Sunday, January 14, 2018

Curse of Oak Island - A Mid-season Analysis

This is going to be rather short because there is really nothing new to report here. The Laginas boys are still digging up the island, but now they have another new, high-tech piece of equipment that will create a relatively huge hole in the island. This will make access to the bottom easier and maybe a little safer for the divers
Boring operations a long time ago... and yes, I said
"Boring operations," for a very good reason.
who will be going down into it but won’t yield anything of importance. We’ve been down this road so many times that it is beginning to look like the boy who cried “Wolf!”

Sure, they have made some interesting finds, but none of them actually suggest a treasure on the island. There were the two bone fragments, one apparently from a person of European heritage and one from someone from the Middle East. That doesn’t put a treasure on the island, but apparently it was enough to move us back to the idea that the Knights Templar had a hand in all this.

For those who don’t know, the Knights Templar were organized as a sort of military force (think Jedi) who became quite rich and powerful. Those not engaged in combat operations, organized a system of early banking (think Iron Bank). King Philip IV (think Lannisters) of France, heavily in debt to the Iron Bank… I mean the Knights Templar, ordered most of them arrested on the night of October 13, 1307, and eventually executed (didn’t that happen to the Jedi?).

The point is that the Knights Templar had accumulated massive wealth, and it is now suggested that in the nearly two hundred years before Columbus (yes, I know the Vikings had landed in Canada long before this and nearly every educated person knew the world was round), made their way to Oak Island to hide much of their wealth. With that, they’re off again, meaning the Laginas, to France to begin their quest for more knowledge of the Knights Templar, even though that had been explored in the past.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy seeing the interiors of those old buildings and a look at that cities of Europe, which is why I watch The Amazing Race. You get a good look at life in other parts of the world, but with Oak Island, we’re supposed to get a look at the treasure and not some new excuse for touring parts Europe.

At this point, with History telling us every chance they get that Curse of Oak Island is the number one rated cable show, we know they’re going to stretch it out as long as possible. This is why we keep coming back to points from the past that seemed to go nowhere and its why little reference is made about the provenance of documents and debris they have found, unless it fits into their narrative. Yes, the bones were from people who lived in the decades before the treasure hunt began in 1795, but they are also from a period in which travelers from around the world were finding themselves on the North American continent. Without some sort of context, the Laginas’ discoveries don’t actually lead anywhere. The narrator asks, “If such is true, then couldn’t this mean that such is also true,” which might be the case, but probably isn’t.

Given all this, I predict that there will be no major discovery this season. While the ratings remain high, they’ll just keep milking this for all they can. When we reach the end of the season, they’ll have drilled down to a reasonable depth and there will be hints of greater things to find… but we won’t get those results just yet. We’ll have to wait to see what was found with hints that it is extraordinary.

The problem here is that we’ve been through all that before. Remember the gold object and the treasure vault they seemed to have found just as one (the third, I think) season ended? Yet in the next, they were still looking for that vault and they couldn’t find that gold object even with a diver in the shaft looking for it.

Yes, I will be tuned in each week, trying my best to stay awake while they wander around with metal detectors, stand on the surface and watch as more drilling takes place and sitting around in their high-tech war room where they discuss the “exciting” finds of the week or the month or even seasons passed.

And next season, I’ll hope they make some progress in finding actual treasure rather than a few old coins, bits of wood, iron nails, and a cap gun from the 1950s. And yes, it seems that I’m writing this season off, but what have the found, really, that has any relevance to finding a treasure. I fear we’ll have to wait longer to learn any truth about the Curse, but then, I guess that’s why we all tune in. 

Fake News and La Madera

The UFO community has had to put up with fake news for much more than a century. In 1897 there were a number of Great Airship stories that were printed by newspapers. The reporters and editors had to know that some of them were fake, but the interest was there, the stories were there and the bottom line is that newspapers need to make money. Hype a story that doesn’t deserve it, add details that the reporters invent and a few quotes to make the story better or just make it up completely.

Aurora, Texas in the early 1970s. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle.
I am convinced, by the evidence, or the lack there of, that the Aurora UFO crash of April, 1897, is a hoax begun by a newspaper stringer who wanted to do something for his town. Beyond the story printed in 1897, there isn’t much evidence of the airship crash, until UFO researchers became involved in the 1970s. The point here, however, is that in today’s world, this would be labeled as fake news.

To bring this closer to us, here in 2018, and keeping with the theme of the last few posts, I looked at the La Madera UFO landing. This was a sighting that took place in the hours after the Zamora sighting, and by hours, I mean something like 30 hours after the landing in Socorro. Orlando Gallegos said that just after 12:30 a.m. on April 26, 1964, he had gone outside and about 200 yards away, saw something he told Sheriff Martin Vigil, looked to be as long as a telephone pole and as big a round as a car. He said there was a bluish-white flame all around it and as Gallegos watched, the flames went out. I provided a long report on this sighting in Encounter in the Desert, for those who wish to learn more about the case.

The point here is not to talk about the sighting, but about one of the newspaper reports that appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican on December 28, 1969, some five years after the sighting. At the end of the story written by Ron Longto, Vigil is quoted as saying, “I’m not going to speculate on just what was at La Madera that night… but I hope it never comes back.”

Dr. James McDonald
Dr. James McDonald had seen the story and wanted to check on the veracity of it, meaning the quotes attributed to Vigil, not to mention some of the facts of the case. He couldn’t get Gallegos on the telephone but he could find Vigil. In a March 12, 1970, letter, McDonald wrote:

Upon explaining the purpose of my call and citing the press story, I got a laughing but emphatic statement from Vigil, “They absolutely misquoted me.” I presumed from that he was about to disclaim everything in the story but that was not the case at all. Instead, his strong initial reaction was sensitivity to the closing sentence of the story, in which the reporter took the liberty of inventing the quote that Vigil “hopes [sic] it never comes back.” The one other disclaimer was to the effect that he had said nothing to reporter Longo to suggest that “they really put the heat on Gallegos to keep his mouth shut about that sighting in La Madera.”
There is one other thing to say about all this. I have been accused of misquoting people on a number of occasions, but those allegations were untrue. I had taped the interviews and the transcripts reflected what I had said they said. J. Bond Johnson, the man who took most of the photographs in General Ramey’s office after the Roswell story broke in 1947, said that I had misquoted him on a number of points. When I read the transcripts to him over the telephone, he said that he hadn’t said those things because they weren’t true. He was convinced that I had misquoted him and he wanted to hear the tapes so he could prove it.

I sent him an edited version so that he wouldn’t have to sit through the whole four hours of interviews, but that had the quotes on them. His response was to say that I had admitted to editing the tapes and he couldn’t find all the quotes. So, I sent him all four hours, plus the transcripts, twice, and the best he could do was show that I had left an unimportant conjunction out of the transcripts. That, of course, didn’t satisfy him and even though he had the tapes, he continued to say that I had misquoted him. He had gone from telling the truth in the interviews I conducted to an assault on me, even when he knew he was wrong.

The point is that sometimes, when people don’t like the direction of the quotes, they claim to have been misquoted. Here, with Vigil, I see no reason he would claim to have been misquoted on something as innocuous as the last line in the story unless that was something that he hadn’t said. The quote is a nice wrap up for the story, a good final line, and the impression of the reporter might have been that Vigil felt that way, but Vigil said he didn’t say it. At least he said he hadn’t said it.

Is this overly important to the overall story? Not really, other than give us a look at something that in the world today would be called fake news. Vigil didn’t seem overly upset by the quote given his reaction to it. But it also demonstrates that we, as investigators, researchers, writers, and proponents of a point of view must get this stuff right even when it is something as inconsequential as that last line. E must be careful or we can damage all the work we have done.

And, besides all that, I thought it was kind of an interesting anecdote…

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Holder's "Five-Page Report" - Updated

Carmon Marano
Let’s try this one more time. I had found a reference to a five-page report written by Captain Richard T. Holder in a letter written by Dr. James McDonald. When searching for the documentation, I was using a Xerox copy of the Project Blue Book file, which, I have learned, was somewhat jumbled. I was interested in this five-page report because I could find no such report in the Blue Book files. I believe I have now sorted this out and can say, “There is no five-page report.” That means that I have found the documents and they run to more than five pages. I wonder where McDonald got the idea there were only five pages.

Searching through the Blue Book documents that were recovered by former Project Blue Book officer, Carmon Marano, which seem to be everything that was in the official file, I found a “table of contents” for a section in a folder inside the original folder also labeled with the date. That table of contents labeled the tabs, the first of which was Tab A, Lt. (sic) Holder report. That was everything that I believed was part of that original report, plus several other documents. Following, are the images of that whole section of the Blue Book file.

It is clear that the handwritten notes on the drawings made by Lonnie Zamora were made by Holder and that the illustrations were made on the evening of April 24 and in the early morning of April 25. Notice that Zamora did sign them.

Following is a three-page report that is credited to Holder. It is nearly the same as another report credited, in the Xerox file that I have, to Major William Conner, who was the UFO officer (as well as a public relations guy at Kirtland AFB). What I believe happened is that Connor used the Holder report for the basis of his report, though I’m not sure that I understand the rational for it. He added nothing to the report that would suggest a reason for retyping it. It is clear, from the small illustrations in Connor’s report, that they are not the same (meaning here the oval is larger, the symbol is more compact and the final image has a symbol on it that seems to be a hybrid of the description).

Other than some minor changes, and the names having been redacted from Connor’s report, but not in Holder’s, this is a transcript of the interview with Zamora conducted by Holder and Brynes that first night.

For comparison, here is the report attributed to Major Connor so that you all can see for yourselves what the differences are.

This, I believe, should be the end, the very end of the episode. Had it not been for McDonald’s mention of the five-page report, I’m not sure that I would have been able to put all this together. Again, there are many people who contributed to this including Carmon Marano, Ben Moss, Tony Angiola, Rob Swiatek and Rob Mercer. I have used the Project Blue Book microfilms, the Fold3 website, the Xerox copy provided to me by the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, documents retrieved from the files of Dr. James McDonald and a couple of anonymous contributions. This wouldn’t have been possible if not for the Internet and the cooperation of the people named here… and couldn’t have been done anywhere as quickly without these resources.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Moonlight in Socorro, April 24, 1964

Yes, this is something of an exercise in futility... Since the question came up about the available moonlight on the Socorro landing site on April 24, 1964, I thought, for fun, I'd see if I could find the data. Took about five minutes, but for those of you interested in such things, here it is.

Sun and Moon Data for One Day
U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department
Socorro, Socorro County, NM (Longitude W106° 53', Latitude N34° 3')
Friday, April 24, 1964
Mountain Standard Time                        

Begin civil twilight
  4:59 a.m.                                      
5:26 a.m.                                    
Sun transit
12:06 p.m.                                      
6:46 p.m.                                    
End civil twilight
7:12 p.m.                                     
4:40 a.m.                                      
5:03 p.m.                                      
Moon transit
11:09 p.m.                                       
5:09 a.m. on following day                                  
Closest Primary Moon Phase: Full Moon on April 26, 1964 at 10:49 a.m. (local standard time)

Phase of the Moon on April 24, 1964: Waxing Gibbous with 96% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Holder's Five-Page Report on the Socorro UFO Landing

Those of you who have followed this research know that I had found a reference to a five-page report written by Captain Richard Holder about the Socorro landing. There was, in the Project Blue Book files, a single-spaced report that covered about half a page. The bottom was blank and it was clear that the pages that followed were not those written by Holder and not part of that five-page report.

I have now found four of those pages from a file that had been kept by Dr. James McDonald. After the note that said that the FBI agent and the FBI preferred that no one refer to the FBI’s participation, there is another, parenthetical sentence that introduces the information and said, “There follows Zamora’s interview.”

This matches, to a large degree, a statement that does appear in the Blue Book file but one that is attributed to Major William Conner, the UFO officer from Kirtland AFB who apparently didn’t arrived until some 96 hours after the sighting. Comparing it to that of Holder, I find that some of the strikeovers do not match and there are a couple of other differences. It would seem that Connor had the report retyped and then probably gave it to Dr. J. Allen Hynek to take back to Blue Book. I don’t think there was any attempt by Connor to deceive anyone. He was just supplying information.

So, what I had suspected and now know, Connor’s statement which did not include much in the way of identifying information about who was speaking and how it was obtained, is that it was an interview with Lonnie Zamora. The notes were taken by Holder and might have been supplemented by FBI agent Arthur Byrnes. The version I now have included Zamora’s home address and telephone number which had been redacted in the version found in Blue Book.

This is what I suspect was the fifth page of
Holder's report.
The fifth page, which I don’t have, but given this information, was probably one of those illustrations found in the Blue Book file that had been signed by Zamora. And, given that at the bottom of the last page is a small illustration of the craft, I suspect the missing illustration is the one signed by Zamora that included the symbol as seen by him.

There is nothing in Holder’s report that isn’t found in Connor’s copy of it, so there is no reason that Holder’s shouldn’t have been included in the Blue Book file. It wouldn’t be the first time that information had been duplicated. Anyway, I have, to my satisfaction, solved the mystery of the missing report, which I wouldn’t have been able to do with the help of Rob Swiatek, Ben Moss, Tony Angiola, Rob Mercer and Carmon Marano. I will now close the book on this area of the investigation and hope that I don’t have to open it again.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tom DeLonge, Disclosure and an Analytical History of UFOs

It would seem that Tom DeLonge’s program has had some success and I wonder if his status as a member of Blink 182 didn’t provide him with access to some high-level people that the rest of us might not have enjoyed. At any rate, just recently, those he had been working with, and who talked about a sighting along with gun camera film made by Navy fighter pilots, was confirmed by the Pentagon. In fact, we were all told that there had been a secret study made of UFOs for several years, though that study was concluded in 2012.

New reports and various commentators told us that the Air Force had begun investigating UFOs in 1947 under the name of Project Blue Book. So, bear with me as we look at a brief history of UFO sightings and investigations. They didn’t begin in 1947 as has been suggested and it didn’t begin with Project Blue Book as claimed. It began during the Second World War with aircrew reports of strange things in the skies around them that became known as the Foo Fighters.

The Foo Fighters were thought to be some sort of weapon or aircraft developed by the Axis that could counter the air superiority enjoyed by the Allies. There were discussions at the highest levels of intelligence and Allied command about them.
Alleged photograph of the Foo Fighters.
One of those involved was an American intelligence officer, Colonel Howard McCoy, who would pop up later. Scientists who made the analysis, which ended with the end of the war, made no identification of the Foo Fighters. The priority ended with the war and it was discovered that the Foo Fighters were not an Axis development. These became unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP). All this was covered in The Government UFO Files that was published a couple of years ago.

But sightings didn’t end. In 1946, first in Finland, then Sweden, and finally all of Scandinavia and Europe, people were seeing what they called the Ghost Rockets. These were described more as rockets, some resembling the V-weapons developed by the Nazis, than they were as spaceships. Sightings continued into the late summer until various Scandinavian governments imposed a news blackout and without new stories about the Ghost Rockets published, the sightings seemed to end.

A streak of light that was thought to be one of the Ghost Rockets.
Today it is believed to be a meteor.
The sightings, however, did interest American intelligence. The thinking was that it might be some sort of Soviet development that demonstrated a new technology taken from Germany. Decades later it was learned that the Soviets had made no such development, but that didn’t mean that interest wasn’t high in 1946. An American intelligence officer, Colonel Howard McCoy, was one of those given the task of identifying the Ghost Rockets.

In late 1946, according to research done by Wendy Connors and Michael Hall, McCoy was given orders to establish an unofficial study of these UAPs. He set up an office at Wright Field with locked doors, very limited access and began gathering new reports. One of the best came from the Richmond (Virginia) Weather Station beginning on April 1, 1947. This was a series of sightings that included, according to the tales told, disk-like objects made by several different witnesses. It is important because it demonstrates an interest in these UAPs at the highest level of the military command structure that preceded the Kenneth Arnold sighting of late June 1947.

When the Arnold sighting was reported by the national press, the unofficial investigation became official. Investigations of sightings began by military officers, scientists and even FBI agents. In September, Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining, commanding officer of the Air Materiel Command, issued a letter that suggested the phenomena, that is the UAPs, were something real and not illusionary or fictitious. He ordered the creation of a project to investigate these flying saucers. Contrary to popular opinion, or rather what the news media is reporting today, that was not the beginning of Project Blue Book but of Project Sign. It began official operation in 1948. The officer who wrote the draft of the letter and the recommendations was Colonel Howard McCoy, the man who had been involved with them for years. This demonstrates a link from the Foo Fighters of the Second World War and this new project begun in 1947.

In the beginning, the project name, Sign, was classified with the public being told it was Project Saucer. That point will become important later. Many if not most of those involved in Sign believed that there was alien visitation and created an “Estimate of the Situation,” to prove it. Using the best evidence available they assembled the Top Secret document that was sent up the chain of command to General Vandenberg. Vandenberg  didn’t believe that the evidence proved the case for flying saucers. The Estimate was ordered declassified and then destroyed. While it might seem backwards, that is to declassify the report and then destroy it, by doing it that way, no record of it was created. In other words, destruction of Top Secret material required documentation to prove the document had been properly destroyed but by declassifying it first, no such documentation was required. This is just another indication that everything about UFOs was not above the board and that there was secrecy involved.

Those left at Sign, after a house cleaning that saw those who had written the report removed from the project, eventually issued a final report suggesting that there was nothing to the flying saucers that couldn’t be explained in the mundane. There was nothing more to be done and the impression left was that the Air Force had concluded its study which was something that was announced. In fact, the code name was changed to Project Grudge, and the investigations continued. Eventually, Grudge produced a long final report which again suggested that UFOs were explainable even though there was a large body of reported sightings that were not identified. The project was then nearly abandoned with little being done thought it still, technically, existed.

Grudge then evolved into Project Blue Book with renewed interest after a series of radar sightings. For about 18 months, through the summer of 1952, the effort was in gathering solid information and investigating the sightings in an unbiased manner. But old habits die hard and Blue Book became nothing more than a public relations project with the goal of explaining sightings. Air Force regulations, particularly AFR 80-17 provided for releasing UFO information if the sighting had a plausible explanation but requiring the information to be classified if no explanation had been found. Questions about these unexplained sightings were directed to a higher authority.

In October 1957, according to documentation found in the Blue Book files, another project was created known as Moon Dust. The mission of Moon Dust was to recover falling space debris of foreign manufacture or of unknown origin. Moon Dust did have a responsibility for investigating UFOs which fell under the unknown origin banner. We know this because of documents released under FOIA from the Department of State as well as information in the Blue Book files. I have found four cases from September 1960 in the Blue Book files marked Moon Dust. Granted, they are probably explainable by meteors or other natural phenomena, but they are found in the files of the Air Force UFO investigation and they are marked “Moon Dust.”

During the 1960s, it is clear from the documentation in the Blue Book administrative files, there was an effort to end the investigation, though it could be suggested it was an effort to end the public face of UFO investigation by the Air Force. The University of Colorado and Dr. Edward U. Condon, accepted a grant to investigate UFOs. While it was suggested that it was an unbiased investigation, documentation exists proving that it was anything but that. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hippler provided instructions to Condon that suggested that they find there was no threat to national security, there was nothing to the reports of scientific interest, and the Air Force had done a good job investigating sightings. Condon himself, at a speaking engagement in Corning, New York, told the audience that he was ready to find those things but he wasn’t supposed to do that for another 18 months. In December, 1969, Project Blue Book was closed and there were no UFO investigations sanctioned by the US government, at least according to public knowledge.

In the long report released at the time, Condon wrote, “We have no evidence of secrecy concerning UFO reports.” This is a strange statement given that one of the Committee’s scientists, who was investigating sightings at Maelstrom Air Force Base was told by the UFO officer there that he couldn’t discuss the sightings because of national security. There were other files, now declassified that were clearly marked as “Secret.”

But what about Moon Dust, you might ask? Did it end in 1969 when Blue Book was closed? The answer is, “No,” and the documentation found through FOIA proved that. Even though many documents about it were in the hands of UFO researchers, in 1985, the Air Force told US Senator Jeff Bingaman that such a project had never existed. Presented with documents from the Department of State, the Air Force amended their response, suggesting that the project had never been used. Based on other documentation, that proved to be untrue as well. It must be noted that the deployment of Moon Dust personnel in a number of cases did not seem to recover anything proving alien visitation but the real point is the project did exist, it did deploy and when asked, the Air Force denied these things.

In 1985, Robert Todd, a UFO skeptic, filed a FOIA request asking about the follow-on project to Moon Dust. He was told that the new code name was properly classified and could not be released. In other words, he wasn’t told no such project existed, only that it was classified under a new name.

I haven’t mentioned the Robertson Panel of January 1953, which was a CIA project that had its conclusions and probably the final report written before the panel sessions ended. Their recommendation was that there was nothing to the UFO reports and that a program of debunking should be started. For those who wish more detail, I have outlined all this in The Government UFO Files.

Tom DeLonge
What all this have to do with Tom DeLonge and the most recent revelation about a secret military study of UFOs you might ask? Well, it shows a long list of deceit at the hands of the military and other governmental agencies. It demonstrates some of the cracks in that secrecy that have long been ignored by the mainstream media because of their distaste for stories of alien visitation. It shows that the government has actually lied about the situation time and again and that while they might have claimed that there were no secret UFO studies or files (just look at what the Condon Committee had to say about that even when access to a specific UFO case was requested, they were told it was classified) that turned out not to be true.

What we have learned over the last several days is that much of the 22 million in funding for this new UFO project, landed with Las Vegas based businessman Robert Bigelow. He has been developing a space technology and it seems that he wanted the UFO reports as a way of deducing the propulsion systems being used by the UFOs. That much of the study focused on reports from the military, especially military pilots, indicates that they were looking for something more than just reports of lights in the night sky or strange blobs seen in the daylight. If something could be learned about the dynamics of UFO flight, then progress might be made in developing a system that would duplicate it. It is sort of a back-engineering task (and I use that term advisedly) because it would seem that if they learned something about the exhaust or the maneuvering of the UFO, they might also be able to learn something about the propulsion.

But none of that is as important as the implications of all this which is why I spent time explaining the history of UFO research as conducted by the US government and military for about three-quarters of a century. We have seen how the government kept the general public in the dark about those investigations, often saying one thing and doing another. They announced the close of the investigations on several occasions but kept right on working. They said there was nothing to the reports, yet kept gathering and classifying those that couldn’t be explained while announcing solutions to the others. The denied the classified studies and as we have seen, there were those studies made. And, they engaged in a program of ridiculing those who claimed to see UFOs, often suggesting they were uneducated people who might have had a drinking problem when the truth was that the higher the education, the less likely it was for the sighting to be a misidentification of a mundane object.

Now we learn, through Tom DeLonge’s organization and some of those supporting him who were, at one time, highly-placed individuals, that another, multi-million-dollar study was undertaken, the funding hidden in the black budget. But what seems to have been missed in all this was that if all the research conducted in the past proved there was no alien visitation, as we have been told, and if there was nothing hidden by various government agencies or in their files who had studied UFOs for decades, then why did we waste 22 million dollars on an investigation that was sure to fail? If the evidence was really as poor as we have been told, and if there was nothing to suggest otherwise, was this money a gift to Bigelow and his corporation and others who were involved? If there was nothing to find, then what was the real purpose of all this?

Steve Bassett
I had one other thought that probably thrills Steve Bassett and the Disclosure crowd, which I don’t think that anyone has mentioned. This is actually the first time that the government admitted there was something to this idea of alien visitation and had spent so much money so quickly on an attempt to learn more. It was the first time that they actually, almost, endorsed a sighting report of an attempted intercept by American military aircraft without providing some ridiculous explanation such as those offered for a variety of credible reports. It might suggest the first cracks in the stone wall of denial that we have been subjected to since many of us became interested in UFOs.

What this latest revelation suggests is a subtle change in attitude. There was no denial by the military or the government and the main stream media seemed to take the announcement as somewhat important. Rather than treat the news with the disdain they normally show for UFO related stories, they seemed to be interested in it. That they don’t know much about the whole of UFOs, and can’t seemed to be bothered to even look it up at Wikipedia, they did treat it seriously.

So, does this indicate a relaxation of the curtain of ridicule? Does it suggest that more information about UFOs might be coming? Are we being told that something of a scientific value might be learned by studying UFO reports, even if that doesn’t lead us to alien visitation? Those are the questions that need to be answered.

There is one other thing that I should note here. Those at the highest levels were looking at this as a way of learning something about the propulsion used by the UFOs. That indicates that they know more about it than they are letting on because if that wasn’t the case, then it was nearly a crime to spend 22 million dollars on a study they had to know what fail. The only way this makes any sense is if they believed that such a study would produce results and the only way they could believe that was if they suspected that some UFO sightings might be of advanced technical craft. The only way any of this makes sense is if they know something about UFOs that they haven’t told us. And that is the real revelation.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Socorro UFO Landing - Fused Sand and More

There have been questions raised about aspects of this case that are buried in documentation that can be found in many locations. Given the questions about Mary Mayes and the "fused sand," I thought I would publish some of that documentation to prove its existence and let others bring their own interpretations to it. First up is from The A.P.R.0. Bulletin of May, 1964, and provides one of the hints about how extensive the search of the landing site was on the first night.

Next up is a letter from Charles Moore to James McDonald about what was found on the night of the landing. This addresses some of the issues about Mary Mayes, but also shows that others were there before her and none of them saw the fused sand that she mentioned to Stan Friedman. It also provides some commentary on the soil analysis, though the comments are not very extensive.

And here is page two, which might be more relevant.

Please note the name of another who visited the site on the evening of April 24, and who made a careful examination of the landing area. While the information is from Charles Moore, it does reflect what he had been told by John Reiche about his examination of the site. It also provides more information about the search for the fused sand.

Soil samples collected by Captain Richard Holder were turned over to Dr. J. Allen Hynek for analysis. The Air Force provided information about that, though it was not very comprehensive.

Finally, in what might explain why Mayes would have told the tale to Friedman, there is this newspaper article. This is, of course, speculation on my part, but when I saw the clipping, I thought immediately of motivation for inventing a tale. Granted, it is speculation, but it is the first document that I have seen that addresses the issue.

This is from an Albuquerque newspaper and it has been suggested that Mayes was a student in Albuquerque at one time. She could have seen the article, but I freely admitted that this is a stretch. I just thought I would mention it.

If I find other documents that seem relevant to the case, I'll publish them here. I will note that each of these documents is protected by copyright.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mary Mayes and the Fused Sand... Again

I had planned on this being just a note attached in the comments, but there was too much information and I thought the illustrations were important to understanding this aspect of the case.

There is absolutely no evidence that Mary Mayes found the fused sand at the landing site. I have been back over the 400 pages of Blue Book files (both the official files and the unofficial briefing files) and the evidence shows that there was no fused sand seen or recovered by anyone other than the claim of Mayes.

Captain Richard Holder was there on the night of the landing, and with his soldiers and others, made extensive measurements of the scene as well as illustrations of what was found where. He wrote in his report that very night, “…Sgt. Castle, NCOIC SRC, M.P. who then accompanied us to the site and assisted in taking the enclosed measurements and observations.”

Although I had been looking for the five-page report that Holder had filed, looking at the way the documentation was structured in that unofficial file, meaning with Holder’s one-page written report followed by a number of illustrations, it is clear that these are the missing pages. They include a detailed drawing of the landing pad impressions, other markings, the locations of the various bushes, and importantly, a note that said, “No other indications of a blast – i.e. – A thrust force – were noted – no other charring, indentations – or other disturbances were noted!”
On another page is the note, “This was determined (estimated) by examining the grass – roots & bushes in the area.”

What we have there is an illustration that located for us, where the various burns were found, including an apparent direction of the heat. What was not listed on this was anything about fused or melted sand. It is clear that a careful examination of the site was made by Holder and others prior to J. Allen Hynek and Ray Stanford arriving a couple of days later. These are the illustrations.

In his long report, Colonel Eric T. de Jonckheere, wrote, “On the evening of 24 April 1964 Sgt. Chavez of the New Mexico State Police accompanied by Agent Burns (sic) of the FBI and Capt Richard Holder conducted a search of the area surrounding the sighting. There were no automobile tire marks or markings of any sort in the area other than those located at the site of the alleged landing and so noted in Holder’s report.”

In that same document, he wrote, “The soil samples obtained at the sighting were given to J Allen Hynek by Capt Holder. They were turned over to Captain Quintanilla who in turn submitted them to ASD for analysis. Laboratory analysis of the soil was completed on 19 May 64. It included spectrographic analysis which revealed that there was no foreign material in the soil samples. Also, no chemicals were detected in the charred or burned soil which would indicate a type of propellant. There was no significant difference in the elemental composition between the different samples.”

This should be enough to convince most people that no sign of the fused sand had been found during the initial investigations and that the site had been carefully searched on April 24. This was prior to Mary Mayes arriving sometime the next day, though we don’t know what time she arrived or how she found the landing site without communicating with one of the principals in the case such as Lonnie Zamora, Sam Chavez, Richard Holder or Arthur Byrnes.

The other, almost unacknowledged problem with the Mayes’ tale, is that there is no evidence in support of it other than Mayes’ own, well, tale. She said she was there the next day, but there is no testimony to support that. She said that she found an area of fused sand but no one else reported it, and we do have the testimony of several of those on the site who refute that. They examined the area carefully, according to the documents available, looking for just that sort of thing, but didn’t see it. She said that she examined the fused sand but unnamed officers came and took it all away. She has no evidence to support that.

Charles Moore, on learning about the fused sand from James McDonald, went to the landing site and carefully searched it again, looking for signs of high heat. It seems highly unlikely that had high heat been applied to the area that there would be a single area of fused sand and that Mayes would have been able to gather every scrap to suggest that high heat. Moore, who actually had his own UFO sighting in 1949 that was carried as an unidentified in the Project Blue Book files, would not be inclined to lie about this.

Remember, Moore wrote, “As I told you earlier, I screened the dirt in the arroyo bottom in an effort to find any evidence of fused material and found nothing that suggested the spalling off of rhyolite, melting of any vesicular lava nor the fusing of any sand. While it is true that the arroyo is subject to washing during summer thunderstorms, the fragments of the burned bush are still there, and I examined carefully the vicinity of the roots of the burned bush but found no evidence of fusing heat.”

It does seem that Mayes was familiar with the area, it does seem that she was attending college in Albuquerque, and that family members, or rather one, had gone to school in Socorro. She gave Sam Chavez and Raymond Senn as references but neither said they knew her. Don provided some evidence that Mayes’ family (Rumpf) did know Senn but we have to compare that with what was said. Both denied that they knew her.

In the end, all that can be said is that the Mayes’ tale does not agree with any other aspect of the case. I believe it to be untrue, told for reasons that only Mayes knew. Maybe it was just a way to intrigue Stan Friedman after a lecture. She didn’t seem all that interested in pursuing it and might have been surprised when McDonald contacted her. At any rate, and all speculation aside, there is nothing to support the tale and a great deal of evidence to suggest that we reject it