UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 31

Nua Blather: Negative Capability

From: Dave Walsh <dave@nua.ie>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 16:22:19 +0100
Fwd Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 23:55:18 -0400
Subject: Nua Blather: Negative Capability

Weekly free email of Dogma Destruction,
Forteana and High Weirdness

By Daev Walsh   Email: blather@nua.ie
Web: http://www.nua.ie/blather/
July 31 1998  Published By:  Nua Limited  Vol 2. No. 12


Following Blather's blabbers about the mysterious July 10th *Z* in
the sky (http://www.nua.ie/blather/archives2/issue2no11.html), a
cornucopia of diverse explanatory theories have reached HQ.

'There never was an explanation which didn't itself need to be
explained.' - Charles Fort

Dr Carl Bradbury at the Atmospheric Physics Department at Manchester
Institute of Science and Technology was in touch, and while he didn't
himself witness the 'Mark of Zorro' he does have a theory -- and only
a theory, mind -- to explain them: Mesospheric clouds.

'Mesospheric clouds around 83km [52 miles] (altitude take the form of
either Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMC) or Noctilucent Clouds (NLC),
which can be observed during the summer in the latitude range 50-70N
in the twilight arc of the Earth's shadow. These clouds are known to
be comprised of water-ice crystals which form at the Mesopause (the
top of the mesosphere) as a result of the extremely cold temperatures
in that region. Usually this water reaches the mesosphere during the
summer through the upward movement of solar heated air from the
stratosphere over the poles. However, it is now thought by some that
cometary fragments containing water are constantly entering the
Earth's atmosphere, where they vaporise in the upper atmosphere
(although there is still a big argument over this one). If the
conditions were just right (clear sky, a substantial cometary
fragment, and the right size of water droplet forming) it is possible
that a vapour trail could appear as a thin noctilucent cloud. As you
said yourself, such a trail would then be shifted by atmospheric
circulation and form the letter Z.

'Of course, all this depends solely upon the time of the sighting. If
it occurred more than an hour after sunset it wouldn't be a
noctilucent cloud as the cloud would be in the Earth's shadow. In
which case its back to the drawing board.'

He later added:

'I'd like to stress that it's only a theory. Noctilucent clouds and
Polar Mesospheric clouds are established phenomena, although you
cannot see the former because the frozen cloud droplets are too
small. There is still a bone of contention over the existence of a
constant hail of cometary fragments - some scientists have attributed
black spots and streaks in infra-red satellite images to the
resulting water vapour trails (I had a reference here, but can't find
it, sorry). I find it surprising that some people will not admit the
possibility of such a phenomena, when we know that this is exactly
the process by which the Earth gained all its water in the first
place. I'm still a bit worried about the time though, 10:30 is still
quite a long time after sun set. Although, thinking about it, at the
equinoxes the sun takes 12 hours to cover the 180 degrees of sky. If
we use the civil definition of "night" as beginning when the sun
sinks 6 degrees below the horizon, then it will take 24 minutes to
cover those 6 degrees. There is still an amount of twilight left even
after this official time, so I dare say we could extend the period of
twilight in the west for up to almost an hour. Ok, I've convinced
myself. It is possible.

'Sorry about my reticence to commit myself fully to the hypothesis,
but as a Fortean I feel it is my duty not to do so!'

David Moore from Astronomy Ireland was also in touch with
Blather (http://ireland.iol.ie/~ai/). He did see the formation, and
reckoned it was a "?" shape. Several of AI's members phoned in to
report meteor sightings.

A little bird emailed Blather during the week with some seemingly
well founded rumours. I shall refrain from identifying the avian
informer for now, but the tale originates from an acquaintance
who works at the Belfast docks.
Quite recently, he was indulging in an after work drink with his
friends, when a conversation was struck up about UFOs. Some of his
fellow drinkers told of how a certain ufologist -- mentioned perhaps
all too regularly in this column (he's even mentioned elsewhere in
this issue) -- managed to sneak on board a US Navy Vessel with an
unidentified accomplice. When stopped and challenged he told them his
name and that he was "Ireland's Most Respected Ufologist", and that
he was there because there 'might be something of interest to him on
board'. The US Navy were quite *amused*, enough to keep "Ireland's
Most Respected Ufologist" in the brig overnight. Looks like The Irish
Independent article of Saturday July 11th has gone to his head. Of
course, this is all hearsay and rumour, and Blather wouldn't claim
any of it to be true. . .

Another Blather co-conspirator wonders if 'can we look forward to
ICUFOS storming Area 51? Burgling the Pentagon? Graham Birdsall, Tony
Dodd and Tim Good in a Ninja assault on Whitehall? Cool...!'

In *On the Boyle*, we quoted from bOING bOING magazine:

'*The Sceptical Believer* reckons that "despite his lisp,
Greer is a charismatic, powerfully articulate man, probably one of
the best public speakers I've ever heard. And I can definitely
say that he's probably the best damn liar I ever heard and this
possibly makes him, despite his politically correct trappings, the
most dangerous of all UFO cult leaders."'

And The Irish Independent:

'When Doherty asks about "alien abductions that involve experiments
and coercive sex", Ansbro counters with "You get back what you put

The every enigmatic Brother Blue, B:.B:. of the Brotherhood of
Galactic Science got in touch to tell us that

'One of our young Initiates -- upon reading these two Profound
Sayings IN THE SAME ISSUE impetuously asked us, "So does that mean
if Doc Stevie gets oneathem strange probes shoved up his butt, he
must've been putting out bullshit?"

'We scolded him severely, of course.'

'Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in
uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching
after fact and reason.'

- Poet John Keats, letter to George and Thomas Keats, 21 December

This Blatherskite will be unavailable for comment until August 20th,
as he will be off in Norway on the GUST Expedition
(http://www.bahnhof.se/~wizard/gust/). How and ever, Blather shall
arrive in everyone's mailbox as usual. Please direct all technical
queries (until August 20th) to paul@nua.ie

Dave (daev) Walsh
Friday, 31st July 1998

Feedback and comments to <blather@nua.ie>

Have your say: http://www.nua.ie/blather/blabber



Nua is pleased to announce Telecom Eireann's acquisition of a
majority shareholding in Local Ireland, as well as its investment for
a minority shareholding in Nua, creators of the Local Ireland model.

Local Ireland is a truly innovative, far-reaching Internet model that
positions Ireland as a leader in the Digital Age. Over three years in
development, Local Ireland embodies the very best in Internet
thinking, combining an inherent community focus with a strong
commercial understanding.



Nua would like to announce a new bi-weekly newsletter, The

Whether you are striving for competitive advantage or merely
struggling just to stay in the game, The Clickonomist is in tune with
your challenges.
Discover the secrets you need to understand the Internet. Learn how
to transform your business out of the industrial past and into the
digital future.

The very nature of business is shifting.  Your customers of today are
not those of tomorrow.  The brands of today are not those of
tomorrow.The rules of engagement are transmogrifying, but into what?
The Clickonomist has the answers and best of all it's free. To
subscribe, send an email to
<mailto: clickonomist-request@nua.ie>


A weekly newsletter, Internet Surveys is a free digest of the most
interesting surveys containing data relating to the Internet.
It is available by sending an email to
with the word "subscribe" in the body of the message.

A monthly newsletter, What's New is a free monthly newsletter
highlighting the new additions, happenings and changes at Nua.
It is available by sending an email to
with the word "subscribe" in the body of the message.

New Thinking is a free, weekly, 500-word email column, whose
objective is to contribute to a practical philosophy for The
Digital Age. It is available by sending an email to
with the word "subscribe" in
the body of the message.


While Blather will always remain free to the subscriber, Nua is
always willing to talk to interested parties with regard to
Contact Daev Walsh: <daev@nua.ie>


For the Blather archives, please go to:


To excel in the establishment and development of online relationships
and brands.

For further information on how Nua can help your organisation get the
best out of the Internet, contact our marketing director, Mary Gorman
<mary@nua.ie> or our representative in New York, Niall Swan

Mary Gorman:   mailto:mary@nua.ie
Niall Swan:    mailto:nswan@nua.ie


Nua, a vibrant, innovative, Irish company whose focus is in helping
progressive organisations adapt to the new environment created by the
Internet. We have the management/marketing, design and technical
skills to truly understand your unique situation, and to translate
that understanding into a successful Internet presence for you.

Nua has received an array of awards since its genesis in 1996. Among
those are the coveted "Best Overall World Wide Web Business
Achievement" the top prize for website development in Europe.

Send an email to:
with the word
in the body of the message. An automatic acknowledgement
should be returned to you by e-mail within a few minutes.

Send an email to
with the word
in the body of the message.

If you are having any technical problems,
please email the Nua Webmaster at: <web@nua.ie>.