|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 51, No. 10
December 1st, 2004
(Whole Number 376)
OUR FIFTIETH YEAR!
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And by all means, continue to keep your Eye on the Sky during the coming New Year. Wheee! And please make checks out to James Moseley, not "Saucer Smear"!
THE FORTY-FIRST NATIONAL UFO CONFERENCE PASSES INTO HISTORY, OR WHATEVER
Saturday's speakers included the following: Peter Davenport, reporting on the latest cases from the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, Washington. This is the organization which was run by famed ufologist Robert Gribble for many, many years. Then there was Lynn Kitei, M.D. who gave a convincing presentation showing that the famous "Phoenix (Az.) Lights" of 1997 could not all have been flares. Next came Terry Hansen on "UFOs, National Security, and the News Media", followed by Bob Salas on "The 1967 Missile Shutdown". In that situation, flying saucers appear to have made a few of our atomic missles temporarily inoperable, and that was a very scary situation for the military people involved. The Saturday program was concluded by Paul Davis, talking about his 1994 documentary called "Roswell", and the government's response to same.
We missed Sunday's lead-off speaker (at 9 a.m!) named Richard Dolan, whose topic was "UFOs and the National Security State". Next came Dr. Robert Wood, the elder of the two ufological Woods, speaking as usual on the latest MJ-12 documents, which now number more than 4,000 pages. Dr. Wood believes we are being visited by several different extraterrestrial races. Then there was Dr. Eric Kelson, on "Re-examining the Rex Hefflin Photcgraphs", in which he presented very strong evidence that this classic 1965 case involved a genuinely mysterious object. Next came a very entertaining talk by author/researcher Ann Druffel, commenting on her more than forty years of involvement with the UFO phenomenon. Finally we heard from John Greenwald in a lecture entitled "Inside the Black Vault" (shudder!)
Sunday's program concluded with a panel discussicn hosted by Stephen Bassett, who once ran for Congress on a basically one-issue platform, regarding UFOs. The panel included the above-mentioned lecturers, plus your humble "Smear" editor. Strangely, we were on the Convention program, but not on the official list of speakers. We were intrigued by some of Mr. Bassett's views. He believes that "full (government) disclosure" re flying saucers will come soon and suddenly, but we've heard that before, for some fifty years! Bassett also expressed interesting views on Joe Firmage, the oh-so-wealthy ufological wonderboy who made a big splash in the field a few years ago, and then faded out when his fortune did. Bassett believes that one reason Joe Firmage quieted down was because of vague pressure from the government.
There was a "no-host" cocktail party on Friday evening, and ancther at the same time on Saturday evening. The latter featured an informal talk by your "Smear" editor, and we must admit in all due modesty that this was well attended and well received. We spoke a bit abuut ufology back in the 1950s, and naturally plugged cur 2002 bock "Shockingly Close to the Truth!" We wished Lisa Davis well in her new role as Permanent Chairman of the NUFOC, and corrected a misstatement in the last issue of "Smear" in which we failed to identify Ann Druffel as the 2003 conference host. (Our apologies to her for this!)
At this party, we were presented with a plaque inscribed as follows: "41st NUFOC James W. Moseley - In Honor of 33 Years of Service to the National UFO Conference as Permanent Chairman - 'Shockingly Close to the Truth' - 2004". It should be explained here that although the NUFOC began in Cleveland, Ohio in 1964, your editor did not become Permanent Chairman till 1971. Incidentally, this plaque is made of curved glass, and we feared it would break in our suitcase on the flight back to Key West. However, the Space People watched cut for us, and this did not happen!
Naturally, many of the ufological "hard core" from southern California and elsewhere were present at the conference, but mercifully Vicki Cooper and Don Ecker of "UFO Magazine" did not show up this time. Last year they were highly offended because we dared to speak to them, and Ecker thereafter wrote a libelous editorial about your editcr in the next issue of their sensationalistic zine. On the other hand, this dreadful duo printed, in their most recent (Oct./Nov. 2004) issue a very nice article by Ann Druffel about the 2003 convention, entitled "Examining the Elusive at NUFOC: Angel Hair and Flourescence". The term "angel hair" is not well known these days, but describes an unexplained whitish, fiberous material sometimes seen drifting down from hovering UFOs. Our friend Brian Boldman, who was again present at this year's NUFOC, is the leading researcher into this mysterious phenomenon.
At an informal Sunday night dinner at the Renaissance Hotel, your editor had the chance to talk at some length with Eric Kelson, whose doctorate is in chemistry. He is thus in touch with the current mainstream scientific theories about the universe, and these involve more than four dimensions. Dr. Kelson believes (if we can quote him correctly) that the so-called aliens may well be from earth, co-existing with us in another dimension. In that case, they obviously would not be coming here from other planets. Others have said the same thing. We found Dr. Kelson to be a very bright light in the ufological sky, and we hope he will be heard from again.
We should also mention that in the course of the weekend, we managed to have an interesting "secret" meeting with former ufologist William Moore, who dropped out of the scene back in 1989. We had hoped to obtain an exclusive for "Smear", but alas, we were asked not to report on the meeting at all, so we won't. Another fun meeting was with a lady referred to in "Shockingly" as Isabel Martinez (pages 144 & 146-148). This is the woman who shared some of our experiences in the ancient Peruvian graveyards, way back in the late 1950s. We had not seen her in many, many years.
Our thanks to Dr. John Miller and Lisa Davis for the fine job they did in co-hosting this year's event. Your editor has retired from NUFOC, but not from ufology. "Smear" will lurch on! All material sent to us by our readers, whether it's from the (dreaded) Net or elsewhere, will continue to be most sincerely appreciated; and, needless to say, so is Money!
|PHOTOS FROM THE GLORIOUS 41st NATIONAL UFO CONFERENCE: Top left: Lisa Davis, new Permanent Chairman of the NUFOC, poses with your humble "Smear" editor. Top right: Lisa Davis and Dr. John Miller, co-hosts of this year's convention. Bottom photo: Hard-core UFO personality Timothy Green Beckley of Global Communications, together with Dave Swink, a key ufological figure in Roswell, New Mexico|
REGARDING: THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF NIDS (NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR DISCOVERY SCIENCE), THE SEMI-MYSTERIOUS COLONEL JOHN ALEXANDER (Ret.), & HOSTILE RAVINGS FROM THE NOTORIOUS RICHARD "DICK" HALL
Retired Colonel John Alexander of Las Vegas was a part-time employee of NIDS for quite awhile, but has gone on to other activities. He is best known as a nationally-recognized expert on non-lethal weapons. Recently a rumor emerged that John has been seen aboard spaceships where people, previously abducted by aliens, were being re-abducted by the U.S. government. This is a pretty wild story, and we asked Colonel John about it by phone. He replied that he wouldn't do a thing like that, because most abductees are overweight middle-aged women. We assume he was being facetious. Was he covering up? Probably not.
One reason NIDS threw in the towel was that its multi-millionaire sponsor Robert Bigelow of Las Vegas went on to other projects, such as trying to build a tourist hotel in Earth orbit - a very far-out & expensive project, to say the least. Ufologist Richard "Dick" Hall, who has interacted with Bigelow as have many others in the UFO field, has this to say as a final comment on the man: "I personally clashed with Bigelow and incurred his hatred when I walked out of a key meeting in disgust at his arbitrariness and unfair treatment of people. He hates my guts, and well - I consider him to be a nouveau riche, manipulative egomaniac who thinks he knows more than anyone else simply because he became wealthy buying and selling real estate."
Hall is a very bright but emotionally challenged individual, with whom we have clashed since the 1950s. Recently there was a "roast" on the internet for your "Smear" editor, in honor of his fifty years in ufology. In this context, Karl Pflock stated: "Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Jim Moseley, for better or worse, has been and remains a Presence in ufology". To this, Hall replied: "Yes, like a steaming turd on the living room carpet..." We should add that most comments in the "roast" were considerably more complimentary than this. Modesty prevents us from repeating them here. As for Hall, we have not spoken to him in a very long time - but not long enough!
Finally - getting back to NIDS for a moment - another reason for their demise, according to their literature, was that they had received no new UFO/paranormal cases in quite awhile. Someone has said that "this is like Hell closing down because there are no more sinners!" (Several "Smear" readers contributed material for this article, for which we offer many thanks!)
FAMED ABDUCTEE BETTY HILL DEAD AT AGE 85
In brief, Betty had suffered a sprained wrist from a fall, for which she had a splint. She was also in severe pain for this and other reasons, and was on morphine. Somehow, while Betty was asleep one night, the splint was removed and the ace bandage that was tightly wrapped around her hand and forearm were also removed from her arm without being unwrapped. These items plus a sling which held her arm in place, were found neatly placed on a chair approximately ten feet away. Also, the dead bolt lock on the back door of Betty's house had been unlocked, and the door was wide open. All this happened without waking Betty up!
This story, if true, defies explanation. In our brief conversation with Betty, she was unable to offer any explanation at all!
This "last miracle" was a fitting end for a life that had been filled with ufological weirdness. Betty Hill, later known as "The First Lady of UFOs", was traveling home from Canada on September 19th, 1961 with her late husband Barney, when they were apparently abducted by humanoid aliens and subjected to two hours of "missing time". Their memories were later refreshed under hypnosis (separately) by a trained psychiatrist, who, however, concluded that there was no objective reality to the event. This did not stop a 1966 book by John Fuller, called "Interrupted Journey", from becoming a best seller. There was also a made-for-television movie called "UFO Incident", starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Getty as the Hills.
Betty Hill lectured around the country about her experience for many years, accompanied by Barney until his death in 1969. She also had numerous sightings of strange objects in the area around her New Hampshire home, which she considered to be a "window" area. She would take selected friends with her on these little expeditions. Unfortunately the slides she made from these sightings were not at all impressive, as we found out in 1980 when she lectured for a New York City NUFOC convention of ours. On that occasion the highly pro-saucer audience became rude & unruly, and your humble "Smear" editor had to plead with the people to be respectful to our esteemed guest!
In 1995 Betty self-published a book called "A Common Sense Approach to UFOs". In recent years she has complained about the deluge of UFO sightings and abduction reports, believing that most of these abductions are not physically real. Betty often said that if they were all true, airplanes would not be able to fly through the skies because of the overwhelming number of alien aircraft hovering around! While she was right about that, we should also consider the fact that she probably wanted her own experience to remain relatively unique.
We never knew Barney, but we liked Betty Hill, and always felt that she was sincere in her statements and beliefs. Her 1961 experience set the standard for what are now called "greys", though her aliens looked a bit different from what is now the norm.
It's sad that there is such a large number of deaths (none of them mysterious) of leading saucerers in the past few years. Hopefully new people will replace them. Further along, in the Letters section of this issue, we have a brief discussion of the recent death of former astronaut Gordon Cooper, who was apparently more of a UFO buff than any of the other astronauts.
TIDBITS OF TRASH
The October 2004 issue contains articles about an alleged alien hybrid and also about reptilians. There is, however, a well-done piece about Nikola Tesla, though of course this has nothing to do with UFOs. Stanton Friedman presents a somewhat incoherent treatise on his differences with SETI. There is also an interesting article about an "impressive" crop circle in Ohio. The link between UFOs and crop circles has never been firmly established.
We decided to interview retired MUFON czar Walt Andrus by phone about all this, especially in regard to the fact that MUFON's journal circulation has dropped to about 2,400 from a peak of over 5,000 during the 1999-2000 period. He correctly believes that the 9/ll disaster has a lot to do with this, as people's minds are more than ever focused on national security. Andrus spoke of two alleged chupacabras that have recently been shot & killed in his home state of Texas. Though still having no connection with UFOs, this story should be most interesting when it comes out...
FLASH: There's a book just out featuring the Flatwoods (West Virginia) Monster - now known as the Braxton County Monster. Author Frank Feschino Jr. uses both terms in his title: "The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed". The publisher is Quarrier Press of Charleston, W.Va.
Your "Smear" editor has been through Flatwoods many times, when visiting the late, great Gray Barker, who lived very near there during his last years on earth. We never reinterviewed the witnesses, however. Barker wrote one of the two original reports on the incident, which occurred on the night of September 12th, 1952. The other report was written by the late Ivan Sanderson.
The famous Monster, or whatever it was, was seen by a woman named Kathleen May and a group of local boys who went up a hill to investigate the crash of a fireball of some sort. According to Ms. May and other witnesses, the group came upon a 12-foot-high metallic creature perched in a tree. The creature spewed oil on Ms. May's clothing, and it emitted a noxious mist which sickened those who came near it. The little group ran back down the hillside in disaray, and soon contacted appropriate authorities.
Ms. May, who is still alive, was honored two years ago at a 50th anniversary celebration near Flatwoods. Also present was Frank Feschino Jr. and the inevitable Stanton Friedman. Friedman, who is running out of steam with his "Cosmic Watergate", has jumped on several new bandwagons in recent years!
Incidentally, Gray Barker died twenty years ago this month, and we still miss him as much as ever. (Our thanks to researcher Tom Benson for this item, from the Net.) ...
It turns out that Sutherly was merely away, in Canada, on temporary duty for his military bosses. He's back home now, and back in touch.
This time I'm taking a slight detour from my personal reminiscences of the Golden Age of Saucers to review an important contribution to the study of that age. Never fear, next time it's back to tales from my saucer-haunted youth.
If ufology is ever to emerge from its marginal status on the fringes of scientific respectability, it's volumes such as Richard Hall's new "Alien Invasion or Human Fantasy? The 1966-67 Wave" that will make it possible (152 pp., large-format paperback, $29 including s&h, from the Fund for UFO Research, P0B 277, Mount Rainier, Md. 20712).
As loyal "Smear" non-subscribers, especially the Really Olde Ones, well know, the UFO sighting wave of 1966-67 was a watershed for ufology. It brought serious and thoughtful demands from the mainstream media and, in turn, the U.S. Congress for an independent scientific investigation. It gave us "swamp gas" as an almost universally understood joke and characterization of the U.S. Air Force's approach to the problem. It also brought us, for better or worse, the emergence of Stan Friedman and one James W. Moseley as lecture-circuit stars. Sadly, it ended in frustration for those of us who had high hopes, when the Air Force-funded University of Colorado UFO Project proved to be not so independent and not so scientific.
However, the wave also left us with a rich, deep vein of data. Ufological graybeard Dick Hall has done an outstanding job of compiling 787 sighting reports from what he rightly calls "the Mother of All UFO Waves" (the Father was the wave of 1952) and putting them into historical context with his highly readable and concisely informative introduction. This is a volume densely packed with information. Sighting distributions are displayed on U.S. Census maps throughout and on a color national map in the appendix, relating sightings to population densities. Many sighting summaries are illustrated with genuinely illuminating rather than sensational drawings based upon witness descriptions. Salient features of the sightings - shapes, colors, times of day, reported physical effects, occupants and interactions with them, radar contacts, unusual maneuvers, luminosity, and more - are collected, related, and compared in an extensive set of color bar graphs.
This is the sourcebook with which anyone conducting research into the 1966-67 wave should begin. Those who consider Hall's careful presentation and interpretation of the data with open minds will be hard pressed not to discount entirely human fantasy as an explanation for what was going on then - not to mention during the two preceding decades and the years that followed. Whoever/whatever They are, They were here. Maybe They still are. Maybe.
"It was a pleasure to hear from you by telephone and more recently the receipt of 'Saucer Smear'. Yes, it is about time that I mail you a contribution for future copies of your zine, since I was on the complimentary list for so many years. This is a means of learning about the fringe news in Ufology that is interesting and keeps me in touch. Thank you. A check is enclosed... I hope you did not receive major damage from the numerous hurricanes that struck Florida recently."
"I must respond to your comments in the Oct. 15th, 2004 issue of "Smear" because I was involved with one of the MUFON UFO Journal articles that you critiqued.
"With regard to the Alaska case, I was approached by Victoria Jahnke at the MUFON Dearborn, Michigan symposium. She told me the story about the Strange visitors and the salve material that they provided during their visit so many years ago. The visitors certainly acted and looked alien, but she made no claim that they were alien to this planet. There was no saucer hovering nearby. It was just an interesting story that may or may not involve UFOs. That possibility, unstated and however far out, certainly makes the case a candidate for the Journal. When Ms. Jahnke said that she wanted the material analyzed, I thought of Mrs. Budinger, who was also attending the symposium. I introduced them to each other and then went on my merry way.
"I think it is important to note that Mrs. Budinger is a trained and experienced analytical chemist who is more than qualified to do this type of analysis. For example, she did an excellent study of the late Betty Hill's dress that Betty had worn during her quite famous abduction event. The analysis of Ms. Jahnke's salve was completed with like skill, and the results published in the MUFON UFO Journal, as you noted. The report's potential value is that if another similar case occurs, hopefully a better-documented case with a UFO hovering nearby, then there will be a completed analysis against which to compare the materials from the new case. The fact that the material wasn't anomalous may be the most important finding. Why does an alien material, assuming that is what it was, always have to be different from something we on Earth might manufacture?..."
Editor's Note: It seems to us that the "alien material" probably was not alien at all! That would explain why it was no different from something we on Earth might manufacture!
"I suppose you're on top of the news regarding the two major recent deaths in the UFO world: John Mack and astronaut Gordon Cooper. Cooper, as you know, claimed to have seen a UFO from aboard a space capsule in 1963 and to have chased UFOs as a military pilot in Germany in the 1950s. He also addressed the United Nations on the issue of UFOs in the 1980s. I think he was the most outspoken of all the astronauts on the subject..."
Cooper, who died at the age of 77, wrote "Leap of Faith: An Astronaut's Journey into the Unknown" in the year 2000, and in this book he devoted seven chapters to the flying saucer subject. He even lectured at one MUFON convention. He could well be described as a True Believer!- Editor.
"...As to your postcard dated Sept. 30th, I don't know what happened to the police chief. You might be able to look him up on the Net. I do know that for six months to a year after the encounter, he believed that what he saw was real and unknown, and he reported the facts as they were. He was a no-nonsense type of police officer.
"There is, however, sad news: For just doing his job he caught hell from some of the local townspeople. He received some death threats. His wife left him and his trailer home was burned up. They think someone set it on fire. With all this shit coming down on him, he was forced to resign his post as police chief.
"It's kind of hard to do your job in a smalltown when you lose the people's respect. Why they turned on him, I don't know. After all, he was just doing his duty as he saw it. You either believed him or you didn't. There was no need to get shitty about it!
"I do not know if all this turned him off police work or if he stayed in the field. That's the best I can do for you. I hope it helps. Thanks for writing, and stay in touch!
Editor's Note: We have here an interesting letter from hard-core skeptic Dr. Gary Posner, and also a couple of other worthwhile missives which, unfortunately, Space does not allow us to publish until our next glorious issue of "Smear". That issue should be out some time in the early part of January, 2005. Happy New Year to all of you!
The 150 or so residents of the Austrian village of Fucking have voted against changing the name. despite road signs being regularly stolen by Anglophones.
Spokesman Siegfried Hoeppl said the name came from Herr Fuck and his family who settled in the area 100 years ago, while the suffix "-ing" meant village or settlement. Locals didn't know the English meaning until Allied soldiers arrived in 1945. Similar votes on a name-change have taken place recently in the Austrian towns of Wank am see, Vomitville and Windpassing. Ananova, 8 June 2004.
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