Friday, July 12, 2024


Did Herbert Dick Lie about Being on the Plains of San Agustin?

Blogger's note: For some bizarre reason this controversy has erupted again. This is a repost of a posting made a couple of years ago about it. The important point is that I am the only researcher to actually speak with Herbert Dick and I know what he said. Not once did he "categorically lie" about being on the Plains of San Agustin. He confirmed he had been working there in July 1947 but he wasn't sure when he arrived. Ironically, the letter found by Art Campbell, putting Dick on the Plains on July 1, argues against the idea of a UFO crash. We are today, right where we were a couple of years ago. Barney Barnett is the only known witness. Those mentioning the crash on the Plains, such as the Vern and Jean Maltais heard the story from Barnett but didn't see anything themselves. So, once again, is what my research has provided that includes my recovery of the Ruth Barnett diary courtesy of Alice Knight, my interviews with the men who worked the Plains in July 1947, and Tom Carey and Don Schmitt's personal research into this. The truth of the matter is that Herbert Dick did not lie.

A fellow identifying himself as Lemurian is often commenting here but most of those comments don’t see the light of day. That’s because they’re just nasty and often appended to the wrong posting. It’s as if he just clicks on one and then writes whatever moves him regardless of the topic. I delete them because they are nasty and inappropriate. Recently, however, he did provide a comment that wasn’t nasty, only inappropriate. He suggested that we all access a website that contained information about the Barney Barnett aspect of the Roswell case. You can access that story here:

While the story is interesting, it is also somewhat misleading, and it is filled with misinformation. Please note here that I said “Misinformation,” rather than “Disinformation.” There is a difference.

Rather than go through this one segment at a time, I’ll just make a few general comments. First, there are no other first-hand witnesses to the Barnett tale. The archaeologists have never been found and the Gerald Anderson story, sometimes used to bolster the case, is a hoax. Anderson is little more than a footnote in the overall picture. He destroyed his own credibility by lying about his Naval career and forging a number of documents. For those interested you can read about it here (You’ll need to scroll down a bit to find the relevant segment:

I spoke with Fleck Danley, who was instrumental in providing a date for the Plains of San Agustin crash that Barnett had discussed. It was clear to me, that Danley had no real idea of when the alleged discussion with Barnett took place. Danley was pushed into agreeing with the July 1947 date by Bill Moore so that there would be a tale of alien bodies for his book, The Roswell Incident. Without Barnett, they had only stories of strange metal and the Army’s efforts to recover the debris and change the narrative.

Barnett’s wife, Ruth, kept a diary for 1947. It was, apparently, the only year in which she did that. I was able to obtain the diary from Alice Knight, Barnett’s niece, so that we might copy it. There is no mention of any event on the Plains that suggest Barnett was involved in anything unusual or strange. In fact, the only date in the diary that works, meaning that Barnett was out of his office and over in the area of the Plains to see the crashed saucer is on July 2, 1947. If we follow the conventional wisdom, that is a day too early because the Roswell crash took place later.

Although the counterargument is that Barnett wouldn’t have shared this startling information with his wife so we wouldn’t read about in the diary, there are no indications of anything unusual happening at the time. Barney didn’t come home upset, didn’t suggest anything out of the ordinary. Just that he’d been out of the office that day. Later, however, we see that Barnett told many people the story of crash including friends and family. You can read about this aspect of the case in Roswell in the 21st Century. I will note here that no one has ever found a document in which any of that was discussed. You would think that someone would have written something that would provide a little corroboration in the proper time frame. Instead, all we have are memories that were decades old when they were finally discussed and Barnett had been dead for those decades.

There is one interesting point here. Although nearly everyone who discusses the story places it on the Plains of San Agustin, in reality, according to Jean Maltais, Barnett’s description was somewhat vague about the location. She only mentioned “the flats,” which could mean any number of places in New Mexico. Most ignore this minor glitch in the tale to focus on the Plains.

But let’s get to the meat of this claim. Tony Bragalia wrote about Dr. Herbert Dick, “While considering various archaeologists, researchers uncovered Harvard-trained Dr Herbert Dick. Dick was a noted archaeologist who passed away in 1992. Some years before his death however, he was located and questioned. Dick categorically denied that he had ever worked around the Plains of San Augustin region in July of 1947 (highlight added). Dick had told researchers he had not been there, telling one of them, "If I knew anything I would have told you." One of his dig party, Jeff Morris, also denied it. These denials were reported in early 1990's issues of the publication IUR – International UFO Reporter and elsewhere.”

Much of this is inaccurate. I did talk to Herbert Dick about this and rather than “categorically [denying] that he had ever worked about the Plains of San Augustin (sic),” the truth is that he wasn’t sure exactly when he arrived there in July 1947. What he denied was that he had seen any sort of a UFO crash retrieval operation on the Plains. This was not reported in the IUR as claimed.

Dick told me (not one of them) that if he knew anything about this, he’d tell me. What is important here that another member of his team denied that “it,” meaning, here, I suppose, that they had seen nothing suggesting a flying saucer crash. This was not reported in the IUR.

Although Bragalia wrote, “It turns out though that Dick had lied [highlight added] to these researchers when he was interviewed by them. In 2006 a revealing letter was uncovered by researcher Art Campbell. Campbell has been active in the UFO field for decades, including with NICAP. He is the author of "UFO Crash at San Augustin" and maintains the UFO Crash Book website. The documents that he discovered confirm that Dick had not told the truth. Dick was in fact at the Plains at the very time that he said that he was not.” As we have seen, Dick had told me he was on the Plains in July 1947, he just wasn’t sure exactly when he arrived.

Bragalia went even further, when he wrote, “A thorough search of records finds that no other group of archaeologists were working on the Plains in early July of 1947 except Herbert Dick and party – and Dick lied that [highlight added] he was even there. Lies are used [highlight added] to cover up the truth by those who wish to evade it. To have ever spoken of the event, Dick may have felt that he could have risked a security breach, his own professional advancement, future professional credibility, award of grant monies or – later in life – damage to his impressive professional legacy.”

But Dick didn’t lie. In an interview I conducted on June 23, 1991, Dick told me that he had worked in the area called Bat Cave on the southeastern edge of the Plains in 1947. He just wasn’t sure exactly when he arrived. The letters and notes found by Art Campbell, showed that he had arrived in time to have seen the crash, had it taken place on July 2, and would have been in a position to see the recovery operation in the days that followed, had there been one.

Don Schmitt at one of the alleged Plains of San Agustin crash sites. The Bat Cave
is across the Plains in the mountains seen behind Don.

I provided this information to Stan Friedman, telling him that Dick had been at the Bat Cave on July 1. Friedman’s response? He said we didn’t know how far back in the cave they were working and we didn’t know which way the cave faced. I told him that it faced to the west and that they wouldn’t be very deep because they were researching human habitation. Humans would have been very close to the mouth of the cave because to move in deeper would have put them in darkness. Besides, according to the information, the only level spot for camping was about a hundred yards from the mouth of the cave. They had a panoramic view of the whole of the Plains and the alleged crash site in the days prior to that alleged crash and of the recovery operation had there been one.

The point is that Bragalia’s speculations about Dick are not borne out in the interview I conducted with the man. According to Bragalia himself, he was using information provided by Campbell and the source mentioned, the International UFO Reporter, does not contain this information. Instead, it comes from Art Campbell’s analysis of the situation which is highly speculative. Campbell mentioned a paper found in The Magdalena Fact Book. This was a document that I created for the single meeting in Chicago to discuss the problems with the Plains of San Agustin tale. The book was created for the meeting, there were only five copies and I have one of them. I’m surprised that Campbell had seen a copy of it and can only guess that it was Friedman who showed it to him.

The real point here is that the information about Dick’s involvement, that he lied repeatedly about what he was doing and where he was, is inaccurate. Dick wasn’t confused. He had forgotten the exact date he arrived. He was quite candid in his conversation with me about where he was and what he was doing. What Dick’s statements do, corroborated by the documentation from by Campbell, is destroy the remaining threads of the Gerald Anderson claims of what he had seen on the Plains, and calls into question that Barnett saw anything there in the summer of 1947.

Dick denied the involvement because there was no involvement. I can say this with confidence because I talked to the man. I don’t have to rely on what others have said or written. I have the first-hand source, that trumps all the second and third-hand reports and all the speculation that permeates Bragalia’s article.

Bragalia’s analysis here is more of the same sort of over-the-top rhetoric we’ve seen before. He has taken some poorly researched information and created a scenario in his mind that fits into his theory. He writes in a fashion that suggests he knows what is going on, but a careful reading and an examination of all the facts, including my interview with Dick, show the flaws in his theory. He even cites a source that doesn’t exist.

One more thing for those of you of a conspiratorial mindset. According to Dick, he knew Winfred Buskirk (Anderson’s archaeologist on the Plains) in the 1940s. Since both were working on their PhDs at the time, and both were in New Mexico (well, Buskirk was working in Arizona in the summer of 1947, he lived in Albuquerque), it is not surprising. I just thought I’d mention it to stir the pot and before someone creates another whole scenario about government secrecy and lying anthropologists.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Don Ecker, David Rudiak, Threats of a Lawsuit and an Anomalous Video


In the last couple of weeks, I have interviewed Don Ecker and David Rudiak. Both have been around the UFO field for a long time. Ecker was, at one time, the Director of Research for UFO. Rudiak has spent years studying the Ramey Memo which could be the smoking gun for the Roswell case. You can watch the Ecker interview here:

Or, if you don’t want to watch the two of chat about the field and the new threats of lawsuits, you can listen to it here:

It is near the end of the program that we mention the current crop of lawsuits launched by one man who has tried this before. Nothing ever came from those earlier lawsuits and nothing will come from these latest threats. Clearly the  man has no concept of the “Clean Hands Doctrine.”

However, most of the program is taken up by a discussion of the current state of UFO research, and where it might be going. Ecker has a great deal of knowledge that makes a compelling case for his points of view.

For those interested in the latest about the Ramey Memo and what David Rudiak has learned by applying AI to his investigation, you can watch that here:

Or, you can listen to it here:

The program deals with the document held by Brigadier General Roger Ramey as he crouches near the debris allegedly retrieve on the Roswell UFO crash site. We know when the picture was taken, by whom and what the newspaper articles said about it.

Lastly, there is a video that was taken near my house that shows some sort of an anomalous light.  You can watch the video here:

There are security cameras around my house that are tripped by motion. Last week, at 12:24 a.m., a deer crossing the driveway tripped one of the cameras. Behind the deer was a blob of light floating above the vacant lot across the street. The light seems to be behind the deer and the light can be seen reflecting on a portion of the driveway. As the deer walks out of the camera range, the light drifts up and out of frame.

I don’t know what the light is. There is no light source in that area and I have never seen anything like it. The other lights, on the houses and the streetlight to the right side of the video, all remain stationary. Given the distances to the trees in front of which the light floats, the light isn’t more than 18 to 24 inches in diameter. The distance from the camera is about 60 or 70 feet.

I’m posting a photograph taken in the daylight to show the area when the light hovered. There is no source for the light there. I have checked that area several times, on several days and several nights, including at the time the light appeared. There is no repeat of the light.

The area where the light drifted. There is no source of light there.

While this is not any sort of alien craft, it is something anomalous. I have no idea what it is. Nothing appeared on any of the other cameras and I have no other footage of the light. If anyone has a clue about the light, let me know.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Moon Dust Documents Online

 Back in 1969, the Condon Committee declared that there was nothing of scientific value that could be learned by further study of flying saucers. The Air Force closed Project Blue Book and the implication was that the government was no longer investigating UFOs.

Dr. Edward Condon, who had the conclusions of the
investigation before it had even started.

Although unknown in 1969, the real point of the Condon Committee study was to remove public interest in flying saucers and allow the Air Force to close its unclassified investigation. This is a somewhat simplistic way of looking at the situation, but it was a direct outcome of the conclusions drawn by the committee. You can read more about this in my book, cleverly entitled, Project Moon Dust which was rewritten and revised in 2022. I have also addressed Moon Dust on this blog several times and you can read some of that here:

Anyway, the conclusions drawn by Condon were not true and we learned in 1984 that there was something called Moon Dust that had a UFO component. The best information I have is that Moon Dust began in October 1957 after the Soviet launch of Sputnik. The purpose was to recover returning space debris of foreign manufacture and unknown origin. That unknown origin was off-world craft. How do I know… I found Moon Dust reports in the Blue Book files and there have been several Moon Dust responses launched to investigate UFO sightings that involved some sort of debris recovery.

Oh, I should note that Moon Dust continued until the mid-1980s when the name was compromised inadvertently by the State Department. At that point the name was changed and FOIA requests were met with the statement that the new name was properly classified, which made learning more about Moon Dust nearly impossible.

This brief background is to note that many Moon Dust documents are now available on line. I have published some in various books, as has other researchers. I updated my book on Moon Dust, which provides a more comprehensive look at the material. You can now review many of these original Moon Dust documents here:

Before we leave this discussion, I should point out that the first link above suggests there was no Project Moon Dust but that Moon Dust was the code name for attempts to recover returning space debris. In other words, when there was some sort of UFO incident, and investigation would be conducted, an officer at the nearest base would be assigned as the project officer and reports would be written using the code word Moon Dust. However, there was no on-going project. It was activated as needed. When the code words Moon Dust were compromised, they were changed to something else. I believe all this becomes clear in the links provided above.

One further note. Type Moon Dust into the search engine on this blog and you’ll find additional articles that show the evolution of research into Moon Dust. I suppose, at some point, I should consolidate all that information into a single, cohesive article, which I might do at some point. Just not right now.

And one other point. There is a document that I found in the Blue Book files that provided a date for the beginning of Moon Dust. I wasn’t able to make a copy of it, given the microfilm reader I was using at the time, but I wrote down the specifics. Our research would benefit from finding that document again. To assist in the search, you can read about that here:

The final point here is that research never seems to end and there are many rabbit holes for us to go down. Anyway, one of the best contributions to our understanding of Moon Dust might by finding that document again. The best clue I have is that I was doing research in the November 1957 UFO sightings, and was looking through the administrative documents from that period. That specific message might be in one of the case files from Blue Book, or in the administrative documents that file boxes and boxes

Monday, May 27, 2024

Car Stalling and a Bungled Project Blue Book Investigation

Here’s a journey that began similarly to the chasing footnotes that I sometimes do on this blog. I was looking at a Project Blue Book report that suggested two men observed an Unidentified object on March 29, 1952. The close approach of the UFO stalled their car but when the object shot off into the distance, they were able to restart it.

According to the Blue Book file, those two men whose names were redacted were George Tyler (though in the in the Blue Book index he’s identified as Taylor) and Donald Stewart. A somewhat comprehensive report was prepared for General John Ackerman, the Deputy Director of Air Force Intelligence and the incident was given a top priority.

The "Dear General" letter from the Blue Book files.

Page 2 of the letter.

Page 3 with the redacted signature block.

Tyler and Stewart were driving toward Baltimore when they heard a roaring noise overhead. They saw a disk-shaped object that the driver, apparently Stewart, said was pancake shaped. The object dived toward them at high speed and stopped about 200 feet overhead. The UFO was fifty feet in diameter and according to the report that started this investigation had “a bubble-like aperture, and that its edges were a pale green luminescence and a luminous after trail [that] pulsated.”

The important point here is that as the UFO hovered over the car for about two minutes, the car engine stalled. According to one of the witnesses, probably Stewart, there was another car that was also stalled. Either Tyler or Stewart shouted at the witnesses but they rolled up their windows and locked their doors. When the UFO suddenly disappeared flying toward Annapolis, those other witnesses were able to drive off. At that point, Tyler and Stewart were able to start their car.

According to this report, the Air Force investigation revealed that there were other witnesses who heard the strange noises that night, but none had gone outside to identify the cause.

That investigation also led to other witnesses who knew the driver whose background was shady. Some believed him and others thought that he made up the story and there were indications that Tyler hadn’t seen anything.

This was, according to that original source, the first Project Blue Book case in which a stalled car was reported. That seemed to suggest that the story was a hoax, though there were independent reports of UFOs acting in a similar fashion to the one described by Stewart on other occasions. That is the vertical, high-speed dive toward the ground that stopped abruptly.

The first thing to be done, because this was a case reported to Project Blue Book, was to check that file. The investigation was detailed in a long letter written on April 24, 1952. It began with “Dear General,” and mentioned that it was about Flying Saucers. It listed a witness but the name was redacted effectively enough that I can’t be sure which witness this was. Information in another report in the file suggests that redacted name was Stewart.

According to the letter, the sighting was made late on Saturday, 19 April 1952 (which we know is incorrect and there was a parenthetical statement correcting the date to 29 March 1952, which is also incorrect). Later information suggested the true date was March 15, 1952. That’s based on a newspaper article that appeared in the Baltimore American on March 16. I’m not sure why this wasn’t picked up by Blue Book because Ed Ruppelt, the chief of Blue Book, subscribed to a clipping service that allegedly provided him with all the newspaper articles about UFOs that were being published in the United States.

That letter continued laying out the initially reported details of the sighting. It said:

He [the driver, Stewart] heard a roaring sound overhead like a huge vacuum cleaner gone wild. Looking out he saw overhead a great disk “high” shaped like a pancake. Suddenly it turned on edge and with great speed it plummeted down till it reached about 200 ft. over the car. The disk, seen from its ends, had a large bubble with an aperture like porthole. Witness was too frightened to observe any faces. The edges were ‘pale green luminescence and a luminous aftertrail [sic] pulsated”. The object hovered about two minutes over the automobile which in the meantime had become immobilized. Suddenly the disk took off in a rapid flight “toward Gibson Island or Annapolis”. Opposite a yellow automobile proceeding toward Annapolis was similarly immobilized. Witness shouted at the occupants, a young man and woman who closed their windows and appeared to lock their doors, but a minute or so later started their engine and took off. Witness interviewed by Lou Corbin, a radio station (WFBR) announcer. Corbin is a reserve CIC officer and up to date in keeping the story. Corbin first phoned a technical friend at Glen L. Martin’s and received an impression that he took the story seriously but did not give any logical explanation. Corbin intends to go over the car engine with a Geiger counter because the car now gives off a “rough rattle and a garage mechanic said that the metal appears magnetized.

With that, the writer of the letter, whose name had been redacted as well, turned to recommendations. It was simply that Corbin be present when the witness was interviewed because he “can be trusted to keep any investigation a secret.” I’m not sure why that ability would be important and why it meant that Corbin should be included in the investigation. Corbin, I believe is a retired colonel, which might explain that.

In a- later longer report written by Special Agent Boyce Royal, we do learn more about this aspect of the investigation. The name of the man who conducted the examination of the car was redacted but a Routing and Record sheet suggests that it was Royal.

An engineer employed in the Engineering Department Radioactive Detection Division, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, who was interviewed on May 10, 1952, provided additional information:

… during the latter part of April 1952 he examined the automobile described in the above paragraph [that is Stewart’s car] with a geiger [sic] counter and could detect no radioactive reaction. He also stated that he examined the engine and all working parts of the automobile and was unable to detect any unusual defects or characteristics. He stated that the automobile had been repainted and that he was inclined to disbelieve the incident as it was related to him.

It must be noted that there is inaccurate information in that paragraph. According to the information available, “There was no indication in the records that the car had been repainted. Mr. [name redacted, but probably Stewart] stated that the car was still the same green color; however, he could not state as to whether it had been recently repainted.”

There was the mention of other witnesses, all with their names redacted. Working from the newspaper article, the first witnesses listed are George Mason and his son John.  The street address was redacted but the city is the one where they lived and the mention of the Stony Creek Bridge is another match. According to the report, “Witnesses claim to have seen a great airborne disk about 50 ft. in diameter between 10 and 11 p.m. Saturday April 19, ‘over Stoney Creek Bridge’. Disk had luminescence edges and gave off an unsteady luminous green exhaust. Disk was seen about 200 ft. in the air and took off with the speed exceeding that of a jet plane toward Annapolis.” 

However, the date of the sighting is wrong. Both Mason and his son are mentioned in the March 16 newspaper article. That proves that the date of their sighting was not April 19 and that would complicate the investigation.

I’m not sure of the importance of those other witnesses listed after the Masons because, those sightings are reported to have happened on April 19. But we’ve seen that the whole case was originally dated April 19 and then March 29. Both of those dates are wrong for the Tyler and Stewart sighting and for the Mason and son sighting. These other sightings might have happened on April 19 and were appended here because the object seemed to be the same size, and maneuvered as the craft did in the other sightings.

In that same report provided by Royal, there is an interview with a retired colonel whose name is redacted but I suspect it might be Corbin. The problem here is that this unidentified colonel told Royal:

Col. [redated] informed the writer that he had attempted to locate [name reacted] and [name redacted, but are probably Mason and son] but had been unable to contact them. He stated that there was no street designed Yacht Club Road at Riviera Beach, Maryland, and that the nearest approximation of that name was Club Road. He further stated that there was only one residence on Club Road and that residence was presently occupied by a Mr. [name redacted] whom he was unable to contact.

Again, I’m not sure the relevance of this information. I will say that the address as given in the newspaper certainly could be inaccurate. The information seems to identify Mason and son, but the colonel (Corbin?) didn’t speak with them. Royal wrote that the interview with Corbin had taken place on May 13, which would have given the colonel plenty of time to find the men. I suspect that since he was not part of the official investigation, he made one or two attempts of contact the witnesses but simply didn’t care enough to waste any more time.

The last paragraph in “Dear General” letter said, “[Redated name], police say have had many similar incidents reported, but laugh them off. A news post telephone operator refused to be interested in Stewart’s story [Air Force censors missed this reference to one of the witnesses], said he had heard a ‘dozen similar’ incidents on Saturday evening and dismissed them all as halucinations [sic].”

This was the same response that law enforcement officers in Levelland made when the first sightings were reported there in November 1957. There were so many reports by dozens of witnesses that the sheriff along with members of the Texas Department of Public Safety eventually decided they should go out to look. They did encounter the object that was causing all the reports and there are suggestions that the sheriff got close enough that his car was stalled.

In a “Memo for Record of Baltimore Sighting,” dated May 11, there is more information. We learn something about the behind the scenes maneuvering when it comes to UFOs.  This report said that, “At 1700 hrs Lt Ruppelt [at the time the Chief of Project Blue Book] delivered a copy of the info to Col Free. [Lieutenant Colonel Free was, at that time assigned to OSI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.] Lt Ruppelt requested to accompany an investigator to interrogate the source but was unable to do so due to OSI policy.”

It seems strange that the officer whose job was to investigation UFOs would be denied permission to be present when the witnesses were interviewed… or should I say “Interrogated?” Interrogation is a much stronger word than interviewed and I wonder if the writer of the memo was aware of the difference. And it is strange that a man, probably Corbin, was allowed to participate in the investigation when the man officially charged with UFO investigation was denied permission to do so.

Anyway, Ruppelt was in contact with S/A Springer, who told Ruppelt that they had failed to locate the source though I’m not sure which source they meant. The theory was that he had taken off for the weekend and they would wait until Monday before trying to meet with him.

The Report of Investigation dated May 12, does take the investigation in a slightly different direction. Once again, the Air Force didn’t manage to redact all the names, and it seems, based on the report, that Stewart [name redacted except the “RT” of Stewart] and Tyler [fully exposed], “had observed unconventional type craft on 29 March 1952…”

Just one of the documents where a witness name is fully exposed. In
nearly every Blue Book file, you can find the names of the witnesses

Farther down, the document said, “[Redacted, but I believe on the size of the redaction and the context of the sentence, that this was Tyler] interviewed and confirmed the statement given by [name redacted but appeared to be Stewart based on the final “T” being in the clear], however, upon reinterview, Tyler admitted that he had not been with [redacted, but name begins STE] at time of the alleged sighting, and had not seen any such aircraft; advised that [redacted but obviously Stewart] had asked him to tell that story and that he had done so.”

On the second page of that report, it was noted that “FBI, Baltimore Field Office records reflect [name redacted but ends with a “T”] fired from employment… for placing a decal bearing Communist insignia on a truck belonging to firm by whom he was employed.”

Following all that, was a ten-page report that covered, in more detail, much that had been reported before. This is where the file becomes confusing. The redacting of the names of witnesses including those who had seen nothing but heard strange noises, and character witnesses, along with many dates of many sightings and interviews, makes it difficult to understand exactly what is being claimed.

On page three, we learn that Corbin was not a reserve CIC officer, “…however, he related that he had been an intelligence officer with the staff of General George S. Patton in Europe and that he presently holds an inactive commission as a lieutenant colonel…”

There is another document, supplied by Barry Greenwood that is not part of the Blue Book file. The Baltimore American reported on March 16, 1952, that a “hissing” flying saucer had been sighted. The first paragraph said:

A hissing, phosphorescent “flying saucer,” which “stood on edge and rolled across the sky” was reported passing “directly over the Stoney Creek bridge” at 10.55 p.m. Saturday (March 15, 1952) by two men, George Mason and his son John, 22, of Yacht Club road, Riviera Beach.

And here is where some of the confusion comes in. They were obviously not Tyler or Stewart. The next paragraph said;

A second report of the same object, or of a similar object at the same time, was phoned to the Sunday American later by Donald Stewart… and George Tyler… who said they were driving on the Ritchie highway when they observed the “saucer.”

This article means that the date on the file is wrong and that many of those other sightings reported have nothing to do with this sighting except that it suggests something unusual in the area on those other dates.

In the longer report, it was mentioned that [name redacted] Drawbridge Operator, Curtis Bay Bridge, was interviewed on 11 May 1952 and advised that [redacted] 1600 hours to 2400 hours shift. [Redacted] stated that he was on duty on the evening of 29th of March 1952 and that he had not observed, nor ever observed, any unconventional aircraft. [Redacted] further advised that he did not make a report to the Anne Arundale Police Department of such an incident.”

This testimony would be relevant if the sighting had been made on March 15, but as seen, that date is wrong. In fact, it seems that most of the negative interviews asked about the sighting using the incorrect March 29 date.

In paragraph 21 of the long report, there is an interview with a sixteen-year-old boy that casts some doubt on Stewart’s credibility. The boy said that he had been in the area on March 29 late at night, waiting for a bus. Stewart apparently offered him a ride and then told the boy about the UFO. Stewart asked the boy “to affirm that the report because he feared that no one would believe his story. [Redacted] advised that he called the newspapers, the Sun and the Post, to find out if anyone else reported the incident. He was told that there had been several reports made. Although the boy believed the story at that time, in May, when he was reinterviewed, he believed Stewart had made it up. Given the nature of the boy’s tale, it seems he would be the George Tyler and Donald Stewart would have been the driver.

There is one feature that wasn’t pursued. In the “Dear General” letter, there is a line that said, “Witness was too frightened to observe any faces.” What does that mean? Did the witness see shapes inside the porthole on the bubble? There is no follow up on this rather intriguing comment.

And there wasn’t much about the electromagnetic component of the case. Just the reference to the stalled car and the mechanic’s claim that the metal looked as if it had been magnetized. I’m not sure how you can look at a piece of metal and tell if it has been magnetized. There are simple tests to prove it, but looking at it isn’t one of them.

In Royal’s report, there is a comment made after the discussion with the retired colonel (Corbin?) who mentioned other possible witnesses, though the date mentioned is April 19. Paragraph 14, which follows, noted, “Attempts by the writer [Royal] to interview individuals named in the preceding paragraph met with negative results.”

I’m not sure if that means he was unable to locate and interview those witnesses or if he did find them and they had nothing to say. Of course, it doesn’t really matter since the date of that sighting does not match that of the original report. It also said, “…that he had included this information in his letter to General ACKERMAN only as miscellaneous data.”

On the Project Card for this case and in the Index of the Project Blue Book files, the case is labeled a hoax. That might be the result of Tyler (if I have guessed right about him being Stewart’s passenger) saying that he had been induced to support the tale but then recanting. And I might go along with that, except there was the independent sighting by the Masons, the Air Force got the date of the sighting wrong, and much of the testimony taken was irrelevant because of that wrong date.

In other words, we have a botched investigation, multiple reliable independent witnesses, statements that suggest many other witnesses having called the newspapers while still others called law enforcement and were ignored, and finally the interaction with the environment, meaning the stalling of the car engines. Given the information in the Project Blue Book files, this was not a hoax. It does suggest some of those off-world performances that AARO (All-domain Resolution Office) and others are looking for, but it doesn’t necessarily get us there.

What we really learn from this sighting is that the Air Force attempted a comprehensive investigation that led them to a conclusion of hoax. While that wasn’t the attitude of the Ruppelt era Project Blue Book, it certainly reflects the attitude that developed months later. I suppose the correct conclusion should be “Insufficient Data for a Scientific Analysis.” There is quite a bit of data in the file, but most of it is irrelevant. Had they gotten the date of the sighting correct, and used that date in their investigation, we might be able to reach a solid conclusion. In the end, this is another case that went off the rails and no one forced it back on them. It was another missed opportunity.

I want to thank both Robert Powell and Barry Greenwood for their assistance with this investigation. 

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Spitsbergen Crash/Retrieval and David Grusch

Few days ago, I got an email asking about a tale told by a retired Air Force officer, who claimed he had seen a classified message about a flying saucer crash on the island of Spitsbergen. My correspondent wanted to know if the story was true. I told him, absolutely. I believed the officer had seen the message and that it had been classified. It was at the lowest level of classification, but it was classified, and was about a flying saucer crash on the island.

You can see where the classified marking has been redacted
and the documents is now unclassified.

This tale, which has been around for more than half a century, got me to thinking. Could this be one of those twelve crashes that David Grusch had talked about last year? There is documentation for it and it has been reported in many UFO books and articles. It would be simple for some of those unnamed sources of Grusch’s to  have had heard the tale but hadn’t bothered to dig into it.

The initial tale, as it appeared in the Project Blue Book files, claimed that July 9, 1952, a Berlin newspaper, Saarbrucker Zeitung, reported that the Norwegian Air Force had recovered a flying saucer on Spitsbergen Island. According to the article, a translation of which is in the Air Force files, Norwegian Air Force Captain Olaf Larsen, happened to look down, then entered a dive and “On the white snowy landscape, the crusty surface of which had an icy glitter, there was a metallic, glittering circular disc of between 40- and 50-meters diameter, which was even brighter than the icy snow... While circling for 60 minutes, the jet pilots could neither detect any sign of life nor determine the origin or type of vehicle.”

Document from the Blue Book file giving the basics of the case.

Others, in five “flying boats” landed near the “bluish steel disc.” According to the article, “‘Undoubtedly one of the infamous flying saucers,’ claimed Dr. Norsel, a Norwegian rocket specialist...”

According to the report, the object had a diameter of 48.88 meters with slanting sides and was unmanned. It was made of an unknown metal compound. “After ignition, 46 automatic jets, located at equal distances on the outer ring, rotate around a plexiglass center ball that contains measuring and control devices for remote control, fired.”

The real problem here is that the article reports that the “measuring instruments (gauges) had Russian symbols... [and it] has sufficient room for high explosive bombs and possibly nuclear bombs.”

Finally, in what would make those who believe the Nazis had a flying saucer at the end of the Second World War happy, the report claimed, “After hearing of the description of the disc, the German V-weapon designer Riedel stated: ‘That’s a typical V-7 on whose serial production I have worked myself.’”

The article was signed only with the initials, J.M.M. Ole Jonny Braenne, a Scandinavian researcher tried to find the writer of that original report but was unable to do it. In an article published in the International UFO Reporter, Braenne wrote, “The author of the article... has proven untraceable. Newspaper archives have no useful information on the matter.”

This seems, then, to be the first appearance of the story of the Spitzbergen crash in any of its various editions. The important point here is that they, meaning either the journalists or the witnesses, weren’t talking about an interplanetary or interstellar craft, but something that had been created by the Soviets using technology stolen from the Germans after the Second World War. This is more of a story of an experimental craft that went astray than something from off-world..

Air Force officers, meaning here, I suspect, the Air Attache in the United States embassy, sent a teletype message reporting on what the newspaper said and requested additional information. None appears in the Blue Book files, but the case is labeled as a hoax by them. According to other sources, however, the Norwegian Air Force told the attaché that the story was definitely false.

Another of the Air Force documents that show an
interest in this case.

Here is where we connect with the tale and the question that was posed to me bit all that long ago. An Air Force officer who was on duty in one of the Air Force communications centers told researchers that he’d seen a classified report about the Spitsbergen Island crash come through the center. This was used to prove that the government was hiding something about UFOs in general and crashes in particular. However, the Blue Book files have been declassified for decades and we have copies of those classified reports. The officer was right. There had been classified messages, but other, additional information in the Blue Book files suggested the case was a hoax.

Two years later, the story surfaced in another German newspaper, Hessische Nachrichten, on July 26, 1954. This time, the Norwegian General Staff is involved and was alleged to be preparing a report based on their examination of the crashed flying saucer. The chairman of the board was identified as Colonel Gernod Darnhyl.”

Darnhyl was quoted as saying, “A misunderstanding developed, some time ago, when it was stated that the flying disc was probably of Soviet origin. It has - this we must state emphatically - not been built by any country on earth. The materials are completely unknown to all experts, either not to be found on Earth, or processed by physical or chemical processes unknown to us.”

That wasn’t all Darnhyl said. He promised to release the information and then said that he thought, “within the next twelve months, a solution to these technical problems will be found, or, at least, science will be on the right track towards solving the UFO problem... Scientific results will only be released subsequent to a UFO conference in London or Washington.”

If nothing else, this provided some names including the writer of the article Swen Thygesen and a timeline for the release of information. We know, of course, that neither the information was released nor the UFO conferences held. It has been more than fifty years. Worse still Braenne reported that he had been unable to find a trace of the writer.

The story now switched to South America, which means that South American newspapers began printing articles, and moved the crash to Heligoland. According to an article from Verdens Gang on December 19, 1954, a story from the Uruguayan newspaper El National reported that Hans Larsen Loberg, who, it was claimed, had won a prize in physics in Hungary was now involved. Loberg said that this concerned the same saucer that had been reported to have crashed on Spitsbergen but that it had crashed on a small island that had been a German submarine base during the Second World War.

Loberg said that there had been no Russian writing in the craft, that it had a diameter of 91 feet and a thickness in the middle of 70 feet. Once inside, they found the food pills and heavy water reported in other crashes, books that they thought might be navigational aides, and seven bodies of the crew, burned beyond recognition. The bodies, according to Loberg were between 25 and 30 years of age, were all just over a meter and a half in height and all had perfect teeth. They did not explain how bodies, burned beyond recognition would be determined to be so young. I will note that much of this description smacks of the Aztec tale.

As I mentioned, we see that Frank Edwards, in his book, Flying Saucers - Serious Business gets into this and reports the tale came from the Stuttgarter Tageblatt. Edwards commented that “The story vanished from the newswires as though it had been launched into space... until at last the silence was broken by a spokesman for the government of Norway... the account I [Edwards] quote is typical of the innumerable papers which carried the story:

Oslo, Norway, September 4, 1955: - Only now a board of inquiry of the Norwegian General Staff is preparing publication of a report on the examination of the remains of a U.F.O. crashed near Spitzbergen (sic), presumably early in 1952. Chairman of the Board, Colonel Gernod Darnbyl (sic), during an instruction for Air Force officers stated: “The crashing of the Spitzbergen disc was highly important. Although out present scientific knowledge does not permit us to solve all the riddles, I am confident that these remains from Spitzbergen will be of the utmost importance in this respect. Some time ago a misunderstanding was caused by saying the disc probably was of Soviet origin. It has - this we wish to state emphatically - not been built by any country on earth. The materials used in its construction are completely unknown to all experts who participated in the investigation.

This is basically the same article that had been circulating earlier, and still no one had confirmation of any of it. Edwards wrote, “Therefore Norway, in 1955, was discussing with two of the leading exponents of UFO deception the proposed release of this information which would have exposed the falsity of both the U.S. and British official positions!... It is not difficult to conclude that the Norwegians never released the full report because of the advice they received from two of Norway’s best customers.”

Or, in other words, both the US and UK pressured the Norwegians through the threat of economic sanctions to keep their full report under wraps. Edwards never seems to consider the possibility that the story isn’t true. After all, he had the newspaper clipping about it... Or did he?

We go back to Braenne who reported, “Several authors have used Stuttgarter Tageblatt as the source for their Spitsbergen story. It is, in fact, a nonexistent newspaper. [No researchers] have ever found any trace of either such a paper or such an article published on, or around, the date given...”

So where did this article come from? Braenne has an answer for that question. He wrote in his International UFO Reporter article, that he had learned that a Dutch magazine UFO-Gids published, with minor changes, the article that had appeared in Hessische Nachricten. UFO-Gids lists Stuttgarts Dagblad as the September 5, 1955 source. According to Braenne. “Evidently someone tried to Germanize Stuttsgarts Dagblad and did not investigate his source.”

Edwards apparently used a translation from one of those earlier sources without checking. Edwards did suggest he had tried to learn something more about this, reporting in his book, “In 1964 when I wrote to a member of the Norwegian Board of Inquiry which had investigated the Spitzbergen case, I received, after four months, a cryptic reply: ‘I regret that it is impossible for me to respond to your questions at this time.’”

Edwards, caught up in the paranoia of the UFO field, believes that the reply is more of the cover up. It might just be that there was no other reply that could be made if the case was not real. But Edwards doesn’t identify his source on this, so we are left wondering about the legitimacy of this claim... If there was no Spitsbergen crash, then there was no Board of Inquiry and therefore no board member for Edwards to question.

Ryan Wood reported, in his just updated Majic Eyes Only, “In 1985, the British researcher Philip Mantle investigated the case and was informed by the Norwegian Government that nothing even remotely resembling the Spitsbergen crash had ever occurred. ‘The whole story seems utterly unfounded,’ Mantle was told by Arild Isseg, the head of the Information Division, Norwegian Royal Ministry of Defense.

“Furthermore, several of those people cited in both newspaper articles and official intelligence summaries of newspaper articles on the Spitsbergen story simply did not exist.”

When all is said and done, there seems to be no evidence that the crash took place and the origin of the story seems to be a newspaper that made up the details. I don’t know if the editors of the newspaper trusted their reporters to get the story right, or maybe those editors just made it up to fill space and invented a name or added initials to give it a note of authenticity.

The problem here is the same one that has faced UFO research from the beginning. Each time a case is exposed as a hoax, another person comes along with inside knowledge that they claim will prove the case. No evidence is ever presented, but they still swear by the information.

I don’t know if this is one of Grusch’s UFO crash reports or not. I would hope that he would have done enough research to learn the truth about this case. I just mention this because we’re still working in the dark about that statement that there have been a dozen crashes. Like so much else in the UFO field, this is just one of the many hoaxes and the real irony is the Air Force got it right, but few believed them. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Recent Interviews including a Discussion of Crash/Retrieval

For those interested, I have been hosting my old radio show/podcast recently, as my personal situation changed radically. I have also been interviewed on other shows. Following are links to those shows and if there is some duplication here, well, these things happen.

Of course, the theme in these shows are UFOs, what’s happening with the official investigations, discussions of some of the older cases that provide evidence of something off-world flying around our atmosphere. Those who are paying attention, you’ll find some of my views have changed over time. That simply means that new evidence has been found, witnesses who once seemed credible are found to invented their tales and are no longer credible, and outright hoaxes have been exposed. 

Many of you will probably be interested in the last interview. Ryan Wood and I talked about some of the more famous UFO crashes including that in Aurora, Texas and Shag Harbour. The two are at opposite ends of the UFO crash/retrieval spectrum.

Ryan Wood hosting a crash
conference in Las Vegas.

So, here are the links to the most recent shows. Some are audio only and with others I have provided both the audio and video versions.

From Into the Paranormal, hosted by Jeremy Scott:

Ep. #683: TRUTH UNDER FIRE w/ Kevin Randle

And following are both my shows and interviews with others, and the X-Zone shows where I was the guest. The links do provide a hint about the content of the show and if I was the host or guest.

I talk with Robert Powell on video:

And the audio version:

Robert Powell

And with Steve Bassett, first on video and then audio:

And back being interviewed by Rob McConnell on a variety of UFO related topics:

I interview Paul Hynek about his father’s take on UFOs and on his investigations into them. First is the video version.

Here is the video of that interview with Ryan. As I said, we talked about several UFO crash/retrievals.

The audio version can be heard here.

Each of the programs above will be of interest to those studying UFOs. The discussion with Ryan Wood was of particular interest to me because it dealt with UFO crash/retrievals. But, as I say, there should be something for everyone in the links above.