Date: Wed Sep 01 1993 20:49:02 To: All Subj: The Mark of Zechel INFO.PARANET - * Forwarded

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Date: Wed Sep 01 1993 20:49:02 From: Don Allen To: All Subj: The Mark of Zechel INFO.PARANET ------------------------------- * Forwarded from "UFO" * Originally by Mark Harris * Originally to Don Allen * Originally dated 31 Aug 1993, 17:16 Hi, Don; If the "Hot Air" report was really written by Todd Zechel, and at this point, I would have to say there's some substantial support for that allegation [including the fact that I, too, recognize the style], I'd say we need a rather large grain of salt. When my wife left me, in October of 1985, I moved from our house outside of Prairie du Sac, WI to an apartment in the village. It was a second story apartment, and just below me lived a wonderful retired couple, Walter Zechel and his wife. I got to know Walt pretty good; he remains to this day one of the kindest people I've ever met. He was retired from the Badger Army Ammunition plant, located between PDS and Baraboo, and to make ends meet, he did routine maintenance around the apartment complex, for which he got $5 per hour and the apartment he lived in. I often went fishing with Walt, and got to hear much about his children. In spite of the long talks we had, however, the first I knew he had a son named Todd is when Todd himself showed up at Walt's door about 11 pm one night, with a suitcase, an old manual typewriter, and not much else. That would have been sometime around June of 1986 or so, if I recall the date correctly. It was before my divorce was final, in August of 1986; I'm guessing as to the specific month. Todd had lost just about everything he owned in some unnamed disaster, and came to live with Mommy and Daddy until "things got better". It was the only time, before or since, I ever heard Walt yell, about anything. The reason I hadn't heard anything until then about son Todd was that Todd, according to Walt and later confirmed by Todd himself, had never once held down a regular job for any length of time. He had always aspired to being an author, or I should say, Author. I knew about his involvement with UFO's, since it was one of the few topics Todd would be fairly straightforward about. During the months Todd stayed with his parents, he held exactly one job, and then only when Walt threatened to have the cops come and move him out. He took a "telemarketing" job, which he held for something like two days, when he was fired. Walt told me it was because of alcohol use on the job, though I don't have anything more than circumstantial proof of that. I do know that Todd would drink, sometimes to excess, when he could get someone to give him some money; he used to sit at one of the local taverns, introducing himself as an Author, but when you'd ask what books he'd written, he'd go on about how they're under pseudonyms, and he didn't want to cite actual titles since he didn't want a lot of personal publicity, or to have to autograph books when he was in town largely "on sabbatical". He spent most of that time working on a book, or so he said; I used to hear typing from downstairs for hours on end. His parents reluctantly allowed him to stay during that period of time, with the provision that when he submitted his book and got paid, he'd leave. I also know that he was caught by Walt on at least one occasion with one of his mother's books, copying page after page out of it, not in any act of plagiarism, but to give the impression that he was, indeed, writing a book, when all the typing was just noise. Todd may have done some solid work early in his life, in investigating the UFO phenomena, but after meeting him and getting to know him for a few months, I'm not very inclined to take him seriously, or to grant him any credibility regarding his more recent investigations. He was a sorry picture of a man then, who frequently tried to characterize himself as a man of some importance while not providing any information with which someone could verify his status. To coin a phrase, he was "full of Hot Air". (G) Regards, Mark R. Harris


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank