Thursday, June 14, 2018

A New Roswell Solution?

Well, we have a new solution to the Roswell case. No, it’s not a weather balloon as the Army Air Forces claimed in 1947 and no, it’s not a Project Mogul balloon that many skeptics and the Air Force have claimed, starting with Robert Todd in the early 1990s (or late 1980s) but something called a satelloon. This was, is, a huge polyethylene balloon that had been covered with a thin layer of aluminum to enhance the reflective properties and create a passive communications satellite or something like that.

Dr. Bob W. Gross appeared this last week (June 12) on Martin Willis’ show, UFO Live. Gross, who had lived in New Mexico from 2001 to 2010 and who traveled all over the state, thought that he had the solution to the Roswell case. Naturally, I was skeptical. You can listen here (Roswell begins in the second hour):

And you can read more about his theories here:

Here’s the problem as I see it. Gross has cherry-picked his evidence to bolster his theory. He talked of the debris field and the metallic residue that had been collected there. These were fragments of one of these aluminumized balloons that had exploded and rained down the debris or so he claimed. Apparently, they can explode. See:

But the problem is that he has ignored the other debris found there as described to me by Bill Brazel. Brazel said:

There was only three items involved. Something on the order of balsa wood and something on the order of heavy gauge monofilament fishing line and a little piece of… it wasn’t really aluminum foil and it wasn’t really lead foil but it was on that order…
Bill Brazel. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle.
While the piece of aluminum-like material could have been the remains of one of these satelloons, the other two pieces were not. According to Brazel, you could shine a light in one end and have it come out the other, or, in other words, he was talking about fiber optics. And the balsa like material was so strong that he couldn’t get a shaving using his pocket knife.

Gross also said that these satelloons took on a disk shape, at least the early versions did and that some of them were tested in New Mexico, hidden in the Mogul arrays. In my many communications with Charles Moore, among others, nothing like that was ever mentioned, and I suspect that if the Air Force could have connected these two events together, they would have done so.

Charles Moore. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle.
The real problem with this theory is that I can find nothing to support the idea that the testing was going on in New Mexico in 1947. In fact, there is quite the history available on the topic and the research around it. You can find more about all this and Project Echo satelloons here:

And the history of these “Giant Spheres” here:

And here:

And to confuse the issue even more, or maybe clarify some of the research into it, take a look at this:

While I can find nothing that suggests any of this was going on in 1947, Gross alluded to witnesses and documents that could do that. If true, then he might have something. However, it is difficult to ignore the information about the debris provided by Brazel and Jesse Marcel, Sr., and several others who handled it in 1947, which doesn’t fit with his descriptions.

And, while Gross said that he found no testimony of anyone seeing the flying saucer crash, there are those who reported seeing a more intact structure, not on the debris field, but on a secondary site some distance away. That testimony seems to have escaped his research.

No, the problem is that all the information that I have been able to find does not put any of these strange balloons in New Mexico in 1947. Unless he can do that, this falls into the same category of the anthropomorphic dummies that Captain James McAndrew used in his attempt to explain the bodies reported by some of the witnesses. The timing is just flat wrong. If the dummies weren’t being dropped in 1947 and the satelloons weren’t being tested in 1947, then the explanations fail at that point. We must wait, however, for Gross to provide the additional documentation and witnesses that he claims to have before providing a final analysis. That will be coming in his book.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Vetting Information or Another Way to Chase Footnotes

Here’s something that relates to my “Chasing Footnotes,” posts. Over the weekend (June 1 and 2), I ran into an article that was related to Roswell told by Raymond Szymanski (which I commented on here a few days ago). As I was working on that article, I had a number of questions that weren’t answered by any of the sources that I could readily access. I was worried about the claim that Raymond Szymanski had worked in some high-level jobs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for thirty-nine years. I didn’t know if this was true and if those who had written the various articles had bothered to verify the information.

Don’t get me wrong here. I have no evidence that Raymond Szymanski’s self-reported credentials are anything less than the truth. I just don’t know if anyone attempted to verify the information with independent third parties.

Robert Willlingham circa
This is a question that has been raised in the past about other witnesses (and other claims as well). For example, it was reported, repeatedly, that Robert Willingham was a retired Air Force colonel and fighter pilot. Everyone seemed to take these facts as accurate but I learned that no one had bothered to check. True, there were pictures of Willingham in uniform from the 1960s and 70s, which tended to support his claim.

Given that, I decided to look a little deeper and learned that Willingham had a mere 13 months of active military service. He left as a low ranking enlisted soldier with no indication of flight training, flight status, or a commission. Those pictures turned out to be of Willingham in the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the Air Force that does important search and rescue work and training for teenagers interested in aviation and the Air
Civil Air Patrol identification on
Willingham's uniform.
Force but that is not the same as being in the Air Force.

The point is that everyone, including me, had reported that Willingham had been a colonel in the Air Force, each of us thinking someone else had verified the data. No one had. They accepted what Willingham said, the photographs he offered as proof, and documentation that he handed them. It wasn’t until I secured the documentation from an independent, meaning government source, the Records Center in St. Louis and another Air Force records center in Denver that we all learned the truth.

CAP collar insignia. In the Air Force his rank insignia
would be pinned there instead. More proof of his
status in the CAP rather than the Air Force.
The same can be said for Frank Kaufmann, who claimed he had been trained in intelligence, had been a master sergeant and was a member of Colonel Blanchard’s staff. He provided a picture from the 1947 Yearbook and other documentation to prove it. When documentation was recovered from an independent third party, again the Records Center in St. Louis, we found that Kaufmann had no training in intelligence, had been an administration specialist, and that he was not a master sergeant as he had claimed.

There is, of course, Gerald Anderson, who told of seeing a crashed disk on the Plains of San Agustin in 1947. He said that Adrian Buskirk was the archaeologist involved… but Buskirk turned out to be his high school anthropology teacher. Other parts of Anderson’s story broke down and it was learned that he had forged a number of documents to prove his tales. That verification took several months. Ironically, when it was learned that Anderson had forged a telephone bill to make me look bad, it was reported that Stan Friedman had discovered the evidence. That didn’t happen until after I had presented that same evidence to CUFOS, FUFOR and MUFON.

Here’s the point. We have had a number of witnesses, and that number continues to grow, who claim inside knowledge of the Roswell case in particular and UFOs in general. Too often, when we begin to check these things out, we find that some have taken liberties with the truth. They weren’t the military officers they claimed to have been, they weren’t involved in the investigations as they claimed to be, or they weren’t at the locations they said they were.

So, when I read about Raymond Szymanski and his pal, Al, I was skeptical. I have no information that verifies the claim but I suspect we’ll learn that Szymanski was at Wright-Pat for all those years and held the positions that he claimed. That, of course, doesn’t mean the tale told to him by the mysterious Al is true. It just means that we have no evidence that it is, and in the world today, we need to see more than just a first name.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Important Administration Notes

Rich Reynolds over at UFO Conjectures alerted me yesterday to a Blogger problem. Seems that all the comments posted to our blogs are not sent to us via email as they are supposed to be. Some are dumped into an area that tells us they are waiting for us to monitor them. I’m not sure why this is happening because there is no reason for it. Comments by those who visit here regularly are there and who comments are often sent to me via email are, but not all of them. It seems to be hit or miss.

Rich said that he found some 1500 comments. I only found a few hundred but they go back a number of months. The point, I suppose, is if you made a comment and didn’t see it posted, it might have ended up waiting for me to review it in that file.

An updated photo. The military picture
is now, what, 14 years old?
Looking deeper, I found that some comments have ended up in the spam folder… something more than 300. True, most of those comments, in that folder would have been deleted because they are mere advertisements for some other website or some product and many probably aren’t legitimate. Anyway, I need to go through those as well.

I will note that I don’t always post everything. If you have a complaint about me, well, if it is nasty or unjustified, it won’t see the light of day here. If it is a logical extension of the discussion that suggests I have errored in some fashion, then sure, I’ll post it, and sometimes respond.

In the past there have been several interesting comments that have also included nasty and irrelevant remarks about the president and some that included pleasant endorsements of the president that were also irrelevant. I have no desire to get into those discussions which are often ugly, filled with contempt and have nothing to do with the topics I discuss here. Put in a political comment, from any point of the spectrum, and it will disappear faster than a UFO being chased by a fighter or a snowball in July.

The point here, of course, is to let you know that something has changed with blogger (I found a note on blogger telling me they had made some changes) and if your comments weren’t posted, the problem is probably there. Sorry for the inconvenience, but as they say, “It’s not my fault.”

Monday, June 04, 2018

Another Roswell Witness - Sort Of

Nearly thirty years ago John Keel, one of those self-styled UFO researchers that Ken Macdonald complained about in his June 2, 2018 AOL Newsribol article about Roswell, said that by the turn of the century (meaning in 2000), there would be hundreds of new witnesses clamoring for their place in the Roswell mythology. Turns out he was right (not about the mythology but about the new witnesses). People have been all over the place claiming to know something special or someone special or something important about the Roswell case.

Macdonald writes about the Roswell story as if this is something new but draws his information from the Roswell Daily Record article published in 1947. He even includes the irrelevant tale of Dan Wilmot, a Roswell resident who saw something on July 2, 1947. That Wilmot made the report about a craft in the sky doesn’t necessarily mean that what he saw was what was responsible for the debris found by W.W. “Mack” Brazel in early July 1947.

What annoyed me first here was this idea that the alien spacecraft was spying on our testing of nuclear weapons, according to what Macdonald wrote. Of course, those of us who can think beyond the end of a sentence realize the flaw in this theory. The first atomic explosion took place in July 1945, with two more in Japan in August 1945… So, if it was atomic explosions that grabbed the aliens’ attention, wouldn’t they have gone to Japan rather than New Mexico? There had been more explosions there.

And since we know the speed of light, and even if we grant the alien ability to spot these brief flashes of very bright light on the Earth’s surface, from where do the aliens originate? Even granting them Faster-than-Light travel, the light from those detonations had only been traveling for two years. Do the aliens have an outpost in our Solar System? Maybe on that ninth planet out in the Kuiper Belt somewhere that some astronomers claim is there?

But what really annoys me is that we have another, new but unidentified, witness to the bodies from the Roswell crash. Oh, he
Nope. Not the real creature, just a model
made for the ShowTime Movie, Roswell.
didn’t see them in New Mexico, but in Ohio, sort of like Philip Corso didn’t see them in New Mexico but in Kansas.

According to this story (and please don’t tell it’s been around for a couple of years because I know that) Raymond Szymanski, who says he worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as an “engineer and high-level researcher,” for 39 years, is the man behind this tale. He said that he was privy to some of the biggest and darkest secrets floating around the base which included the cover up of the Roswell crash.

He, himself, saw underground tunnels and chambers under the base, and this was where the material, and by material, I mean the craft and bodies recovered at Roswell, were stored. Now, he didn’t see the Roswell stuff, only these secret tunnels and chambers and given the history of Wright-Pat, and the paranoia of the Cold War, wouldn’t underground shelters and tunnels be something you’d expect? A purpose other than hiding alien bodies I mean, but I digress.

Szymanski tells of a friend, Al, who spilled the beans to him. Szymanski, according to what he has said, was a “young co-op student barely in his first week” and was let in on the secret… Security
Obviously, the gate to Wright-
Patterson AFB.
clearances take a while to complete, so this is an amazing breach of military etiquette, but I’ll ignore that because it really doesn’t make a lot of difference here.

He talked of a small group of 10,000 people that he had now joined. I don’t know if all 10,000 were at Wright-Pat or scattered among research facilities around the country… anyway, that’s a lot of people in on the secret and not exactly a small group.

But here’s the deal with this tale. We don’t know who Al is. We just have the first name and a suggestion that he was an important man or scientist. And we have Szymanski’s claim that “everyone” he talked to about this over the years didn’t deny the rumors… No one suggested he was out of his mind, but according to him, he has no smoking gun.

So, here we are, with another man claiming some sort of inside knowledge about the Roswell crash but unlike so many others, he admits that he hasn’t seen the bodies or the craft, only been told about it by people he finds to be reliable. But how many times have we been down that road only to learn that the sources for the information are not credible? I’m not even going to bother naming the names because those who visit here on a regular basis, or who have read Roswell in the 21st Century, know how many have fallen to increased scrutiny.

No, right now I’m not buying this and I don’t really know why AOL Newsribol thought it necessary to dredge up this tale again. It is clear that the story was based on newspaper articles and press releases and that the writer did very little if anything to verify the information. That’s left, I guess, to we self-styled UFO researchers. Too bad so much is ignored by self-styled investigative journalists.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

How the US Influences other Countries Policies on UFOs

For years, decades actually, the skeptical community has wondered how the US has been able to suppress information about UFOs in foreign lands. Why would foreign governments submit to a US demand that UFO sightings and UFO reports remain hidden behind a curtain of secrecy? The answer is probably a little more complex than I can attack here, on this blog.


First, let me point out that during the Ghost Rocket wave that began in Finland but swept into all of Scandinavia in 1946, the Finnish government response was to suppress the news reports about them while those in Sweden were free to report every sighting until it became nearly overwhelming. At that point the Swedish military and the government began to actively suppress the sighting reports as well. Their reasons were varied, but they enacted that policy with no guidance from the US. A policy, BTW, that seemed to have ended the reports though not necessarily the sightings.

Second, let’s take a longer look at the situation in Australia. On August 14, 1952, with the United States buried hip deep in UFO reports from a wide variety of sources from all over the country, William McMahon, the Minister for Air told the Australian Parliament that the flying saucers were nothing more than “flights of imagination.” Even with that, he believed that a thorough investigation was warranted, which, of course, didn’t set it off on the right foot. His conclusions might have been inspired by the information released by Major General Samford in his press conference about the Washington National UFO sightings in July of that year.

This idea was reinforced in the United States by the CIA sponsored Robertson Panel, which was a five-day investigation into UFOs, especially after the summer of 1952 sightings. The Panel concluded that there wasn’t much to the sightings, suggesting that stories about UFOs be debunked, which then became an unofficial policy of
Captain Ed Ruppelt
ridicule. Remember, Ed Ruppelt explained the difference between flying saucers and UFOs. Calling then “flying saucers” had a note of ridicule in it as in “You don’t believe in flying saucers, do you?”

On November 20, 1953, many months after the Robertson Panel met, McMahon suggested that the UFO question was one that belonged to the psychologists rather than the defense authorities. He wrote, “The Royal Australian Air Force has received many reports about flying saucers, as have the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force, but the phenomena have not yet been identified… The Royal Australian Air Force has informed me that, so far, the aerodynamic problems relating to the production of flying saucers have not been solved.”

The response was a “Note of Action,” that indicated that “…all reports are still being investigated closely and recorded as an aid to further research into future reports of this natures.” Or in other words, they thought the sightings should be investigated and the Royal Australian Air Force was the responsible agency. But, as was the case in the United States, they simply weren’t investigating all the reports and they were not looking at them for evidence of alien visitation but thought they belonged in a more psychological arena. Delusions, illusions and other psychological problems were the answer.

Australian Richard Casey, the Minister for External Affairs and the Minister for Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), who originally thought little of the “saucer” reports, changed his mind and this is the point where the USAF and Donald Keyhoe come into play, which is the real point of all this. And yes, it has taken a while to get here but some background was
Donald Keyhoe
necessary. I laid much of this out in The UFO Dossier (pp. 237 – 254) and Michael Swords and Robert Powell did the same thing UFOs and Government (pp. 373 – 422) for those of you who would like to learn more.

Casey sent Keyhoe’s book, Flying Saucers from Outer Space, to his Chief of the Division of Radiophysics, Dr. E. G. Brown, along with a note that suggested he had also seen the USAF statements “… about ‘Unexplained Air Objects,’ which are always carefully worded and are at pains to explain that the greater part of the ‘sightings’ are explainable as natural phenomena or on some other grounds.”

Bowen wasn’t too impressed with the information. He wrote that he “found the book by Major Keyhoe intensely amusing and entertaining… I am far from convinced by any of the anecdotes or arguments.” He also claimed that he knew many scientists involved with defense matters in the United States, and that they rejected Keyhoe’s suggestions.

In keeping with a belief held at high levels, Bowen thought that Keyhoe’s book, while entertaining, would eventually lead to the conclusion that there was nothing to the tales of flying saucers. The public would eventually become disillusioned with the UFOs and that would be the end of it. Of course, that didn’t turn out to be the case.

It might be said that all of this caused a change in the way the Australians dealt with the UFO problem. Melbourne University’s O. H. (Harry) Turner was asked by the DAFI to undertake a classified study of the early investigations held in their files. It could be said that this was the Australian equivalent to the Robertson Panel, that is, a review of the evidence gathered earlier with respected scientists studying the data. The outcome was certainly different.

According to Swords, based on information recovered by Australian researcher Bill Chalker, Turner, in his detailed report, recommended greater official interest with a concentration on radar-visual reports. One of his conclusions was “The evidence presented by the reports held by the RAAF tend to support… the conclusion… that certain strange aircraft have been observed to behave in a manner suggestive of extra-terrestrial origin.”

In what can only be considered a case of irony, Turner cited Keyhoe’s Flying Saucers from Outer Space, using the reports he described as coming from the USAF. Turner did qualify his report, saying “if one assumes these Intelligence Reports are authentic, then the evidence presented is such that it is difficult to assume any interpretation other than that UFOs are being observed.”

Given that Turner had used Keyhoe’s interpretation of what official USAF reports and intelligence documents said, the DAFI did communicate with the USAF to confirm the accuracy of Keyhoe’s statements, which isn’t surprising. The response from Washington, D.C. was “I have discussed with the USAF the status of Major Keyhoe. I understand that his book is written in such a way as to convey the impression his statements are based on official documents, and there is some suggestion that he has made improper use of information to which he had access while he was serving in the Marine Corps. He has, however, no official status whatsoever and a dim view is taken officially of both him and his works.”

As a result of this, the report was weakened considerably. The Department of Air concluded, “Professor Turner accepted Keyhoe’s book as authentic and based on official releases. Because Turner places so much weight on Keyhoe’s work, he emphasized the need to check Keyhoe’s reliability. [The Australian Joint Service Staff] removes Keyhoe’s works as a prop for Turner’s work so that the value of the latter’s findings and recommendations is very much reduced.”

The problem here was the RAAF and the DAFI believed the information that was provided by the USAF. In the Levelland, Texas, sightings in November 1957, the Air Force and Keyhoe got into another such battle with the Air Force suggesting that Keyhoe was wrong about the number of witnesses. Keyhoe had claimed there were nine but the Air Force said there were only three who had seen an object. A study of the case, including an examination of the Project Blue Book files, shows that both were wrong. There is good evidence that witnesses at thirteen different locations saw something, and there is a very good possibility that the sheriff was one of those who saw a craft.

The relevance here is that the USAF was not a fan of Keyhoe so that when the Australians asked for an analysis of Keyhoe and his book, they got a biased report that was not based on the evidence but on what the USAF had claimed about Keyhoe’s reliability. It is now evident that the Air Force had engaged, as Swords wrote, “an act of either conscious or unconscious misrepresentation on the part of the U.S. Air Force. They were engaged in a campaign to undermine the popularity of Donald Keyhoe’s books. While Keyhoe may have slightly overstated his USAF data, the intelligence reports quoted by Keyhoe and used by Turner to support his conclusions to DAFI were authentic. Eventually the Air Force admitted that the material Keyhoe used was indeed from official Air Force reports.”

Or, in other words, the USAF was able to manipulate the investigation being conducted in Australia to match their conclusions. If nothing else, it should be obvious based on this that after the negative conclusions of the Robertson Panel in 1953, the Air Force was actively attempting to implement the various debunking recommendations and were not interested in gathering UFO information. They were more interested in convincing everyone that there was nothing to UFO reports.

But in the world of 2018, we now know that Keyhoe was right more often than not, and that his work was based, at least in part, on official investigations and classified information. According to Frank J. Reid, in the International UFO Reporter for Fall, 2000, “For a little over five months – from August 1952 through February 1953 – a narrow window opened into Project Blue Book… According to Dewey J. Fournet Jr., an Air Force major assigned as Pentagon liaison to Blue Book, ‘The entire press had the privilege of requesting this [UFO] info: Don Keyhoe happened to be one who found out quickly about this [new] policy and took maximum advantage of it.’… Especially good cases were volunteered to him…”

What this means, of course, is that Keyhoe’s information was solid and had been rejected by the RAAF because their counterparts in the USAF told them Keyhoe was unreliable. I don’t know if the USAF officers were lying or simply didn’t know the truth. They were reporting to the RAAF what their superiors had told them. Keyhoe couldn’t be trusted.

Which brings us back to the original point. The USAF was able to influence the RAAF, leading them to a conclusion that was ill advised. What would have happened had they known that Keyhoe did have the inside sources, some of them official, who were providing him with quality information about the UFO situation. Instead, there was a watered-down version of their official report because they believed it was based on tainted information when, in fact, the information was good.

In other words, the prominence of the USAF in the world of UFO investigation suggested to the RAAF, that there wasn’t much to UFOs, and the RAAF responded in kind. They thought the USAF had the “goods” but it turned out to be more fool’s gold. It looked good, it looked right but it just wasn’t what everyone thought it was. And today we have to live with that misguided interpretation so that we continue to have these discussions rather than moving forward… but we see how, at least in part, the US can suppress UFO information in other countries.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Library Fairy: Coyne Edition

There is something that writers know about called the “Library Fairy.” We believe in it but know that it is not a real entity. It is just a serendipitous discovery of information that makes a story more real, provides insight into an event or answers a question that needed explanation. For me it happens frequently.

Sure, here is an example that does not relate to UFOs or the Coyne helicopter sighting. I was working on an action/adventure novel that had several scenes set at Khe Sanh but I didn’t know what it looked like. I could guess based on my experiences in Vietnam and figured that one such base would look pretty much like another. However, while I was looking at video tapes in a record store, I saw one about the Battle of Khe Sanh. It had all the visuals I would need so that I could describe the base accurately. The thing is, I rarely entered that now long-gone store and the tape was not prominently displayed but I did find it. The Library Fairy did her job.

How does this relate to UFOs in general and the Coyne helicopter case in particular? About ten days ago I was on 21st Century Radio’s Hieronimus & Co. show. You can listen to the show here:

They always send a nice gift box of books and magazines as a way of thanking the guests. One of the books was Paul Hill’s Unconventional
Another UFO with rad and green lights.
Flying Objects
. As I was thumbing through it, just taking a general look at it, I found an illustration that I thought interesting. On page 134, there was an illustration of a UFO seen by Anton Kukla and Audrey Lawrence in western Australia in November 1965. The details of the sighting weren’t all that important and not many were given anyway. It was the illustration that was important because of the red and green lights that were seen and their placement on the object.

You all can decide if this sighting and illustration are important to the discussion. I just thought I would mention it because of everything that has been said in the last couple weeks, especially about the color of lights on UFOs.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why I Chase Footnotes - The Coyne Edition

One of the things that I enjoy is chasing footnotes. Gives us all a chance to look at the information circulating in the UFO community, and how some of the myths and legends of the field grow. We see how the information is slightly changed as one writer or researcher uses it to prove a point. One of the latest examples of this, published here, concerned the Coyne helicopter case and whether or not a refueling aircraft was the culprit in the sighting.

As I have mentioned in the past, Richard Dolan, in UFOs and the National Security State, wrote, about other aircraft in the area at the time of the sighting, “When he
Richard Dolan. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.
[Coyne] tried to confirm the existence of a craft out of Mansfield, his UFH and VHF frequencies were dead (Mansfield later confirmed there were no aircraft in the area).

Jennie Randles in The UFO Conspiracy wrote, “Mansfield later confirmed that they did not have any aircraft in the area.”

And I spoke with Bob Yanascek who said that there was nothing else in the area. But it seems he received that information from Coyne that night, in the helicopter or shortly after they landed rather than hearing it himself.

The various sources I checked, including Dolan and Randles, referred me to Jennie Zeidman and her work on the case including a monograph published by the Center for UFO Studies and an article in Flying Saucer Review. I also looked at her presentation at the MUFON Symposium in 1989, but that focused more on the additional, ground-based witnesses, than what Coyne and his crew saw.

I now believe that the quote comes from Zeidman’s A Helicopter-UFO Encounter Over Ohio, published in March 1979. On page 71, she wrote, “In addition, when Captain Coyne checked with the FAA, he could find no record of any other aircraft in the area, and the last known F-100 of the Mansfield Air National Guard landed at 10:47 p.m.”

Here’s what bothers me about this. Both Dolan and Randles give the statement a little more authority than I see in the original. Finding no record of other aircraft in the area is not quite the same thing as confirming that there were no other aircraft in the area. What gives me pause here is that, according to the records, they couldn’t even confirm that Coyne’s aircraft was in the area at the time. Though he said he had made contact with Mansfield, when he checked, the recording from the tower that night didn’t have his transmission on it. In other words, it seems the record is incomplete at best.

Based on the information we have, we know that whatever Coyne and his crew encountered, it was not an F-100 fighter. That all of them were on the ground prior to the UFO encounter seems to be properly documented.

Is this splitting a fine hair? Oh, absolutely. But it is an important one because, while it seems that Mansfield did say there had no other aircraft in the area, there are no records to back up that bold claim. Zeidman’s statement about the lack of records is not the same as confirming there was nothing else around.

Does this open the door for the refueling aircraft? Maybe a little, but there is other information that affects it. Those arguments have been made elsewhere so we don’t need to repeat them here. Just note that the statements about a lack of traffic are in the Mansfield area at the time are not as positive as they had been. This is chasing footnotes to the bitter end.