Thursday, July 31, 2014

Additional Witness Testimony: Multiplication by Zero?

Over the years, there have been a few new claims of additional witnesses to the Cash-Landrum sighting of Dec, 29, 1980. The trouble is that the details are usually sketchy, rarely match and can't be verified. Worst of all, they don't explain why they didn't come forward when the case was at its height of publicity, or when it really might have mattered, during the attempted lawsuit against the US government. 

One fairly recently surfaced claim is interesting, due to the details and the effort the witness has made in reporting it. After cross-checking, I've found three separate places where the witness, a former airman, anonymously reported the same thing.

Anonymous airman

Kevin Randle: A Different Perspective:
Cash Landrum & Crash Retrievals Jan. 2011

joe b. said...
vickie,coby,and betty were not the only witnesses out there that night in 1980, I was right down the road on my way to houston, as i was coming from england air force base in alexandria louisiana!

 . . .
Route on Alt. 90 would have taken him within 10 miles of C-L sighting location.

Ray-X: Jim Moseley Is On The Case: The Cash-Landrum Incident Nov. 2011
the truth is there were more witnesses that night. especially on alternate 90, the highway adjacent to the area where the cash and landrums were.the craft was the size of a water tower, i did not see any helos following as the craft was flying good and very quite. i got out of my car on alt.90 and walked into a the plowed field and it was a cold clear night. i wached this beautifully colored craft with many diff. colors in the belt area of the craft as they rotated. the craft stopped in mid flight and wobbly continued over the highway. i experienced the oz factor or lost time. got back in my car totalyy stunned. i drove to the nearest covenient store about 4miles away and bought a beer. i kept my mouth dhut for many yrs. till 1989 because i was in the military at the time. i told my wife and called walt andrus in 1989, he said he didnt know what it was. i called him after seeing the 1989 unsoved mysteries. p to that point i thought i was nuts but i knew what i saw. 1980 road traveler.
                                                                          . . .

England AFB, Alexandria,LA

In Feb. 2013, the sameman filed a report at UFO Evidence, filling out their online form. He provided answers to all questions. (There is an option to upload a picture or sketch, which he did not use.)

December, 29, 1980 - UFO Evidence 2/11/2013 12:43:08 AM
December, 29, 1980
dayton, Texas, United States
On leave.left england a.f.b. louisiana at approx.6:30 pm enroute to houston tx. as i got within 30miles of humble i looked out at the cold dark clear sky at what i first thought was a big jetliner but i had to look again and i saw a huge water-tower sized craft. this was a large thing. a white disc diamonded shaped with top and bottoms cut off. i was on a busy highway near houston. there many cars on this 2-lane highway. i pulled off the road at about 9pm shut off the engine and walked out into the plowed field. there was no fence. no other cars stopped only me! i looked up at the beautiful modern craft with different colored windows on its beltline. it was eerily quite! it flew about 600 ft. above me. it stopped for 5 secs. and sped off wobbly at about 200mph like it was in trouble. no helos. i got back in the car i was driving alone. and had the oz factor or missing time. i war shaken up pretty bad and drove for 5 miles to a country store and told the clerl i had just saw a ufo! i drove to hou.
Date Reported:
2/11/2013 12:43:08 AM
Sighting Time: 9:30pm Day/Night: Nighttime Duration: 20minutes?
Appearance / Description of Object(s)
White like space shuttle color. modern not old fashion bare aluminum of the 1950s. shaped like a elongated diamond with the top and bottom tips cut off. big beautiful centerline mult-colored bright square revolving windows.
Size of Object(s)
huge! city water tower sized! 200ft.high by 300 ft.long
Distance to Object(s) & Altitude
Alt.started at 1500 ft. and de scended to 500 ft. dist. from me was 200 or 300 yards above me.
Description of Area / Surroundings
Rural open plowed fields a cold starry nite. intercontinental apt. 35 miles away.nasa 60miles. ft.polk 100miles. england air force base 200 miles.
Full Description & Details
I drove into hou.tx.that nite. for the holidays. i told only a brother about this sighting and he thought i was out of my mind. remember i saw no aliens in this sighting a ce2 case i believe only one craft involved! i told no one because i was in the u.s.a.f. at the time from 1979-1990. and i didnt want repurcussions from the military. during this same time period in 1980 the rendelsham forest afb sightings were going on. how strange. i to developed white spots on my body, hair loss, burning ears, headaches,ect... not till 1989 as i was stationed in charleston s.c. i saw the cash landrum case on unsolved mysteries and told my wife of my involvement. i then called mufon in seguin texas and told walt andrus of my sighting who the director at the time. he told me there lots of witnesses but no one knew what it was. this thing was for real!
Can sighting be explained as any conventional man-made or natural object?
Dont know. it could of been a captured ufo or man made craft on a test flight.
Witness Background
U.s. military 10 yrs.
Views on UFOs, before and after sighting
Very little
Other Comments
The cash landrum case only focuses on only 3 witnesses. but there were many more!
Reported Sighting? Yes

Reported To: walt andrus mufon seguin tx. 1990
Your Location: houston.tx.usa Age: 52
. . .

After getting his contact information, I wrote to him in Feb. 2014, asking if he'd like his report to be part of the investigation and if he could provide further details. It took him several months to reply, July 15, 2014.
hello, curt. just saw your e-mail sorry. my exact location at the time is kind of blurry to me after all these years. my age was 20 yrs. old. I would like to participate.”
He's not responded to a request for further information, so it's at a standstill.

The material in his report is interesting, but of little value since they can't be checked. Certainly the claims of physical aftereffects are interesting. The details on the base, the travel time and the route he took are all plausible, and demonstrates a familiarity with the area. All that sounds good.

There are, problems, however. He claims little familiarity with UFO literature, but posted on two UFO blogs and a UFO reporting site, and he mentions "missing time, the "OZ factor" and "ce2 case" which indicates more than a laymen's knowledge of UFO terminology. He claims to have contacted MUFON, but if there's a recored of the call, it is not publicly available. There's also a couple of other suspect details, but I'm hoping he will resurface to clarify.

Until further information comes forward, all that can be done is just to file this one in the gray basket.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Case of the Fiery Diamond by Dennis Stacy and Kevin McKinney

The OMNI magazine October 1988 issue had an article by Dennis Stacy and Kevin McKinney, "Lee County’s Lizard Man and other Unsolved Mysteries." It was a collection of nine cases of strange, unexplained events, billed on the cover as"Nine strange mysteries that have stumped science." One of the cases feature was the Cash-Landrum case. Dennis Stacy was a staffer at the MUFON UFO Journal and was its editor from 1985 to 1997, so he was able to get good sources for the story. His co-author, Kinney was an associate editor for OMNI.

Token UFO picture, not from OMNI

The story is good, but contains some biases probably generated at the source. The most valuable thing it provides are quotes from those involved in the legal case, unique quotes from attorney William Shead,  Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Conforti, as well as defiant closing comments from Betty Cash.

OMNI Magazine October 1988

From the article "Lee County’s Lizard Man and other Unsolved Mysteries"
by Dennis Stacy and Kevin McKinney

The Case of the Fiery Diamond 

DESCRIPTION: One Of the most horrifying UFO encounters on record occurred in Dayton, Texas, near Houston, on the night of December 29, 1980. Betty Cash, then fifty-one years old, Vickie Landrum, fifty-seven, and Vickie's seven-year-old grandson Colby Landrum were returning from a bingo game. Driving along pine-tree-lined rural Highway FM1485, they allegedly sighted a hovering "diamond of fire" belching flames and emitting air-brakelike sounds. Cash brought her Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme to a halt, and all three passengers got out to take a closer look. As they gazed in awe and terror, more than 20 helicopters suddenly appeared and circled the fiery object, trailing it when it finally flew away. 

Betty Cash remained outside the car longest, until the heat became unbearable. When she attempted to reenter the car, the door handle was so hot that she had to grasp it with her coat. 

EVIDENCE: The fiery diamond left behind a legacy of illness and suffering that continues to afflict the three victims. Within hours they were medically treated for "sunburn," as well as recurring bouts of vomiting and diarrhea — apparently the results of radiation sickness. Cash’s skin blistered so badly she was hospitalized. A week later, moreover, her hair began falling out in clumps. 

Their health problems have continued to mount: Cash has undergone a mastectomy and suffered a heart attack. Landrum's vision has deteriorated, and slow-healing sores have broken out on her hands and feet. Young Colby's eyesight has also rapidly deteriorated, and abnormal patches of hair have sprouted on his chest and back. 

WITNESSES: There are at least six other eyewitnesses who saw the helicopters. There seemed to be no reason, at the time, to report the choppers to the police. The witnesses surfaced later, however, during a Mutual UFO Network investigation led by aerospace engineer John Schuessler. 

STATUS: "We have used the term UFO only for want of a better word," Schuessler explains. "It could have been a secret military experiment, for all we know." 

The helicopters were the basis for a lawsuit, according to Bill Shead, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers. "The government had to own them, and it is, therefore, responsible for damages." 

Both the Army and the Air Force, however, deny any knowledge of the event. "Whatever they saw and whatever happened is not the issue," says Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Conforti. "The question is. Why are they suing the government? It's like somebody hits your car and you decide to sue me, even though I'm not responsible for the accident." 

In September 1985 a federal district court dismissed the $20 million civil suit for injuries inflicted during the alleged encounter. "That's it, as far as the court system goes," Shead says. The only possible relief for the victims is a congressional resolution awarding damages. "It's rare, but it has happened before." 

Cash, however, remains unmollified. "Even if the government didn't know what the object was then, it does now," she says. "Those helicopters were there, and for the judge to throw the case out, not even hearing us, is a sad decision," She adds that she'll "do whatever it takes" to bring attention to the dismissed case. "I'll fight until they lay me in my grave," she says. "I want people to know how our federal judicial system works." 

RECOMMENDATION: The three victims saw something. Suggest you follow up on lawyers' or victims' future tactics. Anyone in the vicinity of Houston should be particularly observant if driving along Highway FM1485. 
- - -

Betty Cash petitioned Congress to investigate the case, but ultimately it was lost in the noise of Washington DC.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Perception Management, Photo Flash Bombs and PSYOPS

Researching the Cash-Landrum research and looking through some DoD documents on the 1980 plans to rescue hostages held in Iran, I came across a file discussing "Interim Non-Violent Options."


Popular Mechanics Aug 1944

It discusses spreading rumors, propaganda literature, knocking out the power grid, and periodically probing Iran's airspace. The most intriguing one was, "Supersonic overflight by SR-71 accompanied by detonation of photo flash bombs over selected Iranian military, government, and Industrial facilities." These "bombs" are just big flash bulbs that light up an area for aerial photos, but the US already had pictures, and this would have been just for show.

Deception and Intelligence

Trying to find out more about the purpose and of the photo flash bombs eventually led me to "National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 456," a lengthy article which discusses the document and how it plays into the larger scheme of "perception management" and PSYOPS.  Interesting reading for those interested in going down the rabbit hole of the mind games the military plays:
Special Plans and Double Meanings: Controversies over Deception, Intelligence, and Policy Counterterrorism

The USAF Lightning Bug Reconnaissance Drones
Background on the Ryan night reconnaissance drone 147NRE from
A series of reconnaissance drones derived from the Firebee, known generally as "Lightning Bugs," were used by the US to spy on Vietnam, China, and North Korea in the 1960s... the Air Force also came forward with an urgent requirement for a low-altitude night reconnaissance drone. Four Model 147NPs were pulled from production and modified as "Model 147NREs", where "NRE" stood for "night reconnaissance electronic". The Model 147NREs had a dual-camera payload synchronized to a bright white strobe light fitted into the drone's belly. The strobe lit up the sky when it went off.
Lightning Bug 147NRE "Night Reconnaissance Electronic"
The Model 147NREs were painted black as appropriate to their night mission...but the Model 147NREs did not quite meet expectations. The "footprint" of the strobe light was fairly small, and the drone's navigation system lacked the accuracy to put the cameras precisely on target. However, the Air Force did obtain useful intelligence from the drone's cameras even when they were not on target, as well as some minor psychological warfare effect from the startling bright strobe flashes, and felt that the concept was worth further development.
Unexpected light in the sky

The effect of a photo flash or strobe is to briefly illuminate the area much as silent lightning would do. The unexpected psychological effect of the 147NRE drone's strobing flash may have led to the use of other lights from aerial objects as PSYOPS weapons. An unseen SR-71 dropping photo flash bombs above the enemy would seem to be one such application.

Thanks to Mirage Men author Mark Pilkington for the "Lightning Bug" tip.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gray Barker: Rumors of NASA Suppression of UFO Evidence!

Since getting interested in the Cash-Landrum case, I’d wondered if Gray Barker had published anything about the story, and if so, what wild and wooly things he might have said about it. Barker is responsible for a lot of UFO mythology, and I was curious how he'd interpreted this one. 

I'm hoping to visit the Gray Barker Collection in Clarksburg, West Virginia, but until then, this fragment I recently came across provides some answers.

Gray Barker, Saucerian
Gray Barker’s Newsletter Hotline (Supplement 19-B) December, 1983
 WILD RUMOR DEPT: That James W. Moseley has evidence of a 
terrestrial origin of the famed “Cash/Landrum” sighting, during 
which witnesses were injured by radiation-like effects. also that
Moseley is under heavy pressure from NASA to withold printing it 
in his notorious “sheet,” Saucer Smear.

What’s interesting here is that Gray Barker was known for spinning straw into gold, but here he takes a very conservative approach on describing the C-L injuries as “ radiation-like effects,” more cautious and accurate than more reputable UFO journals.

Silenced by NASA?
The part about the Moseley "evidence" is much more Barker’s style. This almost certainly is an exaggeration of the story being circulated by Richard Doty and Bill Moore that the C-L UFO was a secret test vehicle from Kirtland AFB. The APRO Bulletin printed this rumor and Moore had discussed it with Moseley, who "leaked" it to Barker.  The “heavy pressure from NASA” may even have a sliver of truth in it, as John Schuessler, the C-L case investigator was a NASA contractor employee, and he rejected the Moore story as speculation and rumor. 

This short passage shows a good demonstration of the Barker method at work. Any information is dramatically turned into a puzzle, teasing the reader with possibilities, and leaving them hungry for more.

Sadly, Gray Barker was unable to see how the Cash-Landrum story developed. He died December 6, 1984.

Some mysteries are born, others are made.

Special thanks to debunker Robert Sheaffer for posting the collection of his Gray Barker correspondence and documents.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

MJ-12, The "Pratt Sensitive" Documents, Cash-Landrum, Doty and Moore

Some big UFO news broke in 2007, about MJ-12 and how it came to be. Majestic 12, or MJ 12 was said to be the secret US government cabal that controlled UFO information. At the MUFON 2007 Symposium, Brad Sparks presented a paper that he co-authored with Barry Greenwood:
The Secret Pratt Tapes and the Origins of MJ-12 by Brad Sparks and Barry Greenwood (PDF)

The paper was based on documents from UFO journalist, Bob Pratt, notes from his meetings and calls with William L. Moore and Richard C. Doty. The key point of interest to the authors of the paper was that Moore and Doty were discussing MJ-12 and the related concepts before any documents were known to exist, and they planned to use it as the basis for a UFO science fiction novel.

Bob Pratt
Bill Moore
Rick Doty
There's discussion of Paul Bennewitz, Roswell, abductions, alien bodies, crashed and recovered flying saucers, ETs influencing our cultural and religious history (Jesus was one of theirs), espionage, disinformation and so much more! At the site Reality Uncovered, the article, Bill Moore's Disinfo- A Vehicle for Injected Social Memes examines the concepts and how they were spread.

Immediately after the release of the Sparks/Greenwood article, there was a round of heated debate, even among the author themselves! Some of the saga is chronicled at UFO UpDates starting Aug. 13, 2007.

The Documents: "Pratt Sensitive"

Shortly after the Sparks-Greenwood article was published, James Carrion, then MUFON director, released a PDF of the original 60 pages of Pratt documents:

It's a rare opportunity to see how fraudulent information was seeded and spread into UFO lore.


The Doty Cash Landrum Disinformation

My particular interest in the Pratt documents are the early bogus claims Richard Doty made about the Cash-Landrum case, which are very elaborate and colorful. A sample: 
Betty Cash, Vikie Landrum and Colby Landrum, were not contacted by AFINTEL because of their involvement with civilian UFO people. It was determined that these three could be used to further the "UFO explanation" and thus provide effective cover for the real nature of the affair.
Doty's "disclosures" on the C-L case are not the only comments he's made on it, and he was central in building the legend that the UFO was a malfunctioning US military experiment. He's been spreading lies about the case ever since. While I suspect he originally began exploiting the case chiefly because it was new and a hot topic. However, Doty's bogus input influences and contaminates the way the case is discussed, even now.

An illustration similar to Doty's description of the Cash-Landrum UFO shape
Richard Doty was there when the MJ-12 legend was created, and it's just one of the many pieces of disinformation he used to pollute the UFO topic. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Military Secrecy: Black Ops Modus Operandi

Topic: Operational Security and how the reality may differ from the super-spy movie version.

While there is no evidence to support it, the best real world suspect for military involvement in the Cash-Landrum UFO case seems to be Operation Honey Badger.  The hardware, techniques and mission are intriguingly similar to the helicopters witnessed in the UFO encounter.

While training for Honey Badger their operation was nearly exposed, but first it's necessary to provide some context on the mission and location. We'll be going South...

OH-6 Little Birds Go Black

The Black Ops mission of Honey Badger consisted of " the helicopters of Task Force 158, which included OH-6 Little Birds, UH-60 Black Hawks, and cargo-carrying and cargo-carrying Chinooks…" They were gathered to train for long range night missions using new night vision equipment, armament and extended-range fuel tanks.

In 1980, as part of Operation Honey Badger (an aborted 2nd mission to rescue American hostages held in Iran), OH-6 (Little Bird) Bell helicopters were secretly armed and modiifedArmy 160th SOAR History: "OH-6A scout helicopters (Little Birds) were chosen for the light assault role because of their small size and ease of transport. The Little Birds could carry only three soldiers and a single pilot, but they could land in the most restrictive locations." 


Personnel at Fort Rucker, AL developed, tested and created armed AH-6 Little Bird gunships, and they were then transported to Gulfport, Mississippi for training flights, classified program called “Nine-Whiskey-Whiskey." 

Dressed to kill

This was a priority mission and was given "White House Special Clearance" and superseded all normal orders and procedures. All participants had to be cleared by the FBI, security was tight. The pilots selected to fly the OH-6A helicopters came from the 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion and were sent to the Mississippi Army National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) at Gulfport, Mississippi, for two weeks of qualification training in the aircraft. The Gulfport operation was led by Jim Burns, director of the MS AVCRAD (Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot).

Security is Threatened

Snowbird/Honey Badger directive: Avoid exposure by the Media

Charlie Something from Such & Such News

Colonel John J. Stanko describes an incident in Gulfport about how operational security was in danger of exposure by the local media:
    So about two days into this [special project] Jim Burns calls and says, “Hey Colonel, there's this guy down here—Charlie Smith (or something) from such and such a newspaper… He's a newspaper reporter and he's out in the parking lot and he's checking every car, every car tag, looking over the fence, trying to see what's going on. And he's gotten word from somebody in Washington, DC that something's going on at the  Mississippi AVCRAD. He wants to take a look at it.”
      “How the hell that got out so quick, I don't know.”      
      "So Jim Burns tells me—he walks out to the parking lot and says, 
“Hey, 'Charlie Reporter,' how ya doing? Come on in here. Let me tell you what's going on here". 
     And so Jim Burns takes him by the arm and walks him waaaay up the parking ramp there to an OV-1 Mohawk airplane. Jim says to the reporter, “See that? That's a Mohawk.” And he starts describing the Mohawk to him and says, “See this is a rare airplane and it does intelligence and surveillance. That airplane is from the Georgia Army National Guard and when they can't fix that airplane, they send it down here to Mississippi and we fix it and we do the maintenance and we test fly it. Jim talks real, real slow and goes into a lot of detail regarding the nomenclature, horsepower, radios, blade lengths, etc about each of the aircraft he had shown the reporter.      
     Later that afternoon, the reporter goes back and writes up his story, convinced that maintenance is the real story and sends it in.

Jim Burns, using counterintelligence techniques learned from Huckleberry Hound and Foghorn Leghorn, was able to baffle the reporter and protect the secrecy of mission from the media. 

Speak slow… but do some fast talking!

Epilogue: Dark Desert Testing

When the Gulfport pilot training was completed, C-141 aircraft transported the aircraft and crews to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, for two weeks of mission training. The mission training consisted of loading onto C-130 transport aircraft which would then transport them to forward staging areas over night routes as long as 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km). The armed OH-6 Little Birds aircraft from Fort Rucker joined the training program in the fall of 1980. Records indicate that there was little activity late  in the year as the mission was on hold.

Operation Honey Badger was canceled after the hostages were released on 20 January 1981, but the team was not dissolved. They became the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), better known as the "Night Stalkers."

Additional sources 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UFO Debunking 1953: Review of Flying Saucers by Donald H. Menzel

Here's a review of one of the earliest books on UFOs, Flying Saucers, a skeptical look at the topic by a prominent astronomer. It's an interesting look into the state of things while the field was barely its infancy.

Discovery: The magazine of Scientific Progress 
November 1953, Mr. William E. Dick, editor

Flying Saucers by Donald H. Menzel (London, Putnam & Co., 1953 , 319 pp., 21s.) 
 The 'flying saucerscare of 1947 was not the first of its kindbut no previous epidemic of this type of mass hallucination ever spread so far; 1947 provided a proof that modern mass media of communication can spread rumours as fast as they can spread true facts. Another reason for the difference was that in 1947 few scientists gave public utterance to what they knew to be the true facts of the case. In addition, the general public seemed to be rather more gullible in 1947 than on previous occasions; their their smattering of knowledge about aeronautical progress seems to have been associated with an attitude of mind which provided fertile ground for the pseudo-scientific belief in space travel, and even for the remote idea that the saucers were interplanetary space ships. Culmination of the affair was the report — a complete hoax which, however, many found quite plausible — that a wrecked saucer made of some unearthly metal had been found, and that this contained bodies of dwarf astronauts from Venus— described as "midgets wearing 1890 clothes" made of some untearable fabric!
There were, of course, some real flying saucers that gave rise to the fantastic rumours. As the author of this book says, these were as real as rainbows.

Dr. Menzel, astrophysics professor at Harvard, here provides full explanations of the different types of optical tricks which the atmosphere and its contents can play on human eyes and describes the optical phenomena which account for the flying saucers of 1947.  His account of these matters is excellent though he is far more entertaining when he is disposing of the various fanciful interpretations which people gave of those phenomena  He shoots to pieces the American book Behind the Flying Saucers [by Frank Scully] which was serialised in Britain and which did so much to propagate the hoax about the midgets from Venus.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

UFO Case Review presents: the Cash-Landrum Incident, 1980

UFO Case Review has been releasing a series of Youtube videos presenting excellent entry-level mini-documentaries on famous UFO events. Recently the creator discussed covering the Cash-Landrum case, and now it's finished it ready for viewing. As he posted online:

"I'm very proud to be keeping up with my goal of releasing one video every month, and uploading my review of the Cash-Landrum Case of 1980. Big thanks to ufologist Curtis Collins for reviewing my script and ensuring it was as accurate as could be!"
From the video description:
"Too often, the UFO phenomenon is dismissed for its supposed exclusive reliance on eyewitness testimony. However, there are numerous examples of UFO encounters that have left tangible traces of their presence in the physical environment, or on the witnesses themselves. The so-called Cash-Landrum Case of 1980 is a notable example of the latter, having left all three of its witnesses with symptoms of severe radiation poisoning following a late-night encounter with an unidentified object. It is one case, at least, that cannot possibly be dismissed as a fabrication, a misidentification, or a hallucination, and one that points to a possible connection between the UFO phenomenon and the U.S. government."

The video does a very good job of sticking to the original details of the case, and provides just the kind of background needed to draw attention to it and promote further study.

Be sure to check out the videos on other cases and share them with others- a great educational resource: