Saturday, March 19, 2011

Programming Note: Future Theater on the 19th

A programming note - I'll be appearing on Future Theater with Bill and Nancy Birnes this Saturday, the 19th of March, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm EST (Bill and Nancy do a half an hour of chat beforehand, starting at 6:00 pm).

I actually met Bill once, briefly in 2008, when I was flown out to Los Angeles to be interviewed for UFO Hunters, and we both wound up in Topanga Canyon - he was part of a recreation of the Rex Heflin photos, and I was interviewed about Dr. James McDonald and the RB47 case. We didn't really chat - time was short, and it was a busy afternoon (and a really hot day, too), as is any film or television shoot. It will be nice to finally have an opportunity to talk to him at much greater length.


The show is now available to listen to or download at the Future Theatre site.

The show description from Bill & Nancy:
A free-range conversation about ufology, documentation, and some of the classic cases that keep researchers like filmmaker Paul Kimball interested in what this mystery is all about. It's more than the sum of its strongest cases, such as the one involving an RB-47 reconnaissance plane like the one, above. I know you'll enjoy this conversation as much as we enjoyed it!
It was great fun. Always nice to talk about the RB47 case. We went into some depth about the 1953 Santa Barbara Channel case too, and I corrected some misconceptions about its portrayal in the film that have been floating around out in the Internet ether, because facts matter. I also managed to slip in some chat about science fiction and Mac Tonnies as well, which was nice.
Paul Kimball


Ryan P. said...


I listened and thought it was a really good episode of a show that I hadn't really liked much beforehand. Maybe the Birnes' are getting better but I think it also helps when they have a guest like you who elevates any conversation, although I could have done without the foray into the Steinberg mess.

I had always thought there was a 'thing" between you and Bill Birnes. Obviously not, as you two (and Nancy) worked well together. Hopefully they'll have you on again and next time you can keep it to just UFO stuff.


Paul Kimball said...

Hi Ryan,

Oh no, there was never a "thing" between Bill and I. I didn't know such a rumour was out there. It was nice to finally get a chance to chat with him and Nancy.

The episode is now available at:


Lance said...

Loved the part about how the stupid skeptic neglected to just read a little further to uncover the other witness descriptions that you so bravely uncovered.

Why, I myself, was thinking as I meticulously transcribed all the hard to read documents from the same case, "Should I read this stuff?" Then because I am an evil skeptic, I said, "NAH!"

I have to admit the way you told the "truth" sure made you look good!

And even when I carefully explained and detailed all of the men in the plane's descriptions right here on your very blog, I love how you ignored those and focused on one description that you deem the best one for the sole reason that it matches what you unwisely put in the film.

Note the fact that EVERY man said that they could discern NO DETAILS perfectly justifies (in your world view) showing a well detailed craft as you did in the film.

I have to say that I am very disappointed in you Paul It is well that you discuss things like this without any opposition since the few words necessary to brutally dispatch what you claimed might not be as fun.


Paul Kimball said...


You live in a strange world where when the facts don't fit, you just make stuff up.

You're entitled to your opinion about my film, and that segment, but you just don't know what you're talking about. That's my opinion, and you've done nothing to change it.

I'm sure you're still busy, by the way (hey, aren't we all?), so I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer for that solution to the Santa Barbara Channel case. Maybe 2012?

You're wise to stick with the Paracast forum. It's the perfect place for you - you can indulge in some bashing of the true believers whilst wearing your armour of snarky and self-satisfied disbelief, never having to dig too deeply into the actual facts. You remain absolutely fixated on one 4 minute segment in a film, at the expense of a real discussion about the actual case. I'd be disappointed if I actually expected anything better, but as I don't, I'm not. I'm just amused.



Lance said...

Thanks Paul,

Can you list any of those facts I made up?

I will at some point write some more on my ideas of the Johnson case...has the promised Sparks book in the topic dropped yet?

One of the things that slows things down is that I feel compelled to somehow explain the way the believers argue the case--like you did above and on the show.

Again I suggest in a real discussion or debate of the case you would fare poorly.

Perhaps you take comfort in the hope that no one will notice above how you ignored the few simple points I brought up in favor of just saying that I was wrong--that counts for argumentation, I suppose, in the paranormal world.

I am more than willing to take you on point by point but you always seem to demur.

I do admit that on the point of the snarkiness, you were dead on right!


Paul Kimball said...


I would respect you more if you weren't so disingenous. I made a film that gives what I feel is an accurate portryal of the case. You disagree. Fine - that's your right.

But the film isn't the issue (except to you, it seems). I repeatedly point people to the original case reports filed by Wimmer, Johnson, Thoren, et al, and tell them to read them and judge for themselves. The details and facts are all there. I have never offered a conclusion other than what I think is patently obvious: the USAF's explanation was a crock, and what Johnson et al saw remains unidentified. That's as far as I've ever gone. That's what a real and honest skeptic would do, given the facts of the case.

And then there's you, the disbeliever. You said some time ago that you knew what the solution was. So, where is it? Not even a hint? Even Klass tried harder than that. You focus on details presented in my film because you disagree with their interpretation, rather than the reports themselves, and the overall case narrative (do you even have an overall narrative that you've formed?). One can only wonder why my film seems so much more important to you than the actual case.

A debate? Been there, done that. I made my case, and it's a limited one. You have offered nothing of substance to dispute it, and I have no interest in engaging in your rhetorical games. Life is short, and it isn't productive.

If you have a bona fide counter-argument to make, then please do so. But talk about the case, not the film.

As for Sparks, that's a pretty obvious and sad little debating ploy, trying to deflect attention from real issues. I don't control Sparks. The only person I control is myself, and I've made my case. Similarly, the only person you can control is yourself. Unfortunately, you've shown a lot of smoke and mirrors, but there's no substance there. Just a promise of something to come... that never seems to come.

If a "UFO believer" did that, you would be all over them, and rightly so. Well, I'm a big believer in intellectual integrity and consistency, so I can only offer two words: "goose" and "gander", as in what's good for the former is also good for the latter.

Offer something of substance, and I'll publish it. Offer more of the same, and I won't.

And if you're not happy with that, there's always the Paracast forum for you.


Paul Kimball said...

Normally I wouldn't do this yet, but for those who would like to paint me as some doe-eyed true believer who never changes his mind of acknowledges imperfections in his work (people who obviously are not familiar with either me or my work), I'm going to provide now the transcript for the revised narration in the Santa Barbara Channel case as we recently re-recorded it as part of of overall re-recording of all narration with yours truly me now serving as the narrator - all part of the revised version coming out late this spring on VOD and DVD.

Case #5 – Santa Barbara Channel, 1953

Paul Kimball
Kelly Johnson was one of the world’s leading aircraft designers of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1953, he was in the process of designing the U2 spy plane for the Central Intelligence Agency. On December 16th of that year, Johnson was at his home in Agoura, California, with his wife, when unbeknownst to him a crew of his top flight test engineers and pilots, as well as his Chief Aerodynamicist, at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, were aboard a Lockheed WV2 aircraft flying over Long Beach, towards the Santa Barbara Channel, when they saw the same object at the same time from a different angle. These different angles have allowed researchers to triangulate the approximate location of the object. The aircraft was flying to the northwest; Johnson and his wife were looking due west. For six to seven minutes, these two groups of observers saw what test pilot Roy Wimmer described as a very large black flying wing shaped object hovering motionless over the ocean. The object was at an altitude of roughly 15,000 feet. The aircrew flew directly towards it to see if they could get closer, and get a better view. Meanwhile, Johnson began to observe the object with his binoculars. Both he and the aircrew reported that the object took off at high speed out over the Pacific. According to Chief Aerodynamicist Philip Colman, the object disappeared within ten seconds; others estimated it at less than a minute. In his official report, Johnson stated, quote: “I am now more firmly convinced than ever that such devices exist, and I have some highly technical converts in this belief.”

Stanton Friedman
Well, if there’s one guy who ought to know what was flying around the country at that time, it would be Kelly Johnson, and he was certainly in a position to evaluate what he was seeing. And when he talks to somebody else, another one of his trusted people, and they saw the same thing, I don’t see how anybody can throw that out. We’re not talking about a two second observation at three in the morning by the town drunk. We’re talking about Kelly Johnson, at the top of the aerospace design business.

Paul Kimball
The United States Air Force concluded that Johnson and his crew had seen a lenticular cloud, despite the detailed nature of the sighting, the quality of the witnesses, and the fact that the witnesses themselves specifically considered and ruled out that explanation. You would think that the United States would perhaps reconsider its employment of men who couldn’t tell the difference between a structured aircraft and a lenticular cloud, but Kelly Johnson, Roy Wimmer, Philip Colman and the others continued to work for Lockheed and the government for years to come, and in Johnson’s case he went on to design the most advanced and secret aircraft of his time – none of which could move like the one he saw on December 16th, 1953.

Now, hopefully people can get on with talking about the actual reports, as opposed to any "errors" in the film.

Paul Kimball

Anonymous said...

Despite what Lance says I listened and thought you sounded perfectly reasonable. I'm sure that the believers will be just as upset with you as a debunker like Lance, which I think indicates that you're on the right course.