Australian UFO Researcher
Simon Harvey-Wilson


Simon Harvey-Wilson

One reason that is often given as to why the US government has not been studying the UFO phenomenon, or does not have a crashed UFO hidden somewhere, is that if it did, military hardware, or technological advances, would have appeared over the last few decades that did not have a convincing research and development background. In other words the scientists involved would not have been able to explain where they got their ideas from without mentioning UFOs.

This attitude of course assumes that these hypothetical classified military researchers are such idiots that they would give the game away in this fashion, which is not very likely. But it does raise an interesting question. How do you take advantage of an alien-inspired technological development without raising suspicion? One solution would be to keep it in reserve, perhaps for years, until normal human ingenuity invented it anyway, although it is hard to imagine that any government would be that patient.

On the other hand, the process might work the other way round. Even if they do not have any recovered UFOs, the US military could not have failed to accumulate a comprehensive data base on the appearance and performance characteristics of UFOs. (Some of that information might even have come from reading UFO magazines.) In addition to their own classified research, if the military analysed normal scientific discoveries from unclassified sources, sooner or later something might turn up to help them understand more about UFOs. In this respect the general public could be seen as a money saving source of back-engineering by proxy. It is well known that patent offices in most western nations will confiscate (or should that be 'steal'), and then classify, any invention that they consider has national security potential.
Bearing this in mind, consider this recent invention. On 23rd November 1994 a photo and four line caption appeared in the Western Australian newspaper called 'The Sunday Times'. It showed a small glass sphere on a long stalk next to a much larger-by-comparison commercial light bulb. Datelined "Washington", it read: "This electrodeless sulphur lamp, which blasts gas with microwaves to produce a bright white light much more cheaply than conventional bulbs, has been invented by Fusion Lighting Inc for the Defence Department. One lamp can replace nearly 100 conventional high-intensity bulbs.”

I heard no more about these lamps, and they certainly didn't appear in my local hardware store, until I picked up the December 1995 edition of 'Popular Science' magazine. There, as part of their 8th Annual 'Best of What's New Awards', was another small article on the SOLAR l000 sulphur bulbs, as they now seem to be called, which were the magazine's Grand Award Winner in the Environmental Technology' section.

The article claimed that the bulbs put out more light than ninety 100-watt incandescents and consumed 25% to 50% less energy. "Microwaves excite sulphur powder inside the bulb's hollow quartz sphere. The resulting glow resembles natural light, which is more aesthetically pleasing than that of many fluorescent or mercury-vapour bulbs.” Apparently the bulbs were due to hit the market in the 1996 northern spring for use in large buildings, such as factories or shopping malls.

So what is so interesting about some newly invented bulbs that produce a blindingly bright light by stimulating sulphur with microwaves? Perhaps nothing, but they do have three features in common with UFOs.

Firstly, UFOs too are sometimes blindingly bright, yet witnesses often report that this light seems different from the normal bright lights they encounter in their daily life. Perhaps the same technology is used to illuminate the outside of UFOs, although conventional wisdom among ufologists suggests that this is done by somehow causing the atmosphere around the craft to fluoresce. It has been suggested that UFOs can switch this brightness on and off in order to attract our attention. Abductees also often report a puzzling, seemingly sourceless, light inside UFOs.

Puzzling light sources are not limited to UFOs. Sometimes a bright paranormal light is seen around saints and mystics. For example, in the late sixteenth century the Spanish priest Francis Suarez was seen by a fellow priest to be levitating nearly a metre off the ground surrounded by a blinding light while deep in prayer in his room.

Secondly, as well as being dazzlingly bright, some UFOs are known to give off powerful microwaves, which is just radiation or 'light' from that part of the electromagnetic spectrum that falls between infrared and very short radio waves. The microwave band has wavelengths between 30cm and lmm and is best known for its use in microwave ovens and radar. Microwaves from UFOs are sometimes pulsed, for reasons that we do not know. It has been suggested that this radiation may be a product of the craft's propulsion, or some sort of defensive system. It may also be how some UFOs create the bright plasma field that surrounds them.

Modern research has shown that microwaves can be used to affect the mind. This radiation might be used by UFOs as a form of camouflage to make witnesses 'see' the UFO as a less threatening object such as a cloud or helicopter; to prevent them from seeing the UFO at all; or to project a reassuring voice into the witness’ head.

Thirdly, UFOs, aliens, poltergeists, and even haunted houses, are occasionally associated with an offensive smell which is sometimes sulphurous in nature. The sulphur connection is perhaps the most interesting, mainly because it has a longer history. Microwaves are only a relatively recent discovery, whereas the human nose has been around for a lot longer. Likewise, it is now being suggested that UFOs and the Close Encounter phenomenon has been with us for centuries, and that evidence for this can be found in folklore, mythology, carvings, cave paintings and religious history.

Sulphur is the ninth most common element in the universe, and has a long and chequered history. From a chemist's perspective it is a non-metallic, very reactive, element that is essential to life. It is number 16 on the Periodic Table of the Elements, sandwiched between phosphorous at 15, and chlorine at 17, and is an ingredient in many chemicals, such as sulphuric acid. Sulphur is used to make gunpowder, in the vulcanizing of rubber, and unfortunately it is an ingredient in acid rain and mustard gas.

UFOs have frequently been reported flying around, or even into, volcanoes. Sulphur is plentiful in volcanic regions where its healing properties have been used for centuries either applied to the skin, or in traditional mineral drinks. Sulphur drugs are still used by modem medicine in the treatment of skin diseases. As a solid, sulphur is yellow, but when burnt in air it produces a blue flame and sulphur dioxide, a colourless, pungent, suffocating gas which can be used as a food preservative.

A gas that may be sulphurous is reported in numerous Close Encounters. In his book Dimensions Jacques Vallee reports on a strange, possibly alien being named 'Springheel Jack' that terrified residents of London back in 1837. On at least two occasions, when confronted, Jack made good his escape by spurting a fiery gas that burnt with a blue flame and rendered his victim unconscious. Vallee reports that elves were also said to be capable of affecting, or harming, humans by emitting some sort of noxious breath. In his classic books Passport to Magonia and Dimensions Vallee details the connection between today's close encounter reports and much older descriptions of entities such as fairies, elves and dwarfs. He suggests that these earlier creatures may be the same entities that we now call 'aliens'.

In the 1964 Cisco Grove UFO incident in California, a robotic looking entity emitted smoke, vapour, or gas, from its 'mouth' in an apparent attempt to get a witness down out of a tree. The effect of the odourless gas on the witness was one of gasping for breath, and then losing consciousness.

Further back in history sulphur was believed to be an ingredient in hell-fire and lightning. In fact brimstone is the ancient biblical term for sulphur. In alchemical tradition sulphur represented the soul, or the fiery male principle, which was opposed by the spirit, or watery female principle, represented by the element mercury. In the cryptography, or secret writing, of the alchemist, sulphur was represented by an equilateral triangle standing on its base. A triangle is hardly an original symbol but it would be interesting to compile a report on all the different symbols that witnesses have see on the outside of UFOs, or on the clothing of aliens, to see how often, and in what context, triangles appeared.

In the middle ages unpleasant sulphurous smells were associated with the devil. There was even a female demon, called a succubus, who seemed obsessed with obtaining semen from sleeping men, while one called an incubus could adopt various disguises to achieve its aim of impregnating women.

It is easy to see how a society dominated by religious thinking could associate the appearance of strange, occasionally foul smelling, entities with the devil. Today's abductees should perhaps be thankful that we live in marginally more tolerant times. It is estimated that in Europe over a 250 year period, starting in the mid-fifteenth century, about 150,000 to 200,000 people were executed for witchcraft, which included having sexual contact with the devil. Today in the late 20th century, such sexual interference is more likely to be attributed to 'aliens'. Unfortunately that doesn't mean that we know very much more about the origins of these entities. In his book 'Ufology' James M. McCampbell gives a list of the various other unpleasant smells associated with UFO sightings.

Do the three similarities of bright light, microwaves, and sulphur, prove that this new type of light was inspired by classified UFO research? Of course not. But noting, and speculating on, such similarities is one of the few inexpensive and interesting research methods available to poorly funded ufologists until either the military comes clean, we obtain a crashed UF0, or they land and are kind enough to hand us a spare workshop manual.

Parapsychology and the UFO by Manfred Cassirer, 1988
Occultism by Julien Tondnau, 1972
Dimensions by Jacques Vallee, 1988
Passport to Magonia by Jacques Vallee, 1969
Miracles: A Scientific Exploration by D. Scott Rogo, 1983
Ufology by Jarnes M. McCampbell, 1976
International UFO Reporter Winter 1995, Vol 20, no 5.
Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, 1991

Source: Journal of Alternative Realities - Volume 2, March 1996


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