Monday, September 27, 2010

The Flying Saucer - Republished! (by Nick Redfern)

Bernard Newman's 1950 book, The Flying Saucer, is one of the most thought-provoking UFO novels ever written - largely due to the fact that the author moved seemingly effortlessly within the real-life world of international espionage, and may have based his novel on secret, real-life attempts by U.S. Intelligence to exploit the whole "crashed UFO" scenario for reasons relative to psychological warfare.

Indeed, I dug deep into the story of Newman and The Flying Saucer in my own book, Science Fiction Secrets, which was published by Anomalist Books last year.

So, you may ask: why am I telling you this now? Simple: a brand new edition of Newman's book has just been published by the good people at Westholme Publishing. A review-copy has just arrived at the Redfern household and, after re-reading it and refreshing my memory, I'll be posting a brand new review of the book right here.

For those who may want to obtain a copy of the new, 2010 edition of Bernard Newman's 1950 novel The Flying Saucer, here's the Amazon link:

Amazon link

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A UFO experience via e-mail


I never believed in ufos, although my mother told of her aunt and uncle in Florida having a sighting (before roswell) that left a burn mark in the field. I took an astronomy class in college where the instructor (retired nasa) said it would be impossible due to the distance.

Fifteen people and I went out to stargaze on sackrider hill near portage lake after our friends wedding. Tom pointed out a moving red dot in sagitarius that got bigger and descended in a stairstep pattern and hovered before all of us at the bottom of the hill. We were scared shitless but got up the nerve after a while to walk down the hill to get a closer look. We were nearly up to it and it moved to the top of the hill.

It laid down the grass next to me when it went overhead like a helicopter would, but with much slower pulsations than the blades of a helicopter sound like.

It was much more realistic looking than any supposed pictures or drawings I had seen before (or since) of ufos. It had far more actual detail to it and many more windows, much like an ocean-going cruise ship, and I mentioned to the others that it must be tourists. It took off like a bolt of lightening after a while (much like descriptions I read about later-mind you I never read about them before, or anything else that might appear in the national enquirer for that matter). We went back to the lake house, still in utter disbelief, and compared stories and descriptions until daybreak, just to confirm that we were not hallucinating.

It is a hill with a big cross on it, in case you want to go by there some time.

I read some of your blogs and thought you might be interested.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Travis Walton [REDUX]


Nick Redfern and Raven Meindel interview Travis Walton, Thursday night [9/23] at 8 p.m., on Exploring All Realms.

Click here for more information

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The 1966 Ann Arbor "Swamp Gas" fiasco and UFO abductions


J. Allen Hynek’s albatross – the 1966 Ann Arbor/Dexter/Hillsdale “swamp gas” fiasco – was covered by this writer when he was an intern at the Detroit NEWS.

Click here for the Hillsdale newspaper account of that area’s sighting. (Disregard the Manor name in the article. The correct name is Mannor.)

The reporting and stories about the UFO sightings – flying saucer sightings – are well-known to UFO aficionados, but there is an aspect that seems obliquely interesting…

Dirk Vander Ploeg, Publisher of UFO Digest, provided, just recently, an account of alleged UFO abductions of two young boys (the Reed brothers) in Tennessee in the Spring of 1966; the Michigan incidents took place in late March (20th and 21st) of 1966.

Here are links to Dirk’s intriguing recountings:

Frank Mannor and his son, Ronald, along with several Hillsdale College students were not abducted, nor were any of those, as far as we know, who also saw a UFO in the Spring of 1966, all around the country:

And no one reported seeing any beings, such as those described by the Reed boys.

So what is the connection, if any?

When the Mannor farm (now replaced by a housing development) and the Hillsdale area just outside the campus (where the coeds spotted their UFO) was surveilled by reporters, a significant element was noted, at both locations: the plethora of willow trees.

Both sites were boggy, as Dr. Hynek cited, and used to explain his “swamp gas” explanation. Willow trees made up much of the flora for both sites.

Were willow trees an important ingredient in the UFO appearances? That both the Hillsdale and Dexter locations were replete with willow trees, coupled with the alleged Reed abductions wherein a willow tree plays a significant part, seems more than a vegetative coincidence.

We’re checking to see if there are references or notes about what greenery was in proximity of other Spring 1966 sightings.

Here is a synopsis of the Willow Tree myth from the Tree of Life web-site:

Most willow species grow and thrive close to water or in damp places, and this theme is reflected in the legends and magic associated with these trees. The moon too recurs as a theme, the movement of water being intimately bound up with and affected by the moon. For example, Hecate the powerful Greek goddess of the moon and of willow, also taught sorcery and witchcraft, and was 'a mighty and formidable divinity of the Underworld'. Helice was also associated with water, and her priestesses used willow in their water magic and witchcraft. The willow muse, called Heliconian after Helice, was sacred to poets, and the Greek poet Orpheus carried willow branches on his adventures in the Underworld. He was also given a lyre by Apollo, and it is interesting to note that the sound boxes of harps used to be carved from solid willow wood.

We don’t see a connection but maybe someone like Nick Redfern can intuit a meaning if there is one.

We just found it interesting, that's all...

Monday, September 13, 2010

UFOs and The Smiley Blanton Syndrome


In a monograph (1966) for Abnormal Psychology, University of Michigan, this writer provided an epithet – The Smiley Blanton Syndrome – for the confluence of materials that form a new memory or recollection, composed of diverse artifacts that a human mind accumulates, around a topic.

That is, when one reads or sees an item, then reads or sees another item (in the same or near-same context), a new memory or recollection is formed, from combining and mixing the disparate data/information.

The new memory or recollection is considered to be valid (or true, real) by the person who has “created” the new memory/recollection, even though it is a unique creation made up of tidbits that are only tangentially connected if connected at all.

This corresponds to the theses advocated by Bartlett in his 1932 work, Remembering, which remains a primary, still relevant work by cognitive psychologists and neurologists. (See current thinking about Bartlett’s work by accessing the list of materials below.)


When a witness to a UFO event, such as Roswell or Betty/Barney Hill’s testimony, after-the-fact (of their alleged abduction), comes into contact with related materials, they tend to incorporate, unconsciously or semi-consciously, elements from those related materials, forming a new “reality.”

This isn’t a direct malfeasance by the persons concocting the new “story” or enhancing another story in the news. It is a quirk of the mind, as Bartlett noted, correctly, many years ago.

The Smiley Blanton Syndrome, which was reproduced in experiments at U of M, provides a template for UFO researchers who want to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.

Roswellian testimony is a selective source for determining if a witness has, inadvertently, combined multiple data and input to form what appears to be accurate and supportive testimony from other Roswell witnesses.

This is Anthony Bragalia’s thesis: the testimony he has acquired resonates with other witness testimonies.

The collective memory flaws are also addressed by Bartlett and the writers below. (Jung, too, dealt with collective memory, and its caveats.)

It is time to move away from Roswell testimony and witnesses, in the public arena, anyway, and time to move on to other UFO events without the residual energy of ET believers and resident debunkers or skeptics that Roswell generates.

That is, until Mr. Bragalia, and a few other UFO researchers produce information from new leads, which may (or may not) confirm the ET crash in Roswell.

(The RRRGroup is not holding its united breath, however.)


N.B. Bartlett's book Remembering (1932) is frequently cited as a major forerunner of the information processing approach to memory and cognition....remembering in natural contexts. A re-examination of Bartlett's work demonstrates that it offers little basis for an information processing approach, but rather that it offers the foundation of a much broader, culturally contextualized and functional approach to the study of everyday remembering. Three particular themes are discussed: the integration of social judgements and affective reactions with cognition, the role of conventional symbols in the coding and communication of experience, and the importance of conversational discourse. Bartlett's best-known studies, involving the method of serial reproduction, are shown to be microcosmic demonstrations of the process that he was most concerned with—that of conventionalization of symbols rather than of the workings of an individual's memory. It is argued, again beginning with Bartlett, that everyday remembering may be most fruitfully studied in terms of its personal and social functions, and particularly through its realization in discourse. [Conversation and remembering: Bartlett revisited, Derek Edwards, David Middleton, Copyright © 1987 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd]
The thinking person's emotional theorist: A comment on Bartlett's "Feeling, imaging, and thinking" [Tim Dalgleish, British Journal of Psychology, 2009]
Bartlett, Culture and Cognition [Edited by Akiko Saito, University of Cambridge, UK, 2000]
Disparate Effects of Repeated Testing: Reconciling Ballard's (1913) and Bartlett's (1932) Results [Mark A. Wheeler and Henry L. Roediger, III, Rice University, American Psychological Society, 1992]

Thursday, September 09, 2010

UFOs, Zamora, Zamorro, Big Foot, and ?

The tale in a clipping we found in our batch or UFO stuff intrigues in several ways.

Click here to see clipping

Lonnie Zamora saw a UFO with two beings near by. Zamorro saw a “saucer” with a Big Foot creature near by.

What’s our point?

That observations of UFOs and other paranormal artifacts (ghosts, sea monsters, fairies, et al.) are connected by synchronous delusions, variegated by the mind-sets of the observers, posing a psychological or neurological link amongst witnesses to UFO events, as we and Paratopia’s Jeff Ritzmann would have it.

UFOs, while having, sometimes, a tangible effect on materiality, the residue or remnants of that original tangible effect are lost or muddled in the observational aftermath.

UFOs have remained elusive for millennia. Collected data has provided no distinct clue as to what they are.

Ritzmann, among others, think that UFOs alter their presence or appearances to correspond to the cultural/societal conditions at the time they are observed.

That is, UFOs adopt the technological attributes of the period in which they are seen or witnessed.

No, it’s not a matter of interpretation by witnesses – such as chariots of fire in the early historical records of humankind or the 1890 airships. What is seen or reported is exactly what is seen; the UFO (or flying saucer) manifests itself precisely as witnesses have reported them.


The “saucers” of the 1950s, the occupant-sightings too, were geared to the mind-set of the observers.


The zeitgeist determines how UFOs will look -- their apparent construct.

But as the old philosophical saw goes – if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? – applies: if a UFO is in the vicinity of humans, but no one is around to see it, does it produce a tangible presence (for cameras, radar, et cetera)?

It seems that real UFO incidents need humans to perceive them, directly or indirectly.

And when humans perceive the UFO(s), they do so with all the aggregate mental detritus that suffuses their mind or memory.

Is there a UFO reality that is concrete or uniform? Apparently not.

UFOs alter themselves – we’re suggesting a living attribute obviously -- or are altered by the mental configurations of those perceiving them.

There is no one UFO presence, no one UFO reality. UFOs are all things to all people, manifesting their reality dependent upon the mental make-up of the person or persons taking in their presence, in the air, on the ground (as in previous years, more so than today), or via technology (radar, for instance).

And those who refuse the reality are also determinant mentally. They refuse the “reality” or “delusional reality” of others because they are saddled with mind-sets of a restrictive kind.

Until neurology, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines tackle the UFO phenomenon within the parameters of human mental vagaries, the mystery will remain elusive.

Hypothesizing about UFOs with an extraterrestrial orientation seems a futile enterprise. The folkloric aspect, propounded by Jacques Vallee or Dr. David Clarke, is a sensible approach.

But one shouldn’t eschew the ET interpretation out-of-hand. It remains a possibility, in the great scheme of things, but it shouldn’t becloud other interpretations, as it has for the past 60 years or so….

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Trent (and other UFO) Photos [REDUX]


We’ve always thought that the 1950 Trent/McMinnville photos were fakes, based upon the amount of time that the “flying saucer” stayed in view – long enough for farmer Trent to snap two pictures, without the UFO traversing much distance between shots. (Trent must have had a fast shutter or fast shutter-finger.)

However, the comparison of a 1954 photo (above) from Rouen, France with one of the Trent photos, France in UFOs 1968 magazine gives us pause.

There is also this photo from a man in Germany that duplicates the Trent “saucer:


While many (most?) flying saucer/UFO photos are fakes, some are not.

UFO researchers might seek out those similar UFO photos that are not connected by locale or time for information that integrates with other UFO accounts to see if there are elements that might provide clues leading to a clarification of the UFO mystery.

Certain photos, such as the Heflin polaroids, the Trindade set, and others which are unique in constructive value can be dismissed. But photos that seem to be free of fakery, including even (yes) some Adamski-like "saucers" should be scrutinized by qualified photography and CGI professionals.

The problem with previous photo analyses is that most have been looked at by photography tyros or amateurs and, thus, are virtually worthless.

But a new crop of savvy photogs and CGI mavens, tackling new and older photographs and videos, could bring serious enlightenment to the UFO riddle (perhaps).

An article in PIC magazine, June 1954, “I proved flying saucers are real” about U.S. Marine Ralph Mayher’s movie film (taken July 29th, 1952) of a moving light (saucer?) seemed authentic to this writer at the time, and still resonates as authentic today.


An analysis, by a credible, professional researcher, would go far to validate that film and others.

The lack of such analyses – we’re dismissing Bruce Maccabee’s woefully inadequate and biased analyses – has caused media, science, and academia to place UFOs and their photographic evidence in the collective fringe basket.

But the UFO camp could and should provide its own real experts to look at past and present images of UFOs (flying saucers), instead of letting a handful of pretend-experts make the call.

We’ll be following up on this matter, upcoming…..