Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gord Heath & The Other Side of Truth

Today, Stan Friedman forwarded me an article by Gord Heath that is posted at the Exopolitics site about Paul Hellyer. For the original article in full, see: http://exopolitics.blogs.com/exopolitics/2005/11/paul_hellyer_an.html

The parts that I am concerned about, however, are the ones that reference me and The Other Side of Truth. I don't mind people who disagree with me - after all, despite what my friends will tell you,* I don't walk on water, and I'm not always right. What I can't stand, however, are people who misrepresent my views for their own purposes. This is what Heath has done. His article contains several deliberate misrepresentations of what I have written here (I say deliberate because Heath is clearly familiar with this blog, and has left comments here more than once), and the views I hold, and at least one piece of sly smearing that, unfortunately, Stan is all too familiar with, having been on the receiving end himself many times (usually, but not always, by debunkers like Phil Klass).

So, here are the relevant parts of Heath's article, in italics, with my responses after them:

It might be expected that any viewpoint supporting the possible reality of ET visitation to the planet might be welcomed by those UFOlogist's who claim to be open to this possibility. But due to deep divisions between some UFOlogists and persons who advance the study of exopolitics, this has not been the case.

As an example, Paul Hellyer's statements to the Exopolitics conference in Toronto were mocked and ridiculed by filmmaker Paul Kimball of Redstar Films based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kimball's views are of some significance as he is one of the few Canadians to have an interest and financial stake in producing documentary films on UFO related topics. His documentaries include "Stanton T. Friedman IS Real" and "Do You Believe in Majic?" He is currently working on film documentaries on cattle mutilations and the ten best UFO cases.

Here is the sly smear part, right up front. According to Heath, my views are of "some significance" because I have an "interest and financial stake in producing documentary films on UFO related topics." This is no different than stating that Stan's views (or anyone's, for that matter) on Roswell, or MJ-12, are of significance because "he has an interest and financial stake" in writing / lecturing about Roswell, or MJ-12. It is designed to make me look like I'm in this just for the money.

My views are of significance - or not - because people choose to attach a significance to them, based on the research I have done, or the opinions I hold - not a financial interest I might have in making a few films about the UFO phenomenon, which is totaly irrelevant to the views I hold. Indeed, in the case of two of those films, I hold views which are contrary to those expressed by the leading subjects in the films (and in one case, my own views, which have changed since the film was made). Not the best way to drum up business.

[Full discolsure - Heath approached me in April, 2005, about doing a documentary project about the Kinross Incident, which he has researched over the years. I agreed to look at his materials, did so, and then passed on the project.]

One of Kimball's posts on his weblog "The Other Side of Truth" (http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/) was largely focussed on heaping scorn on Hellyer's nomadic political career "Ladies and Gentlemen – Meet the REAL Paul Hellyer".

The post Heath refers to can be found at: http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/10/ladies-and-gentlemen-meet-real-paul.html

The point of "heaping scorn" on Hellyer's "nomadic political career," which Heath doesn't mention, but which was clearly spelled out in the post, is this - the man is simply not credible. I wrote:

"In the course of his political career, Paul Hellyer has been a centrist, a right-winger, and a left-winger... and managed to burn his bridges with all of them, because, ultimately, the only political philosophy that matters to him is "Hellyer-ism," i.e. "ME ME ME-ism," wrapped in whatever mantle he deemed expedient at the time...

Given his history, I predict that ufologists can expect, within the next year sometime, for Hellyer to ditch exopolitics and ufology, and join CSICOP. Instead of Corso and Webre, he'll be citing Klass and Menzel. On the other hand, maybe he has finally found a home - a place where people will hang on his every word and treat him like the Messiah that he has always longed to be...

As I've said before, it amazes me that ufologists wonder why no-one takes them seriously. If they had just done a little research into Hellyer, they would have known with whom they were dealing, and this mess (and it IS a mess, folks) could have been avoided."

One can disagree with my assessment, but I'd like to see them discuss the facts of Hellyer's career, and try to explain why he should be taken seriously by ufologists now - particularly when he bases his conclusions not on what he did, said or even heard as Minister of National Defence, but rather on what he read in Philip Corso's The Day After Roswell?

As I keep trying to tell some people - especially the exopolitics types - a person's credibility is relevant, whether he is a witness, or a proponent of a particular case / theory. In Hellyer's case, he has what I, and many other Canadians among the ones who still have a clue as to who he is, consider "serious problems" in the credibility department.

However, I understand why exopolitics types like Heath have latched on to him - he was agreeing with them, and they have already demonstrated a stunning lack of discrimination in terms of whom they are willing to believe, and deal with (William Cooper, Bob Lazar, Clifford Stone, Wilbert Smith, Phil Corso - come on down).

His earlier post on Hellyer "Paul Hellyer – The Big Fish Flops" raised more specific issues relating to Hellyer's statement. Kimball's opinion is that if anyone would know about UFO secrets, it would have been Hellyer:

"Because if anyone in Canada would have known about the Cosmic Watergate, and UFO secrets, and alien bases, etc. etc., it would have been the Minister of National Defence in the mid 1960s."


This statement assumes that the Minister of National Defence is privy to all secrets contained within the Department of National Defence. It further assumes that any questions concerning the security implications of UFO incursions into Canadian air space would require a continuing policy review from the Minister of National Defence.

Well, yes, it does. And, given that the RCAF was tasked with investigating the UFO phenomenon during Hellyer's time at DND, it seems like a pretty reasonable assumption to me.

What if Canadian policy on the security implications of UFOs was already determined by our participation in NORAD continental air defence, established back in the early 1950s?

As usual, all folks like Heath are left with, in the face of facts and the logical conclusions to which they lead, are "what ifs?"

P.S. to Heath - NORAD is part of the Minister of National Defence's brief. I'm pretty sure Hellyer knew about that too.

What About Canada?

Did Canada have an active UFO study program in the mid-sixties? Did the Canadian government ever formally establish a policy direction concerning the potential national security implications posed by UFOs?

Yup - they had a policy in place from the early 1950s, as I've detailed in an ongoing (and still continuing) series here at The Other Side of Truth. See:

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/06/canada-flying-saucers-part-i.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/10/canada-and-flying-saucers-part-ii.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/10/canada-and-flying-saucers-part-iii.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/10/canada-and-flying-saucers-part-iv-dr.html

Also, check out earlier posts on the same subject:

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/09/ufos-in-canada-end-part-i.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/08/condon-effect-in-canada-part-i.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/06/canadas-real-ufo-investigators-pre.html

There Never Was a Project Magnet

It is difficult to catch Paul Kimball's line of reasoning on Hellyer. Apparently he sees Hellyer's disclosure that as a defence minister, he knew little or nothing about UFOs as proof positive that the Canadian government has never had an interest in UFOs.

Umm... no. See the above posts.

He might be right that most people in government were at most puzzled by what they heard. But there were certainly some people in the Canadian military that had to be concerned about what was reported by pilots and radar observers in various military encounters with UFOs.

Kimball goes on to say "There was no super secret Wilbert Smith research project" in his efforts to debunk the notion that the Canadian government ever had any interest in studying UFOs. The project he is referring to is "Project Magnet", a program run by Department of Transport scientist, Wilbert Smith.

This is an egregious misrepresentation of my views. I have never said that there was no Project Magnet - of course there was. Nor have I ever tried to "debunk the notion that the Canadian government ever had any interest in studying UFOs" - as the various posts cited above make clear.

The truth is exactly the opposite - I have shown that the Canadian government did take the subject of UFOs seriously, and had policies and guidelines in place to investigate the phenomenon, particularly sightings.

The problem is that the fascination of people like Heath with Wilbert Smith has obscured the truth about Canada's history with regards to the UFO phenomenon. As with their current fascination with Hellyer, this is understandable, because Smith said what they want to hear. The truth about Smith is irrelevant to them.

I have written extensively about Smith:

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/06/wilbert-smith-only-pawn-in-their-game.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/06/wilbert-smith-only-pawn-in-their-game_16.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/06/wilbert-smith-department-of-transport.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/06/wilbert-smith-department-of-transport_17.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/10/canada-and-flying-saucers-vol-v.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/10/canada-and-flying-saucers-vol-vi.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/06/wilbert-smith-in-perspective-part-i.html

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/03/oh-canada-wilbert-smith-ufos.html

The project was concerned with the idea that the earth's magnetic field might be the force used by the flying saucers for their propulsion. It later led to a small UFO detection station at Shirley Bay near Ottawa, Ontario.

Project Magnet was funded by government from 1950 to 1954 and the UFO detection station was publicly funded from 1952 to 1954. Although the project was supposedly secret, the UFO detection station was written about in several newspaper articles. It appears that publicity surrounding the station possibly contributed to the government's decision in 1954 to discontinue funding for the project.

Folks, it will take you some time, but you should really read through the posts about Smith cited above to put him in his proper perspective, and to put Project Magnet in its proper perspective.

Heath is right about one thing here - publicity did, at least in part, cause the government to shut down the small Shirley's Bay station (more on this in an upcoming post in the Canada and Flying Saucers series). Note, however, that it was publicity caused directly by Smith's talking to anyone in the media who would listen. As I've said before, not exactly the kind of man the US super-secret cabal of UFO cover-ups would leak the Big Secret to, is it? If they had been so cavalier with who heard about the H-bomb, it would have been the Nazis or Japanese nuking London or Washington instead of the Americans nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

Paul Kimball goes on to state "There was no secret plan to get an alien spacecraft to land in Alberta". I guess the point here is to disprove any notion that the Canadian military had any interest in the UFO phenomena.

No. As shown above - over and over again, and totally ignored by Heath with his misrepresentations, the Canadian military was interested in the UFO phenomenon (indeed, the whole point is that there interest tends to get lost in the Smith nonsense, or the "aliens were invited to land in Alberta" nonsense, which has been blown completely out of proportion.

Here Kimball must be referring to the article printed in the Ottawa Journal in July 1967, "UFO Landing Site was 13 Year Secret".

The article states "The Canadian Government 13 years ago made available the defence research board experimental station at Suffield, Alberta as a landing site for Unidentified Flying Objects, defence minister Paul Hellyer has now disclosed." The article goes on to state:

"Nothing ever materialized from that top secret project. No extraterrestrial flying objects ever sought to land on that 1000 square mile restricted tract of land over which no aircraft, civilian or military, was allowed to fly without special permission. The idea behind the classified project was that if any UFO tried to make contact with earth it could land at the DRB station without being shot down by defence interceptors."

This Canadian Forces Base is located northwest of Medicine Hat, Alberta. For decades it was Canada's primary research centre into chemical and biological weapons. It is also alleged to have been designated as a top secret reserved "UFO landing site" back in the early 1950s.
Yurko Bondarchuk refers to the alleged site in his 1979 book "UFO Sightings, Landings and Abductions – The Documentary Evidence". He revealed that Captain Douglas Caie, Public Information Officer from National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa stated regarding the alleged UFO landing site at Suffield "We have no record of any such program… From the information I have, we never had one."

According to the 1973 book "Aliens from Space" by Donald Keyhoe, US Air Force intelligence learned of the restricted landing site at Suffield in 1954. According to Keyhoe, the site was established when efforts by the RCAF to "bring down" a UFO failed. The intent was to lure the aliens into landing but there was apparently nothing to indicate the area was reserved for alien machines.

In the 1950s through to the 1970s, the experimental station at Suffield was Canada's main centre for research into chemical and biological WMDs (weapons of mass destruction). This included the testing of mustard gas and sarin on soldiers and other human test subjects. Suffield was also the primary Canadian test site for biological weapons such as anthrax, plague, ricin and botulinum toxin.

It is also alleged that the RCAF has engaged in many pursuits of UFOs with its fighter jets since the 1950s. It is perhaps little wonder that the UFOs would not choose to land at a site controlled by Canadian National Defence which is devoted to chemical and biological weapons research.

What was the source for this story? Why would the government designate a military base as a "safe landing site" for UFOs?

None of this is news, folks, and none of it is terribly earth-shattering. There was no "secret plan" to land an alien spacecraft at CFB Suffield, as Heath and some others have implied.

Here is what Dr. Omond Solandt, head of the Defence Reserch Board at the time, had to say about it:

"As I recall it we also indicated that UFOs would be welcomed if they landed at Suffield. Not one appeared."

This is a far cry from a "top secret plan," and it was based on Wilbert Smith prevailing on his superiors to make facilities available for his UFO interest - just as was the case with Shirley's Bay. It falls under the governmental rule of "no harm, no foul" - i.e. why not humour Smith.

And what did Smith base his belief that aliens might want to land on?

Smith's alien pal, AFFA.

If Smith had revealed this to his superiors, we would not be discussing CFB Suffield today

What I have found quite interesting about this, aside from Kimball's denials, is the whole history of Smith as it relates to Canada's UFO studies of that period. While investigating this whole episode of the alleged UFO landing site at Suffield, I was quite surprised to find out that there might be a connection between this "bit of Canadian UFO fantasy" and our favourite UFO/ET proponent, Wilbert Smith.

This story goes back to a UFO researcher named Grant Cameron. Through his interest of the alleged alien landing site at Suffield, he engaged Hellyer in a long period of correspondence with the purpose of locating certain information about the site.

Grant Cameron wrote Hellyer several times in the 1970s, trying to determine the identity of the top defence department official who had revealed the existence of the secret Suffield "UFO landing site".

Hellyer was never able to recall the name of the official, but told Cameron that he had searched his files at National Archives but was unable to locate his UFO file, which apparently contained notes from defence briefings on UFOs.

The story does not stop there however. Cameron states that in 1978 he interviewed Wilbert Smith's widow and asked her if she remembered anything about the Suffield UFO landing site. In her version of the story, her husband had been making efforts to convince government officials that the aliens existed and that they should make efforts to talk to them face to face, to learn who they were and what they wanted.

I've already addressed the subject of Paul Hellyer's credibility. On the subject of Grant Cameron's, see:

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/03/ufo-researchers-need-to-know.html

Wilbert Smith
Canadian radio scientist and prominent "UFO Contactee" ran Project Magnet and UFO Detection Station for the federal government.

Here the story begins to get very weird. In August 1954, the technology publication "Aviation Week and Space Technology" reported that Dr. Lincoln LaPaz was conducting a study of two "satellites" which had been recently discovered orbiting the earth at 400 miles and 600 miles above the surface.

According to the article, the satellites had caused worries in the Pentagon as they were initially believed to be artificial. This was three years before the Soviet Union launched "Sputnik" the first human manufactured artificial satellite into orbit. The story was subsequently covered by several newspapers.

Some people believed that the two mystery satellites were alien spaceships. One of these people was a Mrs. Frances Swan, who lived in Eliot, Maine.

She claimed that beginning in April 1954 she began receiving channelled messages from the commanders of two alien ships orbiting the earth, AFFA who commanded ship M-4 and PONNAR who commanded ship L-11.

For some reason or another, AFFA was the main alien contact for Swan and other contactees.
Wilbert Smith, who was a strong believer in aliens, maintained contact with Swan and other "AFFA" contactees. He also allegedly tried alternative methods for establishing contact with AFFA on his own or through various intermediaries.

Back to the story of the Suffield UFO landing site…

Mrs. Smith told Grant Cameron that Wilbert believed that if the government stopped shooting at UFOs, then he might be able to get spaceship commander AFFA to land for a meeting. Apparently AFFA had given this indication in a contact to Swan. Smith indicates that he approached a top secret committee in government to relay this request and they had agreed to allow AFFA a safe place to land.

When Smith relayed this agreement back to AFFA, he was told that AFFA would also require assurances that he would also be free to take off without any interference. According to Cameron, Mrs. Smith told him that the top secret committee would not agree to this, and so the landing never took place.

As weird as this story is, it is at least partially true. We know that Wilbert Smith was "a UFO contactee" and a "true believer" that some of the UFOs were spaceships flown by aliens.
Mr. Smith really did receive government funding for his "Project Magnet" and the "UFO Detection Station" at Shirley's Bay.

The fact that Smith was a contactee is at the root of his credibility problems, and should be evidence for the objective researcher that he was not just an ET proponent, but a died-in-the-wool fantasist.

I'm not surprised that his wife believed him. What wife wouldn't want to believe the man she loved. This is hardly evidence, however. It is just Smith relating the same stories to someone who was predisposed to believe him.

We know that Paul Hellyer did apparently reveal that Suffield Research Station had been designated as a top secret UFO landing site sometime back in the mid-1950s.

His statement revealing this site was apparently made when he attended the official opening of the "UFO Landing Pad" in St. Paul, Alberta, which was a community project for Canada's centennial.

View CBC footage of 1967 UFO Landing Pad Dedication at St. Paul, Alberta, inaugurated by then Canadian Minister of Defence Paul Hellyer:
http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-69-725-4396/life_society/ufos/clip2

The context of his visit to St. Paul should be noted. There was an election in the offing, i.e. people knew it would be coming sooner or later, because the Liberals were defending a weak minority government, and so he was off to Alberta - a place notoriously hostile to Liberals - to try and drum up some votes (the election would come in June, 1968). Hellyer was also looking to shore up his own base of support within the party for a leadership race that most knew was coming, as Prime Minister Lester Pearson was soon to retire (he announced his retirement in December, 1967). After all, these are the things that politicians, particularly ambitious ones like Hellyer, do for a living.

As for the "UFO landing pad," it was an idea to lure tourists to St. Paul - as anyone in St. Paul will tell you today if you ask them (I know, because I have). Nothing more.

From Mrs. Smith's telling, the aliens never landed because the Canadian government wouldn't consent to granting the commander permission to freely leave.

What Hellyer was told and what was in his notes seems forgotten and lost with his vanished UFO file. The Suffield story seems to at least be partially true and it would be fascinating to know the complete real story behind it.

From what we know sitting in our stuffy armchairs reading these stories and perhaps getting a good chuckle or two, is that AFFA and PONNAR appear to have left earth orbit, probably not impressed with the diplomacy extended by the Canadian government of that time.

At this point, it should be clear that Heath, like Cameron, are as credulous as they come when the subject is Wilbert Smith.

I don't expect to convince them of the error of their ways. That has never been my intention.

What I have been doing is setting the record straight for those who are interested in the facts about Wilbert Smith, and the true story behind Canada's official investigation of the UFO phenomenon - which is a story well worth telling, and far more interesting than the bunkum spun by the Smith proponents, because it has the advantage of being true, and because it still leaves the door open to myriad possibilities, including the ETH.

Heath has misrepresented what I've said and written, because he has no answer for the facts. But then this is how the Exopolitics proponents operate. They're not interested in facts, or the truths to which they lead. They're only interested in their beliefs.

In this, they have at least one thing in common with the debunkers.

Paul Kimball

* My friends never say this about me. :-)

8 comments:

The Odd Emperor said...

I guess the short answer to all this could be that famous quote attributed to WWII bomber pilots. “you get the most flack when right over target.”

I for one would much rather have someone misrepresent me than fairly and accurately reflect a patently incorrect statement. That’s why most of my critics are the extreme--shrill type because I try to stay within the confines of verifiable material (and I’m just speaking an opinion for the most part.)

When I get critics they have a tendency to become “hypercritical” for lack of a better term. Since many don’t seem to have a real complaint they manufacture one out of half-truths or from of context material. Every time I see someone do this I know that I’ve made my point.

Having just briefly skimmed the material you’re citing, I’m pretty sure something similar is happening here.

Of course this does not address my overall amusement of the so-called exopolitical movement. In my (I suppose) oddball way of looking at things, it helps to have alien entities or societies first before one should think about communication methods. Saying reductio ad absurdum that the absent evidence can somehow prove the existence of extra terrestrials and that we need to spend an enormous amount of time trying to negotiate a position with them seems utterly loony to my way of thinking. absence of evidence is not the evidence of absents, simply evident of a lack of proof.

But, as a cautionary note, (for what it’s worth.) Hamlet Act III, Scene II comes to mind.

The Odd Emperor
http://www.oddempire.org

Kyle said...

What seems odd to me is that you would provide so much space to what amounts to be the ravings of a proponent of a discredited field.

Who cares what Gord Heath says? If he buys into Hellyer's bombast, he has already removed any patina of credibility from his arguments. So then, why should it surprise when he misrepresents your commentary for his own end?

Let them rant. They will hoist by their own petard ere long.

Your protest will likely only feed further debate on this non-subject.

Kyle
UFOReflections.blogspot.com

Paul Kimball said...

Kyle:

Good to see you back in the blogosphere!

Yeah, I thought about ignoring it, as I do with a lot of stuff, but decided in this particularly egregious (and public) case to correct the record.

Paul

fatrobot said...

people like this bore me to no end
they do everything except real research into what ufo's are
sling mud and speculate about things that have no answers

i like the guys in sumatura that have actually found hair of an unknown ape species, of the guy who photographed the bondo mystery ape, they get their feet muddy by going out and find stuff

ufologists need to get out more

The Odd Emperor said...

Amen to that!

; )

Stuart said...

Gord Heath said:

As an example, Paul Hellyer's statements to the Exopolitics conference in Toronto were mocked and ridiculed by filmmaker Paul Kimball of Redstar Films based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kimball's views are of some significance as he is one of the few Canadians to have an interest and financial stake in producing documentary films on UFO related topics. His documentaries include "Stanton T. Friedman IS Real" and "Do You Believe in Majic?" He is currently working on film documentaries on cattle mutilations and the ten best UFO cases.


Paul commented:

Here is the sly smear part, right up front. According to Heath, my views are of "some significance" because I have an "interest and financial stake in producing documentary films on UFO related topics." This is no different than stating that Stan's views (or anyone's, for that matter) on Roswell, or MJ-12, are of significance because "he has an interest and financial stake" in writing / lecturing about Roswell, or MJ-12. It is designed to make me look like I'm in this just for the money.

------------------

No Paul, that remark isn't designed to infer you're only in it for the money. As I read it, it means exactly what it says, namely, that because you are a professional actually in the field, your views carry some import.

How you somehow conclude that the there is an implication that you're a money grabbing so and so who's only interest is in pocketing cash is beyond me.

And whilst we're about it, how exactly is it wrong to make money out of Ufology anyway? Is it because in most people' minds, the only way it can be done is by pulling the wool over people's eyes and selling them a pile of crap? In other words, cheating people?

I have a pile of books on my book shelves which have greatly assissted me in my understanding of this subject. If I had copies of your documentaries, I know I would feel the same way. I have enjoyed and appreciated every conference I have ever been to, even the bad ones.

We have a distorted attitude to this.

Paul Kimball said...

Stuart:

There's no problem with making money. Never has been, never will be - unless it can be demonstrated that it has compromised a person's objectivity.

And I know how sly smears like Heath's work - they've been using them against Stan for years. I agree that the "financial interest" part is totally irrelevant - so why mention it, other than to imply that "this person is not pure of motive, he's just in it for the money."

But that's ufology at the extremes (both pro and anti ET) - play nasty, make it personal, and fight dirty - and then exercise a double standard when it comes to condemning debunkers vs. believers.

No wonder most people stay away.

Paul

Paul Kimball said...

Fatrobot:

Exactly - some people are obsessed with UFOs, to the point where they become fanatics (this applies to both believers and debunkers). It starts to colour their thinking about everything. It's sad, frankly. They do indeed need to get out more, and enjoy life - and stop pretending that they're Obi-wan Kenobi fighting the dark forces of injustice and evil. If there really are dark forces of injustice and evil, I suspect they have bigger fish to fry than ufologists.

Now, off to the bar for a few pints!

Paul