Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts

Friday, February 8, 2019

Philip Klass on the Cash-Landrum UFO case

Philip J. Klass (1919 – 2005) needs no introduction to most buffs, as he was the most prominent debunker of the UFO topic. Klass was an engineer by profession who went on to become the senior avionics editor of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. In the mid-1960s Klass became interested in UFOs from a skeptical point of view, and in 1976 was a founding member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, known today as CSI, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Klass became actively involved in the UFO topic, he attended conferences, was frequently quoted in the media, and wrote seven books on the subject. However he thought ufology was mostly filled with the gullible and frauds, promoters of pseudoscience.

In the early 1980s, the Cash-Landrum story was the biggest UFO case, so naturally it caught the interest of Klass. The American Philosophical Society was the beneficiary of Klass' files and it includes over 200 pages of his correspondence and news clippings and on the case. Klass wrote to investigator John F. Schuessler who considered the inquiries to be accusations, allegations, and harassment, so he seldom responded. However, the documentation shows Klass asked logical questions, no more invasive than if the case had been taken to court, just as Schuessler and the witnesses desired. Klass had a more mutually cordial relationship with other people involved, such as Lt. Col. George C. Sarran, who conducted the investigation for the DAIG and Peter A. Gersten, the "UFO Lawyer" in charge of the legal case for Cash and the Landrums.

Klass briefly discussed the Cash-Landrum case in his 1983 book, UFOs: The Public Deceived. He quoted how the editor of the MUFON Journal who had stated that “As a general principle, the more sensational the content of a UFO report is, the closer critical scrutiny it should receive.” Klass did not think that principle had been applied in this incident, and that John Schuessler’s investigation and MUFON’s reporting of it were derelict in not considering the possibility of it being a hoax:
The distinguishing feature of the Cash-Landrum case was the alleged physical after-effects, which should prompt a UFO investigator to begin by talking to the family physicians of the principals to determine if they had shown any of the symptoms... prior to the alleged incident... Although Schuessler has written several articles on the case over a two-year period, he has never included any details on the health of the two women prior to the alleged incident.
Klass was more direct about his opinion of the case in the 1985 HBO documentary, UFOs: What’s Going On?:

"I believe the story is a hoax. There is absolutely no evidence. The women’s story is supported only by the claim of Betty Cash that she had serious health problems after the alleged incident."

Shortly after the show aired, Christian Lambright interviewed witness Vickie Landrum at her home in Dayton Texas. She offered a rebuttal, "Phil Klass makes me sick."

A Conversation With Philip J. Klass

Klass continued to express his doubts about the case over the years. The following is the Cash-Landrum portion of a 1995 interview with him by Gayle Newsom. The AFU (Archives for the Unexplained) hosts the online collection of Houston Sky, “A Bimonthly Newsletter for Houston-Area MUFON Members and Others.” The entire interview can be found in Houston Sky No. 6, Aug./Sept. 1995.

Houston Sky No. 6, Aug./Sept. 1995

A Conversation With Philip J. Klass
Mutual UFO Network 26th Annual Symposium, Seattle, July 7 and 8, 1995 
by Gayle Nesom

GN: What do you think happened in the Cash-Landrum incident?

PK: Well, shortly after it happened, I wrote John Schuessler to ask when we could see a statement of the ladies’ doctors about their medical conditions before the incident. His response was, "Read my next MUFON paper." When the next MUFON paper came out, there was nothing about their previous health conditions. So I wrote him again, and then he replied that they considered that very personal and an invasion of privacy. I said, wait a minute... If their health was excellent before and they are willing to discuss their ill health now... If it had been the reverse and you said, well, here is a report on their health condition before, which shows they were in perfect health for their age, but it's an invasion of privacy to ask about their health now - that I could understand. So until such time as John Schuessler and the people involved agree to release the medical records of their condition before the incident, I just can't waste time with it. That's my position.

GN: But that's skirting the issue.

PK: Supposing I was to charge that after this interview with you I came down with AIDS, or excess cholesterol, and sued you. Would your lawyer ask to see my medical records before our meeting to find out if I had high cholesterol or AIDS previously? Wouldn't that be rational?

GN: I still think you are skirting the issue because you can discuss aspects of the case without knowing all about these women. And they weren't the only ones who saw the object. There were other reports...

PK: I even saw the UFO from Washington, D.C. I was out that night, and I could see it way down in Texas.

GN: Okay, next question.

PK: No, that is a fundamental. If their health condition was excellent, then there is absolutely no reason I can see not to release the records. But, number two: 15 years have gone by. If these ladies were irradiated, I would presume they died of leukemia long ago. Are they still alive?

GN: They are, but neither one has worked since. And Betty Cash has had breast and skin cancer.

PK: Betty Cash had complained about hair falling out. If she had taken chemotherapy before the incident, that could well be explained.

GN: What you're saying is that she may have had chemotherapy a month or week before the incident - or six months before? One of the problems I have is that you try to undermine witnesses without addressing other aspects of the case.

PK: Let me ask a personal question. Have you ever told a lie in your entire life?

GN: Sure.

PK: Do you know anyone who could honestly say they have never told a lie?

GN: Probably not.

PK: So how can you explain that Richard Nixon did not know anything about the Watergate break-in and the Republican involvement until a year afterward? At least, that's what he first said. Now, if you had asked me to explain how the President could not know - well it turned out he was not telling the truth. So, anyone who believes that human beings never­ - or almost never - tell falsehoods... But let's come back to the 22 helicopters. Under those circumstances, if the story of the incident happened as they described, I would very much doubt that anyone would take the time to count the number of the copters. Number two and I am a bit foggy on details - it has been 15 years but in one of their early appearances, Betty Cash or Vickie Landrum reported seeing Jesus Christ.*

GN: Betty Cash was a fundamentalist Christian. That was her only explanation of what it could have been.

PK: Was that what she said she saw, or not?

GN: That's the way she perceived it, and that's what she reported.

PK: So maybe Jesus was flying a flying saucer. Are you going to start saying, "Well, we've got to interpret, we've got to change what they said? so, if these people were irradiated from 10,000 yards, then the crew of the helicopters must have died of radiation long ago. They were much closer. And if 22 helicopters, each with a pilot and co-pilot - to say nothing of other crew - if four people from a helicopter squadron all died, surely we'd have heard of it.

I don't dismiss the possibility that there is intelligent life elsewhere and that they may have nuclear bombs. But if this is true and the government knows, then as of 1980, I would have expected all-out government effort to develop defenses against UFOs, especially in the form of some high-energy lasers. But I know from having followed such programs that there was no such effort. I can only assume that if this was an extraterrestrial nuclear weapon and if the government knew, then we have many, many derelict officials of that government and every government.

(End of excerpt.)
. . .

Vickie & Colby Landrum in a re-enactment, The UFO Experience, 1983 
*Phil Klass was wrong about Betty or Vickie "seeing Jesus Christ." The witnesses claimed they thought they were experiencing the Biblical Judgment Day. What Vickie Landrum actually reported was that when comforting young Colby, who was frightened by the UFO, "I got back in the car and took him in my arms. I told him it might be Jesus coming after us. If he saw a Man not to be afraid, He would be coming to carry us to a better place."

There were no claims of an actual Jesus sighting, and at no time did the ladies characterize the object as a "flying saucer." According to their story, once they saw the helicopters pursuing the UFO, they rationalized the object as a military aircraft project. Aside from that, the rest of Klass' concerns and criticism of the Cash-Landrum case remains valid.

There was certainly a lack of transparency in the Cash-Landrum case, and part of that was explained by Schuessler as the need to guard evidence that would be presented in the legal trial. The case was dismissed in 1986 due to lack of evidence and no trial was ever held. Even after that the case information was withheld from independent review, which has done much to preserve the mystery and controversy surrounding the case.
. . .

For more information on the incident, the investigation and its documentation, visit our page:

Monday, August 18, 2014

An Expert Opinion on the Cash-Landrum Copters

Back in March 2014, I gave a lecture via Skype to the MUFON group in Huntsville, Alabama on the Cash-Landrum UFO case. It was a great stroke of luck, when one of the attendees contacted me afterwards. Russ Hunter has a serious interest in UFOs, is a MUFON Field Investigator, and his military background is particularly relevant: 

“I flew CH and MH-47 aircraft for 16 of my 21 year career in the U.S. Army, with the last nearly 8 being flown as a Fully Mission Qualified (FMQ) Flight Lead, Senior Instructor pilot, in Task Force 160 at Ft Campbell KY. I wish to offer my services as a subject matter expert on the aircraft and the tactics, techniques, and procedures employed by the U.S. Army in general and the 160th and Special Operations in particular, as the implication of their possible/probable participation is unavoidable.”
Russ Hunter

 The CH-47 was they primary type helicopter identified in the Cash-Landrum incident, and the unit later known as Task Force 160 is the most compelling candidate to have flown them. Russ and I exchanged several emails and had several lengthy phone conversations where he explained and helped me with the practical details of how the helicopters operated. Here’s some highlights from my notes on our conversations: 

Russ was in the Night Stalkers from 1984-1991, and served with “plank holders,” original members of the unit that involved in Honey Badger. He confirmed historical details that I’d collected in BBL articles on Honey Badger and TF 158 were accurate, but added depth and insight on their formation and method of operation.

Honey Badger in 1980 was a proof of concept, following the Desert One fiasco, they assembled a force that could ready to work as needed. Once the unit was formed it never dissolved. It transformed into Night Stalkers and is active today. Task Force 160 was the aviation arm of special operations. A lot of the work they did was general counterterrorism. HQ is located at Ft. Campbell, KY, and they chiefly  flew Chinooks, Blackhawks and Little Birds. “Customers” were tiered. Different military branches (I took this to mean they were muscle, called in as needed.)

Helicopters: Operational Details
He discussed different CH-47 models, D, and MH-47-D, but I believe at least some of these variants came after the time period. CH-47s were modified in Lexington, KY. Helicopters have a limited combat radius. (Roughly 100 miles).  Rotor to rotor, the CH-47 is 101 feet long, a big fuel-hungry beast. CH-47s are very expensive to operate, burn a lot of fuel, about 200 gallons per hour.

The CH-47’s role was largely to ferry fuel, setting up FARPs (forward arming and refueling point) for other helicopters such as Blackhawks Hueys and Little Birds. The goal was to get them in and out as quickly as possible. He mentioned it took 25 minutes to pump. FARP extends range, but also involves more equipment, manpower and pre-planning. At the time of the events, the CH-47 was a workhorse, and a chief use was to deliver fuel. It was a bit later that they refined and developed its offensive capabilities.

What can 23 helicopters do that a few can’t? He was puzzled by the great number reported, and says it would have involved their entire inventory. CH-47s are fast and powerful. OH-6 Little Birds rarely fly together with them, and they’d be an unlikely match for the 2nd type reported. Doubts that Little Birds were involved, their primary role was to bring in snipers. Others were armed, but again seems unlikely for this role here.

Also, the number of helicopters reported was difficult for him to accept. An operation of just 12 Chinooks at one time and place is a big operation. He also has concerns about how low and slow they were flying. Each aspect creates problems with fuel consumption and other things. At 25 ft, flight is assisted by lift from rotor wash (hovering in-ground-effect HIGE). 85 ft high hovering requires much more power. Typical speed would be 100 MPH. Flying slower as described in the case is more difficult.

I still am having trouble processing the relative speed of the helo's and UFO. If they were going slower than about 25kts they were below ETL (effective translational lift) and would be, for all intents and purposes ‘hovering’. That requires much more power than forward flight and had the added effect of the very intense rotor wash that I spoke of.”

Detection: Radar and Ground Witnesses

Russ thinks it is impossible that the helicopters could have avoided being detected on airport radar, or unseen by air traffic into it. Also, standard procedure is to clear flights with the local airport. It is possible, but unlikely they were low enough at all times to avoid radar detection.

I asked him about noise and detection by locals besides the main witnesses. He felt much more should have been seen and heard. A CH-47 makes a low, deep and loud  “buppata-buppata” sound, copters with tail rotors make more of a high-pitched buzz/whine.

Noise from helicopters, especially that many would rattle windows. The sound of even a few helicopters should have been widely noticed throughout the area. He’s puzzled by why the concentration of helicopter witnesses are all east of Lake Houston. Strange, because the UFO and copters were last seen heading west.

The sound carries and causes vibrations that you can feel in your body, particularly the air in your lungs. Also, a CH-47 flying at 80 or 90 feet would produce a tremendous amount of rotor wash and blow around anything on the ground, leaves etc. 

If the event happened as reported, he feels this must have been orchestrated, as the time involved to travel and catch the UFO from any base is prohibitive. Also,it seems unlikely the copters were there by chance, leaving a planned mission as the most plausible scenario. With the number involved, a support or recovery mission makes the most sense. The helicopters would have come in for a specific purpose. Mission protocol is typically is to get in and out. They don’t hold ground.

Low Visibility- Russ was puzzled how the witnesses could see the copters and count them. Helicopters are intended to be difficult to see at night. They are painted a very dull, flat color, virtually black. 

CARC paint (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating), dull color, “US Army” logo painted in slightly different shade. (1980 copters may not have used CARC, but otherwise the description of dark, non-reflective paint is accurate.) If the scenario in case is true, they probably would not have been flying with their position lights on. He feels it is unlikely they could have been clearly visible. 

Searchlights- Chinooks are equipped with two rotating lights near the nose, one white and the other an invisible pink light for NVG. He feels that a search like L.L. Walker describes is unlikely, as they would be using the pink invisible lights, and flying in groups of three. Formation flying requires primary attention to be focused on the lead aircraft.

Military Secrecy & UFOs

I commented that the large number of men involved makes it difficult to understand that why pilots, command or support crew have not talked about the case. He agrees that is troubling, but does feel that military discipline and loyalty is generally effective in preventing leaks. He cited Aldrich Ames as an example of how leaks might be punished.

The 160th was initially classified, centering on antiterrorist missions.  In 1983, they had several bad crashes related to the testing of the night vision equipment. Some of these events became fuel for accusation and speculation.
In the early 1980s, there was a great deal of speculation about the Night Stalkers and their activity, and accusations of conspiratorial activities like them faking crashes in order to provide cover stories for man killed in secret missions. 

When the 160th loosened up sharing details on their operations, the press lost interest once they were no longer secret. They were able to get back to business without the distractions.

Secret Military Facilities?

Secrecy: Hidden Assets?

Every CH-47 is accounted for (They are precious and in demand.) Equipment secrets are rare, most secrets are about mission profiles. He noted that he held a top secret clearance while part of the unit, but that many things are compartmentalized and shared with only those with a need to know. similar techniques and methods are used by civilian contractors working of the military., they only see a small piece of the puzzle unless it is necessary.

I asked Russ if we had secret underground bases full of armament like “the Pit” seen in G.I. Joe, but he said no. It was far more likely that equipment would be gathered from conventional bases and used on secret missions as needed. The military may have additional assets unknown to the public, but if so, it would have to be small in number.  
He thinks it is unlikely that there is unknown hardware in operation. Its more likely that if they wanted to camouflage their presence it might be done by flying commercial civilian vehicles. 

UFO Secrets

Russ said he’d never heard any UFO tales among the many war stories told of the unit.  He does believe that the US is keeping some UFO secrets, and that there was a UFO crash at Roswell and possibly two other ones in the modern era. He seems to think UFOs are tied to the history of the planet, and that it might relate to our pre-history, ancient civilizations, things long forgotten. As previously mentioned, Russ says that military discipline and loyalty is generally effective in preventing leaks, but there are other methods used as well. Government tactics to prevent UFOs from being exposed and taken seriously, are ridicule, intimidation and threats. 

I asked him if he had thoughts on what the UFO could have been if it were a military craft. He didn’t have a particular match in mind but speculated that it could be something like an atomic rocket engine or unmanned vehicle test. He knew of no specific candidate projects or vehicles to explain the UFO.



I’d asked Russ to check with his contacts and see if anyone remembered flying in right time and place to be seen by the Cash-Landrum witnesses.
My contact from Honey Badger does not believe that there were any incidents like this one that they were involved in. The other thing is that the Honey Badger training was conducted out of Norton AFB in AZ Which is a far piece from that town in TX.”

He doubts the military was involved in the Cash-Landrum case. Russ’ conclusion is that while the CH-47 matches the equipment used by his unit, the methods, techniques, behavior and reported details of the helicopters make it an unlikely match for an operation by Task Force 158. The number of helicopters involved is incredible. He is also at a loss to offer another plausible candidate. 

The one scenario he feels could explain their involvement is an incredible coincidence, them flying in the area as the UFO happened to be in distress.
It is conceivable that the helo's were conducting training on a completely unrelated purpose and that the route just happened to coincide with the appearance of the object.”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Area 51, the CIA and Cold War UFOs: TD Barnes

In the 2010 Mirage Men book, Mark Pilkington discusses how Dr. Leon Davidson thought some UFO radar appearances were man-made, created for covert counterintelligence purposes. Pilkington discussed a CIA program that created radar "ghosts," Project Palladium, and how it might have been used to also spoof UFOs.
CIA Saucers?
TD Barnes, president of Roadrunners Internationale, was kind enough to answer some of my questions about his work at Area 51 and the purpose and capabilities of the CIA radar program known as Project Palladium.

TD Barnes
Q: What can you tell me about Project Palladium?

A: Gene Poteat was a fast-rising star in CIA who headed up the project. As you will see, the CIA Project OXCART at Area 51 was the purpose and need of Project Palladium to determine if we would be able to safely overfly Russia with the Mach 3 A-12 Blackbird intended to replace the U-2. We were very hot in the arms race at the time and didn't have a clue what the Russians were up to. 
Eugene Poteat and TD Barnes
Q: Was Palladium or another radar spoofing system used on China in the early 60s? I'm wondering if the "ghost planes" it could generate explain the story told in Above Top Secret by Timothy Good:
"Miles Copeland, former CIA organizer and intelligence officer, related an interesting story to me involving the Agency's attempt on one occasion to use fictional UFO sightings to spread disinformation. The purpose, in this case, was to 'dazzle' and intoxicate' the Chinese, who had themselves on several occasions fooled the CIA into sending teams to a desert in Sinkiang Province, West China, to search for nonexistent underground 'atomic energies.' The exercise took place in the early 1960s, Copeland told me, and involved launching fictional UFO sighting reports from many different areas. The project was headed by Desmond Fitzgerald of the Special Affairs Staff (who made a name for himself by inventing harebrained schemes for assassinating Fidel Castro). The UFO exercise was 'just to keep the Chinese off-balance and make them think we were doing things we weren't,' Copeland said."
A: I'm not sure the project name of the spoofing action in China. We were doing a lot U-2 overflights of China and losing a lot of planes in the process. I recall our training a group of Taiwan Chinese at Groom Lake in 1969 in a C-130E to drop motion and light sensors in the desert of northwest China to gather intelligence on the Chinese nuclear weapons development program. These were palletized sensors that looked like ordinary rocks that they dropped out of the back of a C-130 over Locknor and Zhang Sinzu area. 

"TALL KING" parabolic shaped radar antenna
Though I have no first-hand knowledge of UFO disinformation, I don't doubt for a minute that we did it. Our U-2 and Blackbird flights were UFO sightings that we really didn't want to occur, especially the CIA A-12 whose existence we wanted to keep secret. In the A-12 alone, we flew 2850 flights out of Area 51 and many of them were responsible for UFO sightings. The Air Force Bluebook investigators having to make up stories to cover for us caused a lot of the skepticism that exists today. Psy-Ops by all parties were a major component of the Cold War, but in our case we preferred to be undetected.  
A-12, CIA plane built by Lockheed.
Thanks to Mr. Barnes for answering my questions. For more information on him and his work, check out

For more information on Project Palladium, see Gene Poteat's article, 
Stealth, Countermeasures and ELINT 1960-1975 pdf

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.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

More Details from UFO Witness Colby Landrum

"I can still see it very vividly in my mind."

Colby Landrum revisiting the road.

Martin Willis really scored when he managed to convince Colby Landrum to agree to be interviewed on Podcast UFO. Martin had already scheduled a show devoted to the Cash-Landrum case with Chris Lambright and me, but having Colby talk entirely changed the focus. Instead of a review of the case and analysis of recent findings, things shifted to strictly presenting eyewitness testimony. Colby was asked to recount events as he remembered them, leaving out what he may have heard later. He did a very good job of that and was frank about things he just didn’t remember. He was candid about its emotional impact on him and the pain and anger that he feels in association with the event. While he has no evidence, Colby feels that it was an object under military control and the U.S. government has ducked taking responsibility for the accident.

Colby describes the UFO

During the show, interviewers made a special effort to press him for further details about the appearance and flight characteristics of the UFO. The details were scant:

  • Size: approximately 50 feet wide, 100 feet tall, roughly the size of the tank of a water tower
  • Shape: diamond-shaped
  • Color: orange and yellow (fiery)
  • Texture: Not described, object radiated a glow
  • Effects produced: flames coming out of the bottom, radiated heat
  • Flight performance: floated
  • Speed: not described, slow enough to be followed by helicopters

Colby said the helicopters, 23 double-rotor Chinooks, were always present, and that they maintained a distance of about 100 yards, surrounding (but not above) the object. He had the impression that they were escorting it, or perhaps that they were there to deal with the threat of the object (liberally paraphrasing).

Looking at Mugshots

After the show, I asked Colby to look at a collection of images based on the UFO, “mugshots,” to find the closest match.

"Those look close, I can still see it very vividly in my mind." He selected this one and commented:
I would say the MUFON Symposium (drawing) would be the best one if color was added and (the object was) moved above the trees about 100 feet in contrast. Chinook helicopters added in, and it would look almost what I remember.”

Kathy Schuessler sketch from 1981.

I then asked him to look at Chris Lambright’s illustration based on his 1985 interviews with Vickie Landrum and Betty Cash.

Colby said:
That actually sent chills. If he could add in some helicopters, it would be perfect, but that's good.”
Chris Lambright illustration based on his interviews with Vickie and Betty.

A better understanding of this object will aid in its identification if it was a military vehicle or weapons test of some kind. Colby's contribution is an excellent step forward in establishing the best possible description of the UFO.

The Family Business

Colby has expressed the desire to pick up where his grandmother Vickie left off, to try to get answers about what they encountered. I’m talking with him about ways to do this, emphasizing that any investigation will carry more weight with his involvement. But first, it is crucial to review the case and verify the existing details. To that end, Colby has some documents and photographs that may contain information not included in the public record, and examining them may provide some leads, or possibly new evidence. 

I’m extremely grateful to Martin for giving Colby the push he needed to start working on a solution. Colby told me afterwards, "I hope we can get this rolling. I have a good feeling about this." 

Anything learned about this mystery will serve as a valuable tool which can be applied to other UFO cases, particularly those involving military operations. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cash-Landrum Witness, Colby Landrum: 2013 Interview

A Rare Interview with Colby Landrum, December 4, 2013

Colby Landrum, from 1982 and 2008
Martin Willis has been hosting a UFO interview program, Podcast UFO, and he's got a refreshing approach to things. Basically, he's a skeptic that had his mind opened when he experienced a UFO sighting of his own. In a relatively short time, Martin has featured interviews with many of the top names in the field, including reclusive witnesses to famous cases such as Calvin Parker of the 1973 Pascagoula Abduction Incident.

On December 4th, Martin featured a live interview with Cash-Landrum witness, Colby Landrum. Silent since the mid-80s, Landrum has only broken his silence on the case for one television program. This live interview provided much more intimate access and allowed listeners to to hear Colby Landrum tell the story as he remembers it, followed by questions from researchers familiar with the case.

In 1985, Chris Lambright managed a rare feat by an independent UFO researcher, he was able to interview Vickie Landrum in person, and Betty Cash by telephone. The Podcast UFO program allow him the long-delayed completion to his goal to interview all three case witnesses. Also joining the  show, was yours truly, Curt Collins.

Colby Landrum Interview
Wednesday, December 4th 2013 at 8PM Eastern (Streamed Live)
Art Bell’s Dark Matter Radio Network 
Archived as a podcast starting Friday, Dec. 7 at 

YouTube version

The Podcast UFO Press Release on the interview:

Podcast UFO Celebrates Joining Art Bell's Network with Special Guest
Podcast UFO, new to Art Bell’s Dark Matters online network, will present a rare interview with Cash-Landrum UFO Incident witness Colby Landrum.

Exciting changes are coming to Podcast UFO, a favorite interview show for everyone interested in the field of UFOlogy. First of all, host Martin Willis is thrilled to announce that the show will premiere on Art Bell’s Dark Matter Radio Network on Wednesday, December 4th 2013 at 8PM Eastern. The show will still be available as a podcast via iTunes and Stitcher every Friday, but very soon the Wednesday shows will be live with listener call in and “wormhole messaging” capabilities. Podcast versions of the show will also be available on each Friday. The website will also continue to host the show’s blogs and forums. Host Martin Willis said “It is such an honor to be associated with broadcasting legend Art Bell. We are proud and pleased to be one of the first shows selected to be part of his Dark Matters Radio Network.”

The premiere episode is a pre-taped interview on Crop Circle Science with Nancy Talbott. The following week will feature an extremely rare interview with Cash-Landrum UFO Incident witness Colby Landrum. Researchers Chris Lambright and Curtis Collins will be joining Martin for this extraordinary episode. It very well may be the only opportunity listeners have to hear Colby Landrum speak about the famous 1980 Texas UFO encounter which left the participants with strange symptoms consistent with radiation exposure.

In another exciting development for Podcast UFO, esteemed Illinois based UFO researcher Sam Maranto will be joining the live broadcasts. He will bring his expert analysis and wide ranging knowledge of the topic to Podcast UFO. Maranto is best known for his investigations of the 2004 Tinley Park UFO sightings near Chicago, Illinois.
About Podcast UFO:
Podcast UFO is a weekly audio podcast that brings listeners news and interviews related to unidentified flying saucers and the search for alien intelligence. Each show features in-depth conversation with today’s most important and interesting UFO researchers, skeptics and experiencers. Produced and hosted by veteran podcaster Martin Willis and co-hosted by MUFON investigator Sam Maranto, the show can be streamed through the Dark Matters Radio Network at: where new episodes appear each Wednesday at 8PM Eastern (Thursday at 1AM UTC/GMT). Podcasts versions of the show can still be subscribed to via iTunes & Stitcher for your smart phone.. Podcast UFO can be contacted at
The Podcast UFO official website is

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From their own lips: Betty, Colby & Vickie tell their story

Below is a documentary-style narrative of the experiences of Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum, Colby Landrum told in their own words, primarily based on the transcript of their interview at Bergstrom Air Force Base on August 17, 1981. 

CAUTION: The words below are 99.5% those of the witnesses, but edited and reordered for into a chronological narrative. Some comments are derived from other contemporary documented statements.

Words in parentheses are either added from a question asked to turn a fragmentary answer into a complete sentence, or in some cases, to help define a reference. The language has been edited for readability, but care was taken to preserve the context and intent by the speaker. It is intended to be used as an informational aid, not a substitute for the original case documents.

WARNING: For historical accuracy, read the full Bergstrom interview transcript archived at CUFON:
CUFON: Bergstrom Air Force Base C-L Interview Part 1
CUFON: Bergstrom Air Force Base C-L Interview Part 2

DISCLAIMER: You should weigh original evidence and testimony whenever possible instead of relying on pre-digested, packaged products, even this one.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Thanks to Betty Cash, Dale Goudie, Jim Klotz, Chris Lambright and George Sarran for making the Bergstrom AFB interview available to the public.

Betty, Vickie and Colby tell their story


Betty: My name is Betty Cash, 52 years old from Dayton, Texas, now living in Fairfield, Alabama. Prior to the incident, I was feeling fine, and I was not sick until this happened. I had heart surgery in Birmingham Alabama in 1976. Nothing (else) other than just a hysterectomy when I was 29. I'm five-five and a half feet tall,  and I weigh 112 pounds now, because I have lost some weight. At the time of the incident, I weighed 118.

Vickie: My name is Vickie Landrum, and I'm live in Dayton, Texas, and am 57 years old. (Before the incident I was healthy,) about 22 years ago, I had hysterectomy. Other than that, I have never had nothing really wrong with me till this. I'm five feet exactly and I weigh about 138 pounds. I weighed 162 pounds, I was too heavy, so I guess my weight loss has done me a little good. I had a son that was a diabetic, my mother was a diabetic, but there's never been cancer in our family. This is my grandson, who I have legal custody of, Colby Lee Landrum, he’s seven years old.

Colby: I’m going to be eight in January.

Betty: I had a restaurant, well James did, I didn't, and I got a divorce. I had filed for it in January, or February, and I had gotten it in, July or August of 1980.  It was a restaurant and a grocery store. Couldn't make no money. Closed it up. I wasn't (working) that’s the reason we was just out tooling around.

Vickie: I was working after work, at a little place she had out on the (road into Dayton) and we were moving, in the process of moving to a bigger place, and we were just out riding around, you know like friends do, and we run into this thing.

Betty: It was on Farm Market Road 1485 between New Caney and Huffman approximately between nine and nine-thirty at night on December the 29th. I was driving, the three of us were in my 1980 Cutlass Oldsmobile. We hadn't thought about it being a Monday night because we'd had so many holidays, and we had gone to Cleveland that night to play Bingo. We got to Cleveland there was no bingo game. We figured out, well it was through the holidays they had canceled it. So we thought well, we'd go on to New Caney, 'cause they had Bingo over there also. We got to New Caney and there was still no bingo, not realizing that it was on a Monday night instead of a Tuesday, and we stopped at the truck stop restaurant there on 59 and 1485, must have been about eight, eight-thirty.

After we got through eating, we got in the car and started home, and we drove approximately twelve miles, when we spotted this object, and we kept watching it, we couldn't figure out what it was, not ever dreaming that we were going to run dead into it. But all of a sudden, when we got out on this country road, it just set down, almost level with the treetops. They measured, and I think it was about 60 to 80 feet (high) and we had stopped about 130 to 133 feet from the object.

I guess maybe I would have tried to have gone on under it, that's how scared I was. But Vickie screamed for me to stop, and right where she put her hands, her fingerprints are still on my dash, it melted my dash in the car with her fingerprints imbedded. I guess that the dashboard melted, her fingerprints right where she pressed on my dash, when I threw on my brakes to save, to keep from going under it, they're imbedded in my dash.

Well, it had lit up the entire sky. Well it was seen as far as fifty miles away from where we were. But tell you the truth, we thought the end of the world was coming. I mean we'd,  I'd never in my life gone through such a situation. But I knew that there was no way we could go under it the way the fire was shooting out the bottom of it.

But, on that country road, the lights were so bright, and the heat was so intense, I got out of the car. I don't know what my purpose was unless it was just normal instinct to think well, maybe I'd be safer outside than I would be inside. 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.

We could not get up close enough to detect what the figure was. Or I couldn’t at least, the lights were too bright in my eyesight. (Colby said) it was a diamond shape. The only thing that I can believe that I can establish, maybe it was as large, if not larger than a water tower. It was over the road, it was- they have real huge tall pine trees in that area and it was hanging down over the pine trees. (There were no markings on the object) that I could see, the light was so bright. (There was a) shrill beeping sound the object was making. it was just like it was deafening. That's how shrill it was.

C. Lambright, based on witness testimony
Betty Cash's sketch of UFO
Vickie: The object was about the size of, I'd say a big water tower. Not at the top, you know, but I mean it come kinda down this a way, but it was long (vertical), it wasn't short, it was long. There was so  much light, the flame came down,  just like, just like a rocket, just like you'd shoot off a rocket or something.

Colby: I don't know what it was, but all I know is it was some kind of object, kinda yellowish-red. It stayed there for about 15 to 20 minutes.  I just wondered what it was, sitting there wondering what it was.

Betty: I walked toward the front of the car, and the light was so bright, and the heat was so intense, I didn't know whether to run, to get back in the car, or what, and I stood there for few minutes. Not too long, because it was so hot and the light was so bright. And then I started to get back in the car, and when I did, I had to use the bottom of my leather jacket. I touched the door handle, and the door handle was so hot I couldn't stand it with my bare hand, so I got the pocket of my leather jacket to open the car door and get back in. At this time fire would shoot out of it and then it would let up, when it would let up, it made- I don't know what kind of sound to tell you it was making, similar to air brakes or a whooshing sound.

Vickie: Colby Lee was screaming and crying and everything so, and I thought the world was coming to an end, and I believed that sooner or later we'd gonna have to meet somebody. I was telling him, look right in it. The object was was kinda like a flat... aluminum, I guess, you know, the inside of it looked dark, the object did, and I was telling him to look right inside if he saw a big man it'd be Jesus. And we set there and I kept talking to him to watch for that man to come down inside. And I looked at it from the time Betty got out of the car until she got back in, I got out for just a few minutes and burned my arm on top of the car, and this one (left hand) has always been a lot worse than this one. I was holding Colby Lee in and had my arm up on the car, you know, like you kinda hold somebody in the door, and I guess I looked at it too long. Because I was trying to keep him quiet and show him something that would be more pleasant that what he was seeing.

Betty: I was looking for a way out, and when the thing began to lift up, well we were all horrified. I finally got the car started and it was so hot I had to turn on the air conditioning in order for us to get cool. And by that time we were all burning up. It was just well it's just something really you've got to experience to really describe.

Vickie: There's something that Betty didn't tell when she was talking about the fire. When it was hanging up over the trees, when the fire would come down, it would lift up, and when the fire would let up, kinda go away, that's when it would come back down. Finally, when a big gust of fire came down and the sound was so shrill, that's when it lifted to where it would get up and go away.


Betty: There was helicopters completely around the object, and its the type of helicopters that I've never been used to seeing. They were the ones that had two deals, two rotors on them, and they were quite a few. We drove on up the road and pulled over and stopped, and I counted twenty three. They had round (markings saying,) "United States Air Force". Vickie says she counted 26. Who knows? We were all so sick and burning and hot and scared till- that I don't say that we didn't vary.

Vickie:  I don't say the helicopters were from the Air Force.. I didn't see no sign, no name on them or nothing, I was too busy with the Colby, and when we stopped looking at them and everything, he was showing me, they had the twin rotaries on them. The only thing I can tell you is that, to me they, they looked just like this (photo of Army CH-47), and I couldn't see nothing on them. I might have counted more or less, but I was saying: 1, 2, 3, because they were coming, I mean, even when we got down there to the bank (back home in Dayton) we could look back and there were some that were going like they were going toward it. I mean some of them wasn't the double rotary type, some of them was the other type, they weren't quite as big, but what caught our eyes was the ones that had the double rotaries up there.

Betty: They’re weird looking.
Vickie: Well, they really were!
Betty: (The helicopters stayed with the object and) in fact, would you believe the first thing that entered my mind was about the pilots that were in the helicopters, because of the heat that we were feeling there. I was scared for them, to tell you the truth.

Vickie: I was too scared... put it that way, cause I ain't going to say I wasn't scared, cause  I was scared, I guess I'm a coward, but I was (too scared to notice many details).  I wish they would have asked me (about the object’s flame details) when I was under hypnosis. The reason I was hypnotized, because, I mean,  I knew I wasn't lying, and I did it because I wanted these other people to know I wasn't lying.

Betty: (As it left,) they drifted more to the west over toward Crosby and Intercontinental Airport was the way they were-  it was headed and the helicopters were on both sides of it and looked like they were trying their best to get around the top of it. It was unreal. In fact, even driving down 1960, when we stopped at the stop sign to turn onto highway 1960, we drove to the First National Bank in Dayton which, at the time, was under construction, and we could still see helicopters coming. Now whether they were going to help the other crews or what, I didn't take time to find out. I'd say (it lasted) about 15 to 16, 17 minutes, it seemed like hours to me, but it couldn't have been that long because when I got home it was ten minutes till ten.


(When I got home) I didn't report it to any of 'em, I was too sick, by the time I got home, I had blisters all over my head, my face, my back, my neck, I was burning from the inside out. I was completely blistered, in fact I have a scar over my eye where one of the blisters was.. Every time they would come up, they would break open and just run like water... just sticky water, there was no pus or anything, you know. I stayed in the hospital for a month, maybe a little bit longer at Parkway Hospital in Houston. I laid in that hospital and suffered that thirteen days before I would even level with my doctor. 

Vickie: I told Colby not to tell nobody...

Betty: Because I didn't want anybody to think I was crazy 'cause I had never believed in things like this. But it definitely didn't have little green men with pointed ears.

I had- still have diarrhea, I still have upset stomach, I still feel weak, I'm tired, I don't have any energy like I used to have, I have severe headaches- and I have- I'll bet I could count on my hand how many headaches I'd ever had in my lifetime, until this happened. But, it's unreal how my head hurts. My right ear is bothering me right now. Its the beeping sound, the shrill beeping sound the object was making. It was just like it was deafening. That's how shrill it was.

The only thing I know was that I was sick within 30 minutes after the time it happened, and burning up.  It was just like I had been blistered (sunburned) all over, like I had been laying on a beach, and it happened within 30 minutes after this incident. I was feeling fine before, then all this took place. The next morning I was so sick I couldn't even get out of bed to get myself a glass of water. I was craving water, dying of thirst, or I thought I was. I felt like I was so dehydrated.  
My lips were swollen, my ears were swollen about three times, in fact my entire body. My family didn't recognize me. When they came to the hospital, they were told what room I was in. Had they not known for sure that it was me, they wouldn't have known me.

(Dr. Shenoy and the others at Parkway Hospital) ran every test possible on me, and the said they could find NO problems wrong with my body anywhere, to cause me to be in that condition. 

After the incident, I'd get up to go to the bathroom, and I'd get so sick that I'd have to lay down on the bathroom floor until I got able to get back to bed.) I still have headaches, I still have upset stomach, I still can't take a hot bath, if I do, I look like a burn victim all over again. I can't stand the heat. I can't take the sunlight. I mean, it's just to the point where I have to stay in the house until it gets cool in the afternoon after the sun goes down, or either I am in the bed sick the next day. (I’d lost most of my hair after the incident, and)  I just got to pull my wig off about a month ago (July). I'm not retired, I'm just not able to go back to work. I would imagine that my medical bill has been around ten thousand dollars, or better.

Vickie: It seems like it's only my eyes and my arms affected. My eyes feel just like they've got sand in them, and I can get out in the sun or anything and it feels just like I want to just put my hand up there and just rub them out I guess, if I didn't make myself stop I could just rub them until I didn't have any eyes anymore.

You can see the scars on my arms, and when I get out in the sun you can see that this comes up in a big blister. My eye doctor said that there's a possibility that within a year or year and a half that he'll have to operate. The film is already has started forming a film, like cataracts, except that my eyes were burned so bad that they teared for about three months. Nothing but tears would pour, you know?, They was swelled so that I could hardly see. Dr. Chandler said that if they were regular cataracts hopefully that he could remove them and I'd yet have some of my sight. But if they're imbedded cataracts, that I won't never see again.

Vickie: When I went to the doctor there in Houston, I mean I was sick, I had the diarrhea and everything, but I was taking care of Betty, I was taking care of Colby, I didn't have time to go to the doctor, and I didn't have time to carry him 'cause he was like a little baby for over a month. I mean he had no control over his bowels, or his, you know, nothing, and I was taking care of him, and I wasn't going to leave him. The doctors down there asked me had I been around any poison oak or poison ivy on my arms. And when finally the blisters kinda cleared up and left, places healed up and looks terrible. They yet come up, and now the ones that come up is leaving knots.

This past Saturday we were out in the sun for quite a while, and the sun does it to me. Just like one's been right here it was a big old blister, you know, it'd go away and come up a like a scar. like this.

And my fingernails come off. They're they're back now, but they come completely off, my fingernails did. I saved the fingernails for some scientist. I've got them,  each one of them tagged and named.

Vickie: We was completely blistered (sunburned), and Colby's got scars on his face where he had hanging water blisters, on his little cheek and everything, over on that side. Just one, one side of his face because, the reason I believe its not on this side is because I was hugging that side to me, I think that other side is the one
that got it, the one that had the hanging blisters because one side wasn't blistered as bad as the other side.

Vickie: My hair didn't come out until about, it was about six weeks after the incident, about a month after the incident, my hair started coming out, and it's just come back, I mean this is the way it looks since it's come back, I had soft, manageable easy hair, extra fine hair, it was a little like baby hair, and it was kinda, you know, wavy, curly. I could do anything with it. After it come out and came back, this is what I got, I'm ashamed to even go to the grocery store.

Vickie: Dr. Chandler in Liberty is only an eye doctor, but I got all faith in him because he has a doctor that works with him that is one of the best I think, and he told me that when he felt he wasn't capable of giving me what I needed that he would turn me over to this doctor. You can't ask for nothing better than that.
I talked to (Betty’s cardiologist) Dr. Shenoy, but I never did see him as a patient, I was there now with Betty so much and talked to him. There was this doctor that saw me (in July, in connection with the filming of the television program, “That’s Incredible!”) Dr. Easley radiologist at the Medical Center in Houston.

Vickie: Nobody's never told me nothing. Except my family doctor told me that he couldn't doctor me because he didn't know nothing about it and that he would do me more harm than good, and he wasn't about to.

My eyes are bad and I can hardly see how to drive. I'd say I’ve spent approximately about six or seven hundred dollars on treatment for my eyes and Colby's eyes.

Colby: I didn't feel nothing until I got up the next morning.  I just had a bad virus.
(When I went to the bathroom) it was all runny. My stomach was just hurting real bad. I don't remember if I (threw up) or not. 

Vickie: Colby went from a size 6 slim blue jean and they fit him perfect, and when I went to buy him some clothes the other day, and I got them on him, and I had to go back to a 5 slim blue jean. But, what's so terrible about it, now this is what the doctor in Houston told me, and Dr. Rank from Wisconsin told me the same thing, that there's a possibility within the next eight to twelve years that Colby would come down with a form of leukemia, which wouldn't be leukemia, but if he was treated for leukemia, it could kill him. I mean, nobody knows how much radiation he might have consumed, or what kind it might could been, but it had to be radiation to have burned us like we were burned.

Colby: I lost just a little hair, a little bitty place started coming out, just that spot right there (the crown).

Vickie: I've been doctoring him at home for the simple reason that I always worked. When it got so I couldn't work anymore- my husband has a good job, but by the time we pay rent, bills and our car note and gas, there's very little left for groceries, much less for medical bills. So, I doctor him at home. 

Colby: (After it happened, I had some blisters.) They started popping every time I got in the sun they'd pop. Every time I get in the pool, my eyes start getting real red. I get sunburned after being out there for about a hour or 30 minutes. Sometimes (I still feel sick, and) my stomach was starting to hurt this morning when I was eating (breakfast).

Vickie:  They couldn't find out what was wrong with Betty, and I'm not going to put Colby through all this unless they come up with something without doctoring him for everything under the book.

Betty: You would be surprised of the people, the doctors even, that don't want to treat a person if they think you've had radiation burns. You would be surprised, and if you doubt me, get 'em and try to get a physician to test you.


Betty: Vickie is the one that called everybody and tried to get help for me. A policeman in Dayton is the one that gave her the number to call. We kept calling (Robert Gribble of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle) Washington. In fact I still have the phone number. They said that they would have someone come out and check. They got in touch with Bill English with APRO and he contacted us.

(NOTE: Near the end of February 1981, Betty called John F. Schuessler about the case, and they met the next day. The next week he met Vickie and Colby, then wrote up a preliminary report and filed it with MUFON and other UFO organizations. For some reason, during the Bergstrom AFB interview, Vickie and Betty make no direct mention of Schuessler, Project VISIT, only saying that “they” measured the UFO scene. Later, both Betty and Vickie refer to Schuessler, but say a “certain person”, deliberately not using his name. )

Betty: Allan Hendry (of the Center for UFO Studies), from Atlanta, Georgia contacted me and said he wanted to help any way he could and he's the one who asked me to write to Representative Charles Wilson, to Senator Lloyd Bentsen and to Senator John Tower, and he said he felt sure that that way I could get some help. Charles Wilson referred me to a UFO researcher or something in Van Nuys California, but Lloyd Bentsen wrote a real nice letter back and asked me to come here to Bergstrom Air Force Base and talk with y'all, and he felt sure that you-all would try to help in any way you could.

John Schuessler's Car Tag circa 1981
Vickie: I don't want no more uh, (UFO) investigators having me go over the deal, because the thing about is I was hypnotized, I have the tape if they want to hear the tape, that's fine, but I don't intend to go through it anymore. I don't, I don't, and there's a lot of quacks, there really is, that's supposed to be big UFO dealers and wheelers, and they're not after hunting the truth, they after something, proving something that's unreal. What was up there was real. It hurt us. It wasn't (from) outer space either.

Betty: And they're out for a story. And once they make their few dollars off their stories, which is not true nine times out of ten. Parts of it, I can say may be, if you're fortunate, but they misconstrue it quite often too.

Vickie: (After reporting the incident) I wrote (Texas Representative) Charles Wilson, he wrote me back a write-off letter. It was a thing where UFOs had been discontinued (cancellation of Project Blue Book) since 1973, I believe it said, and he gave me a whole list of who I might be able to contact. I turned it over and wrote him a letter on the back side of it and I told him exactly how I felt, and sent it back to him.

Betty: We don't need any legal advice. 'Cause, we have the proof, and when you have the proof, you don't need legal advice.

Vickie:  I wrote the Congress, and the way I feel, that if our government doesn’t know what that was that hurt us, then we're in a bad shape, because it had to be manmade. I don't think there are any little green men out there to make one. I never have believed in life on other planets.

Betty: I never have believed in it either. Who is responsible for us being injured? There has to be an answer somewhere, you know? I hope to find out what the object was, and what the purpose of it was, being there on the road at the time, and God forbid, I don't ever want anything to happen to any of my family or my friends, even to you or your family, even to an animal to what I've had to go through. It would satisfy my mind to find out what it was and what it was doing there. I believe that our federal government... we've got to have secrets, let's face it, in a very severe time like we are going through right now, but things that hurt the American people, then I think it's time they should be stopped.

Colby: Who’s supposed to protect us?

Betty: Well now, what can we do?

Vickie: Where... but where do we go?... What do we do? To put it point blank, we thought maybe you (the Air Force) could give us an answer of where to go from here, or what to do, because I'm gonna find the answer. 

We've been trying for seven, almost eight months now to get answers which we get in pieces, a little here, a little there, its pretty well like a puzzle you're putting together, and we’re gonna get it together, it's gonna be fit together. It might take me a lifetime,  but I intend to find it. I'm gonna find the answer, and it had to be something the government had up there, and I intend to find it.

(The meeting concluded with officers explaining that Project Blue Book was cancelled and the Air Force no longer investigates UFO cases. They were give damage claim forms and advised to get the help of an attorney to file them.)

Copyright 2013, Curtis L. Collins