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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 10

Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Nick Pope <contact.nul>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 18:01:31 -0000
Archived: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 14:33:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 12:02:54 -0000
>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>>From: Nick Pope <contact.nul>
>>To: UFO UpDates <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2007 14:48:13 -0000
>>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 16:49:55 -0000
>>>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King


>>>So if I have this right, Penniston confirmed that in his
>>>original statement he did say 50 meters was "the closest I got
>>>at any point", but now claims that he just "left out some
>>>details"? I find this difficult to square with the believably
>>>consistent picture painted by the original statements of all
>>>five people involved. That picture doesn't seem to me to be a
>>>result of just passively "leaving out details". These accounts
>>>imply a conspiracy to actively invent an interlocking false
>>>story - and one done in a very subtle fashion. Perhaps they
>>>were subtle people. But if they did this for the purpose of
>>>suppressing the embarrassing fact that they really saw a
>>>mechanical device at close quarters, why did Penniston shoot
>>>them all in the foot by claiming to have "positively
>>>identified" the lights as a mechanical device? I find it
>>>much easier to believe that these original statements are
>>>ingenuous. If there are good reasons not to think this,
>>>can you summarise what they are (other than Penniston's
>>>changed story I mean)? The relevant passages are quoted below
>>>for reference.


>>Some issues concerning the original witness statements are
>>examined in You Can't Tell The People. To give one example of
>>the problems with them, Edward Cabansag told Georgina Bruni
>>that  he signed his statement without looking at it.

>The problem I am struggling with is precisely that I don't see
>any issues with the original statements, as they stand. They
>read very convincingly, to me. They saw some wierd display of
>blue and red lights that behaved in an apparent will-o'-the-
>whisp fashion and vanished before they got nearer than 50m. At
>that distance Penniston (at least) was "positive" they were
>attached to an unknown mechanical device. Fine. The problem is
>with the emergence of a new narrative which claims that they got
>right up close and actually touched this thing.

But the assertion in these original statements that they never
got closer than 50 metres is itself far from convincing. The
fact that Penniston's sketch of the object included symbols on
its side strongly suggested he must have been closer.

>The new story requires the original descriptions of all five
>direct and indirect witnesses to have been made up in collusion
>for motives of self-protection. But reading the subtly different
>versions of the event and the individual tones of voice in which
>they are couched I don't find this believable. Too subtle and
>too cunning a deception, which yet is ineffective in covering up
>the "positive identification" of a mechanical UFO which
>supposedly was the motive of the deception. That's why my
>suspicious antennae twitch uncontrollably.

>As I see it, faced with the fact that the original statement
>doesn't support the story he now wishes to be associated with,
>Cabansag tells us in his defence that he didn't read what he
>signed back then. In other words this claim implies that he had
>no idea what was typed above his signature, and therefore he
>can't be held responsible for its untruth. OK. But this would
>imply that he innocently thought he was signing a different and
>true statement, and this is inconsistent with the theory that he
>told a lie for reasons of personal protection.

>Perhaps, then, his statement was fabricated by an unknown party,
>and like the others Cabansag knew he was signing a fabricated
>account but so trusted this other party to get it right on his
>behalf that he felt he didn't need to read it? But then the
>failure-to-read-before-signing defence becomes incongruous: If
>you'd always known it was fabricated, why would you plead that
>you didn't know what you were signing? This is then faux
>innocence and another level of deception.

>And this scenario conflicts with Penniston's recent confirmation
>that the statement ascribed to him is to the best of his
>recollection the statement he wrote - no one fabricated this
>account on his behalf. So perhaps it was he who coordinated or
>ghost-wrote the others' false statements then? But if so he
>failed spectacularly to follow the script and undermined the
>collective cover story by saying that he positively identified
>the object as a mechanical device when he should have stopped at
>the agreed story that they chased some lights.

>Well maybe this statement wasn't supposed to get used. Maybe it
>just slipped through unedited and talk of the machine was the
>one mistake in an otherwise carefully contrived ruse? But Sgt
>Chandler said exactly the same thing in his own statement and
>cited Penniston's real-time radio report as the source for it.
>The same report of a "definite mechanical object" was confirmed
>by Buran who testified to his conviction that Penniston had seen
>something "out of the realm of explanation". If there was
>collusion to suppress career-damaging admissions that they had
>seen an unknown mechanical device, why do Chandler's and Buran's
>stories exactly support Penniston's story of "positively
>identifiying" an unknown mechanical device?

In relation to the description of what was seen, Chandler and
Buran's statements really only relay what they were told by
Penniston, Burroughs and Cabansag, so we don't need a subtle and
cunning deception by five people. What we do need is either a
decision by three people to hold back some details of their
encounter until they had some indication of the official
reaction, or a decision by someone else to sanitize these three
statements, perhaps for the same reason. Neither possibility
seems too far-fetched.

>>Other issues that may have had a bearing on all this include
>>concern as to whether any USAF personnel had undertaken actions
>>contrary to the Status of Forces Agreement and concerns about
>>the fact that light beams were seen striking a certain area -
>>one of several details Charles Halt left out of his memo to the

>We have been discussing the statements of Buran, Burroughs,
>Penniston, Chandler and Cabansag. Charles Halt's name does not
>come up in connection with this.

But he's central to this because he debriefed the witnesses and
ordered the statements to be taken. The fact that he too claims
he left out key details from his memo is also relevant.

>>The various witnesses saw and experienced different things and
>>reacted to them in different ways.

>Exactly so. The above statements are very convincing as
>independent accounts of the same real event for just this
>reason. They are not so convincing, to me, as an orchestrated
>fiction for the same reason. The deception seems far too subtle,
>much more so than simply "leaving out some details".

>>This, together with
>>variations in the subsequent debriefings (and the way in which
>>those concerned reacted to these debriefings), will also have
>>had a bearing on what went into the statements and what was
>>left out.

>Such speculations would work to mitigate problemmatic
>inconsistencies between testimonies. But it is not inconsistency
>that creates a problem here. Such inconsistency as there is
>seems very reasonable for independent accounts of the same
>event, for the reasons you mention. What creates a problem for
>the cover-story theory is the underlying common account so
>convincingly borne witness to. The story of all the direct
>witnesses, and also of Chandler, is that they approached to
>within a moderate distance (estimated by one witness as 50
>meters, a figure confirmed by Chandler as being the distance
>reported by radio at the time) of some strange coloured lights
>which Sgt Penniston was convinced were on a mechanical device
>but which then vanished.

>>I've discussed the Rendlesham Forest incident twice with Charles
>>Halt in the last month. It's clear to me that a decision was
>>taken to sanitize some of the accounts, with a view to raising
>>the more sensitive issues in the subsequent investigation, once
>>some indication of official reaction had been received. This
>>strategy was undermined by the fundamentally flawed nature of
>>the MoD's investigation.

>If, as suggested, Cabansag was "concerned for his career" and/or
>other nasty consequences because of adverse official reaction to
>his story I would have expected him to make sure he knew what he
>was signing.

Maybe. But he was a newly-qualified nineteen year old airman
being interviewed by a Lieutenant Colonel. He said he was
nervous and "in fear of Halt", so he may not have behaved as you
would expected.

>>I don't have any definitive answers here, but the full story of
>>the incident and what happened afterwards has yet to emerge.

>Whilst this is just a subjective opinion, I'm not convinced that
>the answer lies in further claims and speculations. I'll be
>pleased if you can challenge the above misgivings, and I
>certainly agree that the original case remains unresolved on the
>basis of information available. But I feel a cold dread creeping
>over me at the hint that I am expected to suspend judgment on
>the shortcomings of the case, pending yet another layer of
>revisionist disclosures and a "full story" yet to come, no doubt
>involving another book, documentary and/or press conference.

I would share your misgivings if resolution was promised in some
future commercial venture. My statement was meant to imply
nothing more than my opinion that there's information on this
incident that has yet to emerge.

Best wishes,

Nick Pope


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