Ye Oldest UFO Photo
The oldest UFO photo… New Hampshire, Mt. Washington..? You can find a reference to this photo many places on the internet now. Again most such references are copycat. Many refer to the purchase on Ebay of the original. Most have nothing beyond that regarding the provenance of this photo. And most, with an occasional negative remark about its appearance, seem to accept it as genuine. There are even sites that purport to show the discovery of a swastika on its surface..! And images of such…
New Hampshire is weird… with or without this photo. With or without the Hill’s nightmare… I think it will have to do without this photo… it seems around that time, the year is 1870, there was an expedition that scaled Mt. Washington. There is even a book on Google about the expedition.
And this photo is without a doubt one of the pictures from that adventure. Here is, from a forum on the internet, one of the few places to discuss the provenance of the photo…
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?
In the foreground are frost formations on Lizzie Bourne’s cairn, just below the summit of Washington on a day with high overcast. (A cairn is a purpose-built pile of rocks). This is a very close photo. The “mystery” object is only a few inches long. There is a clear demarcation between ground and sky in the background on what was a rare winter day with moderate visibility. The background below the horizon line is wind-sculpted ice and snow, not clouds.
So what is it…
Using a period stereoscope or magnifying glass and/or having some familiarity with the gear and/or process a scientist would use, it is perfectly clear that the object is a wooden “standard”. That’s just a fancy name for a ruler, in this case, a folding ruler. Expedition members carried them to make observations like snow depth, rime accumulation, etc. They even complained about losing or breaking them in poor weather. You are looking at a ruler placed on a snow-covered cairn to scale an object in featureless terrain. Yes, it is that boring. No mystery zeppelins here. Sorry believers, it’s another hoax.
See details here.
So. Just what is the oldest UFO photo..? See here and below… actually Jose Bonilla and his images of ‘craft’ crossing the Sun’s disc from 1883 in Mexico, the Zacatecas Observatory, may be one of the best contenders for this honor. And here is another interesting collection of older photos.
Yesterday, after exchanging one brand of television, recently purchased at one of our neighborhood’s redoubtable WalMarts , for another nearer our hearts desire- namely one that works- and after successfully breaking into the box, always a bit of a challenge, setting it up with the remote re-awakened an old memory of the Interocitor. The Interocitor, per Wikipedia, is an alien communications device with strange and wonderful properties.
Indeed. First exposure to the possibilities of this device in This Island Earth probably is at least responsible, in some small way, for setting me on the yellow brick road I find myself still on today- finding in myself a strange resonance within harkening to the possibility of contact- or its eventuality- probing the Hill abduction, a classic close encounter of the so-called fourth kind, not quite convinced of its report of aliens abroad in our world, or the star map pointing to their origin in another star system.
You know Barney Hill was a part of many things beyond this abduction, other than this abduction, a black man in a white world he had joined the NAACP, well yes he had met the enemy on several fronts, fighting to end discriminatory hiring practices, had received an appointment to the civil liberties commission in New Hampshire, founded the Rockingham Community Action program, not to mention his service in World War II, all this and more- a committeeman with the Boy Scouts among other things- not only took second place but was almost completely overshadowed by the account of the abduction when he left our world.
Would it not be a wonderful thing to use the Interocitor to communicate with Barney Hill? Perhaps it could do even that, it was a weapon as well as a communications device, a pilot, a controller, really it was something more in the nature of Turing’s universal computer. The physicist in This Island Earth first establishes communication with an alien named Exeter via the interocitor. Strangely reminiscent of that area in New Hampshire where other sightings were reported just a few years after the Hill abduction.
The book that comes with the device yet to be assembled, Electronic Service, Unit #16, reminds me of the book Betty forgot, or rather was instructed not to take with her by the Leader, her version of Exeter. Her story paints him as an Indian giver… To quote Wikipedia yet again:
Inside is contained a bill of materials for the interocitor, describing it as, “incorporating greater advances than hitherto known in the field of electronics”.
Uh… like wow!
The part of the world UFOlogy opens its window on, that Fort opened his window on, that glen or wooded haunt the fairies inhabit, this shadowy realm all the reports and all those windows and the many others that have been opened, but cannot do more than suggest its reality, reminds me much of that fight with shadows Syme finds himself in the middle of in The Man Who was Thursday. We are a long way from UFOs and aliens with Chesterton… or are we?
Was there anything that was apart from what it seemed? The Marquis had taken off his nose and turnedout to be a detective. Might he not just as well take off his head and turn out to be a hobgoblin? Was not everything, after all, like this bewildering woodland, this dance of dark and light? Everything only a glimpse, the glimpse always unforeseen, and always forgotten.
This hasn’t been a summary of their case, or a detailed probe, but a species of sideways glance, an averted stare, as if we were sending a probe to another planet and looking askance at the images it returns, looking at the edges of the Hill affair, is there something just beyond that bluff? The affair seems to be surrounded by illusions, the Wednesday phenomenon, the oldest UFO photo, Barney and his purloined heart, the Serpo exchange program, the Zeti Reticuli companion, oh lest we not forget, the forbidden book, even Bob Lazar and his tall tale(s) are not out of place in this set of ‘illusions’ on the edge of our vision.
The Trade Winds Affair
Last night, for no reason whatsoever I thought about a cafeteria I passed many times when I was in high school. Just a passing thought. It was many years ago now. And in truth though I had actually been inside probably no more than a handfull of times I ended up standing outside of it, lost in thought, a great deal more often.
I had picked up a book, one I had not looked at since a couple of nights ago, but hadn’t looked at before that in literally years. Arktos. It is subtitled The Myth of the Pole in Science, Symbolism and Nazi Survival. The very first page I turned to, and the first words I saw on that page, was a paragraph beginning with the words Trade Winds. That cafeteria, or restaurant I remembered standing outside so many years ago, well it went by that same name.
Now this seems no big deal. A kind of weird coincidence but not something you write home about. Out of curiosity I googled Betty and Barney Hill and Trade Winds and found that John Fuller’s first published article leading to his book Incident at Exeter was published in the Trade Winds column of the Saturday Evening Post.
This ‘synchronicity’ really struck me the other night, after picking up Arktos again, but I had probably read the passage before, a night or two previous to that, and it may have had something to do with the seemingly very stray thought re the Trade Winds Cafeteria (I have to admit it seems unlikely to me still it is a possibility)- now I went to high school in Melbourne, Florida and the link I provided is really to a Trade Winds Restaurant at a golf club in that city- not the ‘cafeteria’ I used to haunt- just to show the name isn’t out of place out there- the ‘cafeteria’ has probably long since disappeared- still the link to the Saturday Night Post article is curious.
Really I have covered a lot of ground in my thought processes re the Hill adventure and probably came across this article or a reference to it at some point in the past and it may have been stuck in the recesses of my memory. Of course the expression trade winds is derivative and has its origin in trade routes, which from the alien’s point of view was what the star map Betty seemed to remember was all about. She said she was told that theheavy lines marked regular trade routes, and the broken lines recordedvarious space expeditions. (Quote from Interrupted Journey.)
Not Silent Contactees
The whole issue of silent contactees, and Keel talks about this group in Trojan Horse, seems far from the Hill abduction. They- well Betty more than Barney- were anything but silent. Yet this obviously needs qualification; they were not out to tell it from the highest mountain either. They tended to avoid publicity but I think sought sympathy and understanding.
The following is from the book Taken by Dr. Karla Turner:
On a secondary level, there are events that occur, not during encounters, but subsequent to them, affecting things in the abductee’s normal environment. Lights and electronic equipment malfunction; voices and unexplained sounds are heard; animals are physiologically affected; lights appear both inside and outside the house; there are odd and disturbing phone calls; and sometimes traces of a UFO’s presence or landing on the property.
What is significant, however, is the high percentage of the women who have had unusual or serious gynecological problems,an indication that abduction experiences may be hazardous to their health.
From Talks with Betty Hill:
On many occasions neighbors have reported to the police that prowlers were seen looking in the windows. Her phone frequently rings, but when she answer there is not one on the line. A typical episode occurred when Barney was alive, abd gus ciysub Nargem wgi kuves ub Baltimore, kept dialing the Hills in Portsomouth. She did this four times until someone came on the line and said; “The Hills are not home. They’ve gone to a meeting and the won’t be home until 11:50.” Betty added, that the ‘someone’ even told Marge where we had gone for the meeting, the name of the organization – the whole bit. My gues is that the telephone operator got tired of listening to Marge dialing. Suffice it to say that Betty had some unusual experiences after the abduction. She had many before as well.
And from Interrupted Journey:
The doctor then asks Betty about her general background, her early days, her family influence, and her experience with an inter racial marriage. Under hypnosis she reveals a better-than-average adjustment to the problems of the mixed marriage and the fact that she is unable to have children because of an operation. The doctor then goes on to explore Bettys general reactions the night of the incident.
Also from Taken:
A variety of alien instruments are reported in these procedures, but the most common here are the wand-type device, found in four accounts, and the small metal box,usually black, which is reported by three women.
Now the closest we come to these paraphernalia in the Hill’s account is the needle they use to probe Betty’s abdomen, ostensibly a pregnancy test, and of course the forbidden book. These are simulacra of the above mentioned instruments. And there are other parallels with later abductions accounts. What do we make of these parallels?
Probably, we should add this comment from Passport to Magonia, apropos to the subject of ‘paraphernalia’ as well:
First, it is interesting to note that, as further details came to the Hills’ memories after treatment, the case took on more of the features present in other UFO landings, of which the Hills could not have heard. One such detail is the recollection by Betty Hill that, after their car was stopped and a group of “men” had come toward them, the creatures had opened the door of the vehicle and pointed a small device at her. When I asked her to what usual object she could compare it, she told me, “It could have been a pencil.”
The Sneaky One
Betty reports that at one point they were able to record their communications on tape with an alien. The woman who had the tape promised a copy to Betty but died and she does not know what happened to that tape. Somewhere out there I hope it still exists and someday it will be found. Betty is just so darn used to having UFOs and aliens as a part of her life she takes little interest in the gathered items she’s collected and has stored away throughout her home. You would almost be tempted to think that some of the stories she tells are the ramblings of an 84 year old woman who has a very vivid imagination or has lost touch with reality. But in reality, Betty is as solid as the granite rock that the state of New Hampshire itself sits upon. Betty is a no-nonsense kind of woman. Even in her advanced age she is quick-witted, agile, and has a good strong mind for dates, names and facts. I for one would never want to have to come up against her in a court of law. She is that convincing...
The mother ship seems to be the biggest and stays the farthest out and smaller and smaller ships are launched as they come down closer to the planet. Betty says most people see the smaller ships that come to observe. However, there is a craft that comes in that she calls a “sneaky one.” It will come right down in close to a populated area and set down in a wooded area. The craft looks like a house with a pitched roof and the windows are lighted so that it looks like someone is home with the lights on. Betty said if you passed it while driving you would only think it was a house sitting back in the woods. This shape and ordinary appearance allows them to come into populated areas without being seen for what they really are.
The tape she lost track of can only remind us of the forbidden book… but what are we to make of the UFO like a house with a pitched roof … that looks like someone is home…
The Dark Day and Year without Summer
Attempting to restore the Mantle of Weirdness to New Hampshire, after the disturbing bout with the Ordinary tendered by Ye Oldest UFO Photo, Tormance submits The Dark Day and in addition a Year without Summer. New Hampshire is an unusual place, even if the Hill adventure is one day unraveled, and though it may not be home to the oldest UFO photo. The witch trials are old hat. We need something a bit newer.
A couple of full- fledged Fortean events captured New England and New Hampshire… New Hampshire indeed does not need the Hill’s abduction to claim its place in the Fortean world; it has its own brand of weirdness. The Dark Day and Year without Summer are proof enought of that; the first from the 18th and the other from the 19th century. The years 1780 & 1816 respectively to be more specific.
If New England’s Dark Day of May 19th, 1780 was not precipitated by a lunar or solar eclipse, a planetary transit, dust storm, volcanic eruption or western wildfire, then what caused it? In the preceding days leading up to the Dark Day, residents in many parts of New England had noticed that the sky was cloudy and murky at dawn, the sun had a pinkish hue to it at midday, and offered up spectacular copper sunsets in defiance of the color spectrum at dusk. In Weston, Massachusetts Samuel Phillips Savage remarked that there was “a remarkable thick air” and that “the sun rises and sets very red.” The evening’s waning gibbous moon also gave off a pink reflection. Just a little past nine on the morning of May 19th, Reverend Thomas Savage noticed that there “came on an appearance over the whole visible heavens…a light brassy hue, nearly the color of pale Cyder” and soon the sky was “attended with a gloom nearly resembling that of an Eclipse of the Sun”. It’s interesting to note that this aside is frequently interpreted by some as absolute proof that the darkness was induced by an eclipse. But if taken literally, one can deduce that Savage is indicating that he is familiar with solar eclipses (having glimpsed an eclipse previously) and that the darkness was not brought on by one…
By 10 AM the sky went dark and Savage noted that “Fowles retired to their Roosts, or collected in clusters”. Crickets began chirping and cows returned to their stalls. The preternatural night had fallen. All over New England, every farmer, schoolboy, fisherman, maiden, cordwainer, blacksmith, clergyman and laborer gawked upward for the missing sun and gasped at the remarkable and sudden elimination of light. A deep shadow had fallen and “every thing bore the appearance and gloom of night.” The noonday meal was served by candlelight and a single candle “cast a shade so well defined…that profiles were taken with as much ease as they could have been in the night.” The newspaper known as the Massachusetts Spy reported that one “could scarcely see to read common print, [and] it was the judgment of many that at about 12 o’clock…the day light was not greater, if so great, as that of bright moon-light” and “no object was discernable but by the help of some artificial light.” Samuel Savage of Weston could not even read his watch, even as he stood by his window. His neighbor was forced to quit spreading manure in his field as he was longer “able to discern the difference between the ground and the Dung.” Savage noted that “the birds of the Night were abroad and by their melancholy notes added to the Solemnity of the Scene.”
At Sudbury, Massachusetts, Experience Richardson remarked that “it was so terrible dark …that we could not see our hand before us.”
So with these clues, we can begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together and draw our own conclusions as to what caused New England’s Dark Day. In Sidney Perley’s Historic Storms of New England we learn that early in May of 1780, there were major forest fires along the shores of Lake Champlain, most likely triggered intentionally, only to rage out of control by accident…
See the full page @ JohnHorrigan.com here. The Dark Day of 1780, when it happened, was quite earth shaking. Many thought it was the end of the world. And the year without a summer was a strange time and left its traces for many years to come.
Eileen Marguet had this to say about that Year without a Summer:
It didn’t matter whether your farm was large or small.
It didn’t matter if you had a farm at all.
Cause everyone was affected when water didn’t run.
The snow and frost continued without the warming sun.
One day in June it got real hot and leaves began to show.
But after that it snowed again and wind and cold did blow.
The cows and horses had no grass, no grain to feed the chicks.
No hay to put aside that time, just dry and shriveled sticks.
The sheep were cold and hungry and many starved to death,
Still waiting for the warming sun to save their labored breath.
The kids were disappointed, no swimming, such a shame.
It was in 1816 that summer never came.
Inside the Volcano
A last example of the unusual nature of New Hampshire… Yes. In New Hampshire its possible. You can ‘tour’ the inside of a volcano. See here for details.
All You Will Ever See is Stars!
A last quote from Avis Ruffu’s The Grandmother of Ufology:
I asked Betty one time many years ago “why is it that you are able to see so many UFO’s and the rest of us will be lucky to see one in our lifetime?” She replied “what do you see when you look up at the sky”? I answered “stars.” “Then that is all you will ever see is stars” she advised. That brief statement has stuck with me throughout the years and at times I think it must mean something, but I’ll be darned if I know what it is.
We see stars too… We see the Handiwork and Glory of the One who made us. We see Beauty beyond imagining. We see the Infinite.
MORE TO COME