AUTHOR IN BIRDSLL1.UFO RESPONDS ParaNet Alpha 06/29 - Phil Imbrogno, author of NIGHT SIEGE

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AUTHOR IN BIRDSLL1.UFO RESPONDS ParaNet Alpha 06/29 -- Phil Imbrogno, author of NIGHT SIEGE: THE HUDSON VALLEY UFO, has responded to charges levelled in the ParaNet file BIRDSLL1.UFO. The file, submitted to ParaNet by its author, a former NSA employee named Jerry Birdsall, consisted of a statement in which Birdsall levelled charges tantamount to libel at Imbrogno. While he didn't name Imbrogno or the book in his ParaNet release, Birdsall, referred to in NIGHT SIEGE as "James Madison," told us in a face to face encounter that Imbrogno had misinterpreted his actions, misquoted him, and otherwise dis- torted the truth in his accounts of their interactions. In a conversation today, Imbrogno was at first reticent to admit that Birdsall was the James Madison referred to, for obvious reasons. When assured of our purposes, Imbrogno freely discussed his dealings with the former NSA SIGnals INTelligence specialist. He said that Birdsall first came to the UFO researcher due to his interest in the Hudson Valley sightings, which were in full swing at the time. According to Imbrogno, Birdsall told him of his NSA employment "in a way that sounded like it was designed to impress me somehow," but told him that his interest was to obtain funding for Imbrogno's investigation from the Fund for UFO Re- search, of which Birdsall claimed to be a member. "He said he was a good friend of [FUFOR Chairman] Bruce Maccabee, and that he could use his in- fluence to get me funded." But it turned out that Maccabee and other Fund members "barely knew" Birdsall, says Imbrogno, and FUFOR turned him down for funding. While not specifically referred to in the file, a central point seems to be a quote in NIGHT SIEGE, attributed to "James Madison": "The government has been known to dispose of people for less" (referring to UFO research that might compromise government secrets). Imbrogno said he found it "ra- ther strange," but admitted that it could just as easily be interpreted as a statement, rather than as a threat. "It was just strange coming from this guy who had made a big deal about his ties with the NSA." Imbrogno said that at no time in the book did he insist that "Madison" (Birdsall) was an agent assigned to monitor or sabotage his UFO research. He said he was merely suspicious of his activities, and thought them wor- thy of note in his book. He admitted that the book's editor may have "spiced up" one or two passages for dramatic value, but that the book was "90% accurate" in its portrayal of Birdsall. "If I was going to invent incidents involving a government agent just to sell more books, do you think I'd design them around a real person who could come back and refute what I'd said?" asked Imbrogno. "Hell, no, I'd make the guy up out of thin air. Who could argue with me then?" --Jim Speiser

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