The Case of Ted Owens by James Harder

The principal concern of most readers will be whether the evidence in the Ted Owens case, as presented by Dr. Mishlove, is true beyond a reasonable doubt. Were this case the only case open to investigation it might well be considered beyond the pale of serious attention. In this sense it parallels the problems attendant upon an examination of similar miraculous events as described in the Bible.

"Miracles" vs. UFO Technology

At one time those scholars who delved into the books of the Bible with a critical mind found themselves uneasy at the descriptions of miracles. On the one hand they could conclude that the well established laws of nature were violated in some of the events described, as in the parting of the waters atthe Red Sea as attributed to Moses and some of the miraculous cures attributed to Jesus. Their alternative was to assume that such stories were the result of serious distortions of actual events, introducing many questions about the historical validity of much of the contents of the Bible itself.

A third interpretation had to await until the middle of the twentieth century and the development of increasing evidence for an extraterrestrial visitation to planet earth. We can now interpret what have been called UFOs to be extraterrestrial spacecraft flying in our skies. This leads immediately to the implication that this advanced machinery must he associated with advanced intelligences and other advanced technologies. With this as a further input to our investigations we can go back and reexamine the miracles as described in the Bible and in other ancient texts. We can also use this as a part of our background in investigating contemporary cases, like that of Ted Owens.

What if those events - that were so vividly described as miracles by early witnesses - were nothing less than the manifestations of an advanced technology? This is the point of view taken by Reverend Barry Downing in his book The Bible and Flying Saucers. Downing believes the miracles described should to be attributed to the action of extraterrestrial visitors, though he does not seem to, realize the possibility that there may be more than one civilization visiting here. In this, instance, in an appendix to his book Passport to Magonia, Jacques Vallee lists all of the credible UFO sightings over the one hundred years previous to the date of his writing (1868-1968) together with a short abstract of the descriptions in each report. Of the 923 entries, about a third contained descriptions of associated humanoid entities seen in association with the craft. There is a remarkable variation in the descriptions - beyond the errors one might expect were the descriptions of all the same kind of entity. There are descriptions of short, very tall aliens, with dark, medium and light skin coloration, as well of different kinds of craft and modes of interaction. These data suggest not only the variety of extraterrestrial visitors, but a variety of societies, modes of interaction and levels of technology. Most of the societies have been keeping a very low profile, and seldom interact in such a way that their powers are made available to human individuals. Thus an alternative to assuming that the evidence in the case of Ted Owens is completely mistaken is that somehow he has been lent powers that very seldom were made available to individual humans, a lending which has historical antecedents.

Logic and The PK Man

In my own experience, and in that of other UFO investigators, the Ted Owens case is not an isolated case. It is only the most extraordinary modern case out of many others. This suggests that the total picture does indeed deserve serious attention, and that this most salient case should provide more insights than those derived from cases with lesser strangeness.

The extraordinary powers or abilities of Mr. Ted Owens - abilities to influence material phenomena such as willing the location and timing of lightning strikes, the ability to influence weather, and the ability to influence the outcome of athletic competitions, is far beyond the lesser powers attributed to other individuals. I am sure that particular instances of Mr. Owens' demonstrations can be successfully challenged by skeptics, but also believe that the entire story would survive such a challenge. In other words, the work in its entirety constitutes a credible set of extraordinary facts that echo a lesser set that we can find in other humans, but which have seldom made their way into public discourse.

I am very aware of the methods used by the media, and the average person as well, in evaluating such controversial matters. This conventional method uses examples to prove a point. Lost in their understanding is the logical truth that no number of examples can prove a negative, although one example can sometimes prove a positive. When described in this stark way, it should be obvious to any observer. Nevertheless the method of using a large number of examples that throw doubts on a phenomenon is routinely used by debunkers to discredit a phenomena. The prevalence of this method of arguing is so pervasive that we hardly notice its fallacy.

So evidence of a failed attempt to produce a seemingly impossible event (and I have been one of the witnesses to one such Owen attempt, described in Chapter Four) does not invalidate a mass of other data. In my own experience I have observed less spectacular parallels to Ted Owens' unusual powers, and I have friends who have both observed and carefully recorded other such unusual cases. Only the sheer magnitude of Ted Owens' abilities separates him from other individuals in other cases.

I think it would be a mistake to think that Owens himself was able to produce the events he takes credit for. To fully understand his case one must go further into other cases where humans have displayed extraordinary powers. In those cases open to careful examination, it has been my conclusion that most turn out to be powers exerted by extraterrestrial groups or individual extraterrestrial beings. This is the most likely alternative to the claim that ALL the events reported in the Ted Owens case are fraudulent (and I mean every one). Lacking fraud, any other alternative explanation would still have to involve the collaboration of some other godlike power or undefined spiritual entity. Good evidence for such interventions are found in history, notably in the history contained in the Christian Bible, although it is usually assumed by modern critics that these are the result of fantasy or error.

One of the reported characteristics of such gods or beings is that they can be capricious and even petty at times Consider the actions, of Moses' patron as described in Numbers 11,1:

And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes [subsequent to the exodus out of Egypt]; and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.

This is only one of a number of examples in which disasters were attributed to the jealousy and ego of the gods. Some readers will recall. parallel with the interventions attributed to the Greek gods and other powerful entities as chronicled by Homer and other early writers; or other descriptions of strange craft as recorded in the Vedic accounts of India. In the case of the Greek gods we note a number of different attributes.- -capricious interactions and favoritisms.

Thus I heartily defend Dr. Mishlove in his giving serious attention to this most remarkable case and hope that serious investigators will follow his example in looking further into such remarkable phenomena. By taking note of this case, we open up investigations that may lead in directions that are so bizarre that many investigators will be turned off. But recall that many of the major advances in our scientific understanding have been due to a dogged pursuit in unpopular directions. Where we find the maximum strangeness we also may find the maximum chance of finding new truths.

Biography of James Harder

James harder is professor of hydraulic engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and also former research director of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization.

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