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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 26

Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2007 00:07:26 -0000
Archived: Wed, 26 Dec 2007 09:23:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King


>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 10:13:38 -0600
>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

<snip>

>My point, which I obviously think is more important than you do
>is that the omission of the triangular shape from their written
>statements was a significant omission, proving that they
>weren't writing down everything they knew in those statemetns,

The argument that Penniston's report can't be the source of
Halt's adjective "triangular" obviously rests on the fact that
Penniston does not describe anything triangular. This, for you,
is a "significant omission" proving the statement is rigged. For
me, it means there is no documentary evidence that Penniston
explicitly reported a triangular device. This point of view
receives support from Penniston's own contemporaneous drawing,
which shows a rectangular device.

Burroughs however does draw a triangular shape of lights, and
such a shape is _implicit_ in the descriptions - i.e., broad
base of lights, cone of white light, narrowing to red light on
top. Is there "overwhelming evidence" here (to borrow your
phrase) that Halt could not have got his "triangular" from here?
I don't see that there is. There is an allegation that something
other than what was reported was seen and suppressed, but that
allegation is the very thing that's in question so it would be
circular to rely on this as evidence.

Yes Halt obviously incorporated a couple of things he was told,
I agreed this way back. The estimate of size is one, and
explicit use of the word "triangular" could be another. Yes,
Penniston could have used this word directly in connection with
his "mechanical device". It's possible. But equally someone
could have used it to describe something like the triangular
pattern of lights (as drawn by Burroughs). The absence of this
word from Pennistons' and Burroughs' written statements is not
necessarily even an "omission" - the word could be entirely
Halt's. And if it is an omission it is not a "significant
omission" in the sense you mean. It is not evidence that
Pennniston made a 45-minute photographic and tactile inspection
of a warm, black, glassy craft bearing symbols.

Consider that Penniston's own "triangular" description is only
known to date from from _after_ Halt's description became
public. Penniston's first contact with investigators (Butler and
Street) under the pseudonym James Archer was in October 1983, a
couple of months after Halt's memo resurfaced and one week after
the story first appeared in the News of the World. He told them
he'd witnessed the landing on Dec 27, 1980, the same wrong date
that was on Halt's recently released memo. That doesn't prove a
connection but it is suggestive.

You can cite Penniston's notebook containing triangular drawings
as "contemporaneous" evidence, but then you need to explain why
it also bears the same wrong Dec 27 date as appeared in Halt's
memo.

Consider also that, according to the above writers, Penniston
(as Jim Archer) told them in 1983 that he had _not_ touched the
object, that he did not _try_ to touch the object, that he
thought _Burroughs_ was _going_ to try to touch it when they got
close at one point, but that the object jumped away from them
before he could do so.

Consider that this is an anonymous "deep-throat" account given
not to AF superiors, to whom Penniston's might have had reason
to play down a 45-minute tactile inspection, but to highly
receptive ufologists.

He told them in 1983 that the object was "off-white" in colour,
and "dirty" looking - not a "black, smooth, glasslike surface"
as he has told us and shown in his notebook.

He also said that the first alert about the lights coming down
was at 2:00AM. That at least does not follow Halt. But it also
doesn't follow his own notebook, where he has the time as 20
minutes past midnight - "I remember that distinctly" he remarked
in his 1996 OMNI interview, although everyone else's original
statement says 0300.

Note that in his recent press conference statement he now says
that the incident happened on Dec 26, apparently deferring to
this date in preference to the date of Dec 27 written in his
contemporaneous notebook.

(In 1996 he wasn't sure which date it was: ""There is some
confusion about the date. There are two duty rosters, both of
which are dated December 26th, but it was either that night, the
26th, or the 27th." I don't understand the reference to duty
rosters when he is quoting during this interview from his own
real-time notes, which begin: "27 Dec 80. 12:20. Response notes.
A/C crash".

(BTW, re the photos: I just noticed that in this recent NP
conference statement he said, "The photos we retrieved from the
base lab were apparently over exposed." But in 1996 he said he'd
did _not_ retrieve his photos from the lab: "I never got them
back. I never saw them. I was just told that they didn't turn
out. I didn't understand that but was not in a position to push
the issue.")

>therefore giving some support to their claim that they were
>being reticent with their interrogators.

The story is that these statements were collected by Halt
personally for his own use and were considered by him to be
private papers. They were not made for those interrogators. If
Penniston's own story is true then they do constitute evidence
of disingenuousness. But this cannot be not merely "reticence",
and not merely a sin of omission either. It has to be a
coordinated sin of commission, involving changed times,
durations, distances and the embedding narrative structure, in
several different statements, changes which are largely
arbitrary in terms of the claimed motivation. This is the nub.
And unless there is "overwhelming evidence" to the contrary we
ought to at least consider that there is a simpler explanation -
 that Penniston could be fantasizing, or just making stuff up.

>You can rant all you
>want, but I am not convinced the evidence is overwhelming that
>Pennistion's later story is a lie, and neither are a lot of
>other reasonable people.

I don't think anyone needs to be "overwhelmingly convinced" of
it to take the possibility seriously. Have I ever said that I
am? But if specific negative evidence is not dealt with
conscientiously then it will remain an attractive theory and
that does not help anyone to get serious attention for claims
they make about the case, or for ufology in general.

There are serious holes in this one.

>BTW: There's an unwritten debating rule that whoever compares
>the opponent to Hitler loses. The same goes for Bin Laden.

There is a super-rule which trumps that one: It says that people
who falsely accuse their debating opponents of dishonourable
statements which not only were _not_made_by_them_ (I have never
made any mention whatsoever of Bin Laden or Hitler in any post)
but which, furthermore, were not even made by _anybody_ (it's
hard to imagine how a "reasonable person" could interpret Joe's
figure of speech in such a ludicrous way) risks making
themselves look a bit of a twit.


Martin Shough




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