Any mysterious object falling from the sky always makes a lot of noise. Even more excitement is caused by various kinds of finds, which, according to ufologists, are products of extraterrestrial technologies. It is to such finds that the famous “Betz sphere”, named after the family that discovered her.
Once upon a time, a miracle fell from heaven on a plot of land owned by the average American family! More precisely, a metal ball weighing 9.67 kilograms and a diameter of 20.22 centimeters. Apart from a few scratches and a small, elongated triangle-shaped bulge, the ball was perfectly smooth with no joining seams. Just in case, the head of the family took him home.
Heavenly tuning fork
It was 1974, a time quite unstable in the political sense. The arms race has reached its climax. The two superpowers have accumulated enough nuclear weapons to be more than enough to destroy humanity. Therefore, it was in these years that people more and more often lifted their heads to the sky in search of some kind of extraterrestrial intelligence that could, if not reconcile the warring parties, then at least unite them.
In the mid-1970s, the activities of public organizations engaged in the “study of the UFO problem” also intensified. All more or less mysterious objects, the origin of which experts could not explain from a scientific point of view, immediately fell into the category of “aliens from outer space.” A similar thing happened with a metal ball found by the American Betz family.
It all started with something that was discovered at random – the sphere reacts to sounds. It turned out by chance: once the youngest Betz started playing the guitar and … A mysterious artifact, like a tuning fork, began to vibrate, producing at the same time a strange pulsating melody. “Most of all it reminded me of the sound of an ukulele, but at the same time it was very different from it,” the head of the family later said.
After that, much more attention was paid to the area. It turned out that she can move independently. Without any external influences, the metal ball suddenly began to roll on the floor of the room in which it was located, and the trajectory of its movement was usually a broken line.
In this case, the sphere could freeze, and after some time continue to move. But what was most striking was that she never faced obstacles. She either walked around them, or stopped and began to move in the opposite direction.
Ball with a secret
First of all, the family turned to the military for help (after all, the atmosphere of the Cold War made itself felt). US Navy specialists, using the most advanced technologies at that time, established that the sphere consists of an alloy of carbon iron and nickel, that is, in fact, stainless steel. However, the ratio of the components did not correspond to any terrestrial analogue. The ball turned out to be hollow, the thickness of its walls ranged from 1.09 to 1.14 centimeters.
Using powerful X-rays, the military discovered that inside the sphere there are two more objects, also spherical in shape. These objects were, as it were, “magnetized” to the inner surface of the sphere and did not detach from it. Therefore, no sounds were heard when shaken.
Just at this time, the “yellow” newspaper National Enquirer announced that it would pay 10 thousand dollars for “the best scientific proof of the existence of UFOs” and 50 thousand – for “proof that UFOs have an alien origin.” The Betz family decided to lend the balloon to the newspaper, hoping to win a good amount, and at the same time conduct research on the find at the expense of journalists. Now a special commission has taken up the study of the ball, which included people who dealt with issues related to UFOs.
Having examined the celestial visitor from all sides, experts have found that this is something much more complex than just a metal ball. The mysterious object reacted to the sound with vibration, probably in some way related to its movement. These movements were of a disordered nature – he seemed to roll aimlessly in all directions, stopping for a short while from time to time.
When the ball was placed on a glass plate, one end of which was slightly raised, one could notice that the object seemed to be exploring the lower edge of the plate, after which, contrary to all the laws of gravity, it began to slowly roll up the slope.
Brenda Sullivan, a researcher at the Geographical Society in Arlington, said: “I believe that such items testify to a highly developed civilization that once existed on our planet, about which we know nothing.”
Another American researcher, Jay Brennan, has a slightly different opinion. He believes that such an object may well be a probe left by an alien intelligence to track the processes of Earth’s evolution.
An autopsy of the sphere would, perhaps, put an end to this story. But a professor of civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, James Harder, who has great authority among ufologists, made some calculations and said that the inner contents of the ball are composed of elements that are much heavier than anything known to modern science.
In nature, the heaviest element is uranium with an atomic number according to the periodic table of 92. People also learned to synthesize elements with numbers up to 118. But inside the Betz sphere, according to Harder, there is an element unknown to earthly science with atomic number 140!
Speaking at the International UFO Congress in Chicago in 1977, Harder intimidated everyone that any attempt to drill a hole in the ball would lead to a chain reaction, and as a result, it would explode like an atomic bomb. And even stronger! In addition, Harder argued in all seriousness that the sphere may still be under the supervision of aliens. And they can severely punish those who encroached on their device! It was decided to abandon attempts to open the sphere for security reasons. We decided later to study the sphere in more detail. However, the plans of scientists were not destined to come true.
After the first cycle of study, the Bettsy, taking the artifact with them, returned to their home in Florida. Soon they disappeared with the whole family without a trace. The sphere also disappeared. Long searches have led nowhere. Until now, their whereabouts are unknown. As well as their mysterious finds. There are many versions of where they went: from government special services to, again, aliens who returned for their property.
Just an artist who surprised the world?
So what did curious Americans find? Those who believe in UFOs believe that this is a container for fuel from an alien ship. People with a rational mindset put forward the version that the ball, which responds to sounds by vibration, may well be a marker of the sea floor, responding to the signals of an echo sounder or something like that. True, the US Navy disowned him. But who knows what devices are kept secret by the military?
Another version: the object was part of a Soviet weapon that cosmonauts tested in space. Indeed, at this time, the rockets and satellites of the USSR were already plowing through space with might and main, and entire closed design bureaus were inventing military gadgets that were supposed to protect one sixth of the land from the aggression of the capitalists. Who knows – maybe this round sphere was a part of some kind of clockwork, which was supposed to work when the United States pressed the “red button”.
However, there is another opinion that has nothing to do with military secrets and fantastic plots. Three years before the Betz family discovered the balloon, an artist named James Durling-Jones visited the area.
In the roof rack of his car, there were several stainless steel balls intended to create a concept sculpture.
Some of them fell out during the trip over the bumps. These balls fit the exact description of the Betz sphere and were balanced well enough to roll at the slightest touch.
Moreover, the Betz family lived in an old house with an uneven floor, so such a ball could probably roll rather strangely. These balls could even make a rattling sound thanks to tiny metal shavings that got stuck inside during their production. If this is true, then the artist, unwittingly, staged one of the most impressive performances in the 20th century.