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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 16

Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 12:52:33 +0000
Archived: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 09:28:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 16:33:57 -0000
>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

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

>>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
>>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 realise that you're not speaking to me but you will excuse
>this intervention. I acknowledge your long experience in
>speaking with witnesses and I have no reason to think you are
>not amongst the best judges of character. However you will also
>acknowledge that personal impressions cannot trump the evidence
>in the historical record, so you will understand that my own
>point of view is to note your opinion of the man's character but
>to continue to place emphasis on the consistency of the written
>and spoken evidence.

>Which causes me to agree with Gerald that the latter contains
>difficult and inconsistent issues that are not satisfactorily
>resolved. These are all, so far as I can tell, introduced by
>claims made years after the event. I would be first in the queue
>to hear explanations.

>Since you have recently questioned Penniston at length in order
>to satisfy yourself that "no way is he embellishing or
>exaggerating" I'm confident that you will be able to tell the
>list how he explained to you the discrepant time and date on the
>notebook which he claims to have written by the light of the UFO
>in real time, but which Burroughs denies he ever wrote.

>Of course if Penniston _has_ embellished his story that does not
>mean the original event was not significant. That something
>unexplained happened on Dec 26 appears clear, to me, from the
>original documents. But I seem to be alone. The rest of you
>appear bent upon totally devaluing those documents by promoting
>the story that they were faked, which is the only way of
>accommodating new and more exciting claims made years afterwards.
>The irony of this is devastating.



May I just extricate myself from inclusion in the group you
describe as "the rest of you"? To coin a phrase, you are not
alone. I am not bent on devaluing any of the documentary record
for this case, and certainly not the earliest material (although
it is worth remembering, in passing, that all of this came to
light some time after the events occurred).

My view is that, when there are inconsistencies in the evidence
in a case like this, discussion tends to revolve around a
process of advocacy. You adopt an admirably forensic approach to
the data and interpret it accordingly, Lan points out that other
interpretations might be viable, Dick comes to the party with
character witness evidence of his own that offers yet further
avenues of interpretation. Taking an overview of this process,
it seems to me that we move to a situation where opinions are
going to be influenced more by the quality of advocacy and the
credibility of the advocates than by the actual evidence itself.
This is where I have considerable sympathy for your position,
Martin - if the evidence falls into the background while a
process of advocacy takes over, then I feel that we inevitably
diminish the likelihood of getting to the truth of the

That is exactly why I have suggested that resolution might be
easier to find if other, hitherto comparatively neglected,
aspects of the case are pursued. Woodbridge and Bentwaters had a
highly sensitive nuclear dimension at the time (and for all
Dick's character assessment on Penniston and Halt, I cannot
believe that this did not colour or act as a constraint upon
original accounts and witness statements), while the
contemporaneous Cash/Landrum incident involved apparent
radiation poisoning and a similar apparent 'vehicle'.

Evidence is all - but I feel we need some new evidence (perhaps
I should say a new type of evidence) on Rendlesham if it is not
to become another of those unproductive cases where the best
brains in the field end up wasting their energy by quarrelling
over inconsistencies in the inadequate or inconsistent evidence
that we do have.

For my own part, I'm hoping to duck out of this one now (and if
I added to the confusion by coming into it, then I apologise to
all concerned) and try to establish contact with parties who
have valuable knowledge of the Cash/Landrum incident. If any
list members can offer contacts I'd be grateful.

Oh, and a final apology for the obstinate pursuit of my
Cash/Landrum hobby horse on this thread - I know it's a pain,
but I just can't shake it off...

Gerald O'Connell

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



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