GHOSTS: WHAT ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴛʜᴇ DEAD ᴡᴀɴᴛ?

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

Why do we do what we do? There is no shortage of texts, theories and hierarchies pertaining to motivation, its purpose and its connection to survival and existence. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” “To get to the other side.” Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943) breaks down human motivation laying out the elements that meet the “conditions within the individual that are essential and necessary for the maintenance of life and the nurturance of growth and well-being.” —Beata Souders, Positivepsychology.com. These needs can be simplified to three primary categories. Basic needs, psychological needs and self-fulfillment needs. The basic needs include physiological, the raw fundamental needs required to perpetuate our basic (biological) state, along with safety/security. Belonging, union, self-esteem and accomplishment. Lastly, the need for self-actualization, and achieving one’s “full potential”.

When it comes to the living, there are a great many reasons why we do the things that we do. Even the more heinous, deplorable of human actions can be explained using motivation. “Motives for murder can be condensed into four sets of ‘Ls’: Lust; Love; Loathing; and Loot.” —Peter Morrall, Murder and Society, 2006. Lust and Love, both connected to attempts at achieving psychological needs (or perversions of such): union and self-esteem. In the barbaric sense, two or more conflicting parties, whose disagreement reaches its pinnacle will lead to violence, murder/defeat being the accomplishment of ‘ending’ an enemy (the mentality that stirs before many homicides to this day. Also, according to Friedrich Nietzsche when it comes to acts of cruelty and acts of benevolence: “On the doctrine of the feeling of power. Benefiting and hurting others are ways of exercising one’s power over them”, thus a similar motivation could account toward contributing factors for significantly implicating another individuals existence. An expression of power, a sense of accomplishment, good or bad, irrelevant). Lastly, and likely most obviously, the motivation to acquire ‘Loot’ or wealth from murder is driven by the prospect of personal gain (among other variables).

Consider anything any living soul has ever said or done and with enough contemplation, you’ll soon discover a myriad of (possible) elements that may explain the motivation that led them to do whatever it is they’ve done.

But could the same be said for the (theoretical) dead?

When it comes to the basic understanding of ‘ghosts‘, many cultures share an idea regarding the incorporeal presence of what was once living, most often human (or animal), somehow lingering after death. (The Shinto Tsukumogami 付喪神 being one of the exceptions, an inanimate object believed to gain a ‘kami’ or spirit after 100 years. If the object is treated poorly by its owners, the item’s spirit will take on an insidious persona. Other exceptions might include the likes of demons, jinn (جن), ‘shadow entities’, essentially sentient beings of religion, folklore & myth that have never existed on earth in a natural mortal state).

*Haunting: “A belief in the lingering presence of an unwelcome and often malicious intruder.”


Fantazmë, прывід, φάντασμα, spøkelse, גייַסט, ուրվական,幽霊, Hayalet, Exspiravit, Ysbryd, 유령…


Mentioned above are just a few of the many ways in which human language from all over the world can express the word ‘ghost’. There are approximately 7,097 languages (according to ethnologue.com, 2018) and you would be hard-pressed to find one that did not have a means of expressing what we in the western world call ghosts.

A Compendium of Fear, C. M. Johnson, 2019

The Ghost/Phantom/Specter, stuck between the mortal world and beyond, in such a predicament either by choice, accident or punishment. Ghosts can be regarded as ‘lost souls’, blindly following the motions of life into death, glimpsed by the living as a sort of memory or echo of what once was (The Stone Tape theory). Ghosts in this light could be interpreted as something closer to a residual recording of some kind, as opposed to a truly sentient existence, that reacts to new stimuli. Though this benign, disconnected understanding is not highly popular among paranormal communities, believers or culturally. *This could be because fear, entertainment and intrigue have aided in the dispersion of widespread understanding of ghosts. A campfire story involving an echo, a ‘record’ of a ghost simply isn’t as frightening as a thinking/reacting supernatural entity.

What could possibly motivate the dead to do anything, if it is done so at all? What could the dead possibly want, if the dead were capable of wanting? Is it will alone that governs the existence of specters, if so, whose will? Could a ghost end its own existence? What purpose, if at all, does the existence of ghosts (fictional or otherwise) serve?

One popular conceptual basis for motivation for the dead has been called unfinished business. Implying motivations, desires held in life can transcend into the afterlife. Spirits of the dead lingering on earth watching over their loved ones, committing precarious deeds of chance otherwise blamed on luck, fate, guardian angels or a variety of mythological creatures. In many cultures around the world, particularly tribal cultures, the spirits of the ancestors are said to bring fortune and guidance to the living. Motivated by the love they held for the families/group in life and a desire to assist in the preservation of that group/lineage. The ghost of a murder victim believed to linger until the murderer is brought to justice. The ghost of a missing person lingering until the biological remnants are discovered, and so on, sometimes aiding in their own discovery. Almost always universally seeking a poetic, tidy ending, without any loose ends. But why (as so many clairvoyants claim) would a deceased person fret about ‘the missing ring’, or ‘the lost inheritance’ or ‘Name needs to forgive Name’? Is there really so little beyond this world that such trivial affairs concern us into the beyond? Estimations suggest that approximately 109 billion homo sapiens will have died on Planet Earth, as of year 2020. The dead well and truly outnumber the living, but the presence of ghosts, alike their actions are not commonly detected. Despite some surveys suggesting that 42% of Americans believe in ghosts (The Harris Poll, 2013).

A great deal of interest and belief in life(?) after death comes from spirits and ‘unusual activity’ affiliated with haunted areas, who or which reveal themselves, to be seemingly bound to specific locations (for seemingly indefinite periods of time, if not vanquished, smudged, exorcised, ceremonially/ritualistically cleansed such as the Tibetan Exorcising-Ghost day ‘Gutor’ ༼དགུ་གཏོར་༽ a ritual of spiritual cleansing, or simply just persuaded to leave).

Many individuals who experience hauntings of various severity suggest that the haunting within of itself, is a means of willful sentient communication. Unique and targeted towards various individuals with differing enthusiasm, depending on the (psychic/spiritual) sensitivity of the victim (or countless other factors), or ‘energy’ of the spirit(s). More often than not, the will of said apparition is perceived to be, “get out”, “you’re not welcome here”, “I hate you”, threats, insults etc. Leading many individuals and cultures alike to believe the noticeable acts of a poltergeist, be them visual apparitions or physical interactions (moving objects, banging walls) are efforts to inspire fear in the living to achieve an end result. Weaponizing fear to either scare the living into staying away, inflicting harm through psychological duress, or because they gain somehow through the ordeal/connection (emotional/psychological energy absorption, etc).

It’s often suggested that the behavior (often malevolent) and the implications of such on the living are a means of the dead perpetuating an existence by proxy. Subject A) is biologically alive, Subject B) is the common understanding of a ghost or even an imaginary entity. If subject B) implicates A) by any means whatsoever (paranormal event/erroneous hallucination) B) exists, to some degree, through A). Essentially a parasitic form of existence, riding on the coat tails of another being’s bond with reality.

According to interpretations of Tibetan Buddhist concepts, an entity that gains its existence very similar to this parasitic method, is called Tulpa (སྤྲུལ་པ་). A ‘being’ formed entirely from the mind of a living mortal, that through careful meditation, cultivation, imagination, and possibly no small amount of psychic/supernatural ability, a spiritual (ghost-like) manifestation is willed into existence. Are there an infinite supply of ghosts scratching at the inside of our imaginations, slowly being willed into reality with every second glance, with every skipped heartbeat when we hear a muffled whisper in the dark? Slowly (and literally) creating our own incorporeal assailants?

Tulpa is a concept in mysticism and the paranormal of a being or object which is created through spiritual or mental powers. It was adapted by 20th-century theosophists from Tibetan sprul-pa which means “emanation” or “manifestation”. Modern practitioners use the term to refer to a type of willed imaginary friend which practitioners consider to be sentient and relatively autonomous.”

Wikipedia

The popularized sentiment of ghosts haunting their previous homes, territory, property, treasure is rooted in an idea that these deceased individuals desire(?) or seek to perpetuate a form of “ownership”, ‘control’ over the mortal world, into the afterlife. But the concept of ownership, proceeding mortal death (regardless of whether or not ghosts/spirits exist) is also implying that ghosts not only retain consciousness/sentience but despite the death of the mortal body, the ego remains (or attempts to sustain a part of itself).

“Physical materialism is the belief that possessions can bring release from suffering. They may bring temporary happiness but then more suffering in the endless pursuit of creating one’s environment to be just right.”

—Chögyam Trungpa, Lords of Materialism, c. 1970

Could a ghost’s desire to retain ownership over something in the physical world act as an anchor to simply linger on? I still own this place, the place exists, I haunt the place to assert my ownership, therefore I exist. Could existence, even achieving the faint echo of such, be the motivation? An eternal defiance of loss, standing on the other side of the doorway, attempting to fake it until they make it? Holding on to the memory of life, because it’s simply better than nothing, or the only other options presented to the dead?

“The underlying motivation for materialism is finding happiness based on the mistaken notion that one’s ego is inherently existent and a valid point of view. That is incorrect, and therefore the materialistic approaches have an invalid basis to begin with. The message in summary is, “Don’t try to reinforce your ego through material things.” The point of religion is to show you that your ego doesn’t really exist inherently. Ego is something you build up to make you think you exist, but it is not necessary and in the long run causes more suffering.”

—Chögyam Trungpa, Lords of Materialism, c. 1970

Is the desperate, seemingly futile motivation toward ownership, influence over the living (commonly through fear) merely attempts at retaining ego (self), because such creatures are actually holding onto the notion that ego “is something you build up to make you think you exist, but it is not necessary and in the long run causes more suffering.”—Chögyam Trungpa.

“To live is to suffer.”

―Friedrich Nietzsche

From what most are led to believe at least from the popularized sentiments of ghosts and their common demeanor, is it possible that under certain circumstances, death (like life) is suffering also?

Unfinished business, may be the desire to hold onto the memory of the individual self, to simply suffer a little longer. Before letting go of the illusion of life itself.

“All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.”

―Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

A ghost may be, simply because it has but two choices:

To be, or not to be.

ᵀᴴᴱ HOLLOW ONES

(Animation by Dave Strick)

Rather than asking someone, “do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life?” You might instead ask, “is it possible, or even likely, that life beyond this planet does not exist at all?” Is it possible to truly possess an ardent rejection of the concept of extraterrestrial life? Well, of course it is, belief is quite often unimpeded by reality (whichever variation happens to be accurate). Interestingly, unlike Ghosts, Demons, Goblins, conceptual beings which have the potential (regardless of the legitimacy of their existence) to exist only as a byproduct of human imagination, extraterrestrial life has one attribute, that cannot be denied: the existence of our species.

The fact that we can ask “is anything else out there?” indicates that all the conditions CAN be met in this universe, for something else to be asking the same question. The universe (seemingly) has the potential to spawn/harbor life (theoretical abiogenesis), otherwise the question would/could not be asked in the first place. (Someone might say “religion could disprove that statement”, but if we’re here by the will of God(s), then by the same notion, that will ‘could’ have created life elsewhere also?)

So then, if extraterrestrial life exists, why hasn’t it been discovered? It must either be in its primordial stages of development, or very, very far away? Then of course, there is another possibility, rarely considered to the extent that it deserves. What if extraterrestrials, are so very advanced, so incredibly adept, that they interact with us almost constantly, walking among us, entirely undetected?

ᵀᴴᴱ DECOY, dictionary.com

  • a bird or mammal, or an imitation of one, used by hunters to attract other birds or mammals. “a decoy duck”.
  • a person or thing used to mislead or lure someone into a trap. “we need a decoy to distract their attention”

verb (used with object)

  • to lure by or as if by a decoy: They decoyed the ducks to an area right in front of the blind.

The genetic similarity between a human and most avian species is around 60%, yet our species possesses the ability to deceive all of them. Simulate their calls to further lure them to a position or manipulate their behavior. In fact a great many animal species which share even closer genetic similarities with us, can be deceived with an array of decoys. We use robotic decoys to infiltrate highly social mammal groups, to study and monitor their behavior. Often (during closer inspections) the decoys fail, but as a species we have the ability to completely deceive another species, into thinking an object/machine is an acceptable member of that species’ social group.

Many of the animal species on this planet lack the ability to perceive the cues that would suggest illegitimacy, it’s a prospect (almost) entirely inconceivable to the animal world. Even after rejecting a decoy, its highly unlikely an animal would understand the nature of why the foreign imposter existed in the first place. When it comes to perception and self-awareness, the bulk of animal species on our planet don’t have much of an understanding of self. This is further investigated in research surrounding the mirror test.

(The Mirror test, a method used to determine an animal’s ability (or lack there of) to visually identify itself. Researchers place a mirror in front of various animal species and observe their behavior. Despite the arguments surrounding how substantial the results of the mirror test are, very few species on this planet actually pass the test.)

ᴡʜᴏ ᴀʀᴇ ᵀᴴᴱ HOLLOW ONES?

A wolf in sheep’s clothing is no new concept. Even in bygone ages suspicions of demonic beings, otherworldly entities wearing the skin of men as a guise was always a prospect (of a paranoid mind). If you think its a stretch of the imagination to envisage a member of our species presuming another is ‘something else’ in disguise, you should familiarize yourself with the various witch trials that proceeded throughout Europe and the American colonies.

Even today, with various AI systems, we attempt to decoy one another. False emails, automated calls. Eventually our species may be able to create the perfect decoy, undetectable from an organic life-form. Could we achieve that feat within the next 100 years? Would our species be scrupulous with that kind of technology, or use it for unprecedented levels of exploitation and manipulation of one another?

If, however, highly advanced technology existed ‘today’, these beings, these hollow ones, could be existing among us, right now. The question would be, if you gave the concept any credence, what are ‘they’ working to achieve? What are they doing right now, this very moment? Are they monitoring us, testing us, planning our demise?

I’ve spoken to many of the belief that if such a theoretical situation were to take place (or if it is taking place) they would not do it if they weren’t gaining something from our species. I’ve heard adamant opinions, in regards to this topic, that the decoy is the tool of the hunter, that ultimately any being that shrouds their very existence in secrecy, does so because their purpose is purely nefarious.

But I couldn’t honestly agree with that sentiment. I’m (currently) incapable of abandoning the notion that with true advancement, with ultimate theoretical evolutionary development (ᵀᴴᴱ NOÖSPHERE), a being would display a certain level of benevolence. Ask any naturalist, or someone whose worked on a documentary filming the natural world, it takes a great deal of restraint to observe from afar as the lions close in on the baby gazelle, and do nothing. To possess the power to intervene, but the understanding to know you can’t.

Maybe a being from a time, and a place so far removed from here and now, living the human experience is all ᵀᴴᴱ HOLLOW ONES are interested in? An entirely unremarkable person wanders through a crowded city, but her eyes transmit what she beholds to a group of beings in another dimension. She bumps into you, and says “excuse me” and smiles, you part ways, never giving it a second thought.

ᵀᴴᴱ ENFIELD POLTERGEIST INCIDENT ᴏғ 1977

(Illustrated by Unknown Artist)

The recording above is part of the 1977 interview of 11 year old Janet Hodgson, by paranormal researcher Maurice Grosse. The odd gruff voice coming from the 11 year old girl, claimed to be that of deceased 72 year old man, Bill Wilkins.

August 1977, 284, Green Street, Brimsdown, Enfield, London, England. “It started in a back bedroom, the chest of drawers moved, and you could hear shuffling,” Janet Hodgson would recollect, some years after the incident in an interview. Upon hearing the sound of somewhat heavy furniture being moved about, Peggy (Margaret) Hodgson (mother of four) naturally assumed her children, were out of bed. The children insisted that the drawers were moving by themselves, Peggy Hodgson claimed she observed the chest of drawers moving along the floor, seemingly by its own accord. When Peggy attempted to push against the drawers, she discovered more resistance than the usual weight of the object, and was unable to move it from where it had traveled to.

Some of the children also claimed on the night of this primary incident, that they heard knocking coming from inside the walls of their shared bedroom. In a frantic and terrified state, Peggy Hodgson and four children, Margaret (13), Janet (11), Johnny (10) and Billy (7) fled from their home and went to their next-door neighbor’s home, that of Victor and Peggy (Margaret) Nottingham. Vic stated in numerous interviews afterward, he went over to the Hodgson’s home to investigate, “I went in there and I couldn’t make out these noises, there was a knocking on the wall, in the bedroom, on the ceiling, I was beginning to get a bit frightened.”

Following this first incident, the police were notified to investigate the Hodgson’s council home. It was during this home visit that Police Constable Carolyn Heeps witnessed a chair wobble and then slide, unable to determine the cause for its movement. Constable Heeps went on to signing an affidavit that she had assuredly witnessed an armchair levitate about one half of an inch off of the ground and move approximately four feet along the floor.

“I heard four distinct taps on the wall and then silence. Then about two minutes later I heard more tapping from a different wall, another PC checked the walls, the attic and the pipes but could find nothing to explain the knocking. Then the eldest son of the family pointed to a chair near the sofa. I then saw the chair slide across the floor. It moved approximately three to four feet and then came to rest. I checked the chair and I could find nothing to explain how it moved.”

—Police Constable Carolyn Heeps

Interest in the Enfield Poltergeist began to increase, the family made contact with the Society for Psychical Research. Led by paranormal investigator, Maurice Grosse, investigations were underway, attempting to assess and record the seemingly paranormal nature of the events.

In early November, 1977, Grosse confronted the presence in the living room: “As I asked the question, ‘Are you having a game with me?’ it threw the cardboard box and the pillow right in my face. I have actually seen, myself, marbles being thrown about. I have seen the door moving without any help. I have also experienced the reduction of temperature.”

Maurice Grosse, Society for Psychical Research

Over 18 months following the night the Hodgson family first fled from their home, there were approximately 30 people who witnessed something perceived as a paranormal (or inexplicable) incident at the Enfield residence. Individuals consisting of police, journalists, researchers, even several claims made by people on the street passing by the home witnessed unusual sights through the windows. These experiences ranged from peculiar knocks, loud noises, tapping banging on the walls of the home. Toys, small objects being thrown around the house, particularly the living room. Furniture moving about the home by itself, usually relatively short distances. Disembodied voices, inaudible speech from different areas of the home. Unusual and often drastic changes in perceivable temperature. Lastly, the sighting (and experience) of Janet Hodgson levitating.

Eventually the strangeness of the Enfield Poltergeist Incident came to its crescendo with 11 year old Janet Hodgson, acting as a vessel for the being(s) responsible for the ‘unusual activity’. A distorted, gruff voice barked from the young girl’s mouth claiming to be the spirit of Bill Wilkins. Bill Wilkins, through Janet, claims to be 72 years old, from Durant Graveyard. It goes on to explain that Bill lost the use of his eyes and eventually died in the home of 284, Green Street, Brimsdown, Enfield. Even going as far as stating that he passed away in a chair that was in the home when the Hodgson’s moved in.

“I felt used by a force that nobody understands. I really don’t like to think about it too much. I’m not sure the poltergeist was truly ‘evil’. It was almost as if it wanted to be part of our family. It didn’t want to hurt us. It had died there and wanted to be at rest. The only way it could communicate was through me and my sister.”

—Janet Hodgson

It was eventually confirmed that there was in fact a man named William (Bill) Charles Louis Wilkins residing in the Enfield home, until he passed away in 1963. However, he was 61 years old when he died, not 72 as claimed in the recording. Also, Janet/the spirit claim that he came from ‘Durants Graveyard’ in the interview, when Bill Wilkins was actually buried in Lavender Hill Cemetery a little further away from the Enfield home, than the nearby cemetery.

It’s these inconsistencies, along with some researchers believing the children, primarily Janet, were willfully deceiving everyone. Some investigators reported seeing Janet knocking on walls herself, bending spoons and behaving in a way that suggested she were attempting to sway the beliefs of those researching the event (some of this was caught on film). Janet essentially admitted in various interviews in the years afterwards, that she would play games during the long periods of testing to see if Maurice Grosse could be deceived, stating that he always caught her in her attempts. Claiming that her deception would have accounted for less than 2% of the paranormal events in their entirety. But 2% of an admission to willful deception is grounds for many people to disregard the entire incident.

“There were many bystanders who thought the family invented it all, using basic conjuring tricks, in order to get a new and better council house. But although Mrs Hodgson was a single mother with four children, Roz Morris disputes this possible motivation: “She had a good house, as far as she was concerned, and in fact she stayed in it – that’s where she died in 2003.” The journalist admits that at the beginning she herself was extremely skeptical and looking out for any ways in which “trickery” could be involved, but she found Mrs Hodgson to be sincere and undoubtedly “very frightened”. Richard Crosse rules out a financial motive: “They never made any money out of it.” Graham Morris backs this up, maintaining that “cheque book journalism” simply didn’t exist in those days.”

BBC RADIO

With the media circus dispersing, by 1978 a priest is said to have visited the home, after which, according to Janet Hodgson, the events settled down. But they didn’t end entirely, Peggy and Janet’s youngest brother Billy lived in the home until Peggy (Janet’s mother) passed away, allegedly in the same chair that Bill Wilkins passed away in. Billy and Peggy claimed that you always felt as though you were being watched inside that house.

So the last of the Hodgson’s left the home, Janet Hodgson claiming to this day that the events were not only legitimate, but all began after she and her sister Margaret had played with a Ouija board.

Strangely, after the home was momentarily uninhabited, the next inhabitants learned the story might not have been entirely over. One family in particular, Clare Bennett and her children, found they too felt as though they were constantly being watched inside the Enfield home. Voices and knocking would consistently awake the family during the night. When Clare’s son Shaka (15) began to awake to an apparition of a man entering his bedroom, and unusual experiences seemed to escalate once more. The Bennett’s left the home two months after moving in.

Whose to say if the current inhabitants have experienced anything unusual, when looking at the property on google maps, the words ‘JESUS HOUSE’ appear on one of the windows. Whether legitimately haunted, or an elaborate ruse, strange events have unfolded within the walls of 284, Green Street, Brimsdown, Enfield.

HISTORICAL CLAIMS ᴏғ ‘VAMPIRIC’ ᴀᴄᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ

(Illustrated by Maria Clemente)

The Vampire; a work of fiction, a metaphor for primal lust, an ancient fear of the dead, a figurative embodiment of evil, or perhaps something far more tangible. Something rooted in highly strange, albeit entirely ‘human’ behavior.

Across countless cultures throughout history, the vampire, or beings of a similar nature (comparisons further elaborated in ᴛʜᴇ DARK ORIGIN ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ VAMPIRE) appear in myth and legend, time and time again. But how long ago were such vampiric superstitions actually taken seriously? You might think of isolated communities across the Balkan Peninsula, maybe several hundred years ago, but in truth, such superstitions, much like the theoretical “vampire” itself, simply refuse to die.

With the use of TROVE, an initiative of research groups and the National Library of Australia, it isn’t a difficult endeavor to search how very often the term VAMPIRE, actually appears. Something that should be mentioned, however, is that the title of ‘Vampire’ was often applied to a variety of lascivious, lecherous, perverse or macabre individuals. For instance, the French ‘Vampire of Reuil’, was not actually believed to have been a literal creature of some sinister supernatural origin. But a man of abhorrently deplorable behavior, due to his penchant for sexually assaulting women in the dead of night (news article of the ‘Vampire of Reuil’, 15th of May, 1949 included below).

Yet aside from this use of the term as a means of condemnation, scattered throughout the pages of history, a far more conventional ‘vampire’ appears. I’ve gathered a small sample of historical reports that once made their way to Australian shores, telling tales of ‘vampiric’ activity. Stretching from 1906 to 1954, events pertaining to unusual torment and the consumption of blood. Keep in mind, news stories were just as likely to be falsified or misunderstood in the past as they are today. Also the concept of the vampire was popularized in the media, with the success of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, and the subject matter of many films (Nosferatu, 1922. Dracula, 1931. Vampyr, 1932. Horror of Dracula, 1958. etc).

Claims of ‘Vampiric’ Activity:

7th of July, 1906

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931)

HUMAN VAMPIRE

An extraordinary case has just been heard in the Viennese law courts. The daughter of a rich merchant accused her husband, an artist’s model, of hypnotizing her. She declared that he was in the habit of hanging her up naked by her feet for hours, in which position she was hypnotized. The husband never took his meals in the ordinary way, but consumed oranges and milk in the course of the day. When he returned late at night he used to satisfy his hunger by sucking her blood, which he obtained from a wound in her neck.

ORIGINAL SOURCE, TROVE.NLA.GOV.AU

4th of August, 1906

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931)

CHILD VAMPIRE

An almost incredible story of a child bloodsucker comes from Sweden. A clergyman in Nassjo, a small village in that country, was in the habit of educating a number of boys, among whom was a clever, but morose and dreamy, lad, who shunned all company, and took long walks in the woods alone. One day the clergyman’s favorite dog, a small spaniel, disappeared. It was believed that he had been stolen by gypsies. Shortly afterwards a peasant in the village lost a valuable sheep dog, and several cats, chickens, and a lamb. Suspicion fell on the boy living with the clergy man. One day when the boy returned from a walk it was found that his white sailor jacket was covered with blood, for which he was unable to account. After that he was “shadowed.” He was seen to enter a hut in the wood, and after he had been there several minutes, an agonized scream, evidently from an animal in pain, was heard. The watchers burst in the door. On the floor of the hut sat the boy, holding in his hand a shrieking black cat, from the neck of which he was sucking the blood. In the hut were found the carcasses of a number of dead cats, dogs, a lamb, and a chicken. The peasants tried to lynch him, and he was only rescued with difficulty.

ORIGINAL SOURCE, TROVE.NLA.GOV.AU

15th of May, 1949

Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 – 1954)

‘VAMPIRE’

PARIS, Sat. — Detectives who set out to catch the “Vampire of Reuil,” arrested police constable Eugene Henry. The vampire has been responsible for many attacks on women in the Paris suburbs. The detectives saw a man who was wheeling, a bicycle accost a woman. They arrested him and later confronted him with several of the women who have been attacked. Henry is said to have made a statement confessing to the attacks.

ORIGINAL SOURCE, TROVE.NLA.GOV.AU

3rd of July, 1951

Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 – 1954)

VAMPIRE ALARM

The terrorizing legends of bloodsucking vampires are just legends— right? Not to credulous burghers of Dusseldorf, it seems. A rumor that vampires were in the city kept the Chief of Police and his assistants answering frantic phone calls from thousands of citizens for three days and nights. Newspaper and radio denials of the rumor eventually helped still the alarm.

ORIGINAL SOURCE, TROVE.NLA.GOV.AU

29th of November, 1952

Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 – 1954)

VAMPIRE WOMAN

MANILA, Thursday,— A vampire woman was caught on Tuesday in the Central Philippines town of Ilono. A 35-year-old woman had just caught a small child, hit his head against the concrete pavement and bitten his face to suck his blood when townspeople rescued the boy.

ORIGINAL SOURCE, TROVE.NLA.GOV.AU

13th of May, 1953

The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW : 1856 – 1861; 1863 – 1889; 1891 – 1954)

“VAMPIRE” MYSTERY

MANILA, May 12 (A.A.P.- Reuter). — A “Vampire” mystery is baffling Manila police. The most bizarre case in police memory began on Monday night when an 18-year-old girl was held in the women’s detention cell on a vagrancy charge. The girl began yelling that she was being bitten by a flying human being with big bulging eyes and wearing a black cape.” Other women in the jail made such a noise that police investigated, took the girl out, and held her for observation at police headquarters. About midnight as the police lieutenant held the girl’s left arm, she yelled, “here he comes again.” Police reporters saw nothing around them, but saw the girl begin squirming in the police officer’s grip. As horrified police and reporters looked on, eight human bite marks surrounded by what looked like saliva, appeared on the girl’s left arm. A police medical examiner said the bites, by now also showing on the girl’s right arm, were unmistakably human. As the girl cried in pain and terror, more bite marks appeared. The girl told police she had not encountered the “Dracula” apparition before she went to the jail. It did not resemble anybody she had met before. The chief medical examiner of the Manila police said the girl was an epileptic and the wounds were self-inflicted. But his assistant was still disputing his diagnosis. The girl was taken this afternoon to the Philippines Government Psychopathic Hospital for observation.

ORIGINAL SOURCE, TROVE.NLA.GOV.AU

23rd of May, 1953

The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954)

VAMPIRE CLAIMS

Australian Associated Press MANILA, Fri. — A former dancing girl, who claims that a Dracula-like invisible “thing” bites her, startled watching police here tonight when she went through the motion of fighting an invisible being in her detention cell. Police claimed that when they opened her clenched fists they found hair she claimed she had pulled off the “thing.” A laboratory analysis showed that the hair came from a dead man, police said. Earlier, local United States Methodist Church ministers exorcised the devil in the girl’s body, but were surprised when another girl, in an adjoining cell, began yelling, claiming that she was being attacked, police said. The new girl also exhibited bite marks on her arms and legs.

ORIGINAL SOURCE, TROVE.NLA.GOV.AU

“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.”

—Ariel, The Tempest, Act 1 Scene 2, William Shakespeare.

ᴬ COLLECTION ᴏғ INK ᴀɴᴅ SHADOWS

(Animation by TraceLoops, GIPHY.com)

A mysterious flying object shoots across the Kentucky sky, strange creatures advance toward an isolated homestead, August, 1955. A shootout lasting several hours, to keep the beings at bay, witnessed by five adults and seven children (Kelly–Hopkinsville Encounter).

Several flying saucers hovering over a Melbourne, Australian school on the 6th of April, 1966, hundreds of witnesses look on in awe (The Westall UFO encounter).

Also, allegedly on the 6th of April, 1967 (some sources disagree on dates of event), in North Dade County, Florida, Crestview Elementary School, another large group of witnesses observe the hovering and landing of several flying saucers (The Crestview Elementary School UFO Incident).

The 13th of October 1917, large crowds (30,000 to 100,000 people) gather in Fátima, Portugal to witness the Miracle of Fátima. Many claiming the sun shined and spun with colours similar to those that would shine through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral. One of the largest gatherings of onlookers to witness a “miracle” in human history (declared “of supernatural character” by the Catholic Church in 1930).

Many people believe some or all of the (randomly chosen) events listed above, to be entirely true. Others see a collection of elaborate misunderstandings or fallacies. Then there are a great many who don’t quite know what to believe. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, in other words, even if you yourself witness these incredible events, how could you absolutely, unequivocally, unabashedly declare such unworldly events to be definitively true (or accurately interpreted)?

You might think “seeing is believing”, but maybe you just haven’t seen anything literally ‘unbelievable’ yet?

Once witnessing an event that by all means could be viewed as a defiance of what you know of the laws of this reality/universe, would you be able to believe yourself? Or would you immediately seek out psychiatric help?

What if you view this incredible event in the company of hundreds or even thousands of others. Can everyone be mad (or rather deceived)?

(The gathering at Cova da Iria, Portugal, 13th of October 1917.)

Unshakable (speculatory or potentially baseless) belief can be quite a heavy burden to bear. I’ve known conspiracy theorists that have let their minds contort with paranoid delusions, eventually locking themselves in a prison of the mind, built of cynicism and fear. The self-fulfilling prophecy of one’s own growing distrust in their government, in some cases accurately predicting their own arrest or demise (Milton William “Bill” Cooper, May 6, 1943 – November 5, 2001). The path we take to avoid our destiny, is often the path that leads us to it.

I once knew someone, who in their desperate search for “answers”, found themselves involved with what was later revealed to be a cult, but not before this person (and father of two) partook in a ritualistic group suicide. Every so often, to this day, I wonder if he ended up learning what it was that he wanted to know so badly. Legally blame is placed on a specific guilty party, the fanatical leader(s) and so on. But in the end, was it the physical means by which his life was taken, that truly sealed his fate, or was it his unyielding dogmatic belief? A yearning to know the answers to questions the average person might live a lifetime and not even conceive, was that ultimately his doom?

One of the last conversations I had with this individual, before he vanished into the fanatical world, he was emphatically declaring events he deemed to be indisputable evidence of supernatural activity. I remember remarking something to the effect of, “these experiences are rooted in emotion and the interpretation of otherwise mundane happenings might be disregarded, unless the individual wanted to believe there was a governing will orchestrating the activities. But the same events could unfold even if such a will did not exist.”

Immediately, I knew he would never engage in another conversation with me again. And he never did. Shortly after, a series of unrelated events led to his dismissal from the company we were working for and the rest is history.

As time continues to unfold, what we call “strange and unbelievable claims” will continue to be reported. Perhaps you yourself will witness something that by all rights (governed by the current standards of normality), should not occur. Perhaps, you’ll experience something that will further solidify a belief that began to grow, a long time ago. Maybe you’ll know in the end, what you told yourself in the beginning, that it was nonsense, all along.

True belief is singular, regardless of how much any force attempts to influence and persuade otherwise. But in the end, outside of belief, outside of doubt, when there is no tangible evidence that an event ever occurred, where there is no physical proof that something ever existed, what are we actually left with?

In the end, in regards to the bulk of the paranormal, we are left with attempts to record or capture a moment in time. Experiences that echo throughout the ages, preserved in a collection of ink and shadows. You might not believe the letters marked in ink, as you might not believe the shapes that form in the shadows. Just as the ones who were there (or claimed as such) during those fateful moments might not have believed what their own eyes were seeing either.

Blind gullibility does not ascertain truth.

But neither does absolute doubt.

ᴛʜᴇ CURIOUS CASES ᴏғ CATTLE MUTILATION

(Illustrated by Gabrielle Jerome, 2010)

Since 1975, no arrests have been made in any of the over 10,000 cases involving cattle mutilations.

—Investigator & Ufologist, Chuck Zukowski

Approximately thirteen thousand years ago, in Mesopotamia (current region of Iran and Iraq), it’s generally believed mankind first began harvesting crops and breeding livestock. The breeding of livestock comes with an assortment of challenges, but once mastered, the nomadic hunter can become a somewhat sedentary farmer. But while a farmer can abandon the hunt, the hunt (despite all attempts otherwise) will never abandon the herd.

Since 2002, there have been more than 4,000 cases of cattle mutilation in South America – and are still reporting anywhere from three to a dozen cases a week.”

—Investigator/Author, Christopher O’brien, 2017

(Random assortment of archived news articles sourced from TROVE over the last century.)

It’s easy to conflate all sorts of explanations when it comes to the mutilation of cattle, because it is quite common. However, in most instances there is either a reasonable, if not obvious explanation for the death, method and culprit responsible for livestock mutilation. Natural predators prey on livestock, farmers the world over learn to identify these victims. Natural scavengers also share eating habits, vultures, for instance, take advantage of deep flesh wounds, but if the body is relatively intact the softest areas go first (eyeballs, extremities, and so on).

Then there are other, less natural events that lead to unusual mutilations. Throughout history, there have been many documented cases of deranged individuals harming passive, docile animals purely for their own amusement (or other motives). Ritualistic animal sacrifice, in some instances, pentagrams, (satanic) symbology left etched into a carcass. Again, an abysmal practice, yet common enough to be comparably identifiable.

There are some mutilations however, which leave very unusual signs behind. Indications that suggest, the usual suspects cannot be to blame. It’s these mutilations that cannot be explained, that do not have an identifiable culprit, that leave many of those who investigate them, wondering what exactly is going on?

“For several months my office has been receiving reports of cattle mutilations throughout Colorado and other western states. At least 130 cases in Colorado alone have been reported to local officials and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI); the CBI has verified that the incidents have occurred for the last two years in nine states.

—Senator Floyd K. Haskell, August 29th, 1975. FBI Records.

What are the common characteristics of unexplained livestock mutilation?

  • The animal (prior to event) was healthy, in most reports, between four or five years old.
  • The carcass appears to be entirely drained of blood, also there is no blood present on or around the body. “We searched and searched and we could not find blood on the ground or on the cow. I just can’t understand how anyone could surgically remove a part from an animal and not spill some blood,” —Jim Garren, rancher from Walsenburg, Colorado, March, 2009.
  • Deep precise cuts can be examined on the remains, severing the hide, tissue and organs. “Surgical precision”.
  • Natural scavengers have been observed avoiding the mutilated carcasses. Animals of various species have been observed behaving differently to a carcass that died under normal circumstances, as opposed to unexplained mutilation. As further discussed in ANIMAL MUTILATIONS: WHAT WE DON’T KNOW by Microbiologist George E. Onet.
  • Total absence of tracks (no animal tracks, human tracks or vehicle tracks). No tracks appear from the animal itself, or any tracks indicating another animal predator, or human were present. Implying the animal is somehow picked up and put down, in some instance several hundred feet from where its own tracks stop. Some claims include remarks that the ground/grass around the carcass can seem unusual, scorched, discolored, dead.
  • Seemingly surgical removal of the eyes, ears, mouth, lips, udders, anus, genitalia. In 2008, a Survey Among Bovine Practitioners Concerning Animal Mutilation sent out 3,849 letters of inquiry across all 50 states. From the 189 responses, they correlated this data. Stating that in 76.08% of the results they acquired, the mutilated animals vulva/vagina and rectum were the most frequently removed body parts.
  • Last but certainly not least, unexplained livestock mutilations are alleged to occur on dates correlating with UFO (UAP) sightings. Also sightings of Black Hawk helicopters, further elaborated in Christopher O’brien’s book ‘Stalking the Herd‘.

“Marshall speculates the bulls were darted with a tranquilizer that knocked them out. While some people acted as lookouts, others bled the animals out by inserting a large-gauge needle into the tongue and into an artery, then removed the organs after the heart stopped beating, he surmised.”

NYPOST.com, October 2nd, 2019 regarding Colby Marshall, Vice President of Silvies Valley Ranch

“A month-old calf was missing its spine from the hips to the skull and the brain was gone. It’s right front leg was also gone, and the vast majority of its ribs, both eyes, ears, intestines, reproductive tract, and lungs had been removed. Its rectum was also mutilated.”

—Christopher O’brien

(Illustration of El Chupacabra by Jeff Carter, Spanish for “the goat sucker”. A cryptid said to prey on animals, draining them of their blood. Sightings most prevalent throughout Southwestern United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico.)

(Map indicating cluster of cattle mutilations, by Christopher O’brien author of Stalking the Herd – Unraveling the Cattle Mutilation Mystery.)

One of the earliest known records of unexplained mutilation:

Year 1606 AD, London, England.

Alleged to be documented in the official records of the Court of James I of England. Though it should be noted, while this quote is mentioned consistently in articles written about cattle mutilation (and Wikipedia), I am unable to find a publicly available source definitively indicating the origin of this claim.

“About the city of London and some of the shires adjoining. Whole slaughters of sheep have been made, in some places to number 100, in others less, where nothing is taken from the sheep but their tallow and some inward parts, the whole carcasses, and fleece remaining still behind.”

Speculation & Summation

A great many unusual things occur, causing or contributing to the contortion and mutilation of a corpse during the various stages of decomposition. Something that can occur during the bloating stages of decomposition can cause the flesh (of some species) to split, giving the appearance of deep, surgical slices, as the decaying tissue ruptures due to the build up of internal gases (cadaverine, putrescine, indole, skatole, all contributing to the odorous smell of death).

Specific characteristics of decomposition, along with some of the most common body parts missing from the carcass being the primary choices of scavengers that feed on carrion, can lead one to believe the entire concept of unnatural cattle mutilation is purely built on misunderstanding a perfectly natural process. (Similar comparisons of misunderstanding the characteristics of death that once led to the belief in Vampires, mentioned in ᴛʜᴇ DARK ORIGIN ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ VAMPIRE).

But the sweeping generalization of “likely misunderstandings”, and that it is only inept individuals investigating these unusual events, is untrue. Private and government analysis of these unusual findings have taken place in multiple nations across the globe, continually drawing a blank. When our understanding of the laws of the natural world are defied, the supernatural comes to mind.

“The full necropsy yielded a heart that appeared “to have been blown apart.” The heart disintegrated when touched, although the pericardium (outer sac surrounding the organ) was intact. The decimated heart is a recurring factor in animal mutilation deaths that continues to puzzle researchers because the heart is normally the last organ to decay when an animal dies.”

—Lezlee E. Whiting, Deseret News, Jul 28, 1999

Are cattle mutilations just another form of “crop circles”? An elaborate means of arousing suspicion and intrigue? Likely perpetrated by individuals who for whatever reason, want to confuse and bewilder. There are a great many cases of animal mutilation where this is obviously the case. There are many groups of people in various nations that create crop-circles in an attempt to hoax extraterrestrial activity, some people genuinely enjoy mass deception.

Are governments around the world (or a separate group entirely) tampering/experimenting with livestock in various nations? In the brief research I’ve done for this topic, which almost solely comprises of events taking place in the U.S. and Australia there are not only mentions of UFO sightings, but the sightings of Black Hawk helicopters around events of cattle mutilation. Are experiments, possibly of a biological, neurological, pathological nature being undertaken without public knowledge? Are privately owned livestock of isolated individuals being used as test subjects, guinea pigs, without anyone knowing? Why would they primarily target cows, if it was some kind of experiment?

The average yearly consumption of meat per person:

  • USA: 124 kg (273 lb)
  • AUSTRALIA: 122 kg (269 lb)
  • ARGENTINA: 109 kg (240 lb)
  • NEW ZEALAND: 101 kg (223 lb)
  • SPAIN: 100 kg (220 lb)

If it is a group orchestrating these mutilations, traveling to remote locations (in Black Hawk helicopters) secretly dissecting and taking certain pieces from livestock, what exactly are they hoping to achieve? What are they looking for? Are the domestic livestock of today similar to the 19th Century miner’s canary, first to be sacrificed to give someone somewhere a cellular indication that something is doing or not doing what it’s suppose to.

Lastly, the correlation of cattle mutilation and the sightings of UFO phenomena. When discussing cattle mutilation and the possible involvement of extraterrestrials, one of the first questions raised is, why would an advanced interstellar being take an interest in mutilating cattle? Another point you might raise is, if it is an advanced being mutilating cattle, why leave remains at all?

There’s actually quite a lot more to the long domesticated grass-fed cow than what meets the eye. A member of the domesticated ungulates, mankind over thousands of years has directly intervened in the development of the species.

“Since the 1950s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a number of steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle and sheep, including natural estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their synthetic versions. These drugs increase the animals’ growth rate and the efficiency by which they convert the feed they eat into meat.”FDA.gov

So it isn’t a random analysis of a random animal at a random location, to analyze livestock on a cellular level, could potentially reveal a great deal about our own species. What we seek to consume, our understanding of biological manipulation. An interesting thought, on the matter of cattle mutilation and the primary characteristic, being the removal of genitalia (more often the vagina, than testicles) is that an alien race could be interested in one very specific detail about our meddling in the existence of other species. Similarly to the belief that UFO activity spiked around July 16th, 1945 with the first Atomic bomb tests. They could be assessing whether we begin mass cloning our major food resources.

“Almost 40 countries have conducted research on animal cloning. However, animal cloning mostly occurs in Argentina, Brazil and the USA in the agricultural sector.” —Foodstandards.gov.au

A plethora of misunderstandings, secretive sadists, our own government(s) or even curious visitors from another world. Whoever the culprit may be, they have not yet achieved what they seek to achieve, they have not yet found what they seek to find, because to this day, these curious and horrific mutilations continue.

ᴛʜᴇ INTERPRETATION ᴏғ UNUSUAL EVENTS

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

“How strange”, we might find ourselves thinking, when time after time, these odd yet seemingly inconsequential events occur. They stand out to us, like roses blooming in a desert. By all rights, they should not bloom, the event should not naturally occur, but against all odds, they do. Time after time, adorning the linear progression of our existence, these question marks in the parentheses. Compelling many of us to wonder, why?

While some of us may read too much into such proclaimed “strange or unusual” events, others might let the occurrences pass by them utterly unnoticed. Regardless of the interpretations made by the individual, uncannily, unlikely events will continue to unfold, as they always have (statistical anomalies). If and how someone chooses to interpret these events however, that can have varying implications. Certain events, leading an individual to come to their own understanding of God, chance, fate and the very reality (or lack there of) interwoven into our observable/perceivable universe.

(Interpretation of the physical world implicating predisposition of belief. Ailuromancy, divinations made from observing feline behavior. Alectryomancy/Ornithomancy, divination of bird behavior. Myomancy, divinations made from mice/rat behavior. Myrmomancy, divination from reading ant behavior.)

In the book titled ‘Incredible Coincidence: The Baffling World of Synchronicity’ by Alan Vaughan, one particular (alleged) “unusual” case stood out to me:

In 1953, Louisville, Kentucky, a man named George D. Bryson visited the Brown Hotel. After settling into the room he was given, Bryson went down to the lobby and inquired if any messages had been left for him, as he was expecting to be contacted at the hotel. After providing his room number 307, it was discovered that there was a letter addressed to room 307, with the name Mr. George D. Bryson written on it. How unusual, Bryson thought, because even he was only recently made aware of the room number he would be randomly assigned, yet someone had written and sent a letter, addressing him there. It was soon discovered that the last occupant of room 307, was also named George D. Bryson and in his haste to leave, missed receiving the letter on its arrival.

So many variables had to perfectly align, for such an odd event to occur, and they did. The question, the crux of this event and others like it, does chance, cause and effect alone govern our reality, or are there other forces at work, manipulating the trajectory of fate?

If you’re content to believe that chance, choice, physics, cause and effect, “what goes up, must come down”, what-you-see-is-what-you-get, an eggs-is-eggs sort of sentiment governs our perceivable reality, then nothing more really needs to be said. It is, what it is. A roll of the dice, any given meaning superimposed over the outcome is entirely arbitrary (or at the very least entirely grounded by the factors/laws of our perceivable reality).

If, however, you are inclined to believe otherwise, then you’re not alone. It’s estimated that over 84% of the world’s population hold some form of religious faith. You could say it’s almost a human predilection to harbor beliefs that there is more going on than what meets the eye (whether that is actually the case or not). Be it the work of God/Gods/Fate/Karma/Destiny, there is often a religious implication that supernatural forces have a part to play in the vicissitudes of our world, and even the minuscule variables that implicate the fleeting moments of our lives.

Interestingly, it’s these rare strange and unusual events, that allow us to reflect on how we interpret the nature of the world/reality around us. When young separated twins (Case of the Jim Twins) manage to coincidentally live seemingly identical (or very similar) lives, with both choices and external coincidental circumstances. We might think, how is that possible?

A choir at West Side Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska were scheduled to practice on Wednesday, March 1st, 1950 at 7:20 p.m. At precisely 7:25 p.m. a natural gas explosion ignited, destroying the church. Only not a single person was injured in the blast, because every single member of the church group, for varying reasons, was running late for choir practice. It’s alleged that never before had every member of the choir been late to practice. A lucky set of coincidences simultaneously befell 15 people?

Anecdotally, these kind of stories stack up all over the world. But unfortunately, those tales, the ones I’ve mentioned and countless others like them don’t really mean much, they could be exaggerations, misunderstandings or simply false. Perhaps, after all, they are just anomalies, given special meaning by those seeking more than what there really is.

In the end, these unusual events, alike the interpretations made from them, are only truly applicable to those who experience them. The interpretations reveal a great deal about who we are, possibly more so than the events themselves. The question is, could an unusual event, or a series of unusual events change the way you interpret the world?

ᵀᴴᴱ ENIGMA ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ UFO: FOLLOWING ᵀᴴᴱ SHADOW

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

Coincidence, all too often the garnish of an otherwise ordinary sequence of events. In most cases, the meaning derived is entirely arbitrary and essentially without consequence. But sometimes, under very special circumstances, coincidence is the direct result of someone or something and the physical implication(s) on the world they leave behind, be it by chance or design. Like the compulsion of a serial killer to leave his mark, a signature left in the wake. Yearning to be found.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

—Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

When it comes to most topics pertaining to paranormal phenomena, one might quickly face an uphill struggle in any attempt at compiling tangible data, even finding multiple witnesses (exceeding 1) to a single event. When it comes to researching what many refer to as UFO phenomena, this is not the case. In fact, there is no uphill struggle, you are instead rather confronted with a wall, a wall of data (hoaxes and purposefully false reports are disproportionately prevalent pertaining to UFO/Aliens/Crop circles than any other form of folklore, paranormal or “outlandish” belief). The wall, the confusion, (not to mention the possible career suicide of any professional that publicly addresses the subject) funnily enough, all of this is equally as discouraging to most, as if there was no data at all.

(The belief in ghosts is slightly higher among Americans than the belief in UFOs as a phenomenon.)

(The USS Nimitz UFO, Coast of Southern California, November, 2004.)

In the event that you are not sufficiently discouraged, you’ll face a new set of obstacles in your search for clarity on the matter. The more you dig, the deeper you delve into into the proverbial rabbit hole, surrounding yourself with the countless claims of alleged sightings, alleged abductions, a world of speculation, confusion and doubt quickly envelopes you. Like a boa constrictor wrapping around its prey, the truth starts to suffocate within the many obscuring coils. In an attempt to combat convolution, I wanted to simplify the modern concept of the UFO into two primary elements.

Firstly, what APPEARS to be going on?

(Mystery Airship San Francisco Call, 22nd of November, 1896, during the rise of the “Scareship” sightings.)

ᵀᴴᴱ ENIGMA

ᵀᴴᴱ SHADOW ᴀɴᴅ ᵀᴴᴱ LIGHT

If you subscribe to the general publicly understood notion of the “UFO”, you would have no doubt realized by now, a reoccurring theme or trope to the story. One element wants to be seen, metaphorically, we could regard this as the light. Another, wants to pass unnoticed, and consume the light, naturally taking the role of the shadow.

The light, metaphorically speaking, is the UFO, conceptualized as a craft/object (“scareship”) capable of achieving controlled flight, surpassing what is considered technologically possible. This DOES NOT automatically indicate a craft somehow affiliated with the existence of extraterrestrial life (though it doesn’t rule it out either). Generally, the light takes dominion over the skies, where it is identified most often.

Alternatively, the shadow is primarily concerned with affairs on the ground. If the light shines on something, immediately, the shadow will follow. First the phenomenon occurs or is alleged to have occurred and then, like clockwork, the shadow appears. The shadow is more easily described as a metaphor than a tangible presence, but if I had to give it a name, “authority” seems fitting. The shadow, it seems, can do what it likes, how and whenever it pleases. The shadow is ominous and eerily successful at what it strives to achieve.

Below is a construct of common belief patterns most people entertain toward the notion of UFOs. Even in regards to an incident with multiple witnesses reported in the news, it is natural for many people to assume the witness is confused, mistaken or lying. Some who have personally witnessed UFO activity have came to this conclusion about their own sighting. Raising the question, has a culture of disbelief (on this issue) developed and perpetuated on its own accord, or by design?

If the light can do the things it is consistently reported of doing, theoretically, it could/can be unseen when/if it chooses. If that is an accurate statement, the light wants to be seen.

Whatever the shadow is, it has unsurpassed authority, access to advanced technology (as far-fetched as it may sound, many world governments have access to technology that far surpasses public access in various fields), access to vast wealth, a far deeper understanding of UFO phenomena than the general public. What the shadow wants is actually quite difficult to speculate, outside of “control”. Even in various documents declassified from the CIA, departments have claimed using the guise of UFO phenomenon to achieve various ends.

One such document being, “The CIA and the U-2 Program, 1954-1974.” 1998, by Gregory W. Pedlow & Donald E. Welzenbach. Declassified Mar 19, 2007.

Maybe in the face of an elusive, mysterious, unbridled power (or the illusion of such) anyone/anything associated with it attains authority by proxy. Much like a prehistoric humanoid that picks up a branch aflame after being struck by lighting. He did not create the fire, nor does he understand how it came about, but as long as he appears alongside it, others believe he holds the secrets of the flame.

After reading Edward J. Ruppelt’s report, I wanted to share two key entries that I found particularly interesting:

THE REPORT ON UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS

BY

EDWARD J. RUPPELT, 1956

1.

But persistence paid off. Early in December, about ten o’clock in the morning, the grapevine reported sightings of a silvery, circular-shaped object near the instrument shack. The UFO was seen by several people.

When the “rock hounds” checked the recording tapes in the shack they found that several of the Geiger tubes had been triggered at 10:17A.M. The registered radiation increase was about 100 times greater than the normal background activity.

Three more times during the next two months the “mineral club’s” equipment recorded abnormal radiation on occasions when the grapevine reported visual sightings of UFO’s. One of the visual sightings was substantiated by radar.

After these incidents the “mineral club” kept its instruments in operation until June 1951, but nothing more was recorded. And, curiously enough, during this period while the radiation level remained normal, the visual sightings in the area dropped off too. The “mineral club” decided to concentrate on determining the significance of the data they had obtained.”

After explaining a correlation of detectable spikes in radiation during the presence of UFO sightings and an entire book of UFO speculation, this document ends on this note:

2.

“The only reason there are any “unknowns” in the UFO files is that an effort is made to be scientific in making evaluations. And being scientific doesn’t allow for any educated assuming of missing data or the passing of judgment on the character of the observer. However, this is closely akin to being forced to follow the Marquis of Queensbury rules in a fight with a hood. The investigation of any UFO sighting is an inexact science at the very best. Any UFO investigator, after a few months of being steeped in UFO lore and allowed a few scientific rabbit punches, can make the best of the “unknowns” look like a piece of well-holed Swiss cheese.

But regardless of what I say, or what the Air Force says, or what anyone says, we are stuck with flying saucers. And as long as people report unidentified objects in the air, it’s the Air Force’s responsibility to explain them.

Project Blue Book will live on.

No responsible scientist will argue with the fact that other solar systems may be inhabited and that some day we may meet those people. But it hasn’t happened yet and until that day comes we’re stuck with our Space Age Myth–the UFO.”

I’m not going to comment on these 2 specific excerpts. I’ll leave it up to you to make your own assessments.

Edward J. Ruppelt died 4 years after this publication, in 1960, at the age of 37, (heart attack).

BEYOND ᵀᴴᴱ SHADOW’S ʀᴇᴀᴄʜ

I can’t help but wonder, how long has it been like this? Was the shadow always intrinsically bound to the light? Was there ever a time when UFOs were seen before ‘authorities’ could be hiding flying programs, or covering the truth of a matter they wanted to control? Ironically, from an organization that currently monitors the skies of today, NASA released a PDF regarding this very inquiry.

Excerpts from:

Stothers, R., 2007: Unidentified flying objects in classical antiquity.

(full article)

• In 217 BC “at Arpi round shields (parmas) were seen in the sky” (Liv. 22.1.9; Orosius 4.15). A parma was a small round shield made partly or wholly of iron, bronze or another metal; we do not know whether the luster of these devices (and not just their shape) was intended to be an element of the description. Mock suns are an unlikely explanation, since in the Roman prodigy lists these were routinely described as “double suns” or “triple suns” (i.e. two mock suns on either side of the real one).

• In 212 BC “at Reate a huge stone (saxum) was seen flying about” (Liv. 25.7.8). The implication would seem to be that the object in question was a stony gray color; that it is said to have moved irregularly (volitare) leaves open the possibility that the object Livy describes was a bird or some kind of airborne debris.

Sporadic reports of similar objects continue to appear after this in the Roman prodigy lists. The immediate sources are again Livy and his extractors Pliny, Plutarch, Obsequens and Orosius:

• In 173 BC “at Lanuvium a spectacle of a great fleet was said to have been seen in the sky” (Liv. 42.2.4).

• In 154 BC “at Compsa weapons (arma) appeared flying in the sky” (Obsequens 17). The term refers to defensive weapons, especially shields.

• In 104 BC “the people of Ameria and Tuder observed weapons in the sky rushing together from east and west, those from the west being routed.” Thus Pliny (Nat. 2.148) who uses the term arma; Obsequens’ (43) version is essentially the same. Plutarch (Mar. 17.4) calls the weapons “flaming spears and oblong shields,” but may be merely glossing and expanding; since he noted the time as night, the phenomenon in question might be the streamers of an aurora borealis.

• In 100 BC, probably at Rome, “a round shield (clipeus), burning and emitting sparks, ran across the sky from west to east, at sunset.” Thus Pliny (Nat. 2.100), although Obsequens (45) called the phenom-enon “a circular object, like a round shield.” The clipeus was a round shield similar to the parma, but bigger. Seneca (Nat. 1.1.15; 7.20.2), quoting Posidonius (1st century BC), referred to a class of clipei flagrantes, saying that they persisted longer than shooting stars.

(The article further illustrates multiple claims of sightings of possible UFO phenomena throughout antiquity. ‘Shields’, ships of the air, achieving controlled flight through the ancient skies. Great thinkers of the past spoke of various events that intrigued them. Even claims of beings associated with the UFOs, “shining bright”. Things like the Celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg 1561, the Tunguska event of 1908, need to be taken into consideration.)

• The last encounter is again from the early Christian hagiographical literature and took place near the Via Campana between Rome and Capua ca.AD 150. On a sunny day, a “beast” like a piece of pottery (ceramos) about 100 feet in size, multicolored on top and shooting out fiery rays, landed in a dust cloud, accompanied by a “maiden” clad in white.32 There was only one witness to the event, probably Her-mas the brother of Pope Pius I.

Conclusions:

This collection of what might be termed ancient UFO reports has been culled from a much larger number of reports of aerial objects, most of whose identifications with known phenomena are either certain or at least highly probable. Embedded in the mass of relatively explicable ancient reports, however, is a small set of unexplained (or at least not wholly explained) reports from presumably credible witnesses. If these reports are examined statistically, essential features of what I will, for argument’s sake, call the ancient UFO phenomenon can be extracted:

shape—discoidal or spheroidal;

color—silvery, golden or red;

• texture—metallic or, occasionally, glowing or cloudy;

These events should be considered, because whether or not they were legitimate UFO phenomena, these strange occurrences were happening long before the modern agencies we associate with them existed.

Parmas (shields), defensive weapons (shields), oblong shields, clipeus (shields). Before they were known as flying saucers, the ancient world often called them flying shields.

(Circular Roman shields)

(Saucer)

In the end, as all we have here, is a coincidence. A humble coincidence, and ‘coincidence’ is all too often the garnish of an otherwise ordinary sequence of events. The meaning derived is entirely arbitrary and essentially without consequence.

Our human history is riddled with thousands of years of misinterpretation, confusion and lies?

Or is it possible, that we are still trying to solve the same ancient riddle? Still trying to make sense of things that bewildered our collective ancestors, thousands of years ago?

IF there is any sentient will affiliated with the UFOs of today, IF there was any sentient will affiliated with the UFOs of antiquity, then the answer is simple:

The truth, wants to be found. This slow, subtle compiling of ‘coincidences’ throughout the duration of our species existence may be entirely meaningless, by chance, or maybe by design. An uncaring, hostile extraterrestrial/ultraterrestrial being/race would make contact with our world, implicate us negatively or positively without giving it a second thought. A benevolent being would not do this.

If you think that concept is unrealistic, consider the prospect of the plights of the last remaining tribes scattered around this planet (like the Cujareño people of the remote regions of the Amazon rainforest). Would you want to introduce them to your way of life? Enrich their lives with technological advancement? Or would you rather they were left alone, left to their own devices, untouched by the outside world?

For the time being, Earth remains alone and the phenomena we call UFOs remain an enigma. However, there may come a time in the history of our planet, or even our species, when beings much like us envy the calm and the isolation that we currently take for granted. Once the veil is lifted, once the enigma is solved, there is no going back, and our world will never be the same again.

AUSTRALIAN CLOSE ENCOUNTERS ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ THIRD KIND

(Animation from GIPHY.com)

ᴬᴺ INTRODUCTION ᵀᴼ “CLOSE ENCOUNTERS”

(Feel free to skip this introduction if you are already familiar with the classifications of ‘close encounter’ types.)

In ufology, when observing (primarily visual) UFO phenomena, there are seven types of encounters (the first three, coined by J. Allen Hynek, in his book, The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry, 1972. The remaining four are believed to have came about organically among UFO theorists/enthusiasts, through speculation, trends, science fiction and commonalities of sightings/experiences).

An encounter of the first kind, is to observe a UFO, within 500 feet (approximately 152 meters), successfully identifying specific visual details of the craft.

Encounters of the second kind, are events of UFO phenomenon, where not only a visual presence is witnessed but it is accompanied by various (perceived) physical implications. This can range from presumed/recorded effects, such as feelings/recordings of extreme temperature change, paralysis, disorientation, headaches, fatigue (deviations in behavioral patterns). These effects can be seen in any forms of life close to the event (humans, animals, insects). Further examples of physical effects include mechanical impedance (engine failure), most commonly reported as vehicles/devices cease functioning, or behave erratically. Impressions in the earth, compressions of vegetation (crop circles), scorch marks on the ground, remnants of foreign chemicals, unusual spikes in detectable radiation levels.

Then there is the encounter of the third kind. These encounters include the (generally visual, though arguably in some cases mentally ‘perceived’) appearance/presence of being(s) affiliated with the UFO. Often believed to be the pilots or occupants of the unidentifiable craft.

An encounter of the fourth kind pertains to cases of alleged abduction (including unsuccessful or failed attempts).

Encounters of the fifth kind, involves direct communication between alien life and a human recipient.

Encounters of the sixth kind, result in the death of an abductee, witness, human or animal. It can also loosely be considered an encounter of the sixth kind if an inexplicable death occurs during the sighting of a UFO phenomenon (if there is cause to believe the events are somehow connected. If there are sightings of UFOs and inexplicable cattle mutilations, many would consider that to be an encounter of the sixth kind).

Lastly, encounters of the seventh kind pertain to the hybridization of Homo sapiens and extraterrestrial life (through various methods).

(Illustrated by Unknown Artist)

AUSTRALIAN CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

I.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FREDERICK VALENTICH

21st of October, 1978

At the age of 20 years old, Frederick Valentich was undertaking a training flight over the Bass Strait sea, between Melbourne and King Island, in a small, four-seat Cessna 182L. At 7:06 pm he made radio contact with Melbourne air traffic control over concerns about an aircraft following him and flying directly above him, some 300 meters (984 feet). Frederick’s aircraft was at an altitude of around 1,400 m (about 4,500 feet).

Melbourne air traffic control responded that there was no other air traffic at that altitude. Frederick continued to report that a large strange aircraft continued to overshadow his Cessna, he couldn’t distinguish or name a craft with similar dimensions to what he was looking at. Though he described the UFO as having a shiny metallic surface, with a bright green light source. Frederick made remarks that the craft was moving at high speeds and that he believed at one point, that another pilot was “purposely toying with him”.

Finally, Frederick’s last radio message was, “it’s not an aircraft”.

Soon after Frederick’s last words, the transmission turned into sounds of “metallic scraping sounds” until there was radio silence.

Frederick Valentich (whose father Guido, had later made statements stating that Frederick had considered himself a believer in UFOs and had previously confided fears of being attacked by one) was never seen nor heard from again.

Just like the Kinross Incident, 1953, the pilot and the wreckage remain undiscovered to this day.

(Frederick Valentich, 1978)

II.

THE KNOWLES FAMILY UFO ENCOUNTER

(Also known as The Nullarbor Plain Incident.)

20th of January 1988

In the darkness of the hours following midnight, the Knowles family were well into their journey from Perth to Melbourne. They were traveling across the Nullarbor Plain (nulla ‘no’, arbor ‘tree’), South Australia (a notoriously long and isolated stretch of road. Around 1200 km to cross it, via the Eyre Highway. With a lot of nothing in between.) The family consisted of Faye Knowles and her adult sons Sean, Patrick and Wayne.

The otherwise long and dreary journey changed the moment an unusual light was spotted in the distance. A light that would be later described as appearing reminiscent of a single truck headlight. A small orb of light grew and a distant aerial phenomenon quickly turned into a frantic and bewildered chase, across one of the most isolated stretches of road in Australia.

Eventually, the Knowles family claim that the light or the craft attached to it, landed upon the roof of their vehicle with a “clunk”. Before their fear reached its pinnacle, the family car began to ascend. The strange light/craft lifted the vehicle into the air, the car shook violently before falling free, plummeting back to the road, where one of the tyres blew out upon impact.

I wound down the window and I felt this thing on the roof. All of this smoke stuff started coming into the car, the car was covered in black stuff.”

“We thought we were dying, then we got out the car and we hid behind a little tree and the bushes and it couldn’t find us.”

—Faye Knowles, 1988.

After changing the tyre in under 2 minutes, the Knowles family got back on the road (leaving the jack behind) to continue their journey as fast as possible. Though noted the light/craft was seen going after other cars as well as their own. The family estimated their entire unusual experience lasted around an hour and a half, being chased and tormented by this highly unusual flying object.

Eventually, the Knowles family made it to Ceduna, South Australia, where they immediately reported the incident to police. The car was held by police for investigation. The car is said to have been dented and covered in dust, though no unknown traces were said to have been discovered.

(The Daily Mirror reports on the Nullarbor incident.)

III.

THE ABDUCTION OF KELLY CAHILL

(This event takes place in the Dandenong foothills, less than 40 minutes away from Clayton South, where the Westall UFO sighting of 1966 occurred.)

8th of August, 1993

Kelly Cahill’s unusual experience begins with the ending of a night spent with family and friends. After a social visit, Kelly Cahill (27), her husband and three children were taking the car trip home through the darkness of the Dandenong foothills (though it’s believed that other witnesses were present, Kelly Cahill remains the most publicly vocal regarding this incident). At around midnight the UFO appeared overhead.

Initially, Kelly tried to figure out what the UFO was, likening it at one stage to an illuminated zeppelin (similar to the “Scareship” sightings of 1909) but after seeing it perform various aerial feats and get relatively close to the family car, she realized the craft was unusual in many ways. The UFO eventually got so low, hovering silently, so close to the road, that Kelly believed that through the multiple spherical, bright lights of the craft, she could make out figures of moving silhouettes onboard.

After Kelly expressed what she was seeing, the UFO vanished, but soon after, a bright light emerged that seemed to be shining an unnaturally bright light at the car making it difficult for Kelly and her husband to see the road. At this point, Kelly believes she felt an overwhelming sense of calm wash over her, but noticed that a part of the familiar drive vanished from their trip (approximately 1 km or just over half a mile).

At the time Kelly inquired, “what happened, did I blackout?”

Over the following days, Kelly couldn’t shake the experience. Fixated on the belief that something wasn’t right, she continued to search her memory for the missing pieces of that night. Kelly had various medical problems following the event, including severe stomach pains and uterine infections. Through counseling and hypnosis she began to piece together events that she believed compiled the missing events of about an hour of her families life.

Through hypnosis, Kelly eventually came to believe/remember that not only did her family pull over to observe the UFO as it hovered in a field, but that there was another car present, who also pulled over to observe the craft. The passengers of the second vehicle are said to have been unknown to Kelly Cahill, but were convinced the sighting was compelling enough to be reported. Their illustrations of what they believe they saw are eerily similar to Kelly Cahill’s.

Kelly went on to recall that not only did she, her family, and others on the road get out of their vehicles to stand in awe of this 150 ft floating craft, but that there were beings beneath it. 8 or 9, 7′ tall dark entities, that were were black or so dark it looked as though they were standing in lieu of where matter was, now a void. The silhouette was the quintessential alien figure, narrow frame with a large head shaped a bit like a light-bulb, only the eyes were an intensely glowing red.

She recalled that the group split up, some glided toward Kelly and her family, the others she assumes went for the other group or groups of onlookers. All the while the saucer silently hovering in the field ahead of them. She recalled the beings traveled at an unnaturally fast speed.

Some time later on, Kelly would remember through dreams, various interactions with these beings and the UFO. One such interaction was comprehended by her as being kissed on the naval by one of the entities. It was eventually discovered by a physician, that Kelly had a small triangular burn on her naval. When she reached out to some of the other witnesses, she found those women had accumulated various markings, lacerations, and burns they could not account for as well.

Kelly went on to speak of her experience and ufology publicly and wrote about her experience in a book called, ‘Encounter’ in 1996.

(Kelly Cahill, 1993)

ғɪɴᴀʟ THOUGHTS

What is belief? Is it singular, the understanding of the individual? Is it a claim we can shout in a crowded place without fear of repercussion? Could you honestly allow yourself to believe something, if everyone around you shouted that you were wrong. Does belief evolve naturally, as new stimuli, changing opinions develop and shift? Are trends in belief universal among all living beings? If a belief becomes a detriment to the believer, is the annihilation of the belief similar to the eradication of an otherwise fatal virus? Is the purest unfiltered reality ideal for optimum development and sustainability? A belief may not be a tangible, physical thing, you can’t hear, touch, see or smell a belief, but the implications of belief in this world, are cataclysmic. As the ages turn, what were once considered facts are time and time again, discarded to make way for new ‘facts’ that in time, share the same fate as their predecessors.

Extraordinary claims are extraordinarily difficult to prove. Is it wise to claim that something like alien life, not only exists, but has come to this planet and presented itself to you? Regardless of what the truth is on that matter, some people would suggest it would be in your best interests to harbor such beliefs silently.

Contrary to extraordinary claims of incidents, you cannot so easily dismiss extraordinary claims of experience.

Do you genuinely believe, that Close Encounters of the Third Kind can or have taken place on this planet?

Regardless of the legitimacy of the incident (and the popular meaning attached), is it impossible for you to ever believe the experience could happen to you, or a loved one?

“About 2.5% of the people in the United States believe that they have been abducted by space aliens.”

Psychology Today, 2017

ᵀᴴᴱ WESTALL UFO ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ STRANGENESS ᴛʜᴀᴛ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡᴇᴅ

(Illustrated by Nicholas Eveleigh)

THE CLAYTON SOUTH UFO ENCOUNTER

A mysterious event takes place, in a land considered “far away” by most. Hundreds of children witness something they cannot explain, but no one believes them. The few adults present, teachers no less, are coerced into silence. Students vanish into thin air. The presence of a foreign unknown military force. An idealistic American scientist travels to the under side of the world looking for answers, eventually disgraced, he takes his own life. UFO sightings fluctuate, a man reports a UFO sighting and unusual experience, claiming that his car is being sucked into ethereal lights on an isolated road. Three days later, a fatal car accident occurs at the exact location where the strange event took place. You might be thinking I’m describing the events of some sci-fi drama series, only a great many individuals, to this day, would attest that all, if not most of these claims were entirely true. The least disputed detail of all the strangeness, is the sighting of an unidentified flying object, a flying saucer.

It was 11:00 am, Wednesday, April 6th, 1966, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. What no doubt may have presented itself as an ordinary day at Westall High school, would have drastically changed the moment voices began to shout, “look up in the sky, it’s a flying saucer!”

Immediately, a sense of frenzy, fear, wonderment and exhilaration resonated among the students, because as many eyewitnesses will tell you, as they looked to the clear blue morning sky, there was a silver flying saucer performing aerial feats beyond the capabilities of the (publicly known) aircraft of the day.

As hundreds of students charged toward an area nicknamed ‘The Grange’ where a paddock converged onto a grove of pine trees (today a nature reserve) beyond the edge of the school, numerous eyewitness reports claim that the flying saucer actually lowered into the tall grass. Causing a circular impression that remained after the UFO ascended, some noting also a swirling inner pattern. The UFO was not alone in the sky, according to many eyewitnesses, a number of small airplanes (claims as high as 5) were tailing it. (Though there were no reports of any unusual activity made by Air traffic control or the Royal Australian Air force. To this day, the alleged ‘5 pilots’ have never come forward).

There have since been claims that children, one girl identified only as “Tanya” and others that were closest to the unidentified object when it made its descent, passed out and lay unconscious on the ground around it. Eyewitnesses make the claim that even an ambulance attended the scene to see to the students seemingly suffering physiological effects of the experience. It is claimed by one eyewitness, that “Tanya” was never seen again, after succumbing to some physiological effect from the experience, never returning to school after the event on April 6th.

All up, it is believed the aerial chase, the landing and high speed escape/disappearance happened within a window of approximately 20 minutes. 20 minutes, according to most of the vocal eyewitnesses that has profoundly effected their lives.

(Dr. James E. McDonald)

In interviews conducted by American Physicist/Ufologist, Dr. James E. McDonald roughly one year later, he managed to speak with science teacher Andrew Greenwood who was there that fateful day. Greenwood upon realizing the frenzy sweeping up outside among the students, headed outside to get a look at what they were reacting to. Andrew Greenwood described the UFO as a “round, silver object about the size of a car with a metal rod sticking up in the air.” He then remarked that one of the first things to occur after the event took place, was the headmaster instructed all students to return to their classrooms, after which Greenwood said “he [the headmaster] gave the school a lecture and told the children they would be severely punished if they talked about this matter and told the staff they could lose their jobs if they mentioned it at all.”

From there, according to those who tried to speak out about the event, an element of secrecy and suppression arose. Military vehicles were seen around the area, the site was under total lockdown. Ironically, exactly as virtually every film surrounding such an event would have you believe. Men in camouflaged uniforms were reportedly seen by dozens of the eyewitnesses still vocal on the issue now more than half a century on. The unusual thing about men in camouflage is that in Australia during the 1960’s, neither the Australian nor the British had incorporated it into the military uniforms. Suggesting a possible involvement of either a group, outside of a national government, or even the U.S government which did/does have a presence on Australian soil.

There is talk of suppression of information surrounding this incident. I don’t know how things were managed at the time, perhaps due to the nature of news in the 1960’s it simply did not receive the coverage it might if it occurred today. Though, anecdotally, I would have to agree that something does seem unusual about the records. In researching the event through the usual channels, archives of Australian public newspaper records, the entire year of 1966 in Australia seems oddly slim. Searching terms like “UFO”, “Westall”, “Flying Saucer” were actually proving fruitless. So then I changed the search purely based on date.

In Melbourne, 1966, possibly by coincidence, 1966 draws a blank. So then I started checking other states, in case stories made it to further away Newspapers. When I looked up ‘The Canberra Times’, checking through dates around early April I didn’t find any mention of the Westall UFO event (though perhaps I was just lazily looking in all the wrong places). I did however, find this story, reported in Canberra, about a story that happened in Victoria, approximately 2 hours NW from the Westall incident, mere days after the UFO was sighted at the back of the school:

“MELBOURNE, Monday. — The current world-wide spate of sightings of flying saucers was brought closer to home today by a report by a Maryborough man. Mr Ronald F. Sullivan, a 38-year-old builder of Victoria Street, Maryborough, said he had seen an unidentified flying object on the Bendigo to St Arnaud Road last Monday. Three days later a youth was killed when his car ran off the road at the place where Mr Sullivan said he had seen the object.

Mr Sullivan said, “the headlights on my car were suddenly diverted to the right, for no apparent reason. And if I had followed them I would have run off the straight stretch of road. The fact that I am an experienced driver, and know the district well, saved my life. I managed to stop before I crashed.

Then I saw a display of gaseous lights in all colours of the spectrum in a nearby paddock. The object rose about 10 feet in the air. It later disappeared”, Mr Sullivan said.

Mr Sullivan said he drove on to Wycheproof where his headlights were checked and found to be in perfect order. He went to the crash scene with police on Friday. “We all noticed there was a depression about five inches deep in the freshly ploughed paddock, about 50 feet from the fence. It was about five feet in diameter.” Mr Sullivan said. Police at Maryborough, Castlemaine, Bealiba and Newstead said today they had all heard reports of flying saucers in the area. They have not been able to find the cause of the accident in which the youth, Gary Taylor, 19, of Carnegie, died.”

—THE CANBERRA TIMES, TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 1966

It’s also claimed that the chemistry teacher at Westall High, Barbara Robins, had access to a camera and was hastily snapping photographs of the UFO during the 20 minute frenzy. There are a great many photographs claiming to be taken during this event, but when I cross referenced them (reverse google search) every single one was linked to other UFO sightings, though that is common in many news stories, surrounding issues even outside of the paranormal. It’s been suggested that Barbara Robins had her camera and film confiscated and was coerced into silence.

Ultimately, in my opinion, this is more a story about suppression than anything else. It has endless possible explanations, but these are the top four I could come up with.

  1. Mass Hysteria, somehow something potentially non-existent has been blown way out of proportion. Disingenuous recollections of a misinterpreted reality. This is actually the least likely scenario, in my mind.
  2. Extraterrestrial or Ultraterrestrial life with access to highly advanced technology, presented itself to hundreds of Australian schoolchildren. For whatever reason, some “agency” (government or otherwise) wants to keep it a secret, suppressed knowledge.
  3. Certain groups on this planet have access to technology that far surpasses what is currently available to the masses. Information is power, and the power is being kept from the general people. Those that rule the world don’t want individuals to be self-sufficient and able to thrive off of the nipple of “the system”
  4. The whole thing was a setup. The entire experience was orchestrated. “They” wanted to test how a group would react to something like this, then how they could suppress it.

Some estimations to the total number of witnesses of UFO phenomena (of varying levels and vicinity of encounters) in Victoria around the 6th of April, 1966 are approximately 300 individuals. 300 individuals that saw “a flying saucer” at a very low altitude. This wasn’t a craft people were squinting to see through the clouds, this was something narrowly avoiding telegraph poles (as one witness claimed). All said and done, in this account of strange events, there is one major thing to ask yourself. Someone in all of this is lying, that much is certain. The question that only you can truly ask yourself is, who? Did the students decide to create some charade? For the fun of it? For fame? They didn’t achieve any, the story barely got out. Or is the reason that seemingly “military” types were involved almost instantly, liaising with the powers that be, because certain people know certain things, that the rest of us are not allowed to understand.

If you think time will reveal the answers naturally, that the truth will rise to the surface on its own accord, like cream, remember this event happened over half a century ago. Many of the eyewitnesses have spent their entire lives waiting to make sense of what they saw, like something would emerge from the woodwork and link the pieces together. That day, unfortunately, has yet to come. Unless something changes, something gives out, the secrets will remain secrets, dormant and unknown.

According to UFO-Hunters.com as of the year 2020, there are over 200220 sightings reported and that number expected to continue to grow as more people around the world continue to more avidly monitor and record the activity of the skies.