First, I’d like to thank Dirk Vander Ploeg and Mr. Morningstar (respectively, our fearless, very well-informed, hard-working publisher and editor) for giving me the opportunity to share my material with all of you whose enthusiasm and interest make UFO Digest the hugely-visited ‘site it is. You can’t top this.
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If you missed Part 3 of this series simply click here: http://www.ufodigest.com/article/mothman-redux-part-3
Yes, like you, personal experience has shown me that some do not want anything to do with the weird stuff. I cannot blame them, for “weird stuff” often is dark, and/or upsetting, as is everyday life. No one gets out of here alive. Harsh truth—but there it is.
I admit that the subjects I write about do bother and occasionally freak me out. How could they not? While I hesitate to name the individual whose book bore the sentence (paraphrasing here): “If you’re beginning to publish articles about UFOs, you have just to some readers become ‘one of them.’”
I don’t like that. I never will—but it’s true.
Latent paranoia, especially today in our surveillance/litigation-crazed world, has become nearly normal. I wish that wasn’t a fact (not at all limited to UFO/Paranormal studies!).
What do I mean by prefacing Mothman research with this?
I mean it should not be this way. No: we ought not—for lack of a better method---have those in Authority breathing down our collective back simply because we had the good (or bad) luck to have witnessed something outside of our necessary struggle. As Charles Fort noted, “...the underlying oneness of all confusions.” Wow. I sure hope Fort realized the weight of his remark. On better days, I believe he did, but Fort was terribly isolated by personal circumstance. God knows how he might have been received had the Internet existed in the 1920s. It is very difficult to conceive just how far ahead of his “time” was Mr. Fort. We are fortunate (no pun intended) that his work is available today.
Now to my reason for the lengthy preface.
Well before the 1960s events in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a handful of people were paying attention to anomalous events. Whether they knew of Fort doesn’t matter. They had superb attention-span.
What, since then and into today, is note-worthy?
No one harassed these people, at least not until WWII, when military intelligence—worldwide—had a definite interest. Were UFOs weapons? Hoaxes? From somewhere else? They didn’t know, so began a hard-to-define “program” of questioning pilots and any personnel who reported strange events, of which there was no lack.
My uncle, Joseph Grabowski, was a tail-gunner in the B-17 bomber (also known as the Flying Fortress) during WWII. Trust me, if you were in either the nose or tail of the B-17, your ass might be grass. The Germans in their Me-109 fighters knew where to aim, and held back for no man. It didn’t help that the nose-cone and tail of the B-17 were enclosed in the then-new Plexiglas (yes, one “s” in the term). Imagine being a teenager, manning a machine gun capable of blasting through concrete, yet transparent to your enemy. While it’s true that the B-17 could withstand being nearly perforated by heavy rounds and still come home, the terrible reality is that those in front or back often returned in bloody shreds.
I owe it to Uncle Joe for introducing me to the UFO phenomenon. While he never directly spoke so, he gave me a hardcover book I still possess: Inside the Space Ships, by one George Adamski. I recall being afraid of even opening the book (I was 10 years old), yet managed to closely examine the black-and-white photos of massive, cigar-shaped UFOs. Frankly, I didn’t know what to think. Was my gentle uncle trying to tell me something, or simply passing along a book he enjoyed? I don’t know. I wish I had access to letters he wrote home to Cleveland during the war. Why? Because Joe—like his brother, my father Stanley—was a stoic, practical sort. No patience for anything related to UFOs, ghosts, etc.
My intuition is that he might have seen the so-called Foo-Fighters—orb-like balls of light that shadowed WWII aircraft (including the Germans, Italians, etc.). We now know that these UFOs did not favor any particular country. American intelligence feared they were some unknown German weapon, unleashed to confuse (since no record exists of Foo-Fighters taking hostile action) enemy aircraft. Certainly, whatever they were, they succeeded, but not to the point of actually sabotaging bomb-runs or aerial surveillance. Based on existing documentation, airmen of all stripes viewed the orbs as mischievous observers.
Photos of Foo-Fighters exist. Google this and you will see.
Aside from the great rock-‘n’-roll band of the same name, we’ll probably never know what they were.
To my knowledge, and of course I cannot know with certainty, the so-called Foo-Fighters represent original UFO reports coming from military forces. Earlier accounts exist, among the strangest of which might be that from 1939 (from memory...I cannot locate the source, but think it originates with Jacques Vallee outside his Passport to Magonia), of an American driving his truck through a rural area and seeing a hexagonal craft, about 30 feet in diameter, with a window behind which stood a normal-looking man gazing down at the witness.
What do these accounts tell us?
1. It is possible, just barely, that German, Italian, Russian, and perhaps American technology had developed a type of null-gravity craft, and were using it for surveillance and/or psychological purposes.
2. I must doubt this, due to the extreme risk of testing prototypes over any populated region. Though 1939 was very close in most people’s memory to Orson Welles’ "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, the notion of using this to cover any crash sounds unlikely. It would cause panic.
3. This doesn’t rule out such a scenario, but if even one witness existed, that would be enough to spread the word.
4. Are these incidents a case of either/or? Meaning the UFO must have been “one of ours” or “one of theirs”?
5. Given the so-called Trickster Theory so intelligently noted by John Keel, Aime Michel, Jacques Vallee and, more recently, George Hansen, might this not represent an authentic unknown, something no one then wanted to deal with? They had no model even for “flying saucers.”
6. For what it’s worth, these early accounts charge me with a sense of witnesses’ authentic encounters with anomalous aerial vehicles.
7. Despite claimed official (however hard to find and ambiguous) denial of such technology, I feel forced to say that they did not have anything in the air so advanced. Obviously I could be wrong.
8. Much has been claimed about at least American technology that what the public sees is 15 years behind actual state-of-the art.
9. If this is so, why has said-technology not (to public knowledge) been used against very visible, media-covered enemies? Unless we’re talking about some ultra-covert devices, nearly impossible to hide, this cannot be a factor. Even those we like to consider “primitive” have cell phones. Thank God, as these have given us perhaps the only window open to various reprehensible atrocities.
While I cannot claim useful knowledge of military advances, I can pass along the following, via James Bamford’s book The Shadow Factory: the Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America (2008): “More than three decades ago, when the NSA posed a fraction of the privacy threat it poses today with the Internet, digital communications, and mass storage, Senator Frank Church, the first chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, investigated the [National Security Agency] and issued a stark warning: ‘That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.’
“There is now the capacity to make tyranny total in America. Only law ensures that we never fall into that abyss—the abyss from which there is no return.”
Reading Bamford’s claim that NSA water-cooled supercomputers (as of 2018) will have the capacity to process at exaflop speed (one quintillion—1,000,000,000,000,000,000—operations a second), using power sufficient to run half of a small city, we must admit such information goes well beyond “mind-blowing.”
Inserting my neck yet further into the noose, I note that the National Security Agency (aka No Such Agency) began in 1952, an auspicious year for UFO sightings. Make of this what you will, but the agency, charged with Signal Intelligence and other matters, had to have been a nest for reception and analyses of UFO reports. This does not mean NSA worked against the public. Hardly, because someone at official level must pay attention in case national security might be involved.
Here is where I differ from many paying close attention to American intelligence. I have scant awareness of how other countries handle such matters, though American organizations seem “tighter” on this. If UFO phenomena exist (a fair certainty, even to U.S. concerns), then someone must take note. This is how it must be, regardless of all conspiracy-talk. It is in the best interest of any nation to investigate things they don’t comprehend. Period.
Yes, I have “issues” with many operations of my country. This doesn’t mean I across-the-board distrust Those In Charge. After all, even the most (theoretically) evil employee must live, might even have a family. This is something, basic as it is, many conspiracy-minded people overlook. Despite what you’ve seen on The X-Files, covert operatives must eat, sleep, and deal with the same stress as “us.”
Sharper minds than mine have noted this, particularly John Keel (once accused by the late William Cooper, author of Behold A Pale Horse, as being under the thumb of CIA) who understood the machinations of government as befuddled and overwhelmed as any corporation.
Which brings us back to Mothman. Though I cannot possibly defend any MK-ULTRA, mind-control agenda (assuming it was used in West Virginia), I will say that something attached to very human (or inhuman) hands had to have occurred there.
Why? If you take in the countless UFO reports, so many a few locals stopped reporting them, a definite pattern emerges. This is unusual. I have in mind the Hudson Valley “black triangle” events from the 1980s. My guess is that a lot of video footage is available on the Internet. I recall sitting in the living room with my parents in 1989, watching very strange images of enormous “craft” bearing lights in triangular configuration, defying conventional aircraft. My father remarked: “This might be bullshit, but whoever’s doing it is really good.”
At the time I was feeling arrogant, and more than a little impatient with his take. “Dad,” I said, “look closer. How can something so large hover?”
To his credit, my father said. “You’re very naive. You want to believe in aliens. You could be wrong.”
Actually he said more, most of which is unprintable here. But he was right. Here was the first time I ever saw what looked to me like undeniable proof of the unknown. Way beyond any blurry black-and-white photo in my UFO books. Frankly, the footage scared me. It seemed too real and aggressive. “Wow,” I told myself, “this is what you’ve always wanted to see!” But even though I was an adult, I had to admit I was afraid. This was well before I’d heard of Whitley Strieber whose apparent encounters occurred in the same region.
Dad and those days are, sadly, long gone.
But it was unusual for him even to comment. I’m glad he did.
My “take” on all things Point Pleasant is that they began with genuine paranormal events, and that someone was watching. Given that the super-secret NSA was present in southern West Virginia at the Green Banks facility, I find the matter highly evocative. As primitive, compared to present-day technology, the outpost must have been, it was decades ahead of anything else. A “big ear.” Green Banks was privy to much communication, meaning, in those days, personal telephone conversations, early facsimile-sends, and of course the entire spectrum of military and TV transmissions.
This does not mean that NSA “caused” any of the Point Pleasant events, but surely must have been aware of them.
It might ring strange, or worse, to admit that I have a lingering fascination. To be cliche, who knew what and when did they know it? Were the events exploited? In my informed opinion, almost certainly. Another harsh truth is that sometimes innocent lives are tossed away in the interests of so-called national security (a term rarely, if ever, used in the 1960s). This does not forgive the undoubted subterfuge used against people who probably would not have believed such was active even as it happened. As I encountered during my Point Pleasant visits, most locals old enough to remember the events recalled being more afraid of so-called Men in Black, who often showed up at late hours, bearing suspicious and ludicrous credentials. The residents, of course, being hard-working and trusting, took this in with no lack of confusion and concern. Why would they behave otherwise?
I’m thankful nothing like this happened where I was raised. When I discovered John Keel’s work from the 1960s, I noted how many weird things happened in my Ohio home, though mostly in the southernmost region. I was wrong. For Keel by his own admission had left out of both Operation Trojan Horse and The Mothman Prophecies events further north. Simply put, his editors thought there was not enough room in either book for Keel’s voluminous data. Sometimes I wish these had been published in a single work, because both Operation Trojan Horse and The Eighth Tower (where reports from northern Ohio were listed) remain hard to find at reasonable prices.
I suppose it all boils down to this, however unsatisfactory. Something of immense importance happened in Point Pleasant and surrounding areas. Keel documented most of it. But something else was going on, something that hurt many people.
This mystery remains.
Cold truth: since most of the original players have passed on, and until someone produces official documents (good luck with that!), we’ll never know what actually happened in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and what it meant.