Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Obi-Wan and Luke


That's yours truly speaking at the 2015 East Coast Paranormal Conference this past weekend in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. The man working the slide projector for my presentation, whom I fondly dubbed my "slide monkey"? None other than Stan Friedman. He volunteered for the gig, which was a nice switch from the time years ago when I worked his slide projector for him at a conference. We joked that it was time for the master to give way to the pupil. He even gave me his green laser pointer, which I dubbed my "Luke Skywalker lightsaber."

Great fun was had by all!

Paul Kimball

Monday, August 10, 2015

Meeting Loren Coleman



Yours truly with Loren Coleman this past weekend at the 2015 East Coast Paranormal Conference in Liverpool, NS, where we were both speaking. Loren and I have been on-line chums for years, but we had never actually met in "meatspace" until a couple of days ago. The event itself was great fun - I'll write up a little review and some thoughts when time allows this week, particularly about my own paranormal adventure on a ghost investigation of the historic Astor Theatre - but meeting Loren after all these years was definitely a highlight!

Paul Kimball

Thursday, June 04, 2015

RIP to Bruce Duensing



RIP to Bruce Duensing, a friend and fellow blogger, who has sadly passed away at the age of 64. He will be greatly missed, as will his thought-provoking contributions to the discourse about the paranormal, and many other subjects. I heartily recommend his appearance on Radio Misterioso with Greg Bishop a few months ago, which you can listen to here.

Here are his final written words, posted at his blog A Transit of Contingencies on May 22nd, in a piece titled The Voyages of the Dead:
In every fiction there is an element of truth and the same could be said by reading that statement in reverse order, and so this writer thinks on poetics as a series of observations that indirectly point to a reality not directly manifested in their sentences. 
The same may apply to us.
May he journey well to whatever lies beyond.

Paul Kimball

Monday, June 01, 2015

UFO$, Inc. - Volume 3



Whitley Strieber. So much could be said about his role as a leading figure in UFO$, Inc. given that he's been at it for so long, creating and selling memes that have taken firm root in the broader popular culture, always without a shred of evidence to back it up, in increasingly outlandish scenarios. I think his work can best be summed up with his latest escapade, which is helping to keep the Roswell Slides Scam alive in conjunction with fellow UFO$, Inc. board members, including Linda Moulton Howe.

If you want something that will make your stomach turn and your head spin at the same time then have a listen to Strieber, Howe, and slides promoter Jaime Maussan on Strieber's program recently, as they try to resurrect the slides story. It's appalling and fascinating in equal measure. You can tune in for what Strieber calls "the most astonishing Dreamland I have ever done" here.

But like a very small-scale Bilderbergers-like group, UFO$, Inc members are always willing to work with their colleagues in order to allow everyone to profit.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, May 24, 2015

UFO$, Inc. - Volume 2



Richard Dolan is the king of ufological sleight-of-hand. One of thousands of people possessing a Masters Degree in History from some small liberal arts college, Dolan managed to turn himself into "Ufology's historian" in just over a decade, all while building a nice little multi-media congolmerate with him as the centerpiece. 

How has he done it? Well, he wrote a book about the history of UFOs that was a combination of fact recitation, just enough wild-eyed speculation to bring in the true believers, and copious footnotes - the apotheosis of quantity over quality. But in the land of the blind, the one eyed historian proved to be king. He followed that up by doing anything and everything that would get allow him to build his brand, which was that of the reasonably articulate, well-educated (by ufology's standards), young-ish, and good looking researcher. What followed? More books, of course, usually just repeating the same themes that he has written about before, mixed in with some television gigs and now his own radio show (the flagship of the KGRA internet network), and a publishing company (that he called Richard Dolan Press, which is quintessential personal branding).

He's kept this all going by getting more and more outlandish with his claims over the years as he has refined his branding to the only place he could really take it and be successful - over-the-top conspiracy theorizing about anything, usually by quoting anonymous "witnesses" and "sources." Most recently he wound up on the stage at Mexico City with the Roswell slides promoters, a decision which blew up in his face within just a couple of days. Whereas some of the others involved apologized, however, Dolan did what all good corporations do - he issued some bland statements about how none of it was really his fault (conveniently forgetting any and all statements he made in support of the event and the slides before May 5th), and urged everyone to move on as quickly as possible... even as he steadfastly refused to offer anything even remotely resembling an apology for agreeing to be part of an event that was a money-milking sham.

But that's how UFO$, Inc. rolls. 

Paul Kimball

Friday, May 22, 2015

UFO$, Inc. - Volume I


For many people interested in the subject of UFOs, it is just a hobby. There are also the true believers, of course.

But for a small group, it's a corporation - UFO$, Inc. For them, it's all about the money. Like the entertainment industry, they constantly have to generate new content to stay profitable, almost always riffing on the same basic stories and themes that they have been pushing for decades. They are a transnational conglomerate, no different in principle from Exxon or Lockheed - Martin (even as they are clearly penny ante in terms of practical impact)... or, in a less formalized sense, the Bilderberg Group.

So I've decided, in the wake of the "Roswell Slides" fiasco, to list the people who clearly comprise the Board of Directors of UFO$, Inc.

Some of them are con men / women and frauds, a few are true believers in the flying saucer gospel who are also very adept at turning that belief into buckets of bucks, and some of them are a bit of both. I'll let you, the readers, decide into which category each Board member fits.

First up - Linda Moulton Howe, the grand dame of UFO$, Inc.

More to come.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The "Roswell Slides" Movie


The poster basically says all that there needs to be said. Courtesy of the talented Jeff Ritzmann.

Paul Kimball

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guest Column - James Mitchell on "Ufology as Pro Wrestling"

James Mitchell, aka James Vandenberg, The Sinister Minister, and Father James Mitchell


Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a big fan of professional wrestling, and have been since I was a kid watching Leo Burke, The Cuban Assassin, Killer Karl Krupp, and the other legends of Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling on television here in Atlantic Canada. I even made a short documentary called "A Nite at the Opera" for the CBC years ago about a local indie promotion called Mainstream Wrestling based in riral Nova Scotia.

One of my favourite characters throughout the years was James Mitchell, a pro wrestling manager known by a number of aliases over his career, including James Vandenberg, The Sinister Minister, and Father James Mitchell. In real life, he James Mitchell, a cool guy who, as it turns out, is as much a fan of the paranormal subculture (from a skeptical point of view) as I am of pro wrestling. We became friends a few years ago via Facebook.

In the wake of the Roswell slides fiasco / con / hoax / brouhaha (take your pick), Mitchell sent me a note wherein he compared pro wrestling to ufology... which is something I once did on Radio Misterioso with Greg Bishop when we put on an ad hoc, off-the-top-of-our-heads ufological wrestling death match tournament that might be the funniest thing I will ever do.

Anyway, I asked James if I could post his observations, which I thought were spot on, and he kindly said yes. So without any further ado, let's get ready to rumble with James Mitchell on why ufology is a lot like pro wrestling!



Ufology as Pro Westling by James Mitchell

I sat back as an observer and was thoroughly entertained by the two year long Be Witness / Roswell Slides debacle. The other day my wife asked, "being that you have always said flying saucers, Bigfoot, ghosts, psychics etc., are all bullshit, why do I hear those subjects via podcasts every time I'm within ten feet of you and your computer? And what's the deal with those goddamned Roswell slides?"

Upon reflection, I had a "eureka" moment and explained to her that Ufology / paranormal drama has replaced professional wrestling as entertainment for me. The dynamics are very similar. 

The majority of the population doesn't give it the time of day and, for the most part, snickers and rolls their eyes about it. 

A small, yet vociferous minority ( the "marks") believe in it with religious fervor. They will even argue with an insider who tells them it's not real - They are the "tinfoil hat" crowd. 

There is also no shortage of what we carnies in the bump-and-groan-trade call "money marks". The money mark is someone with an open check book and zero understanding about the history and nature of the business or it's denizens. If they did, they would run for the hills rather than piss away their fortune. They become star struck because someone they have seen on TV is giving them the time of day and business advice. The dubious advice always includes the money mark featuring the grifter in a position of prominence and a fat payday.

The money mark is then put in the spotlight alongside their new "best friend" so he or she can distractedly gaze at their own reflection on TV or various social media platforms while they are being financially hornswaggled.

"This is new my friend Joe Blow who was abducted by aliens! Didn't you see him on Unsolved Mysteries? Or In Search Of back in 1978? He was on Ancient Aliens for fifteen seconds, too! He's FAMOUS! I'm going to finance the UFO Geek Symposium that he's planning! He says I'll quadruple my investment! I'll fly in and pay several of his colleagues who can't possibly be the filthy, lying, sociopaths everyone else says they are. After all, he vouches for them and he wouldn't lie to me, because I'm giving him top billing and top pay up front- in cash! That criminal record of his you saw online? He says it's DISINFORMATION!"

At the end of the day all money marks in wrestling or Ufology wind up learning the same lesson imparted upon the old lady who got talked into nursing an ailing viper that subsequently repaid her kindness with a fatal bite. "Lady," sneered the viper, "you knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

A slightly smaller crowd ("smart marks" or "smarks"), often much better educated and intelligent, is sort of fascinated by it from a sociological / psychological / watch the potential train wreck / entertainment point of view, and might spend spend a few bucks or even many hours of leisure time on it. They are not ashamed to say they follow it for various reasons. I suppose Jim Mosely and Greg Bishop would fit that characterization.

At the far end of the spectrum are those who are actively pissed off that folks would waste their time considering it for any reason, a la the James Randi crowd. It's all fake and not worthy of any serious thought. Therefore, anyone discussing it is beneath their contempt.

Then we have the cast of onscreen characters. The good guys, or "babyfaces" in pro wrestling parlance, that wave the flag of truth and righteousness within their fictional narrative. I put Kevin Randle, Nick Pope, and Richard Dolan in that pile.

"Heels" would be the usual suspects that are constantly peddling snake oil to the gullible and getting caught cheating by various means, yet somehow are able to repeat their nefarious deeds with no real sanctions of consequence. Massaun, Greer, Romanek, ad nauseam.

There is a subset of performers in Ufology that are analogous to what are referred to as "shooters" in pro wrestling. They have real world credentials. So long as they are in a position to get paid for furthering the fiction on their own terms without damaging their reputation beyond a wink and nudge from the knowing, they play into the story because their involvement lends an air of legitimacy. Some might even believe what they say. I would place Stan Friedman, J. Allen Hynek, and Edgar Mitchell in that category.

Finally, on the outer edges of the sub-culture we have the so called "dirt sheet" writers, ala Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer. They are particularly reviled by wrestlers and promoters alike because they report the facts, air dirty laundry when needed, and are not afraid to call "bullshit". That would be guys like yourself and Lance Moody. They "break kayfabe", "smarten up the marks", and often spoil the story before it unfolds with sober analysis. No Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

So from a wrestling booking standpoint, Roswell Slides fiasco was like a particularly bad WrestleMania PPV. Months of ballyhoo and build up about something that is not real to begin with and a big disappointment in it's ultimate presentation. There were highly charged, diametrically opposing promos from the white and black hats along with unflattering revelations of behind the scenes shenanigans, courtesy of truth seeking outside pundits.

Ultimately, the heel protégés of the "evil manager" Jaime Maussan - Carey, Schmidt, Dew, and Bragalia - were defeated by the forces of righteousness. As is always the custom after a big blow-off PPV, a couple of the defeated heels attempted to turn babyface and ask for forgiveness from the true believers, much like Sgt. Slaughter did after spending a year in cahoots with The Iron Sheik during the Desert Storm conflict. The evil manager then calls his former confederates liars and insists that the footage of any cheating or loss on the part of his stable has been doctored. The referee was in the babyface's pocket. He would have "gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids".

Then the cycle of chicanery starts all over again for another year. Only the main events change with slightly different line ups. The marks in the crowd will always hold up signs that say "DISCLOSURE" and chant "ROSWELL! ROSWELL! ROSWELL!", right on cue.

It's a ritual as comforting and predictable as the Catholic Mass for those who choose to suspend their disbelief.

At least that's how I perceive it.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Don Schmitt Apologizes



Is he sincere? Who knows? If he is then he will withdraw from the public part of ufology - no more books, no movies, no more lectures. Responsibility entails consequences.

Based on his past record, I doubt we'll see that from him. Britney probably sums up the whole lot of them. But maybe Schmitt will surprise me this time and do the honourable thing all the way through.

If so, good for him and happy trails on the rest of his journey. If not... well, that's why we all have blogs.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Talkin' Roswell Slides Blues, Part I



I was on The Gralien Report with Micah Hanks on Monday evening discussing the Roswell Slides fiasco. You can tune in here

Here is Micah's write-up about the episode:
This week on The Gralien Report, we’re all just about tired of hearing about the so-called “Roswell Slides”, and so as our final word on the matter, we feature a complete discussion of what happened, how it all fell apart, and what we can learn from it in the aftermath. A friend of the program, researcher and filmmaker Paul Kimball, was one of the operative members of the Roswell Slides Research Group, who helped determine the origins of the mummy depicted in the images. Paul joins us in hour two of the program to discuss the need for better judgement and discernment in the field of UFO studies.
My segment starts at 1:19:00, but I recommend listening to the whole show.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The "Roswell Slides" Scandal - Who is Adam Dew?




Anthony Bragalia is apparently very good at looking into peoples' background. Well, there's a project that he can sink his teeth into if he wants to earn some redemption for the role he played in the Roswell Slides fiasco. He should put all of his energy into answering one key question: Who is Adam Dew, the man behind all of this? 

If Mr. Bragalia really believes that he is the innocent victim in all of this, a naive but honest man who was led astray by someone who played fast and loose with the truth, then I would imagine he would want to look into the background of the man who started it all. I have no doubt that the ufological community would welcome the effort.

I know I would.

Paul Kimball


Monday, May 11, 2015

Bragalia - Famous at Last!!



The Mirror in the United Kingdom reported today on the Roswell slides fiasco, with the result that "slides" promoter Anthony Bragalia has now become the poster-boy for ufological incompetence in the mainstream media. An excerpt:
The UFO 'believer' community has been rocked by an admission that a photograph of an alien was actually the mummified remains of a dead child. An image taken from the so-called Roswell Slides was unveiled last week in front of a worldwide online audience at an event called Be Witness. Ahead of the big reveal, researchers said the picture was a "smoking gun" which proved aliens had crashlanded on Earth. But these claims are now in tatters after Tony Braglia, a "principal investigator" who analysed them, issued an astonishing public apology. He said the dead alien (pictured below) was actually a Native American child who lived in the abandoned ancient city of Mesa Verde.
For everyone he has threatened, insulted and harassed for the past three years (yours truly included), karmic Christmas has arrived!

Mr. Bragalia can always look at the bright side, I suppose - at least now he's referred to as a "world-famous researcher." Alas, it's fame for all the wrong reasons... and in a final well-deserved indignity, they didn't even spell his name right.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, May 10, 2015

How to Make the Roswell Slides Fiasco Right




Apologies from the promoters of the Roswell Slides fiasco in Mexico City, even if they are forthcoming, are not enough. It's easy to say you're sorry while you still hold the cash. The way to make it right, or at least as right as it can be, is as simple as it was for the Roswell Slides Research Group to solve the "mystery" - the promoters must immediately offer a full refund on each and every ticket sold to the May 5th event. Those who were only participants in the event or the build-up to it, like Anthony Bragalia and Richard Dolan, can begin to restore some of their reputation by publicly calling on the prime organizers of the event to take this step.

Anything less is just as worthless and hollow as the event itself.

Paul Kimball

Richard Dolan and the Roswell Slides

No matter how much he tries to distance himself from the Roswell Slides fiasco now, here is what Richard Dolan had to say about them when he arrived in Mexico City for the BeWitness con job on May 5th.





As with so many other things, it turns out that Dolan was dead wrong. One might expect a mea culpa (even Anthony Bragalia has sort of issued one), but I wouldn't hold your breath. Dolan has become the "Teflon Ufologist" - nothing sticks to him where his fan base is concerned.





Whatever credibility Dolan might once have had has long since been shredded in the eyes of objective observers. But because his fan base remains loyal and starstruck, Dolan Inc. just keeps chugging along. 

Paul Kimball

Truth and Lies



As those of us in the Roswell Slides Research Group worked toward finding out the truth about the so-called "Roswell Slides," some of us were subjected to smear campaigns by the most vociferous Slides promoter, Anthony Bragalia.

Here's an example about me, alluded to in a post at Kevin Randle's blog yesterday when Randle wrote, "Paul Kimball, who has been recently and unjustly vilified for his anti-slides stance." It comes from an e-mail that Bragalia sent to my RSRG colleague Tim Printy (and my understanding is that this claim was made to others):
You have allowed your team member Kimball to call Dr. Edgar Mitchell at home out of the blue to disturb him.. You have no moral compass, no filter- you have become desperate.  Kimball urged Mitchell not to attend the event and your reputation  -such as it is- will suffer immensely. You will personally be called out as a harasser and antagonizer who works with a mentally unstable alcoholic to derail other people's hard work.  How could you do this? What is wrong with you? When the world finds out how you operate, that you have no scruples and will stress-out and attack elderly people to get your way- no one  will ever want anything to do with you. My god, Tim, this is over-the-top and you have finally revealed yourself as a repellent nut. Btw, your foul attempt did not work..
To be clear, the claim that I contacted Mitchell was a lie. To be clear, I am not an alcoholic. That claim was also a lie. Either one of them would be grounds for legal action were I to pursue it further. Fortunately for Mr. Bragalia, I am not so inclined. I've got better things to do, and Mr. Bragalia, like his fellow Slides promoters, is now irrelevant.

But I want to let you know that this is what we were up against, folks. These are the people we were dealing with. Secretive, abusive, deceitful, and very, very angry when you challenged their claims, right up to Adam Dew accusing us yesterday of photo-shopping the placard research - another lie. 

For our part, while we skeptics can wield sharp elbows from time to time, and also have been known to pull a good-natured prank or two at the expense of self-important con men and true believers, our research itself was above board, peer-reviewed, factual... and open-sourced for everyone to look at

Finally, we had no financial stake in the story. Our only interest was in getting to the truth of the matter.

And that's the fundamental difference between the Slides Promoters and the rest of us.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Roswell Slides - How the Placard was Deciphered





In the video above Tim Printy provides a demonstration of how easy it was to decipher the writing on the placard on the “Roswell slide”. Note that there is no manipulation of the image going on here other than an enhancement of the original – which in this case is the “drum scan” provided by slides promoter Adam Dew on his own website.

And here is Lance Moody showing the same results from the process, which he explains in the video.



Paul Kimball

The Roswell Slides placard

Adam Dew and Anthony Bragalia are claiming that the image from which we derived the proof that the "alien" body is actually a human mummified child is a fake - that it was photoshopped. I believe Jaime Maussan has said the same thing.



This is categorically untrue. The only change made was an increase in the contrast to accentuate the actual letters on the page (which were deblurred using simple commercially available software). Nothing was added.

I think we all know who the fakers are in this.

Paul Kimball

The Roswell Slides - Further Perspective from Philip Mantle

THE ROSWELL SLIDES – TWO INDEPENDENT ACADEMIC QUOTES
By Philip Mantle

I just wanted to add a little bit more info regarding the on-going debate into the alleged Roswell slides. Unfortunately this last week I have been a little bit under the weather, however, this did allow me the opportunity to sit with my feet up in my ufological armchair and see if I could obtain a quote or two from a variety of experts regarding the alleged Roswell slide. Basically all I did was email a polite request to a number of academics and institutions respectfully asking them to comment on the photo (slide) in question. Some came back and stated that they didn’t think the photo was of good enough quality to comment on, others requested more details, some did reply but when I asked if I could quote them they declined.

There are a number though that did indeed reply and give me permission to quote them. Personally I believe I’ve spent more than enough time on this sham already but for the record I am providing here two of the replies I obtained. They are unedited and all they were sent is the so-called Roswell slide photograph. Again, for the record, none of the academics I contacted came back with a reply that they thought the photo depicted an alien.

Here are two of several replies I received:
I confirm that the photo is of a mummy of a child, possibly Peruvian or even Egyptian.
Salima Ikram, Professor of Egyptology, American University in Cairo
---- 
Okay, it is a mummy, but very hard to tell if it Egyptian, South American or European. I see no wrappings of any kind, it appears to be a child or youth. Do you have a provenance on the slide??? That may help the determination. 
Cordially
S.J. Wolfe, Senior Cataloger and Serials Specialist, American Antiquarian Society / Director of the EMINA (Egyptian Mummies in North America) Project. 
You are of course free to make of these comments you will as they are simply my humble attempt to hep try and get to the bottom of what I believe is a very sorry saga. There will no doubt be those that question the abilities of the two above ladies to comment on this matter but so-be-it. The one thing that I can say regarding the above two comments is that they have both been made independently of any of the promoters of the ‘Roswell slides’ and therefore in my opinion are a great deal more credible. You can choose to agree or disagree of course but this is just one way to try and bring the matter to an end as quickly as possible in my humble opinion.

Please feel free to re-post and re-distribute this in any format you wish.

Regards,
Philip Mantle

The Roswell Slides... Game, Set, and Match

Deblurred image of original slide - not photoshopped other than an increase in contrast.


Curt Collins breaks it down here with clear proof that the figure in the Roswell slides is a mummy. A more recent, updated analysis is available here.

Tom Carey, Don Schmitt, Anthony Bragalia, Richard Dolan, Adam Dew, Jaime Maussan... all completely discredited.

This is the end of the story, and should be the end of their careers.

Paul Kimball

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Anthony Bragalia



For someone who couldn't shut up about the "Roswell slides" prior to the May 5th fiasco, Anthony Bragalia seems curiously silent in the aftermath of the event. No more defamatory e-mails about me sent by e-mail to friends (no, I never called Edgar Mitchell - that was what we call a "lie"), no more boasting comments on blogs... nary a peep.

Huzzah!

#BeSilent

Paul Kimball

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stanton Friedman's Public Statement on the "Roswell Slides"


I could find no convincing information that there is any connection between the slides and Roswell... I don’t want to appear to add legitimacy by my presence in Mexico City in the absence of serious evidence of the slides being what is being claimed they are. 

I keep being asked my views about the so-called “Roswell” Slides. So, let me summarize my position. I have tried to obtain as much information as possible and responded with interest when at the International UFO Congress in Scottsdale, Arizona, in Mid-February, I was interviewed by journalist Jaime Maussan of Mexico City who has arranged for a huge event focused on the slides. I recall the so called Roswell Autopsy which turned out to be a fiasco. I had spoken with Ray Santilli over the phone, checked on a number of his claims which turned out to be false, met with him twice in England and even had some comments distributed at his big press conference.

Jaime invited me to attend the May 5, Mexico City, conference as had Don Schmitt. My expenses would be paid. My first thought was that since I would be asked about my views, as the original civilian investigator of the Roswell crashed saucer event, it would be nice to have first hand information. I read as much as I could, positive and negative. I have not held copies of the slides. I could find no convincing information that there is any connection between the slides and Roswell. How would an outsider gain access to the real bodies? I worked under security for 14 years and have been to classified facilities in New Mexico. The barriers are tough. I have seen no specific data to convince me that these are phony. But that doesn’t establish a connection with Roswell events. Yes, I am still convinced that alien spacecraft with bodies on board crashed near Corona, in the Plains of San Augustin, and near Aztec. But I don’t want to appear to add legitimacy by my presence in Mexico City in the absence of serious evidence of the slides being what is being claimed they are. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence and I have a large “gray” basket.

Stanton Friedman

Note: Originally published at the UFO Chronicles.

The 1977 Tehran UFO Sighting


An article from the front page of the Kingsport Post - News on 19 May, 1977 (Vol. 15, No. 20) in Kingsport, Tennessee, detailing the Tehran UFO sighting of 19 September, 1976, which was featured in my film Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Sightings.

Paul Kimball

Radio Appearance - 29 March 2015



For those interested in the paranormal, I'll be on radio out of the United Kingdom today discussing ghosts, UFOs, and whatever else pops up... and I may sneak in a revelation or two about the "Roswell slides" if I'm feeling mischievous. If I have my time conversion right, it's at 4:30 Halifax time (after the hosts chat amongst themselves for 1/2 hour).

Paul Kimball

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stan Friedman says "No" to involvement in Roswell slides May 5th circus



Chris Rutkowski posted in our sub rosa Facebook group looking into the "Roswell slides" that he had heard from the dean of pro-ET Roswell researchers Stan Friedman that Stan had been asked to appear at the May 5th event in Mexico City being staged by the slides promoters, and that Stan had declined. I contacted Stan yesterday and asked him to confirm this, and he did. "I can't find a connection between the slides and aliens at Roswell," he replied.

I followed up with Stan and asked him three specific questions on the record:

1. Who invited him to attend;

2. Was he going to be paid; and

3. Did he see the slides, or were they expecting him to participate without first having seen them.

His reply:
I was interviewed separately by Dew and Maussan at the 24th Annual International UFO Congress in Scottsdale Arizona Feb.18-22.and Maussan who has interviewed me before, broached the possibility of my attending the May 5 event with all expenses paid.No other remuneration was offered. I was on my way to San Diego to give a lecture at the Association of Electronics Industries on Feb. 25. On return here I received an email from Don Schmitt urging me to attend and then a note from Jaime.I saw some poor screen images, but did not handle or examine the slides. Several people I respect strongly urged me not to attend. After I told them (S and M) I had decided not to go, I received a brief note expressing regrets from Tom Carey. My original thinking was that I was certainly going to be asked about the slides afterward so that getting first hand information would allow me tO express an "enlightened" evaluation.
Anyway, good for Stan. He and I may disagree about Roswell in general, but when it comes to the "slides" we are in accord. 

Paul Kimball

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gray Barker and Me


Standing next to my prized Gray Barker "They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers" print before heading out for a walk this morning. 

Paul Kimball

Frank Scully and the Aztec UFO Con in the (Old) News

Here is a photo of the Hollywood gossip columnist and author Frank Scully, of Aztec UFO hoax fame (or infamy, depending upon your point of view), from the 25 September, 1950 edition of the Toledo Blade. You can find the full article here, fellow saucerians!




Meanwhile, here is some sensible commentary about Aztec and Scully (and other related things) from the St. Petersburg Times on 4 February, 1951.




Hoaxes / cons are powerful things. So long as there are credulous people whose will to believe overrides their common sense, there will always be the Aztecs of the world... including, as it turns out, the Aztec hoax, which still lives on today for a few die-hard proponents.

Paul Kimball 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rating my UFO Documentaries

All of my UFO-related documentaries are now freely available on-line through various distributors (or you can pay to download them or buy DVDs if you want). An old friend and I were having a beer the other night and asked me how I would rate my own films. I thought about it, and originally posted at my Facebook page my ratings for all of my old docs, but I've winnowed them down to just the UFO ones here (as with allmusic.com's record ratings, out of 5 stars).




I still consider the Friedman film to be the best documentary I ever made on any subject, and I think Fields of Fear isn't bad, either (although it suffered from having a smaller budget and therefore less production value). Others may rate them higher, or they may rate them lower, but I've tried to be as objective as I can be, and this is where they fall for me.

Paul Kimball

Galt, Ontario UFO sighting - 1957


A lesser-known UFO case from Canada in 1957, as reported in a local paper in Alberta (although the sighting occurred in Ontario).

Paul Kimball

Roswell in Context

One of the most oft-repeated claims of the proponents of the Roswell Incident as a crash of an alien spacecraft is that highly trained personnel at the 509th Bombardment Group stationed in Roswell, such as Jesse Marcel, could not have possibly mistaken a balloon, even if it was part of a top secret project like Mogul, for a "flying saucer," by which the Roswell proponents mean "alien spacecraft." In doing so, the Roswell proponents have committed two of the most grievous mistakes that anyone can make when conducting historical research - they have projected their own interpretation on to events, and they have ignored the context surrounding those events.

I have written about that context before, as have others. The Kenneth Arnold sighting, which received major media coverage, was still fresh in everyone's minds. While memes did not spread quite as quickly in the late 1940s through old school media as they do today in the Internet age, they could still move pretty fast, and they could sweep up a populace in hysteria (and other emotional responses), responses which could quickly take root. Flying Saucers were everywhere in the media in late June and early July 1947, to the point that we should not be surprised if someone - even an intelligence officer like Jesse Marcel, or an information officer like Walter Haut, both of whom would have been inundated with the same media sensation reports as everyone else - made a mistake in the heat of the moment when confronted with something that was a bit anomalous to them, and identified it as one of the "flying discs / saucers" that they had been hearing so much about.

It wasn't just the United States, either. Here is a front-page piece from the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia from 8 July, 1947, talking about flying saucers, both in Australia and also Canada.


Jesse Marcel and Walter Haut were not superhuman beings with perfect powers of observation, and an immunity to the broader social dialogue that was taking place at the time. Neither was anyone else stationed at Roswell. Any reasonable person can see this - certainly any historian of repute can recognize what was at work, not just in Roswell but world-wide. Sightings begat reports which begat other sightings which begat more reports which... well, you get how it works. This isn't to say that some of the sightings may not have been real; but the vast majority, and perhaps even all of them, were the result of a frenzy of interest whipped up during that time period by media reports. As it turns out, people who knew what they were talking about at the time recognized what was going on, as can be seen from the following article in The Daily Illini in Illinois a few days after the Roswell incident was reported.


The Roswell incident fits that pattern to a "t", which is why it was so quickly forgotten. It was only decades later, when memories had gotten shorter and the tales had gotten taller, that the story resurfaced and was mythologized by a group of UFO proponents who ignored the context of the original story, and who placed an interpretation on events coloured by their own belief systems.

Paul Kimball

Synchronicity with Silas Newton


From the Pittsburgh Press, 1 August 1930... synchronistic proof that I was fated to make a documentary about Newton's Aztec hoax, two decades before he perpetrated it and almost four decades before I was born!

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stanton Friedman on the Condon Committee


Meanwhile, because there is more to life, and even UFOs and ufology, than the Roswell slides, here is a fun blast from the past - an article from the January 30, 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featuring the one and only flying saucer physicist, Stan Friedman,  taking shots at the Condon Committee report on UFOs.

Paul Kimball

The Curse of the (Roswell Slides) Mummy?

The Roswell slides promoters seem to be obsessed with the idea that real researchers are all convinced that the "being" depicted in the Roswell slides is a mummy. Yes, that is a possibility that many have raised, but no-one has yet put that forward as a final conclusion (although I am still happy to take orders for my "It's a mummy, dummy" merchandise!).

So while no firm conclusion has yet been put forward publicly by the skeptics (as opposed to the promoters, who have positively asserted it to be a space alien from the supposed Roswell crash), could it have been a mummy? Is that prospect so far-fetched?

Well, no... as anyone who isn't a Roswell-is-aliens true believer (or a con man looking to soak money out of said true believers) would understand. Mummies were fairly common sideshow and carnival attractions back in the 1940s. For example, here is a newspaper article from the Hanover Evening Sun in late August, 1947, for a fair in Hannover, Pennsylvania (courtesy of Tim Printy):


Is this or something like it the Roswell slides being? 

You'll have to wait until May 4th to find out for certain. But one thing is for sure - when the slides promoters tell you that it absolutely can't be a mummy, they clearly don't know very much about mummies, or history.

Paul Kimball

The 4th of May!!



Breaking news, Roswell slides fans!

I have received, from a secret source, full resolution copies of the infamous slides. 

I am working with some media colleagues and actual scientists now to pull together an event that will reveal the truth about the slides. The wheels are in motion for a live and FREE to view event that we will stream on MAY the 4th, one day before the con event that will be held in Mexico City by the Slides promoters. 

That's right, folks - the day before you'll have to pay up to see them from the slides promoters, my colleagues and I will be presenting the evidence for free!

Why? Because I can, and because it will be fun. Consider it my gift to ufology for all the things it has given me over the years.

Stay tuned for details coming in early April, once we get the technical details worked out. But remember - you will have access to the truth from us the day before you'll have the boondoggle from the slides promoters - and it will be FREE!

Paul Kimball

All Of This Has Happened Before...

This Pittsburgh newspaper article about Roswell comes from 1997. You might recognize the names - they haven't really changed in decades (with the exception of poor Karl Pflock, who passed away several years ago from ALS).

The article can be viewed here as well.

As the saying went in the remake of Battlestar Galactica: All of this has happened before.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stan Friedman - Space Aliens and the Bible



Stan Friedman talks to Rev. Barry Downing about why space aliens might be here, and how the Bible might factor into it, in this short excerpt from footage shot in 2001 in Irvine, California for my documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real. This is raw "fly on the wall" footage so at one point you can actually hear my director of photography Findlay Muir talking to the sound guy John Rosborough about a camera move.

Paul Kimball

Kevin Randle - Good UFO Cases Not Named "Roswell"


Kevin Randle answers the question of whether he thinks that there are any other good UFO cases besides Roswell in this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in September, 2001. His ultimate conclusion might surprise some people - that the space aliens were here but seem to have left, a position that was also held by the late Karl Pflock.

Paul Kimball

Paranormal Weather

Apropos of nothing, really, but yet another snowstorm has slammed into Halifax.



Of course, not everyone in my house hates the snow. My teddy polar bear Henry gets wistful when it snows - he says it reminds him of his home in the arctic, before he headed south in search of fame and fortune.

Zorgrot, on the other hand, is thoroughly fed up. He's watching tropical islands on the scenery channel right now.


Meanwhile, being snowed in gives me time to go through more old interview footage. Expect some more clips today... assuming the power doesn't give out.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kevin Randle

Kevin Randle and I have been sniping at each other since we fell out in the fall of 2013. I do it directly, and he tends to do it by allowing people like Anthony Bragalia to publish columns at Randle's blog bashing me. Two sides of the same coin.

Well, it ends here, at least for my part. I did what I did, and I said what I said. Would I change it now if I could? Probably, but only because none of this paranormal stuff is really important to me to the point where I want to get enmeshed in feuds. I have a happy life that has nothing to do with all of these interpersonal squabbles about and within a subject that only the tiniest fraction of the population care about.

Besides, my original criticism of Randle was for mistakes he was making and half-truths that he was telling. I believe I was right, and Randle disputes that... but here's the thing - I've done the exact same things. I've made plenty of mistakes (including an entire feature film that was an unmitigated disaster), and I've also been less than completely honest at times. Who hasn't? So time to bury the hatchet, at least from my end, in my own way - I'll give Kevin the last word, traveling back in time to an interview I did with him in 2005 wherein I asked him about the media, which is at least in part what I do for a living. Here is his answer.


Randle isn't the anti-Christ, and neither am I. We're no more or less than two flawed human beings, making our way through this life as best we can... just like everyone else.

Paul Kimball

Nick Redfern - Pigeon Man!



For those who think that paranormal research is earth-shattering and paradigm altering stuff that requires everyone to be deadly serious all the time, here's a reminder that some of us, aka members of the infamous Cabal, know how to have a laugh, including at our own expense. We understand that having fun and a good time is what life is really all about.

Maybe one of these days I'll get around to posting photos of Nick in his actual Pigeon Man costume, as he fights his arch-foe, Montezuma Hall!

Paul Kimball

Nick Redfern and Orlando Pla - Puerto Rico chupacabra case, 2005


Researchers Nick Redfern and Orlando Pla travel deep into rural Puerto Rico to interview "Henry," a pig farmer who claims his animals were attacked by the legendary chupacabra. This is a clip from footage shot in 2005 for my documentary Fields of Fear that didn't make the final film.

Paul Kimball

Greg Bishop - Evidence for Human Involvement in Cattle Mutilations


My good friend Greg Bishop offers some thoughts on evidence for the cattle mutilation phenomenon and what it might mean in this clip from an interview I conducted with him in 2005.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nick Redfern - The UK and UFOs



Nick Redfern discusses British government interest in the UFO phenomenon in this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in Aztec, New Mexico, in March 2003.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Karl Pflock - Debunking the Roswell Myth



The late Karl Pflock, author of the book Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe, deconstructs the Roswell case in this interview I conducted with him in September, 2001, and explains how and why the crash of a relatively simple (albeit top secret) military project in 1947 got turned into one of the great myths of the 20th century.

Karl did more legitimate and useful research into Roswell than any other Roswell researcher. Despite being a proponent for the extraterrestrial hypothesis (he thought the Hill case was a real abduction, for example), he tackled Roswell with rigorous objectivity. For any fair-minded person, his book stands as the sine qua non of the Roswell case. 

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rozzy - Commemorative Swag



You know, I've decided that the time has come to embrace Roswell Slides mania, in my own unique way. Why fight the tide of human history?

In that spirit, I encourage everyone to venture to my on-line store and pick up your some of the commemorative Roswell Slides swag that I have created, featuring our favourite alleged space alien, along with the slogan I came up with: "The Roswell Slides - It's a Mummy, Dummy!" All of the proceeds will be going to my favourite charity - me!!

Buy early, and buy often!

Paul Kimball

Monday, March 09, 2015

Karl Pflock sums up modern Ufology


My good friend the late Karl Pflock sums up what really drives modern conspiracy-oriented ufology, particularly Roswell researchers, in this clip from an interview I conducted with him on 9 September, 2001. 

Paul Kimball

Bragalia on mummies and the "Roswell slides"

Child mummy at Penn Museum

This just in from Anthony Bragalia by way of e-mail to Lance Moody, Tim Printy and yours truly. It's the first note I have ever received from him wherein he doesn't threaten me, so I suppose that constitutes progress of a sort. Anyway, here is the letter as it was received.  
Given the ‘anti-sliders’ group’s belief that the slides depict a mummy and their forthcoming conclusion, here is a summation I am sending to several interested parties to help people to understand that the being shown in the slides is simply not a mummy. One must understand that we have thought about the ‘mummy possibility’ thoroughly and have consulted experts and cannot come to the conclusion that it is for these reasons: 
SKIN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6F7xcPcfeA 
There are two basic types of mummies: Accidental and Intentional. 
Accidental mummies have their bodies preserved through atmospheric conditions such as extreme cold or burial in snow or ice. This short video is the best example of mummification through accidental exposure to extreme cold. 
Intentional mummies have their bodies preserved through the application of chemicals and the removal of all organs, and then use desiccation (or extreme drying) to fully dehydrate the remaining corpse. Wraps are then applied, sealed with resin. 
The slides being does not have the skin-look of an accidental mummy. 
The slides being does not have the skin-look of an intentional mummy- it simply is not desiccated. It appears to have been recently embalmed or dead. There is an ‘organic’ patina to the skin tissue. It is possible that their skin is more resistant to necrosis - but no matter, the skin appearance of the being depicted in the slide is not the skin of a mummy. 
FOUR DIGITS 
The being depicted has only four digits (fingers) instead of five like a human mummy. 
EYES 
The being depicted has very wide set eyes. Its eyes/eye sockets are also twice the size of any human. 
FACIAL FEATURES 
The face features and countenance appear totally non-human. The lower part of the face has an almost ‘insectile’ look and the upper part appears frog-like/amphibian. The chin is ‘pointed’ in the extreme, unlike any human. The head is large, but not hydrocephalic. 
EARS 
The ears (such as they are) appear vestigial. They are ‘embedded’ into the skull and they are pointed at the top. 
APPENDAGES 
The limbs (legs and arms) are disproportionately long relative to the body. They are very, very thin and ‘spindly.’ The body appears to be about 3.5 feet long, just as the beings reported at Roswell. The image that anti-sliders are working with is compressed and gives a false sense of size. The body itself is very frail-fragile and under-sized. 
ENCASEMENT 
Though very difficult to discern, the being appears to be placed in a glass container. It does not however, resemble those display cases found in museums and we have looked at dozens of such images. It may be tubular. And the being rests on hastily-cut blanket resembling green-colored military blankets used at the time. The entire setup seems very ‘make-shift’ as if it is temporary storage allowing for viewing with intended transport to another location- not at all ‘permanent.’ 
FRAMING OF THE SLIDES 
Finally, the pictures themselves were not ‘framed’ properly- they are taken ‘askew’ as if taken surreptitiously in a hurried fashion. Had they been taken at a museum, the framing of the slides would have been far better. Every other slide found in the chest is wholly different than the slides of the being in terms of the angle they were taken and the framing of the shots. 
HIDING THE SLIDES 
The Rays hid them separately from the rest of the slides as if to assign them special meaning. There are no other pictures of any other beings in the chest- including those of mummies. There are no other museum pictures. No other ‘travel’ slides were found separately packaged and hidden away from the other slides as were the slides of the being. 
THE SLIDES OWNER 
And given the 1947 provenance of the slides; and that Ray worked the Roswell region in the 1940s as an oil exploration geologist who was confirmed to have taken photographs using Kodachrome film while on oil explorations in NM; it is difficult to come to any other non-Roswell conclusion. 
INDEPENDENT WITNESS CONFIRMATION 
A Roswell vet who saw the bodies acknowledges this is what the slides depict; and that these 1947 slides reveal a creature very similar to those reported at Roswell. 
For all of these combined reasons, most everyone who has viewed the actual two slides agrees that the being depicted is humanoid, but not human.
Anthony Bragalia 
None of this should come as any surprise given that it's Mr. Bragalia, whose "research" on this has been driven by belief from the first day. Despite what he says, the most likely answer to the identity of the body is a mummy on display. The Roswell Slides Research Group is investigating this angle extensively, and we will post our findings when we are ready. Still, I post it here in the interests of fairness, even though it doesn't really contain anything new.

Meanwhile, I'll give the final word to UFOs-as-space-aliens true believer Robert Hastings, who wrote today:
I will conclude by predicting, perhaps redundantly, that this affair will end badly for the Roswell Slide promoters. If, as I contend, the body in the slides is the mummy of an Inca child, or some such, then Carey, Schmitt and Maussan will owe the whole world an apology. They should also seriously consider returning whatever money they made as a result of their unfortunate, unfounded and misguided claims.

If you can't even convince Hastings of the space alien nature of the person depicted in the slides, you know that you're in real trouble.

Paul Kimball