Showing posts with label Center for UFO Studies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Center for UFO Studies. Show all posts

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dr. J. Allen Hynek on the Cash-Landrum UFO case

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Speaking on the Cash-Landrum UFO Close Encounter of the Second Kind

“Something sure as hell happened..."

Dr. Hynek, as seen in Spielberg's CE3K

Dr. J. Allen Hynek was only indirectly involved with the Cash-Landrum case, but he knew it well. From the beginning, John F. Schuessler was sending copies of his Project VISIT reports to Hynek’s Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). In April 1981, Dr. Hynek’s protege, Allan Hendry, (CUFOS’ chief investigator) was contracted by the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR) to investigate the incident. Further, Schuessler made his first lecture on the case at Hynek’s CUFOS symposium in September 1981. While Hynek himself did not investigate the case, he was very familiar with it. 

In 1981, just as the news of the Cash-Landrum story was spreading through mainstream media, Dr. Hynek was contacted by a Texas newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times for his comments on the case.

Corpus Christi Caller-Times September 13, 1981 p. 1A

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, founder of the Center for UFO Studies in Evanston, Ill., and the country's premier UFO investigator, termed the Dayton incident a “really crucial case,” because of the “absolutely unequivocal physical effects.”
“Something sure as hell happened: Those women didn’t pull out their hair and blind themselves," said Hynek. "The connection with the event is clear-cut. It's one-to-one. We have other cases, but rarely as clear-cut as this.”

“We are dealing with a real event , but we’re not sure if it’s a government exercise or a UFO sighting," said Hynek, who headed Project Blue Book, a U.S. Air Force study of UFOs from about 1948 to 1969. "There’s a lot of secret stuff going on that most people don’t know about.”
Hynek believes the women should file a lawsuit to compel disclosure.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times September 13, 1981 p. 1A
Texans Tell of Strange Encounter by Pamela Lyon

OMNI Magazine Interview with Dr. J. Allen Hynek

The year before he died, Dr. Hynek was interviewed at length by Pamela Weintraub of OMNI magazine, it appeared in the February 1985 issue. A number of UFO cases were discussed, and in a rather surprising way, the conversation turned to the Cash-Landrum case.

Dr. Hynek. Portrait from OMNI magazine
Omni: ... close encounters of the third kind might be anybody's fantasy.

Hynek: I can't disagree. That's why I'd like to focus most of my new research on close encounters of the second kind, where there are actual physical marks. -Perhaps a foreign consciousness is creating not just illusions but the real ship and the-real creatures as well. If they weren't physical creations, they couldn't leave traces. That's the importance of the close encounter of the second kind. Let us suppose that a very, very advanced civilization has, as a part of its everyday technology, the ability to project a thought form that, like a holographic image, temporarily assumes three-dimensional reality. This is just speculation of the wildest sort, but if the UFO phenomenon is doing anything, it's causing us to expand our imagination, to make us aware that this nice, cozy world we live in is only the world we see around us, not the sum total of our environment. 

Omni: Are there any close encounters of the second kind that you feel would particularly help to reveal this broader reality? 

Hynek: I'd like to get to the bottom of the Cash/Landrum affair. The story there concerns Betty Cash, Vicki Landrum. and Vicki's grandson Colby The three were coming back from a Bingo game when they saw a glowing triangle spewing flames above them in the sky. They stopped the car to watch the thing, and as it moved off, they reportedly saw about twenty-three helicopters escorting it out. After they got home there were all sorts of physiological effects: Their eyes swelled, their hair fell out, they developed blisters, they were nauseated and weak. The event completely altered their lives. 

Omni: What do you think was at the root? 

Hynek: My best guess is that they were exposed to some kind of microwave radiation. 
Space-shuttle engineer John Schuessler, who's investigating the case, is veering toward the idea that the three were exposed to a government device escorted by twenty-three helicopters, He's even helped Betty, Vicki, and Colby to institute a lawsuit against the government. But there's another side of all this: Where would twenty-three helicopters come from? First of all, it was Christmas week, and people at the bases said they would never conduct military exercises at a time like that. 

Omni: Certainly you can't be suggesting the possibility of twenty-three extraterrestrial helicopters? 

Hynek: No, that's preposterous. But perhaps Cash and the Landrums saw a holographic image of the helicopters. I could buy that more than I buy twenty-three solid, physical helicopters from some unknown base, when no baseman will admit seeing so many helicopters of that particular kind. 

Omni: Yet I really think that we're obliged to  consider the fact that some of these sightings are due to government craft. Recently, James E. Oberg traced many reports to secret Soviet satellite launchings. 

Hynek: Today, of course, such technology may account for many reports. From 1947 through 1955, however, almost none of the maneuvers ascribed to UFOs could have been duplicated with human technology. And even today, our technology can duplicate only part of the phenomenon. We still don't have craft that can hover and then take off at fantastic speed. 

Omni: As far as you know. But the government has been implicated in other ways as well. A group known as CAUS [Citizens Against UFO Secrecy] claims that the government has been orchestrating a massive cover-up of UFO information. They've recently invoked the Freedom of Information Act to obtain classified information. Have they found anything, and do you believe there's a government cover-up? 

Hynek: What can be covered up? You can cover up ignorance, embarrassment, sinister political acts. I myself don't see real evidence for a diabolical, Machiavellian cover-up. I do perceive a strong reluctance to share information with the public.

The conversation turns to other UFO topics. See this link for a PDF of the entire article:

Omni Magazine February 1985 interviewed by Pamela Weintraub.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cash-Landrum: John Schuessler's First Presentation, CUFOS, Sept. 1981

John F. Schuessler's First Lecture on the Cash-Landrum UFO Case:
Medical Injuries Resulting from a UFO Encounter

An important case, document, John Schuessler's first lecture on the Cash-Landrum case is now available in a PDF, but first some background information.

Worth Waiting For

John F. Schuessler

Finding the MUFON Journal, June 1981 issue answered a question I'd long wondered about: 
Why did John Schuessler skip the summer MUFON conference and wait to present his Cash-Landrum lecture to another UFO group?

“John F. Schuessler, MUFON Deputy Director for Administration and President of VISIT, will be speaking at the CUFOS UFO Conference on September 25, 26, and 27 in a Chicago area hotel. John will relate the investigation into the serious medical effects incurred in the Cash/Landrum close encounter case of December 29, 1980, on the highway between New Caney and Dayton; Texas. His appearance at the CUFOS Conference is a reciprocating arrangement between MUFON and CUFOS, since Dr. J. Allen Hynek will be the keynote speaker at M.I.T. on July 25 at the MUFON UFO Symposium.”

The CUFOS Symposium Lecture

The presentation serves as as an excellent introduction to the case, it tells the story of the case, and discusses the early months of the investigation. The lecture was accompanied by a slide presentation, images of the witnesses that are still in circulation today. The narrative of the encounter is followed by speculation about the injuries and their source.

"The observable medical effects are many and varied. The pronounced problems are summarized in table 1. At first look, it would seem that no one type of exposure could cause such radical results. However, the Mutual UFO Network radiology consultant reviewed the medical records and the observable effects and concluded: “We have some strong evidence that these patients have suffered damage secondary To ionizing radiation. It is also possible that there was an infrared ultra-violet component as well.” This means that the symptoms listed in table 1 could have been caused by ionizing radiation plus ultraviolet and infrared radiation. 
Other mechanisms mechanisms could explain some of the effects. An acid atmosphere caused by a hot exhaust interacting with a polluted atmosphere could cause a variety of skin conditions; however, the weather on December 29 does not favor the solution. Local inflammatory changes and severe febrile reactions could cause some of the problems, but they too could occur in association with radio-dermatitis secondary to ionizing radiation.  Finally, some of the conditions could because by emotional distress. 
There are no existing tests that will identify the specific type of radiation that was inflicted upon these witnesses. 
The lecture gives information on how slowly secondary witnesses were located. Later it was claimed that there were about a dozen, but by Sept. 1981: 
“Project VISIT investigators... located one credible witness to the helicopter activity near Crosby They also located other people that saw the UFO for as long as one-and-a-half hours before it burned Betty, Vicky, and Colby. In addition a policeman and sheriff’s deputy also vowed they too had seen the helicopters” 
(Note: The Crosby witness later refused to give a statement to the Army investigator. The two law officers seems to be a confused reference to Dayton policeman L.L. Walker whom Schuessler would not meet until May 25, 1982.)

The first mention of Gray Field and 100 helicopters:
"One significant helicopter operation took place at Gray Air Force Base near Killeen, Texas, where more than 100 helicopters came in from the field “for effect.”

It is interesting to see the case in its early form. Some things mentioned are later dropped from case coverage, other things that should have been mentioned are not. 
The lecture makes no mention of:
  • Bill English and APRO, who first reached the witnesses
  • Vickie’s alleged left hand burn 
  • Helicopter emblems or insignias reported by Betty Cash
  • Texas Department of Health investigation of radiation
  • Television filming with witnesses for "That's Incredible!"
  • Hypnosis sessions of Vickie Landrum by Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle
  • Lighter fluid smell reported under hypnosis by Vickie

Also, there is no mention of one of the most dramatic elements of the case, the burned road that was secretly removed and repaved. Other things are glossed over, such as determining the precise location of the sighting. all that is said is:
“Measurements taken during the post-sighting investigation showed their location to be about 130 feet from the strange craft.”

The Schuessler presentation was later printed in The Spectrum of UFO ResearchChicago: J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, 1988, Mimi Hynek, ed., now online at the CUFOS site.

But before that, John Schuessler sold it as an article to UFO Report magazine. The Winter 1981 
UFO Report  is an exact reprint of Schuessler's CUFOS material except for the addition of a closing paragraph promising to update magazine readers of further developments. Their title, however was a bit more lurid than Schuessler's original. Their cover stated:
Close Encounter Terror
Texas Family Suffers Near-Fatal Radiation Burns From 'Dazzling Saucer'

Inside the magazine they used the title: The Texas UFO Trauma

UFO Report, Winter 1981

Whatever you think about the case and its investigation, this is an important UFO historical document, one that all should read.

Link to UFO Report, Winter 1981 article in PDF, 5 pages, with photographs:
Medical Injuries Resulting from a UFO Encounter/The Texas UFO Trauma by John Schuessler

The PDF should be easier to read, but here's a look at the pages:


For collectors, the report was also later reprinted in the 1983 UFO Report Annual:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Professor Michael D. Swords Reports on the Cash-Landrum UFO Investigation

Michael D. Swords, Ph.D, Reporting on the Cash-Landrum UFO Investigation

UFO historian Michael Swords  reported on paranormal conferences in Pursuit magazine (Pursuit: Science is the Pursuit of the Unexplained), and in two of his articles he covered lectures by John F. Schuessler discussing the Cash-Landrum case. Case historians will be interested to see what details were discussed at the time, and what notable details went unmentioned. Further, Dr. Swords offered  his expert analysis and historical context for the case and its investigation.*

Pursuit magazine

Pursuit 84  Second Quarter 1984News From Another World: The Nebraska UFO-Cryptozoology Conference

reported by Michael D. Swords

November 11, 12, 13 of 1983: Ray Boeche, Nebraska State
Director for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), engineered
one of the finest Fortean conventions in· recent years. Big Guns,
J. Allen Hynek (Center for UFO Studies), Walter Andrus
(MUFON), and Roy Mackal (International· Society for Cryptozoology),
headed a sparkling cast of experts who kept the audience
and the press crackling with interest. ABC television
featured the activities nationwide.

The mysteries of living dinosaurs, out-of-place animals, lake·
monsters, spontaneous human combustion, UFO abductions,
crashed saucers, and cattle mutilations paraded before the conferees
in an inspired format: four speakers per day, scheduled
half-hour question and discussion sessions behind each talk, and
one and a half-hour discussion sessions for all speakers at the
end of the day. The interchange· was dynamic and intimate.
Everyone shared in the exchange. Even the experts learned some
things. Thank you, Ray, for an extremely good show.
And, now to business 

John F. Schuessler

(Cash-Landrum portion)
John Schuessler is a key researcher in MUFON and an
employee of McDonnell Douglas Astronautics, working with
NASA on Sky lab and the Space Shuttle. He reported on the
"Cash-Landrum" close encounter incident in Texas, involving
health damage to the percipients. This case hints. very strongly
of governmental secrecy.
Driving on a quiet country highway, two older women and
the young grandson of one of the women were surprised by a
diamond-shaped object with two rows of blue lights laboriously
blasting fire from its underside and struggling in the air.
Flames seem nearly to reach the car from over one hundred feet
away. One of the witnesses felt that Christ's final coming was
at hand. As the device, "big as the watertower,", groaned slowly
across the trees, it was joined by at least 23 helicopters of the
large twin-rotored military kind. The whole ensemble moved
off and the witnesses continued home.

Later, all three experienced a barrage of symptoms classical-,
Iy related to radiation sickness. A MUFON radiology consultant
stated, "we have strong evidence that these patients have
suffered damage secondary to ionizing radiation. It is also possible
that there was an infrared or ultraviolet component as well. "
As health and behaviors changed, both women lost jobs (one
of them even lost ownership ,of businesses) and their lives altered
markedly. Naturally, they would like some compensation if they
were innocently damaged by some military activity. 

Attempts to track, down the cause of the incident have been
completely unsuccessful. All military bases in the area deny any
knowledge and consequently; any responsibility. Some people
in the UFO field  see this lack of evidence for military involvement
as an indication of the likelihood of extraterrestrial involvement,
even hailing this as "the most important UFO case in
years. " Some have gone so far as to suggest that aliens disguise
their craft as helicopters to throw us off. Most of PURSUIT’S
readers, it might be ventured, have come up with a lot less complicated
alternative for this case: no UFOs, a lot of secret military

There are plenty of reasons to guess "U.S. Military Project"
on this one: 
1. there were loads of "U.S. Military" helicopters in the
    story, and there are many of that type of device in several
    bases in the area;
2. on that very night there was a 100 helicopter operation
    elsewhere in Texas, so such an activity would not be
3. the "UFO" was blasting flames from its underside - very
    unusual for a UFO-incident, but rather common for "earth-technology;
4. the witnesses noted the odor of "lighter fluid" in the air;
    perhaps liquid hydrocarbon ("gasoline-like") rocket fuel?;
5. the U.S. Military has ample reason to tell us nothing on
    this case even without extraterrestrials being involved (for
    one, a possible secret vertical takeoff military device test;
    for another, little incentive to take responsibility for irradiating
    citizens with a snafu'd test).

To this reporter, there are two really sad things about this case:
One, that Mrs. Cash and Mrs. Landrum have had so many difficulties
and there seems little chance for justice and compensation.
This is by far the most important outcome of this experience.
Two, this incident points out the danger of' “wanting
it too badly" by some UFO enthusiasts. Since there is such a
conceivable alternative hypothesis (U.S. Military test), we certainly
shouldn't be hailing this as the most important case in
years, nor scrambling for "disguised helicopters" theories to
firm up the extraterrestrial hypothesis. To John Schuessler's
credit, he has stayed quite objective about this case and is 
primarily driven by humanitarian concerns for Mrs., Cash and
Landrum. Others haven't kept as cool, however, and seem not
to recognize the danger of selectively believing the military
whenever it fits their theories (i.e. the military is constantly accused
of covering everything up, but is believed in this case
when it says that the "object" was not its device). This doesn't
mean that there's no chance of UFOs in this "sighting," but
it should indicate that, as of now, there's no evidence of any
concrete kind to support that' speculation.

"diamond-shaped object with two rows of blue lights"

Pursuit 87, Second Quarter 1985
Meet E. T. in St. Louis: The 1985 MUFON UFO Symposium

by Michael D. Swords

Most of the nation's leading "alien watchers" convened at
the end of June, 1985 to see what they had se~n. Some of them
had searched for alien bodies, some for secret documents, some
for landing marks, and some for medical evidence. They all
agreed that UFOs are real and probably extraterrestrial. It was
the national MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) convention in St.

Peter A. Gersten

(Cash-Landrum portion)
The fourth presenter was Peter Gersten, a New York lawyer
and a leading advocate of abolition of UFO secrecy in government
documents. Gersten compared UFO evidence to trial
evidence, stating that evidence for the reality of UFOs exists
"beyond reasonable doubt." He created an analogy between,
the acceptability of witness testimony in criminal cases and in
UFO cases, noting that often one credible witness is "Sufficient
to convict a criminal whereas thousands of UFO witnesses are
available to "convict" the UFOs. This line of reasoning lacked
"conviction" to this author, however, as criminal cases require
"motive" and "opportunity" to be obvious in such open
and shut witness testimony cases, and neither is obvious in the
UFO situation. "Opportunity," especially here, would refer to
whether extraterrestrials and their spacecraft exist in our air space
at all, and without solid determination that premise, the witness
testimony fails ... particularly if there is "motive" and/or "opportunity"
for the witness to fool or be fooled.

Several other points of interest were made:
a) An important Air Intelligence Report on analysis' of flying
objects in the U. S. has been obtained through the
Freedom of Information Act. Its job was to "examine the
pattern and tactics of flying saucers;" its conclusions included
that "the origin of the devices is not ascertainable"
and that "it must be accepted that some type of flying objects
have been observed." The report was reprinted in
the July 1985 issue of the MUFON Journal.;
b) Gersten knows that some government documents have been
"leaked" after they have been falsified by adding bogus
information, which does wonders for the search for truth;
c) he 'reminded us that evidence received via hypnosis and
lie detectors is not admissable in a court of law; and that
evidence by "anonymous" informants is merely hearsay;
d) so far as is known there is no government documentation
on abduction cases, and that crashed-saucer cases have
essentially nothing supporting them admissable in a court
of law . Or to put it another way "Habeus corpus we ain't."

John F. Schuessler of MUFON

John Schuessler, an aerospace engineering manager working
on most of the famous NASA projects became interested in
UFOs naturally as to their technology and their mode of propulsion.
He has been led into an investigation of close encounters
which resulted in physiological and medical effects as an oblique
approach to what the forces involved may be. Mr. Schuessler
is another case of the advanced, disciplined, and analytical
researcher needed in ufology. Very serious and precise in his
approach and never catering to the emotionalism or fantasy some
speakers feel their audiences need, he laid out the best medical
cases from his experience in ufology and commented upon their
significance. In general, the symptoms seem the products of
radiation, often mutating or "ionizing" radiation, occasionally
even nuclear or particulate (so-called "hard" or penetrating)
radiation. Sometimes we are dealing with generalized burns,
sometimes patchy or shaped burns or marks, sometimes more
thorough effects such as hair loss or erratic growth. Many times
the common signs of dizziness, headache, nausea, disorientation,
et al are present. In the now-famous "Cash-Landrum"
case' where two older women and a grandchild were exposed
to a roughly diamond-shaped vehicle belching a powerful exhaust
(and accompanied by U.S. military-type helicopters) more
spectacular and dangerous effects (inc. rapid deterioration and
lesions of the skin) were present. This last case is important to
understanding the UFO phenomenon as the U.S. government
has now stated (since Peter Gersten is suing it for damages to
Mrs. Cash and Mrs. Landrum on grounds that this was a secret project
vehicle gone awry) that although it agrees that a device
of some sort was present in the incident, that it was not a U.S.
technical craft of any sort. So ... have they (the government) spun
a weird sort of intermediate lie, or was it really a non-U.S. production?
And if not "us," who?

_ _ _

*Note: Dr. Swords comments were based on some case details now revealed to be inaccurate, but otherwise his analysis is still relevant.
Should Dr. Swords wish to give an updated opinion, I'd be honored to host it!

Pursuit is now archived online by
Pursuit - SITU journal (Ivan T Sanderson)

A special thanks for Isaac Koi for leading me to this (and a great many other things).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Report on the Cash/Landrum New Caney CEII Case by Allan Hendry

Possibly the Most Important Cash-Landrum Case Report

Allan Hendry had a brief tenure with CUFOS working with Dr. Hynek, and also wrote The UFO Handbook. FUFOR, the Fund For UFO Research contracted Hendry to investigate the source of the  helicopters in the Cash-Landrum case. In John F. Schuessler’s paper at the Sept. 1981 CUFOS lecture, he downplayed Hendry’s investigation, stating that it was a brief inquiry conducted by telephone.  He went on to say that Hendry was unable to find a source for the helicopters, but believed the incident was a military exercise involving helicopters and a Harrier jet testing electronic countermeasures, which Schuessler disagreed with. If there was anything else to Hendry’s report, Schuessler never mentioned it.
Allan Hendry of CUFOS

Hendry played another unacknowledged role in the case, According to Betty Cash’s statement in the Bergstrom interview, Hendry called the victims and advised them to contact their senators, which eventually led to the legal action.

Hendry dropped out of UFO research about the time of this case. Interesting fellow and a great investigator, apparently now largely forgotten.

I recently dumped more files than the average reader can digest, one of the most important ones was Allan Hendry’s April 1981 FUFOR report on the Cash-Landrum case. Hendry’s charter was just the helicopters but in order to conduct a thorough investigation, he interviewed both Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum by telephone. This report is possibly the best document written on the case, objective, free of agenda or bias.

He provides a narrative of the case based on Schuessler’s original VISIT report and eyewitness statements. 

The single most startling item is that he reports:
Flames intermittently “whooshed” down towards the road; later examination showed no marks on the pavement.

This single remark seems to throw all Schuessler’s later claims of physical damage to the sighting location into the waste basket. 

The EM controversy: the Auto Engine

The report also includes a new claim of the UFO killing the car engine.
Hendry asks Betty about the motor stalling, and she replies:
BC: “It just quit on its own...”

Hendry mentions discussing discrepancy with Schuessler who admits it is troubling as his reports states the car stopped when Betty turned the engine off. Schuessler’s response to this major case detail about possible electromagnetic UFO effects was not to mention it. It remains under cover for seventeen years. There is no reference by Schuessler in the case literature until the publication of his book in 1998, where it is mentioned in quotes from Cash and also discussed in the narrative.

The Facts in Black & White

There’s also another matter that Hendry touches on that Schuessler doesn’t cover. In his conversation with Vickie Landrum she mentions having health insurance, but can’t explain why has not used it seek treatment of her (and Colby’s) injuries. 

The Helicopter Pilot

The report goes on to document Hendry’s contact with military bases plausibly in range that could have launched the helicopters reported by the witnesses. In one of the interviews, the base representative volunteers that one of their men was involved in a flight to investigate a 1977 UFO by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. It names, pilot but slightly misspells his last name. Later, due to a misunderstanding, Vickie Landrum came to believe the same man was a pilot in her encounter. Had Schuessler been paying attention, or remembered Hendry’s report, he could have cleared the man’s name, rather than erroneously accusing the pilot and naming him as a participant in a military cover-up. (See Exonerating the Helicopter Pilot for full details.)

Burn After Reading

The Hendry report is one of the most valuable pieces of evidence in the case, an extremely rare early interview with the witnesses before the case became subject to pollution by manipulation and  rumors. It also gives us a glimpse of what kind of information was edited out of the  version of the story presented by chief investigator Schuessler in his promotion of this case as a UFO milestone.

The Hendy Report is marked "Fund use only." This document was not made public until 2013 and published here.  
There’s other great stuff on the case in this report that I’m forgetting. Read it yourself! 

A Preliminary Report on the Cash/Landrum New Caney CEII Case by Allan Hendry for the Fund for UFO Research undated (April 1981.11 pages w/cover) beginning on page 8 of linked PDF:

Allan Hendry illustration from the UFO Handbook, describing investigator pitfalls.