Friday, March 29, 2019

Treasure Quest - Reality Show?

It is difficult to believe that more people haven’t commented on the interview I conducted with Captain Keith Plaskett about the reality of Treasure Quest. He made some very interesting comments about the way the show was cast, which is his word. It was cast. They had a “screen test” with the members of the cast to ensure that they could work well together on the screen.

Keith Plaskett
We talked about the attempt to buy a ten-thousand-dollar silver bar that was allegedly from the Treasure of the Trinity, but instead paid a thousand just to learn where it had been found. We are told that this was the storyline, that no one actually knew where that bar had come from but it led them to a deserted mission.

We were told that we had to understand that they, the producers, put together a storyline and that they would stick to that storyline. That they would make the story do this or do that or whatever it had to do. In other words, the producers weren’t following a trek into the jungle to find a treasure wherever it might lead, but they had a storyline prepared that they wanted to follow that had no real treasure at the end. A story. A tale. Not an adventure.

I mentioned the trek through the jungle to get to the mission where that silver bar had apparently been found. I noted, given the location of the mission, the paved highway that ran passed it, that all of that jungle trek had been unnecessary. They could have driven there in a bus.

We hear that at that point the cast didn’t really know what was going to happen from day to day. They were just following directions provided by the producers who apparently did know what was going to happen next.

I pointed out that Google Earth gave us a picture of that mission, of the town nearby, and that I had learned that there was a Sheridan Resort Inn maybe ten miles from the mission. I’m told that all that jungle trek and the searching around the mission had something to do with the producers and the storyboard and did not develop naturally from the clues. Rather than call it reality TV it should be renamed as entertainment TV.

At 31:00 minutes in the interview, we are told, “We didn’t get our scripts or storyline or whatever until the next day or the day before. Late at night they would give us a what’s going to happen tomorrow type of thing. We just followed the story sheets.”

Given that the Sheridan Resort Hotel had been so close to the mission, I wondered if they actually stayed in tents. We learn that sometimes they did. He said they didn’t stay at the Sheridan but in some kind of hostel. He also said that they were bussed in.

These are just some of the highlights of that interview. I am not aware of anyone learning these sorts of things from one of the primary members of the team in other interviews.

He also provided some insight into the treasure found at the end of the season two. It doesn’t seem that it had been in the water all that long, for whatever that is worth.

The clues about the reality of the show are all there for us to see, from the isolated tribe that had once guarded the treasure, some dressed in Old Navy T-shirts, to the highway that ran by the mission that was a tourist destination. It should be clear to anyone paying attention that the reality had been left out of this reality show. This was no more real than the 1960’s movie McKenna’s Gold, in which Gregory Peck chased the Lost Adams gold mine.

I mention all this simply because I was astonished that more people didn’t react to the interview. The interest is high in these shows. I know because I see more and more of them on the cable. Now we have a search for a treasure that a Japanese general allegedly hid in the Philippines. But the truth is that many of these treasures are just stories that have no basis in reality. They are based on guesses, rumors, legends, and more than a couple of charlatans attempting to extract the real treasure out of the investors dumb enough to support them… Here, the treasure is in the ratings and the advertiser dollars. I predict that in the end, the new iteration of Treasure Quest will end with no treasure being found because, once again, there really is no treasure.
Well, that’s my opinion anyway.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Revisiting the Hill Star Map

As those of you know, who visit here regularly, I have been suggesting for years that we revisit the Betty Hill star map. I have thought that Marjorie Fish, who identified the Zeta Reticuli star system as the base of the aliens, did a great job. The shear size of the accomplishment is impressive. The only trouble with it was that she did that decades ago and our knowledge of our section of the galaxy has grown exponentially. In other words, as good as her work was, it is now outdated.

I also thought that, in the world today, with home computers that had more power than those used to put the men on the moon, we should be able to refine the process. Surely someone, somewhere, would be interested enough in this puzzle to revisit the star map. I have received word that such is the case.

In an email from James Hood, I was given the web address of a report that looks at the Hill star map using the latest information. I could find no signature on it (though the name might be embedded in the address), but found it interesting enough to mention here. Maybe someone also interested in the Hill star map, and who has a good knowledge of astronomy, will take a look at it and provide some insight into it. You can see the report here:

I will note that the Zeta Reticuli is not the only system identified as the origin of the Hill abductors. Betty Hill herself suggested it was part of the Pegasus constellation with Homan as the center star. There is another interpretation in which Epsilon Eridani is the main star and Groombridge 34 replaces the sun. There is another interpretation that suggested the star map was actually a map of the solar system as it existed in 1961 when the Hills were abducted. I mention all this only because I thought I should note that there is not universal acceptance for the Fish interpretation.

Anyone who has studied the star map, and who has some constructive criticism (and please note the qualifier), let me know what you think. This is one of those puzzles that demands a little bit of our attention from time to time. Something of importance might be embedded in it.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Jack the Ripper Identified - Again

Well, it’s happened again. Jack the Ripper has been positively identified as Aaron Kosminski. He was a polish barber and who had been one of the prime suspects at the time. Apparently, he left semen stains on a shawl that has been described as the only piece of physical evidence known to be associated with the crimes. Those stains have been matched through DNA with Kosminski.

There is only one problem with this. In the last couple of years there have been others who have been identified as Jack the Ripper through some sort of forensic evidence. Each time, those reporting on it have made a big deal out of having finally, after more than a century and quarter, identified Jack the Ripper.

H. H. Holmes
There was a series that suggested that H.H. Holmes, the man who built the murder castle in Chicago was the real Ripper. Travel records and other documents suggested that he had been in England around the time of the killings. The murders seemed to stop after it was established that Holmes had returned to the United States.

Of course, there is James Maybrick, who in 2017, was identified as Jack. This evidence was a diary found Mike Barrett a number of years ago in house that had belonged to Maybrick. In the diary Maybrick confessed to the five murders universally attributed to Jack. Although wrapped in controversy, Bruce Robinson, believed that he had found evidence that the diary was real. Maybrick died in 1889, not long after the killing ended which added some weight to the claim. Of course, the claim that the diary was genuine was destroyed when Barrett said that he had made up the whole thing… a confession that he eventually retracted. What would be a good story if we didn’t have these sorts of complications.

Patricia Cromwell, the detective novelist, believed that she had identified the Ripper. She thought he was the Victorian painter, Walter Sickert. She bought some of his paintings hoping to recover DNA but that failed. She attempted to prove the case by claiming some of his paintings were a confession of sorts. Art critics didn’t think much of the idea.

I could go on in this vein but is it necessary? I could point out that there is a long list of those thought to be the Ripper. I could point out that many have their own, favorite candidates for the Ripper, and it seems that one is as good as the last. Next year we’ll have another story about the real Jack the Ripper.

But, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I had written a book, Conversations, in which the identities of Jack the Ripper were revealed. Yes, I said identities because, according the information I had, it seems that there were two men working in tandem, not unlike the Hillside Stranglers of a couple of decades ago.

In the history of those who do work in tandem, when one is removed from the other, the killing stops. If one died, the other, without the emotional support, would stop the killing. At least, that is the theory.

So, I would say that my theory is as good as any of the others, and I’ve laid it out in the book. I confess that it is a strange little book, that provides more than just a look at the Ripper murders, but at a whole range of other mass murderers and serial killers, some who carried out their crimes in the centuries before anyone had coined the term “serial killer.”

If you would like to read the book, it can be found on Amazon, of course. You can find it here:

Yes, this is a shameless plug for the book, but frankly, I don’t understand why it hasn’t done better. It’s an interesting book with some great detail and offers an intriguing theory… if nothing else, it contains some very interesting history. I was moved to write this post simply because, once again, we had another theory about who was Jack the Ripper… I gave an interesting answer a number of years ago.

Flying Humans? Not so Much

I’m not sure how many are actually interested in this phenomenon. I’d thought for a long time that it was some sort of trick using photoshop and the like. Apparently,
the hoax goes a little deeper than that and is a little more elaborate. I just never wanted to spend the time getting into it any deeper. Tony Bragalia, however, often chases the esoteric. You can read the results of his research here:

Can’t say that I’m surprised after seeing a flying lawn mower that someone created, and a few of the other models that use the latest in our technology to fly. This makes more sense than anything else I have seen.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

X-Zone Broradcast Network - Nick Pope

This week I spoke with Nick Pope, he of the UK’s Ministry of Defence UFO desk. This started because I had seen a couple of posts on the Internet suggesting that Nick was some sort of dupe or shill hiding the real UFO program. He was an agent of disinformation. I have been accused of much the same thing, so we talked about that briefly before moving onto more exciting aspects of UFOs. You can listen to the interview here:

One of the things that I wanted to clear up, at least in my own mind, is just how big was the UFO investigation when he was there. According to him, he had a small staff, much like that at Project Blue Book, but he had any number of subject
Nick Pope. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.
matter experts he could query when he needed them. It seemed, from what he said, that the attitude, at least around him, was a little less rigid than that at Blue Book. In other words, they weren’t pressed to provide a solution. They could say, “I don’t know.”

I did ask about some of the best of the cases out of the UK. He provided some details about sightings that involved multiple witnesses to a triangular object, one with a pilot seeing a huge object that did have some radar confirmation, and a brief discussion of the Rendlesham Forest landing in 1980.

For me this was an interesting discussion because I had faced some of the same criticisms that Nick had faced. He said he had been criticized for writing science fiction, and that, as a former member of the intelligence community, he was often met with comments about hiding the real information. We did touch briefly on some of the misconceptions about work in intelligence.

On future shows, I hope to learn more about Calvin Parker’s second encounter, a discussion of Project Blue Book the television show with someone who didn’t care for it, and about skepticism and proper UFO research. There are many other shows dealing with paranormal subjects that can be found at

Monday, March 18, 2019

Curse of Oak Island - Dan Blankenship Has Died

There is sad news for those of us who watch Curse of Oak Island. Dan Blankenship, the man who inspired so many treasure hunters and who was the “go to” guy when the Laginas had questions, has died. He was 95.
Dan Blankenship
I had wondered where he was this season and was delighted when he showed up in that golf cart recently. He had a chance to see what the Laginas had found in Smith’s Cove, and see some of his work validated, in a sense. But unlike seasons passed, the Laginas were not showing up at his house and he was missing from the War Room as they discussed their next assault on the island.
Dan lived on the island since 1965, and he and a partner owned a great deal of it until recently. He always seemed excited by what was happening and certainly played a role in this latest attempt to find the treasure.
Notice of his death was posted on Facebook with a tribute to him. It said, in part, “A true Oak Island legend, Dan was a respected and admired man. His perseverance, ingenuity and passion inspired all.”

Friday, March 15, 2019

Project Blue Book - The Washington Nationals - Season Finale

I know some of my colleagues are delighted that we’ve seen the season finale of Project Blue Book, not because they like the show but because it is over… for a while. I confess that I don’t understand their hostility. Project Blue Book is not a documentary but a drama that has a historical background and a loose, very loose, interpretation of some of the sightings that are found in the Blue Book files.

The prior two episodes were based on cases that were not found in the files, though there is some information about the Hill abduction found there. It seems, however, that the mention of the Hill case is because someone queried the Air Force about it and not because they were actively investigating it.

The finale dealt with what are known as the Washington Nationals, which were sightings on two consecutive Saturday nights in July 1952. Blips were seen on radarscopes and pilots were reporting the lights in the ski near them.

I have talked to two of the officials who observed the sightings on the second night, Major Dewey Fournet and Al Chop. Both men believed that the UFOs were reacting to the presence of jet fighters scrambled to intercept the objects. According to both men, at one point, it got pretty hairy, meaning one of the fighters was surrounded by the objects.  They also mentioned that it seemed the objects, except for that one instance, would disappear when the fighters arrived and would reappear when the fighters left the area. More on that later.

The sightings, unlike those shown in the program, were at night and not over the National Mall in Washington, D.C. At no point did any of the fighters fire at the objects. These sightings resulted in what I think of as the greatest science fiction headline ever published by a real daily newspaper. “Saucers Swarm Over Capitol.”

Here is the short version of the Washington Nationals. It began late in the evening on July 19, 1952, when two radars at the Air Routing and Traffic Control Center (ARTC) picked up eight unidentified targets near Andrews Air Force Base. According to reports made by the controllers, these were not airplanes because they moved too fast. One object, according to the calculations made at the time was tracked at 7,000 miles an hour.

About twenty minutes later, or just after midnight on July 20, the tower radars at Washington's National Airport tracked five objects. What this meant was that three radars at three different locations had solid targets that were not identified as aircraft.

One of the controllers at the ARTC called for a senior controller, Harry C. Barnes who in turn called the National Airport control tower. They had unidentified targets on their scopes, as did the controllers at Andrews Air Force Base. They had already eliminated a mechanical malfunction as the cause, but with the objects on other scopes in other locations, there was no longer any question of their reality. The performance of the blips ruled out airplanes. All the men, including Barnes, was sure they were looking at solid objects based on their years of experience with radar. Weather related phenomenon wouldn't produce the same effect on all the radars at the widely scattered locations. In fact, if weather was the explanation, the targets would have varied from scope to scope.

Just after midnight, Airman Second Class (A/2c) Bill Goodman, called the Andrews control tower to tell them he was watching a bright orange light about the size of a softball that was gaining and losing altitude as it zipped through the sky.

During this time, Goodman talked to Airman First Class (A/1c) William B. Brady, who was in the tower. Goodman told Brady that the object was to the immediate south. Brady saw a ball of orange fire. There were discrepancies between the physical description given by Goodman and Brady, but the problems were relatively small. It can be argued that the discrepancies are the result of the points of view of the two observers.

Joseph DeBoves, who was also on the scene as a civilian control tower operator at Andrews, said that Brady became excited during one of his telephone conversations, yelling, "There one goes." DeBoves believed that Brady was watching nothing more interesting than a meteor.

About two in the morning on July 20, the Radar Officer, Captain Harold C. Way, at Andrews Approach Control, learned that the ARTC had a target east of Andrews. He went outside and saw a strange light which he didn't believe to be a star. Later, however, he went back out, and this time decided that he was looking at a star. There is a suggestion that he was pressured into revising his first observations.

Bolling Air Force Base became involved briefly about the time Way went outside. The tower operator there said that he saw a "roundish" object drifting low in the sky to the southeast of Bolling. There were no radar confirmations of the sighting, and that was the last of the reports from that base. This might will have been a star.

The ARTC again told the controllers at Andrews that they still had the targets on their scopes. There is conflicting data because some of the reports suggest that the Andrews radar showed nothing, while other reports claim they did. Now DeBoves, and two others in the tower, Monte Banning and John P. Izzo, Jr., swept the sky with binoculars but could see no lights other than the stars.

The sightings lasted through the night, and during that time, the crews of several airliners saw the lights right where the radars showed them to be. Tower operators also saw them, and jet fighters were brought in for attempted intercepts. Associated Press stories written hours after the sightings claimed that no intercepts had been attempted that night but those stories were inaccurate. Documents in the Project Blue Book files, as well as eye witnesses, confirm the attempted intercepts.

Typical of the civilian sightings were those made by Captain Casey Pierman on Capital Airlines Flight 807. He was on a flight between Washington, D.C. and Martinsburg, West Virginia at 1:15 A.M. on July 20, when he, and the rest of the crew saw seven objects flash across the sky. Pierman said, "They were like falling stars without trails."

Capital Airline officials said that National Airport radar picked up the objects and asked Pierman to keep an eye on them. Shortly after takeoff, Pierman radioed that he had the objects in sight. He was flying at 180 to 200 mph, and reported the objects were traveling at tremendous speed. Official Air Force records confirm this.
Another Capital Airlines pilot, Captain Howard Dermott, on Capital Flight 610, reported a single light followed him from Herndon, Virginia, to within four miles of National Airport. Both the ARTC and the National Tower confirmed that an unidentified target followed the aircraft to within four miles of landing. At about the same time, an Air Force radar at Andrews AFB was tracking eight additional unknown objects as they flew over the Washington area.

One of the most persuasive sightings came early in the morning when one of the ARTC controllers called the Andrews Air Force Base control tower to tell them that there was a target south of the tower, over the Andrews Radio range station. The tower operators looked to the south where a "huge fiery-orange sphere" was hovering. This again was later explained by the Air Force as a star.

Just before daylight, about four in the morning, after repeated requests from the ARTC, an F-94 interceptor arrived on the scene, but it was too little too late. All the targets were gone. Although the flight crew made a short search of the local area, they found nothing unusual and returned to their base quickly.

During that night, apparently the three radar facilities only once reported a target that was seen by all three facilities at the same time. There were, however, a number of times when the ARTC radar and the Washington National tower radars had simultaneous contacts. It also seems that the radars were displaying the same targets that were seen by the crews of the Capital Airlines flights. What it boils down to is that multiple radars and multiple eyewitnesses were showing and seeing objects in the sky over Washington, D.C.

Air Force intelligence, including ATIC and the officers assigned to the Project Blue Book, had no idea that these sightings had taken place. They learned of the Saturday night - Sunday morning UFO show when the information was published in several newspapers on Monday. Captain Ed Ruppelt, chief of Blue Book, on business in Washington and unaware of the sightings, reported "I got off an airliner from Dayton and I bought a newspaper in the lobby of Washington National Airport Terminal Building. I called Major Dewey Fournet, but all he knew was what he read in the papers."

A week later, almost to the minute, with the same Air Traffic Control crew on duty, the UFOs returned. About 10:30 P.M. spotted several slow-moving targets. This time the controllers carefully marked each of the unidentifieds. When they were all marked, they called the Andrews AFB radar facility. The unidentified targets were on their scope too.

An hour later, with targets being tracked continually, the controllers called for interceptors. Al Chop, the Pentagon spokesman for the UFO project, told me, that he was in communication with the main basement command post at the Pentagon. He requested that interceptors be sent. As a civilian, he could only make the request and then wait for the general or admiral in command at the Pentagon to make the official decision.

As happened the week before, there was a delay, but by midnight, two F-94s were on station over Washington. At that point, the reporters who had assembled to observe the situation were asked, by Chop, to leave the radar room at National Airport because classified radio and intercept procedures would be in operation.

Major Dewey Fournet, the Pentagon liaison between the UFO project in Dayton and the intelligence community in Washington was at National Airport that night. Also, there were Al Chop, a public information officer and Naval Lieutenant Holcomb, an
Al Chop
electronics specialist, assigned to the Air Force Directorate of Intelligence.

With those men watching, as well as the controllers at various facilities using various radars, the F-94s arrived. And the UFOs vanished from the scopes immediately. The jets were vectored to the last known position of the UFOs, but even though visibility was unrestricted in the area, the pilots could see nothing. The fighters made a systematic search of the area, but since they could find nothing, they returned to their base.

Chop told me, "The minute the first two interceptors appeared on our scope all our unknowns disappeared. It was like they just wiped them all off. All our other flights, all the known flights were still on the scope... We watched these two planes leave. When they were out of our range, immediately we got our UFOs back."

Later, Air Force officers would learn that as the fighters appeared over Washington, people in the area of Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, spotted weird lights in the sky. An F-94, in the area on a routine mission was diverted to search for the light. The pilot saw it and turned toward it, but it disappeared "like somebody turning off a light bulb."

The pilot continued the intercept and did get a radar lock on the now unlighted and unseen target. That was broken by the object as it sped away. They fighter continued the pursuit, obtaining two more radar locks on the object, but each time the locks were broken.

The scene then shifted back to Washington National. Again, the Air Defense Command was alerted and again fighters were sent. This time the pilots were able to see the objects, vectored toward them by the air traffic controllers.  But the fighters couldn't close on the lights. The pilots saw no external details, other than lights where the radar suggested that something should be seen.

After several minutes of failure to close on a target, one of them was spotted lopping along. A fighter piloted by Lieutenant William Patterson turned, kicked in the afterburner and tried to catch the object. It disappeared before Patterson could see much of anything.

Interviewed by the press the next day, Patterson said, "I tried to make contact with the bogies below one thousand feet, but they [the controllers] vectored us around. I saw several bright lights. I was at my maximum speed, but even then, I had no closing speed. I ceased chasing them because I saw no chance of overtaking them. I was vectored into new objects. Later I chased a single bright light which I estimated about ten miles away. I lost visual contact with it..."

Al Chop remembered this intercept, as did Dewey Fournet. Chop told me, "The flight controllers had directed him to them [the unknowns]. We had a little cluster of them. Five or six of them and he suddenly reports that he sees some lights... He said they are very brilliant blue-white lights. He was going try to close in to get a better look... he flew into the area where they were clustered and he reported they were all around him."

Chop said that he, along with the others in the radar room, watched the intercept on the radar scope. What the pilot was telling them, they could see on the radar.
Patterson had to break of the intercept, though there were still lights in the sky and objects on the scope. According to Chop, the pilot radioed that he was running low on fuel. He turned so that he could head back to his base.

Chop said that the last of the objects disappeared from the scope about the time the sun came up. Ruppelt later quizzed Fournet about the activities that night. According to Ruppelt, Fournet and Holcomb, the radar expert, were convinced the targets were solid, metallic objects. Fournet told Ruppelt that there were weather related targets on the scopes, but the controllers were ignoring them. Everyone was convinced that the targets were real and solid.

At 4:00 P.M., in Washington D.C., Major General John A. Samford, Chief of Air Intelligence, held a press conference. Of that press conference, Ruppelt wrote, "General Samford made an honest attempt to straighten out the Washington National Sightings, but the cards were stacked against him. He had to hedge on many answers to questions from the press because he didn't know the answers. This hedging gave the impression that he was trying to cover up something more than just the fact his people fouled up in not fully investigating the sightings. Then he brought in Captain Roy James from ATIC to handle all the queries about radar. James didn't do any better because he'd just arrived in Washington that morning and didn't know very much more about the sightings than he'd read in the papers. Major Dewey Fournet and Lieutenant Holcomb, who had been at the airport during the sightings, were extremely conspicuous by their absence..." As was the Pentagon spokesman on UFOs, Al Chop.

This was the largest Pentagon press conference held since the end of the Second World War, at least to that time. Interestingly, one of the general officers also at the conference was Roger Ramey… yes, he of Roswell fame.

For those interested in a transcript of that press conference, I published, in a series of posts about it that can be found at:

It runs to several postings, but the whole thing, along with some of my commentary, is found there. For those who wish more detailed information about the sightings, see my book, Invasion Washington. It covers the sightings of the summer of 1952, the events

What I have noticed in these last couple of episodes is that they’re moving farther away from the reality of Blue Book and this last episode was no exception. For example, the chief of Blue Book, Quinn, decided that he wanted to see what was going on. Somehow, somewhere, he finds a fighter, and heads up to engage with the objects. He fires on them, without results. He lands and gives his report… but I can’t see a situation in which the local commander would allow some random officer to show up and then take off in a fighter assigned to him and carried on his property book. That pilot would have to appear with his flight records that would then have to be verified and he would have to have a check ride by one of the local instructor pilots to ensure he had the proper training and skill level in the aircraft
The Mall in Washington, D.C., where Quinn
and Hynek saw the lights for the TV program.
Photo copyright by Kevin Randle
he wished to fly. There is no way that Quinn would have been allowed to join the intercept, even if a general called down to arrange it. These things just don’t happen in the real military. It looks good on television but it doesn’t happen in real life.

My point is that this drama, and it should be considered a drama, doesn’t claim to be the situation as it really happened and those short segments at the end underscore that. Maybe it drives some traffic to the History website to look at the facts or inspires some to google the sightings. If we’re going to complain about History’s version, then what about all those websites that put up UFO information that is totally bogus with no disclaimers whatsoever. That is far worse than a television drama.

To repeat myself, I do enjoy the program. I don’t find it boring but do wish they would ditch the Soviet spy angle. I do wish they would be a little more careful with the military customs and courtesies, and I don’t really want to see Allen Hynek in another fist fight with Quinn.

I will be looking forward to the next season (but certainly not with the enthusiasm that I await the final season of Game of Thrones… which I mention only because Little Finger plays Allen Hynek). I do hope they will be a little closer to reality, but if they’re not, I’ll remember that they’re making a TV series and not a documentary.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Calvin Parker and Pascagoula Fame

This week I was able to speak with Calvin Parker of Pascagoula abduction fame. After remaining virtually silent about his experiences for decades, he has finally written a book, Pascagoula – The Closest Encounter, detailing what happened. While I’m sure that much of what we discussed is known, he did make a few revelations that I found interesting. You can listen to the interview here:

Calvin Parker
He did provide details about the interior of the craft and what he experienced. I had read that he had undergone hypnotic regression, which I find problematic, so I did ask if he remembered what happened prior to that. He said that he always had vivid memories, but had claimed he had passed out to avoid the circus that surrounded the claims of abduction. Charles Hickson, who was also there, had taken the opposite path, talking about the abduction from the very beginning. You can find the book here:

One thing I did find interesting was that he said Hickson had told him to stop at a convenience store so that he, Hickson, could use the telephone. Rather than call his family, Hickson first called Kessler Air Force Base to report the sighting. Told that the Air Force was no longer interested in those things and that if he felt threatened to report it to the local law enforcement, Hickson did just that.

I had wondered how the story got out. Parker said that people in the area, including reporters, had police scanners. The press apparently learned about the story as it was broadcast over the police radio. What I found amusing was that the local police, believing them to be drunk, told them to stay put until a patrol car could get there. They didn’t want them driving under the influence. This little anecdote seemed to lend a note of credibility to the tale.

While in the police station, Parker said that he and Hickson had been secretly recorded. The idea was to listen to what they had to say, thinking they would reveal the hoax. You can read more about this at:

There were other nuggets, including the names of other witnesses and apparently another encounter some twenty years later. For those interested in the Hickson/Parker case, there are some interesting aspects.

Next up: Nick Pope, to talk about his experiences in the Ministry of Defence on the UFO desk.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Fallout from February 27, 2019

Over the last several days some of my colleagues have suggested that I was overly harsh in my interview with Christopher Montgomery. They seemed to think that my challenging of his statements and pressing him on his lack of response to some of my questions was too mean. I should have toned down the rhetoric. I say, “Crapola.”

The interview was inspired after I learned that he had told Rob McConnell on his X-Zone radio show that, “…he’s [Randle] written books about UFOs and yet you can find red herrings in his book too. For example, he believes that the aliens recovered at Roswell were crash test dummies, and crash test dummies didn’t come along in the 50s.”

I asked for a source on this and he responded, “No comment.”

But here’s the deal. I never said anything like that to anyone. In fact, had I said something like that, I would have said “anthropomorphic dummies,” which was what the Air Force had claimed. But the real point is that I have never suggested that bodies recovered near Roswell were either crash test dummies or anthropomorphic dummies.

I thought that my categorically denying any such statement would give him pause, and maybe think that his sources were in error, whoever they might be. But, no, he provided no source for the statement but wouldn’t retract or amend it.

In his book, Montgomery wrote, “Randle devoted an entire chapter in his book The Plains of San Augustin, New Mexico to debunk Anderson.”

Of course, while I never wrote a book with that title and I would have spelled San Agustin correctly, I do believe I know where this originated. Back when the Gerald Anderson nonsense surfaced, there was a bit of a controversy over his reliability. CUFOS and FUFOR arranged a conference in Chicago in February 1992 to discuss all aspects of this. We spent two days going over the information. The conference was attended by Stan Friedman, Don Berliner, Mark Rodeghier, Fred Whiting, Tom Carey, Don Schmitt, Michael Swords and me. Conspicuous by his absence was Gerald Anderson, who was invited, expenses paid, but he failed to make it for some rather lame reason.
Participants in the Plains of San Agustin Conference. Left to right, Kevin Randle, Don Schmitt, Tom Carey
Mark Rodeghier, Mike Swords, Fred Whiting. Standing, Don Berliner and Stan Friedman.

Each side was to prepare a written statement outlining their perspectives, limited to 25 pages. Friedman and Berliner wrote theirs and Carey, Schmitt and I provided ours. Our commentary suggested that there were great holes in the Anderson story, and we learned later that Anderson had a habit of embellishing his accomplishments and that he had identified his high school anthropology teacher as the leader of the archaeologists who had stumbled onto the alien ship. This was called, The Plains of San Agustin Controversy, July 1947, edited by George Eberhart, and published jointly by CUFOS and FUFOR. For those who wish to read all this for themselves, see:

So, his comment was wrong, didn’t acknowledge the context in which that chapter was written or by whom, failed to note our 184 footnotes that provided our sources, and that subsequent events had suggested that Anderson’s tale was not credible. Even Don Berliner, who had been arguing that Anderson should be believed realized his mistake. Both he and Friedman published a statement in the January 1993 MUFON UFO Journal, issue No. 297, explaining they had lost faith in Anderson as a source. Friedman, oddly, later repudiated that statement. The note signed by both Friedman and Berliner, said:

…Don Berliner and Stanton Friedman, authors of Crash at Corona (Paragon House, New York, 1992), no longer have confidence in the testimony of Gerald Anderson, who claims to have stumbled upon a crash site with members of his family. Anderson admitted falsifying a document, and so his testimony about finding wreckage of a crashed flying saucer near the Plains of San Augustin [sic] in western New Mexico and then being escorted out by the U.S. military, can no longer be seen as sufficiently reliable.
The authors regret the need to take this step, but feel it is absolutely necessary if they are to stand behind their book and subsequent research into what continues to be the most important story of the millennium. This does not mean they feel there was no crash at the Plains of San Augustin; there is considerable impressive testimony to such an event. Nor does it mean that everything reported by Gerald Anderson is without value.
Dennis Stacy, editor of the Journal at the time added his own note. “Although it strongly suggests it!”

For those interested in how some of this finally played out, though it has little real relevance to the discussion of Montgomery’s book, John Carpenter wrote an article about this in the March 1993 issue of The MUFON UFO Journal entitled “Gerald Anderson: Disturbing Revelations.”

Although this too is of no real relevance here, Anderson also claimed to have been a member of the elite Navy SEALs and provided some documents to prove it. However, the SEALs, who do not like having men claim to have been a SEAL but who were not, put his name on their Hall of Shame list. These are men who claim to have been SEALs but were not.

Continuing, after a fashion, with this, Montgomery wrote, “Stan Friedman took up his [Anderson] cause and published details about the site of the actual wreckage recovered at the arroyo on the Plains of San Augustin [sic], near Corona, New Mexico. Randle never mentioned the actual location of the wreckage, which I believe he had knowledge of.”

While it is true that Friedman supported and still supports the Anderson tale, the crash site Anderson identified was on the far side of the Plains of San Agustin, not in some arroyo near Corona. I’m not sure what it means that I had knowledge of the actual location that I never mentioned. The only site that isn’t in dispute is the debris field located by Mack Brazel. Other sites have been suggested, where the craft and bodies were found, but there is no solid information confirming any of them.

He wrote, in another attack on my integrity, “I believe Randle is probably a shill for the Air Force in a campaign to debunk UFOs.”

On my radio show, he did suggest that I was an unwitting participant in it but made that claim again. I wasn’t acting on orders, but my actions suggested I was an unwitting dupe. I wondered if researching a sighting and following the evidence to a conclusion was acting as a shill. I mentioned, specifically, the Chiles-Whitted sighting of July1948. I’ve discussed that on this blog which you can read here (if you wish to understand this):

The point is that the evidence, as we now understand it, suggests a mundane explanation for their sighting. I wondered if, as we applied better information and research to a case, and found a logical solution, we shouldn’t publish that because of what the information said. Aren’t we obligated to share all information, no matter where that information might take us? Isn’t that point of investigation? To learn the truth. And if I publish that truth, how does that make me a shill, unwitting or otherwise, for the Air Force?

I had other, difficult questions for him about things I had found in his book. I suggested that Philip Corso might not have been the most honest of sources. We can go through his various tales at length, but it was clear that Montgomery had no real insight into Corso’s background or stories. He just accepted all that Corso said as if it was true. You can read about Corso here:

Finally, I will note that I invited him back to the show, to finish up where we left off when he disconnected. He thought it a good idea, but wanted to read a prepared statement and wanted a list of the topics we would discuss. Given it was my show, I said I wouldn’t allow the statement, realizing that if he was clever, he could have made the points without having to read them. He could just inject them into the conversation.

At his request, I also sent a long list of items I thought we could discuss. But I also mentioned that the first time he said, “No comment,” the connection would be severed. I would ask the questions and if he didn’t want to answer, then he would have to find someway to say that other than, “No comment.” I thought it only fair that he provide the source for some of the allegations he had slung at me.

But after writing that he thought it was a good idea, he never answered any of my follow up emails. I don’t know why, if he was confident in his information and believed his book was an accurate representation of the UFO field, he decided to no longer communicate with me. I was willing to engage in the conversation but he wasn’t. He had bailed on the first… though he said his connection was disrupted, the information in the studio was it was a disconnection rather than a service interruption. In other words, he hung up.

So, if you still believe I was too harsh, this might provide some insight to that. I’m not sure why I’m subjected to these attacks and misrepresentations of my position or why I find myself having to explain that my investigations were not influenced by the Air Force. I have tried to provide the best information available, have corrected errors that I have made in the past, and continue to research carefully. If that makes me a shill for the Air Force, then I suggest it makes many others shills for the Air Force as well. Careful research should not be attacked because you don’t like the outcome. It should be embraced as we all search for answers.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Curse of Oak Island - Nearing the Solution? (March 2019)

I believe the mystery of Oak Island has been solved. The Laginas boys have provided many hints that have been overlooked and Joy Steele provided the history that brings it all together. The sad thing is that there is no treasure and there probably never was any treasure, regardless of what the breathless narrator tells us every week and season after season.

Let’s look at some of the evidence.

Several years ago, the Laginas boys wondered if the triangular swamp on the island was nature or manmade. They speculated that it might have been created by linking two small islands separated by a narrow, shallow channel. The evidence they have uncovered recently seems to suggest this is the case.

While “diving” in the swamp, which means using some scuba or other breathing apparatus, they searched the bottom of the swamp that was what, five feet, six feet from the surface. They found things that suggested ships had been there including pieces of planking and iron nails. At one point they wondered if a ship had been scuttled there for some reason. The point is that they were finding the sort of
Joy Steele, the woman who
solved the mystery.
debris that we’d associate with sailing ships.

Joy Steele, in her book, The Oak Island Mystery Solved, suggested that the British Navy had used the island as a repair base in the 18th century. That accounts for the various bits of British material found there, the possibility of a British camp there, and all those coins and other metallic remnants found on the surface that can be traced back to the British. You can read Steele’s theory here:

And, for good measure, you can listen to my interview with her here:

But what has solidified this is what they have discover as they dig up Smith’s Cove. They have found the remains of a dock or a wharf and other structures that suggest that there was a landing place for ships. The more they dig around, the more they are finding that suggests that someone used the island for years but not as a “bank” burying a treasure at an unreasonable depth, but as a port to make necessary repairs to their sailing vessels.

Remember the legend of mysterious lights seen on the island before the boys allegedly dug up the treasure or rather attempted to. Could those have been camp fires, and if so, doesn’t that suggest something more than an overnight party? (Sorry, I got caught up in the narrator’s sentence structure.) I mean, those lights would tell us that someone was on the island for some reason. And given that the lights were reported for years, it suggests something of a semi-permanent camp, which in turn, explains the lights.

We need to also remember that most of the “finds” on the island have been near the surface. Everything that was supposedly hidden deep such as the body and
Dan Blankenship, the man responsible for
Bolehole 10X.
box at the bottom of Borehole Ten X have turned out to be optical illusions. They have found evidence of deep tunnels, and claimed to have touched a vault found during the 19th century. They haven’t located that again. Nothing of real value has been found buried deep (bones, a bit of pottery and some fragments of paper) and all that surface material is not very valuable either. In other words, their excitement is somewhat overplayed.

Now, we are left with the latest exciting discovery. The red dye they tossed into one of their holes seems to have resurfaced at Smith’s Cove. I think with all the digging, all the tunnels, all the shafts that have been sunk over the last two hundred years, not to mention the high-water table and the underground flow of sea water, that it is surprising that the dye hasn’t surfaced in other places.

I have to say, I had hoped when we reached the end of the series (which can’t be all that far off), they would have found the treasure. It would have to be a big one based on the millions they have poured into the search. But I think they know the answer and that is there is no treasure except in the continued production of the TV show.

As long as the audience is huge, as long as we all tune in week after week, and as long as I keep promoting the show here (well, I’m not that much of a factor) they’re going to find a reason to keep digging. When all is said and done, we’ll all know there is no treasure and the real tragedy are those men who lost their lives for a dream that turned into a nightmare.