Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pot-Pourri: Just a Disorganized Jumble

This post is characterized by mediocrity. Mental energy is low here in Kzoo at the moment, and the infinitely-creative person, I am not. "Pace" for the blog is a bit slow [this thing averages around 80+ posts per year, and we're only at about 25 a third of the way through --- maybe there is something to Old Age]. But let's try something, and maybe there will be a light or a wonder here and there.

Grinding my way down through the last Sanderson/SITU chaotic boxes [this grind is one big reason for low energy], occasionally something pops up. One such recent popping was a handful of nine UFO case reports not seen by me, and maybe not seen by hardly any living human being for all I know. They were single report investigation sheets sent to Ivan Sanderson by John Lutz. I have a vague memory of Mr. Lutz being an active investigator in the 60s and/or 70s, but to my knowledge never knew him. He seems to have organized something called the "Odyssey Investigations Club of Baltimore", and they were doing field investigations there in the early 70s.

Here's an example of a case sheet {I've blocked the witnesses' names, as that is appropriate courtesy if one has no clear go-ahead to publicize personal information}. The "violet" writing on the sheet is my own; my quick reminder of how to ultimately folder and file the case, and whether any intirguing information is included herein. This particular case is what Hynek would have called a "daylight disk", even though it's not daylight, or a "nocturnal light", even though it's not a light. This was Allen's main classification error, and such things, day or night, should just be called "lights" or "objects". This particular "object" has decent "Credibility" in that it has two witnesses and a well-balanced interviewer, and interesting "strangeness" in that the yo-yo-shaped thing stuck around a good time, hovered, had associated lighting, AND THEN VANISHED AS IF SOMEONE TURNED OFF A LIGHT BULB.

Pretty good case, actually. The others are: one LITS; one BOLs [this could be meteoric fireball break-up]; 4 more "objects"{ one has non-inertial motion and a searchlight beam shining to ground; another blinks out when a plane approaches, but comes back on when it leaves}; and two cases hovering just at the 500-foot distance edge of what we call "close encounters". One of the near CEs seems to show non-inertial motion, and the other is a nice "double soupbowl" with portholes.

All-in-all, a nice double handful of cases from the Baltimore area between September 1971 and March 1972. One wonders: how many handfuls of investigated cases happened, were written up/ logged, and slipped into the obscurity of the complicated gloaming never to reach any UFO researcher or analyst? Hynek always worried about the 90% of UFO cases which were never reported by the observers. There is probably another significant cut out of the "10%" which WERE reported which never saw the eyes of the serious UFO community.

But, pot-pourri it is today, so onto to something else .... maybe.

I was sitting around like a wimp feeling sorry for myself [all grind and no play], and decided to buy myself a couple of presents. This is an immoral act on my part, I admit, but I'm weak, and I wrote two big checks to charities to try to make up for it. One of the presents was a short run of The FOLK-LORE Journal of the British Folklore Society way back in 1883. They were, romantically, the very first seven volumes, 1883-1889. As you see in the picture, some misguided English librarian decided to discard these treasures, but some saintly old curiosity bookseller rescued them. To him I am very grateful.

So, let's pick up Volume one, 1883. There seem to be many things of interest in here, and I've not read the whole volume "by a long chalk" as the earlier Brits would say. But one article initially caught my imagination, so that I did. The article, "Kelpie Stories", by Reverend W. Gregor. The tales were surprising to me the non-expert. All the Kelpies pictured in them were horses {Predominantly} or wrinkled old men. None were Loch Ness type creatures despite modern people using "water kelpie" as a possible paranormal solution to the Nessie mess. The horses DID frequent the waters or return to them at the end of the tales, and the alternate shape of the wrinkled man gives them shape-shifting possibilities, but I expected to see some hint of a more Nessie like manifestation {like Mhorag was said to manifest at Loch Morar in the 1880s}.

Also, gremlins are at work here in Kzoo: I swear that I read a kelpie tale of the 1800s wherein the "horse" was completely helpful, even kind... BUT when I re-read the volume one tales, no such episode was there. Hmmmm..... I DID mess briefly about in one or two others of these volumes, so....

Anyway, this incident was a little more like a reality encounter so {from memory} here it is. A family had gotten down to its last shreds of food and for some reason hadn't replenished { maybe waiting for tradable crop or money from somewhere --- I don't remember if the reason was stated}. With wife and children essentially starving, the father was finally ready for his last moment trip, got the old horse out of the barn, and began the long walk to the place where he could purchase the necessary meal. This supply was very heavy, and the horse was vital.

The man goes into the building to purchase the meal. The horse, no longer seeing him, is confused, acts upon instincts, turns about and walks back home. The man emerges later with the meal sacks, can't find the horse anywhere, knows he can't get these supplies to his wife and kids, and breaks down crying.

After his sobbing lessens a bit, he looks up to see a fine horse standing nearby. It is fully accoutered to carry his load. The man walks over to it, and the horse affectionately nuzzles him. no owner ever appears. After a while, the man loads the meal sacks on the uncomplaining horse, and, uneventfully, they walk home. The man unloads his vital food supplies to the delight of his family and returns outside to the noble helper horse.

It is gone. The man hears it splashing in the nearby lake never to be seen again.

This tale interests me. It is much more an encounter tale than a moral story [although you can write anything in there that you want to}. There is a simple slice-of-life aspect about this that the other kelpie stories didn't have, emphasizing as they did killing humans in lochs or rivers by treacherous drownings, or attempts to "keep" women, or knocking people on the head "just for the fun of it". So... who knows?

By other present was a 1901 copy of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I'd recently seen the modern movie of this theme [bears almost zero connection to Verne's novel] and had seen the older James Mason/ Pat Boone simple/joyful/low special effects version as well.

In the modern version, there was a major plot feature that claimed that there were people who were "Vernians". These were allegedly people who believed that Verne wrote his book from actual knowledge. My first impression of that was"yeh, right", but then I remembered George Hunt Williamson, and he is exactly the sort of person incapable of distinguishing fiction from fact [remember our long excursion with GHW trying to locate Shangri-La]. If one GHW existed there must be thousands. But Vernians....?

Well, I'm about 100 pages in and it's great fun. Professor Hardwigg [not Lindenbrook] has taken inspiration from the "legendary" Icelandic scholar, Arne Saknussem, and followed his lead to an Icelandic volcano, whereupon a passage far downwards is discovered. I'll not bore you with the difficulty that putting this shaft right on the mid-Atlantic rift causes.

But Vernians....?

Vernians it appears must believe that Arne Saknussem really existed and really knew about this Icelandic passage, and somehow Verne got hold of the secret. That was when a memory gong went off. Someone DID believe that. He was a writer who published in Ivan's PURSUIT. The guy's name was Lorenzoni. In 1980 he published a short thing trying to rationalize how Saknussem could have existed, despite everyone else saying that no evidence for such a person was known. He, through arcane sources, said that someone named Gerard Heym was the leading source for Saknussem's existence and that he had told Serge Hutin that Saknussem was a prominent scientist/alchemist of the 16th century, who fell upon bad times with the protestant church and was hung in Copenhagen while all his works were publicly burned in 1573.

Well.... quite the story. Sort of like The Bermuda Triangle where all the evidence disappears. Lorenzoni then informed SITUs readers that somehow some of this information was preserved in Iceland and was used as the basis for a rare 1723 book published in France, anonymously, entitled Relation D'un Voyage Du Pole Arctique Au Pole Antarctique Par Le Centre Du Monde. It is from this book that Verne, allegedly, may have gotten "real" knowledge. Actually the above work was written by Charles T. Garnier in 1721, and published in one of several volumes under the general title of Voyages Imaginaires, Songes, Visions et Roman Cabalistiques.

Hmmm.... THAT I think was just a nice sidetrip for me on the path exploring mysteries. I can't honestly find any data to encourage the hypothesis that Arne Saknussem existed, nor that Jules Verne knew about "inside" information --- ouch! Terrible pun. I'll have to be content just to read Verne.... and that's plenty good enough.

Last in this smorgasbord: sitting outside for prayer time this morning, I saw one of the neighbors' dogs being let out of the house "to do the necessary". The dog was SO HAPPY just to run a while... just to be joyfully alive. Then shortly came the master's call and the opening of the door back inside.

The little dog went unprotestingly back... back to safety... back to warmth ... back to company and food and no fear.

We're like that little dog. If we're lucky, we let our minds run free and joyfully "outside the restricting box"... a little. Then we run back inside --- to the normal, the safe, the undebated constellation of accepted beliefs.

I have a friend who comes over regularly, running free outside his box, and wants to talk about [mainly UFOs} anomalies. But the "box" is always right there nearby. It's the fear of being fooled. When a new thought or possibility arises, he is immediately thinking of all the ways it cannot be true. He runs back inside. Occasionally we see folks even here on the Big Study who are like that --- "no fool I" --- running back to the constricting box.

We always need to critique and analyze, and when things don't add up {like Arne Saknussem}, put the failed idea to the side. But we need to do something counter-culture even more. Before the criticisms, before the absolutisms, before even the nit-picking, we need to give the ideas some air. We need, without being the fool, to try to see how something just MIGHT BE TRUE afterall. Novel ideas are fragile. They cannot survive blind aggressive assault. They must be given space. They must be allowed to fly joyfully.

It is in the Language of the Birds.

.... and who knows? In that "dark and scary" world of new thinking, YOU might even receive a Bolt of Lightning.

Peace and Joy ... spend some time outside your box.


  1. fear of being fooled kept him in the box... fooled by what ? the agency behind the phenomena ?

    1. ???... uhhh, the normal fear of making a fool out of oneself by making mistakes of judgement and behavior.

  2. Those Jules Verne's part of your post, i think the idea might came from a real world search for entrance to the center of earth, but mr Verne with his fertile imagination wrote a great adventure (fictional) story. Ditto with vampire and zombie fictions, they all started with hearsay/rumors about bloodsucker/undead and the fertile mind of writers add in the rest of stories.

    1. You could be correct, but my alternate hypothesis is that the idea of a trip to the underearth was all about in the cultural atmosphere then, as a fictional excuse for making social and even political commentary about the state of current affairs. A Danish/Norwegian author, Ludvig Holberg, wrote a rather good SF adventure called Journey of Niels Klim to the World Underground, and there was a second fiction wherein persons got sucked down something like The Maelstrom off the coast of Norway into the underworld. Niels Klim was a political commentary similar to Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Athanasius Kircher may have been the main inspiration for these underground forays. Verne's own motive seems mainly to use the fiction to teach Lyellian geology and palaeontology to the readers. He spends a LOT of time on his understanding of this, making the book a fairly tough patient read. I can see why Hollywood had to pep it up.

  3. The Vernians remind me of people who thought (think?) Vril, the Power of the Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton is true- another subterranean tale.

  4. "I swear that I read a kelpie tale of the 1800s wherein the "horse" was completely helpful, even kind... BUT when I re-read the volume one tales, no such episode was there."

    Prof that used to happen to me a lot right upto the Millennium for some reason eg I must've read Idries Shah's books so many times I could recite them backwards but every so often I'd pick up a copy I'd owned and read for more than a decade and suddenly there'd be all these pages and pages of stuff and even chapters I'd never seen before in my life and all of it germane to whatever might be unfolding at that time in my life.

    Conversely I'd be telling someone something I'd read several times in a particular book or watched countless times on a particular video but the moment I'd try to convince them further by showing them the particular section concerned *pouf!* the whole thing would've vanished only to miraculously reappear after they'd finally gone!

  5. That helpful kelpie story reminded me of the idea there're supposedly jinn out there who're Buddhists Muslims and even Christians.

    It also reminded me of a book which you might do well to read A Clear Mirror The Visionary Autobiography of a Tibetan Master Traktung Dudjom Lingpa trans Chonyi Drolma.

    I'd be deeply surprised if it wasn't seriously up your street.



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