|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 50, No. 9
October 25th, 2003
(Whole Number 365)
OUR FIFTIETH YEAR!
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TIDBITS OF TRASH
Just a very short saucer ride from North Hollywood is Burbank, California, where, at the 1987 NUFOC, Bill Moore unveiled to an unsuspecting world the first of the now-endless MJ-12 documents. We thought it would be appropriate for him to speak at the North Hollywood NUFOC, as this was our first convention in California since 1987. But alas, it was not to be...
Last June, a team of scientists using underwater microphones picked up a series of strangely high-pitched ticking and chirping noises, similar to what a dolphin would make. But there are no dolphins in this fresh-water lake. Said a spokesman for the scientists: "All we can say is that there is a creature in the lake that produces biosonar. We have no idea what it is".
Although the recordings are still under analysis, they offer the most compelling evidence to date that the creature might actually be real. (Our thanks to veteran UFO researcher George Farley for this one.)...
This tome apparently has nothing to do with UFOs, but includes adventure, travel, science, sex (gasp!) and "weird stuff" like near-death experiences, precognition, etc. It is available through Amazon.corn and Barnes & Noble. The author is named Jon Krakauer.
We recently contacted Huyghe in regard to the grave-robbing & archaeology book being prepared by Moseley and Pflock, tentatively titled "Thieves of Time". Huyghe rightly felt that our thrust was not their thrust, so we are currently looking elsewhere for a publisher for this book, which is a sort-of sequel to "Shockingly Close to the Truth!" (which is still available from our Headquarters at a mere cost of $28 per autographed copy.)...
"Smear" readers may remember that, in a somewhat similar scenario, John Keel's "Mothman Prophecies" book didn't become a movie till over twenty years after its first publication. We live in reverently strange times indeed!...
The Passing Parade: As ufology grinds on into its second century, obituaries become more common, sadly. Now we read in "Fortean Times" of England that Gordon Creighton, longtime editor of that country's "Flying Saucer Review" died last July 16th at the age of 95. According to the rather perverse obituary, Creighton was immeshed in paranoia and wild, unprovable ufological claims. Say they: The demise of "Flying Saucer Review "will be the end of au era, but an era that the majority of objective ufologists won't be sad to see the last of."
Much more recently came the death of Graham Birdsall, editor of England's "UFO Magazine" not to be confused with California's trashy zine with the same name. Apparently the English version was far superior to the American version, though we have never seen it. Birdsall, according to an admirer, was "a pillar of strength; he brought serious research into the public domain and delivered a vociferous message to enthusiasts and researchers around the globe." (See also Christopher Allan's letter to the editor, further along in this issue.)
Another recent death is that of Joe Travis, co-owner of The Little A'Le'Inn (Little Alien Inn) in the tiny hamlet of Rachel, Nevada. We met Joe and his wife Pat a few years ago, when we visited the Inn as part of a long, weary bus ride from a UFO convention in Laughlin, Nevada to "Area 51", which is not far from Rachel. On that trip we never even had a chance to see the "Keep Out or Else" signs at the edge of "Area 51", as our driver panicked and turned the van around the moment he saw a sign! Thus the stop-over in Rachel was the only enjoyable part of the journey.
Ailing but still with us is famed abductee Betty Hill, whose 1961 abduction experience together with her late husband Barney is one of the classic UFO stories of all times. Betty is now about 84 years old, and has lung cancer. She is not on the (cursed) Net, but would greatly appreciate supportive mail at her home address: 953 State Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801. We remember Betty well from her appearance at the NUFOC convention in New York City in 1980, and we have kept in touch with her ever since....
On the negative side is the fact that their slick magazine called "Incident" has folded after only a few issues. On the more (to us) positive side, there is a two-page list of over 80 UFO-related incidents between 1585 B.C. and 1973, all of which turned out to be either hoaxes or honest mistakes. (Naturally Roswell is not included!) Written by someone named Larry Hatch, this list is both interesting and highly amusing, and we commend the Museum for running it.
Included on the list are some classic cases, such as Maury Island, Washington (1947); the Captain Mantell case (1948); the Aztec, New Mexico case (1948); Brooksville, Florida (1965); and best of all, the Lost Creek, West Virginia motion picture (1966). Most of the descriptions are all too short, but this one reads in part: "UFO hovers over tree. Gray Barker filmed, while James Moseley drove the car and John Sheets suspended a fake model from a stick". Ah, those were the days!
Plans are already underway for the 2004 annual festival in Roswell, co-sponsored by the Museum. Sadly it will not include "Roswell - the Musical", a stage play based ever so loosely on the Roswell Incident. This play ran for two or three years in a row during the festival, but never in a year that we were there.
Membership in the International UFO Museum & Research Center is $25 per year. Their address is: ll4 North Main St., Roswell, N.M. 88203. Our relationship with the Museum is somewhat shaky (though we lectured there in 2002), but we're certain they will be glad to accept your money.
Incidentally, there is now a total of three annual festivals in the state of New Mexico - at Corona, Aztec, and (of course!) Roswell...
Another clipping on the same subject is even more startling: Aging comic Rodney Dangerfield has met with Brigitte Boisseler, the CEO of Clonaid, which is the medical branch of the Raelians, to talk about cloning himself. Dr. Boisselier came to the Eangerfield home in Los Angeles and talked with his wife while Rodney was recovering from brain surgery. The Raelians said they could create a clone of Rodney by taking a swab of cells from his cheek. When asked how much it would cost, they said they would not charge the Dangerfields anything. Rodney, who is almost 82 years old, had a friend videotape the bizarre meeting for use in a future documentary about his life!...
...He was our skunk.
In July, ufology's already poor estate was made still poorer with Phil Klass' departure from the field. For almost three decades, Klass held our feet to the fire. He compelled Serious Ufologists - Pro-UFOlogists to Unca Phil - to check their data a bit more closely, to consider questions they hadn't thought to ask or didn't want to ask, to tighten their arguments and sift their evidence with greater care.
Klass' departure from ufology - he was as much a part of The Field as, say, Dick Hall - went almost unremarked. Was this because UFOdom/-dumb didn't want to admit his influential, even (gasp!) positive contributions? Was it because most of those active and noisy in ufology and UFO fandom today didn't know of him except as some semi-mythical bogeyman ("You'd better be a good little True Believer or The Philklass will getcha'!) rather than a real earthling?
At his best, Klass was our devil's advocate. At his worst, he was our devil. If he hadn't come along in 1966, convinced that UFOs were something truly anomalous, we'd have had to invent him. Some of you are shaking your heads in disbelief at the idea Klass once thought UFOs to be genuinely mysterious. It's true. Read his first saucer book "UFOs Identified" (Random House, 1968). You'll be surprised!
When he entered The Field, Klass thought flying saucers might be ball lightning and free-floating plasma discharges. When that theory was thoroughly discredited by atmospheric physicists like James McDonald and even the Condon Committee, his at least partially open mind closed. He was transformed into a hardcore Menzelian: They - truly anomalous UFOs - can't be; therefore, they aren't. The name of the game became explaining them all away. Once Klass made up his mind about an "explanation" or even less than crucial issues, there was no way one could move him to change his views. He also conducted some truly outrageous personal attacks on ufologists who, for one reason or another, he decided needed to be discredited- as, for example, his assault on physicist-ufologist James McDonald.
Despite these failings, Klass has often gone where no ufologist dared (or wanted) to go. He dug up new and useful information, exposed hoaxes, and perhaps more important, moved his most thoughtful antagonists to dig a little deeper, look a little closer, and study the evidence a little harder.
Now Phil Klass has left The Field, and there's not another skeptical skunk or even stink bug out there who comes close to filling his shoes. Which this Pro-UFOlogist finds most unfortunate.
S'long, Phil. Thanks for making such a big stink.
"Thank you for the Sept. 25th, 2003 issue of 'Saucer Smear'.
"Your comments regarding Paul Bennewitz and APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization) are incomplete. You state: "Bennewitz contacted APRO's Coral and Jim Lorenzen, but surprisingly, they wrote him off as delusional".
"Actually, Jim and Coral were interested in Paul and his investigations. In May of 1980, they called me and said that they would pay for my flight (they did), round-trip Laramie - Albuquerque, to interview Paul and conduct hypnotic procedures with a woman and her son.
"When I arrived, Paul and his wife were gracious host and hostess. The mother and young son retold their observation of a young cow, or calf, being drawn up in a beam of light, toward a hovering craft.
"During hypnosis sessions, the woman described what she perceived as memories of an experience on board the craft; a flight to an underground facility; and interactions with a variety of ET entities.
"Paul was impressed with the information provided by the sessions. I encouraged him and the woman to 'go public' with the information, but they refused. Paul told me to keep quiet about the sessions. He said that he would pay for a return visit (He did not.)
"When I returned for a second visit, in June 1980, Paul was not in a gracious mood. He had a pistol on his hip, a rifle in one hand, and the other hand pointed me back toward the door. He talked as if he expected- at any moment - that ETs might be crawling over the walls!
"I tried, once again, to encourage him to share the information with others. He refused and reminded me that I was to keep quiet. He kept the audiotapes of the sessions. However, when I returned to Laramie, I mailed a copy of my handwritten notes to Jim and Coral Lorenzen.
"Sometime later, when Paul began to make public statements about the results of the sessions, I assumed that the information was 'public'. I shared my notes with Tom Adams and Linda Moulton Howe. (See 'An Alien Harvest', 1989, by Linda Moulton Howe Productions, Appendix 13, pages 340-373. )
"Perhaps the death of Paul Bennewitz closes a chapter on his efforts to alert USAF/Federal governmental officials about his UFO investigations. However, in my opinion, his 'delusions' had less to do with his observations of ETs/UFOs, and more to do with his belief that officials should take seriously his observations."
A long series of annual abduction conferences in Leo Sprinkle's home area of Wyoming died out in 2001 for lack of interest. We wish we could have attended one of these. - Editor.
"My disbelief in the ET H (Extraterrestrial Hypothesis) is most strongly rooted in the argument presented in my 'Problem of Noncontact' entry in Ronald Story's encyclopedia. There are also insurmountable inconsistencies and improbabilities in the main hypotheses about potential alien motivations like reconnaissance, invasion, directing human history, creating hybrids for a dying world, etc. These problems make the ETH so extra-ordinary that the only 'proof' that would make belief obligatory or pragmatic would be the proverbial Landing on the White House Lawn, in front of cameras of all the major networks, or the presentation of a hundred volume Encyclopedia Galactica with a fully functioning Universal Translator.
"Such a high standard would not be needed if we could trust people to be totally truthful and error-proof, but we have a huge body of evidence that people are no such thing, particularly in matters depending on secrets and mystery. There are literally dozens of contactees who populated Venus with intelligent beings. Some saw the non-existent canals of Mars up close. Contactees and abductees have given us over a hundred predictions about future cataclysms over the years, and they have always been wrong. The number of UFO reports where belief has skewed mundane things into alien presences minimally number in the thousands! Such a climate of myth makes acceptance at face value of any report involving aliens, however well attested and inexplicable, an exercise in myopia.
"While some people see similarities in UFO reports as matters deserving belief, I find the diversity among reports far more overwhelming and compelling. The broad expanse of inconsistencies, by my measure, reflects the diverse nature of humans - their differing beliefs, differing personalities, differing histories. It's been said that ufologists are looking for a signal in the noise - a 'real' phenomenon beneath all the illusions and mistakes. I prefer studying the noise, which is real enough in its own way to keep my attention. If there is a signal imbedded in the noise, either it is hopelessly garbled or else it is too faint to rise above the din of alien mythology...Unexplained means precisely unexplained, and that means only and merely unexplained. It doesn't mean UFOs = aliens, or UFOs = demons, or UFOs = danger, or UFOs = salvation, etc., etc., etc.
"Even so, I think the subject is fun. I like trying to guess the solutions of various cases as much as anybody else. I like reading the books, collecting information, making the charts and graphs, finding new angles to look at things with. And, I do enjoy the fact that I have made the occasional discovery that others recognize as an advance in our understanding of the psycho-social aspects of the UFO phenomenon. I didn't enter the subject expecting that, but it IS nice. UFOs are far less important in the grand enterprise of life than many folks like to say it is, but it is one of the lovely luxuries of civilization, in that people don't have to always be doing important things..."
We differ, believing that there definitely is a "signal in the noise", whatever it may turn out to be. Nevertheless, Marty Kottmeyer is a fine researcher. - Editor.
"Larry Bryant's push for Bush's impeachment is a reasonable, mainstream view which will only be tainted by association with the UFO topic (which is not to say UFO belief is not reasonable - only that most Americans see it as tainting). The U.S. is about as likely to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as the L.A.P.D. are of finding 'Nicole Brown's real killers'.
"While we're on the subject, why classify a puny microbe like antrax as a 'weapon of mass destruction' - you're lucky to kill more than a few people at a time with it and not the incendiary bombs that our military routinely uses to level cities? Who is monitoring our W.M.D.s? Besides, a lie detector test wouldn't work on Bush because Reptilians don' t have the same nervous and respiratory systems as we do!..."
Wild-eyed activist Larry Bryant has recently gone from UFO advocacy to touchy political matters - even objecting to the use of a church as a voting location (due to the necessary separation of church & state).- Editor
"...What occasioned this letter is your book, which, by the way, is mentioned on the splash nage of my web site on the ('dreaded', as you would have it) internet, along with a link to the National UFO Conference (NUFOC). For me, the internet has provided all the advantages of independent newsletters, with a much wider readership at far lower cost; but then, since one of your fans posts ail issues of 'Smear' you have the best of both worlds!
An acquaintance was kind enough to give me a copy of your book...and I really enjoyed the walk down the enchanted memory lane that binds us together.
"Like you- in fact, I may have acquired the habit from you - I went first to the index, and was a little disappointed that I rated only a one-page mention. After all, I did chair the delegate sessions at the 1967 'Giant Saucer Show' at the late and lamented Commodore Hotel in New York City. That year there were more people at the delegate sessions than in many years at the public sessons. I also authored two books on the UFO subj ect (including 'Saucers and Saucerers', which is also a social history of Ufology); chased the Brown Mountain Lights with you and Tim Beckley and your daughter Betty; and went ghost hunting on the very haunted Georgia coast with you - to say nothing of having received the Ufologist of the Year Award twice - twenty years apart. (I think you and I are the only two people so honored twice.) And I did have a bit to do with formulating the '3 1/2-D Theory' myself.
"But of course, I'm glad you did mention me in connection with 'Middle Ufology'. My own diary of this era would seem to indicate I created the term, and identified the configuration - between uncritical contactees on the one hand and the 'anti-lamding' NICAP types of that period. You say that I am virtually out of The Field, but by my own lights, I'm really not. Rather, I accept the ideas first propounded by Carl Jung and later by Jacques Vallee, that the UFO mythos is part and parcel of the broader mythos of Faerie, of the medieval Man in Black, of magical conjurations and trance channeled oracular communications that have been a part of human folklore from our earliest times. What it all means I am less certain of, but I continue to 'chase the flying saucers' by considering it from other angles...
"Anyhow...those early conventions were a blast, and telling everything that went on, well, that would be really shockingly close to the truth!..."
"I enjoyed your write-up of the 40th annual NUFOC conference, but would like to point out that I can't be termed merely an 'abduction researcher'. I've been in the UFO research field as an investigator/researcher/writer for 46 years, and for the first l5 or 18 years of that I had only one 'abduction' case, in 1965, which turned out to be a woman who was mentally ill. When the Field began to go crazy in the mid-1970s with 'abduction' reports, naturally we absorbed them into our already heavy caseloads. But the mere fact that I had to, out of necessity, investigate abduction cases doesn't make me an 'abduction' researcher. I dislike the term, because it implies that I either think that 'aliens from UFOs' are hybridizing us, or, contradictorily, that 'aliens from UFOs' are developing the human race spiritually. I don't subscribe to either theory, but that is what the great majority of U.S. researchers, the media, and the US public think 'abductions' are all about.
"I would rather be described as a researcher/writer who delves into various earth mysteries, including psychic phenomena, psychic archaeology, paranormal photographs, UFO physical sightings and, necessarily, some abduction cases. In 1989 I first realized that 20% to 25% of 'abduction' reports come from instinctive 'resisters' - that is, human beings who were able to fend off the 'harrassing entities' by breaking the altered state in which most, if not all, of these scenarios occur...
The so-called ' abduction phenomenon' is not caused by physical beings from UFOs but rather, it is more likely caused by some interdimensionai or otherworldly phenomenon which attacks people in altered states, and can be fought off by stouthearted human beings - the same phenomenon described in major and minor world cultures down through the ages. If you would read my book, 'How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction', this would clarify my work...
"May I point out other items related to your write-up on our North Hollywood NUFOC celebration? You mentioned Rev. Bailey encountered shapeshifting entities, but you did not mention that his talk was mainly about how he photographed them on Nov. Ist, 1978. (Incidentally, photographing the little pests seems to be a good way to get rid off them, for Bailey was never bothered again!)
Then there's the matter of Dr. Eric Kelson's talk on the Heflin photos. I agree heartily that his was a superb presentation, but Heflin's first name is Rex, not Van, as you have it. Rex Heflin had a work van, from inside which the first three photos were taken, so maybe that's where the misunderstanding arose.
"Most of the people on our NUFOC planning committee...are of the opinion that the NUFOC 40th convention was a success in spite of the small attendance. I have never attended ANY conference where the camaraderie was so strong, the talks so objective and fact-filled, and where everyone seemed to be enjoying themself. It was splendid. I hope you, too, enjoyed yourself, for we all enjoyed having you in North Hollywood! Thank you for inviting me to host the conference! It was a lot of work for everyone concerned, but also a lot of fun!
"Incidentally, I sent our 'angel' $1,000 personally to help make up his loss. He didn't expect anyone to do this, but accepted it graciously. And some of the loss he sustained might be made up by selling the speaker videos. Could you mention in the next 'Saucer Smear' that the ten videos from the conference (nine speakers and the abduction panel discussion) are available at: http://www.mufonla.com/nufocovideoorder.htm. Our angel would receive a substantial portion of any profits made by MUFON-LA on these particular videos, so we might slowly be able to reimburse him further. And you could include my email address: email@example.com, for anyone who has any questions about the videos."
And if you are somehow inspired to host the NUFOC next year, by all means drop a line to us here at 'Saucer Smear'. As you may have heard, we are not on the net. - Editor.
"Since your last 'Smear' refers to a number of ufological deaths, I thought I would mention another, this time in the United Kingdom. You may already know of course, but Graham Birdsall died just one week ago from a brain haemorrhage. It all happened very suddenly, and only a few days before his annual conference in Leeds was due to take place. This conference had to be cancelled at the last minute.
"Graham had been a very prominent figure in British ufology for many years, and was editor of the very popular newsstand magazine 'UFO Magazine' (not to be confused with its American rival of the same or similar name).
"He ran his annual Leeds conferences for over 20 years, always attracting speakers from many countries, so that the conferences had an international flavor. He will be greatly missed by the UFO fraternity over here! I never met him face to face, but I did attend a few of the Leeds events (plus some of the others he held in various places). They were always entertaining, even though the presenters and their presentations left a lot to be desired...The one thing that used to put me off was the constant emphasis towards the 'The Truth is Coming' theme. Of course it is not, but it seems many people still adhere to the notion that it is 'Just Around the Corner'..."
"I have just finished reading a book by Dr. Rick Strassman, who did a legal DMT study at the University of New Mexico back in the early 1990s. I know a couple of the guinea pigs who participated in the program. The book is titled: 'DMT: The Spirit Molecule. '
"DMT is produced naturally in the human brain but in sufficient quantity, it alters reality considerably. It is possibly responsible in some way for some alien encounters, as the injected high dose DMT subjects reported many alien encounters of the usual sort, as well as near death and spiritual experiences. Interestingly, the aliens experienced during these DMT sessions were interested in implants, human sexuality, etc., just as in naturally-occuring encounters. Dr. John Mack is quoted a number of times in the text. I think you would find the book quite fascinating, and it may be a title you could read from cover to cover (as I am well aware that you prefer articles to books)..."
"The only way to save 'Smear', as I see it, is to reprint a photo of 'Jasmin' in full size on the front cover! Perhaps a new UFO wave will come along and cause enough confusion for you to continue!"
|HAUNTED ROAD: In just one year, 26 cars have crashed on the same 500 metre (1,640ft) stretch of the A465 in Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, the scene of a fatal smash 60 years aqo. Drivers said it felt as if the wheel was snatched from their hands. The parish council has called in local ghost-busting minister Kevin Crouch to see if he can exorcise the road. Sun, 26 Oct 2002.||
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|ACT OF GOD: A guest evangelist, preaching repentance at the First Baptist Church in Forest, Hardin County, Ohio, on 2 July, was struck by lightning moments after asking God for a sign. The thunderbolt hit the church steeple, blew out the sound system and enveloped the preacher, who was unhurt. The church, however, was set on fire, causing damage estimated at $20,000. [AP] 4 July 2003.|
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