The Subject of Saucers

Anomaly Magazine #1, May 1969.

    “A large proportion of the available UFO literature is based on hearsay and speculation. Many of the real and important problems have been suppressed, at the source, by the witnesses themselves, or have been ignored by superficial investigations that were concentrated on obtaining descriptions of the objects, rather than studying all of the events and factors surrounding the sightings. A massive body of sighting data has now been published, but has gone uncorrelated. The practice of concentrating on the objects alone has produced a very low yield of “hard” facts. The failure of this method - or lack of method - demands that we develop and utilize a new system for collecting and analyzing the data.

    This article presents some concrete suggestions for investigating the phenomenon, and it explains briefly some of those findings that appear to contradict popular speculations.  We hope that you will begin to apply these methods in your own immediate area, and that you will participate in our study by submitting new reports along these lines. For many valid reasons, we have found that it is more fruitful to shift the emphasis to the witnesses and certain unusual manifestations that they frequently experience.

    Many of the aspects that have preoccupied ufologists for years have proven to be misleading, or have failed to contribute to a better understanding of the whole. The UFOs represent only a small part of a much larger phenomenon, which is now occurring on a worldwide scale. By being more thorough and objective in our investigations, we can - and will - learn more about the main phenomenon itself. 

      Tape recordings are useful documentation but, unfortunately, we cannot possibly audition hundreds of hours of tapes. Try to prepare transcripts and written summaries of your tapes whenever possible. On each tape you make, identify yourself fully, spell out the names of the witnesses to be interviewed, and conduct the interview so that all events are discussed in chronological order. 

    Thousands of UFO photographs have been taken in the past twenty years, but very few of those have advanced our knowledge and phenomena. This study is interested only in superbly detailed photographs taken in the presence of two or more witnesses who are willing to sign notarized affidavits. Photographs are too easy to fake, and too difficult to authenticate. 

    Emotional (political) “causes” frequently blind researchers to important, but hidden, facts. We must abandon the tiresome tactic of trying to prove any “cause.” Don’t jump to conclusions about the reliability of witnesses or the validity of of their stories. Simply collect all the facts and report them. Thousands of important cases have been slighted in the past because unqualified investigators have made hasty negative judgments. Most ufologists confuse skepticism with objectivity. A trained investigator expresses no opinions, but merely collects and records all of the available facts. 

    In ufology, we are dealing in large part with personal testimony. Testimonial evidence must be collected in the manner approved and utilized by law enforcement agencies and newspaper reporters for centuries. The investigator’s personal opinions must not be reflected in the final report. The main body of the report should consist only of the available facts as reported by the witness. Phrases such as “flying saucer,” “spaceship,” “mothership,” etc., should be carefully avoided (unless the witness actually used such terms).

    It is virtually impossible to estimate the altitude of an object at night, unless you have certain knowledge about its size. It is impossible to estimate the speed of an object unless you know both its altitude and its size. In daylight, a jet airliner cruising at 400 mph at an altitude of 30,000 feet appears to be moving very slowly across the sky. A small plane traveling at 100 mph at an altitude of 75 feet seems to be moving much faster. Everything is relative. Even pilots, police officers, and military men are unable to make accurate estimates of size, speed, and altitude under the usual UFO conditions. Such estimates can therefore be worthless and misleading. While we must ask the witnesses for such estimates, and should include them in the reports, they should be clearly labeled, and cannot be regarded as “hard data.” Objects seen close to the ground can be exceptions, particularly when terrain features are present for valid comparisons. 

    Many witnesses (the majority) have a poor sense of direction, and often state that an object moved eastward when actually it was moving south. Wherever possible, recreate the sighting and take compass readings to ascertain the actual direction pursued by the object. Try to locate other witnesses along the possible route. 

    In low-level sightings, auto pursuits, and other “close encounters,” the emotional and physiological responses of the witnesses are extremely important. Get them to explain in detail how they felt immediately before, during, and after the sighting. Did they suffer fear, nausea, and dizziness? Did they have unusual dreams afterwards? In some cases, these reactions are more important than the sighting itself. 

    The sounds accompanying the objects can be of great importance. Many of these sounds have proven to be “mental” - that is, they were not audible movements of air, but electrical responses in the brains of the observers. Beeping sounds frequently indicate the witness was subjected to an unconscious experience. Such witnesses may find they are unable to explain lapses of time or geographical transfers during such sightings. Such witnesses should be examined by a qualified psychiatrist whenever possible. Under no circumstances should any witness be hypnotized by anyone other than a qualified psychiatrist. Amateur hypnotists have ruined several important cases in recent years.

      If you should investigate a landing report in which definite markings were left on the ground, photograph these markings and make careful measurements. For the past twenty years, hundreds of landings have been neglected even though the markings are always similar in size and formation. If we had collected and documented photos of all these landings, we would now have an impressive body of correlative evidence. 

    Witnesses who suffer from burned or inflamed eyes after viewing a UFO should be immediately examined by a professional doctor, and a full medical report obtained. In those cases involving “eye burn” weeks or months previous to the investigation, the investigator should get the witness to draw up a full statement explaining fully the reactions suffered. Medical documentation is most important...

    Seemingly irrelevant details often prove to be more important than the main event itself, so try to overlook nothing. If the witness had a toothache prior to the sightings, include that fact, as well as a physical description of the witness and general outline of their lives and background. 

    Radioactivity is quite rare, even in landing cases. Geiger counters can easily be misread. If you own a Geiger counter, make certain that you know how to use it properly. 

    Many witnesses suffer unusual nightmares weeks before their UFO sightings. Others have strange nightmares for weeks afterwards. These dreams are important and you should obtain full descriptions of them. Some witnesses begin to have prophetic dreams after their UFO experience. 

    A large part of the UFO phenomenon is deliberately deceptive. From 1897 on, it has been a common practice for the UFOs to leave behind ordinary debris such as newspapers, pieces of metal, articles of ordinary clothing, mundane chemicals, and so on. Investigators who have discovered such items have often been led to believe the whole incident was a human hoax or prank of some kind. It is also quite common to find ordinary tire tracks in inaccessible fields where landings have been reported. Do not permit yourself to be misled by these “negative factors.” Perform a thorough investigation anyway. We have discovered that a multiple group of negative factors often leads to positive proof that a UFO event did occur. 

    Ancient Greek is often employed by UFO occupants. Greek names and phrases are frequently used for their nonexistent planets. Many of the entities adopt Greek nouns as their personal names. The witnesses very rarely realized this or understand it. Prepare yourself by obtaining and studying a book on Greek mythology. 

    [Spy agency] “psychological warfare” techniques are often employed by the UFOs. Diversionary landings, and other seemingly “important” incidents, frequently are staged a few miles from an area where a truly significant UFO activity is taking place. The diversion wins all of our attention and publicity, and the important activity goes unnoticed. 

    Before you can even begin to understand any of this, you must alter your frame of reference and discard all of your preconceptions. You must learn to accept only the correlative evidence and ignore the assorted speculations that have dominated ufology. We are interested only in hard facts. All of these facts indicate that we are misled into believing the “extraterrestrial” thesis. So long as we accept the ET concept, the phenomenon and its source are save and free from interference. Deliberate hoaxes were executed to sustain skepticism and convince governmental agencies that the phenomenon was not real. The UFO buffery was convinced of the ET thesis, which was unacceptable to both the general public and the scientific community. By loudly advocating it, the ET buffs succeeded in heaping ridicule upon the subject. Thus, the UFO source was able to operate unhindered for twenty long years. 

    All of the evidence, both historical and contemporary, indicates that the ET concept is completely erroneous. ET believers usually rebel at any suggestion that the phenomenon may be hallucinatory  or psychological. However, in the past three years, many psychological have been discovered. Various groups of psychologists and psychiatrists are now actively engaged in UFO research. Unfortunately, very few ufologists are trained or equipped to understand or investigate the underlying psychological factors. 

    At least some of the “contact” cases investigated in the past three years have proven to be hallucinatory. We have termed these “induced hallucinations,” because it seems that the effects were produced in the witnesses’ minds by an exterior influence. These effects are similar to hypnosis. While the witnesses’ bodies undergo one sequence of experiences, false memories (confabulations) of another sequence or experiences are planted in their minds. 

    Frequently the true (but “forgotten”) experience surfaces from the witness’ subconscious later on, in the form of a dream or nightmare. We cannot outline the whole process here, but it must be considered as a very important factor in many cases. Never even hint of this when interviewing such a witness. Do not attempt to analyze such cases yourself. Simply extract all of the remembered details from the witness and include them in your report. These reports will (hopefully) be collated and studied by qualified psychiatrists. 

    If we make the mistake of discussing these factors publicly on radio or TV, many witnesses will refuse to submit to interviews, because they will fear that we think they are “crazy.” So, the hallucinatory factor must remain a ufological secret until we have built a body of medical evidence to support and explain it.

    It is now probable that some UFO sightings are not of real objects, but are actually a variation of this hallucinatory effect. The method and purpose of this effect is now known to a select handful of competent researchers. 

    There has been a great deal of controversy about the mysterious individuals known collectively as “Men in Black” (MIB), particularly since Brad Steiger and I have independently uncovered and reported upon cases in our respective areas. Many different investigators in “flap” areas have now had confirmatory experiences with the MIB. Only a small percentage of these cases have been published. There are several different types of MIB. One group appears to be more psychic, or hallucinatory, than real. They appear and disappear suddenly in bedrooms, and the witnesses often experience paralysis or a sudden rise in temperature during their presence. Now we have dozens of such cases in our files. 

    Another type of MIB now common throughout the U.S. is represented by men who travel in pairs. The same description is always given. One man is tall, blond (usually has a crewcut), fair-complected, and seems to be Scandinavian. His companion is shorter, with angular features and a dark olive complexion. The blond usually does most of the talking, while the other remains in the background. There seems to be several identical pairs of these individuals operating simultaneously in several states. 

    Men with Oriental features, dark complexions, slight stature, and a heavy indefinable accent are also frequently reported. These men sometimes pose as salesmen or polltakers. The witnesses usually regard them as a “little strange,” but think nothing further about them. Always ask witnesses if they have recently received any “unusual visitors or salesmen,” but do not offer any descriptions. See if the witnesses can offer correlative descriptions to the above.

    Naturally, every stranger is not an MIB. Never alarm witnesses by displaying an unusual interest in such visitors. Never discuss “silencings” or “Men in Black” with witnesses. 

    Dark-complected, dark-haired females of about 18 years of age have occasionally been described. It is not unusual for some MIB types to pose as photographers and offer to take free photos of the witness’ entire family. 

    Vehicles used by the MIB range from traditional black Cadillacs and Lincolns to assembly-line Fords and Volkswagens. White station wagons have now been mentioned in a number of widespread incidents. 

    If men in military uniforms approach your witnesses, contact your local Air Force or military base and determine the validity of their identification. In several cases, the Air Force impersonators have adopted the names of existing officers, but have changed the rank. Thus, when you try to check out a “Col. Robert Withers” you may find that Lt. Robert Withers is actually stationed nearby, but knows nothing of the incident. 

    Do not attempt to apprehend Men in Black yourself. Do not attack them physically. Approach them with great caution. They frequently employ hypnotic techniques. Collect adequate testimonial evidence before reporting them to the local police or FBI. You must prove that these individuals are breaking the law before the authorities can take any action.”