The entire planet, it would appear, has lost the plot. In this morning’s newspapers, on the Web and in my email, the quota of bizarre news surpassed what I usually see in a week.
June 24th was the 50th anniversary of Kenneth Arnold’s sighting of UFOs over the Cascade Mountains, which has sparked off a crazy amount of media interest in the lead up to the Roswell Incident 50th anniversary. On the same day, the USAF released their GAO Inquiry report, Roswell Report: Case Closed, followed by an announcement to the effect that they are not going to investigate the Phoenix UFO. Col. John Haynes told reporters at a Pentagon press conference:
“If you’re interested in the Arizona question, I suggest that you contact the local authorities in Arizona and see what they have to say, because the Air Force no longer does any investigation of UFOs.”
The Phoenix UFO was seen by hundreds of people on March 13, and was described as huge, V-shaped, silent and moving at 30mph. Several people even managed to film it, it would seem.
Ashes to Ashes. . . Soul to Soul
To follow up to Blather 1.5, it turns out that the body of Allan Vieira, the pilot wanted in connection with the discovery of 3,500 boxes of ashes in California, has been found, dental records having been used to give a correct identification. He was found 200 yds from his girlfriends car, on a pine covered ridge, with a gunshot wound to the head. He appears to have been dead for two weeks, and left a note saying ‘I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused.’
Pope John Paul II has concluded that human cloning *would not* result in an identical soul, because only God can create a soul. I’m so glad he cleared that one up for us. . .
And there was more
Eva Peron, Argentina’s former first lady, has been linked to the opening of Swiss bank accounts for depositing bribes from Nazi war criminals in 1947. In Beijing China, ‘Bigfoot’ researchers claim to have found 15″ footprints at 8,580 feet above sea level in northwest Shennonjia. Veteran French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau has died at the ripe old age of 87. And to top it all off, the west of Ireland is still reportedly beset by UFO activity.
So where to start with all this?
Let’s get back to Kenneth Arnold. He was a bit of intriguing character was our Ken. In 1947, at the age of 32, he was running his own fire control consultancy and manufacturers, and used his Callair plane to visit clients in remote areas in various parts of the United States. On June 24th 1950, he was flying from Chehalis, Washington, to Yakima, Washington, and had dallied for an hour around the southwest side of Mt. Rainier, in the Cascade Mountains, to look for a crashed transport plane.
A flash caught his attention, and he spotted a formation of ‘nine peculiar looking aircraft’ at an altitude of about 9,500ft. What’s interesting is that the ‘aircraft’ were not saucer shaped. True, they had no vertical tail structure, but Arnold described them more as crescent shaped. He did however describe their dipping movement as being like that of a saucer skimming on the surface of a lake.
This was misconstrued in the popular press as ‘Flying Saucers’, and the term has kept burrowing its way under the skin of common consciousness ever since. Arnold did use the term in some accounts, but it was in much later accounts of his experiences.
Arnold’s sighting has also been misunderstood as being the ‘first UFO’, which isn’t at all true. What is important about the Arnold case is that it exposed to the masses the media phenomenon of UFOs. The phenomenon itself is as old as humanity, but in a modern sense, one has only to open ‘New Lands’ by Charles Fort to read accounts of all sorts of bizarre UFO activity up to the 1920s.
Good old reliable mainstream media
The London Evening Standard of June 24th 1997 revealed that Kenneth Arnold saw flying saucers over Area 51 fifty years ago this week. Nice work folks, Area 51 is in Nevada, and probably wasn’t established till the 1950s. Keep up the good work. . .
Aaaagh! – More on Roswell
June 24th 1997 saw the release of the Air Force report mentioned above, entitled ‘Roswell Report: Case Closed‘, which although having spent part of this morning rooting about in the bureaucratic hell of the United States Government Printing Office, I can only find out how to get it by post, so that may take me a while. An Executive Summary of the report claims that the ‘aliens’ seen at Roswell were crash dummies used for testing the effects of falls from high altitudes. Furthermore, the summary states that:
‘Claims of “alien bodies” at the Roswell Army Air Field hospital were most likely a combination of two separate incidents:
1.) a 1956 KC-97 aircraft accident in which 11 Air Force members lost their lives; and,
2.) a 1959 manned balloon mishap in which two Air Force pilots were injured.
This report is based on thoroughly documented research supported by official records, technical reports, film footage, photographs, and interviews with individuals who were involved in these events.’
This has incensed quite a few people who feel that the Air Force is showing a great deal of flippancy by assuming that several people could confuse separate events which were up to five years apart. . . including one of the witnesses Frank Kaufmann, now 81, who was a civilian employee at Roswell Army Air Field, and was sent to check out the crash site. He maintains that he got a look at two bodies, one in the wreckage, and one was slumped against a rock face of the dried up river bed of the site.
“They were very good-looking people, ash-colored faces and skin. . . about 5’5″ (1.65 metres) tall, eyes a little more pronounced, small ears, small nose, fine features and hairless,” said Kaufmann.
Despite the ‘Case Closed’ title, the USAF don’t seem too confident about public opinion, and how right they are. It looks like we will never get to the bottom of this mess. Great fun though.
As for the Bantry UFOs. . .
The first part of the ITV programme, ‘We Are Not Alone’ was shown on the night of June 24th, but the Bantry section is to be shown on the evening of the 26th, at 10:40. I’ll report on that next week, along with some input that RTE (Irish National TV/Radio Company) were willing to share on the subject.
Dave (daev) Walsh
26 June 1997