They’d Just Like To Get One
BY JANE MYERS
News Staff Reporter
The talk is about glowing orange objects. Metallic arms. Pincer-like hands. Sensations of brilliant light. Of being monitored. Of floating. Guys in silver suits, with wrinkled skin, slanty eyes, and slits for nose and mouth.
There’s no LSD in sight. No peyote. No mescaline. No pot. And nobody’s had a drink. Not even one little martini.
It’s nine o'clock Saturday morning, for heaven’s sake, and everyone in the conference room at Weber’s Inn is cold sober.
There are overweight middle-aged women with their husbands. Men in business suits. One lady is working on her needlepoint sampler. It could be a meeting of antique buffs. Or stamp collectors.
But it isn’t. It is the seventh annual meeting of the Mutual UFO Network, Inc. (MUFON). MUFON is a national organization of ufologists. (That’s pronounced “you-fol-o-gists.”) What’s a ufologist? A person interested in UFO’s, of course.*
The current director of MUFON is Walter Andrus Jr. a production manager for the Motorola Automotive Products Division Plant in Seguin, Tex. He’s been a dedicated ufologist since the day in August, 1948, his five-year-old son spotted four silver balloon-like objects moving across the sky above Phoenix, Ariz. Andrus was with him, and so was his wife. They all saw the four silver objects. So did other people walking along the street, he says.
Andrus whips four coins out of his pocket and lays them on the table to illustrate the flying configuration of the silver objects — three in a diagonal line moving toward the west, the fourth off to the right. One by one, they disappeared. And they reappeared briefly father west.
What were they?
That intriguing question, whether applied to Andrus’ silver balloons or any of the hundreds of other unexplainable objects that have been viewed by people over the years, is what brings the 200 persons in the audience to Weber’s Inn on a Saturday morning.
Jerome Clark, a young freelance writer and 1970 graduate of Morehead State College, tells of his many interviews with Sandra Larson, a North Dakota cocktail waitress.
Last year, while traveling from Fargo to Bismarck with her daughter and a male friend in the early morning hours, she saw eight to 10 glowing orange objects, felt a strange sensation in her head, he says.
When they next saw a clock, they had unexplainedly lost at least an hour of time.
Under hypnosis, he says, she recalled floating into a spacecraft, where a metallic-like being pulled her brain out through a plug in her head.
Her daughter recalls a mummy-like creature performing an operation on her brain, Clark says.
Later the creatures visited Sandra Larson again at her home. She floated out through a wall and went with them to a building in a desert.
When they brought her back, she floated through the closed front door. They asked her what soap was, and she went down into the basement to get a cup of detergent, which she gave to them. The cup has been lost ever since.
“Is this incredible story true?” Clark asks. He doesn’t think she’s lying. The real question, he says, is this: “In what reality did her ‘abductions’ take place?
How does one go about proving or disproving a story like Sandra Larson’s?
That is the challenge that MUFON members are attempting to meet.
David Webb, a NASA physicist and co-chairman of MUFON’s Humanoid Study Group, believes that the careful compilation of data on sightings around the world is needed.
We have to use the ‘bootstrap’ method,” he says, “working backward from data to hypothesis. We can't form hypotheses and then go out and test them, as we would like to do. Spacecraft simply don’t come down and land where you have a laboratory full of scientific apparatus set up to study them. It would be nice if we could take a metal scraping from the hull of a spaceship, but we can’t.”
Webb’s special interest is the sightings of “humanoids,” the manlike space creatures that people like Sandra Larson say they seen.
He believes it would be foolish to all such stories as crazy visions. Why? “Because there’s a lot of such reports,” he says, “many of them well-documented, from creditable witnesses.”
And, Webb notes, there are patterns, similarities in what people say they have seen. He thinks it may be more than pure chance that many sightings occur just before dark or early in the morning, that the creatures often are said to have slanted eyes, pincer hands, that there have been several “bedroom invasion” cases.
Henry McKay, a former electrical technician with the Royal Canadian Air Force and a 20-year employee of the Ontario Government’s Building Management Branch, is convinced that spacecraft have visited Canada.
He has spent more than ten years following up leads of UFO evidence. His slide presentation includes pictures of round, brown areas on the ground that he believes cannot be explained as anything but spacecraft landing areas. But he has no proof.
Are those brown, round areas really landing sites? Do humanoids really “exist”? What are UFO’s anyway?
MUFON members don’t pretend to know for sure. They would probably all have been overjoyed if one of the silvery craft had landed in Weber’s parking lot on Saturday, and a few of the slanty-eyed, pincer-handed humanoids had sauntered in for lunch.
But it didn’t happen.
So they’ll go on asking the questions, confident that what we now call UFO’s (unidentified flying objects) will one day be FO’s without the U.