The Real 'Resident Aliens' - Part IX
By Raymond A. Keller, PhD, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” the author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising Series, published by Headline Books and available on Amazon.com, while supplies last.
Aliens Are Landing in Flying Saucers
An interesting article in the 20 July 1974 issue of the National Star (New York City, New York) by Roger Langley, “Have UFOnauts Landed on Earth?” details how the world’s then foremost authority on UFOs, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, came to the conclusion that UFOs, for the most part, were manned vehicles from other planets and that in many cases involving the actual landing of UFOs, beings have been seen onboard the ships, disembarking from them or embarking into them. Hynek, an astrophysicist from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, first became involved in UFO investigations when he was hired by the Air Force back in 1947 as a scientific consultant to investigate the phenomena for them under Project Sign (1947-1949), Project Grudge (1950-1951) and later Project Blue Book (1952-1969). In all the time that he was looking into UFOs on behalf of the United States Air Force, Hynek investigated more than 1,200 UFO landings; and in 300 of these cases, beings or creatures were reported in or around the craft.
In some of the more outstanding cases looked into by Hynek, there was or were:
• Two fishermen in Pascagoula, Mississippi, who swore that they were taken aboard a spaceship and examined by silvery-skinned creatures with no eyes.
• A police chief in Alabama, following a radio call to check out a possible flying saucer landing, took photos of a six-foot being in a metallic suit who ran off faster than the chief’s own police cruiser could possibly pursue it.
• An Italian engineer who photographed an alleged spaceman emerging from a flying saucer.
• An Anglican priest in Papua New Guinea who described in detail a UFO landing and some humanoids working on the top deck of the saucer-shaped craft.
Up until the closure of Project Blue Book in 1969, Hynek was bound to follow the Air Force directives to debunk the credibility of UFO reports on every occasion; but in 1974, as an independent scientific investigator, he was no longer bound by these restrictions. To this astrophysicist, it was beyond reason to dismiss all of these UFO reports as “lies, practical jokes, hallucinations, hypnotism or mad delusions,” as the honchos at the Air Force had insisted that he do when he worked on the various UFO projects with them. Back in October 1973, Hynek was down at Pascagoula in less than two days from the time that the two fishermen had reported their examination by strange creatures aboard a flying saucer. “It was a terrifying experience for the men,” Hynek told National Star reporter Langley, adding that, “They were very shaken. Neither of these men, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, had any sort of reputation as tellers of tall tales. I was impressed with their general sincerity. The general attitude in the town was that if Charles said it happened, it probably happened. I honestly believe that they believe that it happened. It might have been some sort of religious experience or something akin to that.”
Of course, since Hynek did not outright dismiss the two gentlemen as “kooks” upon hearing of their encounter, it is not hard to see why he would stand head and toes above other UFO investigators of his time, who were always quick to cast aspersions on the credibility of the witnesses while ignoring the details of the actual UFO report. In further discussing UFOnauts, flying saucer occupants and humanoid-like aliens, Hynek reinforced his objective stance by declaring, “I would gladly omit this part if I could without offense to scientific inquiry. Unfortunately, one may not omit data simply because they may not be to one’s liking or in line with one’s notions. We balk at reports about occupants even though we may be willing to listening attentively to accounts of other UFO encounters.
“Why? Why should a report of a car stopped on the highway by a blinding light from an unknown craft be any different in essential strangeness or absurdity from one of a craft from which two or three little animate creatures descend? There is no logical reason, yet I confess to sharing a prejudice that is hard to explain. Is it that encounters with animate beings, possibly with an intelligence of a different order than ours, gives a new dimension to our atavistic fear of the unknown?
“Another thing bothers us: The humanoids seem to be able to breathe our air and to adapt to our air pressure and gravity with little difficulty. Something seems terribly wrong about that. This would imply that they must be from a place, another planet, very much like our own. Perhaps our own?
“But how? Or are they robots, not needing to adapt to our environment? Our commonsense recoils at the very idea of humanoids and leads to much banter and ridicule, and jokes about little green men. They tend to throw the whole UFO concept into disrepute. Maybe UFOs could exist, but humanoids?
“Are all reporters of UFOs truly sick? Are they all affected by some strange virus that does not attack sensible people? It would be helpful, one feels, if we could demonstrate that reports of UFO landings differ systematically from other UFO sightings. Then we could, with some comfort, dismiss them. But they don’t, except that the relative number of cases with more than one witness is somewhat less; and that there are not as many observers having any degree of technical training.
“There are no pilots, air traffic controllers, radar operators or scientists who have reported humanoids, according to my records. There are, however, people holding other types of responsible positions: clergymen, policemen, electronics engineers, public servants, bank directors, military men, miners, farmers, technicians, mailmen, railroad engineers, medical doctors, etc. Clearly, it is not only kooks who report humanoids. Indeed, I do not know of a report of this kind to have come from a person of demonstrated mental imbalance.”
As to the fishermen from Pascagoula, Hynek explained that, “When I got there, within 48 hours of it happening, Charlie Hickson, the older of the two men, was still in a state of shock. He was a very shaken man. There was no doubt about it.”
Who could blame Hickson, or anyone else undergoing such a traumatic experience? After Hynek’s questioning of the two, the following is a summary of the events that transpired with Hickson and Parker on that fateful night of 11 October 1973:
On the date of the event, Charlie Hickson was 42 years old and Calvin Parker was 19 years old. They were both workers at the Walker Shipyards in Pascagoula, where Hickson was a foreman. Both of the men had excellent work records and neither was known to be a heavy drinker. After work hours, at around 7 p.m., the men decided to go fishing in the Pascagoula River off an old pier on the west bank. No sooner had they reached the desired location, that they noticed a strange aircraft up in the sky that seemed to be emitting a bluish haze. The object began moving closer until it was hovering about three or four feet above the water.
“Then,” Hickson claims, “three ‘whatever-they were’ came out, either floating or walking, and carried us into the ship. The things kept us about 20 minutes, photographed us and then took us back to the pier. The only sound they made was a buzzing-humming sound. They left in a flash.”
The fishermen described the entities as being “eyeless, silver-skinned humanoids.” Each of the beings had a slit for a mouth and three, carrot-like protrusions instead of a nose and ears. Parker says that he fainted when he first espied the three humanoid creatures climbing out of their spacecraft; and he did not regain consciousness until he had been released back onto the pier. That night, after their release by the aliens, they reported the incident to Captain Glen Ryder of the Pascagoula Sheriff’s Department. Ryder questioned the men; and at first, he thought that they were playing some kind of joke on him. The captain called in some other deputies on duty that night and to assist him in further questioning the UFO experiencers, who had been separated, being placed in different rooms. “We did everything we knew to break their stories,” maintained Ryder, “but both of their stories fit. If they were lying to me, they should be in Hollywood.”
When Hynek arrived in Pascagoula he immediately went to the site of the fishermen’s UFO experience to see if he could find any physical evidence of the encounter. “I was hoping to find some disturbed ground or some broken tree branches or something like that,” said the scientist. Being more specific as to what that “something” might be, Hynek explained that “Something would indicate something physical- nuts and bolts- had been there. But I didn’t find anything. The whole thing had a sort of dream-like quality. No, dream-like isn’t quite correct. Incoherent would be better. I can think of no reason why these two men in rural Mississippi would fabricate such a story. They certainly were not going to gain anything from it. They got some notoriety, but they did not seem to be enjoying the attention. I don’t understand the Southern ways and mentality; but they struck me as extremely simple folks. They were without guile. Charlie just told the story in a very unassuming way.
“I would characterize this case as not as good as some of the other cases I have come across. It gained national prominence because of the abduction. But it must be taken in the context of the wave of cases being reported around that time. We (Hynek and the staff at the Center for UFO Studies, a non-profit organization established in Chicago, Illinois, in 1973, by Hynek, with himself as director) had about 1,000 or so cases during that period. This was just one of them. But it is the only case that we heard of that involved actual creatures.
“Charles Hickson kept asking me, ‘Do you think they’re coming back again? What did they want? Why did they pick me?’ He said it in all sincerity. I will say, and I’ll stick to it, that those guys were scared as hell. It was just as if they had been in a very gory automobile accident, a very traumatic experience that you are not capable of calmly describing all the detail. Your conscious mind tends to block out large parts of it, and this is exactly the impression I got from these two guys. They had undergone such a shocking thing that they could not put it exactly into words. Whatever happened to them definitely affected their rationality.”
The sheriff’s deputies did take statements from Hickson and Parker and then left them together in a room with a hidden tape recorder, thereby attempting to check out the veracity of their story. “That tape made when Charlie and Calvin thought they were alone was, I think, one of the most convincing things to me,” said Hynek. “To hear them talk to each other,” the experienced UFO investigator added, “it was obvious that there was no sign of collusion. And when Charlie left the room, one could hear Calvin praying to himself. He was saying things like, ‘Oh God, it’s awful. It’s hard to believe. I know there’s a god up there. Why did it happen to me?’ It was a real experience for them; but I can’t offer a shred of evidence that it was a real, solid, physical thing.”
The Pascagoula case also involved hypnosis. Dr. James Harder, a scientific consultant for the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), a civilian UFO research group operating out of Tucson, Arizona, arrived on the scene at the request of Hynek. Harder, besides being an engineer at the University of California at Berkeley, was also an expert hypnotist and had previously assisted Hynek in several other UFO investigations. Harder hypnotized both of the men and was satisfied that their accounts of the incident checked out.
“The hypnotism added credence to their stories,” asserted Hynek, noting that, “Dr. Harder was quite successful in getting Charlie to describe his early birthday parties and other pleasant experiences from his past life. But whenever he approached the UFO experience itself, Harder would say, ‘Well now, Charlie, you’re not going to be disturbed. Everything is going to be fine. Be calm. Now tell us about the two men who fishing the other day on the Pascagoula River.’ Suddenly a tenseness would develop in Charlie’s body; and sweat would break out on his forehead. And it was pretty clear that whatever it was, he did not want to relive that experience. The fact that they would not talk about their experience while hypnotized strengthened my belief that for them, it had been an extremely traumatic experience, whatever it was.”
At Northwestern University, Hynek served as director of the Lindheimer Astronomical Research Center as well as the chair of the Astronomy Department, so anything he had to say about UFOs carried quite a bit of weight in influential circles. The fact that he placed so much importance on the UFO occupant sightings collected by Project Blue Book when he served as that government project’s scientific consultant, only served to heighten the credibility of those reports. During one of the busiest years at Blue Book, Hynek recalled that out of the thousands of UFO sightings that were reported that year, 48 of the cases involved landings, in which there were 12 cases where humanoids were sighted coming out or going into a landed object, usually the typical saucer-shaped craft. And apart from the official Air Force investigation that year, Hynek tallied 223 other humanoid cases coming in from various areas of the world, just from the files of one private UFO group, APRO.
But in returning to the Blue Book findings, Hynek pointed out that, “Two of the 48 landings were attributed to hallucinations; six were ascribed to the somewhat more vague term ‘psychological;’ two were ascribed to ‘unreliable report,’ which in Blue Book terminology really means crazy; six were ascribed to hoaxes, but on slim evidence; while the majority was attributed to ‘insufficient data,’ a favorite term with the Blue Book when it appeared that it would be too much trouble to acquire additional data. Generally, there was little or no follow-up in these cases. There were nine cases of reported landings of unknown aircraft; yet no attempt was made to ascertain further facts.”
Of the majority of reported cases that involved contact between the humanoids from outer space and Earthlings, Hynek lamented that they were not given sufficiently serious scientific consideration because there was only one individual UFO experiencer.
One of the more highly touted cases referred to often by Hynek was that of a police officer named Herbert Shirmer of Ashland, Nebraska. Shirmer insisted that he had a close encounter with aliens who took him aboard their flying saucer and even demonstrated to him how it functions. The Shirmer encounter took place on 3 December 1967, when a saucer-like object landed on, or hovered slightly above the highway, some 40 feet in front of him. The police officer watched the UFO, and then reported that it took off at a high speed. But when Shirmer filed his report, there were 20 minutes that he could not account for, no matter how hard he racked his brain. Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle, a professor of psychology at the University of Wyoming, who was also a state-certified hypnotist, was called in to examine the police officer. Incidentally, Dr. Sprinkle wrote the introduction to my first book in the Venus Rising series, Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet (Terra Alta, West Virginia: Headline Books, 2015), for which I am eternally grateful. As Dr. Sprinkle put Shirmer under hypnosis, the Nebraska police officer relived his UFO experience. Until he was hypnotized, Shirmer had no idea what had happened for 20 minutes of his life; but after the session with Dr. Sprinkle, the officer understood that he had actually been onboard an alien spaceship. Hynek was impressed with the Shirmer case; but like so many others, this one involved only one experiencer.
With respect to Shirmer, Hynek told National Star reporter Roger Langley that, “Officer Shirmer was hypnotized and told a fascinating story. But how does an impartial observer assess the reality of the situation? The man is not lying. For him, it was a very real experience.
“But what actually happened that night? Was it a real, nuts-and-bolts thing that you could see, or was it some strange paranormal thing? In a single-witness case, such as this, what can an investigator really do? If you told me you had a dream about purple peach trees last night, how could I substantiate it or prove it? This is the same problem with one-witness cases.”
Another case that attracted Hynek’s personal interest took place in Socorro, New Mexico, on 24 April 1964, and also involved a law enforcement officer, a New Mexico Highway Patrol Sergeant Lonnie Zamora. This was the first case that Hynek investigated in New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment.” It concerned the highway patrolman’s encounter with an egg-shaped UFO that landed a little distance off the main state route in the vicinity of his hometown of Socorro. Officer Zamora was just about to wrap it up for the day. It was 5:45 p.m. and his shift was about to end in 15 minutes. Out of the blue, a speeder raced by Zamora’s position, moving like a “bat out of hell.” The patrolman was about to chase the speeder when suddenly there was a loud explosion coming from the rear. Also, when Lonnie Zamora heard the fierce clapping noise, he turned around just in time to catch sight of an eerie light blue flash of light that washed over him, his patrol car and the surrounding desert shrubbery.
Zamora followed in his patrol car a dirt path to a small shack about 200 feet back from the highway, whence the blue flash and the explosion emanated. That’s when he spotted the source of all the commotion, a shiny, ovular object descending from the sky with a smokeless blue and orange flame emitting from its underside. The officer described the object as resembling, “a car turned upside down…. standing on its radiator or trunk.” At this point, Zamora got out of his vehicle and started to approach the now landed object to within 100 feet on foot. Two personages in white coveralls had disembarked from the strange object. “One of these persons,” noted the highway patrolman, “seemed to turn and look straight at my car and seemed startled- seemed to quickly jump somewhat.”
Patrolman Zamora described the UFO occupants as “normal in shape, but possibly they were small adults or large kids.” The officer radioed for backup but continued to keep his distance from the object and the beings that descended from it. The oval-shaped UFO had no visible windows or even the seams for a doorway. It sat upon girder-like legs. The craft was marked, however, with a red insignia that was about two-an-a-half feet wide. The UFO occupants, on the other hand, were not going to remain in the area for long insofar as the armed patrolman was there observing their activities. In the next five minutes, the two aliens quickly terminated their activities, got back into their craft, and took off. Zamora witnessed the UFO quickly ascend and then move over a mountain in the distance, whence it quickly sped out of sight, but not out of mind. Just a few minutes after the aliens’ departure, fellow officer Sergeant Sam Chavez of the New Mexico State Police arrived at the scene in response to Zamora’s radio call for backup. Officer Chavez, while he did not see the object, did observe the still-smoldering brush the UFO had landed and taken off. He also noted four burn marks and four V-shaped depressions pushed into the ground where the object had rested. These impressions were between one and two inches deep and each one measured eighteen inches in length.
One of the chief skeptics of the era, Dr. Philip J. Klass, the editor of Aviation and Space Technology magazine, opined that Zamora had simply made up the whole story in order to increase tourism in the area. However, in a report submitted to the Central Intelligence Agency by the then director of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, Major Hector Quintanilla, the highest military authority on the UFO phenomenon declared that, “There is no doubt that Lonnie Zamora saw an object which left quite an impression on him. There is also no question about Zamora’s reliability. He is a serious officer, a pillar of his church, and a man well-versed in recognizing airborne vehicles in this area. He was puzzled by what he saw, and frankly, so are we.” Keep in mind that the Bluebook director came to these conclusions based on the field research out in New Mexico conducted by Dr. J. Allen Hynek on his behalf.
Sergeant Lonnie Zamora witnesses landing and takeoff of oval-shaped UFO, to include its occupants. The officer also noted a bright red inscription on the side of the alien object. See https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ZUA_etT1GVI/hqdefault.jpg.
The revelation of Dr. Hynek’s involvement in the Zamora case was leaked in the 30 April 1964 edition of the News-Sun newspaper of Hobbs, New Mexico. Despite the official pronouncements by Project Bluebook personnel that there was no evidence linking UFOs to extraterrestrial spaceships, the Air Force’s overwhelming interest in this Socorro, New Mexico, UFO landing incident suggested otherwise. The “genie was out of the bottle,” so to speak, and getting him back in was not going to be an easy task.
Looking back on the Lonnie Zamora encounter, Hynek informed journalist Langley of the National Star that, “I visited the site several days after the actual incident and found landing marks and charred plants near where Zamora said the space craft had landed. Although there were other reported witnesses to the UFO in the area, only Officer Zamora, like Officer Schirmer, was in a position to have seen the occupants. At first, I tried to shake his story apart, but I couldn’t. I was impressed by the high regard in which Zamora was held by his fellow officers. Hynek noted that Zamora, like other people who claim to have had contact experiences with seemingly extraterrestrial beings associated with UFOs, remain “rock-ribbed” in their belief that their encounter was real.
Two years prior to the interview with Langley, Hynek had just come out with a book, UFO Experience (Chicago, Illinois: Henry Regency, 1972), in which he provided extensive background information on some of the more prominent cases he had investigated in his role as a scientific consultant to the Air Force for over 20 years. “The reason I called my book, the UFO Experience,” said Hynek, “was that after 20 years or so with the Air Force, I questioned many hundreds of people, and by and large, these people were convinced they had had an actual experience. They were puzzled. They tried to explain it to themselves by some logical way at first and couldn’t. Time and time again, they were very disappointed when I couldn’t give them an explanation. They had sort of the attitude, ‘You’re the one from the Air Force. You are supposed to know about these things.’ And when I said, ‘Well, look, I’m just as puzzled as you are; I don’t know what it was,’ they were really, generally quite disappointed.” While Hynek wished he could have done more to assure the anxious and inquiring minds of these UFO experiencers, he soon realized that he was faced with the challenge of overcoming formidable mental blocks these experiencers had built around themselves based on their deep-seated and often paranoid belief systems they were carrying around in life like so much unnecessary baggage.
Hynek explained: “I had a student at Northwestern who did a term paper on this very question. He sent out 100 questionnaires to people who had UFO experiences at least five years before. The questionnaire ran something like this: ‘Now, after five years, what do you think? Are you still puzzled? Have you found an explanation? Do you still talk about it?’
“He got some interesting results. He got about a 40 percent return, which is good for a questionnaire. And with only one exception, everyone was still puzzled. They still did not honestly know what they had seen; yet their belief in what they had seen remained unshaken.
“We are very glib about what we call real. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and said that things were going to happen, was that real? Was it physically real?
“It was an experience. And when people have a religious experience of one sort or another, it is real to them. But maybe what we call real isn’t the complete story. Maybe there are other dimensions to reality that we do not appreciate.
“I know humanoid cases are more spectacular; but they simply have a lower credibility than others do. I don’t know exactly why that is so. Maybe solid citizens who have an experience like that would not report it, whereas they might be willing to report something that is less bizarre. One just never knows with humanoid reports whether the creature actually produced an image on the witness’ retina or whether it was a just a plain, first-class hallucination. Only when you have cases where there has been damage on the ground do you have something solid and physical to go on.”
(Editor’s Note: Keep reading this series for Part X of the Cosmic Ray’s Real “Resident Aliens,” where Dr. Keller examines the mysterious linkages that persons with Rh-negative blood have with extraterrestrial beings. - Lon)
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