From: David Clarke <email@example.com> Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 16:35:00 -0400 Fwd Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 09:32:41 -0400 Subject: Re: From Maxwell Burns >From: Jonathan Dyton <firstname.lastname@example.org> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <email@example.com> >Subject: Re: From Maxwell Burns >Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 19:22:15 +0100 >>Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 01:10:01 -0400 >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <firstname.lastname@example.org> >>From: Sue Kovios <email@example.com> >>Subject: Re: From Maxwell Burns >Anyway. Now those event's have been the subject of massive >investigation - and a lot of it happened very very quickly >afterwards as well. Quest sent a team over there, the BBC did an >(pretty mediocre but sceptical) episode of one of it's >paranormal type shows on the events (and didn't mention anything >about triangles), there was tons in the Uk forums and in the >magazines at the time that were still quite boyant, but I saw >not one item about the shooting down of an RAF plane. That's because no one in the real world would ever have given such an absurd claim the time of day without some pretty good evidence to back it up. All we have ever got - and are still getting from behind prison bars - are promises of new and conclusive evidence which never arives Remember the guy out walking who happened to bump into some Tornado pilot (as you do) who said a plane had been lost that night. Remember the patience we were all sposed to have as Max was going to come up with the name of this mysteriously dead but unmissed pilot? Well we're still waiting more than two years later but people are still hawking this rubbish around. I well remember one of the researchers from BBC Mysteries cracking up in hysterical laughter when I explained Max's theory to her. But I still asked her to give him a chance to air it live on TV, so the whole country could share the joke.. She didn't bother in the end, which was a shame. But in the wacky world of ufology any kind of ludicrous story can be floated on the grapevine nowadays and there will always be some gullible soul out there waiting to swallow it whole, and set up some new cult or other to promote it ad infinitum. That's how myths are created - and I would have thought enough had been deflated by now for people to realise this. Those new to the subject know little if anything about the history of ufology, hence the continual credulity which prevails. Oh hum. >Now, I can't produce everything written from March '97 until the >first thing by Max saying a plane was shot down in ufological >circles - but if it someone made those claims before Max and >made them publically I haven't seen them in print nor any >reporting of a lecture with those claims. If someone has it'll >be a darn sight easier to produce the one article or piece of >news than for me to produce everything written in that time on >this list! If it exists, then I'm wrong, it's that simple.. Well I can help you out there old chap, because I was present from the word go with my notepad and pen ready as helicopters whirred over my head and police dragged their tired and cold carcasses off that God-forsaken moorland. No one mentioned UFOs at all until Max showed up on the scene - as the witness Sharon Aldridge later testified. Yes there was talk of Ghost-Planes (see my article in current issue of The Unopened Files), and this was even taken seriously by the police themselves. The UFO connection with the Howden Moors case is entirely the product of Max Burns imagination and I give him all due credit for creating a modern-day myth. I distinctly remember discussing the case with the Maxwell Burns Cult [as surely it now is] at the 1997 BUFORA Conference, about five months after the incident had occured. Then the Maxwell Burns Cult was hawking the story round that a UFO had crashed on the moor and had been retrieved by one of those blue-beret type retrieval things. During the discussion (Andy Roberts was witness to this) it became obvious that Max was not familiar with the area he was talking about, did not recognise some of the well-known areas of the Peak District moors we fielded to him, and was quite plainly "making it all up as he went along." Obviously imagination was working overtime henceforward as the case underwent a mysterious metamorphosis from this point and lo and behold the Tornado jet shot down by Flying Triangle appeared - no doubt after a lengthy and vivid brainstorming session with the assistance of whatever subtances Max was ingesting at the time. Anyway Jonathon, I digress, as the question you were asking concerned when was the first appearance of the RAF jet nonsense in the media or in public. The answer is (and I claim first prize here) or was the Summer 1997 issue of now defunct Alien Encounters magazine, where after a mish-mash of misreporting and selective use of facts, Max puzzled about the sonic booms recorded near Sheffield and asked that immortal question: "Could this have been the UFO making a crash landing, or a Tornado crashing after being attacked by a UFO?" So that was the monstrous birth which started the Max Burns Cult, which has taken a life of its own ever since. Those of us who have watched events unfold, including Martin Jeffrey who undertook an independent investigation and reached the same conclusion as myself, have often mused over how and why Max dreamed up this particularly detailed fantasy when the "crashed UFO retrieved by blue berets" would have been far more inviting and less easy to disprove. I can only guess it must have been some sub-plot in an episode of the X-Files or maybe he just made it up (the simplest explanations are often the best). The only conclusion I have been reach does not relate to Max himself, but more to the credulity of those who have taken his claims seriously for more than a millisecond. In the days when people had to write letters to each other to discuss the pros and cons of UFO cases, the barely literate characters who populate the airways today would have had a hard time promoting such a huge confidence trick, and hoodwinking so many for so long. But in the days of the Internet any old tripe can be dished up to the great unwashed, and be taken seriously regardless of the lack of one single checkable piece of evidence. As they say, there's one born every minute! Still it's all been vastly amusing, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world - to actually be present at the birth of a myth. Thanks Max - what a privilege it's been!
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