Saturday, January 21, 2012

UFO Witness Testimony: True or False?

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

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The Michalak UFO encounter at Falcon Lake, Canada in 1967, noted earlier here, has dubious value for some of you.

I think it has a patina of authenticity.

Speculating about witness testimony creates all kinds of amateur opinion and brings forth shards of erroneous information from the internet.

However, witness testimony is often, or usually, all that we have when it comes to UFOs.

When someone or a few people report a strange light in the night sky or a strange object in the daytime sky, one can equate the observations with misperceptions of mundane things or one can catalog the observations for what they are: strange lights or objects seen my normal people with normal or near-normal eyesight.

And that’s it. Nothing more can be done with such observations.

Our foray into witness testimony from Roswellians always causes a ripple of contention and debate.

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But Roswell’s witnesses, for the most part, didn’t see a UFO, in the sky or on the ground.

Some said they held pieces of “metal” that behaved oddly when toyed with.

Some said they saw a field of debris that was different from what they normally saw in the deserts and farms around Roswell.

Some even said they saw bodies of entities, in the desert, in hangars, and other venues.

But no one saw a UFO or flying saucer, and all the testimony about bodies and strange metal fragments came forth in the late 1970s and early 1980s after some UFO hobbyists started poking around, culling testimony that is besmirched by flawed questioning and psychological projections by the hobbyists.

So Roswell isn’t a platform from which worthwhile UFO testimony can be gotten or evaluated.

Roswell is a potpourri of maltreated memories and contrived imaginings better left to psychiatry and sociologists.

But there are many other UFO-related encounters, like that of Stefan Michalak, or Lonnie Zamora, the police officer who came across a unique craft and attending entities.

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There are dozens, hundreds even, of accounts where people have seen something that has come to be defined as a flying saucer, and many of those accounts include entities that rival creatures from fiction.

UFO books and the internet are replete with such accounts.

But what are we to make of such accounts?

I think that what has been presented by those who’ve experienced encounters with craft and creatures are as they have been recounted, caveated by the personal peccadilloes of observation that plague human beings.

But those peccadilloes are minor, and the over all experiences provided are essentially as they are described.

Michalak encountered a machine that caused him some physical pain and markings.

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The 1959 Father Gill sighting in Papua, New Guinea is what it is: a sighting by an Anglican priest and his mission staff and members of a object that floated above them, from which entities waved or interacted with the observers.

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The sighting may be ascribed to a kind of mass hysteria, but it makes more sense to allow it to be as it was recounted, without the psychological overlay.

The following accounts are detailed in John Spencer’s World Atlas of UFOs; Sightings, Abductions, and Close Encounters [SMITHMARK Publishers, NY, 1992]

The 1979 Mindalore Quezet “abduction” was what it was: a experience of a mother (Meagan) and son (Andre) who, under hypnosis, elaborated on a sighting of this object and its occupants:

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Was there an Oedipal element that explains the sighting? Perhaps. Or it was as it later was remembered. (More of this, upcoming.)

The 1970 Imjärvi, Finland encounter, in which two young fellows (Aarno Heinonen and Esko Viljo), while skiing, spotted a saucer-like craft that shot a beam of light to the ground near them, from which a short humanoid creature emerged, wearing a helmet, and glowing like “phosphorous.”

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The being held a black box that emitted a light that struck the young men, creating a mist, that beclouded the creature, and the beam of light that went back up into the craft, taking the little being with it.

One of the boys, Aarno, was partially paralyzed, and both fellows had symptoms similar to radioactive poisoning.

(Aarno went on to have other sightings and encounters with space women and men. He became a kind of contactee.)

Did these young men actually have the experience they reported? Their after-event symptoms indicate that something happened, but like Mr. Michalak’s encounter, exactly what?

The 1979 Taylor encounter in Livingston, Scotland, detailed here in an much earlier blog posting,
fascinates me.

Sixty-one year-old Robert Taylor was a forester who, while inspecting some new trees, was confronted by a globular object from which emerged to spiked spheres that grabbed Mr. Taylor by the legs, dragging him toward the large, globular object.

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Mr. Taylor lost consciousness, but awoke disheveled and unable to stand comfortably. His truck was mired in mud and he had to walk home.

He suffered a headache for some hours after the incident and had a inordinate thirst that lasted for two days.

His heavy blue serge trousers were torn, ostensibly from the spikes on the spheres that grabbed him.

Mr. Taylor had an unsullied reputation in his community and BUFORA, a British UFO investigative group, found ground traces that seemed to confirm Mr. Taylor’s account.

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Did Mr. Taylor concoct his story? Why?

Like Mr. Michalak, Lonnie Zamora, Reverend Gill, and the others noted here, what would be the motive, the reason for such bizarre contrivances?

Did each of these people misperceive a mundane event? Unlikely. Misperceptions with such similarities would create a category of hallucinations that would throw psychiatry in to a dither.

Are each of these encounters, of which there are many, many more, neurological quirks? Again, a neurological etiology would force neurologists to establish a mental substrate that lies outside the sensate reality humans work within, or misconstrue.

Are such stories evidence of Jose Caravaca’s Distortion hypothesis or Jacque Vallee’s ethereal others explanation?

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Perhaps. But that would mean something is intertwined with humanity to the exclusion of any other kind of rational reality; that is, something or some presence is fixated on inserting experiences in the minds of common folk, and to what end?

But does the idea that alien visitors are engaged in such foolery make any more sense?

What we are left with is the question of witness testimony.

Is it as it is recounted? I think it is. But I have no idea what it means, nor do I have any inkling of an explanation.

While memory over time fades and/or confabulates, these encounters were reported in situ and do not have the flaw of time to corrupt the descriptions.

What was said to have happened happened.

Now where does that take us I keep asking…

RR

1 Comments:

Blogger purrlgurrl said...

Mr. Taylor's after effects from his encounter sound very much like the after effects of a seizure (which could explain the disheveled clothing and the truck stuck in mud -- the seizure having come on when he was still behind the wheel).

Michalak was described as quite inebriated by the police officer he flagged down after his encounter. Did he sustain his injuries elsewhere under different circumstances; maybe somewhere that he didn't want his family to know he'd been?

These two cases are just a touch harder for me to accept at face value than the others cited in your post.

January 30, 2013  

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