Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By Steve Hammons
West Virginia journalist Kyle Lovern brings us a straightforward, down-to-earth and amazing picture of UFO encounters and other mysteries from his home state in his new book Appalachian Case Study: UFO Sightings, Alien Encounters.
An award-winning writer born and raised in West Virginia, Lovern uses his professional experience from newspaper and radio work in his interviews with other West Virginians about their unusual UFO sightings and other experiences in the Appalachian Mountain region.
He chronicles sixteen separate incidents in which average people came into contact with UFOs, strange creatures and other mysterious situations.
In some cases, Lovern’s interview subjects told him of events long ago – in their childhoods for some of the people. Other accounts reported more recent incidents.
He points out that he used only the most credible cases from highly-reliable witnesses.
At 98 pages in length, the book gets to the point and reports facts and witness accounts in ways that are convincing and very interesting.
SIGHTING AND ENCOUNTER CASES
Most of the book is structured with chapters focusing on each of the 16 cases, although Lovern includes relevant background material at the beginning and end of the book.
In “Sighting One,” 18-year-old Dave, who would later be drafted for the Vietnam War, spots a large somewhat triangular UFO while hunting in the woods. Years later, he has another surprising encounter and may have experienced “missing time.”
“Sighting Two” tells the story of a couple, Bill and Jane, who see a large cigar-shape object. At the same time, their truck engine and electrical system malfunction mysteriously.
In “Sighting Three,” readers learn about the story of a Walt, a man who was 6 years old in 1952 when a bright multi-colored UFO hovered over his rural home. Although his mother witnessed it too, his father seemed in a daze of some kind and did not respond to the extraordinary event.
The sixteen cases are all unique in various ways.
One is a 1966 too-close sighting of the anomalous creature known as the “Mothman” that was seen by many witnesses in West Virginia in the 1960s.
In another incident, a witness named Mary tells of when she was 16 years old in 1955 and saw several cigar-shaped lights flying at tremendous speed over her home in southern West Virginia.
After reading all of Lovern’s 16 cases, readers will get a good picture of the many unusual sightings and fascinating encounters over the decades experienced by West Virginians from all walks of life.
The author notes that West Virginia is not far from Washington, D.C., to the east, or from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to the west in southwestern Ohio where UFO activities have reportedly taken place over the years.
Lovern wonders if these might be factors related to West Virginia sightings.
In a sense, Lovern’s focus on West Virginia can be seen as a microcosm of other parts of the Appalachian Mountain region as well as other unique areas of the U.S. and the world. Ancient legends of UFOs and visitors from elsewhere are found in many cultures around the globe.
Although we think of modern-day UFO sightings as beginning with the “foo fighters” spotted by U.S. air crews during World War II, other research indicates that UFOs were spotted over the U.S. in the 1800s and possibly going back in history for centuries.
MOUNTAIN STATE MYSTERIES
Is there anything else about West Virginia worth looking at when it comes to mysterious phenomena?
The Appalachian Mountain range, sometimes referred to as the Allegheny Mountains, extends approximately 1,500 miles from Alabama north to Newfoundland, Canada.
However, we most often think of the Appalachian region in terms of the southern part of the range, which runs through the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, and portions of the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Georgia.
Spanish explorers in Florida in 1528 encountered a tribe whose name was interpreted as or referred to as the Appalachee, which evolved into the word Appalachia and identified the mountain range to the north.
Many people today think of Appalachia as an economically stressed region known for coal mining and rural mountain life. However, the region has a very rich and ancient history.
West Virginia and the Appalachian region were the homelands of many Native American Indian tribes. Indians who lived West Virginia and the surrounding region include the Shawnee, Mingo and Cherokee. Native Americans had lived there for thousands of years.
Europeans first came to the region primarily in the 1700s and included explorers and settlers of English, Scottish, Scots-Irish – Celtic backgrounds.
In those days, many marriages between these Europeans and Indians occurred. The significant genetic merging of these groups is evident today as many families from the region recall Indian ancestry in the family tree.
The Celtic traditions and Native American Indian cultures both have been a focus of interest by some researchers in regard to unique modes of thinking and awareness, and possibly “anomalous cognition,” a term referring to unique kinds of human perception and experiences.
Lovern’s second book on UFOs and unusual phenomena is due out later this summer. If it is anything like Appalachian Case Study: UFO Sightings, Alien Encounters, it is sure to be a level-headed and factual look at situations that we do not fully understand at this time.
By reading Lovern’s books and getting more information from many sources, we can become more aware of unusual things going on around us, and within us.
Monday, April 20, 2009
By Steve Hammons
According to a CNN report April 20, 2009, former astronaut Edgar Mitchell told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that the basic story of a 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico, is true.
Mitchell was an astronaut on the Apollo 14 mission to the moon in 1971 and he spoke at the National Press Club after the fifth annual X-Conference, an event focused on research involving UFOs.
CNN reported that Mitchell told journalists that there is firm knowledge that extraterrestrial life exists and this information is being held back from the general public in the U.S. and internationally.
Mitchell was raised in Roswell and knew many of the townspeople there. He said they confided to him years later about what they knew, although they had been told to keep the information quiet.
In addition, Mitchell said that about 10 years ago a Navy admiral working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed to him that a UFO had crashed at Roswell.
Citing the existence of evidence, Mitchell stated, “No, we're not alone.”
ROSWELL AND SECURITY
Mitchell’s statements are not surprising to many researchers and average citizens. Other people might find Mitchell’s comments unsettling because there is also a natural skepticism about claims of UFOs and visitation to Earth by beings from other planets (and/or dimensions).
Claims of this kind coming from a respected and highly-trained person like Mitchell are not easily dismissed.
Information about an alleged crash of a spacecraft piloted by intelligent beings has been around for decades. Books, articles, movies and TV shows have told the story.
However, thinking about the possible reality of such a situation leads to many other questions: What else has happened in the area of UFOs? Have we made contact with other civilizations visiting our planet? Are they friend or foe? Can they help us solve some of the problems of the human race? Why has there been so much secrecy?
In the many accounts and tales about the Roswell incident, it is often noted that in the summer of 1947 the U.S. had just ended a devastating period during World War II. Military secrecy and security had been of the utmost importance during the war.
Some of the first people to learn about the Roswell crash were Army Air Corps (forerunner of the U.S. Air Force) personnel from the nearby Roswell Army Air Field, including intelligence officers.
Despite an intriguing press release that was issued to the media by the RAAF public information officer about a flying saucer being obtained by base officials, higher command quickly dismissed the story as a case of mistaken identity – the debris found was actually a weather balloon-type device, news reporters were told.
Behind the scenes of such a scenario, it would be logical to consider that the Truman administration, Pentagon and intelligence officials would have been shocked and concerned, both about the incident itself and the psychological, emotional and social ramifications for Americans.
ACCLIMATION THEN AND NOW
Are we any more psychologically prepared today than in 1947? Mitchell seems to think so. And so do many other researchers.
Despite the perceived need for robust security reportedly involved in the Roswell incident and subsequent developments, some researchers say that the American public has slowly and steadily received “acclimation” to get used to the idea of extraterrestrial visitors.
Some of this acclimation has allegedly been through the entertainment media and in fictional form as well as the management of information carefully released in indirect ways to the public.
American kids raised on TV and movies since the 1950s have become used to the idea of extraterrestrials coming to Earth. Of course, a real-life situation takes exciting movie adventures to another level and could naturally cause anxiety.
We humans don’t have a great track record getting along with each other, let alone extraterrestrial beings who might be quite different from ourselves.
In addition to strange visitors, the situation could be quite complex. Our understanding of science and nature, the Universe, spirituality and even the human race itself could be given quite a shock.
If Mitchell is accurate in his statements, then certainly much has been learned since 1947 by people who have been given the task of handling such an important and complex situation. How much information is the public able to understand and accept? Is it good news or bad news, or a mixture of both?
If the Roswell incident was real, as Mitchell claims, what has been going on since that time related to extraterrestrial visitors? Were some of the security measures, scientific research and other activities questionable – either by human officials or visitors?
One thing seems clear, Mitchell has moved the ball forward on acclimation of our society and people internationally about the possibility, or probability, that the human race and Earth are being visited from elsewhere and that we need to prepare ourselves.
Friday, April 10, 2009
By Steve Hammons
Does current scientific understanding have connections with ancient accounts of mystical and metaphysical phenomena?
When we hear modern scientists discussing parallel dimensions and mysterious discoveries, can we draw any conclusions about traditional legends of the “First Americans,” Native American Indians?
As we learn about the stories from the Hopi and other tribes regarding visitors from the stars, do we wonder if there is an association with modern-day reports of UFOs?
In 2005, NASA helped promote “Sun-Earth Day,” an observation and celebration that happens on or near the spring equinox each year. As part of this activity, the NASA Web site featured the section “Ancient Observations, Timeless Knowledge” and a sub-section called “Native American Connections.”
MYSTICAL WOMAN, SACRED PIPE
Among the Native American Indian scholars, astronauts and others featured on the site, a brief biographical overview of Joseph Chasing Horse is included.
The NASA site explains that Chasing Horse is a Lakota and “ambassador to the United Nations for the Lakota Sioux Nations, an ordained Sundance chief and a descendant of the great spiritual leader, Crazy Horse.”
The NASA site also notes that, “With expertise in the fields of educational and environmental issues, he has worked with NASA. As a cross cultural consultant he has assisted JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in developing Lakota Star Knowledge curriculum. He also serves as liaison between NASA and many traditional Indian communities …”
In addition, the NASA site points out that Chasing Horse, “serves as emissary to … the nineteenth caretaker of the sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe.”
What is the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, and what meaning does it have for us today?
From other online resources, we can learn about the time long past – said to be 2,000 years ago – when a mystical being came to the Lakota. Her name was White Buffalo Calf Woman.
Other Native American Indian tribes reportedly have similar legends of such a being.
According to Chasing Horse, “They say a cloud came down from the sky, and off of the cloud stepped the white buffalo calf. As it rolled onto the earth, the calf stood up and became this beautiful young woman who was carrying the sacred bundle in her hand.”
“She spent four days among our people and taught them about the sacred bundle, the meaning of it.”
“When she was done teaching all our people, she left the way she came. She went out of the circle, and as she was leaving she turned and told our people that she would return one day for the sacred bundle. And she left the sacred bundle, which we still have to this very day,” Chasing Horse said.
“The sacred bundle is known as the White Buffalo Calf pipe because it was brought by the White Buffalo Calf Woman. It is kept in a sacred place … by a man who is known as the keeper of the White Buffalo Calf pipe.”
Chasing Horse tells us, “When White Buffalo Calf Woman promised to return again, she made some prophecies at that time. One of those prophesies was that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it would be near the time when she would return again to purify the world. What she meant by that was that she would bring back harmony again and balance, spiritually.”
CONNECTING THE DOTS
As the human race struggles today with many problems and challenges around the world, we might find valuable information in ancient accounts, such as that of the White Buffalo Calf Woman and the sacred pipe.
Here in North America, we have many direct links to the ancient perceptions of Native American Indian peoples. Not only do we have a vast array of historical literature and tribal stories available, but millions of Americans today have Indian ancestry.
In addition to single-tribe full-blood Indians, many people are a mix of two or more tribes. Other Americans have a diverse blend of European and Indian bloodlines. Black and Hispanic Americans also often have Native American Indian DNA within their genetic backgrounds.
In fact, this reality may be not fully understood because many American families do not even remember those long-ago Indian ancestors far back in the family tree.
But, could greater awareness associated with this situation be emerging now? Is the consciousness that people like Joseph Chasing Horse describes rising in America today?
Research into DNA mapping is really just beginning, as are the connections between our DNA, consciousness and even more unconventional theories about human genetics.
Significant scientific discoveries in many fields seem to be pointing toward unusual and surprising developments that make connections between our modern world and ancient understanding. These connections cross different fields of study. They provide a more cohesive picture derived from joint studies and observations.
They may fit in to a new kind of transcendent awareness about Nature and the reality around us and within us.
As we consider the possibilities of emerging new consciousness and understanding, we might wonder about the ancient Lakota reports of the White Buffalo Calf Woman.
Does she represent the qualities of Nature, Earth and the Universe (or “multiverse”) that we are reconnecting with today? Will she be returning soon? And if so, how?
Visit the NASA Native American Connections site at: http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2005/na/
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
By Steve Hammons
Is the U.S. prepared for public, daylight, high-profile UFO encounters? Do average adults, teens and children have adequate mental and emotional preparedness for visible and indisputable extraterrestrial and/or inter-dimensional visitation?
Are our public health and safety officials ready to handle possible ramifications of such an event?
To explore these important questions, it may be instructive to look at the March 13, 1997, so-called "Phoenix lights" case.
When the Phoenix lights incident took place, it was early evening and already dark. This undoubtedly minimized the number of residents who actually observed what was reported to be a huge V-shaped object with large lights underneath.
If this had occurred during daylight, would there have been more anxiety by the public?
In many alleged UFO cases, an object quickly zips by at high speed and is gone in the blink of an eye. In other cases, sightings or encounters reportedly occur in isolated regions, where there are few human witnesses.
Since the object over Phoenix in 1997 was said to be very large, slow-moving and maintained a fairly low altitude, it would have been very visible over a length of time by millions of people if seen during daylight.
Feelings of anxiety would be very normal on the part of people who were seeing something they had never seen before. Their first impressions might be that there were two main explanations for such a large unidentified object: a U.S. craft or a ship piloted by non-humans.
Once the thought process considered both options and concluded that the latter explanation was more likely, more natural questions might come to mind.
The relatively few Phoenix residents who experienced these feelings and thoughts in 1997 would be multiplied by millions.
Feelings of fear or panic can be contagious, spreading rapidly to create a human social climate. This would be a concern for public health and safety officials, and for the general public if a significant daylight UFO event were to occur over a major city.
It can be argued that concerns of this kind may be part of the reasons for the alleged secrecy of the U.S. government's handling of the UFO situation.
THEN AND NOW
In the late 1940s, the U.S. had just emerged from the trauma of World War II. As the '50s began, the Cold War with the Soviet Union commenced. Fear of attacks on U.S. soil was part of both WWII and the Cold War.
Sightings of UFOs were becoming more frequent and some Americans were naturally somewhat unsophisticated about what these might mean.
If accounts of federal government inside activities during those decades are correct, there was anxiety in Washington, D.C., about a possible invasion or infiltration of a new kind of adversary – intelligent non-human ones.
The reasonable conclusions that these visitors were probably much more advanced technologically, and possibly in other ways, than humans also would have caused government leaders to worry.
As a result, it would be logical for them react with high levels of security, secrecy and discretion regarding public reaction to such a scenario. It could be that programs to prepare and acclimate the public on these topics was implemented.
Now, in 2009, Americans appear to be more sophisticated about the possibilities or probabilities that UFOs and other anomalous phenomena may be real, and may be something quite complex, sensitive and unusual.
Movies, TV shows, books and other media platforms have tackled the themes of unusual situations such as UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation to our planet. Sometimes the visitors are friendly, sometimes hostile, and sometimes fairly neutral.
Maybe this is also the case in real life.
For most of us, the situation is unclear and we can only evaluate the available information and use our own intelligence, common sense and gut feelings to try to get an understanding of what might be going on.
Considering all the possibilities and outcomes from something like a daylight version of the Phoenix lights incident might help our communities and society prepare for that kind of contingency.