Friday, March 30, 2018

Why I'm Beginning to Dislike the UFO Field - Part Three

Almost from the moment that Kenneth Arnold’s “flying saucer” (yes, I know he was describing the motion and not the shape) hit the newspapers, this field has been plagued with fakers, liars, charlatans and hoaxers. They have made up their experiences, their expertise, their military service and they have been believed by millions, even when exposed for the frauds they are. Which is, of course, one of the reasons that I have begun to dislike this whole field.

Before the ink was dry on the Arnold report, there were those who had met the alien creatures piloting those interstellar craft, who had ridden in them, or had seen them crash. Some of those tales were so outrageous that they were nearly impossible to believe, but believe them, some did.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, in July 1947, a saucer crashed into the street. It caused such a stir that both the Army and the FBI were involved in the investigation. J. Edgar Hoover even wrote, on a memo later that month about the “La case” in which the Army grabbed the debris and wouldn’t let the FBI look at it. Some later attempted to suggest this little note proved that the Roswell crash was real. But the object found in Shreveport was only about 18 inches in diameter, and was an admitted hoax. And, it was clear that Hoover’s note referred to the Shreveport case and not the Roswell crash. We still have to deal with it long after the truth was learned, even with the documentation available to prove the crash was a hoax.

Worse still is the Aztec UFO crash, which happed in March, 1948. Although there is no documentation to support the case, and it was started by a couple of con men who were peddling something they called a doodlebug that could find mineral deposits, there are those who today defend this as a real UFO crash. The problem is there are no first-hand, credible witnesses to the crash, much of the information about it has been proved to be inaccurate, and the case, which resulted in the bestselling Behind the Flying Saucers has been discredited. While the case was completely rejected by serious researchers first in the early 1950s and later in the mid-1960s, we are still arguing about the authenticity of it today. I have to ask, “Why?”

With the interest in flying saucers growing, there were those who claimed to have made contact with the space brethren. These contactees as they became known, were men, though a few women claimed contact as well, who were provided with messages of hope and peace from the people of Venus, or Mars, or maybe the big interplanetary council on Saturn, though some suggested the travelers were from beyond the Solar System. They offered out of focus photographs and other evidence that had no properties that would prove they were of extraterrestrial origin as proof of their adventures. They made predictions that were often ridiculous, often completely the opposite of what later happened, and then rewrote those predictions to make them more accurate and to seem they, the contactees, were prophets. Even with the lack of evidence, and even with our modern science proving that the surface temperature on Venus is hot enough to melt lead and our exploration of Mars that has failed to find any evidence of advanced life there, people still believe these silly claims. I don’t know why.

In fact, it has gotten worse today with several men claiming to have been involved in an interstellar war fought on Mars and fought with alien allies against other spacefaring races. I was even supposed to have been involved according to one of those tales. I hadn’t been in Iraq as I had thought but had been fighting on Mars. When I returned to Earth, as were all my fellow soldiers and Marines, we were brainwashed into believing we hadn’t been on Mars. Why they were even clever enough to provide us with various souvenirs and photographs proving this… and there are people actually believe this nonsense.

But it is in the last twenty to thirty years that we have been nearly overwhelmed with blatant hoaxes that have divided the field. It might be said this all began with the announcement of a number of government documents that alleged the creation of a super-secret program to exploit the find of alien technology at Roswell. Majestic-Twelve, or as it is commonly known, MJ-12, has been examined carefully, been the subject of extensive research, and held up as proof that the government is hiding the secret of alien visitation and UFO crashes. In all those years of research, in all those archives that have been visited, in all those declassified government files from dozens of formerly high-ranking military officers and government officials that have been searched, there has never been a single document found to support MJ-12. In fact, the original documents have no provenance and that is one of the largest red flags there is, though the supporters of MJ-12’s reality brush off questions about it.

Since that time in 1984 when the documents were mailed, anomalously to UFO researchers, there have been a number of fatal flaws found in them. The first was the improper date format, which told us all that the Eisenhower Briefing Document or EBD as it now called, was not prepared by government officials or military officers, but by someone outside those realms with a knowledge of the Roswell case but no military or government service.

Stan Friedman, one of the leading promoters of the
MJ-12 Documents. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle
While the inaccurate dating format probably isn’t sufficient for everyone to reject the documents as faked, there is additional, larger problems. In the EBD there is a discussion, short though it is, about a UFO crash in the El Indio – Guerrero area of northern Mexico, very close to the Texas border. This case is a hoax started by Robert Willingham in 1968 and co-opted by Todd Zechel in the 1970s. Willingham had originally said that he saw the crash in 1948 while flying Air Force fighters, but Zechel, in his interviews with Willingham, said the date was actually December 6, 1950, a date that appears in the EBD.

On December 6, 1950, there was an alert about something, or some things, heading toward the United States.  Within an hour, the alert was canceled when the objects were identified. Willingham, who had gone along with this date for years, told Noe Torres and Ruben Uriarte that the crash couldn’t have happened in December 1950 because he, Willingham, had been in Korea at that time (tangentially, this too is a lie based on his military records as retrieved from NARA in St. Louis). Willingham himself later told me the crash took place in 1954 or 1955, contradicting his own, original statement (published in March 1968, Skylook, the precursor to the MUFON UFO Journal), Zechel’s claim of the date, and the Eisenhower Briefing Document. And if, there was no crash in that area of Mexico, regardless of the date, that would destroy the credibility of the whole document… yet there are those who believe that is not the case. I don’t know why this doesn’t convince people about the truth.

Accompanying the EBD in the data dump, was a note or memo on White House stationery authorizing the creation of what would become MJ-12 and that memo was allegedly signed by President Truman. But the signature was proven to have been lifted from another, authentic document, which has been identified. It was attached to the memo and then copied again to remove the cutlines. It was placed uncharacteristically low on the memo, suggesting that Truman had not actually signed it. More importantly, there are some slight indentations on the cross bar of the “T” in Truman, which suggest that the parts of the letters that had been touching it on the original signature had been removed artificially. In other words, the signature had been cut from the authentic document, placed on the memo, and then photocopied. Neither the original Eisenhower Briefing Document nor the Truman memo have been found, another big indication these two documents are faked, but we still hear arguments about their authenticity.

In the mid-1990s, these faked documents were used as part of a package to prove that the alien autopsy was real. This was a short film that allegedly showed the autopsy of an alien creature found in the Roswell crash. Overlooking the fact that the documents are faked and those using them might not have known that, the
Creating the alien for the Alien Autopsy. Photo
courtesy of Philip Mantle.
autopsy itself suffered from the same problems as those Eisenhower documents. There was no provenance for them. Ray Santilli had claimed he bought the film from a US Army cameraman who was never identified. The actual film of the alien was never actually seen by anyone. All that we had was a videotape made from it. As they say, many notorious forgeries have some mechanism to explain the lack of an original document that would yield a great deal of evidence that could prove authenticity or reveal the hoax.

But all this is now unnecessary because those who made the film have said they faked it. Photographs of them creating the creatures in their workshop have been published. Drawings made as they designed the creatures have been furnished. Without any evidence, the autopsy is real and a pile of evidence that it is faked, there are still those who claim that it is authentic. They demand that I, and everyone else who knows the autopsy is faked, just need to look at ALL the evidence to show us reality of the film. But it is those supporting that reality who refuse to look at all the evidence.

It seemed that the 1990s were consumed with these various fakes. Research resources that might have been better used, were wasted as we all chased our tails. The US government, or rather the U.S. Air Force, got into the act in their attempt to prove that the Roswell UFO crash was a case of mistaken identity. After a long investigation, they semi-retracted their original statement from 1947 that what was found was a weather balloon, replacing it with another answer. It was a… weather balloon. Oh, this was a somewhat different one that was part of a top-secret plan to spy on the Soviets, so naturally, they had to cover it all up. But now, in the 1990s, they could tell us all the truth about that.

The truth here, however, is that while the ultimate purpose of that balloon project was classified, the activities and experiments being conducted in New Mexico were not. Even the claim that the name, Project Mogul, was classified and unknown to those in New Mexico turned out to be untrue. Documentation, ironically provided by the Air Force, proved that Mogul was not the culprit, but still, today, we have those who refuse to accept this (let the bullying begin again and we can start another round of why the documentation that refutes Mogul as the culprit cannot be trusted).

Not all that long ago we all were surprised to learn that pictures of the alien creature found at Roswell had surfaced in a private slide collection. The slides were the smoking gun and the skeptics would be howling in pain when all was revealed. For more than a year we waited to see the actual slides while being told that the evidence was here, that due diligence in the search for the truth had been made, and experts agreed with the conclusion of alien visitation. Within 48 hours of the big reveal in Mexico City in May, 2016, we learned that the slides showed the remains of an unfortunate child who had died centuries earlier. I outlined all of this at length on this blog in 2016. Just type in Roswell Slides and take a look at the evolution and the destruction of this tale… and there are still those who insist that the slides show an alien creature and somehow all the documentation is in error.

So, why now, go through all this again? Why bring it up? Because we find ourselves making the same mistakes over and over. We attempt to put an end to all these distractions but find ourselves having to repeat the arguments, prove the same points again, and still argue with those who refuse to look at the evidence that goes against them. They don’t want to hear the truth. They just want their belief structures validated. They accuse us (or rather me) of failing to look at the evidence when that is exactly what they do.

Even the most innocuous of remarks is taken as an insult. Not all that long ago I suggested that I didn’t believe the Billy Meier tales of alien contact. I didn’t say it was a hoax at that time, just that I didn’t believe it, offering nothing more about it. I was then the subject of an email attack, I was labeled a coward, told that I refused to look at the evidence, and I couldn’t prove the case was a hoax anyway. Of course, it really doesn’t work that way. Those claiming that Meier is traveling among the stars with his Pleiadean pals were required to prove the case was real, but that didn’t stop them. And yes, I believe this will open up another assault on my character. We live in an age where you just can’t express an opinion without someone taking offense and demanding an apology or attacking you for holding that opinion. In this case that’s not going to happen because it is my opinion and I’ve seen nothing to alter it. Let the second wave of bullying begin.

The real problem here, as demonstrated by the Meier group, as well as several others, is that a small number will cling to one or more of these nonsensical stories, hide the truth and expect us not to ask critical questions. News media find these people in their attempts to be fair, giving them a platform that they do not deserve and by doing this, make all of us look as if we have no ability to discriminate between fantasy and reality. We all get lumped into the tinfoil hat brigade, even as we attempt to provide real evidence that can be independently evaluated and we accept those conclusions that have been found scientifically even if they are not the conclusions we wish to see.

And once we take a stand, based on our evaluation of the evidence, we are attacked as debunkers, members of the CIA, and propagandists who are unable to think for ourselves. These true believers don’t understand that I, and many of my colleagues, do reevaluate the evidence periodically in case something new has been found or the case has been changed in some way. And when we demand evidence, why, it’s just that we can’t see the truth, though the evidence is never offered.

Finally, if the evidence breaks against them, such as that now suggesting that the Atacama Desert mummy is totally human, the immediate reaction is that those doing the research is just junk science. That has become the default setting. Or we are told that the CIA has buried the information and discredited the case to hide the truth. The only truth they will accept is their truth. Belief structure trumps evidence every time.

And we read that a new study completed after five years of work, a new peer review of those DNA results, is going to be launched. Steven Greer is going to select those to make this new study, seemingly unaware that a preselected peer review committee by him isn’t going to prove much of anything. To be effective, the peer review must be made up of those who are disinterested in the subject. It means they have no bias about the outcome, other than to determine if the study is accurate or flawed in some fashion and that the conclusions follow logically from the evidence.

This has been the trouble from the very beginning of the UFO era. If you don’t find the proper conclusion, then you are labeled as a bad person. Skeptics seem unable to say that a specific case is extremely unusual, which is not to say that it proves alien visitation. Believers are unable to say that a specific case they favor has a solid terrestrial explanation. The study of UFOs has become so polarized that neither side wants to give an inch or even just say, “You have an interesting point.” Doesn’t mean you agree, only that you understand the concept.

Although there are some who have quietly taken up this position, too many see it as a debate rather than an investigation that has yet to be finished. There are cases that seem to defy terrestrial explanation but there don’t seem to be any cases that prove alien visitation. I’m not sure why this is something that is so hard to understand. I’m not sure why each side believes it to be the Keeper of the Flame of Truth. There are times when the best you can say is, “I just don’t know…” but no one seems to be able to do that.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Adacama Mummy and DNA

Some 15 years ago or so, a small, tiny really, skeleton was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile. It was only six inches tall, thought to be six to eight years old, was humanoid and looked like something that might have come from another world. And that was what a number of people believed. They had found the remains of creature from another world.

There was DNA that could be examined, and in 2013, it was revealed that only 92 or 93% of the DNA had been identified. That DNA was human, but the other seven or eight percent was unknown. Some pointed out that the difference between humans and chimpanzee DNA was only three percent. But that three percent was critical and the difference between high intelligence and human beings, and the lower intelligence and chimpanzee.

This, according to a few including Steven Greer, suggested that the creature was not human, while others said that, of course, it was. The problem was a few assumptions reported as fact such as the age and size of the little being suggested it was non-human.

The Sirius premiere at the Citizen Hearing in
Washington, D.C. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.
Study of the skeleton by some UFO researchers resulted in a documentary called, “Sirius.” It can be viewed here:
While the movie was mostly panned, it was one of the first that had been funded by crowd sourcing which makes it interesting in its own right. But I digress…

There has been a long-term study of the little skeleton. A few years ago, it was determined that the skeleton was only 40 years old and not an ancient alien as some speculated. Gary Nolan, senior author of the new study and professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University reported on the results of that study.

You can read the whole story here:

Steven Greer at the Citizen Hearing with his film. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle
The mystery of the DNA has now been solved. According to Nolan, the skeleton is a human female, probably a fetus, with Chilean ancestry. The age estimates based on the bones were off. The fetus suffered from a number of rare genetic and bone related mutations. That was what lead to the erroneous assumption about its age.
The point is that the skeleton has been identified as human. Completely human. And, yes, I know there will be those out there who believe that these conclusions are the result of government repression and an attempt to hide the truth about alien visitation. But it seems that the study was completed by a disinterested third party who had no government controllers and certainly isn’t a government agent. They went where the evidence took them and it seems they solved the mystery of the Atacama Mummy.

But, no matter what we say, there will be those who ignore the evidence. I believed that we have the answer, but if you wish to continue to believe… well, that’s your business, so, here is a list of various sites that have additional information.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Curse of Oak Island - The Date on the Coin is Meaningless

In the season finale, and in the “Digging Deeper,” recap, it was Marty, I believe, who said something with which I disagreed. They were examining a coin they had found that was dated in the late seventeenth century, 1694, I believe. Marty suggested that it proved that someone had been walking about the island some
Marty Lagina
hundred years before the digging in the money pit began. I didn’t think it proved any such thing.

I wondered if anyone had ever made a study of the circulation of coins in the late seventeenth century. I mean, if you dig into your pocket today, you might find coins that are a half century old or older. I do know that in 1964, the US Mint changed the way they made coins, taking out almost all if not all the silver content. Coins, with the exception of pennies, were quickly bought up for the silver content. Prior to that, you could actually find silver dollars in circulation… but not today. That change in our change (yeah, I couldn’t resist) meant that it is difficult to find a coin older than 1964 in circulation. But you can find coins that are fifty years old.

The point is this. Walking around today, I might drop a coin that was dated, say, 1968. Doesn’t mean I dropped it in 1968, or that someone else had, only that the coin had been minted in that year. It really tells us very little about the timing of the events.

But what we do today isn’t necessarily what they might have been doing three hundred years ago. No one on the Curse of Oak Island seemed to have wondered about this. How long would coins stay in circulation in the late seventeenth century? Is it possible that someone, in the eighteenth century, had dropped the coin? We know that there were British soldiers on the island in about the middle of that century. Could one of them have dropped the coin?

I couldn’t really find a good answer to the question. I remember reading something somewhere that sometimes coins were dated not with the year they were minted but in the year the coin was designed. Some of that had to do with the reign of various rulers and some of it had to do with coins that would be considered commemorative in today’s world. Given that I couldn’t find anything definitive, this doesn’t really answer the question.

I did find something that was relevant at:

Here we see that:

When money is found at a site, it can often lead to a misinterpretation of the actual site date. Coins, although dated with the year they were minted, are often in circulation for years afterwards. At the Lost Towns site, a coin minted in 1664 from the Isle of Wight was found. Considering the position of the coin relative to the body and the date on the coin, the earliest date of the burial is 1664.
This seemed to be important because of the first sentence. And this was the point I was making. All the finding of the coins on Oak Island meant was that the earliest they could have been dropped (deposited, in the vernacular) was 1694. In reality, it could have been dropped the day before it was found… which is not to say that it was.

So, while they were excited by the old coins and the dates on those coins, it proved nothing about when they were deposited. The enthusiasm of the Laginas and their pals sometimes seem to outweigh the value of the find. It means that we still don’t know if there is a treasure there, though those among us who have been paying attention know the answer… we just hang on for the fun.

Stan Friedman Retires

For those of you behind the power curve, or sometimes don’t follow all the news in the world of the UFO, Stan Friedman has announced his retirement from the field.
Stan has been around, it seems, forever, lecturing all of us on the reality of alien visitation. I have known Stan for decades, having met him back around 1990, I think. We shared information about the Roswell UFO crash, and Don Schmitt and I supplied him with transcripts and tapes of the interviews that we had conducted with many of those witnesses.

Stan Friedman. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle
Stan and I have clashed over the reality of MJ-12. Stan, of course, is a proponent and I am quite skeptical. We both believe that the vast majority of the MJ-12 documents are faked. Our disagreement surrounds the first few that appeared back in the mid-1980s.

Truth be told, I think that we agree on more than we disagree on, but too often, those in the community focus on the disagreements. Our working relation has been mostly cordial, though some of the infighting did become a little nasty, something that I had tried to avoid, for the most part.

Stan believes that we have been visited on many occasions and given the number of planets in our galaxy (I really can’t comprehend alien visitation from other galaxies, because those distances seem just too vast to defeat) that isn’t a completely far out proposition.

In recent years, Stan has become the go-to voice when producing a program on UFOs. His knowledge is vast and he has been quick in his responses to the skeptics. It has always seemed to me that Stan was ready to respond to anyone’s questions about UFOs and often share the information that he has gathered. He is
Stan Friedman, surrounded by many other UFO researchers. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.
also quick to condemn those who don’t agree with him. His arguments, mostly backed up by facts, do make for some interesting debates and he was always ready to debate anyone about UFOs.

In a field that seems to be descending into chaos, his voice was often a steady one that seemed to draw others back from the fringes. I fear we are now going to be at the mercy of those charlatans who talk of their fights on the surface of Mars, their trips to other worlds, and their real lack of anything concrete to prove their claims because the government is hiding their records and that proof. Stan, at least, was there to challenge them, something that many of us don’t care to do.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Project Horse Fly and Operation Blue fly

Yes, I was working on something else and as I was looking through Project Blue Book administration files when I found something interesting. Not all that long ago, I mentioned a project called Horse Fly. You can read about it here:

and here:

Now, I have found, buried in a letter about the abysmal state of the Air Force
This is an actual Horse Fly. I selected it because
of its alien appearance and it sort of creeped
me out.
investigation, written by an Air Force officer who was horrified, another nugget of information about all this. The letter was about the creation of trained teams to head out to the scene of important UFO sightings. It is interesting that it was suggested that the teams be made up of officers and NCOs who don’t have regular opportunities to travel on temporary duty (TDY), that it was projected to cost about five grand, and that the funds be paid “…directly to the Aerial Phenomena Group…”

This wasn’t the interesting part of the document. That came in paragraph “d” on the fifth page out of six. It said:

To keep costs down, and at the same time to allow prompt movement to Air Force bases nearest the scene of critical sightings it is proposed that a project named “Horse Fly” (akin to “Blue Fly”) be established. Essentially this project will provide for priority movement of ATIC UFO investigators to nearest Air Force facilities using CRT aircraft and pilots. Crew and aircraft will stand by for investigations taking less than a day. Return flights will pick up investigators where more than one day is required.
Okay, the important thing here is not about Horse Fly but the reference to Blue Fly. Remember, the Air Force originally said that no such operation (Moon Dust and Blue Fly) had existed. Sure, we know the Air Force modified that response when documents were provided proving that Moon Dust and Blue Fly did exist. This latest bit of information reinforces the idea that Blue Fly existed, but also suggests that some of those officers at ATIC knew about it and that it had been deployed, contrary to Air Force statements.

The thing that this little bit of trivia suggests to me, is that contrary to the opinion that the Air Force didn’t really care about the UFO investigation, a theory underscored by Air Force statements and documentation, the opposite might be true. The Air Force didn’t want the civilians to know their real attitude because it would reinforce the idea that some UFOs might be of alien manufacture. The public face was, “We don’t believe in no Flying Saucers,” while the public face was, “We need to protect National Security and we need to take some of these reports seriously.”

Yes, this is quite a conclusion to draw from a single reference to Blue Fly without anything to describe Blue Fly. There was another document that does demonstrate the Air Force attitude, at least, in private. The document was originally classified as “Secret,” but it has long since been declassified. It said:

Some of the UFO organizations, such as NICAP, well know the deficiencies in the Air Force Program and take advantage of every opportunity to place us in a defensive position. In fact, it is understood that Captain Ruppelt, who was responsible for the ATIC part of the UFO investigation [please notice the term, “ATIC part,” which is suggestive of other, unidentified parts] from early 1951 until September 1953, is now affiliated with NICAP. In this organization alone ex-marine corps Major Kehoe [sic], a political adventurist, and Captain Ruppelt, an ex-ATIC specialist, represent a formidable team from which plenty of trouble can be expected in the future. Both appear to be in the business for the money involved. Comparable conditions involving eminent authorities of questionable intentions exist in other of the 49 [civilian] organizations.
The point is that NICAP worried them, and they realized that the competence of the Air Force investigation was being challenged by the civilians out there. The Air Force wanted a team, or rather as many as 20 two-man teams, to be available to travel to UFO hot spots. We end up with Moon Dust, Blue Fly and Horse Fly as part of that renewed effort to get at the truth… a truth that would be classified by regulation unless there was a mundane explanation for the sighting.

I just thought these facts were interesting. I thought the mention of Blue Fly in the same sentence as Horse Fly suggested something about the Air Force investigation. Maybe they were taking UFOs more seriously than we thought and that implies that they might have had some inside, classified information that worried them. Sure, this is speculation, but then it is speculation based on Air Force documentation.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Why I'm Beginning to Dislike the UFO Community - Part Two

Last night, while flipping around the cable because there didn’t seem to be much of interest on, I came across another UFO show. Only a small part was devoted to abductions, and frankly, I didn’t see much of that either. I mention this because we were treated to the same lame arguments supporting the idea that some people have been abducted by alien creates. What was annoying was that the arguments being made were the same ones being made two decades ago when Bill Cone, Russ Estes and I wrote The Abduction Enigma. Research into abductions has not changed since then and the evidence supporting the idea of alien abduction have not changed either. This whole area has stagnated so that no progress is made but those same arguments, refuted repeatedly, are still trotted out.

For example, we were told, again, that this was a club that no one wants to join… except, that simply is not true. There are people clamoring to join the club because it provides them with a sense of identity. They meet others who share an interest, they now can go on outings, and they have regular meetings. While they complain about the horror of the abduction, they have found a group that takes them for who they are and are delighted to find the support.

We are told that sleep paralysis is not the answer because some of those claiming abduction were awake when abducted… but David Jacobs, outlining the typical abduction, (Chapter 3, page 49, Secret Life) is describing an episode of sleep paralysis. But no one is suggesting that all claims of alien abduction are the result of sleep paralysis, merely than many of the initial experiences are an episode of sleep paralysis later conflated by hypnotic regression.

The abduction researchers all say that they are not asking leading questions but are allowing the story to take its natural course. An examination of the transcripts as published in various books, shown in various documentaries, and recounted in various lectures proves that such is not the case. I discussed this and these other
points at length on this blog.

For those who attempt to look at these things objectively, there is very little real evidence that abductions are taking place. The alleged implants provide nothing in the way of evidence, and many of them seem to be nothing more than terrestrial objects that have been embedded under the skin in years passed. Nothing has been recovered that suggests alien technology. Some are just lumps of glass, bits of metal, or even just tiny pebbles.

For those interested in exploring all of this in more depth, take a look at The Abduction Enigma. Or take a look at these posts:

This all, I believe, provides a comprehensive examination of what I, as well as others including Bill Cone and Russ Estes, have learned about alien abduction. But remember this… I was one of the very first UFO researchers to report on alien abductions, and Budd Hopkins, in one of his books cites a case that I had investigated. All this suggests that I have been at this for a very long time and these articles and The Abduction Enigma is a result of that work.

And this latest “examination” of alien abduction on television is simply another example of so few learning the lessons of the past. It’s just another reason to dislike the stagnation of UFO research because we do not advance our knowledge.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

BELGIUM IN UFO PHOTOGRAPHS. Volume 1 (1950-1988) By Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos and Wim van Utrecht.

In the course of a day or so, I receive a number of requests that I provide information about various UFO related books. Rarely do I publish the information on this blog, unless, of course, I believe that important information is included in the book, and that the writer is someone who has an interest in the truth. Given that, and the fact that I know there is interest in the Belgium UFO photographs (I know this because I receive inquiries about my opinion on the sightings and pictures), I thought this might be the best way to answer those questions. I freely admit that this is taken directly from the press release that was sent to me. I saw no reason to rewrite or edit it. This is how I received it and I publish it with no additional editorial comment.

BELGIUM IN UFO PHOTOGRAPHS. Volume 1 (1950-1988) By Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos and Wim van Utrecht.

Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
The FOTOCAT Project (Spain) and CAELESTIA (Belgium) are pleased to announce the release of their joint book.  Belgium in UFO Photographs – Volume 1 is a research book that makes no concessions to literature. It is a scientifically oriented inquiry into a collection of supposed UFO pictures taken in Belgium in the period from 1950 to 1988. But the reader will certainly find more than descriptions of UFO sightings and detailed analyses of UFO images. For instance, the included catalog not only has numerous examples of how normal folks can be deceived by common phenomena, it also reveals the dubious background against which some photographs that received worldwide endorsement made their way into UFO history.

The book is a documented history of four decades’ worth of UFO incidents that involved witnesses who provided photographic evidence (be that negatives, prints, slides, films, or videotapes), on top of their own testimony. The authors have investigated every event weighing the evidence for real anomalies occurring in our atmosphere.

Though only a small country in Central Europe, Belgium’s rich UFO patrimony serves as a representative sample of UFO phenomenology worldwide.

The book has over 400 pages, 366 illustrations (pictures, diagrams, maps, sky charts, etc.) and contains a statistical review of the cases that were studied. This is FOTOCAT Report #7 and, like the rest of the series, it is available free online at the following link:

For book collectors, printed book lovers and libraries, a printed edition in full color and large format has been published by UPIAR (Turin, Italy) and can be purchased through the publisher’s website at the following link:

The book’s foreword has been contributed by James Oberg, one of the world's leading popularizers and interpreters of space exploration. Oberg had a 22-year career as a space engineer in Houston, where he specialized in NASA space shuttle operations for orbital rendezvous. Excerpts from his foreword follow:

Vicente-Juan Ballester-Olmos and Wim van Utrecht have been practicing a methodology of research that—were it far more widespread—could help determine the better theories from the more extreme ones . . . Ballester-Olmos and Van Utrecht, like me, believe that ‘IFOs’ have lessons to teach ‘ufologists’ that are crucial to making sense of cases that remain in the ‘true UFO’ data bases . . . The newfound power of combining GOOD records keeping with Internet tools and search engines can be seen in specific cases discussed by the authors . . .  In case after case, the authors apply wide knowledge of geometry, optics, meteorology, human perception, and human cultural context, to illustrate that plausible explanations often are found . . . The approach shown by Ballester-Olmos and Van Utrecht should serve as an example and as an inspiration to other ‘citizen scientists’ who have played a crucial role in providing the resources that will allow theorists with more data and wider insight to someday make more sense about what lies behind this mysterious phenomenon.  

You are kindly requested to extend this information to other colleagues, organizations, scientific institutions, and/or libraries. In addition, any mention on your blog, website or magazine will be greatly appreciated, as well as any book review you might want to submit to any scientific or specialized UFO journal.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Curse of Oak Island: Season (Series?) Finale

I didn’t write anything about the Curse of Oak Island episode that aired on February 28 because, it seemed, based on the previews at the end, that we were about to be treated to some real, important revelations in the season finale. Not to mention that there was the steel plate they had run into some 70 feet below the surface in the latest hole they dug, they had found a ruby ring with a huge stone that suggested that maybe they had discovered the lost French crown jewels and there was a glimpse of a table filed with what looked to be treasure. I was, quite naturally, skeptical, but wondered if, finally, they had cracked the mystery of Oak Island and that they had finally beaten the curse.

We had now reached that season finale and we were waiting for the diver to take, well, the plunge. He headed on down, in the hole they had drilled that was much wider than any of the other holes and didn’t seem nearly as dangerous as dives taken in the narrower holes that had been drilled so much earlier. The water was filled with debris, clouds of mud so that there wasn’t much to see, but he reached the bottom and told us that there was a buoyancy that tried to lift him back to the surface. As I have said, this seemed to indicate that the water was surging up from below the island rather than falling down from some sort of booby trap. It seemed to indicate that the problem encountered two hundred years ago wasn’t from a system designed to protect a treasure, but from the naturally high-water table and to what seemed to be a network of natural tunnels or caves under the island.

The real point of the dive, however, was to identify material that had stopped the drilling and maybe gain a clue about what it protected. They had suggested it was a steel plate but no one seemed to know how it would have been put there hundreds of years ago or what purpose it might have served. It suggested a technology that was advanced for the time and added to the mystery, that is, until the material was identified. It wasn’t a steel plate but a granite boulder. It was a natural barrier and not an artificial one. Mystery solved… which, of course, didn’t allow them to penetrate that barrier. It just stopped them. They had no immediate solution about penetrating the plate, but then, it probably made no difference.

We were again treated to more Knights Templar connections and had to suffer through another of the segments in which the lead cross found on the beach is compared to a cross carved on a prison wall that seemed to match. I still say this Templar connection is weak and still wonder if that lead cross wasn’t planted there to underscore the Templar connection. We have seen, over the years, television shows and documentary producers salt an area so that the cast has something exciting to find. They’re just trying to jazz up the show which, when we get to the bottom line, is actually entertainment rather than a true search for information.

Finally, we end up in the war room with a huge group of people sitting around that table with all the treasure laid out on it. Both the Lagina boys and their kin are there, as well as Dan Blankenship and others who have been part of the search for these last several years. While the treasure looks impressive, Blankenship makes a comment that is quite telling. He said that 80% of the material on the table had been found on the surface. Though he didn’t mention it, much of that material had been found some distance from the money pit area as well.

So, we see the coins that they have found and which they deem important because of the dates on them. Many of them were from a time more than a hundred years before the money pit was “discovered.” But I’m thinking that I have a half dollar that was minted in 1855 and several pennies from 1857 and 1858. The point being that the date on the coin is not necessarily that date the coin was lost… and a quick Internet search shows that many similar coins available at a very low cost in case someone needs them to spice up the action.

No, I don’t believe the Lagina boys or those helping them, are responsible for salting the area. I am merely pointing out that these coins, found on the surface, well, down a couple of inches in the soil, don’t prove that anyone was running around the island at the time the coins were minted. I’m suggesting that having them dated from the late seventeenth century is not proof that they were dropped there at that time.

As an alternative, it is possible that inhabitants of the island, in the nineteenth century, were the ones who lost the coins, and not some treasure hiding group whether they were pirates, the Knights Templar or those who had escaped France with the crown jewels. That none of this was pulled up from any of the holes drilled around the original location of the money pit is the important point here. It is not proof of anything other than someone had lost these coins.

The few things that have been pulled up out of those holes, again, do not provide much in the way of evidence of a treasure. They are scraps of paper, a few bits of broken pottery, and, of course, those bone fragments. But these merely prove that the island has seen human occupation for a very long time, not that there is a treasure hidden on it, a point that seems to have gotten lost.

Red garnet in its natural environment.
That ruby that was so important the week before, with speculation that it was proof of a treasure turned out not to be a ruby. I thought the color was rather anemic and I do know that the deeper the color, the more expensive the ruby is, but this was a garnet, a semi-precious stone, that certainly could have been part of a treasure, but again, it was found, basically on the surface and away from the money pit area.

While they were sitting around the table, Marty Lagina, swept all the coins they had found, what 20 or 25 of them, into a pile to make the point that here was what the treasure would look like. But they weren’t gold and silver coins of any real value, but coins made of cheaper metal. Not much of a treasure, and worth, what, a hundred bucks or less.

Marty Lagina
And let’s not forget that on that table with their treasure was that toy pistol they had found. It wasn’t something from a hundred years ago, but a toy dropped by a child in the 1950s or 60s. Certainly not proof a treasure, but an interesting bit of the history about the search for that treasure.

As they wind down, they all look to the grand master at the table, Dan Blankenship. He’s the one who has been searching for the treasure for decades, and it was clear to me that he was extremely disappointed. They asked if he thought they should give up and his response was, “How much money do you have?”

To me that suggested he would sort of like to continue but realized that it might be useless to do so. He didn’t want to spend more money unless there was a lot of it around to spend. It was not the sort of enthusiastic answer you would expect from a man who’d spend more than half a century trying to find a treasure. It suggested that deep down he now realized that there was no treasure to find but he wasn’t willing to throw in the towel quite so soon.

Dan Blankenship.
They did go around the table asking about continuing the search, but I didn’t get the feeling there was much enthusiasm for that. Sure, they looked at what they had found and they talked about the Templar connection, and they sort of said they should go on, but the attitude reflected that of Dan Blankenship. In the end, the question was left in the air. The Laginas were going to reevaluate the season, study what they had learned, and then decide what to do.

I think this might have been the series finale rather than the season finale because they didn’t say then needed to finish the work. They didn’t talk about another hole to be drilled or a place to be searched and they didn’t seem to have a direction. They had taken it as far as they could and they had found nothing to indicate there was a treasure. Sure, there might have been something buried there at one time, but that treasure, if it ever existed, is long gone.

I think that the decision to return is going to be based on the ratings of the new treasure hunt they talked about last night. This one, Confederate gold at the bottom of Lake Michigan, had better historical documentation… which, of course, doesn’t mean it exists, only that there is documentation for it. If that show does well, if the ratings are high enough, I think the Curse of Oak Island will fade away as they begin the attempt to recover that gold… after all, one treasure hunt is as good as the next and as I have said, repeatedly, the gold is not in the ground by in the ratings.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Why I'm Beginning to Dislike UFOlogy - Part One

This might be the beginning a new series to be published periodically when I discover that something nearly everyone agrees is a hoax, misidentification or misinterpretation of some natural phenomenon that is again promoted as something real. It seems to me that every few years, cases and reports that we thought had been solved to almost everyone’s satisfaction resurfaces with some sort of new life. Or, those few who cling to these ridiculous cases or reports reappear stating that we need to look at them again. They never present new information or provide any reason to reevaluate these cases but they are in their pitching for their renewed status.

The alien from the Autopsy.
The latest of these is the nonsensical Alien Autopsy that was unleashed on the world more than two decades ago. Though it generated a great deal of interest and made millions of dollars, it is an admitted hoax. The men responsible for creating the alien and the film have explained how they did it. There are photographs showing the evolution of the alien and concept drawings of it… and yet, there is a die-hard core (or could we say corps) of believers who simply will not accept that this is a hoax.

Normally, I would rewrite a press release rather than just cut and paste, but I think, given the credibility of the writer of this press release and his status in the investigation of the alien autopsy (and because today is Sunday and I want to watch a movie on cable), I’m going to let Philip Mantle explain what he knows. In his press release, he wrote (I will note that I did edit it slightly but left his British spellings intact):

For a number of days now a number of us have been have a debate on the alien autopsy analysis page (on Facebook) run by Colin Woolford. He made claims that Spyros Melaris (the man who led the team that faked the alien autopsy film) has 'handlers' and is being paid cheques, presumably by these handlers, to make up the story that he faked the alien autopsy film. Colin Woolford has also stated as a fact that the intelligence agencies (MIBS) are involved and it's all one big cover-up to hide the truth. That 'truth' according to Woolford is that the alien autopsy film is in fact real. For a couple of days now I have respectfully asked Woolford to show me his evidence that Spyros Melaris does indeed have 'handlers', that MIB etc. are involved. Woolford has wriggled and wriggled and continually kept trying to avoid answering my request by trying to change the subject. It simply did not work. You will not be surprised that Woolford was unable to provide any such evidence. I HAVE WON A MAJOR VICTORY HERE. To Spyros Melaris and all the others involved you can rest assured that Colin Woolford has nothing to offer and should simply be ignored. For those want the facts about my investigation into the alien autopsy film hoax you can of course find it in my book:


The facts of course, as fully presented in my book, prove that the alien autopsy film is a hoax beyond any reasonable doubt.
You can also look at his blog and website here, if you so desire:

At this point I probably should also mention that I covered the tale at length in Aliens Mysteries, Conspiracies and Cover-ups, published by Visible Ink and, of course, available on Amazon in hard copy and as an ebook. There are pictures to underscore the conclusion of hoax. Naturally, Philip was a help in assembling the photographic evidence. Don Ecker was also very helpful in refuting some of the data by the alleged cameraman.

For those interested in my book, here is the link to Amazon: