|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 46, No. 9
September 1st, 1999
P. 0. Box 1709
Key West, FL 33041
Other abductions in recent years have involved cattle, and in one Brazilian case, a horse was the victim. (See Matt Graeber's cartoon at right! )
Now Bigelow says he is willing to put up to a half billion dollars into designing & building a 100-passenger luxury cruise ship that will permanently orbit the Moon, giving very rich vacationers a week-long excursion they'll never forget (assuming they live long enough to come back to Earth). the ticket price would be in the range of "tens of thousands of dollars". Whee! ...
In the latter instance, Korff may klash with Karl Pflock, our Contributing Editor, who is favorably disposed toward the Hill case. These two gentlemen can't even agree in regard to Roswell, even though they both believe the Incident was caused by a Mogul balloon!
The only thing your editor has against Korff, other than his overwhelming ego and strong tendency toward exaggeration, is an incident from the distant past: In May of 1985, Korff was "local chairman" for the 22nd National UFO Conference (NUFOC), which he held in his then-home-town of Fremont, California. Korff did no advertising, held the event in a (free) high school auditorium, and would't allow any speakers except himself and William Moore. About twenty people showed up. It was by far the smallest annual event in our now 36 year history!
Korff tells us that he is now resigning, retiring, and/or withdrawing from the UFO field, for reasons that he has not explained. Will he be missed??? ...
Andrus will be a speaker at the forthcoming NUFOC convention in San Antonio, Texas. Due to outstanding advance publicity, this event is shaping up to be a real Biggie. Your humble "Smear" editor will be one of the many speakers and will also act as Master of Ceremonies at the two-day event ...
Even more startling, an article beginning on Page 38, called "Enshrined & Endowed", has five pages of photos of gigantic wooden penises in Thailand - some from the grounds of the Hilton Hotel in the capital city of Bangkok.If this article doesn't rattle the typical FATE reader, nothing will!...
The above statement by Randi is utterly untrue. In reality, Randi and his lawyer fought against the playing of the tape in the courtroom, but it was played for the jury anyhow, through earphones. (See also Eldon Byrd's letter to the editor, further along in this issue.) ...
Separate item: In a postscript to the above-mentioned April 1999 Position Statement, Randi arrogantly states, referring to those who have sued him over the years, "I have still not paid a nickel to any of these people".
However, in a June 19th, 1999 statement on the Internet, referring to a complex dispute Randi was having with a "psychic detective" named Riley G., Randi states: "I want to put an end to this 'challenge' of ours. On the advice of legal counsel I will pay you three thousand dollars to drop your claim on the million bucks..." The million bucks referred to here is a supposed offer by Randi's Foundation to pay that amount to anyone who can prove he/she has psychic powers. This particular dispute, however, had nothing to do with psychic powers! (Long story here.)
The essence of this matter is that Randi has been caught shooting from the lip again - a habit that has gotten him into trouble several times before. (Our thanks to Rob MacGregor and others for this item.) ...
At press time (August 20th) we learned that the entire "Blackmail Tape" transcript is back on the Net! It is at two different sites, one of which is unnecessarily filthy, while the other is serious & very well done, with the equivalent of about thirty pages of negative information about Randi. Wheee!
This book has almost two hundred entries regarding semi-mythical animals of various sorts, including such favorites as the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot (with a separate section on the famed Patterson film), Chupacabras, the Loch Ness Monster, Sea Serpents, and the stinky old Swamp Ape. The entries are written in an entertaining and reasonably unbiased manner; so we have no difficulty recommending the book to anyone interested in the subject matter.
Among the creatures omitted is Mothman, the weird West Virginia bird made famous by John Keel and Gray Barker, circa 1970. Best thing about the book, by far: There is no mention whatever of pseudo-cryptozoologist Erik Beckjord of California, though there are brief biographies of quite a few other researchers in this field.
Clark, as most of our readers know, is the author of several respected UFO encyclopedias. Loren Coleman is a professor at the University of Southern Maine, and has collaborated with Clark on at least two other books. One of these was the 1975 tome called "The Unidentified", which Clark now disavows, as his views about UFOs and the universe have become more conservative since then...
This is a hardcover book and runs about 270 pages, with chapters such as: The Mysteries of Human Origins; The Enigma of Ancient Civilizations; Visitors from Other Worlds; Roswell & the Government UFO CoverUp; Abductions & Mutilations; Angels vs. Demons; Space Anomalies; Crop Circles; Native American Beliefs; Millennial Prophecy; Ghosts & Out-of-Body Experiences; Mind Travel through Time & Space; Etc.
With all that going for it, this book should be a winner - but it isn't. Nearly every strange theory, rumor, legend, superstition, and/or paranoid belief of the modern era is discussed briefly, but without reach- ing any conclusion. Some of the chapters are reasonably objective and well done (even the Roswell discussion), but in general the authors throw too much shit at us too superficially and just don't know when to stop. As the authors themselves say in the preface: "Keep your mind open, but not so open that your brain falls out."
One thing we found of interest is statistics showing that belief in various forms of the supernatural is increasing in this modern age - not decreasing as CSICOP and other pseudo-rational organizations would wish. But there has to be a middle ground, and these guys haven't found it. The late Carl Sagan is in the index, right next to Satan, but there is no mention of "Saucer Smear".
We leave you with a prediction from Page 192: "Sometime just before 1999... the city of Phoenix (Arizona) will become a major seaport on this newly-created western coastline". With predictions like this, how can we go wrong!?
While as I observed last time, 95% of ufology is crap (ufoology), the remaining 5% is getting better every day. It is a curious paradox - a sub-domain of the realm of Saucer Logic? - that at a time when the general run of Popular Ufology is getting goofier and goofier, Serious Ufology in many important respects is getting better and better.
This is particularly notable in historical research, a much neglected facet of our peculiar preoccupation. Old UFO cases and witnesses and others involved are being carefully and thoughtfully re-investigated and re-evaluated, and previously unknown and known but not investigated cases are being brought to light and studied. The history of the field itself - including what really was done (and not done) by the Air Force, private researchers, and others, and why - is being studied closely for the first time since David Jacobs' mid-'70s study, "The UFO Controversy in America."
Significant efforts are being made to take advantage of computer and other technologies to identify, preserve, and make systematically accessible the vast quantity of information, case data, and other resources held not only by ufological organizations but also in private collections and files (including mine), public archives, and university libraries. Also underway is an oral-history project in which I'm playing a small part. It's aimed at capturing on audio and video tape the personal recollections, opinions, and insights of as many key persons as possible.
The new looks at important cases include Brad Sparks' re-examination of the famed 1957 RB-47 radar-visual case. While praising Jolly Old Phil Klass for his dogged efforts and giving him credit for digging up key information, Sparks conclusively demonstrates not only that Klass' debunking of the incident is de bunk, but also establishes "this case as the first scientific proof of the existence of UFOs." Moreover, Sparks'results leave very little room for doubt that whatever the UFO involved was and wherever it came from, it was not a non-sentient natural phenomenon. Don't take my word for it. Read Sparks' report for yourself, pages 761-790, in Jerry Clark's "UFO Encyclopedia,', 2nd edition.
Tellingly, although the encyclopedia was released in February 1998 after much advance hoopla about Sparks' work, Popular Ufology has taken no apparent notice of this blockbuster. Ditto - and quite significantly - the "skeptics" (quotation marks used advisedly) and, surprise, Real Science.
Then there's McMinnville and... Aghh! In "Smear", at least, Space is not infinite. To Be Continued...
"Thank you for sending me a copy of the subject Newsletter, wherein you refer to me as an '(alleged) psychic'. Who alleges this? I am not a psychic - never have been, never said I was, ain't, never will be (unless I get hit by lightning, maybe). Randi calls me a 'parapsychologist'. Let me set the record straight once and for all for your readers: I AM NOT A PARAPSYCHOLOGIST. Never have been, never will be. As a matter of fact, I DISDAIN parapsychology. There are some very good researchers in that field, but I am an engineer and a scientist and as such, I am not involved in the soft sciences, per se. To call me a parapsychologist is like calling Randi a parabiologist. Neither is true.
"As to your reference to a CD disc of the (blackmail) 'tape' - I haven't the foggiest notion who would be sending it out or why anyone would even want to. I thought all this was laid to rest when a jury of his peers convicted Randi in Court several years ago for maliciously (meaning he knew he was lying) defaming me. Why on earth is he bringing this up again?"
"To answer Christopher Allan's question, the Truman quote does appear on p. 10 of Vol. 5, No. 5 of 'Flying Saucer Review', as part of a-2-page spread of alleged quotes from 'Very Important People Talking About the Saucers'.
"Unfortunately, the only source cited is the same - 'Press conference, April 4, 1950'. There is no clue as to where they got it from! I have no idea whether any files remain where their current editor could look it up and find out. (The current address for FSR is: Box 162, High Wycombe, Bucks., HP13 5D7, England, if anyone wants to try.)"
Editor's Note: Tom Benson, who also has the issue of "Flying Saucer Review" in question, has researched the matter further. Truman did have a press conference on March 3Oth, 1950, but apparently there was no mention of flying saucers. However, on April 4th, 1950, while on vacation in Key West, Florida, Truman indirectly answered a group of questions submitted to his press secretary, including one about saucers. Truman's response was negative, but there was apparently no direct quote. (This information is from Page 5 of "UFOS: A History, April - July, 1950", by Loren E. Gross) Our thanks to Tom Benson for all this research!
"George Hansen's bizarre, irrational attack upon my character, in the July 25th 'Smear', displayed even more ignorance (as I hope your Holiness will confirm at the end of this letter) than it did his typical winning charm. I hope his 'sources' will come forward with their frank impressions of my character, specifically as it compares to Hansen's. In our discussions they excused Hansen's chronic misbehavior (my term) on the basis of his overzealousness and highly emotional personality, characteristics that Hansen now projects upon me.
"Anyone interested in my response to Hansen's brief-yet-reckless depiction of me in his 45-page article about 'CSICOP and the Skeptics'...can find it on the 'Critics' page of my website (http://members.aol.com/garypos). Readers will note that Hansen's own editor at the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Rhea White, to whom I had mailed copies of my prior correspondence with Jerry Clark (Hansen's acknowledged 'source' for his misinformation about me), sided with me - not with Hansen - in this dispute. White's personal letters to me contained several additional such comments that I have tactfully failed to post for public dissemination.
"As for my 'primary claim to fame...being Phil Klass' lowly proofreader', visitors to my website will see otherwise. And, for the record, no one need fear that I have any designs on the throne of 'UFO debunkerdom'. I suspect that this 'widely rumored' plot of mine is but another manifestation of Hansen's mischief."
Posner admits only to being "an aging white male".Hansen's other remarks were a bit excessive if intended seriously. - Editor.
"As the person who first coined the term 'ufoology', I take exception to Mr. George Hansen's flagrant misuse of it in regard to his attack on Gary Posner, re his probably becoming heir to Phil Klass' evil debunking empire. I mean, what's wrong with Gary playing Captain Hook, while George does his Peter Pan impersonation while defending 'the good ship UFORIA'?
"Moreover, as you once pointed out, 'Every religion needs a Devil' (even George's!) Besides, the only real difference between 'ufoology' & much of today's ufology is an extra vowel! Hey George, lighten up, will ya? Nobody likes a smarty pants!"
" ... In the last issue of 'Smear' I seem to have erred re Gary Posner's ambitions. He assures me that he has no interest in becoming a major debunker of ufoology. That's unfortunate, but I hope that CSICOP is grooming someone smarter than Joe Nickell for that function.
"I may have been slightly too hard on Posner in my other remarks. After all, anyone who upsets Richard Hall can't be all bad!...
"Gary Posner seemed to be extremely upset over my characterization of him ... I assured him that it was meant as humorous, and of course it was! Many people who met him at the MUFON convention found it hilarious. But poor Gary didn't seem to find it funny at all. In fact, he wanted me to write a letter to you saying that it was indeed meant as humor!!"
"Your last issue is one of your best.
"Ref. George Hansen's stated suspicion in'Smear' that Dr. Gary Posner 'has been obsequiously pursuing Philip Klass' blessing as the designated heir to the throne of debunkerdom': WRONG, not obsequiously!' Dr. Posner has offered to pay me $10,000,000 per year if I will designate him as my UFO-debunker successor (knowing that a 'certain Agency' pays me $100,000,000 per year plus taxi fare for my UFO-debunking efforts). However, I am now seeking bids from Stanton Friedman, Bill Moore, Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs and Joe Firmage ...
"I don't have the words to tell you just how much I appreciate your review of my book. You are a great man, and 'Saucer Smear' a great publication. A review could not be obtained from MUFON, the JSE, The Omaha WH, and so far also not from CUFOS or UFO Mag.
Only 'Saucer Smear' has given a review. Action speaks a lot louder than words. You and your publication have been much fairer and much more positive in your actions regarding my work than all the other UFO publications put together. This is the truth...
"For your information, at present MUFON is not a quasi-scientific organization because the director, editor, dean of UFO investigators, etc. know absolutely nothing about science. Articles are published entirely without scientific peer review. Regarding their so-called 'consultants', I was never able to contact any because MUFON would not tell me who and where they were ...
"Re Richard Hall - Why doesn't MUFON wise up and get rid of him? UFO Magazine did! ...
"...Is it really true that smoking is banned at Stonehenge? Outdoors? As a non-smoker I regard some of the anti-smoking legislation as almost paranoia - as bad as parts of ufology, maybe worse! The anti-smokers have gone bananas!"
"I just received another issue of the wonderful 'Saucer Smear' newsletter.
"Two items distressed me in this issue (vol. 46, No. 8): First, as a newsletter I anticipate the material contained to be timely. The fact that Dan Cohen (who is a pretty good writer) dedicated a book to you in 1971 is not news. It appears that you perceive this dedication as worthwhile and were unable to take credit for it almost three decades ago and you are now trying to catch up!
"The second area of concern was the announcement that Randal Raydon will not be able to perform his duties' at 'Smear'. Is this a coverup? Is there a real story and Jim Moseley is not telling us what's going on? Tell me that the Supreme Commander has not caved in and is holding back juicy tidbits just because they involve 'his' vaunted 'Smear' staff! ... "
Regarding the misspelled dedication, we forgot that we already took Dan Cohen to task for this way back when the book first came out. Re Randal Raydon, yes, this is a coverup! - Editor.
"I have enjoyed the electronic version of your newsletter for a few years now. I think Ufology badly needs a sense of humor. So keep up the good work!
"Please review the enclosed book. It was recently published by the NIDS."
The book in question is called "Best UFO Cases - Europe", and it will be re- viewed in our next glorious issue. - Editor.
"'Saucer Smear' continues to pick on James Randi for no reason other than his intense dedication to psychic Truth. His sex life, if any, is nobody's business but his own. Let's stick to the facts for once and forget about personalities, no matter how obnoxious they may be! ..."
From Design Week, 21 May 1999:
'A Japanese underwear manufacturer claims to have designed a bra that will 'save the earth from annihilation at the end of the century'. The Armageddon bra has been developed by Triumph International to counter the 'great king of terror coming from the sky" in July. It is made from NASA space suit material. The bra should be worn without outer garments, and includes a feature that signals impending danger. But there are no plans to market the bra, so it looks like we're all going to die anyway"
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