Saturday, March 11, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Brenda McClurkin, University of Texas, Arlington Special Collections

Veering away from UFOs, sort of, I spoke with Brenda McClurkin of the Special Collections at the University of Texas at Arlington library about their, well, special collection. We learned that there were over four million negatives held in their state-of-the-art, climate controlled vault. You can listen to the interview here:


Ramey, DuBose and the
infamous sheet of paper.
Copyright: University of Texas
at Arlington, Special Collections.
Although the point was to talk about the investigation of the Ramey Memo, which is a photograph of Brigadier General Roger Ramey in his office holding a piece of paper we did deviate from that somewhat. We talked about the photographer, J. Bond Johnson, who had been sent there because a wire service story said that debris from a flying saucer found near Roswell was being sent to Ramey. From that we can deduce that the memo relates to that Roswell in some fashion. Attempts to read the memo have met with various degrees of success and it had been hoped that the latest attempt, using the latest equipment, software, and examined by experts in forensic photographic analysis might be able to provide a definite answer about the memo. That didn’t happen.

For those who would like to see the “Roswell” negatives for themselves, they are available on line here:


For those who are interested other aspects of this, we talked about the Alamo because of some of the items held in their collection, the history of the Texas Revolution and the historical significance of other things that they housed. We also talked about the procedure to visit the Special Collections… and for those of you who might want to see the original Ramey negatives, I will point out that you have to give them at least twenty-four hours notice so that they can remove the negatives from the vault and allow them time to adjust, slowly to the higher temperature and other climate factors outside the vault.

Next week’s show: David Halperin


Topic: I had originally contacted him about the Glassboro, New Jersey UFO landing but we’ll also talk about his book, Journal of a UFO Investigator.

20 comments:

cda said...

I notice there is a $10,000 reward offered to anyone who can give a definitive read of the Ramey memo. I wonder who is going to be the judge of this "definitive read", because as of now several such attempts have been made but only very few words have any degree of certainty attached to them.

And the likelihood of further progress is very close to zero. So I suggest in all seriousness that those pro-ET people, who are still hoping against hope that this memo might finally provide the answer as to whether we are alone in the universe, pursue other lines of investigation. General Ramey took the great (or not so great) secret to his grave. Period.

Meanwhile, what about all those supposed exoplanets recently detected in other nearby star systems? Any ETs out there?

Nitram Ang said...

CDA helpfully wrote:

"And the likelihood of further progress is very close to zero. So I suggest in all seriousness that those pro-ET people, who are still hoping against hope that this memo might finally provide the answer as to whether we are alone in the universe, pursue other lines of investigation."

Might I suggest if you have nothing productive to add, you say nothing.
If there is "another line of investigation" that you think could be more productive then please feel free to comment further.

The people who contributed to the "assignment" at the University of Arlington a couple of years ago were all unpaid for their time and effort. In view of the many hours spent trying to read the document, it would be most satisfying for many if that goal is one day, finally achieved, although sadly this may never happen.

What is also sad is that some people have to be so negative toward all of this...

Regards
Nitram

cda said...

"What is also sad is that some people have to be so negative toward all of this..."

Yes indeed. A more positive attitude towards this sort of thing is desirable. However, I do believe Kevin has killed off a lot, if not most, of the Roswell evidence (i.e. changed it from positive to zero or negative) in his recent book, including the Ramey memo.

So Nitram knows who to blame for the current negativity.



Nitram Ang said...

CDA wrote:

"Kevin has killed off a lot, if not most, of the Roswell evidence (i.e. changed it from positive to zero or negative) in his recent book, including the Ramey memo."

Please tell us - on what page of his recent book did Kevin say the Ramey memo was not worth trying to read and no good would ever come from reading it (or "negative & clueless" words to that affect)?

KRandle said...

CDA -

There is a difference between negativity and a negative outcome. Negativity is name calling when you happen to disagree with an opinion or making snarky comments for no real reason.

A negative outcome can be seen as the solution for a puzzling UFO sighting, though I would think that a solution would be a positive outcome.

cda said...

The Ramey memo probably was worth examining as far as technically possible. (The USAF evidently thought it was). But it has surely reached a dead end now.

You need to balance the probability of discovering anything useful in it with the time & money spent on it. I for one cannot believe it contains anything relevant to the discovery of ETs visiting earth (or ETs at all). But if perchance it did, then we would expect such a document to still be extant somewhere, along with all the other Roswell ET-related documents, if such exist. Its value to science would preclude it being destroyed.

Nitram Ang said...

CDA wrote:

"The Ramey memo probably was worth examining as far as technically possible. (The USAF evidently thought it was)."

Well this is almost the opposite of comments you have made in the past... on many occasions you have written (or words to the affect) "nothing will be gained from reading the Ramey memo..."

A friend of mine once said, in reference to the Gold prospector, "You don't expect to find gold, but you have to look..."


CDA wrote

"You need to balance the probability of discovering anything useful in it with the time & money spent on it."

Well yes, but you might like to remember what Michael Jordan (arguably the greatest sportsperson of all time) once said:

"If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."

Regards Nitram

Neal Foy said...

Nitram, I agree with you, every effort should be made to read the memo. Just my opinion but for technical reasons I think that may not happen.

We have scans that are probably as good as we can get. Maybe code breaking techniques will help. Possibly Artificial Intelligence can get us further along.

The problem I see is even if a solution is reached that seems plausible to some there will be a lot of people who won't accept it because it goes against their personal bias.

cda said...

In response to Neal Foy:

David Rudiak's solution is acceptable to certain people. But others (even some ETHers) do not accept his decipherment.

I repeat: if the text on this piece of paper really says what the ETHers hope and insist it says, it would NOT have been destroyed. It would be far too important to science and the military. Therefore it must still exist, somewhere.

KRandle said...


CDA -

And your point?

If the document says what some believe it says, and if it was kept because of its importance (though the message really isn't all that important in the larger scheme of things and the best move would be to destroy it), just where would it be? And how highly classified would it be? And if it is highly classified, then we won't see it anytime soon.

cda said...

Kevin:

My point is simply this:

If the document says what ETHers hope and claim it says, it would constitute a valuable (in the historical context) piece of scientific evidence, since it would be a valuable primary source document in the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligent life visiting our planet. Do you not agree?

Therefore it is most unlikely that such would have been destroyed. It would be preserved, along with a myriad of other papers on the case, and kept in an archive, for the benefit of future historians of ETH. So where is it?

Since it has never turned up, my conclusion is that nothing of scientific or historical value appears in the Ramey memo.

Is this a reasonable assumption or not? Of course I realise that the conspiracy brigade will strongly disagree and insist the said document(s) are top secret and can NEVER be released. And so on.



Nitram Ang said...


CDA continues...

"Since it has never turned up, my conclusion is that nothing of scientific or historical value appears in the Ramey memo." and further "the conspiracy brigade will strongly disagree and insist the said document(s) are top secret and can NEVER be released."

Following that logic since Dr Randle's tax returns haven't turned up, either he hasn't declared any income for the last 50+ years or they are confidential and someone is keeping them from us.

Nitram Ang said...

Neal Foy wrote

"I agree with you, every effort should be made to read the memo. Just my opinion but for technical reasons I think that may not happen."

Thanks Neal your post is reasonable and makes sense of course.
Today's quote is by the late Arnold Palmer - one of the greatest golfers ever:

"I've always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win."

Regards
Nitram

Brian Bell said...

I thought the interview was interesting, not exciting, but interesting.

I still think one way to analyze the possibilities of what it MIGHT say is to do what I've said in the past.

Namely, physically replicate the memo with the text that Rudiak claims it contains on a vintage teletype machine, then recreate the known photographic conditions.

This isn't far fetched as it's been used (via computer simulation) to determine everything from how the Titanic sank to physically modeling a 1/4 scale Hindenberg to validate explosion hypotheses.

I'd be interested in contributing if anyone has interest whether you are pro ET or pure skeptic.

It may demonstrate that some words claimed by Rudiak are correct, or not.

As noted prior, if it's a military telegram it doesn't conform to standard protocol or format. Private unofficial message, or simple press memo used as a prop?

We may never know for sure.

cda said...

Nitram:

I presume you think Kevin Randle's tax returns (or even yours or mine) are of the same public interest as documents revealing the news that the earth has been visited by ETs.

And Arnold Palmer may have been one of the greatest golfers ever, but even his tax returns are of little interest compared with the alleged contents of that scrap of paper in General Ramey's hand.

This debate sounds pretty dead to me. Like the Roswell affair itself.







Neal Foy said...

Brian Bell said:

"Namely, physically replicate the memo with the text that Rudiak claims it contains on a vintage teletype machine, then recreate the known photographic conditions."

Problem with that is getting the film that would even come close to replicating the actual film used. You might find vintage Ansco somewhere but the chances that it isn't age fogged is near zero. Age fog is a disaster, film that old is likely to be so fogged that you can't even get an image. Any modern film would not replicate the grain structure of the original, film technology has come a long way since 1947. Then we have developing conditions to consider. Was it hot souped (to decrease development time) as was common practice for newspapers or was it developed according to manufacturers specs? That makes a huge difference. I'm not even sure if we know what lens was used, any lens that would throw a large enough image circle to cover 4x5 could be fitted to a Graphic. That would make a difference too. To sum it up, too many variables.

So no, count me out of making a contribution for your experiment.

Brian Bell said...

Neal wrote:

"To sum it up, too many variables."

And this is EXACTLY why no one even bothers to take the next step in this evaluation. They "doubt" it's possible and therefore REJECT any alternative analysis because according to them it's IMPOSSIBLE....just too many "variables".

The same attitude no doubt persisted when two guys named Wilber and Orville Wright proposed a flying machine, when rocket pioneers said it was possible to place men on the moon, or that there would never be a cure for Polio.

Impossible....just way too many "variables".

Or is it just that you prefer Rudiak's reading because without any proof you believe aliens crashed at Roswell and have manipulated human society for eons?


Neal Foy said...

Brian, I was pointing out the flaws in your proposal. I think I made it clear that it isn't time to give up.

I really don't have a dog in this hunt. I've barely paid attention to David's reading. I do respect all the work he and others have done to get this far. But it is incomplete and not agreed on by all parties who want a certain outcome that aligns with their own view. On the other hand I'm willing to accept whatever comes out as long as it makes sense linguistically and historically.

I think another tack might work better. Because we know the message is in English and will generally follow the norm for sentence structure and syntax then we have a starting point for using simple code breaking techniques that have worked many times even when translating text or numbers. From what I see from the scans we can count letters and see sentence breaks. Maybe we could use artificial intelligence to try to give use possible translations. If someone has a logical argument against my proposal I would certainly defer.

Frankly, for reasons already given I think what you propose is a waste of time and resources.

Lance said...

Neal Foy is absolutely right about there being too many variables and no reliable way to recover those values. Every decision would carry error and (as we have seen) possible bias.

My work is doing fx for TV commercials, etc. and I'm speaking with some expertise in this field.

You could possibly get some information in a re-creation like this but recovering or confirming the text is, in my estimation, flatly impossible.

Anyway, it doesn't take doing so to know that Rudiak's nonsensical "transcript" is a nothing more than a fever dream and only makes sense if your entire life is steeped in the Paranoid Style.

Lance

KRandle said...

Neal -

It really depends on the source of the memo. If it came in with Bond Johnson as he once claimed, then there were probably errors in it as seen with other teletypes of that era, meaning misspellings and poor grammar.

If it came through the Army communications center at Ft. Worth, then it could be filled with jargon, acronyms, and even with period spelled out as PD and comma as CMA rather than punctuation. I have seen military messages so full of jargon that they look like a foreign language.

The point is that it might not follow the normal rules for sentence structure and syntax, which is, of course, still another variable.