|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 52, No. 8
September 15th, 2005
(Whole Number 384)
P. 0. Box 1709
Key West, FL 33041
We welcome your correspondence, pro or con, well-reasoned or otherwise,
but please keep in mind that while Saucer Smear is on the Dreaded Internet, your humble
editor is NOT! So, if you wish to receive a personal reply to your letter, or wish to
have any chance of seeing it printed on Our Glorious Pages, please print it out, put it in an
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It's simple and loads of fun! Ask your grandma if you don't remember how to do it!
We thank you!
SUPER-SKEPTIC PHIL KLASS MOVES ON TO ANOTHER REALM
Klass had long lived in Washington, D.C. before moving to a retirement home in Florida. Klass's Washington address, plus the fact that he was long the senior avionics editor of "Aviation Week" (considered to be a semi-official government zine), led many saucerers to believe that his anti-UFO views were merely "party line" in a vast conspiracy to hide the Truth from the public.
Klass was one of the founders of CSICOP (Center for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), which through its "Skeptical Inquirer" magazine & other activities has been a thorn in the side of True Believers for generations.
We first met "Uncle Phil" circa 1967, at a radio program in Philadelphia where he was pushing the first of his several anti-UFO books. He was rarely invited to speak at saucer conventions, but he was a regular at CSICOP conclaves, and made countless appearances on TV, etc. For many years he published "SUN" (Skeptics UFO Newsletter), till his health became too bad to continue.
Klass, like James Randi and many other skeptics, was a highly intelligent man with a (usually) pleasant personality and a great sense of humor but he could be vicious and relentless in digging up negative material on pro-saucer individuals. For instance, it was he who made public the fact that Ed Walters of Gulf Breeze fame served time in jail long ago for forgery and/or auto theft. Walters was later pardoned by the governor of Florida, but Klass seldom mentioned this, if ever!
A skeptic is supposedly open-minded to any solution to a problem, whereas a debunker, such as Klass and Randi, has already made up his mind firmly, though he won't admit it. Yet Klass's anti-UFO diatribes often served a good purpose in bringing out important facts that would otherwise have been overlooked. It has been said that if Klass didn't exist, we would have had to invent him!
Your editor knew Phil Klass for almost 40 years, and mingled with him socially many times. We considered him a friend, much to the disgust of ufological extremists. We disagreed with him in "Smear" endlessly, but kept our respect for the man; and no, we don't believe he was a tool of the Conspiracy. He was expressing sincere but extremely conservative Establishment-type views.
Above we see two renditions of Klass from back issues of "Smear". The top one is from a Japanese language UFO magazine of long ago. We don't have any idea what the writing says.
Klass recently made Fate Magazine's list of the top 100 ufologists, and he also was the only researcher on Paul Kimball's "Top 10" list and his "Bottom 10" list - as mentioned in our last issue. Says Kimball:
"He made the Top l0 list simply because his impact on ufology cannot be ignored. He makes the Bottom l0 list because no one (not even Donald Menzel) ever offered so many hairbrained, wacked-out patently ridiculous explanations for the UFO phenomenon as Klass, and no one (not even Donald Menzel) was ever as mean-spirited when doing it..."
Menzel was a Harvard professor who also wrote anti-UFO books.
Just a few days before his death, we mailed Klass a confidential postcard telling him of this unique honor. We hope he had the opportunity to read our card, but we will never know for sure.
Onward & Upward, O Klass! We of "Smear" have great memories and will really miss you.
We were less impressed after reading a follow-up article. Why was "David" afraid to give his full name? And why did no one else in a neighborhood of over two dozen houses see anything at all, at 3 p.m. on a sunny afternoon? Said Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center (a civilian group in Seattle): "Maybe the object's technology was so advanced that it was only visible where David was standing." Yeah, sure!
Exeter, N.H. should be remembered as the site of the famous 1965 sightings that gave rise to John Fuller's classic book "Incident at Exeter". This incident was a complex nighttime sighting that is not easily explained...
According to Luckman, Jackson clings to the belief that he himself is a space alien from a planet he calls "A Capricious Anomaly in the Sea of Space" (whatever that means!), located just beyond our solar system. He has no plans to return there, but he does want to perform his trademark moonwalk dance on the lunar surface someday.
Jackson has a $200,000 oil painting depicting himself among those he regards as his peers - Albert Einstein, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, the Mona Lisa and E.T. - all wearing sunglasses and Michael's trademark white gloves!
We of "Smear" are not fans of Michael Jackson, and we don't care much for Luckman either. The article says Luckman "met the singer (Jackson) last year", but elsewhere it says the information was revealed in November of 2001. We wonder if Luckman ever met Jackson at all!
The name of the book is "Alien Rock: The Rock 'n Roll - Extraterrestrial Connection", published by VH1 Pocket Books. Wheee!...
Now Lazar is living in rural New Mexico, working on a conversion kit that will turn any car into a hydrogen hybrid. His own two vehicles have already been converted and can travel up to 450 miles on hydrogen, then switch automatically back to gasoline. He makes his own hydrogen, using water and a solar powered generator. Will this revolutionize the automobile industry? Probably not, but who knows!
Years ago Lazar claimed to have been involved with crashed or captured flying saucers while he worked at the highly classified "Area 51" installation in Nevada. These spaceships supposedly ran on an isotope of Element llS, you see. Now Lazar has distanced himself from the saucer scene completely, and is involved in exciting but mundane pursuits, such as the hydrogen car...
"Self-proclaimed foremost remote viewing instructor Ed Dames is again on our radar after he made predictions of finding gold, being able to disable/destroy computers using remote viewing, tracking serial killers, and boasting of being able to find Osama Bin Laden within 72 hours, using his supposed remote viewing skills.
They go on: "Appearing on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell, the choice forum for hoaxers and idiots of all variety to spew their rantings while going unchallenged, Dames made more of his silly claims, the newest one being that he could disable or destroy a computer by using remote viewing. A caller challenged Dames to disable his laptop computer, and Dames declined to demonstrate his newest in a long line of unproven powers and abilities. Some time ago, Dames also promised Art Bell that he had located gold, using his bunk remote viewing powers. Dames told Bell he would deliver the gold. Of course, as is with everything Dames predicts, the gold was a no show. In usual fashion, this went unchallenged by Bell.
"It's amazing that Ed Dames can continue to appear on radio programs making promise after promise with a straight face and continually not deliver the goods. What's even more amazing is that Bell continues to give Dames some sort of credence in spite of the fact that Dames has never had one accurate prediction...In the end, it all comes down to an art Dames has truly mastered: Remote bullshitting."
Karl Pflock, a former CIA employee, has met Dames and recalls that the man has claimed the mysterious Taos, New Mexico hum of several years ago was actually noise from the engine of an underground Martian spaceship!
Many saucerers worked to try to prove the authenticity of this letter. Among them were Adamski himself, Richard Ogden (who is a member of our "Smear" "Hall of Shame" ), Tim Good, Carol Honey, Ray Palmer, and Gray Barker. This is hilarious, because Barker was, in reality, the author of the Straith Letter, aided and abeted by none other than your humble "Smear" editor.
We confessed publicly in early 1985, right after Barker died. We also tried to warn Tim Good before his book was published, telling him we had "inside information" but he chose to ignore us. Apparently Sheryl Gottschall still hasn't gotten the message!
Randi's friends claim he is open minded about such "miracles" as paranormal powers, but here we see that he ridicules them harshly with his "flying pig emblem". (Note that the word "likelihood" is misspelled in the text!) Could a "psychic" really expect to get a fair deal when attempting to win Randi's famous one million dollar prize for proof of paranormal abilities? We doubt it!
Then there's the "Randi Emblem" in honor of "the world's foremost investigator of the paranormal". There are many other such investigators, both "pro" and "anti", but we would bet that none has a bigger Ego than "The Amusing" Randi!...
In late August we were visited in Key West by a lady who is writing an authorized biography of Randi, having been commissioned to do so by the famous Las Vegas magical team of Penn & Teller. Since this lady rather strangely wants her identity to be kept secret from "Smear" readers, we will refer to her here only as "Mrs. X."
"Mrs. X" was interested in talking about three things, mainly: A trip we made to Equador in 1965 with James Randi and others; The infamous "blackmail tape" of yesteryear which was distributed as part of a mean-spirited effort to "Silence" Randi in his severe criticisms of the paranormal; Lawsuits by Eldon Byrd and spoon-bender Uti Geller against Randi, which led indirectly to his resignation circa 1991 from CSICOP. It was about that time that he made very serious threats to sue us, because he disagreed with most of our comments in "Smear" about the complex evidence regarding the "blackmail tape", etc. We managed to dodge the bullet!
We have no interest in pursuing these matters further, as hopefully nobody cares very much any more about these complicated details from out of the past. You already know what we think of Randi as he is today. We will be very interested to read (if we don't have to actually buy it) the authorized Randi biography by "Mrs. X"...
"Collaboration requires trust. I'm not sure if "B.S. in the Desert" reflects amazing credulity, reckless opportunism, or something of both on your part. Whatever may be the case, it hardly inspires trust. Add to this the fact that you didn't even do me the courtesy of letting me know you were working on a project so closely related to ours, not to mention my Roswell book, and 'trust' is the last word that comes to mind... I am hereby terminating our collaboration..."
"Smear" readers with long memories will no doubt recall unfavorable comments about "B.S. in the Desert" in our last issue. We are with Pflock on this - not because he is a friend, co-author of Shockingly and a heavy "Smear" contributor - but just because we happen to agree with his point of view on this matter.
The last ferry to travel the full 30-mile length of Loch Ness was a paddle-wheeler that stopped operating way back in 1939.
The Monster, familiarly known as Nessie, is believed to resemble a sea-going reptile from the age of the dinosaurs, with a snake-like neck and a small head. Many sightings and photos have been made over the years, but none are conclusive....
The creature is nearly 12 meters long and weighs about two tons. Partly rotten, with the spine exposed, it has been impossible to identify. It has some hair, plus orange stripes across a very wide belly. The skull alone weighs over 200 pounds. Some parts are missing, so it is unlikely to be preserved as a specimen. Thus we probably will never know what it really is! (Thanks to Vince Ditchkus)...
In our July 10th issue we had a short item about Cary McKinnon, the British hacker who broke into U.S. government computer sites shortly after 9/11/01, and now faces 70 years in prison if he is extradited to the United States. He is accused of "the biggest computer hack of all time."
McKinnon has been a science fiction & UFO fan for many years. His motive for hacking was political, and also because he hoped to find out how much our government really knows about flying saucers. He says he learned that we Americans have a "secret spaceship", but he's not sure about the details as he admits he was "smoking a lot of dope" at the time.
McKinnon was partly inspired by the 1983 movie "War Games", in which a teen-aged computer nerd impresses his girlfriend by almost starting World War III! (Our thanks again to Vince Ditchkus)...
Famed avant-garde writer and lecturer Robert Anton Wilson has re-surfaced with a cover story in a magazine called Metro Santa Cruz, which covers the area of northern California where he lives. Those of you who don't know who Wilson is should be ashamed of yourselves. He has over 30 books in print, and was the inspiration for the mythical J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, who is the figurehead for the Church of the SubGenius. Drop enough acid and you will know what we are talking about!
Wilson at age 73 (one year younger than your editor) has been slowed by physical infermities, but he continues to rave on. We never actually met him, but for many years his letters to the editor appeared in almost every issue of "Smear". Then, as a "Futurist", he became disillusioned with us because we refused to embrace the internet. We wish him well!
Add Lajas, Puerto Rico to the growing list of towns that have annual flying saucer festivals. In July, 200 to 300 locals celebrated the 4th anniversary of Lajas being designated "The UFO Capital of Puerto Rico". Among the many sightings over the years are several in which "strange lights" were seen entering a lagoon. A man named Reinaldo Rios is the driving force behind this gathering. It takes place on a private ranch on Route 303, which was recently dubbed "Extraterrestrial Route PR 303".
Rios is no ordinary guy. He has had endless UFO-related experiences in his lifetime. Though called "professor", he works as an auxiliary teacher in what sounds like a local high school. He was fired in 1997 from a similar job because of his obsession with UFOs. In 2000 he staged a hunger strike in front of the Education Department and eventually got his license back. Way to go, Rios! (Our thanks to Lea Boldt for this one.)...
The June 2005 issue includes an item called "The Mysterious Flying Humanoids", which recounts about a half dozen recent incidents in Mexico - some of them videotaped - in which human-like creatures of various sizes and shapes were clearly seen flying or hovering in the sky. Concludes the author:
"It is extremely difficult to try to define the nature or motives of all these specific cases involving human-shaped bodies or flying creatures. This rare and unique category of sightings indeed reveals a new phenomenon and results in a major new challenge to our research. Despite the amount of evidence, testimonials and data gathered in five years of research, we still don't have any clue as to what we are facing here. We recognize that these cases defy common sense. And yet, this fascinating flying humanoid phenomenon really is happening and continues to amaze us."
Pat describes himself as (exact quote): "Facilitator: Pat Marcattilio, Internationally, reknown, Unexplained Phenomenon Researcher, Mobile UFO Museum Curator, Lecture and Seminar Chairman and Master of Ceremonies who guides the Meeting in all areas of the unexplained and unknown".
Butte County, California, in front of the Brush Creek general store, June 24, 1953, miner John Black relates a difficult to believe story to a county Sheriff, a story he soon would be telling over and over to newspaper, radio, and newsreel reporters. Seven times during the past few months, he and his partner John Van Allen had seen a flying saucer, or at least what looked to be the same saucer each time, near their mine a few miles east of Brush Creek.
On the first four occasions the silvery disk was flying quite high, and the men didn't take enough interest to note any details, dates, or times of the appearances. On April 20, they saw it much more closely, passing at a distance of about a quarter mile, flying low and silently, north to south in front of a hill. Then, at about 6:30 on the evening of May 20, Black was startled to see the saucer just 150 feet away, hovering over a sandbar at the junction of Marble and Jordan creeks. Moments later, the craft sailed rapidly away to the east, emitting a hissing sound. When Black investigated, he found the remains of a campfire and numerous five-inch, human-appearing footprints in the sand.
Then the little man showed up. Black was... But this will have to Be Continued, as I have just enough Space left for...
...A big thank you to Martin Kottmeyer, the only one out of all the many thousands of "Smear" non-subscribers who took the trouble to offer a possible mundane explanation for my childhood sighting. Noting my expressed ambiguity about learning there might be such an explanation, he suggested my father, our friends, and I may have seen a kite illuminated from the ground or carrying a light. This was one of the possibilities we considered, included, as Marty suspected, among those covered by "etc." - a convention forced upon me by the draconian Space limitations dictated by our tyrannical editor.
We rejected this for several reasons, among which I remember: It was a dead calm evening, not a breath of wind. The area for miles around was all but unpopulated hilly pasture land and orchards. The object was rock steady in every position it took, and the spacing of these positions from the object's original location was precisely the same in all cases. There was no flickering or variation in brightness, except for the extreme intensification just before the object's departure. And, of course, there was that very high speed vertical departure, executed without the slightest jitter or hesitation. As for my ambiguity, it was just a twinge of nostalia for those innocent days so long ago when pondering the saucer mystery and what it might portend was so spine-ttnglingly delicious, and that was enough!
Okay, Marty. You owe me ten bucks, Please don't send it via Moseley. If you do, I will never see it!
Naturally the Saturday night banquet was the high point for us, as that was when your humble "Smear" editor presented several amusing tales from the ufological past, as chronicled in our esteemed book (with Karl Pflock) "Shockingly Close to the Truth! Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist".
Friday night, after the "Meet the Speakers" cocktail party, Lisa Davis gave a private party in her luxurious penthouse suite. She is determined to continue hosting conventions in the same Hollywood location each year till she "gets it right". We wish her all the luck in the world, and we will help her all we can.
Sincere thanks to all of you who sent us material for this issue!
"Surely the biggest news in ufology of late is the death of Philip Klass, just a few days ago...As far as I can tell on the Internet, response to his death in the True Believer community has been respectful and muted. I'll bet that over time his work will prove to be more enduring - even among those open to the possibility of extraterrestrial visitation - than those of many of his detractors.
"When I interviewed him in the early 1990s he was petulant and argumentative, but he was committed and he knew his stuff, and I respected him. Like him, I don't think we are being visited by aliens, but I also think that the so-called alien abduction phenomenon is a true metaphysical mystery and not just an artifact of shoddy hypnosis and wishful thinking. Still, many of his arguments can't be wished away. I think his book on abductions put the abduction-research community on the run. No one really has all the answers yet, but he was seeking them as honestly and diligently as any investigator...
"Incidentally, I'd like to join Wendy Conners in commending "Smear's" relevance despite its being technologically anachronistic. But time will prove that those of us who continue to publish on paper will have their words preserved in public, personal, and academic libraries for generations to come, and will continue to have an impact; while those of us who send our words into cyberspace alone, through blogs and Web sites, or who publish using CD and other technologies which are bound to become obsolete, will see their work vanish or be irrecoverable. Have you ever tried to watch a thirty-year-old videotape or tried to open a fifteen-year-old computer file? And yet it's routine to go to a library and read a three hundred-year old book. The best way to write for posterity is to put it on paper and get it out there, even if it arrives by 'pony express!'"
"Even though I have supported Wendy Conners...in her Faded Disks project, and believe that what she is doing will indeed be important to future researchers, some of her comments to you lead me to seriously disagree with her on at least one point.
"I refer to her comments to the effect that print publications such as ours are rendered totally obsolete by the wonderous Internet. The fact that UFO sightings and news can be sent in a few nanoseconds by computer by no means makes print publications akin to the horse and buggy. There is so much pure crap on the Internet related to UFOs and associated topics that I believe it takes someone with real experience to be able to cull out the truly worthwhile material from the ocean of endless junk.
"While there are some worthwhile and responsible websites that contain UFO material, by and large the material found there is totally unfiltered. How many obvious meteors, misidentified aircraft, stars and planets and weather phenomena have I found on these sites I cannot tell you. But it sure as hell is a whole bunch! And I won't even mention the obvious hoaxes that are circulated through Cyberspace.
"No, for that very reason, there will always be a need for responsible print publications edited by persons who have been deeply involved researching and investigating these elusive 'whatzits' for more than a few short years. Like Wendy Connors' MP-3 recordings, these print publications will be the source for future historians and scientific researchers, in my opinion at least."
"Good editorial on James Randi's bogus million dollar award, and good attempt at a comeback by Robert Sheaffer. (See the Aug. 15th 'Smear'.) Unfortunately, Sheaffer dissembles his defense of Randi's so-called 'legitimate challenge' by belittling psi phenomena as 'bullshit'. That's not a very scientific approach. The charade continues!
"By the way, I see by the table of contents that you and I both have articles in the August issue of FATE. Mine is an update on the Bermuda Triangle, based on my upcoming book, 'The Fog'. Yours is a reprint from the August 1955 issue of FATE, an article called 'Are the Saucers Made on Earth?' Your conclusion, as you no doubt recall, was that the answer was yes. After 50 years, are you still holding to that opinion?"
No, we are not still holding to that opinion. We're now more into 4-D, or whatever. - Ed.
"No doubt you will hear from others about this, but we'll chalk it up to a typo. Your item in the July 10th issue about Brazil opening up its UFO files gives credit to A.J. Gevaero, His name is Gevaerd, which is pronounced ZJEH-vah-AIRD...
"Unfortunately, the Brazilian government has not opened its UFO files, although there is some hope that it will, one day. It is a slim hope...
"Cevaerd and the others were allowed to examine about ll0 photos and 160 documents from Operation Prato. They were also permitted to examine files about an airliner-UFO encounter in 1954, and the massive radar detection of UFOs over much of Brazil on the night of May 19th, 1986. (Twenty one UFOs were tracked on radar crisscrossing the skies. Six jet fighters armed with missiles were scrambled, and for several hours the jets chased or were chased by what they described as balls of light. )
"The key word above is 'examine'. The ufologists were allowed to look at the documents but were not allowed to keep or copy any of them. At the end of the day, Gevaerd and his friends presented three petitions to one of the generals, requesting the Air Force to open all of its UFO files. The general agreed to pass the petitions on to the head of the Air Force, the chief of the Defense Ministry, and the president of the country, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (better known around the world as 'Lula') for their approval...
"In any case, Brazilian ufologists already have a good idea as to what is in the Operacao Prato files because literally dozens of pages and copies of photos have been leaked to ufologists, who in turn copied them and passed them around. I myself have several hundred pages, having received batches of documents in 1991, 1997 and 1999 from friends in Brazil. I managed to translate most of them and have put them on the Internet: http://www.bobpratt.org/oprato.html. It has a rather long introduction, but once past that you can read some very interesting sighting reports. They make good reading."
SEMI-IMPORTANT NOTICE: Again this issue, we have had to postpone some interesting stuff. Next issue will include more about the glorious NUFOC scene in Hollywood, Ca., and also a photo of another sexually-oriented painting by ufological artist David Huggins!
|Saucer Smear Index||
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