From: Alfred Lehmberg <Lehmberg@snowhill.com> Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 09:38:29 -0600 Fwd Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 03:55:02 -0500 Subject: John Ford - #1 From: UFO Magazine in the UK -- http://www.ufomag.co.uk/ THE JOHN FORD AFFAIR As you read this, New York UFO activist John Ford is languishing in jail awaiting trial for conspiracy. The circumstances of his arrest and past involvement with an alleged UFO crash-retrieval incident at Moriches Bay, Long Island, are profoundly disturbing. BACKGROUND John Ford founded the Long Island UFO Network in 1985. He investigated UFO sightings and alleged abductions; held public meetings and sponsored conferences; leafleted and organised demonstrations. He also produced the Long Island UFO Newsletter, which was regularly received and enjoyed by enthusiasts around the globe. It was in that newsletter that he first wrote of an extraordinary incident which alleged that a UFO had been shot down in 1989 by American military forces over Moriches Bay in Long Island. He later claimed to have uncovered details of a similar crash in 1992 in South Haven Park and when an unidentified object reportedly came to grief in the Pine Barrens region of Long Island three years later, he insisted that fires in the region had been deliberately lit to act as a diversion. Despite consistent denials by the authorities that there was anything untoward in any of these incidents, John persisted in his claims, insisting that his sources were real and their stories sincere. He spoke of having gleaned his information from officials within the New York City Police and Fire Departments; of members of the public who claimed to have seen a fireball descend into South Haven Park. John Ford simply wouldn't take no for an answer and became a genuine thorn in the side of the authorities. He repeated his allegations through public meetings and demonstrations held outside police headquarters. THE ARREST On 12 June 1996, John Ford was arrested in what Police later described as a classic 'sting' operation. This followed the use of telephone taps and a paid police informant who was 'wired' to monitor and record conversations. Almost a year earlier, Ford had confided to close friends and associates that he was convinced he was the victim of a deliberate plot to harass him. He went so far as to claim that the plot might entail his penultimate murder. Shortly after his arrest, Suffolk District Attorney James Catterson, told journalists gathered for the press briefing that Ford had been charged with conspiracy to murder and possession of radium without a license. The intended murder victim was alleged to be none other than John Powell, leader of the Suffolk County Republican Party. The means by which Ford intended to carry out the act? By placing radioactive radium in Powell's toothpaste... District Attorney Catterson held two press conferences and compared the significance of Ford's arrest to that of the infamous Unabomber. Other charges made at the time against Ford were subsequently dropped, but the conspiracy to murder charge was deemed serious enough for the Judge in the case to deem that Ford's bail would be set at half-a-million dollars. Needless to say, neither he nor his friends could raise such an amount and Ford remains incarcerated in jail awaiting trial. Surprisingly to some, he has issued no statement other than to plead "not guilty" when the charges were first put to him. Towards the end of last year, several concerned parties invoked greater public awareness of Ford's plight by placing supportive articles in prestigious UFO publications such as America's MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) Journal (November 1996 issue) and the Internet. They formed the aptly named John Ford Defence Committee and began a fund raising campaign to help with his legal defence. They also publicly appealed for an expert psychiatrist, professional audiotape analyst and Long Island-based private investigator to volunteer their efforts. Those on the Committee are convinced of Ford's innocence and cite numerous incidents and strange occurrences which led them to that conclusion. According to Committee Member Elaine Douglas, none of the media mentioned claims of harassment by Ford and other LIUFON members at the time of his arrest, nor she says, a higher than average rate of auto-accidents experienced by Ford and his colleagues. Members had their vehicles vandalised and one in particular, Joe Mazzuchelli, is said to have been dragged out of his vehicle the previous winter and physically beaten by four men who told him to "stay out of our business". Mazzuchelli was arrested with John Ford on 12 June. WHAT DID JOHN FORD UNCOVER? Ford, like many UFO researchers the world over, could only have dreamed of the possibility that he might one day stumble across a major UFO incident on his 'patch', at which he could assume the role of leading investigator. The 1989 Moriches Bay incident appeared to have afforded him such an opportunity. His investigation of that particular affair contained a suggestion that the technology used to bring down the purported alien spacecraft originated at Brookhaven National Laboratory, based on Long Island. Elaine Douglas avoids the re-telling of what Ford uncovered about the three incidents in her campaign literature, preferring instead to concentrate on the man, and what she perceives to be a case of injustice. She does include a curious coincidence about Moriches Bay, which may or may not offer food for thought. It was here that Ford alleged a UFO had been brought down in 1989, but it is also the spot where TWA Flight 800 mysteriously crashed in August last year. The cause of that disaster has thus far eluded Federal Law enforcement and aviation investigators, despite twenty eye-witness accounts from people who claim to have seen an unaccountable light streaking towards the 747 aircraft moments before it exploded. Ford's knowledge of the legal system, put to such good effect in his legitimate street demonstrations, stemmed from a career as a court official working at the Suffolk County Court. Those who knew him are adamant he was not capable of conspiring to murder anyone - it simply wasn't in his character. "You can't believe how many people have called me to say they can't envision John Ford killing anyone, or even conceiving the intention," said his attorney John Rouse. He scoffs at the suggestion that Ford could covertly enter the Powell household of four people, select the particular toothpaste used by the man of the house and implant radium in order to kill him. Elaine Douglas points out that in the 1920's, radium-dial painters used to lick their brushes out of habit and it took 40 years before anyone contracted cancer. She asked: "Was Ford going to break in and put radium in Powell's toothpaste every week for 40 years until he got cancer?" The prosecution's arguments are further strained she argues by their contention that the illegal radium was kept hidden by Ford in the back of his pick-up truck, which was always parked at the front of his house. District Attorney Catterson labelled Ford a "mastermind" at the press briefings, at which he raised further serious charges where no indictments were subsequently returned. "This," said John Rouse, "is called poisoning the jury pool." The police arrested Ford immediately following a conversation that took place between their informant, Ford and Mazzuchelli. The informant was 'wired' and, it's claimed, recorded a discussion in which Ford and Mazzuchelli both spoke about doing away with Powell and another local politician through the use of radium in toothpaste. A copy of the tape was eventually handed over to Ford's attorney and according to LIUFON's Preston Nichols "is unintelligible". Nichols said, "All I can clearly hear on that tape is the informant talking and John laughing, like whatever they're talking about is a big joke." Attorney Rouse is hoping to get the tape enhanced, but admits the plight of both men is serious. If found guilty, either could be jailed for between 25 and 75 years in an upstate New York prison. Elaine Douglas has had run-ins with the Suffolk County Police before. In April 1993 she wrote to them complaining of police violation of LIUFON member's civil rights. Apparently they had been prevented from leafleting near South Haven Park by the police who told them they must leave the area. The house to house leafleting had been organised to seek out potential witnesses in what was described by Douglas as a "witness-constitutionally protected activity". The John Ford Defence Committee's support for Ford "..is based on our conviction that he did not, would not, and could not conspire to murder anyone," said Elaine Douglas. "On this point our support is complete and total," she added. What though of Ford's claims that a low intense military conflict exists between the United States and aliens? Is that possible? "Yes, it is," according to Douglas. "I speak only for myself and not for other members of the Defence Committee," she said. "I always found John's allegations hard to believe but impossible to dismiss because he had evidence what he claimed was perfectly possible. "Just because John's allegations 'fit' doesn't make them true, but the fact is John had evidence. He claimed three events on Long Island - even if he was wrong on two of them, if he was right on only one, John had a tiger by the tail. If so, it's no surprise somebody would try to destroy John Ford." "He is the first UFO investigator to be seriously persecuted by the authorities. Shall we sit idly by while our colleague's life is destroyed? If John Ford is silenced, who is next?" AN INDEPENDENT VIEWPOINT We invited New York resident Alan Raven to offer his opinions about the affair and he wrote the following: I did attend a one-day presentation in the summer of 1994 given by the Long Island group about the 1992 (South Haven Park) incident. As I expected, it was overly long at nine hours and was ragged, rambling and generally unprofessional. However, the group had done a tremendous amount of work, beginning on the evening of the incident. At the time of the presentation the investigation was still on-going, and involved mapping, interviews, collection of what might have been bits of wreckage, on-ground searches, surveys, and even a couple of aerial searches. The group claimed there was a collision of sorts at 90,000ft. At least two vehicles came to earth and wreckage was spread over a wide area. One object crashed near the South Shore in South Haven Park (which in reality is a pine forest) after passing low over a main highway (Sunrise Highway) and was seen close-up by several motorists. The object (described as a rod) passed out of sight. Shortly afterwards there was an explosion followed immediately by a large fire that lit up the night sky. A second object came to earth in the grounds of Brookhaven National Laboratory, a few miles to the north of the South Haven Park site. After being grounded for several hours the object exploded as it tried to take off. The Long Island group obtained videotape from a source which they refused to name. The first video was taken at the South Haven Park by (they claimed) a fireman who was one of the first on the scene. These firemen arrived before government forces came and the video was of course confiscated. The group's copy came (they say) from a government source. The video, which is of very poor quality and taken at night, shows figures being moved and laid out. It also purports to show (in part close-up) an insectoid figure. The second video clip, from the same source, shows an explosion of some sort that appears to be associated with a building, or object, or craft. The group claimed it was a disc or lifeboat type of craft that came down in the grounds of Brookhaven. I have seen both video clips several times. They were interesting but unfortunately not definitive, even after enhancement. After sitting through the presentation I came away having no doubt that something very important did happen that night, and that the government came down with an iron-fist within one hour of the event. There was in addition, a great deal of trace evidence spread over large areas. CONSPIRACY? WHAT CONSPIRACY? All those closest to John Ford have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that his track record as a UFO 'activist' is probably second to none. 'He investigated UFO sightings and alleged abductions; held public meetings and sponsored conferences; leafleted and organised demonstrations. He also produced the Long Island UFO Newsletter, which was regularly received and enjoyed by enthusiasts around the globe.' Some find it rather odd therefore, that a man who argued so vociferously to make his point, who proclaimed he was being harassed by the authorities, should now utter nothing more than two words following his arrest. Other than "not guilty" he has issued no statement which could have been used by the Defence Committee to bolster their campaign. Of course Ford might well be acting on instructions issued by his defence attorney to 'say nothing until the trial' - a perfectly reasonable and common practise. Elaine Douglas raises claims of harassment, beatings, burglaries, auto accidents and vandalism, but where is the corroboration? Were reports filed to the police in all these instances? How much radium did the police find? High quantities might just take slightly less than 40 years to have lethal effects. Were the police acting unconstitutionally in preventing leafleting campaigns? Some say not - especially if a neighbourhood had signs that prohibited such activity. If a resident complained to the police they would be duty bound to act. Until the trial takes place, one can only speculate as to what might emerge in terms of evidence presented by both defence and prosecution attorneys which will hopefully answer these and many other questions. If allegations of a conspiracy to discredit John Ford have any foundation at all, it must mean that what he and other colleagues stumbled across as UFO researchers was of such tremendous significance that the authorities had to shut them up. So what exactly did happen? The Unopened Files re-traced the events as reported by Ford and his colleagues several years ago. Few listened to him at the time, but now you have an opportunity to make a balanced judgement for yourselves... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lehmberg@snowhill.com Restore John Ford! -- Explore the Alien View! Ponder the Wit & Wisdom of Ching Chow! http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/arecibo/46/ <Updated 12 September> John Ford Restoration Fund -- Send your checks and money orders to _me_, Alfred Lehmberg (cut out the lawyers, they got their's) at: 304 Melbourne Drive, Enterprise AL, 36330. Strict records kept. "Only thin, _very light_ envelopes with a return address will be accepted <g>." ~~~ $225.00 pledged -- $100.00 collected ~~~ "I cleave the heavens, and soar to the infinite. What others see from afar, I leave far behind me." - Giordano Bruno, while burning at the fundamentalist's stake.
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