Saturday, March 27, 2010
A love letter to anybody, to nobody, to squirrels in the trees:
Breaking, on occasion, from the stupor imposed upon us, some glance at the calendar on the wall, wondering why the President hasn't told us the truth about UFOs yet. After all, time is wasting and the times they are a-hoping and a-changing.
President Obama? Sorry, but I'm through with this national fantasy. Only days ago, it was my extreme displeasure to hear him, during a speech, refer to some military members -- and I was one once -- as corpsemen. Corpsemen! Um, one would think the U.S. Commander-in-Chief should know the word is pronounced kormen. Or maybe the day he was supposed to learn that word was a day otherwise occupied, if we can believe some reports (?), by instructing his minions to ship a bust of Winston Churchill -- a gift from the Brits -- back to England. Dunno, guess it cluttered up the White House like dust bunnies. Sometimes, I'm not sure that Mr. Obama or some of the people propping up his Internet Administration care much about old war heroes. Or newer. Or corpsemen. Here or there.
Frankly, I'm just one more member of the little people watching political termites at work. The Democrats and the Republicans, well, in their current form they can go to hell. The Dems are screwing with us and the Repubs are busy infiltrating and blending with "Tea Party" meetings, tarnishing original intentions of relative purity.
So now we have this health care monstrosity, drooled over by one political party and utterly reviled by the other. What a victory for the country. Not so fast, says the corpseman.
Perhaps far better to have reeled in lawyers under meaningful tort reform and -- more important -- to have kept things simple. Should the government make you purchase health insurance, and punish you if you don't? Can the government force you to buy laces for your sandals, and should somebody dial 911 if you're seen in public without laces?
If powerful agenda-ridden unions, pampered pharmaceutical companies and other lobbyists by the score hadn't become so entwined in this pathetically complicated mess long ago, weaving poisonous tentacles of rewards and benefits galore throughout Congress, health care for the masses could be much different than the turkey just hatched. Instead of producing an ever-changing 2,000 page-plus how-to manual of health care hell, why not just sit down with reps from thousands of insurance companies throughout the country and encourage -- strongly -- that interstate competition and free market principles be given a chance? It's commonly done with life insurance policies, but remains an inexplicable no-no for health insurance. I may be as economically aware as a garden slug, but even a creature whose primary export is non-political slime would see the advantages and probability that health care and insurance prices would collapse faster than functioning human brains eaten by hungry zombies. That is, if hungry brain-eating zombies actually existed, and if functioning human brains actually existed. Anymore.
Yes, and let's rejoice as another upcoming attraction becomes a cure for illegal immigration, while the President and his we-don't-get-it Congress prepare to make un-criminals of criminals, to make the invader a victim whom by law will be protected and showered with gifts -- including the health care just awarded to and paid for by the regular 'ol U.S. citizenry. Once one is legitimate in society, one becomes entitled to all the goodies, of course. Guess who pays and pays? The new slave class. Innovation? Intellect? Who cares? Inch by inch, the corpseman creeps and sees.
However, the supreme kicker in all of this is the tax reform phantom. Remember all the big political talk of simplifying the tax code, effectively ridding society of tax forms, complicated calculations, accountants and the IRS? Ah yes, it seems like only yesterday when. . .
Well, how can that ever happen now? With multiple strokes of several pens, the President signed not only a health care "reform" bill, but a tax-me-more-and-tax-me-with-complexity bill. You think we'll ever shed the broken tax system by adding more taxes and more calculations and thousands of new IRS agents? And is it really smart to tax the living daylights out of the wealthy, who will now have second thoughts about creating new jobs, when instead they can just retreat and find new ways to keep their riches untainted by further government interference?
Then there's the boo-hoo factor. Members of Congress are crying over anonymous threats, hate mail and vitriolic phone messages (reprehensible, of course, but some folks know of no other ways to communicate utter exasperation, especially when they perceive that leaders don't listen to their own constituencies ), while the rest of us have to endure accounts of questionable union tactics, lobbyist input and, ultimately, legislation that a majority of the American people screamed they did not desire. Health care reform, yes, definitely needed, made as simple as possible -- but this septic bureaucratic concoction? Even a corpseman recognizes legislation which, logically, should be dead in the water.
One major big deal/no deal issue on the part of Congress and the religiously faithful regarding health reform appears to be abortion, a woman's right to choose and whether the taxpayers should or should not pay for abortions. Okay, so next time the IRS prints tax forms, include a box where folks can add an "X" in a special box if they want a dollar deducted from their refunds to go toward abortion and birth control funding administered by a private concern. Presumably, those who don't "X" the box shall then continue their voyage toward salvation and eternal paradise uninterrupted. Everybody happy now?
November elections (What fun! What futility!) seem far away right now, but some memories last forever. The legislative horse poop just dumped on us by the President and Congress must not be forgotten. Oh -- and by the way, if you're still waiting for truthful UFO "disclosure" from this bunch on Pennsylvania Avenue? I wouldn't be standing out there in the cold behind the fence, waiting for crumbs, were I you.
A Former Military Medical "Corpseman"
SPECIAL NOTE: I expect to be sans computer until the middle of April or so. In the meantime, as always, please follow the links displayed in the margin to learn the latest about UFOs and other enigmatic matters. Yeah, unfortunately, you CAN live without me. . .
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
By 1988, at least publicly, the U.S. Air Force had long since washed its hands of UFO sightings reported by mere citizens, no matter the anxiety factor, putting the burden firmly on the shoulders of local law enforcement agencies. The cops. Police and sheriffs' deputies weaponized with automobiles unable to fly. The last place on Earth where anybody would have the time or inclination to give a damn about some light in the sky. Yes, there was Dr. J. Allen Hynek's public lifeline, the Center for UFO Studies, poorly funded then, as now, and a few other national private organizations, but UFO manifestations didn't care a whit about investigative protocol.
So, the UFO enigma continued to assume center stage, sometimes dramatically. Unfortunately, other countries emulated the U.S. and deferred the troublesome UFO issue, as it affected the man or woman on the street, to police agencies.
Twenty-two years ago, some very strange and frightening things happened in Australia, according to Associated Press reports emanating from Sydney, and -- to my knowledge -- the integrity of these events was never discredited. Based solely upon AP reports, the story developed as follows. . .
At about 2:45 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, 1988 Faye Knowles, driving, and her three sons (brothers Sean and Wayne are pictured here, both having confirmed their mother's story) were proceeding on a lonely outback highway through the Nullabor Plain from Perth in western Australia, when she spotted a glowing object through her rear window. In an attempt to escape pursuit by what seemed an egg-shaped object, Knowles accelerated to speeds approaching 120 m.p.h. However, the UFO easily paced the automobile and ultimately, according to Sgt. Jim Furnell of the Ceduna Police, "apparently picked the car up off the road, shook it quite violently and forced the car back with such pressure that one of the tires was blown." Knowles' vehicle was left facing the direction from which it had come.
Apparently associated with the incident was a layer of a black powdery ashen substance found inside and outside of the car, and forensic scientists were scheduled to take samples. But, as in the best detective thrillers, there was more to the story.
First, a tuna boat crew 50 miles away in a water area known as the Great Australia Bight -- a crew whose members had absolutely no contact with the Knowles family -- reported being buzzed by a bright object just minutes after the Knowles incident. "We were a little bit skeptical at first," continued Furnell, "but after investigating, we are treating the reports very seriously."
Second, and this was a particular point of interest to me because sound was involved, both the Knowles family and tuna fishermen noted similarly bizarre effects in the presence of a strange object. Explained Furnell, "While this was happening, the (Knowles) family said their voices were distorted and it was as if they were talking in slow motion." In the tuna boat, crew members' voices became "unintelligible" during the object's presence.
While these sound/voice/slow motion UFO incidents, almost suggestive of interference in some space & time mode, may seem uncommon, they do exist, probably in far greater numbers than are reported, and should be taken quite seriously in any scientific court of UFO conjecture. Wendy Connors' (now completed) Faded Discs project retrieved an old recorded interview with a young woman, once living as a child with her family at a British Air Force base in the 1960s. Recounting the appearance of a large UFO cruising at treetop level over base housing, the woman remembered that sounds were interrupted and voices could not be heard or comprehended until the thing departed. Her active duty military father, and presumably others suddenly involved in this crisis alert situation, refused to speak of the incident and, whatever visited the base, it obviously wasn't regarded as "ours."
Getting back to the Australian events: A Royal Australian Air Force base representative in Edinburgh claimed he wasn't aware of any military aircraft in the area during the encounters. Still, instant explanations weren't to be avoided because the media, as usual, went running to the nearest skeptical astronomer for a feel-good moment and, as usual, this expert was more than happy to oblige, with his version of events anxiously lapped up by the media a week later.
Charles Morgan of the Sydney Observatory postulated a "carbonous meteorite shower" as the culprit (!) which would explain the ash and the Knowles' report of a "smell of dead bodies" inside the car. He also indicated the possibility of a sonic boom associated with such an event, which might explain the hearing difficulties. Acknowledging that some "unexplained phenomenon" might instead be responsible, Morgan nevertheless went on to suggest that the tire blew because the driver became frightened, drove off the road, hit a bump and became airborne.
It must be noted, however, that the Knowles family drove 400 miles to the Ceduna police station following the encounter, and officer Furnell noted that the car's roof was dented, covered with a blackish-gray ash -- and family members were visibly shaken.
Keith Basterfield of UFO Research Inc., awaiting confirmation of the event, stated at the time that the Knowles case could "certainly be the most physical of encounters ever recorded in Australia."
All of this brings me to ask an unlikely but relevant question -- What's the energy source of a presumably unknown object able to pursue and lift a heavy automobile filled with passengers? If the world truly craves the highest levels of energy independence, the UFO phenomenon might provide answers. . .answers that governments may not learn if they turn away or deny interest in just one special observer among the masses who happens to experience a UFO encounter of more than passing significance. Despite all the good things law enforcement agencies do, their crime forensics labs aren't exactly stocked with scientists yearning to examine UFO incidents.
(Initial AP newspaper accounts about the Knowles and tuna boat crew seem to have appeared around the USA on January 21, 1988.)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We don't condone smoking here on the blog, and, in fact, we don't even condone the word condone, because if you drop the "e" we're instantly reminded of Dr. Edward Condon of Colorado University UFO project infamy.
Just a little UFO nostalgia today. I've wanted to put this cartoon up for some time, but have been frustrated in a few attempts to find out just where to get permission, or to determine whether I actually need permission to post this oldie.
Anyway, this cigarette cartoon appeared widely in magazines and other forms of print media during the fall of 1976, effectively capitalizing on extensive public UFO interest. Adding to this would be lots of pre-release buzz about the movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and the first "Star Wars" motion picture would soon captivate the U.S. Flying saucers proved popular with cartoonists and advertisers during this time, and while frivolous depictions certainly contributed nothing to serious UFO research, ad agencies obviously realized that "saucers sell."
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
We are known by the company we keep.
Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall at Coast-to-Coast AM staff meetings these days -- you know, the overnight radio folks who made "psychic" Sean David Morton a frequent guest, star and literally a part of the Coast family ever since the early days of Art Bell's nightly hosting? You can read all about the latest troubling financial allegations involving SDM via current news sources, so I won't elaborate on them here.
The Web site, UFO Watchdog (see link) posted Morton prominently in its "Hall of Shame" section (must see) years ago, but words of caution never diverted Coast from incorporating this gentleman into the show on numerous occasions. After all, the listeners love him, the hosts apparently love him, and the producers -- well, I suspect the producers may have become lax over the years, finding it necessary to frequently invite as guests almost anything that snorts, squeaks, grunts or spits, so long as doing so keeps the audience listening and purchasing sponsors' products. But mixing the spice and the sensational with an increasingly anemic format may not bode well for the future, despite the truly useful or entertaining interviews conducted on the show occasionally.
The barrel bottom's contents ultimately grow lean and sparks of longevity fizzle, however, particularly when it's common knowledge that a fair number of (UFO) researchers with legitimate things to say simply won't go near the microphone on radio's overnight yawn show.
Sorry folks, but except for its global broadcast abilities, Coast wasn't the first to do this brand of program, and numerous others dating back to the fifties did it as well or better, and more intimately. Refreshingly, alleged scam artists and others of questionable repute were generally treated, not as members of the family, but as curiosities. All I know is, next time a comet shows up, I'll be tuning in to Coast-to-Coast AM to find out how many UFOs accompany it, so I can relay this valuable information to my local cult leaders. They need it to prepare for the bitter end, you know -- like last time.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Crushed, the very plateau upon which so many depend. Recent studies seem to demonstrate that prescription antidepressant medications fail to work any better on minimally or moderately depressed people than placebos. But if one reflects an extremely deep depression, that's when they might provide some benefit. I guess that's a reasonable connection -- that the power of the mind can influence the, um, power of the mind, and a little ol' sugar pill can sometimes work wonders. Apparently.
Research also emphasizes a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts -- the very desires these pharmaceutical miracles were intended to obliterate -- for patients on antidepressants. Maybe gonna be a few professional mind adjustors hanging up their credentials and learning how to sell flowers on street corners, once this gets around. Good thing somebody invented "sex addiction" and other conveniences to keep the chain letter going. Some of those emotional excavation folks won't be happy until everybody on the planet has a DSM (medical diagnosis) code number stamped on our foreheads.
But forget the patients. I'm more concerned about uncounted members constituting the mental health community itself who secretly take such medications in order to conquer their own depression. I mean, they must, after listening to and absorbing everybody's head clutter day after day after agonizing day. Knowing, now, how such drugs can betray both patients and doctors, will we see psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals turning violent? Road-rage directed toward the couch? Will they fly airplanes into the FDA and corporate pharmaceutical buildings, realizing now that they've been self-ingesting and treating patients with medications equivalent to thin air? Or maybe, like a birthday sweater destined not to fit, it really is just the thought that counts. The cure. Yeah, it's a stress-filled world, with the abnormal poised to assume normalcy, as presumably conventional societal pressure-relief valves collapse like prison cells of cotton candy.
Quick, nurse, a round of Thorazine (ol' reliable) for everybody, and order a few million cans of aerosolized road-rage inhibitor, available by prescription only, side-effects to be determined later. Oh well, if all else fails, I guess there's always Scientology.
So, just whom on this troubled planet WOULDN'T require a 12-step program to overcome the psycho-malady of the month? According to a relatively dated, yet nevertheless important, 1993 study -- UFO observers.
The November, 1993 issue of The Journal of Abnormal Psychology featured some interesting results of a study conducted by four psychology researchers affiliated with Carleton University in Ottawa. 49 people claiming UFO encounters were studied -- along with other willing participants -- and evaluated using standard psychological tests to measure participants' intelligence and capacity for various mental disorders. The UFO witnesses were found to be "normal" and, in fact, UFO observers were determined to be somewhat more intelligent than others in the study who indicated no UFO experiences.
Researchers attempted to explore the possibility that UFO sightings might be associated with epilepsy, outright fantasies or some yet unknown abnormality of the brain's temporal lobe, but instead found normal subjects without mental baggage.
Still, while I'm generally comfortable accepting these results, I was concerned that the project solicited participants through newspaper advertisements -- essentially, the same approach taken by Dr. Susan Clancy in way of conjuring her "sleep paralysis" diagnosis for those who believe they were abducted by UFO entities. And, like Clancy, the Ottawa researchers also latched onto the sleep paralysis theory, believing it "most probably" responsible for a quarter of the participants' alleged UFO experiences. Most probably? How convenient. What about the other 75 percent? And what about the ads? I guess my fantasy research team's newspaper ad would read, "Captured by a UFO? Bothered by aliens in the night? Besieged by visions of Phil Klass in your dreams? Call this number. . ." Somehow, I question the scientific validity of dealing with folks drawn to a UFO study via newspaper advertisements. But the Canadian project apparently stumbled upon something worthwhile in this arena.
Canadian researcher Patricia Cross, accomplishing the study as her master's degree thesis, concluded: "Our findings clearly contradict the previously held notions that people who seemingly had bizarre experiences, such as missing time and communicating with aliens, have wild imaginations and are easily swayed into believing the unbelievable."
A UFO encounter group apparently conducting lives drenched in normal mental functions? Pity. Otherwise, they'd have been shovel-ready for antidepressants. Here, open up and swallow this. . .
PANIC IN THE STREETS: If anybody needs antidepressants this week, it's the FAA and members of the hysterical public currently pointing fingers and darned nearly fainting because an air traffic controller at JFK Airport in NY allowed his children to accompany him to work and actually give instructions to pilots. Pilots themselves apparently had no problems with This Serious Infraction Of The Rules, and there was obviously a cuteness factor involved as they laughed off the occasion. Airport flights were never in danger because the veteran controllers were right there, listening to every word the kids said and, by the way, those children's voices demonstrated infinitely more clarity than anything you get from speakers outside of fast food establishments, where you can't really be sure whether somebody asked if you wanted fries or flies with "that." So. . .
So, to an anal-retentive society, increasingly intent upon elimination of personal risk, while simultaneously putting a lock and key on everything we enjoy, I say -- good for you, kids, and congratulations, air traffic controller dad -- you gave your kids an experience most will never have, and maybe the thrill of being in the middle of the action will profoundly influence their future. As for my government -- hey, that wasn't exactly the Taliban in the tower -- cut dad and the kids some slack and concentrate instead on protecting national borders, where the real danger lurks.