Thursday, August 15, 2013

Richard French, UFOs and Roswell

(Blogger’s Note: This was a particularly difficult post to write. I have great respect for Lieutenant Colonel Richard E. French’s nearly three decades of military service including fighting in two wars. The problems arise, however, when we look into his claims of participation in UFO investigations and his claims of educational background. I have emailed him three times, including a draft of this article, asking for comment. He has failed to respond. It is with great reluctance that I post the following.)

Since the Citizen Hearing in Washington, D.C., I have looking into the background of retired Lieutenant Colonel Richard E. French. Here was a guy who was saying some amazing things about the Air Force investigation into UFOs and his
Richard French at the Citizen Hearing
participation in it. He was talking about how he had faked UFO sighting solutions, his personal knowledge of the Roswell UFO crash and how he had a hand in writing the “Blue Book.” He seemed to think that it was a document with a blue cover, and while the various incarnations of the official UFO investigation did produce reports, there was never anything that was actually the Blue Book.

His comments about there being two alien craft that crashed in Roswell, including one that was shot down by an experimental fighter, were quickly published all over the Internet pushing his name in front of many others. Additional comments about his involvement in UFO research, or rather debunking of UFO sightings, on orders by the Air Force, were accepted as authentic by many without bothering to check his credentials or if his story was consistent. It added a new level of conspiracy to the already cluttered landscape of the conspiracy minded.

While in Washington, D.C. for the Citizen Hearing, he was interviewed by Kerry Cassidy and that interview has been posted to the Internet. By watching it, we can
French swearing to tell the truth
see where all the problems lie with this tale. According to what he has said to her, he had spent 27½ years in the Air Force and that he spent most of his time as an Operations Officer. His records do not confirm he spent so much time in operations and that is really a trivial point. He also said that he was the youngest officer in the Air Force to hold the position as operations officer. This makes no sense because he doesn’t specify at what level he held the job though he does say that it was with the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Germany. That isn’t exactly a high level position and I would be surprised that he was the youngest ever to hold it. This seems like so much hyperbole to me.

In response to a question at 7:06 during the Cassidy interview, French said, “I have several tours. Three flying tours in Korea and about six or seven in Vietnam. Therefore I have a lot of stories. I have over 680 combat missions. I think that is more than twice as many as anyone else.”

This is not hyperbole and is not accurate. It is just wrong. According to his records, he entered active duty in the middle of 1952, and in August 1952 was assigned as an administration officer in FEAF (Far East Air Force… meaning Korea… or Japan supporting operations in Korea). He did receive, according to the records, the awards that suggest service on the ground in Korea. There is no evidence that he was a pilot in Korea.

In fact, according to the available records, he didn’t enter flight school until 1954, and since that school lasted about a year, there is no way he could have deployed to Korea as a pilot. The war ended in July 1953. He also attended advanced training at Nellis Air Force Base for eight additional months, meaning that it was mid-1955, at the earliest he could have been assigned as a fighter pilot.

The records I have stop in 1968 but they do indicate a short tour in Vietnam in 1965, where he was awarded an Air Medal. The citation said, in part, “Captain Richard E. French distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight as a combat crew member in Southeast Asia from 18 July 1965 to 14 August 1965…”

It is unclear from the record if he was only in Southeast Asia for that nearly month long period, or if it was part of another, longer assignment. It is not clear that he was in even Vietnam at the time which means the flights could have originated from an Air Force base outside Vietnam with flights over it. His records do indicate, however, that he was an assistant operations officer with the 478th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico during this time. So, it seems, based on the records, that it was not a full tour in Vietnam but a temporary duty assignment.

There is a citation in the record which places him in Vietnam in 1968, but I have nothing else about this. This could easily be and probably is a full tour in Vietnam. I have no records for anything beyond that, though it was in 1969 that Richard Nixon began to wind down American participation in the war. Given all this, it would seem that French can claim two “flying” tours in Vietnam. There might be another, but I have seen no record of it and as I say.

At 7:38 in the Cassidy interview, French said, “I have 121 American and foreign decorations. I look like MacArthur if I put everything on.”

That seems excessive and by my count, he is entitled to a minimum of 50 American and foreign decorations. This count is based on the records and the
Official USAF photo
official photograph of French taken in 1972. I am sure that this count is incomplete but it is far short of the claim. Unless there is additional information about it, including a complete list of all awards and decorations, then I would view this as hyperbole… as “resume inflation.”

The real trouble begins when we move away from his documented military career and into the claims he makes about UFOs, his part in the investigation of them, and his orders to debunk UFO sightings. At the Washington Citizen Hearing, French said that he was one of the few to see the Majestic Report referring of course to the Majestic-Twelve documents and what many of us believe to be a hoax. French talked about a meeting Truman held with a bunch of high level people including all the Chiefs of Staff about the Roswell case. They wrote a short report, which he claims to be the only living person to have seen (which of course makes it impossible to verify). He didn’t attend the meeting, and given his military career, I don’t know when he would have had the opportunity to see it, if you believe such a document ever existed.

About 18:50 into this Cassidy interview, he explains why they wanted to keep the Roswell UFO crash secret. Here is where another problem develops. According to what he said to others in other interviews, one of the alien spacecraft that crashed near Roswell in July 1947 had been shot down by a new weapon that worked along the lines of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). But when asked why the government kept the crash a secret, he said it was because we had no defense against the aliens and their craft. First he was telling us we could shoot them down and later saying that we had no defense against them.

Demonstrating that he had very little knowledge of Project Blue Book, at 20:07 in the interview he said, “At that time the Blue Book… had a blue cover but it contained all these different stories…” Here he seems to be suggesting a real blue book rather than an investigation of UFOs. He doesn’t get that Blue Book was a code name and not an actual book. He said, “Official Air Force Blue Book. It’s the Air Force official report on UFOs.” He even claimed authorship of part of it.

It would seem that an officer who had worked on the project would have known exactly what it was. True, there were a number of final reports, one for Project Sign and one for Project Grudge, not to mention a number of status reports issued in the early days, but there never was a “blue book.”

During that interview he said that he had just graduated from college when he went into the Air Force. He said in another interview that he attended Oregon State University. According to the university, he attended from 1947 to the winter of 1952 but didn’t receive a degree. Now, I know that sometimes the universities make mistakes, but the evidence from the official documentation doesn’t suggest a degree. While it is always possible that he finished his degree work after his military service, there is currently nothing in the record to indicate he earned his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.

He also mentioned that he had two Ph.Ds, one in philosophy and another in astrophysics, “from Kings College online education system.” I searched the Internet for any reference remotely like Kings College and found one in Great Britain that offered a degree in astrophysics, but in an email response to me, they wrote that they do not offer an online doctorate in astrophysics.

At about 36:00 in the interview he said did research at MIT and Stanford… this work was research on cancer and that he and another fellow invented a device that would get 50 miles to a gallon of gas in an old eight-cylinder Buick. He said that he couldn’t sell it because they invented when gas was thirty cents a gallon, but today, with the pressure to increase gas mileage, it would seem that they could. He said that is was some kind of light ring that went into the carburetor that created oxygen so that the fuel mixture burned more efficiently. There is currently no evidence to back up these claims.

As I listened to his interview with Cassidy, I was impressed by the robust tale that he told. It just didn’t seem to be the sort of thing that would be invented by the average guy. But then he mentioned his book, Macedonian Gray. Here’s the description from

This book is far more than a simple battle scene narration. It's a story embracing courage, love, and a penetrating view of the human mind under extremes of stress. The central figure, a jet fighter pilot, spends years in spine chilling Korean and Vietnam combat plus cold war actions around the world. A naturally endowed psychic, he sees flashes of incidents past and future that he doesn't understand and fears to share. Among these are fortelling President Kennedy's death and predicting his own violent combat death that is vividly related in the opening chapter. The story flashes back to narrative form and follows the hero's life through a series of aerial actions, a failed marriage, romantic episodes and incidents, and a friendship of warriors that lasts through thick and thin. It reaches a startling conclusion when, after death, the man's immortal spirit endures afterlife pain and eventual reincarnation.

Show less
In creating the “hero” of his book, he used autobiographical information to add a note of authenticity to the story. Many authors incorporate bits of their lives into the books they write. Here I think that French then turned the tables believing that some of the embellishments added for characterization were now traits he held as well. He invented a character and then became that character.

What disturbs me about all this is that it is clear that French served in the Air Force and did so honorably, but once that service ended he began to invent additional accomplishments. For some reason, he decided that he had been a member of Project Blue Book, though there is no evidence to support this. He decided that he had seen some Majestic-12 documents, ones that no one else has seen, but has offered no proof this was true. He decided that he talked to the late Philip Corso about UFOs and that he, French, somehow knew that Corso was telling the truth, though he gets much of the Corso story wrong.

He gave us a version of what happened at Roswell, but clearly he couldn’t have been involved in 1947 simply because he was not in the military at the time, wasn’t in the area, and had no reason to know about it. His tales, now repeated throughout the world, are second hand at best and pure fiction at worst. I am baffled why a man with the military record he has would embellish it to the point where it is almost unbelievable and insert himself into projects and incidents that he clearly could not have been involved in. We see some of the fiction in his claims of flying tours in Korea, and see those fictions grow as he moves through his career.

But I want to be fair here. Let me point out that the man had a distinguished career and was an Air Force officer. He began serving in 1951, as a second lieutenant commissioned after taking ROTC in college (though I should note that he entered the Army Reserve as a PVT in June 1948). That lead to an active duty assignment in the middle of 1952 and lasted until he retired, as a lieutenant colonel in August 1974. He served first with the AFOSI and later as a fighter pilot. He served in Korea, was awarded the decorations that would go with such an assignment and served in the FEAF (Far East Air Force). There is no question that he served in Asia during that war but he held a ground assignment.

In 1954, or about six to eight months after the shooting war ended, he was sent to flight school. Total training time, including his advance transition into the F-86 was about eighteen months.

From there he had a number of military assignments, including those you’d expect from an Air Force officer. He was a flight commander, a squadron commander and an operations officer at various bases and in various foreign countries

The records I have only cover his career until late 1968. I will note that according to the records, he was awarded a Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 24 Air Medals and a Purple Heart. Unlike so many others, he had a fine and distinguished career that required no hyperbole. He was an Air Force officer, he served in two wars, and was decorated for that service. There would be no reason for him to complicate his life by inventing tales about his service, what he did, and what he saw.

What this demonstrates is that even a man with a fine military career will invent tales to bring the spotlight on himself. Money doesn’t seem to be the motivation. It is the power of the spotlight and those who will believe practically anything as long as the message is one they wish to hear. Unfortunately, he now joins the ranks of Robert Willingham, Mel Noel, Gerald Anderson, Cliff Stone and Frank Kaufmann. The evidence is not there to support French’s tale of UFO involvement and inside knowledge. All he has done is muddy the waters even more for those of us trying to get a clear picture.


Lance said...

Once again, Kevin, excellent work!

Skeptics everywhere need to understand that you have probably exposed more UFO hanky-panky than virtually anyone.



Sarge said...


Once again you have exposed the weakness so common in the UFO community. If you say what the "True Believers" want to hear they will overlook any failing.
It is too bad we don't vett all sources before we buy their wares.

Tim Hebert said...


Thanks for the post. I'm greatful that you provided accounts of the good record, and by all meaning, a very honorable and distinguished military career concerning Richard French.

Yet, that leaves the darker side for us to ponder. But, I believe this hurts French's reputation more than it "muddies" the research waters in Ufology and those like myself drawn towards looking at the fascinating cases.

There is, unfortunately, a deeper psychological aspect to French's wild claims, but this isn't the forum to discuss such...

Jack Brewer said...

Nice work. A well-researched post.

Kevin is indeed correct that the French saga demonstrates that even a man with a fine military career is subject to inventing tall tales. It also demonstrates a few things we may reasonably conclude about the CHD, its organizers and the extents of their commitments to promoting accurate information.

Gilles Fernandez said...


It is very sad for me when a French is exposed (humour).

More seriously, I hope "believers" in UFO will not continue to be "fascinated" or "impressed" when a military spoke about UFO (authority/celebrity/notoriety argument bias) as it is the case concerning such Washington Press Conferences people regarding several cases (Rendlesham, Malmstrom and so on).

They finaly are people like lambda ones, abble to confuse, false memory, confabulate, invente, enhance, beautify, lie, etc.

Of course, this episode must not depreciate his military services, as for other militaries in same case, as you well underligned.


cda said...

It reminds me of an article entitled "Soldiers' Tales" by Jerry Clark, first published, I think, in 1983. The theme was essentially about how retired military guys are liable to embellish their careers to the point of adding pure fiction in places. Obviously French is an example of this.

starman said...

So French was with the AFOSI. Interesting.....

Mark L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark L. said...

I realize he is probably just another field grade basking in the limelight and that you have tracked his career up until 1968. You say his service reflects one Air Medal at that time, if I read your post correctly. It would appear that since he was also awarded a Silver Star and two DFCs he must have had at least one tour post-68 to be awarded those decorations unless of course there are some stolen valor issues associated with those awards. Perhaps there needs to be further inquiry. He wouldn't be the first to to include unearned decorations in official photos.

KRandle said...

Mark L. -

The records come from the St. Louis personnel center and they document his awards. There are no stolen valor issues here.

I believe that he had a full tour in Vietnam in 1968 given the documents that I have. In that time he was awarded additional air medals. His record shows the Vietnam Service medal but his official photograph shows the Vietnam Campaign Medal with four stars which would suggest a year long tour in-country. The citation I have for the first air medal is for meritorious service as a combat crew member. It is from a preprinted form with his name and the dates typed in.

So, we know he served in the Korean War but not as a pilot. We know that he was a combat crew member for about a month in 1965, while at the same time assigned to an Air Force base in New Mexico, suggesting temporary duty. And I have a document placing him in Vietnam and believe that it was a full tour.

Until he provides additional information, there is no where else to go with this.

I can't stress this enough. I do not believe that he is wearing any decorations to which he is not entitled. The issues have to do with claims made about his UFO investigations and his educational background.

Paul Kimball said...

Good work, Kevin, and an important point made - military personnel are no more or less inclined to be honourable and truthful than the general population. Their claims need to be judged based on the ability to verify the claims themselves, and not the background of the person making them.


David Rudiak said...

cda wrote:
The theme was essentially about how retired military guys are liable to embellish their careers to the point of adding pure fiction in places. Obviously French is an example of this.

You mean like retired military/CIA scientists who have embellished their participation in events to the point of adding pure fiction?

Obviously Mogul engineer Charles Moore is a great example of this, creating a Mogul balloon train out thin air so he could claim he was responsible for Roswell, adding a hoax balloon trajectory so he could say the winds were "exactly right" to take the nonexistent balloon to the crash site, altering a Mogul flight map while stating he was copying it "without change" in order to distance the flight from Roswell base so he could claim they didn't know anything about the flights, pretending he was involved in the Thomas Mantell incident as part of the Skyhook launch team when he wasn't there, etc.

Basically AFOSI built Mogul around the testimony of one man who had no problems making up all sorts of things to promote the Mogul hoax and claim the glory for Roswell. (You could add that CIC/AFOSI guys like Cavitt no doubt also had distinguished military careers but had no trouble obviously lying about his participation in and what happened at Roswell. He couldn't tell a consistent story to save his life and everybody contradicted him, even his own wife.)

French was also a lone wolf like Moore. This is very different from a case like Rendlesham with many military witnesses backing up something extremely odd happening (not to mention the Halt memo which documented this at the time), or Roswell, where again many, many witnesses back up important witnesses like Marcel about highly anomalous debris and a cover-up. Witnesses like Brazel Jr., Rickett, Haut, Gen. Exon, Gen. Dubose, Marcel Jr. and many others. ALL of many dozens of witnesses would have to be confabulating in concert with Marcel to create a false Roswell incident. There are also the initial press release from the base that they had recovered a flying disc, the press reports of high security surrounding what was found, how the military kept changing the story, all suggesting something far stranger than a balloon crash. (Also the Ramey memo documenting at the time the mention of " the victims" and something "in the 'disc'").

Since somebody is inevitably going to bring up Marcel and claim he was a nefarious liar like French, Marcel's superior officers continued to give him high performance reviews after Roswell (if not boost the ratings somewhat into the "superior" range from "excellent"). E.g., Gen. Ramey a year later called him "outstanding", said he had nobody to replace him at Roswell when as he was being transferred for higher intelligence work in Washington, and thought him command officer material. See:

These evaluations alone completely refute skeptic contentions that Marcel screwed up a simple balloon ID and was some sort of incompetent who later tried to redeem himself. We also know Marcel was exactly who he said he was, the head intelligence officer at Roswell who was sent out to investigate a possible flying saucer crash. Unlike French, no questions about that, only what he eventually discovered and how the military spun it afterward.

Chuck Finley said...

"What this demonstrates is that even a man with a fine military career will invent tales to bring the spotlight on himself..." should also include in your list Karl Pflock, methinks...

Steve Sawyer said...

Part 1 of 2:

Considering that this blog article references a specific interview, and cites particular aspects of it, I thought it would be appropriate to note the url for the interview itself, in case anyone wants to listen to French speak for himself:


Curiously, French refers to an incident he said occurred in 1954 near the AEC's Hanford Nuclear Site in the state of Washington at about 8:50 into this video interview.

French alleged that two F-86D jet fighters were "launched" (presumably scrambled from nearly Moses Lake AFB) to go after a UFO which had somehow been detected (probably ADC radar stationed nearby) approaching the Hanford site, which had a zone of protected airspace around it, due to it being the U.S.'s primary plutonium production complex.

French says in the interview that one of the two F-86D jets dropped a "pod" of 36 missiles after getting authorization to fire on the UFO, but that when the pod (which is actually a retractable "tray," containing 24 Mark 4 "Mighty Mouse" aerial rockets) dropped into position to fire, the F-86D exploded, and French makes an aside about "we don't know what they used" to suggest the jet was fired upon by the UFO to cause it to explode. In a different video of French, he suggests the UFO might have used an "electromagnetic" weapon on the jet fighter he claims was destroyed.

French then goes on to say that the Columbia River, which borders the Hanford site, was then searched and "dragged" for at least "60 or 70 miles" in a "circular pattern" to try to locate the remnants of the destroyed F-86D jet, but than no pieces or fragments whatsoever were ever found ("...not even the most tiny piece of the airplane").

French claims he was an AFOSI investigator who was involved in both the aerial and ground search for the destroyed aircraft, but that nothing of the F-86D nor its pilot was ever found, suggesting they simply "disappeared."

However, after some extensive searching online, I've been unable to find _any_ references whatsoever to any such incident _ever_ having occurred.

It would seem that, even if the UFO connection was not made public, such an extensive search as French describes could not have been kept from the public and at least local/regional media sources. But I could find no references to any such incident at all, with or without a "UFO connection."

I would suggest, unless someone here knows better about any such incident, that it is unlikely to have happened, and goes further to what Kevin's article details as to French's either intentional fabrication and/or confabulation of his background and experience with investigating UFOs for "12 or 13 years" for the USAF while supposedly in the AFOSI.

Kevin -- is there any indication in the records you have on French that he served as an investigator with the AFOSI in the late 40's and through the 1950's while serving in the USAF? Or at McChord AFB? Does he actually have a PhD, or not?

cda said...

DR (and Kevin):

Oh dear - see how the memory plays tricks! I got it wrong about Jerry Clark's "Soldiers' Tales".

The said article was indeed by Jerome Clark, but was entitled "Confessions of a Fortean Skeptic", published in Magonia no. 12, May 1983.

It has a section in which Jerry refers to 'Soldier's Tales' or 'The Horrendous Secrets I learned in the Service' in which Jerry talks about one such yarn spinner who told him there was one subject he "couldn't talk about" but that "the truth [about crashed saucers and pickled aliens] would shock me".

It is worth reading the whole section, even the whole article, though whether Jerry would still stick to his views of 30 years ago is another matter.

Regarding General Ramey, of course Ramey gave Marcel high performance reviews after the Roswell affair. He had to, to maintain the big lie, the lie he told the FBI, the press and everyone else, and of course took to his grave.

But I do want to avoid going down that path again.

Steve Sawyer said...

Part 2 of 2:

In addition, as Jack Brewer briefly notes above, this kind of highly unreliable "witness" being included in the proceedings of the CHD by Stephen Bassett, et al, goes to the lack of proper vetting and checking of what such witnesses like French presented and spoke about, thus severely reducing whatever credibility or purpose the CHD may have intended in allowing such persons to make statements like French did at the CHD.

Bassett certainly does not seem to be adequately concerned about the veracity, background credentials, and integrity of some of the people (like the ludicrous Steven Greer) he has allowed to make other presentations, both at CHD, and before, also, such as at his prior "X-conferences." This kind of very problematical issue only muddies the waters further, and undermines ufology, such as it is, even more, IMHO.


As a side note, here is a YouTube video excerpt of French's rather awkward presentation at the CHD, where he also claimed to have observed, several times, cigar-shaped UFOs entering and exiting both live and dormant volcanoes, in addition to his having seen "gray"-type aliens. Frankly, I have to wonder whether French is simply a confabulator or may actually be deliberately spreading intentional disinformation when he makes such off-hand comments in a venue such as the CHD. In either case, he's simply unbelievable.


French has also claimed to have inspected crashed UFO fragments and humanoid alien bodies ("killed and injured") involved in a New Mexico UFO crash near Alamagordo (supposedly one of two 1947 Roswell area crashes!), observed in 1952 from a wharf in Newfoundland (along with supposedly around 100 other people) two aliens working to repair a pair of flying saucers underwater for two hours, and along with his alleged knowledge of the bogus MJ-12 (his references to what he calls "the magic report"), supposed observation of UFOs flying around and landing in Gulf Breeze, Florida "virtually any evening," etc., I can only conclude that French is both delusional and a fabricator. Given all this, and much more, he has no credibility whatsoever.


Finally, French is currently 83 years old.

His claim to have been in Alamagordo, N.M., for an annual "altitude chamber" test/checkup, supposedly required for "rated officers" who were USAF pilots, and while there observed a strange prototype aircraft takeoff from White Sands that he implies shot down the Roswell UFO with an EM pulse, causing it to crash, is an outrageous lie on its face, because he would have only been 17 years old at the time.

There have never been any USAF pilots or officers aged 17. 83 minus 66 years, when the Roswell incident occurred, leaves 17. French can't even do the basic math.

So, yet another obvious and pathologically absurd lie. The man is a bad joke.


Kurt Peters said...

Obviously Richard E. French is this decade's version of dear departed Frank Kaufmann....

KRandle said...

Two Things All -

First, French was assigned to the OSI in 1952 but in 1954 moved into another career path, according to the records.

The difference between French and Kaufmann is that French served in the grade he claimed and had a respectable career... Kaufman made up nearly everything about his military sevice.

KRandle said...
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hetz barrur said...

I watched the Camelot interview -- yikes -- Ms. Cassidy wasn't exactly the epitome of an expert interviewer . . . among other things, confusing the OSS with OSI of the AF, which in turn led French to also wrongly use OSI even though he mentioned "Wild Bill" Donovan of the OSS. Ms. Cassidy's question "Did you meet Himmler?" was classic. LIKE. HELLO. Anybody home?

French answered that he "didn't know" several times to questions Ms. Cassidy asked. So he didn't take every opportunity to confabulate.

I wouldn't know what the duties of and AFOSI member in a combat zone would entail, but could observation over-flights (i.e. French as an observer) be tallied as combat missions?

The impression I got on the "blue book" comments was not that he claimed to run the entire program, but rather that he contributed cases to it from his unit, and that THEY, at his base, used a blue binder for reports that were sent up the chain. But perhaps I am wrong.

The impression I get of LTC French is of something of a Wendell Stevens type, though with a much more fragile memory, and other health issues that affect his ability to communicate clearly. Without a far more expert interviewer I suspect most of his testimony will remain confusing and highly suspect.

cda said...

Off topic I know, but the latest 'revelation' about Princess Diana may well fall into the French category.

Some ananymous ex-SAS guy in jail (for illegally possessing armaments) apparently once wrote to his mother-in-law that he used to kill women, children and even a priest, as part of his job. Oh and he now claims the SAS planned and carried out Diana's crash in Paris.

Police say they are following up on this but do not plan any substantial investigation.

Quotes from the letter appear in today's DAILY MAIL.

Another spinner of tales, a la French?

KRandle said...

Hetz -

French talked of flying tours meaning that it was part of his job and suggesting that he was the pilot. He was not trained until the Korean War was over and even if he flew as an observer, he wouldn't have had three flying tours. This is hyperbole at its best.

I would think that a man who claimed an assignment with Project Blue Book, and who claimed that he went out to "solve" sightings, would have a better understanding of what Project Blue Book was. It is clear from the interview, what he said in Washington, D. C. as part of his "testimony," and other interviews, that he didn't understand Blue Book...

That doesn't cover his educational claims nor that he invented a device that would give your car 50 miles to the gallon... a device that should be updated for today.

Nope, his UFO "revelations" do not stand up to scrutiny. We have to look at the whole package and when we do, his tales fail.


I thought about removing your comments as irrelevant, but actually, they sort of fit the topic at hand, so I let then stand (and yes, I wrote that this way for the poetry of it.)

Anthony Mugan said...

Thanks for your continued efforts on so many aspects of this issue - as always very objective regardless of a positive or negative result (both are important).

The interesting documents released recently regarding the 1953 Iranian coup, including media manipulation, may give those who feel that conspiracies never happen pause for thought (as just one very recent example). The challenge as always is differentiating fact from fiction from downright fantasy.

hetz barrur said...

KR - no problem whatsoever. I have only seen the Camelot interview of French. Other than that and your article I know nothing about the fellow. My main point is that the Camelot interview was very off the cuff and not well done.

Lance said...


Can you name one of the people who "feel that conspiracies never happen"?

Skeptics don't think the vast ridiculous conspiracy posited by saucer believers (and unsupported by any actual evidence) is reasonable. That you equate not believing in your saucer religion and not believing in ANY conspiracy shows the paranoid mindset rather well.

I know you try to pretend to not be a true believer/ conspiracy nut but you sometimes show your hand inadvertently.


Unknown said...

I have noticed over the years that there are many upfront and forth right accounts that can be verified. The Malstrom incident is one example. However as with all good things, one of the problems with these Citizen hearings and disclosure events is the organizers don't take the time to verify witness stories or back grounds before they breathlessly unload the tales on to the general public. If this was a for real Congressional hearings, the Congressional investigators would have eaten that account for lunch. Representatives that were in opposition to the hearings would have used that and any other inconsistent account as a reason why all are a waste of time and Congress shouldn't be spending it's time with this issue.

I have described this process in great detail previously. What sometimes happens in the UFO community is things get real quiet for awhile. Then along comes somebody with a story to tell. "Some" investigators, talk show hosts and event organizers don't take the time to check anything out, verify anything and make the assumption that it is vastly more important to unload whatever breathless story that they were just told, before checking out any of the facts behind the story. Then the breathless story blows up in their face because military records don't match, education records can't be found, or after a deep investigation even elements of the story can't be verified.

Rather then admit that they got swindled by a story teller they tend do make whatever excuses or tell what ever story they can such as blame it on some vast government conspiracy that selectively wiped that person's records 30 seconds after they blabbed the story on air.

Lesson learned: check things out.

Kudo's and great work to Kevin Randle for staying on and up with this and giving it an honest and fair investigation that such accounts truly deserves.

dave tuttle said...

Anybody see a connection between French's yarns and the anonymous deathbed confession video posted by Richard Dolan (said confessor also reportedly interviewed 15 years ago by Linda Howe)? Are these independent actors or do they reflect a disinfo campaign starring credible, kindly old gents?

Turgid said...

I actually dropped in to see if Kevin had crafted a critical review of the "Anonymous" interview shown at the CHD, easily the weakest link in the entire spectacle. The "Anonymous" testimony seems to be one of the runaway Youtube favorites; it uses all the right buzzwords, "former CIA official... deathbed testimony... Area 51... aliens..." The "Certification of Authenticity" is a grave-looking Richard Dolan--familiar to many in the field for his many interviews and UFO's and the National Security State volumes--sitting by Anonymous' side during the brief interview snippet.

Then I discovered Anonymous was going to be the lynchpin in the documentary for which Steve Bassett had secured his one million dollar contribution. The irony of the documentary's title "Truth Embargo, It's not about lights in the sky, but lies on the ground," will not be lost on anyone forced to endure even more of Anonymous' silly 1990s Ufology internet lore rehashing in a random confabulatory fashion.

Maybe Anonymous' "testimony" was so patently ludicrous, Kevin didn't even see a need to devote one iota of his time to it... unfortunately, it is going to be the corner-stone of the upcoming documentary and so, far from dead.

Turgid said...

@dave tuttle

Dave... Linda Howe introduced Anonymous to Ufology via a taped interview segment that was aired on Art Bell's show in '98:

The entire interview is supposedly behind the paywall at Linda's site. A few parts of the transcript can be found by Googling "Agent Kewper." Over and again Ufology is content to shoot itself in the foot by introducing these flimflam artists and con men. How Richard Dolan let himself be conned into participating in this is beyond me, but the fact the entire interview made it as far as it has shows the serious lack of investigating even so-called brand name persons in this field really devote to their subject matter. Lacking proper credentials, experience, valid scientific journals for peer review etcetera, you would think investigators would go out of their way to establish the validity of their methodology and sources. Yet, every time the opposite appears to be true. After considering how many people passed on even asking perfunctory questions about Anonymous, I've found myself questioning almost everything being uttered in the field at this time. If they can't get something right as patently bloody obvious simple as an old man spinning yarn, what else are they fumbling?

Flying Tiger said...

“Did you ever hear of anyone—especially an air force officer—trying to drink Jell-O?” Mrs. Ralph Butler of Owatonna, Minnesota, asked. “Well, that’s what he did. He acted like he had never seen any before. He picked up the bowl and tried to drink it. I had to show him how to eat it with a spoon.“

Mrs. Butler was describing the man who had visited her in May 1967, following a flurry of UFO sightings in Owatonna. He said he was Major Richard French of the U.S. Air Force although he was dressed in civilian clothes and was driving a white Mustang. His neat gray suit and everything else he was wearing appeared to be brand-new.

Even the soles of his shoes were unscuffed, unwalked upon. He was about five feet nine inches tall, with an olive complexion and a pointed face. His hair was dark and very long—too long for an air force officer, Mrs. Butler thought. Unlike Jack Brown, Major French was a fluent conversationalist and seemed perfectly normal until he complained about his stomach bothering him. When Mrs. Butler offered him the Jell-O she suspected for the first time that something was out of kilter.

Richard French was an imposter. One of the many wandering around the United States in 1967. For years these characters had caused acute paranoia among the flying saucer enthusiasts, convincing them that the air force was investigating them, silencing witnesses and indulging in all kinds of unsavory activities—including murder. When I first began collecting such reports I was naturally suspicious of the people making such reports. It all seemed like a massive put-on. But gradually it became apparent that the same minute details were turning up in widely separated cases, and none of these details had been published anywhere ... not even in the little newsletters of the UFO cultists.

John Keel, Mothman Prophecies chapter 2