Monday, February 12, 2018

Local UFOs

The Brisbane Times has an article about UFO research organisations in Queensland, inspired by this State Library blog post.

The articles note some interesting cases from the mid 1960's, which appear to have been reported by sincere country folk.

As for the only UFO group still around - UFO Research Queensland - it seems to have been the hobby of the Gottschall family for a very long time.   I am pretty sure that was contact name for the group in the late 1970's, when I wrote them a letter asking if they had public meetings.  (Letter writing to find out about a club - that's what people used to do pre-internet.)   Forgive me if I have mentioned this story before, but to my surprise, in response, I unexpectedly had a visitor arrive at my parent's front door one evening asking for me.   (I was still living at home.)  He was a pretty young guy, perhaps university student age (as I would have been), and I seem to recall an afro-ish style haircut and a somewhat eccentric air about him.   In fact, I think one of my parents said "there's some strange looking guy at the door for you."   He told me he had come in response to my letter.

I was pretty taken aback that a mere letter enquiry resulted in a personal visit - he was no Man in Black, but it still had an invasion of privacy feel about it.   I politely ended the visit quickly at the front door and don't think I ever bothered getting the details of where and when they meet.   I never bothered following up anything about them again, but I think I later established that they used the old Adamski UFO on their insignia (you know, the one that in fact turned out to be a chicken coop lamp).   I've never taken them seriously since then.

Update:  interestingly, that last link is to a blog that I didn't realise existed run by long time UFO skeptic and debunker Robert Sheaffer*.  I see that he had written a couple of posts (here's the first) about the recently released UFO videos taken from Navy Hornets, but the debunking of them seems to be more difficult than usual.  He points out the claims from someone else that they are very similar to a video of a distant jet in a case from Chile.   And he does make likely sounding claim that the glowing aura aspect of the videos is an artefact of the IR imaging.

But, the problem is the audio (and interviews with one of the pilots) just doesn't seem to fit the "mistaken identity of a distant jet" theory at all.

It might be that audio and video has been fiddled with, but really, I don't think Sheaffer's attempted debunking is presently anywhere near successful.  In fact, he spends more time going on about the funding from the Pentagon to Bigelow, which is an odd story, and some of the claims made do not sound credible.

But the two videos - they remain pretty strange and unexplained.

* Update 2:  I meant to mention - I am pretty sure that it was Robert Sheaffer who gave a talk that I attended in Adelaide in the late 1980's about his UFO debunking.  In fact, I even spoke to him briefly afterwards, noting that I had found J Allen Hynek's books quite convincing, and I was surprised at some case or other in which, Shaeffer argued, Hynek had been completely conned.   He said he had met Hynek, who was a nice guy, but just too gullible when it came to liars and fabulists.   


not trampis said...

totally explains Kastesy

John said...

Difficult issue. For the purposes of context I suggest learning about the ridiculous way our visual system works, especially in relation to illusions. Vision is not just looking "out there", it also involves active recall and some type of cross matching with previously experienced visual phenomena that is somehow mysteriously mapped onto present visual experience so what we see is not necessarily what our eyes respond too but represents an amalgam of those responses with past experience and the structure of our visual apparatus. I don't understand any of this, it is totally baffling.