|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 51, No. 4
April 15th, 2004
(Whole Number 370)
OUR FIFTIETH YEAR!
P. 0. Box 1709
Key West, FL 33041
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NOTES OF PASSING INTEREST
Typographical errors are not unknown in our issues, though we do our best, having no independent proofreader. An outstanding example of a typo in our last issue is at the top of Page 4, where it states that Giordado (misspelled in the text!) Bruno was sentenced to death at the stake 4004 years ago. That would be long before the beginning cf the Christian era: The correct figure is 404 years.
Then, in our postscript to Dr. Frank E. Stranges' letter on Page 8, we gave his Email address incorrectly. The right answer here is: email@example.com.
There are doubtlessly other mistakes, but these are the only important ones that have come to our attention.
In brief, an elderly woman named Evelina Kuss, living with her family on a small farm, was awake late one night and saw a brilliantly glowing red object which descended very slowly from the sky and landed nearby. This apparently was one solid object, 3 or 4 yards across and several yards long. While it was descending her whole room was lit up by the red glow, but after it landed the light gradually dimmed. For some reason she did not tell her family about this weird event until the next morning!
The next day, her 11-year-old grandson went to the spot where the UFO had landed, but instead of one object, he found a crude circle of basket-ball sized stones, with a smaller one in the middle. This object had a faint greenish (not red) glow to it, which could be noticed best at night. A day or two later, the grandson went back with a wheelbarrow to attempt to retrieve the rest of the stones, but they were no longer there! In talking eventually to an investigator, the family pointed out that no one at all could reasonably have come by and taken them - since they had not yet told their neighbors about the incident, and the farm was so isolated.
Eventually all this came to the attention of the famed BLT Research Team, in which Nancy Talbott is a leading light - neither red nor green. BLT's past work on crop circles has been criticized, but at least it is done carefully and with proper scientific equipment. Their conclusion, after examining three small pieces of the greenish stone, is that it is "highly vitrified soil. The source of this vitrification/conversion to a glass remains unknown". That's hardly the only unknown element in this unique report!...
The other reason Moore is upset is that he insists we have overstated his unfriendly relationship with the late Charles Berlitz, with whom he co-authored two books circa 1980. (One of these books was "The Roswell Incident", which started the fuss that goes on to this very day!) We remember clearly that Berlitz didn't like Moore at all, and Moore's recent remarks about Berlitz continue to justify our contention that he didn't like Berlitz, either. So what's the fuss about? Does it really matter after all these years?
We find it amazing that after all the time (since 1987) that we have been knocking and even ridiculing MJ-12 and Roswell, Moore never took offense. Now he does, feeling incorrectly that we didn't find him "important" enough to walk out on the NUFOC scene last year. Ufological egos are as strange as is the subject itself!...
Upon reading our obituary on Yonah Fortner, the erratic Clark fired off a very disagreeable "FOR PUBLICATION" letter, which we fully intended to print, as part of our policy of presenting all sides of important ufological issues. But in the very next day's mail, we saw that Clark had made (as he often does) a 180-degree turn. He withdrew permission to publish the first letter, and urged us to simply admit that the murder allegation is untrue. We really don't know at this point if it is true or not, and we had been hoping in recent months to get further clarification from Fortner. Now it is obviously too late to do that!
Clark seems to admire Williamson's scholarship and despise Fortner's. Perhaps there is an anti-Semitic nuance here. It was Williamson, not Fortner, who flunked out of college (the University of Arizona, as reported in SAUCER NEWS years ago), and who wrote crazy New Age archaeological-type books that offered no reasonable documentation. Fortner's forte was his own unique interpretation of the Old Testament and other ancient documents, leading him to claim that Jehova was in reality a space being of some sort. Maybe that too is crazy, but hardly a "running prank" as Clark claims in his second letter!
Scholarship, when it goes far beyond the range of peer review, is a very shaky thing. Clark, who, like Williamson, never finished college, is hardly an impartial judge. His beef with your "Smear" editor through the years seems to be that we don't have, nor do we claim to have, any special credentials - other than having observed the various nonsense (and occasional truth) in the UFO field for longer than almost anyone!...
Meanwhile, astronomy buff Richard Hoagland, and others of his ilk, are having a field day, on the Net and elsewhere, showing pictures of Martian objects that, at least superficially, look like they were artifically manufactured. The most famous of these is the well-known Face, about which NASA itself once sald: "Shadows in the rock formation give the illusion of a nose and mouth. Planetary geologists attribute the origin of the formation to purely natural processes." There is a well-known psychological phenomenon which makes us see familiar objects in, for example, clouds on Earth and rocks on Mars. The scientific term for this is "pareidolia", though we can't find this word in our dictionary!
Anyhow, a real scientist named Philip Plait has recently started taking Hoagland to task, after having tried to ignore his wild claims for years. Plait is the author of a book called "Bad Astronomy", and he attacks Hoagland's credentials as well as his conclusions. Hoagland tries to squirm out of it, but the headline on his home page regarding one anomalous small object flatly states "An Unmistakable Machined Fitting". Another caption says, "A Collection of Mechanical Bits". Then there's an embarrassing-to-NASA giant glass-like "worm" that's a mile long! Plait says that its rib-like features are probably sand dunes, created by Martian wind blowing through a valley.
Hoagland has no real degree in anything, apparently, and that dooms him from ever being taken seriously. (We should know!) He does have an award-type metal from an institution in Sweden with a name very similar to a prestigious institution, but upon careful examination it turns out not to be the same place.
How many times in the saucer field have our leaders indulged in this kind of decepti on? We predict that tiny, crawly things will eventually be found on Mars, but there will still be no sign of the "little men" that your editor used to believe in, years ago. (Our thanks to Tom Benson for this one.)...
NOTE: For "Smear" back issues, write to Benson at P.O. Box 1174, Trenton, N.J 08606...
The matter is made somewhat confusing by the fact that there is a Bob Heironimus, with a slightly different spelling, who is a long-time radio personality dealing in offbeat and New Age topics. (Your editor has been on his syndicated show a couple of times, long ago.) In spite of this coincidence, there is no relationship between the two men.
The above-mentioned confession is contained in a new book by paranormal investigator Greg Long, called "The Making of Bigfoot". He traces the shaggy Bigfoot costume to a North Carolina gorilla suit specialist named Philip Morris, who says he sold it for $435 to Roger Patterson, who died in 1972. The hoax was staged near Bluff Creek in northern California, according to Heironimus.
On March 1st there was a heavily-hyped radio show about all this, hosted by Jeff Rense, which was heard on over 100 stations in the U.S. and broadcast around the world online. (Your editor was on Jeff Rense's show in 2002, promoting "Shockingly".) We missed hearing the Bigfoot show, but are told that Greg Long was on it, together with at least a couple of questionable characters. There was former UFO researcher Kal K. Korff, who seems to be determined to outdo CSICOP in his frenzy of negativity, and there was also Robert Kiviat, best known for the horribly hoaxed "alien autopsy film" a few years ago, which he vigorously promoted on one TV show, followed by another show in which he exposed his own hoax! That takes balls!
Defenders of Bigfoot, of whom there are many, insist that no expose means anything unless a convincing re-creation of the Patterson film can be produced by those determined to discredit it. This sounds like a reasonable position to take. There can be fame and money in a phony expose, as much as there can be in the original hoax - if the film is indeed bogus. It is clear that we don't yet have the final word on this complex subject...
However, researcher Jerry Brown of Ohio, who remains obsessed with the Gulf Breeze saga after all this time, insists that Maccabee received other payment(s) directly from Ed, and in effect his positive opinion on the whole subject was bought & paid for. Black has asked Maccabee to take a lie detector test about all this, and surprisingly Maccabee has agreed to do so. This probably won't settle anything however, as, for example, the polygraph tests that abductee Travis Walton took after his return to Earth are still in dispute! But we'll be very interested indeed to see what happens next.
Backing up Jerry Black is Cincinnati researcher Kenny Young, who is a friend of Black's. Young has been very active on the Net for quite awhile now, and is considered a Serious Researcher. We agree that the Gulf Breeze saga was just a series of private pranks that got way out of hand, and we gave our insights about this in "Shockingly" - based on several first-hand interviews in Gulf Breeze at the time.
However, Black is overly emotional about the whole thing. Lined up against him and supporting Maccabee's integrity are Important (?) Researchers such as Jerry Clark (UGH!), Richard Hall (EEEK!), and Wendy Connors - who, in reviewing "Shockingly" in 2002 lamented that "good trees were sacrificed to put out a bad product". (We printed part of this review in our August 10th, 2002 issue.)
One or more of the above-mentioned trio has suggested that Black take a psychological test. He agreed, if they would pay for it! But the results would undoubtedly be inconclusive. Meanwhile, the battle goes on! (We interviewed Maccabee, Young and Black by phone for this article. The original Net information came from Tom Benson, who like Karl Pflock and a handful of others, often sends us material that we would miss otherwise.)
We attended the big fiftieth anniversary celebration in 1997, and in 2002 we were honored to be on the short list of speakers at the Museum - along with Stanton Friedman and others. Now it can be told: It was Swink who made our appearance possible! Museum Director Julie Shuster would never have booked us without a strong nudge from Swink, who was at that time involved with the speakers program. Julie doesn't like us at all, as she resents the fact that we don't believe in the Roswell Incident as an interplanetary event - though we love it as colorful folklore!
We are therefore astounded & disappointed that the title of this year's event has been changed from "Roswell UFO Festival" to "Roswell 2004 Festival". This is apparently an attempt to appease some locals who are embarrassed by the flying saucer connection; but without it, why would there be a celebration at all? Another reason for the name change is that Julie, not being a team player, has not been cooperative with the other organizations involved in the planning. Thus her museum is no longer the central focus of the event.
Among the luminaries scheduled to appear this year is former astronaut Edgar Mitchell. He has spoken frankly with colleagues about UFOs and aliens, but he avoided mentioning them in public until recently. Says he: "A few insiders know the truth, and are studying the bodies that have been discovered". Someone should tell Karl Pflock about this discovery, because his research has turned up no dead alien bodies at all! Mitchell also claims that, since President Kennedy, a "cabal" of insiders have stopped briefing our presidents about extraterrestrials!
There will also be musical groups at Roswell this year, including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Los Tigres Del Norte, the Platters, the Drifters, and the Temptations. We thought that a couple of these groups no longer exist, but never mind! And there will be nostalgic 1940s music, vintage cars, over 100 films by independent film makers, a fly-by involving over 100 airplanes (but no saucers), and many other jazzy components. If nothing else, it is a whole lot better than anything Pat Marcattilio of New Jersey has ever produced, we can tell you that!...
One of the substitute speakers was researcher George Filer, author of "Filer's Files" on the Net and in the MUFON UFO Journal. Filer is apparently a follower of Richard Hoagland, and he actually believes that specific things such as letters of the English alphabet have been seen in recent photographs of the Martian landscape. We truly wish we could have been there to learn more about this!
After 14 or 15 years, this was probably Pat's last conference. He is retiring from the post office and probably moving to the Orlando area of Florida, where he hopes to open a UFO museum. However, all he seems to have now are very large pieces of cardboard with flying saucer clippings pasted onto them, and this may not be enough to draw much of a crowd. But we do sincerely wish him good luck!...
We have more material, but no more Space this time! See you next issue.
WHERE IS PFLOCK, YOU MIGHT ASK?
Contributing Editor Karl T. Pflock's widely-acclaimed column is missing from this issue, but will return next time. Karl is away from home, spreading George W. Bush's message of Peace and Love to the inhabitants of nearby galaxies!
Actually, it is more like health problems and other private matters that have temporarily laid low his mighty pen. And that's Shockingly Close to the Truth!
"Regarding Karl Pflock's review of my book, 'FIRESTORM: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science', in the February 2004 issue of 'Saucer Smear', Pflock seems to strangely disagree with the numerous prominent scientists, engineers, technicians, medical doctors and other professional persons in the UFO and parapsychology research fields who have also reviewed it.
"For example, Berthold E. Schwarz, M.D. of parapsychology and ufology fame, in his recent review in a scientific journal, states that FIRESTORM '...is a tour de force, tightly stitched together in a highly-readable style, with a vast array of disparate, steller facts dealing with craft that could seemingly defy gravity and make aerodynamically impossible maneuevers that will hold the reader's interest at all times. No stones are left unturned...' Dr. Schwarz' review falls right in line with all the other reviews of FIRESTORM which have appeared in refereed scientific journals, research journals, newsstand magazines and internet sites by such prominent authorities as Stan Friedman, George Earley, Hal Puthoff, Brent Raynes, Dwight Connelly and many others.
"Contrast these glowing reviews to Karl Pflock's assessment of FIRESTORM as a 'sprawling, repetitive, undisciplined morass...' Are all the other reviewers out of step but Karl? I would also like to defend my editors Brian Crissey and Para Meyers of Wild Flower Press against Pflock's criticism that 'they allowed Druffel to lard up her text with irrelevant and marginally relevant and lengthy asides and dark allusions to conspiracy and coverup...' and that they failed to provide 'any consistent copyediting or fact checking ...' Karl has no idea of the year-long copyediting and fact-checking process that was done with McDonald's personal files, handwritten journals and interview sources. All the sources used in the book are readily available, as referenced in the text."
"Thanks for the kind mention in your March 15th, 2004 issue of 'Smear'. I don't know if Brazil is unique, but it sure is a marvelous place to research UFOs. It seems that no matter where you go, you will find someone who has seen or experienced something unusual.
"I've gone there 14 times since 1978 and have interviewed 250 to 300 people. Many of them have been poor and poorly educated people who live on farms and in the tropical forests, possibly because UFOs are more easily seen in the interior rather than in the big cities. However, there are sightings in the cities too.
"I have never found any cultural, educational, racial or religious pattern that would explain who sees what. Witnesses include well-educated, professional people.
"One of the most interesting men I ever talked to was a retired army general who taught mathematical mechanics for 23 years at Brazil's equivalent of West Point, and for 12 years was deputy director of the military academy. Almost every night for about l0 months in 1968 and 1969, he and his son (then an army lieutenant and now a retired general himself), a cousin who was a law professor, and five or six other people saw UFOs on a farm some distance west of the national capital of Brasilia. The objects were usually sitting on the ground 100 to 140 meters away from them. But the general, now dead, told me that at times he and the others had been able to get within 15 meters of the objects.
"He said that he eventually learned to use light signals to communicate with the unseen occupants, who seemed to be able to read his thoughts, but wouldn't let him go aboard!..."
"I am saddened to report that the Seven Oaks Resort, the site of arguably the most successful NUFOC ever (in 1999), recently succumbed to an act of wanton arson. This will preclude the possibility of the NUFOC being once again held in San Antonio anytime soon, as it was the only convention center the NUFOC could locally afford!
"The sprawling resort, once a flagship of the Sheraton chain, has a storied history. In its heyday, it hosted the Miss Texas Pageant. By the time of the NUFOC, however, it had gone somewhat to seed, or, if you prefer, it got funky. Following NUFOC, the Seven Oaks went entirely defunct and had remained officially vacant for the last couple of years, until the disastrous fire of Friday, March 5th, 2004. The fire specifically consumed the auditorium room in which NUFOC, which that year featured Whitley Strieber, Kevin Randle, the late Constance Clear, Senor Moseley, and others, was held.
"On another front, those following the curious career of Charles A.A. Dellschau will be pleased to learn that an exhibit of his eccentric portrayals of supposedly pre-Wright Brothers airships is now on display at the Mennelo Museum of American Folk Art in Orlando, Florida, from March 12th until May 30th, 2004. Adult admission: $4. The museum is located at 900 East Princeton St., Orlando, Florida 32803-1437. Telephone: 407-246-4278. The exhibit is entitled 'Flight or Fancy? The Secret Life of Charles A.A. Dellschau'.
"Some UFO commentators believe that Dellschau and his alleged Sonora (California) Aero Club may have played a fundamental role in the 1896-97 Great Airship Mystery, with its subsequent influence on UFO reports in this country and the world at large."
"You may have heard via the Internet, but the UK 'UFO Magazine' has folded just six months after the death of its former editor Graham Birdsall last September. Its website has also closed. Yet there was nothing to suggest it was in trouble financially. This was the UK's only newsstand saucer magazine, as opposed to those bought on subscription, and it seems to have been the decision of Graham's widow, even though others on the staff were hoping to continue it.
"At least two press articles have appeared attributing the closure to a dearth of UFO sightings and a fall off in public interest, something which ufologists have been quick to denounce as typical uninformed journalism (and they may well have a point).
"Thus the only remaining UK zine is 'Flying Saucer Review' (by subscription only), but it is hard to see this surviving much longer, as its contents have steadily deterioated in quality for some years, making it less attractive even to true believers ....
"I shall not mourn the passing of either magazine, but I do wonder what the future is for UFO and related magazines nowadays, with the internet rapidly taking over the scene and drowning everything else in the process.
"Presumably the same situation exists on your side of the Atlantic, with of course one big exception: 'Saucer Smear'. Now, if you can really outlast the curse of the internet, you will have achieved something for civilization, though not necessarily for ufology.
"So be thankful you are still alive and surviving!"
"...I spotted a very wild error on Page 4 of our last issue, re The Raelians & Giordano Bruno. The 'r' was left out of the man's first name, and he was said to have been burned at the stake '4004 years previously'. I'm sure you meant 404. So, do I get a nitpicker's prize, or just a handful of nits?
"I've spent many years being fascinated by the likes of Galileo, Copernicus, and Bruno. I'd hate to think this puts me on the same page as a nutbag club like the Raelians. So it goes. In addition to asserting that the Universe is infinite and extraterrestrial life is likely to exist, Bruno also defended the notion that Christ was human and not divine. This really started the ball rolling against him, poor bastard! He also wrote a number of dialogues containing challenges to the heliocentric notion of the universe, along with arguments in which the following points were asserted: that the Bible is a good moral reference but lacks any scientific credibility; that religion is good for guiding ignorant people while philosophy is good for the elite who know how to behave themselves; that the Universe is a union of form and matter (setting the stage for the Unified Field Theory); that all religions should coexist peacefully and with mutual understanding through the exchange of ideas rather than the assertion of absolute rightness. For this, they gagged him and burned him alive. Typical! The man had his faults, to be sure, but Bruno was a pivotal player in the development of Western scientific thought and liberal ideals. Too bad the Raelians are waving his flag. He deserves better company!"
"...I enjoyed your book. I've long held the opinion that the ET's, assuming that there were some, have long since departed for more interesting climes, leaving behind a saucerdom movement here; a movement that they didn't create, but also one that they couldn't eradicate. Your book about the personalities involved in this movement was most interesting... "
"Apparently if they're not called UFOs, looking for them is okay with the scientific community: In April of 1973 an astronomy student named Duncan Luman had an article published in the British Interplanetary Society's 'Spaceflight' magazine. The article concerned the possibility of an alien space probe orbiting at the L4 Earth/Moon Lagrangian point. The article was a nine-days wonder, and had 'real' astronomers searching the Lagrange points for anything they could see. Some saw possible objects; some saw nothing. (Not unlike the search for the Martian canals, 'way back when'.)
"One eventual result of this was the formation in the '80s of the term 'SETA' for 'Search for Extra Terrestrial Artifacts'. Coined by R. A. Freitas, et al, the link to 'SETI' is obvious."
"Thanks for keeping the underside of flying saucers in front of our eyes! No one else manages to dig up as much muck as you do! Seriously - I very much enjoy both 'Saucer Smear' and your consistent sense of humor..."
Dennett kindly enclosed a "Love Offering" consisting of a jar of jam from Maury Island, Washington - site of a complex classic UFO-related event back in 1947. Long story here. Editor.
"Acks(as Bill the Cat used to say) - I can't quite remember what my last semi-illegible missive to you might have said. It dealt with the matter of implants - alien ones, I believe - and how so many young women in Florida seem to have them. I had hoped that you & I could back engineer better implants - so as not to leave unsightly scars!..."
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