Monday, June 4, 2018

Hangar 18 and The Saucers That Time Forgot

The companion blog to BBL is The Saucers That Time Forgot, where the focus is strictly on historical matters, "Flying Saucer tales that UFO history has overlooked or would rather forget." Besides lost saucers, we look at topics like the underappreciated influence of seminal events, hoaxes, and the people behind the stories. 


Most often the stories are prompted by original newspaper coverage of the events, and other primary sources. For STTF, Curt Collins relies heavily on Claude Falkstrom who has a knack for unearthing news stories from local papers that provide details the national wire services often missed. There's also an occasional look at the early flying saucer researchers and authors, "The Ufologists That Time Forgot" as well.

Most STTF articles are stand alone pieces, but sometimes there are longer serialized articles such as the investigation into the origins of the Hangar 18 story. Here's a look at the opening installment: 

After the UFO Crash of 1969

The Dark Days after 1969

The flying saucer fever of 1947 created a big problem for the Government, and the United States Air Force was stuck with the job of  handling it. The fact that there was an official investigation was exploited by believers (and opportunists) who insisted that if the USAF was spending time and money investigating UFOs, that must prove that flying saucers are real - and that they were hiding the evidence. Two decades later, the Air Force finally got out of the saucer business, as briefly stated in their UFO Fact Sheet:
From 1947 to 1969, the Air Force investigated Unidentified Flying Objects under Project Blue Book. The project, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, was terminated Dec. 17, 1969... The decision to discontinue UFO investigations was based on an evaluation of a report prepared by the University of Colorado entitled, "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects;" a review of the University of Colorado's report by the National Academy of Sciences; previous UFO studies and Air Force experience investigating UFO reports... 
Following the closure of Project Blue Book, public interest in the UFO subject took a nosedive. 


Empty Space

UFOs and outer space were out of fashion in the entertainment industry as well. Paranormal, ESP and psychic topics were what the public was buying, and shows like Night Gallery and The Sixth Sense had memorable runs on television and in 1973, The Exorcist had been a commercial and critical success. Entertainment was coming out of period barren not of just UFOs, but of science fiction, at least of the outer space variety. In the moves, about the closest thing to space aliens was The Planet of the Apes movie series. On television, NBC’s Star Trek series had been the cancelled back in 1969, but was popular in syndication and alive as a Saturday morning cartoon. On prime time, The Six Million Dollar Man was about as "far out" as TV got.


"Somewhere in the universe there must be something better than man."

The Literary Front

There were a few important UFO books published in those days, some in response to the Condon Report that enabled the Air Force to shut down Blue Book. Dr. J. Allen Hynek and his 1972 book were profiled by Ian Ridpath in New Scientist,  May 17, 1973, “The man who spoke out on UFOs”:
He is highly critical of the report called The Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, produced in 1969 by a University of Colorado team led by Dr Edward U. Condon and based on US Air Force Project Blue Book files. He has since written his own book, called The UFO Experience, which has been called "Hynek's version of what the Condon report should have been." The book is now in its fourth printing in the United States. 
In 1973, Major Donald E. Keyhoe, the man who had written the first non-fiction book on flying saucers, wrote his last, Aliens from Space. He also blasted the Condon Report, depicting it as part of the Government’s UFO cover-up policy. Keyhoe closed the book with a more optimistic note, proposing an ambitious plan to build a facility at a remote location that would attract extraterrestrial visitors, lure them into a landing where a peaceful close encounter would establish formal contact.



Flying saucers were out of fashion, though. About the closest related matter to the UFO topic that the public really cared about was the ancient astronauts theory as popularized in the Chariots of the Gods? books and its sequels. In 1974, Chariots was in it’s 27th printing and still on the bestseller lists. Publishers Weekly, describing the paperback of its second sequel.
“The Gold of the Gods" ($1.75, Putnam), the latest best seller by Erich von Daniken, is getting a cover stamped with gold metallic letters for its paperback edition — the first time that Bantam has used that process, usually reserved for deluxe editions of hardcover books... will have a first printing of 800,000 copies...


Putting UFOs Back in Business


In late 1973, UFOs made a big comeback in the press, jump-started by the media frenzy surrounding the alien abduction case on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, making 1974 a very good year for the UFO business. In Michael Rasmussen’s 1985 book, The UFO Literature: A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of Works in English, he describes the resurgence:
By 1973, a major new wave of sightings was developing in the U.S. and around the world, and public interest in UFOs again began to swell... By 1974, UFO-mania was again in full swing. Ralph and Judy Blum's Beyond Earth — Man's Contact with UFOs was a national bestseller, signaling the dawn of a new boom in commercial UFO literature. The Blums surveyed the recent history of UFOs, and summarized the sensational sightings of the year before, including the Pascagoula abduction claim of Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson.

At the end of 1974, NBC broadcast “UFOs: Do You Believe?” It was a one-hour special that featured UFO witnesses such as Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, experts such as Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Jim & Coral Lorenzen of APRO, Stanton Friedman, and Walt Andrus of MUFON. The ratings broke records. UFOs were a viable commercial property once again, and there was an explosion in sightings, hoaxes, news coverage, and also an uptick in UFO lectures and conferences. It was a UFO Revival of sorts. 

In the special STTF series that follows, we’ll examine how a particular chain of events in 1974 changed UFO history. It begins with a paranormal conference in the Tampa Bay area by promoter Lawrence Brill.

The saga continues at The Saucers That Time Forgot:






The UFO and Bermuda Triangle with Charles Berlitz  
. . .


Acknowledgements

Thanks and acknowledgements to those who provided support, materials, and background detail for this project.

Claude Falkstrom, my co-author, for his work in digging deeper and finding the stories behind the stories, particularly in the case of Lawrence Brill.

Martin Kottmeyer for reference materials from his own Hangar Minus One.

Isaac Koi, for his dedication to the preservation of UFO literature, which helped greatly in the research of this project.

Also, thanks to those who provided other details, materials and verification:
Lance Moody, Brad Sparks, Roger Glassel, Robert Sheaffer, and Rich Hoffman.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Capt. William Davidson & Lt. Frank Brown, 1st Casualties of Ufology

Captain William L. Davidson (L) and Lieutenant Frank M. Brown

Remembering Captain William Davidson and Lieutenant Frank Brown, and how the Maury Island hoax of 1947 marked the first casualties related to ufology.



The Galveston Daily News Aug. 3, 1947



Excerpts from The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects by Edward J. Ruppelt, 1956.
Ruppelt changed the names of Kenneth Arnold, Ray Palmer (publisher of Amazing Stories and Fate magazine, and also the "harbor patrolmen," Harold Dahl and Fred Crisman. 

For clarity, I've inserted the true names in parentheses.

For the Air Force the story started on July 31, 1947, when Lieutenant Frank Brown, an intelligence agent at Hamilton AFB, California, received a long-distance phone call. The caller was (Kenneth Arnold), who had met Brown when Brown investigated an earlier UFO sighting, and he had a hot lead on another UFO incident. He had just talked to two Tacoma Harbor patrolmen. One of them had seen six UFO's hover over his patrol boat and spew out chunks of odd metal. (Arnold) had some of the pieces of the metal.

The story sounded good to Lieutenant Brown, so he reported it to his chief. His chief OK'd a trip and within an hour Lieutenant Brown and Captain Davidson were flying to Tacoma in an Air Force B-25. When they arrived they met (Arnold) and an airline pilot friend of his in (Arnold's) hotel room. After the usual round of introductions (Arnold) told Brown and Davidson that he had received a letter from (Ray Palmer) a Chicago publisher asking him, (Arnold), to investigate this case. The publisher had paid him $200 and wanted an exclusive on the story, but things were getting too hot, (Arnold) wanted the military to take over.

(Arnold) went on to say that he had heard about the experience off Maury Island but that he wanted Brown and Davidson to hear it firsthand.

He had called the two harbor patrolmen and they were on their way to the hotel. They arrived and they told their story...
two men (Harold Dahl) and (Fred Crisman)... 

In June 1947, (Harold Dahl) said, his crew, his son, and the son's dog were on his patrol boat patrolling near Maury Island, an island in Puget Sound, about 3 miles from Tacoma. It was a gray day, with a solid cloud deck down at about 2,500 feet. Suddenly everyone on the boat noticed six "doughnut shaped" objects, just under the clouds, headed toward the boat. They came closer and closer, and when they were about 500 feet over the boat they stopped. One of the doughnut shaped objects seemed to be in trouble as the other five were hovering around it. They were close, and everybody got a good look. The UFO's were about 100 feet in diameter, with the "hole in the doughnut" being about 25 feet in diameter. They were a silver color and made absolutely no noise. Each object had large portholes around the edge.

As the five UFO's circled the sixth, (Dahl) recalled, one of them came in and appeared to make contact with the disabled craft. The two objects maintained contact for a few minutes, then began to separate. While this was going on, (Dahl) was taking photos. Just as they began to separate, there was a dull "thud" and the next second the UFO began to spew out sheets of very light metal from the hole in the center. As these were fluttering to the water, the UFO began to throw out a harder, rocklike material. Some of it landed on the beach of Maury Island. (Dahl) took his crew and headed toward the beach of Maury Island, but not before the boat was damaged, his son's arm had been injured, and the dog killed. As they reached the island they looked up and saw that the UFO's were leaving the area at high speed. The harbor patrolman went on to tell how he scooped up several chunks of the metal from the beach and boarded the patrol boat. He tried to use his radio to summon aid, but for some unusual reason the interference was so bad he couldn't even call the three miles to his headquarters in Tacoma. When they docked at Tacoma, (Dahl) got first aid for his son and then reported to his superior officer, Crisman, who, (Dahl) added to his story, didn't believe the tale. He didn't believe it until he went out to the island himself and saw the metal.

(Dahl's) trouble wasn't over. The next morning a mysterious visitor told (Dahl) to forget what he'd seen.

Later that same day the photos were developed. They showed the six objects, but the film was badly spotted and fogged, as if the film had been exposed to some kind of radiation.


Then (Arnold) told about his brush with mysterious callers. He said that (Dahl) was not alone as far as mysterious callers were concerned, the Tacoma newspapers had been getting calls from an anonymous tipster telling exactly what was going on in (Arnold's) hotel room. This was a very curious situation because no one except (Arnold), the airline pilot, and the two harbor patrolmen knew what was taking place. The room had even been thoroughly searched for hidden microphones.

That is the way the story stood a few hours after Lieutenant Brown and Captain Davidson arrived in Tacoma.

After asking (Dahl) and Crisman a few questions, the two intelligence agents left, reluctant even to take any of the fragments. As some writers who have since written about this incident have said, Brown and Davidson seemed to be anxious to leave and afraid to touch the fragments of the UFO, as if they knew something more about them. The two officers went to McChord AFB, near Tacoma, where their B-25 was parked, held a conference with the intelligence officer at McChord, and took off for their home base, Hamilton. When they left McChord they had a good idea as to the identity of the UFO's. Fortunately they told the McChord intelligence officer what they had determined from their interview.

In a few hours the two officers were dead. The B-25 crashed near Kelso, Washington. The crew chief and a passenger had parachuted to safety. The newspapers hinted that the airplane was sabotaged and that it was carrying highly classified material. Authorities at McChord AFB confirmed this latter point, the airplane was carrying classified material.

In a few days the newspaper publicity on the crash died down, and the Maury Island Mystery was never publicly solved.
Later reports say that the two harbor patrolmen mysteriously disappeared soon after the fatal crash.

They should have disappeared, into Puget Sound. The whole Maury Island Mystery was a hoax. The first, possibly the second-best, and the dirtiest hoax in the UFO history. One passage in the detailed official report of the Maury Island Mystery says:
Both ______ (the two harbor patrolmen) admitted that the rock fragments had nothing to do with flying saucers. The whole thing was a hoax. They had sent in the rock fragments [to a magazine publisher] as a joke. ______ One of the patrolmen wrote to ______ [the publisher] stating that the rock could have been part of a flying saucer. He had said the rock came from a flying saucer because that's what [the publisher] wanted him to say.

The  publisher (Ray Palmer), mentioned above, who, one of the two hoaxers said, wanted him to say that the rock fragments had come from a flying saucer, is the same one who paid (Arnold) $200 to investigate the case.

The report goes on to explain more details of the incident. Neither one of the two men could ever produce the photos. They "misplaced" them, they said. One of them, I forget which, was the mysterious informer who called the newspapers to report the conversations that were going on in the hotel room. (Dahl) mysterious visitor didn't exist. Neither of the men was a harbor patrolman, they merely owned a couple of beat-up old boats that they used to salvage floating lumber from Puget Sound. The airplane crash was one of those unfortunate things. An engine caught on fire, burned off, and just before the two pilots could get out, the wing and tail tore off, making it impossible for them to escape. The two dead officers from Hamilton AFB smelled a hoax, accounting for their short interview and hesitancy in bothering to take the "fragments." They confirmed their convictions when they talked to the intelligence officer at McChord. It had already been established, through an informer, that the fragments were what Brown and Davidson thought, slag. The classified material on the B-25 was a file of reports the two officers offered to take back to Hamilton and had nothing to do with the Maury Island Mystery, or better, the Maury Island Hoax.

(Arnold) and his airline pilot friend weren't told about the hoax for one reason. As soon as it was discovered that they had been "taken," thoroughly, and were not a party to the hoax, no one wanted to embarrass them.


The majority of the writers of saucer lore have played this sighting to the hilt, pointing out as their main premise the fact that the story must be true because the government never openly exposed or prosecuted either of the two hoaxers. This is a logical premise, but a false one. The reason for the thorough investigation of the Maury Island Hoax was that the government had thought seriously of prosecuting the men. At the last minute it was decided, after talking to the two men, that the hoax was a harmless joke that had mushroomed, and that the loss of two lives and a B-25 could not be directly blamed on the two men. The story wasn't even printed because at the time of the incident, even though in this case the press knew about it, the facts were classed as evidence. By the time the facts were released they were yesterday's news. And nothing is deader than yesterday's news.



(Twin Falls) Times-News Aug. 3, 1947


Oakland Tribune Aug. 6, 1947
For further reading, see the case files in Project Blue Book on the Maury Island UFO hoax.

For more coverage of historical UFO cases, see our companion blog, The Saucers That Time Forgot.

A special thanks to Claude Falkstrom for locating the 1947 newspaper clippings.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pentagon Confirmation: AATIP = Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program

Update by Roger Glassel to his article,
 The AATIP, Targeting Pod Videos and the DOPSR Process



As I stated in my previous article, it was important for me to have the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications search phrase added to my request - as the reports by Dr. Eric Davis were done under the AAWSA program, and a LinkedIn profile I found connected AAWSA to Bigelow. If I was wrong, it would just have been redundant information to my FOIA request, as it already contained other information on which videos I was referring to. I have also learned that Isaac Koi sent these two AAWSA reports to Dr. Davis who confirmed that they are his reports, but I wanted confirmation from an official source.

I contacted the Pentagon spokesperson again, Major Audricia Harris of the OSD PA, with the following question and background information.

"Dr. Eric Davis - who is associated with the company To The Stars Academy (TTSA) and the company EarthTech - has stated that he has done theoretical studies for the AATIP.

On the EarthTech website Dr. Davis has listed various publications written by him. Under "U.S. Government Program Contract Reports" he has listed six theroretical studies that he has done for the DIA Defence Warning Office (DIA DWO) - between the year 2010 and 2011. Within the same time frame that AATIP was contracting studies. Two of these reports are available on the Internet.

In these reports it is stated that the reports is a product of a series of advanced technology reports produced under the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Defense Warning Office (DWO) Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application (AAWSA) Program. The content of these two reports also correlates with the content of the study topics that Dr. Davis has openly stated he wrote for the AATIP. Basically the same content that is in reports that Dr. Davis wrote for the Air Force Research Laboratory (back in 2004), that are now available for download through DTIC. So AAWSA, if not the same, seem to have been closely related to AATIP.

My question is what the relationship is between the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSA) program and the AATIP program?"

Maj. Harris responded the following.

"Hi Roger,

Same program. Just an alternative name for AATIP. 

Maj. Harris"

I wrote back with further questions:

"Hi Maj. Harris,

Thank you for the clarification.

Was AAWSA the real contract name? and which program name must be referred to when making requests about the program? 

Sincerely,

Roger Glassel"

Maj. Harris responded:

“I would stick with AATIP. It is the official name.

Maj. Harris”

So that confirms that the name previously given by the Pentagon as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, still apply for FOIA request done by researchers, but as the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program now been confirmed, it may be wise to include it in upcoming requests about the program. 





Answering my final question, Major Harris replied giving the clearest statement yet to indicate that the AATIP was a UFO study:

"Roger,

AATIP was funded in the July 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Bill (a Sen Harry Reid add).  Its mandate, as outlined in a 2009 letter from Reid to DSD, was to assess "far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats  the United States," including anomalous events (such as sightings of aerodynamic vehicles engaged in extreme maneuvers, with unique phenomenology, reported by U.S. Navy pilots or other credible sources).  

AATIP was terminated in 2012 due to lack of real progress and concerns about the viability of the program.

I don't any anything further to provide you. 

Sincerely,


Maj. Harris"




Friday, April 27, 2018

The AATIP, Targeting Pod Videos and the DOPSR Process


This guest article is written by Roger Glassel, a researcher and writer for the Swedish quarterly magazine UFO-Aktuellt. Roger was a member of the Roswell Slides Research Group (RSRG, who exposed the claim that two Kodachrome photographs showed a space alien from the alleged Roswell crash - proven instead to be of a child's remains on exhibition at Mesa Verde Museum). He was also a member of the Puerto Rico Research Group, focused on the Aguadilla infrared video case. Roger is from Sweden and works as an IT architect specializing in system integrations and communications.




It has now been some months since The New York Times (NYT) revealed that the US Department of Defense (DOD) had run a program called the Advanced Aerospace (sometimes; Aviation) Threat Identification Program (AATIP) - reportedly studying the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, also known as the "UFO phenomenon." Roger Glassel has started looking into the matter of the release of the targeting pod videos.

By Roger Glassel


Project Blue Book, the United States Air Force's study of Unidentified Flying Objects, was closed in 1969, and that was - the public was told - the end of the government’s interest in UFOs. As Dr. Edward U. Condon concluded at the time, further study of UFOs would have no scientific interest, and the phenomenon itself was no threat to national security. So imagine everyone's surprise when the NYT revealed such a government study was being conducted once again - a study that not only included scientific interest in the matter, but held it as national security concern. For some in the UFO community - who over the years have disagreed on these two points made by Dr. Condon - this was like winning the lottery. Almost too good to be true.

Though the Pentagon has not characterized the nature of the AATIP as a UFO study, they have confirmed the existence of the program - a program they refer to as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. The videos released - that are said to be connected with the program - also conform with the AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR targeting system used in the US military’s F/A-18 dual purpose fighter craft. So the videos do appear to be genuine. 

What is also interesting with this story is that a former DOD employee named Luis Elizondo, who resigned his position and joined the staff of Tom DeLonge's company To The Stars Academy of Art and Science (TTSA), has openly stated that he was the head for the AATIP. The program was reportedly contracted to the company Bigelow Aerospace, the Las Vegas company created by Robert Bigelow - a billionaire with a long-time interest in UFOs and the paranormal. Others, such as Dr. Eric Davis and Dr. Hal Puthoff, have also stated that they have worked for the program.

Although Mr. Elizondo is a new player in the game, both Dr. Davis and Dr. Puthoff are well known and have done theoretical studies for the US Government in the past - discussing subjects such as advanced propulsion (laser propulsion), wormholes, and teleportation. Also, the AATIP has been connected with the infamous Skinwalker Ranch (formerly owned by Bigelow) and studies of exotic materials, but these various associated curiosities are beyond the scope of this article.  The focus here is the military targeting pod videos now made public. More specifically, examining questions about the release of the videos.

The New York Times story and all the subsequent media attention for the AATIP has been driven by the videos, which so far are the only evidence provided that the program was studying UFOs. Videos from a ATFLIR system would of course have originated from the US military, but that does not equate with them being connected to a DOD program allegedly investigating the UFO phenomenon. Also, one of the targeting pod videos referred to as FLIR1, or Tic Tac, that TTSA is connecting with the AATIP, was leaked by a Navy technician and have been available on the Internet since 2007. There could be a possibility that the other videos have been available on the Internet as well (military forums, veteran groups, interest groups, promotional videos, etcetera) and that TTSA is depicting them for something they are not. Remember that TTSA is not AATIP. Therefore, as evidence, the authenticity of the videos - both the provenance and the events they depict - need to be carefully verified. Looking into how the videos were released would be a first natural step in such verification.

Conflicting claims

A while after the first NYT story came out, another article drew my attention. It was an article written on February 17, 2018 by science writer Sarah Scoles for the online magazine Wired. In that article it is stated by Major Audricia Harris, who is a spokesperson for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (OSD PA), that the targeting pod videos were not approved for released by the Pentagon. She stood firm that the DOD did not release those videos.

A bit after that, on February 25, 2018, Luis Elizondo himself explained in the second hour of a radio interview on Coast to Coast AM that the targeting pod videos were prepared for release by the DOD in accordance to DoDD 5230.09 and DoDI 5230.29 by sending in the videos along with DD Form 1910 to Defense Office for Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR), and that the videos were cleared for unrestricted release to the public. Mr. Elizondo also mentioned there were emails sent back and forth, so he seemed to have been involved in the process.

So now we have a firm standpoint from the Pentagon that the videos were not released by them, and detailed information from Mr. Elizondo on how the videos were released. I thought the best way to sort this out would be to contact Maj. Harris.

After reaching out by email to Maj. Harris she explained in a response to me that the DOPSR process will only render in a recommendation for releasability, and that this recommendation does not equate to approved for public release. She also told me that OSD PA is the sole release authority for DOD information, however, they have no record of a request for clearance of these videos.

Maj. Harris’ firm standpoint became even firmer. But had these videos gone through the DOPSR process as claimed? What better way to find out than to contact the Defense Office for Prepublication and Security Review - so I did.

Questions leads to a request

I directly contacted the DOPSR by the only email address I could find - their public inbox for sending in unclassified information for review. This was, as I was quickly told, not the right way to contact them. This did however take an unexpected and fortunate turn, as I was given a personal Point of Contact (POC) at the Office of the Secretary of Defense Joint Staff Freedom of Information Act Office (OSD JS FOIA) by the Security and Review Specialist who answered my email. With this lead, I sent my questions on.

My POC was able to provide clarifying details and valuable advice. First, he explained to me that while Maj. Harris was correct about that the DOPSR process will only render in a recommendation for releasability, she was not correct in stating that the OSD PA is the sole release authority for DOD information. The 34 FOIA offices releases large amount of information that does not get reviewed by the PA office. 

He continued to explain that almost every information request related to Mr. Elizondo has been transferred to the DIA FOIA office for their processing and direct response to the requester. But for requests regarding the DOPSR review process, that I was asking for, he said would fall under their (OSD JS FOIA office) purview. As my letter to him was worded as questions, he asked me to resubmit it, structured as a proper request for information under the Freedom of Information Act - which I did.

Besides the background story pointing out which videos I was referring to, my request was worded as following.

"Under the Freedom of Information Act, I am seeking all documents related to DOPSR's review of these videos, to include who submitted the request and the results of such review."

Review and Release

In going through this search, I found out about the different channels that information goes through when subjected for release. As I have learned, there is a review process and a release process. 

The release process is divided between different release authorities. To find out from which authority information was released, you must file an FOIA request to every authority. In this instance, I am not actually interested in which authority that released them, or who initiated them for release, as I am just seeking verification that the videos came from DOD.

The review process, on the other hand, is handled by a single office, the DOPSR, and it is mandatory that information is reviewed and cleared by this office before going through the release process. So for me to understand if the videos came from DOD, I only had to file a single request to the FOIA office that the DOPSR falls under to find out who submitted them and what the result was. Or if they even went through this process.

After about a week I received the interim response with the name of the action officer assigned to my case and my case number: 18-F-0724. My request was registered March 26, 2018. Finally, the search for the provenance of the UFO videos was properly submitted and officially underway.

Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications

Going back a bit to March 21, 2018, I woke up and saw a message from my friend and fellow researcher Curt Collins, urging me to take a screenshot of a Twitter posting by Tom DeLonge. As Mr. DeLonge is a well known serial deleter of tweets, I took the screenshot and did not think much about it. After my request was registered, I thought I should have a look what the tweet was all about. In the tweet, DeLonge stated that TTSA was negotiating a deal with EarthTech to get the rights to Dr. Puthoff's laser beam energy propulsion (which I though was invented by Leik Myrabo in the 1980s, but never mind). DeLonge also seemed to insinuate that Puthoff's work on this matter was done as part of the AATIP. This drew my attention to the EarthTech website.

What was most interesting on the EarthTech website was not the things about Dr. Puthoff, but about Dr. Eric Davis, also connected with the AATIP. The site listed various publications written by him. Under "U.S. Government Program Contract Reports" he has listed six theoretical studies that he conducted for the Defense Intelligence Agency Defense Warning Office (DIA DWO) between the year 2010 and 2011, within the same time frame the AATIP was contracting studies.

Conducting a web search, combining "DWO" and the titles of the reports, I found that two of them - "Traversable Wormholes, Stargates and Negative Energy" and "Warp Drive, Dark Energy and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions" - were available for download on the Internet.

In these two reports it is stated that, "the report is a product of a series of advanced technology reports produced under the DIA DWO Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program (AAWSA)". The content of the two reports also correlates with the content of the study topics that Dr. Davis has openly stated he wrote for the AATIP. Basically, the same content that Dr. Davis wrote for the Air Force Research Laboratory (back in 2004) that is now available for download through the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).

By searching on the AAWSA name I also found a LinkedIn profile of a person in the Nevada area that had worked for Bigelow Aerospace between 2009 and 2010. More specifically, he was employed "in a interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers studying advanced aerospace weapon system applications including lift, propulsion, control, power generation, signature reductions, materials and armament".

AAWSA, if not the same, would seem to be closely related to AATIP, so close I thought it would be worth adding it to my FOIA request about the videos. It was important to have this information added because if, and I say if, the AAWSA program turns out to be the true name of the AATIP, without it, my request might be returned with a "no records found".

I forwarded the information to my POC at the OSD JS FOIA office to be added to my request. At first, he thought I was seeking information about the DIA program itself and directed me to their FOIA office. After explaining that I only wanted to use that name as a search phrase to be added to my request, the answer from him was that the videos themselves are very specific, and the DOPSR office does not review many videos, so it will be very easy for them to identify them, with or without the added information. However, he said he would pass on the information to the action officer for her action to pass onto DOPSR.

Now starts the waiting game, and it could be a long wait. In the interim response from my action officer, it was explained that due to unusual circumstances and an extensive backlog of 2600 open cases, my request was placed in a complex processing queue. I heard that others have got the same same kind of reply when filing their requests. The majority of the other requests are however general inquiries rather than targeted inquiries, so I have some hope about this one. Realistically, I am not expecting a response any time soon. But when I receive it, I will let you all know the outcome.

Share 'em if you got 'em

It should be noted that none of the research I have done would have been necessary if both TTSA and NYT would share the release documents they say they have. 

I have reached out to Leslie Kean - who was the co-author for the original NYT article about the AATIP - asking her to make the release documents public. Her answer to me was that the NYT has the documents that say that the videos was cleared for public release, but that background documents provided to the NYT by their sources are confidential until their sources say otherwise. Of course journalists have the right to protect their sources, but I told her that I did not fully understand how documents from an official release authority or review office could be considered as a source that need to be protected. Her answer was however the same.

I have also tried to reach out to TTSA asking them for the release documents. I first contacted Mr. Elizondo directly by email using an address that he left on a discussion forum, but with no success. I then contacted Dr. Garry Nolan - who I find to be both honest and sincere. He answered the he rarely interacts with TTSA and is not a representative for the company, but simply acts as an advisor. Dr. Nolan said that he have been instructed not to give out email addresses, and to direct anyone with questions to use the contact form on the TTSA website. However, he did say that he forwarded my email to relevant persons, giving them the opportunity to contact me with their reply. I did not hear from them, so I contacted TTSA through their contact form and got the response that I must contact the New York and Beverly Hills based PR company B|W|R with my questions. I sent my questions - directed to Mr. Elizondo - to the two persons provided to me, but up to this day I have not received a response of any kind from neither them nor Mr. Elizondo. 

A short encore

To those of you who have followed the story up to this point - listening to me go on about these utterly boring bureaucratic procedures and wonder why it is important, I will say; Processes are to be followed. You can work pragmatically within a process, but you can not work outside of the process. These DOD processes are made for the protection of information. So if they did review these videos before their release, there are records of it. If there are no records, the DOD did not release them. If the videos was not released as claimed, that would raise serious questions about the story being told about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

Could Maj. Audricia Harris be right after all? Time will tell...


Link section

Warp Drive, Dark Energy and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions, Dr. Eric Davis, DIA DWO, 2010


Traversable Wormholes, Stargates and Negative Energy, Dr. Eric Davis, DIA DWO, 2010


What's up with those Pentagon UFO videos? Sarah Scoles, Wired, 2018


Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Original Cash-Landrum Case File, 3/4/81: Transcript & Analysis



The Cash-Landrum UFO incident, December 29, 1980. That’s the name and date for the events near Huffman, Texas reported by Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and her young grandson Colby Landrum. The case is amongst the most famous of UFO events, chiefly due to the man who primarily investigated it, John F. Schuessler.
John Schuessler, Betty Cash, Vickie & Colby Landrum
from a scene in The UFO Experience. 
He was a contractor for NASA, working on the Space Shuttle program, and having a reputable scientist investigating the case gave its credibility a boost. However his involvement in the case stemmed not from his profession, but from his hobby. Schuessler was the deputy director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and a member of several other UFO organizations, including leading his own, Project VISIT (for Vehicle Internal Systems Investigative Team). VISIT sought to examine the propulsion engineering of “Unidentified Space Vehicles,” with “a secondary interest in the physiology of the beings which occupy these vehicles.” The initial report filed by Schuessler on March 4, 1981 laid the foundation for the investigation of the Cash-Landrum UFO case.

Below is the table of contents for the original report, a link to the PDF of it, and a transcript of it.
After that, my analysis of the report and the interviews within.
 

Cash-Landrum Original Case File: Table of Contents

Original Case Report (35 pages) by John F. Schuessler unless otherwise noted.

1 - 2 MUFON form: “UFO Sighting Questionnaire- General Cases (Form 1)” with location, sketches of UFO and event data. Name of Investigator, “John F. Schuessler,” “Witness: Vicky Landrum.” Dated March 3, 1981 (“4-3-81”). 2 pages.

3 - 13 Cash/Landrum Case “On-Site Investigation Report, Date: 28 Feb 1981,” Interview with Vickie and Colby Landrum. Handwritten, 11 pages. (Page one on VISIT letterhead.)

14 MUFON “UFO Sighting Questionnaire - Computer Input (Form 2)” “Vicky Landrum”
(Basic information on location of sighting and witness data.)

15 MUFON “UFO Sighting Questionnaire - Computer Input (Form 2)” “Betty Cash.”

16 -23  Report of meeting and interview with Betty Cash dated 22 Feb. 1981. Handwritten, 8 pages. (Page one on VISIT letterhead.)

24 - 27 Alan Holt, report of (2/28/81) interview with Vickie and Colby Landrum. Handwritten, 4 pages. (On VISIT letterhead.)

28 Al Holt memo: “Conversation with Bill English,” undated. (English of APRO was the first investigator to speak to Vickie Landrum.) Handwritten, 1 page. (On VISIT letterhead.)

29 - 30 Al Holt: “Helicopter Investigation,” 3/10/81. Handwritten, 2 pages. (On VISIT letterhead.)

31 - 33  21 Feb. 1981, 1 pm: “Betty Cash called collect from Dayton, TX” (Phone interview: first witness contact.) Typed, 3 pages. (Page one on VISIT letterhead.)

34 - 35 1st MUFON Cash-Landrum case contact: 20 February 1981,  by phone from reporter Cathy Gordon. “Caller: Kathy Gordon, Conroe Daily Courier...” Typed, 2 pages. (Page one on VISIT letterhead.)





Link to file (PDF)

Schuessler’s case photos are not contained in this file, but we know he took pictures during the witness interviews: shots of Betty Cash’s hair loss, of Vickie and Colby Landrum, and also the roadway described in the report. Some of these photos were published for cover of the April 1981 MUFON Journal.

Link to transcript (handy mostly for being searchable by text).
http://www.blueblurrylines.com/p/original-cash-landrum-case-report-dated.html

The report is almost exclusively from Schuessler’s point of view and based on his understanding of what the witnesses said. There are some errors, but it is difficult to tell if it came from the witnesses’ mistakes or from him misunderstanding what he was told. 

The case file was not arranged by date, but for a forensic examination of the testimony and investigation, we’ll look at the interviews in chronological order. The focus in this examination is not on the familiar details of the case, but rather the deviations from it. In order to examine details in the report, it was compared with other contemporary witness interviews as documented in the three following sources:

1) Bergstrom Air Force Base interview of Betty Cash, Vickie and Colby Landrum, August 17, 1981, Transcribed in two parts at the CUFON site: 
Part 2: http://www.cufon.org/cufon/cashlani2.htm

2) Hendry, Allan, 1981, “A Preliminary Report on the Cash/Landrum New Caney CEII Case by Allan Hendry for the Fund for UFO Research” (PDF) 

3) Schuessler, John F., 1998, The Cash-Landrum UFO Incident, LaPorte, Texas: Author. 

FM 1485
It’s worth noting that there’s a history of the Cash-Landrum case before the MUFON investigation.

Twelve Times before MUFON

By the time John Schuessler became involved, eight weeks had passed since the incident. Based on the witnesses’ account, they must have told their story at least a dozen times before Schuessler heard it from them.

BC told Wilma Emert (& 2 kids) Betty’s son, Toby the night of the incident, 12/29/80.
VL told her husband Earnest 4 days later, supposedly when BC went to the hospital.
VL told Dr. Wilson, who did not want to get involved with in a UFO injury case. 
CL, VL & BC told Dr. Shenoy, then other doctors attending at Parkway Hospital.
VL told Dayton police chief, Tommy Waring (Vickie’s neighbor)
VL told Bob Gribble of NUFORC, making her first UFO report, Feb. 2.
VL told wild Bill English of APRO who contacted the tabloid news.
BC & VL recorded a tape for Bill English, forwarded to Weekly World News.
BC’s Parkway Hospital written statement. Feb. 7, 1981
BC, VL & CL told Weekly World News reporter and contract photographer.
VL made calls to news and law enforcement and a 2nd call to NUFORC on Feb. 17.
VL & BC told Cathy Gordon reporter for The Conroe Courier Texas newspaper. 

Finally, John Schuessler heard Betty’s story second-hand from Cathy Gordon.



A Chronological Examination of the First UFO Report

Cathy Gordon (Phone Call) 
February 20, 1981 (Report pages 34 - 35)

John Schuessler first heard about Betty Cash first from local newspaper reporter Cathy Gordon who had written a story for the Conroe, Texas Courier. (Although in his correspondence with Coral Lorenzen of APRO and his book, he claims Dr. Howard Sussman had given him UFO injury story without disclosing Betty’s name - to avoid a violation of medical ethics). The chief reason John Schuessler became involved in the case was due to location. He worked at the NASA’s Johnson Space Center near Houston, Texas. Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum lived in Dayton, about 30 miles from Houston. 

There is no mention of what is later termed the witnesses’ “secrecy oath,” just a sparse summary of the UFO story as reported in Gordon’s story. The information came in bits, out of sequence, and Schuessler would later learn that at the end of January 1981, once the UFO story had been revealed to Betty’s doctors, Vickie Landrum reported the story to her neighbor, Dayton Police Chief Tommy Waring. It took Waring two or three days to locate the number for the the National UFO Reporting Center  (NUFORC) in Seattle, Washington. Vickie reported the sighting on Feb. 2 to Robert Gribble, who passed the information on to APRO. All Schuessler knew at the time came from Cathy Gordon who told him:
“APRO’s Bill English had assigned the investigation to Dick Donavon of the Weekly World News when first notified of it.”  



Betty Cash (Phone Call) 
February 21, 1981 (Report pages 31 - 33)

Betty Cash placed a collect call to John Schuessler the next day, February 21, 1981.
(Cathy Gordon had suggested Betty call NASA, who in turn gave her JS’s number.)

This call by Betty Cash initiated Schuessler’s investigation. In the conversation, she recounted the story of the UFO encounter, her health problems and emphasized the expense of her hospital stay and treatment, “She said it has cost her about $10,000...”
Schuessler wrote, “Betty has been out of work since the incident... She had been operating a truck stop restaurant and grocery store. She worked the night shift... she has had to close her business.” 

This early claim is worth examining. Betty worked the night shift, and had other employees including a cook and Vickie Landrum, so why did she close her business?
In some accounts, it’s said that Betty had already closed the truck stop and was in the process of moving it to reopen in a new location. However, when Betty was given an interview on 8/17/81 at Bergstrom Air Force Base, she said something else entirely. She was asked if she worked at the time of the incident, and she said, “No, no I wasn't... (that’s) the reason we was just out tooling around.” Betty told the officers that she’d received the business in the divorce from her husband, James Cash, and had only operated it a few months before she “Closed it up... couldn't make no money.” (Betty also mentioned that she had Medicare, but did not say what portion of her expenses were covered by it.)

Another very interesting item is about Betty’s automobile. Schuessler’s report states: 
“When the group met the UFO they stopped the car - it did not fail on its own.” Later, he gives the the first claim of the UFO producing EMF effects: “Her car now runs very rough - the engine misses. It was given a tune up just 4 months ago.”

Regarding the car stopping and the later claims of the engine dying.
Allan Hendry interview FUFOR 4/2/1981 talking about the motor stalling
BC: “It just quit on its own...”

Hendry made Schuessler aware of the discrepancy. In the undated interview quoted in The Cash-Landrum UFO Incident, pg 61, Betty was asked, “when did you realize the engine was not running?” She replied, “When I got back in the car and as soon as that thing lifted up, I was going to start the car up. I put on the gas and everything and it wouldn't move.” 

Betty elaborated further in her Bergstrom AFB interview 8/17/1981:
"I had not killed the motor on the car, I had put it park. The radio was
playing on low, but the car completely went dead. I mean, it was like somebody
had turned a switch off on it."

This discrepancy was not addressed in Schuessler's reports, but he deftly sidestepped the issue in his 1982 magazine article on the case:

“It is not clear whether Betty turned the car engine off, or whether it just died."
The Unexplained (UK) Orbis Publishing Limited, Vol 9, Issue 107

The description of the UFO incident itself in the report is fairly sparse, but seemingly consistent with later retellings. Betty described the sights, sounds, and sensations associated with the experience, but makes no mention of Vickie’s handprints left in the dashboard of the car.

An interesting statement that vanishes from later accounts:
“She went back just last week to the sighting location but could not detect anything significant. Several trees were dead, but the reason was not obvious.”

This is at odds with Schuessler’s later accounts in his book that she’d first revisited the scene with him to identify the location, and another claim that she hadn’t been back there until a recreation for a television show. Betty’s statement should serve to discredit one of the conspiracy theories about the case, that the road was torn up and repaved immediately  following the incident. The road, FM 1485, was in bad shape before the incident. It was repaved, but not so mysteriously and much later, in 1982.

JS reports Betty saying of Vickie  Landrum: 
Now she has lost sight in one eye and a little of her hair is falling out...”

The part about Vickie’s vision was exaggerated, and similar claims had been made elsewhere, with Omni magazine stating that she was blind in one eye. It was untrue, but Vickie did complain about her eyes and had been prescribed eyeglasses. Betty’s comment about the hair loss was more realistic, but wasn’t a medical diagnosis. Except for her optometrist, Vickie was not examined or treated by a physician.

In the interview (as summarized by Schuessler) Betty did not describe Chinooks, just standard helicopters:“She said they could see each helicopter and she counted 23. Each had little lights and a big rotor on top and a small one on the rear. She thought they were military but didn't actually see military markings.” 

As Schuessler homogenized the varying accounts of the witnesses’ story into a single narrative, some of the early details like this were rewritten, and in time the witnesses used his version instead of their own. However, they were not always consistent. In the Bergstrom interview, for some reason Betty changed her story. When asked if the helicopters had markings, she said:
 “Yes, they sure did.” Asked to describe them, she said, “They had ‘United States Air Force’.”

The first hint of the “secrecy pact” comes in Betty Cash’s discussion of her cardiologist, Dr. Shenoy: “She didn't tell him about the object when she went in for the first time. He just thought she had a burn of some kind, perhaps chemical. On a later visit, Vicky told him of the cause.”

Schuessler was interested in learning more, and arranged to meet with Betty in person the next day at her brother’s apartment in Houston for an interview.



Betty Cash (Meeting) 
22 February 1981 (Report pages 16 - 23)

Betty told Schuessler the story again, with some further details emerging. She mentioned the trio searching for a bingo game, then describing the sighting, Betty says she was the first to see the UFO as a bright light in the sky, but in some later versions, it is Colby who spots it first.

Betty describes the UFO’s fiery discharge: “ Flames periodically shot downward from a point on the bottom of the glowing mass.” The description is lacking on precise details, like the proximity of the UFO to the witnesses: “ They stopped the car in the road a short distance from the bright thing.”

As to the UFO itself, “ Because the light was so bright Betty couldn't see details of the object.”
She was better able to describe the associated sounds and sights, the beeping noise and,  Flames showered downward. Each time it happened they could hear a swoosh – swoosh like a flame thrower. The whole area had a great sound – a roar.”

The UFO was described as lighting up the whole sky:
Betty thinks air controllers at Houston Intercontinental Airport must have seen the bright thing – also all the helicopters.” At the Bergstrom AFB interview she insisted that the brilliance had been witnessed, but didn’t say by just who: “it was seen as far as fifty miles away from where we were.”)

Betty describes the trip home and onset of symptoms.

Schuessler reports that Betty said “the day after the incident” Vickie reported the incident to “Mr. Ward, a Dayton Policeman.” 
Vickie gave the same name of Ward later (conference 3/15/81), but she had it wrong. It was actually Dayton Police Chief Tommy Waring, and it’s odd that both Vickie and Betty would mistake the of one of the most prominent public figures in their small town. The other big error was in stating that the UFO was reported the next day, but we can’t tell if that was Betty’s mistake or from Schuessler misunderstanding her. It’s documented that Vickie told Chief Waring about the incident at the end of January, a full month after the incident, a day or so after Dr. Shenoy was first told about the UFO.

 Betty gave general information about her hospital stay, care and tests, her prescriptions, and her mother’s address in Alabama where she’d be moving. Schuessler noted her appearance and took photographs. “Betty is constantly tired, has a continuous headache, and cannot work. Her hair still remains patchy, but appears it will grow back.” There was no mention of Schuessler examining the car or having Betty act out the sighting in these notes (as stated in his book). All that’s mentioned is that: Betty's car is a 1980 Cutlass Supreme lic. no. VAS-217 (Texas)”

The report ends with an odd fact, another that was dropped from later accounts. Upon her release, Betty’s cardiologist, Dr. Shenoy urged her to see the UFO movie, Hangar 18. “All she got out of the movie was the government conspiracy aspect.”

After the interview with Betty, Schuessler called Vickie Landrum and set up an appointment to meet her at her residence the next week.

It’s worth noting here that shortly after this interview with Schuessler, Betty Cash permanently moved back to Alabama. Despite her health problems she frequently returned to Texas for during the early 1980s, and other than on those occasions, follow up interviews were conducted by telephone. Vickie Landrum continued to live in Dayton, and as a result he developed a closer relationship with her. Consequently, Schuessler relied more heavily on Vickie's version of the events.



Vickie and Colby Landrum (Meeting & site visit) 
Feb. 28, 1981 (Report pages 3 - 13)

John Schuessler and fellow MUFON and Project VISIT member Alan Holt met Vickie and Colby Landrum, then traveled with them to the FM 1485 in search of the sighting location.

The report records Vickie’s description of the restaurant stop in New Caney, however, there’s no mention of them searching for a bingo game.

Schuessler’s description of the sighting area has a passing reference to the interview of a potential witness:
“ The site of the incident is near the lake, so there are businesses, trailers, cabins, etc. periodically throughout the area, however it is sparsely settled. Near the incident site is an occupied trailer home, but the lady living there said they were in bed by 8 PM, about an hour before the sighting.”

That non-witness testimony is perhaps one of the most valuable pieces of evidence in the case. The couple were not disturbed by the UFO lighting up the whole sky or the noise from it and the roar of the overflight of twenty or more military helicopters.  

“As the object hung above the road Vicky could hear a roar ‘like a hurricane.’ Then when the flames would belch out the noise would be a woosh.” 

The report contains a drawing of Vickie’s fingernails labeled:
“Vicky's fingernails, left hand only are damaged. That hand was on top of the car...
Each nail has an indentation, line-like, across from side to side – now partially grown out.”  Supposedly, these were photographed, later fell off and were sent off for analysis, but none of that evidence is contained in the files or subsequent case literature. The fingernails were once considered by Dr. Peter Rank to be the strongest evidence to show that Vickie had been exposed to ionizing radiation, but nothing came of it.

There was some disharmony over the number of helicopters and when they first arrived: 
“Vicky and Betty only saw object during the close encounter – no helicopters. As it rose and flew away there were more than 20 helicopters, although Vicky admitted that they moved around a lot and a few might have gotten more than once. Even so, she is positive that there were 10–12 or more – no doubt about it.” 

“Colby says he saw helicopters all during the event, even when the object was low over the road. He is quite sure of that.”

Vickie described the helicopters, among them Chinooks (CH-47s):
“Vicky says there were two kinds of helicopters involved – maybe more. One kind was large and smooth running with a very large rotor on top. Another had two rotors on top, but one was above the other slightly.” (Illustration: Sketch of overlapping rotors.)

Vickie’s description of the sighting indicates that the flock of helicopters must have flown over the entire town of Huffman:
“They could still hear the roar of helicopters at 4 (the stop sign on the far edge of Huffman, by FM 1960).

There’s mention of another fiery UFO in the area:
Vicky truly feels that this was not anything unnatural. She believes the U.S. government was transporting and escorting something dangerous through the area. (Her son mentioned a similar incident near the lake about 6 months earlier where a fiery object landed and burned 300 ft of grass).”

The report does not definitely state they found the exact sighting location:
“The location of the close encounter was on Huffman New Caney road near the Inland road intersection. We parked along the road and walked as a group to the spot where Vicky believed they stopped their car on 29 Dec 80.”

There’s no mention of any landmarks at the scene like a UFO burn to the road, a claim that would later surface in 1982 as part of the legend of road being repaved to destroy evidence.

Schuessler drew a map based on the spot she chose, measuring the driving distance from it to the edge of Huffman at FM 1960, where they last counted the helicopters at the stop sign. The total distance was over seven miles.


Alan Holt: Notes on Vickie & Colby Landrum 
Feb. 28, 1981 (Report pages 24 - 27)

Alan Holt filed a separate set of handwritten notes about the interview, but he recorded many of the some points, but also some that Schuessler had missed or omitted. 

Holt also noted that Vickie: 
“Had the impression that the ‘helicopters were transporting something’."
This phrase is very interesting, as it mirrors something said to Betty by Dr. Shenoy.
From Allan Hendry’s report: “Oddly, he told Betty a story about the government working on ‘something’ in North or South Carolina that is being transported across the U.S.”

There’s an interesting bit of trivia regarding the aftermath:
“Colby had a dream about a little spaceman, ‘man inside it, little bitty, 2 ft. tall’”

Holt also noted the claim of an earlier UFO and provides further details:
“Near Sire Lake 6 months ago a UFO sighting occurred- grass was burned off.”

Holt briefly described the visit to the sighting locations. Again, there’s no mention of a UFO burn to the road:
Visited 3 sites where object was sighted.
– nothing observed as far as evidence. 
– road well traveled in daytime.”

A later addition to Holt’s report was a memo describing his undated “Conversation with Bill English” of APRO who claimed to have located the story of 3 other witnesses to the UFO in a Liberty newspaper. However the name of the paper English gave did not exist, and the story was not located. 

There’s also the notation, “Vickie Landrum's doctor refused to treat her.”
That makes little sense in context, but in Allan Hendry’s report, Vickie told him that while searching for a doctor to help Betty, “She told a Dr. Wilson about the UFO and claims the doctor didn’t want to deal with her... presumably, she feels because of the UFO aspect.” That’s interesting, because if true, has Vickie violating the “secrecy pact” within days of agreeing to it.


Lt. Col. Sarran's note of Schuessler's remarks.
Holt’s other addendum was “Helicopter Investigation,” dated 3/10/81.
He called military bases within range, but none had flights of copters during the date of the sighting. The most interesting comment came from Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. They did have Chinooks, but less than 20, and were not flying during the holiday period between Christmas and New Year’s. The representative told him about the only time they’d have that many helicopter flying, which was during scheduled massive field exercises. Holt jotted down:
“Robert Gray Field – exercise in the local area where 100 helicopters come in from the field all at one time ‘for effect’.”
This quote would later surface, famously twisted into evidence the military had admitted, then denied a helicopter operation the night of the incident. In 1982, John Schuessler told Lt. Col. Sarran about the “100 helicopters” during a phone conversation briefing him for the DAIG investigation into the incident. Sarran’s documents of the investigation later surfaced in a FOIA response, and among his notes from the Schuessler conversation were the words, 
“- 100 helicopters- Robert Grey airfield, came in, for effect.” 
It was the smoking gun that never was. (More details on this red herring at:


The case file shows that the basic story of the UFO encounter remained fairly consistent over the years. The stop by the fishing bridge and the sighting during the drive through Huffman may have been de-emphasized from later versions, possibly to avoid questions about why people in these more populated areas didn't report the light or sounds from the UFO and helicopters. It was only the claims about the hospital stay and injuries that seemed to be exaggerated over time. That, and associated other rumors like the road being hauled away and repaved in the dark of night. What always stayed the same was the story of what they saw over the road that night.

The Rest is History

After the initial report, Schuessler continued investigating the case and took on a role as an advocate for the witnesses, and also helped them publicize their story in the news media, appearing with them on television shows like Good Morning America and That’s Incredible! Schuessler also used their media appearances to appeal to the public to come forward with information about the case, and several new witnesses to the UFO or the helicopters were recruited in this way. The National Enquirer helped fund the first hypnosis session of Vickie Landrum, from which new details were produced that Schuessler considered genuine, like the odor of “lighter fluid” imagined to be helicopter fuel, and “little blue lights,” which became attached to the UFO description.



Most of the other leads produced in the case came from the news media reporters covering the story, or in military sources during the Pentagon-directed DAIG investigation. Some of the most significant developments came from the witnesses themselves, by taking the initiative to write their Senators and to travel to Bergstrom Air Force base to pursue answers and resolution. That led to the legal effort, and although it failed, the resulting publicity presented the chance that it would prompt someone to come forward with tangible evidence. 


Schuessler continued to report on the case, but none of the information that surfaced in the years that followed matched the substance of what was contained in the original 1981 report of the sighting by Betty Cash, Colby and Vickie Landrum.


For more documents on the Cash-Landrum UFO case, see
http://www.blueblurrylines.com/2013/07/resource-guide-for-cash-landrum-ufo-case.html