You know, I sort of hate to bring this up, but since we’ve heard repeatedly about Don Schmitt’s misrepresentations in the mid-1990s, and because I’m tired of people quoting from Karl Pflock’s book as if it was handed down on stone tablets, I thought it time to stir this pot.
Does anyone remember Kurt Peters?
Back in the early 1980s, there was a lot of interest in cattle mutilations. Newspapers covered the story, UFO organizations were hip deep in it, network news broadcast segments about it, and several people planned to write books about it. Ian Summers and Dan Kagan did write one called Mute Evidence which was published in 1984. In it they mentioned they had met two men in Colorado Springs, George Erianne and a fellow who identified himself as Kurt Peters and said, “That’s Kurt with a ‘K’.”
As Summers and Kagan wrote in their book, they asked who he was and he said that he was just a “researcher” who sometimes worked for Erianne.
Summers and Kagan soon learned that a fellow named Karl Pflock had been working with Erianne. They put it together when a man they were interviewing told them about Karl Pflock, and said, “That’s Karl with a ‘K’.” They learned that Pflock and Erianne were writing a book about something called Project Jerome which was a secret germ warfare operation that had something to do with the cattle mutilations.
When Kagan and Summers returned to New York from Colorado, they learned that Karl was on the grievance committee for the Science Fiction Writers of America (OMG, he wrote fiction… well, that’s it for me… obviously he can’t tell fact from fiction… I wonder if Max Littell ever yelled at him for that), he served as an editor for the Libertarian Review and “that he liked to go around telling people that he had connections with the CIA.” Finally, they learned he was a senior editor for a publishing company that was outside New York.
So, if the information is accurate, Karl wrote a book or planned a book that suggested the cattle mutilations were some sort of germ warfare project, he said that he worked for the CIA, and he said his name was Kurt Peters… oh, and let’s not forget his ties to the Science Fiction Writers of America.
In the November/December 1993 issue of UFO (American version) Karl wrote an article called, “I was a Ufologist for the CIA…” This is sort of an explanation about his UFO career including his time at NICAP in Washington, D.C. and what he did with the CIA. Of importance here is the section labeled, “Kurt Peters & the Mutilations Caper.”
In an attempt to explain his deception (which reminds me of Don Schmitt’s explanation about why he kept his job at the post office a secret), Karl wrote:
In August 1978, I relocated to Colorado Springs – a move inspired by failed air conditioner on a miserable Washington summer day and the concurrent realization that a writer can live anywhere, not by my nonexistent spymaster. Naturally, some folks that otherwise. Their suspicions were “confirmed” when my name surfaced in Daniel Kagan’s and Ian Summers’s 1983 book Mute Evidence, a highly skeptical look at livestock mutilations and those the authors called “mutologists.” I had known about but had never seen the book and what Kagan and Summers wrote about me until Dick Hall passed along some extracts in late 1992.
During the summer of 1980, I was in desperate need of a commercially viable book project. A friend put me in touch with George Erianne, a well-known Springs private detective, who supposedly had the answer to the livestock mutilations. There were being perpetrated by a gang of rogue germ warfare researchers. Erianne claimed to have established this through his own investigations and information given him by small-town Colorado newspaper editor Dane Edwards, whom Erianne said was on the run from the rogue mutilators. (As I learned later, Edwards’ pursers actually were creditors and cops.)
Erianne needed a writer to collaborate on a book. I needed a money-maker, and this seemed like just the ticket. I could have saved myself well-deserved embarrassment if I had not allowed my critical judgment to be shouldered aside by visions of fame and fortune.
Not Long after our book proposal began making the rounds of publishers, Erianne was contacted by Kagan and Summers, who said they were working on a book about the mutilations mystery. Rivals! They would be in town in a day or two and wanted to interview George, who agreed to see them.
I suggested it might be useful for me to be at the meeting. However, there was a chance Kagan and Summers might recognize me by name as a writer and put two and two together. Erianne suggested I use a pseudonym and say I was a researcher who sometimes helped him on his cases. Thus was the misbegotten “Kurt Peters” born.
Soon after the interview, Kagan and Summers discovered the truth about my relationship with Erianne, confirming it in a telephone conversation with me. Coupling this with their accurate conclusion that the rogue researchers story was bogus, they reasonably but wrongly decided that Erianne and I were collaborating in an attempt to peddle a hoax. They included this accusation in their book, apparently without making any attempt to verify their hunch. This may well have soured certain editors on my work, and certainly it has added to the Pflock as a ufologist for the CIA myth. Anyway, it was my own damned fault.
So that is the spin that Karl put on this. It wasn’t his fault. It was Erianne’s fault because he suggested Karl use a fake identity. It was Kagan and Summers’ fault for incorrectly deducing that Karl and Erianne were attempting to peddle the germ- warfare-researchers causing the mutilations tale. They failed to confirm the information, but Karl had the chance to set them straight when he talked to them before they wrote a word of their book. Shouldn’t he have mentioned the problem because he was spreading it with Erianne, according to the information in Mute Evidence?
So, we have Karl Pflock lying about who he was, his association with Erianne and while he wrote that Kagan and Summers incorrectly suggested he was attempting to peddle his rogue chemical warfare researchers, he did nothing to set the record straight when he talked to them. Is this as egregious as Don Schmitt’s tales in the mid-1990s? I suggest they are but in the world today, Karl gets a pass on it but Don does not. Karl attempted to spin the story, just as Don did. There are some seeming contradictions in Karl’s article, but I don’t see anyone pointing these out endlessly.
Is this old news? Certainly. But some of those who insist on attacking Don for things done two decades ago and who are using Karl’s book as the end all source should realize that the same can be said about Karl spinning tales… or should we just look at Don’s or Karl’s latest work and decide if it rises or falls on its merits?
In the world of Ufology the side you take up is usually the one that falls under your own belief structure. Sometimes it has less to do with evidence and more to do with what you wish to believe. Was Karl’s lie about who he was as bad as Don’s lie about where he worked? Was Karl’s attempt to sell Kagan and Summers on the rogue chemical warfare agents as bad as Don’s claim about the nun’s diary? I’ll let you all decide… but to me, they look very similar.