UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 5

The Decline and Fall of American Ufology

From: Gordon@home.com
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 1997 03:01:27 -0400 (EDT)
Fwd Date: Sun, 05 Oct 1997 03:02:28 -0400
Subject: The Decline and Fall of American Ufology


DATE OF UPLOAD: July 12, 1989
ORIGIN OF UPLOAD: ParaNet Alpha/ParaNet Information Service
CONTRIBUTED BY: Dr. Willy Smith

 -----------------------------------------------------------------

(C) Copyright 1989 ParaNet Information Service
All Rights Reserved.
THIS FILE WAS PREPARED BY PARANET ALPHA -- PARANET INFORMATION
SERVICE
1-303-431-1343 9600 BAUD
DENVER, COLORADO

http://www.xxedgexx.com/paranet/

NOTE: THESE FILES ARE NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE
OF THE PARANET INFORMATION SERVICE NETWORK

 -----------------------------------------------------------------

By Michael Corbin/ParaNet Administrator

  DENVER, CO -- Gulf Breeze, Florida has been the scene of
mysterious and unexplained UFO activity during the last couple of
years. As the sightings mounted in frequency, the town became
embroiled in the most complex controversy since the Billy Meier
case several years ago. This situation has become extremely
polarized as the battle between the skeptics and the believers
rages on.

  Everything centers around some of the most dramatic photos
taken of what is alleged to be a UFO, which for months, continued
to buzz Ed Walters and virtually, as reported, harassed him while
he shot the photos.

  In November, 1987, while working at his desk in his home, Ed
sighted a UFO. He quickly grabbed his Polaroid camera from a
closet and ran outside and snapped the first series of the the
mysterious object. Ed, not sure what to do, submitted the photos
to the Gulf Breeze Sentinel, a weekly town newspaper. From that
point onward, Ed was visited numerous times by the UFO whereby he
shot more photographs under the supervision of MUFON. To date,
not only have Polaroids been taken of this object, but there is
also stereo photographs and some video tape in existence
detailing these
encounters.

  Dr. Robert Nathan, a photo specialist for the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, California received these photographs
from the National Enquirer for study. According to Dr. Nathan, he
performed a "very cursory" examination of the photographs and
found many flaws and problems with them which he states "shot the
case to hell" and convinced him that the photographs were hoaxed.
Dr. Bruce Maccabee, a Navy photographic specialist, also
performed a very detailed analysis of the photographs and
rendered an opinion that he felt that the photographs could not
have been hoaxed by someone of Ed's abilities. Due to the fact
that Dr. Maccabee performed such a detailed study of the
photographs, gives his opinion a great deal of weight for the
acceptance of their authenticity. However, according to different
investigative groups on the hoax side of the issue refuse to
accept any of Dr. Maccabee's findings stating that there has been
a serious breakdown in the methodology of UFO investigations by
Dr. Maccabee and MUFON.

  ParaNet has rated the Gulf Breeze case a hoax. After performing
a detailed investigation of this case, ParaNet continues to rate
it as a total hoax, basing it's findings upon the results of the
investigation, and more so, upon the recent findings of a private
laboratory which studied some of the Gulf Breeze photographs
which clearly show a support of some kind holding the UFO up to
be photographed. Additionally, it was found that the video taped
film of the UFO, shown on national television in the 'Unsolved
Mysteries' segment, shows the strong possibility of a support
holding the UFO up while filming was done from about 20 feet from
the video camera. This is evidenced by the appearance of a street
lamp in the school yard which is located behind Ed's house. While
the camera is taping the UFO, it moves in front of the street
lamp. At the precise moment that the UFO is directly over the
street lamp, the light from the lamp blinks out and as soon as
the UFO passes from it, the light blinks back on. This, according
to Dr. Nathan, could indicate that the UFO is being supported on
a pole while being held up for photographing.

  As everyone knows, Dr. Maccabee is considered to be an
extremely credible scientist in the field. In light of this most
recent evidence, it leads one to wonder what could possibly lie
behind this if indeed it is a hoax? Have all of the scientific
objectives been met in this case? Has MUFON compromised it's very
charter to study this phenomenon in a scientific manner by
throwing all care to the wind in light of some agenda not visible
at this time? No one really knows, but here are some things to
ponder.

  MUFON has been embroiled in the most extensive and far reaching
shake up since it's history. Several of it's key members have
resigned and it has been brought to ParaNet's attention that
anyone visibly opposed to the Gulf Breeze case's authenticity has
been either removed or censored. It has also been learned that
MUFON has a large part in a book contract which has been awarded
to Ed Walters detailing the Gulf Breeze case by Morrow and
Company, the publishers of Whitley Streiber's books, 'Communion'
and 'Transformation'. The contract is in the neighborhood of
several hundred thousands of dollars. There is also a possibility
of a television 'mini-series'. And the list goes on and on.

  Dr. Willy Smith has been a MUFON investigator and a board
member for several years. He is a degreed physicist and has
operated the famous 'Unicat' project, incepted by Dr. J. Allen
Hynek to catalogue UFO reports that Dr. Hynek investigated during
his life as a major Ufologist. Dr. Smith is not buying the Gulf
Breeze case. Recently, MUFON removed Dr. Smith from it's
organization as Dr. Smith publicly denounced the authenticity of
the case and the credibility of Ed Walters.

  The story that follows is an article written by Dr. Willy Smith
on the state of the UFOlogical community today. It is a very
controversial piece and will most certainly create a fair amount
of discussion. Dr. Smith wrote in December, 1988o and it has
never been released, until now. It represents Dr. Smith's own
observations and opinions, and does not necessarily reflect the
opinion of ParaNet or it's staff, however it is perhaps 'on
target' in describing the problems that belie each of us in our
quest for the truth. It is time that we start demanding the truth
and get it.

  The Gulf Breeze case is a good example. Have all of the
scientific avenues been totally exhausted before such a
conclusion was reached by MUFON? Dr. Smith tells ParaNet that
Walt Andrus, founder of MUFON, absolutely refuses to release the
original photographs for an independent study. ParaNet is also in
possession of a letter written by Ed's attorney to Dr. Smith
stating that he would be sued in court if he attempted to have
the copies of the photographs that he has analyzed without the
Ed's permission. Yet, when asked to provide them for analysis,
this avenue is completely closed. If this case is so air tight,
what have the proponents to hide from legitimate investigators?
ParaNet is making a formal request to have the photographs
analyzed by an independent laboratory. We will keep you posted on
the outcome of this request to MUFON.

  It is the hope of ParaNet to get a discussion going and perhaps
a rebuttal on this piece from the persons that Dr. Smith names.

  What do you think?
  We want to know.

 -----------------------------------------------------------------

   THE DECLINE AND FALL OF AMERICAN UFOLOGY

       Dr. Willy Smith

PREAMBLE

The first version of this paper was prepared during December 1988
at the request of the prestigious British magazine Flying Saucer
Review. Understandably, American affairs have low priority in
Europe, and thus the publication of this paper has been delayed
while its import is rapidly decreasing. This reason has decided
me to revise the article and seek immediate publication in an
American magazine.

=================================================================

INTRODUCTION

Only a few years back, ufology in the United States was booming.
Several major national organizations grouped under their banners
a large number of members who were interested in the UFO
phenomenon and provided ample financial support and a ready
market for specialized publications. In addition, many smaller
groups were active enough in more localized geographical areas.

Two of the major organizations, NICAP and APRO, existed almost
from the beginning of public interest in flying saucers. NICAP
was mainly organized by Major Donald E. Keyhoe (*) and attracted
many distinguished members formerly associated with the
government and the military. As the years went by, the backbone
of NICAP dispersed, and the organization slowly but irreversibly
ceased to exist. Some files were acquired by CUFOS, where
presumably they still are. However, not even Dr. Hynek, who
allegedly had paid for the files from his own funds, could gain
access to them during the last two years of his life, so one must
consider them all but lost for future research.

The other society, APRO, was created and organized by Jim and
Coral Lorenzen, and attracted some of the best investigators
abroad, such as Dr. Olavo Fontes in Brazil and Horacio Gutierrez
Ganteaume in Venezuela. There is no question that the prime
mover behind APRO was Coral, and as her health declined, so did
the organization. The library was dispersed through a secondhand
book dealer, and as for the files proper, nobody seems to know
what happened to them after Coral's death in 1988. Once again,
valuable records have ceased to exist for all practical purposes.

The other two major organizations were MUFON and CUFOS, the
former a splinter group from APRO centered around Walter Andrus,
then a manager at Motorola, and the latter founded by Dr. J.
Allen Hynek in 1973. While Dr. Hynek attempted to create a
credible scientific organization, the MUFON emphasis was and
still is at the grass-roots level, as it admits to its rank and
file anyone able to pay the subscription rates.

At the beginning of the 80's, essentially only MUFON and CUFOS
survived. Walter Andrus had organized his society in a very
effective way, using the subscribers to the MUFON UFO JOURNAL as
potential but untrained investigators and creating a network
covering the whole country. On the other hand, Dr. Hynek
insisted that the CUFOS investigators should be competent, and a
much thinner network was deployed under the able direction of
Allan Hendry.

The above is just background information, but essential for
understanding what has happened to those organizations in the
last year or so. Although both groups boast a Board of Directors
and claim to have guidelines for what they are doing, the truth
is that they are totally controlled by a few individuals who
dictate policy and do as they please. This fact is kept from the
membership at large, more interested in receiving the publication
on time than in its contents or internal politics.

As is always the case for monolithic structures, the success or
lack thereof depends basically on the personal qualities of the
leaders; and when the founders grow old or die, a slow but
perceptible decline of the organizations is initiated. Often
enough a deceptive steady state is maintained for years because
nothing occurs to shake the complacency of the leadership or to
challenge it. But then, one day, a sudden event occurs, a
controversial case is mishandled, and the ineffectual leadership
faces a situation beyond its capabilities which threatens the
very existence of the organization.

A HARD LOOK AT CUFOS

The destiny of CUFOS is controlled effectively by only two
individuals: Jerry Clark, the editor of the INTERNATIONAL UFO
REPORTER, and Mark Rodeghier, president (whatever that means) and
scientific director of CUFOS. Oh yes, there is a Board of
Directors, but they are not important enough to have their names
listed on the publication's masthead. I discovered how little
say they actually have when following Dr. Hynek's death I
attempted, very naively, to bring to their attention the fact
that CUFOS was precipitously departing from what had been the
basic philosophy of its founder. This is not meant to say that
all the persons on the CUFOS Board of "Directors" are bad guys,
because some of them, such as John P. Timmerman, are gentlemen
who find themselves incapable of influencing events, for reasons
too complex to deal with here.

Jerry Clark has a dubious pedigree because of his long
association with FATE Magazine, where he achieved the position of
full editor before being terminated when the publication changed
ownership. Perhaps the orientation of FATE will now change, but
in the past it has been devoted mostly to the occult, offering a
mixed bag of articles dealing with esoteric subjects such as
astrology, witchcraft, and life after death. Indeed, ufology was
treated here and there, sometimes by Mr. Clark himself, but the
articles have been slanted toward sensationalism and not science.

The serious problem with Mr. Clark, besides the imponderable
influence that his relationship with FATE undoubtedly had, is
that he can be swayed too easily, and not always for the right
reasons. For instance, he has been strongly influenced by his
friendship with Jenny Randles, resulting in publication by the
IUR of unjustified attacks against FSR which are written in vague
terms and not in a constructive manner amenable to rebuttal (Ref.
1).

Even Dr. Hynek was not happy with his own choice of editor for
the IUR (Ref. 2), and he told me during the last months of his
life that Clark was selected "because there was nobody else!"
Not a very happy choice, indeed, as Mr. Clark has been telling
all who care to hear how CUFOS had a turn for the better after
the departure of Dr. Hynek, having finally achieved a "truly
scientific orientation". Well, I guess one cannot expect any
better from weekend ufologists.

Two issues have recently dominated the ufological picture in the
United States. The first is the MJ-12 documents, the second the
Gulf Breeze sightings. The official position of CUFOS on the MJ-
12 affair is that the documents are genuine (and they might be
right) but this position seems to be based not on the available
evidence, but mostly on the feelings of the editor toward Barry
Greenwood et al, who have taken the opposite view. I don't have
enough information about this topic to assume a posture, but it
seems to me that both proponents and detractors should realize
that the existence of MJ-12 and the genuineness of the documents
are two separate issues.

On the other hand, I have expended a great deal of time and
effort in studying the alleged Gulf Breeze sightings. The
validity of the case is based on a collection of Polaroid photos,
which at the moment of this writing are unconditionally accepted
as genuine--I believe--by only a few persons: Walt Andrus (MUFON
International Director), Lt. Col. Donald Ware et al. (local
investigators), Budd Hopkins (abduction expert), Dr. Bruce
Maccabee (physicist), and Dan Wright (a MUFON henchman who really
doesn't count).

It is my considered opinion that overwhelming evidence exists to
label this case a hoax, but CUFOS has been vacillating on
publishing any of that evidence, in spite of the fact that a
capable CUFOS investigator, Robert Boyd, has been involved in the
case since the very beginning. Why? Because two of Jerry
Clark's friends have taken the other tack: Budd Hopkins, of
controversial abduction fame, by his own admission not a
photographic expert, but who after only a cursory examination of
the photos proclaimed them genuine, "the best ever obtained".
And Dr. Bruce Maccabee, certainly a photographic expert, who
suddenly seems blind to the blatant negative evidence existing in
the photos and who has engaged in a massive disinformation effort
(Ref. 3 and Ref. 9) pathetically attempting to validate what
cannot be validated. Friendship is admirable but should not
obfuscate reason, and when our friends err, it is part of the
obligation of friendship to bring them back to their senses, even
if painfully. Apparently, Mr. Clark has a different opinion, but
historically silence has never mollified guilt; and as the
Piltdown hoax has shown, the passage of time makes things worse
for those who conspired to hide the truth (Ref. 10).

As for Mark Rodeghier, he has yet to obtain his Ph.D., as Dr.
Hynek had hoped when he appointed him Scientific Director of
CUFOS. Nonetheless, he could have become an effective leader had
he developed the strong personality that such a position
requires. Clearly, this is not the case, and in all matters he
yields to Jerry.

This has been deplorable in the specific instance of the Gulf
Breeze incidents, and Rodeghier's lack of resolve has resulted in
unmitigated thrashing of CUFOS and his leadership from the pages
of the MUFON UFO Journal, not only by Walter Andrus (Ref. 4) but
also by Ed Walters, the dubious and supposedly anonymous Gulf
Breeze photographer (Ref. 5). To top it off, lately the pages of
the IUR to disclose Dr. Maccabee's adamant opposition to an
independent computer analysis of the suspected photos, which
would have resolved the issue once and for all.

Undoubtedly the IUR readership feels that something is missing in
the publication, that the selection of the articles is not
determined by a firmly established policy but by the predominant
wind, and that Dr. Hynek's ideals of serious scientific
orientation have been betrayed. Although the exact circulation
of the IUR is not known, a secret maintained at the price of
higher postage rates, the publication delays seem to indicate a
decreasing readership and a not very promising future for CUFOS.
For the memory of Dr. Hynek, whose philosophy I share, I
sincerely hope to be proved wrong, and that one of these days
Mark Rodeghier will overcome his timidity and give us all a
surprise.

AND A HARDER LOOK AT MUFON

If the picture I have sketched of CUFOS doesn't look bright, the
reality of MUFON is still worse.

As stated above, Walter Andrus used to be a good manager; and if
he had limited himself to administrative tasks, MUFON could have
fulfilled its destiny. Unfortunately, this has not been the
case. The many capable individuals in MUFON, such as Ray Fowler,
Walter Webb, Richard Hall and Marge Christensen don't seem to
have a hand in determining policy and have progressively
withdrawn from the limelight. Perhaps they feel that nothing can
be done, and as one of the many dissatisfied persons has put it,
"Walt owns MUFON". Instead of seeking the advice of all those
consultants that Andrus claims are available to the organization,
he rarely if ever consults them; and when the expertise is
volunteered, he ignores it if it does not satisfy his desires.

In fact, many respected ufologists have resigned from MUFON,
while others--including myself and Robert Boyd--have been
"expelled" because of their refusal to endorse the fake Gulf
Breeze photographs. In recent weeks the split has possibly
become irreversible due mainly to the issues raised by the
controversial viewpoints of John Lear, which may or may not be
presented in July at the Reno MUFON Symposium.

Walter Andrus has surrounded himself with persons willing to
dance to his tune, provided that they are given positions that
they (and perhaps nobody else) perceive as important.
Outstanding among these, we find Dan Wright, a bureaucratic
employee from Michigan, whose ambition has allowed him to rise in
the ranks in spite of his obvious shortcomings. As Deputy
Director of Investigations, or a similar resounding title, he has
undermined the seriousness of MUFON investigations by
establishing absurd rules which consider that having the
appropriate forms completed is more important than the
investigative process itself. The worst thing about Mr. Wright
is his lack of ufological knowledge and experience, and his
unshakable belief that he is favored with both. Again, I have
firsthand experience with this, because in my naivete I attempted
to educate him about the complexities of the evaluation of UFO
reports. I soon discovered that his only emphasis was on the
number of reports sent to MUFON headquarters to be placed in
dusty filing cabinets, out of circulation forever.

The capital sin committed by MUFON is related to the Gulf Breeze
sightings. The distressing part of the Gulf Breeze saga is not
whether the photos are real or a hoax but the extremes to which
both the investigators and Walt Andrus have resorted to maintain
the illusion of a true and extraordinary case which was properly
investigated. To narrate in detail the many incidents would take
too much space (see Ref. 7) so I will limit myself to the most
outrageous breaches of accepted investigative procedures and
established scientific discourse.

1) Censorship.

Walt Andrus, as well as the local investigators (Don Ware et al.)
have systematically suppressed all negative evidence, or simply
not followed leads that could affect the credibility of the
witness. None of the many scientific papers that I submitted to
the MUFON Journal have been published or even acknowledged. Only
due to the extreme pressure exerted by Richard Hall did a single
negative article of less than 5 pages (Ref. 8) appear in the
pages of the MUFON Journal. The rebuttal by the chief proponent,
Dr. Bruce Maccabee (Ref. 9), took 18 pages of text plus photos
and tables, skillfully dodging the fundamental issues, and
containing so many errors of fact that they make a suitable
response difficult, if not impossible, within the editorial
constraints.

2) Lack of confidentiality.

The local investigators (mainly Lt. Col. Ware and Col. Reid) did
not hesitate to release confidential analyses of other
investigators (like myself), to the witnesses, thus allowing Mr.
Walters to correct his errors and change his story in an attempt
to nullify the negative evidence. An interesting example of this
is that the "craft" shown in the initial photos is grossly
asymmetric, but was replaced by a symmetric one at a later date.
Incredibly, this change has been attributed to the alleged extra-
terrestrials, rather than an improvement of Ed's techniques!
Yet, those same investigators created an issue when I disclosed
the name of Mr. Walters (a.k.a. Mr. Hanson) at a lecture,
ignoring the fact that his TWO names are common knowledge in Gulf
Breeze.

3) Failure to disclose.

Last, but the most important irregularity: only Dr. Maccabee has
had unrestricted and free access to the original Polaroid
photographs. It has been well documented that all requests for
"independent examination", including the use of computer image
enhancement, have been simply ignored. Since the basic tenet of
scientific investigation is duplication by independent parties,
if we are to invoke science the ORIGINAL photographs have to be
made available. This has not been the case, and probably will
never be. Having detected many shortcomings using photographs
many generations removed from the Polaroid originals, I seriously
wonder what is in them that MUFON and the proponents do not want
others to see. Perhaps the lack of agreement between Mr.
Walters' story and the manufacturer numbers on the reverse? Or
the fact that apparently some of those numbers have been tampered
with?

WHAT IS IN THE FUTURE?

Very little, if we don't do something about it. It seems that
ufology in the United States is changing, and not for the better.
The ideals that inspired the early pioneers in the field seem to
have disappeared, and the present day publications only reflect
the personal ambitions of those who write them. I find this
depressing, and also intolerable, because in science the
overwhelming driving force has to be the search for truth.
Unfortunately, the leadership of CUFOS seems to have forgotten
what the goal is, while the MUFON leaders cannot remember what
they never knew.

I often wonder why MUFON continues the pretense of
"investigating" cases, just to file them away. When the UNICAT
Project agreed to joint efforts with MUFON, it was with the clear
understanding that MUFON would make the "hidden" reports
available to us in exchange for free access to the UNICAT
database. Neither of those things ever happened: I was unable
to obtain a single investigation report from Walt Andrus, and no
inquiries were ever made to the database. The reasons are now
clear to me: Walt Andrus (that is, MUFON) has no interest in
solving the problem posed by the UFO phenomenon. In fact, such
an occurrence would mark the end of MUFON as a viable
organization: why would anyone buy the MUFON UFO Journal or the
IUR if the mystery has been solved?

As for CUFOS, the weekend ufologists are set in their ways not to
share information with others, in spite of the fact that this is
contrary to the philosophy established by Dr. Hynek, for whom
divulging and exchanging knowledge was of fundamental importance.
Their files, or whatever still remains of them, are not
accessible to anyone, much less to me because of my close
relationship with Dr. Hynek.

MUFON is at the breaking point, and perhaps this is the moment to
offer some creative thoughts. Ufology in the United States is
stagnant because of the lack of leadership in the extant
organizations. They live in the past, controlled by a few
persons who, bound by canons of loyalty to old friends, are
unable to recognize when those friends--also set in their ways--
are violating the rigid principles of scientific methodology.
Those false leaders have reached the point where the decisive
basis for their editorial policies is not the search for truth,
but publishing what sells regardless of its lack of scientific
value.

What is needed is a new organization, formed by a younger
generation more committed to scientific research than to making a
profit at the expense of truth. I sincerely hope that a few such
individuals exist out there and that they will be able to form a
new and more honest organization. Needless to say, the UNICAT
Project is prepared to provide support and assistance.

Dr. Willy Smith
UNICAT Project
May 1989

POST SCRIPTUM

As I am not naive anymore, I am quite aware that what is
published in the MUFON UFO Journal and the IUR pages is heavily
dependent on politics. Thus, I foresee that this article will
bring a vitriolic attack from those named in it. Very likely
their frustration will be vented in the only way they seem to
know well: attempting a destructive critique of the UNICAT
Project. So be it. My associates and I are open to constructive
criticism, which is always welcome. Not welcome are those
critics whose main objection to the UNICAT Project is their fear
that we may be approaching basic results, and whose arguments are
invariably based on lack of accurate information about what we
do.

       REFERENCES

1. Fuller, Paul; in IUR Vol. 13, No. 3, May/June 1988, p.4.

2. Hynek, J. Allen; LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM THE EDITOR-IN-
CHIEF, IUR Vol. 10, No. 4, July/August 1985.

3. Maccabee, Bruce; A HISTORY OF THE GULF BREEZE, FLA, SIGHTING
EVENTS, in the 1988 MUFON Symposium Proceedings, Lincoln, NE,
June 24-26, 1988. (Note: material covered by the author's
presentation at the symposium was essentially different.)

4. Andrus, Walter et al.; "The Gulf Breeze, FL., Photographic
Case", Part IV, in MUFON Journal No. 243, July, 1988, p.9.

5. Walters, Ed; "Ed Responds", in MUFON Journal No. 244, Sept.
1988, p.3.

6. Walters, Ed; letter to the Editor, in IUR Vol. 13, No.5,
Sept./Oct. 1988, p.23.

7. Smith, Willy; "The Gulf Breeze Saga", paper presented on
September 17, 1988 at the National UFO Conference, Cleveland,
Ohio (Available from R.D. Boyd, P.O. Box 66404, Mobile, AL, USA,
$6.00 including postage).

8. Hall, R. and Smith, W.; "Balancing the Scale: Unanswered
Questions about Gulf Breeze", in MUFON Journal No. 248, Dec.
1988, p.3.

9. Maccabee, Bruce; "The Scale Remains Unbalanced", in MUFON
Journal No. 252, Special Gulf Breeze Issue, April 1989, pp. 3-24.

10. Gould, Stephen Jay; HEN'S TEETH AND HORSE'S TOES, W.W.
Norton and Co., 1983, p.201.

=================================================================

Prepared by Michael Corbin
ParaNet Administrator



Search for other documents from or mentioning: gordon

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp


Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com