From: Robert Barrow <rbarr.nul> Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 01:08:22 -0500 Fwd Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:13:54 -0500 Subject: 'A Primer In Audio 1964-1967' A Review Wendy Connors' Night Journeys in Ufology: UFOLOGY: A Primer in Audio 1964-1967 (Second Edition, Volume 02) Copyright 2006 (Dec) by Wendy A. Connors Total running time exceeds 24 hours (24:17:20), 29 tracks, digital print guide, mp3 format Reviewed by Robert Barrow To order inquire at: http://www.fadeddiscs.com/primer3.html Appreciating the historical value of a Faded Discs release compares with a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of UFO History, and this newest disc from FD sparkles, for it covers the important years of 1964-1967 - featuring the '64 Socorro/Zamora UFO encounter, the Michigan "swamp gas" (a term that Dr. Hynek never used, by the way, as Wendy Connors advised us previously) sightings of 1966, and an abundance of UFO activity reported during the summer of 1965, plus a lot more. Before highlighting the contents of this release, however (at 24 hours-plus, that's an entire day and night without sleep for the serious listener), a word or two about Wendy Connors, known to many readers and listeners as the conductor who orchestrates the quality of every Faded Discs project, is warranted. Connors, applying "audioficial resuscitation" to nearly dead, long-lost and forgotten recordings so they can have a new life, does far more than simply convert old tapes and other media into digital format. For instance, there are occasions when she literally prepares a very special bath in order to wash and enhance old reel-to-reel tapes, giving their sound quality a luster that couldn't be captured otherwise, and in fact some people unacquainted with such restoration techniques and lacking dedication would likely just throw problematic tapes into the trash basket. If you think giving the family dog a bath is difficult, imagine attempting to properly clean up the family reel-to-reels without ending up with strands of useless tape and an oxide disaster. Having contributed a few recordings to the project myself, Wendy surprised me on one occasion when I sent her some reel-to-reel tapes, and inside one of the tape boxes was an old newspaper clip referencing the recorded program. She immediately advised me that chemicals used in newsprint can out-gas and actually deteriorate the tape, so all such material should be stored outside of the box. As you can see, Wendy knows her stuff, cares about the precision of her talents, never throws a collection together as if tossing a salad, and, in addition, the very tape just mentioned is included in this collection, sounding as good as it did originally thanks to her intervention. So, what have we here? This collection begins with a May, 1964 edition of Bob Kennedy's "Contact" program from WBZ Radio in Boston. As in numerous instances on this disc, several "heavy hitters" known to many in UFO research appear as guests. Barely a month after the Socorro UFO landing/occupant report that shook world headlines, the program begins with reporter Streeter Stuart's phone interview with Officer Lonnie Zamora about the egg-shaped Socorro UFO, its occupants and the burning vegetation left behind as the object took off with a flaming roar. Also in the studio is amateur astronomer and respected NICAP proponent Walter Webb, and over the course of an hour and a quarter we are also treated to a phone conversation with Major Donald Keyhoe, NICAP director; Lyle Boyd, co-author with notorious debunker/astronomer Dr. Donald Menzel of the book, "The World of Flying Saucers;" and NY farmer Gary Wilcox, who describes his alleged encounter with UFO occupants. Boyd, whom I can't recall hearing in any other broadcast venue, coherently does her best to defend Dr. Menzel's UFO denials, and believes every word she says. Major Keyhoe discusses Air Force (UFO reporting) Regulation 200-2 and delves into radar images and classified UFO photos, referencing the UFO evidence expertly. And then there's the case of Newark, NY farmer Gary Wilcox, whose UFO encounter occurred in a similar time frame to Zamora's, and seemed far more bizarre. As a NY teenager when newspapers began picking up this story, I remember being both fascinated and horrified. Here was a young dairy farmer, an ex- serviceman, speaking in a matter-of-fact manner about seeing something shiny off in the distance, hopping on his tractor and driving up to the thing, an object on the ground appearing roughly like the Socorro UFO. But then his story becomes very strange indeed. Bob Kennedy's show features a taped interview with Wilcox, speaking from his barn phone, where we can actually hear contented cows mooing in the background: WILCOX: "These two things, or men, or whatever they are came out. They were about four foot high. I don't know what they are or who they were, but they talked to me for about two hours up there (in the field - rb)." KENNEDY: "You could perfectly understand them?" WILCOX: "Yeah, they talked better English than you're talking... no accent... I spoke German and Russian when I was in the service, and it was nothing like either one of them." Credibility became rather strained when I heard about this case in the sixties, having already become dismissive of famous contactee stories of the period. Yet, here was young Gary Wilcox, his honesty impressing everybody with whom he spoke, including private and official investigators - and most essential to me, apparently every neighbor who knew him vouched for his rock-solid integrity, assuring him incapable of wanting or needing to invent this incredible story. A UFO perched in an agricultural field during daylight, with two small occupants sacrificing two hours out of their, I assume, busy schedule to converse with Wilcox and answer questions and impart knowledge about the universe? In fact, Wilcox tells Kennedy that he has withheld certain details of the conversation voluntarily so he may impart something of significance to government investigators. Frankly, the "hidden details" aspect of the incident isn't that unusual in the history of occupant contacts, and the Wilcox case summons up similar day time events once reported with some regularity in European countries in the fifties and sixties. All things considered, this reviewer wonders whether, if true, Wilcox wasn't "simply" experiencing an abduction experience whose interpretation in the telling was far different (e.g., in a lighter vein) than what he actually encountered. Or endured. The Wilcox incident, unless so me major truth has come to light of which I'm unaware, remains disturbing. At any rate, with cows mooing in the background (perhaps affectionately requesting to be milked, for fear that Wilcox will desert them for another hours-long session with the unexplained?), this guy sounds humble, yet firmly committed to his story. What to think? Ten days after Kennedy's show comes radio's "Action Nightline," this time with NICAP's Walter Webb again, joined by APRO photo analyst John Hoft. Running well over an hour, there's some great science talk here, along with discussions of UFO pictures confiscated by the U.S. government, UFOs seen over D.C. in the fifties, the Socorro case, the Trindade UFO photos and the intriguing Ubatuba story involving possible UFO fragments. Webb fascinates us with a story of two disc-shaped objects following and looping around an aircraft as witnesses observed from the ground. "The Bob Roarke Show" hales from Florida as December, 1964 nears an end. This show's mark of distinction is Roarke's interview with university profess or Dr. Ernest Gehman. Gehman followed up a report by Virginia civil engineer Horace Burns, who spotted a UFO on or near the ground, some distance from a highway. This was a time when many UFO reports occurred in Virginia. Gehman took a Geiger counter to the exact spot in question and recorded high radioactivity readings soon after the incident. Weeks later, Gehman accompanies a team of Air Force investigators to the site who bring their own instrumentation. Gehman regrets that he, this time, did not bring his Geiger counter, and no wonder: The Air Force investigators claim no radiation readings, but Gehman notes three occasions on their Geiger counter when the needle started to register something. At that point, the technician would adjust a dial and say, "You see, there's no radiation here." Major Keyhoe is called into the mix here, expressing his own support for Gehman's story, and then discussing the famous Wallops Island UFO case as he also references the official "Estimate of the Situation," the government's top secret belief that UFOs were somebody from somewhere else. 1965's disastrous (for the host) "Les Crane Show" appears here, the ABC-TV late-night variety program whose days were numbered after host Crane conducted an entire show by ridiculing Major Keyhoe, NICAP and UFOs in general. Not even the presence of UFO investigation proponent and NICAP board member Col. J. Bryant, former special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, could temper Crane's ridicule, and to assist in deriding every last ounce of what should have been a sober UFO discussion, Crane brought out a skeptical - no, Crane brought out a debunking astronomer. The show was an outrage in every way, ABC-TV "got mail" and weeks later Les Crane was gone, gone, gone. Confession: Your reviewer really enjoyed Crane, who flew in the Air Force, and his show up to the point of disaster was quite good. I even found his popular seventies record album, "Desiderata," creative. But for whatever reason, this otherwise affable TV host of considerable talent and broadcast experience absolutely shot himself in the foot multiple times in the space of one nationally televised show and paid the price. Never let anybody deny the unanticipated power of UFO ridicule. "Impact Close-Up: What is NICAP" was a show out of Richmond, VA, putting a positive spotlight on NICAP's history and goals. Richard Hall, NICAP's assistant director, steps before the microphone here, one of his earliest broadcast appearances. With him is NICAP member Paul Dickey. Other programs bring us obscure, but nonetheless essential, interviews with people such as Steve Putnam and Edwin Fogg of the New England UFO Study Group who discuss the Hill case, the impressive Exeter, NH events and other current UFO events. "The Fred B. Cole Show" gives us author John Luttrell, the very first to bring Barney and Betty Hill to public consciousness, prior to John Fuller's articles and book about them. 1965's "Forum" offers UFO researcher Earl J. Neff and another member of the Cleveland Ufology Project discussing the well-publicized UFO "flap" in the southwestern U.S. Raymond Fowler, surely one of the most respected names in UFO research, offers a great interview on a program where he discusses several UFO incidents, electromagnetic effects caused by UFOs, and quotes from the Brookings Institute report exploring the impact of extraterrestrial contact on our lives: "If super-intelligence is discovered, the results become quite unpredictable. It has been speculated that, of all groups, scientists and engineers might be the most devastated by the discovery of relatively superior creatures, since these professions are most clearly associated with the mastery of nature, rather than with the understanding and expression of men." Fowler is also featured elsewhere in this collection. Skeptics, debunkers and researchers from all sides may find "Note Pad" with Paul Benzaquin of interest, as he takes calls following a UFO hoax he staged the previous evening. Even from this tomfoolery we can all learn something. George Fawcett, yet another well-placed name in UFO research annals, joins Earl J. Neff and others to discuss, most notably, the 1965 UFO flap and the Exeter, NH incidents. J. Allen Hynek presents as younger researchers may never have known him - highly skeptical and seemingly almost married to the Air Force position when it came to UFOs. Here, in various programs, Hynek intricately wraps himself around "marsh gas" as a UFO report percipient in Michigan. Thus begins the slow change of Air Force UFO consultant Hynek from ardent skeptic to proponent, based upon evidence he could no longer ignore or effectively refute. "Any open-minded scientist must not close his mind to the possibility that there are things we do not know about," he states during one of numerous moments of caution. Several Michigan UFO witnesses are interviewed on this disc, officials are criticized for their handling of the sightings and radar confirmation of Michigan UFOs is discussed. One show's caller, acquainted well with Frank Manners and his son, who witnessed a UFO at close range, almost implores people to believe something weird is afoot as he admits, "We've just had too much out here to laugh at anymore." A pivotal NICAP press conference held amidst the Michigan sightings and in response to public outrage over "swamp gas" as an explanation also occupies this disc. Major Keyhoe, Richard Hall and board member Col. Joseph B. Hartranft, Jr., are available to respond to press concerns. Col. Hartranft, well - spoken and authoritative, explains at one point: "When you run into situations when techniques such as radar takes these sightings out of the realm of pure speculation, and when you have situations of what I call triple confirmation - an experienced pilot in the air who sees and repeats a finding, a ground observer who sees and repeats the same finding in the same place, and a man at the end of the radar, too, who is reporting echoes on his radar scope - then it is time to think in terms of the expertise that is required, and not to speculate." Keyhoe discusses the Exeter, NH reports and a Texas UFO report from the same night, when police officers felt heat from a nearby UFO. An entry not to be missed is a 1966 program entitled "Spectrum 95: The Flying Saucer Flap," brimming with brief interviews of scientists, officials, investigators and witnesses having knowledge of UFO reports. Among them is famed researcher and NICAP proponent Don Berliner, and former Air Force press desk chief Al Chop offers his opinions pertaining to UFOs. Berliner personally investigated and praises the Socorro case and states, "When Dr. Hynek left, he admitted openly that he was more puzzled than when he had arrived." Chop is particularly of interest because as the years have passed he has embraced various theories about UFOs. Initially impressed with the extraterrestrial spacecraft theory in the fifties and early sixties, by the time he's interviewed for this 1966 program he entertains the idea of some natural but unknown phenomenon. But 10 years later he was considering an interdimensional origin, or at least that was partially on his mind. Chop should certainly be given credit for keeping an open mind about the phenomenon which so influenced his early government years..... Also interviewed briefly is Mrs. Paul Trent of Trent UFO photos fame and even James Moseley pops up for a few comments. The Air Force, strangely, would not provide a spokesperson for the show. Broadcaster and NICAP supporter Lou Corbin invited Richard Hall and Donald Berliner to his radio program in 1966, and Hall explained the effort involved at NICAP for production of 1964's "The UFO Evidence:" "We worked day and night for a long time to accomplish it. It is a document of over 200,000 words, accumulating the best cases of our files at that time. I believe we had something just over 5,000 reports in the files, and from these we culled the best, approximately 600 cases, after putting them through a rigid test. Fifty percent of them came from trained or experienced observers, such as scientists and airline pilots." Adds Berliner: "Some of the things (UFOs) were doing over 20 years ago, we don't even have any idea how to do. Obviously, if we had machines 20 years ago performing in this way, we wouldn't have wasted tens of billions of dollars on conventional bombers and fighters, and we wouldn't be struggling through these crude attempts to get into space." Writing notes while listening to this disc, I found myself jotting furiously and at greatest length about entry no. 52, a two-part 1966 WDRC radio program, probably because the combination of narration by host Jim Nettleton, guest interviews and cases covered provides an excellent account of the time in question. At the outset, the 1966 Michigan UFO reports are explored, and before even a minute elapses we hear the angry voice of Ann Arbor sheriff Douglas Harvey, soon after Dr. Hynek said publicly that a UFO report in that area could be explained. Growls Harvey: "Last night he was in my office. He told me he had no idea what it was, but he said the Pentagon told him he had to make a statement tomorrow." One suspects that this was another turning point in the education of, not the anxious public, but of Dr. Hynek himself, as he slowly abandoned the Air Force UFO position in general. Nevertheless, we hear Hynek as he lays out the case for "marsh gas" as UFO. We are reminded here that UFOs were seen in many states, and although Michigan seemed to dominate press coverage, states such as Indiana and Wisconsin also witnessed strange sights. If anything should have made scientists in love with Air Force explanations walk the plank, a period during the summer of 1965 when hundreds, if not thousands, of people in four western states observed UFOs should have provided their jump-ship opportunity. I recall the four-page bulletin NICAP mailed to members and media after the Air Force confidently announced that Jupiter and four bright stars were the culprits for spectacular aerial light displays dazzling those deluded westerners. Trouble is, Jupiter and the four stars were only visible from the other side of the planet during the sightings. Astronomers who actually bothered to care were outraged and one, Robert Risser, director of the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation Planetarium, responded "This is as far from the truth as you can get." Project Blue Book takes a well-deserved pounding on the disc, and even former Air Force UFO project monitor/intelligence officer Dewey J. Fournet, Jr., is interviewed here and warns that the Air Force "has never given (the UFO subject) the attention that it should." He also shuns any notion that the famed Utah UFO movie involved birds - that there were "no seagulls" in Utah. At another point, Fournet responds to Air Force claims that all UFO information has been released publicly: "From the evidence I have seen, they certainly are not releasing much of it." Major Keyhoe is interviewed, and Walter Webb makes another of numerous appearances on this disc, describing how the UFO hearings that Gerald Ford fought to initiate ended up with the Air Force basically telling its own one-sided UFO story as the dominant participant. Police officers are heard from, as is researcher George Earley, and a discussion ensues about TV celebrity Arthur Godfrey's UFO sighting as a private pilot, when he took multiple evasive actions to avoid perceived danger. Many familiar with Godfrey's TV work may not have realized his extensive flight experience as an Air Force Reserve colonel, and he didn't mind talking publicly about his frightening UFO encounter in a civilian capacity. On part two of this exceptional program, we hear from John G. Fuller regarding the Exeter, NH case, Barney Hill, and witnesses to the Wanaque, NJ reservoir incident. Dr. William Pickering of JPL and Dr. Frank Salisbury of Colorado State University are featured, along with Walter Webb once again. This time, some older but crucial UFO events are outlined, including the Capt. Raymond Ryan UFO-chasing airline incident, the Killian airline case, the Lake Superior mystery and the 1965 Northeast power blackout. One of the police officers involved directly in the dramatic Exeter, NH event speaks and Fuller, author of "Incident at Exeter," gives the officer and other witnesses high marks for integrity. The Ryan airline case of 1956 was significant because Ryan and co-pilot William Neff were officially instructed to abandon their routine passenger flight from Albany to Syracuse, NY to chase a UFO, an absolute no-no of incredibly dangerous proportions. NICAP's Richard Hall knew the case well and offers the story: "They did go off course at the request of the area Air Force base and did pursue an unidentified flying object, and this later was completely denied by all concerned... the company denied it and the Civil Aeronautics Board and the FAA denied it later. But we (NICAP) have the documented proof of it." Debunking astronomer Donald Menzel, always good for a laugh, claimed the planet Venus was involved, and in fact at another section of the program Major Fournet described how Menzel ignored all the good UFO evidence Fournet once gave him. The Mariner pictures of Mars are discussed here and it seems genuinely strange to realize that some astronomers were then holding to a belief that intelligently placed canals may exist on Mars, based upon Mariner images. Curious mention is made that a UFO hovered near the Canberra tracking station as Mars images were being transmitted back and another station wasn't functioning to receive images at that time. Dr. Frank Strong of Johns Hopkins University suggests enthusiastically that some parts of Venus can probably support life as we know it. Yes, he does. Elsewhere on the disc is a lengthy interview conducted with both Barney and Betty Hill about their abduction experience, with Earl J. Neff along for great support and wisdom, and another program pairs Neff with famed broadcaster Frank Edwards to discuss foreign and American cases. Edwards had recently written his bestseller, "Flying Saucers: Serious Business," and on another disc track Connors offers us the bonus of Edwards' popular LP of the same name. Connors includes Long John Nebel from 1967, when he had moved his late-night talk show from WOR Radio to WNBC. He and several guests discuss Project Blue Book and the status of the Colorado UFO study. Following this show, running over an hour, Nebel's 1967 LP, "The Flying Saucer Story," is offered, giving us a chance to laugh at outrageous claims thrust upon us by some of the most famous contactees of the era. At one point in narration, Nebel flat-out states, "I don't buy any of it," but his preoccupation with contactees for many years certainly provided Nebel a lucrative radio career. The LP, not to be forgotten, also allows a few well-stated words from Major Keyhoe and Frank Edwards, who add the only hint of sanity and truth to this LP. Folks, once you tap into this particular entry, you may be unable to walk away from nearly 40 minutes of pure Long John Nebel. As we approach the final tracks of this mammoth collection, a 1967 press conference by Dr. Hynek emerges, almost a half hour in length. Then, just as the most interesting programs would seem to be over, Wendy Connors adds "Science Panel: Captured by a UFO." This may sound like a tabloid magazine, but instead we have a rather scientific discussion. Panelists include Dr. James McDonald, Dr. Carl Sagan, Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle and others who take this opportunity to question Barney and Betty Hill, who sit before them to relate their story. Sagan, predictably, seems incredulous about any possibility that UFO occupants could look anything like us. "Unidentified doesn't mean extraterrestrial," Sagan eventually warns, "it means we don't understand it." McDonald is impressed with the compass spinning when held over shiny spots on the Hill's car after their journey home, and debates Sagan wonderfully. Dr. Sprinkle considerately explores Betty's dreams without violating her privacy. Also present is author John Fuller, quite adept at explaining Dr. Benjamin Simon's (the Hills' psychiatrist) non- interest in UFOs. If you really wish to reminisce with the likes of Dr. Menzel, there's also "Open Mind" (how Menzel ended up on a show with that title may provide the biggest mystery), but fortunately he's joined by Dr. Hynek, Dr. Sprinkle, author John Fuller and Dr. Frank B. Salisbury. This is actually an interesting public affairs program from WNBC, moderated by a professor from Princeton University. Wendy concludes her compilation with the, redundancy not intended, uniquely offbeat. It isn't every day that a nun, a professor of chemistry at Immaculate Heart College, sits down with an interviewer and pours out her extensive knowledge of UFO history, NICAP and other UFO organizations. Yet, here's Sister Ann Jude being interviewed by Bob Wright, enthusiastically imparting her vast knowledge in a program intended solely to reflect an "interesting " part of campus life at Immaculate Heart. A college recruitment program with a nun spouting UFO history as a draw for potential students? Yes, and very well - unexpectedly well - done. Offering recent as well as ancient UFO accounts, Sister Jude explains her concern: "I was amazed at the number of books and the number of studies and the number of sightings there were, and this is how I became interested in this." Exploring both the ongoing Colorado study and fake vs. real UFO photos, she encourages scientists to explore UFOs earnestly. "The assumption of our scientific community is that there is life in outer space," she affirms, "and that the universe is so very large that it is improbable that we would be the only planet that would have life." Now, to address those readers actually intent upon booking a flight to Washington to visit the Smithsonian Museum of UFO History, I must advise that this new Faded Discs collection might not be for them. To everybody else, know that UFO history's spoken gold inhabits this very worthwhile collection.
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