Moonlight at Warminster
Alan W. Sharp

From MUFORG Bulletin. December 1966

To any British investigator of the UFO phenomenon the little town of Warminster nestling below rolling chalk hills on the edge of Salisbury Plain holds a fascination second to none, and after learning from Mr Arthur Shuttlewood that sightings could be made on any clear night, your investigator determined to visit the place again at the earliest opportunity.

So it was that shortly after dusk on Tuesday, November 1st, 1966, a small car, loaded with paraphernalia and with myself at the wheel, approached the town from the direction of Frome, some eight miles distant to the west, on what promised to be a perfect night for observation.

The moon had just begun to rise and the planet Saturn was visible in the sky to the south as the main street came into sight and with it the house which had been recommended as a base for operations and where a top-floor room was immediately secured having an excellent view of the surrounding hills in the direction where the anticipated events were expected to occur.

A key to the premises was obtained and the task of moving a carload of impediment was completed, but not before clouds had begun to obscure the sky in ever increasing amounts until ebentually even the moon was hidden and a thin drizzle began to fall.

However, as the best time for seeing strange things had been put at around 4 a.m. not too much notice was taken of the weather and the writer retired to bed unwontedly early after setting the alarm for 3 a.m. and making suitable preparations for a sortie at that hour.

Promptly at three the peace was shattered and your observer staggered to the window to find everywhere bathed in moonlight with the last of the clouds moving quickly away to the south. Needless to say the streets appeared deserted and the car started without any difficulties due to ignition failure. Evidently I was at last to be allowed to make a move in the right direction, though subsequent events might make the return journey less easy.

Proceeding up the main street, the Westbury road was taken as far as the signpost pointing towards the West Wilts Golf Club, where a right turn was made up the long hill leading to the Imber Ranges.

Driving up the narrow road with headlights out, half expecting to meet some apparition from another world, I felt a distinct sense of uneasiness as the lights of the town were left behind and the moon’s ghostly radiance became virtually the only source of illumination, until suddenly a cluster of bright lights sprang out on the hilltop to the left.

I stopped the car and felt a tinge of fear as I opened the door and stepped onto the road, fingers fumbling with the binocular case.

What could those lights be at such an hour? Curiously I raised the glasses and focused on the hill. A dim shape was revealed but, disappointingly, seemed to bear more resemblance to a house than to a space-craft. I determined to investigate further on the way back, but the incident left a heightened feeling of unreality as the journey was resumed.

Then, as the road began to level out I was amazed to find the way barred by a white iron gate where on a previous visit there had been no obstruction. The unexpected event was not reassuring and as I stepped out of the car for the second time I realised that it would now be necessary to complete the last half mile on foot.

A chill wind was blowing and, as I collected camera and binoculars, a bright meteor flashed overhead from the direction of the moon. The time was 3.40 a.m. and the omens appeared auspicious for some unusual event. I hoped I should not regret having dared to scoff at the possibility of extraterrestrial activities at Warminster and felt a keen sense of loneliness as I looked back at my car, forlorn and desolate in this strange place.

I had half expected to meet some other humans out here on the UFO quest and every roadside shadow took on a strange form as I trudge up the hill, occasionally looking backward in apprehension of being stalked by the unknown.

However, no beings materialised and eventually the shape of the guard house came into view with the barrier for some unaccountable reason raised into the open position. Was this some sinister invitation to enter?

The planets Mars and Jupiter looked down in silent scrutiny as I shone a torch inside the building but ther was no one in occupation. The muted roar of the wind in a nearby copse and its whistling sound round the hood of my anorak were sufficient to drown most other noises, I reflected as I peered round the hut into the forbidden territory, to see to my apprehension what appeared to be a crowd of formless black shapes a hundred or so yards away and an indistinct, saucer-shaped white patch reflecting the moonlight slightly to the right, whilst the distant glow of some reflected light enhanced the eeriness of the situation.

I determined to press on, come what might, and gingerly eased round the barrier onto the concrete apron.

To my surprise the dark shapes materialised into the forms of wrecked cars and I clambered onto one of them for a better look round.

The reflected light seemed to come from a naked bulb somewhere out on the range and the white shape was in fact a long mound of chalk bulldozed out of the hillside to create what appeared to be a refuse pit of some description.

Then I saw a faint yellow light glide across the sky at a low elevation from east to west and I focused the binoculars on it as it passed close to the star Deneb, almost due north of the constellation Cygnus. A pulsating red light could now be seen and a faint drone was borne on the wind above the nearer sounds. The object was evidently an aeroplane bound for some unknown destination, possibly Bristol. The time, 4.10 a.m.

Cold but reassured I returned to ground level and continued my reconnaissance, but without meeting anything further out of the ordinary.

I looked at Jupiter to pass the time. Two of the Galilean satellites were visible close to the planet. Nothing unusual there.

No clouds, either, to be investigated, so at five-thirty I began to walk downhill to the car which I was relieved to find still where I had left it and without any sinister occupants waiting to escort me to an exciting rendezvous.

A quick cup of hot tea and I was on my way back to Warminster, though not without first finding the origin of the mysterious lights. It was the Golf Club-house, strategically situated, I thought, for UFO observation, though why the outside lights should be on remained a mystery. Perhaps the members liked to play by moonlight. Or did they?

Arrived in Warminster, I surprised an early milk roundsman and made two purchases. He seemed to take my odd appearance for granted fortunately and, armed with refreshing fluid, I parked the car and eventually climbed back into bed as the first signs of dawn appeared in the eastern sky, a somewhat disappointed but perhaps rather relieved ufologist.

Interestingly enough I had seen no satellites during my sojourn but a quick glance at the official predictions showed that Echo I had been visible earlier in the night, but had moved too far to the west, while Echo II was in southbound transit and hence was eclipsed in the earth’s shadow.

Looking back now I am glad I made the trip; it was an adventure, but the vigil was not one which I could recommend to anyone of a nervous disposition.

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MUFORG Bulletin, October 1967

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, October 1967

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Edited by John Harney

COMMENT

From Outer Space, or From Inner Space?

In the study of UFOs we are presented with spontaneous phenomena of unknown cause. We have accounts of sightings of UFOs, of encounters with occupants of UFOs and of messages received from the powers behind the UFOs.

Some enthusiasts confine their attentions to the contactees and seek to interpret the messages which these people say they have received. At the other extreme, physical scientists make statistical studies of UFO reports in the hope of finding a physical explanation. In other words, most people approach the subject with preconceived theories and tend to consider only those aspects which appear to fit in with them, whilst dismissing other aspects of the subject as being untrue or irrelevant.

Most of the controversies which rage among ufologists centre about the question of where to draw the line when considering wht is or is not admissible evidence. For example, many who are impressed by the Socorro and Exeter incidents treat the accounts of Bender’s “men in dark suits” and Arnold’s experiences at Tacoma with derision. Such an attitude presupposes that UFOs are either interplanetary spacecraft or misinterpretations of natural phenomena and man-made aircraft.

It will be obvious to many enthusiasts that the attitude to contactees displayed by most of the physical scietists who are interested in the subject is inconsistent and prejudiced. Their total rejection of the accounts given by people such as Adamski and Angelucci appears to be based on the hypothesis that some of the UFO landing reports are genuine encounters with alien beings. In this case hoaxes are inevitable and the people who claim to receive messages from benevolent Venusians are the hoaxers. However, it is evident that virtually all of the alleged reports of meetings with extraterrestrials are, by all normal standards of evaluation, ridiculous.

Indeed, when it comes to the question of landing reports, no investigator has yet told us exactly where to draw the line between the “contactee story” and the “UFO with operators”. What about the cases of Antonio Villas Boas and Betty and Barney Hill? Into which category do they fall? It is certainly true that contact stories generally have features which distinguish them from “normal” landing reports. Could it not be argued, though, at least in some cases, that the differences are mainly due to the differing reactions of people of different temperaments to similar stimuli?

The contactee problem is not the simple, psychological problem that most ufologists would have us believe – a mere side-effect of persistent UFO reports on suggestible or unscrupulous people. Sometimes, instead of a problematical spaceman we get an apparently non-existent earthman. Take for instance an extraordinary sequel to persistent UFO reports in the area of Wanaque Reservoir, New Jersey, USA. It seems that members of the local police force were under the impression that they had been interviewed concerning their sightings by an Air Force officer who told them that they were just “seeing things” and generally ridiculed their stories. Extensive enquiries by journalists, Air Force personnel and Dr Condon’s team seem to point inescapably to the conclusion that this incident never actually took place.

What actually happened, then? It seems incredible that the police officers should have made it up. It is, of course, conceivable that the true explanation may lie outside the confines of modern scientific theory. However, before we embrace the esoteric or occult evaluations of the situation we should first explore the possibilities offered by present scientific knowledge.

When it comes to contact stories, mysterious telephone calls, the alleged silencing of UFO witnesses and similar phenomena, it is evident that psychology is the subject one must turn to. Unfortunately, few qualified psychologists have seen fir to devote any attention to our subject. Most of those who have looked at the subject have done so in such a superficial and perfunctory manner that their findings are easily refuted.

It is true that there is plenty of physical evidence concerning UFOs, but all of this is capable of alternative explanations. It is right to look for evidence to support the interplanetary spaceships theory, but in view of the ambiguous and disappointing results of twenty years of research on these lines, is it not time to change our general approach?

Ever since 1947 believers and sceptics have taken the proposition that UFOs are spaceships from other planets and have attempted to prove or to disprove it. This has led to much unnecessary misunderstanding and ridicule. We are no nearer to a solution than we were in 1947. It is time to look at the problem in another way. WE know that UFOs exist, but are they physical, or psychological? Do they come from outer space, or from “inner space”?

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RECENT NORTH WEST UFO REPORTS

Borough Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire September 19th, 1967 1315 BST

Report by T.C. Dixon (MUFORG)

Reported to me about 5 minutes after sighting by several, seriously excited, ten-years-old schoolboys:

  1. Glowing white oval. Estimated size – sixpence at 3 yards. Elevation between 45 and 60 degrees. Moved “not too quickly” westwards into cloud.
  2. Glowing white oval. Estimated size – larger (nearer?) than No. 1. Elevation approximately 45 degrees. Moved “faster than before” southwards.
  3. Glowing white and round. Estimated size – small saucer at 3 yards, which “looked like it was spinning!” Moved northwards from cloud to cloud until it disappeared.
  4. Glowing white oval. Estimated size – sixpence at arm’s length. Elevation approximately 45 degrees. Moved north-eastwards into small cloud which then “began to break up rather quickly until nothing was left in that spot – just blue sky!”

Preston, Lancashire October 1967 (date and time not given)

Two architects claimed to have sighted a UFO over Preston. They made a sketch of it which they planned to send to the Ministry of Defence. The witnesses measured the object as it moved above church spires, mill chimneys, and a block of flats – whose exact distances apart they have established. They said that the object was 400 feet long.

(Source: Daily Mail, 18/10/67)

Hoylake, Wirral, Cheshire October 19th, 1967 1800 BST

Mrs A.N. Crossman, of Meols, reported to Hoylake Police that she and her son Jeremy, aged 6, saw an unidentified flying object from their home at about 6 p.m. It was torpedo-shaped, greyish-white and travelled at a fast speed.

(Source: Liverpool Echo, 20/10/67)

Further details of sightings reported in previous issues of the Bulletin

We have now received the completed sighting form for the report referred to in the August issue of the Bulletin as occurring at Dingle, Liverpool, on July 11th. However, the report form gives the place as Sefton Park, Liverpool and the date as July 21st, so please disregard this report until further checks have been made.

A further trip was made to Hindley, Lancashire, to investigate the UFO sightings there, briefly reported in our last issue. [The figure] is a copy of a drawing of the UFO made by the principal witness, Bernard Cox, aged 17, of Hindley.

Cox said that the two sightings of this strange object had taken place on August 19th and August 29th, at about 2140 BST on each occasion. He also had a list of 15 people living nearby who had seen the UFOs and 11 people who had heard strange noises. He said that when the UFO appeared all the dogs began barking. The strange hummin noises sometimes began at about 11 p.m. and continued until about 2 a.m. Bernard Cox said that they even woke his grandmother, who is somewhat deaf. The noises were said to cause distressing symptoms in those who heard them, such as headaches. There had apparently been numerous other sightings in the area, but most of them seemed to originate from young children and were of the vague, “lights in the sky” variety.

On a second visit to Hindley, Bernard Cox was not at home, so another witness, Mrs Judson, was interviewed. Her description of the cone-shaped UFO was similar to that given by Cox, except that she was not very clear about the details. However, she confirmed that it was a very large object. She estimated that she had viewed it for about 20 minutes on one occasion and that children playing in the street had been watching it for about ten minutes before her attention was drawn to it. She was a little vague about the exact dates.

A peculiar detail given by Bernard Cox was that while the object was actually moving across the sky, it was spinning, so that purple lights appeared as purple bands around it, but when it hovered it stopped spinning and came to rest in a position such that the lights appeared on the edges, as seen from his viewpoint. Mrs Judson spoke of coloured lights and beams streaming from the object and Bernard Cox spoke of a sort of glow surrounding the object. Mrs Judson also said that she had seen mysterious glows in the sky when no actual UFO was visible.

There can be little doubt that something very strange was seen in the vicinity of Eckersley Avenue, Hindley, on at least two occasions in August. Some of the details tie in quite well with some of the reports received before and since these incients.

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UFO REPORTS FROM NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

The following reports were sent to us by Walter Blythe, of the Mansfield UFO Group.

The Clifteon Landing Report

A report in a Nottingham newspaper, dated July 5th, 1967, reads:-

Did a flying saucer really land in Clfton or, as the police believe, was it just an optical illusion caused as a result of the sun shining on a barn roof or on greenhouses?

Last night frightened housewives and dozens of people rushed out of their homes when it was reported that a flying saucer “about 30 feet long” had landed somewhere in Clifton.

According to at least a dozen people who said they saw the object, it was disc-shaped and silvery in colour and was seen travelling across the sky at about 4.45 p.m.

The object was described by independent witnesses who gave an identical account of its size, colour, direction and movements. They said they saw it clearly from the High Bank area of the estate. It had travelled about two miles from Wilford Hill to a point on the Bradmore to Plumtree road wher it became confused with a barn roof.

Police in patrol cars who were called out to investigate the report later told over a hundred people gathered on high ground near Fareham Comprehensive School that it was an optical illusion caused by sunlight.

But Mrs Marjorie Cowdell, of High Bank said she was amazed by the incident and teenager Denise Stanley said she saw the object clearly. “I was scared”, she added.

Several schoolboys, too, claimed it was not the first time they had seen strange objects which had scared them. A few days ago they had seen one hovering above the trees in the vicinity of a wood on the estate.

Earlier on Monday, several reports of strange objects in the skies were received at the Guardian Journal offices. At one point three objects were claimed to have been sighted by three boys on their way home from school.

Last night’s descriptions tally with these earlier reports.

Most of the people who say they saw the object say it seemed to have a cloud of dust or smoke around it.

The “Clifton Disc” had the Air Ministry [sic] and Meteorological Office baffled. They could not account for the sighting.

And at Watnall Meteorological Office a spokesman said he could not rule out the possibility of the disc being a weather balloon although at that time of the day it would be unlikely.

“Whatever the cause people have no need to worry. These things have been with us a long time now and they have never done anyone any harm”, he said.

Wellow, near Ollerton, Notts July 8th, 1967 2110 to 2150 BST

A newspaper cutting, dated July 10th, reads:-

Newark schoolmaster Bernard Doy has always been sceptical about tales of flying saucers. But he says he saw one while driving through Wellow, near Ollerton, on Saturday night.

It was shaped like a child’s humming top, with an elliptical top and pointed base, and spun in the air for over 40 minutes before disappearing in the clouds.

“I realise that there are cranks who believe that flying saucers carry other beings who are trying to communicate with the earth”, said Mr Doy.

“This experience has made me wonder whether they may be partly correct about the flying saucers.”

Mr Doy, who teaches art at the Sconce Hill Secondary School and lives in Parklands, said the object was sighted “several thousand feet away”.

“It was stationary while we watched the object, though it did spin on its axis from one side to an upright position. It was surrounded by a very bright light”, he said.

He went on: “The very fact that it was surrounded with light – not merely on one side – convinces me that it could not be a weather balloon.”

Mr Doy’s strange experience occurred while driving with his wife and two friends through Wellow at about 9.10 p.m. on Saturday evening.

Using binoculars, Mr Doy’s party viewed the strange object and fetched the police constable at Wellow Park to confirm their sighting. He in turn notified his superior officer, Insp. R. Street.

The policeman, P.c. E. Holmes, commented last night: “I had a look at the thing and I wouldn’t like to even guess at its identity.”

Inquiries made by Insp. Street have so far proved negative and the identity of the “flying saucer” remains a mystery.

A spokesman at Watnall Meteorological Office said last night: “We have no idea what the object could have been. It was probably not a meteorological balloon.”

Mr Blythe got in touch with Mr Doy, who sent him a picture of the object (right).

Stapleford Woods, near Newark, Notts August 7th, 1967, 2225 BST (approx.)

On August 9th, Mr Blythe received the following letter from a Mr Robinson of Newark, Notts:-

Dear Sir,

On Monday evening, 7th August, at approx. 1025, my girl friend and me had the experience of seeing what we believe to be a space craft. The occurrence happened at a place called Stapleford Woods, about 3 miles from Newark, near a village called Coddington. We drove into the woods earlier in the evening and pulled just off the road into a small clearing facing a track which ran at the side of part of the Forest and adjacent to a small dyke. On the other side of the dyke is a field which had just been cleared of trees. At about 10.15 my girl said what are those lights in front of us? and about 1/2 mile away we could see 2, round or slightly oval shaped lights, not beams of light, but just like 2 pieces of white or yellow coloured paper, at this distance they seemed to be about 6 in. dia., and close together. (Obviously they were actually bigger because of the distance away.) We watched the lights and after about a minute they disappeared and were replaced by a flashing red light which moved away to our right, climbing until it was above the trees. I thought and suggested it was a helicopter, but thought it strange as I couldn’t hear any sound, and there was no wind anyway. The red light faded away. About 5 mins. later my girl friend said look the 2 lights again, they were on our right coming towards us above a line of trees about 1/4 mile away, they stopped and hovered for about 2 mins. Curious because of the absence of sound I started the car and drove slowly towards the lights. The road had a bend where I lost sight of the lights but on coming to the sport I thought they were I flashed my headlights. And 20 yds away a craft came over the trees towards us. Astonished I stopped the car engine, still no sound, and watched the craft until it was about 20 ft. away, it was about 20 ft. high from the road. We saw the curved top and bottom, 3 square-ish windows showing orange light, and on each side a brilliant beam of light shone downwards. Suddenly I got frightened as it came right up to us so I started the engine and shot away. I contacted Mr Doy of Newark (TEACHER SAW SPINNING TOP) as I didn’t know who to tell, as I thought the police would think we were nuts and he gave me your address,

Hoping this may be of interest to you.

Yours, David Robinson

Mr Blythe adds: “I have a paper cutting reporting an object with 2 beams of light shining downwards, near some woods at Grantham, about 20 miles from above sighting, young couple in a car, no noise. July 1st.”

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UFO FLAP IN CANADA

The Canadian Air Force has stepped up a probe into flying saucers following fresh reports that mysterious objects with flashing lights are terrorising the Calgary district.

In the latest incident recorded in official files, a woman claimed a dazzling light stabbed out of the night sky as she drove home on Wednesday.

Then her car’s engine and electrical system cut out completely while a dark oval shape silently circled over her at a height of about 1,000 feet.

“It circled the car four or five times”, said terrified Mrs Nora Tibbs, of High River, Alberta. When the object finally disappeared the car’s power mysteriously returned.

Helicopters may be sent out to hunt an unidentified object three gold prospectors claim they saw fall from a flying saucer in July, an Air Force spokesman said.

Squadron Leader E.B. Chase, of Calgary, said the latest reports have the ring of authenticity and that a photograph taken by one of the gold prospectors in July was the best of an unidentified flying object in the Air Force files.

He said an enlargement of the photograph taken by prospector Warren Smith, aged 27, of Calgary, showed a domed, saucer-shaped object about 40 feet in diameter with a red light on top and leaving a trail of what appeared to be blue exhaust smoke.

Forestry look-out Russ Hill said he heard a throbbing pulsating sound on October 7 and saw a bowl-shaped object 75 feet in diameter sweep down a valley below his forest tower.

The lights in his tower flickered as the object passed. It had two exhaust flames, a green neon-like ring around it and a dome with a pulsating yellow-green light. – Reuter.

(Liverpool Echo, 14/10/67)

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THE SKY SCOUTS MUDDLE

The Daily Mirror, of October 27th, reported that the British Section of the International Sky Scouts had changed their name, at the behest of the Boy Scouts Association. The Boy Scouts complained that people were continually confusing the Sky Scouts with their Air Scouts. Accordingly they have now changed their name to CONTACT (UK). Their chairman, Mr Quanjer, states that this new name “implies a variety of activities of a psycho-spiritual nature as well as the more obvious practical ones”.

It seems, though, that the Boy Scouts Association will have to put up with the Sky Scouts for a while longer. A recent circular from NICAP/GB states that Yusuke Matsumura (who founded the Sky Scouts as a junior branch of the Japanese-based Cosmic Brotherhood Association) “has decided to issue a statement proclaiming that they have severed relations and have no connections with the INTERNATIONAL SKY SCOUTS ASSOCIATION (UK), whose National Chairman is one Joham Quanjer.”

The reason for this action is given in the NICAP/GB circular as follows: “The International Sky Scouts Association (UK), under Mr Joham Quanjer, have recently turned their attention to raise the ancient emblem of the winged sun-disc as their motif. We believe that it is wrong and dangerous to revive the winged sun-disc which was the emblem of great ancient civilisations such as CHINE-MU-LEMURIA-ATLANTIS-EGYPT. These were all stained with blood sacrifices, and they all perished. It is our contention that it is a grave error to submit the minds of youth to ancient pagan worship.”

Because of these esoteric errors the SKY SCOUTS have been renamed INTERNATIONAL SKY-SCOUTS GB and their parent body in Britain is NICAP/GB. (Secretary of NICAP/GB is Mr Derek Samson, Solihull, Warwickshire.) In view of all this it is strange that CONTACT (UK) have not announced any severance nof relations with the International Sky Scouts or Cosmic Brotherhood.

Rightly or wrongly, the Sky Scouts in this country have acquired a reputation for eccentricity and many ufologists may consider that their internal politics are amusing rather than important. However, new branches of the Sky Scouts are being formed. A Mr Frank Shaw, of Croxteth, Liverpool, has informed me that he is forming a local branch, under the guidance of NICAP/GB. I was recently shown a cutting from a Cambridge paper, reporting on the impending formation of a branch there, where they apparently hope to bask in the reflected glory of the Cambridge University UFO Group.

So it looks as if several local UFO groups may have to deal with the “Sky Scouts” or “Contact” in the near future. It would thus be nice to know which is which and who is who. If anyone can sort out for us the complexities of Sky Scout politics, aims and ideologies, we would be pleased to publish such information in the December issue of this Bulletin. -  J.H.

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RECENT BOOKS

Flying Saucer Occupants by Coral and Jim Lorenzen, Signet Books, New York. 75 cents

Those who assiduously study UFO reports and literature will find in this book few reports which they have not already read in greater detail elsewhere. It is only fair to point out, though, that the authors’ UFO organisation APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation) was the means by which many of the more interesting reports have been brought to light. APRO has always made a point of investigating all reports received, including reports of UFO “occupants”, unlike certain other American UFO organisations, as the Lorenzens are not slow to point out.

For me, the most interesting chapter in the book is the one entitled: “Psychological Implications of the Investigation of UFO Reports”, by R. Leo Sprinkle, PhD. Dr Sprinkle discusses the problem of bias on the part of investigators of UFO reports and suggests procedures and techniques for eliminating this. He also suggests methods of obtaining all possible details from witnesses.

The authors are plainly of the opinion that the UFOs and their occupants are physically real and at the end of the book they sum up their position thus:

“1. The objects and their ‘operators’ are physically real. The remaining speculation concerns their identity and origin and, eventually, motivation. Another book could be written about this aspect and, admittedly, we are simplifying for the sake of space.

“2. The population of this world is falling victim to a particularly insidious and apparently contagious mental disease which generates hallucinations involving specific types of airships and humanoids. This diease seems to be spreading.

“Who will be next to contract the malady? You?” J.H.

The Flying Saucer Vision by John Michell, Sidgwick and Jackson, Ltd. 25/-

This work will doubtless be welcomed by the “New Age” ufologists. The author seeks to re-interpret the ancient myths, legends and popular beliefs as garbled accounts of meetings with superior beings from other planets, or from other dimensions.

Some enthusiasts may regard the whole idea as being quite ridiculous, but such notions are at present entertained by some eminent scientists, and a number of well-known ufologists have devoted much time and effort to research into this aspect of the subject.

The general theme of this book is a hypothesis to the effect that superior alien beings brought civilisation to mankind thousands of years ago, by establishing direct contact with them. Eventually they withdrew and memories of their activities were preserved in the form of various cults, ceremonies and superstitions. The increase in UFO activity during the past 20 years indicates that mankind has reached a crisis in its development and another full-scale contact with extraterrestrials is imminent.

This idea has, of course, been expressed by other writers and there is a considerable body of evidence which may be adduced in its support. Only time will tell whether Mr Michell’s speculations are correct. —  J.H.

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Thank You to MUFORG Members

“On behalf of my husband and I, we would like to thank all MUFORG Members for their most acceptable Present which has been received with great pleasure on the occasion of our recent Marriage.”

- Marlene Waddington, Treasurer

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BUFORA NORTHERN CONFERENCE – Last Minute Reminder

The Conference will be held on Saturday, November 4th, 1967, at the Central Hall, Renshaw Street, Liverpool, 1. Admission 8/- including refreshments. Doors open 9.30 a.m. Lectures begin at 2 p.m.

Chairman: Captain Ivar Mackay (Chairman of BUFORA).

Main speakers: CHARLES BOWEN (Editor of Flying Saucer Review), ANTHONY DURHAM (“Ball Lightning”), W. SKELLAN (“Mechanical Implications of UFOs”).

If, after attending the Conference, you have any comments, favourable or otherwise, which you wish to make on it, please send them to the Editor to be considered for publication in the December issue of this Bulletin.

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GREAT UFO FLAP: As this is being typed (October 30th), a wave of UFO sightings, surely unprecedented in this country, is sweeping Britain. Depending on how the situation develops, this Flap will be dealt with either in a special edition of this Bulletin in a few weeks’ time, or in the December issue.

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MUFORG Bulletin, August 1967

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, August 1967

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Editor: John Harney

COMMENT

The latest British UFO “flap” has so far proved rather disappointing. Most of the reports have been of the “lights in the sky” variety.

There has been quite a large volume of reports, but one feels that many of them have got into the newspapers because there are insufficient hard news stories available at present.

However, the lack of spectacular landing reports – so far – has served to awaken interest in the subject without arousing hysteria.

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RECENT NORTH WEST UFO REPORTS

Runcorn, Cheshire July 3rd 0200 BST – and other dates

Our attention was drawn to events at Runcorn by a report in the July 6th issue of the Runcorn Weekly News, sent to us by Mr J.G. Hodgkinson. The report was as follows:

FLYING SAUCER STORY REVIVED – Strange Noises and Unusual Lights

Flying saucers are in the air again! Coincidentally with renewed interest in the subject in various parts of the country – an Unidentified Flying Object society in the south recently kept nightly vigils to witness possible landings and, in nearby St Helens, a security officer was reported to have witnessed strange phenomena – there is a report this week of an inexplicable sighting by a Runcorn family.

Previous flying saucer claims by Runcorn people have been regarded with disbelief and often with amusement. Of course, the stories cannot be true! But, after Monday morning, at least one Runcorn family have had reason to give the subject some more thought.

It was at 2 a.m. that 20-years-old Mr Michael Baker, an electrician’s labourer, of Pine Road, was awakened by a noise. “I was lying in bed listening to this noise, a whirring or burring sound”, he said “and then I went to the window. I was there nearly 15 minutes trying to fathom it out, and was just returning to bed when I saw it; it just looked like it was on the roofs of the new houses.”

His young wife, 17-years-old Janice, who was awakened by her husband, also saw the object. “The noise seemed very close, almost as if from the gardens, and it was loud. As soon as the object – it was just like a glow – went, so did the noise. Michael heard the noise first and got up to the window. He saw a light like a moonbeam on the path. When I got up, the light vanished, then slowly came back like a big bowl of fire.”

Mrs Baker roused her mother, Mrs Betty Bennett, who went quickly to the window, as by this time the “sighting” was beginning to diminish in size.

Mrs Bennett said it was definitely unnatural. It was too early for the sun to be coming up, she said.

“Everybody hears noises along here, it’s a whining noise.”

The object she described as similar to a quarter moon with the top cut off. “As it moved away it changed shape to an oval. It left the sky pink, too. It looked as if it were glowing mad hot.”

Her thirteen-years-old daughter, Geraldine, a pupil at Grange Secondary School, was also brought to the window – but by now the light had lessened to a dot . . . then to everyone’s surprise it seemed to approach, growing in size. It did not regain its previous size and this time was unaccompanied by sound.

Mr Baker commented: “It could have been farther off towards Halton, but from where we were it seemed to be over the houses. When it came back there was no noise.” By this time it was 2.30 they recalled, as Geraldine was sent to check the clock.

Objects have been witnessed in the area before. The family recalled several years ago when a neighbour Mr R. Newby of Boston Avenue saw something in the sky. The Weekly News reported him as saying: “My wife and I were settling down to watch Emergency Ward 10. The curtains were open and the lights in the sitting room were off. Then a vivid bluish-coloured light appeared above the field between my house and Halton and barely seconds later a huge, star like thing went sailing across.”

Mr Newby’s sighting was in November 1963. The newspaper report continued: “This, which I believe to be a flying saucer, flew just above the roof tops all the time. My wife was very scared and my 15-years-old daughter Ann refused to sleep on her own. It shook them both up a heck of a lot.

“When Ann went to school the next day two of her friends also said they had seen the peculiar light.

“I served for seven years in the RAF and I have heard pilots speak about these flying saucers after returning from operations. I myself was very alarmed. I’ve seen plenty of shooting stars and airliners but this was neither. It looked nothing like a shooting star and it was dead silent.”

Of this latest UFO, Mr Baker concluded: “No one can explain these noises over the last three years. They could be different things.” They may not be the only people who saw the light for Mr Baker said that at the time he could see a bedroom light on across in Grangeway, as though someone was at the window.

Mrs Bennett recalled how a friend of her daughter’s had left their home very late one evening to walk to her own home in Weston. The girl, who is now in the forces, was passing the ICI Heath offices when she saw something. She was so terrified she fled to a nearby house and knocked. The householder let her in but he himself admitted something was wrong, for the pet dog’s hair was standing on end, and the animal was obviously scared.

Lightheartedly Mrs Bennett compared the night’s happenings with The Invaders TV programme and cracked “If I’d met anyone with a crooked little finger this morning, I’d have run a mile.”

On a more serious note she added: “The trouble is though, people say ‘nowt’. We’ve heard the noises for ages. I was with Janice one night when we heard the noise so close we thought it was a bird. We opened the upstairs box room window and put our heads out. We hoped the bird might have crashed into the window, but there was nothing.”

She had even told her schoolgirl daughter not to say anything but Geraldine had told a few close friends and as was expected “no one would believe her”.

Just as the Bennett family would have laughed it off too . . . until Monday morning that is.

The witnesses were visited the following week by John Harney and Alan W. Sharp and they confirmed that the newspaper report was substantially correct, except that the object looked like a quarter moon with the bottom cut off, not “with the top cut off” and that the noise was first heard by Janice, not by Michael.

The witnesses were unable to estimate the true distance of the object, and said it must have been further away than the houses over which it appeared – about 400 yards – as the roofs and chimneys were silhouetted against the light. The bearing of the object was about 090° and the elevation varied from “a few degrees” to about 10° higher. It was difficult to estimate the true elevation because of the upward slope of the ground behind the house.

Mrs Bennett said that when the object was hovering in the position A (Fig. 1), it appeared as in Fig. 2. It was shoining with a golden glow, similar to that of sodium street lights. It appeared to be spinning and its edges were ill defined. Mrs Bennett compared it to a Chinese lantern. After hovering for a while in position A the object seemed to fold up, like an accordion, until it assumed the appearance of a sharply defined, spinning, metallic disc (Fig. 3). It then moved quickly upwards and away from the witnesses to position B, where it was reduced to a star-like point. It then retraced its path to position A, wher it repeated the performance, but without the noise this time.

The family said that the noise which accompanied this sighting was the same noise they had been hearing at intervals during the past three years. These strange noises had also been heard in the other houses in the terrace, and this was confirmed by a neighbour who called in while we were talking. The noise was said to be quite loud enough to be easily recorded on a tape recorder, if one were available.

Michael Baker told us he had had two other sightings. On July 7th, at about 2230, he was walking along a path across the fields behind his house when he saw a large, round object quickly crossing the sky. The following morning, while looking out of his bedroom window at about 0200, he saw a flashing, star-like object slowly crossing the sky. We pointed out that this could possibly have been a satellite, or a distant aircraft, but he said that it was “more convincing” than the sighting of July 3rd. He repeated this remark, but it is not clear what he meant by it.

We were told that there have been other local sightings, including a landing report, but no details were immediately available. Also, there is a local contactee, Mr James Cook, who, a few years ago, claimed to have been taken in a flying saucer to the planet “Shebic”. Mr Cook is fairly well known locally; we were told that he holds regular faith healing sessions and seances in Runcorn.

Whiston, near St Helens, Lancashire July 9th, 0145-0148 BST

While skywatching in the early morning of July 9th, MUFORG member, Mr G.T. Woods observed a cylindrical object moving in a NW direction over Huyton. The ends of the cylinder were bright red and the object itself was the size of a sixpence held at arm’s length.

The object was travelling in a series of dips, its altitude varying between 5° and 10°. Its speed was estimated to average about 400 mp.p.h., increasing by about 50 m.p.h. on the ascent. See sketch below.

Dingle, Liverpool July 11th 0130 BST?

A large, round, greyish object, moving rapidly across the sky, startled witnesses. (We are still waiting for return of completed sighting form.)

Formby, Lancashire July 18th 2200 BST

Mr J.G. Clore, of Moss Green, Formby, was out walking when he saw a large orange ball of light coming towards him from the direction of New Brighton. Suddenly it seemed to drop very quickly and vanish.

The brightness of the light made his eyes “very queer”. This sensation lasted for about half an hour.

(Source: Liverpool Daily Post, 24/7/67)

Aintree, Liverpool July 20th 2250 BST

Mr B. Young and his fiancée, of Aintree, were on Melling Bridge, Aintree, when they saw an orange-red object low down in the direction of Kirkby. Its shape was described as “not quite round”. It hovered and then seemed to move downwards and away from them. It was in view for about 12 seconds.

(Source: Telephone call from witness)

Hindley, near Wigan, Lancashire August 10th 0043 BST

Police Constables Lionel Haw and Steve Parsonage, stationed at Hindley, reported seeing an unidentified flying object at 0043 BST. Several newspapers carried full reports of the incident, including the Liverpool Echo, from which the following report is taken:

P.C. Parsonage said: “I was on the beat when I glanced up and saw this saucer-shaped object in the sky. There were no clouds and I could see it very clearly.

“It wasn’t moving and was glowing white. I was amazed and couldn’t believe my eyes. I looked up the road and saw P.C. Haw driving a Panda car.

“I waved him to stop and he came across. We stood looking at it and suddenly it started to move.”

P.C. Haw, a member of the force for eight years, added: “We watched it moving across the sky for two minutes. It certainly wasn’t a comet, plane or weather balloon. I have seen all these and know what I am talking about.

“It was as big as an orange and very high. I would estimate its size as well over 100 feet in diameter. It was very bright and didn’t flicker.

“I drove to Hindley police station and phoned Jodrell Bank to see if it was a satellite but they assured me it could not possibly be as there were none in the area.

“Then I checked with Manchester and Barton airports just to make sure and was told that no planes were in the vicinity.”

Inspector Albert Jordan, in charge of the Hindley section, said: “Both men are very reliable and policemen are trained observers. They wouldn’t say they had seen it if it wasn’t true.”

Bredbury, near Stockport, Cheshire August 10th 0350 BST

Police Constables Peter Morris and Robert Young, stationed at Bredbury, near Stockport, were on duty together in Green Lane, Romily, Bredbury. PC Morris said there was a flash of light 200 yards away from them and about 200 yards up in the sky. They saw a large, cigar-shaped object which was whitish in colour. It was at least 100 feet long and possibly a lot more. It reeled away at a very fast speed and was out of sight in six or seven seconds.

Bredbury is about 30 miles away from Hindley.

(Sources: Daily Mail, 17/8/67; Liverpool Echo, 17/8/67, 19/8/67)

Platt Bridge, near Wigan, Lancashire August 15th 2200 BST

Mrs Margaret Dodd, wife of the licensee of the Railway Hotel, Platt Bridge, near Wigan, said she watched a round, orange-red object zig-zagging across the sky for two minutes at 10 p.m. on August 15th.

(Source: Daily Mail, 18/8/67)

Coppull, near Chorley, Lancashire August 15th evening?

Mill workers William Holme, 21, and Peter gallery, 22, both of Mavis Drive, Coppull, near Chorley, said they were walking down Mavis Drive when they saw a yellow-orange ball travelling below the clouds from north to south over Chorley.

The time of the sighting is not given, but it presumably ties in with the sighting at Platt Bridge, as it appears in the same newspaper article.

(Source: Daily Mail, 18/8/67)

Horwich, near Bolton, Lancashire August 22nd 2130, 2135 and 2230 BST

Mr David Evans, of Rawson Street, Farnworth, reported to the police that he saw flying saucers on the moors at Horwich. He saw the first at 2130, and the others at 2135 and 2230.

(Source; Daily Mail, 23/8/67)

Hindley, near Wigan, Lancashire August 19th 2140 & 2205, August 29th 2140 and 2210

Following up newspaper and television reports featuring UFO sightings by Bernard Cox, of Hindley, your Editor paid him a preliminary visit on September 2nd and conducted an informal interview with him to see if it called for any intensive investigation.

He said he and his family and neighbours had witnessed UFOs on the dates mentioned above. The main sightings were of a huge, top-shaped object which appeared at 2140 on two occasions (August 19th and August 29th). He gave me a list of names of 15 other witnesses. Also, a landing was recently reported from nearby Westhoughton. People from nearby Bickershaw also reported seeing UFOs.

He told me that during the past few weeks his family and neighbours had been disturbed three or four nights a week by strange humming or droning noises. These noises are said to cause headaches.

Further investigations are to be carried out and a full report will be published in due course.

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RECENT BOOKS

Challenge to Science by Jacques and Janine Vallée, Neville Spearman, 25/-

Readers of this book will obtain a good idea of the methods being employed by interested scientists in their approach to the UFO problem. At the moment it seems that the physical scientists have the upper hand. Psychologists have, so far, remarkably little to say concerning the phenomenon and the author shows that those who have derived purely psychological explanations have evidently not dome their homework very well.

This apparent imbalance has led to the favouring of the “interplanetary spaceships” hypothesis. This hypothesis appears to be implied throughout the book. Vallée is by no means alone in pursuing it; I understand that the Condon committee are using it as their working hypothesis.

Much emphasis is given to the statistical treatment of UFO reports. Many readers will be interested to note that Vallée’s researches confirm the findings of some other workers that there appears to be a correlation between the incidence of UFO activity and the Martian cycle. However, the author cautions us not to jump to conclusions.

The last chapter is entitled “The Solution is Within Reach”, but one feels that many researchers will take a more pessimistic view.

The Interrupted Journey by John G. Fuller, The Dial Press, New York, 5.95 dollars

“Some scientists have argued that if the phenomenon is purely psychological, then the story should be considered even more startling than if it were an indication of extraterrestrial visitors.”

This quotation from Mr Fuller’s book neatly demonstrates that the subject of UFOs is a very important one, whatever the true explanation may be.

The author deals with the case of Mr and Mrs Barney Hill, who believe that they were taken on board a flying saucer while on their way back from a holiday in Canada.

They saw an unidentified flying object which appeared to be following their car. When they got home they eventually realised that there were two hours missing from their memories of the journey. This period of amnesia was investigated, under hypnosis, by the psychiatrist, Dr Benjamin Simon.

The story that the two witnesses revealed under hypnosis was that they had been abducted by the crew of an unidentified flying object and submitted to medical examination. In the introduction to the book Dr Simon writes: “. . . it must be understood that hypnosis is a pathway to the truth as it is felt and understood by the patient. The truth is what he believes to be the truth, and this may or may not be consonant with the ultimate nonpersonal truth. Most frequently it is.”

What makes the book more impressive is the fact that the investigations were carried out by sensible and rational people. The story is interesting but, on the basis of the evidence obtained, no definite conclusions have been arrived at.

The casual reader will probably find it rather heavy going but it will no doubt prove very useful to any serious investigator who finds himself confronted with what appears to be a similar case.

The Warminster Mystery by Arthur Shuttlewood, Neville Spearman, 25/-

Mr Shuttlewood employs what is an all-too-common technique in UFO literature, namely the presentation of report after report. interspersed with comment and speculation, in a manner apparently calculated to bludgeon the reader into acceptance of the interplanetary theory of UFOs.

His style is another source of irritation to the serious reader. The book abounds with “purple passages”, such as: “This is the most common, sight-searing Thing that cavorts across our night skies in a fiery ball or ovular disc, crazily cleaving through the blue daytime skies and fleecy clouds in the guise of a silver phantom; shimmering, spinning, and always silent in flight.”

Too much space is devoted to various “theories” of UFO propulsion and the author gives the impression that he expects us to believe that practically every unusual incident which occurs in Warminster is something to do with the “Thing”. One incident in particular illustrates his skill in transforming natural phenomena into manifestations of the “Thing”. This is the story of the adventure of three young children (pages 73-75). If the incident really happened as described it is a very good description of an encounter with a whirlwind and is thus of more interest to meteorologists than to ufologists.

At the end of the book Mr Shuttlewood gives an account of his famous telephone calls from the “Aenstrians”. The messages show the typical contactee features. They consist mainly of moralising, directed at humanity in general. There is the usual, vague pseudo-science. Another typical feature is the author’s claim to have received information which he must not disclose.

Although this book lacks objectivity it must be regarded as required reading for British ufologists, in view of the amount of attention which is continually devoted to Warminster.

The Scoriton Mystery by Eileen Buckle, Neville Spearman, 30/-

Anyone setting out to investigate a contact claim should read this book first, then he will obtain some idea of what he may be letting himself in for!

BUFORA Committee members Norman Oliver and Eileen Buckle were intrigued to learn of the claim of Arthur Bryant (who died recently), of Scoriton, Devon, to have encountered a flying saucer and its three occupants and they decided to conduct a thorough investigation.

The results of their labours are set out in minute detail in this book. They have neglected no clue and scorned no method – scientific or otherwise – that might possibly shed further light on the mystery. Object reading, amateur psychology and the following of hunches and messages in doggerel verse which mysteriously appear on Norman Oliver’s tape recorder lead the investigators into ever more bizarre adventures, at least, subjectively. As the plot thickens and more and more people get in on the act, Miss Buckle parades before the reader a delightful collection of amiable eccentrics.

The apparent preference shown in this book for occult, rather than psychological explanations of the various strange experiences described will no doubt irritate scientifically minded readers. However, I feel that anyone who takes the trouble to read it carefully and critically will derive much interest from it.

UFOs for the Millions by Howard V. Chambers, Sherbourne Press, Inc., Los Angeles, California, 1.95 dollars

As the title implies, this book serves as a popular introduction to the subject. Much of the material will therefore be familiar to our readers, but it is very readable.

Very fair accounts are given of oppossing views on the subject and most aspects of the mystery are covered.

The Flying Saucer Menace, text by Brad Steiger, pictures edited by August C. Roberts, Award Books, New York and Randem Books, London, 3/6

This is a 64-page booklet, attractively printed in magazine format, and containing 90 photographs. It is thus very good value for 3/6. Eleven chapters review every aspect of the subject, with plenty of sighting reports. The “hostility” theory is emphasised – no doubt in order to enhance the book’s appeal to sensation-seekers.

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Flying Saucer Hoax Makes Front Page News

An elaborate hoax, perpetrated by apprentices from the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, made headlines in the press on September 5th.

The apprentices constructed galss fibre “saucers”, filled them with noxious-smelling substances, equipped them with buzzing and bleeping devices and distributed them right across England (about six of them) along the 51° 30′ N parallel of latitude, from Clevedon in the west to the Isle of Sheppey in the east.

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BUFORA Northern Conference

The Conference will take place on Saturday, November 4th, 1967, at the Central Hall, Renshaw Street, Liverpool, 1. Conference Co-ordinator: – R.D. Hughes, Liverpool, 4.

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MUFORG Bulletin, June 1967

 

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, June 1967

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 Editor: John Harney

COMMENT

Fashionable Explanations, by Paul Hopkins

At one time it was fashionable to put most UFO reports down to the misidentification of planes and weather balloons, and to people seeing optical illusions or in a state of hysteria, of which the latter seems to have lost favour altogether nowadays. Perhaps the pundits found that human beings were more reliable observers than they first thought. Even spots before the eyes seem to have vanished for good. Instead, strange electrical discharges are in fashion.

At last, the mystery of the flying saucer is solved! Take Warminster for instance. Do you remember the strange noises and lights in the sky? Well, one theory I heard was that these lights were caused by the gradual leaking away of electrical charges in the atmosphere down to earth, accompanied by coronal discharges, coupled with piezo-electrical effects in the local rock strata.

Now flying saucers themselves may well turn out to be nothing more than lightning balls. (See the April edition of Science Journal, “Focus”, page 25.)

I quite accept the fact that strange electrical phenomena, still not clearly understood, can produce glowing balls that move at will and hum gently to themselves. Also I accept the obvious fact that lightning balls are occasionally mistaken for flying saucers. What I do not accept is when a UFO is classed as a manifestation of an electrical phenomenon by a qualified scientist or engineer when, clearly, at the time of the sighting electrical conditions were just not appropriate for the production of the phenomenon in the first place.

It seems to me that some people are getting pretty desperate for a universal UFO explanation. Well, I have some news for them. They will not find a universal scapegoat in electricity.

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THE BRIXHAM SIGHTING

The following report, reprinted from the Sunday Express of May 21st, 1967, contains what must surely be one of the most fatuous official “explanations” on record, namely “a reflection of car headlights”, to explain a sighting which took place at midday.

“A giant cone-shaped object hovered 15,000 ft above seven coastguards. For more than an hour they watched it through high-powered glasses. As the object hovered over Brixham, Devon, it slowly revolved, revealing some sort of door in its side.

“An aircraft approached, flew round it, and then flew away. Eventually the object vanished behind cloud after climbing to about 20,000 ft. Scores of people along the Devon coast telephoned police stations to ask about the object, sighted at noon on April 28.

“The coastguards’ report about the object was forwarded within minutes to the Ministry of Defence by the RAF at Plymouth. But last night the Ministry’s reaction to the report was puzzling the Brixham coastguards. For the Ministry at first denied that it had even received a report.

“Later a spokesman said: “Further enquiries reveal that we did receive a report, but somehow it was not logged. We can only suggest that the object may have been a reflection of car headlights or some sort of meteorological phenomenon. I cannot comment further.”

“A senior RAF controller at Plymouth said: “We reported all the details. I cannot tell you where the aircraft came from, and you will have a job to get anyone to admit that one was sent up.”

“I understand the UFO was also tracked by radar.

“At the coastguard station at Berry Head, Brixham, last night chief officer Harry Johnson said: “It’s just laughable for anyone to suggest to a body of highly-trained observers that this was a reflection of car headlights. It was midday. The object was obviously made of something very highly polished, and reflected the sunlight almost like a star.”

“Coastguard Brian Jenkins said: “I was able to make a detailed drawing of it which I showed to an air vice-marshal who called at the station a few days later. His only comment was: ‘Most interesting’.”"

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RECENT NORTH WEST UFO REPORTS

Handforth, Cheshire January, 167 (exact date not known)

Miss Beatrice Langton saw from her seventh-floor flat one morning an object like a vertical, cigar-shaped cloud. A brown, rectangular object emerged from the cloud-like object, which turned over and appeared to be drawn along by the small object.

(Credit: Mrs Nelstrop, DIGAP and G.E. Gloin, MUFORG)

Stockport, Cheshire March 14th, 1967. Time 2200-2230 (approx.)

The witnesses reported seeing a dark object, carrying red lights, about the size of a sixpence at arm’s length and making a noise like a jet plane. Its speed was estimated as less than 100 m.p.h. and the elevation was about 45 degrees. Three red lights were seen on the object throughout the observation, which lasted for about five minutes. Each witness made a sketch of the object, copies of which are reproduced below.

(Credit: Mrs Nelstrop, DIGAP)

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LANDING REPORTS

DENMARK Sjaellands Odde (Date not known)

The observation was made by two schoolboys “some time ago”. The sighting came to light when the boys’ mother got in touch with “Rude Skov satellite tracking station”, which referrred her to the central report office of Scandinavian UFO Information. This organisation sent a representative to Sjaellands Odde to interview the boys. His report was published in the magazine of the organisation UFO-NYT.

The two boys were playing in front of a large haystack. As it got dark they decided to return home. One of them looked up and noticed a dark grey object in the sky. He thought it was a waterspout and ran home. The other boy was less frightened and he hid in a ditch, from where he continued to observe the object.

The boy said that he saw the object descend, then it quickly slowed down, as three “legs” were lowered through the bottom of it. It looked very much as if it was going to land. When the object was about three feet above the ground the legs were pulled up again and it speeded. The object continued towards the Kattegat (the sea) at a low altitude and when it was over the shore it released what looked like “boxes”.

The object then made a turn over the sea and a big box, or hamper, was lowered from the craft. It seemed to be suspended from a sort of rope or cable as thick as an arm. Judging from its movements the cable was flexible. Then eight “persons” came out through a hole in the flying object and climbed down the cable into the box. The boy thought that they were carrying “binoculars or cameras”.

Four of the beings waved their hands and smiled at the boy. The boy said that they did not wave their hands in the usual way, but held their palms vertically and made quick horizontal movements.

As the object disappeared the boy heard a sound which he compared to the soft humming from a battery tape recorder.

The boy described the eight persons as being quite small. One of them wore a blue suit and the others wore striped ones. They all wore striped caps. Apart from the person in blue, they all had containers on their backs from which tubes led to their mouths. On their shoulders they had what looked like electric torches, with lights at both ends.

(Source: Holbaek Amts Venstreblad, April 15th, 1967. Credit: Report from Denmark, Vol. 1, No. 3, published by NORREBRO UFO KREDS)

DENMARK Holbak (Date not given)

A farmer from the neighbourhood of Holbak reported a strange experience he had late one night. He kept quiet about it for some time because he was afraid of ridicule.

The farmer said: “I was looking out over the fields when I suddenly saw a strange light. It was not an ordinary light, but artificial and lilac-coloured.

“I was quite staggered. People are not usually at that place at night. Then I realised that something was happening and I went over to it. But midway I suddenly noticed an object. In the darkness it was difficult to see what it looked like.”

The farmer said that the light came from some windows which were almost oval in shape. He could see that there was a dome on the object because he faintly saw the outline of something below. He also saw that something seemed to move behind the windows.

He was so impressed by the experience that he at once went home and went to bed. The next day he went down to the field and found a mysterious substance which he could not describe exactly.

He said that it looked like cotton-wool, but it had a colour he had never seen before. It was much, much finer than cotton. He could hardly feel it when he took it in his hands. He described the colour as “strong”. He gathered a handful and placed it under a stone. The substance disappeared little by little over a period of three days.

In the place where he had seen the object, he discovered that the grass was pressed down. He also notices that the lowest wire on some nearby pylons had been pulled down and dragged about 60 ft.

(Source: Holbak Amts Venstreblad, May 11th, 1967. Credit: Report from Denmark, Vol. 1, No. 3)

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Other UFO Reports

Vancouver, Canada December 29th, 1966 night

Five members of a Canadian Pacific Airlines flight reported that they saw a UFO during a regular flight from Lima, Peru, to Mexico City. The Captain, Robert Millbank, of Burnaby, B.C., said he saw two beams of light during the flight and the other members of the crew gathered to watch.

“It was getting bigger all the time, and at one point shot out a trail of sparks like a rocket. Then it seemed to be getting closer and we could see a string of lights between the two lights that were white. It then levelled off at our wing tip and, in the full moon, we could see a shape between the two lights which appeared thicker in the middle.” He said the object remained a couple of minutes then disappeared behind the big passenger plane.

(Credit: Saucers, Space and Science, Canada – IUFOB. Investigation: News media)

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA May 11th, 1967 11.30 p.m.

Nine witnesses reported sighting an “obje3ct that looked very much like a ‘flying cigar’” over the northwestern suburbs of this city. The object was described as being “at least 70 ft long”, although the object was quite high when spotted. Upon questioning, all witnesses said the object was high, but that “you could tell it was huge”. Investigation turned up the fact that a large dirigible had been in the area that afternoon, doing aerial advertisements in connection with an upcoming Charity Ball, but that the aircraft had left the city at 4.0 p.m. that same afternoon. The physical descriptions given by the witnesses do not match with the possibility that the objects were one and the same. The object sighted was “cigar shaped with a very bright, orange glow about it, and seemed to emit a low humming noise”. Five of those persons reporting said they were first attracted to the object by the noise. All agreed that the object was emitting sparks from the ‘rear’ of the craft. NOTE: All witnesses were interviewed individually – none knew of any other reports of the object.

(Credit: IUFOB. Investigation: IUFOB)

Lier, Belgium April 10th, 1967 8.57 p.m.

The sighting was made by a barber and his wife and daughter at Lier. The daughter drew attention to the object and the family watched it through a window. An oval-shaped object, glowing red, was hovering near the moon. The daughter said that the object had been moving up and down when she first saw it. The family went into the garden to get a better look. Then they saw two smaller objects coming from the upper part of the big one. These objects were one sixth the size of the large one and the same colour. At the beginning of the observation the large object was at an altitude of 45° in a SW direction. The two smaller UFOs left the “mother ship” at that position and flew to the east, via the north. Their paths diverged and they flew at some distance from one another. After moving round to the east, they came together and turned back towards the large object, which moved round to the north. The two small objects made a triangular formation with the large one, then they disappeared suddenly. The observation had lasted for 23 minutes.

When the objects changed speed or made turns, their colour changed from red to blue.

(This is a condensed version of a detailed report sent by the investigator, Mr Edgar Simons, Chairman, Belgian Interplanetary Study Circle, Lier, Belgium.)

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REPORT ON A VISIT TO WARMINSTER BY JOHN HARNEY AND ALAN W. SHARP

May 27th – 29th, 1967

We arrived in Warminster on the Saturday afternoon (May 27th) and soon discovered that there were other ufologists staying there that weekend, including Nigel Stephenson, Ken Rogers, Jimmy Goddard and a party of NICAP/GB members.

That afternoon we learned that the NICAP/GB party had claimed to have sighted two, reddish cigar-shaped objects the previous night from a vantage point on Battlesbury Hill. This sighting took place, we were given to understand, in fulfilment of a prediction obtained during a sort of table-turning session. As we were not present at these events and have no further details at the time of writing, we have no comments to make on them.

During the Saturday afternoon and evening there was talk of a general expectation that “something big was going to happen” that night. We did not share this feeling, so the reason for it remains obscure to us.

Arthur Shuttlewood and his friend, Bob Strong, had organised a skywatch for the Saturday night. Apparently their intention was to take advantage of the Army ranges being open that weekend and to make an excursion to the deserted village of Imber. We joined the convoy in Warminster at the appointed time and soon perceived that some sort of argument was going on. It was not made clear to us just what the trouble was, but it seemed that Arthur Shuttlewood or Bob Strong thought that there were too many people in the convoy and, presumably, it was thought that the UFOs would be put off by the presence of a relatively large number of skywatchers concentrated in one group.

The leading cars in the convoy drove off unexpectedly and were soon lost to view, so the rest of us decided to drive up Cradle Hill, which was near at hand and as good a place as any for observing UFOs, by all accounts. Arrived at the top of Cradle Hill we found that the rest of the party had gone there after all. A great argument was taking place: apparently some proposed to stay at Cradle Hill and others wanted to go to Imber, and among those who wanted to go to Imber there was disagreement over which route to take. Also, various wild rumours were being bandied about, one of being that “the Army would shoot Shuttlewood if he drove on to the ranges”. The whole business was very confusing and we would hesitate to pin the responsibility for this muddle on to any particular person or persons.

Eventually some of us left Cradle Hill and drove up to the ranges. When we reached the guardhouse, Shuttlewood and his friends were already there, having taken a short cut. We then followed some cars across the range to Imber and drew up about half a mile beyond the village to commence skywatching. The sky was rather cloudy and only a few stars were visible. Nothing unusual was to be seen for a time until one of us noticed a flash of lightning on the horizon in an easterly direction. The flashes continued to the east and south east. No thunder was heard, so the storms must have been a long way away.

The other cars went away, one by one, so we finally returned to the guardhouse to see if we could learn if Mr Shuttlewood was having any luck. There were several cars parked there when we arrived and we were told that Shuttlewood had got quite excited when the lightning commenced and said that it was definitely not lightning, but a manifestation of the “Thing”. He had then driven off into the night, hoping to view it at closer quarters.

After some time Shuttlewood’s car returned and he was soon giving the most extraordinary descriptions of what, to us, was merely lightning (1) produced by distant thunderstorms. His car then drove off. We remained a while longer and left at about 1.30 a.m., when it began to rain.

Shuttlewood’s reactions to the display of lightning did nothing to diminish our scepticism concerning many of the UFOs allegedly seen during Warminster skywatches. If ordinary lightning can be transformed, when seen with the “eye of faith”, into something out of this world, one might perhaps be forgiven for supposing that other phenomena, both natural and artificial, are regularly being misinterpreted in similar fashion during such skywatches.

However, when this was suggested, in a review of Mr Shuttlewood’s lecture at last year’s BUFORA Northern Conference, (2) great indignation was aroused. The opinions expressed in that review were based on information received from people with experience of skywatching at Warminster. For example, one report received from a reliable source (3) was an observation of a certain, very well-known ufologist pointing at a star and calling it “a definite UFO”.

That weekend there was some discussion about a report by Arthur Shuttlewood and Bob Strong of a landing at Starr Hill. An account of this alleged incident has been published in the latest issue of SUFOA. (4) We learned that, since this incident, different groups of enthusiasts had been to Starr Hill and had investigated a house from which “strange” lights were said to emanate. Some said the house was deserted and some said it was not. So, on the Sunday (May 28th), Alan Sharp visited the place in question and found it to consist of a settlement of several farms and about a dozen workers’ houses. It was discovered that the “deserted” house was merely not regularly lived in by the owner, who has a place elsewhere, but employees keep an eye on the premises and he pays visits. The rest of the dwellings in the vicinity are occupied.

The owner of the nearest farm to the east of the “deserted” house was interviewed and he said that he had never observed anything odd in the vicinity. He regarded the stories of strange lights, etc., with tolerant amusement and seemed to regard the Army as the source of genuine “unknown” observations.

Various startling UFO incidents are said to have happened in the vicinity of a copse known as Colloway Clump. We visited this area and Alan Sharp enquired at New Farm, only a few hundred yards away from the Clump and in full view of it. The farmer and his son said that they had never seen anything unusual in the vicinity of the copse and suggested that some well-known locals were overworking their powers of imagination. They also said that of all the people who had been poking around in the vicinity, not one had approached the farm for permission to investigate.

A visit was made to one of the houses where strange noises (the “Warminster Sound”) have been heard. The occupants were interviewed and samples were taken from the garden and the gutters. (5) By all accounts, these reports of strange noises appear to be genuine. Some people have attempted to explain them away as being due to the activities of helicopters, but this theory is unconvincing in view of the descriptions given. On the other hand, it would seem to be somewhat rash to accept the popular notion that the noises are due to the activities of alien space craft before other possibilities, such as atmospheric electrical phenomena of an unusual nature (see “Comment”, front page) have been adequately explored.

On Sunday evening we learned that Mr Shuttlewood claimed to have had a “contact” that afternoon. Apparently, one of the “Aenstrians” telephoned him and Shuttlewood told him something to the effect that he would have to see him in the flesh if he was to be absolutely certain that the “Aenstrians” were not just hoaxers and slammed the phone down. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door and a spaceman was duly admitted. This being had a very high forehead and blue lips and had one or two things to say, including the prediction that a third world war would break out shortly. The apparition was also seen by other members of Shuttlewood’s family.

Earlier in the day, Alan Sharp had been treated to a demonstration, by a sceptical Warminster resident, of the technique of making local calls from a coin-box phone without putting any money in the box. The reason for this demonstration was Shuttlewood’s statement that the space people claimed to telephone him from a public box, but he never heard any money going in. (6) However, Mr Shuttlewood’s latest claim would seem to dispose of the necessity of studying the technicalities of the telephone system. At this stage there is no useful comment we vcan make on the new contact claim.

Later that Sunday evening we went skywatching on Cradle Hill, accompanied by Ken Rogers and Nigel Stephenson. It was a clear night and we saw one aircraft, four meteors and a satellite, but no UFOs.

To sum up, then, the strange noises which originally drew attention to Warminster were almost certainly genuine observations. Also, it would appear that there have been other observations in the area which are worthy of further investigation. However, there can be little doubt that the majority of UFO reports from Warminster are spurious. Our own experiences and a careful reading of published reports indicate that many ufologists seem to leave their critical faculties at home when they go to Warminster.

Notes and References

  1. According to the Daily Weather Report of the British Meteorological Office (No. 38538, May 28th, 1967), lightning, but no thunder, was reported during the period 2100-0300 GMT on the night of May 27th-28th at Boscombe Down. A glance at the midnight (GMT) reports from other stations revealed that thunderstorms had been widespread in the southern half of the British Isles that evening.
  2. “Warminster’s Contactee”, MUFORG Bulletin, October 1966.
  3. Private communication to the editor.
  4. Barry W. Woodgate, “Return to Warminster”, SUFOA, March/April, 1967.
  5. We hope to publish more about these observations in a future issue of the Bulletin.
  6. Arthur Shuttlewood, The Warminster Mystery, page 187.

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RECENT BOOKS

The following books will be reviewed in the next issue of the Bulletin:

  • THE WARMINSTER MYSTERY by Arthur Shuttlewood, Neville Spearman, 25/-
  • THE SCORITON MYSTERY by Eileen Buckle, Neville Spearman, 30/-
  • THE INTERRUPTED JOURNEY by John G. Fuller, The Dial Press, New York, 5.95 dollars
  • UFOS FOR THE MILLIONS by Howard V. Chambers, Sherbourne Press Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.

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LATEST NORTH WEST UFO REPORTS

St Helens, Lancs. May 8th, 1967 00.45 BST

The witness was on night duty at a local glass works when he, together with seven other witnesses, sighted a UFO. It was described as a cigar-shaped object, glowing with an orange colour. The apparent size of the object was compared to that of a penny at arm’s length. A small object with a light on top dropped from the main object and re-entered at the top. The object then flew off rapidly on a zig-zag course.

The witness was interviewed by MUFORG member G.T. Woods, after he had read an account of the sighting in the St Helens Reporter. Arrangements are being made to carry out further investigations of this report and we hope to publish fuller details in due course.

Bootle, Lancs. June 17th, 1967 23.20 BST

Stephen Davies (Assistant Secretary, MUFORG) was observing the Moon through a 3-inch refractor, using a power of 200×, when a domed, saucer-shaped object crossed his field of view. The dome was on top, as seen through the telescope (which gives an inverted image). The object was visible for from 2 to 3 seconds. It had no lights on it and was seen only against the background of the sunlit part of the Moon. The sky was cloudless at the time of the observation.

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MUFORG NEWS

Satellites and Space Travel: At the meeting held on June 28th, Mr Stephen Davies gave an interesting talk on the progress of space exploration by means of manned and unmanned spacecraft and satellites. He made a good point when he compared present day progress with the pessimistic forecasts made by experts in the days before the first spacecraft were launched.

Future Meetings: Meetings are held at Alfred Place, (off Park Road) Dingle, Liverpool, 8, commencing at 8.0 p.m. Next meetings are – Wednesday, July 12th (General Meeting) and Wednesday, July 26th (Informal Meeting).

UFO Sightings: Will any members who hear of local UFO reports please send them to me as soon as possible. so that they can be passed on quickly to other members and to the BUFORA Research Co-ordinator, UFOLOG, etc. If I do not already have your telephone number, please let me know it, so that you can be immediately informed of any local sightings. – Ed.

National Skywatch: Weather conditions on Merseyside were somewhat unfavourable for slywatching on June 24th (National Skywatch Day). Nevertheless, several members took part. We understand that reports were negative, but any members who took part should send in reports (if they have not already done so), giving details of weather conditions, etc., to – Mr E.A. Hatvany, BUFORA Projects Officer, East Bedfont, Middlesex.

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BUFORA NORTHERN CONFERENCE

The conference will take place on Saturday, November 4th, 1967, at the Central Hall, renshaw Street, Liverpool, 1.

Conference Co-ordinator:- R.D. Hughes, Liverpool, 4.

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MUFORG Bulletin, April 1967

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, April 1967

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Edited by John Harney

COMMENT

The setting up of a special UFO investigation in the USA, under Dr Edward Condon, caused much enthusiasm in ufological circles and, no doubt, much amazement among the ranks of scientific orthodoxy.

Just what do we expect of this investigation? Anyone who expects an unequivocal statement that the UFOs are interplanetary spacecraft is surely being a little naive, to say the least. After all, ufologists, both amateur and professional, have laboured for twenty years to find a universally acceptable answer to the UFO mystery. So far, they have not succeeded.

There seems to be no reason to believe that this group will make a spectacular breakthrough. Therefore, nobody should be surprised if they eventually issue a rather noncommittal statement – probably urging further investigation.

The best we can hope for, as amateurs, is that the members of the team will be able to suggest ways in which we can best help the professionals. If they do this and if their report receives wide acceptance among scientists, then perhaps the quality of amateur research will be improved by an influx of people who, up to now, have been put off by the bizarre nature of the subject.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

From Dr J. CLEARY-BAKER

Dear Mr Harney,

It is the business of the National Advisory Council to investigate the antecedents of groups applying for admission to BUFORA. The National Executive Committee would certainly not ignore any recommendation made by the Council in such a case. I can recall instances in which applications for Member-Society status have been rejected.

Applicants for individual membership of BUFORA profess themselves in sympathy with its Aims. There is no reason why their applications should be rejected unless someone on the Committee is aware of circumstances which might be held to disqualify them for membership.

UFO-research IS a strange and unusual subject and I doubt that it would be either desirable or practicable to apply any kind of ‘test of scientific orthodoxy’ to applicants for membership of the Association. The only criterion of suitability would seem to be that an applicant’s views on UFOs should be capable of being presented and debated rationally and within the broad framework of ideas and concepts familiar to any well-informed person at the present time. It is, in fact, a question of ‘intellectual climate’.

For example, I should consider advocacy of Ray Palmer’s Hollow Earth Theory highly heterodox but I would not attempt to bar anyone who espoused the Theory from membership of the Association. I would, however, oppose the admission of an applicant who regarded UFOs as angelic messengers heralding the coming of the Last Days and who described Dr Menzel as the False Prophet and Alan Sharp as Behemoth The-Beast-of-the-Waters!

The National Executive Committee is barred by the terms of the Constitution from interfering in the internal affairs of the Member-Societies and I think the Committee is entitled to ask that a similar autonomy apply in its handling of the affairs of BUFORA’s Central Organisation. The Association is the pivot of the complex of Member-Societies but it is also an organisation in its own right. Writing purely in an individual capacity, I would observe that the Constitution bestows many rights and privileges upon the Member-Societies, upon payment of an annual affiliation fee which is, in terms of present-day values, not so much nominal as farcical.

J. Cleary-Baker PhD, Winchester

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RECENT NORTH WEST UFO REPORTS

None received.

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LANDING REPORTS

OHIO, USA. Cheshire – December 8th 1966

A Mr Charles Hern was taking his dog for a walk along the Ohio River at about 0630. He noticed a red light across the river. At first he thought it was only a trapper in his boat checking his muskrat traps, but as he looked he realised it was something he had never seen before, he said.

He called his wife, and together they saw that that the light was on the shore. They said that it appeared that little people were going to and from the object.

Mrs Hern said that they were so stunned and dazzled that they decided to call their neighbours, Mr and Mrs Walter Taylor. Mrs Taylor, a schoolteacher, was the first to come outside and she, too, saw the red and orange lights shining from the object by the river. She said that one of the lights was directed toward the water part of the time.

After the others had gone back inside, Mrs Hern remained for a while. She said that the lights went out and then lights of another colour appeared. Then the object went straight up and vanished.

It was reported that a high school student saw an object of a similar description south of there at about 0500 the same morning.

This incident was only one of several in the Cheshire, Ohio, area in November and December, 1966.

(Credit: UAPRO Bulletin, January 1967. Source – The Messenger, Athens, Ohio, December 12th, 1966)

FRANCE Chapelle-Taillefert (Creuse) – 19th March, 1967

Members of a family called Thomasson and another witness saw at 0200 (approximately) a very luminous, sort of cigar-shaped object, which landed.

(Credit: Phénomènes Spatiaux, March 1967)

“Little Man” report from Valensole

According to a report from M. Francis Peyregne, writing in the March, 1967, issue of Phénomènes Spatiaux, five persons in a farm undergoing repairs on the Valensole plateau had an encounter with a strange being, similar to those described by M. Masse.

The incident took place in January, 1967. The five witnesses are said to have surprised the creature in an empty room at the farm. The being was said to be wearing a beard. They tried to catch it, but something like an invisible force made it slip from their hands. It escaped through a window and disappeared during a chase in the fields. The witnesses insisted on anonymity.

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BUFORA NORTHERN CONFERENCE 1967

The BUFORA Northern Conference will take place on Saturday, November 4th, 1967, at the Central Hall, Renshaw Street, Liverpool, 1.

Conference Co-ordinator: – Mr R.D. Hughes, Liverpool, 4.

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MUFORG NEWS

Officers for 1967-8: At the Group’s Annual General Meeting, held on April 19th, Officers elected were as follows:-

  • Chairman: A. Rawlinson
  • Vice-Chairman: A.J. Draper
  • Secretary: R.D. Hughes
  • Assistant Secretary: S. Davies
  • Treasurer: Miss M.P. Black
  • Minutes Secretary: J. Harney
  • Astronomy Secretary: A.J. Draper
  • Librarian: Miss I. Amery
  • Committee Members: R. Donnelly, C. Hardy, G.T. Woods

Criticisms of BUFORA: A letter from Mr T. Whitaker, on behalf of the Halifax Branch of BUFORA, is published in the latest issue of BUFORA Journal. The letter sets out a list of suggestions for future procedure at BUFORA Annual General Meetings. These suggestions are very constructive and, if carried out, should ensure that no member who attends the meeting will feel that he has wasted his train fare. This letter was previously circulated to BUFORA affiliates for comment. It was read out and discussed at a recent MUFORG meeting and received unanimous approval.

Note: Membership of MUFORG does not include membership of BUFORA. Prospective members should apply to the General Secretary, Mr M. C. Holt BA, Claygate, Surrey.

Raffles: It was decided at the AGM that raffles will be held at MUFORG Meetings to raise money for the Group. Members are invited to donate suitable prizes.

Future meetings: All meetings are held at Dingle, Liverpool, 8. Meetings commence at 8.0 p.m. Meetings in the near future will be held as follows:-

  • Wednesday, May 17th – General Meeting
  • Wednesday, May 31st – Informal Meeting
  • Wednesday, June 14th – General Meeting

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Next issue: In the June issue we hope to publish reviews of two books, due to be published mid-May by Neville Spearman. They are The Warminster Mystery by Arthur Shuttlewood and The Scoriton Mystery by Eileen Buckle. These two books promise to be controversial to say the least.

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MUFORG Bulletin, February 1967

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, February 1967

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Editor: John Harney

COMMENT

The reviews of the BUFORA Annual General Meeting by R.D. Hughes and Paul Hopkins had a rather mixed reception. Some of the points they raised are dealt with in letters published in this issue.

There remain, however, some details to be cleared up. I have noted that some people read the articles literally and took them to be an attack on BUFORA by MUFORG. This is not so. The writers were merely giving their personal impressions of the meeting. During the past year this Bulletin has printed the opinions of contributors virtually uncensored. This is simply because it is merely an informal news=sheet which MUFORG members and other recipients use as a platform to air their views as frankly as they wish, on their own responsibility and in their favourite literary styles.

Having attended the BUFORA AGM myself, I must agree with the general opinions of it expressed by Hughes and Hopkins. However, there did no seem to be anything wrong with the organisation of the meeting. Had I written the review I would have criticised the audience. It was painfully obvious that most of them were there for the purpose of reinforcing their uncritical belief in the flying saucers and their alleged denizens. The very air was thick with easy credulity.

I did not agree, though, with every criticism made by our contributors. Like Gilbert’s Lord High Executioner, “I’ve got a little list” of people – ufologists – who “never would be missed”, but Nigel Stephenson is not included in it. His talk was the most positive and objective of the meeting. (Whether it was boring or not is not important.) He managed to show us that the basic work of the serious ufologist consists mainly of a routine sifting, sorting and evaluation of basic data. Throughout his talk he continuously, but unobtrusively, emphasised the need for a cold, objective appraisal of the various sightings. Indeed, Nigel Stephenson is one of the dedicated handful of ufologists who keep BUFORA on the rails.

When considering the criticisms of Hughes and Hopkins it should be borne in mind that BUFORA is supposed to be dedicated to the scientific study of the UFO problem. In reality, though, anyone who is willing to fork out the 21/- subscription can become a member and any group of enthusiasts who call themselves a UFO organisation can become affiliated (in actual practice, if not in theory). The result of this is that BUFORA seems to some of us to consist of a handful of talented people wasting their precious spare time pandering to the prejudices of a crowd of armchair ufologists and some notorious cranks.

Those who favour leaving things as they are present two main arguments. Firstly, a large membership is required in order to provide the necessary finance to carry out basic research and investigations. It is also desirable to affiliate with as many local groups as possible in order to get a good coverage of the country to facilitate the collection of basic UFO data. Secondly, supporters of the status quo argue that ufology is such a strange and unusual subject that all shades of opinion and all ideas, however wild they may seem, should be tolerated.

On the other hand, there are the more scientific types who demand that BUFORA’s approach to the subject should be – and should be seen to be – rigorously objective and that those who are unable or unwilling to live up to this ideal should be denied recognition and excluded from participation in the affairs of BUFORA.

This sort of controversy is not, of course, new to BUFORA or, indeed, to practically any other UFO organisation. If readers have any ideas as to how UFO organisations in general should be run, what their policy should be and under what conditions people should be accepted as members, I would be pleased to hear about them.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

(Letters intended for publication should be marked “For Publication”.)

From; Dr J. CLEARY-BAKER

I am not an aspiring BUFORA bell-wether and I feel that BUFORA Journal serves a more useful purpose as a forum for ideas than it would as a ragbag for every forlorn shred of a UFO report which comes to hand. Sighting reports in bulk are apt to be boring rather than enlightening – as victims of our recent AGM will no doubt agree!

The “temporary membership” nonsense about which Paul Hopkins complains is a legal gimmick forced upon us by circumstances outside our control. We must, however, accept any blame which may be due for a peculiarly dismal function. The whole thing reinforces a contention of mine that the AGM is one meeting which ought to be a charge on BUFORA funds and should not be expected to pay for itself.

With the utmost respect for our friends of CUGIUFO, I feel that they overlooked the fact that many of Britain’s veteran UFO researchers were among the audience at their recent Congress. It is, perhaps, a trifle redundant to lecture such old-stagers on ball-lightning and the like. Also, to CUGIUFO and to MUFORG, I would stress that Dr Hynek’s recent observations on “temporal provincialism” in contemporary scientific circles are deserving of attention. Our Vice-President, Mr L. Cramp, has just published a book Piece for a Jig-Saw (Somerton Publishing Co., Cowes, Isle of Wight), which should dispel any doubts as to his suitability to remain one of BUFORA’s figureheads. Len is no fool-on-a-march and could certainly run rings around many of his critics.

Scientific method is one thing but scientific dogma, which is, in effect, the exaltation of ephemeral hypotheses to the rank of near-theological articles-of-faith, is another. Young UFO-researchers should not think that even the white-coated godlings of the laboratory know everything yet. There are still a few facts left to be discovered. — J. Cleary-Baker, PhD, Winchester, Hants

From: Mr ANDY MAYERS

One way of helping to fill up 12 pages of the MUFORG Bulletin is by printing letters protesting about articles that appeared in previous issues, so I hope you may find room for another letter from this writer.

I wish to take issue with Messrs Hughes and Hopkins.

I have seen a copy of the AGM Minutes. The Journal issue referred to in your December 1966 Bulletin, top of page 4, was settled. Four Journals will be published each year, quarterly, as at present, with Newsletters being available from G.N.P. Stephenson at a cost of 5/- for 6 issues (plus 6 S.A.E.). This statement agrees with the notes I took on the proceedings.

Like Mr Hopkins, I was somewhat puzzled by the “BUFORA Temporary Membership Card”, for one day only, and the signing of the Book, but before having a rave in print like Mr Hopkins, I checked with BUFORA Officials, and found that there was a perfectly reasonable answer. Under the “Conditions of Hire” relating to the Kensington Library no admission charge may be made, but subscriptions may be collected. Hence a Temporary Membership Card in return for a 3/- subscription. Similarly it is a Library rule that all persons entering the Hall must sign their names. The Honorary Secretary of the Association told me that they have no love for this system, so I suggest that Mr Hopkins takes the matter up with the Greater London Council, not the poor old BUFORA Committee!!

The MUFORG Bulletin is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting, amusing, provocative and stimulating UFO publications that I have come across, but please do not spoil it by blatant inaccuracies, and comment based on unchecked facts.

May I close by echoing Messrs Hughes and Hopkins’s plea to the BUFORA organisers for a more entertaining programme of lectures after the next AGM. Your correspondents were bored, the person next but one to me went to sleep, and I think the chap in front of me did a crossword!! Wake up, everyone. — Mr Andy Mayers, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

From: Mr Stephen Smith, BA

Thank you very much indeed for sending me a copy of your Bulletin. I have been impressed by its lively content and congratulate you on such a fine publication.

I was particularly interested to receive your comments on the various meetings held recently under the auspices of BUFORA, and especially the two reviews of the Annual General Meeting by Messrs Hughes and Hopkins.

Personally I do agree that some of the speakers at the AGM and during the public meeting afterwards did not seem to know when to stop talking and sit down. Like many an artist they spoilt their canvases by overdoing the detailed brush-work. On the other hand I must put into perspective two pints raised by your contributors. The irritating affair of asking every member of the audience at our public meetings to sign a visitors’ book and pay a temporary membership fee is caused by a recent tightening up of the Kensington Library rules that state that only members may be present at meetings and that no admission charge may be made at the door. It is not BUFORA’s policy to finance the London meetings from out of the subscriptions of those members living too far from London to come to the meetings; but they have to be financed somehow. Thus to pay for the room-hire we are forced to use the temporary membership device that Mr Hopkins so objects to.

Your other contributor, Mr Hughes, clearly did not follow the Journal debate very closely. The outcome of the discussions was a decision to keep the Journal as a quarterly publication. Of course the Journal of the future will only be as good as the contributions within its pages. If any of your readers in the Merseyside Group have some constructive ideas to put forward for improving the Journal, then please would you, Sir, be so kind as to ask them to send them to the Council Secretary, through their representative on the National Council.

Finally I would like to clear up the matter of the Vice-Presidency. It is probably my fault that your contributor believes that my main objection to the re-election of Mr Cramp to the Vice-Presidency is his absence from all the BUFORA meetings throughout the past year. This is not so. My main complaint lies with his published work Space, Gravity and the Flying Saucer, which consists entirely of a tottering tower of hypotheses, balanced on a foundation of ill-conceived gravitational theory which can be destroyed by the application of some of the simplest ideas on gravitation at present held to be correct. — Mr Stephen Smith, BA, Coventry

From: Mr J. Harnwell, Chairman of MUFORG

At the January 1967 meeting of MUFORG I expressed my feelings about the mode of expression used in certain articles published in this Bulletin recently, and I was not surprised to find that my feelings were shared by other members present at the meeting.

In fairness to other contributors I must mention names. The articles in question were written by Mr D. Hughes and Mr P. Hopkins. Both of these young men are extremely keen and active members whose services are greatly appreciated. I respect their right to criticise but I feel sure that they will now realise that criticism of a facetious and unconstructive nature can have a very damaging effect on human relationships, particularly within an organisation which is in the formative process.

I sincerely hope that all concerned will allow the emotional heat generated in these recent exchanges to die down, so that we may get on with the real work for which this organisation was formed. — J. Harnwell

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PAUL HOPKINS REPLIES

In a recent letter to the Editor, Paul Hopkins defends his style of writing in his usual forthright manner.

He writes: “. . . The main issue is my facetious style, well perhaps it is; then perhaps it is written in that style for a purpose. Indeed I do it for a purpose, not for getting kicks I assure you. No, my pen and my style is a weapon that I use time and time again, in order to stir where stirring is needed and to ridicule that which is ridiculous.

“No group or ideal is beyond criticism and ridicule, least of all BUFORA and MUFORG for that matter. There is a lot of rot to be cleared and in order that we may clear away the rubbish that is rapidly accumulating one has to strike hard, where it hurts most, using any weapon at hand and this is what I intend to do.

“If members of MUFORG do not like this attitude of mine, it only takes a Committee meeting to block all future writings of mine if they don’t fit in with the ideals and beliefs of the Group. Though censorship would speak for itself – would it not? I certainly will not change my style, so take it or leave it!”

The Editor certainly has not intention of submitting the Bulletin to censorship and would like to draw the attention of readers to the note on the back page of every issue of the Bulletin which states that all opinions expressed are the responsibility of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of MUFORG.

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THE TW3 OF UFOLOGY

by Jimmy Goddard

Over the last four years of running a small UFO magazine, I have been in the fortunate position of receiving many UFO magazines both from Britain and abroad. But one of them stands out from all the rest as a work of very real talent. If the writers of MUFORG Bulletin had no hand in producing BBC TV’s “That Was the Week That Was” then they certainly should have done, for the literary quality of the satire contained therein is high.

The magazine seems to be based on a rather strange religion, which states that the human race id both infinitely inferior and infinitely superior at the same time. This strange creed holds that while man is just a collection of substances in a random pattern going nowhere, he still has divine omnipotence in that what a certain section of his community believes at this moment in time to be the correct way of exploring the universe, is of necessity the absolute standard for all time, and fire and brimstone to blasphemers! Dr Cleary-Baker summed this up much better than I ever could when he mentioned at the November BUFORA meeting that they believe that “the science of today is the science of eternity”.

Of course, I would be the very last person to deny anyone their religion. I have one myself; I believe in God. And, as anyone who knows me will quickly realise, the fact that I was able to utter any words on the BUFORA stage about Sky Scouts or anything else was a miracle, and I am not the type by whom miracles are wrought. Of course, I have no knowledge of who or what gave me the power to speak at the meeting, nor why they should do so for “a long list of mysterious lights (or pies) in the sky”. Perhaps if I had been issued with a mathematical brain, seemingly the passport to MUFORG’s oracle, I would know, but somehow I doubt it.

However, be that as it may, and for all the literary merit of MUFORG Bulletin, I cannot really see how it is going to help the study of UFOs by running down BUFORA’s hard-working Research Officer and the other speakers at the meeting. If nothing else, it threatens to lower the morale of the Association, and that at this time could be dangerous. BUFORA may have its faults, but it was the first organisation in Britain to really get its teeth into the UFO problem, and we could ill afford to lose it. It may be as well to note here that the subject is one which could have direct bearing on all our lives in the very near future. In other words, don’t let’s hinder. Let’s help.

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RECENT NORTH WEST UFO REPORTS

None received.

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BOOK REVIEW

PIECE FOR A JIG-SAW by Leonard G. Cramp, MSIA, ARAeS, Somerton Publishing Co. Ltd., Newport Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight, Price 28/- 388pp

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

In the Foreword to his book the author says, “Over the last seventeen years or so I have become increasingly convinced that flying saucers, amongst other things, are extraterrestrial spaceships powered by a form of gravitational manipulation (g field) the fundamental concept of which was set out at length in Space, Gravity and the Flying Saucer.

“The dual purpose of this subsequent book is to reconsider the ‘G field theory’ in terms of more recent sightings and to offer evidence of a mechanical nature for the consideration of both the layman and the technician alike.

“To this I would hasten to add that those who might hope to find the know-how of ‘anti-gravity’ will not find it in these pages . . .”

Your reviewer can vouch for the truth of this statement as he has searched most diligently for some convincing evidence in the book that the manipulation of gravity for flight purposes is a genuine practical possibility.

Unfortunately the requisite evidence has not been forthcoming and the idea appears to be little more than a pious hope supported by a belief that spaceships of extraterrestrial origin are visiting the Earth.

Broadly speaking, Mr Cramp’s not inconsiderable volume is divided into two sections.

The first of these examines some physical considerations whilst the second consists of ten analyses of allegedly corroborative evidence.

The book finishes with two chapters entitled respectively “The Bi-field Theory” and “Vindication of a Scout Ship”, which do not add much weight to the argument.

It is, of course, quite true to say that many ideas which at one time seemed preposterous have later become accepted as everyday matters of fact and are now firmly established in the ever-growing corpus of systematised knowledge which we call science. Nevertheless one must beware of a too uncritical acceptance of novel theories, even in this age of rapid discovery.

The main objection to the postulate of variable G, which is implicit in Mr Cramp’s theory (p. 116), is that it seems to have no rigorous mathematical or laboratory support and is indeed at variance with what is known about gravity. For example, the value of the constant of gravitation is determinable with fair accuracy in the laboratory (Cavendish and Boys) and is always positive, never negative and is constant within the limits of experimental error, irrespective of the nature of the materials used in the experiment.

When Einstein was developing his theory of gravitation, known as General Relativity, he found that at a certain juncture he had the option of choosing between a positive sign and a negative one. Whichever he chose automatically eliminated the other and he naturally chose to make gravity an attractive force, in accordance with the experimental evidence.

Later, Hoyle and Narlikar obtained similar equations to those of Einstein, but expressed in particulate form, and found that they had no choice at all of sign – gravity was always an attractive force. Analogies between gravity and magnetism are not very helpful since magnetism is well known in the laboratory as a bi-polar effect.

It is not sufficient to say, as Mr Cramp does on page 116, “So we assume our space vehicle can generate a field which does not cancel out the Earth’s field, but rather opposes it”, and “. . . we will start from the beginning with the premise that our space ship creates such a field in the space around it”. Verbal devices of this sort may suffice in the realms of science fiction, but are not science and cannot be considered as adequate premises for drawing valid conclusions about spaceship propulsion.

No field theory has yet been devised to encompass both magnetism and gravitation, despite frequent references in UFO literature to “Einstein’s Unified Field Theory” which imply that gravitation has been brought into the fold, as it were, of some all-embracing set of generalised field equations. In point of fact a unified field theory, as suggested by the author on page 116 of his book, and in this connection he apparently rejects Mach’s principle, though without going into any detailed discussion of this important aspect of gravitation theory.

Most relativistic cosmologies do satisfy Mach’s principle and hence imply that inertia and the value of the gravitational constant are not determined locally, but by matter at a considerable distance, such as that of the most distant meta-galaxies. If this view is correct it follows that the value of G cannot be significantly affected by purely local events such as are assumed by the postulate of gravity propulsion. In addition it follows that the implications regarding inertia do not encourage a belief in the possibility of isolating passengers from the effects of vehicular acceleration.

In fairness to Mr Cramp it must be said that cosmology is currently in such a low state of health that many of its more far-flung hypotheses are best regarded with extreme caution, not to say scepticism.

Turning now to the evidence it would seem reasonable to consider the matter of surface phenomena and in particular, the so-called ‘craters’, on account of their comparatively non-ephemeral nature (Chapters 12 and 17). I have no hesitation in saying that those craters for which adequate information is to hand were not caused by the activities of extraterrestrial spaceships, but by considerably more mundane events.

Specifically, the craters at Charlton, Sanquhar, Cockburnspath, Middle Moneynut and Flamborough Head were caused by lightning. The Niton and Berkshire holes were the result of subsidence and the Dufton Fell areas of disturbance were due to the outbreak of sub-surface water following a period of very heavy precipitation.

A great deal of nonsense has been talked about the Charlton occurrence but in point of fact this was a classic example of the type of ‘crater’ ascribable to the strike of lightning on open ground. It displays radiating surface marks, removal of material and a central hole. It was preceded by a violent thunderstorm accompanied by strong winds and was in a an area of considerable storm damage to crops. The lightning struck the ground where there was evidence of a local elevation of the water table and produced detectable magnetic effects in the magnetite-bearing soil, similar to those recorded at Cockburnspath in Scotland.

The strike occurred at a point on a previous field boundary where a large iron straining-post had once been embedded in the ground and secured by metal stays. The disappearance of plants was by no means complete, as had been alleged by one person, according to Mr Bealing, the Shaftesbury photographer whose photographs appeared widely in the Press at the time. Captain Rodgers, of the Army investigation team also reported the finding of plant remains at the site.

Regarding some of the other quoted examples of saucer visitations there is little reason to doubt that Captain Mantell died as a result of attempting to climb above the ceiling of his aircraft whilst chasing a large balloon engaged on upper atmosphere research (page 316). The Whidby Island ‘contact’ case describes an object which appears to have been nothing more mysterious than a small helicopter.

To summarise, then, Piece for a Jig-Saw is not a bad purchase for the price even if only to pass a few winter evenings in the realms of science fiction. The rather large amount of pseudo-science which it contains should not be taken too seriously in view of the flimsy nature of the supporting evidence. The style is quite interesting though rather repetitive, but one unfortunate feature of the book is the lack of a bibliography. The index should be considerably more comprehensive. There are plenty of black and white drawings and over thirty photographic plates to illustrate the text.

Mr Cramp has obviously worked hard at his somewhat unconvincing thesis, but although failing to convert your humble servant to his way of thinking, is nevertheless to be congratulated for provoking a re-assessment of some aspects of physics.

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MYSTERY MEN THREATEN UFO WITNESSES

It now seems that all these stories we hear about sinister characters threatening witnesses to significant UFO incidents are really true after all. The US Air Force has now publicly disowned them, thus leaving open wide avenues of speculation as to exactly who they may be and what their mysterious purpose is. The following intriguing item appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on January 29th:-

Mysterious men dressed in Air Force uniforms or bearing impressive credentials from government agencies have been trying to “silence” people who have seen unidentified flying objects (UFOs or “flying saucers”).

This was confirmed today (January 28th) by Col George Freeman, the Pentagon spokesman for Project Blue Book, an Air Force scheme to investigate all UFO reports.

A team of scientists will try to determine, once and for all, whether “flying saucers” are myth or reality.

The sudden appearance of unidentified people apparently trying to suppress information is an added mystery. “These men are not connected with the Air Force”, said Col. Freeman.

He cited one case in which police officers and other witnesses at sightings in New Jersey were said to have been told by a man in Air Force uniform that they “hadn’t seen anything” and should not discuss the incident.

“We checked with the local Air Force base”, Col. Freeman said, “and discovered that no one connected with the Air Force had visited the area on that date.”

Another man, bearing credentials from the North American Air Defence, saw Mr Rex Heflin, who had taken a series of pictures in California in 1965, and demanded the originals. Later, the defence body denied having anything to do with the incident. The photographs have never been returned.

In February, 1960, Mr Joe Perry, a restaurant owner in Grand Blanc, Michigan, took a similar set of pictures and was soon visited by two men posing as FBI agents. They seized a photograph of a dome-shaped object with a green tail.

More recently, a man claiming to represent “a Government agency so secret that he couldn’t give its name” questioned two boys at a school in Norwalk, Connecticut, about the disc-shaped object they said had pursued them last year.

“We haven’t been able to find out anything about these men”, Col. Freeman admitted. “We would sure like to catch one.”

Many witnesses said they saw several Air Force helicopters manoeuvring over a New Jersey reservoir after a sighting last October. Col. Freeman said that no formation of helicopters had been in that area at the time.

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RECENT LANDING REPORTS

Oklahoma, USA near Moore – October 1966

Reports of a possible landing near Moore, Oklahoma, have been investigated by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation (UAPRO). The actual landing was not witnessed, but the date was thought to be in early October 1966. The initial investigation was conducted by a resident of Moore, Mrs Linda Gerstner, for the Oklahoma UFO Research Association.

Physical evidence consisted of a rough, 10 ft circle of flattened vegetation. The plants, ragweed, were about 2-3 ft high and had been flattened as if a heavy weight had rested on them. The ground was unbroken and no other physical traces were found. The location was a shallow ravine about 1 mile south of Moore.

Several witnesses had observed mysterious lights in the ravine on October 6th and 7th. One light was photographed and the picture showed a round ball of light very close to the ground. Also, a large triangular UFO in the vicinity on the night of October 7th, by two witnesses.

UAPRO regards this incident as a “probable” landing.

(Credit: UAPRO and Belgian Interplanetary Studycircle)

Colorado, USA Daniels Park, Denver – April 7th, 1966

The date of this incident was wrongly given in the October, 1966, issue of MUFORG Bulletin as April 8th. The actual date was April 7th. The incident has been investigated by the Colorado State representative of UAPRO, Mr John Stevenson.

This investigation has revealed some rather strange aspects of the case. We quote from the report of the investigation published in a special issue of UAPRO Bulletin (Vol. 1, No. 4).

“. . . The group built a fire in the shelter and ate their lunch.

“At approximately 6.45 p.m. they heard sounds outside the shelter. Mari Zolar and Don Otis decided to go out and look around. Don and Mari were outside the shelter – and down the valley a small distance a ‘man’ or ‘what had the shape of a man’, was standing next to Mari. Mari evidently heard something as she turned the flashlight on the ‘man’ [It should be emphasised that Mari only heard a sound and was shining the light in that direction, or where the others were seeing the 'man'' - Ed.], but she was unable to see him!!

“Patty Retherford and Kaye Hurley saw all of this from the shelter, but did not say anything to Don and Mari when they returned.”

When the youths were leaving the park, they saw a UFO following their car, except for the driver, who looked in his rear-view mirror, but was unable to see it.

Credit: UAPRO

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Moseley and NICAP

Mr James Moseley, editor of the American UFO magazine Saucer News, has been expelled from NICAP. A Committee has been formed with the object of obtaining the restoration of his membership and an apology from NICAP officials. Apparently, the reason for his expulsion is that he published some criticisms of NICAP.

Anyone interested in this matter should write to Donald R. Cook Jr., East Point, Georgia, USA.

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New UFO Magazine

A new UFO magazine with a popular appeal has appeared on the scene. It is the Journal of UFO Worldwide. The editor is Michael Montgomery, Bradford, Yorkshire. Subscription to the magazine is 16/- a year, including 6 Newsletters. There is also the UFO-Advertiser (6 issues, 3/6), giving details of UFO publications, etc., for sale or wanted.

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US Fireball

On the night of February 15th, a flaming object shot through the sky for 45 minutes down the west coast of America before disappearing into the Pacific Ocean off Los Angeles.

The object was seen by thousands of people from Las Vegas to San Francisco. It appeared to be brightly coloured, possibly in flames, and left a blazing wake.

Mr Troy Norlander, an astronomer at Griffith Park Observatory, said the object was “definitely not a meteor”.

Mr Horace Keane, the Federal Aviation Authority’s regional duty officer in Los Angeles, said aircraft and ships 100 miles out to sea reported that a mysterious object passed overhead.

Later reports claimed that the object was a Russian booster rocket re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.

Liverpool Echo – 16/2/67

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MUFORG NEWS

Money: At the Group’s February meeting financial regulations were tightened up. In future, all items of expenditure on behalf of the Group must be submitted in writing to the Treasurer to be voted on at the next monthly meeting and, if approved, to be signed by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman before payment can be made. This will give all members a say in deciding how their subscriptions shall be spent.

Assistant Secretary: The Group agreed to the appointment of an Assistant Secretary. Mr Stephen Davies was elected to this new office.

Bulletin: At the February meeting the Chairman, Mr Harnwell, initiated a discussion on the comments on the BUFORA AGM published in the December issue of MUFORG Bulletin, and asked members present for their opinions. Views expressed varied from outright condemnation to enthusiastic approval. No vote was taken. During the discussion it was pointed out that some MUFORG meetings would provide plenty of scope for “satirical” comments!

New Headquarters: MUFORG now has its headquarters in rooms at Alfred Place, Dingle, Liverpool, 8. These rooms are for the exclusive use of MUFORG and they have been redecorated, thanks to the hard work of several members. First meeting at the new HQ was held on February 22nd. Next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 8th, at 8.0 p.m. Alfred Place is off Park Road, not far from the Dingle bus garage. Many buses pass nearby, including Nos. 20, 3, 82, 500 and H1.

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MUFORG Bulletin, December 1966

 

Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group

MUFORG Bulletin, December 1966.
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Edited by John Harney

COMMENT

At the recent BUFORA Congress at Cambridge there was some discussion of the problem of investigators who become emotionally involved with the witnesses whose stories they investigate, with the result that they come to believe their stories without demanding objective proof.

All UFO erudites will realise that this psychological phenomenon, which applies particularly to contact stories, is a serious obstacle to objective research. The problem is to decide what to do about this. The answer, of course, is for serious UFO groups to ensure that contact cases are investigatred by reliable people.

Where are we to find these reliable investigators? We are hardly likely to find them within the ranks of ufologists. We must, therefore, attempt to enlist the aid of people who know little about the subject, but have experience of extracting the truth from witnesses, who are unlikely to be easily fooled and who have plenty of spare time at their disposal.

Does anybody know of any retired C.I.D. men who do not believe in flying saucers?

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RECENT NORTH WEST REPORTS

Netherton, Lancashire October 19th, 1966

The UFO was seen at about 20.00 BST, for about five minutes, by two schoolboys. The object was a brilliant white, oval shape and had sharp outlines. The object moved from NW to NE while under observation. The sky was clear except for some scattered cloud. The witnesses claimed to have seen a similar object, at the same place, on two previous occasions. The size of the object was compared to that of a pea at arm’s length.

(Investigated by Stephen Davies)

Netherton, Lancashire October 24th, 1966

Two objects were seen on this occasion, again by two schoolboys, one of whom was a witness to the sighting described above. The time was 1515 BST and the objects were in view for about 20 minutes. The size of the objects was compared to that of a pin-head at arm’s length. One object was seen at first, then another. They had a silvery, metallic appearance, but had blurred outlines. They were moving slowly SE. Three jet planes appeared, travelling NE. As they passed the UFOs, one object moved towards the other. The objects eventually disappeared behind a large cloud. The surface wind was light, SE.

(Investigated by Stephen Davies)

Northwich, Cheshire December 3rd, 1966

The witness, Mr Harry Jones, was driving home from Trafford Park, Manchester, where he is a works manager, to Northwich, when he saw a triangular, glowing shape travelling in the air immediately in front of his car.

He was travelling at about 50 m.p.h. and the object seemed to be keeping an even distance in front of him. Then it suddenly swung away but returned and cut across the front of his car. After a short time it veered away and disappeared.

Northwich police investigated, but could offer no explanation.

(Liverpool Daily Post 5/12/66)

Meteorite? On December 4th, at 20.20 GMT, many witnesses rfeported a brilliant flash over the Irish Sea. Formby Coastguard Station reported: “It was like a shower of white sparks which vividly illuminated the sky for two to three seconds.” The phenomenon was generally thought to have been a meteor.

(Liverpool Daily Post 5/12/66)

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BUFORA CONGRESS – Cambridge – October 22nd, 1966

The Congress was organised by the Cambridge University Group for the Investigation of UFOs (CUGIUFO). The afternoon session was presided over by Dr G. Doel, Chairman of BUFORA.

Mr S.A. Miller (CUGIUFO) gave an account of his painstaking research into historical UFO reports. He was followed by Mr A.C.H. Durham, whose theme was scientific UFO research. Mr Durham raised several interesting points. He said that the practice of CUGIUFO, when investigating sightings, was to interview the witnesses if possible. Otherwise they write to the witnesses, asking them to describe the sightings in their own words. CUGIUFO finds this method preferable to the use of printed forms.

Mr Durham stressed the need for a genuinely scientific journal dealing with UFO investigation and research. Terminology should be clarified and investigation techniques improved. Ufologists should take steps to improve their knowledge of unusual natural phenomena.

He was followed by Mr J.M. Crabtree, Chairman of CUGIUFO, dealing with the same theme. Mr Crabtree was particularly scathing about unscientific approaches to the subject and vague “so-called theories”, resulting in bad publicity, discouraging suitably qualified people from taking an interest in the subject. In this connection he singled out for special mention Mr Leonard Cramp and his book Space, Gravity and the Flying Saucer. (This was to have an interesting sequel at the BUFORA Annual General Meeting.)

Mr Crabtree went on to insist that “tripe” must be eradicated from UFO research and that there should be more use of instruments, such as magnetic detectors etc. He ended by emphasising that the theme of the Congress was the scientific investigation of UFOs.

Mr C.M. Sinton (CUGIUFO) followed with a fascinating illustrated talk on UFO photographs. He showed how easy it was to fake UFO photographs, but also that some classic pictures have not been exposed as fakes, despite the efforts of various experts. He made the interesting suggestion that some of Adamski’s photographs and the Darbishire photographs were genuine, and that Adamski made up his stories after seeing and photographing a genuine UFO.

Unfortunately the main speaker, Dr R.L. Gregory, of the Department of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge University, did not have much time in which to develop his theme. Nevertheless he managed to show us how seeing depends as much on the brain as on the eye and how the brain can be fooled when the eye is presented with inadequate or incompatible information.

After dinner, talks and discussions were held on the subjects of electronic detection equipment and the investigation of UFO sightings.

The Cambridge Congress did not get much publicity. The reason, we later learned, was because reporters could not find any cranks or crackpots to interview. They either stayed away or were overawed by their surroundings.

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COMMENTS ON THE B.U.F.O.R.A. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

by R.D. Hughes

The meeting was opened by Mr G. Creighton who, in his address, stated that he thought the next years of British ufology would be a long grind up to the solution in X years time of the UFO problem. I am inclined, in part, to agree with him as, at present, there are three ways of approaching this subject:

(a) Serious, scientific UFO research, which is based on hypotheses and their proof, and preparing to carry setbacks at considerable cost to achieve either a positive or a negative result.

(b) Catalogues of types, flight paths and numbers of such, in order to achieve — ?

(c) Believing everything written in books or uttered by various “authorities” on the subject.

The first method is, for many people, rather dull, but most people not actively engaged in this form of research still find the results rather interesting. The second method, practised by BUFORA, is probably that to which Mr Creighton referred. The last method is probably very entertaining, but does not lead anywhere. I prefer not to lump contactee information with general research, as only by general research can the necessary background information be achieved to verify the stories.

In general, BUFORA’s years ahead may be rather dull, but they base a great deal of their work on amateurish ideas and methods instead of a professional approach using a proper scientific method and good equipment for quantitative and qualitative measurement. I suggest that they should discourage such practices as selling diffraction gratings at three times their market price, or detectors, however good, unless they are combined with adequate support equipment.

I entirely agree with Mr Creighton’s remarks that too many people are attempting to pressure the governments of countries into releasing their files on UFOs or demanding from them some action by way of research into the subject. If any government were to accept the fact that UFOs exist it would immediately lose the confidence of its electorate because it would be agreeing that something can fly over its airspace and possibly deliver nuclear weapons, apparently unopposed, thus making a mockery of the enormous amount of money and effort devoted to defence. As far as UFO groups are concerned, those who so annoy the governments will, in times such as these, leave themselves open to being called enemies of the state under a clause in the “Treasonable Offences Act”, dealing with the morale of H.M. people.

The skywatch at Warminster was rather unsuccessful. The only spectacular and very unexpected event being Dr Cleary-Baker sitting in a mystic traingle of lights all night for some unexplained reason.

A great controversy raged over the future of the BUFORA Journal. It was proposed that either two Journals and several news-sheets be issued or four Journals and additional news-sheets be issued. Dr Cleary-Baker defended the Journal in the following manner:-

Dr J. Cleary Baker: The Journal is a forum for ideas and keeps members of other groups informed of latest events.

Chorus: Hooray!

J.C-B.: The science of today is not necessarily the science which is acceptable to ufologists.

Chorus: Hooray! Ba-a!

J.C-B.: We should keep the Journal as a valuable source of information for posterity.

Chorus: Ba-a! Ba-a! (as in sheep)

And thus nothing was settled.

Another unsettled matter was that of the Vice=President, Mr L. Cramp. He has apparently not attended many BUFORA meetings and did not attend the A.G.M. Whether or not to have two or more vice-presidents was left in the air until the next A.G.M.

The talks and reports were for the most part long and boring, but an interesting talk was given by Mr Normal Oliver on a contact story involving a claim to have proof of Mantell’s fatal encounter with a UFO.

On the whole the A.G.M. was a rather dismal affair and retrogressive from other AGMs in that it offered nothing positive in decisions. Reports and talks were, with one exception, uninformative and dull. When such a gathering of BUFORA members and affiliated groups from many parts of the country is assembled, I imagine that they expect a more interesting programme than G.N.P. Stephenson droning on about lights in the sky for far too long, or Brinsley Le Poer Trench’s Sky Scouts mumbling about Mr Shuttlewood’s “space stations”.

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B.U.F.O.R.A. BORES

by Paul Hopkins

Never before have I been so utterly and miserably bored by a flying saucer meeting as I was at the last BUFORA A.G.M.

All my impressions of what BUFORA would be like have been dashed to the ground by the very hand that placed them there.

I entered the large building and found myself in a warm and futuristic atmosphere. The building was well-lit, clean and the carpet soft underfoot. This was really going to be an experience I would not forget. Somewhere in this vast building were the cream, yea! even the brains behind the mysterious world of ufology and I was going to see them.

I descended into the bowels of the building and paid three shillings at a desk, which entitled me to temporary membership of BUFORA – for one day! BIG DEAL. Why not just an admission ticket and why this ridiculous ritual of writing your name and address in the book before being issued with a ticket? Are we creeps or something? Or perhaps they were hoping to pinpoint a few spacemen that walk about disguised as earthmen. Can you imagine it? If not, read on:

“Will you please write your name and address here, Sir.”

I can’t.”

Why not?”

“I can’t write.”

“You can’t write?”

“No, you see, I am Adamski, reincarnated as a Venusian and what’s more, to prove it, I have a nut and bolt from Mantell’s Mustang.”

“You liar!” another voice may well retort. “I am Adamski, I have his boots to prove it.” An all-in fight develops and the vision departs from my tortured mind.

I found myself a comfortable cinema-type seat in the spacious lecture hall and the meeting began with a few odds and ends. Then we had the report of the year’s flying saucers and what a year it was! The lecturer rambled on, and on, and on. Green ones, blue ones, orange ones, ones with knobs stuck on. Square windows, round windows, blinking lights and the blinking lot.

What a relief when he finished! I personally would have rather read from the telephone directory, at least it would have been far more interesting.

Next, a gentleman took the platform and reported on his investigations into a contact claim and also took the chance to plug the book he was helping to write, which I thought was most distasteful indeed. Never mind, to continue with the show –

A youngish chap scuttled onto the platform. He looks rather odd! Now why? Ah! I see, he gas a pair of wings in his buttonhole. A pair of wings? Gad sir! He must be a Venusian. What did he say he was? A Sky Scout? Is that all? Well, as long as he doesn’t bore us with a long list of . . . Oh no! Spare us, please! We are condemned to another long list of mysterious lights (or pies) in the sky. Oh what a shame he had a skywatch before he came to talk about his society.

That badge! Never, ever, in my life have I seen such a ridiculous, top-heavy looking piece of ironmongery. One thing stood out – the list of sightings was as much use to us in its presented form as a peanut is to an elephant.

The only part of the meeting that aroused any interest in my disillusioned soul was the business that concerned the revolutionary UFO detector, which apparently not only detects UFOs but, guess what — You were right! R-A-D-I-A-T-I-O-N. Isn’t it time for Dr Who’s entrance?

Disappointment again — Brinsley le Poer Trench happened to be in the audience. Still, he is the man I have most wanted to meet after Mickey Mouse, so I didn’t go home too disillusioned.

For goodness’ sake, BUFORA — pull your socks up. You can surely do better than this, especially when people come from such vast distances just to attend your meeting.

Little wonder a large number of the audience end up in the Adam and Eve. I ended up by travelling in the wrong orbit on the tube.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

From Dr J. CLEARY-BAKER – Editor of BUFORA Journal

Dear Mr Harney,

I don’t think I can be described as credulous or as a person likely to be deceived by childish tricks or imposed upon by anyone with a strong personality. I hope, therefore, that you will attach some little weight to my repudiation of your attack on Mr Shuttlewood in the October issue of MUFORG Bulletin

Arthur has always been most helpful to me and to all members of BUFORA investigating the Warminster phenomena but he has never sought to “muscle-in” on any incidental publicity and in fact, during “Warminster Week”, went out of his way to avoid so-doing. I made a few private investigations before I ever met him and can tell you that he is well regarded in various responsible quarters. These facts hardly comport with your picture of a shady confidence-trickster in search of cash or notoriety.

Cradle Hill – I wish various publications, includig yours, would learn to spell “Cradle” correctly, by the way – is on the edge of the slice of Salisbury Plain appropriated to the use of the Military and only six miles from the derelict village of Imber, reputed scene of various hush-hush experiments. Apart from this, we have on the plain the Biological Warfare Centre at Porton and the rocket-range at Larkhill. It does not seem unlikely that an alien source surveying human activities would be interested in the Plain. Such an alien source might well “anchor” a large UFO above it and make frequent checks with the aid of remote-controlled scanners.

Most of Arthur’s 288 UFOs have been what I call “UFO-lights”, i.e. starlike objects resembling the “Foo-fighters” of World War Two and probably identical with them. I suggest the continual appearance of such UFO-lights over Cradle Hill need not occasion too much surprise on the hypothesis outlined above. I may add that I have myself witnessed a few examples of these UFO-lights, changing course, speed and brightness while under observation. If you think I don’t know a satellite when I see one, or that I could be fooled by silly tricks with stars and satellites, I suggest you apply instantly to BUFORA to get me removed as Editor of the Journal on grounds of incompetence!

Incidentally, I recently witnessed an excellent example of a UFO-light from Cradle Hill, at an hour of the morning when Arthur was, I presume, home in bed in Warminster. He MAY have been ensconced behind the hedge making mesmeric passes to befuddle my companion and myself, or he MAY have been up in a balloon with a torch and evil intentions – but I don’t think you will seriously entertain either possibility!

To deal briefly with your other points. Arthur came to the Bradford Conference at considerable expense and trouble to himself. It seemed to me that the audience enjoyed his address, even if many may not have agreed altogether with the interpretations placed on certain things.

There are tales current in the Warminster area of individuals falling under moving vehicles and emerging unhurt. Arthur did not invent these. His interpretation may be “way off” for all I know, but the stories themselves are a fact.

I know of no reason to doubt that Arthur did receive mysterious ‘phone calls saying the things he relates. I don’t know whether the calls were from extraterrestrials or from mischievous undergrads on the spree. That is not the point at issue.

Perhaps I have said enough to suggest that you have presented only one side of the story as regards Warminster. There IS another side. It seems to me that investigation is needed here, not attempted character-assassination, which is what your article amounts to insofar as it concerns itself with Mr Shuttlewood.

The above represents my personal reaction to your attack on Arthur Shuttlewood. I don’t know what the wider reaction within BUFORA – if any – may be.

J. Cleary-Baker, PhD, Winchester, Hants.

From Mr TREVOR WHITAKER – Hon. Secretary, Halifax Branch of BUFORA

Dear Mr Harney,

I feel that you have been rather hard on Mr Arthur Shuttlewood in the October issue of MUFORG Bulletin. Perhaps he is mistaken with regard to many of his sightings and perhaps he is a little naive in some of his views, but he does admit to having no background to the subject and only recently reading any of the literature on UFOs. In private conversation with him before the Bradford Conference we gained the impression that he was a genuine sort of person who firmly believed the ideas and events he described. In some cases, his evidence, not mentioned during his lecture, is quite strong. I am unable to accept that his stories have been invented to make money. He cannot make much from his book and he refused a fee or refund of his travelling expenses for his visit to Bradford. Not the action of one setting out to make money.

In closing may I thank you for your kind comments about my members’ efforts in organising the Bradford Conference. WSe were most grateful and encouraged by the support we received from the Northern Societies and from the B.U.F.O.R.A. Executive Committee. We all enjoyed doing it very much and look forward to the future when we may be asked to organise another similar event.

Mr T. Whitaker, Halifax, Yorkshire

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American UFO Investigation.  The director of the now-famous official UFO investigation, based on the University of Colorado, Dr Edward Condon, recently told a reporter:

“None of us had anything to do with UFOs before – I think that’s why we were chosen. We are just getting started and are like first-year students. I am trying to see what is involved and to get into the whole subject.”

The US Air Force has turned over all its files on UFOs. At Boulder, the scientists are always on the alert, ready to fly out to investigate reports of “interesting” sightings in the country.

(Sunday Express 4/12/66)

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MOONLIGHT AT WARMINSTER

by ALAN W. SHARP

To any British investigator of the UFO phenomenon the little town of Warminster nestling below rolling chalk hills on the edge of Salisbury Plain holds a fascination second to none, and after learning from Mr Arthur Shuttlewood that sightings could be made on any clear night, your investigator determined to visit the place again at the earliest opportunity.

So it was that shortly after dusk on Tuesday, November 1st, 1966, a small car, loaded with paraphernalia and with myself at the wheel, approached the town from the direction of Frome, some eight miles distant to the west, on what promised to be a perfect night for observation.

The moon had just begun to rise and the planet Saturn was visible in the sky to the south as the main street came into sight and with it the house which had been recommended as a base for operations and where a top-floor room was immediately secured having an excellent view of the surrounding hills in the direction where the anticipated events were expected to occur.

A key to the premises was obtained and the task of moving a carload of impediment was completed, but not before clouds had begun to obscure the sky in ever increasing amounts until ebentually even the moon was hidden and a thin drizzle began to fall.

However, as the best time for seeing strange things had been put at around 4 a.m. not too much notice was taken of the weather and the writer retired to bed unwontedly early after setting the alarm for 3 a.m. and making suitable preparations for a sortie at that hour.

Promptly at three the peace was shattered and your observer staggered to the window to find everywhere bathed in moonlight with the last of the clouds moving quickly away to the south. Needless to say the streets appeared deserted and the car started without any difficulties due to ignition failure. Evidently I was at last to be allowed to make a move in the right direction, though subsequent events might make the return journey less easy.

Proceeding up the main street, the Westbury road was taken as far as the signpost pointing towards the West Wilts Golf Club, where a right turn was made up the long hill leading to the Imber Ranges.

Driving up the narrow road with headlights out, half expecting to meet some apparition from another world, I felt a distinct sense of uneasiness as the lights of the town were left behind and the moon’s ghostly radiance became virtually the only source of illumination, until suddenly a cluster of bright lights sprang out on the hilltop to the left.

I stopped the car and felt a tinge of fear as I opened the door and stepped onto the road, fingers fumbling with the binocular case.

What could those lights be at such an hour? Curiously I raised the glasses and focused on the hill. A dim shape was revealed but, disappointingly, seemed to bear more resemblance to a house than to a space-craft. I determined to investigate further on the way back, but the incident left a heightened feeling of unreality as the journey was resumed.

Then, as the road began to level out I was amazed to find the way barred by a white iron gate where on a previous visit there had been no obstruction. The unexpected event was not reassuring and as I stepped out of the car for the second time I realised that it would now be necessary to complete the last half mile on foot.

A chill wind was blowing and, as I collected camera and binoculars, a bright meteor flashed overhead from the direction of the moon. The time was 3.40 a.m. and the omens appeared auspicious for some unusual event. I hoped I should not regret having dared to scoff at the possibility of extraterrestrial activities at Warminster and felt a keen sense of loneliness as I looked back at my car, forlorn and desolate in this strange place.

I had half expected to meet some other humans out here on the UFO quest and every roadside shadow took on a strange form as I trudge up the hill, occasionally looking backward in apprehension of being stalked by the unknown.

However, no beings materialised and eventually the shape of the guard house came into view with the barrier for some unaccountable reason raised into the open position. Was this some sinister invitation to enter?

The planets Mars and Jupiter looked down in silent scrutiny as I shone a torch inside the building but ther was no one in occupation. The muted roar of the wind in a nearby copse and its whistling sound round the hood of my anorak were sufficient to drown most other noises, I reflected as I peered round the hut into the forbidden territory, to see to my apprehension what appeared to be a crowd of formless black shapes a hundred or so yards away and an indistinct, saucer-shaped white patch reflecting the moonlight slightly to the right, whilst the distant glow of some reflected light enhanced the eeriness of the situation.

I determined to press on, come what might, and gingerly eased round the barrier onto the concrete apron.

To my surprise the dark shapes materialised into the forms of wrecked cars and I clambered onto one of them for a better look round.

The reflected light seemed to come from a naked bulb somewhere out on the range and the white shape was in fact a long mound of chalk bulldozed out of the hillside to create what appeared to be a refuse pit of some description.

Then I saw a faint yellow light glide across the sky at a low elevation from east to west and I focused the binoculars on it as it passed close to the star Deneb, almost due north of the constellation Cygnus. A pulsating red light could now be seen and a faint drone was borne on the wind above the nearer sounds. The object was evidently an aeroplane bound for some unknown destination, possibly Bristol. The time, 4.10 a.m.

Cold but reassured I returned to ground level and continued my reconnaissance, but without meeting anything further out of the ordinary.

I looked at Jupiter to pass the time. Two of the Galilean satellites were visible close to the planet. Nothing unusual there.

No clouds, either, to be investigated, so at five-thirty I began to walk downhill to the car which I was relieved to find still where I had left it and without any sinister occupants waiting to escort me to an exciting rendezvous.

A quick cup of hot tea and I was on my way back to Warminster, though not without first finding the origin of the mysterious lights. It was the Golf Club-house, strategically situated, I thought, for UFO observation, though why the outside lights should be on remained a mystery. Perhaps the members liked to play by moonlight. Or did they?

Arrived in Warminster, I surprised an early milk roundsman and made two purchases. He seemed to take my odd appearance for granted fortunately and, armed with refreshing fluid, I parked the car and eventually climbed back into bed as the first signs of dawn appeared in the eastern sky, a somewhat disappointed but perhaps rather relieved ufologist.

Interestingly enough I had seen no satellites during my sojourn but a quick glance at the official predictions showed that Echo I had been visible earlier in the night, but had moved too far to the west, while Echo II was in southbound transit and hence was eclipsed in the earth’s shadow.

Looking back now I am glad I made the trip; it was an adventure, but the vigil was not one which I could recommend to anyone of a nervous disposition.

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UNIDENTIFIED SATELLITES. United States authorities disclosed on November 1st that three unidentified satellites were orbiting the earth. They were thought to be fragments of rockets or captured meteoroids.

(Liverpool Daily Post 2/11/66, Daily Express 2/11/66. Credit: Miss M.P. Black)

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RECENT LANDING REPORTS

FRANCE Rebouillon (Var) July 17th, 1966 03.45

The three witnesses were travelling to Draguignan by car when they sighted a UFO shortly after passing the Rebouillon crossroads (Rebouillon is about 6 km NW of Draguignan, on Route Nationale 155).

The UFO was about 300 metres away from them when they first saw it. It was moving rapidly and had two lights whose beams were apparently soft, but not diffused.

When the driver stopped the car to observe the object, it almost stopped and the lights were extinguished.

The “saucer”, which was light-coloured (dull, metallic grey, according to the newspaper Nice-Matin) was pitching and turning in total silence. Three or four illuminated portholes were visible about half way up the body of the craft. When it stabilised itself, lights came on underneath it. A brighter part, like a metallic plume, curved upwards from the side of the craft.

Dogs were barking and howling in the countryside. The witnesses turned back along the road to find a nearer observation point, but the UFO disappeared when they had gone ahort distance.

(Credit: Phénomènes Spatiaux September 1966)

FRANCE Montsoreau (M. et L.) July 28th, 1966 22.45

The two witnesses, M. and Mme. Lacoste, were exploring a piece of land they had bought at Montsoreau, when Mme. Lacoste suddenly saw a red ball in the sky, which she at first thought to be a meteor, but the nearer the ball came to the ground, the more blinding became its light. The object landed, then took off again and hovered at several metres above the ground for several moments, then climbed. It was about 300 or 400 metres away from the witnesses.

The witnesses got into their car in order to drive nearer to the object but it went out of sight behind a wood. They saw its light behind the trees, then nothing. The observation had lasted for about 3 or 4 minutes. The object was also seen from the nearby hamlet of Momoniere de Montsoreau.

The following Sunday, a M. Alain Rouiller discovered in a wheatfield at the place where the object had apparently landed, a well-defined square of flattened wheat, measuring 2.5 x 3 metres.

(Credit: Phénomènes Spatiaux September 1966)

OHIO, USA on highway US 224, between Randolph and Atwater April 1966

Two police officers, Dale Spaur and Barney Neff were driving intheir patrol car, haeding east along US 224 between Randolph and Atwater when they spotted a red and white 1959 Ford beside the road. They stopped to check it. The car was filled with walkie-talkies and other radios. A strange emblem was painted on the side. It was a triangle with a bolt of lightning inside it. Above the emblem was written “Seven steps to hell”.

Suddenly Spaur heard a humming sound behind him. He turned and saw a huge, saucer-shaped craft rising out of a woods. The entire underside of the craft was gleaming with an intense purplish-whaite light. Spaur called to Barney who turned, saw the craft, then stood paralysed. Neither moved. Spaur was sure that he could not move. The UFO rose to about 150 feet and moved directly over the patrol car. Both men felt heat streaming from the bottom of the craft. Its light was so intense that their eyes watered.

Spaur thought of moving back to the car, but something seems to tell him that if he touches it, it will disappear. Then the UFO moved away from the car and stopped. The men raced back to their patrol car and reported the sighting by radio. The officers were ordered to shoot at it, but felt that they could not do so. The UFO was about 50 feet across and about 15 to 20 feet high. On top of it was a large dome. An antenna jutted out from the rear part of the dome. On the orders of the night sergeant they proceeded to chase the craft. They followed it, at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, racing eastwards through Ohio and into Pennsylvania. The craft seemed to be letting Spaur follow it. It waited for him at crossroads. Finally, after sunrise, the chase ended near Pittsburgh, when Spaur ran out of petrol.

After his experience, Spaur became a nervous wreck. His marriage broke up, after he gave up his job of deputy sheriff and went to live in a motel in Solon, Ohio. Others involved in this incident were similarly affected.

(The Sunday Home News, New Brunswick, NJ, 9/10/66. Credit: Belgian Interplanetary Studycircle)

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UFO LANDING REPORTS – Investigation, Research and Hypotheses

The Humanoids. In Flying Saucer Review’s special issue, “The Humanoids”, Mr Charles Bowen gives details of British landing and occupant reports. Just for the record we mention here three other British incidents.

First, a contactee story. A man claimed to have been picked up by a “space vehicle” on the top of Helsby Hill, Frodsham, Cheshire, one night in November 1959. (1) He claimed that the spacemen were golden skinned and about 5 ft. 2 in. tall. They took him up to a “mother ship” which took him to the planet “Shebic”. He was returned the next night to Moore, a few miles away.

At about 0400 in the morning of August 16th, 1955, a Mr Ernest Suddards, lorry driver, accompanied by his 13 year old son, was driving down Roundhill Street, Bradford, Yorkshire, when the two of them suddenly saw something in the glarfe of the headlights. (2) Mr Suddards described it as being like a boy, 4 ft. tall, dressed in skin tight black clothes, arms down by sides and feet together. It jumped, in jerky movements, both feet together and seemed dazzled by the headlights.. Shining in the headlamps was a circular, silvery disc perforated with holes and situated just below the throat of the being. The thing moved forward a few yards, then turned abruptly into a passageway.

Mr Suddards later claimed to have met a Mr Joseph Wood, who told him of seeing a strange light in a field. The investigator of Mr Suddards’s story, Mr Jack Ibson, called on Mr Wood, who described how he was taking a short cut near Bowling Park, on August 19th (1955) at about 23.30, when he saw, reflecting a nearby street lamp, a bright silver bullet-shaped object, standing upright behind a small hillock. He estimated the height as about 12 ft. and the diameter as about 4 or 5 feet.

From it was coming a high-pitched buzzing noise – like a radio set out of order. Mr Wood hurried away as fast as he could, but passed there again on his return journey (he had been visiting a friend) and the object was still there.

(References: 1. Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 6, No. 2; 2. Flying Saucer News, Autumn 1955)

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NORTHWICH MYSTERY

A man phoned the police on the evening of December 6th, to say that he had seen a flying saucer about 300 feet above the ground at Branton, Northwich, Cheshire. The UFO was described as crescent shaped, with portholes. It made no noise. (Daily Mail, 7/12/66)

A UFO sighting on December 3rd is described [under the heading "Recent North West UFO Reports"].

Since [these reports were] typed, we have learned that the police have been conducting an investigation into the December 4th meteor. A police constable, who observed it from Neston, Wirral, said that it was not over the Irish Sea, as indicated by other reports, but was in the direction of Northwich. The police were evidently not satisfied with the meteor explanation. It is interesting to speculate on a possible connection between this incident and the two Northwich sightings.

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BOOKS

FLYING SAUCERS – SERIOUS BUSINESS by Frank Edwards, Lyle Stuart, Nedw York 5.95 dollars

Readers of this book will no doubt be struck by the similarity of its style and approach to that of Keyhoe. Frank Edwards evidently shares the preoccupation of many American ufologists with the attitudes of the US Air Force and its apparent suppression of interesting UFO information.

Although the book inevitably contains much material already familiar to most ufologists there are some fascinating chapters, includoing one about events in the Soviet Union.

Apparently, in 1965 there was a large-scale UFO flap in the Kazakstan area of the Soviet Union. Official silence on the subject was interpreted by the people there as a sign of official impotence and wild rumours began to spread. Eventually the authorities were forced to act. Astudy of Russian publications has revealed that Russia and the United States use similar techniques for dealing with the UFO problem and public reactions to it.

The author deals very well with one of the favourite replies of astronomers when confronted with questions on UFOs. This is, of course, the assertion that no professional astronomer has ever seen a flying saucer. Mr Edwards debunks this one by producing an impressive list of astronomers who have admitted seeing UFOs.

In his concluding chapter Mr Edwards seems to support the ideas of NICAP on UFOs. Apparently we are now witnessing the sixth phase of a seven phase programme of the UFOs – the appearance to the greatest number of people to demonstrate both the presence and lack of hostility of the UFOs. The seventh phase is supposed to be “Overt Landing”, or deliberate contact and is expected within a few years. Well, we shall just have to wait and see!

INCIDENT AT EXETER by John G. Fuller, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 5.95 dollars

In September 1965, journalist John G. Fuller, having noticed an unusually large number of well-documented UFO reports among his press cuttings, decided that it would be interesting to track down a single good UFO report and find out the truth behind it. He finally settled on the famous Exeter, New Hampshire, sighting of September 3rd, 1965, witnessed by two police patrolmen and others.

He went to New Hampshire and investigated this and other sightings. His account in this book gives a vivid impression of what it’s like to be around when a large-scale local flap is in progress. The number and quality of the witnesses and the consistency of their stories were impressive.

Fuller noticed that many of the low level sightings took place near high tension power lines. It has since been suggested by some scientists that the UFOs were a form of ball lightning, somehow generated by the powerful current in the cables. Anyone who reads the detailed reports in this book will find this explanation rather unconvincing.

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MORE SIGHTINGS AT WANAQUE RESERVOIR

In early October of this year there were several sightings of UFOs in the vicinity of Wanaque Reservoir, New Jersey, USA.

The sightings were reported by policemen and local residents. The objects were described as saucer shaped, glowing with various colours. Some of them manoeuvred low over the water of the reservoir. Wanaque police said that they had received numerous reports of UFOs in the area during the past two years.

(Atlantic City Press, New Jersey, 12/10/66; The Daily Home News, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 14/10/66. Credit: Belgian Interplanetary Studycircle)

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MUFORG NEWS

Northern Conference. MUFORG has agreed to organise the 1967 BUFORA Northern Conference.

Meetings. From January, 1967, MUFORG meetings will be held fortnightly, instead of monthly as at present.

It pays to advertise. At the November meeting it was announced that 30 replies had been received in response to an advertisement in the Liverpool Echo. Five new members attended the meeting. More new members and prospective members attended the December meeting.

Vice-chairman. Mr Alan Rawlinson was elected Vice-chairman at the Group’s December meeting.

NEXT MEETING of the Merseyside UFO Research Group will take place on Wednesday, January 11th, 1967, at the Free Church Centre, Tarleton Street, Liverpool, commencing at 8.0 p.m.

1967 Meetings. MUFORG meetings have so far been arranged for the following dates in 1967: – 11th January, 8th February, 8th March, 12th April, 10th May, 14th June and 12th July.

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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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