Monday, April 02, 2007

Korffed Again

I haven’t wanted to turn this blog into a way to reply to others who disagree with me. I have attempted to be restrained in what I said about other researchers, especially those with whom I disagree. But Kal Korff just keeps sniping from the bushes, making allegations that are simply not accurate, and believing that somehow he will eventually be vindicated.

There are those who have advised me to ignore his comments and frankly, I’m inclined to agree with them. Why supply any sort of credibility to him by responding?

Good question.

Simply put, sometimes you just have to defend yourself. And sometimes its just fun.

But, before I get off on that, let me ask a simple question or two. Kal Korff claims to be a captain in an Israeli organization that he now describes as a "‘meta-organization’ so there won’t be some fancy building that can be targeted." He says that you can’t "Google" it because the English version of the name isn’t quite accurate and you need the Hebrew name. So, why not supply that as some have requested? The only things you can learn about this secret organization that Korff insists on naming only in the loose English translation takes you back to Korff driven documents. If another researcher attempted to pull off something like this, Korff would be all over him.

On the X-Zone radio show, Korff provided a little more information, saying that S3 was a civilian organization. So why the military rank structure? And if it is Israeli, then why is Korff wearing American captain bars (seen above at the left) rather than the Israeli insignia for the rank of Seren (seen at the left... the Israeli name for captain) in the picture he produced to "prove" that he was really a captain (seen below at the left... yeah it's difficult to see, but those sure look like American captain bars to me)?

But, once again, I digress. Korff seems to be obsessed with this idea of an independent audit of our respective works to find out who made the most mistakes. Or rather, he is going to audit my work because he believes his is so well done that there are no errors in it. Well, I know of one researcher, Greg Sandow, who did look at one aspect of this controversy and who did produce a review of the claims each of us made in our respective books.

But who really cares about such an audit? Isn’t that the job of the reader? Can’t he or she look at the information contained in each book and decide whose more closely follows the truth and who supplies the most credible explanation for the crash at Roswell?

As just a single example, I have a letter that Greg Sandow posted on UFO UpDates a number of years ago. Sandow looked at how Korff treated the testimony of the late Brigadier General Arthur Exon and provided an interesting commentary about Korff’s book and his opinions on about Exon. In response to some of the Korff nonsense, Sandow wrote:

Now a look at Kal's comments on General Arthur Exon. Remember my disclaimers -that I'm not commenting on the nature of the Roswell crash, or on the overall worth of Kal's book. I won't be drawn into arguments about those subjects. I'm only commenting on three passages in the book...
What does Kal say? Something really sharp: "There is no excuse for how Exon's 'testimony' is misrepresented in the Randle-Schmitt book. It is blatant fiction on the part of the authors...Randle and Schmitt were deceptive in their presentation of both Exon's recollections and his supposed 'involvement' in the Roswell affair."

So what's that about? The indictment, as it turns out, rests on one lone accusation, that Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt presented Exon's remarks as if he were relating first-hand testimony, when actually he was only reporting things he'd heard from others. This, in some ways, is a remarkably trivial charge. Why do I say that? Well, suppose that it's true. Then we can shout "gotcha" to Randle and Schmitt, and we'll be careful to check anything either of them says in the future.

But then what did Exon say even as a second-hand witness? As Kal himself tells us (see p. 93 of his Roswell book), Exon talks about Roswell debris being flown to Wright-Patterson. "The boys who tested it," Exon says, "said it was very unusual....It had them pretty puzzled." First-hand, second-hand....either way we've got a banner headline, even if Exon never said one word beyond what Kal quotes. An Air Force general, even if he's only giving his general impression of what he's heard about Roswell, says the same things about the Roswell debris as some of the controversial first-hand witnesses do! If you put any weight on Exon's impressions, the Mogul theory [the glorified weather balloon explanation offered by the Air Force in 1994] takes a big hit. Isn't that more important, in the overall scheme of things, than any question about Randle and Schmitt? And, as we'll see, Exon said much more than that.

But then is Kal right to say Randle and Schmitt distorted Exon's remarks? I don't think so, for three reasons.

(1) I've heard Kevin's first interview with Exon on tape, and read Kevin's scrupulously accurate transcript. I thought Exon said exactly what he's quoted as saying in Kevin's book.

(2) Even the passage Kal quotes doesn't support his view. Here's how Kal presents it: "To read the Randle-Schmitt book, it appears that Exon corroborates the Roswell UFO recovery by providing impressive-sounding testimony that appears to be firsthand. 'We heard the material was coming to Wright Field....It was brought into our material evaluation labs. I don't know how it arrived but the boys who tested it said it was very unusual.' Exon described the material: '[Some of it] could be easily ripped or changed....there were other parts of it that were very thin but awfully strong and couldn't be dented with very heavy hammers....It was flexible to a degree,' and, according to Exon, 'some of it was flimsy and was tougher than hell and almost like foil but strong. It had them pretty puzzled.'"

"To almost anyone reading this," Kal writes, "it would appear that...[Exon] was a firsthand source who was present and personally saw what he describes." But I don't see it that way at all. Consider these statements: "We heard the material was coming....I don't know how it arrived, but the boys who tested it said...It had them pretty puzzled." Isn't it clear that Exon isn't speaking of first hand knowledge? Who wouldn't understand that Exon didn't handle this debris himself?

A page later in the Randle-Schmitt book comes another Exon quote, which Kal doesn't reprint: "The metal and material was unknown to anyone I talked to. Whatever they found, I never heard what the results were. A couple of guys thought it might be Russian but the overall consensus was that the pieces were from space."

Again, it's perfectly clear that Exon didn't handle or analyze the material himself, and even that his knowledge was limited. But he appears to think he'd spoken to people who knew at least something about what the analysis had shown. How sure was he of this knowledge? Let me quote a few suggestive passages. First, an Exon quote from Randle's book: "I know [my emphasis] that...[General Ramey] along with the people out at Roswell decided to change the story while they got their act together and got the information into the Pentagon." (UFO Crash at Roswell, paperback, p. 111.) Another Exon quote from Randle: "I just know [again my emphasis] there was a top intelligence echelon represented and the President's office was represented and the Secretary of Defense's office was represented..." (He's talking about the secret UFO
committee that he's sure existed; UFO Crash, p. 232.)

And here's something Exon said on the tape, which wasn't quoted in Randle's book. Kevin asks, referring to stories we've all heard about alien corpses at Wright-Patterson: "You've heard the rumors about the little bodies, haven't you?" "Yes, I have," answers Exon. "In fact, I know people that were involved in photographing some of the residue from the New Mexico affair near Roswell." [My emphasis.] Here's something else, about how Exon knows that there were alien bodies from Roswell at Wright-Patterson: "People I have known who were involved with that" told him so. [Sandow’s emphasis.]

Look back at the quote Kal thinks is so damning: 'We heard the material was coming to Wright Field....It was brought into our material evaluation labs. I don't know how it arrived but the boys who tested it said it was very unusual.' Exon described the material: '[Some of it] could be easily ripped or changed....there were other parts of it that were very thin but awfully strong and couldn't be dented with very heavy hammers....It was flexible to a degree,' and, according to Exon, 'some of it was flimsy and was tougher than hell and almost like foil but strong. It had them pretty puzzled.'"

Given the full context of Exon's remarks...and bearing in mind everything I've quoted from Kevin's interview with him....isn't it clear (a) that Exon certainly thought he knew quite a bit (even if not first hand) about the subjects he was quoted on, that (b) he says quite clearly that he'd talked to people who were involved first-hand, and (c) that therefore the passage Kal quotes from Kevin's book is really quite reasonable in both its tone and content? I don't think it misrepresents Exon at all. (Here's another quote from Exon, from the tape: "Most of the people you're talking to are a little bit like me. Close enough to know that there was something happening. They had no direct responsibility for any of it." Anyone who reads the complete sections on Exon from Randle's books will, I think, form exactly that impression.)

This is by no means everything that Sandow said about Korff’s reporting on Exon but does address the issue. Now, to be fair, I say once again, that I know Greg, he has visited my house, and I gave him access to everything I had on the Roswell case, letting him pick and chose what he wanted to see. He was able to review all of the Exon testimony and there is other later testimony that others have gathered about what Exon said.

So, here we are, at the end of the day, reviewing the same material that was reviewed ten years ago. It shows that an independent researcher, who has no dog in this hunt, reviewed part of Korff’s work on Roswell and part of mine. He concluded that my reporting of the Exon testimony was accurate and Korff’s conclusions were not driven by the facts. The question then becomes, "Who is misrepresenting the data?" Or an even more critical question, "Did Korff ever interview Exon, or was he working from my notes and letters from the general?"

But the real point of all this is that Korff slings allegations, threatens all sorts of dire consequences, but provides no evidence to make his case. I say, let the reader take a look at all the Roswell works and decide who is closer to the truth... And, I predict that it won’t be Korff.

1 comment:

Stephen Gnandt said...

The Exon testimony is my opinion is certainly some of the best that you came up with. A good chunk of it is on the video 'Down in Roswell' along with a snippet of your Edwin Easly interview. Exon certainly speaks with great emotional certitude in the above when it comes to what he believes happened at Roswell, and the fact that it was alien crash, and NOT with any air of even cautious skepticism or doubt. The quotes in your books on what Exon said are certainly not a misrepresentation in any way.