Once he recovered from the shock of the incident, Vembos’ father went and examined the area of the landing and found a strange bottle of about half a liter. When he cautiously pushed it with an end of his axe, the bottle fell, the cork flew off, and a thick liquid came out that spontaneously combusted, settling fire to the surrounding grass and bushes. Droplets of the liquid caused the axe handle to catch on fire. He took home the half burned axe and, soon after, he threw the damaged axe away. When he initially told the story to local villagers, they laughed. His son recalled he was unaware if any of the villagers went to the location to check his claims. The father died years later, so there was little opportunity to corroborate the story.
A number of aspects of the story are interesting for the time period, namely the evidence of the combustible material. The description of the ship and it’s passengers are atypical of the usual saucer crafts, and grays described in contemporary accounts. Could it have been an elaborate story to hide the fact that the shepherd accidently burned the grasslands in a mishap? It cannot be ruled out, but this was at such an early period, predating UFO investigations, there were no resources at the time to verify the liquid in question, or to examine the area of landing evidence. Another question that needs to be raised is the act of imagination and cultural influence. Pulp science fiction magazines, such as Amazing Stories, were in abundance from the 20s through the 40s, and much of the art depicted cigar-shaped, egg-shaped, or orb-shaped space craft, and aliens were depicted in a fashion that matched his description. If the father had somehow seen such pulp genre artwork, could it have colored his understanding of what he witnessed? That would depend on if he had the means to travel to an urban city that had access to a newsstand. These type of questions have to considered when looking these kind of accounts.
Another famous incident from 1957 in Levelland, Texas involved multiple sightings and evidence of Electro Magnetic Pulse activity. On November 2nd, two immigrant farm workers, Pedro Saucedo and Joe Salaz, called the Levelland police to report a UFO sighting to officer A.J. Fowler, while driving on a road four miles West of Levelland. They came across a UFO near the road, the truck’s engine died until the object vanished. It was described as a rocket-shaped object that rose up and approached the truck. Saucedo claimed to have jumped out of the truck in a panic, where the object passed over with a rush of wind and a great noise, as well as a wave of heat. Multiple witnesses called the police over the course of two days.
One incident from October 1963 in Santos, Brazil involved witnesses in Iguape who heard a loud thundering sound. Then, a silver craft descended from the clouds towards the Peropava River, yet on it’s way down, the strange machine hit the top of a palm tree, and began to dangerously wobble, which then splashed into the river. A girl, Rute de Souza, ran to tell her family. Soon the mother and uncle stood rooted in the area while the river seemed to be “boiling up,” first with water, then with mud. Not far away some fisherman witnessed the incident. A Japanese man, Tetsuo Ioshigawa, later described what he witnessed to investigators and reporters as an object shaped like a wash basin. It was some 25 feet across (7.5 m), and had been only 20 feet above ground level when it collided with the palm tree. Naturally assuming authorities would find wreckage, they instigated a search with divers and mine detectors, but found nothing at all. While speculating that the size of the craft was large enough to hold a small crew, no witnesses saw the crew escape, which leads many skeptics to find the incident suspect. Nevertheless the physical evidence mirrors the early Aurora windmill account.
One of the most famous accounts from April, 1964, in Socorro, New Mexico, was the sighting by police officer, Lonnie Zamora, of a craft that left notable evidence. The incident began around 5:45 PM, while the thirty-one year old police officer was in pursuit of a speeding car. After hearing a roar in the distance, accompanied by a bluish, orange flame moving through the air, the officer knew there was a dynamite shack within his vicinity and decided to chase the source of the sound. Abandoning his speed chase, he called his dispatcher. He followed the source of the rising smoke and flame, which ebbed and flowed, and he ended up on a route that was a narrow gravel road. As he approached the location of the shack, he found about a hundred to two hundred yards away a shining object. He first assumed it was an overturned vehicle, then, upon closer inspection found it was an oval-shaped object without windows or doors, and about the same size as a medium-sized car. He found a strange red insignia on the side of the object that he was drawn to. He noticed two small beings the size of children that became frightened upon seeing him. Then as he was radioing the sheriff’s office about the incident, there was an audible loud roar, and a bluish flame shot out of the underside of the object, causing him to fall to the ground for protection. Then, the object shot up in a vertical line for about ten to fifteen miles, the legs he had witnessed before the beings fled into the object had disappeared. His backup, officer Sam Chavez, arrived just as the object disappeared. The incident triggered a wave of media interest, the military, and UFO researchers. Between April 25th to the 29th, a number of figures appeared including Military agitator Army Captain Richard T. Holder, along with FBI agent Arthur Byrnes, from the Albuquerque office, Major William Connor from Kirtland AFB, and Military investigator Sgt, David Moody on behalf of project Blue Book, as well as Allen J. Hynek.
In spite of soil samples that were taken of the area where the incident occurred, and the documentation of impressions, the incident was dismissed, but by 1968, Dr. James E. McDonald, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Arizona, had learned of alleged patch of “fused sand” at the Socorro landing site. He learned of a woman who was at that time a radiological chemist with the public Health Service in Las Vegas and she had been involved in some special analysis of materials collected at the Socorro site. The morning after, April 25th, when she analyzed plant fluids exuded from the scorched greasewood and mesquite plants, she found a few organic materials that couldn’t be identified. These weren’t the byproduct of usual radioactive heat, but another heat source. But after she finished her work, Air Force personal took all of her notes and materials and told her she wasn’t to talk about it anymore. A report in May of 1964 did acknowledge that Zamora was ‘well regarded as a sober, industrious, and conscientious officer, and not prone to fantasy.” But, due to her being the sole witness, she was ridiculed by fellow officers and community, and retired two years later.
Another incident from April 1966 in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, involved thirty-eight-year-old Ronald Sullivan. While driving to the nearby town of Wycheproof, late at night, without warning, a beam of light from his headlights bent to the right. He went first to a garage to have them checked in town, and then dropped into the local police station at Marryborough near Melbourne to tell the duty officer about having to regain control of his vehicle with difficulty. He recalled coming to a halt as he observed multicolored “gaseous lights” in an adjacent field. Then an unknown object appeared, which zoomed upwards and vanished. When Ronald visited the scene of the sighting a few days afterwards, he discovered another driver had been killed the day before. The police found a “circular depression” about 5 feet (1.5 m) across, and about 5 inches (13 cm) deep in a newly plowed field close by. The report offered very few details, and some UFOlogists have commented the depression seems like a precursor to the Crop Circle phenomenon of the 70s and 80s. One scientist who worked closely with the Cambridge University Investigation Group, Stephen L. Smith, did observe with the unexplained bending of the headlights, that this offered up the idea that an optical illusion could have occurred with the sudden extinguishing of the left-hand headlamp beam. It has been suggested that Sullivan encountered some kind of force field prior to the object’s departure. There’s no indication from the report that Sullivan’s vehicle was examined for evidence of unusual levels of radiation or electro-magnetic energy.
Sitting up, he noticed that the street lamps, which he could see from his window were flickering on and off. When he stepped outside, the small object was nowhere to be seen, but he described seeing “a large object, exactly like a flying saucer you see in films” was hovering over the street, and the UFO witnessed floated over the street and was so large it blotted out the sky. Then it passed out of sight. When Barney tried to check its progress, the saucer and small object had vanished. Neighbors checked his phone handset and found nothing wrong, and several neighbors had observed their own electrical items has gone berserk, but none had commented on witnessing the crafts. Barney slept soundly, having a vivid dream in which his wife came to visit him, explaining that “souls are light-stuff and can be made use of time and time again;” when he awoke he was convinced for a moment that his wife was sleeping next to him. Barney convinced himself that the previous night’s encounter triggered the dream and that it was a real visit by his wife. Barney had no prior experience with UFOs, the paranormal, or spiritualism, had no interest, or belief in the subjects. Nevertheless the encounter changed his life for the better. It is uncertain if the whole matter was a hallucination, but some have speculated the UFO and the electrical phenomenon might have opened up a portal, enabling the wife to come through. Nevertheless the encounter is interesting for leaving a psychical effect on the witness.
Another event from 1979 that left physical evidence was an attempted abduction or an intruder intervention in Livingston, Scotland. That November, forestry worker Robert Taylor, while checking out certain trees close to the Edinburgh-Glasgow motorway (M8), with his truck and dog, parked at the end of a path. He then walked the rest of the way to inspect the plantation, yet as he came to a clearing he was stunned to see a huge globe on the ground. It was dark gray, roughly 12 feet (3.6 m) tall and 20 feet (6 m) wide, and it seemed to partly dematerialize from time to time, as if – unsuccessfully – trying to camouflage itself or become invisible. Approximately half way down he saw the outside of the object were what might have been windows and a ledge from which protruded things described as looking like “bow ties.” While Robert stood there, not knowing what to think, two mine-like spheres with spikes around them, hurtled towards him from the direction of the object, each about 2 feet (600 m) in width. Their spikes grabbed Taylor by the trouser legs and dragged him towards the UFO where he was assailed by a “choking” smell and became unconscious. Once he regained his senses he seemed to hear a swishing noise, but the object was no longer there or at least visible.
He had great difficulty in walking, and his dog seemed to go wild, running around in circles and barking madly, He managed to reach his truck, but it ended up getting bogged down in soft mud, which forced him to travel back home on foot. Once home he felt ill for days, with raging thirsts and headaches. There were also physical traces of the encounter. Aside from his torn trousers, there was evidence at the site of holes that might have been caused by the spiked objects. In spite of the efforts of skeptics like Steuart Campbell to discredit his experience, Taylor believes that he encountered a spacecraft and small robots designed to keep people away. It is interesting that so many landing-based encounters seem to be accidental occurrences, that involve intelligent beings in some kind of emergency repairs. This incident is notable for not only the tattered clothing, but for another example of a witness dealing with the physiological reaction to such encounters.
One of the most significant UFO accounts that deals with physical evidence is the previously discussed December 1980 incident at Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England. Notable for its documentation by RAF / USAF personnel, the investigation revealed three depressions measuring 1” (3.75 cm) deep and 7” (17.5 cm) in diameter where the object had been sighted on the ground. The following night of Dec 29, the area was checked for radiation. Beta/Gamma readings of 0.1 mill roentgens were recorded with peak readings in the three depressions and near the center of the triangle formed by the depressions. A nearby tree had moderate (.05-.07) readings on the side of the tree toward the depression. Some of the details of the episode have become so bogged down by government secrecy, that the initial account of readings were said to be twenty-five times the normal level for the forest and other reports quoted radiation levels of ten times the normal level. Nevertheless, it is still an unusual degree of radiation for such a location, and such data does seem to corroborate that a physical event occurred there.
Another eyewitness account from 1980 demonstrated physical evidence known as the Cash-Landrum case in Piney Woods, Texas. It occurred December, 29th, when Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum, and Colby Landrum were traveling from Bingo games at a group of clubs, sometime around 9:00 PM. While driving, they spotted a light above the tree lines. The light seemed to grow larger and larger until the object blocked the road ahead of them. Described as a “diamond of fire,” it hovered above tree top level and continued to issue cones of flame on the road. At first all three of them got out to take a look, but Colby went back into the car in a fit of panic, and Vicky followed him into the vehicle. Betty continued to gaze at the object and the glow of white light that burned her skin. As the object began to move up, she went back to the car. In trying to open the door, she found that the handle was white hot and therefore had to use her jacket. They saw a group of Military helicopters appear and encircle the object as it disappeared behind the trees. The car interior itself had become intensely hot. By the time Betty arrived home, she had developed severe burns, and her neighbors had noticed her skin had turned red, her neck had swollen, and blisters has erupted on her face, scalp, and eyelids. She vomited, and by morning she was nearly in a coma. While hospitalized, Betty’s condition worsened, her hair started to fall out, and her eyes became swollen shut. While she did recover, all three of them continued to have skin problems for many years. The military continued to deny that CH-47 helicopters were airborne during the night of the incident. Doctors remained baffled over their condition, but have speculated that some kind of infrared radiation was responsible.
One of the best documented cases of landing evidence occurred around January, 1981 in Trans-en-Provence, France, when an old man working in his garden witnessed a landing in what he described as a “ship…in the form of two saucers upside down, one against the other.” The object rested on the ground for a short period before flying away. In its wake it left traces, impressions, and other evidence of a large craft. An intensive investigation of a report was mounted by France’s official UFO-monitoring agency, Coup d’Etude des Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non-Identifies (GEPAN), which proceeded to take soil, leaf, and plant samples to France’s leading botanical laboratory, headed by Michel Bounias. By 1983, in a 66-page monograph on the case, GEPAN noted that the leaves had inexplicably lost 30 to 50 percent of their chlorophyll and had aged abruptly in ways that could not be duplicated in the laboratory. They described “deformations of the terrain caused by mass, mechanics, a heating effect, and perhaps certain transformations and deposits of trace minerals (phosphate and zinc)…For the first time we have found a combination of factors which conduce us to accept that something similar to what the eyewitnesses had described has taken place there.”
Several contemporary incidents have been very interesting. One incident that is in dispute about its credibility occurred in Chicago, Illinois, November 4th, 2008. A woman was driving at a moderate speed on Lake Cook Road, when her car lurched to the right for no good reason, twice. There was no other cars on the road within sight, nor any evidence of pedestrians, or live stock. She pulled over, got out and was flabbergasted by what she saw on the left side of the vehicle. The entire side of the car appeared to be scorched and melted, paint had been removed, and there were no scratches, no evidence of hair, blood, feathers or otherwise to account for the damage, and the investigating officer could not provide an explanation. The case was passed from NUFORC to Mr. Sam Maranto, Illinois State Director of MUFON. While many believe the incident is not UFO-related, others have hypothesized that the car could have hit a cloaked, shielded, or invisible UFO, or that the car passed through some temporal disturbance.
Another incident from March 10th, 2010, New Hampshire, Laconia was no less interesting. Two teens were parked at an undisclosed location, when, in the moonlight they spotted a black-colored object that headed towards them once it was aware of their presence. While they attempted to drive away, they were engulfed in a bright light with a beam that lifted the car off of the ground. Both teens described an odd smell. The teen boy described that an alien presence assured him nothing would happen. In what UFO researchers have often described as a ‘mind scan,’ both teens showed signs of momentary missing time. The male teen described the craft as follows: "I don’t know how to explain this but it turns into a ball when it wants to slow down and move around quickly and when it wants to go fast, straight, it turns into a flat plate with maze, box-shaped lined lights. These were on all the time." When the car’s horn went off, the object let go of the car after it was moved 180 feet from its original location. The object disappeared, the window was cracked and the air bags were deployed. There was $5,000 of damage to the underside of the car, and photos taken of the asphalt where the car landed, showed evidence of three-inch divets at the impact point, which was investigated by MUFON staffers. Could these recent accounts simply be examples of opportunism as some skeptics argue? Or, do they just reinforce the possibly there is more to this phenomenon than just tricks of the mind?
A few explanations that could be explored further include The Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis, which seems to validate events that lead to evidence, but in the cases of events like the 1955 incident and 1972 incident seem to validate The Electromagnetic Trigger, or the role of electricity within various encounters, electricity plays a part in UFO sightings, abductions, as well psychic abilities. Many gifted sensitives, including Uri Geller, whose strange talents kicked in after receiving an electric shock from a sewing machine as a child for example, they have acknowledged that their paranormal careers began after being struck by lightning or having an encounter with an electrical discharge. Some have speculated that accidental “Shock Treatments” change the brain / mind interface, thereby opening up gateways. Others have pondered if it creates a subtle form of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy that could trigger empty illusions of the magical realm. Some have wondered if the occasional shifting of layers of rock could produce little bursts of electricity that could change human perception, even if only for a moment. One has to remember that the ancient peoples who built such monuments as Britain’s Stonehenge, Avebury stone circles, and the pyramids at the Giza plateau in Egypt seemed to use certain types of stones for a purpose. Limestone and granite lined the pyramids, and North Berwick is rich in granite deposits, which gives off a steady stream of background radiation. The world today is an electromagnetic spaghetti junction, due to the industrialized age. The earth is bombarded with radio waves. Never in the history of mankind, or indeed of the planet itself, has there been so much electromagnetism around, and no one knows the full effect it is having on humans.
Another theory that was proposed in the 1994 book, Aliens and Allergies by researcher Albert Budden, who argued that all paranormal phenomena – which includes UFO sightings and alien abductions – are caused by the effect of concentrated electromagnetism on the brain of the experiencer. He was emphatic that his research reinforced his basic premise. “Time and time again you find phenomena occurring on electrical hotspots. I’ve almost lost count of the times I retraced the steps of an experiencer and discovered crisscrossing power lines at the precise spot where their abduction took place…There’s always a radio mast nearby or you discover that the witness has been struck by lightning – some major connection. I note that Whitley Strieber used to play around with electricity when young: he once fused all the lights in his house during one of his experiments as a sort of scientific swot, and he also encountered ball lightning at first hand.” But his thesis doesn’t answer the questions. Although electricity seems to play some role in creating or triggering psycho-mystical experiences, it doesn’t take into account all of the reports of ghosts, poltergeists, fairies, demons, angels, and aliens prior to the late nineteenth-century discoveries of Edison and Tesla. And it doesn’t really answer if various electromagnetic energies could physically bring about evidence of UFOs. There seems to be little known research into the question if the Earth’s natural energies could create landing impressions, or areas of greenery that are damaged by severe heat.
The evidence in many cases seems to point to the extra-terrestrial hypothesis, or secret military technology. Nevertheless, the above points don’t really answer with satisfaction physical evidence. But perhaps answers could be found in explanations behind crop circles. While many dismiss crop circle events as hoaxes, some have offered theories to explain such formations. Dr. Terence Meaden has offered ideas about “Plasma vortexes” or localized mini tornadoes. While researchers like Nick Pope believe that original plain circles were genuine, and many contemporary circles are hoaxes, figures like Lucy Pringle believe microwave activity is involved. Most crop circles occur under chalk line aquifers – underground water sources. Crop circles have been spotted in patty fields, which are of course permanently water-logged. As far back as the sixteenth century, there were woodcuts of the devil mowinga circle. Tom Gaynard in an article for Fortean Times wrote: “Such rings of vegetation are common and are due to the activity of a fungus growing just under the soil surface. The mycelium body of the fungus comprises many fine hyphae (thread-like structures) which grow out in a circle from a central point of origin, much like a colony of mould on the surface of jam on a jar. The older hyphae towards the center of the colony die, leaving the younger ones around the circumference.” Therefore, this could help to explain some imprint evidence in certain cases of UFO evidence, but Charles Fort wisely once commented, “There never was an explanation that did not itself require an explanation.”
As previously cited in the Sightings article, Jacques Vallee has evolved on his views about the UFO phenomenon, and has taken a different position on viewing many cases as psychical objects; he has veered away from the Extra-Terrestrial hypothesis and has argued that UFOs are paranormal in nature and a modern space age manifestation, which assumes different guises in different historical contexts. He has posited the idea of a control system, that such phenomenon ‘are the means through which man’s concepts are being re-arranged.’ To what purpose is unknown, but Vallee has stressed, “I do not propose to redefine God. What I do mean is that mythology rules at a level of our social reality over which normal political and intellectual action has no power.”
As has been suggested in the previous article, to take an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to the subject of what UFOs are. That some UFOs might not be physical crafts at all, but forms of life or plains of existence we don’t understand. We could be dealing with ultra-terrestrial entities, life forms from other dimensions, or these objects could have to do with various secret government projects involving technology not known to the public. Some of these UFOs might be actual living entities that glide in and out of reality and our sphere of space. These objects could be controlled by future descendants of Earth, more evolved humans that travel through points in time to guide us to an intended future.
But such evidence does make it more difficult to dismiss these events as mere tricks of the mind.
Article by Matt Allair
Page Editor: XScribe
The Mammoth book of UFOs,
by Lynn Picknett, published by Carroll
& Graf, © 2001