Wednesday, December 10, 2014

America Unearthed: Son of the Custer Treasure


I couldn’t help myself and I got sucked into another episode of America Unearthed. This one about the lost treasure of George Custer, yeah, that guy who managed to get about half of the Seventh Cavalry killed in June, 1876. Contrary to what the program said, he wasn’t that smart of a guy and his problem at the Little Big Horn was that he didn’t have another Union unit out there to come to his rescue. This had happened during the Civil War, where he rode too far forward to an attack and another unit had to bail him out.

Anyway, there was talk that Custer left the Dakotas on the campaign into Montana taking the payroll for the Seventh with him. Legend had it that it was made up of gold and silver and after the battle no one could find the money. Maybe the Lakota took it and hid it. Or maybe it was the Cheyenne who got it. Rumor was that a fellow named Two Moon was instrumental in hiding the treasure and even had a map to the point where it was buried. He entrusted this map to a Caucasian for some inexplicable reason, and when Two Moon died, he was buried in a skinny pyramid that contained some artifacts and an envelope with the map inside. Of course, long before Scott Wolter got there the map was stolen… if it had ever been in the envelope… a fact that no one bothered to check.

One thing that annoyed me about this episode was the claim that the Seventh had been decimated at the battle. Well, no. If you are referring to the five companies that followed Custer to the end, they weren’t decimated. They were wiped out completely. If they have been decimated, there would have been at least nine survivors. A trivial complaint based on semantics? Of course, but if you’re going to rewrite history, you should get the facts right and the language right and this isn’t only point that they failed on.

So, anyway Wolter heads off to talk to a journalist friend who lives in a neat looking house, but doesn’t seem to know much about the battle or the missing treasure. He suggests that Wolter talk to a coin dealer who wants a hundred and forty bucks before he’ll talk. He holds up a Buffalo Nickel that has a price of $140.00 on it. Wolter insists on calling it an Indian Head Nickel and then starts talking about Indian Head pennies, telling us that the Indian on the penny is really Lady Liberty so that coin is misnamed… Well, she’s wearing what looks like a Lakota war bonnet but this is just more trivia and completely irrelevant.

They finally get to talking about the Custer treasure, which the coin dealer seems to be sure exists and that the value of it was something like $25,000.00 in 1876, but with today’s prices for gold and silver it would be much more, not to mention the premium value on each coin minted prior to 1876. Each one could fetch $50,000.00 or more from a collector. Suddenly the value of the treasure has skyrocketed into the millions and no one has found any evidence that it even exists.

So off to Montana goes Wolter. He talks to a guy who knows the tale of Two Moon and shows Wolter a magazine article written more than half a century ago that mentions the envelope containing the treasure map, but that envelope disappeared a long time ago… and there is no evidence that there was a map inside because no one alive today ever saw it, but since we’re looking for Custer’s treasure, well, there just has to be a map.

Now, rather than take a look at some of the research on Custer that has been done since the battle including Evan Connell’s Son of the Morning Star, Wolter is off to the battlefield… or a facsimile there of. He meets up with a group of re-enactors (a hobby that I have never really understood) who suggest that Custer was loved by his men (yeah, sure, especially after he had ordered several of them gunned down for desertion but that’s another story).

The re-enactor who is Wolter’s escort into this says that the Lakota had been waiting for Custer because they had spotted the cavalry earlier that day. But that just doesn’t square with history and in fact, had Major Marcus Reno pressed his attack rather than stopping and then retreating, the outcome might have been different. The Lakota had been caught by surprise according to what they said in the years that followed the battle.

Wolter and his boys mention two of the chiefs in the battle, Sitting Bull, who didn’t participate and wasn’t a chief but a medicine man and Crazy Horse. They show pictures of both and while the picture of Sitting Bull has been authenticated; there are no known pictures of Crazy Horse… They sort of imply the picture is Crazy Horse but never mind.

So, now Wolter is signed up as a private in this fake Seventh Cavalry re-enactor group and there seems to be hints that it is some sort of official government organization but it’s not. We are treated to Wolter riding around in his fake Army uniform, charging down into the Lakota camp or whatever, and then he tells us about the thrill of such an adventure. Okay, maybe it was thrilling for him, but then no one was shooting real bullets at him and this has nothing to do with the hunt for Custer’s treasure. What this is, is filler because they just don’t have anything else to use to fill the hour… no documents, no records, no witness testimony, nothing but this rumor that Custer carried gold and silver coins to pay his soldiers… yeah, that’s what I want to do… ride into combat with a pocketful of loose change.

Now, Wolter, using his IPad or whatever, learns that a stash of gold coins had been found in California and he wonders if this somehow isn’t related to the Custer treasure. Estimated value of the gold coins found there is ten million… So back in Minnesota, he asks the coin dealer if there is any possibility that this is the lost Custer stash… but some of the coins are dated long after the fight at the Little Big Horn, so no… except, well, maybe it started with the Custer treasure and these newer coins were added to it afterwards. Never let the facts get in the way of a treasure hunt.

Anyway, had they done any real research into this and not become fascinated by re-enactors, or had Wolter read Son of the Morning Star (he referred to Custer as the Warrior of the Morning Star because he always attacked at dawn… really? Where did you pick up that tidbit?) Wolter would have known that the soldiers were paid with paper money. In fact, some of that money was found later, being used as “saddle blankets” on toy horses made for the Lakota and Cheyenne children. So much for the historical evidence that Custer had all that gold and silver with him.

Here was a whole hour devoted to a treasure that never existed and that anyone who had spent twenty minutes on the Internet, or who had called me, could have learned was merely rumor. About the only facts presented were that Custer did attack the Lakota and Cheyenne on the Greasy Grass (Lakota name for the Little Big Horn, which they did actually mention) and that about half of the Seventh was killed in the battle. They offered no evidence that the gold and silver treasure ever existed and I had to wonder what was this sudden fascination with treasure… we’d already learned about the Aztec treasure in Utah that they didn’t find and had no facts to establish it… and the Lost Dutchman Mine (with Wolter telling us repeatedly that the Dutchman had been German) but he didn’t find it… personally, I don’t think the mine exists. If it had, at one time, an earthquake in the mid-eighteenth century probably destroyed it… and now we have a search for a nonexistent Custer treasure.

Well, all this tells me all I need to know. He’s no longer offering alternative history; he’s just out chasing ratings… I mean, he’s at the Alamo and now the Little Big Horn… next he’ll probably be out at Area 51 telling us about the secret projects there and then off to Roswell with a metal detector to find saucer wreckage (yeah, I’ve seen the rest of the schedule for the season and those things aren’t there but just wait)… anything to boost ratings. But as for his claim that we didn’t learn the “real” history in school, well, that seems to be just more hype because he hasn’t offered much in the way of evidence that his alternative history is accurate.

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Roswell Slides and the Aztec UFO Crash


For a couple of decades I have been chasing stories of pictures of the Roswell crash. I have been given the names of some of those who supposedly had pictures, talked to others who thought they might have seen pictures, and tried to find those who might have taken pictures as part of the official investigation. In this I have failed, other than finding lots of pictures of alien bodies, all of which seem to be traced to hoaxes, frauds and science fiction movies.

I have not seen the Roswell slides but have heard descriptions of what they show as many of us have. I know a little about how they were discovered and who owns them now, but I have not been involved in the investigation of them. I know that Tom Carey said that they have been dated to 1947, but I don’t know how that dating was accomplished, I don’t know how accurate it might be, and I’m not sure of the relevance of it.

All of this, however, set me to thinking. If the slides were made in 1947, as has been alleged, then what was the motivation for it, if it was a hoax? In other words, why would someone in 1947 make something like that? What would be the purpose?

Then, taking this line of speculation further, and I must point out this is all speculation now, were there any flying saucer cases that hinted at such things, other than Roswell? Well, yes there were. There were many reports of flying saucer crashes, all of them, other than Roswell, seemed to be invention by the participants and few of them talked of alien creatures.

There is one, though, that reached a wide national audience in the late 1940s, and that is, of course, Aztec. Now, I think Aztec was a hoax created by two con men who were attempting to sell some cockamamie metal detector or mineral detector and were claiming that alien technology had been used to create the machine. That doesn’t matter right now. What is important are pictures and that does relate to Roswell.

According to Scott Ramsey in The Aztec Incident, some guy named McLaughlin, had pictures of a flying saucer crash, and according to documentation found by Ramsey, it relates specifically to Aztec. This document doesn’t prove that there was a crash at Aztec, only that some guy was attempting to sell pictures that he alleged were taken at the crash site. The document was dated October 9, 1950.

Now the question seems to be what do the pictures show, if there were, in fact pictures. The only description available is that they show the crash which would imply that they were taken in the field and not inside a building or of a body on a Gurney. If there were bodies lying around, it would seem that pictures of them would have been taken, but without a description, we just don’t know.

Here’s the thing… This is a story about the Aztec crash, and the desire for evidence of it… Newton carried around some little bits of metal that he claimed came from the crash… and that tale would be enhanced if there were pictures of bodies. Someone might have conjured them up as further evidence of the Aztec crash.

What I’m saying is that here we have a motive for the invention of the pictures in the right time frame. We aren’t locked into 1947 and pictures created in 1948 or 1950 for that matter, could have been taken with film made in 1947. I simply don’t know enough about how the dating was done to know how close it is. I suspect the best they could do was tell us that the film was processed in the correct era, give or take a couple of years, but I just don’t know.

I could point out many of the parallels here. The land where the Aztec crash is claimed to have happened is oil land so that people from Midland involved in oil could have been there just as they could have been over in Roswell. The Aztec crash is alleged to have taken place within months of the Roswell crash, both were in New Mexico, but only Aztec got any real publicity in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Please don’t misunderstand here. I’m not saying that we can now elevate the Aztec crash to the level of Roswell. I think the evidence is pretty clear. Aztec was a hoax that did include claims of physical evidence. It is not outside the realm of possibility that someone created pictures of alien creatures in an attempt to validate Aztec, and the documentation clearly mentions Aztec.

There are two flaws in my theory. One is that I don’t know if anyone ever saw the alleged pictures of the Aztec crash. The man who had them apparently never showed up for the sale and the documentation that relates to it makes it clear that the pictures were never shown.

Two: According to what Tom said, the slides relate to Roswell and have nothing to do with Aztec and if they can be dated precisely, that would tend to rule out Aztec. I just don’t know exactly what the slides show. All I know at this point is that the connection to Roswell seems a little thin, at least according to what Tom said recently (and the connection to Aztec is even thinner). Tom and Don Schmitt have a witness, who isn’t named (and given the nature of the UFO field, I’m not at all surprised that they wish to protect him) who says the creature on the slides resembles those he saw in 1947 at Roswell.

Here’s where I am on this. There are slides of some sort of creature. These slides are alleged to have been exposed in 1947, though I don’t know how firm that information is. There is a story, backed up by documentation, which says someone was trying to sell pictures of the Aztec crash in 1950. There is no reason to assume that these Aztec pictures have anything to do with the Roswell slides that Tom was talking about. I am just suggesting that there was stuff going on back then that could lead to someone creating the slides for Aztec. I’m not saying that it happened only that it could have.

The one major caveat is that I don’t know how accurate the dating of the slides is. If they can be shown to have been taken and processed in 1947, then Aztec is not an issue. If the dating isn’t that precise, then other evidence, which Tom and Don might possess, could eliminate Aztec as a possibility.

Here I’m as guilty as so many others. Speculation without a solid foundation, but then, not much has been offered in the way of evidence here and that leaves the door open to all this speculation.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

A Little Help

As you all know, I have been working on a new book and in the course of that, I was looking at the November 3, 1957, sightings at White Sands Proving Grounds, now White Sands Missile Range. According to the information I have, one of the soldiers who saw the UFO (identified as the Moon by Project Blue Book investigators) was unavailable for the Air Force to interview a couple of days later. They were told that he was on a three-day pass. The story told by a reporter in the area in 1957 was that the man, James Wilbanks, had been put into the hospital.

In early August I sent a request to the Records Center in St. Louis, asking for the morning reports of his unit for the week of November 3 through 10. The morning reports should tell us if he was on his pass or in the hospital. After nearly four months, I received a form letter telling me how much the search would cost and that I couldn't ask for the morning reports for more than a 90 period. I am assuming that it will be another four months before I get a reply.

However, the Public Affairs Officer either at White Sands or Holloman Air Force Base had issued a press release about the soldiers and their involvement in the UFO sighting and might have addressed the problem of where Wilbanks was. I have tried to search on line for copies of the Alamogordo newspaper but the only records I can access go back to 1997 or there abouts.

I'm hoping that someone will be able to look at the newspaper files for November 1957 and find an article that talks about the soldiers from White Sands and what happened to them....

Oh, and I should mention that the White Sands Missile Range has been less than helpful. In the past they have been quite prompt in answering email, but after asking a bunch of irrelevant questions, they too have gone silent.

Anyway, I'm hoping that someone in that area can learn a little more from reviewing the microfilm from November 1957 and tell me what happened to Wilbanks. The tale of his three-day pass doesn't not hold water.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Project Pounce and MJ-12


While working on my new book, I stumbled across a reference to Project Pounce and I remembered that it was one of those projects that had been associated with MJ-12. Linda Howe might have been the first to have heard of Pounce, or I suppose, I should say the first outside of those inventing these things.

According to the information I have, Howe met Richard Doty, he of the AFOSI at the time on, April 9, 1983, in Doty’s office at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. He told her that his superiors had told him to show her a document. He handed her several sheets of paper and told her that she could read them but that she couldn’t copy them.

The document was called, “A Briefing for the President of the United States on the Subject of Unidentified Flying Vehicles.” There was no date on the report, and the president wasn’t named. Howe didn’t know for which president it had been prepared though later information from others would suggest that this was part of the Carter Briefing.

Mentioned on this document were several classified projects including Aquarius, Snowbird, Sigma and Pounce. According to these documents, Snowbird was a cover for Project Red Light, which was a project to fly recovered alien craft. Snowbird was to develop some type of flying saucer using conventional technology as a cover for Red Light.

Snowbird was an actual project and has been described by Barry Greenwood as a “Joint Army/Air Force peacetime military exercise in the sub-arctic region in 1955, according to Gale Research’s Code Name Dictionary, 1963.” (See MUFON UFO Journal Number 236, December 1987, p. 12) It had nothing to do with UFOs, aliens, or MJ-12.

And now we have the information on Project Pounce. According to the MJ-12 documents, Pounce was created in 1980. It would use the Air Force “Black Berets” for crash retrievals including the recovery of the craft and the bodies of the occupants, if there were any. Steve Wilson, who claimed to have been an Air Force colonel, said that he had been the executive officer of Pounce. Wilson’s story unraveled when it was established that he had not been an Air Force colonel (See the entry here on November 16, 2006 for more information about Wilson).

According to Ed Ruppelt who mentioned Project Pounce in his 1956 book, and Joel Carpenter writing in the International UFO Reporter in the Fall 2001 issue, page 4, Pounce began when an Air Defense Command colonel, tired of all the UFO reports near his base in New Mexico, proposed converting some of the F-94C fighters into “UFO interceptors,” equipped with cameras and placed on 24 hour alert. While Pounce did have a UFO component, it had nothing to do with recovery of alien craft and there is nothing to connect it to the mythical MJ-12.

All of this is another example of how the information about MJ-12 and some of the ancillary projects used to support MJ-12 actually were something else entirely. These real projects were used in an attempt to give legitimacy to MJ-12, but when we learn the truth about them, we see another fallacy of MJ-12. Had these projects been what the proponents of MJ-12 said they were, it would tend to validate it. However, when we learn what they actually were, it tells us, once again, that MJ-12 is a myth.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Roswell Slides and Premature Disclosure


There are times when premature disclosure can ruin an investigation and close avenues of research. Back in the last century (which is a line that cracks me up for some reason) Gerald Anderson burst on the scene with his tale of seeing the crashed saucer over on the Plains of San Agustin. Contrary to popular belief, I was the first to talk to him and found his tale interesting but in conflict with the information that Don Schmitt and I were developing. We didn’t understand how the Barney Barnett tale fit into the whole Roswell picture, especially if Anderson’s date and location were accurate. Anderson seemed to be corroboration of the Barnett story and it was from an alleged first-hand source.

Anderson told me that he could identify the archaeologists that Barnett had mentioned, said they were from the University of Pennsylvania, and the leader was a guy named Adrian Buskirk. Tom Carey, who had studied anthropology as both an undergraduate and graduate student, took on the search for Buskirk and found a guy named Winfred Buskirk, and given the identikit sketch of Buskirk provided by Anderson, looked like it was the right guy. But Buskirk denied that he had been involved and during the summer of 1947 was in Arizona working with the western Apache and on his dissertation.

The question became if Buskirk wasn’t on the Plains of San Agustin to have seen the crashed saucer, then how would Anderson know about him. Buskirk, who had taught high school anthropology in Albuquerque was as confused as the rest of us. He solved the problem by calling friends at the Albuquerque High School who looked at the records there. According to what they told Buskirk, Anderson had taken his anthropology class. Buskirk told me this and provided the names of three contacts at the school if I wanted to verify the information. This I did, and in fact, the man on the phone told me that he was looking at the transcript as we spoke. Anderson had taken Burkirk’s anthropology class. We had put the two of them together in the same class room at the same time.

I called Fred Whiting at the Fund for UFO Research and told him what I had discovered. Whiting, in turn, called Stan Friedman, who called Anderson. Anderson then called the school and threatened them with a lawsuit if they disclosed anything about his academic record. Anderson then sent me a letter with the same threats, but in the course of that, verified some of the information I had received. Anderson insisted he had not taken Buskirk’s class but had taken sociology instead.

The upshot of this was no one else would be able to verify the information. Had I not told Whiting and set that chain in motion, better evidence could have been obtained and Anderson’s tale would have been rejected much sooner than it was. I can now mention all this because those who helped me are not in danger of losing their jobs. Yes, I have documentation to back this up, including letters from Buskirk confirming this.

That was premature disclosure.

So, how does this relate to the Roswell slides?

In much the same way.

I first learned of the slides, not from my research partners, but through Rich Reynolds’ UFO Iconoclasts blog. He mentioned the information came from Nick Redfern. While I didn’t believe most of what Rich had published about the slides, especially about some sort of nondisclosure agreement, I emailed Nick about it. Nick suggested that I call him, so I did.

At that point he confirmed what Rich had published. Or, at least, it was what he had been told, including the names of some of those involved. I next checked with my research partners and learned that the information Rich had published was accurate. I just hadn’t been in the loop.

At that point, I suspended work on the slides because others were involved and that nondisclosure agreement bothered me. As much as I wanted to publish here what I knew, I also suspected that the man who owned the slides would think that they had told me. If the man with the slides wanted nondisclosure agreements, it meant that he was serious about this, and if I entered into the investigation uninvited, then he could invoke the agreements. The investigation would end there.

I had learned the name of the man, not from either Don or Tom. I had just enough information about him that it took me about three minutes to find an active telephone number for him. I’m not sure why I bothered with that because I had no intention of calling him. If I did that, he could take his slides and go home. The investigation would have been ended. To me, the end result, that is verifying the provenance of the slides and securing as much data about them as possible was the most important aspect of it. I could stand aside and let the investigation go.

Sure, I had ideas. When I was told that the coding on the edge of the slide film proved that it had been manufactured in 1947, I asked if they knew that the codes were recycled every twenty years, which meant the film could have been manufactured in 1927 or 1967 rather than 1947. I believed that the chemical composition of the film and a proper analysis of the chemicals used in developing the film might be important in dating the film. I wasn’t told if this was being done but have since learned, as has everyone else, that a Kodak official has verified the date… and no, I don’t know how that verification was done. If it is based solely on the dating code, then that doesn’t do much for us.

I didn’t want to wreck the investigation of what could be some of the most important evidence of the Roswell case just so that I could know everything that was going on immediately. I put my trust in Tom who had put his trust in Don. Or, in other words, I believed that when the time came, I would eventually have the information necessary.

The problem for me was that others were being brought in. Tom and Don got permission to ask questions of others but I was left out of the loop. In conversations and emails with various people, I learned a little more, but never anything that wasn’t already out in the UFO community… I suppose a more accurate way was to point out that I was getting corroboration of what I knew as opposed as getting anything from them. I wasn’t actively looking for the information but was getting it as a by-product of other work.

The real point is that there wasn’t much for me to do in the investigation. I made suggestions about what should be done, I harped on the provenance, and on chemical analysis as a way of dating the slides, but I wasn’t being told anything specific… Oh, I wanted to publish but knew that could destroy the working relationship between the source and Tom and Don.

Just over a year ago, this whole thing had a minor detonation. Information got out and people asked me about it. I felt the information was proprietary. Some of the things I knew, I didn’t think should be shared widely because I believed that could damage the work being done. I answered questions by saying that I was not part of the investigation, which was true. I used that to dodge the question so that I didn’t have to lie about it. I wasn’t involved in the investigation and had done no real work beyond the preliminaries when the information first surfaced but that was what everyone else already knew. It wasn’t the exact truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but it wasn’t false either. Some took offense at that, the very thing I had attempted to avoid. My statements were misinterpreted and twisted and not what I had said, but that happens quite a bit in the world of the Internet and all too often in the world of the UFO.

The leaks in this weren’t coming from Tom and Don. Nick had learned of all this from a source in Midland, Texas, but it was never clear to me how that source learned about this. Nick had told me, so long ago, that the slides were discovered in a box of slides as a woman was cleaning out a house after the owner had died. The slides were taped to the underside of the top of a box and didn’t seem to be part of the slides filed in the rest of the box. The other slides were of the same era, meaning 1947, which suggested a date, but certainly wasn’t evidence of it.

The name of the woman who had cleaned the house and the name of the now deceased owner were known, but that still didn’t tell anyone who had taken the slides or how they had gotten into that box. There was speculation about who had taken them, but, at that time, no one knew for certain. And there was no way to connect them to Roswell, other than there just couldn’t be that many UFO crashes. It was deduced that they were from Roswell.

As we know from what Tom has said lately the slides were dated as 1947 and that a historian at Kodak verified that. Tom’s specific words were, “It’s 1947 stock. From the emulsions on the image, it’s not something that’s been photo-shopped like today. It’s original 1947 images and it shows an alien who’s been partially dissected lying in a case.”

I can dissect that statement but I wasn’t in the room to ask the specific questions which means that someone probably didn’t ask them. I would have asked had there been a chemical analysis done, which might have provided an accurate date. It is a question that will come up. Yes, the image on the slides is a real image, but that doesn’t mean it was a real alien. I know that the slide holder was from the proper time frame and I know the code could be from 1947 but the code is not definitive.

Tom also said that the creature is “three and a half to four feet tall, the head is almost insect-like. The head has been severed and there’s a partial autopsy. The innards have been removed, and we believe the cadaver has been embalmed, at least at the time this picture was taken."

A question that comes to my mind is how does this affect the Glenn Dennis story. The illustrations that he supplied of what the alien supposed looked like is not insectoid. They more closely resembled the heads described by Betty Hill at one point and the arms and hands look like the Martians from the 1953 War of the Worlds. Does this mean that they now reject the Glenn Dennis testimony? Oh, it wasn’t that strong in the first place because the descriptions he offered were second hand at best.

There is an indication that they have a witness who is over 90 years old who said that the creature on the slides looks like the creatures he saw. Given what I know about Tom, I’m sure that he has verified that this unnamed source was assigned to the base at Roswell in 1947 (or to one of the other commands in the proper time frame) so that he could have seen the creatures recovered there. That would tend to tie the slides to Roswell but that still doesn’t tell us who took them and how they ended up in Midland, Texas.

There are a couple of other points. In the pictures, the alien’s midsection is obscured by a hand lettered sign that could provide some information. Unfortunately it is turned at a sharp angle to the camera so that it can’t be read. Yes, there have been attempts to read it, but it is more obscured than the Ramey Memo.

At the moment, from what I know, there doesn’t seem to be an answer to the question of who took the slides. There is speculation, and even if that speculation is accurate, the man can’t be interviewed because he is long dead. That, I think is going to be a stumbling block.

I will say, however, that this isn’t really an investigation in the scientific arena. Areas of science can be used such as the chemical analysis of the slide stock and the chemicals used to develop the film, but this is actually an historical investigation. Given what is in the hands of Tom and Don, history is a more appropriate arena. The case needs to be put together as historical research with a dash of documentary evidence thrown in and a little bit of scientific analysis.

But the real point here is that premature disclosure could have wrecked the investigation and there wouldn’t be any controversy if some of the information hadn’t leaked too early. That information didn’t come from Tom or Don and I don’t believe they had any reason to disclose what they knew in the very beginning. They had made no public claims about the slides and while there were those who wished to know more, neither Tom nor Don had an obligation to supply that information. In fact there could be legal ramifications if they did.

That situation has changed with the information released at the press conference. Tom announced officially that they had the slides and that some research had been done. Once he did that, then questions that have been asked for the last two years should have been answered. No evidence was offered… it was sort of a presumption of evidence to come. It was “Here is what we have and we will let you know about it soon.”

Tom said that everything would be revealed after the first of the year, but the trouble with that is that he was sitting at the table telling the story now. If he was not prepared to share the evidence, then he shouldn’t have been talking about this in the way he was at the forum where he was. The issue of premature disclosure was over… he had ended it with the announcement.

Oh, I’m willing to wait a few more weeks for the detailed information but if he, and Don, were not prepared to provide it, they should have waited. After all the turmoil over the last eighteen to twenty months, that was what should have been done… But, of course, that wasn’t my call, I had no hand in making the decision, and have no inside information contrary to what some believe.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Alien, Marjorie Fish and Zeta II Reticuli


Here’s an interesting thing. I was watching Alien and in the beginning, after they have been awakened by the computer, they assume they have arrived back home, more or less. Veronica Cartwright, as Lambert, is sitting in front of a computer screen that was probably high tech in the late 1970s but is no longer, and says, “That’s not our system.”

They attempt to contact Antarctica control (which, given this situation, is probably hours away by radio, given the speed of light) and receives no answer. Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, then says, “That’s not our system.”

Lambert says, “I know that.”

But, and this is the part relevant to us here, she says, “It’s Zeta II Reticuli.”

Of all the systems out there, why pick this one. And, which came first, Marjorie Fish’s discovery about the Betty Hill Star Map, or Alien.

That question is simple to answer. Marjorie Fish. The information was published in 1976 or about three years before Alien was released. Rather than the movie contaminating the search for the stars in Betty Hill’s map, it seems that Fish’s work came first.

And I would venture to say that someone with the production company at some level knew this. They needed the name of a star system and this one was available and easy to pronounce. It was just another one of those little inside jokes that are spread through most movies.

It also shows how deep some of the information about UFOs can penetrate into pop culture. I suspect that most people would pick up on the reference, but some of us did. The fact that it was used at all is the interesting part of this, but proves nothing about the really of Fish’s interpretation of the Star Map…

Oh, and I think it warns us not to go near that star system. Zeta I Reticuli might be safe but certainly not Zeta II.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hacking, Tony and the Roswell Slides, Part II


(Blogger’s Note: A couple of weeks ago, Tony sent me the tale of the hacking with an article to be posted then. After a couple of days, I emailed him and asked if he still wished for it to be posted. At that point he withdrew it and thought it best to wait. Last week I learned that Rich Reynolds had posted a hacking story that differed in some aspects from what Tony had said to me. I asked Tony, at that point, if he wished to post his version. He sent a new article to me. I found a point or two I thought were needlessly aggressive and asked to tone those down. He provided his suggestions. Thinking that this was a story that needed to be told, I posted it… not knowing that with 24 hours Tony and Rich Reynolds would come to an understanding that seems to be acceptable to both.

This annoys me, not because I posted the story or because the two of them seemed to be at odds, but because this seems to be one of manipulation. There was no real need to publish any of this, given the outcome. It has ruffled feathers, it has caused trouble among researchers, and it keeps the Roswell slides story in the forefront of UFO research where it does not belong today.

The revelations made in Tony’s article about what is on the slides and some of the documentation that is claimed is, in a way, irrelevant to the story. This was a tale of hacking into personal email accounts and sharing the stolen emails with others. It is a story of an invasion of privacy and in today’s world we have way too little of that left with all the spying done by government agencies, all operating for our safety, so they say. Anyone who understands the basics of the Internet can find out all sorts of information on anyone else… there is just too much information available, but there is no way to return to the days when our private lives were private… but I digress.

As I say, there are two stories here. One is the hacking and the other is the slides. No corroboration for any of the information about the slides has been presented… and no, I don’t expect there to be. I believe that Tom Carey and Don Schmitt were right in attempting to protect the story, the sources, the investigation, until they had done what they could to verify the information. Premature disclosure could harm that investigation. The time to criticize it was after they came out with their claims and presented the evidence they had gathered. At that point, it all becomes fair game. But to snipe from the woods before that information is presented could damage the work before they complete it.

Yes, I would like to know the whole story, to verify the claims, to interview the witness or witnesses, but I also know that sometimes you must hang onto the information or the sources dry up and the opportunity is lost. So, for those who want to know right now what they have, I say a little patience can’t hurt. Tom has said the information will be available after the first of the year, and once it is in the public domain, that is the time to verify what is said. Until we have the facts, there isn’t much we can do other than speculate.

So, following is the latest from Tony. It is, I believe, a modification of what he sent to Rich Reynolds. For those of you who hoped for more, sorry. For those who wish to have a final answer on the Roswell slides, sorry. For those of you who are tired of these little range wars, sorry. There really isn’t much else to be said at this time.)


ROSWELL HACKING STORY RESOLVED
BY ANTHONY BRAGALIA

Rich Reynolds and I have agreed to put to rest the ‘Roswell Slides’ hacking story and to peacefully end the matter. This was done in large part because in so doing we are avoiding falling right into the trap intended by the hacker, which is to fracture everyone apart from one another in the UFO community even further.

In an email that I had received from the hacker he indicated that was his precise intent. Rich and I have elected to not play into the hacker’s hands. I frankly do not know if this hacker is affiliated with intelligence, or, instead, a disaffected lone person that gets his jollies out of such things. But we were all at some level tangled in his web and have now elected to get out of it.  To give further attention to the hacker through endlessly writing about it in an ever-escalating way is exactly what the hacker wanted and delights in. So we’re just not going to give him the satisfaction.  We are in concurrence that we all really do want to take the drama away and to stop feeding the hacker’s perverse pleasure. We are going to take a higher road than he is on and move on…