Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Skies Are Still Speaking

So a new movie popped up on Netflix, one I'd actually been waiting to see. It's called The Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs and it's a documentary about a California-based filmmaker and musician named Christo Rappolo who's been taking videos of strange objects in the sky in his hometown of Monterey.

From Motherboard:
He was at home with his younger brother when a creature that looked like Bullwinkle emerged from a glowing ambulance and pressed itself against the window of his bedroom...  
"[The alien] told me it was going to give me a little bite on the nose, but when I woke up everything would be okay," Roppolo told Motherboard. "For a long time after that, I didn't even want to go to sleep, but as a kid I didn't place too much significance on what had happened. As I got older, I started to realize that it wasn't just a dream."
 Although thousands of miles and five decades separate Roppolo from his childhood home in the suburbs of Cleveland, the extraterrestrial encounters never stopped...Roppolo did what any filmmaker would do—he grabbed his video camera and started shooting his encounters.
Rappolo linked up with a young filmmaker named Justin Gaar in the hopes of shaping the stacks of videos he'd taken into some kind of workable documentary. At first blush, Gaar wasn't terribly impressed with the source material:
"I honestly watched maybe an hour's worth [of Roppolo's footage] and was like what is this?" Garr told Motherboard. "It's really just hours and hours of him going 'what the fuck is that fucking shit?' and pointing at blinking dots in the sky. My mind wasn't entirely open to what it was."

Rappolo, boasting a strange charisma and seemingly endless reserves of energy, got to work on Gaar, sending tapes to him until a meeting was finally arranged:
"We went to dinner and the whole time [Roppolo] is looking up at the sky for stuff," said Garr. "He'd keep talking about UFOs and aliens as if they're right there with us in the room. The he told me about his family and I knew there was a narrative here." 
Roppolo's troubled past really began when his dad was killed in a drunk driving accident while Roppolo was working his way through culinary school.  
After the accident, Roppolo and his brother came into a significant sum of money as a result of the settlement…Roppolo spent a portion of his money on filmmaking equipment and with $10,000 produced his first major film, a remake of the classic 1964 gore film, The Flesh Eaters.
Rappolo began working the horror convention circuit with his movie and started making friends and connections. The sun seemed to be shining and Hollywood seemed ripe for the plucking. Horror was experiencing a boom and Rappolo was primed and ready to surf the wave. And then real-life horror intruded on the success story:
Shortly after its release Roppolo learned that his brother had stolen $129,000 from his bank account... this would soon turn out to be just the tip of the iceberg on Roppolo's downward slide.
And so Rappolo was initiated into the life of the prophet, with all that portends. Life got out its meat-hammer and got to work on the talented young filmmaker and musician, who'd thought he'd been living the American Dream. But strangely enough some old friends came back into his life during his hour of need:
"Whenever [Roppolo] was having emotional trauma in his life, it was always reflected in his ability to find the UFOs," Gaar said. "I sort of hypothesized that maybe some of this is psychological, but then also I don't know what the fuck that stuff is that he's videotaping. Some of it you can immediately write off and some of it is really hard to reason through."
And there's the UFO conundrum in a nutshell. It shouldn't make any sense, you should be able to write it all off. And just when you're about to, it jumps out of nowhere and bites you in the ass. 

And after a while it can wear down the resolve of even the most hardened skeptics (though not the most delusional debunkers, of course):

Although Gaar was only able to find breaks from work to visit Roppolo on occasion during the two years it took to film Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs, he was still treated to a few UFO sightings himself. The strangest sighting, which is detailed in the film, is still inexplicable to Gaar and he has little interest in trying to get to the bottom of it.
Given how jam-packed our skies are with technological junk it only makes sense that we look for other explanations for the massive amount of sightings that Rappolo has documented, especially in light of the extremely spooky Northern California neighborhood in which he lives:
"I didn't end up pursuing this, but I had a theory about a couple of the sightings," said Gaar. "There are military installations near [Roppolo] and Lockheed Martin's Skunkworks—a pretty secret experimental aviation place—is located only so far south of Monterey. So I was going to get kind of scientific with it, but decided not to. The film was never about that."
Which is a very good theory. But in light of some of the objects that have been captured on film, a really disturbing one. We're way past the point of fixed-wing stealth aircraft here. 

But there's another possibility as well- the military installations are attracting, shall we say, more exotic kinds of attention from parties unknown. It could very well be a two-way street. 

Just putting that out there.

So what good does all this UFO obsessing do Christos Rappolo? Well, look at this way- this obsession got him a starring role in a major documentary, one that's been very well-received and is currently front-paged on Netflix. 

For a guy trying to get back on the horse in the movie business that's a very big boost indeed, believe it. So if he sees the Space Brothers as his family, they seem to be helping him out more than his blood relations ever did.

Click to enlarge- note UFO IS IN CLOUD CEILING 
(2500 feet that night)

I was thinking about Monterey, its history and its place in the San Francisco-Big Sur axis and how that all plays into the overarching dramas of both The Nine and Lucifer's Technologies, stories we've talked so much about here. If there's a place I'd expect to see aliens interested in, that area ranks pretty high on the list.

I was thinking about this quite a bit after I finished watching the movie and took the dogs out. And just when I was about to go back in, I looked to the west and saw a plane come up over the clouds. It seemed a bit large and I hadn't yet heard its engines, but that's nothing unusual. Hundreds of planes fly over the house, morning, noon and night, every day of the year, no big deal.

But then it stopped

Planes don't stop. When planes stop they fall out of the sky.

Helicopter? No. The lights were in a linear pattern, like on a wingspan. So it couldn't have been a drone either.

And why wasn't it moving? Optical illusion? The cloud cover was low (the ceiling was 2500 feet), dense and dark so I don't think I was looking at an object in the distance (or a star or planet, obviously). And after a few minutes the optical illusion theory doesn't really wash.

And then the lights started pulsing, red to green to white. Not like navigation lights, more like a weird pulse. Then it would seem to rise straight up to the ceiling or recede, but this could well have been a function of the cloud cover shifting. All I know is that it looked off.

Preview in camera

I was just about to get my wife when she came out on the porch. "Get your camera," I said.

She had her iPhone and took burst shots of the object. Unfortunately my son moved out and took his telephoto-lens camera with him, the one he bought shortly after filming three UFOs with his crappy old iPhone. 

Which is par for the course when it comes to the UFO phenomenon. "Get the worst camera you own," as the skeptics sneer, means "get out the perfectly decent camera you use for ordinary, everyday photography." Most people don't have 6-inch telephoto lenses kicking around the house and don't know much about taking photos of objects in the distant night sky. 

Which is to say that my wife got her digital camera, which is good, but is meant for taking closeups in bright light. Most of the photos didn't pick out anything at all.

I got my iPad and began fumbling to describe what we were seeing, which was a highly unusual structured craft hovering in the west, seeming to move at odd intervals in lateral patterns- like a L-shape- but then return to its original hovering position without you even realizing it had returned. I recorded four videos but couldn't only get the first to upload. UFOs, innit?

I also PM'd a friend while it was all going down, which is helpful here in order to timestamp it all for you:††

[2/24/17 12:24:56 AM] Chris Knowles:  We have a serious flying saucer over our neighborhood
[2/24/17 12:25:08 AM] Chris Knowles: It's been hovering
[2/24/17 12:25:22 AM] Chris Knowles: 15 minutes at least
[2/24/17 12:25:38 AM] Chris Knowles: Now it's gone again
[2/24/17 12:25:52 AM] Chris Knowles: My wife got pictures
[2/24/17 12:26:01 AM] Chris Knowles: But the light is crap
[2/24/17 12:26:18 AM] Chris Knowles: Definitely a structured craft
[2/24/17 12:26:33 AM] Chris Knowles: Line of lights changing red green white

Having researched drones I can say that this didn't resemble any of the commercially available models. In fact its profile doesn't seem feasible for hover-capable drone technology at all.* 

There was no sound or evidence of propellers. It also- contrary to the photos taken with camera lens designed for selfies and snapshots- looked big-- like, airplane big-- and high from the ground (you can see that it was up at the cloud ceiling and a commercial drone would be totally invisible at that height). When I first saw it it looked like a saucer, but that may have been because I was viewing it full face, with the light profile forming a linear pattern.

When we looked at the photos- such as they are-- the object definitely appeared to be chevron-shaped, a well-known type of UFO that has been reported for a number of years, including during the Phoenix Lights flap. In fact, the Kenneth Arnold sighting was actually of chevrons and not saucers.

What's even weirder is that the lights seem to gradate, meaning the color seems to going through a prism effect with the lamps themselves. That could be an artifact of the low-rez imagery or some kind of LED technology, since it looked from a distance like it was cycling red-green-white. But it was weird.

All in all the object was visible for at least 20 minutes. Strangely enough my daughter woke up while we were outside and came out to see it herself. This is now her second UFO sighting. We didn't record her first sighting, but as it happens we didn't have to.

What were we looking at? Gordon seems to think it was some kind of breakaway tech being taken out for a joyride.  All I can say is that if "They" have that kind of technology then we're in a hell of a lot more trouble than you dared think.


I keep checking to see if this thing has been reported online- and have even been in contact with the head of the state MUFON chapter (he's very interested in the sighting)- but it was awful late and the area it was seen over is mostly wooded.

But I go on instinct as a general rule. 

I think the unconscious mind is constantly collating information that our puny conscious mind can't possibly hope to and feeds signals to the rest of our brain-- such as our HPA axis-- in order to ensure our biological survival-- the fight or flight mechanism, among others. It's able to process data our conscious attention can't hope to.

Low-rez, but you can clearly see the chevron shape
and prismatic lights

And I have to say that this object-- whatever it was-- deeply unsettled me. I can't really call it fear, something much more complex and layered than that. More like a deep sense of dislocation.

I've had a handful of sightings but this the first actual structured craft I've seen that I couldn't assign a mundane explanation to.  It wasn't some passing will-o-the-wisp; it sat there for at least twenty minutes, easily visible- and recorded- from my god-damned front porch. If we only had that damn telephoto lens it would have been the scoop of the year.

I checked last night but the object didn't seem to return. I didn't really expect it to. If it had I'd be more likely to assign a mundane explanation to it.  

It could be some secret technology from some Air Force hangar somewhere**, but what the hell was it doing over this area? And why did it seem to appear at the stroke of midnight, aka "the Witching Hour?"º That gave the whole event a ritualistic polish, from my vantage point at least.

And weirdest of all, why did it appear not five minutes after I finished watching a documentary on a man-- with whom I could definitely identify-- who records impossible objects in the sky on a regular basis?†

This is the enigma of the UFO phenomenon. It has every reason in the world not to persist and yet it does. Why? Because people keep seeing- and recording- things that can't be explained. 

You have every good reason in the world to ignore it-- "UFOlogy," first and foremost among them-- but enter into its deeper mysteries and it will leave you questioning almost everything around you. And as researchers have noticed for almost 50 years now, it seems to reach straight into your life and rearrange space and time in ways that seem to tell you larger, deeper stories.

Just ask Christo Rappolo.

UPDATE: Another of my Rendlesham-style reports.

NOTES: I should also add that this happened just a little over a year after the X-Files finale, when another extremely odd event was recorded on these premises. Extremely odd events are getting a little too familiar around these parts.

I wrote about chevrons a number of years back, in relation to my own childhood issues:
I've talked at length about my feverish leprechaun hallucination, which I remember most clearly because it came late in the game. The hallucinations began when I started getting bad ear infections, probably around 8 or 9 years-old. But there is one hallucination from that period that I remember quite well- too well- but have never talked about because it frankly sounds pretty stupid. It was summer, probably around July '74 and I was very sick. I had an hallucination that I was being attacked by a giant chevron. 
Right- attacked by a giant upside down V. Yeah, I know, believe me. 

†† I kept saying over the neighborhood but it was actually in the west, maybe a half-mile away.

* I know about the Facebook drone, but that is a propeller driven unmanned airplane, one which performed rather badly on its testflight in December.

º When it appeared to recede into due west, it would have overflew Aleister Crowley's final resting place.

**McGuire AFB is about 2 hours away by car but is an operations base, not a testing facility.

† And I'd been thinking about UFOs and High Weirdness in general this past week in the context of its relevance in a society straining towards civil war.