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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > Oct > Oct 26

Carbondale UFO Crash Chronicles Entry No. 3

From: Matt Graeber <Matthewgraeber.nul>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 19:03:57 EDT
Fwd Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 11:20:44 -0400
Subject: Carbondale UFO Crash Chronicles Entry No. 3

Entry No. 3 The Not-So-Gentle Art Of Character Assasination

(with a bufonian spin)

So, here we are again, about to venture into the murky BUFOian
world of suspicion, unchecked accusation, outlandish assumption
and unbridled UFOOLogy. But this time we're going to a level of
responce that we haven't employed in previous Carbondale UFO
Crash Chronicle entries because the BUFOrian "Spin" involved in
what we are about to discuss is absolutely malicious, insideous
and reprehensible.

This time we'll discuss the claims and charges that the
bufoonians have leveled at retired Detective Lieutenant Francis
X. Dottle, He was the Acting Police Chief (and a Det. Sgt.) at
the time of the alleged UFO incident back in 1974. In the
interest of fairness, I must start off by saying that I will be
taking comments by BUFO's Ronald Hannivig (and the late Robert
D. Barry) out of context but, I will quickly add that I haven't
altered the meaning, character or intent of their writings.

So, let's get started.....


www. burlingtonnews.net/carbondalerussiann

you'll see BUFO Paranormal and Radio's NEWS REPORT, which is
actually a press release that claims to reveal The Carbondale
UFO Story the News Media and Public never received back in 1974.

The posting is a composite of Mr. Robert D. Barry's 31 year old
(One man) 20th Century UFO Bureau report on the incident with
additional rants provided by BUFO's Ron Hannivig and/or Mrs.
Mary Sutherland (it's difficult to distinguish beween the two at
times), concerning their suspicions and accusations regarding 10
missing photographs that were taken of a glowing object beneath
the pond on November 10th, 1974 shortly after the railroaad
lantern was retreived from the pond by the scuba diver and
proclaimed to have been the source of the light beneath the

That's true, the 13 (Not 10), photos were of a glowing light
'on' the pond's surface, not what may have been beneath the
pond's surface. The photos had not yet been developed and were
not missing at the time of the news conference. So, how does the
existance of these photos serve to prove that a cover up had
been perpetrated by the Carbobdale police?

No one mentioned the photos at the press conference because they
were not an issue or an item of particular interest to anyone
other than the police as evidence, _if_ charges were ever to be
brought against the hoaxers. Moreover, the photos were the
property of Mr. Jerome Gillott (the photographer) and Sgt.
Dottle was not at liberty to just pass them out to anyone who
expressed an interest in them. (this obviously annoyed Mr. Barry
of the 20th. Century UFO bureau), Mr. Barry didn't explain why
he hadn't contacted the photographer directly about the photos
but, since he was the one man show at the bureau, it may have
simply slipped his busy conspiratorial mind?

Young Gillott (17) at the time, had promised to send me a couple
photos for my report when the negatives were developed (i.e.,
The photos may have been of some use in a written report
concerning the hoax) but, he never did, and after sending him a
reminder letter and phoning his home twice I decided to complete
my December, 1975 UFORIC report without the photos.

I provided BUFO with Mr. Gillott's address and phone number in
April of 2004, because Mrs. Sutherland's investigators were
looking in the wrong place for information on the photos,
eventhough Gillott was identified in several press accounts as
the photographer. Hannivig and Scassellati were looking for
someone named 'Al'.

The press had taken many photos at the so-called UFO recovery
site which were far more interesting and detailed than Gillott's
shots. Ron Hannivig should throughly examine these many
newspapaer file photos and tell us how many armed military
personnel he can spot in the crowds. (Ans. None!)

Additionally, Mr. Barry had started complaining about Sgt.
Dottle's not providing him with the photos on 11-14-74... I
guess that Barry thought the Carbondale Police Department had
its own photo lab and didn't have to wait for the prints to
arrive at the corner drug store from the kodak lab. (a common
small town police department practice back in the early 70's)

Let's read a little more from BUFO's shocking press release. It
continues, "Another fact, unknown to the news media and the
general public is the fact that there exists two strips of 35m.
m. film of the glow from the submerged object in the pond. Mr.
Barry and his unidentified assistant, witnessed and examined the
strips of film which contained at least five frames each of a
glowing object.....

Hence, there exist at least ten pictures, in negative form, of
"the object". (No, Ron that's not quite right; what exists are
13 negatives of the GLOW on the pond's surface, NOT the object
beneath the pond's surface).

The BUFOrian Spin continues... "On the film, the image shows a
dark, circular object with some frames from a somewhat smaller
object and another showing it as being larger. All frames seemed
to show a basically circular shape. The films are in the
possession of the Carbondale Police Department (as of 11-12-74).
Acting Police Chief Francis Dottle informed Mr. Barry that when
the photos are made from the negatives, the pictures will show
"a yellow glow". Barry requested a frame or two for use in
analyzing the object but was refused. (According to Barry). The
pictures were taken about 3 A. M. on 11-10-74"

This is perhaps the most revealing piece of BUFOria regarding
the so-called "Missing Photos"- first of all, the negatives
WOULD show a dark circular shape on the water's surface as light
appears to be dark on a negative plate.

Moreover, the apparent size changes of the glow on the water's
surface were caused by the fact that several of the photographs
were telephoto shots while others were not. So, where's the
mystery in all this "Missing Photos" nonsence Mr. Hannivig?

Oh yes, Sgt. Dottle was also accused of not providing Mr. Barry
with a couple of frames of the negatives to further analyze on
the day after the 44hr. fiasco had terminated - Obviously, Mr.
Barry felt that Sgt. Dottle probably didn't have anything else
to do that day except cater to the whims and requests of the
20th Century UFO bureau. I mean, Didn't Mr. Barry have the
common sence to realize that Sgt. Dottle still had a police
department to run and a community to serve and protect? The
nonsense continues.....

"Nothing was said of the possibility that it (the object in the
water) was a Russian missile." That's also true, because Mr.
Barry had not yet started spinning the yarn that it might have
been a Soviet missile or a UFO. Moreover, if Mr. Barry did
suspect that it was a Soviet missile in the pond, why didn't he
bring it up at the press conferene himself? After all, he and
his assistant (a rather strange fellow that some folks jokingly
called Igor), had been telling stories to anyone who would
listen, about a UFO over Russia incident earlier in the day at
the pond.

Indeed, stories which included the UFOs having zapped and
completely destroyed a Soviet tank factory with high-powered ray
gun beams. So, what was Mr. Barry's problem with simply
mentioning the possibility of a Soviet missile being in the
pond at the Carbondale Press Conference on Nov 11th, 1974? My
guess is that he hadn't fully concocted the story yet.

Although, there were rumors that two men in dark suits (MIB's)
told a Scranton Times Tribune reporter about the UFO/Sovier tank
factory incident. I think Mr. Barry and his assistant were
wearing charcoal grey suits at the pond - perhaps, they were the
MIB's people were talking about?

Mr. Barry wasn't a team player at the site either, and I did not
observe him performing a thorough field investigation at the
pond. He seemed to be more of a social butterfly- interested in
speaking with spectators and press people. He was also busy
handing out religious tracts, and warning folks that some UFOs
are actually piloted by fallen angels.

His report of the incident makes no mention of sample-taking or
scientific observations and measurements - rather, it is
basically concerned with his claim that a reliable (albeit never
identified) informanant (i. e., a mysterious military man - a
colonel to be exact) told him that a Soviet missile, or part of
one might be in the pond. Barry never even specified which
branch of the service the "Military Man" was supposed to be a
member of.

Years later I used my computer's search engine to learn a little
more about Robert D. Barry of the 20th. Century UFO Bureau, and
my suspicions (that he was very emotional and vocal ndividual)
were confirmed on UFO UpDates by several pro-UFO resarchers who
knew him.

Isn't it curious that BUFO's Ron Hannivig quotes primarily from
Barry's report of the incident, never seems to use Mr. Dains
comments (Doug Dains was Dr. Hynek's field investigator at
Carbondale), nor does Ron Hannivig mention my report as a
referrence source except, when he can take it out of Barry's
slanted report to make a foundationless pro-cover up point of
some kind.

(e. g., Ron quotes Barry concerning my saying that the lantern
was "inoperational" when I examined it moments after it was
retreived from the pond. Ron's and Barry's "Spin" is that
because it was "inoperational" when I handled it, it probably
couldn't have been operational while it was in the pond, amd
therefore probably wasn't the source of the mysterious submerged

 So, according to the substandards of BUFOOLogical wisdom; the
lantern couldn't have been the glowing object in the water. That
is not the case at all - for it was reported that one of the
lantern's bulbs filaments faintly glowed as it was lifted from
the water. (I didn't see that as I was on the pond's bank, not
in the search and recovery boat as the lantern was taken

It was speculated by Mr. Jerome Gillott, the Photographer, who
was in the boat that displaced water in the lantern's cylinder
permitted the battery to momentarily make better contact and the
filament glowed for a second or two. This does not prove that
the lantern could not have been the object that was observed
glowing in the pond for 6-8 hours on the evening of Nov. 9th
into the wee hours of Nov. 10th.

(see my essay for more details and the results of simple
experiments which illustrate my point - you can perform these
very basic and inexpensive experiments yourself at home).


But, Ron Hannivg would attempt to keep the mystery alive by
pointing out that the object in the pond reportedly 'moved' in
order to elude police bullets that were fired at it. Ron
correctly quips that railroad lanterns do not pocess locomotive
capabilities. But, BUFO's super sleuth Ron Hannivig fails to
mention the fact that light beams can shift and appear to be in
diverse locations when in fact, they are located a one place.
That's how store advertising "Search Lights" appear to be
flitting all over the sky when in fact, they're located at a
fixed position on the ground.

Mr. Dains and I both determined that the matter was probably a
hoax perpetrated by teenagers early on in our investigations,
while Barry, and now Hannivig, Sutherland and Scassellati are
determined to resuscitate the resolved and quite mundane UFO
Hoax. Moreover, Hannivig can't seem to make up his mind if the
object in the pond was a disc (i. e., a flying saucer) or a
Soviet missile.

If it was a missile it had to be a very small variety as the
location of the light source in the pond was only 7-8 feet deep.
But, then there's still the problem of Ron's explainimg why an
unmaned missile would have onboard or exterior lighting?

If the object were a Flying Saucer from another world, then it's
inhabitants probably had to be very small - perhaps on the order
of G.I. Joe action figures or Barbie Dolls in stature because,
the disc of light on the pond's surface was reported to be about
3-5ft. in diameter.

As you may already know, there were not any little alien bodies
floating on the water - and highly advanced space creatures
probably wouldn't equip their scout ships with Sears Roebuck
railroad lanterns to use as distress signaling devices.

Of course, there is an outside possibility that the object was a
Hi-Tech experimental Frisbee... you've probably heard about all
those "Black Projects" going on at the nation's toy companies
haven't you? (Be sure to check out BUFO's Online Store for a
remote controlled toy mini-saucer that you can actually fly in
the comfort of your own home... wheee!)

I'm certain that by this point in my story you are picking up on
Mr. Hannivig's Spin Meistering of the ridiculous Barry report.
But, we have yet to determine if Ron Hanninvig and Mrs.
Sutherland are simply ill-informed, conspiracy-minded saucer
enthusiasts, BUFOons, or if their spin on the story is agenda
motivated - (i. e., a fully conscious and devious contrivence?)
However, the next BUFOrian statement may serve to answer these
perpexing questions for us.....

"To the citizens of Carbondale, we offer you our dedication to
solving this 30 year old mystery once and for all. We now know
that the Acting Chief of Police not only knew the true nature of
the object that fell into the pond, but deliberately and
maliciously lied to us as to what it was. He also knew that the
area was radiactive and chose not to inform you of the danger.
He also had photos that he chose to supress. Dottle was not nor
is he now a friend of the people of Carbondale."

Well, let's start at the beginning of this gross bit of
BUFOOLogy. Why should Ron Hannivig, Mary Sutherland of Wisconsin
and Frank Scassellati take it upon themselves to set the record
straight on a non-mystery that was resolved 31 years ago? Where
are the "very concerned" townspeople who approached them after
they had been turned away by the authorities at Carbondale? Who
are these many perplexed and frustrated citizens, and why do
they assume that BUFO can assist them when there is a viable
(and cost free) Freedom of Information Act at their disposal?

One would think that with all these troubled citizens seeking
help from BUFO, Mary Sutherland and her investigators wouldn't
need to petition anyone for a G. A. O inquiry into the matter -
they, as an organized citizen's group could put quite a bit of
pressure on local politicans and municipal authorities regarding
their demands. So, why bother to bring in the Federal Government
for a local matter when you haven't exhausted all your options -
and still have the Freedom of Information Act available to you?

If Mr. Hannivig is stating that Sgt. Dottle, the Acting Police
Chief knew the true nature of the object in the pond why doesn't
Ron Hannivig post the documentation to prove this outrageous
claim? If Mr. Hannivig has anything more that his suspicions and
Spin Meistered assumptions regarding the long ago matter of Sgt.
Dottle's failure to alert Carbondale's citizens about dangerous
radioactive levels existing at the Russel Park pond - why
doeesn't Ron Hannivig post the proof?

Hannivig, the self-proclaimed "investigative journalist at
large" has had 31 years to track it down... ya know, as the
Texans say, " I'm athink'n that this feller is all hat and no

Hannivig could have posted the field notes of the individual (A
volunteer Civil Air Patrol youngster) who obtained the so-called
"High" radiological reading at the pond. My 1974 report on the
incident provided all the youngsters names. He could have
produced hospital admissions and emergency room records from
that time indicating that some citizens, volunteers, and police
personnel were exposed to and treated for radiation sickness.
Where's the press releases on this matter Mr. Hannivig?

But, that's not Ron Hannivig's style. Rather, he would assail
the now handicapped man who protected Carbondale's citizens from
numerous potential dangers that the UFO situation had thrust
upon him - including his advising the UFO resarchers not to
bring up the matter of an "unverified" and incorrect .150
roentgen reading at the pond. Actually, the reading was .05R
(a normal background level) and the first report I received
concerning it was scrawled on a piece of paper hurriedly passed
to me at the press conference, it mistankenly read "1500. R. at
the pond!"

But, if that were the case I wouldn't be sitting here typing
this entry. Moreover, the rumored faulty reading was altered a
couple of times and finally seemed to settle at .150R. by the
close of the press conference.

I think that Mr. Barry's .50 R notation in his report may be a
typo. (i.e., .50 instead of the actual .05) but I'm not certain
that it was an error because Barry did not accompany Dains and I
back to the pond to verify the faulty CAP reading; nor did he
share his written report with us.

Continuing BUFO's ridiculous assault on Sgt. Dottle's advising
the UFO investigators not to mention the errant radiological
reading - Hannivig, quotes Robert D. Barry's report of 31 years
ago and says, "the 20th Century UFO Bureau was contacted
Thursday 11-11-74 (actually, Thursday was the 14th), by a
concerned Carbondale man and wife who said the atmosphere is
"that they are being called liars" and that "something is
radically wrong and the whole town is sick over the object being
reported as a railroad lantern." Oh, Mr. Hannivig, I ask you
sir, have you no shame, no shame at all?

Hannivig and Barry never identified the complaining Carbondale
man and his wife, just as they have never identified the
mysterious Military Man who told Barry about the Soviet missile
possibly being in the pond. One must be very cautioius when
reading Barry and Hannivig, they are word-tricky and non-
objective reporters. They are also prone to present heresay,
distortion and misrepresentations in their writings which appear
to be devoid of established investigative and journalistic
protocols, verified fact gathering methodology and common sence.

But, Sgt. Dottle's responsibilites during the UFO fiasco also
included the cordoming off of the pond area because we didn't
know what was in the water, and because unattended children were
playing on the pond's steep banks, standing on the rooftops of
abandoned structures at the coal breaker, and several kids were
even climbing into the defunct breaker's coal chutes.

Moreover, so many people were pouring into the area in
automobile's that Carbondale's streets were becoming impassable.
Dottle feared that emergency vehicles might not be able to
respond in a timely matter if they were needed at the site. One
reporter mentioned that he noticed license plates fron 17 states
and Canada.

Somehow, Ron Hannivig doesn't grasp the merit of Sgt. Dottle's
handling of the situation and he prefers to see the above stated
"safety measures" as being part of a cover up. Ron Hannivig
wasn't there, I was, and I can assure you that Sgt. Dottle's
activites were always directed at protecting the community from
harm. He was concerned about the public, the volunteers, his
policeman AND with assisting Mr. Dains recover the submerged
object intact in case it was of scientific value to Dr. Hynek's
UFO researches.

Sgt. Dottle worked very closely with the UFO researchers at the
scene and made no demands of us until the "unverified radiation
report rumor" sprang up as the press comference was already
underway. He did so because he feared that the rumor might spark
a panic in town.

He did so because the 44 hour ordeal had worn his nerves thin
and because he, his policemen and the volunteers were dog-tired.
He did so because the report was "completely unverified. " So,
why in the hell should he have permitted the obviously emotioal
Mr. Barry to yell "fire!", when there wasn't so much as a
detectable whiff of smoke in the air?

Mr. Dains, the C.A.P. and I had been taking geiger-counter
readings all day, at all sections of the pond's bank. The
hightest reading was .04R. The only C.A.P. reported .05R was
located in the very spot where I had set up my equipment on the
bank but, a little further in the mud which became accessable
because the pumping operations had lowered the water level. (see
my essay on the incident for more details)

Sgt. Dottle requested that we not mention the radiation rumor
because he realized that the very vocal and visibly emotional
Mr. Barry was chomp'n at the bit to revive the UFO character of
the situation. In short, Barry didn't want the incident to be a
closed issue - after all, he and his assistant hadn't driven all
the way from Yoe, Pa. just to go back to his spiritual mentor
and UFO Bureau funder (Rev. Carl McIntire) empty handed.

Mr. Barry said in his report, "With the news conference now in
the past, the 20th Century UFO Bureau is at liberty to reveal
the story the news media _never_got_ on the Carbondale,
Pennsylvania UFO Hoax. The bureau first came across the Russian
missile report as a result of a conversation with one of the
members of a military unit who was at the scene in Carbondale on
Monday (11-11-74)"

Obviously, Mr. Barry and Ron Hannivig _must_ be talking about a
high-ranking Civil Air Patrol youngster, because there were no
military units at Carbondale... not even local National

To top things off, in another UFOOLogical posting, Ron Hannivig
says that he has several eyewitnesses who saw Sgt. Dottle toss
the lantern into the pond on 11-11-74, and Mark Stamey, the
volunteer scuba diver from New York went into the water to fetch

What a terrible thing for Ron Hannivig to suggest about a New
York fellow who was initally thought to have been a CIA agent by
the UFO rumor momgers of Lackawanna County. What a terrible
thing to say about the Acting Chief of Police too.

Well, if any of the above were true, Hannivig would have a
couple thousand eyewitnesses to this brazen cover up attempt not
just a few. There would be numerous news people who saw and
photographed Dottle's allegedly dastardly deed, and Mr. Dains
and I certainly would have remembered it too.

Ya Know, someday ole Ron Hannivig may have to produce these
eyewitnesses for the G. A. O, or in a court of law... it will be
very interesting to see just how much his reliable (Albeit
unidentified) eyewitnesses recall under oath.

I won't go through the bother of responding to each of Mr.
Hannivig's "charges" and "spinnings" which appear within the 11
page posting at the BUFO site. But, it's perfectly obvious to me
that Ron Hannivig is either woefully conspiracy-minded or else
he's an individual who is desperately seeking attention. In
either case or both, Mrs. Sutherland does share some
responsibility for the cruel, malicious and untrue things that
he's said about Sgt. Dottle. After all, she posted those nasty
remarks at her BUFO sites.

I've often wondered how an agressive young attorney versed in
libel and slander suits would feel about BUFO's unchecked
behavior on the World Wide Web regarding the numerous assaults
on the professionalism, integrity, and ethical character of Sgt.
Francis X. Dottle? I've even wondered if BUFO is a corporation?

Actually, there is no excuse for the distortion, fabrication and
outright absurdities that BUFO has posted on the web. There is
more than enough documentation to dismiss the entire Carbondale
affair as a series of hoaxes perpetrated by three local teens, a
neighboring community's fibbing deputy sheriff and an over-
zealous self-proclaimed UFO expert whose rantings of thirty
years ago still reverberate in the a nonsencical and extremely
malicious postings of Mr. Ronald Hannivig, Mrs. Mary Sutherland
and Mr. Frank Scassellati.

The only reason why the Carbondale light-in-the-water mystery
carried on for 44 hours was because, even after patrolman
Jacobina fired his service revolver at the submerged light, the
police and the UFO investigators were still "uncertain" that the
object was not space junk of some kind.

Moreover, since the press had already latched on to the story it
would have been quite foolish to assume what the object was
rather than to "phsically verify" what it was. Dr. Hynek had
opened the door to the "possibility"of radioactive contamination
at the site, and Sgt. Dottle did what he had to do for the
protection of the community.

So, now you know some of the behind the scenes concerns and
thinking that went into the recovery efforts at the Russell Park
pond back on that long-ago Novenber day.

It's really ashame that the BUFO team can't grasp the concept of
a silly teenage prank being blown completely out of proportion
and control by unbridled rumor-mongers, sensation seekers and
Johnny-come-lately bandwaggoning eyewitnesses. There never was
an object seen in the sky by the teens, they made that part of
the story up when police arrived on the scene to investigate a
strange light in the water. That object was the railroad
lantern, the first light they tossed into the pond was a common

Well, I hope we can link up in cyberspace real soon, and I also
hope that you will remember that there are two (or more) sides
to every story. So, please do check out what the folks at BUFO
have to say about the dreadful cover up at the Carbondale UFO
crash site, 'til then...

Keep on watch'n the skies!

Matt Graeber