Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another Mishmash of Fact

I know that I said I was done with responding to Kal Korff, and I know that when I watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann, I get tired of his rants about Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, but sometimes it’s just so much fun.

Take the latest rant. He quotes from one of my books and goes into a typical rant.

The quotes that annoy him so much are these:

Marcel said about the debris, "I’d never seen anything like that. I didn’t know what we were picking up." He said that some of the debris was thin as newsprint, feather light but so strong they couldn’t dent it or burn it. He described foil-like material, I-beams, and "...other stuff there that looked very much like parchment that didn’t burn.'"
Marcel was so impressed by what he had seen that he stopped at his house on the way back to the base. He wanted his wife and son to see the debris. When Jesse Marcel, Jr. saw the strange material, he asked his father what it was. Marcel, Sr. "It’s a flying saucer."
Marcel, Jr. Said that he saw some foil material that was thicker than lead foil and that was much stronger. He mentioned the I-beams which seemed to be made out of layered foil and that was embossed with writing. Marcel Jr. described the writing as, "Purple. Strange. Never saw anything like it.

He then says, "Well, no folks, he didn’t say it was a flying saucer. They didn’t use that word back then. They said flying disk. That’s it."

Here is the front page of the Roswell Daily Record for July 8, 1947. Clearly it says, "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region."

The next day, the headline reads, "Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer."

In case you think that it was only in Roswell that they used that term, though it certainly proves my case because it shows the term in use in Roswell, here, from the Des Moines Register of July 4, 1947, "Army Probes ‘Flying Saucer’ Stories."

And from the Herald American (Syracuse, New York) "Flying Saucers Reported By Scores in 28 States."

So where did he get the idea that they didn’t use the term flying saucer in July 1947? I found lots more examples, so clearly they did.

The other part of the quote that sets him off is the term I-beam. He says that Marcel didn’t use that term and in fact, Marcel said that his son got it wrong.

Well, looking at the interview that Linda Corley did with Jesse Marcel, Sr. in 1981 (and not available until after 1993), it appears that Marcel did say that during her interview. At least it seems that way. Marcel drew a picture of the cross section of one of the smaller members and it is rectangular. If you look at the "I-beam" that Marcel, Jr. had made, you see that it is nearly rectangular as well. Yes, there is a "I" shape to it, but the top and bottom cross beams are small.

And something that Korff fails to report is that Corley said when she shared her tapes with Stan Friedman, she had to go back to create transcripts because the tapes, sitting on a shelf, had degraded quite a bit. They were difficult to understand and Corley had to interpret the words and phrases, so it’s possible that the senior Marcel wasn’t quite as positive as Korff and others now believe.

Korff goes on to say, "Jesse Marcel, Jr., he claims he saw an I-beam and he’s the only one who did... And his father Jesse Marcel, Sr. says, ‘No.’"

According to Korff, "Jesse [Jr.] got that wrong. He was a little boy. He was only 11 years old... No other Roswell witness reported I-beams at all. None. Zero."

Except, of course, for Robert Shirkey, who, in January 1990, in a personal interview described the scene as some of the debris was carried through the Operations building. In a telephone interview, Shirkey said, "Marcel was carrying a box that had the I-beams sticking up in one corner...

Much later, Steve Lytle, in an interview conducted with Don Schmitt and Tom Carey, used the term I-beams.

And another witness Jack Trowbridge said, "It was aluminum in appearance. There were fragments of aircraft skin, or whatever the thing was and also some girders with pictures of hieroglyphics..."

So, Korff goes off on a tangent here, claims that no one else ever mentioned the I-beams and yet, without much effort, I was able to locate two additional witnesses. Trowbridge doesn’t say "I-beam," but does say girders, which can be construed as an I-beam-like structure and that runs the score to three.

Finally, in this latest mishmash, Korff said, "The U.S. government did launch one [Mogul balloon] to spy on the Soviets..."

This isn’t quite right either. Yes, the purpose of Mogul was to spy on the Soviets, but they could never keep the balloons aloft long enough for them to drift over the Soviet Union, and the coming of the spy planes, and much later, satellites, did in the need for Mogul. It just never worked the way it was supposed to.

The real reason that I’m forced to post this here is that Korff, in his YouTube rants, disables the comments section. No one has the opportunity to suggest that maybe he’s off base on his claims. Had I been able to comment on YouTube, I would have done this there.

Once again I apologize for dragging you all along with me on this, but then, sometimes it is fun to see how badly he muffs the ball.

This will be the last time for a response to Korff here. There is a marvelous little blog at and I’ll try to get the host there to post any more responses I feel are needed. Maybe I should just let it go because no matter what Korff says, when all the facts are presented, the story is different than he says, sometimes wildly so.


cda said...

Time to move on Kevin.

Korff is a poor example of what a debunker, or true skeptic, should be.
He does far too much nit-picking and personal attacking instead of looking at the broader picture. If I am certain Roswell was not an ET craft, it is zilch to do with things like I-beams & hieroglyphics, or what an 11-year old boy has to say between 30 and 50 years afterwards.

Also, Korff also seems to dislike you for some reason.

I wonder what he thinks of the abduction literature. In particular Hopkins & Jacobs.

It is time to forget Mr Korff. Actually I have never found the website or blog where he rants, so am going solely by your own quotes.

KRandle said...

Yes, it is time to move on... yet when you're the one attacked, it is sometimes difficult to do that, especially when the quotes are so far off the mark.

As I say, if I feel the need to post again, I'll try to get the host of kalisanidiot to post them for me.

Then, again, it is fun to poke the guy, and many in the skeptical community still quote from his work as if it has some merit. I'm called a sloppy researcher, but I haven't made these kinds of mistakes. Sure, I believed some people I shouldn't have, but I can produce the source of the quotes and confirm that the information, when I publised it, was what I believed to be the truth. Korff just makes stuff up and runs with it.

Paul Kimball said...

Kevin and CDA,

It's not just that Korff calls you a sloppy researcher - he calls you (and others) a liar and a fraud. That deserved a response, to set the record straight, and show on this, as well as previous points, Korff can't even get his basic facts right (for example, he has referred to me as a Jew in the past, presumably because I'm Stan's nephew by marriage... Stan being the only person of Jewish descent on either side of my family, blood relative or not!). Korff is a out-and-out liar, and if you really look at what he's said, I think it becomes clear that he has bought into some pre-millenarian "the world is on the brink of destruction" stuff, and he seems to have totally lost it. Regardless, as CDA says, he's a poor excuse for a debunker, and he's not even close to being a true sceptic. People who want a reasoned critique of the Roswell case and a defense of Mogul should be reading Karl Pflock's book, not Korff's turgid tome... regardless of whether you agree with Karl or not.


Mac said...

It looks like now he's back to drowning the Billy Meier kitten. In a strange way I almost feel sorry for this loser.

Kal is an idiot said...

What a wonderfully crafted rebuttal to Kalvin's nonsense. I don;t know much about this flying saucer business, but your refutation of what Kalvin claimed is masterful, tactful, and well supported by evidence. Don;t worry about making Kalvin look like a fool, Kalvin only needs open his mouth to accomplish that.

Bob Barbanes: said...


I was embarrassed the other day, watching one of Kal's lunatic rants, and I saw that the number of views was only...two! Which meant I was only the third person to see it and maybe really the first (because the first two were probably Kal himself - or himself and his "supermodel" "girlfriend").

Personally, I love the way Kal refutes your work. He (badly) reads passages from your book, then merely claims the opposite while providing no supporting evidence of his own, and then concludes that he has just "proven" you wrong! Then he calls you a liar and a fraud who's intentionally bilking the unsuspecting public out of its hard-earned dollars.

Kal's videos are wonderful, if unintentional comedy; some of the funniest stuff I've seen on YouTube. (I love the kitten-roar sound effect. Yes, exactly what every home needs: Not a watchdog, but a watchcat! Oh, the LOL of it!)

I've tried commenting on his videos many times, but although he doesn't note that commenting is disabled it most assuredly is.

Ultimately, I end up feeling sorry for Kal, for he is clearly deranged to the point of perhaps being mentally challenged. I mean, for an older guy he acts like a prissy teenager. As we say down here in the south, "Something ain't right with that boy."

Here in this forum, "cda" desperately wants you to move on from Roswell, Kevin, as if he has some input or control over what you blog about. But you know what? If he came on my blog and told me to stop writing about helicopters (or any of the other things *I* rant about), I'd tell him to piss off. But that's me.

Kev, you just keep on writing about whatever inspires or amuses you - even Krazy Kal. I, for one, thoroughly enjoy this blog and everything you share with us.

cda said...

I meant move on from Korff, not Roswell. I enjoy Roswell, provided we do not traverse the same ground too many times.

KRandle said...

I've been waiting for someone to point out that the term, "flying saucer," was originated in 1947 when Ken Arnold talked about the motion of the objects as like that of a saucer skipping across the pond. And then reporter Bill Bequette talking about flying saucers before many people were talking about flying disks.

This is not to mention the John Martin sighting in 1878 in which he described the object as big as a saucer... not example the same thing, but hey, it is saucer used in connection to a UFO sighting.

goldfive said...

Speaking of Jack Trowbridge, whom you referred to regarding his testimony about the I-beam... I am surprised that no Roswell investigators have commented on the conflict between his Sci-Fi Channel testimony and that of Jesse Marcel Jr's. Specifically, Mr. Trowbridge claims that he was at a bridge game at Marcel's house the night the Major stopped home with the debris on the way to the base. In all the interviews I've ever read, Jesse Jr. has always steadfastly maintained that he and his mother were awakened by Major Marcel and shown the debris on the kitchen floor. No mention whatsoever of a bridge game with many people present. I am pretty sure had others been there, Dr. Marcel would have mentioned it since he'd know investigators would be anxious to talk to them as witnesses to the debris. While Mr. Trowbridge seems very sincere and believable in his video testimony, I can't seem to reconcile it with what Dr. Marcel has told us.

KRandle said...

The point of the Trowbridge testimony was to point out that others had said something that could be interpreted as an I-beam, meaning that Korff's statement that no one else had, which he then emphasized for effect, was wrong. Others did say it.

I will note that there were frequent bridge games at the Marcel house, and there was discussion of fragments of the debris having been swept out the door into the backyard (and before anyone thinks we should try to locate that debris, that part of the back yard is now under an addition to the house...).

So, Trowbridge could have confused one of those games with Marcel coming home with the debris...

Personally, I throw in with John Keel on this. He said, around 1990 that he expected there would be dozens of new witnesses appearing by the end of the century. And he was right.

He does, however, refute Korff's bold and inaccurate statement that no one else reported an I-beam