(These selections from the Ted Phillips Trace Catalogue originally
appeared in several editions of the Crop Watcher magazine.
and were compiled by British researcher, Paul Fuller.
Special thanks to Paul Fuller for allowing us to compile his extracts into
one article, and to Mark Rodeghier of CUFOS for permission to reproduce Ted Phillips' material.
Ted Phillips' Physical Trace Catalogue
by Paul Fuller
I am very grateful to Mark Rodeghier of the J. Allen-Hynek Centre
for UFO Studies (CUFOS) for allowing me to reproduce the
following cases from Ted Phillips' celebrated Physical Trace
Catalogue. The catalogue was published in 1975 by CUFOS and its
proper title is Physical Traces Associated with UFO Sightings, A
Ted Phillips was born in 1942 and has lived all his life in
Missouri. He is still alive today and his career in UFO research
stretched from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s. Phillips had a
varied career and at various times was an inspector for the
Missouri State Highway Department, a professional photographer
and also an amateur jazz musician. According to Ronald Story's
UFO Encyclopedia Phillips investigated more than five hundred
UFO cases in his first twelve years of UFO research. His
position statement (written in the mid 1970s) concluded "I
believe, after thirteen years of investigation, [that] the data
indicates a non-terrestrial origin."
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
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,
Case 013: June 12th, 1790, FRANCE, Alencon. Time: 05.00
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?]
Case 683: 1842, U.S.S.R., Orenburg
"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.]
Case 006: Date Unknown. U.S.A., Silver City, NC.
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.]
Case 007: Date Unknown. U.S.A.
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 ?]
Case 008: Date Unknown. U.S.A. Darrington, WA.
UFO landed, bark on tree trunks damaged, trees spread outward. No
other details. (UFO-INFO).
[PF: Not enough detail to comment on really]
Case 014: December 7th, 1872. ENGLAND, Banbury. Time: 10.00
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.
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
From the Banbury Guardian, 5 December, 1872, page 2 :-
Extraordinary Phenomenon Near King's Sutton
Great Destruction of Property and Narrow Escape of
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
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) :-
THE LATE PHENOMENON NEAR KING'S
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.
Here 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 damage at 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 "very dangerous condition". There is also
an account of the earlier tornado from the Pall Mall Gazette, which is
quoted 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
David Reynolds of the U.K.-based TORRO (Tornado and Storm Research Organization) tells me that this event is recorded as two separate and definite tornado events in the TORRO tornado database. The case is noticeable for the extraordinary damage reported - particularly to the
newly constructed railway shed at Oxford and to the 116 yards of stone
wall. The event involved typical tornado acoustics - "a railway train in
motion", "a whizzing noise", "a noise like a train" and the tornado
sometimes hovered and sometimes touched the ground surface. The "fireball"
gave off a "hissing, roaring" sound and was revolving rapidly. The "smoke"
effect may simply have been a misperception of swirling water condensation
inside the vortex funnel. The original account in the Banbury Guardian
cites the tornado sucking away the contents of a small pond. Of course this
is a clue to cases where small fish are seen to fall from the sky. Finally
we see how some members of the local population interpreted what they saw
in a religious sense, thinking that "the Claimant" (the devil?), was
responsible for the phenomenon. This is not unusual but is more typical of
accounts of medieval tornadoes, rather than those of the 19th century.
thanks to Alan Watson for his research and thoughtfulness in sending us
this superb account. - Paul Fuller
Case 015: July 1880. CANADA, East Kent, Ontario.
David Muckle and W.R. McKay heard a sudden loud report. They
turned to see a cloud of stones flying upward from a spot in a
field. They examined the spot, which was circular and about 16
ft. across. There was no sign of an eruption nor anything to
indicate the fall of a heavy body there. The ground was simply
swept clean. (Scientific American, July 10, 1880).
[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]
Case 040: September 27, 1950. U.S.A. Philadelphia, PA.
Police officers John Collins and Joseph Kennan saw an object 6
ft. in diameter float to earth in an open field. They approached
the object with flashlights. Collins tried to pick the object up,
the part touched by his hand dissolved leaving a stick, odourless
residue. Within a half hour the entire object had evaporated. A
spot remained at the site. (News slips).
[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.]
Case 047: 1952 U.S.A., Lamonte, MO.
Former director of the Sedalia ASCS office was contacted by Joe
Thompson and asked to look at an unusual area on his farm which
had appeared overnight. He found a perfect circle 16 ft. across
with the plants wilted and dead. The soil was examined and no
cause could be found. (Personal files).
[PF: Another inconclusive case]
Case 815: June 1952. U.S.A. Little Spring Creek, TN
Marks of legs and center spike in chirt (sic), along with small
heelless footprints. Around 11 p.m. man hears strange sounds and
weird music, sees a shiny thing on the ground, with bright lights
coming through an open door. 4 or 5 men, 4.5 to 5 ft. tall
dancing and singing in high-pitched voices. Object aluminium
coloured, glowing orange and blue in spots, some of which were
too bright to look at directly. Rotating lights on translucent
ball at top. Object on 4 legs, each with a ball at the end, and a
center spike. Stood 3-4 ft. off the ground, 7-8 feet thick at
center, like 2 saucers stuck together. Men reloaded object,
advanced toward witness with things in their hands that looked
like guns, but stopped, apparently unwilling to cross a creek.
men walked up ramp or steps into object, which rose vertically in
a twisting, cork-screw motion, glowing brighter as it rose.
(Stanley L. Ingram "Recent Sightings" page 65 in Unidentified
Flying Objects Over the Tennessee Valley by W.A. Darbro and
Ingram, South Publishing Co., Huntsville, Ala. 1974. Via Fred
[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 .]
Case 704: July 15th, 1952. GERMANY, Gleimershausen.
Former Mayor Oskar Linke and his 12-year-old stepdaughter saw a
landed circular object and occupants. Witnesses moved to within
30 ft. Object was 50 ft. across with two rows of holes along the
side, each about 1 ft. in diameter. A black cylindrical tower was
seen at the top center; it was about 10 ft. high, went through
the disk and the object was resting on it. Object slowly
ascended, whistling sound was heard. Several people in a nearby
village saw it flying overhead. A circular depression where the
tower had rested was found. (The New York Enquirer. 07-21-52).
[PF:. Another awkward case. Its difficult to come to a rational
solution unless we conclude that "it can't be therefore it isn't"!]
Case 676: August 6th, 1952. U.S.A., Lumberton, NC. Time: 21.00
James J. Allen, 51, saw a round object 8 ft. long, 6 ft. high
land within 10 ft. of him. Small occupant seen. Footprints found.
(The Robesonian, Lumberton, 08-07-52).
[PF:. Not really enough information here. ]
Case 052: May 20th, 1953. U.S.A., Brush Creek, CA. Time: 18.30
A miner, John Q. Black, saw a silvery disk, 7 ft. in diameter and
6 ft. thick land on a sandbar within 50 ft. of the witness. He
saw a creature about the size of a midget get out of the craft,
scoop up water in a shiny pail and hand it inside. The witness
and his partner John van Allen saw marks in the sand about 1 ft.
wide that looked like "elephant feet". (The Humanoids, p. 146)
Case 051: May 30th, 1953. NEW ZEALAND, Christchurch.
White filaments seen coming to ground at time of UFO sighting.
Case 826: June 20th, 1953. U.S.A., Brush Creek, CA. Time: 18.30
Incident identical to that of May 20th, 1953. (Humanoids)
[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].
Case 053: June 24th, 1953. U.S.A., Hampton Bay, NY. Time: 00.18
Woman saw a round object 100 ft. in diameter. Lighted red band
around the middle, oscillating motion. Noise similar to swarm of
bees. Four portholes seen in top section along with red lights.
Seen for 3 minutes. Two days later a yellowish moss was observed
at the site. Object hovered over water. (VALLEE III).
[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.]
Case 054: July 2nd, 1953. SPAIN, Villares des Saz. Time: 13.00
Maximo Munes Olivares, 14, saw a "big balloon" on the ground
when a faint whistling sound attracted his attention. It was
metallic. Three dwarfs emerged, they were dressed in blue. they
re-entered the object, which glowed very brightly, made a soft
whistling sound and went off "like a rocket". Footprints and
four holes 2 in. deep forming a perfect square of 14 in. were
found by police. (VALLEE III)
[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
Case 055: August 17th, 1953. MEXICO, Ciudad Valles. Time: 18.00
Salvidor Villanueva, 40, noted failure in his auto engine. As he
tried to make repairs he was approached by two men, 4 ft. tall
wearing gray coveralls and carrying helmets. An object 40 ft.
across, disc-shaped with a dome and humming sound was seen. It
ascended vertically at high speed. Bushes and sticks were found
broken at the site. This formed a circle 40 to 45 ft. across.
[PF: Sounds more like a hoax to me !]
Case 056: August 18th, 1953. U.S.A., Ashboro, NC.
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Dixon found a perfect 18 ft. circle in their
front yard. The circle had a substance that appeared to be some
kind of powder and had a burned odour, although it did not kill
or scorch the grass. (George Fawcett)
[PF: Again not very convincing evidence of a crop circle]
Case 057: September 4th, 1953. FRANCE, Tennerre. Time: 21.30
A woman saw two objects on the ground and 3-5 ft. tall men running
towards the object. They had large heads and wore helmets and
boots. One entered the elongated object which was 18 ft. wide. It
took a vertical position resting on a tripod and took off with a
spherical object into which the other two creatures had gone.
Traces were found. (Vallee III).
Case 059: November, 1953. NORWAY, Gjersjoen Bridge.
Mr. Tygve, Mrs. Buflot and a neighbour saw an object rose from
behind a hill and follow their car, stopping ahead of them just
above the ground. They stopped, and felt "pricklings" until the
craft took off vertically. A watch stopped working, and numerous
people vouch for the fact that the paint on the car changed from
beige to dark green. (Vallee III).
[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.
Case 061: December, 1953. CANADA, Sherbrook, NS.
Witness saw two "indescribable" shadows, a while later a large
round object took off some 350 ft. away with a blue-green light.
Police found broken bushes as evidence of an enormous weight.
Animals reacted. (Vallee III)
Case 062: 1954. MEXICO.
A flying object was witnessed by many
citizens. It was watched by all at a distance of less than 50 ft.
until it finally left, leaving behind a circle of flattened corn.
To date nothing grows in the circle. (Data-Net)
[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]
Case 063: 1954, CANADA, Vivian.
Circular area devoid of plant growth to date (1971).
[PF: Again this doesn't sound like crop circles as we have come to
know and love them .]
Case 662: January 4th, 1954. FRANCE,
Marignane Airport. Time: 21.00 Witness saw a round object
landing, trace found. (MUFOB)
Case 663: February 1954. U.S.A., San Bernardino, CA. Time: 19.00
Engineer A.P. Wheeler driving when he saw a metallic object
resting on the road ahead. He stopped 10m from it. The object
was a disk on which a hatch was seen. Object ascended disturbing
gravel below. Object disappeared in 30 seconds. (MUFOB)
Case 789: May 20th, 1954 ENGLAND, Bruton, Somerset. Time: 02.00
Nigel Frapple, cycling home from a dance, saw first a terrific
light in a field and then a huge circular metallic object, 50
ft. across, with a brilliant flame-coloured light coming from a
central cockpit, hovering 20 ft. above the ground about 80-100
ft. away. After a minute it moved off towards the northwest,
climbing and increasing speed. There was a slight swishing sound
heard. The same sort of object was seen near Ringwood in
Hampshire the same night. The next day Mr. Frapple and a reporter
examined the field and found "grass pushed flat in an area 100
ft. in diameter, and scorched in places". (The Humanoids)
[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]
Case 065: June 21st, 1954. CANADA, Ridgeway, Ontario. Time:
Mr. & Mrs. Guy Baker reported a round object some 50 ft.
in diameter. They reported a dome and multi-coloured lights. The
Baker car would not start during the observation. There was a
large, brown circular area where the object was seen. (VALLEE
[PF: Again, probably not a crop circle, but interesting
Case 097: December 12th, 1954. BRAZIL, Campinas.
A lady observed three UFOs, dull gray, emitting a strong light as
they dived low over her house. A liquid substance dropped from
one, like a silver rain. She ran to the spot where it had fallen
and found a brilliant glowing stain, spread over the cement near
the washing tank. The stain was quite hot. The material was
analysed by Chief Chemist, Dr. Visvaldo Maffei, Young
Laboratories, 584 Francisco Deodoro Street, Campinas. "The sample
analysed is a combination of chemically pure tin-88.91 % and
oxygen-11.09 %." (FSR)
[PF:This is another peculiar case which
sounds potentially explicable. We'll get back to you on this one!]
Case 098: December 19th, 1954. VENEZUELA, Valencia.
Jose Parra, an 18-year-old jockey was training when he saw six
small men loading rocks into a disc hovering near the ground. He
tried to run but a violet-coloured beam from a device held by
one of the men stopped him. Footprints were found. (FSR)
Case 099: December 29th, 1954. FRANCE, Bru. Time: 21.00
A Mr. Gamba saw an oval red object 175 ft. away. When he tried
to approach it, he found he was unable to move. As soon as this
"paralysis" subsided, he ran to get his brothers and came back to
the object, which turned white, then red. It rose and flew away
toward the east. It had been on the ground at least 15 minutes.
Traces were found, as if the ground had been dug up. Small trees
near the river were found damaged, as if they had been cut with a
knife. (VALLEE III)
Case 101: 1955, U.S.A., Elking, AK.
Frank Huson reported the following incident which took place on
his farm. After a heavy rain, 'I walked up to an almost perfect
circle, which was formed by the peculiar disposition of the dead
weeds that had been uprooted. Inside this circle, no weeds stood
at all. The uprooted weeds, where they were thick, were lying
along the outer rim of the circle, against the weeds that were
still standing, as if they had been pulled up, and moved by some
force. The ground was soft, and there were no marks showing that
anything had sat down there. This circle was about 25 ft. across.
[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.]
Case 790: March 30th, 1955. U.S.A., near Tuscon, AZ. Time:
Andy Florio, a musician, was driving from Tuscon to El
Paso on Highway 80 when he saw a "disc-machine "... at least 100
ft. in diameter, 25 ft. thick, dirty gold or bronze with circular
openings around its rim from which amber-coloured lights
protruded. Bluish-green lights were "shining and flickering
upward" from its roof. "It made the sound of electrical humming
with stronger and softer volume. It yawed, swayed back and forth
and turned over on its axis once as I stood out of my car on the
driver's side ... It tipped over on its side and shot a
brilliant, blinding white-coloured beam of light at me,
bubbling the dome of the paint on the car as well as burning my
elbow." Mr. Florio felt a needle-like tingling sensation and heat
all over his body and nausea a few weeks later. The radio
stopped, lights dimmed and the motor chugged at a speed of 12-15
miles an hour "as though it might stall any second." When he
arrived at a garage in El Paso the next afternoon, "half the acid
was gone from the battery, I was running on three plugs, and my
radio was burned out completely." (Modern People, Oct. 27, 1974
and personal communication to CUFOS)
[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.]
Case 521: July 22nd, 1955. U.S.A., Cincinnati, OH. Time: 17.30
Mr E.M. had been mowing his lawn and kneeled down near a peach
tree, when suddenly "a peculiar liquid substance dark red in
colour began pelting me and the tree". He looked up and saw a
pear-shaped object about 1000 ft. high moving slowly from west to
east. As he watched, his hands and arms began to burn painfully,
but washing them immediately eased the pain. When Mr. M. went
out and examined the peach tree the next day, he found that most
of the leaves had turned brown and fallen, the twigs and limbs
were brittle, the peaches seemed "petrified" and the trunk had
turned so hard that a nail could be driven in only with great
difficulty. The grass below the tree had also died. (C.R.I.F.O.
Orbit, Sep 2, 1955)
Case 105: August 6th, 1955. U.S.A., Bedford, Indiana.
Semicircular imprints. (NICAP)
Case 251: October 1955. AUSTRALIA, Port Augusta;
Case 107: October 2nd, 1955. U.S.A., Uhrichsville, OH;
Case 108: October 10th, 1955. U.S.A., Cincinnati, OH
Case 109: October 27, 1955. U.S.A., Cincinnati, OH.
All listed as White filaments seen falling to ground at time of UFO sighting.
[ PF: More "Angel Hair" spiders' cobwebs]
Case 111: 1956. FRANCE.
Circular trace found.
Case 110: 1956, U.S.A., Stover, MO.
A bright light was seen ascending from a wooded area. When
neighbours investigated, they found the ground blackened in a
circular area 56 ft. across. Several small trees were broken and
pushed outward from the blackened area. In 1968 a bright light
was seen again in the same place. (Personal files)
Case 706: Summer, 1956. U.S.A., Nellis Air Force Base, NV.
Gear marks in triangular pattern, individual impressions similar to
Case 247. 100 ft. diameter domed disk with three circular landing
gear. Car stopped. (Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Flying Saucer
Occupants Signet, New American Library, N.Y., 1967, page 29.
Via Fred Merritt)
Case 112: Fall, 1956. U.S.A., Bethel, CT.
Danti Vaghi and a friend found a circle of grass 18 ft. in
diameter in a field just off Federal Road C. In the center, a 3
ft. circle of grass stood intact. Around the outside of the
burned area, the grass still contained traces of nickel and
chromium. (Bethel Home News, 11-25-69)
[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]
Case 124: Nov 16, 1958. SWEDEN, Upland. Dusk.
Two men found their car stopping and lights going out when they
were three miles from Vaddo, their destination. In the next
moment they caught sight of a shining object, about 17 yards long
and 8-9 yards high, which swooped down from their right and
landed about 60 yards away. It was circular and blue, with a
shining yellow rim which lit up a circular area of 90-100 yards.
After about three minutes on the ground, the object begun to
move, then vanished into the air. After checking their car, which
now started easily, the men drove to the spot where the "light"
had been. They noticed a heaviness and "closeness" of the air,
and saw that the grass was either pressed down or blown down .
When they lighted the area with a flashlight, they discovered a
bright, flat, thin "stone", which felt warm to their hands.
[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
Case 126: December 20th, 1958. FRANCE, Clermont-Ferrand. 1600
A disc 70 foot in diameter was observed and caused damage to the
ground. (VALLEE III)
Case 127: December 28th, 1958. IRELAND, County Antrim.
Joseph Bennett, a farmer, heard a strange noise and he looked up
and saw a dark, round object 7 feet in diameter about 20 foot
above the ground. It travelled NW and went above a row of trees.
A 40 foot high oak tree, 2 foot in diameter was knocked to the
ground, 8 foot above the surface. (VALLEE III)
Case 128: 1959. U.S.A., Turner, ME.
A woman was in her driveway when she heard a humming sound. She
glanced across the road and saw strange lights flying low over a
field about 1,000 foot away. The object [sic] hovered and
descended to the ground; the lights went out. Another object
[sic] crossed the field and hovered above the landed UFO. The
objects were disk-shaped with blue lights around a central rim.
The landed object ascended and the two flew away at high speed. A
small area of singed grass was found the next morning. (John
Fuller, Incident at Exeter)
[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.]
Case 129: 1959. DENMARK, Kolding. Midnight.
"Sucking marks" found in the snow. Farmer Nielsen reported a
strange light in his field. (FSR)
[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?]
Case 130: May 20th 1959. ARGENTINA, Tres Lomas.
Two hunters saw a disc-shaped object on the ground 500 feet
away. It appeared to be aluminium and about 9 foot high with a
dome. Grass was flattened. (VALLEE III)
[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 ?]
Case 131: July 23rd, 1959. NEW ZEALAND, Piri Piri.
Ring shaped trace. (UFOIC).
Case 686: August 1959. U.S.S.R., Georgia.
In the vicinity of an unnamed village in Georgia, a UFO was said
to have exploded, the event being witnessed by a 43-year-old
labourer Vasily Dubischev. There were no remains apart from one
strangely charred piece. A certain Dr. Fyodor Petrov was said to
have claimed it was not made of carbon but silicon. (UFOs from
behind the Iron Curtain page 282, quoting Robert Charroux, Le
Livre Des Mondes Oubliques, Paris 1971).
[PF: If memory serves me correctly this case was later admitted to be
Case 132: August 12th, 1959. SPAIN, Brion.
A 60-year-old farmer saw an egg-shaped object come down at high
speed and land in a field near a river. It took off vertically,
with an engine noise, not similar to a helicopter. Traces
[found]. (VALLEE III)
Case 133: September 7th, 1959. WALLINGFORD, KY. 0230 Hrs.
Disc shaped object hovered near the ground, took off vertically,
moved away horizontally. A 13 foot stained ring was found. A
spectro-analysis of the soil of the ring shows the sample
contained chromium, iron and manganese not normally found in the
clay soil of the area. (The UFO Investigator, March 1960).
[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.]
Case 134s: October 1959. SWEDEN, Mariannelund. 1855 Hrs.
The electrical power in the three witnesses' houses failed; when
they ran outside they saw a blinding white light, it stopped and
hovered. The object started to move, slowly descended and turned
to the right, hitting and smashing a portion of a maple tree (top
section), it then descended towards the ground. The witness was
10 foot from it. Through a large window he could see two
occupants, with large eyes; the heads were high-crowned. The
occupants were small in size. The object was oval, about 12 feet
long and 8 feet high. It was found that a gray-white substance
covered power lines. The witness was Gideon Johansson, his wife
and his son. (FSR, 11:70) .
Case 736: 1960. ROMANIA, Baciu.
Imprints in a triangle, 3.2m x 2.4m x 2.4m, burnt grass.
Case 135p: April 12th, 1960. U.S.A., Lacamp, LA. 2100 Hrs.
A witness reported a disc, red in colour, flying swiftly from the
south. It touched the ground about 1,000 feet away with a loud
explosion heard by many people. A flame was seen. It bounced in
an easterly direction, ascended, turned west and disappeared. The
ground was scarred in nine places and a substance like metallic
paint was found. (Science & Mechanics)
Case 136: May 14th, 1960. BRAZIL, Paracura. 0400 Hrs,
A witness saw two landed discs on a beach, and several small,
pale-looking humanlike entities standing near them. They beckoned
to the witness, who turned and fled in fright. Returning later
with other men he found marks in the sand where the discs had
[PF: I find this case dubious in the extreme. Don't you?]
Case 137: May 24th, 1960. VENEZUELA, Ocumare del Tuy.
Diamond-shaped scorched marks found. (NICAP)
Case 138: June 10th, 1960. ENGLAND, Evenlode.
Two circles [ie rings, PF], one inside the other, were discovered
by Bill Edwards. The outer circle [ring, PF] is 23 foot across.
Smaller ring 16 foot across, width 1.5 inches. (FSR 10:60)
[PF: This is the classic Evenlode case discussed in all our
Case 139: July 22nd, 1960. U.S.A., Martin, TN/ 2200 Hrs.
Shirley Sisk, aged 13, saw a hovering disc with a small rudder-
like attachment on one side. Large oily circles with a black
substance were found. (Saucers, Space & Science, Canada)
Case 140: August 1960. ARGENTINA, 1030 Hrs.
Four Italian engineers saw a luminous disc land or hover close to
the ground. It was 1,000 feet away. It then ascended and a
circular area of grass 90 foot in diameter was found. (FSR)
Case 149: 1962. CANADA, Wooler, Ontario.
25 foot circle was found, formed by an 18 inch ring. No other
details. (H.H. McKay)
[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
Case 150: 1962. U.S.A., Minot, ND.
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-
Case 151: 1962. ARGENTINA, Bahia Blanca.
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)
Case 152: May 12th, 1962. ARGENTINA, Pampa Province. 0410 Hrs.
V. and G. Tomasini and H. Zenobi saw an object on the ground 350
feet away. It looked like a railroad car and was illuminated. As
they approached it, the object ascended, crossed low over the
road, rose with a flame and separated into two sections that flew
away in separate directions. A humming noise was heard. It was
seen on the ground for one minute. A circle was burned, insects
were carbonized and the ground was petrified. (VALLEE III)
[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?]
Case 153: May 24, 1962 ARGENTINA, La Pampa.
Woman saw an object on the ground with two robot-like creatures. Grass
singed in a circle 18 ft. wide. (FSR 10-62)
Case 154: May 24, 1962. VENEZUELA, Ocumare, del Tuy.
Diamond-shaped marks, scorched. (NICAP)
Case 155: July 30, 1962. ARGENTINA, Bajeola Grande.
Roberto Mievres, 17, was riding his motorcycle when a tall being appeared
as the engine stalled. The being snatched the boy's scarf, the
boy ran away and came back with a group of people. They found the
scarf on the ground and discovered traces and observed an unknown
object flying away. (VALEE III).
[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.]
Case 488: November 21, 1963. ENGLAND, Sandling Estate [Kent].
Keith Croucher, 17, saw a solid oval light in the center of a
golden mist crossing a football pitch. Two nights later, John
McGoldrick and a friend went to Sandling Woods to investigate.
"They found a vast expanse of bracken that had been flattened;"
they also found three giant foot-prints, clearly defined, 1 inch
deep, 2 foot long and 9 inches across. (The Humanoids).
[PF:. A very famous case. Does anyone know if it was ever exposed
as a hoax ?]
Case 164: December 27, 1963. ENGLAND, Epping. 16.00 Hrs.
Pauline Abbott, a trainee riding instructor, saw on the ground a white
object 8 foot long, 3 foot thick at the center, tapering to a
point at both ends, glowing slightly. A window on one side
glowed brighter than on the other. A "squelching noise" was heard
as the object rose in a shallow climb and flew horizontally for
100 feet before it was hidden from view.
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.]
Case 165: 1964. CANADA, Ballantrae, Ontario.
Claus Slade and a friend found an area 50 foot in diameter cleared. At the outer
edge of the circle [a ring, PF] the ground was seared to a
crisp, leaving bits of charcoal. The outer circle [a ring? PF]
was about 3 foot wide. Five years later, no vegetation grows.
Above the circle, tall 100 foot high oak trees still grow, but
the branches which hung over the circle are dead. It is estimated
[that] the time of the landing was June, 1964, as numerous UFOs
were reported in that area. (UFORC)
[PF: So just because "numerous" UFOs were reported in June the
trace just HAD to be related, didn't it!]
Case 166: 1964. U.S.A., West Unity, OHIO.
Rings of sterile soil, located near a tree line and in the corners of a field.
Case 681: April 23, 1964. U.S.A., Rivesville, WV.
Mrs Ivah Frederick observed a landed object for 15 minutes 600 foot away.
It was a disc with dome, revolving clockwise and humming. A
central la ding shaft was seen and a human-like figure 3 to 4
foot tall. Ascended vertically, 3 foot circular imprint found
(shaft) and footprints 6 to 8 inches long with four toes.
Readers will know that in issues 16-18 of The Crop Watcher I re-published selected cases from Ted Phillips' well-known catalogue of alleged physical ground traces associated with unidentified flying objects. The purpose of doing so was to draw attention to alleged historical accounts of
crop circles as well as to examine whether Meaden's atmospheric
vortex theory can be applied to explain some of the more
challenging UFO reports.
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.
Case 178, August 21st, 1964. U.S.A., Moses Lake, WA. 02.00 Hrs
Mrs W.D. Hawkes, awakened by a ringing noise, heard two horses in
a pasture making a commotion and the family dog barking. Next
morning concentric ring markings were found in the field. (FSR
[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
Case 179p. September 4th, 1964. U.S.A., Glassboro, NJ.
A glowing red ball was seen to descend in a wooded area. The object
was seen by two boys, who went to the landing area and found a
clearing in the woods. In the clearing they found the ground to be
scorched, all grass and vegetation was burnt in a circular pattern.
In the centre of the clearing was a hole 30 inches in diameter and
18 inches deep surrounded by a mound of displaced earth and sand,
all scorched black. Branches of surrounding trees 30 to 40 foot
tall were broken and hung downward. There were three 6 inch holes
in the ground at equal distance from the centre hole. The circular
area was about 30 feet in diameter. (Fate Magazine).
[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 ?]
Case 180, November 8th, 1964. CANADA, Saint-Alexis de Montcalm,
Quebec. 23.00 Hrs.
Mr. Lebel saw a lighted object at tree-top level, about 2,500 feet
away [!!!]. At the site, a wide circle of crushed vegetation was
found, tree branches were broken, and a pole was calcined.
[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
Case 183. 1965. CANADA, Frankford, Ontario.
Three perfect circles [ie rings, PF] 23 inches in diameter were
found. The grass [was] growing about 18 inches high on either side
of the rings, each [ring was] about 16 inches wide. UFOs were
reported on the area at the time. (Saucers, Space and Science).
[PF: Sounds like a classic crop circle case doesn't it. We'll chase
this one up for a future issue.]
Case 184. 1965. U.S.A., Caner, MA.
A 15 foot burned circle was found in a field. (Hynek)
[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?]
Case 185. 1965. U.S.A., Jaffrey, NH.
A ring was discovered and was assumed to have been left by a flying
saucer. The ring, apparently, had been made at or close to the time
when several Jaffrey residents reported [that] they had seen a
saucer close to the ground at the ring's location. (Monadnock
[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.]
Case 186, 1965. U.S.A., Chippewa Falls, WI.
Three witnesses, man, wife and son, observed green light mass
landing and ascending. 6 foot circle found dried at the site. Site
remained barren for eight months, water would run off of ground
during that time. Site seven miles south of city. (Brent Raynes).
[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.]
Case 187, 1965. NEW ZEALAND, Waihoke.
Ross Liverton reported a circle [ie a ring, PF] of bare earth, 8
foot wide with a ring width of 12 inches. It was visible for four
[PF:Another unexplained ground marking, rather than a crop circle. ]
Case 188s. January 12th, 1965. U.S.A., Custer, WA. 20.20 Hrs.
Four witnesses, Mrs Jubert and her three teenage daughters,
observed an extremely bright light coming towards their house.
Thinking it was about to hit the house, they ran outside. The light
de scended below a tree line and could not be seen. The object was
tracked by Blaine Air Force Base radar. The driver of a border
patrol vehicle saw a slightly domed object, 30 foot in diameter,
pass over his car. The object finally ascended vertically at high
speed and disappeared to the northeast. Where the object had landed
in the 14 to 18 inches of snow, there was a large circular imprint,
12 foot in diameter. In addition to the snow being melted, the
ground showed evidence of scorching. Tracks were found leading from
the site, oval and about 8 inches long and 8 inches apart in single
file. The tracks led into a wooded area and ended. (Vallee and
[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.]
Case 190. February 1965. CANADA, Alberta.
Farmer noted three rings which were much greener and about 30 to 40
feet in diameter. The outer circles [rings, PF] were not more than
2 foot in width. They were not fairy rings or fungus growth. The
grass was dark green and 4 inches taller than the rest. (Saucers,
Space and Science).
[PF: Actually this does sound like a fungal growth or even a crop mark,
rather than a crop circle.]
Case 191, 1965. AUSTRALIA, Tully.
Unusual hoof-like marks were found in the Tully area. The marks
were about 2 inches by 2 inches. (Claire Noble, Australia).
[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]
Case 192, February 3rd, 1965. NEW ZEALAND, South Brighton. 20.45
Man saw a light on the beach near Penguin Street, got out of his
car to observe it. He heard a whistling sound and saw an object, 25
foot wide, rise from the beach to an altitude of about 600 feet. He
returned to the site with other persons and a dog that became
restless at a spot where grass was flattened. Another witness,
driving near Humphrey Avenue, saw the object as it rose over South
Brighton. (Vallee III).
[PF: Sounds like a superb case doesn't it ! Does any one know
anything else about it?]
Case 818, February 14th, 1965. BRAZIL, Guarani.
Footprints and circles found. Five residents see un usually large
object land, three occupants 8 foot tall, thin, wearing
tight-fitting dark one-piece suits. (Beckley, Timothy Green. "Have
Invaders From Space Divided the Earth ?" in Saga UFO Special No 3,
[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.]
Case 195p, March 15th, 1965. U.S.A., Fort Myers, FL. 01.00 Hrs.
Jim Flynn, 45, saw a lighted object while hunting. 88 feet in
diameter, windows 21 inch wide. A humming sound was heard. Flynn
got to within 8 feet of the object, a beam of light was projected
towards him, he was unconscious for 24 hours. He had lost vision in
the right eye, saw poorly with the left. In the hospital five days.
Sawgrass was burned in a circle 72 feet in diameter. The ground was
turned up. Trees were burned. (NICAP and VALLEE III).
[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]
Case 196, May 1965. CANADA, Willowdale.
A witness observed a light on the back portion of his lot in the
woods. The light finally moved to the tree-tops and disappeared in
a westerly direction. A few days later, while walking through the
area he found a circle [ie a ring, PF] 35 feet in diameter with an
outer ring 3 foot wide. (Saucers, Space and Science).
[PF: Now did the light create the ring or did the witness create the
ring to support his UFO sighting?]
Case 197, May 24th, 1965. AUSTRALIA, MacKay. 00.05 Hrs.
J.W. Tilse, a senior commercial pilot, and two other men saw in
front of Mr Tilse's hotel, a large (30 foot by 1 foot) dark-grey
metallic disc-shaped machine [!!!] hovering about 15 feet from the
ground. There were two lights near the ends of the object and
"banks of floodlights" in rows seemed suspended from it. Three legs
could be seen below the flood-lights with another light on each.
The undersides of trees were illuminated by the lights, as the
object hovered about 300 feet away for about 45 minutes [!!!]. "On
departure, rose slowly to approx. 300 feet, then accelerated more
than extremely rapidly in a NE to E direction. Would have been
flying horizontally. (?)"
"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 ?]
Case 672. May or June 1965. AUSTRALIA, Tully.
Large holes in triangular pattern found underwater in 30 foot swamp
"nest" of floating reeds in counter-clockwise direction. No object
seen. (Harvey, Michael UFOs Over the Southern Hemisphere Horwitz
Pub. Inc. Pty. Ltd., North Sydney, Australia, 1969, page 111 via
[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