Thursday, October 15, 2020

Coast to Coast - Calvin Parker


Those of you who visit here regularly know that I’m not a big fan of tales of alien abduction. I believe that the solution for most cases is based here on Earth and that some of the investigation has been less than stellar. I do think that if there are alien abductions, I believe they would be targets of opportunity rather than some sort of longitudinal study conducted over years or decades. As I have said to Kathleen Marden, I’m more inclined to accept the tales told by Barney and Betty Hill, Travis Walton, and Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker.

For those interested, I have interviewed Calvin Parker of Pascagoula fame, a couple of times on the radio version of A Different Perspective. You can listen to those interviews here:

Like many others, I have always been somewhat skeptical of single witness reports, or in the case of Hickson-Parker, two guys telling the same story from the same point of view. That means they were together and there didn’t seem to be any corroborating witnesses. In the case of the latest investigation by Philip Mantle, it seems that additional witnesses have

Calvin Parker

been uncovered, and Calvin and I talked about that in the second link listed above.

But now, however, their seems to be some additional corroboration. Rather than witnesses who appeared nearly fifty years after the fact, there is a document found by Mantle that was written literally hours after the abduction took place. Mantle wrote:

After the book was published [Pascagoula – The Closest Encounter: My Story by Calvin Parker] … I continued my search for any formal documentation related to the incident as any that had been in the possession of Calvin Parker had been washed away by hurricane Katrina. I contacted all of the major UFO groups one of which included the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies in the USA. They were very obliging and sent me a PDF file of what they had on the case. Most of what they sent was newspaper cuttings but buried in the middle of this file was a very curious and possible ‘smoking gun’ type-written document.

Although this document, dated 13th of October 1973, just two days after the alien encounter, is unsigned it was written by Dr. James Harder. We know it was written by Dr. Harder as he was the only person to examine the witnesses which has been confirmed by Calvin Parker. Dr. James Harder’s academic credentials are as follows: BS (Caltech), MS, Ph.D., (U.C. Berkeley). He is a Fellow, AAAS; Life Member, ASCE; and Founding Member, Society for Scientific Exploration. Professor Emeritus, U.C. Berkeley. He was also a director of the UFO research group APRO.

Dr. Harder along with Dr J. Allen Hynek were on site in Pascagoula within 36 hours of the event happening. They interviewed Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson and at a press conference confirmed that they believed what the witnesses were saying.

It is important, in attempting to understand, the relevance of the document, to read first, what Calvin had to say about it:

At the time of my abduction on October 11th, 1973   when the alien reached out to take me on board the ship. From the first time I saw them it was the fear I felt that is hard to describe. I just knew I would not live through this fear. As the alien made contact to my left arm, I heard a whisk of what I thought was air then all at once I got became really relaxed then all the fear was gone. Later on, after being examined by Dr. James Harder I heard him telling Dr Hynek that I had a puncture marks on my arm and later at the hospital I found out that I was given not one shot but two shots the second was while I was on board the craft. This document simply confirms what I have always known and that is both Charlie and I were given injections by these creatures and we had the puncture wounds to prove it.

Rather than me type in what is found on the document, the best course is to provide the document itself so that you can read it here.

Document found by Philip Mantle.

 Although the provenance of the document is not rock solid, the fact that it came from CUFOS and was among Hynek’s papers is relevant. It’s not as if the document appeared from an unknown location in the mail box of a UFO researcher. It does have a certainly level of credibility attached to it.

However, it would have been more powerful had it been signed by Dr. James Harder, and given what is known, it is reasonable to believe that Harder was the author. Given what is known, given the date of the document, it does provide us with some corroboration for the event told by Calvin Parker. It is up to each of us to decide what weight to give to it.

Coast to Coast - The Levelland UFO Landings


I have talked about the Levelland UFO landings and their importance here and on radio shows. Not only were there witnesses at least at thirteen separate locations, but the UFO interacted with the environment by stalling car engines and dimming headlights. In most of the cases, the witnesses had minutes to study the UFO. Many of those witnesses mentioned attempting to restart their cars or trucks. That failed until the UFO left the area. Then the vehicles began working properly again.

You can read about this case, which I have explored on this blog, here:


The Air Force investigation of the Levelland sightings is badly flawed. Staff Sergeant Norman Barth spent about seven hours in Levelland and interviewed only six witnesses. One of the most interesting of those interviews was with Hockley County

Sheriff Weir Clem

Sheriff, Weir Clem. His office received many of the phone calls that came in over a two-hour period about the strange events. According to the Air Force report, Clem, along with a couple of other law enforcement officers, left the office to search for the UFO. Clem was quoted in the Air Force report as saying that he had only a streak of light in the distance for about two seconds.

However, according to newspaper reports published the day before Barth arrived in Levelland, Clem said he was much closer to the UFO and that it was oval shaped. Don Burleson, of Roswell, investigating the case two decades ago, said that Clem’s car was checked by a mechanic the next day.

Burleson also interviewed the wife and daughter of the Sheriff and was told that he had gotten closer, much closer, to the UFO, which I verified through newspaper reports from the era. The daughter also talked about a burned area that the Sheriff had seen. It means that there was other evidence of something landing that night in November, 1957.

To be fair, according to the newspapers of the time, there was a mention that the Sheriff and the Provost Marshal from Reese AFB did go out in search of the landing traces. They reported negative results, but you have to wonder what they might have seen and what the Provost Marshal might have said. You have to wonder why the Air Force Provost Marshal was involved. You have to wonder about the influence that Barth brought with him so that the truth could be buried and mention of Air Force involvement disappeared from the narrative.

Additional questions are: Why the changes in the Air Force report about how close the Sheriff got and only the mention of a steak of light, and, why have a mechanic check the car if he hadn’t gotten close enough for the UFO to affect its operation?

There is another interesting aspect to this that no one seems to have noticed. When the Sheriff headed out to search for the UFO, he was accompanied by other law enforcement officers, some of whom were not interviewed by Barth. But, more importantly, the Sheriff, according to newspaper reports, was also accompanied by Air Force officers. They would have come from Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, only fifteen or twenty minutes away from Levelland. There is no mention of those Air Force officers in the Project Blue Book files. I have yet to identify who they were, but I can document that they were involved.

It is clear from all this that the Air Force investigation was inadequate and that it was designed to answer questions but to avoid the truth. The reality of the case is that it was much more important than many realized at the time. Too many UFO researchers missed the significance and the Air Force got away with the misdirection. It only proves that we can learn something by prowling the archives. There are gems hidden there.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Kevin Randle on Coast to Coast

For those of you who might have missed it, I did a short, very short, segment with George Noory on Coast to Coast on Friday night, October 2. This is to be a regular feature on Coast to Coast, with me talking about what is new in the world of the UFO... might be a sighting update, might be some information about a past case or might be some revelation that has escaped notice because, frankly, there are millions of pages and billions of words out there about UFOs. Some important things just get missed in all the information out there.

For those wishing to comment, just append your comment here and if you wish it to remain private, mark it as such. I do monitor the blog so that I read all the comments. If you'd like a reply, and I have one that is appropriate, I'll do that. 

So, listen for me on Coast to Coast every week in the first hour on either Thursday or Friday... and if you have a suggestion, sent that along too. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

George Filer and "Strange Craft"


Given that we were without electricity for more than 8 days, and that my iPad is filled with books that I haven’t read (thank you Book Bub*), I used the time to catch up. I mention this because one of the books I read was Strange Craft: The True Story of An Air Force Intelligence Officer’s Life with UFOs by John L. Guerra with Major George Filer III, USAF (Ret.) and published by Rayshore Publishing Company in Tampa, Florida.

Before we start, let me say that I was a little annoyed with one of the first pages that said, “What reviewers say about ‘Strange Craft.’” Oh, not that the reviews were all good but that none of the reviewers were named. In most books which quote reviews, there is a source mentioned. That none were identified is a little, dare I say it, “Strange.”

As a retired military officer myself, I’m always interested in the career paths of those who took a similar journey. In that respect, I enjoyed the book. I thought Filer’s description of his UFO sighting was vivid and interesting, if not a bit frightening. I did think it strange that the aircraft commander would put his aircraft into a dive that pushed the envelope and red lined the airspeed, but hey, I wasn’t in the aircraft and don’t really know what pressures were put on that officer to intercept the UFO.

The 116th AHC, preparing for a combat
assault, 1968. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle

I learned that my tour in Vietnam overlapped Filer’s, though his began at the very beginning of 1968 (well, the last couple of days of 1967) and mine some months later. During the Tet Offensive, Filer mentions the helicopters landing on Ton Son Nhut, and the gunships attacking the VC attempting to overrun the air base. I mention this only because one of those units was the 116th Assault Helicopter Company, which I would join a few months after this.

And, since I have leaped right into the Tet Offensive, I thought I’d mention a couple of points. Filer suggests that he, and his pals in the Air Force, predicted the Tet Offensive and advised MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam) and General William Westmoreland, that an attack was planned. According to Filer, his warnings, and those of his cohorts, fell on deaf ears. Once the attacks were launched, to the surprise of the Army, both American and Vietnamese, his predictions were validated. Westmoreland was demoted and replaced by Creighton Abrams… but the truth is, Westmoreland was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Army. He’d already been in Vietnam for four years and he wasn’t all that surprised, except, possibly by the tanks used to attack Lang Vei Special Forces camp.

The trouble here is that history doesn’t reflect the theory that the Army and the Vietnamese were ill-prepared for Tet. Filer suggests that Westmoreland had rejected the idea because Tet was such an important holiday and both sides had honored a tacit cease fire during Tet. There would be no attack because of that.

Except… the Vietnamese, centuries earlier, had launched a surprise attack on the Chinese during Tet. General Earl Wheeler, who was in Australia in November, 1967, told an audience that they expected a big attack, probably around Tet. American forces in Vietnam were moved into more centralized locations in late January 1968 so that they would be able to redeploy quickly into hot spots expected during the attacks. The only people really surprised by the Tet Offensive were the reporters who didn’t understand military strategies and were astonished by the initial gains and the politicians who would be expected to have something negative to say because they just don’t know better. In the years that followed, it would be acknowledged that it was a defeat for the VC but seen as a psychological victory for them… again an assessment by a press who simply don’t understand what happened… and, once again, I digress.

As I say, I was interested in the track of Filer’s military career and the problems that he faced during it. I was surprised when he was offered an opportunity to go to Vietnam at the invitation of a general who wanted Filer on his staff but Filer declined. Seems that he missed a golden opportunity, but then he had young children and such a deployment is tough on the family. He went a couple of years later. I think, during our military careers we all face tough choices and sometimes we chose wrong. I believe I always chose wrong, but that’s a tale for another time.

After twenty years in the Air Force, Filer retired as a major. He believes that his interest in UFOs, and possibly his involvement in a big UFO sighting might have derailed his career. He believes he missed promotions because this.

But, his interest in UFOs didn’t stop with his retirement. Instead, he jumped into the world of the UFO with both feet. According to him, he had been involved in the shooting of an alien creature at the Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base complex. Well, maybe involved is too strong a word. He was assigned to McGuire when the events took place and was near the scene as the military police and Air Force officials took care of the problem. Filer was to brief a general about what had happened, based on his interrogation of some of the participants. Unfortunately, events intervened so that Filer didn’t see the alien, didn’t see the photographs of the alien, and was just around the periphery of the event… but then he was there on the morning of the incident so that provides him with a better perspective than those of us who just read about it much later.

And now, for those interested in the workings of MUFON and the UFO field, we learn how Filer joined MUFON, what he did in the beginning and what he continues to do today, even though he is in his eighties. He helped establish or refine some of the procedures that MUFON uses and eventually became a regional director.

The problem for me here, is that he accepts, as authentic, some of the UFO events that worry me. He talks of multiple crashes and suggests that General George Marshall, who was the Chief of Staff of the Army during WW II and later was the Secretary of State under President Truman, was on the scene of two UFO crashes. I might have missed it, but I don’t believe that those crashes were ever identified by Filer and I don’t believe that Marshall was involved in any such activities.

Filer hints at other crashes as well. The problem for me is that I can accept one or two, but this idea of many crash retrievals has moved into the realm of fantasy. It seems to be illogical to believe that there could be so many UFO crashes without much better evidence slipping into the public arena. Too many crashes and so many of them with dubious testimony.

I guess the long and the short of it is that I enjoyed reading the book and was especially interested in a fellow Vietnam veteran’s military career. I was interested in his insights in the world of the UFO but reject much of the information provided there. True, many will accept it, but I found the lack of names, dates and locations of this to be troublesome. There is no way for us to independently verify the information because there are simply too few clues for us to find or paths for us to follow.

Bill Brazel, 1989. Photocopy 
right by Kevin Randle

I get that UFO witnesses, once their names are known, are subject to many, many UFO investigators, or maybe just UFO enthusiasts, wanting to talk with them. Too many of those enthusiasts have no social skill when it comes to talking with witnesses, meaning they call at all hours, demand all sorts of information, and don’t realize they are intruding on another’s life without invitation. Bill Brazel told me that he would sometimes receive calls from drunks in bars at 2 or 3 in the morning, wanting to know if the Roswell story was true… for those interested, I sent him a letter with my telephone number in it and asked him to call me collect if he could help me. He called and he did.

Oh, I do recommend the book but remember, the evidence for many of the tales is lacking. If that doesn’t bother you, well, good for you. For me, I’d have liked a little more detail, a few more documents, and some hints of where to look for corroboration. Other than that, it was fun.

And, yes, I have invited him on the radio show, twice, but have yet to received a response to that invitation.

*Book Bub is a website that sends out a daily list of books that can be picked up for free or for a buck or two, rather than the full price. This explains why there are something like 100 titles on my iPad which I haven’t yet read, but thought those books would be interesting. You can select the type of books that interest you (science fiction, true crime, biographies, history, action adventure, etc.) and the list sent is tailored to your personal tastes. Check it out when you have the chance. This is my small gift to those of you visit here regularly.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

X-Zone Broadcast - Robert Sheaffer Discusses Klass and Friedman


I invited Robert Sheaffer back on the program as a response to another radio show in which the host and the guest attacked Philip Klass. I didn’t think that it was a fair assessment of who Klass was and that his personality was similar to that of Stan

Robert Sheaffer

Friedman, who had partnered with that guest. You can listen to my show here:

and the second hour here:

We did examine some of the things that Klass had done that were fairly nasty, but then we did the same thing with Friedman. You can get a better idea, along with some documentation here:

And to learn a little about what Klass has done, in a somewhat similar vein, you can read it here:

I did look at other aspects of some of Klass’ UFO investigations and you can see them by typing his name into the search engine on the blog. I also looked at Klass’ investigation into the Travis Walton abduction and Klass’ attempts to convince Steve Pierce to “confess” to the Walton hoax. Pierce never did, even with an offer of a large amount of cash offered by Klass.

In other words, we looked at how Klass had operated in the past and compared it to some of the things that Friedman had done in his campaign to become the Number One Guy in the world of UFOs.

As we discussed this, we also looked at some of the famous UFO cases, such as the Coyne helicopter sighting. I explained why I found some of what Klass had said about it to be inaccurate based on my experience as an Army helicopter pilot who had been through the same training as Coyne and his co-pilot. Naturally, you can read about that here:

We also talked about the Lubbock Lights case and in a discussion that was reminiscent of our Levelland discussion on another edition of the radio show. That means, simply, that Robert offered a possible explanation for the Carl Hart photographs taken in Lubbock. He supplied a link to that analysis, which, with luck, you can read here (I say that because the link might not work for everyone):

I am not a fan of the explanation but will note, as I did on the show, that there seems to be only two solutions here. Hart either perpetrated a hoax or he photographed something that is truly anomalous. Having interviewed Hart in the 1990s, I accept his statement to  me that “I still don’t know what I photographed.”

The best part of the show, I believe, is that you had two guys on it, who look at the UFO phenomenon from opposite sides of the room. We could agree on a number of points without the discussion devolving into insults and accusations. We might disagree, but we did look at the other side to see if there were good points to be made. We also, in the course of the show, tried to provide references for those who were interested to follow up on what we said.

We pretty much left it at that point. What we did prove, if that is the right word, is that Klass was no worse than Friedman, and Klass might have been more honest in his assessments. He might have been blinded by his bias but there seemed to be no evidence that he fabricated or suppressed evidence… the same can’t be said about Friedman.

Note: Before I published the article about Klass and Freidman, I invited Kathleen Marden on this program. She declined the offer.

Friday, September 18, 2020

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Joe Murgia's Investigation into the Davis/Wilson Meeting


Joe Murgia, aka UFOJoe, sent me a comment about my posting about Dr. Eric Davis and his mention of the Del Rio UFO crash. We had a brief email exchange, and I asked him to talk about this on the radio show/podcast version of the blog. We didn’t limit the conversation to the fifteen pages that were notes of an alleged meeting between Admiral Thomas Wilson and Dr. Davis but did explore related topics. You can listen to the conversation here:

Joe had written a 24,000-blog posting about the meeting and his investigation into it. This document provided a good analysis of what

Joe Murgia

allegedly happened. The trouble was, as we worked our way through it, we learned, or rather, I learned, that the fifteen pages of notes surfaced in the UFO related papers of NASA astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell. It wasn’t until Mitchell’s papers were being reviewed after his death that the tale of this meeting with Admiral Wilson was exposed. The results of the meeting, and the point of the fifteen pages of notes was that the US had a captured (retrieved?) alien craft. You can read his posting, in four parts, here:


When all was said and done, and after having read, carefully, that 24,000-word treatise on the meeting, I found no solid evidence. Admiral Wilson denied, repeatedly and vehemently, the meeting had taken place and Dr. Davis, when asked about it, said, “No comment.”

Oh, there was a meeting with Admiral Wilson but it wasn’t the one referenced in those fifteen pages of notes. This one took place in the Pentagon, in Wilson’s office, and didn’t seem to have the same surprising outcome. In other words, it was only a discussion about UFOs that didn’t seem to turn into anything other than a discussion about UFOs. I believe the meeting was arranged because Edgar Mitchell was involved and for no other reason. Who wouldn’t want to sit down with the sixth man to walk on the moon?

This discussion seemed to provide little in the way of illumination but certainly demonstrated the problem with UFO research and dealing with bureaucrats (not that I would consider Admiral Wilson as a bureaucrat).

Anyway, we do learn about the depth of some research into specific UFO related questions. A lot of people talking about what they claim to know, but with nothing that would be considered hard evidence and too many unnamed sources.

Next week, I’ll be talking with Robert Sheaffer about Phil Klass and Stan Friedman and their contributions to UFO research. Or maybe I should say their attempts to limit the research to what they believed. This interview was originally scheduled for August 12, but a storm took down both the power grid and the Internet around here, so I had to postpone. I’m finally able to get this all put back together. If you have questions, append them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to get them answered.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Eric Davis, Again


The Devoid (Billy Cox), columnist at the Miami Herald, reignited the Admiral Thomas Wilson debate not all that long ago. Although it seemed that most of mainstream Ufology had realized that the story told by Dr. Eric Davis about his clandestine meeting with the Admiral was probably more hyperbole that truth, there are still those who believe the information is leading us to disclosure. You can read the article here:

I bring all this up because, a while back, Dr. Davis had suggested, on Coast-to-Coast, that the Del Rio UFO crash was real. That crash is based on the information of a single witness who had claimed to be a retired Air Force colonel, a former Air Force fighter pilot, and a veteran of the Korean War. I explored all this at length in a posting on this blog that you can read here:

Given that the Del Rio story is a hoax, and the lone witness to it has been less than honest about it, this does cast a shadow over the credibility of Dr. Davis. I mean, if he truly had inside information, he would have known the Del Rio crash was a hoax.

Robert Willingham, pretend
Air Force Officer.

I exposed it as such in 2010 in my book, Crash: When UFOs Fall from the Sky. I also gave a presentation at the MUFON Symposium in Denver about Robert Willingham, the discredited source, and why his tale should be rejected. This merely means that the information I uncovered was available long before Dr. Davis had his conversation with Admiral Wilson (which, BTW, Wilson has denied ever having taken place).

In the last few days, a number of people have been discussing this on the Internet, and I wouldn’t mention it but their experiences seem to match my own. As I said in the post, I had emailed Dr. Davis a couple of times, even asking George Knapp for some help in making contact, but never heard a word back from Davis. The excuse was that Dr. Davis was getting plenty of emails from all over the world and I certainly could understand his failure to reply to me.


I wasn’t the only one having that sort of problem. AndrĂ© Skondras told Philip Mantle had he had attempted to contact Dr. Davis but hadn’t heard back. Given that had been less than twenty-four hours after he had sent his email, that wasn’t all that surprising. Now, several days later, he still hasn’t had a response.

That’s not the end of it. Don Schmitt reported, “Tracy Torme had asked me to contact Davis after his failure when he and James Fox were shooting the forthcoming docu-film. He never responded to email or personal calls. Next, because Davis was listed at that time as a MUFON consultant, I asked Jan Harzan to make the same effort. Same result.

This was important because of Don’s efforts and the suggestion that MUFON Executive Director Jan Harzan was involved (made long before Harzan’s arrest). While I fully understand Dr. Davis ignoring some of these requests, as a consultant to MUFON, you’d think that a response to the Executive Director would be forthcoming.

This has now taken a different path with a suggestion that we contact Admiral Wilson, who has repeatedly denied that he knew Davis and wouldn’t recognize him if he walked into the room. Since the Admiral has been contacted and responded a number of times, I don’t know what good it will do to bother him again. He’s not going to change his mind.

I’m reminded of the note Kent Jeffrey received from the late Colonel Robert Barrowclough, who, in 1947, was one of the senior officers at the Roswell Army Air Field. In that note dated June 15, 1997, Barrowclough wrote, “Thank you for the copy of the [MUFON] UFO Journal on the Roswell Myth. Maybe some of those crack pots will quit calling me up and say I’m covering up a deep gov’t secret.”

Even if Admiral Wilson did know something, he would be obligated to deny it if it was still classified. I’m not saying that he does, only that continued pestering of the man will not yield any positive results… especially since he is on the record, repeatedly, as saying he had no such discussion with Dr. Davis.

The key here is Dr. Davis, but it seems to be a key that is lost. Since Dr. Davis has proclaimed a well-known hoax (Del Rio) as being authentic, I fear that there is nothing more to learn from him. All we end up doing is chasing a claim that cannot be verified and it does nothing to advance our knowledge. It only diverts us from a path that could yield better results.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Levelland and the Dust Theory


A new theory about the cause of the Levelland car stalling incidents has been offered and it was noted in one of the comments to a posting here. The theory is that there was electrically charged dust, in the atmosphere, which had not been reported. This dust, sucked into the engines of the cars, caused the spark plugs to fire continuously, causing the engine to stall. Since many (half) of the cars in 1957 had six-volt batteries, this caused the headlights to dim. Once the discharge ended, then the car could be restarted. It was noted that the idea that the cars restarted spontaneously had been disproved by the original testimony. (Actually, one of the witnesses insisted that his car had restarted on its own). You can read the whole theory here:

A cursory reading of the information in the Project Blue Book files would tend to refute this theory. According to that documentation, there was light mist. A light mist would suggest there was no trouble with dust in the atmosphere.

In a report on November 7, 1957, and from the commander of the 1006th AISS, the idea of bad weather was reinforced. It was noted, on a single page that seemed to be

Location of one of the UFO sightings.
Photo copyright by Kevin Randle

detached from the rest of the report, that “In the opinion of [the] investigator [Barth] following possibilities exist… 1. With amount of rain in area…”

Another message, sent about the same time, provided additional weather information about the conditions in Levelland. It reported that it was cloudy with a light drizzle. There was a handwritten comment that said, “Note!”

In a teletype document that seemed to have been separated from page one, page two of it said:

…conditions might have developed to bring St. Elmo Fire or the like pd [period]. 2. Possibility of excess burning gas from oil operations reflecting off 400 foot cloud cover pd [period]. 3. Possibility of downed power line sparking off wet ground. pd [Period] Southwest public service co. is checking with REA Coops (sic) on any other concern with power lines into area for failure pd. … Dr. Ralph S. [Underwood] cmm [comma] Texas Tech astronomy expert cmm [comma] stated that the following oossipilities (sic) existed as he understood the sighting cln [colon] natural phenomena not fully understood cmm possibly caused by rain cmm and he stated that the possibility existed they came from outer space but he personally did not believe this… Dr. Underwood also concured (sic) with numbers one and two above.

On page three of another report written by the commander of ATIC on the Joint Messageform – Continuation Sheet, and addressed to AFCIN (Air Force Chief of Intelligence) and to the attention of Major Byrne, there is more information about the Air Force belief in wet weather. The document said:

The following possibilities, repeat, possibilities, being checked, which could result in unusual phenomena observed particularly under darkness, mist and rain…

The Air Force was pushing the idea that weather, rainy weather, with low hanging clouds had something to do with the sightings. Each of the reports returns to the idea that rain, drizzle and clouds were responsible for the sightings.

In keeping with the Air Force explanation for the Levelland sightings, or rather using the information supplied by the Air Force and assuming that it was accurate, Dr. J Allen Hynek wrote a half page, single-spaced report that repeated much of what the Air Force had said. According to Hynek:

The phenomena reported seen causally interlocked with the meteorological conditions prevailing at that time; viz, low ceiling (400 feet), fog, mist, light rain and periodic lightning flashes. Our knowledge of such well-attested phenomena as ball lightning and related electrical discharges is not sufficient to pinpoint the exact cause of the present sighting. But there is no need to hypothesize “space craft” etc. in this matter since lightning flashes, alone, in a foggy, low-ceiling nocturnal meteorological setting is sufficient to produce weird effects, especially to imaginative minds…

Coming now to the phenomena of motor stoppage, etc. This was reported in three (3) cases [this is inaccurate]. One case momentary – loud noise of radio and momentary flutter of car light (typical of electrical storms). The other two cases indicated definite stoppage. Might not be possible, if indeed these occurrences were causally connected with the phenomena reported (rather than ascribable to coincidence -- after all, two car engines stopping one hour apart, in a lightning storm with high humidity [emphasis added], does not strain coincidence) to ascribe stopping to sudden deposition of moisture on distribution parts [emphasis added], especially if moisture condensation nuclei were enhanced by increased atmospheric ionization.

At some point, the low ceiling and the fog cited by those analyzing the sighting appeared, but, ironically, other documentation in the Blue Book files simply does not bear this out.

In fact, according to the local newspaper, Levelland Sun-News (found in the Blue Book file) on November 5 reported, “Weathermen said they could not explain away the sightings. There were no thunderstorms in the area and they scoffed at St. Elmo’s light.”

Don Berliner, who interviewed the Levelland Sheriff, Weir Clem, wrote, “Sheriff Clem remembers the night very well: ‘The moon was very bright. There were a few, thin, wispy clouds in the sky but not enough to obscure the moon.’” A bright, clear sky does not suggest that there was any dust in the atmosphere.

Some of the weather data found in the Levelland file, seems to bear out Clem’s memory. The sky was reported to have only four-tenths coverage, which means that the majority of the sky was clear. There is no information about the height of the clouds, only that they covered part of the sky. Various altitudes would suggest that the sky was not obscured by clouds and that there was no ceiling at 400 feet. Four-tenths coverage does not constitute a ceiling.

There is more trouble with the idea that the night was drizzly, misty or had a low overcast. * Dr. James McDonald, wrote, “[Troy] Morris was emphatic that the early hours of Nov. 3 were clear or nearly clear. He, himself, when he heard the reports, went out to have a look on the roads. He said he couldn’t understand why the Air Force would say that there were storms since there were Air Force investigators the following day.”

McDonald, to check out the weather aspect of the case said, “I dug out the weather maps and rainfall data. A large, high-pressure area was moving southward over the Texas Panhandle, completely antithetical to convective activity and lightning of any sort, and a check of half a dozen stations in the vicinity revealed that there was not even any rain falling during this period, nor had more than a small amount fallen hours earlier that day when a cold front went through.”

What this means is that even if there was no drizzle or mist at the time of the sightings, there had been rain earlier in the day. That, too, would have, dare I say it, dampened the dust. The weather data, available from various sources says that the surface winds were light and variable. This would suggest that there simply wasn’t the dust in the atmosphere to cause the engine problems suggested by the theory.

There is one other thing that I’m hesitant to mention and it’s simply that the stalling car engines and the dimming headlights were not regularly reported in the Levelland area. It would seem that it happened only on this one night and that would seem to negate the dust theory, especially when it affected only a few cars.

But the real point is that the weather conditions on that night, as documented, do not support the theory. Too many cars in too many locations in and around Levelland with drivers reporting trouble. Too many people independently reporting an object to law enforcement. And no replication of these conditions at other times. The evidence argues against the solution.

*Although I don’t accept all the Air Force reports on the weather, I mention them to underscore that I have examined the entire record. If you believe the Air Force, then the dust explanation fails. If you believe the information from the newspapers and the witnesses, and the data uncovered by Dr. McDonald, then the dust explanation fails. I wanted it understood that I looked at the entire weather record.