Sunday, January 05, 2014

Unsealed: Alien Files.... Seriously?


While searching for something interesting to watch, I stumbled across a program called Unsealed: Alien Files and my only comment is, “Seriously?”

This is one of the reasons that we have trouble getting science and journalism to take UFO reports seriously. It is one of the reasons that so many people have so little time for UFOs or who believe those seeing UFOs are deluded. This program, in the guise of a documentary, was filled with every half-baked idea, every conspiracy theory associated with UFOs, and every lousy piece of evidence available. It was horrendous.

What surprised me was that some very respectable people… Nick Pope and John Greenwald to name but two… were on it. In fact, the program that featured Pope and the UK’s investigation of UFOs made some sense and provided some interesting evidence. It was clear from that program that a serious UFO investigation had been conducted by England’s Ministry of Defence and that UFO information had been hidden in classified files by the authorities there.

But in another episode (they showed four in a row but luckily I was only exposed to two and a half) explained how Dwight Eisenhower, while president, had met with alien creatures.* It suggested that most of the alien races were up to no good but that one seemed to be aiding the human race. We were told that the Reptoids have a shape-shifting capability which means they can appear to be human, and that the greys have a treaty with the US to allow for animal mutilations and human abduction… Oh, and I don’t want to forget the big gunfight in the hidden base at Dulce, New Mexico in which dozens of US service members were killed.

All this told as if it were proven fact. They even had some in the form of a newspaper article about an underground complex found in the middle of Los Angeles. We know it was a newspaper article because it said, right on the screen, “actual newspaper article.” Of course it didn’t provide a date for the article or the newspaper, but we saw it anyway with no way to check.

We learned that UFO researchers believe this or that, but the UFO researchers are never identified. We learn, for example, that if what researchers believe about human history is true, then there is evidence for this alien infestation. Of course, we’re not sure exactly who those UFO researchers are or what those things about human history are and we know that if the first part of the statement is false, then so is the conclusion based on it.

There really isn’t much to say about this series. It is based on paranoia, the lies of some people who claim intimate knowledge of these clandestine events, and every rumor that has ever been spread inside the UFO community. This is the sort of thing that I have fought for a long time. People claiming military records and credentials who don’t have them, stories that can be checked through documentation such as the Foo Fighter incident centered around the USS New York that don’t check out, and the other nonsense that circulates through the Internet. If we are ever going to learn the truth here, we must clear away the nonsense around us. Unsealed: Alien Files just piles it deeper and deeper and makes the job harder and harder. We really don’t need this.

*To support this Eisenhower visit they used a picture taken by Ella Louise Fortune near Holloman Air Force Base in October 1957. They claimed that Eisenhower met the aliens there for the second time in October 1957 but those paying close attention realized that the UFO expert talking about this event was talking about something that took place in 1964, or long after Eisenhower left office. Clearly the documentary producers were attempting to link the Fortune picture with the Holloman UFO landing, but the dates simply don’t track for those of us who have been around longer than ten minutes. This just gives an additional insight into the quality of the program… Oh, and I believe the Fortune picture is actually of a lenticular cloud…but that is a discussion for another time.

(Note: I hesitate to mention this, but Unsealed: Alien Files can be found on the Destination America channel on Thursday nights. I thought some might like to see how bad a UFO documentary can be but tune in sparingly because we don’t want to encourage them.)  

53 comments:

Frank Warren said...

Kevin,

Thanks for this.

The first time I saw this show or a portion thereof, I was on the road (doing some archival research, ironically); when I got back to the motel and after going over the day's booty, I laid back to relax and watch some TV.

I quickly found Unsealed: Alien Files and being aware of it and young John's involvement, I parked it there and waited with eager anticipation. This lasted all of 20 minutes (maybe); I quickly threw-up on my shoes and continued surfing; I never watched another episode and never will.

Admittedly, this dreck did not surprise me, as over the last several years, sub-standard (to it mildly) UFO offerings via the small screen are the norm, with few exceptions.

What did surprise me (like you), was John's participation, a far cry from the work he and good friend, Duane Tudahl did on UFO Files. It was much akin to James Fox's association with another form of crapoloa, Chasing UFOs.

What we're witnessing in part, in my view is (Ufology's) SELF-destruction; we are shooting ourselves in the feet! These types of shows are growing exponentially; young UFO enthusiasts are getting their education from the loudest voice in the room if you will.

I've often wondered how the founding members of NICAP would react to the current state of Ufology. (Turning in their respective graves comes to mind).

As I stated with the closing of Errol's UFO Updates, the times, they are a'changin' . . ..

Happy New Year! (I hope)

Cheers,
Frank

Sarge said...

In my opinion Mr. Pope exposed himself in an article recently when he lamented the lack of young people at UFO talks he has been giving.
He expressed doubts that the interest in UFOs could continue if more young people did not get interested.
It struck me as I read that, that he wasn't so much interested in UFO studies as in getting attendance up at his talks.
When it comes to research I would think an older head would be as good as any.

Jim Robinson said...

Kevin,

If the Fortune photo you alluded to is the one I think it is, it was used as a cover photo on the paperback edition of one of the Jenny Randles books a number of years ago (among other places), and you are perfectly correct that it is a lenticular cloud. It is hovering above Salinas Peak on White Sands Missile Range, west of Tularosa. As I recall, it shows the Southern Pacific RR right-of-way in the foreground. Lenticular clouds are a fairly common sight over that mountain range.

cda said...

Frank Warren wonders how the NICAP founding fathers would react to the current state of ufology.

Remember that NICAP's leader for many years was Donald Keyhoe. It was Keyhoe who heavily promoted the conspiracy movement (i.e. that 'the AF guys know the truth but aint telling us' philosophy). Numerous other top NICAP people at the time more or less followed Keyhoe's beliefs. The whole purpose of NICAP was to force, through Congressional hearings, the USAF to reveal all, i.e. to admit ET presence.

So maybe NICAP would not be so critical of today's conspiracy lunacy as Mr Warren thinks.

Anyone, be it Kevin, Bragalia,Stan Friedman, DR or in fact anyone else who sincerely believes the USAF or some other agency knows the truth and is covering it up (e.g. Roswell or Aztec) is, by definition, a conspiracist.

There are some conspiracists who go to extremes, such as the Disclosure Project, and some who are more conservative, as those named above. But they all fall into the general category of conspiracists.

The 'Eisenhower met aliens' tale goes back to at least 1980 in THE ROSWELL INCIDENT, but I expect it predates even that. Nothing new here, just regurgitated garbage.

Anthony Mugan said...

There has always been a lunatic fringe in ufology - which some might argue represents the majority of those involved. For example the contactee movement right back in the 1950's.

a major issue is that, whilst there is endless amounts of unreliable information, there does not appear to be many repositories of very highly cleaned information, fully source referenced etc. beyond a few specific pieces of work (Martin Shough's RADCAT springs to mind). Even there time moves on and new data becomes available with no mechanism to update a core dataset that is as clean as anyone can get it at any one point in time.
The end result is we all end up reinventing the wheel. This makes progress difficult, although we shall have to get on with it! It is actually all quite characteristic of a subject in the pre-paradigm stage

David Rudiak said...

The inimitable CDA wrote:
Anyone, be it Kevin, Bragalia,Stan Friedman, DR or in fact anyone else who sincerely believes the USAF or some other agency knows the truth and is covering it up (e.g. Roswell or Aztec) is, by definition, a conspiracist.

By this extremely silly "definition", ANYONE who "believes" in ANY conspiracy EVER becomes a lowly, non-thinking "conspiracist". (Doesn't matter if the "belief" is the result of years of analyzing evidence and could be considered a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence.)

To be free of the (shudder) "conspiracist" label, one must NEVER "believe" in any conspiracy, EVER, despite all evidence to the contrary. Therefore, one MUST "believe" governments NEVER collude to conceal or cover-up information from the public about anything.

Watergate: Never happened. Manhattan Project: Never existed. Radiation experiments on unknowing civilians: Never happened. Lying to the public about the dangers of A-bomb testing: Nope. U-2's, SR-71's, Stealth, black projects, Enigma code breakers, assassinations, covert ops, government overthrows, NSA spying: La de la de la, never existed, never happened. Etc., etc., etc.

Our resident pseudo-skeptics love to use the word "conspiracist" when they have nothing of intelligence to argue. (I wish I had a dime for every time I've been called one.) It's pejorative, like a swear word, and makes them feel superior to what they consider to be gullible UFO believers.

In reality, such name-calling as a substitute for critical thinking and sound argumentation just makes them look brain dead. It ignores the simple fact that sometimes there really are conspiracies to conceal information, be it legitimate reasons of national security or cowardly ones, like criminal or irresponsible acts perpetrated in the name of national security.

Lance said...
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Anthony Mugan said...

Hello CDA

Your view of human nature and the nature of our various societies is a very pleasant one, but one I suspect is not correct.

Humans have evolved a trait towards in-group loyalty and out-group hostility that provided a survival advantage. It is perhaps not surprising to find many aspects of human societies that reflect these tendencies, from altruistic behaviour to examples of extreme aggression.

The global economy is a model of both competition and, to some extent, collaboration. Individuals, organisations and nation states both collaborate and compete at each of these levels (sometimes at the same time). Clearly other forces are at play, to varying extents both over time and in different specific contexts at any one point in time. Political ideologies, nationalism, religious dogmatism etc. all provide forums for this basic instinct for in-group loyalty and out-group hostility to operate.

Sadly, but perhaps inevitably in the context, most of those individuals who get to the top of organisations combine both strongly competitive instincts with high ability. Any weakening is exploited ruthlessly by others (an example might be the way the United States moved decisively to damage British interests during the latter stages of WWII and the immediate post war period at the same time as the two powers worked extremely closely on most issues). I'm sure we have all seen examples of internal politics in our various working lives.

The historical record is full of examples of 'conspiracy'. From the gunpowder plot to Operation Valkeryie, from leadership bids in political parties to coups engineered by foreign powers...DR has listed numerous examples above.

I therefore agree with DR that the label 'conspiracist' is ill-defined at the moment. The issue is not if conspiracies in the broadest sense exist or not, but rather if a particular set of claims happen to be correct (or correct to some extent).

This is all well beyond the scope of the original post. To connect things back it may be worth noting that little active management of the UFO problem would actually be needed today. We are locked into a cycle in which any evidence presented to support the hypothesis that some UFO reports represent a phenomena not fully understood currently (possibly natural in origin or possibly artificial) is instantly rejected even if it can be mathematically demonstrated to be correct. This is a very curious reaction, particularly when the basic concept of the ETH, for example, is very consistent with our current thinking in astronomy and astrobiology and there are groups actively engaged in studying the technical challenges of interstellar flight.

The utter nonsense that proliferates on the internet and in much of the media coverage helps perpetuate this cycle. I suspect that if I became curious about this subject today I would probably last somewhere between two and five minutes on the internet before clicking away in utter disgust at the total bilge that appears on 'mainstream' UFO websites (I am not referring here to the total 'lunatic fringe'). I very much doubt if most of this is actively managed as part of some overall 'conspiracy' but that at least some elements of this phenomena were seen as a national security issue is clear from the historical documentation, leading to some clearly documented instances of active media management (e.g. Robertson Panel recommendations, a strategy which appears to be very successful.

Larry said...

CDA wrote:

"Anyone, be it Kevin, Bragalia,Stan Friedman, DR or in fact anyone else who sincerely believes the USAF or some other agency knows the truth and is covering it up (e.g. Roswell or Aztec) is, by definition, a conspiracist."

Then I guess you think Richard Weaver and James McAndrews were conspiricists when they wrote the USAF "Roswell Report". After all, what they claimed was EXACTLY that the Air Force knew the truth about Roswell (i.e., that it was a Mogul balloon)and kept it secret for 50 years.

Don Maor said...

Unfair and outrageous comments from CDA.

Keyhoe was one of the most important UFO researchers.

Terry the Censor said...

Dr. Rudiak, your rhetoric, as usual, is excessive to the point of being dishonest.

Woodward and Bernstein were not conspiracy theorists, they documented and demonstrated a conspiracy. Consequently, secret tapes were published that confirmed the conspiracy beyond a shadow of a doubt. Prosecutors secured convictions. A president admitted guilt; he resigned in disgrace.

Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, have innuendo to support their claims -- nothing more. (The military making bogus explanations for UFO sightings does not mean it has ET craft debris or bodies. That is pseudo-logic.)

(I should say I can't support CDA's list of who is a conspiracy theorist or not -- it is unseemly, in my opinion. But I would say Friedman is a conspiracy monger, which is just show biz.)

Terry the Censor said...

Back to Kevin's original point:

On the same day as the current post, two other UFO bloggers made the same complaint -- about two other programmes!

Mark O'Connell (Wisconson MUFON): "This is one big reason UFOlogy has such a bad name. How can anyone take us seriously if theory and speculation are routinely presented as established fact?"
http://www.highstrangenessufo.com/2014/01/roswell-schmoswell.html

Dr. Michael Heiser: "I confess I had to roll my eyes in several places."
http://michaelsheiser.com/UFOReligions/2014/01/ufos-animal-planet/

I don't have a TV, so I am not tempted to watch cable pseudo-documentaries. (Consequently, I am also not offended or harmed by them.) But from reading blogs, it seems to me that both UFO proponents and skeptics have no respect for these sensational programmes. I have to wonder if someone could organise an online readers' guide (or at least a link aggregator) that could warn viewers about the broadcast dreck and point them to more reliable information. Jason Colavito is trying -- singlehandedly -- to review every poorly researched fringe show out there. Guy's going to wear himself out! But he does get a lot of hits from TV viewers looking for more information.

Don Maor said...

Terry said:

"The military making bogus explanations for UFO sightings does not mean it has ET craft debris or bodies. That is pseudo-logic."

Terry, you are the only person who has made such a pseudo-deduction.
Please don't use the Straw-man fallacy.

cda said...

Don:

Keyhoe started off, with his TRUE article and in his first book, as a reasonable UFO researcher. Gradually he became obsessed with the 'cover-up' and 'conspiracy' ideas and his later works reflected this more and more.

His whole purpose as head of NICAP was in getting the USAF to reveal the great 'truth' about UFOs and to engineer congressional hearings to force the AF to do this.

So Keyhoe certainly deserves to be called a conspiracist, albeit one of the lesser variety.

Also, some of the cases he dealt with in his books do not quite jibe with reality.

albertguitar.com said...

I suggest everyone read the wiki page on 'conspiracy theorist": (Link), especially the section: 'Acquired derogatory meaning'. I recommend reading the legal definition as well.

IMO, the use of such labels is pure propaganda and should be discouraged. They are designed to incite and inflame, and do nothing to advance ones cause

Labels are not a substitute for intelligent debate; they are an escape mechanism for those wishing to avoid it.

Don Maor said...

CDA:

The first book I read from Keyhoe was "Flying saucers from the outer space" from year 1973. It appeared to me as a reasonable book, maybe because I am a "conspiracist" also.

The other book that sparked my interest in UFOs was Frank Edwards' "Flying Saucers - Serious Business". Was he also a conspiracist?

David Rudiak said...

"Terry the Censor" wrote:
Dr. Rudiak, your rhetoric, as usual, is excessive to the point of being dishonest.

Terry the Censor (do you have a real name?), your rhetoric, as usual, is excessive to the point of being dishonest.

Woodward and Bernstein were not conspiracy theorists,

Did I say they were? They were serious reporters following leads and trying to get at the truth (IMHO no different than SERIOUS Ufologists who do the same thing.)

I said Watergate was an example of a true government conspiracy to commit criminal acts, then try to cover them up. In fact, it is arguably the classic, modern-day example of such a conspiracy. This makes me "excessive" and "dishonest" for using it as such an example?

Also, until the acts can be proven beyond a legal reasonable doubt, any allegations of conspiracy remain just a theory.

they documented and demonstrated a conspiracy.

Yes, using mostly ANONYMOUS sources (remember "Deep Throat"?) with no absolute proof of their case. The documentary and physical proof (the tapes) were held by the White House under executive privilege and only forced into the open by Congressional hearings, with the power of cross-examination and subpoena.

In contrast, if some Ufologists (even very serious and careful ones) use anonymous sources and said the proof of UFO reality was held by the government, they get the "conspiracist" label hung on them.

Conspiracies are rarely immediately proven, a point you seem to be overlooking. The difference between a "conspiracist" (defined here as someone saying a government conspiracy has taken place to hide information) and a "dogged investigative reporter" is mainly a matter of historical perspective. If the allegations of conspiracy eventually turn out to be true (admitted to as true by the government or if some smoking gun evidence turns up), they cease to be a "conspiracist" and are rebranded as truth-seeking patriots and heroes.

Consequently, secret tapes were published that confirmed the conspiracy beyond a shadow of a doubt. Prosecutors secured convictions.

But until then, reporters like Woodward and Bernstein couldn't prove their case. Only the Constitutional powers of Congress and the legal system were able to get at the necessary evidence to prove guilt.

And it is generally agreed that if the tapes hadn't turned up, Nixon would have gotten away with it, because up until then, the case against him was built on the say-so of a few witnesses. I'm quite sure that with no tapes, people saying Nixon was part of the Watergate conspiracy would still be labeled "conspiracists" by some "skeptics".

(Interestingly, one of the things pointing to deliberate cover-up on the tapes were the missing 18-1/2 minutes on one tape, with the lame excuse that this was accidentally deleted. However, if Ufologists question missing UFO evidence that should be there but isn't, such as missing Roswell base communications or MP records, they get the nutcase "conspiracist" label hung on them.)

A president admitted guilt; he resigned in disgrace.

A little more revisionist history on your part. (But I'm the one being "excessive" and "dishonest".) Nixon did NOT admit guilt. He resigned with no such admission. It wasn't until David Frost cornered him in his infamous interviews 3 years later that Nixon INDIRECTLY admitted guilt and apologized. Nixon made it clear that he didn't feel he had done anything wrong and had acted no differently than other Presidents. His famous infamous line was that if a President did something, it wasn't illegal.

cda said...

Don:

The first Keyhoe book I read was the one you cited. Yes it appeared perfectly reasonable at the time (UK edition was published in 1954).

I then went 'backwards', read his first book (pub. 1950) plus the 3 others that followed but by then I took a far more skeptical eye on things. His version of certain UFO events were not in agreement with other, more skeptical, versions.

Keyhoe was indeed a conspiracist, in that he insisted the USAF was withholding the 'truth'. NICAP was an organsation devoted to getting this 'truth' out, nothing else.
Keyhoe even told how when Hillenkoetter resigned from NICAP (for personal reasons) he was more or less told to quit by some mythical superiors in the USAF or the CIA, even though by then H had been retired for some years.

You probably never knew, but Keyhoe, in I think, 1941, once wrote a magazine article telling how Hitler had planned to take over the US Merchant Marine and that the FBI knew all about such plans.

FBI internal memos, relased years afterwards, show how this was totally false and there is even one memo stating that Keyhoe's writings were not to be trusted in future.

Anthony Mugan said...

Whilst CDA makes some good points on specific case studies in Keyhoe's books - some of which have possible explanations, I do feel the overall criticism is too harsh.

The most conservative possible interpretation of the data and documentation is that in the period from 1947 into the early 1950's there was considerable debate and confusion within the military and intelligence communities as to what the UFO phenomena represented. I base this assertion on, for example, the various early assessments such as the Twining memorandum from Set 1947, what little we know of the 1948 ATIC estimate and the competing views developing in the Air Intelligence Analysis (or assessment?? - doing this comment quickly and from memory) division in the Pentagon which favoured either misidentification or Soviet origin. There was a considerable effort made in the 1947-8 period to gather intelligence on the possible Soviet Angle (Schulgen memo.

If the documentary evidence is complete were are led to the conservative view that both these early estimates were rejected for insufficient evidence. Even by 1952 however, the various documents around the CIA review of the situation paint an interesting picture of an evolving debate within the CIA and Ruppelt paints a vivid picture of the atmosphere in the Pentagon as the 1952 wave developed.

Regardless of any ultimate conclusion there were clear national security concerns identified during this time period, including the problem of positive identification (which curiously does not seem to get followed up in the documents we have available) and the various psychological warfare issues that were addressed by the Robertson Panel recommendations.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that policy makers would not want this debate to be made public, and the psy-warfare aspects demanded a degree of media management. Keyhoe was to some extent correct therefore in sensing that there was rather more to the whole situation that the official public line, but may have been incorrect in assuming that the US government knew the total truth of the situation at that time.

Clearly the above scenario assumes that Roswell was something mundane and it assumes that the study group referred to in the Smith memo, by Sarbacher (and by Ruppelt) didn't get very far with it's work. The documentary evidence for the existence of the latter group however, together the assertion by the usually very reliable and accurate Ruppelt that there was a study group that was convinced of the extraterrestrial origin for some of these phenomena, suggests even the above scenario may well be too conservative. The very great difficulty of accounting for Roswell in a mundane manner add to this picture.

Don Maor said...

Hi CDA,

In Keyhoe's book "Aliens from space" (this one really from 1973) it is clear that Hillenkoeter resigned from NICAP in a moment in which Keyhoe sorely needed his help. That was a very surpringing, not casual, resigment. Therefore, Keyhoe suspicion was founded. You can check it in the book.

On the other hand, pointing out Keyhoe's mistakes is not new. All humans make mistakes and errors, even the supremely wise skeptics.

Lance said...

Don, I am not following your logic.

You say that Keyhoe really needed Hillenkoeter when he resigned THEREFORE when Hillenkoeter didn't do what Keyhoe wanted, Keyhoe was justified in imagining some sort of government conspiracy.

Is that really how you guys think?

Lance

Don Maor said...

Lance, please stop being nasty.

Keyhoe was about to ask Hillenkoeter to support some witnesses in a public press conference involving congressmen. One of the contacts aparently told Hillenkoeter about Keyhoe's desires and then Hillenkoeter abandoned the boat. It is likely that Hillenkoeter feared something.

Lance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Rudiak said...

It is a FACT, that Roscoe Hillenkoetter, first CIA director, 1947-1950, was on NICAP's Board of Directors 1957-1962, which in and of itself is interesting. His resignation in 1962 was, in fact, sudden and unexpected, and according to Keyhoe, connected to Keyhoe and NICAP's push for Congressional hearings, which Keyhoe said Hillenkoetter had agreed to spearhead.

And regardless of how Keyhoe related what unfolded, it is an even more important FACT that Hillenkoetter went on the PUBLIC RECORD stating that UFO information was indeed being covered up by the Air Force, which alone would make him a "conspiracist" in CDA's book.

Hillenkoetter wrote a letter to Congress 1960 urging Congressional investigations and talking about the cover-up, as reported by the NY Times, Feb. 27, 1960. (Somehow CDA and Lance avoid talking about this.)


AIR FORCE ORDER ON ‘SAUCERS' CITED

Pamphlet by the Inspector General Called Objects a ‘Serious Business'

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI)—The Air Force has sent its commands a warning to treat sightings of unidentified flying objects as "serious business" directly related to the nation's defense, it was learned today.

An Air Force spokesman confirmed issuance of the directive after portions of it were made public by a private "flying saucer" group.

The new regulations were issued by the Air Force inspector general Dec. 24.

The regulations, revising similar ones issued in the past, outlined procedures and said that "investigations and analysis of UFO's are directly related to the Air Force's responsibility for the defense of the United States."

Committee Reveals Document

Existence of the document was revealed by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.

The privately financed committee accused the Air Force of deception in publicly describing reports of unidentified flying objects as delusions and hoaxes while sending the private admonition to its commands.

Vice Admiral R. H. Hillenkoetter (Ret.), a committee board member and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said in a statement that a copy of the inspector general's warning had been sent to the Senate Science and Astronautics Committee.

"It is time for the truth to be brought out in open Congressional hearings," he said."


The Air Force confirmed that the document had been issued. A spokesman said it was put out by Maj. Gen. Richard E. O'Keefe, acting inspector general at the time, to call attention to revised Air Force regulations concerning unidentified flying objects.

The statement was included in an "operations and training" pamphlet circulated at intervals to bring commands up to date.

Pentagon aides said the new regulations covering seven printed pages, made no substantive change in policy but had been rewritten as a matter of course.

<...> The latest Air Force statement, issued a month ago said, "no physical or material evidence, not even a minute fragment of a so-called flying saucer, has ever been found."

Admiral Hillenkoetter said that "behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFO's."

"But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense," the retired admiral said. He charged that "to hide the facts, the Air Force has silenced its personnel" through the issuance of a regulation.


Gee, "serious business" related to national defense, "soberly concerned" behind the scenes, "official secrecy and ridicule", silencing their own people. Sure sounds like the description of a cover-up to me (but of course you would expect that from a "conspiracist").

As usual, cda and Lance ignore the important, and instead try to nitpick the unimportant.

Bob Koford said...

Kevin, I apologize fpr joining in on the deviation from the actual topic. DR said what I was thinking...regarding Admiral Hillenkoetter. I feel it should be stressed that documents show that the CIA was seriously seeking ways to get Hilley to quit NICAP as early as the mid-fifties, and yet, interestingly, it took until after his famous "speech" in 1960 to get him to go. In all of that time he was a supporter of the effort to force out info. It is also true that he, somewhat suddenly, changed his mind, encouraging Keyhoe to quit harrasing the AF...as it wasn't their fault. The saucer situation was much too comlex an issue to allow the Air Force to take the blame.

Lance said...

So Hillenkoetter is busy blowing the lid off of the UFO mystery AND he immediately caved when asked by the mysterious black mystery government to resign from NICAP.

Any contradictory set of facts can apparently be incorporated into the conspiracy buff's worldview.

Rudiak is hindered by his sad dependence upon the perfect edifice of the infalible and all-encompassing conspiracy tapestry that he has dreamed up.

In the real world , the government WAS certainly interested in UFO's and it was concerned that it might be a matter of national security. It did hide some facts about UFO's. There are documents that support this and Rudiak holds these dear as precious relics of the saucer religion.

But the interest that started out hot and heavy in the 1950's then began to wane. It continued to peter out through perhaps the mid-1960's.

Then, in the abject lack of any real evidence, the official interest ended almost completely except for a few isolated papers.

Scientific interest is and always has been non-existent. Of course, Rudiak can't conceive that his impossible, silly and unfalsifiable conspiracy world isn't accepted by anyone except similarly deluded conspiracists.

If only the fools would see the truth, huh, David?


Sad,

Lance

David Rudiak said...

Here's another article, this time from June 1961, or nearly a year and half after Hillenkoetter first went public stating there was a UFO cover-up, again showing that Keyhoe was accurately reporting that a Congressional UFO investigation was indeed in the works involving Hillenkoetter at this later date. H. suddenly quit NICAP in Feb. 1962, at which point Keyhoe said the planned Congressional investigation collapsed, since H. was to be the key witness.

Note the big Congressional names backing up Hillenkoetter, allegations of a coverup, and the UFO probe (John McCormack, House Majority Leader, then Speaker of the House, and Sen. Barry Goldwater). Note also the paragraph where there is concern about possible public panic and whether to hold portions of the hearing in private. (Venus is just so damn scary.)

This article comes from the Newport R.I. Daily News, June 20, 1961, downloaded from Ancestry.com.

Flying Saucer Probe Subcommittee Picked

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

WASHINGTON--The mysterious flying saucers are to be investigated by the House Space Committee, according to the present decision of Chairman Overton Brooks (D. La).

The basis of the proposed probe is the refusal of many civilian experts to believe the repeated Air Force assertion that all of the unidentified flying objects (UFOs) can be explained away as misidentification of family objects such as meteors and balloons.

House Leader John W. McCormack (D Mass), Adm. R. H. Hillenkoetter, a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Sen. Barry Goldwater (R Ariz), are among those who challenge the Air Force explanation.

[So add McCormack and Goldwater to the list of CDA's and Lance's "conspiracy buffs", along with Keyhoe and Hillenkoetter]

A New Englander, Congressman Perkins Bass (R NH) has been named a member of the three-member probe subcomittee of the House Science and Astronautics Committee. The chairman will be Congressman Joseph E. Kerth (D Minn).

The question of national panic or alarm, which might be occasioned by public hearings on UFOs, is delaying decision as whether some of the hearings shall be public, it is reported.

[So Lance says there is nothing there, but Congressional leaders are afraid of public panic, apparently over sightings of Venus, meteors, and weather balloons.]

Both Leader McCormack and Admiral Hillenkoetter, among others,have indicated the Air Force has been withholding information on the UFOs.

[Wait, didn't CDA just say it was only Keyhoe who was the "conspiracist" accusing the AF of a coverup?]

Don Maor said...

Lance said

"So Hillenkoetter is busy blowing the lid off of the UFO mystery AND he immediately caved when asked by the mysterious black mystery government to resign from NICAP"

Leaving aside your fallacious exaggeration of the "black mystery government" and the abusive use of the word "caved", yes, such would be the basic mechanism and goal of a warning procedure:
The guy "A" is doing the task "B" when he is warned to stop doing it, and consequently the guy "A" indeed stops doing task "B".

No contradiction there.

Don Maor said...
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Lance said...

And you believe it on faith from the statements of a UFO advocate, prone to exaggeration . What does Hillenkoetter say about it or does that even matter in conspiracy land?

Lance

David Rudiak said...

What did Hillenkoetter have to say about it? Well aside from being CIA director, being on the Board of Directors of NICAP for 5 years, publicly urging Congressional investigations in Feb. 1960, along with other published public statements to the effect that the Air Force was covering up what they knew about UFOs and silencing their own people, still associated with a planned House investigation in June 1961, supported by the likes of House Majority Leader McCormack and Barry Goldwater (who also said the A.F. was covering up), with it also said Congressional leaders were concerned about possible public panic and might hold some parts of it in private, here is another quote in 1965 from Hillenkoetter:

"The unknown objects are operating under intelligent control. It is imperative we learn where they are coming from."

Source: Column by ultraconservative columnist and radio commentator Fulton Lewis Jr., Feb. 27, 1965, who adds another quote from Albert M. Chop, public affairs director of NASA (who became known as the "voice of NASA), who started an uber-skeptic when he was the chief of the press section for the Air Force during the early days of Blue Book, became the primary subject of the 1956 documentary "UFO", featuring the Tremonton film we were just discussing, was present during the radar-visual-intercepts over Washington in July 1952, etc., etc. (in other words, he was in the thick of the action when he turned into a "believer"):

"[I have] 'been convinced for a long time' that the saucers are interplanetary. 'We're being watched by beings from outer space.'"

Lewis ends: "The Air Force does not deny that certain UFOs may have been operated by creatures from outer space. It says only that no UFO 'has ever given any indication of a threat to our national security.'"

"Conspiracists' one and all caught up in "UFO religion".

And that's the word from "conspiracy land," where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the debunkers are below average.

cda said...

DR:

Although the quote by Hillenkoetter that you cite was printed in 1965, I am pretty certain that H made this quote long before then, while he was still a governor of NICAP.

The press report from Fulton Lewis was a historical quote.

H made no more references to UFOs after quitting NICAP in early 1962, and even told Menzel (of all people!) the reasons he quit. This was in a private letter to Menzel in late 1963, thanking him (Menzel) for sending him a copy of his latest anti-UFO book.

His reasons for quitting were that he got fed up with the internal bickering among NICAP officials about certain personalities in the UFO field, and general NICAP policy.

You may choose to believe otherwise, but the above is on public record and has been for nearly 50 years. H may once have been a believer but he certainly backtracked a bit in his later years.

And yes, Senator Goldwater was inclined towards a conspiracist's view too, although in a relatively minor way.

KRandle said...

All -

Let's see... I write a review about a UFO program and now you're arguing about Hillenkoetter and what he might have said or done. This is a particularly strange bit of topic drift.

cda said...

Kevin:

Yes, we are a deviant lot.

It is like interviews with politicians over here; when they can't deal with relevant questions they subtly change the subject!

Lance said...

Kevin,

It's also a nice demonstration of why the low quality of research in UFO programs like the one you rightfully complain about fit right in with the way UFO believers think.

Here we see Don and David making an assumption that a person has become a victim of their magical conspiracy and basing this only on the most flimsy of assumptions AND directly in contradiction of the actual evidence.

David, of course, makes his case in the most dishonest way possible by bringing in tons of text (a Rudiaik specialty) unrelated to the issue in question.

It seems to me that this constant dumbing down of research can't help but have contributed to the state of UFO discussion.

Lance

Don Maor said...

CDA said:

"H made no more references to UFOs after quitting NICAP in early 1962, and even told Menzel (of all people!) the reasons he quit. This was in a private letter to Menzel in late 1963, thanking him (Menzel) for sending him a copy of his latest anti-UFO book."

Hello CDA: It would be extremely interesting to see that letter(would you mind please?).

Sorry Kevin, analyzing such letter would be of much more historical importance than discussing a UFO TV program that all of us here would immediatly agree is garbage. (What fascinates me is that CDA himself introduced the off-topic, He introduced Keyhoe to the topic!, He introduced Hillenkoeter!, and now he complains!. Amazing.)

cda said...

Don:
It was Frank Warren who introduced NICAP into it. Keyhoe was the natural follow-on from that. Hillenkoetter was the natural follow-on from Keyhoe. Etc, etc.

Now do you see the logic behind this deviation?

Such is ufology.

As for that Hillenkoetter-Menzel letter, see International UFO Reporter March/April 1995, p.15-17. (vol 20 no.2).

Don Maor said...

CDA said:
"Now do you see the logic behind this deviation?"

I see the logic behind the deviation. What I don't see is why in the world you complained about the deviation, when it was precisely you who participated actively in it.

CDA said:
"Such is ufology.
As for that Hillenkoetter-Menzel letter, see International UFO Reporter March/April 1995, p.15-17. (vol 20 no.2)."


Look at yourself CDA, quoting from a specialized UFO Journal (which I currently don't have) and yet insisting with the typical clause "Such is ufology". Don't deny it: You are also an ufologist (The message goes for the Lance, too).

Kurt Peters said...

...it seems that Reynold's "UFO Iconcolast(s)" blog has left the planet.....

Steve Sawyer said...
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Kurt Peters said...

Yo, Maor!:

http://www.cufos.org/iurdvd.html

...take a little initiative, buddy...

Kurt Peters said...

"...it seems that Reynold's "UFO Iconcolast(s)" blog has left the planet...."


P.S. at least the Genius that is Tony will continue:

http://bragalia.blogspot.com/

Majestic leader said...

UfoIconoclast,
I went out to post a comment saying a new UFO book had nice things to say about the blog and its readers. Its not there.
The book is probably the best UFO book I have ever read. As most know, I have read over 4000. I posted three reviews over on my blog.
Its called Finding the UFO Crash at San Augustin Isotopic Metal Analysis Not of This Earth
The entire book is scientific analysis summary after scientific analysis summary saying the isotopic ratios don't match Earth.

KRandle said...

All -

Talk about topic drift... How do we get from Unsealed: Alien Files to the point where someone is pushing a review of a book about a nonexistent UFO crash on the Plains of San Agustin?

cda said...

Kevin:

The connection between "Unsealed: Alien Files" and the book with the very long title is that both items are non-existent.

You may also (I think) assume that the claim to have read over 4000 UFO books is equally false.

But then I've never counted them. Have you?

Daniel Transit said...

Don Maor said...

CDA said:

"H made no more references to UFOs after quitting NICAP in early 1962, and even told Menzel (of all people!) the reasons he quit. This was in a private letter to Menzel in late 1963, thanking him (Menzel) for sending him a copy of his latest anti-UFO book."

Hello CDA: It would be extremely interesting to see that letter(would you mind please?)......

******************************

A few days back, I received a copy of Saucer News, March 1966, which includes 'A Resolution For A Better NICAP', endorsed by 21 'UFO leaders'. The related editorial concludes:

'..Hillenkoetter's letter to Menzel (dated Sept.19, 1963), which is not quoted directly in the Investigator, has the following key passage: "Thank you very much for your book....I should say that you have effectively put to rest all surmises about flying saucers being from 'outer space'. You have done a thorough and praiseworthy job. As I told you, ....I resigned from NICAP about 20 months ago feeling that it had degenerated from an organization honestly trying to find out something definite about possible unknowns, into a body bickering about personalities...."
We do not for a moment agree with Menzel's or Hillenkoetter's views about the reality of UFOs. We have mentioned the NICAP-Menzel dispute only to do our part in helping to set the record straight.'

Anthony Mugan said...

There has always been a lunatic fringe in ufology - which some might argue represents the majority of those involved. For example the contactee movement right back in the 1950's.

The contactee movement was comprised of a variety of individuals, some of whom reported - among much else - multiple-witness ufo sightings. Simplistic notions of what the contactees were about do not come to terms with the rich legacy in print and other media which exists about their lives and experiences. The phrase 'lunatic fringe' is not helpful when applied to any group of people.

Don Maor said...

Thanks Daniel.

In fact the letter from Hillenkoetter to Menzel can be found here:

http://majesticdocuments.com/pdf/hillenkoetter-menzel_sept1963.pdf

There can be many interpretations of this letter.

One is that Hillenkoetter became skeptical after leaving NICAP. This is a very simple interpretation, but in my opinion does not respond all the doubts that emerge from the letter (see the link) and the known behavior of Hillenkoetter.

Other more refined interpretation of the letter is that Hillenkoetter was not expressing real skepticism about flying saucers. He was only saying that Menzel has made a really good job refuting the surmises of the extraterrestrial hypothesis. In this interpretation, Hillenkoetter is basically congratulating a partner or friend for being good at his goals, but is not being really skeptical about UFOs. Hillenkoetter even says in his letter that he retired from NICAP because of personalities issues, which not necessarily means that Hillenkoetter became skeptical.

Other scenario is that both Hillenkoetter and Menzel were, and always had been intentional agents-debunkers at work. Both were “cops” fighting the “mafia” of NICAP. In this scenario, Hillenkoetter was sent to infiltrate NICAP and he was indeed somewhat vocal about the UFO reality, but when asked by Keyhoe to make a big contribution to NICAP, he immediately resigned from NICAP, in the same way as an infiltrated cop can be very vocal inside the gang, about hating police men or being able to make big robberies, etc. But when asked by the gangsters to make a big work he would invent a reason for not doing it directly.

There are possible indicators of Menzel being not such a clean debunker. First: Stanton Friedman found documents relating Menzel to the CIA. Another possible indicator is that one of the first majestic documents lists both Hillenkoetter and Menzel as belonging to the MJ-12 group. Another indicator is the fact that the letter from H to M was sent to CIA and classified Top Secret. Why? Why to label top secret such an innocuous letter? Why to send it to the CIA? A copy was sent to Hillenkoetter in October 1965. Why? Was Hillenkoetter still in the CIA in 1965? An explanation to all of these questions would be that the letter was intentionally created by Hillenkoetter to deceive some naïf insider who dared to ask whether Menzel and/or Hillenkoetter were really in the loop of the extraterrestrial cover-up.

Of course, I believe there is no way (at present) to verify which scenario is the correct one.

cda said...

Don:

You have been 'had'.

The contents of the letter you cited are in the original, but the TOP SECRET CIA COPY headings and the handwritten bits at the bottom are fakes.

They were added by an unknown person or persons who wanted to make the letter appear deceptive, and to bolster the MJ-12 scenario (probably done by someone in the 'Majestic Documents' gang).

This doctoring of documents does not surprise me in the least. In fact I first encountered the phony add-ons soon after I wrote the article in IUR. Look in the NICAP or CUFOS archives and I can assure you that these add-ons do not appear in their copies.

Don Maor said...

Hello CDA,

There might be other copies of the letter, some with security markings and others with no markings. At any rate, the marking of the 1965 forward copy to Hillenkoetter and others, does not seem to be bogus. Claims of bogusness should be demonstrated. This is your opportunity to glow.

At any rate, your attitude here is not very honest. You did not mention that the IUR article was of your authorship, and you gave very little help for the blog public to examine it. (The typical attitude of an author is to offer free copies of his articles, although sometimes occur that the author simply doesn't have pdfs or copies of it). Are not you proud of your IUR paper?

Steve Sawyer said...

@CDA:

"...to bolster the MJ-12 scenario (probably done by someone in the 'Majestic Documents' gang)."

You mean, like maybe Timothy Cooper?

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Kevin,
Let me say up front that I agree with you on Unsealed:Alien Files. Personally I didn't find the series horribly useful.

I got thinking about it and wondered if there been any UFO series on TV that the UFO research community ever liked what so ever? From what I have seen they all get dished (some for good reason) for many and various reasons. Even if the show or series was made by a fellow researcher they still are not liked.

Typically with TV guests that are invited to appear on the program typically do not get a say on how or what material is used. The show's producer's may have interviewed person x for 3 hours to use 30 seconds, or 1 or two edited minutes from that entire 3 hour interview. Just the way the business works. Also figure show time and what the producers have to work with. On a 30 min show, you typically have 21 minutes of actual show when you take out commercials. On an hour long show, you normally have 40-42 minutes when you subtract commercials. Picture some UFO topic that folks such as us may spend hours debating and talking about and trying to stuff that into a small segment with various sound bytes, not to mention finding visual representations to add to the program. Not as easy as it seems.

As to UFOlogy self destructing I think a more correct characterization is that it self damages with bogus story tellers. You have multiple channels at work here.

You have various story telling people who come forward and trot out some incredible story and milk it for all the publicity it's worth, books, money, radio, tv shows etc and or you have researchers who gullibly buy into the the story after doing a basic, superficial investigation.

Then the researchers immediately put the story out on late night radio, the internet or whatever venue they possibly can get out on. There are so few incredible stories and some researchers seem desperate for any kind of air time they can get.

If researcher X doesn't have a new story to pass along most of the radio hosts and others really aren't interested in them or their story.

So instead of investigating a story to find out the truth before publication it is more important to throw whatever incredible story they have gotten their hands on out into the public arena so they can get some air time, which possibly leads to emails and phone calls with new stories and new leads.

When the researchers promote the story they tend to come off sounding like they think it is real, which is something not lost on the listening audience.

This goes on for awhile, then when other researchers try to independently verify the tale/photographs/facts they can't, and the wheels start coming off of the story and it disintegrates. Once that starts happening the researcher defends it with even more incredible stories and outlandish explanations and or goes silent. Rarely does the researcher(s) say "Hey I or we screwed up, we took this person at face value, we didn't investigate before we opened our mouths and the story teller swindled me."

They then seem to move on to the next story teller with the next incredible story to tell.

Then away things go again.

In my opinion these people aren't destructing the UFO field, they just damage it from time to time.


Unknown said...
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