Saturday, August 08, 2020

Stan Friedman vs. Philip Klass - What's the Difference?

 When Stan Friedman died, I had thought that it was inappropriate to mention many of the stunts that he had pulled during his UFO career. I thought that I might do something later, but as time passed, it seemed that the motivation had passed. Besides, he was no longer here to attempt to explain his actions, so I just never got around to writing anything about it.

All that changed when I listened to Richard Dolan and Kathleen Marden trash Philip

Philip Klass
Klass with rumors and half-truths. It stuck me that nearly everything they were saying about Klass could be said about Friedman with the exception of the wild claim that Klass had been a Soviet asset… which has become something of the go to position when assassinating someone’s character in the world today. Accuse them of collusion with the Russians.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Philip Klass had pulled some fairly dirty tricks in his Ufological career. I did a long post about this a number of years ago when challenged to provide proof of my claim about that. You can read that here:

In the interest of full disclosure, I did know Klass on a personal level. While I was attending a DIA school in Washington, D.C., Klass took me sailing on the Potomac River. I visited him at his home, and over the years we had shared the dinner table several times. I had a long correspondence with him as well. The last time I saw him was in St. Louis in 2000 at the MUFON Symposium. He asked me to help him to his room. At that time, his health had deteriorated to the point it was difficult for him to get around.

This is, however, about Stan Friedman. I had known him for thirty years and if I remember correctly, first met him while in Roswell to tape a segment for Unsolved Mysteries. We had a number of conversations and even shared a meal or two. There

Stan Friedman
was no air of competition then. That would come later.

The animosity probably began when we met, along with Don Schmitt, in Illinois. I had approached Avon Books with a proposal to write a book about the Roswell case. An offer had been extended and it wasn’t much of a secret. Friedman suggested that we all work together. His name would go last on the book, he would receive a quarter of the money, and would provide assistance with witnesses.

We, meaning Don and I, had already had a taste of that assistance. Don had been attempting to find Bill Rickett of the Roswell CIC office. Friedman said not to bother because Rickett had died. Don did locate a telephone number and was talking to Mary Rickett, asking her questions, when she interrupted and asked, “Would you like to talk to Bill. He’s sitting right here.”

There are other examples of this, but they are really about trivia. Instead, let’s move onto other, more important issues. After we decided, that is Don and me, that we wouldn’t accept Friedman’s offer, he chose a different path. He sent to the publisher, Avon Books, and our editor, John Douglas, a letter dated June 11, 1990. There were a number of allegations in the letter. Friedman wrote:

I have been to Roswell twice in the past year and perhaps unfortunately have shared some of my recent research with Randle and Schmitt. As [Bill] Moore would have told you there was talk of a book by him, Myself and Jaime Shandera updating the Roswell story…

As you can tell from the enclosed paper I was not happy with the Roswell Incident because of the inappropriate material that was included, the misquotation of myself, and the absence of the contractually obligated acknowledgement of my major contribution. I am certainly anxious to see the Randle Schmitt book to see if once again my contribution is undervalued and if there are many factual mistakes, flights of fancy, lifting of my research much of which remains unpublished. I think the story needs to be told, but with full credit for my and other investigations… After all, by the end of 1985, Moore and I had located 92 persons connected with the event. It is difficult to believe that S and R didn’t depend strongly on that base for their book…

Anxiously awaiting a copy of the manuscript for review only.

Friedman letter to John Douglas
There are two points that need to be made. First, I spent nearly 24 hours on the telephone with the publisher’s lawyers, explaining how, where and when, we interviewed the witnesses. Finally, one of the lawyers asked if I had tapes and I said, “Both audio and video.” That ended the problem.

But remember how Friedman complained, “I am certainly anxious to see the Randle Schmitt book to see if once again my contribution is undervalued and if there are many factual mistakes, flights of fancy, lifting of my research much of which remains unpublished.”

This is exactly what he did in his book, Crash at Corona. There is a long quote from Bill Brazel, describing what his father, Mack Brazel, told him about finding the crashed object, and then a longer section that described what Bill had seen and found. The descriptions are on pages 84 – 85 of the original hardback edition of that book. This information came from an interview conducted by Don and me, at the Outpost in Carrizozo, New Mexico, on February 19, 1989. There is no reference to of our Brazel interview found in that book. It was lifted without permission or acknowledgement and is blatant plagiarism.

Left to right, Kevin Randle, Bill Brazel and Don Schmitt at the Outpost in Carizozo.

To make it worse, Friedman altered the interview by inserting a word into Brazel’s description of the four military men who came to see him. To make the testimony conform to that given by Gerald Anderson, Friedman put in the bracketed word “black” because Anderson told Friedman about a black sergeant who chased them off the crash site on the Plains of San Agustin.

Then, to explain this insertion, he claimed that Brazel had used a racially charged word to describe the sergeant. Bill Brazel, however, never had identified any of the soldiers as black. In a 1992 interview, when I asked him specially about this, Brazel said that none of them were black. Friedman had changed the testimony to suit his own beliefs and then lied about the reason for that change. You can read about that here:

Friedman, of course, backpedaled on his claims about our book once he received a letter from my agent’s attorney. In the July 30, 1990, letter, Friedman pointed out, “I did not allege plagiarism or infringement of copyright… I have had a number of friendly discussions with Kevin and Don concerning the book and am quite satisfied that my rights are not violated.” (Please note here that we are now Kevin and Don rather than Randle and Schmitt.)

That is far from the only example of Friedman taking our research without credit or attribution in his book; only the largest and most obvious. He quotes from Marian Strickland, a neighbor of Mack Brazel, about his treatment while a “guest” of the Army. Again, the information came from Don and me without credit nor attribution. We interviewed her in January 1990 and again in September 1990. We also took Don Berliner to meet with her but Friedman fails to mention it.

This all came to a head in 1993 when Dick Hall, of the Fund for UFO Research, got involved. He asked for evidence of my allegations and published his results in the May/June 1993 issue of the International UFO Report. He wrote:

Randle alleged that Friedman and others, apparently acting in concert, had attempted to interfere with the publication of the book UFO Crash at Roswell (then in preparation) by contacting the publisher, Avon Books, making charges of plagiarism and generally impugning Randle’s character and integrity. I asked Randle for documentation, which he provided. I asked Friedman for an explanation, and he never replied…

Other repeated ad hominem attacks shall go unmentioned. The concerted effort to derail the Randle/Schmitt book is indefensible.

Friedman and the Lecture Circuit

There is another aspect to all this as well. I had been invited to make a presentation in Cincinnati in the early 1990s. The hosts told me on the morning of the presentation that Friedman had called them, asking why they had invited me. He said to them, “Didn’t you want a scientist?”

I said that they should have said, “Sure. Do you know one?”

But there was really no way to change things around at that late date, even if Friedman had been successful in his attempt to get them to cancel my presentation. It hints at a larger problem.

Now, it can be said that I can’t prove this little interchange took place and that is true. The main host died a number of years ago. However, I’m not the only one who has had this problem. I have a letter, provided by Robert Hastings, who is well-known on the UFO lecture circuit and as the author of UFOs and Nukes. In a letter dated July 25, 1989, John J. Romero, Jr., Hasting’s attorney, wrote:

This letter shall acknowledge receipt of your [Friedman’s] correspondence dated May 26, 1989. In your letter, you state that you have not accused Mr. Hastings of fraud and that you have not defamed him. You further stated that you have “no intention of defaming him in the future…

In your letter of May 26, you suggest that our concern may be without merit. Please be advised that our position is based on the written statement of Ms. Karyl Kumer, Director of Student Support Services of Central Florida Community College. In her statement, Ms. Kumer unequivocally reports that you had previously informed her that Robert Hastings did not know what he was talking about, that he did not have the “real facts” and that “he was just another fraud.”

Ms. Kumer is prepared to sign an Affidavit, under oath, concerning the substance of that particular conversation.

Letter to Friedman documenting Friedman had lied about Hastings.

And to show that this was an on-going campaign by Friedman to take others off the lecture circuit there is a letter dated August 1st, 1992 (A.D,) in which Jim Mosely wrote:

Re Friedman – I can only tell you, as I would tell anyone who asks, about my own experience with Uncle Stan: Back in 1966, the “marsh gas” flap in Michigan indirectly propelled me to stardom in the UFO field, and I ended up lecturing to over 100 colleges around the country, on the lucrative college circuit. Then, around 1970, Stan started to appear on the circuit. He was indeed better qualified than I was and I was getting tired of the thing anyhow – so I didn’t mind being squeezed out – BUT I did mind his method: Several colleges told me that after I was already booked, he would call more than once and plead that they cancel me and put him on instead. Dirty pool, I say. When I finally dropped off the college circuit in 1974, Stan once said to me on the phone, “I don’t have to think of you as a rival any more.”

Letter from Moseley documenting that Friedman attempted to get Moseley's bookings cancelled.

The Gerald Anderson Fiasco

Those of you who have visited here, or read any number of my books on the Roswell case, know that Don and I never accepted the Gerald Anderson tale of seeing a crashed saucer on the Plains of San Agustin. We had caught Gerald Anderson, one of Friedman’s primary witnesses, in a number of lies, changes of his testimony, and one of those flights of fancy that Friedman had been so worried about.

I was the first to interview Anderson when he returned my telephone call and because he claimed to be a first-hand witness to both the craft and the bodies, he could be important. That he was five at the time of the crash was problematic, and that he claimed the object crashed on the Plains was another worrisome fact. Almost as soon as I had gotten off the telephone, I sent an email to Friedman about Anderson and his claims. Because of what Anderson had told me, I knew that Friedman would want to know about it. This just proves that cooperation with Stan was always a one-way street. I’d send him information but never got any of it back.

Friedman, in his first telephone conversation with Anderson, told him not work with me, that I was former Air Force intelligence and that I wrote romances. He said to just work with him, cutting me out of the conversations and the investigations. In fact, according to Anderson, we’d only spoken for 26 minutes and the conversation wasn’t all that friendly, so this wasn’t a problem for him. I countered the claim saying that my tape of the interview ran to more than 50 minutes and was, in fact, quite friendly.

John Carpenter, brought in by Friedman to conduct part of the Anderson investigation, suggested that my tape was running slow. To prove the point, Carpenter sent me a copy of Anderson’s telephone bill showing a call lasting only 26 minutes. This was one of the biggest mistakes that Anderson made during his UFO period.

Friedman, of course, attacked me for calling Anderson a liar and suggested that I was nothing more than an anti-abduction propagandist. I’m not sure what my opinions on alien abduction had to do with the case at hand, but I suppose any mud that you can sling is better than no mud at all.

Because my telephone number was on the telephone bill, I took it to Southwestern Bell, and asked if they could validate it. Becky Pim provided a copy of the bill from their records. It did not match the one that Anderson had created. It verified what I had been saying about the length of the call. Anderson had forged the telephone bill. Eventually he admitted this when confronted by Carpenter and the evidence I had provided. This was all laid out in the September 1992, issue of the International UFO Reporter. See also John Carpenter’s article, “Gerald Anderson: Disturbing Revelations,” in the March 1993, MUFON UFO Journal.

Even though Anderson had admitted the truth, Friedman continued to support him, suggesting that Anderson had created the phone bill to make me look bad because of what I had said about him. This was an attempt to blame me for Anderson’s bad act. It was because, frankly, I was telling the truth about him and Anderson didn’t like it.

This led, however, to a much more important point. Anderson had identified the archaeologists that were supposed to have been on the Plains on that day in 1947. Anderson said the leader was Adrian Buskirk. Tom Carey, who holds an advanced degree in Anthropology, set out to find Buskirk. He found a Winfred Buskirk, who held an advanced degree in Anthropology. Using an “identi-kit” sketch of Buskirk provided by Anderson, it was clear that Winfred Buskirk was Adrian Buskirk. The problem was that Buskirk, in 1947, was not on the Plains of San Agustin but in Arizona conducting research for his Ph.D. dissertation.

The question was, if Anderson didn’t see Buskirk on the Plains, then how could he identify him as an Anthropologist. Buskirk, it turned out, had taught high school in Albuquerque in 1957, when Anderson was a high school student. Anderson attended that same high school, and, according to Buskirk, had taken his Anthropology course. That was the connection.

Buskirk had been as curious as we were about the connection and called friends in Albuquerque who were able to check Anderson’s high school transcripts. Although Buskirk didn’t remember Anderson, the transcripts proved the connection. Anderson, according to the documentation, had taken the Anthropology course. We’d not only put Anderson in the same high school as Buskirk, we’d put him in the same classroom.

Buskirk provided the names of several officials in case I wanted to verify the information about Anderson taking his, Buskirk’s Anthropology class, which was the only Anthropology course offered. I talked with those officials, who were looking at the transcripts as I spoke with them on the telephone. Anderson had taken the Anthropology class. Anderson, of course, denied this and produced a Xerox of his high school transcript, but it looked as if it had been modified, just as he had done with the telephone bill. It was another example of Anderson forging a document.

While you could say that Friedman was just supporting a witness whose story he believed, it is actually much worse. Friedman knew the truth about Anderson and his faked tale of being on the Plains with Dr. Buskirk. But Friedman wanted to preserve the story because it supported his theory of a collision between two saucers with one crashing near Roswell and the other falling on the Plains.

In a letter dated 19 August 1991, and apparently written at 9:00 a.m. Buskirk provided the last bit of evidence proving this. He wrote:

Mrs. Robert Klicker just called me from Albuquerque. She had received a call from Jim Hulsman, who had checked the school records for us. (Apparently Dr. [sic] Friedman had previously made inquiries of Hulsman).

Anderson had called Hulsman to tell him that he did not want Hulsman or the school to divulge any information about him. The conversation was, apparently, friendly, but Hulsman felt he, and perhaps Mrs. Klicker too, had been threatened with a possible law suit.

So, while Friedman was calling me names and defending Anderson as a credible source, he knew the truth. Anderson had identified his high school Anthropology instructor as the man on the Plains, regardless of the evidence against that claim.

Buskirk letter showing Friedman knew the truth about Anderson.

To make this worse, in a June 20, 1991, letter to George Eberhart, Friedman wrote, “(it) is probably right that Winfred Buskirk is the man in the Indentikit sketch… who would therefore be lying about where he was in July 1947. Coincidence???” Note that Friedman is quick to label Buskirk a liar without a shred of evidence that Buskirk was in New Mexico or lying. All the available documentation places him in Arizona on the critical days in 1947.

Tom Carey (left) and Stan Friedman in Roswell.

Tom Carey took some flak for his role in exposing the truth about Anderson. In a letter dated August 3, 1992, Dick Hall wrote:

I also have to say that your paper titled “Propagandist of the Year” (1/19/92), in which you call Thomas J. Carey a propagandist and make other insinuations, is just the sort of accusatory, unscientific, and unprofessional paper that is doing so much harm. Of course, many of your arguments are cogent, and important to anyone trying to obtain a clear picture, but the tone is insulting and the tactics – propagandistic! The cogency of some of your arguments gets lost in the gratuitous personal put-downs. And there is irony in your accusation that CUFOS engages in ad hominem attacks. You must have a very foggy mirror.

I have now read the CUFOS-FUFOR conference paper, and I have to say that Gerald Anderson’s credibility is severely damaged thereby (not by ad hominem attacks but by documented facts), and also your and Don’s [Berliner] integrity if the CUFOS remarks about your failing to live of up to the terms of the conference are accurate.

For those who wish to delve into this episode a little more deeply and see the manipulation of the data about Anderson, including Anderson’s lie about being a Navy SEAL see:

Brigadier General Arthur Exon

There are almost endless examples of Friedman’s attacks, but there is space for one more. Brigadier General Arthur Exon had been the base commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the 1960s. He had inside knowledge on some of the

BG Arthur Exon
workings of the official UFO investigation, and provided information about it. That information was in conflict with Friedman’s belief in the mythical MJ-12. Since what Exon said tended to discredit MJ-12, that could not be tolerated by Friedman. To fix this, Friedman said that he had called Exon after the publication of UFO Crash at Roswell, read him the sections attributed to him, and then began saying that we had misquoted Exon.

I wrote to Friedman and told him we had the quotes on tape. He might not like the quotes but there were accurate. Friedman responded on October 31, 1991, writing:

I will continue to say you misquoted Exon since that is what he told me. After all the misrepresentations about what Anderson said both in your transcription and in your article, even misquoting you own transcription [another allegation that is unproved], as pointed out by John Carpenter, why should I believe anything you say about what you have on tape?

I sent a copy of the book and a copy of the tape to Exon. On November 24, 1991, he responded. He wrote:

I’m sorry that a portion of my interview has given you trouble. I will acknowledge that the quick quotes does have me saying that my flights later, much later verified the direction of possible flight of the object…

Although I believe you did quote me accurately, I do believe that in your writings you gave more credence and impression of personal and direct knowledge that my recordings would indication [sic] their own!

Exon letter confirming the accuracy of the quotes.

This is much longer than I intended and seems to have focused on the early 1990s. I have other letters, other quotes that are in the same vein. Allegations that he has invented, sometimes out of whole cloth. In the 1995 MUFON Symposium Proceedings, Friedman published “38 False Claims by Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt.” Eventually, I inherited them all because Don’s name was later dropped.

As but a single example of this Friedman wrote, “That S. T. Friedman knew all about an RS [Randle/Schmitt] alien tissue sample.”

To this day, I don’t know what that means and I never said anything of the kind. Friedman made this up.

The point here is that nearly everything said by Dolan and Marden in their discussion about Philip Klass can be said about Friedman. Both Klass and Friedman used the same tactics, wrote the same sort of letters, and accused those with whom they disagreed of nefarious ideas and deeds. (Klass, said that we were anti-American for challenging the government and, ironically Friedman accused us, at one point, of being government agents.) Friedman, at his lectures, often pointed out that I was only in it for the money and I as a fiction writer I could create imaginative scenarios.

I suppose that we all should now hold up to close scrutiny Friedman’s claims of MJ-12, a crash on the Plains of San Agustin, and his support of other crash stories. If he would manipulate the data as we’ve seen here, if he would attempt to silence the voices of those who disagreed with him, and if would change testimony of the witnesses to bolster his claims, what else might he have done to promote himself and denigrate others? How valuable is his research given all this?

Thursday, August 06, 2020

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Matt Tiller and the SCU

This week I talked with Matt Tiller who is a member of the SCU (Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies*) and the editor of their publication, SCU Review. We began with a brief discussion of what the SCU is and how one becomes a member of it. With the trouble in MUFON, I wondered if some of that membership might be interested in joining the SCU. You can listen to the interview here:

From there we talked about the Ubatuba metal sample. This was debris picked up on a beach in Brazil in 1957. It has been analyzed several times by labs in Brazil and

Matt Tiller

the United States. Although the metal is unusual, the various analyses haven’t confirmed the extraterrestrial nature of the material. The major problem is the broken chain of custody.

Although I had wanted to talk about the search for exoplanets and what that meant in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, we ended up discussing, for the moment, the Del Rio UFO crash and what that meant for those who are involved with the Academy to the Stars. As I have mentioned here, a number of times, the Del Rio crash is limited to a single witness who lied about his military record. Robert Willingham is not the most credible of sources. You can read about him here (as well as other places):

For those interested in following this whole, sad tale in depth, just type Robert Willingham into the search engine here and you’ll find that I have spent a great deal of time on this. Willingham annoyed me with his Stolen Valor (in photographs he is wearing a number of military awards and decorations that he didn’t earn including an Air Assault Badge. You have to wonder how an Air Force officer who retired in 1966, a badge that wasn’t authorized until after the Vietnam War) and his lies about UFO crashes (yes, he was there for seven retrievals) and his claim of high military rank.

We also talked about the Fermi Paradox, which concerns me greatly in my old age. I began to think that there are plenty of planets teeming with intelligent life out there, but the speed of light and the distances between stars defeats interstellar travel. We aren’t alone. We’re just isolated. I hope this isn’t the case and there is a way to defeat the distances, but I just don’t know.

If you wish to learn more about the SCU and/or Matt Tiller, you can find it here:

Next week, I’ll be talking with Robert Sheaffer again. The topic, in one of the few times I have a title, is Stan Friedman and Philip Klass – What’s the Difference? If you have any questions, as always post them to the comments section and I’ll try to get them asked.

* Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, the new name for UFO, which I suddenly find annoying. Yes, UFO is often equated with alien spacecraft, but I find that preferable. Of course, to be clear, we can always use flying saucer to clarify the whole discussion. This might be an argument for another post.