Friday, August 30, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - A Retrospective

This week, given a bunch of unrelated circumstances, I decided to use the show to express some opinions about the current state of UFO research and some of the history that brought us to this place. You can listen to the show here:

The show was divided into four segments. I began talking about why I’m beginning to dislike Ufology. I have written about that in the past and you can read some of it here:

In the second segment, I finished talking about some of the fakers that seem to have nearly overrun the field. I had begun with Robert Willingham and moved onto some of the latest of those claiming extraordinary adventures with little in the way of objective evidence or common sense. I am astonished that some people accept these tales as true.

Carl Hart, Jr. of Lubbock
Lights fame.
But the real thrust in this segment was talking about Project Mogul and some of the issues raised by those who accept this as an answer to the Roswell case without much in the way of analysis.

In the third segment, I got into Project Blue Book and some of the trouble with those investigations. I ended that with commentary on the Hippler letter and the Condon Committee acceptance of the conditions outlined in the letter. You can read about the Hippler letter here:

The final segment was about some of the best UFO cases including the Lubbock Lights, Levelland and Socorro. I touched on these because in each there was an opportunity to advance our knowledge but that chance was lost in the bickering of the various institutions and individuals attempting to advance their personal agendas rather than searching for the truth.

Anyway, I think that I touched on a number of important topics and why some of it is problematic. If you enjoyed this monologue, let me know and I’ll try it again… at least once in a while.

Next week’s guest is Mike Rogers, he of the Travis Walton abduction case. He was also a witness to the Phoenix Lights, though his take on that event is a little different than that expressed by many others.

If you have questions for Mike, send a comment, and I’ll try to get the question asked during the interview. I will note that the questions will not appear on the blog.

Friday, August 16, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Tom Carey

This week I spoke with Tom Carey of Roswell fame. We had agreed that we’d talk, briefly, about the slides that supposedly showed the body of an alien creature. In 
the end, we didn’t make it to any other topics. The show provided some insight how all this shook out and gives a little bit of additional information. You can listen to it here:

This whole slide thing is quite complicated and I have written about it on several different occasions. My book, Roswell in the 21st Century, contains a look at the whole tale. I also explored it on this blog. You can read much of that here:

Well, this is a long list of the articles devoted to the Roswell Slides. There are more articles there which you can access just by typing Roswell Slides into the search engine. It was quite the topic at the time with many people interested in what could have been the ultimate proof of the Roswell case… well, maybe not the ultimate proof, but it would have gone a long way establishing the credibility of the case.

At any rate, we hear Tom tell us that he is now convinced that the slides show an unfortunate child whose body had been excavated decades before the photograph was taken. It is an interesting coincidence that the pictures were taken in 1947. However, given the location, the latest they could have been taken was May 1947, which, of course, removes them from the Roswell case.

At any rate, this tale, which should have become a footnote to the Roswell case took on a long life. In this interview, Tom puts some of the questions to rest. It is clear, at this point what was in the photographs.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Another Part of the Levelland Investigation

I have been reviewing the Levelland landing with its electromagnetic effects. I have said that an Air Force NCO conducted a one-day investigation and that was it. I have reported that the Air Force made a number of points about the case including that while Donald Keyhoe of NICAP claimed nine witnesses, there were only three. Interestingly, the claim of three witnesses is contradicted in the Blue Book file that contains interviews with a half dozen witnesses and information about others. In fact, in an undated and unsigned summary of the case, the Blue Book file says, “A mysterious object, whose shape was described variously as ranging from round to oval, and predominantly bluish-white in color was observed by six persons [emphasis added] near the town of Levelland, Texas.”

In all, I have found witnesses, on the record in 1957, at thirteen separate locations with multiple witnesses at several of those. And I haven’t even counted the law enforcement officers who had sightings. This, as noted in an earlier post, included the sheriff and the fire marshal.

As confirmed by several sources, we all know that Staff Sergeant Norman Barth made an investigation that lasted part of one day. He interviewed a few of the witnesses. He was hung up on the weather at the time of the sightings, believing that weather had an influence. Ultimately, he and the Air Force, would latch onto ball lightning as the culprit though ball lightning is not a viable explanation.

In fact, a report signed by Captain George T. Gregory, who was the chief of Blue Book at the time, made the case for ball lightning, apparently unaware that ball lightning is a short-lived phenomenon, and the it is rarely, if ever larger than a foot or two in diameter. In the Air Force report on this, also found in the Blue Book files, they say ball lightning is only about eight inches in diameter.

Smyer, Texas, on the same road that many of the sightings took
place in November 1957. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.
But there is another problem with this case. According to a document in the Blue Book files, Major Daniel R. Kester, the Reese Air Force Base Provost Marshal, visited the “alleged scene in conjunction with local civil authorities. Negative results.” There was a handwritten note next to that notation that said, “They did not see anything unusual.”

So, while Barth takes the heat for his most of a day investigation with a notation that he failed to locate some of the witnesses, there was another “investigation” going on. I put that in quotes because I can find nothing more about this meeting between the Air Force “top cop” in the area, and the civilian law enforcement representatives.

I’m not sure what Kester would have expected to find in those locations since there is no indication of where they went and what they looked at. I was at the locations in 2012, some 55 years after the fact, and I saw nothing unusual (of course, I didn’t expect to find anything).

I did notice that some of the documents in the file had, at one time, been classified. That would have restricted access to those with the proper clearances and a need to know. That would not have included reporters who had neither the clearances nor the need to know.

While Barth apparently didn’t spend a lot of time investigating the case, though he was commended for his thorough investigation, the Provost Marshal, also conducted an investigation. I find nothing to tell me what he learned, though he must have written some kind of a report about the “meeting.”

For those keeping score at home, I seriously doubt that his report would be in the files at Reese AFB at this late date. Once the investigation was completed, the records would have been kept for a specified period of time and then destroyed, if classified and just thrown out if not. I did the same thing with classified documents while I was serving as an intelligence officer. We destroyed those things that had no more relevance to our operation but were still classified and we threw out those that weren’t classified when we no longer needed them.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Levelland Landing and Sheriff Weir Clem - Updated

(Blogger's Note: After I completed this posting, I found additional, relevant information. It has been added toward the end of this article and has been highlighted.)

As many of you know, I have long thought that the Levelland sightings of November 2/3, 1957, are among the best. There are multiple witnesses in multiple locations who reported their cars stopped and their lights dimmed at the close approach of a glowing red (and sometimes blue) egg-shaped craft.

Dr. Don Burleson, who lives in Roswell which is not all that far from Levelland (which is near Lubbock), made a personal trip there. While he was unable to interview Sheriff Weir Clem, who had died, he did speak to the daughter. According to an article in the Roswell Daily Record, “Aided by the Chamber of Commerce, we [meaning Burleson and his wife Mollie] were able to find one of the late sheriff’s daughters and I interviewed her twice.”

Levelland, Texas. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle
According to Burleson, “She [Ginger (Clem) Sims] described her father having tried to drive close to an airborne object, and having his engine and lights die.”
That, of course, put him in conflict with what had been reported by the Air Force in 1957. The story was that he had only seen something in the distance, described as a streak of red light. The Blue Book files suggest that it was too far away from him, and those with him, including police officers in another car, to have seen anything important.

But if his motor died and his lights dimmed, he was much closer to the object than had been reported by the Air Force. If he was close enough to the object that it would stall his engine, he was close enough to get a good look at it. And if Clem was that close, so were the policemen in the car following behind. How would the Air Force explain four law enforcement officers confirming the stories that were being told by so many others about their Close Encounters?

Site of the first reported encounter in 1957. Photo
copyright by Kevin Randle.
The real question is if Clem was so involved in this in 1957, why didn’t he say anything at the time. Again, according to Burleson and to Clem’s daughter, “The Air Force visited him after his sighting(s) and advised him to ‘drop it’ and forget that he had ever seen anything.”

Such a request by the military is not unprecedented in UFO history. Sheriff George Wilcox of Roswell fame said much the same thing. He told reporters that he was working with the boys out at the air base and their questions should be directed to them. Wilcox offered nothing of value to the reporters who interviewed him.

There are other examples as well, though some were grounded in protecting classified information. A request to law enforcement not to reveal details of a sighting to the media seem to have been routine. To be fair, sometimes it was just to protect the witness. Lonnie Zamora was told by an FBI agent that he should keep the descriptions of the beings he saw to himself. Arthur Byrnes thought it would save Zamora some embarrassment, but by the time the suggestion was made it was too late. The information had already been reported.

So, we come back to the Levelland story, told by Clem’s daughter, that her father had gotten closer than had been reported. Skeptics will point out that the official records in 1957 showed that Clem was only reported to have seen the object, or lights, in the distance, some 900 feet away and they’ll reject, out of hand this new information. It is, after all, from the sheriff’s daughter, a second-hand witness, and was told nearly fifty years after the fact. In today’s world, it is interesting, but it is believed there is no way to verify any of it.

Ironically however, there was some corroboration for this tale that was provided in 1957 and was found in the Project Blue Book file. An article published in the Indianapolis Star on November 4, 1957, seemed to confirm the daughter’s claim. According to that article, “’It [the UFO] lit up the whole pavement in front of us for about two seconds,’ said Clem. He called it oval shaped and said it looked like a brilliant red sunset.” 

There is still additional corroboration for Clem’s closer approach. In the Blue Book files is most of one of the Air Force forms about UFOs. At the top, in a handwritten note, it says, “Sheriff’s statement given telephonically to Sgt. [illegible] 3 Nov 1957 re this case.”

According to that document, the sheriff said that he was within 200 yards of the object, or much closer than has been reported. He said the object was circular, as opposed to a streak of light and that it was dark orange. A drawing made, by the NCO taking the statement verified that it was circular. Inside that drawing it seems to say 50 yards, but the 50 might be crossed out and replaced by 100. That makes it a huge craft.

Yes, I know what the response from the skeptics will be. It’s just a newspaper article and now part of an official investigation and the form was not filled out by the sheriff. To them I say, “It is a claim that was published within 48 hours of the initial reports, and it does add some weight to what the daughter told Burleson. It is the Air Force form filled out based on the interview with the sheriff.” This is some confirmation but each one of us is going to have to decide how much weight to give it.

Just as has been said about the Socorro landing… “If only…” If only the Air Force had been interested in gathering data. If only Donald Keyhoe’s mission hadn’t been to force congressional hearing, but to gather data. If only there had been cooperation rather than acrimony, what might we have learned.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bernie Sanders and UFOs

Well, here we are again. Another presidential election season (which are becoming an everlasting event) and another candidate promising to reveal what the US government has in the way of UFO evidence. This seems to be one of the talking
points that some of the candidates embrace as a way of gathering a few more voters.

This time it’s Bernie Sanders who is pandering to the UFO vote. The exchange between Sanders and Joe Rogan aired on the Joe Rogan Experience radio show just a few days ago.

“If you got into the office and you found out something about aliens, if you found out something about UFOs, would you let us know?” Rogan asked Sanders... 
“Well I tell you, my wife would demand that I let you know,” Sanders laughingly replied.
“Is your wife a UFO nut?” Rogan asked in response.
“No, she’s not a UFO nut. She goes, 'Bernie, what is going on, do you know? Do you have any access?’ ” Sanders said.
“And you don’t have any access?” Rogan asked.
“I don’t,” Sanders laughed. “Honestly, I don’t.”
“You’ll let us know though?” Rogan asked.
 “Alright, I’ll be on the show, we’ll announce it on the show. How’s that?” Sanders said.
You can see a little more about this here:

I really don’t have to say that we’ve been here before. Hillary Clinton made something of the same promise during her presidential run. John Podesta, who was chief of staff in the Bill Clinton administration, a counselor to Barack Obama, and the chairman for the campaign of Hillary Clinton, has had a long interest in the topic. You would think, given his connections to various former presidents he would have learned something about UFOs. You would think that he would have told what he knew, if there was anything to tell… unless what he learned was highly classified.

And no, I haven’t forgotten about Jimmy Carter, who had a UFO sighting he reported to NICAP (which, might have been Venus, but that fact is irrelevant here). He too, had said he was interested in learning the truth, but if he did, he didn’t share it with the rest of us.

The point here is that even if Bernie Sanders is elected, and even if he learned that aliens have been visiting Earth for decades, I don’t believe he would tell us about it, regardless of promises made. As the skeptics will tell us, there is nothing to reveal. And as the believers will tell, the truth is so shocking, that it simply can’t be made public.