Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oregon UFO: Variation of the Swamp Gas Disinfo -- The Northern Lights

A new variation of the infamous 'swamp gas' explanation to dismiss, distract and cover-up a UFO sighting: the Northern Lights.

A witness reported to Oregon MUFON she saw a craft in West Linn. (oddly enough, West Linn was also the location of a strange beam-of-light sighting not long before.) When the witness managed to get ahold of a live person at a local news station, she was told:

that's kind of funny that you'd report that today because it's the Spring Equinox and you could have seen a reflection from the Northern Lights.
The West Linn Tidings offers the following in the March 24th edition: Was it alien visitors, or just a reflection of the northern lights? (Kara Hansen.)

Implanting the idea of "the northern lights" as a quasi-scientific and rational explanation, the article begins:

Was it a UFO, or maybe a rare Oregon display of the northern lights? You be the judge.
The UFO is described in the news article as a "triangular, jet-sized vehicle" and the witness, in responding to being told she "could have seen a reflection from the Nothern Lights" said "This was no reflection but rather a solid, industrial strength vehicle."

The Color Green
The article offers another possibility for what the witness saw. Mistaking a solid, triangle shaped craft that "dipped low over the trees near her condominium"for either reflection of the Northern Lights, or, the color green:

Also possibly of note: Green is the most common color seen in the northern lights, a natural nighttime light display also known as the aurora borealis.
 It's not clear why this is included; does the writer mean that the witness possibly saw a vague shapeless green color in the sky and tunred it into a solid, triangle shape, complete with lights on the bottom? Which were orange, as the article does point out (“bright orange lights on the bottom.”)

Beams of Light
Mention of the beams of light coming from the sky in the same article. (These beams have been reported in other parts of the U.S. recently.) Citing the Oregon MUFON report, the news item gives us the following sighting from one of the two witnesses:

they witnessed] three or four “quick pulsating flashes straight over us coming from above the clouds."

“They were so bright that the entire park and surrounding neighborhood was lit up,” the account states. “There were no audible sounds … and it didn’t seem to affect the dogs at all.
Other Reports, and An Element of High Strangeness
Other reports are briefly mentioned, one in particular that I find very interesting for its Contactee and "high strangeness" elements is this one from 2008:

There was also a “close encounter” Sept. 3, 2008, at Lake Oswego’s George Rogers Park, where a man reportedly had telepathic “conversations” with an object hovering near the old iron smelter, mentally refusing to “take a ride on the saucer.”
A Comment Left About Northern Lights
In myprevious post about the West Linn triangle sighting, Ray left the following comment about the Northern Light explanation:
  • What do the northern lights (aurora) have to do with the spring equinox? The aurora is generated by sunspots. It's not dependent on the equinox. You might as well say: “It's Easter and you saw a meteor."
  • Sunspot activity generally has been low lately. Where the northern lights active on the night of the sighting?
  • I've seen the northern lights a few times. What do they mean by a reflection from the northern lights? The aurora can be impressive but usually it isn't so intense that it reflects off objects (maybe at the north pole).
(Thanks Ray :)

The Northern Lights as a valid explanation was also put in its proper place by Tom Bowden at MUFON. In an email exchange he stated that even though there was recent activity of the lights, they were weak and "nothing to get excited about." More specifically:
 The Northern Lights happen when a burst of radiation from the sun, due to a solar flare or coronal mass ejection, hits the earth's ionosphere and the excited ions start emitting light.  People in the far north see them quite often, but they are much rarer at our latitudes.  There were some potential northern lights events in recent weeks, but certainly nothing to get excited about, and no chance they would have illuminated nearby objects.  They are not usually that bright.

MUFON is continuing its investigation of the triangle sighting. As always, witnesses are encouraged to come forward and report their sightings to MUFON.

Oregon MUFON:

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