Friday, December 09, 2016

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Rob Swiatek

Rob Swiatek, formerly of the Fund for UFO Research and lately as member of the board at MUFON joined me for this week’s show. We discussed the state of UFO research including how many reports have been made to MUFON in the last year (something like 3500) and why there don’t seem to be the same sort of robust reports that were made in the past. He suggested that sightings in which the occupants were seen were a mere handful of the reports made. And we discussed some of the better sightings from the last couple of years, including some interesting photographs. You can listen to the show here:

For those of you who were interested in the Kauai, Hawaii UFO photograph we discussed, Rob supplied additional information after the show. Following is the report and a black and white copy of the photograph.

For an in depth analysis of the photograph see Bruce Maccabee, “A Rare Photo Coincidence,” in International UFO Reporter for May/June 1990, pages 4-9, 22.

Next week’s guest: Robert Scheaffer

Topic: Bad UFOs (The name of his book).

Saturday, December 03, 2016

X-Zone Broadcast Network - John Greenewald

John Greenewald, Jr. of the Black Vault fame was the guest on this week’s radio show. We talked about FOIA and if it still works, how it works and what might go wrong. We also discussed the famed 1976 Tehran, Iran, UFO intercept in which two jet fighters attempted to approach the UFO and lost their avionics, instrumentation and power. The object was seen by an Iranian general and seen on radar as well. John talked about the documents written about the intercept, what they showed and how there was never any follow up investigation. You can listen to the show here:

For those interested in the Iranian fighter case, you can read a longer synopsis in the following article.

Next week’s guest: Rob Swiatek
Topic: UFOs and the Fund for UFO Research

Tehran - September 18, 1976

(Blogger’s Note: John Greenewald and I discussed this case on the radio and I thought many would like to see a more information about it including the names of the various participants in the sighting. This is adapted from my book, The UFO
John Greenewald
Dossier, which details the UFO situation as it is seen around the world. This provides the best information available. You can look at the documents themselves by visiting
A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document would later say, “A remarkable report. This case is a classic that meets all the necessary conditions for a legitimate study of UFO phenomenon.”
The series of sightings began with a routine telephone call made to the control tower at the Mehrebad Airport in Tehran. The night supervisor, Hossain Pirouzi, would later say that the first telephone call came in at about 10:30 p.m., from the Shemiran area of Tehran. The woman said that the object was about 3,000 feet above her, that its color changed from orange to red to yellow. It had a shape that she described as a fan with four blades. She wasn’t sure if it was a single object or two because it seemed to sometimes separate into two distinct pieces. Pirouzi told her not to worry about it because he would check it out.
But he didn’t bother to check it out. His radar systems were down because they were undergoing repair. At 10:45 p.m., he received a second call from a woman who had been on the roof of her house when she saw an object seeming to dart around. Like the first, she wasn’t sure if there was one object or two. She said that they seemed to divide into two and then joining up again. As he had done with the first, Pirouzi told her not to worry about it.
By 11:15 he had received four telephone calls about the object and although the trainees with him had been outside to search for the object without results, he was now curious. Taking a pair of binoculars with him, he walked out onto the balcony that surrounded the tower. Although he didn’t see it at first, he finally did spot it and as he would tell investigators, “I was amazed, flabbergasted.”
He said that the object looked like a bright star to the unaided eye, but through the binoculars he saw a rectangular shape that was about 6,000 feet overhead. Both the right end and left ends were blue and there was a red light in the center that while not flashing seemed to be rotating. The object also seemed to be oscillating.
Interestingly, four aircraft that transited the area reported that they had received an emergency radio beacon signal. They called the tower to ask if there had been some sort of aircraft accident or a crash but of course there were none. With this new information, Pirouzi began to worry and decided that it was time to alert the Iranian Air Force. At 12:30, now on September 19, Pirouzi called the duty officer and told him what he had seen. There still was no radar contact and other facilities that were alerted had nothing showing on their screens, but the distances and mountains might account for that.
The Duty Officer also alerted General Parviz Youssefi, who stepped out on his porch and saw the object. It was Youssefi who contacted the other radar facilities asking what they had on their scopes. Even without the radar confirmations, Youssefi ordered an F-4D Phantom into the air to investigate.
The Phantom launched at 1:30 a.m. and the pilot spotted the UFO almost immediately. Using Pirouzi as a relay, Youssefi ordered the aircraft to get as close as possible to the UFO to get a good look at it but to do nothing else. The pilot approached above the speed of sound and said the object was about half the size of the moon, and that it had violet, orange and white lights that were much brighter than moonlight.
He chased the object until he thought he was over the border and into Afghanistan. At that point he turned to head back to Tehran and saw that the object was still in front of him, but closer to Tehran. He was ordered to close on the UFO and when he was about 30 miles away his avionics, radios and electronics failed. When he maneuvered away from the UFO, the electronics came back on line but he was now running low on fuel. He had to end the chase.
According to Lawrence Fawcett and Barry Greenwood in Clear Intent, Charles Huffer using FOIA, received a report from the Defense Intelligence Agency that covered the details of the attempted intercepts. According to that document, the description of the second attempted intercept began:
At 0140 hrs [when] a second F-4 was launched. The backseater [the radar officer who sits behind the pilot in the F-4 cockpit] acquired a radar lock on at 27 NM [nautical miles] 12 o’clock position with the VC [rate of closure between the fighter and the object] at 150 NMPH [nautical miles per hour]. As the range decreased to 25 NM the object moved away at a speed that was visible on the radar scope and stayed at 25 NM.
The size of the radar return was comparable to that of a 707 tanker. The visual size of the object was difficult to discern because of its intense brilliance. The light that it gave off was that of flashing strobe lights arranged in a rectangular pattern and alternating blue, green, red and orange in color. The sequence of the lights was so fast that all the colors could be seen at once. The object and the pursuing F-4 continued on a course to the south of Tehran when another brightly lighted object, estimated to be one-half to one-third the apparent size of the moon, came out of the original object. This second object headed straight toward the F-4 at a very fast rate of speed. The pilot attempted to fire an AIM-9 [sidewinder] missile at the object but at that instant his weapons control panel went off and he lost all communications (UHF and interphone). At this point the pilot initiated a turn and negative G dive to get away. As he turned the object fell in trail at what appeared to be about 3 – 4 NM. As he continued in his turn away from the primary object the second object went to the inside of his turn then returned to the primary object for a perfect rejoin.
Shortly after the second object joined up with the primary object another object appeared to come out of the other side of the primary object going straight down at a great rate of speed. The F-4 crew had regained communications and the weapons control panel and watched the object approach the ground anticipating a large explosion. This object appeared to come to rest gently on the earth and cast a very bright light over an area of about 2 – 3 kilometers. The crew descended from their altitude of 25,000 to 15,000 and continued to observe and mark the object’s position. They had some difficulty in adjusting their night visibility for landing, so after orbiting Mehrabad [Airport] a few times they went out for a straight in landing. There was a lot of interference on the UHF and each time they passed through a mag. [magnetic] bearing of 150 degrees from Mehrabad they lost their communications (UHF and interphone) and the INS fluctuated from 30 degrees to 50 degrees. The one civil airliner that was approaching Mehrabad during the same time experienced communications failure in the same vicinity (Kilo Zulu) but did not report seeing anything. While the F-4 was on a long final approach the crew noticed another cylinder-shaped object (about the size of a T-bird at 10M) with bright steady lights on each end and a flasher in the middle. When queried the tower stated there was no other known traffic in the area. During the time that the object passed over the F-4 the tower did not have a visual on it but picked it up after the pilot told them to look between the mountains and the refinery.
During daylight the F-4 crew was taken out to the area in a helicopter where the object apparently had landed. Nothing was noticed at the spot where they thought the object landed (a dry lake bed) but as they circled off to the west of the area they picked up a very noticeable beeper signal. At the point where the return was the loudest was a small house with a garden. They landed and asked the people within if they had noticed anything strange last night. The people talked about a loud noise and a very bright light like lightning. The aircraft and area where the object is believed to have landed are being checked for possible radiation.

Attached to the report was an internal form that was titled, “Defense Information Report Evaluation.” This was an assessment of the quality of the Iranian sighting information that indicated the information was “confirmed by others sources,” and that the information value was “High (Unique, Timely, and of Major Significance),” and the information was “Potentially Useful.”
In the remarks section of the report, and as noted by the COMETA officials, this case was considered:
A remarkable report. This case is a classic that meets all the necessary conditions for a legitimate study of UFO phenomenon:
a. the object was seen by multiple witnesses in different locations [(i.e., Shemiran, Mehrabad, and the dry lake bed) and viewpoints (both airborne and from the ground)].
b. The credibility of many witnesses was strong (an Air Force general, qualified aircrews, and experienced tower operators).
c. Visual sightings confirmed by radar.
d. Similar electromagnetic effects (EME) were reported by three separate aircraft.
e. There were physiological effects on some crew members (i.e., loss of night vision due to the brightness of the object).
f. An inordinate amount of maneuverability was displayed by the UFOs.
The final comment about this in the COMETA report is, “The attempt by Klass to trivialize this case shows how solid it is.” This refers to Klass’ book, UFOs: The Public Deceived in which he claimed that the first witnesses saw Jupiter and pilot incompetence and equipment malfunctions accounted for the remained.
But one of those ground witnesses was General Youssefi who eventually ordered the interceptors into the air. When the launching airfield is taken into consideration which was west southwest of Tehran and the distance the first fighter traveled, Jupiter was about 90 degrees off where the UFO was reported.
Klass also claimed that the Westinghouse technician who was stationed at the Shahrokhi Air Base said that only the first of the F-4s reported equipment failure and that particular aircraft was known for equipment failures and had a history of electrical outages. This same man also suggested that the F-4 radar could have been in manual track causing a wrong interpretation of the radar lock. Or, in other words, the radar officer in the rear seat of the F-4, made an error that caused him to believe he had radar contact.
And keeping with his belief that meteors cause many UFO sightings, Klass pointed out that the Gamma Percids and the Eta Draconids meteor showers were at their height. He believed that it was likely that witnesses had been fooled by bright meteors.
He also suggested that where the falling light that supposedly crashed they found a beeping transmitter that came from a C-141 aircraft, according to a report filed by Lieutenant Colonel Mooy. But that isn’t exactly accurate. According to Mooy’s report, “… but as they circled off to the west they picked up a very noticeable beeper signal. At the point where the return was the loudest was a small house with a garden. They landed and asked the people within if they had noticed anything strange last night. The people talked about a loud noise and a very bright light like lightning….” So there was no mention of a C-141 in that report.
Jerome Clark, in his UFO Encyclopedia, probably put it best. He wrote of Klass’ attempted explanations:
No satisfactory explanation for the incident has ever been proposed, though Philip J. Klass, author of several debunking books on UFOs, would attempt one. In Klass’s view, the witnesses initially saw an astronomical body, probably Jupiter, and pilot incompetence and equipment malfunction accounted for the rest…. Klass’s theory presumes, without clear or compelling evidence, a remarkable lack of even rudimentary observing and technical skills on the parts of the Iranian participants. In some ways it would be easier to credit the notion, for which no evidence exists either, that the witnesses consciously fabricated the sighting.
Or, in other words, the skeptical argument against the reality of the sighting fails because of the assumptions made about evidence that does not exist. Klass is forced to invent explanations rather than look at the evidence that is gathered. And this does not address his dismissal of the aircrews as incompetent, based it seems, on their nationality rather than their actual abilities.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Oak Island and the King's Mark

I hadn’t really gotten into this season’s Oak Island other than to note that they have found the money pit. By that I mean they’re planning to dump two million dollars into the ground where they believe the original hole had been dug. It means that they are throwing two million into the ground and I will wager big dollars that when all is said and done, they’ll have another big hole in the ground but no treasure. They will have spent two million creating a money pit.

But what got me was their diving down into a well some twenty miles from Oak Island where they believe they found a “Templar’s Cross” suggesting the Templars had been there hundreds of years ago. As a diver was lowered into the well, he found symbols marked on the rocks used to line the well. On one of these they called a “King’s Mark” which, it seems to me, they attempted to relate to the Templars.

Broad Arrow Mark found in Australia.
The thing is, that mark, or one like it, apparently didn’t come into use until Henry VIII created the Office of Ordnance. Then this broad arrow mark was used to mark objects bought by the King’s money.

More importantly, it became widely used around the world. There are no indications that the Templars used it for anything and the fact that it appears on a stone in a well in Canada is of little real significance. It was used to mark trees here in North America (which I know includes Canada so don’t point that out) and in England and Australia used to mark prisoner’s uniforms. It marked roads and government property. It marked lots of things and is quite common.

The point here is that there was nothing to link the broad arrow to the Templars and no real reason to become excited when it was found on a rock in Canada. This is just more hype to keep us tuning in and after so long with so little to show for it, I probably won’t be one of those watching any more. There is too much nonsense and too little pay-off, except for those involved in the production and broadcasting the show. They’re the ones reaping the treasure.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Treasure Quest - Snake Island: A New Height of Nonsense

This is becoming like shooting fish in a barrel and in the last episode they provided so many set ups that I couldn’t resist just one more commentary on the show.

But first, I missed a bet with the week three show entitled, “Treasure Found.” This was a lie since they found no treasure. Oh, sure, they were shown a silver bar that seemed to have been created by the Jesuits, but there was nothing to prove that it had a thing to do with the Treasure of the Trinity. Then they paid the black market guy a thousand bucks to tell them where it came from and he pointed them to Argentina.

Jesuit Santa Ana Mission in Argentina.
So now we’re in Argentina, and they have arrived at the Santa Ana mission where that silver bar was allegedly made. They’re standing in the center of the compound and one of the guys talking about the pile of silver said, “We could be standing on a big pile…”

And I’m thinking, yeah, a big pile of crap…

Later, as they explore the area, they’ve split into teams and while one team is studying a wall, they hear a shout and realize their South American guide has fallen. They all jump up and start yelling, “Emilio! Emilio!” and all I can think of is the Batabi brothers from A Night at the Roxbury telling the story of Emilio Estevez using the telephone and one of them starts screaming “Emilio!”

Emilio has apparently fallen into a hole and badly injured his ankle. They spend time carefully lifting him out and getting him some first aid… but not much later it doesn’t look as if he has hurt himself at all. He healed very quickly.

They head back to their boat which they had apparently left unattended while they traipse around the jungle for hours and hours. It appears to them that someone has broken in. They find the place trashed but oddly, nothing was stolen. The electronic equipment is left behind because the people who broke in didn’t know the value. Their fishing gear is left behind suggesting it wasn’t some random fishermen. In fact, it just looks as if someone broke in just to make a mess because they could find no evidence of anything missing. One of then asks, “Why would they do this?” Another says, “Intelligence,” meaning, of course, that someone had been looking for information on the Treasure of the Trinity… but it doesn’t seem any of their papers were stolen either. The break-in makes no sense, unless, of course, you need some drama for your South American adventure and proof of how dangerous it is.

But to me this is proof that this whole thing is staged and they will never find the treasure, just the clues they tell us prove they are on the right trail… though the things they find prove no such thing… and found so they can keep us tuning in. The treasure they seek are ratings so the production company can continue to fund these fake adventures. They will never get to the end of the rainbow for the pot of gold unless the ratings dip and they decide there is no pot of gold.

Friday, November 25, 2016

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Mark O'Connell

Mark O'Connell
Mark O’Connell was the guest on this week’s program. I had seen a posting that he and Don Schmitt had debated the Roswell case a number of weeks ago. This debate was broadcast at the time and it was supposed to be uploaded to the Internet so that those of us who hadn’t heard it live might get a chance to hear it now. The problem is that we can’t find it anywhere, which of course means only that we can’t find it. The debate might be up somewhere. Maybe we’ll get a hint. However, you can listen to our discussion here:

Part of that discussion was on the Roswell Slides and some of it was about the Roswell case as well. We also talked about the vast interstellar distances among the stars. At the moment we know of no way of defeating those distances and we have no craft capable of reaching relativistic speeds. That is not to say we won’t figure some of this out at some point. Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that people believed that if you traveled faster than 60 miles an hour the breath would be sucked from your lungs (okay, that was sometime in the middle of the 19th century but you get the picture) but we now know that isn’t true. What is true today sometimes changes as our knowledge and abilities increase.

For those of you paying attention, visit to learn of the other programs available on the X-Zone Broadcast Network, and if the mood moves, vote for your favorite host.

Next Week: John Greenewald, Jr.

Topic: The Black Vault

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Question for Everyone

Here’s a question that has been asked several times in the last couple of months. It came up on my radio show, it came up during a Skype interview with the Kansas MUFON UFO group, and it came up in an interview I did a couple of weeks ago. I know what my answer has been, but thought it might be something that you all would like to chime in on…

Has the Roswell Slides fiasco harmed UFO research in general and the Roswell case in particular?
I suppose an ancillary question might be if this harmed the reputation of those involved.

Sure, we can talk about some of the other recent missteps including the alien autopsy, MJ-12 and even Frank Kaufmann and those of his ilk. Anyway, since I have been asked about this, I thought it time to get a reading from others who might have had a chance to interact with others. But keep it cordial, keep on topic and we'll get along.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Treasure Quest - It Just Keeps Getting Worse

Yeah, yeah, I know that I wasn’t going to review these shows each week but they just keep getting dumber, or maybe I should say that they expect us to accept some of the dumb conclusions they draw. If you remember the second week, the crew was heading toward a clearing in the jungle where something important might be hidden. When they reached it, we learned it was a pile of bricks which, frankly, didn’t seem to be all that old.

The major find here were a number of them with cutouts in them that the team decided were molds used to form bars of precious metals. Without a single reason, they concluded that these molds were used as the Jesuits melted the Inca gold into bars for easier transport. They just stood in this clearing without making an effort to date the bricks, without wondering why after what had to have been a century or two, these bricks looked as crisp as if they had been made last week and then dumped into the clearing for these people to find. I wondered who really put them there.

Having failed to find any real signs of treasure, they returned to their camp and decided the best course of action was to tap into the black market and see what they can find that way. They couldn’t take in cameras because the black marketer wasn’t going to let them film the transaction but they did have a plan. Lipstick cameras cleverly hidden in a hat and a backpack because no one would ever think of looking there. We are treated to their travels through the a maze of streets and hallways until we’re in a back room with the man who conveniently speaks English and I have to say, it seems to me that the camera work is much better than the random shots you would get from these tiny cameras hidden in a hat and a backpack.

First, we are shown artifacts that the guys say are faked and by a huge coincidence I see on an episode of Law and Order the next day similar artifacts hanging on the wall of people of Latin descent. I wonder if the set designer on Law and Order is the same one used in this show.

The Mission at Santa Ana, which I put here so that you won't be surprised when the find this on the next episode.
Finally, we’re shown a silver bar that the black marketer wants ten grand for. I don’t know how much the bar weighs, but I do know that silver has been trading for about seventeen bucks an ounce and this doesn’t look big enough to be worth ten grand. Our guys say they didn’t bring money and the black marketer suddenly goes berserk because they have wasted his time. It looks as if there is a big confrontation coming but all we get is another string of commercials. When we return, we’re at the camp as those left behind express their concern about their partners who have been gone a long time. Not to worry though, they are suddenly back and for a thousand dollars, they had learned where that silver bar came from and they are off to the Santa Ana mission in Argentina… and I wonder how long it took them to get permission to traipse around in Argentina or if this had all been arranged weeks earlier which is another indication that the reality here maybe isn’t so real.

So off they go, traveling along the rivers that will lead them to the mission. They stop for the night in the center of a large river during their trip to Santa Ana, confront some guys in a boat who are probably fishing though we’ve been told that this river is a highway for smuggling and that it is a very dangerous area. It’s so dangerous that they decide to make some weapons, bombs actually, and they break out their crossbow for which they have a single bolt. I’m thinking what a bunch of loons who have been watching too much television in their spare time. I wondered if they had a satellite feed on the boat.

I could go on, but I’m really tired of this whole thing. The script is terrible, the acting not much better and the danger invented… sure, there are snakes and spiders which they show us repeatedly and their xenophobia is becoming annoying. No one they meet is a regular human… they are people bearing down on them on highways, floating around in boats, and trying to sell them fake Inca artifacts.

The first season wasn’t quite as ridiculous as this season is turning out. The longer it goes on, the more likely this whole thing is staged for a South American adventure show that has no basis in reality. I mean how big is the production crew? Where do they stay? Whose clearing the way for them to travel across Paraguay and then into Argentina? And why is everyone telling them that everything they find is a clue to the Treasure of the Trinity? I will bet we’ll end the season with them finding nothing of great value, but if the ratings are high enough they’ll be back for the next travelogue with a new set of clues that could take them to the Oak Island where they can meet up with the Laginas.