Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kurt Peters, Karl Pflock and Don Schmitt

You know, I sort of hate to bring this up, but since we’ve heard repeatedly about Don Schmitt’s misrepresentations in the mid-1990s, and because I’m tired of people quoting from Karl Pflock’s book as if it was handed down on stone tablets, I thought it time to stir this pot.

Does anyone remember Kurt Peters?

Back in the early 1980s, there was a lot of interest in cattle mutilations. Newspapers covered the story, UFO organizations were hip deep in it, network news broadcast segments about it, and several people planned to write books about it. Ian Summers and Dan Kagan did write one called Mute Evidence which was published in 1984. In it they mentioned they had met two men in Colorado Springs, George Erianne and a fellow who identified himself as Kurt Peters and said, “That’s Kurt with a ‘K’.”

As Summers and Kagan wrote in their book, they asked who he was and he said that he was just a “researcher” who sometimes worked for Erianne.

Summers and Kagan soon learned that a fellow named Karl Pflock had been working with Erianne. They put it together when a man they were interviewing told them about Karl Pflock, and said, “That’s Karl with a ‘K’.” They learned that Pflock and Erianne were writing a book about something called Project Jerome which was a secret germ warfare operation that had something to do with the cattle mutilations.

When Kagan and Summers returned to New York from Colorado, they learned that Karl was on the grievance committee for the Science Fiction Writers of America (OMG, he wrote fiction… well, that’s it for me… obviously he can’t tell fact from fiction… I wonder if Max Littell ever yelled at him for that), he served as an editor for the Libertarian Review and “that he liked to go around telling people that he had connections with the CIA.” Finally, they learned he was a senior editor for a publishing company that was outside New York.

So, if the information is accurate, Karl wrote a book or planned a book that suggested the cattle mutilations were some sort of germ warfare project, he said that he worked for the CIA, and he said his name was Kurt Peters… oh, and let’s not forget his ties to the Science Fiction Writers of America.

In the November/December 1993 issue of UFO (American version) Karl wrote an article called, “I was a Ufologist for the CIA…” This is sort of an explanation about his UFO career including his time at NICAP in Washington, D.C. and what he did with the CIA. Of importance here is the section labeled, “Kurt Peters & the Mutilations Caper.”

In an attempt to explain his deception (which reminds me of Don Schmitt’s explanation about why he kept his job at the post office a secret), Karl wrote:

In August 1978, I relocated to Colorado Springs – a move inspired by failed air conditioner on a miserable Washington summer day and the concurrent realization that a writer can live anywhere, not by my nonexistent spymaster. Naturally, some folks that otherwise. Their suspicions were “confirmed” when my name surfaced in Daniel Kagan’s and Ian Summers’s 1983 book Mute Evidence, a highly skeptical look at livestock mutilations and those the authors called “mutologists.” I had known about but had never seen the book and what Kagan and Summers wrote about me until Dick Hall passed along some extracts in late 1992.
During the summer of 1980, I was in desperate need of a commercially viable book project. A friend put me in touch with George Erianne, a well-known Springs private detective, who supposedly had the answer to the livestock mutilations. There were being perpetrated by a gang of rogue germ warfare researchers. Erianne claimed to have established this through his own investigations and information given him by small-town Colorado newspaper editor Dane Edwards, whom Erianne said was on the run from the rogue mutilators. (As I learned later, Edwards’ pursers actually were creditors and cops.)
Erianne needed a writer to collaborate on a book. I needed a money-maker, and this seemed like just the ticket. I could have saved myself well-deserved embarrassment if I had not allowed my critical judgment to be shouldered aside by visions of fame and fortune.
Not Long after our book proposal began making the rounds of publishers, Erianne was contacted by Kagan and Summers, who said they were working on a book about the mutilations mystery. Rivals! They would be in town in a day or two and wanted to interview George, who agreed to see them.
I suggested it might be useful for me to be at the meeting. However, there was a chance Kagan and Summers might recognize me by name as a writer and put two and two together. Erianne suggested I use a pseudonym and say I was a researcher who sometimes helped him on his cases. Thus was the misbegotten “Kurt Peters” born.
Soon after the interview, Kagan and Summers discovered the truth about my relationship with Erianne, confirming it in a telephone conversation with me. Coupling this with their accurate conclusion that the rogue researchers story was bogus, they reasonably but wrongly decided that Erianne and I were collaborating in an attempt to peddle a hoax. They included this accusation in their book, apparently without making any attempt to verify their hunch. This may well have soured certain editors on my work, and certainly it has added to the Pflock as a ufologist for the CIA myth. Anyway, it was my own damned fault.
So that is the spin that Karl put on this. It wasn’t his fault. It was Erianne’s fault because he suggested Karl use a fake identity. It was Kagan and Summers’ fault for incorrectly deducing that Karl and Erianne were attempting to peddle the germ- warfare-researchers causing the mutilations tale. They failed to confirm the information, but Karl had the chance to set them straight when he talked to them before they wrote a word of their book. Shouldn’t he have mentioned the problem because he was spreading it with Erianne, according to the information in Mute Evidence?

So, we have Karl Pflock lying about who he was, his association with Erianne and while he wrote that Kagan and Summers incorrectly suggested he was attempting to peddle his rogue chemical warfare researchers, he did nothing to set the record straight when he talked to them. Is this as egregious as Don Schmitt’s tales in the mid-1990s? I suggest they are but in the world today, Karl gets a pass on it but Don does not. Karl attempted to spin the story, just as Don did. There are some seeming contradictions in Karl’s article, but I don’t see anyone pointing these out endlessly.

Is this old news? Certainly. But some of those who insist on attacking Don for things done two decades ago and who are using Karl’s book as the end all source should realize that the same can be said about Karl spinning tales… or should we just look at Don’s or Karl’s latest work and decide if it rises or falls on its merits?

In the world of Ufology the side you take up is usually the one that falls under your own belief structure. Sometimes it has less to do with evidence and more to do with what you wish to believe. Was Karl’s lie about who he was as bad as Don’s lie about where he worked? Was Karl’s attempt to sell Kagan and Summers on the rogue chemical warfare agents as bad as Don’s claim about the nun’s diary? I’ll let you all decide… but to me, they look very similar.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Max Littell and the Roswell Nuns

I suppose this could be called another of my “Chasing Footnotes” posts, but that isn’t quite right. Many will remember that Lance Moody was annoyed with me for the Catholic Nuns story as outlined in The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell. I won’t dwell on that and those who wish to read about it can use the search engines supplied or look at:

What brings this up is that I found another reference to the nuns in a publication that I had no hand in. According to that booklet called, The Jim Ragsdale Story:

Mother Superior Mary Bernadette and Sister Capistrano reported seeing a bright object plunging toward the ground late in the evening of July 4, 1947. The two Sisters were on duty at St. Mary’s Hospital, located on South Main Street in Roswell, New Mexico. Many points of concurrence do fit the reports of others, especially Jim Ragsdale’s eye witness account of a UFO crash, during this rather short time frame. Be assured that the nuns told it exactly like it was on that 4th of July night in 1947.
The author, who is unidentified in the booklet but is probably Max Littell, then, wrote, “Let us do some speculating together with established facts and figures.”

He suggested that some might believe the nuns could have been watching fireworks set off by Roswell residents celebrating the nation’s birthday. But he also wrote that the nuns would have known the difference between the fireworks and the bright object they saw. He uses the location of the hospital as a way of suggesting that the nuns were looking toward the west and would have been able to see the object fall near Boy Scout Mountain some fifty miles away where Ragsdale, in later years, claimed he was camping. This was some of the new corroboration for the Ragsdale tale, according to Littell.

While I could suggest this is also independent corroboration of the nun’s story, I don’t actually know that it is. Littell worked very hard to remove all trace of Don Schmitt and me from the Ragsdale tale and I have no doubt this extended to his coverage of the nun’s story.

In a chapter called “Max Littell Meets Jim Ragsdale,” he wrote, “In 1993, shortly after opening the Museum, we did have an investigator/author visiting us, and when his partner took the car on another errand, he needed a ride to his motel. I offered, and the individual said, ‘Great, but I need to go by and see a party on the way… This party turned out to be Jim Ragsdale.”

So, let’s put this in a different perspective. The investigator/author was Don Schmitt and, of course, the partner was me. I had to go out to interview a witness west of town, who, it turned out, had nothing to add to the Roswell case. Don, with Littell and Mark Chesney, drove over to see Ragsdale.

In the same vein, Littell wrote after Don had completed the interview, “Getting out of the car, the writer said…” Once again, Littell has referred to the person as the writer, but it was still Don Schmitt. In fact he never identifies either Don or me as those involved in this first telling of the Ragsdale tale or that we were the ones who found him in the first place.

Littell then wrote, “The investigator had apparently recorded the interview, or had taken enough notes [the interview was recorded so that it can be verified that Ragsdale changed his tale] that he could prepare a statement from Ragsdale. He asked if I could get the statement signed and notarized. Since I have been a notary for fifty years, I said that this could be easily accomplished.”

And here’s where the tale again slips off the rails. Littell wrote, “Within a few days, the instrument [affidavit] arrived, and I met Ragsdale for the first time. The instrument was read to him, he signed it, and I mailed it back to the investigator. Notaries do not make copies of the instrument, so I do not remember any of the statements made.”

Well, the interview took place on January 26 and the statement was signed on January 27, not a few days later. In an unsigned note on the letterhead of the International UFO Museum and Research Center, Littell wrote, “Kevin: Three Notarized copies exist. This one [sent to me], One left with the Ragsdales and one in our file…”

Or, in other words, Littell did make copies for us and sent them to us, but kept one for their files at the Museum. Therefore, Littell knew exactly what it said and it did not agree with the longer one he obtained in 1995.

What all this tells us that we can’t trust Littell’s version of these events and that he was working hard to remove from the record any mention of Don’s January 26 interview and my April 24, 1993 interview. Copies of the interviews were supplied to the Museum. If those were mentioned, then questions would be raised about the validity of Ragsdale’s later version of events and the new affidavit because it would be clear that Ragsdale had significantly changed his story and that we had quoted him accurately in our reporting of the first version.

This was all a long-winded way to suggest that I believe the information about the nuns was lifted from The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell. It seems from the way it was worded that Littell had interviewed the nuns or someone associated with them, but there is nothing there that Don and I didn’t already know. Littell is dead and Ragsdale is dead so I can’t ask where the information originated. It is possible that Littell talked to one of the nuns who was still in Roswell, the one that Bill English told us about and Sister Day told us about, but I simply don’t know. If Littell did, the criticism is the same because he used the same source we did, no one has been able to locate the alleged diary entries after years of trying and there is no other corroboration for the tale.

While the information in Littell’s booklet about Ragsdale could be seen as confirmation of the nun’s story, I simply can’t tell if it was newer and better information or if he simply used the material that Don and I had gathered and shared with him. This is a dead end and it is in no way corroboration for the nun’s story.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jim Ragsdale's Roswell Tale

Periodically questions are asked about certain witnesses and certain testimony because it seems there are several versions of that testimony out there. Sometimes it is the researcher who hears things wrong or gets something wrong but more often it is the alleged witness who has radically altered his or her tale. Some alteration is expected because no one actually tells a story the same way twice unless it has been memorized as opposed to having been lived. Major alteration is an indication that the story is probably not being accurately reported by the witness and the fault lies at the feet of the witness rather than with those reporting it.

Ah, the value of audio tape.

Brian Bell, apparently annoyed that I have suggested in the past that some of the witness testimony was unreliable, asked, “Ragsdale and Truelove testimony - He said they were in a car - you changed their story to say they were in a WW2 jeep and also changed it into a ‘wild night with lightning and thunder; a 30 to 40 mile an hour wind driving dust and dirt.’ You changed the facts and the details of a witness's testimony.”

Well, I would have ignored this because at the time I was working on another project and didn’t want to delve into this. But, coincidently, that project required information on Ragsdale, so I found myself rereading some of that testimony and looking at other, later testimony provided by Ragsdale. Here’s what I learned.

According to the taped interview of Ragsdale (please note that it is on tape) conducted by Don Schmitt on January 26, 1993, it was clear that Ragsdale said he was in a jeep. Ragsdale said, at one point, “…we got into a damned jeep to take off.”

He also said, during that January 26 interview, “We had the windshield down on the jeep…” This is a nice little detail that underscores the claim that he was in a jeep.

So, it was Ragsdale who said jeep, although he didn’t say a thing about it being a WW2 jeep, and I don’t believe he ever said anything about a car. Of course suggesting it was a WW2 jeep is a logical deduction, given the timing.

I did notice, however, that Ragsdale later claimed it was a pickup truck. In an affidavit which was not properly executed, Ragsdale said, “My friend and I had a pickup truck on this weekend.” So, I didn’t change anything, Ragsdale did. I have been unable to find any reference to a car.

As to the weather that night, I don’t believe I said, “Wild,” but did write, “The night was anything but quiet, as lightning flashed and thunder boomed. A wind, blowing at thirty or forty miles an hour, whipped across the bleak desert landscape.” This information came from an April 24, 1993 interview with Ragsdale at his house in Roswell.

In his 1995 affidavit, Ragsdale claimed, “The weather was perfect, and we were looking up at the stars. A storm was in the west, with lightning, but far away enough we couldn’t hear the thunder.”

Of course, in his 1993 affidavit, which was properly executed, Ragsdale claimed, he was out there “…during a severe lightning storm.”

Again, I didn’t change the testimony but it was changed later, as Ragsdale changed his story. For another example, take the location of the crash, according to what Ragsdale claimed. In his January 26 interview, he kept making reference to the Foster ranch and said, of the location of the crash, “… it’s a good thirty to forty miles.”

In his 1995 affidavit, he said, “A sign post on the Pine Lodge Road indicates ‘53 miles to Roswell’. Near this sign is a road going south toward Pine Lodge… and the turn off to Arabella leads east and south.”

But using a map with Don Schmitt in 1993, he pointed to the El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline north of Roswell and while the pipeline didn’t exist in 1947, in 1993, he used it as a reference point and it was nowhere near the Pine Lodge or Boy Scout Mountain as claimed by Ragsdale.

And finally because I have been accused of not following up on information that might lead away from the extraterrestrial, or in this case, impeaching a witness, Ragsdale claimed that he and his friend, identified as Trudy Truelove, had picked up bits of the metallic debris that exhibited strange qualities. But Ragsdale said that the debris was stolen.

In a very confusing statement, his wife claimed, “Well I had this fiddle that had been passed down for well, I proved that it was passed down for five generations, and I worked with it and it was a Stradivarius. It was very old and very expensive…”

They had been talking about a break-in at the house and the story continued. “Anyway the subject came up and my husband told them about having, you know the box in the house and he made the remark, well where do you keep stuff [the metallic debris] like that? …All they did was riddled the closet…. They went strictly to that closet and anything of value in that closet they took.”

Or, as we understand it, the house was burgled. The burglars went through a closet where the debris was kept and took it. These crooks, according to the Ragsdales, avoided other areas of the house and didn’t touch a coin collection that was in plain sight.

I did contact the Roswell Police asking if there had been any reports of the burglary but they could find no record of it. They did make it clear that the records were somewhat spotty so that crime report might have been destroyed as they purged files.

But even the burglary story has changed. In the 1996 affidavit, Ragsdale said, “My truck and trailer was stolen from my home. Again with material in the truck, never to be heard from anywhere. My home was broken into, completely ransacked and all that was taken was the material, a gun and very little else of value.”

I was also concerned about this claim of a Stradivarius, but have learned that there are some very cheap copies out there, marked with the Stradivarius name, so it didn’t seem impossible for Ragsdale to have one with the Stradivarius name in it. Of course, it wasn’t the expensive one because, had it been, I would have found a police report among other documentation such as a newspaper article.

The point here is that I hadn’t changed the testimony as claimed, but the witness had changed his story and I believe that was under the influence of Max Littell. It became a much better story, filling in the gaps that were in the original such as Ragsdale never getting down, close to the crash but seeing it in the distance the next morning. In the new version he was walking the scene and looking into the wrecked spaceship. My favorite part is his claiming to see a jewel-encrusted throne in the ship… A throne? In a spaceship?

Today I don’t think there are many who believe that Ragsdale saw anything. His testimony is tainted by too many major alterations. In 1997, there was a push to condemn me for what I had written about the tale, but then, I did have the original tape. Statements were taken from others to suggest that they believed Ragsdale’s new story, or showing how I had gotten the original details wrong. Apparently they didn’t bother to review the record. It is easy to sling allegations and difficult to verify facts. Here, the tape proves that I had reported what Ragsdale had said originally, until he decided to make the story better. The fault lies, not at my feet but at Ragsdale’s.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Richard Dolan and the Roswell Slides

In news that is more than a month old, I learned that Richard Dolan has been invited to participate in the presentation in Mexico City. He wrote that in “February 2015, to my great surprise, I was asked by Jaime Maussan if I would attend” but that he was hesitant to do so. 
Later he said, “I didn’t agree to participate, however, until after I had a long conversation with Don Schmitt. Of all the people with a connection to the slides, I know Don the best. He helped to fill in many of the blanks I have had on the controversy, and I came away with an even stronger feeling that this is indeed a fascinating development in the UFO field. I also had a long and productive conversation with Tony Bragalia, for whom I have a lot of respect.”
Dolan isn’t going to talk about the validity of the slides because he doesn’t believe it would be appropriate to jump into that controversy. That will be left to Schmitt, Tom Carey and the other experts in various fields. According to Dolan, “Jaime’s reply was that he wanted me to offer my thoughts on the future of ufology and the potential for the end of UFO secrecy--that is, ‘Disclosure’ -- if there were to be general agreement that the slides are authentic. I did co-author a book on the potential ramifications of Disclosure, and do find it interesting to speculate on this subject.”
Dolan recaps much of what has been discussed on a variety of blogs and web sites, telling us the things that we all now know, or rather what we have been told. We don’t need to go through all that here, however, for those interested you can find Dolan’s remarks at:
 In his discussion, Dolan does make a couple of comments that are relevant, not only to the Roswell Slides, but to UFO research in general. He wrote:
There will always be things to criticize by those people who are simply intent on finding something to criticize. Nearly everything in UFO research is messy. Plus, there is a perennial shortage of funds to do things the way we would all like. No research money, for starters. Nor, with a few exceptions, is there much funding in the way of presenting highly professional conferences. So when an opportunity comes along in which the evidence can be presented in a professional manner to a large audience, is this really what critics want to focus on? Isn’t it more relevant to restrict one’s analysis to the actual slides and the story behind them?

Dolan suggests that he won’t be arguing for or against the slides showing an alien body but he is excited to have a ring side seat for the presentation of the evidence and the unveiling of high quality copies of the slides in the first public venue.
He might have expressed it best for those of us who have hovered around the periphery of this discussion for the last couple of months. He wrote, “As of now, I am not expecting these slides or this event to be a make-or-break event in ufology. But they are fascinating to me, and I do think they have the potential to be of real interest.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Roswell Slides ARE NOT the Roswell Slides

So now we’re told that the Roswell Slides might not be linked to Roswell and that the name, Roswell Slides was invented by the debunkers and is not a term used by anyone on the inside. For the latest interviews with Don Schmitt and Tom Carey, see The Conspiracy Show hosted by Richard Syrett which can be found here:

The segment with Carey and Schmitt starts at the 1:04:20 mark of the show and they are on for about thirty minutes. You’ll just have to fast forward through the first hour to get to the Carey and Schmitt interview.

Here’s what we learn by listening to this. According to Tom Carey, the couple who took the slides was well connected to the Eisenhowers. The wife was a “high-powered lawyer in Midland, Texas and the husband was an oil field geologist.” Part of his territory was New Mexico. Please note that Carey is suggesting that the Rays, whose name he does not use, were the ones who took the photographs though all that can be said is that they may have owned the slides at one time decades ago. The provenance of the slides is still very shaky.

Carey then went on to explain how the slides were originally discovered. He said:

Current owner came into possession of the slides around 1990. The husband [Bernerd Ray] died in 1982 and the lawyer wife [Hilda Ray] died in 1988 [though not mentioned, it seems that they had divorced at some point]. During a clean out of their house, in their garage, one of the people who was part of the cleanup crew discovered this huge box of color slides, Kodachrome slides, and she said, “Oh, these look interesting,” so she kept them. She took them home instead of taking them to the dumpster. She took them for herself because nobody wanted them… so she kept them and didn’t look at them for a number of years [which seems strange after she had determined they were interesting, but never mind]. She finally looked at them and these two slides… were separate from all the others. There were over 400 slides in total. But there were these two that were taped in an envelope to the underside of the lid to the box. So she looked at those and she got spooked… She shipped the whole box to her relative who has them now. He was no UFO guy but he looked at these two slides and he says, “I don’t know what this is…” he had heard about Roswell… So he looked at them and I better contact somebody who knows something about this.

Of course, in his position, my first thought would have been to search for someone who knew about the Roswell UFO case. Carey said that the man had gone to the Internet (which is something I bet we all do now a days) and looked for something about Roswell. Carey’s name came up and the man set an email.

During the interview, Schmitt suggested that the “debunkers” had labeled them the Roswell Slides and they had not made that connection meaning that the slides were connected to Roswell. Syrett, in recapping some of this said that Carey and Schmitt weren’t linking these images to Roswell but there was a possibility that there was a connection (or in the words of nearly everyone else, let’s beat around the bush some more).

All though the interview, however, Carey talked as if it was an already established fact that the slides were from the Roswell case. Continuing in that vein, Schmitt said, “The dating of the slides is from 1947 to 1949. As we will be demonstrating at the event in May, there were specific areas that the photographers visited… both worked in west Texas and New Mexico… the circle of friends were closely linked to Eisenhower.” Or, in other words, this is connected to Roswell even though these people lived in Midland, Texas and had pictures of Eisenhower in his uniform.

The link to Eisenhower seems to be based on the fact that some of the slides in the box of 400 were of Eisenhower, which doesn’t link them to him personally other than they were in the same place at the same time… Just as I was in the same place as David Letterman and I even have a picture of me standing next to him, but we are not closely linked.

During the interview, Carey was asked about what linked the eyewitness testimony to other alien bodies. He said:

[The] woman standing by a glass slab… the body lying on it appears to be 3½ to 4 feet tall… large inverted pear-shaped head but there is one item on it, on top of the head that was described by one of the first-hand witnesses, one of the first ones to the crash site… the local fireman named Dan Dwyer who described when he got home that night and he told his family about it… they asked him, “What did it look like?” Instead of giving a detailed description he just said, “Child of the Earth.” [Which is an insect also known as the Jerusalem cricket]… It’s something on the head, I don’t want to give anything away here… there is something on the top of the head that one of the eyewitnesses described and it’s on this particular creature on the slide… That’s why Dan Dwyer called it the Child of the Earth.

But what Carey doesn’t say here, and which is extremely important is that Dwyer was never interviewed by any of the UFO researchers and calling him a first-hand witness without explaining the circumstances is misleading. Dwyer died before the interest in Roswell was renewed. Contrary to the impression that this is first-hand testimony, it was relayed by Frankie Rowe, Dwyer’s daughter. While I believe that Rowe is telling us what she believes to be the absolute truth, it is second hand from her so anything deduced from the testimony is shaky at best.

Apropos of nothing, Carey did mention that this ranked as a “smoking gun,” slightly better than the “smoking gun” of the Ramey memo. Both, according to Carey, are extremely important bits of evidence and, of course, the Ramey memo is directly related to Roswell.

What have we learned here?

Well, the Roswell Slides don’t necessarily show a creature from the Roswell crash, at least according to Schmitt. But then both he and Carey talk as if it was already proven that the creature, whatever it was, is from the Roswell crash.

The slides were apparently in a vacant house for two years before they were found, and then the woman who found them and took them, didn’t look at them for a number of years. She was so freaked out by them that she sent all the slides to her brother…I mean a relative, who apparently did nothing with them for years. Then about three years ago this fellow, who lives in Chicago, looked at them and thought he had better find someone who knew something about Roswell. He emailed Carey.

We also learned that when they attempted to interest American scientists in the slides, no one would come forward. The news media was equally unimpressed, but foreign scientists have examined the slides and made comment about them. Two of them are Canadian anthropologists who were not named but whose analysis will be part of the Mexico City show. They will be named there. All this data and much more will be presented in Mexico City.

And, although they suggest that the slides aren’t linked to Roswell, when they begin to talk about them, it is clear that is exactly what they think. And if they don’t, then why bring poor old PFC Benavides into it so that he can say that the creature in the photograph looks like the bodies he saw in Roswell? While they might not like the name the Roswell Slides and don’t refer to them that way, it is what they believe. All we can hope for is that they’ll have some better evidence about the slides than they have mentioned in the various interviews so far. The story of how the slides ended up in the hands of UFO researchers doesn’t allow for evidence of who took the pictures in the first place or for an unbroken chain of custody. There are still too many loose ends. I do hope they can do better in Mexico City.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Colonel Thomas Ferebee and the Roswell Crash

Terry Lee Arbegust has posted an interview with a Colonel Thomas Ferebee who has said he was assigned to the base at Roswell in 1947. You can listen to the interview here:

In keeping with tradition, the first thing I did was look to see if he was in the Roswell Yearbook, but he is not. I do remember that Walter Haut told me that ten to twenty percent of the people assigned to the base were not included in the Yearbook, so this is not a fatal error. I did look in the base telephone directory and he is there in 1947 grouped in with the other majors. For a lark, I did look him up in the Roswell City Directory and he’s there too, showing that he was in the Army and that his wife’s name is Ann. So, we now know that his claim to being assigned to the base is an accurate one.

He told Arbegust that he was a friend of Blanchard and that, “I don’t think there was anything to it [the crash] myself. I never have. So we all have our own opinions.”

Ferebee mentioned that he was aware of the various books so he was aware of the various theories but that he hadn’t seen or read the books. He didn’t think it was a weather balloon, but did say, “I’m just saying I think it was something of ours we were testing. That’s what I’ve always figured.”

He also said, “I never bothered to go any further with it… I was aware of a lot of things that went on but I don’t know what it was.”

He said that he had no idea what they could have been testing in 1947 that would remain a secret today.

He confirmed that he was in Roswell in 1947 but then said that he had been at Sandia on TDY (Temporary Duty Assignment) for three months. He was attending some sort of training in Albuquerque so that he might not have been physically present in Roswell in July 1947.

All we learn from this is that Ferebee was a major assigned to the base in July 1947, he didn’t know much about the crash whatever it was but didn’t think it was a weather balloon. He thought that it was some secret equipment being tested but doesn’t know why it is still a secret… and importantly, he isn’t sure that he was there in Roswell in July and though assigned to the base at the time, he could have been TDY in Albuquerque. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Original Roswell Slides will not be In Mexico City

Well, there is a new development in the saga of the Roswell Slides announced over at the UFO Conjectures blog. It seems that the originals will not put in an appearance in Mexico City. Instead, those who shell out their cash, and any media who show up, will be treated to copies. I’m sure that they’ll be high quality copies, much better than the screen grabs that we’ve been saddled with for the last several weeks but they will still be copies.

But here’s the thing. Without the originals, there will be no real way to prove that the slide film was manufactured in 1947, there will be no way to be sure that something hasn’t been manipulated, and it won’t advance our knowledge all that much, though we will have been given a good look at the image. But one of the critical factors is the date of the film stock from which the slides were taken and you can have as much documentation as you want, but the question will remain, is that documentation accurate. The real thing needs to be seen.

Yes, I get that if these are slides of a real, live, well dead, alien creature, their value will be enormous. Yes, I get that you might not want to take them on a trip out of the country, or out of the vault in which they should be held. But then, there are problems… as just a single example, the date of manufacture coding doesn’t appear on all the slides from a single roll, and it would be lucky that the one slide that was removed from its cardboard sleeve had that coding on it… not to mention that other coding, if visible, would provide the point of manufacture. I suppose a photograph of the slide’s coding would help, but then we’re removed from the original and that is always problematic.

Of course there will be other documentation presented, but given the nature of the slides, it will need to be quite persuasive… and copies of the slides just might not be enough. I remember in Roswell in 1997 that we were promised a great deal about a bit of metallic debris that was said to have been picked up by a soldier in 1947. We were told that the documentation would be available and that the chain of custody had been preserved. Unfortunately the documentation was flawed, the name of the soldier was not available and the chemical analysis, while exciting, was flawed. We’re not even close to that here.

Now we’re told that the real slides will be unavailable. We’re going to have a picture of a picture and that provides for a great deal of deception in the presentation. That doesn’t mean there will be deception, I merely point out that it opens the door… and I will point out that those who have engaged in the evaluation of the slides do have a rooting interest in their authenticity. In other words, much of the analysis and work has not been by disinterested third parties.

This also tells us that contrary to what he has said, Adam Dew is not the owner of the slides… unless of course if he doesn’t show up in Mexico City. That seems unlikely because he needs to be there to complete his documentary. So, we don’t know who owns the slides now other than it apparently isn’t any of those who will be at the big presentation.

And, apropos of nothing at all, I note that the Alien Autopsy footage was equally difficult to see in its original state. Frames with the alien on them were promised for proper testing, but somehow that never happened. Now we learn that the original slides will not be available for independent examination.

Anyway, the point is this. The real evidence will not be presented in Mexico City and the mysterious owner of the slides, who does not live in Arizona (as some have suggested), will not be present with the slides. Say what you will, but this simply does not bode well. It is one more disappointed in a series of disappointments and I do not see a way to recover outside an independent analysis of the slides which doesn’t seem to be in the offing any time soon.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Roswell Slides and Stan Friedman

While many seem to be tired of the Roswell Slides nonsense, there has been one additional announcement. Stan Friedman, who now labels himself as the “first civilian investigator of Roswell,” was invited to participant in the Mexico City extravaganza by Jaime Maussan and then Don Schmitt.

Friedman, who had remained somewhat silent as the controversy swirled finally chimed in. In a well-publicized statement he wrote:

My first thought was since I would be asked my views, as the first civilian investigator of the Roswell crashed saucer event, it would be nice to have first hand [sic] information…. So I read as much as I could, positive and negative. I have not held copies of the slides. I could find no convincing information that there is any connection between the slides and Roswell. How would an outsider gain access to the real bodies? ... I have seen no specific data to convince me these are phony. But that doesn’t establish a connection to the Roswell events…. But I don’t want to appear to add legitimacy by my presence in Mexico City in the absence of serious evidence of the slides being what is being claimed they are. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence…

Overlooking the fact that what is claimed without proof can be denied without proof, Friedman’s statement sums up the situation as most of us understand it. There is no proof that the creature in the slide is alien or from the Roswell crash. There seems to be no solid evidence that the slides were made in 1947, near Roswell or who took the pictures. There are too many loose ends in this and unless they can be cleared up, this will end badly for those involved, something that Friedman seems to understand.

Don Schmitt, once Friedman made his position clear, issued his own statement. He said that Friedman had been offered an opportunity to review all their information including, if I understood it correctly, a chance to see high quality copies of the slides. Friedman didn’t take this opportunity, which seems a little strange. He certainly could have looked at the slides and received his briefing, unless it was tied to an agreement to attend the Mexico City presentation.

At any rate it would seem strange that Friedman, who has endorsed the nonsensical Aztec UFO crash and continues to endorse the long discredited MJ-12 documents, would pass up this opportunity. I think that says something about the slides themselves and the situation around them.

Paul Kimball, a nephew of Friedman’s by marriage (if I have that relation right) talked to his uncle about this because some thought the statement hadn’t been issued by Friedman. Friedman confirmed that he would not be among those in Mexico City. In this case, it seems that Friedman understands the real consequences of involvement in Mexico City and was wise enough to avoid it.