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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 9

Re: Saucer Error Error

From: wlmss@peg.apc.org [Lawrie Williams]
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 22:06:25 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Fwd Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 10:59:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Saucer Error Error

>  Date: Sat, 9 Aug 1997 18:37:50 -0400
>  From: Peregrine Mendoza <101653.2205@compuserve.com> [Peter Brookesmith]
>  Subject: Of Martian Cats, &c
>  To: UFO UpDates Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

>  I think that for all practical purposes there is little difference
>  between these two entities. Popular culture =A1 books, movies, radio
>  and TV broadcasts, newspaper stories, comic strips, even song and
>  dance =A1 draws on folklore on the one hand and contributes to and
>  becomes part of it on the other. Each is a facet of the other when it
>  comes to delineating what is "in the air" in any particular period.
>  This would include the craze for "flying saucers" in the American
>  mind and media in the midsummer of 1947.

I think I hear you saying talk of saucers leads to people seeing
saucers. That's the opposite of common sense.

If we want UFO science to flourish then widen the net, make the
truth entertaining.  This is not. This idea was nonsense when it
first came out.

> Martin Kottmeyer has pointed out somewhere

"The Saucer Errror" posted on alt.skeptic some years ago. See
also my response: "The Saucer Error Error".

> how strange it is that while Arnold saw crescent-shaped objects, the
> flood of UFO reports that immediately followed his seminal sighting
> confirmed not his report but the media characterization of what he
> saw -- that is, "flying saucers", disk-shaped objects.

Yes indeed!  Arnold saw circular saucer-shaped objects. Any
artist could see what happened here. Examine any flattish
circular object lit from a single source. It will appear to have
a big bite missing. Here, Arnold tried to make an aeroplane shape
out of what his eye reported to him.

(Deletia in which PB claims that Betty Hill must have seen a
certain TV epsiode because it fits his theory better than
accepting that she merely met exotic humanoids.)

> Nonetheless the parallels that Shaeffer, following Kottmeyer,
> presents between artefacts of popular culture and AE reports are
> important. Like other skeptics he proposes, with these two examples,
> a relationship of cause-and-effect between folklore and experience.
> ....The polarities of the skeptic-versus-believer "debate".....

A skeptic is a ufologist who has not done his homework properly.
In this case I infer that Kottmeyer and PB base their claims on
the fact that they know of no previous reference to "saucers". In
fact history is littered with reports of saucers and discs.

Since propulsion seems to result from the interaction between an
intense circular EM field and the Earth's field, it does seem as
if a saucer shape would be the most logical for small craft. And
indeed people have been seeing discs and saucers for a very long

Like Texan farmer John Martin who reported that he had seen a
"saucer" (his own word) sailing across the heavens at "a
wonderful speed". That was in 1878. Clearly he was influenced by
a Jungian archetype drawn from the popular unconsciousness that
would be founded by Arnold 69 years later. Right?

On Dec 22 1909 there were reports of a huge airship flying across

the USA and seen by thousands. It crashed west of Chicago, but
was never found. Perhaps it was saucer-shaped, because on April
20 1910  "The Chicago Ledger" had a front page illustration
showing a squadron of flying saucers. They are shown at a side
angle and in plan and are clearly similar to the craft commonly
seen from the 1940's onwards. So maybe the seeding of human
technology started in 1909.

Then in 1931 Sir Francis Chichester saw "a dull grey-white
airship... like an oblong pearl..." that vanished and reappeared
and then became ghostlike and again vanished. He said later "It
appears to have been very much like what people have since
claimed to be flying saucers."  So here is a witness not just to
a "saucer" (his own words) but to one that fades in and out of
sight, c.f.. the craft of Gulf Breeze, Warminster and myriads of
other places. (And that was the year that abductions appear to
have started, based on my admittedly slightly more comprehensive
records. ; )  )

Not everyone sees "discs". The mother-ship of the Roswell UFO's
appears to have been a cigar ship. On the night before Roswell
(July 1 1947 ) the SS Llandovery Castle was en route from Mombasa
to Cape Town. It was in the Straits of Madagascar when at 11pm a
brilliant light overtook the ship then slowed. The light went off
and those aboard the vessel saw a gigantic metal cylinder five
times longer than its diameter, or about a thousand feet long and
two hundred feet thick. It was at least three times longer than
the steamship. After a while it rose silently to a thousand feet,
gave off gushes of orange flame, and sped away. Has this incident
been considered in the context of Roswell? A lot of books have
come out lately. I hope it figured a mention.

If these craft were folkloric delusions of the Kottmeyer Type, they
convinced some awfully clever people. On Sept 23 1947 after a
conference between personnel of the Air Insitute of Technology,
Intelligence, T-2 Office, the Chief of the Engineering Division, &
parts of Division T-3, Lt.Gen. Nathan F Twining reported that these
"flying discs" were "real and not visionary and ficticious." They
concluded that: "There are objects probably approximating the shape
of a disc.."circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and
domes on top..."

On January 7 1948 Captain Mantell went aloft to do the famous
American John Wayne thing riding in his mustang. As he approached
the flying injun he just had to gun down he reported:

15.11 Hrs "Mantell here. Now I've got it! It's a disc,
    enormously large. Hard to say, could be 80 yards in diameter.
    Upper surface has a ring and a dome. Turning fantastically fast,
    apparently around a central vertical axis..."

15.12 Hrs right wing pilot radioed: "I can see the disc. Am
    photographing it. Mantell's behind. About 200 feet above me.
    Left wing pilot falling in. Attempting to pursue."

15.14, Mantell: "Another thousand yards and I've got it......"

The other pilots were forced to give up at this stage. Lucky

15.18 Mantell: "The thing's gigantic. It's flying unbelievably
    fast. I can see windows. Now...."

The wreck was said to be peppered with fine holes caused by
flying into the wash from the ufo's propulsion system. That must
have been a pretty dangerous piece of folkloric hardware. I have
speculated that the accident actually occurred when Mantell
"grounded" his craft with the UFO by firing a wire-guided missile
at it, as in Project Moby Dick. But then I have to remind myself
that it was really only a weather balloon.

There have since that time been hundreds of cases where people
have had plenty of time and light to examine a UFO at close
range. In many instances these craft have unambiguously been
saucer-shaped. In some of the most spectacular cases (e.g.
Boiamai, PNG ) the many witnesses included people from a variety
of cultures not in the least familiar with Buck Rogers or the
Chicago Ledger.

In the face of this kind of evidence small wonder that mainstream
ufology has now accepted as axiomatic that UFO's are indeed
flying craft.

Lawrie Williams

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