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The Piedmont UFO Mystery - from 1973 to present - What Is Going On?

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posted on Jul, 17 2019 @ 07:45 PM
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originally posted by: standingwave

I think honestly a large percentage of the rural folk around here have seen these things and just don't talk. However I don't hesitate to tell my story, perhaps it will be a part of the puzzle.


As you saw in the new documentary, residents were extremely hesitant to tell their story - and clearly not in a manner that was 'set up' by the programme makers for effect. They even asked the investigators if they themselves were subjected to the same ridicule the residents had suffered.

So your own account is vital as a jigsaw piece in this grand puzzle.


The crew had the right idea with the flashing lights, you can definitely call them in, sort of like fishing, these lights seem to like attention. If they concentrated on that effort they would find themselves with much more film footage than what they have. They might be surprised with how up close they might get. It takes a few nights of " fishing" but you can definitely get results.


They certainly got a result with the seemingly anomalous light that varied its speed and direction, even coming to a standstill at one point before diving downwards and disappearing. It even seemed to 'swell' at that point, but it could be my eyes deceiving me.

Naturally, a "litmus test" of sorts is required, a scientific repetition, as you say, of this 'fishing' exercise - to eliminate the usual suspects such as drones, balloons etc.

Taking the case as a whole, as Mirageman said earlier, it is an eternal head-scratcher with few easy answers for so many sightings and witnesses. Unlike the 'one night only' aspect of say the 1997 Phoenix Lights, the three-month flap of 1973 provided a treasure-chest of unusual phenomena witnessed by all areas of society, often on a daily basis. Which is quite remarkable.




edit on 17-7-2019 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 17 2019 @ 10:15 PM
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Perhaps one of the greatest Missed Opportunities in ufology's history was Dr Allen J Hynek's casual dismissal of the Piedmont Lights when he popped along for a quick 24-hour visit in March 1973. As mentioned in my OP, he spoke to eight people, dismissed an impressive set of photographs as "lens flare" (despite no lens flare in the negative)... and... basically buggered off... leaving the residents with a rather patronising overview:



"We ourselves didn't see anything, but that's to be expected... but we found a great number of highly excited people... You have to disregard any light on the horizon"



Sounds like someone p#ssed on his cornflakes that morning.


Since he was invited there by Jerry Howard (State Representative) and Gene Bearden (Police Chief) precisely because of the sheer frequency and number of sightings, it's strange that someone as open-minded as Hynek didn't book a stay for three to four days at least.

At least he posed for a pic:





No, I don't like that crude sign, either, but at least Dr Harley Rutledge wasn't deterred and went ahead with 'Project Identification' from 1973 to 1980, despite being a massive UFO sceptic shortly before. You can learn about his extensive work here, and read the excellent aforementioned ATS thread by The GUT about the project here.


158 viewing stations
620 observers
427 hours of sky-watching (plus many 'off duty' hours unaccounted for)
157 sightings of 178 UFOs

As described by ATSer Standingwave earlier, Rutledge also observed "pseudo stars" that blended with other stars before suddenly shifting or vanishing. His colleagues also witnessed flying balls of light that seemed to 'drop' a smaller light.

As Rutledge said himself:


"A relationship, a cognizance, between us and the UFO intelligence evolved. A game was played. In my opinion, this additional consideration is more important than the measurements or establishing that the phenomena exists. This facet of the UFO phenomena perturbed me as much as the advanced technology we observed. It is a facet I cannot really fathom - and I have thought about it everyday for more than 7 years."



Does that 'playful' description ring a later bell? You bet. But at least Rutledge was more forthcoming than Bob Bigelow's private NIDS team a quarter of a century later when it comes to scientific analysis of a specific area (ie Skinwalker Ranch). The 2005 'Hunt For The Skinwalker' book aside, Bob has clearly found something else that proved an alien existence among us - or so he claims or 'thinks'...

But then if Bob wants to keep his private finds close to his privately shampooed chest, then that is of course his right... but pfffft...


edit on 17-7-2019 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2019 @ 10:50 PM
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originally posted by: standingwave

originally posted by: Cravens
a reply to: standingwave

Cool to hear from someone from that area. Very much appreciate you relating your own experiences
I grew up on a diary farm and spent many a night spotlighting when they were calving, but alas, the random gargantuan bull frog by the irrigation pond was the extent of my freaky sightings...

I’m a bit perplexed — at least at first glance, having not read/heard anything previous — how Project Identification has seemingly been relegated to the dustbin of Ufology; you found out about it at the local library...how does that happen? Not to mention the linked vid in the OP suggests I can’t watch because of copyright *Doh!*

Off to read what I can and hopefully back with something constructive to add.

Again, great hearing/reading your experiences.

P.S. I believe it’s Ted Phillips who was involved in the Marley Woods research. Not 100% sure.





Yes, Ted Phillips was the one investigating Marley Woods which is from what I gather near Rover Missouri, not too far from my parents farm.


I have two copies of Project Identification, I bought them a few years back before they became so expensive. There is a website on line that has old newspaper clippings of Rutledge's experience. Not sure how to pull them up, I thought I had them bookmarked. At one point Rutledge was making some connection between these UFOs and religion.

Also a few years ago, there was a Journalist from a St.Louis paper that had a short blog about Mr.Rutledge after he passed. The journalist had said Mr. Rutledge had drawn some conclusions that he had mentioned to him but made him promise to never tell anyone. Sure wish he would have elaborated.


I used to listen to lots of ted phillips interviews about this place. Even dug up some videos that were taken there, back then not sure where it was. he said lots of paranormal activity was happening there, similar to skinwalker ranch. I miss ted's interviews and go back and listen to the old ones sometimes. i love the trace evidence stuff even though it doesn't solve anything it always backed up witness testimony. He seemed sure something paranormal was happening there, stuff he had witnessed first hand.



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 07:12 AM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

this was a perfect example of Hynek BEFORE coming out of the (ufo) closet. Always had an explanation. Then later in his career he became enlightened about ufo's.



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 08:08 AM
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a reply to: data5091

I believe Hynek's views were changing as early as 1957 with the Levelland UFO case. However in that particular case he was closely following the launch of Sputnik and later regretted it as a lost opportunity.

He was also puzzled after the 1964 Socorro UFO incident in 1964.

By 1970 with Blue Book closed Hynek was free of any constraints imposed by working for the government and definitely became more persuaded that something was going on that could not be explained conventionally.

I'd say it was more a case of him being dismissive in Piedmont because of years of interviewing over excited people who didn't know Mars from Jupiter in the sky. He probably made a judgement call and decided not to waste time on the case. Maybe he was wrong? But I also wonder how much further would have got with it had he persevered? Is Piedmont it another case like Levelland that remains frustratingly unsolvable?



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 08:26 AM
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originally posted by: ConfusedBrit


As Rutledge said himself:

"A relationship, a cognizance, between us and the UFO intelligence evolved. A game was played. In my opinion, this additional consideration is more important than the measurements or establishing that the phenomena exists. This facet of the UFO phenomena perturbed me as much as the advanced technology we observed. It is a facet I cannot really fathom - and I have thought about it everyday for more than 7 years."


Does that 'playful' description ring a later bell? You bet. But at least Rutledge was more forthcoming than Bob Bigelow's private NIDS team a quarter of a century later when it comes to scientific analysis of a specific area (ie Skinwalker Ranch). The 2005 'Hunt For The Skinwalker' book aside, Bob has clearly found something else that proved an alien existence among us - or so he claims or 'thinks'...




I think perhaps Mr. Rutledge was perplexed as to the nature of what he was seeing. And rightfully so.

He was dealing with something that could change shapes and read the minds of the observers, seemed to know what they were doing before they did it. This opens up a giant can of worms. As the lady in the Missouri Mayhem video said, "they can do anything they want", and she is right.

In my experiences, and even by reading other peoples accounts, there is one hole in all this, I have yet to see rock solid evidence of a solid mechanical craft. Most all reports that allude to something that resembles mechanical but morphs in to a type of plasma or something similar. I am not excluding the solid metal type of occurrence, its just that I havent seen any solid proof of this.

Back to what we know about what they CAN do, we have to allow for a larger field of understanding in our own minds about what controls our reality. What we have seen starts to point in the direction of an external force, something able to mold the underlying construct of our world. These "intelligent" morphing balls of light either have on-board intelligence, or they are just the manifestation of a larger intelligence behind the curtain that controls all of them, not one individually.
edit on 18-7-2019 by standingwave because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 11:15 AM
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Nice Thread!

I've been watching the show, it's pretty good. One thing that bothered me about the Piedmont lights episode,is the scene in which a "white van" appears to be watching them and then drives off when the guy walks towards it. That was cheesy and staged. They could have zoomed in a satellite and seen and heard everything. Maybe intimidation tactics but it just seemed staged,



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: mirageman

If the History Channel's outrageously fictional 'Project Blue Book' drama series runs long enough, they may start dramatising Hynek's post-1969 activities. If Piedmont popped up, you can bet the Aiden Gillen version of Hynek would approach things differently...





posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 12:50 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

very true Confusedbrit about Hynek. The series will have a second season, so we could see Hynek's changing views on ufo's come more into focus. Meanwhile I checked and there is a new installment available, this is the one I mentioned about another Missouri man, (what is it with Missouri and ufo's, wow) who has had repeat encounters with ufo's.

Episode 6 preview



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 12:55 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up, data.




originally posted by: standingwave

In my experiences, and even by reading other peoples accounts, there is one hole in all this, I have yet to see rock solid evidence of a solid mechanical craft. Most all reports that allude to something that resembles mechanical but morphs in to a type of plasma or something similar. I am not excluding the solid metal type of occurrence, its just that I havent seen any solid proof of this.


Yes, it's pertinent that many of the earlier sightings - such as Reggie Bone's - just described multi-coloured lights that were not attached to a visible shaped craft, despite being symmetrical. The "Portholes" aspect may translate to distinctly spherical orb-like structures rather than 'holes' per se. And another witness's sighting of a solid craft with a set of propellers, later that same night, may indeed have been a helicopter from the nearby army base - this was the lady who guessed it was a nuclear-powered helicopter, but had subsequent multiple sightings of other strange lights over her farmhouse.

So some of the sightings of 'solid' craft may have been people misidentifying aircraft, or simply jumping on a UFO bandwagon (as is human nature on occasion), although the two daylight sightings of metallic craft are still interesting.



originally posted by: Sabrechucker
I've been watching the show, it's pretty good. One thing that bothered me about the Piedmont lights episode,is the scene in which a "white van" appears to be watching them and then drives off when the guy walks towards it. That was cheesy and staged. They could have zoomed in a satellite and seen and heard everything. Maybe intimidation tactics but it just seemed staged.


I'm usually very suspicious about such incidents in TV shows, but it didn't strike me as staged on this occasion, especially since the residents were getting zero cooperation from the local authorities, indicating that the 'landing site' they were investigating when the van arrived may have been caused by some sort of experimental military aircraft if the van originated from the local army base.

The two TV cameras malfunctioning at the same site didn't feel staged, either. Since Chuck's son Dan was finally revealed to be a sceptic, it may be another factor that potentially quashes claims of staging. I can't imagine him pretending to chase a van for the sake of UFOtainment, but of course I may be wrong and don't know these people well enough yet.


edit on 18-7-2019 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

di nada my friend. Going to watch the new "Alien Highway" this afternoon, so will post thoughts later.



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 01:17 PM
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originally posted by: ConfusedBrit

originally posted by: karl 12
a reply to: ConfusedBrit

Refreshingly great thread mate, certainly enjoyed reading it and all the many different witness accounts really does make a person wonder what on earth is going on - off to watch that doco when time allows.

Gut's lovely thread below is also a relevant one as it deals with the research conducted into the Piedmont flap by Dr Harley Rutledge (researcher Walt Andrus also published info found in the MUFON journals).


Thanks, Karl. I haven't read Gut's work on this, but will remedy that immediately!

I'm also grateful for the details of the bizarre 1967 case and - yes - its rather unique occupant, too!




Seems you've already remedied that my friend and the good doctor did conduct some mighty fine objective research into the localised phenomenon (dating back to the late sixties) - also got to love those little green men leaving trace evidence and the 'seamless' mushroom stem like retraction back into the UFO which does exist in other global testimony (especially South America).

Also thought this thread was really relevant as it was a huge flap that occurred in October of the same year not far away in Ohio (congressmen warning about hysteria and even Muhammed Ali talking about it on TV).


edit on 19-7-2019 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 01:17 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

agree with your thoughts about the van and both camera batteries. It didn't feel staged to me either.



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 01:48 PM
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Here's a great article that everyone might enjoy. It goes into detail about Rutledge.


Why Do Ufologists Largely Ignore the Most Scientific Field Study of UFOs Ever Conducted?


www.apmagazine.info...

The end of the article kind of reminds you of the general political mindset today, doesn't it?! Ha!


What Rutledge found was that something unknown really is there, but we don't have a complete explanation yet. And that's why his work is ignored. And that is why ufology remains mired in a morass of lies, deceit, faked documents, faked film, and utter chaos. My observations about ufology, dating to my own interest starting in the early 1970s, is that most people who have an interest in the subject do not really want to know the truth, they want something that confirms what they already believe—and what they want to believe. In psychology it is called "perceptual bias." Carl Jung wrote this important observation summarizing his work about UFOs: "Something is seen, one doesn't know what." And aside from Rutledge finding that some of the objects were plasmas, his conclusion was the same as Jung's: something is there, but what it actually is, isn't known. Nuts and bolts ufologists say, "Physical craft from other worlds are here. Buy my book or pay to hear my talk and you'll see the proof." And that is where it stands today.


Here are two parts that I personally find interesting, while others may not...


As the project began to wind down, Rutledge noted in later interviews that some balls of plasma, 2-6 inches in diameter, would actually follow him around and even appear inside buildings. He found, as do many people who become intrigued by the UFO phenomenon, that the deeper you go into it, strange things begin happening. An observation once made by John Keel seems appropriate. Keel mentioned that if you notice and become interested in the phenomenon, it can notice you and become interested in you. That is essentially what Rutledge concluded.



Rutledge, who lived in Cape Girardeau, eventually began seeing UFOs frequently from his yard and sat up an observation team there on several occasions. In one quite peculiar case, he watched a 200-foot long "bullet-shaped" object silently fly over the Mississippi River. Rutledge wrote, "It was not like anything I had seen before. I looked at the craft. It had no wings. I did a double-take: It had no tail structure either. ... A slight feeling of nausea overcame me. Any lingering doubt I had about the existence of UFOs had vanished with the object." He even speculated that the many objects that had been observed during the project had a propulsion system that was "electromagnetic radiation in the form of microwaves."



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 02:36 PM
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Well said MM and I think it's pretty obvious that the object descriptions in Levelland bear close resemblance to the strange egg shaped flying object witnessed by hundreds of people across the tri-state area in a four day period - newspaper articles.

ConfusedBrit well done for creating an old school UFO thread mate - very much appreciated.
edit on 19-7-2019 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 03:54 PM
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Most excellent thread. Kudos.

And I have now set this series to record thanks for the heads up!

As for Hynek.

2 interesting interviews. One in '67 as a debunker whilst with Blue Book versus '76 whilst breakdancing for UFOs.


'67


'76



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 04:01 PM
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Thanks for those, Zazza.



originally posted by: karl 12
Also thought this thread was really relevant as it was a huge flap that occurred in October of the same year not far away in Ohio (congressmen warning about hysteria and even Muhammed Ali talking about it on TV).


Cheers, mate - I'll dig into that, too.


And here's the Ali interview as a taster:







originally posted by: Deetermined
Here's a great article that everyone might enjoy. It goes into detail about Rutledge.


Thanks for the fascinating article. There is a huge lapse in logic when Rutledge's work is ignored because of a lack of conclusions or explanations, when many would argue that one of the three greatest questions facing humanity (Are We Alone?) requires more than a casual dismissal of truly unexplained field evidence such as this that DEMANDS further analysis.

As Jung said: Something is there, but it is, by our current understanding, unknown.



Here are two parts that I personally find interesting, while others may not...

"As the project began to wind down, Rutledge noted in later interviews that some balls of plasma, 2-6 inches in diameter, would actually follow him around and even appear inside buildings. He found, as do many people who become intrigued by the UFO phenomenon, that the deeper you go into it, strange things begin happening. An observation once made by John Keel seems appropriate. Keel mentioned that if you notice and become interested in the phenomenon, it can notice you and become interested in you. That is essentially what Rutledge concluded."


The Hitchhiker strikes again! For a staunch sceptic such as Rutledge was before he visited Piermont, it is quite an alarming and disturbing conclusion - and not one the tabloid press would be eager to report to the masses since a lazy analysis would point to signs of paranoia or an underlying insanity, but this is not supported by the calibre of man that the good Doctor was.


Rutledge, who lived in Cape Girardeau, eventually began seeing UFOs frequently from his yard and sat up an observation team there on several occasions. In one quite peculiar case, he watched a 200-foot long "bullet-shaped" object silently fly over the Mississippi River. Rutledge wrote, "It was not like anything I had seen before. I looked at the craft. It had no wings. I did a double-take: It had no tail structure either. ... A slight feeling of nausea overcame me. Any lingering doubt I had about the existence of UFOs had vanished with the object." He even speculated that the many objects that had been observed during the project had a propulsion system that was "electromagnetic radiation in the form of microwaves."


Is it possible this spectacular sighting was deliberately staged for him? But by whom or by What? From plasma balls to actual solid craft that seemed to 'play' with him during his own personal time away from ufology, this all forms a pretty creepy climax to the whole Piedmont Mystery in his case.

And I can quite understand his feeling of "nausea" - as if he would have questioned his own sanity were it not for having an observation team present to ground his senses. I wonder if he actually regretted ever dipping his toe into the UFO field and all its associated rabbit-holes?

So, yes, contrary to those who dismiss his work, it seems to be of more importance than ever these days, especially if one is considering an inter-dimensional hypothesis for the phenomenon - which is probably a cue for The GUT to chime in.

Come in, GUT, don't be shy.


edit on 18-7-2019 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit


Is it possible this spectacular sighting was deliberately staged for him? But by whom or by What? From plasma balls to actual solid craft that seemed to 'play' with him during his own personal time away from ufology, this all forms a pretty creepy climax to the whole Piedmont Mystery in his case.


As I've always believed, this is exactly how spiritual entities work. They like attaching themselves to people. They have the ability to appear and disappear at will in all kinds of phsyical shapes and forms.



posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 08:07 PM
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originally posted by: Deetermined

As I've always believed, this is exactly how spiritual entities work. They like attaching themselves to people. They have the ability to appear and disappear at will in all kinds of phsyical shapes and forms.


In Rutledge's case, I don't sense that it was a malevolent force at work - more 'playful' if anything, so ostensibly one could argue that he had nothing to fear. Except fear of the unknown, as they say. Same goes for a 'hitchhiker' experience I think I may have had many years ago. I mentioned it recently (with initial hesitance); shall I briefly describe it again? Why not, it's my thread, I suppose...

As a teen, I thought 'something' had attached itself to me for three days after some friends and I explored the outside of an infamously haunted house in our area. It was meant to be a laugh until we looked through a gap in one boarded-up window and saw what I can only describe as a black 'mass' rush towards our faces. We freaked and scarpered. Returning home, I sensed a presence in the kitchen of all places, and one night my Mum heard her name called from there while I was asleep. She even went down to the kitchen to investigate - nobody there, but for three days the kitchen door occasionally opened itself despite being shut firmly. My Mum knew nothing of my haunted house escapade, and I found the kitchen a distinctly uncomfortable area.

And then it subsided. I soon shrugged it off as my imagination, the wind, and my Mum mishearing noises, and never thought much about it again until joining ATS.

[No UFOs involved, although my wife had quite a dramatic sighting of a Black Triangle as a teenager, and I later had poltergeist experiences in a Cornwall house that also hosted far more weird goings-on (including UFOs albeit not seen by me - dammit!), but I won't bore people to death with that bizarre story again; it's in my ATS introductory thread from last August.]

So, I'm cautiously open to the hitchhiker hypothesis, even though there may be a perfectly normal explanation for my particular experience. I think it's very possible that Rutledge did have an uninvited guest, but I have doubts about Dr Eric Davis's similar claims after working at Skinwalker Ranch - maybe I just have far more trust in the openness of Rutledge's approach compared to the whole Skinwalker case that was shrouded in so much Bigelow secrecy, confusion, lack of open evidence, and with a distinct air of 'entertainment' attached to it.


edit on 18-7-2019 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 05:57 AM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

Got to love that Ali interview mate - classic stuff.


Also looks like John Keel claims he successfully predicted the UFO flap which 'would be concentrated in the Mississippi Valley'.



In the course of my conversation a month ago with these people, I laid out some predictions based on the patterns of previous flaps. I really put my neck out. All of my predictions are coming true. I was able to tell them that the sightings would be concentrated in the Mississippi Valley and move up to the Ohio Valley by the end of October. They are seen everywhere, but the heaviest concentration seems to be in the Mississippi Valley. 

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