|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 50, No. 3
March 10th, 2003
OUR FIFTIETH YEAR!
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Key West, FL 33041
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Truzzi was, in real life, a professor of sociology at Eastern Michigan University. As a hobby, he was one of the founders of CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), back in the mid-1970s.
It soon became apparent to Truzzi that he was not in tune with the philosophical "hard-liners" such as Paul Kurtz who ran that organization, and he split off. Whereas CSICOP's "Skeptical Inquirer" presented only one side of paranormal arguments, Truzzi for several years published a rival but lesser known zine called "The Zetetic Scholar" (a rather poor choice of titles). Therein he tried to present articles showing all sides of scholarly arguments on various off-beat topics, whereas CSICOP's magazine made no such attempt at all. Truzzi considered himself to be a true skeptic, rather than a debunker, and thus in CSICOP's view he was much too moderate.
Although Truzzi in his personal philosophy had no belief at all in either flying saucers or the paranormal, he was a very unusual person in that some of his best friends were Believers of one stripe or another, and he would stick up for these friends vigorously without ever endorsing their views.
One such friend was CUFOS's Jerome Clark, an extreme advocate of interplanetary saucers. Another was spoon-bender Uri Geller, who, like Truzzi, had a background in stage magic, (though Geller doesn't like to admit it, being an alleged psychic).
We always felt that Truzzi was unduly impressed by Geller's fame, which was much greater a couple of decades ago than it is today. When Geller became locked in legal combat with James ( "The Amusing" ) Randi back around 1990, Truzzi slipped court documents and other information supporting Geller to "Saucer Smear", which we used in a series of articles about this infamous feud. "Smear" took a strongly pro-Geller stand, but on sober reflection over the intervening years, we now believe that Geller and Randi pretty much deserved each other. Randi is fanatically anti-psychic and Geller is, at best, a man with occasional flashes of psychic ability. Of late Geller hangs onto the coattails of Michael Jackson, among others!
Your editor only met Marcello Truzzi once, many years ago at a very early CSICOP convention. We kept in touch over the years mainly by telephone. The last time we talked was just a few days before his death, and he spoke of his failing health, which we had not been fully aware of until that time. Most people don't like to talk about such things.
An eloquent voice for reasonableness, common sense and moderation has been silenced, and we are very sorry about this. (Photo of M. Truzzi by Mary Martinek.)
"Enclosed is a perfect nature photo of a barn owl that has all the criteria of a Mothman apparition, with one exception: The only missing element to link a barn owl to a believable Mothman status is size, and that requires a distortion of the facts. We know, however, that exaggeration is to be expected with tall tales of the paranormal. The photograph speaks volumes for the Mothman's real identity, in my humble opinion."
We would add that the photo looks more than a little like the Flatwoods Monster, as well. However, other elements of the Flatwoods story make this an unlikely solution...
Ms. Druffel considers herself to be a scientific UFO investigator, rather than a "New Ager" of any sort. She has written several books and endless articles for flying saucer publications as well as for the general public. Her latest book, still in print, is called "How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abductions", published in 1998 by Random House.
In Ms. Druffel's view, nuts & bolts type saucers are probably spaceships, whereas abductions present a more complex phenomenon, involving an interaction of the human mind with mischievous entities of some sort. (We agree with her on this latter point, though we are not at all convinced that any UF0s are 3-D interplanetary spacecraft.)
We look forward to the 40th NUFOC, which will take place somewhere in the Los Angeles area on the weekend of September 6th-7th. Stay tuned!...
Whitley Strieber, from whose website this item is taken, ties this in with global warming, without explaining why. The (unnamed here) fellow who sent us this story has this to add: "Just like the cold weather we had here in southern Florida a couple of weeks ago! We were freezing our balls off in the midst of global warming!"....
"Section l: EXTRATERRESTRIAL CULTURE DAY - the second Thursday of February each year shall be designated 'Extraterrestrial Culture Day' in recognition of the many visitations, sightings, unexplained mysteries, attributed technological advances, experimentations, expeditions, explorations, intrigues, provision of story lines for Hollywood epics, and other accomplishments of alien beings throughout the universe that have contributed to New Mexico's worldwide recognition as a unique and dynamic mosaic of cultural anomalies. The day should be observed to celebrate and honor all past, present and future extraterrestrial visitors in ways to enhance relationships among all the citizens of the cosmos, known and unknown."
Before Larry Bryant and others get all bent out of shape by the above, we should inform you that this is a "joke bill", not intended to be debated or taken seriously in any way. Our esteemed colleague Karl Pflock, who has had personal experience with this very same New Mexico legislature, assures us that it has no hope of passage. Pity!...
Pat Marcattilio, who calls himself "Dr. UFO", is having two conventions this year, as usual, near Trenton, New Jersey. They will take place on the weekend of April 5th7th, and again on October 4th & 5th. We won't be attending the first one (where none other than Stanton Friedman will be speaking!), but we may be able to get to the second one .... Meanwhile, we will be present at an offbeat UFO con. in Aztec, New Mexico, on the weekend of March 21st-23rd. this being the approximate anniversary of an alleged saucer crash in that region back in 1948. We're banned in Roswell, but Aztec is a fun second choice, and we're looking forward to it, except for the weather!...
According to "New Scientist" Magazine, about one in four of the 85 planetary systems identified to date outside our own solar system are capable of harboring Earth-like planets. This was a much higher proportion than anyone expected to find. Unfortunately, MUFON's headline for this item is garbled. It erroneously reads "Report claims one in four planets outside solar system can harbor other Earths"...The MUFON UFO Journal announces in its Feb. 2003 issue that it will again start taking "appropriate" advertising, after a gap of several years. Obviously the reason for this is financial!... In the same issue, we learn that MUFON's new Director of Membership is a lady named Lin Simpson. In an act of desperation, she asks for Hollywood area members to help her organize a Hollywood-style fundraiser of some sort. If Gray Barker were alive, he'd know what to do: Float a huge balloon over a populated area with MUFON's address on it in big red letters!...
Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun is thinking of running for president. This lady was the first female black senator in U.S. history. We believe she is a very distant cousin to your Editor, as her family and ours both have roots in the town of Evanston, Illinois...The Raelians have disappeared from the headlines as quickly as their short-lived fame began. They claim 55,000 members in 84 countries, but their main headquarters is in Quebec, Canada. It seems evident that they have not produced any human clones as yet....
Our sincere thanks to England's wonderful newsstand magazine "Fortean Times" for not complaining about the fact that we have borrowed many of their cartocns and short news items as "fillers" in "Saucer Smear".
No wonder Beckley gets confused, because we have here a dreadful follow-up to many previous books of similar theme & title, including "UFOs and the Bible" by "Dr." Morris K. Jessup; "The Bible and Flying Saucers" by "Rev." Barry Downing; and "Professor" G. C. Schellhorn's forgettable "ETs In Biblical Prophecy". Shamefully omitted from Beckley's list of previous works is Laura Mundo's similar tome, which was privately published with the title "Flying Saucers and the Father's Plan". Gray Barker then took this uncopyrighted manuscript and published it as "The Father's Plan and Flying Saucers", without permission of the author. This was, indeed, a rather unchristian thing to do! But Barker meant no harm.
Beckley's focus in the present book (if any) is a complete reprint of Virginia Brasington's "Flying Saucers in the Bible", which was originally published in 1963 by Barker's Saucerian Press. We even recognize Barker's type-style, i.e., the pages are reprinted here just as he originally typed them'. We met Ms. Brasington once, when she made a trip to New York City, and we were surprised by the fact that she did not seem to be at all fanatical.
Beckley's book includes, in addition to the long Brasington material, shorter contributions by Sean Casteel, Tim Swartz and "Professor" Schellhorn. We have met the latter several times at UFO conventions, and what we will always remember about him is that he seemed to get some sort of special delight in showing slides of animal mutilations. His contributior here is called "The Return of the Son of Man in the Clouds". This begins on Page 88. However, the Table of Contents lists this as "The Return of the Son of Man Out of the Clouds" , beginning on Page 98! Beckley needs a good proofreader even more than we do!
By not actually reading this book we have undoubtedly missed a vast number of other errors, large and small, but we couldn't miss the price, hand-written in red ink at the top of the first page (though it was free to us). This book goes for a mere $18.95. Amen!
Last year, C. (Carol) A. Honey, for some years one of "Professor" George Adamski's most trusted associates, semi-self-published a curious large-format softcover book entitled "Flying Saucers 50 Years Later" (318 pages; available for $24.95 from Arcturus Books, 1443 Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34962).
Therein, Honey (firstname.lastname@example.org or 2456 S. Woodlark Drive, Ontario, Ca. 91761) "confesses" to ghostwriting Adamski's last book ("Flying Saucers Farewell", 1961; reissued as "Behind the Flying Saucer Mystery", 1967), the Prof's infamous report on his alleged 1962 trip to Saturn, and sundry other of the famed contactee's writings - plus much, much, much more. Here's exactly what the undoubtedly Honey-penned jacket blurb says:
"This book covers the history of incidents surrounding the UFO work started by George Adamski in the early 1950s and carried onward by him and his colleague C.A. Honey for several years, starting in 1957.
"On August 24, 1961, George Adamski turned the work over to C.A. Honey while he entered a new phase teaching Philosophy and Abstract Science. He continued to write articles for C.A. Honey's S.P. NEWSLETTER for many months, until October 1963.
"At that time, C.A. Honey dissolved the partnership due to the circumstances explained in this new hook. Since 1963 C.A. Honey has continued with the original program of education through lectures, articles and books. His articles comprdse over 200,000 words total, and are sent free over the Internet to any country in the world.
"Subjects covered include detailed explanation as to why official secrecy about the origin and purpose of those coming our way in interplanetary spacecraft, is kept highly classified and secret. Since approximately 95 to 97% of all sightings, abductions, and contact claims are ither fraudulent or honest mistakes by those claiming the experiences, the truth will be revealed in this book as to the actual happenings.
"Subjects include: UFOs PHYSICAL OR NON-PHYSICAL; WHO PILOTS THE FLYING SAUCERS; TRUE IDENTITY OF THE ALIENS; HOAXES; DANGERS; ANSWERING KNOW-NOTHING CRITICS; FALSE LEADERS: PSYCHIC AND ASTRAL FRAUD IN THE UFO FIELD; WHY THE TRUTH CAN NEVER BE REVEALED OFFICIALLY; MARS-EARTH CONNECTION; PHILOSOPHY; CAN THE DEAD BE CONTACTED; METHODS USED BY JOHN EDWARDS OR VAN PRAAGH TO DECEIVE THE PEOPLE; FALSE CLAIMS COMING FROM THE GAF (GEORGE ADAMSKI FOUNDATION); plus many others."
What more can I say? How about: Yes...no...maybe. Or: Huh?! Or: The Compleat Guide to C. A. HoneyVs Head! Or: No one with a serious interest in George Adamski and his circle and its latter-day remnants should be without this book. Yeah, that's about right.
"...I want to make a comment regarding Stanton T. Friedman's comments in your Jan. 5th issue: I have known this gentleman for a very long time, since I lived in New Brunswick (Canada) and had the honor of meeting him in Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1975, and then again at a convention in Toronto called 'UFOs, Canada - A Global Perspective'; also with Dr. J. Allan Hynek & Mimie. I lived in Ottawa for 3 years and saw 'Stan' on numerous Talk Shows that I have on tape, and he didn't even plug those! I must admit that I fully concur with him in his defense against said '?' - the mystery guy; but even if Stan does sound a 'tad' pompous, I know that what he has done is the absolute truth and done so with absolute gusto in the quest to unearth the 'TRUTH'. GOD BLESS HIM! Since Hynek died, who else has made so many documentaries and live shows to attempt to solve the Major Mystery on this Planet?? I will take my hat off o him any day!..."
This letter is a little strange in spite of our attempt at editing; but we wanted our readers to know that ole Stan still has some Fans out there! - Editor.
"I know you have better things to do than teach remedial biology, but I feel compelled to say a few words about the comments of Phil Duke, Ph.D. in your Volume 50, No. 2. He condemns Dr. Levengood for noting changes in crop circle plant mitochondria and makes the statement, 'But mitochondria are found only in animal, and never in plant, cells. Anyone who studied biology knows this!'
In fact, anyone who studied biology knows that they are found in both! It's all over the Web. A search in google for 'plant cell mitochondria' will yield hundreds of references. My search produced a statement that the average plant cell contains 100 to 200 mitochondria. I am enclosing a few reprints of what I found, including a photomicrograph of a plant cell mitochondrion."
It looks like Dr. Duke stumbled here; but someone checked, and he apparently really does have a real Ph.D. - Editor.
"Regarding the letter from Phillip Duke, Ph.D. published in 'Saucer Smear' Vol. 50, No. 2: It is with a certain morbid fascination that I continue to watch the on-going trainwreck which is the ufoological career of Dr. Duke. Although 'MUFON Journal' editor Dwight Connelly advised me to 'ignore him and hope he goes away', I'm still strangely compelled to point out some major problems in Dr. Duke's vitriolic thrashing of my esteemed colleagues Mr. Connelly and Nancy Talbott of the BLT Research Team.
"For starters, Nancy has 'absolutely no recollection' of ever having talked to Dr. Duke. Therefore, what are we to make of his assertion that she became 'very angry and abusive' and hung up on him? Perhaps she was in some sort of alien-induced trance? Be that as it may, Dr. Duke's letter basically calls Nancy and crop circle researcher (and biophysicist) W. C. Levengood idiots because 'anyone who studied biology' knows that mitochondria are found 'only in animal and never in plant cells'. Wrong! I've enclosed a copy of a photo from the textbook 'Biological Science' by William Keeton which clearly shows (labeled) mitochondria in corn cells. The last time I checked, corn was still considered a plant and not an animal!
"Dr. Duke goes on to ask 'legitimate researchers' to shun Levengood and Talbott due to their lack of 'professional credibility'. He also states that Nancy's function is 'debunking ufology'. In my many conversations with her, I've found Nancy to be a remarkably open-minded person regarding any possibility pertaining to the causes of both crop circles and cattle mutilations. Dr. Duke makes the allegation that Connelly and Talbott have been 'bought off' by 'you know who'. (No, I don't!) Both Dwight and Nancy responded, 'Hey, where's my check?'
"In his letter and in his screed 'The AIDS-ET Connection', hr. Duke maintains that 'the human race is in the process of being destroyed by ET-created HIV's! From what I can gather from reading his 'book' and the material on his website, Duke bases his far-fetched hypothesis primarily on one interesting but equivocal mutilated cow case investigated by NIDS, and one apocryphal story of an anonymous abductee relayed to him by Derrel Sims. Alien implant researcher Dr. Roger Leir adds some heft to Duke's argument by vouching for 'most of the facts' in the case. Is this a classic case of escalating hypotheses? With such an amazingly insubstantial data base, how can Dr. Duke be so bitter and devastated by his 'blacklisting' by the scientific establishment and reputable publications like 'The MUFON Journal' and 'The Journal of Scientific Exploration'? ....
"One more footnote to this piteous affair: In a letter to 'The International UFO Reporter', Dr. Duke argues that due to a certain genetic make-up, some blond Caucasion Nordic people have a 'resistance/immunity' to HIV. Why do I always get queasy when presented with scenarios where blond Aryan types are the only ones to survive the Apocalypse?
"Despite his egregious faux pas on the mitochrondia issue, Dr. Duke obviously has a substantial amount of scientific training and may have something positive to offer ufology. The good doctor should curtail his apoplectic harangues, drop the attorney, and concentrate on patiently marshaling his facts if he wants to be taken seriously. Forget about the quotes from Jesus and Fox Mulder. Forget about all the parallels between his 'misunderstood' work and that of Einstein, Copernicus, Galileo and Columbus (usually a sure sign of crankdom!) I dunno, he may be on to something. If Duke is right, we'll all feel pretty stupid when we're dead and the little grey bastards are living in our houses, drinking our scotch, and cavorting with the Swedish Bikini Team. Until then, I'll take my chances!"
"Please do not reveal your strong skeptical bent on UFOs! You are much more valuable as a 'stealth' doubter 'than one who comes right out and says things like the Roswell crash is a hoax. P.S: Where do we send Karl Pflock's check for his debunking efforts?
"One question about your most recent issue, Vol. 50, No. 2: You write: 'Molly is a former lady friend of former Erik Beckjord'. By 'former Erik Beckjord' de you mean 'late', or has he changed his name?
"Keep the presses rolling. I enjoy each issue of 'Smear'!
By "former" we mean "former researcher", though even this is giving the man far too much credit! - Editor.
"Beckjord now says that Bigfoot is biological and simply has very, very weird abilities - like going invisible at will, paralyzing you (as UFOs do) at will, and the like.
"Already DROVES of 'Bigfooters' are flocking to him and supporting him, whereas it was all uphill before.
"He also says that UFOs are nuts and bolts craft, but have ultra weird abilities, like being able to morph and wink out.
"Nessie, also, is a biological being that has super weird abilities, and this new stance is making friends everywhere!..."
Beckjord, too, is nuts and bolts! - Editor.
"As we wait for Donald Johnson, PhD's prediction to probably fail, you may enjoy being reminded that he wrote a defense of Dr. David Saunder's 61-month cycle theory back in 1990, that predicted a UFO wave centered in Guam in April 1993. I hope Johnson will be writing about how well that prediction fared in his forthcoming paper!
"Though I would suspect the new prediction is somehow related to Saunders' theory, there is probably a refinement, using a slightly shorter cycle length to take into account the 'early' arrival of flaps in '72 and '88, apparent in the table of the 1990 paper. There have been recurring doubts about the success of past predictions involving the thecry. Back in 1997, Joseph Ritrovato made a prediction that there would be a UFO wave in the early part of 1998. This seemed to incorporate Saunders' 5-year theory, but, if one uses NUFORC data as a test, the highest activity in 1998 happened in the last half of the year.
"The thing that I would really like to know is, if there really was a 61-month cycle, what do these theorists imagine causes it? None of the defenders of Saunder's idea to my knowledge have ever spelled out the reason for such a cycle!"
"...Incidentally, speaking of anthropology and ufology, I ran across a suggestion that George Hunt Williamson was the model for Indiana Jones (and here I always thought it was you!) It seems unlikely - since Indiana Jones fights Nazis and Williamson was one!"
"I have just purchased and read your book, 'Shockingly Close to the Truth!' As a sociological chronicle of 20th century American ufoology, it is shockingly close to perfection. Your portraits of the people, places and 'things' of The Field are delightful (and, I presume, shockingly close to accurate).
"Egads, man, how I envy you! While the rest of us were spending seemingly endless years in preparing for a profession, and then spending a lifetime in slavishly practicing that profession in obeisance to Mammon, you could blithely drop out of Princeton (and to think there are those who would kill for the privilege of attending an Ivy League college!), then set off in romantic and energetic pursuit of one of the wildest geese in the history of mankind. Thou art truly a modern-day Don Quixote!
"And, to have crowned your career with the publication of possibly the magnum opus of UFOdumb, must give you great satisfaction indeed. I don't believe it is exactly the path I would have chosen given a similar opportunity, since I concluded early on that UFOs were simply another nutty religious cult (and I still firmly believe that, a subject I would be glad to enlarge upon should you wish me to do so); but, good Lord, how I would have loved to have had the choice! You, sir, are the luckiest of men. I trust you are properly grateful to whatever gods you worship.
"There is, however, one question you have left unanswered, and that is: Just exactly what was the true nature of your relationship with Gray Barker, anyway? Inquiring minds would like to know!... "
A beautiful letter! Comment: (1) Sometimes we wonder, very late at night, if we really made the right choice in life, after all. We gained a lot of freedom, but lost a lot of other things along the way. (2) Gray Barker and your editor were very close friends for about thirty years, but we were not lovers, as some have alleged. - Editor.
"Here is my Love Offering for another slam-bang year of 'Saucer Smear'. Make sure not to confuse me with that other, more dead-beat Clewell from Michigan, okay?
"It seems as if your book did A-OK in 2002. In addition to the signed copy I got from you, I bought two others as gifts. Everyone's told you already, I know: It really is a thing of nutball beauty!..."
"I am a sci-fi fan, but I consider myself a serious UFO researcher first. I'm not totally sure that all of the TV shows like Steven Spielberg's 'TAKEN' are actually doing the UFO field any good...I'm sick of reading about groups like MUFON, of which I am a proud member, boasting about how great the series 'TAKEN' was!..."
|Stan Balderson was filmed by police in a field in Nornini Grove, Virqinia, having sex with a herd of cows. The 81-year-old was seen running from cow to cow wearinq only a T-shirt, tennis shoes and sunglasses. A neighbour had seen him frolickinq with the cows many times before. He was qiven a two-year suspended sentence. Sun, 28 Aug 2002.|
|NUDE JOGGER: A 33-year-old man was arrested in New Jersey after running naked across a bridge. He told police he did it to end the state's drought; and it did indeed rain later that day. Edinburgh Eve. News, 23 Aug 2002.|
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