Saturday, June 24, 2017

MUFON, Racism and Dodging the Questions

Although the MUFON Inner Circle is announced on MUFON’s website, and there seems to be no attempt to keep the elite organization hidden, very few of the MUFON members I queried had any idea that it existed. It currently is made up of thirteen members, which seems to be more coincidence than design, but that number does seem to have mysterious connotations for some. I don’t believe it significant, only a little bizarre.

The thirteen members, in no particular order are: Jan Harzan, Ed L’Heureux, Jennifer Stein, David MacDonald, John Schuessler, Debbie Ziegelmeyer, Clifford Clift, John Ventre, JZ Knight, Holly Baker, John Grace, Cindy DuPont and Michael Limotta.

Membership is limited to those who have an extra five grand that they can use each year to buy their place in the Inner Circle. That seems to be the only real qualification for membership. According to MUFON, “The Inner Circle status is obtained through a yearly donation of $5,000. Whether you have had a UFO sighting or are just interested in UFOs, you are welcome to join.”

The site then reports, “Inner Circle members provide advisory guidance to MUFON and are included in annual conference calls, attend private functions and cocktail parties during Symposium time, are afforded reserved seating at MUFON events, and much more!”

It is also noted, “You’ll be joining a very select group of UFO enthusiasts who stop at nothing in pursuit of knowledge about the UFO phenomenon and extraterrestrials. You’ll meet other Inner Circle members at MUFON who are kindred spirits and you’ll participate in Inner Circle-ONLY events.”

The benefits, again, according to MUFON, include access to the MUFON Director’s annual conference call and latest UFO reports, access to the MUFON Director’s live annual post symposium review, including speaker’s comments and personal insights shared with MUFON Director one on one, followed by 30-minute live Q&A session with the MUFON Director. An Inner Circle member also receives free admission to the MUFON Symposium each year of donation, special reserved seating for two in MUFON Director’s section during MUFON Symposium, along with photos with the MUFON Director and Keynote Speaker at the MUFON Symposium. There are three LIVE (emphasis on the website) “Closed Door” conference calls with the MUFON Director, soliciting “your input regarding UFO Research and Public Awareness. Director will also share unpublished current UFO cases with information generally unknown by public or Media.” And finally, it includes a lifetime membership to MUFON which includes the MUFON e-Journal.

At first glance, these perks to membership in the Inner Circle don’t seem to be worth the yearly contribution to MUFON coffers. It might be seen as more of a status thing than as a  way to make a contribution to UFO research and some of the members have a rather checkered background. The emphasis on “special reserved seating, photos with the Director and Keynote Speakers and the “Closed Door’ conference calls,” seem to smack of elitism, but then is that such a big deal?

And, at siccolinks.website>back_up>index_058, it says, “Members of this elite group provide insight and direction to the course MUFON takes in it’s [sic] daily activities.” That is a point where this Inner Circle becomes important especially as we look at the list of those who are members of the Inner Circle really are.

John Ventre
I’ve already detailed in another post some of the trouble that John Ventre, who had bought his place in the Inner Circle, brought to MUFON as a whole. His racist rant on Facebook in May 2017, his doubling down by suggesting some sort of demonic component to the UFO phenomenon a few days later, and his overall attitude gives rise to questions about the Inner Circle and the only real qualification to join.

I have also learned that while Ventre was removed as the state director for Pennsylvania and Delaware, he has been assigned duties as the state treasurer and the conference coordinator according to Lon Strickler. I had asked Harzan during my radio interview with him if Ventre had been reduced to “journal subscriber,” but meant it more as a joke, not realizing that Harzan didn’t actually answer the question. Instead he said that anyone was allowed to join MUFON and, of course, he hadn’t been removed from the Inner Circle which seemed to me to be more problematic. That suggested that the monetary contribution to MUFON was the important aspect. But then, Ventre is not the only member who has these bizarre and racist beliefs.

J Z Knight is another of those whose membership might be questioned. She is a “New Age Leader,” who channels a 35,000-year-old Lemurian warrior who apparently participated in the downfall of Atlantis and who endorsed Donald Trump in the last election. (I note here that I would have mentioned if he had endorsed Hillary Clinton.) In March 2011, Knight was on stage addressing hundreds of those interested in what she had to say, which seemed to be nothing more than a drunken rant, according to Susy Buchanan of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Although Knight claimed, or it is suggested the words aren’t hers but rather Ramtha, the Lemurian she channels, he (meaning Ramtha) said, “Fuck God’s chosen people [meaning the Jews]! I think they’ve earned enough cash to have paid their way out of the goddamned gas chambers by now.”

She, or rather Ramtha, added that Mexicans “breed like rabbits,” all gay men were once Catholic priests and in a strange comment, organic farmers have questionable hygiene. I don’t know what that last means.

Buchanan noted that these remarks would have remained private except that in 2012, they were posted to the web, again according to Buchanan, by Knight’s ex-student Virginia Coverdale and a fellow named David McCarthy. This embarrassed Democratic candidates who had received some $70,000 from Knight, which also suggests that she had enough money to hand over five grand to MUFON on a yearly basis so that she can enter the Inner Circle. To their credit, the candidates returned the donations.

In the article cited above, there was a note I found interesting which was that Knight had been borne Judith Darlene Hampton in 1946 in Roswell, New Mexico. (It seems no matter how hard I try, I can’t get away from Roswell which is the only reason I mention this.)

It is also suggested that Knight owes no apologies to any to those she might have offended during her drunken rant because she employs lapsed Catholics, former Jews, a lesbian and a Mexican-born man in her Inner Circle (but doesn’t seem to employ an organic farmer). Somehow her association with them absolves her of any charges of bigotry or racism. She also claims that the videos used as the basis for Buchanan’s article are heavily edited and that “Coverdale couldn’t keep the man she was after for more than three weeks and hated me for it.”

Much of what Buchanan had to say also has appeared on Wikipedia with a long list of sources that can be accessed for additional confirmation. There are also articles from television stations and newspapers that seem to validate the claims of the racist rants that Buchanan raised.

There are others whose backgrounds and comments aren’t quite so dramatic. David MacDonald, who is also a member of the MUFON Board of Directors as well as a member of the Inner Circle, started the Flamingo Air which was sort of a charter service but it had an added component. For a fee, a couple could hire one of the aircraft so that they might join the “Mile High Club,” and yes, it is exactly what you think it is. Is this egregious? Not really, but then, it isn’t exactly something that an organization that works in the UFO field wants its board members (and former Director) to be doing. In fact, a couple of MUFON members said that they had left the organization when they learned about this. It seems to reflect poorly on the organization, but, of course, not as poorly as some of the other activities.

Jan Harzan
But note here, while the excursions for the Mile-High Club can be seen as little more than a business profit center, MacDonald is also on the Board of Directors. This would seem to negate the claim made by a few that the Inner Circle has no influence with the daily operations of MUFON. While a single board member who is also in the Inner Circle might not hold much power, remember the Jan Harzan, who is the Executive Director and a board member is also in the Inner Circle.

Harzan, however, when questioned about this, said that the Inner Circle exerted no influence on MUFON. This was merely a profit center, what he termed as a donation level perk and that anyone, regardless of their beliefs, their opinions, or their knowledge of UFOs was free to join. All it took was the five grand and for that they received nothing of consequence and they, just as everyone else, could call the Executive Director to chat with him about UFOs. You can listen to Harzan’s interview here:


But the website said, ““Inner Circle members provide advisory guidance to MUFON and are included in annual conference calls, attend private functions…” which sounds like something more significant than just getting together to chat about UFOs. It sounds as if it is more than just someone handing over that kind of money with no expectation of privilege. You might compare it to major contributors to a political campaign or political party. Those people do expect some sort of quid pro quo for the money.

Add to that, “You’ll meet other Inner Circle members at MUFON who are kindred spirits (they might want to remove this given how some of those kindred spirits speak about others) and you’ll participate in Inner Circle-ONLY events…” We don’t know what those other Inner Circle only events might be, but I suspect it is something more than just a party at someone’s house. And, if you are meeting with Inner Circle members who are either on the Board of Directors or are the Executive Director, you have an opportunity to affect MUFON’s direction simply by having the opportunity to meet, one on one, with the Executive Director who certainly does exert influence on the direction MUFON takes.

Also suggesting something more than a donation level as Harzan repeatedly claimed, and that anyone can call the Executive Director, there are “… three LIVE (emphasis on the website) ‘Closed Door’ conference calls with the MUFON Director, soliciting ‘your input regarding UFO Research and Public Awareness.’’

So, while anyone can call the Executive Director, can everyone expect a return telephone call? And, will the Executive Director be interested in their “advisory guidance?” Claiming that the Inner Circle members exert no influence, but attempting to entice people to join by suggesting there will be influence as the Executive Director is “soliciting” their input is somewhat contradictory. If all this Inner Circle does is contribute money, then why is the Executive Director soliciting their input.

While it seems that many of those who have joined the Inner Circle have the best intentions, supporting an organization they believe to be of some benefit, shouldn’t they be troubled by the attitudes of a couple of their fellow Inner Circle members? The racist rants wouldn’t be tolerated in almost any other arena, but here, they are ignored because those holding those extreme views allegedly have no influence on the organization and have Inner Circle status solely based on the size of their wallets, at least according to Harzan.

But when we look in other directions, political campaigns often return money given by those with extreme views. They don’t want to be associated with people who think in the extreme and have the power to purchase a platform.

And to suggest that this is merely free speech, as Harzan did, is to overlook the real trouble here. Yes, you can say whatever you wish, but there are consequences to some of that free speech, especially when directed in an antagonistic way to a specific group. You simply can’t advocate, indirectly, violence against a group because of skin color, religious belief, ethnicity (which is different from skin color) or other less than objective criterion. I will defend your right to say whatever you wish but I will also note that you must take responsibility for that speech. You can’t dismiss a bigoted, racist point of view simply by calling it free speech.

I will add this. While I am exercising my right to free speech here, I know that I am offending some. Those who toil at the lower levels of MUFON, who believe in what is being done, will be annoyed with what I say here. I don’t mean to offend them. They are sort of caught in the crossfire. I do believe that the facts I have laid out here need to be seen and reviewed. I expect nasty comments to the blog (and for those keeping score at home, attack me personally and the comment will not see the light of day… make an argument against my conclusions here and the like, I’ll be happy to post it… free speech), but I am opening a dialogue about all this and accept the animosity as part of the deal. But you’ll notice that I’m not attacking anyone for being black, Jewish, Mexican, Asian, female or white. I am exposing what I see as a hypocrisy at the top of the MUFON food chain. Harzan even joked about it, saying that he’d remove J Z Knight as a state director, but she wasn’t one. He wasn’t concerned about the image that projected to the rest of the world, which I would have thought would have been one of the more important elements of the discussion.

What it boils down to here is this: is the Inner Circle nothing more than a donation level group, or does it actually have a larger function and influential impact as suggested by the Inner Circle information on the web site? Does it help influence the direction of MUFON or is it just a cash cow created to stroke the egos of a few people who have more dollars than sense? There is a contradiction here which suggests that the Executive Director is not overly concerned with the radical and expressed views of some of these people because they have money. He says, on the one hand, they have no influence, but the web site says they do and if they do, then the leadership owes it to the membership to address these concerns.


(I will note here that the situation seems to change day by day, but there hasn’t been the response from the leadership that you would expect… I found some of the things said by Harzan during my interview to be said more as a joke than anything else, including his seemingly tongue in cheek claim that he had sort of bought his position as Executive Director. MUFON needs real leadership and not lip service.) 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Latest MJ-12 Documents: A Final Look

For those of you who tuned into Midnight in the Desert to listen to me discuss the latest MJ-12 document release, well, I was bumped early in the evening because Heather Wade had “overbooked the show.” At least I wasn’t dragged off by security for refusing to give up my place at the microphone… which couldn’t have happened since I was at home and she controlled the telephone system anyway.

But I did listen to the beginning of the program because like so many others, I wondered what Stan Friedman would say about the authenticity. Like many of us, he was interested in the source of the documents. They had seemed to excite him in earlier statements, but he now was somewhat more neutral though a careful reading of them should have given away the false nature of them... The mere mention that the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (IPU) was involved should have been a huge red flag. The IPU has been identified and it has nothing to do with aliens or UFOs or anything of the nature. For more about the IPU see:

http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/search?q=IPU

I found one point hilarious and which nearly everyone has failed to mention. The first page says, “READ-AND-DESTROY. I have to wonder how the document survived with that instruction on the first page, which also argues against authenticity. I will note here that a top secret document’s destruction must be documented saying that it has been properly destroyed. Whoever “stole” this one would have had to violate that rule because he would have had to sign the destruction form.

Heather wouldn’t name names, and in one respect I understand that but that also tends to undermine the validity of the documents. She did say that the person who “stole” them originally had died so that he or she can’t be questioned about how he or she gained possession of them.

Heather hadn’t received the originals either. They had come to her in a .pdf file, which, as I have noted in the past, does not allow for much in the way of a forensic analysis of the paper, ink or anything else that might be gained by examination of the originals. We are left with a study of the format, the font, if the documents conformed to others created at the highest-levels of the government and if the documents fit into our current understanding of the situations being discussed in them.

Instead of analysis of these latest documents on the show, we were treated to another waltz down MJ-12 memory lane from the alleged moment the original documents first arrived at Jaime Shandera’s house in 1984 to the point we have reached now. There was nothing new here, other than listening to Stan talk about all his visits to archives, and he enjoys to do so (and hey, that is fun going through all this material, looking for that single and often elusive nugget) and things he had learned about the men who were named to the original MJ-12 committee, all of which was irrelevant to understanding these new documents.

For those who haven’t looked at them yet, though they can now be accessed through a variety of websites including that for Midnight in the Desert. You can still find them here if you are still interested:


I have outlined some of the many mistakes in these documents already and find it difficult to believe that something created at this level would be so riddled with errors. I am sorely tempted to enumerate the errors in the Roswell section but will refrain from doing that. Anyone interested can take a look at Roswell in the 21st Century (or almost any of the other Roswell books) and compare the information there with that in this document. The errors will be apparent and we have to think that anyone who was far enough inside of the loop to be writing this document would be cognizant of the facts of the case.

I’m going to move onto the Aztec case which was covered in depth here. Stan had made a big deal out of the research in Scott Ramsey’s book while he was on Midnight in the Desert and how careful and meticulous it has been. But this document is at a wide variance with what Ramsey published. This sets up a conundrum… if the document is accurate, then Ramsey is wrong but if Ramsey is right, then the document is fake and I haven’t even mentioned the possibility that both are wrong and Aztec is a hoax.

According to the document, on March 25, 1948, the craft was watched on three radars “belonging to the recovery network of the White Sands Test Range and located in classified areas of southwest New Mexico.” In 1948, it was the White Sands Proving Ground, and if the radars were in southwest New Mexico, that would have prevented tracking of the object to low altitudes in northern New Mexico because the mountainous terrain would have been in the way. In fact, once you get very far north of White Sands, their radars aren’t much good for an object below 10,000 feet. Radar is line of sight.

Again, according to the document, the crash site was secured by 10:45 p.m. that night, which meant that no civilians would have been gathered at the site on the morning of March 25 to watch the military arrive because the object had yet to crash according to these new documents. And, if the civilians were on hand to see the military to arrive, it would have had to be on the morning of March 26, but then the site was already secured and the civilians would have been prevented from getting near.

We are treated to a reference to the base at Flat Rock, Nevada, which, of course, was the scene of much of the action in The Andromeda Strain. We learn that the Blue Berets (whoever they are… no, they don’t exist) came in disguised as National Guard, but I’m not sure how you pull that off since the uniforms worn by the National Guard are the same wore by those on active duty with the Army. I suppose they removed their Blue Berets and wore regulation headgear.

Stephen Bassett
But there really doesn’t seem much reason to drag this out. The documents are faked. I spoke with Stephen Bassett yesterday afternoon, and almost the first thing he said to me was that he too thought the documents faked. We discussed some of the bloopers in text, the problems with the classification markings, and all the other errors. Bassett said that he didn’t think these were disinformation, but more likely just someone outside the government who had too much time on his hands. I’ll add someone who didn’t actually know much but who had gotten his hands of William Steinman’s book UFO Crash at Aztec.


What we need to do now is place these documents in the same file folder with the Roswell Slides, the alien autopsy and little grey men who like strawberry ice cream and Tibetan music. Footnotes in the great journal of UFO information, or maybe, even better, have them all deleted from anything to do with UFO research because they have only distracted us. They have added nothing to our knowledge.

Jim Marrs is Gravely Ill

There was sad news yesterday. In my conversation with Stephen Bassett, he mentioned that Jim Marrs was gravely ill. He is dealing with dialysis at home, which is not a pleasant experience and is suggestive of a very bad situation. We should all hope for the best outcome for him.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MJ-12 - New Documents, Old Story

(Blogger's Note: Normally I would take more time to edit this, but there is pressure to get something posted. This is my opinion based on what I have seen, read, and researched since I was alerted to the documents at 4:18 p.m. CDT on June 14. Excuse the typos...)

The field where Mack Brazel is alleged to have found the
metallic debris. Photo copyright by Kevin
Randle.
Okay, I’ve had time to review the document carefully, or rather given it a solid first reading and I have some points to make. I will note here that in my talks with Stephen Bassett, he suggested that all of us, meaning Stan Friedman, Richard Dolan, him and me, create a list of what our first impressions are, and the things that we spotted right off the top. I thought that idea had some merit. We’re not looking to authenticate or debunk, only at the things that disturbed us in some fashion.

I did ask Heather Wade about the source, or sources, and she didn’t give me names, only that they were ex-military and had possessed the documents for a very long time. She didn’t know which government agency had originated them,
Richard Dolan. Copyright by
Kevin Randle
and there seemed no way to verify them through government sources. We also seem to suffer from the same problems that we’ve always had and that is that we’re working from copies and not originals. This makes the whole process problematic… and I think we can point to many cases in which copies of documents have turned out to be forgeries (think CBS and George W. Bush’s military records and any number of MJ-12 documents).

The classification markings on the documents do not seem to be consistent with authenticity, that is, the classification is not marked at both the top and the bottom of the document.

The dating format, 07 July, 1947, is not one that was in use in 1947, but I suppose you could argue that this format is consistent with the other MJ-12 documents even if it is more consistent with a dating format used by Bill Moore.

The use of “Ultra Top Secret” also raises questions. Ultra was the British code name for their operation to intercept and read high-level, highly-classified Nazi message traffic. This code name seems inappropriate for use by the US government or military. In keeping with that, there are several mentions that these documents are classified “Above Top Secret,” but that is really a misnomer… Top Secret is the highest classification, but the number of people allowed to review certain documents can be further restricted by adding a code word. Only those who are code word cleared would have access to the document and by adding a second code word you restrict the numbers even further. So, if there are two code words, you have a document that can be said to be two points above top secret, though that is not actually a fact. While we can argue the semantics of this, I don’t believe someone on the inside would talk of a document being classified two points above top secret, but rather suggesting it was double code word protected.

Jesse Marcel, Sr.
The description of the Roswell case, and the chronology is not accurate based on all the documented evidence available. As but a single example, the document tells us that Mack Brazel alerted the authorities at Roswell Army Air Forces base (which is not the correct name of the facility) at “05:18” (which should have been written as 0518 hrs) though it is clear that it was the sheriff who alerted the Army and Major Marcel himself said that he learned about it as he was eating lunch.

One of the major red flags is, “At his arrival in Roswell, General Twining relieved Colonel Blanchard of command…” There is no evidence of any such order. The relief of a commanding officer is a major event. Had Twining arrived in Roswell and assumed command by virtue of being the senior officer present, that is not the same thing.

I’m going to leave the Roswell segment here, though I see many other problems, and move onto the “Aztec UFO Crash,” which is featured more prominently (which means I’m not even going to discuss the fraudulent IPU). As I was reading this, I thought the same thing that one of the commenters made on the previous post, that is, I was reminded of William Steinman’s nonsensical book, UFO Crash at Aztec. If we compare this to Scott Ramey’s book, The Aztec Incident, the chronology here is all wrong. If we accept Ramey’s book as accurate, then the document fails (which is sort of a point in another arena).

In this document, they have changed the times which had been Mountain Standard Time, to what they call Local Time or LT. If this was strictly a military document, I would have expected the times to be converted to Greenwich Mean Time or Zulu Time. Not really a fatal flaw but one that seems to be out of place.

I’m now going to skip all the trouble with the Aztec aspect of this simply because there is so much that is simply wrong. And if this is a real briefing, where is the mention of Del Rio, Plains of San Agustin and Kingman? They mention other crashes but provide no detail, probably because these details would be difficult to find and easy to refute.

Anyway, we are now treated to the transcript between an EBE and an assortment of interviewers who are never named for a reason that I can’t fathom (unless, of course, they don’t exist). At first glance, I was drawn to the comment about why the aliens had coming to Earth for centuries and learned, “And we like trees?” I wondered if this was the same group of aliens that liked strawberry ice cream and Tibetan music.

I did mention this to Stephen Bassett who wondered if someone had gone to all the trouble to fake the documents, all the study that it had taken and the time to create it, if he or she would then sabotage the effort with some ridiculous, off the wall comment about liking trees.

My first reaction was to think that was an interesting point, but I had yet to carefully read the document. Having now done so, I see that there really is nothing new here. The information about Roswell is wrong, the name of the base is wrong, the chain of command is wrong, and even the higher headquarters at Fort Worth is wrong (it wasn’t the 5th Air Force, but the 8th).


Stan Friedman. Copyright by
Kevin Randle
The Aztec material is derivative of Steinman’s book, the MJ-12 information is taken from there (or maybe from any of Stan Friedman’s many writings on it), and there is nothing that is suggestive of advanced scholarship. The writing does not sound as if it came from a government source, and without names, without government agencies, without any way to check things out, this just doesn’t seem to be authentic. I withheld my opinion on this, just announcing that the documents have been released so others would have a chance to review them, but it is now clear that this does nothing to further our knowledge and just confuses an already confused issue.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MJ-12 - The Latest Documents

Stephen Bassett. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle
For those of you keeping score at home, there has been another bunch of MJ-12 documents dumped on us. I was alerted to this by Stephen Bassett, he of UFO lobbying and Disclosure fame. He told me of the documents that were at the Midnight in the Desert website ( I will talk about this Friday, June 16 beginning at 1:30 a.m CDT on that program), documents that Heather Wade had been given, and they can be viewed here:


Now, I have not had a chance to review them in great detail but I have scanned them. There are some problematic parts, or elements, in these documents, but then even documents that come with a complete pedigree, which is to say a proper provenance, sometimes have parts that argue against authenticity. In other words, I find some things wrong, but aren’t comfortable with rejecting without a in depth reading of them.

In my conversation with Bassett, he suggested three outcomes for the research: 1. They are authentic. 2. They are a hoax put together by someone in the UFO community for any of a number of reasons. 3. They are disinformation (though at the moment I’m at a loss as to why the disinformation agents would toss these out now). Bassett thought it might have something to do with the possibility of Disclosure moving closer to reality so this was something of a pre-emptive strike.


As it stands at the moment, I will be joined on my radio program, cleverly called A Different Perspective, by Stephen Bassett in a special, two-hour edition. By then, both of us will have had a chance to review the documents, talk to some experts, and be able to describe what we think.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Oak Island and Joy Steele

This week I reached out to Joy Steele who had offered an alternative explanation for the depression found on Oak Island that became known as the Money Pit. We started with a brief history of the area, but given the time constraints, had to work through that quickly so that some of the information was condensed. You can listen to the interview here:

I have visited this topic on several occasions and for those who are interested in reading those posts can begin here:


There is other information about Joy, her investigations into the mystery of Oak Island, research into South Carolina earth kilns of the eighteenth century and how all that relates to Oak Island. You can see some of that here:



The point she was making, and one that sometimes gets lost in the controversy, is that the construction and the look of these kilns seems to match that of the original money pit right down to the flagstones found two feet down and the vault that was found during one of the attempts to find the money. Debris found inside the pit itself, and some of the artifacts found on the island also support this conclusion. The swamp area, according to Steele, would have been necessary for their work in repairing ships if her theory is correct, and the Laginas boys had found debris in the swamp that suggested there had been a ship, or ships there in the distant past.

Other aspects of the Oak Island mystery are explained by the evidence found on the ground, including what appeared to be a British camp on the island in the eighteenth century. Given the real lack of results in the search for treasure, and that some of the artifacts pulled from the money pit might have been put there to induce investors to spend additional money, what she said made a lot of sense.

Next week’s guest (tentatively): Jan Harzan

Topic: MUFON’s current trouble

Monday, June 05, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Larry Lawson

This week I tried something a little different, or more accurately, Larry Lawson of Paranormal Stakeout and I did something a little different. Lawson was on my show and we talked about UFOs and the paranormal but then, later, I was on his show and talked about the paranormal with a smattering of UFOs involved. We wanted to have two shows connected by the paranormal but exploring that topic from our distinct perspectives. You can listen to them here:

and

(And as I always say, you can find the shows on YouTube by typing in A Different Perspective. Add the guest’s name and it will take you directly to the correct show. For the Paranormal Stakeout, do the same thing and you’ll be able to listen to both parts of the shows.)

On Paranormal Stakeout, I had an opportunity to talk about a book, Conversations, I had done a number of years ago that began as an abduction and became a past live regression. I always thought it was an interesting story with a young woman and her horrific dreams that seemed quite real to her. To my surprise, as we explored this using hypnotic regression we learned the details of her past lives and I was able to confirm much of what she was saying in those pre-Internet days. Though I mentioned it on Paranormal Stakeout, the book, of course, goes into more detail.

Those of you who wish more information about Larry Lawson and Paranormal Stakeout, take a look at xzbn.net and just follow the links. You can also visit his website at www.paranormalstakeout.com.

Next week’s guest: Joy Steele

Topic: The Oak Island treasure and what her research has uncovered.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

John Ventre, MUFON and Racism

(Blogger’s Note: Yes, I’m late to the table with this, but the information kept shifting. I wanted to be sure that I had been fair to all those involved and that I had the latest information. For example, I had Jan Harzan’s original statement several days ago, but it was only in the last couple of days that he sent me the latest information. Given that, I wanted to know Nick Redfern’s attitude now that the John Ventre episode had entered a new phase. There are still questions that haven’t been answered and I hope to get those answers soon. They will spawn a new posting when that information is finalized.)

Back many years ago, decades actually, I was looking to join one of the UFO organizations. I wrote to both NICAP and APRO. NICAP responded with a form letter and membership application. APRO responded to my questions. I joined APRO. I became a Field Investigator, corresponded with Coral Lorenzen the real power behind APRO, and eventually met her and Jim Lorenzen, visited them in Tucson, and had a very good working relationship with both of them.

I mention this by way of preamble, and now mention something Coral told me, again decades ago, and is the reason that I have avoided membership in MUFON (not to mention some of the very nasty things said about me by some of their membership and in the MUFON UFO Journal). According to Coral, back in the mid-1960s, Walt Andrus, who was an APRO member, suggested that he organize the Field Investigators in the Midwest into some sort of subordinate group to coordinate that activity. He would call it the Midwest UFO Network.

Sometime later, Andrus broke away to form his own, independent group, taking some of those APRO members with him. Coral was more than a little annoyed about that because she believed that the core of his new group was made of APRO members whose contact information had been provided by APRO.

I’ll go one step further. Back when Gerald Anderson inserted himself into the Roswell UFO crash, or rather claiming he had been over on the Plains of San Agustin with Barney Barnett, I suggested that Anderson tale might not be grounded in reality and that we (Don Schmitt and I) had caught him, Anderson, in a number of statements that weren’t true. As a single example, Anderson had produced a telephone bill suggesting that his telephone call to me had been only 26 minutes, when I had a tape of that call that ran to more than 50.

At a MUFON Symposium Walt Andrus came up to me to express his concern about what I had been saying about Anderson, saying that I was wrong and that the “truth will out.” In fact, a number of people had words to say about my suggestion that Anderson had been less than candid. Within months we learned that Anderson had forged the telephone bill to make me look bad and we’d had a friendly conversation that lasted for more than 50 minutes as I had said all along. The documentation I secured from the telephone company proved it…. And of those who had condemned me, only one had the graciousness to admit his error and apologize, Antonio Huneeus.

On the other hand, Dennis Stacy was always cordial and when there was an article coming up in the Journal that was critical of me or my work, he provided the opportunity for rebuttal. Much of that had to do with the Roswell case and the J. Bond Johnson nonsense about the photographs taken in Brigadier General Roger Ramey’s office in July 1947.

John Ventre, photo copyright
by Ventre.
So now we come to May 2017. MUFON has been in a state of flux for the last several years with a number of director’s coming and going and their support for some television programs of dubious quality. I’ll mention here, again, Jan Harzan’s comment about television and documentaries. Sort of a way of separating the lack of quality of Hangar 1 and MUFON’s claimed standards of scientific methodology.

We now read that John Ventre, the state director of both Pennsylvania and Delaware, posted a racist rant on his personal Facebook page in a “review” of a Netflix program that has nothing to do with UFOs. Although it had now been removed, I found it at http://doubtfulnews.com/mufon-under-fire-for-pa-directors-absurd-racist-rant/ for those who wish to read and see for themselves if it is racist. I will say that I don’t find the first three sentences as racist, but from there is seems to descend into that dark pit we all should attempt to avoid.

Jan Harzan soon posted an apology… okay, it was more of an attempt to support the unpopular view of Ventre and suggest those who questioned him or rejected his views were “haters.”  Harzan wrote on the MUFON website:

Any national organization striving for excellence does not want to be embroiled in its members’ personal, social media life – especially when it involves sensitive issues like politics, race and religion. This past year it’s been nearly impossible to take a public stand for a presidential candidate without a spontaneous out-pour of vicious jabs and sneers from the other side. This in many ways is a symptom of the new social media world we now live in where everyone wants to express their opinion, quickly followed by those who oppose it sending their hate posts to the world.
Who is worse, the person posting, or the haters hating? If you need further evidence of this just watch the nightly news where depending on which channel you watch people line up behind one side of an issue, or the other, and then begin yelling at each other.
It was recently brought to my attention that one of our volunteers had posted a comment on their [should be “his”] personal Facebook page that many found offensive. It is not MUFON’s place to monitor our members and volunteer’s social media sites and become the judge, jury, and executioner based on whether we agree or disagree with a personal posting. This incident did, however, bring to our attention some internal opportunities to update our process and procedures regarding the use of social media by our volunteers and staff and this is currently underway.
Finally, it is okay to disagree with others, but let’s challenge ourselves to dialogue with that person to first understand their rationale for the opinion they are stating, and then begin a discussion with them on the subject. For only through dialogue and discussion do we advance civilization. We all need to be building each other up rather than tearing each other down. There is no justice in hate, no matter what side of the fence you are on. On that we can all agree.
Harzan seemed to be saying that everyone has a right to his opinion and the First Amendment guarantees our right to say any damn thing we please. But there are consequences to the right of free speech, especially when driven by ignorance, and many of those who reacted to Ventre’s rant were not “haters” but were expressing an outrage that in 2017 someone who is a prominent member of an organization would hold such blatantly racist views.

To answer Harzan’s question, “Who is worse, the person posting, or the haters hating?” the answer is simple here. The person posting. Ventre started the “discussion” with a post that suggested violence when he wrote that the “last thing blacks want is for white males to organize…” The implication is clear here and I’m not going to spell it out.

But the real problem for MUFON and for the UFO community is the suggestion of an overall conspiracy that has been growing and a suggestion that the courts, the media, and nearly everyone else is conspiring against a single race and gender of individuals. It is suggestive of a personal rage that is misdirected and is outrageous in its conclusions.

And while MUFON has no responsibility to monitor the personal postings and social media accounts of its members, it does have a responsibility to its other members who don’t hold those views, and to the society that Harzan appeals to in his non-apology. Ventre can say what he wants, but with free speech comes certain responsibility as well That is the part that so many seem to have missed.

I did wonder why MUFON leadership didn’t immediately disavow any association with the racist attitudes expressed by Ventre. It seemed to me and a number of those I routinely communicate with that the course of action is obvious but then I learned of something called the MUFON Inner Circle. This is a group of people, according to the website http://www.mufon.com/the-inner-circle.html, who have donated a pile of money to MUFON. “The Inner Circle status is obtained though a yearly [emphasis added] donation of $5,000. (Though there is some question of if it is a one-time donation or an on-going thing.).” Ventre is a member of that circle so it seems that Harzan’s lame comments are to protect a monetary source.

Then, on May 31, I received a reply from Harzan to the several questions I had sent him two days earlier. He wrote to the State Directors:

After discussion with MUFON Leadership it has been determined that it is in the best interest of both MUFON and Mr. Ventre that he be removed as State Director of Pennsylvania. This is effective immediately. MUFON does not condone racial discrimination in any form and has always provided equal opportunity to all regardless of race, religion, sex, age or national origin and will proudly continue to do so.
Nick Redfern. Photo copyright
by Kevin Randle
Many weren’t impressed by Harzan’s original comments and the new statement did nothing to change Nick Redfern’s position expressed days earlier. Given that Harzan had labeled him as a hater for objecting to Ventre’s rant, he severed his ties with MUFON, which is, of course, his right. MUFON will be poorer for the desertion of Nick and of others who have also objected to the rant, because many of them brought a great deal to the table. And in a suggestion, that someone at MUFON understands the firestorm, they have removed Ventre’s books from their website and seem to be severing their other ties with him. It would be nice to see Ventre removed from the Inner Circle, but I suspect the five grand will have something to do with that decision.

Ventre should have been tossed from the organization and has been, or rather removed as the state director of Pennsylvania and Delaware. He has been reduced to “Journal Subscriber” which is sort of the lowest rung in the MUFON Hierarchy.

But Ventre has also doubled down. Jason Colavito, at his web site, noted that Ventre had “returned to social media to offer an explanation of what happened. He blamed demons. These were not metaphorical demons, like when a celebrity blames person demons for an addiction. No, he meant literal demons from hell. Ventre wrote that he has become convinced that UFOs are actually demonic…” You can read Colavita’s whole post here:


The problem is that Ventre’s rant is clearly racist and should be universally condemned and his latest statements do nothing to undo the damage he has done. In the modern world that Harzan mentions, it should be understood that we don’t condemn people because of their racial identity, we don’t reject them because of gender, we don’t ignore those who are less gifted and we don’t advocate, however tangentially, violence against them. While we do have free speech that means we can say whatever we want without fear of the government dragging us away in the middle of the night, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t responsible for what we said and that others might take offense. It means that I have the right to reject your speech, that I have the right to criticize it, and I am not required to endorse or accept it and, of course, that same thing applies to you.

MUFON should be reprimanded for the days of delay before making a move that everyone knows it should have made immediately. No organization will stand when one of its leaders expresses such outrageous opinions and then that organization fails to act immediately when they learn what has been posted. I don’t understand why the immediate response wasn’t to remove Ventre from his leadership roles as soon as it was discovered that he had made the comments… and since they were posted to his personal Facebook page, it was clear that he had made them. Harzan should apologize for attempting to shift the “blame” to those who responded to the Ventre and for calling them “haters,” rather than attempting to gloss over the situation.


Now the question is if Ventre remains in the Inner Circle or if MUFON will do the right thing here and refund Ventre’s donation and toss him from that as well.