From The Mufon UFO Journal, June 1980, No. 148

California Report
Magnetic Anomalies and UFO Flight Part II

By Ann Druffel


Referring back briefly to Part One of this article, published last month, research in the Southern California area has revealed that there are no small, closed magnetic anomalies indicated on aeromagnetic maps of at least two so-called flap localities in this region. We also reiterate, for the sake of refreshing the reader's memory, that the term magnetic anomaly, as used in this article, refers to small, enclosed contours depicted on aeromagnetic maps, where the intensity of the earth's magnetic field differs in definite but minor degrees from the surrounding terrain.

These differences may be either higher or lower relative to the surrounding normal magnetic field, measured in counts of gamma radiation. In this study the term magnetic anomaly does not apply to the extensive contours on these same maps, i.e. contours which, by reason of their large sizes, are not shown as "closed."

We will continue with an in-depth description of some of the cases in Temple City and Yorba Linda, our two identified flap areas concerned in this study. For in order to substantiate our claim that these two areas, which are both free from magnetic anomalies, are true UFO flap areas, it must first be shown that adequate investigation and documentation was made on the UFO reports concerned, and that the objects described by numerous witnesses
were, in fact, unknowns (1).

The flap of 1967 in Yorba Linda was studied consistently for 5 years,both during and after the fact. Reports flowed continually into SKYNET, our local filter center and tracking-system, of which this author was Project Coordinator, for the full year of 1967 from a newly-constructed section of homes, less than 2 miles southeast of the older parts of Yorba Linda.

On January 4, 1967, Tom X (2) rose about 6:00 a.m. and went downstairs to the kitchen of his family's new townhouse. Looking out toward the eastern foothills, he saw an immense, oval-shaped object flying low over nearby homes. It was seemingly metallic and flashed red lights similar to the "taillights of a Thunderbird."

Tom dashed upstairs to wake his family, and his parents and younger sister Alyce (3) watched the huge object cruise leisurely out of sight over the isolated, hilly terrain on the eastern border of town. The family called a nearby air base, but were informed no vehicle resembling the giant craft was aloft.

The X family seemed stable and reliable. None of its members had prior interest in UFOs. However, in succeeding weeks, Tom and other family members viewed other strange objects in the sky near their home. Intrigued, Tom bought a $5.00 Mark XII camera, hoping to photograph one of the unusual objects.

On January 24, 1967, Tom was upstairs gathering material for his homework. Glancing out a bedroom window, according to his statement, he was horrified to see a dark, machine-like craft hovering near the house. It was shaped somewhat like a man's top hat, and four thin appendages dangled from the bottom. It had a curious dull, but nevertheless metallic, sheen, "like aluminum foil held at an angle." The surface of the legs had a similar appearance. (See Figure B)

Tom dashed to his bedroom and returned within seconds with his camera. The object had moved away to the east, but Tom was still frightened of it. Crouching on the bed, he hurriedly snapped one photo, then dashed downstairs, calling for his mother and sister. When they returned upstairs with him, the object was no longer in view. They were impressed by Tom's disquieted state.

Tom asked a 14-year old friend to develop the photo because he was afraid to trust mail-order processing. This young boy was inexpert, and the developed negative emerged lightstruck, scratched and fogged. However, it showed basically what Tom had described (4).

The picture came into my hands in June 1967, and during the next 4 years was sent to six different photographic experts. None was able to prove it as a hoax, and all explanations such as double exposure, cutouts, hand-held model, etc. were ruled out. Most of the experts felt the picture to be genuine.

In October 1971, the photo was taken for study by Al Cocking, then president of a Southland geodetic survey company. After using advanced photogrammetric equipment, Cocking stated his opinion that the photograph seemed to be that of an actual object, about 100 feet from the camera and three-dimensional. It was also considered free-flying and in a hovering or slowly moving mode.

The object, however, was not "gigantic," as the witness had stated. It was somewhat less than 2 feet in width, so it was assumed that it must have been right next to the window when Tom first saw it, perhaps one of the closest encounters on record! The picture was finally accepted by many sources as probably genuine, and has been so treated in UFO literature. Analysis of it continues to the present day.

The photo was taken in the midst of a flap which continued through December 1976. About ten good cases of puzzling objects were reported in the vicinity, most of which had more than one witness. In addition, numerous UFOs of lesser value were reported. The objects typically appeared in the southeast section of Yorba Linda and in most cases their flight paths were easterly toward the isolated Santa Ana Mountains and foothills on the town's rim.

Carefully plotting the objects' positions and flight paths on the aeromagnetic map, the following facts emerged. No reports came from within the confines of the older part of town, where a 4-mile long, enclosed anomaly lies directly to the west. A cluster of six small magnetic anomalies, ranging from 2/3 mile to 3 miles in length, is west of the flap area, but 3/4 mile separates the nearest of these from the western edge of the flap area.

None of the objects were reported flying west toward these anomalies. Most of the objects flew east; a few flew south or in a southerly path.

Since the edge of the aeromagnetic survey crosses through the flap area, we cannot be sure that there are no small magnetic anomalies to the east, which is the direction of most of the UFO flight paths. Still, it seems significant that none of the UFOs flew near the several enclosed anomalies as shown west of Yorba Linda.

This speculated penchant for UFOs to avoid (or skirt) enclosed magnetic anomalies is pointed out even more vividly in the case of the Temple City flap. These series of sightings rivaled the Yorba Linda situation in intensity and fascination, and they occurred in an area where the magnetic features are completely indicated on the map (Figure A, Part I). This 1966 flap did not produce any known UFO photographs, but what it lacked in pictorial documentation it made up in multiplicity of witnesses. Whereas the Yorba Linda objects were never seen by more than four persons at a time, crowds of Temple City residents viewed most of that town's sightings.

The unknown visitor to Temple City was an atypical UFO. The object, which seemed to be the same (or similar) type at each appearance, was greenish-black, lozenge-shaped, and surrounded by a haze reminiscent of ionized air, at least when seen at a distance. Its behavior was unhurried and bizarre.

About noontime on May 16, 1966, the object was seen by a puzzled group of Temple City residents as it hovered for 15 minutes over the town's busiest intersection. It tumbled and turned lazily in the sky, seemingly changing shape and reflecting the sun's rays. Although it seemed to be hundreds of feet above the earth, it was the apparent
size of a quarter at arm's length.

One technically literate witness, Charles Hardman, viewed the object through binoculars and noted lines of refraction in the reflected light. He therefore judged it to be metallic. Finally the weird object sped off into the northeast, climbing steeply as it left.

The second appearance on May 16th was about 1:30 p.m. when it traveled a measured northerly path over the city. During a third pass at 3:35 it bobbed around in small circles at an estimated 600 feet altitude. Mrs. Evelyn M. Taylor, who had seen the object on its noontime appearance on May 16th, saw it again on May 24th. Mrs. Taylor, whose reputation was established as beyond question, watched astounded as the strange craft descended out of the sky and hovered directly over the Temple City Sheriffs' Station, which was just across the street. The object bobbed as if in a gravity-free environment, then gained altitude and leisurely flew away into the northeast.

At this point Mrs. Taylor was joined by two other witnesses. Mrs. Taylor was positive that the object, in its descent and ascension modes, was identical to what she had seen on May 16th. Close up, however, it was an awesome affair. It was described as the shape of "two geranium pots with their rims together." Small slots were on the top section and a perky antenna stuck out from the rim. Its green surface reflected the sun. (Figure C). Later, its size was estimated by triangulation as about 40 feet high and 25 feet wide.

What seemed to be the same object revisited the city twice in the evening hours on May 27th. As it passed low over the adjacent city of San Gabriel, a teen-aged student, Donald Prespi, described it independently in terms similar to Mrs. Taylor's close-up view (5).

Like Yorba Linda, Temple City and adjacent San Gabriel are entirely free of small, enclosed magnetic anomalies. To the east and southeast of Temple City are three enclosed magnetic contours, but all the 1966 flap sightings were at least a mile from the nearest of these. The Temple City object(s) never flew any direction except north and northeast. About two miles to the northeast of the town is a small anomaly, but the object(s) always had gained thousands of feet altitude or had disappeared before they reached the vicinity of this contour.

Referring back to Part I of this article and aeromagnetic maps concerned in this study, one can see several random sightings in the Los Angeles Basin Area where the flight paths of the objects in relation to the surface terrain was certain or fairly certain. These mostly all were sighted over terrain where no enclosed magnetic anomalies exist. The two exceptions show the object(s) skirting the edge of anomalies and in one case making a right angle turn as it seemingly began to fly fairly low over an anomaly. Is it possible that the object was avoiding passage over this magnetic disturbance in the earth?

The cases used in this study were selected at random and plotted without regard to the anomalies shown on the map. I did not have any prior conception of what the plotted cases would show. Of course, the plotted sightings represent only a very few of the documented close-up sightings available in this area. What needs to be done, of course, is a complete plotting of all reported close encounter cases in the Los Angeles Basin. Only in this way can confirmation of these preliminary findings be confirmed.

However, corroboration seems to come from an independent study conducted in Puerto Rico, which was reported in the FLYING SAUCER REVIEW (6). The Puerto Rican group, Centre de Esudios OVNI, using Federal aeromagnetic map GP 525, plotted twenty-five UFO cases in an attempt to discover possible relationships to the four "magnetic lakes" (anomalies) in Puerto Rico. The magnetic anomalies there are large compared to those in the Los Angeles study, ranging from 24 to 77 kilometers in length. However, they were shown as enclosed.

Briefly, the OVNI group found no UFO sightings took place closer than 30 kilometers from a magnetic "lake." In comparison, the closed magnetic anomalies in this author's Southern California study, which is shown on Figure A in Part One of this two-part article, range from 1 mile to 5 miles in length. Can it therefore be assumed that, the larger the area of magnetic anomaly, the greater the distance by which UFOs avoid them?

Researchers have long suspected that the power source of UFO propulsion might be associated in some way with electromagnetism. Do they need steady magnetic force fields emanating from the terrain below in order to function trouble-free? Or do they at times draw power, so to speak, by skirting the edges of small magnetic anomalies?

This study is by necessity a preliminary and incomplete one, but hopefully its finding will encourage other researchers in other states to plot close up, documented sightings on aeromagnetic maps of their own locales. Corroboration of the above findings would be extremely valuable to UFO research.



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(1) Documented reports of all cases discussed in this article are available in NICAP and Druffel files.

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(2) Pseudonym for a 14-year-old witness. Name withheld to protect privacy.

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(3) Also a pseudonym.

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(4) A detailed analysis of Tom's photo was published in FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, "The Yorba Linda Photograph," by Ann Druffel, Special Issue No. 5, Nov. 1973.

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(5) Features of this Temple City object and the equally atypical Yorba Linda UFO (See Figures B and C) are correlated with other nationwide sightings in a previous CALIFORNIA REPORT column entitled "Oddities Among the Erratics," by A. Druffel.

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(6) FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, "UFOs and Magnetism," by Sebastian Robiou, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1974.

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