Saturday, January 30, 2010

1948: Sailing Towards An Estimate

After Mantell the SIGN Project began its official work. The two "events" don't have anything to do with one another, but their temporal approximation might make a person who hadn't studied the history think that they did. The pictures above let you see the real people behind the story. At the top are [left to right] Chief of AMC intelligence Colonel Howard [Mack] McCoy, Chief of the Technical Intelligence division [that is, McCoy's main assistant over the boys at the specific analysis desks] Colonel William Clingerman, and the "mysterious" Miles Goll [who is not mysterious at all]. Goll was a colonel at Wright-Pat during the war, and was one of those guys who left the service at its end but was encouraged to stay on at T-2 with all the irreplaceable retirements that were taking place in essential positions. Albert Deyarmond was another like that at SIGN, and at the Pentagon Colonel Garrett ultimately did the same thing. Goll was McCoy's main administrational helper out of the HQ office. People have tried to make of him some mystery shadowy figure due to the fact that they don't read the documents and only know that he signed the so-called [not called so by T-2] "Pentacle" memo. In the middle above is a rather amazing picture of the boys "in action" in McCoy's office/meeting room in [probably late 1947 or 1948]. Who would think that we'd ever have such a memorial to McCoy's era on film? Mack is at the head of the table [with a piece of art with a rocket on it behind him] and Clingerman is second to the right. Nearest the camera is John [Red] Honaker, a civilian intelligence operative out of McCoy's main office, who was still there when Ruppelt arrived and Ed was able to talk with him and others [like Al Loedding] about what this era was like. The guy closest to the camera on the left is very probably Goll [very balding and mustachioed]. Who knows, maybe they're considering whether to send up SIGN's Estimate of the Situation as we watch? Below are the two main SIGN engineers, Albert Deyarmond [a longtime buddy of McCoy--on the left] and Alfred Loedding [on the right]. These are the real people [no conspiracy agents they] who began in earnest the Air Force's attempt to understand the flying disks.
In the pictures to the left are shown [on the left] an aerial photo of the T-2 area, and a picture of two of our heroes in the story. As to T-2: some folks don't realize that Wright-Patterson AFB was really a significantly separated base in simplicity of travel between the two [by this I mean that it wasn't like driving across the street--it took a little trouble to pass between as they were somewhat split as to ground transport] and, moreso in function. Wright was the Top Secret Technology base, Patterson was more or less a "normal" airfield. In between the two, and on the Patterson side, was the T-2 area and the intelligence division---that is, Intelligence was not alongside Engineering, and these functions became more and more separated with time. Knowing this could play a role in peoples' thinking about Roswell, for instance. [A secret shipment to a secure building in T-3 Engineering need not ever involve anyone from T-2]. The other picture I just include because I like it: Mack [on the right] and Moose [Deyarmond's nickname; on the left]. The two great buddies in their "sunday military finest" at an awards banquet. I put some of this sort of stuff in here because I think it's useful to remember that these folks are people--maybe not that different from you and me.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, on to SIGN and its activities: there are an unlimited number of things that could be written about, so I'll have to just pick some which are in my judgement insightful. In early February, SIGN received a newspaper clipping [of all things] which said that "white balls of light" had been seen during some military operation in France. SIGN was very interested. Please get this information to us at the earliest possible date. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A few days later something was reported that stretched them past what they wanted to consider. A fireball cruised over and crashed in Kansas at Norcatur. Many folks saw it and there were news reports. SIGN was made aware of the event and later learned that some meteorite hunters had recovered an achondritic meteorite which is not [largely] iron-nickel and so deteriorates in the atmosphere often putting on a colorful show. So far so good. An "unfettered Fortean", named Norman Markham, wrote to the Pentagon saying that he had insights into this event. This was passed on to SIGN. Markham said that he had calculated a path for the object in question and felt that it intersected with the orbit of the Moon. He went on to comment on other anomalous "meteoritic" events, and alluded a possible connection to the "current" flying disk sightings. He spoke of the extraterrestrial theory for the disks [quite early, eh?] and said that they seem to arrive in greater frequency depending on the orbits of a certain planet [Venus]. I have no idea how SIGN took all this, but they sent the letters on to meteor expert Lincoln LaPaz rather than throwing them in the trash. LaPaz rejected Markham's ideas [naturally] but in a letter back to the Research and Development Board at the Pentagon reported on his own team's field work interviewing persons about the Norcatur fall. The boggler was the testimony of Leland Sammons, farmer of Stockton, Kansas. He said that he was outside near the chickenhouse when the pheasants and hens all raised a ruckus. He investigated and was confronted by an object hovering nearby. The thing descended to about 6 foot off the ground. It was 4 foot long and funnel-shaped. A pipe stuck out of its midsection [right at Sammons]. It wobbled about, fire sucking in and out, showered sparks, and, increasing in its "fire", took off extremely fast and departed in a trail of smoke [the latter part of this his wife also saw]. "Suddenly there was a great cloud of smoke in the sky" and they heard an explosion. Well, what do you make of that? SIGN and LaPaz, to maintain sanity apparently, forgot it as fast as they could, but the report nevertheless was left in project records. My UFO friend Frank Reid thinks that this affair may have begun an idea in USAF minds that plotting UFO incidents relative to planetary orbits was a good idea [SIGN did that in this very year]. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Now to the associated picture. in the upper left is William Rhodes of Phoenix, AZ. Rhodes; as many of you know, took two photos of "flying disks" in early July of 1947. Those photos are shown on the right. [I was messing about one day in CUFOS files and came across what seem to be negatives of the original photos as collected by SIGN. By this I mean not Rhodes' own negatives--although even that is possible--but a "first" copy perhaps that the AF saved{and Hynek walked off with}. I asked Rob Swiatek if he could get a good print of them, and that's what you're looking at. I think that this is "neat" but I'm a romantic]. Well, Al Loedding was very fired up for the Rhodes photos and when he got an excuse to visit him in person [due to an important-sounding case out of Holloman] he took the opportunity to go on to Phoenix as a side-trip. Nothing that happened there dissuaded him from his enthusism that he was looking at a flying disk in the air, just as he knew it could be. [Rhodes was a bit of a poser--he liked to think of himself in more august terms than probably was justified, but that didn't bother Loedding, although it did put off other investigators]. Loedding went back to SIGN thinking that he had one more solid reason for believing that the disks were flying around. The last part of this illustration is of a German glider from the AMC's secret library that was used by both ET-pro and ET-con elements in the Air Force to support their contentions that the flying disks represented a serious intelligence concern.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the interval between the Rhodes trip [sorry] and the beginning of the Estimate, there were many cases to look at. Here are three from May. On the seventh, three persons [two adults and a child] watched a large number ["50 or 60"] starlike objects move in a generally straight line West to East. "Occasionally one would deviate from its course making sharp angular turns". They simply flew away and disappeared in the distance. Their color was said to be like bright aluminum. The local military investigator said he thought they witnessed a meteor shower. SIGN got hold of Dr. Paul Herget of the Cincinnati Observatory. Herget said that he knew that under optimal viewing conditions it was possible to see meteors with the unaided eye during daylight [it was about 4PM] but that he seriously doubted that 50 to 60 of them could be meteors. As a side effect Herget suggested to SIGN that if they wanted an on-call astronomy consultant, he knew just the guy--a young astronomer at Ohio State named J. Allen Hynek. When you look at the project record card on the "Memphis Affair", you see in the evaluations box: "meteor". What a joke, eh? Herget says not likely; witnesses say metallic, and occasional zig-zagging, what's going on? I believe that there is no way that SIGN thought that this case was meteors. [whether it really was or not]. What most UFO historians don't realize is that many of the "evaluations" on the project record cards were changed over time. There were at least two big periods for this: one, with Allen himself screwing the works up in his Grudge mode, and a second in the George Gregory period of the later fifties, when he went back in for some necessary [in his mind] re-evaluations. SIGN probably thought this was a good case. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My next choice is a report from an area between Plevna and Miles City, MT. A manager of the B.F.Goodrich company was driving at about 11:30PM, when he saw a very bright object to his northwest. He stopped his car and watched as the object "sailed around the sky--which at times close and at others seemed to speed away into the heavy cloud bank to the west and then later reappearing ". It appeared as a very bright white light. Through field glasses he saw the thing as an elongated object with a light shining down beneath it. The object stayed about for twenty minutes and then "flew off through the heavy cloud bank to the west". So what was this thing? The official record card says: "Refraction of Planet Mars". Lord help us and get the excedrin! Once again this is almost certainly not the view of SIGN. It might, however, be the imaginative puzzle-solving of Allen Hynek. If so, and there is a very good chance of this, our off-course UFO hero was in a stage which out-Menzelled Menzel. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On May 28, an AF officer, riding as passenger in a C-47, saw out-of-the-window, first three disks flying in a stepped-up line beside and just to the rear of the plane. They seemed to be small and silvery-gold or shiny-brass. They executed several sharp turns. When he tried to get a fellow passenger to look, they were gone. Two more, however, subsequently returned to the approximate position and behavior, and the second passenger did see those. [see the illustration above from the microfilms]. Solution?: "Probable reflection." Yow! Of what? Shiny metallic, manuvering, multiple positions, seen by two people...bbbbbbbbbbbbbbb. Another triumph of "analysis". But, once again, very likely NOT SIGN's way of seeing the case.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the midst of this period [March 17-18] there was a Scientific Advisory Board meeting in DC. Many of the key AF technical and intelligence operatives were required to attend and make presentations. McCoy was one of them. This meeting has gotten far more attention in the modern UFO community that it deserves and the reason is that the persons who see vast importance in it have [in my opinion] an insufficient understanding of history--yes, that again. This meeting arose to its UFO notoriety as an argument that the crash at Roswell [or any other crash] had not happened. I believe that it's perfectly acceptable scholarship to argue against Roswell, but not using materials that don't say what one "wants" them to say. The debate in the modern community occurred because a prominent [at the time] Roswell supporter used the transcript of this meeting as an alleged trump card argument that it had not in fact happened. This fellow [ a fine guy, by the way] was so impressed by Mack McCoy saying in his remarks to the board that project SIGN had no evidence of the kind that they [AMC] had received during WW2 such as material from crashes, so as to be able to prove what the flying disks are. And yes, he did say something just like that. The anti-Roswell contingent in the UFO community saw in this statement that Roswell couldn't possibly have happened or McCoy would not have said that. Superficially, there is logic in that. But not in a historical context. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To see the event in its meaning we need to view it in its time and reason. Theodore von Karman [pictured above, bottom] has called this meeting to discuss a large variety of research concerns. These included future plans, NACA, missiles, weapons, aero-medical research, and on and on. It was a big meeting and many of the SAB attended [picture of an SAB group, von Karman at head of table, is above]. Heavyweights were there. Vandenberg [above left], sitting in for Spaatz, and General Laurence Craigie, following LeMay up the ladder to be boss of R&D, also made a statement. McCoy's contribution was late in the day, and most of the SAB had already left to listen to a speech by Truman [or play hooky ]. McCoy, mercifully, cut his presentation short, telling almost anecdotes about the various programs going on at AMC. The reason that he and others interested in AMC were there was that they were trying to get approval for additional manpower to staff an "Applied Research Section" at T-3 to be scientific consultants to T-3's chief and certain of the laboratories. [If I were a conspiratorial man, I'd start wondering exactly what some of this consultancy might amount to]. That sell-job worked and von Karman wrote to Craigie that he approved the added manpower. So, what about McCoy's "no crashes" comment? We've already discussed this exact issue in the post about the "Twining memo", written by McCoy and saying the same thing. McCoy may or may not have known about Roswell. If he did, he will not mention it in some general speech. Even the SAB contains dozens of people who have no need to know, and whose expertise is irrelevant. Two members didn't even have Top Secret clearances at the time. SAB notes are classified "Secret" so Top Secret information will not appear in them. etc. etc. I read McCoy's comments about Project SIGN as remarks that he thinks he has to make because some of the SAB will have heard of it, he's giving a general survey of everything that is going on, and he's going to make the project sound sensible to a bunch of skeptical scientists. Nothing more. Yet this off-hand description, taken with no understanding of context, caused at least one researcher to leave UFOlogy entirely. As I just said: argue the issues all one wants. Maybe there are good arguments which absolutely reduce Roswell to oblivion. This, however, is not one of them.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In case someone wishes to acquire fire-power for his/her own conspiracy, I'm appending the "1948-current" SAB membership below, directly to you from the archival files of Theodore von Karman himself, good fellow that he was.

Friday, January 29, 2010

1948: Anything Happen? {SIGN, Mantell,and the Estimate}

It is with a certain degree of foolishness that anyone should venture into the hornet's nest that is "Mantell Incident" interpretation. From the beginnings of the commentaries on the case this has produced as much fire as any "old" incident. But I'd like to produce a series of posts on Project SIGN, and "Mantell" plays an early role, maybe bigger than one would have thought from 60 years' distance.
I'm not going to {much} describe the case. It's available in detail all over the place. Suffice for our use to say: an unusual object was spotted from an airfield; a group of National Guard pilots were in the air; they were asked to look and complied; one of them [war hero, Tommy Mantell] chased the thing quite high; and subsequently his plane came hurtling to earth in a rural area just across the Kentucky border in Tennessee. Mantell did not survive the violent crash, and his extremely damaged body was found at the scene. Because this accident was very public [the plane came down in someone's back yard essentially], there was no "cover-up" even though the military tried to keep this as private as possible. Because this incident had the flavor of a "flying disk" case, the soon-to-be-official Project SIGN sent someone to investigate. This someone was the same Alfred Loedding, aircraft designer extraordinaire and believer in the feasibility of disk-shaped flying machines, who had received George Garrett's files from the Pentagon, and who thoroughly believed that disks were in the air.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Explanations" for the accident began to come out quickly, but, surprisingly to we later investigators, not directly from the Air Force---the Air Force was still new at this flying disk business and had no policy in place as to how to manage public opinion on these matters. Others filled the gap by suggesting planets, balloons, and confusion. The critical piece of information was something Mantell said. While approaching the thing he radio'd, "It appears metallic object of tremendous size". This is ,of course, sensational, and many commentators have stated that Mantell did NOT say this. In that opinion they are on thin ice, however, as the official statement on the left [taken for SIGN] says that this is exactly what he said. This apparently wowed Loedding and he probably passed the "wow" on to other SIGN operatives. My reading of the project's view of this case is that they felt that this was a genuine unknown despite what has been written by later historians. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My main reason for saying this, is that there is very good evidence that SIGN continued to rate "Mantell" as an unidentified [regardless of whether we think they were wrong--this is history we're discussing] and that upon getting another case from the same military field later in the year [which someone was identifying as Venus], both cases were being looked at together then in November. As you can read on the document on the left, Albert Deyarmond [number two engineer on the project] is saying that the Venus explanation for "Mantell" is no good and the incident must be said to be unexplained. Note that the balloon explanation isn't even being considered. My guess as to why they are not considering balloons, is that Mantell's words were considered beyond any balloon sighting, AND that they didn't know about the Skyhooks yet. As unlikely as that latter may seem, it seems that the application of the "big, secret balloon project" explanations came at least a couple of years later. Even in 1952, Ruppelt thought he and Blue Book had it figured out, but Charles Moore [much later] corrected that scenario by saying that the secret balloons weren't yet being launched from the field that Ruppelt named. [Since then a big debate rages over whether a certain launch of a General Mills Skyhook could have made it to the proper place from Wisconsin, and caused all the hullaballoo. I'm not going into that here, as it does not add to the point of this history post--what happened happened whether Mantell really chased a saucer or not. The important thing is: SIGN thought that he did.] Another reason to assume that the Mantell case was still taken seriously, as a saucer, at highest levels, is that it is mentioned straightforwardly in the document produced in the Pentagon to oppose the extraterrestrial "Estimate of the Situation" {Air Intelligence Report # 100-203-79}. this means that even the ET-debunkers at the time thought that they had to mention this case. [AIR-100, by the way, was officially published in December of 1948, after the great Pentagon war over the ET-hypothesis, but was probably in production from at least September or October.]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I've written of this because, in a way, it is the first salvo of a set of controversial things that happened in this most important UFOlogical year. I'll try to string out this story across several posts, as I believe people have a lot of misconceptions about what was going on here. [And, as you know, I believe that only with a "calm" and accurate sense of what the Air Force was doing can we get the UFO picture clear in our minds]. Below, without commentaries, are a few pages from the project records showing the crash site, and a few newstories from the NICAP files about the event [for your "primary resource enjoyment"].

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

UFOs and History: Two.

Yesterday we saw how the UFO phenomenon impressed itself on the concerns of the Pentagon's intelligence community. As the mystery was in the air, the AF got the job. [Ruppelt once said: why don't the d_____ things swim so we could give them to the Navy? And during the investigation of the Flatwoods monster, he said: if it's walking, it's an Army problem.] But they were flying, so General Schulgen, Colonels Taylor and Garrett got the job, with S.L.Reynolds and the FBI looking over their shoulders. After everybody in the Hi-Tech community said they had nothing like this, Schulgen wrote General Nathan Twining at Wright-Pat. Though to Twining, he was really writing Howard McCoy as chief of intelligence; this was an intelligence matter.
Colonel McCoy had no reason to think that this was a complicated request. "Discovering" whether Wright-Pat's Top Secret Engineering Facility [nickname:T-3] had anything like this going, should take no more than a meeting with the right people. That's what he called. [The insert has McCoy sitting at his desk in T-2 (Intelligence HQ), and this might be exactly where he sat to write the famous "Twining memo"]. You can read right off the memo who he invited to the meeting, and we know the names of many of them. Brigadier General Samuel Brentnall, the chief of T-3, was maybe the most significant, obvious choice. These guys apparently did their simple but, to them, doubtless sufficient, job.
McCoy and his group communicated to each other two important things: 1). nothing like the flying disks were being developed at Wright-Pat T-3 [although ace engineering designer, Alfred Loedding, was dreaming about "low-aspect" ("thin") disk-shaped planes--for which he later received a patent--don't get too excited, it was propeller-driven ]; and 2). there was nothing that they knew about elsewhere that matched these things either. As people of an engineering-bent [it's important to remember that Wright-Pat was very unlike the Pentagon in that they were essentially engineers, even on the intelligence side, and tended to think that things were possible (as engineers do) rather than impossible (as scientists often do) ], these guys speculated on what it would take to make a disk that flew, and said that using advanced principles they could do it, but it would be too great an effort to be worth it.
So, on the first two pages above, McCoy's group at Air Materiel Command [AMC] concluded that although they had nothing like this, and knew of no one who did, and felt that the making of such a thing was possible but not worth the effort at the moment, nevertheless "The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious". And you can read their subsequent description of what they felt the core phenomenon was. These are very pragmatic and serious guys. We must admit that they strongly believed what they wrote or they would not have written it--this was not internet bull-____, this was national security at high Pentagon levels. What the rest of the memo shows is that the Pentagon and T-2 had been talking a lot outside these documents. This is normal. You do not send "surprises" to one another in the Intel community, if you can possibly avoid it. McCoy and AF Intelligence [General McDonald, chief/ General Schulgen, assistant] have to have been tossing information and ideas back and forth for some time on the problem. The memo tells you what those [still secret] exchanges said: they have decided that the flying disk problem is mainly an engineering analysis problem [just like figuring out whether the Soviets have MIGs or ICBMs, and how they're doing it]. And that, therefore, a project focus-point [ a "desk"] should be set up in T-2 to collect all reports on this and try to analyze them from an engineering perspective. So, in the ending paragraphs of the memo, it is "suggested" [all parties having already agreed] that a project be set up at Wright-Pat, and the Pentagon files be transferred. McCoy handed his personally written memo to Twining, and he signed it.
The Pentagon immediately began transferring its information to McCoy's group. Engineer Loedding was assigned to the project, now with an office both in T-3 and T-2. He personally went to DC to meet with Garrett, and arrange the transfer. There would be no "formal" project [i.e. something officially established by written directive] until the start of the new year, but the project really started right there in September. McCoy, Loedding et al needed to be sure that they were addressing the biggest threat possibility: the USSR. Although that source of the flying disks seemed unlikely for a variety of reasons, in matters of national security, you did not sleep on assumptions. To best ensure that we were alert to the possibilities, the unofficial project drew up a long list of "essential elements of information" (EEI) , which is sort of a wish list of things that they'd like to know. This was important. It was marked "secret" and hand carried for distribution in Europe by one of McCoy's officers [Lt. Colonel Malcolm Seashore, pictured].
The EEI is fairly long for these things. It is basically 5 pages of line-by-line details of things that T-2 has thought up to possibly relate to the flying disk technology. [you can read some of the rationale provided for the information-gatherers on the page above ]. The rest of the document explains T-2 thinking. In the Top Secret library at the base were many monographs containing information that could potentially be useful for technical intelligence analysis. One of these, which we have, concerns the low-aspect aero-devices [mainly gliders] dreamt up by a couple of Nazi geniuses named the Horten Brothers. Intelligence was particularly worried that maybe the USSR had built upon their work, and made some kind of unexpected breakthrough, producing successful flying disks. Seashore's EEI is quite specific about this, and rather technical. There is no nonsense going on. Modern UFO speculators have tried to make huge deductions based on the list of things that Seashore's EEI requests. Everybody can make up their minds. My thought is that I see nothing in this list that surprises me and leads me to read "Roswell" between the lines. [Much has been poured forth on the line item which asks about things like "balsa wood" for instance. Due to the Harmon Field "cloud-cutter" incident in mid-June 1947, T-2 went to intense focus on the case, and the speculation was ripe that the thing could be a "lighter-than-air" craft a la a type of blimp. Construction methods using the lightest possible structural members were an intelligence priority. Some speculators might still see deep meaning in this, but I think if we read history instead of grab isolated fragments, we'd at least moderate our conclusions--to the field's benefit]. {and another aside, this is the document that some piece-of-____ decided to pull out of the archives and insert fake information into. Talk about destroying everyone's ability to ever understand anything! The level of immorality in that is beyond forgiveness--and that's me, the Catholic boy speaking--oh, well, still got a way to go, I guess. Thank GOD that Bob Todd detected all this and we're not polluted any longer.}
By the end of the year [1947] the Pentagon was getting ready to officially institute Project SIGN. Lt. Colonel J.E.Thomas got the job of composing the formal orders for chief of intelligence General George McDonald [standing in the picture--General Spaatz, seated left, and General Patton, seated right]. Thomas and other Pentagon operatives had been getting information from the unofficial project in the interim, and what you can read in the three pages of the R&R for McDonald [below] reflects those messages. Wright-Pat knew many more incidents by this time than had Garrett, but the wave had cooled down and the "July" cases still dominate the commentary. The flying disk issue was not solved however and you don't let such matters slide if you think the Soviets might be involved. So, SIGN began. It began as a normal engineering intelligence function which was completely understandable in attitude and concern. You can have SIGN with Roswell or without it. "Roswell" can be going on right in some super-secret black box on the T-3 "campus" and the separate functioning T-2 operatives have no need to know and a lot of reason not to be told. I began my research into Wright-Patterson and Project SIGN on the hope that I could help Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle with their Roswell work, since the information disappears into a black hole once the stuff is "flown out". What I found is that, if I'm honest and read my history, I cannot use the SIGN/Blue Book documents [nor any of that era's FOIAs ] to support or refute the possibility of a super-secret black box. This was disappointing, but I felt the only honest conclusion that I could come to. Fortunately, the launching into the documentable activities of the Air Force turned out to be overwhelmingly supportive of the reality of flying disks operating beyond our current flight characteristics---the time was not wasted afterall. [There is no more commentary by me below, but I recommend that you read what "McDonald"/Thomas has to say anyway--he was a lot closer to the situation than I, and thereby a lot smarter.]

UFOs and History: a loser's game?

Good day, folks. I had hoped to post something on the spiritual side today in keeping with my pattern ["Miracles, Anomalies, and Science"] but, with my "distractions" with my mother's health I can't seem to do a full-blown scholarly posting. It'll wait. Instead I decided [as I was preparing the original documents to include in the UFO History Group's massive book, that I'd "go easy" and just show-and-tell a few of them. Musing about a "title picture", I was googling about the web and came across an image of Dick Hall, so I clicked on it. I was treated to the following commentary: "Deaths will clean the UFO palate. That is, the mummified concepts of ufology will be washed away, and new paradigms will be allowed to flourish....Once the old guard is gone, and the mid-lifers dismissed because of their foolishness, the young crop of UFO mavens' newer ideas will hold sway with the public and the media, because this new generation isn't conscripted by former old-think about UFOs, presenting instead original thought and pursuit of the UFO mystery as they discard the fossilized 'revelations' that have gone nowhere as far as the phenomenon is concerned". I don't know where to begin on that, so I'll not try. I have never read a more arrogant, insensitive, and ungrateful remark in my life. Well, indeed, it will be quite the celebration when all those in the picture above have finally croaked, and their horrible stultifying influence on UFO research is removed. Thank GOD we've already gotten rid of Hall, Hynek, Keyhoe, Michel, McDonald, and those similar idiots who accompanied them. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In my old-style way, I think that I have noticed that some of the blog readers actually like UFO history when it places the phenomenon in the context of its moment, and [in my opinion] fills out our understanding of specifics, and corroborates the reality of what went on. So, despite the uncivilized commentary quoted above, I've decided to do what I thought I'd do anyway, and risk wasting my time [as for that guy, I have all my life]. What is below is a small attempt to show you some of the original documents that are foundations for early UFO history. I can't give you all a full-fledged research library [though I'd like to], but I can at least show you a few sources.
This is an original case document from the very beginning. It comes from Allen Hynek's personal files [he was allowed to take many of the originals "home" for his studies] and is an archival treasure. Here is one way that it fits into the story: when the early cases were reported [Kenneth Arnold et al] the Air Force [rather naturally] didn't think that they could be real as reported. They largely ignored the reports in the latter part of June of 1947. What woke them up was when they began to get reports from their own pilots [and a few scientists]. The page above is Army Air Force Captain James Burniston's statement to Brigadier General George Schulgen [assistant chief of intelligence under George McDonald] of what he saw. As military cases mounted, the Pentagon decided that, as unlikely as this was, it seemed that people were actually seeing something.
This is an early FBI document discussing the situation. It's dated July 10, 1947. It says that Schulgen has told all air bases to pursue every avenue to get information on what's going on. It mentions that despite what the FBI might think, the Air Force is quite serious about this, citing particularly Schulgen's interrogation of an AF pilot [quite possibly Burniston himself] and his insistence that he saw a flying disk. The Air Force says that it is concerned that these things might be happening for "political" reasons, and cites "Communist sympathies". The Air Force would like the FBI to check up on UFO reporters [civilians] to see if such fears are true. [The insert is General Schulgen].
This is an FBI document of two weeks later. The FBI has established a liaison with the Air Force's "Collection" [of information] Division at the Intelligence Department in the Pentagon to coordinate this activity. FBI and Hoover are promising full cooperation. Schulgen promises to share information in return. He also says that the phenomenon might be caused by individuals trying to create mass hysteria. All this is very understandable for the times. {The insert is of D.M. Ladd, assistant to Hoover, who is receiving this memorandum].
Meanwhile at the Pentagon, AF intelligence has assigned the job of information collecting to the number two man in the division. This is Lt.Colonel George Garrett [sorry, I've never found a picture of him]. Garrett is puzzled, to say the least, by the information that he's getting. He takes the stacks of reports that he has received and sifts them for what he considers the ones of strongest credibility [based mostly upon the level of witness credibility]. He selects first 16, then 18, cases and begins to see if he can find any pattern to the problem [standard intelligence work]. The page above is the first of a small study that was sent to the FBI, and was FOIA'd from FBI files.
This is from a later page in that file. You might call it Garrett's summary but it really is what the military calls an "estimate of the situation" without yet being formally written up. What Garrett did to get this "estimate" was to lay out his best cases and extract their details page-by-page. One of those exact pieces of paper was the page of Burniston's case you saw above. [we know that because there is a big "10" circled in the bottom left corner, where Garrett marked his tenth case in the study. I am a childish person, I suppose, but just holding that sheet of paper was a thrill. For that moment, UFO history was very real]. You can read Garrett's conclusions yourself. The bottom line is: "something is really flying around". What that reality was? : metallic and discoid.
This next document comes slightly after Garrett's estimate [which though undated was probably early August 1947] and shows that he and the FBI liaison [S.L.Reynolds, pictured] have been talking this over and scratching their heads. The phenomenon is clearly real, they say, but something's wrong. They are not getting pressure from the high reaches of the Pentagon to solve this. [this "topside silence"is a mystery that has never been solved, by the way]. Their reasoning was that the High Pentagon must already know what this is. Could they [Garrett and Reynolds, and AF Collections and the FBI], be wasting their times? Garrett felt that he had to do something to answer that. [by the way, some people have seen Roswell as playing a role in this "high brass knows what this is" conundrum.]
What Garrett did was to compose an estimate to be placed in a letter which would go to all the high-tech military offices in the government and ask a simple question: Is this ours? The document above is the copy that went to Curtis LeMay's Air Force Research and Development office. LeMay and everyone else [including the Navy, Army, etc] said : no. we've nothing like this. {This request was sent for Garrett by his boss, chief of the collections division, Colonel Robert Taylor (pictured) }. This left Garrett and Reynolds and the FBI in a complete quandary. What the heck was going on? They tried one last thing---maybe something super-secret was going on at Wright-Patterson that even LeMay et al wouldn't know about. So, they asked.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I'm pausing here and will finish this little history excursion tomorrow, GOD willing. Till then, I'll just say that I refuse to think that the people at the top of the page were/are a waste of all our times. They are: [on the top strip] Jacques Vallee; Ray Fowler; Walt Webb; Ted Phillips. {in the middle-right box-of four} Chris Rutkowski; Claude Poher; Eddie Bullard; Bill Chalker. [at the bottom right] Jenny Randles; Jerry Clark. {at the bottom left} John Timmerman with Walt Andrus; and Barry Greenwood showing Allen his files (perhaps the greatest on the planet). [in color on the mid-left] Don Schmitt (who I know extremely well and who has gotten an unbelievably undeserved smearing in some quarters) and Jennie Zeidman. [and in the bottom center] Richard Haines and Mark Rodeghier----boy. what a relief it will be when they're all out of our hair! Pardon me... these are my friends and cherished colleagues... this is personal and not at all "scientific" on my part.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Everyday Spirituality: Spectrum

Cold, clear, brilliant morning sunshine. Last night's snowflakes are just the right size to put on a dazzling diamond display. ....... The Hubble telescope would be proud. The miniature stars are shining so brightly that I can see them in the snow of my neighbors' yards two homes away. ....... The birds like the day, too. They are hollering and peeping and winging about. Plenty of life in a season at rest. ...... The boy and girl cardinal give me a close pass. She stops in the nearest branch and hops about and poses for a while....seeming to say that a little something special is true of this day. The nearby diamond-field blazes. In one spot is a dull violet fuzz...funny how your eyes can fool you. I keep staring at it. A light emerges from the fuzzy snowflake burning violet-blue in the all-diamond field.
I watch. .... Blue .... blue-green .... it's going to give me its display. Green .... I wonder if the little thing can make it through the spectrum before it and the Sun become too intimate for comfort. ....... Yellow .... it's trying mightily. I've thought, sometimes, that we are like the crystals .... each with our special wavelength of color .... each transmitting our special part of the Light of the Beginning. When we come together, in coherence, in harmony, together we shine a brilliant diamond light of our own. .... My little snowflake has made it to orange .... red-orange ....It fights its way towards its destiny. Reddish now .... like an ember of a fairy-fire on the snow. ....... Should I mourn for my snowflake as it reaches its end? Should I mourn for any or each of us? .... My snowflake has done what it was meant to do. .... It displayed every color in the rainbow in its time .... I wish that I could say that. .... As it goes, I become aware that not one other snowflake of the hundreds shining in front of me has displayed the spectrum .... not one tried to steal the spotlight from my personal colorful performer. Maybe the girl cardinal knew. ..... now the others begin .... Two violet ones.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Q & A

{these remarks will refer to two comments from readers; one from the black dogs article and one from the Colorado article}. In my judgement neither of these comments needs to be responded to in a minimalist way. So, even though they are not on the same topic [unless, I guess, you're the ghost of John Keel], I'm going to place my answers to them here side-by-side. One is on the topic of Black Dogs and one on the Colorado Project. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To TS [about black dogs]: the first thing that I'd feel useful to say is that we should separate "dark figures" from both "black dogs" and "MIBs" at least to begin with. Dark figures of the folkloric kind seem to have almost no "behavioral" characteristics in common with "men-in-black" cases. As a UFO historian, I have had reason to look into several of the Men-in-Black claims, including rather deeply into the original one with Albert Bender, which catalyzed the concept. Almost with certainty the Bender case was a visit from government agents doing their job of investigating a potential security problem. Even Bender's own description [initially] of what went on paints them as polite and hardly sinister. The exact nature of the security concern is not known, but we do know that the Robertson Panel concerns heightened intelligence community concerns about people who were getting a popular following [Bender was, even internationally] and, on top of this, Bender's organization had received a metal fragment from something that had blasted through a sign [metal one] and could have been caused by some runaway ordnance from the Navy. The fact that Bender freaked out seems attributable to his nervous personality not the MIBs. I am not sure that I have any MIB case in my files which I view credibly as being both real and not having to do with expected intelligence community function. "Dark Figures" are another matter. These entities seem to have nothing to do with UFOs nor do they even communicate with the witnesses [merely standing or lurking about, and, yes, seeming quite sinister.] One rarely sees a clear face of the dark figure [which is often robed and hooded] at least in the most credible [to me] versions, which are out-of-doors. Whereas MIBs come to ones home in suits and ties and ask about UFOs, dark figures stand about outside along the waysides being uncommunicative and scary [whether they intend to be or not.] Pookas are much more like dark figures than MIBs. Pookas almost never are claimed to communicate anything, except in the speculation of what it might mean by the witness. They are almost always outdoors. Both Pookas and olde-world dark figures are commonly felt to be frequenters of certain particular locations, though, of course, not always present. MIBs are never thought of like this. I view MIBs as mere humans and hardly at all mysterious, and Pookas and dark figures [olde-style] as members of the Middle Kingdom, as does Diarmuid MacManus. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Concerning Vallee's idea about a "physical" anchor, who can say? These things are a bit like poltergeists, which seem to be anchored at least temporarily, but there is much more "range" with them. If poltergeists are the spirits [or something] of the unquiet dead, then they are, in theory anchored to some significant environment of their life. If pookas et al are, instead, a member of the Middle Kingdom, one would rather guess that it's their choice which sort of "entry point" they choose to use and more freedom of range occurs. Obviously, we can't know that sort of thing. What we do seem to know is that Pookas et al then to have their general "places" where they typically manifest, whether that is by choice or by some forced limitation. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Concerning quartz [and even granite, which is composed in large part of quartz] , I do not believe that it is at all "proved" that quartz induces any sort of altered state of consciousness. Michael Persinger has pushed a speculation for years now that tectonic stresses in the Earth will "squeeze" quartz crystals producing an electric field phenomenon by what is known as the piezoelectric effect. Persinger has used this speculation to claim that Earthquakes produce areas of field strength at the surface which alter and discombobulate the brain so that it begins to hallucinate--and goes on to explain all UFOlogical close encounters as merely us temporarily losing our minds and talking about it later. The piezoelectric effect is real. After that Persinger's theory is entirely speculative. In order to try to ground it better in facts, he has subjected volunteers to large field strengths [using electrode caps through which large magnetic field strengths can be bussed at their brains] and claims that he can cause them to hallucinate. Any "proof" of quartz causing altered states is probably a mangle of this "work". ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Regarding "hard evidence" that pookas inhabit certain specific locales, we're not talking hard evidence here on any of these things that we discuss or we wouldn't be debating their reality in the larger consensus anymore. There are stronger or weaker indications of the realities of these things--UFO reality, very strong--but even there no craft or body at the national academy of science nor no representative at the UN. There's plenty of encounter evidence that Pookas inhabit certain places. MacManus names each of his pookas by the place they appear in.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------=================================================To "Willy' on Colorado et al: Concerning Colorado and the Pentagon. The Air Force was in trouble in Congress over the "swamp gas" hullaballusion and had to tread very carefully to not make another gaff. They, rather brilliantly, saw a way to turn a minus into a plus, if they could just pull it off without a scandal reflecting directly back on them. Their priorities were simple. Get the congress and the public off their backs, and get the public project ended so this would not happen again. There is no evidence anywhere that concern over whether the UFO phenomenon was real or not played any role in this strategy at all. One thing that UFOlogists tend to forget: the military is not interested in science unless it plays directly into their national security responsibilities. There is every reason to believe, [reading all the documents] , that the Air Force had decided that UFOs, whatever they were , were nothing to do with national security and should be severely downgraded in all ways except where they over-excited the public. AND, they had decided this way back in 1952--even earlier for most officers. Hippler, therefore did not give a d___ about whether any UFOs were real or not. He had a simple task:use Colorado to get all this unhelpful flack out of the AF's hair. In that he was completely successful--and the AF was the only player which got what it wanted from the fiasco. The only reason that Hippler cared how "positive" the report might be was that a more positive report made it more difficult to rationalize dumping Blue Book [Condon realized this, too]. If, however, someone like NASA could be stuck with the pariah, then that would be OK. Because of this Robert Low, an unfairly maligned figure in this story, went forward with his administrative work in hopes of a positive conclusion with a NASA takeover. He even spelled out N-A-S-A with a wink at a speech he gave [totally upbeat towards UFOs] at the JPL at Cal Tech in late 1967. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Now, as to vibrating road signs: there is only one really primary case of such an effect in the literature that is considered well supported and which impressed Allen Hynek so that he gave it over to Spielberg for inclusion in CE3. Vins-sur-Caramy, France, April 14, 1957. (the investigation of this case was done by the famous early French researcher, Jimmy Guieu.) Two women were walking along the road when a weirdly shaped "flying machine" landed about 100 meters ahead. The thing was like a top with its point down, and of a dull metal color. [it was in planform like a narrow cone a meter and a half high]. Sticking out all over the "cone" were what appeared to be metallic "stems" [or spikes or whiskers] pointing horizontally away from the body of the thing. These stems were agitating mightily. There was also a deafening rattle heard. This noise turned out to be a nearby road sign which was vibrating wildly. The women gasped and cried out. This alerted a nearby bee-keeper who ran to the spot. He saw the thing, too, and watched it "jump" off the road, make a turn, and fly shortly only to land again two hundred meters away. There it made a second road sign vibrate madly and produced its own noise which seemed to harmonize strangely with the sign. Finally the thing took off, pitching wildly from side to side but now quite quietly flying away. One of the ladies husbands was a policeman, and he and others inspected the site. Dirt and even earth near the landing areas had been swept aside as if by a violent wind. French authorities tried to hush this case up. [claiming to Guieu that it was a military craft]. Guieu and his associates however persisted and went to the site where they found that there had been no magnetic effect exactly where the craft had landed but a quite substantial effect at the road sign. At the second landing site the result was the same. Further on a sluice gate over which the craft passed also showed a magnetic effect. Finally they tracked down the primary witnesses and got their first hand accounts. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To the general reader, as you can see, I felt that these questions needed more time. I could NOT do this, though, if a lot of folks think that answering just one person's questions is too much of a waste of everyone else's time. Yes, it IS my blog and I have to make the decisions, but, at least with "Willy" I can ask him to read the files for himself when he comes over. :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Scientific Study Of UFOs [The Colorado Project}: Looking for Love in all the wrong places.

Folks, I decided that I needed a break from writing about things that I had to practically do a new research project on each time, and so today you get something that I actually know what I'm talking about [cue cheers from impatient audience]. I'm going to write about the Colorado Project. The reason that I say that I know what I'm talking about here is [and I really am not trying to be self-serving, but rather want you to know where this stuff is coming from] that I spent four weeks with the Colorado official files reading every page, and ended up writing the only historical paper in UFOlogy on the project that is based entirely on those documents. It is a piece of work that I am proud of, and one that I feel will last. Many things were discovered while doing that work that no one had seen before, and some of them were not included in that historical paper [simply because of the paper's theme]. You got some of that sort of thing with the insider stuff that appeared in the post on Ubatuba. Today I'll give you the inside scoop on how they handled the vehicle interference phenomenon.
Just some general set-up for this: the Air Force gave Colorado, and chief scientist Ed Condon, ultimately about a quarter of a million 1966-1967 dollars to do this year-and-a-half study. Given the amount of avid free help that was volunteering to aid them, this should have been plenty to get a lot done. And, the colonels that were the Pentagon contact with the project said : if you have difficulty coming up with a proper recommendation, just ask for more--that is almost a direct quote. Colorado ended up producing an overinflated, disorganized fiasco of a report whose appearance actually was superior to the work that went on inside. I can promise you that if you read the case investigation work, you'd be astounded at how some of it was done and how other aspects of it were blown off or left out of the commentary. The main reason for this was, of course, as everyone says, Ed Condon. What people didn't know until all those weeks of reading at the American Philosophical Library [where the files still are today] was that Condon had been told just what his conclusions were to be [by Colonel Hippler of the AF Pentagon ] before the project had barely begun. And secondly, although Condon began treating the whole thing as a romp and a good time, by the middle of the summer of 1967 something snapped in him, and he began being very angry about the subject, saying that it was doing damage to the minds of American schoolchildren [I am not kidding you; it's right in the documents]. With an angry paranoid project chief, the subject was not going to be cast in a good light no matter what. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The progress of the project was not helped by many of the staff. Some people did a pretty good job, considering the poorly organized nature of what was happening. William Hartmann did a decent job analyzing photographic cases for the most part [I didn't say that he was perfect]. Many of the ultimate "unknowns" come from him and from the next guy. Hartmann may have been able to do as well as he did because he was not at Colorado [but stayed at the University of Arizona] and could avoid toxic elements of its "intellectual environment". When Hartmann drafted his chapter for the final book, he was obviously out-of-touch with Condon's attitude, and the chief scientist "edited" it by making slash marks across the conclusions [which suggested further study] and wrote "Good God!" in the margin. The other guy who did a decent job, given what he had to work with, was Gordon Thayer, a scientist much and unjustly maligned by the UFO community. This is because Thayer didn't come to all the "right" conclusions on the radar cases. Jim McDonald pointed this out rather belligerently without even trying to understand the conditions under which Thayer had to work. Thayer was brought in at the last minute to try to do the radar chapter which Norm Levine, who was fired, was supposed to do. Thayer was fed partial data on some of these things, without him apparently suspecting it, and did what he could do. Still, many of the project unknowns come from him, and he later said that he was fully in agreement that the field was worthy of study. On the non-hero side of things was , most prominently, UFO "hero" David Saunders--a long story that is in my paper but I will not go into here, and field investigator and Condon buddy, Roy Craig, who ended up writing most of the case materials in the report. Craig is the main culprit in our story today, and is, to me, one of the few remaining enigmas in this whole business. He seems to never have understood how biased he was about...well...everything. A reason to reject a case couldn't come fast enough for Craig despite whatever else was true about it. And doing the minimum was a habit--especially when it came to any creative thought whatsoever.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Condon and Craig were physical scientists, so, in their ways they thought like Allen Hynek and Jim McDonald. Good evidence would be physical lab-bench-style evidence. Hynek suggested that certain categories of the phenomenon were especially valuable to look at, and, in the beginning the project agreed. These would be the [as we say today] close encounters of the second kind where some physical effect is noticed. Prominently in the minds of people like Hynek [due to the Levelland case in the 1957 wave--a case that Hynek always thought that the AF blew] were the vehicle interference cases. [and cases where there were apparent electromagnetic effects otherwise.] The project did not assign a physicist to the task of looking into this but gave the task to a psychology grad student, James Wadsworth. Fortunately Wadsworth was very bright and enthusiastic, but he wasn't the proper choice for "The Scientific Study of UFOs". Jim's perfectly reasonable list of claimed phenomena that he presented as the lead-off thought piece at a brain-storm session appears above. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the matter of vehicle interference cases, the project stumbled across three of them.The first was courtesy of Ford engineers, Fred Hooven and David Moyers [who did all the work] and Allen Hynek and William Powers [who found the case for them]. Colorado did nothing. The report goes like this: New Richmond, MI, January 3, 1967. A lady is driving home from her daughter's house at 2AM. She is startled to see the road and the ground around her car brightly illuminated. The indicators on her dashboard then seemed not to function. She turned the headlights off, but was still driving in a circle of light. She began searching out her windows for the source, but couldn't find it [it was directly overhead and very slightly behind]. She turned her lights back on and went slowly. In the rear view mirror, she saw a lighted object, with a curved edge, above the car. She and it moved along at 30mph. It seemed to have a circle of yellowish-white lights around its curve. Her radio cut out, giving only static. Listening intently now, there was no sound outside and nothing else on the road. She tried to accelerate the car but it would not do so. She tried to alter the direction of travel, but could not do so. Her best view of the object was when it began to move away, looking like an upside down mushroom with its "stem" or dome on top. It made a "whoosh" and suddenly was gone. Hooven and Moyers were impressed with the witness and made measurements, which are reported in the document above. When Colorado heard about the case from Hynek, they spun their wheels. As Hooven and Moyers volunteered to consult generally on such things, they heard about it, and unlike the scientific study, reacted immediately. Their magnetic mapping of the car's surface showed no particular anomalies and Hooven concluded [almost certainly correctly] that no intense broadly radiating field had been applied. He also did a radioactivity scan, and found three anomalies: two which were sometimes seen in such cars, but one which was completely anomalous. [a peak at 5 gammas per second at 120 kev]. The conclusion by Hooven was: unknown, but not a magnetic field effect. Probably because someone outside the project wrote this up and did all the work, it could not be "nuanced" and was reported as an unknown. The radiation anomaly was, however, edited out. [at least I can't find it mentioned in the place where the case is described--Craig was in charge of all editing in this section]. A couple of pages away appears the following: "No instances of radiation excursions coincident with UFO sightings were reported to the Colorado Project, which has therefore not had an opportunity to study at firsthand any possible relationship between such events". If one confined oneself to Geiger-counter excursions only, one could get away with that comment, but a "scientific study" would certainly look into things like Hooven's finding if it was "honestly" trying to discover things.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The second case was right in Colorado's back-yard. There was a whole flap of sightings going on, almost as if the UFOs were thumbing their noses at Colorado knowing that the project was incompetent. This case was at Dry Creek Basin, April 6, 1967. It was investigated by James Wadworth, the psychology student. Again, I have great admiration for James Wadsworth and believe that if anyone could locate him today, he would be one of the great UFO history interviews that we've had [please someone do that]. But he was not the choice to do a physics case. The incident goes like this: an 18-year-old high school senior is driving to his parents' home after having finished a night class ["first aid"]. He was on an isolated stretch of road at 11PM. There was an object ahead of him and quite high. It appeared at that distance like a fiery BOL. However, it descended to about 100 feet in the air and over to his left. Pacing his vehicle, it looked like an inverted soup bowl glowing all over with shaded colors, blue to the top and bright red at the bottom. The pacing went on for 20 miles, when it sped up and parked itself ahead over his family's store, "as if waiting for him". While this was happening, the car got extremely hot on the inside, the radio cut out, the headlights quit, various gauges registered odd readings, the engine sputtered, missed and backfired, and a self-winding watch gained 1 1/2 hours. Wadsworth now had a physics problem on his hands. Did the "scientific study" send a physical scientist to look at the case only an hour away? Not a chance. Wadsworth was on his own. He did the best he could. Using a simple compass instead of the high quality device that Hooven had used for New Richmond, he "determined" that comparison readings between the incident car and a control car were no different. No other look was given to any of the other effects. Wadsworth did what he was able to do, and interviewed the witness and even found another person who might have independently seen the same thing. Very little of this was in the final report. The report was quick to state, however, that the car was out-of-tune even though the witness said that it was fine previous to the experience. The tone suggests that the witness doesn't know what he's talking about, rather than that the effects were caused by the event. [this is Craig's tone throughout the report]. then comes this hypocritical howler: "Unfortunately, it was impossible to determine whether any specific damages resulted from the effects of ordinary wear and tear." Of course not, you didn't even TRY to determine anything!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Case number three came to the project from NICAP who investigated the case and set up the witness meeting for Colorado [done this time by Craig himself] {Craig was by the way not yet on the team for New Richmond, and "just" for Dry Creek Basin, but that doesn't excuse Colorado for not sending someone to help Wadsworth}. Lake Elsinore, CA, November 8,1967. The witness, a local businessman, was driving home from an out-of-town meeting at 3:45 AM. It was foggy and he was going slowly. Suddenly the car emerged from the fog and was bathed in light. He felt as if something was pressing down on him, and simultaneously his engine, lights, and radio shut off. An object passed across his windshield and hovered about 1000 feet away. It glowed red-orange and had sparkling lights revolving about its rim. The object then started a rapidly accelerating spin which blurred the small lights into one band, wobbled violently, and shot away. The ground illumination disappeared, the "pressure" left, and the lights and radio began functioning. The engine took another half minute of trying until it kicked on. The witness was thoroughly scared , did not go directly home, but stopped to tell two persons about it [a milkman and a waitress], the first two people he saw. Later, he noticed a serious deformation of his back window [plastic] and some paint-pitting that he'd not seen before. His car's clock also seemed affected. NICAP's team did a great job, and tracked down both persons whom the witness saw first. The stories were coherent. Craig came in and disliked the guy, possibly this was understandable as he was aggressively insistent upon anonymity. NICAP thought that many elements of the case were significant. Craig thought none were. His "magnetic signature" testing was done not with a scientific instrument but with a hand-held compass. Craig promised to share the results with NICAP, but then told them they'd have to wait for the book. In the book he shows two unusual anomalistic readings on the back of the car, but says that there are none. He passes off both the paint pittings and the windscreen warping by simply not believing the witness. A priori reasoning that the alleged force couldn't have anything to do with the clock was good enough to ignore that as well. Craig was particularly hard on the witness for what he considered to be poor size and distance estimates, notoriously the thing we humans are poorest about. Craig then dismissed the witness entirely as "religious" and a "believer"--very scientific. Who knows what he said to Condon about this case when he got back to Colorado, but in the report Condon completely loses it and says this: "There was some ground for skepticism about the report in that it was made by a diabetic patient who had been drinking and was returning home alone from a party at 3AM." ALL of the details in this statement are either wrong or colossally irrelevant. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the right is NICAP's report to Colorado. One can immediately tell that the non-funded amateurs did far more work on the case than the funded "scientists" and without the benefit of standing-ready labs. [Hooven, by the way, said that Ford would be happy to do more work on such cases if Colorado wanted them to. No such request ever came.] NICAP however did want to do more work, but Colorado offered no help. [even to the extent of helping buy the car or certain elements of the car involved with the phenomenon; ex.the clock]. Craig wrote them back saying that if they chose to do anything more he'd be interested in hearing of their results! In the final report of the Project, Condon not only made his libelous comments about the Lake Elsinore witness, but said it was the only vehicle interference case that the project was involved with--showing an astounding inability of a world-class physicist to count to three. What it really shows is, of course, that the guy writing the study's conclusions didn't even know what the study had done, little as it was. Still, another world-class physicist [and similarly ignorant on the project] called the work "a monument to the scientific method (!)". {Philip Morrison of MIT and SETI.}-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Condon and Craig were able to add one more star to their scientific report card on this subject with their dealing with one of the consultants that they hired to make an empirical and theoretical study of possible ways to stop car engines. To do this they hired Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory's Ronald Hawke to do the work. Lawrence Livermore is at California, Berkeley and is one of the powerhouse federally funded labs in the country. Hawke was a very adventurous young physicist, interested in many anomalies, and willing to try to test them. Hawke finished his study and wrote his review and presented it to Condon and Craig near the end of the project's tenure. Hawke felt that such engine stoppages were possible and talked of ways that they might happen.Although the field strengths were very high, he thought that in some ways their effects on different components matched what was reported in certain events. Craig and Condon didn't like this and changed the language in Hawke's paper. He went through the roof, and told them that neither his name nor the lab's was to be used if they quoted anything from the study [which is why no names occur in the book].------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hawke went on to have more open-minded fun, trying to do things like see if Uri Geller could influence the readings on a geiger counter, and Colorado went on to be criticized by everybody but the Old Boys Club of Science. Colorado, with all the help offered them, "found" only three cases of engine interference and tested, essentially none of them [though the Ford guys did a bit]. When you look at case catalogs for the time frame of the project, Rodeghier's catalog lists 25 in the US and Canada. One case occurring right in Colorado [and sent to the project..claimed to have been anyway] was never acknowledged. After all was over, Craig wrote Condon a note with a peculiar statement in it [reproduced at the side]: "As I look back upon it, I still wonder why each of us, during the course of the study, did not take certain actions which were not taken." AMEN! The sleeper awakes?


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