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Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 21:01:53 -0000
Archived: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 08:05:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>From: Nick Pope <contact.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 18:01:31 -0000
>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.

I strongly disagree. I find this assertion, which is both
explicitly stated and implicit as a strong structural feature of
all the narratives, and which is expressed in credibly different
ways by the participants, to be very convincing. I can see no
internal evidence in conflict with it. But . . .

>fact that Penniston's sketch of the object included symbols on
>its side strongly suggested he must have been closer.

This is new to me. Is it true that Penniston's original report
included a sketch showing symbols on the object? (I only know of
two diagrams, that show no such detail, but I admit my knowledge
of the documents is scant.)

However, why would Penniston draw details of the object that
"strongly suggested" he went up and touched an unknown machine,
if the purpose of these fabricated accounts was to obfuscate the
fact that they went up and touched an unknown machine?

Or perhaps the drawing doesn't suggest close proximity quite so
"strongly" as all that, so that the dissemblers didn't think it
was in conflict with their stories and let it go? If it doesn't,
then maybe it is after all consistent with what Penniston
thought he saw from 50 metres?

>>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
>cunning deception by five people.

This rather gives added point to my previous argument. If
Chandler and Buran are to have been innocent victims of the
conspiracy rather than co-conspirators - so that we can
selectively believe their two contemporaneous statements to be
true, unlike those of the others - then this requires that the
decision to give false stories was cooked up in the forest at
the time, because Buran and Chandler report what they say
Penniston told them over the radio in real time, while the event
was happening. So before even finishing the chase they'd decided
not to tell anyone that they went right up and touched an
honest-to-god flying saucer, and agreed on the lie that they
only saw some lights from 50 meters. But then what happens? As
soon as they get to tell their story Penniston not only takes it
into his head to shoot their scheme in the foot by reporting
that, never mind, 50m was quite near enough to have positively
identified the object as a strange mechanical device, but he
also provides a drawing of (ex hypothesi) of details that he
could only have seen by close inspection. (Doh!)

>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.

The former, apparently, unless we let Buran and Chandler back in
to the conspiracy, in which case we are back with (IMO) five
convincingly interlocking strands of the one plausible

>>>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 MoD.

>>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 fact that some (?) witnesses have elaborated their stories is
certainly relevant.

>>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.

A nervous and raw recruit did well to convincingly tell this
fearsome Colonel the lie that Penninston, Burroughs and he must
have decided on back in the forest. Well, maybe he did well
because Halt was (as you imply) actually in on it, maybe even
encouraged them, helped him polish the story? But then why would
he have been "in fear" of Halt? That would imply he was
instructed to make this statement unwillingly, being forced or
intimidated by Halt to follow the part line. Is this what he has

Martin Shough

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