Sunday, April 17, 2022

Chasing Footnotes: The Kit Green DIRD Report Analysis


(Note: This post began as a short piece to provide context for the Kit Green DIRD report that has caused some controversy. Dr. Michael Swords, who had turned a critical eye to that particular report, saw that it relied on information supplied by John Schuessler and, according to Mike, referred to an article that appeared in the February 1976 issue of Official UFO. I had a copy of that magazine, scanned the article that Mike needed, and then looked at it. Walter Webb was the author, and it contained a listing of people who had experienced some form of paralysis during UFO sightings. Although there was a list of references at the end of Webb’s article, there was no way of knowing, from that list, which reference went with which article… so, I decided to chase a “footnote” or two. The following is the original story about all this, along with the sources for some of the sightings, which I was able to trace.)

It was John Greenewald, using FOIA, who had managed to obtain the Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs) that had been mentioned by Dr. Eric Davis during a radio interview several years ago. There were hints that these documents, or rather some of them, related to investigations into warp drives (for interstellar flight) and propulsion systems that would allow for, well, interstellar flight and on-going research into means and methods of space travel. John filed his FOIA request on January 31, 2018.

There were other hints about these documents and Tony Bragalia, in his own FOIA requests managed to obtain a few of the DIRD documents but not all of them. Tony’s interpretation suggested that this was research into several topics related to UFOs. While there was some controversy about what was mentioned in the documents Tony had received, John’s FOIA request was still working its way through the government bureaucracy.

On March 25, 2022, all 37 of the requested documents were released to John, among others. We were now able to see what this was all about. For those interested in all this, the documents are available in The Black Vault. You can find and download them here:

Looking through the list of documents, it seems that only one of them relates directly to UFOs and this was prepared by Kit Green. Dr. Michael Swords reviewed this document and mentioned that Green used material provided by John Schuessler that dealt with human contact with UFOs. Mike, chasing a footnote or two himself, found a reference to an article in the February 1976 issue of Official UFO magazine that might provide some additional information.

There are a couple of points to be made here. Obviously, Official UFO was not a peer reviewed science journal. At the time, the editor was Bernard O’Connor, and his vision for the magazine was to accurately report on various aspects of the UFO phenomena. He wanted articles that were based on evidence and not the wild speculation that filled the pages of some other magazines. Once Bernie left the editorial duties, the magazine devolved into something that was less than reliable and more in line with some of those other magazines.

I will note here that I worked with Bernie, which is to say that I was one of the writers who contributed to the magazine. I spoke to him on the telephone and knew that he was as careful as he could be in his selection of articles. In fact, I interviewed him on the radio version of A Different Perspective, and you can listen to that interview here:

The point is this. Official UFO was a commercial magazine, and while the editor tried to maintain high standards, the publishers weren’t quite so rigid. When you looked at the articles, the other thing that had to be considered, was the author. In the case of the Schuessler reference, we find ourselves looking at an article written by Walter Webb. Like Bernie, Walter has a good reputation. He wasn’t prone to inventing evidence and was as accurate as it is as possible to be, given all the trouble in the UFO field.

Here's where we are. We have the document written by Kit Green and included in the DIRD material obtained by John Greenewald through FOIA. By looking at Green’s report, we see that a great deal of it comes from the work of John Schuessler. We see, according the Mike Swords, that Schuessler referenced a specific magazine article, which was written by Walter Webb. And if we wish to take this a step farther, we see that Walter Webb collected the data from a variety of sources, all referenced in the article. For those who wish to follow up on that. Following are the pages from that particular article.


I suppose the next step is to chase the notes to the original sources, but all we have is the list of sources without any specific reference tied to a specific story. And while that might be a problem, I do have access to enough sources that I could begin the search and using my book Levelland, I can find the references to some of these cases and get closer to the original source.

For Example, there is the March 8, 1967, sighting by an unidentified victim in Leominster, Massachusetts. The car lights, engine and radio failed and one of the witnesses received electric shocks that caused momentary paralysis. There is an Air Force file on the case, but that information was supplied by NICAP UFO investigator Frank Pechulis. There are articles in the NICAP UFO Investigator (March/April 1967), and the Leominster Daily Enterprise on March 10, 1967, and additional information supplied by Ray Fowler. All this information, and a great deal more is found in Levelland and in the Blue Book file on the case. There are quotes from the witnesses, and information from the original investigators.

There was another sighting that Webb mention, made on August 27, 1967, but it was not reported in The A.P.R.O Bulletin until the March/April 1969 issue. The main witness, Kenneth Flack, was driving about a mile east of Texas Creek, Colorado about 11:20 p.m. He saw two cars in front of him and as he began to approach them, his engine failed and his lights went out. According to Flack, the other two cars suffered the same sort of failures.

Flack said that the night was bright, and he could clearly see object between him and the Arkansas River. He said that the object stood on three legs and had an egg shape to it that Coral Lorenzen would suggest that it resembled the craft reported by Lonnie Zamora in 1964.

The passengers in the other two cars had gotten out of them but were standing near them. Flack started to walk toward the object and as he approached, the UFO “rotated on the legs about a quarter of a turn.” He said that the back end raised up and there was a bright flash. Flack was stopped in his tracks, unable to move. He could only stand and watch what was happening.

As Flack watched, the UFO lifted off and rose slowly, flying toward the north. It did not light up or make a sound as it moved. The legs had retracted into the bottom as it lifted off.

As the UFO disappeared, Flack lost consciousness and the other witnesses carried him to his car. When they were unable to rouse him, his friends took him back to the college dorm. Later, he would remember that one of the other vehicles was a pickup with a camper on the back that had come from Pueblo, Colorado. The other vehicle had Texas license plates but he didn’t remember the number.

However, and according to Flack, the driver of the Texas car mentioned that she was going to write to Condon. Coral Lorenzen said that she had contacted Roy Craig of the committee about this, and, according to Flack he had a letter from her confirming the claim.  Craig, however, was unable to locate a letter or report from the woman and Flack said that he lost the letter. Flack said that her name was Mitchell Miller or Miller Mitchell. He also put an ad in the Pueblo, Colorado, newspaper attempting to locate the other witness but he received no reply.

The case made its way to APRO though Flack’s girlfriend’s father, Charles Upp, who provided the information to the APRO’s Colorado representatives. None of the other witnesses have been found. There has been no additional follow up to the case so that boils down to a single witness, without any sort of corroborative evidence.

Another of those cases cited by Webb, is the Goffstown, NH, sighting of November 2, 1973. The witness was Lyndia Morel. According to the story, Morel felt a “high-pitched” whine through her body and a tingling sensation wash over her. The case was reported in Encounters with UFO Occupants and the original investigators were Betty Hill (yes, that Betty Hill) and Walter Webb.

Also reported in Encounters with UFO Occupants, was the September 17, 1954, sighting in Cenon, France. Yves David, while cycling, felt a prickling and itching all over his body as if he had just experienced an electric shock. Coral Lorenzen, the author of the book, provides no source for the report. Webb doesn’t either, other than that list at the end of his article. However, Jacques Vallee in Passport to Magonia, gives Aime Michel and his book, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery as the source. That is as far as I could take it without spending about thirty-five bucks for a copy of Michel’s book.

Here's another example of these sorts of cases. Webb reported that on October 20, 1954, in Turquestein, France, the motorist drove up to an inverted cone in the road. As the car’s engine failed, he said that his hands seemed to be glued to the steering wheel and he felt hot throughout his body. I reported on this in Levelland, giving my source as Mark Rodeghier, and his UFO Reports Involving Vehicular Interference. In turn, Rodeghier cited Michel’s Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery.

The point here, I suppose, is that I couldn’t always get to the original source. I did find the NICAP reports and the Blue Book reports on the Leominster sighting. Webb wrote about his own investigation in the Goffstown sighting, which suggests the information published is reliable. In the other cases, the trail for me ended with Michel because, as I said, don’t have a copy of his book.

There is another problem developing here. In the article, Webb mentioned a sighting from La Tessoualle, France on November 8, 1954. Webb reported:

 As a cone-shaped object approached, the subject’s automobile headlights and engine failed. While the UFO bathed the car in a blue light, the driver was unable to move for several minutes, could not speak, and felt pricklings in his hands. When the blue light was turned off, he was able to move again.

Mark Rodeghier in his comprehensive vehicle interference analysis, described the sighting this way:

As a single witness saw a blue disc, his car engine died and the headlights went out. The disc came closer and the witness was paralyzed with a feeling of prickling in his hands. When the blue light on the UFO disappeared, he could move and start the car The UFO, which was five to six meters in size, now appeared again 200 meters away. As he drove towards it, the object again turned off the blue light and flew away with a soft whistling sound.

Rodeghier cited The Humanoids by Charles Bowen as his source. Jacques Vallee also reported on the sighting. Vallee wrote:

Andre Chaillou felt pricklings in his hands “in spite of his gloves,” when a blue disk came close to his motorcycle and his electrical system failed. He was unable to move or articulate a word for several minutes/ As soon as the blue light was turned off, he started again and went near the light when it appeared 200 m away. He saw the object, a cone, 5.5 m in size, rise vertically with a soft whistling, then fly horizontally to the north.

Vallee gave his source as Combat, Nov. 23, 1954; Paris-Presse, Nov. 24, 1954. Given that the sources quoted by Vallee are in a French newspaper, this might be the closest to the original source as I’ll be able to get. The problem here is the vehicle changing from a motorcycle to a car and that the UFO changed from a disk to a cone. Webb, in his article cites both Vallee’s book and Bowen’s book as sources but not that he used both sources to create the entry. It is clear that he didn’t notice the problems with this case. Of course, the same thing can be said about me because I used the same material without noticing that in one case it was a car and in the other a motorcycle.

There is one final point that needs to be mentioned. Webb reported on a truck driver living in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, who was changing a tire on a deserted highway in October 1973. According to Webb, “Suddenly, he was paralyzed and could not speak. He saw a hovering disc-shaped object and three five-and-a-half-foot tall humanoids standing near him. After losing consciousness, he awoke some distance away from the encounter site in a state of total amnesia. Reportedly, hypnosis and drugs revealed the victim had been taken aboard the UFO and later released.”

This information had been supplied by Coral Lorenzen. She also provided it to me, and I wrote an article for Saga’s UFO Report about it. I also used it in the book, The October Scenario. Unfortunately, it was later revealed that this case was a hoax. Neither Webb nor I knew that at the time we wrote about it.

While this certainly doesn’t negate the other information used by Webb in his article, it does suggest that we need to vet all that information. Given our resources today, that task is much easier to accomplish than it was in the 1970s. I have provided some of that vetting here, but not all of it.

I will note that many of the cases reported by Webb came from Jacques Vallee’s Passport to Magonia. According to a note in the section that provides the long list of references, Vallee wrote:

We shall not apologize for the inclusion of reports that may with reason be regarded as unbelievable or ludicrous. We are not claiming that any of the reports in the list relates to a real physical event. We are compiling not a table of controlled laboratory experiments but only a general guide for a study of the abundant literature of this intriguing subject. It would be an unfair procedure and a grave misunderstanding of our purpose to assume that all cases in the list stand at the same level of reliability, or to claim that the presence of this or that particular case either supports or weakens by itself the credibility of any other. We cannot accept responsibility for the mistakes of those who ignore this warning.

What we learn here is that Kit Green had supplied a report dealing with these cases as evidence about UFO encounters with humans. It doesn’t appear that he attempted to update the material, didn’t bother with checking the sources mentioned, which is, of course, the reason that sources are cited, and that he didn’t apply much in the way of analysis about any of them.

As I said, Mike Swords, following the trail, arrived at the Official UFO article, which seemed to be the source for Green by way of Schuessler, who probably used Vallee’s Passport to Magonia. It meant, simply, we didn’t have the full story on the sources, and sometimes that it’s just what we need. What do the original sources say, and was it what Green and others alleged they said or something completely different? Now we have a better picture.

(Final Note: I have continued to plow through Webb’s article, and have been able to figure out the sources for most of the information. If there is any real interest in this, I’ll post it later, once I finish the analysis.)


Moonman said...

I listened to John Greenewald, Jr. recent podcast alluding to the DIRD with all the odd cases in it which seemed to be from Schuessler. Anyway, he mentioned a Steven Greenstreet who did some work to find the disreputable source of some of the cases (National Enquirer and some Australian Penthouse). Not sure how this type of chasing of footnotes usually ends up, but I was surprised. Does this dispel the entire DIRD because Green did no vetting? The DIRD seems pretty outlandish to me.

KRandle said...

Moonman -

I have followed the sources on all those reports and none of that led me to either of those publications. I'm not sure what the reason for Green's report, but it seemed to be a survey based on Webb's article from the old Official UFO. Had Green vetted the sources, he would have learned that the Bahia Blanca case was a hoax, something that was not known when Webb wrote his article but something that is well known today.

Other reports do not have a good date, some with just a month and year and one or two with just a year which makes it difficult to chasing down the original sources. But that, by itself, does not negate the entire report because there are some interesting sightings in there.