Monday, June 21, 2010

Nazi UFOs and Roswell

Oh, this is really fair. The book (Roswell and the Reich by Joseph P. Farrell) came out in March and I hadn’t heard about it until either Gene Steinberg or Paul Kimball asked about it on the Paracast show in May. I said I hadn’t read it but I was bothered by the Nazi aspect. It seemed logical to me that had the Nazis been able to develop something like that the war would have ended differently. And I just don’t see this great secret Nazi network hidden in South America that can control such things... Yes, I know of Odessa and I knew that many of the Nazis fled to South America, but they weren’t developing flying saucers.

First we have to put up with the Air Force and their recapitulation of the weather balloon, now in the guise of Mogul. Then we have to put up with the anthropomorphic dummies dropped a decade later. Then Nick Redfern tells us of deformed Japanese and Unit 731. Next is Jim Carrion at the MUFON Symposium talking about Project Seal and secret weapons. And now we have Nazi UFOs and I’m the bad guy because I hadn’t heard of this book back in May.

Well, now I’ve looked at it and I find it flawed.

"Why?" you ask.

The reliance of the nonsense spouted by Kal Korff, if for no other reason. Korff never heard an anti-Roswell theory he didn’t like and if he had to misinterpret information, it didn’t matter. He said, for example, there were no black (African-American) sergeants at Roswell. He knew because he asked some unidentified Pentagon historian who told him the military was segregated in 1947. Apparently Korff didn’t know that this meant that African-American soldiers were in their own units and at Roswell this was Squadron S. According to the Yearbook produced in 1947 by Walter Haut in Roswell, there were at least 24 black sergeants at the base.

Korff dismisses and then Farrell dismisses (in his Roswell and the Reich) the Beverly Bean testimony for no legitimate reason. Korff complained that we had not been fair in our assessment of the Melvin Brown body story as related by Bean. Farrell quotes Korff, but doesn’t bother to analyze the validity of what Korff had written.

Let’s examine this one bit of nonsense that Farrell finds so important.

Korff in his poorly researched book which Farrell quotes, accuses us, meaning Don Schmitt and me of "journalistic license" and suggests that a more honest way to convey Brown’s testimony would have been to have written, "According to Beverly Bean, Brown’s daughter, he said..."

What Korff objects to is that in describing the Brown information, we had written that Brown had seen the bodies and that he had been involved in escorting two or three of them back to the base. Korff thought this unfair because in our time line of events, and in our description of the events early in the book, we hadn’t mentioned, specifically, that this information came from Bean rather than Brown. But this is an invalid criticism because the footnotes make it clear how the information was obtained. Korff is criticizing me for using a footnote, which is a proper thing to have done and Farrell seems oblivious to this fact, not mentioning it.

On page 96 of UFO Crash at Roswell, we do explain exactly how the information was obtained. The reader knows that the information came from Brown through Bean... and they know who was present at the interview and that it was videotaped... Something that both Korff and Farrell ignore.

On page 82 of The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell, we again mention Brown and write, "Melvin E. Brown, a sergeant with the 509th , told family members that..." Which, of course, means that we have been fair with our treatment of the Brown testimony. Korff should know this because all of this information was published prior to the publication of his book, but he choose to ignore it.

I can say Korff deceives the public by writing in his highly misleading book, "Finally as the pro-UFO Roswell researchers will admit when pressed, Beverly Bean is the only person in the Brown family who has made these claims about her father. Bean’s sister and her own mother have never confirmed the account."

This is, of course, not true and since Korff referenced the 1991 interview conducted with the Brown family, he should have known that both her sister and her mother confirmed the account on video tape. So, Korff rather than writing, "In 1991, both Bean’s sister and mother who had failed to corroborate the story earlier, are now on the record..." Korff chose to conceal this evidence from his readers.

Farrell dismissed the Brown story because of the misinformation published by Korff. Had he bothered to follow through, or had he bothered to ask me, I could have supplied the proper information.

And what makes all this so funny is that Korff, at one point in his book, chastises Don and me for talking about weather casters who were able to identify the rawin target and balloon from the photographs in Ramey’s office. We don’t say who they were, and I’m not sure that it mattered. We were suggesting that anyone could take the pictures to virtually any weather caster and have them attempt to identify the items in the picture. The irony here will become clear later.

Farrell, in his book, again quotes Korff and the Lydia Sleppy story of having her teletype interrupted. Korff knew it was untrue because he checked with the FBI and according to him, they didn’t do it, though Sleppy, in later interviews said they did.

Two questions spring to mind. Why should be believe the FBI on this point? It wasn’t has if they hadn’t been spying on Americans for a long time and it wouldn’t have been difficult for them to tap into the main AP lines at the AP headquarters if they wanted... though I don’t believe this to be the case.

And second, why should we believe Korff on this? He said he checked with the various offices, but provides nothing in the way of documentation for it. He notes in his book, "Kal K. Korff, personal phone conversation with representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C., and Dallas, Texas, August 1, 1996, through October 15, 1996."

One hell of a bit of documentation. Not a name of who he talked to, not a letter to prove that he had contacted them. Just his bold statement that he had and the FBI denied that they had been running any sort of an operation.

As noted earlier Korff, in his footnotes, also failed to name the Pentagon historian who told him that the military had been segregated in 1947 so no one can check on the validity of his claims. And he had the guts to accuse us of failing to provide names on a point that was more of a side note than an important revelation. Korff, of course, does the opposite by not supplying the names of those who he claims provided him with important information.

Farrell makes another, somewhat similar mistake in discussing the Gerald Anderson story. He wrote that Anderson and I had a falling out sometime during or just after that first interview. But the truth of the matter is, there was no bad blood between us until Stan Friedman interviewed Anderson. During that interview, you hear Friedman tell Anderson not to talk to me, that I’m strange because I write Romances (which is not true... that is, I don’t write Romances but I might be considered strange by some) and that he, Anderson, should only talk to him, Friedman. At that point Anderson would no longer talk to me.

In fact, if you listen to my tape of the interview with Anderson, as noted by John Carpenter in the MUFON Journal (March 1993, No. 299, page 7), you’ll find out that such is not the case. Carpenter wrote, "I finally was able to learn that Gerald had indeed had a friendly 54-minute phone call just as Randle had claimed". So the conclusions drawn by Farrell on this were incorrect and the documentation was out there for him to find.

I always believed that when I’m looking at the writing of someone else I need to make sure that the facts, as presented, are accurate. It took me nearly a year to find the first mention of the Del Rio crash by Robert Willingham so that I could compare it to his later statements. I mean, I want to be sure that the writer actually checked the information for himself and that it is accurate. Farrell apparently didn’t do that.

I only bring all this up because I had been criticized for not reading Farrell’s book even though I hadn’t known of its existence until mentioned on the Paracast. I have read where the research in the book is the best of any that has been done by we UFO investigators, though I wonder how you get around the fact that it seems that Farrell has only reviewed the literature, whether other books, articles or documents. Apparently he did not conduct many personal interviews and did nothing to verify the information in his book.

No, I really shouldn’t be ragging on Farrell this much because it is his fans who have gone off the deep end. My point was that he relied too much on the nonsense spewed by Korff and that he didn’t fact-check what Korff had written.

I think too often that those who haven’t written a book or dealt with a publisher assume that they do fact-checking. Mostly, what publishers do is check to make sure that something won’t get them sued, but the data in a book is not fact-checked. That’s how Korff was able to confuse witness testimony, make claims that weren’t true, and actually have a few people believe what he wrote. Farrell assumed that there was some good there but didn’t check it out.

Yes, I know that Farrell will probably look at this criticism (if he even sees it) and think about it. Korff will launch into another diatribe, threaten lawsuits, threaten more audits of the facts by financial institutions and make up more facts to support himself. He will stamp his foot, insist that we call him "colonel" because of his employment by some mythical organization and continue to slander others. But he won’t offer anything to validate his claims.

Sometimes you just have to risk the wrath of the unwashed to make an important point.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

UFOs, Youngsters and Geezers

There has been another call for we geezers to retire from the UFO field so that the younger, more energetic, more enlightened, and better equipped to investigate can move to the front. I say, speaking from my position as a geezer, "Nonsense."

This idea that the youth will be able to move forward without we rearward looking geezers in the way doesn’t float... not just because they’re young and not just because they’re more enlightened but because we’ll end up fighting the same battles again and again.

There are any number of reports that I thought we’d driven the stake through so that we wouldn’t be forced to study them again, but such is not the case. Take the Allende Letters. Here is a case in which there is no evidence beyond the demented musings of a man who didn’t seem to have a firm grasp on reality and who admitted that the whole thing was hoax more than thirty years ago. That’s right, Carlos Allende, or as he was born, Carl Allen, admitted, in a written statement to Jim Lorenzen, then the international director of APRO, that he had made up the whole tale.

And today we have to fight through those who still accept the Philadelphia Experiment, which is part of the whole Allende Letter episode again. Not to mention those who claim their identities were changed so that they can say they were part of the original experiment without having to explain why their names don’t surface anywhere in the case until much later or why they aren’t old enough to have participated. They time travel... There are some who actually believe this nonsense.

Oh, and we have to explain, again, that the Office of Naval Research didn’t take the letters and the annotated book seriously. That much of what was suggested in the book and the letters has been proven to be in error. And that Allende annotated everything he got from birthday cards to traffic citations.

Finally, I received, just a couple of days ago an email from someone who had new information about the Philadelphia experiment. He seemed to be unaware of the history of the case.

Or we can look at the Aurora, Texas UFO crash from 1897. Here was a story that appeared in the newspapers of the time but seemed to have no follow up written about it and a case that disappeared until the 1960s.

So, there I was, living not all that far from Aurora, Texas. It seemed that it might be a good idea for me to drive up there and see if I could learn anything about the crash. Now, remember, this was the early 1970s, and while 1897 was seventy or seventy-five years earlier, there were still people living who had been in the town in 1897. I talked to some of those same longtime residents who told me that nothing had happened in 1897.

There was one old fellow, his hands all twisted and disfigured who had been there in 1897 and who would later appear in some of the documentaries about the crash. He told me, when I was there, that nothing had happened. Had it been as big a deal as had been reported in the newspaper, he surely would remember something about it.

Later, as the story grew and many others arrived, he told them a different tale. Now he was suggesting that there had been a crash. He described some of what he saw, but I just couldn’t accept these new and better tales. I’d talked to him before it became a way to find some local fame. I’d talked to him before the people showed up with the television cameras and bright lights.

I also talked to the historians at the Wise County Historical Society (Aurora is in Wise County) who told me that it hadn’t happened, though they wished it had. I learned that T.J. Weems, the famed Signal Corps officer was, in fact, the local blacksmith. I learned that Judge Proctor didn’t have a windmill, or rather that was what was said then. Now they suggest that he had two windmills. I wandered the grave yard, which isn’t all that large (something just over 800 graves) and found no marker with strange symbols carved on it, though there are those who suggest a crude headstone with a rough airship on it had been there at the time. I found nothing to support the tale and went away believing, based on my own research and interviews, this to be another of the airship hoaxes.

A large number of people, including Hayden Hewes of the now defunct International UFO Bureau, Jim Marrs, who has suggested the story was real, and even Walt Andrus, the former International Director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) at various times journeyed to Aurora in search of the truth. They all reported they found a strange grave marker in the Aurora cemetery, they found strange metal with metal detectors, and they gathered reports from long time Aurora residents who remembered the story, remembered seeing the airship, or remembered parents talking about the crash. There was also discussion of government attempts to suppress the data. To them, that made the story of the crash seem even more real.

Isn’t interesting that the strange grave marker has since disappeared and there is no real photographic record of it. There should be for all the research that has been done and the single picture that has turned up showed not an airship but a coarse triangle with circles in the center. And isn’t interesting that there were never any follow up reports from Aurora. First the big splash with the crash in 1897 and then nothing for more than sixty years.

The final, fatal blow for the airship and Aurora crash comes from the original reporter. H.E. Hayden, a stringer for the Dallas Morning News, who claimed to have invented the story in a vain attempt to put his dying community back on the map. He hoped to draw attention, and people, to Aurora, Texas. He was successful. The problem was that he succeeded sixty years too late and those who arrived only wanted to learn about the airship, not settle down to rebuild the community as he had hoped.

The point, however, is that we revisit cases that have been solved. These youngsters, the alleged new blood with their fresh ideas might have new blood, but their ideas are not fresh. We can expect them to get excited over the old cases that we geezers have eliminated and will now have to disprove once again.

In Ufology, there is a cycle that used to run about every five years, though it has expanded in recent times. New people enter into the study of UFOs, find these old cases and are excited by them and begin to push them. Eventually, they reach the same conclusions as we geezers, but only after a lot debate about the value of the cases and a lot of wasted time, effort and money.

So bring in the new blood but please don’t be surprised when I am unimpressed with their new methods and their new insights. They aren’t advancing the study at all. They are retreating into a past that we could warn them about, but they are too smart to listen to we geezers. We need to just get out of the way so they can follow the old, overgrown paths because they’re just too smart to listen. We need to get out of the way so they can waste their time doing what we’ve already done. They’re too smart to think we have anything more to contribute.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Demise of Ufology

(Blogger's note: Ufologist Chris Rutkowski posted this at and I thought it an eloquent description of our UFO world today. I'm afraid he's all too right about this and that doesn't bode well for Disclosure or our acceptance into the mainstream world. I'm afraid that I share his view.)

I caused a bit of a stir several months ago when I called UFO case investigation a lost art. I'll go further this time: ufology looks like it's near death.

The bad news is: I'm an optimist.

I was having a conversation with Brian Savage recently, and he made the observation that the UFO phenomenon has been derailed. He was formerly with the Alberta UFO Study Group, an earlier incarnation that produced in-depth investigation reports and scoured government documents for historical Alberta cases. Brian's comment was in reference to the many popularized UFO-related developments over the past 20 years which have destroyed the legitimacy of serious UFO research.

Examples of these derailments include the alien autopsy film, Lazar's Element 115, the strawberry ice cream nonsense, Greer's telepathic vectoring of UFOs, crop circles, exopolitics, Nibiru, and the resurgence of the contactee phenomenon. These and others have served to draw public and popular attention away from serious UFO case investigations and into the realm of wild arm-waving speculation and wide-eyed fanaticism.

It's too bad; it really looked like there was something developing there, for a while.

UFO cases themselves have radically shifted characteristics. Things seemed so simple when Hynek formulated his Close Encounter classifications: CE1 was a sighting at close range; CE2 was a trace case; and CE3 involved seeing occupants. There was no CE4 or CE5, as adopted by some ufologists now, reflecting abductions and contactee incidents. Only three categories, nicely defined and delineated.

The CE2s went extinct first. Ted Philips had several thousand physical trace cases documented by the time crop circles arrived on the scene. Then - poof! No more CE2s. People stopped seeing UFOs landing and taking off; aliens stopped landing their scout craft and leaving behind scorched patches and tripod marks in fields. Instead, mysterious circles (and later, patterns) appeared, almost always without accompanying UFO sightings, and it was assumed that the aliens were using some kind of "rotating vortex" to power their ships.

Then the CE3s went AWOL. No more sightings of landed UFOs where entities were seen exiting and re-entering their crafts. Instead, abductions ballooned in number, eventually overtaking classic CE3s. Really, have you heard of a decent CE3 case recently? No bedroom visitations, no alien faces in windows, no telepathic instructions about saving the human race. Just a simple CE3 observation. No? No.

Even CE1s are mostly gone now, too. Instead, we have YouTube videos of "mysterious orbs" and "Galactic Lightships" seeming to dance all over the pace because the witness couldn't hold the video camera steady. On the other hand, we have goofballs with too much time on their hands using video toasters to create obvious hoaxed UFO videos that experienced UFO investigators can tell are not worth bothering with but go viral anyway, getting retweeted and reblogged everywhere by UFO fans.

But a well-witnessed, well-investigated CE1 case? Rarer than a straight-talking politician or oil executive. Sure, if you look at popular UFO websites that list UFO reports, there are dozens and dozens from all over the world, posted by witnesses. But follow-up to get additional details to make an evaluation, such as direction of movement, where the UFO was in the sky compared with other things, and even an accurate time? Forget it. Onsite investigation? Impossible. Referral to one of the few reliable UFO investigators who lives nearby the witness, to allow proper investigation? Can't, sorry; privacy of witnesses is guaranteed.

So what we have in ufology today is the maintaining of a high number of UFO sighting reports, but a decrease on information content of the cases. Public attention surges when UFO stories in the news go viral, but critical thinking goes out the window.

Part of this is because no one person is viewed as someone who can speak for ufology today. Following the death of Allen Hynek, no one was easily identifiable as someone to take his mantle. (Not even Philip Mantle.) Not Stan Friedman, not Jerome Clark, Mark Rodeghier, not Jenny Randles, not Kevin Randle, not Bill Birnes, not any other of the dozen or so who might (or might not) fit the bill.

(Similarly, who speaks for debunkery? After Phil Klass passed away, is it now Phil Plait? James Oberg? James Randi? Bill Nye? Even Larry King can't decide who is an authority and whom to have on as guests to debate UFOs.)

Poor MUFON and CUFOS, the few remaining doggedly determined UFO groups. They're hanging on, with declining revenue, losing staff and trying desperately to carry on with serious UFO study, when UFO fans have not the slightest interest in that.

Ufology is greatly fractured. With thousands of UFO-related web pages, everyone (and anyone) can be an expert. Anyone can tell you the "REAL Truth" about the aliens' presence on Earth and their nefarious dealings with the government and how Obama is an alien and why I've been chosen as their emissary and why alien hybrids have pale skin and why aliens will arrive in 2012 and where the underwater alien bases are in the Gulf of Mexico and why the hundreds of orbs in my photograph are mental images of aliens and not dust particles and why some UFO craft disguise themselves as airplanes and why chemtrails are not just contrails and why this blog is passing through into another dimension....

Friday, June 04, 2010

Kingman UFO Crash Revisited

I have received new information on the Kingman, Arizona UFO crash of 1953 an it doesn’t look good for the validity of this case. Remember, this all started when Arthur Stancil told Ray Fowler he had been involved in part of a crash retrieval operation. It was, at that point, a single witness case and the witness himself said that he tended to embellish his stories when he had a little bit to drink.

But then came Judith Woolcott who corroborated the tale with one of her own, saying that her husband had a small role in the retrieval. He had been in Vietnam when he wrote to her about this, but he was killed shortly after he had mailed the letter.

Then, on June 1, 2010, I heard from Kathryn Baez, the daughter of Judith Woolcott and the entire tale as told by her mother blew up...

She said that her step-father, William Woolcott was not only still alive but he had not served in Vietnam. He made it clear that he was a Vietnam era veteran, and his ship had served somewhere off the coast of Vietnam. The sailors were told they had not been in Vietnam. Further, Woolcott did not marry Judith until 1980 so he clearly was not the soldier killed in Vietnam after having participated in part of the Kingman retrieval.

But Judith had been married before. Kathryn told me that her father was Elmer E. Fingal who was born in 1938 and died in 2006. At the time of the Kingman crash, he would have been fifteen and clearly wouldn’t have been in the tower working and he wouldn’t have been an officer in the military at that time.

Fingal had also served in the Navy and Kathryn said she didn’t think he had been in Vietnam. It makes no difference because he clearly had not been in the tower and just as clearly he had not been killed in Vietnam.

Where does that leave the tale told by Judith Woolcott? No where. It never happened. Neither of her husbands had been a witness to anything. Kathryn told me that her mother liked to embellish stories and this was just another of them. In fact, Kathryn said, "I often felt that my mother sensationalized her life for which I didn’t agree and we would often butt heads."

So, we fall back to Stancil who killed his own credibility with his varying tales and his admission that he liked to spin stories, especially after he’d had a few.

There is now no independent corroboration for the case, no newspaper articles, no documentation and no solid witnesses. I think we must label this case for what it is. A hoax.