Saturday, June 30, 2007

June 24th - St. John's Day

It is always fascinating to observe the frequent amount of anomalous activity that can occur on a given day, especially with how certain days seem to attract bizarre happenings and weird phenomenon more than most of the other 365 days during the year. Whether it is just coincedence or the proper alignment of the stars, these days seem more conducive to producing Fortean phenomena, making them ideal for the Fortean researcher attempting to study the different reported phenomenon and find a connection between it all.

One such day is June 24th, which marked the 60th anniversary of the Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting, the sighting that sparked off the modern UFO era and first propeled the so called "flying saucers" into the eye of the public. It was thanks to this sighting that more people were willing to come out and admit their UFO sightings , jumpstarting the birth of ufology and leading to widespread public interest in the phenomenon. Besides that landmark sighting, "St. John's Day" ( a major Christian feast day marking the birth of Saint John the Baptist) has seen major UFO activity occur on this day, with most reports being of nocturnal lights and daylight discs, with incidents involving automobiles being a particular motif on this day.

The first such automobile-UFO case on this date occurred in 1964, as described in NICAP's UFO Investigator:

"Fifteen or more disc-shaped objects paced a truck driver and his wife in Vero Beach, Florida in the predawn hours. The discs flew along, tipping back and forth. They formed a V formation, then a circular formation; finally the objects split the formation and passed on either side of a group of trees. (Source: NICAP UFO Investigator, August 1964, p. 1)."

A similar case occurred two years later to a police officer in Virginia, as laid out here by multiple sources:

"Police officer William L. Stevens had a close encounter with a dirigible-shaped object 100 feet long and 30 feet thick at 3:30 a.m. He was driving on the Henrico Turnpike in Richmond, Virginia when the UFO approached. It had alternating white and greenish-yellow lights around its perimeter, and it was surrounded by a mist. It began to play a game of cat and mouse with his police cruiser. "It seemed to be playing with me," he said. It moved away when the officer turned on its flashing lights, maintaining a distance of a few hundred feet. After several minutes it departed, accelerating suddenly and making a high speed vertical climb. (Sources: Richard Hall, Uninvited Guests, p. 261; Gordon I. R. Lore, Jr., UFOs: A New Look, p. 9; Richard F. Haines, CE-5: Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind, p. 164; MUFON UFO Journal, June 1991, p. 12; UNICAT database, case 654, citing James E. McDonald)."

In 1995 a man in the town of Farmingdale, located in Nassau County, New York, encountered a UFO while sitting in his truck:

"A small disc-shaped object hovered over a truck in Farmingdale, New York at 11:30 p.m. at night. The driver could tell the UFO was close because it hovered below the low, overcast sky, so he got out of his vehicle and attempted to chase the UFO on foot, to no avail. (Source: Peter Davenport, National UFO Reporting Center, 1995 archive)."

Besides UFO cases involving automobiles, St. John's Day has also seen a fair share of USO reports, but only one case from 1977 involved actual interaction with the water:

"At one o'clock in the morning a UFO was sighted hovering over the sea from the coastal town of La Caleta, in the Dominican Republic. Sr. Cruz watched as the object extended a tube from its bottom, and then sucked up water. Two occupants could be seen inside the object, viewed through windows in the craft. Sr. Cruz's car engine failed, and he felt a numbing sensation in his arms and legs. (Sources: Leonte Objio, APRO Bulletin, January 1982, p. 6; Stendek, September 1978, p. 5)."

The two other USO cases on this date involved what appeared to be simple observation, with the craft displaying bizarre and complex maneuvers before vanishing off into the distance:

"A woman in Hampton Bay, New York saw something like "a large aircraft" about 30 meters wide flying very slowly and low at 6:30 p.m. It had a lighted red band around the middle and was coming straight toward her house with an oscillating motion. She still thought it was an aircraft of some new design when it stopped near her, only 25 meters above the ground. Then it flew backward over the water and hovered, making the same noise as a swarm of bees. The top section supported a series of red lights and a cabin with four portholes through which a control panel was visible. No occupants were seen. The cabin section rose above the object, rotated, then glided back. The object tilted toward the west and rose toward the southeast, disappearing within three seconds at an 80-degree angle of climb after the three minute long sighting. Two days later a yellowish moss was observed at the site. (Sources: Project Blue Book files counted in official statistics, June 1953, case 22; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 203 (case 112))."

and a 1967 case from Trenton, Maine:

"Two people sighted a silver-gray, hat-shaped object hovering about 500 feet from the shoreline in Trenton, Maine at around 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. It emitted a vapor at its base. The object ascended into a fog bank and descended again at a greater distance before moving away. (Source: Raymond E. Fowler, UFOs Interplanetary Visitors, pg. 349)."

Besides Close Encounters of the First and Second Kind, Close Encounters of the Third Kind have also been reported on this day, including in England (1967) and Argentina (1968):

" A man walking alone at night along a bridal path in Bovington, England came upon a strange figure bent down by the side of the path. The figure was short and was wearing what looked like a black, one-piece leather suit. He had a trowel in his hand and appeared to be digging in the earth. When he noticed the witness approaching the figure made a strange, high-pitched sound and was lost from sight. (Source: David F. Webb and Ted Bloecher, HUMCAT: Catalogue of Humanoid Reports, case 1967-51 (A1559), citing Jenny Randles, Awareness, Winter 1977). "


"A young woman named Torres was awakened at 1:10 a.m. in Laguna Raiva, Santa Fe, Argentina by an intense humming sound. She then noticed an oval-shaped light in the corner of her bedroom and inside the light stood two strangely dressed beings. They both wore metallic diving suits and helmets with visors. One was taller than the other and luminous white beams of light emanated from the tips of the fingers of both entities and from their visors and lower abdomens. Both beings vanished suddenly. (Source: Albert S. Rosales, Humanoid Contact Database 1968, case #822, citing Dr. Oscar A. Galindez, FSR, Vol. 27 # 1)."

The taking of soil samples by alleged UFO occupants has long been a staple of CE3 reports, as is demonstrated here and in the 1975 account which can be found here, among many others. Diving suits, as found in the Argentina case, are characteristic of many reported UFO entities (here, here, and here), with the "bedroom invader" aspect of the case bearing the hallmark of the abduction phenomenon that rose to prominence within the UFO field in the 1960s and has since become a seperate field of study within itself.

Loren Coleman has written extensively on the frequent occurrence of strange happenings on June 24th, devoting an annual blog entry to the subject which lists out all the known reports on this day of strange phenomena. His entry lists many of the strange and Fortean phenomena that have been reported on this day, which cover all the different fields, from ufology to cryptozoology to the very outer boundaries of reality. Here are some of those reports, taken from Coleman's blog entry:

"Knights Templars display “Mysterious Head” at Poitiers (1308). Founding of the Order of the Garter (1348). John Cabot discovers North America (1497). Galileo released (1633). “Woman of the Wilderness” utopian community arrives in America (1694). “W of W” angelic visions (1701). Grand Lodge of Freemasons inaugurated (1717). Ambrose Bierce born (1842). Red rain, Italy (1877). Ice fall, Ft. Lyon, Colorado (1877). Fall of jelly-like mass, Eton (1911). Fred Hoyle born (1915). Mick Fleetwood (1942) and Jeff Beck (1944) born.

First day of “flying saucer” history, Mt. Rainier & Mt. Adams, Washington State - famous Kenneth Arnold sighting - 60th anniversary (1947). Filmstock fire kills seventeen people, Brussels (1947). Movie theaters evaluated during huge fire, Perth Amboy, NJ (1947). United Airlines plane struck by lightning over Cleveland (1947). Invasion of grasshoppers battled with flame-throwers, Guatemala/El Salvador (1947). Woman attacked and killed by bees or wasps, Seattle (1947). Bizarre aerial sightings near Daggett, California (1950) and on Iwo Jima (1953).

Locals have Bigfoot sightings, Logan and Union counties, Ohio (1980). Chupacabras encountered outside disco, Maria Elena, Argentina (2000). Moose hunters see Bigfoot, near Fort Simpson, NWT, Canada (2002). Mysterious fire erupts in Gallipolis, Ohio resident’s car on bridge from Ohio to Point Pleasant, West Virginia (2003). Massive unusual aerial phenomena, Xalapa, Mexico (2005). “Aren’t You Chupacabra to See Me?” airs for first time on Cartoon Network (2005). Nestle uses Bigfoot-costumed marchers to launch Kit Kat Limited Edition – Cappuccino at the Giant Mahkota Parade, Malacca, and Jusco Tebrau City, Johor (2005).

Coleman wraps his blog with the perfect ending, which I will quote here in its entirety:

"Unexplained events. Mysterious fiery outbursts. Strange cryptid sightings. Beltane fires. Little people. Miracles. Bathing. Round dances. Collecting of glowworms. Folkloric incidents. Weird encounters.
Respect the wonder and adventure of the 24th of June. What events have dotted your past crypto-histories from this point on the calendar?
What’s in the mix on this day, the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Age of Flying Saucers?"

The truth shall set you free.

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