From: David Clarke <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 15:00:23 -0400 Fwd Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 16:41:10 -0400 Subject: Sheffield 'Incident' - New Evidence >From Dave Clarke, Sheffield To recap: Max Burns claims a witness called Jonathon Dagenhart saw the co-pilot of a Tornado fighter jet which was destroyed by a UFO it was pursuing above the Peak District of Northern England on the evening of March 24, 1997. This is the Burns scenario: After bailing out of his aircraft, this co-pilot parachuted onto the A57 Snake Pass, one of the busiest trans-Pennine roads linking the cities of Sheffield and Manchester. Despite being soaked to the skin with highly inflammable aviation fuel, the "co-pilot" did not radio emergency services for help but decided to hitch a lift from a passing mini-bus in which Mr Dagenhart and friends were travelling to Sheffield... Am I alone in smelling a rat here? In a pathetic bout of name-calling Max claims I have lied about my conversations with Dagenhart and further that all I can do is follow his witnesses around "like a demented schoolboy". However, Max does not own exclusive rights to "his" witnesses and if he intends to use - or in this case manipulate - their evidence to support wild claims about UFOs then he must expect others to approach and question them too. In this case by doing so I have managed to conclusively disprove ALL of the claims Max has made about this incident and in the process discovered the true identity of this alleged "co-pilot". First of all I contacted Dagenhart directly on two occasions by phone on May 11 and 12 and the following statement is taken directly from shorthand notes transcribed immediately afterwards: "I was a passenger on a minibus which was travelling across the Snake Pass towards Sheffield late on the night of March 24 last year. When crossing the viaduct over the reservoir the bus was flagged down by a man who was acting suspiciously. "He spoke little English and was West Indian or Asian in appearance, with short black hair and a round face. He did not seem to know where he was and just said he wanted to get to Sheffield. "The guy was covered in fuel of some sort and from the smell I thought it was paraffin or diesel, but since then I have joined the RAF and I can say it was a smell like aviation fuel. "We didn't give the man a lift because the bus was full and we didn't like the look of him, but I thought it was odd because there were no parked cars anywhere near and it was a deserted spot. "The next day I heard about the search for the crashed plane and rang police to report the incident, thinking the man might have been an immigrant or criminal they were searching for." Questioned about the clothes this man was wearing, in the light of Max's claims, Dagenhart told me: "They were just ordinary dark clothes. He was definitely not wearing the sort of uniform associated with RAF pilots. I would have recognised that uniform immediately." Dagenhart reported the incident to South Yorkshire Police on March 25 and heard no more about it until he received a letter from Max Burns, almost a year after the event. Max had obtained this witnesses' home address from a copy of a log belonging to South Yorkshire Police which had been provided by another UFOlogist, Martin Jeffrey, of Sheffield. According to Dagenhart, in the letter Max identified himself, not as a UFOlogist, but as "a journalist working for a national organisation." After asking him to repeat his account of the events Max asked if he could use his testimony in a story he was working on for a national newspaper (as it turns out the downmarket News of the World). Permission was granted, but according to Dagenhart's statement on May 12 "at no stage in any of this conversation did Max tell me he was going to use what I told him in a story claiming I had seen the co-pilot of a Tornado which had been shot down by a UFO. "I don't believe the man I saw was a pilot and if my name were to go in a national newspaper associated with such a claim I could get into serious trouble with my employers, the RAF. "I haven't been silenced by anyone, I just don't want my name connected with a story like this and that is why I intend to tell Max not to involve me any further. "I just told him what I saw that night and that is all I know." Shortly after this conversation, Jonathon phoned Max, withdrew permission for the story to go ahead, and asked him not to use his name in connection with these claims as it could put his career in jeopardy. As readers of UFO UpDates will know, Max has ignored Max's request and spread his name and the nature of his employment across the globe on the Internet. As the transcript of Max's phone conversation with Dagenhart reveals, Max is jubilant because he has obtained exactly the sort of story he was wanting to hear, so jubilant in fact he says he would buy the witness flowers if he was a woman! Now I come to my point: Who was this man "covered in aviation fuel" encountered by Jonathon Dagenhart on the Snake Pass? You would think any objective investigator worth his salt would not accept a story like this at face value but would at least ask some obvious questions, including: why would a stricken pilot hitch a ride on a minibus rather than contact the military or emergency services by radio? Would an RAF pilot whose plane had been destroyed above his own country find it so difficult to speak English? How many Tornado pilots are of Asian or West Indian appearance anyway? But this is besides the point. As a thorough investigator, I got to the truth within just half an hour by asking those who were there at the time: first port of call was Inspector Andy Howard, the duty police inspector at Bakewell, Derbyshire, who was on duty on the night of March 24, and Brian Jones, the senior Peak Park Ranger who is based at Fairholmes in the Derwent Valley and is responsible for the management of the whole area. Surprise, surprise, Brian Jones - who has 30 years' experience as a National Park ranger - remembered the incident straight away. Details about a man covered in petrol or paraffin wandering on the Snake Pass that night had in fact been reported to him by the police the next morning. "I do remember the incident as it was reported to the Peak Park Ranger service the next morning," he told me. "I understand it was a failed suicide attempt. It was someone who had driven out to the country and poured petrol or some other inflammable liquid over himself. But he had not gone through with the suicide. It had been reported to South Yorkshire Police who had passed it to Derbyshire to deal with. It's the sort of thing that happens occasionally in a remote area like this." I then contacted Insp Howard who confirmed the incident had occurred as described by the Ranger, but due to its sensitive nature no Press statement had been released at the time. So there we have it folks, not a co-pilot after all, but a disturbed and possibly mentally ill individual who had made an attempt to take his own life that night. However, add a UFO believer desperate to find evidence of crashed spaceships, UFO dogfights and massive cover-ups of evidence, and hey presto, what have you got. Every mundane and unrelated incident is used to bolster the flimsy evidence to support a theory which cannot be proved. In this case, a man who attempted suicide and another who witnessed the incident have been used by a UFO believer to promote a preposterous yarn about a UFO dogfight. In Dagenhart's case his evidence is still being used on Max's website as "evidence" despite this man's express desire not to be involved, and regardless of the harm it may cause to his career. As the saying goes Max - the game is up and you are rumbled. Furthermore, and more importantly, you cannot answer to direct questions I posed in a challenge on an earlier posting, and your claims must therefore be relegated to the trash can. I rest my case.
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