About johnr

John Rimmer was editor and publisher of MUFOB and Magonia magazines from 1974 to 2008, when Magonia magazine ceased publication.

MUFORG Bulletin, October 1966.

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, October 1966

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Edited by John Harney

COMMENT

More and more attention is being devoted to reports of alleged landings of UFOs and particularly to those in which the witnesses claim some sort of contact with the occupants of the craft. This vital aspect of our subject will, we understand, be examined in great detail in the forthcoming special issue of Flying Saucer Review. It is at present being brought to the attention of the general public by the serialisation of the sensational case of Mr and Mrs Barney Hill, in the American Look magazine and in the Sunday Mirror.

At this stage in the UFO mystery it is of course right that we should concentrate on this aspect, for the reasons we outlined in the August issue of this Bulletin. There are, however, some pitfalls. Mysterious objects seen flashing across the sky at great heights are one thing. They could be flying saucers, but there are many other possible explanations for most of these sightings. They generally excite only academic interest. On the other hand, stories of UFOs and their occupants seen on the ground at close range are liable to generate more heat than light. Remarkably few students of the subject have managed to consider these reports coolly and objectively. When it comes to the possibility of contact with a superior civilisation, it seems there are very few people who do not have some sort of axe to grind.

In his Editorial in the Spring, 1966, issue of BUFORA Journal, Dr J. Cleary-Baker reported: “Not long ago I delivered a lecture to an audience composed largely of Association members, in which I ventured to suggest that the UFOs, or some of them, might be piloted by beings who are ill-disposed towards humanity. One might compare the effect of my observations on my audience to that which would be produced if a vicar climbed into his pulpit one Sunday morning and launched into the questionable stanzas of  ’Eskimo Nell’!”

This deep-rooted desire, by many ufologists, to believe that not only are UFOs real, but that their occupants are friendly and are here to help us has for long stood in the way of any serious investigation or discussion of the more important landing reports by many groups. Time which should be spent in critical examination and analysis of these reports is wasted in enthusing over the fatuities served up by various “cosmic philosophers” and “new-age” thinkers. Some groups even form reception committees to welcome the space people if they should choose to accept this hospitality. (Have these people considered, we wonder, that if our governments were to accept, openly or otherwise, that these people actually exist, that the activities of these committees might be regarded as treasonable?)

Of course, we realise that the “space brothers” theory could conceivably be correct, but so, at this stage, could others. It is important that we should not inhibit the progress of our investigations by taking a particular hypothesis and persuading ourselves to believe in it. A theory that receives too little consideration is the possibility that all these landing reports and contact experiences may be wholly, or mainly, a psychological phenomenon, the precise nature of which is not, at present, fully understood. If this theory were properly developed and applied carefully to these cases, any which withstood the test would assume a new importance and significance. If it became clear that this unpopular theory was entirely unworkable we would be one step nearer the final proof. And if the theory should prove consistent and reliable? — Hard luck!

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MUFORG NEWS

New Chairman. Mr J. Harnwell was elected Chairman at the Group’s September meeting.

Northern Conference. Several members attended the BUFORA Northern Conference at Bradford on September 10th.

Skywatch. This year’s Skywatch was marred by bad weather. Some observations are being checked with orbital data on artificial satellites.

1966 Meetings. General Meetings will be held at 8.0 p.m. in the Committee Room at the Free Church Centre, Tarleton Street, Liverpool, 2, on the following dates:- Wednesday, 9th November; Wednesday, 14th December.

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RECENT NORTH WEST REPORTS

None received.

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BUFORA NORTHERN CONFERENCE

The BUFORA Northern Conference was held at the Textile Hall, Bradford, on September 10th. The event was efficiently organised by the Halifax Branch of BUFORA. To those who have never attempted to organise an event of this nature it may seem a simple task, but in reality there is much unobtrusive work involved. The members of the Halifax Branch well deserve the gratitude of all who attended this meeting.

The proceedings opened with an informal get-together. Displays of UFO magazines and photographs provided useful conversation pieces and coffee was served.

After lunch came the talk by Arthur Shuttlewood of the Warminster Journal, who for two solid hours recounted his incredible tale of events in Warminster. This was followed by a panel discussion. On the panel were Alan W. Sharp, BSc, BEng, FGS, FRAS, J. Leslie Otley, ARPS, Editor of Orbit, J. Cleary-Baker, PhD, Editor of BUFORA Journal, and Stephen Smith, BA, Hon. Treasurer of BUFORA. The Chairman was Malcolm Bull, Chairman of the Halifax Branch of BUFORA.

The main topics which were raised in the discussion were contact claims, the Charlton crater, Warminster and the Oldfields’ “spaceship” film.

An interesting idea emerged during the discussion on contact claims. Stephen Smith said that each claim should be considered in the same way as the police consider a murder charge, which led Dr Cleary-Baker to suggest mock trials of claimants, complete with prosecution and defence.

On Warminster, sceptic Alan Sharp said he had been there but had drawn a blank. What had impressed him was its proximity to an Army range and other local features which might give rise to unusual phenomena. He agreed, though, that there were aspects which deserved further investigation.

Several questions revealed that the Charlton crater controversy is still going strong and that the BBC’s explanation of Mrs Oldfield’s cine film does not satisfy everybody – least of all Mr and Mrs Oldfield.

After the symposium the conference ended with informal discussions. It is hoped that it will be possible to organise such events more often.

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WARMINSTER’S CONTACTEE

As the audience settled down to listen to Arthur Shuttlewood’s lecture at the Bradford Conference, no doubt many were expecting merely a sort of roundup of the sightings and incidents which have occurred there. If so, they were due for a shock.

His talk began reasonably enough, with details of some of the better-known incidents which focused public attention on Warminster. He said he had not seriously considered UFOs until September 28th, 1965, when he saw one himself. He attacked the cynics who alleged that the whole business was deliberately cooked up to act as a tourist attraction. He also vented his spleen on the editors of the national newspapers. He claimed that a representative of one of them (not named) had offered him £500 for a UFO photograph, saying that it didn’t matter whether it was genuine or faked.

Then he went on to assert that he had seen 288 UFOs since February and had obtained over 70 photographs of them in the same period. “Witnesses have come to Warminster, knowing we can guarantee a sighting”, he said.

Mr Shuttlewood does his saucer spotting on a hill near Warminster. He claims to have spent every clear night there since February of this year, equipped with camera and telescope, sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by other sky-watchers. Indeed, a friend of his is said to have sighted no fewer than 322 UFOs. Out of Warminster’s population of 11,000, over 800 are said to have seen UFOs. Sceptics see and are “converted”.

There is much more to it, though, then just looking out for UFOs and listening for the “Warminster sound”. There are the space people themselves. “By next May”, says Shuttlewood, “the whole world will have to believe in the people above.” From what he has heard and “sensed” he is certain they (the space people) can monitor our thoughts. Not content with merely monitoring his thoughts, however, the spacemen have taken to ringing him up on the telephone. They are human and more evolved than us and they are concerned about us. They wear balaclava helmets and they are getting into the habit of hurling themselves in front of motor cars on lonely roads near Warminster. When the shaken drivers get out they vanish. This alarming procedure is apparently intended to convey a message; it means: “Don’t you commit mass slaughter.”

To convert people they sometimes use unconventional electrical methods. However, they are not “extrovert” unless they want to convert you.

They are “the greatest levellers of society”. They are also sincere. Shuttlewood, too, is sincere. “I am as sincere as you are”, he told us.

There was much more – he spoke for two hours. The foregoing is just a brief summary. Some will say we are being unfair to Shuttlewood with our sceptical, tongue-in-cheek approach. But never mind, some other UFO magazine will quite likely print an account describing the lecture as “thrilling and inspiring”. If we may say one thing in favour of the lecture – numbers of members of the audience found it very amusing, but were too polite to laugh out loud.

As a result of the activities of Arthur Shuttlewood, confusion about what really goes on at Warminster has increased. For example, there is the Cradle Hill incident of August 17th. Present were Arthur Shuttlewood, Eileen Buckle, Chairman of BUFORA’s Contact Section, and Philip Rodgers. Mr Shuttlewood alleged that a UFO was seen and landed in a field for a few moments. There are at least two published accounts to date. They give rather different impressions of the incident. One account gives the impression that the UFO was brought down by Shuttlewood flashing signals from a torch and the other suggests that the witnesses were probably mistaken. Other, verbal accounts that we have heard allege that it was cooked up by Shuttlewood, who, with Miss Buckle, was watching a satellite, then suddenly pointed in the opposite direction and chased after the alleged UFO. It seems that only Shuttlewood actually claimed to have seen it land and then only for a few seconds.

From other accounts it seems that Shuttlewood’s usual technique is to point out a satellite, calling it a UFO. Then, when the satellite disappears in the earth’s shadow he directs the observer’s attention to a nearby star and says that the UFO is now hovering. It also seems that he manages to generate a great deal of excitement on these skywatches and impresses people with his charm and apparent sincerity to such an extent that stars and satellites become magically transformed into flying saucers.

There are, of course, a number of unexplained sightings and other incidents in the Warminster area, but to suggest that genuine UFOs are to be seen night after night there is a gross exaggeration. If this were so, the mystery would be practically solved by now. More sophisticated instruments than simple cameras and telescopes would have been brought to bear on the objects. The light from them would have been analysed and full details of their flight characteristics, etc., would be known. There would be a mass of useful data for the scientists to work on. So far there is nothing of the sort.

Whether Mr Shuttlewood has made up the more fantastic details of his story, either to make money, or to enjoy the resulting notoriety, or whether he has got himself into the state in which he honestly believes that all the fantastic things he describes are really happening, readers must judge for themselves. However, anyone who believed every word of his Bradford lecture must indeed be a credulous person. We look forward to reviewing his forthcoming book, The Warminster Sighting, to be published by Neville Spearman Ltd.

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TYPE I UFO REPORTS

Colorado, USA Daniels Park, Denver – April 8th, 1966

Six 17-year-olds, three boys and three girls, having an evening picnic in Daniels Park, south of Denver, reported to police that they had seen apparently hovering red, blue and white lights, accompanied by a series of pulsating buzzing sounds which began about 21.30 CST.

The witnesses were eating in a park shelter when the girls reported hearing “footsteps” on the roof. The three boys went to investigate and while they were gone the girls said they saw ” . . . a man, about 6′ 3″ or 4″ in front of the shelter and wearing what looked like a long black or brown raincoat”. When the boys returned the footsteps were heard again and the group decided to leave.

As they approached their car they heard a buzzing sound which seemed to be all around them. It was then that they saw the lights. They got into their car and started to leave. While leaving the park they saw “a black, football-shaped object with lights on both ends, and a large red light on the bottom” following them. (This can be compared with the famous Michigan UFO which was explained away as marsh gas.) Their car engine started to die and the radio, which was on at the time, produced nothing but static. While leaving the park they observed two more identical UFOs about a block away from them. As soon as the witnesses left the park area, the UFO that had been trailing them stopped and slowly floated back into the park. Then the car resumed its normal operation and the radio was normal. They then drove to police headquarters to report what they had seen. The police were reported to have been impressed by their story.

(Credit: IIOUFO – Release R2)

Minnesota, USA Bagley – between 20th-25th April, 1966

A UFO is reported to have flown down the main street of Bagley about the time that the schools were being dismissed for the day. The UFO moved down the street at a very low altitude until it encountered a school bus coming straight towards it. It rose to avoid the bus and continued to the outskirts of the town where it landed. Four beings of small stature got out of the UFO and seemed to do some work on the device. Then they went back into the craft, which took off.

The incident is said to have caused panic in the town among the women and school children in the main street.

(Credit: Het Interplanetair Nieuwsbulletin, September 1966, quoting Saucers, Space & Science (Canada))

Other Reports Some other landing reports have come to our notice since last issue, but most of them either give very few details, or will have already been seen by most of our readers in other publications.

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TYPE I UFO REPORTS – INVESTIGATION, RESEARCH AND HYPOTHESES

The response to our appeal, in the August issue of the Bulletin, for information on investigation and research into “Type I” UFO reports was disappointing. This seems to indicate that very few ufologists are interested in serious research of this kind.

However, interest in carrying out a determined attack on these reports, in the belief that they are the most significant, is gradually increasing. Also, psychology is being brought in more and more as an aid in evaluating these reports.

A letter from Jacques Bonabot of GESAG (Belgium) raised some interesting points. One of these was the effect of the presence of UFOs on dogs. Several landing reports mention the reactions of dogs. M. Bonabot also mentions some reports from South America which refer to observations of UFOs which seem to give light which does not cause shadows. In this connection it is interesting to note that in an account of the Denver incident (see above) published in the May-June 1966 issue of Probe – the Controversial Phenomena Magazine, one of the witnesses is quoted as saying of the UFO: “The funny thing is, the light did not reflect in my rear-view mirror.”

Does anyone have any ideas on the significance – physical or psychological – of such observations?

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THE LEAD MASKS DEATHS MYSTERY

The mystery began on August 21st, when the bodies of two men were found in a hilltop clearing near Niteroi, Brazil. (Niteroi is across the bay from Rio de Janeiro.) Two lead half-masks, for covering the upper half of the face, and strange, partially coded notes were found beside the bodies.

The two men were identified as Manuel Pereira di Cruz, aged 32, and Miguel Jose Viana, aged 34. They were both radio and television technicians. According to an autopsy report they died from stoppage of the heart. There was no apparent cause of this. The men had been dead for about four days when they were found.

A mathematician reported that part of the notes contained only the ohm equation (dealing with the strength of electric current) and the rest was unintelligible.

A number of people came forward during the investigation with reports of an oval, orange coloured object hovering over the top of the hill. One woman reported seeing the object at the time the men went up the hillside. The affair was investigated by local detectives and experts from Rio de Janeiro with the help of troops and the Brazilian Information Service. A weird array of theories was considered including murder, suicide, smuggling, sorcery, spiritualism, attempts to contact the Martians, atmospheric electricity and radio waves. A man who reported that the men had been trying to contact the planet Mars was held by police for questioning. This man was said to have exercised a powerful influence over the dead men and to have owed them money. According to one report, a man and a woman were arrested in connection with the case. The men were said to have had a great deal of money with them when they went up the hillside. The notes found on their bodies indicated that they had “taken orange capsules” and were “waiting for the promised sign”.

When detectives searched Manuel Viana’s workshop they found lead from which the masks were apparently made, and a book on scientific spiritualism, with marked passages referring to masks and intense rays of light.

The police eventually called off their investigations, having failed to solve the mystery. Detective Idovan Ferreira, who led the investigations said: “I have no doubt they died of an experiment with psychic forces, for which they were ill-prepared and which turned out to be fatal.”

(Credit: Liverpool Daily Post, 29/8/66; Liverpool Echo, 15/9/66; BUFORA Newsletter No. 2; Groupement pour l’Étude des Sciences d’Avant-Garde (Belgium))

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TRENCH AND THE SKY SCOUTS – JIMMY GODDARD WRITES

I feel I must take you up on a point mentioned in your review of Brinsley le Poer Trench’s latest book. I cannot speak for the other committee members of course, but I would never accuse anyone of “idle curiosity” if they asked me any question on UFOs, either in connection with membership of I.S.S. or otherwise. I would be very surprised if any of the others would either. If they asked for convincing proof of the existence and friendly intentions of the UFO intelligences, I would say quite simply that as yet there isn’t any concrete proof, and quite possibly the intelligences want it that way for some reason. But I think the weight of evidence points unswervingly to the fact of their existence as controlled vehicles, as I’m sure you would agree. The friendliness is another matter of course, and even Brinsley himself has admitted that there are cases which show that some at least of the intelligences are not all that friendly disposed towards us. But we in Sky Scouts are of the general opinion that most are friendly, though it is not an “article of faith” of course. A good number of contact stories have as good a “ring of truth” about them as the hostile cases (perhaps the ones which have not had books written about them have a slightly greater chance of being genuine). I believe the recent “Yamski” case to be true, though this is only a personal opinion, of course.

  • Jimmy Goddard is a local organiser of the International Sky Scouts. He is to give a progress report on the Sky Scouts at the BUFORA Annual General Meeting on November 26th. He edits a UFO magazine called Saucer Forum which consists largely of letters from readers, discussing every aspect of the subject. Mr Goddard is well known for his work on “leys”, or alignments of prehistoric points, and his theory of a connection between them and the pattern of UFO activity.

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RECENT BOOKS

OTHER WORLDS THAN OURS by C. Maxwell Cade – Museum Press, London – 30/-

This, one of the latest books to draw attention to the increasing amount of scientific experimentation and speculation on the possibility of life on other planets, adopts a less conventional approach to the subject than most other, similar works.

Those who recognise the author’s name as that of the scientific consultant to Flying Saucer Review will not be disappointed if they hope to see some serious remarks about UFOs. Even so, while professing a proper degree of scepticism and scientific caution, he prefers to regard the sighting of an object over London on August 1st, 1963, as quite inexplicable, even though the photograph and description published indicate that it was a balloon with scientific instruments attached. Certainly there is nothing inconsistent with the sighting of a research balloon in the description given. On the other hand, he writes off the famous Papua sightings as “just too unreliable to qualify as evidence”.

In his introduction the author makes a plea for less bigotry in science and religion, and the following chapters maintain an open-minded approach which makes a welcome change from some of the more strait-laced treatises on the subject of extraterrestrial life. Doubtless, though, this will cause the book to be regarded as beyond the Pale by most of the scientific pundits.

There is an interesting chapter on the history of speculation about life on other worlds, followed by a review of various theories of the origin of life on earth. This leads on to a discussion on the evolution of intelligence and the controversial subject of psychical research.

Most of the other topics are dealt with in other books on the subject, but this does not lessen their interest, as these are fields in which important facts are continually being discovered and theories and opinions constantly changing.

In the last chapter the author expresses some pessimism over the eventual future of the human race if we should ever be taken over by extraterrestrial beings. It may turn out, he suggests, that such beings may be mechanical rather than biological in nature – a race of intelligent robots which gradually took over from their biological precursors. In support of this notion he points out how computers are becoming more efficient and capable of performing ever more complex tasks and he envisages the possibility of this process having been carried to its logical conclusion, somewhere in the galaxy.

This book provides useful background material for ufologists and plenty of food for thought.

STRANGERS FROM THE SKIES by Brad Steiger – Award Books, New York

This very readable paperback gives a number of detailed accounts of some of the more spectacular UFO incidents. The narrative begins with a dramatised reconstruction of an incident which is alleged to have occurred in Argentina in 1963, when a family claimed to have been besieged in their ranch-house for over forty minutes by several UFOs which shone weird beams of “tingling” light at them, while their occupants busied themselves at some mysterious task on a nearby railway track.

Enthusiasts will read of several familiar incidents, including the Papua sightings, the Warminster “Thing”, and the UFO that fell into a river at Iguape, Brazil. Other stories may be less familiar to many – for example the horrifying account of two young Swedes who claimed that the occupants of a UFO tried to kidnap them as they made their way home one foggy night in 1958. The UFO occupants were described as being “like globs of animated jelly”.

Readers are brought up to date in the final chapters with accounts of the Exeter, New Hampshire, sightings of 1965 and this year’s Michigan flap. The book ends by discussing the attitudes of the US Air Force to the UFOs.

This book is especially to be recommended for people who are just beginning to take an interest in UFOs and want an interesting, up-to-date résumé of the subject, illustrated by several good examples of the sort of problems we are up against.

UFOs AROUND THE WORLD – This is the title of a new UFO book, published by the New Jersey Association on Aerial Phenomena. The book includes contribution from Paul Norman, Luis Schonherr, H.C. Petersen, Prof. Hermann Oberth, Edgar Simons and others.

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MUFORG Bulletin, August 1966

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, August 1966.

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Edited by John Harney

COMMENT

Policy

From correspondence received, it seems that MUFORG Bulletin is regarded as one of ufology’s more conservative and sceptical (even sarcastic) publications. It is becoming obvious that most ufologists, whatever their views, prefer UFO reports, investigations and logical hypotheses to comment and even humour. While Mr Hopkins’s hilarious, but sincere, article about the IGAP meeting had some readers rolling on the floor, it was completely lost on others. In order to avoid misunderstanding of our attitude to the UFO problem, it is perhaps best that we confine the funnier aspects to private conversations and correspondence.

We wish to do all we can to encourage serious UFO research and we would be pleased to publish details of serious research projects, investigations and analyses of UFO “flaps”, etc.

We will still continue to make comments, as constructively as possible, on the conduct and attitudes of UFO organisations, but it should be realised that, whatever comments we make, or have made, no personal offence to anyone is, or was, intended.

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MUFORG NEWS

Chairman resigns Paul Hopkins has resigned the office of Chairman, having moved to the South of England.

“Spaceship” Film. Mr & Mrs Oldfield are not satisfied with the explanation of their “spaceship” film. They are planning to show it to DIGAP (Manchester). MUFORG members will be welcome to attend.

“Professor” owns up The “Professor of Herpetology”, whom we announced as our latest Honorary Member in the February issue of the Bulletin, has written to admit that he is only 13 years old. However, the Group decided, at their July meeting, that he could remain a member.

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PRIME MINISTER QUESTIONED ON UFOS

On July 19th, Sir John Langford-Holt (Con., Shrewsbury) asked the Prime Minister, whether, since the Defence Secretary was responsible only for the air defence implications of reports of unidentified flying objects he would allocate to a department the assessing of their wider implications.

Mr Wilson said he would not.

Sir John said that an enormous number of reports were coming in to the Government from people who were not all cranks. It would be proper for someone in the Government to take a serious interest in them.

Mr Wilson said that they were taken sufficiently seriously when there was adequate information. Many were reports of natural phenomena and those that were not were balloons and so on.

Mr Quintin Hogg (Con., St Marylebone) tried to make a bit of political capital out of the occasion. He asked: “Is it not widely known that these unidentified flying objects are the chickens coming home to roost in the ruins of the Prime Minister’s reputation?”

Mr Wilson replied: “I seem to remember thinking that particular question rather funny when it was put forward by the Member for West Flint (Mr Nigel Birch) some six years ago.” (Laughter)

The foregoing is a good example of the hilarity which frequently greets any serious attempt to draw public attention to the UFO problem.

(Credit: Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Liverpool Daily Post, 20/7/66)

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TRENCH INTERVIEW

The person who compiles the “Charles Greville” column in the Daily Mail followed the familiar “Lunchtime O’Booze” tradition of popular journalism when interviewing the Hon. Brinsley le Poer Trench about his latest book The Flying Saucer Story (Neville Spearman, 25/-).

While many of us disagree with some of Trench’s opinions and attitudes to the UFO problem, it must be remembered that he has done much useful work, as a sometime editor of Flying Saucer Review, and in stimulating interest in the historical implications of the UFO mystery. He deserves our sympathy concerning the Daily Mail interview.

Trench is quoted as saying: “One of the things that needs investigation is that flying saucers seem to follow the old pre-Roman leys, or ancient tracks . . . “

“Greville” comments: “It doesn’t explain, of course, whey there is so much activity in the United States. Or was the Roman Empire larger than I thought it was?”

How dim can one get?

(Daily Mail, 19/7/66. Monitor: Miss M.P. Black)

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RECENT NORTH WEST REPORTS

FRECKLETON, Lancashire. May 7th — Type I?

Two men, driving home to Blackpool, in the early morning, saw two lights flickering in a field at Freckleton. They got out of the car and saw that the lights were now revolving in a clockwise direction and then discovered that the thing was in the air. They got back into the car and drove on. The object followed them to the outskirts of Blackpool, then vanished.

(The People, 8/5/66. Monitor: Miss M.P. Black)

Note: There is an RAF station near Freckleton, at Warton.

TEMPLE SOWERBY, Westmorland. June –? Monster

Three men fishing in the River Eden, near Temple Sowerby Village, at night, suddenly spotted an “incredible thing” in the water. The creature was described as having large, sparkling eyes, of a red hue. It was described as being “like a bear”, its shoulders protruding above the water as it swam. A fourth man came on the scene. He broke a branch off a tree, making a loud crack, but the monster did not move. The man threw the branch at it, whereupon it made straight for the three anglers, who ran away. No further details have been forthcoming.

(Liverpool Echo, 20/6/66. Monitor: Miss M.P. Black)

LITHERLAND, Lancashire. July 18th — Weather balloon?

Schoolchildren, lying on the grass during the lunch hour, saw an oval, white object, drifting slowly across the sky.

(Liverpool Echo, 19/7/66)

The descriptions given in the Echo report are quite consistent with the sighting of a weather balloon. These balloons are sent up regularly from the radio-sonde station at Aughton, a few miles away from Litherland.

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RECENT TYPE I UFO REPORTS

OKLAHOMA, USA On Highway 70, near Texas-Oklahoma border. March 23rd

At about 5.30 a.m. an electronics teacher stopped his car when his path was blocked by a huge “perch-shaped” object, sitting across the highway at a 45 degree angle. Craft was estimated to be about 75 ft long and 8 ft high. Witness stopped his car about 50 yards away from it.

Witness said the craft had four brilliant lights on the side facing him. The craft had one porthole about 2 ft in diameter, and below it a door 4-4½ ft tall and about 2½ ft wide. Witness saw only one landing support but felt sure it had three others. A “human” was checking the underside of the craft with a torch. When witness got out of his car, the “human” crawled up some steps and slammed a door shut. The “human” was about 5 ft 9 ins and was wearing what looked like green-coloured fatigues. He was wearing stripes (presumably on his sleeves, like the chevrons worn by NCOs). He had a light complexion.

The craft was further described as being lit up inside and having a plastic bubble about 3 ft in diameter in the front. Witness said he saw serial numbers on the side, consisting of a letter T over a letter L and the numbers 4768 or 4168.

The craft was observed for 30 to 60 seconds. When it started up it made a noise like a high-speed drill. It lifted off the ground to a height of about 50 ft and then sped away at a speed estimated at about 700 mph.

When first received by ALOOF, this report was not thought to be of great value, but later developments have brought it up for further investigation.

(Credit: Interplanetary Intelligence Report, May-June 1966 and Robert Stiff, ALOOF)

MISSOURI, USA Liberty. April 1st

A woman, who claims to have been sighting UFOs on many occasions since last Christmas, sighted them again on the night of April 1st, while driving in her car. She followed them and saw them land near a farm house. She parked her car nearby and observed them for 2-3 hours. There were two of them. One landed on top of a hill while the other circled. During the time one of the objects was circling, a train passed by and the UFO turned off its lights and flew to the top of a nearby tree and hovered there until the train was gone, then turned its lights back on again. Also during this period the other UFO on top of the hill rose slightly and moved behind the hill. After the train had passed, both objects came to rest on top of the hill, a short distance apart.

Both objects were brightly lit at this time and no shape could be distinguished, although witness felt they must have been oval or egg-shaped. She continued to watch the objects and later glimpsed the shadow of a man or men. She then heard what sounded like two men shouting at one another very loudly in a foreign language. Shortly after this she heard sounds like those of a pig being butchered. (She knew from experience what that sounded like.) She said that these sounds scared her and her mother (who was with her in the car), so they did not approach the objects any closer. During this time one of the objects blinked out and a pint of green light was observed to come from it. She did not see the operators in the flesh, but from their shadows they seemed to be of human size and shape. During the time the objects were seen, bright, star-like sharp points or cones of light, about 18-20 ft in length, were seen to come from them. The objects were estimated to be about as big as a helicopter or a car, and were too bright for any structural details to be observed. Shortly after the shouting and “slaughtered pig” noises, the objects took off and flew rapidly away, with the witness giving chase for a while.

When the incident was investigated, no physical traces were found in the area of the reported landing.

(Credit: Interplanetary Intelligence Report, May-June 1966)

PENNSYLVANIA, USA near Erie. August 1st

An unidentified flying object was reported to have landed near Erie, Pa. The incident was investigated by Air Force Major William S. Hall, of Youngstown, Ohio, who refused to make any comments. Witnesses described the object as “cube-shaped, whitish or metallic in colour”. A teen-age girl insisted that she saw a “formless” creature with a head and shoulders but no legs near where the object was supposed to have landed.

A photograph published with the press report shows a dragging, claw-like imprint in the sand, with three Air Force markers surrounding it.

This incident is to be investigated by the Ohio state office of ALOOF.

(Credit: Robert Stiff, ALOOF, quoting Oklahoma Journal, 3/8/66)

FRANCE, Attigneville, Haute-Marne. March 26th

A 54-year-old shepherd, M. Jean Voilquin, was guarding his sheep at the time of his sighting, which took place at about 1.45 a.m. He saw an object approaching him which he at first took to be a piece of paper, blown by the wind. When it came closer he saw that it was a wheel-shaped object, moving and rotating perpendicular to the ground and just above it. The object followed a perfectly straight course and followed the contours of the ground. The witness had it in sight while it covered a distance of about 500 metres. The sheep were frightened by the object and grouped together as it passed them.

The “wheel” was a milky-white object, with a number of “teeth” sticking out around the rim. The object was about 80 cm in diameter and about 15-20 cm thick. It appeared to be thicker at the centre than at the rim. The “teeth” were bright red. The witness compared them to the teeth of a potato harvesting machine.

The object moved at a speed of about 25-30 km per hour, and passed within about 20 metres of the witness. He noticed that it did not seem to be entirely rigid, because when it came in contact with the ground it seemed to give slightly (as if it was made of some elastic substance).

The investigator of this report (M. Robert Roussel), who works as a reporter and photographer for La Liberté de l’Est, draws attention to a very similar incident, which took place at Puy-Saint-Galmier (Puy-de-Dôme), on May 31st, 1955, at 11 a.m.

(Credit: Phénomènes Spatiaux, June 1966)

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TYPE I UFO REPORTS

INVESTIGATION, RESEARCH AND HYPOTHESES

We have begun to concentrate on Type I reports for several reasons:

  1. There is generally little room for misinterpretation in these reports.
  2. Many of them give a great deal of circumstantial detail which can usefully be compared and contrasted with other reports.
  3. There are not – so far – an overwhelming number of such reports.
  4. Some ufologists feel that these reports must hold the key to the UFO mystery, in that, if properly investigated and analysed they should be capable of being proved or disproved – as objectively real occurrences – to the satisfaction of most reasonable people.

These reports have increased considerably during the past few years, so it is important that we begin to compile catalogues of them, to facilitate proper analysis, before they become too numerous.

One of the main difficulties facing those who begin to compile files of these reports is the question of what to put in and what to leave out. In this field we must, of course be reasonably selective, but it is difficult to be selective without being prejudiced.

The subject of ufology has, during the twenty years of its existence, been bedevilled by prejudice, preconception, obscurantism, the “will to believe” and the “will not to believe”. After twenty years ufologists, amateur and professional, are still floundering helplessly in search of a sensible and consistent working hypothesis with which to deal with the vast amount of data which has been amassed. No attitude or approach to the problem – no single theory – seems to hold up when subjected to careful scrutiny. The opposing attitudes of extreme scepticism and extreme credulity have been shown time and again, to anyone who has bothered to study the subject at all, to be equally nonsensical. The truth must lie somewhere in between.

In order to avoid personal prejudices entering into our investigations we propose, initially, to record all reports of UFOs landing or at a very low altitude and all “operators” with or without UFOs, including contactees. It may then be possible, at the analysis stage, to sort out the genuine reports from the hoaxes, etc., that is, assuming that some of the reports are genuine.

We wish, through the medium of this Bulletin, to do all we can to help the progress of serious UFO research and investigation, particularly with reference to Type I reports. We would like to hear from other ufologists who are working on Type I reports and we hope they will send us details of their working methods and any significant discoveries they may have made, for publication in this Bulletin. We are also willing to publish requests for information and co-operation.

Information and informed opinion on the following questions would be useful to workers in this field, especially to beginners:

  1. Which are the best methods to use in compiling card indexes, catalogues, charts, statistics, etc? Do you use a code to classify the chief characteristics of these reports?
  2. Which are the most significant details to look for when compiling lists of reports or analysing them, and why?
  3. How reliable are the people (amateur and professional) who investigate these reports? Do they tend to put words into the witnesses’ mouths, or to ask leading questions?
  4. To what extent are these reports distorted by sensational journalism, translations, national characteristics, etc? Can you give any examples?

There appear to be two main theories about UFOs:

  1. The whole subject is a modern myth, compounded of misinterpretations, illusions, hallucinations, rumours, hoaxes, etc.

They are spaceships from other planets.

Some preliminary discussion of these theories may be of interest at this stage. We hope that our readers will contribute their ideas to help us in our search for the best working hypothesis.

The first theory is subscribed to by most scientists and by most people in general. It has often been pointed out, however, that most of the people who have publicly expressed their extreme scepticism have either never studied the subject, or have only a very superficial knowledge of it and are apparently unaware of the nature and extent of the problem. Patrick Moore, for example, gives the impression that he has only heard of the activities of the crackpot “saucer cultists” and seems to be unaware that a number of people, some of them highly qualified, are engaged on a serious study of the subject.

It is also glaringly obvious that the scepticism of many scientists, particularly astronomers, is motivated by prejudice or extreme conservatism, analogous to the case of the people who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope to avoid seeing something which contradicted the astronomical theories prevailing at that time. It is becoming increasingly evident, too, that the publicly expressed disbelief of some scientists, when confronted with questions on UFOs, is not genuine. Some of them have, in private conversations with UFO enthusiasts, shown that they have an open mind on the subject, or even that they tend to favour the interplanetary spacecraft hypothesis. Their public displays of scepticism are merely to avoid ridicule and the disapproval of their more rigidly orthodox colleagues.

These emotional and personal reactions of scientists to our subject do not, however, weaken their theory that all UFO observers are either mistaken or lying. There are many indications that seem to support the theory, but very few UFO researchers have adopted it as a working hypothesis, the most notable one who has adopted it being Dr Menzel. Menzel, though, is rather weak on Type I reports. He seems to deal with them by simply disbelieving them and leaving it at that. In Britain, Mr Alan Sharp occupies the position of “Devil’s Advocate”, from the point of view of the UFO “believer”. His painstaking investigations of craters, purportedly made by UFOs, resulting in his finding perfectly natural explanations for almost all of them, has been stimulating to serious researchers and has, no doubt, prodded many enthusiasts into taking more trouble to make sure of their facts before jumping to conclusions.

It seems the main usefulness of those who pursue the idea that all UFOs can be explained as mistakes or hoaxes is in the elimination of all the false reports, thus helping to clear away the “smoke” so that we can get a glimpse of the “fire”.

The interplanetary or, rather, interstellar hypothesis of UFOs is very simple in essence, but very complicated when we begin to speculate on the implications of it. Variations on this idea are discussed at length in most UFO books. Its one great attraction is that, by assuming the existence of a Superior Galactic Community and by ascribing various abilities, qualities and motives to its members, it is possible to explain practically every phase of UFO activity. It is also possible to extend this hypothesis to give plausible reasons why the reality of UFOs is not, and cannot be, believed in by most people, or publicly acknowledged by their governments at the present time.

Some people have already made their choice between these two hypotheses. Others remain uncommitted. Most of our readers, I think, tend to favour the second hypothesis. In this case it should be possible, by careful analysis of the reports and painstaking on-the-spot investigations, to prove the truth of it. For, if our activities in this sphere are to be of any lasting value, we must be able to convince not only ourselves, but all reasonable people.

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“ODD” ORGANISATIONS AND UFO PETITION

Our remarks in the June issue of MUFORG Bulletin, about the M.I.A. Petition and the “odd” organisations produced some reactions, favourable and unfavourable. The letters received have, to some extent, cleared up the points we raised.

An important point was made by Mr Martyn C. Harper, who is the organiser of the Midland Interplanetary Association’s national skywatch. He points out that the reason for M.I.A.’s association with the Cosmic Brotherhood Association is to obtain data on sightings, etc. and that M.I.A. does not subscribe to their policies. This sort of thing, then, presumably applies to other UFO organisations and their various exotic affiliations. There is also the problem that many UFO organisations sport weird titles which may or may not reflect their present policies and attitudes to the subject. It thus seems that the only objective way of judging whether an organisation is “rather odd” or not is by the quality of its published work.

With regard to the UFO Petition, BUFORA has decided to ignore it and their official views on it seem to coincide with those of MUFORG. However, the Secretary of M.I.A., Mr Derek Samson, informs us that ours is the only group that is not taking part in it and that hundreds of extra Petition forms are having to be printed.

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RECENT BOOKS

ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON by Jacques Vallée – Neville Spearman, 25/-

The British edition of this book has at last been published. It was well worth waiting for. It is undoubtedly one of the most objective and important books which has been published on the subject of UFOs.

This book is a great encouragement to those who wish to take part in a serious, rational investigation of the UFO problem. The nature and extent of the problem is clearly set out. Jacques Vallée is the first UFO writer to make quite clear what it is that we are investigating. He points out, in the Preface: “The phenomenon under study is not the UFO, which is not reproducible in the laboratory, but the report written by the witness. This report can be observed, studied and communicated by professional scientists; thus defined, the phenomenon we investigate is obviously real. Our problem is no longer to explain but to analyse.”

Ancient and modern UFO reports and the various theories advanced to account for them are discussed. The author also outlines ideas whereby methods of investigation and the quality of research can be improved.

He also has a few words to say about amateur UFO groups and reviews and he doesn’t think much of them, with one or two exceptions. He states that their only positive contribution has been the publication of sightings.

This work is a real breakthrough in UFO literature and should be required reading for every ufologist.

THE FLYING SAUCER STORY by Brinsley Le Poer Trench – Neville Spearman, 25/-

This is a fairly run of the mill flying saucer book. The author lists important sightings and goes on, in the later chapters, to discuss such things as the reports of crashed UFOs, contactees and the alleged activities of such organisations as the C.I.A. to keep “the truth” from the public.

However, in the last chapter, Trench finally reveals what he is getting at. He is Chairman of a body known as the International Sky Scouts. This organisation welcomes young people as members with the object, apparently, of preparing mankind for membership of the Galactic Community. Trench, you see, is not only convinced that this Community exists, but is watching and waiting for the day when the Earth and its people will be fit to join it. He does not make it clear in his book, though, how he arrived at this definite conclusion, apart from by wishful thinking. I have an uneasy suspicion, though, that any prospective member of the Sky Scouts who, before committing himself, asked for some convincing proof of the existence and the good intentions of these “space neighbours” would be accused of “idle curiosity”!.

New American UFO Books A book by Frank Edwards, entitled Flying Saucers – Serious Business has been well received by serious UFO researchers in the USA. It does not appear to be available in Britain yet. The publishers are Lyle Stuart, New York. A new paperback, Strangers from the Skies, has just been published. It apparently deals with Type I reports. No further details of it are available at present.

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Phénomènes Spatiaux. This review, the quarterly journal of the Groupement d’Étude des Phénomènes Aériens et Objets Spatiaux Insolites, deserves a wider readership. It is particularly to be recommended to UFO researchers for accounts of investigations of individual UFO reports. These accounts contain all possible details and thus provide a valuable record of these occurrences for future reference. In short, it is well worth brushing up your French in order to read this magazine.

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ANNOUNCEMENT

The Truth About Flying Saucers

INTERPLANETARY INTELLIGENCE REPORT

  • Established in August 1957, the INTERPLANETARY INTELLIGENCE OF UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS, (IIOUFO) was organized for a scientific investigation of unidentified flying objects, UFOs.
  • Now an international organization with Representatives in 35 Foreign Countries, with 50 United States Offices, backed by a Panel of prominent scientists, we are endeavouring to add what information we can to solve this the mystery of the ages.
  • Membership of the IIOUFO is 3.00 dollars a year in the USA. Elsewhere 4.50 dollars. Members of the IIOUFO receive our official publication the Interplanetary Intelligence Report, which is published six times a year and is 8 pages, and an official IIOUFO membership card.
  • The duties of IIOUFO members are to report UFO activity in their area and do investigation work for the IIOUFO.
  • The Interplanetary Intelligence Report is recognized as one of the leading UFO publications. The IIOUFO welcomes your articles for publication along with your UFO sightings and photographs.
  • The IIOUFO was permitted by authorization from the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to visit and question the Air Force Project Blue Book files at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio in September 1964.
  • The IIOUFO was featured by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) special 1½ hour UFO national program of August 21, 1965.
  • The IIOUFO was featured in a French Broadcasting System UFO documentary movie.
  • The IIOUFO was the only UFO organization to do on the spot investigation during the August 1965 historic wave of sightings.
  • The IIOUFO was the organization to bring you the famous Tulsa, Oklahoma photograph taken during the wave on August 2, 1965.
  • The headquarters of IIOUFO is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Overseas mail is handled by Mr Robert Stiff, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

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MUFORG Bulletin, June 1966

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, June 1966

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Edited by John Harney

COMMENT

The Publicity Boomerang by P.K. Haythornthwaite

The recent press coverage of UFOs has no doubt caused many ufologists much rejoicing. Cats will have been noted peeping out of bags everywhere, and the great truth to be on the verge of revelation. Other UFO investigators will have viewed the publicity wave with mixed feelings.

On the one hand, such publicity brings home to those who might not otherwise have been aware of it that the UFO is still very much with us. If some of these are encouraged to pursue the matter further, this is excellent.

On the other hand, certain consequences may be far from beneficial. Firstly, the publicity itself may tend to alter some aspects of the very phenomenon we are studying. In particular, hoaxers are given their cue and an already confused situation becomes more so. Secondly, a publicity wave can be followed by a period of reaction when news media will not touch the subject with a barge-pole, particularly when a much-ballyhooed sighting turns out to have a mundane explanation, as with the Cannock cine-film.

The conclusion seems to be that a steady trickle of serious coverage is better than a short period of sensationalism, and that UFO investigators would be well advised to take care not to encourage such sensationalism. At times of UFO flap, they would be wise to put in words of caution to the effect that all sightings should be examined critically and that many, though not necessarily all, are found to have conventional explanations.

It also seems that the aim of organisations such as NICAP, to achieve publicity breaks and Congressional hearings may be misguided in many respects. Encouragement of serious research by technically able people is almost certainly of more long-term value to UFO research than the achievement of mass support and general excitement.

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MUFORG NEWS

Officers. At the Group’s Annual General Meeting, held at the Free Church Centre, Tarleton Street, Liverpool, on May 11th, the following were elected officers for the year 1966-7:-

  • Chairman: P. Hopkins
  • Vice-Chairman: T. Dixon
  • Secretary: R.D. Hughes
  • Minuting Secretary: J. Harney
  • Astronomy Secretary: L. Geoghegan
  • Librarian: J. Harnwell
  • Committee Members: Miss I. Amery, R. Donnelly, G.T. Woods

Midland Interplanetary Association. The A.G.M. rejected a proposal from the Midland Interplanetary Association that MUFORG should become associated with them. However, there was no reason why they should not keep in touch with M.I.A.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Sir,

It appears to me, as an ordinary UFO Researcher, that too many UFO Organizations in this Country are indulging in profitless “hate campaigns” against each other, when energies should be directed towards investigation and research. I know I speak for a great number of other ordinary UFO Researchers when I say that we are fed up with continually hearing and reading pro- and anti-Adamski propaganda. Every way we turn we are confronted with “Adamski is a God” and Adamski is a liar” phrases. The BUFORA Journal, Orbit (Tyneside Journal), MUFORG Bulletin (Merseyside), I.G.A.P., Mr Kenyon (President, Nottingham Group), and so I could go on, are all guilty.

Let all UFO Researchers in this Country keep an open mind on all aspects of Ufology.

Let us accept that different people are interested in different sections of the subject.

Let us respect those who hold different views than our own.

Let us not condemn the “factual and dogmatic” approach or the “Adamski” approach.

Let each of us admit that he might not have the whole answer to the UFO problem.

Let us all concentrate on whatever branch of the subject interests us most, and above all let the Organisations and people who are participating in this verbal warfare cease their useless bickerings.

ANDY MAYERS, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

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INVESTIGATION by P.K. Haythornthwaite

Sighting at Upholland, 2035 BST, 21st March, 1966

This sighting was reported briefly in MUFORG Bulletin for April, 1966, quoting the Liverpool Echo of 24th March. I was able to interview the witness, Mr Norman Comber, on the 25th.

There is little doubt that this was a genuine observation, and the witness was quite shaken by his experience. The object was observed for some 3-4 seconds, was orange in colour and the size of a sixpence held at arm’s length, travelling about 120° of arc during observation. As reported in the Echo, the object was followed by a trail (about half as long as the object). However, the witness’s sketch shows a plain oval shape, with no trace of the small dome mentioned by the Echo.

The witness’s estimates of size were based on his impression that it was ‘twice as high as the houses’, but in view of the great speed and complete lack of noise, together with the very brief period of observation, it would not be wise to place much reliance on this impression.

To sum up, the details of the report appear to be quite compatible with the observation of a meteor of the fireball variety. A weather report from Liverpool Airport shows that the sky was clear enough for such an observation to be made.

A very similar observation also occurred at Orrell some two weeks before. At 2100 GMT on 7th March, 1966, Mrs Betty Webb observed a round orange object about half the size of a sixpence held at arm’s length, with a flaming red trail 2-3 times as long as the object’s diameter. It pursued a straight course from NE, elevation 30°, to SW horizon, in the space of 2-3 seconds.

No noise was reported, and once again it seems likely that the object was a fireball.

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B.U.F.O.R.A. NORTHERN CONVENTION

The B.U.F.O.R.A. Northern Convention will take place on Saturday, September 10th, 1966, at the Textile Hall, Westgate, Bradford, 1.

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“SPACESHIP” FILM AND WIGAN “LION” MYSTERIES CLEARED UP

The “Spaceship” film, which received so much publicity, was investigated by a BBC team from the programme, “Tomorrow’s World”. They took off in a plane similar to the one flown in by Mrs Oldfield, and shot a surprisingly similar film. The illusion was caused by reflections of the tailplane in the glass of the porthole.

The Wigan “lion” mystery ended some weeks ago with the capture of a large Alsatian dog which had been running wild. It seems that all the witnesses were mistaken after all, as there have been no reports since.

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QUESTIONS ON FLYING OBJECTS

(from the Bebington News & Advertiser, June 4th)

Dr Edwin Brooks, M.P. for Bebington asked the Secretary of Defence, in the House of Commons last week how many separate pieces of man-made equipment now circling the earth outside the atmosphere had been detected by tracking stations under his control.

Mr Merlyn Rees, replying, said more than 400 were observed during May.

Dr Brooks also enquired how many reports of unidentified flying objects were reported by his department throughout Great Britain during 1964 and 1965 and how many of these had since not been satisfactorily explained.

Mr Rees answered that in 1964 there had been 74 reports, four of them unexplained, while in 1965 there had been 56 reports, 14 of them unexplained.

In the cases that had not been satisfactorily explained the information given had generally been too imprecise or inadequate to support any further investigation.

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SIX SAUCERS SIGHTED AT ST HELENS

A policeman and his wife at St Helens (Lancashire), claim to have seen six UFOs, according to reports appearing in several newspapers on May 17th. Unfortunately the newspaper reports do not give the date of the sighting.

The incident took place early on a dull, grey morning. The policeman, Donald Cameron, looked out of the back window of his home at St Helens. He saw six glowing, white, hovering above the houses at the end of the housing estate.

P.C. Cameron said: “One was obviously the mother ship as it was bigger than the rest. The smaller ones were oval-shaped, but the large one had a cup-shaped dome.

“I shouted to my wife and she watched them with me for half a minute before they disappeared at a great speed towards Manchester.

“No one else on the estate that I know of saw them, but it was early in the morning and our house is the only one that faces in this particular direction.”

The Chief Constable of St Helens, Mr A. Atherton, described P.C. Cameron as a “reliable policeman”.

ST HELENS UFO SIGHTING – INVESTIGATION

Since the above item was written, P.K. Haythornthwaite has provided the Editor with details of his investigation of the St Helens sighting. The item was compiled entirely from newspaper reports, which contained several inaccuracies. It provides a good example of the dangers of relying too heavily on press reports as a source of UFO information.

  • Investigation

The sighting took place at Parr, St Helens, Lancashire, on May 10th, 1966, at 1030 BST.

The witness was visited in his home on two occasions, firstly on 16th May, 6 days after the sighting, and secondly on 23rd May. On the first occasion time was a little short, and the second visit was made to clear up one or two points, and to make more accurate estimates of some of the sighting parameters.

A letter in the St Helens Reporter shortly after the sighting appealing for any further witnesses to come forward, produced no relevant replies.

  • Behaviour of objects

The objects were first noted moving from right to left at a steady speed, their angle of elevation dropping. This carried on for about 15 seconds, at which point the objects hovered for about another 15 seconds. They then set off at high speed and disappeared behind a nearby house in the space of about 2 seconds. The objects moved all together and did not appear to alter formation during motion. As they moved away rapidly before disappearing, their angular size reduced very rapidly, being at least halved. The objects gave the impression of disappearing quickly into the distance, or of melting away, before being finally obscured by the house.

  • Appearance of objects

All the objects were elliptical. The dome on the larger object was a figment of some newspaper reporter’s imagination. At the time of the sighting the witness assumed that the objects were three-dimensional, but more as the result of the objects’ formation than of any shadowing or other evidence of solidity of the objects themselves.

  • Data

When first seen the objects were at an elevation of 10°, and their direction was 67° (W of N). When hovering their elevation was 5°, bearing 74°. At disappearance their elevation was 4°, bearing 75°.

The apparent sizes of the objects at a distance of 2 ft 7 ins (arm’s length) were 0.3 inches for the group, 0.17 inches for the large object and 0.09 inches for the small objects.

Weather at Liverpool Airport, 1020 BST: – cloud 5/8 at 2500 ft, surface wind 260° (true), 04 knots. 2000 ft wind, 300° (true), 18 knots.

Calculations show that, as the objects were seen against the clouds, their maximum distances were, at A, about 3 miles, and at B, about 6 miles, and that the maximum distance of travel between A and B was about 3 miles. This is equivalent to around 700 m.p.h. Taking a distance of 3 miles as representative, the sizes were, group 145 ft, large object 80 ft, small objects 40 ft. The direction of motion of the objects was roughly against the wind at 2000 ft.

The witness was certain that at St Helens at 1030 BST the sky was completely overcast. This does not tie in very well with the weather report however. It would seem to be still an open question whether the objects were self-luminous, or were reflecting the light of the sun.

The witness stated that he had very occasionally seen planes in the part of the sky in which he saw the objects, but that these moved much more slowly than the objects he witnessed.

The observation was made through window glass, but a check revealed nothing in the room which might have given rise to reflections, and there were apparently no faults in the glass.

  • The witness – P.C. Cameron, Parr, St Helens

The witness seemed a sensible individual, and not likely to imagine things. (Note that his wife also saw the objects, and confirmed the details given by her husband.) He was co-operative, and took the trouble to give the information required as accurately as possible. He had no strong views as to the nature of his observation. The conclusion that he had seen “flying saucers” was given, not dogmatically, but as a result of his being unable to think of any other possible explanation.

The witness had been mildly interested in the subject of UFOs before his sighting, but admitted to having very little knowledge of it, having been unable to obtain suitable reading material.

An inspection of the witness’s bookshelves showed that he had an enquiring mind and wide interests. In short, he seemed a very much above average witness.

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THE SQUARE SAUCER OF BOLAZEC, or the Flying Tractor

The March, 1966, issue of Phénomènes Spatiaux, the quarterly journal of G.E.P.A. (Paris), carries an excellent report of an alleged UFO landing at Bolazec (Nord-Finistère), on January 16th, 1966, at 4 o’clock in the morning.

There was one witness, a Mr Eugène Coquil, who was driving in his Dauphine car along the Morlaix-Callac road. As he was approaching the Bolazec-Plougras crossroads, he noticed lights on a hillside which he at first thought were those of a tractor. As he knew the area very well he knew that only such a vehicle could get to the place where he saw the lights. Thinking that a farmer might have met with an accident, he stopped his car and went to investigate.

He had only gone a very short distance when he saw the “tractor” moving in his direction. He was surprised to hear no engine sound and the lights seemed too high up for something on the ground. Then the object passed over a mound less than ten metres away from him and he saw that it was flying, in complete silence, at an altitude of 4 or 5 metres.

This was too much for M. Coquil and he panicked and ran back to his car. The object followed him and hovered over his car as he opened the door. When he got in the object set down on the other side of the road.

The witness noticed that the object had four luminous columns with a luminosity similar to that of neon signs. He was almost certain that he saw portholes on the side.

Investigations of this incident were conducted by G.E.P.A. and by the magazine Noir et Blanc.

Supporting testimony eventually came from the inhabitants of houses near where the incident took place. They admitted, with some reluctance, that they had seen strange lights on the night of January 15th-16th.

The witness was definite that the object was square in shape, measuring at its base 3.5 x 3.5 metres. Viewed from underneath there were no projections on it. The witness’s sketch, published in Noir et Blanc, suggested that the object’s sides sloped inwards towards the top, whereas the sketch which he sent to G.E.P.A. showed perpendicular sides, 1.2 metres high.

The article in Phénomènes Spatiaux points out that a square UFO is something new in ufology. Also, the investigators were greatly impressed by the witness.

Readers may care to compare this sighting with the one reported in Vol. 12, No. 2 of Flying Saucer Review, on page 35, under the heading, “UFO takes to the Cotswold roads”.

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EXCHANGES RECEIVED

  • UFO Sighter (Winter 1966, Spring 1966), edited by Allen H. Greenfield, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Probe, the Controversial Phenomena Magazine (September-October 1965, November-December 1965, March-April 1966) Editors: Joseph L. Ferriere, Armand Laprade, Worcester Massachusetts.
  • CFSIB Newsletter (March-April 1966), published by the Civilian Flying Saucer Investigations Bureau, Steve A. Windover, Sec./Treas.
  • CFSIB, Midland, Michigan.
  • UFOLOG Information Sheet 29 April 1966, No. 26), published by the Isle of Wight Unidentified Flying Object Investigation Society, edited by J.W. Feakins, Freshwater, Isle of Wight.
  • Phénomènes Spatiaux (March 1966), journal of the Groupement d’Étude des Phénomènes Aériens et Objets Spatiaux Insolites, edited by René Fouéré, Paris.
  • GESAG Bulletin (No. 7, 1966), journal of the Groupement pour l’Étude des Sciences d’Avant-Garde, edited by Jacques Bonabot, Bruges, Belgium

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UFO PETITION — by the Editor

The Midland Interplanetary Association is getting up a petition to the Prime Minister, asking the Government to set up a National Investigation Committee and to release all UFO data to the public. They hope that all groups will participate and that the occasion will be attended by a great deal of publicity.

On our front page, Mr Haythornthwaite has given his views on UFO publicity. I believe these views reflect those of most MUFORG members.

Considering that MIA is associated with some rather odd organisations, including the Japanese “Cosmic Brotherhood Association”, it will be seen that the publicity attending this petition could be very damaging to the progress of serious UFO research. This is a great pity, as MIA itself is engaged on what could be a very useful project, the holding of regular skywatches in co-operation with other groups.

It will be interesting to see what BUFORA will do to attempt to forestall any harmful effects of this ill-advised petition.

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MUFORG Bulletin, April 1966

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin. April 1966

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Edited by John Harney

COMMENT

Since 1947 UFO sightings have tended to come in waves, first in one part of the world, then another. Last year saw what seemed to some people to be the beginning of a change in the pattern. Instead of last year’s “flap” dying down, reports have continued to pour in.

Of course, with so many satellites in orbit, high speed aircraft, weather and research balloons, there are bound to be a lot of vague reports of “mysterious” lights in the sky. However, a feature of sightings during the past year has been the large number of reports of UFOs seen on or near the ground and described in detail.

There now seems to be a general expectation among seasoned ufologists that we are in for an even more spectacular parade of UFOs in the near future. Unfortunately, these expectations, when pubkicly voiced, may help to generate a spate of spurious reports, for which the popular science pundits can readily provide explanations, whilst twisting the details of genuine reports to fit their off-the-peg explanations.

The disturbingly lareg lunatic fringe of ufology will have a marvellous time, too, no doubt. Reception committees galore will be formed to welcome “our Space Brothers”. Those who attend lectures given by the saucerers in a spirit of idle curiosity will come away converted and eager to spread the good news. “Flying saucers are real!” they will cry exultantly.

Meanwhile others will be patiently and carefully checking the reports and trying to separate facts from fantasies. They will be less cosily reassuring than the pundits and less amusing than the crackpots, but they are the people we would like to hear from.

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MUFORG NEWS

Hon. Sec. resigns. Alan Rawlinson has resigned the office of Hon. Secretary of MUFORG, due to pressure of work, but he remains a member of the Group. His resignation was accepted with regrets at a Committee meeting held on April 2nd. This will be a great loss, as Mr Rawlinson founded the Group three years ago and has been its most active member.

IGAP Meeting. The recent IGAP lecture on Adamski in Manchester seems to have disgusted most of the MUFORG members who attended it. The views of one member are published elsewhere in the Bulletin.

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SKYWATCHING SCHEME

The Midland Interplanetary Association holds sky-watches on the night of the last Saturday of each month. Other groups are encouraged to take part. The Hon. Secretary of the Association is Mr D.C. Samson, Solihull, Warwickshire.

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BOOTLE UFO SIGHTINGS

Alan Rawlinson provides the following sketches and details from his investigations of UFO sightings in Bootle.

(Numbers refer to numbers on sketches.)

1. February 4th 6.30 p.m.

  • Brighter than moon. Hovered, changed brightness and throbbed, appeared solid. White, with hazy, blue line along centre and orange light on one end. Resembled cigar with end chopped off. Appeared in W, then disappeared “in a flash” towards E. Elevation 45-50 degs. Blurred edges.
  • Two witnesses watched it for about 5 mins. Size: twoce as big as a plane. Distance: 3 miles.
  • Weather: clear sky, fairly warm, no wind, just after rain. Comparative size: twice as big as 6d at arm’s length.
  • Shortly after object disappeared, three planes appeared and went off in same direction.

2. February 5th 6.0 p.m.

  • Round object seen entering a bluish-white cloud. Two witnesses. Visible for 4-5 mins.

3. February 4th 6.0 p.m.

  • Brighter than the moon. Hovered, rotated, changed brightness, throbbed. Solid. Blurred edges. First seen in E, then increased speed and shot off in N direction, leaving trail of white light. Elevation: 60 degs. White glow.
  • One witness watched for 3-4 mins. Height: 600 ft. Distance: 1/3 mile. Speed: faster than jet plane.
  • Weather: clear sky, cold, no wind, moist.
  • Comparative size: shilling at arm’s length.

4. February 3rd 11.30 p.m.

  • Brighter than the moon. Throbbed and left trail of light. Appeared to be solid object, glowing with white light. Sharp edges.
  • First came from NE, then climbed higher and disappeared in N direction. Approximate elevation when first seen: 30 degs.
  • Two witnesses, who watched it from bedroom window, described it as a “luminous ball”. Had no idea what it was. Visible for about 3 minutes. Photographed on FP3 film with W. German camera set at f3.5, 1/25th, focused on infinity.
  • Comparative size: “as large as the sun”.
  • Weather: clear sky, cool, dry, light breeze.

5. February 4th 8.30 p.m.

  • Brighter than moon. Rotated and throbbed, appeared solid, had sharp edges. First appeared from W, then shot off in E direction. Elevation 30 degs.
  • Eight witnesses were travelling at 25 m.p.h. in car when first seen. Visible for 4-5 mins. Bigger than plane and faster. Height: 600 ft. Distance ½ mile.
  • Weather: no clouds, cool, no wind, moist, just after rain.

Possible Explanations

The MUFORG Committee, at their meeting on April 2nd, considered some possib;e explanations for the sightings. It will be seen, though, that these explanations depend on the theory that the witnesses may have unwittingly exaggerated, or made inaccurate observations.

  1. Possibly the Russian satellite, Cosmos 97.
  2. Insufficient information given. Possibly a satellite.
  3. No explanation suggested.
  4. It has been suggested that this may have been a fireball, or even ball lightning. However, the photograph shows a well-defined, round object, with what seem to be tiny wisps of vapour trailing from it.
  5. No explanation suggested.

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OTHER NORTH WEST SIGHTINGS

WIGAN INCIDENTS

Three witnesses reported seeing a flying saucer early in the morning of March 11th, at Shevington, near Wigan.

The witnesses were Mrs Faith Hudson, of Inward Drive, Shevington, her daughter Pauline, and her daughter’s boy-friend, Frank Round. Mrs Hudson described the object as follows (according to the Liverpool Daily Post):

“The object had a sort of glow about it and was flying up and down and sideways. It disappeared for a time and then came back. Finally it went off towards Gathurst. It seemed the size of an aeroplane.”

This sighting lasted for about a quarter of an hour.

Twelve hourse earlier two objects were sighted by rugby players at Saddleworth, near Oldham. The players thought they were meteors at first, until they doubled back on themselves. Manchester Weather Centre suggested that they could have been balloons from the radiosonde station at Aughton, near Liverpool.

In the Liverpool Echo, on March 24th, there appeared a report of a sighting at Up Holland, near Wigan (Up Holland is about four miles away from Shevington). The report is vague about the time and date, but it was probably the evening of March 22nd.

The witness, Mr Norman Comber, licensee of the Plough and Harrow Inn, Ormskirk Road, Up Holland, described the object as being about 15 ft long and dark orange in colour. It was round and flat, with a small dome. It appeared to be low down and it flew fast, leaving a thin trail behind it. It appeared to be illuminated from the inside.

On top of all this, another Wigan mystery received wide press publicity on March 29th and 30th.

Witnesses reported seeing a mysterious animal, like a small lion. The affair was similar to the persistent reports of a mysterious animal, or animals, in the South of England throughout 1963 and 1964. Readers are referred to an article by Charles Bowen in Volume 10, No. 6, of Flying Saucer Review, in which he postulates a possible connection between such mystery animals as UFOs.

The incident that brought the Wigan “lion” to the attention of the national press seems to have been a report by Farmer Smith, of Shepherds Farm, Aspull, near Wigan. Mr Smith reported large paw prints around his outbuildings and in a field.

The prints were said to be four and a half inches across and two feet six inches between each stride. The prints were made on the night of March 27th. Police took plaster casts, to take to Belle Vue Zoo, Manchester, for evaluation by experts.

Two weeks earlier, a woman at Worsley, 12 miles away, reported seeing a lion “loping along” in her back garden. She and her husband were positive it was not a dog.

Police found more paw-prints by a canal at Abram, near Wigan, after another “lion” sighting. The witness said that it was definitley not a dog.

Mr Raymond Legge, superintendent of Belle Vue Zoo said that the paw=prints were probably made by an outsize dog.

All witnesses, however, were unanimous in their belief that it was not a dog. It is difficult to imagine how such a dog could fail to be caught, or its owner fail to be identified.

A further report in the Daily Telegraph, on March 31st, tended to undermine the large dog theory. A lorry driver reported to the police that he nearly ran over a lion on the A6, about 15 miles from Aspull. Police said that the driver, Mr John Waring, once worked with a circus and was most definite that the animal was a full-grown lion. It had jumped over a hedge.

WILMSLOW SIGHTING

A sighting at Wilmslow, near Manchester, received wide publicity on March 3rd and 4th, although the incident occurred in January.

While he was on his beat in Wilmslow on January 7th, at about 4.10 a.m., Police Constable Perks heard a high-pitched whining noise. He then saw the object hovering 100 yards away, 35 feet from the ground, surrounded by a greenish glow. After a couple of seconds he could make out its shape. It was about 30 feet long and “went up in three sections”, the top one looking something like a dustbin lid. The object remained hovering for about 5 seconds and then shot away horizontally at a tremendous speed, taking only about one second to disappear from view.

A dog had been barking nearby for about an hour before the sighting.

A sketch of the object, published in the Daily Telegraph, shows the familiar flying saucer shape, complete with flanges and dome.

The sighting was investigated by the Ministry of Defence, but they had no explanation to offer. BUFORA and DIGAP (Direct Investigation Group on Aerial Phenomena) also investigated, and pronounced the sighting genuine. Arthur Tomlinson of DIGAP writes:-

“As far as P.C. Perks is concerned, we accept his sighting as a genuine ADAMSKI type saucer.”

Mr Tomlinson also mentions two other sightings:-

“Round about the same day a saucer was seen near Marple by a man and his wife while in their car.

“A Mr John Ackerley saw a cyslindrical shape with red flame coming out of both ends, which flew so low over his shop in Tatton Street, Salford, that he thought it would hit the roof. The object whizzed over at about the same time as P.C. Perks saw his flying saucer.”

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DALEKS AND CONDITIONED EARTHLINGS AT MANCHESTER LECTURE

Some frank impressions and opinions of a recent International Get-Acquainted Programme meeting – by Paul Hopkins

A disjointed array of faithful Muforgians converged on Manchester. The date was February 26th, 1966. To us the College of Adult Education was our Mecca. Our voices echoed down the empty corridors; it was 6 p.m. yet there was no sign of a meeting. A tatty poster advertising the UFO film adorned one of the walls, with its gaudy lettering spelling out the excitement that was to follow.

Aha! Action! Parts of DIGAP arrived and money was exchanged for tickets. From that moment on a steady trickle of homo sapiens gradually filled the lecture hall until the very floor groaned under the weight of the infilling humanity.

At approximately 7 p.m. the speaker surmounted the stage. He was impeccably dressed. He wore a flying saucer in his buttonhole and his shirt screamed of detergent. He reminded me of a super salesman, such as one sees on the television.

Hush fell upon the audience as he stood poised for action by the table that was covered by Adamski books and the tattered evidence relating to the case.

His voice was quiet and soft and had a hypnotic essence about it. Soon your eyes were either transfixed upon him, or you were asleep. One hour passed. His voice droned on – and on. One and a half hours passed.

Ah! He is finishing.

Oh, no he isn’t.

Yes, he is.

No! Off he goes again.

At last! After what seemed aeons, the brain-washing was over. The audience was conditioned. Dalek-like mutterings filled the room, as the audience impatiently waited for the film -

The Black Dalek: “Adamski is a good chap.”

Chorus: “Yes! Yes!”

Black Dalek: “Adamski is right.”

Chorus: “Yes! Yes!”

Black Dalek: “He is genuine! He is genuine!”

Chorus: “Yes! Yes!”

Black Dalek: “Join IGAP! Join IGAP! Join IGAP!”

Chorus: “We obey!”

The assembled Daleks disappeared in a puff of cigarette smoke as the projector whirred. Silence descended upon the room. The lights went out and the little screen was filled by the figure of a grotesque humanoid. Is this what the space intelligences look like? Oh, sorry! It is Adamski out of focus.

The house lights flickered nervously off and on as adjustments were made to the projector.

At last, in between one or another shots of Adamski, his books, or his still UFO pictures, we saw a little black thing bopping about the sky in front of the camera.

The lights went on. A gentleman behind us made a rude comment about the show being an utter swindle and that he could produce fakes as good as that. In fact this gentleman just would not shut up. He had been niggled and he was determined to have it out with the lecturer.

Then a third gentleman sitting on the right stood up and explained how he had seen something in the sky, just like that he saw on the film! The lecturer pounced on this bit of shredded evidence. After a few more questions the meeting broke up. There was a general handout of International Get-Acquainted Programme literature and the faithful and the cynics poured out into the murky darkness of the street. Our space brothers will not save us today. Perhaps tomorrow! We went and drowned our troubles in cups of British Railways tea. I must admit it was not only my troubles I wished to drown.

Seriously, though. A meeting conducted in a manner such as this one doed no credit to the public image of ufology. How are we ever going to get our subject into the realsms of respectability when the scientific facet is dropped almost entirely and this, more flowery aspect is presented instead?

These people running IGAP have, perhaps unintentionally, turned the flying saucer mystery into a religion, with Adamski one step up the ladder beneath Chirst Himself. Poor Adamski. Whatever he was, would he have wished this to happen? Flying saucers as a subject is in its infancy yet, within one year of the death of an alleged contactee, the frail evidence is taken as Gospel Truth and a quasi-religious mania sweeps the world. I am sorry to have to say this; I am sorry to hurt people’s feelings, but the whole business of IGAP stinks of the worst aspects of American commercialism, cashing in on Adamski’s good fortune.

You are all entitled to your own views, especially when one is concerned with UFOs, but please! – as far as MUFORG is concerned we only deal with facts. Let’s keep it that way.

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UFO FILM SHOWN ON TV

Independent Television gave great prominence to a UFO sighting, supported by a few seconds of 8 mm film, which took place on April 1st.

A Mrs Joan Oldfield, with her husband Tom, were on board a Viscount on a flight from Manchester to Southampton. At the time of the sighting the plane was flying over Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, at an altitude of about 10,000 feet and a speed of about 270 m.p.h.

Mrs Oldfield spotted the object to the rear of the plane. She at first thought it was another aircraft, but it appeared to fall away behind the Viscount and she lost sight of it. She filmed it with a cheap, 8 mm cine camera. When the Oldfields got their film back from the processing laboratory they saw that they had successfully filmed the object. The film was shown several times on ITV. It appeared like an airship, with a set of fins at each end. After a few seconds it appeared to turn quickly end on and suddenly disappeared. Mrs Oldfield said it was dark grey in colour and had a set of square portholes. She did not remember seeing any fins on it.

No satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming so far. Experts have suggested that it could have been the shadow of the aircraft, or a mirage. The solid appearance of the object on the film makes these theories unconvincing.

Unfortunately none of the crew or other passengers in the aircraft noticed anything.

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AMERICAN FLAP

Reports from America appearing in the British press indicate that there is a major UFO “flap” in progress over there, particularly in Michigan.

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SCIENTIFIC UFO INVESTIGATION

ANTHONY DURHAM, Hon. Secretary of the Cambridge University Group for the Investigation of UFOs, offers some interesting comments on the article by R.D. Hughes, which was published in our last issue.

– What I really write this letter for is to comment on Mr Hughes’s article on the possibilities for scientific UFO research. The Group here is thinking about the possibilities and in fact I hope personally to go into print for the BUFORA Journal with some ideas. The point about using a spectrograph is a good one. Have you done any serious thinking about how and where to place one’s instruments like this, in order to try and catch a saucer? Short of a real flap like Warminster, just sitting waiting is useless. The obvious answer, of course, is to make them all automatic, such as a cine-camera to pick up anything moving in the sky. This is, of course, what meteor astronomers already do, and it might be worth while finding out where such observatories function, with a view to checking a known sighting against photographic records. We are thinking along the same lines with regard to magnetic and pseudo-seismic effects here in Cambridge. It strikes me that Manchester University has a strong tradition in astronomical research, and with a little perseverance it should be possible to find out if the idea has any hope of success at all.

We havew been asked, on our Technical Information Service, to take a look at Kraspedon’s book and that was something that I did personally. Frankly, I find it very surprising you should regard Kraspedon as any use at all. He gives no real details at all about his supposed meetings with the saucer, and even if he did meet one there is no guarantee that the “Saucer Captain” told him anything but a load of platitudes to keep him in blissful ignorance. My real quibble with the book is that it falls into the all too common trap of trying to take some parts of our currently accepted physical theories and show that they are inconsistent with other parts. Much better brains than K’s have tried and failed. If he is to make an original contribution he needs to show much more originality. Most of the book that I read is just snippets of half-understood information crudely stuck together. As an example, I would take the places where he harps away at the old bogey of the wave/particle dualism of matter and says that it is unexplained. The simple answer is that it is well understood, but that popular exposition of the often difficult concepts involved, lags badly behind. The Bismuth Cycle is not all mysterious. It is the name given sometimes to the bismuth phosphate process used for the extraction of plutonium from spent uranium fuel rods during the war, and now long since obsolete. The mere fact that it happens to be performed on a radioactive element adds an air of glamour to a rather hack piece of chemical cookery. I rather gather that the details of the process were declassified and presumably available in garbled form in the newspapers about the time he claimed to meet the Saucerer.

All that was very destructive, chiefly because I found the book a most irritating one. When I read it, I naturally tended to assume that where he used the concepts of conventional science, he was talking about the science that I know, with the unstated assumptions, that underlie all scientific thought, used in the normal way. On this basis, it is a load of tripe! However, if someone else would like to digest the book in detail, without preconceived ideas, he might be able to extract any valid points. We have a fairly large range of scientific know-how available here (our strength seems to be theoretical physics this year) and would be glad to hear of any conclusions and offer comments.

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BOOK REVIEW

Flying Saucers Through the Ages, by Paul Thomas, translated from the French by Gavin Gibbons, Neville Spearman, 21/-

The subject of this book is one which will already be familiar to most ufologists. The author takes various references in ancinet writings, particularly the Bible, as indications of extraterrestrial intervention in human affairs. His attitude, though, is not anti-Christian.

The theme of the book perhaps places it outside the strictly scientific approach to the UFO problem, but it is certainly not a crackpot book. The author merely sets out his ideas in the hope that they will be taken up and studied further by others.

He suggests that some extraterrestrials may act as intermediaries between God and man.

Most ufologists will find this book interesting, whatever their opinions may be on religions, myths and legends. J.H.

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TALKING POINT – “Respectability”

There seems to be a general antipathy in some UFO groups against “respectable” groups, i.e. those who insist on a factual, scientific approach to the UFO problem. Mr Alex Kenyon, President of the Nottingham UFO Group writes:-

” . . . I would like to make one comment though if I may, and you can quote me if you like, that is in regard to the article on Ron Caswell and the Get-Acquainted Programme. The way I read it was as though it was said tongue in cheek (I may be wrong) but I feel too many “respectable” groups have what I feel we are all fighting, and that is a closed mind. These groups lose before they start . . .”

This opinion ties in with the Editorial in the February issue of Orbit, Journal of the Tyneside UFO Society. The most relevant paragraph reads:-

“Those individuals or societies, whose approach is purely factual and who believe that only in this way will the subject gain ‘respectability’ are indeed on dangerous ground. Some of the very people whom such groups wish to impress, namely the scientists themselves, are already way ahead and working on ideas which are anathema to those who seek to appear ‘respectable’.”

It also seems that we “respectable” groups are accused of being dogmatic, in spite of the fact that the dogmatic types will not touch the subject of ufology with a barge pole. And as for the closed minds. It is those who blindly accept all the contactees’ fairy stories and reject a critical and methodical approach to this most difficult of difficult subjects who have the closed minds. — J.H.

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MUFORG Bulletin: February 1966

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin No. 1. February 1966

Edited by John Harney

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COMMENT

Investigators Investigated

The latest developments in UFO investigation and research are rather encouraging. Ufologists are at last becoming generally aware of their own inadequacies and are thinking seriously about how they can attract people with the intelligence, application and technical knowledge that this difficult subject demands.

Jacques Vallée’s survey of UFO organisations in the USA is an invaluable first step towards the compilation of a list of the world’s more reliable UFO organisations. This should help to divide the world’s UFO enthusiasts sharply into two camps – those who uncritically accept contact stories and make a sort of mystical cult of the subject, like the people described by H. Taylor Buckner of California, whose findings were published in this country in New Society, and those who wish to see each report investigated objectively and scientifically. The latter group could perhaps arouse the interest of the scientific fraternity by the exchange of relevant information. For example, ufologists receive reports from observers all over the world. Many of these are obviously misinterpretations of such natural phenomena as meteors, mirages and ball lightning. Some of the phenomena reported, such as ball lightning, are very rare and imperfectly understood by modern science. Reliable reports of the more unusual manifestations of atmospheric electricity would be most useful to meteorologists and physicists. Accurate descriptions of meteors are of great interest to astronomers. When we gain the confidence of scientific organisations by means of an objective attitude and reliable observations we shall be able to call on them to help us in our investigations into the more difficult cases, such as the Cappoquin and Liverpool sightings described in this Bulletin.

The editorial in the Jan-Feb 1966 issue of Flying Saucer Review is very timely and seems to have been inspired by the work of Jacques Vallée. There is no reason why we should worry ourselves about the statements put out by government departments. Utilising our own resources to the full may eventually lead us to a definite conclusion without their help. Flying Saucer Review’s world coverage of sightings is impressive, but it would be better if more indications could be given as to the genuineness of some of the more sensational reports. This is where Vallée’s work on UFO organisations comes in. All serious UFO groups should give him their full co-operation.

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MUFORG NEWS

New Members: One of the latest applications for membership of the Group is a Professor of Herpetology in New York. The Group decided, at their January meeting, to offer him honorary membership. Since a recent television appearance of Gordon Creighton the Group has received several membership enquiries.

Change of Officers: Mr A. Rawlinson handed over the following offices at the Group’s January meeting. Mr R. Donnelly became BUFORA information officer for this area, Mr R.D. Hughes was elected to the BUFORA National Council, and Mr J. Harney took over the editorship of this Bulletin

Getting Acquainted: Several MUFORG members are going to Manchester on February 26th, to hear a talk on Adamski-ism by Ron Caswell, of International Get-Acquainted Programme. We hope to publish a report of the meeting in our next issue.

Press: The Group has been contacted\recently by three local papers, including the Liverpool Daily Post, who wish to do a feature article on the Group’s members and activities. The Group has recently been giving much consideration to the problem of press and public relations, being well aware of the dangers of sensationalism. (Advice and comment on press relations from other UFO organisations will be welcomed.)

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CAPPOQUIN SIGHTING – SIMILAR OBJECT SEEN OVER LIVERPOOL

An important UFO sighting, with photograph, was recently brought to the attention of the British public by aviation historian Mr Charles Gibbs-Smith.

A friend of his, Miss Jacqueline Wingfield, with a Miss Mortensen, was driving along a road near Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, on December 26th, 1965. The weather was perfect with a clear, blue sky. The time was between 3.15 and 3.30 p.m. Miss Mortensen suddenly saw a strange object moving steadily across the sky in front of them. The car was stopped and a photograph taken and later successfully developed. The object was round in shape and had a solid, metallic appearance. There was a large plume of flame-like brightness trailing behind it.

In the Liverpool Daily Post of January 28th, a letter from a Mr C.F. Campbell was published. Mr Campbell claimed to have witnessed an object similar to the Cappoquin one, and on the same day. The object was also seen by five of his children. They were walking on the Knowsley Estate, near Liverpool, “sometime after midday”. The object “eventually went away in a SSW direction, climbing from a height of about 8,000 – 10,000 feet”. Visibility was excellent and the object was observed for some three or four minutes.

Alan Rawlinson, Hon. Secretary of MUFORG, telephoned Mr Campbell to request an interview. Unfortunately, Mr Campbell declined to be interviewed, but said he was willing to answer queries by telephone. He said that the object appeared to be hovering at first, moving up and down for about two minutes, then it moved off, moving against the wind. It appeared to change colour from greyish to reddish.

ANOTHER LIVERPOOL SIGHTING

Miss Black, Hon. Treasurer of MUFORG, reported seeing a red, oblong object moving high over Merseyside on December 10th, at about 6.0 p.m. A spokesman at Liverpool Airport Meteorological Office suggested that it could have been a high-flying aircraft, illuminated by the sun. Miss Black was not satisfied with this explanation and at MUFORG’s February meeting, drew the attention of members to a UFO-LOG report of an orange, oblong object, with rounded ends, sighted at Enfield, Middlesex, on the evening of December 10th.

More local sightings: Some UFO sightings in the Netherton district of Bootle are being investigated. Details will be published in our next issue.

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SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR SCIENTIFIC UFO RESEARCH

by R.D. Hughes

The ultimate aim of scientific research into UFOs is obvious – i.e. to build such a machine and understand their scientific thought. This is easily said, but where do we start? I think that it is easier to build a copy of something that we can see than to understand their scientific thought, which is largely unsubstantiated and pure hearsay by contacts. (1) I feel we could use some basic techniques of military espionage and logic rather than wild guesses and blind acceptance of contact stories.

I would like to offer a few ideas on the organisation of research with a view to cutting out dead wood and supplying a foundation on which to work.

  • Analysis of External Structure

Although the external dimensions and general configuration of Adamski type scout ships have been known for a long time, the surface details, such as nuts and bolts, are not known because our equipment has been not nearly good enough. To obtain such good surface detail would require the use of cameras similar to those used in high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, which can photograph a golf ball at 10 miles and read the name on a crate on the deck of a ship at 8 miles. (2) This equipment is not beyond our reach. Although it will be larger and more cumbersome than the aircraft type there will be closer control by operators.

Like spies photographing an aircraft, we would be able to determine whether their craft are riveted, bolted, welded, or one-piece constructions. Methods of securing windows, details of coil assemblies, various details around the underside, and numerous other points could be determined. The photographs of aircraft used for military espionage enable an analyst to discover the exact construction of the aircraft.

  • Spectrum Analysis

For aircraft and rockets of unknown type it is possible to determine the fuel used. It is possible to tell whether a high-altitude aircraft is rocket-assisted, if so what type and power. Kerosine/oxygen rockets give vastly different results to hydrazine/nitric acid rockets.

We are lucky in that the UFO is luminous over the whole surface of the disc. If the light is strong (as from such a body) then more accurate readings can be obtained. If the light produced is analysed properly, it is an easy matter to determine the origin of the light. By this I do not mean whether or not the light came from a port hole but, rather, how the light was produced. A good analogy is a street light. Assuming one cannot see the shape of the light, it is possible to tell the type of light it is, whether tungsten, mercury arc, or fluorescent (sodium is obvious), what type of glass surrounds the bulb, and even which company made the lamp!

Using this technique, an apparently self-luminous UFO can be shown to be luminous only by reflection from sunlight, glowing itself, or the air around it glowing. Prominent lights, e.g. the intense, blue light from the top, could be mercury, cobalt, copper, or chromium arc, or just a white light surrounded by blue glass.

  • Performance Analysis

Often a clue to the power of a machine is given by its performance. The fact that a fighter can fly faster and manoeuvre more elegantly than a bomber shows that the power/weight ratio and the thrust/drag ratio is higher in the former case. If a machine is incapable of a certain manoeuvre it means that the system will not stand it, there is just not enough power, or the occupants do not want to do it. Some contacts claim that the UFO is remote controlled by being locked in a gravitational beam. (3) If this is so the UFO would find it impossible to loop or roll because a gravitational beam could not exert force in the required direction. To my knowledge, no UFOs have been seen to loop or roll. (4) Maybe this is because of the control system, or maybe they just do not want to.

  • Checking Contact Claims

Dino Kraspedon puts forward a wealth of information which, if true, is invaluable to our studies. (5) He tells of electromagnetic systems of repelling air, atomic batteries which are three times as efficient and possibly one-tenth the size of our best reactors, “G” fields, the mysterious “Bismuth Cycle” and many others. If his claims are tested and found to work, then he has had contact with extraterrestrials. With science moving ahead so rapidly, constant reference must be made to books and journals in order to check that the claims are not just recently discovered phenomena.

From the above parts it may be seen that the first and second parts could give us the nature of the power. For instance, if a machine used a gravity drive the structure would not need to be much stronger than a bubble car, but if a system like Kraspedon claims is used, the structure would be as solid as a Sea Vixen or Buccaneer. The first part would also give us a good idea of their constructional techniques. The third and fourth parts should give us the theoretical power system, whereas all four taken together is likely to give us the basic technology to build a flying model at least.

Notes

  1. See section 4.
  2. U2 reconnaissance planes over Russian ships bound for Cuba.
  3. Orfeo Angelucci.
  4. Latest edition (Jan-Feb 1966) of Flying Saucer Review contains a report from France of UFO which “executed several loops”. – Ed.
  5. Dino Kraspedon, My Contact with Flying Saucers.

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WARMINSTER

The editor of the Warminster Journal (and, no doubt, several local hotel-keepers) has recently been wondering where the famous “Thing” has got to. He is planning to write a UFO book to be entitled Haunted by the Thing.

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MUFORG Newsletter, December 1965

MERSEYSIDE UFO RESEARCH GROUP (MUFORG)

VIEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 1965

Edited by Alan Rawlinson

(Contributions do not necessarily reflect Group policy)

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DISOWN THE CRACKPOTS by John Harney

UFO enthusiasts often wonder when the world will begin to take them seriously. The answer is simple. First, they must begin taking themselves seriously. It seems that most of the British UFO organisations consist mainly of people who wish to see their subject investigated scientifically, but they find it difficult to recruit suitably qualified people to their ranks. No reputable scientist wishes to become involved with a gang of crackpots, for this is how members of the scientific fraternity seem to regard the UFO organisations.

Unfortunately, instead of taking the hint, the saucer devotees react by dismissing them as a lot of arrogant, dogmatic bigots. They have their own demonology, consisting of such people as the Astronomer Royal. Professor Lovell, Patrick Moore and Dr Menzel. One merely has to whisper such names at gatherings of the more perfervid saucerers to produces scenes reminiscent of the hate sessions in Orwell’s 1984.

What steps, then, should be taken to ensure that UFO investigation becomes a respectable pursuit? Firstly, the crackpots must be firmly disowned. This may seem a simple and obvious step to take. However, when a serious UFO investigator does this he is just as likely to be be greeted by denunciation as by acclaim from his fellow researchers. Take, for example, Donald Keyhoe, Director of NICAP. In 1959 he sent a telegram to Gabriel Green, whose Associated Flying Saucer Clubs of America was holding a convention at Los Angeles. In the telegram, Keyhoe told Green to refrain from claiming that NICAP was affiliated to AFSCA and he also deprecated his “carnival approach to the subject of unidentified flying objects”. An observer at the Flying Saucer Convention reported, “It was far and away the biggest collection of raving lunatics ever assembled under one roof.” (1) For thus publicly dissociating NICAP from the “raving lunatics” he was fiercely attacked in the pages of Flying Saucer Review in an article entitled “Keyhoe’s Extraordinary Telegram: An Attempt at Censorship?” (2)

It is essential, I believe, that genuine UFO enthusiasts in this country should get together and produce a journal which confines its attention to scientific analysis of sightings, and theories and hypotheses based on sound reasoning. Such a journal must resist the temptation to give space to the ramblings of cranks and the activities of the saucer cultists, such as that father figure of Japanese saucerdom, Yusuke J. Matsumura and his Cosmic Brotherhood Association. After all, one would hardly expect to read one’s horoscope in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association!

To sum up my argument, unidentified objects are being sighted. The task of the UFO researcher is to identify them. The only way to achieve this is by scientific methods. No UFO researcher should let himself be deceived or sidetracked by rumour, wishful thinking, or mumbo-jumbo.

References

  1. Great World Mysteries by Eric Frank Russell, Mayflower Books.
  2. Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 5, No. 6.

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CHARLTON: A NEW THEORY

In the last issue, you may remember, we published an article on the origin and classification of carters by Mr Alan Sharp. This is how two of our readers reacted to the views expressed in the article:-

“I found Mr Sharp’s article very illuminating. I accept his generalisations. One small question I do ask is: how many of the craters he mentions has he actually visited? I am particularly thinking of the Charlton crater, and am not too happy with his comment about drainage.”

Lionel Beer, Vice-Chairman and Publicity Officer, BUFORA

“I almost agree with Sharp’s crater analysis, but must draw the line at the Charlton one. Was he there? Has he forgotten the mass of substantiating evidence in favour of a more ‘enchanting’ cause?”

Michael Whitford-Walders, Welsh UFO Research Organisation

These are typical of the comments received. In fact, it seems that the majority of readers find it difficult to accept the swallow hole explanation.

We are now able to report that Mr Sharp has also rejected this explanation but he still firmly refuses to believe that the crater was caused by a UFO. After visiting the farm at Charlton, testing soil samples taken from the area, questioning local inhabitants, and making a careful study of all the available evidence, he concludes that it was caused by nothing more mysterious than a flash of lightning. Here is his report:-

“With reference to my article on craters, I have since conducted an exhaustive investigation of the mainland British examples, which is nearing its conclusion. As a result, and somewhat to my surprise, I can say with reasonable certainty that most are due to lightning and only two cases, those at Niton and in Berkshire, are attributable to geological subsidence; with the exception of Dufton, where surface movement took place as a result of heavy rain. Nevertheless, the geological line of attack has proved most fruitful, especially at Charlton where the soil abounds with ferruginous material.

“In all cases attributable to lightning there was a prehistory of sever storms in the locality, and in general the electrical discharge produced local magnetic effects, again as at Charlton. The work, though arduous, time-consuming and expensive has been very interesting and rewarding.”

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Fame at last!

At 6.32 p.m. on November 24, MUFORG went “on the air” for the first time. Our Vice-Chairman and Secretary were interviewed by Angus Turner for the Reporter at Large programme which was broadcast on the BBC Home Service. The item was fairly short, but it contained references to our Lake District skywatch, Merseyside meetings and investigations, NICAP, the BUFORA AGM and Member Societies, and Warminster phenomena.

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BOOK REVIEW by John Harney

WE ARE NOT ALONE – The search for intelligent life on other worlds,  by Walter Sullivan, Hodder and Stoughton, 35/-

This book, by the Science Editor of the New York Times, covers its subject pretty thoroughly. The merits of the various theories of the formation of stars and galaxies are discussed, for the frequency of inhabitable planets in the Universe depends on which theory is correct.

Two fascinating chapters describe the current, controversial work by biologists on meteorites, of the type known as carbonaceous chondrites. Some biologists believe, as a result of their investigations, that they contain the remains of various life-forms.

Much of the book discusses the question of how advanced civilisations would attempt to communicate, or to draw attention to themselves. Interest in this subject has been greatly stimulated by the famous Project Ozma. Various methods are dealt with, including lasers, and even the modification of a star’s spectrum by surrounding the star with a radioactive element with a short half-life. This would introduce a spectrum line which could not occur naturally, and thus any astronomer in another part of the galaxy would draw the only possible conclusion on studying it.

Majority opinion favours radio as the most likely means of interstellar communication. This attitude is no doubt encouraged by the rapid progress of radio astronomy in recent years. There is much work going on concerning the wavelengths, signal strengths and codes likely to be used by the inhabitants of other worlds and the account of this makes very interesting reading.

Most scientists apparently consider interstellar travel to be impracticable, but one of the notable exceptions is exobilogist Carl Sagan, who believes that such journeys may be common place and that there are many advanced races in the galaxy in constant touch with one another. However, he dismisses all the “Flying saucer” stories out of hand, even though he seriously considers some ancient legends as possible evidence of visits by extraterrestrials.

No doubt most ufologists will find this brushing under the carpet of their favourite subject somewhat irritating. This does not seem to be the fault of the author, though. The book is a straightforward account of the current work in this field and unidentified flying objects apparently just do not come into it. However, it is my belief that patience and a constantly level-headed approach by ufologists will lead to the subject of UFOs eventually becoming repectable. Indeed, the author points out that many of the theories and concepts discussed in his book would not have received serious consideration from reputable scientists only a few years ago.

The last chapter in the book deals with the religious and social implications of any contact with superior civilisations. There is an index and a bibliography for each chapter. This work is written in a style which makes it intelligible to the non-technical reader and is a worthwhile addition to any ufologist’s bookshelf.

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MUFORG Newsletter, June 1965

MERSEYSIDE UFO RESEARCH GROUP

NEWSLETTER No. 2, JUNE 1965

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CRATERS: Their Origin and Classification

by Alan W. Sharp BSc, BEng, FGS, FRAS

 The following article was specially written for the Newsletter. Some of the suggestions contained in it were referred to very briefly in the March-April Flying Saucer Review, but here you will have an opportunity to study them in greater detail. The article does not necessarily reflect MUFORG policy.

During the vast span of Geological Time, the forces of nature have caused holes to appear on the Earth’s surface, varying in size from minor cracks and crevices to rift valleys and volcanic craters. Generally speaking, the term “crater” is reserved for such of these holes as have a certain regularity of shape, i.e. are more or less circular or oval in plan rather than linear or sub-linear.

In geologically very recent times indeed, man has added craters of his own making to those of natural origin. The former being classified as artificial and being due to such things as the use of explosives, mining subsidence and the occasional descent to ground level of Earth satellite fragments, rockets, etc. From such considerations, a start can be made on a table of crater classification:-

A. NATURAL

  • Impact
  • Explosion
  • Subsidence

 B. ARTIFICIAL

  • Impact
  • Explosion

Subsidence

Grouping these into classes, we have the following causative agencies:

A.

  • Meteorites
  • (a) Volcanic explosions   (b) Lightning
  • (a) Volcanic subsidence    (b) Collapse of cavities of subterranean erosion, the burrows of animals, caves and similar voids

 B.

  • Artificial meteorites
  • Bombs, shells, blasting
  • Mining and tunnelling. Excavation generally, if of crater form

In addition to these, one must add the strange human category collectively known as the “hoax”, which may be subdivided into the hoax for amusement, the hoax malicious and the hoax for gain, not to mention sundry disturbances of the soil which scarcely merit the appelation crater.

Bearing this classification in mind, it becomes immediately apparent that many UFO craters fall into the latter category and should not be described as craters at all. This appears to apply to the Dufton Fell case, for instance, although here the geological context may still be significant.

It is worth remarking here that meteorite craters may contain vertually no meteoritic material if the energy released at impact is sufficient to vaporise the impacting mass. Drilling in the Arizona meteorite crater, for example, has not been successful in locating a large body of meteoritic material.

Swallow holes and solution cavities in limestone and other calcareous rocks are not the only results of underground erosion by water, since the normal effects attributable to surface erosion can occur where underground streams run through the enlarged cavities – such as faults – in non-soluble rock.

Percolating water can remove the “cement” from arenaceous rocks such as sandstone, producing a crumbly residue with marked lack of grain adhesion. Sand itself is subject to the phenomenon of slumping due to change in the interstitial water content. This is true of most unconsolidated sediments.

From the above brief summary, it can be seen that there is plenty of scope for crater formation without having to introduce UFO intervention and indeed none of the British examples which can be fairly described as craters (UFO variety) need an other-worldly explanation, Niton included.

To take specific examples, Niton is quite clearly a case of subsidence into a smooth-sided cavity of subterranean erosion. This explains naturally the apparently miraculous disappearance of a large volume of earth and rock. It was not there in the first place!

The recent Berkshire craters have been diagnosed independently (Reading University) as due to subsidence into solution pockets in the chalk sub-stratum.

The Charlton crater exhibited a symmetrical pattern of surface indentations which accords well with drainage into a central cavity. Here again, as at Niton, we are near the contact between the Upper Greensand and the Chalk.

Flamborough Head, another crater locality, is also a prominent Chalk feature, whilst Dufton Fell, near Penrith, lies in the famous Alston lead mining district in the local Carboniferous Limestone and adjacent strata. Mines in this area have been worked since Roman times and Dufton itself was intensively prospected much more recently than that, at a time when the Lake District was a hive of metalliferous mining industry.

The Carboniferous Limestone everywhere, from the Mendips to Scotland abounds with mine workings, pot-holes and caves, many of which are world-famous.

However, with forty sheep lost at Dufton, the possibility of a little rustling seems on the cards!

In Scotland, Sanquhar lies on the fringe of the Leadhills mining district, also worked by the Romans, and, in addition, marks the southernmost limit of the Scottish coal mining area. The Lammermuir Hills, to the North East of Leadhills, comprise crater locality in similar geological formations to those of the Sanquhar district.

The sum of coincidence is too great to be ignored and, I suggest, the British craters must be seen in their true geological framework rather than in the enchanting context of visitations from outer space.

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Although the Newsletter is normally produced for circulation among MUFORG members, it is felt that this issue may also be of interest to our fellow researchers in other Groups. If any readers would like to comment on the crater article, they are welcome to do so, as it may be possible to include a selection of crater views in our next issue. Please write to A. Rawlinson, Liverpool, 4.

Mr Sharp has also been doing some checking on Dr Bernard E. Finch’s sighting on page 28 of the current Flying Saucer Review. According to him, there’s not the slightest doubt that the object referred to in the report was Mars. He noticed that it is usual to indicate movement relative to the stars, but Finch’s arrow points the wrong way. Another criticism is that the Moon is shown in the wrong quarter. Full Moon was on February 15, two days earlier, so the Moon was two days after Full. In the report, it was shown at about five days before full. Over to Dr Finch . . .

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AF SECRETLY WARNS PILOT OF DANGER

(Reprinted from the NICAP UFO Investigator)

In a startling report just received, a former Navy pilot has revealed an AF warning that he might become seriously ill after three UFOs closely circled his plane. During an interview with an AF major at Kirtland Air Force Base, strict secrecy was imposed on the pilot. Except for his wife, who had to be prepared if he were suddenly stricken, he was ordered not to tell anyone about the encounter or the radiation hazard.

The pilot, who served in the Navy in World War II, is now a service engineer for a large tool company. He has a BSc degree in mechanical engineering. He uses a private plane in business; to date he has logged over 6000 flying hours. Following is his report of the incident which occurred on August 13, 1959:

Flying a Cessna 170, en route from Hobbs to Albuquerque, NM, he was holding a course of 313 degrees, at 8,000 feet altitude. Suddenly he was amazed to see his Magnesyn electric compass revolving instead of indicating the course. Thinking the Magnesyn must be “haywire”, he looked at the standard magnetic compass. “It was spinning so crazily I couldn’t read it”, the pilot reports.

A moment later, he was startled to see three oval-shaped devices in close echelon formation pass directly in front of the Cessna. They were grey in colour and identical in shape – like two bowls face to face (one inverted on the other) but with bottoms rounded instead of flat. The pilot estimated their diameter at about eight feet, but they could have been considerably larger. Since the UFOs were circling the plane at nearly 250 mph, no other details could be noted, except that they left a short, wispy trail.

As the strange objects circled the Cessna, the Magnesyn compass continued to revolve, precisely indicating the UFOs’ bearing. Holding the same tight formation, the unknown devices finished another circle, passing in front and then disappearing to the rear. The Magnesyn then came to rest near its original heading, and the standard magnetic compass finally stopped its “crazy spinning” and returned to normal.

Upon landing at the base, states the report, he was “hustled to an office and interrogated for about two hours by an AF major – the UFO officer at the field”. Then came the statement that “raised the hair on the back of my neck”. The major told him that “if anything unusual happened, if he had any unusual illness in the next six months, to get to a government hospital right away”. The AF, the major said, would take care of him.

Some years ago, Capt. E.J. Ruppelt, former Chief of Project Blue Book, confirmed that AF instrumentation had recorded high radioactivity when UFOs passed over the test area. Also, several apparently genuine cases of illness from UFO radiation are on record.

In the case of the former Navy pilot, the fear injected by the AF warning kept him and his wife in a state of apprehension until six months had passed, and he decided the AF was wrong to conceal the facts.

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“MYSTERY OBJECTS IN THE SKY NEARLY ALL EXPLAINED” (?)

From the Liverpool Daily Post, May 24

During 1964, a total of 532 unidentified flying objects were reported by the USAF or other observers and were investigated. But these objects, which USAF authorities in Washington describe as any aerial objects which the observer is unable to identify, have usually an intelligible explanation. The majority, after investigation, were found to be missiles, space satellites, meteorological balloons and searchlights playing on low clouds. Birds, aircraft vapour trails, fireworks and anti-radar silver foil dropped by aircraft also accounted for some UFO or flying saucer reports.

Thought he Air Force claim that these objects do not pose a threat against the US, that they are not anything beyond present day scientific knowledge and that they do not originate from other planets, nevertheless since 1947 the Air Force has investigated 8,908 sightings.

(Our own Government would most probably arrive at the same conclusion but why doesn’t it reveal the number of British sightings that have been investigated?)

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MUFORG Newsletter, February 1965

MERSEYSIDE UFO RESEARCH GROUP

NEWSLETTER NO. 1 – FEBRUARY 1965

An astronomer of repute peers through his telescope and sees something. If his account of what he sees is in agreement with the account of orthodox scientists, it is accepted. He may be deceived. He may be seeing something that does not in any way fit in with conventional theories, so that (to reconcile it with his own orthodox conceptions of reality) he does not tell the truth in his account of the phenomenon. But his account is accepted: First, because he is an authority; second, because what he says fits in with conventional astronomy. Note that he may have no witnesses – he is just an astronomer of repute making a statement which will be believed because he says it.

Now take the case of someone who is not a notability or an “authority” – he is just an honest-to-goodness human being. He may be characterised by his honesty and goodness, but he is a nobody all the same. He peers through a telescope, or looks at the sky without one. He sees something. He has no theory or hypothesis in his head – no pre-existent pattern into which he will try to fit the phenomenon he observes. He just sees it, does not attempt to explain it, gives a truthful account of what he saw. Who is going to believe him? If he sees something inexplicable by conventional science, something which he cannot explain and which in his honesty he makes no attempt to explain, he is either a liar or a fool, suffering from hallucinations. Now let us suppose that (unlike our hypothetical astronomer) he has witnesses – plenty of them. The first thing the newspapers will want to know is “Was there an authority among the witnesses?” It will not matter if ten, twenty or fifty Smiths, Browns and Robinsons saw something inexplicable to conventional science: the incident will be explained as mass-hallucination or mass-hysteria.

A crowd of observers is not enough. A town’s population is not enough. (You will recall cases where flying saucers have been seen by thousands – over some of the world’s cities.) I often wonder how many authorities Science requires before it can accept phenomena as “real” and “genuine”?

Unconventional, but right

We need not be depressed by the conventional scientists’ emphasis on “authority”. The long history of humanity abounds with instances of pioneers who have been right and the “authorities” wrong, while their ideas were unconventional – and whose ideas, and the credit for them, have been quietly taken over by Orthodox Science with the passing of the years.

If we are to get anywhere, we should explore new avenues and change our methods of presenting the evidence. We should insist on a reversal of the universally held belief that “Who says it” is more important than “What is said”. The nature of the evidence is the important thing – its consistency, its relationship with other evidence, its contribution to the best possible explanation. The integrity of the observer is but one factor in any calculation of the value of the evidence. Nor is it an infallible factor. A man of integrity may have prejudices, or he may be ignorant of the phenomena he observes. An astronomer is not necessarily an authority on UFOs. A man of doubtful integrity may be telling the truth.

Evidence must be considered without prejudice; for or against the observer, or for or against any particular theory.

(From a Flying Saucer Review article by the late Arthur Constance)

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MUFORGazine?

At the last meeting, several members expressed interest in producing a magazine. Since then, Marlene Black, our enthusiastic Treasurer, has compiled a list of suggestions for the first issue.

1. An article on the next skywatch in the Lake District. Possibility of inviting members of other groups to come along. 2. Parts required for ECOBALT. 3. Merseyside sightings – if any. 4. Book Reviews. 5. Film Reviews. 6. Astronomy Section – giving details on the positions of the planets. 7. An article on Detectors. 8. Gossip Column – miscellaneous items of news. 9. Swap Column.

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The following report was sent to the Group by a Cheshire woman:-

I am glad to be able to put down on paper to someone who may believe what I saw in the sky one night. It might sound a bit fantastic, but I swear every word is true.

Well, in the Spring of 1945, I had gone to bed early and not drawn the curtains. I fell asleep, but woke up at 2 a.m. for no apparent reason. I opened my eyes and looked out of the window, and to my horror I saw what I thought was a plane on fire from end to end, and it was right over my little back garden, and seemed very low in the sky.

I was so scared that I jumped out of my bed and ran down stairs, and in my haste, I ran out into the back garden instead of the front, which I had intended. Well, I looked up at this terrible thing. I had a very good view of it, as it was right over my head and, as I said, very low, nearly touching the roof of the house.

I gazed at it for quite 2 or 3 minutes and then realised that it was not moving – it was perfectly still. I will describe it. It was cigar shaped, of metal red colour from end to end, and it had about 3 rows of little windows. When I say metal red, it was the colour of the bars in an electric fire when it is lit. Well, as I watched this thing, I forgot where I was and would have stood longer, only to my horror, it STARTED TO DESCEND ON ME, coming straight down, not dipping at all, just the whole thing coming down.

I screamed and ran in the house, and when I could find the courage to look out again minutes later, it had completely vanished. Now, that happened many years ago, but it is as fresh in my memory as if it happened last night. I have no witnesses, as I was alone at the time. I have told several people, but I don’t seem to be believed, but it is the truth and nothing but the truth. Please do not publish my name and address. My husband would not like it.

P.S. I had such a good view of this unearthly thing that I could see that the windows were oblong and not square. Even writing about it has made me feel afraid.

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NEWSCAST

Recent items in the Daily Express have been fascinating.

January 18. STAR-GAZER: Stone-age drawing found in Soviet Central Asia at Uzbekistan shows a cosmonaut-like figure wearing “something similar to a space helmet with antennae and carrying a contraption for flight”, says Tass.

January 27. ‘VOICE’ IN SPACE: WASHINGTON, Tuesday. – Two satellites with antennae nearly a third of a mile long are to be launched within three years to pinpoint mysterious radio signals received on earth.

January 30: Alarmed by flying saucer reports, the citizens of Augusta County, in Virginia, organised an armed hunt for Martians this week after three boys reported seeing a little green man walking around. Now Sheriff John Kent – declaring “this thing has gotten completely out of hand” – has outlawed all saucer hunts.

January 29: Flying saucers are harmless. That is the latest and considered opinion of the United States Air Force, which keeps a close watch on “unidentified flying objects”. The Air Force does not deny that life may exist on other planets. But they say: “There is no reason to believe in any of the 8,908 cases investigated that we are receiving visits from outer space. Nor is there any reason to believe there is any evidence of technological developments or principles in the universe beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge on earth.” (Cuttings supplied by Marlene Black)

Thanks are due to Mr Harry Bunting of DIGAP for this cutting from the Manchester Evening News.

January 28. MYSTERY OF FALLING FIERY STAR: Today, a star fell on Abbotsbury Street, West Gorton, Manchester, and then vanished. At least, that is what it looked like to 60 year old Mrs Beatrice Hardman when she looked out of her bedroom window today. “There were two bright yellow objects in the sky, and they seemed to collide. One of them fell down on the roof opposite, No. 11, and split into three balls. Two of them rolled along the roof over No. 13. They glowed brightly for a minute.”

But there were no marks or debris left on the roofs of the terraced houses and no sign later today of any mystery objects. Weather experts and Jodrell Bank scientists can give no explanation for the “falling star”. “It could have been a fireball – a kind of lightning – but there were no thunderstorms about and anyway, these are very rare in winter,” said a weatherman.

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THE NIGHT SKY in February

PLANETS: Saturn is in the early evening sky, low in the west, but may be seen as a first magnitude object at the beginning of the month about 25 degrees below and a little to the right of the square of Pegasus. Jupiter dominates the evening sky when there is no Moon, but continues to decline in brightness with increasing distance. Jupiter’s satellite Europa will be eclipsed on the 6th at 6.22 p.m. until 8.51 p.m. and again on the 13th. Europa will disappear in Jupiter’s shadow at 9 p.m., reappearing at 11.30 p.m. On the night of the 9th, Jupiter and the Moon almost at first quarter will be near each other in the sky and will make an interesting spectacle. Mars is very bright in Virgo and increases almost a whole magnitude in brightness this month as it approaches the Earth. For telescope observers, the northern hemisphere of Mars is tilted towards us at present, and it is Spring there. Unfortunately, Mars is more distant than on some occasions and its image in the telescope is small.

The distant Uranus in Leo is now in the sky all night, but is only of magnitude 5.8 – just about naked eye visibility. The faint planet Neptune in Libra rises about 1 a.m. Venus and Mercury are too close to the Sun to be visible. (Reprinted from Liverpool Daily Post)

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THE DIDDY PEOPLE MYSTERY

(Daily Post, January 25)

Liverpool’s great Leprechaun Mystery has been solved. It was only nine months ago that reports of “little people” started pouring in. They were seen in parks and playing fields around Liverpool. Scores of children scoured the parks, invaded bowling greens and hunted among shrubberies in an effort to catch a glimpse of the little men from Ireland. At the time no one knew how the leprechaun mystery started.

But the man who thinks he might have the answer to the whole business is the man from Knotty Ash Towers – Ken Dodd. “Just before all these rumours started, I did an item on television. We used a special technique by which the cameras were able to ‘diddify’ people. It was rather like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. We arranged everything so that television commentator Bill Grundy was reduced to about four inches on the screen and I described him as a diddy man from Ireland – a leprechaun. Immediately afterwards, there were all sorts of stories about leprechauns being sighted by people all over the place. Children were running around the parks and gardens looking for the little men,” says Ken.