Looking for Pancakes by Dave Dutton Fraser

Looking for Pancakes

When I first meet folks at Gracie Jane’s, the gallery/bar I hang my shingle at, the second question they ask is if I am psychic. To be fair, sometimes it is the first question but usually people want to know how much I charge for Tarot readings. Regardless of what initial questions are asked it usually ends in people asking what I have come to call “THE QUESTION”.

I suppose I should be grateful that the majority of people don’t ask THE QUESTION to mock me. Usually it is because they have their own beliefs, opinions or theories. Sure a few do ask for the sole purpose of being able to look at their friends, point to me and then twirl their finger at the side of their head. Still it does seem redundant to ask someone in this occupation “Do you believe?”

There is usually a qualifier in there somewhere. “Do you believe in ghosts?” is the most common and not surprisingly, hearing it so often, I have come up with a standard, pat answer.

“Yes I believe in the existence of ghosts but I wouldn’t testify to it under oath in a court room.” If I am lucky (and I usually am) this will either confuse them enough that they don’t ask anything further or they understand the full implication of the statement and that is the end of it. It is one of the things that make me an oddity in this business. I’m honest, I refuse to prey on hopes and fears, don’t have set rates and that I take all proof of occult phenomena with skepticism makes me not just an oddity, but very rare as well.

Simply put, at the end of the day I just want to come home with some pancakes.

One reason I use “wizard” instead of “paranormal investigator” is because I’ve watched those ghost hunting shows on TV and there is not one piece of evidence that I would hold up as solid proof. There is nothing shown in these shows that could not be manipulated by the so called “expert paranormal researchers”. The fact that scientific procedure is usually non-existent if not flawed and actual education carried by these ghost hunters is in “sheepskins” that sound like they come from mailbox Universities shows that the industry operates without any regulation. No wonder fraud and what amounts to psychological extortion are prevalent. Let’s look at some of the “evidence” these shows display to the public.

Electric Magnetic Pulse monitors or EMP Readers seem to abound in these programs, all showing fluctuations in supposedly haunted locations. Outside the fact that the very nature of our planet allows for natural fluctuations, a fact known to anyone who has operated a HAM Radio, I could cause a majour disruption in an EMP reader simply by starting my microwave oven from five blocks away!

Infra-red cameras can give us detailed proof? Not in anyone’s lifetime or after lifetime if you prefer. My body usually generates a temperature of ninety-eight degrees. An interior wall composed of brick, for example, will generally hold a temperature of around fifty to sixty degrees. Simply placing my hand against the wall for ten minutes will heat an area of the wall in the shape of my hand, causing a temperature anomaly for as much as three hours. Poorly sealed windows and interior drafts can also cause havoc with consistent readings in a man-made structure.

My all-time favorite “distractor of the truth” though appears on these “reality” shows under the moniker of Electronic Voice Recording (EVR) or whatever sounds “sciencey”. The principle behind this was founded by Harry Price but sadly he used analog tape to record his “ghosts” and as such his evidence is questioned. The problem with analog tape recordings, as any sound engineer or music aficionado knows is bleed through of previous sounds recorded on the tape even when it is erased. In other words, those amplified “voices” heard on that reel to reel recordings could be from earlier recordings or even placed there by the investigators.

The oddest part for me and what I find highly indicative of fraud on these shows and with these EVRs in particular is we live in the digital age. That said, why are these ghost hunters using tape to record these examples of “spook speech”? Could it be because they know that they can’t get bleed through sound on a digital recording? Are audiences so stupid or gullible that they buy this shit?!

Don’t answer that, thinking about it depresses me enough. Besides in truth, all these devices can do is record and preserve a record of information. Realistically all they have is a record of an “effect” from an “affect”. Nothing that they collect can really be retested at a later date when we have more advanced scientific procedures to do so.

What is odd as well as the physical evidence that was produced in the past and not always tested, no longer appears in investigations even by those who claim to communicate with the spirit world. Case in point – Ectoplasm

 All most all mediums in the past (I can’t find a record of one that didn’t but I am assuming not all), some with accuracy rates far superior to any modern medium, used to shoot out ectoplasm faster and more frequently than shit from a fat kid on Ex-Lax. Why is this proof of psychic abilities and the spirit world no longer common unless all mediums in the past were frauds using cheese cloth? Where are the pancakes!

My own forays into the Nephage (or Astral Plane) may occasionally have “affects” in the “real” world but nothing that can be used as scientific proof or just chalked up to coincidence. The “effects” remain in the Nephage unable to be tested or examined. My flying carpet appears as so much woven textile decorated with symbols, various ores and hardened mineral deposits on this plane of reality while in the Nephage it’s a fuckin’ war machine capable of blasting apart almost any entity I’ve encountered. Nothing that causes an effect there seems capable of having much of an affect here. Worse, when it comes right down to proof, I may be imagining everything and actually be delusional and insane (not a cheery thought).

In fact, of the just over a dozen investigations of paranormal (I hate that word) entities I have been on in the last two years I have found exactly one and a half ghosts. Even that is broken down into three of thirteen investigations resulting in what I can generously call a “half-proof”. A half-proof would be like a half-truth and half-truths are considered lies and not acceptable as a statement in court.

I may be wrong but I think it is a very safe bet that no matter how well I do as a “wizard”, I am unlikely to be appearing on TV in my own ghost hunting show. Thirteen episodes of me stating there are no ghosts with an occasional statement of “Well that was weird” is not going to draw in a huge audience. Just as well as I probably have the face that belongs on radio. People tune in hoping to see a ghost and I just can’t serve up the pancakes.

I know if you got this far you might wonder why I keep mentioning pancakes. That is because in the world of strange but needing to be proven true we have another group of people looking to prove something considered as far-fetched as ghosts. UFOlogists, Saucer Seekers, Alien Hunters or whatever you wish to call them are as desperate to prove “flying saucers” are the result of intelligent life in space visiting us (though some hold to time travellers or Nazis from inside the Earth as an explanation) as Rene Dahinden was to come down from the mountains with a Sasquatch (Google him). This is where the pancakes come in.

Somewhere in a US Government facility, unless it has been thrown out, is one of four pancakes given to one Joseph Simonton by occupants of a UFO. Now that science and technology have advanced sufficiently since the incident occurred, tests on this pancake, or the others if they can be found, might be able to prove if strange advanced flying machines and stranger occupants actually exist. This is because no matter what explanation skeptics propose, the mere existence of the pancakes provides physical evidence for Simonton’s story of an extra-terrestrial encounter.

Here is what happened:

In 1961 on April 18th at approximately 11:00 AM, Joseph Simonton of Eagle River, Wisconsin, rushed from his kitchen to investigate a loud and strange noise. Outside Simonton saw a silver metal craft, 30 to 40 feet wide, looking like two soup bowls placed face to face descending into his yard. Upon landing, a hatch about six feet in height and over three feet wide opened and revealed a humanoid being that looked “sort of like” an Italian dressed in a blue turtleneck uniform.

The “alien” then, using gestures to communicate, motioned Simonton to approach and handed him a silver jug with two handles resembling an amphora. The blue clad humanoid then gestured for Simonton to fill the jug, which Simonton did by retrieving water from his house. Upon returning the jug to his unusual guest, Simonton glanced into the craft and saw two more Italian spacemen, one who was cooking over a fireless grill. The being was cooking what looked like to Simonton, a bunch of pancakes.

I guess Simonton decided on an early lunch because he then motioned to the “alien” he had fetched water for if he could have some of the pancakes. The blue clad spaceman then gave Simonton four pancakes. Then the “alien” closed the hatch and the UFO flew off at an incredible speed till it was out of sight.

Simonton said that he ate one pancake and it “tasted like cardboard”. This must have really bothered him because he then went inside and called the police. The police took Simonton’s statement, noted that he was not intoxicated or in any way impaired and passed it on to higher authorities. The press also got wind of it and newspaper reporters and TV crews all descended on Eagle River to interview Simonton and photograph the mysterious pancakes from outer space. The attention was too much for Simonton and on May 3rd he told people that if it ever happened again he would not tell anyone.

This story is documented in a book by Jay Rath titled “The W Files: True Reports of Wisconsin’s Unexplained Phenomena and since then many other books on UFOs or those detailing entirely strange and odd events.

Now it must be noted that Simonton never tried to profit from this tale by opening up a pancake house or marketing a brand of syrup. Everyone who interviewed Joe Simonton, a sixty-year-old rural chicken farmer, was convinced he was telling the truth, or least what he thought was the truth. From the police who responded to his call to Dr. J. Allen Hyneck, the US Air Force’s lead investigator who explained away more than one UFO as “swamp gas” had no doubt Simonton saw what he saw.

Whether it was a hallucination, a prank or a clever hoax, as author, mage and fellow whack-job Robert Anton Wilson wrote, “Where did the pancakes come from?” (The Cosmic Trigger, R.A. Wilson, 1979). This is what I am looking for, something that can have an effect in the “real” world that even if the only effect is a cardboard tasting breakfast. In fact, it is the pancakes that are important here because unlike other UFO evidence, scorched grass, crop circles or more commonly photographs, the pancakes are an actual affect, not a recorded effect of the encounter. They can be tested and evaluated in the future as if it happened that very day.

Even the perception of the “pancakes” has changed in that they may not even be pancakes at all. In the online publication, “The Anomalist”, Loren Cohen investigates why the “pancakes” were not called “pizzellas”, which they certainly look like more than pancakes ( ). Pizzellas are Italian breakfast cookies that have bumpy holes on them just like the “space pancakes”. Since Simonton did not refer to them as such it further makes it less likely that he cooked this Mediterranean morning delicacy himself. Simonton even ate one without covering the “pizzella’ with a fruit compote showing he truly had no idea what kind of food he was given.

Since we know from the presence of the “space pancakes” that something happened, extra-terrestrial or not, we can bring in more theories and even search for more evidence as to what at least, is the scientific truth behind this UFO encounter. That does not mean I concur with ideas like the one proposed by Jose Antonio Caravaca in The Distortion Theory ( or Jacques Vallee’s attempt to link UFOs to medieval encounters with fairy folk and the “world under the hill” (Dimensions – A Casebook of Alien Contact, Jacques Vallee, 1988).

Actually, it is because of Jacques Vallee that I would like to see more tests on the pancakes. Though the radiation tests showed nothing outside of normal levels, the food showed an absence of salt. That may not sound strange until you realize that all most everything contains a natural amount of salt in it. The soy bean hulls and especially the hydrogenated fat found during the testing of the pancakes would have to have some salt levels in them that would have registered even if the other ingredients didn’t. To remove salt from cooking fat and soybeans is a complicated procedure that would certainly be beyond that of a sixty-year-old chicken farmer.

As well there are other tests that could be run that didn’t either occur to researchers back then or were not available. There are tests of the wheat, soybeans and other once living ingredients could be done now that could not be done in 1961. DNA testing, for example, was impossible and the source of these ingredients could now be located. Assuming that location is here on Earth, that is and we know where the remaining pancakes are or at least who has them.

One pancake is with the National Investigations Committee of Ariel Phenomena, Dr. Hyneck took one to the USAF and the last, kept by Simonton is apparently in the hands of UFO researcher, Barry Greenwood. The fact that we have this evidence it astounds me that people on both sides of the UFO debate, not including obviously the more strange or obscure theories, have not pounced on the pancakes to end the argument one way or the other. It is the kind of evidence of ghosts that I would love to acquire.

My own theory is that either in a dream state or under hallucinatory influences, Joe Simonton came across a group of Italians in a Recreational Vehicle, a rarity in those days, who in exchange for water fed Simonton breakfast. The Italian tourists were health fanatics hence the ingredients with such low levels of salt they could not be detected by tests performed and available in 1961. I am going with that or Italians who remained loyal to El Duce and hence the Third Reich, stole a Nazi UFO from the centre of the Earth for a joyride and in a pit stop for water, shared their breakfast.

Hey, it could happen. Unlikely but it could.

The point is, in my entire time ghost hunting, or apparently in anyone’s, “pancakes” have not shown up or been found. I don’t mean of course I expect to walk into a home and find the Bell Witch cooking me flapjacks but it would be nice to find some evidence, physical or otherwise (like a permanent energy portal to another plane of existence for example) that could be tested and qualified. Until then, no matter what anyone tells you, ghosts, like aliens from another planet visiting Earth, are a matter of faith, even if I for one believe in their existence.

So, mock me if you will but I heard about this group that says this demi-god was killed by an invading military force and came back to life three days later. Weirdest part of the whole thing – They revere and worship the torturous execution device this demi-god died on. I can show you where they hang if that’s how you get your kicks.


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