Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Treasure Quest - Snake Island: A New Height of Nonsense

This is becoming like shooting fish in a barrel and in the last episode they provided so many set ups that I couldn’t resist just one more commentary on the show.

But first, I missed a bet with the week three show entitled, “Treasure Found.” This was a lie since they found no treasure. Oh, sure, they were shown a silver bar that seemed to have been created by the Jesuits, but there was nothing to prove that it had a thing to do with the Treasure of the Trinity. Then they paid the black market guy a thousand bucks to tell them where it came from and he pointed them to Argentina.

Jesuit Santa Ana Mission in Argentina.
So now we’re in Argentina, and they have arrived at the Santa Ana mission where that silver bar was allegedly made. They’re standing in the center of the compound and one of the guys talking about the pile of silver said, “We could be standing on a big pile…”

And I’m thinking, yeah, a big pile of crap…

Later, as they explore the area, they’ve split into teams and while one team is studying a wall, they hear a shout and realize their South American guide has fallen. They all jump up and start yelling, “Emilio! Emilio!” and all I can think of is the Batabi brothers from A Night at the Roxbury telling the story of Emilio Estevez using the telephone and one of them starts screaming “Emilio!”

Emilio has apparently fallen into a hole and badly injured his ankle. They spend time carefully lifting him out and getting him some first aid… but not much later it doesn’t look as if he has hurt himself at all. He healed very quickly.

They head back to their boat which they had apparently left unattended while they traipse around the jungle for hours and hours. It appears to them that someone has broken in. They find the place trashed but oddly, nothing was stolen. The electronic equipment is left behind because the people who broke in didn’t know the value. Their fishing gear is left behind suggesting it wasn’t some random fishermen. In fact, it just looks as if someone broke in just to make a mess because they could find no evidence of anything missing. One of then asks, “Why would they do this?” Another says, “Intelligence,” meaning, of course, that someone had been looking for information on the Treasure of the Trinity… but it doesn’t seem any of their papers were stolen either. The break-in makes no sense, unless, of course, you need some drama for your South American adventure and proof of how dangerous it is.

But to me this is proof that this whole thing is staged and they will never find the treasure, just the clues they tell us prove they are on the right trail… though the things they find prove no such thing… and found so they can keep us tuning in. The treasure they seek are ratings so the production company can continue to fund these fake adventures. They will never get to the end of the rainbow for the pot of gold unless the ratings dip and they decide there is no pot of gold.

Friday, November 25, 2016

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Mark O'Connell

Mark O'Connell
Mark O’Connell was the guest on this week’s program. I had seen a posting that he and Don Schmitt had debated the Roswell case a number of weeks ago. This debate was broadcast at the time and it was supposed to be uploaded to the Internet so that those of us who hadn’t heard it live might get a chance to hear it now. The problem is that we can’t find it anywhere, which of course means only that we can’t find it. The debate might be up somewhere. Maybe we’ll get a hint. However, you can listen to our discussion here:

Part of that discussion was on the Roswell Slides and some of it was about the Roswell case as well. We also talked about the vast interstellar distances among the stars. At the moment we know of no way of defeating those distances and we have no craft capable of reaching relativistic speeds. That is not to say we won’t figure some of this out at some point. Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that people believed that if you traveled faster than 60 miles an hour the breath would be sucked from your lungs (okay, that was sometime in the middle of the 19th century but you get the picture) but we now know that isn’t true. What is true today sometimes changes as our knowledge and abilities increase.

For those of you paying attention, visit xzbn.net to learn of the other programs available on the X-Zone Broadcast Network, and if the mood moves, vote for your favorite host.

Next Week: John Greenewald, Jr.

Topic: The Black Vault

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Question for Everyone

Here’s a question that has been asked several times in the last couple of months. It came up on my radio show, it came up during a Skype interview with the Kansas MUFON UFO group, and it came up in an interview I did a couple of weeks ago. I know what my answer has been, but thought it might be something that you all would like to chime in on…

Has the Roswell Slides fiasco harmed UFO research in general and the Roswell case in particular?
I suppose an ancillary question might be if this harmed the reputation of those involved.

Sure, we can talk about some of the other recent missteps including the alien autopsy, MJ-12 and even Frank Kaufmann and those of his ilk. Anyway, since I have been asked about this, I thought it time to get a reading from others who might have had a chance to interact with others. But keep it cordial, keep on topic and we'll get along.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Treasure Quest - It Just Keeps Getting Worse

Yeah, yeah, I know that I wasn’t going to review these shows each week but they just keep getting dumber, or maybe I should say that they expect us to accept some of the dumb conclusions they draw. If you remember the second week, the crew was heading toward a clearing in the jungle where something important might be hidden. When they reached it, we learned it was a pile of bricks which, frankly, didn’t seem to be all that old.

The major find here were a number of them with cutouts in them that the team decided were molds used to form bars of precious metals. Without a single reason, they concluded that these molds were used as the Jesuits melted the Inca gold into bars for easier transport. They just stood in this clearing without making an effort to date the bricks, without wondering why after what had to have been a century or two, these bricks looked as crisp as if they had been made last week and then dumped into the clearing for these people to find. I wondered who really put them there.

Having failed to find any real signs of treasure, they returned to their camp and decided the best course of action was to tap into the black market and see what they can find that way. They couldn’t take in cameras because the black marketer wasn’t going to let them film the transaction but they did have a plan. Lipstick cameras cleverly hidden in a hat and a backpack because no one would ever think of looking there. We are treated to their travels through the a maze of streets and hallways until we’re in a back room with the man who conveniently speaks English and I have to say, it seems to me that the camera work is much better than the random shots you would get from these tiny cameras hidden in a hat and a backpack.

First, we are shown artifacts that the guys say are faked and by a huge coincidence I see on an episode of Law and Order the next day similar artifacts hanging on the wall of people of Latin descent. I wonder if the set designer on Law and Order is the same one used in this show.

The Mission at Santa Ana, which I put here so that you won't be surprised when the find this on the next episode.
Finally, we’re shown a silver bar that the black marketer wants ten grand for. I don’t know how much the bar weighs, but I do know that silver has been trading for about seventeen bucks an ounce and this doesn’t look big enough to be worth ten grand. Our guys say they didn’t bring money and the black marketer suddenly goes berserk because they have wasted his time. It looks as if there is a big confrontation coming but all we get is another string of commercials. When we return, we’re at the camp as those left behind express their concern about their partners who have been gone a long time. Not to worry though, they are suddenly back and for a thousand dollars, they had learned where that silver bar came from and they are off to the Santa Ana mission in Argentina… and I wonder how long it took them to get permission to traipse around in Argentina or if this had all been arranged weeks earlier which is another indication that the reality here maybe isn’t so real.

So off they go, traveling along the rivers that will lead them to the mission. They stop for the night in the center of a large river during their trip to Santa Ana, confront some guys in a boat who are probably fishing though we’ve been told that this river is a highway for smuggling and that it is a very dangerous area. It’s so dangerous that they decide to make some weapons, bombs actually, and they break out their crossbow for which they have a single bolt. I’m thinking what a bunch of loons who have been watching too much television in their spare time. I wondered if they had a satellite feed on the boat.

I could go on, but I’m really tired of this whole thing. The script is terrible, the acting not much better and the danger invented… sure, there are snakes and spiders which they show us repeatedly and their xenophobia is becoming annoying. No one they meet is a regular human… they are people bearing down on them on highways, floating around in boats, and trying to sell them fake Inca artifacts.

The first season wasn’t quite as ridiculous as this season is turning out. The longer it goes on, the more likely this whole thing is staged for a South American adventure show that has no basis in reality. I mean how big is the production crew? Where do they stay? Whose clearing the way for them to travel across Paraguay and then into Argentina? And why is everyone telling them that everything they find is a clue to the Treasure of the Trinity? I will bet we’ll end the season with them finding nothing of great value, but if the ratings are high enough they’ll be back for the next travelogue with a new set of clues that could take them to the Oak Island where they can meet up with the Laginas.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Chasing Footnotes -The Socorro Case

As anyone who visits here regularly, you know that I chase footnotes. I sometimes try to find specific instances to make the case, but when I search without a known destination, it seems to be an impossible task. Instead, I find the bad footnotes by accident. This is just something that cannot be forced.

Lonnie Zamora
As you all also know, I have been looking into the symbol that Lonnie Zamora reported seeing on the side of the landed UFO. That research has bled into other areas, including the idea that other members of the Socorro Police Department or the New Mexico State Police saw the same object as Zamora. In the Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing Document: The Best Available Evidence compiled by Don Berliner, Marie Galbraith and Antonio Huneeus and “presented” by CUFOS, FUFOR and MUFON, in December, 1995, I read the short segment on the Socorro case. They wrote, “At this time, Zamora was joined by a police sergeant [Chavez] who watched the craft fly away into the distance.”

This is an argument, that Chavez saw the object, that has been made here by David Rudiak and one that Ray Stanford as well as Ben Moss and Tony Angiola shared during the interviews on my X-Zone Broadcast Network radio show. The links can be found in the postings for those programs. It is not this argument, that Chavez saw the object, which I’m concerned with here, but with the footnote about where this information was found or where it could be verified. According to Berliner, Galbraith and Hunees, this was a “Written statement by Lonnie Zamora to Project Blue Book, 1964; reprinted in Steiger, Brad, ed. Project Blue Book, ibid.”

In the last weeks I have been through the Blue Book files several times. I have discussed this idea of other police witnesses, both privately with a number of people and publicly on this blog. I have a copy of Steiger’s book and a complete copy of the Blue Book file on the case. Nowhere in the statement by Zamora does it suggest that the police sergeant arrived in time to see the UFO as it disappeared in the distance. In fact, Zamora in that statement said:

As I was calling Nep [a police radio operator], I could still see the object. The object seemed to lift up slowly, and to “get small” in the distance very fast. It seemed to just clear Box Canyon or Six Mile Canyon mountain. It disappeared as it went over the mountains. It had no flame whatsoever as it was traveling over the ground and made no smoke or noise…

Zamora said that he then went down to where the craft had landed and saw that one of the bushes was still smoking. He then said:

Gave directions to Nep Lopez at radio and to Sgt. M.S. Chavez to get there. Went down to where the object was (had been), and I noted the bush was burning in several places. At that time, I heard Sgt. Chavez calling me on radio for my location, and I returned to my car, told him he was looking at me. Then Sgt. Chavez came up and asked me what the trouble was, because I was sweating and he told me I was white, very pale. I asked the Sergeant to see what I saw, and that was the burning bush. Then Sgt. Chavez and I went to the spot, and Sgt. Chavez pointed out the tracks.

It is clear from Zamora’s statement in the Blue Book files and in Steiger’s book, that Chavez didn’t arrive until after the UFO had disappeared in the distance. Now we really don’t have to go through the arguments again about how Chavez did arrive in time to see it in the sky. What I’m saying here is that the sources quoted for the information do not support that idea. We can argue about other sources, but in this very limited case, those additional sources are irrelevant because they weren’t cited. The sources quoted do not support the statement, and that is all that is relevant here.

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Rob Mercer

Rob Mercer
For those of you keeping score at home, this week, I talked with Rob Mercer. He was the guy who found the Blue Book files for sale on Craig’s List, or rather a box of them. Though we didn’t spend much time talking about the cases found in there, I was more impressed with the investigative lengths he went to finding the original owner of that box. He was able to trace the files to a former member of Project Blue Book, Carmon Marano, who was interviewed here a couple of weeks ago. Just the story about how he found Marano, and as I mentioned, I have found his name in the case file of the Minot UFO sighting, which was detailed in Project Blue Book – Exposed. You can listen to the Rob Mercer interview here:

Next week: Mark O’Connell
Topic: His impressions of his Roswell debate with Don Schmitt

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Treasure Quest, Season Two, Episode Two - A New Boondoggle

I had said to myself that I would not review this program after every episode but give them a chance to pull their fat out of the fire. There are hints that they do find some treasure. After last night’s program I changed my mind because they really fell off the rails.

To begin, we are treated, once again, to the big pot they found in the mud but now we get to see what was inside. Nothing of human origin. It was a couch shell. Our pal, the archaeologist/diver Meghan Heaney-Grier, declared that it was of Incan origin. Now, if couch shells were only found on the west coast of northern South America I might buy that. As near as I can tell, no one did any test to determine where the shell might have originated and even a basic Internet search showed they turn up on many parts of the world and are used for many things. They even describe the variations in the shells which means they might be able to identify its place of origin if they give it a shot. The fact that the Inca Empire used them does not translate into proof that this shell had ever been in the hands of anyone from that empire. We don’t even get an idea of how old this mud-covered shell might be and the cynic in me still wonders if it wasn’t planted.

Then we have the danger. First, we’re treated to Cappy off to find another bottle of booze when we hear screams or shouts or something to alert the camp. He’s spotted two big green eyes but the animal ran off into the jungle. They find a print in the mud that they tell us is of a big cat, a jaguar, the apex predator in the area, and that it will be watching them from afar or some such. According to their guide jaguars have been known to drag people out of tents…

Next they’re back in the river, because they are certain that the treasure, if kept in the village would be in the part that fell into river centuries ago. No worries about piranha or caiman because they can block off the river with a net. They do find
This is a little more elaborate than the
one they found but gives you the idea.
what they call a nose jewelry or face plate, which they say the Inca used. Okay, I have no knowledge of this, but it isn’t one of the super rare, super valuable ones made of gold. Does it connect to the Inca Empire? Hell, I don’t know but that’s what they claim.

They find nothing else after several days of diving, so they decide the treasure isn’t in that place, so they head out to the southeastern edge of Paraguay for the next part of their search.

During this show, they have been calling this the Treasure of the Trinity, and talk, as I did in the last post about the Portuguese adventurer, Alexio Garcia, who amassed the fortune. But then they also explain that it was part of the ransom for the Incan Emperor, Atahuallpa. The problem here is that the ransom, that supposed to have filled a huge room with gold and silver, is reported to have been dumped into a lake by an Inca general RumiƱahui after the emperor had been killed. He wanted to keep it out of the hands of the Spanish. This is known as Treasure of the Llanganates, so now I’m wondering if they actually know what they’re looking for, and if they do, they seem to be in the wrong place because everything suggests that the Treasure of the Llanganates is hidden in Peru but I digress.

So they are now in a town, sitting at an open air table, discussing their finds with the local expert who apparently sent them to the wrong place first. He’s impressed with what they have, though I’m not. Someone else is, as he walks by the table a couple of times and one of the men goes off to confront him about his interest in their artifacts. (I’m wondering why they are conducting this discussion outside where everyone can walk by to see the valuable artifacts they had recovered.) Once the conference is over, they’re off to an old Jesuit mission that night where they might find a clue or two.

I still don’t know why they would make the trip in the dark unless the hotels where they were really sucked. I would have thought it would be better to make the trip in the daylight, but then I’m not an experienced treasure hunter or adventurer. I’m just a guy who chases UFOs when I’m in the mood.

There is another confrontation during this drive with great tension as someone in a big truck (I’m thinking pickup) who suddenly turns on his bright lights and speeds up. The guys in the lead vehicle are shouting over the radio to those in the second, “Don’t let him pass. Don’t let him pass.” So they maneuver to prevent that as the truck, with the bright lights, speeds up and slows down. I’m thinking, “What a bunch of road hogs. Maybe all the guy wants to do is pass a slower vehicle.”

After several minutes of this drama which might have been interrupted by a commercial break, it’s so unimportant that I don’t remember, the guy with the bright lights turns off. I mean, what conclusion do you draw about this? American road hogs wouldn’t let one of the locals pass so that he could get home. They are really dragging this one out. Apparently the only danger was from a guy who was in a hurry and not some hijacker out to take their artifacts.

They reach their destination; they find the remains of a church and tell us that the Jesuits often hid treasure on their grounds. We get ground penetrating radar and more searches with metal detectors, but they don’t seem to find anything and decide to use a drone so that they can search the surrounding jungle. What would a treasure hunting show in South America be without a drone? We end with the drone having found a clearing of some sort and the team moving rapidly to it.

But I don’t care because Gold Rush is next and we know that Parker and Tony Beets will find gold, millions of dollars of it, and Todd Hoffman has made what looks to be another bad move because he’s only finding a couple of thousand dollars (okay, he’s doing a little better but it’s not looking all the prosperous for him). So, I’ll watch the real treasure hunters while those people in South America find a clearing.

Friday, November 11, 2016

X-Zone Broadcast Network - John Shirley

John Shirley
This week’s show was with John Shirley, a noted science fiction writer who is also a songwriter and has had his songs recorded by some of the big names in the industry. John is also something of a skeptic and I believe that a skeptical point of view is essential for researching the strange, the paranormal and UFOs because it is way too easy to be sucked into a belief system. And while we did talk about the explanations for some UFO sightings and how human perception can be fooled, we also talked about some of the strange UFO sightings that seem to defy conventional explanation. You can listen to the show here:

I knew that John had thought about UFOs and investigated a few and I asked about alternative explanations. As a science fiction writer he liked the idea of time travelers, which has many appealing features for him. He mentioned John Keel and his ideas about interdimensional beings or phenomena as another theory, so we weren’t locked into one idea.

For the last segment of the show, we turned things around and John asked me some questions about the Roswell case. He leans toward the mundane because of the vast distances between star systems. In today’s world, we know of no way to defeat that which is not to say that we won’t someday figure it out. At any rate we talked about some of the things that are in my book, Roswell in the 21st Century.

Next Week’s Show: Rob Mercer

Topic: Project Blue Book and the Miami Valley UFO Society.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

We're Back to the Socorro Symbols

(Blogger’s note: I really should stop saying that something is my final post because I keep getting dragged back into these things. Given that I have another document that has not been published on this topic; I’m forced back into it. I do hope that we’ll all look at the evidence in a dispassionate way, but I have no hope for that.)

Since David Rudiak asked me, “To keep things simple, just explain why Hynek ALWAYS supported the inverted V symbol after talking to Zamora. That IS in BB files, twice at least, and is strong evidence for the inverted V being the correct symbol (unless Zamora, for reasons unknown, deliberately misled Hynek),” I have received additional information. Hynek actually confirmed what I have been describing as the “umbrella” symbol. Ben Moss, however, has jumped on this bandwagon as well, saying that he agreed with David 100% and that Hynek definitely stuck to inverted “V,” (who wasn’t a witness to the symbol on the craft) and was universal in his support of it.

Let’s briefly review the information.

In the Project Blue Book files (that is, the original files as shown on the microfilm), there is a scrap of paper on which Zamora drew the “umbrella” symbol and then signed it. (I confess that I do not understand the automatic rejection of this. We have a provenance, it is signed by the witness, and the testimony proves that Zamora drew the symbol on a scrap of paper within minutes of the object’s disappearance.)

In the Project Blue Book files, there is an illustration of the craft that Zamora drew that includes the “umbrella” symbol and that he then signed.

In the Project Blue Book files there is a report apparently written by Major William Connor that contains a hand drawn “umbrella” symbol.

Jim and Coral Lorenzen, who interviewed Zamora within 48 hours of his sighting, published their report in the APRO Bulletin and that contains the “umbrella” symbol.

Rick Baca, working with Zamora in the Socorro city attorney’s office, produced an illustration of the craft with the “umbrella” symbol on it.

Ray Stanford, in a letter to Dick Hall confirmed that the “umbrella” symbol was the correct one and that the inverted “V” with the three lines through it was the fake one given to the press.

Rich Reynolds, who interviewed Zamora’s wife about a decade ago, was told that the “umbrella” symbol was the correct one.

J. Allen Hynek, in a confidential interview with Isabel Davis on May 20, 1964, included the “umbrella” symbol as the correct one, contrary to the suggestions otherwise. He also told of the inverted “V” but noted it was from the newspapers.

Hynek's "confidential report to Isabel Davis.
On the flip side, there is the April 30, 1964, newspaper articles (apparently a news wire story that was reprinted around the country to which Hynek referred) that shows the inverted “V” with the three lines through it. There is a teletype message in the files that is in with a series of newspaper clippings. This message, which does refer to the inverted “V,” is an AP wire story rather than part of the Air Force investigation.

In the Project Blue Book file that were retrieved Carmon Marano and was recovered by Rob Mercer was a cursive note that reported the inverted “V” with the three lines through it. There was a second card with the same information on it that was apparently a hand-printed copy of the cursive note made, I would guess, for legibility.

Ray Stanford, in his book about Socorro, reported that the inverted “V” with the three lines through it was the correct symbol and the “umbrella” symbol was the fake. This is in opposition to what he had told Dick Hall years earlier.

Mike Martinez, in an interview recorded by Ray Stanford, seems to say that the symbol seen by Zamora is the inverted “V” with three lines through it.

Hynek, on September 7, 1964, in a handwritten letter, drew an inverted “V” with one line above it and two lines inside the legs of the “V” but do not touch it. It is a stretch to say that it is a match for the inverted “V” symbol.

Given that there is no indications in the Blue Book file that the “umbrella” symbol is faked, given there are multiple examples of it in the file, and given that Zamora signed two different examples of that symbol, it seems that the evidence and logic dictates that the umbrella symbol is the correct one. Add to that Hynek’s representation from May 20, 1964, Ray Stanford’s endorsement of it in his letter to Dick Hall (and his suggestion that the inverted “V” is in error), and Rich Baca’s illustration guided by Zamora, I do not understand how all this can be rejected for a symbol that seems to have no official support, no witness support, and appeared first in the newspapers when the true symbol was being withheld at the suggestion of Captain Holder.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Treasure Quest - Season Two or the Boondoggle Continues

Season Two of Treasure Quest – Snake Island has begun without the Snake Island part but with many more snakes, almost all of them described as the deadliest in the world. These are highly venomous snakes and the world’s largest constrictor. While I would argue the point about the venomous snakes being the most toxic,
A Green Anaconda because I wanted a picture
to illustrate this post.
the constrictor, the anaconda, is recognized as the world’s largest snake. But I digress.

For those who haven’t lost interest yet, it seems that this Treasure of the Trinity isn’t the gold and silver that was massed to ransom the last emperor of the Inca, Atahuallpa, but treasure collected by Portuguese explorer Alexio Garcia in Brazil in 1524. This treasure, mostly silver, though our pals on Treasure Quest keep talking about gold, apparently ended up with the Guarani in Paraguay. The history of the region suggests that the Guarani used the treasure in trade, or in other words, used it for their own purposes and there is no longer a large stash to find but never let the historical record get in the way of a television adventure. Far be it for me to throw cold, dirty water on this quest.

The team, augmented with a local guide this year, have moved from Snake Island onto mainland South America, more specifically, Paraguay where they claim to be at one of the Guarani villages. Here they are assaulted by snakes, scorpions, spiders and even piranha. We see a venomous snake found in their camp but it is captured by the team herpetologist Bryan Fry (who has been bitten by snakes 23 times which suggests he’s doing something wrong), put in a box and taken away. I don’t know what they did with it but hey, it is a venomous snake so I don’t actually care that much.

We have scuba diving into a river that is so murky that it is impossible to see the bottom while standing on it or about even about two inches in front of one’s face, if one is in the river. There is a sudden problem that might relate to the piranha and those left on the boat begin throwing chum into the water to draw the piranha away from the divers but we don’t really know if there are any piranha in that section of the river at that time… this seems like drama for the sake of drama but with no real basis in what is actually going on.

I could go on but I’ll just jump to the end in what seems to have been staged. We’ve got a couple of people wandering around on the bank of the river, pounding in stakes as if involved in some archaeological dig (does the Paraguayan government know about this?) when they find a pottery shard. The diver/archaeologist Meghan Heaney-Grier says that its 300 or 400 years old. Minutes later, and buried about three inches below the surface they find what seems to be an intact pot. It just seems to me that a pot that close to the surface, in terrain that is muddy at best would have been crushed long before these people show up to discover it. To me, that smacks of producers hiding it to be found to underscore the idea that they are on the site of an ancient Guarani town/village where the Treasure of the Trinity might once have been hidden… Sorry, I just don’t buy it.

For those interested, I will hang around for a couple more shows, but they’d better produce something more than drama with snakes and piranha if they expect me to make it through the season. Let’s have some treasure for crying out loud before this turns into another boondoggle like that Oak Island show where they have yet to find treasure.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

A Final Analysis of the Socorro Symbol

It is time to put the controversy about the symbol Lonnie Zamora saw to rest. The preponderance of the evidence suggests that Zamora saw what I have begun to call the “umbrella” symbol. I say that based on the “official” Project Blue Book files, what those investigators, the civilians that include Coral and Jim Lorenzen and Ray Stanford and even Rick Baca said in the days after the sighting and what was printed in some of the newspapers and in the APRO Bulletin.

Although I have gone over this before, I will repeat it here. In the minutes after the sighting, according to the testimony given on the night of April 24, 1964, Zamora scribbled the symbol on a scrap of paper. That scrap is in the Project Blue Book files and it was signed by Lonnie Zamora. There have been suggestions that it isn’t the original because Zamora would have drawn it on something else or that it was inserted into the file later. The only truth we have here is that the scrap of paper is in the Blue Book file and that Lonnie Zamora signed it.  It is clear from the deterioration of the tape that it had been in the file for a very long time. The testimony tells us that there would be a piece of paper and there is one. There is no evidence to suggest it is anything other than what it purports to be.

Also contained in the “official” Project Blue Book files is a drawing by Zamora of the craft with the symbol on the side. It is of the umbrella symbol and once again, Zamora signed it. This too argues for the authenticity of the umbrella symbol.
There is a report in the file which seems to have been prepared by Major William Connor, who was the Public Relations Officer at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque and who escorted Hynek around New Mexico when he made his investigation in the days that followed. He is reporting on his interview with Zamora. On page three of that report, he included an illustration of the umbrella symbol.

There was a suggestion that Zamora not reveal the real nature of the symbol so that if others reported seeing a symbol it could be cross-checked without fear of contamination. Almost everyone thought this was a good idea but the fact is, the symbol was revealed within a couple of months when the Lorenzens published it in the pages of the May issue of their APRO Bulletin. The symbol they published was the umbrella symbol. To be fair, they also had a different symbol in that same issue, though it vaguely resembles the umbrella symbol.

There is another source for the umbrella symbol. Ricky Baca, a teenager in 1964, drew the craft along with the umbrella symbol on it within two weeks of the sighting. It was ordered by the city attorney whose legal secretary was Baca’s father. The thinking was that a youngster such as Baca would be free of any bias that would influence his illustration. Baca and Zamora sat in the city attorney’s office for two hours working on the sketch. Baca took the job seriously and altered the sketch and the elements in it according to Zamora’s instructions. It was later published in the Socorro newspaper but the symbol had been “whited out” on instructions by Hynek, according to one source. However, Baca retained the sketch and a picture of him holding it many years later was published in the Socorro newspaper and the umbrella symbol is clearly visible on it.

Finally, as I have noted, in a letter to Dick Hall, Ray Stanford himself confirmed that the umbrella symbol was the correct one. Stanford included, in his letter to Hall, a sketch of the “fake” symbol, which at that time, just days after he returned from Socorro, was the inverted “V” with the three lines through it.

This inverted “V” symbol was the first published by the national media. In a newspaper story on April 30, that symbol is shown. If, as has been documented by not only the Lorenzens, but also Captain Richard Holder, that the real symbol had been withheld, then how did the newspapers obtain it only days after the sighting. There is nothing in the official files to suggest that this symbol is the correct one.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, in a handwritten letter on September 7, included an illustration of the symbol. While it is of an inverted “V” and it does contain three horizontal lines, it does not actually resemble the symbol as suggested by others. There is a line above the apex of the “V” and two lines between the legs but that do not touch them. To the discerning eye, it can’t really be called a match.

The best evidence for this symbol seems to be two pieces of paper found in the files that had been retained by former Blue Book officer, Carmon Marano. The story of these files was explored in my interview with him on November 2 and can been accessed on YouTube here:

This information was not part of the official Socorro file and they don’t seem to have been filed with that information. In other words, as David Rudiak tells us about other information from that same source, we don’t know who drew them, who made the notes or when those notes were written. Rudiak suggested that given the wording, which is close to that from the newspaper articles, someone might have been jotting down this information from that source. It might not be based on testimony from those directly involved, but part of the deception of the faked symbol.

Ray Stanford also suggests that Mike Martinez, who was a police dispatcher, said, in Spanish in a recorded interview, that the inverted “V” with the three lines was the correct one. That interview, recorded in the police station, is difficult to understand because of the background noise. I guess the question here is if Martinez was sticking to the script of not revealing the real symbol or if he thought he knew what it was.

As I review all the documentation, all the testimony that is available, everything that was in Carmon Marano’s copy of the Blue Book file, the obvious conclusion is that the umbrella symbol is the correct one. There is nothing in the file to suggest that those signed by Zamora were faked, it is clear that those who spoke to Zamora in the hours after the event all were told of the umbrella symbol, Zamora himself said that he had drawn the symbol on a scrap of paper and that scrap is in the file showing the umbrella symbol and there is nothing in the official file other than Hynek’s loose interpretation of the inverted “V” to suggest otherwise. Given all this, I say that the correct symbol is the umbrella symbol… let the arguments flow.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Former Blue Book Officer, Carmon Marano

Carmon Marano
This week I had the opportunity of interview former Air Force officer Carmon Marano who had been on the staff of Project Blue Book. How do I know? First, Ben Moss sent me a picture that showed the Blue Book Staff and he is the lieutenant standing, more or less, behind Hector Quintanilla. Second, in reviewing the UFO sightings from Minot Air Force Base in 1968 I found a number of memos for the record that he had written. Finally, of course, he said exactly that and unlike so many others who have said they were part of Blue Book, we can actually prove it with him. You can listen to the interview here:

This provided us with the opportunity to learn a little about the internal workings of Blue Book at the end of its existence. The University of Colorado study, known as the Condon Committee that was going on at the time, seemed to have sucked some of the life out of Blue Book. What I found interesting was his comment, when asked about how they acquired their cases, said that most of them came from around Wright-Patterson Air Force, which is Dayton, Ohio, and from the surrounding two or three states. At the end they weren’t getting many reports from other areas and a quick survey of the master index from Project Blue Book confirmed this. A large number of the cases were from Ohio. Sure, there were cases from other parts of the country and the world, but most of them came from
The Project Blue Book Staff
Ohio. This was something I hadn’t noticed.

I also asked about some of the cases that were unidentified. He seemed to suggest that the majority of the cases they received had mundane explanations. He did mention one from around the Miami area that involved a couple of ministers in a private plane. I understood that he was talking about something that happened nearly fifty years ago, but this simulated my curiosity. I thought it would be easy to find, so I started looking through the Blue Book master index but then noticed, in 1968, there was a gap. Somehow the pages from the end of August through November were missing.

In Project Blue Book – Exposed, I published a long list of all the unidentified cases. It took almost a whole minute to find this particular sighting. Although that contained just the bare bones of the report it was more than enough for me to find the details in the Blue Book files. According to the project card:

A light doing acrobatics near Ocala [Florida] for 15 minutes [September 15, 1968] but did not gain on it. Light rose and quickly disappeared among stars. Almost immediately a second but white light was seen under the haze above Ocala. This rapidly came toward them on collision course and pilots thought it was a sidewinder [missile]. Light made a sharp 90 [degree] turn and then disappeared. Third part of observation came when they approached Miami. Palm Beach Center informed them their radar had object following them, asked them to make a 360 [degree] turn. Pilot thought he identified light but was not certain. The most significant part of observation was the “sidewinder collision” part. Pilots would probably not have reported total incident had it not been for the seeming near collision with light.

The project file contains a couple of transcripts, both of them of Dr. Allen Hynek interviewing Air Force officers who interviewed the pilots. They do note that the lights were in sight for quite a while, about fifteen minutes, and that they did perform various maneuvers.  There is some discussion about the radar sighting as well. The one thing I did notice was that there were passengers in the plane but they had the cabin lights on and were reading so they didn’t see anything.

So we learned something about the internal workings of Blue Book, were treated to some discussion of various cases, and found out how all those files came into the hands of Rob Mercer of the Miami Valley UFO Society. Rob will be on the show on November 16.

Next week: John Shirley

Topic: UFOs and skepticism.