Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Local Flying Saucer Report, 1947

     It's been 75 years since a man named Kenneth Arnold witnessed anomalous flying objects from the cockpit of his plane, and the ensuing media frenzy is often referred to as the beginning of the modern UFO era. Based on his report, newspapers soon coined a term that would become ubiquitous all over the world: Flying Saucer. And even though Arnold's report was of a craft that looked more like the Bat-arang than a spinning plate, people across the country started to come forward with their own stories of seeing these disks, saucers, and other "whatzits" in the air above their locales. 

    A lot of speculation and interpretation can be drawn from the above facts, and in the decades since hundreds of books, articles, podcasts, and other forms of media have followed these myriad lines of discussion. On this anniversary however, I thought it appropriate to touch on a story much closer to home, and encourage you to do the same.

    I came across a reference to this story in the introduction to Isabel Davis and Ted Bloecher's Close Encounters at Kelly and Others of 1955, and the cited source was none other than the local paper here in Worcester, Massachusetts - The Worcester Telegram (currently the Telegram and Gazzette). There are a lot of great resources online for finding old magazine and newspaper articles, but often the smaller local papers only exist on microfilm. So one day, I went to the Worcester Public Library and tracked it down, and found other interesting things along the way!

The story referred to above involves a 70-year-old woman from Webster, Massachusetts, who saw a disk shaped object zip past her window before Arnold saw his 'saucers'...


As you can see, terms like "Flying Disks" or "Discs" were being used interchangeably with "Saucers" at this point. The Webster UFO even features a slim man in what looked like a Navy uniform sitting on it! Other reports in the same article from locations familiar to me, like Tatnuck Square and Shrewsbury, are thrilling to read as they only seem distant in time- much less so in proximity.

Within a few days, even more reports came across the news desk:

These reports are mostly within the city of Worcester, and I have personal memories attached to many of the places referenced. It seems at this point that some of the reports were perhaps reaching a bit; I'm particularly amused by the bit about a man walking into a tree, because, being accident prone it sounds precisely like something I would do. Also interesting is the report of 6 'cups' flying over Commercial Street. If we're going to have Flying Saucers, why not Flying Cups?

So on this anniversary of Kenneth Arnold's sighting, I encourage you to go to your local library and inquire about the Local Flying Saucer Report from 1947. Any excuse to visit your library should be taken advantage of, and plus you'll get the bonus perk of a librarian thinking you're a big weirdo for looking for old flying saucer stories. Of course, you don't have to tell them, just start around late June of '47 and roll through the microfilm. I'm sure you'll find fun and interesting things, and the local setting will add a whole other dimension to zeitgeist of the era. 

Happy Flying Saucer Hunting!

Friday, February 4, 2022

Forteana for a Froggy Evening

    Frogs hold a special place in the annals of Forteana - Charles Fort documented cases of frogs falling from the sky in his book that started it all, The Book of the Damned. Among the many instances of "damned facts and evidence" he collected, the frogs were only one example of things falling from the sky that seemed impossible. These odd events provided him a great platform from which to lampoon the attempts of scientists to explain them away. The rational explanation usually involved a waterspout pulling aquatic or amphibious creatures from the water and depositing them with rainfall elsewhere; the animosity between the rational approach of scholars at the time and Fort's sarcastic material agnosticism is a hallmark of all manner of Fortean subjects to this day.

    Other notable frogs within the weird fringe literature that can loosely be called Forteana are of course the Loveland Frogmen, who may not have even looked all that froggy at all. Various descriptions had been given for these odd creatures, which were reported in Ohio in the 50s, the 70s, and more recently - none of which matched the official explanation that someone's pet iguana had gotten loose, lost its tail, and was mistaken for a flying saucer occupant. Further, though not immediately evident of frogginess, there's the Hook Island Sea Monster photo. Evidence overwhelmingly suggests that this photo of an injured sea serpent is a hoax, but to this writer's eyes it looks like an enormous tadpole. Of course, such a tadpole would imply the existence of a Gargantuan Sea Frog. Imagine how large such a frog would be, how it would live, and what it would eat! We've now cast off from familiar shores out into the waters of pure imagination and conjecture, a place that might be requisite for appreciation of this blog.

          Yet another example of frogs posing unique questions to the Fortean mind is the phenomena of entombed animals. Claims dating back to the mid-19th century have documented instances of live frogs (and sometimes lizards) being freed from inside a lump of coal or a rock. This sounds absurd in the extreme; while frogs are known to hibernate encased in mud for several months, the amount of time it would take for mud to turn into rock would be far too long for any animal to survive, especially without food or water. In most reports, the frog dies shortly after being liberated from the stone. This phenomena is mostly discredited these days, but since we're still adrift in the numinous tides of speculation we won't let that concern us too much. Whether this is a 'True' phenomena or not, it provides a perfect segue for the main subject of our Froggy Night Feature: High Strangeness!

        The 1955 Warner Brothers cartoon "One Froggy Evening" may seem at first glance to have nothing to do with Forteana or High Strangeness. It's a weird premise for a cartoon, but it's a classic and a very funny one. The plot shows a construction worker at a demolition site who discovers a time capsule in the cornerstone, in which there is a living (and very lively) frog. The frog then proceeds to dawn a top hat and perform a song and dance with a cane. Michigan J. Frog can be interpreted as an "entombed animal". There is evidence to suggest this cartoon was inspired in part by the tale of Old Rip the Horny Toad, a horned lizard that allegedly survived being kept in a time capsule for 31 years in Eastland, Texas. Chuck Jones, the legendary cartoon director who managed this particular piece, gives the credit for the character and plot to his friend, writer, and gag man Michael Maltese in his autobiography Chuck Amuck. "The quirky brilliance of his ready wit was never neutral.", he said of Maltese; "He disdained facts as useless-- only the odd, the unusual, the hilariously peculiar interested him." Regardless of Michigan J. Frog's provenance within the varying fields of the weird, we can use him as a totem for how the phenomena of high strangeness acts - and how we interact with it. 

    After all, many of the strange events that those of us who have an interest in such things research really are "hilariously peculiar", which has in recent years led to fertile grounds for jokes on paranormal podcasts. A great many UFOlogists over the decades have dismissed the cases that seem too "out there", or omitted the laughably strange details from reports in an effort to present the case seriously. This applies also in ghost hunting and cryptozoology; often the desire for the case to be presented as worthy of honest investigation means it must be trimmed of anything that makes it sound too bonkers. Worse still, witnesses will fail to report the exorbitantly strange details of an event, even if they will generally share that it happened. 

    So what are we to do when we encounter the Singing Frog of High Strangeness? The events of the cartoon show us a few possibilities, each of which is echoed by examples through the history of investigations into the very weird. The Worker, who is never named, initially thinks only of the money to be made off of such a discovery - only to find that the frog will not dance on command for others. Hucksterism, grifting, and opportunist entrepreneuraliasm are rife within the history of all manner of weird subjects, as is the unrepeatability of odd effects. Places famous for their monsters see a lot of tourism purely for that reason, which is all the more reason to promote the mystery. It's not surprising that some who possess a Singing Frog would seek to profit from it, and although they sometimes do, they never really can prove that it's genuine. A good deal of experiencers and researchers have had their hopes of cashing in or even just getting recognition dashed to pieces by an uncooperative phenomenon.
    Witnesses to genuine events are met with doubt because of the fleeting nature of weird phenomena. Like a frog that only dances when no one else is around, witnesses can only describe the experience, not reproduce it. They generally have to be taken at their word without evidence to bolster it. The average person is not generous enough to do that, and although a lot of these ideas are becoming more mainstream they are likely to be shown the door- just like the Worker when he brought the frog to the Talent Agency.
    The mind-bending weirdness of some of these accounts is exemplified well by the "diabolical frustration", as Jones put it, that Michigan drives the Worker to. He rents a busted old theater, fixes it up and invites the public to come see. No one is interested until he puts a sign out that says "FREE BEER", and - alas! - he is unable to open the curtain in time for the crowd to see the frog sing. Where one man sees an extraordinary, phenomenal miracle others simply see a mundane, croaking frog... and they proceed to pelt him with fruits and vegetables. It all feels reminiscent of the revelatory claims in the ever-impending but never arriving government Disclosure of UFOs, or any bold pronouncement of conspiracy theorists. The average person has to be bribed into caring at all, and the reasonable among them will scoff when results fail to appear. Likewise, some phenomena seems awfully performative while at the same time very particular about its audience. The Worker in the cartoon is a lot like "repeaters" in UFOlogy, or those who have many varied stories of otherworldly encounters. For whatever reason, there are those seemingly genuine people who attract strangeness, or are perhaps more cognizant of it- but not in a way that can be confirmed by others. Diabolical frustration, indeed.
    Incidentally, there is a precedent for diabolical dancing frogs- as illustrated here from the 6th edition of J. Colin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal. Frogs were often associated with witches, and thought to be demons posing as frogs. Also, frogs were thought to be potent ingredients in magical workings.

    "One Froggy Evening" in this sense becomes a cautionary tale about how best to interact with a bizarre, highly strange situation. Perhaps the funniest moment comes when the Worker, now destitute and miserable, sits on a snowy park bench while Michigan belts out "Largo al factotum" from the opera The Barber of Seville. This attracts the attention of a police officer walking the nighttime beat. The cop, investigating the loud singing, is flummoxed by the Worker blaming it on the croaking frog. He is then left with no choice but to drag the man off to the Psychopathic Hospital, where Michigan continues to serenade him.
    The funniness of this scene has a much darker correlate in the avenues of investigating, researching, or simply living with highly strange events or circumstances. It really can drive one crazy, or at least lead outsiders to assess a witness as such. People of all walks of life can become obsessed, entirely invested in proving their claims or in more tragic cases, seeking help. Many anomalies seem to exist to fulfill the function of being anomalous; many mysteries will never be solved. Trying even at the expense of one's well-being to be the one who solves these mysteries is a path that often leads to madness. A good deal of witnesses and experiencers become ostracized from their communities, lose their jobs, and have their lives turned upside-down by the act of telling the truth as they know it. Some of them are likely lying, or mistaken, or cognitively disadvantaged. The fact remains, however, that strange encounters really do change people - for better or worse.

    The cartoon ends with the Worker seeing the opportunity to ditch the box with Michigan J. Frog in it at a construction site, and it goes right back into a cornerstone. 101 years later, the Future Worker once again liberates the Singing Frog and the cycle starts again.

    The diabolical frustration and madness of what can broadly be called The Phenomena is contagious, and the old stories appear over and over again with every new generation of Forteans, UFOlogists, ghost hunters, legend trippers, and weirdos. Our reactions to it may change, and that is for the best. How different would it have been for the Worker to just take the frog home and enjoy the song for himself? It would have been a boring cartoon, but the Worker would have been better for it. There's no right or wrong way, necessarily, to engage with weird stuff when it happens to you. There is perhaps a way to interpret your experience in a way that is deeply personal- and that means it doesn't need to be widely shared, or proven. Some phenomena is meant for you and you alone; you may watch the frog sing, but don't let it break your mind! 

Friday, July 9, 2021

"You're Just Like a Little Child Chasing a Balloon into the Sunset" - Guest Post by Steve Mills

The following is a guest post by my good friend Steve Mills, aka the Most Reverend StarDog. He has some thoughts and research to share regarding the infamous Mantell Incident. Please enjoy this guest appearance, and I hope to be writing more soon!

Steve can be found at @StarDoG23 on Twitter


    The above title is my all time favourite putdown from TV or film. It comes from the mouth and wandering psyche of the inimitable Vince Noir, one of the two main characters along with Howard Moon, from the UK comedy series "The Mighty Boosh". In this case it is perfectly apt for what I am about to reveal to many people.

    The story starts about a decade ago whilst I was watching one of the plethora of UFO documentaries on the various cable/satellite channels. Two ex RAF crew with thousands of hours flight experience are talking about their sighting from the early 1950s. During the interview one turns to the other and says something like "Well, it was known in the pilot's mess that, chasing these things (UFOs) could get you killed". That casual, almost throwaway comment, stuck with me. Two vastly experienced and typical, to point of almost an Ealing comedy or Pythonesque cliche, RAF crew openly admitted that, in the early 1950s, UFOs were a subject of conversation in the mess and that, they were talked about as "dangerous". In simple terms, I wanted to try and understand why?

    It has to be pointed out that many aircrew at that time were battle tested and hardened veterans of WW2 and they were often superstitious and then some. Consider a RAF bomber crew's odds of survival on any given mission over Germany was about 50-50 it's not hard to understand why any crumb of comfort was grasped and held onto for, literally at times, dear life. Be it a teddy bear or a garter from the dancer at that show, there wasn't much, in terms of personal ephemera, that didn't find its way over to Germany on some bombing mission. Given that, it's not hard to understand why stories of "Gremlins" and "UFOs" were taken, just maybe, a little more seriously by aircrew than by most folk. Maybe that explained the mess talk and that's all it was; just a way for people carrying out a pressurised role to just blow off steam?

    However, given many legends are based on some actual occurrence my mind then wandered to where these stories may have originated from. As such, there are really two cases in the public sphere that immediately spring to mind. The Kinross incident and the loss of Captain Mantell. I discounted the Kinross incident as it occurred in 1953 and the incident the two RAF aircrew were involved with a was 1952 so, that leaves Captain Mantell. I would guess that, were one to compile a list of "Top Ten UFO Cases", then the loss of Captain Mantell and his F-51 propeller-driven fighter on January 7th 1948 would figure in many people's lists. I knew the case pretty well from numerous books and online articles, truth is, as will become apparent, like 99% of people with an interest in the case I thought I knew it and the chief too-ing and fro-ing between the various camps seems to involve the "Skyhook balloon" explanation. As it turns out, the whole "Skyhook explanation" is what Stephen Fry would refer to as "Utter arsegravy" - again however, I am jumping ahead of myself.

    One thing I have learned over the decades is this. Both pro and against camps in the UFO field "make shit up" (See Note at the bottom of the article) and leave important details out that might not fit a person's particular agenda. That's human nature and confirmation bias is what drives many people on both sides of the argument. The Mantell case is a classic example of this and I eventually discovered that we are all wrong about what we think happened and way more crucially, about when it happened. 

    If there's one thing i try to do in any case it's return to the actual words of the witnesses and not rely on their words filtered by any particular agenda. In Mantell's case I thought I had found the definitive version of events, in of all places, a 1956 documentary made with the co-operation of the US military. (There's a link to said documentary at the foot of this article alongside the notes). From that documentary i collated the following timeline of the events that January day in 1948 and they are as follows.

......................January 7th 1948 14:00 approx Kentucky State police report to Fort Knox military that they have sighted an unusual aircraft or object, flying through the air, circular in appearance approximately 2-300 feet in diameter and moving Westward. Provo Marshall at Fort Knox called Godman Airbase.

13:50 object spotted south of the airfield from the Godman control tower some 35 minutes after the "object" was first reported.


A B29 and an A26 were both on photo missions in the area.

Object seen by the tower controller, Lieutenant Cowan and Operations Officer through binoculars. Operations Officer puts in second call to the commanding officer Colonel Hicks. Hicks arrives during the phone call at approximately 14:20.

Aprrox, 14:30 A flight of four F51s arrives over the field.

Hicks orders the F51s to be contacted to ascertain who the leader of the flight was. Captain Mantell,

Mantell ordered to change course to 210 degrees and investigate the "unknown object".

Lieutenant Hendricks requests to land and refuel and take on oxygen, permission granted.

Both wingmen refueled and took off again this time carrying oxygen

14:45 Mantell calls the Tower "I see it, above and ahead of me, I'm still climbing"...

Moments later one of the wingmen calls in.. "What the hell are we looking for?"

Seconds later Mantell.."Mantell to tower, the object is directly ahead of me and above me, now moving at half my speed"

"Mantell to tower it appears to be a metallic object of tremendous size"

The object was also in view of all the tower personnel.

"Mantell to tower, I'm trying to close in for a better look, I'll go to 20,000 feet"

Shortly after Hammond, one of Mantell's wingmen calls Mantell "Level off captain, till I regain visual contact"

Mantell is silent, no reply

Moments later Hammond makes another transmission. Mantell seems to have disappeared and climbed beyond his wingman's view

15:25; the remaining wingman breaks off and returns to base

The object visible throughout the chase from the Tower, disappears from view at approximately 15:50. F51s first lost to view object disappears behind a cloud.

At 17:50 they are advised that Mantell had crashed 5 miles south west of Franklin, Kentucky. The crash had occurred at approximately 16:45; Mantell is killed in the crash.

Notes: Franklin is roughly 90 miles from Godman airbase. If Mantell vanished at approximately 15:20 and crashed at 16:45 then he was flying dangerously close to the stalling speed of a P51, (100MPH).  Where was he for that hour? It should have taken his plane no more than 20 minutes to fly from the area of the airbase and Franklin. 


Tower controller's statement: "It looked silver or metallic"

Intelligence officer's statement: "It appeared to be a bright silver object"

Executive Officer's statement: "It was circular in shape"

AACS statement: " A small white object in the sky"

Operation's Officer's statement: "It appeared round and white"

The Commanding Officer's statement: "It could be seen plainly with the naked eye"

Some present had no memory of Mantell informing the tower that he was "Moving in for a better look'...

    Strap in, because this it where is becomes "sciency". My interest in UFOs and my school years left me with a side interest in military aircraft. I'm no expert and certainly no "rivet counter" however, I do have a decent grounding in what an aircraft of a given type can and cannot do. If an aircraft is involved in a major incident I will  trundle along to the rivet counter websites and glean as much information about said plane in an effort to better understand what might have happened. It was this nerd like attention to detail that first led me to suspect something was drastically wrong with the accepted version, by all parties, of that day's events. According to the "officially accepted" explanation Captain Mantell "vanished" at some time between 14:45 and 14:50 hours that afternoon and crashed at 15:45 local time near Franklin, Kentucky. However, there's an immediate discrepancy here as by contrast, virtually all reports state that Captain Mantell's watch had stopped at 15:18 and that was the moment his plane hit the ground.

    However, this was not what concerned me. Even if he did crash at 15:18 then it still begged the question where Mantell's plane was for between 30 minutes and an hour after it's assumed he had passed out and lost consciousness from anoxia. Why, you might very well ask? The answer is a rather simple one and one I suspect most pilots of that era would have intrinsically understood. The F-51 is indeed rather easy to fly for an experienced prop pilot, being both light of touch on the controls and fairly stable even when you throw it through some aerobatic manouevers. However, there is a caveat- a rather large one at that- the moment you take your hands off the controls the Mustang behaves like the equine it's named after. Within 3-4 seconds the plane will  begin to drift in whatever direction the torque of the propeller is pulling it towards and in short, within 5 seconds, that F-51 becomes an 8000lbs+ anvil. That is, ten seconds after Mantell's hands left the controls, or lost the ability to guide those controls, it began to fall out of the sky. I did a rough calculation and erring on the conservative side and with two wings intact, a F-51 has a terminal velocity of about 1380 feet per second. In MPH that's 940 MPH and well past the speed of sound. This possibly explains the "explosion" that the witnesses on the ground saw as Mantell's plane descended in its crash dive. What probably happened is that, as the plane's velocity grew closer to the sound barrier it began to literally shake apart, you can look this effect up- it's well reported by pilots in dives during WW2- and indeed, it lost a wing and other parts of the airframe literally were shaken off. The "explosion" might have been the plane actually making it through the sound barrier and the wing being torn off. They key point to all this however is this, from the moment Mantell passed out to the moment his plane hit the ground was a couple of minutes. If he crashed at 15:18 then, according to the accepted timeline, he had been missing for nearly 25 minutes and that makes no sense. 

    Not to put too fine a point on it, I was stuck. Either Mantell was flying that plane under the effects of anoxia for between 20 minutes to an hour (Remember the "official record" cough cough, supposedly claimed he crashed at 15:45 local time) or, the plane was flying itself. In the final analysis, neither of these options makes any sense and looking for a rational explanation I expanded my search. I looked for what was "missing" from the evidence and the fact that, I could find no record of his 2 fellow pilots version of the events; as the only people who were with him that fateful day this struck me as strange. This is one of the most famous UFO incidents and yet, seemingly, not a word from the key witnesses. It was becoming somewhat frustrating and then, through a piece of lateral thinking I found this obscure and seemingly forgotten blog piece on the incident. 

    If we accept the facts espoused in the piece and that the author was writing with honest intent then finally we have the true story of Captain Mantell and the proper timeline. It does of course beg the question as to quite why the military have obfuscated for decades about the incident and I suspect that comes down to a simple fact- That being, if you write an article "Pilot dies whilst chasing a UFO" you are 100% correct and the military simply had no desire to deal with the questions that come with that sensational headline. It also shows that "The Skyhook believers" are really no different to the most out there "UFO believers" and that, their intransigence is every bit as unscientific and irrational as that they claim to rail against. As the blogger so rightly points out, the reality is, as a UFO incident, it's really not that fascinating and it was the crash that gave it its probably undeserved extra kudos. In conclusion then, I admit to a certain smugness that my hunch about the actual mechanics of the crash must have followed the path I thought they would  because I'm human, it is what humans do. As an Erisian my heart sings because I was able to use my favourite put down as a headline and the reality is, we were all chasing the balloon into the sunset and Mantell, ironically, was actually chasing a genuine, still as-yet-unidentified flying object. 

To conclude then, always return and start from the original witnesses's words on any given incident. We all filter what we hear through our own prejudices no matter how even-handed we think we are being. By the time an incident reaches its final form in print, as a TV documentary or as a podcast, it's probably taken on a slant that never existed in the original no matter how subtle and unintended that slant might be. 

Keep your eyes on the sky, your feet on the floor, and remember: just cos you're not paranoid doesn't mean Gef the Indian Marsh Moogoose isn't spreading tittle tattle about you.

Peace.. The Most Reverend StarDoG.....


1: In a rather expensive documentary about the seminal Kenneth Arnold sighting from 1947 the conclusion was that "Arnold probably saw reflections in his canopy screen". The truth? In Arnold's own words, he leaned out of his cockpit to make sure he wasn't simply seeing reflections on his windscreen surface. Phillip Klass paid someone $5000 to lie about being a relative of Travis Walton. There's an extremely long and incredibly detailed blog piece about the B-47 incident of July 17, 1957, from the USA and the author obviously knows their radar backwards. Their conclusion that the UFO sighted by the B-47 was a "Radar Ghost" has one problem. After you've spent 30 minutes reading the article, you then realise: They had somehow forgotten to mention that three of the crew actually saw  the object, and it was bright green. On the other side of the coin, you have the likes of Stephen "Shall I take my shirt off now?" Greer and the "Cross my palm with silver, purchase my book and the great mystery shall be revealed" crowd. My experience tells me that, two people standing side by side can have totally different experiences of the same UFO incident and yet, both of them will insist their own experience was "true"... and you know what? They are, on an individual level, both probably right and that is the true mystery we are researching here.

UFO Documentary... If you're fan of the recent TV series "Project Bluebook" this is well worth a watch.

P-51 Performance... (It was renamed the F for Fighter 51 post WW2, the P stood for Pursuit) 

Flying a P-51   

Saturday, February 27, 2021

From Brooklyn to Neptune: The Bugs Bunny / UFO Connection!

 On July 27, 1940, Bugs Bunny appeared for the first time in movie theaters in the Tex Avery directed cartoon A Wild Hare. Earlier versions of the cartoon rabbit had appeared before, but in Looney Tunes cannon, this cartoon is officially Bugs' debut. Eight years later, he'd become the first living thing to visit the Moon in the cartoon Haredevil Hare, and also the first to meet an extraterrestrial. One of the most popular and enduring characters of all time, with a career spanning 80 years, he leapt from the screen and into our collective psyche during World War II with his signature question "What's up, Doc?" By the end of this article, you'll be asking the same.

Haredevil Hare was released on July 24, 1948 - 13 months after Kenneth Arnold's UFO encounter that popularized the term "Flying Saucer". The saucer zeitgeist apparently had not reached Chuck Jones and his team of animators and storyboard artists, as both Bugs and Marvin Martian (in his first appearance) arriving on the Moon in rocket ships. The cartoon is memorable as Bugs arrives just in time to prevent Marvin from blowing up the Earth with a "Kaboom" using his Illudium Q36 Explosive Space Modulator. (Illudium seems to be a fascinating and versatile fictional element - In Marvin's third appearance, 1953's Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century, Daffy Duck in the title role of Duck Dodgers is sent to Planet X to obtain Illudium Phosdex - the shaving cream atom.) As such, our intrepid rabbit hero becomes the savior of our planet, thwarting our would-be destroyer. The return of the Martian menace, however, is where the story gets really weird.

Bugs Bunny is loved around the world, but how does he rate in the farther reaches of the solar system? If we're to believe the contacts via channeling, message board, and radio by George Hunt Williamson and his associates Alfred Bailey and radio man "Mr R", we can be confident that Bugs has fans at least as far as Neptune. Williamson is a problematic and controversial figure in the weird world of 1950s contactees. His association early on with the far-right fascist William Dudley Pelley should be borne in mind; his sketchy archaeology "credentials" and the dubious ancient alien theories that came as a result along with his promulgation of conspiracy theories about "International Bankers" should give anyone pause for caution. He was, however, very influential on flying saucer culture, for better or worse. He and Bailey were both present when George Adamski allegedly met Orthon, and though they had a falling out almost immediately thereafter, Williamson continued to back up Adamski's account of events with only minor variations. Adamski and Williamson differed on the value of contracting space people via channeling or radio; Adamski seemed to recognize the ambiguous and possibly trickster-ish nature of entities contacted this way while Williamson seemed to wholeheartedly accept the messages he received from virtually every known planet, although he was warned against talking to the evil beings from Orion. With that background information out of the way, viewed in isolation, the following anecdote is a fun and interesting ride. 

On September 20, 1952, at 8:30 p.m., the following message was received via 'the board' (similar to an Ouija board) from Zo, an intelligence from Neptune:

...We have impressed you from time to time, and will continue to do so. Now what I am about to tell you will seem foolish. It is the way we do things at times. This is so it will all appear in a most conventional manner. You were impressed to go and see a certain motion picture. You did not know that the cartoon was Bugs Bunny in 'The Hasty Hare'. We mentioned Bugs Bunny to you several times before, but you thought it was foolish and did not enter it into your records. We had our reasons. This cartoon was about a flying saucer and its coming to Earth. You saw the letter held in the hand of the saucer pilot and you noticed that its date was 9-27. This date is important in 1952. You will see!

The Hasty Hare had been released a few months prior, and was the second appearance of Marvin Martian, although at this time he still had no name. It has been noted by Robert Anton Wilson that Bugs is the first alien abductee, this cartoon predating the Betty and Barney Hill encounter by nearly a decade. As noted by Zo in the above message, Marvin has also traded his rocket for a nifty flying saucer!

An amusing feature of Zo's message is the recognition of how absurd the Bugs Bunny connection is. He seems to apologize upfront for the "foolishness" of it, and also seems to chide Williamson et al for not recording the prior messages about the cartoon hare. "It is the way we do things at times", he says; and that does seem to ring true of UFO stories of all kinds. The Trickster element of unbelievably silly things, things that even Williamson would be reticent to share, thrown in with messages of dire consequence has that quality of being too weird to be fake. As alluded to, the saucer contacts are capable of telepathy and are well aware of what was recorded and what wasn't. They are also capable of 'impressing' those they wish to, controlling them in a way or psychically guiding them to see a cartoon at the local theater. It all seems to be a very elaborate and silly way to convey the importance of the date 9-27-1952. 

Isabel Davis, in an article entitled Meet the Extraterrestrial (Fantastic Universe Science Ficion, Nov. 1957) makes sure to mention the Bugs Bunny connection when addressing Williamson's contacts. Davis, a highly respected Fortean and UFO researcher of that time, picks apart the various books of Williamson and other contactees in this article. "What is unquestionably revealed to the reader, with painful clarity," she says, "are the intense, tragic fears that haunt the apostles and disciples of the contact-communication stories. Many passages are an almost rhythmic see-saw between terrors- of war, of soil sterility, of strange weather, of the atom - and feverish reassurances that the space beings will somehow give protections from these dooms."  Like Bugs Bunny swiping a dangerous Illudium Q36 Explosive Space Modulator away from a Martian whose view of Venus has been obstructed, the saucer folk always seem to be arriving just in time to save us from ourselves. This is certainly true in the chronicles of Williamson's contact, recorded in his book The Saucers Speak! A Documentary Report of Interstellar Communication by Radio Telegraphy. There's an urgency from the space people that time is short, that they must act quickly if we are to be saved. But there's always time to watch a cartoon.

So what was so important about the 27th of September? For Williamson, Bailey, and "Mr R" it was the communication that arranged for them to finally meet their space contacts, face to face. At 5:30p.m. they were informed that their space friends were passing over Winslow, AZ, where the radio shack was located. At 5:55 p.m. they heard the craft fly over and saw them in the distance. It was also their "first and last contact by radiotelephony". Before and after the 27th, all radio contact was done through ham radio code that had to be transcribed by the very adept "Mr R". The one audible transmission was only barely so, according to their account. "It seemed a speech was being given in a large auditorium. The static was terrible and we could only hear a word now and then. The voice was loud and masterful and spoke perfect English. There was a reference to Germany and America and that they could no longer appeal to reason, etc." The rest of the evening was spent deliberating with the space people whether they should bring "Mr R"'s debilitated father-in-law to the saucer landing the next day, and the verdict was "No." Ultimately the meeting didn't happen, as logging trucks had kicked up a bunch of dust and separated the would be ambassadors to the stars...

Surprisingly, some notable UFO sightings did happen elsewhere that day. In Hempstead, Texas, USAF pilots reported seeing silvery, disc shaped crafts moving at speeds in excess of 600mph. Later that night in Inyokern, California, two couples viewing the night sky through a telescope witnessed a large, round object change colors as it flew on a level, straight path. If you were to go from Hempstead to Inyokern as the crow (or in this case Flying Saucer) flies, you'd pass somewhat near Winslow!

Also, relevant to the mysterious voice that mentions America and Germany - September 27, 1952 in the areas around Kiel and Hamburg Germany, a brightly lit UFO with at comet-like tail was witnessed moving irregularly through the air by personnel involved with Operation Mainbrace , the first large-scale naval exercise under NATO. 

As wacky as the entire scenario is, there does seem to be some eerie accuracy involved- and that wascally wabbit is in the middle of it... In many ways, Bugs does seem to embody the Trickster which so many equate with the high strangeness around UFOs. An NPR Segment from 2008 makes a pretty good case for Bugs-as-archetypal Trickster, the mercurial rule-breaker from whose actions we all end up benefiting. As mentioned earlier in this post, Robert Anton Wilson had an affinity for the wisecracking rabbit. He joked in The Illuminatus! Trilogy that there were hidden messages in Bugs Bunny cartoons, implanted by Illuminati agents in Hollywood, based on Adam Weishaupt's comparing of a shoggoth to a cursed rabbit -  'du Hexen Hase' - 'that wascal wabbit'. Several years later he'd feel that the joke was on him, as he pondered the synchronicity of the brief appearance of Bugs in the 1977 Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Wilson's own telepathic contacts with space intelligence was intimately entangled with Sirius, and the momentary clip of Bugs Bunny is one of him saying "Set the coordinates for the Dog Star!" "I thought I was kidding" Wilson writes in incredulity later. Beyond just Bugs, Wilson went down a 'rabbit hole', as it were, of bunnies in association with UFOs, which he referred to as Lepufology.

As previously mentioned in another entry on this blog, Bugs also makes an appearance during the 1977 ITV Broadcast Intrusion, just as the picture starts to come back under control. The cartoon Falling Hare, a WWII era story with the Fortean plot line of our favorite rabbit being terrorized by a gremlin. It's one of the few examples of Bugs not having the upper hand - a reminder that even the Trickster can sometimes be tricked. Sometimes we take a left turn in Albuquerque, and wind up way off course. Sometimes the mercurial nature of the Phenomena can make us laugh, while other times it can be scary and leave us wanting for a savior - be it Saucer or Wisecracking Leporidae. What's up, Doc? What's up, indeed.


Meet the Extraterrestrial, Isabel Davis, Fantastic Universe Science Fiction
Illuminatus! Robert Anton Wilson and Bob Shea
A is For Adamski, Adam Gorightly and Greg Bishop
Bugs Bunny: The Trickster, American Style, JJ Sutherland, NPR
The Saucers Speak! Calling All Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, George Hunt Williamson aka Brother Philip w/ Alfred Bailey, Timothy Green Beckley, and Sean Casteel
Operation Mainbrace Sightings, Richard Hall 

Coincidence or Cosmic Conspiracy, Robert Anton Wilson, in The Berkeley Barb Vol 27 issue 20, May 1978

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Curious Case of the Fish Doctor and the Man From Ashtar Galactic Command, Part III

" call came through claiming to be from Outer Space; the rather-stunned telephonist on the exchange put the call through to the only phone that 'happened' to be available - that of the Assistant Producer."
-Rex Dutta, Flying Saucer Message

The conversation on the night of January 8th, 1971 between a skeptical Assistant Producer of a London radio program and a mysterious man from Outer Space is recounted in depth in Rex's book Flying Saucer Message, which was released in 1972. He notes that the Assistant Producer had the presence of mind during the call to "a) to switch it through on internal studio loud speaker so that all the twenty or so of us in the area heard each word and b) to tape-record it. A copy of that tape exists."

Upon Steve's first visit to Rex's house, in late 1975 or early 1976 - well after Rex's last book about Flying Saucers - he and Rex were able to listen to the tape, courtesy of a radio station employee who snuck it out to them. The engineer who gave them the tape also provided some great technical insight - the call from Outer Space seemed to use every channel of the analog switchboard, blocking all other incoming calls.The show's Producer tried and failed to cut off the call. The voice seemed as though it had been "treated" in some way, suggesting that the voice was an automated message cutting directly into the phone line. Robert Short, in his book Out of the Stars: A Message From Extraterrestrial Intelligence notes, quoting Viewpoint Aquarius - "...the engineers were flabbergasted because there was no echo or feedback, i.e., nothing was registering on the dials in their transmitting stations, although the 'space voice' was clearly being heard by all in the studio. Normally, the needles on the dials rise and fall as a human voice is loud or soft, and electrical pulses register on the instruments. In this case, the needles were inert at zero. The 'voice' was clear. No earthling instrument was used. But unknown power was..."

Sadly, the whereabouts of the tape these days is unknown. We have only written accounts and recollections of the event to go by. This gets into Rex's derisive attitude toward the "Official Line..."

The "unknown power" referred to in the above quote was what Rex would have considered an Occult Power, which is natural for higher beings. In fact, the whole affair must have been very amusing (or frustrating, depending on your perspective), to Rex - through his Theosophical view, it was clear to him that the voice from space (and most visitors, Space Brothers, and extraterrestrial contacts) was an intelligence existing on a higher vibrational realm, a different dimension entirely. He's keen to explain these concepts in exhaustive detail in his books, and it's way too involved for me to explain here in this blog (supposing I even understand it properly); suffice to say, what you see in the transcript with Rex's notes is something akin to a language barrier. It's even worse than just language, though; Venusians in Rex's view possessed Whole Manas, and have evolved beyond the need for names, physical bodies, etc, thus lacking context for simple questions like "Who are you?" Their enlightened and Ascended status likewise came about as a result of altruism, so selfish reasoning and our Earthling anxieties and unwillingness to help ourselves - always looking for a savior - are anathema to the Venusians. 

The resultant confusion in the conversation between the Assistant Producer and "Voice" in Flyer Saucer Message lends itself to humor very well. It occurred to me reading it the first time that it could well have been a bit between Abbott and Costello, although I eventually decided it was surreal enough and, bearing in mind the language difficulties explained in the preceding paragraph, more like a bit between Groucho and Chico Marx. Some of my favorite moments:

AP: Why are you calling us?
VOICE: I have not phoned you. I am speaking by Thought-Transference Computer.
AP: What does that mean?
VOICE: It means how do you do.
AP: Very well. How do you do, Sir?
VOICE: Yes. Evidence of life in outer space is not visible to Earth eyes except the chosen few have celestial ability to appertain and to appreciate higher intelligences.

And, later, after asking the Voice's whereabouts:

AP: What are you doing there?
VOICE: I am speaking at the moment to you by Thought-Transference System.
AP: Why don't you speak to me face to face?
VOICE: I have no face. I am very sorry.

This leads to questions about whether space people look like us, to which the Voice explains that it is possible to take a human form for a short period of time. When asked why they would take a human form, the Voice simply says "Amusement". Finally, toward the end of the call:

AP: How could I contact you again?
VOICE: Call Outer Space sometime.
AP: How do I call you?
VOICE: Call me Sir.
AP: How do I call you, Sir?
VOICE: You call me Sir anyway you like. I don't mind. Any way, I must return to Outer Space.

The humorous element presented here, the absurdity and silliness, is among the most remarkable aspects about the Call From Outer Space. On the one hand, it bears all the hallmarks of a put-on. The confusion and inevitable failure to satisfactorily answer many of the questions seems like something a prankster would do, were it just a simple crank call. On the other hand, and bearing in mind the technical difficulties inherent in pulling off such a prank, these comical bits of dialog may actually also represent a genuine lack of understanding that goes both ways, between two intelligence entities very alien to each other. 

Most of the sentiment contained in the call that fascinated Rex was typical of contact messages of the era, in the sense that it warned us as a race to abandon war and nuclear technology. This main message, the titular Flying Saucer message, are interrupted constantly by the Assistant Producer's more mundane questions - typifying in Rex's mind the self-obsessed nature of the average man. One of them was the classic "Take me to your leader" type of question, where the man asks "Have you spoken to Mr. Heath?" referring to then Prime Minister Edward Heath. The Voice seems taken aback by Rex's estimation - "we rate men high, men of power;" he writes, "Saucers rate high men of 'pure aura' and such earthlings seldom reach Power / Authority, etc." Another concept, lost in translation. We ask why the spacemen don't just land on the White House lawn, when the answer it seems is that the occupants of the White House are just as remarkable (or less so) than any other human on the planet - other than the ones with 'pure aura'. To its credit, the Voice says he knows of Mr. Heath, but Heath is sleeping in another country... this, it turns out, was true - PM Heath was abroad on official duty and it would have been early morning hours in that time zone.

The Voice goes on to reveal that there are men among us who can help us, but we ignore them. When asked how the Voice intends to help, it responds:

"The only way you can be helped is not by doing for you that which you must do for yourself. But possibly by guiding the way, but indirectly not directly. It is not possible to say to man, 'You must do this,' because it is in the nature of man not to do this, but to do something different because there is in the nature of man perhaps a perversity which we observe. But never mind, it is possible perhaps if man uses only one thing - that is intelligence. The greatest danger in man is pity. Man has a strong feeling of pity for his fellow men, for suffering. It is good but it is not the highest good. In the universe, the highest good is balance, is justice, not pity. A very interesting thing but justice is the most important element in the universe. And if man will find justice, there is hope for man."

In Rex's view, the Venusians (or Saucers, you may have noticed that Rex makes no distinction between the Saucers and their occupants) are not so different from us here on Earth - they just seem alien because they serve a different purpose. When you understand what Rex means by "Oneness Is", you realize that he's talking about the whole of creation being so intricately connected that each individual thing or consciousness is but a part of a larger organism. The metaphor is made that Earthlings are the thumb, and Venusians the foot... both parts of the same cosmic body but distinct in their purpose and design. Underlying all of what appears to be disparate real and physical bodies exists the Lipika Webs, a network that "sub-stands all substance". It matters not that the 'thumb' might reject the concept of sharing cells and a body with the 'right foot', it's simply the truth... and a balance needs be secured that affects not just the people of Earth who ignore warnings from Saucers, but it naturally affects the Saucers, too. In Rex's view, it was down to the People of the Web to help restore this balance, and move us well into the Age of Aquarius. 

While Rex Dutta had been invited on the program as a representative of the Lunatic Fringe of Flying Saucer Fanatics, the irony is he may well have had a better idea of what was going on than anyone else present. The concept of contact with extraterrestrials via radio was far from a new idea - the aforementioned book by Robert Short (which I might add gives the fullest account of the 1977 broadcast interruption I've come across) talks about his early experiences as a Channel for his "source", Jon-Al, and his early days at Giant Rock with George Van Tassel. While Short primarily used Automatic Writing to channel messages from the stars, others at Giant Rock would employ ham radios. Van Tassel would go on to build the Integratron - a place that "concentrates and amplifies the Earth's magnetic field". Of course Rex would have been familiar with these concepts as well. Short describes the method of message delivery in his book as Translators or Tensors, which utilizes the Subspace Radio Network and UFOs to monitoring devices. From here the message can be picked up by Instruments or Translators... in his words: "These Instruments or Translators include human channelers, television devices, radio communication, vast distance communication, called radar telephonic, and lastly, through the mind's ability to send images over distances, called telepathy."

Van Tassel and Short are both also intimately connected with the origins of Ashtar Galactic Command's messages to Earth. While Van Tassel was the first to claim contact with Ashtar in 1952, Short founded a group called Ashtar Command shortly thereafter. Van Tassel eventually stopped using the name Ashtar in his writings. Incidentally, in 1977, the same year of the broadcast interruption, a woman calling herself Tuella took up the mantle of main channel for Ashtar taking it in a new direction entirely... but more on that next post!

In a way, the 1971 conversation with a Voice from Outer Space is a greater mystery than the ITV interruption of 1977. At least the internet has preserved the TV interruption, and it can be found easily enough on YouTube. The tape of the 1971 show seems to be lost to time, though I hold out hope that an mp3 file of it is archived online somewhere. The aftermath of the UFO show that January night was one of silence, of pretending it never happened or brushing it off as a prank. Steve's first visit to Rex's house makes him likely one of the few around these days who have heard the full recording. It's all part of this crazy story I'm slowly getting around to telling, and the following few years would bring (among other things) the broadcast interruption that started me down this rabbit hole. Sit tight, folks, we're in the home stretch...


Flying Saucer Message, by Rex Dutta
Out of the Stars: A Message From Extraterrestrial Intelligence, by Robert Short
"The Reverend Robert Short's Ascent to the Stars" (Chasing UFOs Blog) by Adam Gorightly
Ashtar Command (World Religions and Spirituality Project Entry) by Christopher Helland

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Curious Case of the Fish Doctor and the Man From Ashtar Galactic Command, Part II

"The Path has, absolutely has: to be forged, not merely followed; alone- quite alone; by the seeker."

- Rex Dutta, Reality of Occult / Yoga / Meditation / Flying Saucers

So who was Rex Dutta? During my early correspondence with Steve, I tried to find information about the man so I wouldn't have to admit that I didn't know who he was. It proved exceedingly difficult. I found his books listed online easily enough, and eventually bought all three titles of his that dealt with the Flying Saucer question - and read them all, but not in the right order. But finding biographical information or even a picture of Rex took a lot of effort. When I asked Steve questions, I could get a lot of personal details about him in regard to his personality - but Steve had questions as well, it seemed. I took it upon myself to find the answers, along the way wrapping my mind around his Theosophical interpretation of the Saucer phenomenon while at the same time building a friendship with Steve over meandering Fortean conversation - what he calls "whibble about dribble". It was clear from the start that Steve had a great admiration for Rex; in one of his many Above Top Secret threads he says "Rex was a personal friend and I guess, it's only in retrospect one realises how much someone took you into their "inner circle" and felt able to speak freely and at length about such subjects. Rex was the mature English gent to my 18 year old wildness and yet, he felt comfortable enough to take me into his confidence." The further I dug into research and the more I whibbled and dribbled about "wyrdshit" with Steve, the more interesting the whole story became...

Rex was born Reginald Sirdir Mohammed Dutta on July 11, 1914, in Lahore, India (modern day Pakistan). His father was Indian, his mother was British. He moved to England with her and his sister in 1926, eventually attending University College London majoring in French and History. He served with British Intelligence during World War II, losing part of his leg from a motorcycle collision during a recognizance mission in France. He claimed to have had lived past lives as a soldier, and this wound, along with his eventual evacuation with many others from Dunkirk, was a sign to him that in this lifetime he was meant to pursue a different path. That path, it seemed, was the rehabilitation and study of fish - his books on fish care are still considered among the best and he had clients all over the world from his business, Fish Tanks LTD. That is until, as mentioned in Part I, he received and read Flying Saucers Have Landed, and shortly thereafter joined the Theosophical Society.

He continued running his business on Blandford St, in London, while also running his magazine "Viewpoint Aquarius" from the same address. He seemed to dive into Theosophy wholeheartedly, while at the same time absorbing much of the contactee literature up to that point - Howard Menger, George Hunt Williamson, George Adamski and others get frequent mentions in his writings. The two subjects may seem very separate and unrelated - one doesn't necessarily picture Flying Saucers when someone mentions Madame Blavatsky - but when dealing purely with the contactees mentioned, Theosophic concepts like Ascended Masters and higher beings align neatly with Venusians, Saturnians, and all manner of Space Brothers. He wrote 23 books in total (there's that mystic number 23!) - 20 about fish, and three about Flying Saucers / Theosophy.

Rex's mentor in the Theosophical Society, the man he considered to be his guru, was Edward L. Gardner. Gardner was an influential writer and lecturer in the English Section of the Theosophical Society, serving as General Secretary in the 1920s. He wrote extensively on fairies, and notably promoted the authenticity od the Cottingley Fairies photos alongside Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was also among the first to suggest that similarities in Fairy Lore and Flying Saucer contact cases denoted a common source. It's easy to see the direct lineage from Gardner's concepts down to Rex, who would become a well respected voice and subject matter expert himself. The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, a famous series of correspondences channeled by Madame Blavatsky, were held in a trust at the British Museum, and following the death of Chairman of the Mahatma Letters Trust, Judge Christmas Humphreys, in 1983, Rex took on the position. His contributions to the preservation and analyses of this manuscript was greatly appreciated by Theosophists worldwide, who benefited in their studies greatly from his efforts and lectures. 
E. L. Gardner with N. Sri Ram
In 1976 Rex was giving a lecture at City of London Polytechnic (currently City University) on the heels of publishing Reality of Occult / Yoga / Meditation / Flying Saucers, and this is where he met Steve. By Steve's account, Rex strode right up to him with a wide grin and shook his hand firmly saying "So are you psychic because of a natural ability or because of psychotropic drugs?" to which Steve replied, "Surely you should know." Rex burst out laughing and said "You'll do!" and thus began their friendship. The picture Steve paints of that era of UFOlogy and the investigation are strong motivators for me to get to work on a time machine so that I could be a part of it - "I will never forget the 4 of us visiting some country pub in Kent to interview a TV engineer about the incident. Quite what the locals made of two guys in leather jackets and waist length hair accompanied by two elderly and unbelievably well turned out, one was an ex RAF officer handle bar mustache and all, companions I will never know. At times, it was all very Sherlock Holmes and a little like something from a Hammer film." His lifelong interest in UFOs has sustained based on testimony from former military witnesses to phenomena they were never allowed to talk about - men who were honor bound to keep secret the bewildering experiences they had, who really needed validation from an outside source that they weren't entirely alone in these encounters.

Rex and Steve would soon begin investigating the 1971 call from outer space, just before the Ashtar interruption in 1977 occurred. They would investigate that as well! More on that as our story continues in Part III...

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Curious Case of the Fish Doctor and the Man From Ashtar Galactic Command, Part I

"For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies. We speak to you now in peace and wisdom as we have done to your brothers and sisters all over this, your planet Earth."

Unbeknownst to presenter Ivor Mills, a message from Ashtar Galactic Command was broadcast to viewers of the London Weekly News on November 26, 1977...
These two sentences served to introduce viewers of the National News on the evening of November 26, 1977, to Vrillon (or Grahama) of Ashtar Galactic Command. The odd, metallic voice had interrupted the news at 5:12 p.m. and continued for five minutes, overriding the transmitters for everywhere south of the Thames in England. At the very least, this would involve overpowering the signal for five transmitters - no small feat for hijacking pranksters. 

"It covered Kent Surrey Hampshire and parts of Berkshire as far North as Reading, South west to Portsmouth and East right over to Dover" - Firemoon on ATS, October 28 2010

The engineers at the broadcast stations were totally unaware that the signal had been hijacked. Their monitors showed the news broadcast as it should have been. The only reason those at ITV learned that a Flying Saucer Occupant had stolen the show was because of angry and confused viewers calling the stations. Engineers were unable to correct it, and when the representative from Ashtar Galactic Command had said his piece, the regularly scheduled programming returned. Amusingly enough, in at least one video of the event on YouTube, the message ends just in time for the beginning of the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Falling Hare" - the World War II era cartoon in which a gremlin gets the best of Bugs. 

At first glance, it seems like a great prank and a bit of a cultural curiosity. It's reminiscent of the "Max Headroom Incident", a broadcast interruption in 1987 perpetrated by a few industrious early hackers who managed to override the signal from the Sears Tower in Chicago during an episode of Dr. Who. Or so we're told... those responsible for that hijacking were never caught. Such is also the case with the ITV message from the Space Brothers. The other similarity, for whatever it's worth, is both events occurred in late November - the Headroom incident being on the 24th anniversary of the JFK assassination. Everything is significant - even the things that aren't!

But this was the second time British broadcast had been shanghaied by shifty alien beings - and the second time a certain fish doctor had been involved.

On the 8th of January, 1971, Greater London Radio featured a call-in show on the topic of Flying Saucers. Rex Dutta was a guest on the program, having recently published his book Flying Saucer Viewpoint. It is due to Rex that any transcript of this interruption exists - he managed to obtain the tape after the broadcast and a full transcript - along with his commentary - appears in his second book on otherworldly contact, Flying Saucer Message. The tape is long missing, but copies of his book still exist out in the world. And the transcript of the interruption of 71 has an added twist - in this case, the metallic alien voice called in as many listeners had over the course of the program. As opposed to the 1977 television interruption, an active conversation developed between a man only identified as "Assistant Producer" and a Space Brother who failed to give a name, confusingly settling on simply "Sir". (Rex Dutta explains in the book that due to laws regarding libel in the UK at the time, he had been advised against using actual names of the other people involved. It seems a sticking point for him that associating someone with the subject of Venusians, anomalous aircraft, etc, would be considered libel.) 

Rex would later investigate the 1977 Ashtar Galactic Command incident, in the meantime publishing a third book on the subject of UFOs Reality of Occult/Yoga/Meditation/Flying Saucers as well as editing and distributing a magazine called "Viewpoint Aquarius". He ran his magazine from his "bread and butter", as he called it - Fish Tanks LTD, located on Blandford St in London. 

Rex Dutta was a world renowned fish expert, having written 20 books on fish and fish care. In the above video, he is shown as a "self-trained" fish doctor with exotic equipment for nursing fish back to health. On the web page for this video in the Pathe archives, the description of it ends with
"Note: Rex Dutta and his wife Olive (?) Dutta appear in a few Pathe films - 
Who were they? -JH"
Who indeed, JH. Who indeed.

I was fortunate enough to follow this line of inquiry based on the accounts given by someone who knew Rex, and considered him a mentor. Known by some as Firemoon, by others as Rev, he's been known to respond to "oi, you!" and also SteveDoG. For my purposes here, I'll just call him Steve. Steve's invaluable firsthand account of his relationship with Rex Dutta and their joint investigation into the Ashtar Galactic Command broadcast heist led me down a road of curiosity to find out more about the enigmatic fish doctor, UFOlogist, and as it turns out, occultist, Rex Dutta. The interesting thing about the video above, is that it shows him at the precipice of a life-changing event - in 1954, his mother would give him a copy of Flying Saucers Have Landed by George Adamski and Desmond Leslie, and he would shortly thereafter join the Theosophical Society to which his wife and mother both were already involved members. Flying Saucers only make sense, he would contend, through the lens of Theosophy, and his three books on the subject expound this Blavatskyan interpretation of the phenomena in near exhaustive depth. His quirky writing style and enthusiasm make for a fun read, and his recognition of events such as the two broadcast interruptions as "cosmic jokes" allowed him a unique vantage point from which to share the message that "Oneness is". His books are dedicated to the "People of the Web" - designed to be read and understood by those "with eyes to see and ears to hear". 

Steve's investigation along with Rex into the 1977 event is recounted on various threads on ATS and I've spent the better part of the past year looking into the details of Rex's life, and this event in particular. You can read about the time Vrillon spoke to all of South England on various sites, but as Steve would say Rex had connections that allowed him access to people and information that most investigators of UFOs wouldn't get. Suffice to say, the idea that a few pranksters somehow overrode the signal for five separate transmitters covering an area of 1500 square miles would have required a great deal of power and equipment that the average person simply wouldn't have. In one engineer's estimation, according to Steve, "6 flat bed trucks worth of batteries" would have been needed without a commercial power supply. The official story at the time was that perpetrators from Hampshire were "caught and dealt with", but no record exists of such an arrest and their identities remain unknown. Engineers at the stations were told to say "no comment" if asked about the event, under threat of termination from their jobs. Broadcasting personnel that gave information to Steve and Rex did so under conditions of anonymity. 

So what exactly did happen on the night of November 26, 1977, at 5:12 p.m.? Why all the secrecy in both the 1971 and 1977 events? Was Max Headroom also part of Ashtar Galactic Command? I'll attempt to further parse these things out, and also get more into the life and work of Rex Dutta in a series of entries following this one. Our story continues in "The Curious Case of the Fish Doctor and the Man From Ashtar Galactic Command, Part II"...


"Fish Heart Beats" - 1953, Pathe films
"Flying Saucer Theosophist" - Pelletier, Rogelle, FOHAT Vol XI, No. 4, Winter 2007
"Hidden Mysteries - Alleged TV and Radio Broadcasts from Space" - Jon Hurst
"Rex Dutta - a Tribute to an Original Theosophist" FOHAT vol XI, No.1 Spring 2007
Flying Saucer Message - Rex Dutta, 1972