Monday, 3 November 2014



Aftermath
THIS IS ONE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES REPORTED TO BE OF 'THE PHOENIX LIGHTS.'Seven years after my trip to Arizona, I decided to see if there was any further information available on the Internet about the people I'd met in 1998.I learned that Jeff Willes had produced his first DVD of his UFO video recordings entitled "UFOs Over Phoenix Volume 1." His website is ufosoverphoenix.com.Frances Emma Barwood had been defeated in the primary election in her bid to become Arizona secretary of state. A March 2002 article by Thomas Ropp in "The Arizona Republic "entitled "Mystery lingers over sighting of Phoenix Lights" offered a look back at the controversial night and quoted the official military explanation: "the 'V' formation was a squadron of military planes and the balls of light were high-intensity flares." There was also a mention of Barwood.Former Phoenix Councilwoman Frances Emma Barwood said the local media ridiculed her when she asked for and was denied an investigation. Now living with her husband, Mike, in a cabin in the Bradshaw Mountains near Dewey, Barwood still finds it incredulous how she was treated."All I wanted them to do was investigate this," she said. "I never said anything about extraterrestrials." Similarly, during her lecture that I attended in 1998, she had expressed bewilderment in reaction to the term having been used in public by her spokesman.I discovered that John Warnhoff had become cofounder of the Southern Kentucky Metaphysical Society (apparently now defunct) with a website presenting an article detailing his family's enigmatic UFOlogy experiences. The following is an excerpt from the May 30, 2001 edition of the Bowling Green, Kentucky "Daily News". The article's headline was "The eyes in the sky" - "Group looks at theories and the realities of UFOs" by Alicia Carmichael.John Warnhoff saw "men in black" long before actors Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith took to the silver screen to portray darkly clad extraterrestrial hunters.That's just one reason the retired insurance salesman from Kansas founded the Southern Kentucky Metaphysical Society, or Sky MAPS, with his friend J. R. Stucki earlier this year."The way all this came about was based on personal experience," Warnhoff said.Through Sky MAPS, Warnhoff and Stucki arrange for discussions of all things metaphysical, including quantum physics, the nature of being or reality, the study of the nature of knowledge and the possibility of unexplained phenomena - like sightings of extraterrestrial life.For Warnhoff, Sky MAPS offers a chance to further explore something strange that occurred in his childhood.On Nov. 11,1957, Warnhoff's father and other Kansas interstate travelers reported seeing an unidentified flying object in the sky.The lead front-page headline in an edition of the Wichita Beacon read: "Mysterious Object in Sky Startles Scores of Kansans."What the paper didn't report was the backlash that the Warnhoff family would feel after Warnhoff's father's account was detailed."Once that happened and was published in the paper, the phone began to ring," said Warnhoff, who was 15 at the time of the sighting. " We had a lot of people try to intimidate us - tell us we shouldn't talk about it."A few months later, Warnhoff came in contact with the people he describes as the "men in black.""In April of 1958, on a Saturday morning, the doorbell rang and I went to the door and there were two men in black," he said."And in 1958, no one talked about men in black."The men had arrived at the home in a black car that they had parked halfway in the driveway and halfway in the road - with its doors left open, Warnhoff explained. The men wore sunglasses and black suits - "when it was not the time of year that you would wear that" - and flashed FBI badges, he said.They asked to speak with Warnhoff's dad."They went outside with my dad and walked around the house," Warnhoff said.The elder Warnhoff did not report what was said, according to Warnhoff.Not too much later, John Warnhoff answered a phone call that was meant for his father."... The voice said, 'I don't want you to talk about it anymore. I'm warning you,'" Warnhoff said. "I said, 'Well, you want my dad.'"I went and got my dad and he got on the phone and I saw the color leave his face," he said. "He hung up the phone and said, 'Go get your mother and brother.'"Warnhoff's father told the family that they would never speak of his sighting again.For years, Warnhoff kept that promise, he said.But it was not easy.He said he once woke up in the middle of the night with concern about his father, who had had a heart attack. When he got up to check on his dad, Warnhoff said he saw his father walking around, as if in a trance, while being led by a beam of light with which he appeared to be communicating through facial movements. Although Warnhoff was in his father's line of vision, he said, his dad did not see him.Warnhoff followed his father through the house and the beam of light exited the home through a fireplace.Warnhoff knows that some people will be skeptical of his story.But he isn't daunted."I know that my dad had an experience and I had an experience," he said.Through the years, Warnhoff has heard similar stories of unexplained things - and not just from people with whom he is close.He has attended many conferences and meetings with experts who study unexplained phenomena across the country. I was interested to learn if more information could be discovered about the article that had appeared in a November 1957 issue of the "Wichita Beacon" with the headline "Forty-Four Missing Persons in a Vanished Pan American Stratocruiser." Conducting an Internet search on this subject, I found two articles among a longer narrative that appeared to involve "Spaceships." Here is the first article that I read: "... a report from the "Des Moines Register", dated November 9, 1957." A large Stratocruiser, enroute between San Francisco and Honolulu, is reported missing after having sighted mysterious blinking lights in the sky early this morning. The last position given by the plane was about 900-1000 miles northeast of Honolulu. A military transport flying near the area reported similar mystery lights, blinking off and on, 120 miles north of the last reported position of the Stratocruiser after it had been reported missing. A full scale sea and air search is in operation with vain efforts to find the plane carrying a crew of four, and thirty-six passengers, in the event it might have plunged into the sea. A note mentioned, "Later reports said 44 aboard." The same source presented another article identified as being "from the Associated Press, published January 16, 1958 in the "Omaha World Herald" with the headline "Radio-Active Cargo Fell - Mystery of Plane's Crash Unsolved." San Francisco, Cal. (A.P.) - The Pan American Stratocruiser, Romance of the Skies, was carrying shipments of chemicals and "radio-active" materials when it crashed in the Pacific, killing all forty-four persons aboard, a Civil Aeronautics Board hearing was told Wednesday. The huge airliner, bound from San Francisco to Honolulu, mysteriously plunged into the ocean about midway between two points last Nov. 8th.Only nineteen bodies were recovered.The first witness before the seven-man hearing panel was David L. Thompson, of CAB investigators, who has spent the last two months seeking clues from the wreckage.Mr. Thompson said one thing certain was that the plane had burned after it struck the water.He said the plane carried a shipment of "Yellow label sodium sulfite restricted cargo packed in accordance with ICC regulations.""In addition," he said, "there was White Label radio-active material aboard the plane."Mr. Thompson offered no solution to one of the prime mysteries of the tragedy - the riddle of why crewmen were unable to send a distress message in the twenty-three minutes from the time it last gave a position to the time it struck water. In between these two articles on this Internet page, the following was written: I wondered if the blinking lights might have been Spaceships and, if so, whether they could have caused an accident? Was that why my friends from the Spaceship wanted to know about the cargo? As I read further, I discovered that these articles and commentary were from a book published in 1963 as "The Reinhold Schmidt Story"... My Contact with the Space People." This short book that proved disappointing for me had been published in a 1975 reprint with the title modified so that "Edge of Tomorrow" was prominent with a blurb attesting "Cosmic Secrets Exposed." I obtained an edition via an Internet bookstore and photographs in the book revealed that a low-budget Hollywood movie had been made based upon Schmidt's account. I also found that original interview recordings of Schmidt were available as part of an MP3 compact disc compilation of 'contactee' audio tracks entitled "Saucerology: Tales of Giant Rock." Within a matter of days, I received this CD after ordering it via the Internet from the Faded Discs Archive of Wendy Connors. Later, I obtained many other CDs that were then available from the Archive. A CD with interviews of self-proclaimed alien contactees was entitled "Flying Saucers & Four Guys Named George: Adamski, VanTassel, Hunt Williamson & King." There was also "CE IV: Alien Abduction ">In following years, I would obtain three more Wendy Connors MP3 CDs in the "Night Journeys in UFOlogy" series and Connors would be instrumental in my obtaining research materials I'd previously not been able to find. Information about the "UFOlogy: A Primer in Audio 1939 - 1959" disc stated: "This research material was accomplished because of the generosity of many individuals and organizations that share the concept of preserving, for future generations, these rare recordings."Hearing the "Saucerology" interviews of Schmidt would make it evident that his story is evidently a bizarre example of disinformation. Analysis of the book "Edge of Tomorrow" and the preserved Reinhold Schmidt interviews reveal contradictions. The most astonishing fact was that Schmidt's claims immediately (the same day) became a media event. In the book, Schmidt's first contact with "people from another planet" is said to have taken place after 2:30 p.m. in Kearney, Nebraska on November 5, 1957. After relating his story to the deputy sheriff, Schmidt accompanied him back to the site of his encounter where he'd described seeing four hydraulic rams supporting the craft he first mistook to be "a large, half-inflated balloon." He said he'd been briefly paralyzed by a tiny stream of light before being taken on board and seeing a panel described with terminology of then-familiar American technology. During his first radio interview, Schmidt said: "On each end of the machine there was a tube running up and down." Some of the words are hard to distinguish but he mentioned big fans and a propeller. In a recording with an identifying date of 03.02.1958, Schmidt explained that there were no propellers but the compartments at both ends of the craft contained tubes twelve feet in diameter running straight up and down with fans at the base. Another contention is that peculiar sweet-smelling green oil was said to have been found at the initial landing site although Schmidt related that he was later told that the craft operated via "energy from the Earth and from the Sun." Upon returning to Kearney with the deputy sheriff, the events were reported to the chief of police and another trip to the alleged landing site was made before Schmidt was dropped off at his hotel. He then recalled in his book: I sat down in the lobby to watch television. Shortly, the local program was cut off for a special news flash: "SPACESHIP LANDS AT KEARNEY, NEBRASKA!" I was very much surprised because nothing had been said to me about making an announcement over the air. In fact, I had not even referred to the object as a spaceship, because I didn't know what it was. According to the book, following the television announcement, "There was absolute bedlam for about sixteen hours!" Schmidt wrote:Photographers and newsmen came from surrounding cities and even from other states. At 9:00 p.m. the Chief of Police and I were interviewed on a local radio station, and at 10:00 a.m. we appeared on a local TV station. These programs were also released on national radio and TV networks.In his memoir, Schmidt divulged that a lie-detector test was never administered to him. Nonetheless, the March 2, 1958 recording of a Detroit Flying Saucer Research Group meeting featured commentary by Major Wayne S. Aho, who said that his investigation of Schmidt's situation indicated "this man was telling of a true experience." Aho explained he had developed a group called Washington Foster Intelligence after sixteen years of active and reserve duty that had brought him a bronze star and purple heart. He stated that he was now working in a civilian capacity "carrying on a type of an educational campaign that is not necessarily the desire or the attitude or belief of the armed services." Major Aho was accompanying Schmidt on a lecture tour in 1958.The 64-page narrative presented by "Edge of Tomorrow" describes a series of flights in the spacecraft of human beings from Saturn with Schmidt's primary intermediary, Mr. X, described as speaking in English with a German accent. Schmidt said that at other times he heard the beings speaking in high German. His contacts by the space people resulted with incredible secrets being revealed to him. Schmidt described a visit to the Great Pyramid with Mr. X, who led him to a secret room containing a spaceship. Inside the spaceship, Schmidt viewed the evidence that Jesus following the crucifixion "was taken to His home planet in that very spaceship!" accompanied by Mr. X himself. I would eventually become acquainted with far more compelling 'space people' contact cases as shown by my previous blog articles about Orfeo Angelucci, Daniel Fry and Truman Bethurum - their case study books all preceded Schmidt's.Schmidt's concern about "the blinking lights" being spaceships that "could have caused an accident" for the stratocruiser seems related to "reports circulated that blinking lights were sighted near its last checkpoint," as I found mentioned in the newspaper article "Plane Down At Sea" in the Nov. 9, 1957 issue of "The Miami News". A lengthy investigatory article about the disaster "The Mystery of the Lost Clipper" in a 2004 issue of "Air "> After researching the alien contactees of the 1950s and '60s, I've concluded that there were some apparent charlatans who distracted attention away from more earnest and intellectually labyrinthine accounts.


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