Monday, November 07, 2011

"UFO HISTORY KEYS" deluxe first edition hardcover available

I am making available on a print on demand basis a limited first edition deluxe hard cover book "UFO History Keys - Examining the UFO controversy from a historical perspective." It is also available in a transparent softcover format. 253 pages, over 220 pictures (many in colour).

For further details (including postage cost) please direct you enquiries via my email or via P.O. Box 42, West Pennant Hills, NSW, 2125, AUSTRALIA.   

Current costs of printing, collation and binding costs of the deluxe FIRST EDITION hardcover are $100 (Aust) and softcover $50 (Aust) - postage not included.

Image credit: Design and produced by Chris Chalker - "The OZ Files", "Hair of the Alien", the cover of "UFO History Keys" delux hard cover edition, the book "UFO History Keys" open at pages 102-103 revealing my personal top 10 in illustrated form, Bill Chalker in his office/library (Copyright Chris & Bill Chalker)

From the book:
History and science need to be our enduring touchstones and guides through the extraordinary complexities and mysteries that define the UFO and alien abduction phenomenon. History gives us the benefit of experience and the ability to identify patterns in the phenomenon. Science gives us a range of tools that, if applied properly and with sufficient focused resources and commitment, will establish compelling pathways towards establishing the true nature of the alien reality. This is an anthology of some of my UFO history related writings – articles over the years - and more recently my UFO History Keys column (2006-2011) which appear in the Australian UFOLOGIST magazine.
At the beginning of this anthology I have brought together 3 articles that draw together the critical history and science touchstones. They focus on what I see as a very significant breakthrough focus, namely what I refer to as the alien DNA paradigm – an important and complex research programme. The first of these articles “An Alien DNA Paradigm?” originally appeared in a special UFO issue of NEW DAWN magazine (Special Issue 17, Spring 2011). The other two appeared as part of my UFO History Keys column series (“Aliens on Earth – the Alien DNA paradigm” (2010) and “Intelligent Intervention?” (2007)). The historical and current connections becoming evident during the research of this extraordinary hypothesis are a powerful confirmation of the utility of using history and science in trying to understand the UFO and alien reality.
The final item in the column collection - "UFO History Keys Shining - The Extraordinary 1968 Minot B52 UFO Encounter - a remarkable example of a latent and almost lost scientific opportunity" - describes a remarkable example of the power of history and foundational science coming together to provide potential breakthrough evidence.
The contents:

Examining the UFO controversy
from a historical perspective
by Bill Chalker
Biographical background
The Alien DNA Paradigm:
An Alien DNA Paradigm?
Aliens on Earth – the Alien DNA Paradigm
Australian UFO History Wars
– lessons and approaches to the Australian UFO controversy
Examining the UFO controversy from a historical perspective
The INVADED - “STAR BEGOTTEN” (1937) and “The GERM GROWERS” (1892)

The Australian Department of Defence "lost" UFO files - where are they?
By the UFO book … the Australian experience.
The UFOIC Thread
ROSWELL“the good, the bad & the ugly” of ufology
FLYING SAUCERERS – A Social History of Ufology”
STRANGE COMPANY - Arrival: World War II not 1947
The Joint Intelligence Organisation (JI0) and UFOs – a matter of history
… a followup on “The Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) and UFOs – a matter of history” in the Ufologist, November – December, 2007.
The passing of 1959 Boianai PNG witness Rev William Gill
The “Best” UFO cases from the Australian region – a personal perspective
The Visitors – The Australian Response to Aliens and UFOs
Across the pond – the New Zealand UFO experience
The Moreland Revelations
Remembering a turbulent time of change
The general sum of knowledge – UFO Encyclopedias
The Saucerers of OZ, on the road to Etheria:
In search of our origins - Early Australian UFO History in different keys
The Alien Dance continues – the Astronaut and the UFO
An Alien Who’s Who.
The Valentich UFO mystery - after 30 years still unanswered
Vanished – a 30 year old mystery revisited
The dancing sun – the Fatima visions redefined
When politicised & militarised Science tried to bury the UFO subject
– the Condon report exposed (1969 – 2009)
The 1954 UFO Desert Dance of the photographic veils.
a special tribute article to Albert Pennisi (1919 – 2009)
Albert’s “dream” machine – UFO reality at Tully
Forbidden Science and the “Invisible College
– the journals of Jacques Vallee
Passings – Richard Hall and John Keel
RICHARD HALL (1930 – 2009):
a giant in UFO history and an advocate for serious scientific research into UFOs.
JOHN KEEL (1930 – 2009):
the great demoniser of ufology.
Histories, enigmas, reflections and fancies
Reviews of Richard Dolan’s “UFOs & the National Security State. Volume Two: The Cover-up exposed 1973 – 1991”, David Clarke’s “The UFO Files – the inside story of real-life sightings”, Vladimir Rubtsov’s “The Tunguska Mystery” and “The Secrets of Dellschau” by Dennis Crenshaw in collaboration with P.G. Navarro.
The Chipping Norton Incident – a journey through the UFO theatre
The WESTALL UFO "Black Swan"
WESTALL 1966 Revisited
UFOs – a turning point?
UFOs, history, myth and the sacred:
“Wonders in the Sky – Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times” by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck
“The Myth and Mystery of UFOs” by Thomas Bullard
Authors of the Impossible – the Paranormal and the Sacred” by Jeffrey Kripal
The Fourth Level and the Fourth Kind
Here be Martians – the Roswell Connection
Belief, Polygraphs and alien abductions
– the SBS “My Mum Talks to Aliens” documentary examined.
UFO History Keys Shining – The Extraordinary 1968 Minot B52 UFO Encounter – a remarkable example of a latent and almost lost scientific opportunity


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pine Gap - a reality check

Do a search on Pine Gap and all manner of unusual and often unverifiable wild claims are made about this restricted joint US and Australian base in central Australia. It has been a lightning rod for many conspiracy stories and some of the more unusual and bizarre seem to have a UFO or alien connection - underground UFO base, the new Area 51 etc. I have generally found most such stories rather dubious and few, if any, are based on verifiable information. I've attempted to track down some of these exotic stories, but such efforts have not been rewarded with any credible information. Some interesting UFO reports have been made around the general area of Pine Gap, but none, to my knowledge, give credible sustenance to the wilder claims about the base.

The recent publication of former NSA ELINT(electronic intelligence) analyst David Rosenberg's memoir "Inside Pine Gap - the Spy who came in from the Desert" (Hardie Grant books, Melbourne, 2011) is a welcome reality check. In a foreword by Professor Desmond Ball, author of many excellent intelligence related books, such as "A Suitable Piece of Real Estate: American Installations in Australia" (1980) and "Pine Gap" (1988), attention is drawn to the fact that "Pine Gap is one of the largest, most important and most secret US intelligence collection stations in the world." It was the various "cover stories" about the purpose of Pine Gap that lent some sustenance to the wilder conspiracy stories - originally described as a "defence space research facility", "an experimental project ... concerned with upper atmosphere and space phenomena" (1968), (plenty of fodder within that suggestive description) - until Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1988 acknowledged that "Pine Gap is a satellite ground station whose function is to collect intelligence data which supports the national security of both Australia and the US."

Because of his security oaths David Rosenberg's book is not a technical account of Pine Gap's functioning. He defers to Des Ball's 1988 book for that sort of take. Indeed the book "The Ties that Bind - Intelligence cooperation between the UKUSKA countries: United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand" (1985) gives the larger context.

David Rosenberg gives a more personal account, even highlighting how he found love in Australia and his transition to an Australian citizen. His book is still quite revealing in describing Pine Gap's "general intelligence-gathering functions" and its "support of military operations." Despite the redactions evident in the book (quite a few blacked out sections) the book gives some intriguing accounts of the applications and operations of Pine Gap's intelligence gathering and applications.

UFOs and aliens are lightly touched upon but only in the context of the original base "descriptions" fanning rumours of a UFO connection. David Rosenberg highlights a 1967 story. He states, "Despite the countless stories involving UFOs and Pine Gap offered up by the internet, the aliens must have kept a very low profile during my eighteen-year tenure in Operations, as I ... never saw any evidence of aliens at or around Pine Gap."

I interviewed David on August 13, 2011 and addressed the "UFO rumours" in detail, even highlighting an account that allegedly occurred during his tenure.

In September 1998 at a Sydney UFO conference John Auchettl of PRA gave a presentation of an alleged “Pine Gap UFO Intrusion” that had ostensibly occurred during October 1997. Auchettl presented material that suggested the base had over flights of UFOs and that just outside the perimeter of the boundary of the base aboriginal witnesses had a striking UFO encounter which had left behind physical traces. Auchettl’s presentation seemed to indicate he had been given unprecedented access to Pine Gap, had been taken onto the base and had been given access to documentation and a CD-ROM that contained imaging from Pine Gap perimeter security cameras that were apparently related to the UFO physical trace event that had apparently occurred just north of the base.

I was in the audience for Auchettl’s presentation. My own extensive research and experience with UFO and physical trace cases made me think that the physical trace event he was presenting was similar (if not identical) to a striking lightning/ball lightning event and the ground traces appeared to be very much like expected lightning ground strike evidence, particularly the phenomenon of fulgurites. Additionally Auchettl’s “analysis” of the alleged Pine Gap perimeter camera imaging seemed to me to more about making far too much of what may have been prosaic, low weight stimuli, punctuated by his unsubstantiated and somewhat bizarre suggestions that it was evidence of “black holes”, “plasma states” and “dimensional shifts!”

I took the opportunity to privately question John Auchettl at the conference. As I was a physical chemist I naturally enquired about the density (specific gravity) and other characteristics of the material recovered from the site. I was surprised that PRA had not been able to get any data on the material between gathering the samples back in October 1997 and Auchettl’s conference presentation in September 1998. I indicated I could give him a reasonably reliable result in 5 minutes! In the wake of the conference it proved difficult to get any further information from Auchettl but eventually he advised that the globule densities were averaging at 2.836, which was quite heavy, but typical of glass specific gravity. The material was apparently confirmed as fused silicate. This was what I was anticipating as I had felt from Auchettl’s conference presentation and his comments to me that the ground impact event may have been a spectacular lightning ground strike event.

I suspected that the Pine Gap people and DSTO (allegedly also involved in investigating the event) had been intrigued by the incident and that it had been perhaps spuriously linked to the “UFO” “tracks” over the base, some of which had been caught on the Pine Gap perimeter cameras. But context should always be considered. Pine Gap had long been a base that was both a target and originator of controversy and intrigue. It had developed an apocryphal legendary status and was uncritically cast as Australia’s Area 51, a secret UFO base, and a whole lot of other conspiracy driven identities. The Alice Springs location and the Pine Gap area to the west had been the site of various UFO sightings, but often these were of the low weight nocturnal light variety and many seemed generated by the garbage bag/hot air balloon variations. Apparently local police had even detained the occupants of a vehicle in the act of launching such devices, only to release them when they determined they were American base employees. The film imagery capture in October 1997 seemed rather poor and ambiguous in quality and it seemed on the limited airing it got at the UFO conference to be rather dubious. It would be helpful to be able to analyse the PRA data but unfortunately like on other occasions with PRA investigations, such as their investigations of the Kelly Cahill case they were not being forthcoming and their material seem to end up in some sort of odd “bower bird” PRA bunker of silence and scant open cooperation. On the limited and confusing evidence available it seemed possible that some Pine Gap personnel, DSTO and PRA got swept up in a self perpetuating loop of misinterpretation and delusion. Some openness and clarity from PRA would help resolve whether the events at Pine Gap during 1997 were about really about real and compelling UFO events or more about nature unbound, hoaxing and the will to believe.

David Rosenberg was not aware of the 1997 incident. He did volunteer to me that before he left the US for his Pine Gap tenure, his best friend said to him that he didn't care what his job was, all he wanted to know was the real story about UFOs. David said there was nothing, despite a interest in such matters, that he learnt during his Pine Gap tenure that would answer his friends question.

I did ask specifically about a cryptic redacted reference on page 89 of his book to an odd "electromagnetic" transmission, as to whether it was a "fastwalker" or "slowwalker" as the number of redacted letters fitted. He indicated he was not familiar with the term, to which I responded with an explanation. While he would not give a clarication, he did indicate that he was referring to a man made transmission/signature, not a UFO or alien one.

While the conspiracy driven will probably not accept that David Rosenberg is giving an honest and personal accounting of his time at Pine Gap, I found him to be very forthcoming, within the limits of his security restrictions. In this book you will find a fascinating and engaging story, that also gives an insightful look at the difficulties a person like David Rosenberg has to go through to give us his story of his time at Pine Gap and his engagement with Australia. The book had to run the gauntlet of the security agencies pre-publication review board. I was bemused to see evidence of Catch 22 mentalities when public sourced material is redacted via this process!

David Rosenberg's "Inside Pine Gap" is an engaging and insightful book. I recommend it.

(Photo credit: David Rosenberg with Bill Chalker during August, 2011 (Bill Chalker); 1967 newsclipping: image taken by Bill Chalker during October lecture presentation by David Rosenberg to the Sydney group UFO Research (NSW))

The June 26 1967 date of the Centralian Advocate item suggests that the "expert" in question may have been Dr. James McDonald. He was in Sydney on June 26, 1967 during his visit to gather Australian UFO data. He is pictured here on that day in the radio 2GB studios with legendary radio man John Pearce.

I told David Rosenberg that one of my primary sources on government UFO matters here in OZ has been Harry Turner, a nuclear physicist, and head of the nuclear section in the JIB/JIO during the late 1960s and early 1970s. His boss Bob Mathams, head of SIG in the JIB, tilled the soil with Bud Wheelon, Carl Duckett & Leslie Dirks of DS&T of the CIA back in 1966,
marking the beginnings of what would become Pine Gap. They cracked opened some red wine to celebrate the occassion. I corresponded with Bob Mathams back in the 1980s. He along with ASIO & DAFI helped me locate Harry Turner.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Moreland Revelations

Other priorities prevented me from examining the New Zealand government UFO files at the time of their recent release. So I had a cursory look and saw the various reviews. It was however Dr. Michael Swords' excellent blog "The Big Study" post from September 14, 2011 "More Than Meets the eye with Moreland??" that drew me back to the New Zealand files with an enhanced level of fascination.

The files revealed that there was indeed much more to the classic Eileen Moreland CE3 incident. All previous material on the case had revealed this New Zealand case from 13 July 1959 as a striking low level UFO encounter in which the witness Eileen Moreland had observed 2 entities inside, seemingly "encased in silvery suits.... (with) headgear ... like divers helmets which glittered very brightly. They appeared to be normal sized people." One of the figures appeared to stand up and lean forward on its hands , possibly examining something between it and the other figure. The entity then returned to its original position, the object tilted slightly and started to rise, disappearing at high speed into cloud clover. The early morning encounter was apparently short lived but may have had some enduring effects.

Fred and Phyllis Dickeson reported the case in their NZ Scientific Space Research Group Journal soon after it occurred. It was a case that would split the tight pro-Adamski group alliances that were a dominant force at the time. The case and sketches based on material from Mrs. Moreland, confirming the limited entity features, were reproduced in the special 100th issue of SATCU XENOLOG magazine in 1975. The Dickesons' son Bryan revisited the case in the Australasian Ufologist magazine in 1999, but again the details were basically the same as reported in 1959 and 1975. I described the case in my 1996 book "The OZ Files" as I saw it as a striking case, happening so soon after the famous Father Gill Boianai Papua New Guinea events.

With the December 2010 New Zealand government UFO file release there were file holdings on the Moreland case, along with quite a number of pages blank with the typed explanation: "This document has been withheld from release to the public to preserve personal privacy in accordance with the official information act section 9 (2) a." The attached vetting statement for File number 244/10/1 Vol. No.1 elaborated, "While downgraded place caveat on Privacy/Medical grounds - informant was given assurance of confidentiality. Informant was 42 in 1959 so born 1917. Apply 70 years from last sensitive document = 1979. Public release 2040."

The main body of the Moreland papers, with the censored folios, still revealed fascinating further detail, and tantalising allusions to sensitive details. In fact as the 1959 investigation progressed the CONFIDENTIAL classification had been changed to TOP SECRET. A close reading of the folios and material showed the case was drawing renewed media and researcher attention in 1979 which highlighted fascinating dimensions to the case.

Mrs. Moreland's case file included her initial statements and drawings given to the local Blenheim police. There is 2 page statement she gave to Commanding Officer Group Captain A.P. Gainsford of Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Station Woodbourne. He appointed Flt. Lt. C.M. Jennings (Tech(E)) to receive all information and conduct further investigations as required. Flt. Lt. Jennings "had no previous interest in matters of this nature and commenced his task with an opened mind," according to Gp Cpt. Gainsford. Based on officer Jennings' investigation and "of the matters revealed (apparently only known to Mrs. Moreland and officers Gainsford and Jennings) the classification of the material" was raised "as a pecautionary measure." Because of the symptoms reported Mrs. Moreland agreed to confidential medical testing at the military station. It was also determined that radiation testing would be undertaken. Commanding officer Gainsford added in his 20th August 1959 communication to the Air Department in Wellington, "Flt. Lt. Jennings has spent considerable private time on this matter, is convinced that Mrs. Moreland is genuine, and is an extremely worried person. He is prepared to turn out at any hour of the day or night to personally investigate further incidents."

Officer Jennings undertook a detailed interview with Mrs. Moreland on 23 July 1959 preparing a 5 page hand written report. Therein annotated to his conclusion that, "Mrs. Moreland gave every evidence of being completely sincere ..." Jennings apparently later added "Can I get more out of her??" Well, later evidence detailed from 1979 internal RNZAF commentaries certainly revealed that he did indeed get "more" out of her, and it was this material that changed matters for the military, raising the investigation to TOP SECRET, but the actual documents involved were censored from the 2010/11 file release. What remained in the immediate 1959 folios were tantalising. Folio 15A shows a human type figure in a bulky suit with the large helmet described in the earlier material, but now with some suggestions of facial detail, and various items shown (see the TOP SECRET sketch). Officer Jennings various "NOTE FOR FILE" folios that are uncensored refer to the medical for Mrs. Moreland was for the purposes of checking "for exposure to radiation." Further they mention than on Thursday 13th August Mrs. Moreland had again detected the "smell of burnt pepper" that had been noted during the 13th July encounter. Officer Jennings was planning to visit the area the following Thursday "at about 0330 - 0400 hours and remain until daylight. I shall take a geiger counter with me."

There were other sightings in the wake of the original encounter, but only one reference was noted in the 1959 folios to a possible corroborating event on the same early hours of 13th July. A Mr. Haldaway (sic?) about 3 miles east of the Moreland property at about 0430 to 0500 hours reported being awake and seeing "a bright light shining through the window .... (which) appeared to be of a whitish orange colour." The light reached "a high intensity and then gradually faded away without any accompanying sound." The witness thought it might have been car lights but the absence of sound appeared to have negated that thought. This observation was reported by Flt. Lt. Young of RNZAF Station Woodbourne to Sgt. H. Fulton of RNZAF Station Whenuapai, as well as a comment that "the grass field" in the Moreland incident "has not become discoloured and has not been ploughed since the event nor has Mrs. Moreland been unwell since the incident." Sgt. Fulton was director of a civilian UFO group, C.S.I.

We have to move on to 1979 folios in the NZ government UFO files to get some of the other more tantalising details. A civilian researcher Colin Emery had pressed Mrs. Moreland and the Ministry of Defence for the release of files on the Moreland case, citing a coverup, and claiming "the government has had confirmation of the sighting from the Air Force and (was calling) for the findings to be made public." The official files do not reveal what Amery's "confirmation" consisted of, but this aspect is alluded to in Peter Hassall's 1998 book "The NZ files - UFOs in New Zealand" “(Amery) received information from two sources who refused to be identified. They both worked at Blenheim’s Woodbourne airbase in the 1950s and had been sworn to secrecy. One claimed that the wife of a squadron leader heard a jet engine-type noise between 5.30 and 6.00 a.m on 13 July 1959. Checks later showed no aircraft had taken off that early. Had she heard the UFO Mrs. Moreland saw as it departed? The other retired airman said he saw a blue light that descended from the sky about 5.00 a.m. the same morning. He reported it to his superiors after the furore broke over Mrs. Moreland’s report. Twenty years later they were still too scared to speak openly due to the possible legal penalties.” Mrs. Moreland’s encounter took place between 0530 – 0545 on Monday 13th July 1959.

The 1979 Defence file note referring to the Amery enquiry (and one by Radio NZ) had a handwritten internal note: “Mrs. Moreland was the lady who sighted the U.F.O. in 1959. Airforce person also reported the sighting.” Is this last note confirmation of the Amery claims? The Defence UFO file folios do not confirm that, but the internal deliberations about whether to respond to the mounting public enquiries about the case in 1979 reveal some of the censored 1959 details! In a memo dated 1 March 1979 by Air Marshal R.B. Bolt, Chief of Defence Staff wrote to the Minister of Defence revealing the following fascinating detail:

“3. (Mrs. Moreland’s) initial story was to the effect that she had only seen a craft descend, hover and then ascend. She subsequently told the investigating officer (presumably officer Jennings – B.C.) about the landing of the man, who she described as “like any other man” as far as she could tell, though his left hand was “missing below the wrist”.

“4. Mrs. Moreland claimed to have smelt the peppery smell on several subsequent occasions and to have seen the light again in March 1960…. A rash of small “blisters” which appeared on her some days after her encounter on 13 July was examined by an Air Force doctor in order to determine whether it might be radiation-induced; the doctor, however, concluded that it was probably allergic in origin.

“5. The evidence suggests that Mrs. Moreland was in an emotionally unstable condition at the time. She was also the subject of considerable publicity much of which was of a derogatory nature, due in part to a press statement which she issued herself.”

Air Marshal Bolt had prepared some further briefing material for the Minister of Defence which summarised the fuller and previously suppressed information about the Moreland encounter:

“On 13 July 1959 a woman living near Blenheim reported that between 5-6 a.m. that morning she had seen an oval-shaped object, measuring 20 yards across and 4 or 5 feet through, descend before her. She was caught in a green light produced by two beams shining from beneath the vehicle and was unable to move. The vehicle was manned by two men, wearing silvery suits and helmets, one of whom descended from it and came over to her. He shouted at her in a foreign language. In a fright she hit out with her torch and ran for nearby trees. The man reboarded the vehicle, which was hovering some 10 -12 feet from the ground. It then ascended straight up into the sky emitting a high-pitched whistle and leaving a patch of hot air and a smell like that of burnt pepper. Another witness later reported seeing an unidentified light at about the same time.”

Air Marshal Bolt in his ministerial briefing wrote the following “suggested statement” intended for public release:

“On 13 July 1959 a woman living near Blenheim reported that she had seen a flying object which behaved in an unusual way.

“A full investigation of the matter was made by an Air Force officer with technical experience (presumably Jennings – B.C.). The RNZAF’s interest can partly be attributed to the fact that the woman was married to an airman stationed at RNZAF Woodbourne. The material was later evaluated by Air Force authorities in Wellington. They concluded that there was no objective evidence to substantiate the sighting or reason to continue their investigations.”

A minute sheet dated 6/3/79 on the “Moreland sighting” from “RO(H) to D.B.G. McLean, the Secretary of Defence, added, “The security classification of the matter was raised from confidential to secret following (officer Jennings') main interview with her in which she claimed that a man had landed and shouted at her in a foreign language. (The investigating officer (Jennings – B.C.) thought the words she heard might have been Russian!!)."

Disclosure of the material at that stage in 1979 rested on whether Mrs. Moreland would agree to the details being released. Secretary McLean contacted her and she wrote back, indicating she had remarried, and confirmed she did not want her privacy being affected again. She added, “I do not feel that the public should be told everything that is secret, just because someone feels that they should. A lot of harm has been done in the past, throughout the world for just that feeling. If you have knowledge of the full events of that awful morning, you will realise, that to suggest that the U.F.O. people are friendly is a laugh, as I know full well, and there is also the matter of the language. The media would have a ball that’s for sure.” Mrs. Moreland added, after reiterating she did not want the material released “for as long as I feel that it should not be,” “Perhaps in another 20 years it will all be “old hat” and no one will ever remember me or it.”

Well it seems the files remember her and some of the hidden details despite the censorship. Is it likely that the censored files contain further information that may explain more clearly what happened that “awful morning?” Lets hope we don’t have until 2040 to find out! The material so far released suggests there may still be more to learn of the events on the Moreland farm near Blenheim in the south Island of New Zealand back in 1959. Did it involve a close encounter that had a more direct impact on the RNZAF than we directly know to date? Or was it about the fears and concerns of the time. After all, the Cold War was being played out. The Petrov Affair in nearby Australia in 1954 had led to the Russian Embassy being closed and relations severed. This situation thawed in 1959 when relations resumed. Was the Blenheim encounter in 1959 seriously considered as the “Russians are coming!” Mighty strange those “Ruskies” caught up in the web of the Moreland revelations.

Lets hope the New Zealand MOD respond to rational enquiries and release the full details of the Moreland files. Times have changed and the fears of 1959 and even 1979 have ebbed away. Time enough for a fuller disclosure. If Mrs. Moreland is still with us, the sentiments expressed by her in 1979, steep in the concerns of ridicule and confidentiality, may not be as concerning as they were back then. Also I wonder who was the Air Force person who reported the sighting? Is it something that the earnest and worried Flt. Lt. C.M. Jennings could enlighten us on in his investigations and nocturnal return visits to the Moreland farm?

A very curious affair.

When I read the curious detail that described the entity Mrs. Moreland encountered as having no left hand, I immediatedly thought of the strange entity reported in the bizarre Carl Higdon abduction which occurred in Wyoming during 1974. A detailed account of this weird affair was provided by Dr. Leo Sprinkle in "UFOs and the Behavioural Scientist" (1979) edited by Dr. Richard Haines.

Curiouser and Curiouser ....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Belief, Polygraphs and alien abductions – the SBS “My Mum Talks to Aliens” documentary examined

In my regular UFOlogist magazine "UFO History Keys" column I have written a piece examining the SBS documentary "My Mum Talks to Aliens." I urge you to read the full column in the September - October 2011 issue.

Here are some brief extracts:

On November 30 2010 the documentary “My Mum talks to Aliens” was aired on the SBS TV network. It has been repeated a number of times since then. While the lurid title may have seemed off putting, the content was interesting and made a contribution to the debate about UFOs and alien abductions.

The primary and most engaging aspect of the documentary was the relationship between alien abduction counselor Mary Rodwell and her son Chris, a veterinarian. A kind of road trip through the alien landscape was played out, with Chris looking for credible scientific evidence that his mother’s obsession with matters alien are not an indication she has lost her marbles. Mary sets about showing him a range of things that might persuade him that the UFO and alien abduction field is a serious area of enquiry and that she has a credible approach within it.

While some apparently intriguing areas were touched on by the documentary, each had their own “devil in the detail” aspects – issues and problems which were not addressed, in part due to the limitations of the format of the programme. It seemed to be up to Mary to present the case for each item and for Chris to see if it resonated well with his scientific sensibilities.

The credibility of each segment really depended on how engaged and well informed Mary and Chris were with them. This varied a lot through the programme.

Mary’s “ace card”, abductee Peter Khoury, was filmed in a very limited way focusing on an all too brief recounting of only part of the DNA evidence related to his 1992 experience and then filming an unguarded moment which Peter would have wished wasn’t used. It was pretty clear than both, Mary and Chris, were not well aware of the totality of the DNA evidence in Peter Khoury’s case, and if they were, they didn’t understand it or its implications. Despite Mary’s preoccupations with matters DNA related in her claims of “new humans” she seems to prefer poorly documented “evidence” rather than well presented and detailed evidence such as in the Khoury “Hair of the Alien” case. Neither, Peter or I, are aware of any occasion, other than the documentary, where she has highlighted the case in any significant way in her lectures or publications. Indeed I was advised it was the producers that led Mary into choosing Peter Khoury’s case as her belated “ace card”, as stronger and more compelling material was needed, than the material she had already presented.

It was a mellowed form of polygraph testing entrapment that overshadowed the very limited and skewed presentation of this case, and the polygraph testing was limited to his 1988 experience rather than the 1992 experience, in which evidence led to DNA testing. The programme had not engaged with this 1988 experience, so it was probably confusing for the viewer. The polygraph was used, almost without question, as a way of discriminating between fact and fiction. There was a brief narration comment that Mary had some issues about the use of lie detection, while in the background I had been waging a campaign against its use in general and more specifically in Peter Khoury’s case. It was a campaign I waged with the producers and Peter, and my arguments were based on science, not vague popular perceptions of the utility of polygraph testing. There was a huge debate that could be had here, but it was left unstated in the documentary, despite the history of the controversial use of polygraphs in both the wider community and its rather sorry history of use in the UFO controversy.

I will limit my further comments here to where the documentary addressed alien abductions. It did this by examining two different abductees, Greg Le Noel, the client of Mary’s ACERN practice, and Peter Khoury, who had not been a client of Mary, nor had she been involved in any of the research about his abduction experiences. In both cases Chris organised polygraph testing via Gavin Wilson, forensic polygraph examiner for Australian Polygraph Services. Greg failed his test, while Peter Khoury passed his. Mary Rodwell attempted to rationalise Greg’s failure as being due to his abduction “memories” being recovered via subconscious or trance recall, in other words, his abduction narrative came from the hypnotic regressions Mary carried out with Greg. Peter Khoury’s abduction “memories” are clearly anchored in conscious recollection.

So the documentary’s “smoking gun” was Peter Khoury’s successful lie detector test, which had focused on his conscious recollection of witnessing 5 aliens in 1988. Peter Khoury has always wanted to have a lie detector test, to help validate his claims of alien abductions. Of course Peter was pleased to have passed the polygraph test, but the documentary failed to reveal the background drama on this particular aspect of the programme. Nor did it engage with the deeper issue of the use of hypnosis in validating alien abduction stories. There is a rich and potent debate to be had there. But it was not going to happen in this context, perhaps in part because so much of Mary’s evidence has been gained through the extensive use of hypnosis.

Polygraph examiner Gavin Wilson, on camera, reported to Mary Rodwell, Chris Rodwell, and Peter Khoury (I was at the same table out of camera shot), “Peter passed the test.” Peter laconically responded, “Great, I’m happy.” Gavin added, “So far as I’m concerned, what he witnessed, there has to be some merit in that.”

An Alien DNA Paradigm? - a new article in NEW DAWN special issue

I have had an article "An Alien DNA Paradigm?" published in the Spring (September) 2011 issue of NEW DAWN magazine.

I recommend you seek the magazine out either via hard copy or via an e-copy through the New Dawn web site

Some brief extracts from my article:

A remarkable clue supporting the enduring idea that UFOs and alien abduction claims might represent credible evidence for alien intervention into human affairs, at an extraordinary and deep level, may have been found in the UFO haunted southern Chinese province of Yunnan. As part of a developing hypothesis I call the alien DNA paradigm, a form of intelligent alien intervention may have occurred in us as humans on planet Earth. We are very primitively tinkering with modifying life forms through transgenics and the like, therefore the idea that someone out there might already have been doing it elsewhere, maybe even here, may not seem so far out.

Evidence for this may also be found in human DNA signatures, particularly among those indigenous cultures that have potent claims of "sky being" lore and land rich in long historical focuses of UFO activity. An extraordinary breakthrough alien abduction case from the other side of the world – right here in the middle of Sydney – had me to pursuing some very strange clues through Asia to Yunnan, China, leading to the hypothesis of the alien DNA paradigm through a long and complex 4 phase investigation.

Phase 1: STRANGE EVIDENCE - 1999
Phase 2: "HAIR of the ALIEN" - 2005

Phase 3: The Lahu connection (Thailand/China) - 2005/2006

Yang Zheng of the Kunming UFO Research Association indicated his “most dramatic case” occurred in November 2006 (the month after my visit to Yunnan) when thousands of villagers in Zhenyuan Yi, Hani and Lahu Autonomous County of Yunnan Province witnessed 7 white hemispherical shaped objects hovering directly above the property of a local CPC (Chinese Communist Party) cadre for nearly two hours. The objects appeared to keep changing shape. As it was a small village word soon spread and many villagers arrived to witness the sighting. They started pursuing the objects but the UFOs soon disappeared. I had been in the Lahu territory a few weeks earlier. This seemed a compelling confirmation of the potential breakthrough research focus.

The Lahu people, via the DNA clue from the Khoury hair sample, may be connected with the apparent “Nordic hybrid” being, both through their DNA and their locality, which we found to be rich in UFO and unusual light phenomena. These investigations dramatically consolidated valuable UFO data from China, particularly in the province of Yunnan.

Phase 4: the global alien DNA nexus

The preliminary focus on the Lahu addressed in Phase 3 suggested that the “alien DNA paradigm” hypothesis could be evaluated and tested in terms of a long term focus on groups of people like the Lahu in Thailand & China, the Kayapo and their Bep Kororoti tradition in Brazil, the Zulu connection (per Credo Mutwa) in Africa and other peoples whose traditions and localities seem steeped in alien lore. Should all of the highlighted factors, particularly possible unusual DNA markers, become well established, we will have compelling evidence for the possibility of “intelligent intervention” by possible aliens.


During 2009 and 2010 China experienced a large wave of UFO sightings many supported by photographs and videos, much of it in Yunnan province. Professor Zhang Yifang of the Yunnan University physics department and president of the Kunming UFO Research Association spoke out publicly on the reality of UFOs and aliens in China., convinced that “extraterrestrials exist”, adding, “I am convinced, because I am a physicist and an astronomer.” He reported that UFO sightings “are mostly in Yunnan, Xinjiang, and Heilongjiang. The history of UFOs in Kunming (the capital of Yunnan) is great. Sightings are commonplace.” Professor Zhang’s statements were reported widely in China. I met him in Kunming in Yunnan in 2006 and made a detailed presentation to university faculty members and Yunnan UFO researchers.

(Photo: Professor Zhang Yifang is pictured here in a tan coloured coat next to me, along with Yunnan University faculty members and Yunnan UFO researchers in 2006. Photo copyright: Bill Chalker)


The Fermi Paradox looms large here. If aliens exist where are they! The simplest answer is they are already here, have been here, still are, and the ultimate answer awaits mainstream science’s serious open minded embrace with the UFO question rather than the litany of lost opportunities the sorry history of UFOs and science has revealed up till now. A potent and well funded serious science of ufology which focuses on UFOs, alien encounters and alien abduction accounts would be a powerful change to the unscientific approach that has been the way of mainstream science’s nervous dance with the subject up till now.

The DNA found in the strange hair sample implicated in the alien abduction experience of Peter Khoury had a striking array of DNA anomalies. Until the “Hair of the Alien” evidence came along the claims that alien abductions might involve hybrid beings was just unsubstantiated speculation. Now evidence had been revealed that may support such a bizarre scenario. Its not conclusive evidence, but it is enough of a potent breakthrough to argue that the research direction it inspired is a very worthwhile hypothesis to pursue. I have created a blog site that focuses on this fascinating area. I have put an introductory essay up on the site – “The Alien DNA Paradigm – an introduction” at

Monday, August 22, 2011

Budd Hopkins: June 15, 1931 - August 21, 2011: a fascinating life: "Art, Life and UFOs"

It was sad to hear of Budd Hopkins' passing, but I would rather help celebrate his life and contributions.

I have posted here my review of Budd's memoir "Art, Life and UFOs" which was published in the September October 2009 issue of the Australian magazine "Ufologist."

I was particularly touched by Budd's reaction to my review:

Everything about your reaction to "Art, Life and UFOs" warmed my heart - especially when you said that you felt you had been sitting and listening to a conversation with me and "only occasionally realizing that it was by way of "a book in my hands." What more could an author want than to establish that kind of rapport with a reader? As an author yourself, you know what that means.

I was very interested to find out about your own art background, and the surprising area we have that in common in addition to that of our UFO research. You should keep at it. A little sketching each day can be very helpful, and can remind you of the pleasure of it all. Once, when my daughter's third or fourth grade class was brought by her teacher to visit my studio, I showed the children my work installed upstairs in my apartment. When we started down for the studio proper, the children descended the stairs two by two, properly holding hands,
and I slipped in back of a litttle girl and boy who did not know I was behind them. "I don't understand what he's doing," the boy complained to his partner. "I don't know what those things mean." "But don't you see?" she replied. "He wants to make something no one's ever seen before." I loved it. She got at least part of it right. Out of the mouth of babes...

So give it a shot, Bill. Even if you want to sketch something everyone's seen before, but give it your own personal twist. In a way, you can't help being personal because we each have our own emotional and artisic handwriting. We're born with individuality born right in us. And think of all the (inevitably frustrating) fun you'll have.

I responded:

Thanks for your encouragement of my "artistic" activities. I do use my
sketching etc to flesh out my reports & investigations and will continue
to do so. Beyond that, we will see. I'm not planning any exhibitions anytime
soon :-)
Click on the post "UFOIC 1969 Classic - the north coast NSW UFO
"nest" saga" at the following link and then click on my drawing of the woman
witnessing the UFO hovering above the sugar cane crop apparenty "levitating"
her in its beam: and in "UFO Flap Dejavu" illustrating my investigations of the 1973
Tyringham flap in which I witnessed a broad range of strange UFO activity:

Here is my review of "a great life journey":

The Penrith Regional Gallery & the Lewers Bequest commissioned a unique and striking art exhibition which ran at the gallery just outside of Sydney from 8 December 2007 to 17 February 2008 – “The Visitors: The Australian Response to UFOs and Aliens.” For me it was a wonderful conjunction of two of my long time interests – art and UFOs. When the exhibition organisers originally contacted me to get me on board as a consultant and writer I asked what they had in mind, perhaps a single room display. No, it turned out the whole of the multi-roomed gallery was turned over to the exhibition. 15 established artists contributed a body of fascinating works ranging from paintings, sculptures, installations and other artistic media expressions. I contributed an essay “The OZ Files Unbound” and recommended reading list for the 64 page exhibition catalogue, extensive material, including case files for an evidence room and a walk through lecture covering the evidence and my take on the exhibition artworks. The exhibition was well received and highly successful.

I have always enjoyed art in its many forms. In fact in my high school years I was one of those oddities who were not well catered for in the Australian public education system of the 1960s – somebody who wanted to do both art and science. Even though I excelled in my school art journey, ultimately I had to make a choice by my 5th year and science won out. Never-the-less my love of art and my abilities in drawing were never really silenced. Some of my sketches illustrated Australia’s first UFO entity catalogue I co-authored with Keith Basterfield in 1976 and others have accompanied my various reports and case investigations over the years. My sketching skills became a very useful tool in my research. None of it would have made it into mainstream art and I occasionally wondered “what-if?” What if I had pursued the artistic vision more forcefully? Still, art does hold an alluring siren call over me and I enjoy and meditate on its wonderful expressions.

I also find it fascinating when art and the UFO subject intersect. Such intersections occur in occasionally unusual ways that are controversial and yet potently rich in potential meaning. On page 121 of my 2005 book “Hair of the Alien” I wrote, “For the woman, the most strikingly similar image to that of the beings (she encountered in an experience Whitley Strieber described as “the best description of the gray beings” among the thousands of letters that were sent to him in the wake of the success of his book “Communion”) is the Wandjina – the haunting Australian aboriginal rock paintings that reveal figures with large dark eyes and no mouth.” The Wandjina (or Wanjina) are beautifully evoked in such works as “Yorro Yorro – Everything Standing Up Alive” by David Mowaljarlai (who I had the pleasure of meeting before his passing in 1996) and Jutta Malnic, “Keeping the Wanjinas fresh” by Valda Blundell and Donny Woolagoodja, and most strikingly to a worldwide audience rising up from the floor of the Sydney Olympic stadium in 2000 during the opening ceremony. Such striking resonances are hauntingly fascinating in their possibilities.

One of the leading alien abduction researchers Budd Hopkins has lived a complex life in which art and UFOs have been profound and interlocking themes. Anomalist books have published Budd’s autobiography – “Art, Life and UFOs – A memoir.” I found it to be a great read which personally powerfully resonated with these two major conjunctions of my own life – art and UFOs. Budd Hopkins however unlike my humble connections had a rich and well recognised life in art with a reputation as a nationally known American Abstract Expressionist painter, with works displayed in the collections of prestigious institutions such as the Guggenheim, Whitney, Metropolitan Museums, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. I found Budd’s range of work to be striking and beautiful. While my favourite artists include the likes of Dali, Magritte, Leonardo Da Vinci, the French Impressionists, through to the Australian aboriginal art of old and its modern forms, I found it fascinating that among Budd’s favourites are the works of Caravaggio, whose life and work was captured in a book published by my own “The OZ Files” publisher Duffy and Snellgrove in 1998, namely “M” by Peter Robb, also author of “Midnight in Sicily.”

Budd Hopkin’s memoir is a rich evocation of the artist life and also of a rich and complex personal life that got swept up by the UFO sirens and taken down strange and controversial pathways, until he became regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on UFO abductions. I thoroughly enjoyed Budd’s memoir, not just for the UFO journey but also for its great candour, honesty and courage in describing his person life journey through his childhood in West Virginia, becoming a victim of the polio pandemic of the 1930s, his complex relationship with his father, his relationships with women, his adventures evading the attentions of the closeted gay scene, his embrace of the hectic and chaotic life in New York and summer life in Cape Cod. He doesn’t retreat from illnesses that have troubled him in more recent times and even takes us through a personal “soul map” in a rich and engaging way. Budd’s memoir and its engagements with the art world and the UFO world are rich in anecdotes about people and experiences. They tumble forth in an engaging way. The UFO side of this are more familiar to me, particularly his accounts about Carl Sagan, J. Allen Hynek, John Mack and Laurence Rockefeller, but his art world stories of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and many others are just as entertaining and informative.

As I have seen Budd as a friend and esteemed colleague in the UFO research trenches, and respected his UFO abduction work, despite not always agreeing with its totality and implications at times, I had mixed feelings when reading passages like, “To sum it up, life, with all its many levels and complications, continues to be very good to me, and at my advanced age I am filled with sorrow that so little of it is left.”

I first met Budd in person at the 1987 MUFON conference in Washington D.C. and he obligingly gave me a personally autographed copy of his newly published book “Intruders.” We met again in 1992, this time in Australia. I had not been able to make the Abduction Study Conference at MIT in Cambridge Massachusetts in June of that year as my father had passed away a few weeks earlier. Budd gave me his take on the conference and shared an evening with myself and some of my associates giving insights into his UFO abduction research, including his hypnosis techniques and the “Linda Cortile” case, which he would describe in detail 4 years later in his 1996 book “Witnessed: the True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions.” In his memoir Budd writes it was “by far the most complex of the four books I’ve written. And because I had to labor over it so intensely and was still pleased by the results, Witnessed remains my favourite book, the one closest to my heart.” It also remains one of his most controversial as it stirred up much debate, particularly given its alleged high profile political connections with what seemed an extraordinary multiple witnessed UFO alien abduction display in New York city.

I had been following Budd Hopkins’ UFO work since his investigative collaboration with Ted Bloecher on the striking Stonehenge Incidents in New Jersey just across the Hudson River from New York City in 1975. The reports on this affair began appearing in the UFO literature during 1976. In 1981 Budd’s first book “Missing Time – a documented study of UFO abductions” made its dramatic mark and researchers and the general public began to listen to a potent and intellectually astute voice speaking on an extraordinary dimension of the UFO controversy. “Intruders” joined Whitley Strieber’s book “Communion” as bestsellers during 1987. In his memoir Budd writes about the accuracy of the famous “grey” alien face artwork that was a striking worldwide profiling of the alien image on the cover of “Communion”, something I also addressed in my book “Hair of the Alien.”

I found Budd’s fourth UFO book “Sight Unseen – Science, UFO Invisibility and Transgenic Beings” both fascinating and controversial. He writes in his memoir, “though I regard it as a solid and important piece of work, it unfortunately recalls too many arguments (with his former partner and co-author Carol Rainey) and sad moments for me to relish the memories of its creation and birth.” This is unfortunate as it has many aspects and issues of interest and among all of Budd Hopkins’ work is his most interesting in terms of its focus on the scientific analogues, plausibility and potential that seem to emerge in UFO abduction cases – themes that I have also pursued in this controversial and confronting phenomenon. It is this aspect – the scientific focus and whether UFO abduction offer credible evidence of an alien reality intruding into our world that needs to be confronted. I am glad that Budd also made a contribution in this way, despite the book’s troubled gestation. The totality of Budd’s contribution to the UFO field, while controversial and debated, is rich indeed and has made a profound foundational impact.

What shines through most of all in Budd Hopkins’ striking memoir is a life well lived, despite complexity and the diversity in highs and lows, and strong and vibrant in potent contributions to both the fields of art and UFO study. I felt I had been sitting with Budd and listening to his engaging style of intellectual and entertaining conversation and only occasionally realising that it was by way of his book in my hands. I love reading books and particularly ones that take me on an engaging journey, so rich in life experiences and engagements with subjects I find fascinating and important, such as art and UFOs. Budd’s capacities of imparting new information, to educate and enlighten, also come through with his “need to make everything absolutely clear.” The mother of his “creative co-worker, and my fondest love” Leslie, summed it up, “I think Budd just likes to impart information.” Budd spins it as “a village explainer who explained things a bit too incessantly.” Well, the persistence is welcome in a field that needs explaining and diverse views rather than dogma of zealot, the debunker and the tunnelled eyed true believer. Budd Hopkins is none of those. He has helped shine a light in a highly controversial area of human experience. History will ultimately tell us if that light mirrors an alien reality or aspects of the alienated human condition. I suspect the former but it is a reality that still remains strikingly strange and elusive. It should not be ignored, ridiculed and reduced to entertainment fodder.

Thanks Budd for a great life journey and engaging memoir. Having met his fondest love, Leslie Kean, when she came to Australia with Budd in 2004, I think it is wonderful to also see this connection. Her great contributions to the UFO subject, particularly given that James Fox’s impressive engagement with the subject, has potently materialised as I write this, with the screening of his latest UFO documentary “I know what I saw” on the History Channel. It is rooted in the excellent work that Leslie and James did with the Washington DC press conference in 2007 that so strikingly highlighted the physical reality of UFOs. In part through combining threads of various lives these powerful statements about the UFO phenomenon are engaged in life affirming ways with the more controversial alien abduction phenomenon. Connections: Art, Life and UFOs.

Photos: (These photo were included with the published review that appeared in the Ufologist)
Budd in Australia in 2004 with Rex Gilroy (left) and Bill Chalker (centre) (Photo courtesy of Rex Gilroy)
"Art, Life and UFOs" cover (from Anomalist Books)
Bill letting the Visitors get on top of him? (My attempt at an "installation" work?) (Photo courtesy of Bill Chalker)
Leslie Kean with Bill Chalker in Australian in 2004 (photo courtesy of Peter Khoury)

It is heartening that Budd lived long enough to see the positive acclaim that Leslie's book received when it was published. A real turning point ....

Good journeying, Budd ... Thanks for your contributions and friendship.