Sunday, July 22, 2007

Project Blue Book - Exposed...

Back in the olden days, while I was still in college and a member of Air Force ROTC, I learned that the Project Blue Book files were available for study and review at the Air Force Archives at the what was then called Maxwell Air Force Base. The announcement was made in an internal Air Force document, meaning, simply, that it was circulated inside the Air Force but not necessarily in the civilian world. It said that anyone who traveled to Alabama could see the material.

During those days I wrote articles for SAGA and its companion magazine, UFO REPORT. I called my editor there, who normally didn’t speak to me but had his secretary tell me to call back later. I mentioned that I could get into the Project Blue Book files. I didn’t say that anyone could, only that I had the opportunity. One of the senior editors called me back immediately, giving me an assignment and telling me what he would like to know.

I drove to Maxwell AFB with fellow writer and researcher Robert Charles Cornett (seen working on some of the files). We had no trouble getting onto the base because we were both members of the Air Force Reserve based on our status in AFROTC. In fact, we had a letter of introduction written by the detachment commander so they would know that we were members of the Air Force. We told the people there what we wanted but they hesitated, telling me that I had to request specific items from Blue Book, not just a vague desire to see the "files." I knew something about UFOs so requested specific files from Kinross and Levelland, for example. They just weren’t sure that they should be handing us this information.

After they had talked to a "Mr. Smith" in Washington, cooperation increased and we learned that there was an index, which we requested to see immediately. I never knew if they initiated the contact, or if, somehow, Mr. Smith knew we were there and wanted us to have what we needed. All I knew was that after this mysterious man talked to the archivists, they were happy to assist us in anyway they could.

They eventually told us about a master index to the sightings. This master index gave the dates of the sightings, location, names of the witnesses and the Air Force conclusion. Cornett and I went through the whole thing and copied the information of all the unidentifieds, most of the photo cases, landing trace cases, and anything else that struck us as important. I didn’t know how valuable that information would become later.

In the mid-1970s, Jack Webb decided to do a show called Project UFO (one of the actors and a producer for the show)for NBC. To assist him, the Air Force moved the Blue Book files to the National Archives (NARA... ever notice how everything is being reduced to letters because, I guess, it’s too difficult to say National Archives), where it was microfilmed. We have Jack Webb (seen below) to thank for that. Webb, as I understand it, paid the cost of the microfilming.

Over the years I have acquired a complete set of the Blue Book files on 94 rolls of microfilm. That collection is in no way unique. The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies has a complete set and I suspect MUFON does too. What makes all this interesting is that the National Archives has now put all of Project Blue Book on line at:

Then go to page three and scroll down. At the moment, you can search the files for free. I don’t know how long that will last.

These are high quality scans, for the most part and provide a glimpse into the Air Force handling of the UFO project. The problem is that before these files were released into the public arena, Air Force officers spent weeks going through them taking out the names of the witnesses. Oh, they did a terrible job of it. In the Arnold file, they went so far as to take Arnold’s initials out of a transcript of an interview with him, but left, scrawled in large letters on one page, "Arnold Sighting."

In other files, they took the names out of the Air Force generated reports, but left the names in newspaper articles that were filed with the reports. In other words, in some cases, you can put the names back in.

But remember, Cornett and I copied the names from so many of the case files that I, too, can put them back in. In fact, in Project Blue Book - Exposed, Appendix B is a listing of those cases, including the date and time, location and the witnesses, along with a brief description of the sighting. (Seen below, I'm working my way through some of the Blue Book material.)

For those who wish, I note, again, I have a limited number of the hardback copies of the book, Project Blue Book - Exposed, that originally sold for $22.95. For those interested in a copy, I would send it to you for just $10.00 plus shipping and handling of $5.00 (yeah, you have to pay the postage and for the envelop, but hey, you get the book for less than half price and if you tell me how you’d like it inscribed, why, I’d even sign it).
For those interested, send a check or money order to:

Kevin Randle
PO Box 10934
Cedar Rapids, IA 52410-0934

Friday, July 20, 2007

Project Mogul and Roswell

Over the last several months, Kal Korff has made all sorts of allegations, charges, complaints and comments about my investigation of the Roswell case. He seems to be obsessed with my writing, and he works to prove that I have made many mistakes.

But Korff has been very sloppy when it comes to his own reporting. Take, for example, his comments about my investigation into part of the Project Mogul explanation. He wrote, in part, "...Kevin Randle has gone on the record as claiming he has ‘disproved’ the Mogul explanation by using winds aloft information for the area. This includes information pertaining to high altitude winds and it is a factor all airborne objects... must contend with. However, because Randle has no expertise in this field, his ‘explanation’ is demonstratively false has come back to haunt him [Sentence reproduced as it appears on page 154 of the hardback edition of Korff’s book]."

He goes on to reproduce, from my Roswell UFO Crash Update, an analysis of the winds data and how it eliminates the culprit. This analysis is based on the trajectories followed by Mogul Flight No. 8 and Mogul Flight No. 10. Using the winds aloft data, as well as maps of the area, I wrote and Korff reproduces about this flight:

The National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC has microfilmed copies of the winds aloft charts for 1947. While these charts cannot prove that what fell on the Brazel ranch was a Project Mogul balloon, they can exclude it. If the winds were blowing in the wrong direction, then it is clear that the balloons would have traveled away from the ranch. If, however, they were blowing in the right direction, the winds aloft data can only show it was possible for a Mogul balloon to have fallen on the ranch, not that it did.

These data are not as complete as I would have liked them. Although the charts range from the surface to 20,000 feet, the winds at various reporting stations are often blank which means, simply, no data were available.

Four [weather tracking] stations are of relevance to us. These are the stations at Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas and Albuquerque and Roswell, New Mexico. No winds data are available from Alamogordo, the launching site of Mogul balloons...

The relevant charts as those made at 8:30 P.M., MST on July 3, and at 2:30 A.M. on July 4. The only data for the 20,000 foot level on July 3 (8:30 P.M.) is from Albuquerque showing the wind was blowing at Albuquerque to the northwest at 15 knots. At 16,000 feet the wind was blowing at Albuquerque to the northwest at 15 knots.

At 2:30 the following morning, seven hours after the launch, the winds at Roswell at 20,000 feet are blowing to the northwest at 20 knots. At 16,000 feet, the wind at Roswell is blowing at 15 knots, and the wind at Albuquerque is blowing to the northeast at 25 knots. Of course, if the balloon had reached Albuquerque, the wind blowing in that direction would push it farther to the north, away from the Brazel Ranch.

Between Albuquerque and the Brazel ranch is the northern end of the San Andreas Mountains with peaks above 9,000 feet. If the balloon stayed aloft long enough to reach Albuquerque, the winds there would have pushed it back into the mountains. It would not have drifted to the Brazel ranch.

Korff wrote, "While this might be true in Kevin Randle’s mind, it does not necessarily mean that it is reality."

He continued, "When Prof. Charles Moore [of the New York University Constant Level Balloon Project now known as Mogul seen here] used Weather Service data [that I supplied to him] and NYU altitude information to stimulate the likely trajectories of the Mogul flights he launched with recorded ground trackings, his results showed conclusively that Randle is wrong, and that a Mogul balloon could easily have fallen on the Foster [Brazel] ranch. Moore is qualified to read and calculate winds aloft data and other atmospheric data, whereas Randle is primarily a writer; he has not been trained to make such calculations."

To prove his point, Korff then quotes physicist Dave Thomas, who wrote:

"[Moore] used the wind data for June 4, 1947, and assumed the flight reached altitudes comparable to those for the subsequent two flights (which were made of similar balloon trains).

Moore’s analysis indicates that after Flight 4 lifted off from Alamogordo, it probably ascended with traveling northeast (toward Arabela), then turned toward the northwest during passage through the stratosphere, and then descended back to earth in a general northeast direction. Moore’s calculated balloon path is quite consistent with a landing on the Foster ranch, approximately 85 miles northeast of the Alamogordo launch site and 60 miles northwest of Roswell. Furthermore, the debris was strewn along the ground at a southwest-to-northwest angle (as reported by Maj. Jesse Marcel); this angle is entirely consistent with Moore’s analysis.

So, what’s wrong with this? First, I notice that the notorious Jesse Marcel’s description of the orientation of the debris field is accepted as fact. We hear from the debunkers and from Korff how unreliable his testimony is unless it relates to their beliefs. Marcel [seen here] can be trusted here, but not on other aspects of the case. Isn’t this a double standard and cherry-picking facts?

Second, I notice any number of qualifications in Thomas’ analysis. "Assumed the flight reached... it probably ascended..." It seems that we must make many assumptions for this flight to work.

Not to mention that the winds aloft data end at 20,000 feet so once the balloons reached above that altitude, as they did, the winds aloft data become highly speculative. Korff, in fact, edited out of my report a paragraph that said, "At 10,000 feet, the winds are literally all over the chart. The El Paso winds are to the north at 20 knots, the winds at Roswell are to the northeast at 25 knots and the winds at Albuquerque are to the southeast at 15 knots. That last is interesting because it suggests that the balloon, reaching Albuquerque could be blown back, toward the Brazel ranch."

What this demonstrates is that the winds, at various altitudes, can be wildly different than those above or below. They can be stronger, weaker, and blowing in directions at wide variance.

Third, I see nothing to suggest that Flight No. 4 was even launched. According to a diary kept by Dr. Albert Crary, the man in charge of the balloon experiments in New Mexico, Flight No. 4, scheduled for an early morning launch on June 4 was cancelled because of bad weather.

Here’s what Crary wrote, "June 4, 1947. Out to Tularosa Range and fired charges between 00 and 06 this am. No balloon flight again on account of clouds. Flew regular sonobuoy up in cluster of balloons and had good luck on receiver on ground but poor on plane. Out with Thompson pm. Shot charges from 1800 to 2400."

So we have contradictory accounts here in the only documented source. Charles Moore, who was with Crary on these tests wrote, "My examination of his original handwritten entries suggests that he copied from other notes; the entries from June 2 through the first half of June 5 appear to have been written in one sitting with the same pencil and without any corrections or false starts."

In other words, ones that the Mogul crowd doesn’t want to hear, there is a distinct possibility that there was no Flight No. 4, and at best, for them, it was only the balloons but none of the other equipment. Moore told me that if a launch was cancelled, [Mogul launch seen here] they pulled the equipment from the array, but they let the balloons go because they couldn’t get the helium back into the bottle. If this is true, then Flight No. 4 would have had no radar reflectors to scatter debris and another leg of the Mogul explanation is kicked free.

But finally, there is the bigger problem for what Korff alleges here. Back in the beginning of the investigation, Karl Pflock came up with an explanation for the crash at Roswell. He said that it was an N-9M version of the Northrop Flying Wing. When we demonstrated that was impossible, he switched to Project Mogul, suggesting that Flight No. 9, on July 3, was the culprit because there wasn’t much in the way of details for that flight and the wreckage was not recovered. In fact, the notes, diaries and other information have almost nothing about Flight No. 9. Please notice here, I have been addressing Flight No. 9 and not No. 4.

The paragraph that precedes the one quoted by Korff said, "We can then speculate that Flight No. 9 or the culprit named by Pflock, traveled to the northwest. No compelling evidence has been presented to counter this belief. It is a reasonable extrapolation based on the evidence in hand. However, we can take this a step farther."

It is at that point that Korff begins to quote. This means that the analysis I did, and which Korff reports in such detail was not about Flight No. 4, but Flight No. 9. The next paragraph, which Korff failed to report, said, "Terrain and winds seem to effectively rule out Flight No. 9..." Korff has missed completely on this, and the analysis I did is accurate when it is applied to the correct flight. Korff either didn’t notice his mistake or simply didn’t care.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Edwin Easley and Roswell

Let’s talk about Major Edwin Easley (seen here), who, in 1947 was the provost marshal at the Roswell Army Air Field. That is, he was the top cop, sort of the chief of police, responsible for base security, patrols of the town, investigation of crimes, and any other security measure that the base commander, Colonel William Blanchard, might have had for him. If there had been a UFO crash near Roswell, Easley would have known about it and would have had some role in the recovery operation, even if that role was only providing security on the crash sites.

The debunker triumvirate of Phil Klass, Karl Pflock and Kal Korff are quite dismissive of Easley, spending little or no time with his story. They seem to be of the opinion that he is of little value and that what he told me in several interviews is irrelevant because it is unsubstantiated and uncorroborated. Such is not the case.

(And, if I might go off on a tangent here, I use the word debunker, not in its normal connotation, but as it has become applied to the rabid disbelievers in the UFO field. Debunker means someone who will not change his or her opinion about the possibility of UFOs regardless of the evidence, just as the true believer will accept anything and everything, regardless of the evidence. Debunkers and true believers are at opposite ends of the spectrum but are equally unwilling to examine evidence.)

Phil Klass, in his anti-Roswell book doesn’t even mention Easley. Karl Pflock (seen below), in his, mentions him a number of times, mostly as identification of who he was and his job in Roswell in 1947, meaning simply that he was the provost marshal. Pflock does write in the one place, "...Roswell AAF provost marshall [sic], told Randle that Brazel ‘was kept under guard in the [base] guest house for a number of days."

Pflock also wrote, "All this [meaning the story of Brazel at the guest house and Brazel under military escort] seems quite impressive until we learn that Randle did not record his interview with Easley and has no independent verification of what he recalls the now-deceased officer told him."

Kal Korff has the most to say about Easley, but doesn’t get things exactly right. Korff wrote, "Randle claims that Easley on his deathbed eventually confessed that not only had he ‘been there,’ but that he had also seen alien bodies. Indeed, the authors [Randle and Schmitt] write, ‘Easley was reluctant to talk of bodies, but finally, before he died, said that he had seen them. He had been close enough to them to know they weren’t human. He called them creatures.’"

Korff continued, "There’s a problem with Randle’s claim about Easley’s alleged deathbed statements. To be blunt about the matter, Kevin Randle was not present when Easley was dying, only his family members were. This means that Kevin Randle is not in a position to comment about what Easley supposedly said because he wasn’t there.

"The truth of the matter is that there is no evidence other than Kevin Randle’s ‘word’ that Major Easley either said or did the things that Randle claims. And because Major Easley is deceased, he cannot be questioned on the accuracy of Randle’s comments.

"When I checked with the Center for UFO Studies, where Randle and Schmitt claim that all the interview tapes and documentation for their research are archived, it turned out that there are no tapes or forms of independent documentation or verification on file proving that Easley indeed had made the statements Randle posthumously attributes to him! Researchers Robert Todd and Stanton Friedman have also tried to obtain similar supportive evidence for many of Randle’s other claims regarding his research into Roswell but have been unsuccessful.

"Even if Kevin Randle is telling the truth regarding what Easley told him, there is a very valid reason to call into question any remarks that Easley might have made. According to Easley’s family, he was quite advanced in age when he spoke with Randle. His memory was failing him and Easley had a tendency to place himself in events at which he was not present."
Korff footnotes this with, "Kal Korff interview with Dr. Harold Granich, Easley’s physician, July 16, 1994."

In conclusion, Korff wrote, "Once again, until Kevin Randle is ever able to provide evidence and/or documentation to back up his statement, Easley’s alleged deathbed remarks cannot be considered as credible evidence for the extraterrestrial nature of the Roswell incident."

So, we are treated to two divergent views. We can ignore Phil Klass because he ignored Edwin Easley. Let’s look at what Karl Pflock has to say, remembering that Pflock never talked to Easley, never interviewed him, and is left with his impressions based on the work of others, most notably me.

Easley, in an interview with me, conducted from the offices of the Center of UFO Studies, told me that Mack Brazel, the rancher who brought in the debris had been held in the base guest house for a number of days. Is this uncorroborated?

No. Bill Brazel (seen here), Mack’s son, told me in personal interviews, including those that were recorded, that his dad had been held in Roswell for several days. Bill said that he had gone to the ranch and his father didn’t return for two or three days.

Marian Strickland, a neighbor to Brazel, told me, and is recorded on video tape, that he sat in her kitchen and complained about being held in jail. While the base guest house isn’t exactly jail, if you are not allowed to leave, it is the same sort of thing.

So, in reality, we have Easley’s statement and we have the recorded statements of others. Clearly Brazel was held in Roswell, and the importance of what Easley said, was that he was held in the guest house (seen below). This seems to be corroboration of what Easley told me.

Pflock also laments that I didn’t record one of the interviews with Easley and in reality, that was a serious mistake. At the time I talked to Easley, he was in good health and I planned to meet with him in person to corroborate all those things he had said. Dr. Mark Rodeghier of the CUFOS asked me to arrange a meeting between him and Easley and I attempted to do just that. Unfortunately, this was after Easley became seriously ill and a very good opportunity was lost.

Korff is the one who takes this the farthest, but his reporting is as flawed as the others. First, he is worried because I wasn’t there, in Easley’s room, to hear his statements. This, he believes, somehow negates them. But, if this is true and we are not allowed to interview others about their experiences, then historical research has been eliminated. Walter Lord was not on Titanic when it sank, so why should we believe anything he wrote about that. Because he talked to those who were there.

I might add, as an aside, that Lord interviewed the survivors some four decades after the sinking but no one has rejected his work because memories are flawed and dimmed by time. This is only a criticism that is raised in relation to UFO sightings, and then only about those claiming to have seen something strange and unusual. If the witness is saying that the event didn’t happen or there is a prosaic explanation for it, then that witnesses memories are fine.

Korff then suggested that there is no evidence that Easley ever said the things I said he said, forgetting that there are audio tapes of some of the interviews. Later, on the same page, Korff suggests that even if Easley did say these things, it doesn’t matter because, "According to Easley’s family, he was quite advanced in age when he spoke with Randle. His memory was failing him and Easley had a tendency to place himself in events at which he was not present."

Korff references this to the interview with Dr. Harold Granich, Easley’s physician, July 16, 1994. Not to the family so we don’t really know if the family said that or not. In fact, in all my communications with the family, this is the only place that this particular question has been raised.

On the other hand, we learn from an interview that Mark Rodeghier conducted with the same doctor, though Rodeghier spells the name, "Granik" that he had something different to say about it. According to this interview, Granik is an eye surgeon and not an oncologist. Granik told Rodeghier, according the notes I have from him, "A few weeks before he died of cancer... his granddaughter asked him about the events at Roswell. He broke his vow of silence long enough to say, ‘Oh, the creatures,’ before lapsing into silence. Other family members were present when he said this. Granik believes that Easley was lucid when he made the remark, because the disease did not cause any general deterioration of his mental faculties."

This is quite a contrast to what Korff reports he learned from the same man. But more importantly, this conversation does not rest on my shoulders. It comes from a different source so it is corroboration of what I wrote about Easley. It also means that Korff’s statement, "Once again, until Kevin Randle is ever able to provide evidence and/or documentation to back up his statement, Easley’s alleged deathbed remarks cannot be considered as credible evidence," can be reevaluated because there is other evidence available. By the way, I didn’t offer then as deathbed remarks.

Now, just for fun, let’s take a look at Korff’s statement, "Researchers Robert Todd and Stanton Friedman have also tried to obtain similar supportive evidence for many of Randle’s other claims regarding his research into Roswell but have been unsuccessful." This isn’t exactly true.

Mark Rodeghier called me and said that Robert Todd wanted copies of everything the Center had on the Roswell case. Knowing Todd, I’m sure that he would have paid the costs of copying the material. He always did, at the very least, make a token effort to acknowledge these costs.

I told Mark that I had no objection to his reviewing that material in the Chicago office but I would prefer that it wasn’t all copied and handed out. A lot of work and expense had gone into obtaining it and I wasn’t keen on handing it out to anyone who asked. Of course, Mark could have done it anyway because I had supplied it to the Center for its research library. So, it wasn’t that the Center didn’t have the material, it was that they wouldn’t copy it all and send it along to Todd. Not quite the same thing as Korff suggests.

The Friedman statement is a little strange because, in 1992, as we all discussed the various witnesses and the credibility of those witnesses, a conference was scheduled to be held in Chicago. All the parties were requested to supply their tapes, notes, transcripts and other materials to the other side for review prior to the conference. In other words, I had copied the stuff and sent it on to Friedman, so he had a great deal of it, not to mention the stuff that I had already shared with him. Some of it appears in his book, sometimes without attribution.

In The Plains of San Agustin Controversy, July 1947, published by the Center and the Fund for UFO Research in June 1992, we learn, from Dr. Michael Swords, "Regarding supplying the requested information to all parties... unlike the other more mechanical or schedule-driven areas of protocol, there were serious problems in this area. Unfortunately, in my view this was the most significant area of protocol to the fact-finding and case-discussion mission of this summit. One cannot discuss the facts or documentation of the case unless one can examine them personally and in a timely manner [emphasis in the original]. To my best estimation, Randle and Schmitt were asked for many things that they supplied in a highly organized and professional form to conference attendees in a timely manner. I heard no complaints about their manner of submission nor about the materials prepared by Tom Carey.

"Materials requested of Friedman and Berliner (and associates) were a different manner. Many, apparently most, of the specific requests were not supplied prior to the conference. On the initial evening of the meeting, Fred Whiting, Mark Rodeghier, and myself attempted in a friendly executive manner to rectify this problem by creating a mechanism for photocopying documents, dubbing video and audiotapes for the conferees’ use on the following two days. Friedman agreed to this, but nothing substantial came of it. Berliner, God bless him, located one tape he was carrying, and when it was brought up for discussion immediately loaned it for dubbing."

What is the point of mentioning all this. Well, it demonstrates that Friedman had gotten cooperation from us, I had sent him tapes and transcripts, so this suggestion in Korff’s book is slightly misleading.

What this all means is that the information I reported about Easley is accurate and has been corroborated by other members of the family, by others who had some sort of information that was relevant, and even by one of the sources Korff mentioned. Also interesting are the contradictory statements by Dr Granik, who said that Easley was lucid in the last days of his life (or that he tended to place himself in events when he hadn’t participated).

But there is one other, interesting fact. Easley told me he had been sworn to secrecy about this event. If true, one wonders why, if the answer about the UFO crash is mundane, Easley would have been ordered not to speak about it. (And no, Project Mogul doesn’t work here because, two days after the press release claiming that the RAAF had captured a flying saucer, pictures of a Mogul array were printed in the newspapers... the equipment and launches weren’t classified, just the name and the purpose, something slightly different than the debunkers tell you. Pictures ofMogul in the newspaper in July 1947.)

I have a statement written by Easley himself that says, "This is information on the 1947 incident north of Roswell, New Mexico, AFB. Being sworn to secrecy, I could not and did not give any information to the investigator. This case was presented on T.V. Unsolved Mysteries in September 1989." It’s quite clear here what Easley meant and this is another bit of corroboration and documentation. Stan Friedman can confirm this.

Here’s where we are. No one interviewed Easley except me. I have tapes of some of the interviews, but I don’t of the one where Easley confirmed the extraterrestrial nature of the craft. Family members did hear him say things about the craft and bodies, and some of this discussion took place prior to his eventual decline and death in the hospital. Believe me or don’t, but this doesn’t rest on my shoulders alone. There are others who heard the statements and have reported on them. Attempts to dismiss Easley’s testimony are simply that, attempts to dismiss his testimony. They are without substance and are made because we all know that a UFO didn’t crash at Roswell and anyone who says it did must by lying, deluded, or both.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Klass, Shandera and DuBose

The debate over the events near Roswell, New Mexico of July 1947 have taken several subtle turns over the years. For those not familiar with them, arguments from the skeptical community can be convincing. The problem is that many of these arguments are often founded, not in research, but in the semantics of the situation. With the debate reopened with the publication of The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell, and later by the 60th Anniversary of the crash, it is now important to understand exactly what is being said. The arguments over the credibility of forty year memories (at the time the interviews were conducted) and the events that took place in Brigadier General Roger Ramey's office on July 8, 1947 can be illustrative in attempting to understand the whole situation.

Philip Klass, (seen on the left) in one of his attempts to undermine the research being done into the Roswell case, has presented theories that can't be substantiated. He has taken rumor and speculation and attempted to turn it into a thought provoking piece on why the memories of witnesses and the testimonies of those witnesses should be ignored. But Klass, in writing his article, has ignored the documents and the testimony that fly in the face of his beliefs.

Using the debates between Donald Schmitt and Kevin Randle, and Jaime Shandera and William Moore as the springboard, Klass writes, "The controversy has served to demonstrate how fragile and uncertain are the 40+ year old recollections of surviving principals -- which is hardly surprising."

Klass continues, writing, "Seven different photos have been located which were taken in Gen. Ramey's (Brigadier Roger Ramey, commanding officer of the Eighth Air Force) office on the late afternoon/early evening of July 8, 1947, and two of them show Ramey and Col. DuBose (later Brigadier General Thomas J. DuBose) examining the debris. All photos show the same debris. Moore/Shandera claim this is the same debris recovered by Marcel (Major Jesse A. Marcel) from the Brazel (W.W. Mac [sic] Brazel) ranch and that photos show the remains of a crashed saucer. Randle/Schmitt disagree and say the photos show the remains of a balloon-borne radar tracking device which Gen. Ramey substituted for the authentic debris."

To this point, Klass has provided the reader with an accurate account of the situation. The facts, as outlined are correct. However, Klass then makes the assumption that is not true. He writes, "The fact that all seven photos taken in Ramey's office show the same debris challenges the credibility of Maj. Jesse Marcel's 30+ year old recollections which form the cornerstone of the Roswell crashed saucer myth, at least for Moore, Friedman and Shandera."

These facts do not challenge Marcel's recollections, but Moore's reporting of those recollections. That is the subtle, yet real, difference here that is missed by Klass and the other debunkers.

Klass continues, writing, "According to Moore's book [The Roswell Incident], when Marcel (now deceased) was interviewed in the late 1970s, he said that 'one photo (taken in Ramey's office showing Marcel examining the debris) was pieces of the actual stuff we found. It was not a staged photo. Later, they cleared out our wreckage and substituted some of their own. Then they allowed more photos.' Yet all of the photos taken in Ramey's office on July 8, 1947, including two (not one) with Marcel, clearly show the same debris."

The problem isn’t with Marcel, but with Moore’s reporting of the incident. In fact, Moore provides us with three versions of that one interview, one published in his book, one circulated a couple of years ago, and another in Focus, his publication.

But we can take this one step farther. Marcel, (seen on the left in one of the pictures taken inside Ramey's office) when shown a copy of one of the photos printed in The Roswell Incident, reported, "No. No. That picture was staged. That's not the stuff I brought home." This is a fact overlooked or ignored by the debunker camp.

A disinterested third party, Johnny Mann, reported that. His interest was only in learning the truth and is not a party to the so-called dispute. The exchange between Mann and Marcel was witnessed by another man, Julian Krajewski.

In fact, Marcel said as much on audio tape. Linda Corley had a chance to interview Marcel in 1980. During that interview, Marcel told Corley that the photographs did not show the material that he had found on the ranch. They were staged photographs. Please remember that. Marcel said that the material in the photographs was not the material he found on the ranch and that claim is on audio tape and has been reviewed by others.

The point of the dispute is not Marcel's memory then, but the reporting of his testimony. Moore has yet to offer the true version of the statement. We do have testimony, from a variety of witnesses, including those who showed Marcel the pictures that refutes both Moore's claim and Klass' assumption. We should not, then, condemn Marcel's 30+ year memory for facts that come from third parties.

Switching gears, Klass moves on to Colonel Thomas J. DuBose (on the left)the Chief of Staff of the Eighth Air Force in 1947. Klass reports, "In Dec. 1990 issue of Focus, Shandera's article includes what he says are verbatim quotes from two interviews with DuBose -- one by telephone and one in person when he recently visited DuBose at his home in Florida. After asking DuBose if he had read the Moore/Shandera articles that Shandera had earlier sent to him, and if he had 'studied the (Ramey office) pictures', DuBose reportedly replied: 'Yes, and I studied the pictures very carefully.' When Shandera asked if DuBose recognized the material, DuBose reportedly replied: 'Oh yes. That's the material that Marcel brought in to Fort Worth from Roswell.'"

Klass continues, writing, "But Randle and Schmitt got a conflicting response when DuBose was interviewed earlier – on August 10, 1990. The interview was videotaped and hypnosis was used to try to enhance DuBose's 40+ year old recollections. In this interview, DuBose said that the material photographed in Ramey's office was NOT the debris that Marcel brought, i.e. that bogus material had been substituted. But then Shandera visited DuBose and asked him if there had been a switch, DuBose reportedly replied: 'Oh, bull! That material was never switched.'"

Kal Korff weighs in on this argument himself. Although he doesn’t say that the quotes are verbatim, he writes to suggest just that. No where does he say that the quotes attributed to DuBose come from Shandera’s memory of the interview and not from tapes or notes.

Korff wrote, "In a revealing interview he granted to UFO research and television producer Jamie [sic] Shandera, DuBose put to rest the ‘mystery’ of the so-called substituted wreckage and has exposed it for what it is - another Major Marcel myth! The initials ‘JHS’ stand for Jamie H. Shandera and the initials ‘GTD’ denote Gen.Thomas DuBose:

JHS: There are two researchers (Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle) who are presently saying that the debris in General Ramey’s office had been swtiched and that you men had a weather balloon there.

GTD: Oh Bull! That material was never switched!

JHS: So what you’re saying is that the material in General Ramey’s office was the actual debris brought from Roswell?

GTD: That’s absolutely right.

JHS: Could General Ramey or someone else have ordered a switch without you knowing it?

GTD: I have damn good eyesight - well, it was better back then than it is now - and I was there, and I had charge of that material, and it was never switched [Emphasis added.]

Korff goes on with this, writing, "In a third interview conducted a couple of weeks later by Shandera while visiting DuBose’s home in Florida, the general related the following details:

JHS: Now as to this Roswell business - let’s begin with when Jesse Marcel came
over from Roswell with this material.

GTD: Yes. Well, as best I can recall, I met the airplane that came in from Roswell and I took a canvas mail pouch with this debris over to General Ramey’s office...

JHS: Did you see additional debris on the plane?

GTD: No, I was just handed this canvas mail pouch with the stuff in it, and [I] headed straight to Roger’s [General Ramey’s] office. [Emphasis added.]

JHS: Now again, these other researchers (Schmitt, Randle and Friedman) are saying that you guys switched this stuff and that this stuff was some kind of a weather balloon, and that you did that to fool the press and the press never saw the real stuff.

GTD: Nah.

Again, the controversy isn't about 40 year old memories of a witness but about the reporting of those memories by two separate groups. It is interesting that Shandera's reporting is in direct conflict with what was reported first in The Roswell Incident and later by me.

It is also important to point out that according to both General and Mrs. DuBose, Shandera neither recorded the interview nor took notes when he talked to them in Florida. We have Shandera's unsubstantiated claim that DuBose said the debris in Ramey's office was the real debris, which is consistent with the story that Shandera and Moore were pushing at that time, but that is not consistent with the independent testimony of the witnesses, or with the documentation available.

Korff noted that this dialogue was taken from an article that Bill Moore and Jaime Shandera wrote for the MUFON UFO Journal. Although he requires me to produce some kind of verification for what I write, Shandera seems to get a pass from him. He just quotes from the article, as if that is a final authority, never mentioning that there is no corroboration for Shandera’s version in either taped interviews or notes taken at the time.

Other the other hand, we have supplied copies of the video-taped interviews to The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, the MUFON UFO Journal and the Fund for UFO Research. We have quoted exactly from that tape. Shandera and Moore have yet to offer independent and disinterested third parties copies of their tapes of their interviews. If they would do so, then the question about the debris in Ramey's office could be cleared up.

We asked DuBose pointedly if he had ever seen the Roswell debris and he responded, "NEVER!" After the Shandera interview was published, we asked him again, if he had ever seen the real debris and again he answered, "NO!"

This could be construed as just another debate between two factions, ours and theirs with no way to resolve it. However, we aren't the only ones to whom DuBose spoke. Billy Cox, a writer for Florida Today at the time, interviewed DuBose for an article he wrote in the November 24, 1991 edition of the newspaper. Cox reported that DuBose told him essentially the same story that he told us. Here was a disinterested third party reporting on the same set of circumstances, but he didn't get Shandera's version of the events.

In a letter dated September 30, 1991, Cox wrote, "I was aware of the recent controversy generated by an interview he (DuBose) had with Jaime Shandera, during which he stated that the display debris at Fort Worth was genuine UFO wreckage and not a weather balloon, as he had previously stated. But I chose not to complicate matters by asking him to illuminate what he had told Shandera; instead, I simply asked him, without pressure, to recall events as he remembered them...he seemed especially adamant about his role in the Roswell case. While he stated that he didn't think the debris was extraterrestrial in nature (though he had no facts to support his opinion), he was insistent that the material that Ramey displayed for the press was in fact a weather balloon, and that he had personally transferred the real stuff in a lead-lined mail pouch to a courier going to Washington ...I can only conclude that the Shandera interview was the end result of the confusion that might occur when someone attempts to press a narrow point of view upon a 90 year old man (seen on the left with Don Schmitt). I had no ambiguity in my mind that Mr. DuBose was telling me the truth."

Cox isn't the only one to hear that version of events from DuBose. Kris Palmer, a former researcher with NBC's Unsolved Mysteries reported much the same thing. When she spoke with DuBose, he told her that the real debris had gone on to Washington in a sealed pouch and that a weather balloon had been on the floor in General Ramey's office.

But the most enlightening of the interviews comes from Don Ecker formerly of UFO magazine. Shandera had called Ecker, telling him that he would arrange for Ecker to interview DuBose. Ecker, however, didn't wait and called DuBose on his own. DuBose then offered our version of events. When Ecker reported that to Shandera, Shandera said for him to wait. He'd talk to DuBose.

After Shandera talked to DuBose, he called Ecker and said, "Now call him." DuBose then said that the debris on the floor hadn't been switched and that it was the stuff that Marcel had brought from Roswell. It should be pointed out here that Palmer called DuBose after all this took place. Without Shandera there to prime the pump, DuBose told our version of events. It was only after close questioning by Shandera could that version be heard. It is not unlike a skillful attorney badgering a witness in a volatile trial. Under the stress of the interview and the close questioning, the witness can be confused for a moment. Left alone to sort out the details, the correct version of events bubbles to the surface.

Klass, and later Korff, ignore this because it simply doesn’t fit with their view of the situation. If there was no switch, then we have prima facie evidence that what was found was a balloon and it doesn’t matter if it was Mogul or anything else. On the other hand, if the debris was switched, then what we see in the pictures is not what Marcel found and the door is again opened.

It should also be noted that DuBose hasn't actually changed his testimony at all. The real confusion comes from his statement that the debris on the floor in Ramey's office was not switched. We had suggested that the debris Marcel brought to Ramey's office was switched with the balloon. Dubose said that the debris on the floor wasn't switched. That statement is correct. The debris on the floor was not switched. It was always a balloon. The real debris was never on the floor in Ramey’s office, contrary to what has been reported by others.

I could go into a longer explanation of the situation in Ramey's office on July 8, 1947, but have done so in the November/December 1990 issue of The International UFO Reporter and the April 1991 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. Both publications provided detailed accounts of those critical hours, including a long listing of sources used in the preparation of the articles. It is interesting to note that Shandera and Moore quote sources but never supply copies of the tapes or transcripts to independent third parties. I have done both
Klass, as he continues his analysis of the story, then makes the same mistake that Shandera has made. He confuses two flights with one. He writes, "When he (Don Schmitt) asked DuBose if he had seen 'the actual debris' brought by Marcel, DuBose replied: 'Never.' He claimed the real debris was contained in a plastic bag which was 'tied with a wire seal around the top.' which was flown to Washington, D.C. in a B-25 or B-26. (Marcel, interviewed in the late 1970s, recalled the debris was flown to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, in a B-29.)"

DuBose, when interviewed by us, was talking of the a single flight from Roswell which was probably made late on Sunday July 6, 1947. That flight held some of the debris brought into the Chaves County Sheriff's Office by Mack Brazel. Then, two days later, Marcel and the B-29 flew on to Fort Worth. There is no discrepancy here, just a misinterpretation of the facts by an outsider who has confused them.

But Klass is not content to leave it there. He reports, "One indication of the 89-year old DuBose's flawed memory is that when Schmitt asked if Shandera had visited his home a few months earlier to interview him, DuBose said Shandera had not. But when Schmitt asked Mrs. DuBose, she confirmed that Shandera had indeed visited their house for an interview."

The conclusion, which Klass is so impressed with that he typed it in all caps, boldface, and underlined it, is, "Thus, while Moore/Shandera debate with Randle/Schmitt over which of DuBose's recollections of events that occurred more than 40 years ago is correct, DuBose demonstrated for Schmitt that he could not remember a visit and interview by Shandera which had occurred only a few months earlier."

Ignoring the fact that long term memory is better than short term, and that the elderly often display perfect memories of long ago events while being unable to remember what they had for breakfast, let's examine that whole statement by Klass.

First, DuBose remembered the interview, but not the name of the interviewer. That's a far cry from Klass' claim that DuBose didn't remember the interview.

Second, the real question is not which of DuBose's recollections of the events are accurate, but which version reported by others, is correct. DuBose's recollections have not changed. Once again, I have made copies of the tapes available to disinterested third parties for review. Shandera/Moore have yet to do that. While I prove our claims, we must accept what they say without corroboration.

Klass does give us an answer, of sorts, to the question of which version is correct. Klass points out, "Randle/Schmitt managed to locate and interview the reporter for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram -- J. Bond Johnson -- who had taken at least several of the photos in Ramey's office. According to their taped interview, Johnson said he then doubted that he had photographed the authentic recovered debris. But several months later, when Johnson was interviewed by Shandera, he changed his account and said that he was confident that his photos did show the actual debris that Marcel brought to Fort Worth (General Ramey, crouched and Colonel DuBose in one of Johnson's photographs)."

Here is an opportunity to examine the methods and techniques used by Shandera. There is a wealth of documentation that can't be altered. Johnson left a legacy of writings in the newspaper so that we can compare his original story with what he is saying today.

What we learn is that Johnson's first version of the events, that he saw and photographed the bogus debris, and that the cover story of a balloon was in place before he arrived at Ramey's office, is correct. After talking to Shandera/Moore, Johnson's story changed. (For a complete analysis, see the November/December 1990 International UFO Reporter.)

It boils down to Shandera's version of events against that given and documented by outside sources. Shandera's version is at odds with both my tapes and the newspaper articles written (including one by Johnson and published the next day in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the right time frame.)

In fact, further evidence of Shandera's altering facts appears in Shandera's published version of what Irving Newton, one of Ramey's weather officers, said and did in Ramey's office. Shandera, writing in the MUFON UFO Journal suggested that Newton had changed his story after I had interviewed him, but a complete review of his testimony published in The Roswell Incident, shows that Newton's testimony is consistent throughout all interviews with the exception of the new data written by Shandera. (For a complete analysis, see the MUFON UFO Journal, April 1991.)

So Klass seizes on the changes in testimony, condemning the witnesses, claiming that forty year old memories are flawed. But the problem is not the memories of the witnesses, but the reporting of their testimony by third parties. In fact, it is a single individual, Shandera, who is causing the trouble in this case. It is Shandera who is saying that I have been wrong. It is Shandera who has altered and misreported DuBose's testimony, it is Moore and Shandera who have created the controversy over the Marcel interview, and it is Shandera against Newton. I offer copies of the tapes, the documentation, and the transcripts to independent third parties to prove my veracity while the others offer nothing other than their opinions and versions of the events.

Klass, trying to prove that Roswell was something mundane, probably a balloon, reports everything that raises the remotest question, but never tells the full story. He stops short. Klass, it seems, is treating this as a debate and not as a search for the truth.

At the end of his discussion of the Roswell events, he writes, "As reported in the July 9, 1947 edition of the Roswell newspaper, Brazel was quoted as saying, 'when the debris was gathered up the tinfoil, paper, tape and sticks made a bundle about three feet long and 7 or 8 inches thick, while the rubber made a bundle about 18 or 20 inches long and about 8 inches thick. In all, he estimated, the entire lot would have weighed maybe some five pounds.' Brazel was quoted as saying there was 'considerable Scotch tape and some tape with flowers had been used in the construction. No strings or wire were to be found but there were some eyelets in the paper to indicate that some sort of attachment may have been used.' (Curious construction techniques for a very advanced ET society to use in building spacecraft intended to traverse jillions of miles.)"

But what Klass never reports, though I have told him about it repeatedly, was that Brazel was escorted to that interview by Army officers. There are six separate witnesses who saw Brazel in downtown Roswell. They were surprised by Brazel's refusal to acknowledge them, and the fact that there were three officers with him.

Klass, when I pointed that out, said that maybe it was easier for the officers to drive Brazel into town than for them to give him directions to the newspaper office. Three military officers drove Brazel into town so that he could be interviewed because it was easier than telling him, "Drive out the front gate, stay on Main Street, and the newspaper office will be on the right."

Paul McEvoy, an editor at the newspaper said that Brazel was obviously under duress as he told his "new" story. Friends commented on Brazel's lack of friendliness while he was in town. No, Brazel was taken to the office to tell a new story. The one that the military wanted him to tell.

But even so, Brazel slipped in a statement that was duly reported in the Roswell Daily Record, but ignored by Klass. In it, Brazel said, "I am sure what I found was not any weather observation balloon."

Klass completes his report asking, "How would Ramey (who never talked to Brazel) know what kind of bogus material to use to replicate the description that Brazel would give to the Roswell newspaper? And how would Ramey be able to find and obtain such 'look-alike' material so quickly??"

But Klass, as does Korff, overlooks the testimony of others. DuBose suggested that debris had been in Fort Worth at least two days before Ramey made his press release. Ramey was in communications with Colonel Blanchard in Roswell, as well as SAC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Orders from the top had trickled down through the chain of command. Ramey knew what to say, and probably obtained the balloon from his own weather station. It didn't matter what Brazel had seen because Brazel's statements to the newspaper the next day were fed to him by the military. He repeated what he had been told because the military was there watching him.

The answer to the first part of the question is that Ramey knew what Brazel would say because he had read the script. It wasn't Brazel telling the truth at the newspaper office, but telling the reporters what he had been told to tell them.

And the answer to the second part is that they had been working on this for more than three days. Ramey, as well as many others, had already seen the debris.

The major problem is that Shandera, and at times his partner, Moore, are trying to confuse the Roswell issue. They publish statements that are in direct contradiction with statements they have published in the past. They have reinterviewed witnesses and then claim that there are changes in the testimony.

Klass, wanting to destroy the Roswell testimony, uses these supposed discrepancies to refute the good work being done. He claims that witnesses can't be relied on to remember accurately events of more than forty years ago. In fact, Klass has admitted that his job is to debuke UFO reports. Not investigate them to learn the truth, but to debuke them regardless of what that truth might be.

Klass continues to misinterpret facts. In his May 1994 Skeptics UFO Newsletter, he suggests that "Mrs. Frankie Rowe, who R/S [Randle/Schmitt] (erroneously) refer to as a 'firsthand witness,'..." Yet he is aware that she said that she had handled a piece of metallic debris brought to the Roswell Fire Department by a state trooper. That makes her a first-hand witness to part of the story.

Klass (centered on the left with two of his fans) also reports that "If a crashed saucer had been found 40 miles south of the debris field found on the Brazel ranch, the 'retrieval team' surely would have spent many days searching along the 40-mile flight path between the two sites, looking for more debris and perhaps even an ET who might have parachuted to safety. Yet no such search effort is reported by R/S's 'witnesses.'"

Klass is assuming that because we, or our witnesses, reported no such effort, it is a flaw in the story. It is true that none reported such an effort immediately after the event, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen, only that those we have interviewed were not participants in it. The only legitimate conclusion to be drawn is that it hasn't been reported, not that it didn't happen.

Klass, in his conclusions, writes, "And Kevin Randle, who formerly served in the Army and later in the Air Force Reserve, enjoys Government benefits as a veteran. MORE AND MORE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE FIT TOGETHER."

I have never understood what Klass was implying here. That I’m some sort of government agent attempting to expose the truth about the crash. Wouldn’t it make more sense if I was arguing that there was no cover-up?

When I responded that I currently receive no government benefits at the time as alleged by Klass, Klass responded, "It is regrettable that you fail to reply to question I pose. In my letter of April 29 [1994], I asked: 'Do you enjoy absolutely NO present or potential future benefits for having served in Vietnam?' (Emphasis added here.) Your evasive answer is: 'I currently enjoy no benefits...' (Emphasis added.)"

In response, I said that I had used the qualifier because the laws are subject to change and my military status was subject to change. At that time, I didn’t anticipate a war in Iraq or that I would be a part of the military force engaged there. I wrote, "There are no benefits that I receive today, nor are there any for which I am eligible. The question is without relevance."

Yet when I asked Klass what his military service had been, he responded writing, "I served 60 years with AFOSI, which included short stints as a B-17 pilot over Europe, a B-29 pilot over Japan, an F-86 pilot over Korea and an A-10 pilot in Vietnam." I had tried to answer Klass' question honestly. In response to my legitimate question about Klass' military service, I was treated to a sarcastic reply.

Here’s where we are on this. We are treated to his analysis of the facts, but as we've seen, the conclusions drawn are not accurate. He leaves out that which doesn't conform to his opinions, and attempts to discredit testimony by claiming the memories are nearly fifty years old and can't be trusted to be reliable. His purpose is not to get at the truth, but to persuade others that there was no UFO crash. But a scientific investigation is a search for the truth and not an endorsement of a particular agenda. Here we see what is really going on, and once aware of it, can examine all the information in the light of that knowledge.

And that, really, is what we all should be doing.