Monday, March 18, 2019

Curse of Oak Island - Dan Blankenship Has Died

There is sad news for those of us who watch Curse of Oak Island. Dan Blankenship, the man who inspired so many treasure hunters and who was the “go to” guy when the Laginas had questions, has died. He was 95.
Dan Blankenship
I had wondered where he was this season and was delighted when he showed up in that golf cart recently. He had a chance to see what the Laginas had found in Smith’s Cove, and see some of his work validated, in a sense. But unlike seasons passed, the Laginas were not showing up at his house and he was missing from the War Room as they discussed their next assault on the island.
Dan lived on the island since 1965, and he and a partner owned a great deal of it until recently. He always seemed excited by what was happening and certainly played a role in this latest attempt to find the treasure.
Notice of his death was posted on Facebook with a tribute to him. It said, in part, “A true Oak Island legend, Dan was a respected and admired man. His perseverance, ingenuity and passion inspired all.”

Friday, March 15, 2019

Project Blue Book - The Washington Nationals - Season Finale

I know some of my colleagues are delighted that we’ve seen the season finale of Project Blue Book, not because they like the show but because it is over… for a while. I confess that I don’t understand their hostility. Project Blue Book is not a documentary but a drama that has a historical background and a loose, very loose, interpretation of some of the sightings that are found in the Blue Book files.

The prior two episodes were based on cases that were not found in the files, though there is some information about the Hill abduction found there. It seems, however, that the mention of the Hill case is because someone queried the Air Force about it and not because they were actively investigating it.

The finale dealt with what are known as the Washington Nationals, which were sightings on two consecutive Saturday nights in July 1952. Blips were seen on radarscopes and pilots were reporting the lights in the ski near them.

I have talked to two of the officials who observed the sightings on the second night, Major Dewey Fournet and Al Chop. Both men believed that the UFOs were reacting to the presence of jet fighters scrambled to intercept the objects. According to both men, at one point, it got pretty hairy, meaning one of the fighters was surrounded by the objects.  They also mentioned that it seemed the objects, except for that one instance, would disappear when the fighters arrived and would reappear when the fighters left the area. More on that later.

The sightings, unlike those shown in the program, were at night and not over the National Mall in Washington, D.C. At no point did any of the fighters fire at the objects. These sightings resulted in what I think of as the greatest science fiction headline ever published by a real daily newspaper. “Saucers Swarm Over Capitol.”

Here is the short version of the Washington Nationals. It began late in the evening on July 19, 1952, when two radars at the Air Routing and Traffic Control Center (ARTC) picked up eight unidentified targets near Andrews Air Force Base. According to reports made by the controllers, these were not airplanes because they moved too fast. One object, according to the calculations made at the time was tracked at 7,000 miles an hour.

About twenty minutes later, or just after midnight on July 20, the tower radars at Washington's National Airport tracked five objects. What this meant was that three radars at three different locations had solid targets that were not identified as aircraft.

One of the controllers at the ARTC called for a senior controller, Harry C. Barnes who in turn called the National Airport control tower. They had unidentified targets on their scopes, as did the controllers at Andrews Air Force Base. They had already eliminated a mechanical malfunction as the cause, but with the objects on other scopes in other locations, there was no longer any question of their reality. The performance of the blips ruled out airplanes. All the men, including Barnes, was sure they were looking at solid objects based on their years of experience with radar. Weather related phenomenon wouldn't produce the same effect on all the radars at the widely scattered locations. In fact, if weather was the explanation, the targets would have varied from scope to scope.

Just after midnight, Airman Second Class (A/2c) Bill Goodman, called the Andrews control tower to tell them he was watching a bright orange light about the size of a softball that was gaining and losing altitude as it zipped through the sky.

During this time, Goodman talked to Airman First Class (A/1c) William B. Brady, who was in the tower. Goodman told Brady that the object was to the immediate south. Brady saw a ball of orange fire. There were discrepancies between the physical description given by Goodman and Brady, but the problems were relatively small. It can be argued that the discrepancies are the result of the points of view of the two observers.

Joseph DeBoves, who was also on the scene as a civilian control tower operator at Andrews, said that Brady became excited during one of his telephone conversations, yelling, "There one goes." DeBoves believed that Brady was watching nothing more interesting than a meteor.

About two in the morning on July 20, the Radar Officer, Captain Harold C. Way, at Andrews Approach Control, learned that the ARTC had a target east of Andrews. He went outside and saw a strange light which he didn't believe to be a star. Later, however, he went back out, and this time decided that he was looking at a star. There is a suggestion that he was pressured into revising his first observations.

Bolling Air Force Base became involved briefly about the time Way went outside. The tower operator there said that he saw a "roundish" object drifting low in the sky to the southeast of Bolling. There were no radar confirmations of the sighting, and that was the last of the reports from that base. This might will have been a star.

The ARTC again told the controllers at Andrews that they still had the targets on their scopes. There is conflicting data because some of the reports suggest that the Andrews radar showed nothing, while other reports claim they did. Now DeBoves, and two others in the tower, Monte Banning and John P. Izzo, Jr., swept the sky with binoculars but could see no lights other than the stars.

The sightings lasted through the night, and during that time, the crews of several airliners saw the lights right where the radars showed them to be. Tower operators also saw them, and jet fighters were brought in for attempted intercepts. Associated Press stories written hours after the sightings claimed that no intercepts had been attempted that night but those stories were inaccurate. Documents in the Project Blue Book files, as well as eye witnesses, confirm the attempted intercepts.

Typical of the civilian sightings were those made by Captain Casey Pierman on Capital Airlines Flight 807. He was on a flight between Washington, D.C. and Martinsburg, West Virginia at 1:15 A.M. on July 20, when he, and the rest of the crew saw seven objects flash across the sky. Pierman said, "They were like falling stars without trails."

Capital Airline officials said that National Airport radar picked up the objects and asked Pierman to keep an eye on them. Shortly after takeoff, Pierman radioed that he had the objects in sight. He was flying at 180 to 200 mph, and reported the objects were traveling at tremendous speed. Official Air Force records confirm this.
Another Capital Airlines pilot, Captain Howard Dermott, on Capital Flight 610, reported a single light followed him from Herndon, Virginia, to within four miles of National Airport. Both the ARTC and the National Tower confirmed that an unidentified target followed the aircraft to within four miles of landing. At about the same time, an Air Force radar at Andrews AFB was tracking eight additional unknown objects as they flew over the Washington area.

One of the most persuasive sightings came early in the morning when one of the ARTC controllers called the Andrews Air Force Base control tower to tell them that there was a target south of the tower, over the Andrews Radio range station. The tower operators looked to the south where a "huge fiery-orange sphere" was hovering. This again was later explained by the Air Force as a star.

Just before daylight, about four in the morning, after repeated requests from the ARTC, an F-94 interceptor arrived on the scene, but it was too little too late. All the targets were gone. Although the flight crew made a short search of the local area, they found nothing unusual and returned to their base quickly.

During that night, apparently the three radar facilities only once reported a target that was seen by all three facilities at the same time. There were, however, a number of times when the ARTC radar and the Washington National tower radars had simultaneous contacts. It also seems that the radars were displaying the same targets that were seen by the crews of the Capital Airlines flights. What it boils down to is that multiple radars and multiple eyewitnesses were showing and seeing objects in the sky over Washington, D.C.

Air Force intelligence, including ATIC and the officers assigned to the Project Blue Book, had no idea that these sightings had taken place. They learned of the Saturday night - Sunday morning UFO show when the information was published in several newspapers on Monday. Captain Ed Ruppelt, chief of Blue Book, on business in Washington and unaware of the sightings, reported "I got off an airliner from Dayton and I bought a newspaper in the lobby of Washington National Airport Terminal Building. I called Major Dewey Fournet, but all he knew was what he read in the papers."

A week later, almost to the minute, with the same Air Traffic Control crew on duty, the UFOs returned. About 10:30 P.M. spotted several slow-moving targets. This time the controllers carefully marked each of the unidentifieds. When they were all marked, they called the Andrews AFB radar facility. The unidentified targets were on their scope too.

An hour later, with targets being tracked continually, the controllers called for interceptors. Al Chop, the Pentagon spokesman for the UFO project, told me, that he was in communication with the main basement command post at the Pentagon. He requested that interceptors be sent. As a civilian, he could only make the request and then wait for the general or admiral in command at the Pentagon to make the official decision.

As happened the week before, there was a delay, but by midnight, two F-94s were on station over Washington. At that point, the reporters who had assembled to observe the situation were asked, by Chop, to leave the radar room at National Airport because classified radio and intercept procedures would be in operation.

Major Dewey Fournet, the Pentagon liaison between the UFO project in Dayton and the intelligence community in Washington was at National Airport that night. Also, there were Al Chop, a public information officer and Naval Lieutenant Holcomb, an
Al Chop
electronics specialist, assigned to the Air Force Directorate of Intelligence.

With those men watching, as well as the controllers at various facilities using various radars, the F-94s arrived. And the UFOs vanished from the scopes immediately. The jets were vectored to the last known position of the UFOs, but even though visibility was unrestricted in the area, the pilots could see nothing. The fighters made a systematic search of the area, but since they could find nothing, they returned to their base.

Chop told me, "The minute the first two interceptors appeared on our scope all our unknowns disappeared. It was like they just wiped them all off. All our other flights, all the known flights were still on the scope... We watched these two planes leave. When they were out of our range, immediately we got our UFOs back."

Later, Air Force officers would learn that as the fighters appeared over Washington, people in the area of Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, spotted weird lights in the sky. An F-94, in the area on a routine mission was diverted to search for the light. The pilot saw it and turned toward it, but it disappeared "like somebody turning off a light bulb."

The pilot continued the intercept and did get a radar lock on the now unlighted and unseen target. That was broken by the object as it sped away. They fighter continued the pursuit, obtaining two more radar locks on the object, but each time the locks were broken.

The scene then shifted back to Washington National. Again, the Air Defense Command was alerted and again fighters were sent. This time the pilots were able to see the objects, vectored toward them by the air traffic controllers.  But the fighters couldn't close on the lights. The pilots saw no external details, other than lights where the radar suggested that something should be seen.

After several minutes of failure to close on a target, one of them was spotted lopping along. A fighter piloted by Lieutenant William Patterson turned, kicked in the afterburner and tried to catch the object. It disappeared before Patterson could see much of anything.

Interviewed by the press the next day, Patterson said, "I tried to make contact with the bogies below one thousand feet, but they [the controllers] vectored us around. I saw several bright lights. I was at my maximum speed, but even then, I had no closing speed. I ceased chasing them because I saw no chance of overtaking them. I was vectored into new objects. Later I chased a single bright light which I estimated about ten miles away. I lost visual contact with it..."

Al Chop remembered this intercept, as did Dewey Fournet. Chop told me, "The flight controllers had directed him to them [the unknowns]. We had a little cluster of them. Five or six of them and he suddenly reports that he sees some lights... He said they are very brilliant blue-white lights. He was going try to close in to get a better look... he flew into the area where they were clustered and he reported they were all around him."

Chop said that he, along with the others in the radar room, watched the intercept on the radar scope. What the pilot was telling them, they could see on the radar.
Patterson had to break of the intercept, though there were still lights in the sky and objects on the scope. According to Chop, the pilot radioed that he was running low on fuel. He turned so that he could head back to his base.

Chop said that the last of the objects disappeared from the scope about the time the sun came up. Ruppelt later quizzed Fournet about the activities that night. According to Ruppelt, Fournet and Holcomb, the radar expert, were convinced the targets were solid, metallic objects. Fournet told Ruppelt that there were weather related targets on the scopes, but the controllers were ignoring them. Everyone was convinced that the targets were real and solid.

At 4:00 P.M., in Washington D.C., Major General John A. Samford, Chief of Air Intelligence, held a press conference. Of that press conference, Ruppelt wrote, "General Samford made an honest attempt to straighten out the Washington National Sightings, but the cards were stacked against him. He had to hedge on many answers to questions from the press because he didn't know the answers. This hedging gave the impression that he was trying to cover up something more than just the fact his people fouled up in not fully investigating the sightings. Then he brought in Captain Roy James from ATIC to handle all the queries about radar. James didn't do any better because he'd just arrived in Washington that morning and didn't know very much more about the sightings than he'd read in the papers. Major Dewey Fournet and Lieutenant Holcomb, who had been at the airport during the sightings, were extremely conspicuous by their absence..." As was the Pentagon spokesman on UFOs, Al Chop.

This was the largest Pentagon press conference held since the end of the Second World War, at least to that time. Interestingly, one of the general officers also at the conference was Roger Ramey… yes, he of Roswell fame.

For those interested in a transcript of that press conference, I published, in a series of posts about it that can be found at:

It runs to several postings, but the whole thing, along with some of my commentary, is found there. For those who wish more detailed information about the sightings, see my book, Invasion Washington. It covers the sightings of the summer of 1952, the events

What I have noticed in these last couple of episodes is that they’re moving farther away from the reality of Blue Book and this last episode was no exception. For example, the chief of Blue Book, Quinn, decided that he wanted to see what was going on. Somehow, somewhere, he finds a fighter, and heads up to engage with the objects. He fires on them, without results. He lands and gives his report… but I can’t see a situation in which the local commander would allow some random officer to show up and then take off in a fighter assigned to him and carried on his property book. That pilot would have to appear with his flight records that would then have to be verified and he would have to have a check ride by one of the local instructor pilots to ensure he had the proper training and skill level in the aircraft
The Mall in Washington, D.C., where Quinn
and Hynek saw the lights for the TV program.
Photo copyright by Kevin Randle
he wished to fly. There is no way that Quinn would have been allowed to join the intercept, even if a general called down to arrange it. These things just don’t happen in the real military. It looks good on television but it doesn’t happen in real life.

My point is that this drama, and it should be considered a drama, doesn’t claim to be the situation as it really happened and those short segments at the end underscore that. Maybe it drives some traffic to the History website to look at the facts or inspires some to google the sightings. If we’re going to complain about History’s version, then what about all those websites that put up UFO information that is totally bogus with no disclaimers whatsoever. That is far worse than a television drama.

To repeat myself, I do enjoy the program. I don’t find it boring but do wish they would ditch the Soviet spy angle. I do wish they would be a little more careful with the military customs and courtesies, and I don’t really want to see Allen Hynek in another fist fight with Quinn.

I will be looking forward to the next season (but certainly not with the enthusiasm that I await the final season of Game of Thrones… which I mention only because Little Finger plays Allen Hynek). I do hope they will be a little closer to reality, but if they’re not, I’ll remember that they’re making a TV series and not a documentary.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Calvin Parker and Pascagoula Fame

This week I was able to speak with Calvin Parker of Pascagoula abduction fame. After remaining virtually silent about his experiences for decades, he has finally written a book, Pascagoula – The Closest Encounter, detailing what happened. While I’m sure that much of what we discussed is known, he did make a few revelations that I found interesting. You can listen to the interview here:

Calvin Parker
He did provide details about the interior of the craft and what he experienced. I had read that he had undergone hypnotic regression, which I find problematic, so I did ask if he remembered what happened prior to that. He said that he always had vivid memories, but had claimed he had passed out to avoid the circus that surrounded the claims of abduction. Charles Hickson, who was also there, had taken the opposite path, talking about the abduction from the very beginning. You can find the book here:

One thing I did find interesting was that he said Hickson had told him to stop at a convenience store so that he, Hickson, could use the telephone. Rather than call his family, Hickson first called Kessler Air Force Base to report the sighting. Told that the Air Force was no longer interested in those things and that if he felt threatened to report it to the local law enforcement, Hickson did just that.

I had wondered how the story got out. Parker said that people in the area, including reporters, had police scanners. The press apparently learned about the story as it was broadcast over the police radio. What I found amusing was that the local police, believing them to be drunk, told them to stay put until a patrol car could get there. They didn’t want them driving under the influence. This little anecdote seemed to lend a note of credibility to the tale.

While in the police station, Parker said that he and Hickson had been secretly recorded. The idea was to listen to what they had to say, thinking they would reveal the hoax. You can read more about this at:

There were other nuggets, including the names of other witnesses and apparently another encounter some twenty years later. For those interested in the Hickson/Parker case, there are some interesting aspects.

Next up: Nick Pope, to talk about his experiences in the Ministry of Defence on the UFO desk.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Fallout from February 27, 2019

Over the last several days some of my colleagues have suggested that I was overly harsh in my interview with Christopher Montgomery. They seemed to think that my challenging of his statements and pressing him on his lack of response to some of my questions was too mean. I should have toned down the rhetoric. I say, “Crapola.”

The interview was inspired after I learned that he had told Rob McConnell on his X-Zone radio show that, “…he’s [Randle] written books about UFOs and yet you can find red herrings in his book too. For example, he believes that the aliens recovered at Roswell were crash test dummies, and crash test dummies didn’t come along in the 50s.”

I asked for a source on this and he responded, “No comment.”

But here’s the deal. I never said anything like that to anyone. In fact, had I said something like that, I would have said “anthropomorphic dummies,” which was what the Air Force had claimed. But the real point is that I have never suggested that bodies recovered near Roswell were either crash test dummies or anthropomorphic dummies.

I thought that my categorically denying any such statement would give him pause, and maybe think that his sources were in error, whoever they might be. But, no, he provided no source for the statement but wouldn’t retract or amend it.

In his book, Montgomery wrote, “Randle devoted an entire chapter in his book The Plains of San Augustin, New Mexico to debunk Anderson.”

Of course, while I never wrote a book with that title and I would have spelled San Agustin correctly, I do believe I know where this originated. Back when the Gerald Anderson nonsense surfaced, there was a bit of a controversy over his reliability. CUFOS and FUFOR arranged a conference in Chicago in February 1992 to discuss all aspects of this. We spent two days going over the information. The conference was attended by Stan Friedman, Don Berliner, Mark Rodeghier, Fred Whiting, Tom Carey, Don Schmitt, Michael Swords and me. Conspicuous by his absence was Gerald Anderson, who was invited, expenses paid, but he failed to make it for some rather lame reason.
Participants in the Plains of San Agustin Conference. Left to right, Kevin Randle, Don Schmitt, Tom Carey
Mark Rodeghier, Mike Swords, Fred Whiting. Standing, Don Berliner and Stan Friedman.

Each side was to prepare a written statement outlining their perspectives, limited to 25 pages. Friedman and Berliner wrote theirs and Carey, Schmitt and I provided ours. Our commentary suggested that there were great holes in the Anderson story, and we learned later that Anderson had a habit of embellishing his accomplishments and that he had identified his high school anthropology teacher as the leader of the archaeologists who had stumbled onto the alien ship. This was called, The Plains of San Agustin Controversy, July 1947, edited by George Eberhart, and published jointly by CUFOS and FUFOR. For those who wish to read all this for themselves, see:

So, his comment was wrong, didn’t acknowledge the context in which that chapter was written or by whom, failed to note our 184 footnotes that provided our sources, and that subsequent events had suggested that Anderson’s tale was not credible. Even Don Berliner, who had been arguing that Anderson should be believed realized his mistake. Both he and Friedman published a statement in the January 1993 MUFON UFO Journal, issue No. 297, explaining they had lost faith in Anderson as a source. Friedman, oddly, later repudiated that statement. The note signed by both Friedman and Berliner, said:

…Don Berliner and Stanton Friedman, authors of Crash at Corona (Paragon House, New York, 1992), no longer have confidence in the testimony of Gerald Anderson, who claims to have stumbled upon a crash site with members of his family. Anderson admitted falsifying a document, and so his testimony about finding wreckage of a crashed flying saucer near the Plains of San Augustin [sic] in western New Mexico and then being escorted out by the U.S. military, can no longer be seen as sufficiently reliable.
The authors regret the need to take this step, but feel it is absolutely necessary if they are to stand behind their book and subsequent research into what continues to be the most important story of the millennium. This does not mean they feel there was no crash at the Plains of San Augustin; there is considerable impressive testimony to such an event. Nor does it mean that everything reported by Gerald Anderson is without value.
Dennis Stacy, editor of the Journal at the time added his own note. “Although it strongly suggests it!”

For those interested in how some of this finally played out, though it has little real relevance to the discussion of Montgomery’s book, John Carpenter wrote an article about this in the March 1993 issue of The MUFON UFO Journal entitled “Gerald Anderson: Disturbing Revelations.”

Although this too is of no real relevance here, Anderson also claimed to have been a member of the elite Navy SEALs and provided some documents to prove it. However, the SEALs, who do not like having men claim to have been a SEAL but who were not, put his name on their Hall of Shame list. These are men who claim to have been SEALs but were not.

Continuing, after a fashion, with this, Montgomery wrote, “Stan Friedman took up his [Anderson] cause and published details about the site of the actual wreckage recovered at the arroyo on the Plains of San Augustin [sic], near Corona, New Mexico. Randle never mentioned the actual location of the wreckage, which I believe he had knowledge of.”

While it is true that Friedman supported and still supports the Anderson tale, the crash site Anderson identified was on the far side of the Plains of San Agustin, not in some arroyo near Corona. I’m not sure what it means that I had knowledge of the actual location that I never mentioned. The only site that isn’t in dispute is the debris field located by Mack Brazel. Other sites have been suggested, where the craft and bodies were found, but there is no solid information confirming any of them.

He wrote, in another attack on my integrity, “I believe Randle is probably a shill for the Air Force in a campaign to debunk UFOs.”

On my radio show, he did suggest that I was an unwitting participant in it but made that claim again. I wasn’t acting on orders, but my actions suggested I was an unwitting dupe. I wondered if researching a sighting and following the evidence to a conclusion was acting as a shill. I mentioned, specifically, the Chiles-Whitted sighting of July1948. I’ve discussed that on this blog which you can read here (if you wish to understand this):

The point is that the evidence, as we now understand it, suggests a mundane explanation for their sighting. I wondered if, as we applied better information and research to a case, and found a logical solution, we shouldn’t publish that because of what the information said. Aren’t we obligated to share all information, no matter where that information might take us? Isn’t that point of investigation? To learn the truth. And if I publish that truth, how does that make me a shill, unwitting or otherwise, for the Air Force?

I had other, difficult questions for him about things I had found in his book. I suggested that Philip Corso might not have been the most honest of sources. We can go through his various tales at length, but it was clear that Montgomery had no real insight into Corso’s background or stories. He just accepted all that Corso said as if it was true. You can read about Corso here:

Finally, I will note that I invited him back to the show, to finish up where we left off when he disconnected. He thought it a good idea, but wanted to read a prepared statement and wanted a list of the topics we would discuss. Given it was my show, I said I wouldn’t allow the statement, realizing that if he was clever, he could have made the points without having to read them. He could just inject them into the conversation.

At his request, I also sent a long list of items I thought we could discuss. But I also mentioned that the first time he said, “No comment,” the connection would be severed. I would ask the questions and if he didn’t want to answer, then he would have to find someway to say that other than, “No comment.” I thought it only fair that he provide the source for some of the allegations he had slung at me.

But after writing that he thought it was a good idea, he never answered any of my follow up emails. I don’t know why, if he was confident in his information and believed his book was an accurate representation of the UFO field, he decided to no longer communicate with me. I was willing to engage in the conversation but he wasn’t. He had bailed on the first… though he said his connection was disrupted, the information in the studio was it was a disconnection rather than a service interruption. In other words, he hung up.

So, if you still believe I was too harsh, this might provide some insight to that. I’m not sure why I’m subjected to these attacks and misrepresentations of my position or why I find myself having to explain that my investigations were not influenced by the Air Force. I have tried to provide the best information available, have corrected errors that I have made in the past, and continue to research carefully. If that makes me a shill for the Air Force, then I suggest it makes many others shills for the Air Force as well. Careful research should not be attacked because you don’t like the outcome. It should be embraced as we all search for answers.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Curse of Oak Island - Nearing the Solution? (March 2019)

I believe the mystery of Oak Island has been solved. The Laginas boys have provided many hints that have been overlooked and Joy Steele provided the history that brings it all together. The sad thing is that there is no treasure and there probably never was any treasure, regardless of what the breathless narrator tells us every week and season after season.

Let’s look at some of the evidence.

Several years ago, the Laginas boys wondered if the triangular swamp on the island was nature or manmade. They speculated that it might have been created by linking two small islands separated by a narrow, shallow channel. The evidence they have uncovered recently seems to suggest this is the case.

While “diving” in the swamp, which means using some scuba or other breathing apparatus, they searched the bottom of the swamp that was what, five feet, six feet from the surface. They found things that suggested ships had been there including pieces of planking and iron nails. At one point they wondered if a ship had been scuttled there for some reason. The point is that they were finding the sort of
Joy Steele, the woman who
solved the mystery.
debris that we’d associate with sailing ships.

Joy Steele, in her book, The Oak Island Mystery Solved, suggested that the British Navy had used the island as a repair base in the 18th century. That accounts for the various bits of British material found there, the possibility of a British camp there, and all those coins and other metallic remnants found on the surface that can be traced back to the British. You can read Steele’s theory here:

And, for good measure, you can listen to my interview with her here:

But what has solidified this is what they have discover as they dig up Smith’s Cove. They have found the remains of a dock or a wharf and other structures that suggest that there was a landing place for ships. The more they dig around, the more they are finding that suggests that someone used the island for years but not as a “bank” burying a treasure at an unreasonable depth, but as a port to make necessary repairs to their sailing vessels.

Remember the legend of mysterious lights seen on the island before the boys allegedly dug up the treasure or rather attempted to. Could those have been camp fires, and if so, doesn’t that suggest something more than an overnight party? (Sorry, I got caught up in the narrator’s sentence structure.) I mean, those lights would tell us that someone was on the island for some reason. And given that the lights were reported for years, it suggests something of a semi-permanent camp, which in turn, explains the lights.

We need to also remember that most of the “finds” on the island have been near the surface. Everything that was supposedly hidden deep such as the body and
Dan Blankenship, the man responsible for
Bolehole 10X.
box at the bottom of Borehole Ten X have turned out to be optical illusions. They have found evidence of deep tunnels, and claimed to have touched a vault found during the 19th century. They haven’t located that again. Nothing of real value has been found buried deep (bones, a bit of pottery and some fragments of paper) and all that surface material is not very valuable either. In other words, their excitement is somewhat overplayed.

Now, we are left with the latest exciting discovery. The red dye they tossed into one of their holes seems to have resurfaced at Smith’s Cove. I think with all the digging, all the tunnels, all the shafts that have been sunk over the last two hundred years, not to mention the high-water table and the underground flow of sea water, that it is surprising that the dye hasn’t surfaced in other places.

I have to say, I had hoped when we reached the end of the series (which can’t be all that far off), they would have found the treasure. It would have to be a big one based on the millions they have poured into the search. But I think they know the answer and that is there is no treasure except in the continued production of the TV show.

As long as the audience is huge, as long as we all tune in week after week, and as long as I keep promoting the show here (well, I’m not that much of a factor) they’re going to find a reason to keep digging. When all is said and done, we’ll all know there is no treasure and the real tragedy are those men who lost their lives for a dream that turned into a nightmare.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Project Blue Book Episode 9 - The Hill Abduction (Almost)

I suppose the only thing to say about this latest episode is that it was really annoying. It was based, loosely, on the Hill abduction in 1961. Yes, we had the black man abducted, but his wife was also black and not abducted. Given the time frame of the episode, that is sometime in the late 1940s or the early 1950s, with laws still forbidding interracial marriages in some states, this might be a nod to keeping the time frame accurate… except they have violated that rule a number of times.

Anyway, the black man was abducted by alien creatures and the terms abducted and aliens were bandied about with no thought that such terminology was certainly not in use in the time frame of the story. He had called the Air Force to ask for help, but Quinn, it seems,
Captain Quinn
had blown him off. In the early 1950s this case would certainly have been ignored given the incredible nature of it.

The man finally bursts into the Blue Book office where Quinn and Hynek are having an argument about Hynek’s resignation. Hynek wants to take his research files while Quinn, in civilian clothes, tells him the files belong to the Air Force. Before they can resolve this dilemma, the man, armed with a .45, bursts in and demands they listen to him.

Meanwhile, the Soviet spies are attempting to compromise the Hynek’s wife so that Hynek will give them information about his investigations, though, given the time frame, I’m not sure what the agents expected. The female spy convinces Mimi to get drunk so that they can take compromising photographs of her.

We do get to learn a little about the abduction, as Hynek interviews the guy. He has a paper with dots all over it and in what can only be described as an impossible deduction, Hynek recognizes the star field, but says that it’s reversed, as if looking at it from a point in space on the opposite side from that we see on Earth… Ah, an oblique reference to the Betty Hill star map.

I won’t say anything about the military response to the locked office and the rifle shot through the window. Or the fist fight between Hynek and Quinn. Really, Hynek? In a fist fight? I don’t think so.

So, let’s talk about the Hill abduction case. The Hill abduction took place in 1961, but the Air Force really didn’t take notice of it then. Betty Hill, rather than contacting the Air Force, wrote to
Donald Keyhoe
Donald Keyhoe at NICAP, which, given the Air Force attitude at the time, and Keyhoe’s prominence in the UFO field, makes sense… Unfortunately, it also sort of contaminates the case.

The only case that I can find in the Blue Book files that references the Hill sighting is from Lincoln, New Hampshire on September 20, 1961. The Blue Book index shows the radar sighting as insufficient data and the accompanying visual sighting as insufficient data, meaning there is no solution, but that the evidence isn’t all that strong either. Neither of these have anything to do with the Hill abduction.

The visual sighting was of a cigar-shaped object that was described as a band of light. The witnesses said that wings seemed to appear on the main body. They were “V” shaped with red lights on the ends. It would change directions abruptly and disappeared to the north.

On the project card, under “comments,” it was noted that the weather might be a factor in both the visual and radar sightings. It was reported that a strong inversion layer covered the area. They thought that an advertising search light playing off the clouds might be the cause of the visual sighting, but that seems unlikely. The Air Force concluded that there was no evidence that the objects were caused by anything other than natural phenomena, though they didn’t really identify any of those phenomena.

Other than weather records, the file contained a letter from Colonel Eric deJonckheere (who would appear in the Zamora case in 1964) which referenced the Hill abduction. He noted that Barney Hill had been investigated by officers from Pease Air Force Base and the case is carried as insufficient. This, I think, is a reference to the Lincoln, New Hampshire, case because deJonckheere’s letter is in that file.

Later in the file, there are parts of a magazine article, written by John Fuller, that chronicles some of the Hill abduction. The article is incomplete.

The points of interest here are the suggestion that the Hill abduction was investigated by officers from Pease, but I found nothing in the Blue Book file to confirm this other than deJonckheere’s letter.

As usual, he mentioned inconsistencies in the sighting report and that Jupiter seemed to be visible near the location of the sighting. He wrote that the sighting lasted about an hour and that Jupiter was in the approximate location of the craft and set about the time the object disappeared. He wrote the same thing that appeared on the project card which is that there was no evidence that the sighting was due to anything other than natural causes.

The one thing I do want to talk about is the star map that Betty Hill seemed to remember in a dream. It had a number of random points with lines connecting some of them. These have been called “trade routes,” which indicates alien interest in those specific points.
I have discussed this in past blogs which can be read here:

and here:

and here:

and here:

and finally, here:

If you don’t wish to wade through all that, then let me reduce it without all the supporting information. Marjorie Fish created a number of 3D models of our section of the galaxy so that she might search for a pattern in the stars that matched that on Hill’s star map. She used the best information available to her, which has been revised over the years so that the distances to some of the stars are farther away and others are closer. She did not use any red dwarf stars in her models because there were too many of then and there wouldn’t be anything of interest circling them. If the aliens traveled to one, they should travel to them all. Or so she concluded.

This is not to mention that there are four other interpretations of the star map out there, including one that suggests the map represented not stars but planets in our own solar system. The Zeta I, Zeta II Reticuli interpretation seems to have gained the greatest popularity, but given the flaws in the Fish models, I believe that this should be revisited using computers rather than 3D models.

The point here is that one of the best bits of evidence for the reality of the Hill abduction is somewhat flawed (and no, this isn’t the only point that argues against a real event), we should be careful in our acceptance of this particular abduction.

On a person note, when I was investigating the abduction of Pat Roach, I was working with Dr. James Harder. He was conducting the hypnotic regression sessions. But he told me that he wanted to find something that would validate the Hill abduction. He wanted another case that mirrored the Hills because as second report, from an unrelated abduction, would strengthen the Hill case. What I saw during those sessions, and what I have learned about hypnosis, suggested that Harder contaminated the Roach abduction by his techniques. I firmly believe, given the research that I have done personally including my interviews with the principals, is that Roach experienced an episode of sleep paralysis… Harder managed to introduce elements of the Hill abduction into those hypnotic regression sessions. I don’t believe he realized what he was doing at the time.

All this was laid out in the book, The Abduction Enigma, which was published more than twenty years ago.

I mention these things as a way of, well, discussing the abduction enigma and some of the problems with the research. I also mention it to suggest there are terrestrial explanations for some of the abduction reports.

I will note that the writers of the Project Blue Book show seem to have done their research. They interject elements from the real cases into the plots, even if those points are subtlety made. Little things that many wouldn’t notice, such as the racial identity of the man who said he was abducted. Or the star map reference which here was even more obscure.

However, they seem to be drifting more into the realm of science fiction (though I don’t really object to that) and away from the reality of what can be found in the Blue Book files. Next week they are going to be tackling the Washington Nationals and if the previews are any indication, they’re going to move from intercepts without real conflict into intercepts in which the fighters fire on the “lights.” It’ll be interesting to see where they go with that.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Project Blue Book Episode 8 - Lights in Korea

Episode Eight had virally nothing to do with Project Blue Book. Oh, they paid lip service to it and both Hynek and Quinn were there, but the case was not from the Blue Book files, the Soviets are still spying, and Hynek lost the keen little thing he had stolen from a classified area. But in the end, there was no real relation to anything in the Blue Book files.

As for the military exercise in the beginning, it provided nothing more than typical Hollywood speculation. In such an exercise, the soldiers would not have been carrying live ammunition for the very reason that they showed. Surprised by lights flashing around they didn’t understand, they opened fire with no regard to impact sites
The general who tells
Quinn, "That's an order."
or where other soldiers involved might be. They just shot up the area using high power rifles (M-1s, which are .30 caliber). The rounds could be deadly up to a mile away, but the soldiers were firing into the woods indiscriminately.

Since this was an exercise, there was no reason for them to have live ammunition. The real-life event that this was modeled after took place in Korea in 1951 and that is a whole different issue. Of course, the soldiers had live ammunition and probably a lot of it. In Iraq we were issued a basic load, which meant that everyone of us had 210 rounds for the M-16, though given the circumstances, we might be carrying only 30 to 60 rounds, and yes, the weapons were often loaded and a round chambered. But that was a combat environment.

Oh, in my entire military career, I don’t remember hearing superior who gave an order to a subordinate saying, “That’s an order.” We all know what an order is and we just don’t punctuate the command by saying, “That’s an order.” Hollywood loves to underscore these orders by telling us all that it’s an order.

Spoilers: We learn, in the end, that this was not a display of alien craft, but some sort of experiment that not even the two generals in charge knew about. It was to test the soldiers’ reactions as they were exposed to some sort of psychotropic drugs or gas or something. They failed the experiment but we did glimpse some sort of oversight committee… or rather their meeting room, which, BTW, was pretty fancy. But when you’re dealing with the top of the military chain of command, you do get fancy.

So, what was the case that they based this episode on? It took place in May 1951, in Korea but wasn’t reported for more than 30 years when John Timmerman, learned of it from one of the soldiers who had been there at the time. This comes from the NICAP website which can be found at:

This text is an edited transcript of an interview between Mr. Francis P. Wall, a private first class (PFC) in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and John Timmerman, an associate of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) in Chicago, Illinois. The interview took place in January, 1987. Noted UFO researcher Richard F. Haines checked military records and found Mr. Wall listed as a Korean combatant in the infantry unit he names below. Haines also requested and received from Mr. Wall a drawing of the aerial object he claims to have seen. The drawing depicts a very typical "flying saucer." CNI News thanks John Timmerman for permission to reprint this text. Mr. Wall recounts his experience as follows: 

This event that I am about to relate to you is the truth, so help me God. It happened in the early Spring of 1951 in Korea. We were in the Army infantry, 25th Division, 27th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 'Easy' Company. We were in what is known on the military maps as the Iron Triangle, near Chorwon. 

It is night. We are located on the slopes of a mountain, below [which] there is a Korean village. Previously we have sent our men into this village to warn the populace that we are going to bombard it with artillery. On this night, we were doing just that. We had aerial artillery bursts coming in. 

We suddenly noticed on our right-hand side what appeared to be a jack-o-lantern come wafting down across the mountain. And at first no one thought anything about it. So, we noticed that this thing continued on down to the village to where, indeed, the artillery air bursts were exploding. It had an orange glow in the beginning. We further noticed that this object was [so] quick that it could get into the center of an airburst of artillery and yet remain unharmed. 

[The] time element on this, I would say, [was] anywhere from, oh, forty-five minutes to an hour all told. 

But then this object approached us. And it turned a blue-green brilliant light. It's hard to distinguish the size of it; there's no way to compare it. The light was pulsating. This object approached us. 

I asked for and received permission from Lt. Evans, our company commander at that time, to fire upon this object, which I did with an M-1 rifle with armor-piercing bullets. And I did hit it. It must have been metallic because you could hear when the projectile slammed into it. 

Now why would that bullet damage this craft if the artillery rounds didn't? I don't know, unless they had dropped their protective field around them, or whatever. But the object went wild, and the light was going on and off. It went off completely once, briefly. And it was moving erratically from side to side as though it might crash to the ground. Then, a sound -- we had heard no sound previous to this -- the sound of, like, diesel locomotives revving up. That's the way this thing sounded. 

And then, we were attacked. We were swept by some form of a ray that was emitted in pulses, in waves that you could visually see only when it was aiming directly at you. That is to say, like a searchlight sweeps around and... you would see it coming at you. Now you would feel a burning, tingling sensation all over your body, as though something were penetrating you. 

So, the company commander, Lt. Evans, hauled us into our bunkers. We didn't know what was going to happen. We were scared. These are underground dugouts where you have peep holes to look out to fire at the enemy. So, I'm in my bunker with another man. We're peeping out at this thing. It hovered over us for a while, lit up the whole area with its light, and then I saw it shoot off at a 45-degree angle, that quick, just there and gone. That quick. And it was as though that was the end of it. 

But, three days later the entire company of men had to be evacuated by ambulance. They had to cut roads in there and haul them out. They were too weak to walk. They had dysentery. Then subsequently, when the doctors did see them, they had an extremely high white blood cell count which the doctors could not account for. 

Now in the military, especially the Army, each day you file a company report. We had a confab about that. Do we file it in the report or not? And the consensus was 'No.' Because they'd lock every one of us up and think we were crazy. At that time, no such thing as a UFO had ever been heard of, and we didn't know what it was. 

I still don't know what it was. But I do know that since that time I have periods of disorientation, memory loss, and I dropped from 180 pounds to 138 pounds after I got back to this country. And I've had great difficulty keeping my weight up. Indeed, I'm retired and disabled today." 

The one thing that I take away from this, is that we have another episode in which they deal with lights in the sky. Not a solid craft. And the real tales on which these episodes are based seem to have the same sort of observations. Lights in the sky, or as the real Allen Hynek labeled them, “nocturnal lights.” I’m sure they are building to something… and that might be the Washington Nationals in which the observations were lights in the sky, though these were tracked by radar.