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The "Guide of the Officer of Fire for the Management of Disasters":

This is chapter 13 of the "Guide of the Officer of Fire for the Management of the Disasters," 1992, dealing with no less than UFO related risks. It reflects the constant interest of its author for the subject of UFOs, but it is nevertheless also a guide used on a national scale by many local civil servants of the firemen in disasters control, and it is approved by the FEMA (the federal agency of management of disasters). With all denials by the official military channels of any UFO reality, it is astonishing to see that a handbook with so much of information tackles the subject of UFOs in an open manner. Although this chapter is not an "official" proclamation on UFOs, it shows at which point of serious this subject can be taken by certain government workers.


FEW RESIDENTS of the United States, except for those in Hawaii, have experienced an enemy attack on their hometown in this century; some think they have. The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of February 26, 1942, began at 2:25 A.M. when the U.S. Army announced the approach of hostile aircraft and the cities air raid warning system went into effect for the first time in World War II. "Suddenly the night was rent by sirens. Searchlights began to sweep the sky. Minutes later gun crews at Army forts along the coastline began pumping the first of 1,433 rounds of ack-ack into the moonlight. Thousands of volunteer air raid wardens tumbled from their beds and grabbed their boots and helmets. Citizens awakened to the screech of sirens and, heedless of the blackout warning, began snapping on their lights... The din continued for two hours. Finally the guns fell silent. The enemy, evidently, had been routed. Los Angeles began to taste the exhilaration of its first military victory." (1)


In this chapter we will now turn our attention to the very real threat posed by Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), whether they exist or not. The well-documented and highly publicized War of the Worlds radio drama by Orson Welles shows how even a perceived existence to alien creatures can cause very real disaster-like conditions and panic among a given populace. In addition, if the apparent visits by alien beings and their space vehicles should pose any type of threat, it will, as always, be the fire service that is called upon to provide the first line of life-saving defense and disaster mitigation.

On April 25,1991, radio station KSHE in St. Louis, Missouri, was fined $25,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for broadcasting a mock warning of a nuclear attack during the Persian Gulf War. The seriousness with which the FCC treated this case is indicative of the very real panic that can be created from even illusionary or fictional phenomena. Certainly if these unexplainable events become more prevalent, the possibility of panic could be even greater; and again, the fire department will be the agency called upon to handle the situation. (35) Hence, as we near the year 2000 and move beyond, any comprehensive disaster plan should address the potential for panic and other deleterious effects that might befall a populated area when unexplainable phenomena occur. We will see, as we continue our discussion in this chapter, that widespread blackouts, communication disruptions, and other potentially disastrous conditions have been linked directly to UFO sightings. Hence, fire service leaders who want to ensure that their disaster planning is complete will not neglect an appendix to outline those things that could be done in preparation for the occurrence of such phenomena.

Throughout this book, many of the references to actual events are based on the experiences of both of the authors. However, in this area of UFOs and their potential, we are relying largely on the research and experiences of Charles Bahme. Chuck has made a considerable study of this subject and is acquiring many publications and VCR tapes to augment his library on this and related phenomena. His interest in UFOs was greatly heightened when Congress in 1969 adopted a law (14 CFR Ch. V Part 1211-- Extraterrestrial Exposure) which gave the NASA Administrator the arbitrary discretion to quarantine under armed guard any object, person, or other form of life which has been extraterrestrially exposed. The very fact that our congressmen believed there was a necessity for such drastic authority made Chuck wonder if they had only our astronauts in mind when they adopted it. Could it be applied to anyone who has had a UFO encounter? Whether it has or not is not likely to be a topic for public dissemination.

UFO Discussion - why now?

The subject of UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) was not included in previous editions of this book. The first edition was the Handbook of Disaster Control which Chuck personally published in 1952 following his release from active naval duty in the Korean War. Although his services in the conflict as Security Coordinator for the Chief of Naval Operations involved the creation of a worldwide disaster control organization for the protection of the physical properties of the Navy, it must be admitted that the directives approved for this new organization did not reflect any significant concern for a flying saucer threat to its shore establishment. That was in the 1950s. Now that we are in the 1990s it is doubtful that the UFO potential would be brushed off so lightly by our military security forces. This change of attitude was evidenced as far back as December 24, 1959, when the Inspector General of the Air Force issued the following Operations and Training Order: "Unidentified Flying Objects - sometimes treated lightly by the press and referred to as 'Flying Saucers' - must be rapidly and accurately identified as serious Air Force business...." (36)

There is no uncertainty about the reality of the war between nations on our planet and the disastrous effects of military actions. The 200 sorties flown every hour against Iraq in the Persian Gulf provided ample evidence of global war's destructive power. On the other hand, there are many persons who may believe that a discussion of the theoretical harm that could be caused by a real or imaginary invasion of UFOs would be 'far out!" But this is not so for the thousands of witnesses of unexplained aerial phenomena. To them it is also serious business.

Chuck's interest in UFOs commenced during the early morning hours of August 26, 1942, while he was roller skating from his house to the nearest fire station a few blocks away; the wail of sirens had signaled his recall to fire duty, and with the stringent blackout orders in effect. Driving was not wise; besides, it was much more exciting to be out in the open where he could see the spectacular aerial "fireworks" that filled the heavens all around him. Few residents of the U.S. had ever experienced a real or imaginary invasion of UFOs like that which occurred in what has become known as "The Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942." The Army announced the approach of hostile aircraft and the city's air raid warning system went into effect for the first time in World War II. The defense to this "attack" is described in dramatic terms in the opening paragraph of this chapter.

But what enemy had been routed? No one ever knew. All the fire fighters saw in the sky were the 15 or 20 moving "things" which seemed to change course at great speed apparently unaffected by the flak from bursting shells all around them. Rumors that one had been shot down were never verified, nor was the explanation that these zig-zagging invaders were weather balloons ever taken seriously. In any event, for Chuck, that unforgettable episode aroused a continuing interest in UFOs, rivaling his professional fields of law and fire protection. The fact that he subsequently was a member of a group whose sighting of a flight of UFOs was authenticated by airport radar helped to sustain that interest.

Background information on UFOs

With no intention of trying to prove or disprove the authenticity of the numerous UFO encounters often related by very credible witnesses including airline and military pilots, astronauts, police officers, fire fighters, members of Congress, and even a U.S. President, the balance of this chapter will present a brief history and nature of UFOs and their alleged occupants; their widespread sightings over the globe since ancient times; their appearance, propulsion origin, and possible motives for continuing reconnaissance.

A quick look at some of the classic accounts of encounters documented in numerous foreign and U.S. publications might help us judge the magnitude of their threat, if any, to social stability, and, if deemed desirable, propose a fire service plan for coping with some of the conceivable catastrophic effects that UFOs could produce on cities and densely populated areas.

For readers who already have made up their minds that there is no such thing as a UFO notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it should be pointed out that there is circumstantial evidence that disastrous effects have already been attributed to UFO activity in more than one nation, including the United States.

UFOs - What are they?

William Shakespeare put a fitting observation in the mouth of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, that went like this: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy." Whether Hamlet was referring to those strange lights or objects that appear in the sky or near the ground and have no known cause, we will never know, but the World Book Encyclopedia defines such things as UFOs. (37)

Several theories have been propounded as to what they might be. Some scientists believe that they are of extraterrestrial origin - coming from other planets. Military officers conjecture that they might be alien aircraft. Some attribute them all to natural causes, such as meteors, comets, sundogs, light reflections, marsh gas, ball lightning, even though they must admit that scientists cannot explain all UFO reports in that manner. Still others are inclined to believe that they may be forms from other dimensions which can materialize and dematerialize at will perhaps by making a wavelength or frequency transition so as to become invisible to humans. Some believe they are time travelers from the future.

UFO Classification System

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Northern University Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and an advisor to the Air Force's Blue Book Project adopted a very simple classification system based solely upon the manner of observation:

He concluded that this system tells us nothing about the nature of the UFOs, but can suggest a means for gathering data. (38) He found that while a large number of such reports were readily identifiable by trained investigators as misconceptions of known objects or events, a small residue (about 1.000) were not. These came from credible witnesses from such widely separated places as Canada. Australia. South America, and Antarctica. He concludes with: "Although I know of no hypothesis that adequately covers the mountainous evidence, this should not and must not deter us from following the advice of Schroedinger: to be curious, capable of being astonished, and eager to find out." (39) Dr. Hynek has an excellent, well-illustrated article on UFOs in a 1982 book which gives a detailed history of the UFO sightings, together with the reports of some well-known people who made them, including President Jimmy Carter while governor of Georgia. (40)

Shapes of UFOs

Witnesses have described the shapes of UFOs as anything varying from a sphere to a boomerang. Some have resembled flying saucers with a lid; others a glowing tube; some as semi-spherical with colored apertures; some with reddish-orange glows, or fire-like or sparking discharges. Incredible speed and maneuverabilities not attainable by aircraft of any kind are commonly observed. Many of the books and articles in Appendix H have excellent photographs of these unexplained visitors - photos that have been checked by experts for their authenticity.

History of UFOs

For hundreds of years mysterious objects in the sky and strange moving lights have been reported by many people, including the military pilots in World War II who called them foo fighters, ("Where there's Foo, there's Fire"). In the middle of the 1900s flying saucers were increasingly observed in the United States and other countries. Scientists at the University of Colorado hired by the Air Force from 1966 to 1968 to study this type of aerial phenomena could explain most of the UFO reports as a star (Venus), meteor, planet, balloon, rocket, artificial satellite, etc. Sometimes atmospheric conditions, aircraft exhaust trails, or unusual lighting conditions may produce optical illusions that observers thought were UFOs. After investigating more than 12,000 reports, the U.S. Air Force was unable to explain where the unexplained UFOs come from, but apparently concluded that the national security was not threatened by them. (41) The emphasis of the university's team, headed by Edward U. Condon, seemed to be more concerned with the establishment of the emotional stability or instability of those who reported the sightings than with other evidence.

Psychiatrists have examined the witnesses who claimed to have encountered UFOs and even been taken aboard their craft, such as the two shipyard workers in Mississippi, and found that they are not unbalanced people. (42) "They're not crackpots. There was definitely something here that was not terrestrial." (43) Dr. J. Allen Hynek agreed, and added. "Where they are coming from and why they are here is a matter of conjecture. But the fact that they were here on this planet is beyond a reasonable doubt." (44)

The Air Force, after 20 years of being deluged with UFO sightings and spending millions of dollars on their investigation, decided to drop the inquiry business and turned the project over to a Kensington, Maryland, group called NICAP (National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena). This left NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) with part of the task of trying to run UFO sighting reports, including many by its own Apollo and Skylab astronauts. By 1974 over a score of astronauts saw and photographed UFOs during their flights beyond the earth's atmosphere.

Early in the Apollo 11 mission, which culminated in the moon walk, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins reported sightings of what seemed to be a UFO during the first half of their flight to the lunar surface. There were many more sightings by U.S. and Soviet Astronauts. On November 11,1966, Gemini XII astronauts Jim Lovell and Edwin Aldrin said that they saw four UFOs linked together, and on October 12, 1964, three Russian astronauts aboard Voskod reported that they were surrounded by a "formation of fast-moving disc-shaped objects." (45)

UFO Organizations

In addition to NICAP, some of the other organizations that study UFO phenomena are MUFON (Mutual UFO Networks), CAUS (Citizens Against UFO Secrecy), GSW (Ground Saucer Watch), CUFOS (the Center for UFO Studies), and APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization), an Arizona nonprofit scientific and educational organization, founded in 1952. (46)

Why the Secrecy?

In their book UFOs Over America, authors Jim and Coral Lorenzen charge that the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) has been closely involved in the collection and suppression of UFO information. "Witnesses to the phenomena have been bribed, coerced, and threatened by the CIA, who wanted valuable evidence given to them alone." (47) One reason given is that military intelligence may view the UFOs as a tool of either a known or unknown potential enemy. "If these vehicles prove evasive and surreptitious, all the more reason to suspect them.... the probability looms large that the minds behind these vehicles may well be gathering intelligence of their own." (48)

Another reason for secrecy may lie in the hope of obtaining knowledge relating to advanced propulsion methods and anti-gravity systems before other potential enemies on earth may acquire it. Hence, though many nations are secretly investigating UFOs, they are reluctant to share their findings. Robert Lofton, in his book Identified Flying Saucers, claims that the Air Force became the "goat" in the effort of the CIA to debunk many sightings by pilots, radar technicians, and reliable civilian observers. He thinks that the suppression of information about how dangerous UFOs can be is wrong. After citing a case where a child was burned over 50 to 60 percent of her body by a low flying UFO and then taken to an Air Force hospital, no one would explain why her clothes were not burned at the same time. He also describes another burn case in New Mexico and another man who recently received a sledge-hammer like blow that knocked him unconscious by the force field of a 100-foot diameter UFO. "The public ought to be told the danger! ...Nothing helps rumors and panic more than ignorance." (49)

Major Donald Keyhoe describes in his book Aliens from Space, The Real Story of Unidentified Flying Objects the difficulties he had in 1957 in trying to get the truth from government agencies after he was director of NICAP, the world's largest UFO research organization with over 30 subcommittees in the U.S. and abroad. (50)

According to some UFOlogists the attempts at cover-up by the CIA extend to destruction of evidence that it could not confiscate. Apparently some of our nation's important leaders have been denied access to some UFO secrets in the possession of an agency of the United States, the very existence of which is classified above top secret. (51) Senator Barry Goldwater, a retired Air Force Reserve Brigadier General and pilot with many decades of flying experience, was quoted as saying "I certainly believe in aliens in space. They may not look like us, but I have very strong feelings that they have advanced beyond our mental capabilities." He said he was refused permission to check the Air Force files on UFOs and added, "I think some highly secret government UFO investigations are going on that we don't know about--and probably never will unless the Air Force discloses them." (52) He said that he put faith in the reports of the Air Force, Navy, and commercial pilots who reported instances where a UFO would fly near them - right off their plane's wing--and then just zoom away at incredible speeds. "I remember the case in Georgia in the 1950s of a National Guard plane going after a UFO and never returning. And I recall the case in Franklin. Kentucky, when four military planes investigated a UFO. One of them exploded in midair and no one knows why." (53)

Unleashed by the policy of Glasnost (greater openness) the Soviet media felt free to include accounts of UFO sightings. A Tass report of October 10, 1989, reported a large shiny ball or disk hovering over a Voronezh park; residents saw the UFO land and three creatures similar to human beings emerged, accompanied by a robot. (54)

Apparently the Russians felt no need to suppress this report which was poked fun at in Newsweek and Time magazines (55) but not in U.S. News and World Report: "A scant few decades ago, both the U.S. government and the media treated flying objects as no laughing matter - which even Congress looked into. In 1966, Representative Ford responded to a rash of sightings in his home state of Michigan by calling for, and getting, a House hearing on UFOs." (56)

UFO Missions

Many reasons have been advanced for the purpose of the UFOs visits to our planet. Although some of the persons who apparently have been the subjects of genetic investigation, such as the family of Whitley Strieber may not agree, the majority of those who have studied possible UFO visitors feel that they are friendly. Mr. Strieber described his experience as terrifying, and believes that these "little figures with eyes that seem to stare into the deepest core of being are asking for something. Whatever it is, it is more than simple information. The goal does not seem to be a sort of clear and open exchange that we might expect; whatever may be surfacing, it wants far more than that. It seems to me that it seeks the very depth of soul; it seeks communion." (57)

From the thousands of reports he has studied. William Spaulding, aerospace engineer and head of the Arizona-based Ground Saucer Watch, believes that a pattern indicates that UFOs are here on a surveillance mission: the fact that a majority of sightings occur around our military installations, research and development areas leads to the conclusion that a methodical study is being made of the earth and its defensive and offensive capabilities. "The phenomena is not unlike our own space explorations: scout ship survey: soil samples; landing." (58)

In his book Incident at Exeter, John Fuller discusses the seeming affinity of UFOs for electrical power lines in the northeastern part of the United States. In a later section of this chapter dealing with the effects of UFOs on our terrestrial activities, we will see how this affinity may have been responsible for causing 36 million people to lose power over an area of 8,000 square miles. (59)

Because of our recent adventures into space, there are some who speculate that UFOs are more concerned with what we will do there than in settling here. In any event, the Air Force's official publication (issued by the Government Printing Office 1968) called Flying Objects says that 'No UFO has been determined to represent a threat to our national security. That conclusion, however, should not rule out less disastrous consequences than the overthrow of our government.


Regardless of its past evaluations, the Air Force could be wrong about a number of things. "It can't even guess within a couple of billion dollars what one of its planes is going to cost; maybe, despite the skepticism of the scientists and other investigators, the UFOs sent from other planets do exist and have visited earth." (60) And maybe they have exhibited some destructive effects, whether or not intentionally in every instance, which we need to consider when drafting a plan for coping with an emergency situation where UFOs are involved. Some of these documented effects are as follows.

UFO Hazards

The two principal hazards noted with relation to UFOs have been attributed to powerful electrical fields which they can project in a general or localized area and the psychological effects they have produced on the general populace or individual contacts.

Force Field Impact

The disruption of air and ground travel has often been reported in the presence of UFOs. The ignition systems of auto and aircraft engines have apparently been affected by energized force fields to such an extent as to stop their operation; the headlights and radios have also ceased to function. Here are a couple of examples. In Buenos Aires, on March 29, 1978, "A strange force shut off their engine and headlights of their Citroen CG, lifted it 15 feet off the road, then set it down a minute later and 75 miles to the north." The driver had noticed a yellow and violet light shining in his rear view mirror while driving the last leg of a long stock car race, and he realized that it was approaching too fast to be a competitor. A month later a Colombian bank manager and a navy officer had their car headlights go off when buzzed by a UFO, with the navy man suffering temporary paralysis. Other South American countries in which similar actions were reported around that time included Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay. (61)

These effects have also been noted to influence the controls and instruments of aircraft, e.g., the pilot of a Piper PH-24 reported that his controls became inoperable when he was approached by three disk-shaped objects, 10 to 12 feet in diameter, over Mexico City on May 3,1975. (62) Similar cases have been reported by military pilots, illustrated by the classic case of the near mid-air collision of an army helicopter with a UFO on October 18, 1973, over Ohio, where not only did both the UHF and VHF radio wavelengths go dead temporarily, but the downward movement of the helicopter with its four occupants was levitated upward by a green beam from the UFO in time to prevent its crash into the ground. (63)

Communications Disruption

In addition to the impedance of radio transmissions and reception, such as that described in the preceding incident, telephone interference has occurred, illustrated by the chagrin of President Lyndon Johnson in having his conversation from the Texas White House cut off while talking to assistants in Washington, D.C. (64) The ability to render inoperable all electronic forms of communications, including those that control the launching of defense weapons systems, has been considered within the range of UFO capability. Whether this could extend to the erasing of recorded computer data such as bank records, personnel data, FBI, CIA, and NSA files, along with critical information of every kind, is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Regional Power Blackouts

It has long been suspected that UFOs have the capability of blacking out a city, state, or many states by exerting a force field sufficient to overload the circuits of public and private utility installations. "Few things are more disturbing than to be plunged into pitch darkness without warning; it is dangerous for masses of people. It paralyzes cities, blocks highways, stops trains, leaves elevators suspended between floors. In general it simply plays hell with the modern way of life." (65) You would think that the power companies would have achieved sufficient reliability in their high tech systems that a mass failure such as that which blacked out New York and New England in 1965 would never happen -- but it did. Although, as we have mentioned before, it was known that UFO activity was associated with disturbances with compasses, instruments, ignition systems, radios, etc., it was inconceivable that it could also interfere with generation and distribution of electrical power. Such a connection was also inferred in November 1953, when a glowing red object went over a residential area of New Haven, Connecticut, causing lights to dim out on both sides of the object's path and then come on when it went out of sight.

Power failures were also reported in association with UFOs in Brazil in 1957 to l959~ Rome, Italy, in 1958; and Mexico in 1965. Likewise, in Uberlandia, where the power station operators promptly closed the circuits when the UFO apparently caused them to open, it did no good, and they were unable to restore the power until the UFO departed.

"The Granddaddy of all blackouts to date was the stygian blanket that fell over 30 million people in the northeastern corner of the U.S. during the early evening rush hour period on November 9, 1965." (66) Relay services that were supposed to automatically transfer the load in case of failure in one area to an alternate source malfunctioned. Military communications relying on public power without alternate backup systems also failed, but communications were operable to make a quick public announcement that there was no military emergency. Though it was largely over by the next morning, the official explanation about a malfunctioning small device in a Canadian hydroelectric generating plant never accounted for the failure of millions of dollars worth of electronic devices to shift the load when the breakdown occurred.

Fireballs Over Syracuse - The Blackout Connection

Airplane pilots reported that UFOs were being chased across Pennsylvania about 4:30 P.M., and electronics and construction engineers who were driving in the area of the Syracuse airport saw UFOs moving about 5:30 P.M., just prior to the Great Blackout. A veteran flight instructor who had been flying over Syracuse on a training flight saw a glowing globe over the power lines leading to the Niagara Falls generating plant. Hundreds of others saw the glowing object in the sky on the night of the big power failure.

That was on November 9th. On December 2nd, about 700,000 persons in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico also had their power fail. It was said to have originated in a regular failure in El Paso; then on December 5th, three nights later. 40,000 homes plus military installations in the area of East Texas were also blacked out--overloaded! Missile grounds (White Sands), Fort Bliss, Holloman Air Force Base, and numerous airports were all blacked out (with no emergency power backup), and this was when President Johnson's telephone call to the White House in Washington, D.C. was cut off. In response to his request for an explanation, President Johnson was told that his calls were fed into a cable system that went dead when the surge of power caused by the El Paso regulator blow-up hit it, and the backup batteries didn't work. Though it may be debatable whether the above cases of electrical transmission failure were merely coincidences with UFO activity, an incident on April 18,1962, involving a UFO that had been tracked from New York, through Kansas to Eureka, Utah, was well documented. The Air Force spokesman admitted that the object had landed, and during the 42 minutes that it was on the ground near the power station there was no power, but it was restored when the UFO left. The object was pursued by jet interceptors summoned from Phoenix and Stead Field in Reno until it exploded over the Mesquite Range in Nevada in a brilliant glare that was visible over five states. (67)

UFOs - The Panic Hazard

The second major disastrous effect that UFO activity, real or imagined, can have on the populace, is the creation of fear, panic, flight, and all kinds of irrational behavior. We have mentioned already the rather well-documented case of hysterical contagion and mass hysteria created by War of the Worlds, the radio drama by Orson Welles about an invasion of Martians. It was broadcast on Halloween of 1938 during the period of the invasions of Germany into Austria and Japan into China. "The drama, realistically presented in the form of news bulletins and interviews concerning an alien spaceship landing in New Jersey, resulted in many kinds of hysterical actions, including thousands of panic-stricken phone calls, wildly fleeing automobiles, and impromptu shot gun brigades." (68)

Though most persons reporting UFOs do not interpret them as personal threats, it is possible that some of the large volume of reports may be attributable to hysterical contagion. In any case, one of the reasons often cited for the tight secrecy on government UFO research findings is the need to prevent the possible panic that a revelation of the truth might arouse. Rumors that people were being abducted, dematerialized, burned, made radioactive, rounded up and impounded, liquidated with ray guns and lasers or shipped off to Mars or Venus might well give rise to fear -- fear of the unknown. Hysteria could cause frightened persons to imagine that their water was poisoned, the air contaminated with undetectable but lethal aerosols or nerve gases. With hundreds of UFO squadrons zooming across the landscape from California to New York, Toronto to Mexico City, communications disrupted, widespread power failures, airports and railroads paralyzed, highways turned into giant parking lots of immobilized vehicles full of terrified motorists, the problem of restoring order and sanity would be a tremendous challenge to all of the emergency services, assuming their personnel would remain calm, detached, and able to resist the human impulse to put the safety and well being of their own families ahead of the public's. To make matters worse, some of the more excitable gun owners might be tempted to rush out Rambo fashion, and in utter disregard of the damage that falling bullets might cause innocent residents below their fallout, start firing at the evasive objects regardless of the range.

Personal Hazards - Physiological

The force field affects on the physical environment -communication, transportation, illumination, and computerized data storage -- have already been considered. We might have added that some physical effects have been observed at locations where UFOs have landed -- circular patterns of crops destroyed by heat or radiation and baking or sterilization of the soil at the site.

On a more practical basis there may be grounds for concern that more than just the environment can be adversely affected by UFO actions. While pursuing UFOs, military aircraft have disappeared in mid-air, exploded, and suffered harassment. Persons on the ground have sustained serious burns, paralysis, and "blows" from a force field, radiated emissions, or rays and beams that have been described like that of a "stun-gun" (69)

In 1980, three witnesses saw a red ball of light hovering above houses in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when suddenly a bolt of blue light shot down and two houses burst into flames. (70) An Indiana man saw a bright light flash pass his window; the power went off in his house so he went outside to investigate and found a brilliantly lit object hovering above him; when he started to walk toward it his body commenced to tingle and he was unable to move until the object disappeared. A similar tingling sensation swept over another man in Lynn, Massachusetts. One night when he approached a domed object with a red glowing cone rising from a parking lot. He too was immobile until the object moved out of sight. Some believe that even animals may be at risk by UFOs; in trying to account for the death of 15 ponies, the leader of an investigative team believed they were crushed by the anti-gravity field of a flying saucer as it took off. (71)

Thus, UFOs may not only have the power to control some of our military and industrial establishment's highly technical scientific hardware, they may also possess the ability to impose pain and control over people who attempt to attack them, even to the extent of "liquidating" them in one way or another.


In view of the fact that many UFOlogists believe that we are fast approaching a time when overt landings of UFOs will become less remarkable, and in the absence of our knowing whether their visits are friendly or hostile, it would not be remiss to give some thought to the part that fire departments might play in the event of the unexpected arrival of UFOs in their communities. For example, what would be your course of action as an incident commander at the scene of a school ground where a UFO has crashed into the boiler room, rupturing a fuel line, and ignition has occurred in the spilling oil, endangering the occupants of the craft who are trapped in the wreckage? If your rescue attempts are successful, and two of the five small alien creatures are injured but still alive, how do you dispose of the dead and treat the survivors? How would the presence of children on the school grounds affect your actions? What persons and agencies would be notified?

The authors have never read any advice on these matters. The following admonition was printed on the inside front jacket of Frank Edward's book on flying saucers:


"Near approaches of UFOs can be harmful to human beings. Do not stand under a UFO that is hovering at low altitude. Do not touch or attempt to touch a UFO that has landed. In either case the safe thing to do is to get away from there very quickly and let the military take over. There is a possibility of radiation danger and there are known cases where persons have been burned by rays emanating from UFOs. Don't take chances with UFOs!"

In view of the federal law (cited earlier) empowering NASA's administrator to impound, without a hearing, anyone who touches a UFO or its occupants, it would be inadvisable to make personal contact unless you are willing to submit to NASA's quarantine requirements, should the law be invoked.

Besides the possible physical effects of approaching a UFO, e.g.. burns, radiation, etc., there may be psychological effects produced by force fields that could induce a hypnotic state in the viewer, loss of consciousness, memory relapse, and submission to the occupants. Jacques Vallée, author of The Invisible College cautions that we should consider psychic effects, such as space-time distortions experienced by percipients of craft-like devices which appear to fade away - dematerialize - and then reappear; of alien, strange voices or thoughts that may effect involuntary changes in the manner in which witnesses may react in such circumstances. (72)

Perhaps the above warnings of Edwards and Vallée are a little too cautious and apprehensive to adopt as a general pattern of conduct in every situation. In the absence of overt acts indicating hostility, there may be no danger in approaching a landing (or landed) UFO with a positive, solicitous attitude of wanting to be of service. This nonaggressive mental state may be telepathically sensed by those aboard or emerging from the craft; a form of nonvocal communication is a possibility. It goes without saying that any display of firearms or other weapons on your part could be construed as unfriendly and likely to thwart your intention of conveying a helpful attitude.

In a best case scenario, you may be able to obtain guidance as to the appropriate actions to take, whether of a life-saving nature, e.g., in quelling a fire, abating a spill, and of preservation of property, or even in the reduction of apprehension on the part of your response team and the spectators.

In a less optimistic scenario, you may have engine trouble upon approaching the scene, and radio contact could be lost with your dispatcher. If at night, your headlights could go out, the city could be blacked out, and your portable generators may malfunction when you attempt to use them for fans and portable lights. It would certainly be an inopportune time for your comrades to announce that they had decided to take their pensions, effective immediately.

In any event, the incident could provide invaluable experience for further training in coping with rare and difficult emergencies. Whatever "inside" information you are able to pass along to your fellow officers and citizens of the world might help to alleviate unreasonable fear, so that there would be less likelihood that we would ever again experience the panic and hysteria that was created by War of the Worlds a half century ago. Truth is the best cure for the unknown. A list of some of the available books on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) is found in Appendix H.


Some fire chiefs have little confidence in disaster plans, especially those dealing with UFOs or enemy attack. If you develop a plan that sets forth your responsibilities, resources, organizations, supplies information, telephone numbers, and special data that will be useful in obtaining help and fulfilling your role in disaster control, commit it to an electronic medium, a computer with a capability for continuous updating through modern word processing. Bring it forth then the need requires. With a good plan, good leadership, and adequate resources, you may save many lives in any disaster, including attack from possible enemies.





DR. WILLIAM M. KRAMER has baccalaureate degrees in Industrial Management and Business Administration, a master's degree in Industrial Relations, and a Ph.D. in Administrative Management from the University of Cincinnati; and a master's degree in Business Administration from Xavier University. He has edited numerous course guides for the Open Learning Fire Service Program and published numerous fire service journal articles. He is chairman of the Seven University National Open Learning Educational Consortium, Associate Professor and Director of the Open Learning Program at the University of Cincinnati, a District Fire Chief for the City of Cincinnati and the educational commentator for American Heat video productions.

CHARLES (CHUCK) BAHME is the author of many fire service articles as well as books, including the Handbook of Disaster Control, predecessor to the Fire Officer's Guide to Disaster Control, Fire Service and the Law, Fire Officer's Guide to Dangerous Chemicals, Fire Protection for Chemicals, Fire Officers Guide to Emergency Action, Firemen's Law Book, and Fire Officer's Guide to Extinguishing Systems. After responding to a devastating chemical explosion in the City of Los Angeles he wrote its Dangerous Chemicals Code, the first comprehensive set of regulations ever adopted by any municipality pertaining to hazardous materials. Following his naval service in World War II he was called upon to write U. S. Navy: Structural Fire Fighting for the Chief of Naval Operations. In thirty years of service with the City of Los Angeles Fire Department he advanced through the ranks from recruit to deputy fire chief, the rank he held at the time of his retirement. During that period he augmented his A.B. degree from UCLA with a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University. Through the same years he served with the U. S. Navy: six years of active duty during World War II and the Korean conflict, and twenty-eight years with the Naval Reserve, in which he retired with the rank of Captain. Chief Bahme is an attorney at law with admission to practice in California, before federal district courts, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the highest court of military appeals. He has taught courses in fire protection engineering a UCLA, and fire administration at USC and various state, national, and international conferences. He has served in Europe and the Far East for the Department of Defense and the U. S. State Department. In recent years he has been teaching a course in Political and Legal Foundations of Fire Protection as a faculty member of Cogswell College's Open Learning Fire Service Program. He has also served as the NFPA's Fire Extinguishing Specialist, its Western Representative, and as chairman of its Committee on Hazardous Chemicals Fire Fighting. Upon his moving to Lake County, California, he served as the chairman of his local Kelseyville fire district's board of directors and as a disaster control visor to his local Red Cross chapter.

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