Many UFOs are described as being blindingly bright, especially at night, and they are frequently reported to shine beams of light resembling searchlights down at the ground. Sometimes these light beams spotlight witnesses or their vehicles with a variety of strange effects. If these beams are the product of futuristic alien technology, we are probably not going to understand exactly how they work. However we may be able to deduce some of their functions from their effects and by comparing them to our own inventions although, to make things more confusing, the beams may serve different purposes at different times.
The obvious suggestion is that these UFO light beams are just spotlights, like those on police helicopters. However, they are sometimes described as extending or retracting slowly, whereas the light from a searchlight beam always projects at the speed of light, which at about one billion kilometres per hour, is unlikely to be described as 'slow' by any human witness. This suggests we are dealing with something more complicated than spotlights, although providing some sort of illumination may be one of their functions. Before discussing how these beams of light might work, let us review some examples.
The Travis Walton abduction case occurred on November 5th 1975 in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona, USA. Several young men returning from woodcutting came across a glowing structured object hovering above a forest clearing. One of them, Walton, got out of the vehicle and walked closer to get a better look. His friends then saw a blue-green beam shoot out from the bottom of the UFO and hit him in the upper area of the body. He was lifted into the air with his arms outstretched and then flung back onto the ground. Thinking that they were in danger, his friends hurriedly drove off. They returned when they thought they had seen the UFO fly away, but could not find Walton. (Story, 1980, p.386)
In a MUFON UFO Journal article on human physiological effects from UFOs, John F. Schuessler (1997) gives several examples that include beams of light. On 6th March 1969 near Glenwood, Missouri, a woman drove her car into a beam of light coming down from a UFO hovering above the road. The car slowed and wouldn't respond to the accelerator. She felt the hair stand up on her arms and her dog tried to hide under the seat. Her eyes bothered her for three days after the event. On 12th August 1981 a man was in a field with his wife near Anderson, Indiana, to photograph a meteor shower, when a strange light came down from above. His head and shoulders felt like he had been hit with a wet blanket. It was a very uncomfortable feeling and he was unable to move until the light retracted. On 10th September 1981 a young woman was outside her parent's home in Weston Mill Hill, England, when she saw a massive metallic grey craft with pink, purple, and white lights. As she reached for the house door, a lime green beam came down and hit her hand. She was frozen in place paralysed. When the beam retracted she could move again. After the event a mark appear on her hand where the beam hit.
In his excellent book Alien Identities: Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena,
Richard L. Thompson quotes a study by Dr Donald Johnson, a US psychologist and statistician, who performed a cluster analysis of two hundred UFO car encounter cases from 1949 to 1978. The analysis used three variables: duration of the event, estimated distance from the car to the UFO, and estimated size of the UFO. Johnson found that the cases fell into seven clusters, of which the fourth, containing eleven sightings, is of interest to us.
"Objects of average size, but approaching closely to an average distance of about 15 metres. Encounter times average to about one hour. Many of these cases involve pursuit (82%), landing (45%), and abduction (27%). Nearly 66% involve physiological effects such as paralysis, electrical shock, tingling, or heat. There are often noises (eg, humming) from the UFO (45%), a light beam (45%), and the UFO often has multiple colours (45%). The UFO often shot up or away very quickly when departing (64%), and 75% of the witnesses experienced fear or panic during or after the event." (p.71)
From his analysis Johnson concluded that "My advice is to watch out for the noisy, domed disks with the bluish-white light beams, because the odds are that if you encounter one of those you are likely at the very least to suffer some physiological effects. This appears to be particularly true if the object is hovering over the roadway in front of your car, and seems to take an interest in your course of travel!" (p.73)
Elsewhere in his book Thompson reviews the Bluff Ledge UFO abduction case which occurred at Lake Champlain in Vermont, USA, on 7th August 1968. The two abductees, Michael and Janet, were relaxing at the end of a jetty at the lake's edge when, after a series of manoeuvres, a UFO with two entities visible under a transparent dome flew very low directly over their heads. As Michael jumped up to try to touch the underside of the craft, a brilliant beam of light came on and he had a feeling of "floating up" (p.117) while losing consciousness. Ten years later while under hypnosis Michael was able to fill in the details of his missing time. He described how, "while in the beam of light, he heard a whining noise and felt as though he was 'filled with light'. He seemed to be floating upwards. He saw streams of coloured lights and seemed to be flying through space. He then remembered standing next to one of the alien beings on an upper deck inside the UFO." (p.118)
Thompson later quotes a case where an abductee, Sara, is more specific about the nature of the beam of light she encountered. "I'm on the beam of light. I'm standing on it, and it's angled. It's like an escalno! It's about the same angle as an escalator would be, except it doesn't have ridges or steps. It's just a very smooth, solid beam, and you just kinda stand on it." (p.283) Sara's fellow abductees are also being transported in this fashion. "All of us are walking, but in addition, the beam is conveying us. The beam is moving, but in addition to that, we're kind of walking on it, too." (p.284) On other occasions these beams of light appear to move both abductees and aliens through the roof or walls of their homes, and sometimes through what appear to be walls within the UFOs themselves. If abductees' memories of these events are genuine, these beams seem somehow able to counteract gravity as well as transcend three dimensional physical barriers such as roofs and walls. The beams also sometimes display considerable power as, for example, when they lift vehicles up into the air. (Thompson, 1993, p.349)
In UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union, Jacques Vallee quotes a factory worker M.N. Polyakov who in September 1989 was driving in Voronezh when:
"I turned around and saw a pinkish-yellow sphere shining dimly above the road
. At the bottom of the sphere there was a protuberance that reminded me of a ball-shaped growth on a tree. Suddenly a light appeared from it, not very bright, trembling and flickering. The beam came down and slowly moved along the ground toward us. It seemed strange that the surface touched by the ray was full of bluish sparkles, and everything was quivering as if we were in a haze on a hot day. Once in a while there was a blinding flash that was reflected by the surface. When the beam approached the car I experienced an unpleasant fear. I felt constrained. I did not want to move or to do anything. My good mood disappeared without a trace. The ray moved over to the car hood. The engine started to smoke the way it does when the radiator is overheated. There was a feeling of something slipping in. The car moved and something appeared on the driver's seat. I sensed an alien presence; I felt that I could stretch my arm and touch the invisible being. And although my brain and my willpower ordered my hand to touch the unpleasant thing, I could not move my arm. What was it? Fear? Was I like a rabbit hypnotised by a cobra? Then the ray moved away. Then I could breathe easier. For several seconds it was dark and quiet, and then, great! The dashboard lit up! The radio came back on as if nothing had happened. The driver turned on the engine." (p.50)
British researcher Jenny Randles (1987) describes a UFO close encounter that occurred to Ken Edwards, an engineer on 17th March 1978 in Cheshire, England. Returning from a union meeting, Edwards saw a "glowing white mass" drift into the centre of the road in front of him. "For a few moments there was a staring match between the engineer and the 'thing', before two beams of light emerged from round eyes and struck the witness where he was holding the steering wheel." (p.150) Edwards was deeply shocked and shaking and his car radio had blown up, but he managed to drive home to his wife. Although his watch had stopped, Randles later estimated that he was missing forty-five minutes time. She also tells us that "the insides of the fingers of one hand (the one that had been exposed to the beams of light from the thing) were coated by a faint sunburn." Unfortunately this did not appear to be the only effect of this suspected abduction. As Randles writes:
"In the year following his experience, whilst only in his mid-thirties, [Edwards] began to feel progressively tired and unwell. Treatment failed and cancer of the kidneys was diagnosed. He had surgery at the beginning of 1980. However, he did not fully recover and cancer of the throat was then discovered. Just four years after the UFO encounter he lost his fight for life. To the end Ken never associated the illness with the UFO, and his doctors almost certainly did not know about it (Ken did not tell them). It is impossible to say that the two things are related, but in view of the known effects in this case and the clear evidence of radiation in other UFO sightings I do not think we can rule it out. I am sure Ken would have wanted me to warn of the potential danger, so that anyone else in the same situation can have regular medical check-ups immediately after being struck by beams from a UFO. It always pays to be cautious." (p.152)
Well known US animal mutilations researcher Linda Moulton Howe (1997) provides us with another example, this time from Puerto Rico. "In June 1995 Mrs Enrique Gonzales and her six-year-old daughter were outside around 11.30pm on a warm summer evening. Mr Gonzales heard both of them scream and immediately ran over to them, whereupon he saw a huge round glowing object. His wife and daughter told him they were watching the object when suddenly a red beam of light came out and touched the little girl on her upper right arm. Mr Gonzales reported that his daughter's skin reddened in a circle and 'bubbled up' where she'd been hit with the beam." By the time a newspaper photographer had travelled to the Gonzales' home, "the little girl's upper arm had several bumps, but the redness had gone. (p.66)
A multiple witness light beam encounter is reported in the January/February 1998 edition of UFO Magazine. On the evening of 4th December 1995 Mrs Joanna Barnes was driving to visit a friend in Crosshills, in England, when a UFO appeared and started to fly along above her car. It then shone "a vertical beam of bright white light onto the car and continued to follow as Joanna forked left." (p.13) She soon arrived at her friend's house where, with the 'laser beam' still illuminating her car, she ran inside. Bravely, she and several friends then came back outside to see the UFO still spotlighting the car. "It was a black coat hanger-shaped craft with a bright white light at the front and rear of the fuselage with a laser beam projecting down from the centre. We watched it hovering silently above the car for a few seconds, before it retracted its beam and disappeared in an instant without making a single sound", said Joanna.
In their book Left at East Gate, Larry Warren and Peter Robbins report that at one stage during the extended encounter at the Bentwaters Air Force base in England, starting in late December 1980, the UFOs involved were over the base's "most sensitive location the weapons-storage area", where they were seen to be "firing laser-like beams of light into the compound's hardened bunkers." This might not seem particularly significant until the authors tell us that "The bunkers were full of nuclear bombs that were being held on base without the official knowledge or consent of Her Majesty's government." (p.408)
Brazil in South America seems to have an unusual number of UFO cases involving beams of light, some of which injure or even kill people. In a dramatic article in the British Flying Saucer Review entitled 'Extraterrestrial Vampires in the Amazon Region of Brazil: Part II', the magazine editor, Gordon Creighton, provides readers with a précis translation from the Portuguese of Chapter IV from the book of that name by Dr Daniel Rebisso Giese (1996). These events occurred on Colares Island, which is in the delta of the Amazon river on the north-eastern coast of Brazil. So many people reported being attacked by beams of light from small UFOs in this area that only a sample of them are reported here. On 20th October 1977 three women were hit in the breast by beams of light. "All three were overcome by tremendous nervous tension and an unknown sort of lassitude 'as though they were receiving constant electric shocks'." During this UFO flap the locals were so frightened that many of them left town, while the men that remained lit bonfires to mount guard at night, letting off fireworks and banging tins whenever they saw UFOs, which they termed chupa-chupas, approaching. (Giese, 1996)
The beams of light from the craft were described as being so bright that they resembled those used to illuminate night sporting events. They were "always sharply defined, directed with perfect precision towards any target houses, people, boats, trees, even the Brazilian Air Force's helicopters deployed over the island during the investigations of the UFO wave." On one occasion one of these powerful beams is reported to have obliged one of the helicopters to land, although the exact technical reason is not given. (Giese, 1996)
On the evening of 29th October 1977 Benedito Campos and his seventeen year old wife Silvia Mara were at home when "they spotted an oval, silvery object emitting a greenish beam like a searchlight towards the room where they were lying. Filled with curiosity, they approached a small window and, as they did so, the beam shot in through and made straight for Silvia, throwing her into a sort of benumbed trance-like state." Silvia, who was pregnant at the time, then fainted whereupon two entities apparently entered the house carrying something resembling a golden torch and "once again the beam struck Silvia, this time hitting her in the left arm at the level of the wrist. Her veins seemed to 'rise up out of the body' so swollen were they by the beam striking them." Later, while at a neighbour's house, Benedito was also briefly paralysed by a light beam. Fearing a miscarriage, husband and wife were taken at night by boat to the Mosqueiro Medical Clinic, followed all the way by the UFO, which made no further attempt to harm them. They remained there for three days where the wife recovered, but Benedito "was in a state of severe depression for some days, his motor functions disturbed and, as his mother reports, weeping frequently." (Giese, 1996)
One night several months later, on 24th May 1978, a journalist and photographer, who had been sent to cover the local UFO encounters, were in their car when despite the heavy rain they were woken up "by a powerful beam of light which however unbelievable it may seem passed through the metallic structure of the roof of the vehicle." Not surprisingly they leapt out of the car to see that "a tube-shaped light beam, about [twenty-five centimetres] in diameter, was coming down from above onto the roof of the car and passing through the metal panelling." On this and other occasions they managed to take numerous photographs which they claim that their newspaper later sold to "a North-American group". On another night while trying to use flash equipment to photograph one of these craft "the UFO emitted such a vivid beam of light that it smashed the windscreen" of their car. (Giese, 1996)
Researcher Dr Jacques Vallee went to South America to investigate the numerous reports of UFO close encounters that have resulted in the death or injury of witnesses. The results of his extensive field investigations are detailed in his book Confrontations: A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact, which is recommended to anyone interested in pursuing this matter. For example, in Parnarama in central Brazil, Vallee reports that at least five people are reported to have died "following close encounters with what were described as boxlike UFOs equipped with powerful light beams." Many victims were hunters who, following the local tradition, had climbed into jungle trees at night to wait for passing animals that they could spotlight and shoot. In an ironic twist, the hunters had themselves been hunted by UFO craft which injured or killed them using light beams of their own. As Vallee reports, these chupas (UFOs) "are said to make a humming sound like a refrigerator or a transformer, and this sound does not change when the object accelerates. The object does not seem large enough to contain a human pilot." (p.118) In one case a victim called Dionizio General "was atop a hill when an object hovered above him and shot a beam in his direction; it was described as 'a big ray of fire'. The witness, José dos Santos, testified that Dionizio seemed to receive a shock and came rolling down the hill. For the following three days he was insane with terror, then he died." (p.119) Witnesses describe the light beams as being blinding, like electrical arcs, with pulsating colours inside and smelling unpleasant, which Vallee suspects may be ozone. (p.120)
By November 1977 the physician in charge of the health unit on Colares Island, Dr Wellaide Cecim Carvalho de Oliveira, "had seen no fewer than thirty-five patients claiming injuries related to the chupas. All of them had suffered lesions to the face or the thoracic area." (p.123) These lesions, which resembled radiation injuries, "began with intense reddening of the skin in the affected area. Later the hair would fall out and the skin would turn black. There was no pain, only a slight warmth. One also noticed small puncture marks in the skin. The victims were men and women of varying ages, without any pattern." (p.122) Vallee later provides us with a more comprehensive list of symptoms drawn up by Dr Carvalho. (p.199)
- A feeling of weakness; some could hardly walk.
- Dizziness and headaches.
- Local losses of sensitivity. Numbness and trembling.
- Pallid complexion.
- Low arterial pressure.
- Anaemia, with low haemoglobin levels.
- Blackened skin where the light had hit, with several red-purple circles, hot and painful, two to three centimetres in diameter.
- Two puncture marks inside the red circles resembling mosquito bites, hard to the touch.
- Hair in the blackened area fell out and did not rejuvenate, as if follicles had been destroyed.
- No nausea or diarrhoea.
In describing their experiences with these light beams, most victims claimed that "They were immediately immobilised, as if a heavy weight pushed against their chest. The beam was about [seven or eight centimetres] in diameter and white in colour. It never hunted for them but hit them suddenly. When they tried to scream no sound would come out, but their eyes remained open. The beam felt hot, 'almost as hot as a cigarette burn', barely tolerable. After a few minutes the column of light would slowly retract and disappear." (Vallee, 1990, p.200) Apart from those who had been killed by these beams, most people's symptoms usually disappeared after seven days.
After asking various forensic pathologists to review his findings, Vallee claims that "what UFO witnesses describe as 'light' may, in fact, be a complex combination of ionising and non-ionising radiation. Many of the injuries described in Brazil, however, are consistent with the effects of high-power pulsed microwaves." (p.124) Later he points out that pulsed microwaves may "interfere with the central nervous system. Such a beam could cause the dizziness, headaches, paralysis, pricklings, and numbness reported to us by so many witnesses." (p.202)
The difference between ionising and non-ionising electromagnetic radiation is that, when radiating through the air, the former has a high enough frequency, and therefore enough power, to ionise the gaseous atoms and molecules that comprise the atmosphere. This means that those atoms and molecules acquire an electric charge by either gaining or losing one or more electrons. A gas that has been ionised becomes highly conductive, and may also radiate light, a phenomenon which is called fluorescence. The boundary between ionising and non-ionising radiation is in the ultraviolet (UV) part of the electromagnetic spectrum, about 3 X 1015 Hz. (Smith & Best, 1989, p.293) This means that higher frequency UV radiation, x-rays and gamma radiation are considered to be ionising, while lower frequency UV, visible light, infrared radiation, microwave radiation, and all the radio frequencies, are referred to as non-ionising radiation.
In the conclusion to Confrontations Vallee discusses whether these Brazilian UFOs are deliberately trying to kill people. If they are, he considers that they are fairly inefficient at doing it. After all, someone in a helicopter with a high powered rifle and night scope, could probably do a better job. He does however point out that a radiation beam that was designed merely to stun people at one range might be lethal at another range. (p.206)
The previous examples show that UFO light beams seem able to do several different things apart from just injuring people. In attempting to analyse their function further we need to remember that these UFOs are not necessarily all of the same design. If they are indeed the product of alien cultures, some of them, light beams included, may be more sophisticated than others. If, in addition, some of their light beams are multi-functional, we might have so many variables at work that a meaningful analysis of those functions becomes impossible. However at times the whole of ufology seems to be an attempt to understand the impossible, so I don't think we should let that put us off.
We earlier dismissed the suggestion that UFO light beams are purely for illumination. One reason to suspect this is to be found in Colonel Phillip Corso's book The Day After Roswell. Corso claims that night vision equipment was found among the debris at the Roswell UFO crash site in 1947. He claims that the 'eyepieces' found on one of the autopsied aliens from the crash were "a complicated set of reflectors that gathered all the available light and turned them into night-time image intensifiers." (p.132) He further states that the soldiers that looked inside the wreckage, through a split in its side, were astonished to discover that, "when they looked through the view ports, they could see daylight, or a greenish, hazy kind of diffused light that looked like dusk, but outside it was completely dark." (p.132) This evidence, unsupported though it is, would suggest that aliens on UFOs do not need spotlights to see what they are doing at night, although perhaps not all UFOs are designed like the one Corso describes.
If Jacques Vallee's earlier suggestion that these beams contain several types of electromagnetic radiation is correct, we should remember that, just because the visible light component of the beams is the most apparent to our eyes, does not mean that it is the most important from the UFO's perspective. What other functions can visible or invisible radiation beams serve? Let us for a moment consider some of the electromagnetic radiation beams that humans have invented. For example, we use headlights on cars to see where we are going, but our brake-lights are designed as communication signals for safety purposes to tell people behind that we are slowing down. Kangaroo or rabbit shooters use spotlights to illuminate and hopefully paralyse their prey, which gives them a dual purpose. Most of us use invisible beams of infrared radiation from hand-held remote controls in our living rooms to control our televisions, VCRs, sound systems, or air conditioners. (Perhaps UFOs are firing powerful remote control beams at us to see if some of us are realistic looking robots!) Likewise, many modern commercial buildings have automatic doors that open when radiation beams bounce off approaching customers. Similarly, some burglar alarms and outdoor security lights use invisible beams to detect people by their movement.
Radiation beams called lasers are today used for a large number of purposes. The word LASER is an acronym which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The difference between a normal light beam and a laser is that, whatever its colour, normal light is noncoherent, meaning that its light particles or waves are out of phase or unsynchronised with each other, whereas in a laser they are perfectly in phase, thus producing a coherent, synchronised beam of light. Laser light can therefore be made extremely intense, directional and, because it is only of one frequency, very pure in colour. Lasers beams can now be produced in the infrared, visible, UV and even x-ray frequencies. Modern technology uses lasers for an increasing variety of purposes, ranging from red laser pointers used in the lecture hall, to those used in industry to drill holes in metal or diamond. Lasers can be used in surgery to cut and cauterise flesh. It is speculated that surgical laser cutters may be being used in the animal mutilation phenomenon, which is often associated with UFOs. The high frequency of laser light enables it to carry hundreds of times more television channels than microwave transmissions, which makes it an ideal system for space communications. Military technology also makes extensive use of lasers. They may be used as a sighting or ranging device on a rifle or tank, or with laser guided bombs. There are also claims that powerful lasers and other classified high-energy beam weapons are being used by the US military to shoot at UFOs. (Wolf, 1996, p.207) Perhaps the most interesting use for lasers is to illuminate holograms. In 1997 the US Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, claimed that their research into non-linear optics might in future enable the army to project three dimensional holographic images of tanks, planes and soldiers onto a battlefield to confuse the enemy. Perhaps aliens are already using a sophisticated version of this technology.
Because of their intensity, directional nature and colours, we might therefore speculate that some UFO beams are types of lasers. However, given the variety of uses to which we put lasers, this is not much help in deciding what aliens might be using them for. Also, given the speed with which we continue to invent exotic uses for laser technology, the alien's beams may be several generations further down the track and therefore incomprehensible to us.
One interesting idea is to compare the multiple effects of UFO beams with the abilities of various types of proboscis found on animals and insects. An elephant's trunk for example can be used to blow, suck, smell, feel, transmit and receive information, acquire food, lift things, or as a weapon. This is an astonishing range of abilities, and is only possible because the sensitivity of the elephant's trunk is coupled with the high level of intelligence, or data processing ability, possessed by these animals. UFO beams of light may be some sort of technical equivalent, with a wide range of purposes, some of which may be less obvious to us than others. We might speculate, for example, that, among other things, these light beams can receive and transmit information by being coupled to highly sophisticated artificial intelligence devices aboard the UFOs.
What do we know about radiation produced by UFOs? In his excellent book Unconventional Flying Objects; A Scientific Analysis, NASA scientist Paul Hill tells us about an incident on January 30th 1973 in which UFO investigator Bill Rogers used a Geiger counter (an instrument for the detection of ionising radiation) to record the radiation given off by a UFO in Lexington, USA. The craft dipped repeatedly below a hill and every time it reappeared Bill got the same reading of 400 volts and 250 milliroentgens from a distance of about one kilometre. (Hill, 1995, p.71) In his scientific analysis, Hill concludes that in this particular case the UFO was emitting powerful ionising radiation in the x-ray or lower gamma ray part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although this UFO did not have a light beam visible at the time, this case might make our analysis of sightings of UFOs that do have light beams rather more complicated. If they too emit powerful all round gamma and x-ray radiation, then some of their physical effects on people may result from a combination of this all round radiation and their light beam radiation.
Unfortunately, Paul Hill says little about UFO light beams except that "some luminous beams may be weapons, having as a purpose the projection of heat, the disruption of electric and electronic equipment, and even the temporary paralysis of individuals." (p.53) He does point out that UFOs' high-energy generalised radiation affects the atmosphere around the craft to form a bright ionised gas or plasma sheath whose nitrogen component "radiates strongly in the ultraviolet frequency." (p.59) This bluish coloured UV radiation would explain the painful eyes and sunburn that some UFO witnesses experience even at night, and, if the beams of light also cause nitrogen to fluoresce, people hit by them could suffer similar symptoms.
Returning to Vallee's reference to the microwave component of UFO beams, the microwave equivalent of a laser beam is called a MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). Masers can be tuned to operate at frequencies ranging from less than one megacycle up to several hundred megacycles. A maser beam would be invisible to the human eye, but could still be one component of UFO beams of light. It is interesting to note that, when one tries to look up the uses to which masers can be put in an encyclopaedia or technical reference, there seems to be very little information available. This may mean that masers have few uses, or that perhaps many of them are the subject of classified research. There are however a few articles in the UFO literature about developments in microwave technology that can be used on humans or animals, often for sinister or unpleasant purposes.
What seems to be in doubt in the case of the South American UFO light beams is whether these are examples of microwave technology being used on people by aliens, humans, or both. It is possible that the military's classified development of such technology might have derived from their observation of UFOs that use it. This might give the military a convenient cover to develop and then test microwave weapons on people, enabling them, if accused of unethical behaviour, to try to blame it on the aliens. Another possibility might be that someone in the military-intelligence community is deliberately zapping people with electromagnetic beams in an attempt to give aliens a bad name. Finally, just to confuse us even more, it is possible that, unknown to each other, different compartmentalised sections of the US military, as well as some aliens, are doing all of the above simultaneously.
This leads us to explore the possibility that some UFO beams of light may be human designed weapon systems being secretly tested on humans in a part of the world where communications are so poor that the Western media would probably either not hear about these events, or not bother to report them even if they did. Given that there is evidence that research has been done into High Powered Microwave (HPM) weapons, Jacques Vallee ponders the relationship between human and alien technology. "Here again, the UFOs seem to represent an alien force that anticipates our own scientific developments by decades, mocking our own efforts to identify its nature and its long term intentions." (Vallee, 1990, p.206)
A brief news snippet in New Dawn magazine (May-June 1997, p.10) claims that "The USAF Office of Scientific Research is working on developing a small affordable laser and high powered microwave (sic) for unmanned aerial vehicles to perform a wide variety of missions, including enemy communications and computer systems." Although it does not mention human targets, this sounds suspiciously like the UFOs seen in South America. Could it be that over the last twenty years someone has been testing the propulsion, guidance, and radiation beam target-acquisition systems of such unmanned devices in the jungles of Brazil?
A 1991 MUFON UFO Journal article by Dr Richard M. Neal Jr., called 'Paralysis by Microwaves', discusses how such radiation might affect people. For example, it is known that low frequency microwave radiation will penetrate the body more effectively than higher frequencies. Neal claims that from 1965 to 1970 the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) undertook Project Pandora "to determine the health and psychological effects of low intensity microwaves." He suggests that when this radiation is "modulated with low biological frequencies" it may be able "to cause performance decrements and disorganisation by interfering with neuroelectric functions; or by causing central nervous system effects". We know from witness reports that, while UFO light beam paralysis does not affect a person's breathing, cardio-vascular system or senses, it does prevents them from moving. By pulsing the microwave radiation so that the appropriate motor units within the brain are affected, the body's musculoskeletal system can be stimulated at an increasing frequency until "successive contractions fuse together and cannot be distinguished from one another." This condition, called tetanisation, produces paralysis. (Neal, 1991)
Five years later in 1996, Dr Helmut Lammer, again in the MUFON UFO Journal, referred to something called the New World Vistas which
"was a major undertaking for the USAF Scientific Advisory Board (SAR). This military publication was published in June 1996 and is a forecast of possible military developments over the next fifty years. In it military scientists suggest the development of electromagnetic energy sources, the output of which can be pulsed, shaped, focused, and coupled with the human body in a fashion that will allow one to prevent voluntary muscular movements, control emotions and actions, produce sleep, transmit suggestions, interfere with both short-term and long-term memory, and induce an experience set or delete an experience set." (p.6)
If, as Dr Lammer suggests, such technology has already been developed, then some apparent UFO abduction experiences, including physical paralysis, may be the results of humans using this technology.
In 1997, Tim Rifat, writing in UFO Reality magazine, gives us more details of developments in this field. (This research was primarily done to develop mind control technologies, which are beyond the scope of this article. Those interested in following up on such research are recommended to read Rifat's article.) He tells us that pulse modulated microwave radiation has been "found to be especially useful as a carrier for the mind control signals as they were able to pass through the cranium, which is rather resistant to low level electromagnetic radiation. This pulse modulated microwave carrier beam could be used to carry signals rather like radio signals can be frequency or amplitude modulated to carry music or speech." (p.48) This Remote Mind Control Technology (RMCT) can be "keyed to distinctive patterns of brainwaves called 'preparatory sets', which exist for every mechanical gesture the body makes. There are also specific excitation potentials which exist for specific emotional states." (p.49) Later Rifat confirms our earlier suspicions by claiming that "Victims who are paralysed by the light from UFOs are in fact being deceived. It is not visible radiation but microwaves, that are paralysing them." (p.49) While Rifat's article appeared in 1997, other relevant mind control articles have been appearing intermittently in the UFO literature since the early nineteen-nineties. For example Martin Cannon's book The Controllers: A New Hypothesis of Alien Abductions was published in 1992, yet the classic text on this subject, Walter Bowart's Operation Mind Control, came out in 1978.
Sometimes UFO-related inventions appear that do not seem to be the result of classified military research. An article by Paul Guinnessy in New Scientist magazine (1st Nov. 1997, p.6) described a patent awarded to Hans Eric Herr from San Diego, California, "for a 'phaser' that uses laser light to stun or kill." Currently some American police forces use electronic stun weapons called tasers which work by firing two small metal darts attached to thin wires that carry a pulsing electric current that stuns their victim. By using a laser to create an intense beam of ultraviolet light which ionises the air molecules in its path, Herr's invention does away with the use of wires. Instead a carefully modulated electrical current which can painlessly stun the victim, cause painful contractions, or a heart attack, simply travels down the ionised light beam. The phaser has a range of over one hundred metres, and can penetrate clothing. Although we are told that the laser needed for Herr's invention is still too large for hand held phasers to be made, one imagines that they will not be long in arriving, and of course such a device could easily fit into a UFO sized craft. The article ends with Herr's worrying claim "that any technically competent person would be able to build a phaser." (p.6)
Just because Herr's phaser seems to have similar paralysing abilities to some UFO beams of light does not prove that this is how aliens are paralysing people. Nevertheless it does appear to show that some aspects of human technology may not be that far behind that of the aliens, although unfortunately, the closer our technology does get to theirs, the more likely it will become that some UFOs are actually human craft mimicking alien ones. For example, in an article in New Dawn (May-June 1997, p.25), Dr Richard J. Boylan claims that the US military's Project Snowbird involves "pseudo-UFOs used as disinformation", while Project Tacit Rainbow apparently involves "stealth drones/pseudo-UFOs".
This article is not trying to suggest that UFO light beams are always trying to hurt people. Sometimes they appear to be trying to assist, as this next case suggests. Late at night on 18th October 1973 a Bell Huey helicopter of the US Army Reserve was flying from Columbus to Cleveland in the state of Ohio, with four crew aboard, when a bright red light started to approach them. Captain Lawrence Coyne, fearing a collision, grabbed the controls from his less experienced copilot, andput the helicopter into a very rapid descent. Despite this evasive action, the UFO was now so close that it seemed to the crew to fill the windscreen. A green 'searchlight' beneath the UFO then swung around and "shone into the cabin bathing all four men in a greenish haze!" (Randles, 1987, p.104) The cigar shaped UFO then shot off leaving the helicopter's magnetic compass spinning at four revolutions per minute, and the altimeter reading 1066 metres, whereas it had previously been at 518 metres. Captain Coyne later realised that the helicopter had been within seconds of hitting the ground when the green 'tractor beam' from the UFO had pulled them upwards about five hundred metres.
Jenny Randles (1987) gives another example in which a green beam from a UFO appeared to try to assist a witness. The case "involved a British Rail worker walking along the tracks from Headingley, Leeds, to his home in the early evening of 12th February 1979. He observed a strange green light above him, but then had to move quickly onto an adjacent track as the Harrogate to Leeds train went by. Whether this was perceived as endangering the man is hard to know. He was quite safe. However, the green thing came low above him and seemed to suck him upwards into the air. It felt like a powerful magnet had pulled him about [two metres] skywards and moved him bodily along the track, depositing him unharmed further along. He stood petrified for a few moments, but then turned back and saw an oval with a misty vapour moving away. Needless to say he did not take this short cut home after that!" (p.105)
This article has detailed numerous examples of the capabilities of UFO light beams, some of which appear to resemble classified military technology. To study the subject further would require a more comprehensive database that, for example, categorised the light beams by colour or effect. Given ufology's shortage of funding, finding a suitable physicist to do this research would be difficult, although it seems that the US military has already done it.
Bowart, Walter. (1978) Operation Mind Control.
Boylan, Richard J. (May-June 1997) The shadow government: Its identification and analysis. New Dawn.
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Corso, Col. Phillip J. (1997) The Day After Roswell.
Giese, Daniel Rebisso. (Summer 1996) Extraterrestrial Vampires in the Amazon Region of Brazil: Part II. Flying Saucer Review.
Guinnessy, Paul. (1st November 1997) Set phasers to shock. New Scientist, No.2106, p.6.
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Source: Journal of Alternative Realities - Volume 6, Number 1 1998