Wednesday, December 25, 2013

From The MailBoX: Rick Rips On Roswell

Rick Hilberg, editor of the newsletter Flying Saucer Digest, has been covering the UFO scene for decades.  He jokingly refers to himself as an “old geezer, dinosaur ufologist.”  Responding to my previous blog article, “Kimball Empties Roswell Saucer,” he sent his reactions via snail mail.  He wrote:

The Kimball-Randle "feud" sounds so much like other disputes from the past years of "ufoology". The fact that it centers around the Roswell "crash" isn't surprising at all to me, as apparently there is still some milk left in that old cash cow. Hey, the rumor of some alleged photos can only breathe some new life into old Bossy, and maybe even warrant a new book or two and certainly some exposure on one of the insipid tabloid TV UFO programs on cable.

Speaking of TV coverage of the UFO subject, I'm always amazed at how all of them (as well as countless articles in the press and on the Internet) proclaim that the whole flying saucer thing started with the mysterious happenings at Roswell in 1947. I guess poor old Ken Arnold has been forgotten, not to mention that Roswell was a forgotten footnote in UFO research until the late 1970s. Very few books from the early days of the phenomenon even mention the Roswell "radar balloon" finding. Maybe ignorance is really bliss to the modern day "researchers."

For more info about his newsletter, write to Rick at 377 Race Street, Berea, OH 44017.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fortean Deafness?

Somehow I didn't hear a mysterious boom that recently shook the region.

I know I was outside at the time because I had left somewhere just before 8 PM Tuesday night, November 26, and it was at least a ten minute walk to my destination .  Reports of the boom – felt from Montreal to a town roughly 15 miles west of here (Plattsburgh) – started to come in to the media just after 8 PM.

One online report sent to a local TV station described the house shaking.  But according to the US Geological Survey no earthquakes were detected in the region, either here or Canada.  The source of the shock-rock was unknown.

Once again I've missed out experiencing a Fortean mystery.  Could it be that my skeptical side is making me blind to such events?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Does Bruce Duensing Speak English?

Yes, I sometimes use a ten dollar word but I try to eschew academese.

There's this commenter on ufological topics, Bruce Deunsing, who seems to be making a valid point – if you can wade through his dense observations.

Then again, his response to a post at the UFO Iconoclast(s) site entitled "UFOs and the Rabble" is appropriate considering the post's bouts of bloviation.  (The essay is signed "RR," so I'm assuming the writer is Rich Reynolds or maybe Robert Redford.)  But while I can get the gist of the post with some effort Bruce's comment seems to be an exercise in "I-can-top-that-for-turgid-opacity."  Here's part of his response:

"What constitutes an advanced civilization? Of course this is a game of comparisons played by those as card in what remains of Ufology which has descended into the proverbial act of reading tea leaves based on their premise that their basis of comparison of such an advanced civilization compared to ours is always made in technological terms, which says a great deal about the observer than it does about the observed.

"If, as some have suggested, such as myself, that the whole of this subject is precognitive sentience based on upending rationality at the behest of logic to deconstruct the parameters of our orientation, then it should come as no big surprise that what is reported is always a chimera based on a technological series of non verbal communications, that are painted in our mind's eye as the work of a intangible surrealist."

I would print more but that would violate the rules of fair use – and also violate your mind by either inducing a headache or putting you into a coma.

One can only imagine what it is like to be around Bruce.  For example, after wrapping up a conversation, he might say:

"Rendering upon you an indication of termination of this discourse by invoking a congenial poncif that perfunctorily offers wish fulfillment vis-a-vis your existential sphere experiencing during a specific period of time positivism of a nature that conveys phenomenological joie de vivre to your rudimentary cerebral functions, i.e., intrinsic emotional state of a pleonastic qualitative quality."

While I would say:

"Have a nice day."

Is Blood Thicker Than Balderdash?

After alienating Kevin Randle over a Dream Team controversy involving rumors of photographic slides showing an otherworldly being, the irked Paul Kimball stirred a dust-up with his uncle, physicist/ufology researcher/"Roswell-was-an-ET-crash" proponent Stan Friedman.

Please note that both Stan and Paul are citizens of The Great White North but their respective essays lay myth to the concept of a “gray Canadian.”

In his essay entitled “Paul Kimball's UFO Debunking and Irrationality" Stan responded to a essay by his nephew that challenged him on a number of points.  Paul even referred to Stan's concept of nuclear-powered rockets as interstellar spacecraft as "balderdash."  Youch!  

(Paul’s essay, “The Illogic of the Crashed ET Spacecraft Myth,” can be read here.)

The main theme of Stan’s essay is how educated and intelligent people can act so irrational when it comes to debunking certain ufological beliefs.  After citing a dubious debunking statement by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, Stan mentions his nephew’s law degree, indicating Paul is of above average intelligence, and how Paul has studied UFOs.  But then Stan illustrates how Paul’s intelligence fails on the topic of crashed alien spacecraft 

Regarding Roswell Paul asked why would any alien spacecraft crash on this planet if the ETs had such superior technology?

Stan countered that a craft designed to travel in a planetary atmosphere wouldn’t have the same durability as the mothership that brought it here.  He gave the example of an aircraft carrier being akin to a mothership while the more fragile airplanes launched from it would be like what crashed at Roswell.

Paul also repeated the skeptic’s take on the A-Flying-Saucer-Really-Crashed-Near-Roswell belief, how the details couldn’t remain covered up for so long since the 1947 incident.  Someone would have leaked the fantastic truth by now.

Stan countered with examples such as the Manhattan Project that employed 60,000 people who were able to keep tight-lipped and didn't sink any ships.

Responding to his nephew’s snark re: ““Stan Friedman’s nuclear rockets balderdash” the peeved uncle wrote: “Why Paul is in denial about nuclear rockets I don’t know, though I suppose lawyers don’t dig into such matters.”  Stan added that one of his books has photos of real nuclear-powered rockets.

Years ago Stan spoke at a local college here in Plattsburgh, NY.  After his presentation a smart-ass student from the college radio station – a David-Letterman-wannabe – interviewed Stan, making all sorts of jokes such as references to alien abductions and anal probes.  To his credit Stan remained unflappable, didn’t take the bait, but calmly responded to each inane question. 

But with his response to his nephew’s criticism Stan allowed himself to be a bit testy.  Of course family does make it more personal.

While I don't agree with all of his views Stan does raise one good point in his essay.  He refers to an either/or statement attributed to writer Isaac Asimov.

While Isaac was known for being imaginative with his fiction he took the skeptical high road with his non-fiction works, particularly on the topic of UFOs.  He observed one time that if aliens were visiting this planet they would either remain hidden or reveal themselves to mankind.

As if there is no middle ground between those extremes.

In both science and fiction there are shades of gray.

Parting note: On the topic of nuclear spacecraft there’s this article with links at “DailyDirt: Nuclear Power In Space.”

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Kimball Empties Roswell Saucer

Filmmaker/researcher Paul Kimball has seen the light – and it ain't a UFO.

For years he commented on various subjects including ufology at his Blogspot site, The Other Side of Truth.  I stopped by there the other day and couldn't access it.

With some Google searching I discovered that Paul has closed down that site.  The Other Side of Truth is now a subdomain at his personal website [ ].

On his Facebook page [ ] Paul announced the best of his writing from Blogspot is being transferred to his personal Website.  Also he will continue to comment on paranormal subjects such as ghosts but no more UFOs.

As I had suspected the Blogspot site was shut down due to the dust-up between Paul and UFO researcher Kevin Randle.

Just to hit the key points of the controversy:

Kevin belonged to a "Dream Team" of researchers searching for the truth behind the Roswell Crash.  Recently a rumor circulated that photographic slides from 1947 had been discovered that show aliens or deformed humans, proof that something strange did happen near Roswell.  Paul received emails from Kevin discussing the Dream Team research and the slides.

Through the email correspondence Paul learned some details that he felt should be out in the open, even though he would be violating Kevin's confidence.  Paul challenged Kevin's public assertion that Kevin wasn't involved in the investigation of the slides.

At his own blog, A Different Perspective, Kevin Randle presents his side of the story [ ] .  He says that he was out of the loop with the alien slide investigation and wasn't directly involved.

Paul also challenged Kevin in regards to Dream Team member Don Schmitt.  Don has faced accusations that he's a veracity challenged Roswell researcher.  With Kevin's emails Paul showed how Kevin in private still doubted Don Schmitt's honesty despite giving a favorable impression of Don in public.

Here is what Paul posted from Kevin's email:

"I hung in there with the unilateral decision to invite in Schmitt [to the Dream Team], even given his history of lying (which, BTW, continues in some arenas, and Schmitt's grab for the spotlight to the exclusion of all others). But this latest book [by Schmitt] seems to sink our effort before we even get to the end point."

Paul questioned Kevin's actions, saying that Kevin went along with the "evasions, half-truths, and untruths" because Kevin couldn't maintain objectivity in regards to Roswell.  Paul invoked the term "believerism" in describing why some are so blinded by Roswell = UFO.

Controversy erupted and now rages.  Some felt Paul should have never violated Kevin's trust.  Others praised Paul for getting the truth out.  In that latter group a few said Paul should have given Kevin a warning about the revelations before publication.

Because of the heat from rabid Roswell-Was-A-UFO-Crash believers and Randle supporters Paul Kimball is turning his back on ufology.

One could never accuse Paul of being mealymouthed.  Sometimes he states his views in undiplomatic terms.  Before his Blogspot site was closed he shared his opinion in a post entitled "Death of A Dream... by self-inflicted wounds" that Kevin Randle is "as slippery as an eel and has the ethical compass of a kumquat."

I contacted Paul via his Facebook page about the shutdown of his old blog.  He replied in part: 

"[A]s you may recall, I stopped blogging about two years ago and only recently started again... which was enough to remind me of why I stopped. The Other Side of Truth blog was fun for a while, but it's too closely linked to UFOs and ufology, subjects I have less and less interest in (particularly after the whole Randle brouhaha, which I found very disappointing, both in terms of Randle's behaviour but in the broader sense with people's reactions)."

Paul also clarified a point for me in another FB comment reply:

"I've always made a point of saying that I'm not in 'ufology' – I'm just an observer and student of it as a subculture, in the same way that conspiracists interest me... or neo-Nazis."

The late Jim Moseley observed that we will never learn the truth about Roswell because it was buried under too much bull flop.  And now with some of that stuff impacting the air circulation propeller, obscuring the real story even more, I think Jim was right.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Star Trek Meets Liberty Net: Where's IDIC?

Visual mash-up by Ray X.

"If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear." - Gene Roddenberry

Back in the 1960s a producer had to push to have any diversity in a TV program.  In creating the original Star Trek TV series Gene Roddenberry wanted to show a crew of many different cultures working in harmony.

For some the concept of multinationalism was impossible to accept.  But Roddenberry persisted: his starship team included characters like Communications Officer Uhura who was of African descent.  She was an important crew member, not someone cast in a lowly support role.

One way this tolerance of other cultures was expressed was through the IDIC concept: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.  One shouldn't automatically fear "the other."

All of this was brought to mind the other night when I happened to drop in to listen to the Liberty Net, a gathering of ultra-conservative ham radio operators who not only express their views on shortwave radio but simulcast their discussions online at .  After recently writing a long-delayed post about their previous exploits I thought it was to check in again.

Some of the LibNetters are into science fiction and even Star Trek has been mentioned in passing.  But this time the talk was really bizarre: mankind developing teleportation as seen on ST was linked with the growing threat to the endangered white man.

Experiments have been conducted that indicate that teleportation might someday be a form of transportation.  Some LibNetters really got into the discussion about how important this would be for man's advancement in the universe.

But it was also mentioned that other races are outbreeding the white man, causing a severe deterioration of civilization.  In particular people of African descent were undermining all the great work of the Supreme White Man.  Civilization might collapse by a global dumbing-down before it could achieve teleportation and other wondrous breakthroughs.

Meanwhile at the grave of Gene Roddenberry twirling and hurling sounds could be heard.

-- You can comment below or email me at .  Email comments might be published at a later date.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Taking A Stand Against Stan

Obviously I haven't been writing/blogging that often so maybe I should get caught up on a few items.

I haven't been devoting/wasting as much time as before listening to the Liberty Net (  Part of the reason is that it's the same old same old with them, ultra-right-wing ham radio operators flogging the same dead pale horse.

One item of note is how the LibNetters describe the unjustified willingness by liberals to overlook any flaws or hypocrisy with President Barack Obama.  They described the condition as "negrophilia."  Huh?  Is that in the DMS (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)?

And then there's an incident from some time ago when a regular participant, Stan, was really wound up, talking on and on.  Instead of politely interrupting and telling him to wrap it up, the other LibNetters moved to a different frequency, leaving the loquacious commenter all alone.  

Later Stan would realize he was talking to the empty ether and so he would find the net on the new frequency.  He apologized for being so longwinded but when it was his turn he went on for a while and the others went to a different frequency.  After the third time this happened Stan apparently got the hint.

Instead of being separated by many miles in different locations, I wonder how long the LibNetters would last if they all ended up stranded in the same spot like a small desert island.  With no radios, of course.

-- You can comment below or email me at .  Email comments might be published at a later date.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Cardiff Giant Lesson Remains Unlearned

"Hey, this ain't good for the womenfolk.  Anyone got a fig leaf?"

"Well, that'll have to do.  If my wife wasn't such a stick in the mud..."

There was some excitement over dere in Cardiff, NY back in October of 1869.  During a well diggin' on Stub Newell's spread the boys found a giant petrified man in the ground!  Even some of those science folks said so, so dere.
Or so the story went.  Actually it was a hoax, the carved statue placed into the ground a year before to make its discovery appear more authentic, the giant and the soil settling into place.

A great overview to the hoax is provided by the non-fiction book, The Giant and How He Humbugged America by Jim Murphy (Scholastic Press).  Don't be turned off that this book is classified as "juvenile literature" for readers ten years and older: adults will also find it a ripping good read.  Sometimes non-fiction books for young readers can be just as informative but better because the writer uses an economy of words.  Murphy's book also provides extensive source notes with leads to other works that delve further into the details.

One aspect I enjoy about this hoax is how even some "experts" were fooled.  Murphy explains that some scientists believed the Cardiff Giant was man-made but not of recent origin. 

When the American Goliath was first discovered an expert climbed into the muddy excavation and conducted a close examination, even smelling and licking the stone man's visage while a crowd watched.  The expert claimed it was probably sculpted back in the 17th Century by French Jesuit missionaries.

And there were those who took stock in it in being an actual petrified man, a fossilized giant.  One explanation for the change from flesh to stone was offered by a local doctor: a combo of cold underground water and "wet alluvial oil" produced the transmutation before rot could damage the body.

Murphy does put the situation of the experts in perspective when he states that back in those days university degrees in areas such as archeology and paleontology were recent developments.  Only a few who claimed to be specialists, he notes, possessed the extensive knowledge in the subjects they studied.

So with the growth of knowledge and the great number of university graduates now out in the world a hoax like the Cardiff Giant wouldn't happen in modern times.

Well, there was that incident back in 1999, as Murphy details, after a team of experts at the National Geographic Society claimed the missing link between dinosaurs and birds had been found with the Archaeoraptor liaoningensis fossil.  An article in National Geographic magazine featured the chicken-size dinosaur and how a paradigm shift had occurred.

Actually, the only shifting that occurred was a Chinese farmer glued together two different fossils together to scam some money off visiting fossil hunters.

-- You can comment below or email me at .  Email comments might be published at a later date.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Comments Welcome

I know from experience that having word verification/CAPTCHA turned off for comments here at Blogger means the spammers start showing up.

At the same time it can be a pain when you have to squint your eyes and brain to make out distorted letters and numbers that you have to correctly type in to get your comment accepted.

So besides leaving your observations here at the blog, you can now use my dedicated email address for comments:

I appreciate feedback and maybe this will help to increase the number of comments.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Will L. Ron Hubbard Intervene To Save His Church?

Lately it seems the Church of Scientology can't catch a break from bad publicity.

The publication of the book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, by Lawrence Wright dealt with key issues about the controversial church founded by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.  The church strongly contested parts of the book.

Then actress Leah Remini left the church, saying she was being harassed for asking about the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology's present leader, David Miscavige.  She filed a missing person report with the LAPD and even though the police said they had interviewed Mrs. Miscavige and she was OK, more troubling headlines with this story didn't help the church.

And now there's the news report of the arrest of a PR Director for the church's Celebrity Centre in Las Vegas, Devon Campbell Newman, a 67 year old grandmother.  Law enforcement officials say that she and a male accomplice are members of a right-wing group called Sovereign Citizen that believes citizens do not have to obey the law.  Allegedly Newman and her partner were going to kidnap a police officer, take him to a vacant house they had bought, and then conduct a trial of the captive who they would kill if he resisted.

Incidents like these have put Scientology on the defensive, adding to the growing perception the church is a dangerous cult.  Criticism and complaints have been directed at David Miscavige from alleged corruption to stories of physical and mental abuse of members.

So what would L. Ron Hubbard do?

The scientology founder died in 1986, at least in physical form according to Scientology officials.  Church leaders believe LHR discovered how to exist without a material form and so "dropped his body" to continue his research offworld.

According to Lawrence Wright in Going Clear Scientologists believe that LRH will return one day.  At certain locations rooms have been prepared for him to show up and settle back into his earthly routine, including sandals waiting for him at the shower door and cigarettes on his desk.  The as yet empty beds are changed each day so that when he does return to bodily form fresh sheets are ready.

If the latest events mean a make-or-break crisis for Scientology then it might be time for L. Ron to return like Jesus did with the apostles after his own physical death.  Time to re-inspire the followers.

One can only wonder what would happen if LRH did return.

Maybe he would warn us that the evil galactic overlord Xenu had escaped and was returning to our planet with more H-bombs in spaceships shaped like DC-8 airplanes.

Friday, July 19, 2013

After Push Back To Pull

The constant chore: tracking the latest posts at a variety of blogs.  In the old days I bookmarked each blog and then went through the list, checking to see if a site had any new items.

Then came along "push" technology, i.e., a site would tell me when recent posts were added.  RSS: Really Simple Syndication.  With Google Reader this system worked well.  I would log on to Reader and there would be a listing of new posts, all in one convenient spot.  It worked great with my Android tablet.

Then Google hit the kill switch on Reader.

I looked for a replacement service: Bloglines, Feedly, AOL Reader.  These RSS reader programs have one thing in common: they suck.  Clumsy interfaces, glitches and hang-ups.

I needed something that worked efficiently, especially with my tablet.

And I finally found it.


Like in the old days I go through the list and directly access each site.  Not as convenient as Google Reader but less snags than the other RSS services I've tried.

I have one page with bookmark shortcuts on my tablet.  The downside: I have to go to a site to see if anything was added since my last visit, "pulling" on each one.  The upside: a lot less frustration.

Too bad.  RSS is a good system but only as good as the services using it.

I heard a rumor that Google plans to kill-switch Blogspot...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Inkjet = Crap

No more inkjet printer.

I've tried three different brands and they all end up wasting my money.  Unless you use it once a week in a properly climate-controlled environment, the cartridges dry out to the point where they're unusable, even though there's plenty of ink left inside them.

I do have a laser printer that works great for my paperzine but not so great when addressing envelopes.  The heat causes the envelopes to seal so instead I was making do with an inkjet printer — but, once again, when I tried using it to mail out the latest edition of my zine, the cartridges were plugged up as if blocked with superglue.

I've tried cleaning the heads through the printer's program, using isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab, even invoking the Eldritch Name of Cthulhu, and they refuse to work.  I don't have time to baby inkjet cartridges.

I hate addressing each envelope by hand.  I finally figured out a way to print envelopes with my laser printer.  A press-and-seal envelope works OK; the strip covering the adhesive stops it from sealing up unlike a standard envelope.  Each one does get wrinkled a bit going through but is still usable.

My laser printer is a basic b&w unit, nothing fancy.  The only time I need color is to print out photos.  I can use a photo kiosk at the mall or go through an online service.  Since I don't print that many images it's cheaper than feeding fresh cartridges to a POS inkjet home unit every couple of months.

So if you're thinking about buying an inkjet printer, visualize it as a small black hole sucking money out of your wallet.  The cartridges are way overpriced, especially when they don't last that long.  Inkjet printer companies are making obscene profits from this rip-off.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Light Or Sound?

In April 1925 Canadian inventor Ted Rogers introduced the first AC-powered radio to the world.  Before this innovation people had to make do with batteries.  Now someone could hook up a radio to the electrical system in their home and never worry about recharging again.

This was before the adaptation to the two prong wall plug.  In olden times things were a bit screwy with appliances: everything used the same socket type invented for light bulbs. 

Check out the accompanying illustration of a commemorative stamp recalling Roger's achievement.  To create the stamp part of an old ad was used, the image of a woman who has removed a light bulb and is connecting her Roger's Batteryless Radio.  But I wonder if there were at least a few homes with only one socket per room (maybe one socket in the whole house).  Someone had to decide whether to read or listen at night.  I wonder how many arguments that situation stirred up.

"I don't want to read by that damn kerosene lamp!  Anyway, radio is a lot of foolishness, not good for your mind.  Nothing more than a passing craze for stupid people."

Of course that prediction was a bit off.  There are plenty of radio stations still on the air, including 1010 AM in Toronto that started broadcasting in 1927.  Its call sign is CFRB, the last two letters designating Rogers Batteryless radio.  After all, as Ted Rogers figured out, if you make a radio, you have to make sure people have a reason to buy one.

-- Hat tip to Dale Speirs, editor of Opuntia zine, for clueing me in on the stamp and old ads.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flying Saucers By Jung: Ineffective Sleep Aid

During the course of a day I take a handful of meds.  I don't want to add another pill to the list and so refuse to use any sleep-inducing pharmaceuticals.

One way to knock myself out is to read a boring book, usually something academic and turgid involving considerable concentration to figure out what the fug the author is talking about.  Someone like Noam Chomsky does the trick.

I have a copy of Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies by the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl G. Jung, translated by R.F.C. Hull.  With all due respect to the memory of Jung (he died in 1961) his writing does get to be Dense.  In Flying Saucers — a collection of Jung's writings dealing with UFOs — the author delves deeply into the symbology and psychological underpinnings of the subject.  

Because he made his observations in the early days of Ufology, he usually referred to the mysterious skyborne objects as flying saucers, the popular term back then.  Jung didn't know what the objective reality was of saucers; he never believed nor disbelieved in all of the reported sightings.  He speculated such objects might be "psychic projections" but never made any outright claims or explanations.

I had glanced at his book before and decided it would be the perfect sleep aid.  And since with most such works the turgidity is the thickest towards the end, I decided to read the epilogue.

That was a mistake.  In this section Jung explained how a "little book" feel into his hands that he couldn't leave unmentioned after finishing his manuscript.  The work was The Secret of the Saucers by Orfeo M. Angelucci (1955).  

Referring to Mr. Angelucci Jung wrote: "The author is self-taught and describes himself as a nervous individual suffering from 'constitutional inadequacy.'" 

Angelucci was one of the first contactees, individuals who said they were receiving messages from benevolent aliens (Space Brothers).  Jung talked about Angelucci's career as a prophet who "makes his living by preaching the gospel revealed to him by the Saucers."

Jung did a bang-up job of highlighting Angelucci's unusual life.  He dropped into some dense symbology related to the matter but — damn! — he then went on with concise and interesting reviews of two SF novels: The Black Cloud (1957) by Fred Hoyle and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957) by John Wyndham.  I started thinking about the concepts presented in those novels.

Guess who's wide awake by this point?  Next time I'm taking a dose of Chomsky.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Skullduggery Or Numbskullery?

Mind control?

Writer/podcaster Micah Hanks is at the top of the list of ufologists who are being mind-controlled by evil aliens.

Man, some people get all the luck.  (Why can't I end up with publicity like that?)

Over at his site, The Gralien Report, Micah aggregates links to stories related to fringe topics and occasionally writes an article.  In his essay, Mind Numbness: The Truth About Government Mind Control, he discusses how a story is circulating that he and other attendees at a conference late last year were put under the control of the sinister ETs with a distinct appellation: the Dow Greys.  (I wonder if they're in league with Dow Chemical or Dow Jones?)

Apparently the Dows took the unsuspecting attendees underneath the conference center and zapped them so that now they're spreading all sorts of disinfo.

Micah has described the whole story as "complete rubbish."  A certain gadfly (ahem) commented at his Gralien site:

"Gee, Micah, maybe you were programmed to say and think that. Sorry to sound so phillipkdickian but you could be so mind-controlled that you don’t know you’re mind-controlled."

Micah has taken a calm even-handed approach to the matter, saying that bogus conspiracy stories are created out of gaps in information.  Me, I think in this case those gaps are freaking galaxy-sized lacunas (looncunas).

Following the links related to this story you end up at YouTube with a video entitled Anya Briggs: Leading UFO/ET researchers mind controlled by Grey ETs at Johnsville Centrifuge.  Anya is interviewed online by fringe-ologist Alfred Lambremont Webre who was having technical problems that day (or maybe the NSA was screwing it up as he claims).  

While Anya doesn't give the names of those brain-zapped ufologists in the video there is a list in an accompanying article by Alfred at his exopolitics blog (see link below).

In the video Anya comes across as an energetic and caring soul but one with unusual qualities.  At the beginning of the Webcam interview she tells Alfred that she saw a ghost or astral agent slip by in the doorway of his office.  Or maybe, she adds, it's the ghost of an astral agent.  Responding to the spookiness she waves her hand on her side of the screen ala Doctor Strange to drive away the negative forces trying to stop the interview.

Around the 12 minute mark of the video she mentions that there's "skullduggery all around."  When talking about the dark forces lurking in the shadows, controlling events, she refers to the Illuminati.

Anya admits during the interview that she has been wrong about predictions in the past such as the world being blasted by thermonuclear war.  Actually, from what I gather, she's not really wrong but sorta wrong.  You see there's these shifting timelines and that nuke devastation track was pushed aside into the void.

I know when I screw up the concept of shifting timelines provides the right eXcuse (OK, maybe not in legal matters involving felonies).

Anya mentions that she isn't a Rothchild or CIA agent as some have claimed.  That statement gets to the heart of the matter when trying to grok mind-control.  How do we know that she hasn't been zapped by aliens or the malevolent military-industrial complex?  Maybe key parts of her critical thinking have been numbed. 

Of course, when it comes to mind control, you don't have to worry about me.  I can't be zapped.  Not only am I out of my mind, I'm also out of control.


Mind Numbness: The Truth About Government Mind Control

Diving Down the Rabbit Hole: Aliens, Mind Control, and Misinformation

Anya Briggs: Leading UFO/ET researchers mind controlled by manipulative “Dow” Grey ETs at Johnsville Centrifuge, now spreading Grey ET disinformation

Anya Briggs: Leading UFO/ET researchers mind controlled by Grey ETs at Johnsville Centrifuge (VIDEO interview)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's Not All About UFOnuts And Lunatics

I hate to disagree with a favorable review but...

After reading his take on my paperzine, Ray X X-Rayer, it seems the reviewer got the wrong impression about what I'm doing through it and my blog.  Of course the fault could me mine because I've never really stated the intent behind my eXpressions.

The reviewer said that I rough up lunatic UFOnuts and conspiracy theorists.  Yes, there are crazy people out there but I don't think they dominate – and therefore invalidate – areas like UFO and conspiracy research.  I consider situations individually, X-raying and showing the basic structure underneath each one and pointing out defects that may exist.  I try to be fair, doing more than just "roughing up" a few people along the way.

I do have a problem with extreme skeptics – skep-nuts if you will – whose debunking sometimes needs to be debunked.  I see problems on both sides of the divide.

The reviewer compared me to the late Jim Moseley, editor of Saucer Smear, in how I went after UFOnuts.  I know that while Jim was more than happy to point out the foibles of "ufoologists" (and skeptics) he still believed that a small amount of UFO and paranormal events remained unexplainable by mainstream science.  I shared that view with him.

Part of the problem is that actual unearthly mysteries are few and far between so I might be talking too much about the fringe thinkers with dubious claims.  And the same applies to the area of conspiracy theory where someone takes an actual program like MK-Ultra and conflates it with a purported Mega-Conspiracy to "prove" the existence of the evil Illuminati.  It's important to focus on the real cases, not fear-mongering myths.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Uncovering Real Conspiracies

Illuminati?  Prove it.

I don't buy into the Mega–Conspiracy theory that states one organization at the top controls almost every little detail below; everything is planned, there is no "accidental" history.

There is what I call the free marketplace of conspiracies, large and small ones that can overlap, work with or against each other depending upon circumstances.

The book, Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power (2012), is based upon secret material investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld pried lose from the FBI through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act).  He documents what was really going on behind the scenes in the 1960s with the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley.

At that time Governor Ronald Reagan was working with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to suppress the student protests.  They didn't like university president Clark Kerr who they perceived wasn't standing up to the students, a liberal allowing lawlessness to reign.

The book shows how Reagan perfected the technique of the bogeyman threat, manipulating public opinion to the point that some believed the evil commies were on the verge of taking over.  Typical FUD: fear, uncertainty and doubt.  The same tactics he used during his presidency with the "Evil Empire," the Soviet Union.

In Subversives Governor Reagan is quoted from a speech before a conservative group in which he demonized all the protesters.

"What is going on in Berkeley," he said, "is not a threat to our youth but a menace to our whole land."  He claimed that "anarchists" were using the issue of academic freedom to create trouble.

Rosenfeld mentions that Reagan, a former Hollywood actor, had hosted a TV series sponsored by the Boraxo soap company. On one occasion a Berkeley city official warned Reagan that if he didn't change his tactics, blood would be on his hands.

Reagan replied: "I'll wash if off with Boraxo."

Keep that in mind when conservatives continue to engage in hagiography, trying to make Reagan into a kindly saint, one of the greatest presidents who ever walked the earth.

Speaking of notable quotes, during the Vietnam War this phrase was invoked by an US military official:  "To save the village we had to destroy it."

And during the Free Speech Movement, Reagan and Hoover believed that to save American democracy democratic rights had to be destroyed.  Rosenfeld through his dogged efforts over the years with FOIA and his lawsuits shows how governmental officials engaged in such unjustified (and unAmerican) methods as media snitches, agent provocateur tactics, illegal break–ins and planting phony news items.

Subversives details overlapping conspiracies by Reagan, Hoover, and even the local police.  Some of their attempts failed, others were successful.

There are too many to detail but to briefly discuss a couple...

The police used excessive force when handling one protest over the People's Park, an abandoned plot in Berkeley that activists cleaned up and made into a neighborhood gathering place.  Officials wanted to take back control of the plot.  Early one morning the police converged on the park to kick out the occupiers.  

This was an opportunity to put into practice some of the training in a program called Cable Splicer that was created to handle demonstrations that turned violent. 

Of course the confrontation over the community park did turn violent when word spread the police had seized it and later that day demonstrators marched towards the spot.  Some protesters did go too far, throwing rocks, bottles, whatever, at the police.  But that violence didn't entitle the police to overreact, lashing out at everyone, and then attempt to cover up mistakes.

The police were issued both birdshot and buckshot with their shotguns.  During the ongoing clash they indiscriminately fired on protesters and innocent bystanders.  Among the innocent bystanders one man lost three fingers, a second one his eyesight, and a third his life.  Just before he was shot the permanently blinded victim had been watching from a rooftop, shouting at someone on another building not to throw rocks.

So much for Cable Splicer for arresting the guilty while protecting the innocent.

During another demonstration the police made a massive sweep, arresting everyone in sight, including innocent bystanders.  The arrestees were illegally detained by the police at the Santa Rita Jail and Prison Farm, some of them beaten for no reason.

Officials denied that they had overreacted or broke the law.  One police official, the sheriff, tried to lie his way out of buckshot being used on civilians which resulted in serious injuries and one death.  Investigations were made but in most cases justice didn't prevail. 

Nothing has changed, this crap still goes on today.

But you don't need the undocumented existence of the modern Illuminati, the favorite phantom menace of the extreme left and the ultra-right, to explain why unjust acts by officials occur.  Reality is messy, involving a lot of details.  Believing in the Mega–Conspiracy does make complex issues simple to handle.  Too simple.

Seeing the world as only Us Versus Them – no shades of gray – is falling into a trap, especially if someone is barnbrushing a general group – e.g., liberals, demonstrators, activists – into a convenient mislabel like Ronald Reagan did with the "evil commie anarchists" bogeyman.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Papernet Blasphemy: Tablet Habit

Some zine creators who still work mainly with dead trees call their medium the papernet, a response to the popularity of the internet.

I have no problem switching between mediums, using either paper or photons.

There are those who in paperzinedom who see the internet as a threat.  I don't.

And there are a few who see the internet as the only way to communicate.  I don't.

But the world of hardcopy isn't as important as it was in the past.  Digital offers benefits that paper can't match.

I managed to save up enough money to finally buy a computer tablet (an Android, not Apple; I'm not a yuppie or have yuppie funds).   It's a seven inch tablet, portable and lightweight enough that I can easily take it with me to a wi-fi spot to download articles and posts from the Web.  Later I can lie in bed and read all the stuff as if it was contained in a large but thin paperback book.

Now I have less print-outs adding to the mass of material that is taking over my apartment.  In the past I tried to cut down on print-outs but I have problems at times reading from a computer screen.  Digital reading with the tablet has become more personal, comfortable.

I read an observation that a new generation is being created, one that doesn't have to own so many physical objects: music CDs, books, magazines, etc.  Now you can store most of your entertainment and information digitally in a tablet, notebook, or portable external harddrive.  And there is also the cloud, online storage you can access almost anywhere.

With the lousy ever-shifting job market it's easier to move elsewhere without dragging tons of physical possessions along.  And unless the job market changes to better paying jobs providing steady employment in one location, what you will see is a nation of digital gypsies moving from place to place with fewer tangible possessions.

Is my tablet perfect?  Of course not.  It does act up at times; the touchscreen can be touchy.  But I use it every day to gather files and read them later.

That said, it's still good to read a plain paper zine, taking a break from the glowing screen.  You don't have to in plug a hardcopy for recharging when its power gets low.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Psychophysics Experiments: Alien Tricksters Or Bunglers?

"Velcro I grok but zippers?" 

December 10, 1965.  Betty and Barney Hill returned home to find a mystery waiting for them: a large oval-shaped chuck of ice on the kitchen table.  They didn't know how it got there or what it signified.

The inexplicable object greatly disturbed the couple.  It was another weird event following their abduction by humanoid aliens one night four years ago on a lonely country road.  Betty put the ice chunk in the sink, using hot water to melt it completely away.

In her diary Betty noted the unusual properties of the ice.  There was no wetness on the table.  The chunk was light for its size and wasn't completely hard but "flexible."  She also recorded that there was a cut pattern inside it.

This and other paranormal happenings are detailed in the book, "Captured!  The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience," by Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden.  What I find unusual is that the Hills sought out physical proof of their encounter but when they had what appeared to be such proof they destroyed it.

But humans do act in odd ways at times.  And so do aliens, at least the ones  mentioned in "Captured!"

In the search for tangible evidence of their abduction the couple worked with a "psychophysical" team.  Sometimes psychophysics is written in quotes in the book as if to set it apart from any field with the same name.  The co-authors don't provide a definition.

Over at Wikipedia the psychophysics entry had this definition: "the analysis of perceptual processes by studying the effect on a subject's experience or behaviour of systematically varying the properties of a stimulus along one or more physical dimensions." 

But this type of psychophysics doesn't match what the is described in "Captured!," attempts to telepathically arrange an ET meeting through Betty Hill.  From what I gather "psychophysics" refers to an overlap of mental and material states through the use of extrasensory perception.

The psychophysics team hoped to obtain physical evidence such as alien hardware that would prove the reality of the ETs Betty believed were tracking her and Barney.

In a letter to a team investigator Betty said that she, her husband, and her relatives were hard-headed realists who believed in space travelers and life on other planets, not ghosts.  But they were experiencing paranormal activity, causing her to wonder if the ETs had the power of invisibility.   

Betty was instructed to send out a mental message at a certain time each day.  For example:

"In eight more days go to my parents farm in Kingston, New Hampshire.

"Best science men are there.

"Come close to science men.

"All is safe."

Briefly, the series of experiments ended up with others, not Betty and the psychophysics team, experiencing unusual encounters suggestive of aliens making limited contact.  One attempt on September 9, 1967 by the team was a failure but there was a UFO sighting in the area the day before by a family conducting its own contact experiment.

The previous year Betty telepathically asked the aliens to knock on her parents' door.  A cousin with the same surname but living elsewhere heard a measured beat of nocturnal knocks.  So Betty thoughtcasted again and gave more detailed directions to her mother's home.  

The second time the aliens found the right house.  Betty's mother heard a knocking for several minutes one night, once again in a certain pattern, but she was afraid to see who – or what – was making the sound.  This was followed a tremendous roar and house-shaking explosion.  A neighbor reported seeing a UFO the same night.

Throughout "Contact!" there are mentions of Betty and others seeing UFOs but no direct communication is made.  Betty never gains solid evidence of the lurking ETs.

Now let's speculate that aliens were indeed involved in these events.  What was going on?  Leaving a chuck of ice on a kitchen table with no apparent meaning.  Appearing a day before the scheduled meeting time at the wrong location.  Rapping on the door to the wrong house late one evening.  Then rapping at the right one on another night but again in a way so weird that no one wanted to answer.  (Talk about knockturnal nonsense!)  Becoming upset that no one responds that the pilot puts the pedal to the metal, scaring the hell out of everyone by blasting away in his saucer.

Maybe the aliens are spoiled brats playing tricks.

Or maybe they're just bunglers.  During her abduction the aliens didn't know how the zipper worked on Betty's dress when they were preparing her for an examination.  They ripped her dress.  Later the aliens were astounded that her husband Barney had false teeth and checked to see if her teeth would pop out of her mouth.

Just because a civilization has advanced technology doesn't rule out that some of its members are dim bulbs.  After all, take a look at our world...

And with that in mind, imagine what kinds of representatives the Galactic Council would send to this podunk planet out here in the spiral arm boondocks.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Skepchick: Ads Undermine Message

Over at those questionable ads keep popping up.

As I mentioned in a previous post - "Skepchick's Incongruous Ads" - sometimes the automatically generated ads at the site are contrary to the organization's goals.  I've been randomly checking; the problem remains.

Skeptics are against unproven medical claims and products.   For example, in a recent post entitled "Centrum Silver has Been 'Studied'” the writer, Masala Skeptic, says that the TV commercial for a vitamin supplement was misleading, showing how that while the ad didn't lie, it wasn't exactly being truthful.  She links to online sources to back up her point.

OK, that's fine.  But what about the ads that appear with the article for Vitamin Advisor Andrew Weil, MD or Opurity Vitamins?  Have those companies been checked out?

Most skeptics are atheists.  So why do I see ads on for a Christian dating service?

The problem is worse when a Skepchick writer has a post that is completely undermined by stupid ads surrounding it.  Contributor Elyse wrote a powerful piece, "Don’t tell me to love my body," a reaction to an ad of a beautiful model in bra and panties with the tagline that all women should love their bodies.  She includes a copy of the ad, showing how women are supposed to be held up to the standards set by advertisers.  She mentions that she has lost a lot of weight but still has problems with her body image.

But her well-written message ends up with an ad for the weight reduction product Pure Green Coffee - "The Hottest New Way to A Flat Belly."  The link to the Pure Green Coffee page at shows a blubbery cartoon woman in bra and panties squeezing her bulging stomach with the caption: "Cut down a bit of your belly everyday with this 1 weird old tip."

So has a Skepchick investigator checked out the claims for Pure Green Coffee?

I don't know the validity of claims for the health supplements promoted at .  I doubt the Skepchicks have time to check out every advertiser.  But that's not the point.

The advertisers' messages shouldn't undermine the Skepchick messages.  For example, Rebecca Watson is upset when she's treated like a sex object but ads for companies like with a line-up of lovely foreign ladies still are seen.  In fact the ad ran as part of the "Don't tell me to love my body" post.

Don't get the impression that all ads seen at are incongruous.  There are also other ads, for example, for automobiles, furniture, writing courses and stores like Radio Shack.  If these were the only kind of ads appearing there wouldn't be a problem.

But apparently most people are unaware of the problem thanks to programs like AdBlock that conceal advertising.  I didn't know about the ad situation at until a reader mentioned it in a comment and I deactivated AdBlock.

Is AdBlock going to be the fig leaf excuse for the site?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Plattsburgh Linked To Skepchick Wikipedia Attack

Once again skeptic-feminist Rebecca Watson has stirred up another controversy, this time with the social news website Reddit. And once again people are viciously attacking her online.

On a panel at the recent SXSW conference in Austin, Texas she criticized Reddit for its lack of moderation, allowing the promulgation of bigoted and hateful comments and viewpoints.

In her article at – "SXSW and Reddit’s Introspection Problem" - she gives examples of nasty comments made by Reddit fans and defenders. Watson has faced similar attacks before regarding the "Elevatorgate" incident at an atheist conference back in 2011.

Talking about the furor in a article - "It Stands to Reason, Skeptics Can Be Sexist Too" - Watson said she had heard about sexism being experienced by women attending skeptic conferences. While at the atheist conference she decided to address this problem, writing:

"I used my time to talk about what it’s like for me to communicate atheism online, and how being a woman might affect the response I receive, as in rape threats and other sexual comments."

At the end of a long day she was leaving the hotel bar, returning to her room, when a man joined her on the elevator. The man said he was interested in her POV and would like to talk with her some more back at his room over a cup of coffee. She declined, thinking the man was hitting on her.

After she wrote about the incident she ended up receiving rape threats and sexual comments, the same kind of attacks that are reoccurring with the Reddit controversy.

The "SXSW and Reddit’s Introspection Problem" article mentions that her Wikipedia bio has also been re-edited and screwed up by some of her extreme critics. One attacker added the statement that she was "an insufferable cunt."

In the comments section following the article the Wikipedia vandalization was mentioned again. "krelnik" wrote that her bio was on his watch list and that one of the edits was done on a home internet connection in Plattsburgh, NY.

Yes, I live in Plattsburgh. Yes, I've written critical posts about Watson and the Skepchick site.

No, I didn't screw around with her Wikipedia bio. Any differences of opinion I have with Watson I address through this blog.

Monday, February 25, 2013

19 & Counting

Back in February 1994 I didn't bother to note the publication date of the first issue of my zine, Ray X X-Rayer. I just say it debuted on Groundhog Day.

I started my zine as something to do during another long insufferable winter. I was learning how to use the latest computers with mouses and windows through practical means: wordprocessing and layout. It was a way to keep my mind active instead of letting it be damaged by hibernation rot.

I struggled with a program called PageMaker to format each issue. It was tricky learning how to format columns with "windowshades." Those windowshades had to be pulled up and down just right with the mouse. Now I just get along with Microsoft Word, a simpler way of doing the same thing (No shades, daddy-o). While the computer part has become easier, the writing half is still sometimes a struggle.

If you told me back in 1994 I would still be producing the same zine, I would've been surprised. And if you told me I would still be stuck in Plattsburgh (Ugh!), NY – well, the less said about that the better. (Did you ever see the movie Groundhog Day?)

Should be interesting to see if I make it to Ray X X-Rayer #100.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Update: A New Year With Snakes

As mentioned in the previous post there was someone in the neighborhood with severe mental problems that was causing me some concern. Apparently that person has moved out; I haven't even seen the individual around town.

Maybe the so-called safety net is helping. But I doubt it...

At least with that person gone I can concentrate more energy on slogging thru another long winter. Maybe spring weather will come early this year – like May 1st.

Why I X-Ray The Liberty Net

In a recent email Robert Jennings, editor of Fadeaway zine (29 Whiting Road, Oxford, MA 01540-2025) wrote regarding my zine:

"I am still wondering why you bother to monitor the loons on the ‘Liberty Net’. These people are clearly drop-the-net whackos. I always wonder how people like that rationalize their beliefs, the ones they scream out so clearly and hysterically, when the government doesn’t turn into a communist dictatorship, they do not get rounded up and put into concentration camps, and the world continues spinning merrily along totally ignoring their rants and beliefs? It must be daunting, at least, to realize how completely wrong and also how completely inconsequential they actually are in the passing parade of the real world. Or maybe not. Delusional people always seem to have an excuse to explain why things don’t happen the way they believe they will. They also seem to be able to come up with even more stupid reasons to keep on believing the things they do."

Robert had also commented on my coverage of the Liberty Net in a previous email. He raises a good point: Why give them so much attention?

When I started my zine, Ray X X-Rayer, one of the freethink/fringe topiX I wanted to cover was conspiracy theories. From time to time I listen in to the live Liberty Net ( late Saturday night / early Sunday morning gatherings (or later through archived recordings) so I can learn about latest hot topics and theories circulating in the superpatriot movement. Also, the delusional thinking, as Robert refers to it, shows me how Lib Netters justify their outlier beliefs.

People should be aware of the superpatriot movement, at least knowing the difference between ultra-right-wing and conservative beliefs. Some superpatriots think conservative radio bloviator Rush Limbaugh is too "liberal," that he's just a shill for the Mega-Conspiracy. They prefer to get their truth from someone like the late William Cooper who thought the world was being controlled by the Illuminati. Before he committed suicide-by-cop Cooper had many intense fans following his shortwave radio program, "Hour of the Time." Among them was Timothy McVeigh.

From what I hear on the Lib Net it's doubtful that any of those ham radio operators would go to such an extreme. Their weekly gatherings provide an outlet to blow off tremendous steam. But at the same I wouldn't be completely surprised if someone linked to it took drastic action. You never know.

And there's also the entertainment angle with the Liberty Net. One time there was discussion about an incident from years ago, the controversy over someone nominated to be the US diplomat to Luxembourg. The man happened to be gay. Why was this a problem? A Lib Netter stated that such an appointment would make America look bad. The diplomatic nominee would bring AIDS to Luxembourg.

Comedy writers can only strive to write such lines.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Skepchick's Incongruous Ads

To get the big picture you have to include the ads.

When Rebecca Watson introduced the new look for the Website, a commenter observed that there was an empty column on the page which looked weird. Explaining what was causing the problem, Watson wrote: "Using Adblock on Skepchick makes the baby jesus cry."

So what kind of ads is Skepchick running? If you deactivate Adblock you'll be treated to such stuff like "Date 12000 Asian Women Online" and "" Both ads feature attractive young women posing for the guys, not really cheesecake shots but... (Click on image to enlarge.)

These ads popped up on a post by Watson about her being treated as a sex object, how someone sent a link to a very crude cartoon depiction of her. I don't condone the cartoon; I think it's gross and stupid. But I do find the ads that accompany her post to be incongruous, to say the least, when Watson complains about how are women are being treated by sexist men. After all, don't these ads objectify women?

A commenter to the post also pointed this out. In response another commenter said that these ads are based on someone's browsing history. Well, even if that is the case, skepchick should ban some of the ads, as one commenter mentions, or if that can't be done, just drop the ad service completely.

Skepchicks don't need the ad money that bad, do they, to set aside their principles?

After all, as one commenter stated: "I thought the Super Bowl commercials were particularly sexist and objectifying this year."

Baby Jesus must be crying.