Close encounters with Ray Stanford

Ray Stanford is a unique character in international ufology. He was the first to develop an instrumental and technological investigation of the UFO phenomenon. In four decades he has obtained more than 40 films or series of photographs of unidentified flying objects. He is currently a notable discoverer of traces of new dinosaur species.

Back then, naturally, I was already familiar with Ray Stanford’s ufological history, his publications, books and activities. Born in 1938 and a native of the state of Texas, he has been an early ufologist since his most extreme youth. He has a wife named Sheila. In his teens he was fascinated by George Adamski’s contact stories and became an enthusiastic believer, until he soon realized that all of Adamski’s claims were false and his photographs were crude montages. Despite the discovery of the frauds that contained the teachings of Adamski, his narratives of space travel, contacts with beings from the planet Venus and his photographs, his interest in UFOs did not decline, on the contrary.

Stanford is quite a character. Without higher academic training, only basic high school education and a couple of college level physics courses, he is a true self-taught, an avid reader and has acquired extraordinary knowledge in technical subjects such as photography or physics, being a renowned expert in meteorites, paleontology and paleo-ichthyology. Ray and his twin brother Rex , an award-winning college graduate and professor of psychology, are highly intelligent people. Ray ratio reaches 155 in test intelligence Stanford-Benet(it is not a joke). This probably explains why he has spent a lifetime exploring new currents of research, many of them markedly unorthodox, and ranging from the most controversial (psychic exploration, channeling ) to the purely scientific. At present he maintains a skeptical position in many matters in which common ufologists believe at face value, such as the Roswell myth or the sensational photographs of Gulf Breeze, McMinnville, etc.

Ray Stanford maintains a long history of UFO observations, most recorded with a camera and in the presence of other witnesses. As for the UFO photographic record, in the form of a series of photographs or color films, Ray has photographed or filmed, between 1954 and 1969, seven such incidents. He could only explain one of those observations, when it came to the aborted launch of a rocket launched at the Vandenberg base (California) and that Ray photographed from Arizona. By the way, the late atmospheric physicist James McDonald , who studied the case in depth, told him that his two photos of the light ring were the most beautiful of all those taken from that phenomenon.

Detection and monitoring instruments from Project Starlight International , Austin, Texas (1974).
In fact, after his initial and misguided youth experiences, Ray’s interest in UFOs endured, moving toward a technological and instrumental approach to unidentified flying objects. (This article is not intended in any way to be a biography of Stanford, therefore I will not review many aspects of his life and activities, including the rich variety of UFO sightings he has experienced over the years.) From 1972 to 1974, Stanford was fortunate to find some wealthy patrons who allowed him to finance the instrumental equipment of the Project Starlight International.(International Starlight Project), originally founded in 1964. Stanford spent the not inconsiderable sum of more than two million dollars on equipment and facilities, including electronic, optical, magnetic and gravitational material, which was installed in a field laboratory. near Austin, Texas. All this set had mobile capacity, with the exception of the radar unit. Its objective was the detection of any signal emitted by a UFO phenomenon.

The most sensational claim that Stanford maintains is that the PSI managed to detect and record not only optical images of UFOs but also spectra of their light, sounds, magnetic and gravitational effects and other phenomena associated with the UFO presence captured from their observatory. The Project, which grew to have six full-time salaried employees and more than twenty volunteers available on a phone call, was active in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona until 1985, producing a bountiful harvest in the form of various daytime movies, one movie nocturnal and ten different series of photographs of strange flying objects, obtained by Ray or by other members of the PSI team, both in its permanent location and in other locations.

In February 1986, due to a concatenation of complex circumstances, Ray privatized the Project and moved to Maryland, in the vicinity of the Washington, DC belt, where his wife has an important job at the Goddard Space Flight Center of the POT. Since the PSI ended its activities, in the last eighteen years it has been gifted by numerous opportunities to observe and film UFOs in broad daylight and to achieve series of high-resolution photographs, episodes occurred in different settings and never alone. These events have yielded no less than a total of thirty films and series of photos, to add to its not inconsiderable past heritage!

All of the above puts Ray Stanford in a perspective that I partially admit. My role in this essay is not to judge or analyze experiences or the evidence provided by him. But the surprising thing is that all this material has not yet been subjected to any independent scientific scrutiny (at the moment it has just started), hence no one can currently offer a diagnostic comment about his photos and films that is considered a definitive scientific verdict.

Certainly Ray Stanford has developed a body of theory whereby unidentified aerial objects with structural details that he has observed and filmed show evidence of exotic physics, generating electromagnetic and gravitational phenomena. He has expressed his willingness to cooperate with independent investigators and, in my view, he should be allowed the opportunity to express his findings, in a manner and manner that others can carry out the necessary verifications to draw independent conclusions about the nature and meaning of images recorded on film. This is a challenge that cannot be ignored.

That Stanford has a natural eye ability for recognition that scratches the extraordinary, no one can deny. Inspecting ancient stream beds in Prince George’s County, Maryland, he discovered the earliest known dinosaur footprints from the Mesozoic (Lower Cretaceous) period. He is also a discoverer of dinosaur footprints, pterodactyls, mammals, crocodiles, chelonians, and anurans that date back a whopping 112 million years.

Ray Stanford in his peculiar domestic museum.
Scientific journals such as Ichnos have published works where Stanford signs the description of his discoveries in the company of distinguished scientific personalities, such as Dr. Robert Weems of the US Geological Survey and Professor of Geology Dr. Martín Lockley, from the University of Colorado. In fact, following one of their findings, a new footprint classification has been created, the new genus Hypsiloichnus ( hypsilofodontide footprint) and the new species marylandicus (from Maryland). It is a new family of footsteps, front and rear, of a type of dinosaur unknown until now

Among many others, Ray has also found “antediluvian” impressions of the passage of sauropods, the first found east of the Mississippi River and, like the others, exhaustively photographed. Specifically, these are hand and foot prints of a pre-adolescent sauropod brachiosaurus of just 36 centimeters in length called Astrodon johnstoni by experts. Many of these rocks imprinted with prehistoric footprints accumulate in the living room of the Stanford house – a 115-year-old mansion that thus resembles a true museum – so many that the hundreds of kilos of fossil weight has made it advisable to review the foundations of the building.

All this adds even more uniqueness to the figure of Ray Stanford, who, on November 6, 2004, was one of the invited speakers at the annual conference of the German group MUFON-CES, which was held in the German city of Frankfurt. . In the course of it, he developed the theme “Magneto-metric, gravito-metric and optical phenomena in daytime UFO encounters”. On the occasion of his trip to Europe, we agreed to meet at a hotel in the Bavarian countryside, near Feldkirchen-Westerham, where Ray was to stay the day after his talk for a meeting with several members of the organizing organization. Set in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by soft grassy hills and groves with autumn-tinged leaves, the setting seemed very suitable for a quiet gathering.

The final summary of this swift examination of part of his vast graphic material indicates that the evidence in images of alleged UFO phenomenology provided by Ray Stanford shows apparently fascinating anomalies that cry out for a thorough analysis and independent study by the most qualified staff. Apparently, some aerospace engineers who have examined the Stanford footage have stated that they contain – nothing less – than “propulsion diagnostic elements.”

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