|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 47, No. 8
September 5th, 2000
P. 0. Box 1709
Key West, FL 33041
JANES RANDI TRIES ON A NEW SUIT:
Eldon Byrd, a friend and sometimes coworker of psychic Uri Geller, has brought a second and new libel action against Randi, and this time the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is also included. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Case # PJM 00 CV 1038). This is a public document available to anyone, at the courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland.
On May 22nd, 1999 Randi gave a public lecture at Cal Tech, in California. At that time Randi read from a formal statement which he had apparently already sent to some people, and for which he invited others to write to him. This Statement, with a cover letter from the JREF with Randi signed as "President", consisted of Randi's explanation for the infamous "Blackmail Tape", and repeated his version of the events that led up to the production of the tape.
Randi claims that he made this tape under the direction of the police chief of Rumson, New Jersey, to entrap harassing obscene callers. (Many people with knowledge of the situation - including your "Smear" editor - believe Randi's explanation to be nonsense. )
But the Statement, part or all of which he read aloud at the Cal Tech meeting, includes a section that Byrd and his attorney argue is reasonably construed as asserting that Byrd was behind a "blackmail" attempt against Randi, and that such blackmail "is a crime". This view is fortified by the fact that Randi had earlier and elsewhere written that Byrd "launched a blackmail campaign" against him.
Therefore Byrd contends that Randi has falsely called him (Byrd) a criminal, and that this is prima facie libelous.
In addition to mailing the Statement to some people, Randi also seems to have allowed it to go out over the Internet to many people.
The case is now at the beginning of the Discovery Process stage, which means that interrogatories and documents will have to be produced by each side. Stay tuned!
In a formal statement, Larry Bryant says:
"Since a cloud of alleged impropriety now hangs over the Executive Committee (of MUFON) for its having taken so long to act upon its months-long knowledge of the 'Carpenter Affair', I hereby call upon all members of the Executive Committee to resign forthwith from their Committee positions, from their membership on the MUFON Board of Directors, and from their MUFON general membership - all in the interest of helping restore the public's confidence in the purpose, operation, management, and integrity of this organization...John Carpenter has given the Internet a long, rambling explanation of his behavior. Among other things, he blames his ex-wife Elizabeth for his troubles; he states that he does UFO abduction research in his spare time as a hobby, though he is a professional psychologist; the cases that Bigelow paid him for were not official MUFON cases; Confidentiality of abductees' addresses, etc. was maintained; but he admits that his relationship with Bigelow goes all the way back to 1995.
"In addition, you Executive Committee members owe all of us in the entire field of UFO research not only a full, written explanation as to who on the MUFON Board originally knew of the 'Carpenter Affair' (and when they knew it) but also a published apology for their having embargoed or otherwise downplayed that knowledge at the expense of the rest of the Board. If we have a lesson to be learned from this debacle, how about this one: Enforced silence never can be the ally of truth!"
In an even longer and more rambling statement, Carpenter's current wife Debra vigorously defends her husband, but without going into any of the specifics of the allegations against him. Debra threatens to sue Larry Bryant and everyone else who has passed on Larry's diatribe. There is a decidedly Christian overtone to her ravings, though Christian tolerence seems to be lacking. Fortunately, "Smear" has not participated in this Internet storm, so we are in the clear so far!
John Schuessler, the new MUFON czar, chimes into the above-mentioned discussion by saying that he has set up an Ethics Committee, consisting of four (unnamed) MUFON Board members, who will go carefully over the documentary evidence against Carpenter that was submitted by someone named Gary Hart earlier this year. A formal report on the matter will then be made public in the MUFON Journal. Schuessler seems to be taking a calm, diplomatic attitude toward the whole matter, which is to his credit.
Is this all a tempest in a teapot? Probably so, except to the abductees who understandably are defensive about the public knowing the details of their strange experiences. We shall await with interest the outcome of this complex affair.
"'To go sail, fly, move - from a point in time to take or carry away from some place - toward
first the point or goal at which anything arrives - to be, exist, live, take place, happen
and occur - the mouth singing.'"
According to a review we have read, the first act of the play is vaguely true to the crash legend, whereas the second act goes off into a largely unrelated love story. The music itself is said to be very good indeed. The play ends with the entire cast singing a rousing closing number, but strangely, the sheriff shows up for this number partially dressed in his girlfriend's clothes. The significance of this, if any, is not explained!
Below is ace cartoonist Matt Graeber's interpretation of this play, which we hope to actually see on our next visit to Roswell - if ever. The play is performed from mid June till late July every summer. Tickets may be obtained by calling 505-622-4950. Wheee!
Kenn Thomas is a man whom we know slightly, and his Adventures Unlimited is one of several publishing houses which expressed negative interest in publishing our book (with Karl Pflock) "Shockingly Close to the Truth!" Maybe the curse worked! (Just kidding, Kenn!)...
Their conclusions can be summarized by the following quote: "Many people see strange things, which cannot always be precisely identified as natural or man-made effects. However, this amount is very insignificant, and from this it does not follow or even hint at interference by extraterrestrial forces into our lives"...
Hopefully the October Fate will publish another article submitted by these same two experts(?). This one is hilarious, and concerns a common form of illogic which we call "Saucer Logic". Be sure to read it!...
Our question: Where will the Museum get the million dollars to make the payoff??? A tongue-in-cheek suggestion: They should submit the evidence to the James Randi Educational Foundation, which is sitting with over a million dollars for proof of any form of the "supernatural". Then again, if the Eldon Byrd lawsuit is successful, the JREF may soon end up broke. Stay tuned!...
Ufologists are always complaining that they "don't get no respect". They whine that the field which they say means so much to them is not taken seriously. Seems to me one of the top reasons for this is that ufologists take themselves too damn seriously!
Zealotry and self-importance plague The Field. This Leading Ufologist and that Leading Ufologist is so sure his is a Historic Mission, so certain he has The Answer to the Mystery of the Millennium that he becomes the subject matter - UFOs - personified.
Of course, every one of these Big Frogs has appropriated his own small - no, tiny - pond with a well-centered lily pad throne on which to squat. Each plops on his own royal seat, loudly and oh-so-seriously croaking and fending off any other frogs who presume to suggest they might know something about the depth of the big fella's mud puddle. Roswell puddle. Abductions puddle. Mutilations puddle. Saucer history puddle. UFO skeptic puddle. Ufological political correctness puddle. Croak! Croak! Croak!
Have you ever seen a frog that wasn't absolutely certain of his own centrality in the universe? Ever seen a frog that wasn't funny, very funny indeed, because of his own self-importance, utterly unaware of how silly he looks sprawling on and quite a bit off a semi-submerged leaf in a fetid pool with a gaggle of burbling tadpoles wiggling around him?
Look around you. Do you see all the self-important Ufrogs? Listen. Do you hear all their I-am-the-greatest croaking? The cacophony is enough to make you - and Real Science - deaf, isn't it? Listen again. Do you hear any of them laughing at themselves? This time, it's the silence that's deafening!
I've got a theory, well, a notion: If ufology never rises above the status of a tabloid semi-proto-science, one not unimportant reason will be because its practitioners - I know this is stretching the use of a perfectly good word to the breaking point - um, leading lights don't - can't - laugh at themselves.
Hey, you dim-bulbs: Lighten up. Look in the mirror. Read "Smear". See yourselves as you really are. Scary, huh? Yeah, but funny, very funny. Have a good laugh. Knock yourselves out!
There is no better antidote for what ails ufology today, both as to its internal difficulties and where it stands with the outside "straight" world than a good belly laugh at itself. Read "Smear", ufology, and be saved!
Randle is surely the most prolific of the many people who have written on this subject. He is extremely well informed on all the details, he is intellectually honest, and he is justifiably proud of his recently-obtained Ph.D., in spite of the fact that it was achieved through "distance-learning". His present book is an important contribution to the never-ending subject of Roswell.
In a recent phone conversation with your editor, Randle claimed that "The Roswell Encyclopedia" attempts to be objective. If objectivity is possible in this controversial-subject, Randle has nevertheless failed to achieve it. Much material had to be left out, due to the publisher's space limitations, but the material presented is biased to conform to Randle's personal belief, as stated on Page 310, that "based on the evidence and testimony, what fell at Roswell was a craft built on another world...The evidence for that is overwhelming."
An example of bias is Randle's snide remark in the section on Professor Charles Moore, that "Moore has billed himself as the man who launched the Roswell Incident". This is of course a reference to Project Mogul. We know Charles Moore, and he does not bill himself as anything. He does seem to believe in unidentified flying objects (including at least one that he saw himself), but not in spaceships. Moore's interest in the classic Socorro, New Mexico landing was noted in the lead story in our July 15th issue.
In regard to "Smear's" own Karl Pflock, Randle discusses a totally irrelevant incident years ago in which Pflock used a fake name in an effort to learn more about cattle mutilations. Although Pflock's book "Roswell in Perspective" is discussed, there is no mention of a key article that Pflock published in the September 1998 issue of 'Fortean Times". If this article is correct in its viewpoint, there is no need to go on arguing about the exact composition of the Roswell debris, because whatever it was, it could not have been interplanetary.
Pflock's 'Fortean Times" article - published in England and too little known in this country - states clearly that "the relevant, extensive, authentic formerly classified official United States government record establishes beyond any reasonable doubt that no physical evidence of the nature and origin of UFOs was in the possession of or known to American authorities at any time before mid-1955." In a footnote Pflock says that this still remains the case, in his opinion.
To his credit, Randle trashes most (but definitely not all) of the pro-interplanetary Roswell evidence. He rejects the MJ-12 documents, the alien autopsy video, the reliability of the late Lt. Col. Philip J. Corso, and the testimony of alleged Roswell witnesses such as Gerald Anderson, Barney Barnett, and Glenn Dennis. Regarding John Keel's absurd theory that the Roswell crash involved a World War II Japanese Fugo Balloon, Randle states: "Keel ignored what he couldn't explain, belittled what he couldn't ignore, and offered nothing to prove what he said." Randle also puts down the efforts of Tom Carey and many others to read the writing on the piece of paper in General Ramey's hand, in the famous 1947 photo well known to Roswell researchers.
Elsewhere Randle admits that "although the Project Mogul material resembles, in a gross sense, that found by Mac Brazel (on the Foster Ranch) it is not an exact match..." But isn't it close enough?? Randle's persistence in believing that the event was interplanetary is apparently because of shaky testimony involving a second crash site. About four different locations have been given for this second site!
To Randle's everlasting credit, the longest entry in his Encyclopedia is an abbreviated version of the statement by Kent Jeffrey, a pilot who was behind the original "Roswell Declaration" but later disappointed many, many followers by stating that he had changed his mind about the interplanetary nature of the Roswell Incident. Jeffrey's abbreviated statement runs from Page 166 to 194. Elsewhere in the book Randle attacks Jeffrey's reasoning, but here he mercifully leaves it alone. Buy "The Roswell Encyclopedia" and read Pages 166-194 if nothing else!
Says Kent Jeffrey (Page 179):
"While we have no idea what the debris from a crashed spaceship would look like, it is reasonable to assume that it would reflect a level of complexity and technical advancement beyond imagination. Postulating that a few pieces of foil, plastic-like material, and short beams constitute the remains of a machine of such capability and complexity is more than just a quantum leap, it is completely baseless and totally illogical..."
This latest UFO book by Kevin Randle, published by HarperCollins, will be in bookstores any day now, hopefully with an index, which our copy does not have - and if there's still no index, at least we'd like to see a table of contents, which our copy does not have, either!
In closing we'd like to remind you that Karl Pflock's definitive expose of Roswell as an interplanetary event will be published by Prometheus Press early next year. It is called "Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe". Will Pflock's book finally end the Roswell controversy? No book written by a mere mortal could ever do that, but at least it will be a giant step in the right direction.
"I received the latest 'Smear' today. Bill Moore makes the claim that Dr. Hynek was still under contract as a USAF consultant at the time of the Bennewitz affair (1980-81), and that Hynek provided Bennewitz with a means of 'decoding' the supposed alien transmissions. Since Project Blue Book closed down in late 1969, and Dr. Hynek formed CUFOS in 1973 as a private research group and also authored two books in the 1970s long after he ceased to be involved with the USAF, Moore should be challenged to prove his assertions.
"I therefore challenge Bill Moore to prove that J. Allen Hynek was still under contract to the USAF as a UFO consultant ll years after Blue Book closed down. Can Bill please provide documentary evidence or proof of this claim? If he cannot, I suggest that he is guilty of passing disinformation, just as he was in the 1980s."
"Please extend my most sincere ufological apologies to Dr. Ron Westrum for having misidentified him as a 'MJ-12 document endorser', and for having failed to accurately portray Dr. Roger Wescott's researches in this area regarding the so-called 1952 Presidential Briefing Memo which Admiral R. Hillenkoetter is supposed to have written. I also wish to thank Mr. Robert Durant for pointing out my errors, and I wish him and Mr. Carey 'good luck' with their continued Roswell-related researches."
"Dr. Colm Kelleher is a top research scientist with Robert Bigelow's NIDS (National Institute for Discovery Science) organization. He also teaches Turaya meditation, an invention of his guru Dawn Taylor.
"A year ago Kelleher published an article in the Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE) and dedicated it to 'Dawn'. He purported to show that genetics can explain how people can float up into the sky and disappear. He cited a story by Carlos Castaneda to assure us that such things do indeed happen. Unfortunately, long ago Castaneda's work was proven to be fictional. But being a good little ufoologist, Kelleher presented it as fact.
"Kelleher is a worthy colleague for Dr. John B. Alexander, also with NIDS. Alexander did his 'doctoral' work under the direction of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the psychiatrist who claimed that a spirit could clone a medium's body to have sex.
"The JSE is published by the Society for Scientific Exploration, which is essentially a snooty Fortean group. Its president for life, Peter Sturrock, also happens to be on the board of advisors of NIDS. Kelleher's paper appeared over a year ago, but Sturrock has said nothing about it. Is he afraid that being too skeptical might jeopardize his lucrative position with Big Bucks Bigelow? Or maybe Sturrock actually believes Castaneda's books to be factual. We hope that he will enlighten us!"
"I saw seven Great American Pelicans here yesterday! I could tell they weren't UFOs because they had long necks, strange beaks, and were sitting on the water. But they are real big and real white!
"Half the West is on fire, but otherwise things are normal here..."
"Dear Editor/Supreme Commander: "As is the case with perhaps too many of your loyal readers, I was, up to this point, waiting for updates on the 'Saucer Smear' web page to read your newsletter.
"That will no longer be the case. I am driven by an overriding sense of guilt for receiving such an excellent publication for free. I am also weary of mounting impatience as I wait for the latest issue to be posted on the 'net.
"When the latest 'Smear' is available on the Internet, I find it generally impossible to appreciate the fine details of Matt Graeber's cartoons. That situation, in and of itself, is ample reason to justify the following drastic action on my part: Please find enclosed a check for $25.00 for a year's subscription to 'Smear'.
"Cheers, and please keep up the excellent work!"
"I just read the new 'Smear'. What is happening? No charges and counter charges of child molestation, no comments about people writing bad checks, no mention of non-existent academic credentials! Are those involved in the UFO field getting too old (Walt Andrus, Stanton Friedman, Erik Beckjord, the Amazing Randi, etc) or - even worse - is the UFO field becoming respectable??"
FOLI ALIENS BY SLEEPING ON YOUR TUMMY!
An extensive study of UFO absuctions shows that in 97 percent of cases in which people were whisked away from their bedrooms at night, the victims were sleeping on their backs.
|Saucer Smear Index||
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