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.