(Ces sélections du Catalogue de Traces de Ted Phillips sont parues à l'origine dans plusieurs éditions du magazine Crop Watcher et ont été compilée par le chercheur britannique Paul Fuller. Des remerciements spéciaux à Paul Fuller pour nous avoir autorisé à compiler ses extraits en un article, et à Mark Rodeghier du CUFOS pour la permission de reproduire les données de Ted Phillips aProjet 1947.
Je suis très reconnaissant à Mark Rodeghier du Centre pour les Etudes sur les Ovnis (CUFOS) de J. Allen-Hynek pour nous avoir autorisé à reproduire les cas suivants du célèbre Catalogue de Traces Physiques de Ted Phillips. Le catalogue a été publié en 1975 par le CUFOS et son titre approprié est Physical Traces Associated with UFO Sightings, A Preliminary Catalogue.
Ted Phillips est né en 1942 et a vécu toute sa vie dans le Missouri. Il est toujours vivant aujourd'hui
et sa carrière dans la recherche sur les ovnis s'est étendue de la fin des années 1960s au milieu des années 1980s.
Phillips a eu une carrière variée et a à divers moments été inspecteur du Département Autoroutier de l'Etat du
Missouri, photographe professionnel et également musicien de jazz amateur. Selon l'UFO Encyclopedia de Ronald
Story, Phillips a enquêté sur plus de 500 cas d'ovnis dans ses 12 premières années de recherche sur les ovnis. Sa
déclaration de position (écrite au milieu des années 1970s) s'est conclue par :
Je pense, après 13 ans d'enquête,
[que] les données indiquent une origine non terrestre.
This summary is based on only a partial listing of the catalogue as many of Phillips' cases appear extremely dubious in nature. Cases from the early 1950s are particularly unreliable because many of the early UFO books were written by people who automatically assumed that they were describing encounters with alien spaceships. Jenny Randles tells me that cases reported in the "hysterical" Spanish and South American media should be treated even more skeptically because these cases were often complete fabrications! Furthermore many of the early cases have no proper source, e.g. Phillips quotes Vallee describing cases which appear to have been anecdotally reported to Vallee. This means that we often have no idea whether or not a specific case was investigated by anyone, let alone whether it was a contemporary investigation or whether the investigator was in any sense someone capable of undertaking an objective scientific evaluation.
In addition to these problems we have a major definitional problem concerning cases which feature circular ground traces because of the current confusion which exists over the authenticity of the archetypal crop circle. Doug and Dave claimed to have actually created the phenomenon of a sharply-defined swirled circle, but they apparently based their hoax on the Tully reeds circles, which themselves were sharply-defined swirled circles. Given this regrettable fact, what do we include in our definition of a crop circle? Do we include roughly circular shapes of depressed but not swirled circles or do we stick to sharp-edged circles? How about burned circles or circles where the crop has been denuded or completely removed? Given these problems its probably wise to merely highlight all cases involving circular traces but not assume that they are necessarily caused by the same causal mechanism. It is quite possible that there may be several natural circle-forming mechanisms which all create different types of circular ground trace. One of these mechanisms could still be Meaden's postulated plasma-vortex but it is wise not to assume that any particular category of circular ground trace must be caused by the postulated plasma vortex. In any event we will be trying to track down case material referred to by Phillips and will report back in a future issue.
Cases are listed in date order and each case has a unique case number, the location, a brief summary and (usually) a primary source. Some have local times noted. CUFOS only have one copy of this catalogue left so please do not write to them requesting copies of this case material. CUFOS can be contacted at the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, 2457 West Peterson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659, U.S.A., or via their website,
Several farmers caught sight of a large globe which was surrounded by flames. A whistling sound was heard. The object slowed, made some oscillations and moved toward the top of the hill, unearthing plants along the slope. The heat was so intense that grass and small trees started burning. In the evening the sphere was still warm. Witnesses: 2 mayors, a doctor, 3 other authorities, in addition to the dozens of peasants who were present. A kind of door opened and a person came out of it. The person was dressed in a strange way, wearing a tight-fitting suit and, seeing all the people, said some words that were not understood and ran into the woods. The sphere exploded silently, throwing pieces everywhere, and these pieces burned until they were powder. This report [is based on an earlier report made] on June 17, 1790, by Police Inspector Liabeuf. Source: Vallee III, p60.
[PF Notes: This case has always attracted more than the usual amount of skepticism, although we are not aware that it has been exposed as a hoax. Quite a few of Vallee's original folklore cases were later exposed as dubious or hoaxed, but this case sounds like something straight out of Jules Verne - perhaps we have a retrospective hoax? Also, were there really Police Inspectors in 18th century France? I thought Peel didn't found the first police force in Britain until the 1830s so how can we have a French Police Inspector in 1790?]
"Small metal objects, perfectly hexagonal, fell out of the sky after a 'strange cloud' was seen hanging over the town for a considerable time" (UFOs from Behind the Iron Curtain, page 278).
[PF: Another weird case! Sounds a little bit like the infamous First Fourth Norfolk Regiment that allegedly disappeared inside a strange cloud during the siege of Gallipoli in 1916. This too was a retrospective hoax that has only recently been admitted to. On the other hand Charles Fort's books were full of 'strange clouds' that did peculiar things. Its a pity there isn't more information. Difficult to evaluate.]
The mystery circle, as it is called locally, has not for many years produced plant growth. Transplanted grass has died. It is said that insects, birds and animals avoid the area, which is a 40-ft circle. (Skylook)
[PF: This doesn't sound like a crop circle at all.]
A Mrs Fulton saw an occupant with a large head as he sat down on the rim of a round object. The object suddenly glowed and gave out rays of yellow light. The bottom revolved anti-clockwise and the object rose vertically at a high speed. It left the smell of hot pepper in the air. Three weeks later every tree in the orchard was dead. (Personal files)
[PF: Another entity case which sounds very much like a hoax. If there were physical traces - as alleged - why has this case not been published elsewhere in the literature as a classic CEII/CEIII ?]
UFO landed, bark on tree trunks damaged, trees spread outward. No other details. (UFO-INFO).
[PF: Not enough detail to comment on really]
At King's Sutton an object resembling a haystack flew on an irregular course. Sometimes high, sometimes low, it was accompanied by fire and dense smoke, and produced the same effect as a tornado, felling trees and walls. It vanished suddenly. (VALLEE III)
PF: Phillips was perceptive to state that the King's Sutton event produced the same effects as a tornado, as this event almost certainly was a tornado.
Alan Watson of Banbury decided to track down the original newspaper accounts of this event. In doing so he contacted Banbury Library, Oxfordshire County Council Leisure and Arts, and the Banbury Guardian/Central Counties Newspapers Limited. The latter have given copyright permission for Alan to reproduce these accounts in The Crop Watcher.
From the Banbury Guardian, 5 December, 1872, page 2 :-
One of the most extraordinary things that perhaps ever fell to our lot to chronicle took place near King's Sutton on Saturday, when Walton Grounds, Astrop and Newbottle were visited by a phenomenon of a most remarkable description, and which carried great destruction before it, tearing up seventeen trees by their roots, damaging no less than thirty-six others, throwing down 116 yards of stone wall, removing parts of the thatch of a hovel and rick, and nearly resulting in a fatal accident to a man.
It appears that shortly before one o'clock on Saturday the weather became very overcast and cloudy, with a heavy rainfall. There was a vivid flash of lightning instantly followed by a loud thunderclap, and immediately afterwards the phenomenon came upon the scene. An eye-witness says it was "something in the shape of a haycock, accompanied with fire and dense smoke, revolving through the air, making a noise similar to a railway train in motion, but a great deal louder, and travelling much faster. Sometimes it was high in the air, and sometimes near the ground." The first appearance of the phenomenon seems to be upon Mr. Rogers' farm at Walton Grounds, where it felled two or three trees. It proceeded from S.W., to N.E. and almost took a straight line for some distance, but turned N.W., towards the end of its career. In the field adjoining Mr. Rogers' farm, and which belongs to Sir William Brown, a number of trees were struck, the limbs of some carried away, the tops of others, and two completely torn up. After knocking down some rails, three large elm trees skirting Mr. Cartwright's spinney were torn up and a quantity of earth with them. There does not appear to have been any damage done to the spinney, which is planted with ash poles, but it is something extraordinary that on each side of it there has been much destruction.
A man named William Adams, who was breaking stones on the road leading from King's Sutton to Newbottle, and just on the outside of the spinney, says that he heard a whizzing noise coming through the spinney - a noise like a train coming up - accompanied with dense smoke. Immediately he heard a greater noise, and a tree that he had been standing under for shelter for a short time before was torn up by the roots. Just before this took place, he says there was a heavy shower of rain, and a vivid flash of lightning, which frightened a boy who was working with him a few yards off, and at his request he went with him, and he had no sooner reached him than the tree he had been standing under was thrown down with great violence. Another tree on the same side of the road, and but a short distance off, shared the same fate, and here branches are scattered about in every direction.
On the opposite side of the road, a beech tree, said to be one of the largest on Sir William Brown's estate, was torn up by the roots, taking many tons of earth with it. The length of the earth facing the road removed is about ten or eleven yards. An adjoining beech was split in two, one portion being left standing. The thatching of a hovel near was disturbed, and some cattle in the hovel were frightened, and rushed out into the field. A little further on a large hedge has been thrown down, and the fire ball has made great havoc at Newbottle Park, 116 yards or more of the wall of which was thrown down. The wall is thrown down at intervals, and at one place seventy or eighty yards of it had been razed to the ground. Some trees in the park were struck, but it is strange that of a number of trees standing in a line, the first was struck, the second and the third were not, whilst the fourth was. The ball seems to have spent itself a short distance beyond Mr. Cartwright's boundary wall, where the ground has been torn up, trees knocked down, and branches scattered about for a considerable distance.
The people who saw the fire ball and watched its progress, say they saw the last of it here, that it disappeared all at once, and there was even no trace of smoke, nor did they hear an explosion of any kind. The noise it made was, it is said, terrific, it being accompanied by a whirlwind that carried everything before it, the smoke rose high in the air, and the people thought the earth was about to open. Stones from Mr. Cartwright's wall, several pounds in weight, were carried many yards, and some men at work a mile away saw the contents of a pool carried away by the whirlwind. The distance traversed by the ball was about two miles, and it will be seen that at the outset of its career, it was no so destructive as towards the close.
Some of those who saw the phenomenon, to use their own words, say, "there was as much smoke as would come from five or six engines, but not much fire, and the noise it made was awful." It created much consternation amongst them and one man rushed away from the place in a state of great trepidation. The scene has been visited by numbers of people, the phenomenon having, of course, caused much comment in the neighbourhood.
Sir, - May I ask you to insert the following account of a curious atmospheric phenomenon which occurred here to-day!
About 12 o'clock we had a heavy storm of rain and hall, in the middle of which was a very vivid flash of lightning, with almost instantaneous thunder of a very peculiar rattling sound. About five minutes after this, as I was leaving the house, my gardener called me to come quickly and see the fireball. I was unfortunately half a minute too late, but I have seen four persons who saw it from different points, and all agree they heard a hissing roaring sound, like a passing train, which attracted their attention, and then saw a huge revolving ball of fire travelling from six to ten feet off the ground. The smoke was whizzing round and rising high into the air, and a whirlwind accompanied it, carrying a cloud of branches along and destroying everything in its way. The damage is very considerable - large trees bodily uprooted - others broken off about ten feet from the ground, others with all their branches snapped off; in one place a wall laid flat, and the remainder knocked over at intervals, as if the wall had rebounded, and some of the stones carried ten yards off. I rode this afternoon along the whole line of its journey - about 2 miles in length. The direction was first from S.W. to N.E., and then it turned N.W. Where it first begun the breadth of ground travelled over was very narrow, but increased as it proceeded, till in the last field the debris covered a space quite 150 yards wide, and here it seems to have exhausted itself, as all the witnesses agree that the ball of fire seemed to vanish at this spot without any explosion. Here the ground had been out in places as if by a cannon ball, but I could find no cause for this and I saw no signs of fire on its route. One man, however, says there was a strong sulphurous smell after it had passed.
[PF: The sulphurous smell is almost certainly the mis-identification of ozone and nitrogen oxides - which are created by the effect of electricity on air. Tornadoes which are highly electrically-active are often reported as being accompanied by such smells.]
About the time of this occurrence my farm men at work about a quarter of a mile in quite another direction saw the water of a pond carried into the air by a whirlwind.
The wind was light all day from SS.E. My pocket aneroid (made by Bryson, of Edinburgh) stood this morning at 28.48 [inches]. At this moment it stands at 28.27, showing that the atmospheric disturbance has not yet begun to subside.
I am yours obediently,
T. L. M. Cartwright,
Newbottle Manor, Banbury, Nov 30th, 1872
The Banbury Guardian ran a second article describing the event in its 12 December edition (page 3) :-
As was to be expected, the phenomenon which lately occurred at King's Sutton, and which we referred to at length last week, has attracted the attention of a number of scientific gentlemen, and amongst them Mr. G. . Symons, the eminent meteorologist, and Mr. Thomas Beesley, of Banbury, who visited the neighbourhood last week, and after an enquiry extending over several days, we understand they are of opinion that the place had been visited by a cyclone. The appearance of fire is explained for by the friction of the branches of trees caused by the rapid evolutions [sic (?) revolutions?] with which they were carried through the air. Photographs have been taken of the various damages, and in all probability the subject will be dealt with by Mr. Symons in the Meteorological Magazine, of which he is the editor. On Sunday four or five hundred persons visited the place, and every day adds to the number of those who have been attracted to the spot, some of them coming seventy or eighty miles.
THE GALEHere as elsewhere on Sunday evening a terrific gale was experienced, accompanied with heavy rainfall. Throughout the night the wind never ceased, and fearful gusts blew occasionally - gusts of tremendous power and force which seemed as if they would carry everything before them. In this neighbourhood a good deal of damage was done. A large elm tree in front of the Horton Infirmary was blown down, a popular in Prospect Terrace, another elm in the Causeway, and walls in various places. The roofs of hovels and cottages suffered considerably, the thatching of a cottage at Grimsbury being partially removed, to the consternation of the occupants. Two trees were knocked down at North Aston, knocking down telegraph posts and wires and creating other havoc. The telegraphic communication was stopped, and the road was blocked up, so that the mail from Woodstock was greatly behind time. The engine-shed at Bletchley was blown down, doing much damage, but no person was injured."
On page 3 of the Banbury Guardian is a further item :-
Oxford was visited on Sunday night by one of the most violent gales which has been experienced for many years past, and considerable damage has been to property. An extensive goods shed at the Great Western Railway Station, which was approaching completion, was blown down, doing damage to the extent of between two and three hundred pounds. It was 250 feet long, and the walls were 20 feet high. They were built of brick, and were 14 inches in thickness, with piers 18 inches thick, at intervals of 9 feet. There were 26 cast-iron girders in the building, all of which were smashed to pieces by the fall of the walls. The contractor was Mr. Bishop of Reading. Several signal and telegraph posts have been blown down on the Great Western line near Oxford, but fortunately the telegraph wire had not been broken. At Christ Church about 60 feet of the ornamental parapet wall over the Vice-Chancellor's residence was blown on the lead roof, which was seriously damaged thereby. Some of the University barges on the Thames were driven from their moorings, and rafts were sunk. Two or three of the large elms in the avenue known as the Broad Walk, were blown down, and large branches of other broken off. The end wall of a house at Cowley St. John fell, but fortunately the occupants escapen [sic] unhurt. Garden walls in several places fell, and some ornamental stonework was blown off from All Saints College. A large number of chimney pots and slates from roofs were also blown off, but fortunately, so far as we can learn, no accident [to persons] has occurred."The Banbury Guardian goes on to refer to damageat St. Aldgate's Church, where the tower has already been demolished,and to the Spire of All Saints Church, which has been left in a "verydangerous condition". There is alsoan account of the earlier tornado from the Pall Mall Gazette, which isquoted in full :-
There has been an extraordinary, and, it may be added, singularly unpleasant atmospheric phenomenon near Banbury. About one o'clock in the afternoon "something in the shape of a haycock and of great size" was seen revolving through the air. At first people naturally thought it was the "Claimant," but speedily to their cost discovered that it was something even more alarming and mysterious. It was accompanied by fire and smoke, and sometimes was high up in the air and at other times close to the ground. Its noise was terrible, and resembled that of an express train running with extreme rapidity. It tore up no fewer than seventeen trees, injured thirty-six more, and threw down 116 yards of stone wall, besides frightening everybody out of their wits. For a mile and a half this disagreeable thing, whatever it was, pursued its destructive career, and was accompanied in its progress by a whirlwind almost as mischievous as itself, for this latter nuisance, it is stated, swept everything before it - dried up a pond over which it passed, carried stones for a distance of forty yards, and knocked down hosts of railings. Altogether a more troublesome couple than the thing like a haycock and its attendant whirlwind have rarely visited a quiet neighbourhood, nor are we surprised to hear that the inhabitants thought "the earth was about to open and swallow them up." It is a touching trait in the character of this simple folk that in the hour of peril they were fully prepared to share the fate of the Banbury cakes which have made their district so famous. -- Pall Mall Gazette
Many thanks to Alan Watson for his research and thoughtfulness in sending us this superb account. - Paul Fuller
[PF: This is the classic case discussed in all our work as an early account of a sudden explosive vortex creating a circular ground trace. It is listed along with other accounts of explosive vortex events in Corliss' Tornados, Dark Days and Anomalous Precipitation]
[PF: This sounds to me more like some kind of industrial pollutant rather than a spaceship! Jenny Randles has informed me of some fascinating work by Louis Frank (summarised in a paper by Frank, Sigworth and Craven, International Geophysical Research Letters, 1986). Frank was intrigued by abnormally high water vapour levels in the upper atmosphere as well as by UFO reports and reports of strange things falling out of the sky. He postulated that every day the earth's atmosphere is struck by thousands of mini comets - comets composed of inter-stellar ice but only a few metres in size. Such comets would presumably evaporate in the upper atmosphere, where they might be mistaken for UFOs. A few might conceivably reach the lower atmosphere where they might behave in the manner described in this case. Frank's controversial theory has been widely debated in the scientific press and has attracted a good deal of skepticism. I've not heard of Frank's theory before so perhaps it is wise to reserve judgement.]
[PF: Another inconclusive case]
[PF: Well! This is a classic early close encounter case that exceeds the boggle threshold by some way. I don't like single witness entity cases, particularly ones where the entities, despite having travelled from goodness-knows-where, were incapable of crossing a creek? It could so easily turn out to be a hoax .]
[PF:. Another awkward case. Its difficult to come to a rational solution unless we conclude that "it can't be therefore it isn't"!]
[PF:. Not really enough information here. ]
[PF: The standard explanation for these "Angel Hair" cases is that spiders' cobwebs have coalesced and then disintegrated. The only real question is how the spiders' webs coalesce at cloud level].
[PF: I think it was John Keel who first drew attention to the "swarm of bees" sound frequently heard during close encounter cases. The trace is not very typical of a CEII and may not even be related to the object seen.]
[PF:. Another single witness entity case. Don't forget Jenny's comments about a "hysterical" Spanish UFO press. The traces - even the case itself - may have been fabricated by the witness or the newspaper.]
[PF: Sounds more like a hoax to me !]
[PF: Again not very convincing evidence of a crop circle]
[PF: This sounds a promising case. The "pricklings" may well be due to the presence of static electricity. There are numerous cases on record where the UFO followed a vehicle - this could be because the car was electrically charged by the proximity of a natural electro- magnetic field. There are also plenty of cases where car bodies apparently changed colour, although it is not really clear if this was just a temporary illusion (eg at night) or a real effect witnessed in daylight. We'll try and find out more details.
[PF: At last, something which sounds like a crop circle! We will be trying to find more information on this case for a future issue. The lack of a precise date and location is not very encouraging. It could be the "1953" case we published in our historical list in CW14]
[PF: Again this doesn't sound like crop circles as we have come to know and love them .]
[PF: This is one of the early classic crop circle cases, often referred to as the Redlynch case. Like many of the earlier case the trace was in grass, thus disqualifying it as a crop circle according to some researchers]
[PF: Again, probably not a crop circle, but interesting nevertheless.]
[PF:This is another peculiar case which sounds potentially explicable. We'll get back to you on this one!]
[PF: What an intriguing case. What a pity it only involves weeds rather than mature vegetation. It would be very easy to read too much into this case so again we will try to find out more before coming to a conclusion.]
[PF: This is a good CEII report with valuable clues about the nature of the natural energy forces involved. Again note the reference to a "tingling" sensation and the affect on the car bodywork. We will be searching for more information about this case and will report back on what we find.]
[ PF: More "Angel Hair" spiders' cobwebs]
[PF: Some confusion exists in the UFO literature over the alleged "burning" inside circles. This is sometimes wrongly assumed when plants rot and turn black. It would be interesting to find out who analysed the grass and found such interesting metals. Were these metals already present before the circle was formed? We'll be trying to track down more information]
[PF: This case was featured on page 159 of Crop Circles, A Mystery Solved as a potential plasma-vortex case. Note the reference to the unusual atmospheric sensations. This too is a clue to the natural origin of the effect being described. We suggest that the failure of the car engine is due to intense ionisation of the air.
[PF: It is interesting to compare the behaviour and appearance of these UFOs with those mentioned in the Upland case - both were disc-shaped with brilliantly lit rims, and both landed on the ground for a minute or two. The Turner case was part of a more complex sequence of UFO events spanning several weeks but in this particular case the witnesses were obviously too far away to experience any of the effects described in the Upland case.]
[PF:OK then readers, what kind of light leaves "sucking marks" ? How about one generated by some obscure vortex mechanism surrounded by an electro-static field of some kind?]
[PF:An intriguing case. How much of the description is objectively reported and how much is conditioned by witnesses cultural stereotype of what they are supposed to be seeing ?]
[PF: If memory serves me correctly this case was later admitted to be a hoax.]
[PF: If this case can be counted as a crop circle then it was one I didn't know about. We'll certainly try to track down more information about it and report back.]
[PF: I find this case dubious in the extreme. Don't you?]
[PF: This is the classic Evenlode case discussed in all our published work.]
[PF: Here's another historical case which could be a fairy ring or a crop circle. I'll try and find out as much as possible for a future article.]
A witness was driving from Grand Forks to Minot when an object flew across in front of her car and followed it. The next day a bowl-shaped imprint in which all the grass was crushed was found. Three indentations were clearly marked within the depressed area. Plants and grass had radiation of the subterranean roots. (Data- Net).
Three truck drivers saw a luminous object ahead of them. It remained on the ground for one minute. Where the object had been they found a wet, greyish substance. (FSR 10:62)
[PF: Could the humming noise been due to an electro-static field ? The "circle" could have been caused by considerable air pressure inside the vortex. Or do you have any better ideas?]
[PF: The evidence here rests a great deal on whether the group of people were known to the witness prior to the encounter and how long the witness had to fabricate the traces.]
[PF:. A very famous case. Does anyone know if it was ever exposed as a hoax ?]
Marks "like three large fingerprints pushed together into mud" were found, forming a square with 8 foot sides within an 11 foot circular depression which contained a 3 foot central circle. Grass was found flattened. These marks were only 150 foot away from the site of Case No 123, in 1958. (Vallee III and Eileen Buckle in The Scoriton Mystery via Fred Merritt).
[PF: Well following John Barrett's lecture at BUFORA's 25th birthday party I know that anything connected with the Scoriton mystery is probably a hoax.]
[PF: So just because "numerous" UFOs were reported in June the trace just HAD to be related, didn't it!]
I think readers will agree with me when I state that many of the early cases described in Phillips' catalogue are far from satisfactory. Of course, this was not Phillips' fault, rather the fault of his contributors, who frequently accepted what they were told by witnesses without the slightest degree of critical thinking or logic. Some cases - eg the Alencon landing from 18th century France - have been dismissed by skeptical researchers as outright frauds, whilst others - such as the car stop case at Tuscon (case 790) - suggest that there may be valuable data lying around waiting to be discovered and re-inter preted as unusual natural phenomena by liberal-minded scientists. The real problem is this - how do we sort out the wheat from the chaff ???
We now move on to examine just a few cases from the mid 1960s. Readers may note an increase in the number of circular ground trace cases listed as well as a corresponding improvement in detail. Whether this makes the cases any more valuable is, of course, open to speculation.
[PF:This case sounds promising. How many times have we heard witnesses report a "ringing noise" or other unusual acoustics when circular ground traces were forming? See CW #4 page 30-32 for one excellent case. The Rosedale case described on pages 216-218 of Crop Circles, A Mystery Solved is another. How do the skeptics explain these parallels?]
[PF: Another excellent case highly suggestive of some natural earthlight or plasma-vortex interpretation. For the super skeptics amongst you, please explain how the two boys managed to create such a large circular trace. How did they create all the burning effects and damage tree branches 30 to 40 feet above the ground? Presumably Fate Magazine has a photograph of this trace. Does anyone have a copy ?]
[PF: An interesting case. It is a pity that the witness was so far away from the light as this increases the possibility that the light had a mundane explanation. If so, the interesting traces might have some un related explanation. On the other hand, if the witness saw what she claims to have seen what kind of natural force can crush vegetation and calcify a pole? Was there a steep hill slope nearby? Or is this more related to ball lightning than a plasma vortex?]
[PF: Sounds like a classic crop circle case doesn't it. We'll chase this one up for a future issue.]
[PF:We have to be careful with burned circles as they may be created by different forces to swirled circles. Strange isn't it how the modern crop circle literature has only one case of a burned crop circle hoax, from 1987, see CW#3, page 25 (case 5). Why is this?]
[PF: Again we must be cautious. This could be a fairy ring not a swirled ring. It could also be a hoax by the witnesses to support their "sighting". What did the "saucer" look like ? Was it really shaped like a "saucer" ? Or was it simply a very bright light that the witness misperceived as a structured object due to the prevailing cultural myth that any unidentified light must be a spaceship? This is another case the skeptics must explain.]
[PF:Its a pity that there is no mention of a control sample so that we can compare soil porosity in the circle with its surroundings. This might just be a fungal growth of some kind.]
[PF:Another unexplained ground marking, rather than a crop circle. ]
[PF: I have mixed feelings about this case. The presence of "tracks" could indicate the involvement of hoaxers, yet the account of the light sounds very intriguing. Did the UFO really appear on radar ? I find that difficult to believe. This is a difficult case to evaluate without a proper case summary to examine.]
[PF: Actually this does sound like a fungal growth or even a crop mark, rather than a crop circle.]
[PF:Is this date correct ? Could these traces be vortex suction marks? Readers will recall that Claire Nobel is the local researcher mentioned in Andy Collins' article in CW#14 pages 20-25]
[PF: Sounds like a superb case doesn't it ! Does any one know anything else about it?]
[PF: Oh dear! So someone was fabricating UFO stories involving circles as long ago as 1965! I will have to chase this story up. If photographs exist of these "circles" we will have to assume that Doug and Dave were not the first people to make circles to support the UFO mythology. Of course these circles may not be crop circles, but that is a secondary issue.]
[PF: This case bears distinct similarities to the Falcon Lake incident, which took place two years later in Canada, as well as the Travis Walton case. The Crop Watcher has recently received some interesting material concerning the latter case - a "Fact File" from Philip Klass and a newspaper story by a reporter who was a member of the team sent by the Houston Post to investigate Walton's claim. If readers want copies of this material please send me a large A4 sae with a 35p stamp]
[PF: Now did the light create the ring or did the witness create the ring to support his UFO sighting?]
"A circular impression was found on the ground two days later by the local policeman. The centre of the circle was untouched, the outside impression was 20 feet from inside to inside, and extended 3 foot 2 inches outwards. It was a perfect circle. Diameter did not vary. It was practically under a telephone line. No evidence of damage can be seen. (To the phone line or poles)". (CUFOS)
[PF: I find this case difficult to believe don't you? Surely a case as impressive as this should be supported by hundreds of witnesses and photographic evidence ?]
[PF: It seems strange that Phillips chose Harvey's book as his primary source of information rather than the account that appeared in Australian FSR (see CW #10). ]
All these cases highlight the issues that face UFOlogists as we grapple with accounts of the unexplained. How much weight can we place on such accounts? Are all these cases hoaxes - as the "dry" super skeptics claim - or do some of these cases represent encounters with objectively real but poorly understood natural phenomena? -- Paul Fuller, 1997