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UFOs And Fairies/Legends/Supernatural - Pt. II

From: Terry W. Colvin <fortean1.nul>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 10:22:48 -0700
Fwd Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 08:49:34 -0500
Subject: UFOs And Fairies/Legends/Supernatural - Pt. II

T. Peter Park wrote Forteana List:

Good-Bye Mermaids, Hello Crop Circles? - Part II
(Historical Succession Or Development Of Anomalies) - Part 2

[Continued From Part I]

Hunter William C. Lamb was following strange tracks near
Hubbell, Nebraska at 5 A.M. in the early morning of February 22,
1922 when he heard a crackling noise followed by a high- pitched
sound and saw a circular object masking the stars above him. It
became brilliantly lighted and landed in a hollow. Soon
afterward, hiding behind a tree, he saw a creature over 8 feet
tall flying from the direction where the object had landed,
approach the tree where Lamb hid, pass by, and disappear. The
creature left tracks in the snow, which Lamb followed for five
miles without results.[Vallee, 'Passport to Magonia, pp. 188-
189, case 44; Vallee, 'Anatomy of a Phenomenon', pp. 25-26,
citing "Aerospace Technical Intelligence Center. Official files
of the U.S. Air Force"]

Levis Brosseau, 20, of Fermeneuve, Canada, was returning home on
the night of June 12, 1929, when he saw a dark object with a
yellow light and his horse became very nervous. Within 6 meters
(20 feet) of the object four or five dwarfish figures were
running back and forth. He heard their pointed, childlike
voices, then saw the dark object take off with a machinelike
sound and a rush of air. Brosseau estimated the size of object
at about 15 meters (49 feet) in diameter and 5 meters(16 feet)
high. [Vallee, 'Passport to Magonia', p. 189, Case 46, citing
GEPA (Groupement d'Etude des Ph=E9nom=E8nes A=E9riens [Paris], Dec.,

One morning in the Summer of 1933 near Chrysville, Pennsylvania,
a man observed a faint violet light in a field between
Chrysville and Morrestown. Walking to it, he found an ovoid
object 10 feet in diameter and 6 1/2 feet thick with a circular
opening resembling a vault door. Pushing it, he found the room
full of violet light and a smell of ammonia, and saw many
instruments but no occupant. [Vallee, 'Passport to Magonia', p.
189, Case 48, citing APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research
Organization, Tucson, Arizona). July, 64]; Janet and Colin Bord,
'Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century' (Chicago:
Contemporary Books. 1989), p. 383]

A few "paleo-abductions" (as Jerome Clark calls them) occurred
in the 1940's and 1950's, long before the Villas-Boas and Hill
cases and Budd Hopkins' and Whitley Strieber's books. The first
is not quite contemporaneous with the reporting, as it occurred
in 1942 and was described in a 1958 letter to the National,
Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. Still, Clark found
it interesting because 1958 was still a few years before the
phrase "UFO abduction" entered the popular vocabulary. Two
soldiers at the Columbus, Mississippi, Army Flying School
watched the rapid descent of two red, glowing objects which then
hovered over woods at the end of the runway. As they watched it,
they experienced an odd feeling of sensory dislocation and found
themselves out on the field, with no memory of leaving the
control tower. Today this feeling of "missing time" would be
considered a possible abduction clue.[Jerome Clark, "From
Mermaids to Little Gray Men," p. 20]

Jerome Clark recounted a 1944 "paleo-abduction" described in a
1980 letter he found in the files of the J. Allen Hynek Center
for UFO Studies in Chicago. Late one night in October, 1944,
according to the letter, members of a family living in an
isolated area on the outskirts of Rochester, Pennsylvania, were
awakened by a loud noise and a flash of light. The
husband/father went to the door, where he saw a brown-robed
figure, four and a half feet tall. Fifteen feet to the figure's
left were five beings of similar height; wearing luminous brown
metallic suits. The figures had large heads, long arms with
long, thin fingers, and slit-like mouths, and were illuminated
by a surrounding light. Three of the figures, including the
robed one (who "seemed to be the leader"), came into the house.
Then the main witness accompanied them to a "craft" landed near
the house. He remembered nothing else until morning. Even then
his memory of what had happened was hazy. He thought he had
dreamed the incident. However, a round, burned circle, 20 feet
from the house and 25 feet in diameter, confirmed the reality of
the previous night's strange events. Even so, family members did
not discuss the incident until many years later. Clark noted
that the letter never stated or implied that the writer had been
abducted . All he said was that after a certain point he had no
memory of what happened to him. His description of the entities
resembled familiar recent descriptions of the "Grays."
Unfortunately, J.Allen Hynek, the Center for UFO Studies
director to whom the letter was directed, did not follow up on
the letter. [Clark, "From Mermaids to Little Gray Men"
('Anomalist', No. 8, Spring 2000), pp. 23-24]

At 10:45 PM on the night of October 18, 1954, a young
Frenchwoman, Mlle. Bouriot, traveling by moped near Lake Saint-
Point in Doubs, Franche-Comt=E9 (eastern France), saw a bright red
light ahead of her on Route N437. It suddenly went out. Her
moped lights then showed three figures along the side of the
road. One was a completely motionless man of medium height,
wearing a hat and a trenchcoat. Next to him stood two small
beings, who then walked across the road in front of Mlle.
Bouriot, at a distance of about 30 feet. Frightened by the deep
strangeness of the incident, she sped away. At one point she
looked behind her and saw a red, oval-shaped UFO take off,
crossing the lake at high speed. The next day some local people
who had heard the story went to the site and found footprints of
very small feet there. When interviewed by a French ufologist in
1968, she stuck to her story and rejected the suggested
explanation that she had seen Boy Scouts. French ufologist Jean-
Luc Rivera, who described the incident to Jerome Clark,
suggested that Mlle. Bouriot saw an abduction in progress. The
motionless state of the human figure recalled the idea that some
persons are "switched off" during an abduction. [Jerome Clark,
"From Mermaids to Little Gray Men," pp. 20-21; Jacques Vallee,
'Passport to Magonia' [Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1969], Case
286, pp 233-234, citing: Quincy; Aim=E8 Michel, 'Flying Saucers
and the Straight-Line Mystery' (S.G. Phillips, 1958), p. 197;
'Lumi=E8res dans la Nuit' (Le-Chambon- sur-Lignon, France) 97]

At 3 AM on March 23, 1956, lab technician James Bassett,
suffering from a bout of insomnia, was walking along the banks
of the Grand Michigan River in Grand Ledge, Michigan. He
suddenly "felt the presence of something." Looking up, Bassett
saw a rapidly descending metal sphere giving off an orange glow.
It stopped only 10 feet from him, and remained in place,
hovering four feet above the ground, for the next 10 minutes.
Bassett reported that during the encounter he "lost all track of
time" and had an unexplained feeling that the UFO was "trying to
contact" him. [Jerome Clark, "From Mermaids to Little Gray Men,"
p. 21, citing 'Lansing State Journal', March 23, 1956]

An unnamed soldier with the U.S. Army occupation forces in
Salzburg, Austria was allegedly abducted by a short space-suited
humanoid, taken to Mars, and returned to Earth in 1951,
according to the December 11, 1957 Prince George, British
Columbia Citizen. The former soldier supposedly walked into the
Citizen offices one day in December 1957, and told his weird
story to reporter Ron Powell. The soldier had been walking home
from work at 11 PM on the night of May 15, 1951, when a helmeted
figure stepped in front of him and paralyzed him with a pencil-
like weapon that made a click. The creature was shorter than the
soldier, with a white skin, and wore a dull silvery suit and a
transparent helmet. Its head was large, cylindrical, hairless,
with a very high forehead, large compound eyes like those of a
fly, no nose except for two holes, and a small slit-like mouth.
The being's torso was shaped like a tin can, its legs were of
"proportionate length," but its arms were shorter than a human's
and ended in a hand with three long fingers. The creature placed
a square black plate on the soldier's chest, floating him into a
large round UFO feet in diameter resting in a nearby field. The
craft shot off into space and flew to a planet the soldier
believed to be Mars. The craft landed there on a platform above
a field occupied by many other saucer-shaped vehicles. As his
captor got out, the soldier saw similar beings, and normal human
beings who did not acknowledge his presence. When the creature
returned, they took off and returned to Earth, to the spot where
the soldier had been captured. The creature clicked its pencil-
shaped device again at the soldier, removed the plate from his
chest, and departed in his craft. The soldier had the impression
that he was supposed to forget the incident, but the attempt at
induced amnesia failed. He rushed home, and found he had been
gone for one hour. Six years later, in 1957, he unburdened
himself of his weird experience by walking into the Citizen
offices and relating his story to newsman Powell. The story is
interesting with its similarity to many later abduction
accounts--but completely unsupported and unverified, with no
evidence even of the physical existence--much less the name--of
the soldier who allegedly told his tale to Ron Powell. [Clark,
"From Mermaids to Little Gray Men" ('Anomalist', No. 8, Spring
2000), pp. 22-23; Patrick Huyghe, 'The Field Guide to
Extraterrestrials: Based on Actual Eyewitness Accounts and
Sightings' (New York: Avon Books, 1996), pp. 34-45, citing
Charles Bowen, "Fantasy or Truth? A New Look at an Old Contact
Claim," 'Flying Saucer Review' 13, no.4 (July-August 1967): pp.

American airman Fred Reagan claimed one of the very first UFO
abduction "medical examinations" in July 1951. Reagan reported
flying a Piper Cub near Goodman Base, Fort Knox when his plane
was struck by a pulsating rectangular UFO. As Reagan, who had no
parachute, and his wrecked aircraft fell through the air, he was
drawn upward and into the UFO by a "sticky, clinging force."
Inside, Reagan saw small glistening beings three feet tall
looking like "huge stalks of metallic asparagus." They spoke to
him in English and apologized for the accident. They then gave
him a medical examination, found that he had cancer, and removed
it. They later deposited Reagan, unconscious but without a
single bruise, in a farmer's field near the wreckage of his
aircraft. After falling several thousand feet, the engine had
embedded itself six feet into the ground. Less than a year
later, in May 1952, Reagan died at the Georgia State Asylum for
the Insane, of "degeneration of the brain tissue due to extreme
atomic radiation." Reagan's bizarre story sat unpublished in the
files of the editor of the English journal Flying Saucer Review
for over a decade, finally being published in 1969. [Patrick
Huyghe, 'The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials', p. 110, citing
Gordon Creighton, "Healing from UFOs," 'Flying Saucer Review'
15, no.5 (September-October 1969):pp. 20~21; Ovnis Database Casa
Juillet <www.geocities.com/ajuillet/Ovnis.htm>]

Writers like John A. Keel, Jacques Vallee, and Janet & Colin
Bord have pointed out interesting parallelisms and continuities
between modern UFO alien abductions and "CE III's," and
traditional folkloric tales of encounters with fairies, elves,
gnomes, leprechauns, and "little people." They have suggested
that the same phenomenon or entities underlie both traditional
"fairy" and modern "alien" encounter reports. As Jacques Vallee
declared, the "modern, global belief in flying saucers and their
occupants is identical to an earlier belief in the fairy faith,"
and the "entities described as the pilots of the craft" in
modern Close Encounter III and abduction reports are
"indistinguishable from the elves, sylphs, and 'lutins' of the
Middle Ages" (Jacques Vallee, 'Passport to Magonia: From
Folklore to Flying Saucers' [Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1969], 'p.
57). Modern UFO'logists, Vallee lamented, have "never recognized
the fact that beliefs identical yo those held today" by UFO
zealots "have recurred throughout recorded history and under
forms best adapted to the believer's country, race, and social
regime" (Vallee, 'Passport to Magonia', p. viii). "Aliens,"
writers like Vallee and Keel suggest, are just "fairies"
adopting a credibly modern "space age" guise--or "fairies" may
have been "aliens" adapting themselves to the beliefs of pre-
scientific cultures! In either case, the same phenomenon has
been with us for a long, long time, perhaps from prehistoric
times onward. Nothing has changed except the self-presentation
of the beings to match prevailing cultural beliefs. Kenneth
Arnold's June 1947 Mount Rainier sighting introduced nothing new
to the world=3D=3Donly a new understanding (or misunderstanding) of
an age-old phenomenon. There is thus no reason to believe that
extraterrestrials started visiting us in force in 1896, 1909,
1943, or 1947!

Thus, on this view, if people no longer report "fairies,"
"elves," "gnomes," or "little people" in Western industrial
countries as much as they used to in the past--or as they still
seemingly do even today in rural areas and "Third World"
countries--it is simply because the "same phenomenon" or "same
entities" have adopted a guise, costumes, props, and lingo more
in keeping with the beliefs, myths, and obsessions of a
technological space-age culture. Modern culture, on both its
"high" and popular levels, no longer believes in fairies, elves,
and "little people"--but does believe in at least the
possibility of extraterrestrial humanoid visitors. Modern
popular fantasy and imaginative literature, too, features
"spacemen" far more often than it does fairies, elves, and
gnomes--despite the continuing vogue of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Middle
Earth" tales based on traditional European folklore. The "same
entities," on this theory, have through the centuries variously
presented themselves as pagan nature-gods, "elementals,"
"fairies," "little people," djinn, angels, Christian saints, the
Virgin Mary, and space aliens, in accordance with the dominant
beliefs of a given time and place.

Indeed, books on UFO's and Close Encounter often describe
entities resembling traditional fairies or reptilian or frog-
like "cryptids," that are assumed to be "aliens" even though no
mysterious craft is reported nearby. The presumption of many
UFO'logists seems to be that any odd-looking humanoid, except
one obviously of the "Bigfoot, "Man-Ape," or "hairy hominid"
type, MUST be an extraterrestrial, even if no actual UFO is
mentioned by witnesses. Thus, Jacques Vallee listed a "frog-man"
seen at Juminda on the Estonian coast in 1938 or 1939 in his
list of UFO landings in Passport to Magonia, although no UFO was
actually mentioned. At Juminda in the Fall of 1938 (or 1939),
two witnesses observed a "frog-man" 1 meter (39-40 inches) tall,
with a round head, no neck, and a hump in front of the body. Its
mouth was a large, straight slit, while its eyes were like
smaller slits. Its skin was brown-green, and its hands were
normal. It walked in a peculiar "but elegant" fashion, its head
waving up and down while the legs moved "carefully." When
pursued, it accelerated very fast, with feet "fluttering." About
100 meters (300 feet) away it vanished completely. [Vallee,
'Passport to Magonia', pp. 189-190, Case 49, "personal"

We find the same presumption of a UFO connection with no actual
mention of a strange craft in several well-known creature
reports frequently discussed in UFO books. We see it, for
instance, in two famous reports of mysterious small humanoids
seen by motorists at roadsides at night in 1955: the three
grayish creatures with "froglike" faces seen by Robert Hunnicutt
at Branch Hill, Ohio in March, and the four grayish entities
with large eyes encountered by Margaret Symmonds near Stockton,
Georgia in July [Vallee, 'Passport to Magonia', pp. 248 (Case
361), 249-250 (Case 365); Coral Lorenzen, "UFO Occupants in
United States Reports," in Charles Bowen, ed., 'The Humanoids'
(Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1969), 149-150; Janet & Colin Bord,
'Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century'(Chicago:
Contemporary Books. 1989), pp. 150-151, 363. 380; Leonard H.
Stringfield, 'Situation Red: The UFO Siege' (New York: Fawcett
Crest, 1977), pp. 110-111, 114-116] The same goes for another
celebrated night-time roadside encounter--the dark hairy or
furry dwarf with glowing yellow- orange eyes and a pumpkin-
shaped head seen in June 1960 near Globe, Arizona by a woman
personally known to APRO director Coral Lorenzen [Janet and
Colin Bord. 'Unexplained Mysteries of the 20thCentury', pp. 152-
153. 357; Lorenzen, "UFO Occupant Reports in the United States,"
Bowen, 'The Humanoids', pp. 159-161].

The Juminda "frog-man" resembles grotesque small humanoids seen
by Beryl Hickey and her father at Mandurah, Western Australia,
in their house one night in 1930, and by a man gathering
Christmas trees on December 15, 1956 in woods near Derry, New
Hampshire--in both cases, again with no mention of a UFO. The
Mandurah creature was about 20 inches tall, glistened as though
wet or covered with oil, and had pink skin, big ears, a wide
slit mouth, bulging eyes covered with a film and "perfectly
formed little hands and feet." It squeaked in fright when the
Hickey father captured and dragged it outside with a prawning
net. The Derry dwarf was green and naked, with a wrinkled skin
resembling elephant hide, a high domed head, ears like a
bloodhound's, eyes with a film like a snake's, merely two holes
for a nose, short arms and legs, hands like stumps, and feet
with no toes. It a screeched when the witness tried to catch it.
The witness then fled [Bord and Bord, 'Unexplained Mysteries of
the Twentieth Century', pp. 147, 151-152].

Froggish-faced humanoids like those seen at Branch Hill in 1955
shade over into "giant frogs" and "lizard-men" usually claimed
by cryptozoology rather than UFO'logy. The Branch Hill frogfaces
were in fact seen not far from the haunts of the celebrated
"Loveland Frog," a 3- to 5-foot-tall frog-like or lizard-like
reptilian-looking creature seen at the Little Miami River near
Loveland, Ohio in 1972. A "Lizardman" was seen near Wayne, New
Jersey one night in November, 1974 by a motorist driving toward
White Meadow Lake, whose headlights caught a tall scaly greenish
humanoid and a reptilian face with bulging frog-like eyes and a
wide lipless mouth in his headlights [Bord and Bord,
'Unexplained Mysteries of the Twentieth Century', pp. 246-247,
376, C. Lewis Wiedemann, "Difficulties of Tracking Down the
Lizardman," 'Vestigia Newsletter' 3, p. 3; Calendar edited by
Jerome Clark, November 7, 2001, cited by Dale Bacon, private e-
mail communication, November 7, 2001]. Another "Lizardman," 7
feet tall with greenish lizard-like skin, large slanted glowing
red eyes, and 3- fingered hands terrorized people at a swamp
near Bishopville, South Carolina in July 1988 [Bord and Bord,
'Unexplained Mysteries of the Twentieth Century', p. 384;
"Bigfoot" <http://www.theoutlaws.com/unexplained5.htm>; "They
Live Part 4" <www.think-
aboutit.combranton/they'live'part4.htm>]. In none of these cases
were UFO's reported.

Other curious dwarfs and "little men," again with no UFO
connection, are more superficially human-like in appearance,
recalling the "little people" of folklore. They include the 20
bald-headed white-skinned "little men" in leather "knee-pants"
held up by suspenders seen walking in single file along a
roadside near Barron, Wisconsin one summer night in 1919 by 13-
year-old Harry Anderson while carrying oil back to a stranded
car. They also include bizarrely tiny humanoids, like the
"little man" the size of a "Coke bottle" seen near Dunn, North
Carolina in October 1976 by an 8-year-old boy and a 20- year-old
woman. Here, too, we have the rubbery-looking otherwise nude
"little man" 18 inches tall in a sombrero-like hat seen by three
farm boys in May 1913 near Farmersville, Texas as their dogs
attacked it and tore it to pieces, Again, four tiny beings 8
inches tall in white clothes and gray caps were seen by four
boys under a bridge over a muddy riverbed on August 10, 1973
near Ibague, Colombia [Bord and Bord, 'Unexplained Mysteries of
the Twentieth Century', pp 146-147, 155-157, 322, 379, 386,

Sightings of all such odd, anomalous humanoid creatures that
cannot be too easily explained either as extraterrestrial
visitors or as relict pre-Sapiens hominids are a well-
rstablished if still totally mystifying and inexplicable
"experience anomaly." Do they show any historical tend over
time? My own personal impression is that they seem to be
manifesting less often in recent decades as fairies, gnomes, or
"little people" like those of traditional folklore or fairy-
tales, and more and more often as "frog-men" or "lizard-men."
Could that mean that our "Collective Unconscious" is influenced
less these days by folklore and fairy-tale than by science-
fictional imagery, less by the Grimm Brothers and more by comic
books and monster movies? Maybe so! Or maybe rather "They" are
adapting themselves to our own current fantasies and

"Hard science" or "nuts and bolts" UFO and abduction
researchers, on the other hand, discount or downplay the
supposed resemblances and continuities between traditional fairy
and modern alien encounter stories. For such UFO'logist, the
chronological age or beginning of modern UFO and abduction
reports is a real and serious question, and the 1890's, World
War II, or 1947 may very well be real historical beginnings.
Something truly new in human experience started in the late 19th
century, or during or right after World War II, they believe,
strongly suggestive of extraterrestrial visitation by flesh-
and-blood aliens in nuts-and-bolts spaceships, rather than of
whatever underlay traditional "fairy" or "little people"
stories. All this, of course, depends on the belief that
something very different from past "fairy" and "little people"
encounters did begin happening in the 1890's, with "close
encounters" with "Martians" quite different from traditional
"fairies" and "gnomes."

Temple University UFO phenomenon historian and abduction
researcher David M. Jacobs, for instance, complained that UFO
skeptics connecting abduction stories to traditional myth,
legend, and folklore "lump together all folklore accounts of
=91little people,' gnomes, trolls, dwarfs," and similar mythical
humanoids, "no matter what the context," with abductions "simply
because these characters are small or because they ate said to
have supernatural powers." They "disconnect such folktales from
trheir original social and cultural context" and then "present
them as fact in a completely different milieu." However, they
"present only vague and general similarities" between the
"abduction phenomenon" and "myth, legend, and folklore," like
"superficial stories about =91changelings,' little people, or gods
who live in the heavens." For such "adherents of the folklore
hypothesis," Jacobs felt, ""facile resemblances become complete
modern duplicates" [David M. Jacobs, 'Secret Life: Firsthand
Accounts of UFO Abductions' (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992),
p. 298]

Folktales, Jacobs continued, also became "evidence that the UFO
abduction phenomenon has been going on for centuries." He
conceded that "hundreds of folktales" had been collected about
"little people, giants, gods, flying machines, people being
kidnapped by trolls," and "other material" that "the uninformed
might decide were like the UFO and abduction phenomenon"
[Jacobs, 'Secret Life', pp. 298-299]. However, Jacobs argued,
the "actual content of myths, legends, and folktales" had
"almost nothing in common with abduction accounts." He pointed
out that "typically, folktales, myths, and legends have been
orally transmitted," and "changed and altered over the years
depending on the =91spin' that the teller puts on the tale." That
"alteration" was "determined by the personality of the teller
and the culture in which he lives," so that folklore is a
"dynamic process that is constantly changing." Thus, finding the
"kernel of truth that may lie behind the tale" was "often
impossible." Abduction victims, on the other hand, "are not
telling stories that they had previously heard from other
people," but rather "relating accounts of sometimes ongoing
events that they believe happened to them " personally [Jacobs,
'Secret Life', p. 299].

Merpeople--"mermaids" and "mermen," creatures with the heads,
arms, and upper torsos of men or women and the rear body parts
and tails of fishes--were apparently quite often seen in the
Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean in ancient, mediaeval, and
early-modern times, even in the 19thcentury, but thereafter have
been reported only quite rarely. In the 20th century,
"merbeings" or "merfolk" of a sort have been reported from
waters near certain South Pacific islands, notably from around
Morotai in Indonesia and New Ireland southeast of Papua New
Guinea. However, they no longer seem to be encountered in
Atlantic or Mediterranean waters. Whether we interpret them as
still-unknown marine animals or as totally mysterious
"experience anomalies," merpeople do seem to be a phenomenon
that has largely "had its day." Has a real marine animal become
extinct in its former Atlantic and Mediterranean haunts while
perhaps still surviving in the South Pacific? Or, has an
"experience anomaly" of ultimately "psychic" or
"parapsychological" origin become a less popular or fashionable
archetype in the Collective Unconscious? Like "fairies," have
the entities responsible for traditional "merfolk" reports
adopted a more up-to-date space-age "UFO alien" guise in our
time? Is the mediaeval French mermaid princess M=E9lusine still
alive in our high-tech 21st century, now inserting anal probes
into hapless UFO abductees? Or did M=E9lusine abduct and seduce
Ant=F4nio Villas-Boas in 1957?

Crop circles seem to be a completely new Fortean phenomenon of
our own time. Cereologists(as crop circle researchers call
themselves) have cited a famous English possible crop circle
from 1647-- which other cereologists have dismissed as too vague
and problematical. Whether or not a crop circle did appear in
17th century England. They remained pretty rare, at best, for
300 years. In the 1960's, we did begin to hear occasionally of
"UFO nests," roughly circular or elliptical areas of flattened
vegetation in areas of reputed recent or current UFO activity.
The best-known such "UFO nest" was a circular area of flattened
reeds in a swamp near a farm in Tully, Queensland, Australia in
1966, where the farmer had actually seen a "flying saucer"
rising into the air from the spot where he later found the
flattened reeds. At first, though, they were interpreted in a
comparatively prosaic light, simply as matter-of-fact physical
effects of a landed "flying saucer's" weight on the vegetation
beneath, interesting only as evidence that an unknown heavy
object had indeed landed at a certain locality.

It was only in the late 1980's, however, when complex geometric
crop circles began appearing in Great Britain and Western
Europe, that UFO'logists and Fortean researchers began thinking
in terms of a wholly new anomalous phenomenon, and cereology was
born as a separate new Fortean sub- discipline. We no longer had
simple circles or ellipses of crushed vegetation merely
suggesting a big, heavy object having recently lain there. We
now had complex geometric and artistic patterns definitely
suggesting somebody or something trying to send us a message of
some sort. It was no longer just a question of a flying saucer
crushing the vegetation under it as it landed. It was a MESSAGE,
or at least a GAME, of some sort! As far as I know, NOTHING like
this had EVER happened in the 1950's or 1960's--not even at
Tully in Queensland! Certainly, the 1647 English crop circle
seemed to present no such message and play no such game! Here,
it seems, we really did have a qualitatively new Fortean
phenomenon unknown until very recent times!

I myself wondered recently if yet another new anomaly might be
emerging now in the form of rocks inexplicably placed on
treetops. In April, 2003, I read some reports on boulders
recently found mysteriously perched atop trees in Indiana's

Terry W. Colvin
Sierra Vista
Arizona (USA)


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