Friday, January 13, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Colonel Charles Halt

Colonel Charles Halt
The guest this week was Charles Halt who was the senior officer present for one of the nights of the UFO events in Rendlesham Forest near Bentwaters. We talked about those events, the affect they had on some of those who were involved and Halt’s belief that some sort of disinformation campaign and some sort of intense debriefings were held, including the use of chemicals. He confirmed the statement, “"I believe the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin and that the security services of both the United States and the United Kingdom have attempted – both then and now – to subvert the significance of what occurred at Rendlesham Forest and RAF Bentwaters by the use of well-practiced methods of disinformation," is something that he said and he believes. You can listen to the interview here:

He also cleared up, at least in my mind, the controversy over how many nights the events took place. I had asked both John Burroughs and Jim Penniston about that, and they disagreed. One said it was three night and the other said it was two. Given what Halt said, they were both right. The first night involved a number of enlisted personnel who had seen something in the woods outside the base perimeter and went to investigate. The second night only involved two people, a second lieutenant and an NCO. They were the only two who saw anything on that night. On the third night, Halt, leading a small party went out as more lights were seen in the forest. He provides some of his observations that night.

He talked about some of the physical evidence that was recovered, some of the observations by instrumentality, which is to say radar confirmations that he learned of years after the event, and the enhanced debriefings that were undergone by the enlisted personnel. He was not debriefed on the sightings.

Next week’s guest: Ruben Uriarte

Topic: UFO investigations in Texas and Mexico.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The "Harassed Rancher" Roswell Article

Over at UFO Conjectures, hosted by Rich Reynolds, he reproduces the July 9, 1947, newspaper, article from the Roswell Daily Record, “Harassed Rancher Who Located ‘Saucer’ Sorry He Told About It,” suggesting that this is the final nail in the Roswell coffin. But I say, “Not so fast.” There are some disturbing things in that article, things that make no sense when you think about them.

According to the article, “Brazel related that on June 14 he and an 8-year-old son, Vernon were about 7 or 8 miles from the ranch house of the J.B. Foster ranch, which he operates, when they came upon a large area of bright wreckage made up on [sic] rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather rough paper and sticks.”

Okay, there is nothing extraordinary here and it sounds for all the world like the remnants of one of the Mogul balloon arrays that were being launched in June and July from Alamogordo. The article also suggests that “on July 4 he, his wife, Vernon and a daughter Betty [actually Bessie], age 14, went back to the spot and gathered up quite a bit of the debris.”

I’ll just overlook the fact that this seems to be a strange thing to have done on July 4, rather than say, June 15, or July 3. I’ll just move on.

Brazel, then on July 7, according to the Daily Record, visited with Sheriff George Wilcox and mentioned he might have had found one of the flying disks. Wilcox called out to the air base and eventually Jesse Marcel “and a man in plain clothes [Sheridan Cavitt]” arrived and they all, meaning Brazel, Marcel and Cavitt drove to the ranch. They gathered up the rest of it and “…tried to make a kite out of it but could not do that and could not find any way to put it back together so that it would fit.”

Now we get a few specifics about size of this debris. He didn’t see it fall or before it was torn up, “so he did not know the size or shape it might have been, but he though it might have been about as large as a table top. The balloon which held it up, if that was how it worked, must have been about 12 feet long… The rubber was smoky gray and scattered over an area about 200 yards in diameter.”

We learn, “When the debris was gathered up the tinfoil, paper, tape, and the sticks made a bundle about three feet long and 7 or 8 inches thick, while the rubber made a bundle about 18 or 20 inches long and about 8 inches thick. In all, he estimated the entire lot would have weighed maybe five pounds.”

According to the newspaper there were no words to be found, although there were letters on some of the parts. Considerable scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed on it had been used in the construction. No string or wire were to be found but there were some eyelets in the paper to indicate that some sort of attachment had been used.

Before we look at the final two paragraphs of the article, which do have some relevance, let’s talk about what we know here. If Brazel went to the Sheriff’s Office on Monday, and if, as Marcel said, he was eating lunch when he got the call, then we know that all this took place in the afternoon. According to the best information available, Brazel, Marcel and Cavitt didn’t leave Roswell until late afternoon, maybe as late as four or four-thirty, and if the drive to the ranch took three hours (which is the time it takes on the modern roads today) then the questions become, “When did they gather the material, where did they take it to attempt to put it together, and how did Marcel get back to Roswell in time to meet with Colonel William Blanchard, the base commander by 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8?” The timing simply doesn’t work because they would have arrived at the ranch about dusk and couldn’t have gathered the material in the dark and do the other things suggested by the newspaper, not to mention that the debris had already been gathered.

But let’s back up even a little more. Bill Brazel said that his father had taken some of the debris into town to show the sheriff. If this is true, and the material that Mack Brazel had found was as described in the newspaper, why did Marcel and Cavitt drive out to the ranch? Wouldn’t one of them, if not both of them, recognize the debris as mundane? Why go to the ranch at all? Brazel, along with family members, had apparently collected it all on July 4, again according to the newspaper. There was nothing to see in the field, and since there were samples of it in the Sheriff’s Office, there was no need to drive to the ranch to see what would have been an empty field.

If we believe this article, neither Marcel nor Cavitt recognized the material that Brazel brought into town. Cavitt, on the other hand, told Colonel Richard Weaver that he had recognized the debris in the field as a balloon as soon as he saw it laying out there. He didn’t explain why he hadn’t bothered to mention this to Marcel at the time or to Blanchard when he got back to Roswell.

If we look at the descriptions about the amount of material, there doesn’t seem to be all that much. Not a field filled with debris, but a small area that had been cleaned by the Brazel family. There was absolutely no reason to pursue this any further. There wasn’t a problem with who would clean it up because the family had already done that. In fact, at one time Bessie Brazel claimed that they had collected it all into three or four burlap bags and stored it under the porch of the ranch house.

The debris displayed in General Ramey's
office, July 8, 1947.
Had this been a Mogul array, there would have been evidence of more than a single balloon; there would have been multiple rawin targets (if you follow the illustration for Flight No. 2, but Flight No. 5 had no rawin targets), lots of cord to link it all, and given the size of the arrays, they probably would have been spread out over more than 200 yards. The descriptions given in the newspaper (and the photographs taken in Fort Worth) were more consistent with a single balloon and a single rawin, not a complete array with multiple balloons and multiple rawins.

When we get to the last two paragraphs, more trouble develops. Brazel said, according to the newspaper, that he had found two weather-observation balloons on the ranch but what he had found didn’t resemble them. He said, “I’m sure what I found was not any weather observation balloon.”

Of course, had it been Mogul, this was technically accurate because the function of Mogul was not weather observation. But, the Mogul arrays were made up of neoprene weather balloons and possibly some rawin radar targets, cord linking all the balloons together in a long line, sonobuoys to detect the sounds of detonation of atomic bombs, and devices to attempt to keep the balloons aloft. These would “dribble” out the sand of the ballast as the balloons began to descend.

The point is that if we read the article, it raises more questions than it answers, suggests that there was no reason for Marcel and Cavitt to drive to the ranch, suggests a time line that is impossible given the timing and the distances, provides a description of a single balloon and single target, exactly what appears in the photographs taken in General Roger Ramey’s office on the afternoon of July 8.

In other words, there is actually nothing in this article that eliminates any of the answers for the Roswell crash including both Mogul and the alien, and nothing in it to support any of the answers. It is a self-contradictory document that obscures more than it reveals. As evidence, it does nothing for either side of the argument. While skeptics can point to the description of the debris and say that it is a balloon the believers can point to the last two paragraphs and say that Brazel would have recognized the debris as a balloon had that been what it was. This is just another of the inexplicable items that pop up in this tale.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Curse of Oak Island - The Fourth Season

I have been waiting for something to happen on Curse of Oak Island before I made comments about it. There seemed to be great promise this season. They had millions to spend on the Money Pit (reaffirming the idea that the term referred to throwing money into a pit rather than taking money out of it). They hinted of things to come, have found some coins that seem to have been minted by the
Oak Island
English, a hint that part of that stone allegedly found 90 feet down with strange symbols on it had been recovered, and that the shiny, glittering thing found so far beneath the surface in their borehole that captured their attention on the remote camera might be part of the treasure.

But so far the show has been basically the same. They drained the swamp again and found wood. (Did anyone notice they all stood around saying things like, “I’ve got wood?) They thought some of it might have been a plank from the deck of a ship and a spike that might also been from the deck of a ship but I’m just not impressed. They assume it was a ship scuttled with treasure on board but I wonder if the more likely scenario isn’t a repurposing of the wood and the spike for something else… but the real point is that they have found nothing in the swamp but trash.

They created a larger borehole as they attempted to penetrate a vault that might have been discovered in 1897… but once they pulled up the wood (Hey, we’ve got wood), it was clearly something from the late 19th century or maybe early 20th and had nothing to do with pirates burying treasure or anything else of real importance. It was just another example of all the tunneling that has been done on the island. I’m surprised the surface hasn’t collapsed entirely.

They’ve also sort of scraped the land around the original Money Pit flat so that they can bring in their machinery for these big projects. As they were looking at the dirt scraped up, Rick Lagina, I think, found a couple of bits of pottery and his pal, found a stone that might have some marking on it… an “X” with a tail that we’re told Scott Wolters had at some point on another show linked to the Templars (though I don’t think the connection is very solid). I wondered why, after finding these artifacts, they didn’t use a shaker box to search for more of the same which might have yielded a few clues but they were content with this pottery debris and single marked stone fragment… so much for archaeological research… but I digress.

I was going to talk about the coins found at an English campsite that they thought significant… Except, of course, the English had been all over the area hundreds of years ago, not to mention during the French and Indian War… so an English camp there in the mid-18th century doesn’t seem to be so significant and wouldn’t have anything to do with the treasure anyway.

Here we get to the point of all this and it’s Samuel Ball. He owned quite a bit of Oak Island in the 18th and 19th centuries. They can’t explain his suggested wealth. They just note he also owned more land on the mainland, indicating he was a rich guy. He is established as a resident of the area who had won his freedom from slavery by serving in the British Army. There is a suggestion that he might have found some of the treasure and that was the source of his wealth…

But what I found interesting was that in some of the very early documentation of the discovery of the money pit, there were three young men involved. In those earlier reports, Samuel Ball was identified as one of the three. Why did his name drop out of the later reports? Did he get one of the chests that some have suggested were already removed? Did he get the only chest and the two have been looking for other, similar chests hoping there was more treasure buried on the island? I don’t know… just found it interesting that Ball had been reported as one of the original three in the earliest of accounts but then his name disappeared.

Randall Sullivan, who had written an article for Rolling Stone about Oak Island, was back to conduct more research for a book. I wouldn’t have mentioned him except that his favorite theory is that the Money Pit housed the original Shakespeare manuscripts which would be worth hundreds of millions if true… but my question is, “If they’re digging into areas that are submerged, in what did they store these manuscripts? Wouldn’t the water have turned them to pulp? I mean, everyone believes that the treasure is under water and has been for what, 225 years. The water would have destroyed a wooden chest, or that chest would have leaked so the manuscripts are probably gone, if they were ever there. Just my thoughts on that theory.

So, where are we after what, eight episodes in the fourth season? Well, they’ve found more coins on the surface. They’ve found wood from deeply buried areas that showed markings proving it was from about one hundred years ago. They’ve seen a map that is dated hundreds of years earlier but don’t seem concerned that the provenance is shaky at best. Really, someone found it in a book… can we be any more vague? They’re still worried about Borehole 10 X, in which nothing they thought was at the bottom, was there but they want to look again just in case the guy who walked around down there wasn’t good enough to make the proper examination.

Or, in other words, they haven’t found anything that can be linked to someone on the island burying a treasure of great importance, no matter how many times they tell us of missing Inca treasure or Templar treasure, and religious relics from long ago. They make leaps of logic but in the end, they have found nothing of consequence, but each “discovery” is labeled significant when all they have is the debris of human occupation from the last two or three hundred years.

Friday, January 06, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - A Retrospective, Sort Of

Yes, it's me... photo copyright
by Kevin Randle.
For this week’s show, I did provided what I think of as my mission statement, something of a retrospective on what has transpired over the last few months, some thoughts on where we might go in the next year, and then some comments on Roswell in the 21st Century. You can listen to it here:

1. Mission Statement –

This was a talk about a search for the truth, whatever that truth might be as opposed to what I wish to believe or others might wish to believe. It was about how some of the old, classic UFO reports have been solved by modern standards of research. For example, the Chiles – Whitted cigar-shaped UFO with square windows was most probably a bolide and that this was underscored by the Zond IV reentry nearly twenty years later. As it broke up, some believed they were seeing a cigar-shaped UFO while the majority of people recognized it for what it was.

2. Year in Review –

I started by discussing the Socorro UFO case and how guests Ben Moss and Tony Angiola had sparked an interest by some of the things they said during that program. I began to look into it carefully with a search for other witnesses that Ben and Tony talked about. While there is nothing in the police log to verify this, their existence was verified by Captain Richard Holder’s interview with the police dispatcher on the night of the sighting. He wrote, in his report also written that night that three calls had come into the police station.

And as you all know, they also sparked a discussion of the shape of the symbol on the craft seen by Lonnie Zamora and how it had been altered in some documents as a way to verify other sightings.

This led me to Carmon Marano who had been an officer with Project Blue Book. He explained the situation at Blue Book at the end of the project and provided some interesting insights into what was going in the late 1960s as the project wrapped up.

3. Preview –

I had also thought we would move into the paranormal as part of our search for A Different Perspective. This would include examining tales of Near Death Experiences. I mentioned a book I had done on the topic, how I came to write the book, my interviews with people who had experienced NDEs, and research at the U of I libraries.

I also mentioned the case of alien abduction that I had researched in the mid-1990s that evolved into the book Conversations, a book about past lives and serial killers and what I think as an interesting read (but, of course, I’m biased).

4. Roswell Recanted –

Since it had come up on other shows, and the question had been asked of me several times, I did talk about what is in Roswell in the 21st Century and how the information was gathered. Also talked about some of the discoveries in the cold case examination of the Roswell crash and some of the things that have been used to support the Roswell story that really tell us something else about the world in 1947.

Next week’s show: Colonel Charles Halt

Topic: Rendlesham Forest, of course…

Thursday, December 29, 2016

X-Zone Boradcast Network - Noe Torres

Noe Torres
This week I chatted with Noe Torres who has published a number of UFO books and by published I mean published as opposed to having written. Make no mistake, he has written books as well and he, with his partner,Ruben Uriarte, have collaborated on other books that can be found at  During the radio interview, we talked at length about a reported UFO crash in Mexico in which a number of Mexican soldiers died when they attempted to recover the disk-shaped craft. Intervention by American soldiers sometime later, cleaned up and covered up the mess, and brought the object, whatever it was into the United States, eventually into the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. This all was revealed in a document that was received by various UFO researchers anonymously in the 1990s called the Deneb Report (Deneb, coincidently was the star that was featured in my science fiction novel, On the Second Tuesday of Next Week). You can listen to the interview here:

And as I say during the interview, you can often learn more about the topics discussed by visiting my blog. In this case Noe talked about what Len Stringfield had reported in one of his status reports. You can read the article about that and Len’s status report here:

Next Week: A retrospective show about what has been discussed over the last five months and what has been learned about some of those topics since then.

Those who might wish to ask questions should put them in the comments section of this post and I’ll try to answer them then.

Roswell Recanted?

Well, here is something that is interesting. It seems that an off-hand comment I made about the lack of skepticism in some avenues of UFO research has blown up into a debate on what I said about the Roswell case. It began with Robert Sheaffer making a few comments on his blog, Bad UFOs, which was based on the very nice review that Jerome Clark had published in Fortean Times about my book Roswell in the 21st Century. From that interview, Robert extrapolated a point of view that might not be exactly what I had do say… though the headline in the Fortean Times suggests a recanting of the Roswell case.

On the positive side, for me, it seems to have sparked a debate online and drove a few people to Amazon and other ebook sites which helped sales. I certainly don’t want to do anything to stop the traffic because it is good for me.

But the question being asked about me, but never actually put to me, is if I have abandoned the alien model for the Roswell crash. The short, flip answer is, “Read the book.”

The more lengthy answer is, “Well, sort of.”

The book was meant to be a “cold case” look at the Roswell crash, starting at the beginning and shifting through the mountains of evidence that has been gathered by a number of researchers… all of whom seemed to have a biased opinion from “Yes, it was alien” to “No, it was a Mogul balloon.”

To all of them (which at one time included me with some of them), I say, “I don’t know.”

To quote Jerry Clark, “So what did happen? Here Randle, in conceding a truth so many avoid speaking, will infuriate believers on both sides. There is ‘no real answer,’ he says.”

And there you have it… I go through the whole story, document it as best I can, and in the end, I have to say that the case is built on testimony gathered decades after the fact and that everything we know about memory is that it really is no good when it comes to something like this.

I was going to point out some of the interesting things that I learned by going through all this material, but whatever I say will not be heard by one side or the other because they will be too busy formulating their counter arguments to listen. I did find mistakes such as the Lee Reeves tale of accompanying Dan Dwyer to the crash site that is contradicted by so much testimony and documentation that it shouldn’t even be discussed… and if we want to challenge testimony, Charles Moore provides many examples in his ever shifting tale about Mogul.

To understand my conclusions, however, it is necessary to read the evidence as has been gathered and the mistakes that have been made. This is a mystery that seems to have no solid conclusion except the skeptics will say that it can’t be alien because interstellar flight is impossible to believers who say there are so many witnesses that something alien must have happened.

And to give away just one thing that I learned in the reexamination of all the material was that the Air Force was not originally investigating the case in the 1990s… they were searching for documentation about the crash from all the various agencies that might have had some involvement in the original story.

As I say, it is interesting that much of this has blown up around me without anyone actually asking me anything. I have seen some of the Internet discussion but certainly not all of it. Before it goes much further, I would merely say, “Why not read the book and then we can talk about what it all means.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Roswell Slides - The Gift that Keeps On Giving

Not all that long ago I asked a general question about the effect of the Roswell Slides on UFOlogy as a whole. Seems that most of those responding on line suggested that the impact was little, especially outside the UFO community. Most seemed to believe that those who did not hold much interest in UFOs were unaware of the whole sorry fiasco.

But that came from those inside the UFO community. Those outside, or those who had an interest but didn’t consider themselves part of our community, had a much different take on it. To them, it was a disaster that changed their opinions. In the last couple of weeks I have had occasion to speak with some of those people and by some, I mean four and by speak I mean both on the telephone and through email.

One man called me, apologized for the intrusion, and then said that he had been interested in UFOs for decades; that interest beginning as a teenager. He said that it seemed to him that in the last year or so, many of the classic cases had been explained and that the mystery seemed to have been solved. He brought up the Roswell Slides as what he thought of as almost the last straw. The will to believe had been so strong in some that they had missed the red flags waving all over the landscape according to what he said.

Another, who emailed me, said that for her the destruction of the slides so quickly once independent researchers had the opportunity to review the data had proved that much of the information being printed in books and magazines or used in documentaries about UFOs was next to useless. The slide investigators had overlooked the information that disconfirmed their belief structure (which, I think, is a problem that we all face). We sometimes look at information that provides a clear alternative view and then find all sorts of reasons to ignore it.

There was a guy who wanted to know what to believe and what books to read because he was so unhappy with how the whole Roswell Slides investigation had progressed. Oh, he understood that the investigators had wanted to proceed without interference and speculation until they had some answers. But, once the information had leaked, they should have been more forthcoming, especially now that we had the answers to the questions. He thought it ridiculous that some still clung to the idea there was something alien on the slides and that further damaged his reliance on UFO researchers.

The point here is that no matter how we attempt to dress it up, the Roswell Slides was the final straw for some who had suffered through MJ-12, the Alien Autopsy, and the collapse of so many of the Roswell witnesses who had claimed to have been involved deeply, regardless of their positions in the military at the time. I, myself, was fooled by several who seemed to have the proper credentials, who supplied robust stories, and who turned out to have been inventing their tales (and their confirming documentation which is not a phenomenon restricted to UFOs) and claiming higher ranks than they held.

The Roswell Slides, which didn’t receive any real reporting by the mainstream media (because of all the other nonsense about UFOs that has been “leaked” over the years) did considerable damage to the Roswell case in particular and UFO research in general. People who had not studied the Air Force report or understand some of the content of it will tell you that it explained Roswell completely and that is that. They won’t have read the report, can’t tell you what was in it, but they remember the Air Force explained Roswell at a press conference that was carried by the cable news channels and in many newspapers. And that is all they remember no matter what else is said or done. The Roswell Slides underscored that point of view, another case of great claims destroyed by proper research and that is the damage that has been done. At one point we had many people interested in learning about Roswell and it seemed that we had evidence to support the alien answer, but the Air Force had better PR than we did.  We are left with a negative image of UFO research and researchers by those slides which did not show an alien creature but an unfortunate child. Under those circumstances, what would you think?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Oskar Linke - Update

The thing about the Internet is that it allows you to communicate with people all over the country and all over the world which helps us get at the truth. For example, J. Allen Hynek said the Oskar Linke UFO landing story was in the Project Blue Book files, so I looked for it. Hynek dated the case as July 9, 1952, but other sources said the sighting was June 17, 1950. I searched the Blue Book index around those dates. July 1952 was a period of intense activity and while, at other times in other years, the index might feature all the sightings received during two or three months on a single page, in July 1952, single dates sometimes took up two pages. In other words, there were a lot of sightings in July 1952. I found nothing in June, July or August of that year that mentioned Linke and his UFO.

There was nothing for the sighting around its correct date in 1950 either. I checked for several months on either side of the date. Some of the sources, other than Hynek, also suggested a report in Project Blue Book, which others said wasn’t there.

As those of you who read comments know, Ralf Buelow, left a comment about this and a link about Linke (I just couldn’t avoid doing that) that showed it was in the Blue Book file. If you haven’t seen that link, here it is:

That, of course, took me to Fold3 and their Blue Book file which was a single page entry. I looked at the entries before it and after it, which allowed me to find the entry in the Blue Book index. It is on the page for 1 – 31 March 1952 in the section labeled “Additional Reported Sightings (Not Cases).” It is entry number 1087. It is grouped with a March 15 sighting in Iran and another from Greenfield, Massachusetts. Linke’s sighting (Hasselback, Saxsoni) is from a retyped news clipping and the one from Massachusetts is from the newspaper. The source of the Linke news clipping, which is to say the newspaper, is not identified in the Blue Book file. It is not the same clipping as the one quoted by Hynek in his book, The Hynek UFO Report. Hynek’s report was from a Greek newspaper and the source is listed as I. Kathimerini. No source is provided for the Iran case.

For those of you interested in such things, the report that directly precedes it is from California, and is from either March 31 or April 1, according to Blue Book and therefore has nothing to do with Linke.

The Iran case is a single page that describes a luminous object traveling at great speed that probably wasn’t a meteor, according to the file. The sighting was representative of a number of sightings over the Iranian/Soviet border at the time.

The Massachusetts sighting is an actual newspaper clipping as opposed to a retyped version and it covers some sightings in that state. There is nothing about Linke in that either.

Here’s where we are on this, which says nothing about the sighting itself, but on the reporting of it. Hynek claimed that it came from the CIA, but the Blue Book file does not bear that out. He said it was one of the “unidentifieds” in Blue Book, but the index and the case file do not bear that out. His quotes, apparently from the Greek newspaper, do not match the quotes from the Blue Book file, though the information does match, which of course it would since both reports comes from Oskar Linke. I see nothing on the Blue Book report that identifies a newspaper which is why I say it is not the one Hynek quoted.

I thank Ralf Buelow for the information and the link.