|EDITOR AND STILL
James W. Moseley
Volume 53, No. 7
July 30th, 2006
(Whole Number 393)
P. 0. Box 1709
Key West, FL 33041
ANOTHER VAGUE SAUCER SMEAR POLICY STATEMENT
Your editor is not a "skeptic" or a "debunker", because we do believe that the UFO mystery involves a small percentage of sightings that cannot be explained in any conventional terms. The problem is that we do not automatically assume these objects are space ships from another planet. We do not know what they are, but they most likely are a permanent part of the earth's environment, going back hundreds or even thousands of years. Maybe they are from another co-existing dimension, another time, another reality, or whatever. Making up a cute term does not, in and of itself, solve anything.
We have the impression that only in America do so many ufologists insist on the simplistic explanation: UFOs = spaceships. In England, interested people seem to be much more thoughtful and more open to the complex possibilities involved. We learned this when we lectured at the "Fortean Times" "UnConvention" in London in 1997 and 2002.
We do believe that the U.S. government knows little more about UFOs than does the public. There has never been a flying saucer "crash" (even at Roswell, god help us!), and there are no dead "little men" on ice anywhere. (See the Jackie Gleason story further along in this issue.) We also believe that in this dark era of terrorism and repression, the last thing on the minds of world leaders is UFOs, because UFOs usually do not appear to be a threat to their national security.
The flying saucer subject is a scientific mystery and hopefully will be solved by science someday in the future. We believe the mystery overlaps with ghosts, poltergeists, abductions, etc. We don't pretend to know all the answers, but after all these years we still find the whole subject fascinating!
The winner of this poll is Bentwaters, alsoknown as Rendlesham. This is a complex case, like Roswell, but basically there is still so much serious disagreement aboutmany of the details, that we just can't put much faith in the incident. Something weird may have happened, but we don'tknow just what it was. One very good case that is omitted completely is Kecksburg,Pa. (1965),where a large metallic acorn-shaped object crashed into a forest, and was later seen being carted away by the military, under a tarp. It may well have been a Russian sate-llite, but there is no proof.
Almost all the incidents on Kimball's list happened more than fifteen years ago, and most are much older than that. This could mean that (a) Our human methods of solving cases have gotten better; (b) The Space People have deserted us in recent years, as Karl Pflock tended to believe; or (c) Some other factor is involved. We simply do not know the answer to this perplexing question. Paul Kimball and his Web correspondents have made many comments on this subject, too long & inconclusive to reproduce here....
We also want to mention Paul's new list of "Ufology's Generation NOW". This list of ten researchers is just his own opinion - not a poll - and it has nothing to do with the "Greatest Ufologist Ever" list, which we have previously discussed.
#1 in "Ufology's Generation NOW" is England's Nick Pope, the bureaucrat who was the British government's "saucer desk" from 1991 to 1994. He has written four books, and he seems moderate in his views, as he does not believe in a (British) government conspiracy to suppress the Truth about UFOs.
Others in Paul Kimball's Top Ten include Nick Redfern (author of "Body Snatchers on the Desert" and other books); Greg Bishop; and John Greenewald, Jr....
Ms. Stonebrook, who admits to having taken large amounts of psychedelic drugs in her day, denies that her claims are simply a publicity stunt to sell more records. She claims that "In many ways, this has been detrimental to my career. People laugh at you, and this has brought me nothing but animosity."
The 45-year-old Ms. Stonebrook makes her recordings under the name Intergalactic Diva. Maybe this is why this very unusual creature was attracted to her. Or maybe not. (Our thanks to "UFO Newsclipping Service". )...
A recent Web item from the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, sent to us by Vince Ditchkus, discusses this fascinating (to us) subject. The newspaper reporter saw nothing during his brief trip to the area, nor did your "Smear" editor, when he went there in the late 1960s with a couple of other researchers.
A typical sighting (though strangely omitted from the article) consists of large glowing colored balls that rise up from the dense forest and ascend into the sky for a period of at least a few seconds.
The most reasonable explanation is "ball lightning", a strange form of electricity that has been studied by a few scientists for many years, but which is still not fully understood. Ball lightning can be reproduced extremely briefly in the laboratory, but it has never been duplicated as it appears (very rarely indeed) in the real world. We have run across only a handful of cases in all our years of UFO research.
In the 1960s there was a local man who claimed that the Brown Mountain lights are aliens from the planet Venus, who once abducted him. He ran a store called the Outer Space Rock Shop and Museum, which was closed during our visit to the area. Hardly anyone else seriously claims a connection between the Brown Mountain lights and "mainstream" unidentified flying objects. Whatever the lights are, they are almost surely a natural, local phenomenon.,.
Sean David Morton & wife; Ray Santilli of Alien Autopsy Film fame; Philip Klass (deceased); Richard Hoagland; Art Bell; de-frocked psychologist Richard Boylan; Jim Dilettoso; skeptic Joe Nickell; Peter Gersten; Erik Beckjord; remote viewer Ed Dames; Steven Greer; Donald Schmitt; Billy Meier; actress Shirley Maclaine; Bob Lazar; Jaime Maussan; Linda Moulton Howe; Wendell Stevens; and finally, two leaders of the Raelian cult.
It is no wonder that Sean Morton heads the list, because in recent years he has sued Royce Myers for libel. He lost the case and an appeal, and was ordered to pay $16,000 for Myer's cost of court. Why did Morton sue? Among other things, "ufowatchdog.com" says "Morton claims to have degrees from universities that don't exist, endorses UFO hoaxess, has lied about his association with top Hollywood people, lied about ghost-writing a best-selling book for his mother", etc., etc. Apparently these charges are either true or at least not libelous.
The "Hall of Fame" list is quite rightly headed by the late, great Dr. J. Allen Hynek. Some of the other choices might be more controversial. In order of appearance they are: Nancy Talbott of BLT Research; Stanton Friedman; Richard Hall (eeek!); the late Kenny Young of Ohio; Errol Knapp; Wendy Conners; Dr. Kevin Randle; Peter Davenport; Dr. Richard Haines; Jan Aldrich; Peter Robbins; Dr. Colm Kelleher of NIDS; Chris Rutowski; the late Russ Estes; and Kal K. Korff.
One could argue endlessly as to who belongs on these lists and why. Your "Smear" editor was a little disappointed not to be on either one, but many well-known ufologists are not, either - such as ace UFO historian Jerry Clark, for example, with whom we maintain an uneasy relationship. Anyhow, these lists are of great interest and amusement to us, and hopefully to our readers.
Royce Myers, proprieter of "ufowatchdog.com" appears from his short autobiography to be a mild UFO believer, not wedded to any particular theory of saucer origin - which is very good, in our opinion...
The first is a new version of an old story involving the late comedian Jackie Gleason and former president Richard Nixon. Back in 1974 they were playing golf together when Gleason mentioned his strong interest in UFOs and his large collection of books, etc. on the subject.
The story goes on: "Imagine Gleason's surprise when President Nixon showed up at his home (in the Miami area) around midnight, completely alone and driving his own private car". They have lost me already, folks, as presidents simply never do such things, for several reasons!
Anyhow, the two of them drove to Homestead Air Force Base, south of Miami, and on into the base to a "tightly guarded building". They eventually entered a section where Nixon pointed out what he said was the wreckage of a flying saucer, enclosed in several large crates. There were also glass-topped freezers containing the mangled remains of what looked like children (i.e., "little men"??)
Gleason told his wife Beverly, who eventually gave the story to the National Enquirer, and she later included it in her autobiography (if we remember correctly.) But the present version is via UFO researcher Larry Warren, who claims to have interviewed Gleason. Warren is co-author of "Left at East Gate", a 1997 book about the Bentwaters (England) UFO case. We know Larry Warren personally, and consider him to be the least reliable of the various Bentwaters witnesses!
As to the "little men", if they were ever at Homestead Air Force Base, they are probably long gone now - as the base was blown to pieces by Hurricane Andrew in 1992!...
The second celebrity story is entitled "The Night the Aliens Called On John Lennon", and it is written by famed spoon-bender Uri Geller.
According to this rant, Geller was in a restaurant in New York City with Lennon and his wife Yoko (date not given), when John decided to tell him all about how he believes life exists on other planets, etc. Then he told how, six months earlier, he had been asleep with his wife when a blazing light appeared at his bedroom door and when he opened it, four people were there. They had "big bug eyes and little bug mouths and they were scutting at me like roaches" - whatever that means. Lennon does not know just what happened after that, but eventually he was back in bed, lying on top of the covers, and the creatures were gone. Then Yoko finally woke up!
Lennon swears he was neither drunk nor stoned on drugs, but we wonder about that. Anyhow, the aliens had given him something to remember them by, and at this restaurant meeting he pulled it out of his jeans pocket and handed it to Geller.
Says Uri Geller: "I took the metal, egg-like object and turned it over in the dim light. It appeared solid and smooth, and I could make out no markings. I've never seen anything like it." Lennon told him, "Keep it. It's too weird for me. It's my ticket to another planet, but I don't want to go there."
That's all there is on this subject. No further description of the "metal egg", no word about whatever became of it, or whether it was ever chemically analyzed or shown to other people. It's like a fairy tale, which you can choose to believe if you wish. We have met Geller too, and we don't choose to believe it...
More about our meeting with Geller another time!
Lisa says she expects to hold the NUFOC in Phoenix, Arizona some time in the Spring of 2007. However, that still leaves a gap of one calender year with no convention, for the first time since the group was organized way back in 1964. Very unprofessional!
The May 2006 issue is much better than usual, however. There are two good articles about Canadian sightings of UFOs and even "little men", going back to the early 1900s. No details or documentation are given, but it is very interesting. Then there is an article by our pal Paul Kimball, and a somewhat paranoid rant about censorship on the Internet.
Smith was a long-time ufologist who investigated many cases and kept extensive files. He became involved in debunking the famous Gulf Breeze (Florida) case, but ended up creating similar hoaxed photos himself, to prove a point. "Smear" helped expose this deception.
Smith's doctorate was from Spain and was considered dubious by those who investigated it. Dr. Smith was a speaker at one or more of our NUFOC conventions. However, he was unusually egotistical and arrogant, and we did not like him. (Sorry to speak ill of the dead, but so be it!)...
This booklet is a detailed analysis of hoaxed "ghost" photos that Ed Walters made to entertain high school friends of his son, at teen-aged parties he would host at his home. Bolstered by the success of these, Ed went on to hoax pictures of UFOs in the sky, and the rest is history.
To their shame, MUFON still endorses the Gulf Breeze photographs, based on analysis by Dr. Bruce Maccabee and others. The real story can be found in our 2002 book "Shockingly Close to the Truth!"
Anyhow, if you are interested in details of a long-ago classic flying saucer case, you can obtain Zan's soft-cover booklet by writing to the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, 2457 W. Peterson, Chicago, Il. 60659. Price: $5.25 including mailing....
"...Jim, this will be very important for us. We are meeting with the principals who have requested a meeting with us at one of the major studios here in Hollywood. If something good comes out of this, I will be on the phone to you with the good news for your publication. Thus far, it looks very good. However, we will not count our chickens until they are fully hatched. I am sure you will agree with me about this..."
"Good issue. It actually took me two days to read - with a few interruptions, of course. Also, congrats on your esteemed position among UFO pubs!
"I believe that you will stand tall one day in the history of weirdness, right next to your Homestead idol Edward Leedskalnin, of Coral Castle (Florida) fame. While the five-foot-one Latvian created his castle from mammoth coral rock without the use of modern tools or additional manpower, you will be remembered as a 'zine publisher of the 21st cen- tury who did it all without a computer or Internet access! Your typewriter will be en- shrined in the UFO Hall of Fame... (Non-believers no doubt will mutter that you had outside help.)
"Meanwhile, keep up the good work. You have years of typing ahead!"
"Thanks for your note and congratulations on the wide margin of victory for best UFO publication. I would have voted if I had known about it.
"I can't believe that Mr. Pflock has already passed away. We all must go someday. Have you given any thought to what will happen to 'Smear' after you pass away, Jim? Is someone waiting in the wings to take over?..."
Karl Pflock considered the idea of taking over "Smear" some day, but long before his death he changed his mind, and decided that no one (for better or worse!) could duplicate it properly. - Editor.
"I'm saddened to read in your 6/5/06 issue of 'Saucer Smear' that you think I 'did little to promote'my film 'Whispers from Space'. I was going to write you a long letter scolding you on how tricky and difficult the film distribution biz is, but I'm too tired and you're probably too drunk.
"Needless to say, I tried. Not many people like my film but I do, and even you said Gray Barker would. Now you've gone and hurt my feelings. I just got this IBM Selectric II typewriter, so I'm sorry if this letter is kind of messed up. As a fan of the Unabomber, I suggest we all get typewriters.
"But back to the issue at hand, my film. Yeah, Jim, it really wasn't a mainstream film, so that hurt it from the start. The cavalcade of UFO-nerds weren't going to like it, but we had fun making it. I wish this new Gray Barker film maker (Bob Wilkinson of West Virginia) the best. Maybe he's got some connections and is a more accomplished film maker than I am.
"Speaking of Gray Barker - I have been approached by a traveling carnival about a Gray Barker exhibit. They want me to exhume his body and take it on a road show, playing all the Sears and Montgomery Ward parking lots in the Northeast. It sounds like I could make a lot of money, and I'm going to do it. They have some sort of 'magical solution' that I can put Gray's severed head in, and he'll come to life. You turn a crank on the outside of this jar that you put his head in, and HE COMES TO LIFE, but only for 15 min- utes. What better way to tell the Gray Barker story than to have Gray tell it himself!
"I gotta goo The dog is barking."
"I heard earlier this week that Karl Pflock had passed away. Got an e-mail from his ghost inviting me to attend the wake. Wish I could go, but unfortunately it's not possible just now.
"Karl was a decent sort who made an honest effort to get to the bottom of things, and although I didn't always agree with him, his methods, or his politics, I respected his work. As to his CIA connections, he was always pretty straight-forward about that, and I have always felt that those who saw him as part of some vast conspiracy-cover-up were way off base. UFOs were more of a matter of personal interest with him, not something he was professionally involved with - at least as far as I could tell..."
"Thanks for the 'Saucer Smear' with the sad news about Karl Pflock. An irreverent, intelligent, and necessary voice in ufology has been silenced. I interviewed him on my radio show in the early or mid 1990s and he was erudite, likable, and reasonable. I also think he was right about Roswell.
"Karl never went after the big bully pulpits the way Phil Klass did, and he had complicated, nuanced views on the UFO subject, so he never really got as much attention as he should have. For one thing, I haven't seen an obituary for him in the New York Times, the so-called Paper of Record, though Klass and John Fuller and others got obituaries there. You would think that being a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and writing or co-writing two prominent books would qualify him for a few paragraphs, but apparently not."
"What follows is my personal retrospective on the late Karl Pflock. Rather than send it to Fred Whiting or have it proxy-posted on UFO Updates, I felt your non-scheduled newsletter was the most appropriate venue for it. Perhaps others feel the same way...
"Two encounters with Karl stand out in my mind, one amusing and of no significance, the other more profound.
"In 1993, I found myself at the Washington premiere of 'Fire in the Sky', Hollywood's depiction of the Travis Walton abduction. Karl also happened to be present, and, as the largely-UFO assemblage mingled before the start of the movie, Karl somehow popped the wedding band off his finger, and it rolled down between the seats. Surprised and bemused, he called out loudly, asking if anyone had spotted a wedding ring on the loose. Someone asked if this meant he was now a free man. Much laughter ensued - Karl himself mumbling something in return - but when I chanced to glance at his wife, her face was not smiling, and she stared sternly at him. I see her still in my mind's eye, standing there in silence.
"The second encounter occurred more recently, after the 2003 Aztec UFO conference, where Karl had presented a lecture on the infamous 1952 Desverges case. I was very impressed by his presentation, which featured many slides I'd never seen before. Inasmuch as I discussed the same case during some of my talks, I asked him if he would be amenable to my making copies of several of them. 'Of course', he replied, somewhat to my surprise. He would immediately send me the entire set, no questions asked. I could copy whatever I desired and not to hurry. The slides arrived promptly, and I've since used them. Needless to say, his generosity and kindness were much appreciated and never forgotten. I extend my sympathies to his beauteous wife Mary, and family.
"Jim, in conclusion and on a lighter note, your newsletter is entertaining, forthright, even at times humorous. Who can say which person or event will draw your fire, your bombast, or your praise? How will a given controversy emerge after being drawn through the 'Smear' filter? When will the next non-scheduled issue arrive? In any event, I look forward to its continuation...."
"As I write about my long-time, long-distance, late friend Karl Pflock, I am feeling more angry than sad. I wanted to, but never got the chance to meet this vibrant super-smart, witty Saucerer in person, as my monetarily-challenged fate is also a life-constrainer. My thusly drowning self-esteem was often buoyed by Karl's interest in and concern for me. That formidable skeptic, not prone to belief, believed in me, of all things.
"As you have experienced, Jim, I often withdraw for time-lengths, especially when I 'get mad at' (often you and Karl, back when). The truth is that I was loath to inflict my non-best-self upon impressive friends. But ignoring that, Karl trickstered me out, from within, every darn time.
"He also brought out to the world your life story - the glorious epic adventure of both mischief and contribution that I otherwise only suspected. Forgive me if I proceed to be too audaciously personal, but I perceived that Karl's fondness for you could rival Gray Barker's? ..."
Yes. - Editor.
"I was so sorry to hear about Karl Pflock. Your obituary in the most recent issue of 'Saucer Smear' was a nice tribute. It is obvious he meant a lot to you.
"I didn't know about Karl's association with the CIA, but then that's not an issue for me, because I don't believe UFOs are a government conspiracy. Overall I thought he wrote well on the flying saucer topic, and I did realize he was not a true skeptic. Unfortunately, when a 'believer' voices skeptical thoughts, they often tend to come under fire from those not taking the same critical view (as you know from your own experience). I liked Karl's overall approach. We need more like him, not less.
"What with last year's storm damage and now the loss of Karl, I'm sure things don't look quite bright for you at the moment. But it sounds like Matt Graeber and Vince Ditch- kus are sticking by you. And there are your many readers, most of whom get your jokes... but don't always respond. And on the up side, congratulations on besting (by a significant margin) MUFON, IUR, and UFO Magazine!"
"We here in America already have a nice new Stonehenge, as compared with the old used one in England. It is a full-size reproduction built as a memorial to those who fell in World War I. It is located in Maryhill, Washington, on the south central border of the state. You can walk through it."
|Saucer Smear Index||
Please note that letters for Smear editor James Moseley should be snail-mailed to PO Box 1709, Key West, FL 33041, insofar as Cdr. Moseley is proudly computer-illiterate and determined to stay that way.
Own a genuine artifact of ufological history!
Line your birdcage for pennies a sheet!
Back issues available for the last 50 years!