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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 8

Re: Witness Anonymity

From: Don Ledger <dledger@istar.ca>
Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 15:01:42 +0100
Fwd Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 20:45:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Witness Anonymity

> From: XianneKei@aol.com [Rebecca Schatte]
> Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 03:42:29 -0400 (EDT)
> To: updates@globalserve.net
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Witness Anonymity

> >Date: Sun, 05 Oct 1997 22:24:04 +0100
> >From: Don Ledger <dledger@istar.ca>
> >To: updates@globalserve.net
> >Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Witness Anonymity

> >Everything snipped ........

> >Stanton Friedman once said, "What's in it for the witnesses?" What
> >indeed.

> Depends on what the witness might want out of it.

Hi Rebecca,

Let's get this straight from the beginning. When I say witness, I
mean my witness. When someone calls me and says they've had a
sighting or an experience, I don't believe that gives me the
right to immediately call the media and start spreading that
person's name around. They've called me because something
interesting or frighting or unusual has happened to them and they
want answers. So do I and I am just optimistic to think that over
the next hundred years or so if enough people come forward with
their sightings and other with the expertize to analyse this
stuff analyses it, we might come up with some answers. The media
are of no benefit here and should be kept of it. Their only value
might be to direct persons with sightings to a hopefully
"qualified" investigator.

NOW if the same person wants to go to the media and report that
they saw a flying saucer, look at me, I'm special...then they are
on their own and God help them. If they are looking for their 15
minutes of fame, they are probably going to get it.

The gray area is what happens when the "experiencer" agrees to go
on record in a book for instance with an alias. Some other people
are bound to know who the witness is and might leak the name
either accidentally or for some personal gain [money,
fame,promises or malice].

> >From what I can gather, Linda Cortile has suffered the loss of her
> >privacy and now it seems her son's privacy as well. She has probably
> >suffered ridicule in her community from those who know who she is and so
> >perhaps has her son. She won't have taken abuse from all that know of
> >her ordeal because there are those out there that know first hand of
> >what she has gone through and still others who will understand
> >irregardless. And what of her husband and the rest of her family? What
> >will he husband have gone through at his workplace...one can only
> >imagine.

> Yes, we can imagine. We could also imagine that nothing much
> untoward has happened. Was Linda -- or any witness, for that
> matter, made aware of the possible consequences of "going
> public?" One must wonder about that.

I deal with the press on a daily basis and though many people are
wary of speaking to them many still do not. They do not realize
that opening their mouths in front of a camera can immediatly
affect them both legally and personally. A media frenzy is a
facinating but terrible thing to watch. If there is a possibilty
that what you have to say might favourably affect your TV
network's ratings, heighten your visibility as a reporter, make
you more money or a heck of a lot more money then whether you
wish it or not you are a target.

In Linda Cortile's case, for instance, her personal privacy seems
to be being invaded more by the inner circle of the UFO community
than the public at large. I might be wrong about this but I don't
think she is being badgered by the tabloid press or the large
networks, although the latter in a more limited sense have had a
hand in shining the spotlight on her. I've seen Linda once on a
Canadian program with Budd Hopkins and Stan Friedman [he was
remoted from a studio in New Brunswick] on a limited cable

> I had the opportunity to meet Linda, first in Austin at MUFON's
> annual conference, a couple of years ago, and again last year in
> North Carolina, at another MUFON Conference.  She wasn't hiding
> behind sunglasses or anything and seemed perfectly willing to
> speak to people who came up to her with questions. One has to
> wonder why she would subject herself to all of this if she truly
> wanted her privacy. No, she didn't introduce herself as anything
> other than Linda Cortile.

Two reasons. First, maybe she wants to help others who have had
the same personal violations as she, letting them know that they
are not alone by putting a real face with the story because I
know from my own investigations that it is very important to
people who have had these experiences to know that they are not
the only ones that have experienced these interventions. It gives
them great personal relief to know that something this bizzare is
not happening only to them.

Secondly, probably Linda herself is still looking for answers,
and where is she likely to find them but in the communities and
the gatherings of those who have had similiar experiences.

> I think it's great if witnesses want to "go public" with their
> stories. It probably helps the witness and the audience enjoys it
> too. But when they serve themselves up, they shouldn't complain
> about the attention. I don't remember the exact quote but I
> remember Linda saying in North Carolina something like: "I'm
> ready for the skeptics." It sounded like a challenge to me. Well,
> here we are.

Linda said then, "I'm ready for skeptics...." that does not mean
it is open season on the rest of her family. Nor does it mean she
is ready to receive the whole cockeyed community on the front
steps of her building.

She said she is ready to answer questions in the context of the
UFO community.

> [snip]

> >So going into any new investigation, I offer those witnesses that I
> >interview anonymity right up front..whether they ask for it or not. If
> >they don't want it fine, if they do I respect that and work within those
> >confines.

> And rightfully so. But how do you advise them about talking with
> the media?

Simple, I advise them about talking to the media, but to be
honest, it normally never comes up.

> >I find it very objectionable that someone entrusted with a video tape
> >allowed in confidence would turn around and sell it for what small value
> >it might have. Linda should out the S.O.B. I know, I know.. it's a tough

> Don, how do you know that the videotape was entrusted to someone?
> How do you know that the person who had a copy of the videotape
> didn't have permission to use it? How do you know that it was
> sold?

On this point I was only going on what I had read here on this
thread. I don't really have anything to go on here other than
linda's word.

> No one, to my knowledge has mentioned any names (other than
> Hopkins') and I'm not going to invoke the person's name who had a
> copy of the tape either. I first heard this story last week when
> a fellow researcher (internet impaired) called me with the story
> -- complete with names. I was aghast -- I didn't believe it. But
> rather than let this fester, I called some of the folks involved
> for direct information. Although, I haven't checked with
> everyone, it is my opinion that the videotape was not sold to
> anyone.

> If we have someone on the list who is fluent in Spanish and would
> like to finish interviewing someone with me, maybe we can get to
> the bottom of this. Email me, if you are fluent in Spanish and
> are located in the United States and we'll do a conference call
> with the people involved in this story.

> While I still don't have ALL the facts, I would say, that it
> probably wasn't prudent for this videotape to be shown anywhere,
> but I don't know for sure what qualifications were given when the
> videotape was handed over from Budd Hopkins.

I'm in the dark where the video is concerned. As Tim the Toolman
sez,"I have no opinion."

> >world out there, dog eat dog, everybody's trying to make a living...but
> >at some one else's emotional expense? That's tabloid style folks, pure
> >and simple. If it doesn't bother you then wait until it happens to you
> >or worse yet, to your kid. I defy anyone then to sit on their high horse
> >and say well, I had it coming because I dared to come forward and ask
> >for help. Jesus people, witnesses are our stock and trade. Without them
> >we can't investigate. If everyone clammed up where would we be, there
> >would be no phenomenon to study.

> Witnesses are very important Don. I agree. But we can't stand
> behind promises once testimony is out of the bag. If the tapes
> weren't to be seen or heard by anyone else, why make them in the
> first place? Think about that. All throughout "Witnessed," if you
> have read it, Hopkins is making videotapes and claiming it is his
> proof to use against the skeptics. He certainly intended on
> showing them sometime, don'cha think?  Did he NOT tell the people
> he was taping what he was going to be doing with this stuff? The
> tape of Little Johnny picking "the third man" out of a photo
> line-up would be pretty useless if you couldn't see Little
> Johnny's face as he was looking at the photos.

So far I've never video taped any interviews I've done but I have
audio taped most of them with the witnesses permission. This is
because I'm a slow writer and half the time I can't even make out
what I've written.

It's just a crutch for me and a lot more effective for later

But let's be real here. I can't be sure of Budd's motives other
than what people close to him that I know say and that is that he
is an honorable person. If I was in his position, with this case
sitting in my lap, I think I would do the same thing for proof
later on when dealing with other researchers more knowlegable in
the regression field. Proof of the believability of these
sessions would be enhanced by good video tapes of the subject's
actions and expressions.  And don't forget, when Budd started
this case, it was another case that he was looking into and
became all consumming only after a considerable amount of time
had passsed. By then the pattern was set as was with his other

> I'm sorry that the tape ended up on a TV program -- it really
> doesn't seem right, but someone surely must have dislcosed to
> Linda, her husband Steve and Little Johnny that this COULD
> happen.

Yeah, well you learn as you go along. It might be too late for
Linda but it will be a lesson for the next one to come along. But
then it will take someone of stout heart to say, "The heck with
it..I've got to tell someone about this before I go nuts."


Don Ledger

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