Saturday, August 13, 2016

UFOs Take Dumps?

Periodically, UFO sightings have involved witness claims of unusual discharges.  Apart from orbs moving under apparently intelligent control, small saucers or probes that come and go from a main object or mother ship, the descriptions of things falling from UFOs’ undersides have ranged from ephemeral glitter and sparkly stuff dropped on vegetation to magnesium slag.  The literature is dotted with controversial alien litter and cast-offs suggestive of either garbage or emergency evacuation of something on board gone terribly wrong.

Little alien trash has been recovered except in anecdotal form.  What few tangible remains there are have been written off as bogus or misidentified junk of earthly origin.  We’ve all seen representative examples displayed on sensational TV shows trading on the paranormal.

Yet for those recovered artifacts that might resist debunking, their true nature remains elusive.  Such items are carefully guarded from submission to rigorous scientific examination that would satisfy authoritative laboratories and scientists.  Maybe it’s due to fear that the evidence, like so much film footage, will disappear forever into government custody.  Or the evidence is alleged to have been partially examined but due to present inadequate funding, no more testing can be done.  Scientists, it is claimed, don’t have time or willingness to perform pro-bono services to determine whether an object is hoax or authentic.  None wants to risk a hard-won reputation by being even remotely associated with the topic.  UFO and paranormal debunkers simply debunk out of hand without looking at any evidence at all, a pet peeve of physicist Stanton Friedman’s, a columnist for the MUFON Journal.   

MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) has gone a long way toward building a respectable organization peopled by credentialed scientists and other highly credible professionals and well trained field investigators in disciplines pertinent to its mission.  As a result, more individuals of equally credible character who have witnessed UFOs are beginning to report their experiences.  

But in-hand, three-dimensional flying-saucer mystery curios are hard to come by.

Apart from a multitude of controversial investigations of livestock mutilations and crop circles, a dramatic documented case with near-unassailable evidence is the 1980 Cash-Landrum incident in Texas. 

In a night-time close encounter, three civilians---Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and her young grandson---witnessed an overflight of a diamond-shaped craft emitting fire and dripping sparks from its underside.  The threesome exited their car for a better look but Landrum and her grandson became frightened and retreated inside. Cash remained outside the longest until heat from the UFO drove her back to cover.  She found the car door handle so hot that she had to use her clothing to grasp and open it.  

Then, as the craft moved on, they saw several helicopters following it.  Before the night was over they were exhibiting classic signs of radiation exposure—burns, weakness, vomiting---and were hospitalized.  With blistering and hair and skin loss, Cash was worse off and required two periods of hospitalization.  All three suffered weakness and health issues for an extended period during their lives.  Medical records on their physical conditions appear indisputable, although skeptics have taken shots at undermining their validity.  Cash died at 71 from cancer, Landrum at 83. To say that Cash’s terminal illness was due to UFO radiation exposure is unprovable.  As far as I know, the grandson is still alive.  

However, extensively written about, the hospital case’s in-house paper trail was undeniable, complex and remains worthy of study.  Whether the UFO ejected ionizing radiation or some sort of chemical substance, which military representatives alluded to at one point, this puzzler spans the range of paranormal phenomena from mere sightings to physical contact.  It can’t be blown off.  

So, I thought to add a small bit to the puzzles left in the wake of UFO events.

While working as registrar for the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum at the Clark County Museum, I was organizing an aviation-related archive from the estate of the late Donald Douglas, Jr..  Among a hodgepodge of newspaper ephemera focused on the Douglas Aircraft Company, I came across a partial section from the San Francisco Call-Bulletin, an independent now out of print. 

On a folded page dated August 28, 1954, a minor article provocatively titled “Peninsula Road Fire Mystery” caught my eye. While the major news feature was Douglas-related, the former story reported on an incident called in by a motorist. This concerned a circle of fire on Portola Road, in Woodside, on the San Francisco peninsula.  After extinguishing the main flames, the volunteer fire-department responders discovered that dozens of still-burning metal bits had eaten into the pavement, bubbling the asphalt.  Adjacent grass fires had to be put out on the road verges.  This strange conflagration measured about 70 by 250 feet.  The name of a neighborhood resident, presumably a witness, was mentioned at the break in the article where it was continued on page 5.

The sheet I held in my hand was only an outer wrap for that part of the Call-Bulletin.  The inner pages were missing.  Of course they were.  Talk about frustration for a researcher! 

In any case, this remains as a tantalizing hint of a UFO making an emergency discard of ignited waste (maybe burning magnesium?) on Planet Earth.  And, were it just a casual garbage dump, well, thanks, guys.  

Anyway, that info-smidgen was logged back when much less had been written or publicized about UFOs.  I keep my eyes peeled for such oddball mentions and plan to blog about them as I can.  On line, I have attempted to ferret out the full newspaper article, without success.  Maybe someone out there with more available time and sufficiently intrigued can take on the hunt for the continuation to this interrupted story.