Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Ted Phillips Has Died

Ted Phillips, the founder and director of the Center for Physical Trace Research died, on March 10, 2020. Phillips was born in 1942 and spent his life in Missouri.
A young Ted Phillips.
He began investigating UFOs in 1964 and met Dr. J. Allen Hynek during the investigation of the Socorro UFO landing.

Phillips was trained as an engineer and was a professional photographer. He was involved in the Vanguard Satellite Program and was a field engineer on the Minuteman Missile Project. He was also employed as an inspector for the Missouri State Highway Department, an associate of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, and made presentations at the MUFON Symposiums.

It was Hynek who suggested that Phillips concentrate on UFO physical trace cases. Phillips and his team investigated more than 4000 physical trace cases in more than 90 countries. Phillips once said that if you told him the physical markings left be the UFO, he would be able to describe the craft that left them.

With Hynek, Dr.  Jacques Vallee and Dr. David Saunders, Phillips participated in
Ted Phillips at the Illinois
the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aerospace Sciences meetings. He was also participated as a member of a small group who met with the United Nations Secretary-General. Phillips made presentations to a wide variety of groups and was a participant in several television programs and documentaries dedicated to UFOs.

In recent years he was involved in the investigation of strange lights seen in the Marley Woods in far southern Missouri. I met him in Illinois when he made a presentation about those lights at a UFO conference there. I had hoped to talk to Phillips about this while at the conference but there never seemed to be a couple of moments when the two of us crossed paths, with one exception. I told him it was my impression, from his presentation, that he wasn’t looking toward the extraterrestrial on this. He confirmed that he had thought it was some sort of terrestrial manifestation but he didn’t know what it might be. For those interested, there is more about Phillips’ presentation here:

Big Amber in the Marley Woods.

More of the Amber lights in Marley Woods.

In the 1970s, he provided a “position statement” for Ron Story’s Encyclopedia of UFOs that said:

The available facts are mostly statistical, but by taking a large number of reports, we can begin to develop a fairly clear picture of the objects observed and the traces left behind. Obviously, a report involving a landed object is of much greater value than a nocturnal light case. The landed object immediately eliminates a number of possibilities. One would not expect a balloon to land, leave unusual traces, and then ascend vertically at high speed. Stars and planets do not appear at ground level between witnesses and a line of trees. When several witnesses observe a disk-shaped object with a metallic surface, no wings and no sound, landing, ascending vertically, they have, with their descriptions, eliminated most of the natural or conventional explanations. When these objects then leave traces at the landing site, we have something tangible to examine
I believe, after thirteen years of investigation, the data indicates a nonterrestrial origin.
Ted Philips, truly one of the pioneers in scientific UFO research and a dedicated investigator is dead at 78.


Louis Nicholson said...

He was a great investigator. I watched and listened to quite a few of his presentations over the years. Are there any other credible investigators out there concentrating on physical trace cases?

Matt Wiser said...

I saw Mr. Phillips on several documentaries about UFOs, from UFOs are Real to UFO Files. He approached landing investigations as if they were crime scenes and treated them as such. One hopes he had more than one protégé to keep going where he left off. RIP, sir.

starman said...

I agree with his conclusion. RIP.

Bob Koford said...

He was one of the best. Bless his loved ones.

Voidoid said...

I had the opportunity to interview Ted about 10 years ago. I was absolutely mesmerized by his stories. Kevin - Ted was sitting on what had to be the definitive collection of physical trace case evidence, dating all the way back to Socorro. I hope you and others can make sure this is not lost and gets into the proper hands.

Ralph Howard said...

Really sad to see this. As a near-50-year student of the UFO phenomenon, I saw Phillips as my hero. For the simple reason that he documented, scientifically and properly, that _There is a Physical Basis_ for the phenomenon. That UFOs affect the physical environment. By definition, anything that can be shown unequivocally to have affected the physical environment, is "Real." UFOs are therefore, Real. What the origin of them is, can be debated, but they aren't hoaxes and misidentifications, and not natural phenomena. And no "psychosocial" theory will suffice. Our task remains, to find the explanation(s), but we are not wasting our time.

Fred Meiser said...

Ted Phillips’ passing is a sad loss in general and also a profound loss to the study of unusual aerial phenomena and associated physical trace evidence. In the recent decades he had been investigating the Marley Woods anomalous spheres/lights. Do we know if he has an associate who is continuing that work? Also, I echo the earlier comment expressing concern for the disposition of his library/research repository. It is probably the last thing on the mind of his wife Ginger during this terribly sad time. Hopefully Ted made good arrangements for its future via a legal document. Rest In Peace, Ted, you were a wonderful person. My thoughts are with his family.