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Written by “John Bro” Wilkie (2006)
August 1991. Mexico City. It was to be a hugely celebrated event. Astronomers had forecast a total eclipse of the midday sun. Across the city, thousands of people had gathered in the streets, in the parks, in the front yards of their homes. Hundreds also had their video cameras with them. When the event actually occurred, folks marveled at the sight. Yet soon it became evident that the spectators were getting more of a show than they had bargained for. Simultaneously across the region, citizens began witnessing, videotaping and reporting UFOs flying in proximity of the position of the sun. Hundreds of videos are said to exist.
At this point in history, the Internet did not yet exist as we know it today. The story of this event could only be disseminated via television on affiliates, newspapers and the post. In Mexico and Latin America, the mass sightings were receiving major news coverage, principally from the Televisa Network. Incidentally, this singular event was the catalyst that launched nationally recognized news anchorman Jaime Maussan into the international spotlight as a UFO investigator.
Back in June of 1995, while pondering the Mexico City sightings and reading a published article entitled “SkyDancer” by Bill Hamilton – I stumbled upon the ‘Solar Obliteration’ method for videotaping what can only be described as UFOs. They are unidentified, moving around up in the atmosphere and are apparently objects. In its truest sense, this is the correct definition. Within a few days, I had drawn up the original diagram of what I simply called ‘The Technique’ (for videotaping unusual aerial anomalies).
‘The John Bro Technique’ as it has also become recognized, was only meant as a ‘beginner’s trick’ for those that were new to the field/hobby of Ufology. I truly believe that many objects in the sky are not seen because of the ‘daylight stealth’ techniques they employ, intentionally or naturally. The removal of the direct light in one’s line of sight greatly reduces glare.
I found that if I could look up right next to the sun without the blaring brightness coming into my eye or camera lens, some things that I would otherwise not have seen became apparent. It is akin to the difference that is made when donning a pair of Polaroid sunglasses on a sunny day. What a thrill and life-changing experience it can potentially be, to actually witness an unexplainable phenomenon for one’s self.
Within a few years, I had shown the experiment to people all around the planet. It was exhausting, incredibly time-consuming and left me with the feeling that the response was more questionable than the presented materials. I finally left the public part of the genre, seemingly to its own will. Five years ago I stepped away from the UFO field.
One day recently, I was showing my mother some of the advanced features on the Internet, when I had the bright idea to introduce her to the concept that the Search Engine is a very powerful tool. For instance, ‘We’ decided to do a web search for my nick-name, “John Bro.” We were surprised to find that there were 12 pages of reference hyperlinks available. My mother was excited and told me that she wanted to look through some of them. I took her on ‘The Tour.’ After a couple of minutes of this, my mother turned to me and said; “So….these people are making money off of your stuff??”
I had to think about it for a moment, then replied; “Potentially…someone out there…on the long list. Yes. “
Her response to me was, “Then what about you doing your own website?”
I’ve had reason enough in the past, but the present is different. And so am I. As I clicked around the ‘John Bro’ hyperlinks, I found that although I have been away from the UFO genre’ for several years, my theories continue to proliferate. On several occasions, I would indiscriminately click on a website that would take me to a page where a person was giving testimony of ‘Solar Obliteration.’
Now, eleven years later, I continue to receive updates from people around the world. I have received articles and references from across the globe. It is like a cigarette tossed out into a forest, just smoldering away. Here we have a repeatable experiment that continuously produces positive results. Yet, for many, “Solar Obliteration” was just a ‘flash in the pan’ or ‘flavor of the week.’ For most, the consequence of these findings did not register into their psyche.
Others called it a hoax, while another contingent feels that we are simply mistaken. They feel that the ever-expanding collection of images is the result of lens flares or glitches in cheap personal video cameras. Others think that we were merely recording blurred images of bugs. It is quite laughable to them.
“You can lead an editor to data but you can’t make him think.”
These ‘Nay-Sayers’ have not had the experiences that I have had to drive them to pursue this. They have not seen the videos – only the on-line video captures, or print images. And they probably haven’t had it come into their homes. I don’t know.
A decade ago, I had my “15 minutes of fame” in the UFO community. And all of these years later, the activities of the unknowns, and the validity of ‘Solar Obliteration’ continue. People are, at this very moment, finding out about ‘The Technique’ for the first time. For them, it is brand-new. If this is all so viable, as the author says; why has this information apparently not had much impact?
Back in the mid-1990s, when I was so entrenched in this UFO business, I certainly made ‘the rounds.’ It started with the “Sightings” television show camera crew coming over to my place in late 1995. They were laughing and joking at me when they arrived. After the verbal interview, we went out and actually performed the ‘Solar Obliteration’ method and got positive results. The director’s demeanor changed greatly after that.
The word of this happening got around fast. Within weeks, the ‘Winter ’96’ issue of “Unsolved UFO mysteries” magazine came out and my article took up the first eight pages of that publication. It was exciting for me. I already was in the process of building an internet presence at ‘Black Vault’ and “UFO Folklore” and “Ovni Chapterhouse.” These sites were rapidly gaining ‘hits’ and I was answering hundreds of emails.
It had a definitive effect on how I would have normally pursued my career. Actually, at the time, I felt that the pursuit of this ‘Solar Obliteration’ method and the journalizing of its progress was my ‘real job.’ It took up a lot of time where I normally would have been contacting more agencies in Hollywood.
In early 1996, I had a few experiences that truly indicated that they were related to my recent sightings. I personally feel that someone or something may have come into my home. I have never given a full explanation of that aspect of my life because I don’t have one. I know far too well what happens when a person goes way out on a limb, and speaks with confidence and then later, some skeptic presents some evidence to the contrary. I have seen it happen to far too many people. Regardless, two incidences that occurred when I was not alone do mean that there are other witnesses. That gave me enough confirmation to continue on.
At the same time, my little ‘bit part’ career in Hollywood was taking off. Ironically, I had received a roll as a fearsome, armored alien warrior on the short-lived Fox television series; “SPACE: Above and Beyond.” I lovingly dubbed that fiberglass medieval torture device that they referred to as ‘My Costume’ – “Chig3”. This configuration was given primarily because that was the number that had been sewn into the contraption that the wardrobe personnel had deemed specifically to fit me.
So, I became like a character in a comic book. Certainly, it was too easy, and this ‘Technique’ was too good to be free. Then there was the Hollywood connection again. One can only imagine the reactions that I got when I would speak at a UFO convention, and inevitably, at some point in my presentation, I would have to include the fact that my ‘day job’ was to portray ‘space aliens’ on TV. I think that I gained a fan base, but lost a lot of scientific credibility because of it. Even in the incredible genre of Ufology, I was considered to be ‘fringe.’
During my time off, I would continue to journal the developments of my research. Along with other witnesses, I continued to feed the information and images across the internet and from various locations.
June 29, 1996, was what I referred to at the time, as the ‘Solar Anniversary.’ On this momentous day, I went over to my friend Bob Bucher’s home in Wynettka, California and borrowed his video camera. It was one of those fancy BETA-Decks. I believe that it had a ‘zoom’ power of 120 X.
On that day, the UFOs came down really close to me. It was almost as if the unknowns were acknowledging my efforts. It was chilling to contemplate. The days that followed were filled with hyper-analyzing and too much conjecture. I constantly felt on the edge of a nervous breakdown. It never came, but my paradigms were smashed several times during this period. I saw things, felt things, and recorded things that I previously had not believed in. The camera and the recordings were but an afterthought. For me, it was a fascinating new field of research.
At that point in the history of all of this, I had already personally met most of the current ‘Stars of UFOs.’ Over time, my materials had circulated across all of their desks. After a year and a half of promises, I had, what was for me, a great epiphany. The UFO genre is a business. And at times, this business has a very corporate political process. It always has been a ‘bottom line’ situation. I spoke out prior to being given the ‘go ahead’ from the ‘who’s who’ of UFOs. I didn’t respond correctly. At one pinnacle moment, I decided to publicly proclaim; “The Emperor wears no clothes!”
If you are not part of the solution, you can definitely be part of the problem. Not long after those transmissions, I found a post on a prominent web site that read, “The Infamous ‘John Bro’.” That is when it occurred to me that I was more highly publicized than I had previously realized. All of the ‘big wigs’ of Ufology had access to my statement of disapproval.
As the public took more interest, the voices of the genre kept their distance. I was not getting return emails until the ‘Sightings’ episode in which I was featured had aired. So, between the magazine article, the Internet and now, with the repeats of the ‘Solar Obliteration’ episode, I was getting some exposure.
Soon, I was somehow connected to Jose Escamillia’s “Rods” research. Jose was being given much more media exposure, as he hadn’t offended anyone yet. A few times, I felt fear of being publicly dissolved into his research. But mine was a completely different and separate discipline. I was looking for something much different than the images that had been classified as “rods.”
Then, the skeptics emerged in force. First, they assailed the work of Jose Escamillia. Then they went about the business of dismantling ‘Solar Obliteration.’ Some of these folks attacked it as if it were their duty or their job. I could not believe the truth when I found out how much time and effort that some had invested in shooting this down. Due to public responses, my reputation for being a ‘loose cannon’ grew. I was writing on this subject for several hours each day.
In the spring of 1997, I was literally given my ’15 minutes of Fame’ appearing on the “Art Bell: Coast-to-Coast” internationally-broadcasted radio show. At the conclusion of my report, Art said that he would give me an official, full-length interview at a later date. I never did hear back from him. He was concentrating on more pressing issues, like ‘Hale-Bopp’ and the Courtney Brown predictions. Also, Y2K was just around the corner. It was ultimately important to freak people out about that.
Afterwards, it was as if a great switch had been thrown and the majority of my main contacts ceased correspondences. The interview had come off very well and the traffic through my web presence was immense. I virtually tutored hundreds of people on-line, concerning my research, on a personal basis. It was nearly a full-time job to accomplish all that was entailed.
That summer, I got a part in the American remake of ‘Godzilla – 1998.’ I was also making the rounds on the SCI-FI conventions circuit, when it came near L.A. I met some people at those functions that I will never forget.
In the fall, I got to interview for, and was subsequently given a part as a ‘Hirogen Hunter’ lizard/man space alien, on the television series “StarTrek: Voyager.” I found it ironic. And again, it is rather hard to explain later at the UFO conferences. It’s no more outlandish than the rest of all of this. Both my Hollywood history and the UFO findings are simultaneously true.
To me, the true miracle would not be the existence of UFOs – or even a way to continuously study them. The breakthrough would have to come from humans. Profit and notoriety would have to come second and these types of research would have to be pursued with cooperation. We simply lack such abilities. And, mark my word! Until in-fighting within the UFO community ceases, the answer of the UFOs will not be given. It will remain ‘business as usual.’ It will be the ‘labor day telethon’ of the paranormal. Decades later, we still will be looking for an answer.
Behind the scenes, certain individuals continue to take great strides. There are folks out there that are recording video sequences on any given day. You may not hear of them, or maybe later you’ll see some of their video stills pictures in an old cyber-space archive. But, they are out there. Each adds to the mountainous pile of reviewable pictures of UFOs that are available on the Internet alone.
The earliest photograph taken of a UFO, that researchers have found, was that of an astronomer named Jose Bonilla, on August 12, 1883. The man was at a solar observatory in an obscure place called Zacatecas, north of Mexico City. He was taking pictures of the sun when he discovered that displaced objects were showing up on his film plates. Since then, tens-of-thousands of images of UFOs have come and gone. All it would take is for just one of them to not be a mistake, a misidentification or a hoax.
My projected model of this situation; in my opinion, is that one or a group of images won’t still constitute ‘proof’ of the existence of UFOs. As neither the government nor the media seem to want to take the subject seriously, we have the ‘grassroots’ approach as another option. If a group of 10,000 people got results on a ‘UFO Out’ – that would carry more weight. And one day, it may come down to something like that. But I think that many people would have to evolve a bit to coordinate such things.
I have spoken many times about this in the past. It was actually not what I saw on the videos that prompted me to look more closely at what was above me. It was what I saw in the skies that motivated me to go find someone with a video camera. I didn’t own one. I went out and found interested people and got them involved. Believe me, seeing something extraordinary with another person is a tremendous bonding experience. Nothing beats getting the hell scared out of you with a friend.
I’ve long felt that, if you open a figurative ‘window’ into another realm, it also stands to reason that those on the other side of it are going to feel a draft. It has the potential to be ‘careful what you wish for’ proposition. I cannot tell you how many times I have wished that these higher elements of being were not real. Things were much simpler when I was ignorant of it all. It hasn’t been fun or cool. One must endure a lot of hard work and even more ridicule. And there is always the risk that a person might ‘pull on the wrong tiger’s tail.’ A person truly needs to ask themselves if they even want their knowledge of the world to change.
Then a person may even go so far as to start investigating other peripheral subjects as well. And if people were to realize the probable interconnections of the disciplines, they could elevate the process. To actually see phenomenal things, even just once, can change your mind. It can also change your life.
Initially, I experienced the denial defense mechanism myself. But the pure potential of the experiment carried me irresistibly onward. I was also mostly drenched in the fear of it. To top it all off, I was having repeated memories of past ‘dreams’ that were disconcerting, to say the least. It all related to the subject at hand.
I developed into being much more observant of my surroundings and also, who is around me. I pay more attention to how I feel at a location. I compare it to surviving a sizeable quake. Afterwards, it is inevitable that you will come to a moment where you feel betrayed by Earth itself. And you would never be able to look at it the same way again. I have been through a ‘big one’ also. It truly is not an unreasonable comparison; the trauma of enduring a major temblor, versus having ones’ core paradigm systems dismantled. Now a person would never look at the sky the same way again. They would not even look at themselves the same way.
By 1999, I had pretty much walked away from the machine that is modern Ufology. A person could possess invaluable evidence, yet they could still very well be ignored by the media if they did not have the political connections. Although engineers and scholars have examined it for years, Ufology is not a science, and it is not a discipline. It is a hobby, or it is a business. I believe that greatly needs to change. The Internet was/is an irreplaceable tool. It is a revolutionary advantage in publishing.
This brings us ‘full circle’ to the beginning of this article. The Internet is the most accessible and broad-based audience potential available to an average citizen. And if you already have a computer set-up and connected, your costs are limited to whatever it takes for you to produce and ‘publish’ a webpage.
Directing people to hyperlinks of pages made by others, of items from years ago – and with no updates, was driving me crazy. And no one could tell my story, with pictures, with video, music and written articles, better than I. SKYMONSTERS Inc was quickly turned into www.Johnbro.com. It is the culmination of all of my works, on-line. Therein lies the most thorough compilation of supporting materials concerning the history of ‘Solar Obliteration’ AKA ‘John Bro Technique.’
My favorite part of the website is entitled; “Pictures from other cities.” That page is an on-going diary in pictures, sent in by people who took the challenge and found out the truth of this for themselves. I consider it my crowning achievement that others would follow through and get involved.
Anyone that has had a true and unrelenting desire for an answer to this UFO question should seriously consider becoming a part of the pursuit of it. There are countless opinions on the subject of witnessing a UFO event. ‘Solar Obliteration’ is a good place to start, but it is just one of many ways. Pursue information on all of them as much as possible. It is also advisable that a person becomes well-versed in the folklore of the genre. Again, there are many interconnections.
When in public, I make it a point to not initiate discussion of the subject. Still, it is surprising how often it comes up. Now, I simply forward folks to my website. It saves me hours of jabbering and the pictures, music, animations & videos tell the story far better than I. Having saved every scrap over the years, I am now in the process of loading much of it onto the web. It still remains fun and exhausting. But I feel a need to make it available for people to see. This story has never been as complete as it is at Johnbro.com.
This article was originally published on Michigan’s Otherside in 2008 with the permission of “John Bro” Wilkie.
A Michigan resident, “John Bro” Wilkie is an ex-military propulsion technician with extended experience in the sighting and documentation of UFOs. He is also the original author of ‘Solar Obliteration’ – and for this, has appeared on multiple television and radio segments including Coast To Coast AM with Art Bell. A longtime member of the Screen Actors Guild, “John Bro” has also portrayed space aliens on several network Sci-Fi television shows — including ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ and ‘SPACE: Above and Beyond.’