Blather’s favourite Irish ufologist – Eamonn Ansbro – is back in the news once again, this time in the Sunday Tribune of October 4th, under the headline Alert: Aliens pose no real danger.
Longtime Blather readers may recall War of the Wetlands, an issue from December 1997, which recounted how this writer, like an eejit, spent an entire Sunday evening monitoring the endeavours of the ICUFOS (Irish Centre for UFO Studies) on Bull Island, Co. Dublin. The date was December 14th, the night that Ansbro had predicted would be fraught with UFOs, using Roy Dutton’s rather dubious Astronautical Theory. He claimed that Dublin, Boyle (Co. Roscommon) and Bantry (Co. Cork) were to be the best places to see the UFOs. Back then, Blather commented on the curious correlation between the ICUFOS predictions, and the Geminid meteor showers, which started on December 13th.
Ansbro’s prediction for the ultimate in UFO viewing this year is, funnily enough, for December 14th again. This year Omagh, Ballinasloe, Boyle, Shannon and Dublin are the targets (poor Bantry must be unfashionable).
As Sky Online’s Meteor Page tells us:
“Geminids (Dec. 12-14). This is the only major meteor shower known to be associated with an asteroid (3200 Phaethon). It should peak on the night of December 13-14, 1998, and the nights of December 13-14 and 14-15, 1999. An observer may see 80 meteors in an hour under moonless, rural skies from late evening through dawn. A suburban observer may see only 30 meteors or fewer per hour. The prime observing hours are essentially Moon-free in both 1998 and 1999.”
Is it to too much to ask for Ireland’s Extraterrestrial proponents to inject a little originality into their predictions? At this rate, they’ll bore their detractors into submission.
The Tribune tells us that Ansbro, ‘the foremost expert in unexplained foreign objects [surely useful when dealing with Irish customs officers], and international co-ordinator of the PEIR (Programme for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Research) Project,’ is constructing a unique telescopic camera to prove the existence of extraterrestrials. A photograph of Ansbro and his telescopic apparatus accompanies the article. There is no attempt to explain just how it is to be used to gather such proof.
The article, written by Richard Oaklay, states that Ansbro reckons Ireland to be prime alien tourism country, due to our lack of xenophobia and our neutrality. The space-brothers ‘pose no real risk’, as ‘”Extra terrestrials are our friendly neighbours, all we have to do is treat them well,”‘.
I don’t know what planet Ansbro has been living on recently, but a foray into the Irish Times archives should illustrate the problems that Ireland is currently facing, due to its recent economic boom, and subsequent arrival of racial minorities. With regard to neutrality, I pondered upon what difference it should make to a visiting alien envoy… (‘oh, no…we don’t want them running off to invade somewhere while we’re visiting…’), and so I considered last week’s Blather, which discussed the 1951 movie The Day The Earth Stood Still. Klaatu, the visiting alien, heaps scorn upon humanity for our barbaric bloodlust, our habitual warmongering, etc. Perhaps Klaatu should have landed in the Republic of Ireland, where he would have either been sold a passport for an exorbitant fee, or deported back to his own world.
War of the Wetlands »
Astronautical Theory »
The Irish Times »
Klaatu Barada Nikto »
SKY Online’s Meteor Page »
THEY CAME FROM THE SKY
Mighty fun was had in Waterford since October 5th, when, according to various and varying news reports, nine orange and white parachutes landed in and around Waterford City, each carrying aluminium tubular frames – about a metre square with four legs and Pyrex-made wax-sealed vials of soil and water, and a ‘blue inky substance’. Each one was heavy enough to require two men to lift it. Each unit had a white box, with ‘two little metal pieces inside them, shaped like half-moons’. On the back of each box was what appeared to be a red thumb print. The parachutes carried marking which ‘suggested that they might have originated in Russia’ (sounds like a bit of a lazy assumption).
The first was found at 0700 hours at the Bull Post, Ballybricken. The second find was a little later Earls Court, Dunmore Road, 2 miles south of Ballybricken. Number three came to rest in the grounds of the Mercy Convent at Military Road, at 0900 hours. The next four were found from 1000 and 1200 hours at Rice Bridge, Jurys Hotel, the Peoples Park and Trinity Square. Blather has no details as where the other two were located.
The objects were carted off to Waterford Garda Station, in Ballybricken, where an Army bomb disposal unit took a gander…
Garda Sergeant Dave Sheehan was quoted as saying that the test tubes may be part of a scientific experiment. Meteorological Offices denied responsibility…
According to Tuesday’s Irish Times, the Gardai ‘said the objects were “far too elaborate” to be part of a hoax’. By Wednesday the IT said that ‘the gardai are not amused and point out that they have more important matters to deal with. They feel the mystery objects could be an elaborate hoax’.
Curiously, it seemed assumed that the things had actually landed. Fair enough, if you find a parachute open on the ground, you would probably assume that it had arrived from above, but no one seems to have seen the things in flight. And, considering that each one had landed in such… opportune locations, without injury or damage to property, it surprising that doubt was not more immediate… (The Irish Times had pointed this about by October 7th, but failed to elaborate).
By October 8th, the mystery had been ‘solved’. At 1730 hours RTE (national broadcaster) announced that the riddle had been solved. Paul Gregg, a U.S. artist living in Ireland, had come forward to claim responsibility. They said that their aim was not to ‘make a fool of anyone’, but to prompt ‘enjoyable speculation’. The parachutes had been unloaded from a van in the early hours of the morning… The Gardai are suitably unimpressed.
So much for my Zimmer-frame low-budget-cosmonaut Mystery-time-travel- airship Virgin-Atlantic-Shannon-Aeroflot-Stopover theory.
Irish Times, Tuesday October 6th 1998 »
Irish Independent, Tuesday October 6th 1998 »
Picture of the objects »
Irish Times, Wednesday October 7th 1998 »
In last week’s issue of Blather, Klaatu Barada Nikto, a few errors and omissions were made. Don Ecker, of UFO Magazine, was in touch, as he had correctly noted that in the cast of The Day The Earth Stood Still, Bobby was played by Billy Gray, and not Frances Bavier – Bavier played Mrs. Barley (and also ‘Aunt Bee’ on the Andy Griffith Show). Professor Barnhardt was not played by Billy Gray, but by Sam Jaffe.
Blather also mentioned that ‘in The Empire Strikes Back, Darth briefs his bounty hunters – Boba Fett is flanked by two others… Klaatu and Nikto (Klaatu, Boba, Nikto?)’. In fact, it was in Return of the Jedi that three of Jabba’s entourage were Klaatu, Barada and Nikto. (Thanks to StUberGeek)
There also seems to be some contention over whether or not Klaatu actually says that he is from ‘Venus and Mars’. Personally, I don’t recall this line. (Thanks to Kevin Killion)
Klaatu Barada Nikto »
LOCH NESS MINISUB EXPEDITION
Last but not least, Loren Coleman (an occasional Blather contributor) is joining Dan Scott Taylor in a mini-submarine expedition to Loch Ness in June 1999. The submarine, named Nessa, after the Gaelic Goddess of Water, will be attempt to return with film, sonar and tissue sample proof of the creatures’ existence. Blather wishes the team the best of luck (and that they have more success than the diabolical GUST debacle »).
Dave (daev) Walsh
9th October 1998