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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 30

Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2007 00:49:07 -0000
Archived: Sun, 30 Dec 2007 10:22:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 20:47:16 -0600
>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2007 00:07:26 -0000
>>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


Much of your response reiterates moribund points or evades live
ones. There's no point labouring over and over the same
arguments in different ways. For the sake of brevity, and
sanity, I cite Errol's archive and press on.


>>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

>The explanation might be that the incorrect date in Halt's memo
>was _taken_ from Penniston's notebook and that Pennieston wrote
>down the wrong date at the time of the incident.

I see. So Halt took the time (0300) from what you believe to be
the phony date-time groups ("suspiciously coordinated") in the
witness statements, perpetuating this imposture in order to
obfuscate the correct 0020 time shown at the top of page-one of
Penniston's private notebook entry. Yet when it came to the date
he took what he believed to be the correct date from Penniston's
private notebook, in preference to the phony dates on the
witness statements; all this even though (you argue below) Halt
had no contact with Penniston and didn't know him. And then,
irony of ironies, it turns out that the "correct" Penniston
date, which Halt mystifyingly cited in preference to the
intended false date, turns out actually to have been wrong all
along! How Byzantine.

>If he were
>faking his notebook entry somewhere around 2003 for the
>documentary in which the notebook appeared, he had 22 years to
>find out that it had been generally agreed upon years ago that
>the date in the Halt memo was wrong.

In 2003 this had indeed been generally agreed. But Penniston's
notebook first appears publicly in the A J S Rayle interview,
where Penniston reads from it, either late 1996 or early 1997.
It was published in OMNI and can be found referenced and quoted
on UpDates in August 1997 here


I dare say plenty of other people got to know the contents of
this remarkable notebook fairly soon, though I can't cite
sources and don't at this moment recall the dates of various
articles and documentaries. But it doesn't matter, the notebook
was in existence and being quoted (in exactly the words we
recognise today) as contemporaneous evidence in early 1997. We
all now know that its header at the top of the first page gives
the date Dec 27. The point is that the true date was _not_
 generally agreed upon at this time. There was a deal of
uncertainty, with arguments on either side, and Penniston
himself nods towards the controversy in his interveiw. But at
that time the Halt memo seemed the authoritative documentary
source, giving Dec 27. It was not until well after the Penniston
interview was done and published that James Easton requested a
bundle of papers from the CAUS archive (received September 24
1997) and to his complete astonishment found therein the
original witness statements dated Dec 26.


This discovery is what resolved the uncertainty in favour of the
now-accepted date of Dec 26. It isn't the case that Penniston
had 22 years to realise that the correct date was Dec 26 (from
2003 that would obviously take us right back to the date of the
event so makes no sense anyway). He didn't even have a minute.
He outed the notebook before the discovery of the true date was

>That seems more plausible
>than the notion that Penniston just mindlessly copied the date
>from the Halt memo just so that his "fraudulent" notebook would
>match it, but didn't bother to parrot the description of the
>object as "metallic" in the Halt memo and instead said it was
>composed of a bizzare translucent glassy material.

Does it? Only the truth is required to be perfectly consistent.
Fabrications typically are not. And your apologia for one
inconsistency introduces another, as is wont to happen:

The word "metallic" was at the core of your previous claim
(addressed with tedious repetition in previous posts) that
Halt's memo contain's material that was not in the allegedly-
denatured witness statements and therefore must have come direct
from Penniston's sensational true story. That chain of reasoning
places responsibility for the description "metallic" back at
Penniston's door, and of course implies that it was a
"significant" fact censored from the toned-down statements yet
disclosed in Halt's memo, thus revealing the early existence of
a more "sensational" secret story consistent with the one
Penniston tells today (this also you explicitly claimed). So why
indeed, if the truth too sensitive for Penniston to sign up to
in 1981 was that the object was "metallic", would he now tell us
it was black and glassy or like onyx? Never mind that he also
said it was off-white and dirty in 1983. How many onion-layers
of innocent white-lies are we suppose to believe in? Is there
another layer yet to be revealed I wonder?

>As for the time discrepancy, you apparently are too intent on
>discrediting Penniston to notice the odd similarity between the
>statements Chandler and Buran. They both use the exact same
>phrase: "at approximately 0300 hrs, 26 December 1980". Saying
>exactly the same thing might be an indication that their
>were coordinated.

Your conspiracy theory is noted. Burroughs however says "On the
night of 25-26 Dec at around 0300", which is not the exact same
phrase is it? Well, I suppose there are circumstances where a
consistency rate of 66% is suspicious evidence of conspiracy -
 like 66 sixes in a hundred dice throws maybe. But two out of
three instances of a date-time group? Possibly that is the least
likely to vary of all standard forms of words that one might
expect to find introducing such a statement by military men.

Note that Buran and Chandler were the Central Security Control
Shift Commander and Security Flight Chief respectively, whose
experience and seniority make them more likely perhaps than
Airman 1C Burroughs to be habituated to a formal "house style"
in such matters, and that does not even take account of the
unconscious "polishing" of such a phrase that might well be done
by a typist in the CSC office (Burroughs' statement is
handwritten of course).

Making this into evidence of forgery is a bit like arguing that
three letters must have been written by the same person because
two of them end with "yours faithfully" and one ends with "your
truly". And in almost every other respect I find that the
statements are only somewhat alike in narrative structure and
differ quite convincingly in detail and expression. Again this
has been talked to death already.

>Stories told by different people in which some
>elements seem too similar may be more cause for suspicion than
>stories freely told that have descrepancies that may be due to
>faulty memory or discomfort about what is being described.


>Penniston was the eye witness to what was obviously a remarkable
>event, and he might be expected to notice the time more
>accurately than Buran and Chandler, who saw nothing and who gave
>their own statements seven days later.

Er, right. Expected to notice the time more accurately than Buran
and Chandler, but not expected to notice the date more accurately
than Burroughs and Cabansag.

>>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.

>Even under a pseudonym, he might still have been too
>uncomfortable talking about it to give all the details.

Giving two quite different descriptions of the object's surface
colour and texture is qualitiively different from "not giving
all the details" (not even to mention Halt's "metallic" which
you have argued also came from Penniston).

>having read that It's interesting that the subject of touching
>the object came up at this early date. To me, that anyone would
>actually want ot touch such a thing is what seemed most

That point was raised with me by one researcher off-List.
Wouldn't you worry about radiation etc? I agree it's an
objection, but not a very strong one inasmuch as a person's
motivations in such circumstances might not be wholly normal and
practical. At least Penniston did say that he finally backed off
when the object got brighter.

>This description suggests an object constructed of a
>more conventional material than the glassy material he first
>described in the OMNI interview.

It suggests an object constructed of a _different_ material,
more to the point. I think you're implying that he first said it
was off-white and dirty because this was more ordinary-sounding
and therefore would be more believable than his later revelation
that it was really black and glassy. Hmmm. But of course
according to this way of looking at things Penniston is forever
innoculated against any accusation of embroidery, because any
less-embroidered claim is merely evidence of an earlier
conspiracy to suppress a truth we were not ready for.

>>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.

>I don't know what story you're talking about here, since you
>give no source or quotations.

Oh, pardon me, I'm sure. I have peppered my posts with
references and links for just about every point raised, most of
which you have snipped and ignored. I'm doing my best here. So
far I believe you have offered just one link to support a
quotation, on 17 Dec, when retracting a misrepresentation of
Burroughs' evidence. Mind you, if you'd checked before posting
in the first place, I suppose we'd still have no useable
references from you at all. Every cloud, as they say . . .

>You seem to be jumping to the
>conclusion that kind old Col. Halt was interviewing his pal
>Penniston directly, but I've seen no indication that any of the
>witnesses talked directly with Halt at the time or that they
>even Penniston knew Halt.

No, I'm jumping to nothing except to attention. Thus stuff has
been available on and off-line for many years, as I was quite
soon able to discover when taking an interest in it just a
couple of weeks ago (though it already seems like years!). Check
out Bruni (book, or old compuserve mailing lists), or Easton
(Voyager Newsletter archives) etc. I'm telling you that it is in
the literature, relayed by proponents from Halt's mouth - Halt
had these statements collected at his personal instigation,
_after_ the official reports and debriefings, and he did not
regard them as AF property. That's why he kept them. Look into
it yourself, and find your own references this time

>In the OMNI interview, Penniston did
>not say he told anyone about touching the object at the time
>andsaid he only discussed the incident with Halt "much later."

>>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, ...

>The Pope, perhaps should be left to judge of the gravity of
>these "sins." It seems to me that Penniston may have just
>attributed more conventional features to the object rather than
>the bizarre things he later says he witnessed later because he
>was uncomfortable talking about it regardless of whether the
>interrogator was a UFO researcher or an Air Force officer.

The Pope. Give it a rest Lan. Am I now to be accused of bible-
bashing as well as (in your lurid imagination) portraying you as
one of history's great mass murderers? These are perfectly
ordinary and very well-understood turns of phrase, as everybody

And as _you_ well know the paragraph you pretend to be
commenting on here, but which you snipped away, really concerned
not the 1983 Penniston story to UFO researchers but the
implication of his later story (45-minute 360-degree note- and
photo-taking tactile inspection of a black glass UFO soon after
0020 on Dec 27) that the 1981 witness statements collectively
must be fabricated - in particular, in respect of the times and
available duration locked into the accounts of Buran, Chandler,
Burroughs, Halt, which is what you are yourself suggesting by
claiming that the date-time groups are "suspiciously

>>There are serious holes in this one.

>That's your conclusion. There are explanations for the "holes"
>that are equally or more plausible than the thoery that
>Penniston, Cabansag, Burroughs, and Halt were all delusion
>and/or lying.

Now isn't it fascinating to see how this repeatedly happens. You
ambush me with such outrageous nonsense and can't see that
you're standing there with the gun pointed at your own head. You
are the one claiming that all of the witness statements, old and
new - yes, including Burroughs' detailed account - are, with the
exception of anything Penniston says post-1997, part of a fraud
and/or delusion, not me. There is no point in revisiting any of
these issues yet again to illustrate what I mean because you're
never going to get it. Again, it's all there in the archive.

>It was you who dragged the discussion down into the toilet with
>your assinine attack on my "credibility," just because I
>_correctly_ pointed out that the spin you were giving the
>incident did not jibe with the details of the Halt memo.
>McGonagle apparently wanted to play follow the leader, after
>his nonsensical Greek chorus praising unspecified merits of your
>arguments, by comparing the persistence of dissent from your
>revealed wisdom with the fanaticism of Osama Bin Laden. You make
>yourself look ridiculous and dishonest by pretending this would
>not be deeply offensive (kind of like using the word "twit").
>Only a seriously disturbed sociopath could honestly claim that
>such a slur was _not_ offensive.

Good grief, just listen to yourself.

Martin Shough

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