Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Other Ufologist

[FLOTSAMETRICS and the Floating World: How One Man's Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science. By Curtis Ebbesmeyer & Eric Scigiliano. Nonfiction. © 2009.]

Curtis Ebbesmeyer is an oceanographer who could also be called an ufologist. He investigates incidents of UFOs – unidentified floating objects, that is.

His book Flotsametrics reveals that the oceans of the world form a giant conveyor belt of eleven planetary gyres. These gyres carry miscellaneous man-made objects in circles until they wash up on shore. A container ship at sea encounters a problem and tub toys are spilled overboard. By tracking from where the toys were dumped to where they wash up shows the path of an oceanic gyre.

One would first expect that such research is interesting but has no practical value. After all, a cargo ship from Japan loses some merchandise that washes up months or years later on the west coast of the United States. So what?

But as Ebbesmeyer explains, the gyres show how they are part of a worldwide system that can affect mankind. Pollution – such as garbage patches – is spread by the conveyor belt.

One series of UFO incidents haunts Ebbesmeyer, large ceramic urns that have washed up on the Northwest coast of the US since 1961. He has tried to years to determine the origin of the urns. Unlike an ufologist who doesn't have physical evidence, Ebbesmeyer has the goods - but he doesn't know what they are.

Ebbesmeyer is also interested when a MIB comes ashore – not a man in black but a message in a bottle. MIBs have made it easier to track gyre currents because each one usually contain a note explaining its point of origin.

One wonders how Ebbesmeyer would react if a man in black did wash up, flotsam from an UFO – the alien ship kind – that crashed and sank at sea.

Ufology meets ufology.

[More info at ]

1 comment:

X. Dell said...

What's next? "Floating saucers"?

I've heard about this research on NPR (I guess I listen to too much radio). It is, actually, an interesting topic, even though I've never seen an MIB (or and MIB, for that matter). Living in New York, I've seen my share of UFOs (hyperdermic needles, sewage, etc.). I've also seen a few UFOs.