TENSIONS MOUNT OVER GULF BREEZE
ParaNet Alpha 08/10 -- Depending on whom one chooses to believe,
Gulf Breeze gadfly investigator Robert D. Boyd was/was not
kicked out of MUFON.
Boyd, who had concurrent titles of Investigations Coordinator
for CUFOS and Alabama State Director for MUFON, was definitely
asked to resign from the latter organization by its chief,
Walter Andrus. But in a July 14th press release, first picked up
by James Moseley's Saucer Smear, Boyd claimed that Andrus
informed him "that he was no longer a member of MUFON." Andrus
flatly denied the charge, saying "the subject never came up."
Andrus, in a phone conversation from MUFON headquarters in
Seguin, TX, told ParaNet that Boyd had been told to resign due
to "unprofessional investigative techniques" in his work on the
Gulf Breeze, FL, photographic case. He said he had asked Boyd to
come along on the investigation last January, as a gesture of
cooperation between the two organizations; but that since that
time, Boyd had conducted a "smear campaign" against "Mr. Ed,"
the chief witness in the case. Andrus said Boyd had "gone off
half-cocked," going on talk shows as a MUFON representative with
faulty and downright false information about the case. "I
demanded his resignation, and he refused," said Andrus. "I
relieved him of his duties [as State Director] anyway. But I
never told him he was out of the organization." Simple MUFON
membership consists mainly of a subscription to the
"I'm telling you that he lied to you," said Boyd in response.
"What's in my [release] is just what happened." Boyd's release
expresses "complete disgust" with the Gulf Breeze investigation,
and cites "suppression of all facts, collaboration between
investigators and/or witnesses, and a four-month campaign to
discredit [me]." In a phone call, Boyd cited further instances
of what he called "shoddy" techniques on the part
of the primary investigators, Charles Flannigan, Donald Ware,
and Andrus. In one conversation, Boyd asked Flannigan
if one of the photos turned out to be a hoax, would it destroy
the case in their minds? "ALL the photos would have to be proven
hoaxes," Boyd quotes Flannigan as saying.
Boyd still has the support of the Hynek Center, according to Don
Schmitt, one of CUFOS' directors. And the Center is none too
thrilled with an article in the latest MUFON Journal, in which
Andrus made it sound as if CUFOS members were on bended knee,
begging for forgiveness for having written several anti-Gulf
Breeze articles. He charged that Schmitt, George
Eberhard and others had "unwittingly accepted the distorted
information supplied" by Boyd. He claimed that the two seemed
"shocked by revelations of the truth," referring to information
Andrus provided them at the MUFON Symposium at Lincoln.
"Obviously," says Andrus, "they were embarrased for the
premature article in the CUFOS Bulletin and the International
"Nonsense," says Schmitt. "Obviously, there is a lot of
information in this case, and some of it we have not been privy
to. But we stand fully behind our basic premise, which is that
of calling for an independent investigation and analysis of the
evidence by a non-UFO entity, such as a government agency."
Ware said that such an analysis might be in the works, but
declined to give details.
"We also still decry the premature publicity given the case by
MUFON, and the premature declarations of authenticity" by such
people as Andrus, Budd Hopkins and Donald Ware. "This case
stands or falls on the evidence, and the evidence isn't all in
Generally, reaction to Boyd's alleged removal from the ranks of
MUFON was surprise. "Does this mean we all have to agree with
Walt in order to keep our positions?", one MUFON officer asked.
"I thought this was a scientific organization."
But Andrus was unruffled. "My action [regarding Boyd] was due to
his spreading false and grossly irresponsible information about
Ed in the name of MUFON. I would never ask anyone to resign
simply because they didn't agree with me. But we have a certain
standard of responsible investigation that needs to be adhered
Boyd, in the meantime, is continuing to "research" the case from
his home in Mobile, Alabama. He says he is offering copies of
all his Gulf Breeze correspondence to anyone interested, for a
small fee to cover copying and postage. And he continues to be
outspoken about his conviction that "Mr. Ed" is a hoaxer. "I'm
95% convinced that this is bogus," he muses. "But I'm willing to
leave the other 5% open, just in case."
Initially, I praised Boyd for expressing the same reservations I
had with the GB case. But as one independent researcher asked
me, rather plaintively, "What exactly is it that Boyd is
pointing to, regarding the evidence itself, that makes him say
its a hoax?" I had to agree, Boyd's main contentions are with
the quality of the investigation and the attitudes of the
investigators. He points out very little with regard to the
photographs, deferring instead to Dr. Willy Smith of UNICAT, who
published one paper critical of the case. Part of that paper was
based on weather information supplied by Ray Stanford, which was
Boyd also points to gaps in our knowledge of Mr. Ed's
background, and rather freely bandies about the suggestion that
Ed has done hard time at some point in the past. He offers no
evidence except hearsay. I believe I was not supposed to print
that; but then, Boyd didn't know me from Adam, and therefore he
was not supposed to say that. It may very well be an example of
the "irresponsibility" Andrus spoke of.
As Boyd said, there's politics, ego, and wishful thinking at
work here. However, without solid evidence, we have not the
slightest reason to call this an outright hoax.
As the independent researcher said, poor investigative
techniques "are not Ed's fault." However, without a high
standard of investigative thoroughness, we have not the
slightest reason to call this "proof of extraterrestrial
Our ParaNet rating remains: S5/P2.