Tuesday, 6 March 2012
By Nick Redfern
March 6th 2012
For years (decades, actually), rumors have circulated to the effect that government agencies – primarily those of Britain and the United States – have, since the 1980s, taken a deep and wholly secret interest in the Crop Circle phenomenon. And, there does seem to be evidence in support of this notion, as Colin Andrews’ 2009 book, Government Circles, makes very clear. There are, however, other, much earlier examples where it seems the British Government was actually quite disinterested in the phenomenon, even to the point of spending their hours, and tax-payers money, laughing about – and writing limericks in relation to – such affairs. Yes, really!
As many readers of Mysterious Universe will undoubtedly know, the British Government has, for a significant number of years now, been declassifying into the public domain its many and varied files on UFOs – chiefly under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, and prior to that via the Thirty Year Ruling. One such file – covering more than three hundred pages and the period from 1963 to 1964 – includes a series of memoranda on the discovery of what might be termed an early Crop Circle.
As the file demonstrates, on 23 March 1964, T.E.T. Burbury, the Rector at Clifton Rectory, Penrith, Cumberland, wrote to the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington describing an encounter which had occurred some days previously. I quote from the rector’s letter: “Dear Sirs: Does an apparent column of blue light about 8-feet in diameter and about 15-feet high which disappears and leaves a mark of very slightly disturbed earth, the same diameter, mean anything to you? This occurred about 9.30 p.m. last Saturday night about 2 miles from here. It was seen by a person who is very short sighted who would have been unable to see anything, except the light, even if it had been present.
“I examined the ground which is about 100 Yards from the nearest building and there are no pylons near. There was no sign of burning, either by sight or smell, the grass growing between the exposed ground appeared quite normal. There were no signs of bird tracks or droppings: the ground simply appeared to have been lightly raked over in an almost perfect circle. “For your information only, I told the farmer to have a sample of the earth collected and analysed for bacteria content, but don’t know whether he has done so. Yours faithfully: T.E.T. Burbury.” Note the words of the rector: ”…the ground simply appeared to have been lightly raked over in an almost perfect circle.” Does this not sound somewhat familiar?
Furthermore, Burbury’s reference to “the farmer” strongly suggests that the circle was found on farmland. And: what of the column of blue light? Realizing that this was out of their jurisdiction, staff at the National Physical Laboratory forwarded a copy of the rector’s letter to the Meteorological Office at London Road, Bracknell. In turn, Mr. H.M. Race of the Meteorological Office advised Burbury that: “This does not appear to be a meteorological matter and we are therefore passing your letter to a London office who may be able to deal with it.” The “London office” to which Race was referring was an element of the old Air Ministry called S4.For its part, S4 seemed largely unconcerned, even amused, by the rector’s report, as the following opening words of memorandum of 16 April 1964 from R.A. Langton of S4 to a colleague, Flight Lieutenant A. Bardsley shows: “I should be grateful for your advice on the report in the attached correspondence. Could it be Will o’ the Wisp?”
The attached correspondence was, of course, Burbury’s letter. Two months later, Flight Lieutenant Bardsley stated the following in a good-humored reply to Langton: “This is quite a corker! The explanation could be one of several things, depending really, on the state of the investigator’s liver. One explanation could be aurora borealis. This phenomenon, however, is so unpredictable that it would be rather hopeless to expect someone to have seen the aurora at the same date/time as our short-sighted observer. Professor Paton at Edinburgh is an aurora expert, but I cannot really justify pestering him with this one.” Bardsley continued: “Again your ‘will o’ the wisp’ theory may be correct. However whilst following this line, the Royal Geographic Society confirmed that Penrith did not exist – at least in Bradshaw’s Gazetteer.
Further, information on the geological structure around Penrith again confirmed that there probably would not, but possibly could be, local ignitions of methane gas – absolutely no use these experts! Our myopic observer may possibly have seen car headlights shining up into a low cloud base. There is no mention of any sound in this report – could the observer be also deaf!” He concluded: ”One comment by the rector intrigues me: Could it be the rector thinks the object could be a phoenix? Finally: There once was a rector of Penrith, who reported that one of his Kith, saw blue light in the night, got a terrible fright, and the rector thinks it’s a ‘myth.’” Although Flight Lieutenant Bardsley signed off his reply in fine poetic style, he did not see fit to comment on the “almost perfect circle” reported by the rector, nor did he express an interest in following up on the rector’s suggestion to the farmer that a sample of earth should be collected for study.
Moreover, an examination of the Air Ministry file in question reveals no further reference to this particular case, and to the best of my knowledge, the entire matter appears to have been summarily dismissed. The 1980s-onwards accounts of secret government interest in Crop Circles are genuinely intriguing. It seems fairly safe to say, however, that for the British Air Ministry of 1964 such curious formations were of little interest, if no interest, at all…
Mar 05, 2012
In a historical first for UFO conferences in the USA, the just held 21st 2012 International UFO Congress in Fountain Hills, Arizona, counted with the participation of a government official who runs a project to investigate UFOs. Retired Chilean Air Force General Ricardo Bermúdez is the director of CEFAA (Committee of Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena), which is part of DGAC, Chile’s Civil Aviation Agency equivalent to our FAA. General Bermúdez spoke at the Congress on Saturday Feb. 25, revealing a number of highly interesting cases involving commercial and military pilots, as well as an extraordinary daytime multiple video case showing a clear metallic-looking object during an important Chilean Air Force ceremony in 2010. The message throughout his lecture was unmistakably clear: some UFOs are real and may pose a threat to air safety operations, that’s why they should be investigated officially not only in Chile but throughout the world.
General Bermúdez began his power point presentation by outlining CEFAA’s mission and methodology. The Committee’s Mission is to:
Record and analyse all relevant reports concerning UAP [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena] occurring within the national territory, on the basis of a serious, objective and scientific analysis with the purpose of determining any possible risk to air operations.CEFAA was created back in 1997 when General Bermúdez was the director of the Technical School of Aeronautics, where air traffic controllers and radar operators are trained and where the Committee was housed for a number of years. After its full reactivation in December 2009, CEFAA became a full time agency now housed in the National Aeronautics and Space Museum in Santiago. Bermúdez explained the agency has an “External Committee of Advisors” of eight top scientists from the Chilean Commission of Nuclear Energy, Aerospace Medicine at Santiago University, astronomers from the Metropolitan and Catholic Universities, a plasma physicist from Santiago University, a geographer and expert in satellite imagery from Chile State University, and two psychologists. There is also a CEFAA Internal Committee which includes experts on Operations Safety, Air Control Center, Meteorology, Air Accidents Investigations, Aerospace Engineering and Audiovisual.
“We have the support of each branch of our armed forces and police,” added Gen. Bermúdez, and these include military officers from the army, navy, air force, and two officials from the national police force. “We believe the phenomena is the same all over the world, we have relations with investigators from 14 countries,” continued Bermúdez. In some cases—for instance Uruguay’s CRIDOVNI or France’s GEIPAN—this liaison is with CEFAA’s official counterparts. In countries where no such public official agency exists, the Committee maintains relations with private scientific organizations like Dr. Richard Haines’ NARCAAP in the U.S.
Transparency Law & Aeronautical UFO Cases
On August 11, 2008, the Chilean government passed Law 20.285 known as “Transparency Law.” In some respects it works similarly to our Freedom of Information Act—government agencies have 20 days to responds to queries from the public regarding public records—but it also seems to go beyond the FOIA. With the exception of matters affecting national security and foreign relations, the Transparency Law was designed so government agencies can act in an open and transparent manner even in cases when no queries from the public were received. CEFAA has fully complied with the requirements of the Transparency Law, as explained in Gen. Bermúdez’s statement that “this is the way we deal with the phenomenon, openly and freely.”
Most countries that have released UFO records (USA, UK, France, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, etc.) have done so primarily in the area of government paper files: UFO reports investigated by the armed forces, memoranda dealing with scientific, military and political aspects, correspondence, etc. A few have also released some UFO photos and footage, but none have released hard physical evidence. Because of the nature of CEFAA, the Chilean agency has released a different category of ufological evidence: audio recordings of communications between pilots and the control tower. Chile’s civil aviation agency DGAC has to insure “the safety of all air operations in the country” and considering Chile’s very long geography and its large amount of territorial waters in the Pacific Ocean all the way to Antarctica in the south and Easter Island in the west, this is a very big area of almost 20,000 nautical miles. “The CEFAA has access to all this information immediately, pilot communications, this is our main source of information,” said Gen. Bermúdez.
The bulk of the general’s presentation dealt with the aeronautical cases logged and investigated by CEFAA. He discussed in some detail a total of seven aeronautical UFO cases between 1978 and 2011, which remain unexplained to this day, playing excerpts of the radio communications between the pilots and the ATC (Air Traffic Control). The audio tapes are obviously in Spanish (some of them are posted in CEFAA’s website) but the lecture included English translations in big letters in the power point slides, so the cases are easy to follow.
Some of the sightings like a multiple-witness and near collision case at Puerto Montt airport in the south in 1988, or one at Chacalluta Airport in Arica in the north in 1997, were directly linked to the creation of the Committee. In the Arica case, for instance, after the Eco Inca army aircraft reports a UFO to the ATC, one can hear the control operator saying, “we’ve had several calls saying in that sector there is probably a UFO . . . We are on alert for any report . . . He [Eco Inca army plane] reports at 3 o’clock an object that’s moving at ‘incredible speed’. . . textual [pilot’s] expression . . .”
In another case involving three different aircraft approaching Santiago’s International Pudahuel Airport, one of the pilots can be heard clearly in the tape saying, “it [UFO] gives the impression of being a train with many windows and it can be seen perfectly well . . .” Commenting on this case, Bermúdez said: “We have here three airplanes in different frequencies describing the same situation, one crew saw windows like a train, now if there are windows we may think somebody is looking out, we never know.”
Yet another incident known as the Pelican case occurred on June 24, 2010 and it involved again three different aircraft—two airliners and a navy plane called Pelican. As put by Gen. Bermúdez, “three airplanes witnessed the same phenomenon, two commercial planes are approaching Santiago, the military plane is coming 300 miles from the north, and an object is cruising his airway. The pilot reports something he sees camouflaged in erratic motion.” In the audio communication, one hears the pilot saying, “ROGER . . . At this moment I can’t see it anymore . . . I could see a traffic loud and clear . . . it looked like a cloud . . . Camouflaged as a cloud but with erratic motion.”
This case, as well as another one in Punta Arenas detected by primary radar in 2011, is important because you have different professional pilots reporting the same object. As explained by Gen. Bermúdez:
Think for a moment, if one experienced commercial pilot reports to me that something flew across in front of his airplane, I pay careful attention; but now if a second commercial pilot reports the same a few seconds later, I become interested; but if a third pilot, a military one, confirms the same fact, I tend to believe it. In this case, do we have one UFO close to the airplanes, or we have two UFOs? If we have one, its incredible speed doesn’t correspond to anything we have now.El Bosque multiple footage
Every four years there is change of guard of the Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Air Force (FACH), which takes place at an important ceremony with an air parade at the Air Force Academy in El Bosque in Santiago. The last such ceremony, when General Jorge Rojas Avila became the current chief of the FACH, took place in El Bosque in the morning of November 4, 2010. As usual, the ceremony was attended by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, all the commanders of the armed forces and top brass, the Minister of Defense and other cabinet members, the diplomatic corps and many other important officials including Gen. Bermúdez himself. The ceremony is popular with the public and widely photographed and filmed because it includes the air parade by all the different squadrons of the FACH, including the Halcones (Hawks) High Acrobatics Squad, which are very popular in Chile (similar to the USAF’s Thunderbirds).
Everything proceeded according to plan and nobody seemed to have noticed anything unusual during the ceremony. However, it now looks certain that someone else who was uninvited also decided to check the FACH ceremony, since sometime after the event CEFAA was contacted by eventually a total of seven different individuals who captured a metallic-looking objects moving extremely fast in the sky while different groups of FACH aircraft—the Halcones, F5s and F16s—flew over the Academy with all the VIPs.
This case clearly stands out in a world full of often dramatic and sensational UFO videos posted in YouTube, many of which come from anonymous sources and have a dubious pedigree. Here we have a case with seven different videos all showing the same thing. Below you can see a frame of the first video showing the best image of the UFO taken right after the Halcones’ flyby.
The second video taken during the same FACH ceremony showed exactly the same metallic-looking unidentified object flying right below a formation of F5 jets. As explained by Gen. Bermúdez in his lecture, “the object is very near the F5, and our study, the heat study” showed the similarity of “the F5 with the object, same for the shadow, a very interesting case.” The CEFAA analysis estimated that the radius of the UFO was between 5-10 meters.
The FACH’s El Bosque ceremony then proceeded with a flyby of eight F16s and once again the metallic-looking object appeared in yet another video. “If you think it’s not enough I have another surprise for you,” said Gen. Bermúdez, “this appeared only one fraction of a second, our non-believer astronomers calculated the speed according to Newton’s law, 18 times the F-16 speed, that is over 10,000 KM per hour.”
Gen. Bermúdez showed the analysis done by the astronomers from CEFAA’s External Committee of Advisors, which established that the object was not a meteoroid, a comet, reentry of space junk, a bird or an airplane. Furthermore, the scientists’ report stated the UFO undertook “a risky maneuver in front of the Halcones from west to east” and that it did “a flight maneuver at low altitude and high speed.” The report also established that “the object shows light and shadow effects of metallic like reflections and shows ellipsoidal shape” and that “the land observers do not detect the object in spite that it passes over their heads, thereby it is not accompanied by a sound wave.” Finally, the report’s final significant point indicates “the object moves east with 25 degrees inclination. This is the same angle spacecraft enter the atmosphere.”
To recap the salient details about the El Bosque multiple footage case, Gen. Bermúdez stated in his IUFOC lecture that, “we have studied this case in different ways. First we gave it to the astronomers, who used their own software; second, we gave the film to the air force specialists (FACH’s Aerial Photogrammetric Service). Third, we did our own internal study; we also asked the opinion of Dr. [Richard] Haines and Bruce Maccabee. Maccabee agreed with our astronomers and Richard [Haines] said that there is an unknown aerial phenomenon.”
Final Conclusions & Proposition
After a lecture full of official evidences, both audio and visual, Gen. Bermúdez proceeded to list the conclusions about the UFO phenomenon reached by CEFAA. These are:
- The Anomalous Aerial Phenomenon characterized as UFO is real and it is present inside and outside the Controlled Air Space.
We do not know what it is and where it came from.
It is necessary to continue studying the phenomenon.
It is necessary to share all the information.
- It is necessary to a have a serious agency to direct the investigation in all the world.
This agency must collect and share information and proceed to make an effective scientific investigation.
I believe that this agency should be located in the United Nations as a part of the Space Affairs.
I also conducted a thorough interview with Gen. Ricardo Bermúdez during the International UFO Congress, so in the coming days and weeks we’ll continue to post material regarding Chile’s official UFO investigation. But by any standards available at ufological symposia, there can be little doubt that Gen. Bermúdez’s IUFOC presentation was a true breakthrough in the international study and public acceptance of UFOs. There is no doubt that when it comes to official UFO disclosure, Chile is now leading the way. Let’s hope that other nations will also join and work together to solve this intriguing mystery, and that the famous UN General Assembly Decision 33/426 of December 1978, calling for “the establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations for undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of research into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena,” will be eventually revived.
You can get the DVD of General Bermúdez’s full presentation here
By Billy Booth
On February 5, 2012, a mother and her daughter encountered a UFO in Annadale, Minnesota. The unknown object moved through their neighborhood with a red light beaming to the ground.
The next day they found out that a friend's brother had also seen the object. He had been changing a flat tire at the same time the mother and daughter turned into the road heading home that night and first spotted the UFO.
Although the state does not receive a large number of UFO reports, there are two that are well known; the controversial case Minnesota Sheriff Car Hit by UFO in 1979, and the Duluth, Minnesota Lights of 1988.
There are two witnesses to this case, a mother and daughter. Here is the eyewitness testimony;
Arriving Home on a Sunday night
My daughter and I returned home from seeing a movie together on Sunday night at about 7:00 PM. We live in a rural location and our house is 1/4 mile down a gravel road after turning off of a highway.
We live just south of a small lake which has a row of homes about a 1/4 mile long stretching east to west. I pulled into the driveway right along the garage. It was dark and the yard light wasn't on.
My daughter got out first as I rummaged through the car to find whatever I needed to bring into the house with me.
Seconds later I heard my daughter yelling at me, "MOM, get out here!"
At first I thought she was just cold and crabby that the door was locked and she wanted me to hurry up, but she had raced back to the car and opened the door and yelled at me to get me out there.
I jumped out of the car and just east, to the right of us above the tree tops about 25 feet away and straight up, was a bright, pure red light that produced a red glow down into the entire back yards of our neighbors. It was slightly foggy too, which intensified the glow of the red.
I hadn't seen this red glow driving down the road or sitting in my car because the garage blocked my view. My daughter's response was, "MOM, what IS that?"
Mesmerized by the Sight
We stared at it sort of mesmerized because I have never seen anything like it before. My first reaction was that it looked like it was something with a bright light underneath hovering just above the tree tops and appeared to be moving away from us approximately 10 mph or so, just floating along.
We both just stared at it and I was sort of freaked. I said I have no idea what it is. The brilliant glowing red light then turned to a white light. The white wasn't as intense.
It was slightly foggy out, so it really looked eerie. I heard voices chattering in a distance so my logical mind said to my daughter, "Oh, it's got to be a firework spark just floating down or something."
I really did have the spooks and we both dashed into the house. I immediately asked my mom, whom I live with, "Did you hear any fireworks going off?"
Her response was, "No. I didn't hear any noises; nothing. It's been quiet."
I then thought to myself, "Oh my God, I think that was a UFO." I felt a shudder go through me. That was the last we talked about it until three days later.
Three Days Later
It was Wednesday and I did my usual morning walk with my friend and our dogs. He said his brother had called him last night and told him that he and his friend saw a UFO. My friend works in the county jail as a Sgt. and his brother wanted to know if anything was reported last Sunday night.
I asked him the details. He said his brother got a flat tire on his way home from ice fishing Sunday night. He had pulled off the highway and saw this fire-red light illuminating the trees all the way to the ground. It was hovering along the tree tops. I freaked out when I heard this.
I interrupted his story and told him what my daughter and I had seen. It was the same night. I kept saying to him, "Oh my God I saw a UFO." We talked about the subject of UFOs during the whole walk. He said he'd given his brother my phone number so we could talk that night.
By Robbie Graham
The viral marketing campaign for Men in Black 3 is intensifying in anticipation the movie’s May 25 release date. Late last year, a mock conspiracy theory blog popped up run by a UFO-obsessed 14-year-old boy calling himself "BugEyes126.” Back in January this year, BugEyes dropped hints that the Large Hadron Collider might be making an appearance in Men in Black 3.
Things just got a whole lot more interesting, however. This morning, ComingSoon.net spotted an intriguing poster in the New York City subway...
By dialling the number on the poster (which I did), callers are greeted with the following message from BugEyes himself:
“Hey, I’m BugEyes, and this phone call just might change your life forever. What if I told you nothing is what it seems and everything you thought you knew was a lie? Welcome to the Men in Black Suites Are Real Hotline.”
“Hey, I’m BugEyes, and this phone call just might change your life forever. What if I told you nothing is what it seems and everything you thought you knew was a lie? Welcome to the Men in Black Suites Are Real Hotline.”
The caller is then presented with a number of options to access further information. If you press #1, BugEyes tells you:
“First, I need you to know this mission is both critical and risky. Extraterrestrials live among us. Seriously. How cool is that, right? But even cooler than that – there’s a secret organisation of these Men in Black suits that watch over them.”
BugEyes then tells you he needs your help:
“If you have any information on extraterrestrial sightings... I want to hear from you.”
Finally, BugEyes hits you with a slightly sinister disclaimer:
“By leaving your message, you grant TheMeninBlackSuitsAreReal.com permission to use your voice and anything you tell me about yourself, and any portion of the content of your message in audio or text form as part of the MIBs experience without additional consent or compensation. Just letting you know.”
You are then encouraged “to leave a message on any extraterrestrial activity in your neighbourhood.”
Will callers’ messages end up being used in a future stage of the MIB 3 viral campaign? If so, then - assuming any callers are gullible enough to report genuine UFO encounters - Men in Black 3 may be taking Hollywood’s historical blurring of UFO fact and fantasy to a whole new level.