Strawberry ice-cream, Tibetan music, pancakes, wild sex, a dog that wasn't quite a dog after all, a trip to Venus, probes of the painful kind, a mysterious map, divorce, and a hot cup of tea: what do they all have in common? You might be very inclined to say: "Nothing at all." But you would be wrong. Very wrong, in fact. One way or another, they have all had a role to play in some of the weirdest, craziest and downright bizarre UFO cases of all time. Yep, sometimes alien encounters aren't just amazing and gob-smacking. They're downright ridiculous!
Where no man has gone before
If you're going to have an encounter with an alien, it surely doesn't get any better than that of a Brazilian man named Antonio Villas-Boas. Back in 1957, claimed Villas-Boas, he was whisked aboard a flying saucer and introduced to a space-woman who was ready for some hot, inter-species action. Villas Boas didn't care: his interstellar babe was a curvy, super-model-type, and naked in a shot. Even better, when the deed was done, she didn't even demand any of that cuddling and chatting nonsense. Instead, Villas-Boas was dropped off at home so he could have a nice, post-action snooze! Ace!
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Aliens love ice-cream
Back in the late-1980s, a number of shadowy sources from the US Government came forward with tales of alien visitations to Earth and X-Files-style conspiracies. Fair enough, and not impossible, many might say. But, those whistle-blowers really went too far when they claimed our alleged extraterrestrial neighbours like strawberry ice-cream and Tibetan music! No, we really aren't making this stuff up. But, maybe those telling the tales were. Whatever the truth, we'd be far more impressed if the alien idea of fun was a big, greasy plate of fish and chips, a four-pack of Carlsberg Special Brew, and Slipknot.
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Mapping out a mystery
Back in 1961, UFO research was changed when an American couple, Betty and Barney Hill, claimed to have been taken on-board a flying saucer, and subjected to distressing medical experiments. The alien abduction phenomenon was born. But the Hill case was not without its crazy moments. The aliens showed Betty a map of their travel-routes across the galaxy. That's right: the kind of thing you'd buy at a service-station on the M5 when you've missed your exit. We can hear the aliens now: "Take a sharp left at the next star." Or: "Oi, bug-eyes, the map's upside down!"
Unidentified flying pancakes
UFO researchers suggest aliens might be visiting for many reasons: to take over the planet, warn us about our warlike ways, or simply wipe us out. Or, maybe, they want to share their cookery tips. Huh? In 1961, that's what a Wisconsin farmer, Joe Simonton, claimed. When the aliens landed, they didn't zap Joe with their ray-guns. No, they gave him a plate of tasty pancakes! And get this: the Air Force, on hearing the story, didn't dismiss it. They actually launched a full investigation. Does the Pentagon know something we don't? Is E.T. a fan of Gordon Ramsay?
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From the desert to dumped
Very few people can say that an encounter with E.T. ended their marriage. But that's exactly what a man named Truman Bethurum claimed in his 1954 book, Aboard a Flying Saucer. According to Bethurum, in 1952/3, while working in the Nevada Desert, he had a number of flirty encounters with a Pamela Anderson-style hotty from the stars named Aura Rhanes, who the excited Bethurum described as "tops in shapeliness and beauty." Mrs. Bethurum was far less excited about the luscious Aura and filed for divorce. Bethurum was distraught and Aura went home. Sadly, no interplanetary threesome for Truman.
E.T. goes probing
Had you told UFO investigators 50 years ago that, half a century later, they would be investigating the rear-ends of those claiming alien encounters, they would have laughed at you. Not today. Welcome to the strange and, admittedly, hysterical world of the anal-probe. Yep, our extraterrestrial buddies are, apparently, quite the fans of back-door action: numerous "alien abductees" claim to have been prodded and poked in a certain place where E.T. has no business prodding and poking. It's about time UFO-spotters got to the bottom of all this and stopped arsing around. A thought: are the aliens from Uranus?
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Hounding the aliens
Crazy is one thing. Hysterically absurd is quite another. Say "hello" to Buck Nelson and his pooch from Venus. Back in the 1950s, said the Missouri-based farmer, he met with a group of Venusians who brought along for the ride their dog, Bo. Having claimed trips to Mars and the aliens' home-planet, Nelson became a minor celebrity when he published a book on his trips around the solar-system. Nelson also made a nice profit from selling little packets of what he claimed was Bo's hair. No-one seemed to ask why it so closely resembled the hair of his own dog...
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The 1950s story of Harold Berney and Pauline Goebel is as crazy as it is tragic. The former was a cold-hearted conman looking for money. The latter was a lonely soul in search of companionship. And they crossed paths when Berney convinced Goebel to part with a substantial amount of her savings. The reason: Berney claimed he needed money to build a spaceship to fly to Venus and hang out with his alien pals. Incredibly, trusting Pauline handed over nearly 40,000 US Dollars. Fortunately, the FBI was soon on the trail, and Berney ended up in jail. A cautionary tale.
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Avoiding atomic destruction
You might think that the man who, from 1973 to 1975, held the rank of Deputy-Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command with the Royal Air Force, would be free of UFO-themed wacky tales. Not so. Sir Peter Horsley was that man and he maintained that he met - in a London flat, no less - a very human-looking alien named Mr. Janus. Over a nice, friendly cuppa, they discussed the threat of nuclear-weapons. Should we cheer or cry that this was one of the few elite men who had their fingers hovering over the red-buttons that would have nuked the Soviets?
A Morse-Code mystery
Mildred and Marie Maier were two old ladies who, at the height of the Cold War, got the CIA all shook up. The pair had gained minor fame in their youth when they spent time in the world of on-stage acting. But, now, they were claiming to have intercepted signals from aliens. The US Government's secret-agents listened carefully and paid the pair a visit. Far from being intimidated by the Men in Black turning up, Mildred and Marie entertained them with tales of their years in the theater. The alien signals: just a Morse-Code test from a nearby radio-station. Bugger.
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- Getty Editorial