Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Newspaper Blanket / New Windmill Mystery in NY

We're incapable of becoming properly overwhelmed because there is so much, so very much, that we don't know about those mysteries which intrude momentarily into our existence. Yet, the snippets float by endlessly, just enough to remind open minds about a presence, comings and goings of extraordinary things beyond our control or comprehension. Some might insist upon secrecy in the belief that certain knowledge must be denied and obfuscated at all costs, while others profess an obligation to publicly reveal all things, both bright and horrible.

I grew up in an era when newspapers were still king, the crafty survivors of television's dawn because they did what fledgling TV news broadcasts wouldn't do -- report stories in remarkable depth, sometimes incorporating entire pages to do so. And without inexpensive video recorders available to the general public, one would necessarily clip and save newspaper articles of importance to the individual or group.

The inevitable marriage of the Information Age to electronic communication is a milestone but, we fear, not necessarily a step set comfortably in stone. With knowledge quickly gained comes knowledge, implications and common sense lost and doomed to be overlooked simply because events and time are recorded faster and faster, displacing mass in one area while piling mass in others. All the while, the classically trained print journalists die off, retreat or disappear, likely feeling as discarded and unwanted as tin soldiers abandoned in a landfill toy box.

That's why I consider myself so lucky when I can actually hold a newspaper clipping in my hands, an historical dated document anchored in printers' ink, information on paper threatened temporarily only by age and condition, and not by hard drive failures or cyberspace disasters. The deleted, the overridden, the replaced, the hacking and altering, the constant worries, gone.

The past. There are researchers out there who believe it's a mistake to concentrate too much on the older UFO cases, and I respectfully disagree. All manner of contraptions fly throughout international air space these days, and except in rare cases I suspect the process of narrowing facts down to a distinction between real UFO and not-a-UFO is tougher than ever, particularly because the level of official cooperation is almost impossible to access by the average researcher, now that everything is national security this and homeland security that.

Wallowing in older UFO cases is just fine with me. The 1940s, fifties, sixties and seventies especially, wow, those are the decades of remarkable, breathtaking UFO incidents, many of which were investigated in amazing depth by private investigators.

So today I'm featuring a couple of tidbits from years past, reminded again that newspapers are the rare tool whose archival hard-copy presence will eventually be sorely missed in a world ever more dependent upon digital images, fading pixels and deteriorating chemical media for knowledge. In some ways, prehistoric cave drawings were the best communication devices, enduring and still relevant once discovered ages later by explorers.

Syndicated newspaper entertainment columnist Leonard Lyons inserted these words into an article appearing across the nation early in February, 1967, and so few they were that one wonders if readers understood the enormity of their meaning: "During Col. John Glenn's visit to the Barberry Room he mentioned his feeling that certain reports of flying saucers are legitimate." Glenn, perhaps unaware that his brief comment would receive national press, portrayed himself as yet another astronaut somehow in the know about the UFO issue and not about to dismiss it. How unusual to find this gem mixed in with news about actors Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and other members of the arts and entertainment community.

Almost seven years later, there was this tidbit from the New York Times (via UPI) of October 17, 1973: Retired U.S. Air Force officer and meteorologist James Thornhill, civil defense director for Columbia, Mississippi, was sitting before a radar screen as an unidentified object appeared on the scope. Suddenly, the object stopped moving and the radar equipment failed simultaneously. Shortly thereafter, people began calling him to report seeing unidentified flying objects in the sky.

Of course, it had been, what, around four years by then since the beloved Colorado University UFO project, at taxpayer expense and waste, had assured one and all through lies and misinformation that UFOs were nothing special. That's what we got, and this is what we have. So now, in 2010, the FAA, the gov, seems just to have passed off UFO investigative responsibilities to a private concern -- while its own written instructions still maintain plenty of room at the table for official reporting -- required reporting -- despite what we might think. The clock ticks on. (Read on. . .)

NY WINDMILL CRASH: For those of you intrigued by this sort of "thing," particularly because a British windmill was seriously damaged a year ago, perhaps in conjunction with reports of strange lights in the sky (ref. The Sun of January 8, 2009, England, headlined "UFO Hits Wind Turbine"), I bring you this: On December 27, 2009 at a windmill farm in the town of Fenner, New York (USA) an entire three million dollar windmill was discovered to have toppled over, right from its base, crashing to the ground in the night. Apparently, at least one person admitted hearing the crash. For several days, televised reports indicated that the incident remains a mystery. Last I heard, the power company owning the wind farm had hired an engineering firm to come in and investigate, and brief news reports following that maneuver indicated that the mystery remained. I tend to believe that everybody is/was initially concerned with the base of the structure, when -- you never know -- maybe they should have focused first on the blade condition. The incident may well have a rational explanation (terrorism seems to have been quickly ruled out, at least by the fast-trackers), but I'm just throwing this out there for those of you who tend to dive into these events. One ponders whether Charles Fort's wit might have suggested the teamwork of massive bird flocks dedicated to toppling assumed aviary threats, or perhaps a giant squirrel squadron, angered that perhaps they were unable to access a giant rotating bird feeder atop the structure. Should no eventual solution be found, um, one suspects the authorities will whip something plausible up anyway -- at least something that won't offend the masses whose preferences call for neat, clean and normal theories.