Monday, September 21, 2009

Paul Kimball, Lance Moody, UFOs and Me

Not too long ago, I posted an article about the "Old Geezers" in Ufology. A critic had suggested it was time for the old guys to get out of the way because we had failed to solve the riddle of the UFO. Once before he had suggested it was time for us all to die because we were inhibiting the younger, smarter, more rational researchers.

I suggested that we had, in fact, solved the riddle of the UFO proving that some UFOs were extraterrestrial in origin, meaning here that they were under intelligent control. Paul Kimball and Lance Moody suggested I might have overstated the case and that we hadn’t proved it.

First, permit me a short digression. I wonder why things must always take a nasty turn. Why suggest that someone will be happy when we all die? Why take what I would term a civil discussion and turn it nasty? Why can’t we all agree that we’ll not accept some things the other side says without suggesting something about parents and thought processes? Why not realize that I have sometimes read the various arguments and reject them... not that I’m unaware of them, but because they do not persuade me.

And I direct none of this at either Paul or Lance, two gentlemen who have argued with me about some of the things I have said or published in the past. I have had some very interesting and satisfying personal discussions with Paul, both online and in person. I do not know Lance personally, but his postings here have always struck me as well reasoned and well intentioned. Certainly not the nasty ones that have appeared elsewhere.

As I say, they disagreed with my statement that some UFOs are intelligently controlled alien spacecraft. To them, if I understood their arguments, the evidence was not persuasive. They wanted more. Lance, I believe, suggested that my understanding of the scientific method and scientific thought left something to be desired. I believe he objected to my suggestion that there is a level of repeatability in UFO landing trace cases.

Let’s take a look at some of this. I know that I have one piece of information that is not universally accepted as legitimate and that is really my fault. When I got involved in the Roswell case with the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies and Don Schmitt, I was spending a great deal of money each month on telephone calls to witnesses and in research. Sometimes the bill was over three hundred dollars. It’s something of a tribute to my wife for never complaining about the costs of the investigation. Well, not much.

Anyway, I was at the Center’s Chicago office and while they held a board meeting, they suggested that I use the telephone if I had some witnesses to call. An opportunity, for toll free calls (or rather calls that would be billed to someone else) was not to be missed. I wanted to follow up with several people, one of those being Edwin Easley.

Easley was the Provost Marshal at Roswell, sort of the top law enforcement officer on the base. When I had talked with him earlier, he had told me, repeatedly, that he had been sworn to secrecy and couldn’t talk about the events. Much to CDA’s annoyance, he told me that Mack Brazel had been held on base, in the guest house... CDA simply doesn’t believe this, and that certainly is his right.

So I called Easley, without benefit of my tape recorder. I was making notes about the various things we had talked about earlier. Then I asked him a question that would, for me, become critical. I asked, "Are we following the right path?"

He said, "What do you mean?"

I said, "We think it was extraterrestrial."

And then he said, "Well, let me put it this way. It’s not the wrong path."

I was so excited by this admission that when we finished our conversation, I interrupted the meeting to tell them what I had heard. Easley, one of the top officers at Roswell in July 1947 had confirmed that the craft was extraterrestrial, although in a somewhat round about fashion.

At that time, Easley, as far as I knew, was in good health. I planned to visit him at his home, video tape a conversation if he would allow it, audio tape if not, and get the discussion on the record. A few months later, Mark Rodeghier, the scientific director at the Center said that he was going to be in Fort Worth and would I arrange a meeting with Easley. I thought this a wonderful idea because it would provide a... well, a different perspective.

When I called to arrange the meeting, I learned that Easley was extremely ill. He would die not long after this. An opportunity for corroboration through a disinterested third party had been lost. Now everything hinged on what I had heard, how I interpreted it, and what I had reported. I simply couldn’t prove what Easley had said to me during that conversation. If some wish to reject it, that is certainly their right. Without Easley on tape, his statement can be considered too good to be true and he’s not around to contradict me.

Oh, I can point out that other officers in Roswell such as Patrick Saunders, provided some interesting written evidence. There have been some interviews, conducted by other researchers that have tended to corroborate some of this. Joe Stefula’s interview of Chester Barton, one of the officers who worked for Easley for example, suggests that something extraordinary was recovered and that Easley knew about it. But that isn’t the same thing as Easley saying it was extraterrestrial on tape.

And to be fair, Barton believed, at least at first, that what had crashed was a B-29 carrying nuclear weapons and not an alien spacecraft. But Barton also said he never got all that close to the debris and the burned areas. He did say he thought the amount of debris field was smaller than would be accounted for in a B-29 crash.

Easley’s family, and one of Easley’s doctors, have suggested they heard about the extraterrestrial nature of the crash from Easley. Some researchers have dismissed this, confusing Easley with both Sheridan Cavitt and Curry Holden’s discussions of the crash, attributing to Easley things that were said by Cavitt or by Holden’s family.

I mention all this to provide a little bit of a context. These are all things that I know. It comes down to this. Easley told me, basically, that the crash was extraterrestrial and I can prove it to no one. For me, this is important information, but for others, it is not. If I had a tape, then we would be having a different discussion.

There are some who said that the very instant that Easley made that admission, they would have gone out, bought a tape recorder and called him back. While I thought about it, I believed, at the time, I would have an opportunity, several opportunities to discuss all this with him again. I did not anticipate his illness. If I had it to do over again, I would have called him the first chance I got and hade him repeat the information.

This interview with Easley was important to me... but is not important to anyone else. This is one of the reasons that I have accepted the idea that some UFOs represent alien visitation.

Science is often about repeatability which means that what I observe you can also observe. It means that a phenomenon, whatever it might be or how rare it might be, has been observed by others. We can say that a meteor fall is something like a UFO sighting. We can’t repeat them at will but we can interview those who have seen them. In today’s world, we know what meteors are (and do I really need to point out they are of extraterrestrial origin?). But not all that long ago, at the beginning of the 19th century, science rejected the idea that there were rocks in the sky. Yes, there had been meteoric falls, and meteorites, known as thunderbolts, had been recovered, but the idea of a meteor was outside of the science of the day.

And it was into the 1950s that science failed to recognize that some craters were of meteoric origin. Many scientists believed them to be extinct volcanos. Although I’ve always though about the craters on the moon having their origin in impacts, that wasn’t always the scientific thought.

I bring this up merely to point out that some things in science are not readily reproducible. The observations must be taken where they can be found and often are not made by scientists but by the public. It is the job of those scientists to gather the observations in a detached and dispassionate fashion so that we all can understand what has happened.

There has been a level of reproducibility in the UFO field. Ted Philips has been studying UFO landing trace cases for decades. His catalog has some 4000 different cases in it. There have been all sorts of UFO landings in which traces have been found. This would be, of course, the UFO interacting with the environment.

Philips, at the MUFON Press Conference held in Denver in August pointed out that he knew the kind of landing trace he would find based on the witness description of the craft. That, to me, suggested that there was something more than a random nature to the landing traces. It meant there was a predictability here that science would demand. You give me a listing of the object’s characteristics and I will predict the type of landing traces that we will find.

There are hundreds of cases in which instrumentality was used as part of the UFO observation. This might be radar, might be cameras, might be other types of sensors but all of it leads to the conclusion that something physical and real had been observed. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was extraterrestrial, only that what was seen was neither hallucination nor illusion. It might be misidentification but it was real.

Another factor weighing in here is how hard the Air Force, and other parts of the government, have worked to conceal information. A look at the Project Blue Book files shows us that these investigations were less than adequate and while they claim that only some 700 reports are labeled as unidentified, about 4000 cases, or one-third, are labeled as insufficient data for a scientific analysis. That means they are unidentified.

We can prove that the Condon Committee was designed, not to learn if there was a reason to study UFOs but to end the Air Force involvement in UFO investigations... or rather their public involvement. This documentation exists and suggests, at the very lease, a bit of duplicity.

All of this, and many other things, have lead me to the conclusion that some UFOs are extraterrestrial visitors. To me the evidence is overwhelming and convincing. To others it is not. It is a question of what evidence you see and what evidence you believe and what evidence is persuasive.

What is interesting here is that both Paul Kimball and Lance Moody can make their points without descending into the nastiness that others employ. Over the years I have been called all sorts of names just because my opinion is different from that of someone else. I have been accused of all sorts of things from being a government agent to being a liar and a coward, simply because I disagreed with someone’s analysis of a UFO case or bit of evidence. But that doesn’t make them right and me wrong. It only makes them nasty.

So, to Paul and Lance, I say, we disagree and I believe the evidence is overwhelming. I say, I am satisfied by the evidence I have seen and the witnesses I have interviewed. If you find the evidence to be insufficient and the witnesses less than believable, then that is your right. I am hoping that someday we all can find the evidence we need to prove our points... (And yes, I understand that we approach from opposite directions and if I am right, they must be wrong and if they are right, then I am wrong).

And for those out there who wonder about this, I have changed my mind when the evidence warrants it. I believed Frank Kaufmann until we had the evidence that he was not being candid. It is one thing to reject his testimony because you know that there has been no alien visitation and therefore he must be lying and another thing to reject it because the evidence suggests he was lying.

We will continue to march here, providing information as best we can (and that would be the editorial we which means, of course, me). As new information appears, it will be published, regardless of what it is. I hope that we can leave the nastiness aside and continue to discuss all these phenomena intelligently, rationally and civilly.

As a final thought... if those who wish that the old geezers would get out of the way, I say this. Buy my files, records, tapes, microfilms and photographs for one million dollars, meaning that after taxes are paid, I have one million dollars, and I’m gone. I won’t write anymore UFO books, I won’t appear at anymore conferences or symposiums as a speaker, and I will take down this blog. Then you youngsters can have the open field. Just let me know when you have the money.


RRRGroup said...

A response to Mr. Randle's errant post here may be read at two of our blogs:

The UFO Iconoclast(s)

and The UFO Provocateur(s)

starman said...

Lance didn't strike me as a gentleman. You should've seen Biedny's remarks when he threw Lance out of the paracast forum.

cda said...

I have also posted a comment on the first named RRRGroup blog. You will, I assure you, not find any 'nastiness' therein.

Alfred Lehmberg said...

Lehmberg: Nonsense, CDA. Nastiness is always justified where civility endorses the behavior of conflicted, likely self-loathing, and inveterate psychopaths!


Reynolds: Randle writes is not quite right. The RRRGroup did have a piece a few months back that indicated that the old-guard would, indeed, die, because they are old. No one wrote or wished that any one of those men die.

Lehmberg: Ever as disingenuous as you are fatuously self-serving, you are a known confabulator, character assassin, but a caster of the direst aspersion and forever famous for wishing death on your betters! This has been pointed out by persons as diverse as myself and Paul Kimball, persons who additionally point out that you re-write your own history as you go along to cover errant tracks. Terry Groff also notices. Indeed, you are _everything_ you criticize, and worse.

Reynolds: Everyone is going to die, eventually, and our writer merely set down that inevitable maxim.

Lehmberg: This is a statement as pompous as it is a moronic spin! Moreover your "royal we" invoked only adds to the pomposity ever as turgid as a backed up cistern in post Christian Rome! Push a sock in it Reynolds, can't you? Enlightened people know you for what you are, a wanna-be mouth-piece and whiny literary profligate. Feh!

Reynolds: But Mr. Randle, as he probably does with his Roswell and UFO research, conflates our writing and intent for some personal reason that adjusts his agenda, whatever it may be.

Lehmberg: His agenda, Reynolds, is to kick over your scurvy psychopathic rock and expose the squirming inconsequence that is your whole fetid shtick. You whine and back-pedal, but he has you _spot_ on.

Reynolds: Then he writes that he missed the boat with a key Roswell witness, a man named Easley, whom he talked with by phone, and who indicated that Randle’s extraterrestrial scenario about Roswell was on the right path.

Lehmberg: Swing and a miss, Reynolds. You report the candid admissions of others as if you were the discoverer and reporter of same. For the life of me I cannot comprehend how you don't choke on your own nose bubbles!


Alfred Lehmberg said...


Reynolds: Unfortunately, Mr. Randle didn’t have a tape recorder handy, and only took notes, missing a chance to get that witness’s ET suggestion down in a format that others could hear:

Randle: “There are some who said that the very instant that Easley made that admission, they would have gone out, bought a tape recorder and called him back. While I thought about it, I believed, at the time, I would have an opportunity, several opportunities to discuss all this with him again. I did not anticipate his illness. If I had it to do over again, I would have called him the first chance I got and hade him repeat the information.”

Reynolds: This is one of those botches that the RRRGroup chastised in its Old Geezers posting that spurred Mr. Randle’s current and earlier broadside.

Lehmberg: Wrong again! The spawn of any broadside at the rotting timber that is your worm-ridden literary hull is your inconstant philosophical aspect, your shamelessly errant ufological revisioning, and your crass inability to provide for _any_ real productiveness. Randle perhaps figures you're due for a literary fist in your _own_ aging and wattled throat. I agree and am happy to add my own.

Reynolds: Then Mr. Randle gives away his modus for his UFO obsession – to make money. Here’s what he writes at the end of his latest blog posting:

Randle: “As a final thought... if those who wish that the old geezers would get out of the way, I say this. Buy my files, records, tapes, microfilms and photographs for one million dollars, meaning that after taxes are paid, I have one million dollars, and I’m gone. I won’t write anymore UFO books, I won’t appear at anymore [sic] conferences or symposiums as a speaker, and I will take down this blog. Then you youngsters can have the open field. Just let me know when you have the money.”

Lehmberg: Excellent! I could have illustrated your piqued childishness, lack of imagination, and cloying irrelevance in no better way! You don't even know when someone is _mocking_ you, do you?! Seriously! You are the very person for whom the "c" word was coined!

Reynolds: If this isn’t an admission of a mercenary modus, we don’t know what is. That Mr. Randle is now seeking a million bucks for his efforts tells us why he’s been at the UFO game all along, and we’re embarrassed for him and by him.

Lehmberg: Rofl! That's still down on your side of the net, Reynolds! Immaterial, irrelevant, and only your tedious _self-admission_ that you don't get the joke! The very definition of a steaming pile! Why do you even play?

Reynolds: We understand his attempt to make us look like , who wish death upon him and others in the UFO community, but that he would admit that his work is up for sale at a price goes to the heart of an effort that deserves research, not for money but for truth.

Lehmberg: Reynolds! You and your little murder of vomiting and inconstant crows, real _or_ imagined, are the very epitome of "nasty buggers," make no mistake and accept no substitutes!

Reynolds: Shame on you Mr. Randle…shame, shame, shame….

SHAME!? You dare! You intemperate and incompetent slanderer!

I'd presume your dank home is bereft of any mirror or reflecting surface at all! Keep it up with Dr. Reynolds! I presume it's soon your fate to owe him retractions and money damages like you do me!

Oh but were I to have the money to prime the pump of our corrupt "justice" system. You better hope I don't win the lottery, boyo.

All that said. Get off Randle's back. He's five times the researcher, three times the writer, and twice the man _you_ are. Just step off.
>> AVG Blog --
>>> U F O M a g a z i n e --

RRRGroup said...

Ah, the pig oinks.

Paul Kimball said...

Hi Kevin,

I think that the ability to politely agree to disagree is sadly lacking from much of ufology, on both sides of the "believer / disbeliever" aisle. It's one of the reasons that I have less of an interest in the subject, at least publicly, these days. Who needs the hassle?

I've always considered you a friend, however, in no small part because we can agree to disagree about certain things, and neither of us will throw a tantrum. I have nothing but respect for you and your contribution to the overall body of UFO research, even when I may think you have made errors. After all, who among us hasn't made a mistake? ;-)

All the best,

cda said...

Mr Lehmberg:
I did not make myself clear (or did you not quite follow me?).
I meant that there was no nastiness therein, meaning no nastiness WITHIN MY COMMENTS.

But I agree my wording was at fault, so you need not have a guilty conscience!).

Alfred Lehmberg said...

_Stunning_ retort, Reynolds! No really, I'm quite bested... but then I remember you don't know a joke from the thumb you twirl on. I'm sure sarcasm must be _quite_ beyond you.

Lance said...

Hi Kevin,

Nice posting and I agree with much of what you have said.

Really a fundamental difference between believers and skeptics is how we weigh witness testimony. Believers probably rely on it too much. Skeptics probably discount it too much.

It's like a switch, I would guess, that gets turned on or off in a person's personality. And folks who have the switch turned one way talk right past the other side.

I recently watched a terrific documentary called Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, about a famous football game from the late 1960's. One of the players recounted with much detail how he managed to personally take out and injure an opposing player. He remembered it quite clearly: an important event in his life, no doubt.

Amazingly, the footage from the game clearly shows that it was another player that caused the injury. This guy wasn't even close by.

Now as a skeptic I know that such documented instances of spectacular witness failure (and there are many) do not seem to teach believers any lessons at all. And that is where things stand.

Now on to David Biedny and the Paracast.

Starman is right that David Biedny kicked me off his forums. And he is right that I was often nasty to some of the most idiotic posters there. As an aside, if you want nasty, I will be glad to post any number of Biedny's pompous, shrill and silly posts so that you may see nastiness in its raw form. Starman is apparently blind to believer nastiness but quite sensitive to the skeptical sort--just like David Biedny.

The final straw for Biedny was when I made fun of a show (I called it 2 hours of piffle, I think) in which his guests claimed that crop circles moved to the USA to follow the guests themselves--they were responsible for the entire phenomena apparently! Biedny took these morons quite seriously.

I will also note that I often got "thumbs up" for my posts there. Including some from Mr. Kimball (even on the one that got Biedny so mad--I noticed that Kimball later quietly deleted his "thumbs up" from that post in an act of great bravery or something :) ).

I am still a fan of the Paracast. The show in which Stephen Bassett self-destructed is a truly monumental historical document of the UFO movement.

I have spoken with David Biedny on the phone a few times and in many ways I like him and certainly admire his real work (we both work in sort of the same industry). But he flies off the handle at the drop of a dime. He may be the most self-centered person I have ever spoken with.


starman said...

Sure, Biedny can be rough at times. But he's no sucker for any UFO claim. Like myself, he dismisses plenty of them. Btw the last straw in the paracast forum, as I remember it, had nothing to do with crop circles. He threw Lance out because of some post on the Roswell issue. Biedny actually saw merit in some things Lance said, but banned him because of the rude tone of his post.

Lance said...

Of course I was no more rude than many of the other still unbanned posters (including Biedny).

O,r under your believer eyes, was I the only one being rude?

Why didn't you just say that I am the only rude person on the entire internet. It sounds better and it is no more unsupported than many of the claims that believers make all the time.

Can't imagine you being any more disingenuous Starman (as you bravely post under the shadow of anonymity) but I am sure that you will try!


starman said...

Of course you weren't the only rude one in paracast. After you were gone, I had a slight disagreement with Biedny, who called me a "dork." But he added, "I can't ban him, he's just making conversation." It seems he perceived some difference.

Bob Koford said...

"ooooooooohhh I'm a believer, just couldn't leave 'er, if I tried..."
Sorry....guess I got carried away. Shouldn't be Monkeeing around like that.

Wayworld said...

It really is too bad that we have been raised to believe that we must gravitate to extremes. Yours or mine, right and wrong, should and shouldn't. Some things are just how they are - they defy being put into a box and categorized. Our instruments are designed to detect specific identifiable attributes of reality, not reality itself. Recently I evaluate some graphics software costing thousands of dollars being used by university professionals, I found that the software was inferior to commercial software in extrapolation capabilities. Perhaps the very tools we use limits the manner in which we collect information. The scientific method is a tool to gather information but it is not our only tool. It is not the only valid way of collecting information. Humans use more than the scientific method to make decisions; mood, intuition, pheromones, past experience are all prime movers for humans. I have never witnessed a UFO in person but the bulk of the evidence is undeniable. Whether we want to believe or we wish the whole thing would go away and folks could go back to work the evidence is now flooding the science lab. I challenge the sceptics to actually take a month or two off of spouting their wisdom to actually learn about their subject. Put yourself in the shoes of your opponent. Try that strategy for a bit, you will be surprised at what you learn. At the very least you will be seen by others to be a more reasonable person having peered through new lenses. And to the believers, have patience and share the light with no expectations - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him see it.

Lance said...

The incredibly tired believer refrain that Skeptics need to research the topic, falls completely flat for me.

I will counter claim that I know more about UFOs and their history than you or almost anyone else--noting that certain regulars here tower above me (there is no one on earth who knows more about Roswell than Kevin).

When it comes to the obscure Otis T. Carr case, I would be willing to bet that I know more about that than anyone else alive.

When it comes to UFOs in general, I have looked at the evidence. I want the evidence to lead towards something interesting. But (for me) it doesn't.

The very fact that there is so much "evidence" is quite damning in itself since it never coalesces into a testable theory. In science that is what should happen.

So quantity is really nothing to crow about.

Arthur C. Clarke said he would be much more interested in UFO's if there were FEWER reports. He realized that big shovelfuls of crap do not stack into a crystal palace no matter how many you throw onto the pile.


starman said...

"(there is no one on earth who knows more about Roswell than Kevin)"

No one or no layman? I'd assume that somebody in government knows considerably more.

cda said...

To Starman: Note how Lance used the phrase "no-one on earth who knows more about Roswell than Kevin". Perhaps there is someone outside the earth who does - like the Roswell visitors or their descendants. In fact if Kevin has been right all along, and ETs are visiting earth, then these ETs know far more than even the top guys in the USAF.

How's that for a piece of logic?

starman said...

What Roswell visitors or their descendants? According to most accounts, they were all dead with the possible exception of one who held out a bit longer. Btw the USAF may not be privy to Roswell now. Maybe Naval Intelligence(?)