Best UFO Cases” by Isaac Koi

PART 9:    Consensus lists : Fortean Times expert poll (2007)

 

Earlier Parts of this article have considered several earlier polls of ufologist to determine any consensus as to the “best” UFO cases. In particular, I have discussed a poll by Jacques Vallee in 1965 (see PART 5), by Ronald Story in 1979 (see PART 6), a “Vox Populi” poll by Paul Kimball in 2006 (see PART 7) and a poll of experts by Paul Kimball in 2005/2006 (see PART 8).  This Part considers a poll of ufologists by “The Fortean Times” Magazine in 2007.

 

The “Fortean Times” magazine is a British publication devoted to “The World of Strange Phenomena”. It has a website at the link below:

http://www.forteantimes.com/

 

The June 2007 edition of that magazine (issue FT 225) celebrated “60 Years of UFOs” and the front cover refers to “The Best Evidence”.

 

For that issue, the Fortean Times indicates that it “asked 16 prominent researchers from very different backgrounds” to answer several questions, including the following:

“What do you believe to be the most evidential – or, to look at it from a slightly different angle, genuinely unexplained – UFO case from the period 1947-2007” (Footnote 9.01).

 

I note in passing that, in fact, the views of 18 (not 16) researchers are included within the relevant article.

 

The article “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” featured views on this question from the following researchers (in alphabetical order), who discussed the following cases. I summarise their relevant discussions in more detail later in this Part.  As detailed in that discussion, it is important to note that many of the references to specific cases were not in fact direct responses to the question above but were instead relevant to various different issues and/or subject to various caveats.

 

  1. Greg Bishop : RB-47; Father Gill.
  2. Peter Brookesmith : Kenneth Arnold; Betty and Barney Hill.
  3. Thomas E Bullard :  Minot, South Dakota on 24 October 1968.
  4. Bill Chalker : Sea Fury case, 31 August 1954.
  5. Jerome Clark : RB-47 radar/visual case of 17 July 1957.
  6. David Clarke : Livingston, Scotland case; RAF Topcliffe case.
  7. Hilary Evans : Manchester, 14 November 1977.
  8. Stanton Friedman : Betty and Barney Hill abduction.
  9. Gary Heseltine : STS 75 “Tether” incident.
  10. Pierre Lagrange : green fireballs sightings; Hessdalen lights.
  11. Luis R Gonzalez Manso : Galdar incident, Spain.
  12. Nick Pope : Rendlesham Forest.
  13. Jenny Randles : Newmill, Cornwall, 17 September 1977.
  14. Nick Redfern : RAF West Freugh, Scotland.
  15. Andy Roberts : Livingston, Scotland case; RAF Topcliffe case.
  16. Robert Rosamond (of BUFORA) : Frederick Valentich, 1978.
  17. John Spencer (of BUFORA) : Frederick Valentich, 1978.
  18. Bruce Lanier Wright : Cash-Landrum incident.

 

In addition to the question above about the “most evidential” single case, the Fortean Times poll asked researchers to nominate the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most. The answers to this question were not included in the relevant issue of the Fortean Times, but the answers from various researchers were made available on the Fortean Times website at the link below (see Footnote 9.02) and are summarised later in this Part:

http://tinyurl.com/2z89bq

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/525/60_years_of_ufos_the_top_ten_cases.html

 

Views on the “top ten” cases from the following individuals were included in the relevant section of the Fortean Times website:

  1. Greg Bishop
  2. Thomas E Bullard
  3. Bill Chalker
  4. David Clarke
  5. Hilary Evans
  6. Stanton Friedman
  7. Gary Heseltine
  8. Nick Pope
  9. Jenny Randles
  10. Andy Roberts

 

By comparing the two lists of researchers given above, it can be seen that lists of “top 10” cases were not published on the Fortean Times website from the following 8 members of the Fortean Times “panel” of researchers:

  1. Peter Brookesmith;
  2. Jerome Clark;
  3. Pierre Lagrange;
  4. Luis R Gonzalez Manso;
  5. Nick Redfern;
  6. Robert Rosamond (of BUFORA);
  7. John Spencer (of BUFORA);
  8. Bruce Lanier Wright.

 

It is not clear from the relevant issue of the Fortean Times (nor from the Fortean Times website) whether lists of the “top 10” cases were requested from each of these researchers and/or provided by them.

 

As with the polls by Jacques Vallee and Ronald Story, the organisers of the Fortean Times poll considered that no consensus emerged from their poll about which cases are the “most evidential”. The editorial (by editors David Sutton, Bob Rickard and Paul Sieveking) of the relevant issue of the Fortean Times contains the following comments:

 

“Unsurprisingly, the results revealed a wide variety of opinion … and a range of cases (from radar-sightings and airborne encounters to abductions) that serves to remind us what a multi-faceted affair the UFO mystery has been from the start.  And if there is any consensus to be achieved, its basis might lie in the acceptance that, rather than looking at a unitary ‘mystery’, we are in fact confronted with a whole range of strange experiences, belief systems, natural phenomena and cultural processes which have been lumped together in such a way as to frequently obscure a more complex reality” (Footnote 9.03).

 

 

Before turning to the various views expressed by each of the above individuals, I think it is worth asking whether there would have been more of a consensus could have been achieved by adopting a different approach.

 

What if the members of the relevant “panel” had been put in a room together and told to discuss their respective nominations and seek agreement on the cases to be selected (or at least upon relevant criteria for selecting cases), instead of simply asking individual ufologists to nominate cases?

 

Would the result still have been “a wide variety of opinion … and a range of cases”?

 

There are several reasons for thinking that some degree of consensus may in fact have been possible if such an approach had been adopted, including the following:

 

Firstly, there are a few cases that appear in several of the lists, for example the RB-47 case, (although the degree of overlap is very limited).

 

Secondly, and probably more significantly, the ability to reach a greater consensus is suggested by the results of several attempts in the past that involved discussion between ufologists of the cases to be put forward. It is perhaps rather surprising that those attempts are not discussed more often, given the frequency with which sceptics challenge ufologists to nominate their best cases.  Two of the most significant such attempts are discussed in the next two Parts of this article – Part 10 (in relation to the National Enquirer Panel) and Part 11 (in relation to the Rockefeller Briefing Document).

 

Thirdly, part of the disparity in the views expressed in the Fortean Times poll appears to be due to the fact that not all of the respondents directly addressed the questions that were posed to them. Instead, several of the respondents expressed views which actually addressed various different questions and/or imposed various different restrictions upon the range of cases considered.

 

It is obviously difficult to achieve consensus when different questions are addressed. The reasons for various respondents failing to directly respond to the question about the “most evidential … UFO case from the period 1947-2007” are not entirely clear, but it appears that various respondents imposed different restrictions (expressly or impliedly) upon the cases they wanted to discuss.  These restrictions were imposed for various reasons:

 

  1. Some respondents appear to wish to avoid boring readers by referring to the same old cases. For example, Bill Chalker’s response begins by noting that he is “avoiding the usual suspects” (Footnote 9.09).  However, this may mean that his answer does not indicate his true views as to “the most evidential” case – since he may highly rate one or more of the “usual suspects”. As noted in various other Parts of this article, when a researcher suggests that to a relatively unknown case is one of the “best”,  there is generally little follow-up discussion of that case and it will rarely be mentioned in subsequent discussions.  This may be partly because fellow researchers may be afraid of appearing ignorant by asking for further details or references to relevant information. References to “new” cases in this context also appears to contribute to the concerns expressed by various sceptics about ufologists shifting the goal-posts by moving on to discuss “new” cases whenever the sceptics have (or consider that they have) solved the cases previously advanced by ufologists as being the “best”.

 

  1. Several of the respondents indicated that they wished to restrict their consideration to, or give greater weight to, cases that they had personally investigated (e.g. Jenny Randles, David Clarke, Andy Roberts).  As noted in later Parts of this article, when considering the weight to be given to any particular case many researchers stress the importance of the quality of the investigation(s) into that case.  A sketchy report from a tabloid newspaper of a case allegedly involving several witnesses is generally given less weight by most researchers than a similar case investigated by an experienced ufologist or skeptic.  By favouring cases that have been investigated personally, a researcher is obviously very well placed to judge the quality and depth of the relevant investigation (subject to the important caveat that a researcher’s own opinion of his own investigations may be somewhat biased).  A researcher’s desire to refer to cases which he has personally investigated is therefore perfectly understandable.  However, given that very few cases have been investigated by numerous researchers, if consideration is limited to cases personally investigated then this would effectively rule out a consensus (particularly between researchers from different countries, since few researchers have the time or resources to personally investigate many cases from other countries).

 

  1. Some respondents clearly prefer to discuss cases from their own part of the world (e.g. Bill Chalker, David Clarke and Andy Roberts). In the case of researchers from outside the USA, this may in part be because they wish to discuss cases which are not well known to most readers (since the UFO literature is largely dominated by discussion of cases from the USA). Also, the desire to discuss local cases appears in some instances to reflect the point discussed above (i.e. the desire to discuss cases personally investigated, or investigated by an associated researcher). Whatever the reasons for this desire, if each researcher tends to nominate cases from his own region/country, then this effectively prevents the reaching of any consensus between researchers from different countries.

 

Furthermore, various difficulties arise from the wording of the question itself. The question was: “What do you believe to be the most evidential – or, to look at it from a slightly different angle, genuinely unexplained – UFO case from the period 1947-2007?”. The first ambiguity relates to the concept of the “most evidential case”. “Evidential” of what?  Aliens? An issue worth investigating (whether physical, psychological or sociological)?   Something unexplained (as implied by equating the “most evidential” case with one which is “genuinely unexplained”)? This is not matter of mere semantics.  Case selection depends upon the precise purpose of that selection.  There are a number of cases which researchers may select because they arguably imply an unexplained natural phenomenon, whereas completely different cases might be selected if the purpose of the selection is to point at the cases which most strongly suggest extraterrestrial visitors.

 

The question as worded was clearly a difficult one for sceptics to answer. The answers indicate that the sceptics struggled with the question as posed, and therefore tended to be the most likely to decide to discuss a different issue (see, for example, the answers given by Peter Brookesmith and Luis R Gonzalez Manso). It may be that greater consensus could have been obtained if the question did not make contentious assumptions, e.g. the implicit assumption that there are some genuinely unexplained cases. Instead, a question could have been formulated in a more objective manner. Obviously, it would be desirable for the relevant question to be discussed and (ideally) agreed between the individuals that are going to answer the question. One possible formulation is: “what single case would you suggest should be put forward to sceptics and scientists to motivate them to investigate UFO reports”?

 

 

In any event, the cases nominated by each of the individuals included in the lists above were as follows.

 

  1. Greg Bishop

 

Greg Bishop’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case refers to two cases (Footnote 9.04). He begins by suggesting that “the best case among a consensus of UFO researchers right now” seems to be the RB-47 case from 1957.  However, the varied answers given by the members of the Panel do not support that contention that such a consensus exists.  It is not clear that Greg Bishop himself considers that the RB-47 is the “best case”, particularly since he states that his “favourite unexplained case” is the Father Gill incident from Papua New Guinea.  Adding somewhat to the confusion, a list of 10 cases submitted to the Fortean Times website does not include either of these two cases.

 

Greg Bishop’s contribution to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website refers to the following 10 cases, prefaced with the statement that “I do not choose these from an evidentiary standpoint, they are simply personal favourites”.

 

The 10 cases put forward by Greg Bishop were stated in chronological order, as follows (Footnote 9.05):


1. Flatwoods Monster – West Virginia, USA, 1952 (Case 38 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
2. Kelly-Hopkinsville – Kentucky, USA, 1955 (Case 14 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
3. Antonio Villas-Boas case – Brazil, 1957 (Case 7 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
4. Along Pan-American highway, Chile, 1950s.
5. Rex Heflin sighting and photos – Santa Ana, CA, USA, 1965 (Case 62 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
6. Mothman Sightings – West Virginia, USA, 1966.
7. Herbert Schirmer – Ashland, NB, USA, 1967 (Case 20 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
8. Pascagoula Abduction – Mississippi, USA, 1973 (Case 9 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
9. Scary Night – Thousand Oaks, CA, USA, 1975.
10. Cash-Landrum Incident – Texas, USA, 1980 (Case 30 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).

 

 

 

  1. Peter Brookesmith

 

In response to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case, Peter Brookesmith indicated that he considered the most interesting cases to be “those that have had the greatest cultural effect” (rather than any cases that are “evidential of anything extraterrestrial – or interdimensional, or geological, or biological, or anything else physically strange”). Thus, his answer to the question may be considered to be non-responsive.  The case that he considered to have had “the greatest cultural effect” was Kenneth Arnold’s first sighting, in June 1947, with Betty and Barney Hill’s alleged abduction in 1961 “sitting next to” Arnold’s sighting (Footnote 9.06).

 

The relevant section of the Fortean Times website does not refer to Peter Brookesmith’s response (if any) to nominate the top ten UFO cases.

 

 

 

  1. Thomas E Bullard

Thomas E Bullard nominated the radar-visual case near Minot, South Dakota on 24 October 1968 in response to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case, referring to this case as “one that does not fall apart into a comedy of errors as we learn more about it, but only grows in strength” (Footnote 9.07).  Dr Bullard’s contribution to the relevant article is also noteworthy for its discussion of criteria for selecting the best cases (an issue considered in Part 15).

 

In the section of the Fortean Times website that supplements the Fortean Times article about the views of members of the relevant Panel, Thomas E Bullard indicates that he would add the following five cases that he has “studied at some length” that “seem worthy to me – the strange, well-supported, tried-and-tested survivors” (Footnote 9.08):

 

1) The Father Gill case from 1959 (Case 15 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
2) Barney and Betty Hill, 1961 (Case 2 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
3) Exeter, New Hampshire, 1965 (Case 29 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
4) The January, 2000, southern Illinois police chase case.
5) Robozero Marvel (1663 AD)

 

It is not clear from the relevant section of the Fortean Times website whether Thomas E Bullard’s response to the request for the top ten cases was limited to these additional 5 cases (and, if so, why).

 

 

  1. Bill Chalker

 

Bill Chalker’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 refers to the “multiple-witness, radar-visual case” involving an Australian Navy Sea Fury plane piloted by Lt James O’ Farrell on 31 August 1954 over Australia.  It is noteworthy, however, that Bill Chalker’s response begins by noting that he is “avoiding the usual suspects”. Therefore he answer may not indicate his views as to “the most evidential” case (Footnote 9.09).

 

Bill Chalker’s contribution to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website refers to the following 10 cases, with an indication that the list represents “Bill's personal 'top ten' regional Australasian case list” (Footnote 9.10).  Given the restriction imposed on this list, as with several of the other responses to the questions posed by the Fortean Times, the list (whilst interesting) may be considered to be non-responsive to the request for the “top ten” cases.

 

1. 31 August 1954 : Sea Fury case, near Goulbourn, NSW, Australia
2. 23 July 1992 : Peter Khoury “Hair of Alien” DNA case, Sydney, Australia
3. 27 June 1959 : Father Gill sighting (Case 15 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
4. 30 September 1980 : George Blackwell, Rosedale, Victoria, Australia
5. 8 August 1993 : Kelly Cahill’s abduction experience
6. 19 January 1966 : George Pedley’s UFO nest encounter (Case 99 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
7. 14 April 1966 : Ron Sullivan’s “bent headlight beam” experience
8. 6 April 1966 : Westall school daylight UFO landing encounter.
9. 1977–78 : Gisborne UFO abduction milieu
10. May – August 1973 : Tyringham Dundurrabin intense UFO flap

 

Since the top cases in this list are not in chronological order, and since the list begins with Bill Chalker favourite case, the order of the cases may reflect Bill Chalker’s views as to their respective evidential merit.

 

 

  1. Jerome Clark

 

In response to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case, Jerome Clark refers to the RB-47 radar/visual case of 17 July 1957. He states that this case “alone should have settled the issue” of “the reality of UFOs as extraordinary anomalies, technological and not Earth-based” (Footnote 9.11).

 

The relevant section of the Fortean Times website does not refer to Jerome Clark’s response (if any) to the request to nominate the top ten UFO cases.

 

 

  1. David Clarke

David Clarke and Andy Roberts provided comments jointly.

Their answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 refers to two cases (Footnote 9.12). They selected “one multi- and one solo-witnessed” case.  In the former category, they discuss Bob Taylor’s sighting at Livingston, Scotland on 9 November 1979. In the latter category, they discuss the sightings at RAF Topcliffe on 21 September 1952, during the NATO Mainbrace exercise.  In a comment that may surprise those that perceive Clarke and Roberts and die-hard sceptics, they comment that both cases are “genuinely unexplained”.

The joint contribution by David Clarke and Andy Roberts to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website refers to the following 10 cases, with an indication that the list represents their “Top Ten list of ‘classic’ unresolved UFO cases, incorporating our two ‘best’ cases, and reflecting our bias towards UK incidents that we have personally investigated or researched” (Footnote 9.13):


1. RAF Lakenheath-Bentwaters (see FT213:28-32) (Case 21 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
2. RAF Farnborough, Hampshire (see FT164:43).
3. Livingston incident, Scotland, 1979 (Case 86 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
4. Exercise Mainbrace sightings, September and October 1952 (Case 90 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
5. Rendlesham Forest (see FT204:32–39) (Case 18 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
6. PC Alan Godfrey’s encounter, Todmorden, 28 November 1980 (Case 56 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
7. Cynthia Appleton “contactee” story, Birmingham, 1957-58. (see FT191:32-38)
8. Ilkley alien photo, West Yorkshire, 1 December 1987.
9. Stephen Darbishire photo, Coniston, Cumbria, February 1954 (Case 91 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
10. Alitalia UFO, 21 April 1991. (See FT194:23).

 

 

They also refer to Roswell. However, the reference to Roswell was not in the context of one of the “best” cases. Instead, they state that Roswell wins their special category of “Most over-hyped UFO Case”.

 

 

  1. Hilary Evans

The answer given by Hilary Evans to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 refers to a sighting involving four passengers getting off a bus from central Manchester on 14 November 1977 (Footnote 9.14). As with several other respondents, the answer does not appear to directly answer the question.  Hilary Evans states that he has “little doubt that there is a mundane explanation for this incident”.  Instead of selecting “the most evidential” UFO case, Hilary Evans appears to have selected a case that intrigues him due to the response of the witnesses to the sighting.

The contribution by Hilary Evans to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website includes the following: “As for the ten ‘best cases’, this is, of course, an impossible request. … really, there’s hardly a case in the files that doesn’t have its own dimension of speculation and wonder!” (Footnote 9.15). Despite that response, he did go on to discuss a limited number of specific cases. Those cases were:

1.  Hessdalen lights
2. 1980 Piedmont, Missouri, observations by Harley Rutledge.
3. 1974 report ‘The Utah UFO display’.
4. 1959 Boinai Father Gill sightings (Case 15 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
5. Crop Circles enigma,
6. Betty and Barney Hill (Case 2 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)

 

 

 

  1. Stanton Friedman

The answer given by Stanton Friedman to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 refers to the Betty and Barney Hill abduction case and states that “this is my ‘top case’”.  However, he comments on the difficulty of selecting the best case from the “enormous variety of excellent cases”, stating that “it’s hard to compare the taste of watermelons and shrimp” (Footnote 9.16).

The contribution by Stanton Friedman to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website begins by stating that he doesn’t “like top-10 lists”. However, he went on to state that “here is a fast pass...” and listed the following ten cases (Footnote 9.17):

1. The Betty and Barney Hill case (Case 2 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
2. Roswell (Case 4 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
3. The Yukon mother ship case
4. The RB 47 case (Case 63 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
5. Rendlesham, 1980 (Case 18 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
6. Iran, 1976 (Case 47 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
7. McMinnville, Oregon, 1950 (Case 17 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
8. The Travis Walton case, Arizona (Case 11 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
9. Malmstrom Air Force Base.
10. Delphos, Kansas (Case 60 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).

 

 

 

 

  1. Gary Heseltine

The answer given by Gary Heseltine to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 discusses the STS 75 “Tether” incident from 1997 as his “choice as the most important piece” (Footnote 9.18).

The contribution by Gary Heseltine to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website lists the following cases , with an indication that they are his “top ten, in chronological order” (Footnote 9.19):

1. On 11 August 1944, whilst over France, a Lancaster bomber crew.
2. The Great Falls, Montana, cine footage from August 1950(Case 41 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
3. The RAF Lakenheath radar-visual sighting of August 13–14, 1956 (Case 21 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
4. Colonel Gordon Cooper, UFO landing at Edwards Air Force Base in 1957 (Case 79 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
5. Tehran, Iran, Jet Chase, early hours of 19 September 1976 (Case 47 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
6. Rendlesham Forest, 26-28 December 1980 (Case 18 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
7. Japan Airlines, 17 November 1986 (Case 89 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
8. Belgium, night of 30–31 March 1990 (Case 40 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
9. The Tether Incident, STS 75, 1997.
10. Campeche region of Mexico, March 2004.

 

 

  1. Pierre Lagrange

Pierre Lagrange’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 discusses two series of UFO sighting, firstly the green fireballs in 1948-1949 and secondly the Hessdalen lights (Footnote 9.20).

The relevant section of the Fortean Times website does not refer to Pierre Lagrange’s response (if any) to the request to nominate the top ten UFO cases.

 

 

 

  1. Luis R Gonzalez Manso

Luis R Gonzalez Manso’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 indicates that his conclusion that he “cannot cite any genuinely unexplained case”. Thus, his discussion of the Galdar incident is clearly in the context of “one of the more interesting Spanish” IFO cases, rather than a direct answer to the request for “the most evidential” UFO case (Footnote 9.21).

The relevant section of the Fortean Times website does not refer to Luis R Gonzalez Manso’s response (if any) to the request to nominate the top ten UFO cases.

 

 

 

  1. Nick Pope

Nick Pope’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 discusses the Rendlesham Forest incident, describing it as “probably the world’s most significant UFO case” (Footnote 9.22).

The contribution by Nick Pope to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website lists the following cases as being his top ten. Since the list is not in chronological order, and begins with the case that he viewed as most valuable, it is possible that the order reflect Nick Pope’s respective ranking of these cases (Footnote 9.23):

1. Rendlesham Forest Incident, December 1980 (Case 18 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
2. The Belgian Wave, March 1990 (Case 40 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
3. The Cosford Incident, March 1993.
4. RAF Lakenheath/RAF Bentwaters, August 1956 (Case 21 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
5. Manchester Airport, 1995.
6. Captain Zaghetti’s Sighting, 1991.
7. Pitlochry Photograph, 1990.
8. Iranian Intercept, 1976 (Case 47 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
9. North Sea Overtake, 1990.
10. Captain Graham Sheppard, 1967.

 

 

 

  1. Jenny Randles

 

Jenny Randles’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 discusses a sighting by a young couple on17 September 1977 in Newmill, Cornwall. She states that she found this case to be “particularly impressive”, but also staets that she “would not regard a single case as proof” (Footnote 9.24).

In the contribution by Jenny Randles to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website, she states that she generally declines requests to provide a “top ten” list “as no case is immune from resolution”. Instead, her list is subject to the caveat that “this is a list of cases (in date order) that interest me right now. All may, or may not, become explained”. She also indicates that her list is limited to cases “with which I have either had direct involvement or have had the opportunity to meet witnesses / or investigators and discuss the evidence” (Footnote 9.25).

1. Sept/Oct 1947, Himalayan Foothills, Tibet
2. 24 May 1964, Burgh Marsh, Cumbria.
3. 1 July 1965, Valensole, France (Case 22 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
4. 2 Nov 1968, SE France
5. 19 September 1976, Tehran, Iran (Case 47 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
6. 9 March 1977, Nelson, Lancashire
7. 6 June 1977, Barnard Castle, Durham
8. 17 September 1977, Newmill, Cornwall
9. 13 Mar 1980, Haselor, Warwickshire.
10. 26 December 1980, Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk (Case 18 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)

 

 

  1. Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 discusses the RAF West Freugh, Scotland radar case of April 1957, expressing the view that this case is “a highly intriguing one” but “certainly open to interpretation” (Footnote 9.26).

The relevant section of the Fortean Times website does not refer to Nick Redfern’s response (if any) to the request to nominate the top ten UFO cases.

 

 

 

  1. Andy Roberts

Andy Roberts provided comments jointly with David Clarke.  Those comments were set out above, in the entry relating to David Clarke’s contributions.

For ease of reference, the relevant comments are repeated here.

Their answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 refers to two cases (Footnote 9.12). They selected “one multi- and one solo-witnessed” case.  In the former category, they discuss Bob Taylor’s sighting at Livingston, Scotland on 9 November 1979. In the latter category, they discuss the sightings at RAF Topcliffe on 21 September 1952, during the NATO Mainbrace exercise.  In a comment that may surprise those that perceive Clarke and Roberts and die-hard sceptics, they comment that both cases are “genuinely unexplained”.

The joint contribution by David Clarke and Andy Roberts to the relevant section of the Fortean Times website refers to the following 10 cases, with an indication that the list represents their “Top Ten list of ‘classic’ unresolved UFO cases, incorporating our two ‘best’ cases, and reflecting our bias towards UK incidents that we have personally investigated or researched” (Footnote 9.13):


1. RAF Lakenheath-Bentwaters (see FT213:28-32) (Case 21 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
2. RAF Farnborough, Hampshire (see FT164:43).
3. Livingston incident, Scotland, 1979 (Case 86 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article)
4. Exercise Mainbrace sightings, September and October 1952 (Case 90 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
5. Rendlesham Forest (see FT204:32–39) (Case 18 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
6. PC Alan Godfrey’s encounter, Todmorden, 28 November 1980 (Case 56 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
7. Cynthia Appleton “contactee” story, Birmingham, 1957-58. (see FT191:32-38)
8. Ilkley alien photo, West Yorkshire, 1 December 1987.
9. Stephen Darbishire photo, Coniston, Cumbria, February 1954 (Case 91 in Isaac Koi’s “Top 100” article).
10. Alitalia UFO, 21 April 1991. (See FT194:23).

 

 

They also refer to Roswell. However, the reference to Roswell was not in the context of one of the “best” cases. Instead, they state that Roswell wins their special category of “Most over-hyped UFO Case”.

 

 

 

  1. Robert RosamOnd (of BUFORA)

Robert Rosamond and John Spencer (both of BUFORA) gave a joint answer. Their answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 discusses Frederick Valentich’s disappearance on 21 October 1978 (Footnote 9.27).

 

The relevant section of the Fortean Times website does not refer to Robert Rosamond’s response (if any) to the request to nominate the top ten UFO cases.

 

 

 

  1. John Spencer (of BUFORA)

As noted above, John Spencer provided comments jointly with Robert Rosamond. Those comments were discussed in the entry relating to Robert Rosamond (immediately above this entry).

 

 

 

  1. Bruce LAnier Wright

Bruce Lanier Wright’s answer to the question about “the most evidential” UFO case from the period 1947-2007 states in relation to “UFO evidence” that he has “never seen any”. However, he does discuss at some length the Cash-Landrum incident of 29 December 1980, stating that this is the one “in the canon” that he returns to (Footnote 9.28).

The relevant section of the Fortean Times website does not refer to Bruce Lanier Wright’s response (if any) to the request to nominate the top ten UFO cases.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

[Footnote 9.01] Article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at pages 24-31.

 

[Footnote 9.02] Fortean Times website, June 2007.  Relevant webpage at the link below:

http://tinyurl.com/2z89bq

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/525/60_years_of_ufos_the_top_ten_cases.html

 

[Footnote 9.03] Editorial by editors David Sutton, Bob Rickard and Paul Sieveking in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 4.

 

[Footnote 9.04] Contribution by Greg Bishop to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 31.

 

[Footnote 9.05] Contribution by Greg Bishop to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/2nqzwy

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/519/greg_bishops_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.06] Contribution by Peter Brookesmith to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 28.

 

[Footnote 9.07] Contribution by Thomas E Bullard to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 27.

 

[Footnote 9.08] Contribution by Thomas E Bullard to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/2pzuo3

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/520/thomas_e_bullards_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.09] Contribution by Bill Chalker to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 24.

 

[Footnote 9.10] Contribution by Bill Chalker to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/2mn3c8

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/516/bill_chalkers_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.11] Contribution by Jerome Clark to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 27.

 

[Footnote 9.12] Contribution by David Clarke and Andy Roberts to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 25.

 

[Footnote 9.13] Contribution by David Clarke and Andy Roberts to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/3aucfw

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/523/david_clarke_and_andy_roberts_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.14] Contribution by Hilary Evans to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 31.

 

[Footnote 9.15] Contribution by Hilary Evans to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/2sx5le

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/524/hilary_evanss_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.16] Contribution by Stanton Friedman to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 29.

 

[Footnote 9.17] Contribution by Stanton Friedman to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/2vtr5c

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/517/stanton_friedmans_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.18] Contribution by Gary Heseltine to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 26.

 

[Footnote 9.19] Contribution by Gary Heseltine to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/2kyzo5

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/518/gary_heseltines_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.20] Contribution by Pierre Lagrange to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 30.

 

[Footnote 9.21] Contribution by Luis R Gonzalez Manso to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 31.

 

[Footnote 9.22] Contribution by Nick Pope to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 27.

 

[Footnote 9.23] Contribution by Nick Pope to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/2uln9h

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/521/nick_popes_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.24] Contribution by Jenny Randles to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 29.

 

[Footnote 9.25] Contribution by Jenny Randles to the Fortean Times website, June 2007. Available online at:

http://tinyurl.com/3ay6jv

http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/ufofiles/522/jenny_randless_ufo_top_ten.html

 

[Footnote 9.26] Contribution by Nick Redfern to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 30.

 

[Footnote 9.27] Contribution by Robert Rosamond and John Spencer to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 25.

 

[Footnote 9.28] Contribution by Bruce Lanier Wright to the article entitled “Ufology at 60: The Fortean Times Panel” in the “Fortean Times” magazine, Issue FT 225, June 2007, at page 26.

 

 

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