UFOs as mirages

The UFO Files by David Clarke

One thing I like about this book is the way he places the public concept of UFOs in the context of the time period involved, and then he shows how that concept changes and evolves as the time context changes. Other than that, it is yet another historical account of the modern UFO era, and I have read many. This one has a British slant to it and a number of new cases have been published, but it seems to me, to be just more of the same. For instance, there are the usual numerous accounts of jets being scrambled to chase some visual or radar will-o’-the wisp, but not much elucidation as to what they might be. Toward the end of the book he does touch on this to a small degree, but I believe it is possible to make some pretty good speculations on what many of them might be. Here is one that I think was missed entirely:

Radar and particle accelerators are siblings in time. Both were dependent on the prior invention of the klystron tube by the Varian brothers in the late 1930s. Radar, of course, found an almost immediate military application and it use became wide spread during WWII.Today there must be many thousands of people who are intimately familiar with this technology. The technology of particle accelerators, on the other hand, has remained rather esoteric. Other than its use in research facilities, its most common application is the inner workings of machines used for zapping cancer tumors. This is not to say that a military use hasn’t been investigated, and there was some brief public mention of it as a “Star Wars” weapon during the Reagan administration. If a military application of this technology has been developed, it has been kept under pretty tight wraps. The best speculation that I have found is by one Tom Mahood. Here is a link. Maybe you are familiar with it. It’s probably because I have some exposure to particle accelerators myself that I find his analysis so believable.

Mahood himself is an interesting study. The way I understand it, he was originally trained as a civil engineer and worked in the area of traffic control. Somewhere along the line he developed an interest in UFOs and, in particular, the goings on at Area 51. His investigations so intrigued him that he went back to school and obtained a masters degree in physics in order better understand what he was observing. He apparently worked as a physicist for a period of time specializing in research on gravity. Somewhere along the line he apparently lost interest in UFOs, and the last I read he was back working in his old field of traffic control. I tried to contact him once at the email address shown at the bottom of his essay but I received no reply.

Here is another speculation that I believe deserves more attention: Most people have a rudimentary concept of what a mirage is, but I think the phenomenon is larger than is generally realized. Mirages are usually divided into inferior and superior depending on whether the false horizon is below the natural horizon or above it. In addition, they are also active at night which I believe is not generally understood. For a mirage at night one may not see anything at all unless the scene observed has a source of light in it. Suppose, for example, there is a brightly lit interstate crossing which is surrounded by dark desert, and this is observed courtesy of a superior mirage at some distant location. Observers at the distant location would see a formation of lights in the sky at some elevation above the horizon. The lights may even appear to move if there is some undulation in the temperature inversion layer that caused the mirage in the first place. Maybe the famous Phoenix lights could be explained in this manner.

It seems to me that the two speculations above have the potential to explain many sightings — one way or the other.

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Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 The UFO Files No Comments