Dec 10 2008
UFOs Spitting Flames
Most close UFO sightings (close encounters of the first and second kinds) witnesses have reported that theÂ objects seen often emitted sounds. Most describe a humming or buzzing, which either rises in pitch or gets louder (or both) when the UFO is leaving.
In a couple of famous cases, witnesses observed craft which emitted a rocket-like blast. Policeman Lonnie Zamora heard a “roar” while patrolling near Soccorro, New Mexico on April 24, 1964. He left the highway to investigate and came upon an oval object sitting on the ground with two figures standing next to it, which quickly disappeared and apparently entered the object. Zamora heard a few “metallic thumps” and then a loud rocket-like sound as the object lifted off the ground, spitting blue flames:
Noise was a roar, not a blast. Not like a jet. Changed from high frequency to low frequency and then stopped. Roar lasted possibly 10 seconds was going towards it at that time on the rough gravel road… At same time as roar, saw flame. Flame was under the object. Object was starting to go straight up slowly up… Flame was light blue and at bottom was sort of orange color… Thought, from roar, it might blow up…” When the roar stopped, he heard a whining sound going from high tone to low tone, which lasted about a second. “Then,” he said, “there was complete silence… It appeared to go in [a] straight line and at same [constant] height, possibly 10 to 15 feet from ground, and it cleared the dynamite shack by about three feet… Object was traveling very fast. It seemed to rise up, and take off immediately across country.
Why did this UFO need to use a rocket engine to rise up just 10 or 15 feet? Zamora described nothing that sounds like a nozzle or other device that would be used to direct the thrust (unless it was enclosed in the body of the object.)
The December 29, 1980 sighting known as the Cash-Landrum incident also involved an unknown object with a rocket-like blast. The three witnesses were driving along an isolated road near Houston, Texas. From ufocasebook:
…the three began to see a light in the distance, and in a few short minutes this light became a glowing object, slowly crossing the tops of the tall pine trees. The area that they were in was densely occupied by pine and oak trees, surrounded by occasional swamps and small lakes. As they proceeded along their way, their initial thought was that the object was an airplane or helicopter from one of the airfields not too distant from their location. Suddenly, ahead of them loomed an immense diamond-shaped craft, which was hovering over the road ahead of them. At regular, fast intervals, the object would shoot down a stream of reddish-orange flames.
Witnesses Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum recalled that the craft would sink down towards the road and then let out a blast of exhaust, which appeared to raise it up again. The thing also emitted a loud beeping sound. Jerome Clark, quoted at wikipedia, wrote:
Small blue lights ringed the center, and periodically over the next few minutes flames shot out of the bottom, flaring outward, creating the effect of a large cone. Every time the fire dissipated, the UFO floated a few feet downwards toward the road. But when the flames blasted out again, the object rose about the same distance.
The Soccorro case remains unidentified, although it has been explained as everything from a hot air balloon to an attempt to create publicity for tourism. As for the Cash-Landrum incident, there are compelling reasons that point to some sort of military operation involving a secret aircraft, since the primary witnesses (as well as others) described a group of 23 military helicopters that arrived soon after the craft was sighted and appeared to “herd” it away. There are many more details in the case, such as symptoms of ionozing radiation experienced by Landrum and especially Cash, who got out of the car during the sighting, and a later encounter with a helicopter pilot who seemed to panic when Landrum mentioned that she was one of the people who saw the operation.
A few years ago, I was told that the two women (and Landrum’s seven-year-old grandson, who was also in the car that night) had actually seen a test of an atomic-powered aircraft that had run into trouble on a test flight. The pilots (there were two) had lost their video monitors, which was apparently the only way they had of seeing where they were going. The system was required to keep the occupants safe from the radiation generated by the craft. Of course, government agents can tell us anything they want–off the record. This also begs the question of just what was keeping the craft airborne when the rocket motor was shut off.
Zamora reported the flame jetting out from the bottom of the object as bluish, with an orange border. This compares favorably with observations of burning rocket fuel, whether it be liquid hydrogen, kerosene, or hydrazine, all of which were operational in the mid 1960s.
Regarding the Texas case, some atomic rockets work by pumping liquid hydrogen through a small nuclear reactor, and of course produces an exhaust plume. This process creates radionuclides, which emit ionizing radiation.
Does this mean that Soccorro, and indeed any other reports of flame and smoke-spewing UFOs should be placed in the “secret aircraft” category? No one seemed to see rocketlike UFOs until after the dawn of the popular awareness of rocketry, which began after WWII. Is this an indication of our collective unconscious influencing what we think we see, or does it go deeper?
If there is an intelligence behind the UFO enigma, it may use our preconceptions as a template. This is of course not a new idea. Perhaps the most important factor in UFO sightings may be an interaction between what we think we see and what is causing it, maybe to the point that a camera sees it as well (hence the Peruvian photo above.) As popular ideas of what flying saucers should look and sound like entered the cultural lexicon, sightings may have conformed to the script. A survey of this variety of sighting, concentrating on the frequency and year of occurrence, may be in order.
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