Mention strange metal boxes appearing along beaches here at Bray’s Point and other locations up and down the West Coast and it conjures up all sorts of images for people; with one theory now being floated about how the boxes got here. According to William Hanshumaker, a Ph.D. public marine education specialist at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in nearby Newport, the theory now – after investigating these strange metal boxes for the past two weeks – is “the boxes on the beach are merely floats that were originally built to support docks.” While Doctor Hanshumaker and other local marine science experts stated their conclusion Feb. 17 that – after reviewing photos, interviews and actually looking at some of the strange metal boxes along beaches near Bray’s Point – that they believe at least some of these “boxes” are possibly parts of docks. In turn, Doctor Hanshumaker noted in reply to a Huliq media query that “after a recent flooding event, some docks were destroyed and their floats drifted downriver and subsequently deposited on the beach. A colleague from a local state agency had the opportunity to examine one and confirmed this explanation.” At the same time, those locals -- who first mentioned seeing “these mysterious metal boxes” in previous Huliq reports -- say Doctor Hanshumaker’s scientific theory may hold water for him and other marine scientists who study West Coast beach debris, but “what about the other boxes that can't easily be explained away?”
Still no firm answer on all boxes
In turn, there have been reports from locals and visitors -- to these Oregon and other West Coast beaches over the past two weeks -- pointing to "various types of boxes” that are are both metal and also look “box shape” that are possibly dock floats from Japan’s earthquake last March.
It was more than 11 months ago that Tsunami waves raced across 5,000 miles of the Pacific to slam the West Coast with massive waves. Did these waves also bring these "boxes" or "docks" from Japan? Who knows, say experts. Also, there's no real science that can explain what's "dropped" on West Coast beaches at any given time. And, with many of these coastal beaches -- such as Bray's Point on the very edge of the West Coast -- in remote areas, who knows but the locals who live there what's going down.
“At the end of the day, the boxes we're discussing today, February 18, are from two weeks ago are now mostly gone. People are simply taking them away for whatever reasons,” explained Bray’s Point resident Errol during a Huliq phone interview Feb. 18.
What’s unknown is frightening
It seems that this year, 2012, has already become a strange time when people are questioning hard science when it comes to everything from the origins of UFO sightings to “strange metal boxes,” to the ancient Mayans having this calendar that predicts the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012.
In turn, the famed playwright and philosopher Andre Gregory explained in his screenplay for the film “My Dinner With Andre,” that he’s always been suspicious of scientists who attempt to put everything unknown on this Earth into “nice tidy boxes.”
Gregory says this questioning of science as not being exact when it comes to such things as theories about UFOs comes from “a sort of self-satisfied elitist paranoia” in science today, “with a feeling of ‘them’ and ‘us’ that is very unsettling.”
Gregory, who is a self-proclaimed UFO believer, goes on to state that “people can build up a kind of network of beliefs founded on signs from anywhere that proves without any question that they’re absolutely right about everything. And you know, you sit around and have dinner in some of these places, and everybody is talking with great knowledge about Atlantis or whatever it is, and you know, you feel very strange if you don’t happen to have all this secret information.”
The philosopher also explains, “You then see all these significant coincidences in everything that happens.” The thing is, I think it’s the exaggerated worship of science that has led us into this situation. I mean, science has been help up to us as a magical force that would somehow solve everything. So that is really what has let to this very strong, deep reaction against science that we’re seeing now.”
Fearing such things as metal boxes in our world
Jeff Wise, the author of “Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger,” writes in Time magazine last month that “there are plenty of things to be afraid of – so choose carefully.”
Wise writes in this Time magazine report that in 2012 “identifying the most pressing threats turns out to be unexpectedly difficult. Psychologists say we innately misjudge risk, often becoming instinctively fixated on perceived threats that aren’t really hazardous while overlooking real dangers because we don’t set our subconscious alarm bells.”
For example, Wise writes that “people fear cell-phone radiation because it’s a relatively new technology and the word ‘radiation’ adds to the aura of invisible malevolence,” along the same lines as why ufologists think breakthroughs in understanding alien life has been so slow in coming to mankind.
Mention “strange metal boxes” on the beach, and “people sort of shut down and call you a UFO nut. They need answers right now, and they won’t give an inch until they either try and understand or simply dismiss what you’re saying because ‘UFO’ is part of it,” added Errol when expressing her personal angst over being shot as the messenger for what other many in society view as real or not real.
In turn, people are funny adds Wise when noting how “the Cold War is over, but there’s still enough nuclear mega tonnage to end civilization,” but, alas, people will fear something unknown – such as UFOs and people who spot strange metal boxes on the beach – over loose nukes in our world.
Local artist views “boxes” as an art form
Local artist Leo D’Alessandro is planning for the “42nd Annual Original Yachats Arts & Crafts Fair” in a big way. “Since the Mayan prophecy for this year of 2012 is expected to bring the dawn of a new era – a year of transformation for our planet – what better way for me to share my visions of the Mayans than with the metal box I salvaged from our beach.”
In turn, D’Alessandro, a young, aggressive and even pushy artist -- who seems to be neutral in nothing – as he shares what’s been dubbed as “beach sculptured” art works, is excited about the upcoming festival.
“My art is original woodwork and mixed media. I know the mention of having one of these mysterious boxes involved is exciting. It’s just right, I feel, to compliment my Mayan theme for the work I present this year.”
Since D’Alessandro relies on hand-made flyers – that he passed out at the Yachats Commons Feb. 17 during a Huliq interview – there’s no big buzz as of yet for what this artist who says his art is based on “personified chaotic disorder.”
At the same time, those who’ve admired D’Alessandro’s art at previous Yachats art shows, said the artist is correct in his description of clumps of dead beach life with such titles as: “The gray bones of old trees.” As for his planned “metal box” art display, D’Allessandro said “I have no words for it, yet.”
Yachats metal boxes disappearing
Yachats is a sort of post-Sixties enclave for retired “hippies” and other New Age types, as well as a popular location for vacationers who seem to agree with its recent selection as one of Arthur Frommer’s top 10 list of “favorite spots in all the world.”
Take a short drive south of Yachats, and there’s the popular UFO sighting area at Bray’s Point. Then drive north of Yachats, and you’re at Stonefield Beach where local UFO sighting fans first mentioned seeing “strange metal boxes” Feb. 5 that “seemed to appear the next morning right in the surf.”
In turn, the mystery of what happened to the metal boxes over the past week still lingers as locals report seeing “people in white trucks” collecting the boxes and taking them off the beaches. For instance, D’Allessandro said “it’s a real find. I can’t open it. The box is sealed all around, and there’s a bright and crystal film over it.” At the same time, D’Allessandro said “I don’t want to say much now until the art show.”
Metal beach boxes become even stranger art
The fresh lie of sand was puffy and looking clean on a metal box sitting on a sloping dune near Yachats early Friday, Feb. 17.
Also, locals point to people like D’Alessandro who’ve managed to get enough man-power to lift one of the boxes into his truck and take it to an undisclosed location.
While taking beach debris is “not cool,” with local Oregon State Police who have jurisdiction over the coastal beaches that are viewed as part of the highway in Oregon, there’s still plenty of locals and visitors who take things off the beach.
For D’Alessandro’s “art,” he said there is no better place than this part of the coast that features nearby beautifully wooded sections of high bluffs intersected by ravines that also add to the “display” of his art that often includes photographs of where he found “materials” for his mixed media art.
An artist formula for presenting Mayan prophecy
D’Alessandro says the “formula” for his forthcoming mixed media art display for the forthcoming “42nd Annual Original Yachats Arts & Crafts Fair” is a “virtual idea.”
The artist goes on to explain that, for example, he will subject this new feature – the strange metal box that he recently collected from the Yachats beach – to what he calls a “long, deep analysis, that’s both historical and forensic; while also collaborating with locals who have their own views and ideas about the boxes.”
“You said it best,” quipped D’Alessandro to this reporter, “when you said the boxes are a metaphor for something else in our society where people fear everything. And, most especially they fear what they don’t know or understand. The box represents their fears, as you said in one of your stories.”
For D’Alessandro, whose laughter stopped – as though he’d turned a valve in his chest – when another artist mentioned that “you should not have taken that box from the beach; his reply was simply “adrenaline.”
“Lifting that box with my family and friends has a full of anticipatory adrenaline. Just being with it, and then having it felt like someone once said of an ‘electric sparkle inside.’”
Mayan’s said 2012 is a “year of transformation”
For D’Alessandro, the Mayan prophesy for the year 2012 was “something I’ve been working and planning for as far back as five years ago when I first read this year was coming with lots of doom and gloom. I then got this odd, almost volatile feeling about the whole world. I had to express myself, but how?”
Thus, D’Alessandro turned to the local Oregon beaches. And, then to the metal boxes.
In turn, on the day he planned the taking of one of the metal boxes, D’Alessandro said he spent the whole day in a state of “somewhat controlled excitement. What was it? Where did it come from? Why was it here now?”
Although the artist did not get any quick answers and, in fact, he still has “no answers about what the box is,” he’s still up on his toes when anybody and everybody in this town of Yachats ask him about it.
“The box became a muse for me. To have just one thing, that’s not real? And, something that’s unknown to you serving as a muse for an artist is special. Just as this Mayan prophecy is special, and I can’t tell you why. It’s something deep inside. Maybe the Mayan prophecy is part of my DNA, to wonder and then create something for people to view as both art and that ‘collaboration’ that I mentioned.”
At the same time, D’Alessandro says he used “the classic anthropologist eye” when both discovering and then obtaining one of these prized metal boxes from the local beach.
“I’m a huge, huge fan of Cyprien Gaillard’s photographs of aliens in our world. You start from that background, and I’m not surprised that I want to know more about the Mayan prophecy and these metal boxes that have come to us.”
Artist Andrea on what’s a hoax?
At the same time, another local artist named Andrea thinks the ancient Mayans “having that calendar that predicts the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012 is not something to just dismiss as a hoax or something.”
Andrea explains that “we live in a world of computers and nobody yet has properly explained to me how the heck you get 3,000 songs on something the size of the palm of my hand. What occurred to get us to this wee small technology? Nobody can really explain how we have something that generates so much power to run ships, airplanes and our computers that can only be seen with a microscope. Is that a hoax? If we can’t explain something is it a hoax. And, just because I can’t put the answers into a neat little ‘box,’ than is the box that D’Alessandro now has a hoax?”
Also, Andrea says it doesn’t take a genius to see that the Mayan prediction is “freaking us out.” Also, she says, “Why is it that so many people worldwide are now talking about the end of the world as if it’s something to welcome?”
Moreover, she thinks that it’s also “very strange” that the Mayan’s talked about “a set of hieroglyphics that predict the arrival of the deity alien Bolon Yokte, who is also mentioned in transcripts of those who’ve mediated at the beach over so many strange occurrences around here that it would make your head spin. Why did I hear about Bolon Yokte even before reading the Mayan beliefs?”
Other artists also explore the other side of life
Thus, other Yachats artists say the results of what D’Alessandro is promising “seem to be thrilling; especially to share the box with so many during the art show.”
Moreover, another Yachats area artist named Pam wants to sort of piggy-back on D’Alessandro’s art display by showing a film she’s made of two women seated in a beach house nearby.
Pam says the one woman claims to be a “hybrid,” and is questioned by an older local woman. Pam says she shot the “hybrid” female (someone who claims to have alien origins) slightly out of focus.
In turn, she says there’s this dramatic depth of field the helps to exaggerate both the physical and the mental distance between them.”
While Pam would not disclose the ending of the film, or who the “hybrid” is, she does want art fans to come out to the “42nd Annual Original Yachats Arts & Crafts Fair” on March 17 – 18 to “enjoy the other side of life through our art.”
Thus, these retro-hippies seem to be brushing up on their New Age brilliance by attempting to express themselves in the same eclectic manner that’s made Yachats a now somewhat famous tourist destination along the central Oregon coast.
Boxes slowly disappearing from the beaches
Go figure someone hauling away “floating docks?”
With the current state of West Coast beaches – that are still getting hit with massive debris from the Pacific Ocean due to storms at sea and the Japan earthquake last March – it’s no wonder that “all sorts of things wash-up here,” quips Bray’s Point resident Helen.
In turn, she says “you can’t control the Pacific in the same way you can’t control what’s ever out there in outer space. I think we like to have this ‘illusion’ of control because it prevents non-believers in UFOs from really thinking about a different reality that just maybe will make them look at the heavens, and even these strange metal boxes in a different way.”
“Let’s hope,” she added.
Image source of a coastal Oregon beach local musing over one of these strange metal boxes that was located near Bray’s Point on Feb. 15, but as of Feb. 18 it’s gone? Photo by Dave Masko