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Volume 41

The Skeptics UFO Newsletter

Philip J. Klass

September 1, 1996

This volume is available as a PDF file. Download »

GAO Revised Its Roswell Report At Congressman Schiff’s Request

SUN’s continuing investigation has revealed that Congressman Steven Schiff (R.-NM) got the General Accounting Office to revise its initial report when its lengthy investigation failed to find any evidence of a crashed ET craft or a government cover-up. The initial (early June 1995) report informed Schiff that the GAO had located two documents, one of them an FBI teletype, which confirmed the USAF’s 1947 explanation that the debris discovered by “Mac” Brazel on the Foster ranch 75 miles north of the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) was from a crashed weather balloon and its radar target [SUN #35/Sept. 1995]. This contradicted Schiff’s earlier views—as reported in the Jan. 14, 1994, edition of The Washington Post—that “it wasn’t a balloon. Apparently, it’s another government cover-up.”

SUN has learned that on June 14, 1995, Schiff and members of his staff met with the GAO’s two principal Roswell investigators, Gary K. Weeter and Jack Kriethe, to discuss the initial draft of the Roswell report. Schiff asked whether GAO investigators had looked for outgoing teletype messages from RAAF after it had issued a press release on July 8, 1947, saying a flying disc had been recovered. The GAO representatives said that they did not recall finding any such messages when they visited the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis but that they had not considered this significant enough to mention in their report. Nor had GAO found any teletype messages from the Pentagon or 8th Air Force Headquarters to RAAF dealing with the incident which might prompt RAAF to respond by teletype rather than by telephone. But prompted by Schiff’s query, GAO investigators said they would check their notes when they returned to their office.

GAO subsequently called the St. Louis center’s Chief Archivist, W.G. Seibert, and learned that outgoing teletype messages from RAAF for the period of Oct. 1946 through December 1949 had been destroyed, probably in the mid-1950s when 38,000 boxes of old records were transferred to St. Louis. On June 20, GAO so informed Schiff who then “suggested” that the GAO revise its report to mention these “missing records.” The GAO did so. (Schiff is a member of the House Government Operations Committee which oversees the GAO.)

On July 5, 1995, the GAO sent a revised (second) draft report to all interested agencies including the Pentagon and NPRC, seeking their comments. This new draft included the following: “In our search for records concerning the Roswell crash, we learned that some government records covering RAAF acivities have apparently been destroyed and others have not. For example, our investigation indicates that...RAAF outgoing messages (October 1946 through December 1949) have been destroyed. These records were listed on the RAAF document disposition register as ‘permanent’ records. Senior government records management officials told us that because these were permanent records, they should not have been destroyed.” [Emphasis added.]

NPRC’s Chief Archivist sharply challenged the accuracy of these last two sentences in his July 7 message to GAO, sent by fax at approximately 4:30 p.m. (CDT). The GAO accepted Seibert’s corrections and deleted from the final report the erroneous claim that the “missing” RAAF documents “were permanent records [and] they should not have been destroyed.”

HOWEVER, SCHIFF'S OFFICE APPARENTLY HAD ALREADY WRITTEN A PRESS RELEASE (BASED ON THE GAO'S SECOND DRAFT) AND FAILED TO NOTICE THAT THIS ERRONEOUS GAO STATEMENT HAD BEEN DELETED IN THE FINAL DRAFT. So the Schiff press release featured the “missing documents.” It quoted Schiff as saying: “It is my understanding that these outgoing messages were permanent records, which should never have been destroyed.” Schiff added: “At least this effort caused the Air Force to acknowledge that the crashed vehicle was no weather balloon,” revealing that he had not studied the USAF’s 23-page report.

Not surprisingly, many of the resulting newspaper articles on the GAO report, prompted by Schiff’s press release, carried headlines like: “MILITARY DOCUMENTS FROM ROSWELL INCIDENT ARE DESTROYED” or “RECORDS DESTROYED IN UFO INCIDENT.” Thanks to Schiff’s suggested revision and his misleading press release, he was spared the embarrassment of admitting that the GAO investigation had failed to find any mention or evidence—even in the highly classified minutes of the National Security Council—that the U.S. had recovered a crashed ET craft in New Mexico.

One curious omission in the GAO’s Roswell Report is that it does not comment on the accuracy of the USAF’s report on its own lengthy investigation into the “Roswell Incident,” which was released a year earlier. The USAF report concluded that the unusual debris discovered by rancher “Mac” Brazel on June 14, 1947, was from a train of about 20 weather balloons and group of radar targets that had been launched on June 4, 1947, from Alamogordo AFB, N.M., as part of a then Top Secret Project Mogul experiment, intended to detect Soviet nuclear tests [SUN #30/Nov. 1994]. The June 4 launch had been tracked by radar to within 17 miles of the Brazel ranch before radar contact was lost.

The explanation for this curious omission, SUN has learned, is that Schiff did NOT ask the GAO to evaluate the accuracy of the USAF report. One possible explanation for Schiff’s failure to ask GAO to evaluate the USAF report is that it was simply an oversight; the other is that Schiff feared the GAO would endorse the USAF report.

Foot Doctor Heads MUFON’s Investigation of “Alien Implants”

Dr. Roger K. Leir, a Southern California podiatrist, provided attendees at MUFON’s July 1996 conference in Greensboro, N.C., with an interim report on two (alleged) “alien implants” which he surgically removed from opposite sides of the big toe of a female “abductee,” and another object removed by another surgeon from the back of the hand of a man. The three small objects were covered with what Leir called a gray-colored biological membrane. As with all previously reported “implants,” not one of the tiny objects showed any evidence of having been fabricated by intelligent creatures for any useful purpose.

Dr. Leir, whose interest in UFOs dates back to childhood and who is active in a Southern California MUFON group, expressed surprise that there was no “visible scar, no obvious port of entry.” [This seems especially surprising to SUN inasmuch as Budd Hopkins and other “abductologists” cite body scars as proof of UFO abductions.] Leir did not express any curiosity as to why ETs would select the female subject’s big toe for two implants and locate them on opposite sides of the bone. Nor did he consider the possibility that the two foreign bodies might have resulted from an early childhood accident while walking barefoot and that body growth during the many intervening years might have eliminated any scars. Leir did not comment on the woman’s claim that at the time of her UFO experience she was eight months pregnant, but two weeks after the incident her doctor told her it was a “false pregnancy.”

The male subject, Pat Parrinello, reported that his UFO encounter had occurred 41 years earlier when he was six years old. At the time he reported feeling a sharp pain in his left hand but (seemingly) noticed no blood or scar. It was not until 17 years later, following an auto accident in which Parrinello injured his arm, that x-rays revealed a small lump in his hand, which a doctor assured him was only a cyst. But in 1984, Parrinello said that while using a “metal stud-finder,” he noticed that it would activate when it came near his left hand, which (seemingly) indicated that the object in his hand was metal, not a cyst.

Prior to the surgical procedure to remove the object from the hand, Leir reported that a gaussmeter, which measures magnetic field strength, was brought near the hand “and the gaussmeter went off scale,” indicating an intense magnetic field. To eliminate the possibility that the intense magnetic field might have been generated by equipment in the operating room,

Leir said that Parrinello was taken outside to a parking lot and his hand again was checked—and again the gaussmeter went off scale. But after the object was removed and placed in a test tube and checked, “there wasn’t any more electromagnetic field detected either in the object or in Parrinello’s hand,” according to Leir.

Tests Of “Implants” Yield Ambiguous Results But Leir Is Optimistic

Although the surgical removal of the three objects from the two subjects had been performed on Aug. 19, 1995—nearly a year before Leir’s MUFON presentation—he admitted that he had little hard data to report on the composition of the objects. Leir said he had given the objects to Derrel Sims, his partner in the investigation, who had provided the names of the two subjects. Sims, a member of the Houston UFO Network (HUFON), has acquired a “controversial” reputation in the UFO-abduction research field in which he specializes. Leir said that he and Sims have formed a non-profit organization to raise funds to investigate “alien implants.” The organization is called F.I.R.S.T. (Fund for Interactive Research in Space Technology).

When Sims illuminated the three “implants” with ultraviolet light, Leir said, “all three were noted to fluoresce a bright green color. This is the identical color that has been seen to appear on the skin of alleged abductees. It was also noted that the objects appeared to be magnetic and clung to the scalpel blade.” Leir said the tiny metal rods are now being analyzed by “a world renowned laboratory....We hope the results of these tests will be back in the next 10 days [i.e., by July 17].” If the results are anomalous, Leir said, the samples will be sent to “a third laboratory that is connected with academia....And they will look at it and then the academic institution will prepare a paper...that will be going into scientific journals,” and will be promptly reported to MUFON.

Famous Ufologists Attend Recent “Alien Implant” Removal

Leir said that three more “implant” surgical procedures had been performed, the most recent on May 18, which “were witnessed by a real Who’s Who in UFOlogy.” These included Whitley Strieber, UFO lecturers Michael Lindeman and Robert Dean, a Japanese UFOlogist and a reporter from Borderland magazine, representatives from the entertainment industry as well as some doctors and MUFON members. Former astronaut Gordon Cooper, who has publicly expressed an interest in UFOs, was invited but unable to attend, Leir said.

One of the recent removals was from the jaw of a male patient and two others were removed from the legs of two female subjects. Leir noted that the objects removed from the two women’s legs were in proximity to “typical abduction scoop marks.” [SUN Comment: Clearly the scars left behind indicate these implants were inserted by ETs with less surgical skill than those who made implants without leaving scars on the two earlier subjects.]

Dr. Leir said that “over the 32 years of my [medical] practice I've had occasion to speak to various medical groups across the country and I think it’s really safe to say that the nicest audiences, the nicest groups that I have presented work to, are the MUFON groups.” Not surprisingly, the audience responded with loud applause.

A remarkable, if true, discovery reported in the printed version of Leir’s paper, published in the conference proceedings, is that when persons are abducted from their homes the incident apparently causes deterioration of the house. According to Leir, “We have found that there have been numerous elements of structural change in the involved building, both internally and externally. Metallic nails have worked their way out of the wood and rain gutters have been ripped asunder. Internal seams have come apart and screws have backed out of walls. There may also be permanent changes in the electric structure of the home.”


Brazilian Government Reportedly Captures Two Live ETs

Brazil, which provided some of the wildest UFO tales in the 1950s and 1960s, has once again attracted the attention of UFOlogists with the claim that its government captured two live ETs on the night of Jan. 20-21 in the vicinity of the city of Varginha. A report on the incident was provided at the recent MUFON conference by A.J. Gevaerd, who heads Brazil’s largest UFO organization: The Brazilian Center for Flying Saucer Research.

Gevaerd said the incident started around 3:30 p.m. local time when three girls—whose ages ranged from 12 to 16—reported seeing a strange-looking creature with dark brown skin, large RED eyes, a small nose and mouth, and three short protrubances (horns) on its large bald head. [While most ETs are said to have large BLACK eyes, perhaps the eyes of the Brazilian ET were bloodshot from staying up too late.] The creature, reportedly, was kneeling as if it was injured. The girls said that because the creature had red eyes and horns they assumed it was the devil, and so they ran away. The incident did not achieve notoriety until three months later, on April 21, via an article in the Varginha newspaper. The article quoted another woman who claimed that she had seen a similar-looking creature which was wearing “a helmet with some sort of golden device,” according to Gevaerd.

The article triggered an investigation by Brazilian UFOlogists which, Gevaerd said, revealed that:

Gevaerd said, “We know for sure that two creatures have been captured,” and are being held in an underground facility. “We have indications that other creatures have been captured....Our estimates are 100% certified.”

Brazilian ET-Capture Tale Endorsed By Some American Ufologists

Several well-known American UFOlogists, who were in Brazil to speak at a major UFO conference in early June when the story achieved international fame (including an article on the front page of the June 28 issue of Wall Street Journal), offered strong endorsements of the reported incident. For example:

Later, at MUFON’s July conference, when abductologist Dr. John E. Mack spoke, he said: “I also was in Brazil and interviewed the three young women. I am very impressed by the research that Brazilian UFOlogists have done on that case. It is an extraordinary case.”

Brazilian military and government officials flatly deny the whole ET capture tale. But this is to be expected, Gevaerd explained, because the Brazilian government is responding to directions from the U.S. government for its global UFO cover-up. But Gevaerd predicted that this would not impede Brazilian UFOlogists: “We are going to have some fantastic surprises by October or November.” [SUN’s Advice: Don't hold your breath.]

Friedman Reveals Secret Of His Success As A UFO Lecturer

In the first chapter of Stanton Friedman’s new book, “TOP SECRET/MAJIC,” which promotes the authenticity of the discredited MJ-12 papers, he unwittingly reveals the secret of his success as a pro-UFO lecturer. Friedman briefly describes his career as what he calls “an itinerant nuclear physicist,” in which he worked for four different companies during the 10 years after receiving his Masters degree. In the mid-1960s, while employed by Westinghouse, Friedman began giving pro-UFO lectures for pay. According to Friedman, “As I gave more lectures, I found that I enjoyed speaking and that people believed me no matter what I said. After all, I was a nuclear physicist for Westinghouse...” [Emphasis added.]

The author’s “cover-blurb” on the jacket of Friedman’s new book begins: “TOP

SECRET/MAJIC is the result of nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman’s eleven year search for the truth about the mysterious Operation Majestic 12...” [Emphasis added.] It has been more than a quarter century since Friedman last enjoyed full-time employment as a nuclear physicist in industry.

In the book, Friedman reveals he was employed briefly in 1969 by McDonnell Douglas because of his “UFO expertise.” He was hired by Dr. Robert Wood, then an official in the company’s astronautics division, who had a long-standing interest in UFOs. Friedman says he was hired “to work on trying to back-engineer flying saucers using some Blue Sky (far-out thinking) funds available through the Manned Orbiting Laboratory [MOL] program at McDonnell.” By the time that Friedman arrived in California to try to “reverse-engineer” a flying saucer, the MOL program had been terminated, partially because of heavy cost overruns. However, the company honored the contract and employed Friedman for three months. Friedman then found a job at TRW which lasted only six months. Since 1970, Friedman admits, he has been “the only space scientist known to be devoting full time to ufology.”

If a crashed saucer had been recovered in New Mexico in 1947, surely it would not have taken the nation’s top scientists 22 years to determine if it used some type of nuclear propulsion system. If it did, a large team of the nation’s top nuclear experts, including many who had developed the world’s first A-bomb, would be working to “reverse engineer” the propulsion system, and there would be no need to hire an “itinerant nuclear physicist.”

Friedman Praises Batelle Report But Covers Up Its Conclusions

Friedman has high praise for the Project Blue Book Special Report #14, prepared by the highly respected Battelle Memorial Institute in 1955, in which Battelle scientists attempted a statistical analysis of more than 2,000 UFO reports. In Friedman’s new book, he writes: “Perhaps the most telling revelation of the Battelle independent analysis can be found in a set of pie charts illustrating the relationship between the technical qualifications and reliability of the witnesses, and the unexplained cases.”

Friedman never mentions the Battelle report’s conclusions which deny MJ-12 claims of two crashed UFOs: “All available data were included in this study....It is considered to be highly improbable that the reports of unidentified aerial objects examined in this study represent observations of technological developments outside of the range of present-day scientific knowledge. It is emphasized that there has been a COMPLETE LACK of ANY VALID EVIDENCE OF PHYSICAL MATTER in any case of a reported unidentified aerial object.” [Emphasis added.]

Travis Walton “Speaks With Forked Tongue”

In 1978, when Travis Walton published his first book describing his alleged UFO abduction in 1975, titled “The Walton Experience,” his account of his troubles with the law was as follows: “Before I grew out of that rebellious phase I got into only one instance of what I would call serious trouble. I was arrested for my involvement with others in writing bad checks. I paid for that one stupid mistake in jail. I also voluntarily made restitution by paying everything back. Charges were dropped and I was never actually convicted. I was put on probation and the case was supposedly closed.” [Emphasis added.]

But in Walton’s new book, “Fire In The Sky,” he offers a different version: “I had a few isolated brushes with the law, mostly traffic offenses, but nothing that left me with any record. It was a small part of my life, a brief phase I went through, but I paid the prices [sic] and really learned my lesson, and had not so much as a traffic ticket for a number of years before the UFO incident.” [Emphasis added.]

Contrast Walton’s 1978 and 1996 accounts with the true facts. On May 5, 1971, less than five years before Travis’ UFO abduction incident, he and Charles Rogers appeared in the Navajo County Superior Court and pleaded guilty to the following charge: “On or about the night of February 18, 1971, they broke into the office of the Western Molding Company with intent to steal and did steal therefrom a quantity of Western Molding checks, and on the 19th day of February filled out said checks to a fictitious person and signed the name of Robert W. Gonsalves, thereby to cheat and defraud.”

After Travis Walton and Charles Rogers agreed to make restitution of the funds, they were placed on a two-year probation. On August 3, 1973, having lived up to the terms of probation, they were allowed under Arizona law to “cleanse the record” by appearing in court and pleading “not guilty” to the original charge. (Charles Rogers is the brother of Mike Rogers, whom SUN’s editor believes was the “architect” of the Walton “abduction” incident, as detailed in my book “UFOs: The Public Deceived.”)

Hopkins Unveils “New Witness” To Linda “Beam-Me-Up-Scotty” Case

At the recent MUFON conference, abductologist Budd Hopkins reported he had discovered a new witness to the alleged UFO abduction of Linda Napolitano who claims she was “beamed up” to a giant UFO hovering over her Manhattan apartment at about 3:15 a.m. on the night of Nov. 30, 1989. The new witness died two years ago. Hopkins’ first public report on Linda’s claims was given at the 1992 MUFON conference in Albuquerque, where he characterized it as the “most important” UFO-abduction case in history [SUN #17/Sept. 1992].

Because Hopkins said that Linda wanted anonymity, he used the pseudonym “Cortile” for her last name. Linda seemed quite happy to appear on the podium with Hopkins and to speak at length to the MUFON audience. Two years later, Linda was a featured speaker at the 1994 MUFON conference in Austin, Tex., and three months later at a conference on “New Age, Alien Agenda and Cosmic Conspiracies” held in Mesa, Ariz. [SUN #29/Sept. 1994]. She also shared the podium with Hopkins at the recent MUFON conference. [SUN Comment: Curious behavior for a person who claims she wants to hide her identity.]

In Linda’s talk in Austin, she reported: “Through hypnosis, I found out why I've had a lifelong fear of dogs. Screen [ET-implanted] memories of dogs chasing me as a small child were not, in fact, dogs. They were aliens.” [Emphasis added.] Linda also reported that she (allegedly) had been kidnapped off the streets of New York on two occasions by two government agents who had witnessed her UFO abduction and who once tried to kill her. Near the end of Linda’s 1994 MUFON presentation, she briefly mentioned the then-recently discovered “new witness” that Hopkins would first describe two years later at the recent MUFON conference.

Hopkins’ Impressive “New Witness"

According to Hopkins, the “new witness” to Linda’s 1989 abduction—named Cathy Turner—whom he describes as “an ailing, middle-aged bookkeeper,” first reported the incident to her nephew in mid-1993. She said she was unsure of the year that it happened, let alone the exact date. “She said it was years ago but it had to be at least after 1988 because she remembers the car she was in and didn’t have it prior to 1988,” the nephew told Hopkins. “She says it was early in the morning, 1-2 a.m., maybe later. She’s also not sure of what bridge she was on. She first said the Brooklyn Bridge, but when questioned further she said it could have been the Manhattan [another East River bridge, a few blocks north of the Brooklyn Bridge] or even one of the bridges going into Queens [located further north on the East River].”

Ms. Turner told Hopkins that she and a male friend (whom Hopkins identifies only as Robert) had driven into Manhattan “to see the Christmas decorations.” To explain the after-midnight visit, she said “they always came [to Manhattan] very late to avoid the traffic.” [SUN Comment: Apparently Ms. Turner and Robert were not aware that most Manhattan stores turn off their Christmas decorations by midnight to save electricity.] Hopkins said Ms. Turner reported that while driving home to Brooklyn “on some kind of highway....I noticed the end of the bridge had no poles.” She said she saw what resembled “a big Christmas ball....all glowy and shiny” near the windows of an apartment building. Initially, Ms. Turner said the object was “spinning” but later changed that to “pulsating.” [SUN Comment: It would be difficult for ETs to take Linda inside a spinning UFO.]

Quoting directly from Hopkins’ paper published in the MUFON conference Proceedings, Ms. Turner told Hopkins: “Then I said to Robert, ‘LOOK!’ and he said ‘Don't bother me while I’m driving!’ So I said, ‘F..k you!’ I looked up at the thing and that was it...that was the end.” Unlike other “witnesses,” who claim to have seen Linda and three ETs being beamed up into the UFO, Ms. Turner did not report any such observation. Hopkins offers an exotic explanation: An “electromagnetic force” emitted by the UFO which put Ms. Turner and Robert “in a state of suspended animation” so they did not see Linda and the ETs being beamed up into the UFO.

A Few Minor Discrepancies

Hopkins does acknowledge a couple of small discrepancies in Ms. Turner’s story. “First, there was her assertion that she saw the UFO ‘out of the passenger window on the way back to Brooklyn.’ Had their car been on the bridge at the time, Cathy’s view would have been in the wrong direction...away from Linda’s building.... Second, she described the craft’s apparent position as over the East River.” To get around the first discrepancy, Hopkins assumes that Ms. Turner was not driving over a bridge to Brooklyn but was driving south along the FDR parkway. The second discrepancy is explained as a misunderstanding by the nephew of what Ms. Turner told him.

Curiously, Ms. Turner told her nephew that while she does not believe in “flying saucers,” she does believe in “UFOs.” She explained: “A UFO could be a missile from Cuba. It could be somebody shooting balls up in the sky....I really think that the Navy and the Air Force do tests that they don’t tell us about...” This prompted Turner’s nephew to ask: “Why would they test something like that over New York?” She replied: “Maybe they shot off something and a piece fell off, and they don’t want us to know about know, secret tests and stuff.... Maybe Russia’s sending something in...” Ms. Turner died of diabetes in July 1994.

Although Turner’s male friend Robert is still alive, Hopkins reports that “he will only admit, now, that he saw something over a building that reminded him of the rising sun.” Again, Hopkins has a ready explanation for this limited recall: “Robert has for some time been suffering from acute emotional problems dating back to trauma suffered in the Vietnam War....Sadly, Robert’s emotional condition has deteriorated and he is unwilling to say anything more about that night.”

Ms. Turner and Robert will be among the “witnesses” cited in Hopkins’ new book on the Linda case, titled: “WITNESSED: The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abduction.”

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.