The Groom Lake Desert Rat: Issue 30#30. September 29, 1995
In this issue...
- Turley Wins Critical Ruling
- Autopsy Dissected
- Road Trip
- Follow-Up on "Executive Briefing"
- Intel Bitties
- Our Reader's Respond
Turley Wins Critical Ruling
According to a Sept. 2 news article and Sept. 5 press release Jonathan Turley, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the hazardous waste suit against the Groom Lake base, appears to have won a critical ruling. Federal Judge Philip Pro has ruled that the military must either make its Groom Lake environmental reports public in compliance with Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or seek an exemption directly from the President. The judge has set an Oct. 2 deadline for the government to decide what to do."On Oct. 2, citizens will learn they have a new federal facility," Turley said. "The president will now have to personally exempt this facility by name, or order the military to operate it under the same rules as other (bases)."
This ruling could be the first step toward Psychospy's goal of someday eating in the base cafeteria and enjoying succulent prime rib and filet mignon at below-Vegas prices. Turley appears ecstatic, but it is hard to guess what will really happen on Oct. 2. Given their absolutist position in the past, the military seems unlikely to take this lying down. They could conceivably appeal the ruling, which could delay compliance for months.
Turley shows no fear of a presidential exemption. "If the president wishes to deprive the public of environmental information or allow the military to circumvent the law, he will have to do so publicly and face the political consequences," Turley said. "He will have to do so in dozens of cases."
Sounds good, but we've heard only one side of the story, Turley's, so we will wait to see how the other side responds.
Watch our Area 51 web site or alt.conspiracy.area51 for the latest news as it comes to us.
[Later: Government obtains presidential exemption: News Article | Text of Exemption]
"Get Me A Brain, Igor. I Must Have A Brain!"
The internet is looking like Frankenstein's laboratory these days as armchair pathologists around the world dissect the alien body shown on the alleged Roswell autopsy film. It's the O.J. trial all over again! Guilty or not guilty, real or hoax? This time the setting is an anonymous morgue somewhere in the Twentieth Century. How many times can we watch the surgeon's knife drawn across this poor bloated creature? How long must we debate with our email colleagues whether the alleged alien blood is oozing just right? After viewing the TV show frame by frame and listening to the discussions on the net, Psychospy has made his conclusion.It's real.
The film that is. It really exists. We know it exists because it was shown on Fox, the Simpsons/X-Files network, and they would never lie to us (just selectively edit). A more difficult question, which others seem obsessed with but doesn't bother us too much, is whether the alien shown on this real film is a real extraterrestrial. Our theory is that the truth will shake out on its own, especially with so many net nerds currently chipping away at it. Eventually the accumulated evidence will be so overwhelming as to make the truth perfectly obvious, one way or the other, and we see no need to declare our beliefs in the interim.
Far more interesting to us are the intellectual processes and human impact of the public investigation. It is fascinating to watch ten thousand virtual human minds turn their resources to this problem. Many of these minds are virtual morons (VMs) whose words just take up space in the newsgroups, but there are also a few smart characters on the wires, including competent specialists in movie props, theater lighting, medical procedures and military history whose professional advice you might pay thousands of dollars for in the real world. Of course, even these experts can't seem to agree. For every Hollywood prop artist who says it can't be done, there's another who says it can and under budget.
On the surface, the on-line investigation of the autopsy film seems as noisy and chaotic as humanity itself, but when viewed from above, a certain collective wisdom, larger than any one member, is beginning to shine through. Very few people seem to be jumping to conclusions. The dominant tone of on-line messages is, "I don't know if the alien is real, but here's what I do know." The debate overall has been remarkably logical and scientific, with politics and emotions pushed to the background.
And in the process, whether by accident or design, the world is now completely comfortable with alien autopsies.
Of course, if the autopsy is real, the release of the film could be the most important event in the history of mankind, blah, blah. If the film is a hoax, the simplest explanation is that it was cooked up by clever con artists with no privileged information and no motivations other than money. Both options seem rather boring and one-dimensional to us and leave nothing much to talk about.
Even if real, the alien just lies there without bringing us any closer to the truth. In our holographic folklore model [DR#29], where we examine how this story fits with other saucer crash claims, the film does not contribute anything significant to the story we have already accumulated. The autopsy alien has six human-like fingers, not the four long, slender ones usually reported. This would have to be a different species of alien altogether, one that lies outside the mainstream of our current investigation.
Psychospy takes a pragmatic approach to the unknown. There are too many mysteries in the world for us to tackle them all, so we have to focus on the few that we have the resources to deal with. We are willing to let a paranormal claim remain unchallenged if we cannot relate it in some way to things we already know. We hate to use the labels "true" or "false," instead we call things "useful" or "not currently useful." We can accept parallel realities--that there might be both four-fingered and six-fingered aliens--but we can only investigate one reality at a time, and this must be the one we are currently best equipped to handle. Our current conclusion about the autopsy film is that it isn't very helpful in itself, but it might teach us something about the people watching it.
After seeing the TV show several times, we are left with a lite beer/diet soft drink kind of feeling, where we have consumed lots of "product" but still feel empty. The hollowness comes from the lack of human connections. If you seek photographic evidence of the alien presence, here it is, but even the clearest film or photograph is meaningless without direct human testimony to establish its origins, and this we do not have. We have only the secondhand tale of the alleged cameraman who will not be interviewed, so we cannot observe his emotional reactions.
What we found most compelling about the Fox TV show had nothing to do with the autopsy: It was the testimony of Roswell native Frankie Rowe, who recounted being threatened as a child by a government interrogator after she handled some alleged evidence from the crash. We saw what seemed to be real emotion in her eyes, and the performance struck us as more genuine than any actress we have yet seen on film. Cynical as we are about television sound bites, faking such an automatic response on extreme close-up seems to dwarf the challenges of reproducing an alien body.
A Third Scenario
Between the bland black-and-white solutions of totally real and totally hoax lies a far more interesting gray area. Maybe the autopsy film is an artificial creation, but motivated by something other than money. Can we explore such a theory without dropping off the Deep End--into conspiracies galore and loss of all logical discipline? We'll give it a try as we digress below into rampant speculation.Let us suppose that the UFO cover-up is real and the government is neither dumb nor nefarious. In 1953, all alien information was sequestered in its own secret division. (Jarod calls it the "Satellite Government" [DR#24], but that sounds too sinister for us, as it begs the question of which government is really in charge. We prefer "special government entity" or SGE.) Back in the 1950s, total secrecy might have been appropriate. The panic associated with the War of the Worlds radio broadcast of 1938 still impressed the memories of those in power. A determination was made by competent authorities that the populace was not yet ready for the news, or perhaps that the news was not ready for them. More time was needed for experts to study the problem--both the aliens themselves and the possible public reaction--and to prepared a plan. This might be a very long-term plan. The SGE wanted flying saucers of its own before the news could be revealed so the world would not appear so helpless. These were built with alien help--aliens who were neither good nor evil but simply alien and apparently willing to humor us for a while.
Those who sponsored the cover-up and staffed the SGE believed in what they were doing. They were the finest minds of their generation, men of good conscience who never expected the cover-up to be permanent. Theirs was to be a transitional program, albeit one with a long timeframe. The planners devoted much attention to how the news should be released with minimal social disruption. Ideally, elements of the truth should be let out gradually over time, but how could this be done? The SGE could not publicly admit any limited alien contact without being forced to reveal it all. (Can you imagine the press of the planet demanding any less?) Like the fall of communism, once the wall cracks, it will come down all at once, with no further opportunity for information management.
The goal of gradual release would be to acclimate the population emotionally to the form and ideas of the alien presence without triggering a total release. This can probably be done more effectively by selective fictions than by truth, because fictions can be controlled. A hoax need contain only that portion of the truth which is ready to be introduced to public. The rest can be a fabrication, just persuasive enough to get it distributed on the Fox network. Indeed, some part of the story must ultimately fall apart to assure it doesn't go too far, as the hoax must eventually be dispelled to make room for a larger truth.
Hence, the obvious presence of six fingers on the alien corpse when the bulk of the Roswell and UFO cover-up lore describes a four-fingered hand and any decent con-for-cash would provide the same. Apart from that detail and a few other deliberate discrepancies, the autopsy film could be a re-staged version of an actual event. The SGE would certainly have the financial and technical resources to produce such a low-budget flick, and it may also have the dedicated staff who would do a better job than any self-centered con artist.
This theory does not claim that the SGE controls the media or otherwise manipulates public opinion. No one can do that. Our own experience with all forms of major media--from Larry King [DR#18] to The New York Times [DR#6] to the Weekly World News [DR#10]--has taught us that the media is controlled by nothing more than ratings and the pursuit of interesting and salable stories. Every journalist we have met would violently rebel at the idea of the government telling them what to write. They will not avoid an attractive story, however, and someone can easily slip a hoax into the media by understanding the needs of the market and tailoring the product accordingly.
There are many things that a government entity, no matter how well funded, cannot do. You cannot buy human reliability. Any agent you recruit in the public sector is liable to crack under torture or intense media coverage, or he could switch sides if he finds it more profitable to write a tell-all book. Thus, it is prudent when introducing any hoax to avoid human contact as much as possible. The autopsy film fits the mold. Our only link to the source is promoter Ray Santilli. He claims to have bought the film from the cameraman, who is not available for interview. Does the cameraman exist? To assure minimal vulnerability for the hoaxers, he probably does--or at least someone playing his role to Santilli. The only requirement is to convince Santilli that the story is plausible and that he will make a lot of money from it. Santilli presents no risk then, even if under continuous media pressure, because he is telling the truth as told to him and does not know the source beyond that.
Another candidate for a sanctioned hoax might be the MJ-12 papers [DR#29], which were supposedly delivered anonymously to TV producer Jaime Shandera on an unmarked roll of film. Due primarily to Phil Klass's discovery that Truman's signature is a reproduction, these documents are now widely regarded as fakes, with bad-boy ufologist Bill Moore being the prime suspect. Under the gradual-release theory, though, Moore was only a victim. The documents might be essentially correct, although refined by the SGE to retain deniability and release only a comfortable amount of information. Even if fake, the documents have had an emotional effect, reinforcing the belief in the UFO community that an MJ-12 type organization must exist.
Although the foregoing is only a theory, it is a fairly elegant one. This "sanctioned hoax" scenario differs from other conspiracy theories in that it proposes that the SGE is ultimately working to promote the cause of truth and not against it. It also requires far fewer resources and less government omniscience than a more far-reaching scenario. If we felt it was morally right, we at the Research Center could do the job ourselves with only a limited staff plus the technical resources to generate fake documents and films--talents known to be possessed by the CIA. Then, it is only a matter of introducing these artifacts in some discreet and anonymous way such that they cannot be traced back to the source.
Some of the sanctioned hoaxes might take off in a big way, like the autopsy film and the MJ-12 papers, while others could fall flat and hardly be noticed. It would be an opportunistic business where you have to keep an eye on the UFO subculture and take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Whoever plans these actions must be an avid watcher of the UFO field. He subscribes to the literature, attends conventions and is familiar with all of the major ufologists, albeit probably from a distance to avoid any compromise. (He is not Phil Klass, by the way, who has too high a profile, although he is certainly a watcher of Phil.) He sees himself as the guardian of the UFO movement, charged with distracting it in the early years but now concerned with keeping it on track.
Our mystery man is probably getting along in years, having started with the program, like most of his colleagues, in the 50s or 60s. His field is psychology, we suppose, and he was trained in the old operant-conditioning school in which an organism is acclimated to a traumatic stimulus by repeated exposure to lesser forms of it. He himself is well conditioned. He does not need to be told the goals of his organization because he has fully internalized them, and he has won the trust of superiors who has worked with for many years. This leaves him free to be creative, to seize an opportunity and exploit it without having to deal with too much bureaucracy. He goes to his boss with a proposal, and the boss asks, "What resources do you need? How are we vulnerable if fails?" Then, if the concerns are answered, the boss says, "Okay, let's do it," and all the requirements are provided.
We cannot say that we believe this gray theory; we just leave the door open to it. One should not underestimate the power of simple human greed, which is a less complicated explanation than any government program. We abhor conspiracy theories in general and don't think the government can control society any more than it does the weather. Still, a "sanctioned hoax" program would be relatively easy to sustain, requiring only limited personnel and funding. The only goal would be to introduce the proper stimulus again and again, incorporating elements of the truth but not the whole thing, so when the whole truth finally escapes it is no big deal. If the current autopsy film is a fake, that does not dilute its real social and emotional effects. If another autopsy film were later released--the real film--it would cause no great trauma because the world has the skills and maturity now to deal with it.
There are a couple of interesting parallels between the cameraman's story and Jarod's. We note this quote from the cameraman's written statement as distributed on the net....
Inside [the craft], the atmosphere was very heavy, It was impossible to stay in longer than a few seconds without feeling very sick. Therefore it was decided to analyze it back at base so it was loaded onto a flattop and taken to Wright-Patterson, which is where I joined it.
Sounds like Jarod's account. In DR#24, he said that in the Arizona crash, an entry team went into the craft on-site but later came out very sick. Then the craft, still humming, was loaded onto a tank hauler and taken to the Nevada Test Site (or Area 51 perhaps). Later, after communication was established, the visiting aliens turned off the hum, and everything was okay. Jarod speculates that the "heavy atmosphere" is a deliberate security device. (We would rate it better than both Lo-Jack and The Club for deterring flying saucer theft.)One difference, however, is that Northwest Arizona to Southern Nevada is a relatively short haul through an unpopulated area, provided Las Vegas is avoided. (It was then a small, wholesome, Mob-run city.) Socorro to Wright-Patterson (or Wright Field at the time) would be a very long haul across half a continent, past many places where this wide 10-meter payload would hardly escape notice. Why carry something big, unknown and potentially unstable any further than you had to? To work with an immensely valuable artifact that might conceivably explode, you would want a lot of empty land around you. White Sands Proving Ground, just a few dozen miles from Socorro and where the first atomic bomb was tested, would have been the logical choice, not Wright Field or even Los Alamos, which had the brains but also a lot of valuable assets at risk. At least you would take the craft to White Sands first, and then--months or years later when you have determined it is safe--you might move it elsewhere. If there were no compatible facilities there, they would have been built immediately. Every other option would have been considered before hauling this possible time bomb across the U.S. heartland.
Jarod says he recently asked his boss about the autopsy film (since Jarod still has a boss and remains on-call in spite of his retirement). The boss said there were three such autopsy films floating around, but he would not comment on the current one. Jarod also asked about the "Hungarian" or other strange writing he used to see on technical documents he worked with. His boss replied, "If you don't remember, I'm not going to tell you."
Possessed By Forces Beyond Our Control
Cut to the desert, somewhere in New Mexico. We're screaming down the highway at five hundred miles an hour, sun roof open, wind in our scalp. Got the Stones blasting through the sound system: "I CAN'T GET NO... SATISFACTION!" It's Psychospy's 1995 Flying Saucer Crash Site/Underground Alien Bases Tour, just concluded. This year's tour was sponsored by Motel 6, Sizzler Steak Houses (offering adequate buffets outside Vegas) and the Garmin 45 Handheld GPS. The latter is a new addition to our road trips and allows us to convey to our readers exactly where the saucers crashed that aren't there anymore.
We deliberately avoided Roswell this time--It's been overdone.--but we found a lot of other neat places in Arizona and New Mexico where flying saucers may or may not have descended. We visited the area just north of Kingman [vicinity of 35" 28', 114" 03'], where Jarod says that the most important landing took place. Then we explored the Aztec/Farmington area of New Mexico, site of the often debunked Scully/Steinman crash [36" 52.642', 107" 50.279'] as well as the location of a mass UFO sighting in 1950 (Newspaper headline: "HUGE SAUCER ARMADA JOLTS FARMINGTON"). Next we went on to Socorro, NM, to find the Lonnie Zamora landing site of 1964 [34" 02.597', 106" 53.801']. Then, we sought the 1947 crash site described by the cameraman of the autopsy film, supposedly west of Socorro. We will report on our full tour in the next DR, including Dulce,
SHOOTING NEAR JANET TERMINAL. According to newspaper articles, A 24-year-old Utah resident, Matthew Johnson, was shot and killed by police in the early morning of Aug. 23 when he allegedly lunged at officers with a knife. The incident happened near the corner of Reno Ave. and Koval Lane, just outside the fence of McCarran Airport and within sight of the Janet terminal across the tarmac about a block away. The officer who shot Johnson testified at a Sept. 15 inquest that the victim was "speaking in this robotic, monotone voice," and a local journalist says he was dressed in black and spoke about completing his "mission." (A Mormon perhaps?) Johnson had reportedly been seen by airport employees trying to climb the fence, which is why the cops were called. An attorney for the victim's family said at the inquest that Johnson had no history of mental illness, and toxology reports indicated there were no drugs or alcohol in his body. These details got our conspiracy wheels turning. Had Johnson intended to intrude into the Janet area and catch a flight to Area 51? If so, he picked a poor place to cross the fence. (We suggest the isolated area at the end of Hacienda Ave.--but then you'll need a boarding pass to get on the plane.) We expect--and fully encourage--all manner of conspiracies to arise from this incident, but for those who wish to start with the facts, there is probably a transcript of the inquest available for inspection at the Clark County Coroner's Office.
[KLAS-TV report on shooting]
LAZAR SIGHTED ON-LINE. Bob "I-Was-There-But-Don't-Want-To-Talk-About-It" Lazar has been spotted on-line, responding to a posting on alt.paranet.ufo on magnetic drives and using the email name email@example.com. We have confirmed with The Bob that it is really him and are shocked and appalled to find him so accessible. He tells us he will make liberal use of the delete key for annoying email and will even delete his screen name if it becomes a pain. Bob spent most of his inaugural message describing how he did not want to answer questions about UFOs or his background, which doesn't leave much to discuss and rather defies the logic of his presence on alt.paranet.ufo. If you feel compelled to communicate with him and want to escape summary deletion, we suggest talking explosives and propulsion systems, as Bob likes to blow things up or make them go faster than they really should.
[Alas, he seems to have vanished already. No more firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't you believe us? Swear to God--it was him and the address was valid.--10/1/95.][Gene Huff responds.]
TIKABOO HIKE IN OCTOBER? By popular demand, the public hike in October will be another return hike to Tikaboo Peak, overlooking Area 51. This would the last organized hike to Tikaboo before winter (when the peak is snowed in). This will take place Sat., Oct. 14, 1995, to coincide with the visit of the Swiss Mountain Bat, probably the most dedicated Groom Lake Interceptor not on this continent. [Details](September's hike is an exploratory expedition this weekend to Stonewall Mountain overlooking the Nevada Test Site, as announced on WWW and newsgroups. If you are not enroute already, it is probably too late to join.)
[Later: Detailed Instructions | Trip report | GPS positions and radio frequecies]
MEDIA NOTES. Roswell researcher Kevin Randle will be broadcasting his radio show, The Randle Report, live from our Las Vegas annex tomorrow night (Sat., 9/30). The program is transmitted by a clear-channel AM station in El Paso (don't know the freq.) which should be tunable in Texas, New Mexico and surrounding states (9-11 Mountain Time). Also: This week's Sightings (shown this weekend in many markets) features a brief news segment on the closure of Freedom Ridge.
[Update: The Randle Report is broadcast every Saturday night on KTSM 1380 AM from El Paso.]
CASE COMPLETED IN CAMPBELL APPEAL. Final arguments on Glenn Campbell's appeal of his obstruction conviction were heard on Feb. 22. District Judge Dan Papez said he would rule on the matter in writing but he gave no indication when that would happen. Campbell has represented himself in this appeal, with only some last-minute proofreading of the briefs by lawyers, so he has only himself to blame or praise for the outcome. (And we warn our readers: "Don't try this at home.") Briefs in the case.HUNGARY Calendar Available. UFO Felons. Cammo Dudes obscure border. Glen Pace mentioned in Farmington Daily News. THE OFFICIAL UNOFFICIAL GROOM LAKE T-SHIRT is now available. This is a black, all-cotton T with a 9-inch full-color reproduction of the Groom Lake patch on the front. It comes in the usual sizes, S-M-L-XL-XXL, for $15 each plus $4 postage (plus $1 postage for each additional shirt). See catalog [but may not be there yet].
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY. The Area 51 Research Center is seeking a full- or part-time "webmaster" to maintain our WWW site and expand our catalog product lines. This is a work-at-home position paying a competitive salary. See job description. [This position has now been filled. --10/11/95]
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION CHANGE. Beginning with DR#31, all email subscriptions to the Rat will change to the abbreviated version (table of contents only). This lets you know that a new issue is available,then you can then retrieve the full version from newsgroups, WWW or FTP. WWW remains the definitive version of the Rat, with formatting and pictures. This change is necessary to reduce our outgoing email load and bounceback size. Users with only email access to the internet may request to be reinstated to the full version provided they have paid their $5 guiltware fee. Send a message to email@example.com, or enclose your request with your fee by regular mail.
Our Reader's Respond
I just read in DR#29 where you were looking for suggestions concerning your Hungarian trip. Well, Hungary is in Europe, and Europe means beer. Your side trips are well planned for many beer "sightings." Austria is good for this, but Munich is Paradise-Heaven-Sanctuary. Huge liter mugs, Bavarian music, blond haired big breasted German girls -- it's all true! I get so excited just thinking about it... I've got to stop writing... I think I have some beer in the fridge....
--WS, Tampa, Florida
Supplements and Reader Responses
- George Wingfield's Roswell film update, #11, (10/1/95)
- Saucer Smear, a UFO gossip rag that is a close cousin to the Rat, is now on-line. (10/2/95)
- Reader Response to "Third Scenario" (10/2/95)
- News Article: "Groom Lake Chemicals Can Be Secret: A presidential exemption counters workers who have lawsuits pending against the federal government." Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/3/95.
- News Article: "Open Groom Hearings, TV Station Urges Judge"Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/4/95.
- Editorial Cartoon: "Trust US: Groom Lake Is A Safe Place To Work," by Jim Day, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/6/95. (100k)