Sunday, June 21, 2015

Curt Collins And The Cosmic Rorschach Test

© 2015 Ray X

UFO researcher Curt Collins has always been inquisitive, not one to accept anything at face value.

For example: the banana peel experiment.

 “At age five,” he explained, “I attempted to verify whether [TV] cartoons accurately depicted slipping on a banana peel. It turns out, yes, it can be done."

Through an email interview he detailed how he set up his experiment in four steps:

“1) Observe cartoon. 

“2) Go on to carport and eat banana.

“3) Place peel on smooth concrete surface.

“4) Step on it while walking.”

But Step 4 failed to yield results until he changed tack.  He duplicated the scene from an episode of “Magilla Gorilla” by running and jumping on the banana peel.

“As I recall,” he continued, “the slip resulted in landing primarily on my right gluteus maximus, without any injuries or circling cartoon birdies produced.  The results were conclusive, and I felt further studies were not required.”

Curt always kept asking “How?” and “Why?”   Both parents were tolerant of his inquisitiveness.  His father preferred his son to pursue mainstream interests like sports.  With his imaginative mind Curt was drawn to areas such as comic books, science fiction, and flying saucers.  Back in those days such interests were outlier.

It was his mother who helped him develop his investigative skills.  He recalled how she was supportive, sometimes providing materials and advice.

One time he wanted to be a “mad scientist,” mixing kitchen ingredients until the formula started smoking.

“At that point I was urged to pour it outside,” he said, “and the lab was closed.

Ufofology drew his attention until the “Hangar 18” incident.

At age twenty-one Curt watched "Hangar 18," a low-budget theatrical movie billed as a documentary revealing the true story behind UFOs.  It was a great disappointment, even as fiction.

“It was advertised as if it was a documentary,” he said. “[‘Hangar 18’] promised to peel back the curtain of Government secrecy, or at least that was what I was expecting. I even took my mom who had some interest in UFOs. The film was so awful, I was embarrassed for ever wanting to have seen it, more so for dragging my mother there.”

Years later a real documentary, "Shades of Gray," renewed Curt’s interest in ufoism.  The film told the story of the late Gray Barker, one of the great names from the early years of saucerdom.  Gray is known as a myth maker, i.e., someone who enjoyed creating fabrications and put-ons.  One of Gray's friends was Jim Moseley, Supreme Commander and self-proclaimed court jester of ufology who wrote the zine "Saucer Smear."

Intrigued, Curt contacted Jim. They became phone and pen pals before the death of the Supreme Commander.  Curt’s interest in ufology would have waned once again but through Jim he found a new way to look at the subject.

 “[Jim] told me 99% of it was bullshit,” said Curt.  “But then he kept talking about the genuinely interesting cases, and the sideshow of wild, weird and wonderful people.”

Jim Moseley was known for calling bullshit with certain cases or people.  Curt carries on with the tradition at his blog, .  One case he finds genuinely interesting is the Cash-Landrum incident.

December 29, 1980.  Two women and a young boy travel by car through a section of dense woods in Texas.  Betty Cash is driving when all three see an unusual light in the evening sky.  Vickie Landrum tells Betty to stop.

A mysterious object, shaped like a diamond, descends in front of them, throwing off intense heat.  Both women get out of the car to view the object.  Colby Landrum, Vickie’s grandson, becomes upset and she returns to the car to comfort him. Helicopters are seen chasing or escorting the huge object.  After this encounter all three witnesses, especially Betty, suffer health problems apparently caused by ionizing radiation.

Curt called BS on a TV “documentary” series that exaggerated the appearance of the UFO, the dramatized recreation showing the object discharging lighting. (Not true.)  During the encounter the heat was so intense that a handprint was left on the dashboard.  Another visual exaggeration in the TV program showed the handprint had left a deep impression but in actuality it was a subtle shape.

Curt is a stickler for the truth.  More recently he participated in the Roswell Slides Research Group, UFO researchers who banded together to investigate the validity of an old color slide that purportedly showed the body of a dead ET from the Roswell Crash.  (Note the word “purportedly.”)

To Curt there is more than one answer to the UFO mystery.  He doesn’t believe that all encounters can be explained by gray aliens who sometimes slam their craft into our planet.  He stresses the first word in the term Unidentified Flying Objects.  He says that the term has become polluted after becoming a synonym for extraterrestrial spacecraft.
 “The UFO term is a crutch,” he said. “It covers a spectrum of sightings of things that may be caused by many different things, some of them unknown. Within that, there’s a subset that could be ET visitors, but that can’t be the answer for all of it, and we have to keep an open mind.”

He remembers Jim Moseley was fond of an observation by Ray Palmer: Flying saucers/UFOs were here to make us think.

Or as Curt sums up: “Stanton Friedman is wrong; it’s not a cosmic Watergate, it’s a cosmic Rorschach blot.” 

 * * *

Note: Quotations were lightly edited for clarity.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lettermanati Is Finally Over

(C) 2015  Ray X

At last: no more ads or news items about David Letterman leaving the Late Show.  The omnipresent relentless push to tune in his final shows produced great irritation with this writer.  Of course the local CBS-TV affiliate had to carry stories about how some of the staff had met the talk show host.  Even BBC TV News carried a story about the pseudo-event.  That's news?

Years ago I wrote a put-on about Letterman being a top member of the Illuminati.  I used the gag with a couple of ultra-right-wing talk show hosts on US shortwave radio.  I called in, inquiring about his membership/affiliation.  One time I spoke with the late William Cooper on the phone, asking him about the images seen during the Late Show opening, a fly-over of New York City featuring various landmarks.  I mentioned how some buildings had pyramid shapes.  Cooper told me it was part of the hidden message.

The Lettermanati story was a yardstick to measure how nuts those SW conspiracy theorists were.

I hadn't seen David on TV for a long time - I thought he was dead - and was surprised the last time I happened to notice his program.  (His TV show functioned as a night light to my toilet.)  There was this old fart on the screen, telling lame-o jokes. Dabbs Greer had taken over?

Maybe I should celebrate David's retirement by spreading more BS about his Illuminati connections.  I could say he was a 33.5 Degree Mason at the Lodge of Moose and Squirrel in Frostbite Falls.  But there are those who would believe me despite tongue planted firmly in cheek.

I wonder if CBS will be conducting tours of the Ed Sullivan Theater after David's departure.  I would like to see the sex bunker with the tour guide providing a historical perspective.


-  -  -

From Ray X X-Rayer #107.  To subscribe via email or to read archived issues go to .

The XXYYXX Files

(C) 2015 Ray X

His stage name even sounds Illuminoid.

Marcel Everett is an electronic musician and record producer who goes by the handle XXYYXX.  (Maybe he suffers a serious condition with his sex chromosomes.) In a 2011 interview with Noisey/Vice the young talent let it all hang out about his Illuminatism.  (The reporter was Aleks Eror -- now there's a Illuminatic appellation.) 

XXYYXX said that he was CEO of the Illuminati.  He owned the secret organization, had stock in it.  Asked about the conspiracy's plans for 2012 he revealed he was going to "fuck some shit up," create a global currency, assassinate some people.

Surprisingly he stated that Lady Gaga was not in the Illuminati, that she was "fucking retarded," that she didn't know what she was doing.  Hey, of all of the celebrities who would be a card-carrying Illuminati she would at the top of the list.  Her appearance reeks sinister Mega-Conspiracy promoting secret messages.

During the interview it's revealed Ja-Rule was CEO of the Illuminati until XXYYXX told him to "fuck off."

I wonder what the late William Cooper would think of this if he was still around on shortwave radio.  I can see his program, "The Hour of the Time," devoting a whole show to the evil XXYYXX, how the musician was pretending the Illuminati was a joke, hiding the truth.  XXYYXX, Cooper might've said, was acting as a clown to obscure the true nature of the Mega-Conspiracy.

An image comes to mind.  I remember seeing a blind dog spinning around in circles, trying to catch its tail.

XXYYXX interview:

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From Ray X X-Rayer #107.  To subscribe via email or to read archived issues go to .

Sunday, March 01, 2015

More Digital Problems

Well, it seems that Google sites doesn't what to cooperate.  If you're looking for PDF copies of my zine go to .  The useless Google site has been deleted.

And there's also .  You can subscribe via email or read the latest issues in the Archive.

Any problems, please let me know.  The again, after wasting more than two hours screwing around with Google...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An eXperiment.

I'm trying out TinyLetter and have published the latest issue of my zine, Ray X X-Rayer #104.. Go to . You can subscribe via email or click on the Archive link to read the latest issue.

As for this blog and my paperzine - well, we'll see.  I hardly get any feedback here at this blog.  Maybe an email newsletter will generate more of a response.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

From The MailboX: Rant Feedback

One rant, two different takes.

My rant [ ] about formatting my zine any way I wanted produced some interesting reactions.

Robert Jennings, Editor of Fadeaway zine (29 Whiting Rd.,Oxford, MA  01540-2035) (FabFicBks[at]aol[dot]com), emailed:

I would suggest that criticisms about the appearance of your zine by readers are not malicious, but are probably intended to be constructive in nature.  Yes, its your publication to do anything you want with it, any way you want, but producing an end product that is comfortable to read and is visually agreeable makes a better impression and helps get whatever message you are writing about across more easily.  I know several people who produce fanzines, and I’m sure you do as well, who may have interesting or worthwhile material to offer, but whose format is so jumbled or cramped that most people won’t even give it a fair chance.  I don’t think your mag falls into that classification, but dumping on somebody because they make constructive format suggestions appears to me to be petty vindictiveness.

In decades past whenever I couldn’t make the pages come out quite to the end of the page in my mimeographed fanzines (not very often) I invented The Embarrassing Blank Space, which developed an independent life of its own in the early 1960s.  When computers and word processing systems came along this problem pretty much disappeared forever.  I would be happy to lend-lease a quire or two of Embarrassing Blank Spaces if you need the things.  Just be sure to label them when you use them.

OK, my rant was over the top but it wasn't meant to be malicious.  In fact the person who made the comment that I should be formatting my zine to look professional, i.e. leave no white space and have an even number of pages, hasn't indicated to me he has taken offense.  My rants should be taken in the spirit intended.

And Doug Harrison, Editor of Zine Explorers Notebook (P.O. Box 5291, Richmond, VA 23220) snail-mailed this:   
Thanks for the latest. That was an excellent rant on your first page. The whole idea of zines to me is to NOT "get with the program". (Which is why I call myself an anarchist.) I don't want to be forced to get with anybody's program, or force anybody to get with mine.
But yes, I have certain aesthetic standards for myself that I try to meet with my own publication. I find the challenges rewarding in making interesting page layouts, using different fonts and column widths, etc. That's my own choice; I don't expect anybody else to live up to my standards in their own realm. I think that's kind of snotty and arrogant; no, definitely so.

Doug publishes a very neat zine (and I'm not just talking about its appearance).  I can appreciate the time and effort he puts into his work; it does show.  Some people enjoy the process of layout and design.  For me, my main goal is to eXpress myself quickly and precisely, not to be overly involved with how it looks on the other end.  As long as its readable and people can grok my words, I'm happy.

Let me wrap this up with a third take from X. Dell of The X Spot []:

People confuse "professionalism" with (1) competence, (2) excellence or (3) value. In reality, I can point you to numerous examples where competence, excellence and value have been slaughtered on the altar of professionalism.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

XR #103 Online

If you prefer my blog posts in a zine format check out Ray's X Zone where you can view and download recent issues.

I just uploaded Ray X X-Rayer #103, the White Space Issue.  Here's a link to view it directly.

I'm down to a handful of paperzine subscribers and I'm debating whether or not to drop the entire zine format both in print and PDF.  Or I might drop the blog and just do an email newsletter.  This would eliminate some duplication of effort.  Any feedback from out there?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cash-Landrum: Curt Collins Is On The Case

And on the subject of a (non)fiction TV series covering eXtraordinary events (see previous post)...

Over at his site, Blue Blurry Lines [ ], Curt Collins has been looking into the Cash-Landrum incident.  In a recent blog post he takes to task the UFO "documentary" series, Close Encounters, on a few points with its report on the incident.

If you're unfamiliar with the Cash-Landrum case: December 1980.  Evening.  Texas, a country road.  Three people in a car (two adults and a child) encounter a hovering diamond-shaped object emitting heat, flames spewing out from its base.  Days later the three witnesses seek medical attention at a hospital, suffering from symptoms suggestive of radiation exposure.

In his post, Cash-Landrum As Seen on TV: Close Encounters,  [ ] Curt provides a list of thirteen inaccuracies he noted from one viewing of the CE episode dealing with the event.  Even basic facts like how many doors on the car are bungled.

But the biggest criticism is targeted toward the dramatized reenactment of the event.  Apparently it needed a bit of juice for the TV audiences.

In the purported recreation the UFO — which the witnesses said in real life was about 130 feet away — moved over the car, covering it in flames.

And another detail was created.  Close Encounters contacted someone who wasn't an expert on the case.  He repeated the story from memory, mentioning that he heard that sparks were being emitted from UFO.  

Apparently little or no fact checking was done.  Or if it was, maybe the producers thought: What the hell, let's keep that sparking angle and even enhance it to make the UFO's appearance even more impressive.  Why just have flames and sparks when you can throw in lightning?  Ergo, the UFO discharges electrical bolts. To quote the Late Great Supreme Commander Moseley: Wheee!

But this is nothing new.  Anyone remember the TV series, Unsolved Mysteries, that from 1987 until 2002 on the NBC network?  Hosted by actor Robert Stack — who seemed to recreating the character he portrayed in the comedy movie, Airplane — the producers wouldn't hesitate to juice up a story.  That's why before each episode a disclaimer was shown saying the series was not a production of NBC News.

A UFO that was reported seen in the distance at night, not that large or detailed, would be depicted hovering almost over the witness's head, huge with bright lights.  

And there was a segment about the Sandra Mansi - Lake Champlain monster encounter (1977) in which she provided an indistinct photograph of what could've been a half-submerged log or tree some distance away in the water.  But during the reenactment they showed the monster close to shore, going eyeball-to-eyeball with Mansi.  Double Wheee!

Don't watch that TV crap.  Instead spend time at sites like Curt's where real research is being done, sorting out the scat from the candy.   And it isn't TV mind candy.