Friday, May 23, 2008

MUFON Investagation: Stephenville

"Momma's in the basement mixing up some medicine, I'm
on the pavement thinking about the govenement" Bob Dylan

MUFON’s Journal published results of the organization’s findings on the detailed reports from 70 witnesses in Texas in its April 2008 issue. Bottom line: the vast majority of witnesses who reported to MUFON were regular people just wanting to get answers about what they saw. Of the many people who reported UFOs, 2 were found to be hoaxers. Amazing! You’d think with all the screams out there on You-Tube and debunker land, it’d be closer to 70.

There were almost as many UFO reports from the two Texas counties --Stephenville and Dublin-- in January and February in 2008 as in all of 2007, according to the only ones who are doing any data collection…our own good UFO organizations.

Notably, MUFON’s investigation found there were two “official” daylight sightings reporting a “large craft gray in color”, silent and moving at a high rate of speed. Many Texas reports were similar to those logged around the world, featuring large sequential blinking lights in the sky. Also notable about the Stephenville sightings is how many witnesses came forward with old reports. I guess they felt it was finally safe to do so. This factor of multiple, belated UFO reports --indicating many pre-existing UFO sightings from the region-- is in itself important, no matter how you slice it.

MUFON was not able to get written reports from the local Police Officers, just verbal descriptions. So what did these trained observers report? Three officers who gave accounts describe a large “craft”, gray in color with red strobe lights on the top. The two officers who were outside at the time reported the craft they observed was silent.

Of this investigation, 18 reports are unknown, with five still under investigation. They still have 100 continuing UFO sighting reports around the Dublin area. So the Great Stephenville UFO Incident of 2008 is not over because the press calls it over.

Not all the UFOs were of the same type. I like this one:
“At 6:50 AM on January 11, James Beatty had a close encounter…he saw bright white lights coming over a hill, on the opposite side of the dam…hugging the shore line…it was delta shaped…black and gray in color…approached to about 30 to 50 yards away… no bigger then a 1978 Thunderbird…rear was rectangle with three large round openings in its side. No apparent thrust nor fire…extended canopy running three quarters of the way down the fuselage. It was metallic as well. The bottom looked like it had panel lines, it had three non-blinking white lights under it. It made no sound at all.”

Just a reminder to the “ well… it’s only lights in the sky” bunch, CRAFT is the term three trained observers used to describe their daylight sighting.

For all you secret government test flight fanatics: why would the government be flying a huge, top-secret craft, near paranoid George’s ranch, in daylight?

And finally for all of you “why in the world would aliens fly a trillion miles to go to Texas?” theoreticians: it’s called bases. Try to think ahead!

David Coram Video. Seen on “Alien Hunters” episode Diagrams In The Sky, this one’s still an enigma. MUFON Journal reported Dr. Bruce Maccabee and others wanted to find the light source but “time restraints” kept them from going to the original spot. So until that is done, I can’t go with Maccabee’s conclusion, that what was captured was just a camera effect combined with atmospheric conditions and an out-of-focus star. David Coram’s grandchild, who was first to point out this strange light source, was drawn to it and asked his grandfather about the “lightening” in the sky. He saw that movement with the unaided eye.

DVD "The Good Bad And Ugly Of UFO Reporting" X Conference 2008
Fired Jounalist Angilia Joiner UFO Witnesses Stories.

So a follow up is what they deserve. I think “Alien Hunter” should do a follow up on Texas, too. After all, Stephenville was the biggest UFO phenomenon of the year, and there are more than 100 UFO sightings still being reported there. Also, it’s important to not let it the case get too cold. While the Alien Hunter crew is there, they could also do a follow-up, confirming, if that be the case, Maccabee’s conclusion by simply filming a star from the same place David Coram’s daughter pointed out what she was seeing.

Since the US Government’s not exactly forthcoming these days, CITIZEN INITIATIVE AND CAN DO is still looking like the smartest and most civilized response. Wouldn’t it be great if some other optics and video experts would join MUFON and volunteer some time? So…what are you doing next weekend?

MUFON needs people of all expertise levels to help analyze the enormous quantities of video and photos now being submitted. I heard it from good sources that MUFON is backed up for two years on the normal processing of multimedia submitted for examination. MUFON is a great organization and doing a fine job. Those hundred Texas witness reports are still waiting to be gathered and investigated. MUFON needs more skilled volunteers. How many will step forward?

Alien Hunters complements citizen organization efforts.
I’m happy “Alien Hunters” is on the air. The show allows access to scientific equipment that is many times beyond the frugal expense accounts of many of our citizen organizations.

Of course presenting the proper evidence is crucial in getting to the answers. But actually being there in the midst of a flap and catching something with the best equipment would be highly desirable. The next best thing is sending investigators quickly to do a thorough job. “Alien Hunters” gets a B+; with some work it can be a great show and help the larger effort validating the witnesses to these phenomenon and according witnesses their much deserved…and overdue respect. I don’t like the idea of offering money to witnesses for UFO video. The practice opens up a can of worms and does nothing to help the credibility of sightings or witnesses.

I still wonder how many people never reported what they saw.

Joseph Capp
UFO Media Matters

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Body Snatchers: Better as a Sci-Fi Film?

Nick Redfern, in Body Snatchers In The Desert [Paraview Pocket Books, 2005] sure jumps through a lot of hoops to explain Roswell away:
“A Horton Brothers Flying wing supported by huge Japanese-designed balloons and containing disabled or genetically damaged Japanese who were used as human guinea pigs to provide data on the effects of radiation for use in the NEPA Program.”

Though Redfern bases some of his latest on them, I’d never bet on anonymous whistle blowers. Especially when they’re from the government.

If I went through every scenario disclosed by every anonymous whistle blower in the UFO researcher community, I’d go nuts. But maybe that’s the mission.

I accept documents when conclusive; I accept the testimony of dying military witnesses when they have nothing to gain. Especially when they confess to their relatives, as so many loyal career military did in the Roswell case.

Some whistle blowers lie. One way I think they lie is by exaggerating a real story which loosely may apply. Sometimes, that’s professional misinformation. To do this, they get a researcher like Nick…who, as they say, strains the gnat and swallows the camel. As did many UFO researchers who swallowed the MOGUL story.

Interesting to note how this researcher faction, who discount the MOGUL theory --choose to believe in the witness testimony when it differs from MOGUL, but not when it differs from Redfern’s Body Snatchers version -- suddenly question those witnesses’ memory. There have been a dozen “what really happened at Roswell” books that dismiss all the original boots-on-the-ground witnesses. When you get whistle blowers called “the Colonel” and the “the black Widow’, as Redfern did, you can’t expect anything like serious ufology. But maybe you’d like to option a remake of a classic Sci-Fi film?

Let’s break it down, Redfern’s BS scenario.

First: do these descriptions from Roswell witnesses --who were there-- sound like a Horton Flying Wing made of wood or metals from the ‘40s?

Now let’s hear it from the some of the cojones-sufficient-to-ID-themselves witnesses, instead of “the Colonel” and “Black Widow”.

Start with Jesse Marcell Jr.’s The Roswell Legacy [Paperback, New Page Books, Sept. 2008] on the wonder of the material…

”As we examined the debris and carefully handled it my dad’s excitement was almost palpable… to his family he was a pretty laid back guy taking everything in his stride... [an] intelligence officer on a base with the country’s most guarded secrets… I saw another side to him…It was a mixture of excitement and confusion suffused with a sense of wonder that one just doesn’t see in many grown men.”

And move on to several others who were there.

Counter Intelligence Officer Sergeant Bill Ricket:
“The site itself was generally flat terrain…also evident were sixty or so pieces of what appeared to be very thin aluminum scattered about’…he picked up a piece about 4 inches by 10 inches and placed it over his knee to try and bend it. He couldn’t …Ricket [said]…‘I had never seen a piece of metal so thin that I couldn’t bend it…the more I look at it the more I couldn’t imagine what it was.’”

Major Edwin Easley’s Deathbed confession:
After keeping silent for 45 years, when presented with a book on the UFO crash at Roswell, Easley exclaimed to his granddaughter: “Oh the creatures!”

Sgt. Homer Rowlett, 603 Air Engineering Squadron, who days before passing, told his family:
“Sent as part of a clean-up detail…[he] had seen the memory material…tin foil that kept it’s shape…I saw three people they had large heads and one was alive.”

Rowell Military Hospital administrator Wayne’s Secretary broke down sobbing and told her parents:
[Worried by all the additional personnel running around the hospital her boss,“Wayne”, took her by the arm and had her accompany him to a room and observe a number of bodies on gurneys…]
“‘My God! They are children!’ Then she realized that its body size was the only childlike quality. Their skin was grayest brown…But the heads, the heads were too large…and those large eyes… those eyes that wouldn’t shut…she had heard of all of the talk of a crashed spaceship…‘Why did he[Wayne, her boss] have to involve me?’ she pleaded in the end.”

Lt. Govenor Joseph Montoya, on July 7th, 1947 while at the Roswell base, made this unintentionally close observation:
“We don’t know what it is. There was a flying saucer…[Describing bodies]…big eyes with big eyes shaped like tear drops…mouth small, like a knife cut across a piece of wood and they had large heads…bald heads…they had four long thin fingers on each hand.”

Staff Sergeant Earl Fulford, Top Secret clearance, 603rd Engineering:
[Forced to “volunteer for clean-up duties”, he was bused to any area which had “obviously been policed before”]
“… I only picked up seven small silvery pieces all day… the largest of which was 3 by 4 inches. I looked like thin light aluminum that flex slightly when I picked it up, but once in the palm of your hands you could wad it up into a small ball…and it would immediately form its shape in a second or two.”

Black Cat Mac Magruder, decorated F16 Fighter Pilot, lying on his deathbed, told his daughter:
[During class at the prestigious War College, he was taken to Wright Field and observed a live creature from the Roswell craft]
“…under five feet tall. Human like but with longer arms, large eyes, and an oversized hairless head…a small slit for a mouth, no nose just two small orifices…Ears two small orifices…came from another planet.”

I would never try to discredit Nick Redfern’s research; in fact, his work is usually top notch. But that doesn’t mean the latest Redfern theory makes sense--either in the general context of the larger Roswell story, or in the real-life details-- against the multiple deathbed and end-of-life confessions of loyal military and military support staff, who were there.

BBC Documentary on Roswell Witnesses:

Now that there are a majority who believe UFOs are not ET, it’s that much easier for professional debunkers to do away with the truth. Now debunkers feel safe to take any theory or opinion that comes down the pike to discredit the Roswell ET explanation. But Redfern’s latest scenario automatically puts many of the military professionals and other good, honest witnesses into what I’ll call the stupid category. And I haven’t even included in this discussion the people in the town who actually handled the material from the crafts…like rancher Brazel’s family home, tossed two years after the incident, by military looking for more material from the crafts.

These people have also been ignored or attacked as being too stupid to know a metal with bizarre properties they personally handled was different from the tinfoil on a cigarette package. For me, denigrating these witnesses is unacceptable.

I admit Mr. Redfern tries to cover some of the other witness testimony, like bodies and security measures. But you can’t cherrypick testimony to build a theory. This is what the debunkers do to prove we’re all nuts.

All quotes are from the taped testimony reported in the book A Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60-Year Cover-Up, by Schmitt and Cary [New Page Books, 2007].

Stanton Friedman’s take on the history, as well as other problems with explanations put forward by Nick Redfern in Body Snatchers is here:

Another famous Pilot at a UFO crash sight handles the same type of wreckage as Roswell 8 years later, described here:

Joseph Capp
UFO Media Matters

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