A Revival of the 61-Month Wave Theory by Donald A. Johnson, Ph.D. P.O. Box 161 Kirkland, W
A Revival of the 61-Month Wave Theory
by Donald A. Johnson, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 161
Kirkland, Washington 98033
The Knowles family CE-II encounter with an ovoid-shaped UFO
on the Nullarbor Plateau in Western Australia January 20th was
right on target in terms of time and place, according to the
61-month wave cycle first proposed by Dr. David Saunders back in
1971. At least two other UFO encounters of major importance
occurred that same night in Australia and Tasmania. If the
indications are correct and this is not an isolated incident but
the beginnings of a major UFO wave, we will have to reconsider
the significance of this long-term prediction in terms of our
ability to predict and act upon the occurrence of this and
future UFO waves.
Dr. David Saunders first noticed the regularity in major
American UFO waves (1947, 1952, 1957 and 1967) in the early
months of 1971 while working with the UFOCAT computer catalog at
the University of Colorado. He determined that what
distinguished these UFO waves from other, possibly
publicity-generated UFO waves, was the shape of their
distributions. These were waves of UFO reports in which the
frequency of daily reports began building slowly, built to a
crescendo, and then diminished rapidly. These
negatively-skewed UFO waves occurred with a periodicity of five
years, or more accurately 61-months, with an accuracy in peak
prediction to within a day or so (1).
Furthermore, another characteristic of these five-year
waves was the progressively eastward movement of their loci of
activity. The first wave crested in July 1947 and occurred
predominantly in the Pacific and Mountain States. The 1952 wave
reached its peak in late August 1952 with the majority of
reports coming from Midwestern States. Each successive wave
appeared to move approximately 30 degrees east in longitude.
The absence of a 1962 wave was accounted for by a search of
South American references which revealed a Brazilian and
Argentinian UFO wave in September, and the 1967 wave--which
began on the Eastern seaboard of the United States--actually
crested in November of that year in England.
Saunders was able to make his first prediction that a major
UFO wave would occur in the vicinity of 30 degrees East
longitude and peak in December 1972 over a year prior to its
occurrence. This prediction was borne out by the occurrence of
a UFO wave in South Africa in late November. However, most
ufologists lost interest in the theory when the predicted waves
for 1977-78 and 1983 failed to materialize (so far as we can
tell). Both of these waves should have occurred in countries
controlled predominantly by governments unfriendly to the West.
Saunders continues to have faith in the theory and has offered a
consistent, convincing response to critics: that it is unfair
to judge the merits of the theory on what we may or may not hear
about from the Soviet Union.
According to calculations (see table below), the next great
UFO wave should occur between now and the beginning of March,
centered at 120 degrees East longitude. The Nullarbor Plain is
at approximately 127 degrees East longitude. The wave should
also unfold in the same characteristic manner as the earlier
waves, building slowly in intensity in the number of daily
reports and diminishing rapidly after reaching a peak.
The 61-Month Wave Cycle and Corresponding UFO Waves
Predicted Actual Peak Predicted Actual
Date Date Longitude Location
July 1947 July 8, 1947 120o W Northwestern U.S.
Aug. 1952 Aug. 3, 1952 90o W Central and Eastern U.S.
Sep. 1957 Aug. 21, 1957 60o W Central and Eastern U.S.
Oct. 1962 Sep. 1962 30o W Brazil
Nov. 1967 Oct. 24, 1967 0o W Atlantic, England
Dec. 1972 Nov. 1972 30o E South Africa
Jan. 1978 ? 60o E ?
Feb. 1983 ? 90o E ?
Mar. 1988 Feb. 1988(?) 120o E Australia(?)
A corrollary to the Saunders' spatio-temporal wave theory
is that physical evidence cases should occur at approximately
the same time world-wide; thus, if the Australian close
encounters continue to occur during the pre-dawn hours, we
should expect U.S. CE-II cases to occur in the evening hours
between 4 and 10 p.m., since the United States and Australia
have a time difference of some 8 to 11 hours.
We shall soon see if new evidence merits the revival of
an old theory.
(1) Saunders, D.R. (1976). A spatio-temporal invariant for
major UFO waves. In N. Dornbos (ed.), Proceedings of the 1976
CUFOS Conference. Evanston, IL: Center for UFO Studies.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank