Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"Fields of Fear" Starts Filming in August 2005

With a UFO landing pad, the rural community of St. Paul, Alberta has become a focal point for Canadian reports of the unusual, the mysterious, and the downright terrifying.

In the middle of all this is Fern Belzil (pictured above), a local St. Paul rancher. A cattle specialist from an early age, Fern has taken part in shows of all kinds, and has won many awards over the years for his quality Hereford breeds. In short, the man knows his cattle. It’s this experience that has provided him with a unique insight into one of the most intriguing – and unexplained – paranormal mysteries of all…

Animal mutilations - the subject of our next documentary, Fields of Fear, which begins filming in mid August.

Often associated with alien abductions, government conspiracies or Satanic cult activity, the animal mutilation phenomenon has puzzled agricultural, biological and even ufological experts for decades. Largely viewed by the general public something that happens in the United States and Central America, the animal mutilation phenomenon has for years been ignored in Canada as someone else’s problem.

Not to Fern Belzil, however.

Several years ago, he was asked by a fellow rancher to check out a mutilation report. Since then, he has become Canada's leading investigator of the phenomenon, and has accumulated a large file of cases which clearly demonstrates that something strange has been happening north of the 49th Parallel!

Avoiding the sensationalism of some investigators, Fern employs a “Joe Friday” approach based on the facts. Some cases have been resolved as predator kills, or illness related. But there are still those that remain unsolved.

“You have to keep an open mind,” he says.

Among those lending their expertise in the search for the truth will be my good pal, author and investigator Nick Redfern (Strange Secrets; Three Men Seeking Monsters; Body Snatchers in the Desert), who will be with the crew on the American and Puerto Rican legs of the shoot as a consultant, as we try to place the events in western Canada in their broader context.

At the center of this remarkable tale, however, is the small town of St. Paul, Alberta, and the work and personal journey of one man - Fern Belzil, a straight shooter from the Canadian west who has found himself in the middle of a true story that is stranger than fiction, but as real as he is.

I'm looking forward to working with both Fern and Nick on this film - should be a lot of fun! The film is slated for delivery to Space: The Imagination Station in early November, and should premiere here in Canada some time early in 2006.

For more info on Fern, check out his website at

For more info on Fields of Fear, stay tuned to The Other Side of Truth!

Paul Kimball

The End of "Roswellism" & The Creation of a Ufological "Third Way"

Margaret Thatcher was one of two great British Prime Ministers in the 20th century (Sir Winston Churchill was the other). Unlike Churchill, whose greatness rests with one particular achievement (victory in the Second World War), Thatcher was a truly transformational figure. Driven by a clearly defined political program that informed virtually all of her policy decisions, she changed first the Conservative Party, and then British society. This political program became known as Thatcherism, and her followers as Thatcherites. Thatcherism and the Thatcherites survived her fall from power in 1990, and continue to dominate the British Conservative party to this day, even as they languish in opposition (more about that in a moment).

Ufology has its own Thatcherism. It is embodied not in a single person, but rather a single case.

Call it “Roswellism.”

Like Thatcher’s impact on British politics and society, Roswell changed Ufology forever, both internally, and in its relationship with the mainstream. Not the actual “incident,” of course, which was ignored for three decades, but the “Case,” as studied and debated since its re-discovery by Stan Friedman in the late 1970s.

What is Roswellism? In broad strokes, it is:

1. The unequivocal acceptance of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ie. UFOs are alien spacecraft) as true;

2. The unequivocal acceptance that alien spacecraft crash landed near Roswell in 1947 (and the resulting acceptance that any other crashed flying saucer story may be true); and

3. The unequivocal acceptance that the American government has covered up the truth about 1 and 2 since 1947, in an organized “conspiracy of silence” that represents a “Cosmic Watergate."

Prior to the re-discovery of the "Roswell Incident," none of these three propositions was a “given” in ufology. For decades, no serious ufologist gave much credence to crashed flying saucer stories in the wake of the Aztec hoax in the early 1950s. The ETH was one of many competing theories as to what UFOs are – the most prominent, perhaps, but not to the extent that it defined ufology either internally, or in the public mind. Finally, while most agreed that the government had probably been less than completely forthcoming with the truth about what it knew or did not know about the UFO phenomenon, this did not mean an organized conspiracy, nor was it a defining element in the study of the UFO phenomenon.

All of that changed in the wake of Roswell.

Doubt it?

Compare the number of books and films about the Roswell Incident in the past twenty-five years with the number of books and films about non-Roswell ufology.

Doubt it?

Check the reaction within ufology to Nick Redfern’s latest book about Roswell, Body Snatchers in the Desert (UFO Updates is a good place to start -, and then tell me that there is another single case that could provoke anywhere near the debate within ufology that Roswell still does.

Doubt it?

Watch the ABC News special Seeing is Believing, the single most important mainstream media examination of the UFO phenomenon ever, where Roswell is the only individual case that was given an entire segment of its own.

To paraphrase the United States Air Force, "case closed."

For many ufologists, Roswell became the case that proved everything (namely the ETH) in which they had come to believe (call them “Roswellites”). For many debunkers, it became the Magic Bullet – disprove Roswell, and the things they did not accept as possible (er, namely the “ETH”), would collapse (Thatcher had Tony Benn and "the Bennites;" ufology had Phil Klass, Dr. Paul Kurtz and the "Klasskurztians").

There was no middle ground - as with British politics and Thatcherism in the 1980s and early 1990s (and to a great extent even today), for many years a person was defined within ufology by their position on Roswellism. For the public, Roswellism and ufology became inextricably linked as a result.

The middle ground – occupied by the sceptical truth seeker, interested in cases other than Roswell, uncertain of the validity of the ETH, dubious about crashed flying saucers and dark government conspiracies (someone like Brad Sparks, for example) - was marginalized.

In short, Roswell was a transformational event.

In the United Kingdom, Thatcherism was eventually defeated. This was due largely to the political genius of Tony Blair, who recognized that some of Thatcher’s policies should not be undone, and that others could not be undone. In order to win power, Labour would have to adapt – to find a “Third Way” that merged elements of Thatcherism with elements of Labour policy. This is precisely what Blair proceeded to do, with great success, pushing the “Loony Left” to the fringes, where it belonged.

The failure of the Conservatives was – and still is - their unwillingness to loosen the grip of Thatcherism and the Thatcherites. This failure to accept that some of their policies should be undone in the aftermath of their decisive defeat in the 1997 election, and that winning the center is the key to winning elections these days, has been followed by almost a decade in opposition. There has been no Conservative Tony Blair, and no Conservative “Third Way.”

Similarly, in ufology, the failure of Roswellism and the Roswellites (and the Klasskurtzians on the opposite extreme) has been their inability to moderate their position, and to change their conclusions, as new evidence has been discovered, and old evidence has been discredited. Roswellism, like Thatcherism, simply went too far. MJ-12, Bob Lazar and his fellow fraudsters (impossible to accept without an adherence to Roswellism), the collapse of key testimony such as that of Glenn Dennis, Gerald Anderson, and Frank Kaufmann, Exopolitics – each of these, in their own way, had an adverse effect on Roswellism, and further discredited its absolute positions.

What ufology needs, and has started to get in the past few years, is a “Third Way” of its own. My own version of this Ufological Third Way – which marks the end of Roswellism – is as follows:

1. Roswell is but one case. There are many others which provide more compelling evidence that the UFO phenomenon is real, and worthy of serious scientific, historical, journalistic and political attention.

2. Roswell remains unsolved, but is worthy of continued objective investigation until an explanation is finally proved.

3. The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis is a very plausible explanation for the UFO phenomenon, and is worthy of serious scientific consideration, but remains unproved. Further, other possible explanations, including time travel, extra-dimensional travel, and the prospect that UFOs are terrestrial phenomena and devices of which we may or may not be aware, also deserve study and consideration.

4. The American government has not released all information it has pertaining to the UFO phenomenon; this is not proof, however, of a conspiracy of silence / Cosmic Watergate to keep the “truth” about extraterrestrial visitors / crashes from the public.

Of course, this will all seem very wishy-washy to the “True Believers” on both sides. Roswellites will call me a sell-out (to be polite), and Klasskurtzians will view this “Third Way” as Roswellism-lite. Each side will see it as a defeat of all they hold dear.

But this is the only way to find common ground for the vast majority of people who no longer accept either extremist position, and to move ufology forward as a result. Of all the major ufologists, Jerry Clark seems to be the closest to this position, at least judging by recent postings at UFO Updates.

I think he sees, as I do, that it is time to end Roswellism once and for all.

The way to do it is to recognize that the “Third Way” is the “Best Way,” and move on - together - from there.

Paul Kimball

Monday, June 27, 2005

Friedman vs. Redfern - Round 2

Below is Nick Redfern's response to Stan Friedman's review of Body Snatchers in the Desert (for Stan's review see "Friedman vs. Redfern - Round 1"):

"For many years I was a firm believer in the theory that a UFO had crashed at Roswell and that alien bodies had been recovered at the crash site, too. In addition, I conducted a great deal of research into that particular subject as well as the surrounding controversy of the MJ12 documents.

When, several years ago, I began to hear tales that suggested the truth lay in another direction – namely that the Roswell affair had more to do with classified and controversial experimentation undertaken on human beings in the post-war era that was allied to the human radiation experiment scandal that surfaced during the Clinton administration – I was intrigued.

I have always been of the opinion that we should look at the UFO subject with an open mind. For that reason, I have spent the last few years quietly digging into the claims of a number of whistleblowers (some speaking on the record and some not), all of who asserted to me that the key event that led to the so-called Roswell Incident of July 1947 involved not an alien spacecraft, but a Horten-inspired flying wing that was affixed to a huge balloon array and that was piloted by a crew of Japanese personnel who had been brought to the US from Japan after WW2. To summarize a long story, this was essentially in a situation that closely paralleled the Paperclip saga with the transfer of Nazi scientists and technology from Germany to the US in the post-war era.

It is indeed a verifiable fact that in 1945 US newspapers reported that the Japanese were planning to build advanced balloons that were designed to be flown to the US and that they would be armed with bacteriological warfare materials and would be flown by, to quote the newspapers directly, “death-defying Japanese.” It is also highly intriguing that the pilots would have to be small men, because weight, size, food provisions, etc. would have to be kept to an absolute minimum.

According to the interviewees, the real picture was hidden because of the bacteriological warfare link: it tied the US Government to the controversial human-experimentation activities of Japan’s notorious Unit 731 and would create in people’s minds the idea that the US Government was supportive of such work.

Although Stan Friedman dismisses the claims of the interviewees as disinformation, it should be noted that I was not the first to make this claim. Indeed, Popular Mechanics had made similar comments and observations 8 years ago.

Stan asks to what extent the backgrounds and credibility of the witnesses had been checked. In answer to that, I can state that I have met all of the interviewees on several occasions. All have provided to me the type of materials that it would be extremely hard to fake, including photographs taken during their periods of employment at the time that they informed me they worked there (Oak Ridge, the Pentagon, the DIA). Additional data included tax records and even pictures taken at a party to celebrate the retirement of one of the sources at an official function that also shows numerous Pentagon “brass” in attendance.

Personally, I do not believe that the accounts of the witnesses are fabricated, for one key reason: although this is not spelled out in the book, some of them were highly concerned (in one case for 2 years) about speaking out publicly. In other words, these were not disinformation people pushing to get me to go public with a carefully created cover story. In fact, it was the opposite: it was me pushing them to speak ou!

Also, if this is disinformation: why would the Government spread such disinformation at all? They already have the Mogul Balloon and Crash Test Dummy stories in place. For the Government to create another scenario would only add to the suspicion that it was hiding something other than Mogul. Therefore, I have to say that the disinformation angle doesn’t work.

I would hope that people would read the book in its entirety, listen to the sources and then weigh the evidence. I will leave you with an observation: I have been able to verify that in 1945 the Japanese were planning to attack the US with large balloon systems with fully-furnished gondolas fixed below them and that would hold a crew of small, Japanese pilots. Less than two years later, a large amount of balloon-like debris was found at Roswell along with a number of small bodies, near in aerospace terms to a location – White Sands – that was working with captured Axis technology."

In an e-mail to me last week, Nick added the following:


Stan's review says I was given a 'bum steer' about the nuclear aircraft project etc, and its alleged cancelation date, etc. The impression being that this info initially came to me via the interviewees - it didn't. This info came directly from the official website of the Oak Ridge installation, where the nuke aircraft project was housed!

So, if the official people who worked the project have the data wrong, someone really should tell them!!!

Check out: and scroll down to where there is a picture of a group of guys taken near an aircraft in '57, and you'll see the info re the cancellation of the project, etc that I reference exactly as that in the book.

Indeed, in the Reference section of the book I use the exact reference above as the source, not an interviewee source.

Also see none other than Defense Journal at

There are countless other official sites (and files at the National Archives) that refer to the Congressional cut-backs, canceleation by JFK of the project etc, none of which create a "bum steer" but all of which agree with my scenario.

So in other words the "bum steer" data came from the official Oak Ridge website and official Archives documents - not my sources.

Again, if every one of these (including the official site at Oak Ridge!) are wrong, then they should all be told...


The debate, no doubt, will continue. I'll keep you posted.

Paul Kimball

Aztec 1948 artwork - Karl "The Sleuth" Pflock

This is one of the drawings by Halifax artist Jason Goodyear that did not make the film Aztec 1948 - it depicts Karl Pflock receiving a look-see at the mysterious "Silas Newton Diary" that is back in the ufological news with Nick Redfern's new Roswell book.

Somehow I doubt Karl's secret source was dressed in fedora and trenchcoat, but I did tell Jason to go with a noir style look, so we'll call it "artistic license."

Also, I'm still looking for the diner that has coffee cups with pictures of little aliens waving "hello" on them!

Paul Kimball

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friedman vs. Redfern - Round 1

Below is the review of Nick Redfern's new Roswell book by Stan Friedman:

"Review of Nick Redfern's Body Snatchers in the Desert:The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story [Paraview-Pocket (Simon & Schuster) Paperback]
by Stanton T. Friedman

Nick Redfern has written several important UFO books and has spent time at many archives in gathering information that the armchair theorists don't bother with since their primary approach is "Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up." I read the book with expectations that something new had really been turned up about Roswell.

Nick has talked to a number of people who told him interesting and complicated stories that supposedly lead one to the conclusion that the so called Roswell Incident did not involve an alien spacecraft or a Mogul balloon or a weather balloon radar reflector combination. Instead, what crashed was a Horton Brothers Flying wing supported by a huge Japanese designed balloon and containing disabled or genetically damaged Japanese who were used as human guinea pigs to provide data on the effects of radiation for use in the NEPA Program. NEPA stands for Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft.

There was indeed such a program beginning right after the war with Fairchild Aircraft and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. There were serious concerns about how the world would react to the use of human subjects especially in light of the Nuremberg trials which revealed many unethical Nazi medical experiments on human subjects. People were kept in pressure chambers to see how long they could withstand low pressures. They were kept in freezing water to see how long they could stand the low temperatures. Obviously pilots at high altitude might be inadvertently subjected to low pressure in the case of accidents. Unspeakable things were done to people many of whom would have died in less agony in gas chambers.

Unfortunately, Nick focuses on the testimony of whistleblowers. His major source, the Colonel, apparently approached him at the Crash Retrieval Conference in Henderson Nevada in November 2003.We don't know who he is or how carefully he has been vetted. A second source was a woman, the Black Widow, who claimed to have worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and to have been aware of bodies being used for terrible experiments and that these were the ones found at Roswell or perhaps the Plains of San Augustine.We don't know who she is or how much evidence has been directly obtained to validate her story There were other sources such as Salter and Barker. The Colonel certainly had a lot to say,.even if we don't know which of any of his many claims were true. He seemed to be familiar with the history of UFOs in the USA and aware of the primary people in the field. There unfortunately have been a number of whistleblowers whose testimony has been shown to be baloney including Robert Scott Lazar, Frank Kaufmann, Guy Kirkwood, Michael Wolf Kruvant, and others such as Lt. Colonel Philip J. Corso almost none of whose claims had been substantiated in the book "The Day After Roswell."

Nick has also been given a bum steer about the NEPA project and the radiation shielding problems associated with it. He states that the project was cut back in 1957 and finally cancelled in 1961 after President Kennedy took office. In actuality, the GE ANP (General Electric Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program) was at fullest bloom in the 1956-1960 time frame. I know because I worked there in the Radiation shielding unit as a nuclear physicist from September 1956 until November 1959. The budget for 1958 alone was $100,000,000. 3500 people were employed full time of whom 1100 were engineers and scientists. This was far more money and manpower than was spent at Fairchild and Oak Ridge in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Nick keeps referring to concerns about radioactivity and contamination. These were not the shielding concerns. Instead, it was the neutrons and gamma rays emitted by the reactor that were of concern. Usually split shielding was to be used with some all around the reactor (typically under 3 feet long and 5 feet in diameter) and more placed between the crew compartment, typically far ahead in the airplane, and the reactor. There was also serious concern about both neutrons and gamma rays leaving the reactor shield assembly in directions other than towards the crew, but being scattered by both the atmosphere and structures past the crew shielding.

An ANP system has to operate at much higher temperatures than do ship reactors and radiation heating in the shielding is a major problem. GE was working on a direct cycle system in which air goes from the jet engine compressor to the reactor and is heated to temperatures around 1800 °F and then exhausted through the turbine to create thrust. In terrestrial applications of nuclear energy one can use lead to provide shielding against the very penetrating gamma rays and polyethylene or other materials containing hydrogen to shield against neutrons. One also prefers to capture the neutrons slowed down by the hydrogen in something like boron which emits a big alpha particle which doesn't go anywhere. All too often neutron capture in many metals and in air results in the creation of more energetic gamma rays. For ANP lead and plastic have much too low a melting point. Lead which has a specific gravity of only 11.3 grams per cc would require a large thickness and since the weight goes up rapidly of material around a cylinder with increasing thickness, one would prefer a much denser material such as an alloy of Tungsten which has an SG of 19.3 and a very high melting point.

The question than becomes what standard should be set for the allowable doses of neutrons and gamma rays to the crew and how to meet the weight limits. Unlike in a nuclear bomb blast where the exposure is very high for a short time, crews of a nuclear airplane would be expected not to have degradation in the their performance over a long period of time. One of the major benefits of an ANP system is essentially unlimited range because the reactor would not be refueled for thousands of hours. An important factor here is that animals including humans have built in mechanisms for repairing the damage caused by radiation. Thus a high dose taken in a short time will be much more damaging than the same total dose in an exposure lasting for weeks or months.

Nick does point to various human tests of aviation biology associated with planes flying higher and faster, how to bail out at high altitude and speed without freezing, how to provide protection against excessive acceleration, low air pressure, low temperatures at altitude, cold water when winding up in the ocean. However he never mentions that there was a lot of research being done on biological effects of radiation because of the need to know how quickly ground crews could go in on a battlefield on which a nuclear weapon had been exploded. How high would radiation levels be in aircraft that had either dropped a nuclear weapon or had to fly near the mushroom clouds of a weapon dropped by somebody else?

There are many different tests that can be run such as with animals in enclosures exposed to radiation sources (gamma rays only) in an open field. There are few useful sources of neutrons other than an operating reactor. One can feed animals radioactive materials to increase the internal radiation levels. Millions of medical tests are done every week with the administration of specific radionuclides to test body functions such as the kidneys or thyroid. Obviously one wants the half life to be short. Many humans were exposed to Plutonium, which despite the terrible press, it has had, did not result in noticeable life shortening. There was a major effort made to determine the radiation exposures of the Japanese exposed in 1945 at Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the bomb itself and then later from fallout. Doctors have to know how much radiation people can handle without severe damage when being treated for cancer using either an accelerator or a radioisotope such as Cobalt 60.

Of particular importance is that Nick never mentions William Randolph Lovelace who was head of aviation biology for Wright field during World War II. Afterwards he was on their Aviation Biology Committee while back running the Lovelace clinic. He even jumped out of an airplane at 42,000 feet to determine how soon one should open one's parachute without freezing to death on the way down. He and his family had founded the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque to be kind of the Mayo Clinic of the Southwest. They had many government contracts to evaluate animals such as sheep which had been exposed to radiation. They did a lot of classified work for the government. I believe that they would have done some initial evaluation of the bodies found near the crash on the Brazel ranch and in the Plains. They had the competence, were close by, and had the security clearances.

To test shielding materials one places them in various combinations adjacent to a known source of both neutrons and gamma rays and measures dose rates within the assemblages and outside of them. Two different kinds of shielding tests were run to evaluate the effects of scattering and the production of so-called secondary gamma rays by capture of some of these neutrons.

Several flights were made with a modified huge B-36 bomber in which a small low power water cooled nuclear reactor (called ASTR for Aircraft Shield test reactor) was operated and measurements were made as a function of altitude within a heavily shielded crew compartment and in chase planes flying nearby. The reactor had absolutely nothing to do with the propulsion of the B-36. The flights originated at Convair, Fort Worth, Texas, which also had a small similar reactor in a rotating test facility in which various arrays of materials could be placed. The reactor was operated by Convair people who were paid by GE to run the tests. I spent months there as the GE Rep specifying the arrangements of often exotic test materials to be evaluated. There were also tests conducted on various engine alloys to see how radioactive they would become when exposed to neutrons.

There was also built at Oak Ridge a Tower Shielding Facility with four tall towers. A reactor shield assembly could be hoisted up well over 100 feet along with a crew compartment and measurements made as a function of altitude (to avoid the effect of the ground) and separation distance.

Nick is clearly aware of the testimony of Major Jesse Marcel of what was observed on the Foster Ranch and of Barney Barnett in the plains of San Augustine. A big Japanese balloon and a Horton flying wing don't fill the bill. Most Horton craft were actually made out of wood, but there was nothing about the wing and balloon that matched the eyewitness testimony and the complete absence of conventional components as noted by Jesse -- nor the huge area covered by the small pieces of wreckage. Nick accepts the testimony of the late Frank Kaufmann about the shape of a saucer from north of Roswell. He seems unaware that Frank's original testimony about the shape seems to have been taken from a drawing on the cover of Popular Mechanics of the TR 3 airplane, and that Frank's testimony has been totally discredited, even by his formerly staunchest proponent, Dr. Kevin Randle.

I am reminded of a call I received from a man claiming that, when he was young, he saw a picture on the front page of a certain Alabama newspaper showing the Roswell crashed saucer and alien bodies out in the NM desert. He even remembered the name of the librarian who let him look at the newspapers. I checked with the paper. As I expected, it indeed had a picture dealing with Roswell on the front page -- one of those taken in General Ramey's office. No saucer and no bodies. I think he believed what he told me to be true. It wasn't.

The analogy comes to mind of a brick building that has just been demolished. Lots and lots of bricks. Without any other knowledge, one could obviously construct a wide variety of different structures. Nick has collected a lot of bricks. The picture he has constructed doesn't seem to match the facts obtained from witnesses. It may well be that the Colonel and the Black Widow really believe they were telling the truth. I think it is just as likely that one or both were providing disinformation. If it doesn't fit, one must acquit.

Stan Friedman"

No doubt Nick and Stan (and many others) will be debating this for quite a while, and we'll have to see where it goes. I do want to point out, however, that this is the first time I have ever seen Stan refer to arch-Roswell rival Kevin Randle (he of the infamous "false claims" re: Roswell and MJ-12, according to Stan), as Dr. Kevin Randle (Randle does in fact have a doctoral degree).

If nothing else, perhaps Nick's book will bring Stan and Kevin closer together!

Paul Kimball

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wilbert Smith in Perspective - Part I (the Defence Research Board)

We've seen where Wilbert Smith fit into the scheme of things in the Department of Transport -see, which certainly provides some proper perspective.

It is also important to place Smith's "relationship" with the Canadian Defence Research Board (DRB) into proper perspective as well. This requires an understanding of what the DRB was, and what it did.

The following comes from the Report of the Department of National Defence (for the Fiscal Year ending 31 March 1951):

First, a description of the purpose and activities of the DRB, which was created in 1947:

"The task of the Defence Research Board is to ensure that the scientific resources of Canada and other countries are used to the fullest possible extent in meeting Canada's defence needs. From the first, the Board has recognized that to embark upon a programme of research designed to meet all of the scientific requirements of the armed forces would require scientific resources beyond Canada's capacity. For this reason the decision was made that Canada should concentrate its effort into a relatively small number of fields of research for which we either have unique facilities or special requirements. In this way Canadian defence scientists can be sure of doing first class work which will be of genuine value to our larger partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and acceptable to them as an exchange for the research information they make available to Canada...

The expansion of the armed services and the initiation of a large scale programme of defence production in 1950 was reflected in the increasing tempo of the defence research and development programme. In particular, additional emphasis was placed on development projects which gave promise of being ready for production in the near future." [Emphasis added]

What were the areas of research in which the DRB was engaged?

1. Naval research;
2. Armament research;
3. Telecommunications research;
4. Special Weapons research;
5. Arctic research;
6. Medical research;
7. Operational research; and
8. Aeronautical research.

It was intended, as the report makes clear, that these research efforts would produce practical results that would be of use to the Canadian military and our NATO allies, utilizing Canada's expertise in certain fields in which it had "unique facilities or special requirements." For example, below is a picture of an arctic survival suit that was developed by DRB scientists (the Arctic definitely being one of those areas in which Canada has "unique facilities and special requirements")

As noted above, another of the Establishments within the DRB was concerned with "telecommunications." This is of interest because telecommunications was the area, broadly speaking, in which Smith worked. However, the work of the DRB's telecommunications Establishment was not concerned with flying saucers. Rather, its primary area of concern involved the study of radio propagation in the North. As the Report noted:

"Effort has been concentrated in this field because the auroral belt crosses central Canada and in this belt radio propagation conditions are very different from those in other parts of the world. The study of radio propagation in the auroral belt is therefore of special concern to Canada and we cannot leave it to other countries since none but Russia is in a position to make the observations that can be made in Canada. A thorough knowledge of radio propagation conditions in the North is an absolute essential to conducting even the simplest operations of war there, since the armed forces are more and more coming to depend on radio waves for the transmission of information, for the operation of navigational aids, and in the form of radar, as a means of detecting the enemy." [Emphasis added]

This research was of crucial importance. It was conducted by the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment (DRTE, created in February 1951 when the Radio Physics Laboratory and the Defence Research Electronics Laboratory were combined; prior to that the work had been conducted by the RPL), which was located in Ottawa, using a network of ionospheric research stations which were operated by the Department of Transport and which stretched across Canada and into the Arctic.

While Smith would have been aware of this work, he was not involved in any significant way. There are two reasons for this. First, the DRTE had a number of their own experts that they could call upon to conduct the work more qualified than Smith. Second, Smith worked in the radio regulations section of the Telecommunications Division of the Department of Transport, which had nothing to do with the work being done by the DRB. This is evidenced by the description of the work done by Smith's section:

"The activities of the Telecommunications Division [of the Department of Transport] may be summarized as follows: -
(1) The administration of national and international radio laws and regulations and of regional agreements: -
(a) The Radio Act, 1938, and Regulations made thereunder; the International Telecommunication Convention and the Radio Regulations Annexed thereto; the Inter-American Radiocommunications Convention; the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement; and those articles of the International Civil Aviation Convention applicable to aeronautical radio requirements. Among the administrative functions involved in the enforcement of the foregoing are - (i) Issuance of radio licenses of all classes except ships. (ii) Enforcement of regulations. (iii) Inspection of radio stations of all classes except ships. (iv) Type certification of aircraft radio equipment. (v) Examination of operators for certificates of Proficiency in Radio. (vi) Allocation of frequencies. (vii) Measurement of frequencies and monitoring of stations. (viii) Collection of revenue. (ix) Preparation and rendering of accounts for domestic and international shipping.
(b) The Canada Shipping Act, 1934, and Radio Regulations for Ship Stations issued thereunder and that part of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea applicable to radio requirements for ships involving: - (i) Issuance of radio licenses for ship stations. (ii) Survey and inspection of radio installations aboard ships of all nationalities.
(c) North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement, 1950, involving the examination of technical submissions and proofs of performance for conformity to above agreements, of new or modified broadcasting stations.
(d) The Canadian Broadcasting Act, 1936, and Regulations made thereunder involving the investigation and suppression of inductive interference to radio reception.

G. C. Browne, the Controller of Telecommunications for the Department of Transport, described the work of Smith's section more succinctly in his testimony before the Special Committee on Broadcasting on 17 May, 1954. He stated that "[it] is responsible for the administration of the Radio Act which covers licensing of all classes of broadcast stations, sound, television, as well as numerous other classes of stations." This was its primary function at that time, which is not surprising, given the rapid developments in commercial radio and television.

That Smith's work was regulatory and oriented towards the commerical sector is demonstrated by the following exchange during his testimony before the Special Committee on Broadcasting on 17 May, 1954.

"Hon. Donald M. Flemming: Have you had any indications over the past two years of any modifications in that single service coverage policy or are you applying that policy in precisely the same way now as you were before two years ago?

Smith: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Flemming, I can only say this: that we have had a number of enquiries from applicants as to how they might render a better service and still comply with the policy, but so far we have actually applied the policy, to the best of my information, precisely as it was laid down and as we have been doing over the last two years.

Flemming: That policy is directed to keep a signal out of any area now served by a station?

Smith: No, sir. That is not my interpretation of it. My interpretation is that you take the available power that can be put into a station and make it cover as wide an area as possible that does not already receive primary coverage.

Flemming: Quite, but I am going a step further, perhaps, with the effect of that policy. In applying the policy, do you attempt to keep a second signal out of an area which is now served by a signal?

Smith: We try to keep the grade A contour of the proposed new station, or a new application, from overlapping the grade A contour of an existing service and that means only a single primary service within the grade A contour of any station would be provided in any one area."

Important work, to be sure, but it was hardly cutting-edge military research. It was regulatory work, not scientific - Smith was a bureaucrat, not a scientist. It was also work that kept Smith very busy - hence the "part-time" nature of Project Magnet, and the "spare-time" nature of Shirley's Bay. Even with reference to item (d), above, "investigating and suppressing inductive interference to radio reception," Smith's testimony before the Special Committee in 1954 makes it clear that his work in this regard was regulatory in nature, and was targeted at commercial broadcasters. Indeed - when Smith had his infamous meeting with Dr. Robert Sarbacher in 1950, he was in Washington for the express purpose of attending the North American Regional Broadcasting Conference (which, by his own admission, he skipped out on to inquire about flying saucers, and then meet Sarbacher), where the topic of radio propagation was discussed, but specifically as it related to "broadcast allocation" - ie. commerical uses [Source: Department of Transport (Canada) Annual Report, 1950-51, p. 139].

The DRB work being done within the Department of Transport Telecommunications Division was conducted by the other section of the Division - "Construction, Maintenance and Operation of Radiocommunication Stations, and Radio Aids to Navigation," which was responsible for the Ionosphere Measurement Stations that the DRB was using.

Still, the title of Smith's "Top Secret" memo would have caught Solandt's attention, as geo-magnetics was undoubtedly a matter of interest for the DRB. According to A History of the Defence Research Board of Canada (Ottawa: Queen's Printer & Controller of Stationary, 1958), "Radio Communications in Canada are bedevilled by difficulties which are unique. The North Magnetic Pole lies wholly within Canadian territory; the North Geomagnetic Pole on the north-western edge of Greenland is closer to Canada than to any other nation, and the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, has an adverse effect on radio communications throughout most of the Dominion. Each of these phenomena exercises a definite influence on radio waves, tending to make communications irregular and results difficult to predict. The Radio Propagation Laboratory was interested in these problems from the very beginning." [Emphasis added]

However, while Smith's memo might have been of passing interest to Solandt, and to Smith's co-workers in the Department of Transport who were already working with the DRB, it would have been because of the geo-magnetics, which was the practical problem on which the DRB was working, and not the flying saucers (the memo was, after all, titled "geo-magnetics" - not "flying saucers"). Flying saucers were Smith's obsession - not the DRB's, or the Department of Transport's. Smith's Project Magnet was - at best - ancillary to the much more in depth work being conducted by the DRTE itself. Phycisists from the Radio Physics Laboratory were working out of the University of Saskatchewan from 1951 onwards on the ionospheric and geomagnetic problems related to auroral disturbances. The work was conducted by Dr. Raymond Montabetti and was organized by Dr. W. Petrie. Closely connected with this work were the ionospheric propagation studies mentioned above, run out of the various observer stations of the Department of Transport spread across Canada - under the direction of the DRB.
If Solandt and the DRB, or the Department of Transport, had been really serious about Smith's proposals as contained in his Smith's memo, they would have included his work as part of their own ongoing studies, and they would have funded it at appropriate levels.

Smith, however, as I have pointed out elsewhere (see, was at pains in his "Top Secret" memo to note that the monies required for Project Magnet would only amount to a few hundred dollars from existing Department of Transport appropriations (ie. no new monies).

From the DRB?

Nothing - despite the fact that the total expenditure by the DRB in 1950 was $23,415,330.99, and despite the fact that the Department of National Defence provided $2,376,316.85 in funds to the Department of Transport in the 1950-51 fiscal year, which represented 94% of the monies the Department of Transport received from other government departments or agencies.
Obviously, Dr. Solandt, the DRB, the DND and the Department of Transport had more important things (such as pre-existing research designed to secure the defence of the realm) to spend their money on than what ultimately turned into Wilbert Smith's part-time flying saucer research.

As I said, with Wilbert Smith, it's all about putting things in perspective.

To be continued...

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Majic vs. Majiic - What are the Odds?

Thanks to Brad Sparks for the heads-up on this interesting news item, of relevance perhaps to the MJ-12 debate (file it under the "what are the odds" category):

[Note: Click on the title above for a direct link to the original article]

"Pentagon Has 'MAJIIC' Idea For Intelligence Sharing
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2005 – U.S. forces operating in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere may soon be able to use "MAJIIC" to locate an enemy position on the battlefield and share intelligence information and imagery with coalition allies in near-real time. And it all might be possible from a secure Web site.

In September, the Defense Department will test the next phase of MAJIIC -- which stands for Multisensor Aerospace-Ground Joint ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) Interoperability Coalition Architecture -- during an advanced-concept technology demonstration. Joint Forces Command, based in Norfolk, Va., is the operational manager for the project, which is taking place at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces; and at the command's headquarters.

"It's all about a single-point query to get at all of the ISR information that's available based on location, time, status of the ISR," said Navy Capt. Allan Nadolski, director for intelligence at U.S. Joint Forces Command.

He was speaking at the C4ISR Integration Conference here May 18. C4ISR is an acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. The theme of this year's conference is "Actionable Intelligence for the War Fighter and Decision Maker."

"(MAJIIC) uses a Web-services approach, ... and it gets you away from having to get to different Web sites to go and have to find information and pull them together yourself," Nadolski said. "It really is all about pulling all the information together first, getting it on a network, and then being able to query that all at one time."

The Defense Department is hopeful the new capability, which went through its first validation in August 2004, will allow ISR information to be shared among coalition partners and alleviate massive data backlogs generated during operations. Such was the case during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Nadolski said ISR was in great demand, but because of the "huge volume of data, analysis and dissemination of ISR data lagged behind military operations that were very accelerated."

One of the demonstration's goals is to make ISR data available to the customers who need it right away, he said. The demonstration, he said, will be "heavily focused" on joint and coalition ISR interoperability and data accessibility and will enhance "battle-space awareness" and provide ISR support to "time-sensitive operations and combat assessment."

Nadolski said MAJIIC will use a variety of sensors to transport information. During the demonstration, JFCOM will develop concepts of operation and tactics, techniques and procedures for coalition ISR operations, and demonstrate enhanced ISR interoperability between coalition ISR systems. The demonstration also will provide an enhanced ISR exploitation and display of multinational data in support of a common coalition operational picture and enable U.S. and coalition partners to share ISR data to support time-sensitive operations in a "netcentric" environment.

Allied countries collaborating in the MAJIIC project include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, as well as the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency. However, he added, those countries will not take part in the demonstration.

"Networking the information and making it available across the different domains, including the coalition-sharing piece, is going to be a critical part of our focus," Nadolski said. "We have to make the data accessible; it can't be done in a vacuum," he said. "As my boss would say, 'We have to blur the lines between operations and intelligence.' "It really is all about making the information broadly available and integrating it with the operation," he added.

Nadolski said a separate technology demonstration will link MAJIIC with another project called the Adaptive Joint C4ISR Node. That effort will integrate the two platforms in an effort to pass information from the joint task force headquarters down to the brigade level and then to troops out on combat patrols. The Defense Department plans to have these capabilities, MAJIIC and AJCN, in place by 2008, Nadolski said."

I guess it's a good thing they added the Extra "I."

Paul Kimball

Canada's Real UFO Investigators [pre-1967]

If Wilbert Smith wasn't heading up Canada's real UFO investigations in the 1950s, does that mean that there weren't any investigations?


But if Smith wasn't a key player - and the evidence is clear that he was not - then who was? And what about the 1960s?

It turns out that the answers to these questions have never been much of a secret. The question was asked - and answered - a number of times in the 1950s and 1960s in the House of Commons. By looking at the answers in their entirety, a pretty clear picture emerges.

It began with this exchange from 21 April, 1952. The question was asked by CCF M.P. Joseph Noseworthy (York South - for Noseworthy's bio see

"Nosweworthy - I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Transport. Will he make a statement to the house on the news report to the effect that jet planes were engaged last night in chasing flying saucers over southwestern Ontario?

Lionel Chevier, Min. of Transport: I take it that my hon. friend's question is predicated on the assumption that flying saucers exist. I am not in a position to say that they do. I know, however, that planes over which I have jurisdiction in the Department of Transport were not chasing flying saucers in southwestern Ontario or any other part of Canada."

Noseworthy: Then may I direct the question to the Minister of National Defence.

Brooke Claxton, Min. of National Defence: This report was drawn to my attention. I looked into it and find that it almost certainly refers to an ordinary service flight of an R.A.F Canberra plane across Canada and the middle west of the United States at a speed of something of the order of 500 miles an hour."

[For more information on Chevrier, see
For more information on Claxton, see]

These answers demonstrate a critical point - it would not have been the Department of Transport that was looking into these reports, although elements within the Department, most likely in the Civil Aviation and Meteorological Sections, may have been consulted in some cases. It was the Department of National Defence - undoubtedly the Royal Canadian Air Force - that was investigating, much as the United States Air Force was heading up the investigations south of the border. It also demonstrates that the Minister of National Defence was aware of these investigations - indeed, as in this case, that they were "drawn to [his] attention."

This was followed, of course, by the statement of Minister of Transport George Marler in 1955 - which was corroborated by Wilbert Smith himself - that Smith's research into the UFO phenomenon at Shirley's Bay was done in his spare time, and not under the auspices of the Department of Transport (meaning it was not an official government project). See Wilbert Smith - Only a Pawn in Their Game, Part II (

This was followed in 1963 by an exchange between Harold Winch, the NDP Member of Parliament for Vancouver East (the CCF became the NDP in 1961), and Yvon Dupuis, the Liberal MP for Saint-Jean-Iberville-Napierville, at the time the Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State.

1. Is Canada co-operating with the special United States program for investigation of unidentified flying objects, and, if so, is this entitled 'Project Magnet.'
2. Is 'Project Magnet' an unpublicized worldwide operation, using specially equipped, super constellations, non-uniformed pilots, and civilian scientists?
3. Was the late Wilbert B. Smith, a government scientist, the head of the Canadian section of the U.F.O. research operation?
4. Is any general data available from 'Project Magnet' to the general public?

1. The R.C.A.F. co-operates with the United States in the investigation of reports of unidentified flying objects as in other matters of mutual interest, but not as part of a special program. The United States program known as 'Project Magnet' is not directed to the investigation of unidentified flying objects.
2. 'Project Magnet' is a program conducted by the naval oceanographic office of the U.S. navy concerned with the compilation of the geo-magnetic data covering all the oceans of the world. The data are obtained in survey flights of U.S. navy aircraft carrying civilian scientists. Information concerning this program has been freely available for some years to interested scientists.
3. Between December, 1950 and August, 1954, a small program of investigation in the field of geo-magnetics was carried out by the then telecommunications division of the Department of Transport with a view to obtaining, if possible, some physical information or facts which might help to explain the phenomenon which was generally referred to as unidentified flying objects. Mr. W. B. Smith was the engineer in charge of this program.
4. It is understood that data obtained in 'Project Magnet', in the form of geo-magnetic charts, is available upon application to the naval oceanographic office of the U.S. navy."

[For more information about Winch, see:
For more information about Dupuis, see:]

Pro-Smith ufologists (and conspiracy theorists) have seized upon this one exchange as evidence that Smith's work (Project Magnet - not Shirley's Bay, which is a separate issue) was an important project within the Department of Transport, as opposed to being part-time work (a significant distinction). In doing so, they completely misread what Dupuis said, namely the use of the word "small" with reference to the Department of Transport "investigation."

The fact that some ufologists have pointed to this 1963 exchange in the House as "proof" that there was more to Smith's work than all the other statements simply demonstrates how desperate they are to fit the Smith story's "square peg" into the "round hole" of reality. In doing so, they also miss the forest for a tree - here was a member of the Canadian government again confirming that the R.C.A.F. was involved in the investigation of the UFO phenomenon, and that it co-operated in that investigation, where appropriate, with the United States Air Force. They also miss the proper characterization of Project Magnet, which was geo-magnetic research.

Worse, they often mis-identify who gave the answer to Winch's question. For example, Grant Cameron, at, writes, "Months after Smith died in late 1962 Mr. Dupuis, Minister of the Department of Transport, made his final positive statement in the House of Commons." As noted above, Dupuis was not the Minister of Transport, but the Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State. He was not a cabinet minister, and he was certainly not in charge of the Department of Transport. In fact, he was fielding a question outside his normal purview, which often happens when the appropriate Minister or his parliamentary secretary is not in the House. He would have been given a basic brief, but would not have been acquainted with all the details. His answer must therefore be taken as less definitive than any statement given by someone from Transport, such as Marler in 1955. This is a significant error that indicates Cameron has not done his basic research, and which is misleading to the reader. Further, his contention that Dupuis' statement was the "final positive statement" on Smith's "work" is inaccurate, as we shall see. Finally, he and the other pro-Smith ufologists fail to see the significance in the fact that, even given the circumstances noted above, Smith's "work" was still described as a "small program."

That the R.C.A.F. was in charge of Canadian UFO investigations should not have come as a surprise to Mr. Winch. Four months earlier, in July 1963, the same answer as to who was investigating UFOs in Canada was given when the M.P. for York West, "Red Kelly" (a legendary pro hockey player - see, asked the following question:

"Kelly: Does the R.C.A.F., or any other government department or agency operate a centre for the compilation, collection and investigation of reports of unidentified flying objects and, if so, (a) who operates the centre (b) are the reports of the investigations available to the public (c) how many of these reports [have been] obtained?"

Just who responded for the government is unclear, as the M.P.'s identity is not specifically identified in the House of Commons record, but it might have been Hubert Badanai, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works, who was fielding questions that day (see
"Government: Yes, the R.C.A.F. While it is not the policy of the department to deny the public information on unidentified flying objects such reports are not produced in published form."

Again, the R.C.A.F. is identified.

Three years later, on 6 April, 1966, Tommy Douglas, the NDP M.P. from Burnaby - Coquitlam (Douglas is an iconic figure in the history of Canadian politics - see, raised the subject of UFOs again, this time with a question for Lester B. Pearson, the Prime Minister, ( ), which led to the following exchange:

"Douglas: Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the Prime Minister. In view of widespread reports regarding unidentified flying objects, and in order that these reports may not lead to unfounded speculation, I want to ask the Prime Minister if this matter is being investigated by any department of his government. If so, may I ask what department has been assigned this responsibility?

Pearson: Mr. Speaker, I am well aware of these reports. Indeed, I had a telegram a few hours ago concerning another report from western Canada. These matters are being investigated by the Department of National Defence."

[As an interesting side note, Eric Nielsen, a Tory M.P. from the Yukon, and comedian Leslie Nielsen's brother, interjected after Pearson's answer - "It is the soaring cost of living," demonstrating a sense of humour often found in the House, and on Committees. Nielsen would later become Deputy Prime Minister under Brian Mulroney - see]

Again - the Department of National Defence (which obviously included the R.C.A.F.).

On 21 April, 1966, another NDP Member of Parliament, William Howe (, after a short speech about the subject of UFOs, asked:

"Howe: I would like to know, Mr. Speaker, what investigations Canada is now conducting, and what the government's intentions are."

The Associate Minister of National Defence, Leo Cadieux (he would become Minister of National Defence in 1967 - see , answered:

"Cadieux: I do not personally think there is a co-ordinated effort being made now, but I believe several departments of government are interested in the subject matter referred to by the hon. member. Speaking for the Department of National Defence, I am sure that our Defence Research Board will be interested in his remarks. It seems to me the National Research Council will also be interested and, to a lesser degree, the Department of Transport."

Again - the Department of National Defence is at the forefront (which is why Cadieux took the question; remember as well that the DRB was part of the DND, with the Chairman of the DRB holding the same rank as the Chiefs of Staff of the three armed services), with interest shown by the NRC and, to a lesser extent, the Department of Transport.

Two weeks later, on 2 May 1966, Howe asked another question about UFO investigations, this time to the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys, Jean-Luc Pepin (see. :

1. Has the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys ever undertaken an investigation of reports of unidentified flying objects and, if so, are such investigations continuing at this time?
2. Have results of such investigations been made public and, if not, is consideration being given to making them public in future?

1. The geological survey of Canada and the observatories branch, both of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, investigate reports of sightings commonly called unidentified flying objects. These reports refer to a wide variety of phenomena and many of these reports are reports of spectacular meteors entering the atmosphere, for example, the one at 8:14 p.m. EDT on April 25, 1966. These may lead to the recovery of meteorites which are of great scientific interest to scientists of the department.
2. There is no attempt to restrict the results of such investigations and officers of the department frequently comment to various news media on this subject."

This answer was expanded upon when Howe asked yet another question on 2 June, 1966:

"1. Does the R.C.M.P. accept reports of unidentified flying objects and, if so, to which government department are these directed?

2. Are such reports investigated and, if so, by which government department or departments?"

Lawrence Pennell, the Member of Parliament for Brant-Haldimand ( and the Solicitor General of Canada (the cabinet minister responsible for the R.C.M.P.) replied:

"1. Yes, if the object is suspected to be a meteor or fireball it is reported to the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. If it is not suspected to be a meteor of fireball it is reported to the Department of Defence.

2. Yes. Such reports are investigated by the R.C.M. Police and referred to the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys or the Department of Defence for whatever further action those departments deem necessary."

Again, it can be seen that the Department of Defence was the ultimate repository for reports that we would classify as UFOs - fireballs and meteors are, by their nature, IFOs, and these were the cases handled by the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. This time, however, it is revealed publicly that the R.C.M.P. conducted the preliminary investigations. This makes eminent sense, given that there are far more R.C.M.P. detachments in Canada than there are DND bases. In most cases, particularly in the late 1960s, when a telephone was all that people had, the local R.C.M.P. would have who they called.

On 9 May, 1966, Howe, the Member of Parliament who asked the most questions about UFOs over the years, followed up his questions on 2 May, 1966, with two more questions, this time directed to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, J.A. Byrne (see

1. Has the Department of Transport ever undertaken an investigation of reported unidentified flying objects and, if so, during what period?
2. Have results of such investigations been made public?
3. Are such investigations being carried out at this time and, if not, is consideration being given to the institution of such investigations?

1. A small group within the Department of Transport conducted spare time investigations between December 1950 and August 1954. [Emphasis added]
2. No.
3. No."

As all of the documentation makes absolutely clear, Smith's work was done in his spare time (he did have a full time job, after all), and this was an important clarification by the Minister of Transport's Parliamentary Secretary on Dupuis's answer to Winch's question in 1963 (pro-Smith ufologists highlight this exchange and the 1963 exchange between Winch and Dupuis, and claim it was a cover-up in 1966, which is simply not supported by the totality of the evidence - which, of course, they conveniently neglect to mention).

More evidence surfaced on 25 May, 1966, when Maurice Allard, an Independent M.P. (see asked Cadiuex the following questions:

1. Has the government investigated, or does it intend to investigate, the alleged apperance of unusual objects, commonly called flying saucers, in the sky over Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere in Canada?
2. Does the government intend to ask other countries whether they produce such objects and allow them to fly over Canada?
3. Has the government any information on such objects?

1. The reports concerning the appearance of mysterious flying objects in the sky have been looked into by the Department of National Defence. All such information received during recent weeks indicates that the objects were: (a) Meteorites; (b) Satellites; (c) Airplanes; (d) Reflection of light, flame, etc. on low clouds.
2. No.
3. No."

Again, the Department of National Defence.

Until the end of 1966, then, it is clear that the investigations of UFOs were conducted by the Department of National Defence (the R.C.A.F., with interest in the investigations shown by the Defence Research Board), with assistance from the R.C.M.P. and, to a lesser extent, the Department of Transport.

Smith's research?

Part-time (Magnet) / spare-time (Shirley's Bay), and certainly not where the real action was happening, which, when you consider who Smith was and where he worked, is hardly surprising.

To come - 1967: A Watershed Year

Paul Kimball

Monday, June 20, 2005

Redfern & Roswell

My pal Nick Redfern (author of books such as Three Men Seeking Monsters and The FBI Files) has a new book coming out that is sure to touch off a major debate within the ranks of ufology - and probably beyond.

The subject?


From the press release:

"Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story (New York: Paraview-Pocket, 2005)

'RAAF captures flying saucer on ranch in Roswell region.'

Ever since this provocative headline appeared on July 8, 1947, conspiracy theorists have sincerely believed that the US government has maintained an extensive operation of cover-up and denial regarding its knowledge of alien life.

But what if there was a much darker secret surrounding the famous Roswell UFO crash - one that had nothing to do with aliens?

Now, in his new book, Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story, and through never-before-revealed testimony from military whistleblowers, eyewitness intelligence reports, and an astonishing body of corroborative evidence, Nick Redfern lays out a controversial new theory on the Roswell mystery: that the crash-site discovery of prototype military aircraft would expose a damning secret - a highly confidential, US government-sanctioned program to conduct post-World War Two medical experiments on deformed, disfigured and diseased Japanese people and prisoners of war, exploited as expendable by their captors.

An important account that forces us to take a closer look at both the Roswell story and post-war American history, Body Snatchers in the Desert casts a startling new light on the most infamous conspiracy of them all.

Shocking whistle-blower testimony from Body Snatchers in the Desert:

'Those bodies - the Roswell bodies - they weren't aliens. The government could care less about stories about alien bodies found at Roswell, except to hide the truth. Those bodies were Japanese people. I should have spoken about this years ago. I should have said something.'

'The Japanese and the Nazis had done unspeakable things to these people. Well, it was probably inevitable that someone is going to realize that there is a huge research value to looking at the way in which people and bodies have been used... in high-altitude experimentation, pressurization tests, injecting of plagues and viruses, chemicals, and - later, here - exposure to radiation.'

'Word came down that this was to be a highly-classified project: 'If it helps us get an edge on the Russians, do what you have to do with these people, but you keep it classified and you commit nothing to paper.' They knew, we all knew, that this was going to be damned and dirty. Everyone had their own pet projects with these people... and the desert was big enough for everyone to have their slice.'"

I've had the chance to chat briefly with Nick about the book (he's got a review copy winging its way to me as I write), as well as Stan Friedman. It's clear to me that there is a major brouhaha brewing over Nick's book, and the reaction to it by Roswell proponents like Stan (who was kind enough to send me a copy of his advance review).

More information about the book - which I will be reviewing here in a week or so - can be found at Nick's website,

Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story hits bookstores tomorrow.

Keep an eye on this story, folks - it will have a major impact on ufology, one way or another.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Flying Saucers & Canadian Socialism [1953]

The following excerpt, from a speech given in the House of Commons on 18 February, 1953 by C.C.F. Member of Parliament E. G. McCullough, shows that flying saucers had entered the realm of general political discourse in Canada - albeit as a prop by a left-wing M.P. at the end of a speech that was primarily concerned with Canadian farming, and the Farm Improvement Loans Act in particular. This section of McCullough's speech is also notable for the first reference in the House of Commons to the Shirley's Bay "flying saucer observatory," which had recently been reported in the papers.

"Mr. E. G. McCullough (Moose Mountain)... I know that today one can drive anywhere in Saskatchewan and find wheat lying out in the open, wheat being destroyed by rain and by rodents. Surely this is a contradiction of the fundamental principles in which we believe. I am suggesting therefore to the government that it should undertake seriously a plan to store wheat in Canada for any eventuality, and for a long period of time if necessary - wheat perhaps to the extent of a thousand million bushels. I read in an Ottawa paper the other day a statement to the effect that stations were to be set up in the vicinity of Ottawa to observe flying saucers. If any of our planetary friends should come down here on flying saucers and observe us who, as we are told in the first chapter of Genesis, are to have dominion over the world, they would see people who under their stupid, crazy capitalist system were trying to bring about peace and good will among men, and at the same time allowing our foodstuffs to go uncared for. Surely they would not come down to what seems to me to be a type of insanity existing under the capitalist system. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that consideration be given to what I have just said. We of the C.C.F. group believe in a humanity-first program, and that program is in keeping with what I have just indicated. I urge the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) and his colleagues, together with members of the Liberal party, to undertake a program under which we shall not have the situation that exists in western Canada today, where farmers are in desperate straits, simply because they have produced more wheat than can be immediately marketed."

It struck me as I read this passage that Mr. McCullough probably would have gotten along quite well, at least politically, with members of the contactee movement back then, or people like Steven Greer and Michael Salla today.

Also interesting, in the more specific context of Wilbert Smith's later testimony to the Special Committee on Broadcasting, is the speaker who immediately followed McCullough on 18 February, 1953 - Donald M. Flemming, the Tory M.P. who questioned Smith at the Committee hearing two years later.

Paul Kimball

Friday, June 17, 2005

Wilbert Smith & The Department of Transport - Expenditures, 1950

As the old journalistic axiom goes, if you want to find the truth, follow the money.

If the question relates to just how important Wilbert Smith's work for the Department of Transport was in 1950, therefore, one should take a look at the Departmental expenditures, and see how much was devoted to Smith's section.

Here are the relevant figures from the Department of Transport (Canada) Annual Report, 1950 - 1951 (for the fiscal year ending 31 March 1951):

Total Department Expenditures - $ 78,901,296.55
Total Air Services Expenditures - $ 33,557,017.95
Total Telecommunications Division Expenditures - $ 10,458,484.61
Total Administration of Radio Act and Regulations Expenditures - $ 867,095.11

So, from the above we can see that the section in which Smith worked (Radio Act and Regulations) received the following:

- 1.10 % of total department expenditures
- 2.58 % of total section expenditures (Telecommunications Division being part of the Air Services Section)
- 8.29 % of total division expenditures (Radio Act and Regulations being a subsection of Telecommunications Division)

Contrast these expenditures with others that were far greater:

- $ 4,248,357.51 for Canal Services, Operation and Maintenance
- $ 4,064,678.03 for Aviation Radio Aids, Operation and Maintenance
- $ 1,216,860.25 for Telegraph and Telephone Service, Administration, Operation & Maintenance
- $ 6,413,037.11 for Airways and Airports, Construction and Improvement
- $ 1,087,573.81 for Departmental Administration

This is not to suggest that the work Smith's section did was unimportant; however, it does show that it was just a very small part of a very big operation. And remember - Smith wasn't even the head of the Radio Act and Regulations subsection.

Just the Canadian to whom I'd reveal the U.S. government's UFO secrets...

Paul Kimball

Wilbert Smith & the Department of Transport in 1950

I think it's important for people to understand just where Wilbert B. Smith fit in the governmental pecking order in 1950 when he met with Dr. Robert Sarbacher and was supposedly given information that was classified even higher than the H-Bomb.

On the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, and because some ufologists have to be both led to the water, and then made to drink (and, in some cases, told what the water is), here is an organizational chart I put together of the Canadian Department of Transport in 1950, showing exactly where Smith fit in.

Note that this chart does not include all of the various civil servants from the other sections, like Meteorology or Canal Services, that would have been further up the proverbial food chain than Smith.

Now, I admit that we do things a bit different up here in Canada than our cousins in the United States, but not so differently that we would put someone like Wilbert Smith, a mid level (to be generous) civil servant in the Department of Transport, in charge of our flying saucer study. The fellas in the Department of Defence, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (in charge of foreign and domestic intelligence) would have been, to say the least, a little "miffed."

So, one more time, here is what the pro-Smith ufologists are saying - Wilbert Smith, senior radio regulations engineer, was "in the know" about the biggest secret out there, while hundreds of senior American generals, admirals, scientists and officials were not.

If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you may be interested in purchasing...

Paul Kimball

[Source: Annual Report of the Department of Transport, Canada, for 1950]

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Wilbert Smith - Only a Pawn in Their Game, Part II

The trap having been set by Donald Flemming at a meeting of the special committee on broadcasting on May 17, 1955 (see Wilbert Smith – a Pawn in Their Game, Part I), it was sprung two months later, on July 21, 1955, when the Minister of Transport was answering questions unrelated to UFOs in the House of Commons (Canada's Parliament pictured below).

The dramatis personae in this exchange were:

1. George Marler – Liberal M.P. for Saint-Antoine – Westmount (Quebec) from 1954 to 1958; Minister of Transport from 1954 to 1957.

2. Wally Nesbitt - Progressive Conservative M.P. for Oxford (Ontario) from 1953 to 1973; Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister (1957 – 1958), Parliamentary Assistant to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (1958), Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (1959 – 1961), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (1962 – 1963)

3. John Hamilton – Progressive Conservative M.P. from York West (Ontario) from 1954 to 1962; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (1957 – 1958)

A couple of points. First, Members of Parliament do not simply rise in the House of Commons (which is political theatre at its best, and worst - the United States has nothing like it) and ask questions that have not been carefully prepared, and for which there is a definite purpose. Here, that purpose was twofold - first, to try and ascertain whether the government had spent any money or utilised any resources from the Department of Transport on a project that was outside the Department’s purview, and from which no results were obtained, and second, to determine whether the government had cooperated with the United States with respect to research into the subject of flying saucers. The reason for the former line of questioning is obvious – it is a time honoured opposition tactic to attack the government for wasteful expenditures of public money (indeed, this is the cause of considerable grief for the Liberal government in Canada today), and, as noted in Part I, the Liberal government, which had been in power since 1935, was on its last legs (it would fall two years later), and the Tories were eager to hit it whenever, and wherever, they could.

As to the American angle, well… I’ll save that for Part III.

Finally, for the reference of pro-Smith ufologists, who often seem to “miss” the facts, I have highlighted the sections of the Minister of Transport’s answers to which they should pay particular attention.

And now, without further ado, Part II…

[From the House of Commons Debates, Official Report, 2nd Session, 22nd Parliament, 3-4 Elizabeth, Volume II, 1955, pp. 6562 – 6563]

“Nesbitt: Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask the minister a few questions under this item, and I trust he will not think I am approaching the subject in a sense of levity. There is and has been much public concern about this subject. It would seem that his department has been spending considerable money.

Marler: On what?

Nesbitt: Investigation of this subject. I refer to the subject of flying saucers, so-called. I refer the minister to the minutes of proceedings and evidence of the special committee on broadcasting for Tuesday, May 17, 1955. As reported at page 479, Mr. W. B. Smith, who is senior radio regulations engineer for the department, made one or two statements.

Marler: All I can tell my honourable friend is that we have spent no money whatever on the matter to which he is referring.

Nesbitt: Then I refer the minister to the minutes of proceedings and evidence of the special committee on broadcasting for Tuesday, May 17. As reported at page 479, Mr. Smith said this: “We operated a station for making certain measurements out at Shirley’s Bay from August of 1953 to about the same time in 1954, and on the basis of our measurements, which were nil, we came to the conclusion we had very little data of any nature to go on.” Before I pursue the question any further I ask the minister this question. Was this station operated by the Department of Transport?

Marler: My understanding is that Mr. Smith was allowed to carry out what he did do in a surplus building of the department measuring roughly 10 feet square, with some disused equipment.

Nesbitt: I am very glad to hear that. But was it under the auspices of the Department of Transport?

Hamilton: No wonder he did not get anything.

Marler: He had our permission to do it.

Nesbitt: I am asking the minister whether it was under the auspices of the Department of Transport.

Marler: He had the permission of the department to spend his spare time in this research.

Nesbitt: Since he had permission to spend his spare time on the matter, was the equipment he used departmental equipment or was it privately owned equipment?

Marler: I thought I had made it clear that it was surplus departmental equipment.

Nesbitt: I see that Mr. Smith on that page says he had very little information to go on. Perhaps the minister might answer one or two questions if he is able or cares to do so. What information did the department obtain through these researches?

Marler: Try as the honourable member may, Mr. Chairman, I am afraid he cannot make this molehill any bigger than it is. All I can say is that no useful information whatever was obtained for the department.

Nesbitt: In that case there are only two other questions I wish to ask. Has the department received information in this regard from any other government department?

Marler: Are we still on flying saucers or molehills?

Nesbitt: On flying saucers.

Marler: The answer is no.

Nesbitt: Then I have this final question. Has the government received any information in this regard from any other government, particularly the United States government?

Marler: I am afraid that question is too broad for me to answer. All I can say is that the Department of Transport has received no information of that kind.”

Of course, pro-Smith ufologists contend that this was some sort of cover-up of the true nature of Smith’s work – a dodge, if you will, by the Minister. However, the Minister’s statements in the House on 21 July, 1955, as well as Smith’s statement to the special committee on broadcasting on 17 May, 1955, are both consistent with Smith’s original proposal to the Department, as detailed in his infamous “Top Secret” memo back in 1950. I have discussed this before (see The key related passage from that article is:

"First, one has to examine what resulted in Canada because of this supposedly "amazing" memo. Contrary to what some ufologists have claimed, there has never been any evidence put forward of a Top Secret UFO study program created under the auspices of the Canadian government as a result of the Smith memo. Instead we have Project Magnet, a part-time project, which was undertaken by Smith from 1951 until 1954. A few resources were provided by the Canadian government, but it was not given much serious consideration by Smith’s superiors, and was shut down when its existence was revealed to the public and became an embarrassment for the government... [Grant] Cameron and others have claimed that Project Magnet was far more than a "part-time endeavor" by Smith, and implied that [Dr. Omond] Solandt and others were just part of a cover-up, but this assertion is undermined by Smith’s own words. In his 1950 memo he suggested that "... a PROJECT be set up within the frame work [sic] of this section to study this problem and that the work be carried on a part time basis until such time as sufficient tangible results can be seen to warrant more definitive action." [emphasis added] Further, the "problem" that Smith refers to was not flying saucers, per se, but geo-magnetic energy, which Smith theorized was related to flying saucers (hence his initial interest in Behind the Flying Saucers). This is made clear by the following passage from the memo: "Doctor Solandt agreed that work on geo-magnetic energy should go forward." [Emphasis added] In 1961 Smith re-confirmed the true nature of Project Magnet. In a presentation to the Vancouver Area UFO Club, Smith stated:"May I point out that the Project Magnet I was associated with, which received much publicity, was not an official Government project. It was a project that I talked the Deputy Minister into letting me carry out, making use of the extensive field organization of the Department of Transport. No funds were spent on it and we merely had access to the very large field organization and opened a number of files." [emphasis added] That Project Magnet never moved beyond part-time status is understandable, given that the results were less than impressive. In a 1952 draft status report Smith wrote that, "The results to date have hardly been spectacular." Further, he noted that, "The initial group was quite small to start with and was further depleted during the year by two resignations in favour of more lucrative positions elsewhere." This latter comment is particularly revealing: presumably, if Project Magnet had been cutting edge research, people would have been trying to get involved with the project, not leaving it. Dr. Solandt elaborated on the failures of Project Magnet and Wilbert Smith decades later: "The Defence Research Board... gave Smith some facilities on DRB property for his [UFO] radio watch and offered to have some experts repeat his experiments which were the basis of his claim to have found a mechanism for the magnetic propulsion of UFOs. Frank Dawes, head of our telecommunications research Lab and an authority on terrestrial and other magnetism repeated the experiments with Smith and showed that the results obtained by Smith were due to sloppy measurements with uncalibrated equipment. There was nothing in the theory." [emphasis added] Smith, concluded Solandt, was "not a good scientist." His experiments with geo-magnetic energy, which is what would have been of interest to someone like Dr. Solandt, who was a strong proponent of applied science, came to nothing, and so were of no interest to the Canadian Defence Research Board. Finally, if Project Magnet had really been important, the government would have provided appropriate levels of funding for it. The fact that it did not is further evidence that the Project was not accorded a high level of priority. In fact, Smith, in his memo seeking support for the Project, stated explicitly that it would only cost a few hundred dollars initially, but also that this money would not be new money, but would come from the Department of Transport’s existing appropriation. Without being facetious, this may be the first time in the history of the Canadian government when a civil servant did not ask for new money - no doubt because Smith knew he would not get it."

The answers from Smith and Marler were not a cover, nor were they changed from what Smith and the Department had been saying all along - that Smith’s work was:

(a) part-time (which clearly meant the same thing as Marler's "spare time" characterisation in his reply to Nesbitt's questions about Shirley's Bay, ie. it was conducted by Smith and others outside the scope of their official duties);

(b) conducted with the permission of the Department (which is a far different proposition than saying it was done under the auspices of the Department); and

(c) it led to no useful information.

Pro-Smith ufologists can dispute this all they want, but you’ll notice that they don’t reference the evidence, which is clear and consistent, when they do it. This should tell you all you need to know about the true nature of their position.

By 1955, Smith's "work" - whether Project Magnet or Shirley's Bay - had become nothing more than a tool for the Tories to use as an attack on the Liberal government. As it turned out, the nature of the work (part-time, no money spent, etc), meant that it was an attack that failed to amount to anything (which is why it was not repeated) - just as Smith's "work" itself had failed to amount to anything.

But what of the American angle, you might ask? The answer to that portion of Nesbitt’s inquiry, alas, has nothing to do with the UFO phenomenon, and everything to do with domestic Canadian politics, as shall be explained in Part III.

To be continued…

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Wilbert Smith - Only a Pawn in Their Game, Part I

Wilbert Smith is an iconic figure in the history of ufology. To question him or his claims, at least to many "established" ufologists, is the equivalent of heresy. Charges of character assassination are almost certain to follow, as evidenced by Stan Friedman's May 2005 MUFON Journal column, where he predictably, if erroneously, claimed that I attempt to "discredit Smith with character assassination."

Talk about shooting the messenger...

Unfortunately, the pro-Smith ufologists have a penchant for ignoring the facts about Smith, and his "work" involving the UFO phenomenon.

Why, you might ask, won't they make an objective, honest appraisal of the Smith story?

Because it provides critical support for those who believe in the Holy Trinity of modern ufological conspiracy theory:

(a) The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (of which, hard as it may be for some to accept, I am a cautious advocate);

(b) The Cosmic Watergate / Conspiracy of Silence (ie. the government cover-up of crashed flying saucers); and

(c) Majestic-12 (Smith reported, after all, that he had been told by Dr. Robert Sarbacher that "concentrated effort" was being made by a small group under Dr. Vannevar to determine the "modus operandi" of flying saucers - this "small group," to some, referred to MJ-12).

Instead of critically examining the evidence to draw objective, reasoned conclusions, these pro-Smith ufologists have used it to fit their own pre-exisiting conclusions about the nature of the UFO phenomenon. It is the triumph of belief over logic.

Take, for example, Smith's "UFO research station" at Shirley's Bay, which Smith established a few miles west of Ottawa in October, 1953, and news of which had leaked to the public via the media just weeks later (so much for "Top Secret").

On 17 May, 1955, Smith (below) appeared before the House of Commons Special Committee on Broadcasting in Ottawa. He was not, however, testifying alone. Smith, who at the time was senior radio regulations engineer (in other words, a mid level civil servant), was there as an aide to G. C. Browne, the Controller of Telecommunications (Department of Transport), as were two other men who worked under Browne, C. M. Brent, Superintendent of Radio Regulations (Smith's immediate superior), and F. K. Foster, the radio inspector who had been responsible for preparing the presentation to the Committee.

Despite what some ufologists would have you believe, the session that Smith attended had absolutely nothing to do with UFOs. Rather, it dealt with the relatively mundane world of television broadcasting, the licensing of stations, the discussion of the report for 1953-54 for "Technical Development in Broadcasting Regulations," and so forth - in other words, the stuff that the government of Canada paid Smith to work on.

Here is an example of one "riveting" exchange:

Q. In all of those stations mentioned on pages 24, 25 and 26 - can you tell us whether any of them applied for a greater strength than that for which they were eventually licensed?

A. The Windsor station is one example. It was necessary to restrict the power in a certain direction in order to meet with Unites States requirements, that is, the Federal Communications Commission's requirements.

Q. In other words, station CKLW television was given a lower strength than it applied for because there would have been some complication over the treaty otherwise?

A. That is right.

And so it went for quite a while, until a question was asked of Browne about a station in Kitchener, Ontario, and what was being done to limit its signal. At this point, Browne asked Smith, who hadn't said a word so far, to answer (Smith had more specific knowledge of this particular question). Smith complied. The discussion then turned to the question of signal interference, which Smith handled as well. In the course of that discussion, Jean-Louis Richard, a Liberal M.P. representing Ottawa East, asked:

"I would like to ask a question on the subject of interference. As members of the committee know the passing of an aeroplane overhead upsets the picture appearing on television screens. Is that interference due to the aeroplane, or to something passing in front of the wave?"

Smith responded: "The answer that I can give to that question is rather a complicated one because the wave from a television station behaves very much like a ray of light. It travels a path which is very nearly a straight line. Ordinarily the wave from a television station proceeds in a straight line directly to the antennae of the receiver set. If however, an aeroplane is passing overhead, some of the radiation from the television station strikes the aeroplane and is reflected back. That wave will arrive at the receiving point either in phase or out of phase, so it will either add to or subtract from the picture according to the relative length of the path between the transmitter, the aeroplane and the receiver, and that is really what causes the flutter in the image on the screen,"

After this lengthy answer, Richard asked, out of the blue:

"Thank you, Mr. Smith. I understand you were in charge of "Flying Saucers" around here for a while."

Smith answered: "That is correct."

Richard followed up with "Do you think flying saucers are interfering with our television?"

Smith replied: "No, I do not think you can blame them for that."

We'll never know for sure, as there are no recordings of the proceedings, but I have no doubt that Richard was smiling when he asked these questions - and Smith may well have been smiling when he answered them. Richard was a member of the governing party, but he was a backbencher. First elected in 1945, he never held a cabinet post in his 27 years in the House of Commons (he retired as an M.P. in 1972 - see For permanent backbenchers like him, committee work is all to which they could hope to aspire. Unfortunately for them, as anyone who has ever watched parliamentary committee proceedings on television knows, these committees are often very dull work. The Special Committee on Broadcasting in 1955 was no different (as the transcripts reveal, in mind-numbing detail). Richard, who was M.P. for a riding only miles away from where Smith's Shirley's Bay "UFO observation post" had been located, decided to inject a little levity in the proceedings, something which M.P.'s do from time to time (again, watch committee proceedings on television). This should be clear from the question he asked - "are flying saucers interfering with our televisions" - and even Smith's response - "no, I don't think you can blame them for that."

As soon as Smith had given his answer, the questioning returned to more serious matters, apropos of the committee's brief. If the question had been serious, one would have expected immediate follow-ups, and yet there were none. Indeed, the next question, presumably asked after everyone had a brief chuckle, was simply: "Mr. Smith, you said in answer to Mr. Flemming's question that television from hamilton is received very well in Toronto. That means that this private station in Hamilton is received in all of Toronto?"

In other words - back to work.

The questions continued along these lines for a while, and then Donald Flemming, Progressive Conservative M.P. for Eglinton (an Ontario riding), interjected:

"May I bring the committee back to the interesting question of flying saucers?"

The Chairman replied, sensibly: "I remind you that we are discussing television broadcasting; however, I do not bar the question."

The following exchange ensued:

"Mr. Flemming: How long did you carry on this operation before you decided that this was causing no interference with television or radio reception?

Smith: Well, the operation was not carried out for that purpose. It was intended to gain any knowledge that might be available to us; it was not necessarily for television or radio.

Mr. Flemming: I appreciate that, but when was it that you decided that it did not interfere with television or radio broadcasting?

Smith: We operated a station for making certain measurements out at Shirley's Bay from August of 1953 to about the same time in 1954, and on the basis of our measurements, which were nil, we came to the conclusion we had very little data of any nature to go on.

Mr. Flemming: When was the decision taken to close that station, and why?

Smith: We were not getting anywhere with it. In the beginning we thought it would run for a year, but we got nowhere with it, so we closed it down.

Mr. Flemming: The closing down came in the fall of 1954?

Smith: That is right."

The questioning then moved on to a different topic, and no more was heard about flying saucers.

So what was this exchange about? Did it demonstrate genuine interest in the subject of UFOs?


Richard, in asking his original questions about flying saucers to provide a moment of levity, had made a major tactical mistake. He opened the door for the Opposition to ask some serious questions about the nature of Smith's work, questions which, depending upon the answers given, could be used to attack and / or embarrass the government later.

Unlike Richard, who was simply a government backbencher, marking time on just another committee, Flemming, a leading member of the Progressive Conservatives, the Opposition party, was an important M.P. Already a senior critic within the Tory caucus, he would go on to serve as Finance Minister from 1957, when the Tories returned to power, until he took over as Minister of Justice and Attorney General in 1962, a post he held until the Diefenbaker government fell in 1963 (see Unlike Richard's questions, Flemming's were clearly designed to get Smith to admit that the "research" had nothing to do with Smith's actual job at Transport, and to get information as to whether any information at all had been gathered from the work, and how long the station at Shirley's Bay had been in operation.

This was a set-up by Flemming, as a member of the opposition, to lay the groundwork for later questions in a far more important forum - the House of Commons - that would embarrass the government (that is, after all, what Opposition M.P.'s spend most of their time doing).

Leaving these Parliamentary machinations aside for a moment, ufologists should also note the answers given by Smith. Unlike his brief exchange with Richard, Smith took Flemming's questions seriously, and gave an honest reply:

"on the basis of the measurements, which were nil, we came to the conclusion we had very little data of any nature to go on; and

We were not getting anywhere with it."

Despite what some might want to believe, this was the real truth behind the Shirley's Bay "UFO Observation Station."

While some ufologists maintain that Smith was simply covering up what really happened at Shirley's Bay (which, as illustrated above, was hardly a "top secret" operation), or that he had been ordered to keep silent about the truth, the facts speak otherwise. Smith could not have been expecting these questions - when they arose, he answered forthrightly, even correcting Flemming as to the nature of the work at Shirley's Bay. He wasn't, in other words, hiding anything. Indeed, if Smith had been part of a cover-up, here was a perfect opportunity to bury the Shirley's Bay story by simply agreeing with Flemming that the station had been operated primarily to monitor interference in radio and television signals, that the reported work on "flying saucers" had been exaggerated, and that it hadn't discovered anything. Smith, however, undoubtedly knew that it would have been a serious matter to lie in front of a parliamentary committee - the kind of thing that could get a civil servant fired, or worse - much to the later chagrin of the government.

By answering honestly, Smith gave the opposition Tories, who knew that the end was near for the governing Liberals (the Liberals had been in power since 1935, and were rapidly running out of gas), yet another opportunity to attack and / or embarrass the government on the best possible issue - the expenditure of public funds.

In short, Smith, a mid level civil servant in the Department of Transport, and a man with a personal interest in UFOs, had become, as Bob Dylan famously wrote, "only a pawn in their game."

The result would lead to an embarrassment for the government - and the truth about Smith's "UFO research."

To be continued...

Paul Kimball