Showing posts with label Kevin Randle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kevin Randle. Show all posts

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Coverage of the Cash-Landrum UFO Case

The Cash-Landrum case has been discussed in a great many UFO books, but most often as just a brief summary with no independent investigation or analysis. The majority merely repeat material from the John Schuessler reports. Below, we’ll list some of the works that do better, along with volumes notable for other reasons. 

Age of the UFO Peter Brookesmith editor (1984)
This book is an essential for the case. It collects three 1982-3 magazine articles written for the UK magazine, The Unexplained Mysteries of Mind, Space and Time by John F. Schuessler and features his color photographs of the scene and the witnesses. There's information in these articles not appearing anywhere else including Schuessler's later book. The color photographs alone make this worth having, but the case details and variations of  witnesses and testimony make it a must for students of the case.

Clear Intent: The Government Coverup of the UFO Experience by Lawrence Fawcett, ‎Barry J. Greenwood (1984) 
(Reprinted as UFO Cover-Up: What the Government Won't Say) 
Fawcett and Greenwood's chief interest in the case comes from the involvement of "mystery helicopters" that were so often associated with cattle mutilation lore. A historically important book, and the first one to discuss the C-L case.

Above Top Secret by Timothy Good (1987)
Good's book (and some of his later ones) tie the C-L case into 90s conspiracy lore, repeating some of the material that was presented in the TV special UFO Cover-Up? Live.

The UFO Phenomenon, Time-Life Books (1987)
Very brief coverage of the C-L case. This one is chiefly worth mentioning due to artwork featured in the two-page spread, and for the extensive newspapers advertising that spotlighted the case.

The Spectrum of UFO Research, J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, Mimi Hynek, ed. (1988)
John Schuessler's first lecture on the Cash-Landrum case from Sept. 1981 is presented, and it serves as as an excellent introduction to the case, telling the story of the events, and discussing the early months of the investigation. The narrative of the encounter is followed by speculation about the injuries and their source. Includes photographs, the Q & A session that followed Schuessler's lecture, and his 1988 update on the case.

The UFO Encyclopedia: UFOs in the 1980s by Jerome Clark, (1990)

Clark's entry on the case is a good summary of John Schuessler's early material on the case, chiefly his report presented at the 1981 CUFOS conference.

 by Larry Warren and Peter Robbins (1997)
This book only mentions the case in passing: "
The Cash-Landrum UFO incident occurred in Texas within twelve hours of the third night's incident at RAF Bentwaters. Two women — Vicky Cash and Betty Landrum — and Betty's grandson, Colby, saw a huge, toplike UFO..."
This (now-discredited) book
gives us a brief detour from Rendlesham to Huffman Texas. Since the events happened so close in time together, they’re frequently mentioned in the same breath, but there's no valuable similarity or tangible connection between them.

In 1997, Physicist Peter A. Sturrock of Stanford University directed an independent scientific review of UFO cases conducted by an international panel of scientists. Three of “the usual suspects” participated, Hal Puthoff, John Schuessler, and Jacques Vallee. Sturrock published a paper on it in 1998: “Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports: The Proceedings of a Workshop Held at the Pocantico Conference Center, Tarrytown, New York, September 29 – October 4, 1997.” The Cash-Landrum case was presented in “Physiological Effects on Witnesses,” later presented as chapter 15 (pp. 100-104.) of Peter Sturrock’s 1999 book on the study, The UFO Enigma: A New Review of the Physical Evidence.

The Cash-Landrum UFO Incident by John F. Schuessler (1998)
This book was self-published by the investigator and had a relatively small pressing, and is now out of print. The most valuable thing it offers are reproductions of case documents, witness testimony and photographs. It would be great to see this released as an ebook where the photographs could be seen at a higher resolution and in color. While book is imperfect, and far from objective, bit it’s an important resource.

Project Moon Dust by Kevin D. Randle (1998)
In chapter 11, Randle has a rare skeptical analysis, a 
ten page section titled, "December 29, 1980: The Cash-Landrum UFO Encounter." Kevin Randle is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, and his service and his experience as a helicopter pilot helps provide an understanding of the alleged military involvement in this case. More coverage on this book at: Kevin Randle on Cash-Landrum: A Military Perspective

Pentagon Aliens aka Space Aliens from the Pentagon by William Lyne (1999)
Lyne's is an odd one, and is included for his brief interview with Vickie Landrum. There are some odd and interesting case details mentioned in the book, ones that can't be verified - or trusted.

UFOs, Angels and Stories of Faith and Courage by Edward Wesley Graves (2000)
Graves’ book is noteworthy in that it's the only one to depict the witnesses on the cover. Shortly after Betty Cash's death, he contacted Vickie Landrum  and spoke to her family, who believed the UFO was an "atomic plane."

The UFO Enigma: A New Review of the Physical Evidence by Peter a. Sturrock (2000)
This is a frustrating one, as it summarizes Schuessler's presentation of the case to the Sturrock panel, yet doesn't actually present it. A bit like somebody reciting what was in yesterday's newspaper, and it leaves you with the feeling you are missing something.

The UFO Evidence: A Thirty-Year Report by Richard H. Hall (2001)

Hall does an excellent job of summarizing the case as known without sensationalizing it or playing it for emotion. I liked it well enough, I've used it as the official BBL summary of the case, as The UFO Story.

Hunt for the Skinwalker
by Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp (2005)
This book just gives a recap of the C-L case from previous sources as an example of human effects from unexplained encounters to bolster the Skinwalker story. No new information.

Project Beta 
by Greg Bishop (2005)
Bishops book is very interesting. There's a C-L connection to the Paul Bennewitz saga, but it's uncertain if it was just speculation by Bennewitz, or if it was the result of manipulation by Richard Doty and Bill Moore. Bennewitz thought the C-L UFO was a joint US-alien venture, part of the lore that became Dulce and the dark UFO mythology. The C-L coverage is very short, and unfortunately, does some harm by repeating some untrue rumors and speculation as if they were facts.
More on Doty-style Cash-Landrum info, trying to tie things to the Bennewitz backdrop.
Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion by Paul LaViolette (2008)
"Evidence that the Air Force was test-flying an antigravity craft surfaced on the night of December 29, 1980. Betty Cash, age fifty-one  her friend Vickie Landrum, age fifty-seven, and Vickie's seven-year-old …"
LaViolette's book is a mentioned just as example of the case being used as means to further someone's agenda or prop up a conspiracy theory.

UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991 by Richard Dolan (2009)

"While, across the ocean, the Rendlesham Forest was the scene of dramatic UFO activity, Betty Cash,Vickie Landrum,and Vickie's grandson Colby Landrum were driving in the State of Texas, on the Cleveland Huffman Road on the way to the town…" There’s nothing original in Dolan's coverage. His depiction of the events is used to illustrate his conspiracy theory premise of colossal sinister UFO cover-up.

Texas UFO Tales: From Denison 1878 to Stephenville 2008
by Mike Cox and Renee Roderick (2010)
Texas UFO Tales was a pleasant surprise. A lot of regional UFO books are cranked out quickly, and that may have been the intent here, but someone goofed up and got a good researcher. The coverage of the C_L case is very good and you'll only find some of the data by digging as deeply yourself. It's the only book to date to include the testimony from the Bergstrom AFB interviews with the witnesses.

UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities by John B. Alexander (2011)
“Cash-Landrum... is a very solid case, in which the observations and facts just don't make sense or support any prosaic hypothesis." Alexander's coverage of the case is brief, but well worth reading as he participated in the DAIG's investigation of the case led by George Sarran. Alexander's conclusions on the case are among the most interesting, that the events were real, but perhaps not the kind of real we are used to! 

Confessions of a Professional Smart-Ass
  by John Kelso (2013) "John Kelso has been writing a humor column for the Austin American-Statesman for more than thirty years...”This book features a four page section on the author's memories of covering the Cash-Landrum sighting for the paper. His piece was one of the few articles to approach the case with skepticism. UFO mavens would be better off reading his original article (which I may be able to reprint someday). The book is just a short recap of the case with some Kelso flavor, and leaves out the interesting details in his article. About all the only thing new here is his negative impressions of the town of Dayton. While he cracks wise in his memoirs, he admits he didn't know just what to make of the story.

Forbidden Science - Volume III by Jacques Vallee (2016)
Vallee's journals for the years 1980 - 1989 contain several mentions of the Cash-Landrum case, usually second-hand information with a mixture of fact and speculation. However, the discussion was with people such as Dr. Kit Green and Dr. Richard Nimetzow, so gossip at an elite level of ufology.
Fact, Fiction, and Flying Saucers: The Truth Behind the Misinformation, Distortion, and Derision by Debunkers, Government Agencies, and Conspiracy Conmen by Stanton Friedman & Kathleen Marden (2016)
Chapter 8 spotlights the Cash-Landrum UFO case, but it’s there mostly as part of an attack the character of the late Phil Klass. If you crawl the footnotes, you’ll find a few references to Blue Blurry Lines, cited as a source. 

UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says, by Donald R. Prothero, Timothy D. Callahan (2017)
In the 5-page section, "Radiation Sickness, Melting Vinyl, and Scorched Asphalt: The Cash–Landrum Incident”(pp. 104 - 108), the authors discuss the case and come to a skeptical conclusion, based chiefly on the 1981 interview of the witnesses at Bergstrom AFB, Brad Sparks’ analysis of the reported injuries, and Robert Sheaffer’s article “Between a Beer Joint and Some Kind of Highway Sign” which in turn was based on the BBL report disclosing the unpublished case documents held by the Texas Department of Health. The authors conclude that “as a source of physical evidence, that Cash-Landrum incident is inconsequential." 

. . .

There will be revisions from time to time, to add other titles and to comment on why they are worthy of inclusion. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Kevin Randle on Cash-Landrum: A Military Perspective

Kevin Randle on the Cash-Landrum UFO case

As part the discussion of the Cash-Landrum UFO case, we'll be inviting others who have examined the case to share their opinions.

Author  Kevin D. Randle

In Kevin D. Randle's 1998 book, Project Moon Dust: Beyond Roswell-- Exposing The Government's Covert Investigations and Cover-ups, chapter 11 was a ten page analysis, titled, "December 29, 1980: The Cash-Landrum UFO Encounter." Kevin Randle is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, and his service and his experience as a helicopter pilot should aid in the understanding of the military involvement in this case.

Chapter 11: Cash-Landrum UFO Encounter

One resource that Randle had that most others did not, was the file on the case from the Center for UFO Studies. This allowed Randle to note the discrepancy in the account of Betty Cash as to whether she stopped the car's engine or it stopped on its own, apparently due to the proximity of the UFO. This detail was discovered in April 1981 by CUFOS investigator Allan Hendry, but went unmentioned until Randle's book. In Project Moon Dust, he does an excellent job of summarizing the case history based on materials available at the time, and also offers some analysis and commentary, a portion of which appears as the closing remarks for this entry.

Kevin Randle had occasion to discuss the case again in 2011, on his blog, A Different Perspective.
Reprinted here, with the author's kind permission.

Cash Landrum and Crash Retrievals 


One of the strange things about writing a book is that sometimes the comments or criticisms come in a short period of time.

What do I mean?

My book, Crash: When UFOs Fall from the Sky was published in May and in the last week or ten days I have heard from several people who wished I had included the Cash-Landrum case in the book. That is an interesting case and I believe John Schuessler did a very comprehensive study of it which has been published.

The problem for me is that I don’t view the case as a crash/retrieval. I see it as something that might have been an emergency close approach, or just a close approach without the emergency, or some kind of terrestrially-based test, but not a crash of an extraterrestrial vehicle. For that reason, I left it out.
Cash-Landrum not included
What I know about the case is what everyone else knows and is based on the research of those who studied it in person. I have never spoken to any of those who were originally involved, though I do know John Schuessler. He is one of those who has devoted a great deal of time to the study of UFOs and this case took place almost in his backyard.

It was December 29, 1980, when Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and Landrum’s seven-year-old grandson, Colby saw the strange object as they returned from dinner. Thinking that it was an airplane heading to a nearby airport, they thought nothing of it. But as they rounded a curve on the rural road, they saw the light approaching them at treetop level.

Fearing that they would be burned alive, Landrum screamed for Cash to stop. The road was narrow and Cash was unable to turn to car so that they could escape. But there was no other traffic, so Cash got out, walking to the front of the vehicle. Landrum also got out but her grandson so upset she got back in.

They could feel heat from the diamond-shaped object that was about 100 feet away. The car became too hot to touch and Landrum put her hand on the dashboard and left an imprint. Cash needed to use part of her leather jacket to protect her hand so that she could open the door.

There was a final blast of heat and the object ascended slowly. As it cleared the treetops, helicopters appeared from all directions. The object and the helicopters then disappeared from sight.

When her eyes adjusted to the darkness, Cash started the car and they began to head home. As they rounded another curve on that same road, they saw the object again, and Cash counted 23 helicopters near it. Landrum thought there were 25 or 26 of them. Cash was able to pull off the road. When the object and the helicopters were again out of sight, Cash then drove home.

Schuessler depiction of the UFO
Later that evening Cash became sick, the symptoms like that of radiation poisoning, at least according to some. She was hospitalized twice for treatment. The Landrums were also sick, but not to the same degree as Cash, which might be as simple as Cash being outside the car longer and her exposure greater.

The case was, of course, investigated. Cash eventually sued the government for 20 million dollars alleging that her illnesses were caused by the close approach of the craft. She was eventually treated for various cancers 25 times and had undergone two operations. The helicopters were obviously US government and they should have been protecting her. The case was dismissed in 1986. Cash died some twenty yeas later.

The suit was dismissed, according to the ruling, because there was no evidence that the diamond-shaped craft was any type of government test vehicle and they were hard pressed to find witnesses to the formation of helicopters. A few witnesses were found who said they had seen the fleet, but no physical evidence or documentation was ever located.

I will point out here, based on my experience as a helicopter pilot, that I find it difficult to believe they could hide an air operation of this magnitude. The helicopters would have had a crew of three and maybe four meaning almost 100 men (and given the date of this, I wouldn’t expect any women in the flight crews), not to mention the logistical support necessary. You’d have to supply a refueling point, as well as other considerations but no trace of any of that was ever found or documented. Something like that, on that scale, would be impossible to hide.

Nearly everyone, skeptics and believers alike, suggest that the illnesses sounded like radiation sickness. One of those who doesn’t is Brad Sparks. He presented a number of reasons including the rapid onset of the symptoms and the lingering nature of them as reason to suspect another cause. Philip Klass was interested in the health of the three victims prior to the encounter.

The bottom line for me, and my book on UFO crashes, is that there is no hint of a crash here. A close encounter of the second kind, meaning a close approach of a UFO, but not a crash. For that reason, I didn’t even consider this case for my book.
  _ _ _

Kevin Randle's Conclusion

 Lt. Col. Kevin D. Randle. ret.

Randle closes the chapter on the Cash-Landrum story in Project Moon Dust, with a summary of the problems in evaluating the case.

"There is nothing to prove that the three were in perfect health prior to the events and that those events caused an erosion of their health. Betty Cash's cancer may have been a pre-existing condition, though there is no record of it prior to the events. A comprehensive search by military officers and civilian researchers has failed to produce any evidence that the sighting took place.  
Once again we are left with nothing except our beliefs. Was the craft extraterrestrial? Was there any craft at all? Or was it some kind of elaborate hoax invented by the women (though neither has a history of creating practical jokes)? Without more data, we just can't answer any of these questions satisfactorily."

A special thanks to Kevin Randle for permission to reprint his column.