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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 13

Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 13:02:08 +0000
Archived: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 08:46:48 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 22:08:05 -0600
>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 22:24:20 -0000
>>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>>>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 13:29:21 -0600
>>>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King


>>>I haven't been following the ins and outs of this discussion,

>>Fair enough, but you're missing the point.

>But I think you're missing _my_ point. You said the witnesses'
>statements were will-o-the-wispy, which they were. But someone
>gave a considerably more detailed description of the object in
>Halt's memo that could not be reasonably described as a will o'
>the wisp. The description of a metallic object did not come from
>any of the written statements. It appears the witnesses may have
>tailored their descriptions from the very beginning, perhaps
>depending on the audience.

>It would be interesting to hear from Halt exactly who told him
>that the object was metallic and triangular in shape, and if it
>was Penniston, whether he said anything about  actually touching
>the object to anyone else at the time. I don't think anyone has
>ever asked Halt that question.

>>The claim now is that they "left out" the detail of actually
>>touching it because they feared for their careers and so all
>>conspired to claim falsely that 50 meters was as close as they
>>got. But the difference, in terms of career damage, between
>>reporting that you have "positively identified" an object as a
>>mechanical device "out of the realm of explanation" from 50
>>meters away, and reporting that you have so identified it from 1
>>meter away, seems to me to be an overly sophistical one that
>>could never reasonably have been expected to serve as a sensible

>Penniston later said that he had touched the object and that
>there was some sort of writing on it. I don't think it's out of
>the question that he might have been a little uncomfortable
>saying that, especially if he felt that his interrogators didn't
>want to hear that kind of crazy talk. It wasn't necessarily a
>coldly logical calculation about career advancement.

>In another case that comes to mind, Lonnie Zomora originally
>said that he saw two people in coveralls near the UFO in the
>Soccoro incident. After being ridiculed for seeing little people
>in UFOs, he later omitted the "people" from his description and
>said only that he had seen two pairs of coveralls near the
>object. It apparently didn't occur to him that the image of two
>pairs of empty pants standing by a UFO was even more ridiculous
>that that of two little people, with or without pants. I don't
>think that proves Zamorra was lying; UFO witnesses sometimes
>seem to change their stories in ways that don't make a lot of
>sense when they're under pressure. Maybe Penniston was lying,
>but I think the evidence of that so far as I'm aware is less
>than conclusive.

Pardon my intrusion at this late stage in the exchange, but it
has revived some thoughts about Rendlesham that have been
puzzling me intermittently over the years.

A fascinating discussion, this, on a fascinating case. Martin
has been absolutely right to draw attention to these
inconsistencies, because they are fundamentally problematic.
Indeed, the entire case has been plagued by witnesses (whether
confirmed, claimed or self-proclaimed) shifting their ground
over time. Larry Warren is the most notorious example, but it
applies to others too. I'm not really sure what conclusions
Martin draws from this tendency (or whether he believes that it
makes drawing any conclusions a fruitless quest - a justifiable
response from somebody who places such emphasis on analysable
specifics of hard evidence), but, for my own part, I think it
perpetuates a concentration of debate and research in areas of
the case that are likely to lead nowhere.

Lan's attempts to explain these inconsistencies away could even
be absolutely right, but without hard evidence as corroboration,
it is hard to see how it comes down to anything other than a
matter of opinion over the relative credibility of different
versions of an individual's changing story. For every 'excuse'
that can be adduced, there is an equally plausible counter-
example. To indicate just one, I find it hard to suppress
cynicism when retired military personnel 'improve' their story
in a way that makes them more of a celebrity. Retirement can be
a great anticlimax for such people, and to be involved in books,
conferences, interviews, TV documentaries, debates etc.
represents a wonderful antidote to that anticlimax. In such a
context, the temptation, for some, to spice up a story must be

All of which leaves me wondering why a more promising angle on
the case has been comparatively neglected. I refer to its
apparent correlation with the Cash/Landrum incident. This did
produce some hard physical evidence in the form of medical
conditions (somehow more convincing than broken branches,
'rabbit-holes' and plaster casts of indentations), and might
offer lines of enquiry that are more productive than trying to
pin down exactly why a witness's story has changed. I know Jenny
Randles was interested in the Cash/Landrum dimension, but, I
believe, became disillusioned when it failed to offer any
corroboration of her nuclear accident scenario hypothesis.

Are any List members able to shed any light on other work that
might have been done on this? I've been trying for some time to
get John Schuessler's book on the Cash/Landrum incident, but to
no avail - in any case, I don't think he explores the Rendlesham
connection any more than most Rendlesham authors have explored
the Cash/Landrum end.

Gerald O'Connell

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