Sunday, December 17, 2017

Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and their UFO Report

December 29 is the anniversary of the Cash-Landrum UFO case, also sadly of the death of Betty Cash. At the end of each year, we take a moment to remember the witnesses and thier story.

Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum

After their lawsuit against the US government was dismissed in 1986 without going to trial, UFO witnesses Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum were left without much hope. A new opportunity arose when they were invited to appear on the October 14, 1988 television special, UFO Cover-Up? Live to tell the story of their experience. Afterwards, Betty began a crusade for a Congressional hearing prompted by the show's phone poll for a new government exploration of the UFO topic.  The Times Daily (Alabama) on Feb. 18, 1989 reported that, “She said that Sen. Howell Heflin, D-Ala began working to obtain a congressional hearing after calls of support came in during an October television special that featured her and others claiming to have been hurt by UFOs.”

The petition failed to produce results, and there's scarcely any mention of it found today, but it seemed to renew Betty and Vickie's efforts. They became more involved with the UFO community, and they even explored another attempt to sue the US government for the health problems they associated with their UFO sighting. 

Betty Cash's daughter Mickey Geisinger got involved in the cause, writing to Jenny Randles, in a letter published in UFO Times, published by BUFORA, the British UFO Research Association, in their May 1990 issue.
http://bufora.org.uk/documents/UFOTimesNo.7May1990.pdf

It was during this time, Betty and Vickie attended the MUFON Symposium held in July of 1990, "UFOs: The Impact of E.T. Contact Upon Society," held in Pensacola, Florida. This was during the heyday of the publicity around Ed Walter's Gulf Breeze UFO sightings. Thanks to Michael Christol for sharing a photograph.
MUFON director Walt Andrus, Jeanne Andrus, Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum
at the 1990 MUFON Symposium in Pensacola Florida.

Betty Cash's Newspaper Obituary

Betty Cash's death was reported in the Alabama newspaper, The Anniston Star, Anniston, on Wednesday, December 30, 1998, on page 5A. An interesting point is that Betty's occupation was listed, a private nurse, however, according to John Schuessler's 1998 book on the Cash-Landrum story, Betty "never worked a single day since the encounter because of poor health."  (Betty's daughter's name, Geisinger is misspelled.) Betty's son, Toby was supposedly the first person to examine her physical problems after the UFO encounter, but after that, he vanishes from the story. Here, his name was given as Bill Howard., and he lived in Oxford, Alabama, as did Betty in her final days.

Below is a clipping of the article, followed by a reprorduction of the text.

The Anniston Star, Wed. Dec. 30, 1998

           Cash
 

 OXFORD - Graveside services for Betty Cash, 69, of 2311 Nancy Drive will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at Oxford Memorial Park Cemetery with Douglas Wells officiating. The family will receive friends Thursday from 9 a.m. until time of services at Miller Funeral Home. Mrs. Cash died Tuesday at Regional Medical Center. 
Survivors include a daughter, Mickey Giesinger of Irving, Texas; a son, Bill Howard of Oxford; three sisters, Lois Green of Lincoln, Shirley McNair of Fort Worth, Texas, and Midge Helms of Birmingham; a brother, Charles Collins of Kansas City, Mo.; and three grandchildren. 
Pallbearers will be LeFair Willingham, Sonny Gunnells, Robert Eden, Joey Giesinger and Richard Green. 
Mrs. Cash, a native of Birmingham, had lived in Oxford for the past six years. She worked for many years as a private nurse.
Vickie Landrum passed away on September 12, 2007. Please see the previous BBL article,   Remembering Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum  for more on her and Betty's final resting places.

Sharing the Story


Betty and Vickie fought hard to have their story told. Strangely, the UFO files on their case have not been made available. Here's the case file, a PDF of the original 35-page report to MUFON by John Schuessler and Project VISIT, dated March 4, 1981.  

There are plenty of things to say about the content, but the analysis will be covered separately in a later BBL piece. My index of the report:

Cash-Landrum Original Case Report (35 pages) by John F. Schuessler, unless noted otherwise.

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.)

The link again: The original 35-page report to MUFON by John Schuessler and Project VISIT, dated March 4, 1981.



2 comments:

  1. Curt, with all of the research you have done - what is the best explanation for what happened?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron, at various times, I've been absolutely convinced that the events were genuine and other times ready to dismiss it as a hoax. There seems to be something genuine at the core of it, but it's buried beneath conflicting claims, exaggerations and insufficient evidence. Recently, I got my hands on the MUFON files for the case that provided me with several hundred pages of additonal case documents. I've taken a holiday break from it, but I'm in the process of reviewing my existing files in light of the newly received material. The post above contained some of the details revealed.

      Even after re-examining it all, I may not have a definitive answer, but I want to gather all the documents and make sure they are preserved so that anyone who is interested can check the primary sources and not rely on second-hand or hearsay versions of the story.

      Delete