Wednesday, April 19, 2017
I was looking over an old, ratty issue of FATE Magazine (No. 212, Nov. 1967) to see if it was worth keeping. For the most part I told myself "no", but I looked over an article called "UFO's: Animal or Mineral?" by John Philip Bessor, written for the 20th anniversary of the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting (which gave us the term "flying saucer").
Bessor claimed to have "noted that 'saucer belts' extend along both east and west coasts and from Oregon to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and into West Virginia and Virginia." [p. 36] Then he makes an eye-opening statement: "Except for the southwestern portion of the state and the eastern area bordering New Jersey, Pennsylvania has been bypassed by the UFOs."
Now, this statement is incorrect, certainly in respect to recent decades, if you know anything about the work of Stan Gordon, author of Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook (2010). Still, it was an amazing claim to read after going through the Missing 411 books of David Paulides.
Paulides has arrayed missing people in "clusters" across North America, but he threw up his hands when he came to Pennsylvania: "the entire state is a cluster," he says at the beginning of Missing 411: Eastern United States. And on p. 169: "Pennsylvania had more children disappear from 1934-1957 than any other state." And: "In 1968 the profile of people who went missing in Pennsylvania changed -- they got older. It's also noteworthy that the last seven cases in this state were all men." So Pennsylvania is a strange state, according to Paulides.
Even if Mr. Bessor was wrong, I at least find a bizarre coincidence here. If Paulides had simply divided up Pennsylvania into clusters like he does every other state and Canadian province, I wouldn't have given the FATE article a second glance. If Bessor had picked any other state in the Union to be devoid of UFOs, I wouldn't have blinked an eye. And if Bessor was on to something, at least way back when, then this item should definitely go into my "Negative Correlations" area of Missing 411 Annotations, where I list phenomena that seem to avoid -- or maybe trade off occasionally with -- the 411 phenomenon.