Author Topic: Phantom Flyers  (Read 1694 times)

Devious Viper
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Phantom Flyers
« on: May 16, 2006, 06:00:11 AM »
(Mark Pilkington, The Guardian, UK)

The notion that large, hitherto unidentified creatures may exist in our oceans and wildernesses is one that most people are comfortable with. But could colossal, primitive lifeforms, invisible to human eyes, also populate our skies?

Trevor James Constable, sailor, aircraft historian and scientific iconoclast, certainly thinks so. Inspired by Wilhelm Reich's orgone energy, Ruth Drown's radionics, the writing of Charles Fort and Arthur Conan Doyle's story The Horror of the Heights, Constable became convinced that the UFOs he heard so much about in the 1950s weren't alien spacecraft, but living beings.

Armed with a camera fitted with high-speed infrared film and an ultraviolet filter, Constable set out to reveal these sky beings to the world. His photographs certainly show something. To the untrained eye they look like discolorations produced during the developing process. But stare long enough and they take on the appearance of floating, zeppelin-sized amoebas.

In his 1975 book The Cosmic Pulse of Life, Constable calls them "critters". "As living organisms," he writes, "critters appear to be an elemental branch of evolution probably older than most life on Earth, dating from the time when the planet was more gaseous and plasmatic than solid ... They will probably one day be better classified as belonging to the general field of macrobiology or even macrobacteria inhabiting the aerial ocean we call the sky."

The critters are, thankfully, usually invisible to us, existing for the most part in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. When they do stray into our frequency band, they are mistakenly identified as flying machines.

Constable's theory, a synthesis of science, ufology, occultism and cryptozoology, struck a chord with readers at the time; one zoologist named thecreatures Amoebae constablea, after their discoverer.

Thirty years on, even ufologists consider Constable a fringe character. But his spirit lives on in lesser phenomena such as "rods" - alleged airborne lifeforms that can be captured only on digital camcorders - and "orbs", balls of light, beloved of ghost hunters, found mainly in digital images.