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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > May > May 28

Korff on Roswell (3)

From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 22:26:32 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 09:18:21 -0400
Subject: Korff on Roswell (3)

Now a look at Kal's comments on General Arthur Exon. Remember my
disclaimers -- that I'm not commenting on the nature of the Roswell
crash, or on the overall worth of Kal's book. I won't be drawn into
arguments about those subjects. I'm only commenting on three passages
in the book.

Exon, as Roswell fans know, was Base Commander at Wright-Patterson
air force base, a position that (as I understand it) made him one of
the four or five top-ranking officers at the facility, with
responsibility for logistics and administration. Supposedly he told
Kevin Randle that what crashed at Roswell was extraterrestrial. This
makes him an important witness indeed.

What does Kal say? Something really sharp: "There is no excuse for
how Exon's 'testimony' is misrepresented in the Randle-Schmitt book.
It is blatant fiction on the part of the authors...Randle and Schmitt
were deceptive in their presentation of both Exon's recollections and
his supposed 'involvement' in the Roswell affair."

So what's that about? The indictment, as it turns out, rests on one
lone accusation, that Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt presented
Exon's remarks as if he were relating first-hand testimony, when
actually he was only reporting things he'd heard from others. This,
in some ways, is a remarkably trivial charge. Why do I say that?
Well, suppose that it's true. Then we can shout "gotcha" to Randle
and Schmitt, and we'll be careful to check anything either of them
says in the future.

But then what did Exon say even as a second-hand witness? As Kal
himself tells us (see p. 93 of his Roswell book), Exon talks about
Roswell debris being flown to Wright-Patterson. "The boys who tested
it," Exon says, "said it was very unusual....It had them pretty
puzzled." First-hand, second-hand....either way we've got a banner
headline, even if Exon never said one word beyond what Kal quotes. An
Air Force general, even if he's only giving his general impression of
what he's heard about Roswell, says the same things about the Roswell
debris as some of the controversial first-hand witnesses do! If you
put any weight on Exon's impressions, the Mogul theory takes a big
hit. Isn't that more important, in the overall scheme of things, than
any question about Randle and Schmitt? And, as we'll see, Exon said
much more than that.

But then is Kal right to say Randle and Schmitt distorted Exon's
remarks? I don't think so, for three reasons.

(1) I've heard Kevin's first interview with Exon on tape, and read
Kevin's scrupulously accurate transcript. I thought Exon said exactly
what he's quoted as saying in Kevin's book.

(2) Even the passage Kal quotes doesn't support his view. Here's how
Kal presents it: "To read the Randle-Schmitt book, it appears that
Exon _corrorborates_ the Roswell UFO recovery by providing
impressive-sounding testimony that appears to be firsthand. 'We heard
the material was coming to Wright Field....It was brought into our
material evaluation labs. I don't know how it arrived but the boys
who tested it said it was very unusual.' Exon described the material:
'[Some of it] could be easily ripped or changed....there were other
parts of it that were very thin but awfully strong and couldn't be
dented with very heavy hammers....It was flexible to a degree,' and,
according to Exon, 'some of it was flimsy and was tougher than hell
and almost like foil but strong. It had them pretty puzzled.'"

"To almost anyone reading this," Kal writes, "it would appear
that...[Exon] was a _firsthand_ source who was present and personally
saw what he describes." But I don't see it that way at all. Consider
these statements: "We heard the material was coming....I don't know
how it arrived, but the boys who tested it said...It had them pretty
puzzled." Isn't it clear that Exon isn't speaking of first hand
knowledge? Who wouldn't understand that Exon didn't handle this
debris himself?

A page later in the Randle-Schmitt book comes another Exon quote,
which Kal doesn't reprint: "The metal and material was unknown to
anyone I talked to. Whatever they found, I never heard what the
results were. A couple of guys thought it might be Russian but the
overall consensus was that the pieces were from space."

Again, it's perfectly clear that Exon didn't handle or analyze the
material himself, and even that his knowledge was limited. But he
appears to think he'd spoken to people who knew at least something
about what the analysis had shown. How sure was he of this knowledge?
:Let me quote a few suggestive passages. First, an Exon quote from
Randle's book: "I _know_ [my emphasis] that...{General Ramey] along
with the people out at Roswell decided to change the story while they
got their act together and got the information into the Pentagon."
(UFO Crash at Roswell, paperback, p. 111.) Another Exon quote from
Randle: "_I just know_ [again my emphasis] there was a top
intelligence echelon represented and the President's office was
represented and the Secretary of Defense's office was represented..."
(He's talking about the secret UFO committee that he's sure existed;
UFO Crash, p. 232.)

And here's something Exon said on the tape, which wasn't quoted in
Randle's book. Kevin asks, referring to stories we've all heard about
alien corpses at Wright-Patterson: "You've heard the rumors about the
little bodies, haven't you?" "Yes, I have," answers Exon. "In fact,
_I know people_ that were involved in photographing some of the
residue from the New Mexico affair near Roswell." [My emphasis.]

Here's something else, about how Exon knows that there were alien
bodies form Roswell at Wright-Patterson: "People I have known _who
were involved with that_" told him so. [My emphasis.]
Look back at the quote Kal thinks is so damning:
'We heard the material was coming to Wright Field....It was brought
into our material evaluation labs. I don't know how it arrived but
the boys who tested it said it was very unusual.' Exon described the
material: '[Some of it] could be easily ripped or changed....there
were other parts of it that were very thin but awfully strong and
couldn't be dented with very heavy hammers....It was flexible to a
degree,' and, according to Exon, 'some of it was flimsy and was
tougher than hell and almost like foil but strong. It had them pretty
puzzled.'"

Given the full context of Exon's remarks...and bearing in mind
everything I've quoted from Kevin's interview with him....isn't it
clear (a) that Exon certainly _thought_ he knew quite a bit (even if
not first hand) about the subjects he was quoted on, that (b) he says
quite clearly that he'd talked to people who _were_ involved
first-hand, and (c) that therefore the passage Kal quotes from
Kevin's book is really quite reasonable in both its tone and content?
I don't think it misrepresents Exon at all. (Here's another quote
from Exon, from the tape: "Most of the people you're talking to are a
little bit like me. Close enough to know that there was something
happening. They had no direct responsibility for any of it." Anyone
who reads the complete sections on Exon from Randle's books will, I
think, form exactly that impression.)

And now let's take a closer look at what Exon actually said. Let me
say again that I've done more than read Kevin's two Roswell books
(and, by the way, the second, which Kal doesn't mention at all, has
additional material that continues to make it clear that Exon wasn't
speaking first-hand). I've listened on tape to the interview Kevin
quotes, and read Kevin's entirely accurate transcript.

What does Exon say? Taking account the full text of the interview,
and the full extent of accurate quotes from it in Kevin's book,
including many things I haven't mentioned here yet:

1. Exon says he believes the Roswell crash was extraterrestrial.
("Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space.")

2. He says he knows that debris from the crash was studied at Wrig
ht-Patterson, and that the debris was extremely unusual. His
description matches that of alleged first-hand witnesses.

3. He says that "apparently" there were bodies found, and that they
were located at "another location," or in other words not at the
location of the metallic debris. The main body of the craft, he says,
was also found there. (What he means by "apparently" isn't clear. He
says this, however, just after he talks about what people have told
him about the metallic debris. It seems reasonable to assume the same
people told him about the bodies. Note that Exon's mention of
"another location" supports Kevin's thesis of two crash sites. When
you hear the interview on tape, it's clear that Exon says this all on
his own. Randle hasn't even brought up the topic.)
4. He says the bodies were brought to Wright-Patterson.
5. He says he flew over the Roswell crash site, and saw the "gouge"
the crashed object made in the ground. (Kal, rather oddly, mentions
this elsewhere in his book, but doesn't dispute it -- or, in fact,
even mention it -- in the passage I'm discussing, which is his major
examination of Exon's role as a Roswell witness. I can assure
everyone that Exon indeed did say this. I heard him say it on the
tape.)
6. He says there was a coverup. In fact, he calls it (on the tape) "a
national coverup project."
7. He talks about which government officials served, in his opinion,
on a secret UFO project.
8. He talks about a secret Air Force team that investigated UFO
events. This is first-hand knowledge. He dispatched the planes that
flew the team to the events they investigated.
It's also notable that he brings up Roswell all by himself. Kevin
didn't know he knew about it. Kevin's only thought was to talk to
someone who'd been at Wright-Patterson about the rumors of crash
debris there. Let me repeat a passage from the tape that I quoted
earlier. Kevin asks, referring to stories we've all heard about alien
corpses at Wright-Patterson: "You've heard the rumors about the
little bodies, haven't you?"
"Yes, I have," answers Exon. "In fact, I know people that were
involved in photographing some of the residue from the New Mexico
affair near Roswell." This is the first mention of Roswell in the
interview....and it comes from Exon.
Is all of this remarkable? Of course it is. An Air Force general,
whose assignment at Wright-Patterson suggests he might have been in a
position to know what he was talking about, says, in great detail,
that he thinks the Roswell crash was real. This is big news. Does Kal
give any hint of how big the news is? Not at all. In fact, his book
raises a screaming, unspoken question. Suppose Kal's right to say
that Kevin exaggerated Exon's knowledge. That doesn't change the fact
that Exon really believed the Roswell crash was alien. Why, then, did
Exon believe that? How deeply did he believe it? Does he believe it
still? Aren't these the basic questions here? Why doesn't Kal seem
even remotely interested in them?
One last point. Kal says that Exon doesn't stand behind what Kevin
and Don Schmitt wrote. And sure enough, he has a quote from a letter
wrote to Randle:
"Further, you both [Randle and Schmitt] likely recall on many
occasions during my visits with you in person and on the phone...that
I did not know anything firsthand. Although I believe you did quote
me accurately, I do believe that in your writings you gave more
credence and impression of personal and direct knowledge that [sic --
I think he means "than"] my recordings would indicate on their own! I
felt that throughout the portions where my name was used."
Fine. Let's forget for a moment that Exon might have every reason to
back off from what he'd said -- he'd been talking out of school, and
someone might have firmly told him so -- and assume he really stands
behind this criticism. He truly thinks Schmitt and Randle exaggerated
his direct involvement. But he also says they quoted him accurately!
In other words, he doesn't challenge their assertions that he though
the crash was extraterrestrial, that he'd heard the metallic debris
was really changed, that he'd heard there were bodies, that he
believed there was a coverup, that he believed top government
officials were involved in a secret UFO committee, and that he
himself had dispatched planes on secret UFO-related missions.
If he's not challenging all of that, then his words to Kevin are the
mildest of rebukes. If this relatively minor point is the full extent
of his disagreement with the things about him in the book, isn't he
in effect endorsing everything important that Schmitt and Randle
said?
Greg Sandow





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