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With the War on Terror and various other news issues taking up all of the limelight as of late, one of my old passions, UFO's Real and Imagined, has been at a low heartbeat. This blog is meant to be a small crash cart in an otherwise quiet area of investigation.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Portage County Analysis 

(My apologies to those of you who may have been waiting to hear more on this case. As reality will have it, the coming end of the year has been a very busy time on all accounts, so it has taken me much longer to get back to this. However, back I am.)

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Now, there are a number of things that stand out very strongly with the Portage County case, and point directly to theories offered in Mr. Hill’s work. For me, it was startling just how well this set of events meshes in with field-propelled UFO’s.

First of all, let’s tackle the reported shape of the object. Per Spaur and Neff, its initial appearance was rounded on top, with a cone-shaped light underneath, like a “partly melted ice cream cone”. It also quite brilliantly lit up the whole area, even the interior of their patrol car. The “ice-cream cone” descriptor is very commonly reported, so this links this sighting with a long chain of other sightings. Hill had a strong idea of why this particular geometry is so prevalent.

The energies produced in field propulsion and maneuvering would induce a plasma sheath around the UFO, directed as a vector away and essentially normal from the base of object. Additionally, as the field is energized for propulsion in steady-state equilibrium with gravity, that force vector will extend proportionally to exertion against gravity. This produces, in turn, a surrounding field with an elongated cone-like region earthward, the point of which pushes along the UFO in flight. This would be consistent with what the two men reported cresting the nearby trees.

Another tie to Hill’s theories is that of the hum reported by Spaur. I find the Hum aspect one of the most fascinating things so often reported in UFO events. Let’s consider a quote from Spaur:


“The only thing, the only sound in the whole area was a hum... like a
transformer being loaded or an overloaded transformer when it changes..."


The “transformer” description of the sound is important on its own, strictly because it ascribes a mechanical, cyclical nature to field. Changes in the operation and performance of UFO seemed to be linked with the character of the hum, as well, which certainly hints at the idea of changing field energies and geometry. Most strikingly to me, however, is the fact that the hum seemed to be the only sound. Not that it was necessarily loud, but that it permeated the area. If indeed the field was cycling, since fields directly act on the environment, that would mean that the hum very likely was a direct sensing of that oscillation. The oscillation would sensibly be almost more felt than heard, and the ears in particular would be cycled in time with field to the exclusion of pretty much any genuine sounds.

Linking these two field senses together, the hum and the field geometry, is reporting of how the UFO maneuvered. The hum and brightness seemed to increase as the object accelerated. As with a transformer powering up, the hum of the field presumably increased as the UFO’s power needs increased. Likewise, changes in direction from steady state would require a change in the vector, which is achieved by changes in two factors:

1. Change in vector magnitude (i.e., increase/decrease the power)
2. Change in vector direction.

I think we’ve generally covered factor #1, at least in the sense that I think we all understand that a change in speed, or more specifically inertia, requires a change in force. In the case of the Portage object, the tilting of the vector’s platform requires that more field energy would be required to keep the UFO from loosing altitude. Speaking of the tilt, this changes the vector from having a purely hovering set of forces to a set of forces that has a horizontal component in relation to the ground.

A final area we need to consider is the way the character of the field-induced plasma changed during the encounter. Those involved in the events noticed that when the UFO increased speed or changed direction, the visual intensity of the plasma increased. This is consistent with the idea that the plasma gained energy as the field was increased, which only makes sense. That is, of course, assuming we are speaking of a plasma. Based on later observations of the object, I feel safe in making that assumption.

The chase began in the pre-dawn hours, so that meant the skies were still dark. During this phase, the plasma glow was one of the brightest objects in the sky, and was clearly defined in its geometry. As a matter of fact, since it was the main source of emitted light in the area, whatever was underneath the plasma sheath wouldn’t be visible.

What happened later, as the sun came up, is classic plasma optics. While the plasma may have been quite bright in the dark, the light emission from sunlight would by far overpower that of the plasma. What then occurs is that the object under the plasma would suddenly be reflecting the much stronger ambient sunlight, and its shape, texture, and color would be come evident. This precisely what the observers reported.

The only puzzling thing for me in the report is that while the solid UFO became visible, and the plasma for all intents and purposes invisible, there was a residual luminosity. While it is merely speculation on my part, it seems possible that a local skin-like field was being employed independently of the propulsive field. This is in line with some discussion by Hill of the use of fields to lessen or negate aerodynamic heating that comes from the high accelerations reported.

So, as far as the close encounter is concerned, let’s sum up: With the Portage County UFO, we have a craft that tilts to maneuver, in along with an increase of field power to maintain altitude. In conjunction, this power increase is evidenced by reporters feeling a hum rising in pitch as UFO performance increased. Likewise, the intensity of the field-induced plasma increased proportionally with the performance increases. This set of factors deviate in no way from the type of UFO propulsion Mr. Paul Hill theorized. None.

Of course, there was a further component to the events of that morning, and that would be the departure of the UFO. Once the object had changed appearance with the coming dawn, apparently it was time for it to leave for parts unknown. This may or may have been due to the scramble of military jets from a local air base. The collected witnesses involved in the ground pursuit watched as the UFO rose very quickly and straight up from the ground.

Expanding the size of the geographical witness base were some Salem, Ohio police officers. They watched the UFO at altitude as it made its exit, with the jets in hot pursuit. Interestingly, the planes produced contrails in-flight, while the UFO generated none. This would be consistent with a propulsion mode other than relatively hot jet or rocket thrust. Indeed, something along the lines of direct application of force using a field would fit the bill.

One more thing to note about the high-altitude chase phase of this event is that a jet trainer pilot reported a hum upon a close pass of the UFO. The Hum! It’s a consistent feature in the reporting of the whole extended chase event, and is important in this segment in particular. Whereas it might be possible to claim that the hum as an actual sound when reported from Spaur’s patrol car, the idea that the pilot of the trainer could “hear” anything from outside his aircraft is highly unlikely. Jet aircraft, from passenger models to high-speed fighters are very noisy beasts. A hum heard from outside would be more as I said earlier – I would really have to be felt. This goes along, again, with the concepts Paul Hill has put forth that UFO’s use Field Propulsion to get around.

There are many cases that have bits and pieces of all of these factors, but in my limited study of specific UFO sighting reports, I have yet to find one that so well illustrates the solidity of Hill’s theories. There is much to build on with a case like this, if only in showing the public where science indeed meshes tightly with Ufology.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Portage County - Update 

Hello folks. Modern life is getting in the way of truly explaining this story at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get my thoughts posted.

Sorry for the wait...
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Portage County Backgrounder 

I thought that before I go into a technological dissertation on why the case below is so interesting to me, I might condense it for folks to read. It’s really an intriguing case.


The Portage County UFO Chase

April 17, 1966
~5:00am

Links:
1. The synopsis I have condensed for discussion: http://ufologie.net/htm/portage66.htm
2. Richard Hall’s report for NICAP: http://ufologie.net/htm/portage66hall.htm#doc
3. Mr. Weitzel's investigation details in a letter to Prof. William Powers, here: http://ufologie.net/htm/portage66weitzel.htm#doc


Shortly before dawn during a check of an abandoned vehicle, Portage County, Ohio Sheriff Deputy Dale Spaur and Wilbur "Barney" Neff (a sheriff’s auxiliary) saw a steadily brightening object rise from about ground level and crest the trees behind them. The object was about fifty feet in diameter, with a bright, well-defined light beam shining down from the bottom. Its initial appearance was rounded on top, with a cone-shaped light underneath, like a “partly melted ice cream cone”. According to the duo:

"When Barney Neff saw the object he just stood there with his mouth open for a
minute as bright as it was, and he looked down. And I started looking down and I
looked at my hands and my clothes weren't burning or anything, when it stopped
right over on top of us. The only thing, the only sound in the whole area was a
hum... like a transformer being loaded or an overloaded transformer when it
changes..." 1


The UFO tilted forward to produce forward acceleration, with the light acting similar to “a flashlight which, when aimed down, throws a beam to the rear when tilted forward.” 3 The hum and brightness seemed to increase as it accelerated, as well.


Feeling some need for protection, they bolted for their patrol car. By this time, the whole area was very brightly lit, with the UFO being about 250 feet distant. After consulting their sergeant by radio, they were ordered to follow the object. They did so, at speeds upwards of 100 mph, heading generally east on State Route 224. As they paced the object, it maintained an altitude between 300 and 500 feet. Interestingly, at two locations (Canfield and Deerfield, OH) the object appeared to slow down to “wait” for Spaur and Neff to catch up.

From Richard Hall’s NICAP report:


“As the sky became brighter with predawn light, Spaur and Neff saw the UFO in
silhouette, with a vertical projection at its rear. The object began to take on
a metallic appearance as the chase continued. Spaur kept up a running
conversation with other police cars that were trying to catch up with them. Once
when they made a wrong turn at an intersection, the object stopped, then turned
and came back to their position.” 2

Officer H. Wayne Huston of East Palestine, Ohio joined in the chase, having been monitoring the associated radio traffic. He sat waiting for the group to cross his location, and then swung in behind to join the pursuit. Soon, they crossed over the state lines into Pennsylvania, where they were joined by Frank Panzenella, a Conway, PA police officer. According to Panzenella:


"The object was the shape of half a football, was very bright and about 25 to 35
feet in diameter.... The object continued to go upward until it got as small as
a ballpoint pen. Relative to the moon, the object was quite distant and to the
left of the moon. We all four watched the object shoot straight up and
disappear." 3

At about this time, as dawn began to break, the apparent brightness of the UFO diminished, though it still retained a self-luminescence. The top portion at the rear of the object, with some protruding structure, was not self-luminous. The UFO soon stopped, and the four officers exited their cars to watch. A radio call went up for a jet scramble, and at about that time the object left the area at high speed and essentially straight up.

A few other no-so-local observers from the Salem police department also watched as the UFO made its exit, with three jets (presumably those scrambled) in pursuit. These jets all produced contrails in flight, whereas the UFO did not. This part of story was estimated to take place at between 10000 and 20000 feet. In related information, a news report said that a jet trainer had flown close to the object, and reported a hum.

I’ll get back to the importance of all of all this tomorrow.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Classics Revisited - Portage County UFO 


I don't have time to do a full entry here, but suffice it to say, the Portage County UFO case is one of the more intriguing accounts I've heard in my short time as a Ufologist. It involves multiple law-enforcement witnesses, extensive documentation by NICAP, and investigation forced upon Major Hector Quintanilla of Project Blue Book.

Hynek went into enough specifics (and some intrigue) to completely draw me in with his account in The UFO Experience, that I have to follow up on the story. In particular, the very detailed description of the reported object follows right along with the expectations outlined with Hill's work.

I'm starting here:

http://ufologie.net/htm/portage66.htm

I'll be back with more when I've read more myself.
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Old Classics and New 

You ask most folks, and UFO’s mean to them “flying saucers”. Never mind the fact that the original appellation was meant to convey the motion of the crescent-shaped objects sighted by Kenneth Arnold in the summer of 1947. Arnold likened them to “saucers skipping on water”, and of course, they were in a formation flight. However, in the media’s ever-intensifying quest to simplify events, the two sighting characteristics were illogically linked as “flying saucers”. So stuck the name, and the coining of the old ufological classic.

Soon the image popularized by movies, books, and talk shows stuck as well. To be fair, a great number of sighted objects have been reported as saucer-like in shape. Given my discussion of Paul Hill’s work in the technical explanation of UFO physics, there is good reason to expect that the symmetrical disc shape is a common one. Of course, there are many symmetries to consider, so I take the position that disc configurations are not the only way to go. A new classic is certainly possible.

In the preceding decade, a new crop of UFO reports began to surface in mass numbers: Flying Triangles. To this day, they are still often reported. While they do not demonstrate the two-axis symmetry of a disk, they certainly are indeed symmetrical in ways we are used to seeing with our conventional aircraft and spacecraft. Despite how some may dismiss triangle UFO’s as a provincial concept because of this familiarity in configuration, I disagree in how strongly this criticism can be applied. I think there are sound technical reasons that would make triangular craft desirable.

Hill’s treatment of field manipulation for propulsion involved the use of devices that project a field to achieve propulsion and to protect the presumed occupants from the acceleration forces deduced from reports. He even produced a scheme of mapping out the number and position of field centers required to achieve the kind of performance expected by a UFO. The application of this scheme tends to include discs in Hill’s work, but a triangle would possess a symmetry that would be useful. So there is no compelling reason to discount the idea.

Other motivations for a triangular approach are economy of design and usage. It should go without saying that if UFO’s are real objects in a real universe, then that real universe also places limitations on their configurations.

As for the economy aspect, it is generally simpler to construct an object that is symmetrical in just one axis, that in multiple. Issues of how a particular UFO design is used come in to play, and the triangle shape is possibly one of the well-suited designs for a fast-travel transport. Given a wedge of field effects created by the machinery inside, a bias towards linear travel could be created.

The latter question of usage is what I’ll be focusing on in a project I’m starting. Imagine that a triangular UFO has a subassembly of “field nodes” used for propulsion and occupant inertial protection, giving a certain resemblance to an arrowhead. As with actual arrowheads, the tip is in the line of flight when in motion, so the UFO would have a field vector already biased toward forward motion, rather than a bias towards a hover. The triangle UFO would be a fast mover, a hot rod of sorts.

What I would really like to accomplish are a few things:

1. Create an interactive design database of field node geometries, wherein certain critical data for UFO size, performance, and shape are entered and adjusted to show optimization. This would be a strong start on characterizing the technologies needed for real R&D.

2. Create a simulation of a basic saucer craft, with an eye on applying it in an actual analog vehicle for flight control experiments.

3. Create another simulation for the “Arrowhead”, also with some expectation of a test vehicle in the future.

I’ll let you all in on my progress as time goes by.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

New Questions Born of the Old 

On the UFOUpdates mailing list, there has been some discussion of how to “get the message out” regarding Ufology. Of course, we’ve been trying to tell non-ufologists what we are looking into for years, so this is not a new question. Of course, it periodically becomes a rediscovered one, and we are staring the beast in the face once again.

Truly, how do we inform the public of why we investigate and why it should be important to them? One would think you would be able to just tell people by word of mouth, or with media, but there is a certain difficulty along those routes. An atmosphere of official ridicule was established long ago. Even open acknowledgement of this manufactured climate of scorn is itself laughed at and deemed lunacy. How annoying!

I perceive a bit of wear and tear in this engineered mockery, so I think that this is a really good time to readdress the question. Here's my take for what it's worth:

I think there is continued value in tracking trends, patterns, and empirical characteristics of UFO's and related phenomena. If Ufology can continue to build the clearinghouse of data on the subject, that's all to the good. If we can find a way to inform people in a serious, credible, and digestible way, that's all to the better. So we keep pulling together sighting reports and publishing, but go the extra mile in simply and unabashedly telling others that the clearinghouse exists.

That's a hurdle I've personally had to make, and recently it is like a switch has been flipped for me. I tell people I'm a Ufologist, a second career. No matter their reaction, my confidence, finally after many years of internal apprehension, is unshaken. That would be the "assuming a serious lack of funding approach".

To tackle the "assuming unlimited funding" approach, I can only speak for myself. I am interested and generally engaged upon many of the discussed aspects of our field. However, being just a single human with many other pragmatic things tugging at me, I have to narrowly restrict what aspect I act upon. Being an engineer, the restriction is obvious.

If UFO's are craft of some sort, technological and physical, what makes them work?

I devote myself to that. With the limited funds I have, I have some plans that have an unpleasantly long timeline. If I won the Powerball (i.e., unlimited funding) I would devote myself to building and testing apparatus for study of those things that interest me.

Unlimited funding? Do what interests you, see where it properly fits in with others' interests, then publicize the findings, produce products for sale, and generally move down an R&D path to perpetuate new learning to complete the loop.

If Ufology could produce at least one physical and practical benefit for the rest of the world, then the rest of the world will begin to care. The rest of world may even begin to understand why we think Ufology is important.
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Monday, October 17, 2005

A Handy Definition 

In a recent comment to UFO Glow the term "Stochastic" was used to describe the normal excitation colors in nature, such as that by lightning energizing the atmosphere. For the casual readers of this blog, I thought it might be a term worthy of definition. (I confess that I had to look it up myself.)

From Wikipedia: "An example of a stochastic process in the natural world is pressure in a gas. Even though each molecule is moving deterministically, a collection of them is unpredictable (this is an example of chaos arising from order). A large enough set of molecules will exhibit stochastic characteristics, such as filling the container, exerting equal pressure, diffusing along concentration gradients, etc."

So, in short, stochastic systems are random collections of non-random elements. Speficially, in the case of the atmosphere surrounding a UFO, if the propulsion mode wasn't field-like, the distinct colors and color boundaries would not be in evidence. The plasma colors are NOT typically stochastic for UFO reports.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stochastic
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