By Marc Cecotti and Keith Basterfield
During our previous research into the activities of Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) in South America, we kept hearing accounts of their interest, amongst other things, in physical evidence.
We first looked into one aspect of the BAASS interest, namely the commercial agreement between BAASS and MUFON, specifically that BAASS was engaging MUFON to:
"c...purchase from seller field investigation services and all information and material derived from those services, including but not limited to: Physical evidence...and other material including effects on humans, foliage, trees, soil..."
The MUFON Strike Team for Area Research (STAR) screened all the raw, incoming sighting reports entering the MUFON Case Management System (CMS) database, for cases defined by MUFON as category 2 or 3, for the STAR Impact Project (SIP) to investigate.
An internal MUFON document advised the persons screening these reports, that they were specifically interested in two categories of reports, namely:
Catgory 2, which equates to the Vallee classification system types AN2, FB2, and MA2, CE1. Here, MUFON field investigators were to "...gather physical evidence and send to designated labs for testing."
Category 3, which equates to the Vallee classification system types AN3, AN4, AN5, FB3, FB4, FB5, MA3, MA4 and MA5. Here, MUFON field investigators were to "Gather...physical evidence and send it to designated labs for testing."
So, in summary, in specified cases, physical evidence was to be collected and sent off to designated labs for testing. Nowhere does it state where, or who, the labs were.
How many such STAR physical evidence case were there, where this procedure was followed, and samples sent off to labs? One of the pieces of work undertaken by Keith Basterfield, was to go through the relevant issues of the MUFON Journals, and create an Excel spreadsheet which listed 71 cases designated as STAR reports under the BAASS agreement. Only two such cases mentioned the collection of samples. These cases were:
1. MUFON CMS case number 17780 from Fort Wayne, Indiana. The August 2009 MUFON Journal gave the following information. At 0430 hours on 28 June 2009 a woman reported seeing multiple white orbs and one large red orb in trees around her house. These lights approached her. Small amounts of an unknown liquid fell from the orbs and collected on the glass of her front door. Samples of this unknown liquid were taken by the MUFON investigator next day.
2. MUFON CMS case number 18601 from Mavlverne, New York, dated 8 August 2009. The bedroom of the witness lit up as if by a high powered spotlight. There was no noise. Every leaf on a tree was found to have been "burnt to a crisp." "Waiting lab analysis."
What were the results of the lab analyses in these two case? In short, MUFON did not receive the reasults of any case lab analyses. A reminder here, is that, to be fair to BAASS, the BAASS/MUFON contract did not state that any feedback would be given back to MUFON.
One of the cases listed on the Excel spreadsheet was MUFON CMS case number 17125 from Buffalo, Oklahoma, dated 18 May 2009. Scant details in the MUFON Journal only speak of a close encounter with blue/white lights.
It was therefore a surprise to us, when looking through The Black Vault collection of technical analysis reports undertaken by analytical chemist Phyllis Budinger, to find a very detailed report on the Buffalo case.
Technical Service Response Report number UT068 dated 20 January 2010, written by Phyllis Budinger, Frontier Analysis Ltd., revealed that the analysis of soil and grass samples was requested by C J Modlin, MUFON Chief of Investigations; Vicki LeBlanc MUFON, and David MacDonald, Field Investigator MUFON.
Why the samples were sent by MUFON to Frontier Analysis Ltd., independent to both MUFON and BAASS, remains to be ascertained. However, the technical report is a very useful guide to just what analysis, this type of sighting was being subjected to.
What was reported?
At 0030 hours on 18 May 2009, a witness described seeing an object with blue, red and white strobe lights, moving very low near Buffalo. Within 10-15 seconds, the lights seemed to be near a dirt road in front of the witness and slowed down there. The female witness got into a pick-up truck and drove it; and at this point she felt that the lights were only 150 feet away, and stationary. She believed the lights were on a single object. After a short time driving, she looked back but couldn't see the lights anymore.
At the location where the the lights had been seen, was "...a large portion of grass laid down" which the witness photographed. The MUFON field investigator was on scene on 29 May 2009, when more photographs and measurements were taken. An area of apparent dead grass had three areas where the grass seemed to have been crushed in a swirled pattern. There was no evidence of radiation. Next day, the investigator took some samples of the affected grass and soil, and control samples.
The Budinger report includes photographs of the samples she received on 23 October 2009. A spectrometer was used to obtain infrared spectra. The results were as follows:
Soil - tests by Budinger
* "Infrared analyses detects no difference that can be considered significant between the site soil and control soil."
* "The test shows the magnetic materials at the site soil amount to 14mg/g in the site soil and 11mg/g in the control soil, this analysts feels the values are within statistical error of the test."
* "A test for radiactivity showed none above background."
* "There was also no u/v florescing material."
Grass - tests by Dr. Charles Leitzau
* "No visual abnormalities."
* "Infrared examination of the site grass sample detect no unusual anomalies."
It would be interesting to know, if there were indeed other case physical evidence analyses among the 71 listed STAR events. A look through the MUFON CMS, by typing in the case number, and reading the long description which the witness provided, failed to find other such cases. However, we do not have access to the full, edited versions of the case files, which mean we cannot be sure, that other such cases were not missed by us. Naturally, it would also be of great value to have access to copies of the full set of 71 STAR SIP final edited case files; copies of the BAASS analyses, and any further investigations undertaken by BAASS.