This week I talked with Larry Holcombe about his book, The Presidents and UFOs: A Secret History from FDR to Obama. It was a wide-ranging interview that took in a lot of territory. You can list to it here:
There are a couple of points that we need to clarify. We talked about Doug Locke, who had said that as a judo instructor at Biggs Air Force Base in El Paso, he had
learned about the Roswell crash from several pilots sent there for training. I
knew it as Biggs Army Air Field, which is not a big difference but a difference
none-the-less. Checking the history of the base, I learned that in the 1950s it
had been Biggs AFB, and that the name later had been changed back to Biggs AAF.
So, both Larry and I had been right about it. That it had been an Air Force
base in the early 1950s added a note of credibility to Locke’s tale.
|Front gate at Biggs Air Force Base, El Paso, TX.|
I probably should note here that I did press Larry on the vetting of Locke’s military experience. The problem was when he mentioned that Locke’s military records had been lost in the fire at the St. Louis Records Center in the big 1973 fire. Oh, there is no doubt there had been a fire and that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of records had been lost. Claiming that “my records were burned in the fire,” is the standard dodge of those making up their tales of military service. In this case, I think the problem was more that Larry didn’t understand my question. Some of Locke’s records had apparently survived or had been reconstructed, so
that his military service was confirmed
by an independent, disinterested source. I think that became clear in the show.
The other point was Jimmy Carter’s UFO sighting. I said that he had made it while governor of Georgia and Larry said it was before he was governor. Turns out that the sighting was made in 1969 but wasn’t reported until 1973 after Carter became governor.
Either way, the sighting is not a very good one. According to the latest data it seems that on an evening in 1969, the exact date of which has not been confirmed, Carter, with a group of others saw an object about 30 degrees above the horizon. Carter said it was bright white and about as bright as the moon, rather than the size of the moon. The object seemed to approach and then recede.
Although Carter said about twenty people saw the object at the same time he did, none of those people have been found. Given that, and the controversy (yeah, controversy is a bit harsh) over the date, it is difficult to put a conclusion on the sighting. Originally, it was suggested that Venus was the culprit, but later, Air Force tests conducted around Eglin Air Force Base, seem to have provided a better solution, especially if the date of January 6, 1969, is accurate. Anyway, you can read more about that here:
Larry and I did discuss MJ-12, who might have had a hand in creating the documents and if there were elements of authenticity in them. I suggested a fatal flaw in what is known as the Eisenhower Briefing Document and you can read about it here:
and the tale of Robert Willingham here:
And, if you wish to read the whole story of MJ-12 as it stands today, look for Case MJ-12, but be sure it is the 2018 updated version. There is new information added to the 2000 edition.
Next week, I’ll be talking with Mark O’Connell, who wrote the biography of J. Allen Hynek. The conversation will be framed with the treatment of Hynek in History’s Project Blue Book but we’ll also look at some of the controversy Hynek created with his swamp gas explanation for the Michigan UFO sightings in 1966 and his adventures working for the Air Force.
If you have any questions for Mark, add a comment here and I’ll try to get them answered for you during the program.