Thursday, 14 August 2014

About Crop Circles

About Crop Circles

The inexplicable formation of flattened circles in fields of crops has gripped our imagination since the first recorded evidence in a seventeenth-century woodcut. They range from complex geometric patterns and DNA symbols to more delicate versions that look like snowflakes and spiders’ webs. While enthusiastic hoaxers may be responsible for many crop circles and patterns, not all can be dismissed so easily.

In the mid-1980s, the crop circle phenomenon gained momentum, as hundreds of patterns began appearing in the fields of southern England. More outlandish explanations – flying saucers, fairies, field sprites and the Devil himself – were quickly laughed off by a sceptical media. But “natural” explanations, such as rolling hedgehogs, mating foxes, plasma clouds, whirlwinds and changes in the earth’s magnetic field hardly seemed more credible. Within a few years, many commentators had agreed that the circles were all just a big hoax.

Soon newspapers were revealing how gangs of tricksters armed with ropes, planks, surveyors’ tape, stakes and plastic garden rollers were touring the shires to make their mark in the dead of night. These groups of hoaxers even gained a measure of notoriety and were given names – Merlin & Co, The Snake, Spiderman, The Bill Bailey Gang – but the undisputed grand old men of British “cereology” were known simply as Doug and Dave. In 1992, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley admitted to devoting more than twenty-five years to making crop circles. This seemed ample proof for the sceptics that all circles were hoaxes. And yet a couple of successful pranksters working for a few years in southern England could not explain historical and worldwide reports of crop circles. This was certainly not the end of the story…

from "Encyclopedia of the Paranormal" by Rupert Matthews

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Bigfoot - The Yeomans Sighting

Bigfoot - The Yeomans Sighting

In 1939 a prospector named Burns Yeomans was near Harrison Lake, British Columbia, when he saw a group of five creatures in a clearing about a thousand yards away. The beasts were described as being big and hairy like bears, but shaped more like massive humans. Two of the creatures were wrestling with each other, while the others watched. Intrigued, Yeomans also sat down to watch. The wrestling continued for almost half an hour. Then one of the wrestlers appeared to give up, and the creatures walked off in to the woods.

from "Bigfoot" by Rupert Matthews
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Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Trinidade UFO Sighting

The Trinidade UFO Sighting

In January 1958 a Brazilian survey ship, the Almirante Saldanha, arrived at the Pacific island of Trindade where Brazilian Navy had an oceanographic station. Just after noon on 16 January the photographer Almiro Barauna was on deck when another crew member pointed out to him an object in the sky. The object was at first taken to be an aircraft, but its lack of wings made Barauna reach for his camera. The object circled around the island, then flew off. Barauna managed to take four photos, though in his excitement he did not check the settings on the camera and all four pictures were consequently slightly over exposed. About 100 men of the ship’s crew or base’s residents saw the UFO.

Realising that there must be no suspicion of fraud or hoaxing, Barauna persuaded the captain of the ship to supervise the developing of the photos in the on-board laboratory and on the ship’s return to port submitted the negatives and prints to the Brazilian navy for expert study.

The developed photos matched exactly the descriptions given by the witnesses. The craft was shown as being a flattened sphere with a wide rim or flange around its centre, giving a rather Saturn-like appearance. The body of the craft was pale grey, the rim dark grey and a greenish mist or spray trailed behind it. The overall diameter of the craft was estimated to be about 130 feet and its speed around 600mph.

The Trindade sighting is famous largely because of the photos that were taken. The UFO shows features that are repeated in many sightings. The shape of a flattened sphere with a rim is one that is reported in a great many cases. That apart the behaviour of the UFO was not particularly noteworthy. It flew at a speed easily attained by conventional aircraft and its flightpath, circling the island and heading off in a straight line, could be mimicked by a human craft. Were it not for the photos sceptics might have dismissed this sighting as being that of a misidentified aircraft.

from "Alien Encounters" by Rupert Matthews
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Monday, 4 August 2014

Just last summer I saw a UFO.

Just last summer I saw a UFO.
I’ve been investigating, researching and writing about UFOs and aliens for some 15 years or so now, but never before have I seen something flying in the sky that I could not identify. I have seen odd lights a plenty, but generally close to airports or airfields that would probably explain them. Although I have spoken to plenty of people who have had odd encounters I had never had one myself. Judging by what witnesses had told me, I was not altogether sorry about this.
But there I was on a beach in Cornwall, England, on a balmy summer’s evening walking back to the holiday cottage that I and my family had rented after a rather nice meal at a local pub. My friend Pete suddenly stopped and pointed up into the sky.
“What is that?” he asked.
Moving slowly through the sky toward us was a line of red globes. They made no sound, moving with an eerie silence. There were eight of them, all moving at a steady speed and  in a straight line - coming from inland and heading out toward the sea. I stopped to watch them, as did my wife and Pete’s wife. The objects came steadily onward heading more or less straight for us.
It was difficult to gauge their height, size or speed since in the clear night sky of a Cornish summer there was nothing to really compare them to. I would guess that they were not very high, perhaps a few hundred feet at most, and that they were quite small, maybe a couple of feet across. Nor did they move very quickly. Perhaps no faster than I could run.
As we watched, the objects reached a point almost overhead, though slightly to the east. Then the first one came to a gradual stop, seeming to climb steadily. The second reached about the same spot, then it too halted and began to climb. Moving in silent succession each of the objects did precisely the same thing. By the time the eighth had come to a stop and begun to climb, the first two or three had faded from view.
For a few moments we watched as the glowing lights climbed. Then the final one faded out of sight. They had gone.
What were they? Well, the easy answer is that I do not know. And for that reason they can be counted as a UFO. They were Unidentified, they were Flying and they were Objects.
I doubt that there was anything very odd about them, however. Cornwall is a holiday destination for teenagers, the elderly and everyone in between. And people on holiday can get up to all sorts of odd things - especially in a New Age place like Cornwall.
My personal view is that the objects were mot probably a number of those paper balloons that are powered by a small burning lamp suspended underneath them. The hot air from the lamp fills the balloon, causing it to rise into the sky. When let off at night the balloon is virtually invisible, only the flaming lamp is to be seen as if suspended in empty air.
The movement of the objects we saw would seem to fit the idea. Several balloons let off from the same spot a minute or so apart would go up into the sky and follow a similar path. Drifting north on a breeze they may have reached the turbulent air flows that usually form over the coast as the warm sea airs ride up over the cooler land air columns. That may have been the cause of their sudden halt and steep climb.
Well, that is my idea. When dealing with UFOs it is usually best to propose a mundane explanation whenever possible. But the truth is that we saw so little of the objects that it is impossible to be certain what they were.
And that is very much the problem with reports of UFOs. So many of them are lacking in detail, could be explained as perfectly normal objects or are rather uninteresting. On that basis, skeptics argue that there are no such things as truly unexplained flying objects, there are only ordinary objects in the sky that the witness did not identify properly. Less charitable skeptics would suggest that at least some witnesses have simply made the whole thing up.
But that is not the case. As this book will show there is much, much more to it than a few glowing fires seen drifting through the summer sky.

from "UFOs: A History of Alien Activity from Sightings to Abductions to Global Threat" by Rupert Matthews
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