Friday, September 07, 2018

"Just Passing Through": UFOs and Water

By Scott Corrales (c) 2003

"Vast, wheel-like super-constructions," wrote Charles Fort in his landmark The Book of the Damned, "they enter this earth's atmosphere, and, threatened with disintegration, plunge for relief into an ocean or into a denser medium."

A number of books by authors of renown have explored this curious affinity between unidentified flying objects (both "wheel-like" and not so) for Planet Earth's oceans and lakes. Speculation has ranged from the existence of underwater bases manned by exotic space aliens to entire civilizations of aquamen and women--the possible heirs of Atlantis--endowed with the power of spaceflight, allowing humans only furtive glimpses of their undersea existence when their craft break the water's surface.

Less is said, however, of cases in which unidentified craft, regardless of their hypothetical origin, make use of water for purposes that have been associated with either sustenance or propulsion...

Joining the Atom

Decades ago it was speculated that extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting our world were able to engage in faster-than-light (FTL) travel thanks to the incredibly sophisticated nuclear fusion reactors to be found aboard them. In layman's terms, fusion is the thermonuclear reaction that is obtained when the nuclei of light atoms join with those of heavier atoms, resulting in a prodigious release of energy (the process through which stars emit their light and heat). Controlled fusion therefore represents a power source far greater than what we can obtain through our own fission nuclear reactors. Despite claims of "cold fusion" achieved in our laboratories, human technology appears to be no closer to achieving this than it was in the 1970s.

Subsequent UFO theorists posited other means of UFO propulsion, involving ion drives, plasma drives, photon drives and even anti-matter propulsion. But proponents of the fusion-powered saucer theory were able to base themselves upon certain UFO cases to bolster their belief: cases in which unidentified objects were seen drawing water from our lakes and reservoirs, possibly to fuel their power plants. Fusionable material and water would be the bare bones elements needed for this to work.

In a 1980 paper entitled "Flying Saucer Technology", researcher and lecturer Stanton Friedman expanded on the use of nuclear fusion as the power source for UFO driveshafts, suggesting that there were numerous effects and means that could be employed with fusion engines. "One of the most attractive for an interstellar fusion propulsion system," writes Friedman, "would be to cause the reaction of just those particles which, when made to fuse, produce only charged rather than neutral particles." This, he explains, would enable particles to be guided by electromagnetic fields, something which seemingly cannot be done with the more scattershot neutral particles. Another positive in the direction of a fusion engine would be the availability of "isotopes of hydrogen and helium" which would be light and available throughout the universe. Any hypothetical star vessel would be able to obtain propellant virtually anywhere...and what better place than Earth's lakes and seas?

Jacques Scornaux and Christine Piens, writing in A la Recherche de OVNIS (Paris: Aura, 1977) also mention the obvious advantages of nuclear fission given the low yield of radioactive waste, but caution that the propulsion methods employ by the huge "motherships" and their smaller scouts may be completely different. These French authors, while espousing the cause of fusion as a means of propulsion, say that controlled nuclear fusion would be a rather weak source of power to account for the sudden stops and starts that UFOs have reportedly made.

Other theorists suggested that the density of water would serve as a highly effective barrier against harmful radiation emanating from a putative UFO power source, hence the need for replenishment as seen by startled witnesses: buried in the pages of Charles Berlitz's The Bermuda Triangle (NY: Doubleday, 1974) is an interview with Dr. Manson Valentine regarding the presence of UFOs in the Atlantic Ocean. Valentine notes that rangers and visitors to Florida's Okeefenokee swamp had seen UFOs flying over the area, and he himself had seen an unidentified object firing a blue beam into the waters of lake. The date given is August 21, 1963 in the vicinity of Ashton, Florida. The object "appeared to be taking on water from a lake", according to the caption accompanying a sketch of the anomalous activity. "Perhaps they were taking on water, or even samples of local fauna for study," speculates Valentine.

The Syphoning Crew

Sometimes the saucer occupants are seen employing less exotic methods to obtain water.

Writing in UFO Experiences in Canada (GSPH, 1995), Vicky Cameron mentions a case dating back to the summer of 1960 in which a schoolteacher in Atikokan, Ontario managed to speak to a local "character" whose reputation had been ruined by an unfortunate chance encounter with the unexplained. The man, known as Old Hank, claimed to have gone picnicking with his wife near Duckbill Lake. A humming noise filled the air, prompting the man and woman to take a look. Looking down on the lake from a height, the saw a circular object -- green in color -- resting on the lake's edge while its occupants, "four tiny creatures in green outfits" were engaged in drawing water from the lake. Hank's wife screamed and the creatures scampered for the safety of their vehicle, which lifted off and vanished into the air.

Is there something about the lakes of the province of Ontario that attracts ufonauts? Researcher John Robert Colombo mentions a letter received from an employee of the Atikokan mine--same location as in Cameron's account -- who after enjoying a day of floodwater fishing in Sawbill Bay, saw a strange object a quarter of a mile away along the rocky coastline. The object, described as "hoop-shaped" and rotating, was being serviced by four-foot tall figures wearing dark blue skullcaps, except for a figure that seemed to be in command, who wore a red one. One of these entities carried a bright green hose and seemed to be "drawing in water and discharging just as much." The date for this event is given as July 2, 1950.

If a vehicle allegedly capable of interstellar flight is forced to resort to hoses to flush its inner workings, or to replenish the water neede for its hypothetical fusion-powered engine, we may well expect to read of a case in which a bucket brigade of ufonauts was reported. Still another case involving unusual craft and hoses employed to retreive lake water was witnessed by Kathy and Gary Malcolm on Lake Champlain: the couple saw a saucer-shaped object-- with what appeared to be a large propeller sticking out of it--land on the lake's surface. Four green-capped creatures put an plastic into the water and pumped it into their vessel (True Flying Saucers and UFO Quarterly, Winter 1978).

Caught in the Act

During the UFO waves of the 1950s there were reports of large quantities of water disappearing in the states of Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota, but one of the best-known cases involving UFOs and water took place in the mid-1960s in the state of New Jersey's Wanaque Reservoir, where local residents and police officers had encounters with the unknown. The events started in October 1966, when officers from the Pompton Park, NJ police department began receiving calls--and having their own experiences--with bright lights that showed a particular affinity with the reservoir, a ninety billion gallon body of water located in a rather desolate area. Sergeant Ben Thompson, one of the law enforcement officers, witnessed an object resembling a brilliant "football shaped-dome" directly over the reservoir's waters at 9:15 p.m. on the 11th of the month. The object appeared to exert a curious influence upon the reservoir's contents, causing water to be "pulled up...sucked upward" in the policeman's own words to interviewer Lloyd Mallan. "The flying object would raise a whole big area of water...for maybe two hundred and fifty feet. The object would pull at the water and I could plainly see the water rising."

Although the unknown objects operating in the vicinity of Wanaque at the time may have been a purely natural manifestation, but it manifested an ability that would have plainly been useful to a craft requiring water for unguessed-at purposes. Another incident at the reservoir involved a bright, funnel-shaped beam over the reservoir "as powerful as a beam from the headlight of a locomotive," according to Chief of Police John Casazza. The light seemed to come out an object that was not immediately visible, perhaps due to the painful and nearly blinding quality of the funnel-shaped beam. Casazza was adamant that the light could not have come from any known aircraft.

Was the object projecting the beam drawing water from the lake as the objects seen in Florida by Dr. Manson Valentine appeared to be doing? This association between missing water and the phenomenon
has continued right down to our times, as can be seen from these cases from recent years.

In March 1988, researchers Richard Dell'Aquila and Dale Wedge looked into reports of UFO activity in the waters of Lake Erie--the shallowest of the Great Lakes and the only one to freeze completely in winter--and involving a nuclear power station and a coal-fired station as well. A woman had reported seeing an object shaped like blimp and with a light on either end balancing itself over the lake and engaged in the classic balancing motion that is characteristic of UFOs. The grey object, whose size was estimated as exceeding the dimensions of a football field, caused the ice on the frozen lake to reverberate and crack. Once the object vanished from sight, it was assumed to have vanished under the frozen surface and "unusually huge pieces of ice were observed in the area of the landing." A mystery object looking for a place to hide, or perhaps retrieving water in its solid form? For the record, the official explanation issued by the Coast Guard was that "the planets Jupiter and Venus" were in conjunction that evening).

UFOs had shown a preference for frozen lakes in earlier cases, such as the Boshkung Lake (Minden, Ontario) incidents reported by author Curt Sutherly in his book UFO Mysteries (Llewellyn, 2002). Witnesses to these 1973 landings of strange craft on the icy lake surface noted that the objects would either land on the surface, hover over high-voltage lines, or even more intriguing, "hover above holes in the ice that remained after fishermen had removed their huts." Since it is unlikely that the objects wanted to indulge in a spot of ice fishing, retrieval of H2O for some purpose appears to be the likelier alternative.

On March 19, 1993, an enormous circular UFO was seen by three children standing outside the gate of the Bosque Seco State Park at 9:40 PM. The boys, identified as Héctor, José and Raúl, summoned other area residents to witness the massive vehicle as it bathed the region in multicolored lights and hovered over a large water storage tank within the forest itself. The craft was described as circular in shape and emitting powerful white light. Its underside was grey and black and produced no noise whatsoever. Beams of colored light allegedly lit up the forest to the amazement of the locals. The police was called to the scene, but it is unknown if a formal report was filed at the Guánica police station.

In writing about the 1995 UFO sightings in Votorantim, Brazil, UFO researcher Encarnación Zapata García mentions the phenomenon's inclination for appearing near the water of a local reservoir. Zapata interviewed Marcos Lara, 28, who at the time frequented the banks of the Itupararanga Reservoir with his friends, sometimes staying overnight in the hopes of seeing strange obejcts. On one occasion, Marcos recalled seeing the strange objects skimming over the water's surface, but distance kept him from telling if they were engaged in any activity.

During the 1995-1996 UFO wave in northeastern Spain, a report involving a UFO off the coast of Gijón, "suspended over the ocean, lighting the water with multicolored lights" came to the attention of the UFO community. Was it drawing water for its power supply, or recovering some sort of "away team"?

More recently, some interesting reports have been circulated concerning the emergence of UFOs from "cenotes", the ceremonial wells employed by Mayan priests, and which are common throughout the Yucatán Peninsula. In 2003, Ing. David Triay Lucatero of the CAFE research organization states that witnesses have seen colored lights emerging from the Homún cenote, located only 45 kilometers from Mérida, the state capital. These occurrences are so frequent, states Triay, that they have ceased to be a source of amazement to the locals. Almost as if following a straight line, the Cusama and Tecóh cenotes, have also achieved notoriety for the manifestations seen to emerge from these cold, fresh water holes.

"Mr. Roque López Cabañas," writes Triay in his report, "was a scoutmaster who took his scouts camping near the Teba cenote, and on several nights was able to see lights making very strange movements, and was able to tell that they were neither satellites nor aircraft. One evening, camped between the Teba and Umán cenotes, the scoutmaster and his pack heard a strange noise and saw a ligth emerging from the wilderness, swiftly vanishing into the darkness above. Upon reaching its supposed point of departure, López found a burned circumference on the stone slabs surrounding the water hole. The scoutmaster was adamant that it could not have been the remains of a campfire, as there were neither traces of ash nor of a fire to be found.

Draining them Dry

The summer of 2002 will be best remembered in the annals of South American ufology as the biggest cattle mutilation wave in that country's history, as well the most pitiful explanation that officialdom has ever offered for an unexplained event (blame for the mutilations was placed on the tiny teeth of oxymycterus rufus, the red-muzzled mouse).

Another mystery was also taking place in concatenation with the mutilation epidemic: the disappearance of thousands of liters of water from huge water tanks on different farmsteads. Journalist Rodolfo Borrego inerviewed some of the parties affected by the inexplicable water loss, verifying that in three separate incidents none of the huge cisterns had fissures or leaks through which these prodigious amounts of water could have vanished. "One of the cases," wrote Borrego," goes back to the month of April, when the owner found his cisterns completely empty on two occasions. There is a third case that is only 20 days old." Similar losses were reported in the vicinity of La Adela and Santa Rosa, where ufologist Oscar "Quique" Mario had looked into cases involving swimming pools being relieved of their contents.

Incidents of water rustling, for want of a better name, have been common in Argentina since the 1950s. Researcher Antonio Las Heras mentioned similar cases occurring in Capilla del Monte, Salta, Trelew and Tres Arroyos--locations scattered far and wide across Argentina. Even more intriguing is that the water losses appear to occur in the proximity of high-voltage wires, leading some ufologists to suggest the likelihood that UFOs draw power and water as part of some type of electrolytic process aimed at propulsion. In other parts of the country plagued by mutilations, casual observers remarked that the enigmatic lights appeared to be following the high-voltage towers and the new potable water aqueducts installed only recently.

At 9:00 p.m. on June 20, 2002, personnel at the Puente Dique bridge over the Rio Colorado saw an object "giving off a powerful red light" whose intensity waxed and waned as it moved in bursts. Jorge Martinez, an operator at the bridge, added: "some say the lights are connected to the dead animals."

When asked about the possible connection between UFOs and reservoir, Argentinean researcher Fabio Zerpa stated that "their spacecraft place themselves wherever high-voltage lines exists, and create events of this sort in places in which water towers or reservoirs can be found."

Whether or not the respected ufologist was right, water continued to vanish mysteriously from the enormous agricultural tanks. On July 28, 2002, Gustavo Dimuro, owner of the Buenavista ranch, was shocked not only to find his cattle mutilated but two of his water tanks completely drained. Dimuro told reporters from the newspaper of nearby Balcarce that he had been surprised by the missing water but thought nothing of it, and replenished both containers. He was utterly bewildered to find his tanks drained clean not once but twice, causing him to conduct a detailed examination of the tank for any hidden leaks in their structure or the concrete slab upon which they rested. To give the reader a better idea of the magnitude of these tanks, they hold an average of twenty to thirty thousand liters of water. Emptying them by conventional means would have involved the use of two or more tanker trucks, which would have left deep and clearly tire marks in the muddy terrain.

On July 9, 2002, a grislier event took place during the Argentinean cattle mutilations that brought missing water and missing cows together in the strangest possible way. The case was brought to the attention of the Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU) Argentinean researcher Alicia Rossi.

In the town of Suco, a cattle ranching community belonging to the department of Rio Cuarto and bordering the province of San Luis, a cattleman known to all for his probity was stunned to find nineteen of his cows floating in the icy cold water of one of his "Australian-type" tanks (water tanks with a hat-like cover). Nine of the bovines were dead from asphyxiation due to immersion in cold water--in the equally frigid language of the veterinarian's report--while the remainder was still alive but in shock from having spent an entire winter's evening inside the tank.

The amazing story was confirmed by police officers belonging to Regional Unit 9, headquartered in Rio Cuarto, and personnel from the Sheriff's Office of the Sampacho District. Yet all the king's horses and all the king's men, so to speak, could not answer the burning question of how nineteen cows had gotten into the giant water tank after crossing a 1.50 meter tall barbed wire fence and then "jumping" into the tank.

The newspaper article boldly states: "Those who have devoted themselves to studying the possible existence of other life forms, of unidentified flying objects and their consequences, offered the challenging possibility that [the even] was the result of what they called "teleportation" and which would somehow "explain" how nineteen animals of great weight and size could have been transported from their common and customary place (a pasture) to a strange place (inside a water tank); an action which in any event, is illogical both in method and objective."

The newspaper article's conclusion reminds us of the UFO theories posited by UFO researcher and author Salvador Freixedo regarding the "illogical and often hostile" aspect of UFO sightings and encounters. There has been discussion in UFO circles since the early years of the phenomenon of acts of outright malice that can be attributed to these unknown objects. Was the alleged teleportation of the cows into the water tank proof that putative space aliens are capable of blunders like ordinary humans? In a humorous vein, one can picture an alien transporteer being chewed out by a superior officer for improperly returning the bovines to their pasture.

But such thoughts of levity vanish immediately upon realizing that cows have been the victims of such misplacement before. In The Dyfed Enigma (London: Faber and Faber,1979) researchers Randall Jones Pugh and F.W. Holiday mention the 1977 happenings at Ripperston Farm in Wales, where UFOs and entities had been reported by the property's owners. One of the events concerned the manner in which a hundred cows had managed to make it past a well-locked gate, marched past the house in silent procession, to wind up at another pasture half a mile away. This transportation of cows from one pasture to another occurred twice in one evening and once in the early morning hours while the dairyman and his son were busy milking the animals. Although Pugh and Holiday wonder if a "poltergeist" force could have been at work, they concluded that "it hardly seemed to explain how several tons of live beef had apparently been spirited away in broad daylight" and wondered if the UFO manifestations could have been responsible. More recently, similar cattle teleportations have been reported in the United States at the Meyer Ranch in Fort Duquesne, Utah.

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