Artist Tells of Nebraska UFO Story in Comic Book

by Austin Koeller                  April 1, 2019                      (theindependent.com)

• On the night of December 3, 1967, near Ashland, Nebraska (between Lincoln and Omaha), Nebraska State Patrolman Herbert Schirmer was headed west toward Lincoln. At the time, Schirmer was 22 years old and had been a patrolman for seven months. As he approached the junction of Highways 6 and 63, he saw what he initially thought was a tractor trailer. As he got closer, however, it turned out to be a UFO.

• The next thing Schirmer knew, he was back at the police barracks, and wrote in his duty log exactly what he had experienced. The next morning, the police chief saw Schirmer’s log and wondered what was going on. Schirmer responded that he wasn’t feeling well and thought he had experienced something beyond what he remembered. So Schirmer and the police chief went to a government-sanctioned Air Force committee of UFO specialists, called the Condon Committee. There, the specialists put Schirmer under hypnosis several times to recall a 20-minute time lapse that Schirmer could not make up for between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning. They made an audio recording of that hypnosis session, where Schirmer described being taken aboard the craft, shown how the craft operated, and was told why they were there.

• Fast-forward to present day when Los Angeles-based comic book author Michael Jasorka listened to Schirmer’s 1967 hypnosis session recording “hundreds of times”. Long having an interest in UFOs, Jasorka decided to turn it into a comic book based on a transcription of the recording.

• “I really had to listen to the way he (Schirmer) spoke and allow the time between another sentence or what he would say next, as my dictation to when I would draw the next panel. I had to really feel the time every time I was working on a new page to make sure that where panel would work to the flow,” explained Jasorka.

• On Monday, April 1st, Jasorka presented his comic book entitled, “December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter”, at Kinkaider Brewing Co in Grand Island, Nebraska, answering questions and doing a read-along of his comic book. (see 26:24 minute “read along” of Jasorka’s comic book below)

 

Kinkaider Brewing Co., 316 N. Pine St., welcomed Los Angeles comic book author Michael Jasorka to discuss his comic book, “December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter.” Using transcribed audio from a 1970s UFO conference, the comic book recounts the experiences of Nebraska State Patrolman Herbert Schirmer, who experienced a UFO on the night of Dec. 3, 1967, near Ashland.

     comic book author, Michael Jasorka

On Monday, Kinkaider released its Star Snake Dank IPA to honor Schirmer’s story within its existing line of Nebraska folklore-themed beers. As part of the beer’s release, Kinkaider hosted a “mini tour” where Jasorka answered questions and did a read-along of his comic book.

Jasorka said at the time of Schirmer’s UFO experience, he was 22 years old and was only a patrolman for seven months. He was headed west when he saw what he initially thought was a tractor trailer at the junction of Highways 6 and 63. However, Jasorka said, it turned out to be a UFO.

        Nebraska State Patrolman Herbert              Schirmer under hypnosis, with police chief

“He (Schirmer) came back to the barracks — he was the only one on duty — and wrote in his duty log exactly what he had experienced,” Jasorka said. “The next morning, the chief said he saw his log and wondered what was going on. He responded that he wasn’t feeling well and experienced something beyond what he think he experienced.”

He added Schirmer and the chief went to work to unravel what Schirmer experienced that night, going to the Condon Committee, a government-sanctioned Air Force committee of UFO specialists, “They basically put Herbert under a refreshing hypnosis several times to recall a 20-minute time lapse that he could not make up for between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning,” Jasorka said. “Upon that, he listened to the audio back to himself and recollected that he was actually taken aboard the craft, shown how it operated and told why they were there.”

26:24 minute ‘read along’ of Michael Jasorka’s graphic novel,
with audio of patrolman, Herbert Schirmer, under hypnosis describing
“December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter” (BombshellComics)
(audio begins at 1:30)

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Oregon’s Annual UFO Festival is Just the Place to Channel Your Inner Green Man

by Helen Soteriou                      March 30, 2019                       (dailymail.co.uk)

• On May 16-19, the 20th annual McMenamins UFO Festival will take place in McMinnville in Yamhill County, Oregon, featuring marching bands, garish floats, and a wine-tasting billed as ‘Close Encounters of the 3rd Vine’. The highlight of the festival is the costume parade, a colorful spectacle of tinfoil outfits and spaceships.
• The festival attracts believers in extraterrestrial life, alien abductions, out-of-body experiences, and close encounters, as well as non-believers who come to enjoy the spectacle. As Jeff Knapp, executive director of Visit McMinnville, says, “It’s the one weekend when locals feel it’s OK to let their freak flag fly.”

• The UFO festival began after a local farmer, Paul Trent, photographed an alleged UFO hovering around his farm outside McMinnville. Now known as the ‘The Trent Sightings’, his two photographs, taken on May 11, 1950, have passed into UFO legend. (see photo below)

• This year’s speakers at the 600-seat auditorium in the community center include Bob Lazar who worked on the ‘reverse-engineering’ of crashed/captured alien spacecraft at Area 51, and Commander David Fravor, a retired Top Gun Navy pilot, who in 2004 encountered an oblong-shaped “tic tac” craft hovering above the Pacific Ocean.

• Where else can you join an alien parade, dance in the streets, attend a lecture from an ex-intelligence officer and end the day with sipping pinot noir with ET?

 

All the ingredients of a small-town carnival are in place: marching bands, garish floats, a costume parade, candy floss. Flamboyance and fanfares. But here, in the deepest corner of Oregon on the north-west coast of the United States, it might help if you believe in aliens.

This is the home of UFO Fest, held in the small town of McMinnville in Yamhill County.
Each May, McMenamins Hotel in Oregon stages its celebration of the extra-terrestrial: the world of abductions, out-of-body experiences and close encounters.

                     Paul Trent UFO photo

Many of the 20,000 who attend the three-day festival — and you can still get tickets — are firm believers in alien life, often referred to as ufologists; others, the doubters and the sceptical, come to enjoy the spectacle. In McMinnville’s Main Street, locals and out-of-towners, believers and non-believers, mingle. No one falls out.

As Jeff Knapp, executive director of Visit McMinnville, says: ‘It’s the one weekend when locals feel it’s OK to let their freak flag fly.’

This year will see the 20th anniversary of the festival, which began after a local farmer, Paul Trent, photographed an alleged UFO hovering around his farm outside McMinnville. Now known as the ‘The Trent Sightings’, his two photographs, taken on May 11, 1950, have passed into UFO legend.

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The Future’s Coming: Why We Need to Prepare for Sci-Fi Tomorrows Today

by Sarah Wells                  March 17, 2019                    (space.com)

• On March 14th, at the ‘Beyond the Cradle’ conference from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a panel of science fiction creators (pictured above) Ytasha Womack, Daniel Suarez and Marc Okrand shared their ideas on sci-fi futures. The trio argues that science fiction provides an important opportunity to expand the scope of our own cultural perspectives. (see 2:40 minute video of William Shatner discussing science fact vs science fiction below)

• “I think a lot of the science that we work towards is sometimes inspired by what we see in science fiction,” said Womack who explores ‘Afrofuturism’. “[I]t can really continue to help… [in] creating possible utopian societies.”

• Sci Fi also tends to focus on future dystopias. By imagining societies of the future, we can explore how to improve human relations today, and in some cases even shine a harsh light on the ways our society has failed to live up to the standards we write about, says Womack. For example, the term ‘alien’ has developed a negative image of illegals or people different from ourselves.

• The panelists urge Sci Fi enthusiasts to take a positive approach to meeting people who are different here on earth, just as we would hope to do with extraterrestrial beings one day – to search for commonalities among humans instead of differences, and imagining ourselves as intergalactic beings unified by a sense of responsibility to something greater than ourselves. This can be an empowering experience for people.

• Marc Okrand, a linguist known for creating “Star Trek’s” Klingon language, thinks that it is important to view extraterrestrial aliens, or different people here on earth from an interpersonal level – not conforming to our own societal model, but to recognize another being’s or person’s perspective.

• Ariel Ekblaw, the coordinator of the conference and founder of the Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative, said the focus of the day was to explore ways to democratize space and make it accessible not only to people all around the world, but also across many disciplines, including technology, art and design. “The idea is… to show [everyone] all here together, talking together and co-designing the future of space,” said Ekblaw.

• “In many ways, we’re living in a sci-fi future already,” says panelist Daniel Suarez. Suarez’s approach to Sci Fi writing is to combine technology and culture to imagine a future where humanity can believe in a common goal, and imagine themselves as a single human race. “I try to bring my readers through the issues and challenges we’re going to be facing.” It can help people feel like they have a stake in these stories and their futures, says Suarez.

• Womack explains the value of imagining our collective future, “Imagination can be a tool of resilience to help people…envision a future. And envisioning a future then inspires them to feel like they have [a stake] in that future and take steps to create the kind of world that values humanity.”

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The technological utopias of science fiction may still be centuries away, but building the culture of that future starts now, a trio of sci-fi creators said.

On a panel at the ‘Beyond the Cradle’ conference on March 14, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, science fiction creators Ytasha Womack, Daniel Suarez and Marc Okrand shared their ideas on sci-fi futures.

The trio discussed their perspectives on science, fiction and culture, arguing that this intersection not only creates an important opportunity to expand the scope of our own perspectives but also provides agency for those often left out of the conversation about space exploration.

“I think a lot of the science that we work towards is sometimes inspired by what we see in science fiction,” said Womack, producer, director and author of works exploring Afrofuturism. “One of the exciting possibilities around sci-fi is that it can really continue to help push this notion of what we can create, especially as it comes to creating possible utopian societies.”

Or dystopias, which popular science fiction and young adult novels tend to focus on. Womack said that while readers have an interest in dystopian stories of the future, many peoples and communities today are already living in their own forms of dystopias. By imagining societies of the future, we can explore how to improve human relations today, and in some cases even shine a harsh light on the ways our society has failed to live up to the standards we write about, Womack added.

One such disconnect is the way first contact with aliens is typically treated in fiction compared to how “aliens” on Earth are thought of and treated. While used in fiction to refer to extraterrestrials, Womack said that the initial meaning of the word “alien” simply referred to people on Earth who were different. “Even how we use it today around illegal aliens, or undocumented workers, I think it refers to a certain mentality around differences,” said Womack.

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