I recently came across the German-speaking version of a highly interesting UFO documentary produced by the National Geographic Channel.
The German name is „Invasion Erde – Berichte von UFOs am Nachthimmel“ (Invasion of the earth – reports of UFO under nocturnal skies).
While the beginning and end of the episode dealt with the alleged crashed object in Kecksburg, the middle of the documentary went into the effects of an Identified Flying Object (IFO) on local sightings.
On the night of June the First, the French actually launched a missile from a submarine off the coast of Brittany, an M45 sea to ground missile.
According to astronomer Nigel Henbest: „they targeted French Guiana in South America. So that missile launched from Brittany would’ve actually gone over both Spain and Portugal on route.”
The puzzle is that three persons remember having sighted on that night objects which present features seriously at odds with the hallmarks of such a missile.
In what follows, I go into the testimony of every witness.
Since the documentary was made ten years after the event, false memories must be seriously considered while analysing their accounts.
Over three hundred and sixty miles away, in Beja, Portugal, Jorge Fernandez is out hunting…
“Around 11pm I finished hunting and as I was heading towards the truck, I looked towards the mountains and I saw smoke from something falling very fast. I got scared.
“I thought it was a plane that was about to crash. Suddenly it stopped in the air. It just hovered there, still. A strong light came on, as if there was an explosion… there was always smoke around it”
“I don’t think that even a missile is able to stop suddenly and then change direction and start going up. I don’t think it’s possible.”
But he made the following confession.
“Many times when I’m out in the fields, I wished that I could see a UFO. And it happened on that night.”
Given that strong expectation and in the absence of any corroborating evidence, I consider it possible that the unphysical „hovering“ of the missile was a false memory which has unfolded in his mind much later.
Jesus Merchan Rubira
On the night of June the 1st, amateur astronomer and science student, Jesus Merchan Rubira, is on the roof of his apartment block, enjoying the fine weather and clear night skies.
It’s while setting up to photograph the comet that Jesus sees what he initially assumes to be an ordinary aircraft, moving from North to West.
… I looked at it just the same way as any other plane. But then. It started to expel, like, dust. And to create a dust cloud in the sky. It was very large and yellow.
And then the object began to rotate, to turn over itself. And to go upwards in an erratic trajectory. And I started to get worried because I thought it was a plane crash. …”
“I was very scared because I think those people were about to die, and I was witnessing that…And then the object appeared to explode.
“… By that time I had my camera ready, and I took the picture. The only picture that I managed to take.”
This is the image that he took that night.
When the whole event was over, I phoned a friend of mine just to have him check the news to see if a plane crash has taken place. But we didn’t find anything. About that or about anything. It was like it never existed.
“The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. So…For me the case is closed, yeah, with this missile test I am comfortable with this hypothesis.”
Even if the young student ended up agreeing with the missile explanation, there still remains facts which do not fit quite well.
I have no big problem conceiving that the dust cloud and apparent imminent explosion of the object might have been illusions spawn by a combination of physical and psychological factors.
The main difficulty here is the upward erratic movement which was snapped by his photo camera.
In that case, it seems much harder to attribute his „sighting“ to a later misremembrance of a conventional missile.
Does any of my readers know a physical phenomenon which can cause such a seemingly chaotic upward move to a missile? Or at least create the appearance thereof?
I am tempted to think that the object he sighted that night might have been something quite different from the French missile and possibly even an UAP (Uidentified Aerial Phenomenon) in the broad sense.
Graphic designer Pedro Pinheiro also claims to have seen a strange phenomenon in the sky that night …
Pinheiro is astonished by what he’s seeing.
“I got a bit scared. I’d never seen anything like that.”
“At this point I called my brother and his girlfriend, and they came running, and we just watched it in silence. Speechless.”
Being a graphic designer, but not having a camera at his disposal, Pinheiro came up with a novel way of documenting the incident.
“It’s an illustration that I made the following day, and it represents the initial moment of observation, the first moment, when I looked up to the sky.”
While being told that his sighting was that of a missile, he reacted as follows:
“According to what I have seen in images of war or in films of missile behaviour. … I don’t think it would correspond in any way whatsoever to a missile.”
And I am strongly tempted to agree with him.
The object was observed by three witnesses which very plausibly agreed with the triangular-shaped bluish object depicted by Pedro on the next day.
In that case, it seems far fetched that within only one day radical false memories of a conventional missile would have taken place in the minds of three persons, psychological contamination notwithstanding.
I really think that what they saw was a triangular anomalous flying object completely unrelated to the French missile.
Actually, the shape of the object remind me of a photo recently taken in Australia:
AN object the photographer believes to be a UFO was spotted flying over Oakey at 6.30am this morning.
FieldQuip employee Greg Young decided to capture the beauty of the sunrise by taking a photo and it wasn’t until he zoomed in on his iphone that he noticed the strange object.
Mr Young said he looked back up at the sky and noticed the triangular object flying through the clouds followed by a dark blue trail.
„It was all a bit weird because a few moments earlier me and my co-worker saw some bright flashing lights from the East and we couldn’t work out what they were,“ Mr Young said.
„Then we saw this thing and it just made for a really odd morning.
„I don’t believe in aliens or anything like that but it definitely looked like something,“ he said.
FieldQuip operations manager Darren Mauger said he did not believe in aliens but he was intrigued by the object.
„I completely disbelieve in aliens and UFOs but I did find it strange,“ Mr Mauger said.
„Greg came in to show me the photo and by the time I went back outside it was gone.
„He said it wasn’t travelling very fast and was flying silently but it had disappeared within a minute,“ he said.
This report is rather ambiguous because it isn’t entirely clear whether or not Greg Young only saw the moving object on his phone (which could then be nothing more than a material defect or a bird flying past) or also sighted it with his naked eyes. The sentence „he looked back up at the sky and noticed the triangular object flying through the clouds followed by a dark blue trail „ seems to suggest he indeed made out the flying object visually.
At any rate, in the case of Pedro Pinheiro and his two companions, it looks like they really sighted an anomalous flying object at odds with our public knowledge (which is my definition of a UFO).
Generic psychological debunking
The producers of the documentary apparently assumed that any strange flying object sighted during the same night must have been the very missile which caught the attention of so many Spanish and Portuguese citizens.
Consequently, they concluded that any witness describing another object considerably different from it must be wrong and they asked Dr. Beau Lotto, a neuroscientist, to provide them with an explanation.
„Your brain sees nothing other than what it thinks it’s supposed to see, we see what we believe
When we open our eyes, we never see the world that’s really there. We can’t, we’re forever separate from that world. We only ever receive information from that world onto our senses. So onto our eyes, into our ears, onto our skin. That’s the only information we get
So your brain can only ever use its history of experience to make sense of that information, to literally make sense.”
That then shapes our assumptions, so in a sense we see what we believe, we see what our assumptions are.
So you can be self-priming, you can prime yourself to see something.
We all know this to be true, so if suddenly you want to buy a car and you’re interested in buying one particular car, you’ll notice
car everywhere. Suddenly your brain over biases the probability of those cars existing in the world even though, of course nothing’s changed. It’s just because you’re noticing them more.”
And the point is that they’re not crazy. Their brain is simply making a meaning based on what makes most sense
So they’re giving it an interpretation that makes sense. What makes sense for them is specific to them.
I think that what Dr. Lotto described here holds for a great number of human beings who are prone to wishful thinking.
But it is obvious that many of us do NOT see the things we wish to see unless they are truly out there.
While it cannot be proven, I am perfectly happy with the possibility that Jorge Fernandez (who went out with the expectation of seeing a UFO)experienced much later on a false memory which made him believe that the object behaved in an unphysical way.
I can’t accept the same explanation for Jesus Merchan Rubira because he obviously wasn’t looking for an oddly behaving object and dispose of a photo showing the thing shooting upwards in an erratic manner.
I think that Pedro Pinheiro saw an anomalous object which has nothing to do with the French missile. Both its slow regular speed and its bluish triangular shape are a complete mismatch to it.
The main fallacy of this investigation has been to assume that if a massive sighting has an unambiguous cause, there could not have been isolated observations of genuinely unidentified aerial phenomena completely unrelated to the thing or object most people saw.