Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Black Sergeants and Roswell

I have thought long and hard about the following. I know that most everyone doesn’t care about the personal squabbles of various researchers. Instead they are interested in the best information available, and these squabbles become tiresome and distracting. Yet sometimes it is necessary to respond to allegations and sometimes it’s necessary to correct inaccurate information. Sometimes the debunkers believe that because you have said nothing about their nonsense they are either right or that you have no response. Sometimes I don’t bother to answer because the stuff is just so ridiculous that I’m sure everyone sees it for what it is.

But, once in a while you run into information that is just too perfect to ignore. Yes, I said that I would ignore Kal Korff but the other night I was looking up something in his poorly researched and misleading book when, on page 89 of the original hardback edition I found a statement that there were no black sergeants at Roswell. He mentioned there that he had proved, in a previous chapter, that there were no black sergeants.

So I looked that up in Chapter Two and on page 55 saw that in recounting what Bill Brazel had said, Korff was making the point that Bill’s testimony could be ignored because Bill had said something about a black sergeant being among the soldiers who had visited him and retrieved the few bits of metallic debris he had recovered. If there were no black sergeants at Roswell, then Brazel, at best, was mistaken. This overlooks the fact that the team who visited Brazel might have come from Albuquerque or Alamogordo and that Brazel wasn’t sure that they were from Roswell.

What Korff should have been able to deduce, and if he couldn’t have deduced it, he should have been able to learn about through some of the published discussions about Brazel, was that Stan Friedman had taken an interview that Don Schmitt and I had conducted with Bill Brazel (recorded on audio tape) and used it in his book. Brazel had told me that the four soldiers who visited him, an officer, a sergeant and two others had been real nice. Friedman, using that quote, inserted the word black, parenthetically, into the quote. There was no justification for that insertion, other than to attempt to corroborate the tales told by Gerald Anderson and Glenn Dennis who talked of a black sergeant. Anderson’s tale has been discredited while Brazel’s has not.

I called Bill Brazel when Friedman’s book first came out and asked him about the racial identity of the soldiers who had visited. He made it clear that they all have been white. So, the mistake here wasn’t Bill Brazel’s, but was Stan Friedman’s. There was no black sergeant with that small group which means that Korff’s criticism of Brazel, on this point, breaks down. We’ll wait for Korff to admit his mistake on the point, though the real criticism here belongs to Friedman for inserting the word.

Now to the other part of Korff’s criticism. The idea that there were no black sergeants in Roswell is also in error. He claims on page 55, "Indeed, a check with Air Force officials revealed there were no black sergeants (emphasis in original) stationed at Roswell Army Air Field in 1947." He said that the services had been segregated in 1947. That was true, but you had units made up of black soldiers. They were mostly in support roles but some found themselves in combat environments and preformed as we have come to expect of all American soldiers. But the point is that there were many black soldiers serving in the military in 1947.

Anyway, Korff said that this information came from Air Force officials. His footnote suggests they were historians at the Pentagon, but by my count, there were, at least, twenty-four black sergeants stationed at Roswell in 1947 and that count might be off slightly. Walter Haut told me that ten to twenty percent of the soldiers assigned to the base did not appear in the Yearbook he produced in 1947 (A page of the Yearbook shown here, including six black sergeants). This means there could have been another four or five. Rather than call someone who wasn’t in Roswell in 1947, Korff should have tried to find something a little more relevant.

As I say, this was such an egregious error, that I thought I should point it out. Maybe if Korff wasn’t attempting to gain the moral high ground by suggesting his book was so far superior to all others, I wouldn’t bother with this. But it does suggest a pattern. One that any information that suggests Roswell can be explained is accepted without verification, or improper verification, and any positive information is attacked without regard to the truth. This is just one of the many examples.

This does go beyond mislabeling the V-2 as a buzz bomb as Korff did. That is a simple mistake. This is one in which he claims that Air Force officials bear out his conclusion, but a single telephone call to the right place would have provided the truth. There were black soldiers assigned to Roswell and, at least, twenty-four were sergeants.

In keeping with this idea that Bill Brazel can’t be trusted, Korff has come up with another horrible mistake but blamed me for it. In one of his YouTube diatribes, Korff said :

"I'm going to read to you a very short sentence that... Randle has printed in his book, and then I'll easily prove how it's just one example of how he keeps telling repeated falsehoods about Roswell... He says here on p. 84: 'Bill Brazel makes one other point that is important. When he read about his father in the Albuquerque newspaper, he knew that his father needed help on the ranch. He knew that no-one would be there to take care of it. When he arrived, he found the place deserted.' What Kevin Randle is referring to folks is the myth that Bill Brazel, Jr. was somewhere in town one day and all of a sudden he reads in the newspaper that his father has recovered some sort of flying saucer and is involved with the Air Force, or something unusual was recovered on the ranch, so he apparently saw his dad on the front page of the paper and ran out to help him. Well, this is a myth because I did one thing Randle didn't bother to do... If you check every issue that's ever been published of the Albuquerque Journal or any newspaper in that area of the time of 1947, you'll find that Mack Brazel's picture didn't appear anywhere in any newspaper at all. It just never happened. And nobody has ever produced a newspaper today that can show
that he ever appeared on the front page. So what is Bill Brazel, Jr. talking about when he says he saw his father on the front page... well, he couldn't be referring to anything that was real or true, because it never happened."

Let’s overlook the typical Korff nonsense of changing the words to suit his perspective (note I said read about his father and nothing about a picture of him), the rest of the statement is wrong as well. First, I did search the Albuquerque newspapers, both of them and have copies of the relevant articles in my files (Which, of course, means Korff is wrong about me not checking the Albuquerque newspapers because I have copies in my files as seen here). On the front page of the Albuquerque Journal of July 9, 1947, we can read, "Sheriff Wilcox said W. W. Brazell [sic], about 50, made the find on the Foster ranch near Corona 85 miles northwest of Roswell..."

In the Albuquerque Tribune (what? There’s another newspaper in Albuquerque?), the headline said, "NM Rancher Sorry He Said Anything about ‘Disc Find’." The lead said, "W.W. Brazel, the New Mexican rancher who was originally thought to have found the nation’s first flying disc..."

The other thing that Korff gets wrong is the idea that Bill Brazel was somewhere in town one day and he suddenly reads the newspaper that his father has recovered some sort of flying saucer. Bill Brazel told me in a personal interview that he actually lived and worked in Albuquerque at the time, so it wouldn’t have been unusual for him to have read one of the two daily newspapers.
And, of course, both mentioned Bill’s father in connection with a flying saucer. Doesn’t matter what the outcome was, whether you want to believe the weather balloon (Mogul) story or it was a flying saucer, the facts are that Brazel’s name appeared in the newspapers including a front page story in the Albuquerque Journal. So, everything I reported in the paragraph is accurate.

By the way, for those of you keeping score at home, here is a picture of Mack Brazel that did appear in newspapers around the country. This one happens to come from the Oregon Journal.
What we see here, is the evidence that Korff has created a non-issue. Clearly I had checked the Albuquerque newspapers and reported, accurately, that Bill Brazel read about his father. Clearly I did this during the investigation because I had copies in my files. And Clearly, Mack Brazel's picture did appear in some newspapers, because I have a copy of that as well.

(Apropos of nothing at all - Have you noticed how some of us engage in intelligent dialogue, arguing points without resorting to name-calling and some of us answer no questions but do attempt to smear those who might disagree?)


Bob Koford said...

Thank-You for not giving in to the "your kicking a dead horse" nonsense!

This is a perfect example of what is required to set the record straight, dealing with such important data. Especially when some of the detractors act as if they are agents (notice that I said "act")of some Intelligence group, hell-bent on derailing any and all truth about it. My meaning is that they fill the roll, whether-or-not they are actively so.


Bob Barbanes said...

Ah, "The Scandals of Kevin Randle!" Da-da-da-DAHHHHH. LOL, it has a nice ring to it; it's catchy! You're going to become a YouTube star in spite of yourself, man.

I laughed as I watched Karl's video and at the subtle way he went from the junior Brazel "reading" about his father in the paper to seeing a picture of him. Clumsy. Korff is *such* a doofus. Such a clown. But he makes for some incredibly entertaining video watching - the most laughs I get since "M*A*S*H" and "Cheers" went off the air. I keep half-expecting him to put up a video in which he, Chris Crocker-style, sobs, "Leave Roswell alone!"

Keep setting the record straight, Kev. We've got your back.

Fly safely.

starman said...

I have no problem with thinking some of the detractors are government agents. If they can cover up the truth by hiding evidence they can also obscure it by spreading lies.

cda said...

A detractor is quite different from a skeptic.
You do not have to be a government agent to be either a detractor or a skeptic. There may be people who want to create the impression that they are govt agents so as to give their pronouncements more credibility. Korff sounds like one of these. But there is no need for this at all, since the Roswell ET scenario has zero credibility anyway. Despite this, I agree that Kevin Randle does a reasonably good job at presenting the pro-ET version. Kal Korff, despite some useful research, does a rather bad job at presenting the anti-ET version, and is guilty of ad-hominem attacks.

For me, Karl Pflock is (was) the best Roswell researcher/writer of them all.

Bob Koford said...


Firstly, with all due respect, your continual reference to the Roswell case as having "0" credibility is almost the same as saying the same thing about Kevin Randle. In actuality, your own statement about him, in your last comment, is a very good one -if I may say so, and I heartily agree with it.

He has done a good job, because he doesn't resort to rash soapbox statements. He has, instead, given the appearance of being more interested in dealing with the facts, as they have been presented to him.

In much the same way that the Armed Forces didn't end their investigations, even though they insinuated many times, during its tenure (in 1953, for instance) that they had solved the riddle of "what we were dealing with", so this case must press on. Formerly classified documents, circa 1958, reveal that the Air Force was actually expanding their investigations, via the 1006th AISS and the Combat Intelligence. If they had known what they were dealing with in 1953, the whole thing would have been dropped like a hot potato...yet it was expanded upon instead, and taken even more seriously than before.

True...some have robbed the Roswell case of some of its credibility, for different reasons, but that is a far-cry from it having "0" credibility.

Kevin has shown how even Mr. Pflock used inaccurate data to drive a point home (his time-line of events, for instance).

No, I respectfully, but heartily disagree with your whole denunciation of the ET hypothesis, because we would never have wasted all those "man" hours, and money on nothing!

cda said...

Kevin does a reasonable job of presenting the pro-ET case, as I said. This does not mean the pro-ET case is strong or cannot be refuted. I feel the anti-ET case is not always presented well either. There is either too much nit picking over trivia or too many ad hominem attacks, or both. What is needed is a debate on the broader aspects of Roswell and the scientific implications if it were a genuine ET event. There is no need to invoke the alleged hidden meanings of certain official documents or the interpretation of various AF actions at the time. 60 years afterwards we can sit back, view the event and see the total lack of hard evidence. Kevin has done his best with the 'soft' evidence at hand, but this is a long way from saying it would stand up to scientific scrutiny.

I do wonder if even now, Kevin does have his doubts and, like Kent Jeffrey, may throw in the towel. Probably not, but time can and does cause people to recant.

starman said...

Creating the impression of being a government agent is supposed to give Korff's pronouncements more credibility? Among whom, UFOlogists? LOL, most of them believe the government has covered up the truth. Korff has long denied being a government agent knowing that such an impression would kill what credibility he has.
The Roswell ET scenario has "zero credibility"? That's absurd in view of so much testimony concerning highly unusual debris and bodies. KDR has shown that the alternative explanations have zero credibility. As for lack of hard evidence, blame the government; they confiscated it, as witnesses have said. IMO even the worst nonsense spread about Roswell e.g. the bodies were crash dummies, which didn't yet even exist,is confirmation that it's real. True, there should be a debate on the broader aspects of Roswell and its implications--and not just scientific. But KDR still has to make a case that it's real, using what relatively meager evidence is currently available to researchers.

09rja said...

Thanks for posting this. Was re-reading Korff's book recently and I always questioned that claim. (I.e. that there were no black NCOs at Roswell.) In the text, he seemed to say that because the service was segregated (at that time) that meant no blacks would be there. That didn't quite add up to me.

That being said.....Korff's book is one of the few I've read that really critically examines the testimony of some key Roswell witnesses. (And just about the only one that backchecks Marcel Sr.'s claims about his background.)

KRandle said...

09rja -

Oh, if I only had the time I would point to instance after instance in which Korff has distorted the truth, misrepresented it or just plain made it us as he did with his nonexistent Pentagon experts who told him there were no African American soldiers at Roswell...

In another place he confuses three people, Edwin Easley, Sheridan Cavitt and Curry Holden, giving a quote by one as if came from another...

You must never forget that Korff claimed to be a colonel in some Israeli-based intelligence organization, wearing in some pictures, the insignia of both an American colonel and for some reason that of a lieutenant colonel. He critically examined nothing, lifted quotes from others, and simply made up testimony. He did not background checks on Marcel but relied on the dubious conclusions drawn by Robert Todd... neither Todd nor Korff had ever served in the Army so didn't understand some of the notations. If you really want an in depth analysis of Roswell, take a look at Roswell in the 21st Century. I think you'll be surprised.

09rja said...

Korff credits Todd throughout much of his criticism on Marcel Sr. (In fact the evaluation of the bulk of his testimony is almost entirely attributed to Todd.)

There are not a lot of innocent explanations on Marcel's claims. I don't for one second believe (for example) Bob Pratt just misunderstood that Marcel claimed he attended all those universities and got a BS in nuclear physics. No placement of a comma can cover that one.

These innocent mistakes kept following Marcel around. In the original 1989 Unsolved Mysteries episode on Roswell (for which you and Stanton Friedman worked on and were featured in the episode) Marcel was referred to by the narrator as "an experienced combat pilot whose primary duty in peacetime was to investigate air accidents". Needless to say: that wasn't entirely accurate. And I don't think a debunker worked on that episode at all.

This is not to trash Marcel (or you). I think he was a honorable guy who served his country well. (So did his son who wound up serving in Iraq in his late 60's.) But I think the record is clear that he did exaggerate things at times.

This doesn't mean I discount his claim that he found something out at the Foster Ranch......I just don't know how far to trust him on the details. And for the record: I never trusted Korff (100%) to begin with .