Sunday, September 22, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Paul Davids

This week I spoke with Paul Davids, who was the executive producer of the ShowTime original film, Roswell. It was based, in part on the book I had written with Don Schmitt and on the continuing investigation into the events surrounding the Roswell crash story. You can listen to it here:

I began the interview by pointing out that, at best, Paul had little interest in UFOs and, at worst, he thought there was nothing to them. Although interested in science fiction, he really hadn’t thought all that much about UFOs until he had a
Paul Davids
daylight sighting of a domed disk from his daughter’s bedroom window.

Paul, an avid photographer, didn’t take any pictures, and I asked about that. I also wondered if he had searched the neighborhood for other who might have seen the same thing. His search ended abruptly, but not for the reasons you might expect.

We delved into the background of the ShowTime movie and some of the problems with getting it produced in the first place. I thought that our look at some of the behind the scenes machinations was interesting, though it had little to do with UFOs and the normal discussions I’ve held with others.

In the next few weeks, I have programs scheduled with Dr. Don Burleson to discuss the Levelland and Socorro UFO landings. As always, questions are welcomed. Just send them through the comments section and I’ll try to get them answered on the show. And, now that I think about it, if anyone would like to suggest a guest or two, use the same method. I’ll see what I can do.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Assault on Area 51

We’ve hit the big day and the hundreds of thousands of people have arrived at Area 51 to learn the truth. Aliens and alien technology are hidden there and these brave people have been able to penetrate the secrecy. The world as we know it has been altered for all time.

Wait? What?

A hundred people showed up. Local law enforcement was able to handle the “crowd.” Two arrests were made. One guy wasn’t smart enough to “go” before he reached the fence and was arrested for indecent exposure. One woman was arrested, or maybe just detained… or whatever, for “investigation.”

For those who would rather watch a video about this, then you can sort of witness what happened here:

I’m really not sure what the Air Force would have done if ten thousand, or even a thousand, had showed up. They wouldn’t have been allowed on the base, and
Area 51... From the air and not the
front gate.
deadly force is authorized. Air Force officers did make mention of that fact. I can’t really see the Air Force shooting the people but the military would have stopped them in some way… rubber bullets, pepper spray, and tear gas… non-lethal weapons would have been deployed and there would have been arrests.

But that didn’t happen. The joke, I guess, was on the hundred who did show up. And, if I lived in Las Vegas, or one even Kingman, Arizona, I would have shown up just for the pictures and blog post. But, at least, I would have had a real purpose and not a dream of invading… dare I say it, “Dreamland.”

Anyway, September 20 has come and nearly gone. No aliens were found and by aliens, I mean creatures from outer space. There was no announcement by the Air Force that why, yes, we do have aliens on the base. Nothing came of it… and now the media can go back to telling us why it wasn’t shameful for the Prime Minister of Canada to wear dark make up, but it was wrong for Megan Kelly, who never dressed up in a culturally inappropriate costume, to be fired for asking a question about it. (Okay, her ratings sucked and it was a good excuse).

But I digress…

Thursday, September 12, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Nick RedfernNick

This week I talked with Nick Redfern about his new book, The Alien Book” A Guide to Extraterrestrial Beings on Earth. It is a huge compendium of tales of alien creatures, some of them who might have originated on other planets. Nick explains this in the course of our discussion. You can listen to the interview here:
Nick Redfern.

However, he was also of the opinion that some the creatures we think of as terrestrial, might not be from Earth. We talked about the theory that the Loch Ness Monster might be some sort of alien creature, based on the number of UFO sightings in the area. Sure, we understood that sightings of UFOs don’t mean that the monster was alien, only that lots of people had seen UFOs around Loch Ness. But then, we also talked about the recent release of DNA evidence that suggested the monster was a giant eel. Of course, eels have been seen in the Loch for decades so that this was no real revelation because they had no pictures of a giant eel.

We also talked about the Flatwoods Monster from 1952. Nick had mentioned, in his book, that the monster resembled a British psychological operation during the Second World War. We talked about a paper prepared in the late 1940s that examined such ideas. You can read it here:

This led us to the Mothman sightings in the 1960s and eventually into the idea of a race of beings, human or otherwise, that inhabit the Earth with us but remain in hiding. In other words, we talked about just a few of the cases, a little of the information, and some of the theories that are found in the book.

Oh, for those interested, I did open the show with updates from the Mike Rogers interview. Just a couple of points we hadn’t covered and things I thought would interest some of the listeners.

Next week, I’ll be talking with Paul Davids who was the executive producer of the Show Time original movie, Roswell and who has been interested in UFOs since the 1980s. If you have questions for Paul, as always, you can ask them in the comments section here and I’ll try to get them answered during the interview.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Contact and the Williamsburg UFO Sighting

While watching that new UFO program known as Contact, I noticed that one of the things the field investigators did, when they arrived in Waynesboro, Virginia, was access the local archives. They wanted to learn the history of the Waynesboro area, so they searched a bunch of old newspaper clippings. I’ve done that myself, in locations where the newspapers have morgues that have sorted their past articles by type or subject. That means I could ask the librarian for the files about UFOs and not have to search through newspapers using microfilm.  A quick way to learn some of the local UFO lore.

Sarah Cruddas and Nick Karnaze, the field investigators in Contact, sorted through the old sightings, commenting that there had been a number of them from November 1964 to January 1965 and that there had been an official investigation. First, let me point out that not every UFO sighting, even those reported in the newspapers, made its way into the Blue Book system. If it was not officially reported, then it was rare for an investigation to be made.

I found no sightings in Blue Book reported in Virginia in November 1964. There were only two in December. The first was from Falls Church on December 14. The Air Force labeled it as the moon. The second, from Harrisonburg, was listed as radar anomalies. Interestingly, the file contained five photographs that were so faint as to be invisible. It almost looked as if they had microfilmed the back of the photos rather than the front.
Project Blue Book sighting card.

In January, 1965, there were eight sightings reported and two that were just listed as “news clippings,” which meant there was no investigation of them. Most of the sightings were of the same sort of thing as had been reported earlier. That is, mundane, terrestrial based objects and phenomena that were misidentified by the observers. And, the sightings were scattered all over Virginia, so there really wasn’t much of a cluster.

However, the sighting in Williamsburg in January, 1965, stands out. It is listed as “unidentified.” The object was seen at close range for enough time that the witness did get a good look at it. But more importantly, the UFO, whatever it was, stalled his car’s engine.

According to the Project Blue Book file, the witness (who didn’t want to be identified in the press and whose name was redacted throughout), T. F. Mains, said that his car was stalled by a mushroom-shaped object as he approached it. According to the file:

At 0830, 23 January 1965, observer first noted object after his car stalled and he looked to his left. The object was first observed hovering with its bottom four feet off the ground and on an azimuth of southwest from the observer… The object which was observed for 25 seconds began moving horizontally to the west prior to disappearing. The flight path was limited to a steady hover except for the rapid vanishing maneuver.
Observer stated that the object was shaped like a mushroom or light bulb, being 75 to 80 feet in height; 25 feet diameter at the top, and ten feet diameter at the bottom. Color was metallic gray with red-orange glow on the close side and blue glow on the far side. As object was hovering there was a sound similar to a vacuum cleaner.
After the object disappeared, first observer got out of his car and went and asked the witness that was behind him if his car had stalled. Second witness said his car had also stalled and he had also seen the object.
The observer was prompted to report his sighting after hearing of many other UFO sightings in the Virginia. First observer told investigating officer (Lt. Dockum [Air Force officer investigating the UFO sighting]) that he thinks the object was a solid object and thought it was an Air Vehicle that the Air Force has.
The document then commented on the observations. It was noted that the weather bureau reported on a low altitude temperature inversion that could have resulted in the “unusual phenomenon.” There were no weather balloons in the area according to the documentation. And it said that Lt. Dockum, the Air Force officer assigned to investigate, searched the sighting area but found nothing.

Another possible explanation, offered by the weather bureau and Dockum, was that the sun’s reflection on that inversion layer and low hanging clouds might have caused a mirage. But it was also noted, “There is nothing to account for the car stalling as observer so stated.”

The final paragraph is the important one. It said, “Since no conclusive evidence can establish the identity of the object, the case is carried as an unidentified by the Air Force.” Then oddly, it noted, “Although the possibility exists that the sighting was a descending weather balloon, this is not conclusive evidence to substantiate the identity of such.”

Does it really need to be repeated? The weather balloon explanation fails at the point that two cars were stalled by close approach to the UFO. Because there are two witnesses in two separate vehicles, most of the mundane explanations are eliminated.

There are several reports, memos and newspaper accounts that mentioned two Richmond businessmen who had seen the UFO. This verifies that there was another man involved, but nothing in the file nor in the newspapers identify the man, other that he was older. Mains apparently didn’t ask for his name and could only remember that he drove a Chevrolet. He only had asked about the object and if his car engine had been stalled.

I would never have found this case had they not mentioned, in passing, on Contact, that there had been official investigation. It is just another in those inexplicable sightings that have no terrestrial explanation. It is a multiple witness case (well, sort of since we don’t have a clue as to the identity of the second witness), with a close approach of the UFO that interacted with the environment. This was just another opportunity to do some real investigation that was passed to a lower-ranking officer who had no training for the task. It is another missed opportunity.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Faked Documents - More than You'd Think

Normally I wouldn’t watch a Melissa McCarthy movie. I just don’t care for her because of some of the things and positions she had taken in her personal life. However, I was curious about her film, Can You Ever Forgive Me? This is the story of a one-time bestselling writer, Lee Israel, who fell on hard times and her attempts to pull herself up financially.

So, you’re asking yourself, “What in the hell does this have to do with UFOs?”


But it was what Lee Israel (McCarthy) did to earn money… She began to forge documents. And, when it seemed that these forgeries were questioned, she began to sell the real thing. She would go to libraries, archives, and museums that held, in their collections, the real documents, make notes about them including the fonts on the typewriters, the spacing, and other details. She would then recreate the document, go to the holder of the document, and switch them.

The National Archives - Hundreds of Thousands of Documents but Some Are Fake.
Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.
The flaw in the security system was that they didn’t really examine the material being brought in but did check the material, the briefcases, purses or backpacks as the person left. She was quite successful, if you can call it success, in her attempts to acquire the documents and then to sell them. Of course, it all, eventually, fell apart.

Here’s the rub. It is estimated that over 400 fake documents, either copies or completely faked, are still held in various collections long after she was caught. Hundreds of fake documents that could be used in historical research, in writing biographies, in reconstructing real events based on alleged eyewitness testimony.

You might remember that I did review the movie Truth, about the documents that suggested President Bush had been less than candid about his Air Guard service. This episode ended up with the firing of a senior producer and eventually Dan Rather. You can read me take on that here:

In that movie, Truth, Mary Mapes, the senior producer fired because of the badly flawed story that CBS reported, said that someone would have had to understand the chain of command, the style of the documents being forged, and have inside information on how those things played out forty years earlier. Apparently, it never occurred to her, or Rather for that matter, that if someone had copies of the originals, they could easily create authentic sounding documents. By altering a line or two, now have a document that had an authentic feel to it and that would cast doubt (throw shade?) on President Bush. And someone who had served in the Texas Air Guard would probably have those sorts of documents in his personal file. (I have dozens of documents from my time in the military including flight and training records that are over 50 years old.)

The point here, reinforced by Can You Ever Forgive Me and Truth, is that you need a proper foundation for the acceptance of historical documents. It isn’t enough for them to appear in plain envelopes or given to you mysteriously without any provenance. Unless you can establish the history of the document, you are going to end up with fakes in your collection that are either created out of whole cloth or duplicated by someone with access to the original. Someone who might have slipped a line or two in, or for that matter, taken a line or two out, and you then have a flawed perception of reality.

And the point?

Can anyone say, “MJ-12.”

Thursday, September 05, 2019

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Mike Rogers (Walton Abduction and the Phoenix Lights)

This week I talked with Mike Rogers to get his take on the Travis Walton abduction, since he was one of the main players. He was completely candid in his responses and didn’t even mind my somewhat snarky question about them leaving Travis behind after being struck by the light beam. According to Mike, once the beam hit Travis, the other six took off in the truck. To their credit, they did stop and turn around to go back, but by that time, Travis was gone. You can listen to that interview here:

Although I had planned to talk about Mike’s involvement in the Phoenix Lights, we stayed with the abduction. I got his personal take on some of the events around that, learned that there had been a large-scale search for Travis and then the ultimate ending to the search when the sheriff suggested that they had murdered Travis. The lie detector said otherwise, and, of course Travis’ reappearance some five days later put that theory to bed.

We also talked, briefly, about Philip Klass’ involvement in the case, and his attempts to convince Steve Pierce, another of those with Travis that night, to admit the hoax. I had interviewed Pierce a number of years about this. You can read that here:

One of the things that did intrigue me was the paintings that Mike had done based on the information supplied by Travis. I had thought that the beings described by Travis didn’t look much like the Grays of fame and Zeta Reticuli, but Mike thought they did look similar. I asked for, and was granted permission to reproduce his paintings here so that you might make up your own mind.

Travis Walton abduction as painted by Mike Rogers. Painting copyright by Mike Rogers, reprinted here by permission.
Given the timing, as the show wrapped up, we had not gotten to the Phoenix Lights, so I told him that we’d to that another time. Fortunately, the was a hole in the production schedule so that I had the opportunity to continue the interview right there. Now I learned that Mike had been on the scene of the Phoenix Lights, but what he saw was something different than what had been reported in the major of the stories. He saw a craft and not just lights in the distance.

I had been of the opinion that there had been two events on that night in 1997. One of them was of some kind of a structured craft that traveled the length of Arizona and the other was of the lights over Phoenix. We agreed that the Lights were flares dropped as part of military training, and that one formation of lights was of aircraft. Although Mike had no explanation for the structured craft, he did believe that it was of terrestrial manufacture. You can listen to all that here:

Next week, I’ll talk with Nick Redfern about his latest UFO book. He seems to be intent on writing more UFO books than either me or Brad Steiger. Given his age and mine, I’m sure that he’ll grab this “honor” at some point in the near future.

If you have questions for Nick, send them in the form of a comment and I’ll try to get them asked. For Mike, there were a couple of questions, but they came in while I was interviewing him, and didn’t have the chance to find them until the show ended.