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Volume 46

The Skeptics UFO Newsletter

Philip J. Klass

July 1, 1997

This volume is available as a PDF file. Download »

New Research Suggests Kenneth Arnold’s UFOs Were Meteor-Fireballs

Recent research by San Francisco Examiner science writer Keay Davidson—sparked by a conversation with SUN’s editor—suggests that the stream of “Unidentified Flying Objects” reported 50 years ago by private pilot Kenneth Arnold—which triggered the UFO era—may have been glowing meteor-fireball fragments. Davidson learned from a recent book on meteors ("Rocks from Space”) authored by O. Richard Norton, that the number of meteorite falls reaches a peak around 3 p.m. Arnold’s sighting occurred around 3 p.m. In the northern hemisphere, the greatest number of meteorite entries reported over 160 years (1800 to 1960) occur during the month of June. Arnold’s historic sighting occurred on the 24th of June, 1947.

Arnold said his attention was first attracted to the UFOs “when a bright flash reflected on my airplane.” In Arnold’s report to the Air Force, he said that “two or three of them every few seconds would dip or change their course slightly, just enough for the sun to strike them at an angle that reflected brightly on my plane." (Emphasis added.) Understandably, Arnold assumed that the objects were metal craft reflecting the sunlight.

The flight crew of American Airlines’ eastbound flight #112, flying at 39,000 ft. on June 5, 1969, around 6 p.m., had a similar encounter with a squadron of four UFOs coming out of the east which appeared to be on a near-collision course. The brightness of the four objects was also assumed to be a reflection of the sun off metal objects. This “squadron of UFOs” also was reported by the flight crew of an eastbound United Airlines jetliner, flying at 37,000 ft., eight miles behind American, and also by an eastbound Air National Guard fighter pilot, flying at 41,000 ft., four miles behind United. The military pilot reported that the squadron of UFOs appeared to execute a climbing maneuver—seemingly to prevent a mid-air collision.

This 1969 incident would have become a classic “unexplained multiple-pilot UFO case” but for an alert newspaper photographer in Peoria, Ill., named Alan Harkrader, who managed to take a picture of the UFOs. Harkrader’s photo (see below) showed that the squadron of UFOs was really a fragmenting meteor- fireball. When a meteor enters the atmosphere at a speed of roughly 10,000 miles per hour, it electrifies (ionizes) the air and creates a long, luminous teardrop-shaped object. Meteor fragments generate similar luminous tails. (Harkrader’s photo shows only two objects, but he told me that while winding the film in the hope of getting a second shot, another fragment broke off and fell into trail. The incident occurred in broad daylight but Harkrader stopped-down the lens aperture to enhance contrast.) Analysis of Harkrader’s photo, which showed a nearby electric power line, plus numerous reports from ground observers, enabled the Smithsonian Center for Short-Lived Phenomena to determine the approximate trajectory of the fireball. Despite the fact that two senior airline flight crews and a military pilot believed that they had nearly collided with the squadron of UFOs near St. Louis, the Smithsonian scientists determined that the fireball trajectory was approximately 125 MILES NORTH OF ST. LOUIS.

THIS ST. LOUIS UFO CASE SHOWS THAT EVEN EXPERIENCED PILOTS WHO BRIEFLY SEE SOMETHING WHICH IS UNFAMILIAR CAN HAVE FLAWED RECOLLECTIONS OF WHAT THEY OBSERVED.

Numerous sightings of fireballs in late June resulting from debris from Comet Pons-Winnecke—called the “June Draconids” or “June Bootids"—were reported by David Swann of Dallax, Tex., in the April 1981 issue of Meteor News. Swann noted that the timing of “this meteor stream is June 27-30 with the visual maximum usually occurring on the morning of either June 28 or June 29. The velocity of these meteors is very slow....Several intense displays have been seen, most notable those of 1916, 1921, and 1927. The display of June 28, 1916, produced visual rates of 50-100 meteors per hour.” Swann reported six of his own fireball sightings between 1964 and 1971 which had been observed in the June 26-30 period, around or shortly after midnight.

Arnold’s Original Report

Because Arnold subsequently embellished his story slightly in his 1952 book “The Coming of the Saucers,” it is important to rely on his original account, as reported to the Air Force. Arnold originally emphasized that the length of the objects was about 20 times their width, which would match the long luminous tail of a meteor-fireball. Arnold commented: “What kept bothering me as I watched them flip and flash in the sun right along their path was the fact that I couldn’t make out any tail on them...” (Emphasis added.)

Arnold estimated that the total duration of the sighting “was around 2-1/2 to 3 minutes” but this must be considered only a “ball-park guestimate.” Witnesses are notoriously unreliable in estimating the time-duration of unexpected events. For example, on the night of Mar. 3, 1968, the flaming debris from a Soviet spacerocket reentry over the eastern part of the U.S. generated many UFO reports. Witness estimates of the duration of their observation ranged from less than 15 seconds to more than five minutes. Arnold claimed that “I remember distinctly that my sweep second hand on my instrument panel read one minute to 3 p.m. as the first object of the formation passed the southern edge of Mount Rainier” and that he remembered to look at his cockpit clock when the last object passed Mount Adams. SUN questions whether Arnold—who was focusing his attention on the unusual objects while also occupied flying his aircraft—would have taken his eyes off the objects to carefully observe his cockpit clock.

The visibility of a single meteor-fireball may be as brief as a few seconds, but a single large daylight fireball which passed over Rocky Mountain tourist areas on Aug. 10, 1972, was visible for about a minute. (One tourist managed to take 26 seconds of “home movie” before the fireball disappeared behind a nearby mountain.) However, a stream of several fireballs would be visible for a longer time. For example, a stream of three fireballs was seen by three observers on board the U.S.S. Supply near San Francisco on Feb. 28, 1904, at approximately 6:10 a.m. As reported in the March 1904 Monthly Weather Review, “The meteors were in sight over two minutes and were carefully observed by three people, whose accounts agree as to details.”

A very unusual meteor shower with many fireballs occurred on the night of Feb. 9, 1913, as reported in the May/June 1913 issue of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The article by C.A. Chant included a number of sketches of the stream of fireballs drawn by observers. One of these sketches is shown at right.

Observer estimates of the number of objects “ranged from 15 to thousands,” according to Chant. Based on estimates from many observers, Chant concluded that the parade of tadpole-shaped fireballs lasted for “perhaps 3.3 minutes.”

If a similar event were to occur today it might cause some observers who had seen the “Independence Day” movie to panic, fearing it was a UFO/ET invasion.

“Roswell Initiative” Sponsor Jeffrey Concludes: No Crashed Saucer

Kent Jeffrey, who got more than 20,000 persons to sign a “Roswell Initiative” petition asking President Clinton to release all classified UFO information in the hope that the “truth” about the incident could be known, has gone on record that he is now convinced that there was no Roswell crashed saucer—as predicted by SUN (#44/March 1997). Jeffrey’s candid report on what prompted him to change his views—partially the result of his own investigations— is detailed in a lengthy article slated for the new (June) issue of the MUFON UFO Journal.

Several months ago, when Jeffrey confided his new views to several Roswell researchers (including officials of the Hynek Center for UFO Studies) and explained what had prompted the change, he was sharply criticized and accused of “letting down” the many persons who had signed his Roswell Initiative. In Jeffrey’s MUFON article he explains: “With regard to reversing my stance, it is important to remember that the objective of the Roswell Initiative has been to find the truth, not to define it. Unfortunately, the truth turned out to be different from what I thought it might be, or hoped it would be. However, now that I am absolutely certain that the debris recovered from Roswell was not that from an extraterrestrial craft, I feel an obligation to get that information out as well. Not to do so would be less than forthright and less than honest.” (Emphasis added.) [SUN compliments MUFON for enabling Jeffrey to present his new views.]

Jeffrey, a senior pilot with a major U.S. airline, is best known in UFOlogical circles for his Roswell Initiative, but he has done considerable investigation on his own—funded out of his own pocket. For example, Jeffrey tried to help when he received a Mar. 20, 1993, letter from Roswell researcher Don Schmitt, which claimed he had located “another first-hand witness to the [ET] bodies. This brings our total to EIGHT with yet additional prospects.” Some of these (alleged) witnesses were formerly in the military and claimed they were reluctant to speak out because of the possible consequences for violating their security oaths. Jeffrey hired a Washington D.C. law firm at his own expense to send two of its lawyers to New Mexico to counsel Schmitt’s eight ET-body witnesses. But when they arrived in Roswell, there was only one witness—and his tale “was considered outlandish and unbelievable,” according to Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Is First To Interview Many Former Members Of 509th Bomb Group

Although Roswell book authors such as Schmitt, Kevin Randle, Stanton Friedman and Don Berliner brag about how many (alleged) witnesses they have interviewed, if they interviewed former members of the 509th Bomb Group based at Roswell in mid-1947, their books never quote their skeptical views on a crashed saucer. Jeffrey not only wrote to more than 700 former members of the 509th seeking any who might shed some light on the Roswell incident, but he attended their reunion last September in Tucson. As a result, Jeffrey has talked with 15 former B-29 pilots and two navigators who were based at Roswell in mid-1947. Not one of them had heard anything about recovery of an ET craft at the time, Jeffrey reports.

Jack Ingham, who spent 16 years with the 509th from early 1947 and retired as a Lt. Colonel, stressed to Jeffrey that “the 509th was a very close-knit group and there was no way an event as spectacular as the recovery of a crashed-alien spaceship from another world could have happened at their base without them having known about it."

In early January of this year, in an effort to use every available technique to enhance the recollections of Dr. Jesse Marcel about the debris that his father had brought back from the Brazel ranch and had shown to him 50 years ago, Jeffrey arranged for Marcel to undergo regressive hypnosis in Washington D.C. It was administered by Dr. Neal Hibler, who has achieved fame for his skill in using the technique for forensic purposes. (Jeffrey underwrote both the cost of Hibler’s services and the cost of bringing Marcel to Washington, along with his daughter who videotaped more than six hours of recall sessions conducted over a three-day period.) Jeffrey acknowledges that “hypnosis can elicit memories of things that didn’t [really] happen, but it can’t take away memories of things that did happen.” (Emphasis added.)

Dr. Marcel was able to recall a few unimportant new details of what had occurred during the night his father returned with the debris, but no new details about the debris itself. It still consisted of “pieces of metallic foil, a short beam or stick, and a few pieces of plastic or Bakelite-like substance. Certainly such mundane debris would not constitute the wreckage from any kind of sophisticated vehicle or craft, much less one capable of interstellar travel,” according to Jeffrey. “In addition to being mundane, the material recovered from the Foster [Brazel] ranch is definitely reconcilable with the debris from an ML-307 radar reflector [carried by the Project Mogul balloon train which was tracked to within about 20 miles of where Brazel found the debris]—the length and cross-sectional size of the beams or sticks, the pieces of foil, and the plastic-like material (now thought to be part of one of the plastic ballast cases that contained sand). Even the color of the symbols that Jesse Marcel, Jr., remembers is almost identical to the color that Air Force meteorologist Irving Newton remembers seeing in [Gen.] Ramey’s office.” (Emphasis added.)

Jeffrey also acknowledges that his current views were influenced by once “Secret” and “Top Secret” letters written in 1947-48 by top USAF officials which refer to the lack of any crashed UFO which would help identify what UFOs were. One which particuarly impressed Jeffrey was the Nov. 8, 1948, letter from Col. Howard McCoy, Chief of Intelligence for the USAF’s Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB to Maj. Gen. C.P. Cabell, USAF’s Director of Intelligence. In the letter McCoy said that “the exact nature of these objects cannot be established until physical evidence, such as that which would result from a crash, has been obtained.” Many Roswell researchers ignore such hard data or, like Michael D. Swords, foolishly claim that “the McCoy letter has nothing to do with the Roswell incident” [SUN #45/May 1997]. (Emphasis added.)

In Jeffrey’s MUFON article he says he still plans to present the Roswell Initiative papers to the White House in early July, seeking declassification of any still-classified UFO material. “If no information is being withheld, such action would, nonetheless, have the positive effect of setting the record straight and clearing up years of suspicion and controversy.” SUN disagrees. If President Clinton were to respond by announcing that the U.S. had recovered crashed saucers from 49 of its 50 states, but not a single one from New Mexico, Friedman, Randle, Swords and others would still insist that the government was covering up the Roswell crashed saucer.

France’s “Impressive” Trans-en-Provence UFO Case Is Debunked

“On the afternoon of Jan. 8, 1981, a strange craft landed on a farm near the village of Trans-en-Provence in the Var region of southeastern France. Physical traces left on the ground were collected by the Gendarmerie within 24 hours and later analyzed in several French government laboratories. Extensive evidence of anomalous activity was detected. The case was investigated by Groupe des Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non-identifies (GEPAN), established in 1977 within the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in Toulouse, the French counterpart of NASA....The samples of soil and wild alfalfa collected from the landing site, as well as the control samples from varying distances from the epicenter, were subjected to a number of analyses: physico-chemical analysis at the SNEAP laboratory, electronic diffraction studies at Toulouse University, Mass spectrometry by ion bombardment at the University of Metz, and biochemical analysis of the vegetable samples at the National Institute of Agronomy Research (INRA), among others.”

The foregoing is the summary of the Trans-en-Provence UFO case contained in the “UFO Briefing Document,” authored by Don Berliner, which is subtitled: “THE BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE.” Copies were provided to members of Congress and other government officials in late 1995. The report includes an endorsement by the leaders of the nation’s three leading pro-UFO organizations—CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies), FUFOR (Fund for UFO Research) and MUFON (Mutual UFO Network)—that “the information contained in this Briefing Document [is] the best available evidence from open sources.” The UFO Briefing Document concludes that “The Trans-en-provence case is very likely the most thoroughly scientifically documented CE-II (Close Encounter of the Second Kind) ever investigated.” (Emphasis added.)

Curiously, although GEPAN was created by the French government to investigate UFOs and reported to France’s highly respected space agency (CNES), so far as is known CNES officials and scientists were not impressed by the Trans-en-Provence case or GEPAN’s report on its investigation, published Mar. 1, 1983.

French Ufologist Reveals Serious Flaws In Gepan’s Investigation

French UFOlogist Eric Maillot reveals many flaws in the GEPAN investigation and concludes that the Trans-en-Provence case is simply a tall tale which was intended as a practical joke but got out of hand. The results of Maillot’s investigation are contained in one chapter of an excellent new book titled “UFOs: 1947-1997.” The book’s 29 chapters discuss major UFO cases and trends during each decade of the last 50 years, each authored by a leading U.S. or overseas UFOlogist. Contributors were selected by respected British UFOlogist Hilary Evans and by Dennis Stacy, editor of the MUFON UFO Journal. (SUN’s editor was not invited to submit a chapter.)

Maillot notes that GEPAN did not send investigators to interview the “witness” (Renato Niccolai) until 40 days after the UFO incident (allegedly) occurred, and its investigators ignored significant discrepancies in Niccolai’s subsequent accounts of what allegedly occurred. For example, according to Niccolai’s original report to the Gendarmerie, the UFO had hovered about 3 ft. above the ground, yet it somehow (allegedly) left marks on the ground which resembled skid marks caused by an automobile tire. Although Niccolai reported that the UFO was not rotating, the skid-marks were circular.

Niccolai’s wife was not home at the time of the (alleged) UFO incident. When she returned, Niccolai reportedly informed her: “Your [missing] cat is back. Extraterrestrials brought him home.” Then he described his UFO sighting, which his wife initially assumed to be a practical joke. Later she told a neighbor who believed in UFOs, who in turn reported the incident to the Gendarmerie.

According to Maillot, GEPAN chose to focus its investigation on possible effects of the UFO on plants in the vicinity. Plant samples had been taken by the Gendarmerie the day after the (alleged) incident, again 15 days later, and by GEPAN 40 days later. But according to Maillot, the samples “were not collected in accordance with a strict and scientifically tested protocol....A bunch of amateurs could hardly have managed things more clumsily.” The plant samples were analyzed by Michel Bounias, a biochemist, who had “no expertise in plant pathology,” according to Maillot.

Bounias “concluded that they [plants] had undergone accelerated ageing, inversely proportional to the square of their distance from the center of the [ground] trace....Without explaining in any detail why he excluded every other possible cause...Bounias offered the hypothesis that this effect might be linked to the action of an energy field of an electric kind; later he added that the cause might more precisely have been a beam of pulsed microwaves,” according to Maillot. This seemed to confirm the theory of a French physicist/UFOlogist—Dr. Jean-Pierre Petit—who has proposed that UFOs are propelled by emitting pulsed microwaves.

Belgian Plant Pathologist Challenges Bounias

Bounias’ analysis was submitted in 1984 to a Belgian plant pathologist (referred to as Professor A) who is a member of the scientific counsel of Belgium’s major UFO group: SOBEPS. When Professor A challeged Bounias’ findings, “Bounais refused a scientific debate, even at a private level...and never answered the justified criticisms made by the Belgian,” according to Maillot. “GEPAN’s [director Jean-Jacques] Velasco, though informed of Professor A’s conclusions, saw no reason to seek the advice of other experts to settle the dispute and hushed up the very existence of a scientific difference of opinion; almost nobody in ufological circles was aware of the matter, and it sank into oblivion,” according to Maillot.

In 1987, a French youth claimed he not only had seen a UFO hovering over some trees but that he had tape recorded the sound emitted by the UFO. According to Maillot, when leaves from the trees were submitted to Bounias for analysis he reported finding similar effects to those on the plants from Trans-en-Provence. However, a subsequent in-depth investigation “demonstrated beyond any doubt that this case was a hoax,” according to Maillot. He concludes his lengthy assessment of the Trans-en-Provence case by quoting Niccolai as telling a UFO investigator: “There are so many silly people in the world. On some future day, I shall tell you the whole truth.” Maillot comments: "From a single, uncertain and inconsistent testimony, GEPAN, with the help of some other scientific actors, all of them linked to ufological circles, succeeded in creating a case which achieved classic status.” (Maillot’s article was translated into English for the book by another French UFOlogist, Jacques Scornaux.)

Will MUFON, CUFOS, FUFOR Inform Their Members And Congress?

SUN wonders if MUFON, CUFOS and FUFOR leaders, who endorsed the Trans-en-Provence case as "very likely the most thoroughly scientifically CE-II (Close Encounter of the Second Kind) ever investigated,” will inform their members of the Maillot expose. Dennis Stacy, co-editor of the new book, could publish excerpts in the MUFON UFO Journal. Likewise, Jerome Clark, author of one chapter in the book, is editor of International UFO Reporter (IUR), published by CUFOS. Richard Hall, who also authored a chapter in the new book is chairman of FUFOR and Don Berliner is a member of FUFOR’s Board. Will Hall suggest that Berliner inform members of Congress who received copies of his UFO Briefing Document?

The author-contributors to the new book are pro-UFOlogists, although several have become increasingly skeptical. Belgian UFOlogist Wim Van Utrecht provides an illuminating, largely skeptical expose of the UFO-flap in Belgium in 1989-90 which attracted international attention. Karl Pflock authored a chapter which details a 1952 incident involving a Boy Scoutmaster’s reported injury from a close encounter with a UFO, titled “The Best Hoax In UFO History?” And Hilary Evans authored a somewhat skeptical closing chapter titled: “A Twentieth-Century Myth."

The 272-page hard-cover book, “UFOs: 1947-97,” produced by Britain’s John Brown Publishing Ltd., is available in the U.S. from Arcturus Books, 1443 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, Fla. 34952. Price is $27.95 plus $4.00 for shipping in the U.S.

UFOlogy’s Cloudy Crystal Ball

Twenty years ago the respected U.S. News & World Report magazine predicted in its April 18, 1977, issue that “before the year is out, the Government—perhaps the President [Jimmy Carter] is expected to make what are described as ‘unsettling disclosures’ about UFOs—unidentified flying objects.” (Carter had himself seen a UFO one night in 1969 which skeptical UFOlogist Robert Sheaffer’s subsequent investigation revealed to be the bright planet Venus.) During Carter’s 1976 Presidential campaign he was quoted in the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper as saying: “I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one.” The newspaper quoted Carter as promising—if elected—to release any/all classified UFO information.

The May 9, 1977, issue of U.S. News & World Report carried a Letter to the Editor from SUN’s editor which challenged the magazine’s April 18 prediction: “I offer odds of 100 to 1 this will not come true. During the 11 years that I have been investigating UFO cases and coming up with prosaic/terrestrial explanations for all of them, I have often heard similar predictions. The truth is that the Government has no ‘unsettling disclosures’ to make on UFOs, unless President Carter is about to reveal that he really hails from Mars and not from Georgia."

NONE OF THE MAGAZINE'S STAFF—INCLUDING THE PERSON WHO WROTE THE PREDICTION—ACCEPTED MY GENEROUS WAGER OFFER.

Another Cloudy Crystal Ball

It has now been more than four years since Roswell researcher Karl Pflock made the following prediction in the March 1993 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal: “We are on the threshold of inquiries preliminary to [Congressional] hearings sometime later this year—not a genteel exchange of scholarly opinion such as Congressman Roush’s 1966 UFO symposium...but full-scale, precisely aimed hearings designed to compel disclosure of all facts about a particularly well- researched, well-documented case, Roswell. Obviously, such a course must lead to questions about the true nature of what was recovered on the Foster ranch, and then!...” (Emphasis added.)

Pflock has challenged the accuracy of an item in the May issue of SUN which reported his upcoming debate with Kevin Randle at Roswell’s Enigma Museum and mentioned that Pflock “has recently publicly renounced his earlier belief that a UFO crashed near Roswell.” In Pflock’s letter of May 15, he says: “In SUN #45, you erroneously attributed to me a belief I HAVE NEVER HELD, ‘that a UFO crashed near Roswell.'” In Pflock’s subsequent letter of May 22, he said that when he began his Roswell investigation in 1992, he then believed “it was possible a flying saucer crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell in 1947.” But by mid-1955, he “had become convinced this had not happened.”

However, it was not until early 1997 that Pflock got around to writing Glenn Dennis that he did not believe that Dennis’ nurse/ET bodies autopsy tale was true. As reported in the Jan. 1997 issue of SUN (#43), Pflock’s letter of Jan. 6, 1997, to Dennis began: “I think you need to know my current views on the Roswell case in general and your story in particular...” (Emphasis added.) In Pflock’s 1994 "Roswell In Perspective” report, he wrote: “When I began my investigation, I was more skeptical of this [Glenn Dennis] testimony than anything else about the case. After almost two years of investigation and research, I have come to believe Dennis’ account is absolutely truthful and as accurate as half-century-old recollections can be.” (Emphasis added.) Instead of studying the evidence that prompted Pflock’s change-of-heart, crashed-saucer believers now suggest he is a covert government disinformation agent because he worked for the CIA in the mid-1960s and later held a high post in the Pentagon.

SCAMeraman Changes Tale To Try To Correct Earlier Flaw

Claims made on a recent 12-minute videotaped interview with the alleged Santilli Controversial Autopsy Movie (SCAM) cameraman, compared with earlier account released by Santilli, reveal more “discrepancies.” According to the earlier account, the SCAMeraman was dispatched to Fort Worth to film the first ET autopsy in late June of 1947, processed most of the film and sent it off to Washington, and "processed the remainder a few days later,” i.e., by late June or early July. SCAMeraman claimed that he was unable to get the Pentagon to pick up the remaining autopsy film (which he later sold to Santilli) because “at this time the Army and the Air Force were being separated into two new agencies and there was much confusion as the ‘turf’ was sorted out.”

However, it was not until July 27, 1947, that President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which approved the separation of the Army Air Force from the Army, and the transition did not occur until Sept. 18, 1947. In the recent SCAMeraman interview, he changes his tale to say that “most of the [film] processing took place around August, by that time the military as we knew it ceased to be...” (A transcript of the entire SCAMeraman video interview has been painstakingly prepared by Southern California UFO researcher Mark Lee Center. If you'd like a copy, send $2 to him at 39834 Wheatley Drive, Murrieta, Calif. 92562.)

A Federal court in Los Angeles has deferred a decision on SCAM copyright infringement litigation brought by Kiviat Productions (which produced the “Alien Autopsy” show for the Fox TV network) and Trimark Pictures (which sold 100,000 SCAM home videos). The defendant is talk show host Chuck Harder who distributed 5,500 SCAM videos that included brief excerpts from Kiviat’s show [SUN #44/March 1997]. Santilli is not involved in this U.S. litigation.

Friedman Tries To Hide MJ-12 Contradictions

In Stanton Friedman’s Roswell-incident book “Crash At Corona,” co-authored with Don Berliner, he claims a second crashed saucer was recovered from the Plains of San Agustin in early July of 1947. In the book Friedman briefly defends the authenticity of the MJ-12 papers but admits there is a possible flaw in the MJ-12 document (allegedly) used to brief President-elect Eisenhower on Nov. 18, 1952. After the briefing document details the (alleged) Roswell crashed-saucer recovery, it states: “On 06 December, 1950, a second object, probably of similar origin, impacted the earth at high speed in the El Indio-Guerrero area of the Texas-Mexican border...” But there is no mention of the Plains of San Agustin UFO crash-recovery. Friedman noted this discrepancy and commented: “One possible explanation for this is that the [Eisenhower] briefing paper could be a copy of most of the original, with the copier omitting any reference to the second crash because, at the time, this had been given only limited credence.” (Emphasis added.) Although the Plains of San Agustin crash (allegedly) had occurred more than five years earlier, and four ET bodies were recovered, Friedman suggests that as of late 1952 this physical evidence “had been given only limited credence.”

In Friedman’s more recent book “TOP SECRET/MAJIC,” devoted to defending the authenticity of the MJ-12 papers, HE CLEVERLY OPTS NOT TO EVEN MENTION THIS CONTRADICTION TO AVOID HAVING TO TRY TO EXPLAIN IT. (If Friedman had consulted SUN we could have suggested the following explanation: Rear Adm. Hillenkoetter, who allegedly wrote the Eisenhower briefing document, didn’t know that the Plains of San Agustin were in New Mexico and thought they were near the Texas-Mexican border.)

Short Shrift

NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its Editor—unless otherwise noted—and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated—or his spouse. We thank Dr. Gary Posner for help in proofreading.

Philip J. Klass

Phil Klass was a UFO researcher with a background in electrical engineering. He was author of seven books on UFOs, including UFOs Explained and UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game. He was also editor of the SUN newsletter, a UFO-related publication.