Tuesday, February 08, 2011


A slight difference in interpretation

One of the reasons I began doing the annual Canadian UFO survey back in the 1980s was because I wanted to know exactly what people were seeing and reporting, as opposed to what tabloid news agencies and other sources of UFO news were claiming. It was common to see headlines such as "Giant UFO hovers over power lines" or "Huge unknown craft swoops over freeway." It was only after investigating and getting the actual sighting details that the real story emerged, usually involving a misidentified star or planet.

Now, more than 20 years later, things haven't changed all that much. The only difference is that sensational headlines are usually now Facebook updates or Twitter tweets, and they can get reported or retweeted innumerable times until they go viral and the original case is lost in the ether.

Take the case of the recent UFO reports over Vancouver Island. (Please.) The headline posted by Examiner.com was:

"Massive UFO over Victoria, BC possible ET Chemtrail remediation"

The story (at: http://www.examiner.com/ufo-in-vancouver/massive-ufo-over-victoria-bc-possible-et-chemtrail-remediation) described how a witness bore testament that: "A spectacular UFO was captured on video by a Vancouver Island online news service as it flew below the clouds over the provincial capital" on January 22, 2011.

The article went on to quote the witness about his sighting:

Mr. Stammberger estimates that as the object first became visible he was facing North and that it was approximately 5 kilometers distance from his location. The second appearance took place at a range of 3 kilometers while he faced towards the West. “That was huge. I film the moon from up here some nights and I think that [object] in the sky looked about half the size of what a full moon looks like. It was quite big and it lit up a significant portion of the sky.” There was more to the sighting than just a big mysterious flashing light. The camera captures what appear to be structural elements of the UFO suspended from the sphere. He described how, “When I zoomed in you could see what looked like a metallic body that hangs down below [the object]. I turned away to get the camera on a tripod and as I turned back the object had turned back into a ball-shaped sphere of light. So it seems to have some sort of shape-shifting or morphing ability.”

Stammberger's video is at:

Although the time of the event wasn't noted in the article, it seems that the sighting was one of many that were reported over Vancouver Island that night. Dozens of people reported seeing a series of objects described as glowing balls of orange light, sometimes accompanied by smoke trails. On one online UFO sightings website, headlines heralded reports such as:

UFO Makes Strange Maneuvers Over Mudge Island
Unusual Blinding Brilliant Orange Lights Over Cobble Hill
Bright Glowing Balls Of Light Looked Like A Bonfire Over Chemainus

All the sightings occurred between about 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm, and all described orange lights moving over the area.

Brian Vike found that a search-and-rescue operation was being carried out by the Coast Guard that night, as they were looking for a paraglider who had crashed near Duncan, BC. The Coast Guard plane had dropped six flares to light up the heavy forest, and the man was found and taken to hospital.

(News story: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Paraglider+injured+Duncan+area+crash/4151392/story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+canwest/F227+%28Times+Colonist+-+News%29)

Now, there's no question that this is what Stammberger had seen and filmed. But his interpretation is rather different than, say, what Eric Chisholm noted. He's a physicist from the National Research Council of Canada who happened to be observing the sky that night too. He saw "a large, glowing light on the western horizon" that he immediately knew was Jupiter. He also determined that the other lights were the flares dropped by the Coast Guard.

(Story: http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_south/oakbaynews/news/114980354.html)

Jupiter is pretty spectacular these nights, for sure. What's amazing is the large number of Youtube videos of it, calling it a UFO. These include:





Back to the Vancouver Island case, one can ask why the original headline mentioned chemtrails, when the video only showed a light. Well, it seems that Stammberger has seen UFOs on many occasions, and is convinced that his observations are of something truly mysterious. In the same Examiner article, it is noted:

Stammberger described personal encounters with the media’s role in an environmental cover-up which lead to the establishment of his online news service. “I was working on a tree farm here, in BC, on Vancouver Island, a couple of years ago, where I was outside all day long. I started to notice that the jets were crossing the sky leaving huge trails from horizon to horizon. Over the day [those trails] would spread out and cover the entire sky. I watched this for two years and filmed it. I took that footage into all the local news stations here … in Victoria and nobody would touch it. Nobody would even look at it or comment about it. And that’s obviously what is referred to as Chemtrails but that now, years later we know as Stratospheric GeoEngineering. So this is why I started IslandOnlineNews, because no one would touch this footage, no one would report about it. So I thought,’If they won’t touch it, I’ll just start my own news website and I’ll report it myself.’”

Hmm. Mainstream media weren't interested in videos of aircraft contrails. How odd.

So, he started a news website to propound UFO/conspiracy stuff. The consequence is that his stories get pulled into news feeds by search engines and then promulgated across the Internet. Since his sighting and video were likely the flares dropped by the Coast Guard, receivers of the viral news feed will continue to associate the BC reports with a "massive" UFO and associated chemtrails.


Those nuisances at The Examiner have one use as far as I can see...they're like the choking canary in the mines. Almost every single article equates to noxious fumes.

Last year (around October/November), I read an article that was factually correct, with no distortions, and I can't remember the name of the writer. I mention this in fairness.
Jon Kelly outperforms all the Examiners when it comes to being a fabulist. When I first saw his articles, I tried vainly to do a little fact-checking. Most often, he plays audio backwards looking for secret messages and builds his articles around that. I'm not sure how he expects that to be convincing.

I think you mean, you tried "in vain" to do a little fact-checking, instead of "vainly." Otherwise, you'd be thinking too highly of yourself. Oh, wait...
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