Friday, September 19, 2014


Just the other day I was reading a book about SETI and the author committed the error of appealing to an authority… which means he didn’t have a good argument other than to say that these prestigious people and organizations have weighed in and they say UFO phenomenon is all hogwash.

Sure, I know you’re confused so I’ll expand. He was writing about UFOs, which, if you’re going to discuss SETI you need to address, even if it is to dismiss the idea of alien visitation. He wrote that the Air Force began to study the problem with Project Blue Book in the 1950s and then with the University of Colorado study now known as the Condon Committee which ended official research.

Overlooking the fact that the Air Force investigation began in January 1948 (officially), and had the name changed a couple of times until they settled on Blue Book in the 1950s, anyone who has reviewed these files find them filled with inaccuracy, half-truth, smears of witnesses, explanations that are completely wrong (Portage County UFO chase began with the sighting of a satellite that, according to all records including those in the Blue Book files proved were not visible at the time) to documentation showing exactly what the mission evolved into and it wasn’t investigation of UFOs. To suggest that the Air Force investigated and found there was nothing important in the sightings was to miss the point. The real point of the Air Force investigation was to ensure that National Security was not compromised. It did not prove there was nothing important to UFO sightings and that nothing important would be learned by continued study.

There is documentation that shows the Condon Committee was a put up job. Condon had the conclusions written a year and a half before the end of the project. Those conclusions did not match the information contained in the research and in one case they “identified” the UFO as a phenomenon so rare it had never been seen before or since. If nothing else, the various investigations conducted by the Condon scientists suggested that something of scientific value could be learned through additional research.

Here’s the real point. The author of the book shouldn’t have dismissed UFOs for the reasons he cited. They are not valid. Had he looked into the UFO phenomenon himself, studied a few of the cases, and determined through that investigation that UFOs have nothing to do with SETI is one thing. To reject it because of the obviously biased research of someone else is something else.

Oh, you want to know what should be done. Easy. The SETI crowd should conduct an investigation into UFOs and decide for themselves if there is anything of value in the reports. They may well decide UFOs will provide nothing to further their research, but they shouldn’t allow the biased research color their thinking. There are other studies that have concluded the opposite.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sam Bass, Aztec and Scott Ramsey

Here’s something that I have been thinking about for a while. Scott Ramsey and I debated the reality of the Aztec UFO. One of the witnesses to part of the story was a fellow named Bass who was nicknamed Sam. He reportedly knew something about the case but we couldn’t interview because he had been killed in a traffic accident in Vietnam. I mentioned that this name didn’t appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., though they had tried to identify everyone who died there whether from combat, sickness or accident. In fact, they included the names of those who had been wounded, injured or fell ill in Vietnam but died outside the country.

This man’s name does not appear on the memorial.

I suggested this was a problem for the tale he told but Ramsey said that the sites that listed all the names of the dead said that they tried to get everyone, but they might have missed a name or two. It was through this door that Ramsey slipped.

I asked if he had the serial number of Bass, and Ramsey said that he did. I told him with that information we could get his service record and learn the truth. I volunteered to do it, but Ramsey would not supply the number. I told Ramsay how to secure the military record and as far as I know he has not done so.

Here’s where I am on this. If Bass was killed in Vietnam, he should be recognized for that service and his name should be added to the Wall. That has been done a couple of times. The documentation in Bass’ military records would provide the proof that he served in Vietnam and died in a traffic accident there.

This goes beyond the reality of the Aztec UFO crash. This is something that should be done for a man who served and died. His name should be added to the wall, and all that must be done is a simple records check from the NARA archives in St. Louis. It takes several weeks to get a response (they receive thousands of requests each week) but they would provide the information that he had served in Vietnam and that he had died there. I think it is something that should be done for the man and really has little to do with the Aztec UFO crash.

That is, if he existed and this is the right guy. So, the question really is, “Why hasn’t Ramsey sought this information, and once he had it, why hasn’t he released it?” That would bolster his case and provide the man the recognition deserved.

Ball’s in your court, Scott… let us know what you learn.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

More Thoughts on McMinnville

I find that sometimes, if I pose a question here, someone out there has an answer. I have said for a very long time that there are only two conclusions to be drawn about the pictures taken in McMinnville, Oregon. They either show a craft from another world, or they are a hoax. I do not see a third possibility given the clarity of the photographs, the features of the object, and the state of our research and development of aircraft in 1950.

Philip Klass believed the photographs to be a hoax and research and analysis on the photographs suggested to Robert Sheaffer that the pictures were taken in the morning rather than the evening as claimed and they were taken in a different order than claimed. They believe that if the Trents lied about the time of day when the pictures were taken, then they probably lied about other aspects of the case, and that suggests hoax. If they are correct in their analysis, I would have to agree with them… if they are correct.

In today’s world, is there a way to resolve this?

Yes, but it depends on a couple of things. First, we have to locate the original negatives which I understand are now in the possession of MUFON. If true, all we need is for someone to look at them, which I hope this will inspire them to do.

Second, we have to hope that the negatives were numbered at the time they were developed. As we all know, 35 mm film, for example, is numbered, which would allow us to establish the sequence in which the pictures were taken. This was not a 35 mm camera but one that took a roll of film that was loaded into the camera by hand in a dark room. But if that film had numbers on it, or if the negatives are numbered, then we can determine the sequence in which the pictures were taken.

If we can do that, if there are numbers on the film, we can answer the question but I find nothing on the Internet to suggest that this has been done. I believe it is because most of those who studied the photographs were working from prints or copy negatives and the numbering sequence wasn’t important information during those earlier investigations… or it might just mean they weren’t numbered in which case we’re back to square one.

If they are numbered, however, that will either confirm or refute part of Sheaffer’s analysis by telling us in what order the pictures were taken. If they were taken in the sequence given by the Trents, then it is one more bit of evidence of authenticity. If they were taken in the order that Sheaffer suggested, then it is evidence that the Trents faked the whole thing. Either way, we learn something new about the photographs and that advances our understanding of the situation. I just can’t believe that someone has yet to do this.

(Update: Robert Sheaffer tells me that his original calculations came from prints that Philip Klass had supplied but in 1976 he, and Bruce Maccabee, made a study from the original negatives that Maccabee had retrieved. Sheaffer wrote that he didn’t remember seeing numbers on the negatives and that scans of those prints were available at This doesn’t completely resolve the issue but suggests that there may be no numbers on the negatives. I have yet to hear from Bruce Maccabee.)

(Update No. 2: I have received information that the film manufactured in the 1960s did not have numbers on it. I will assume from this, that this type of film from 1950 would not have numbers either. It was suggested that if the negatives are matched, meaning that they were usually hand trimmed so that the cuts wouldn't be perfect, it might be possible to deduce the order in which the photographs were taken.)