Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It's here! My New UFO book "Bad UFOs"

At long last, the book everyone has been waiting for (ha ha)! My New UFO book, "Bad UFOs."

A 6x9" quality trade paperback with 277 pages, it is the first skeptical book examining the UFO phenomenon published in the United States since, well, my previous UFO book, UFO Sightings in 1998. That's eighteen years. This book is not just a compilation of Blog entries, although some of the material has appeared on this Blog. It  covers the broad outline of contemporary UFOlogy: sightings, photos and videos, saucer crashes, UFO abductions, conspiracies, disclosure, etc., with everything brought up-to-date as of the date of publication (January, 2016). Among the UFO cases and UFO claims discussed are those of:
  • Betty and Barney Hill
  • the Phoenix Lights
  • "mystery missiles" off the coast near Los Angeles
  • Richard Hoagland
  • Steven Greer's "Disclosure Project" and ET Contact Protocols.
  • Trent UFO photos
  • Heflin UFO photos
  • Travis Walton
  • Exopolitics
  • Rendlesham forest
  • Roswell 'crash' and Roswell slides
  • 'Fly UFO' video from Chile, and Leslie Kean
  • Whitley Strieber
  • "Planet X" / Nibiru 
  • Electric Asteroids
  • and many more.....
Here is the Table of Contents of the book Bad UFOs.

How can you get it? You can order it right here, using this link: book.badufos.com

The list price is $18.95 (plus shipping). And if you order it from this link, you can enter the discount code Y8ZHYK6Y and get 10% off the retail price.

You can also order the book from Amazon.com. But in that case, there will be no discount.

For those who prefer the Ebook format, Bad UFOs is also available from Amazon on Kindle. The E-book is only $8.95 (no discounts available).


Friday, January 8, 2016

Fraudulent "Psychologist" Pops Up to Defend Marden's Absurdities

In my previous posting dated January 2, we saw Kathleen Marden's absurd charges that the letter I posted from Dr. Simon dated March 1, 1976 is "fraudulent," because its contents are most inconvenient for her and contradict the story that she is trying to promote.

Somebody claiming to be "Paul Westfall," a Master's degree student in psychology at UC Berkeley, posted a comment to that Blog entry which exactly parallels Marden's argument that Dr. Simon's letter is a "forgery." Putting on the airs of a psychology professional, he basically says that what Dr. Simon wrote in that letter is full of crap, and accuses Klass of forging it.

Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden selling stuff at last year's International UFO Congress.

But I smelled a rat as I started to look into this. At that same time, I unexpectedly received an email from the very wise Ted Molczan, telling me that he smelled a rat, too. 

Here is the reply I posted to "Paul Westfall" (who cannot even spell "Berkeley" correctly!):

Mr. Westfall,

Your letter above is rather peculiar, especially inasmuch as you say that 'your group' has been monitoring 'my group'. Sir, I don't HAVE a group here. It's just me writing.

"We have also been monitoring carefully how groups such as yours interact with such individuals. Within that context we found the content within this blob perplexing and quite frankly somewhat irresponsible and represented."

I seriously think that this is quite bogus, as psychology researchers at a prestigious university have better things to do than to read Blogs such as mine, and complain about them.

Here is the current directory of psychology graduate students at UC Berkeley. It is nicely in alphabetical order. There is nobody on that list named "Westfall."

Also, Cal Berkeley DOES NOT HAVE a Master's program in Psychology. It is a PhD program only.

You, sir, are a fraud. Who put you up to this?????

Is this "Paul Westfall" a real person? Or is he a sock puppett created by Marden or one of her staunch defenders?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

It's a "Forgery," Marden Charges!!

I frankly didn't expect to get a lot of response to my posting of December 23, Dr. Simon Reveals his Real Thoughts on the Hill "UFO Abduction" Case. I scanned and posted a 48-page PDF of old letters and documents related to the case, most of them about 40 years old. In a sense, it did not reveal anything new, but merely added more detail to what we already knew: Dr. Benjamin Simon, the Hills' psychiatrist, did not believe their story of having been abducted on board a flying saucer. I wrote about this as far back as 1981. It was also in my book UFO Sightings, published in 1998. Indeed, if you go all the way back to The Interrupted Journey (1966), the book that started it all, we find Dr. Simon saying [chapter 12] that he found the most tenable explanation for the abduction story to be that the dreams of Mrs. Hill had "assumed the quality of a fantasised experience." In very diplomatic terms, he is saying, "I don't buy it." So the fact that Dr. Simon did not accept the abduction story is not exactly news, or at least it should not be to anyone carefully following both sides of this controversy. (We all know how few people that is.)

Yours Truly with Kathleen Marden and the "Flying Saucer Physicist," Stanton Friedman, at the MUFON Symposium, 2011, perhaps in happier days.

I realized that this ran counter to what Kathleen Marden, Betty Hill's niece and heir to her celebrated Saucer Story, was saying. What I didn't realize is how fiercely invested Marden is in preserving the illusion that Dr. Simon accepted all of the Hills' account as being factual, including the abduction story.

On December 26, Marden wrote on her Blog, "Debunkers at it Again." In it she says,

I received an email message from Andre Skondras on Christmas day informing me that debunker Robert Sheaffer, an associate of Philip Klass and longstanding member of CSI (formerly CSICOP) , had found a never before published letter allegedly written to Klass by Dr. Benjamin Simon. The letter dated March 1, 1976, was mailed by Klass to Betty in 1988. It spoke of Dr. Simon’s intent to “give the true story of the Betty and Barney Hill affair.” It is our opinion that Dr. Simon would not have stated that his untested, unproven conjectures were the truth. He was circumspect and professional in voicing his opinion. The intentions voiced in the letter would have been a violation of his contract with John Fuller and a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality.
Of course, that confidentiality had already been breached, with permission, by the entire commercial enterprise exploiting the Hills' account, including John Fuller's 1966 book The Interrupted Journey, and by 1976 the NBC-TV movie dramatizing their account, The UFO Incident. Once a story gets that far out into the public eye, and questions arise about its interpretation, you can't claim that further discussion constitutes a "violation." Once the Hills' sessions with Dr. Simon have become pillars of support for the pro-UFO abduction argument, you can't release that information selectively.

The late Karl Pflock gave Betty Hill this T-shirt (photo by author at the Indian Head conference, 2000)
But there was something in that letter even more upsetting (and ultimately threatening) to Marden's enterprise than Dr. Simon's skepticism about the abduction story. In his letter of March 1, 1976 to Philip J. Klass, Dr. Simon stated that "my interest in UFOs was almost entirely on the phenomenon of Barney Hill's developing racial paranoia which seemed to me to have been the best representation on the matter I have seen." But that was not Marden's biggest problem. In the letter Dr. Simon writes,

the Today show [Oct. 20, 1975] was the first time I did this openly to the public at large [state his skepticism about the abduction account]. A few days later I did the same thing on the NBC TV station here, WBZ, which resulted in  Betty telephoning and implying that I was lying when I said (what you have said in your book) that Betty's sister [Marden's mother] was much interested in UFOs and served as a stimulus, and that the idea of a true visitation had been suggested by her narration in the presence of her sister and her supervisor. She promptly telephoned WBZ and undoubtedly was looking for my appearances and affirmed that her sister was not interested in UFOs and that she had never told the story. Aside from the fact that this is a lie denying her own statements on the tapes we also received a letter from Betty's mother proclaiming that while I have the right of free speech, I was telling lies abasing her beloved daughter! I revealed the entire story on an hour an a half radio show with Larry Glick.

So that is the true dark heresy, which cannot be admitted: that Betty's sister was a UFO buff, and encouraged Betty's fantasies. Every time this was mentioned, Betty Hill (and now Kathleen Marden) would pop up to deny it. But here we have Dr. Simon saying that it's true.

Marden says that Klass sent a copy of the March 1 letter to him from Dr. Simon to Betty Hill in 1988. I do not know anything about that, but it does not surprise me. Klass and Mrs. Hill exchanged many letters, and he must have sent it along to prove a point he was trying to make. Marden continues,
I had thought about publishing the letter in my book Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, with Stanton Friedman, but decided not to, due to uncertainty about the identity of the writer. Betty had marked "Forged Letter!” at the top of the letter. 
Now, it does not surprise me one bit that Betty Hill had said such an absurd thing. Mrs. Hill wrote and said many absurd things, and not just about her famous UFO incident. Even Marden admits in her book Captured (p. 275), "After Barney's death, she turned away from careful, objective evaluation, and with subjective enthusiasm began to identify any lights in the sky as UFOs." Although as I showed in my review of this book in The Skeptical Inquirer (November/December, 2007), after Barney's death was not the only time Betty Hill said absurd things about UFOs and aliens. There is much evidence of Betty making wild UFO claims with Barney sitting right beside her.

Taking complete leave of her senses, Marden joins in her aunt's delusion:
 I have had it and other letters that Dr. Simon wrote to Betty examined by several individuals, including three who were close to Dr. Simon, and all believe it is probably a forgery. The style and phraseology were not characteristic of Dr. Simon's writing. An important piece of information is the fact that Dr. Simon signed a non-competition clause with John Fuller. He could not have legally written a book. It is doubtful that Klass would have known this. Dr. Simon was circumspect with regard to sharing his opinions about the Hill case, and it would have been highly uncharacteristic of him to opine or violate doctor-patient confidentiality. 
Between the two of us, Marden and I have recently posted four letters from Dr. Simon, three from me (one of which she claims is a "forgery"), and one from her. As I understand it, she has clarified her claim to mean that only the letter if March 1 is a "forgery," the others are genuine. If you're inclined to believe her absurd claim, I urge you to compare the four letters. They are all very similar. None of them are "forgeries."And in all of them, Dr. Simon maintains the same thing: he believed that the Hills had a "sighting" (as do I), but he believed that the abduction story was not real and came from Betty's dreams. How did Barney learn about Betty's dreams? Betty always maintained that she never told him about them. But as Dr. Simon explained on the Larry Glick show, Betty was telling the truth saying that she did not tell him directly. However "she did tell it in Barney's presence [to Betty's sister, and her supervisor], and that's where he got it."

And to settle the matter of Dr. Simon's skepticism about the abduction story once and for all: you can go to the wonderful audio archive CEIV An Audio History Of Alien Abduction And Animal Mutilation 1957 1976 compiled by the well-known UFOlogist Wendy Connors. Click on track #21,
Betty Hill and Dr. Benjamin Simon are interviewed on the Today Show to promote the NBC TV movie, the UFO Incident, on October 25, 1975.  08:30
You will hear Dr. Simon describe the abduction account as a "fantasy," and plainly state, "the abduction did not happen."

Perhaps Ms. Marden will say that this recording is a "forgery," too?

 If you click #5, you can hear Dr. Simon on Larry Glick's radio show, saying more "heretical" things.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dr. Simon Reveals his Real Thoughts on the Hill "UFO Abduction" Case

Digging through some boxes in my garage, I came across a collection of papers I had earlier set aside concerning the famous "UFO abduction" case of Betty and Barney Hill, the subject of John Fuller's 1965 book The Interrupted Journey, as well as the 1975 NBC-TV movie The UFO Incident.

I have just finished scanning 48 pages of these documents, and placed them on my Historical UFO documents page on my website www.debunker.com. They will be of great interest to anyone interested in the Betty and Barney Hill case. These documents contain:
  • Correspondence between Dr. Benjamin Simon and arch-skeptic Philip J. Klass.
  • Correspondence between Betty Hill and Philip J. Klass, in which she  attempts to persuade Klass that her abduction story is factual.
  • Correspondence between Dr. Benjamin Simon and yours truly (!!).
  • Copies of the supposed "radar evidence" of the Hills' UFO.
  • Betty Hill's drawing illustrating the relative positions of her "UFO" and what she is calling "Jupiter", and the moon, establishing that it was actually Jupiter she saw at the beginning of her sighting.
  • My skeptical article about the Hill case, published in the August, 1976 issue of Official UFO magazine, and Betty Hill's letter to the editor about it.
  • The complete record of weather observations for Sept. 19-20, 1961 from the Mt Washington  Observatory, the highest point in New Hampshire's White Mountains.
Betty Hill in 2000 posing with "Junior," a bust of her supposed alien  abductor (photo by author)

Some are now claiming that Dr. Simon accepted the Hills' abduction account. For example, "UFO Hunter" Bill Birnes (one of the most pompous asses I have ever encountered in UFOlogy - sometime I'll write about what happened when I was on Dr. J's internet radio show, and Birnes called in) writes on page 112 of UFO Hunters, Book One:
[Kathleen] Marden [Betty Hill's niece, and currently the biggest promoter of the Hill abduction story] suggested in a provate email to me, "Had Dr. Simon stated publicly that he believed that the Hills had experienced an abduction by non-human beings in a flying saucer, it would most assuredly have been professional suicide." However, Marden said that in his personal letters to Betty Hill, Dr. Simon was positive and fully supportive of Betty.

Dr. Simon's letters to Klass show that this is absolutely false. Dr. Simon said that he believed the Hills had a "sighting" (and says that he has had two sightings of his own, but gives no details!). However, he wrote:

 The abduction did not take place but was a reproduction of Betty's dream which occurred right after the sighting (p. 3).

Dr. Benjamin Simon
Dr. Simon's skepticism concerning the abduction story could not have been more directly stated. He told Klass that "my interest in UFOs was almost entirely on the phenomena of Barney's developing racial paranoia which seemed to me to have been the best representation on the matter I had seen" (p. 8).

Dr. Simon stated his skepticism quite directly for the first time on the NBC-TV Today show on the morning of the premiere of the NBC-TV movie, The UFO Incident (October 20, 1975). Klass apparently had chided Dr. Simon for not speaking out on this sooner. Dr. Simon defends his reluctance to speak out on the grounds of not being given sufficient opportunity to explain it fully. Dr. Simon says that it was James Oberg's review of Klass' book published in Technology Review, chiding him for not speaking out about his skepticism on the Hill story, that finally convinced Dr. Simon to do so! Oberg wrote,

why was it left to Mr. Klass to reveal that the psychiatrist who treated Betty and Barney Hill (The Interrupted Journey) never for a moment believed that they had been inside a flying saucer, while Look magazine used his misquoted words as an endorsement?  (p. 10).
Dr. Simon wrote to Klass, "THE ZEITGEIST HAD COME!, and I determined that this could be a magnificent opening for the book I am going to write on this whole matter." Unfortunately, no such book was ever written. Is it possible that Dr. Simon left behing a partially-completed manuscript at the time of his death?

The Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn (bottom) as seen at midnight in the White Mountains (size of planets exaggerated)
Betty Hill's sketch of the positions of the objects she said she saw. What she is calling "Jupiter" is obviously Saturn, and what she calls a "craft" is obviously Jupiter. (Size of moon is exaggerated.) If some other object were present, she would have seen three objects near the moon, not two.

Everyone interested in the Hill case will want to see these newly-published documents.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November - the Greatest UFO Mass Sighting in French History, 1990

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November - it's now been 25 years since the greatest mass UFO sighting in French history, in 1990.

Drawing of the French mass UFO sighting, Nov. 5, 1990. This one was observed by seven people

From James Oberg: http://satobs.org/seesat_ref/Oberg/901105-French_wave.pdf

  • Thousands of witness reports, artwork 
  • Mass media saturated 
  • Fireball reports common, but accompanied by more artificial structured objects 
  •  Some reports of EM effects on computers, car radios 


Some witnesses described it as 'giant triangles' crossing the sky. Except that it was the re-entry of a Russian Proton rocket (designation 1990-094C), used to launch a Gorizont satellite. Satellite orbit guru Ted Molczan has prepared this map, showing the trajectory of the object as it traveled (west to east) across France. This matches up extremely well with the time and trajectory of the reported "UFO."

 From the UFO Working Group Netherlands: Analysis of the 1990 UFO reports by British jet fighter pilots.

Case Studies In Pilot Misperceptions Of "UFOs" by James Oberg.

"Credible people reporting incredible things." But quite inaccurately.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dr. ThepPhanom's Aliens

On October 29, I did about a 40-minute interview on Skype with a team of producers from Malaysian TV in Kuala Lumpur. They produce a show called Strange Encounters, and they wanted to talk to me about aliens.

They had recently traveled to Thailand, where they met with Dr. ThepPhanom Muangman, a U.S.-trained medical doctor who says he regularly communicates with aliens. (He says that his first UFO sighting occurred in New Hampshire when he was a medical student back in the 1950s - beating out even Betty Hill!) He has a considerable following, called the Kao Kala Group, named for the hill that they claim is a UFO hotspot or interdimensional portal or something. There was an article about him in the Wall Street Journal back in 2011. You might say that Dr. ThepPhanom is the Steven Greer of Thailand.

They sent me links to two videos. The first one just seems to show a satellite going over, very likely the ISS. I told them that there was nothing unusual about that one. The second video, below, purports to show an "extraterrestrial" walking around farmers' fields in Thailand. Notice how dramatic music has been added.

I pointed out to the producers that just because this guy is walking around in a white suit, that doesn't make him an alien. This looks like the kind of suit someone might wear when working with hazardous materials, perhaps putting pesticides on the fields. The second part of the video shows a bright light in the sky. It looks like it's possibly an airborne flare, on a parachute, but not knowing how it was recorded, it could be just about anything. In their imagination, they claim to see ETs jumping down from it. 

The Strange Encounters producers interviewed Dr. ThepPhanom at his home in Thailand. He talked about meditation and trance states for communicating with aliens. He fiddled with an electro-magnetic field meter, telling them that this device can detect when aliens are present. It quickly got a high reading, causing Dr. ThepPhanom to exclaim "they are here." Unfortunately, the aliens were invisible.
Dr. ThepPhanom detecting aliens using his EMF meter.
As the interview went on, some of the Doctor's followers were out in the yard, and captured on video this object that allegedly made a single, high-speed pass over his house. It looks like an object that somebody simply tossed into the air, for someone else to film. How did they know the precise time to turn on the camera? At first I thought it was a fly buzzing over - that's how fast it went - but when slowed down it clearly was not a bug.

A "UFO" captured on video as it zipped by Dr. ThepPhanom's house
The  Kao Kala Group has a Blog about how they channel aliens and such:
Coordination for Disasters Warning (the Kao Kala Group), is a group of people who receive information in order to coordinate with other groups, in case of disasters, to provide warning when we receive the information from extraterrestrials, in order to warn the people, preparation of equipment and technology in order to help, enhancement the state of mind of the people who work and acknowledge this project.
 Currently their Blog contains "messages from the chief of Pluto that were sent by sound wave channeling at Kaokala hill, Nakhon Sawan province, Thailand on March 6, 1999." All the postings use the Thai calendar, so I cannot say when they were made, although Blogspot shows postings in 2011, then nothing until 2015. 

As near as I can tell, there is no such thing as "skepticism" in Thailand when it comes to claims of UFOs and aliens.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A "Saucerized" Satellite Re-Entry in Georgia

On June 29, 2015 at 1:28 AM, a man (identified only as C.J.) and his wife were driving near Wadley, Georgia, when a "Large metallic object with fluid oil slick body spurting sparks from the rear flies dirctly over Our truck" (sic).  The man, who is a US Army NCO on active duty, reported to the National UFO Reporting Center that
At precisely 01:28am 29 June 2015 on HWY 1 south heading north approximately 7-8 miles south of a gas station at 10525 HWY 1 south, Wadley, GA, 30477. Our radio began to get real static so I turned it down when my wife noticed a very large object flying left to right coming toward us. I looked up to the left and hit my brakes stopping our truck to the side of the road. The object appeared to be approximately 250 meters in length 60 meters height and was approximately flying 200 feet in altitude and was spurting sparks from the rear of the object. The sparks were jetting out about 50-80 meters in a pattern of controlling thrust.

My wife and I had a very good look at the object closer than anyone else on that highway considering there was no vehicles in sight. The object had a dim glow of a orange around it, vague but noticeable. The objects exterior was metallic but appeared to look like oil on water effect to it and appeared to be fluid like movement over the metallic body of the object.

My wife and I watched in disbelief in what we were witnessing as it moved left to right the object decreased in altitude as it was over the highway then began to increase in altitude after it crossed the highway right overhead of us. We watched as it increased in altitude and penetrated some clouds and accelerated out of sight through the cloud cover quickly.

A rendering of the reported object, from the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC)
They do not say who did the drawing (presumably the witness), or wrote the symbols.

But satellite orbit guru Ted Molczan thought that this sounded like it might be a possible satellite re-entry, and he went to work. He found that the time of the event matched almost perfectly with the known re-entry of  1973-084D / 6939, the final rocket stage of the launch of Cosmos 606. This event was widely witnessed, giving rise to 169 reports in the database of the American Meteor Society

 A second rendering of the object, from the NUFORC, with symbols written across the bottom.

Molczan writes,
The witness stated that the sighting was at "precisely 01:28 am." Based on the trajectory analysis, I doubt they would have spotted the re-entry much before 01:29:30 EDT, when it was near culmination, 34 deg above the NW horizon. I estimate that they would have lost sight of it about 01:30:30 EDT. The time discrepancy is not large. If the witness were to insist that 01:28 is correct, and claim that this proved the re-entry was not their UFO, then he would need to explain how he failed to see the re-entry when it passed a minute or two after the UFO, directly in front of him as he resumed his drive north. The satellite imagery, taken within minutes of the sighting, reveals that the sky was fairly clear.

The reported sighting duration of 4-5 min is quite a bit longer than the 1 min. that I estimate the re-entry was in view, but the discrepancy is not unusual for events of this type.
Molczan's reconstruction of the re-entry event, as the observers would have seen it in their truck.

The NUFORC added Molczan's explanation to its listing of this incident. The witness, however, "states unambiguously that he believes that what he witnessed with his family was not a re-entering satellite."

In fact, according to the Crop Circles Research Foundation, this witness (known as C.J.),
was unconsciously compelled to write down symbols consisting of lines and squares from left to right, on the back of the Motel 6 full page receipt....It has been independently confirmed both by myself and another researcher (Dr. Horace Drew) that C.J.’s symbols are in fact a message written in binary code that can be translated via a standard ASCII table."
C.J.'s ASCII Binary Code channeled after his UFO sighting.

Where have we seen this before? Oh yes, hundreds of 'insider' comments about Penniston's amazing Rendle-sham notebook, a few postings back.

For those interested in researching other reported UFO incidents that might be caused by satellite reentries, Molczan has created a dedicated web page listing all known visually-observed natural re-entries of earth satellites, which will be updated as necessary: http://satobs.org/reentry/Visually_Observed_Natural_Re-entries_latest_draft.pdf

Reports of UFOs can be compared to this list to see if the incident was caused by a satellite falling out of orbit. Of course, if the incident was caused by a brilliant meteor fireball, it will not be on this list.