Monday, January 12, 2009

UFO ‘tentacles’ are propulsion plasma beams, researcher says

By Steve Hammons

The “tentacle” appearance of an unidentified flying object (UFO), such as one reported over a wind turbine farm near Conisholme, England, on Jan. 4, 2009, may have been “constantly changing, torque-generating plasma beams” related to an exotic propulsion system.

An experienced American scientific researcher has proposed that the “jellyfish” or “octopus” visual effect that some witnesses have reported in the UK and United States could actually be what is called a “magnetoplasmadynamic” or "magnetohydrodynamic (MHD)" field.

Ray Stanford, a pioneer in studies of UFOs by use of optical and electronic instrument systems said that, “Although some UFO-generated physical phenomena may, through human mind's ever-interpreting 'lens,' look 'organic' (as though what was observed is something alive), that absolutely is not the case.”

According to Stanford, this tentacle-like effect is “most often and readily visible when a craft is either slowing down or moving very slowly over an uneven surface.”

And, he prefers the term “anomalous aerial objects (AAOs)” to the more common term “UFO.”


Stanford says there is often a “pulsing” visual effect associated with some anomalous objects in our skies, but the “jellyfish” appearance is not the object itself.

He has even seen this effect himself and filmed it on several occasions.

Stanford stated, “The 'jellyfish' phenomenon (contracting and expanding at a rate highly reminiscent of a jellyfish pulsating in water) was first filmed (8 mm daylight movie) by me at 12:55 in the noon hour of Sept. 18, 1956.”

He recalled, “Three of us there about ½ mile from 'Giant Rock' [in southern California’s Mohave Desert] each saw the phenomenon surrounding the descending craft, until two jets from Edwards Air Force Base chased it away. And even as we watched, we compared it to each other as looking like a jellyfish pulsing in water.”

However, Stanford and his associates felt they knew what it was. “Fortunately, we had enough background in science that we realized it was really a pulsating magnetoplasmadynamic (some use the term ‘magnetohydrodynamic’) field, visible due to light-emitting plasma (and/or, simply ions) contouring the object’s magnetic field.”


He explained, “The pulses, per se, occurred mostly during the aborted descent. How so? I asked Dr. Jean-Pierre Petit about that during the 1976 CUFOS [Center for UFO Studies] conference in Chicago. I spoke there about my project's studies of UFOs using optical and electronic instruments at Dr. J. Allen Hynek's request.”

Stanford also noted, “Petit was taking questions during his very important presentation titled ‘Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) Aerodynes’ (See pages 201-233, Proceedings of the 1976 CUFOS Conference). Had UFOlogers at-large studied Petit's paper, they could be much farther along in understanding UFO propulsive physics.”

Stanford said that Petit “explained that in steady flight, conditions are such that MHD flow is stabile and shock-free, but in, for example, descent, this must be constantly altered for several reasons. Resultant instabilities of the MHD flow create shock disturbances which must be constantly damped, so we see the pulsed interplay between increasing instabilities and decreasing instabilities in the MHD flow around the craft.”

Stanford added, “It looks as though a craft is breathing, but that is only an interpretation the human mind makes in searching for analogs. In such case, it is a big misinterpretation. Likewise for the 'tentacles,’ which are really only constantly-changing, torque-generating plasma beams. But, they can bend under the ‘Lorentz force’ and other forces – see: – which are most often and readily visible when a craft is either slowing down or moving very slowly over an uneven surface.”


The explanations provided by Stanford and other scientific researchers go a long way to increase understanding about some aspects of unusual or unconventional objects or craft observed and reported by witnesses.

Other elements of the phenomena continue to be somewhat unclear and possibly subject to national and global security considerations.

For average people, legitimate researchers, the news media, public safety officials and others, available information that seems credible continues to help us understand the phenomena of UFOs.

The history, current ongoing activities and future developments involving UFOs seem to be interesting and thought-provoking for many people around the world. And, more thorough and responsible reporting by the international news media is helping clarify the factors involved.

No matter what the levels of knowledge and information available about this subject, there seem to be indications that the topic of UFOs will be with us for the foreseeable future.

As more developments occur, and more understanding is achieved, the meanings of the UFO phenomena may become more evident.