Sunday, 19 February 2017

Betz Mystery Sphere

The Betz Mystery Sphere:

By  Rob Morphy

Alien Artifact or Doomsday Device?
This bizarre, allegedly self propelled, seamless metallic orb was discovered by members of the Betz family in 1974, and rapidly became the object of fascination, controversy and alarm for scientists, military officials, ufologists and the general public as the story of this mystery sphere spread like wildfire through the international media.
On May 26, 1974, Terry Mathew Betz, a 21 year-old pre-med student, along his mother Gerri and his marine engineer father, Antoine, were inspecting the damage caused by a brush fire that had raged across an 88-acre swathe of woodland that they had recently acquired on marshy Fort George Island, which is nestled just east of Jacksonville, Florida.
At first the trio found nothing out of the ordinary, but before their expedition was over they stumbled across a peculiar highly polished, metal orb that was just under 8-inches in diameter. The only delineating mark that the three could find on the eerily unblemished object was an elongated triangular shape stamped into its surface.
Stunned, Terry and his parents wondered whether or not they might have stumbled across some kind of downed NASA or maybe even Soviet satellite.
Perhaps they even speculated that the friction induced heat of this object plummeting from its orbit might have had something to do with the fire that had ravaged the property, but none of them could find any signs of an impact crater or any indication of collision or heat damage on the gleaming metal globe.
The trio then surmised that it might be an “old fashioned canon ball, which someone had silver plated,” as a souvenir. Intrigued by this extraordinary find, Terry decided to heft the 22 lbs., bowling ball sized sphere into their car and take it back to their castle-like home, where he showed the unusual object to a 12 year-old relative named Wayne. He was just as perplexed by the mystery object as the rest of the family had been.
The young medical student then placed his strange prize on a window seat in his bedroom, and there the anomalous object remained, virtually forgotten, until approximately two weeks later when Terry decided to entertain his friend, Theresa Fraser, with an impromptu guitar recital in his room, eliciting some decidedly unusual reactions from this enigmatic orb.
The Mystery Sphere Awakens
 According to Terry’s report, moments after he began strumming his guitar the metallic ball started to “vibrate like a tuning fork,” and began emitting a curious throbbing sound in response to certain notes. This sound was accompanied by what seemed to be an inaudible — at least to human ears — resonance that deeply disturbed the Betz family’s dog.
Days later, in the April 15, 1974, edition of the Palm Beach Post, Gerri Betz was quoted as saying: “There must be high frequency waves from it. When we put our poodle beside the ball, she whimpers and puts her paws over her ears.”
In the days that followed this strange performance, the Betz family began to notice some of the sphere’s other peculiar attributes. They observed that when the orb was pushed across the floor it would stop, vibrate for a moment, change direction (often more than once) and invariably return to whoever first rolled it. In one unprecedented circumstance it rolled for 12-minutes straight without a single pause!
As if this weren’t astounding enough, Terry and his family soon realized that the sphere — in defiance of all logic — appeared to be responsive to weather conditions; becoming noticeably more active on bright days as opposed to overcast ones, as if it were being directly affected by the solar energy. Although it was clearly influenced by sunlight, the sphere did not register any obvious changes when exposed to direct heat or infrared light.
The steel globe would also sporadically vibrate at a low frequency as if “a motor were running inside” and, just as intriguingly, had just one, relatively small, intensely magnetic spot on its surface.
Terry — displaying the kind of inquisitive instincts that all science students should — began to conduct a series of homespun experiments on the object.
His initial efforts were rudimentary and consisted of tapping the orb gently with a hammer, which resulted in a distinctly bell-like “ringing” sound, but it wouldn’t be until Terry placed the object on the flat, glass surface of his mother’s coffee table in order to display his unique find that things would get really interesting.
In one attempt after another, the smooth sphere would consistently roll right to the precipice of the glass surface, pause and then reverse its direction; only to stop again at the opposite edge and repeat the maneuver.
The Betz family began considering the possibility that this object was equipped with a sophisticated guidance system or was perhaps being intelligently controlled either from within or by some enigmatic external force. The family decided that the sphere almost certainly appeared to be striving to get safely to the ground without falling.
An even more bizarre event occurred when one of the family members decided to slant the table at an upwards angle and the orb began to spin up the incline utilizing its own momentum. This seemingly impossible defiance of the laws of Newtonian gravity left the Betz tribe thoroughly baffled.
While there’s no overt connection between the cases, it’s worth noting that during the summer of 1972, a similar (though not spherical) anomalous object plagued a group of teens who repeatedly managed to capture and lose a small, self propelled, evidently intelligently guided device over a vexing 4-weeks period in the Kera area of Kōchi City, Japan. The strange device came to be known as the Kera UFO. This object’s movements also defied logic and appeared to be motivated by self preservation “instincts.”
As if to further indicate that the sphere may have been harboring something (or possibly someone) sensitive within, it seemed to resist all attempts at being shaken by its human handlers. In the April 16, 1974, edition of Lodi, California’s News Sentinel, Gerri stated:
 “If you shake the ball vigorously and then place it on the ground it feels just like a huge Mexican jumping bean, which is trying to get away from you.”
The Betz family became so concerned about the sphere’s clear ability to independently navigate its way around their home that they took to placing it in a sealed bag at night so that the object couldn’t escape. After days of watching the sphere perform these incredible feats, the Betz family decided that it was time to go to the public and try to find out just what it was that they actually had in their possession.
The Media Frenzy Begins
The first call that Gerri Betz made was to the local Jacksonville Journal. The Journal was intrigued by their story — 1976 was, after all, near the peak of the halcyon days of paranormal research — and they sent out a seasoned photographer, Lon Enger, to get the story and snap a few pictures. The skeptical Enger dutifully accepted the assignment, but secretly feared he might be stepping into a den of crackpots… he would abandon that theory soon enough.
When Enger arrived at the Betz home he was eagerly greeted by Gerri who wasted no time in presenting him with the sphere. Enger described the moment for the April 12, 1974, edition of the St. Petersburg Times: “I’m leery of this kind of thing. When I got there, Mrs. Betz said, ‘you won’t believe this if you don’t see it.’”
That was when the matriarch of the Betz clan instructed the still dubious Enger to give the ball a little shove across the floor. Here’s the event in Enger’s own words:
 “She told me to put it on the floor and give it a push. It rolled a ways and stopped. So what? She said, ‘just wait a minute.’ It turned by itself and rolled to the tight about four feet. It stopped. Then it turned again and rolled to the left about eight feet, made a big arc and came back right to my feet.”
Enger examined the steel ball intently and, like the Betz family before him, could find no seams and no indication of a manufacturer on the surface; save for the inscrutable triangular symbol stamped on its side. As soon as the now converted photographer relayed his fantastic story to his editor, the paper wasted no time in publishing his account and within days a worldwide media firestorm was ignited.
Reporters from such prestigious publications as the New York Times, the London Daily and dozens of other papers from as far away as Japan called or traveled down to St. George Island to see this mystery sphere with their own eyes, but it wasn’t just journalists whose curiosity was piqued by this strange case. The scientific and military communities were also clamoring for a good look at this unusual object.
Representatives of the both the U.S. Marine Corps and NASA contacted the Betz family, as did UFO investigators representing the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO). The visitors often arrived skeptical, but almost universally left both impressed and perplexed by the sphere’s bizarre abilities.
A U.S. Marine spokesman even went so far as to admit on television that the ball had behaved strangely in his presence and conceded that he was unable to explain its origin. An official press release issued by Marines publicly stated that the ball was not the property of the United States government.
By this point Antoine had been forced to return to the sea on a freighter and Gerri and her children were swept up in a media maelstrom from which there seemed to be no reprieve.
The family, who had intentionally chosen an isolated place to live, had become overwhelmed by the press feeding frenzy and in the April 14, 1974 edition of the Palm Beach Post, Gerri was quoted as saying:
 “We came to Fort George Island to get away to a serene atmosphere. Now I can’t get away from the telephone. It means nothing to people in the West that it’s midnight here. And when they quit calling those on the East wake up and start.”
Read much more about this here:nexusilluminati