Sunday, 4 March 2012

THE MYSTERY OF THE `UFO` BOXES WASHED UP ON BEACHES - SOLVED

Here is a well written piece concerning the reports from all over concerning heavy metal boxes that appeared mysteriously on beaches across the world, most notably, North America.
Some claimed the boxes emitted a blue light or made strange noises when approached, others claimed the boxes could not be moved.. Most were not where they were claimed to be, and the reports were treated as a hoax.
Here is the truth of the legend, and of the internet blog Ufologists who deliberately created hype.


 FLORENCE — Bob Sneddon was on the beach a few weeks back, walking his dog, Jonah, when he first spotted it on a pile of driftwood at the South Jetty: a big box, maybe 5 feet by 5 feet and 20 inches high, coated in fiberglass.
Just sitting there.
He found another one a few yards down the beach.
“I thought, ‘Oh, that’s interesting,’ ” he said. “A week later, I got a phone call from a woman in North Carolina. She starts asking me about UFO boxes on the beach.”
Sneddon is the news director at Coast Radio News in Florence, and he had put together a quick story about the boxes, having snapped a photo of the two he saw. How this spread to North Carolina, he wasn’t real sure.
So Sneddon did some searching on the Web. Up popped a blog post by Florence freelance writer Dave Masko, rife with colorful interviews with anonymous sources about the mystery boxes, all leading to one sure-footed conclusion: They are not from this world.
There weren’t just two boxes but seven, Masko wrote in one post. In another, he said there were 18 (by “unofficial count,”) not just at the South Jetty but “up and down” the beaches of Oregon.
Additional claims that he made: They had a sort of “membrane” film that can’t be scraped off. Some were seen being moved by a number of “white trucks” with heavy chains, and “upwards of four to six people seen pushing and then loading these strange metal boxes onto the white trucks.”
One anonymous couple claimed they were “drawn to the box,” Masko wrote, and that it “felt warm, like nothing we’ve ever felt before.”
The boxes radiated a “blue light,” he wrote. A woman identified only as “Doris” supposedly told Masko one of the boxes produced “a high, shrill, piercing, frightening ring.”
In the comments section of these posts came plenty of skeptics.
“This screams BS/HOAX,” wrote one contributor. And another, “This article is poorly written science fiction, and the author is laughing at his audience for believing it.”
And another: “I bet the truth lies somewhere in between stupid hoax and alien invasion.”
But somehow, Masko’s posts kept circulating. They reached Linda Moulton Howe, an Emmy Award-winning journalist from Albuquerque who runs a Web site called Earth Files, dedicated to sleuthing out “earth mysteries.” Howe called the Oregon State Police, the Eugene NBC affiliate, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and Bill Hanshumaker, an instructor at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.
No one had seen the boxes.
Word also made it to the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle. Director Peter Davenport quickly dispatched his regional investigator, Greg Barnes, to check things out. Barnes and his wife, Wendy, gathered up their Geiger counter, Gaussmeter, extraction tools and headed to the beach. They found nothing, they reported back to Davenport.
“I think it’s a big hoax,” Barnes said.
And still, believers kept circulating Masko’s posts, guessing about what these boxes might be. Debris from the tsunami in Japan?
But there were no barnacles on the boxes — surely they’d have attached themselves to the boxes in the long journey across the Pacific.
And the calls kept coming. Hanshumaker fielded some 50 inquiries, he said, phone calls and e-mails from around the globe.
“Italy, England, all over the place,” he said. “Some legitimate radio and news stations called me. Albuquerque, the Miami Herald, someone back in New York.”
Hanshumaker dispatched his own team of volunteer Scouts. It’s part of his job, identifying stuff that shows up on the beach. The team found nothing.
But the boxes are real. Sneddon saw them with his own eyes. Snapped a photo. Posted a story. Jonah saw them, too.
“He pees on them every time we go to the beach,” Sneddon said. “So far he’s not been taken up into any space ships.”
In case it’s not clear, Sneddon does not believe these boxes are UFOs.
“It’s the biggest pile of tripe I’ve seen in a long time,” Sneddon said. “I think the whole thing hinges on one very irresponsible report on the Internet.”
So does Howe.
“The Web,” she concluded, “has become a cesspool of misinformation.”
Masko did not reply to an e-mail from The Register-Guard and does not have a listed phone number. His posts have stirred up a considerable level of outrage on the Internet, including from those who believe in extraterrestrial life — or as it’s known in some circles, “UFOlogy.”
“You are making UFOlogy a mockery,” “Los” wrote on Masko’s blog. “It is people like you that make UFOlogy a subject to be laughed at and why no serious research is accepted.”
But the boxes are real. Beach Ranger Trisha Wymore saw them, too, after her colleagues at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department started fielding “quite a few calls.”
By the time Wymore got there, someone had taken an axe to the box by the South Jetty, chopping a hole in it. That revealed the chunk of plastic foam on the inside, and the very terrestrial answer to this particular mystery.
Surrounding the plastic foam is wood. Around that, fiberglass. Just like the dock supports that washed down the Siuslaw River during the floods that ravaged the region in January.
No flashing lights, no wailing siren noises.
“There’s nothing paranormal whatsoever,” Wymore said. “Just typical dock material.” 

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