Volume 6 The SWAMP GAS JOURNAL ISSN 0707-7106
Number 3 ********************* November 1992
This is the second issue of the SGJ which will be available in both
online and hardcopy format. The response to the last issue was
overwhelming, to say the least. It seems that there is a need for an
electronic version of this zine, so from now on, as long as is
feasible, the SGJ will be available via email. However, photos or
graphics pages will not be included in the electronic version; they
will be available in hardcopy only. (No, I do NOT want to hear about
.gif and .pif files!)
UFOs, LITs, LATERs, BOLs and WYSIWYG
With regard to those pesky flying things, a recent story in TIME
magazine (August 31, 1992, p.44) reported that: "UFO sightings are
down, and the saucer spotters are getting skeptical. What on earth is
This was most interesting, especially to ufologists who tabulate UFO
activity. The UFOROM Canadian UFO Survey, for example, found that
numbers of UFO reports increased during the past two years. Similarly,
Paul Ferrughelli's annual report on American cases also found an
increase. What HAS decreased is the media's interest in carrying
stories about UFOs. This is not suprising, since the ridicule curtain
(as named by Allen Hynek) is still in effect. Furthermore, the vocal
efforts of CSICOP and independent skeptics' groups (that have
absolutely NOTHING to do with CSICOP, obviously) have caused many
editors to think twice before doing an article on paranormal
phenomena. An article by Don Berliner in a recent issue of IUR (Vol.17,
#5, Sept/Oct 1992, pp. 16-18), titled "Why the Press Acts That Way",
enumerates the various reasons why ufology is not taken seriously by
The TIME article went on to describe a UFO investigator named
Philip Mantle as one of "a new breed of UFOlogists who do not
believe that UFOs come from outer space." Where has TIME been all
these years? They interview New Agers wearing pyramid hats, and
then interview Philip Klass, and they think they have a complete
overview of ufology!
In terms of sighting numbers, Ferrughelli's latest National Sighting
Yearbook 1991 (60 Allen Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470) lists the
following totals: 1987 - 170; 1988 - 291; 1989 - 268; 1990 - 194;
and 1991 - 201. Report numbers dropped slightly in the early '90's,
but numbers are still above the 1987 figure. In Canada, UFOROM's
annual survey actually records many more cases per capita than the USA,
and numbers hover steadily around 175 cases per year. Where's the drop
in numbers that TIME describes?
The article points to the Belgium wave, where 2000 sightings were
recorded in 1991, but there have been only 50 in 1992 so far. In
Britain, the article cites a similar number this year, compared to
hundreds per year in the 1980's. But any ufologist worth his or her
salt would have been able to explain the mechanics of flaps and waves,
not to mention historical trends. So, the TIME article is not only
wrong, it's not even well-researched.
THE CIRCLE GAME
Let's talk circles. For years now, I've been commenting upon the
suspicious similarities between crop circles and classic UFO physical
traces. I've pointed out that flattened areas of crushed vegetation
have been found WITHOUT associated UFO activity throughout recorded
history. In Canada, classic UGM cases include Langenburg in 1974 and
Rossburn in 1977, both predating the British wave. And even Doug and
Dave admitted getting their ideas to make their hoaxes from the Tully
saucer nests in Australia back in 1967.
Furthermore, I have said all along that the vast majority of crop
circles are likely hoaxes. My own investigations and research, as well
as consultation with others in this field, suggested that the Meaden
vortex theory was not tenable, nor were theories concerning mating
hedgehogs, lightning and whatever. My observations were that, although
it is difficult to PROVE a particular site is a hoax, the likelihood of
this being so is very strong.
In recent issues of circle- and ufozines, some people seem to have
arrived at similar conclusions. In particular, a recent article in the
AFU (Sweden) Newsletter (No.36, Jan-Dec.1991) by Clas Svahn echoes many
comments that are quietly circulating among cerealogists fearful of
exposing the Emperor's new clothes. Svahn has visited the British
circle sites several times over the past few years, and his
observations are very interesting. He says:
"MONEY has become the number one concern for many of the
circle 'researchers'. Selling dubious books, postcards and other circle
paraphernalia tend to be more important than investigating the real
phenomenon (hopefully, there is one).
"It is not very reassuring to note that speculations and wishful
thinking are taking more and more space in books and magazines dealing
with the crop circles. Instead, one would like to see more soberness
and objectivity from the different groups involved."
In a review of recent books, Svahn notes that all authors:
"treat the phenomenon as if it was 100 percent genuine. Of course, they
acknowledge the Bower and Chorley 'intermezzo', but [none] seem to
realize that today there is no way to distinguish between 'real'
circles and hoaxes ... While the research is getting out of hand, the
researchers become more and more like New Age prophets ..."
Svahn's article includes personal observations of circle sites, and
commentaries about the actions of specific cerealogists. His most
poignant comment is emphasized in the original: "Most researchers tend
to hold on to their pet theories without taking others' criticisms
seriously. During my visits to England - and from the few reports I
have investigated here in Sweden - I HAVE BECOME MORE AND MORE
DISAPPOINTED AND UNCERTAIN OF THERE BEING A REAL PHENOMENON BEHIND THE
Is he alone in his opinions? Definitely not. In a major British
circlezine, the CROP WATCHER, editor Paul Fuller has a few biting
comments about the current state of cerealogy. In CW #12 (July/Aug
1992), Paul writes:
"Even the paranormally-inclined cerealogists have admitted that 1992
produced fakes galore, with few prepared to stick their necks out and
claim that a single [NB!] British circle qualified as 'genuine'. In
some ways, this restrained response could be construed as an
over-reaction to last summer's hoax revelations, but in reality the
awful truth has dawned on cerealogists everywhere - that most modern
crop circles really are man-made hoaxes and that if there ever was a
'genuine' phenomenon in the first place it has now been utterly swamped
by a smokescreen of wishful thinking and media-inspired mythology. Sad
words indeed but a fact which most researchers now seem to be accepting
with some reluctance."
Paul notes that "leading cerealogists accept that they have
lost the crop circle battle and that it is time to flee the sinking
ship." He observes that some prominent cerealogists are emigrating to
the USA, possibly for this reason. In fact, as obvious on a recent TV
episode of Sightings, Colin Andrews is now based in Connecticut.
As for the remaining "meteorologically-caused" circles, Terence Meaden,
that theory's main proponent has now stated that: "Anything other than
a simple circle is definitely a hoax", and he has now restricted the
number of 'genuine circles' to "fewer than a dozen a year". Paul
further notes: "It remains to be seen whether Meaden's meteorological
theory can survive such trauma."
Later in the issue, there appears a map of England, showing the
locations of "Known Crop Circle (Groups of) Hoaxes". I can't reproduce
it here, but to give readers a flavour for what's on it, the
editor notes that "there are so many known hoaxers that we couldn't
squeeze them all in!" Good old Doug and Dave, who got all the
publicity, are on there wih their small number of formations.
In North America, arch-skeptic Rob Day has publicly admitted he was
responsible for some of the recent crop circles in Alberta. A farmhand
who had used a garden tractor to make a UGM was caught by Roy Bauer and
Grant Cameron here in Manitoba. At least one set of hoaxers has
admitted to making some circles in the American Midwest. Given the
proliferation of hoaxes and the obvious contamination of crop
circle/UGM data, cerealogists had better take more care to ensure their
investigations are truly objective and unbiased.
Obviously, though, this caution is not confined to cerealogy. In no
less a controversial subject as crash/retrievals, Barry Greenwood
defends his publication JUST CAUSE in Number 33 (Sept.1992) of that
"Recently, we have received comments from several pro-UFO
readers questioning the relevancy and value of what we have published
in the last couple of years. We have apparently not been pro-ET enough
... We could very likely double our subscription rolls by reporting
titillating stories of underground alien bases, of simple verbal
accounts claiming knowledge of UFO technology, of what has become so
very trendy now - alien/human SEX! Actually, it would not be enough to
report such information - we would have to advocate it on a soapbox.
Then, we would likely be invited onto numerous media programs to give
the public what it craves - sensation.
"As one UFO pundit told us recently, printing sensible information
is not the road to fame and fortune. Trying to be balanced and careful
seem to be undesireable traits to some. So be it. We exist to inform,
not to put on a Wild-West show."
Howdy, pardners. Are you cowpokes listening?
Perhaps the most significant issue here is that all the comments
reprinted here are from zines that are ostensibly "pro" as opposed to
"skeptical" in the CSICOP sense. Despite repeated claims that ufology
and cerealogy are running rampant without any peer review, there has
always been a great deal of constructive and rational discussion within
the Fortean community. It isn't as common as "Wild-West" shows, but it
IS out there. I have always advocated an open and non-confrontational
approach to discussions in the fields of so-called "pseudoscience".
Very often, "balanced" forums or debates between skeptics and
"believers" degrade into arguments on semantics or the nature of
science. Innocent viewers/listeners/observers who are desperate for
understandable information about UFOs only get more confused and
turn back to traditional sources of information - the tabloid media.
Throughout my 15 years of involvement in Fortean research, I have
always tried to encourage discussion between the two camps of
"believers" and "skeptics". Usually, I've failed. Normally,
"believers" consider me to be a skeptic, while ardent skeptics think my
fence-sitting makes me an irrationalist. I often comment that sitting
on the fence can be very painful, not only from the pickets, but also
because you get things thrown at you from both sides. The trouble is
that, in my opinion, one cannot be truly impartial and objective unless
meaningful dialogue is shared between opposing parties, and such
dialogue should be solicited or precipitated whenever possible.
I find it amazing that I am one of a few ufologists who reads the
Skeptical Inquirer, and I am also one of the few skeptics who reads IUR
and the MUFON Journal. Conferences are a sore point, too.
I received an invitation to the second Las Vegas UFO Conference,
featuring talks by Wendelle Stevens, Jaime Shandera and Stanton
Friedman. At a cost of about $500 (CDN), I couldn't attend.
CSICOP conferences are similar in format; both factions usually feature
presentations of "the converted preaching to the converted". The two
groups meet with cross-purposes, and no useful dialogue talks place.
But can you imagine a joint CSICOP/MUFON meeting? I can't, either.
If such a meeting were to take place, it would likely degenerate
into a shouting match, and possibly a barroom brawl. The situation
would be similar to a radio debate for which I was invited to be the
spokesman for the "pro" side of UFOs, crop circles, etc. My opponent
was a member of a regional skeptics' group (which had ABSOLUTELY
nothing to do with CSICOP, of course). I was astounded at the vigour
with which I was verbally attacked. I was taken aback when my opponent
read from a transcript of a previous interview I had given, in order to
show how irrationalists such as myself contradict ourselves at every
opportunity. After listening intently, I pointed out that nothing in
my statement was contradictory, and he grudgingly agreed, having been
caught in his own trap. After all, I sometimes never contradict
myself in the course of a discussion.
The unfortunate part of the "debate" was that because there was a
constant stream of offensive and defensive verbiage flowing, only three
telephone calls from listeners were taken. Even the radio host
admitted that he was completely confused by the semantic arguments.
Listeners were wanting to get good information about sensational
subjects, but were completely turned off by the presentation.
How did I advocate the "pro" side? I didn't, deliberately. I had
explained that I represented UFOROM and had been investigating UFOs and
related phenomena for about 15 years. At no time did I claim that the
aliens were here, raping our Streibers and stealing our children. I
spoke from experience, describing facts without any deliberate
interpretation. On crop circles, my opponent insisted they were all
caused by hoaxers. I pointed out that that was a definite possibility,
but we had only caught one hoaxer in Canada in three years.
Furthermore, there still exists a possibility that winds can make SOME
crop circles. I may not think much of Meaden's theory, but many
scientists (defined variously) think it may have some merit. My opponent
insisted that these were trivial arguments, and that his view was
completely correct. The skeptical view is that since hoaxers are the
most PROBABLE explanation, then that is the CORRECT explanation. My
caution is that there are so many categories and kinds of UGMs, a
blanket statement of any kind is improper. There ARE cases which are
caused by hedgehogs, just as some are caused by hoaxers.
A similar hassle would be created for an all-sides meeting to
discuss UFO abductions. In one corner would be skeptics such as Robert
Sheaffer and Philip Klass (author of "UFO Abductions - A Dangerous
Game"). In the other corner would be researchers such as John Mack,
David Gotlib and, of course, Budd Hopkins. Both sides would need to
put their dukes up. The skeptical standpoint is that abductions do not
take place, and the experiences are little more than dreams or
hallucinations fueled by the popular media. The "pro" UFO standpoint,
which is the one adopted by most UFO buffs and proclaimed at UFO
conferences, is that the aliens are abducting us for nefarious or
possibly benevolent reasons. But Mack and Gotlib are clinicians who
are engaged in the treatment and counseling of individuals who appear
to have had traumatic experiences that are represented by images of
aliens. Thousands of such cases DO exist; this is not the issue. WHY
people are reporting the experiences is the real issue. Imagination
fueled by tabloid tales? Certainly some cases are, but even if this is
so, there is still the problem of determining why such cases are
multiplying. What is the mechanism responsible? Why would people
unconsciously generate such experiences and hold to them so intensely?
There is no other comparable experience in the history of psychology or
sociology that has grabbed such a foothold in the public mind. So, the
problem is NOT to determine if aliens are abducting humans, but rather
to determine WHY the cases exist at all, and to understand the
psychological/sociological mechanisms behind the stories, IF there is
no physical or paraphysical cause.
Fear-mongering. That's what discussions about cattle mutilations
and satanism are said to be. I was accused of being a fear-mongerer
for simply describing a meeting I had attended.
Now, I really didn't want to get into this argument in the SGJ, but
it's relevant to this discussion. In the course of my investigations
into Fortean phenomena, I have been asked to look into a few mute cases
here in Manitoba. None were extremely interesting. One carcass I
examined near Teulon in 1977 was badly picked over by the time I got to
the scene, and I never did get a chance to see the others. I have
spoken to various veterinarians, and opinion seemed to vary. At the
time, I heard a number of bizarre anecdotes, including one about a
perfectly square patch of hide removed from a carcass found in Alberta
in the 1970's.
Jerry Clark of CUFOS recently wrote a relevant editorial for IUR
which related his views on mutes. He pointed out that the
link between UFOs and mutes was virtually non-existent, somewhat
contradicting Linda Howe's stance. (Stigmatist Tom Adams also supports
the UFO link). A popular book by Daniel Kagan, titled Mute Evidence, is
often recommended by debunkers. Kagan spent some time talking with a
number of vets and government officials, and came to the conclusion
that mutes were a non-issue. Mute proponents, however, have pointed
out that Kagan's credentials and expertise are somewhat dubious,
implying he was not a credible authority and his conclusions were
In the mid-1970's, mute cases were popping up everywhere. Tommy Roy
Blann (does anybody know where he is these days?) even prepared a
confidential report for RCMP in Alberta, in which he provided them with
background information for their investigations into Canadian cases.
Tommy was pro-UFO, and the RCMP at the time were seriously considering
the possibility that satanic cults were involved. In 1992, more mutes
were reported in Alberta, but this time, newspaper accounts have the
RCMP denying any satanic links.
Recently, I had been invited to contact individuals in the employ of
both civic and provincial family services, because of my involvement in
local UFO cases. It seems that these individuals have encountered, in
their opinions, clear cases of ritual or satanic abuse in the course of
their work. They had heard of the alleged connection between child
abuse and UFO abductions, and wanted my opinion. They explained that
they had encountered "many cases" of ritual abuse, but that it was very
difficult to gather enough evidence that would be accepable in a court
of law. That is why, they suggested, debunkers' arguments that there
has never been any proof of ritual abuse or satanic cult activity are
technically correct, yet clinically false.
The problem is that, by strict definitions of proof and
falsifiability employed by debunkers in their analyses of unusual
phenomena, sociological and psychological phenomena sometimes fall
outside the definitions. It has been pointed out by other writers that
Freudian psychology and stock market analyses both fail in tests of
"scientific" definitions because they rely a great deal upon
interpretation and subjective opinions on the part of researchers in
those fields. So, in terms of "rigourous" proof, cases of ritual abuse
may be factual according to social workers and criminologists, but are
spurious and unsubstantiated to scientific objectivists.
The day after I met with the individuals from family services and
the social agencies, I was involved in a public debate on UFOs and
related matters. Hence, when I was asked if satanic cults had anything
to do with cattle mutilations, I replied that there might
be some connection. I was immediately branded a "fearmonger" by my
opponent, who obviously had never discussed the matter with social
workers and who probably would never do so. In no way was I trying to
scare the audience with gruesome tales of satanists killing cattle and
drinking blood; I only replied to the question with information I had
received the day before. It is quite true that many social caseworkers
believe that ritual abuse exists in our society. Indeed, my cynical
nature makes me fairly certain that "sick" people with an affinity for
such activity live in our midst.
The complexity of the issue is best described in a new book by David
K. Sakheim and Susan E. Devine, titled: Out of Darkness - Exploring
Satanism and Ritual Abuse (Lexington [MacMillan], 1992). Sakheim and
Devine present a survey of various views on the subject, written by
social workers, police, psychologists and victims. This is about as
balanced of a work as I have ever seen. The various authors caution
that the sensationalist version of rampant satanism is clearly fiction,
but note that there is some evidence that ritualistic acts do occur in
our society. The problem of finding "conclusive proof" is a major
concern, and obviously parallels ufology in this regard. In fact, UFO
abductions are mentioned several times in the the book, in the context
of evidence for alleged child abuse and screen memories. Perhaps the
most revealing chapter is about dealing with "nihilists" - those who
deny that such phenomena exist at all. Indeed, the infamous SKEPTICAL
INQUIRER article on the non-existence of satanism is examined and
Another complication is the creation of a new skeptical group,
called the False Memory Syndrome Association (3508 Market St., Suite
128, Philadelphia, PA 19104). The executive director of the group, Dr.
Pamela Freyd, is sending reams of information to social workers
involved in abuse cases, in an effort to stop proliferation of the
acceptance of "remembered memories" such as child abuse, ritual abuse
and, yes, UFO abductions. Freyd points out that in many cases where an
adult "remembers" early abuse, investigation shows that no such events
had ever occurred. Cynical case workers are quick to point out that
the FMS group includes many people who have had work published by
Prometheus Books, and are therefore CSICOP debunkers at heart.
However, the FMS group's warnings should be heeded. The lesson is
there, too, for researchers involved with UFO abductions.
If debunkers wish to get into long diatribes with ritual abuse
investigators, arguing about the existence of cultists, let them do so.
It is beyond the abilities of most UFO/mute/trace investigators to
properly deal with this subject. Rationally, it would seem that
ufologists should remain apprised of the subject, but refer incidents
to more appropriately-trained individuals. This material is clearly
out of the league of most UFO buffs, and should stay there.
By now, many of you will have seen my appearance as a "U.F.O.
Researcher" on the Unsolved Mysteries segment aired on November 4th,
1992. The segment concerned the strange story of Stefan Michalak, who
claimed he was injured by an encounter with a saucer-shaped craft in
Long ignored by most ufologists, the case may very well be one of
the best on record. According to his story, Michalak was doing some amateur
prospecting near the resort town of Falcon Lake, Manitoba, Canada,
examining the many rock outcroppings for signs of quartz. The area is
part of the Canadian Shield, quite rugged and covered with evergreens.
Numerous lakes and swamps exist there, and the forests are protected by
Federal and Provincial programs.
Around noon, Michalak heard the sounds of agitated geese on a pond
below his perch on a rocky plateau. He looked up to see two red
cigar-shaped objects flying slowly through the sky. One descended
toward him, and appeared to land about 150 feet away in a clearing.
After it landed, it appeared to change colour from red to orange to
silver, as it "cooled down". It was now a classic flying saucer, about
35-40 feet in diameter, with a dome on its upper surface. The other
object in the sky flew away.
Over the next hour, Michalak observed the object from a hiding spot
behind a large rock formation. He sketched the object and puzzled over
its nature. He couldn't see any markings on the side, and he didn't
believe in "little green men" at the time. He concluded it was an
experimental American aircraft which had landed for repairs. His
theory seemed correct when he heard some high-pitched voices coming
from the craft. A door opened in its side, and brilliant purple lights
flooded out of the portal.
He decided to sarcastically ask the Americans if they needed help
fixing their ship, so he cautiously walked toward the vehicle and
shouted his offer for assistance. The voices ceased abruptly. Edging
closer, he reached the side of the craft and poked his head into the
opening. He noticed that its walls were about eight inches thick, and
had a honeycombed appearance. Inside the ship, he could see what he
described as a myriad of small flashing lights, like those on a
computer panel. Stepping back, he found that when he touched the side
of the craft with his rubberized work glove, the glove had melted from
Suddenly, the door closed and the craft rotated counterclockwise.
In front of him was some sort of "exhaust" grille. A blast of hot gas
shot out of the grille, striking him in the chest and knocking him on
his back. His shirt was set on fire, and he struggled to remove it.
The craft quickly ascended and flew out of sight.
As the Unsolved Mysteries segment showed, a dazed Michalak staggered
back to civilization with his fantastic story. The story of the
investigation is itself a fantastic tale. Michalak was
beleaguered by reporters, UFO buffs, loonies and other characters all
wanting the REAL story or to give him their own advice on how to deal
with the aliens.
Much has been published about the Michalak case, some of it
inaccurate and contrived. An excellent series of articles had appeared
in Canadian UFO Report in the late 1960's and early 1970's, but it did
not receive much attention outside of Canada. After I had
reopened the case files in the late 1970's, I wrote a series of
articles about it for FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, whose editors were
astounded that a full report on the case had never seen international
print before. Yet, I have found the Michalak case recounted in various
versions in many books and zines, often repeating claims of radiation
sickness and alien death rays.
I had re-opened the case because the original team of investigators
had broken up, and the case files were unavailable. I re-interviewed
Michalak and his family, and tracked down several hundred pages of
government documents about the case. Dr. Berthold Schwarz was
invaluable in his assistance in tracking down much of the information,
especially the medical reports.
The case had been investigated by the RCMP, RCAF, USAF and Edward
Condon's Colorado UFO Project (which listed it as "Case 22":
unexplained). The incident had been debated several times in the
Canadian House of Commons because the public wanted to know what the
government had learned about the injury to a Canadian citizen. An
official announcement was made that the files would never be made
public because of a danger to "the public interest".
This, of course, fueled the belief that the craft had been an alien
spaceship. The government was obviously covering up the affair, and
the whole thing smacked of conspiracy. It didn't help when a UFO buff
asked the Mayo Clinic for Michalak's medical records, and the response
was that Michalak had never been there. Of course, Michalak had the
bills to prove his stay there had been real.
Another often-repeated story is that Michalak had some sort of
radiation sickness or had radiation burns. This isn't supported by the
medical reports. If the pattern of burns on his abdomen was caused by
radiation, he would have had many other symptoms of this. The pattern
was considered by dermatologists to have been caused by chemicals, more
like an actual exhaust such as Michalak had described. Another story
in circulation (particularly in the four-volume set of UFO books by
Yves Naud) is that Michalak was suffereing from impurities in his
blood, brought on by the UFO's radiative effects. Again, this is not
supported by the medical evidence. In fact, it is often repeated that
Michalak lost a great deal of weight and that his lymphocyte count was
reduced, more symptoms of radiation poisoning. The trouble is that
Michalak had not been to a doctor for many months before his experience,
and there were no records of his pre-experience weight or blood count
available for comparison. Michalak believed that he had lost weight
the same way we all think we might have lost weight - he guessed and
looked at his own bathroom scale. Considering he had severe nausea and
vomiting, this wouldn't be too unusual. As a matter of fact, this is
more evidence in support of his having ingested a chemical mixture of
Still, we're left with a curious case. Physiological and physical
effects, an unchanging story over 25 years, and yet there are no
definite answers to what happened to Michalak at Falcon Lake in 1967.
If it was a hoax (and psychological testing suggests that Michalak
didn't do it), then it is certainly one of the best on record. Why
would a hoaxer physically harm himself and put up with 25 years of
ridicule by making up a saucer story? Publicity? No. The Michalaks
shy away from publicity. Money? No. The Michalaks haven't made a
bankroll from the experience, as some might claim. Notoriety? No. In
fact, the Michalaks have threatened to take action against some people
mentioning the case in public because they just want to be left alone.
ROUND AND ROUND AND ROUND IN THE CIRCLE GAME
As mentioned earlier, Paul Fuller's recent editorial in the CROP
WATCHER included a very cynical survey of British cereaology, pointing
out that the "experts" were backpedalling on how many of their "real"
formations had been created by hoaxers. During the preparation of this
issue of the SGJ, another issue of the CROP WATCHER was received, with
even more goodies.
Issue 13 of the CROP WATCHER (3 Selbourne Court, Tavistock Close,
ROMSEY, Hampshire SO51 7TY) includes another editorial in which Paul
shows that vortex theorists now tend to believe that Doug and Dave were
responsible for most of the early British circles during 1978 and 1991,
as they had claimed. Furthermore, Doug and Dave are publishing a book
about their hoaxing career, which will show in no uncertain terms how
silly the crop circle "experts" have been. Paul laments:
"Sadly, our attempts to uncover the truth simply met with insults and
riducule by some of the other people who have since made six-figure
sums of money by promoting themselves and Doug and Daves' hoaxes ... It
is sad to see [ufology and cereaology] desecrated by a small group of
stubborn, deceitful people who refused to listen to BUFORA's findings
and who instead went out of their way to suppress evidence for more
mundane explanations ... UFOlogy's name will be dragged through the mud
yet again because these stupid, egotistical idiots decided that it
didn't really matter what created the circles as long as they were the
researchers most closely associated with the phenomenon by the public."
And those are his kinder remarks. A few pages later, Paul reviews Pat
Delgado's latest crop circle book: CROP CIRCLES - CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE?.
In his review, Paul notes instance after instance of Delgado's
hyping of a formation as "real", when it had been shown to be a hoax by
other researchers. Even the non-existence of the infamous Highland,
Kansas, formation in 1991, (claimed by Linda Howe to have been covered
up by the military), and long since shown to have never existed, is
ignored by Delgado, who apparently includes it as a "real" site.
In short, the issue is chock full of revelations about crop circle
hoaxing, while at the same time Paul lauds the meteorological vortex
hypothesis. [Sorry, Paul, I don't see the evidence for vortex-created
circles to be any more solid than the evidence for alien-created
circles.] But the commentary and discussion of cerealogists caught
with their pants down makes the zine a must-read. Ufologists and
cerealogists should pay heed to this zine in order to get accurate info
on what is really occurring in the field (pun). And debunkers - get
this zine because it deals with the issue and does your work for you
much better than the minimal and trivial coverage in the SKEPTICAL
Further note: Paul notes that BUFORA was the lone voice in the
wilderness, warning cerealogists not to get carried away with the
circle scene in the late 1980's. UFOROM had advocated a rational
approach to this, too, as soon as the hype started up. But who listens
to us Canadians, anyway?
UBI EST DATUM?
Despite pleas for information about North American circles in 1992,
NAICCR has not received much case data from researchers. The NAICCR
preliminary reports have been posted several times, but very little
information from other researchers has been received. For those who
have sent me data: thank you, your contributions are gratefully
credited. Despite rumours that some cerealogy "experts" are becoming
more and more "proprietary", we hope that information exchange will be
ongoing, unlike the British experience.
Since I have been receiving a number of requests, here is the latest
NAICCR preliminary list of rumoured or known North American UGMs and
1992 North American UGM List, November 1992
920426 Jonesboro, Georgia
- a "formation" of crop circles, "exactly" like those found in
1991 in the same location, was discovered. No other data given.
Source: Rosemary Ellen Guiley; Vance Tiede
9204?? , New Hampshire
- UGMs were found following a small local flap of UFO reports.
Source: Rosemary Ellen Guiley; Vance Tiede
920506 near Edmonton, Alberta
- a "space cookie" UGM was discovered in a meadow. It is a
perfect circle, 6 metres in diameter. Its depth varies from 5 cm
to 31 cm. Grass is growing straight up both inside and outside
the circle. No tracks were found leading to the area. The UGM
is not a sinkhole. Source: Gordon Kijek
920525 Limerick, Pennsylvania
- at least 12 "matted down" areas were found in a wheatfield north of
Philadelphia. Three were circles about five feet in diameter, arranged
in a triangle. One feature was "T-shaped". Soil samples taken by a UFO
investigator "showed no irregularities". Geiger counter readings were
also normal. Although a hoax was suspected by the UFO investigator,
the owner of the field believes that the UGMs were caused by lodging,
wind and fertilizer damage, and that "It happens every year".
Source: Steve Bernheisel on FIDONET; UFO Newsclipping Service #275
920627 Raeford, North Carolina
- a circle of flattened grass was found in a hay field following
a CE2 UFO sighting. A loud noise, "like a freight train", was
heard, and two witnesses ran to look out their front door. A
object "the size of a swimming pool", "like orange windows lla
around it", was in a field about 300 feet away from their house.
When they went to call other witnesses, the object disappeared.
Source: Patrick Kirol on FIDONET
9206?? , Massachusetts
- a small area of flattened cattails was found in a marsh close
to a major highway and reported as a crop circle.
Source: Tom Randolph on DEC COM via INTERNET
920701 St. Adolphe, Manitoba
- nine "horseshoe-shaped" patches of flattened grass were found
on either side of a brook in a Winnipeg suburb. Because of recent
storms and heavy rainfall, lodging was thought to be the cause.
Source: Guy Westcott; NAICCR
920705 Hobbema, Alberta
- two ovals of flattened barley were found in a field after
unusual lights were observed descending to the ground. The
largest UGM has a major axis of 47 feet. The crop is pushed away
uniformly from the centers of the patches, but the centers are
"clumped", like breaking waves. Barley inside the circles is
"white", and devoid of colour. It was later suggested that the areas
were due to spilled seeds and fertilizer, combined with lodging.
Source: Gord Kijek
920715 St. Adolphe, Manitoba
- a field beside a highway was discovered to have numerous patches of
flattened crop, in irregular patterns. The formations were discovered
by the same person who found case 920701. Investigation by NAICCR and
interviews with the owner of the field established that the crop had
been laid down by strong winds and heavy rain. The person who
discovered the formations was convinced that aliens created the
flattened patches. Source: NAICCR
920721 Friedensruh, Manitoba
- a farmer found a triangular area of flattened/swirled grass which
was surrounded by an electric fence. The dimensions were 31x27x17
feet. Local residents could not explain the phenomenon. However,
NAICCR investigators found evidence that animals had trampled the site.
920799 Pilot Peak, California
- according to the Phoenix Project, a number of "landing zones" were
discovered near the site of an alleged underground alien base. Visits
to the site by independent invesyigators have found only patches of
grass trampled by deer and other animals. Two "landing zones" were
claimed. Source: John Pickens on INTERNET via Paranet
920799 Miniota, Manitoba
- it was reported that a crop circle was discovered in a field of
oats. The circle is perfectly round and 32 feet in diameter. The oats
are flattened and swirled in a clockwise fashion. The center of the
circle is devoid of vegetation. Source: NAICCR
920801 Strathclair, Manitoba
- a circle of flattened wheat was discovered in a field southwest of
Strathclair. It was 28 feet in diameter. The wheat was flattened and
swirled in a counterclockwise fashion. Source: NAICCR
920808 Strathclair, Manitoba
- a flattened area of wheat in the shape of the symbol for Mars (a
circle with an attached arrow pointing away from it) was discovered in
a field southwest of Strathclair. The main circle was 28 feet in
diameter, with no detectable eccentricity. The wheat was flattened
counterclockwise. In the arrow, the wheat was flattened away from the
circle. The arrow pointed on a bearing of 260 degrees. Source: NAICCR
920815 Ipswich, Manitoba
- a flattened area of wheat in the shape of the symbol for Mars was
discovered just east of Ipswich. The main circle was elliptical, with
axes 26 and 24.5 feet. The wheat was flattened counterclockwise. The
arrow pointed on a bearing of 65 degrees. A UFO was seen hovering over
the site the night before the UGM was discovered. Source: NAICCR
920815 Strathclair, Manitoba
- a flattened area of wheat was found near other crop circle UGMs. It
was roughly 20 feet in diameter. Wheat was laid down in random clumps.
Examination suggested the area was caused by lodging. Source: NAICCR
920815 Strathclair, Manitoba
- a flattened area of wheat in the shape of the symbol for Mars was
discovered west of Strathclair. The main circle was 24 feet in
diameter. The wheat was flattened in a counterclockwise fashion. The
arrow pointed on a bearing of 120 degrees. Source: NAICCR
920815 Estevan, Saskatchewan
- two circles were found, sharing a tangent. Each diameter was 12
feet. A small path led from the tangent to a very small circle, within
which was a "squashed porcupine". Source: Chad Deetken
920815 Kyle, Saskatchewan
- a flattened ring was found, 12 feet in diameter with a core of
standing wheat, 3.5 feet in diameter. In the center were "porcupine
droppings". Source: Chad Deetken
920817 Brandon, Manitoba
- a television station received an anonymous call that a crop circle
had been found on the property of the Brandon airport. Explained easily
as a parachuting target. Source: CKX-TV; Jeff Harland; NAICCR
920825 Guy, Alberta
- fifteen circular marks were found in a field near Peace River,
Alberta. Investigated by Gord Kijek of AUFOSG. Source: AUFOSG
920820 Milestone, Saskatchewan
- a triplet of crop circles, touching each other in a line, were
discovered in a wheat field. The dimensions of the affected area were
63x22 feet. All were swirled counterclockwise. A "squashed porcupine"
was found inside the formation. Investigated by Chad Deetken.
9208?? Champagne, Illinois
- crop formations were found. No other info. Source: NACCCS
920??? , Iowa
- a number of "ice circles" were reported discovered. Investigated by
Davina Riska? No other data. Source: Rosemary Ellen Guiley, NACCCS
920??? Troy, Illinois
- circles were reported found in cattails. Discovered by Peter
(Darren?) Bistrom (?). Reported to MUFON (?). Investigated at least
two months after their discovery by George Wingfield.
Source: Rosemary Ellen Guiley, NACCCS
920923 Albertville, Saskatchewan
- a circle with a ring was discovered in an oat field. The ring was 35
feet in diameter, and the circle was about 16 feet in diameter. It was
swirled counterclockwise, but the ceter of the swirl was off-center.
The ring had a varying width of 15 to 27 inches. Source: Chad Deetken
920924 Albertville, Saskatchewan
- a second circle with a ring was discovered in a wheatfield. Ring
diameter: 22 feet; circle: 13 feet. Ring width: 8 inches. All were
swirled counterclockwise. Source: Chad Deetken
920923 Melita, Manitoba
- two circles were found in a wheat field, only a few feet apart.
Reported to NAICCR. Investigated by Jeff Harland.
920930? Orillia, Ontario
- one large oval patch of flattened corn was found in a field near
Orillia. The area was 75 by 100 feet, on the south slope of a
south-facing hill, only about 100 feet from a major highway. The corn
was flattened and swirled in a counterclockwise direction.
Reported to NAICCR. Source: Colin McKim.
921002 Nipawin, Saskatchewan
- three circles were found in a wheatfield, spaced irregularly. All
had diameters of about 8 feet and were swirled counterclockwise.
Source: Chad Deetken
Are there others? Let us know.
Zines received: IUR (International UFO Reporter), Vol. 17, #4,5
ARCTURUS BOOK CATALOG (1442 Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL
34952), 1992, #10,11; GEO-MONITOR (Vince Migliore, 65 Washington St.,
Suite 400, Santa Clara, CA 95050), Vol. 2, #9,10,11; WINNICENTRICS
(RASC Winnipeg Centre, 110 St. Paul's College, 930 Dysart Rd, University
of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2M6), V. 50, #5,6; AFU
NEWSLETTER (Box 11027, S-600 11 Norrkoping, Sweden), 1991; JUST CAUSE
(Fawcett, Box 218, Coventry, CT 06238); MUFON JOURNAL (103 Oldtowne
Road, Seguin TX 87155-4099), #293,294; UFO PARADOX (Eric Aggen, Jr.,
Box 12245, Parkville MO 64152; CROP WATCHER (Paul Fuller), #12,13;
ORBITER (Box 652, Reading, MA 01867), #36; and a slough of others,
including Jenny Randles' NORTHERN UFO NEWS, Jim Moseley's SAUCER SMEAR
and HORIZON. Sorry, I don't have other addresses handy.
WaHF: Leanne Boyd, Paul Fuller, Mike Strainic, Christian Page, Angela
Mather, Peter Warren, Bob Girard, Chuck Muschweck (why, I don't know),
Bill Bell, Pat Vince, Shannon McGinn, Melissa Craig, Steve Canada, Paul
(the mad photocopyist) Cuttle [thx for all the stuff!], Linda Howe (or
at least her form letter), Eric Herr (no, Eric, I don't have info on
those cases you inquired about), Matteo Leone, Mary Ann Martini (the
Pavarotti tapes were great! Thx!), Gord (best and most underrated
ufologist in North America) Kijek, Mac Davidson (who wants to become a
ufologist when he grows up), Vince Migliore, Greg Kennedy, France
St-Laurent, Darren Hartigan, Janet Bord (UFO pix galore), Gary (best
underrated Fortean writer in Britain) Lanham, Ed Wilson (yes, Ed, I
will speak at the WoldCon in 1994), Lorne Goldfader (master of the fax
machine), and Mrs. Victor Wilson. I want to make a special effort to
emphasize that my review in the last SGJ of Jerry Clark's UFO
Encyclopedia was meant to be very positive, and not negative as some
had interpreted. An especially big hello to virtual correspondents
Pamela Thompson and dAvid tHacker. Thanks also are due to Roy Bauer,
Grant Cameron, Greg Kennedy, Vladimir Simosko - and Myra! If I have
left anyone out, I'm sorry! I can only dig through my "IN" basket
just SO far!
Best "classic" letter received:
We are on the verge of organizing the Philippines' first UFO Watch, an
organization that will dedicate its knowledge and interest in ufology.
In this respect, would you know the equipment used in tracking down
incoming and landings as well as being able to pinpoint the presence of
an alien ship?
Also, can we represent your organization in the Philippines?
We hope to hear from you soonest possible.
Hernan Ramirez de Cartagena"
The Swamp Gas Journal is copyright (c) 1992 by Chris A. Rutkowski.
Mail correspondence to: Box 1918, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 3R2
Email correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Swamp Gas Journal, UFOROM and NAICCR are not affiliated with the
University of Manitoba, and don't represent its ideas, opinions, etc.
Chris Rutkowski - email@example.com
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, Canada
** End of article **