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Phenomena that are not UFOs:

There is a whole series of phenomena, either natural or artificial which do not have any extraterrestrial aspect in them. These phenomena are sometimes called upon rightly, or wrongly, as the cause of a UFO phenomenon, and sometimes as the cause of the whole UFO phenomenon. Here is some information on these quite terrestrial phenomena, including descriptions of their features, in connection with observations it enables you to check if an observation can or cannot be explained by one of these commonplace causes.

Earthlights:

Earthlights, telluric lights, amber gamblers, spook lights, ghost lights are a natural phenomenon. The best theory to explain them is that there are locations of seismic (or tectonic) stresses on Earth where the stresses on the rocks is so intense that it creates lights due to piezo-electric effect, particuarly when the rocks contain quartz.

Earthlights are highly localized, reappearing over and over again in basically the same locations.

Places where such phenomenon is observed are Marfa, Texas; a sector near near Joplin, Missouri; Uinta Basin, Utah, and at Brown Mountain, North Carolina, Sedona, Arizona, and of course in places of other countries than the US also. All these locations are quite seismic, sometimes isolated in non seismic surroundings.

On the other end, strange lights are sometimes reported in non seismic regions on a similar regular pattern: Pine Bush, New York; Newcastle, Wyoming (near "Devil's Tower", which was made famous by the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind); Saratoga, Texas and so on.

Actually the locations where such phenomenon occur are not always seismic regions, so the theory of their origin by tectonic stress is not bulletproof yet. There are several other clues indicating that this theory is not yet proved:

The Technotic Stress Theory to explain the earthlight phenomenon has been proposed by Paul Devereux, a reasearcher, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Full Member of the Society for Scientific Exploration (USA) Member of the Scientific and Medical Network, Member of the Folklore Society, Member of the Traditional Cosmology Society, Member of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness (USA), Member of the Society for Psychical Research (UK), Research Fellow of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories Group.

He has authored books such as THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF THE STARS AND PLANETS , EARTH LIGHTS REVELATION, PLACES OF POWER SECRETS OF ANCIENT AND SACRED PLACES, SYMBOLIC LANDSCAPES, SHAMANISM AND THE MYSTERY LINES.

His web site www.acemake.com/PaulDevereux/ indicates that his topics include ANCIENT SITES & WORLD-VIEWS COGNITIVE ARCHAEOLOGY CONSCIOUSNESS RESEARCH ECOPSYCHOLOGY PHENOMENA "EARTH MYSTERIES"/ANCIENT MYSTERIES GEOMANCY

They have probably caused legends of ghosts, spirits of long-dead Indians.

It may be possible that there is no one single explanation for Earthlights, but several: bizarre electrical phenomenons, glowing methane (swamp gas) created by the decay of dead plant material, unusual atmospheric conditions may cause mirages that reflect and magnify light from extremely distant sources.

Some say that all reported UFOs are earthlights - generally in attempt to dismiss the extra-terrestrial origin of UFOs hypothesis. Of course Paul Devereux does not claim this at all, but of course skeptics, debunkers and people not sufficienly informed about the various aspect and high richness of the UFO phenomenon quickly jumped to the conclusion that all UFOs are actually Earthlights.

Actual laboratory experiments by Brian Brady of the U.S. Bureau of Mines showed that the luminosities produced by the piezo-electric effect in fracturing rock cannot, in Brady's words, account for 'discrete' light forms seen at high altitude. In fact, Brady's experiments, according to Greg Long in Examining the Earthlight Theory, actually seem to eliminate the piezo-electric effect as a source of earthlights or UFOs because the energy output from piezo-electricity is simply too weak to account for anything more than momentary, diffuse glows of light. As in many other so-called "explanation of all these UFOs", quantitative factors are often simply ignored.

Moreover, no valid statistic corrleation between eartquakes and seismic events has been established: sure enough, some authors have tried to, but rather than use valid UFO case data collections such as the list of "unknowns" of Project Blue Book, they have used news items from Fate Magazine and database such as the U database which does not constitute a valid statisical data set. They have also strechted the time period of seismic activities, for example by considering that if a UFO is sighted long before an earthquake occurs, then the UFO was an Earthlight. Even distances and locations have been stretched in an unnacceptable manner. Worse, UFO reported over non seismic zones have been ignored.

Electromagnetism and the human brain:

Because the Tectonic Stress Theory does not explain anything else than maybe some repeating well known and precisely luminous phenomenon such as the Marfa lights, Dr. Michael Persinger, the theory's main proponent, has added a sequel to the theory, which obviously pleased debunkers:

If tectonic stress cannot directly explain UFOs, then it creates them in the brain of the UFO witness.

Canadian scientist Chris Rutkowski put the idea in its formal logic order (and pointed out that the theory cannot explain all UFOs):

- Strain is produced in the Earth's crust,
- Strain produces an electromagnetic discharge,
- The electromagnetic discharge affects human perception,
- This discharge makes a person believes that he or she has seen a UFO.

The theory doesn't stop with UFO sightings. It also claims that these electromagnetically induced hallucinations may be responsible for alien abduction experiences, religious experiences and ghosts.

The theory says that parts of the brain (alternatively, the temporal lobes and the hippocamus have been indicated), when hurt or diseased such as in epilepsy, these symptoms occur:

- Paranormal/mystical experiences
- Enhanced imaginings (especially from childhood)
- Widening effect
- Vestibular (floating, low frequency vibration) sensations
- anomalous smells
- Intense episodes of personal meaning

Indeed these symptoms are very similar to those that are sometimes produced by hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, etc. They are also similar to effects reported by some people who have had religious experiences.

But they are not at all experienced in a great number of solid cases where the witnesses were numerous, a whole city, or two different radar operator teams and pilots and ground witness simultaneously observing a UFO.

It becomes also very difficult to explain how a reported UFO can be photographed if it is not a real physical phenomenon.

Again we have a theory that may account for some borderline reports of various phenomenon, but it only makes sense if one ignores an essential part of the UFO phenomenon: its physical evidence.

Who is Dr. Michael Persinger? Dr. Persinger is a professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada who has been studying the effects of electromagnetic fields on the temporal lobes for years. According to an article no longer on the Internet, Persinger's studies have been partially financed by the U.S. Navy through Dr. Eldon Byrd. Also according to that article, Persinger has been, if not a member of the Aviary himself, close friends and associates with at least two purported "Aviary" members: Jack Vorona and C.B. Scott Jones. He is said to have done... research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on the brain for a Pentagon weapons project. Persinger, although his work on the Tectonic Strain Theory involves the disciplines of geology and neurology, is neither a geologist nor a neurologist. He is a psychologist, according to his autobiographical sketch. Also from his autobiographical sketch is Dr. Persinger's statement of the purpose of his research:

As a human being, I am concerned about the illusionary explanations for human consciousness and the future of human existence. Consequently after writing the Neuropsychological Base of God Beliefs (1987), I began the systematic application of complex electromagnetic fields to discern the patterns that will induce experiences (sensed presence) that are attributed to the myriad of ego-alien intrusions which range from gods to aliens. The research is not to demean anyone's religious/mystical experience but instead to determine which portions of the brain or its electromagnetic patterns generate the experience. Two thousand years of philosophy have taught us that attempting to prove or disprove realities may never have discrete verbal (linguistic) solutions because of the limitation of this measurement. The research has been encouraged by the historical fact that most wars and group degradations are coupled implicitly to god beliefs and to the presumption that those who do not believe the same as the experient are somehow less human and hence expendable. Although these egocentric propensities may have had adaptive significance, their utility for the species' future may be questionable.

In order to test the effects of magnetic fields on the brain, Persinger and associates have devised a helmet outfitted with solenoids that are attached to a computer in order to magnetically stimulate the brain of the wearer. The helmet/computer combination can selectively stimulate different parts of the brain of the wearer with predefined patterns of magnetic field stimulation.

In a CNI news story, Jay Ingram of the Canadian Discovery Channel relates how he went to Persinger's lab to try the helmet. Ingram didn't see aliens, he merely felt a "presence."

In fact, most people who wear the helmet DON'T see aliens. They merely "feel a presence". The ones who DID see "aliens" saw them under special circumstances: a particular pattern of magnetic stimulation was applied to their frontal lobes, and with their eyes closed, a flashlight was pointed at their eyes and slowly lowered, then later the flashlight was raised. This very specific set of stimuli produced an abduction hallucination.

The Tectonic Strain Theory and the research that has been conducted leave me wanting the answers to several questions:

In order to obtain an abduction-like response from the subjects, researchers had to direct a particular pattern (computer-controlled) of magnetic stimulation to a particular part of the brain. Even if seismic activity or tectonic strain does indeed release magnetic energy that reaches the surface in sufficient strength to affect someone's behavior, it certainly does not beam it into that person's frontal lobes in a particular pattern. So, how does the helmet prove anything about abductions? The answer is that it doesn't. It doesn't prove anything about them. What it proves is that a combination of sensory isolation and a helmet that directs magnetism in specific patterns to specific areas of the brain can produce some psychological effects. We know that some drugs can do the same, and that sometimes sensory deprivation alone can also produce such effects.

In order to obtain an abduction-like response from their magnetically stimulated subjects, researchers had to shine a flashlight at them and slowly lower, then raise it. Who's shining a flashlight at abductees?

Are TST proponents claiming that abductees have more magnetically sensitive temporal lobes than other people? TST researchers have not verified that abductees are being exposed to magnetic fields at the time of their abduction experience. In fact, they seem to be doing little actual study of the abductees themselves. We are all regularly exposed to magnetic fields of even greater strength than those used in the helmet experiments. Magnetic fields/EM fields are generated by every power line and every electrical appliance in our homes and even stronger ones are generated by machines in many workplaces. If electromagnetic fields from far underground can cause abductees to hallucinate, then why don't stronger and nearer electromagnetic fields cause abductees to hallucinate? (See how the Sagan quote above applies here...) To say that these everyday electromagnetic fields aren't the "right kind" won't suffice as a response to this unless you prove that tectonic strain DOES produce the "right kind" of electromagnetic fields (If, indeed, there is a "right kind".).

There must be tectonic stress release with accompanying EM fields when abductees are in the presence of others, at work or at play. Why no effects at those times?

On the other hand, if abductions are merely temporal lobe hallucinations of those with sensitive temporal lobes, how is it that there are sometimes multiple abductions, such as Betty & Barney Hill, or the three women who were abducted in Kentucky, or the four men in Maine? In these multiple abduction cases, everyone had the experience. If our premise is that some people have abduction experiences because their temporal lobes are more sensitive to magnetic stimulation, then we would expect there to be cases where some people in a group (Those with sensitive temporal lobes...) would have an experience, yet others (Those with less sensitive temporal lobes...) would not have any experience at all.

Seems to me that the way to test the TST's possible relationship to the abduction phenomenon would be:

Show that the temporal lobes of abductees are more sensitive to magnetic fields than those of "normal" people. (Test them for unusual temporal lobe electrical activity. Expose them to EM fields while they are hooked up to an EEG.)

Show that these people are being exposed to unusual electromagnetic fields when their abduction experiences are occurring by monitoring their environment.

Show that the source of these magnetic fields is tectonic strain by correlating seismic activity at the location of the abductees' homes with the magnetic field monitoring that was done in #2.

Show that exposure to the type of electromagnetic fields that tectonic stress generates causes these people to have an abduction experience by recreating the same type and intensity of EM field in the laboratory. (An abduction experience, not just a feeling of a "presence"; Not a test using a computer-generated "pattern" of magnetic stimulation; No flashlights, either.)

Do these same things with a control group of individuals who have never reported being abducted by aliens.

All in all, the Tectonic Strain Theory is certainly not a good explanation for most UFO sightings, and if the same type of "science" was used by the defenders of the extra-terrestrial hypothesis, it would of course not be called "science" by the debunkers of that theory.

In order to help you to visually distinguish both phenomenon, check this table. On the left, Earthlights, on the right, UFOs.

Lenticular cloud: Other phenomenon:
Earthlight This is not an Earthlight
Marfa light This is not an Earthlight
Alleged Earthlight, Hessdalen This is not an Earthlight
Earthligh (long exposure) This is not an Earthlight

There are some other factors to take into account if you think you have observed a UFO and if you wish to be sure that the observed UFO is not an Earthlight. Here is a short table of some of the possible differences for your help:

Earthlights: Other phenomenon:
Appear regularly at the same place (for example, Marfa, Texas, reported there since 1880). There are good UFO reports from all across the worls, all countries, all types of landscapes and places, seismic or non seismic. UFOs rarely reappear at the same location. In almost all good UFO cases, no futher UFO reports were made at the same place later..
No demonstrated intelligent behaviour (with exceptions, where witness feel that the lights are following them or eluding them). There are good UFO reports in which the UFO clearly demonstrated an intelligent control or an intent (chasing a plane, putting weapons systems to halt, firing rays at people, etc.)
Random appearance. There are good UFO reports in which several UFOs are flying in formation.
Short-lived. Earthlights as far as we know do not last long, certainly not hours. There are good UFO reports where the UFO was seen or detected for a long period of time.
Near the ground. Earthlights are seen above the ground, up to a certain height, but absolutely not at heights such as 10.000 feet. There are good UFO reports where the UFO was seen or detected at very high altitudes.
They always appear out of nowhere and disapear into nothing. They sometimes appear out of nowhere and/or disapear into nothing, but generally they are seen flying through the sky, or crossing a section of the sky, or landing and then flying away in the distance.
They are lights, not solid objects. UFOs are reported as lights particularly at night, but many UFO reports describe solid object, metallic looking, or of changing appearance, or metallic inside a glow, with defined shapes of all sorts (spheres, saucer shaped, cigar shaped, triangluar and many complex shapes).
When interrogated, radar personal say nothing was detected. There are clear and sharp radar records showing a material object corresponding to your observation.
Nothing particular happens. The phenomenon lands and humanoid or uncommon beings get out of it and maybe do something.

PAUL DEVEREUX, the world's leading writer and researcher of Earth Lights, has spent years researching the lights, and has badgered the scientific community into taking this phenomenon seriously. And although UFOs have traditionally been the domain of irrationality and pseudo-science, there is now increasing evidence of a real light phenomenon that mainstream science is prepared to look at seriously. There are now enough credible sightings of sufficient reliability for science to begin to wonder what these lights might be.

Marfa: It's not for lack of trying. In recent years there have been a number of scientific examinations, including an exhaustive study by a team from Japan. For weeks at a time the Japanese, using sophisticated cameras and instruments, studied the skies. They filmed the lights, formulated theories, but didn't prove much. There are no phosphor deposits in the area, ruling out glowing phosphorescent minerals. No methane or swamp gas. Static electricity is another theory but, again, one without much supporting evidence. The bottom line is that virtually no one disputes that the Marfa lights exist, but every scientific theory thus far proposed to explain them is seriously flawed.

Piezo electric doesn't explain reports of traveling lights a few feet above the ground. St. Elmo's Fire and ball lightning seem to be good candidates, though.

Articles:

Seeing The Lights

by Paul Devereux

Unusual lights in the sky may be related to activity deep within the earth - and an advance team of scientists is checking it out.

One of the many crazy things I'm up to is to go to places around the world where people are reporting unusual lights in the sky (which they only sometimes call UFOs). These places are often remote and wild, such as the Australian Outback. I go on behalf of ICRL, the International Consciousness Research Laboratories (soon to have its own Web site), and I am usually accompanied by a scientist or technical expert of some kind, and one or two other colleagues. When we get to a destination, we question everybody in the vicinity, including (indeed, especially) local indigenous people such as Aborigines and Indians. It is important we get enough information to assess whether or not there really is something unusual going on, or if the preliminary reports we received were incorrect or exaggerated.

Sometimes we find that there is no basis to those reports, but on the occasions when we think there is a genuine possibility of some unusual, unexplained phenomenon taking place, we set ourselves up at what we learn are the most suitable locations for skywatching, and deploy our equipment.

This might consist of a widespread array of still cameras so that if anything is seen, we get shots from different angles and thus are able to calculate the distance and size of the object. We will have a video camera, too, and we will have another still camera fitted with a diffraction filter. This produces a rainbow spectrum from any light source photographed and records it on film. Experts can often determine what gases are contained within a light-producing phenomenon by examining such spectra. We usually have a magnetometer on hand to check if there are any odd fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field, and perhaps also a spectrum analyzer so that if we do see anything, we can check what radio frequencies might be being emitted from it.

Our aim is always to confirm whether or not unexplained phenomena are actually occurring, and, if they are, to bring back a range of scientifically useful data and observations. These field trips are of a pilot, exploratory nature designed to see if a more substantial scientific presence is required.

In August this year, I found myself near the foot of Popocatapetl, a great, steaming volcano 100 km or so east of Mexico City. I was accompanied by the Norwegian engineer, Erling Strand, director of Project Hessdalen. This project started life in the early 1980s, when people in the remote Norwegian valley of Hessdalen began reporting strange lights. Strand was one of those who formed a field research unit which undertook prolonged observations in the snowy, craggy valley. Dozens of photographs of bizarre lightforms were taken, radar contact made with some of them, and other instrumental data obtained. Some of the lights were visible for an hour or more, slowly floating back and forth in front of mountain precipices, sometimes touching down lightly on rocky ridges where they became transparent, then floating upwards again when they assumed more brilliance. But after a couple of years, the incidence of light phenomena decreased, and the team was disbanded.

Strand was disappointed that the world community of scientists did not take greater notice of these remarkable events, or of the evidence Project Hessdalen had managed to collect. On the other hand, the ufological community was so besotted with the idea of ET craft, they didn't really want to know about unexplained flying objects. A couple of years ago, however, reports of lights started to come out of Hessdalen once more (though not on the scale of the previous decade), and Strand set up a second Project Hessdalen. The creation of specialist automatic equipment is being conducted as work projects in Strand's engineering college at Ostfold, and slowly, as and when funding allows, the Hessdalen valley is being fitted out with automatic monitoring stations. The aim is to have the whole, six-mile-long valley "wired" so that remote observations can be made to spot and monitor any unusual lights that may appear. This will eventually be on the World Wide Web, so you can log in and watch for light phenomena in real time from the comfort of your own computer! Right now, you can find out about Project Hessdalen at Web site http://www.hiof.no/crulp/prosjekter/Hessdalen/.

I had been involved with the investigation of these strange lights -- which resemble ball lightning and earthquake lights but have their own characteristics, too -- for about the same length of time as Strand. I call them "earth lights" and have written two books on the subject -- Earth Lights, Turnstone, UK, 1983, and Earth Lights Revelation, Blandford Press, UK, 1989. The Ley Hunter journal (leyhunt@aol.com, soon to have its own Web site) also carries update reports on the subject area, and issue 114 was a special issue on earth lights. So Strand and I team up for fieldwork whenever we can and whenever the funding is available. On this Mexican trip, we were also accompanied by physicist David Fryberger from Stanford and a TV crew from Britain's Channel Four flagship documentary series, Equinox. We had been making a documentary on earth lights for some time, and as a climax to the show, the TV people wanted to film us actually on one of our expeditions. We had heard rumors emerging from the Valley of Mexico about UFOs, so picked that area to see what was going on.

We encountered problems both human and natural. As we investigated the Mexican UFO "flap," which had been going on for a few years, we realized it was as much or more a sociological phenomenon than an anomalous natural one.

On 11 July, 1991, there had been a solar eclipse visible from central Mexico, and many people filmed it with their video cameras. Much of this footage showed an apparent glowing object in the sky as the moon eclipsed the solar disk, darkening it and, without the solar glare, rendering things in the sky more visible. It was later conclusively shown that Venus was in exactly this part of the sky at that time, and, moreover, people filmed the thing from locations separated by as much as 150 km, so it wasn't some local object hovering over Mexico City. Yet many people were convinced that the videos were proof of a UFO in the skies above Mexico City, and a huge UFO wave developed. This was inadvertently aided and abetted by Jaime Maussan, a TV producer, who had been impressed with the eclipse films, and invited all and sundry to look out for UFOs in the Mexican skies and to video them and send him the footage, on the understanding that he would broadcast the better pieces. When we spoke to Maussan, he had received some 6,000 video sequences!

This process had in itself created a huge surge of interest in things seen in the sky, and so the reports we had heard before arriving in Mexico were undoubtedly an artifact of this media-sociological interest. But was there a real phenomenon buried in all this hype? We looked at some examples of footage that had been received by Maussan, who is a pleasant and sincere man who clearly believes there is a lot of UFO activity over Mexico. We felt, however, that he was less than discriminating about the material he had received. We were not impressed by most of the video sequences we saw, but a few were difficult to explain, and one or two really did seem to show unusual phenomena. So perhaps there was something going on down Mexico way....

There was another reason for suspecting that there might be something in it all -- Popocatapetl. The name means "the smoking one," and the mountain had been known to all the ancient cultures of the Valley of Mexico. Its occasional eruptions had destroyed some of them. El Popo is becoming active again, and is under intense scientific scrutiny. As recently as April, 1996, five climbers where killed in one of its eruptions. A Popocatapetl monitoring geologist told us that there were many mini-quakes around the volcano every day, that it was producing 10,000 tons of sodium dioxide daily. El Popo was stirring again. This was potentially significant, because the appearance of earth lights often seems related to seismic activity. Earthquake lights can sometimes appear just before, during or after a major earthquake, but it seems earth lights can appear with just relatively minor stressing of the Earth's crust. Also, light phenomena have been seen (and even filmed) in association with volcano eruptions on numerous occasions. It is worth bearing in mind that Kenneth Arnold's 1947 sighting of glittering flying disks, the event which gave rise to the term "flying saucers," occurred along the Cascade range in Washington state, which is a chain of volcanoes -- and where years later, Mount St. Helens would erupt with such fury. So we realized that the growing activity of El Popo might be the "motor" driving an increased appearance of light phenomena, which may well be submerged within the general Mexican "uforia."

On one occasion, we went part of the way up the 16,000-foot volcano and marveled at its awesome beauty. Its snow cap glistened and white steam and wisps of blue-tinged smoke lazily drifted out of its crater. We finally set up our observation station about 10 km from the base of the El Popo. But our observational work was hampered by bad weather for much of our ten-day stay: a hurricane in nearby Vera Cruz brought low clouds and terrible electrical storms on numerous occasions, blotting out sight of the volcano all together. We got pretty wet and despondent, but we also found that the local people saw lights quite regularly, and they didn't place then in a UFO context. In one village, the lights are fairly frequently seen coming down the valley and are interpreted as being the spirits of night-flying witches. This type of interpretation is common among traditional peoples. The Penobscot Indians of Maine, U.S.A., for instance, claimed that balls of light seen in the night sky were shamans flying out on nocturnal battles, the exact same explanation given to mysterious lights by the Saami people of Lapland.

So we became pretty sure that there were real light phenomena taking place in the region, but on what scale or frequency, we could not determine. Moreover, the monitoring geologist on El Popo told us that he had himself seen strange flashes of lights off the peaks and ridges around the volcano.

Our luck changed on the last day we were in Mexico. The weather cleared up and the day was vividly clear and bright. But we had a shock -- El Popo's snowcap had disappeared overnight! By the afternoon, the wispy steam emissions had changed to rolling clouds of smoke. The great volcano was putting on a show for us. We observed and monitored eagerly that evening as darkness fell. Our magnetometer picked up what seemed to be bizarre fluctuations in the magnetic field around the volcano (tests at many miles distant showed nothing unusual). But no lights. The TV crew left Fryberger, Strand and myself to our monitoring as they trekked back the good distance to the hotel to pack their equipment. We stayed but saw nothing, so I packed my cameras, and Strand was starting to pack away his instruments. Then we suddenly saw flashes of light on the lower slopes of El Popo. Clear and distinct, and rapidly flashing. In excited mayhem, we tried to pull out our cameras in time to catch the phenomenon, and did manage a few blurred pictures and snatches of video footage. None of us thought we were seeing earth lights proper, but we agreed that it did look like some extraordinary discharge phenomenon, indicating unusual conditions. When we got back to the hotel and informed the crew, the director got up and calmly announced he felt ready to commit suicide! Murphy's law rules, even on earth lights expeditions!

Anyhow, you can see how it all came out for yourselves. The film screens on Channel Four in Britain on one of the first two Sundays in November, and it will appear on Discovery Channel in the U.S.A. a little later. Don't miss it!

The following is a long treatise and analysis of the Tectonic Strain Theory. The TST is widely purported to explain UFOs, ghosts, psychic events, religious ecstacy, spontaneous combustion and pretty well anything else you might name. Literally hundreds of papers have appeared in scientific journals, assuming its real existence and reality. However, there have been very few critical works about the TST, and when such works have surfaced, the critics have been dismissed with commentary or discussion about how complicated the issue is and why it cannot be quantified easily. In short, its proponents appear to invoke almost identical reasons as defendants of the reality of psychic phenomena, and this in itself raises concern among some researchers.

This paper was originally written as a geophysical thesis in 1983, and although more than 10 years old, is still relevant as a critical look at the TST which is still being invoked as a scientific explanation of purportedly paranormal phenomena.

The paper has recently been converted into ASCII by David Thacker of AUFOSG and provided online by Chris Rutkowski.

The Tectonic Strain Theory of Geophysical Luminosities

by Chris A. Rutkowski

Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1984
$copy; Chris A. Rutkowski, 1984

Abstract

A new hypothesis, explaining unidentified luminosities, has been proposed which has received wide attention and gen- eral acceptance. It incorporates both geophysical and physi- ological mechanisms in an attempt to explain the wide vari- ety of characteristics of the phenomenon. This study examines the feasibility of the theory from an objective standpoint, and tests the tenability of the interrelations of its interdisciplinary mechanisms.<

- ii - CONTENTS Chapter Page I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 II. THE TECTONIC STRAIN THEORY AND UFOS . . . . . . . . 4 Crustal Strain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Strain-Produced Radiation . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Luminosity From Electromagnetic Discharge . . . 12 UFOs as Fracture-Related Luminosities . . . . . 13 Electromagnetic Effects on the Human System . . 15 Temporal Lobe Experiences . . . . . . . . . . . 18 III. STATISTICAL CORRELATIONS OF THE TST AND UFO OBSERVATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 IV. ANALYSIS OF THE TST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Energy Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Geographical Implications of UFO Sightings . . 29 Earthquake Lights and Dilatancy Hypotheses . . 36 Other Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 V. OTHER TST-RELATED THEORIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Vestigia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Earth Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 VI. CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Appendix A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 -- ii -- Chapter I INTRODUCTION Since their entry into the scientific and lay literature in the late 1940's, few topics have caused such controversy as that of UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects). While tradi- tionally ignored or lightly treated by the scientific commu- nity, the persistence of the phenomenon over 30 years has led some researchers to consider them more seriously (Ja- cobs, 1976). It is recognized that the phenomenon has drawn to it a large contingent of unscientific and unprofessional "believ- ers", many of whom fail to objectively view UFOs without bias. This is not necessarily surprising, given science's stance on the matter, but a Catch-22 situation has resulted. Because the subject is not "reputable", few scientists have spent adequate time considering the problem in detail. This has left the study of the phenomenon to laymen, and often to cult believers. This has kept the "reputation" of UFOs at a low level, and the circle has been completed. But probably because of the relatively long history of UFO reports, some scientists have proposed theories to ex- plain them. Some scientists advocate the ETH (Extraterres- - 1 - trial Hypothesis), which states the most popular UFO expla- nation: that they could be spacecraft from extraterrestrial civilizations. Unfortunately, though most astronomers be- lieve that extraterrestrial civilizations exist, there is no scientifically-acceptable evidence that such civilizations have in fact contacted mankind (Hendry, 1979). Other explanations proposed for UFOs include: "lost" ter- restrial civilizations; "secret" terrestrial devices; spir- itual entities; "natural" phenomena; and mass hallucinations (Jacobs, 1976). None have withstood scrutiny as of this date. It should be noted at the outset that one of the few facts known about UFOs is that about 90 to 95 percent of all UFO reports are misidentifications of conventional or natu- ral phenomena (Hendry, 1979). It is the remaining, signifi- cant percent that is regarded when discussing UFOs - the "real unknowns". It is generally felt by skeptics that this percentage of UFOs can be explained if strong effort is made, or it can never be explained other than in terms of a "background noise" of spurious data. Proponents of the UFO phenomenon as a much more complicated mystery disagree with the skeptics. They argue that the remaining percentage of reports is unexplainable even after attempts to explain them have been made. This disagreement is the prime focus of the UFO controversy. - 2 - Natural phenomena have been suggested as an explanation for UFOs many times (e.g. Klass, 1966). The main drawback to natural phenomena theories is that UFO reports offer such a wide variety of characteristics that natural phenomena fall short of explaining all UFO traits. Recently, however, a theory has been proposed which seems capable of explaining many UFO characteristics based on a mixture of mechanisms and processes. This theory, called the TST (Tectonic Strain Theory), begins with the suggestion that strain fields with- in the Earth's crust can produce an electromagnetic dis- charge that may manifest itself in one of two basic ways. One way is by the electric discharge becoming visible as a moving body of light. The other way is by the discharge af- fecting the human brain so that the observer will "believe" he or she is viewing a moving body of light. Both scenarios are consistent with the theory, and are used to explain the reported appearances of UFOs. So far, only statistical evidence has been presented in support of this theory. This has been in the form of covari- ation of the number of reported UFOs in an area and the lev- el of seismic activity in that area. Whether this is a "real" relationship or an artifact is not clear at the pres- ent time. - 3 - Chapter II THE TECTONIC STRAIN THEORY AND UFOS The Tectonic Strain Theory (hereafter referred to as the TST) is a relatively new explanation for the reported ap- pearance of inexplicable luminosities, sometimes UFOs. Papers dealing with certain aspects of the theory have been published in several journals, covering various disciplines (Persinger, 1975, 1976, 1979a, 1979b, 1980a, 1981, 1982, 1983a, 1983b, 1983c, 1983d, 1983e, unpubl, un- pub2). The proposed mechanism is interdisciplinary in na- ture, and carries with it some necessary qualifications to enable it to cope with a poorly-understood phenomena in terms of better-known phenomena. The theory is best ex- plained by its major proponent, Michael A. Persinger: "Essentially,...normal geophysical processes applied in unusual space-time configurations are responsible for electromagnetic phenomena that have direct physi- cal and biological consequences. These processes in- volve normal alterations in tectonic (structural) stresses within the Earth's crust and are mediated by - 4 - piezoelectric-like effects. The primary natural analog of this putative phenomena would be earthquake light- ning...Whereas earthquake-related luminosities appear contingent upon large releases of structural strain (seismic activities), the luminosities and electromag- netic correlates of alleged close encounters with UFOs are associated with HIGHLY LOCALIZED, less intense changes in crustal structures not necessarily involv- ing major seismic activity." (Persinger, 1979b) (author's emphasis) The TST draws upon several processes for its mechanism, and it is best to examine each of them in some detail. The physical processes are linked implicitly by logical argu- ments, although the basis for these arguments needs careful examination. The major steps involved are: 1) Strain is produced in the Earth's crust. 2) Strain produces an electromagnetic discharge. 3A) The electromagnetic discharge produces a luminosity. 4A) The luminosity is observed as a UFO. Alternatively, steps 3A and 4A may be replaced by: 38) The electromagnetic discharge affects human per- eption. 4B) A person believes that he/she has seen a UFO. - 5 - In order to understand the TST, each of these steps will be considered in systematic sequence, in effect testing the links in the chain. 2.1 CRUSTAL STRAIN Through various processes, strain can be built up in the Earth's crust. These include tectonic activity, tidal action and human activity. Strain is described in terms of dilational and distor- tional strain tensors, as it is a vector in three dimensions (Bath, 1973; Kasahara, 1981; Richter, 1958). The strain ten- sor is defined by the equation: [NOTE: In this ASCII version, CX represents the Greek symbol alpha, ^2 means squared, _u represents mu, _[ is the integration symbol, pi is the pi constant, _B is the symbol for beta.] E(i,j) = e(i,j) - (1/3)e(k,k)CX(i,j) and similarly, the stress tensor is: P(i,j) = p(i,j) - (1/3)p(k,k)CX(i,j) where the arrays e(i,j) and p(i,j) each consist of nine com- ponent vectors which define the stress and strain across any small plane area containing the point in question. The re- lease of tectonic elastic strain energy is the cause of ma- jor earthquakes. This energy can be expressed in a function and form such that: U = _[_[_[_uE^2(i,j) dV - 6 - where _u is the rigidity modulus (the measurement of the re- sistance of an elastic solid to shearing deformation) and U is the distortional strain energy, taken through the volume (Bullen, 1963). The stress tensor is defined as: P(i,j) = 2_uE(i,j) Now, we can also define the stress tensor in terms of the Mises function: P^2(i,j) = (CXS)^2 where S is the value P would have if the material was near the breaking point. CX is a constant that has a value between 0 and 1, and sometimes assigned a value of (sqrt(3))^-1 We can then find E in terms of S such that: E(i,j) = (CXS)/(2_u) we can substitute into our equation for U and find: 4_uU = CX^2S^2Q where Q is the volume of the strained region near breaking point. The total energy released in an earthquake can be roughly calculated by a modified Gutenberg-Richter formula: log E = 11.8 + 1.5 M - 7 - The total energy released in an earthquake of magnitude 8.9 (the greatest on record) is thus about 5 x 10^24 ergs (Bul- len, 1955; Kasahara, 1981). The strain energy, U, will be some fraction of the total energy, E, since there are other forms of energy release such as the dilational strain energy, heat and sound, etc. Thus, we can replace U by qE, where q lies between 0 and 1. Our new equation is then: z_uE = S^2Q where z = 4q (= approximately 2). Experimental results have provided estimates for _u and S: 0.4 x 10^12 dyne cm^-2 < _u < 1.5 x 10^12 dyne cm^-2 S is approximately equal to 10^9 dyne cm^-2 We can then use our equation to calculate Q. The volume of the region near breaking point prior to an earthquake is therefore about 10^19 cm^3, with a radius of about 20 to 50 km in extreme cases (Bullen, 1953, 1955). But this radius is only for the overloaded crustal re- gion. The actual volume of rock in which significant strain exists is obviously much greater than this, but can not be known precisely. - 8 - However, reasonable estimates of the size of the total strained region can be made by comparing the distances be- tween earthquake epicentres and precursory effects, indi- rectly using the magnitudes and energies involved (Brown and Reilinger, 1983). It is extremely difficult to judge the ac- tual extent of precursory effects, since they will intui- tively vary in type, depth and strength for each earthquake. The determination of the size of the strained region will be discussed further, at a later point in this paper. 2.2 STRAIN-PRODUCED RADIATION There are many types of reported Earthquake precursors on record, including ground deformation, change in the levels and chemistry of well-water and the unusual behavior of ani- mals (Buskirk et al., 1981; Rikitake, 1976; Wyss, 1983). A form of precursor that has received relatively little atten- tion is that of the emission of electromagnetic radiation. Although many such reports are spurious or represent other natural or man-made causes, a significant number are well- documented, and the existence of earthquake-related EM ef- fects must be seriously assessed. - 9 - On 31 March, 1980, anomalous EM emissions were recorded thirty minutes before a deep-focus (depth = 480 km) magni- tude 7 earthquake 250 km from an observatory near Tokyo (Gokhberg et al., 1982). These emissions were widely-sepa- rated at 10 Hz and 81 kHz. Other similar emissions were re- corded for a magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Iran, 1200 km from the epicentre, at 27 kHz and 1.63 MHz. Other examples of such emissions have also been reported (Gokhberg et al., 1980; Sadovskiy et al., 1979). It has been known for some time that the strain loading of rocks and minerals produces electromagnetic emission. The strength of the emission varies with the different types of substances; the strongest emission arises from quartz and other minerals with a high crystal lattice energy, while rocks such as sandstone have a very low ability to produce emission under strain. It has been reported that there is a shift to high frequency with an increase in grain size. The actual mechanism for the production of the emission is not definitely known, although several theories have been pro- posed (Lockner et al., 1983; Mizutani et al., 1976). It has been shown that a rapid drop in the piezoelectric field when stress is released (i.e. when fracturing occurs) can produce EM emission. Experiments have shown that the peak frequency for such a piezoelectric pulse is at about 1.7 kHz, and that the energy release from the fracture of a - 10 - small rock specimen with a volume of 50^3 cm is about 10^-18 J. However, there is some doubt that piezoelectricity can produce earthquake lights because of its rapid decay and the possibility of its self-cancelling nature (Finkelstein et al., 1973; King, 1983). An alternate theory for EM emission during fracturing is that of RF (radio frequency) emission caused by a charge buildup across microcracks. During strain processes, there will be discharges between walls of the microcracks which can give not only RF emission, but also IR (infrared) and visible light as well. The energy released by these small cracks has an average spectral range of between 1 and 10^3 MHz (Perel'man and Khatiashvili, 1981). The most plausible proposed mechanism involves the propa- gation of an elastic wave within rock, following fracture. Demin et al., (1981) have speculated that the wave would in- duce the growth of microcracks, and, in the case of semicon- ducting and piezoelectric minerals, the cracking would pro- duce electrical discharges. But the piezoelectric field might also create transistors within the rock, using as bar- riers the layers of semiconducting minerals occurring natu- rally in the ore. These transistors could be coupled into circuits, and an EM emission caused by the formation of mi- crocracks could be amplified, in theory, by these piezoelec- tric and semiconducting minerals. It is immediately obvious - 11 - that in this mechanism the frequency of the amplified EM wave would be dependent on several variables, especially the composition of the rock. This frequency could, depending on these variables, be represented at many points in the EM spectrum, including radio, infrared, visible and x-ray wav- elengths. As a point of note, it has been shown that ultra- sonic pulses can also be generated by rock fractures (Demin et al., 1981). 2.3 LUMINOSITY FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC DISCHARGE As was mentioned in section 3.2, EM emission by rock fracture will probably also include visible wavelengths. The actual size of the luminosities thus produced is difficult to ascertain. While luminescence has been reported in the literature, this has only been in the form of "comet tails" and sporadic outbursts detected on photographic film in close proximity to the rock outcrop undergoing fracture. However, it has been claimed that small, luminous bodies have been detected on the film of the fracturing of a core sample in the laboratory (Brady, private communication).{1} __________ {1} A description of the experimental conditions under which the luminosities were observed is given by Brady et al(unpub). - 12 - These bodies have the reported appearance of sparks caused by the impact of rocks upon one another, but are believed to be fracture- and not impact-related. It has been suggested that if the processes which produce EM emission during rock failure are scale invariant, then in nature, luminosities will be produced by the strain and fracture of large or bod- ies beneath the Earth's surface (Brady et al., (unpub)). These luminosities produced outside the laboratory will, it is thought, be much larger than those observed in the labo- ratory, perhaps reaching 1 m or more on diameter. 2.4 UFOS AS FRACTURE-RELATED LUMINOSITIES If it is indeed possible that large luminosities can be produced in nature by crustal stress, then it would seem likely that they would have been observed and reported. Many reports of seemingly inexplicable lights in the sky have been made throughout history, many given the name "UFO" by default (Jacobs, 1976). But there do exist rare, natural phenomena that appear as lights in the night sky. These in- - 13 - clude ball lightning and earthquake lights, both of which are still not fully understood by scientists, but progress is being made in unravelling their mysteries (e.g. Charman, 1979). In general, earthquake lights are luminous hemispheres, 20 to 200 m in diameter, with a duration following an earth- quake of 10 seconds to 2 minutes. In addition, radio inter- ference is reported to occur after the luminescence, strong- est at about 15 kHz, which is an order of magnitude from the peak emission for strain release under laboratory conditions (Derr, 1973,1977; Finkelstein and Powell, 1970). It has been suggested that the release of stress before an earthquake could generate large electric potentials, cre- ating fields of 10^5 V/m (Demin et al., 1981). If rocks can possess a high enough resistivity (about 10^9 ohm - m), then earthquake lights might be explainable in this manner (Gokh- berg et al., 1980). Ball lightning has been reported infrequently, but enough cases are on record that some characteristics have been de- termined (Barry, 1968). It is spherical, with a diameter of about 30 cm, and may have a contained energy of 10^3 to 10^7 J (with an average of about 10^5 J) and an energy density be- tween 10^2 and 10^3 J cm^-3. - 14 - 2.5 ELECTROMAGNETIC EFFECTS ON THE HUMAN SYSTEM Rather than creating a physical luminosity through the production of visible photons, an alternate method to pro- duce a UFO in the TST is the direct effect of EM radiation upon the human brain. It has long been understood that both electric and mag- netic fields affect physiological systems in various ways. Effects range from dizziness and irritation in weak fields to severe disruptive effects such as induced epilepsy in strong fields. Basically, it appears that the electrochemi- cal responses within the body are interfered with by exter- nal fields, causing the confusion of signals received and originating from the brain. Experimental tests have shown that headaches are frequently reported by individuals ex- posed to electric fields of 15-25 kV/m for extended periods of time (Sheppard and Eisenbud, 1977). As well, fatigue and sleepiness are also reported to be symptoms of prolonged ex- posure to electric fields, although other studies fail to support this, possibly due to differing experimental condi- tions. Medical examinations of individuals exposed to elec- tric fields have found changes in blood composition and car- diovascular function (Persinger, 1973). Since the human body behaves as a conductor, external electric fields will be internally attenuated except in the upper-layers of the skin. - 15 - The perception of electric and magnetic fields by human beings has been a topic of interest for many years. Elec- tric fields of 50-60 Hz, of >10 kV/m can be consciously de- tected by humans, probably by the erection of body hairs. Weaker fields of <5 V/m are claimed to produce behavioral effects, although the physiological mechanism for this is not fully understood (Sheppard and Eisenbud, 1977). The problem of magnetic field exposure is not an easy one, as few studies have been conducted on this topic. So far, the actual effects are not known, although the strength at which magnetic fields are thought capable of influencing biological functions may be as low as 1 Gauss. Magnetic fields are not attenuated within the body, and also will tend to induce currents within the body, so their effects might be construed as being of more significance than elec- tric fields. Experiments have shown that magnetic fields may be perceived as low as 10 Gauss in strength (Becker, 1969). It has even been proposed that the detection of weak magnetic gradients can explain the "art" of dowsing in humans (Ro- card, 1964). Actual changes in the electrical activity of the brains of animals have been found using low-frequency electric fields of 100 kV/m. Biological cycles (circadian rhythms) have also been reported as being affected by exposure to electric fields, and there is evidence of effects on blood - 16 - cell counts in humans following exposure.{2} In all probabili- ty, the mechanism for the changes is due to the production of stress from the influence of electric and magnetic fields upon the human metabolism, encouraging an increase in the production of steroids within biological systems. There is also some evidence that electric fields may operate directly upon the central nervous system, interfering with the normal transmission of information to and from the brain (Beal, 1974). Interestingly, there are phenomena known as magnetic phosphenes which may be relevant to the subject of UFOs. Un- der the influence of an alternating magnetic field with a strength >100 Gauss and at frequencies between 10 and 100 Hz, an individual will observe flashes of light. The peak frequency for this effect is at about 20 Hz. Whether this has any bearing on the reporting of UFOs is not known (Shep- pard and Eisenbud, 1977). __________ {2} Because of the potential danger in exposure to EM radia- tion, limits were recently proposed for the maximum recom- mended level of human irradiation (Cahill, 1983). - 17 - 2.6 TEMPORAL LOBE EXPERIENCES Under extreme conditions, it has been speculated that at high voltages, individuals might experience rather severe alterations in normal brain functions (Persinger, 1983c). "Dreamy conditions" and temporary paralysis might be experi- enced. Other suggested sensations are out-of-the-body expe- riences (OOBEs), religious "awakenings" and feelings of "cosmic significance", since these emotions can be produced by stimulating the limbic structures of the brain (including the hippocampus) with electric currents. Such stimulation apparently may induce "false" memories of dreamed events, making a person "believe" he or she has experienced some- thing which has not occurred. These "artificial hallucina- tions" would seem "real" to the individual thus influenced. In this way, the "bizarre" aspects of UFO experiences such as seeing an alien entity, conversing with it, etc., might be explained in terms of an interference in brain functions (Persinger, 1983e). The stimulation of the temporal lobe is perhaps the most interesting of all the effects noted. This stimulation could produce disorientation and epileptic-like experiences that might include actual seizures and loss of consciousness. Upon recovery, the individual might well have amnesia re- garding certain parts of his or her experience, all due to electrical interference within the brain (Persinger, 1979b). - 18 - The suggestion is that the behavior of the individuals is not unusual in any way. Rather, it is the interpretation of the experiences which is unusual, and thus, the UFO phenom- enon can be reduced to a poor interpretation of the experi- ences of individuals who have actually been in contact with geophysical electromagnetic emissions. However, the reasons for the consistent description of such experiences in terms of UFOs are not elaborated upon in the TST. The TST includes some consideration of the separation be- tween the observer and the geophysical luminosity. At a dis- tance, only the optical effects would be reported. As a per- son approached the emission, it would have increasingly greater effect upon the human system, until finally, in the event an actual physical contact was made, the unfortunate individual might be electrocuted, and death would be attrib- uted by an unsuspecting coroner to lightning or contact with power lines (Persinger, 1979b). - 19 - Chapter III STATISTICAL CORRELATIONS OF THE TST AND UFO OBSERVATIONS In several papers on the TST, its major proponent offers statistical arguments in support of the theory. The conclu- sions reached by some authors (e.g. Persinger 1983a, 1983b, 1983c) seem to show that the variations in numbers of UFO reports vary with numbers of earthquakes: "In general, UFO report numbers [tend] to increase two to three years after decreases in geomagnetic activity and the year after increases in the number of local, low intensity earthtremors." (Persinger, 1981) The disquieting aspect of the TST is that the correlation is said to be due to "as yet unspecified processes associat- ed with tectonic strain (Persinger, 1981)", but the factors creating the variance are described as existing YEARS before an actual detectable seismic event. While this might be true in the sense that stresses leading up to an earthquake build over long periods of time, this suggests characteristics for the "unspecified processes" without clearly understanding the processes themselves. - 20 - In one paper, yearly totals for UFO "flaps" were taken from Fate magazine, tabulated earlier by the author (Per- singer and Lafreniere, 1977). Yearly totals for earthquakes of various intensities (MM: VI) were taken from U.S. Department of Commerce earthquake pub- lications, and yearly means for sunspot numbers were taken from the Journal of GeoPhysical Research. The total number of UFO reports used for analysis over a 15-year period was 214, while the sunspot numbers ranged up to values near 1000 per year, so their values were substituted by their square roots. Outliers of variables with a skewness greater than 1.00 were recoded (i.e. given alternate values). The end result was that both the r and the r^2 values were generally high, with the r^2 values between 0.53 and 0.70 for the UFO/earthquake correlations (the r value is often called the "Pearson Product", which is the correlation coefficient and is an indicator of the dependence of one variable upon another). It was noted that although there was an overall trend in the data, some variables did not fall into the same pattern, showing regional differences. The results provided a pattern by which UFO report numbers were predicted for years beyond the study{3} (see figure 1; Persinger, 1981). __________ {3} More predictions were made, based on studies of UFO re- ports from the years 1950-1975. "Missed" predicted UFO flap years were explained from a sociological perspective (Persinger, 1983d). - 21 - Figure 1: A comparison of observed versus predicted values for total numbers of UFO reports and their square roots. Reproduced from Persinger (1981). - - A similar series of reported calculations was used in the study of UFO reports from the pre-Arnold period (pre-1947; specifically, 1820-1920), originally chronicled by a histor- ical researcher (Charles Fort) and compiled by the study's author (Persinger and Lafreniere, 1977). The yearly UFO re- port numbers were compared with yearly numbers of sunspot numbers and earthquakes. Once again, the correlation was re- ported as being very high, and that the relation "accurately classified more than 90% of the luminosity events (Persing- er, 1983a)." In dealing with the UFO data, several methods were used to correlate geophysical data. In one method, "all solar and seismic variables were lagged from 1 to 6 [years]", while the "luminosity variables were not lagged or lagged 3 [years] (Persinger, 1983a)." The UFO data was also in a peculiar form: the number of reports per year was usu- ally less than three, "although [that] type of year was not very frequent (Persinger, 1983a)." Essentially, correlations were found between significant numbers of earthquakes (and sunspots) and one or two UFO reports in a particular year. Interestingly, the historical UFO reports took on various forms, including accounts of "phantom armies" in the sky. All the data were selected from Central western Europe in this study, including only the countries Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland, a geographical span of over 1000 kilometres. The correlation results of this study are shown in figure 2. - 22 - Figure 2: Predicted relative yearly levels of UFO activity compared with years of actual reports of "odd luminosities" (arrows). The years within the bar were used in the calculation of the prediction function. Reproduced from Persinger (1983a). - - Yet another study involved the correlation of different types of UFO reports, according to the classification system employed by Saunders (1978). In this system, UFO reports are categorized by increasing levels of "strangeness" for types I to IX. A type I UFO report, for example, is merely a strange light in the sky, with a high probability of a con- ventional explanation such as that of a meteor, while a type IX report is a Close Encounter of the 3rd Kind, involving a reported contact with alien entities. Most UFO reports fall into types I, II or III. Each type of report was compared to levels of seismic ac- tivity with a "temporal increment" of six months, taken through the specific years examined for the study (Persing- er, unpubl). The results are shown in figure 3: "All of the major types of [UFO report] classes were significantly correlated with consequent increases in V or less intensity earthtremors."(Persinger, unpubl) But the maximum r value is only near 0.50, so that the cor- responding r^2 value is near 0.25. This means that only 25% of the variance in UFO reports can be attributed to seismic events in this study. Even its author admits: "This may indicate that a significant portion of the [UFO report] variance for all types of classifications may still involve non-seismic factors." (Persinger, un- pub2) - 23 - Figure 3: r-values for the correlation between UFO reports and earthquakes, by UFO type. Reproduced from Persinger (unpub2). - - Chapter IV ANALYSIS OF THE TST The TST proposes that many UFOs are produced by a strain field that is caused by crustal stress. This strain field is visibly indicated by a fracture (earthquake) that might oc- cur many kilometres distant and many days or even months separated in time and space from the point where the UFO was observed. It has been claimed that there is a statistical correlation between the numbers of UFO reports and earth- quake activity. In effect, an increase in earthquake activi- ty means an increase in UFO reports (Persinger, 1983a, 1983b, 1983c, 1983d). But the statistical correlation works best when UFO re- ports from large distances are included. This is described as choosing an "optimal space and time increment". In a UFO/earthquake correlation study in the New Madrid earth- quake area, not only were the recognised New Madrid states included, but also those surrounding them as well. The sta- tistical study did find a good correlation for some years, but also found a "lag" for others (Persinger, 1983b). - 24 - Hence, this is the source of the suggestion that UFO re- ports are related to earthquakes through a common strain field that may cover a large area, so that the UFO may be observed hundreds of kilometres from the epicentre of an earthquake and still be related. But what exactly is the strain field responsible for the UFOs and the earthquakes? We know that crustal stress can build within rock through various processes, including tec- tonic and tidal force-related activities. This stress will accumulate in a certain area within the crust, the exact structure and dimensions of this area being dependent upon the local geology and the physical composition of the rocks involved. The actual mechanisms of crustal deformation is beyond the scope of this review, although some basic ele- ments have been considered in Chapter 2. Most sources agree that the size of the region strained to its breaking point prior to a fracture (earthquake) is about 20-50 km in radius, but this depends on the magnitude. Naturally, however, rock outside this area will be under some strain, but not enough to cause failure. There is no practical method for determining the exact extent of the strained region,{4} since the strain will never quite be zero, __________ {4} There do exist some methods for estimating crustal stress from core samples, such as using the Xaiser effect to mon- itor acoustic emission, but underground conditions have been shown to be capable of altering stress determinations (Yoshikawa and Mogij 1981), so that these measurements will have their limitations. - 25 - even at large distances from the earthquake epicentre. Therefore, the determination of a "strain field" is quite arbitrary. If a "strain field" is in existence, then the TST implies that its major visible indicator is an earthquake. If this field is also responsible for the appearance of a UFO, then one can wonder why the UFO would not appear adjacent to the fracture site, where the most energy is released. Earthquake lightning is often observed concurrently with earthquakes, and although it may be theorized that UFOs are indicators of smaller fractures, the use of "optimal tempo- ral increments" to associate UFOs and earthquakes in a strain field tends to point out a lack of similarity between the two phenomena. Specifically, earthquake lightning is es- sentially simultaneous with an earthquake, while according to the TST, UFOs can appear much before or later. There- fore, earthquake lights are probably not upscaled versions of UFOs. 4.1 ENERGY CONSTRAINTS In terms of energy involved, we can estimate the energy required to support a luminous, ball-like UFO. Assume that there is a luminous ball with a diameter of one meter. Sup- pose it radiates energy at a frequency near 1 x 10^14 Hz, corresponding to a wavelength of 5700 A, or yellow light. - 26 - Let us also suppose it has the power of a common 60-watt light bulb. To an observer 100 metres away, the object will have a flux of: S = L/(4 pi r^2) = 4.7 x 10^-4 W m^-2 This value is considerably more than that of the threshold intensity of the human eye, which is about 10^-14 W m^-2 (Haines, 1980). If the object is seen for ten seconds, then abruptly disappears, its energy radiated is 6 J in the ob- server's direction. Now, since the object will subtend an angle of 1.146 de- grees, which is equivalent to 1.26 x 10^-3 steradians, its total energy output would have been about 6 x 10^4 J: (4 pi E)/ W = E = 6 x 10^4 J and its energy density would have been 1.42 x 10^4 J m^-3. We can see, then, that even a relatively dim object 100 metres from an observer will still be quite visible, but the energy requirements for such an object are not insubstan- tial. Even if an object radiated just at the threshold level for our 100 metres distance (about 1.25 x 10^-9 W), its con- tained energy would be 1.25 x 10^-6 J. These calculations as- sume an entirely efficient energy radiation mechanism, under ideal conditions. Any mechanism which aims to produce a vis- - 27 - ible luminous body will need to overcome the obstacles of energy requirements. Several researchers have reported on their results of ex- periments upon the fracturing of rock. They have consistent- ly found that electromagnetic emission is produced when rock is subjected to strain. However, the frequency of this em- ission varies greatly (Gol'd et al, 1975; Kuksenko et al., 1981; Perel'man and Khatiashvili, 1981; Sobolev et al., 1980; Volarovich et al., 1959). According to Demin et al (1981), the peak frequency of the piezoelectric pulse in a fracturing rock is 1.7 kHz. This would mean an energy of 1.12 x 10^-30 J. Its luminosity would be about 10^-31 W, and its flux would be (at 100 m) about 9 x 10^-33 W m^-2. Nitsan (1977) calculated the radiated power of a piezoe- lectric emission as about 10^-15 W at 5 x 10^6 Hz, and this would yield 8 x 10^-21 W m^-2 at 100 m. The problem here, though, is that this energy is produced within the crust at unknown depths. Radio wave propagation through rock is of the order of a few meters, unless one in- cludes such things as "natural circuits" and energy tunnel- ing. Even assuming that this energy could find its way to the surface, the method by which it would discharge into the atmosphere and exhibit UFO-like characteristics may not be possible. - 28 - Speculations have been made that the monitoring of EM em- ission could be used to predict earthquakes, interpreting an anomalous reading as a precursor. Although this may one day be a useful supplement to other precursory indicators, at the present time the parameters and the actual mechanism are both unresolved, so that it can only be regarded as a possi- ble factor for consideration (Gokhberg et al., 1983; King, 1983; Sardarov, 1981). 4.2 GEOGRAPHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF UFO SIGHTINGS A persuasive argument presented in favor of the TST is that seismic activity and UFO reports appear to be statisti- cally correlated in space and time. That is, seismically ac- tive areas will have accompanying high numbers of UFO re- ports. In the TST, however, a "lag" is sometimes introduced to compensate for the lack of a direct one-to-one correspon- dence within the data. An earthquake in an area is not ex- pected to be directlY associated with a particular UFO re- port. This makes the theory neatly unaffected by complaints that UFOs might not be observed near an earthquake epicentre at the time of the event (of course, since the reporting of UFOs is related to psychological and sociological processes, the number of variables influencing the eventual reporting of a UFO over a period of many months and within a large ra- dius is going to be considerable). - 29 - Actually, the existence of UFO reports within a large ra- dius of an epicentre need not be surprising. UFO reports ap- pear to be generally related to population density in some ways, and, as they are a significantly subjective phenomena, one would expect them to be related to other phenomena that involve similar subjective limitations. After all, Persinger (1983b) noted that the best results for the New Madrid area, for example, were strongest when states surrounding the New Madrid states were included. Is this because of a real se- ismicity-UFO correlation or because a larger radius means a larger population to report UFOs? It has also been said that: "the more intense the quake, the longer the lag back"(Persinger, 1980b), when referring to the TST, consistent with the theory and its strain field mechanism. But one can wonder, then, if a low intensity event will really imply a short lag between the event and the UFO observation. How well-defined is this relationship? How well are UFOs actually related to seismic activity? Since attempts have been made to demonstrate statistically that UFOs are related to seismically active areas, a logical step would be to determine if this is physically the case. Can we test the TST using other data? In particular, con- sistent with the TST is the suggestion that a seismically- inactive area should not be burdened with a plethora of UFO reports. Therefore, a seismically-inactive area, such as Manitoba, should not have a history of frequent UFO sight- - 30 - ings. But this is not the case, as there are a large number of UFO reports on record for the province (Rutkowski, 1983). The studies of Persinger (unpubl) show that all but the very-high-strangeness UFO cases could be correlated to se- ismic activity. The report sample of Ufology Research of Manitoba should therefore show some sort of relationship to seismic activity in the province and/or the surrounding area. Manitoba, however, is not known to be a seismically-ac- tive province, and there have been no earthquakes within its borders (Wilson and Brisbin, 1962). Yet, over 500 Manitoba UFO reports are on file with UFOROM. How can this be recon- ciled with the TST? Persinger (1983b) includes a radius of up to 200 km be- tween earthquakes and UFO reports in his studies of statis- tical correlations. we must therefore incorporate this dis- tance into any comparative map of UFO reports and seismic events for Manitoba, including the surrounding provinces and states. However, within a radius of 200 km from the Manitoba border (not necessarily from UFO report sites), there have been only eight recorded earthquakes over the last 100 years.{5} These earthquakes are listed in Table 1. __________ {5} For the sake of completeness, we can include one addition- al event which occurred in 1880. - 31 - Table 1 Earthquakes in and Around Manitoba, 1880-1984 28 Dec 1880* 49.0 N 97.2 W III Pembina 16 May 1909 49.0 N 104.0 W 5.5 VI Westby 8 Aug 1915 48.2 N 103.6 w IV Williston 6 Feb 1917* 47.9 N 95.0 w IV Red Lake 23 Dec 1928 47.6 N 93.9 w IV Bemiji 26 Oct 1946 48.2 N 103.7 w IV Williston 7 Nov 1976* 50.8 N 102.0 w 3.0 IV Esterhazy 4 Nov 1978* 50.7 N 101.8 w 3.1 V Esterhazy 10 Jan 1981* 51.9 N 103.4 w 3.1 V Canora Of these, only five (*) were considered near enough to UFO- prone areas to be consistent and viable through the TST (Gendzwill et al., 1982; Horner and Hasegawa, 1978; Reagor et al., 1981; Stover et al., 1981)(See Map 1). With regard to the year-by-year distribution of UFO re- ports for Manitoba, there were three major "flap years", namely 1952, 1967 and 1975, when report numbers climbed con- siderably above the normal background level. These years co- incide with "flap years" in other parts of the world, as agreed upon by other researchers, and are considered part of a world-wide trend (Rutkowski, 1983)(See Figure 4). - 32 - Map 1 Earthquakes Near Manitoba Compiled and Plotted by C. Rutkowski (1983) - - Figure 4: Tabulation of Manitoba UFO reports by year. Reproduced from Rutkowski (1983). - - The first observation that we can make is that there were no earthquakes within real "range" of Manitoba during these "flap" periods. Only one earthquake (7 Nov 1976) occurred within a 2-year interval of a flap year (1975), and this oc- curred 300-400 km away from the area which experienced the bulk of the reports (Carman). This means that no earthquake was related to a surge of UFO reports, even through the ac- tion of a moveable strain field, with the exception of one event that is more than likely a coincidence. Secondly, these were all low-intensity events, and highly-localized, so that they were not felt beyond a small radius. Given the large number of UFO reports in the province, it is not conceivable that they are related to seismic activi- ty. No statistical study is necessary in this case, since the lack of seismic events and the contrasting abundance of UFO data are not conducive toward conditions for analysis. In Manitoba, there can be no "optimal" temporal or spatial increment in analogue to the New Madrid area studied by Per- singer (1983b). In Map 2, the geographic locations of UFO reports in Man- itoba have been plotted. These represent more than 150 places where over 500 reports have been made within the province since 1900 (Rutkowski, 1983). Map 3 exhibits the rural population distribution for Manitoba (Weir, 1960). It is immediately obvious that, in general, the distribution of - 33 - Map 2 MANITOBA UFO Report Distribution Compiled and Plotted by C. Rutkowski (1983) - - Map 3 MANITOBA RURAL POPULATION - - UFO reports within the province is similar, if not identi- cal, to the distribution of population. This is because the reporting of UFOs is through a human system. Since UFOs are reported by people, there will be a strong relationship be- tween the two elements. What do these maps tell us about the occurrence of UFOs in Manitoba? Since there are very few populated areas in Manitoba north of 52 degrees latitude, the lack of UFO re- ports means only that few people are present to observe UFOs if and when they appear. In fact, there seems more evidence for a UFO-demographic relationship than a UFO-geologic one. Determining a relationship between faults and/or seismic events and UFO reports appears geographically untenable, at least in Manitoba. We see, then, that UFO reports do not necessarily indi- cate seismic activity (this is, in fact, stated in the TST). In the TST, it is even possible that UFOs may be associated with unknown or undiscovered faults in the Earth's crust. In considering this possibility, a map of the faults in Manito- ba needs to be examined as well. Map 4 is a representation of major geologic fault systems in the province, showing that with the exception of two faults in the Whiteshell area, all are well over 200 km from the bulk of UFO report sites (Manitoba Mineral Resources Di- vision, 1979). - 34 - >From 70744.3253@CompuServe.COM Sun May 15 15:32:48 1994 Return-Path: <70744.3253@CompuServe.COM> Received: from arl-img-2.compuserve.com by canopus.CC.UManitoba.CA (4.1/25-eef) id AA20883; Sun, 15 May 94 15:32:43 CDT Received: from localhost by arl-img-2.compuserve.com (8.6.4/5.940406sam) id QAA21781; Sun, 15 May 1994 16:32:43 -0400 Date: 15 May 94 16:27:50 EDT From: David Thacker <70744.3253@CompuServe.COM> To: Chris Rutkowski Subject: TST Paper part 2/2 Message-Id: <940515202750_70744.3253_CHK35-1@CompuServe.COM> Status: OR Map 4 MANITOBA Geologic Faults Compiled and Plotted by C. Rutkowski (1983) Adapted from Manitoba Mineral Resources Division. Geologic Map of Manitoba, Map 79-2. (1979) - - In an early TST study (Persinger and Lafreniere, 1977), UFO report numbers were compared with "gravity anomalies", showing a reported correlation. Map 5 gives the relative intensities of gravity anomalies in the province. There are relative gravity highs in the densely-populated prairies, with large low anomalies in the extreme north and west parts of the province (Davies et al., 1962). It is apparent that there is a poor geographic relation- ship between faults and UFO report areas in Manitoba. This must mean, then, that there exist undiscovered faults in the UFO report areas, according to the TST. This is permissible in the TST, since it is the strain field which is the pro- duction mechanism for luminous phenomena. It has been pro- posed that these luminous ball-like UFOs may be earthquake lights associated with very small, local seismic events, with a magnitude less than 2 and perhaps even less than 1 on the Richter scale (Simon, 1983). Since there is always some amount of subsidence, release and buildup of small strains within the Earth's crust, the TST might be broadly embraced to explain all UFO phenomena. Not only could all luminous lights be explained by strain-related EM emission, but also all close-encounters where witnesses report bizarre experi- ences. This is so because EM emission has been shown to be capable of affecting the human brain, causing hallucina- tions. It appears that, at face value, the TST can be used to explain a phenomenon with a wide variety of characteris- tics. - 35 - Map 5 MANITOBA Gravity Anomalies Compiled and Plotted by C. Rutkowski (1983) - - But why, then, if the strain produces UFO reports, is there not a more direct relationship between earthquakes and UFOs? Why would there not be a flurry of reports during se- ismic activity in the area near the epicentre? 4.3 EARTHQUAKE LIGHTS AND DILATANCY HYPOTHESES The dilatancy model of strain precursors explains that it is the movement of water into microcracks within a strained area that causes dilation. Rikitake (1975) suggests it is even possible to calculate the size of the dilated area as crustal deformation. The formula for calculating this is: M = 1.96 log r + 4.45 where r is the radius measured in kilometres. Therefore, an (unmeasurable) event with a magnitude of 1 will have a radi- us of about 17 metres. r = 10^_B where _B = (M-4.45)/(1.96) ( a magnitude 4.45 event will have a dilatancy radius of 1 km ) The problem of UFOs being small, "local" earthquake lights is basic: their differing characteristics. Earth- quake lights are stationary and of very short duration, be- - 36 - ing associated with events at the time of the fracture, and appear at that time. UFOs, on the other hand, come in a myriad of colors, move erratically and are not visibly asso- ciated with any crustal movement. The TST argues that UFOs move as they do because the strain field they "belong to" moves in the same manner. How- ever, since UFOs have been reported to move with great speed, one wonders if a strain field could move with such velocity. Even fracture propagations (the earthquake mecha- nism) often take several days to travel short distances. TST proponents believe that the strain field could, in fact, react to geophysical processes including lunar tidal effects and geomagnetic field changes. These reactions could provide a moving force for the strain field, according to corollaries of the TST. The exact mechanism is not proposed, although it is assumed that it involves crustal movement as- socited with gravitic and magnetic attraction. In effect, the ground beneath a UFO is said to be affected (probably dilated) and as the strain field reacts, the dilation shifts, carrying the UFO with it. These microdilatory ef- fects are essentially too small to detect (and, in fact, there are no reported cases in geophysical literature), so that the only evidence we could have for their existence would be a visible UFO. - 37 - 4.4 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS While it is true that there have been precursory dila- tions associated with shallow earthquakes, a major factor for consideration is the focal depth of the events. One would expect, naturally, that shallow earthquakes would show more precursory crustal deformation than deep events. One indication is the fact that at depths below 200 km, the na- ture of the earthquake focal mechanism itself is modified, so that dilation cannot easily occur (Kasahara, 1981). If in fact luminous effects caused by emissions are pro- duced by strain, then their association with deep-focus events would be very puzzling. Since attenuation of electro- magnetic waves through rock is often of the order of only a few metres, it is difficult to explain how emissions within a strained area could reach the surface and produce detecta- ble effects. - 38 Chapter V OTHER TST-RELATED THEORIES 5.1 VESTIGIA A group whose work supports that of Persinger and paral- lels his research on the TST is Vestigia, a group of indi- viduals who have conducted independent studies into so- called "spook lights".{6} The group has often set up field experiments in areas frequented by these lights, using equipment such as geiger counters, methane detectors, infra- red sensors and radio detection equipment with several thou- sand feet of wire attached to an amplifier and an oscillo- scope. They have reported the detection of radio emission of 40 kHz during the observation of yellowish-white lights along railroad tracks in areas with small faults or alluvial soils (Wagner et al., 1978). Their theory for the phenomenon is nearly identical to the TST: "When quartz-bearing rock is subjected to stress...an immense electrostatic charge is generated. At the maximum periods of lunar tidal stresses (sic) this __________ {6} It appears that Persinger has drawn upon Vestigia's re- sults and theories to some degree. - 39 - effect would be more pronounced. If sufficient electrical fields are created close to the surface, a portion of the spherical field would be above the surface. In a region where either faults or loose- packed alluvial soils are present, radon gas would be emitted into the air at the surface. This radioactive gas would create partially "ionized" pockets of air which would be enhanced by the highly electrified fields in the region. This would, in turn, start a low-energy plasma of small size which would be pre- dominantly near railroad tracks or power lines that traverse the terrain." (Wagner et al., 1978) The Vestigia group goes on to describe details such as colors of the lights, the effect of changes in atmospheric and the effect on humans in the proximity. Although the theory is well-described, little in the way of supporting physical mechanisms is given, showing more similarity with the TST. Vestigia has produced photographs of the lights and records of the instrumental detection of the events, as well as numerous witnesses' accounts. In sup- port of Vestigia, it should be noted that although many "spook lights" have been reported around the world, no sci- entific investigation of them has been conducted by the sci- entific community. Vestigia has gone to considerable length to document the phenomenon, and has produced a theory which - 40 - is consistent with the observations, although a quantitative assessment is certainly in order. The theory is subject to considerable constraints. Once again, it would be desireable to know the relation- ship between stress and energy production, and the energy requirements involved. Also, one would have to question the observations themselves, since Vestigia has described in one instance a "spook light" that was visible and detectable from only one direction (Wiedemann, 1977). The TST would here invoke the influence of EM emission upon the human brain to explain the appearance of a UFO to one person and not another, but the Vestigia theory leaves this question unanswered, although it has commented on animal precursors of earthquakes (Wagner et al., 1978). The Vestigia group has also expressed its view that electrostatic fields of the order of 10^5 V m^-1 could be gen- erated in quartz-bearing rock under stress. They include piezoelectricity in their approach as well, and describe a relationship between earthquakes and "spook lights". Specif- ically, they found that 80% of recorded "spook lights" cor- respond to "regions of extensive earthquake activity". But they realized that the other 20% would constitute a problem. They were encouraged, however, by the finding that a light in South Carolina not on a previously recognized fault was in fact on a fault discovered after the light's documenta- tion. - 41 - In April of 1978, some of Vestigia's consultants present- ed a paper to the American Geophysical Union meeting on "earth stress lights", and as a result of their studies, an- nounced: "we now [have] introduced to the scientific commu- nity a realistic explanation for luminous occurrences in earthquake regions" (Wagner and Visvanathan, 1978). As well, based on their "spook light" research and proba- bly also due to the success of a light "predicting" a fault, Vestigia commented that: "Possibly within the next 10 years, THERE WILL BE AN EARTHQUAKE in Florida, S.E. Texas and S.E. Maryland." (Wagner et al., 1978) (emphasis in original) Vestigia's theory is actually preferable to the TST in some ways because it focusses on only one type of UFO, the "spook light", which has its own individual characteristics. Statistical studies involving the TST have used raw UFO data from UFO report catalogues, incorporating a wide variety of characteristics, and hence may involve several different phenomena. - 42 - 5.2 EARTH LIGHTS Another group of researchers doing independent research into strain-related luminous phenomena are involved in the Dragon Project. Involved are: Don Robins, an inorganic che- mist; Paul Devereux, an archaeological researcher and writer about UFOs; and Paul McCartney, a geochemist. The Dragon Project cites the work of Persinger and Brady{7} in support of their own research into the relationship between UFOs and geophysical phenomena. But these two groups of researchers have rather marked distinctions. Firstly, the Dragon Project is primarily interested in the petroforms of England, including Stonehenge, Rollright and other megalithic sites (Devereux and Forrest, 1982). The researchers believe that they have found that "stone circles...emit anomalously high and anomalously low lev- els... of radiation. (Robins, 1982)" Combined with this ra- diation is also ultrasound production, detected at some sites (Robins, 1982). What has been found is that certain sites give geiger counter readings at levels above the nor- mal background, while at some sites, the background is unus- ually low. The Dragon Project has put forth the concept of "Earth energy", which is more mystical than mechanical. This "Earth energy" is reportedly detected by dowsers and psy- chics, and permeates all things in analogy to the famous __________ {7} Specifically, Persinger and Lafreniere (1977) and Brady et al (unpub). - 43 - "ether" of the ancient philosophers (Robins, 1982). One of the proponents of this energy, Devereux (1982), combined the concept of radiation emission with that of UFOs. Devereux and his associates carried out several ex- periments (all with unpublished details and results) in which they crushed a specimen of rock and observed lights produced during the process (Devereux et al., 1983). In this way, they were able to "confirm" the results of Brady et al (unpub). Frequently referring to Persinger's research, Devereux (1982) found "the best UFO-geology correlations yet pub- lished". He found that many UFO sightings in Wales occurred within a few hundred metres of a fault. But he makes a quantum leap from faults to earthquake lights at one point (citing Derr (1977)), and links the TST with his research (Devereux, 1982). Devereux, however, makes one distinction in that he disa- grees that piezoelectricity is the causative mechanism for UFOs. He suggests triboluminescence "as a more likely candi- date" (Devereux et al., 1983). The two processes are differ- ent mechanisms, but both produce luminous phenomena in min- erals. Piezoelectricity is created when certain crystals are subjected to pressure, while triboluminescence is the effect caused by mechanical friction upon two mineral surfaces. - 44 - Devereux, although claiming to have duplicated Brady's experiments, describes a photograph of "triboluminescence in rock crystal...after it has been subjected to friction (Dev- ereux et al., 1983)." But Brady (Brady et al., unpub) sub- jected his granitic core sample to pressure, a different mechanism. There appears to be a lack of distinction here, and a probable contributing factor to this confusion is the fact that the experimental results of neither Brady nor Dev- ereux have been formally published. A further similarity between the TST and EL (Earth Lights) theories is that the latter includes the possibility that the energy that "creates" the EL may effect the human brain. In this regard, the EL theory claims that psychics or "sensitives" might be more apt to perceive these energies than other people (Persinger, 1975). Although no actual mechanism is proposed, the implication is that the "Earth energy" acts upon the brain in a method in agreement with that proposed by the TST. It is clear, then, that the EL theory parallels the TST in many ways. A significant difference is that the EL theo- ry restricts "Earth energy" effects upon human systems to distances generally less than 1 km, whereas the TST involves faults and/or events up to 200 km away from an observer. - 45 - Chapter VI CONCLUSIONS The TST (Tectonic Strain Theory) is a theory with minimal supportive evidence, but with wide appeal for individuals wishing to explain a persistent phenomenon in terms of known mechanisms. While elements of the TST appear to include doc- umented geophysical phenomena, the main thrust of the theory hinges on its unproved relationship with a controversial phenomena, namely UFOs. For a theory of its kind, the TST has received a large amount of publicity and a generally un- contested entrance into published scientific literature. This situation has resulted in an apparent acceptance of the theory's "principles" without proper scientific comment. Although statistics on UFO reports have been kept for nearly forty years (and much earlier, if we include pre-1947 reports), the data are without many redeeming features. Data sources such as UFOCAT and MANUFOCAT contain many reports with poor investigation or insufficient information due to the methods used in obtaining the data. For example, many entries in UFOCAT are from published articles or newspaper clippings, and not necessarily from an investigator's re- port. Many reports are therefore anecdotal rather than fac- tual (Rutkowski, 1983). - 46 - Even in the case of entries copied from investigators' files, the problem of consistency remains. The quality of investigative effort is expected to vary, since essentially anyone could call his- or herself an "investigator", regard- less of qualifications, and submit reports for entering into the file. Although this is not as true today, with efforts for standardization in preparation, the lack of training could easily account for judgement errors in early case files. Admittedly, this was not always so; the files contain many greatly-detailed reports from good investigators (in- cluding law enforcement officials) (Hendry, 1979). They may, in fact, have been good reason for lower-stan- dard investigations. Most UFO investigators and researchers are not funded for their efforts, so lack of travelling ex- penses might preclude many investigations. Some might lack the experience to identify high-flying aircraft and their descriptions. Others might include their own personal bias in their report (e.g. by asking a witness: "How big was the craft?" rather than "What was the angular size of the ob- ject?"). Still others might just make a judgement error. All of these problems with UFO data are found in all UFO report listings. It is details such as these which have led one UFO researcher to comment that UFOCAT is not useable for statistical studies of UFO data because of inherent flaws in its design (Hendry, 1979). Yet, the TST uses several UFO - 47 - data sources for statistical correlative studies, with very vaguely-defined parameters. There is no question that some of the geophysical pro- cesses invoked in the TST are sound. Rock undergoing strain can indeed give off EM radiation that can be detected by sensors near the event. Whether this EM emission is scale invariant is an entirely different matter.{8} There is also no question that earthquake lights exist, and that their mecha- nism is not fully understood. The TST suggests that UFOs are essentially the same phenomenon, and it has been proposed (in a questionable manner) that the statistical correla- tion between UFOs and earthquakes is supportive of the theo- ry (Persinger, 1983a, 1983b, 1983c, 1983d). But the existence of UFOs in aseismic areas seems to con- tradict this correlation. To suggest that the seismic activ- ity exists in these areas with magnitudes less than 2 (or even 1) on the Richter scale is perhaps grasping for straws. Certainly, activity in the range of magnitude 1 can occur frequently in many areas, so that the observation of UFOs should be at a constant value. While it is true that UFO re- ports have a "background" level, this is more the case of reporting rather than the reports themselves as the main contributors. {8} Brady (1973, 1974), has given evidence to show that strain itself may be scale invariant. Whether this might include EM emissions is not clear. - 48 - Also, there are different characteristics of earthquake lights and UFOs that need to be considered. Earthquake lights are reported as generally stationary hemispheres of white light, in contact with the ground. They are 20 to 200 metres in diameter, and follow an earthquake, with a dura- tion of 10 to 100 seconds. They do not occur at an epicen- ter, but in areas around it at varying radii (10 to 50 km), and frequently on mountaintops (Derr, 1973, 1977; Hedervari, 1982). UFOs, by definition, are seen in the air, and are observed in areas where no earthquake is felt. They are most often described as spherical, with the next most frequent shapes reported being point sources, discs and cigars. There are two main distributions of sizes: <1 metre, and >4 metres. Red, white and orange, in that order, are the most frequently- reported colors of UFOs. The duration of a UFO sighting ranges between a few seconds up to an hour or more (Hendry, 1979; Rutkowski, 1983). A comparison of the characteristics of the two phenomena shows they do differ significantly and that any attempt to reconcile these differences needs to properly address the dissimilar features. In an early study where a form of the TST was first de- scribed, not only were geophysical events correlated with UFOs, but also unusual objects falling from the sky, EM ef- fects, unusual human talents, telekinetic events and ghost sightings. In the early study, it was said that: - 49 - "Transient and unusual phenomena should occur in areas where tectonic stress is accumulating. Episodes may not necessarily involve areas of well-known seismici- ty, since these areas may only reflect structural weakness along the stress axis." (Persinger and Lafre- niere, 1977) It was implied that most unusual phenomena were related to geophysical processes. Interestingly, Devereux (1982), himself a proponent of a form of the TST, asks of Persinger's research: "Why attempt to explain other, possibly more complex and perhaps unrelated mechanisms under the same con- ceptual umbrella?...This approach to the UFO problem cannot sensibly be conducted over the entire USA in any case - the area is so vast that untenable numbers of UFO events would have to be involved. And how would one cope with the detailed geological data of such a continental area, even if it is available?" (Devereux, 1982) (emphasis in original) He concludes: "...despite all the scientific trappings [the] work displays, the conclusions drawn owe as much to intui- tion as to the computer..." - 50 - This represents perhaps the most succinct published crit- icism of the TST on record. One of the few other criticisms of the TST, this time di- rected at Devereux et al. (1983), was by Campbell (1983). He pointed out that "since Britain is criss-crossed with geo- logical faults, it is not surprising that 'many reports of UFO sightings come from areas close' to them." He cautioned that Devereux "should be as concerned with the UFO data as [he is] with geology," since Persinger's data base was flawed, and that "the geological jargon conceals a poverty of hypotheses." Devereux quickly countered by saying that surface fault- ing does not cover Britain as Campbell implies, and that he did not think that the UFO/fault relationship was coinci- dence. He also came to Persinger's defense by calling his work "meticulous", and saying that: "If [UFOs are] all hoaxes or hallucinations, then we had better start wondering why figments of the imagi- nation correlate with faulting."(Devereux, 1983) Of course, the problem is not that UFOs are hoaxes or hallu- cinations (few are), but that the majority are misidentifi- cations. In the end, the major problem is that of the data itself. We know that seismic activity exists, and that earthquake - 51 - lights exist, and that UFO reports exist. But the data for these phenomena is taken from a variety of sources and cov- ers a variety of disciplines. The handling of data has always been a problem, and sev- eral statisticians have cautioned against its misinterpreta- tion. "When...probabilistic considerations seem to be called for, we now feel more hesitant about postulating sim- ple parametric distributions. We are not now so sure that there is a likelihood function, or a set of suf- ficient statistics, or an exact test of signifi- cance...Thus we view data with greater respect, with greater curiosity about what is there; and we have less confidence that we know just what questions should be answered and in what way." (Anscombe,1982) While the TST is very appealing in its description of UFO phenomena in terms of "terrestrial", rather than "extrater- restrial" mechanisms, it provides little in the way of sup- portive evidence that its mechanism actually exists. As a hypothesis, it cannot be discounted; only the evidence in its support can be evaluated as either favorable or not fav- orable. But using one poorly-understood phenomenon to ex- plain another using an unknown mechanism is perhaps too much to expect at this point (Rutkowski, 1984).{9} __________ {9} The text of this paper is given in the Appendix. - 52 - It is possible that the TST may explain some aspects of the UFO phenomenon, but the theory needs a great deal of re- fining and rethinking before it can be applied in general to the phenomena it incorporates. - 53 - BIBLIOGRAPHY Anscombe, F.J. (1982) "How Much to Look at the Data" Utilitas Mathematica, 21A, 23-28. Barry, J. Dale. (1968) "Laboratory Ball Lightning". Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, 30, 313-317. Barsukov, O.M. (1979) "A Possible Cause of the Electrical Precursors of Earthquakes". Izvestiya, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Physics, 15(8), 588-591. Bath, M. (1973) Introduction to Seismology. John Wiley & Sons, Toronto. Beal, J.B. (1974) "How Fields Affect Us". Fields Within Fields Within Fields..., 14, 46-57. Becker, R.O. (1969) "The Effect of Magnetic Fields Upon the Central Nervous System". In: Biological Effects of Magnetic Fields, V.2, M.F. Barnothy, ed., Plenum Press, NY, 207-214. Bishop, J.R. (1981) "Piezoelectric Effects in Quartz-Rich Rocks". Tectonophysics, 77, 297-321. Brady, B.T. (1974) "Theory of Earthquakes". Pure and Applied Geophysics, 112, 701-725. Brady, B.T., Duvall, W.I. and Horino, F.G. (1973) "An Experimental Determination of the True Uniaxial Stress- Strain Behavior of Brittle Rock". Rock Mechanics, 5, 107-120. Brady, B.T., Rowell, G.A. and Yoder, L.P. (unpub) "Physical Precursors of Rock Failure: A Laboratory Investigation". (unpublished manuscript) Brown, L. and Reilinger, R. (1983) "Crustal Movement". Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics, 21(3), 553-559. Bullen, R.E. (1953) "On Strain Energy and Strength in the Earth's Upper Mantle". Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 34(1), 107-109. Bullen, K.E. (1955) "On the Size of the Strained Region Prior to an Extreme Earthquake". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 45, 43-46. - 54 - Bullen, K.E. (1963) Introduction to the Theory of Seismology. Cambridge University Press, NY. Buskirk, R.E., Frohlich, C. and Latham, G.V. (1981) "Unusual Animal Behavior Before Earthquakes: a Review of Possible Sensory Mechanisms". Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics, 19(2), 247-270. Cahill, D.F. (1983) "A Suggested Limit for Population Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation". Health Physics, 45(1), 109-126. Campbell, S. (1983) "UFO Data". New Scientist, (15 December), 799. Charman, W.N. (1979) "Ball Lightning". Physics Reports, 54(4), 261-306. Davies, J.F., Bannatyne, B.B., Barry, G.S. and McCabe, H.R. (1962) Geology and Mineral Resources of Manitoba. Manitoba Department of Mines and Natural Resources, Mines Branch, Winnipeg. Demin, V.M., Sobolev, G.A., Los', V.F. and Maybuk, Yu.Ya. (1981) "Nature of Mechanoelectric Radiation From Ore Bodies". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Science Section, 260, 9-11. Derr, J.S. (1973) "Earthquake Lights: a Review of Observations and Present Theories". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 63(6), 2177-2187. Derr, J.S. (1977) "Earthquake Lights". Earthquake Information Bulletin, 9(3), 18-21. Devereux, P. (1982) Earth Lights. Turnstone Press, Wellingborough, England. Devereux, P. and Forrest, R. (1982) "Straight Lines on an Ancient Landscape". New Scientist, (23/30 December), 822-826. Devereux, P., McCartney, P. and Robins, D. (1983) "Bringing UFOs Down to Earth". New Scientist, (1 September), 627-630. Devereux, P. (1983) "UFOs and Faults". New Scientist, (20 October), 217. Finkelstein, D. and Powell, J. (1970) "Earthquake Lightning". Nature, 228, 759-760. - 55 - Finkelstein, D., Hill, R.D. and Powell, J.R. (1973) "The Piezoelectric Theory of Earthquake Lightning". Journal of Geophysical Research, 78(6), 992-993. Gendzwill, D.J., Horner, R.B. and Hasegawa, H.S. (1982) "Induced Earthquakes at a Potash Mine Near Saskatoon, Canada". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 19(3), 466-475. Gokhberg, M.B., Gufel'd, I.L., Dobrovol'skiy, I.P. and Nersesov, I.L. (1983) "Preparation Processes, Indicators and Precursors of Crustal Earthquakes". Izvestiya, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Physics (2), 113-118. Gohkberg, M.B., Morgunov, V.A. and Aronov, Ye.L. (1980) "Radiofrequency Radiation During Earthquakes". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Science Section, 248, 32-35. Gohkberg, M.B., Morgounov, V.A., Yoshino, T. and Tomizawa, I. (1982) "Experimental Measurement of Electromagnetic Emissions Possibly Related to Earthquakes in Japan". Journal of Geophysical Research, 87(B9), 7824-7828. Gol'd, R.M., Markov, G.P., Mogila, P.G. and Samokhvalov, M.A. (1975) "Pulsed Electromagnetic Radiation of Minerals and Rocks Subjected to Mechanical Loading". Izvestiya, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Physics of the Solid Earth, 11, 468-469. Haines, R.F. (1980) Observing UFOs. Nelson-Hall, Chicago. Hedervari, P. (1982) "Luminous Phenomena and Other Particular Events Before, During and After Earthquakes in the Carpathian Basin". EOS, 63(51), 1258. Hendry, A. (1979) The UFO Handbook. Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NY. Horner, R.B., and Hasegawa, H.S. (1978) "The Seismotectonics of Southern Saskatchewan". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 15, 1341-1355. Jacobs, D.M. (1976) The UFO Controversy in America. Signet, NY. Kasahara, K. (1981) Earthquake Mechanics. Cambridge University Press, NY. King, Chi-Yu (1983) "Electromagnetic Emissions Before Earthquakes". Nature, 301, 377. - 56 - Klass, P.J. (1966) "Plasma Theory May Explain Many UFOs". Aviation Week and Space Technology, 85, 45-61. Kuksenko, V.S., Kil'keyev, R.Sh. and Miroshnichenko, M.I. (1981) "Interpretation of Electrical Precursors of Earthquakes". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Sciences Sections, 260, 19-20. Lockner, D.A., Johnston, M.J.S. and Byerlee, J.D. (1983) "A Mechanism to Explain the Generation of Earthquake Lights". Nature, 302, 28-33. Manitoba Mineral Resources Division (1979) Geologic Map of Manitoba, Map 79-2. Mizutani, H., Ishido, T., Yokokura, T. and Ohnishi, S. (1976) "Electrokinetic Phenomena Associated With Earthquakes". Geophysical Research Letters, 3(7), 365-368. Nitzan, U. (1977) "Electromagnetic Emission Following Fracture of Quartz-Bearing Rocks". Geophysical Research Letters, 4(8), 333-336. Perel'man, M.E. and Khatiashvili, N.G. (1981) "Radio Emission Accompanying Brittle Fracture of Dielectrics". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Sciences Sections, 256, 13-15. Persinger, M.A. (1973) "Possible Cardiac Driving by an External Rotating Magnetic Field". International Journal of Biometeorology, 17(3), 263-266. Persinger, M.A. (1975) "Geophysical Models for Parapsychological Experiences". Pschoenergetic Systems, 1, 63-74. Persinger, M.A. (1976) "Transient Geophysical Bases for Ostensible UFO-Related Phenomena and Associated Verbal Behavior". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 43, 215-221. Persinger, M.A. (1979a) "Limitations of Human Verbal Behavior in the Context of UFO-Related Stimuli". In: UFO Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist, R.F. Haines, ed., Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J., 164-187. Persinger, M.A. (1979b) "Possible Infrequent Geophysical Sources of Close UFO Encounters: Expected Physical and Behavioral-Biological Effects". In: UFO Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist, R.F. Haines, ed., Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J., 396-433. - 57 - Persinger, M.A. (1980a) "Earthquake Activity and Antecedent UFO Report Numbers". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 50, Persinger, M.A. (1980b) "New Explanation for Some UFO Sightings". In: Quirks and Quarks (transcript), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Nov. 8, 1980. Persinger, M.A. (1981) "Geophysical Variables and Behavior: III. Prediction of UFO Reports by Geomagnetic abd Seismic Activity". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 53, 115-122. Persinger, M.A. (1982) "Geophysical Variables and Behavior: IV. UFO Reports and Fortean Phenomena: Temporal Correlations in the Central USA". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 54, 299-302. Persinger, M.A. (1983a) "Geophysical Variables and Behavior: VII. Prediction of Recent European UFO Reports by Nineteenth-Century Luminosity and Solar-Seismic Measures". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 56, 91-95. Persinger, M.A. (1983b) "Geophysical Variables and Human Behavior: VIII. Specific Prediction of UFO Reports Within the New Madrid States by Solar-Geomagnetic and Seismic Measures". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 56, 243-249. Persinger, M.A. (1983c) "Geophysical Variables and Behavior: IX. Expected Clinical Consequences of Close Proximity to UFO-Related Luminosities". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 56, 259-265. Persinger, M.A. (1983d) "Geophysical Variables and Human Behavior: XV. Tectonic Strain Luminosities (UFO Reports) As Predictable But Hidden Events Within Pre-1947 Central U.S.A.". Perceptual and Motor Skills. 57. 1227-1234. Persinger. M.A. (1983e) "Religious and Mystical Experiences As Artifacts of Temporal Lobe Function: A General Hypothesis". Perceptual and Motor Skills, 57, 1255-1262. Persinger, M.A. (unpubl) "Tectonogenic Luminosities: Geomagnetic Variables as Possible Enhancer Conditions for UFO Reports Preceding Earthtremors Within the New Madrid States". (unpublished manuscript) Persinger, M.A. (unpub2) "The Tectonic Strain Theory of Luminosities (UFO Reports): Determining Optimal Temporal, Spatial and Intensity Parameters". (unpublished manuscript) Persinger, M.A. and Lafreniere, G.F. (1977) Space-Time Transients and Unusual Events. Nelson-Hall, Chicago. - 58 - Reagor, B.G., Stover, C.W. and Algermissen, St.T. (1981) Seismicity Map of the State of North Dakota. U.S. Geological Survey, Miscellaneous Field Studies, Map MF-1326. Richter, C.F. (1958) Elementary Seismology. W.H. Freeman & Co., San Francisco. Rikitake, T. (1975) "Dilatancy Model and Empirical Formulas for an Earthquake Area". Pure and Applied Geophysics, 113, 141-147. Rikitake, T. (1976) Earthquake Prediction. Elsevier, N.Y. Robins, D. (1982) "The Dragon Project and the Talking Stones". New Scientist, (21 October), 166-170. Rocard, Y. (1964) "Actions of a Very Weak Magnetic Gradient: The Reflex of the Dowser". In: Biological Effects of Magnetic Fields, V.1, Barnothy , M.F., ed., Plenum Press, NY, 279-286. Rutkowski, C. (1983) The UFOROM Datafile: MANUFOCAT. Ufology Research of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Rutkowski, C. (1984) "Geophysical Variables and Human Behavior: Some Criticisms". Perceptual and Motor Skills, in press. Sadovskiy, M.A., Sobolev, G.A. and Migunov, N.I. (1979) "Variations of the Natural Radiowave Emission of the Earth During a Severe Earthquake in the Carpathians". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Sciences Section, 244, 4-6. Sardarov, S.S. (1981) "Empirical Relationship Between Anomalies That Are Short-Term Predictors of Impending Earthquakes and Earthquake Parameters". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Sciences Section, 258, Saunders, D.R. (1978) The UFOCAT Codebook. Center for UFO Studies, Evanston, Illinois. Sheppard, A.R. and Eisenbud, M. (1977) Biological Effects of Electric and Magnetic Fields of Extremely Low Frequency. New York University Press, NY. Simon, C. (1983) "Looking Out for Luminous Phenomena". Science News, 124, 412. - 59 - Sobolev, G.A., Demin, V.M., Los', V.F. and Maybuk, Yu.Ya. (1980) "Mechanoelectric Emission by Ore Bodies". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Science Section, 252, 34-35. Stover, C.W., Reagor, B.G. and Algermissen, S.T. (1981) Seismicity Map of the State of Minnesota. U.S. Geological Survey, Miscellaneous Field Studies, Map MF-1323. Volarovich, M.P., Parkhomenko, E.I. and Sobolev, G.A. (1959) "Field Investigation of the Piezoelectric Effect in Quartz-Bearing Rock". Doklady, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Science Section, 128, 964-966. Wagner, W., Hulse, R. and McGrath, J. (1978) "'Spook Lights'. The Vestigia Update". Vestigia Newsletter, 2(3), 1-7. Wagner, W.S. and Visvanathan, T.R. (1978) "'Earthquake Lights': A Potential Aid in Earthquake Forecasting". EOS, 59(4), 329. Weir, T.R., ed. (1960) Economic Atlas of Manitoba. Manitoba Department of Industry and Commerce, Winnipeg. Wiedemann, C.L. (1977) "Results of the N.J. 'Spook Light' Study". Vestigia Newsletter, 1(2), 1-4. Wilson, H.D.B. and Brisbin, W.C. (1962) "Tectonics of the Canadian Shield in Northern Manitoba". Royal Society of Canada, Special Publications, no.4, 60-75. Wyss, M. (1983) "Earthquake Prediction". Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics, 21(6), 1291-1298. Yoshikawa, S. and Mogi, K. (1981) "A New Method for Estimation of the Crustal Stress From Cored Rock Samples: Laboratory Study in the Case of Uniaxial Compression". Tectonophysics, 74, 323-339. - 60 - Appendix A - 61 - Geophysical Variables and Human Behavior: Some Criticisms Through statistical studies of geophysical phenomena and UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) reports, it has been suggested that some reports of UFOs might reasonably be understood on the basis of natural phenomena produced by a geophysical process involving tectonic strain (Persinger, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983a, 1983b, 1983c). This theory, hereafter referred to as the TST (Tectonic Strain Theory) of UFOs, suggests that plasma-like luminosities can be naturally created and that these can be reported as UFOs. The TST is laudable in that it attempts to explain the persistent reports of UFOs in terms of "terrestrial" rather than "extraterrestrial" causes. The theory incorporates luminous effects that are a great distance from the source and temporarily displaced. This theory also contends that the luminous effects are related to geophysical variables such as the solar wind and geomagnetism. The geophysical basis for such a theory, however, is not strong and is extremely dependent upon recent reports of luminous effects produced by strain on rock during fracture tests (Demin et al., 1981).3 These effects are highly localized, of short duration and have not been demonstrated to be related to other geophysical phenomena such as the solar wind. Despite this, statistical studies using seismic, solar and UFO data as variables have been performed, and it has been proposed that UFO report numbers vary with the seismic and solar data (Persinger, 1981). These correlations are suggested to be consonant with the TST. There are several problems with obtaining adequate data to test the theory which are worth noting. The statistical studies which suggest a ...3 correlation between UFO report numbers and geophysical phenomena show the best relationships between the variables only when the optimal /\ t and /\ s (increments of time and space) are used. In particular, it has been proposed that the geophysical cause for UFOs in the TST is a strain field which may extend hundreds of kilometers between the locations of the perceived UFOs and earthquake epicenters. Statistical correlations use these UFO report numbers and earthquake numbers to define relationships between the variables, often including a time lag of up to a year. Essentially, an observed UFO at point p may be the result of a strain field and may be related to an earthquake at point q, two hundred kilometers distant and several months previous to the time of observation. This is intuitively unsatisfying, since if two variables can occur at any time within a year of observation and anywhere within a large radius, it would be difficult to determine a time-geography variable in order to arrange a correlation study. Countless other variables may be present or occur within the strain field's perimeter, and these may influence any correlated effects. It should be noted that a rare geophysical phenomenon called earthquake lighting displays some reported UFO characteristics such as luminous bodies of light (Derr, 1973). However, earthquake lightning appears generally within a short time before or after an earthquake, so it has a more readily-apparent cause. In addition, there exist several theories as to the origin of earthquake lightning, encompassing geological processes familiar to geophysicists (Finkelstein, et al., 1973). More serious problems concern the actual selection of UFO data. The studies make use of UFO report numbers from several sources with ...4 varying degrees of credibility (e.g., Fate magazine and UFOCAT). In all cases, there is a great difficulty in trying to establish whether an object is actually unidentified or merely misidentified. The two different categories are often within the same data set in the UFOCAT file, for example. The fact remains that UFOs are often reported by inexperienced observers, and the reports are often investigated by inexperienced investigators. Statistical studies of raw UFO data, including the UFOCAT file, have shown that about 90% are misidentifications of ordinary phenomena (Hendry, 1979; Hynek, 1977). It has been stated that the UFOCAT file cannot be used as a source of data because of inherent flaws in its design (Hendry, 1979). The TST is therefore not supported by the statistical studies involving UFO data. Although geophysical phenomena could account for some UFO reports, a persuasive covariance has not been produced. On a more positive side, while the TST may not predict the presence of plasma-like luminosities, it may say something about the witnesses who report UFOs. In this regard, it has been suggested that geophysical luminosities are related to EM (electromagnetic) radiation, also produced by tectonic strain (Persinger, 1983c). This EM radiation is thought to be capable of affecting the human brain (in particular, the temporal lobe) and creating a variety of effects, including artificial memories. If the theory can show a relationship between misidentifications of ordinary phenomena and geophysical effects, perhaps there is, after all, some interaction between these phenomena and the human brain, causing individuals to report UFOs. ...5 Care should be taken in further studies of UFO data because their nature is subjective and collection involves several problems. Theories such as the TST are quite valuable in their attempt to explain UFOs from a scientific standpoint. The TST probably could explain some UFO reports and elements of the total UFO problem, but the persuasiveness of an empirical scientific argument can be no better than the acceptability of the data upon which it is based. ...6 References Demin, V.M., Sobolev, G.A., Los', V.F., and Maybuk, Yu Ya. (1981). Nature of Mechanoelectric Radiation From Ore Bodies. Doklady Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Sciences, 260, 9-11. Derr, J.S. (1973) Earthquake lights: a review of observations and present theories. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 63, 2177-2187. Finkelstein, D., Hill, R.D., & Powell, J.R. (1973) The piezeolectric theory of earthquake lightning. Journal of Geophysical Research, 78, 992-993. Hendry, A. (1979) The UFO handbook. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. Hynek, J.A. (1977) The Hynek UFO report. New York, N.Y.: Dell. Persinger, M.A. (1979) Possible infrequent geophysical sources of close UFO encounters: expected physical and behavioral-biological effects. In R.F. Haines (Ed.), UFO phenomena and the behavioral scientist. Methuen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, pp. 396-433. Persinger, M.A. (1980) Earthquake activity and antecedent UFO report numbers. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 50, 791-797. Persinger, M.A. (1981) Geophysical variables and behavior: III. Prediction of UFO reports by geomagnetic and seismic activity. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 53, 115-122. Persinger, M.A. (1983a) Geophysical variables and behavior: VII. Prediction of recent European UFO reports by nineteenth-century luminosity and solar-seismic variables. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 56, 91-95. ...7 Persinger, M.A. (1983b) Geophysical variables and human behavior: VIII. Specific prediction of UFO reports within the New Madrid states by solar-geomagnetic and seismic measures. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 56, 243-249. Persinger, M.A. (1983c) Geophysical variables and behavior: IX. Expected clinical consequences of close proximity to UFO-related luminosities. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 56, 259-265. ...8

REFERENCES:

  • "THE MARFA LIGHTS Being a Collection of First-Hand Accounts by People Who Have Seen the Lights Close-Up or in Unusual Circumstances", 1988, 1989 by Judith M. Bruske.


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