Sunday, October 12, 2014


Hello, folks. I didn't want to do this, but with the coming moving to the new location, and all the packing up [and fretting about things not going smoothly all the time] and upgrading my current residence for the chance at a decently quick sale, I just can't concentrate on writing something worth writing about at the moment.

Since I won't just toss trivial non-think at you, I've got to just "retire" until this move settles down. So, I'm putting up the "Gone Fishin'" sign in the store window. This hiatus will be at least a month and probably more --- I don't want to just move boxes over there and let them rot. I really want my library [and my active life] to get functional again. I'm tired of the chaos both in environment and in mind.

So, blessings to you all as we near the three great holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Each of them is necessary to our souls. Maybe after the completion of our current trip around the Sun I'll be able to "create" again. Peace.

Hmmmm.... don't let the "bad things" get you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Hello, folks.

Just a note to mention that the "third annual" get-together of the UFO History Group took place at my house this last weekend. People with sharp eyes and wide UFO group experience will note Bill Murphy, Tom Tulien, Jan Aldrich, Rob Swiatek, Linda Murphy, Don Schmitt, Eddie Bullard, and my Kzoo friend Will Matthews circling counterclockwise around the table from the top left. Sue Swiatek had mysteriously vanished when I took the picture {maybe she's standing behind me}.

We talked about many things, all in great humor and camaraderie. In fact the main reason for these get-togethers is to create a collegial small community of friendly and data-sharing UFO researchers, who can make plans and cooperate on big projects. For those who think that this is impossible, see our book,   UFOs and Government. 

Some of what we're contemplating is the distribution of our somewhat unique research files to ourselves and close UFO friends, then the wider UFO research community of people who we think are responsible, and finally to allow universal access {after we think through what issues might reside there.} I have scanned around 50+ gigs of my own files to begin this project. Other things include: Research trips to targeted archives and researcher files, a website, researcher workshops, a second book [probably focussing on the phenomenology], and anything that we can do for data location, scanning, and preservation.

Other than those who were able to make it this time, core individuals include Robert Powell, Steve Purcell, Mark Rodeghier, Richard Thieme, Barry Greenwood, Jerry Clark, Bill Jones [hopefully his health gets better, as we also hope for Jerry], and with any luck Fran Ridge --- I'm probably winging this too rapidly and forgetting someone. Our good Aussie buddy Bill Chalker is surely included in absentia. We hope to grow this alliance into a "UFOlogy" separate from the endless howling embarrassments of the UFOriacs, and the non-sharing non-collegial egomaniacs. We welcome friends, but toxic persons need not inquire.

This group is a bunch of friendly folks who believe that it is possible to make some progress in this tough field without being idiots or megalomaniacs. If you must have a hard-to-work "hobby", why not at least enjoy the time and your companions? The picture above is, by the way, Rob and Sue trying to get their picture taken with Don. The reason that they and Bill and Jan are laughing is that their chosen photographer, the esteemed Dr. Bullard, was once again repeatedly losing a battle with modern technology. Several pictures of the floor and his own nose were preserved for future mystification.

I will probably attempt to host these get-togethers twice a year in the future [perhaps May and September-ish]. We'll accomplish things, particularly in digging out and preserving UFO information, and making it available in several forms. Hopefully there are some of you out there who might want to be part of such a "lofty" goal.

.... looks like a pleasant path into the future to me.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Before getting into the topic, the news: my new house extension is rolling structurally right now and, though that's a good thing, it's a distraction from the blog. Yesterday we moved 60-70 boxes of mainly UFO files/resources over there as a temporary staging move. This frees up basement footprint space so I can stack new boxes of such stuff --- of which there will be a bunch. This too is a good thing, but a further elimination of blog writing time. ... and there is such a thing as ordinary life. I'll do what I can squeeze in here.

As to poltergeists: this topic arose because I was tossing out redundant "extra" materials for which no space will exist at the new house extension. Some of those were FATE magazines. I have a complete set up to about 1990, and SITU had a complete set up to about early 1980s. Therefore extras from the seventies and sixties needed to go. {I know everyone's horrified}. Instead of simple recycling, and because I couldn't go through the time/effort of boxing anythings up and shipping them out, I decided to "rip" them and include articles interesting to me in proper dedicated, already existing topical folders or three-ring notebooks. {My style of research sources}.

As rips proceeded, I noticed clusters of subjects. One was "FAFROTSKIES" {Sanderson's nickname for Falls From The Skies.} One was "APPARITIONS" and what grew on me as a similar topic "TIMESLIPS". A third was "POLTERGEISTS". There were of course hills of UFO-related matters, but being burnt out on that at the moment, they've been consigned to a "to do" pile. What I'm hoping to do Blog-wise is to get three entries out of this, and the first one = poltergeists.

Veteran readers will recognize the "style" above: it's my way of logging multiple experiences which I intuit might be related somehow, and get a crude characterization of each thumbnailed and easier to remember/collate. The "C" is the UFO-like designator for facts leading towards an estimation of "Credibility". And the "SIGMA+" is the second UFO-like designator for the"Strangeness" in the claims. I found a dozen encounters which were either "traditional" poltergeist-like situations, or things that my erratic Out Proctor mind said "include these."

I found all of these cases interesting. Most of them claimed very many witnesses, usually not only of a single family, and often with police or press or investigator involvement. The three single-witness cases each had a reason to assess a likely credible judgement by me [One, one course, stems from my being a Catholic, and another from my spending so much time as an academic, but what can I say?]. I included two things not usually seen in such a list [a ringing of a broken bell at a time of a significant death, and a physical action called upon by some Ouija gamers], but abnormally included or not, I say: what exactly is the phenomenological difference? All of these things seem to be anomalous physical manifestations which are clearly closely witnessed by stunned humans, who see no normal cause.

Spread about this set are also many of the traditional poltergeist phenomena: footfalls, moving furniture, falling objects, raps in walls or on doors and windows, but interspersed there are many other things which "personalize" each case {shades of UFOlogy}. There are two "rockthrowers". Normally [having been a semi-neanderthalic teenage boy once myself], my "favored hypothesis" would be obvious. But both cases had very long durations, repetitiveness, and police involvement. Some stuff just seems unintelligent and random, and some seems [nervously] person-directed. The Ouija case where the girls specifically asked for the piano to play something is the most blunt [and creepy] case of that, but others like rockthrowers, premonitionary footfalls and sounds of a father returning home, and the wall-knockings which led to a hidden letter addressed to the wife's husband [knockings which stopped upon the finding], seem VERY human-directed as well.

A few particularly odd aspects: a). the stones in one rockthrower case being seen to move too slowly and not in proper "gravitation-controlled" arcs; b). two instances which regularly had events in them which were violent towards humans --- some folks say that there are a lot of poltergeists like this [rather dangerously violent] but that has not been anywhere near the norm in my readings elsewhere; c). several cases where the activity was in its different ways apparently responsive to the humans; and d). my favorite, where the family dog seems to fight a Spirit Dog, but not a friendly Pookha, but one more like those "English" Spirit Dogs with mean dispositions. An apparition of this thing signals the end of the poltergeist effects.

I, just as you, have many thoughts go through my head as I read these things. But I'm no expert, so I'm going to quote a few people [from another FATE article] who are.

The article was "The Nature of Poltergeist Intelligence" in the August 1965 number, written by Raymond Bayless. Bayless was not the leading poltergeist expert of the early-to-mid 20th century, but he wasn't bad. FATE, no doubt, was happy to have him.

One of the fellows who Bayless quotes is Sir William Barrett [who I have found to be quite scholarly on a variety of paranormal matters]. That is Barrett to our left. He states:

"They {the poltergeist entities} appear to have some intelligence behind them... the intelligence is, therefore, in some way related to our intelligence, and moreover is occasionally in telepathic rapport with our minds."

Hmmmm..... despite my predilection to credit psi in many forms, I hadn't related poltergeist phenomena to it. The physical events, the sounds, the responses, ... all that stuff seemed to happen, in a weird sense, "normally", in the real physical world. Could some of this stuff, like happens with the sensory events during exorcisms, "happen" NOT AT ALL physically, but "merely" psychically perceived? I still can't see that, as the vast majority of poltergeist claims find objects actually moved, crockery actually broken, rocks actually "in hand", unlike the exorcist who finds that he has been ducking psychic phantoms.

Another expert quoted is one of my favorites: Herbert Thurston, SJ. In his book, Ghosts and Poltergeists, Thurston reported on a case {"An Indian Poltergeist"} wherein the events included fire-starting, injuries, an apparition which evinced hostility. The family was Catholic and tried an exorcism. The Church "magic" struck out totally on this one as the ghost became filled with "increased violence and fury."

This sort of thing encouraged Bayless to make a fairly strong stand that the majority of cases were negative in the extreme.

" It may be well to mention here a rather popular belief --- that the poltergeist is a friendly, playful, childish spirit which indulges in activity of a teasing nature. This is a naive view. The poltergeist force is almost always indicative of a psychological rather than a spiritistic origin and the phenomenon is most certainly not playful." 

Well, I guess that I can understand why Bayless would say that --- he's fired up for the then-new idea of William Roll that all of this is due to unconscious psychokinetic forces projected by [usually] teenagers with raging hormones and unsettled self-images and confidence. I confess that I've never liked the theory. There are too many incidents which are geographically-grounded in a "spot" not a person. And, as to the malignant nature of these things, I must say, generally, balderdash. The picture of the fine old house above is of my brother and sister-in-laws' home, which is a poltergeist house, inhabited by an entirely playful teasing childish spirit named "Kenny". To give Bayless a road out of this disagreement, he makes a [somewhat mysterious-to-me] distinction between "poltergeists" and "hauntings". I'm willing to entertain that there might well be two or more different sorts of agencies behind all this, but how, at this stage, does one feel comfortable making the sorting? I'd rather not just make the distinction after-the-fact by saying "if it's nasty it's a poltergeist; if it's friendly or neutral, it's a haunting."

There were other weird things going on in FATE as well. There were two instances where the witness described something as a levitation by an unseen force. Once it was a bed with a sleeping kid raised off the floor, and once it was a series of levitating/floating/sliding plates on a luncheon table. The latter witness was boggled but somewhat cooly experimental about trying to move them back where they belonged and sensing how much force had to be applied. This was not related to poltergeists. But why not? Where's the dividing line? What's the criterion?

Another triplicate of reports involved what we've been calling here "Trickster" phenomena. All cases had different atmospheres about tham. One involved the sudden appearance of small change moneys which hung around but other money would occasionally disappear --- always leaving the family with a "profit-margin" in the exchange. Then when the father tried to scheme this anomalous largesse, the giving phenomenon stopped altogether and there was an actual loss. {This just screams Old-Celtic-Style "Don't mess with the Little People" to me, despite its occurrence in British Columbia in 1961}.

Another case involved a more "ordinary" Trickster incident where a billfold disappeared and despite severe and long searching was given up for lost, then reappeared SIX MONTHS LATER neatly sitting on top of items in a clothes drawer. The third report was of some earrings which vanished until they were prayed for. Soon after the prayers, and entirely by accident, they were discovered in a box which hadn't been seen for years --- really weird. Again these things were not reported as poltergeist phenomena. Again, why not?

There was a post-death phenomenon reported where the relative of a deceased father, who had promised to try to find a way to give a sign, reported raps on the table just as the father would do, but more stunningly, the playing of his violin by "no one." Raps on tables, levitations, and playing musical instruments also give me creepy returns to thoughts of 19th century "physical mediums", who I had conveniently discarded into the rubbish bin of my non-beliefs [mainly due to how embarrassing some of the debunking had been.] .... groan .... do I have to put them back on the tilting table?

And, is it possible that all of this ( poltergeists, hauntings, post-death signs, apports, tricksters,  help--even Faerie?} is part of One Thing?

Well, I know who I need to get hold of [double-entendre ENTIRELY conscious]. And don't try to talk me out of it.

..... heck. I don't care whether she really knows anything about ghosts or not.

C'mon people. I'm 74 years old --- sadly harmless.