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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 14

Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Richard Hall <dh12.nul>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 05:39:31 -0500
Archived: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 08:23:59 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 13:31:56 -0600
>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

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

>>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.

>Probably. This debate has been around for a long time. People
>unfamiliar witht this might get the impression from this
>discussion here that Penniston made a story up for the recent
>Larry King show. He did not. I think it's been 10 or 15 years
>since Penniston first claimed he'd touched the object and seen
>writing on it.

>Halt's memo and his tape recording are by far the most important
>and credible evidence and they're only slightly less sensational
>than Penniston's later story. Halt certainly didn't write his
>memo or make the recording in order to get on TV years later.
>Even if Penniston's later claim that he touched the object is a
>lie, it doesn't affect the significance of the memo or the
>recording. And the fact that the witnesses' written descriptions
>are more vague than what's described in the memo does indicate
>that they were toning down what they put in writing, regardless
>of whether Penniston was jazzing things up in his later

>I agree that Penniston's more sensational description doesn't
>add much to the evidence embodied in the Halt memo, but it
>doesn't detract from it either. I think what people say at the
>time of an incident like this should be given far more weight
>than any new alleged details or revisions they make years later.
>(Unless they are astronauts like Buzz Aldrin, who are allowed to
>totally contradict their initial UFO descriptions years later
>without anyone being impolite enough to point it out.)


Lan and Gerald,

You are two people on this List whose views and opinions I
always benefit from. Anyone who knows me knows how skeptical I
am of people who engage in sensationalism, embellishment, or any
of their cousins. I personally size up witnesses at every

During the recent National Press Club press conference I had
occasion to talk at length with Jim Penniston, sat with him at
meetings, and got to know him pretty well. He is a very
conservative, thoughtful, dignified person who was and is highly
professional about military matters. I heard his presentation
which, up to that point, I had only second hand from Colonel
Halt. No way is he embellishing or exaggerating anything.

I know Charles Halt even better. Several years ago I interviewed
him at length for the account of the Rendlesham Forest affair
that was published in my book The UFO Evidence, Volume II.
After that I have talked with him many times, attended meetings
with him, exchanged communications and information with him
regularly, and advised him on media affairs. He is as honest and
direct as the day is long. And it is significant that he
finished his Air Force career in the Pentagon as a highly placed
officer in the Inspector General's office.

Some people on this List seem unable to grasp the human factors
aspects of close encounter UFO sightings, which generally scare
the pants off of the astonished witnesses. In this country, at
least, the ridicule factor is very powerful. So in the heat of
the momemnt, fearing ridicule and/or loss of reputation,
witnesses often (I repeat, often) are reluctant to come forth
with the full details of their experiences. I know this as a
fact, and know many highly placed witnesses who don't dare speak

In the military this Ridicule Factor can be especially powerful.
You do things by the book, and you are required to follow
certain protocols, and you don't go around telling wild stories.
So if you are a senior security policeman and see a rather
unearthly metallic craft in the woods and touch it, you are in a
quandary. The behavior of both Penniston and Halt in initially
holding back the details about what they experienced is
completely understandable.

Another important point in regard to character is this:

Here we are 27 years later and Colonel Halt absolutely trusts
and respects Jim Penniston. They have remained in close touch;
they were together at the press conference and more or less gave
a joint presentation. Obviously, what happened in the woods in
England was a life-altering experience for both of them and
still is having a profound effect on them.

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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