The Mystery of the Delphos Ring UFO Sighting

50 Years Ago, on November 2, 1971, sixteen year old Ron Johnson was tending sheep on the family farm in Delphos, Kansas. He heard his mom calling him for dinner and, as the story goes, when he turned to reply his attention was drawn to a strange mushroom-shaped object hovering in the air about 75 feet away, making a sound not dissimilar to an old vibrating washing machine.

I believe that’s the first time in UFO history such a description was used for the sound of a hovering object. If someone was sitting in this rattling contraption hovering above the earth, and if there were intelligent space beings that somehow made a harrowing trip across the cosmos in that thing, I hope they had a mechanic check it out before they drove it back home. Could have been a loose muffler or something.

Now back to the story…. Ronnie claimed the craft appeared to be about six to eight feet in diameter, which is pretty small when you consider it. That’s an awful cramped space to travel that far. Humans require huge RVs to go just a few thousand miles.

Anyway, according to the story (there’s even a book about it on with a massively long title: The Compelling Scientific Evidence for UFOs: The Analysis of the Delphos, Kansas UFO Landing Report Paid Link) the object was hovering just a few feet above the ground and left a circular area of bare land where, from then on, grass refused to grow.

Upon investigation the affected soil was found to be resistant to water, and when compared to soil samples from outside of the ring it was found to contain more calcium, soluble salts, was more acidic, and apparently contained an unidentified hydrocarbon. There was also a white, fibrous, crystalline material found in the soil.

Let’s take a look at these chemical findings first. Off the bat we can exclude calcium, salts and acidic soil as evidence of some strange event. Those components are not uncommon in soil, and plants tend not to thrive in acidic soil so that could explain the bare spot. Hydrocarbons in the soil, especially in this situation (it’s a farm), can be explained by various agricultural operations including the use of pesticides, and regular use of farming equipment or vehicles.

Next, the white stuff. I read this thing (which is consistent with other reports on the Delphos ring, indicating that they’re all just regurgitating the same information), and according Jacques Vallée, a well known French astronomer who wears many hats including UFOlogist, the white material was analyzed by a French biologist and found to be actinobacteria, and referred to in the report as a form of fungus.

Just a note: Actinobacteria is not fungus. As the name not so subtly implies, it is bacteria. It is also common in soil, especially in forest areas (you know, around trees). The only thing fungus-like about actinobacteria is their tendency to form colonies and develop into whitish, stranded, branching formations called hyphae.

So, funny white fungus-like bacteria, trace forms of calcium, salt and acidic soil do not indicate that something weird happened. It means something rather normal happened. It happens all over the place. Soil isn’t just some inert stuff sitting there waiting for us to look at it. Natural processes are happening all the time.

But why is it shaped like a ring, and why doesn’t it absorb water? Since we have learned that the soil was not really that strange, those remaining factors can be relatively easily deduced. It may have been that the soil had be come too compacted to readily absorb water, and the things that compacted the soil could be the very same things that caused the ring and the acidic quality of the soil.

Remember this was a sheep farm, and sheep pee. Put a bunch of peeing sheep with trampling hooves around a circular bale feeder, day after day, and you’ll have compacted salty soil in no time.

That’s just my theory, but I think it’s a good one. It doesn’t take an unidentified hovering object to make a circle of dry dirt on a farm. Farm animals can do that with no trouble at all.

But why would a sixteen year old boy make up such a far-fetched tale about a hovering UFO? Come on now… telling stories is what humans do.


UFO Over Lake Norman – NC

Last week the interwebs were shaken up by a video in which the poster claimed he saw “a spacecraft” hovering in the distance across Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The interwebs weren’t the only thing shaking. The quality of this video suffers from what my collegues in paranormal pursuits and I refer to as fakey-shakey, jive-jiggle or bullshitter jitter. The guy is shaking the camera, in this case his cellphone, on purpose and so damn much that there is no possible way viewers can see what the hell he is recording.

Take a quick look at the video below and see if you can identify the object…

In fact some sharp-eyed YouTubers have pointed out what the object is likely to be and their suggestions have been corroborrated by GoodYear officials. It was a GoodYear blimp, Wingfoot One specifically—and actually a “semi-rigid” airshit not a blimp—as revealed in a USA Today article about the video.

So the video of the UFO over Lake Norman is actually an IFO, and the guy who made the video knew exactly what he was recording, he’s just a joker.

Still and always I will continue my search for real evidence of the unexplained, but crap like this just fogs the swamp. I’m not holding my breath.

Phoenix Lights Regurgitation

The Phoenix Lights Festival returned for its fourth year to The Park at Wild Horse Pass on April 7 & 8, 2018. The two day music festival featured 42 artists, including techno, dance and trance DJs and full bands. Festivals need themes and the Phoenix Lights Festival has an interesting piece of local lore behind it. Who knows, there may very well have been some extraterrestrials at the festival, but there weren’t any at the original sighting events back in 1997. Or at any other time. I don’t mean to pop any bubbles, just being real. It’s my job.

To be sure, festivals are not the problem, the problem is these dopey documentaries that show up 21 years later, rehashing reports, adding new nonsense and completely ignoring anything that resembles reality. But then, one guy’s reality is another’s… whatever, you know what I mean.

21 YEARS since Phoenicians first experienced a strange light formation in the sky, and mysterious orange lights flickering over South Mountain and the Sierra Estrella mountain range, southwest of Phoenix, AZ.

Before I comment on this Expanded and Updated documentary which is also apparently Beyond Top Secret, let me first summarize the events which I have independently investigated while sitting at the dinette of my little RV. I happen to be camping in a remote location, staking out a logging site for a friend of mine. He thinks there may be a Bigfoot roaming around in the woods here.

After a long day and no Bigfoot I was winding down with a cold beer and decided to cover-surf on my Amazon FireTV Stick. Since I frequently watch shows about the paranormal as part of my investigative work Amazon pops up various titles that I might find interesting. I know Amazon tracks my viewing behavior, I just hope my Alexa is minding her own business. I’d hate to think she’s logging my conversations, especially the ones I have with myself. Ha! Logging.

Anyway, that’s where I noticed the Phoenix Lights – Beyond Top Secret – Expanded and Updated. The title reads like just like a bullbunkum book you wouldn’t pay two cents for. Well, I wouldn’t, I can get that stuff on Kindle for free. I don’t enjoy the stuff really, but I need to keep up to date in my line of work. Beyond top secret huh? Let’s talk about the Phoenix Lights…

Artist rendering of the Phoenix Lights by Drew Vics

The Phoenix Lights Story

Two events unfolded on the evening of March 13, 1997, and many, including Lynne Kitei, confuse the them, maybe deliberately so, merging them into one and dismissing any rational explanation because it does not fit with what they want to believe.

Witnesses of the first event recount seeing a triangular, or V-shaped, formation of lights traversing slowly overhead and seen by witnesses starting at 7:55 MST in Henderson, NV. A report was made by a motorist in Kingman, AZ, then reports started at 8:17 MST in Prescott, AZ, followed by witness sightings in Phoenix.

Most witnesses described lights in a V formation traveling at a slow rate of speed from northwest to southeast. Some claimed a massive object blocked out stars in the sky as the formation passed overhead, though the brightness of the nearby lights witnesses were focused on would most likely cause their eyes to adjust, thereby making far distant stars seem much dimmer.

Here you go… an amateur astronomer using a Dobsonian telescope observed the lights of the V formation and clearly saw that they were attached to individual airplanes. That pretty much settles it for me, but maybe I should doubt what he says because he could just be a plant for the government to misdirect people from the truth about the UFO Alien coverup. Yeah that’s it.

The second event was subsequently confirmed by authorities at the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range to be a series of parachute flares dropped by A-10 Warthogs over the testing range southwest of Phoenix. In fact, video recordings made by some residents clearly depict lights behaving exactly as one would expect descending and flickering parachute flares to behave. None of the video clips presented in any news reel or documentary show the full deployment of course because then it would be evident as to what they are. They just wouldn’t be as intriguing.

A distant line of reddish glowing lights appear in the distance, flickering to life one by one and progressively descending, eventually disappearing behind the Sierra Estrella mountain range, generally in the same order in which they were dropped. No sound was heard because the aircraft dropping the flares were some distance away and flying perpendicular to witness viewing directions from Phoenix.

So, Beyond Top Secret, what’s that about? There was absolutely nothing top secret about the so-called Phoenix Lights in the first place. Air Force personnel freely disclosed that the series of lights seen over the mountains from Phoenix were flares dropped in a training run, and a guy with a telescope saw airplanes in the giant V-formation.

Now, About this Documentary…

… that I couldn’t waste more than 8 minutes on.

Three swigs into my beer I decided to switch over to Longmire. I just couldn’t stand listening to Dr. Lynne Kitei ramble on about the miraculous encounter she and her husband had had with the lights, and how magical the whole thing seemed to her. In the documentary she implied that she could sense a presence in the lights, and seemed to seriously believe they were some kind of higher beings trying to connect with humanity.

Over and over we see reenactments of her taking pictures of the event and she comments frequently on one photo in particular, which we are never shown. At one point I caught myself yelling at the TV, “show us the picture! Show us the PICTURE! SHOW US THE DANN PICTURE!” During one weird moment she actually takes a framed photo in her hands and looks at it with some apparent longing before returning it to the mantel, hiding it behind other pictures. Very strange. But we never see it.

After a little research I discovered that her photos of the event are available at the Phoenix Lights Network website. They are obvious blurry photos of the flares dropped by planes from Barry Goldwater AF Range, which is an event confirmed by the Air Force and would have appeared as the photos depict if seen from Phoenix. These are photos of the second event, not the V-formation.

This is all so basic it amazes me how these events, which were adequately explained at the time, can get so blown out of proportion. Actually, it doesn’t really. People perpetuate a whole bunch of nonsensical rubbish just because they have a need to believe. It really all boils down to just that. I won’t get into the psychology of it all here, I’m not a psychologist just a simple investigator of the unexplained.

This Phoenix Lights thing has taken on a whole new shape beyond just believing the lights were alien piloted spaceships. Lights, craft and even orbs are terms used to describe the things witnessed on that night in 1997. Orbs hints at the supernatural, ghosts and spirits, so this Phoenix Lights thing has become a kind of spiritual movement.

It reeks of some new age nonsense with sentiments like “Evolution to a New Consciousness,” and claims of a cover up with statements like, “…cover up of what is now being hailed as the largest mass sighting of UFOs in modern times…”

This is a weird amalgamation of UFO lore and spiritual enlightenment with religious overtones, but it’s nothing new. We’ve seen UFO enlightenment movements and “re-awakenings” in the past. In some ways, for some people, UFOs and the idea of aliens from space have replaced a biblical god.

The events known collectively as the Phoenix Lights have been sufficiently and rationally explained. There really is no need to spend any more time on it. The documentary is a rehashing of anecdotes, and the rekindling of a belief, held by some, that the lights were of extraterrestrial origin. It’s also spinning into something far stranger. Good luck to those who wade into the murky waters of some “New Consciousness.”