out at the edges-and the
glowing halo surroundg it. After a few seconds' pause,
it wobbled lke the frst four, and took of like a Hash
toward the norh, where it was lost in the distance a
it gained alttude. Drg d time the luminosity of the
cigar had faded, and the ggantic object, whch may
have been thee hundred feet long, had sunk into dark
ness. The spectacle had lasted about three-uarters of
hour.
The observer was not aware that there were crroboratg
witesses. Two policemen mang their rounds at 1 : 00 A.M.
had also observed the phenomenon, as had an ary engin
eer southwest of the tow. The case was described briefy
by a Pars newspaper ( 114 ) . With the excepton of an
investigation conducted by Michel, no further study wa
made of the case.
Three weeks later, on September 14, the phenomenon re
occurred in broad daylght and was observed by hundreds
of witesses in a hal-dozen villages 250 miles soutwest of
Paris. Only one newspaper mentoned it, and only by chance
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY
wa it investigated, because te story came to Michel's at
tenton. Witesses were mosty farmers and a few priests and
schoolteachers. One witess repor:
It wa about fve in te afteroon. Emerging from the
thick layer tat looked lke storm coming up, we saw
a lumious blue-violet mist, of a regular shape something
lke a cigar or a carot. Actually, the object came out of
the layer of clouds i an almost horizontal position,
slightly tlted toward the gound and pointng forard,
lke a submerging submarine.
T luminous cloud appeared rgid. Whenever it moved,
its movements had no connecton with the movements of
te clouds, and it moved all of 8 piece, as i it were
actually some gigantc machine srrounded by mist. It came
down rather fast fom the ceiling of clouds to an altitude
which we tought was perhaps a hal-mile above us. Then
it stopped, and the point rose quckly until the object was
i a vertical position, where it became motonless.
Duing this time the dark cloud went on scudding
acrss the sky, dimly lighted fom undereath by the
volet luinosity of the object. It was an extraordinary
sight, and we watched it intently. All over the county
side other farmers had also dropped their tools and were
starig up at the sky like M-
Al at once white smoke exactly lke a vapor tail came
fom the lower end of te cloud. At frst it pointed to the
ground but fnally rose up to descrbe around the ver
cal object an ascending spial. While the rear of the trail
was dissolving in the ai and being carried of by the
wd, the source of the tal went up to the very top of
the vertical object and then started to come down again,
ting in the other directon. Only then, after the smoke
ta had vanished entirely, could we see the object that
wa sowing it-a little metallic dsk, refecting in its rapid
movements fashes of light from the huge vertical object.
The little disk then stopped ting around the luminous
cloud ad went down toward the ground again, ths time
movng away. For quite a few minutes we could see it fying
low over the valley, dartng here and there at great speed,
sometmes speeding up, then stopping for a few seconds,
then going on again, fyng in every direction between
villages that were four miles apat. Finally, when it was
107
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
aost a mile from the verical object it made a fnal dash
toward it at headlong speed and disappeared like a shoot
ig star into the lower par, where it had frst come out
Perhaps a minute later te carot leaned over as it began
to move, accelerated and disappeared into the clouds i
the distance. The whole tg lasted abut half an hou
( ll5) .
At Amiens, on September 7, at 7: 15 A.M. :
My eyes were caught by a sort of mound, two hundred
yards away i a feld. It looked something lke an u
fnished haystack, with an upside-down plate on top.
"That's a queer color for a haystack," I said to Yves,
"lok at it."
All of a sudden I noticed that te haystack was mov
ig a little, with a slght swing back and fort, le
an oscillation. We both rushed toward the mysterious ob
ject. When we got close the object took of on a slant,
traveled diagonaly upwad for about ffty feet and then
began to go straight up. We watched it for tee mnutes.
The object was about t feet i diameter.
We read i France-Sor, Septeber 15:
Three ivestigators for te ai police arrved at Quar
ouble, Nord, yesterday to interogate M. Marius Dewilde,
the man who saw two "Maran" near his back-yad gate.
They left the village with te assurance that, during te
night of Friday to Satuday, mysterious craft had i
deed landed, as claimed by M. Dewilde, on the raioad
tacks of the line Saint-Amand-Blanc-Misseron, near te
railroad crossing No. 79.
Thei inquiries seem, i efect, to con the statement
made by the metal worker. The witness has declared that
Friday, about 10: 30 P.M., he had seen a machine of an
elongated shape, three meters hgh, six meters long, sittng
on the tacks a few meters away from his house. Two
entties of human appearance, of very smal height and
apparently wearing diving st, could be seen nearby.
M. Dewilde walked toward tem, but at this moment a
beam of greenish light was focused on him from the craf
and he found himsel parayzed. When he was able 0
108 ,
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T
move again the machine had sta1ted to rse and the two
entities had disappeared.
The investigators have found no tace of te exstence
of these entities. The gronnd, examined meter by meter,
does not show taces of footsteps. However, one of the
sleepers on the tracks showed traces that could have been
made by a machie landig on it. I fve places the wood
of the sleepers i tapped on a surface of about fou square
cntieters. These markings have all the same appearance
and they le symetrically, on one line. Three of them
those in the middle-are separated by an interval of
forty-three centimeters. The last two are sixty-seven cen
timeters away from the preceding ones.
A crat that would land on legs instead of wheels like
ou own aircraft would not leave other taces, one of the
inspectors of the air police has declared.
The narratve made by M. Dewilde is also. conrmed
by several inhabitants of the region. In Onnaing, a young
man called M. Edmond Auverlot and a retired man, M.
Hublard, have seen about 10: 30 P. M. ( the tme indicated
by M. Dewilde ) a reddish lght taveling in the sky. The
same lght has been seen from Vicq by tree yonng men.
The railroad specialsts consulted by the ivestgators i
respect to the markings on the wooden ties calculated that
the pressue indicated by the prints corresponded to a weight
of thiry ton. These mark were fesh and sharply cut,
showig that the wood of the tes had been subjected at
those fve points to very heav pressure. In an examinaton
of the gravel of the roadbed, the polcemen fonnd another
puzzlng fact: At the site of te aleged landing the stones
were brittle, as i they had been clcied at high temperature
( 115) . Some blackish taces were also found. Although
nothing was determined abut the existence of the "opera
tors," it was said in the repor that the ground was hard
and that the absence of footprits did not disprove the
stor.
September 18:
. . . An object arrived at high speed over the horizon,
stood still several minutes over te town and then dsap
peared into the zenith.
109
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
September 19:
A circular object appeared suddenly in the north. It was
fat, gray, and appeared to b metallc. It slowed, stopped,
and remained motonless for about thirty seconds, durg
which time it swayed back and forth slightly. Mter
hal-minute it went of agai i north-west diecton.
September 22:
Under the clouds, a huge, luminous bal hung moon
less. Reddish and surrounded by a sort of moving smoke,
almost luminous. Watched for half an hour. Then sud
denly fom the lower par of the bal there emerged
aother, much smaler luminous bal; after a few secnds
of free fall it slowed, ted obliquely ad dsappeared at
high speed. A moment later a secnd ball dopped and
went of-and then a third, and fouth. Just then an
airplane appeared i another par of the sky. It seemed
on a colsion course with the ball. The bal abruptly
changed positon and rose ito te clouds ad diap
peared.
September 26:
The little dog began to bark and howl miserably. She
saw it standing in front of somethig that looked like
scarecrow. But goig closer she saw that the scarecrow
was some sort of small divg suit, made of tanslucent
plastc material. Behind the blurred tansparency of the
helet, two large eyes were staring out at her. The sut
bega moving toward her with kd of quick, waddlg
gait.
She uttered a cry of teror and took to the felds. Lok
ing back she saw a big metallic object, circular and rat
er fat, rise behind some nearby tees, move of toward
the northeast with considerable speed, gaining alttude
it did so.
Neighbors gathered quicky and at the spot where the
object had risen they found a cicle, ten or so feet i
diameter, where the shrubs had been crushed. Trees at
the edge of this imprnt had some branches broken and the
bak rubbed of, and te wheat i the direction of take
1I0
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI TY
of was fattened out in radiating lines. The original wt
ness was found in a state of nerous collapse. She was
put to be, where she remained for to days wit a high
fever.
September 28:
A tamp locomotve was Iig on a railway line
from Nantes to Vannes. In the marsh close to the tacks
a circular, fat machine was i rapid fght just above the
goud. Luminous, dark red, tnged with volet. It soon
reached the locmotive, fying only a few yards above
it. Then it accelerated and disappeared toward the west
at a terrice speed. For a few seconds the clouds con
tnued to be illuminated by a violet light. The freman,
bewildered, was temb
l
ng so much that his place had to
be taen until they reached the staton. He had to be
helped to his bed and for several days he sufered from
nerous shock.
Dr. Alen Hynek, later cmmentg upon this actvity, noted:
Hundreds of simiar reports fooded in. But there was
no mechanism whatever to hande them. No scientst
would touch this ticky subject, and their ofcial air
force team began sorting reports by tossing out the "ob
viously incredible reports." They latched onto those cases
i which they could see a natural explaation, a most hu
man and understandable reacton.
It i October 4 and we are at Poncey. "It was about
8: 00 P.M.
,
" Mrs. Foueret said, "and it had already been
dark for some time. About twenty yards from the house,
in the meadow, a luminous body was balancing itself
lighty in the air, to the right of the plum tree, as if
preparing to land. As well as I was able to judge, the
object was about three yards i diameter and seemed
elongated, horizontal and orange colored. I was beside
myself with fright and seie the boy, running with h
to Mrs. Bouillier's house, where we closed the door tght."
The neighbors armed themselves, the report continues,
and went out to investigate. Nothing was there, but they
said they found an area over a yard and a half long,
twenty-seven inches wide at one end, twenty at the other,
111
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
where the ground appeared to have been sucked up. On
the fresh soil of this hole, they said, white worms wiggled,
and the earth that had been tom out was scattered al
aound the hole in clods ten or twelve inches across,
over a radius of about four yads. On te iner edge
of the hole similar clods hung down. The earh had been
puled out in such way that about halfway down the
hole was wider than at ground level.
They reported further tat the little roots and rootlets
in this fertile soil were intact everywhere on the inner
surface of the hole and that not one had been cut, as
would have been the case i the excavation had been
made in the normal way. At the center of the hole, they
said, lay a plant with long root, stll attached by the
end of the root to the soil at the bottom of the hole, with
all its roolets exposed to te air, completely undamaged.
In short, i we are to accept this report, . . . it looked
just as if the mass of ear spread over the suroundng
grass had been sucked out by gigantc vacuum.
Dung the night of Septembr 2627, about 2: 30 A.M.,
a bus returing from Vals-les-Bains along Route D-130, i
the deparment of Card, stopped at Foussignargues to
drop of Mrs. Julen and her son Andre. They had
ted toward their village of Besseges, about half mile
beyond, when they notced i the sky to the east
reddish lumious object, encircled by a halo of dimmer
lght. It seemed to be movg towad the ground. Ten
minutes later, Mrs. Roche, lvng at a place called Revety,
went out on her terrace for a breath of air. Her eyes were
at once caught by the red light coming from a roud lumi
nous object, apparently on the ground beside the road
hundred yards or so away, and lower down. "It was
rather like a lumious tomato," she described it later.
"Five or six verical stalks, rather thick, came out of the
center of it on top. " Mrs. Roche and her husband stood
there watchg for twenty minutes, not dag to go dow
and look more closely. A it was cold, they fally left. The
object was still there at 3: 30 A.M. In the morg it had
disappeared ( 45) .
It has been suggested that the propulsion of UFOs, i they
are machines, has something to do with "anti-gravity" ( 117) .
This is rater inexpensive hypothesis. However, several
112
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LITY
reports mention obserations that could hardly have been
simply "imagined," and the hole i the feld at Poncey often
quoted by supporters of the "ant-gravity theory," was a
reality. In this respect, the folowing account might also
prove of interest.
On October 16, 1954, at Cier-de-Rivere (a small village
ten kilometers from Saint Gaudens and seven klometers fom
Montejeau, Haute-Garonne ) , Guy Puyfourcat, a farmer, was
returing from the felds with a mare he held by the rein.
Suddenly, the animal seemed to become very frightened.
At the sae tme, a sort of machine with a diameter of fve
feet, of a gray

color and in the shape of a large pan, took
of from behind some tees and bushes. It climbed to a
altitude of abut ffty meters and came toward them. Then,
the mare was suddenly drawn up in the air about thee
meters abve the ground and the wtness had to release
the rein. The mare fell back dow lie an inert mass and re
mained motonless for ten minutes. Later, the animal was
able to stand up, but would stumble and temble with fear.
The machine had disappeared at a very great speed. The
witness himself had not felt anything [116) .
I the evening of October 20, Jea Schoubrenner, of Sare
burg, was driving near the vlage of Turquenstein when
he noticed on the hghway ahead of him luminous body.
He slowed dow as he approached ths object, but, when
he was about twenty yards from it, he suddenly felt as
i he had been paralyzed. At the same moment h motor
stopped and, as the car's moment carried it forard,
a sensation of increasing heat spread through his body. A
few seconds later the object few away and these symptoms
disappeared.
We will not supply fther examples of sightings fom
this series, for we are sure that no sample, however large,
could give the reader a cmplete pictre of how the wave
developed. Michel's second book i probably the best ref
erence in this respect; it discusses about one-fou of all
sightings made during the fall i France. The publicaton of
an extensive catalogue of sightgs i, of course, to b de
sired.
An American wave, although smaller than the French
series, had developed somewhat earlier. At the same tme,
considerable peaks of activty appeared in every county
on the globe, as can be seen from frequency distibutions
113
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
where the diferent countries are show separately. In Jan
uary, a peak of reports had already been noted in Austalia,
where a curious muhroom-shaped object was described
on several occasions by highly reliable witnesses ( 30) .
The followng year, 1955, was not quiet, as witness the
reports made at Kelly, Kentucky; at Cochse, Arizona; at
Kefavik Arport in Iceland; at Duluth, Minnesota; and
Cheyenne, Wyoming. A enormous amount of detailed re
ports is available for the sightngs made after 1954; tg
gered by the formidable ipact of te events described .
above, amateurs and enthusiasts, among whom were several
seriou students of the phenomenon, organized themselves on
a local scale and stared to publish some of the information
they were able to gather. A few professional scientists also
became interested in the UFO problem and began sorting the
reports from ofcial or private souces, where hoaxes and
errors were obviously present, and cmpilng limited cata
logues. Thanks to d activity, the data are so abundant
that we mut review the last period summaly. A I write
t chapter, I have in front of me three drawers ful of index
cards covering the period 1955-1964. Each crd i a ref
erence to te fles in which the sighting is to be found, and
eac card usually mentons at least two or three diferent
souces available for each case.
UFO waves developed in 1956, 1957 and 1958. Te ap
parent periodicity of two years, discerible in the four pre
ceding peaks of actvty, seem to vanish dung this period.
The sightings continue to follow the patters established in
1952 and verifed with such stength i 1954. Most of the
examples we will use in later chapters w be chosen from
among tese recent documents, for UFOs are stl seen and
reported today i all parts of the world.
THE UNFI NI SHED SYMPHONY
UFO actvty did not cease afer the 1958 wave, the last
important and massive series of incidents we have been able
to record. We do not yet kow all reported sightings of the
last three years; publication of descriptons made by wit
nesses in Argentina in 1962 i only beginning. For other
countries, such as Africa and New Zaland, we may have
to wait much longer before knowing what has happned in '
the recent period. In the United States, te delay i generally
111
MODERN UFO REPORTS AND THEI R RELI ABI LI T
of a few months only. But it wl take weeks before reports
made in the summer of 1964 are analyzed and classie,
and only then wll we kow i we are dealing with events
of interest to our study, or i baseless local rumors have
triggered a series of mistakes, hallucinations and misident
fcations.
One hudred and eighty-six observations representatve of
the UFO phenomenon, according to our criteria, were made
in 1959. We count 132 for 1960, 141 for 1961, 163 for 1962.
The fgures for 1963 will be of the same order of magni
tude. Those for l964 and 1965 ae much higher.
Apr 18, 1963, at Clems, England: At 9: 00 P. M. a bright
orange object was sen, from which fteen lights detached
themselves at interals.
September 10, 1963: A Hat, eliptical object with a metal
lic appearance remained sttona i the sky over Norland
in Halifax at 10: 00 P. M.
December 27, 1963: A bright white object landed i a
feld near Epping, England at 4: 00 P. M. The left side of
the object was more brightly il uminated. The UFO was eight
feet long, three feet high. It took of horizontally and wa
hidden to the witness behind an obstacle after thity yards.
The grass had been fattened i a circle. Shalow depressions
were found in the ground where the object allegedly had
landed.
April 29, 1964, a little after noon: A high-school teacher
and six pupils saw a disk hovering, swaying, someties giv
ing the appearance of a Hat r, sometimes an ellptcal si
houette.
April 30, 1964: A brow dome-shaped object hovered
above a m ad landed. The observaton was made ten
mies west of Baker, in Califora. The UFO left a large
depression. It was observed by three witnesses for fve to
si minutes.
The aswer to the queston these sightings present i
certainly not tvial. It can lead the psychologist to elabor
ate new theories of human motivaton. It can lead the phy
sicist to improved models of atmospheric optics. But it could
also project M into the fantastc, even though it may not
be easy to accept t possibility.
115
Chapter
THE SCIENTIFIC PROBLEM
When any new and unexplained phenomenon ofers it- -
self to our inquiry, the fst duty of the investigator is to _
inform himself, with the most scrupulous accuracy, of all
the circumstances, however minute, which accompany it;
and i past observation canot answer all circumstan- '
tial inquiries which hs uderstanding may suggest as
necessary, he must patently wait te recurrence of a like j
phenomenon, and dilgently observe. When he shall thus
have collected al the cicumstances that can be imagined
to throw light on its origin, he wll then, and not until

then, be in a position to justify an inquiry into its


|
cause.
Dionysius Lardner, D. C. L. Poulr Physics, 1856. '
( Quoted by Waveney Girvan, [ 185] . )
AN UNUSUAL SCI ENTI FI C PUZZLE
The UFO problem appears to be a ne type of scientifc
puzzle in D respects. I the usual procedure of scientifc
discovery, a specialist is suddenly confronted with a fact

or a series of facts which contadict one or more established


theories. The new fact is later supported by measurements
and experiments wti the state of the art; and eforts are
made by the scientist to develop theories and experiental

devices that will cast light I| this new area, ut the weak
point in the old conception is clearly defned. When this is
done, experimental developments take place, with specialists
of several disciplines generally taking advantage of the new
theory to build uique equipent. But scientists do not
11
!
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
commit themselves unt al tests have been completed and
untl they are confdent of te precise natue of the new
phenomenon. Such approach canot be taken in the case
of the UFO problem; te analyst is cnfronted here wt
two theories, one of which clais that the facts are not "new,"
that only publcity and exaggeraton have made them ap
pear so. The second theory claims that the phenomenon
i indeed of an unprecedented nate-not yet recognied
and classifed by human reason.
This demma has been clearly seen by the ofcial inves
tgators. A U. S. A Force consutant, for example, wrote
i 1960:
This "noisy signal" has been coring at us for te past
dozen years at least and occasionaly there seems to be
a "blp" which rises wel above the noise level, as i the
case of some of the French sightings; one does indeed
wonder whether the time has come to pay some attenton
to it. The role of the force i the problem of the UFO
i the past dozen years has been in line wt its avowed
mission, namely that of determining the potental hos
tty of any acton i the ai that cannot b imediately
explained. Their verdict to date has ben tat whatever
the stimuli for the unow sightgs may be, there i
no indication of hostty. Ad since the great preponder
ance of the reports are easily explainable as misident
catons of cmmon objects, it seems almost justiable
to extapolate a bit and cover te remaining 2 or 3 per
cent. . . . Many of the report would be most difcult to
explain as misidentifcation. Yet to continue such researches
places one on what General Chassi, general air defense
cordinator, Al ed A Forces, central Europe, NATO,
has called "the dfcult path of research that i temporar
iy i disrepute." He has further stated that "true, the
reported sightigs iclude observatons of meteorites and
balloons, and even lies and dreams. That is why vigor
ous exainaton of reports i essental. But after al the
examination and screenig i fished, we still have a
percentage of obseratons that stbborly resist every
cnventonal explanaton. We can, therefore, categorically
say that serous objects have ideed appeared ad continue
to appear i the sky that surouds us." His conclusion
would be corect i he were dealing wt phenomena
117

ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
I
tat occur in any other eld of human experience, i law,
i medicine, or in the many branches of the sciences.
Evdence so well attested would certaly be accepted in
cout. But it is understandable why it cannot b as yet in
te area i which we ae dealing. We do need either a
breakthrough here-and breakthrough would consist
of one or more sightings that occurred in front of
battery of scientists ad their instruents, and which
sightngs also produced copious amounts of hardware
or we need very careful ad devoted study of the evi
dence already at hand, even recogg that the signal
to-noise rato is extremely low and inded less than unity.
At leat, it appears to me that work should be done on
testg some of the hypotheses that have been put for
wad i cases i which numerous witesses were present
and the phenomenon lasted reasonable lengt of tme.
(
45) .
we let things follow thei normal course, therefore, the
solution to the mystery might present itself one day or another,
when this "breakthrough" might occu in the form of an
unusually good sighting; after al, this is how the mystery
of meteorites wa solved, "when so many stones fel on the
lttle vlage O L'Aigle i France tat the evidence became
incontoverble."
But can we be certai that the apparent nonostility will
persist when this "incontroverible evidence" is fnally at
hand?
How do you go about deterining whether or not ac
tons possibly planned and executed by nonhuman intelli
gence are hostile? How do you kow i actions that would
appear "nonhostile" by our standard are really harmless on
longer scale? In our laboratories, we slowly develop cancer
on mice and guinea pigs, al the tme keeping the most
frendly attitude toward tem.
UFOs are mirages the Force mission is too sophisti
cated; D they are space tavelers, it i inadequate.
THE DANGEROUS PRECAUTI ONS
When scientists say that the UFO problem cannot be
onsidered a scientc one because no physical evidence
IIU
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
has been found yet, I am tempted to answer that what wl
happen i physical evidence is found will be anythig but
science. there ever was proper tme for research, te
tme is now. The decisions we w make when physical
evidence is fnaly present will be determined by the level
of our kowledge and understanding of the phenomenon,
ad now is the tme to acquire ts informaton. By per
mittg ridicule to bury the problem and waste our chances
of obtaining more accurate, more reliable data from te
witesses, we are not actng as scientists.
Emphasis should be placed on the processing of data
already kow, not solely on "physical evidence. " If the "ob
jects" are craft developed by an advanced technical civ
zation, their "operators" have probably possessed space tavel
for a very long tme, and te sampling of our planet had
in all likelhood not been planned before al problems of
hardware reliability had been solved; this is precisely what
we ourselves are planning to do with our ow space probes.
It is not very realistic for us to wait for a "fyng saucer"
suddenly to fal apart in our back yard.
It would indeed be very dangerous to take too many
precautons when confronted with a problem of d impor
tance and to refse to study it before physical samples are
cllected. Because the possibity of an extaterrestial orgin
of the UFOs i considered too "emotional" to be allowed
ito a scientic discussion, one has to break the barrier and
say i plain words what the specialist's jargon would not
permit. This is a new occasion for us to wonder i logicias
do not restrict a lttle too much our area of responsibity
when they ask us to dsregard our emotions and block
our imaginatons to te bare facts, and to see everg
through a microscope wth the mind of a machine.
As a specialist in data processing I have exactly the oppo
site view: The logcal, unemotonal pat of my work is per
formed excellently, much better than I could perform it,
by computers whose lack of imagination cannot be questoned.
I feel perfectly juted in askng questions and iterpretng
answers wth that part of my brain that makes me dif erent
from the machine-my iaginaton and my emotional mind.
By so doig, I ca I stay on a safe scientifc ground, and
that only scientists who continue to ignore modem techniques
and tools should make up for it by lowerig their human
brain to the level of unemotonal reasoning.
119
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
THE NEED FOR A NEW SYSTEM OF ANALYSI S
Science has always chosen the subjects of its ow inves
tgatons; new facts generally have been discovered in the
curse of scientifc experments and, by defniton, study was
undertaken within the state of the art. Our logic and our
philosophy of science is adapted to tis particular process.
When it is not followed, when events occur fom the out
side, scientists react as emotional human beings, not as well
tained specialists. Other areas of human actvity, such as
philosophy or theology, are in a psiton to undertake a
study of the phenomenon, but science must remain silent.
The Fatma vision, for example, could be interpreted by
teologians and phlosophers; similarly, C. G. Jung could
discuss the UFO problem long befoe the scientsts could
adapt his methods of investgaton to the phenomenon, for
new concepts had to be defned ad sold psychological
barers broken.
When scientists are thus confronted with the totally u
exected, their normal reaction is labeling the unkown in
stead of studying it. A monstous animal always looks less
terrible when it has a name, preferably Latin. From the label,
scientists can jump to concluions, al the tme keeping as
far away from the monster as possible, later searching for
some aspects of the phenomenon which will ft their models
computed a priori. Of curse, they can prove their point very
well by this process, and the whole argument seems very
reasonable and objectve; any new phenomenon has aspects '
that, when isolated from the whole monstrous body, "look
lie" already known and classifed efects.
This point is excellently illustrated by meteorites and "fy
ing saucers"; certainly, we have not chosen to be confron-
ted with these objects, and similarly no farmer has ever
chosen to have a stone fall fom the heavens through the
roof of his bam. Whatever the state of the a, the phenome-
'
non i here, and so is the hole in the roof. If the cause of
the manifestation i natural, one day the expansion of sci
ence will absorb it; i I drop my pencil now, and watch it
fall to the foor, I am perforing an experiment which is only
accurately describe-but poorly explained-by science. I
am, however, confdent that some day physicists will master
this amazing efect. O the oter hand, when we are con
fronted with a manifestaton of. seemingly intelligent origin,
120.
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
the problem is much more cmplex. Because we ouselves
are reasoning animal, we feel compelled to ty to under
stand it. a consequence we are tempted to interpret
it in a subjectve fashion; the rsk involved i much greater
than in the case of natural events.
Since the concepts that would allow M to gasp the phe
nomenon in its entirety may not have been formed yet,
or may lie beyond the potentality of the consciousness which
is characteristic of the present state of the human brain, we
have a tendency to start from plausible solutons and work
backward. But this is no longer science:
It is not in the spirit of science fo an investgator
' either to do a sloppy job or to, a priori, jump to a con
clusion. He may be dead right, but in science cnclusions
are not arived at by jumpig; they are arrived at by
careful step-by-step analysis ( 45) .
Ou problem, therefore, is clear: We must analyze the
evidence already gathered in such a way that we neither
presuppose nor pre-exclude any possible conclusion. And
this is not at all what previous investgators seem to have
done.
THE HARVARD SYNDROME
Very uncommon indeed are astonomers who consider with
excitement the possibility of life and intelligence in the uni
verse. They seem to have practcal reason for being afraid
of discoveries in this feld, but there is, in addition, a psy
chological barrier that prevent them from conceiving of
extaterestial lie. They cannot replace in their imaginations
the huge cosmic cemetery for celestial bodies which they des
cribe in thei b
ooks with a world of life and thought. In this
respect I like to remember the wonderfu words m the As
tonomer Royal ( the highest astonomical position in Great
Britain) : "Space travel is utter bilge." This was, mind you,
in 1957, a little before October.
Another reason astonomers tend to dislke this subject is
a dect consequence of their education. Nine astonomers
out of ten started as young students in astronomy, went
through high school and college with the idea of becoming
what they are now, considered only astonomical matters
121
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
at cllege and have jumped directly from thei doctoral
dissertation into reseac and teaching wthout indulging
themselves i any romantc af air with earthly matters. Ti
results i many a dsaster when tey ae later faced with
decisions involving business matters, industy contacts or
computer progamming. It also result i their complete
inability to surve i they must live in a diferent envion
ment; they are therefore carefu not to rsk their astonomical
positions.
Some astonomers have, however, understood the UFO
problem and have studied it seriously, even i they have ut
now neglected to send the result of their discussions to the
Astrophysical Jourl. These reseachers have careful y stud
ied many UFO reports and have analyzed them accrding
to the techniques wit which they are familiar. Our own re
sults, obtained in te light of dif erent techniques, seem to
indicate that the present prevailng atttude i too limited,
that there i more to b found in this phenomenon than
i claimed, because the samples of data they study are too
small and the techniques they employ too narrow. I th
book, we oppose a certai method of analysi, namely, the
system which distors a set of unknown phenomn until
it is recognizable by ordinary stanrds. Thi process i
the noral interpretaton scheme employed by science i
its investigations. But manifestatons of extraterrestial intel
lgence, i they occur, wil flter through t tye of analy
sis without being detected because they w always show
apect which can fal under ordinary classifcations, thus
allowing the skeptc to claim that the observed phenomenon
can be explained as a combination of ordinary efects,
"seen under peculia circumstances."
When only individual cases are taken into consideraton,
this approach, whch is illustrated in Dr. Menzel's work and,
more generally, in the U. S. A Force's ivestgations, i
quite correct. But t tpe of study is insufcient in cases
involving new cncepts to be extacted through research, 0
0c. t statement by Captain Ruppelt, 11 April 19M:
"Regarding a thery by Dr. Menzel that al UFOs were su
dogs, halos, light refractions, etc., I U told by advisers to
our organizaton ( ATIC) that this theory was not vald ex
cept for a few cases that we had already written of as such."
122 .
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
investigaton of individual cases should b cmbined here
wth general analysis. Today's ofcial atttude is an illus
taton not of extemely careful scientc research claimed
but of this chronic wealess of the human mind excellently
termed by Professor Remy Chauvi te Sydome of Re
sistance to the Future.
SPECI ALI STS AND ANALYSTS
"ammit, which of them i a poor fellow to believe?"
"Both of , them, as long as they simply put thei facts
down on the table. But neiter of them, i they ignore each
other and start to piece the whole puzzle together on their
ow. That's the strength of pure research," I said.
"And that's its greatest wealess," said my Aku-Aku.
"In order to penetrate ever further down ito their sub
jects, the host of specialists narrow their felds and dig
dow deeper and deeper tl they can't see each other
fom hole to hole. But te treasures their toil brings to
light they place on the ground above. A diferent kind of
specialist should be sitting there, the only one stil missing.
He would not go down any hole, but would stay on top
and piece all the diferent facts together."
"A job for an Aku-Aku," I said.
"No, a job for a scientist," retorted my Aku-Aku. "But
we can give h a hnt or two."
'
( Thor Heyerdahl, Aku-Au) .
A number of specialists have studied the reports of UFO
observatons and have "put their facts on the table." But no
one has yet been called to gather their results and attempt
to gain access to the general behavior of the phenomenon. A
matter of fact, one could even say that the "specialist"
approach has represented an attempt to deny the reality of
te UFO phenomenon and that the spirit followed in this
approach has been very antagonistc, i practce, to the idea
tat the reports coud lead to te defniton of a consistent
patter.
UFO reports have never been analyzed as manifestations
of a global efect; the very existence of "waves" of sightigs
i ignored, or siply denied, by ofcials in charge of the in
vestgations. The reports are analyzed one at a time, with
amount of energy drectly proporional to the publcity
12
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
they have received i specialzed "enthusiast" revews or i
the press, radio and television. A side efec af thi process
that the mos interesting repors are completely unno
to the public an to civilian scientists who might, otherwise,
have a very diferent atitude toward the subject. The more
widely discussed cases, such as Washington in 1952, are
rather poor and, i our fles, woud be considered second
rate.
Abominable selecton efects have been intoduced and
work of ver unequal qualit has been done on the various
reports. The typical period i that of Captain Ruppelt, who
was i charge of the UFO problem dung the 1952 wave. 0
It was during the 1952 wave that the ofcial patter for
handling and classifying reports seems to have been set up
by Ruppelt, who surrounded h ofce with a series of spe
cialists-an astophysicist, a psychologist and so fort. He
himself made the selecton aong incming repors, auto
matcaly elminating account of "landings" ( and throwg
them into the tash can, he writes in hi book [ 118] and
submiting to h consultant only those few reprs which
he thought could be best explained i the light of thei
specialties. The astronomer, for example, saw only caes of
probable meteors and miages, and had no access to the re
mainder of the fles.
Once again I am puposely avoiding discussing this process
in scientc terms, for science hd nothing to do with the
oficil motivations at that time. I shall, on the contary,
try to expose and dramatze te enormous contadictons of
this methodology by taking an iaginary example.
Let my reader suppose that a feet of atomic bombers of
the Strategic Ai Command suddenly fds itself projected
backad in tme. It i now rhing tough the European
Captain Ruppelt died i 1960. The feld of UFO re
search is now old enough that othe eminent pioneers ae no
longer alve. C. G. Jung died i the summer of 1961. Wilbert
B. Smith, a Canadian researcher, died on December 27,
1962, and Waveney Gia ( author of Flying Sauers an
Common Sense and editor of the British Flying Saucer Re
view) ded on October 22, 1964. Astonomer M. K. Jessup
( author of The Case for the UFO) committed sucide on
Aprl 20, 1959, in conditions surrounded with some myster.
124
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
sky i the time of the empire of Charlemagne, i A.D. 800.
Thousands of farmers, soldiers, monks and ofcials watch it
and hear it. The news reaches the Emperor, and a com
mittee of specialists is appointed to solve the mystery. This
committee includes : a) a erdite i Greek manuscripts; b)
the Astrologer of the Palace; c) the Archbishop of Paris;
d) two theologians; e) the Physician of the Court; f) the
Chief of the Royal Cavalry; and g) the Emperor's jester.
Each cmmittee member i given only those reports that
fal under h jurisdiction. Of course, people of very diferent
backgrounds have seen the objects, some at night, some dur
ing the day. Since none of them has ever witessed anything
of the knd before, they w describe their vision in ordinary
terms, and they are very likely to difer in tei iterpretations
because they are not all familiar with the same usual objects.
Undoubtedly, most of the daytme witesses w say they
have seen a fying cruci, and heard the cries of Jesus jolt
ig te horion. These reports w be given to the Arch
bihop ad, since they may contai inforaton of very high
value to the Church, and could even shake its very founda
tons, they are not communicated to the other members of
the cmmittee, especially to the physician, the atrologer and
te jester.
At night, many farmers and shepherds have seen strange
lghts dashing through the sky. These reports are completely
unterestng to all except the astologer, who locks himsel
i h observatory to stdy them in peace.
By that tme the Greek erudite has read all of Herodotus
ad Plato again ad comes up with a couple of suggestions :
He pints out that nothing similar has been reported by these
authors, and remarks that the human soul is often afected
by stange dreams and visions. Noting a possible new in
terretation of an obscue mythologcal point, he goes back
to the lbrary and is never heard of again.
The Physician of the Cou is given a hundred reports
made by farmers, who describe enormous bids fying in
clusters though the sky, accompanied by strange noise and
wind. But this does not fool him, and he explais at once
these facts, which may appear "strange" only to vulgar, un
educted people, by the yearly migraton of some species of
birds, which apparently falls earlier this season. The gracious
amals have probably taken advantage, he says, of the
stong wids generated by storm-whence the noie. But,
125
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
of curse, uneducated farmers see superatural phenomena
everywhere! The doctors, forately know better.
The Chief of the Royal Cavalry is very agry because he
has not yet been consulted. He must agree that the objects
do not represent a teat to the welfare of the empire, sice it
is obvious that they do not cary spears, bows or arows. He
will open a fle, however, to keep the recrd of what is done
and clasiy the observatons. But i order to do any seriou
research on these docuents he would need pat of the money
resered for the Deparent of the Royal Ships, and the
Great Adiral w never let b do that. Ext the Chef of
the Royal Cavalry.
By that te, the Emperor's daughter has fallen deeply i
love with a handsome prince, and the people are very busy
fling income ta reports, so tat nobody speaks of Hying
crcies any more. The general opinon at the Cou i tat
it is not i the iterest of te Crow to favor the spreading
of ruors, and the less said about it publcly the better.
A nc ltle old fellow had reported 0 very stange viion.
He said he wa workg in his feld when he suddeny heard
a most unusual noise, and saw a huge Hying cross rhng
fom behid a cloud, surounded with smoke and fre, and
fallg into the ocean at some distance fom the ca. A few
minutes later a large white Hower appeared in the sky with
te shape of a human being dangling below it, as i at te
end of a sting.
The stange entity laded on top of a big tee i the forest
and disappeared. Ten minutes later, a the farer was stl
tg to fgure out the meaning of his vision, and wa pon
dering whether he should tell it to the priest, a very tal man
in green clothes with pecular hoses hanging aound h neck,
an isignia on his overcoat ad a black tube in h right
hand cme toward h from te forest and said a few in
comprehensible words. Realng he was not uderstood, he
left and dd not ret.
The author of this fantatc tale wa asked many ques
tons; since he never touched a botle of wine, he was de
clared mad in the sevent degree and possessed by the Devil.
Therefore, he was neatly ad promptly hanged the same
week.
The astologer published a monograph in Lati concerg
the iterpretaton of moving lights. Hi general conclusion
fom te sightgs he had studed wa that the next sum-
126 .
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
mer would not be quite so dr as the last one and that the
Emperor would have six grandchildren, all male. As a token
of roya gratitude for this good news he was promoted and
given two pounds of gold.
The Church did not release any general statement at that
tme, but a considerable number of sermons were made
thoughout te land concerg the necessity of beleving in
the Old Texts and being careful in the interpretaton of mir
acles, since the Devil often plays trick with the iagination
of the honest citen.
But the people were uappy and stl in a state of shock
after the stange viions. The Jester of the Cour fortunately
had an inpiraton and wrote a balad saying that the whole
thing had been a good joke and that it was ridiculous to look
at the .skes to discover strange signs when the land of France
was so fl of pretty girls. The balad son became very pop
ular. Everybody laughed and danced for three days and
three nights, and many children were bor less than year
later.
T little tale, I clai, bears a stg resemblance to the
ofcial process for handling UFO reports: The main piece
in the mechanism is missing. A diferent kind of specialist
should be sitting tere. The mssing man is the analyst.
During the last decades, on the basis of scientifc, techni
cal and industal experence, and under the pressue of war
time necessity and the requirements of private enterprise, a
bdy of techniques has emerged which encompasses opera
tions research, decision-making, large-scale date processing,
inforation theory and contol analysis. These new tech
niques, disciplines and sciences have been employed to classify
human actvity, technical processes and natural events in sets
and classes and to generalie te fndings of speciasts into
global approaches and general descriptons. In the last twenty
years, they have found application in every feld of huan
actvity. Some of the techniques thus developed could fnd
imedate applicaton in UFO research.
The analyst would demand access to all the facts. He
woud cmpletely ignore the labels used by ofcial authori
tes-"good report," "bad repor," "unreliable," "insufcient"
-because they refect subjective, nonscientifc verdicts. He
would introduce his own system of classifcation without
bothering to state frst that the phenomenon must belong to
t or that feld of research, because tere is no such thig
127
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
as a "feld of research," and research itself is ony a part of
human activity that has not been defned i scientifc terms.
He has learned that, although specialsts sometmes use df
ferent techniques, tcks, or kow-bows and like to d of
their work as an entity separated from the rest of the uni
verse by golden barriers, there are wide bands of similarity
across these lttle cells through which can b gaied almost
immedate access to any of these disciplines. He w not
bother to ask for permission to contradict accepted teories,
because he i a researcher and any researcher must be con
scious of the possibly novel nature of the phenomenon he
may suddenly b confronted with. Nor will he aplogize for
including i his research so-caled "fantastc" reports, for
"fantastic" ca only be defned wth respet to a local system
of reference; he will ty to work in a scale where he kows
no other constraint than the relative laws of human reason
ing and the lmits of his own imagiation. Human lmitatons
of memory and capacity to process huge masses of dat
without forgettng or making mistakes are no problem with
the advent of cmputers; the UFO problem is made for te
analyst. But he has never been asked to study it.
If an analyst were given the opportunity to study the UFO
problem h frst demand would be that one or two mathe
maticians be added to the team of specialsts. new
phenomena are present in the set of patters that constttes
the UFO problem, there is a possibilty that these phenom
ena may lie outside the scope of any one of the specialtes
recognized today by science, and stl be discerble to the
mathematical mind. At least, the abstract stcte of these
behaviors may fal under some mathematcal categor or may
be approached by mathematical descriptons when al oter
specialists have come to te lits of their competence.
I will not endeavor to prove that specialists have indeed
come to the lmits of their competence i thei attempts to
see through the blackess of the UFO mystery; t i obvi
ous, sice after twenty years of ivestgaton we ae stl at
the point where Ruppelt was when he set up h "com
mittee of specialists."
It is a fasciatig experience to review the old argents
used agaist the pioneers of astonomy-Copercus, Kepler,
Galileo-and to realze that the mental processes that today
oppose the hypothesi of extaterrestal itellgence are pre
cisely those we lke to suppose were abolished four cnties
128 ,
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
ago. I this respect, it U of interest to remark, i the light of
ofcial interpretation of UFOs as refectons, mirages, distor
ton through haze layers, etc., that some early Greek phil
osophers believed that the 8u and the stars did not have
substance or permanence; 0ey were thought to be
". . . hazy efuvia tat rose from the earth and caught
fre. Stars are consumed at dawn; in the evening new ex
halatons for new ones. Similarly, a new Sun i bm each
moring, constituted of accumulated sparkles. The moon
i compresed cloud, that takes one month to dissolve;
later a new cloud is formed. Above the diferent regions
of the Ea we see diferent moons and suns : 0 are nebu
lous illuions" ( quoted in [ 120] ) .
Such a position was very tenable. It solved the problem
much more completely than any of the systems astronomers
painstakngly elaborated later. There is, however, a part of
te human mind that rebels against this negative approach
to the iterpretation of reality.
Theories tending to deny the reality of physical phenomena
are seen recurrg i cosmology each tme dogma is shaken
by new obseratonal material. In order not to destoy mental
contaptons called theories-which the scientist knows are
br only i his imagination and stay alive only by constant
investments from his imagination-the scientist claims that
physical facts themselves are in his imagination; there is some
tng facinatng indeed in te spectacle of the human mind
denyg entrance to the kngdom of material existence to facts
that do not ft into theoretical models.
On November 11, 1572, Tycho Brahe, while walking out
side h obseratory before diner, became aware of the ex
istence of a new star brighter than Venus, close to the con
stellation of Cassiopeia. This discovery of the frst nova since
the birth of Christ was in compelte contadiction to the as
tonomical doctrine of the time. The contemporary view was
that al changes, all efects ivolving modifcation, birth or
deat could only take place in the vlgar part of the uni
verse, in the immediate environment of the earth. On the con
trary, the eighth sphere, the sphere of the fxed stars, re
mained unchanged since the creation of the world.
The reality of the phenomenon culd not be denied, but
number of ingenious theories were ivented to prove that
129
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
te new object was not a sta. Some explained that it was a
comet formed by the condensation of the vapors of sin and
set to fre by divine anger ( 120) . It produced a sort of poison
ous dust that fell on the people's heads and generated all
sorts of evil thigs such "bad weather, pestlence and
Frenchmen." Most atronomers described the new object as
a comet which had no tail and moved very slowly. Tycho
Brahe's answer to tese acrobats-0 coecos coeli spectatores/
( Blind spectators of the Skyl ) -could fd applicatons to
day.
No less an atronomer than Galileo occasionally made the
same mistake. Because comets did not ft ito his model, he
denied their reality as material object. He decided they had
to be phenomena like aurorae or sun dogs; they were pro
voked by a refecton of the hazes from the earth "that rise
i the sky higher than the moon."
Material existence, however, should obviously be tested. I
the case of UFOs, the recognition of this property is so cr
cial that one has indeed to be very careful. The ofcial ap
proach i satsfactory i the data are representative of the
phenomenon one wants to stdy, and i criteria exist which
limit the possible complexity of the fal "explanaton." In h
book ( 121 ) , Dr. Menzel works from a selected sample of
UFO reports and does not limit te potential complexity of
his system. But very few of the cases he studies would be
thought worthy of consideration i a objective system of
analysis where weights are distbuted according to well
defned criteria, and not accordng to the amount of pub
licity the case has received i "enthusiast" circles obviouly
unconcered with scientic analysis. Thus we fnd ourselves
confronted again with t selecton efect of ofcial 0 and
private secrecy on good reports and exaggerated publicity on
average or fankly bad reports. A classical example u the
Lubbock case, highly acclaimed i the ranks of the "believers."
We would like to cnfront those scientists who are opposed
to the theory of the material existance of the UFOs with
sightings like Veron, Poncey, Ponthierry, Foussignargues,
Quaouble i France or Levelland, Texas and Lock Raven,
"Regarding the so-called "ofcial secrecy," we shall point
out, however, that because the cases are not idivdually
publicized does not mean that they are secret.
130
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
Marland. The same omission is deplored i teir analysis
of the difcult problem of "landings." No serous investigator
ha ever been very worried by the clais of the "contactees" !
( see Chapter 5 ) . But the reliable reports of objects seen on
or close to the ground are ignored by the present ofcial
analyses, and nothig is done to satisfy our curiosity con
cerg such excellent accounts as those given by Gachignard
in Marignane or Marius Dewilde in Quarouble. The state
ments made by leading scientsts opposing the material reality
of the UFO phenomenon contain many comments on physical
efects that take place i te atosphere and natural phe
nomena that could puzzle untrained persons and, granted, -
are commonly misidented in the enthusiast jouals. But
tey do not give one new piece of information to the cm
petent investgator.
REQUI REMENTS FOR AN OBJ ECTI VE ANALYSI S
OF UFO REPORTS
How can we approach the problem so that we will be
cerin that most simple natral and conventional efects are
rejected from our analysis at an early stage and that no feasi
ble soluton ( however fantatic, i a natural or artifcial
sense) has escaped because of selection efects?
We cerainly canot do it i we begin with the idea that
UFOs mus be natural, and sort them as they arrive as our
good friend Charlemagne did. We have to be much more
careful and refse to work from selected samples. We must
patently gather objective information fom all sources; of
cials and amateurs, enthusiasts and crackpots or cultsts have
te right to send us their views.
We will then make seres of general comments and state-
tThe word "contactee" applies to persons who clai to
have received kowledge of the nature and origin of the
"fying saucers" fom the operators of the craft themselves.
Most of tem, like George Adamski ( formerly head of a mys
tcal cult kown as the Royal Order of Tibet) , add that they
have actally taveled i "fying saucers."
131
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O3
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBlEM
very dif erent. Clearly, it would b a mitake to put the
emphasis on the specifc terms used by the witess. A typical
example in U respect is that of the "cigar," whch may t
out to be either an "egg or a "dik." And we w have to
ask questons that are independent of the wtess' chaacter
and backgound. Defing categories accrding to the re
ported 87 of te object would lead to cniderable con
fusion; the average American wtness cmpares the apparent
dimension of Venus or Jupiter to that of "a basebal at arm's
length."0 This should not be vewed as an indicaton of the
unrelabilty of the report, or as a "asis of contadicton"
which would eliminate the cse, as some ofcial investgators
assume. T partcular piece of inforaton should simply
be igored or, i apparently reliable, tken into acunt vd
a weight relatve to all the other characters i the repor.
It i always possible, even in the presenc of such natl
mes (whch are expected and shoud not come as a
surpri to the researcher) , to defe an approach that wl
minime the riks of misclassifcaton; inforaton fom very
diferent sources, even i very diparate, cn stl be formed
into a geeral catalogue by the process we shal descrbe
later.
Oe should be very cref when uig books as sources of
ioraton, for the psychology or prsonality of an author
( and also the fact that he L tng to use these acunts to
prove somethig or to make the reader gasp a CH poit )
w always generate distorton efects. is why we have
te bth in t book and i other publcatons on the sub
jec to put the emphasis on classes and behaviors rather
than on indvdual cses.
Qte a large number of volumes have aeady been \it
ten on the subject and those we have found intelgble are
lted in the Biblogaphy at the end of t volume. A per
son who would lke to become famiiar \ith the problem
coud however, fnd most of the scientc material, i addi
ton to a large number of specifc examples, in the boks of
the serou students of the phenomenon who have avoided
0\Ve have even found H object as big as "a star at am's
length." But let my reader, i he laughs at these mistakes, see
how much of h T screen is covered ( when watching from
uua distnce) by ord stamp held at arm's lengt
133
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
the pitalls of "loose tg" and resisted the temptaton of
fantasy: 0
( 1 ) C. G. Jung, A Modern Myth ( 9)
( 2) E. Ruppelt The Repo Unidentifed Flying Ob
fects ( ll8)
(3) Aie Michel, Th Truth About Flying Saucers ( 148)
( 4) Ame Michael, Flying Saucers and the Straight LC
Mystery ( ll5)
( 5) D. Menzel and L. Boyd, The World of Flying
Saucers ( 121 )
In additon, the general backgound will be provided by
the following popula books :
( 1 ) Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned (40)
( 2) D. Keyhoe, Flying Sauers are Real
( 3) C. Lorenzen, The Great Flying Saucer Hoax ( 188)
( 4) NICA, UFO Evidence
We have already mentoned the scientc jouals
source of documentaton. Of curse, there i a defte drop
ater 1947, when bannig of UFO reports became genera.
However, some astonomical publicatons, especially those put
together by amateurs, contue to report "peculia" meteors
0 A poll made i 1958 by UFO joual, Saucers, among
U. S. amateurs disclosed that Ruppelt and Keyhoe ted for
frst place as "Best author of UFO material" ( 28 per cent
each) , followed by Aime Michel ( 18 percent) . At the ques
ton, "Which of the following has most harmed. UFO re
search?" 59 per cent answered "Ofcial censorshp and rd
cule," 27 per cent "Fantatc claims by some contactees," 0
per cnt "Public apathy and confority" and 5 per cent
"Press apathy." The "Best book on UFO's" was Th Repor on
Unientifed Flying Objects ( Ruppelt, 32 per cent) . Michel's
two books tied for thd place, with Keyhoe's Flying Saucers
from Outer Space (9 per cent) behind Miler's Flying Sau
cers: Fact or Fictin ( 14 per cent ) .
1
'
'I
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
and "ball lighting" so stange they desere a card i ou
UFO fe.
Researchers who want to study te 1954 French wave
should consult newspaper collectons Michel did, and as
we did to corroborate some of Michel's fndings. But let them
be prepared to be confronted with a enorous quantty of
work! Most of te good reports have become collector's items,
and the early docwents that circuated as private cmmu
nicatons, such as the Qucy cataogue, canot b found to
day.
Beteen the periods of mass publicity one cannot ga i
foraton concering the sightings trough the large news
papers and must therefore t to the local press, a very
difcut task i one does not receive help from local corres
pondents. Another soluton would be for local UFO groups
to collect inforaton in their areas and send it without d
torton or comment to a data-processing center, where the
general fle woud be kept. But everybody prefers to keep
jealously his own docwnents and most of the iformaton
never comes to light. One coud also subscribe to a news
clippig serce, but this would require a fairly good organi
zaton set up by data-processig experts, because of the vol
ue of material involved; the U. S. A Force tied to do that
at a certin period but had to give it up because they re
ceived too much information!
Unpublshed informaton is superabundant and would seem
almost limitless to a naive researcher who woud stat a sys
tematc review of all stacks of letters or clippings kept by
enthusiasts throughout the world, or would obtai perission
from local police or large newspapers to consult their archives.
Michel received so much inormaton that he was unable to
read and classify all of it. Most of the old documents con
taied i his fles have since been clared (which is how
the forgotten 1946 wave was rediscovered) and a thorough
analysis of the remander of his fles, begun four years ago,
i stl in progress. Such work can be conducted with ef
ciency and relative speed only within the frame of a gen
erl system of classifcaton and with the aid of indexes and
cataloges, and even this preliminay work will represent
years of actvity for a group of experenced researchers.
Rumors and unreported personal experiences are stil the
largest reservoir of inoration. They are quite variable
135
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
i quality; many astonomers, 0 pilots and ofcial personnel
would fercely deny having seen anything like a disk i the
sky. Some wl admit, i private, having seen pecular ob
jects, but w never report tem ofcially, not because they
feel they do not have evidence to suppor their account, '
but because they are afrad of the consequences; pilots are
not supposed to see tg and astonomers are not sup
posed to spread supersttous rumors-not to mention the fact
that in some coutries "spreadig rumors" i a crime pun
ishable by two weeks i jail.
Through personal association with iterested astronomers
and scientists we were i a favorable position to discover how
diferent their prvate atttudes are from their ofcial stand
points, and we could often gai access to otherwise "reserved"
information. An unfortunate cnsequence is that we would be
in difculty if we were asked to cite the exact reference or
source of some of d iforaton. I France, for example,
no ofcial record has been kept of the observations. A special
bureau of the army seems to have existed when public emo
tion was at a mamum, but the uefl part of its fles con
tains only a few reports, made by meteorologists in Sahara and
contol-tower operators, i additon to naive consideratons
about meteors taken from some encyclopedia. The Itaan
Air Force once issued a vague statement concring its fles,
which cntained, i thei ow words, only very limited i
foration on object seen fyig on the easter coast of thei
county in 1954.
Considerable private actvity has developed and is being
maintaied i Europe. Although no unifyng force exists, u
actvity is not always wasted. Interested scientists search for
new fact and their fndigs are often of high quality.
One should always, however, check cmpletely the original
source, for UFO data are generally tansmitted burdened by
superstiton and falsehood. Through extemely careful analy-
0In 1959, a restrcted newsletter from the Smithsonia A
tophysical Observatory had this to say on the subject of
"popular comments on UFO's": "It is exceedingly undesiable
to become associated with these 'sightings' or the persons
originating them . . . on no account should any indicaton
be given to others that a dscussion even remotely concered
wt UFO's is takng place."
136
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
sis of the miginal facts one can generally fnd the truth. But a
very intimate understanding of the people and of local con
ditons is requed for such research.
THE SEARCH FOR I NVARI ANTS
We have not yet defed the UFO phenomenon. We have
to do so i such a way that a scientifc study wil be per
missible, and this imples not tng to defne "fying saucers,"
for the events connected with their alleged apparition are
not observable at wil or reproucible uder the guarantees
of ofcial science. We will propose the followig defnition:
Manifestatons of the UFO phenomenon are to b found
among reports of the percepton of a visua image, commonly
interpreted by the witess H that of a material fyng object,
which possesses either or bot of the following propertes: a)
an appearance which, to the witess, is unusual; b) a be
havior which, to the witess, is unusual.
UFO phenomena are thus subject to scientifc study ( since
the reports are observable by ofcial scientists ) , whereas
the alleged "object" escapes ratonal analysis. In addton to
tis defton, we w make te following statement:
Manifestations of te UFO phenomenon occur as a result
of physical causes that can be described i terms of natal
laws.
UFOs may therefore be mirages, meteors or interplanetary
vehicles, but not mystcal enttes escaping ratonal analysis.
This may seem a superfuous precaution to the scientc
reader, but it w be seen that the student of the UFO
problem needs a statement of this sort to claim the right to
analye some of the cases he i bund to meet in his ivest
gation.
In the following, we w cal "UFO event" the genera
tion of an unusual iage by a physical cause, and we will
call a "UFO sightng" the perception of this image by a wit
ness. The report of this perception is the phenomenon the
scientist observes.
I the present chapter we wll t to give as clear an out
line as possible of the method we have used in our ow in
vestigation of the UFO phenomenon. The basic strategy is
to accept all reports and to deal with classes, not with i
dividual cases, in the frst ( classifcation-codifcation) and the
second ( analysis of behavor) steps of te process. The td
137
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
step will be an attempt at interpretation in physical terms,
in which we will evaluate te reults already obtained and
will allow ourselves to cnsider specic poits present in a
few well-defned sightgs. Ony in t third step w the
door be open to speculation and hypothesis.
Confonted with masses of letters, clippings and docu
ments, how are we to proceed to organie a "hierarchy of
reliabilty" among the reports? How may we classify t in
foraton in such a way tat our work w indeed result in
clarication ad wil be objectve, a necessary conditon for
other researchers to be able to use ou data and to critcize
them meanngfully?
T can only be done through a long process of patter
analysis. The frst steps in d process are elementary. Who
ever the witess, whatever h backgoud, occupation or
dg habits, we possess at least two objectve pieces of
iformaton concerg h: the place of the sightg and the
date. T is ou most natral access to the case: its coor
dinates in space and time.
Obvious as this seems, may "Ufologsts," ofcials and ama
teurs who claim they are doing "scientc research," neglect
tis point; even such specialied jouals as the UFO Investi
gator or the APRO Bullein, published in the United States
(see p. 162, not to menton publicatons of less importance,
print numerous descripton of UFO sigtngs but do not
bother, in any instances, to menton the date or the place.
books by UFO enthusiasts one fd qute often the irrita
tng situaton of kowing the exact day, hour and miute
when the author received very iportant cal from the
Pentagon cncerng a certain sightng, and we are given al
the details of the cal , and we kow that the author was get
tg ready for breakfast ad had already put butter on his
toast when the phone started rging, but we remain totally
ignorant of the date and place of te sensational sightng.
Some ofcial reports w indicate carefuly the name, address
and military statu of the witess, but not the place of the
observaton.
A third piece of informaton contained in the report is a
description-the witess claims he has seen something either
in the sky or on the goud. His claim is real, but the object
of his claim may be a hoax or an illusion. We must not, there
fore, classify mainly according to such factors as the dimen
sion, the shape or te course of the object, but according to
13S
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
its behavior, which i an integrated impression of very hgh
stabilty. And this should again be in terms so general that
mistakes made by the observer, or failure of his memory con
cerg the apparent dameter or elevation of the phenom
enon, will not afect t clasicaton to a large degee.
CRI TI CI SM OF THE OFFI CI AL CLASSI FI CATI ON SYSTEM
The interested serces have never, to our kowledge, tied
to codif the sightngs for the purpose of research since the
days of Specil Repor 14! ' A classifcation system has, how
ever, ben introduced u help in the tedou task of keeping
the ofcial records in order. Th i a perecty sound thng
to do, a long a one does not ty to use this classifcaton as
a basis for statistcal or any other knd of analysis. And even
the fndngs of Specl Repor 14 are, in the view of t
writer, as void of scientic interest as the work of the mate
matcian who tied to evaluate the probability that te su
wrise tomorrow.
Like a computng machne, statstcal procedure never
creates inoration, but only tansforms it. A statstical resut
is only the expression, under a new and possibly more read
able form, of the iforaton present in the data, i. e. , tans
lated though the code. The analyst, if working wt a rel
able classifcation system developed wth this particular ap
plication in mind, is able to extact frm the data entites tat
were already present, but not perceptble, in the original
material.
We would agree wth the statement that at least 50 per
cent of the reports that we have studied ( and, in some cases,
as many as 80 or 90 per cent) cannot be conidered as rep
resentatve of the UFO phenomenon. But the ter "unident
fe" has no meaning; as a spcialt in d feld, t writer
denies categorically any sigcace to the claim that "only
so may per cent" of the sightigs contained i the ofcial
fes are unidented uder the present system of reference.
No scentist cud accept such a statement any more than he
0Project Blue Book Specil Repor No. 14 was declassifed
by te U. S. A Force i 1955. It was mainly concered
with elementary statitcal aalysis of sightngs of the early
period.
139
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
could accept the idea that a rabbit has suddenly dsappeared
into a magician's hat, even i te magician says so.
The ofcial system consists i attaching to each UFO re-
port one of the followg label:
( 1 ) Was balloon
( 2) Probable balloon
( 3) Possible balloon
( 4) Was aircraft
( 5) Probable aircraft
( 6) Possible aircraft
( 7) Was atonomical
( 8) Prbable astonomical
( 9) Possible astonomical
( 10) Oter
( 1 1 ) Unkow
( 12) Unidented
( 13) Iufcient data
Categories 1, 4 and 7 are supposed to contain ony those
reports which have been shown to refer to a conventonal
object when t object has really been idented, not only
b balloon ( or an aircraft, etc. ) but as a specied balloon,
aircraf etc. For example, wtess calls the sherf s ofce
to report seeig a sphere in the sky. Polcemen go out, ob
sere the sphere and, by calng te local aiport, determine
that te origin of the sightng is balloon tacked at the very
moment by the local staton. T b tue identcaton. Sim
ilarly, so-called "stange lght" photogaphed at night is
show to ft exactly the tajectory of an articial satellite.
Such reports obviously have no place in a study of UFO's.
M categories 2, 5 and 8 are found reprts of objects that
displayed a behavior so similar to that expected fom a con
vetonal object that no reason exists to believe that d par
tcular object was oter than conventonal. To give an ex
teme example, I cannot prove that my gocer is not a Venu
sian in disgise, but on the other hand I have no reason to
believe that he is other than huma as long as h appear
ance ad behavior are huan. We w often fnd ourselves
in agreement with the ofcial conclusion ad ignore most of
these reports.
Even i disageement sometmes exists concerng te
"probable" categories, it is never very considerable. Real
disageement begins when it comes to the "possible." For
t is a human, not a scientic, noton and there is no con-
140-
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
tol over the amount of complexity one is allowed to accept
to make up these imaginary "possibilites. " The analyses of
UFO reports published recently by certain professional as
tronomers are an illustaton of d type of situation. The ds
cussion i puely "literary" and no weight can be attached
to either interpretation. It i as void of real meaning as the
nineteenth-centuy dispute about "mystcal" properties of the
Empty Set. The percentage of rejection through t category
i a fction of the imaginaton of the man who happens to
be in chage of the project at the time; the result i dscon
certing. 0
The lmit of <stonishment is reached when it comes to the
"insufcient information" category. We read in Thor Heyer
dahl's extaordinar bok Aku-Aku the followng remark:
"How far would the F.B.I. get i they only collected fger
prints without tng to ctch the thief?" The category "in
sufcient data" has been defed in a way that woud have
delighted a Jesuit of the good old days. A repor is said to
give insufcient information when there is reason to believe
that had the investigator possessed more iormation on the
case he would have classied it in one of the conventional
categories. The amusing pint u that some of the reports
stamped "insufcient" contain a fl page of fne prt wit
all possible details. But you can always assume that the miss
ing iformaton would have contaied details such that it
would have become clear to te investigator that the cause
of the sightg was conventonal. T is anything but science.
We must limit ourselves here to a few of these conta
dictions, for d is not accusation against ofcial com
missions obviously not qualied i this type of analysis. What
worries us is that the scientsts' judgment against the reality
of UFO's has been baed on such nonscientic evaluatons
0Very humorous situatons are sometimes created by
this process. I the fles of the U. S. Force there i an ob
ject which is identied as a "bird with .four lghts" and
we read, concering an identication made by the Austalian
Air Force, this comment by puzzled scientists : " those ob
jects reported as jets over Longeach in Queenslad were
birds, it should be a geat moment in hstory for students of
orithology, for it i the frst reorded appearance of super
sonic pelicans."
141
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
made under no general pla of research and in conditons
one must critcize. The expensive Special Repor 14, for ex
ample, was made for ATIC by a private consulting f whose
name i kept secret, not becaue of the results or contents of
the investgaton, but becaue d compay dd not want its
name attached to a study of "Hyig saucers." What sort of
science i t, when the authors of a scientc report that
w be used for years as an authoritatve reference do not
wat their names to be mentoned because they fear the
ridcule . attached to the problem could afect their busiess?
The classicaton system i very poor for another reason. A
"possible aircraft" culd very well also be a "possible baloon,"
and I do not see how one could prove that the descripton of
a ball of light seen very far away i the wester sky is Venu
rather than a balloon when no accurate positon i given;
all these categories ove
r
lap and the classi.caton i puely
arbitary. In addition, "astonomical" can refer to a misiter
pretaton of Venus, Mars or Jupiter, as well as to a meteor.
A aalysis based on dvisions of such poor homogeneity i
not lely to lead to satfactor results when the testng of
hyotheses i attempted.
We are left with three categories ito which we can put
reports that, from the point of vew of the UFO student, are
iterestng. They are "other," "unown" and "unidentied."
T i not very appealing.
THE MYTH OF "UNI DENTI FI ED" OBJECTS
What does "unidentied" mean? Take the Veron sightg
as described by Michel in h secnd book or as we described
it i Chapter 3. I the ofcia classicaton the Veron cigar
would be "unidentifed." But i it really?
Identifcation is realized when a certain event or object i
recognized by human intelligence 0 belonging to a class.
What t class might be i irelevant. The icident that took
place in Vernon may seem stane or fantastic by our present
standards, but this is a lay reacton, not a scientc one. It
fantastc character should not prevent the student of the
phenomenon fom recognizing the same pater already seen
at work i Poncey, Montlevc, Oloron, Gaillac, as wel as i
Dallas, Trenton or i the Gulf of Mexico. This consistent be
havor i typical of a set of evnts, which may or may not
14
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
later be found to be of material nature but do have in com
mon the same p
r
operies.
As soon as consistency in the report is such that class prop
erties can be defed, we can speak of identifcation; as far
as I am concered, the Veron report is perfectly identiable
as a member of a specic class of behavior. The fact that I do
not at present Iow the exact nature of the cause of the re
port is not of primary importance at this stage o analysis
the exact nature of UFOs is precisely what I am tng to
fnd. Similarly, a nuclear physicist knows a pion from an
ordiar meson when he sees one, but he does not Iow what
they are.
I cannot tk of anything more teacherous tan this
label "unidented." Anything you have never found on your
way before starts a unidentied. When my prehistoric an
cestor saw a mammoth for the frst tme, it was in his view a
perect URO ( Undentied Runing Object) . Of course, d
was only a small percentage of al the animals he could recog
nize in the jugle. However, I do thank Heaven he wa a
better logician than our ofcial researchers, and did some
thing about it before identicaton was complete!
We can also have the opposite situaton: A report classied
as "unidented" by ofcial investgators may be of no in
terest to the analyst concered wth the UFO phenomenon.
For example, on January 26, 1955, at 6: 15 P.M., a black
smoke tail was seen at Lakeland, Florida, for an unlow
duration. The trail of black smoke made a large circle, an
explosion took place and the object was observed falling.
This is called "uidentifed" because the investigator has been
unable to fd the exact cause of the phenomenon. But the
behavior described i so similar to that of a missile out of
contol that we should not include t in a UFO fle, even
with very low weight.
On Januar 9, 1956, twent miles southwest of Chanute
A Force Base in Ilois, a light whose color changed from
red to green to white was seen at approximately two thou
sand feet; this is classifed "insufcient data for evaluation."
But it would seem that we have fom this limited account a
quantity of informaton concerg not the object itsel, per
haps, but the conditions uder which the observation was
made. We Iow that the witness saw only a lght changing
color; it would not be very realistic to hope that more ifor
maton cud be gathered concerg this "light" i it was
143
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
fyig at that altitude. We kow that an aircraft, as well b
severa other physical causes, culd produce the same ap
pearance. This i q of sightng from which we simply
cannot obtain more. Even kowig the exact distance, the
azmut and elevaton of the object woud not help us. We
have to make a decision: eiter reject the case, or include l
wth an extemely low weight.
Consider the following case, ao classied "iufcient in
foraton": in Anita, Iowa, on June 15, 1955, a cigar-shaped
object with a blue and white glowing color and a red exhaust
was observed. The object appeared to be fve hundred to
one thousand feet above the ground, and the observer noted
a soft hissing sound. Even if additonal iormaton would be
welcome, it seems to us that one could aleady start doing
somethg more with t sightg than putng it ito the
same category as the precedng one. And we wonder what
thei reason was for not mang it an "uow."
A these categories may be of help as far as the adminis
tatve routine i concered, and they certainly could be
maintained. But they cannot help i an analysis of the UFO
problem. The two operatons-maintaining a fle of reports in
accordance with ofcial reguatons, and doing research on
the information contained i the reports-should b very
clearly separated, and separate codes should be used.
BASI S OF A SCI ENTI FI C CLASSI FI CATI ON
We will not ty to defne a "scientc classifcaton" with
reference to the "administratve clasication," but w rather
start fom a completely diferent point of view, which has
apparenty never been presented before. We will forget about
all identifed reports and we will neglect all those involving
objects smilr in behavior to coventional objects 0 they
woul usally appear.
When this elimination is made ( and it could be made ob
jectively, by reference to a computer program, for example,
thus eliminating problems of "personal choice") we are left
with a set of reports which we call manifestations of the
UFO phenomenon. The existence of such manifestations i
an empicl fact, not an assumpton. It i the set of all these
manifestatons that is the object of our study. This criterion
completes the general defnition given on page 137.
We want to determine if 0 these reports can be explained
14
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
conventonal objects and phenomena seen under uusual
circumstances, or if fraction of them does crrespond to
some efect stll unknow to science. We want to distribute
them beteen "disjoint sets"; .o., we want to defne classes
that do not overlap, as the ofcial catgories do, and we
wat to defne them simply as possible. We can remak
that there are not many sorts of UFOs, even i the witesses
use very diferent words or expressions to defne them. Their
behavior is bound to fall under one, and bnly one, among
the fve categories that follow ( 122) :
I. They can be seen ( or imagined, or perceived) as ob
jects situated on the ground or close to the ground ( at tee
height ) .
. They can display the behavior observed at Vernon or,
more generally, appear as huge cylindrical fors surrounded
by cloud-like formations, often vercal. The latter behavior
defnes a sub-class II-A, when descriptions of actua genera
ton of secondary objects are caled II-B.
III. They can be described as aerial forms hovering i the
atosphere, or following a pat iterrupted by a stationary
point; a precise point wil be defned on the ground from u
discntinuity.
I. They can be seen as objects crossing the sky without
such interruption or discontinuit.
V. They can be distant objects seen as lights.
Experience has shown that clarity i icreased when three
to fve categories are defned within each group. We will
thus speak of a report of Type II-B, III-D, etc. 0 The reliability
attached to each category i obviously variable. We will
describe now the approach that is followed when problems
arse in the use of this classicaton system.
COMMENTS ON THE VARI OUS TPES OF UFO REPORTS
Each of the categories defed above is closed on itself
and contains consistent reports that can be signifcantly com
pared. From a comparison of objects o the same class one
can now try to extract global iormation. The gap between
ay two of these classes is so cnsiderable that there is lttle
chance of misclassifcation, even i the code is used by an
0This system is completely described i ( 189 ) .
145
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
untrained person, except for exteme cses when geater ex
perience i needed. In generl, only classilcaton within
Type II wil requie a geat deal of familiarity wt te
problem and considerable attention. These events are rare
and remarkable, but sometimes teacherou. Only i twenty or
thirty good cases i there no pssibility of mistake. Some of
the average reports of this category should be analyzed in
the light of Dr. Menzel's approach, i which one puts the
emphasis on the very strange behavior that extreme cases of
mirages and other natural phenomena can present. We wl
give t\vo examples of cases where the author has utl now
been unable to reach a defnitve verdict, although he ha
classiled both reports under Type 11-B:
On July 9, 1686, at 1: 30 A.M., at Leipzig, the German
astonomer Gottfried Kirch reported that he saw a bung
globe with a trai that appeared 8. 5 from Aquarius ad re
maied motionless for more than seven minutes. Its apparent
diameter was one-half that of te moon, and it gave so much
light that one could read with no other source of illumina
ton. It vanished gradually at the same place. The object
pointed dowward at an angle and left two small globes that
were visible only with a telescope.
The second observation is described i ( 5) in the follow
ing terms :
A startlng cosmic body appeared over the Terrace of
Widsor Castle on August 18, 1783. It was watched by
Tiberius Cavallo, F. R. S. He called it "a most extraordiary
meteor." He wrote: "Northeast of the Terrace, i clear sk
and warm weather, I saw appear suddenly an oblong
cloud nearly parallel to the horizon. Below the cloud wa
seen a luminous body. It soon became a roundish body,
brightly lit up and almost statonary. It was about 9: 25
P. M. This strange ball at fst appeared bluish and faint,
but its light increased, and it soon began to move. At frst,
it ascended above the horizon, obliquely toward the east.
Then it changed its direction and moved parallel to the
horizon. It vanished in te southeat. I saw it for half a
minute, and the light it gave out was prodigious. It lit up
every object on the face of the country. It changed shape
to oblong, acquired a tail, and seemed to split up into
two bodies of small size. About two minutes later came a
rumble like an explosion.
146
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
The frst of these sightgs cares in our fles a weight rele
gated to incidents we feel could have natural causes, and
the second one, a weight indcatng that we are ahnost posi
tve it i not a UFO phenomenon, but an exteme case of a
meteor. These two examples w give our reader an idea of
how we defne the "boundaries" of our classication.
Type I will be discussed later; the reports in this category
are those where objects are said to have been seen on the
ground or close to the ground. But we will clarify immedi
ately some points that concer the subclass, in which we fnd
reports of "objects described close to the ground, and said to
have displayed interest in, or followed, a moving terrestial
object as a tain, a car or a motorcycle." Many natural situa
tions can be expected to cause emotonal witesses to report
tat they have been followed by a stange light. The moon i
very often the origin of the scare, especially when the wit
ness tavels on a winding road at night; under the inuence
of fear he will become unable , to realize clearly the ts he
makes, and will say that the mysterous object was sometmes
to h left and sometmes to his rght. Stars or planets seen
tough haze layers, or headlight refections, wil sometimes
do the trick. But one should not disregard this type of ob
seraton on the basis of these understandable errors.
A we have said above, Type JI-B i sometimes critical.
Enthuiast publcations speak of "a huge mother-ship with
small objects" in the case of a brght meteor breaking into
fagents ( A necessary conditon for a sighting to be en
tered under Type II i a duration of at leat several minutes,
not seconds. And one should remember that the really good
events of this category have lasted between a half hour and
several hours. The extreme case i the Wyalong-Toompang
icident i Australa, descrbed i (123) , that took place i
Jue, 1961 :
'
"We were marking lambs i Toompang. Near the lunch
hour we heard what we thought was a jet. I looked up for
the jet and saw an eagle-hawk, high in the sk. I was
takng a bit of interest in the eagle-hawk when we heard
another sound, as i the jet were overhead again. But I
stlcould not see a jet.
"Then I saw this round object. It looked like a silver star,
and seemed to be over Wyalong, it was so high up and so
far away. It was statonary. I said to the others-there
147
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
were seven of us-'Get a load of t.' One man is short
sighted. Another who is could not pick up the object. But
four others dd, and watched it of and on for over an
hour, possibly two hours. I saw one object leave the frst
object and go to the left, and later two objects go to the
right, then come back. Oe of the other men said he saw
two objects go to the left. I would not know about that,
we were workng, markg lambs, and we were not able
to keep an eye on it all the te.
"The objects I saw leavig the stationary object seemed
round. But when the one I saw leave it on the left came
overhead as it went towards Young I culd see it seemed
to be V-shaped. I do not kow what I saw, but I kow that
when the objects left the statonary object on the rght
hand side they went out to the side and then went staight
up fat. The one that pased overhead towards Young was
really tavellng.''
A second man backed d up. He said he could not say
that any of the objects were V-shaped. They all appeared
to h to be round, shimmering slightly in the sun. At
tmes the silver sheen wiked a little on the small objects
as they were leaving or reting to the main object. They
left slowly, then went out at high speed, circled and re
ted, slowing dow as they approached the big staton
ary object. Then they seemed to land on it or go into it
becaue they dsappeaed when they reache it.
Three or four at a te watched an object leave the
big object, commentig about where it was going and what
it was doing. This man said he had told the others that
"somebody should phone some authority about it." But a
combination of being four or fve mie from a phone, of
' having work to do, and of riskg scor decided them
against this. However, the man dd get a pai of dark
glasses out of the glove box of h vehicle; "The glasses
made it easier still to watch the things." Mr. Nevile Shea
nan, a Tompag employee, said he was the one who saw
the objects repeatedly. Mr. Sheanan, who gave permission
for hi name to be ued, said the large object seemed to
h to be round, with a dome on it. The small objects
which left it seemed fattened.
"We watched them when we sat down to lunch," he
said. "About two o'clock the sun moved around in that
drecton and we could not see the things any more agaist
148
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
me stong lght." A the men were interviewed separately.
Their stories agreed in substance, with just enough dis
cepancy to testify to the tuth of thei stories. Dr. Gas
coye, of Mount Stomlo Observatory, said he could not
hazard a guess about what te explanaton might be. He
aked for a copy of the repor. A meteorologist at te
weather bureau said that no equipment used by te
Bueau would behave i this way.
It should be clearly understod tat uder no circumstances
w point-sources alone be clasied under the frst four
goups. Without this precauton, Type III would be crowded
wt msinterretatons of Venus and Tye IV would b
fooded with acial satelltes. A report in types I through
W should be relatve to extended objects seen at a distance
such that a certain amout of detail could be presented ( a
i te above example) without te aid of bioculars or tele
scopes.
Even with these precautions, we cannot claim that Type
W L absolutely fee of misinterpretations of aircraft seen
under such peculiar circumstances tat our elimination sys
tem has failed to reject them. But Type III should be prac
tcaly free of balloons, i one has been caref not to admit
cases when the motion of the alleged object did not show
defite extremes.
Type V i open to wide dscussion, since we reach here the
fonters of ou domain. But we feel that i the UFO phe
nomenon i original in natre and stll ukown to our intel
lgence, a certain proporon of the tota inforation lies in
t category and we should take certain chances, it being
uderstood that we wl compensate for that accordigly by
attachg a low weight to t category.
THE MYTH OF ABSOLUTE RELI ABI LI T
m te case of Veron, Michel has remarked that under
df erent circumstances the report made by the two police
men would have been judged sufciently reliable to send a
man to jail or to the guillote. However, since the event had
to do with an unusual phenomenon and not with a thief or
crimina, the reprt was teated lghtly and forgotten by all
but Michel's readers. Thus the present oficial system uses a
reliability factor when it tend to show that report i poor,
149
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
but it does not use it when it tends to show tht t00 M
signifant. When the witesses are numerous and, according
to all ivestigators, reliable, what happens to the reprt?
the attenton of the publc called to it? Are astonomers and
other scientists show the facts? No-the repor siently goes
with the others, werig the label "unidented" or "u
kow." Dung the same week enough misiterpretatons of
Venus are sent to the ofcial services so that the fgures show
a reassuring 5 per cent uexplained. T is not the way per
centages should be calculated. How many misinterpretatons
you receive i insigcant; misinterretations are not what
you are studying.
Le our cours of jutce, ofcial commissions seem to drec
their attenton only to the "a guys." I wish a good guy
were shown to the public fom tme to time, so that ever
body could see what he look like.
PROPOSED REORGANI ZATI ON OF UFO RESEARCH
It has been suggested that the U. S. A Force t over it
UFO fles either to an agency dealing more directly wit
scientc investigatons or to a goup of civilan scientsts. Ou
appraial of both proposals i very pessimistc. Keepig so
enorou an aout of data both up-to-date and reasonably
organized is routne work which must be conducted with
great attention and care; we feel that the air force has done
a good job i t respct, job smaller groups cud not
possibly have done successfully. A group of civla scientsts,
especialy, would ceraiy have failed, for a number m rea
sons, to provide the absolute cnsistency necessary in such an
analysis. This lack of rgorous consitency also make the ef
forts of nonscientc amateu goups almost woress.
I addton, the ai force goup has, under the present
system, acquied experience i dealing with this parcuar
problem which i without paallel. Turg the fes over u
another group woud be wate of energy and pssibly a
source of error; this feld requires a great deal of exerience
and persons unfamiar wit the ver delcate problems i
volved would certainly be led to ireparable mistakes.
It is true, however, that something i missing in the present
structure. No serious, large-scale scientc work can be done
under today's conditions, becuse the system is buit entely
on the assumpton that UFOs can be idented witout ex-
150
THE SCI ENTI FI C PROBLEM
cepton as conventional items i each case is sufciently in
vestgated; that there are pseudo-UFOs which exist at di
ferent stages of the identicaton scale, but there is no abso
lute UFO and, therefore, no UFO phenomenon; uder this
approach there is simply additon, super-imposition of mis
takes and conventonal efects. The lack of scientic value in
t system is becoming icreasigly apparent. But this de
fciency could easily be elinated; instead of calling upon
indivdual scientists as assistants or consultants with no real
power and no funds to test their own scientifc ideas about
te problem, the Aerial Phenomena Group should work i
liaison with a permanent research bureau which would be
given the task of analyzing the UFO problem as whole.
I the system we propose, the air force would retain its
Ies and its methods of classicaton, investigaton and evalu
ation. The scientifc group would be a team of from si to
ten civilan researchers competent i their various felds and
aleady familiar with the feld of UFO research, who would
volunteer to conduct independent studies. . They would be
given peranent access to the nonclassied cases kept up-to
date by the Dayton group ad would have sufcient funds
to cover telephone cals, tavel expenses and such things as
laboratory equipment or computer tme. They would have
the abiity (which the air force does not have) to examine
foreig reports a scientifc data, and to meet serious foreign
researchers for consultaton. Such a team would conduct, on
a global scale, an analysis of te reports which would be of
interest in more than one respect.
It has been suggested, especially by memebers of the ama
teu group NICA, that a congressional hearing on UFOs
should be held to examine the "evidence" that UFOs exist
and are "space-vehicles under intelligent contol." The Air
Force Ies are said to contain such evidence, which is at pres
ent ( accordig to the NICAP Director ) kept from the public.
There is lttle groud to support such a claim and NICAP
representatives would realize that plainly during the frst
hous of such a congressional debate. Although it could be
the occasion of an interestng scientifc confrontaton, only
confusion and probably further ridicule would result from it
i the long I. Not one of the seven hundred cases pre
sented in NICA's recently published report The UFO Evi
dence could, in the view of t writer, stand the test of an
extensive scientifc discussion. A experienced opponent of
151
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
UFOs, such as Professor Menel, would certainly be able to
show that some doubt exists i each case, simply because no
UFO report has yet been investgated as such by scientsts
workg wt the framework of a general analysis. NICA's
cases would be iterestg elements in such a research, but
te "evidence" tey contain i real, i still to be extacted
through a long and careful scientc analysis of the type illus
trated in this book. Taken idividualy, the best report does
not prove anything.
What is required here, therefore, i not a change i ofcial
policy or a sensatona disclosure of the fact that "we are
visited! but a caeful, quiet and necessarily slow series of
analyses on the material already on hand and on repor to
come. Such a study, i made in liaion wit the Aerial Phe
nomena Group of Dayton, and oriented toward the invest
gaton of the nature of UFOs as a phenomenon rather than
toward their individual "explanation," could possibly produce
( after three or four years of work) material worthy of con
gressional attenton, and by-products tat would be of in
terest to severa branches of science.
152

Chapter 5
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
THE EMOTI ONAL SKEPTI C
We do not presume here to be adding anything to the
psychological descripton of the UFO problem made with
such authorit by Professor Carl Jung. But we feel some of
our documents should be teated as psychological data, and
this treatment should include the skeptic's reaction to the
reports a well a the motivation of the witnesses.
A we have seen earlier, many men of science react to UFO
reports in a very pecular fashion. They go so far as neglectng
to conform with the basic rules of scientic honesty when
confronted with this problem, ad they allow themselves to
act as they never would in the presence of a more "classical"
mystery. On the contrary, anet has been released on more
innocuous projects like certain programs sponsored by pro
fessional astronomers, " in whch one would record the radio
signals coming from nearby stars and lok for possible strings
of pulses or "messages" of intelgent origin ( Project OZMA) .
A this poits to one conclusion: The reaction of many scien
tts to the problem has never been anything but emotonal.

"See i Chapter Two our dcussion of "the search for


signals from ratonal b

igs. "
" "A leading biologist and UFO student disagrees with t
vew. He thinks the geat majort of the scientists have been
maintained in passive ignorance. It is tue that the A Force
statements have discouraged many researchers from taking
a close look at the fles. And they had a devastating impact
on civiian UFO research outside the U. S.
153
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
I t lne of tg, i i justable to assume that other
civizations ae sending radio signals through space because
rado waves ae a good vehicle of informaton and because
space tavel betwen plaetary systems i inconceivable. Both
asuptons are extapolations of cndtions exstng on eart
today. They neglect entely the fact that our idea of space
tavel as well as ou idea of informaton exchange are very
closely related to present physical conceptons.
It has been repeatedly afed by scientifc authortes that
what consttutes a scientc subject i not its qatue but the
way it i teated. Therefore te scientst, on one had, has
every rigt to study the UFO problem and, on the other, has
no right to take into accunt the publc reacton ad emo
ton or the ofcial cncer over t queston, or the ridicue
that may b attached to it, once he has perceived its i
pornce.
Unforately, t is only theory. In practce, men of
science ae not conronted with Nature alone. Besides d
common mother, they have families, frends, students and
bosses. Their work i defned within a certain stucture and
teir own careers as professionals depend, in large measure,
upon the subjects tey choose to investgate, the degee of
success they meet i these investgatons and their atttudes
toward accepted theories. Ths i toay te main liitaton
to te fee expansion of fundamental research. Similarly, only
half-hearted attempts have been made to investgate the pro
cess of scientic discovery and to defne what i to be called
scientc problem and who i going to determine the amount
of energy requed to solve each problem in a certain amount
of tme. A cnstant souce of wonder and amazement to me
i the reaaton tat astonomers specialized in the study of
Mas, whose number on our whole planet does not exceed
seven or eight, have never been able to get togeter, plan
thei experents i common and pool their resuts. They ae
workg today with obsolete equipment and ideas as io
lated M, wth no hgly qualed technical help, on
what could become in a few yeas one of the most im
portant problems facing ou civizaton.
We reach here the crucial pint of the UFO problem, with
the realiaton of the fact tat scientc stucture i heavly
hampered by emotonal aspects and i stl relying for its
development on radom processes rather than ratona acqu
siton of kowledge. The UFO problem lies well wit the
154
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
capability of modern research. But ofcial attention i denied
it for purely emotional reasons that have nothng to do wth
science.
UFOs AND RATI ONALI SM
1. The undersigned Panel of Scientic Consultants h
met at the request of the Goverent to evaluate any
possible threat to natonal security posed by unidented
fying objects ( "fying saucers") and to make recommen
dations. The Panel has received the evidence a presented
by cognizant Govermental agencies, primarily the Unted
States Force, and has reviewed a selection of docu
mented incidents.
2. As a result of its consideratons, the Panel conclues:
That the evidence presented on unidented fying ob
jects shows no indicaton that these phenomena consttute
direct physical threat to natonal secuity.
We frmly believe that there i no residum of cases whch
indcates phenomena which are attbutable to foreign ar
facts capable of hostile acts, and that there is no evidence
that the phenomena indicate a need for the revision of
current scientifc concepts.
3. I the light of this conclusion, the Panel recom
mends :
That the natonal securit agencies take immediate steps
to strip the unidented fying objects of the special status
they have been given and te aura of mystery they have
ufortunately acquired.
We suggest that this ai may be achieved by an inte
gated programe designed to reassure the public of the
total lack of evidence of iiical forces behnd the phe
nomena.
( Signed)
Lloyd V. Berker, Associated Universities, UC-
H. P. Robertson, Califoria Institute of Technology.
Lus W. Alvarez, Universit of Califora.
S. A. Goudsmit, Brookhaven National Laboratories.
Thorton Page, John Hopkins University.
When they have studed the recur ence o accouts of
unusual aerial phenomena, psychologists Jung and Heuyer
and astronomers Menel and Hynek have not denied the
155
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
place this body of ruors has taken i our culture. Indeed,
they have emphasized it, as they have the fact that its study,
analysis and interpretation poses phiosophical problems of
a difcult, i not unprecedented, nature. As we have seen,
the eforts made by the Unted States A Force to solve the
problem during its phase of early development were unsuc
cessful. A the patters frst observed in the years that fol
lowed the war were seen to recur in the early 1950's the
problem of global interpretaton clearly posed itelf and the
abilty of curent kowledge to account for the phenomenon
was put uder queston by many persons.
On January 17, 1953, fve leadig scientsts siged the
statement quoted above, the publc release of which was
made on April 9, 1958. It was centered on the noton of
hostty and concluded that no indcaton of a threat to the
natonal security of the United States was evident. On the
queston of determinng whether or not a residum of cases
exited which could be attibuted to 'foreign afacts' and
wheter or not a revision of current scientc concepts wa
idicated, the statement 'we fly beleve' was used a sole
justcation of a negatve answer. The word believe, i such
a context, and i the witng of scientists of sch standg,
clearly calls for a close examinaton.
The fact that entusiastc acceptance of even the porest
obseratons of uusual aerial phenomena has been added
very ealy to the arsenal of the superstitious, the professional
ignorants, and the cultsts, and that it i exploited almost
exclusively by men foreign to the scientifc spirit and method,
cannot be denied. It is equaly true that an attempt to reject
narratves that contain contadictions to cur ent kowledge
i a characteritc of Ratonalism as enthusiastc faith in
unproved alegaton is remiicent of Obscurantsm. Such an
attempt, says Lecky, "is so emphatcally the distnctve mark
m Ratonalism that with most person it is the only cncepton
te word conveys." The impossibility, or at al events, te u
realty of the so-called unidented fying objects, is thus
regaded as axiomatc. Many rationalists treat reports of such
objects as they would accounts of miracles; they reject them
"a siply impossible and ireconciliable with the known and
uversal laws which gover the course of events."
However, stating the belef that tere is no residum of
cases is equivalent to sayng that no diference exists be
tween the atosphere in which accounts of miraculous events
156
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
or of witchcraft were generated and tat of ou own tme,
when the author of an extraordinar relaton i immediately
exposed to the disbelief and ridcue of his environment and
the censorship of his ow educaton and conscience.
At this point, the moder scientist who is familia wth te
most reliable reports of the post-war period is well founded
to isist that on the contary, the present situation is at con
siderable variance with that presented by the old miracuou
accounts, which Rationalism L ideed reject merely on te
bais of thei incredibilty, as probable products of the well
known superstitions of te te. He w maintai that there i
a criderable distance between the blind acceptance of
miaculous and alleged superatal narratves and a sincere
desire to apply the analytc apparatus of science to those ac
counts of unusual aerial phenomena that are reducible to
series of factual observations; that he is not treating these
reports as occasions of amazement, but as scientic data; and
that he resents the insinuation that the display of open in
terest i such a study i contary to Rationalism and barely
compatble with the reputaton of the professional scientist.
Finally, he will point out that i spite of the adopton by
te responsible agencies of a policy which i based on te
recmmendations made by the panel of scientic consu
tants, the number of reports that reach the ofcial centers
continues to increase, and he w tend to infer from d
character of stability of the phenomenon the conclusion that
te unwlgness to bring it under the light of open analysi
serves only in depriving the scientifc public of important
elements of iformation.
UFOs AND SOCI OLOGY
Perhaps we should now generae ad ask i the reaction
recorded at the sociological level does not follow the same
general contours. The leading cmmuities in our world
te west European, the North American, the Russian-have
always chosen their ways of doig tings and have always
been limited or helped in thei ambitions by the same well
kown enemies or friends. Sudden contact with other socie
ties, possibly organized i higher levels of jurisdiction on a
galactic scale, possibly depending upon types of relatons u
kown to our planet, would be psychological ifrngement
157
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
b wel as a source of unexpected problems for ou gover
ments and our legal systems.
We should even proceed a step further, and ask i man
kind as a whole, led by the proud communites we have
mentoned, would not react to such "visitation," i evidenced
by physical proof, with deep shock. Civilization coud be hurt
by t experience like a self-conscious vrgin brutally con
fonted with unknown forces, unwlg to accept them within
her lted universe.
This brings to mind a conversation beteen H. G. Wells
and Leni i 1920 whch the forer related to Kassie
( 186) :
"I said to Lenin that the development of human tech
nology might some day change the world situation. The
Marxist conception itself would then become meagless.
Lenin looked at me and he said:
'ou are right. I understood this myself when I read
your novel The Time Machine. Al human conceptions are
on the scale of our planet. They are based on the pretension
that the technical potential, although it wil develop, wl
never exceed the "terrestial lmit."
<If we scceed in establishing interplanetary communi
cations, all our philosophical, moal and social views will
have to be revised. In this case, the technical potenta,
become limitless, would impose the end of the role of vio
lence as a means and method of progress.
Think how deeply we are stll supposed to be attached to
the land i which we were hom, and in which ou parents
were bor, although we receive, through educaton, multple
evidence that our fathers were not wiser, or beter scientists,
or better warriors than the father of the guy across the river.
We can even go out in the open at night and see artcial
satellites circling this tny planet of ous i a matter of min
utes; indeed, if all te peoples of the earth had not brought
something of their genius, from the Chinese to the Greek,
the Khmer, the Russian and the Briton, this light would not
be i the s-. But we remain attached to a little piece of
land between two lnes of mountains, where our emotional
roots are sealed. And i t is so, what feeling must we have
158
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
for om planet! For earth is indeed al we have. If other com
munities are able to tavel to M and land here, then we are
at the mercy of their inteligence and of their feelings to
ward us as a civilizaton-and both may be entrely foreign
to anything we have know before.
THE ENTHUSI ASTS: GROUPS, CLUBS AND CULTS
A complete list of UFO groups thoughout the world woud
h_ave several hundred entries, and a list of the reguar pub
licatons on the subject woud take several pages. Thi gives
an idea of the degree of enthuiasm generated in the public
by the possibility of a visitaton by other civilizations.
One may wel wonder whether amateuism is a character
itc of superfcial or futile minds or, on the contrary, in
dicative of man's desire for personal partcipaton i iportant
events, and the proof that pasion for research does not
necessarily coincide with payent for it. The recent history
of astronomy has shown that amateurs, because they have
not been bound by taditonal vews, have often come up
WU more than interesting suggestons. At the same time, their
work is less reliable than the outut of a team of professional
researchers who have access to large collectons of documents
and modem equpment.
The UFO mystery, because of its appeal to human im
agination, provides an opportunity for persons who live a
generally dul life to brig a touch of extraterrestial horror
into their existence. UFO "investgaton" has thus become
popuar hobby. Clubs and goups have developed, mainly
since 1952, apparently in every par of the world. The cmve
of activity of these groups has been closely related to the
density of UFO events. Their only positve contribution has
been the publication of sightings, but very few of the groups,
unortunately, have devoted their attention to this point. The
others have found much more h in publshing foggy "theo
ries" cncering anti-gravity, the fomth diension and the
hair of Venusian dogs, or in letting the world know of the
details of their editor's private lfe.
A very few UFO groups have risen above this generaly
hideous level, and have left some iprint on the lterate
of the subject. The Flying Saucer Review of Great Britain,
establshed in 1954, L the only periodical a student of UFO
159
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
problems must consult regularly. 0 Athough it attitude re
garding Kcontactees" and its discrimination between meteors
and UC UFOs" have not always been clear, the Review
i the ofcial joual of UFO controversy and has been hon
ored by artcles by Professor Menzel hiself.
A number of groups have organized in Great Britain inde
pendent of the Review. The Britsh UFO Research Associa
ton { BUFOR) early in 1964 united te Brtish UFO Asso
ciaton and the London UFO Research Organization. Both
bdies previously issued regular publcatons, and BUFORA
now publishes a quarterly joual.
U Italy, the few groups of enthusiast we know of are not
worty of mention; thei only actvity is merging one ito
te other every two or three years.
U Spain, Antonio Ribera and Eduardo Buelta founded in
Barcelona the Cento de Estudios Interplanetarios in 1958.
The group publshed a buletin, of which we have reget
tably seen only one number, which contained excellent statis
tal analyses of the frequency distbuton of sightngs on
planetary scale. Unforunately, as much as the Italan groups
have a tendency to merge, Spanish groups have a tendency
to split, and it i difcult to evaluate what amount of real
work is being done at the present time in Spain.
In Argenta, CODOVNI ( Commision Observadora de Ob
jectos Voladores no I den tcados ) has done serious work on
analysi of the local sightngs and has regularly published
reports. In France, ClEO { Commision Intemationale d'En
quetes Ouranos ) started publishing a review and maintained
it for some time. It preserved in UFO literature excellent
investgations into the important 1957 cases. A new group,
called GEP A ( Groupe d'Etudes des Phenomenes Aeriens ) ,
was founded at the end of 1962. Another UFO periodical
in French is Lumieres dans Ia Nut, published by Raymond
Veilth. 0 0
Austala is another interestng county in this respect.
Although iregularly publshed, the Australian Flying Saucer

0The Flying Saucer Review i edited bimonthly and pub


lshed by Flying Saucer Service, Ltd., 21 Ceci Cout, Charing
Cross Road, London, W. C. 2.
0 0Les Pins le Chambor-sur-Lignon { Haute-Loire) France.
160
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
ReVew has generally maintained a good level ad an original
presentaton. Its main appeal i te large amout of practical
information it has given cncerg sightings made in the
area. It was originally edited under the aegis of the UFO
Association of Australia, which amalgamated several goups
i September, 1960. " In 1965, at the conclusion of the Bal
larat seminar on Aerial Phenomena, a federation of UFO
societes i Australia and its territories was formed. Called
The Commonwealth Aerial Phenomena Investigation Organi
zaton, the new federation had A Marshal Sir George Jones
as a Paton.
Similar groups exist in all countes where te UFO prob
lem i commented upon and i the object of publc cncer
at tmes. The numerous UFO goups in the United States have
proved low in quality, although it i now the only county
where an educatonal instituton, Ohio Norther Unversity,
has undertaken a study of "fying saucer" reports ( 1960) .
Two large organizatons exist i the U. S. One is NICAP""
( National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena ) , a
very ofcial-appearing group founded by Major Keyhoe,
and the other is APRO" " " ( Aerial Phenomena Research Or
ganization) of Tucson.
Both groups are composed of sincere, dedicated persons.
NICAP, created in 1956, claims about 5,500 members. APRO,
founded in 1952, had 800 members in 1964. Both have
played a key role in preserving and classifying the basic data
on UFO observations and they have kept the public ad
researchers abroad informed of the new sightings. Without
APRO and NICAP, it is clear that those who oppose the idea
of te realty of the UFOs would have entirely succeeded i
establshing a complete censorship of the subject, as was the
cae i France. Yet both groups can be critcized in the
sense that they conduct thei actvity i a way which is u
scientc.
"It is now available fom the Victoran Flying Saucer Re
search Society, P. 0. Box 43, Moorabbin, Victoria, Austalia.
" "NICAP 1536 Connectcut Avenue, N.W., Washington
6, D.C.
'
" " "APRO 3910 E. Keindale Road, Tucson, Aona
85716.
,
161
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
It seems that NICAs main cncer i to obta ofcial
recgniton of the extenc of "Hying saucers" by the U.S.
Congess. The progress made since 1956, however, seems
sal, even when one reads the well-documented report UFO
Evidence, published by NICAP in 1964; d actvity ob
viously mises the poit, since it i not seen that the UFO
problem i basically problem of methodology, and a very
difcut scientifc queston that cnnot be solved by plitcal
or miltary authorites alone.
APRO is more seriously dedicted to investgaton and re
search and has gone to laudable efort to present reports of
sightngs made abroad, wel artcles by foreig con
tibutors.
The studies cnducted by Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzen, the
leaders of APRO, have brought to lgt many remarkable
sightngs fom Norh and South America. Mrs. Coral Lorenzen
has brilliantly presented and documented te thery of UFO
"hostty" in her book "The Great Flying Saucer Hoa."
Several of the leaders of NICA, especially Richard Hal
and Charles Maey, have alo made good contbutons
to the feld. Maney, for example, ha gathered detailed
accounts of electomagnetc phenomena associated with UF
Os.
Althoug tey often ue the names of scientst said to
"approve" of thei actons, apparently none of these goups
has obtained practcal assistance in their daiy work fom
competent professional reseachers, and thei publcatons are
at best acceptable docuentaries. But ts i already much
better dwhat most UFO goups prduce.
U our view, the reason for the apparent failure of the
American goups to present intellgent assitance to the ofcia
services i that their leaders are unfamiliar with sightgs
made in other parts of the world and make no efort to lea
when only a planetary picture ca cst lght on the America
cases. The attude seems to be the same in ofcial circles,
but d i more easily understandable, sice under their
specifc mison they have no authority to investgate inci
dents in foreig counties.
For a very small but actve number of UFO cultsts in
America, however, the only real problem i to "sell H
yg
saucers," as one would sell hot dogs or ice cream. What does
it mater i the sightings are invented, i te photogaphs are
faked, i the tp to Venus is imaginary? What does it mater
162
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
i the seriou reader, deceived to or te times, decides
on the basi of this mockery tat UFO's ae a joke? The
"easy buck" is the sole motvaton for their "research" activity.
Sometimes the tale is told with real talent. Sometmes it is
rather sad and disgusting. But the drea remains:
0 the poor lover of chimerical lands!
Shall we put into ion, or cast into the sea
This drunken sailor, inventor of Americas?
Baudelaire asked. No; let them deam. Maybe they wll bal
ance the conservatve part of the scientc mind that always
looks behind.
THE WI TNESSES' REACTI ON
Every possible step seems to have been taken to prevent
ideas favorable to the existence of UFOs from fnding their
way into ofcial and educated circles. This process has clearly
developed uconsciously. For example, when ofcial authori
tes decided to obtain a scientc evaluaton of the problem,
they selected scientists who were entirely ignorant of it; it
would have been siple, ad interesting, to have arranged a
meetng of Tombaugh, Hess, Moore and other scientsts who
saw and reported UFO's. But d woud probably have con
tadicted the ofcial view tat "astronomers do not see fy
ig saucers," one of the arguments often presented to a mis
ifored public.
Witesses of UFOs are generally charactered by thei
silence. A i they had experienced a very bad or revolting
dream, they talk only reluctantly about it, bth because some
m them remain nonbelevers and are shocked by their seeing
sometng which does not agee with their reason, and be
cause they suddenly fnd themselves on the other side of the
fence; newsmen come, ask them questons and print imagin
tales concerng them. They L feel, even in their i
mediate famiy, a modicaton of the atosphere about them.
Huan relations are afected ad thei whole world changes
aost imperceptibly.
Those who wte to military authorites give in their letters
evidence of deep concer and high reliability. In a typical
repor, a New York physiotherapist wrote:
16
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Durig World War II, I was a pilot in the U. S.
Force and all my fying exprience was within the Con
tnental limits m the United States. U al that tme I never
onc, nght or day, obsered anything unusual in the skes.
Now, at age 43, I have obsered phenomena which are be
yond my cmprehension, and which U my sense of rea
soning and credulty.
Many others express interest in the problem in genera fol
lowing their experience, and ask for more inforaton.
The inadequacy of the ofcial questonnaire sent to those
who ask for it in thei letters is evidenced by a cmpaon
between the orignal letter and the answers given by the same
witess to such speifc questons a elevaton, sie ad di
recton, which break te consistency of the report into series
of point sometes irrelevant to te main problem, or point
that cnnot be answered with -recision by average per
son wthout covering the whole incident. T i not the proper
place to discuss in detail how the questonnaire culd b re
vsed, for the whole data-gathering system shoud be i
proved. The point applies even more to uofcial queston
naires sent by groups of enthusiats. We would advocte the
replacement of such fors by a single sheet on whch te wt
ness woud wte h ow descripton of what he saw, wth
spac resered for the coding system and a series of ten to
twenty clear, specifc questons requiring ioraton on points
whch are not usualy covered by the orignal descripton
made by the wtess. Such a for woud be cmpleted in a
much shorter tme, and culd give the author of the report
more condence in the amount of attenton the cse w be
gven later by the investgators, a personal cntact thus beig
estblished. However, we would cery recommend keep
ing the detailed fors for cases in which the ivestgators
intervew the witess directly.
Clearly, I canot speak here with the authority team of
psychologists could after carefu analysi of a sample of ti
cal letters. But it is my experience that fom such descripton,
spontaneously made by the wtesses, the caue of their cn
cer is generaly recogable when it is a cnventonal
object such as a meteor, an aircraft, a star, a ballon, a kte
or a unique luinou efect seen uder condtons not ex
tremely peculiar, even when the authors of these descriptons
show sig of deep emoton or excitement as a result of their
16
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
experience. This seems to be an idication in favor of the
high reliabilty of most UFO reports.
Thanks to the eforts of Veillith and Michel we are able to
present here a document which we thnk of remarkable in
terest i this respect. This case would be automatically ds
missed by a commission of military investgators, or by any
committee of scientc ofcials; the documents consist of to
letters from the witness to a French student of UFOs who
wrote to this person after seeing a brief account of the sight
ing in a local newspaper. The observation took place at dusk.
The witess was alone, and i kow to have been a mental
patent under teatent. A detailed study of the account,
however, shows a remarkable stabity in the characteristcs
of the behavior described, and the reader will notce that
0 te basic criteria of our Type II are met very clealy. It is
ou opion that the witess has ideed observed a UFO
pheomenon behaving exactly as in the Veron case, and
has given an account of it fantatcaly dtorted by her men
mdisability. Here is the fst letter:
At my house it has passed a fying saucer which formed
ito a very bright cigar towards its behavior of spindle very
luminous of a very beautiful brilliance, leaving behind a
smoke trai more tan three meters as it comes closer to the
houe the smoke was better less the cigar formed three
crdons very close the one i the middle fattened, a little
lower has stopped the cordon to the right withdrawng
and small balls like 0 to detach themselves and to disap
pear one after the other i the sky. In spite of my cuosit
y
I was unable to wait for the end of the phenomenon, the
cold forced me to go iide-Good luck.
Puzzled by this descripton-which could seem to pit
siply to a miinterpreted smoke tail left by a jet, for ex
amplete ivestgator asked for more detals regardng
duaton, shape, weather conditons, tme of day, exact move
ments. He received the following answer:
You kow the time for the month of October it was the
evenig alost at night fall the weather neither overcast
nor clear the crat come from the diection of-staght on.
The craft was a ltle i the shape of a cigar but which
fored three tight rbbn or cordons i you want. The caft
165
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
not fying very high cmig staight crosses te roof of my
habitaton I said what a pity i it had been ealier in the
eveng I would have been able to make out cery
what was going on inside the craf but a brl ant craft
which seemed to my eyes al made of diamond the nose in
te shape of an aircraft but half longer than havg passed
my habitaton by four to fve meters making a slight devia
ton toward te east at t moment it stops a lte the
ribbn in the middle detaches itself frm te other to,
from the one i the middle detach themselves very fast
several little bals 0-crossing te rght ribbon goes higher
and go back into the sky ten the three ribbon unite te
cat strts again weakening ad coming back lower staight
on then I saw te nose which dived to go and lnd not
much farther away in spite of my desire to see it land very
close d was ipossible to me the cld had forc me u
go back into my house the S lit the sky it was freezng
te distnce from my house to towards the landig thee
minutes the tme I observed the phenomenon twenty min
utes i not t a polceman had asked me i I had not
been afraid when it had passed over my roof I had an
swered oh no it was too prety.
UFOs AND THE HUMAN MI ND
Jung h gven numerou examples of dreams in which
the shape of the saucer, the mandala o the cigar were pres
ent, and were associated wt uneary feelgs such as ab
sence of weight. The very elusiveness of some UFO appari
ton suggested to m that an interestg m was to b
foud between their obseraton and certain fundamental
needs in the subconciou mind. 0 "'at I have always
thought the most beaut thing i a theater," writes
Baudelaire, "during my chidhood and even now, is the
chandelier, beaut luminou object, crstal e, cmpli
cted, circular and symmetcal." T fascinaton of poet's
soul for the circular, luminou object i indictve of the ex
istence of cmplex mental mechansms which may be lnked
0There are several documents of d natue i te fles of
te U. S. A Force. See for example te letter and drawing
dated 25 Jan. 1958, made after a dream.
16
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
wit UFO observations. Unlimited space and unlimited power
are associated with te vision of a UFO. Marvelous speed,
blndng light, silence are characteristic of a class of objects
that seem to lend themselves most easily to interpretation i
terms of psychologica entties. And the old appeal of the
mystery can be felt again in these stories where science
fction seems to fourish and take life.
In about 1510, Ariosto, the Renaissance poet and play
wright, wrote about glass stips in Orlando Furioso, Canto
I, Stanza 8:
Bear ye some [spirits] in great stps of glass
For the proud Demons, a hundred times and a hundred,
Impel them from the rear with puf s from bellows
So that never was there geater wind.
( See W. R. Drake, FSR II, No. 4, p. 15)
It is impossible to speak of the shape of the "saucer" as
archtype without making the remark that Jonathan Swift,
i Gulliver's Travels 1726 A.D. ) gives d amazing descrip
ton of a "fying island": "
I walked a while among the rocks, the sky was perfectly
clear, and the sun so hot, that I was forced to tu my face
fom it : When all on a sudden it became obscured, as I
thought, in a manner very diferent from what happens by
te interpositon of a cloud. I ted back, and perceived
a vast opake body between me and the sun, moving for
ward towards the Island: It seemed to be about two miles
high, and hid the sun si or seven minutes, but I did not
observe the air to be much colder, or the sun more dark
ened, than if I had stood under the shade of a mountain.
A it approached nearer over the place where I was, it
appeared to e a frm substance, the bottom fat, smooth,
and shiing very bright from the refexion of the sea be
low. I stood upon a height about to hundred yards from
the shoar, and saw this vast body descnding almost to a
parallel with me, at less than an English mile distance. I
tok out my pocket-perspective, and could plainly discover
numbers of people moving up and down the sides of it,
"It is on this fyig island that he meets astronomers who
reveal to h the existence of the two satellites of Mars.
167
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
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168
1 1
1i
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
During a summer night, according to Philalethes' nara
tve, as he was walking i the moonlight, the moon, which
he saw through the branches of tees i the forest, sud
denly seemed to come neaer and appeaed to glide like
a blding and penetatng lght. Little by little, the lunar
crescent, that kept comig closer, took the appearance of
sort of cued couch, luious, foating trough space,
and coming, coming towards the Earh. . . . The legend
also states that the ship-bed landed in a clearg and
that the brush caught fre all around, without being con
sumed; many little devls, siilar to seven- or eight-year
old children, ce out of the ground, thei arms ful of
fowers . . . .
I many cases, hoaxes have been perpetated a mere jokes,
not as serous atempts to ga ofcial recognition. This has
been the general case in France and in most European coun
tes. I the New World, however, more credit is usualy
given to the individual and one thus has a better opportunty
to fnd a public ready to believe i the fantastic. "Contact"
stories have emerged into le on this basis. We read i { 137)
the folowing story:
Gabrel Green, a brght and youthfu Johnny-come-lately
to the candidate game, is right i step with the space age.
Mr. Green was not runnng for the presidency in 1960 to
promote a noble cause, or for publicity, or because the
Bible told hi to. He was a candidate because ( says Gabe)
one night, while he was sittg i the living room of h
Califora home, there was a kock at the door. Ad on
the front steps there stood what loked like an earthman.
But the "man" itoduced hmself as a visitor from a planet
of Alpha Centauri, a nearby star. The visitor said: "We
want you to I for President of the United States." Gabe
said yes, without hesitaton. 0
This celestial ambassador never did explain why he and
0The "Space Age Platfor" of Gabriel Green was pub
lished in the AFSCA World Report of July-August 1960.
Green ran again for the ofce of United States Senator in
the Califoria Democratc primares i 1962 and received
over 171,000 votes.
169
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
h fellow Alpha Centauan wanted Gabrel Gren to be
come President, but that did not stop Gabe from entering
te race. Possibly, te fol from Apha Centauri wanted
America's Chief Executve a man who was concered with
te problems of outer space. And _wasn't Gabriel Green
president of the Amalgamated Flying Saucers Club of Am
erica, Inc.? Surely, he had te interest of the entire uverse
at heart, Alpha Centauri included.
Green claimed to have received many phone cl from
other inhabitants of the distant star ad also said that
alougside the Apha Centaur females "Eah women jut
don't compare."
The investgator of the UFO phenomenon is rarely con
cered wth such reports of contact, whch follow an easily
reogable patter, and no conusion is possible unless i
foraton is very fragentary. I was once criticized by te
etor of a specialzed review ( 138) for not icluding "Venu
sians" of the type described by the "cntactees" in a survey of
enttes reported to have been associated wit Type I sight
ings.
It would seem that consistency has a measue of scien
tc approval [read the arcle], but ths is not allowed
a vue when the long le of cntactees fom Adamsk"
to Siragusa come to beg for admittance. Certainly these
stores are very similar and have much more in common
than exists between any of te goups i Vallee's type-I
lt.
Indeed, consistency is always a vue, but it does not neces
sarily result in what the author of the text called "approva";
it can also result in rejecton, when all criteria of imaginaton
and fraud are met by these "consitent" stmies. A consistent
tief is not an honest man, although it is much easier to fnd
consistent thieves than consistent honest men. But I do not
tk anyone has ever been seriously worried by childish
, descriptons of space conditons copied from newspapers'
"George Adamski died on Apr 23, 1965. Another writer
who greatly contributed to te discredit of the UFO prob
lem, Frank Scully, had died i Jue 196.
170
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
comics or stories whose autor u said to have landed L
Venus or on the mysterious planet Clarion, permanently hid
den by the moon! The pieces of "physical evidence" pre
sented to support such accunts-a few blurred photographs
and a reproduction of a design taken from the sole of a
Venusian shoe-are so poor that we start to doubt i the
author's imagiation i so brght after all, for only very naive
persons ca believe that any credence will b attached to
photographs so evidently faked tat the positive image itself
i already a confession of crime!
But credence is a ver relative notion for the authors of
these little space operas. The mention of their names is all
tey hope for, and tey fnd the fullment of their dreams i
the worship of them by their faatics.
An astronomer has given a descripton of these characters :
Long years of experience with people who come to the
obseratory, or wte i about thei stories . . . have taught
me how a typical fraud . . . chooses his words and phrases.
Among other things, he cannot conduct a rational discus
sion, but resorts to constat repettion. He will not listen
to the other person and cannot answer questions rationally
or intelligently . . . . Scarce wonder that the whole subject
-which undoubtedly has some scientifc paydirt in it-is
so easily tossed aside by responsible peple. At a conven
ton of ["fying saucer" fanatics] one could buy a book en
titled My Saturnian Lover, photographs of saucers, the
moon seen from an approachng saucer, moon scenery,
and could buy a rerd of Satumian muic. And, if tey
stayed late enough, the conventoneers would see mysteri
ou blue lghts at play and observe a balloon-shaped
saucer tat rose opportely from behid the bam.
No joke culd stay alive long enough to cause so much
dtubance, however, i deeper feelings were not associated
wth these "experiences." In { 139) Norkn wites about one
of the "contactees":
He had been taken up i a balloon-shaped spacecraf
to a great height above the earth and then given the
opportunity to view it from that height. The incident hap
pened on the night of July 23, 1952, from the dry bed of
the Los Angeles rver, where it borders Los Angeles and
171
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Glendale. It was a beautl sight, but Ore said he wept
uashamedly. The realizaton came that undereath that
suface beauty was a sick huanity sufering from untold
misery. He didn't wish to come back but was told he had
to because it was now h mission to tell the people the
tuth-about life in outer space. Just like those who were
advanced had come fom other planets to help us, so tose
who were contacted here should help thei felow men with
te information that had been revealed. proof tat his
exprience was real, scar was iprinted on the skin of
h chest below the heart. It was the mark of the hydrogen
atom, of which everg i te uverse i ultately
fored.
Ts is a very common theme i t sort of story, and such
accounts appear to be a way for certain soul to release their
agush in the face of moder scientc changes, teir fear
of war and atomic cataclysm and teir inabilty to adapt to
the present rhytln of life. These experiences are indeed cn
sitent; they are nothing but the ever-repeated stor of the
huble man suddenly chosen by Providence to hI a ter
rbly important mission, to be entsted wit amazing secrets
ad become the master of superatural powers.
This i also a convenient subjectve way to criticize modem
lfe and to release personal resentents. I ( 140) another
contactee gives ti informaton on h "visitors":
She said: "We are visiting reguarly on you earth,
and enjoy it very much." She added: "We enjoy you
laughing mith," which she said was new to them. That
they had expected that people with al our problems and
toubles would not be able to joke and laugh. That on
Clarion they lied a good joke ad loved to laugh.
She also made the statement that tey were never in a
rh up there on Clarion, ad they always wondered why
everything on earth appeared to be rushig or i a hurry
to be fished. She said it was a siar sight al over the
eath, people rushing madly in all directons.
'CONTACTEES' AND 'MARTI ANS' I N HI STORY
Are these aberrations ticl of the 'Space Age'? Are they
ony the products of science fcton, atomic fear, and twen-
172
FlYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
hcm cntury living condtons? Tey are much more tan
! thlt. They are the modem aspect of psychological processes
tat have produced simiar efects under very df erent pro
cesses that have produced similar efects uder very dif erent
condtons : Adamski claied he had met an inhabitant of
Venus, whose fying saucer he had seen land in the Calfora
desert in 1952: His beauty was superior to anything Adamsk
had ever seen before. He looked young, had long blond hair;
wit dif erent clothes he would have appeared as 'an ex
. ceptonally beautul woma' . . . Adamsk's colorful story i
considered as having fouded the myth of the 'contactees.'
, But it is generally unkow today that similar stories-ex
. pressed alost i te same terms-have been repored for
centuies. They folow well-establshed very stable psycho-
logical patter: I the seventeenth century, writes Flam
marion a man named David Fabricius claimed he had been
in contact with te ihabitants of the moon. Another writer,
Kircher, "could not fnd h words" to convey to h readers
the admiraton he felt for the inhabitants of Venus. He
describs them young men of wonderful beauty, whose
clothes were as tansparent as crystal, and who danced to
te music of lyres and cymbal, whie some of thei com
paions contnuously spread perfumes out of the baskets tey
were carryig . . .
Swedenborg, the great eightenth century Swedish mystic,
left a descripton of some smal Moon-men "the size of ch
dren." Sometes he speaks lie the Aetherius Society. 0
a piece enttled De l terre d Juitef, we read:
0The Aetheriu Society, of London and Los Angeles, i dedi
cated to the dif usion of space messages. On August 22, 1959,
for instance, it relayed over loud-speakers extacts from a
tape recording of a speech from Mars ( Sector 6) called
"Demand the Trth," to a crowd in Trafalgar Square, Lon
don. The Joul of the Society adds : "Members of the
Aetherius Society held banners on the plinth of the famou
Nelson Column as a backgroud to the platform i order to
proclaim that 'Flyng Saucers are real, are physical, are
friendly, are extra-terrestial' . . . The crowd stood listening
in the hot sunshie for well over to hours, while the ex
t
acts from Mas Sector 6 Transmission were played between
speeches by Aetherius Society members."
173
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
1
By the spirits who are on tis planet, I have received\
iformation concerig . several tings about its inhabi
1
tant's; for example, about tei food ad teir dweling . .
Later:
t
I have been iformed by angels tat te frst language :
of al on each planet has been the facial language, and!
by means of the lps and te eyes . . .
t
One of the most elaborate hoaxes of the 'Martian' type was
perpetrated in 1864. It took such large proportions that a
scientc periodical, L'Annee Scientque ( 9t year, page
33) devoted several pages to an artcle guardng the public
against the hoax. The story, which originated somewhere i
Paris, was carried by numerous newspapers i the country, .
including Le Pays ( 17 June 1864) , and was ttled An In
lwbtant of the Planet Ma
r
s. The facts it related had allegedly
taken place i the United States, where a rich land owner,
"Sir Paxton," had undertaken a searcl for oil. One moring
( read the article) the workers foud a layer of various un
expected materials and M. Davis ( "a most distnguished
gelogist fom Pittsburg") insisted tat it should b followed.
After ffteen days of work a considerable mass of rock was
unearthed. It presented the appearance and composition of an
enormou meteorite.
A scientc committee went to see te meteorite and had
the idea to d a hole into it: and a cavity was discovered
i the center of it! Finally, the hole was enlarged so that
John Paton ( Sir Paxton's son) was able to visit the iside of
te aerolte with M. Davis. They cae back, very pale, car
ing a stange amphora, and said they had found a metalic
foor. After several days, this foor was removed and the D0
gentlemen, accompanied by a M. Muchison, went dow
again, only to discover a sort of rectangular tomb, which
contaied the petried corpse of a four-fot man. This
mummy was extacted from the tomb and carefully studied.
There was no hai on the face, the brain was tiangular. No
nose, but a sort of tunk on the forehead. A very smal
mout and very long ars cmpleted the picture. Near the
body was found a drawing of the Solar System where planet
Mars was represented by a big spot, thus indcatig ui
takably the origi of the strange aerolte.
More recently, similar accounts of fantastc adventures have
174
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
ben commonplace. The fst twenteth-cntury report of
"landing," with a descripton of the operators nea thei craft
B made i the spring of 1909, d it was a hoax. The en
counter is said to have taken place on May 18 at ll: OO -W.
at Caerphilly, Wales. The wtes, Mr. Lethbrdge, said he
had been walking along a road when he 1aw a large cylndri
cal object, alongside of which were two men wearing b
coats, who spoke i an excited voice when they saw the
witess. Immediately afterwad they took of and the object
disappeared. This incident is reported i the Daiy Mai of
May 20, 1909, and is discussed by Fort in his book New
Land ( 21 ) . According to Fort hmself, a hoax is very prob
able.
Another fantastc story is that told by a man who alegedly
observed a UFO on February 22, 1922, at 5: 00 T-W- i
Hubbell, Nebraska: A hunter, William C. Lamb, was follow
ig mysterious taces when he heard a cracking noise fol
lowed by a high-pitched soud and realized that a circular
object was Hying above his head, masking the stars. The
witess alegedly hid bhind a tee and saw this object, now
brilliantly lighted, land behind a depression. Where he thu
lost sight of the dsk, he saw a magnicent Hying creatue
that landed lke an aircraft and left taces i the snow. U
was at least eight feet tall; it came toward the tree where
Lamb was hidig, passed by and disappeared. Lamb followed
the traces for fve mies, then gave up te chase ( 30) .
THE HOLLOW EARTH THEORY
The incoherent cluster of fables that we have to review now
would not be worthy of attenton i it were not ( le the
claims of the "contactees") relate to fantastic themes tat
are a part of ou cultue.
The starng point of these diverging fantasies-that we
feel should be teated much as the basic archetypes of
chidren's literature-is the idea that a superior race of very
ancient history inhabits the iteror of the Earth.
Archaeologists kow well tat this theme is common 0
many cultures : "The ancient writings of the Chinese, Egy
tans, Hindus and other races, and the legends of the Esk
mos . . . speak of a race that lives uder the earth's crst
and that thei ancestors came from this paradisical land i
te interior of the earth" ( 197) . The origin of d theme i
175
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
easy enough to deterine, that our ancestors, in prehistoric
tes, were often cave dwellers, i well kow. And, trough- '
out history, the same tunnels and caves they had used have
been reopened by ]opulations threatened by invasion or natu-
ral disater. For obvious reaons, the location of these open
ings were kept secret, thus contibutg to create atos
phere of mystery.
I two areas of the world has the necessity for presera
ton of entire cultes threatened by invasion arisen wth a
special character of emergency: I Asia, and also in America,
{
where ancient Indan cultues were destoyed on the surfacef
by the Spanish conquest. And these are the areas where J
moder claims of the exstence of "underground civilizaton"
natally foush. The Tibetan mountains and the Matto ,
Grosso, regions of difcult access inhabited by people whose :)
taditions appeal to the imaginaton, are usually associated '
with the "mystery."
That t array of legends has its origin in half-forgotten'
stories from a time of persecutons and invasions is further
show by the very descrptons of the way of lie of these;
"underground civilzaton":
'
More than six thousand years ago, a holy man, with his .
ente tibe, disappeared into the interior of the earth and
was never seen again on the surface. Many men, how-
ever, have since viited this mysterious real . . . [Agharta]
e e Nobody kows where it is situated. Some say in
Afghanitan, others i India. Al its members are protected :
agains evil and crime does not exis within its frontiers.
Science has developed in tranquillity, an no one lives '
threatened by destruction. The subteranean people have
reache te apex of wisdom.
'
l
At t pint, the theme ceaes to be distnguishable fom '
te contactee's gospel: The same patter of wshful thikng
ad escape from realty underlies these stories it does tales
for cdren and the adult dream of a world where no one
would lve "treatened by destucton." We are not dealing '
see Le Guide de l France Myserieuse ( IO) for many
accounts of tales of undergound cites, and locatons of act-
ual undergound dwellngs that may be vsited today.
176
j
FlYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
here wt the unorgaized producton of isolated "crack
pots," but wt an extapolaton in fantastic terms of very
tagic and real situation. Mter all, the threat of nuclear war
may some day force our ow wise men, and their tribes,
to presere our scientifc cuture i te "uderground king
dom" of fallout shelters!
THE I NNER EARTH PEOPLE AND THE KI NG
OFTHE WORLD
Te theories we are reviewng here fd, therefore, natu
ral stang point in fantastic distorons of a psychological
reality. A good example of an exteme extapolation is found
i the Prophecy of the Coming Nuclear Armegeddon, by
the King of the Wold, and the Extermination of Surface
Humanity, Leaving the Earth Inhabited only by its Subter
ranean Inhabitants, whch i quoted by Berard ( 197) :
The Nuclear Armegeddon of World War III w be fol
lowed by te Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, involvig
Flood of Radioactve Fire followed by a Flood of Water,
which wil purge and purify the Earth's suface, leaving it
devoid of life, until eventually the subterranean people
wl once more come up to the surface and repopulate it.
Dr. Menzel and Mrs. Boyd have given a fne account of the
goups which propagate this mytholog i their book "The
World of Flying Saucers." During te development of the
UFO waves of the "American period" tese theories were
mainly kow as "The Shaver Mystery."
I 1947 Palmer was the editor of Amazing Stories and
Fantastic Adventures, two of the great magazies of sci
ence-fcton in which stories of spaceships and interplane
t tavel have long been commonplace. For several years
he had been hinting to readers of these magazies that
alien spaceships might actually be cruising in our skies,
but Fate was the frst magazine that seriouly promoted
the idea . . .
In January 1944 began the publishig drama that for
tme changed the direction of Amazing and heralded
the advent of fyig saucers. The "discusions" department
tat month included a letter captioned "An Acient Lan-
177
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
guage?" which intoduced what came to be kow both H
te Great Shaver Mystery and the Great Shaver Hoax e
The frst of the Shaver series, "I remember Lemuria" ap
peared in March, 1945, aong with ".Mantong, the Lan
guage of Lemuia," the artcle signed by both Shaver and
Palmer, and other stories followed quickly in succeeding
issues of Amzing. The basic themes were shopwor-a
juble of Fortean ideas, Plato's fables, and mystc science
-but when brightened by Palmer's magic pencil, they
seemed fesh and excitg: The Earth had an ancient past
now forgotten. 0 The lost contents of Atlants, Lemua,
and Mu had been coloned many thousands of years ago
by superior beings from another planet who could tavel
trough space by utg forces uow to present-day
earen. Eventually these noble aliens had been forcd
to abandon the ear to escape evl radatons coming fom
our g but they had lef descendants who stil lved on
earth in concealment in great subterranean cites that could
be entered through certain caves. The uderground dwell
ers in the hidden world had retaied al the secret powers
of their ancestors. They could cmmunicate by thought
tansference, could speak to earthmen by mental "voices,"
and could tavel on beams of light becaue they under
stood te tue nature of gavity and magnetsm.
These creatures were dvided into two opposig goups,
one good and one evil. The dero ( detmental robots ) were
the bad guys and they caused al the unexplained acci
dents and misfortunes that happen to human beigs. The
tero (integratve robots ) were the good guys; they wared
earthmen of danger and ted to protect them from the
destuctve forces of te dero.
FLYI NG SAUCERS FROM THE EARTWS I NTERI OR
Once it i admitted tat te Earth contains large cves
popuated by wise men, it i but one more step to connect
al these caves with tunnel, and fally the idea that the
whole planet is hollow suggests itself. As will be seen i the
next paragraph, the idea i not new. Similar legends exsted
0This theme i alo found in many stories by H. P. Love
caft.
178
FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN R EASON
aleady two centuries ago. The new element is provided by
the claim that the cavity inside the earth is the point of
origin of the "fying saucers." ( See, for example, Palmer's
arcle in the December 1959 issue of Flying Saucers, the
Magazine of Space Conquest and Dr. Menzel's remarks in
The World of Flying Saucers, page 25) . According to Palmer,
Berd, ad a few others, fying saucers sail from the in
terior of the Earth to ou atosphere through a large open
ing situated at the North Pole. " We read i one of Berard's
brochues :
A Russian who formerly sered i te Russian Ay said
he ad his troops once reached Lhasa, Tibet, where he was
statoned some tme, and there he came in touch with a
secret society of Tibetan vegetarans who made regular
tips by fying saucer though the North Polar opening to
te hollow interior of the ear. He says he saw the saucer
tat made the tips. He said tat the supreme object of all
Tibetan Lamas and Yogis is to prepare their bodies to be
worhy to be picked up by a Hyig saucer and carried to
te hollow interior of the earth, whose huan populaton
cnsists mostly of Tibtan Lamas and Oriental Yogis, with
very few Westerers, since Westerers are too bound to
te tngs of this world, whe lamas and yogis wh to
escape this miserable world and enter a much better world
i the hollow interior of the Earth.
"I understand there is also an opening at the South Pole;
unforunately it is blocked by the ice! Commenting upon the
belevers in the "Hollow Earth Theory," The Joural of the
Britsh UFO Association ( vol. 1, no. 4) notes : "A American
Italia writer, one Giannini, ha provded grist for their ml,
i recent years, by publishing a book in which much play
was made of statements by the late Rear-Admiral Byrd con
cring aeroplane fights "beyond the Pole." Giannini and
h i would take the touble to read Byrd's own explana
ton of this phrase, i the Aerica "National Geographic
Magazine," vol. XCII, no. 4, October 1947, they would fnd
that h views on the globe were perfectly orthodox and that
h much-publicized remark implied only that the South Geo
gaphic Pole does not occupy a cental position in respect
to the Antarctic land-mass.
179
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Berard points out that "there i no prof at all that these
reports ae tue-they may be lies ivented by the nar a
tors i order to create an impression." And he adds :
T cntactee describes Hyng saucers as made of a bri
lant nickel that glows wth a light at night. He says tat the
people of the Earth's interor wield a for of energy be
yond atomic energy whch motivates ( ? ) teir Hyng sau
cers. They use d superior energy-the "vr" of Bulwer
Lyt on-only for peacef puses.
Also these people have one goverent 0u one naton
and are not divded into warrg natons as we are. T
L helped by their speakng al te same language. They ae
in advance of us in al ways. Tey live without religon
we kow it, obeyg the laws of natue, which they con
sider better than believing i religion and superatal
gods and savors, while dobeyng nature's laws in ou
daily lves, such as by eatng meat, indulgg in sex, etc.
These people are vegetarians and 0 live in perfect chastty.
T shor quotaton i wor studyg for the amount of
contadictory statements it packs in a few sentences. The state
of disorganaton of tis contactee's accunt is exteme; yet
he i able to piece together i one compact story a large clus
ter of very diferent myths. The origin of some of these myhs
c be accurately taced to teores of the past centues.
THE HOLLOW EARTH THEORY I N HI STORY
I this book, we have seen again and again that the temes
popuar among Hying saucer enthusiasts, and ridiculed by
thei opponent a moder form of mental disturbance
tpically inducd by the twenteth-cent way of living and
the iuence of science-fction were in reality nothing but the
resurgence of taditional archetypes. We have aleady men
toned that i the seventeenth centy there were already
people who claied they had seen the inhabitants of the
moon. Kcher could not fd his words to describe accuately
the beauty of the Venuians, and Swedenborg claimed to
have been ifored by the spirits of Jupiter of "several things
concering its inhabitants."
180
. FLYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
The Hollow Earth Theory i such an archetype. 0 Accord
ing to Flamarion, Humboldt wtes in the frst volume of his
Cosos that "Lesbie's geognostical determinations on the ter
restrial sphere, that he suppose could be hollow, led un
scientic persons to fantastc conceptions. Not only did they
take Lesbie's theory as the expression of reality, but they
went as far U populating t hollow earth with diferent
beings. Furthermore, they imagied two asteroids in order
to lght it: Pluto and Proserpie . . . They even indicated
that, at latitude 82, one found a opening through which
surface dwellers could reach the iterior."
Flamarion very appropriately remarks that "these ideas
have points i common with the tales of the Devil's Well
that we feared when we were chldren-an openg located
at the bottom of an old crater and which cmmuncated
wth Hell." Siilarly, an undergound jouey to the center of
the Earth is narrated in Hofmann's tale. "The Devil's Elixir."
The narator falls one day into precipice and into an abyss
which is the interior of the Earth. His fall leads H to the
planet Nazar, which occupies the center of these regions.
Humboldt's remarks on the Hollow Earth Teory ( Cosmos
I, page 192) are worth quotng i fl as a conclusion to t
paragraph:
I order to make the hypothesis of indefnite cmpressi
bilt of matter agree with the measured oblateness, now
kown with good precision, the ingenious Leslie was led
to picture the inside of the Earth as a spherical cave "flled
wth weightless fuid that had an enormous force of
expansion." These audacious conceptions provoked in the
minds of persons entrely foreign to the sciences the genera
ton of even more fantatc ideas. They went as far as hav
ing plants growing in thi holow earth. They populated it
wth animals and, i order to dssipate the darkness, they
iagined two stars, Pluto and Proserpine. These subter
raean regions were given a constant temperature, an
8 always luinous becaue of the pressure it supported.
"The Freudian interpretatons of the myth of the Hollow
Earth (the Earth as "the mother of le" ) are obvious. See
the Greek legend quoted by Misraki, page 226 ( Ouranos and
Rhea) , in this context.
181
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
They probably forgot that they had already put to b
there to lght it. Finally, nea the North Pole, at lattude
82, was an enorou opening through which te light of
the aurorae few, and that allowed a jouey into the hol
low sphere. Si Humphrey Davy and I were publicly in
vited and urged by Captain Symmes to udertake tis
uderground expediton. Such i the force of the maladive
uge that leads certain minds to fl uow spaces wth
wonders, without takg into account the facts kow to
Science or unversaly recged laws of nature. Already,
near the end of the seventeenth century, the notorious
Halley, in h "Magetc Speculatons," had imagined a hol
low Ea. He assued that a nucleus, freely rotatg i
t natural cavit, was responsible for anual and diua
vaations of the declinaton of the compass. These ideas,
that were never anytg but pue fcton for the igeniou
Holberg, fructify nowadays, and people have te wth
ubelievable seriouness, to give them scientc colora
ton.
METAPHYSI CAL UFOS
I had quite a shock once when I happened to come across
a booklet entitled Flying Saucers and Space Men, A Scientc
and Metaphysical Dissertation in InterplanetaryTravellng, by
Dr. John H. Maas, Ph. D., N. D. , Psy. D., Ms. D. , D. T.D.,
B. Sc. , D. Hu. , M.H., and Fouder-President, Pythagorean
Societ ( 141 ) .
Untl then I had divided my attenton between professional
scientts, who generally thought that life was possible else
where i the universe but did not believe that other com
munites could tavel to u and therefore, did not want to
conider the possibity of UFOs being material objects; and
the people who, on the opposite side, accepted enthusiast
cally the existence of "fying saucers" wthout reseraton,
sayg that "tey had no proof, but they had evidence." I
had no idea that a td categor existed, made up of stong
believers in the existence of "fyng saucers," but frmly op
posed to their spatial orig, ad even to their physical reality.
I was thus quite uprepared when I read in Dr. Manas' book:
There i another ver iportant reason against the physi-
182
FlYI NG SAUCERS AND HUMAN REASON
cal existence of "space ships." Suppose that a certain sou
or a spiritual entity from Venus or from Mars wants to pay
M a visit. Is it necessary for it to tavel in a "space-ship"?
Cannot the soul travel i it atal or etheric body or
vehicle?
I wonder what Pythagoras would have answered to tat.
Dr. Manas later makes the folowing statement:
It i a well-kown fact to all metaphysicians and oc
cultsts that even a clear and strong thought can b pro
jected and b sent many thousands of miles away ad be
materialized at its place of destnation, and under proper
conditons, to be seen by men. Al tese phenomena are
not mysteries' or miracles e e e Tis R te tuth about UFO,
commonly kown as "fying saucers," space ships and space
men, disrobed of all superstiton, ignorance, emotionalism
and human weaess, whch i the lot of young human
souls.
It would seem, therefore, tat earthbound "enttes" L
spirits produce images of "fyg saucers." Being a "young
human soul," characterized by the weaknesses enumerated
by Dr. Manas, and many oters, this writer is obviously in
competent to cmment on the theory. However, he fnds it
interesting that ardent spiritualists are seen taking against
the material existence of UFO's te same extreme positions as
adent "materialists."
We could extend this chapter into an entire book without
ever reaching the limits of the extaordinary, and not even
the lits of fraud or lunacy. But these few pages may have
been sufcient to give ou reader a clear image of what
the huan mind can produce when it does not work within
the boundaries set up by rationalism, and denies the neces
sity of control. Our problem is not orginal in this respect;
similar fancies have been found in all branches of science.
One point, however, i very clear i the present case: When
one has heard the message of all "contactees," listened to
the tales, read the stories, taveled to Saturn and back in the
arms of a nine-legged octopus and shared the evening dinner
of a friendly average Venusian family, one comes back to this
detestable planet and fds the UFO mystery unsolved.
Theories are often lke the good servant of te play, who tl
18
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON

with the irtated father whie h lovely daughter escapes wth
a musician. We have watched Dr. Menzel's miages and li
tened to Adamsk's harpsichord; we have seen Captai Aura
Rhanes reting to Clarion and have touched a hair of a
185pound Venusian dog; we have also obsered meteors and
the ring moon. Now we would le to come back to ou
problem and fnd out what it i reliable witnesses have seen;
for the Veron cigar wa not cloud, the hole i the feld i
Poncey was not of a metaphysical essence. Ofcer Zamora
had not heard the noise of a spitual motor, and it was not
a meteor that lted Hamilton's cow in Apri, 1897. Someone
once asked, if angels ae pue spirits, why do they eat and
make love? We might add, speakg of modem legends ap
pearg under our own eyes : spacemen are thought images,
why should they butcher a cw and drop her head i the
desert?
Beliefs and teories; iaginaton and dream and preten
sion: torented human souls, trying to reach for their smal,
ifite, fancy they catch a star. a forest of theories, each
man clibs hi own tee. He reigns on h branch and directs
inults at the mockingbird. Undisturbed, les of facts stretch
across the horizon with patence. But night fall on the
scene, ad men go to sleep. In t night they remain, uniden
ted i their relatve universe. A hand from Heaven reaches
down into their dreams, and they wonder.
184
Chapter
TYPICAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVIOR
THE GENERAL TYPE I EVENT
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IO
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
at Antbes, was riding h bicycle through the town of Biot,
in the Maitie Alps, when he suddenly found in front of
m on the road a masive, oval aluinum-like object. He
applied the brakes; siultaneusly, the object took of with
out noise, at a very great speed. It was shaped le an egg,
perfectly smooth ad bright. Five to six meters long and a
lte over one meter in height, it left no tac. Several in
habitants of Biot made independent reports that confed
the ralty of Casella's experience. Descriptions of the inci
dent L be found in the French newspapers of October 17
( France-Soir, La Croix, Pars-Presse, etc. ) .
On October 21, 1954, i the departent of Charente, a
man from Cherbonnieres was diving his car toward Pouzou.
With D was h thee-year-ld son. Suddenly he felt prick
lgs al over his body, siar to electic dischages; t
painfu feelig became more intense as the car kept going.
Soon the child started to cry and, as the car proceeded, the
engine died and so did the headlights. At the same tme the
wtness noticed a bright, glowing red color changing to or
ange, soon becoming of a blinding intensity. For a few sec
od he saw an object hovering; it disappeared soon after
ward. He was then able to stat h engine again.
I L'Asronomie, in 1954, we nd the folowng acount:
Suspicious object. M. G. Mouil on engineer at Genelad,
Saone-et-Loire, has obsered, on October 14 at 8: 50 P.M.
between Ciry-le-Noble and Montceau-les-Mines, an eno
mous object surrounded with a green fame quickly faling
to the ground over an area of about 10 i elevation.
The object itsel certainly had an appaent diameter of
several degrees, maybe much as fve degrees. No noise
was heard.
Ths obseration is quite interestng in the light of the
series of events that took place in the same area that ver
day, ad which were summarized by Michel i h second
bo k, from which we extact the folowing:
M. B. , livig i Montceau-les-Mines, was riding a
motorcycle on the road from St. -Romain-sous-Gourdon to
Brosses-Tillots, also i Saone-et-Loire. Suddenly without
apparent reason his motor stopped and could not be started '
again. He got of, and a bright lght burst out about ffty
186
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
yards i front of m, revealing a cicular object that
looked, he said, " lie a plate ted upside dow."
M. B. looked at the sigt i amazement, then i fea,
and decided to t back, walng and pushg h motor
cycle. But when he reached the point where h motor
had stopped, it started up agai e (115) .
A few minutes later, Andre Cognard, who lives at Ciry-le
Noble, was driving toward h town, coming from Gueugnon:
"A at once," said M. Cognard, "at te top of a slope I
found myself face to face, so to speak, wth a sort of disk
of such brilanc that it blded me, like lighthouse
beam. I had to stop. The object few over me slghtly to my
right at a low alttude and contnued its route westward
where it remained visible for several minutes before dis
appearing i te distance."
Both incidents above occured "at nightfal." At about 7: 30
P.M., to inhabitants of Gueugnon, Messrs. Jeannet and
Gaer, were drving on road D-25 fom Clessy toward
Guegnon. They were crossing a wooded area called Chazey
Wood when a sort of reddish glow few over thei car at high
speed:
"A at once the motor stopped and we had no lights.
After a few seconds, when te light shed by the ball had
gone out i the distance on our left, the headlights came
- puhed the stater, and mcmotor began to t over."
T series of events took place i a very narow patch of
a few klometers. The identty of the wtesses i know. They
reported thei exriences independently. One of them was
publshed by a scientc joul uown to Michel, who
dd not use it in h descripton of the sigtngs of October 14.
The impression made by t series of report is, as Michel
remarks, inescapable: A uncmmon actvity, associated wth
the presence of a brl t dik-shaped object, took place i
t area. This object was very close to the ground, and it
remained on the spot for at least hour.
One might have the ipression one is reading some knd of
ghost story when confronted wth such accounts, or one
migt d that the whole thing is only a drea; the reader
187
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
wl awake and fnd himself again i a ratonal world, where
ony cars and bicycles use the roads and where only farers
ad their familiar, reassuring equipment are to b seen i
the countryside. However, these reports do exist. We have
even foud several of them in the scientifc press. They are
stll unexplained and "uidented."
France has no monopoly on t type of activity. However,
early American reports of Type 1-those made i the years
1946 to 1952-are difcut to fnd. Such sightngs were not,
in general, reported to authorites, and practcally no civlian
activty was seriously organized to gather information on the
cases. a result, only a few icidents, le the case of Des
vergers, a Florida scoutaster who claimed he was bued
by a "saucer,'r or another sightng made at Flatwood, West
Virginia ( i which monsters were described by apparently
reliable witesses, but no evdence was produced) , were
publicized, when a lage nuber of sightings of interest
would have deserved equal attenton. U additon, we should
remember that numerous reports ted in to the U. S. A
Force concering "landings" before 1952 seem to have been
trown into the trash can as "obvously unbelievable," es
pecially when they contained descriptons of "operators." Th
made it very eay to clai later that too little informaton
was present to investigate these events. The ofcial handlng
of these cases fortunately seems to have improved.
As an example of a sightg that should have been invest
gated thoroughly we will call the reader's attention to the ob
seraton reported by B. Stevenson of Circleville, Ohio, on '
February 1, 1948. He saw a metallc disk hovering above a
farm. It had, he said, a diameter of sixty feet and wa ten to
twelve feet thick at the center; it gave of a blinding orange
lght from its central pa.
--
I the fall of 1949, at night, D. Bushnell, a plant superin-

tendent at the Southwester Porcelain Steel Corration, was
driving with his wife near Tulsa, Oklahoma, when an object
dve fom the sky toward te road in front of the car, then
dsappeared ( described by Keyhoe in [ 142] ) .
In December of 1950, another observation of interest was
made by American personnel aboard a U. S. ship i Korean .
waters. They saw two objects i the sky, followed by tails of
white smoke. Both objects fell into the sea at very high speed;
two columns of water rose up to thirty meters in the air ( cf.
Aviatio News, February 18, 1951 [ 143] ) .
- 188
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
More inforaton becomes avalable aer 1952, when
te UFO problem assumed its new look and when publc
opinion became seriously concered. Although the relability
of the report is unlown, we feel we should menton here
the Oscr Linke incident of July 11, 1952, as an intoduction
to the next Aerican sightings. The event took place at Has
selbach, Gerany, i a forest a few miles from the fronter
between the Aerican and Russian zones. The witess, accom
panied by h eleven-year-old daughter, allegedly saw two
men in shy cverall standing by a large disk, eight meters
i diameter, that took of when te witess wa heard ap
proachg.
On Juy 29, 1952, a man "as whte as a sheet" entered the
Enid, Oklahoma, polce staton. He said h name was Sid
Eubank and told Sergeant Ver Bennell h ipression that
a "fying saucer" had tied to kdnap m He was driving, he
said, on Highway 81 beteen Bison and Waukomis, before
daw when a large fying dsk dived toward m_ followed
by such a shock wave that the air pressure threw the car of
the road. The object remained above te car for a while, then
depared at hgh speed toward the west ( 144) . In August
several memorable ( i not reliable) incidents took place, in
cludng the Desvergers monster and the alleged kdapping
of Tom Brooke, in the sae par of Florida. On August 31,
H. Long, of Kutstown, Pennsylvania, said he saw a disk land
ft feet fom the road, and he made a sketch of it. Th en
te period has been excelently descrbed by Captain Rup
pelt in h book ( 118) .
Sinc 1955 te material concerg American "landings"
has been abundant. On Augst 1, 1955, at 9: 00 P.M., a Mr.
Shenema, coming fom Wiloughby, Ohio, got out of h car
at Chardon Road with h wife and two children when he
saw a circula object with a red light cming down rapidly
and hovering above the goud. Two beams of lght appeared
on the object and several openings allegedly became visible.
The wtesses stared ming toward their house. The object
hovered two huded feet above the goud; it had a di
aeer m one hunded feet and dome on top, which was
iluminated with a white lght.
m te fst days of November, 1955, a similar object was
seen by an ofcer in a police L at Wiliston, Florida; ac
cording to Keyhoe ( 142) the witess felt his and legs
paalyzed and h clothes hot.
189
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
After ths date more reprt are found in the ofcial fles.
Some of tem are quite interestg. They provide a good basis
for contadicton of the accepte teory that "andig" re
ports are al unreliable and therefore cannot be studied scien
tifcaly. On April 6, 1956, at McKinney, Texas, a silvery ob
ject reportedly landed in a feld one hundred meters frm the
two witesses, who stopped their L and got out; the object
ten took of at very hg qe. L June 6, 1956, at 5: 30
A. M. , object was seen one hundred feet above the ground
at Banng, Califora. The wtess stopped his ca, watched
the object slowly coss the road one hunded yards fom
m, t to the left, then come back to cross the road again
behind the car and dappear.
On September 2, 1956, at 4: 30 A.M., te night watchan
of te Dayton ( Ohio) Count Club saw an oval object, eight
to ten feet thck, hoverg fve o six feet above the gound.
It came slowly toward the witess, lighting the aea i a
radu of fve to six meters. However, t sightng canot be
raned among the best, for the night was very dark and the
object gave ony a weak light; it might have been a balloon,
altough the shape ( like to saucers glued together by the
edge) is pecuiar. A more valid cse, by our standards, is the
incident that tok place i South Dakota, on Highway 34, on
November 25 of the same year. Two policemen patolling
te highway saw object hovering on the side of the road.
It had the shape of an egg ad gave m a red glow sufcient
to light the highway. It took of rapidly and the witesses
chased it, but remained one mile behind it toughout the
si-mile chase. The object made no noise. Several photograph
were taken, one of which shows an egg-shaped object, three
tmes larger than the moon, wth a projecton at one end,
alo visible on the flm. The witesses were Don Kelm and
Jack Peters of te South Dakota Highway Patol ( 145) . Two
nights before, a civilan pilot fyg over Aberdeen, Mary
land, reported he was passed by a rocket-shaped object that
went dow toward the gound. It was seen in fgt for fve
minutes. Later, witnesses saw a red glow like a fe on the
goud where the object seemed to have landed.
On November 6, 1957, at 9: 00 P.M. , near Lake Bakatong,
one hunded miles norh of Ottawa, Jacques Jacobson and
three other witnesses saw a bright sphere much larger than
the moon hovering above a m two or three miles fom '
them. This icident is descrbed py A. Mebane i h additon
190,

TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR


to the American version of Michel's second book ( 115) . From
the bottom ad the top of the sphere spread cones of lght
so bright that the tees and the clouds were illuminated. No
stucture was visible through binoculars. The radio was
blacked out. One of the witesses was an electonics engineer
and tied a short-wave receiver he had, but all wavelengths
were bloked except one, where very stong signal was
perceived. It was rapidly modulated lie Morse code, but it
was not Morse code. Fifteen minutes later te sphere took of
and te radio worked agai.
On Apri 19, I957, at 11: 52 A.M., two metal disks were
seen enterig the Pacific Ocean at 31 15' N. and 14330' E. A
violent tbulence followed thei immersion. The witesses
were Japaese fsheren on board te "Kitsukawara Maru."
The point in queston i among te deepest in the Pacifc
Ocean (more tan ten touand meters deep) .
On November 2, before midnight, Pedro Saucedo and Jose
Salav were dg a tuck on Highway ll6 in Texas when
tey saw what they described a bluh-green torpedo
shaped machine 150 to 200 feet long which remained close
to the ground for two or three minutes, ten ascended, its
color changng to red. The headlgts of the tuck were of
and the motor had died.
"e frst saw a fash of ligt in te feld to our right, and
we didn't think much about it-then it rose up out of the
feld ad started toward Mg picking up speed. When it got
nearer, the lights of my tck went out and the motor died.
1 juped out and hit the deck as te thing passed dectly
over the tuck with a geat sound and a rush of wind. It
souded like tunder, ad my tuck rocked from the blast.
1felt lot of heat. Then I got up and watched it go out of
sight toward Leveland."
Afaid to ret to Levelland for fear of enLtering it
again, the to men drove to Wteface, ten miles west of
Levelland . . . where tey phoned in teir reprt. Athough
Saucedo sounded tered, te ofcer on duty did not at
that tme take the report seriously.
But hou later the polce got another telephone
port. Jim Wheeler, about fou miles eat of Levelland, had
seen a blazing two hundred-foot egg-shaped object sitting
on te road ahead of m. At the same tme, his car light
went out and h motor die. The object rose and disap-
191
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
peared. A few minutes later cme 0 call from Witharal,
ten miles north-northeast of Leveland. Jose Alvarez report
ed that h lights and motor had gone dead as he drove near
bright, egg-shaped object on the road. At 12: 15 7-.
Frak Wiliams of Kermit, Texas, reported sia CM
couter i the same area ( 45) .
According to Mebane in ( 115) , and coroborated by the
study of the ofcial reports:
After a few such calls, plice cars and fee were on
te roads lookng for the object; county sherif Weir Clem
himsel saw "a steak of neon-red light crossing the high
way less than a quarter of a mle ahead, tat lt the whole
pavement in front of M for about two seconds."
While ofcial were investigatng, te police head
quarters received another cal from James Long, who re
ported that at 1 : 15 A.M. he had been driving on a fa
road fve miles northwest of Levellad when he came upon
200-fot long, egg-shaped mass that glowed like a neon
sign. His engine coughed and died, and h lights went out.
As he got out and approached the object, whch was
less than a hunded yards away, it suddenly took of
staight upwards. After te object was gone, his engine
started easily. -
A Texas freshmen was approaching Levelland at 12: 05
A. M. when he notced h amperemeter jump to dischage
and back-ten his motor qut a i it were out of gas
and the lghts went out. He got out and looked under the
hood but could fnd nothing wrong. Tu.-ning around he
saw on the road ahead an egg-shaped object with a fat
tened bottom-le loaf of bread and glowng not as
bright as neon. No portoles or propellers were viible.
Frightened, Wright got back ito h car and tried to start
it, but without success. Afte a few minutes, the egg rose
almost straight up, veered slghtly to the north and dis
appeared from view i "splt itant." After it was gone,
the car started normally.
Here it may b interestng to point out, i additon to
these sightings in the imediate vicinity of Levelland, the
folowing:
1
TYPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
e) A "blue" UFO had been reported at 11: 20 P. M. by
two operators of the contol tower at Aarilo Airport
( 142) .
b) Three miles west of Canadian, Texas, civilian and mii
tay sources reported the landing of an object in the shape
of a submarine, two or three tmes larger than a car and
eight feet high. Close to thi machine someone was stand
ing and a fash of light was directed towad the wit
nesses ( ofcial fles ) .
c) A large object with a blue light was seen at Midland,
Texas, the same day ( 142) .
d ) Odis Echols, owner of Radio Station KCLV, saw yel
low object traveling at high speed at 8: 00 P.M. at Clovis,
New Mexico ( 142) .
c) The next day a UFO was seen fyng over Deming, New
Mexico, and three other lndings took place, one at Abilene,
Texas ( Dyes Ai Force Base, Sergeant Jack Waddell) , and
to at White Sands Stalon Site in New Mexico ( ay
patol) at 3: 00 A.M. and 8: 00 P. M. ( 142, 146, 147) .
The ofcial fairy tale concering the Levelland case is that
te "sensational" interpretation of the sightings by the press
tiggered the series of reports now kown as the 1957 wave.
It is difcult to apply this theory to the incident that took
place in Seoul on November 6, 1957, when miltary personnel
saw ( according to Keyhoe) a white, luminous object hover
ing above the ground that went out suddenly and dis
appeared "lke a bulb tued of." On November 9, at 1 : 00
A.M., a man driving a car near Lake City, Missour, reported
that his motor had died as an elongated object appeared
hoverg ffty feet above the ground. Everything retued to
noral when the object left, as in the Levelland incident
and i many cases in France.
In November of 1957, in te Nevada desert beteen Tono
pah and Las Vegas, a U. S. soldier driving a car saw four
disks on the ground. He reportedly observed them for twenty
minutes, but they took of with a humming sound ahost un
bearable when he approached tem closely.
On April 24, 1964, Ofcer L. Zamora saw a bright object
which landed on four legs two miles out of Socorro, New
Mexic. It has been argued, and even categorically stated,
that the Socorro object was not interplanetary, but very prob-
, ably one of the experiental devices recently developed by
193
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
the U. S. for the exploration of the moon ad planets. It i
tue that modem technology has now reached a point where
machines built by man could amost display the behavor
attributed to UFOs i most average report. However, the
analysis of older report is no afected by this reasonng,
and it is difcult to believe tat Canada, for instance, could
build i 1959 a object that would behave le the machine
described i Socorro by Ofcer Zamora. But this is precisely
what one could be tempted to say after reading the following
report.
The sightng took place near Grassy Plains, 360 miles norh
of Vancouver, on April 29, 1959. Alex Gills and Jerry Mon
kam, the wtesses, fearing ridicule, reported the event one
month later. What they had seen was an object in the shape
of an egg, about fourteen feet long, which had landed on the
road. The upper part radiated a bright light. Mter a few min
utes the object took of silently. This brings to mind a number
of other report of egg-shaped objects seen i fight or on the
gound before t date, too numerous to be quoted here in
fldetai, but very often of fair reliability.
About October 5, 1959, a young girl riding a horse near
the Canadian town of Glenora was frightened by an object
hovering above her and illuminatng the ground with a bril
liant light. She rhed back home and caled her father, who
observed with her an orange object producing a noise so high
and loud they felt pain in their ears ( 149 ) .
During the night of September 19-20, 1961, at about mid
night, Mr. and Mrs. Barnley Hill, of Portsmouth, New Hamp
shre, were taveling on U.S. Highway 3 in that state when
they saw a large object fyig across the sky. Using binocu
lars, they were able to see a stng of lights that seemed to
be on a line around the edge of a disk. The whole thg
seemed to be revolvng. About fve miles from Woodstock, it
came down in front of te car ad hovered at twenty-fve
to thirty meters above the gound. The witesses then saw
two red ligts, before the object took of again ( 150 ) . On
September 15, 1962, at Oradel, New Jersey, two bright disks
were seen hovering above a water reservoir. They were sur
rounded by a bright glow ( 151 ) .
Observations of such "landings," or Type I reports of al
knds, have been made i al parts of the world. In additon
to the few American cases we have just mentoned, we shoud
mae a note of the followig accqunts:
194
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
On October 26, 1951, i Australia, at 4: 00 A.M., the en
gineer of a tanscontiental train on the east-west line was
surprised to see the track brilliantly illuminated by an object
that came close to the tain, seemed to examine it closely
and even gave the impression it was going to land in the
desert, but took of and disappeared. On October 12, 1952,
i the evening, Jim MacKay and Jim Robinson were in Sun
shine Road; a Melboure suburb, when they head a swish
ing sound and saw a red and blue disk coming toward them.
They took cover while the "saucer" sped above them at low
altitude and vanished.
I LeVigan, France, on October 15, 1952, at 7: 10 P.M.,
a briliantly illuminated yellow cigar-shaped object was seen,
wth to fgures wearing helmets standig nearby. The craft
was allegedly thirty meters long, six meters high. It was sur
rounded by a sor of haze at bot ends.
On July 31, 1953, at 7: 00 P. M. , on a road near railroad
tacks at Wolin, Poland, a metallic object sixty-fve feet i di
ameter came down at high speed and landed. There were
seven wtesses, fve Poles and to Germans. The center of
the object was closed and spherical. The disk itself was fat,
with cicular openings.
On August 16, 1953, at 8: 30 P.M. , an observation was made
i France which was related in the scientifc press, a new
indicaton of the fact that UFO reports, even when they in
volve objects on the gound or very close to the ground, are
not easy to dismiss :
M. Claude Pastier of Tours, in Indre-et-Loire, relates with
numerous and accurate detais the apparition over Tours,
on Sunday, August 16, at about 8: 30 P. M. , of two circu
lar machines fying very low with a "resonant and hard"
sound which did not bear resemblance to that of any
kown craft. The moton was very slow, absolutely recti
lnear, and both machines moved in a perfectly similar man
ner, as i mechanicaly connected. ( L'Astronomie, 1953. )
In March of 1959, on the coast of Poland near Kolobrzeg,
Polish soldiers saw the sea suddenly become agitated. A tri
angular object, each side measuing about four meters, came
out of the water and started to fy in circles over the bar
racks, then sped away and vanished.
I an earlier publication ( 152) , we have presented statis-
195
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
tics cncering the dstributon in time of Type I sightings.
These statistics were based on 211 cases of alleged landngs
when the tme of day was kown. From these statistcs, we
estiated that an equal number of these events, i indepen
dent of human imaginaton, may have occurred but not been
obsered, because their tme of occurrence fell during the
night hours when few people are awake. We alo estmated
that the total nuber of "landngs" that must have occur ed
on our planet-of which, under these conditions, approx
mately half were seen and reported-would be in the neigh
borhood of 700. But d fgure took no account of the events
that could have taken place in desert areas, or in countes
from which we receive but lttle inforation. This evaluation
would certainly have to be revied now and set in te neigh
borhood of 1,000 "events" since 1946.
THE "OPERATORS"
In some of te reports mentioned above, we have aready
found cases i which te authors of the accounts state that
in the vicinity of the object they interpret as machnes, they
saw entties of human form, often called "pilots" in the sub
sequent teatment of the sightngs by the press. Aother
ppular term for these enttes i te familiar nae "Mar
tans. "
we cnne ourselves to a study of the statstcal aspect
of the question, which we have every right to do, and i we
try to reduce our study of the lts and fles to rough fgures,
we fnd that more than 150 such "beings" have been de
scribed in UFO reports all over the world, this fgue being
broken dow as follows : about 20 before 1954; 100 during
te 1954 "wave"; more than 40 since. Obviously, cultst
claims and hoaxes of the usual "Venusian" type have all been
elinated from this lit.
Are these sightngs coherent, and what are the characteris
tics most often attributed to their "entities" by the authors
of such reports? What do we obtan i we seek to extract the
chief features from these accounts?
Let us hurry to claim that "little green men" have never
been seriously described in cnnection with UFOs. The ori
gin of the word "green" in association with reports of beings '
foreign to the eart i not difcult to tace: Even the "Mar
tans" described i Berard Newman's novel "The Flying Sau- ,



TYPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
cer" had geen skin. So did the leprechauns. Ad a leared
teatise i Latn enttled "De Viridibus Pueris" ( "About te
Green Children") was written by a twelfth century schola
followig the disrvery of a boy and a gil, "completely
geen in their persons," wearing "gaments of stange colour
and unkown materials" who emerged from a pit near Bury
St. Edmunds, Sufol.
In h Historia Rerum Anglicaru, chronicler William of
Newburg wrtes that "the boy was te younger of the two
and died frst. They said they lved in a twilight land, not
warmed by the beams of the sun."
Additional details are given by Abbot Ralph of Coggeshal
i h Choncon Anglicarum and also by Gervase of Tilbury.
They are extensively quoted by Harold T. Wilkins in h
Stange Mysteries of Time and Space.
Coming back to the modem accounts, i we gather al
reports that seem to present some guarantee of reliability, and
i we ty to extract from them a coherent iterpretaton, we
have to divde the aleged occupants into two groups. On one
hand, we fnd descriptons of men ( more than ft have been
described in about twenty caes ) siiar to us in height and
behavior; on the other hand, many accounts speak of "dwarfs"
measuring between thee and four feet i height. The agree
ment on this small stature is uanous. Accordig to M.
Carouges, who made a special investgaton of the French
cases ( 155) :
There would seem to exist to kd of "pilots," at tree
points of vew:
( 1 ) smal pilots one meter or 1.20 meters tal and piots of
human height;
( 2) pilots wearig "diver's suits" and pilots wearng or
diary clothes with the face visible;
These two points, we must admit, constitute a correct state
ment of the characters described i the reports. There i a
defnite correlation between the "dwaf' and the "diving
suit," whether the latter i heavy equipment as i the Quarou
ble, Orchamps or Premanon episodes, or a lght silver suit as
i Fontenay, Hennezis, Erbray, Lugrin, Saint-Ambroi or
Kelly.
UFO erudites will reserve i their classication a place for
the "haiy dwarfs" which were described in France on si
197
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
occasions and in South-America on at least four occasions.
The best descripton of a "hairy dwarf," cited here only for
its picturesque chaacter, was made by Starovsk in Erchin
It i frightuly specifc. The witess, a miner, was alegedly
conrnted with a midget, tee feet, six inches tall, with
large head, wearg a brown skull-cap foring a fl et a few
iches or so above the eyes. These were protuding, with
smal u, and were slit. Lng ha fel down from uder the
sl. cap onto the shoulders. The nose was fat, and the lips
thick and red. A stange detai; the witess did not describe
any UFO. But his story happens to be typical of a small
category of reports, i which similar "entities" ae descrbed
close to their "machines." We w see a few examples of such
stories in the next paragaph.
Another category, which i slowly becoming classical
among enthusiasts, can alo b considered only with sus
picion, not only because the authors of these reports may
have been mistaken as to what they saw, but because they
may not have seen anyng at all. In at least two cases, giants
have been descrbed in conecton with UFO sightngs. But
one case was recgned hoax, and the other one was ex
temely vague. Si repor, however, seem to have orig
nated more recently i South America; we have experienced
the unreliabilty of these reports when no serious local group
of investgators such as CODOVI has checked ito them;
as far as we kow they did not confr tese rumors, which
may have originated anywhere along the lie of newspapers
and enthusiast goups that cary t sort of inforaton, in
the absence of ofcial confmaton.
I some cases the "ettes" were not only of giant size but
also of monstous appearance. The celebrated Flatwood inci
dent i 1952, for istace, has become the subject of a bal
lad written by Cindy Coy to the tune of "Sweet Betsy of Pike":
Te size of the phantom was a sight to behold.
Green eyes ad red face, so the story was told.
It foated in the ai with fngers of fame;
It was gone wth a hiss just as quick as it came.
Descriptions of "pilots" or "ocupants" being commonly ob
served in connecton with UFO repors, some writers argue
that the discussion on the "purpose of the landings" i ines
capable: Why would an interplanetary craft land for a few
198
.
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
minutes in Mrs. Brown's back yard to tae of as soon as some
body comes into view? On the basis of such reports, tese
writers think they can realistcally make the assumpton that
our plaet is indeed visited by another community using cir
cular craft, but that drect contact i systematically avoided.
We wl discuss later the reasons they have imagined that
could motivate such a decision to be taken by the "visitors."
As far as we, as analysts, are concered, their present ques
tons cannot be answered and their hypotheses are beyond
the reach of our current data.
We do not
c
e, however, that only in two cases have visit
ors been described that remained in ful view for a cnsider
able length of time. One i

the 1959 New Guinea episode,


i a country that has one of the poorest communications sys
tems on the planet; the other is te puzzlng 1955 Kelly
Hopkinsville case, whose lk with our problem is not clear,
real; again, the event occurred i a region poorly supplied
with ofcial centers.
The few cases when direct contact with men i said to
have been made ( i.e., gestures from a distance of a few
meters ) were asociated with deserted areas or, at least,
very retrograde regions of France, Great Britain, Italy, the
United States and South America.
The large majority of other Type I events were of very
short duraton and took place far from highly populated
area. Landings made i populated areas were of extremely
short duration, and landings of long duraton made in
moderately popuated areas, lke the Foussignargues episode,
were never associated with the appearance of the "operators"
temselves.
Some of the reports, however, are of a more distrbing
character. They involve close contact between the witesses
and the "enttes." And although their credibility is reduced,
they deserve a place in this survey because they provide an
il ustation of the most extreme situations that can confront
the investgator.
The incidents in Venezuela to which we have made refer
ence i intoducing the Kelly landing took place at the end
of 1954, and have been described by Mrs. Coral Lorenzen
( 188 ) . They can be resumed as follows :
Cae . At 2 A.M. on November 28, 1954, Gustavo Gonzales
199
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
and Jose Ponce had started from Caracas in a panel tck for
Petare when tey . . .
were started to see a luminous sphere, some eight to ten
feet in dameter, blockng the street. It appeared to be
suspended about six feet of the ground. Gonzales and
Ponce got out of the tck to investgate, and a dwarfsh
lookng man came toward them. Gonzales grabbed the
little man e He was immediately impressed by the light
weight of the creatue who, he estimated, weighed about
t-fve punds. The little man, whose body seemed to
be very hard and covered with stf, bristly hair, gave
Gonzales a puh with one hand which threw m about
ffteen feet. Ponce watched te scufe, became frightened
and ran to the police staton about a block and a half
away, but not before he saw two other little men emerge
from the buhes with what loked like chunks of d or
rock in teir as. With apparent ease they leaped into
te sphere through an opening in the side.
Gonzales, meanwhile, was having his toubles. The little
creature which had knocked him down appeared to leap
into the 0 and come towards him wth eyes glowing.
Scared out of h wits, Gonzales pulled out his kife and,
as the creature approached him with claws extended, he
made a stab at its shoulder. To his amazement, the ke
seemed to glance of though it had stck steel. Then
another of the hairy little men emerged from the sphere,
holding a small tube. He beamed a light at Gonzales and
blinded m momentay. The little men then climbed into
the sphere which took o switly and was lost to sight
within seconds. Overcome wth exhaustion and fright, Gon
zales stumbled toward the police station, arriving there
shortly after Ponce. The men were suspected of being
drunk, but examinaton showed they had had nothing to
drink. They were both given sedatves, ad Gonzales was
put under observaton for a long, red scratch on his side.
Several days later one of the doctors who had examined
Flores and Gomez ( the witnesses of Incident No. 2) after
their experience admitted that he had witnessed the fght be
tween Ponce and Gonzales and the creatures. Out on a night
call, he had driven into the street where dc tuck was
stopped, saw what was going on and left, apprehensive that
he "might be ivolved i undesirable publicity" i he stayed.
200
,

TYPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR


Case Z. On December 10, two boys, Lorenzo Flores and
Jesus Gomez, who were huntng near the trans-Andian High
way between Chico and Cerro de las Tres Torres, saw a bright
object of the road and approached it, thinking it was car.
But they discovered an object shaped like "two huge
washbowls placed one atop the other, hovering about two or
three feet of the ground." They estimated the size as about
nine feet i diameter, and said it ejected fre from the bot
tom. Then four little men came out of it and tied to drag
Jesus Gomez toward the machie. His companion struck one
of them wit h uloaded shotgun, which broke into two
pieces ! The little men left Gomez uconscious, and the object
took of. According to the boys, the attackers were approx
mately three feet tall. The facial features were not sen, as it
wa dark, but they did notce the abundant hair on thei
bodies and their great stength.
Case o. On December 16, at nght, Jesus Paz of San Carlos,
Venezuela, who was wit Luis Mejia, a member of the Na
tonal Guard, and a third man, came upon a hairy-appearing
lttle man and saw him m away toward fat, shiny object
which hovered a few feet abve the ground i a San Carlos
park. During the brief moment that followed the sudden
appearance of te creature, it attacked Jesus Paz and left
h unconscious on the ground. Authorities who interviewed
the witesses said that all three were obviously frightened
and that Paz was i a state of shock. Paz had several long,
deep scratches on h right side and along his spine, b i
he had been clawed by a wild animal.
Cae 4. On December 19, Jose Parra, an eighteen-year-old
jockey from Valencia, who was doing some night-tainig,
during the early hours, suddenly saw si little men pulling
boulders from the side of the highway and loading them
aboard disc-shaped craft which was hovering less then nine
feet from the ground. Parra started to run away, but one of
the little creatures pointed a small device at h@ which
gave of a violet-clored light and prevented Parra from mov
ig: "He stood there helplessly while the little creatures
leaped aboard their ship, disappearing rapidly into the sky."
THE JUNE 1959 NEW GUI NEA E PI SODE
This i one of the geat classics in UFO histor. It i,
however, known to few persons, although it has a perfectly
201
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
ofcial character and ha remained unidented after a num
ber of investigatons. The main witess, Rev. William Booth
Gil, is an ordained priest of the Church of England and a
gaduate of Brisbane University. He was accompanied, mind
you, by t-seven other witesses when the sighting oc
cured and the naratives are extemely consistent and clearly
reliable.
Mr. Gill had been on the staf of the .Anglican Mission
i Papua for thieen years when the event took place.
He had been workng mainly on the northeaster coast of
Papua, in the Goodenough Bay area, about ninety miles
fom Samarai, and his ma interest had been eductonal
wok ( 161 ) . He stats very clearly, i an intervew with
Austalian reporters, that before the sightng he thought
UFOs were "a fgment of imaginaton, or some electical
pheomenon." The interview contnue as follow:
"e frst sightng occured over Waimera about twenty
fve miles from us. It was observed by Dr. Ken Houston
at a place caled Waimera, nea Tagora, ad that was late
November of last year. At Boiana itself, where I am
working, the frst recorded incident was on the night of
Sunday, the 21st of June. My ow observatons began on
the 26th of June and extended over number of days."
We have here the indcation of repeated sightgs takng
place, once again, over a sal aea. T is a new exam
ple to be added to siilar cncentatons of UFO actvity,
le the Charente area in France i 1952, the Haute-Loire
aea in 1954, or the norther regons of Frce at aother
period within the same wave. The states of New Jersey,
Illinois and Michigan have kown simiar "faps" in re
cent years, and the series of incident over Texas and the
Southwest in November of 1957 is memorable. But nothing
similar to the New Guinea episodes was ever reported there.
Mr. Gill states that he came out of the dning room on
June 26 at 6: 45 P. M., after dinner and
"csually glanced at the sk with te purose, I sup
pse, of seeing Venus. Well, I saw Venus but I also saw d
sparkg object which was to me pecuar because it spark
led, and because it was very, very bright. . . . The whole
thing wa most extraordinay. The fact that we saw what
appeared to be human beings on it, I d, i the im-
202

TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR


portant thing. It i certainly the important and excitg
thing to us. They were not noticeable at frst. The object
came down at about, I should say, 400 feet, maybe 450
feet, perhaps less, maybe 300 feet. It i very difcult
to judge at that te of nigt and, not having exper
ence in measuring elevaton, it is purely guesswork, but
we watched it men came out from this object, and
appeared on the top of it on what seemed to be a deck
on top of the huge dk. There were four men i al,
occasionaly to, then one, then three, then four-we
noted the vaious tes that men appeared, and then
one, two and three appeared and one and two, and then
numbers one, three, four and two and so on. Ad then
later al those witesses who are quite sure that our rec
ords were right . . . signed their names as witesses of
what we assume wa human actvity or beings of some
sort on the object itsel.
"Another pecular thing about it was this shaft of blue
light which emanated fom what appeared to be te
cente of the deck. They would bend forard and ap
pear to manipulate something on the deck, and ten
staighten themselves up occasionally, would t arund
i our direction, but on the whole they were interested
i something on the deck. Then from tme to te-th
lght-rather lke a thin spotlght emanated skywards to
stay on for a second or two, and then switch of. I re
crded the tmes that we saw that blue light come on
and of-for the rest of the night. After al that actvity
it ascended and remained very high.
"The craf looked like a disk wth smaller round super
stuctures, then again on top of that another kd of super
stucture-round rather le te bridge on a boat. Under
neath it had four legs i pairs pointing downward diag
onally. These appeared to be fed, not retactable, and
looked the same on the two nights-rather like tipods.
On the second night the pencil beam came on aga for
a few seconds, twce in succession."
Mr. Gil, after statng that he was a poor mathematcian,
said that the dimensions of the object seemed to him to be
about t-fve to fort feet at te base and perhaps twenty
feet at the top.
203
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
At te queston: "Did you t to establih contact with te
piot of te craft?'' he answered:
-e dd. A one of the men seemed to lean over
tough over a rail and lok down on us, I waved one
hand overhead and the fgure dd te sae as though
skpper on a boat wavig to somene on a wharf. I
culd not see the rail but he seemed to lean over some
tg with as over it. We could see m from just below
WU up. Ananias, the teacher, waved both hands over
head and te two outside fgures waved back with two
over heads. Then Aanas and I bot waved arms
and al four fgures seemed to wave back-no doubt that
movement made by arms was ered by the fgures.
"at was the reacton of the natves at signal?
"Surprised and delighted. Small mission boys called
out-everyone beckoned to ivite te beings dow but
audible responses . . . . No expressions discerble on
te faces of the men-rather le players on a football
feld at night."
"We understand you ted to sigal te beings wit
torchlight?''
"e, we fashed the light ad te object bg like
penduum, presuably in recogniton. When we fashed
te torchlght towards it, it hovered, and came quite
close towards the ground . . . and we actually thought
it wa going to land but it dd not. We were al very
dappointed abut that."
A stp of motion-picture flm of ninety-fou frames was
taken at Port Moresby L August 23, 1953, by T. C. Drury,
deputy-diector of the Civilian Avaton Departent i New
Gunea. It showed a dik-shaped object i fight, makg
ninety-degree maneuvers, after comig out of a peculiar
cloud. T i a sign that the area of Port Moresby was
indeed repeatedly the source of imprtant reports. Accord
ig to the former Miniter for , te man who took the flm
was a "relable, credible person." The f has been studied
by te Intelligence of the Royal Austalian ^ Force ad
was also examined by experts of te Unted States
Forc, accrding to ( 163) .
204
TYPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
FATIMA: THE MI RACULOUS UFO
If we were to restict ourselves to the sightings aleady
mentoned, and were content with statistical analyses, we
culd contnue to regard our problem a a puely scientic
queston, even after realizig tat several hundred witesses,
of average or fair reliabilty, have described "entities" in cn
nection with thei experiences. After all, the alleged oper
ators never did show signs of hostty. we attach credence
to most of the reports in queston, it seems that they were
careful not to )e approached at close range by huan wit
nesses and, in the case we have just seen, they even showed
some contempt in te face of human enthusiasm. But we
have never found an indcaton that any aspect of tei
activity, i real, could consttte an efort to interfere wit
human problems; even i tey did come to this planet-as
enthusiasts claim-they left no tace and did no harm.
T has been a characteric of most UFO sightings since
1946. But some UFO students have become aware of the
fact that older events suggest dif erent interpretatons, ad
they consider with increasing interest reports that were, in
older times, simply classed a maculous by theological au
thorites. In the view of these writers, tere i no better
example than the Fatima episode.
"Fifty years ago," wrtes Ribera ( 23) ,
Portugal was a very backward country and the stange
happenings which took place in tat remote comer of it,
among iliterate peaants, were apt to receive a religious
explanaton, more so i tes of superstition, such
existed i the Poruguese countryside in 1917. Those hap
penigs were currently interpreted as an apparition of the
Holy Vigin, but two thousand years ago they could have
been interpreted a te coming of the gods upon te
Earth.
"Fatima i iescapable," writes G. Inglefeld ( 160) .
There i no possible doubt that something occured
there; it is by fa the best authentcated "miracle" of the
twentieth or, for that mater, of any century, and it was
seen by at leat 70,000 witesses. You may fd photo
graphs in G. Renault's Fatima, Esperane du Mon
205
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
of thei perplexity as spectators watch te phenomenon.
There are artcles i contemporar newspapers and there
ae people alive today who were there. Lucia herself, now
i a Spanish convent, is stil with M.
The crowd that stood i feld at Fatima, a small vil
lage in the district of Leiria, some sity-two miles north of
Lisbon, on October 13, 1917, was waitng there for a mira
cle, because three children had been assued such an event
would take place after a number of meetngs with an "entty"
that came from the sky in a globe m light. The witesses
were thee shepherds : Lucia, aged ten, and her cousis
Francisco Maro and Jacito Mato, aged nine and seven.
Today, Fatima is one of the most celebrated places of pil
gmage in te entire world. The Roman Catholic Church
ha authenticated the miracle. The Basilca each year re
ceives thousands of believers who cme to pray to the Holy
Virgin. And, as remarked by Pau Misrak, "sick persons
are cured and sensational conversions take place."
"These children's sightings," wites Rbera,
would today be included among te contact clams, for
cntact they were: in all the si instances repored ( from
May 13 to October 13) the chlden met a "celestal
being" i the Corva da lria, enorou creek, roughly
circular in shape, which lies at 2.5 klometers from Fat
ma. I that place, while the thee chidren were colect
ing their sheep about noon, they saw a Hash in the heaven.
Some minutes later, a whte, bright fgure appeared near
a small oak tee. Now we must bear in mind the general
law quoted above; how coud a space being have looked
to ignorant, illiterate children fom a Catholic countr
of fty years ago? As the Holy Virgn, naturally. As they
later said, "The wonderful lady loked young. Her dress,
white a snow and ted to her neck by a gold band,
wholly covered her body. A whte cloak, wit a golden
edge, covered her head.
The stange dalogue between the Holy Virgin and the
chidren began. "Remember," contues Ribera, "the white
explorer who presents himself to backward natives as 'te
geat white god' in order to W their reverence and to
convey to them some siple ideas and tt."
206:
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
A second and a third contact occurred, at exactly one
month intervals, June 13 and July 13. Many clergymen were
hostile to the story; some local authorities suggested tat
the children were tempted by the Devil, and emoton was
such that they were even put into jail for several days! But
on the third sightng the entty announced that a geat
miracle would be performed i October in order to con
vince everybody. A vaety of other episodes took place. The
ffth meetig was on September 13. There were a number
of witesses, and they cud see the "sphere of light" ued
by the entity to come to the place of the meetng. According
to the very words of te Reverend General Vicar of LH
who was one of the witesses, the lady came in an "aero
plane of light," an "immense globe, fying westwads, at
moderate speed. It irradiated a very bright lght." Some other
witesses saw a white being coming out of the globe,
which several minutes later took of, dsappearing i te
decton of the sun.
The last episode was te miracle itself. It was seen by
seventy thousand persons, among whom were pious idivi
duals and atheists, clergyen and reporters from social
ist newspaper. A promised, it hppened on October 13
at noon. Among the crowd was Professor Almeida Garret,
of Coibra University, a scientist, who described the phe
nomenon i the following ters :
It was raining hard and the rain tckled dow every
one's clothes. Suddenly, the sun shone through the dense
cloud which covered it: everybody looked i its direction.
It looked like disc, o very defnite contour. It was
not dazg. I don't d tat it could be compared to
a dull silver disc, a someone said later i Fatma. No. It
rather possessed a clea, changing brightness, which one
could compare to a pearl. It looked like a polished wheel.
This i not poety. My eyes have seen it. This clear-shaped
disc suddenly began tg. It rotated with icreasing
speed. Suddenly, the crowd began cryig with anguish.
The sun, revolvng al the tme, began fallig toward
the earth, reddish and bloody, threatening to crush every
body under its fiery weight. [ Italics mine-Author.]
"How does one te up chapter one with chapter two?"
asks Inglefeld.
207
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
The explanaton must be that a laison existed between
te visions and the fial "sign." Wa t laison involved
wt the most vital of our religions-Christanty? Was
the "sign" of the "dancing sun" a cnfmaton of the
vions and their messages? Or was it-and t i ds
ageeable thought-a gesture of mockng?
TYPE I I SI GHTI NGS: CLOUD CI GARS AND
THE GENERATI ON OF UFOS
Two idea are commonly assumed in discussions of the
observations of the Veron q and, more generaly, all
events of Type II: the idea tat they are extemely rare, and
that they are typical of the 1954 French wave. Both are
erroneous. Type II sightings have been associated with every
imporant phase of UFO actvity and have been reported
i every couty, fom Portugal to Greece and the U. S. S. R.,.
as well as Australia, New Zealand, Sout America and the
Unted States.
It i tue that sightngs i t category are not numerous,
but their character is such that they must be considered
among the very best of the UFO cases. And their raty is
cery not exteme, as evidenced by the fact that no less
m fourteen are already kown for the 1959-1964 period
These caes are detailed in the table on page 209.
Cae 7 has been described earler. T leaves us with thir
teen sightgs, of which at least seven have never, to our
kowledge, been published before. We wl give resumes
of these reprts to clarify our defiton of Type II.
Cae 1. An object surrounded by soke and a peculiar
hae semed to dive rapidly toward the gound. Suddeny
four small objects sprang from it and climbed at steep
angle, apparently in formaton. The curse of the main ob
ject was southeast (30) .
Cae 2. A reddish object with silvery shades was seen
motonless in the wester sky. It had the apparent diameter
of the . Its shape was that of a fountain pen and it was
tted at an angle of about 45 wit respect to the horon.
After three minutes the wtess notced a slght white tail
tat seemed about four tmes a long as the object itself.
Shortly afterward it started movig and climbed into the
cloud, going from west to northwest (30)
208 ,
W
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6

7

+

ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Cae 3.
Four stange glowng object appeared over Broken
Hil at about 10: 30 P. M. on July 21st shortly after an
unidentied fyig object was sighted at Woomera rocket
range. The screenng of a f at the dve-i theate had
to b stopped as the patons left their cars to watch the
objects. Even the projectonit left h box. Mr. Bra
Grosvenor, correspondent of the Australian Broadcastng
Commision, notced what he thought was a fallng star.
Then there was a fal-ut of fou glowing objects from
the tail of the main one. These tavelled in sigle fle at
low level across te sky and then faded from view. The
main object, tavelg at high speed, erupted then aoter
ball of lght and disappeaed from view ( 163) .
Cae 4. A white object i the shape of a cylnder, L
pared to a basebal bat, refectg sunlight and standg i
a vertical position, moved slowly for about forty-fve miutes.
( This sightg cares a low weight because of te remote
possibilty that it might have been a balloon, even toug
it matches our deftion of Type II-A. ) ( 30) .
Cae 5. At 2: 10 P.M. the frst i a series of four very
large objects was seen. At 40 elevaton, it was surrounded
by a white, luinous substance that resembled angel hai,
and appeared as a dense sphere. One miute later
second one came into view. It resembled a piece of eart
enware brilantly lghted from the back and was sur ounded
by a blue glow. Two of ue numerous witesses shot clor
fls, one of which was seen by ofcial ivestigators but did
not permit identcaton. The sightg remais i te "uniden
ted category ( 30) .
Cae 6.
"Rev. Lionel Browig, Anglican minister and Tas
manian Secretay of the World Counci of Churches, and
Mrs. Browing, observed in Cressy, Tamania, a stange
cigar-shaped airship accompanied by fve smaller craft
at 6: 10 P.M. on Tuesday, October 4, 1960.
" 'First we saw a large, dull-grey object abut 300
feet long. It came at plane-stalg speed and seemed to
pause,' said Mr. Browig, who estimated the speed of
te shp at less than ffty miles per hou. The object wa
2HT
4
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
statonary for about thi second. 'Then out of te
clouds above and behind the shp, fve or six smal discs
came shootng at terric speed:
"According to the minister, tey were approximately
tirty feet across and fat undereat with a dome on
top. They 'came towards the ship like fat stones skipping
aong water.' The clergyman and his wife were reticent
about releasing this sightng utl they heard other local
residents' repots. Mrs. Doris Bransden of Cressy said,
'It was a fantastic sight-like a lot of little ships focking
around a bigger one.' The aviaton authorities stated there
were no planes in the area at te tme of Rev. Browg's
sighting. It is a notable fact tat te clergyman did not
believe in the reality of fying saucers before this exper
ience.'' This observaton was discussed before the Aus
talian Senate on October 18, 1960. ( Quoted from [ 164] . )
Case 8. Five miles from Beulah, Michigan, two youths in
car saw a bluish-white light going from southeast to north
west at the speed of a jet. Then the object stopped ad
came lower, rose again to about 20 elevation, came closer
to te ground and was lost to view behind some trees.
A reddish glow then appeared ad was observed for about
two minutes, when the witesses decided to drive to Beulah
ad came back with two oter persons. They saw the ob
ject illuminating the countryside as a full moon would and
observed it for ffteen minutes. Then they dove on to Zi
merman Road, where they had a better view of the object.
Inside the glow it produced they coud see another sort of
lgt similar to that of a rotatg beacon. Five minutes later,
red object came from the directon of the forest, ten a
whte one. Both were close to the ground and seemed to in
terchage positions. Then four objects appeared from behind
te car and took part in the stange phenomenon.
Extemely puzzled, the four persons drove again to Beu
lah, came back wth two additonal witesses ad they al
observed the original, beacon-lke source of light and the
glow. But they reted home without attempting to go
closer to the strange object. When the three men came
back tat night to investgate, nothig was seen any more.
Al wtnesses lived in Beula, except one who lived in Ben
zona ( 30) .
Case 9. Two objects separate from each other, maneuver
211
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
and reunite. The report is ofcially rejected because "the
maneuvers described do not ft any classical aircraft pat
ter"!
Cle 10. From a cloud emerged twenty to tfyig
objects of varous sies, which few in diferent drectons;
a majority of them, however, went toward the east. (Dura
ton two minutes. ) ( 166) .
Cle 11. A brilliant red oval object, emitting sparks at
both ends, slowly descended behind some tees. Its center
was whte or yellow. It was sen by seven witnesses in
dif erent parts of the area. The exact place was on Mass
achusetts Highway Z, three-quarters of a mile west of the
juncton with Massachusetts Highway 20. Some of the wit
nesses could see the object fom thei cars for two mies.
In all descriptions, the phenomenon i said to have been
large and impressive ( 165) .
Case 12. A oval object, emerald green, surrounded by
a sort of glow, was seen hanging i the sky for ten minutes,
after which the witnes saw several smaller objects emerge
from the large one, as it had assumed a vertcal position.
These small objects few away and disappeared over te
Channel ( 30) .
Cle 13. The best way to describe this sighting is to re
produce here the text of the letter witten by the witness
himself, a physiotherapist who resides i the state of New
York:
On Apri 1, 1964, my wife, two children and I were
having a picnic supper on a m 1, 800 feet above sea
level, about ten miles northwest of Homer, New York. It
wa 6: 30 P.M. Several jet bombers had left vapor tl
up high, tavelng fom west to east, but these tai
quickly disappeared.
As I looked up in the sky a lttle to the northwest of M
at about 6: 30 P.M. there appeared what I thought was
a very large jet tai fom norteast to southwest. It wa
very white and wde and at the southwest end there wa
a break on the tai of about one mile. Then a very black
spiral formation of what appeared to be smoke appeared,
about one mile long. We remarked that the whte ti
was unusually wide for a jet tail and apparently the
black portion looked dark because of the anguaton of
212 f
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
the glow of the setting sun behind the wester m sev
eral miles away.
The white vapor tail hung i the sky and gradualy
drited to te south, slowly diappearing. Up to t point
we were observing what we beleved to be a normal
situaton, except for the abrpt ending of the white tail,
the space and the contnuaton of the black spiral tp.
Approximately ten minutes had now passed and it sud
denly occurred to me that te black spiral cloud had
slowly moved to the west whie te white ta had drifted
south. Also, the cloud became much darker and we all
observed this. At this point, I took my 6x25 binoculars
to observe it and was shocked to see wisps of smoke
actually streamig out of te black cloud . . . alost
boiling out. It was now slowly approaching the distant
stat cloud formation siouetted against the westem
m. Suddenly the black cloud, stil retaining its spiral
shape, changed from the horizontal positon to a vertcal
psiton with greater smoke actvity and resembled a smok
ing plane slowly falling from the sky, at the same tme
asuming a shape not ulike a banana. Then it no longer
seemed to be falling, but simply stopped and hung there
for to or three miutes and then very slowly seemed to
sik ito te clouds and was oblterated. Every one of 1
observed this stange phenomenon plainly, with the naked
eye.
After about three minutes had elapsed, while we were
al wondering i our eyes had played tricks on I

my
daughter suddenly exclaimed, "There's anoter one." It
appeared as a horizontal penci-shaped object. It was im
possible to deterine the leng, but it could have been
as large as a submarie. It moved from the left of the
horizon to the right. We could not agree as to whether
t wa the original object or another rendezvousing with
the frst object, as this second sighting appeared to the
left of where the frst object became obliterated by the
clouds.
A I was obserg it wth my bioculars, there was a
fash of white lght from te rear of it and it shot forward
with icredible speed for a distance of about fve times
its length and as suddenly stopped, stll maintaining the
pencil shape, apparently hovering. My son described the
icident as it happened while I watched it with binoculars.
213
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
It became thck i the mddle and, with a cloud of
smoke emanatng from it, shot backward as rapidly a it
had gone forwad, about the same distanc. Again it
hovered and ten began to shorten i length ut it
appeared saucer shaped, fat i the middle. Then the
most incredible pa occred . . . from the saucer shape
it became almost perfectly rod and slowly divided into
two parts, one above the oter, very much as a single
cell does under a microscope. The top object slowly b
came smaller as it appeare to fade oh i the dstance,
while the second object headed dowward at a 45 agle
toward the spot where we had seen the banana-shaped
object disappear. At t point it divided in two aga but
the botom object now asumed a vercal penci shape
while the top oval object slowly faded away. We realze
the penci shape culd wel be a disc obsere from the
side. Then the pencil-shaped object also faded fo sight
T whole episode took place in about forty-fve D
utes, and ended jut about dusk. it were not for te
fact that all four of us observed d event I woud hes
tate to brig t to you attenton.
Cae 14. A prvate piot and war veteran wit three year
naval gnery service, now manager of a photographic ser
vice in Ft. Lauderdale, Florid, wa dvig near George
tmv, S.C. when he saw two large oval-shaped objects of a
silvery color, each accompaned by abut hal-a-dozen sal
er, round objects. The witess, Mr. Lissauer, said the fora
tion was moving slowly at an alttude he estmated
about 3,000 feet. After two or three minutes, the "smaller
unit went into the larger main units" and they went out
of sight. Mr. Lisauer drove to Mytle A Force Bae and re
ported.
HOVERI NG AND SPECI AL MANEUVERS:
TPE I l l SI GHTI NGS
M. and Mme. Vite, gocers on the Place Madeleine m
Beaune, had just left the vllage of Meusanges ( Cote
d'Or) to go home by car. They had drven only a few
hundred yards on Route D-111 when they noted through
the wdow a luminous object fyig at high speed. Quick
ly leavig their car, they calld to the people at a neaby
214
TP| CA| PHA5E5OF UFO6EHAY| OR
far, and together they watched the maneuvers of the ob
ject. Thei descripton i fascinatng when we recall such
a case as that of Frasne, to days ealer, or many
others tat are as good as identcal.
"The object," tey said, "stopped for an instant, came
down slowly, balancig and changing color, throwing out
yellow, orange and volet beas, and then resumed its
course and disappeared behnd the tees of a wood." Next
to d group of tees, and east-south east of Meusages,
L the village of Chevgny-n-Valiere. Here anoter wit
ness described the Meursanges object, seen at the same
tme. Stl fiher to te east-souteast i the village of
Palleau, four miles in a staight lne from Meursanges and
to and a hal miles fom Chevigny. At that moment M.
Begin, a farer of Chevgny, saw passing overhead a
round, geen, luminou object crossing the sky at high
speed.
These obseratons fom Meursanges, Chevigny and Pal
leau deserve specia attenton for several reaons. Fist,
though te witesses at Chevigny and at Palleau kew
one another quite well ( both lved in Chevgny, a ty v
lage) they gave df erent accouts: the witness at Palleau,
farher eat, only saw "a green ball in rapid movement,"
while the one at Chevgy reported a complicated spec
tcle: slowg down, stopping, a "dead-leaf' descent, and
profusion of varied clors.
Second, wherea the to well-acquainted witesses des
cbed quite dif erent phenomena, those who did not
km each other-those at Meursanges and the one at
Chevigny-described exactly the same sight. These two
reports that ae i agreement were fom people oly
few miles apar.
The obseration made at Frasne, whch L refered to i
t quotaton from Michel's excellent second book ( 115) ,
was that of a round objec emtng ocer-yellow and volet
lght, and fyg staight at moderate speed. A the wit
neses, an industialit and m fiend, had stopped their
ca the object started to descend "wit a jerky movement."
It then stopped and started of towad tqe southwest.
The credit for recogg such descriptions as dif erent
i nature from the majority m UFO repors undoubtedly
goes to Michel. Unfortnately, the importance of t point
215
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
has not yet been seen by other students of the problem,
too often hypnotized by the immediate aspects of the cases
and unfamiliar with the scientt's refex of thinkng i
terms of classes. This applies especially to the American
groups that do not lack data to conduct such an analysi,
but fail to do anything beyond accumulating details.
In our analysi, descriptions such as those above fal into
Type III. They are typical of a class of events that very
clearly stand out fom the general background of the re
pors which constitute the majority of the fles. These event
are often associated wth object of a defnite shape
( called "jellyfsh-saucer" by Michel ) that has been related
in many instances to the producton of electomagnetic dis
turbances and color luminous efect.
On October 3, 1954, iabitants of Chereng, in the de
partent of Nord, obsered a object that Hew at low al
titude and great speed toward the Marque River, where it
stopped, emitted what seemed to be sparks and descended.
D the numerous witesses ran toward the point at whch it
seemed about to land, the object gained alttude, stl wth
out making ay sound. Forty minutes later, a person living
at Marcoing, t-fve miles south of Chereng, saw a
luminous object which hung motionless in the air above
Guilet Woods : "It was cicular, and red-orange i color.
A lttle below d immobile object, and as though sus
pended from it, she saw a small spot of lght wth a kind
of see-saw movement." The father of the witess, a polce
man at Marcing, several other policemen and their familes
( i al, twenty wtesses) cntnued to watch d phenom
enon untl, about 8: 30 P.M. the object underent a sudden
tansforaton, the lttle spot of lght vanishing whle the
ball assumed te shape of a cigar and left horizontally.
According to polic etates, the alttude of the object at
that tme was about to thousand feet. Later investigaton
disclosed the fact tat te phenomenon had been observed
over a fairly large area at the moment of its arrival. These
repors, exceptonaly consitent, led to the belef that the ob
ject had cme fom the directon of Chereng, and was pos
sibly the very cause of the sigtg reported there a hal
hou ealier. All these ces were carefully checked during
our four-year investgaton of the European fles, and there
is no queston as to the genuine character of these re
ports. Conutaton of colectons of French newspapers or
2I0

TPI CAl PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR


direct inquiry to the local authorites will show that we are
indeed faced here wth original report that have not been
distored by specialized jouals or groups of enthusiasts.
A few minutes after the Marcoing incident, and i te
directon taken by the object, tree residents of the town
of Amiens saw a luminous ball of a brilliant orange color
at low altitude, havig the shape of a "mushoom hat." Ac
cording to the report, "he upper part of the 'mushroom'
appeared to vibrate as it changed color from violet to geen
ish, we short 'cables' of some kd hung fom the bottom
surface.
The sightngs folowed one another i the evening of Oc
tober 3, always i the same norther region of France. Most
of them ivolving objects i the shape of a "mushroom" or
"half-moon" displaying typical Type III behavior. Such a mo
tonless object was seen at 9 : 15 P.M. at Armenteres by
dozens of witesses. Ten minutes later, Jean Lecq of Lie
vin observed an elongated object swingig slightly i the
sky, at low altitude above the plateau of Lorette. He called
other persons; soon one hudred wtesses were watching
the phenomenon. They saw pa of the object detach it
self from the bottom of the rounded UFO. Ths little object
descended rapidly to the gound, remained a few seconds i
contact with it and rose again. After t maneuver the main
object, reunited, took of toard the south.
Such series of events are not without parallel i other
countries. For example, a sighting at Yaounde, Cameroun,
on October 28, 1954, by numerous persons of that town, one
of whom was the head of the hospital, refers to "an enor
mous, statonary disk, pwerfully illumiated," which i des
crbed i detai in an ofcia report as "mushroom-shaped
and carrying beneath it a cylinder of a length equal to its
own diameter, which was dangling from it."
O October 22, 1963, at 3: 30 P. M. , an object was seen
for ten minutes at Ipswich, England, composed of large
bright par and a smaller one; it came from the northeast
at a very hgh speed. Mter hovering for some tie, ting
and spiralng, it fnally left toward the southeast. On August
12, 1963, at 8: 30 P. M. , pear-shaped object was seen in
several towns in the Black Coutry district i England. It
was descrbed by witnesses at the Bichills Power Station
as a light from which smaller lights dropped or toward
which they went up whie the main object was motonless.
217
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
On Febrary 18, 1963 ( i the morg) , for a considerable
length of te, objects were seen tat displayed typical
"aerial fght" behavior of the sor already il ustated in Jung's
book ( 9) . They were motonless at tmes; at other times
they would rh toward one another at fantastc speeds,
in apparent diorder, giving the impression they were going
to crash. They were fat, metallc objects ( 30) . T sightng
tok place in Maiden, North Carolna. Nine days later, on
February 27, 1963, a large, crescent-shaped object was seen
at Modesto, Calforia. It was described a a large craft
with portholes, which hovered, descended to an alttude of
about one thousand feet ad emtted for fteen seconds a
bright beam of light. There were seven witnesses ( 167) .
L July 31, 1962, at 1 1: 00 P.M. te Director of the
Corrientes Arport at Camba Pnta, Argentina, and Dr. Gus
tavo Revidapte, a judge at Corrientes, saw a stange ob
ject coming toward the rnway from the west. It emitted
fashes of geen, whte and red light. Its alttude was of
the order of nine hunded meters, and its brl nce wa
such that it was ipossible to acertain it shape. Six other
persons, includng several policemen, were caled and ob
served the object a it stopped at the end of the rnway,
spinning and emittng beams of light. When the witnesses
got into a tck and drove toward the object it left at
geat speed ( 168) . On September 14, 1961, at 7: 18 P.M.
an object, white and cicular, whose clor ted to red,
was seen for ten minutes at Osan A Force Base in Korea.
Its movement was irreglar in speed and directon. At
certain moment it stopped completely, became very bright
for two or three minutes, then rose vertcally whie chang
ing color. When a jet plae came into the area the object
started forard, made a ninety-degree D and later ted
again to contnue on its original course toward the east-sout
east. At that moment it wa no larger than star but wa
very bright and went faster than any aircraft; it suddenly
dashed away ad was lost to sight. The whole observaton
lasted twelve minutes. L September 2, 1961, at 11 :40 P.M.
several cicular, sivery objects were seen for ten minutes at
Albuquerque, New Mexco, moving from west to east with
erratc movements. They gave the impression of refected
sight on a metalc surface. O two occasions they re
leased smaler silvery objects, of apparent diameter about
one-siteenth of the main objects.
218
TPI CAL PHASES OF UFO BEHAVI OR
On July 8, 1961, at 10: 10 P.M., an orange-yellow ob
ject that looked like "an umbrela with a light below" was
!een at Fairbor, Ohio, for ten minutes. The sketch given
by the witness fts exactly te description of the "jellysh"
object in fight as given by the French observation of Mil y
la-Foret ad other classical cases. The UFO followed a
straight le and disappeared toward the southwest (30) .
The observation at Mily-la-Foret belongs to the series
of October 3, 1954, tat origated in the norther area
of France. About 9: 30 P.M. a witness lving a few miles
east of Paris had seen an object dividing itself into two
luminou points like stars. These later reunited and, after a
series of maneuvers scrupulously noted by the witness, left
toward the south. At approximately the same tme, fou
persons in Mily saw precisely te same sort of phenomenon,
which they described object "in the shape of a hal
moon" at frst. But they soon realed that the moon was visi
ble behind them; it was in fst quarter two days later.
After an interval of immobilty, the object came lower and
becae more clearly visible as it approached the place where
te four persons were standing. They described its shape
then as "a knd of reddish cigar accompanied below by a
small shining ring."
These are a few examples of tpical behaviors of UFOs
seen in all parts of te world. Any valid system of hyotheses
concering the UFO phenomenQn should represent them, or
at least not contadict the patter, consistently observed,
of their producton. Until such a system of hypotheses i
presented, however, these reports can ony be defned ob
jectvely as elements of a class. A such, thei scientifc stdy
is indeed permissible.
219
Chapter 7
THEORIES AND HYPOTHESES
When a scientic work u udertaken, it is always wth
a preconceived idea. Things could not be otherise. The
ue of the material at one's dsposal, the obseratons
one is able to make or the experiments one cnducts wll
later show what modications should be made to the
original views. The scientc tact consists in the ability
to abadon what was wong and to let research guide
you i the directon where tuth can be encountered.-Le
Verrier
We leave now the scientc feld to sum up the iforaton
obtained and compare it wth popular theories commonly
found i books or jouals. We seem to have touched a
gave problem, but our cuiosity h not been satfed. It
u most clear that we have discovered in the stucture of
modem science a mechanism that would, i the event of
an actual manifestation of extaterrestrial intelligence, probab
ly prevent its recgniton as such and would generate the exact
type of emotional reacton we obsere today. However, phys
ical evidence to support the hypothesis that repors made
by reliable observers are best explained as results of con
fontaton with extraterrestial intelligence is not only mss
ig; the purpose of possible vsitatons is stil to be revealed.
Fragentary theories have been presented, which have tied
to shed lght on t point. We feel we should not cnclude
t book wthout reviewing them, even i they appear
mere speculatons wth little factual support.
229
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
AGREST'S THEORY
Because of the variety of thei implications, theories that
relate the UFO phenomenon to the older subjects of debate
ad refecton are of great human interest. These theories
seem to receive more support from taditional texts and
legends than from objectve archaeological facts. Although
often presented as unusual interpretatons of relgious be
lefs, they do not generally contradict them.
According to Professor Agrest, a Russian physicist, "visi
tors" could have come to our planet, not from another world
in our system, but from an iabited planet of a distant
star. 0 In an interview wth P. Calkn and W. Cher
published i ( 177) , Agest said that he felt these visitors
may have landed i te Near Eat where remais of puz
zling ancient stuctures have been found. One of these i te
Baalbek Platfor, in te Ant-Lebanon Mountains, made of
stone slabs weighing about two thousand pounds each and
caried from a quary at te foot of the hill. Professor Agrest
claims that this theory, accrdig to which the buiders of
these monuments were of extaterrestial origin, i supported
by four categories of taces or other indicatons:
( 1) Tektites, mysterious glassle stones which cntain
radioactve iotopes of aluminu and beryllium and are not
older than a few mil on years, might be remains of experi
ments performed by the "viitors."
( 2) Monuments of ancient art, especially the pictures
showing "roud head" fgures i the French Sahara, coud
be images of "spacemen."
( 3) Ancient religious tadtions that speak of "gods"
and "sons" of gods" who descende to earth and of a man
named Enoch, who was taken alive to Heaven, might be
cnsidered references to the same category of events.
( 4) Acient scientc teatses that seem to contain more
than would be expecte from primitive kowledge might
refect fragments of early teachings once handed to earth
men by the "visitors" and presered i fragments.
Professor Agrest's hypothesis is cerinly stimulating, but it
culd lead to grave pitfall. It does not represent archaeolog-
0 Agrest's theory was favorably reviewed by George Os
toumov i ( 187) .
221
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
ical obserations better than any speculaton one could mae
priori. Why did these unkown superior communities leave
so suddenly, and why did they come in the frst place?
Why can we not explain the "incongtes" mentoned by
Agest (monuments, ancient kowledge ) as remains of older
terrestial cultures rather than extaterestrial? This theory
alo fails to explain the recurence of UFO observatons i
historical and modem tmes . And it displays the same lack
of imagination found in the Project Oza theory, and call
for the same type of impractcal decisions ( e. g. , ltening
to Epsilon Eridani and Tau Cet on radio wavelengths ) .
The lnk between the celebrated tektites and the "vi
tors" seems to be especialy weak; how could we relate bib
lical events, a few thousand years old, w the milions-of
years-old tekttes? What happened between these two series
of "extaterrestal" iterventon i eahly matters? More
over, other theories of the origi of tektites exst, but Pro
fessor Agrest does not sem to take them into account, or
ty to disprove them.
References to "ancient kowledge" are commony found i
extascientifc literatures, and tey are, as a rule, icom
petently teated. Professor Agrest does not provde evidence
of geater famiarity or persona experience with the sub
ject than most of the modem popuar writers, and he does
not present, at least in the statements we have seen, specic
examples of such "icongruites" that culd lead to the idea
that older, more kowledgeable civilizaton preceded M on
t planet.
The Agrest theory is a speculaton of a type often presented
by Wester science-fcton novelists on the basis of arbitary
combinatons of archaeological mysteries; Easter Island and
Tiahuanaco, as well other sites where monuments left
by stange cultres have been found, have been associated
with such ideas of "extraterrestial visits" in prehistoric tmes.
The myths of Mu, Atlantis and similar sunken contnents
are well known, and car much, or ltte, weight
Agest's theory.
MI SRAKI 'S THEORY
Misrak's vews, altoug of siiarly speculative nature,
are the product of a more imaginative and more extensive
stdy of basic writngs of our civilzaton. Well-versed in
22"
#
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
taditional texts and a student of the origins of Chrstianity,
he publshed i 1962 a system of hypotheses that covers
modem UFO actvity and relates it to fundamental writings.
By so doing, he claims that he i able to receive support
from two series of facts-the observatons made in modem
tmes, of the Fatma q, and some mysterious descrip
tons foud in the Bible and a majoity of basic writngs
made at the dawn of hstory. 0 His views are largely paral
leled by those of the British author B. Le Poer Trench ( 182) .
D had Agrest, the Soviet astonomer Kaantsev had sug
gested, before Misrak and Le Poer Trench, that angels coud
be men from space. I ( 178) it i remarked tat t view
fd serious corroboraton i the Bible:
Accordig to Genesis 19: 3 Lot took the two angels he
met at the gate of Sodom to hi house "and made them
a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat."
But according to dictonary defitions angels are spii
tual, ethereal beigs. Agels who ate with Lot cud not
have been such beigs.
Rev. H. Wipprecht of Cobalt, Canada, says that the
Bible's descripton of angels fts "intellgent beings" from
other planets. I the Old Testament these "mysterious
messengers" were said to regarly visit the Earth fom
the sk, and on occasion actually itermarried wth hua
beings. The angels who mre earth women could not
have been "heavenly spiit" ( 179, 178) .
Similarly, notes Le Poer Trench, we read in Gen. 18: 4
5, 8:
"Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched and wash
0Misrak poits out very clearly that the study of biblcal
events in the context of UFO phenomena would be an amus
ig but pointless game i attenton upon such a relationship
had not been focused by recent observations of the Fatma
q. The idea that the UFO phenomenon and certan as
pects of religion are inseparable i dscussion of the Fatima
case is basic in Misraki's system. His view here is much more
specifc than Agrest's, who stdes taditons of the primitve
period exclusively.
223
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
your feet, ad rest yourselves under the tee. And I wl
fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts, after
that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your
servant. And they said, so do, as thou hast said."
"Ad he took butter, and mil, and the cal which he
had dressed, and set it before them; ad he stood by
them uder the tree and they dd eat."
U Gen. 6: 4, t passage:
"There were giants in te eart in those days, and alo
after that, when the sons of God came i uto the daugh
ters of men, and they bore chdren to them, and the same
became mighty men which were of old, men of renow."
Misrak points out that te idea of the "spiitual" nature
of angels did not appear in the teachings of the Church
before the sixth century A.D. 0 relatvely recent date. The
Fathers of the Chuch had, ut then, tended to consider
the angels a physical beigs.
Accrdig to L Poer Trench, the Bible provides evidence
that the "armies of God" were an extraterrestial expediton
coming from outer space: 0
"I have cmmanded my sancted ones, I have also
called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that
joice in my highness.
"They come fom far county, from the end of
heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of h idiga
ton, to destroy the whole land." ( Isaiah 13: 3, 5)
U Misraki's interpretaton, "Yahweh's Glory," the brght
cloud that guided the Hebrews across the desert and later
often hovered above Jerusalem and the Temple, is neither a
mythica symbol used by poets, nor a product of supersti
tious imaginatons, nor a superatural entty, but a physical
object and even, possibly, some tpe of crat capable of
space tavel. Biblical events woul be that series of facts,
obviously exaggerated or distorted through humn memories,
that followed the contact beween the "visitos" and primi
tive human congregatio. This contact did not happen by
0 Alo: "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even
thousands of angels : the Lord is among them, as i Sia,
i te holy place" Psal 68: 17.
224
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
chance, but as part of the plan the "visitors" had concering
the development of civilized life on earth.
Th vew is startling specifc; but it has been evaluated
as a valid interpretaion of te biblical text and is not i
contradiction wt the taditional teachings of the Church.
The frst part of Misraki' s book ( 180) is concered with
quotations from the Bible and tei interpretation in the
author's view, as well as parallels to behaviors described
by modem witesses of UFO actvty. Later, he generalizes
his theory to include indications found in the majority of
ancient documents. For example, he remarks, concering the
apparent disagreements among the gods, including Yahweh
hiself:
It would seem that the Yahwist and Elohist tadition
has been purposely censored i accordance with directions
given by "celestial guides" of the Hebrews, who had
very understandable reasons to cnceal the fact that their
leadership on our planet had been established in the midst
of iportant disorders. We fnd nothing siilar among the
promoters of concurrent taditions.
I narratves coming from all points of the globe, quar
rels and disastrous fghts are described at length. One
fnds mentions of dissensions resulting in ferocious battles,
to which the convulsions of the crust of the earth gave
a physical parallel.
A Mediterranean gnosis taught that the world, i. e. , the
earth, had been created by laldabaoth, an incompetent
'demiurge' "who took hiself to be God."' Confronted
'Lecky points out ( 198) that "Most of the Gnostics re
garded the God of the Jews as an imperfect spirit presiding
over an imperfect moral system. Many, however, regarded
the Jewish religion as the work of the principle of Evl-the
god of matter; and the Cainites made everyone who had
opposed it the object of reverence, while the Ophites ac
tually worshipped the serpent. We have, perhaps, a partial
explanation of the reverence many of the Gnostics had for
the serpent in the fact that this animal, which in Christiani
t represents the principle of Evil, had a very diferent posi
tion in anicent symbolism." See i this connection the works
of B. Le Poer Trench.
225
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
wit accumulatg maifestaton of h clumsiness, his
son bad to seize power violently in order to establish a
new reign and repair hs father's mistkes. This son, whose
nae is Sabaot, bas reigned ever since in Heaven. T
taditon has left taces even in te Catholic lturgy; at
every mass the cngregaton sings: "Sanctus, Sanctus,
Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth, pleni snt coeli 0 tera
glor tua."
The Bible itsel mentons t prelinary stggle for
pwer in several books, a proof that the prophets them
selves did not hold absolutely accuate the version gven
in Genesis. Isaiah 51 : 9 mention "the generations of long
ago," when Yahweh bad to destoy Rahab, alo named
Leviathan, the dagon. Similarly Job 26: 12 and several
of the Psals ( 74: 14 and 89: 10) .
This fght, which preceded and establhed the reig
of Yahweh over the earth, is found i the Judea-Chris
tia taditon in the episode of the Archangel Michael
destoying the dagon.
I Id, the Bbagavat Purana shows Vishnu, te Pra
japat (progenitor) , producig not lght, as the biblical
Eloh ( Let there b light! ) , but darless, error and utter
tenebrae. And, adds te text: "Then, having contem
plated t reprehensible creaton, the Creator felt little
admiraton for hmself." I order to repar such a sad
beginning, Vishnu sent "wise men" wth directon to create
for m. But they neglected teir duty ad remained in
motionless contemplaton. Then, in order to put a end
to t inera, a youg red god bad to sprig forth from
the Prajapat's anger and to create the frst human beings
in place of his father.
Aztecs atibuted their frst creaton 0 a couple, Oe
tecub ad Omeciuatl, soon dethroned by younger, more
active gods. I Assyria the dissensions between the
early gods were accompanied with such vocieratons that
the universe was flled wit it, ad mountains collapsed.
From Greece comes the same voice; a legend, easiy
understandable, says that Ouranos (or Uranus ) -the sky,
space-fecundated his wife Rhea-the earth; we under
stand that life on earth bas a "spatial" origin. But fom
that union were bor abminable monsters; their father
was hored and sent them back into their mother's
womb, aother way of saying they were buied, ad we
22
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
fnd them now as fossils. Now Time ( Kronos or Chronos
-the Latin Saturn) takes the leadership; but Time "de
vours his children" and everything stagnates in an un
productve routne ( "and the wise men, neglecting their
duty, fell in contemplation instead of creating" ) .
Later, we fnd the fnal landing of a strong new team
led by Zeus ( Jupiter, or Yod-Pater ) . All traditions cele
brate his dynamism or "youth." His attributes, in Greece
as in all other places, are synonyous with light, speed,
power: fre, lightning, whiteness, solar radiance, eagle.
The word Zeus, like the Latin deus, comes from the root
di, common to our words "diurnal" and "divine." This
is equivalent to the Indian "Red Child," the Persian "Solar
Ormazd" ( victor over Ahriman) and the Hebrew Arch
angel Michael ( victor over the dragon) . From then on, a
new creation begins, and its object is man.
Are we to say that under this new reign everything is
peaceful and quiet? Not at all; other dissensions appear,
precisely about ths new creature: man, whose appear
ance does not seem equally desirable to all. A narratve
found by a man called Abu Zayd Al-Balkhi, in the margin
of the Koran, gives I some indicatons about what may
have happened i the mind of our predecessors; it reads:
" 'I have the intention,' said God, 'to establsh on
earth a vicar.' " ( This is how he designated man. ) "But
the angels, the companions of llis, then called Azazil,
answered to him: 'Are you going to place on earth some
body who will introduce there corrupton and will shed
blood, when we, we do not cease to adore you?' But
God answered: 'I kow what you do not kow' ( 180) .
Misraki's system, therefore, is complex and is not easy to
realize at once with all its possible long-term developments
and implications. It may contain errors in the interpretaton
of some documents; the texts themselves are subject to con
tadiction. The main events, however, and the essence of the
documents are respected and even sometimes iluminated
by d theory. What seems important here is the spirit i
whch Misraki treats the problem. This is a rational attempt
to tanslate historical and prehistorical events into a patter
that can be interpreted in modem, technological terms. This
standpoint is new and presents three advantages, comple
mentary, i a way, to the three obstacles we found to ac-
22
7
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
ceptnce of Agrest's theory. ( 1) It does not extaplate
from individual oddtes found in the legendary or mythica
side of taditional wtngs, but { 2) considers them as his
torical documents relatve to classes of events, and ( 3)
teats their content in the light of a cnistent analysi.
Whereas the modem tendency i often oriented toward
interpretaton of relgious events as primitve legends or pure
myths, Misrak's thery on the contary teats them as real
events produced by physical beings but distorted through
the imaginaton of priitve wrters. And it provides a pssi
ble soluton to the mystery of modem UFO actvity.
Misrak's ideas may not have been handled wth al the
necessary precautions the scientst would lie to see ob
served. Even i d system does contain elements of feai
ble solutons to some of the problems the basic texts ly
before us, it leaves certain contadictions unsolved.
It is of iterest, however, to obsere in what sense the
problem of the UFO phenomenon in modem tes has been
related by kowledgeable and relable writers to fudaen
t questons that puzled ma's imagiaton for ages.
FLETCHER'S "SCI ENTI FI C" THEORY
I 1954, when the largest kow wave took place over
the entre planet, a number of interpretations and hypothe
ses were presented. Among tem, G. Duncan Fletcher's
theory was mentoned by numerou newspapers and ha
remained fairly popular.
Fletcher, vice-president of the Kenya Astonomical Assoc
iaton, suggested that UFOs were interplanetary ships sent
to map te earth. Other hypotheses of the same general i
spiraton were published, in which the aleged visitors were
said to be conducting other sorts of scientc missions.
The interest of such theories i lted; the exstence of
UFOs as material shps i not denied by them, but it is
assumed that the cmmuite that developd these ma
chines are interested in scientc activites that duplicate
precisely ou present level of technology. T seems to b
a very narow view. Sinc the tme of Fletcher's declaraton
{ October, 1954) our own techniques of aerial mapping have
greatly evolved and we would not expect now fom vehicles
carg out a mapping mission on our planet the same be
havior we conceived i 1954. Actly, one single ship or-
228

THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES


biting the earth at several hundred miles' altitude could col
lect the necessary data after a few revolutions, i equipped
wth long-range optical instruments and means for memor
izing this information of the te we are developing now for
our ow space probes. Such a ship, i covered with a mater
ial absorbent to lght and radar waves and able to modify
its orbit according to a programmed set of instuctions,
would completely escape detection. Besides, such an orbiter
could b very small, and guided by remote control. If this
is within the range of our present capability, we should not
expect a "visiting community" to do less.
Instead of global mapping, detection of metals in the
ground, search for materials, or gathering of sociological date
might be the purpose of such an expedition. But here again
more efcient methods could be used. We are not able to
fnd, i the arsena of modem science, activities that would
require such an extensive survey, made over a period of
more tan twenty years ( earlier surveys, i any, were not ex
tensive) .
If we hypothesized that UFOs are indeed material vehi
cles, we would have to conceive of the 1954 French wave,
for example, an event involving an amount of planng
and control equivalent to that of the landing in Normandy
by the Allies in 1944. The entire 1954 wave, on a planetary
scale, including transportation of the expedition from its place
of origin to the environment of the earth, would represent
something of the ampltude of World War II. By the stan
dards of such a "community" this may be very small; if
space travel was acquired long ago, such expeditions may
be a matter of routine, and their execution relatively inex
pensive. Still we reach the conclusion that UFO activity,
i an artifcial efect conditioned by rational thought, cannot
have a purely "scientifc" purpose as suggested by theories
of the Fletcher type (mapping, search for minerals, etc. ) .
Another argument against the Fletcher theory is that in the
case of a scientifc exploration one would expect to fnd far
more specifc activities associated with "landings," when the
opposite situation seems to be the case.
MI CHEL'S HYPOTHESES AND THE FEASI BI L ITY
OF CONTACT
In his second book, Michel has summarized the hypotheses
229
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
one coud make concerg the puse of UFO exploration
and the attitude of the "operators" toward us. According
to his theory, one of four main hypotheses may be tue:
( 1 ) At the tme of space exploration, cntact between
races of diferent biological origins may b impossible, or
may follow one-way channel parallel to the "contact" be
tween a natalist and the insects he obseres; isects do per
ceive the contact but only on their level, and they are
unable to participate in a voluntary exchange of inormation.
( 2) Although possible, this cntact may be systematcally
or temporary avoided.
( 3) The contact may already have taken place secetly.
( 4) The contact may be openly realized on a "spiritual"
level which i not perceptible to us; it i made on "their"
mental level and remains invisible to us in our present state
of consciousness. Similarly, mice may have eaten thousands
of books without ever perceivig them for what they are.
Contact with superior communtes might present situatons
of this general q.
The range of possibilites is so large that one should not
reject alteratives 1 or 4 when the problem is considered
in absraco. But these speculatons do not seem to cores
pond to the behavor of UFOs observed since 1946; in the
present cae, i we make the hypothesis that extraterestrial
itelligence is indeed responsible for the observed phenomena,
we seem to be confronted with beings of human form that
display many analogies with human psychology. Most of their
"machines" have shapes that could almost have been designed
by human engineers, and there i nothing, in most descrip
tions, that culd not be interpreted i technical ters. T
i true even of the biblical events, as we have just seen,
although they were long considered essentially superatural
and miraculous.
A limited number of observatons, however, refer to be
haviors almost indescribable in terms of ou technology, and
certainly do not lend themselves to simple interpretations.
Among these ae the "aerial fght" episodes aleady described
at Basel and Nuremberg and quoted by Jung and most of ,
the cases in Type III-D, including the observation in A
kansas City, Kansas. There, on June 19, 1956, at 12: 10 A.M.,
a number of luminous objects with appendages were seen
for several hours by Bryan Coyle, the editor of the Arkan
City Traveler; his wie; a Mr. and Mrs. Bradbery; and
230 "
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
te policemen. Meanwhile witesses in Wichita, Hutchin
son, Eldorado and Wellington saw a large lght dancing in
the sky; the Hutchinson rada painted the movements of
the object. Another very puzling case i the Bismarck, North
Dakota, episode, already mentioned ( page 104 ) .
Type III events, I imagine, could generally be interpreted
by "believers" as maneuvers linked with some property of
the propulsive power used by the machines. We would pre
fer to study them as manifestations of artifcial intelligence
( especially reports of "aerial fght" ) ; but we have no real
grounds on which to base such hypotheses at this time. An
other mysterious phenomenon is, of couse, the actual proc
ess of UFO generation and reintegration by Type II ob
jects. For ou part, however, i evidence is ever presented
that we are visited by a superior community, we would be
more impressed by the similarity of the reported features
than by diferences. We would be guided by these remarks
in our judgment and would tend to conclude that, although
his appraisal of the general problem i correct, Michel's
idea of the nonfeasibility of contact may not be applicable
in the paticular case we are facing here.
OBERTH'S THEORY
H. Oberth, well kown for his contributions to the early
development of rocket technology and connected engineering
problems, has repeatedly claimed that UFOs are vehicles
from another solar system. Others have also made this hy
pothesis, but they are often in disagreement over the exact
origin of the "visitors"; the reader will often fnd the stars
Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani associated with such specula
tions, simply because they are among the closest h the sun.
There is very little ground to support these theories, es
pecially when one begins to attach specifc names to the
hyothetical places whence such an expedition might have
originated.
U our present view, there is no reason to assume that
reports of UFO activity made in historical times refer to
the same type of "exploration" the modern or the biblical
reports; a theory presenting the view that UFOs are ma
terial machines would gain in generality by avoiding this
assumption. The identifcation of the sightings made in his
torical times with what we cal here the UFO phenomenon
231
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
weakens, undoubtedly, as one goes back in tme. The fact
that siila shapes are involved in both ancient and modem
cases does not consttute a "proof' of identty a to their
origin, since, on one hand, arguments of the type presented
by Jung ( the shape of the "saucer" as an archetye) would
continue to hold and, on the other hand, the shape of the egg
or disk is clearly optimal for space travel, and many "com
munites" might have arrived at the same concepts after fol
lowing very diferent paths of technical experience. Similarly,
the question of the exact origin in space is ill-defned; ex
panding civatons mght well establsh colonies; we might
even imagine that we are visited now by descendant of
older terrestrial civiatons contacted by superior cmmuni
tes at a date so remote that no legend has recorded the
event. Human imagination is rich and one has the right to
use it in order to describe possibiltes and suggest hypoth
eses. But the clai that such speculations correspond to
the realit presently observed is merely a mockery of science.
The only document we have at the present te on whch
such a study culd be tested is the graph of UFO actvity
over the pat eighteen years. But early attempts made by
several researchers to extcate the te signal from the noise
and correlate the apparent periodicity of the functon with
astonomicl events fail to present conclusive evidence of
the Martan, or non-Maan origin of the alleged visitors
( the Maan soluton being obviously the simplest and the
most tempting) . But only vague indicatons of a possible
correlaton have been presented.
THE MOON RELAY
A Harvard astonomer, 'r. Carl Sagan, ha given new
life to the old science-fction idea that UFOs might use the
hidden side of the moon as a relay for a surey of our
planet He was not specically applying the theory to the
phenomena we are studyng i t book, but to hypothe
tcal vehicles that would be te product of the technology
of a superior community. This is an idea which has tempted
many students of the UFO mystery.
In support of this theory, it is often pointed out that a
base on the visible side of the moon would be very con
venient for sureillance of our planet, although space stations
in orbit might have advantages in many cases. The reader
232-
4
,
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
l intrested in this controversy can consult the documents
published in regard to plans for orbiting and lunar observator
ies; he will fnd that both proposals have advantages and
inconveniences. base on the moon would prove more ad-
: vantageous for large colonies having a constant need for
supplies. But there would be lttle reason to put such a base
on the "other" side, since it would have to be mainly under
ground anyway and could be hidden easily from terrestial
telescopes even on the visible side. The only reason one
. could be led to prefer the invisible side would be to hide
one's activities, i they involved huge constructions on the
surface. But the craft going to or from the base would still
b easily visible, or would leave clear traces on moon photo
graphs, while all the advantages of direct optical survey of
the earth would be lost.

And the observational evidence i support of this theory i
nil.
Without going deeply into these "strategic" aspects of the
question, we feel that UFOs, i indeed aterial objects
and if our conception of their reliability and performance
is accurate, would have an excellent alternate solution i
they wanted to keep a continuous watch on human activity:
A machie in the shape of a disk or an egg, able to tavel
through space, is also able to tavel through air or water.
The bottom of our oceans would thus prove a splendid
soluton to the problem of a base, and certainly a much safer
one than the lunar base. Let the reader compare the inor
mation we have on our spatial environment with the infor
mation we possess concering our oceans, and see which i
better kown. We are lely to reach the moon long before
we have means to reach the bottom of the Pacifc Ocean
safely, and there is little doubt that we will have less dif
culty establishing a base on the moon than building even
a small unit very deep in the water. U space, the range
of visibility is many orders of magnitude greater than our
ability to travel. Under the surface of the ocean, only a
few feet can be explored visually, even with powerful search
lights. Most of our oceanic waters are so deserted that an
object leaving or reenterng the water would have a far
greater chance of doing so unoticed than a space vehicle
racing through the night sky under the eyes of telescopes of
: dozens of satellite-tackng and moon-mappig stations.
( Most of the sightings i our Type I-B could be interpreted
l
233
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
i this context. ) Although no serious indcation shows that
hypotheses of this type are tenable, a moon station to main
tain our civilization under close watch is even less appeal- '
ing. o
THE 'HOSTI LITY' THEORY
The next war will be an interplanetary one, with the na- ,
tions of the world having to unite against attack by in
telligent people on other planets.-General Douglas Mac
Arthur
In our discussion on "UFOs and Rationalism" (page I55)
we have noted that the motivation of the Air Force's contin-
ued interest in the reports was the concept of hostility, and
that the security of the United States was the task asigned
to the Panel of Scientifc Consultants.
How seriously the Air Force took its mission to identify, .
intercept, and destroy any object fying illegally over the
territory of the United States is shown by the following
icident, described in the own words of Captain Ruppelt,
former head of Pro;ect Blue Book. It shows that the P
Force did not hesitate to risk the lives of its pilots in its
attempts to fulfll its mission. This is one point fying saucer
enthusiasts, in their attacks against goverment agencies,
tend to forget too often.
One day, says Ruppelt in his Report on Unidentifed Fly
ing Ob;ects, the Intelligence ofcer of a fghter base called
Dayton, Ohio and asked i Ruppelt had plans to visit them
in the near future, because "he had something very inter
esting to show me. " However, he would not discuss the ques
tion over the phone and even refused to put his message into
a secret wire. When Ruppelt visited the base about a week `
later, the intelligence ofcer opened his safe and extracted
from it a thick report which had not been sent to Project
Blue Book according to the usual regulation and added that
this was the only existing copy: "He said he had been told
01van T. Sanderson similarly notes i Fate Magazine,
July, 1964, Q. 5 ! . "Any craft that can travel through space
should be able to continue in a liquid medium, since said
craft must be completely sealed. \Vhat better place to land
than the bottoms of the seas?" Also see "UFOs and the Sea"
by Antonio Ribera, FSR X, No 6, ( Nov-Dec 1964) g. 8.
234
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
to destroy al copies, but had saved one for me to read". Rup
pelt tok the report and found the following:
About ten o'clock in the moring, one day a few weeks
before, a radar staton near the base had picked up an
unidentifed target. It was an odd target in that it came
in ver fast-about 700 miles per hour-and then slowed
down to about 100 miles per hour. The radar showed
that it was located northeast of the airfeld, over a sparse
ly settled area.
Unfortunately, the radar station didn't have any height
fding equipment. The operators knew the direction of
te target and its distance from the station but they didn't
kow its altitude. They reprted the target, and two F-86's
were scrambled.
The radar picked up the F -86's soon after they were
abore, and had begu to direct them into the target
when the target started to fade on the radarscope. At the
tme several of the operators thought that this fade was
caused by the taget's losing altitude rapidly and getting
below the radar's beam. Some of the other operators
thought that it was a high-fyng target and that it was
fading just because it was so high.
I the debate which followed, the proponents of the
high-fying theory won out, and the F-86's were told to go
up to 40,000 feet. But before ihe aircraft could get to that
altitude, the target had been completely lost on the radar
scope.
The F-86's cntinued to search the area at 40,000
feet, but could see nothing. After a few minutes the air
craft ground contoller called the F-86's and told one to
come down to 20,000 feet, the other to 5,000 feet, and
continue the search. The two jets made a quick letdown,
wth one pilot stopping at 20,000 feet and the other head
ing for the deck.
The second pilot, who was going down to 5,000 feet,
was just beginning to pull out when he noticed a fash
below and ahead of me He fattened out his dive a
lttle and headed toward the spot where he had seen the
light. As he closed on the spot he suddenly notced
what he frst thought was a weather balloon. A few sec
onds later he realed that it couldn't be a balloon because
it was staying ahead of m Quite an achievement for
a balloon, since he had buit up a lot of speed in h
235
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
dve and now was fying almost staight and level at 3,000
feet and was traveling "at the Mach."
Again the pilot pushed the nose of the F -86 down and
started after the object. He closed fairly fast, untl he
came to within an estimated 1,000 yards. Now he could
get a good look at the object. Although it had looked
lke a balloon from above, a closer view showed that it
was defnitely rotmd and fat-saucer-shaped. The pilot
decrbing it U being "like a doughnut without a hole."
As his rate of closure began to drop of, the pilot knew
that the object was picking up speed. But he pulled in
behind it and started to folow. Now he was right on the
deck.
About this time the pilot began to get a little worried.
What should he do? He tried to call his buddy, who was
fying above him somewhere i the area at 20,000 feet. He
called two or three times but could get no answer. Next
he tried to call the ground contoller, buf he was too low
for his radio to carry that far. Once more he tied his
buddy at 20,000 feet, but again no luck.
By now he had been following the object for about two
minutes and during this tme had closed the gap between
them to approximately -00 yards. But this was only mo
mentary. Suddenly the object began to pull away, slowly
at frst, then faster. The pilot, realizing that he couldn't
catch it, wondered what to do next.
When the object had traveled out about 1, 000 yards,
the pilot suddenly made up hs mind-he did the only
thing that he could do to stop the UFO. It was like a
David about to do battle with a Goliath, but he had to '
take a chance. Quickly charging his guns, he started shoot
ing . . . . A moment later the object pulled up into a climb
and i a few seconds it was gone. The pilot climbed to 10,--
000 feet, called the other F -86, and now was able to con
tact his buddy. They joined up and went back to their'
base. '
soon as he had landed and parked, the F-86 pilot1
went into operations to tell his story to his squadron com-
mander. The mere fact that he had fred his guns was
1
enough to require a detailed report, as a matter of rou
l
tine. But the circumstances under which the guns actual-
,
ly were fred created a major disturbance at the fghter
base that day.

26
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
Sevea similar incidents, in which jet fghters attempted
to destroy "fying saucers" have occured, but they are not
as fully documented as the preceding one-or else they are
kept out of the reach of "bona fde scientists". Several
such incidents are described in the books by Major Key
hoe. In April 1955, for instance, U. S. Force jets fred
on a UFO near Rockford, Illois. But there are even
cases when ant-aircraft fre has been used. On July 25, 1957,
Radio-Moscw disclosed that the Soviet ant-aircraft batter
ies on the Pacic coast had opened fre on unidented fy
ing objects. According to information carried by the wire
serces ( Reuter) and datelined Vladivostok: "Lat night
the batteries of the Kouril Islands have opened fre on UFOs.
Japanese authorities have reported that the whole of th
Soviet artillery was in action and that powerful searchlghts
were searching the sky. The guns have fred again i the
moring." The U. S. Air Force at once issued a communique
statng that no American aircraft was fying in the viciity
of the Soviet coasts. I a most unusual move, Radio-Moscow
quoted this cmmunique of the U. S. Air Force and added
that the objects in question were luminous, few very fast,
and that none had been hit.
At leat ffteen persons are know to have met a death
directly or indirectly connected with the sighting of UFO,
i eight df erent incidents:
I. Captain William L. Davidson and Lieutenant Frank
M. Brown, two intelligence ofcers from Hamilton A Force
Base, died as the plane that brought them back from
an investigation of the Maury Island hoax crashed in the State
of Washington ( July 1947 ) .
2. Captain Thomas Mantel died while trying to identfy
a UFO in the vicinity of Godman Force Base. Mantell
lost consciousness because of lack of oxygen as he attempted
to clmb toward his objective ( 7 January, 1948 ) .
3. The pilot of an F -89 and h plane vanished during an
attempt to intercept a UFO tacked on radar by Kinross
Air Force Base. The incident, kown as the "Kinross Case,"
has become a classic of UFO lterature ( 23 November 1953) .
4. Four persons, two of them children, were kiled when
an F-94 Starfe jet crashed in the heart of the town of
237
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
Walesvle, New York. The plane had been sent up to iden
tfy an unkow blip on Defense radarscopes. it
climbed toward its objectve, the pilot and the radar observ
er were able to see a stange gleaming object moving swiftly
abve them. But suddenly a wave of heat flled the coc1. 'it
of the jet with an intolerable blast. Although the pilot could
see no sign of touble wt h instruents, the heat in
creased and the plane seemed close to bursting into Hames :
The two men, dazed and frantc, baled out. The UFO con
tnued to be seen by many persons i the area between
Walesvile and Utica (July 1954) .
5. Colonel Lee Merkel, commander of the Kentucky A
Natonal Guard, was klled as he attempted to pursue an
unidentifed object (January, 1956) .

6. Two jet fghters collided above the sea as they tied to


identy a large number of unknown objects detected by the
radar of the Air Force Base at Okinawa. One of the pilots
was rescued by Japanese fshermen, the other was lost ( 26
Oct. 56) .
7. Four persons died i the crash of an Force C-118
fve miles southeast of Sumner, \ashington, about half-a
hour after the pilot had radioed: "We've hit something or
somethig has hit u. " The plane had taken of from Me
Chord Force Base on local training Hight. Witesses
i te Sumner area stated none of the fou engines was run
ning when the C-ll8 passed over their area and reported
that parachute-like glowing objects were following the tans
port, part of whose tail assembly was missing. A large por
ton of the horizontal stabilier was later found on the nor
side of Mount Rainier ( 1 Apr 1959) .
8. At ll P. M. on October 6, 1961, a huge lunous ob-
i
ject coming from the direction of Santa Rita, Venezuelal
Hew over Lake Maracaibo where numerous people were fsh-
ing. The object few so low and presented such a terriy-
ing sight that dozens of fshermen jumped into the lake. One'
of them, Barolme Romero, was drowned. The object few,
leavig a reddish tral.
At t point we are faced wt te following facts:
a) I the context of the mision of ou militar forces,
28
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
we are hostile to the UFOs as ucnventional object which
fail to identify temselves. "
b) As observed with some naivet by the Panel of Scien
tifc Consultants in 1953, UFOs have failed to indicate
direct hostility to ou civilization in the sense that they did
not drop bombs on our cities and did not land in force
to clai a par of what we are used to consider our terr
tory.
c) However, there exists a well-defned subset of repors
which refer to objects indf erent to possible accidents with
earth vehicles or human beings-and which at times do ap
pear hostile.
Such an incident i the For Itaipu cae of November 4,
1957, long kept secret by the Brazilian army. The garrson
of the fort wa asleep when two sentries noted a "new star"
i the sky, soon to appear as round glowing object which
was over the fort within secons. Then it stopped and slowly
difted down. The surprised senties could see it as a large
object, about the size of a big Douglas, but round and disk
shaped and surounded by a strong orange glow. A distinct
humming sound could be heard. Then one of the men
thought he heard a faint whining soud, and an intolerable
wave of heat stuck them:
One of the sentries said later it was like a fre buing
all over his clothes, the air fled with the UFOs hM ing
sound. Blnd panic seized H he staggered, his only
conscious purpose to escape from that invisible fe which
seemed to be buing him alive. He gasped and beat the
air before hi; then he blacked out and collapsed to the
ground. The other senty had the horrible feeling that h
clothes were on fre. He began to scream desperately,
stumbling and crying like a tapped anial. He did not
know what he was doing, but somehow he managed
to skid into shelter beneath the heavy cannons. His loud
U hundreds of cases where UFOs have been obsered
by military radar, we have sent against them jet fghters
which, by thei very shape and armament
,
clearly stated our
hostile intentions rather than slow observation planes which
would have permitted M to secure photographs, electro
magnetic recordings, and possibly spectrogaphs, and thus
would have permitted an early and cmplete identifcaton of
te natue of the phenomenon.
239
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
1
ce awoke the garrison. Iside te installaton every
thing was confusion, men and ofcers tying to reach their
battle stations.
l
Suddenly the light throughout the fort collapsed; the :
electical system which moved the trets, cannons and 1
elevators failed; te intercommunication system was dead; 1
someone swtched on the emergency circuits, but they
failed to functon.
!
The for was helpless. Confusion changed to widespread
panic, soldiers and ofcers running blndly along the dark '
corridors. Then the lghts came on again and every man
ran to face the enemy attackng the for. Some were
u tme to see an orange lght climbing verticaly above
te for and then moving trough the sk at high speed.
One of the senties was on the ground, still unconsciou.
The other was hiding i a dark corer, mumbling and
crying.
Both senties, badly bued, were put under medical
care. One of them had a severe case of heat syncope;
he was stl unconscious and showed obvious signs of per
ipheral vascular failure. Both had frst-egree and deep
second-degree burns of more than ten per cent of the body
-mainly on areas covered by clothing. The sentry who
could talk later wa in deep nervous shock and it was
many hours before he was able to tel his story. .
On the next day, November 4, te fort commander,
an army colonel, issued orders forbidding discussion of
the incidents, even with relatives. Intelligence ofcers came
and took charge, working frantcaly to silence everyone.
The fort was put under maal law and a top-secret re-
port was submitted to headquarters. Days later, American ,
ofcers wth the U. S. Amy Military Mission arrived at
the fort with ofcers of the Brazilan D Force to ques
ton the sentres and other witnesses. A special A Force
plane took the two ijured sentries to Ro de Janeio, where
tey were completely isolate behind a tght security cur-
tain i the Army's Cental Hospital. [188 ) .

Te ltaipu incident, whch was disclosed through the


efor of a prominent researcher, Brazilian physician Dr. '
Olavo Fontes, is not the only case of its type.

Outside of thi subset, there is a larger group of incidents j
where UFOs have been described as the direct or indrect
240
|
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
source of power falures in aicraft, cars and other motor ve
hicles ( diesel and jets have never been afected; in a case
when a UFO few over to tactors, one a diesel and the
other a conventional engine, te latter stopped working, the
desel continued; also the source of physiological efects
such paralysis, afections of the skn, temporary loss of
vision, etc. Such efect have been described in the Fort
Itaipu case. We will give oter examples :
One December 2, 1955, six UFOs were sighted in Willis
ton, Florida by a dozen witnesses. As the objects few over
a police patol car, the policemen ( Deputy Sherif A. H.
Perkns and P.atrolman C. F. Bell ) reported thei clothes
became intolerably hot and their arms ad legs were almost
paralyzed.
The heat sensation ( which caused the Watesville crash seen
earlier ) has also been reported in the Turquenstein incident
of October 20, 1954 ( see page 1 13 ) . The same afteroon, in
the Lusigny forest, also i Frace, M. Robert Reveille, a lum
ber dealer, was walking along a road when his attention
was attracted by a loud rustlig sound, such would be
made by a fight of pigeons.
Looking up, he noted, at tee-top height, an oval-shaped
object perhaps twenty feet long. At the same time, he felt
an ever more intense heat. In a few seconds the machie
disappeared upward. In te woods, the heat was now
intolerable and it was producing a thick fog. It was al
most a quarter of an hour before M. Reveille was able to
approach the site. He then found that, in spite of the
rain, the ground and trees at that spot were as dry as i
they had been exposed to fulsunshine. ( 1 15)
Some civilian researchers, especially the leaders of ARO
and Dr. Olavo Fontes, view these incidents as instances in
which the "controlling intelligence" behind the UFOs has
tested weapons designed to disable our propulsion systems
"on diferent types of vehicles under various conditions, weath
er included" and to immobilize human beings.
But a majority of UFO specialists seem to think that al
though UFOs have often interfered wth human activity there
has never been any clear indication that the incidents were
tests of weapons specifcally designed for the purpose of
immobilizing this activity and blocking our defenses. They
241
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
view them as instancs where chance had created a situation
where human beings or thei vehicles interfered with UFO
actvity and were simply put "out of the way." We can
only wish that these researchers had presented beter docu
mented caes to suppor thei theories.
The weakest point i the "hostity" teor i ARO's
claim that . . .
The bulk of the sightings has been made in the vciity
of or on vital defense instalatons, accordig to a map ,
which was based on sightgs gathered by te A Force ,
up to early 1952. ( 188}
T is an obvious selecton efect. We see no myster i
the fact that the most detailed sightngs the Force was j
able to gather unt 1952 came from its own installatons!
This only serves to emphasize an obseraton that we have
already made: That the reports i the ofcial fles are not
representatve of the phenomenon as a whole.
But other remarks presented by the supporters of d
"hostlity" theory do make sense. It is to be deplore that
the relevant incidents are not fl y documented-and such a
documentation could only have been gathered by an ofcia `
agency. If the idea of a "contollig intelligence" is retained |
to expla te few incidents quoted i this paragraph, then I
a most disturbing idea comes to mind: We are playing
"sitting duck" for a superior commuity equipped with a
technology far in advance of ours. Dr. Fontes points out
that i sufcient people kew the actual status of the
UFO situation, parcularly those incidents regading hostility
there might be hope for a defense. I h words "civilian ]
scientists and technicians working in every country might
help to fnd new weapons and defenses before it i too late . ]
To t witer, the "hostty" theory remains unconvinc
ing, not only in the form stated by Dr. Fontes, who does
I
believe that current UFO activity is only the prelude to a
large-scale invasion, but even in the form of the theor most
popular among civilian groups, namely that UFOs are sampl
ing our planet for super-scientc reasons and carefully watch
our military
,
activities because they are simply "not taking
any chances.
I
It i not easy to distinguish what is the par of objectvity
in these theories, and what is simply an ilustration of man's j
242
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
changing ideas about his place in the world-his dim per
ception of new entities, still beyond h grasp, and yet so
vivd to hs imagination.
A NEW SYSTEM OF HYPOTHESES
We should probably stop here, having shown that none
of the present interpretations of the UFO phenomenon is
fully satisfactory; we would tus stay on the safe side of
the fence. However, we feel we must complete this chapter
by statng wh.ere our own system of ideas tends to stand
between the various theories we have reviewed. We are
assuming, of course, that it is understood that the system is
puely speculative in nature. 'e would summarize it under
the following seven points :
( 1 ) It is scientifcally permissible to work under the gen
eral hypothesis that UFOs are material objects, not excluding
the possibility of their being nonhuman vehicles. There is
no reaon only theories based on the idea that the senses
of all witesses have been abused should bear the stamp of
scientc consideration. On the contary, the hypothesis that
the authors of reports have indeed been in visual contact
with physical objects, possibly behaving under intelligent
contol, leads to an aalysis ol the UFO phenomenon that
lacks neither objectivity nor consistency.
( 2) Under such a hypothesis, the fact that the "controlling
itellgence" could not belong to any of the communities
which are present today on our planet would be shown by
the permanence of UFO actvity through changing phases
of ou technology and even, pssibly, tough ealy phases
of our historical development.
( 3) Historically, it would be difcult to determine 0
staring point for this activity, even i considered artcial
i nature. The only fact clearly visible from the data we
have is that UFO activity almost ceased between 1914 and
1946 and was considerably renewed i May of 1946. It has
been present ever since.
( 4) If the hypothesis that UFO phenomena are manifes
tatons of a controlling intelligence fnds serious confrmation
i years to come, through research or otherwise, we feel
that one should then accept the idea that UFO operators
have been seen on the ground on several occasions.
243
ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON
(
5
) Under such circumstances, we would expect intelec
tal contact to be pssible, owing U the fact that human
concepts seem, in our obseraton, to b applicable to UFO
behavior. But we would cntue to reject the clai of
partcular indivduals that they have been "contacted" and
allowed to know the origin of the "visitors."
( 6) I a discussion cncering the "purpose" of UFO ac
tvity we would point out:
a) that technological development on the earth is now
such that we are able, at least in theory, to reach any
poit in the universe which les within our visua range,
having thus overcome the handicap of creatues that
can live only on the suface or very close to the suace
of a planetary body;
b) that UFO activity was suddenly renewed after World
War II, when both rocket and aircraft technology had
reached a point where space tavel could be realitcl y
visualized;
c) that a partcular peak of actvity, quite unlike other
waves, took place i 1957 when Sputniks I and II were
launched into orbit.
( 7) It i ou opinion that a dispassionate, scientc de
bate could be establshed cncerg the UFO phenomenon,
and that such a discussion could well be conducted wt
the boundaries set by ratonalism for the purpose of objectve
acqusition of kowledge. The vaous points involved i the
present arguments over the nate of ths phenomenon could
then be checked by reference to a system of catalogues of
observatons, very often of high reliability, that falls wt
the competence of the professional scientist. The existing
fles, kept up-to-date by ofcial services in ths count and
by a few relable amateus abroad, would provide a basi
for the establishment of a general investigation of this type.
If, however, these docuents and the underlying phenome
non they manifest should be neglected by professional scien
tsts, only obscurantism and charlatanism would be encou
aged. Such an attitude would lead to the generaton of
myths that culd constitte a danger when the sociological
impact of space exploraton reaches its full strength.
Through UFO activity, although no physical evdence
has yet been found, some of I believe the contours of
amazingly complex intelligent lfe beyond !he earth can
already be discered. The wakening spirit of man, and the
244
THEORI ES AND HYPOTHESES
horrifed reaction of his too-scrupulous theories : what do
tey matter? Our minds now wander on planets our fathers
ignored. Our senses, our dreams have reached across the
night at last, and touched other universes. The sky wil
never be the same again.
25
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7
l
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255
BOOK OF THE DANED by Charles For 50
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1 ,001 atested phenomena that science cannot answer and '
del i berately i gnores. "Charl es Fort has made L terri bl e on- :
sl aught upon the accumulated l unacy of fif centuries
He has shot the scientific basis of modern wisdom ful l of
l arge, ugl y hol es."-Ben Hecht
!
STRANGE WORLD by Fank Edwad SO

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Book Nos. . g g e g g
e g
Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Address: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. B
Ci ty: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . State: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zone: . . . . . . . . . . .