Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy and UFOs

Well, I see that good old Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy has struck again. I’m not sure why, if he is so convinced there is nothing to UFO reports, he feels the compulsion to return to the subject so often, but he does. And, surprising me if no one else, he makes grandiose claims that are not supported by evidence. Instead we are treated to his uninformed opinion and a suggestion that he "...got some amusement from it [arguing with we uninformed UFO nuts], I’ll admit, since trying to reason with some people is clearly a losing game."

Oh, Phil, I understand what you mean. I keep putting out facts and then have to listen (well read actually) your opinions. I quote the sources and you quote your own mind. Clearly this is a losing game... but it is somewhat amusing.

And then he retreats into his favorite, though unsupported argument that "Astronomers, both amateur and professional, are constantly viewing the sky. There are tens of thousands of amateurs out there out observing all the time: a large sample population, and far larger in observing man-hours than the regular population. If UFOs are so common, then why do we not see an unusually large number of reports from astronomers?"

Good question Phil... of course, I might ask who all these astronomers viewing the sky are since it seems that many of them are using instrumentation to view very narrow fields rather than standing around outside with a pair of binoculars, but I digress.

Or, I suppose, I could point out that pilots, especially those on long, overnight flights, get good views of the night sky and they do report UFOs frequently. Some have noted that their corporate leaders frown on UFO reports and encourage the pilots not to make them, but again, I digress.

I will point out, again, that there is a negative impact on the careers of astronomers would report UFOs. Once again, I’ll point to the study conducted for the Air Force by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, in which he suggested that if any astronomer reported a flying saucer, meaning an alien spacecraft (and as opposed to a UFO) it would be headlined the next day and the following day the man’s, or woman’s, career would end.

Hynek, in fact, was sometimes ridiculed by his colleagues in the field. I took an astronomy course while at the University of Iowa and we were treated to an appearance, guess lecture you might say, from James A. van Allen... yes, the radiation belt guy. Someone asked about Hynek and the answer was, "Allen always wanted to discover a new constellation..."

Which was strange because I had a couple of serious conversations with van Allen about UFOs. He seemed interested in the topic but was disturbed by the lack of critical standards. Too much passion in a field that could stand a little dispassionate research.

Hynek’s study, to get back on topic, showed that astronomers actually reported UFOs at a slightly higher rate than the general population. So, Phil’s comment about astronomers and sky observations is right. They should see UFOs at a higher rate and according to the available statistics, do.

I could, once again, cite some of those who have reported, not UFOs, but flying saucers. Clyde Tombaugh comes immediately to mind with his sighting near Las Cruces, New Mexico, of something with square, glowing windows. Donald Menzel, the rabid anti-UFO guy, a man who never met an explanation other than extraterrestrial that he didn’t like, explained Tombaugh’s sighting as lights from houses reflected in the light haze over the city...

Except Menzel wasn’t there and Tombaugh was. Tombaugh was a qualified observer who said there was no light haze over the city so it didn’t matter what Menzel thought. Menzel’s explanation didn’t work but Menzel didn’t care because he had explained the sighting.

Which isn’t to say that Tombaugh saw a craft built on another planet, but that he saw something sufficiently strange that he couldn’t identify it as Venus or a weather balloon. This would be a real UFO, reported by an astronomer, but not while he was working out at the observatory, but while he was sitting in his backyard looking at the night sky.

Plait also gets worked up because of the sheer number of UFO reports. Plait wrote, "My assertion is that this is because the vast majority of UFO reports from people are misidentified objects like Venus, the Moon, satellites, balloons, and so on. These are things every amateur astronomer has seen countless times, and knows are not alien spaceships bent on probing the backsides of rural citizens. While this does not mean every single observed object is something more mundane, it does mean that the huge numbers quoted by UFOlogists are most certainly wrong."

Well, again, this isn’t quite right. True, there are a large number of UFO reports but it is also true that the vast majority are of mundane things. Everyone who studies UFO reports will tell you that ninety to ninety-five or six percent are of mundane objects. We get it and we identify them.

I have reported here, and have mentioned in various lectures and speeches, that I investigated a case with a domed disk and alien creatures made by two witnesses. I solved the case because I went out and looked. For those interested in the details, see the Mount Vernon, Iowa sighting on the April 2007 blog.

And, yes, I have listened to people describe Venus, including those who suggest they have seen searchlights playing down from it. And people who saw very bright meteors. And listened to some strange stories but with no other witnesses, think of them as insufficient data though I suspect I might have an answer.

So, yes, there are thousands of UFO sightings and only a few of them are of interest to us here. And while Plait trots out that old cliche about rural citizens, those of us who have studied the phenomenon (meaning the UFOs as opposed to all the other things often lumped in) we know that the statistics show that the higher the level of education and the longer the sighting, the less likely it is to be identified.

And I have to wonder about the perception that everyone who lives in a rural environment is some kind of a rube unable to tell a weather balloon from Venus from a structured craft that out performs those we build. Does living in a city confer some sort of additional intelligence on an observer, or is this just another example of a cultural bias? Are we who live in Iowa, or Nebraska or Wyoming, or West Virginia somehow less intelligent than those who live in Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles?

I guess my question would be when is Plait going to take a look at the actual data rather than live by his personal bias? That is something most of these nay-sayers never do... oh, they’ll talk about no physical evidence, they’ll claim what we do have is anecdotal, but they won’t sit down to look at it.

If they do, and still feel there is nothing to UFOs, then hey, they’ll be in a better position to argue the case. But maybe they’ll understand that the evidence they desire is right there. All they have to do is look.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dick Hall Dead at 78

Jerry Clark has informed me (well, UFO UpDates) that Dick Hall, one of the reasoned researchers of the UFO field, has died of cancer after a long fight.

Hall was born on Christmas, 1930 in Hartford, Connecticut graduated from the Gilbert School, a high school in Winsted and in 1949, he enlisted in the Air Force to avoid being drafted in the Army, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He served on active duty until early in 1951 and then spent six years in the Air Force Reserve. Some of his active duty was spent at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.

After the military, he attended Tulane University in New Orleans, first as a math major and later as a philosophy major with a minor in math.

He spent most of his life in the Washington, D.C. area working for the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, one of the first large, international UFO organizations. He worked full time for NICAP, first as an executive secretary, then an assistant director and finally acting director. While there he was largely responsible for the 1964 book, The UFO Evidence, which was an examination of the best UFO cases presented to that time. In 2001 he wrote the sequel to The UFO Evidence which covered the period from 1964 to the 1990s.

Later he served as the chairman of the Fund for UFO Research. He was also, in the late 1970s into the 1980s, the editor of monthly magazine for MUFON that eventually evolved into the MUFON UFO Journal. For a number of years he wrote a column for UFO magazine called "Reality Check."

More recently, he was the chief editor of the Journal of UFO History, published six times a year. He had continued to offer advice, criticism and wisdom to those who asked. He was often the voice of calm in what could sometimes be the very belligerent world of UFO research.

When he wasn’t involved in UFOs, he was studying the Civil War and published a number of magazine articles and a book about women who fought in the war. He would want it known that he was also a science writer and that he edited technical reports on social science and the environment.

In Ron Story’s The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters, Hall published a position statement that is still relevant today. According to Hall, "Among the hundreds of so-called 'UFO reports' each year, a sizable fraction of those clearly observed by reputable witnesses remain unexplained – and difficult to explain in conventional terms. There is a modicum of physical of physical evidence, radar cases, residual cases and some films – and photographs in support of the unexplained cases... In answer to the skeptical objection that the alleged unexplained cases have not been thoroughly investigated, that is exactly my point. They should be. The circumstantial – and sometimes physical – evidence indicates something real is going on for which no satisfactory explanation currently exists."

Dick was, of course, more than just a champion of the UFO. He was a friend to many and while our paths crossed rarely, he was always the gentleman. He was true to his word and our email exchanges were always cordial, even when we disagreed about conclusions.
Larry W. Bryant, like so many, had worked with, known, and respected Dick Hall. He wrote, about his memories of Dick Hall in a post to UFO UpDates, reprinted here with permission:

A phone call to me this afternoon (July 17, 2009) from UFO researcher Dan Pinchas of Germantown, Md., brought news of the death of one of ufology's giants: Richard H. Hall, 78, of Brentwood, Md.
For at least a year, I'd known that Dick had been recovering from colon-cancer surgery, but he counseled me not to spread that knowledge. By e-mail several months ago, he'd told me he was doing okay. Now, I learn that he'd been undergoing chemotherapy. He apparently died in his sleep this morning.
Seemingly right up to his last moments, Dick was pursuing his ufological calling, for it's been only several weeks since my receipt of the latest issue of his bimonthly newsletter Journal of UFO History.
My association and friendship with this consummate scholar date back to November 1957, when I met him for the first time at the Washington, D. C., headquarters of the now-defunct National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). There, as I sauntered into the front office, I spied him with his head down and eyes focused on a piece of correspondence he intently was typing upon a manual typewriter.
Eventually, Dick became a role model for my own baby steps as a UFO researcher-activist. He not only wrote well and fluently; he also had a keen hand at line drawing. Noted mostly for his seminal two-volume work The UFO Evidence, he also had edited the NICAP newsletter (The UFO Investigator) and some of the organization's special reports. His two books on the subject matter (The Challenge of Unidentified Flying Objects (with Prof. Charles A. Maney - 1961); and Uninvited Guests (1988)) remain collector's items.
His other major contributions to the field derived from his service on the board of directors for the Fund for UFO Research, Inc. At separate periods, he also served as editor of the monthly journal of the Mutual UFO Network, Inc., and as a columnist for the monthly newsstand periodical UFO Magazine.
Besides his UFOlit products, Dick managed to publish a small handbook on raising house plants, plus an overview of the role of women in America's civil war.
Dick Hall's commitment to serious UFO research and his high standard of personal achievement in the field began during his student days at Tulane University, where he majored in philosophy. I take delight in possessing copies of his self-published newsletter from that early period - the UFO Critical Bulletin. Critical thinking (and action), you see, became the hallmark of his scholarship. If anyone deserved an honorary doctorate in ufology, it certainly was he.
I never could've asked for a better mentor, friend, and colleague in this field. Thank you, again, Sir Richard, for the enriching part you played in this long journey of inquiry, networking, and enlightenment.

Mike Swords, in a private posting (reprinted here with permission) might have said all of it the best. He wrote:

This all comes as only a small surprise to me as it was two weeks ago that John Carlson called me ...to ask me to provide the raw facts for a UFOlogical eulogy that someone else would write when Dick passed. John felt that Dick would not make it to September. I produced that UFO worldline as fast as I could once I got back to Michigan but Dick out-ran me up the light-tunnel to the beyond. At least he now knows what UFOs are, and that despite the morons of our world he was right. By going through the exercise of lining up much of the major UFO activities of our long friend, it became even more concrete what a warrior he was. Many people know all about NICAP, FUFOR, and the Coalition, but maybe not so much about him bringing Brazilian UFOlogy to the US when just out of Tulane, or bringing the whole world to the US when he single-handedly brought the MUFON journal to the status [briefly] of the finest english-language source for foreign cases for the period of his tenure as foreign "editor"/correspondent. Dick facilitated Jim McDonald--Big Mac could have never have done it without him. Dick actually lived at the Colorado Project for weeks trying to teach them how to properly look at the subject. No other civilian researcher made such a committment except paid staff. Dick as we know was an irascible critter, but the flame burned deep, and he could not tolerate the utter lack of accountability so ubiquitous in our field. Maybe some of us remember when his "Reality Check" column was the only sane piece of writing in an entire newsstand magazine. Dick would tell you that you were full of crap when no one else had the guts to do so and the knowledge to make you respect it. I'm sure that he loved the way this particular site was/is trending as he chafed at the lack of cooperation and teamwork in the field. He loved history, and we in the UFO history "business" used to say: we are students of UFO history; Dick IS UFO history. He used to laugh at that. Although he and I differed on the meaning of the following phrase, I say: God's Speed, my friend, and please, keep the poltergeist activity down to a minimum

Yes, I know there is some redunduncy here, but I think it important. It explains why Dick Hall was so respected in a field when few are respected and many are maligned. This all suggests the level of respect and affection for this man who worked so tirelessly on a phenomenon that most snicker at. He wanted some tangible answers and he wished that the infighting among researchers could end so that we all could devote our time to research without worrying about the others.

So now we have lost one of the giants in the field and there are few who can match his spirit, wit or accomplishments.

Dick Hall dead at 78.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Doctor Jesse Marcel and the Roswell UFO

There has been something that has bothered me for a long time. I have been trying to figure out the hatred directed at Jesse Marcel, Jr. by many in the skeptical and the non-believers arenas. Marcel, for the few of you who might not know, was the eleven-year-old son of Major Jesse Marcel who recovered some of the debris found on the Brazel (Foster) ranch. Both Marcels, in interviews conducted some thirty and forty years after the fact, suggested that the material they saw was extraordinary and extraterrestrial. Marcel, Sr. sort of started the whole Roswell craze with his statements to Stan Friedman, Len Stringfield and several others.

Okay, we can argue all day about what Marcel really saw back in 1947 and we can argue about how trustworthy the memories of an eleven-year-old boy might be after so much time. We can suggest that he was influenced by his father who told him it was a flying saucer and we can say that all this hoopla around Roswell in the last twenty-five or thirty years has certainly colored his opinions.

On the other hand, no one can deny that something was found and the remnants, whatever they might have been, were not easily identifiable to Marcel, Sr., and he certainly communicated that confusion to his son. But there was something found and none of the mundane explanations offered so far provide much of an answer.

But that’s not the point here. The point is that Jesse Marcel, Jr. (seen here), a retired colonel from the Montana National Guard, who spent a year in Iraq, and who was a successful physician, said that he had seen the debris, he had handled it, had seen the strange markings on it, and believes it to be of extraterrestrial origin. Is that a reason for dragging his name through the mud, or an excuse for some of the truly vicious letters, calls, emails, and Internet postings about him?

And here is one other point. In late May I was at a UFO symposium put on by Illinois MUFON. During one of the morning sessions a man who was about seventy began to feel poorly. He was dizzy, pale, and on the verge of collapse. He staggered into the hall and when I first saw him, he was lying on the carpet with a couple of people around him, trying to help.

As I moved toward the man, I saw Jesse Marcel, Jr., a real live doctor, crouched near this man, holding his hand, checking his pulse and vitals, and talking to him, gathering information. Marcel was doing all that he could for the man, calming him down, learning his medical history and treating him as best he could.

Others, at Marcel’s direction, made the telephone calls to 9-1-1, arranged for the medics to arrive, and as soon as they got there, they asked Jesse about the man. By that time the man’s color had returned, he was no longer dizzy, and his heartbeat had returned to normal. The medics asked Jesse about all this and then went about their business because they had their machines and medicines. But it was Jesse who took charge in that situation and helped the man until the medics arrived.

So, you’re thinking, "What’s the point?" Just this, many of those attacking Jesse Marcel would have been standing around wondering what to do to help the stricken man. They have nothing going for them except their attack columns and their meanspirited commentary. They have no training, they have no other skills and they do little but take up space in an already crowded world.

And many of them seem to hate Jesse Marcel, Jr. (seen here with me at the Illinois MUFON Symposium) because he said, as a boy, he’d held pieces of an alien spaceship. This seems to be something they just can’t forgive or forget, but in the great cosmos, does it really matter? It’s not as if Jesse is making this up. It’s not as if he came forward with this story in search of the spotlight and the fame this little tale would provide for him.

No, he just happened to be there, in Roswell, in July, 1947, when his father brought home some strange debris. Would his life be somehow diminished if that had never happened? No. He still would have gone to medical school and he still would have risen to colonel in a real military organization. He still would have saved lives in Iraq.

Can we say that Jesse is lying about this? Not really. There is evidence for his tale. Hell, the newspapers of the time talked about it. He did see something. All we can do is disagree with his interpretation of what it was. Is that any reason to attack him as a person, attack his integrity, or suggest that he is somehow less than human?

If Jesse was some kind of huckster, out there pedaling a product that hurt people, if he was swindling them out of their life savings, if he was endangering them, then yes, let’s stop him. But all he has done is tell those interested what he saw as a boy. His livelihood does not depend on this story, yet he is gracious enough to tell all who ask what he saw.

That is no reason for some of the viciousness that I have seen directed toward him. If some of those who seem so incensed had contributed a tenth of what Jesse has given to the human race, then we might want to listen to them. But most of them just seem to be unable to separate a memory Jesse has of a night encounter with debris that might well have come from an alien ship from everything good he has done as a man. Those detractors have done nothing but snipe from the woods, often because they are too chicken to come out into the light of day.

If nothing else, we all should be able to agree that Jesse saw something that to him was strange. We might disagree with the interpretation, but then, can’t we do that as civilized humans and leave all the other nonsense to those who have no class? Can’t we leave the name calling to others? Can’t we elevate the debate to a civilized level, remembering that Jesse has made an important contribution to society, and leave it at that?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Allende Letters

I had been going to do a brief overview of the Allende Letters episode and move on and while this is still brief, it is more detailed than I planned. For those interested, more information can be had about the case, and I had no trouble finding the Fate magazine article mentioned later, on the Internet. It should drive the final nail into this coffin... and sometime later I’ll explain the ramifications to the Majestic-Twelve mystery.

The story, as it is usually told, is that a copy of Morris K. Jessup’s The Case for the UFO, apparently annotated by three unidentified, but very knowledgeable men, was received at the Office of Naval Research. Over a period of weeks, a number of letters, obviously written by one or all of those mysterious men, arrived at the home of Jessup. When he learned of the annotated book, he turned the letters over to the ONR. Officers there were so impressed with all this, according to the legend, that they had the book and the letters duplicated, notations and all. The Navy began to investigate the claims in the book and because the Navy was involved, it lent a note of authenticity to the story.

And the story was a wild one. According to the letters, the Navy, during the Second World War had teleported a ship in an experiment that had something to do with Einstein’s Unified Field Theory though how Einstein and his theory were involved is not fully explained. According to Carlos Allende (the man who signed two of the letters, the third was signed by Carl Allen, seen here), the experiment had been a success. The ship, identified by some as USS Eldridge, was teleported. The sailors, however, were failures. They manifested all sorts of bizarre side effects from their teleportation.

Allende claimed that he had witnessed this, including the failure of the sailors and said that it was all written down in the newspaper for anyone who wished to verify the story. Or rather, a fight in a waterfront bar was written down in a Philadelphia newspaper which would corroborate part of his tale. The story has been located, or rather, one researcher claimed to have found it, but that report is as suspect as the rest of the tale.

In the early 1970s, while I was still on active duty with the Army, and right after I had returned from Vietnam, I learned that UFO one researcher had gotten a copy of the annotated book from the Navy and I figured if he had one, then I should have one. I wrote to the Chief of Naval Operations, which, when you think about it, should have been the end of the quest. The Chief of Naval Operations in 1970 had probably never heard of the book or Jessup, not to mention having important matters to attend to. He was, after all, the Chief of Naval Operations.

In a couple of weeks, however, the Navy had written back and told me that they had no copies of the book, but to check with Varo Manufacturing in nearby Garland, Texas. So I looked them up in the telephone book and called Varo. The secretary there knew what I was talking about without asking a bunch of questions and put me through to Sidney Sherby.

He told me that contrary to the published information, the Navy had not been interested in the Allende Letters or the annotated copy of the book. Two of the officers there were (Sherby and a guy named George Hoover) and the Navy had no objection to their following up on it as long as it didn’t involve any Navy resources or personnel. In other words, according to Sherby, the Navy had no interest in the matter and the investigation was not Navy sponsored.

That, of course, kicked one leg out from under the stool upon which the Allende Letter credibility rested. The Navy was uninterested, but two of the officers were. The fact they were in the Navy followed them, but their status in this was not as Naval officers, but as interested men.

Sherby showed me the Varo version of the book, which was covered in blue and the size of regular typing paper. Jessup’s text was in black and the notations by Allende and his cohorts were in red. I couldn’t have that book, but if I had a way to copy it, Sherby would lend it to me. In those days, copy machines had two colors... black and white, so I have a copy but all the text is in black (replica seen here).

There were, supposedly, three men involved in this. A Mr. A, a Mr. B and one called Jemi. They seemed to have passed the book around, each making notations in different colored ink.

Sherby said that he had talked to Jessup about the annotated book in 1956, but Jessup wasn’t all that interested in it. Jessup tended, in 1956, to agree with the official Navy position which was that it was all the work of a trickster. It was a hoax. Sherby or Hoover had contacted Jessup and had learned of the letters that way.

Then, in the 1970s Carlos Allende appeared at the headquarters of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) and told the international director, Jim Lorenzen, that the whole thing was a hoax. Allende said he’d made it up because the writings of Jessup had scared him. He signed a statement saying that, deposited a suitcase or two with Lorezen for safe keeping, and left.
Before he went, he suggested that he was sick with cancer and didn’t expect to live much longer. Of course, the cancer didn’t kill Allende and you have to wonder if this wasn’t just another of his tales. He returned, or reappeared some time later, but, according to what Lorenzen told me, he left one or both of the suitcases at APRO.

But in the world of the paranormal and UFOs, nothing is that easy. Allende surfaced again several years later saying that his claim of hoax had been coerced by, who else, the CIA, and that the story contained in the letters was all true. The CIA had made him claim it was all a hoax for some nefarious and nebulous reason. Allende was back pushing the Allende Letters for the limited fame and notoriety they provided.

Still later, Robert A. Goerman, a researcher living in Pennsylvania, discovered that Allende, or rather Allen’s family, Allen being his true name, lived nearby. Goerman investigated and in an article published in the October 1980 issue of Fate, explained the whole tale, concluding, based on the evidence and based on his interviews with the family, that the Allende Letter saga was a hoax. It is a conclusion that should be noted but, like so much else, it is often ignored.

I will note here that, according to what Goerman learned, there weren’t three men involved, but only Allende. The name, Jemi, one of those men, was a reference to Gemini, the twins, and the other two designated as Mr. A and Mr. B, referred to each other as twins. All the "analyses" of the text proved to be wrong, according to what Goerman discovered.

Oh, you want to know about that newspaper article mentioned earlier. William Moore and Charles Berlitz wrote a book about this whole affair called The Philadelphia Experiment. On page 244 of the Fawcett paperback edition, they reprint an article they allegedly found in a newspaper, or more precisely, they were given a copy of the clipping, which they defend by saying, "In a secure safety deposit box there exists a photocopy of a newspaper clipping which was received from an anonymous source and which, up to now, has managed to survive all efforts to discredit its authenticity."
They reprint the clipping which reads:

Strange Circumstances
Surround Tavern Brawl
Several city police officers responding to a call to aid members of the Navy Shore Patrol in breaking up a tavern brawl near the U.S. Navy docks here last night got something of a surprise when they arrived on the scene to find the place empty of customers. According to a pair of nervous waitresses, the Shore Patrol had arrived first and cleared the place out – but not before two of the sailors involved allegedly did a disappearing act. "They just sort of vanished into thin air... right there," reported one of the frightened hostesses, "and I ain’t been drinking either!" At that point, according to her account, the Shore Patrol proceeded to hustle everyone out of the place on short

A subsequent chat with the local police precinct left no doubts as to the fact that some brawl had indeed occurred in the vicinity of the dockyards at about eleven o’clock last night, but neither confirmation nor denial of the stranger aspects of the story could be immediately obtained. One reported witness succinctly summed up the affair by dismissing it as nothing more than "a lot of hooey from them daffy dames down there." who went on to say, were probably just looking for some free publicity.

Damage to the tavern was estimated to be in the vicinity of six hundred dollars.

Here’s the problem. It has no provenance. It comes from an anonymous source and it is undated and not referenced so there is no way to verify that it actually appeared in any newspaper anywhere. In fact, to make it worse, they don’t even have a clipping but a copy of the clipping. That right there smacks of hoax.

And please notice the neat way that naming names is dodged. It’s the Navy Docks, the local police, an unnamed tavern, two unnamed waitresses, in the vicinity of the dockyards, and an unnamed male witness... can you name a newspaper editor who would print this without a single identifying reference to anyone or anything? Did anyone ever hear of "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How?" There’s not even a dateline to give us a clue.

I suspect there have been no real attempts to discredit the clipping’s authenticity because no one had enough information to attempt anything of the sort, not to mention that no one has seen the real clipping. There just is no way to verify anything... So, one more feeble attempt to prop up the hoax has failed.

Well, maybe that’s not quite true. In the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol 8, No 1 from 1994, Jacques Vallee provides some additional information about this alleged brawl. Although highly critical of some of the UFO researchers who have looked into the Allende case, Vallee seemed to accept the authenticity of the newspaper clipping without a single word of criticism.

He then presents the tale of Edward Dudgeon who claimed that he had been in the tavern during the fight... not that he had been on the ship that was teleported, only that he was involved in the fight.

Oh, and his ship, USS Engstrom, was part of the experiment, which had nothing to do with teleportation, but was about rendering the ships invisible to Nazi detection techniques. The Eldridge and the Engstrom were "de-gaussed" so they wouldn’t attract the magnetic torpedoes, which, of course sounds good but has nothing to do with teleportation or invisibility.

But, Vallee believed Dudgeon because he had been in the Navy at the right time as proved by his discharge papers, and there is the wonderful newspaper article that arrived from an unknown source from an unknown newspaper about a fight at an unknown bar in an unknown city as testified to by three unknown witnesses and so on and so on.

I, of course, don’t believe Dudgeon’s story because the Allende Letters are a complete fraud and there is no evidence anywhere that any of the things mentioned in them happened. In fact, according to the information available through the Navy and housed at the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C. (on microfilm NRS–1978–28, if you must know) the Eldridge was not in Philadelphia at the right time for the experiment. The logbooks show it to be elsewhere, so, another leg of the confirmation stool has been kicked loose.

In the end we learn that the man who created the Allende Letters said it was a hoax, those who were at the Office of Naval Research said there was no interest in the book or the letters by the Navy, and independent investigation has shown the case to be a hoax. Jessup was uninterested in the letters, and the family of the man who created them, according to what they told Goerman, was in the habit of annotating everything he touched, including birthday cards. The Navy ship, the Eldridge (seen here), according to the log books, was not in Philadelphia and crewmen laugh at the story. In other words, there has never been a scrap of evidence to prove the experiment took place or that Allende had any sort of inside knowledge of it or anything else, and yet, we still discuss it today. Such is the world of the paranormal.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Published Words of Kevin D. Randle

From time to time I find, buried on the Internet, challenges to some of the things I have said, or have been said about me. What annoys me most about these is that anyone who has access to the Internet would be able to learn the truth. A little research from such diverse sources as the Library of Congress to Amazon.com would have killed one of the latest rumors.

Some guy, who I have apparently offended at some point, has been saying that he didn’t believe I had written as many books as I said. He claimed that he had researched this at the Library of Congress site and could only find references to 25 titles. He suggested the others might be self-published or might be articles in magazines. He found it difficult to believe that I could have written more than a hundred books... I guess he never heard that Isaac Asimov had written more than 400 and the record for published books was something over 700. My claim is small compared to those.

This guy wanted to see a list of my published books, include the ISBN for them. Well, I’m not going to take the time to look up that for each of the books but I do have a list of my published works, complete with the date and the publisher. Many can be found listed at Amazon.com. So, he can look that up himself, or he can learn how to use the Library of Congress properly.

Following is a list of my books, by series and type, including the pen name I used for them. This should end this part of the discussion and I’ll wait, patiently, for that man to apologize for his mistake. I don’t expect it, but I’ll wait just the same.


1. Body Count* Pinnacle Books 1984
2. The Nhu Ky Sting* Pinnacle Books 1984
3. Chopper Command Pinnacle Books 1985
4. River Raid* Pinnacle Books 1985

*with Robert Charles Cornett


5. Vietnam: Ground Zero Gold Eagle Books 1985
6. POW* Gold Eagle Books 1986
7. Unconfirmed Kill Gold Eagle Books 1986
8. The Fall of Camp A-555* Gold Eagle Books 1986
9. Soldiers Medal Gold Eagle Books 1987
10. The Kit Carson Scout* Gold Eagle Books 1987
11. The Hobo Woods Gold Eagle Books 1987
12. Guidelines Gold Eagle Books 1987
13. The Ville Gold Eagle Books 1987
14. Incident at Plei Soi Gold Eagle Books 1988
15. TET Gold Eagle Books 1988
16. The Iron Triangle Gold Eagle Books 1988
17. Hamlet Gold Eagle Books 1988
(Please note here that I could say I wrote, "Hamlet," but have not.)
18. Dragon's Jaw Gold Eagle Books 1989
19. Payback Gold Eagle Books 1989
20. MACV Gold Eagle Books 1989
21. Tan Son Nhut Gold Eagle Books 1989
22. Puppet Soldiers Gold Eagle Books 1989
23. Gunfighter Gold Eagle Books 1990
24. Warrior Gold Eagle Books 1990
25. Target Gold Eagle Books 1990

*with Robert Charles Cornett


26. The Raid Gold Eagle Books 1988
27. Shifting Fires Gold Eagle Books 1989
28. Strike Gold Eagle Books 1989
29. Empire Gold Eagle Books 1990


30. Seeds of War* Ace Science Fiction 1986
31. The Aldebaran Campaign* Ace Science Fiction 1988
32. The Aquarian Attack Ace Science Fiction 1989

*with Robert Charles Cornett


33. Remember the Alamo* Charter Books 1986
34. Remember Gettysburg Charter Books 1988
35. Remember the Little Bighorn Charter Books 1990

*with Robert Charles Cornett

THE NAVY SEALS (by Steve MacKenzie)

36. Ambush Avon Books 1987
37. Blackbird Avon Books 1987
38. Rescue Avon Books 1987
39. Target Avon Books 1987
40. Breakout Avon Books 1988
41. Desert Raid Avon Books 1988
42. Recon Avon Books 1988
43. Infiltrate Avon Books 1988
44. Assault Avon Books 1988
45. Sniper Avon Books 1988
46. Attack Avon Books 1989
47. Stronghold Avon Books 1989
48. Crisis Avon Books 1989
49. Treasure Avon Books 1989

WINGS OVER NAM (by Cat Branigan)

50. Chopper Pilot Popular Library 1989
51. The Wild Weasels Popular Library 1989
52. Linebacker Popular Library 1989
53. Carrier War Popular Library 1990
54. Bird Dog Popular Library 1990
55. Eagle Eye Popular Library 1990


56. The Galactic Silver Star Ace Science Fiction 1990
57. The Price of Command Ace Science Fiction 1990
58. The Lost Colony Ace Science Fiction 1991
59. The January Platoon Ace Science Fiction 1991
60. Death of a Regiment Ace Science Fiction 1991
61. Chain of Command Ace Science Fiction 1992


62. Dawn of Conflict Bantam Books 1991
(Or as I call it, "Donna Conflict")
63. Border Winds Bantam Books 1992


64. Star Precinct* Ace Science Fiction 1992
65. Mind Slayer* Ace Science Fiction 1992
66. Inside Job* Ace Science Fiction 1992

*with Richard Driscoll


67. Galactic MI Ace Science Fiction 1993
68. The Rat Trap Ace Science Fiction 1993
69. The Citadel Ace Science Fiction 1994


70. Death Before Dishonor (Randle)+ Avon Books 1987
71. Once Upon A Murder* (Randle) TSR 1987
72. Warrior's Revenge (Mack Bolan) Gold Eagle Books 1988
73. Spanish Gold (Randle) M. Evans & Co. 1990

*with Robert Randisi
+Movie Tie-in

74. Signals Ace Science Fiction 2003
75. Generation Ship Ace Science Fiction 2003
76. FTL Ace Science Fiction 2004
77. The Gate Ace Science Fiction 2004


78. The UFO Casebook Warner Books 1989
79. The October Scenario Berkley Books 1989
80. UFO Crash at Roswell*+ Avon Books 1991
81. The Truth about the UFO Crash at
Roswell* M. Evans & Co. 1994
82. To Touch the Light Pinnacle Books 1994
83. History of UFO Crashes Avon Books 1995
84. Lost Gold and Buried Treasure M. Evans & Co. 1995
85. Roswell UFO Crash Update Global Communications 1995
86. The Randle Report: M. Evans & Co. 1997
87. Conspiracy of Silence Avon Books 1997
88. Project Blue Book - Exposed Marlowe & Co. 1997
89. Faces of the Visitors** Simon & Schuster 1997
90. Project Moon Dust Avon Books 1998
91. The Abduction Enigma Tor/Forge 1999
92. Scientific Ufology Avon Books 1999
93. Roswell Encyclopedia Avon Books 2000
94. Spaceships of the Visitors** Simon & Schuster 2000
95. Washington UFO Invasion Avon 2001
96. Operation Roswell Tor 2002
97. Case MJ-12 Avon 2002

*with Donald R. Schmitt
+Made into the ShowTime movie: Roswell
**with Russ Estes


98. The October Scenario Middle Coast Pub 1988
99. Vietnam: Ground Zero Omnibus Gold Eagle Britain 1988
100. Vietnam: Ground Zero Omnibus #2 Gold Eagle Britain 1989
101. Vietnam: Ground Zero Omnibus #3 Gold Eagle Britain 1990
102. Special Forces Tuttle-Mori Tokyo 1991
103. Havarie UFO U Roswellu ETNA, CR 1996
104 Havarie UFO u Roswellu 2 ETNA, CR 1996
105. Der UFO-Abstruz Bei Roswell KOPP, Germany 1996
106. Roswellske UFO Nejnovejsi Poznatky ETNA, CR 1996
107. Katastrofy UFO Slovensky Publishers, Slovak 1996
108. Incidentul Roswell Zona, Romania 1996
109. Remember the Alamo! G.K. Hall & Co. 1998
110. Die Wahrehiet uber den Ufo-Absturz Bei
Roswell K OPP, Germany 1998
111. Accidental Contact Tuttle-Mori Tokyo 2000
(Some of these seem to mean that I am an "international" author. Many of the Gold Eagle books were also published in the Phillippines, Finland and Japan.)
And for the purists who say will, you didn't quite get to 100, let me add...
Roswell Revisited Galde 2007
Trial To be published in 2010
UFO Crashes To be published in 2010