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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > Oct > Oct 22

Carbondale UFO Crash Chronicles Entry No. 2

From: Matt Graeber <Matthewgraeber.nul com>
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 10:07:37 EDT
Fwd Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 12:33:55 -0400
Subject: Carbondale UFO Crash Chronicles Entry No. 2

The Carbondale UFO Crash Chronicles

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION regarding their request for the
iniation of a   (GAO) Government Accounting Office inquiry
into the cover up of The Carbondale UFO incident of November 9-

(A gentle critique).

Welcome back to the Carbondale Ufo Crash Chronicles - I'm really
glad you've returned and may be sharing this information with
your fellow saucerheads or saucerheadettes... as the case may be.

This time we are going to explore the lack of merit to the BUFO
PETITION for a G. A. O. inquiry into the Carbondale UFO crash
cover up - which of course, the BUFOrian's believe to be a
factual and potentially historic event... or, as their ace
investigator Ron Hannivig refers to the matter, "The big one!"

Since some of my reader's may not be aware of the fact that I
was one of the three pimary UFO field investigators at the
Carbondale crash site on the 11th of November,1974. It might be
a good idea for those readers to peruse my essay/report on the
Carbondale UFO/Lantern Hoax at the

http://magonia. mysite. wanado-members. co. uk/ms55. htm

the story is posted in full-length. It's not a quick read so,
have some milk and cookies at the ready.

The essay/report is far too lengthy and detailed to place in
this journal but, it suffices to say that quite a few serious
UFO researchers who have read it feel that it is a revealing,
instructive and informative article. I won't bother to quote
them here as I wouldn't want to be accused of tooting my own
horn... But, then again,what the hell, "toot-toot!!"

However, that's not really what I wanted to discuss with you
this time. The thrust of this writing is directed at the
frivilous and extraordinarily nonsensical BUFO PETITION that
Mary Sutherland recently came up with. Of course, I may be
giving Mrs. Sutherland far too much credit here, as the document
does seem to have a rather pronounced Hannivigian flavoring to
it. (one may recall Ronald Hannivig is one of BUFO's pair of
Carbondalean saucer sleuths).

Anyway, while reading the BUFO petition, I quickly realized that
it was not only seriously flawed but, contained several
wonderful examples of unbridled UFOOLogy that I wanted to share
with you. (I hope you'll recall that UFOOLogy is a kind of
investigative dysfunctioning which permits quantum leaps of
illogiocal assumptions to taint UFO reasearching and
investigative thought processes). So, with UFOOLogy redefined, I
think we may safely continue...

Hmm, if you go to:

http://www. burlingtonnews. net/carbondalerussian

you can see the petition. You'll quickly notice that it contains
a lot of 'Whereas' lingo and looks kinda official too. However,
I'm certain that when the Congressional Delegates read the
petition they are not only going to wonder who in the hell wrote
this drivel but, "why?" The answer to that question may not be
very difficult to grasp, once those legal beagles sink their
teeth into it. Let's start at the beginning...

INVESTIGATION OF NOVEMBER 9, 1974 Carbondale Incident.

1. "Whereas, on November 9, 1974 something crash landed into the
silt pond of Carbondale, Pennsylvania. "

Actually, no one observed anything crash landing in the pond at
the time of the initial incident. It was thought that a meteor
which the original reportees (three local teens) had observed
was assumed to have been the same object they discovered moments
later glowing in the pond - that object was actually a six volt
battery powered R. R. lantern.

Twenty-five years later one of the boy's confessed that he made
up the part of the story about seeing an object in the sky
plummet into the pond. However, there may have been some "I saw
it too!" bandwaggoning eyewitnesses who came forward after the
downed UFO rumors had spread throughout the community?

2. "Whereas, for the past 27 years, citizens of Carbondale and
surrounding communities have attempted to find out what it
was. "It's actually been 31 years since the incident occured but
then again, who's counting except BUFO's Hannivig, Sutherland
and Scassellati? During that time not one person from Carbondale
or its surrounding communities has ever contacted me regarding
the on site field investigation and witness interviews that Mr.
Douglas K. Dains and I performed on the incident. I had several
phone calls on November 12,1974 and shared reports with several
UFO researchers at that time, but that was the extent of it.

This obvious lack of interest and objectivity in the case is a
rather curious state of affairs because I know that BUFO's Mr.
Hannivig was informed in 1995 that I was one of the primary
investigators at the scene; and he claimed that "my name didn't
ring a bell for him. "I thought this to be highly unusual
because many news paper stories of the incident mentioned the
names and organizations of all three UFO field investigators at
the alleged crash scene.

Yet, Ron Hannivig never bothered to contact me, it was only
after I contacted BUFO on the internet (in April of 2004), that
Mary Sutherland and a fellow named Rick Fisher, (Fisher had gone
to Carbondale to interview Frank Scassellati). Mr. Fisher of
Paranormal,Pa. inquired as to when I might be sending a
"duplicate copy" of the original report on my findings regarding
the incident to Carbondale's Historical Society - (as the
original 31 page report to the Carbondale Police Department had
mysteriously vanished).

I tried to assist Mrs. Sutherland and her investigators by
providing them with names, addresses and investigative leads
that they might follow up on regading "unanswered questions"
that they found to be baffling, suspicious and mysterious about
the case. I also provided Mrs. Sutherland with a draft of my
essay on the Carbondale Hoax which she promised to post at her
website for her readership to peruse. (In lieu of correcting
several posted distortions about my involvememt at the pond
years earlier).

That didn't happen, and I finally told her to forget about it as
I was planning to post the story myself. But her inverstigator,
Frank Scassellati did post a "rebuttal" to some of the thoughts
I shared with Mrs. Sutherland. He seemed to be particularly upset
with my comment that the story of the incident had over the
years obviously become a piece of Lackawanna County folklore.

Mary Sutherland finally did post a wee bit of my essay in March
of 2005. (i. e.,11+ months after she promised to do so) but, at
"MJ Graeber", not BUFO sites or links. That posting suddenly and
mysteriously appeared along with BUFO's Petition after I
informed Mr. Scassellati that I planned to post this journal
exposing all the BUFOrian nonsence regarding the Carbondale
matter. Mary's responce also appeared when Mr. Harney of Magonia
sent my Carbondale essay/report to UFO UpDates and it appeared
on "Virtually Strange".

3... "Whereas, military personnel from the Army and Air Force
were identfied at the scene by eyewitnesses, including news
reporters and fire fighters, as involved in the search, and
military vehicles were observed at or near the impact site. "

There were not any military personnel at Carbodale during the
entire 44 hour incident. There were Civil Air Patrol members
(some wearing fatigue uniforms - they came from Carbondale and
Scranton, Pa. ) Some of the C. A. P. members were driven to the
scene in a military truck with a canvas tarps, its doors were
clearly marked with the "Civil Air Patrol"logo yet, some near
sighted or simply mistaken folks thought it read U. S.
Army,U. S. Air Force and NASA too.

I briefly spoke to a one Air Force officer who was with the
C. A. P. at the site on Nov. 11,1974 - perhaps this lone individual
is the military personnel that BUFO is talking about (?) Perhaps
the C. A. P. lad who wore a pistol on his hip is the armed Army
troops or military police personnel that some people thought
they saw and encountered at the scene (?)

Perhaps the sighting of the C. A. P. truck sparked the various
covert military truck stories. (?) Perhaps the fact that a piece
of damaged machinery fron the defunct DeAngelis company's coal
breaker at the pond had been taken away on a lowboy trailer at
approximately 6 A. M. on Nov. 10th. further fueled the rumors of a
saucer retreival(?) Perhaps BUFO should have mentioned all this
information in their flimsy, non-objective and woefully slanted

I once worked for a construction firm, and it was standard
operating procedure to move equipment on Sundays to avoid
traffic, and have it available on Monday morning work crews or
necessary repairs.

BUFO's investigators probably are well aware of these facts yet,
they seem to prefer to say that the military were there, and
that news reporters and fire personnel had reported seeing them.
But, Hannivig and Scassellati have failed to post copies of the
five fire company's daily log entries confirming their claims,
and they have not posted the published news articles that
mention any groups other than the C. A. P., the Carbondale police
and volunteer fire companies being present at the so-called
crash site. Doing so is very basic investigative procedure.

They also have not identified which military units were present,
and posted copies of such units daily "Morning Reports" which
would certainly verify their presence at the scene. Strangely,
BUFO's defective detectives haven't even posted the information
contained in the Carbondale police reports concerning the
incident and that information would be very easy to obtain. BUFO
also hasn't posted the UFORIC report which is available as a
matter of public record at the Carbondale Historical Society,
and that lengthy and detailed document has been available for
many months.

4. "Whereas, some witnesses report seeing a glowing object
moving in the waters of the silt pond located in Carbondale,
Pennsylvanua prior to the arrival of military. "

Egads, BUFO almost got this one right! Police and several
witnesses actually did see the disc of light on the surface of
the water "appear to move. "It is highly probable that the "
illusion of movement "occured as the submerged lantern was
nudged by police as they were attempting to scoop it up in a
fish net which was fitted on the end of a 10ft pole.

What was observed by the witnesses and the police may have been
a shift of the railroad lantern's light beam as the lamp
resettled in the silt after it fell out of the fish net. (there
are three illustrations of this light beam shifting in UFORIC's
31 page report on the incident at the Carbondale Historical
Society), and BUFO is well aware of that document because I
informed Mr. Fisher when I would be sending it along.

5. "Whereas, some witnesses state that a large covered object
was transported out of the area on a military flat bed tractor-
trailer truck:"

Well, the only witnesses BUFO has mentioned in their postings
regarding this claim is a "child-at-the-time" gal named Dawn
Race, her mother and her sister Kim whose statements are
completely contradicted (and probably discredited) by two other
eyewitnesses who say they saw a strange object being taken from
the pond during the early morning hours of Nov. 10th 1974 too.
The problem is that neither of the alleged total of five
eyewitnesses mention seeing each other at the pond during the
covert activities. (i. e., the three never saw the other two,
and vice versa. ) So, it seems that someone may be fibbing,
mistaken or visually impaired.

Moreover, the witnesses descriptions of the object do not match,
and two of them are certain that the men at the pond were "not
in uniform. "The same two also say that it was so dark that
they couldn't make out the facial features of the men who asked
them to leave the area - but, they think one of them may have
been the Acting Police Chief.

Yet, BUFO's investigators would ask us to believe that Ms. Race
age 4 at the, her sister Kim age 7, and Mother were able to see
precisely what was going on from a much greater distance than
the original reportees who told their version of events to the
Isis Center's Ms Mary Schmitt, only days after the incident had
been deemed a hoax. Moreover, Dawn Race recently informed me
that she was actually with her Grandfater and sister at the time
of her observations.

Additionally, the two 1974 (Isis Ceneter) witnesses came forward
at the behest of the young Bobby Gillette's Mother, who was
upset that her boy was suspected of perpetrating a costly and
embarrassing prank. Apparently,Vera Gillette didn't like the
idea that some neighbors were calling her boy a liar! Bobby
Gillette was 14 years old at the time.

BUFO's star eyewitness (Ms Dawn Race) was allegedly in the
company of her Mother and sister Kim, at 3 a. m. on the very
dark and frigid morning of Nov. 10th,1974. They were standing in
the St. Rose of Lima Cemetery observing the military place a UFO
on a flat bed truck according to BUFO - While the other couple
(19 year old Bill Brady and Ms. Peggy Mendez-16, who were
described as teenage friends), had managed to skirt the police
cordon and sneak into the area where they observed a small
humming blue object with seven or eight men around it. (Young
Brady and Ms Mendez said they got to within thirty feet of the

Interestingly, the couple were also friends of Bobby Gillettes'
- while BUFO's newest eyewitness is a friendof another boy
(i. e., John Lloyd) who was at the pond with his brother a
Gillette. In fact, after BUFO's investigators visited the pond
with Ms. Race on April, 27th 2004 she, her sister Kim and Rick
Fisher (of Paranormal, Pa. ) were reported to have visited John
Lloyd at his home by Frank Scassellati but, Fisher categorically
denies that ever happening. Ya know, in the old days of UFO
investigation we tried to interview the witnesses separately, on
a one to one basis somehow, it seemed to be the proper thing to
do. (I persoanlly believe that Mr. Fisher's version of the story
is factual).

Of course, there were also rumors that an object was secretly
removed from the pond and placed on a flat bed railcar, in an
armored truck, lifted by two military helicopters- and that even
a locally owned delivery truck was somehow involved in the
recovery activities at the silt pond. So, I guess you can take
your pick of which "unverifiable rumor" you prefer on this

BUFO's investigators seem to embrace the military flat bed
tractor-trailer story which their child-at-the-time witness has
told them about. (Eventhough she says the recovery took place at
a time they do not agree with so, I guess somebody at BUFO seems
to be a little confused about the matter). Moreover, Ms Race
told me that she never saw anyhting being loaded upon the
truck... she just observed it leaving the area.

Curiously, the UFO that was said to have been spirited away by
the military at Kecksburg, Pa. nine years earlier, was also
reported to have been removed from the area on a flat bed
military truck and covered with a tarps just as BUFO's
eyewitness reports. But, Mr. Hannivig, Mr. Scassellati and Mrs.
Sutherland only passingly mention this striking similarity in
their many postings.

Nor do they sound a note of caution about child-at-the-time
witness testimony, which quite often turns out to be more of
what the child heard adults saying about a situation than a
matter of observed fact.

Then of course, there is the sad, but valueable lesson learned
in the acceptance and endorsement of child-at-the-time star
Roswell eyewitness Gerald Anderson. He completely bamboozeled
Stanton Friedman, Walter Andrus of MUFON, the folks at CUFOS and
countless others in the UFO field until Thomas J. Carey unmaskd
him as a chronic and habitual yarn-spinner. I hope the folks at
BUFO contact Mr. Carey about this highly instructive story.
(tcarey1947.nul com).

Additionally, a month before the Carbondale saucer crash
incident occurred, a retired professor of mass communications
from the University of South Florida, (Robert Spencer Carr), was
appearing on many nationally syndicated TV and radio talk shows
discussing the alleged crash of three flying saucers in New
Mexico back in the late 40's. The Professor was a hoaxer who
also appeared at quite a few universities with his yarns. -
 Carr's son revealed upon his father's passing that his Dad told
these bogus stories because he simply enjoyed the attention that
the stories afforded him. (in short, he was a bit of a lonely
and eccentric old man. )

I later learned from another Ufologist that the professor wasn't
actually a professor at all; he had retired after working for
the Disney Corp. But, he was the first to use the term "Building
18" (One might recall from the vast saucer litereature, that
building or, hamger 18 is were quite a number of downed UFOs and
alien bodies are said to be warehoused). Brad Sparks was the
first to inform me of Carr's link to hangar 18.

Mr. Carr was a silver-haired gent who looked something like a
Kentucky Colonel... many people believed his stories which
included visits to his Florida home by little aliens on numerous
occassions. One wonders how much Carr's yarns may have helped to
trigger all the "spontaneous rumors" that sprang up in the coal-
cracking community of Carbondale back in '74 (?)

6. "Whereas, some witnesses report being stopped by armed U. S.
military officials who prevented them from approaching the crash

There were not any armed military units or military police at
the scene, Carbondale police and Civil Air Patrol younsters were
used to cordon off the area because it was feared that a
satellite or space capsule's nuclear powered battery - or,"Snap
Unit" as they are commonly called might have survived re-entry
and may have been leaking its radioactive contents into the

One young C. A. P. member did come to the site with a pistol on
his hip. It was reported to have been a 45 caliber automatic,
and it was removed by the lad's superior at the request of
Carbondale actimg police chief Det. Sgt. Francis X. Dottle, when
he was alerted to the situation by Jerry Palko, a Scranton Times
Reporter (and life-lomg resident of Carbondale) who was at the
scene covering the story.

Additionally, two of the pond's banks were quite steep and
slippery so quite naturally, it was also feared that someone
might accidentally fall into the pond in the fridged darkness.
But, press people and curiousity seekers were permitted in the
area during day light hours. Yet, some conspiracy-minded
induvuduals have deemed these routine safety precautions to be
evidence of a "Press Lock out".

7. "Whereas, after all these years our government insists that
nothing occured and police department of Carbondale continues to
claim that this was a hoax by some local teenager. Both
government and City of Carbondale refuse to disclose records and
evidence on the incident. "

The primary flaw with this claim is that it is completely
foundationless and lacking in candor. BUFO should post all of
it's requests to authorities along with the authorities'
responce to those alleged requests if they are going to accert
that they were denied access to them or some type of physical

I suspect the "evidence" that BUFO is talking about would be the
railroad lantern because nothing else was found in the pond.
Hannivig and Scassellati had also been actively seeking
information concerning the whereabouts of 10 photos of the glow
on the pond's surface, as well as the missing lantern which
Frank thought was still in police lock up. (see his posted 2004
e-mail to Mrs. Sutherland on the matter).

I provided BUFO with the name of the photographer who took 13
(not 10) photos at the pond on Nov. 10th,1974 and told them that
the lantern was taken home as a retirement souvenir by the
policeman who was Acting Police Chief during the UFO incident.
The lantern had also been on display at a local tavern for
awhile as a curiousity piece. There's not a hint of this
information to be found in the BUFO petition.

8. "Whereas, the Cold War is long gone;"

This is a rather curious comment which Ron Hannivig may have
thought to include in the petition. I think the general idea is
to inform the delegation that it is alright for the government
to fess up about recovering a Soviet missile in the pond, and
it's okay for the Russians to know that we did. If correct,this
bit of mental gymnastics is probably Mr. Hannivig's most
creative UFOOLogical fantasy.

9. "And whereas, The public has the right to know what its
government recovered and answers to the following questions:"

"What landed near Carbondale,PA on November, 1974"

Nothing but a railroad lantern which was tossed into a pond by
three teenagers on a nothing-else-to-do Saturday night in
Carbondale. But, Bobby Gillette later confessed that he and the
Lloyd brothers had also tossed a flashlight into the pond before
they tossed the lantern in- and that the flashlight didn't burn
very long. Gilette said that he and his buddies were trying to
scare his sister Maria with a story that a monster or, something
scary was in the water... (i. e., a post halloween prank that
simply got out of control).

"Where did the orders come from for Army, Air Force, personnel
to be dispatched to the scene."

The Army, the Air Force and local National Guard were not at the
scene. The Carbondale police and a few surrounding community
police were, along with Civil Air Patrol members from Carbondale
and Scranton,PA. There were also five volunteer fire companies
at the site from nearby communities.

"Why did the military personnel and local officials contain the
area to prevent the object from being observed."

Although this question contains its own answer, I'll correct its
errrors by pointing out that the area was cordoned off to
"protect "the public from potential danger as it was initally
feared that the object in the pond "may" have been radioactive
Space Junk (i. e., a damaged Space Nuclear Auxillary Power

It was Dr. Hynek of CUFOS, who first warned the Acting Police
Chief of this "potential danger", and explained that a falling
meteor would have been instantly extinguished as it struck the
pond. Dr. Hynek instructed the acting chief to proceed with
caution and obtain a geiger counter to check out the pond area.
The geiger counter was then loaned from the Forest City Police
Department. (All of this is a matter of public record).

"What was the importance of the object that caused the military
to rapidly respond to the Carbondale area. "

I'm hoping that the BUFOrians will be able to figure this one
out for themselves, if they cannot, perhaps the question should
be engraved on the wall of a UFO Mysteries Museum for all future
BUFOrians to gaze upon in breathless wonder. A routine
examination of newspaper archival photographs taken diuring the
incident reveal that no military personnel were present, along
with the complete lack of any reporter mentionoing they were.

Well, I think that we've discussed enough of the BUFO PETITION'S
ridiculous claims for now. Unfortunately, even with these
unfounded charges, accusations and questions responded to, I'm
certain that the inquisitive folks at BUFO will manage to come
up with a few more.

But, I think we have a good enough start to realize that the
BUFO slant on this topic is not only frivilous, it's almost
moronic too. (i. e., they are not presenting a fair and balanced
(i. e,objective) accounting of the Carbondale incident...
perhaps the G. A. O. can look into that little problem too?

Moreover, BUFO bases all its investigative assumptions on the
statements of the late Robert D. Barry of the 20th Century UFO
Bureau; who claimed that a military man (an unidentified
colonel), told him about a Soviet missile "probably" being in
the pond. However, this colonel was never named and BUFO doesn't
even know if he ever existed. - yet, the BUFOOLogists refer to
him as a " military spokesman "thereby giving their spin on the
story a bit of high-ranking (albeit, highly-questionable)
authority. Mr. Hannivig appears to be the most prolific Spin
Meister of the group, and we'll discuss several of his gems in
the next entry of this journal.

I once informed Mrs. Sutherland that the Carbondale UFO crash
story had become a part of Lackawanna County's folklore - and
that just as Davy Crockett hadn't actually kilt him a barr when
he was only three (and everybody knows it), that knowledge
hasn't compelled anyone to alter the lyrics in ole Davy's song
of praise. I even asked Mary if she knew that Davy had
reportedly riden on a light'n bolt?

Mary replied, "No, I didn't know that Davy Crockett was said to
have riden a light'n bolt. Was this light'n bolt of natural
origin or ET engineered "... smiles. Mary continued, "But
getting back to Carbondale, what happened that day was not
folklore but it may be an important part of our American History
someday. It is up to us now to find out all the facts so that
our future generation can have a better source than what we had
given to us from prevoius generations. Davy Crockett is a good
example of how history rewrites according to how they "wanted"
it instead of what really happened. Let us not repeat this same
mistake. "

After having read Mrs. Sutherland's highly informative and
instructive words, I didn't have the heart to inform her that
the Davy Crockett ballad was written at Disney Studios during
the 1950's (not the 1850's), somehow I feel she may have missed
the point entirely but, I did tell her that Davy's ride on a
light'n bolt may have given rise to the 1960's term "Hot Pants!"

I Anyway, I suppose that Mary's failure to post my complete
essay on the Carbondale incident is an indicator that future
generations are not going to receive an objective, fair and
balanced reporting on the Carbondale incident from BUFO. That's
why I'm going through the effort of writing this journal to pass
along... I just wish I had a Tee-shirt or a UFO keyfob to offer
for sale too but, I don't.

So, stay tuned, and we'll continue our probe of this continuing
BUFOOLogical activity in the next entry of the CARBONDALE UFO
CRASH CHRONICLES... 'til then, " Keep on watch'n the skies,
reading UFO Updates" and NEVER under estimate the wisdumb of

Matt Graeber

DISCLAIMER: The auther of this journal entry is solely
responsible for it's content. The comical aspects of the entry
are credited to BUFO.

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