Mystery: Was the Travis Walton Experience a Hoax?

Fire in the Sky

Courtesy of Amazon

I read this book under its original title, The Walton Experience, years before the 1993 film based on his ‘true’ story. I didn’t like the film: it was too sensationalized, too dramatic.

Mike started the old pickup and we climbed north up the ridge toward the Rim Road. It was 6:10. Barring any breakdowns, we should be home before 7:30. We left the windows down so we could cool off some. We were still warm from laboring, in spite of the evening air. Mike, Ken, and I do not smoke and we prefer to inhale genuine, unadulterated air. The four in the backseat lit up as soon as we were in the truck, eager after hours without a cigarette. The fresh air coming in my window was bracing. We usually nap on the way to work every morning, but none of us ever feels drowsy on the way back to town. The rousing activity on the job hones a keenness that stays with us all the way home.

Bouncing over the water-bars in the road — humps of dirt that prevent the road from washing out in the rainy season — the truck kept bottoming out on its springs with a dull clunking sound. The fellows started cracking jokes about the pickup.

Just then my eye was caught by a light coming through the trees on the right, a hundred yards ahead. I idly assumed that the glow was the sun going down in the west. Then it occurred to me that the sun had set half an hour ago. Curious, I thought it might be the light of some hunters camped there — headlights or maybe a fire. Some of the guys must have caught sight of it too, because the men on the right side of the truck had fallen silent.

As we continued driving up the road toward the brightness, we passed in sight of it for an instant. We barely got a glimpse through gnarled branches before we rolled past the opening in the trees.

“Son of a . . .” Allen started.

“What the hell was that?” I asked.

My eyes strained to make sense of the glimmering through the dense stand of trees blocking our vision. From my open window, I could see the yellowish brilliance washing across our path onto the road another forty yards ahead. Intrigued, I was impatient to get past the intervening pines.

From the driver’s seat, Mike could not look up with the proper angle without leaning way over, “What do you guys see?” he demanded curiously.

Dwayne answered, “I don’t know — but it looked like a crashed plane hanging in a tree!”

Finally, our growing excitement spurred Mike into wringing out what little speed the pickup could still achieve on the incline. We rolled past the intervening evergreen thicket to where we could have an unobstructed view of the source of the strange radiance. Suddenly we were electrified by the most awesome, incredible sight we had seen in our entire lives.

“Stop!” John cried out. “Stop the truck!”

As the truck skidded to a dusty halt in the rocky road, I threw open the door for a clearer view of the dazzling sight.

“My God!” Allen yelled. “It’s a flying saucer!

The Walton Experience

OK. There’s just one inconjunct, so this may be an easy one to decipher.

Mercury Inconjunct Ascendant

You are likely to have some problems, but not serious ones, in communicating with others. The problem is that people’s first impression of you may not fit in with what you say or your manner of thinking and speaking. People tend to hear what they expect to hear, and they may not listen to you as carefully as they should. So you will have to be as clear as possible and insist that others listen to what you are really saying. If others do not understand you, it is up to you to set them straight.

This pattern also works in reverse in that what you say may make people respond in ways that you can’t accept. For example, you may be outspoken and frank but dislike it when others are, preferring to be treated gently and sensitively.

Is this a symptom of a ‘failure to communicate’?

His fellow workers left him for dead, and the rest is a blur for Travis. He was missing for five-and-a-quarter days, and then he showed up again.

Walton has claimed he remembers nothing else until he found himself walking along a highway five days later, with the flying saucer departing above him.

In 1978, Walton wrote the book The Walton Experience detailing his claims, which became the basis for the 1993 film Fire in the Sky. Paramount Pictures decided Walton’s account was “too fuzzy and too similar to other televised close encounters”, so they ordered screenwriter Tracy Tormé to write a “flashier, more provocative” abduction story.

Wikipedia

So how do we know if any of it happened? The mind does strange tricks when confronted by an alien situation… (See what I did there?)

Filling in the obvious blanks of his story may have triggered cryptomnesia, and Travis may have repeated a scenario from the Hill Abduction, the medical examination. His panic would be palpable. He was scared for his life. The other elements of the film, like of being wrapped in a kind of spider’s web of material, are a step too far. But, in defense of Travis’ memory, I think the abduction did happen, but not necessarily as he has described it in his book.

So, not a ‘hoax’ per se: more likely the Mandela Effect.

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Mystery: Why Were Betty and Barney Hill Abducted by Aliens?

The Interrupted Journey

Courtesy of Amazon

This incident is purportedly the first time a couple were abducted by aliens and taken aboard a UFO. In a time period when there were very few visibly biracial marriages, I’m wondering if the abductors had a different agenda than the one usually considered the reason: the study of our human species. Could race have had anything to do with it?

With so many aspected planets, it is going to be difficult to totally understand the motives behind the abduction. But we’ll try to make some little sense of them.

Neptune and Pluto have been in a sextile relationship for so long that we cannot grasp what that means to humanity and the Universe. No other planets are in aspect to them here, so that makes me question if the (hidden) purpose is part of their planetary pattern.

Neptune in Scorpio (1957-1970)

This generation may be characterized by a love of the mysterious and strange. As these children grow older, the current interest in the occult and related subjects will probably continue, but they may use these energies to gain power of others, which could create very dangerous psychological forces. On the other hand, they will be more concerned with individual regeneration and techniques of healing, both psychological and physical. They will have extreme ideas, either very lax or very strict, about personal morality.

Aspects of Neptune to Pluto

These aspects are extremely long-lasting and therefore very difficult to understand. In the time period covered by this book [Planets in Youth], there have been only three — the conjunction of 1891 and 1892, the semisquare of the Great Depression era (and this text does not cover semisquares) and the sextile, which began in the late forties and will continue for the rest of the century. The sextile will last that long because Neptune and Pluto are now moving at almost exactly the same speed. The conjunctions seem to coincide with great historical climaxes, with peaks and valleys of culture. They do not seem to have much impact on individuals. But this is partly because it is so difficult to get an accurate perspective on long time period. The sextile has been going on for so long that it is hard to separate its effects from those of other elements and indications. Therefore any discussion of its effect would be totally speculative.

Pluto in Virgo (1957-1971)

For those who are now adults, this period represents the greatest breakdown in modern history in the relationship of marriage. Many couple live together without getting married, and those that marry often do not stay married. Because of the general instability of their parents’ marriages, the children of this era will have a much more fluid but unstable view of relationships and mutual commitments between people. They may be very reluctant to make binding agreements because of their childhood experience of marriage.

Now, I’m not actually saying that the Hills had any of these problems because they were born in a couple of generations before this time period, but the energies involved could have been operating in the investigation of the abduction, and so would therefore colour the results. (See what I did there?)

The marker by Indian Head

Not everything is black and white.

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How Your Brain Works: Can You Really Trust It?

Read It Twice

Courtesy of the Indian Hills Community Center, Colorado

I love researching for a Facebook group my daughter started: The Smilers. Anything that brings a smile to your face everyday can be shared there. But it’s a private group, so you have to ask to join. Recently, I’ve been Googling funny signs, and this one was included. It stopped me in my tracks. Like you, on first reading, I ‘corrected’ the error without a second thought.

Remember what I’ve said before: you see what you expect to see.

This is so true for almost everything you believe or ‘know to be real’. Your mind looks for patterns and when it sees what it’s looking for, it slides on to the rest to keep searching for more. But it ‘thinks’ it understands what it has seen. That’s how you get fooled.

I’m combining the idea of ‘brain’ and ‘mind’ to illustrate my point: the brain is the machine, but the mind is the operating system. You are the observer, and when your mind mistakes what the brain has seen, you will find that you have to repeat the interaction to see what went wrong.

Here ends the lesson.

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The Story About Shakespeare’s “Second-Best” Bed

All Is True (2018)

DVD Cover

Anne Hathaway is an enigma to modern society. How could she tolerate her husband being away from Stratford-upon-Avon so much, when he was writing and producing plays in London? Was she really such a doormat, or was she just long-suffering? Who knows, eh?

In his will Shakespeare famously made only one bequest to his wife, his “second-best bed with the furniture”. There is no reference to the “best” bed, which would have been included in the main bequest to Susanna. This bequest to Anne has often been interpreted as a slight, implying that Anne was in some sense only the “second best” person in his intimate life. A few explanations have been offered: first, it has been claimed that, according to law, Hathaway was entitled to receive one third of her husband’s estate, regardless of his will, though this has been disputed. It has been speculated that Hathaway was to be supported by her children. Germaine Greer suggests that the bequests were the result of agreements made at the time of Susanna’s marriage to Dr Hall: that she (and thus her husband) inherited the bulk of Shakespeare’s estate. Shakespeare had business ventures with Dr Hall, and consequently appointed John and Susanna as executors of his will. Dr Hall and Susanna inherited and moved into New Place after Shakespeare’s death. This would also explain other examples of Shakespeare’s will being apparently ungenerous, as in its treatment of his younger daughter Judith.

Wikipedia

Ben Elton, who wrote the script, obviously had this in mind when he wrote the scene in the film that encapsulates who was the boss in the Shakespeare household: retiring for the night, Anne and William go to their separate rooms; his is the ‘best bed’ reserved for guests (!) and hers is the ‘second-best’ bed. Only later in he film, after Judith confesses what she did to Hamnet, does Anne invite Will to sleep in the second-best bed with her.

Anne Hathaway’s childhood “cottage” (from my own archives)
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The Night Will Brought the House Down, Literally

The Globe Theatre Burns Down (June 29, 1613)

As yesterday was our 11th wedding anniversary, I bought my wife, Susan, the DVD of All Is True. We watched it last evening. The opening credits highlighted this event as the last time Shakespeare worked his magic on stage.

On 29 June 1613, the Globe Theatre went up in flames during a performance of Henry VIII. A theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching. According to one of the few surviving documents of the event, no one was hurt except a man whose burning breeches were put out with a bottle of ale.

Wikipedia

I have randomized the timing, and it seems accurate enough, as the fire started during the first act of the play. And, instinctively, I knew that there would be Yods and that those Yods would involve Mars and Uranus, the proverbial ‘lightning strike’ combination.

Mars Inconjunct Saturn

This can be a difficult aspect because it signifies a conflict between your sense of responsibility and your desire to fulfill your own needs and do what you want. This leads to a struggle within you that may keep you from acting decisively. Instead of deciding what you will do, you feel caught between these two forces, wondering whether you have the right to do what you want. You may feel that others are trying to frustrate you, but it is only your indecisiveness that is causing the trouble. Sometimes this conflict makes you very irritable and resentful about nothing in particular. Then, when someone happens to act in a way that is obviously annoying, you focus all your built up anger on that person.

Mars Inconjunct Ascendant

The difficulty with this aspect is to find a balance between getting what you want in life and getting along with others. More than most people, you will have to learn the necessity of compromising to get along with people, especially because you often seem more aggressive than you are. At times you may feel that nothing is going your way, that you continually have to give in to others and put your own wishes aside. However, it is not really this bad. You do not actually have to compromise any more than anyone else, but you are more reluctant to do so.

Uranus Inconjunct Ascendant

You need to be free and do what you want is often in conflict with what others require of you and even with what you feel you ought to do. Sometimes this conflict can cause considerable physical and emotional tension. The task you face is to organize your life in a disciplined way that will enable you to satisfy your need for freedom through your everyday activities. One way to accomplish this is by figuring out your own methods for doing your work. Or you may choose to do the most interesting and exciting tasks, which are often the most difficult, so that others shy away from them. You need to be challenged by puzzles and problems in all your activities. You are not good at routines and repetitious tasks.

Uranus Inconjunct Midheaven

You need to express your thoughts and feelings, but you often upset the people around you with your words. You seem to enjoy creating a stir every time you say something but this can get you into quite a bit of trouble with authority figures. The underlying principle of this aspect is the need to balance your individual self-expression and manner of communicating with your need to learn and grow under the guidance of older people.

There is another inconjunct, but it only involves one arm of the Uranus Yod:

Mercury Inconjunct Ascendant

This aspect can be a sign of nervousness, so it will help to keep every part of your life in order, because clutter and confusion will make you feel even more nervous and scattered. Some persons with this aspect want to have everything organized and are upset by disorder because they intuitively understand that disorder is bad for them. Even if you are not aware of this, it is true for you too.

ALL IS TRUE

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Lessons for This Day (and Age) (Redux)

From the original Greek…

cdsmiller17

From Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount Image

Blissful are the Humble, in spirit,For they are the Force of Heaven.

Blissful are the Mourners,

For they will be cheered.

Blissful are the Patient,

For they will succeed on Earth.

Blissful are the Perfectionists,

For they will be complete.

Blissful are the Compassionate,

For they will be shown compassion.

Blissful are the emotionally Pure,

For they will see God.

Blissful are the Reconcilers,

For they will be adopted by God.

Blissful are the Defenders of Perfection,

For they too are the Force of Heaven.

Blissful are you when others insult you, slander you and rudely gossip about you because of me. Be happy, for you will be justly compensated in the spiritual realms, since they’ve done the same thing to other sensitives before you.

You are the earth’s preservers. But if the preserve becomes mouldy, how can it be preserved again? It is…

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Mystery: It was a Dark and Stormy Night…

Roswell Incident (July 2, 1947)

The History Channel has a new take on this (by now) very old, and very debunked, episode in UFO history. Part I was shown last night, and I listened very carefully for any ‘different’ clues.

Most stories about this crash site and the events that followed have focused on there being a thunderstorm that night. But which night?

William Brazel, a foreman working on the J.B. Foster ranch, noticed clusters of debris approximately 30 miles (50 km) north of Roswell, New Mexico. This date—or “about three weeks” before July 8—appeared in later stories featuring Brazel, but the initial press release from the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) said the find was “sometime last week”, suggesting Brazel found the debris in early July. Brazel told the Roswell Daily Record that he and his son saw a “large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks.” He paid little attention to it but returned later with his wife and daughter to gather up some of the debris. Some accounts have described Brazel as having gathered some of the material earlier, rolling it together and stashing it under some brush.

Wikipedia

July 2nd was a Wednesday. I’m choosing that date because Brazel was responsible for running the farm during the week and he didn’t report his discovery until on or after the weekend.

The next day, Brazel heard reports about “flying discs” and wondered if that was what he had picked up. On July 7, Brazel went to see Sheriff Wilcox and “whispered kinda confidential like” that he may have found a flying disc. Another account quotes Wilcox as saying Brazel reported the object on July 6.

Wilcox called RAAF Major Jesse Marcel, and Marcel brought Lt Colonel Sheridan Cavitt and Master Sergeant Bill Rickett to the ranch where more pieces were picked up. “[We] spent a couple of hours Monday afternoon [July 7] looking for any more parts of the weather device”, said Marcel. “We found a few more patches of tinfoil and rubber.”

Wikipedia

OK. Since all of this is speculative, I have assumed the suggested time of 11:45 pm (originally thought to be on July 4th) and raised the event chart to see what energies were in operation.

Well, what do you know!? The Moon is featured as conjunct the Midheaven and inconjunct Saturn. It is also opposite the Sun, which suggests that there was a full moon that night (although obscured by the thunderstorm clouds). Could this be a case of mass delusion?

Moon Inconjunct Saturn

This aspect usually means that your need for emotional security conflicts with your need to live with the world’s demands. Each of us needs to be accepted and loved for what we are, in order to have enough self-confidence to deal with the world. But we also have to learn to live with our own life situations in order to survive. In other words, we have to realize that we can’t have everything we want. With this aspect, these two needs are working against each other. Probably you will satisfy one of them at the expense of the other.

Saturn Inconjunct Midheaven

This aspect indicates that you very much need a positive relationship with your parents, especially your father. You should not be disciplined sternly unless you are given lots of love at the same time. Otherwise, giving and receiving love from others will be a real problem for the rest of your life. Unless you are truly supported by your family and friends, you will begin to feel lonely and isolated from others and inferior to them. Also you are likely to have very serious difficulties with authority figures, because you are afraid of how they will treat you, not expecting that anyone will ever give you the loving guidance you need. You will see all authorities only as potential threats to your freedom and as sources of pain and trouble.

Moon Conjunct Midheaven

This placement can indicate that in your career you will work with the public or large groups of people. Your profession might involve protecting and taking care of people, or you might be in advertising or public relations.

Jesse Marcel in 1947

Strangely enough, the aspect descriptions (above) seem to be discussing Jesse Marcel, the man whose journal is the focus of the History Channel’s latest offering to the world. Coincidence?

Cover courtesy of amazon.ca
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Just Like in the Movies: His Great Escape

Rédoine Faïd (May 10, 1972)

I was reading the GQ article about his July 1, 2018 escape from a prison in France this morning and decided that there must have been something in the air that day other than the helicopter.

And I was right! There are five inconjuncts, four of which form Yods pointing at Mars (himself) and Saturn (the prison system). The fifth inconjunct connects Venus and Uranus.

Sun Inconjunct Mars

You have a rather strong will, which may be difficult to control. This is because your way of doing something tends to interfere with what you want to gain by doing it. Your actions in some situations may surprise people by contradicting what they have learned about you as a person. Inside of yourself, you may even begin to feel that you can’t approve of the way you act, or you may feel that you can’t deal comfortably with the results of your actions. In other words, you get yourself into real jams.

Mars Inconjunct Ascendant

The difficulty with this aspect is to find a balance between getting what you want in life and getting along with others. More than most people, you will have to learn the necessity of compromising to get along with people, especially because you often seem more aggressive than you are. While you are young, the need to compromise may be frustrating, because youth is a time when your own needs seem especially urgent and demanding. At times you may feel that nothing is going your way, that you continually have to give in to others and put your own wishes aside. However, it is not really this bad. You do not actually have to compromise any more than anyone else, but you are more reluctant to do so.

Mercury Inconjunct Saturn

This aspect can have several different meanings. First of all, you may have hidden fears that are difficult to express, but they cause you to do things that others can’t understand. These may include fear of the dark or of certain places or people. Or this aspect can mean that you often feel depressed and sad for no apparent reason. You tend to see the serious side of life, and it weighs on you more than most people.

Saturn Inconjunct Midheaven

This aspect indicates that you very much need a positive relationship with your parents, especially your father. You should not be disciplined sternly unless you are given lots of love at the same time. Otherwise, giving and receiving love from others will be a great problem for the rest of your life. Unless you are truly supported by your friends and family, you will begin to feel lonely and isolated from others and inferior to them. Also you are likely to have very serious difficulties with authority figures, because you are afraid of how they will treat you, not expecting that anyone will ever give you the loving guidance you need. You will see all authorities only as potential threats to your freedom and as sources of pain and trouble.

Venus Inconjunct Uranus

You feel mixed up about whether you want to be close to others or be free. When you are really close to a loved one, you feel smothered and want to get away by yourself to do what you want. But when you are alone and free to do what you want, you miss your loved ones and want to be with them. It will take you several years to understand yourself enough so that you can strike a balance between these two needs, so be patient.

The movie this morning moves quickly. Investigators will later note that the prison staff seem completely stupefied. The descriptor employed by the ministry of justice in its subsequent audit is sidération, an archaic word that refers to the state of being “planet-struck.” Everyone at Réau is paralyzed. They aren’t even sure who is escaping.

GQ

Planet-struck! I don’t think there’s a better description of what happened at that precise moment. How did he know when was the right time to act? It must have been in the silence.

For this story, Faïd has agreed to a rare interview in which my questions, and his answers, are relayed via email by one of his relatives. In addition, he has shared with me an unpublished autobiographical account of his daring escapes, titled Spiral, in which he describes the steps it takes to mentally prepare himself for a jailbreak. “There’s a deathly silence in the cell,” he writes. “I can’t hear a thing anymore. If I’m breaking out this morning, it’s to leave that silence behind. I worked hard these past months to get my spirit as clear and concentrated as it needs to be to make it to the top on this day.”

GQ
Courtesy of Goodreads
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Haiku (Redux)

Some short poems from my archives.

cdsmiller17

Haiku poetry is a style that originated in Japan. According to Wikipedia, it is typically characterized by three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is “cutting” (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji (“cutting word”) between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colors the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
  • Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.
  • A kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.

In my attempts to write Haiku, I chose (in the main) to highlight personal elements…

 

Really

 

Your fantasy world

Clashes with reality

Like night with the sun.

Blind Lovers

 

Let’s cling together

In the night when blind lovers’

Hands…

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Spiritus Sanctus (Redux)

From seven years ago, today.

cdsmiller17

In my series of sonnets called Spiritus Sanctus, I wrote several poems that would act as reminders of some spiritual truths I had absorbed over the years. For example, the following poem highlights Jesus` sayings on the cross. 

Seven Last Words

 

The day that Jesus dies, he spoke his mind:

Hearing the crowd taunt and jeer, prayed, `Forgive`;

Even the thieves argued about their bind:

Consoling, gave one `Paradise` to live;

Remembering responsibilities,

Unto his mother, a son to `behold`.

Concerned with his body, now ill-at-ease

In the blinding heat, he `thirst` for the cold.

Forsaken, feeling utterly alone,

Inclined his head upward and cried out, `Why?`

Xylem for Zion, he paid, he atoned

In our stead, so he let his `spirit` fly.

Outwardly broken, his strength diminished,

Now that it’s over, it has…

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