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Re: Review Of 'Sight Unseen' By Hopkins & Rainey -

From: Luis R. Gonzalez <lrgm.nul>
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2004 12:22:18 +0100
Fwd Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2004 11:58:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Review Of 'Sight Unseen' By Hopkins & Rainey -

The recent spate of laudatory comments about Sight Unseen has
prompted me to put it at the top of my reading list. I got it
last Christmas, read the dust covers, leafed through it, and put
it back behind some other titles like Howe's Glimpses... (I
finally decided to get them after the recent debate about that
alleged Brazilian abduction's photos). But I disgress.....

Those who have read my posts here would suspect (rightly) that
my opinion about Sight Unseen is not as positive. Nevertheless,
I will give you a detailed review when I finish it... if you are
interested in my humble opinion, of course.

But, taking advantage of Katharina Wilson's presence, I would
like to learn more about her "airport incident".

As presented in the book, Budd's "Strange Case of the Relictant
Faucets" goes like this (please, correct me if I get something

On October 5, 1995 Katharina flew to Chicago where she had been
invited to speak at a local UFO conference. She began feeling
strange aboard the plane, "agitated and confused". They arrived
at O'Hare at 2:10 Portland time (or so she remember). She left
the plane and walked straight up to the women's rest room near
the gate. After coming out of one of the stalls, she put soap on
her hands and tried to wash them, but the automatic water faucet
wouldn't work. She began trying other sinks with the same
results. There were other women around and for them the water
came on fine.

Several times, she tried using the same sinks the women had
used, to no avail. She began to panic and thinking to herself,
"I'm not registering on the sensors". She stood in the middle of
the rest room and asked a young woman, "Am I invisible or
something?". She looked in her direction but didn't respond,
walked right past and left the room. Instead of insisting or
trying another person, Katharina saw a baby-changing station and
was finally able to wash her hands.

She left the rest room and seeing some pay phones decided to
call her husband. Curiosly, even if as she herself explains,
Katharina usually called him after getting to her hotel room
(one would suspect at least one hour after arrival), the first
thing he said was, "I see your plane was late getting to
Chicago". Katharina looked at her watch and it read about 3:20
Portland time. Around 1 hour missing!

After a few minutes conversation, she said good-bye and decide
to walk to the baggage claim area, but she doesn't remember much
of anything about getting there until she was about ten yards
from her hostesses Mary and Judy. She saw her big red suitcase
still on the carousel, but nobody standing around it.

The police person had just taken them off the carousel, so she
walked up to the security officer and said "Those are mine" and
then walked behind her hostesses who seemed to be staring out of
the window. They were totally surprised, they had been waiting a
long time. She looked at her watch again and read the time as
3:20. Teleported from the pay phones to the baggage carousel!

Apparently, Katharina has not remembered anything that could
have happened during that one missing hour.

There are two questions to consider about all this:

- The consistency and real strangeness of the alleged facts

- Hopkins' interpretation and Rainey's attempt to scientific

For now, I will tackle the second.

Hopkins writes that only 4 or 5 minutes had passed between the
two readings. I beg to disagree.

As an infrequent user of airports (at least in Europe) it takes
you at least 15 minutes to get from the landed plane to the
luggage claim area, even running - without discounting the
queues to get off the plane, etc. Unfortunately, the authors
does not provide even with a simple layout of the O'Hare United
Airlines terminal.

He also mentions that Mary and Judy had waited for an hour or
so, had watched everyone else picking their luggage and had even
checked with United Airlines that she had disembarked along with
the other passengers.

So, his conclusion is that "at some moment just after her trip
to the restroom she must have been rendered "unseeable", then
they took her from the building, and the abduction itself must
have ended before she made her phone call. But, it seem that her
state of invisibility was still in effect, along with alien
control, until she was quickly transported to a nearly vacant
part of the baggage claim area, behind Mary and Judy. where she
suddenly became fully visible again".

I sincerely find it difficult to believe that in such a busy
airport nobody bumped against an invisible Katharina while she
was in the restroom or at the pay phones, so I would suggest a
simpler scenario:

She was abducted from her stall in the women's rest room, and
returned there one hour later. Murphy's Law suggested that the
aliens somehow forgot to disconnect their invisibility cloak and
Katharina suffered her washing ordeal. She became visible at the
baby-changing station and phoned home. Then, "they" discover
their time-machine also did not work properly and teleported her
to the luggage claim area.

How does Carol Rainey try to explain Katharina, extrpolating
from human known technology?

She began, properly, trying to eliminate the mundane.
Unfortunately, she was unable to identify which kind of
automatic faucets were in use at the airport (some detect
movement, some detect heat). If Katharina were invisible, a
movement detector would clearly fail, so you cannot write
several pages around the mystery. So Carol opted for heat
sensors and got herself into a big problem. She decided that
Katharina had become a blackbody, changed temporarily into a
being with a radiation frequency similar to a blackbody's -
almost completely absorbing light and then re-emitting it.

Not so. Carol shows she did not check with any physics expert.
If a body completely absorbs light it does _not_ became
invisible, it became black. Everybody would had seen a black

But, wait a moment, blackbodies give off their energy at _all_
wavelengths. That is why the automatic infrared sensors got
confused and did not work properly. Sorry, wrong again.

Infrared sensors are stupid. They only worry about getting (or
not) infrared waves, so if Katharina was giving off at _all_
wavelengths, she also gave off at infrared, so the faucets
should have work properly. Besides, she was also giving off at
the visual spectrum, so she would be anything except invisible.

The important point here is not if aliens really exist and use
(or not) a recognizable technology. The real point is that Carol
did not do her homework properly and _her_ extrapolations have
no logic. After a succinct glance, the same can be said about her
other proposals in the book. This is why I do not consider this
book valuable in advancing a scientific Ufology.


Luis R. Gonzlez Manso

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