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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Review: David Haisell -A Question Of Control: A UFO Revelation

  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Dave Haisell (9 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0973823038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0973823035
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.8 x 22.9 cm

According to the book blurb:

"UFO investigator David A. Haisell spent over a year investigating and recording one Ontario family’s bizarre experiences with UFO related phenomena which started with a seven hour period during which a young boy mysteriously went missing during a school trip in England. This book details the events which plagued the family spanning over twenty-five years and two continents, culminating with two regressive hypnosis sessions which revealed that the boy was actually the victim of a UFO abduction during those seven hours. The chilling account of what happened to him, and the subsequent experiences of his family upon immigrating to Canada, join the many other unexplained Canadian UFO events related in this book."

Now, I purchased and read The Missing Seven Hours back in...1978. I thought it was a good book. Not sure I want to get it from the shelf and read again, though.  Especially after this book which is a Missing Seven Hours part 2.

I have read A Question Of Control: A UFO Revelation in one fell swoop over Saturday and Sunday.  As is usual, it is now full of my usual Post-It notes for reference.  Rather like the Colin Wilson atrocity I reviewed previously - - this is not a good sign.

My first note, posted to the front of the book after reading half-way through it, reads: "Here is Ufology's problem: mixing in sightings of natural phenomena and psychological problems with reference to the Betty and Barney Hill case -    - and that of Patrolman Schirmer and coming up with a blend of totally unexplainable phenomena".

Hopefully, if I ever get round to re-typing the hefty 1980s UFO Report the definitions will make clear what the problems are.  However, back to this book.

Absolutely everything depends on one incident in 1953 when schoolboy 'Gerry Armstrong' allegedly lost seven hours on a very hot Summer's day while on a school camp trip.  We are to believe that a cigarette the percipient lit before the seven hours went missing was still lit when he was found.  Gerry explains this by shrugging. But this was said not to have been recalled until he and his wife sighted a "UFO" in London in 1963.  Ten years later.

However, in 1959, he and his wife had decided to drive from London to Ramsgate in Kent.  It is odd that they left just after midnight, intending to have breakfast in Ramsgate but stopped off near Ramsgate for a nap.  Now, in 1980s traffic, towing a caravan by mistake through Central London, we still arrived in Ramsgate within two hours and traffic was far worse in the 1980s than 1959 -just check the statistics. So that makes no sense -leave at 0500hrs to beat anty rush but midnight? But at one point the couple woke to see a huge orange-red fireball in a field that they thought was a fire...then fell asleep, waking to find it day time. No sign of a fire.

I ought to point out that, if they were sleeping before getting to Ramsgate it would have been easier to sleep at home, get up early and drive direct to the town. But people do odd things.  The light? Two sleepy people, they may have seen lampers (poachers or shooters out to shoot rabbits and foxes -they use 1 million candle power lights), or a farmer working late in a field -farmers still do this but it was more frequent up to the late 1980s (farmers lights on hills, and lampers, sparking a few UFO reports!).

In 1967, a UFO "wave" year (or "flap" if you prefer) with record numbers of sightings in the UK (if you have Contact (UK) UFO Register volume 1 you can check out the statistics).  Gerry had plans to emigrate to Australia and there was a lot of stress.  A heart murmur was found and Australia declined the application.  So, Canada was where they were going to move to.  Gerry had worries about selling his business so added stress. A couple then purchased it but, instead of driving home, Gerry drove to Kent in a daze and walked into a muddy field in his business suit and sat down -then seeing UFOs.

Firstly, one thing Gerry and his wife Susan are good at is not giving exact dates.  Gerry recalls which friend looked shocked when he found a newspaper confirming UFO sightings but not the date or newspaper.  Based on the fact that the "UFOs" were seen across Europe I suspect it was one of the meteor events that year. And the heart murmur that vanished after they decided to go to Canada (obviously the choice they were "guided" to make)?  Right, check the news -people diagnosed with all types of things or not diagnosed.  It happens and equipment in the 1960s is not as good as in 2015!

The move to Canada saw the Armstrongs and their two young daughters, encounter various light phenomena -and a lot seen by other witnesses that seem to be natural phenomena but the witness habit of seeing patches of light as "windows" means Haisell can leap straight in and suggest "intelligences" -and intelligences that like showing off or almost joking in what they (the objects) do.  There are a lot of psychological things going on and the assumptions made are....odd...if not over the top.

But Gerry seems to adopt the attitude of knowing it all but not telling which seems to be a character trait and may be part of the overall problem. He "knows" it is all ETs. He tells everyone including secondary witnesses to claimed UFO events but never gets their name just the type of car they drove (maybe he should have gotten the licence plate number?)  His wife, at times, appears on the verge of hysterics.  The story by one of the daughters (11 years old) of a dream where she was entering a UFO then exiting it -Haisell questions this and asks how this would happen in a dream? 

Uh, because it IS a dream?  I had a dream that I was at school in St. Werburghs, Bristol, but leaving I walked around the corner and was approaching the farm where my family lived in the 1960s -in Germany. A dream is not an actual, physical, nuts and bolts reality -it exists within the mind. 

Discrepancies in the other daughter's account were "probably" attempts to fill in details.  Which is a discrepancy.  What else was she adding?

And in 1970s Canada no 11 year old kid would have heard of UFOs or aliens. Really. There is no doubt that the kids were aware of the UFO talk in the house.  Gerry described himself as having been a Ufologist for 15 years -1973- so in 1959 he knew about UFOS -he even relates how unhappy he was with the two BUFORA investigators who came about the couples 1963 sighting because he thought they had no real idea. He was not a UFO innocent and neither was his wife and I doubt that by 1973 his two daughters were -one, Pamela, even went with him when an object landed but they eventually had to return to Susan and the other daughter in the car.

Gerry also read a lot of books including on UFOs.  Of course, his daughters would never have seen those, right?

There are stories of seances, healings, dopplegangers and much, much more and all the witnesses....oh, just Gerry and Susan since it does not appear Haisell even tried to contact those involved in the alleged incidents.  By this time I was getting very angry.  A phantom jogger -"joggy"- whom only Gerry and Susan saw. Walking past a rather odd beggar going to and coming from a store was highlighted as another weird event.  In fact, when the couple got home they decided to go back and see if he was still there.  He wasn't.  Did they make any enquiries since the man was very distinctive and human? No.  Did Haisell? No, apparently.

Then, after more stress, we have Gerry finding himself at Niagra Falls.  No idea how he got there.  A strange account of two odd men. But Gerry phoned his wife to tell her then found himself back in his home town with no explanation.  But, there was proof of the Niagra Falls visit.  Susan wanted to check that he really had been in Niagra Falls (!) so checked the phone bill and there was the call listed from Niagra Falls to their home.  Well, we have her word since Haisell mentions this but not that he saw the phone bill but accepts this.

Gerry and Susan were either having a good laugh, pulling in the actual UFO reports to make it all gel or were both suffering psychological problems.  I still cannot work out which.  But Haisell, I mean, Haisell almost stunned me with the actual amateurish way he went about this 'investigation'.  If Gerry said a pink gnome had waved through the window at him I seriously think Haisell might have believed him.  I was just stunned.

But, worse was to come.  Haisell discusses hypnosis with Gerry (in the late1970s) while also discussing UFO abduction cases.  This with a percipient who had already read a great deal on the subject but it compounds things. You no longer have a credible percipient to place under hypnosis despite what Haisell claims.   Eventually, Haisell convinces Gerry to take part in a pendulum test.  Basically, the person relaxes and holds up a pendulum which subconsciously moves to indicate "Yes"/"No"/"I don't know"/"I don't want to talk about it".  If you are now saying "W  T  F  ??" then you know what I was thinking.

Firstly, the pendulum was wrong weight so they swapped it for another -meaning Gerry had to use his "relaxation techniques" twice in one session.  "Leading questions" is a good description of what was asked, Haisell then notes he should have asked or rephrased the odd question.  Gerry then, after the session,  states he could not even remember the questions asked.  Haisell then says that he realised that Gerry was in a "first state hypnotic" trance.  Yes, Haisell was basically unaware of what he was doing and is not clinically trained for this and as Gerry is well read on psychiatry -revealed later- he could just as easily have been faking.

In 1978, even later now, Gerry agrees to be hypnotised but to be honest the questions asked are a bit odd.  The light is a "symbol for something"....the entity is a "symbol for something" -Gerry has to look at them and see what.

Turns out that Gerry did not like one teacher, Mr Rice, who organised the hide-and-seek game the boy went missing during -he had slapped Gerry across the face a year before.  Then I was reading and thinking "why has the story jumped to when he was found and being taken back to camp?" I then realised this was the "abduction" during which Gerry saw other kids in a craft while taken off planet (?). 

Looking at the account of how he was found and taken back to camp and the "abduction" there are more than a few similarities.

Oh, aliens -or whatever- are kleptomaniacs.  It seems.  A female entity took an emerald cross on a chain that Gerry had stolen -as he admits- from his mother because it was wrong to worship or something -it's all confusing.

So what did the unnamed psychiatrist conclude?  That Gerry had met non human entities and may have sent himself into another reality -the Niagra Falls incident being an example.  However, he should learn to control this in time.  Another "WTF???" moment.  It seems that this psychiatrist had worked with a woman who had also been seen by psychiatrists in other countries, who believed that she could transport herself to other planets...or realms of reality.  And why could no psychological condition be the cause?

Because Gerry said that he went missing for seven hours and that his cigarette was still lit after that period.

So, if I say I just got abducted and my proof is that the cup of water in front of me is still as full as it was five hours ago that is irrefutable proof.  You do not need to track down witnesses nor even question the statement. It happened.

Haisell refers to events of a psychokinetic nature involving Gerry and Susan with other witnesses present. Now, I do not deny the existence of psychokinesis as I have seen some odd things in the last five decades.  What made me even angrier is that Haisell does not once refer to speaking to any witnesses to any of these events and....sorry...I am at this moment levitating my PC monitor 60 cms into the air. Ron just saw it.  There you go -"Haisell evidence".

However, there were hints of what was going on throughout the book.  There was reference to Charles Fort (after which the nonsensical subject of "Forteanism" is titled -boys playing at scientific anarchy) but, okay, even if Fort produced some references that do not exist....and incidents that never took place.  And talking of bad research -hey! Haisell is a fan of one of the best bad researchers, Jacques ("It's quoted in this book so that's fact, no need to check it") Vallee.  Oh....and the worship of John Keel.  I love Keel's books but I would never accept anything he wrote about without triple checking (and I have) -Keel was a journalist who realised early on how to spin a yarn and make money and I see him as a cosmic joker in his own right.

With people like these to look up to things were bound to go wrong.

When it came to asking what it was all about (the Armstrong case and UFOs), Haisell says we can only speculate but speculators must not attach their own that line I spat my coffee out.  I realised I had spent good money on this.  Interesting "UFO" reports from Canada  -a CE IIIK from Forest Hill, Ontario isn't even given much space or even a year just "about 23 years ago"...but from his 1973 investigations back or from 1978 back? ***** awful.

"A UFO Revelation"...really? Where?  Or is the "revelation" that idiots will pay good money for a book centered around a vague story about a school boy who disliked a teacher, went off on a hot Summer day to smoke and got heat-stroke and a sunburned neck, had to be carried back to camp by his friends?

 A story "recalled" a decade later after seeing an odd light and in which he says he went missing for seven hours, a cigarette remained lit, not burnt down, over seven hours, during which time some small entities carried him to a bright light/craft and did something to his neck and he saw other kids?

George Adamski is looking bloody credible right about now.

Buy the book and decide yourself but remember you don't get the money back.

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