Sunday, October 19, 2014

Roger Wescott, Roscoe Hillenkoetter and MJ-12

Although I really don’t have time for this, meaning more nonsense about MJ-12, Stan Friedman has complained that I, and Barry Greenwood and Robert Hastings, have ignored the report by Dr. Roger Wescott, who examined the Eisenhower Briefing Document to determine if it had been written by Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter.  There is nothing to say that he had been the author, no real reason to assume that he was, except that he had been the Director, Central Intelligence Agency, but this seems to be the belief. To me this is a ridiculous exercise simply because, without additional information, that question cannot be answered.

Here’s what we know. Wescott was a linguistics professor at Drew University and Stan wanted him to try to determine if Hillenkoetter had written the EBD. Along with the EBD, he gave Wescott some twenty-seven samples of what he believed to be Hillenkoetter’s writings. I’ll explain that “believed to be” in a moment.

Wescott, in his first analysis said, “In my opinion, there is no compelling reason to regard any of these communications as fraudulent or to believe that any of them were written by anyone other than Hillenkoetter himself.”

Okay, not exactly a ringing endorsement, but certainly doesn’t eliminate Hillenkoetter as the author. But then, in his book on MJ-12 (oh, I suppose I could be petty and not mention the title… Top Secret/Majic) Stan wrote, “Some people are upset that Dr. Wescott didn’t make a positive statement that his work proves Hillenkoetter wrote the briefing. Obviously, no such statement could be made. Somebody working for the CIA, for example, could have read Hillenkoetter’s papers and simulated his style.”

Seriously? You’re saying that someone could have simulated Hillenkoetter’s style? You’re saying that no matter how valuable Wescott’s analysis might be, it would never prove that Hillenkoetter wrote the EBD… then what is the point of even bringing him in to the discussion in the first place?

Wescott, in a letter in the July/August 1988 International UFO Reporter, wrote, “First, it’s clear that I’ve stepped into a hornet’s nest of controversy. Since I have no strong conviction favoring either rather polarized position in the matter, I may have been a bit rash to become involved, even as a somewhat detached consultant, in what amounts to an adversary procedure. On behalf of those who support the authenticity of the memo, I wrote that I thought its fraudulence unproved. On behalf of its critics, I could equally well have maintained that its authenticity is unproved. Whatever the probabilities of the issue, inconclusiveness seems to be of its essence.”

There is an additional problem here. Wescott was a NICAP special advisor in the late 1960s. He was familiar with the world of the UFO. It might be suggested that his analysis wasn’t that of a disinterested third party, and while he might not have had a dog in the MJ-12 fight, he knew something about UFOs.

Wescott’s analyses are not all that impressive. They are best described as he said himself as “inconclusive,” which means that Wescott’s analyses proved nothing and certainly are not supportive of the conclusion that Hillenkoetter wrote the EBD.

Now, here’s what I meant by those documents were “believed to be” written by Hillenkoetter. At the time the EBD was written, Hillenkoetter was a high-ranking military officer in a position of great responsibility. Are we to believe that he actually wrote all these sample documents himself, or is it more likely he turned to an aide, a secretary, a staff officer to actually write the various documents? In other words, Hillenkoetter said, “I need a briefing (or whatever, just insert your own sort of document in here) on (insert the situation here) and have it to me by Friday.”

This means that while Hillenkoetter might have provided the initial information, would have reviewed and edited the document, he didn’t actually write it. I can’t tell you how many times I was given information and told to put it together for a report or briefing for a higher ranking officer. While in Iraq, I was involved in a white paper in which I interviewed a number of generals, took documents created by operations officers and combat commanders, to create a single document which was authored by that higher ranking officer. Or, to put it bluntly, there were so many of us involved that no one author’s voice came through.

Sure, you all are thinking that MJ-12 was classified much higher and access to the information would have been available to far fewer people. But the overall concept still holds. Hillenkoetter would have assigned the initial work to some other officer, and while it might only have been one or two others, the point is, those one or two others would have been responsible for the first draft of the paper. Hillenkoetter would have reviewed it, and knowing how these things work, would have made alterations to it, but the overall voice would not have been his.

And before I have to hear that this was so highly classified, that there just wouldn’t have been those others involved, are we really supposed to believe that Hillenkoetter typed the thing himself. Regardless of the classification, there would have been underlings involved in the process. Think of the Manhattan Project here. Weren’t there many involved who weren’t physicists or scientists who took care of all the various documents that were created in the process of making an atomic bomb? They might not have had access to everything, but in each compartment, they would have been those responsible for all the paperwork.

So, even if you stipulate that Hillenkoetter is the author of the EBD, he probably wasn’t the writer. That was done by someone else (and let’s not forget about all those tabs which would not have been written by Hillenkoetter but by others considered experts in those specific topics).

This explains why I, and most of the rest of us, ignore what Wescott had to say. First, he suggested his analysis was inconclusive. Second, even though there were all those samples offered of Hillenkoetter’s writing style, they were probably written by someone else. And third, the same can be said of the EBD. The initial drafts probably weren’t written by Hillenkoetter, but probably by someone at a lower level which would have altered the “voice” and made it impossible to determine if Hillenkoetter was the author.

Or, to be blunt, all of this is an exercise in futility. None of it proves anything and our best course is to just ignore it as one more failed proof that MJ-12 is authentic.

And before anyone asks, there is no evidence that the EBD is anything other than a fraud, written by someone who had a specific agenda, and that agenda was not to brief Eisenhower.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fort Itaipu and Footnotes

I’ve been working on my new book, which is sort of a follow up to Government UFO Secrets (notice that I’ve slipped the name of my last book into this) and I have been doing something that I don’t think is being done very much. I’ve been chasing footnotes again. This means as I research a case, looking for all the information available on it, I attempt to return to the original source as much as possible. One way of doing that is look at the footnotes in other books to see where they gathered the information.

The case in question here is the attack on Fort Itaipu, Brazel on November 4, 1957. According to all those other sources, two sentries on duty saw a “new” star blossom in the distance, over the Atlantic Ocean, fly toward them, hover and then slowly descend. It was an orange disk that was humming slightly. There was a blast of heat that caused the sentries to panic. One fell to the ground unconscious and the other torn at his clothes screaming. That alerted the garrison, all of whom apparently reacted to the UFO.

About the same time, as the confused soldiers attempted to find out what was happening, the lights failed, as did their communications ability, their generators and even their weapons.  The electricity came back quickly and the clocks, set to ring at 5:00 a.m., began at 2:03 a.m.

The injured soldiers were removed, first to the infirmary, and later to an Army hospital. The fort commanding officer ordered an information blackout, telling the soldiers not to discuss the case with anyone, not even their fellow soldiers. Someone did talk, and Dr. Olavo Fontes, APRO’s representative in Brazil learned of the case some two or three weeks later. Though he tried to interview the soldiers, using his contacts as a medical doctor, he failed. His information came from some of the officers at the fort, but he never mentioned their names, nor did he identify the soldiers.

This is the bare bones of the sighting. As I was conducting my research, I looked to see what others had written about the case. In The A.P.R.O. Bulletin of September 1959, Fontes’ tale was published apparently as it appeared in his book Shadow of the Unknown. Later, in 1962, Coral Lorenzen, in her 1962 book, The Great Flying Saucer Hoax: The UFO Facts and Their Interpretation, repeated the information supplied by Fontes but in her own words. She suggested that Fontes had talked to an officer who was at the fort, but she didn’t supply his name or that of the sentries.

Jacques Vallee, in Anatomy of a Phenomenon, quotes from Lorenzen’s book, and adds nothing new to the case. Donald Keyhoe, in Aliens from Space, reports on the case in his own words, but there is nothing in that report that is new or different. He does speculate about alien motivations and their worries about our first tiny steps into space. Keyhoe wrote, “It would also mean that the burnings were intended as a demonstration of superior weapons they could use against aggressive explorers from Earth.”

But the point is that everything comes back to the article by Fontes in The A.P.R.O. Bulletin. I could find no new information about the case that wasn’t traced to Fontes. I did email Thiago Luiz Ticchetti, a Brazilian UFO researcher and a co-editor of Revista UFO and Coordenador da Revista UFO Brasil:, who did update the case for me. He wrote that he had been unable to verify the tale of the injured soldiers, and unable to verify the power outage whether it was momentary or something a little longer. According to what he told me, most Brazilian UFO researchers believe that there had been a UFO sighting, but the details of what would be a Close Encounter of the Second Kind, meaning a sighting in which there are some sort of physical effects, remained unverified.

Fontes, according to his own writings, never got the chance to talk to the sentries, so much of what he wrote about their reactions had to come from the officers that Fontes said he had interviewed. The problem is that he never identified them. The tale then is based, at best, on second-hand testimony and we have no way to verify the information supplied by Fontes. We must trust him based solely on the trust that Coral Lorenzen had in him and if we have no faith in that, then almost everything he wrote about the Fort Itaipu case must be carefully scrutinized. In the end, the best we can say, based on what we know, is that there was a UFO sighting and the other elements are yet to be verified.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Roswell, Nathan Twining and the Mini-EOTS

There is a misunderstanding about the Twining letter and it is about what caused it to be written. To understand it in the context of the time, it is necessary to understand why the letter was written.

In July 1947, an officer who worked for Brigadier General George Schulgen put together an Estimate of the Situation, which is not to be confused with the big one that was written later. This mini-EOTS covered a number of sightings that had been made early in 1947, including a few that had preceded Arnold. LTC George Garrett was the officer who wrote this EOTS that was sent to LTG Nathan Twining at Wright Field for analysis. I covered all this in Government UFO Files, which, if I was smart, is all I would say about it, making those interested in this discussion buy the book. However, and with the help of many others including Dr. Michael Swords ...

In July 1947, Garrett believed that nothing useful would be found by additional Air Force (really Army Air Forces) investigation of the flying saucer reports. Both Garrett and Schulgen decided that the answer was held above their pay grade and thought of a way to pass the buck back up the chain of command so they would no longer have to deal with it. They were quite certain that when they assembled their information in what might be considered an intelligence Estimate of the Situation, they would be told that those at the top knew what the flying saucers were and there would be no need to continue to investigate. Or, I suppose, you might say that this is what they hoped would happen.

Garrett began his work on his Estimate in the beginning of July, 1947. He selected sixteen flying saucer reports that seemed to demonstrate the truly unusual nature of the phenomenon, and then provided his analysis of the data that had been collected.

The first case he mentioned preceded that by Kenneth Arnold; the man many believe “launched” the UFO phenomena as we know it today, by over a month. That sighting, from Manitou Springs, Colorado happened sometime between 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. on May 19, 1947. This was a silver object that remained motionless, giving the three witnesses a good look at it, and then made a number of aerobatic maneuvers before disappearing at incredible speed. The sighting report mentioned that it had been watched through optical instruments and had been in sight for over two minutes meaning they had time to study it carefully. This sighting does not appear in the Project Blue Book files, though it was used as support for Garrett’s conclusions at the end of this study which in and of itself is interesting.

The second report that was mentioned was from Oklahoma City on May 22, 1947. There are few details available other than it was made by a businessman pilot and he saw the object or light from the ground and not the cockpit.

The third case came from Greenfield, Massachusetts on June 22, 1947. According to the report:

Edward L. de Rose said, ...there appeared across his line of vision a “brilliant, small, round-shaped, silvery white object” moving in a northwesterly direction as fast as or probably faster than a speeding plane at an estimated altitude of 1,000 feet or more. The object stayed in view for eight or ten seconds until obscured by a cloud bank. It reflected the sunlight strongly as though it were of polished aluminum or silver… He said it did not resemble any weather balloon he had ever seen and that “I can assure you it was very real.”

According to the information available, this was a case that had been secretly investigated by the FBI, and given Special Agent Reynolds’ (who has a role in these early investigations as outlined in The Government UFO Files) participation with Schulgen and Garrett it is not difficult to believe that the FBI was involved.

Next was the report that got everyone talking about flying saucers and this is the Kenneth Arnold’s sighting. In 1947, as Garrett was putting together his Estimate, it was still considered an unknown by those who had officially investigated it and who had talked to Arnold.

Garrett’s next sighting involved two Air Force (at the time Army Air Forces) pilots and two intelligence officers who saw a bright light zigzagging in the night sky over Maxwell Air Force Base on June 28, 1947. The sighting lasted for about five minutes. The eventual label applied to the case was that this was a balloon.

Garrett’s next case was witnessed by three scientists at White Sands, New Mexico. The object was silver in color and no external details were reported. There was the possibility of a slight vapor trail and none of the three were sure how it disappeared, suggesting that the angle changed and they lost sight of it.

Civilian pilots were responsible for the next sighting that Garrett quoted. Captain E. J. Smith was piloting a United Airlines plane when one of the flying saucers appeared coming at them. The first officer, Ralph Stevens, reached down to blink the landing lights, and Smith asked what he thought he was doing. Stevens responded that another plane was coming at them. As it closed, they realized that it wasn't another aircraft but one of the flying disks.

Although the case was thoroughly investigated, the Air Force found no solution for it. In the Project Blue Book files, it is still carried as “Unidentified.”

Three airmen on a B-25, near Clay Center, Kansas said they saw a silver-colored object pacing their aircraft was the next case cited. One of the witnesses was the pilot who said that a bright flash called his attention of the object, which he said was thirty to fifty feet in diameter and very bright. He said the object appeared to be pacing the aircraft at 210 miles an hour. When they turned toward it, the object seemed to accelerate to high speed and disappeared. Later the Air Force would suggest that the sighting was caused by a reflection on the windshield.

Garrett next reported that Captain James H. Burniston, on July 6, 1947, while at Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base saw one of the flying disks. According to that report:

…He observed an object traveling in a southeasterly direction at an estimated height of 10,000 feet or more and at a speed in excess of that of any aircraft he had ever seen. The object was in his view for approximately sixty seconds during which time it travelled over three-quarters of the visible sky. Burniston could distinguish no definite color or shape. It appeared to roll from side to side three times during his observation and one side reflected strongly from its surface while the other side gave no reflection. He estimates the size to be about that of a C-54 and states that between the time the top of the object was visible and the time it rolled over … the bottom became very difficult to see and almost disappeared.
Although the next two reports seem to be related, Garrett broke them into two separate incidents, one from Koshkonong, Wisconsin and the second from East Troy, Wisconsin. They are listed on the same “Project Card,” which supplies very little information. Both sightings lasted under a minute, and in both sightings the witnesses were members of the Civil Air Patrol, an official civilian auxiliary of the Air Force. The first of the sightings was reported at 11:45 (CST) in the morning and the second at 2:30 (CST) in the afternoon. Both were made on July 7, 1947.These two cases were marked, “Insufficient information for proper analysis.”

Following his theory of who might make the best witnesses, the next case involved an Army National Guard pilot flying near Mt. Baldy, California on July 8, 1947. The flat object, reflecting light, was about the size of a fighter. The pilot said that he gave chase attempting to keep the object in sight but was unable to do so.

A police officer, among others, in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, reported an egg-shaped object with a barrel-like leading edge about thirty minutes before midnight on July 9, 1947, in the next case reported by Garrett. There were four objects that had a phosphorescent glow.

The next day, and next on the list there was a series of sightings in Newfoundland. Garrett used the sighting that took place about four in the afternoon, and was seen by a “TWA Representative and a PAA Representative [who was identified as a Mr. Leidy] on the ground. The object was “circular in shape, like a wagon wheel,” and was bluish-black with a fifteen foot long trail. The object “seemed to cut clouds open as it passed thru [sic]. Trail was like beam seen after a high-powered landing light is switched off.”

The case took on added importance because there were color photographs of the disk as it cut through the clouds. Dr. Michael Swords reported in the Journal of UFO Studies:

The bluish-black trail seems to indicate ordinary combustion from a turbo-jet engine, athodyd [ramjet] motor, or some combination of these types of power plants. The absence of noise and apparent dissolving of the clouds to form a clear path indicates a relatively large mass flow of a rectangular cross section containing a considerable amount of heat.

In 1947, this was an important case and provides a hint as to what Garrett and the others thought. They believed that the solution here rested in terrestrial technology, or in other words, this was something of Soviet manufacture. While the sighting itself is interesting for the photographs, it was important because it seemed to suggest the Soviets were responsible rather than aliens.

The final case that Garrett cited was from Elmendorf Field in Anchorage, Alaska on July 12. A major in the Army Air Forces said that he watched an object that resembled a grayish balloon as it followed the contours of the mountains some five miles away. The major said that the object paralleled the course of a C-47 that was landing on the airfield.

With these sixteen reports, and two added later, Garrett composed his study. It might be said that he drew on these specific cases because he, along with Schulgen, believed they most accurately described the objects seen, the maneuvers they performed, and they would most likely lead to the conclusion that these sightings were of a classified research project then in development. They thought they would be told to quit because of that. The answer they received, after they had forwarded their report to the Air Materiel Command and to Twining must have surprised them. It was not at all what they had expected.

On September 24, 1947, Schulgen, Garrett and the others received the written response from Twining’s staff. This analysis of the situation was based wholly on the information supplied by Garrett through Schulgen. Twining’s staff looked at the reports that had been included and then produced a draft of the response for approval by Twining.

Given the information they had to work with, and it seems those at Wright Field added nothing to the mix themselves; they reached their conclusions based on the information supplied. These reports, for the most part, came from pilots, both military and civilian including airline pilots. They came from scientists, police, and aviation personnel who should have been able to recognize aircraft in the air. The reports were selected because they were, for the most part, from multiple witnesses and one must have been selected because of the photographs. These were some of the best sightings that had been received beginning with the May reports that did not make it into the Project Blue Book files.

This response, then, from Twining's AMC staff was telling them that the phenomenon was “something real and not visionary or fictitious.” Not only that, Twining was telling them that his command didn't know what the flying saucers were and that they should be investigated.

If the flying saucers were a U.S. project, then the last thing anyone at the higher levels of the chain of command would have wanted would be an official investigation. Any investigation would be a threat to the security of the project. To end such an investigation one of those on the inside of the secret would have to drop a hint to someone on the outside. If, for example, it was such a secret project that General Twining and the AMC were outside the loop, then another general, on the inside, could call Twining to tell him to drop the investigation. He wouldn't have to spill any details of the secret project, only tell Twining that it was something he didn't need to worry about and the answer was not Soviet or anything else that could threaten national security. Twining would then end his inquiries, secure in the knowledge that the solution to the mystery was already known to someone inside the US military and the government.

Swords, commenting on this, wrote, "What explains this confident display of mediocrity? Although we are apparently not dealing with genius here, neither should we assume complete stupidity. This report was not put together with any greater intensity because the authors did not feel that it was necessary. They did not think that UFOs were any great mystery. It was obvious to them that UFOs were mechanical, aerial devices. Whose devices was still up in the air (so to speak), but the indications were fairly clear: despite assurances to the contrary, they must be our own. 'Lack of topside inquiries' [meaning, of course, those higher up in the chain of command] made this the only reasonable conclusion in their eyes."

What this does explain, for those who haven’t figured it out yet, is why there was a mention of a “lack of crash recovered material.” None had been included in the mini-EOTS. The response by Twining, which was written under the supervision of Howard McCoy, used only that information included in the original EOTS. They added nothing to it because they could accomplish what they wanted in that way. Had they added additional information or mention information that was classified “Top Secret” that would have changed the nature of the discussion and, of course, the classification of the response.

And this is why the Roswell crash wasn't mentioned in Twining's letter. It wasn't part of the original query, there was no reason to add it, and the investigation could continue as they searched for additional answers... or more importantly, they scrambled around trying to find out if national security was at risk. This they could accomplish without compromising the Roswell information.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Colonel Howard McCoy and MJ-12

There is another aspect to this MJ-12 nonsense that hasn’t been mentioned and that is Colonel Howard McCoy. Here’s the situation we find ourselves in. In the early 1940s, McCoy was involved in the investigation of the Foo Fighters. In 1946, McCoy was pulling records and observing the Ghost Rockets in Scandinavia and in late 1946, he was tasked with setting up an unofficial investigation into these “aerial phenomena.” And finally, in September 1947, McCoy was the man who drafted the letter signed by Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining in which it was concluded that the phenomenon was something real and not illusionary. In other words, McCoy had been heavily involved in the investigations from the very beginning and he was the subject matter expert.

So, you might ask, “What does this have to with MJ-12?”

When this committee was organized, it involved people who were at the top of their fields and who could bring specific expertise to the research. Twining is on the list but Twining wasn’t all that familiar with the situation as it had been delegated to subordinates. He relied on one man and that man was Colonel Howard McCoy. He was the top officer involved in the research, he had the files, he had the resources and he was running the unofficial investigation into what had become the flying saucers.

McCoy should have been on the list. He probably knew more about any of these things than any other officer in the United States military. He held the highest of security clearances, and he would have been involved in the investigation of the crash at Roswell. There would have been no reason to exclude him, especially when some of the other members of the MJ-12 had no real knowledge of the situation and whose expertise wasn’t all that relevant to the research.

For those studying the situation in 1947, meaning here, looking at who was where in the government and the military, and what would be said about MJ-12, there are some names that are absent. Where was General Eisenhower, for example? He was the Chief of Staff of the Army. And where was Carl Spaatz? He was the Chief of Staff for the Army Air Forces in 1947.

These two would have been involved simply because the information about the Roswell crash would have worked its way up the chain of command. They would know what happened and both controlled assets that would have been valuable to the research to be conducted.

But again, the man they would have asked was McCoy. He had been involved for four or five years when these aerial phenomena were considered an enemy weapon and the need to learn more about them was critical. While the situation had changed with the end of the war, it became critical again with discovery of the craft at Roswell and McCoy was the man who would have been in charge of exploiting the find. His role would have been the most important and yet there is no indication of McCoy on any of the MJ-12 documents or anywhere near it.

Again, you might ask, “Why not?”

And the answer is that no one had realized what his role had been until I was able to outline this in Government UFO Secrets. McCoy had been in the background of the investigations and wasn’t as high profile as those named. Those who created the Eisenhower Briefing Document didn’t know him and therefore couldn’t name him. Had they had that information and included McCoy, it would have gone a long way to establish the authenticity of the documents.

But, this is just one more problem with the original MJ-12 documents. They didn’t have the right names included on it and that might be the result of those who created it being unaware of high level chains of command, especially in Intelligence community. Their research was good, but not great. They missed a big opportunity because they didn’t know about McCoy and this is just one more example of the problems with MJ-12.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Just the other day I was reading a book about SETI and the author committed the error of appealing to an authority… which means he didn’t have a good argument other than to say that these prestigious people and organizations have weighed in and they say UFO phenomenon is all hogwash.

Sure, I know you’re confused so I’ll expand. He was writing about UFOs, which, if you’re going to discuss SETI you need to address, even if it is to dismiss the idea of alien visitation. He wrote that the Air Force began to study the problem with Project Blue Book in the 1950s and then with the University of Colorado study now known as the Condon Committee which ended official research.

Overlooking the fact that the Air Force investigation began in January 1948 (officially), and had the name changed a couple of times until they settled on Blue Book in the 1950s, anyone who has reviewed these files find them filled with inaccuracy, half-truth, smears of witnesses, explanations that are completely wrong (Portage County UFO chase began with the sighting of a satellite that, according to all records including those in the Blue Book files proved were not visible at the time) to documentation showing exactly what the mission evolved into and it wasn’t investigation of UFOs. To suggest that the Air Force investigated and found there was nothing important in the sightings was to miss the point. The real point of the Air Force investigation was to ensure that National Security was not compromised. It did not prove there was nothing important to UFO sightings and that nothing important would be learned by continued study.

There is documentation that shows the Condon Committee was a put up job. Condon had the conclusions written a year and a half before the end of the project. Those conclusions did not match the information contained in the research and in one case they “identified” the UFO as a phenomenon so rare it had never been seen before or since. If nothing else, the various investigations conducted by the Condon scientists suggested that something of scientific value could be learned through additional research.

Here’s the real point. The author of the book shouldn’t have dismissed UFOs for the reasons he cited. They are not valid. Had he looked into the UFO phenomenon himself, studied a few of the cases, and determined through that investigation that UFOs have nothing to do with SETI is one thing. To reject it because of the obviously biased research of someone else is something else.

Oh, you want to know what should be done. Easy. The SETI crowd should conduct an investigation into UFOs and decide for themselves if there is anything of value in the reports. They may well decide UFOs will provide nothing to further their research, but they shouldn’t allow the biased research color their thinking. There are other studies that have concluded the opposite.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sam Bass, Aztec and Scott Ramsey

Here’s something that I have been thinking about for a while. Scott Ramsey and I debated the reality of the Aztec UFO. One of the witnesses to part of the story was a fellow named Bass who was nicknamed Sam. He reportedly knew something about the case but we couldn’t interview because he had been killed in a traffic accident in Vietnam. I mentioned that this name didn’t appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., though they had tried to identify everyone who died there whether from combat, sickness or accident. In fact, they included the names of those who had been wounded, injured or fell ill in Vietnam but died outside the country.

This man’s name does not appear on the memorial.

I suggested this was a problem for the tale he told but Ramsey said that the sites that listed all the names of the dead said that they tried to get everyone, but they might have missed a name or two. It was through this door that Ramsey slipped.

I asked if he had the serial number of Bass, and Ramsey said that he did. I told him with that information we could get his service record and learn the truth. I volunteered to do it, but Ramsey would not supply the number. I told Ramsay how to secure the military record and as far as I know he has not done so.

Here’s where I am on this. If Bass was killed in Vietnam, he should be recognized for that service and his name should be added to the Wall. That has been done a couple of times. The documentation in Bass’ military records would provide the proof that he served in Vietnam and died in a traffic accident there.

This goes beyond the reality of the Aztec UFO crash. This is something that should be done for a man who served and died. His name should be added to the wall, and all that must be done is a simple records check from the NARA archives in St. Louis. It takes several weeks to get a response (they receive thousands of requests each week) but they would provide the information that he had served in Vietnam and that he had died there. I think it is something that should be done for the man and really has little to do with the Aztec UFO crash.

That is, if he existed and this is the right guy. So, the question really is, “Why hasn’t Ramsey sought this information, and once he had it, why hasn’t he released it?” That would bolster his case and provide the man the recognition deserved.

Ball’s in your court, Scott… let us know what you learn.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

More Thoughts on McMinnville

I find that sometimes, if I pose a question here, someone out there has an answer. I have said for a very long time that there are only two conclusions to be drawn about the pictures taken in McMinnville, Oregon. They either show a craft from another world, or they are a hoax. I do not see a third possibility given the clarity of the photographs, the features of the object, and the state of our research and development of aircraft in 1950.

Philip Klass believed the photographs to be a hoax and research and analysis on the photographs suggested to Robert Sheaffer that the pictures were taken in the morning rather than the evening as claimed and they were taken in a different order than claimed. They believe that if the Trents lied about the time of day when the pictures were taken, then they probably lied about other aspects of the case, and that suggests hoax. If they are correct in their analysis, I would have to agree with them… if they are correct.

In today’s world, is there a way to resolve this?

Yes, but it depends on a couple of things. First, we have to locate the original negatives which I understand are now in the possession of MUFON. If true, all we need is for someone to look at them, which I hope this will inspire them to do.

Second, we have to hope that the negatives were numbered at the time they were developed. As we all know, 35 mm film, for example, is numbered, which would allow us to establish the sequence in which the pictures were taken. This was not a 35 mm camera but one that took a roll of film that was loaded into the camera by hand in a dark room. But if that film had numbers on it, or if the negatives are numbered, then we can determine the sequence in which the pictures were taken.

If we can do that, if there are numbers on the film, we can answer the question but I find nothing on the Internet to suggest that this has been done. I believe it is because most of those who studied the photographs were working from prints or copy negatives and the numbering sequence wasn’t important information during those earlier investigations… or it might just mean they weren’t numbered in which case we’re back to square one.

If they are numbered, however, that will either confirm or refute part of Sheaffer’s analysis by telling us in what order the pictures were taken. If they were taken in the sequence given by the Trents, then it is one more bit of evidence of authenticity. If they were taken in the order that Sheaffer suggested, then it is evidence that the Trents faked the whole thing. Either way, we learn something new about the photographs and that advances our understanding of the situation. I just can’t believe that someone has yet to do this.

(Update: Robert Sheaffer tells me that his original calculations came from prints that Philip Klass had supplied but in 1976 he, and Bruce Maccabee, made a study from the original negatives that Maccabee had retrieved. Sheaffer wrote that he didn’t remember seeing numbers on the negatives and that scans of those prints were available at This doesn’t completely resolve the issue but suggests that there may be no numbers on the negatives. I have yet to hear from Bruce Maccabee.)

(Update No. 2: I have received information that the film manufactured in the 1960s did not have numbers on it. I will assume from this, that this type of film from 1950 would not have numbers either. It was suggested that if the negatives are matched, meaning that they were usually hand trimmed so that the cuts wouldn't be perfect, it might be possible to deduce the order in which the photographs were taken.)