Thursday, April 20, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Chase Kloetzke

This week I talked with Chase Kloetzke, a MUFON member who was involved with their STAR Team and their Special Assignment Team, which are sort of quick reaction forces designed to get to the scene of a UFO event quickly. Although we talked a little about that, we eventually talked about one of her weird experiences as a field investigator and member of the SAT that took place in Tennessee. You can listen to the interview here:

Although there wasn’t much detail provided for the sighting, a google search did provide some additional interviews and information about the case. You can find that here:

But, as they say, it isn’t all rainbows and kittens. There are some negative comments out there as well. To be an informed person, you should take a look at one or two of them. The nastiest is here:

Given that there isn’t actually a corroborative witness that is named and that one of the investigators who was there said that she saw nothing on the ground, I wondered if what she glimpsed might have been a trick played by a very bright flashlight in a very dark field. This was why I mentioned the Chiles-Whitted case and some of the meteor videos that play on YouTube.

Next weeks' guest: Lance Moody
Topic: UFO Skepticism

John Keel was Right - Another New Roswell Witness

Well, it’s happened again, just as John Keel said it would. As I have mentioned before, Keel had written in 1991 that by the end of the century (meaning going into the 21st century) there would be dozens of people, if not hundreds, claiming to have been in Roswell at the time of the UFO crash. Another one has appeared on the scene by the name of Charles H. Forgus, a soldier who served during the Second World War and who was a deputy sheriff in 1947. No, he wasn’t a deputy in Roswell but one in Big Spring, Texas, which is Howard County.

Here’s how this plays out. According to him, he, with the Sheriff in Big Spring, had traveled to Roswell to pick up a prisoner. While they were on their way, they heard, over the police radio, about the flying saucer crash. They drove out to the site, saw hundreds of soldiers, though Forgus didn’t know which branch of the service they were in (the US Army on their fatigues should have been a big clue), and saw a huge disk crashed into the side of a mountain.

He was asked if there were lights on the craft and he said, “No, they went out when it banged into the wall in the creek. It was like a mountain on the side of the creek.” (Though I’m not sure how he would have known that the lights went out when it hit because he wasn’t there.)

He also said, “We couldn’t see that well because of the trees. It was in a riverbank. It slammed into a river bank. I saw them lifting one up with the crane.”

I recognized the place he was talking about. I had been there, I had walked the land and I knew that there was no creek or river there but from the picture that had been printed in The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell, it looked as if there was. You can see for yourself that his description matches the picture except for the water.

He added, “The saucer hit the bank on this side of the creek and I was standing on the other side of the bank, at the top of the hill. I was looking down at the site…” (This is the point of view of the picture.)

Kaufmann's alleged crash site. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.

This is what Frank Kaufmann had said as well. Same description of the craft having hit the side of the canyon wall near what looked like a creek or river. Of course, we all know that Kaufmann’s testimony has been discredited. And if Forgus is describing the scene as if he was standing on a cliff some distance away, then his tale is bogus as well.

Forgus added some detail that is interesting, but also somewhat contradictory. I know this because I have been to that place. From where he was allegedly standing, he said he could see the bodies, though he didn’t have a good description of them. He talked about the big eyes. He said, “They eyes looked like the ones we see on television and the pictures of them.”

But he was so far away, according to him, it is difficult to believe that he would have seen the eyes. The real clue is about having seen alien creatures on television. He just picked the most popular version of the aliens to describe.

Here’s another nugget. According to several of the witnesses, and this includes CIC agent, Bill Rickett, William Woody and former part owner of KGFL radio Jud Roberts, the roads out to the area had been blocked and the crash site was cordoned off. Forgus and his sheriff wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere near the site before they would have been stopped by the military. Forgus made it clear that the military was already there with hundreds of soldiers, a big crane and trucks to remove the craft (Can you say “Alien Autopsy?”). If that is true, then the cordons were up and a sheriff from Texas wouldn’t have been allowed to penetrate it. He and Forgus would have been stopped before they got close enough to see anything at all simply because they weren’t military, they weren’t the local law enforcement and they had no legal authority in New Mexico.

The other part of the story that fails is that they heard about this on the police radio, which seems unlikely, but even if that had been true, they wouldn’t have heard instructions on how to find the place. You can’t see it from the main roads, and the gravel and dirt roads into the area are quite rough and quite confusing. If you don’t know where you are going, you’d get lost. Without someone leading them in, or precise directions which wouldn’t have been broadcast, they would never have found their way to the crash site.

This story was uncovered by Philip Mantle and was told to Deanna Bever in 1999, a Los Angeles private investigator. The tale appears in the book, UFOs Today: 70 Years of Lies, Disinformation and Government Cover-Up by Irena McCammon Scott, Ph.D. and published by Flying Disk Press. It was edited by Philip Mantle.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - John Burroughs

John Burroughs, of Rendlesham Forest fame, was my guest. We focused, quite naturally, on the December, 1980, sightings there and what all happened from his perspective. You can listen to the program here:

John Burroughs
I, for a long time, had been confused about the number of days over which the events took place. I had asked Jim Penniston, John Burroughs and Charles Halt that very question and I believe I now know the answer. There were events on three days. On two of them, the first and the last, several members of the security force were involved, and on the middle day, there were only two people were ventured outside the perimeter. From Penniston’s point of view, there were but two days. He and Burroughs were involved on them. But, from the overall perspective (or to get overly punny about it, from A Different Perspective) there were three days. In their book, Encounter in Rendlesham Forest, it is laid out so that all this becomes clearer.

I did ask about the interrogations, but John said he had no real memories of this. He did acknowledge that he had undergone hypnotic regression in an attempt to remember more of what had happened. And we learned, of course, that he now receives VA compensation for service connected disabilities.

This interview is in stark contrast to those provided by Charles Halt. And there are still questions about what had happened, but the real story here might be the reaction of the authorities to the events rather than the events themselves.

Next weeks’ guest: Chase Kloetzke

Topic: MUFON’s Special Assignment Team

Thursday, April 06, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Alex Tsakiris

This week, my friends at Anomalist Books put me in touch with Alex Tsakiris who wrote, Why Science is Wrong … about Almost Everything. The book wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. It was about things that would be more normally found in the world of the paranormal but with a scientific slant to it. While we began talking about consciousness, or rather the nature of it, we evolved quickly into a discussion of Darwin and evolution (yes, I did that on purpose), past lives and eventually Near Death Experiences. I pressed him on the scientific research and publication in peer-reviewed journals, and to learn who were the scientists who are studying these phenomena. He provided answers that included the names and universities and corporations that sponsored some of the research. You can listen to the program here:

Because some of the topics were complicated and we couldn’t do justice to them in the hour we had, I asked for some links to articles and he provided the following:


And for those who might be interested, I did a book on Near Death Experiences some twenty or so years ago, so it might be slightly out of date and when talking about past lives, and I did a book, Conversations, several years ago that has a unique twist on all this. You can find it on Amazon, of course.

Next week’s guest: John Burroughs

Topic: Rendlesham Forest, quite naturally… if you have questions, let me know.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Aliens and Rhinoplasty

The other day as I was working on something else, I came across a note that triggered (or in today’s world, with triggered having degenerated into a political term, maybe I should say inspired… or inclined, but I digress…) a random thought or two. The discussion centered on the Barney and Betty Hill abduction and the comment suggested that the tale was based in reality because it had remained so consistent throughout the years. This wasn’t quite accurate and I thought I would comment on it.

In The Interrupted Journey, Betty Hill, in the Appendix, in which her dreams about the abduction are recalled in detail tells us about the alien creatures she saw. These are notes from her dreams, as written down by her and, “…are printed here for those readers who would like to compare in detail the content of her dreams with her recall of the amnesic period as it came out under hypnosis.”

Jimmy Durante and his
On page 298 of the hardback edition of the book, she wrote (or said) of the aliens, “Their chests are larger than ours; their noses were larger (longer) [parentheses in the original] than the average size although I have seen people with noses like theirs – like Jimmy Durante’s.”

But now, it seems that the description is more in line with the grays from the Zeta Reticuli star system. Little noses that are more like slits rather than noses. So, what happened here?

A Zeta Reticulan?
Well, it seems that the look of the alien creatures has evolved over time. We can blame Whitley Strieber for some of it. The cover of Transformation seems to have cemented the large-eyed, big-headed, nearly noseless aliens into our consciousness so that here, in the US, that is the dominant alien… but not so much in other parts of the world. I draw no conclusion here, merely point out something that I have noticed.

Friday, March 31, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Larry Lawson

This week I chatted with Larry Lawson, who hosts the Paranormal Stakeout show on the X-Zone Broadcast Network. We talked about ghost sightings and some of those that he thought were good examples of the phenomenon, about the definition of this apparitions, and some of the assumptions made by others. We also talked about levels of evidence, the gathering of that evidence, and what forms it would take. You can listen to the show here:

Some of the more important points came about as Larry talked of the investigations he had conducted, some of the things that he had seen, and what prompted his interest in ghost hunting and the paranormal. Time didn’t allow us to get into the types of equipment used, other than briefly, but we did talk about some of that. And we talked about how perceptions can sometimes be blurred by the belief structure of the witness.

You can learn more about Larry and his work at:

Next week’s guest is Alex Tsakiris

The topic: “Why Science Is Wrong… About Almost Everything.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chiles, Whitted, Turbulence and Ed Ruppelt

Yes, I thought we would revisit the Chiles-Whitted sighting just one more brief time. As I was working on something else, I happened to thumb through Ed Ruppelt’s book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects when something about the Chiles-Whitted sighting caught my eye. These guys were airline pilots who suggested a cigar-shaped object had flashed by their aircraft. In the hours that followed they said that there had been no turbulence associated with the sighting but they also said that there had been turbulence. It was a case of taking the position which most closely matched your own belief structure because a solid case could be made from either position.

About the sighting (see pages 57 – 58 in his book), Ruppelt wrote, “Just as the UFO flashed by about 700 feet to the right, the DC-3 hit turbulent air. Whitted looked back just as the UFO pulled up in a steep climb.”
Does this change anything?

Not really. Ruppelt was working from the Blue Book file, and that information is in the file. There are also indications that someone there (Hynek?) thought that a bolide would explain the sighting and that the turbulence was nothing more than imagination, like the double row of brightly lighted windows.

I have to say that while I lean toward the bolide explanation, especially after the Zond IV reentry confusion in 1968, and having seen those compilations of meteor falls on YouTube, there is just enough here to make you wonder. There aren’t actually additional witnesses to that craft or that bolide and that leaves the door open however slightly. If you ask me, I would cautiously say that they saw a bolide that was bigger and brighter than other meteors they’d seen at night, but in the back of my mind there would still be a sliver of doubt.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Lorna Hunter

This week I talked with Lorna Hunter of The International Paranormal Society about UFOs in Minnesota, especially the sighting known as the Tin Can Man, and Val Johnson’s encounter that left his patrol car damaged and, of course, we did get into the Paranormal briefly. You can listen to it here:

To learn more about her work in the Paranormal, you can find it here:

We talked about the UFO landing in Minnesota on October 23, 1965, in which the witness said that he had seen a “Buck Rogers” type spaceship, or maybe I should say, something more like a V-2, that had landed on its fins on a Minnesota highway. Under it were several little moving objects that were no bigger than Coke cans. They disappeared into the ship and it took off. The Air Force investigated but decided the sighting was the result of psychological problems. If you go to search the Project Blue Book databases, you’ll need to use Lone Prairie, Minnesota rather than the actual Long Prairie. You can see more about the Tin Can Man here:

Next week’s guest: Larry Lawson

Topic: Yes, we move again into the world of the Paranormal.

Friday, March 17, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - David Halperin

As I was doing research for another project, I had occasion to look up information on the Glassboro, UFO landing, and that lead me to David Halperin. He was the guest on A Different Perspective, the radio show. You can listen to it here:

We talked about the Glassboro landing, which he had investigated at the time, though as a teenager interested in UFOs rather than an adult with a predetermined bias. His investigation suggested to him that it was real, but events overtook him and within months, the case was an admitted hoax. He was, of course, disappointed about that, but it was the conclusion that the Air Force had reached, though NICAP had pronounced the case “Impressive.”

The NICAP U.F.O Investigator for September/October 1964 carried a front-page story about the landing including several pictures of their investigator and of the New Jersey State Police examining the landing site. The story, as told by NICAP, the Air Force and the newspapers, was that two men saw a red UFO slowly descending, land and then take off several minutes later. When it was gone, they searched the woods and found a crater with landing gear impressions around it. They never came forward to officially report the sighting but did tell two boys who were fishing about what they had seen. Those boys, in turn, told their father, Ward Campbell, who was the local NICAP representative.

This is the picture that I mention to
David with the State Troopers
looking into the crater.
From that point the story got out and Campbell quickly investigated and according to the U.F.O Investigator, “…established the facts which challenged the later Air Force conclusion that the case was a hoax perpetrated by youngsters in the area.”

The Air Force did investigate as required by Air Force regulations that were in effect at the time. Before they arrived, the sightseers (which would include a whole bunch of self-announced UFO investigators) had trampled the area. The Air Force, after their investigation and according to NICAP, finding “…three bubblegum wrappers, the remains of a cherry bomb and four footprints made by a pair of Ked sneakers… [and that it was] further claimed that the Air Force personnel, using elaborate camera equipment, had identified two teenage hoaxers by photographing the crowd.”

Then according to NICAP, “On September 30, newspapers reported the Air Force had called the case a hoax… The absurdity of this conclusion is apparent.”

But NICAP didn’t report that in January, one of the boys who had been involved in the hoax (not the two sons of Campbell), Michael Hallowitz, was fined fifty bucks for perpetrating the hoax, but all that was suspended. He did have to pay ten dollars court costs. He explained how he had done it and that he had the help of two others.

While you all might disagree with the Air Force conclusion, and you might notice that NICAP wasn’t above a little hyperbole in their condemnation of the Air Force, you can listen to Halperin give his tale of investigating the case and his disappointment when he learned it was a hoax. Just goes to show that the Air Force did, once in a while, get it right.

We also talked about his book, Journal of a UFO Investigator, which he described as a work of fiction, but that real world elements in it. The book does seem to give a glimpse into the world of flying saucers as it existed some fifty years ago.

Next week’s guest: Lorna Hunter

Topic: Minnesota UFO Sightings and Investigations.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Brenda McClurkin, University of Texas, Arlington Special Collections

Veering away from UFOs, sort of, I spoke with Brenda McClurkin of the Special Collections at the University of Texas at Arlington library about their, well, special collection. We learned that there were over four million negatives held in their state-of-the-art, climate controlled vault. You can listen to the interview here:

Ramey, DuBose and the
infamous sheet of paper.
Copyright: University of Texas
at Arlington, Special Collections.
Although the point was to talk about the investigation of the Ramey Memo, which is a photograph of Brigadier General Roger Ramey in his office holding a piece of paper we did deviate from that somewhat. We talked about the photographer, J. Bond Johnson, who had been sent there because a wire service story said that debris from a flying saucer found near Roswell was being sent to Ramey. From that we can deduce that the memo relates to that Roswell in some fashion. Attempts to read the memo have met with various degrees of success and it had been hoped that the latest attempt, using the latest equipment, software, and examined by experts in forensic photographic analysis might be able to provide a definite answer about the memo. That didn’t happen.

For those who would like to see the “Roswell” negatives for themselves, they are available on line here:

For those who are interested other aspects of this, we talked about the Alamo because of some of the items held in their collection, the history of the Texas Revolution and the historical significance of other things that they housed. We also talked about the procedure to visit the Special Collections… and for those of you who might want to see the original Ramey negatives, I will point out that you have to give them at least twenty-four hours notice so that they can remove the negatives from the vault and allow them time to adjust, slowly to the higher temperature and other climate factors outside the vault.

Next week’s show: David Halperin

Topic: I had originally contacted him about the Glassboro, New Jersey UFO landing but we’ll also talk about his book, Journal of a UFO Investigator.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Project Blue Book and Fold3

While chatting with Barry Greenwood on the radio version of A Different Perspective, we got around to talking about Fold3. This is a web site that houses tens of thousands if not millions of documents that have historic and military information. Most of the Project Blue Book files are included and those interested can “join” the web site for free to have access to those files. Other aspects of the site require a paid membership, but the Blue Book files are there for free.

Greenwood said that the site was sometimes a little difficult to navigate and I know that I’d had trouble with I before. The way it had been designed displayed everything one page at a time with buttons that allowed you to move one page or five pages forward or backward. It was unhandy and sometimes confusing, especially if you were searching for something in particular but didn’t have precise information.

But I’ve had reason to use the site again recently and it has changed. It allows you to type in the specific case and takes you to it. Rather than having to navigate through a long file, especially those that contain multiple copies the AF Form 117, which is that long UFO sighting report form that seems to go on forever, a search canould be quite trying. But now, the whole file is displayed in small pages on the right side of the screen that allows you to jump to the documents you want.

The point is that the whole thing has been redesigned for ease of use. So, while it was once painfully slow, everything has been sped up. The new design (though it might not be all that new) is more user friendly and makes searching for specific cases simpler. At one time, I could say that I had a complete set of the Blue Book files on microfilm at my house. Now, everyone can make that claim because of Fold3 and the Internet.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Chasing Footnotes: The Chiles-Whitted Cigar... Again

As so often happens, I’m doing research on one thing and stumble onto something else that is interesting. Such is the case today. I was looking through Dick Hall’s The UFO Evidence when I noticed something that struck me as incorrect so I thought I would chase a footnote or two.

Hall wrote that the Chiles-Whitted UFO sighting on July 23, 1948, involved a physical manifestation which, in this case, was turbulence that rocked the aircraft. Both men reported they had seen a cigar-shaped craft that flashed by their airliner very early in the morning. Hall’s reference took us to Section V of his book, and noted that the Air Force contested the belief that there had been turbulence. The footnote said, “For additional details see Flying, July 1950; Saturday Evening Post, May 7, 1949.

Timothy Good in his Above Top Secret, wrote that Chiles said, “It [the UFO] veered to its left and passed us about 700 feet to our right and above us. Then, as if the pilot had seen us and wanted to avoid us, it pulled up with a tremendous burst of flame from the rear and zoomed into the clouds, its prop wash or jet wash rocking our DC-3.”

The trouble here is that in some of the first interviews conducted with Chiles and Whitted by military officials, they mentioned nothing about any sort of turbulence associated with the object. In a statement prepared by Chiles on August 3, 1948, and originally classified as “secret,” he wrote, “After it passed it pulled up into some light broken clouds and was lost from view. There was no prop wash or rough air felt as it passed.”

Whitted also provided a statement which is undated but is in his own words. He said, “We heard no noise nor did we fell any turbulence from the object.”

At some point after these statements were taken, the idea that there had been turbulence was introduced. I wasn’t sure when the idea there was turbulence was introduced but both Hall and Good mention it. Hall, in his The UFO Evidence, provided two sources and did mention that the Air Force rejected the idea. The important point here is that the case was classified so Hall did not have the benefit of those “official” interviews with the two pilots. He was working from the information in the NICAP files and from the two magazines he noted. The Saturday Evening Post article does not mention a thing about the turbulence. It gives a solid account of the sighting without that detail.

The Flying article that Hall referenced does contain the information. According to Curtis Fuller, who wrote the article, Chiles, quoted in a story written by Louis Blackburn of the Houston Press, said, “Then, as if the pilot had seen us and wanted to avoid us, it pulled up with a tremendous burst of flame from the rear and zoomed into the clouds, its prop wash or jet wash rocking our DC-3.”

Although I don’t have a copy of the Houston Press article, I do have another written by Albert Riley in the Atlanta Constitution. There is no date on the clipping, which was part of the Blue Book files, but the first paragraph mentioned the sighting “yesterday morning,” which does, of course provide a time frame. It contains the quote, “Then, as if the pilot had seen us and wanted to avoid us, it pulled up with a tremendous burst of flame from the rear and zoomed into the clouds, its prop wash or jet wash rocking our DC-3.”

And, I have another newspaper article that has no source (United Press in the dateline) but does include a date of July 24, 1948. In a quote that might be a little more invention than reality, it said that their DC-3 fluttered in the “prop-wash, jet-was or rocket-wash.”

Timothy Good quotes Chiles, but there is no footnote on the quote and the footnote on the next paragraph leads to The Coming of the Saucers by Ray Palmer and Kenneth Arnold. It doesn’t provide any solid information. I suspect his information will ultimately chase back to the Houston Press article that was quoted in Flying.

My original point here was going to be that this idea of a prop-wash had been added sometime later based on the documentation found in the Blue Book files. These were the statements allegedly signed by the witnesses but that isn’t exactly the case. Given that some of the information is redacted we are unable to see if there is a signature on Chiles statement rather than just a typed name and there is no place on Whitted’s statement for a signature which leaves us with a question or two. It does seem that within hours, they were talking about prop-wash, but all the quotes are basically the same suggesting a single source. And their statements to the Air Force, originally classified as “secret” suggest no turbulence.

It is clear that their statements are contradictory. They were all made within hours of the event. Chiles’ statement for the Air Force was completed and apparently signed days later but the newspaper quotes are from hours later. I had thought that we had a clear-cut case of embellishment based on the first statements found in the Blue Book files, but that isn’t true. We might suggest a bias by UFO researchers sometime later in adding the turbulence as an additional effect of the passing object but that isn’t correct. We might say the Air Force induced them to make the comments about no turbulence but there is no evidence of that. Given that both pilots mentioned no turbulence in their Air Force statements, I suspect both were asked the question about it during those interviews.

There really is no solution for this dilemma. I would say that the earlier statements, taken in the hours after the event are probably the most accurate, but it seems that they made both comments within hours of the sighting. In 1948, the Air Force was actually attempting to learn more about the flying saucers and the reporters who interviewed the pilots were trying to get a good but accurate story. In the final analysis, all I can say is that they mentioned turbulence and said that there had been none. Pick the quote that fits best into your own bias because I have no idea which is accurate.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Barry Greenwood

Barry Greenwood
Barry Greenwood was the guest on this week’s program. Barry is one of the UFO field’s historians, preserving the documentation that has been accumulated over the years, including the periodicals that were professionally produced (magazines) and the newsletters and other printed material from the civilian UFO organizations. You can find the interview here:

(A side note … this is the American Talk Network rather than the YouTube site… all the programs are stored here in chronological order so that you can access the older programs more easily than you could on YouTube.)

Given what Colonel Halt had said last week, and since Barry with his partner Larry Fawcett were the ones who brought the Rendlesham Forest case into focus in the U.S., we did talk about that, learning a little more about Larry Warren’s role in it and some of the things that Warren had done and said in the past. This included the controversial picture he circulated not all that long ago that showed an Air Force A-10 attack jet with a UFO over it at the Bendwaters base. According to Barry, the picture had been manipulated because in an older version of that picture, there was no UFO in it.

I did ask if there were some UFO cases that he thought of as interesting and he mentioned the Levelland UFO landings from November 1957. While the Air Force attempted, at one time to suggest the sightings were the result of ball lightning, it is clear that the answer is inadequate given the number of reports from independent sources.

For those interested, the following photographs were taken in the Levelland area at the sites where the UFO was reported to have landed.

Pedro Saucido landing site.
FM 1490, the scene of the Clem and Long sightings.
Highway 114, the scene of the Wheeler and Wright sightings.

On the edge of Levelland, Texas. All photographs of the area are
copyright of Kevin Randle.

Next week’s guest: Brenda Mcclurkin, UTA Special Collections

Topic: The Ramey Memo and the University of Texas at Arlington’s role in the latest attempt to read it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Curse of Oak Island - This Blog's Season Finale (I hope)

Back more years than I care to think about, while I was still on active duty in the Army, I bought a book, This Baffling World by John Godwin. It contained information on thirteen mysteries from about the world. I bought the book because of the segment on UFOs, but other segments were about Bermuda Triangle, the abominable snowman (Big Foot in the world today) and, importantly here, Oak Island. This was my introduction to the treasure and it was the source of my interest. Oh, for those of you keeping score at home, the book was published in 1968.

From that point, I kept an eye out for information about Oak Island, though it wasn’t as important to me as UFOs. I did read some magazine articles and I found a book, The Big Dig: The $10 Million Search for Oak Island’s Legendary Treasure, by D’Arcy O’Conner, published in paperback in 1988. This book provided more information about the original find and the history of those who had attempted to get at the treasure. And, in the first edition, published in 1978, there was a discussion about the attempt to gather the funds to truly explore the island and get the treasure. There were plans to dig a hole and use old railroad tank cars with the ends cut off to line the hole in an attempt to defeat the booby traps.

The bibliography contained a list of magazine articles that had been published and in the pre-Internet days, I used the bound periodicals in the University of Iowa Library to read some of them when I had the chance. I was quite interested in what happened to the ten–million-dollar plan to get the treasure back in the 1980s. It seemed that a stock market crash had dried up the funds and the “big dig” was put on hold… permanently it turned out.

Given what I had read in those books and magazine articles, it seemed to me that there was some kind of treasure buried on the island. The drain system that was supposedly found, and the coconut fiber suggesting one of the beaches was artificial, seemed to underscore the theory and offer evidence of something strange. Everything suggested the treasure had been just out of reach of those who came earlier and that technology, improving from picks and shovels to machinery would allow the hunters to find the treasure. Then there was Dan Blankenship’s tantalizing finds at the bottom of Bore Hole 10X made it seem all the more real. He had a video tape that seemed to suggest artifacts and a body some 200 feet below the surface of the island.

When I saw the first ads for The Curse of Oak Island I thought we might finally get the answer. So, I was sucked in and disappointed as they didn’t seem to get anywhere, other than trips to Europe and side issues of Knights Templar and all that other nonsense they have explored. Some of it was interesting but had little do to with getting at the treasure.

Over the years, or seasons now, they have done nothing to prove there is a treasure. It is clear that Dan Blankenship and Fred Nolan believed there was a treasure and it is clear the Rick and Marty Lagina believe there is a treasure, but belief is not proof and proof is not what they have. They threw dye into one of the holes as had been done decades earlier in an attempt to identify the booby trap system, but the dye didn’t show up anywhere and while it is obvious that the water in the various holes is sea water they found no evidence of a drain system. They hired a professional diver who reached the bottom of Bore Hole 10X and the things that we had heard for decades were hidden down there weren’t. No human remains. No chest. No tools. Just an uneven floor that suggested a natural cavern linked to the ocean rather than something created by humans to hide their treasure.

They have pulled nothing from all the holes they dug that has any real value. The coins they found, one of them Spanish from centuries ago and the others from England, were on the surface and found with metal detectors. They only proved that someone had lost them a long time ago but not that there was any treasure.

The big discoveries seem to be a rewriting of the history. Samuel Ball might have been one of the boy, men, who found the original money pit. That does change the history somewhat… but the biggest reveal might have been from three sisters who said they were direct descendants from Daniel McGinnis, one of the three who found the money pit in the first place. The sisters said that three chests had been found. They had a small cross that was said to be very old and probably of Spanish origin and part of that original treasure. If this is true; then the treasure is gone and all we have is an interesting story that will have no resolution because the treasure is gone.

Actually, if there was ever a treasure hidden on Oak Island, I believe that it is long gone. If the boys didn’t get it back in the 18th century, I suspect someone else did. They just don’t find anything other than the evidence of others working the island which proves only that others have worked the island. Each time they tell us something interesting is coming, it isn’t all the interesting and gives us no real hope they’ll find a treasure. The only treasure to be found is for those who own the equipment used to dig, those who are making the TV show and those who appear on it. There is no Spanish gold, there are no the lost manuscripts of William Shakespeare, the lost religious icons from the ancient world or the lost French crown jewels (which I think they mentioned once or twice long ago). There is nothing to be found but if they keep digging holes all over the place the island is liable to sink which might be something fun to watch (though not to those who houses and land on the island). 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - The Return of Charles Halt

For the first time, this week, I invited a guest back to discuss some of the things that we didn’t get to last time. Colonel Charles Halt, who was at Bentwaters, near the Rendlesham Forest, had wanted to discuss some of the misinformation or maybe more accurately, disinformation that had come out about the case. You can listen to both the Halt program here:

and here: 

First, though not necessarily first in the program, I wanted to make sure that Halt accepted the idea that what he had seen was not the lighthouse. He was quite
Charles Halt
clear about that point and also mentioned that the object (or objects) had been tracked on radar. He said that the tapes and other records from the control had been confiscated after the event… and that CIA agents had been to the base within hours of the first sighting.

Second, we talked about some of the problems with the tales told by Larry Warren. Although Warren had been give credit by some for breaking the story, Halt suggested that it was known in England before Warren talked with Barry Greenwood and Larry Fawcett about it. Had Warren not talked about it, they story would have gotten out, and it was already known to some researchers in England.

Third, according to Halt, Warren had appropriated the stories of two or three of the men who had actually been out in the forest on the nights of the incidents. Warren, at least according to Halt, had not been authorized to go into the field given that his training and certification had not been completed. Warren, rather than being in the field, was, in fact in the barracks (though he had told Russ Estes that he had been on a pass to Germany on two of the days that sightings had been made).

Finally, we talked about the interrogations that had gone on in the days that followed the event. This all provides an interesting contrast to some of what has been published in the last several years… and you learn Halt’s opinion on the various books that have been published.
Next week’s guest: Barry Greenwood

Topic: UFO History

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Curse of Oak Island - Season 4 Finale (sort of)

Well, that certainly was a disappointment. After a week of teasing us with the discovery of a gold coin from deep in the fourth hole they dug, and with their archaeological expert (Dr. Lori and whose last name I didn’t write down) saying that it was an important discovery, we finally learn the truth. It wasn’t a gold coin but a gold-plated button and Dr. Lori wasn’t talking about the button when she talked about the amazing artifact but about the cross that a couple of the McGinnis sisters had which had been handed down through several generations. We’d seen it before.

Or, in other words, the tease had been deceptively created to give a false impression that something very important had finally been found during their dig, pointing to a treasure in the Money Pit. That wasn’t the case.

In the two-hour season finale, we got the same old tired rhetoric that they were on the verge of finding proof that there was a treasure hidden in the Money Pit. And when the two, somewhat boring hours were over, they had found nothing to prove there was a treasure, only that lots of people had spent lots of time, lots of effort and lots of money to come up with just a few, tiny gold relics, some old British coins, and lots of wood that had been used in all the other attempts to find the treasure.

The most important revelation, which had been made before, was when the McGinnis sisters returned. One of the three had died of cancer and the remaining two had a small, glass globe with some of her ashes in it to be buried on the island. And while I certainly emphasize with them for their loss, it wasn’t actually relevant to the hunt for the treasure.

They also brought with them that small, gold cross that they had shown to the Lagina boys some time ago, saying that it was part of the treasure recovered by their ancestor. But here’s the thing, or rather two things. First, if what they say is true, then the treasure is gone, found by that ancestor and his two pals, and second, there really is nothing to prove that the cross came from a huge treasure trove. Their expert, Dr. Lori, said that it was old, of a style that suggested it was of Spanish origin, and that at one time it was covered by jewels (emeralds) that had been removed.

Once we have disposed of this, and seemingly forgotten about the gold-plated button, they returned to continue their digging which reportedly has cost three or four million this year alone. They keep pulling up wood until they hit a metal obstruction that others had reported in the past and had failed to penetrate. But in the world today there are methods that weren’t available a century ago and they break through. They had pulled up pieces of metal that might have protected or been part of equipment used in those earlier excavations. They don’t know what they have other than it doesn’t seem to be modern and a suggestion that it is not from a treasure but from the search of others for the treasure.

Having penetrated the metal obstruction, they continued down but had to stop because their casing which guided the equipment wasn’t long enough to protect the equipment. In other words, they could lose a valuable piece of equipment and the owner/operator didn’t want to take the risk. Digging, for the season, was over.

They did pull up another bit of metal that was bent in the middle and had several holes in it. Again, they thought it looked old. They returned to Dr. Lori who told them that the piece of metal was just the sort of thing they would use on treasure chests back in the time of pirates and chests of gold. The problem, as I understood it, was that the metal would be used on all sorts of chests including those storing clothes and other personal but not necessarily valuable items. On Oak Island, everything is related to pirates, treasures or the Knights Templar.

Dr. Lori looked at other things they had found including the spike that she identified as part of an old sailing ship which also suggested pirates, the old coins which were established as British, and then learned about the wooden planks and parts found in the swamp. This seemed to underscore the theory that a ship had been sunk into the swamp centuries ago which bolstered Dan Blankenship’s theory that they hid the treasure, or parts of it, in plain sight.

So, let’s recap the four years of digging, diving, traveling, exploring (and maybe throw in some stuff that went on decades and centuries ago). They have found lots of wood from other attempts to find the money. They remind us that there was a stone found at the 90-foot level that had strange makings on it but that no one bothered to photograph and that has since disappeared. There was a three-link gold chain of which we do have pictures. And then all the stuff that is not particularly valuable or relevant for us. Nothing that proves there is treasure on the island, only that people have been there for centuries, many of them looking for the treasure.

I don’t know how much money has been spent, I do not know what the Laginas or any of the others are paid for being on the show and I don’t believe they will ever find anything of value because there is nothing of value to find. Had they taken the money and invested it in blue chip stocks or even money market or savings accounts (and with the amount of money they had, they could have hit some very favorable rates) they would have made a great deal more.

Next season they will be back but I’m not sure (with the exception of the Blankenships) if they still believe they will find anything of value. It might just be for the excitement of doing a TV show, getting a nice summer vacation without having to pay for it, and getting a nice check for being a reality TV star. If there is money to be made on Oak Island, it is in the TV show and in any books that are written about it and not treasure from the Incas or the Aztecs or the Knights Templar or the Spanish pirates or British pirates. As I have said, the real treasure is in the TV show and not the ground.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

BG Schulgen and His Memo

The other day Fran Ridge who hosts the NICAP web site, posted the following to members of the list:

I just wanted to ask all of you if you consider the ACTUAL Shulgen memo as indicative of Roswell knowledge.

3. Items of Construction

a. Type of material, whether metal, ferrous, non-ferrous, or non-metallic.

b. Composite or sandwich construction utilizing various combinations of metals, plastics, and perhaps balsa wood.

c. Unusual fabrication methods to achieve extreme light weight and structural stability particularly in connection with great capacity for fuel storage.

It is a complicated question and one that caused me a lot of thought. For example, why would this mention balsa wood? It is not a suitable material for constructing aircraft, except for models. It is light weight but not very strong. Why would they
include it in a list of materials used in the construction of any aircraft expect for some small, internal components though I can’t think of any them.

For the first part, the question about the type of material seems to be straight forward and we all know that metals, both ferrous and non-ferrous have been used in the construction of aircraft. Plastics, wood, and other material have also been used. Aircraft from the early days were often had a wooden frame covered with canvas or other clothe-like materials and then painted. By the time of the Schulgen memo (Schulgen was a brigadier general who had an interest in flying disks and was responsible for an early staff study of them that results in the Twining letter), aircraft were mostly metal and far more powerful and complex than those from the beginning of flight.

When I look at the third part, about the unusual fabrication methods, I can still see this as responding to some of the information that might have been captured during the Second World War and later from some of the work done by Soviet scientists. This might be a response to what the Nazis had attempted to develop, especially in their desire to attack the United States where weight and fuel would be a real consideration.

Where I stumble is this mention of balsa wood. While the idea of composites has been around for, literally, centuries, their use in the construction of aircraft, seems to be a natural outgrowth of the search for light weight, strong materials. All of this can be seen as thinking of a terrestrial nature and need not to have been inspired by anything recovered at Roswell… that is, until we hit the balsa wood.

If the Roswell answer, or rather the recovery of debris, included balsa wood strips, and if the nature of the recovery was not immediately understood, then a question about balsa makes some sense. But then you move to the rawin targets, which did include balsa structural members and there was nothing extraordinary or secret about their use in connection with balloon flights. They were being used by weather offices all over the United States.

Everything there makes sense when looking at terrestrial craft with the exception of the balsa wood. Some of those who handled the debris recovered at Roswell commented on the light weight, strong material they held. Bill Brazel said that it was light, like balsa wood, but extremely tough and was certainly not balsa.

So, the one point that stands out here is the reference to balsa. There are a couple of reasons to include that note, one suggesting a balloon as the solution and another that suggests something very advanced. In one case, I don’t see Schulgen as including it on the list because it would be clear that it was unsuitable for any sort of manned craft. On the other hand, if we’re talking about something that was balsa like, then that might suggest a connection to Roswell.

But in the end, I don’t think this is connected directly to Roswell. The information asked for is the sort of information you would expect in such an intelligence gathering function.