The Cash Landrum Incident

John Schuessler, The Cash-Landrum UFO Incident. GeoGraphics Printing Company, 1998

This privately published book gives a detailed account of one of the most puzzling of all UFO incidents, the encounter by two middle aged women and the grandchild of one, with a a diamond shaped object and a fleet of helicopters, and their subsequent illnesses. It is a pity then that Schuessler starts this book with a science fiction scenario, followed by a reconstruction using presumably invented dialogue. The witnesses illnesses, which included sickness, diarrhoea, sickness, burns and hair loss have been attributed to radiation poisoning by ufologists and some doctors, but it is not clear whether the symptoms were compatible with other explanations such as psychosomatic reactions or chemical contamination. Not all the medical jargon reproduced is explained, and would need to evaluated by people with a medical training.

The case illustrates the need for the very rapid investigation of such cases , because of the several weeks delay in reporting this case, their does not appear to have been any search for physical evidence at the site, evidence which might rule in or out chemical contamination, a suggestion made rather plausible by the witnesses recollection of the smell like lighter fluid during the incident. In looking for explanations of this case there seem to be 3 possible lines of enquiry:
  • The incident might just have been some form of radical misperception, with the physical reactions being caused by stress.

  • The experiences might be radical misperceptions or something largely hallucinatory caused by, rather than causing the illness, and we should look to some kind of food poisoning or other chemical contamination as the cause.

  • The witnesses were injured by some action of the United States government. In which case we might suggest that the diamond shaped light and ‘fire’ were powerful lights slung from yet another helicopter or helicopters, hidden in the glare. Once again some kind of chemical contamination looks most likely- the test of some chemical weapon or defoliant perhaps. If the witnesses did actually suffer from radiation poisoning then what could the helicopters have been carrying, a damaged nuclear reactor? Any guesses?
If the latter set of alternatives is the correct one, and the witnesses themselves attribute the object to the United States government and not to aliens, then the ufologists’ involvement would have been a godsend, no real investigative reporters sniffing around, and no one taking the story seriously.There is another way of looking at this story rather than trying to find out what ‘really’ happened that is to see it simply as a narrative, a cultural fact requiring a cultural explanation.

Then perhaps what we are seeing here is a modern high tech version of the celestial army of the dead, with Odin replaced by a fearsome light, opening up the heavens like the second coming, and the hell hounds replaced by hell-icopters, flying death machines, riding to the tune of the Ride of the Valkyries. Then the injuries are stigmata, the scars of a violation of taboo, an encounter with that which no eye should see, a new form of elf shot. Radiation becomes the techno symbol of pollution, contamination. -- Peter Rogerson


Jimmy said...

The most stupid and ludicrous series of absolute gibberish statements I have ever heard of and ever published on this case are by the author of the irrational explanations given to us above.
Dear Peter Rogerson, I think you are the one with the radical misperception, and psychological reactions being caused by the stress you have endured reading about the cash-landrum case.
Please see a psychiatrist, you need one.

Anonymous said...

I like to read Magonia and your book reviews are often insightful and intelligent. That's certainly not the case with this one here. Trying to explain this case through a cultural/cheap mythology lens is absurd. What happened there is, to all of us, unknown (the weapons test seems to be the best hypothesis), but the witnesses certainly suffered their share of physical and quite real maladies. Maybe "Apocalypse Now" was too much of an influence for the reviewer and, with his last paragraph, he was probably trying to be funny, though without great success. Sometimes people should recognize the value of silence instead of writing or saying painly stupid things.

cdk said...

Did anone else stop on hwy 59 that night and see what we saw

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Please view ufo sighting report date 2/11/2013!