Unidentified Flying Object over Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Jan 2011)

The videos of the UFO over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has me uneasy. In the context of the what is currently taking place in the MiddleEast and North Africa – Tunisia and Egypt – comes this incident that was recorded by three different cameras – at different angles. In that sense it is quite compelling.  There is also another video that seems to record the same event, but people have found it to be a recording of a recording. The uneasiness comes not just with the fact that the event has been recorded – but also in how the object behaves – coming down, then a bright light and shoots upward at an amazing speed.

I’d be interested to know if there were any ground observers at the Temple Mount itself who have also witnessed this event.

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Frantz Fanon

Image via Wikipedia

It was asked on Paratopia Episode 99 Supersized Round Table discussion if the point of the paranormal at the end was to find the ultimate answer of if there was any answer. Another question was asked by Jeff on whether or not we would be disappointed if we found out that what is driving the paranormal is ourselves? After a night of thinking of this I typed my response and sent it to Jeff and Jer. For anyone interested here it is.

The pursuit of the question. Is there an answer?

When I think of the question I think of Descartes, thinking and doubt. When it comes to developing consciousness, thinking, questioning and even doubting is necessary. If there is no question, then thinking and development may cease. To quote Frantz Fanon “O my body, make of me always a man who questions!” I am not so certain there is an answer – although I think there is a problem or rather a fundamental contradiction, for which a solution or greater understanding is possible and needed about our place and our relationship with the phenomenon. Although this may almost sound like an answer – this is just my speculation about it: That the phenomenon that we regard as the paranormal is at a state where its development can not go further without us and vice versa, though I could be wrong. Essentially they may be only as advanced (I know we like to think of them as more advanced – but in what terms are they “advanced”) as we are. When I was in the military there was a saying we had when working together as a team – You’re only as strong or fast as the weakest person – and there was a lot of pressure to develop the weakest chain in the link. I think that is essentially why we may be at an impasse in our society and how we think about the world. The aim of society and our world, in my opinion, is for every person to develop themselves in every way, rather than just a few powerful people developing themselves at a financial or strict money-profiting way. I think this is also reflected in the science we have that we rely on so much. If there is an answer, who is providing the answer? How did they arrive to their conclusions? Why should the rest of us rely on it if there is no answer to these questions themselves? Where do we fit in to finding possible ways of an answer. I think if there is an answer about the phenomenon- it may be an answer that will only advance us and the “other” to the next level or area in which solutions to the next set of questions and problems may be raised. I don’t think the “answer” or truth begins or ends with finding the identity of the phenomenon or how it may originate, although it is part and parcel to this pursuit of the question.

Would you find it disappointing if we found out that it was us that is generating the phenomenon?

Given that without us humans existing we wouldn’t have any perception of the phenomenon – I think there is a definite relation between us and it. I think we definitely have a role in it – but whether or not it is a main originating creative role I am not sure.  However if we were to find anything like that – I think to arrive at that conclusion would have developed us in a way that we are not developed now in terms of thinking and knowing who we are. I would think that arriving at that consclusion  would provide us with a more firm stance, footing and springboard to provide solutions to other questions and problems that may be raised at that time that would be nearly impossible to solve if this question has not been sorted out. So no I wouldn’t be disappointed, because if we were to find out the truth of that question, then the question is what do we do with that knowledge?

Two reports for a Buffalo UFO sighting – and possibly the same object. The first report is a pilot report as indicated by National UFO Reporting Center.

Occurred : 1/11/2011 18:45 (Entered as : 01/11/11 18:45)
Reported: 1/12/2011 10:51:38 AM 10:51
Posted: 1/31/2011
Location: Buffalo area (In-flight observation), NY
Shape: Unknown
Duration:5 min.
Bright lghts apppeared at our 12 o’clock and moved to our 9 o’clock position slowly.

January 11, 2011

To whom it concerns:

At approximately 6:45 pm, Tuesday evening, while enroute to KBUF from KHVN, half way between ULW VOR and BENEE intersection at flight level 200 the captain called to my attention a bright light directly in front of our aircraft. The Captain remarked that it might be a planet considering that it was so bright.

As I made visual contact I remarked that the flickering/flashing light seemed to be a consistent flash and was getting closer hinting to the fact that it was not a planet.

As our flight continued in the next few minutes the light did indeed get closer. Our aircraft was flying west bound at approximately 380 knots true airspeed and the flashing lights were heading east bound at a fairly slow speed, slow enough that we were able to view the lights for approximately 5 minutes. I found this to be peculiar considering that in my 5 years of professional flying typically aircraft passing at this altitude pass each other very quickly because they are operating at their cruise air speeds. The relative motion of the flashing lights just did not make sense, just to slow.

It was at this time that the captain called New York center and inquired with them about traffic at our 9 o’clock position and above our flight level. New York center informed us that there was traffic at that position however it was west bound, same direction, as our flight path. The lights that we were observing however were east bound and moving at significantly slower speed than a jet or turbo prop aircraft typically does. In fact, I remarked, “Is that a helicopter?”

The observed lights did not make any evasive maneuvers nor did we need to maneuver to avoid a perceived collision. The captain continued a dialogue with ATC as they inquired with other aircraft in the area if they had observed what we had reported, the other flight crews however did not see anything.

The lights observed consisted of a large bright white strobe like light at the lowest point as well as three to four smaller white lights that surrounded the main light. The brilliance of the light lacked the whiteness of modern strobe instead it had a pearlescent quality and flickered rather than flashed however with intensity. At times then main light seemed to be casting a fluttering shadow much like a flashlight would yield if cast through a rotating fan blade. In fact that prompted me to question if the craft was a helicopter as previously stated. I looked intently for the red and green navigation lights that all aircraft have conversely none were observed.

The flight conditions were good; visibility was excellent as the stars made a magnificent backdrop as they typically do on night flights during the winter months. An overcast layer existed well below our flight level that I estimate to be at 10 to 12 thousand feet. The flight did experience intermittent light turbulence, as we got closer to KBUF most likely because of the approaching low-pressure system. Weather conditions deteriorated in the decent to KBUF, which required an instrument approach for landing on runway 5.

In summary, what I had witnessed was completely unique and somewhat confusing. Hopefully I was able to convey my experience with some coherency. If I can provide any other help or you need further explanation please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely.

First Officer ATP/Citation 550

Source: NUFORC (http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/079/S79647.html)

Occurred : 1/11/2011 18:30 (Entered as : 01/11/11 18:30)
Reported: 1/13/2011 9:15:46 AM 09:15
Posted: 1/31/2011
Location: Buffalo area (In-flight observation), NY
Shape: Unknown
Duration:5 mins
A well lit craft was viewed for 5 mins at a relatively low speed and with no apparent radar contact.

While flying a corporate jet at 20,000 ft from New Haven Conn to Buffalo, NY, I noticed a bright light ahead of us. At first I thought it was a planet but as it got closer, I realized that was not the case. It passed by us at a relatively slower speed than we are used to. It was between 2 and 4 thousand feet above us. It had a blinking light in front and between 3 and 4 other lights on it, all white except for an exstremely faint and small green light toward the rear.

When it reached our ten o’clock position, I asked air traffic control if they observed any traffic at that position? They said they had traffic at that position going westbound. This craft was eastbound and not in contact with any controllers.

The controller then asked other planes if they had seen this craft, receiving replies that no one else had. Both my co-pilot and myself watched it disappear behind us.

While it is common to see other traffic in the sky while flying, the fact that it was so lit up (planes are not usually that highly lit at those altitudes) with lights that were not consistent with aircraft lights and it relatively slow closing speed with us makes me believe that it wasn’t a aircraft as we know an aircraft to be.

Source: NUFORC (http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/079/S79664.html)

Time Travel. This is one of my favorite subjects in the entire field of the paranormal. I haven’t read too many things on it, although there are multiple movies I have seen regarding the subject of time travel. One of my favorite movies on time travel would be Déjà Vu starring Denzel Washington.

The main reason why time travel is on my mind now is because of listening to an audio broadcast of Whitley Strieber telling some of his experiences which remind me of some of my own experiences. Needless to say, I find Strieber’s accounts absolutely fascinating.

I recently had a dream that Jeff and Jer from Paratopia (well I guess it’s obvious that the paranormal is something I constantly dwell on) were able to capture time portals in photographs, which is not too far off what Starfire Tor is doing. Sometime ago I remember seeing a photograph (not Starfire’s) somewhere of a modern house – an image of a view looking into someone’s kitchen and offset to the image was what looked like the corner of a large wood oak dresser cabinet that faded away – as if it was a ghost. But it was clearly shown that something was there, another place and perhaps a vestige of another time. I’m not sure where I have seen it and I should have made a more detailed note of it. If I find it I will certainly make a link to it.

I notice that many of these types of experiences that people have encountered is similar to some of the experiences that abductees face when they are disoriented or puzzled as to missing time and moving great distances in such a short time.

On the recent Dreamland, Strieber interviews his wife Anne and she mentioned the possibility of the “visitors” as time travelers because of cases where the visitor’s attempting to cover themselves in the time period but not getting it “right’ – that it is a bit off.

Another aspect that I wonder about is the nature of ghosts. Often a ghost is the disembodied spirit of the person from the past – at least from what we think of ghosts. Phil Imbrogno mentions a case regarding a man walking in the winter time across a frozen lake – finding himself in a fog. Out of a fog approaches a person who is dressed in garb from an earlier period. They have a conversation about each others clothing and almost get into an argument about the time of season. The other man insists it is summer and not winter. Finally exasperated the “ghost” takes off and the fog lifts. It’s not a classic example of a ghost story. Yet it seems to suggest that somehow the past and present were overlapped where communication between the past and present was allowed to take place. It certainly brings into question the nature of ghosts. Are there ghosts or is it projection of the past, which is as alive thriving as the present?

One of the main reasons why I listen to Paratopia is the way in which established conceptions of the paranormal and ufology is analyzed and challenged from the standpoint of those who have had experiences with the paranormal. One of the conceptions that they take issue is how such conceptions of the UFOlogical circles have been established, such as the Disclosure Movement  which automatically assumes that the phenomenon is extra-terrestrial without any substantial and solidfied facts. Or why was hypnosis regarded as the main tool for alien abduction research? What role does hypnosis play in memory recall and is it reliable? There are many episodes of Paratopia dedicated to this subject, the most important are the Emma Woods interview and tapes that have been brought to light. Another issue has been that there is an “alien genetic hybrid” agenda that arose in the research from the likes of Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs. But even that is questioned as well [please check out Paratopia #92: Deb Kauble interview], which leaves the paranormal phenomenon partially naked (like even some of the aforementioned researchers).

Paratopia’s interview with Jacques Vallee (really, Paratopia has been coming out with quality interviews and afterthoughts on the subject than other podcasts of a similar nature) is excellent in that it brings the paranormal in a context unfettered by all the noise of the past and present and actually looks at the facts of the phenomenon. Although we may not be closer to having any answers, we can certainly see how this phenomenon is acting out and manifesting – its as if its role is to continually keep us alseep and off our guard in various forms, whether it is a UFO (it has to be extra-terrestrial), or even a Marian apparition (the will of God). I think Jeremy Vaeni brings up an excellent question in his blog article on UFO magazine entitled: Emma Woods: Vindicated. Jacobs: Case Closed.

If there is a real phenomenon behind the alien abduction question–and I know firsthand that there is–then maybe, just maybe,  it will respond. That doesn’t mean the response will be anymore trustworthy than the current presentations. But it will be different. After all, if this isn’t alien doctors from another world who came here in the 40’s to study us or subtly takeover… If that is the modern cultural lens through which we filter this thing that’s been with us much, much longer than the 1940s… Then what happens when we crack the lens?

The episodes of Paratopia have forced me to rethink of my own personal and subjective experiences that I’ve sought answers for from many sources, including Hopkins and Jacobs. At the time, it all seemed to make sense, trying to fit my experience within the context of people’s research. When thinking about it, such as the “alien hybrid program”, it is such a narrow little box and outside that box, nothing made sense. But now that narrow little box is just as nonsensical as what was outside that box. Now that box is just added noise and confusion to the enigmatic nature of the phenomenon.

I was just listening to Jim Harold’s  Paranormal Podcast dated 10/26 in which Brad Steiger was an interviewed guest talking about his book Real Monsters. At some point during the interview the conversation turns to the late John Keel, famous for his investigative work on the Mothman phenomenon (author of The Mothman Prophecies) and how Keel related to Steiger at some point about a Men in Black (MIB) encounter. This is a selection of Steiger on Keel’s experience:

“…this is the time Men In Black and so forth and these kind of things were happening and becoming part of the mythology of the UFO field and he [Keel] started telling me these phone calls he was receiving. And what had happened to him going back and forth…He told me of three men suddenly appearing in his apartment…He saw these three men and they were telling him to leave the whole Mothman thing, leave all that alone. First of all, they didn’t come in by opening the door. They were just there, so John said. And then to prove that they were something other than ordinary, they asked what he had under his sink and John said ‘Well look and see.’ And they went over and took out a bottle of Clorox and they each took several large swallows to prove that that wouldn’t affect them in any way.”

At this point Steiger does not go further into this account of Keel’s and the conversations swings into another direction. In any case, this anecdote is fascinating to me. I love reading MIB accounts, primarily because they seem to be on the cusp edge between normal and extraordinary. Although I suspect early accounts of MIB encounters to be simply encounters with FBI agents. I’m not certain this is for every strange MIB encounter though.

My question(s) for Steiger is, how did Keel finish his experience? Did the three men vanish, did they walk out the door? What happened after they drank from the Clorox bottle?  And what was Keels reaction to all this? Was he nervous, paranoid, or simply calm and cool?

Each week I listen to quite a number of podcasts on the paranormal.  It all started when I got my mp3 player and I was able to download podcasts and listen to them in the car on my way to work, home, school, ect. I thought I’d post every once in a while about some of the ones I listen to.

Paratopia.

I first found Paratopia through Jeremy Vaeni’s Culture of Contact podcast (which itself was superb in content). It is co-hosted by two prominent individuals in the paranormal field, Jeremy Vaeni and Jeff Ritzman. Why is it my favorite? It is my favorite because of the approach to the field of the paranormal and UFOs. They are involved in questioning, not only the phenomenon, but the area that is supposed to be studying the phenomenon. It’s really a healthy dose of applying critical thinking to the problems that beset the paranormal, particularly UFOlogy. One of the highlights of the program has been to provide the space for Emma Woods regarding David Jacobs and hypnosis. Majority of the UFOlogical community has yet to realize that part of their “worldview” on hypnosis has been dealt a heavy blow (if not death blow). The other aspect is the investigation into the various aspects of the paranormal itself, such as crop circles, ghosts, the “trickster” which they definitely try to delve deeper into the issue, rather than just take it for granted. Also to their credit is their sense of humor which I was attracted to with Vaeni’s Culture of Contact podcasts as well as the seriousness in the subject matter they take up.

While although the episodes are by subscription now or pay-per-episode (but for 4.95 a month it’s a great deal!) there is a plethora of free episodes (80 of them I think) that any one interested would get the sense and idea of the show. I think the show and the work that Paratopia is doing is heading into a different direction than most and making more headway into the field than other groups and paranormal investigative teams.

I am looking forward to this week’s Paratopia which will feature Kim Carlsberg and her new book (methinks).

Once when I was little and sleeping in my bed I found myself watching a strange theater of oriental warrior puppets whose texture looked as if they were made of glass. Their faces were porcelain white. There were no words or script other than music and movement, which in the context of the “story” was frightening. I actually do not know the story except that these two characters were dueling over some thing or other and were on the verge of killing each other. The manner in which they moved, slowly, carefully, watching each other and each other’s movement pushed me to the brink of feeling I was about to lose my mind. Any sudden movement almost sent my mind reeling over the edge.

The look of calm serenity on each of the characters faces – their expression, unmoving, stoic in a sense, but their movement which showed that every detailed motion was being observed – scared me to death. It felt like they were piercing reality, which I know is a strange concept, but what I mean is that the focus and attention and intention was so intense, pointed, heavy laden with emotion and non-emotion (great irony or great contradiction) that was emanating from these characters that it felt like at any given moment the world that I had come to know was faced with the possibility of being annihilated, extinct, gone. It was not a trifle matter, but a serious one that my child mind could not understand. Any sudden movement meant death. And then as suddenly as I found myself observing this staged performance of puppets trying to annihilate each other in a careful, deliberate, and methodical manner, I found myself looking at my room and the opposite wall, still hearing the oriental music fading away in the background. (I actually do not remember the instruments I heard, whether it was flutes, strings, or drums.) I was wake but never realized when it was that I opened my eyes.

Being as little as I was, I must have been at least 5 years old, I hardly knew about other cultures, let alone Japaense traditional theater performances.  The closest, after so many years of this incident, I could find would be Bunraku Japanese theater.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunraku

The question remains, why did I have this experience? Why was I witness to this? Was it all a dream? Well it may have, but the few similar experiences I’ve had seem to share the same theme of annihilation and losing one’s sanity.

My previous post brought up the question of how to approach the paranormal? In this second article, I will suggest an approach that I think the community might benefit from. 

A very simple definition of paranormal is an event or perception that is beyond normal explanation. Maybe more accurately it would be beyond contemporary explanations. After all, explanations of phenomenon change over the matter of time. This definition is broad and covers like an umbrella an entire slew of phenomenon that can not be explained, such as ghost sightings, poltergeist activity, demon possession, strange creature sightings unexplained by biology (cryptozoology), unidentified flying objects or unidentified submerged objects, alien abductions, missing time, and so forth. 

“The materialistic outlook on nature means no more than simply conceiving nature just as it exists, without any foreign admixture.” 

Thus says, Federick Engels (Marx and Engels, Vol. XIV, p. 651.) and I think this applies to all activity observed or perceived that can not be wholly explained by conventional means. This actually opens up a can of worms on the paranormal and our conceptions of it that may be regarded as absolutes. 

While natural phenomenon exists in the natural world, “paranormal phenomenon” suggests there is a phenomenon outside of that world. Why do we reach that conclusion?

My suggestion would be to consider the paranormal phenomenon as we do like other natural phenomenon, when we go to study it. Unlike metaphysics, which holds that nature is an accidental agglomeration of things isolated from each other, all phenomenon that is to be studied and analyzed should take into account other existing and surrounding phenomenon affecting it.

So while there is a limit to what we know and understand about the universe (limited by the speed of light and so forth) does not mean that all paranormal phenomenon can’t be realized in terms of relationships. For while the latter is true, the paranormal phenomena, in order to be observed, must in a sense “come down to earth”. It’s interaction involves the people living here and its movements and motion has been observed and felt and experienced.

Without the material world, how would we even know or witness events anyway and anyhow? So it reveals the interconnection and interrelationship that the phenomenon has a relationship and life with the natural world.

In Phil Imbrogno’s Files From the Edge, he commented that paranormal investigators and researchers were or have been laying the foundations for a new science (paraphrased). While I agree with this, it hasn’t always been realized. 

Analyzing the paranormal phenomenon has been the challenge of all serious investigators. In a sense it has been “tricky” to pinpoint at what logic or guidelines the phenomenon seemingly operates. Between our reality and the phenomenon, when it manifests, there seems to be, from our point of view, a gaping disconnect. The High-strangeness factor comes into being when all conventional explanations and seemingly rationalizations have been unable to explain or understand the phenomenon. Or rather, all seemingly rationalizations and conventional thinking seems to break down before the Phenomenon itself. 

One of the problems facing the paranormal investigative community is that science is actually being blocked from looking at the phenomenon as a whole and that the monopoly media and presses treat the subject with absolute ridicule. Too few scientists are looking into the matter. Related to this, there is another problem that I see that besets the community. This is the notion that science itself is the problem and since science can not answer or look at the phenomenon then it becomes an archaic institution. In fact many refer to science of today as the new Church along the lines of when Copernicus and Galileo lived. So according to many, science must be abandoned.  The problem here is that many have forgotten the role of science is not to explain or just give answers, but to engage people in finding out and learning. It’s more questions than answers, but science is made to look as an absolute.

When one looks at the state of the paranormal community today, again, particularly the ufological community, various individuals and organizations tout ideas that have abandoned science altogether. They put forward self-serving ideas that reflect outmoded ideals as well as ideas about the world that have long ago been rejected by what has been discovered in science. In place of actual thinking these outmoded and idealist ideas find life and resurgence in paranormal circles which contributes to the problem of people taking the phenomenon and those investigating it not very seriously. It is actually very damaging.   

These are some of the problems that a serious paranormal investigator has to face. So the issue this brings up for anyone seriously looking into the paranormal is what kind of approach should we have to paranormal phenomena?