Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Anthony Bragalia, the Roswell Slides and the UFO Community


(Blogger's Note: Over the last few weeks, I have learned about this on going dispute among the various parties mentioned. Since some of this information has now been circulated on the Interent in various venues, I thought it was time to provide Tony with the opportunity to tell his side of the story. This is what Tony had to say about it.)

UFO AUTHOR HACKED IN EFFORT TO OBTAIN ROSWELL EVIDENCE
BY ANTHONY BRAGALIA

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of those who publish it.

This writer (Anthony Bragalia) has been cyber-attacked several times in an effort to learn more about Kodachrome slides confirmed to have been taken in 1947. The slides depict a humanoid creature resembling alien beings reported to have crashed near Roswell that year. An associate of Richard Reynolds (of the “RRR Group” and long-running blog UFO Iconoclasts, now UFO Conjectures) named Ross Evans worked with a skilled hacker in an attempt to steal the slides that were erroneously believed to be stored in my computer system. Collaborating with the hacker, Evans began to exploit information derived from my stolen emails, including contacting scientists and witnesses associated with the slides investigation, as well as other researchers who may know something about them. Reynolds –working with Evans- even published the names of these witnesses and scientists online until a demand letter was issued to delete them.

RICHARD REYNOLDS IMPLICATED IN CYBER-CRIME

Earlier this month a formal criminal grievance was filed by me against Reynolds and Evans with the FBI’s Internet Complaint Center. It is hoped that an investigation will be launched by the agency with charges brought against them to include the impersonation of an FBI agent. If arrested and convicted, penalties for such crimes could include fines and imprisonment. Copies of the complaint have been placed with several UFO researchers to verify this filing, including with author Kevin Randle.

Informed of my concerns about the hacking and theft, Reynolds has vindictively deleted all 50+ articles written over five years by me that have appeared on his blogs.

HOW IT WENT DOWN

Some readers may know that some time ago a chest once owned by a deceased couple was found to contain a stash of old slides, including two Kodachromes of special interest. Depicting a small humanoid corpse, these extraordinary slides were authenticated by a renowned Kodak expert as having been exposed in 1947. This author discovered that the husband was an oil exploration geologist who worked the New Mexico region in the 1940s for his company (a Texaco predecessor) including in the Permian Basin, a region encompassing Roswell. He was also the President of the local geological association in 1947. Google “Roswell Slides” to learn more. Over two years have been spent in securing experts, researching the back story, conducting interviews and scientific tests and in arranging the forthcoming televised broadcast of the slides. During the course of all of this, leaks had occurred to the UFO community about the existence of the slides.

Frustrated believers and skeptics alike began to display behaviors that are worthy of a mass psychology dissertation.  Rank speculation, accusations of fraud and money-motivation, name-calling and feelings of exclusion were all on display. Some seemed to throw conniption fits, demanding the public disclosure of the slides immediately. UFO blogger Paul Kimball (nephew of UFOlogist Stan Friedman) sunk to even more ugly levels. He made public the private emails that he had received from author Kevin Randle concerning Kevin’s thoughts on the slides, in an attempt to stir dissension among Roswell researchers.

Even learned people such as French skeptic Gilles Fernandes, PhD and Christopher Allen (CDA) of the UK chimed in by insisting that the slides cannot be real. They were reduced to mudslinging and character assassination because –like Reynolds- they had no real insight to offer. US skeptic Tim Printy stated in his SUNlite UFO e-zine that it was his belief that the slides probably depicted a dead and mutilated Army Air Corp serviceman who had crashed. Bear in mind the remarkable thing that none of these individuals have ever even been part of the investigation! Yet their opinions, reactions and attitudes make it seem as if they knew everything! Minds were made up, lines were drawn and arrows flung even before any actual public disclosure of the slides.

The individual that seemed the most crazed in his rabble-rousing about the slides was blogger Richard Reynolds. I had no formal association with Reynolds (I have never even spoken with him) though I was a frequent article contributor to his blog for some years. As Reynolds became more intrigued by the slides, he began to try to insert himself in the story. Not content with serving host to articles about the slides, he wanted to be an active participant in the ‘drama’ surrounding them. So extreme was Reynolds’s obsession that on his blog he began to spin from whole cloth tales about what the slides really meant.

At first he maintained that they related to the alleged 1948 Aztec, NM saucer crash and that the geologist who possessed the slides had worked with Silas Newton, an oilman associated with Aztec. There is not one shred of evidence that this is so.  UFO researcher Frank Warren, an expert on Aztec, agrees. Then Reynolds changed course to a more terrestrial explanation: it was a mummy in a museum. It is not. When a prominent NASA scientist who saw the slides wrote to Rich that it was not a mummy, Reynolds took a different spin on that- he said that he had information that it was a man from White Sands who had mummified in a secret experiment. Finally, Reynolds, in another tale, suggested that the Texas Attorney General was pursuing charges against those who found the slides for theft. Of course this was ridiculous and it never happened.

Reynolds obsession about the slides then took a decidedly more deplorable turn…

HACKED!

This past summer, Reynolds had forwarded to me an email that he said that he had received from someone who wished to contact me. The individual, using a pseudonym and an encrypted email service address, stated he had important information to relate about the slides. When I received the email and replied to this individual that I would be open to learning more, I had unknowingly opened a ‘portal’ to attack by a hacker. The individual was not someone who wished to share information with me, it was someone who wished to steal it from me! Once I became “infected” by the hacker’s malware, he then changed my password and began to read all of my emails relating to Roswell.  The hacker would taunt me by emailing me back the information that he was learning about the investigation.

Reynolds associate Ross Evans then somehow began a direct communication with the hacker. Evans (who actually emailed me his intent) stated that he aimed to expose everything about the slides that he obtained.

Evans then began to contact the people mentioned in my emails, emails that Evans knew were mine and that had been stolen by a hacker! This included a photo scientist involved in authentication of the slides and a Roswell serviceman (now 90) who had seen the bodies at the crash and who had confirmed that the being in the slides looked like the ones he had seen at the Roswell crash. Evans even sent to me the phone number of the elderly witness as if he were threatening to contact him.

Evans emailed Reynolds all that he had learned from the hacker. Then Reynolds published the names of the scientist and elderly witness on his blog. He knowingly placed online information that was obtained from my stolen emails. And he knew that his friend Ross Evans was working with the hacker who attacked me. It was only when I emailed Reynolds that what he was doing was illegal and could create serious harm, that he immediately deleted these names from his blog.

By this point, Reynolds had fashioned himself as some sort of “Wiki-Leaker” or Eric Snowden wannabe. He would publish and exploit anything on the slides, even it was made up or obtained illegally. In addition to publishing information derived from my stolen emails, Reynolds began emailing many researchers to ask if they had any information about people whose names Reynolds had obtained from my stolen emails.

RICHARDS’ FABRICATED FBI ALLY

In earlier emails to me, Reynolds stated that he had found out who the hacker was. He said that he had an FBI associate (referred to as “our FBI guy”) who had identified the hacker. Reynolds maintained that “his” agent had “created a dossier” on the hacker and that this agent had shared it with Reynolds. Reynolds said that the dossier could only be opened by “a digital key.” For some reason he would not email it to me directly, but would instead have Ross Evans email it to me, and later would send the “digital key” to open the “dossier.’’ Reynolds then claimed that the dossier was “bouncing back” to them as having been rejected by my server and therefore undeliverable. Then Reynolds maintained he could not send it to me by email at all as it would not be wise to do so.  

The real reason of course is that there was no “FBI dossier” furnished to Reynolds by an FBI ally. The FBI does not share with complainants investigative documents that detail information on a suspect. That would compromise their investigation. They do not email to them digitally encrypted copies of their findings in an ongoing case. There never was any FBI agent at all who said these things, or had provided these things to Reynolds.  When Reynolds and I exchanged emails about this, Reynolds stated that his agent had determined that I was “psychotic.”

ENDING THE HACKING

The hacking was finally stopped only when I “killed” the intruder by pulling the plug on him. Not wanting to wait for law enforcement,  I called the CEO of Safe-Mail.net, Mr. Amiram Ofir, in Israel. The hacker had been sending emails to me from Mr. Ofir’s encrypted email service. Mr. Ofir’s security team was able to successfully disengage the hacker’s account and connection to the Safe-Mail.net system. Ofir explained that my computer had been compromised through my reply to the hacker’s original email to me. The hacker then went into my Web Mail and enabled the email forwarding option so that copies of my incoming and outgoing emails were also sent to the hacker’s Safe-Mail.net account.  Hackers have become so adept that it is no longer necessary to have to click through a link or open an attachment- the mere act of replying to a hacker’s email can infect your system, with passwords changed and emails read.

WEBSITE AND ARTICLES TAKEN DOWN IN RETALIATION

Reynolds last email to me indicated that I had better act fast as time was ticking: He was going to delete all 50+ articles that I had contributed to his UFO Iconoclasts blog over the past five years as well as delete the associated Bragalia Files blog. And in retaliation, he did just that. To make it easier to do so, Reynolds then changed the name of his blog (retaining the same address) to UFO Conjectures. Reynolds had reached a point where he would vindictively remove a 5+ year body of UFO research as well as the associated commentary by his readers. Very fortunately, when these articles are Googled, there are “cached” versions that can be clicked to read. And very fortunately too, many websites reproduced my articles that appeared on UFO Iconoclasts and The Bragalia Files. These articles have been assembled for inclusion in a new website under development which will also provide a venue for continued reporting. In the interim, several bloggers have kindly offered me to contribute future pieces on their sites.

LESSONS LEARNED

It bothers me to have written this piece. Such “drama” distracts from investigation. Every minute immersed in the ‘politics and personalities’ of UFOs is a minute taken away from conducting needed UFO research. Another thing learned: We have met the foe. And it is not the rabid skeptic nor even “the government” – it is us. We destabilize our efforts based on our own actions. Name-calling, in-fighting and jealousy only cheapens and discredits the UFO field. And resorting to illegal activities like hacking other researchers’ computers has the potential to destroy it entirely.

25 comments:

Robert Blakey said...

Wow. I would definitely like to hear what the FBI does.

Gilles Fernandez said...

Good article.

Kevin,

On as very side note, you wrote : Even learned people such as French skeptic Gilles Fernandes, PhD and Christopher Allen (CDA) of the UK chimed in by insisting that the slides cannot be real
Fernandez
I have never said the slides were "not real". We/I suggested some leads you maybe know, as We/I predict that when the slides published / released, it is probable "Sam", "Tom" or "Dupont" will recognize the slides for what they are in reality, from where they are coming from.

+ Carey stating recently the body is probably "embalmed". LMAO.

So: waiting the slide visible for us.

Regards,

Gilles.

Lance said...

Well as much as I disagree with Tony on just about everything related to UFO's, it does sound like he got the raw end of the deal in this case.

He didn't deserve to have all his articles deleted. And, if he was hacked, I hope that the perpetrators are prosecuted.

Perhaps it would be helpful if Tony posted the correspondence that proves this article.

Lance

KRandle said...

Gilles -

One point... the article was written by Tony. I posted it at his request.

Ross said...

Just a couple of points

1.My emails were compromised too, as was my mobile phone.

2. The information I received was unsolicited

KRandle said...

All -

This is Tony's perspective on these events... anyone who wishes to address the issues beyond the comments section is invited to provide a posting... I retain the right to edit or reject.

Robert Sheaffer said...

Alleged photos of "real aliens" are a very valuable commercial property, as seen from the cable TV program deal that reportedly has been made for them. As Ray Santilli amply demonstrated, alleged photos or videos of aliens need not be authentic to be highly profitable.

If what Anthony says is true, perhaps the hackers wanted to profit from the alleged slides themselves, before Bragalia and the "Dream Team" could do so.

cda said...

Squabbles, threats and in-fighting are nothing new in the UFO fraternity. It seems we have to live with it, just as we have to live with the perpetual cover-up claims, and the finger pointing at the official government agencies, again.

And the end result? A big fat zilch. And however many times you multiply a number by zero you still get zero.

Steve Sawyer said...

Ah, yes, CDA, but this matter and the ethical and legal issues it raises, not to mention the alleged use of stolen , confidential email data, and giving it to others to then publish, without any permission or notice, is really not "zero," is it?

And, if the slides have been forensically documented as being 1947-vintage Kodachrome slides, then what would you say that suggests, if there is something that looks (somewhat unlike) an archetypal alien in the photos?

It's either a genuine entity of some kind, circa '47, or a fake, and either way the provenance, back-story, and established dating of the slides suggest at least two or three very intriguing, and perhaps even historically significant, scenarios. Maybe.

More than zero, indeed.

Let the theories fly!

Rick Garcia said...

How am I not surprised to see Rich involved in this nasty situation.

As a longtime visitor of Rich and Kevin's blogs, I always felt Tony sharing any research with Rich would end badly for all involved.

I say that because as years passed on it became obvious that Rich has been trying, and failing mostly, to insert himself into popular ufo-subjects and topics. He will bash another blogger like Kevin for what he calls "rehashing old subjects", yet do the same himself.
He will start arguments among his guests then lecture them all for daring to argue opposing viewpoints. He will claim others are thinking "too far out there", yet lay out his own theories and say "you need to think outside the box". Huh? What? Come again?

Rich always came across to me as someone who wanted so badly to be INVOLVED. Not meaning the center of attention, but wanting that feeling of having his name grouped in with those who he charmingly calls "ufo geezers".

When things dry up at his blog, here comes Roswell to the rescue. Without Roswell subjects, Rich would only have the same 3-4 people participating in his topics, sorta like right now in his "hardball" stance towards Tony. Paul, Bruce and himself all talking to themselves about NOTHING.

That's what shady tactics, cutting corners and immature behavior gets you in life Rich. Some cheap, short lived attention, and a whole lot of NOTHING.

You so badly wanted to be apart of SOMETHING. Have your name thrown in the mix and now you have it. The bullying you did of Tony, and the Dream Teams every step, failed and backfired. Yes you got yourself some attention now, but it's all negative.
They say when you want the spotlight, be careful because it will also shine on your flaws too.

The very minute Rich compared himself with Snowden, we all knew what was coming next. Rich was going all in with this slides reveal quest, to expose anyone and anything just to be INVOLVED in the discussion.
The way you handled yourself with Tony, it was embarrassing. Then it was sad how you tried to explain your motives away and wash yourself clean of fault.

You flip flop on things worse than a fish out of water. 1 minute you dislike Kevin and his blog, next your plugging a discussion he created here because it's generating interest that you so desperately seek for yourself.

For a long time you played the "I know more but won't tell" card in relation to the slides. Then you went with "they know more and should tell us" card. Flip-flop and where are things at now...

Where anyone could see it was going to go. You couldn't let others finish their work and present it fairly ... so you took the low road and tried other means of obtaining what others wouldn't share with you.
That one chance of getting something out before they did, and having your name attached with it's release was too much for you to pass up!!

While you and your 2 to 3 buddies are name calling Tony, The Dream Team and Kevin's visitors here, most of us are pretty much over the whole false image of Rich the victim.
You said you're ready to play hard ball right? I don't think Tony is playing and I think it's a lot more serious than you, Paul and your other shady pals are taking it!!!

Terry the Censor said...

In the past, I have not found Mr Bragalia to be a reliable source of information (I have previously documented his blatently false statements on the origins of memory metals). Even so, there seems to be agreement from Rich and Ross that Tony's email was hacked -- and that ain't right. I do hope there is an investigation from an outside body so we can know the true nature of the events alleged. I would accept the findings, even if they implicated UFO buffs whose blogs I enjoy reading. In the meantime, past experience has taught me to be skeptical of any claims made by Mr. Bragalia. With that in mind, some thoughts:

> Depicting a small humanoid corpse

Alleged corpse. Photographs cannot be evidence it was a flesh and blood corpse.

> Frustrated believers and skeptics alike began to display behaviors that are worthy of a mass psychology dissertation.

And then we are treated to four paragraphs of self-pitying score-settling that is not material to the charge of hacking.

> a Roswell serviceman (now 90) who had seen the bodies at the crash

An unnamed person making an undemonstarted claim of serving at Roswell, plus the further undemonstarted claim he saw an alien body.

> and who had confirmed that the being in the slides looked like the ones he had seen at the Roswell crash.

Confirming an undemonstarted claim with another undemonstrated claim -- ufology 101!

> Reynolds began emailing many researchers to ask if they had any information about people whose names Reynolds had obtained from my stolen emails

That itself is not illegal, Tony.

> the mere act of replying to a hacker’s email can infect your system

This is a highly dubious claim, unless you clicked on a compromised link or an executable attachment. (If there is anyone reading this who can verify Mr. Bragalia's assertion, I welcome it.)

Steve Sawyer said...

This is gonna get... interesting.

I endorse Rick Garcia's comments, above, and will add my own as time permits, as I'm in the middle of a major move for a week, but I predict this thread will go over a 100 comments before it's done.

Reynolds has now counter-attacked, and is publishing Tony's formerly private emails to Rich, which is par for the course -- Reynolds fights dirty.

Classic narcissistic personality disorder, IMHO.

Frank Stalter said...

Richie is reaping the harvest he has sown. He should have taken my friendly advice several months ago. This is a direct byproduct of a horrible atmosphere he created at his site.

Don McCoy said...

"...Kodachrome slides confirmed to have been taken in 1947."

This is a TOTALLY inaccurate claim. While it IS possible to nail down the manufacture date of the film, to claim you know when it was exposed is just not truthful.

This film may have been made in '47...and been exposed last month. There is NO WAY to tell.

Let's be honest with the facts, here.

Capt Steve said...

> the mere act of replying to a hacker’s email can infect your system

Highly unlikely *at best* (and that's being polite). IMO this story is very, very dubious.

Ross said...

Steve,

The underlying attack vector is not known, but that is how it seems to have transpired. The compelling thing is that this was a sophisticated attack which comprised an unknown number of people interested in the slide story.

When the slides are given a public airing we may get a clearer idea of what was going on.

Steve Sawyer said...

Well, this is rather strange, having only transpired overnight -- it seems Rich Reynolds has a piece up as of today on the iCon blog regarding he and Tony Bragalia having "resolved" their differences, and not giving the email hacker further edification or joy in having tried to disrupt the Roswell "Dream Team" any more than it already has been over the past two years of Reynolds incessant "leak campaign" since February of 2013 -- kind of an unexpected, weird denouement, of sorts:

"From Anthony Bragalia: ROSWELL HACKING STORY RESOLVED"

See: http://ufocon.blogspot.com/2014/11/from-anthony-bragalia-roswell-hacking_26.html

Curious and curiouser...

Lance said...

This now appears to be what I suspected originally:
A comedy of errors performed by dunces.

No actual evidence has been presented for the claims made. Typical UFO believer claptrap.

Lance



albertguitar.com said...

@Don McCoy

Kodachrome processing has been unavailable for several years now, since around 2010-1.

There probably isn't any way to tell when the film was _exposed_, but it may be possible to determine approximately when it was _processed_. Film stocks age in certain ways, especially (processed) color film like Kodachrome.
.
This is a case for the experts at Kodak. BTW, date codes for Kodachrome are publicly available, and it's trivial for _anyone_ to verify a date code.. I'll be disappointed if this was the only analysis asked of Kodak.
.
Lest anyone think this is trivial stuff, archivists* take these issues very seriously. Their job is to preserve history, which I believe is important, although 'we' don't seem to be applying history's lessons very much lately.
.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see...
.
I gotta go...
.
*law enforcement has interests in this area as well.

Capt Steve said...

Ross,

If that's the basis for the story (merely reading an email from a hacker can compromise your security) then I feel pretty confident calling BS on the rest of it as well.

Some Guy on the Innernets said...

Kevin, I hope you don't take this post down. I'm sure you will be asked, but this kind of baloney should not be allowed to scuttle off into hiding. Thank you for posting this in an impartial way, and taking the time to help us try to sort out all the BS flying around. I've never been a fan of the parties involved, and this tempest is not likely to change that.

I must admit that I was hoping the real FBI would take an interest in this mess. That might make some other drama addicts think twice about playing Fed.

twas_brillig said...

Assuming this man has the photos ANYONE who attempts to hold on to photos like this after making an announcement of having them, for WHATEVER reason, is a selfish FOOL of the highest order. POST THE GODDAMN PHOTOS or SHUT THE HELL UP!

Thank you

Bruce Duensing said...

I would agree that the sideshow has once again become the circus. Whoever said that women were were worse gossips than men had it wrong.
The issue revolving around Rich was twofold. One was his insistence that
any process involving the slides be transparent, and the other was to maintain "secrecy" ( for lack of a better word)
I see all of this as a tempest in a teacup, blown so out of proportion all perspective becomes nil.
The slides are circumstantial at best and are not direct evidence. At best, the ambivalence factor surrounding Roswell will increase on both sides for both advocates and detractors.
My interest would be to focus on the hacker who is the nexus of this rambling detour as all parties concerned assume this is a zero sum game.
One could say if one assumes a conspiratorial bent toward Roswell by government agencies, then this event ( in light of "secrecy" ) was inevitable.
What the result has been as far as I can tell is simply finger pointing and confusion. In light of this, I would say if this were the aim of the hacking, its been successful.

Jeff Davis said...

Holy disillusioning nonsense! The Internet and the self perpetuating DARK side of the esoteric eccentric's ego driven human nature. It all goes together like fire and gasoline on a very hot dry day. It'll end up burning your bozo impersonating ass and simply end up pissing off everyone else around you in sheer disgust. The UFO subject and those seriously interested in it deserve so much better. Thankfully that's where guys like MR. Randle shine, and should stay in the UFO interested's routine reading light. The reason being is tried and proved consistency. They can be relied on to speak and ACT straight with real professional dignity minus the dress up and pretend drama that all the far too many blog writing broth cooks are busy spoiling ever so self attentively.

Steve Sawyer said...

I agree with "Some guy on the internets" request and suggestion to Kevin that this guest posting by Tony Bragalia not be taken down, also.

It may be the most direct and honest view of Bragalia's version of events that is online, and while a copy is also over at Frank Warren's "The UFO Chronicles," it got buried in a multiplicity of other UFO-related posts, mostly various sightings reports, the same day it was published there.

This unvarnished side of the story from Tony should be preserved for several different reasons, mainly so that the "inside story" of an important aspect of the "Roswell slides" controversy and the subsequent email hack, and what was done by others to exploit that stolen data, is kept available for others who may be interested in the stories surrounding the slides for almost two years now to have as some kind of reference regarding part of the "back story" largely transpiring behind the scenes for quite some time now.

Anyway, just like everyone else here, I'd sure like to finally be able to see those two slides, and judge for myself what they may or may not actually show. I guess we'll still have to wait another few months for that to occur, and maybe then the fuller story about all this sturm and drang will eventually emerge.