Merseyside Unidentified Flying Objects Research Group
MUFORG Bulletin, October 1967
Edited by John Harney
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”?
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:
- Glowing white oval. Estimated size – sixpence at 3 yards. Elevation between 45 and 60 degrees. Moved “not too quickly” westwards into cloud.
- Glowing white oval. Estimated size – larger (nearer?) than No. 1. Elevation approximately 45 degrees. Moved “faster than before” southwards.
- 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.
- 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.
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:-
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.”
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.