Thursday, January 31, 2013

SOLID LIGHTS & the neglected UFO SCIENCE legacy

On site near Kiama investigating an extraordinary "solid light" case
In the January-February 2013 issue of the UFOLOGIST in my Science & the UFO controversy column I discuss "SOLID LIGHTS and the neglected UFO SCIENCE legacy."



I get into a topic of particular interest to me, the striking collection of worldwide UFO cases which feature, for want of a better term, "solid lights", which "light beams" of a most peculiar character are described:

The book “UFOs and Government” alludes to several lost opportunities to focus on enduring unexplained attributes of the UFO phenomenon.  Unfortunately if your only insight into the UFO phenomenon was the typical debunking official military response revealed time and time again by their documents and histories, you would miss these strange and possibly breakthrough attributes of the UFO phenomenon.
 A striking example of this is the fascinating 1960 Red Bluff California case where official attitudes caused a UFO witness, a highway patrol officer, to not initially describe the “light beam projected by the object seemed like what would be described today, as a big, fat laser beam.  That is, it did not spread out or diffuse “properly.” But worse than that, the beam seemed to have an “end" to it,” wrote Mike Swords.  Here was a remarkable example of what many researchers have called “solid light” in action.  In writing this Dr. Swords touched upon a critical issue.  He highlighted that Dr. James McDonald did manage to draw out this remarkable detail, because he was actually interested in what the witnesses reported, rather than conducting a myopic debunking exercise.  Genuine scientific skepticism, driven by a desire to question and carefully investigate an experience can potentially yield scientific breakthroughs. We now know that there are many such cases of “this peculiar sawed-off light” or “solid light.”
 Indeed Michael Sword’s indicated in an endnote in “UFOs and Government” that “sawed-off light” cases are “a peculiar feature of a smallish set of “high strangeness” UFO encounters.  As these encounters are widely spread across the world, this feature is suprising and difficult to explain on sociological grounds.” He indicated he had some 44 cases in his own files.
 I had been studying these sorts of “solid light” cases for decades so I naturally contacted Mike about his collection.
My ongoing investigations of a striking case of this type in the Kiama area re-energised my focus on the worldwide occurrence and nature of such events:

“The ongoing investigation has continued to energise my interest in solid light cases and I have been attempting to drag all my solid light cases together with a view to create a catalogue of such cases, building on the early SOBEPS catalogue of the 1970s. “I was also intrigued with a UFO film taken by Ray Stanford, covered in Chris Lambright's recent e-book "X Descending".  Because I had some previous contact with Ray back in the 1970s and early 1980s and talked to him briefly at the 1987 Washington DC MUFON symposium, I renewed our acquaintance.  This lead to some extensive email exchanges in which he elaborated on the "new film", beyond the "air spike"/Leik Myrabo connection which Chris has understandably focused on.   “Instead I focused on a different part of the same footage which appears to show a "solid light" projection event.   “Apart from many other cases I was also drawn towards a Chinese event I located that occurred in 1998 at a desert Air Force base, involving a Chinese Air Force F-6 pursuit.  The possibly striking confirmation of Zhao Xu, who is described as a famous Chinese Defence expert in unmanned aircraft, as one of the various high level witnesses, who mentioned "Surprisingly these two light beams of light were not as we normally see light beams, as has been according to the distance and spread, but as two light-emitting entities, sticking out from the bottom of the UFO ending on a certain length. At least today we have not got control of this sort of light technology."  Radar detection was also involved.  Given this comment was made by a defence specialist I suspect some Chinese military science investigation and research since then.   
 From my Powerpoint presentation "UFO in my eyes" 
“Meanwhile open science has been playing with Bose-Einstein condensates et.al to manipulate light in diverse ways - our crude opening gambit in a direction that might show us "solid light" effects that have been reported for decades in a diverse range of international (UFO) case material.  Mainstream science directions in this area have been nicely summarised with references in Sidney Perkowitz's "Slow Light: Invisibility, Teleportation, and other mysteries of light" (2011).
Dr. Mike Swords commented on my research focus:

Mike was very helpful and shared his listing of cases.  Indeed he addressed this research focus in his always interesting blog “The Big Study” - thebiggeststudy.blogspot.com – on October 19 2012 – with a post entitled” “SLOW LIGHT & UFOs”: “Bill Chalker wrote the other day. He's contemplating making a review of so-called "solid light" UFO cases, and I welcome that. Bill's a hard-science-trained ufologist and might just be able to make some sense of a real puzzlement in this field. He asked me if I'd scour my files for such cases [since I'd foolishly admitted to having around 44 of such things], and so I did, making a list for him to pursue and build his analysis more robustly [Bill already had a bigger bunch than that].” Mike further stated, In my understanding the term "solid light" came from witness testimony--- the light beam seemed "solid"; it was as if the beam extended like a solid tube, etc. This phrase stuck but is probably a bad one. The light effects that we're witnessing in these cases behave not like solids but like "regular" light which is abnormally "contained" somehow. Things don't seem to be "impacted" by these beams, only illuminated by them. The things [generally] seem to be more like spatially-constrained lasers [admittedly of wide diameter] than anything solid, and might well be more like tubes [i.e. hollow] than "full" beams.” I recommend readers read Mike Swords valuable post on this fascinating group of cases: http://thebiggeststudy.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/slow-light-ufos.html
I described my ongoing Kiama investigation:

“In both "The OZ Files" and "Hair of the Alien" I refer to solid light cases and describe an Australian case from Kiama, southern NSW from the early 1970s.  I have been looking into the case since learning of it in the 1990s and earlier this year conducted a very detailed site investigation to determine if the observations reported by the primary witness were possible and to see if further information could be found.  The case is rather complicated and also has entity and abduction aspects.  The primary witness has closely guarded his privacy and I have only had one face to face meeting with him, as well as many phone conversations, written statements and emails.  “The on site investigations this year took place because the main witness was more forthcoming with locational details.  Some of this was in my original interview notes and material when we originally talked in person, however they were not precise enough to undertake an on site reconstruction.  Finally this year these confirmations were forthcoming and I had sufficient detail to locate the exact viewing locations, lines of sight, and confirm accurately the Kiama beach location. I stayed there for 2 days gathering information and managed to confirm that his ex parents in law were still living at the house in question.  The ex father in law while elderly recollected the night, but while he feels he may not remember the event as the main witness Graham described to me, he is certain that his former son-in-law would not have invented the story.  Bill, the ex-father in law, recollects that Graham was agitated and focused on the incident, but Bill cannot recollect that his own involvement was as Graham described it in his accounts to me.   “Having talked to Graham a number of times over the years I have found him to be a compelling witness, but one who has struggled mightily with the ontological status of the events.  Indeed he was originally much more comfortable casting the event as a strange dream.  While the recent investigations seem to caste the stranger aspects as being witnessed by Graham only with marginal supporting cast in the form of his ex wife and ex father and mother in law, as well as possibly some neighbours, who may have interpreted the event in different ways, this seems to be a strange "display" event, so frequently reported in many CE type cases, particularly those with high strangeness elements, such as this one.  In many of these sorts of cases there often seems to be selective perceptions of the events, sometimes so acute that often people near to each other have a very different experience, as if a central witness is the only intended viewer?
"Solid light" cases represent an intriguing and challenging opportunity to research a potential "breakthrough" aspect of the UFO phenomenon.  If we can get to the bottom of such extraordinary manipulations of light and other associated UFO light phenomena, then real progress in a UFO science can be made.

Maybe mainstream science is slowly catching up.  New Scientist has done a few reports on "tractor beam" development following the Bessel beam principle, including this one:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22406-tractor-beam-built-from-rings-of-laser-light.html
which was accompanied by this Russell Tate/Getty Imagest image:


An earlier New Scientist piece (3 March 2011) highlighted the Chinese connection: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20193-treklike-tractor-beam-is-possible.html
Now Jun Chen of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and colleagues, have shown that it is possible to create exotic beams that would pull rather than push on an object. For tiny particles with dimensions of a thousandth of a millimetre or so, this would result in the particle being drawn back towards the beam.
Hmm ... I wonder what inspired them? Perhaps the Zhao Xu 1998 UFO observation?


This image from Rex Features accompanied the New Scientist March 2011.  Seems to me that maybe someone within our more clandestine scientific community is already trawling through "solid light" UFO cases?

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