CUFOS MEMBERS DO ABOUT-FACE ON GULF BREEZE
ParaNet Alpha 07/03 -- "History tells us that [UFO] pictures that look
fake...ARE fake." Those words, written by ufologist Jerome Clark, may come
back to haunt him. Clark edits the International UFO Reporter, organ of
the Center for UFO Studies, and is a longtime contributing editor to FATE
Magazine. His words were part of an editorial for the March/April issue of
the IUR, entitled "Ill Breeze," and referred to the series of photos taken
by "Mr. Ed" in Gulf Breeze, FL, of an object that Clark said resembled
"something that you use to cover a lightbulb with."
Clark was echoing the view held by many CUFOS staffers that the Gulf
Breeze photos just look too "hokey" to be real. Indeed, sentiments seem to
be running along almost strictly organizational lines: Don Schmitt, Mark
Rodeghier, Michael Swords, George Eberhardt, and Robert Boyd, CUFOS mem-
bers all, have each expressed extreme doubts about the case and its inves-
tigation, while most MUFON higher-ups, including Dennis Stacy and Walt
Andrus, have maintained a "wait and see" posture -- at least, in the case
of Andrus, when they weren't gushing about the case being the "most sig-
nificant in history," etc. This schism gave the appearance of signifying a
chill in the usually friendly relationship between the two groups, an
appearance that Schmitt told ParaNet was illusory and unwarranted.
Feud or not, a thaw is most definitely in the air. Shmitt told us
that the problem seems to have been one of miscommunication. "There's a
lot to this case we hadn't seen before," he said. And now, ParaNet has
learned that Jerry Clark has changed his mind and is expressing "support"
for the case.
The turning point seems to be the presentation by Dr. Bruce Maccabee
at the 1988 MUFON Symposium in Lincoln, at which he showed the results
thus far of his photo analysis work. "We can only learn from this case,"
said Maccabee. "If its a hoax, we will learn about a new kind of hoaxer,
one who seeks no notoriety for himself, who is well-established in his
community, who cooperates fully with investigators, even going so far as
to build a special camera mount to our specifications, and who is so con-
fident in his work that he uses a special, sealed 3-D camera provided by
investigators. Obviously, if its real, we will learn a tremendous amount
about the nature of the UFO phenomenon."
Among other things, he had determined the object in at least one
photo to be around 18 feet in diameter and 14 feet tall. Use of the
special dual-camera mount referred to earlier had determined that the
image is not a double exposure. And triangulation of the two images showed
it to be not less than 150 feet from the photographer, out over the bay
that separates Gulf Breeze from the mainland of Florida.
One by one, Maccabee either refuted or clarified objections to the
case raised by, among others, Robert Boyd of CUFOS...27 points in all.
Even Phil Klass was impressed enough to compliment Maccabee, and seemed to
be at a loss for major objections.
In the meantime, Schmitt is not letting MUFON completely off the
hook. He still objects to the comments of some of the principals in the
case, most notably Andrus, Don Ware, and Budd Hopkins. He maintains they
were "hasty" and "unprofessional" in their early exposure of the details
of the reports, and in some of their positive, seemingly over-credulous
comments. And he wishes MUFON had shared some of the more positive details
of the photo-analysis earlier, before either group had published in their
And Jerry Clark? Well, he's changed his mind before. His address at
the symposium was on the return of the nuts-and-bolts theory of UFOs, and
how the "paraphysical" and "psychic" explanations were just cop-outs. This
from a man who had co-written a previous tome, with Loren Coleman, on the
psychic aspects of the UFO phenomenon.
[For the record, the ParaNet rating of the Gulf Breeze case stands
at S5/P5, Highly Strange, Data Unreliable/Probable Hoax; however, whereas
it previously bordered on P1, it is now very close to becoming a P3. Fur-
ther photoanalysis results, if in any way conclusive, will have a great in-
fluence on the rating.]
AND NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY....
Back in June of 1978, a retired Air Force Colonel appeared on TV's
Merv Griffin show to discuss his UFO sighting of 1954, when he was a B-52
pilot. "We were cruising at 10,000 feet when we spotted a target somewhere
around 20,000 to 25,000 feet. It was about seven miles in front of us to
our right, and we were overtaking it. It then started descending across
our flight path, and I decided to check it out. So I advanced power and
began closing a little faster and descending. We kept getting closer and
closer and pretty soon we were within a mile of the object, flying over
trees at 345 MPH."
The plane closed to within an eighth of a mile of the disc-shaped
object. "It was about 60 feet in diameter and 10 or 11 feet thick through
the center," he said. "It had what looked like a titanium-type finish
(silver gray). I pulled up and made a hard turn that put it out of sight
for roughly four seconds. We whipped back to pull up alongside of it and
it wasn't there. I zoomed up to 1500 feet. `There it is!' I said. It was
about 2 miles in front of us going across a field leaving a dusty trail
behind it. I guessed its speed at about 170 MPH." After another dive, the
crew lost sight of the object. "We never saw it again," said Air Force
Colonel William Coleman, former Public Information Officer for Project
Blue Book, who until that broadcast, had emphatically denied that he had
ever had such an experience. [Source: MUFON Journal, June 1988]
MJ-12's DAY IN COURT?
The war of words between MJ-12 proponent William Moore and debunker
Phil Klass is heating up. After releasing a venomous attack on Klass' ob-
jections to MJ-12 through his publication, Fair Witness Focus, Moore pub-
lished a similar monograph in the proceedings of the 1988 MUFON Symposium.
Since Moore failed to show for the event, the paper was never delivered,
but Klass responded to the charges of "straight-out lying" and other ob-
fuscations by implying that he would be contacting attorneys about pos-
sible libel charges.
Moore, in the meantime, has sent an open letter to Klass in which he
outlines 19 incidents in which he feels Klass has strained the boundaries
of objective investigation, through the use of "vicious, vituperative at-
tacks," "insinuation," and "innuendo." Moore's major objection is Klass'
alleged implication that he, Moore, may be a willing accomplice to the
forgery of government documents in the MJ-12 affair. For example, in the
December 15, 1987 issue of "Saucer Smear," Klass is quoted as saying in a
letter, "In my opinion, Moore's behavior in the past six months is NOT
that of an innocent victim of somebody else's hoax." (Emphasis in origi-
Moore ends the letter by demanding of Klass "written acknowledgement
that you do not now and never have possessed proof positive that the...MJ-
12 documents...are fraudulent." Further, he wants Klass to acknowledge
that his public statements were not intended to imply that Moore or any of
his associates were involved in a hoax; and predictably, Moore wants a
written apology. The possibility of legal action is also dangled in
Now, would anyone care to speculate on the outcome of a jury trial
in which the MJ-12 documents were the central evidence?
ParaNet has learned that a major TV project on UFOs is in the works,
one that is, naturally, hoped to "blow the lid off the whole thing." We
can't be more specific at this time, except to say that parts of it might
actually be done live. (No, Geraldo Rivera is NOT involved).
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