Last week’s blog was about a case involving police officers in Ohio, who sighted and chased a UFO. They later cooperated with investigators by agreeing to be interviewed and provided a police dispatch center tape that had recordings of transmissions made during the event. This week’s blog covers a case so similar, that it’s quite possible to confuse it with the Ohio case but, in some ways, it’s even more extraordinary.
Two states over, in Illinois, a series of sightings by police officers in multiple jurisdictions was started off by a trucker, Melvern Noll. Noll had stopped on the way back from a delivery to check on a business he owned in the city of Highland, which was a miniature golf course with adjoining go-kart track and video arcade. It was around 4:00 am on January 5, 2000 and Noll was concerned about the possibility of frozen pipes. As he exited his vehicle, a light he assumed was a star caught his eye because it seemed to be low. As he returned, he noticed the light was moving towards him and when it got close he saw it was a craft that was “like a two story house with a little penthouse on top” that had six to eight windows. The windows were evenly lit with a white light and there was a circle of “custard-red lights” on the bottom. The object passed slowly in front of him, just above some trees, made no noise and Noll noted that the trees were not swaying. As the object moved away, Noll noted that its rear also had a series of “windows.” Feeling that what he had seen was highly unusual, Noll decided to report it at the local police station in the hopes that someone else would see the object and corroborate his story.
When most people think about UFO sightings and their documentation, it is in visual terms and in the form of photograph, film or video. There are several cases, however, that were documented and archived as audio recordings. Two famous examples are the1965 recordings from Edwards Air Force Base made during an incursion of 12 UFOs and a recording made by Lt Col. Charles Halt as he investigated the 1980 occurrence in Rendlesham Forest. Within recent years, the FAA, despite its history of being uncooperative with researchers, has released numerous recordings between control tower operators and pilots. What’s special about these audio recordings is that they bring you into the event as it unfolds and you get to experience the first hand emotions of the witnesses.
Though all of the above examples are worthy of a thorough, individual recounting, there is an extraordinary tape from 1994 recorded by the Liberty Township 911 dispatch center in Trumbull County, Ohio. The center covered a vast area and was responsible for fielding emergency calls and dispatching emergency and police personnel. On duty the night of December 15, was police officer, Roy Anne Rudolph. Just after midnight, Rudolph received a call from a man who reported a strange object in the sky that was descending at an angle with what looked like flame coming from its rear. Thinking this might be a plane in distress, Rudolph alerted the other officers manning the center that there might be a possible crash emergency. Then three more calls came in from the same area, around a residential road called Sampson drive, including one from a woman describing a large hovering light over her property. This moved the situation away from being a crash incident and they were now dealing with a UFO.
In addition to the calls from concerned citizens, a woman from the local news station called saying she had received a call from a woman describing a large blue/green object hovering approximately 50 feet above the ground while making no noise. Rudolph questions why aliens would want to visit Liberty saying, “there’s no intelligent life in Liberty.” Because there was now media scrutiny hanging over their heads, Rudolph chose to contact a trusted officer and friend, Toby Meloro using her mobile phone and have him check out the reports. As he was headed out to the area of Sampson drive, Rudolph was hopeful that he’d come back with a mundane explanation.
Meloro drove to the area and was stopped in the street by a man who had also seen a large light in the sky and Meloro assured him that he would check on it. Meloro then saw a light himself and reported over the radio that he was observing it and was attempting to get closer to it. As he drove, his car suddenly shut down along with his radio. While attempting to restart the car a huge, red light shone down on him that lit up the area as “bright as daylight” and it seemed to be coming from a structured object that was silent and “as large as a football field.” The object then moved away from him heading south and as it did, his car and radio came back on. He heard his call sign, 998, being called out by Rudolph, who had become concerned after he had failed to respond and he picked up the radio to let her know that he was again operational. He then told Rudolph that he needed a moment to collect his thoughts and this indicated to her that he had experienced something profound. Read more →
When people in the UFO community refer to To The Stars Academy founder, Tom DeLonge, more often than not, the words, “rock star” precede his name. This seems to serve the purpose of distinguishing him from “normal” UFOlogists but the truth is that he is but one of many rock musicians who have had or have a serious interest in the subject. What’s unusual about DeLonge is that he has managed to gather the highly credentialed people he has staffing TTSA and that his group has stormed to the forefront of the field overshadowing other long existing research organizations. For a “rock star” to manage this he has to overcome the big issue all UFOlogists are concerned with and that is credibility. If a witness was drunk or on drugs during a sighting, a case will most likely be dismissed by an investigator. As many rockers throughout history have been notorious for their often, extreme indulgence, well, you get the idea of what DeLonge is up against.
Going back to the beginning of rock and roll, founding father, Elvis Presley was a believer and a witness according to his hairdresser/spiritual advisor, Larry Geller. Among Geller’s claims is that at Elvis’ nativity, his father saw a strange blue light in the sky and knew something special was happening. Geller also claimed that Elvis was telepathically contacted by aliens at eight years of age and shown his future as the King of Rock and Roll. Rockers who were witnesses and spoke for themselves include: John Lennon, who, along with his girlfriend, May Pang, saw a craft with a dazzling display of lights in 1974 over a New York apartment building, Jimi Hendrix, who witnessed a UFO in the State of Washington with his brother, Leon, Lemmy Kilmister who had a sighting of an object that hovered and then suddenly accelerated to an extreme speed in 1966 and Keith Richards who not only claimed sightings but was convinced his estate was a UFO landing spot.
By coincidence, two UFOlogists who studied mass sightings by school children ended up dying an untimely death. One was John E. Mack, an Ariel School sighting researcher who was hit by a truck in London in 2004 and the other was James E. McDonald who researched the Westall sighting in Australia and took his own life in 1971 in Tucson, Arizona. Both were reputable scientists with careers in psychiatry and meteorology respectively and both suffered attacks on their credibility due to their pursuit of UFOlogy. Due to different public attitudes towards UFO research during their times, Mack was able to withstand an investigation by the Dean of Harvard Medical School which threatened his position there and write best-selling books on the abduction phenomenon, whereas McDonald endured multiple threats to his career, funded his own research without book deals and was publicly humiliated at a congressional hearing. Still reeling from this he received the blow of his wife’s request for a divorce, which seems to have led to his suicide.
McDonald, born May 7, 1920, was one of very few scientists of his time who were willing to go on the record and advocate for the extra-terrestrial hypothesis as an explanation for UFOs. He had a PhD from Iowa State University, taught at the University of Chicago and then the University of Arizona where he helped establish a meteorological and atmospherics program. His interest in UFOs started with his own sighting in 1954 while driving in Arizona with two other meteorologists. What was seen was a less than dramatic distant point of light but the fact that three scientists who specialized in atmospheric observation were unable to identify it signaled to McDonald that there was a need for a focus on “the UFO problem” by the scientific community. He began investigating on his own and joined the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon. After interviewing between 150 to 200 witnesses from 1956 to 1966 in his home area of Tucson, Arizona he was, in his own words,”far from overwhelmed with the importance of the UFO problem.” His attitude would change in 1966, sparked by a sense of betrayal felt by himself and many other investigators, witnesses, and members of the general public. This was brought on by the growing realization that the U.S. Air Force investigation into UFOs had become nothing more than a public relations campaign designed to downplay and debunk as many incidents as possible. Read more →
Subscribe to full shows for $2 or more per month. Alejandro Rojas with UFO Updates, then guest Dr Diana Pasulka discusses her book: American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, it is a fascinating interview where she discusses some unique experiences, feedback from her work and much more.
Scientific study of the UFO phenomenon has had a sporadic history for the last 70 plus years for reasons ranging from lack of funding to the fear of the loss of standing within the scientific community. There have been government funded studies and academics brave enough to research, but politics and rejection out-of–hand by peer reviewed journals have impeded the production of researchable literature that could lend credibility to a subject of study languishing in the realm of pseudoscience. As a result, many researchers with academic credentials have moved to form their own study groups as a means to research and publish. While there have been and are some admirable groups out there, what amounts to self-publishing bypasses the review process. The review process is important in that it demonstrates that an argument has stood scrutiny by disinterested parties. Work that has not undergone this is the poorer for it. A solution would be to have reputable scientists, interested in the subject, establish a journal with peer review that publishes the work of outside contributors. Are there scientists willing to risk their reputations in order to do this? Apparently there are because a journal exists today that is staffed and supported by scientists with serious cred that was created specifically to give a voice to real research on subjects considered too out there for mainstream science, UFOs included. Read more →
Remember that UFO sighting by all those school children some years back? That was in Australia, right? No, it was Florida… or was it Wales? Perhaps it was in Africa? The answer is that there were incidents of significance in all four locations. All were similar enough to cause confusion but the reactions by school and public officials involved were strikingly different.
The first occurrence was April 6, 1966 at Westall High School in Clayton South, a suburb of Melbourne, capital of Victoria, Australia. Around 11:00 am a student ran in from the school sports field (the oval) shouting that there was a flying saucer outside. The teacher whose class had been interrupted demanded his students remain seated until the recess bell, at which time, students and teachers flooded the oval and over 200 people were witness to a silvery disk. At the time, 5 light airplanes were attempting to get near the craft and it displayed extraordinary flight characteristics in evading them, which were described by teacher, Andrew Greenwood, to a fellow teacher arriving late to the scene. Another teacher, Barbara Robbins, was reported by student witness, Graham Simmonds, to have been taking photographs of the object. The object then flew to a wooded area called, “The Grange” where it landed and the students followed it. By the time most of them caught up with the object it had lifted off but one student, “Tanya”, possibly had arrived early enough to see it landed. The object flew off and the spot where it had been was reportedly marked by a swirled patch of grass. Read more →
If it wasn’t for my interest in UFOs, I would know nothing about the Freedom of Information Act (F.O.I.A.) or even that it existed. This is a little embarrassing to admit but I bet it’s true for a lot of our citizenry. In fact, it wasn’t until I started researching for this blog that I was aware of how old the act is. It seems like such a modern concept.
Way back in 1955 (the year that the Air Force released Project Blue Book Special report #14), Democratic Congressman, John Moss, began to seek support for the bill and it took more than ten years to get it passed. The problem was with finding Republican co-sponsors but he eventually received the support of Representative, Donald Rumsfeld. The bill faced strong opposition from federal agencies who would be directly affected and President Johnson (we’re a few years away from 1955) but it was passed, by both the Senate and the House, with a 307-0 vote in the House. Johnson signed the bill without holding a public event and on July 4th 1966, he issued a signing statement.
Committees were created, namely, the Special Government Information Subcommittee and the Foreign Operations and Government Subcommittee, both chaired by Moss, and they took on the daunting task of assessing what documents, out of the tons of paper generated yearly, should be released. Two UFO organizations to first contact F.O.G.I. were Flying Saucers International and the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. However, for the most part, UFO researchers of the day didn’t make much use of the act.
For a researcher or journalist, the act was not as effective as would have been hoped. Johnson focused on national security exemptions and its open interpretation and effectively de-clawed and de-fanged the act. It wasn’t until Watergate that Congress would be motivated to amend the act, adding time limits, sanctions for wrongful withholding and the waiving of fees for journalists and those working in the public interest. It was up to President Ford to sign it but Rumsfeld, Chief of Staff, and Antonin Scalia, head of the Office of Legal Council, urged Ford to veto the bill. However, the House and the Senate weren’t in the mood after dealing with Nixon and overrode Ford’s veto. Read more →