Levelland, Texas' famous 1957 close encounter: links to Brazil, Trindade, and military base UFO reports?
Was An Extraterrestrial Invasion Taking Place?
In this edition’s Classic UFO, I review the series of UFO close encounters near Levelland, Texas, on the night of November 3-4, 1957, where at least seven separate incidents were documented where car and truck engines were temporarily disabled while in the presence of a UFO (generally described as a brilliant egg or oblong-shaped object approx. 200 feet in length) . All of these events allegedly clustered over a two hour period of time. Coral Lorenzen, director and co-founder of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, noted that prior to the Levelland reports, UFO activity in our country had been very quiet, but suddenly, after this, UFO sightings became epidemic, as well as these mysterious car-stalling incidents. These incidents, and others, caused Coral Lorenzen to wonder if perhaps beings associated with the UFOs had developed some sort of “weapon or device” that was being “tested” on us.
Coincidentally or not, the first Levelland report was only an hour after the launch of Sputnik II’s canine-carrying satellite (a fact Americans, however, were not yet aware of at that time).
In addition, it appeared that UFOs were perhaps “testing” their potential “weapon” on military targets, like an army camp in Texas one night sometime early that month when a glowing disk hovered overhead. Reportedly tanks approached and were taking aim, when suddenly the soldiers abandoned their tanks because of an unexplained heat wave. At a nearby USO dance the lights unaccountably went out. Around 2 a.m., on the morning of November 4th, at Brazil’s Itaipu Fortress, a large orange glowing disk hovered over two soldiers on watch. The soldiers collapsed to the ground as they were hit by an intolerable blast of heat, and afterwards were said to have suffered first and second degree burns over more than ten percent of their bodies. As this was going on, the electrical systems of the army installation failed, along with intercommunications, and when emergency circuits were switched on they failed also.
The next day, the commander at the Brazilian installation issued orders to the fort’s personnel not to discuss the incident with anyone. Not even relatives. Intelligence officers arrived on the scene and tried to keep the situation quiet. The installation was even reportedly placed under martial law and a top secret report was submitted to army headquarters. A few days later, officers with the U.S. Army Military Mission arrived at the fort as well to question the soldiers and other witnesses. Despite the lid of secrecy that was clamped down over this incident, APRO’s Brazilian representative, Dr. Olavo Fontes, managed to track down and interview four of the officers who were at the fort the night of this terrifying encounter.
I wonder if an important clue to this matter may take us back to the incredible events of Trindade Island that led to the impressive photographs of the saturn-shaped UFO taken by Almiro Barauna? (See my Classic UFO for May 2003) A reporter named Paulo M. Campos revealed in the Diario Carioca (02/23/58) that a confidential source had informed him that the Brazilian Navy had treated as “top secret” how radio transmitters and instruments with magnetic needles ceased operating. In a 1983 interview, Almiro Barauna confirmed that just before the UFO sighting all of the ship’s electrical power had failed. Reportedly, the events f Trindade got the attention of the U.S. Navy, who reportedly were interested in the case, but preferred not to make any public comments on the matter at the time.
Just forty minutes before the Itaipu Fortress incident, a Varig C-46 cargo plane flying over Ararangua, Santa Catarina, at 7000 feet, encountered a mysterious red light. During that encounter an onboard generator and transmitter “burned” out. Later that day, Varig Airlines issued an order forbidding its pilots from talking to the press about their UFO sightings.
Coral Lorenzen interviewed an electronics engineer with Holloman Air Force Base who claimed that around 1:10 p.m., November 4th, near Orogrande, New Mexico, his car (and those of other motorists) stalled as an oval-shaped object buzzed the highway they were traveling, giving off heat that he stated he could feel as it passed over (even though he estimated its altitude may have been somewhere around 1500-3000 feet).
On the night of October 10, 1957, near Quebra, Coco, Brazil, a Spanish Navy officer’s truck was reportedly approached by a huge, blinding lens-shaped object (estimated at 500 feet in diameter) that, when it got within some 20 feet of the ground, the officer’s engine died. The UFO extinguished its lights except for a reddish glow on a long antenna looking structure on the top of the object, and then, as a door opened on the UFO, a red light emanated from the interior of the object. From the door appeared seven long-haired men who stepped outside for some three minutes and gazed in his direction. Then they returned inside the craft, which rose into the air an estimated 1600 feet, released a small disk that flew north, at which time the larger lens-shaped craft headed south.
The famous Antonio Villas-Boas case of October 15, 1957, which occurred in Minas Gerais, Brazil, is most often remembered because it was one of the first UFO abduction and sexual incidents on record. But let us not forget that after the UFO landed a mere ten to fifteen yards away, Villas- Boas’s tractor engine quit. He tried desperately to re-start it, but couldn’t, so decided to run for it, at which time he was tackled by three short men in gray tight-fitting suits and helmets. The rest, of course, is Ufological history.
For some perspective, a review of so-called “electromagnetic effects” going back to 1945, can be found at this website: http://www.nicap.org/cat3-to1964.htm). Coral described how it was her husband Jim Lorenzen (the other co-founder of APRO) who had first proposed that extraterrestrial surveillance of our military may have begun back in World War II with the legendary “foo fighters.” The first possible EM effect of 1945 described on the website just cited was actually the “foo fighter” account of Ohio ufologist Leonard Stringfield. Stringfield was flying on a C-46 between Ie Shima and Iwo Jima, south of Japan, on August 28, 1945, when the plane’s left engine began to unaccountably malfunction. Looking out a porthole, Stringfield observed three brilliant white blobs of light, each about the size of a dime held at arms length. A full account of this event was written by Stringfield in his book, Inside Saucer Post...3-0 Blue (1957).
During the incredible French wave of 1954, there were numerous close encounters, that included car stallings, alien beings, and witness paralysis. Dr. Jacques Vallee’s Passport to Magonia provides a quick overview. Consider these few examples to get an idea of the kinds of reports that this wave generated:
Sept. 28, 1954, Bouzais, France, a Mr. Mercier “paralyzed” as three beings emerged from a UFO. Then he lost consciousness (“missing time”?), and when he came back around the beings were gone.
Oct. 6, 1954, LaFere, France. Soldiers observed a torpedo-shaped object on the ground. One of the men approached it and felt paralyzed.
Oct. 11, 1954, near La Carie, France. Two men felt an “electric shock” as the headlights went out. They then saw a cylindrical craft in a nearby pasture, with three dwarfs standing next to it.
Oct. 13, 1954, Bourrasole, France. Three men saw a reddish disk about 4 meters in diameter. Nearby they saw a small being wearing what resembled a diving suit. It had a large head and two huge eyes. One of the men approached and at a distance of about 20 meters became paralyzed.
Keith Partain, in his book Psi In The Sky (2001), notes that it is after the 1957 flap that the “more hellish” features of the phenomenon manifested and emerged in Brazil. (See June AP’s interview with Bob Pratt, covering Brazil’s numerous cases involving UFO injury and deaths)
In Dr. Vallee’s Confrontations (1990), he reviewed the massive Brazilian UFO wave of 1977 and the UFO injury and death cases that had occurred that year and years previous. He noted how at one time the Brazilian Air Force and Navy Intelligence themselves had speculated that actual UFO bases might exist somewhere between the mouth of the Amazon River and the Sao Luis region. When I emailed Peruvian ufologist Rose Marie Paz Wells, director of the Lima-based IPRI (Instituto Peruano de Relaciones Interplanetarias), back last year about reports of UFOs reported entering and leaving bodies of water like Lake Titicaca in Peru, she replied: “...it actually happens in many lakes of the country. ...also (along) the coastline and this is indeed well known by the Peruvian Navy, (whose members)see it all the time. Also fishing vessels have sightings very frequently and their sonar systems capture the outlines of craft resting on the depths of the continental shelf.”
During the months long 1977 wave in the vicinity of the islands around Belem, UFOs reportedly appeared every evening, either from the north, or emerging from the ocean. Vallee examined a photograph of an object with a luminous white ring that reportedly had emerged from the water at dusk. Vallee described how the Brazilian Air Force had issued confidential orders directing air traffic away from the area, and how military observers at the site, during a 90 day period, had taken some 300 night photographs of the UFOs, along with several motion picture reels. Civilian journalists and cameramen also staked out and took many photographs also. Vallee wrote that an unnamed American firm bought up all the negatives from the Brazilian publishers!
Vallee lamented how the Brazilian injury and death cases often seemingly involved “beam weaponry” that appeared to mock our present state of science and technology. He felt that it was possibly some sort of high powered microwave energy technology. In many of the light beam attacks reported the craft were too small for a human to fit in, which, a device that size is something Vallee presumed was decades ahead of our ability to send aloft.
So what was going on? Another extraterrestrial “invasion” averted?
Or, perhaps, the phenomenon is “reflective” as John Keel described over three decades ago in his Operation Trojan Horse? Perhaps, as Dr. Vallee has come to speculate, the intelligence behind the UFO phenomenon may be about manipulating our beliefs through what he calls a “control system.” Noted UFO writer Otto Binder speculated that UFO waves evolved to teach us things. He felt like the “airship” waves of 1896-97, and the UFO waves that followed over the years, were instructional displays that showed us what technological steps were achievable by us. He also speculated that our level of understanding and acceptance of psychic and spiritual awareness was being enhanced, and that we were being directed away from things like war, greed, and being power hungry and obsessed in money. (Saga’s 1973 UFO Special) Keel, meanwhile, took an opposite view. He envisioned earth-based intelligences he called “ultraterrestrials” who were the modern equivalent of the demons and “tricksters” of yesteryear. William Bramley set out to research the origins of human warfare. After several years of research he wrote his provocative conclusions in The Gods of Eden (1989). He concluded that extraterrestrials have long sought since ancient times to dominate us through violence and chaos, and often controlled us through our spiritual teachings. He calls them the “Custodians.” Thus, enticing our militaries with remote-controlled, high-powered microwave weapons, causing temporary paralysis of enemies, and electromagnetic pulse power disruptions of military bases, cars, planes, and ships (which our military is messing around with now), is just (from that perspective) another of the latest ongoing violence and chaos techniques intended for us to incorporate into our evolving sciences.
Whatever motives the presumed intelligence behind the UFO phenomenon has it seems quite obvious, when thoughtfully reflecting upon what we’ve gleaned, from our years of data gathering and analysis, that we can’t rush to judgements and take anything at face value. The phenomenon is much more complex than initial surface appearances suggested. If indeed psychological conditioning is involved, perhaps something on the order of Vallee’s “control system,” then we have to exercise extreme caution and objectivity. Evaluating the situation certainly takes on an added dimension of complexity.
Long-time California ufologist Ann Druffel dares to make a distinction between the physical UFO encounter events (close encounters and landings) where shy and evasive ufonauts early on comprised numerous reports, and the up close and personal “abduction” encounters wherein the entities are described as intrusive, harassing, interfering and unwelcome. In addition, the “abduction” events seem to occur in an “altered state” rather than strictly within our normal physical reality, and in fact these ufonauts seem to be less physical and more like interdimensional, shape- shifting interloopers who seem to share much in common with the ancient accounts of “supernatural beings” like the Celtic faeries, the Muslim Jinn, and the American Indian “Trickster”spirits. (See my review of her book, How To Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction, in this issue)
Interestingly, a way back in 1977, Betty Hill, who along with her late husband Barney became the first recognized abductees in our country, had proposed to me a similar sounding theory. In a letter she wrote: “I am going to suggest two worlds. One is a world of another dimension, (what others might call) another vibration, of fairies, ghosts, and contactees. The second one is the earth world of UFO and real captures, and the two are distinct and separate.” In that same letter she wrote: “But it really concerns me that the investigators are so busy investigating contactees, that they are too busy to study UFOs, which are here and are increasing at an alarming rate.”
Back in 1976 and 1977, besides talking at length with Betty about her own ongoing UFO and paranormal experiences, we traveled together some and looked into a number of “abduction” claims made by other people in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. “I was in some kind of circular room, “ a woman in Massachusetts told us. “They showed me like big earthquakes happening. Places like I thought could be California.” Allegedly that event happened one afternoon in mid-March 1976, when she was seemingly teleported from a car in which she had been a passenger. She then stated that she had found herself in another location some 35 miles away. A female sergeant in the Air Force described a life of disturbing UFO/alien “memories.” She was from Maine. She had approached Betty for help, and Betty introduced us. I visited the site in Maine where a lot of the activity she described had occurred. We were joined in our travels by a Massachusetts “abductee” who, under hypnosis, recalled being taken aboard a UFO as a young girl where she was exposed to a bright light, which supposedly accounted for her legally blind status. However, years later Betty would report that testing in Boston would reveal that the cause of blindness had been determined to be an explainable eye condition where the blood vessels rupture behind the eyeball.
Betty herself tended to be quite skeptical of most UFO “contactee” and “abduction” stories. “When the movie was made of my experience, I was disappointed that the aliens did not look like my aliens,” Betty explained in a letter in 1983. “I was never consulted as (to) their appearance, but now I am delighted. It is a good screening device to know who has really seen them or only think they have, for the aliens have two very distinct characteristics which we never revealed. If the person does not know what these are, they have not seen them. I have found two persons in twenty (20) years who have told me about these two characteristics.”
Ann Druffel wrote in her book that the Travis Walton case was one of the few “abduction” cases that had a high probability of being a completely physical encounter event. His being struck by the beam of light from the UFO was witnessed by six others. However, Ann points out, since those six hastily fled the scene afterwards we can’t say for certain that Walton was physically taken into a “craft.” Again, that portion of the “encounter” may have been in an “altered state” - which could mean in terms of consciousness altering, or in terms of a different time and space framework, or both! We just don’t really know.
Betty mentioned to me once having seen “dark figures” while she was taking a psychic development class. “We were taught to expect these,” she explained, “for these figures were our guides.” She added that they were commonly seen by people in “astral” states, and then mentioned how some UFO aliens wear black. “But these are real living, moving beings,” she noted, referring to aliens. “There may be the possibility that UFOs are manipulating minds to seeing dark figures to confuse us to their own purposes. ...Then they can go ahead with their own plans for our conquest, without our having any inkling as to their plans.”
There goes that notion of possible “conquest” again. Some, like William Bramley, think we’ve already been conquered. He, like many others down through the years, likes to quote the legendary words of Charles Fort who said, “I think we’re property.”
Personally, I lean toward the notion that we’re spiritual beings having some bad physical experiences!