Monday, December 17, 2012

Yes, Virginia, There Is a CIA

“I had some doubts about the whole Santa Claus matter,” the gifted child informed me.

“You did, huh?” I asked.

“Yep,” she responded, “I was having trouble with the part about a fat man going down all those chimneys. And what about houses that don't even have a chimney? What then?”


“And that's not all,” she added.

“It's not?”

“Nope, not by a long shot. Preliminary estimates suggest it would be extremely difficult to visit the home of every child in the world in a single night.”

I was silent.

“So I conducted a bit of an investigation. Know what I did?”


“I interviewed some kids on the school bus. Oh, there is plenty of talk, all right, but facts are in short supply.”

“Ya don't say,” I thought aloud.

“Lots of hearsay and second hand stories. There does seem to be some trace evidence, though... like gifts mysteriously showing up under Christmas trees. However, I can find no verifiable evidence whatsoever directly supporting the existence of any alleged magical pole-dweller.”

“Did ya tell anybody that?”

“Billy and Mary Sue. On the school bus.”

“What'd they say?”

“Billy wondered if we were having pizza for lunch and Mary Sue said she just hopes she gets a phone for Christmas.”

“Uh huh.”

“I gotta tell ya, though, I think there is something significant going on – a story of strategic hocus pocus and intentional falsehoods that could send shock waves reverberating throughout the elementary school.”

“What would you say to those who might call you a delusional conspiracy theorist?”

“A what?” the girl asked.

“Hmmmm... a person who makes up crazy ideas to try to explain stuff.”

She contemplated that a while, then responded, “I would say my idea is rational and deserves deeper consideration, particularly given the lack of direct evidence to support the currently prevailing assumptions. In actuality, the crazy idea would be that a bunch of elves take a full year to build toys for the children of the world yet the toys can seemingly all be delivered in a single night by some so-called jolly saint.”

“Maybe you're right.”

“What's more,” she went on, “I assert that my initial investigation indeed suggests further research is justified into a substantially far reaching and deceptive plot.”

“I'm listening...”

“I present for consideration that Billy, Mary Sue and their peers have been intentionally misled to believe the Santa myth is a factual account. I suggest authority figures are primarily responsible for the charade, but a wide range of additional parties - both honestly mistaken and dishonestly deceptive - are also to blame. I currently have strong reason to suspect the myth has permeated our culture to the extent of vast networks of people executing elaborate hoaxes, the likes of which include men blatantly misrepresenting themselves to be Claus at malls and similar locations. I am convinced motives include the manipulation of behavior - carrot dangling, if you will - carried out by select adults in order to serve the interests of the parents that be. Established precedence exists in which additional motives can be conclusively demonstrated to include financial gain. I intend to raise public awareness of the related issues and inform sincere interested parties of the actual circumstances.”

Good luck with that, kid.


Originally posted at Examiner.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Moody Publishes Moseley Interview

Lance Moody published a video of an interview he conducted with Jim Moseley. The piece was originally filmed in 2001 at the site of the Silver Bridge collapse of Mothman fame. The video can be viewed on Lance's blog, 'What the Hell Was That?'.

Moseley, a long time writer and researcher within the UFO community, recently passed away and was known for his popular newsletter, 'Saucer Smear'. His adventures in ufology spanned some 60 years and he frequently called on his rich sense of humor to express his perspectives and describe his experiences within the genre.

During the interview, Moseley addressed such topics as the evolution of the 'Smear' and the birth of what came to be known as the Men In Black. He explained why he concluded self-proclaimed contactee George Adamski made the whole story up, and described some of his own experience hoaxing hoaxers. Moseley shared about his involvement in late night radio, which included dealings with such characters as Long John Nevel and The Amazing Randi. Lance described Moseley as a friend he spoke with regularly for some 20 years.


As posted at Examiner:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jim Moseley, 'Saucer Smear' Editor, Passes Away

The self-described supreme commander of the shockingly close to the truth 'Saucer Smear' died November 16 at a Key West, Fla., hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and was 81 years old.

James W. Moseley released his first publication covering the antics surrounding saucers some 60 years ago. The 'Saucer Smear' eventually became the oldest continuously running publication of its genre.

Moseley was a writer known for his critical, humorous and sarcastic takes on UFO-related subject matter. His 'Saucer Smear' “non-scheduled newsletter” subsequently framed the often bizarre stories circulating throughout the UFO community in similarly bizarre contexts. His views and writing style were demonstrated in pieces with such titles as 'A Classic UFO Picture That Can Absolutely Be Assumed to Be Genuine', 'Starchild DNA Tests Show Something or Other' and 'Budd Hopkins Abducted by Jesus'.

Moseley was a popular guest on podcasts and was frequently sought for interviews. His controversial contributions to the UFO genre and their longevity virtually assure he and his work will continue to attract attention for years to come.


Originally posted on Examiner.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cyber Satire at the Black Sedan

I recently met with an informed source in the intelligence community who only comments on condition of anonymity. Actually, he is substantially less informed than anonymous. Nonetheless, we rendezvoused for drinks at our familiar haunt, the Black Sedan, well known to locals as the BS.

Whadda ya got for me?” I asked as he gulped a draught.

The director was a womanizer,” he replied, wiping his mouth on his sleeve.

Everybody from Taos to Tehran knows that. Nobody cares about the real reasons he was canned, much less the cover story.”

Oh, you'd care,” he persisted as he waved his then empty mug at a waitress.


The Aviary.”

"Oh, yeah," I sighed, “them. What have they done now? Infiltrated an assisted living facility?”

One of them got the generals in all this mess. It's big, man.”

Big, huh?”

Yup. It goes all the way to the top. It started with some online stuff.”

What kind of stuff?”

They wanted to know what all those UFO people were doing and talking about, you know, among themselves, so one of the Aviary went undercover.”

Which one?”

The Buzzard.”

Of course.”

He joined one of those UFO message boards... started making posts and exchanging private messages and all.”

What did he find out?”

That some of those people are pretty wild.”

It must have taken lots of experience and expertise to figure that out.”

My source paused to guzzle some more beer to calm his nerves, took a cautious look around, then continued, “And some of them can drum up some freakin' messages that would make the world's top spy hit 'reply.'”

Huh... that actually is kinda interesting.”

That's what the Buzzard said. And so did the Dodo when he found out. Next thing ya know, the whole Agency was on UFO message boards. Everybody. It was off the hook.”

I'll be damned.”

It was the beginning of the end when the Secret Service found out.”

They wanted to investigate?”

Nah... but we couldn't keep 'em off their Iphones. Every agent and their SO were doin' the time warp online. Heads started rolling when those Bureau killjoys got the news. I heard some of the brass wouldn't have been outed if they had been more careful about not using their own PCs and mobiles and stuff.”

Where does it end?”

Hard to say. Used to be you could put a guy in charge of a bunch of spooks or have him head up a good barn burner in the Middle East, and that would entertain him a while - but times have changed. Could I borrow your laptop a sec?”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Unfortunate Sons: CIA and DoD Betrayal of Their Own

Projects included involuntary human research subjects, failure to obtain informed consent and conducting surveillance. Symptoms experienced by research subjects included perceptions animals came through walls, amnesia and post traumatic stress disorder. While UFO buffs and self-described investigators might be quick to tell a person describing such an ordeal that they were likely abducted by aliens, it was actually the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense and associates that designed, conducted and concealed such research projects.

Covert operations consisting of abusing and monitoring involuntary human research subjects escalated to what could be described as unconscionable proportion during the mid 20th century. Victims included but were not limited to U.S. citizens and members of the armed forces. Such circumstances led select UFO researchers to strongly suspect the intelligence community was much more responsible for what came to be known as the modern UFO phenomenon and alien abduction than some would prefer we consider.

This writer's plunge into the implications resulted in assessing that further research is indeed justified. My work with Leah Haley, a former self-described alien abductee who now believes herself to be a victim of covert research projects, revealed a number of relevant yet unanswered questions. The same could be said for circumstances surrounding such cases as the extremely intriguing Gulf Breeze Six and my interactions with certain additional members of the UFO community.

Similarly, my work related to members of the intelligence community who jockeyed to become staples of UFO conventions revealed numerous potentially important yet often unaddressed issues. Such individuals and their circumstances included the incredible claims and career path of Commander C.B. Scott Jones. I also considered the manner Military Intelligence Hall of Fame member Major General Albert N. Stubblebine III publicly claimed knowledge of covert mind control operations continuing after Congress ordered them ceased, yet the general failed to respond to multiple requests for clarification. I additionally had the opportunity to observe a man who is chronically interviewed yet rarely asked relevant questions, Colonel John B. Alexander, refuse to participate in a previously agreed upon interview with this writer. I continue to welcome their statements should the general or colonel ever decide to address issues I presented for their consideration in such posts on 'The UFO Trail' as 'John Alexander, Contradictions and Unanswered Questions' and 'Ufology and Alleged Post-MKULTRA Mind Control'.

So, you might ask, why would some researchers immerse themselves in such circumstances while running down stories of black budget operations that go back some 60 years? One reason would be because the stories remain current.

Vietnam Veterans of America, et al. v. Central Intelligence Agency, et al.

The San Francisco law offices of Morrison and Foerster are collectively representing Vietnam Veterans of America, Swords to Plowshares (a veterans advocacy organization) and a few specific veterans in a suit currently pending. The case is being handled pro bono against the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, U.S. Army and Department of Veterans Affairs. The suit states:
Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief only – no monetary damages – and Plaintiffs seek redress for several decades of diabolical experiments followed by over 30 years of neglect, including:
  • the use of troops to test nerve gas, psychochemicals, and thousands of other toxic chemical or biological substances and perhaps most gruesomely, the insertion of septal implants in the brains of subjects in a ghastly series of mind control experiments that went awry;
  • the failures to secure informed consent and other widespread failures to follow the precepts of U.S. and international law regarding the use of human subjects, including the 1953 Wilson Directive and the Nuremberg Code;
  • an almost fanatical refusal to satisfy their legal and moral obligations to locate the victims of their gruesome experiments or to provide health care or compensation to them;
  • the deliberate destruction of evidence and files documenting their illegal actions, actions which were punctuated by fraud, deception, and a callous disregard for the value of human life.
The Complaint asks the Court to determine that Defendants’ actions were illegal and that Defendants have a duty to notify all victims and to provide them with health care going forward.
Readers familiar with the Project MKULTRA saga and related authenticated documents will be aware such circumstances as cited by Morrison and Foerster have long been acknowledged and conceded by the CIA. Basically, the agencies being sued do not deny what took place, they just want no current responsibilities in the matters.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in October that the suit could continue forward, setting the stage for a 2013 summer showdown. Judge Wilken denied repeated government attempts to derail the suit, ruling that federal regulations require notifying participants of increases in knowledge of potential health hazards. She additionally ruled the suit could include involuntary research subjects and their heirs dating as far back as 1922.

Sources such as the San Francisco Chronicle and reported an estimated 7,600 service members were abused in experiments conducted at Edgewood Arsenal from 1955 to 1975. As many as 100,000 people are suspected of being subjected to hundreds of drugs, chemicals and biological agents without their informed consent and spanning over 50 years.

Plaintiff Frank D. Rochelle served in the Army in the late 1960's and volunteered to be stationed at Edgewood for what he was apparently led to believe were harmless tests. During one incident, Rochelle stated, “I stayed high for two days.”

Rochelle experienced hallucinations of animals coming out of the walls and at one point he used a razor blade to try to remove what he thought were bugs from beneath his skin. Upon leaving Edgewood, Rochelle says he was instructed to never tell anyone about his experiences there. He was later assigned to Vietnam.

Congressional hearings into MKULTRA were conducted during the 1970's. Testimony from individuals such as former CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner included assurances a list would be produced of exploited veterans. Turner further stated that the participants would be notified of their involvement and provided proper medical care. The commitments were never fulfilled.

“Over 30 years ago,” Vietnam Veterans of America President John Rowan stated, “the government promised to locate the victims of the MKULTRA experiments and to take care of their needs. It now is painfully obvious that what it really wants is for the victims to just quietly die off while the government takes baby steps. VVA cannot leave these veterans behind.”

Potential significance to UFO Land

Researchers with whom I discussed the lawsuit were confident the CIA will never produce a complete list of involuntary human research subjects or notify all of them of the circumstances, regardless of what courts may rule. Reasons included possibilities that some victims might be prominent figures.

Many members of the UFO community avert from the implications for any number of reasons. I nonetheless invite consideration of just a few of the many potentially significant possibilities.

What if we were to find that a famous political figure had been an MKULTRA research subject? Would you find that interesting?

How about an infamous criminal? Would it interest you if you found out such a person had been an involuntary research subject?

More specific to ufology, imagine if we were to discover a high profile, self-described alien abductee was a former mind control subject; or an iconic researcher of alien abduction. Might you find those kinds of things worthy of further research?

What if you found out a family member was among the unfortunate sons? What would you think about that?

How about if you were notified that you were a former uninformed research subject? Then would the topic interest you?

Vietnam veteran Frank D. Rochelle and his fellow plaintiffs find themselves at the center of what became a decades-long saga. Them, and about 100,000 or so redacted others.


Subscribe to The UFO Trail and follow Jack Brewer on Examiner.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Greer Ups Claims, Kokjohn Remains Unimpressed

My latest at Examiner:

Microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn commented on the latest incredible claims put forth by Dr. Steven Greer, suggesting Greer's lack of verifiable details make his assertions all but impossible to accept at face value. Greer continued his ongoing public discussion concerning an alleged dead extraterrestrial being, this time enhancing the storyline with alleged world authorities involved in its analysis. Kokjohn countered by pointing out Greer's tale is virtually void of any established scientific protocol whatsoever, and informed this writer that supposing any such authorities would jeopardize the validity of such an unprecedented discovery is an insult to intelligence.

Kokjohn further pointed out that producing X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans, as Greer claimed were obtained, requires certain authorization and specific equipment. Only “a damn fool or an utter ignoramus,” Kokjohn wrote on UFO UpDates List, would attempt such procedures without conditions of full biological containment, even if they received clearance to use the equipment under such extraordinary circumstances.

“Who wants to get their CT scan after ET was in there?” Kokjohn asked.

Kokjohn went on to inform us that the lack of opportunity for independent verification makes Greer's claims virtually meaningless from a practical perspective. He added that scientists and professional researchers most certainly know this to be the case. Dr. Kokjohn additionally wrote:
Time for Disclosure

Funding scientific research is always a gamble. If investigators are truly traversing uncharted territory, predicting results and anticipating experimental pitfalls may be almost impossible. How does one maximize the odds an investment in a research project will produce tangible results? Use the 3 Ds - Disclosure and due diligence.

Before any money is allocated, scientists perform a detailed due diligence assessment of the investigator’s skills, the equipment available and work plans. Investigators with a strong track record of experience and publications in the areas they propose to explore, who have the necessary facilities and equipment available for their use and who put forth a clear plan of work will be favored heavily. Investigators are expected to disclose preliminary results that bolster the central research hypothesis and provide all information that will enable their proposals to be evaluated fully. In addition, investigators must stipulate that the research will be conducted following all applicable guidelines and regulations for biosafety and work with human subjects. It is very simple, if you want money, it is up to you to prove you can actually run something besides your mouth and do it safely.

Dr. Greer has offered a pale imitation of the evaluative process used by scientists. He asserts recognized experts are collaborators, he (or someone) holds exciting preliminary data and research is proceeding apace. All good components of strong research, the problem is he does half a job and just quits right there. Failing to disclose the qualifications of key investigators, providing a work plan to judge or allowing not even so much as a glimpse at supporting data stymies any hope for informed, unbiased assessments completely. For a guy who carved a career niche out of demands for disclosure, he appears remarkably reluctant to either acquire full information from his collaborators or provide a full story to the public.

To help those wondering whether to contribute money to his effort, Dr. Greer could disclose some of the data and allow persons unaffiliated with the project or documentary to assess the value of his results thus far. How about revealing the names and qualifications of your expert collaborators? Since they are part of a team that is working on what would be the greatest discovery of our age, wouldn’t they want to have their names front and center? What is their expert opinion of the data? Let’s see the CT data and with it the particulars regarding the equipment that produced the scans and the computational parameters employed for image acquisition. While you are at it, how about the name of the institution supporting this work – you know, the organization that allowed the use of its CT facilities, computers and technicians to acquire and analyze the images. Did anyone (like an Institutional Review Board or Biosafety Committee) express concerns about putting a dead unknown entity inside a specialized piece of rather expensive equipment? Better yet, did anyone ask about how work with a possible entity unknown to science would be conducted in a safe and responsible manner?

Those are pretty easy questions, ones any scientist doing such a project would be able to answer – before any work commenced. Will the doctor follow his own prescription?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cassadaga: Metaphysics and a Reading With The Channel

The metaphysical continues to be
alive and well in Cassadaga
A small town located between Orlando and Daytona Beach has long been considered a virtual shrine to all that goes bump in the night. It is home to no more than a few dozen residents, at least officially, and it does not so much as have a single traffic light. The town does, however, have something called a spiritualist camp. It also has an 85-year-old hotel where you can participate in an overnight ghost investigation, hang out at a witches' ball or have an appointment with psychics who channel spirits.

Cassadaga, Fla., is all that is woo. Some say you have not fully experienced the paranormal genre until you have delved into the community and its steady stream of interesting visitors. Let us delve.

Discovering Cassadaga  

I exited the busy interstate highway and had to take winding rural roads the rest of the way. I passed a sign that warned drivers of obstructed view. Approaching the community I was a bit intrigued by roads that became progressively more narrow and covered by foliage, and I later discovered some side streets reduced to little more than make shift paths. I will allow the reader to decide what metaphoric value might be assigned to such landscape characteristics as make up Cassadaga.

Readings available inside
Visitors will initially note the many old wood frame houses where shingles hang, announcing the presence of psychic mediums inside. Resident psychics perform readings and various metaphysical services for paying customers who in some cases become regulars.

Cassadaga and its alternative evolution are apparently results of the life and times of George Colby, a New Yorker who arrived on the then yet to be formed scene around 1875. Colby seemed to have believed his spirit guide, Seneca, led him to the Florida wilderness where he settled.

Colby went on to be instrumental in the 1894 incorporation of the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association, a 50-plus acre site that is home to mediums and like-minded worshipers. It now holds the distinction of being the oldest active religious community in the Southeastern U.S.

Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association
The organization houses a book store, gift shop and welcome center, where information may be obtained about such activities as historical tours. You can also find details about meditation gatherings, Reiki healing circles and classes designed to develop your abilities as a medium. You might choose to strike up a conversation with visitors sitting on the porch of the center, where favorite paranormal-themed movies and similar such topics are discussed.

I took a leisurely walk around Cassadaga, interacting with those at shops and the several public areas designated, more or less, for hanging out. I found some of the residents and regulars to be less open to my inquiries than others. Suffice it to say they have met their share of intrusive antagonists. As a result, in some cases they tend to avert from writers with cameras, as might be reasonably expected.

While we could consider the points and counterpoints of such social issues as whether one would be justified in resenting attention received for practicing the 'craft, let us leave such considerations for another time. I would rather tell you about my stop at the Cassadaga Hotel.

The metaphysical center of the south

The Cassadaga Hotel and Psychic Center, established 1927, was most intriguing. Dubbed the metaphysical center of the south, the hotel offers various packages and rates currently starting at $55 per night for a double occupancy room.

I spent several minutes on multiple occasions browsing the many signs and printed materials located in the lobby. There is much to read about area events and activities, such as those conducted by American Ghost Adventures, or AGA.

AGA leads ghost investigations and tours throughout the Orlando and surrounding area. I found some of their scheduled events particularly interesting, including an upcoming overnight investigation at the Cassadaga Hotel. Tickets are $50 and we may very well explore such events much further in future articles.

The hotel is home to Sinatra's L'Aldila Ristorante, where employees were very friendly and accommodating. Photos from Frankie's day hang on a wall at the end of a bar where drinks, coffee and conversation flow.

I tried a reasonably priced Sicilian beef sandwich for lunch which convinced me I would like to return for dinner. Specials, such as a date night dinner for two, are available, as well as an apparently popular Sunday brunch featuring live piano music.

Sinatra's L'Aldila Ristorante
Sinatra's will be hosting a witches' ball Sat., Oct. 20. The event will have a dragon theme and advance tickets are $30. Special packages are available that include a hotel room and Sunday brunch. Call 386-228-2323 for details.

The Cassadaga Hotel hosts several mediums who offer services such as readings, seances and past life regression. Prices currently start at 55 bucks for a 45-minute reading.

I scheduled and paid for a reading in the hotel gift shop. I was instructed to meet Mary Hayes later in the lobby at my appointment time. The interaction turned out to far and away be the most interesting aspect of my visit.

Mary Hayes, voice of The Channel

I stood in the lobby of the Cassadaga Hotel, once again reading about the many local activities. Mary Hayes descended some stairs. She greeted me with a kind smile and warm handshake.

As she led me to a room on the second floor, I told Mary I felt a certain responsibility to inform her I scheduled the reading in order to write about the interaction. It quickly became apparent she easily accepted the situation and my interests in the reading. Nothing but a thing.

Mary Hayes
I began to appreciate Mary's impressive ability to create a positive first impression. Moreover, I was beginning to look forward to spending some time in the company of someone I interpreted to understand that my perspectives of their chosen activities said much more about me than them. I have found such understandings to commonly be reserved for the emotionally intelligent and I was therefore becoming increasingly interested in observing more.

Mary offered me a bottled water, which I accepted, we took seats in the small yet comfortably furnished room and she proceeded to explain what she does. A self-described intuitive counselor, Mary indicated she considers herself fortunate to provide services we might compare to those of a life coach.

Mary Hayes then explained she is the voice of The Channel, a union of enlightened beings. I felt no desire to challenge her statements, although I did repeat them for clarification.

Actually, I intended to be respectful else not bother wasting either of our time. After all, what did I expect people to be talking about on the second floor of the Cassadaga Hotel?

Mary explained that enlightened beings could speak through her and provide what is termed a color reading of me if I was in agreement. I empowered her to guide me as she thought best.

She then further explained how the enlightened beings would tell me what my colors represented, and afterward they would be pleased to entertain questions. Mary was going to close her eyes during the forthcoming reading, but she instructed me to continue watching her and absorb the experience as fully as possible.

She confirmed that I understood what was taking place, as she periodically checked throughout our time together, and asked for my approval to proceed. Closing her eyes, the woman then made a couple of what I interpreted to be grounding gestures. At that point, the sound of Mary's voice changed as The Channel greeted me. Initial statements were exchanged and not long afterward my colors were being described. The descriptions represented characteristics of various states of personal being and development.

We proceeded during the next several minutes to discuss life, love and similar matters of heart and soul. I found myself inspired to use the experience to conduct some introspection, contemplating things I was observing about myself during the interaction.

As for Mary, she demonstrated an abundance of empathy and loving kindness, whatever their source. She also happened to have a pretty entertaining sense of humor that enhanced her refreshingly pleasant disposition.

Mary stood out from the crowd, even when surrounded by those who stand out from crowds. I thought this to be the case due more to her demeanor and interpersonal skills than her preferred non-traditional activities, much as the latter may interestingly contribute to the former. If it works for Mary and her following, more power to them.

If Mary Hayes is effectively finding a way to do more good than harm while assisting others in coming to terms with their demons, either literal or metaphoric, I would be more inclined to support such efforts than not. I suspect the devil is much more in the details than the Tarot.


Subscribe to The UFO Trail and follow Jack Brewer on Examiner, where this article was originally posted.

Side view of the Cassadaga Hotel

Hotel lobby

Off the beaten path

Colby Memorial Temple

Monday, September 24, 2012

IPACO Photo and Video Analysis

From my post:

If you have browsed photo and video analysis on the paranormal circuit, you have likely read the work of elevenaugust. His contributions can be found on many discussion forums where readers have come to appreciate his practical commentary on often incredible topics. His posts address such cases as the infamous Chilean flying insects, the hoaxed Louisiana zombie and the Turkish 'UFO' videos that apparently turned out to contain reflections from yacht windows.

Elevenaugust is Antoine Cousyn, a Frenchman who, along with countryman Francois Louange and Englishman Geoffrey Quick, launched a website designed to help users better understand and interpret yet to be identified images. is dedicated to presenting state-of-the-art methodology for extracting objective information from digital still or video imagery.

Standard expert analysis is offered in which photo/video files are examined at a cost of 50 euro, or about 65 US dollars. A report is included which provides either conclusions or a detailed price quote for further extensive analysis if justified by the initial review.

The analysis service is a combined result of technical experience and the use of IPACO software, a product offered by the entrepreneurial trio. The software is available for purchase and was designed to provide users with easy to use features for identifying important data contained within images. It is described as highly interactive, with online user guides, customized training, ongoing maintenance and more. An analysis forum is located on the website where all matters of image analysis, including software products, may be discussed and explored. IPACO software packages start at 3,500 euro (about 4,500 USD).

IPACO founders

“I began to be interested in the UFO subject back in 1988 when I discovered the classic Vallee and Hynek books,” Mr. Cousyn told 'Orlando Paranormal Examiner'. “My first work in the field of ufology was as an investigator for the French review, 'Lumière Dans La Nuit', that could be translated as 'Lights In The Sky', where I met incredible people telling incredible stories.”

Cousyn caught the UFO bug and his resulting studies wound through such subjects as meteorology, astronomy and physics. His work with photos began in 2007 when the California Drones story broke.

“Over the years I learned from this case how to interpret and analyze a photo, especially its EXIF data, a field in which I became specialized. Since then, I’ve done dozens of photo and video analyses, mostly on English- and French-speaking Internet sites and forums.”

Francois Louange
Francois Louange developed the specialized IPACO software. His impressive professional background, according to the IPACO website, includes work with the European Space Agency, where he provided technical expertise and once tried to persuade the ESA to create an official UFO-related department. He provided the French Defense with consultation services, which included developing Computer-Aided Photo Interpretation, known as the CAPI technique. Mr. Louange conducted photo analysis for divisions of the French Space Agency, specifically within the evolution of GEPAN, SEPRA and GEIPAN. He contractually produced some dozen technical reports on image analysis for France's Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, or CNES. The CNES is charged with bringing space technologies to maturity and guaranteeing France's access to space.

“Our methodology, as explained on the site,” Louange commented, “does not contain any scientific discovery, nor any magical tools to automatically explain UFO pictures. It is a review of what can seriously be done, with today’s techniques, to analyze a picture in which an apparently unexplained object or phenomenon appears.

“The first step is to check whether something has really been photographed. The second step, if the object’s nature cannot be identified, aims at defining possible values for key parameters, such as distance, size and velocity of the object/phenomenon, through all available data. Such data includes the camera’s technical data, EXIF metadata contained in every digital picture and characteristics of the landscape.”

The partnership's third member, Geoffrey Quick, has extensive experience in image analysis. He is also reportedly experienced in global Air Force intelligence.

“He’s a very talented and experienced forensic imagery analysis specialist,” Cousyn explained about Mr. Quick, “former intelligence officer of the UK Royal Air Force, and worked as a qualified expert on many UK and international cases. He has worked since 1999 as an independent imagery analysis and training consultant in South Africa. He was previously appointed as the head of the Imagery Exploitation and Training Division of the large European Union Satellite Imagery Interpretation Centre in Spain.”

What does IPACO mean? The short answer to that question is the name is an acronym, roughly translating in English to Interactive Picture Analysis of Celestial Objects. A longer answer provides a glimpse into the inside jokes of the international photo analysis industry.

“IPACO is a new software derived from OCAPI (Operational Computer-Aided Photo-Interpretation),” Louange explained, “which has been developed and maintained, for decades, for Defense Space Image Intelligence purposes. The name IPACO was a humorous play on words, with an inversion of the order of letters; OCAPI is used for images of Earth seen from the sky, IPACO for images of the sky seen from Earth. In French it gives an acceptable acronym for Interface Pilote pour l'Analyse de Clichés d'Ovnis, but the English acronym is more approximate.”

Future directions

Cousyn indicated there are currently no plans to collaborate with the Mutual UFO Network, but he does not rule out future possibilities under the right circumstances.

“I’ve done some photo analysis in the past for MUFON Director of Research Robert Powell and Texas STAR Team Coordinator Fletcher Gray,” Cousyn stated. “We still have some very good exchanges about the subject.”

Commenting further on his experience with the infamous Drones case, Cousyn explained, “I think that this Drones story deserves its own book. However, as you know, my interest lies only in the photo and video documents, so I’ll very likely leave all the other aspects of this complex affair to other people more talented than I. When I say 'other aspects,' I mean ground research, chronology of facts, psychological aspects, etc.

IPACO in action
“As for the photo part, there are so many existing studies, analyses, discussions and various documents that it will probably take me a year or so to organize and properly put all the data on paper in a comprehensive manner. I guess that I’ll begin this long-term project once some other things stabilize a bit.

“The Drone story is very special and concerns a very wide range of specific expertise in the subject of photo analysis. I think readers will probably learn a lot from my forthcoming work and conclusion.”

Software demonstrations are accessible on the IPACO website, as are sample galleries containing case files. As one might expect, some of the images analyzed turned out to consist of too little data to provide conclusions and most were explainable. However, one of these days someone might just capture an image indicative of how so many of us ever caught the bug in the first place.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Science Versus Sensationalism, Part Four of Four: Aliens and Evidence

The final post in my series further explored the manners we might expect purported scientific researchers to conduct their activities if they sincerely believed the fantastic claims they put forth. Protocols for handling trace evidence were explained by Dr. Tyler Kokjohn, and overall concerns were considered:
Mostly, though, I considered how I would not be particularly concerned by such self-described investigators, the likes of the Mutual UFO Network leadership and their sensational proclamations if it were not for their claims of following scientific protocols. The subsequent damage being inflicted upon well intentioned individuals is also concerning. I can think of some pretty accurate descriptions of such activities and circumstances, and suffice it to say 'scientific' is not among them.

People are entitled to believe anything they choose. They are not entitled to demand others agree or to do harm to others in the process. Neither are they entitled to describe extremely questionable theatrics bordering on intentional deception as scientific research.
View the full article...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Science Versus Sensationalism, Part Three of Four: A Possible Dead Alien

I asked microbiologist Dr.Tyler Kokjohn about circumstances surrounding the recent statements of Dr. Steven Greer of the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Greer claimed access to a possible deceased extraterrestrial biological entity, or EBE. He wrote on his blog that substantial resources were needed in order to conduct tests.

“If a corpse is in hand,” Dr. Kokjohn explained, “a great deal of important anatomic/histological work can be performed immediately at a low financial cost. Work as simple as taking a look at a blood smear, confirming that cells with nuclei that might harbor DNA are present, performing some antibody titers and seeking relationships with human proteins such as albumin or hemoglobin would be logical starting points. Running the standard panels we deploy for routine screens of the general health status of humans all the time would be extremely informative. And inexpensive.”

How inexpensive?


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Science Versus Sensationalism, Part Two of Four: Professional Funding Protocol

My latest post at and in the 'science versus sensationalism' series explores funding procedures used within the professional research community. How does the UFO community stack up? You decide...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Science Versus Sensationalism, Part One of Four: MUFON, CSETI and ICAR

Ufologists, disclosure activists, alien abduction researchers and those touting similar self-appointed titles have filled the ufology landscape with fantastic claims. Questionable declarations of physical evidence and regular contact with hybrid alien-human beings have become relatively expected modes of operation. A recent fund-raising drive even announced possession of a possible deceased alien being itself.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scientific Data on Hessdalen Lights Presented to European Geosciences Union

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) 2012 General Assembly included data presented on what has come to be known as the Hessdalen Lights. The research may not provide UFO buffs with the chronically sought - yet ever elusive - confirmation of alien-piloted craft, but scientists indeed presented empirical evidence for the existence in Norway of aerial phenomena of unknown origins. There is no reason whatsoever to suppose the phenomena is under intelligent control or associated with non-human space travelers, but scientific research nonetheless indicated the Hessdalen Lights are a very real - although yet to be fully understood – phenomenon consisting of interesting possibilities.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kathy Kasten Dead at 72

From my Examiner article:
Robert Morningstar recently informed the 'UFO UpDates List' that long time community staple Kathy Kasten passed away August 7 due to cardiac arrest. She was 72.

Kasten was a well known researcher and writer who delved extensively into such topics as UFOs, alleged alien abduction and their possible ties to covert research projects. She acted as a consultant to Dr. Helmut Lammer during his research into possible military abductees and contributed to such publications as 'UFO Matrix'. Kasten wrote for 'Paranoia Magazine' for many years, published content on numerous websites devoted to issues related to what became known as targeted individuals and was a regular participant on 'UFO UpDates List'.

Kasten wrote such pieces as 'How I Decided to Become a Loud-Mouthed Woman' that demonstrated her willingness to address the exploitation of human research subjects and her reputation of speaking her mind. Her employment at the University of California at Los Angeles and participation as a liaison on the college's Human Subject Protection Committee significantly contributed to her perspectives on covert research projects.

Kasten's 'Possible Key to Understanding the Phenomena' was among her final pieces of work. She generously wrote the article for my blog, 'The UFO Trail'. I was and continue to be very grateful.

I benefited from reaching out to Kathy Kasten and making an effort to know and understand her. I am glad I interacted with her.

Rest in peace, Ms. Kasten. You are missed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

MUFON 'Captain' Denies Exaggerations

From my latest Examiner post, MUFON director defends actions, denies exaggerations:
Mutual UFO Network executive director David 'The Captain' MacDonald defended the manner the information presented at the recent annual symposium was touted as “major” and “blockbuster,” stating that importance is in the eye of the beholder. When asked via email to comment on disappointments expressed, as well as specifically what “material” was considered to be so “sensitive” that “proper security protocols” were implemented to protect the material and parties involved, MacDonald replied:
The sensitive material which requires "proper security protocol" is the Leonard Stringfield files which have been acquired by MUFON. These files contain material which names names, dates, places and events of such a nature that special caution needs to be exercised. In regards to that material, we absolutely stand by our statement.

Internet discussion forums such as UFO Casebook continued to attract comments from members frustrated with the situation and outraged over what they interpreted to be misleading implications. Popular UFO-related information sites contained posts expressing concern related to seemingly never ending claims of imminent smoking guns that consistently fail to materialize within ufology.

Some suggested the Stringfield files might actually be interesting and potentially significant for a number of reasons. However, concern was equally expressed over how the files might be handled due to perceived decreasing MUFON credibility, as well as due to the MUFON reputation of failing to publish information of public interest.
Read full article...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

MUFON Announcement Released

From my Examiner post:

The Mutual UFO Network announcement previously described by International Director David MacDonald as “blockbuster” was released Sunday afternoon. Sources inform 'Orlando Paranormal Examiner' that researcher Harry Drew took the podium in Covington, Ky., explaining he is convinced he has located two sites where alien craft landed or crashed in 1953. The sites are in the vicinity of Kingman, Ariz. Drew explained he believes the craft were brought down by triangulated radar running at boosted power to extend range.


Further data will simply be required in order to more fully grasp the specific details of not only what took place in 1953 in Kingman, but in 2012 in Covington. Don't shoot me, I'm just the piano player.
View the full article.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Details Pending from MUFON and Greer

My latest Examiner post, Details pending from MUFON and Greer, stated in part: 

MUFON International Director David 'The Captain' MacDonald stated in the July issue of the 'MUFON Journal':
It is our intent to release not one but two MAJOR announcements which will resonate throughout the UFO community for years to come. One of these pronouncements is so sensitive that MUFON management asked that it not be released until proper security protocols were in place to protect the safety of the material and the people in whose possession it resides. Those protocols are now being undertaken and will be complete in time for the Symposium.
Many people are understandably skeptical. After decades of being fed promises of imminent smoking guns, those with UFO interests can sometimes be a tough crowd to impress.

Meanwhile, UFO disclosure activist Dr. Steven Greer recently made an “urgent” announcement of his own. On July 28 Greer explained on his blog that he is in dire need of obtaining funding to conduct tests on a possible deceased alien body and include news of it in his soon to be released film. Greer wrote:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Applying Critical Thinking to Ufology

I am pleased to inform readers I was recently welcomed by Examiner to contribute quality articles on ufology and the paranormal. I look forward to continuing my commitment to publishing credible information on often incredible subjects.

Such topics as reasoning skills, commonly held perspectives and accurately differentiating between fact and supposition were explored in my Examiner post, Applying critical thinking to ufology. An excerpt:

Maybe you consider yourself what has come to be known as an alien abductee, or maybe one night you awoke to find some kind of entity in the room. Maybe you just stepped out for a smoke one time and if you had not happened to glance right where you did at precisely the moment you looked, you would be reading something entirely different right now. One way or the other, there are plenty of people who say something paranormal is going on, and they have been saying so for a long time now.

A relevant question becomes whether or not competent reasoning can ever be applied to the often incredible dogma of the UFO community. Is ufology ready to apply critical thinking?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Examining the Tainted Well of UFO Land

Emily Glazer of The Wall Street Journal recently published an article, The Eyes Have It: Marketers Now Track Shoppers' Retinas. Ms. Glazer explained companies are using computers outfitted with retina-tracking cameras and equipped with images of product displays to more thoroughly understand consumer physical responses to marketing strategies. The data obtained is being used to develop product packaging and presentation more conducive to increasing sales.

Why don't consultants just ask shoppers what they look at and like? Because people often don't know and won't say. By and large we are poor and unreliable sources for accurate information.

It has been repeatedly and conclusively demonstrated people will misrepresent their actual thoughts and preferences – if they even remember them - in attempts to fulfill the perceived hopes and expectations of those asking the questions. Suffice it to say that unlike ufology, certain industries such as sales are focused on producing measurable results. In other words, they want to know the truth, not just what people tend to say.

Industries determined to increase their productivity therefore recognize the reality that many reasons account for why people say things other than the statements are accurate. Effective researcher/consultants subsequently adjust their data mining procedures accordingly and as explained by Ms. Glazer.

The UFO community would be well served to take notice, but don't count on any quick improvements. It's not as if we've never been warned witnesses are prone to being influenced by what they perceive researchers want to hear.

The Sky Is Falling

Meanwhile, the apparent popularity of the hit series Falling Skies follows in the footsteps of such productions as Close Encounters and V in further tainting the well of researchers and witnesses for years to come. I understand millions of viewers are regularly tuning in to 'Skies to enthusiastically enjoy a devastating alien invasion and its accompanying carnage and oppression.

Should we seriously think surveys would suggest anything other than people say they believe extraterrestrials are cruising our skies? What would we expect surveys to indicate?

It would actually be truly profound if the population was bombarded by decades of pro-ETH propaganda and did not succumb to the conditioning. That would be something newsworthy to ponder.

The Sky Is Still Falling

Speaking of being waist deep in propaganda... I've heard of Christmas in July, but all these spooks sounding off lately makes it feel like Halloween came early this year. One more time: I don't care what they say, if they don't present conclusive evidence along with their claims, I am not willing to accept them.

On a related note, there are several reasons why the professional research community does not identify witness testimony as particularly relevant or of equal value to other forms of evidence. One of those reasons is as explained above: people conclusively misrepresent what took place a lot of the time. This happens as a result of any number of very common occurrences.

Another reason is because there is often conflicting testimony, and an objective researcher cannot selectively accept certain testimony while disregarding other testimony ('objective' being the key word!). More specifically, conflicting testimonies somewhat cancel out one another, kind of like offsetting penalties in a football game, which puts the researcher back to relying on that which can be independently verified.

Tim Printy did a good job of bringing just such conflicting testimony to our attention surrounding the Roswell saga in his latest edition of SUNlite. You of course don't hear it from biased parties, but Mr. Printy conclusively demonstrated, among other points of interest, that some significant witnesses in the Roswell saga provided statements indicating they completely disagreed with those touting fantastic tales.

To try to make the point as clear as possible: Those who tend to cite witness testimony as reason to suggest aliens and their spacecraft were retrieved at Roswell have an obligation to accuracy to equally factor the conflicting testimony into the equation. I invite taking note of those who fail to do so.

The Publication Review Board

The Central Intelligence Agency has a Publication Review Board, or PRB, charged with reviewing material proposed for publication by current and former personnel, as well as certain other individuals. Material subject to approval includes books and oral presentations as documented in a handbook for reviewers that was approved for public release in 2008. Yes, that means 'tell all' books, lectures at UFO conventions, the ever popular whistle blower interviews and various other means of expression conducted by current and (allegedly) retired spooks actually consist entirely of info approved for your perusal.

To once again try to make a point as clear as possible: If we are hearing it from current or former Agency personnel, it is extremely likely it is approved for our ears. This seems like a good time to once again emphasize that I will not accept anything they say until they present conclusive evidence along with their claims.

Haven't any of those intel guys ever just busted out and said some things they weren't supposed to say, you ask? Yeah, they sure have, or at least it would appear so.

Former covert CIA operative
Valerie Plame Wilson and husband Joe Wilson.
One of the more notable circumstances occurred when I. Lewis Libby, Jr., former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, blew the cover of Valerie Plame Wilson, wife of an ambassador. Ms. Plame Wilson was an undercover CIA operative prior to being outed by Libby. He was convicted in 2007 of various charges stemming from the incident and President Bush subsequently commuted the prison sentence.

More recently, former CIA officer John Kiriakou was indicted in April on charges related to providing classified information to journalists. He is also accused of lying and misrepresenting his activities to the PRB, circumstances that at least appear to be taken seriously. 

The CIA since jumped out here and decided it was time to review the reviewers. In May an internal probe was launched focusing upon the activities of the PRB. The Board is suspected of censoring opinions that frame the Agency in negative contexts rather than limiting its influence to objectively editing classified information from proposed statements.

It seems they have their challenges sorting it all out. One way or another, I'd confidently say that with all this reviewing going on around Langley, it's pretty unlikely any personnel are sashaying up to podiums at UFO conventions or settling into C2C interviews to spill genuine company secrets.

Have I mentioned lately that I will not accept anything they say until they present conclusive evidence along with their claims?

My Views

I suppose every now and then bloggers should offer a bit of clarification concerning their specific perspectives about ufology. I choose to do so at this time in order to assist you in understanding where I am headed with this post.

I have been actively involved with the UFO community for some 20+ years to more and less extents. I am in my late 40's and my interest in Fortean phenomena goes back to childhood.

Like many of us, it seems apparent twists of fate resulted in my extents of interest and involvement. A few choices and incidents here and there forever altered the course of my life.

My subsequent involvement with the UFO community evolved through many capacities and points of view. My current overall perspective is the result of several aspects of my life, as is the case among all of us. My particular choices and resulting path included intentional efforts to learn more about self-improvement, the professional mental health community stances on related issues and practical scientific principles.

I also made intentional efforts to reasonably educate myself in additional areas that I strongly felt most people were failing to adequately take into account while developing their often non-negotiable beliefs. Such areas included the extreme yet rarely discussed relevance of emotional trauma and the significance of the global intelligence community. I attempted to balance such subject matter with my understandings of the many reported sightings, claims of self-described abductees and the vast range of controversial research methods increasingly permeating the field over the decades.

My resulting opinion is that there may indeed be some kind of yet to be more fully understood paranormal phenomena at the core of what became known as ufology. I could not conclusively say one way or the other.

That stated, I am nearly convinced there is virtually no reason whatsoever to even suppose, much less conclude, the phenomena commonly reported has anything at all to do with extraterrestrial visitors. I would go as far as to propose that public opinion of what became known as the UFO phenomenon would have evolved entirely differently – and we would hold much more accurate perspectives about it – had we not been subjected to the debilitating amount of conditioning that has been the case.

I suggest that if we had not been so deeply conditioned to believe in visiting aliens, we would have developed entirely different ideas about that which is being reported. Moreover, I suggest witnesses would commonly develop entirely different interpretations of what they suppose they observed.

Do you agree with those statements? If not, why not?

All of which might give rise to questions related to who is conducting the conditioning and why. Such questions, my fellow fateful UFO Land residents, are why I ever began researching the case of Leah Haley and eventually first contacted her in 2009.

Leah Haley

Early on in my series of posts on the Leah Haley Case I attempted to emphasize the relevance of her questionable treatment as a witness. I felt this was an important aspect of her story and I am of the opinion it should be relevant to virtually all interested parties, regardless of preferred perspectives about alleged alien abduction. I continue to feel that way.

Understandably, the general and prevailing lessons to be learned from Ms. Haley's saga are sometimes overlooked while considering various interesting details of her case. I therefore choose to bring this post to a close by combining the above food for thought with a summary of my interpretation of part of the relevance of Ms. Haley's hike along the UFO trail:

Leah Haley had memories of a childhood sighting involving multiple saucer-shaped objects in the sky, multiple witnesses and apparent short term amnesia. At the recommendation of Budd Hopkins, she contacted the Mutual UFO Network, a public nonprofit corporation dedicated to the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity, for assistance in further understanding her fragmented memories.

This resulted in developing a relationship with John Carpenter, then a social worker, mental health counselor and member of the MUFON board of directors. Mr. Carpenter conducted some 14 regressive hypnosis sessions with Ms. Haley, resulting in her developing beliefs she was regularly kidnapped by both alien and human beings.

Ms. Haley subsequently developed acquaintances with Lieutenant Colonel Donald Ware, USAF, Retired, and Colonel Robert Reid, USAF, Retired, both now former members of the MUFON board of directors. They escorted Ms. Haley on an expedition of Eglin Air Force Base near Pensacola, allegedly in search of the location an alien craft was disabled and grounded by military forces and with her aboard – a tale that arose during the hypnosis sessions.

Yet another MUFON director, Lieutenant Commander Tom Deuley, US Navy, Retired, subsequently commented to The Tampa Tribune-Times on Leah Haley and her perspectives. Mr. Deuley proceeded to tell the 'Trib that he and MUFON were very embarrassed by such people and that he would advise applying some common sense to their testimonies, entirely failing to mention his fellow MUFON board members acted as consultants and guiding forces in her developing her beliefs in the first place.

Ms. Haley eventually decided e-damn-nough already, and started back at the beginning, piecing together her life and experiences while trying to accurately identify the differences between what she knew to be true and what she had been led to believe was true. All of this took place, you will please note (important phrase here), because she sought help with fragmented memories of a childhood event from a tax exempt organization purportedly conducting scientific research and, specifically, from one of the organization's directors who was a mental health counselor.

Here is another important phrase: Leah Haley's story is not particularly unique. It is not an entirely isolated incident by any means.

One more important phrase: The current ufology paradigm remains conducive to producing more Leah Haley-type scenarios.

Important question: What, specifically, are we doing about that?