UFO historian JEROME CLARK, writing in the Jan.10, 1989 "Saucer Smear", states: "Though you have nothing of consequence to say about the UFO phenomenon as such anymore (if you ever did, after you exposed Adamski), you are still the Greatest Living Authority on the history of saucer fandom and the funniest writer around.."
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE SAUCER & UNEXPLAINED CELESTIAL EVENTS RESEARCH SOCIETY
EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Karl T. Pflock
Volume 49, No. 8
October 5th, 2002
P. 0. Box 1709
Key West, FL 33041
We welcome your correspondence, pro or con, well-reasoned or otherwise,
but please keep in mind that while Saucer Smear is on the Dreaded Internet, your humble
editor is NOT! So, if you wish to receive a personal reply to your letter, or wish to
have any chance of seeing it printed on Our Glorious Pages, please print it out, put it in an
envelope, affix a stamp thereto, and SNAIL mail it to:|
P.O. Box 1709
Key West, FL 33041
It's simple and loads of fun! Ask your grandma if you don't remember how to do it!
We thank you!
(Our thanks to Karl Pflock for this story and cartoon.)
Pat Marcattilio is shown here, enjoying himself at his 60th birthday party, while gaping at a belly dancer - who is not visible in this photo, unfortunately. However, mild-mannered parapsychologist George Hansen can be seen leering in the background.
Of course Walt is entitled to his opinion, just like anybody else; but it is somewhat amazing to find such a far-out belief system on the part of the retired head of a supposedly scientific organization!...
The following is a serious, sober statement, jointly written by James W. Moseley and Karl T.
Pflock, co-authors of "Shockingly Close to the Truth":
In the Spring 2002 issue of "iUR" ("International UFO Reporter"), Esteemed UFO Historian Jerome Clark noted a most unfortunate error in our "Shockingly Close to the Truth!" According to what we believed to be reliable information, we wrote: "Williamson's wife was killed in a highly suspicious accident, falling hundreds of feet to her death at the bottom of an Andean cliff. While the Peruvian authorities couldn't prove it, they strongly suspected Williamson of foul play, and they 'suggested' it would be wise for him to leave the country with some dispatch."
In fact, as Clark reported, Betty Williamson died in Peru while her husband was in London, probably of natural causes. We regret that, in this instance, we failed to follow the journalistic rule of not publishing a story without confirmation from at least two independent sources, and we apologize to our readers and any surviving relatives of the Williamsons for our lapse. It will be corrected in future editions of our book (if any).
Shockingly, our continuing investigation has produced credible leads that suggest a factual basis for the story we were told. While all remains to be confirmed, it seems a Peruvian state prosecutor investigated "Dr." Williamson's activities in Peru, that as a result Williamson left the country under a deportation order or threat of same, and that the prosecutor may have been concerned about the circumstances of Betty Williamson's death. If and when we are certain of the pertinent facts we will make them public.
However, this time the author has scored a hit by reviving our interest in a fascinating mystery-within-a-mystery, namely the matter of the 1897 airship craze.
About eleven pages are devoted to an account that Hilberg and the late Al Manak received in 1970 from a writer & researcher named P.G. ("Pete") Navarro of Houston, Texas. The story is very complicated; but Navarro at that time had recently seen (or possibly obtained for himself) eleven volumes of text and carefully-made scale drawings of flying machines, left behind by an elderly eccentric named Dellschau at the time of his death in Houston.
These strange documents discussed various aspects of an alleged secret society called the Sonora (California) Aero Club, which apparently was founded in 1858 - if it really ever xisted at all, other than in Dellschau's imagination. The power for these weird flying machines was supposedly something called "NB gas", which "negated weight," i.e., it was some sort of anti-gravity device. The secret of the invention was put away in a safe for almost twenty years, and then revived again, just in time for its experimental flights to account for the dozens of close sightings involved in the 1897 flap!
There are many intriguing details: The phrase "TOSH WILSON AND CO." is written in one of ellschau's volumes. We can assume that the word "company" could mean "crew", and it so happens that in at least two of the 1897 airship stories, the pilot introduced himself as Wilson, and had a crew of four. Incidentally, all of these airship crews looked human and acted human.
We can't do justice to this complex story in this brief biased review, and can only recommend that you buy the booklet - $8.00, from UAPA, 377 Race St., Berea, Ohio 44017.
Back in the late 1980s, your humble "Smear" editor had several long meetings with Bill Moore, who himself is a semi-mysterious character, as is P.G. Navarro, for that matter. (Navarro writes in a strange, old-fashioned style.) Moore told us in great detail about his own research into the Dellschau matter, and if our memory is correct, he too had somehow obtained some of the old man's cryptic volumes. Moore told us that various unusual family names mentioned in said volumes are actual names from the 1800s that can still be found in public records and on tombstones in the vicinity of Sonora, California. Moore stated that he tried very hard to interest a publisher in the Dellschau Story, but was unable to do so.
Other UFO historians such as George Farley, Barry Greenwood, and Jerry Clark have shown various degrees of interest and belief in the Sonora Aero Club and the 1897 sighting flap. Hilberg admits in his introduction, "It's possible that the activities of Dellschau and his Sonora Aero Club are nothing but the ravings of a senile old man". It is clearly very unlikely that there ever was an anti-gravity gas called "NB" or anything like it. But there's probably a bit of truth here somewhere, and we sincerely hope that Hilberg and/or others of the above-mentioned gentlemen will pursue this matter vigorously in weeks to come!
As for "Pete" Navarro, he may still be alive and know a lot more than the material contained in the present article; but according to Hilberg, the late Al Manak - not noted for his diplomacy - managed to piss of Navarro to the point that contact with this key figure was lost many years ago. Pity!
Halloween came early to the West Virginia hills in 1952.
It was the evening of September 12th when the Flatwoods Monster touched down in Braxton County, scaring the begeezus out of several good citizens and launching the ufological career of the late, great Gray Barker - who often had a similar effect on certain Serious Ufologists.
That evening, exactly fifty years ago this stormy night on which I write, as dusk enfolded the tiny town of Flatwoods, three boys playing touch football spotted "a silver dollar going through the sky" trailing flame. The strange object came to a halt low over a nearby hill and seemed to drop to the ground.
The excited kids decided to "go see the flying saucer". On their way, they were joined by Mrs. Kathleen May, her two young sons, and her teenage neighbor Eugene Lemon, who brought along his dog and a flashlight.
When the impromptu posse approached the area where the saucer appeared to land, they encountered a strange fog and a terrible, nauseating stench. Those in the lead spotted a huge, glowing sphere on the ground a short distance away. "It's the saucer!" The dog disappeared into the fog, but soon came tearing back and past his master and the others, rushing down the hill, tail between his legs.
As the not yet cowed Humans pressed on, one of them spotted a pair of weirdly glowing eyes a few yards away. When the flashlight was brought to bear, it revealed a giant, manlike creature - or robot??? The bizarre thing had an orange head "shaped like the ace of spades", the top of which towered l0 to 12 feet above the ground. Its body (cloak?) may have been green, falling in folds toward but apparently not touching the ground, seeming to terminate about six feet above the tall grass.
Hissing, the spooky figure began to glide toward the seven, and not having appropriate words of greeting prepared, all turned tail and followed the example of Lemon's dog. All except Lemon, that is. He fainted dead away and had to be dragged along by the others!
That same night and maybe the next, other hill folk reported seeing strange flying objects nearby. Some seem to have been scared out of their wits by the same smelly monster (or its copilot?). An invasion from space, or Halloween '52 previews? Whatever happened, even "skeptics" don't think it was a hoax, at least not the events on that fog-shrouded Flatwoods hill.
Gray Barker lived not far away. When he read a newspaper story about the Flatwoods encounter, he contacted Fate magazine, offering to do an article. They bit, and Barker was off and running, interviewing the witnesses just a few days after their experience, traipsing about the scare site (in broad daylight, of course), and writing his first saucerian piece, "The Monster and the Saucer", which appeared in the January 1953 issue of Fate.
The rest, as they say, is hysterical...uh...history!
We have known science writer Dan Cohen for over thirty years. We first met when your "Smear" editor had a real saucer office in midtown Manhattan, and Cohen was editor of a real magazine called "Science Digest". Over the years we drifted to Key West, and the Cohens moved on out of New York City to Cape May, N.J., which is near Atlantic City. Why has Dan Cohen finally sent us an advance copy of one of his books? Probably because he will soon be speaking at Pat Marcattilio's convention near Trenton on October 12th - the first time, to our knowledge, that he has lectured to a UFO convention or anything like it.
Dan is indeed a skeptic regarding UFOs and the paranormal, but he is not a CSIC0P-style debunker. In fact, he has philosophical differences with CSICOP, and personal differences with some of its leaders. The present book reflects his skepticism, but he doesn't ram it down our throats. In the introduction he asks, "Are all the accounts and stories in this book 'true'? Did they actually happen? Welll - probably not.. (but) these stories are meant to be believed". In other words, they are not told frivolously and they do indeed contain food for thought.
And why do the Cohens write children's books in the first place, you might ask. The answer, dear kiddies, is MONEY. Professional writers all know that well-established authors of children's books do very well indeed!
Back to the book itself - It contains short descriptions of over one hundred of the spookiest places in America, Conveniently divided into regions. The idea is that you can hop in your car and take the whole family on a grand tour of these spooky places. A few UFO sites are on the list, including the Oklahoma "spook lights"; Aurora, Texas; Socorro, New Mexico; and of course Roswell! Entertainingly written, for children of all ages. Available from Dutton Books of New York. Soft cover, approx. 200 pages.
As the back cover of the book so aptly puts it, "Part guidebook, part spooky story collection, this is unbeatable reading for any fan of the supernatural."
And, Dan Cohen is a nice guy, too. (We haven't met his wife.)
"In response to your call from Moseley Industries at 1:42 p.m. on August 28th, we at Phoney Science & Unlimited Research have completed your scientific request. We hope you will find the enclosures (see above) to be above and beyond your expectations.
"Now that you will be able to read the scientific call-outs on the Venusian Scout Ship (hmmm) engineering drawing, I know you will be impressed with Prof. Adamski's keen knowledge of extraterrestrial travel. Things like 'Repair Room Door' and 'Upper View Lens' were very High Tech items in 1955 when Adamski wrote "Inside the Space Ships"!
"...I told my girlfriend I was reading a particular book, fiction/novel, and she replied that she thought all UFO books were fiction. Ha.
"There are billboards on three entrances to town that advertise the Roswell Inn motel - demolished three years ago, and there is still a huge sign on the vacant property - so there must be a local mentality that supports the advertising of the invisible. Ha, again!..."
"...I must admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and re-reading 'Shockingly Close to the Truth' - it had me grinning from ear to ear. It's easily one of the best UFO books ever written, as it shows how the mythology was ' created and developed over the years. Your encounters with all those famous UFO personalities - including the Flying Saucer Physicist - must be one of the highlights of your book. Reading your fascinating life story I was very impressed at how you managed to retain your interest in Ufology for all those years. I suppose your delicious sense of humour must have kept you going. Let us hope that you sell as many copies as possible!...
"When we met (at the 'UnConvention') in April, I did promise to send you copies of my former magazine 'The Crop Watcher', which exposed some of the false science surrounding the crop circle research of Messrs Burke, Levengood and Talbot. I don't doubt that these people are sincere in their beliefs, but the fact is that their work does not stand up to critical scrutiny. I enclose copies of the two articles I published back in 1994 and 1995, which xplained how Levengood and Burke promoted some iron fillings deliberately left by hoaxers inside some crop circles at Cherhill as a result of a 'plasma vortex' created high in the atmosphere during a meteor shower that (unfortunately) had petered out some two weeks previously! Don't forget that I am a professional statistician, so I doknow what I am talking about when I criticise their statistical analyses..."
"Here's my 'love offering' to get on the 'Saucer Smear' mailing list, which probably puts me on the MIB target list too; but what the hell! Your book had me laughing out loud in places, and is a hell of a good read.
"Thanks a bunch for putting that bit about 'The Fact' in at the end of the book. Now I have a headache from trying to figure it out! Fortunately I already know the Secret of the Saucers without your help. They're dwarves from Suartalfheim, aka trolls, goblins, and ogres; so there!
"May the hammer of Thor protect us all!..."
"I wanted to personally thank you for the notice you put in 'Saucer Smear' about Frank's recent medical problems. Unfortunately, about three weeks following the open heart surgery, he was back in the hospital for gall bladder surgery. This was followed by severe complications, which landed him in the ICU for three days, and then additional complications sent him back again to the hospital for more than two weeks... He has only been home for about two weeks.
"Frank is naturally weak from everything he's been through and as they say, he's no spring chicken (ha). Believe it or not, on October 6th he will be 75 years old. He looks pretty good for an old geezer, huh? (As you can see, I love humor - especially when it comes to birthdays.) But he's slowly recovering.
"He so appreciated your post card. It really meant the world to him that you took the time to do that for him.
"Thanks again for everything. He reads your 'non-scheduled newsletter' from cover to cover. I can see you like humor too!..."
"...I happened to be in British Columbia (Canada) in the midst of an almost unprecedented UFO flap in the northwestern corner of that provence. There were 66 sightings in that region, at one count, including 17 right in the small town of Terrace (population about 18,000) that I was staying in, all within the period of a couple months. Some of the incidents were reported by First Nations (i.e., Canadian Indian) people, but for the most part Natives don't report UFO sightings because they mistrust authority and anyway don't consider such things unusual (as I have been told).
"A lot of the reports have been collected by Brian Vike, a researcher based in Houston, B.C. (not too far inland from where I was), who runs an organization called HBCC-UF0 Research. Most of these sightings involved large craft moving silently across the night sky, but also strange lights. There are continuous updates on the flap even now on the HBCC-UFO website. There was also, while I was there, a lot of attention to Canadian and especially B.a. crop circles, in connection with the new 'Signs' movie..."
"Oh dear, here we go again! Brian Parks wants to resurrect MJ-12, and uses the infamous 'Aquarius Document' to do so. He tells us what Bill Moore & Jaime Shandera told us over a decade ago, namely that the said document was a retype of an original AFOSI report, which was then handed to the unfortunate Paul Bennewitz in early 1981.
"Who 'retyped' it, and how do we know it was a 'retype'? Bill Moore tells us that he tried to reconstruct the original from memory seven years (!) after he was first shown it by either Richard Doty or the mystery man known as 'Falcon'; he then waffles on for several pages (in his 1990 MJ-12 report) about its significance and how alleged counter-intelligence agents are spreading disinformation about anything & everything connected with UFOs. Better reading than any spy fiction'. "When the GAO came out with its 1995 report on Roswell they added an appendix consisting of a letter to Congressman Steven Schiff in which they (the GAO) refer to this 'Aquarius Document' (not using that name, of course). They made it quite plain that not only was there no original of this document in AFOSI archives, but that the AFOSI re- plied that the said document was a forgery!
"Does this satisfy Brian Parks? Presumably not!
"You won't of Course find the original in Moore's 1990 publication. The reason? There never was one. End of story!..."
INDIA: PANIC AND DEATH AFTER MONSTER REPORTS
Reports of a flashing space creature,
or maybe a mutant bug that glows at both ends, have created panic in the country's
most populous state, setting off riots and lynchings that have killed more
than a dozen people. Victims report being scratched by something flashing blue, red or green
that strikes only at faces and only at night. Some police
officers declared that the "face-clawing monster" is an
extraterrestrial being. Terrified villagers have killed
people suspected of being one, and one person died on
Sunday when the police fired on a crowd storming their
post 40 miles from the state capital, Lucknow. A scientist
investigating the incidents said he believed that the most
likely explanation in the drought-stricken state was
lightning balls common during prolonged dry spells.
THAT'LL LEARN YOU: A national design competition asking students to "tell a convincing lie" ame a cropper after an entrant convinced universities that the contest had been scrapped. Professor George Hardie from Brighton University said the student created fake headed paper from the competition poster. Eve. Standard, 29 Mar 2000.
JUST CHUTE ME: Bernhard Tramme;, a 21-year-old Austrian paratrooper, survived a 7,000ft (2,134m) fall after both his parachutes opened at the same time and got tangled together. He hit a car park at around 50mph (80k/h) and blacked out. Awaking in hospital, his first words to doctors were: "When can I jump again?" He had escaped with just cuts and bruises. "My guardian ange] was definitely with me," he said. Mirror, Sun, 3; July 1999.
HONESTLY: A man who applied for a job as a police officer in Baltimore was a few tracks
short of an album. When asked on the job application form whether he had ever committed
a crime, Edwin Gaynor, 21, checked the box marked Yes. He told officers he had carjacked
a woman and robbed five people in Killeen, Texas. He was promptly arrested.
Dayton (OH) Daily News, 4 Sept 2001.
Weird science ANYONE who thinks the latest intricate crop circle is 'too precise to have been done in the dark overnight' is being naive. We surveyors have been able to do this for years. Any of the various commercial global navigation systems (GPS) now availiable would enable someone to set out such a complicated shape in only an hour or two.
Commercial differential GPS uses a base station which can be positioned discreetly up to five miles away. Way-points are pre-loaded to form any pattern required, and this can be set out using a mobile GPS station. This system can achieve an accuracy of plus or minus 20 millimetres- quite adequate for a crop circle. Can't get it all done in one night? Just set up your base station at the same position the next night and continue the pattern with no loss of accuracy.
In order to discover who's making these patterns, rather than looking at the night sky for extra-terrestrials, consider the 24 satellites which provide cur GPS coverage and keep close tabs on some surveyors who have access to this technology. CLIVE ROBERTS, Rhondda.
NEAR THING: Accordinq to Larry Adler's book Have I Ever Told You?, Al Capone bribed a juror $25,000 to reduce a murder charqe on one of his men to manslaughter. "I never thouqht you'd qet away with manslauqhter," said Capone afterwards. "Oh boy," replied the juror, "you don't know how difficult it was. They wanted to acquit him." D. Teleqraph, 26 Oct 2001.
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