June 19, 2013

Science Rejected: Another Hastings Con Job at UFO Chronicles


By James Carlson

Robert Hastings

UFO researcher Robert Hastings recently published an internet article at TheUFOChronicles.com entitled “Science and UFOs: Part 1 – The Condon Committee Con Job” that has – like the spontaneous erosion of mental acuity at a frat house every time someone screams beer run! – been reprinted at every UFO website in the market for free copy without any real concern for content. It’s another of Hastings’ standard rants addressed to the base of UFOlogy, one intended to elevate the worth of his name to a population of readers more than willing to trust his ethics and believe his claims for one reason and one reason alone: he tells them exactly what they want to hear. He does so, in fact, confident that few will ever challenge his claims, let alone conduct an honest hour or so of basic research to determine whether the extent of his sincerity can be measured in the quality of his claims. Had they been inclined to do so in the past, they would have discovered long ago how irresponsible he is with facts, how willing he’s been to distort the claims of witnesses, and how eager he is to insert his own unchecked, and ill-conceived personal contributions into UFO accounts merely to increase that false sense of credibility in an environment already considered lethal to such commonly valued standards of integrity. It’s like a bad comic trying to merge the local drunk’s steamy leavings with one more example of pop culture’s endless aperitifs.

The primary source Robert Hastings uses to address his alleged Condon “Con Job” issue is the testimony of Dr. James E. McDonald, a highly flawed individual who, like many others, allowed the UFO issue to consume his better instincts. He was once a reasonably successful scientist who was published regularly in well-respected scientific journals and compendiums throughout his career, the only exception being the entire period encompassing his UFO assessments and studies. During that period, he wrote nothing at all that science-oriented journals were willing to be associated with. They refused en masse to publish his claims and conclusions, because he was unable to support them with anything even approaching the use of standard, scientific methods. He could not even articulate the means by which one could test the assumptions he willingly made throughout the remainder of his life. The reasons for this are obvious. Although he was a gifted physicist, McDonald had little intuitive comprehension of human psychology, and was unable to differentiate between the varied levels of “truth” inherent to witness testimony. And let’s be very clear: UFOlogy is nothing but witness testimony. McDonald’s solution to his little quandary was to accept that everything he was told must be true. And like many others trying to find complex technical solutions to relatively uncomplicated psychological problems, it wrecked him. He could have saved himself a lot of very personal grief if he had simply monitored a few college courses on trial law and observed a few legal disputes in action. Instead, he took it all too personally with disastrous results, because he couldn’t figure out what was actually going on around him every day of the week. UFOlogy didn’t need physicists – it needed folklorists and historians who were well-equipped and willing to focus on formative religions during periods of technical and social uncertainty. McDonald might have saved himself a world’s worth of grief if he had simply stepped back from the brink of his own despair, dropped the study of UFOs completely, and spent a few months of private study and self-reflection with somebody like Carl Jung, who had tried so hard to unravel the spastic convulsions typical of human myths, dreams, and symbols.

Dr. James E. McDonald

McDonald’s frustrations in the budding field of UFOlogy, his perceived failure to validate what he insisted must be true, and his inability to do anything at all that might eventually vindicate his reputation eventually led him to commit suicide. Robert Hastings not only accepts everything this man essentially failed to prove as if it were already validated fact, he even refers to McDonald as “one of the very few scientists to actually study the UFO phenomenon”, an incredible distortion of reality that he’s completely unable to establish, primarily because he’s so grievously wrong. Most educated Americans can unravel this twisted assessment for themselves by merely conducting the simple fact-finding exercises that those who publish Hastings’ tripe should conduct for themselves before giving voice to these ridiculous fictions. Dr. James E. McDonald was not “one of the very few scientists to actually study the UFO phenomenon,” as there have been many, one example of which is the same Condon Committee he’s attempting to discredit. He was, however, one of UFOlogy’s first failures, primarily because he lacked the means to adjudicate the worth of human testimony. In a world in which human testimony is the only evidence available, the willingness to believe is a handicap. McDonald’s failure and his inability to come to grips with that aspect of his research is proof of that.

In addition to McDonald, Robert Hastings once more evokes the contents of a memorandum dated August 9, 1966, that the Condon investigative committee’s project coordinator, Robert Low, originally drafted to convince two undecided members of the University of Colorado administration to accept the Condon UFO study contract offered by the USAF. It was undertaken to persuade the University administration to accept a contract that every other investigative body, university, and college had already refused to accept for the very same concerns held by the individuals Low addressed his comments to: that nothing of scholastic, let alone scientific worth could ever come about as a result of accepting such a contract. Low believed that the publication of such a study could eventually bring the University a level of common renown that it was very much lacking at the time, and he was willing to suggest how the acceptance of such a study should be interpreted by those still undecided. He was allaying fears, not outlining policy. Given the fact that those who were involved in the research and investigations necessary to reach valid, scientific conclusions were completely unaware of the contents of that memorandum, and had, in fact, already adopted a scientific and completely ethical approach to the Condon UFO study that was supported not only by every scientist involved, but by every scientist who later examined that very issue, it’s a bit disingenuous of Robert Hastings to suggest that policy was being determined. Dr. Edward Condon, a well-respected scientist who had been involved with the Manhattan Project during World War Two, was completely unaware of the memo’s contents and was blindsided when McDonald questioned him about it. At the time, Dr. James E. McDonald knew more about its contents than Condon did. Low’s memo, in fact, was a complete non-event in regard to any possible influence it may have had on the conclusions reached by the University of Colorado UFO Project. Even Dr. J. Allen Hynek insisted that Robert Low’s memo was insignificant, and shouldn’t be used to reject Condon’s assessment of UFOs. Hastings is often very good at neglecting important details while adamantly refusing to discuss or mention anything that presents sufficient information to reach a valid, knowledge-based conclusion; it is his modus operandi, one that he has resorted to for most of his career in a sad attempt to suggest credibility that does not otherwise exist.  He’s like a prosecuting lawyer who presents only that evidence that suggests motive and opportunity in relation to the defendant, while neglecting to tell the jury that the defendant was at home eating Chinese fried chicken at a family reunion of 60-people when the crime he’s accused of took place.  He tells obvious lies of omission, yes, but they are also remarkably stupid lies of omission.  Unfortunately, he’s considered something of an authority in a field that doesn’t really concern itself with credibility.  Well, good for him.

Given that a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the oldest and most respected scientific organizations in the world, was charged “to provide an independent assessment of the scope, methodology, and findings of the (University of Colorado) study as reflected in the (University’s) Report”, I hardly think Robert Hastings’ paranoid and baseless whining is even necessary, let alone reasonable. After all, the National Academy of Sciences was given a congressional charter to properly assess questions of science and provide functional advisement to the government of the United States in regard to those questions, while Hastings merely lectures to mostly ignorant audiences while refusing point blank to answer detailed questions or otherwise provide sufficient information to correct that ignorance, thereby ensuring the outcome of an accurate and educated conclusion.

The UFO panel’s report can be found at http://project1947.com/shg/articles/nascu.html. Among its findings are the following points:

1. “In our opinion the scope of the study was adequate to its purpose: a scientific study of UFO phenomena.”

2. “We think the methodology and approach were well chosen, in accordance with accepted standards of scientific investigation.”

3. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s conclusion that there is no basis for the contention that the subject of UFOs is “shrouded in official secrecy”.

4. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s conclusion that “the history of the past 21 years has repeatedly led Air Force officers to the conclusion that none of the things seen, or thought to have been seen, which pass by the name of UFO reports, constituted any hazard or threat to national security.”

5. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that there is no reason to suggest that the investigation of future UFO sightings might “contribute to the advance of science”. In recognition of this, they recommended the Department of Defense handle reports of UFO activity in the context of “normal surveillance operations,” without necessitating the use of special investigative units such as Project Blue Book.

6. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that there is no need for the federal government to “set up a major new agency … for the scientific study of UFOs”.

7. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge.”

8. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that associated “important areas of atmospheric optics, including radio wave propagation, and of atmospheric electricity” are of fundamental scientific interest, and “are relevant to practical problems related to the improvement of safety of military and civilian flying.” For this reason, “scientists with adequate training and credentials who do come up with a clearly defined, specific proposal” should be supported.

9. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel also concurred with the Condon UFO study’s observation that UFO reports and beliefs may also be of interest to “the social scientist and the communications specialist.” For this reason, “scientists with adequate training and credentials who do come up with a clearly defined, specific proposal” should be supported.

10. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s conclusive observation that there appears to be “no reason to attribute them [UFOs] to an extraterrestrial source without evidence that is much more convincing.” This extends as well to the study’s conclusion that “the least likely explanation of UFOs is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitations by intelligent beings.”

11. The final conclusions reached by the National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel are balanced and orderly: “We are unanimous in the opinion that this has been a very creditable effort to apply objectively the relevant techniques of science to the solution of the UFO problem.”

It should be evident that Robert Hastings is somewhat handicapped when it comes to determining the value of any evidential support for or rejection of his claims. His refusal to address any balanced arguments whatsoever tends to result in exceptional failure, particularly when it becomes necessary to examine that failure in the context of properly interpreted evidence, the responsible application of which Hastings has shown a marked contempt for.

The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel even sought the input of Dr. James McDonald, making an aggressive effort to review a number of reports the Condon Committee had neglected for one reason or another to review. The panel nonetheless approved of every conclusion to every argument the UFO study took into account. Does Robert Hastings believe that the National Academy of Sciences was also party to the egregious cover-up that he accuses the Condon Committee of perpetrating, or does his noteworthy paranoia in regard to scholarly assessments prevent him from reaching a balanced interpretation of Condon’s UFO report? There seems to be little doubt that something irresponsible and contrary to the well-assessed disciplines of scientific endeavor seems to have taken place somewhere between the National Academy of Science’s contemporary review of the Condon Committee’s study and Robert Hastings’ near clownish criticism of the same. It’s almost like he decided well in advance of his published condemnation that he wouldn’t even read the panel’s review accompanying the publication of the study’s report.

Upon a thorough examination of Hastings’ assessment of Condon’s study, it’s hard not to conclude that Hastings’ primary grievance with the University of Colorado’s UFO Study is somewhere tied to his outrageous claims that the USAF had insisted in advance that Condon’s study reach a very specific conclusion that would allow them to publically disown any further interest in UFO phenomena. A more balanced examination, however, shows us almost immediately that the USAF didn’t need Condon to reach the conclusions that the National Academy of Sciences also concurred with wholeheartedly. The fact is, the conclusions Condon reached had already been publically affirmed two years prior to the UFO study that was undertaken, making Hastings’ charges of a whitewash sheer lunacy – one more paranoid take of an issue he has proven himself both incapable and unworthy of examining with any real honesty.

Dr. Edward Condon and LBJ

What we’ve got here is just another case of whining by a UFO researcher who refuses to accept conclusions that the National Academy of Sciences found perfectly reasonable to adopt upon its examination of the very same issue. What we’re actually looking at is merely another attempt by UFO proponents to rewrite and reassess ancient history in a vainglorious and ill-advised attempt to whitewash their own past failure to properly address these same issues. It’s no accident that the only real evidence being presented in support of continuing UFO studies is, to a great extent, little more than the reinterpretation of decades-old accounts. The reasons for adopting such a seemingly self-defeatist strategy should be obvious. Since 1947, UFOlogy in general has defined the very character of failure, part of which is due to the previously referred to yet nonetheless habitual refusal of those attempting to promote these cases to examine all of the evidence available instead of merely those elements supporting the possibility that UFOs are somehow worthy of our attention. The fact that new cases, for the most part, have proven to be relatively easy to dismiss with real cause leaves those promoting this abject assessment with few options outside of rejuvenating older cases after their somewhat justifiable dismissal from further assessment many, many years ago. Attempts to refocus current interest on paranoid concerns that the reexamination of incidents 20 to 60 years ago supports the contention that UFOs are interested in nuclear weapons facilities is merely more misleading crap on the windmills, a desperate bid for undeserved attention that less flawed investigators dismissed years ago. Robert Hastings’ arguments aren’t new or original; they’re merely sour propaganda based on incomplete cases, the unbalanced consideration of available data, undisguised contempt for the fruits of actual science, and the repressive, illegible scrawls of men like Dr. James E. McDonald, who ended up killing himself when his obsession started to ruin his life, tear apart his family, and destroy what scholastic reputation he had somehow managed to foster before jumping on a bandwagon that he wasn’t psychologically equipped to encounter with any real sense of grace.

Perhaps this is why Robert Hastings has in the past found it necessary to invent or distort evidence, to lie about his witnesses’ statements and the conclusions reached on their basis, and has presented fraudulent claims thinly disguised as UFO testimony – all of which he has done repeatedly and liberally over the years. As a result, I hardly think his credibility is anywhere near that of the National Academy of Sciences (or the Condon Committee, for that matter). After all, they have over 200 Noble Prize recipients to rely on, while all Robert Hastings has got is a little sad experience promoting a hoax – and doing so in the absence of any ethical or educated assessment. It isn’t appropriate or honest, and he hardly qualifies as the expert witness called upon to reassess historical points of view regarding matters he doesn’t understand, is ill-equipped to examine, and has no intention of doing so with the open mind that science demands of both its critics and its champions.

In other words, he’s produced one more plaintive cry in the wilderness that we can safely and properly ignore as a complete waste of time.







September 1, 2010

The Malmstrom AFB Missile/UFO Incident – Part II


In our last blog update, we heard from James Carlson, the son of one of the Echo Flight witness Eric Carlson (witness to the fact that it was a non-event, that is). In that update, James detailed, in the prolific prose for which he is now very well known for, the current dilemma that Robert Hastings and Robert Salas find themselves in.

Witness Walt Figel, upon being interviewed by James Carlson, reports that there was no UFO. Hastings claims there was a UFO event. So – what’s the story?

James Carlson has been working hard to get to the bottom of this discrepancy, and all he has received for his efforts up until now has been attempted discrediting by Hastings – with claims that James has never spoken to Figel.

In this update, James goes a step further and provides email evidence to support his direct contact with Echo Flight witness Walt Figel. As we progress in this story, RU is working to obtain final evidence to confirm the new information James now offers, which directly counters what Hastings and Salas are reporting about Echo Flight.

But first, we will continue with James’ comments in our forum – comments aimed directly at Robert Hastings and Robert Salas and challenging them to provide proof for their claims about Walt Figel and Carlson’s father. Make sure to read through to the bottom of this post, where James provides evidence of his communications with witness Walt Figel.

James Writes:

“If Walt Figel was aware – as Hastings has continuously asserted for some years now – that a UFO shut down the missiles at Echo Flight, and that my father was aware of this as well and has simply lied about the event, while Figel told the truth, then I challenge him to prove it.

Call Walt Figel, Robert, as you have promised to do time and again for the past four-and-a-half months. Your problem has come about because nobody has ever required any real standards of proof from you as a result of your ridiculous and silly claims. You’ve never attempted to apply any form of peer review to your assertions, and you’ve grown lazy, because most people who have adopted your point-of-view don’t require proof and don’t need confirmation.

The rest of the world still does, Robert, and you are unable to provide it, or you would have done so already. If I’m wrong, show me – prove it.

Make another phone call to your primary witness at Echo Flight, and show the world that Walt Figel says there was a real UFO at Echo Flight on March 16, 1967, and that my father has been lying about this for over forty years. Frankly, I’m sick of your crap, and your slanders and attacks and your continuous claims that I’m lying and that you can prove it. However, you don’t have the will or the time to do so.

I’ve got some news for you – you knowingly lied about what Figel told you regarding Echo Flight. You’ve repeatedly claimed that he confirms your UFO myth, and that my father has been lying about the event for years. You’ve claimed over and over and over again that my assertions are lies and bluff, and that you can prove this easily, and yet, in the four-and-a-half months since I spoke to him, you’ve produced NOTHING.

You and Robert Salas are frauds – you have knowingly lied to your audience about UFOs at Echo Flight. You knew long ago that Figel’s discussion of this event did not “prove” UFOs were involved at Echo Flight, but you have repeatedly claimed that they do, and your primary source for this – according to your own statements – is Walt Figel. You’ve also claimed that Walt Figel’s assertions are proof that my father has lied about this event, and you knew that wasn’t true as well.

You once offered to give me Walt Figel’s phone number so I could speak to him and thereby discover that my father had lied to me about this event. I didn’t need it, because it was easy enough to track him down on my own. But, maybe you should use it now. Do what you have been insisting you could do for the past few months and prove to the world that I haven’t spoken to Figel and that Figel hasn’t personally refuted every one of your conclusions regarding this incident. So far you’re just a lot of talk, and a lot of insulting rhetoric. In light of your prior comments, that’s pretty pathetic, don’t you think?

I have been 100% honest with the members and readers of this forum.

-> I have outlined a complete record of the events in March, 1967

-> I have backed that up with both documented evidence and the testimony of those individuals who were actually involved in that event.

-> I have asserted and proven that previous versions of this very real incident are incomplete, factually incorrect at times, and improperly confirmed.

In fact, the only possible conclusion that can be reached is that these individuals (Hastings and Salas) have very carefully and very consciously distorted the facts in order to create a paradigm supporting an event that they have invented – for whatever reason.

I think they did it for money, but maybe they did it for other reasons. The fact that they DID it, however, can’t be denied by anyone who looks at the evidence, unless they just dismiss everything and insist that I’m lying – which is what Hastings has recently suggested. I suspect that after reading the complete record of my communications with both Walt Figel and Frederick Meiwald below, he will alter his claims to suggest that Walt Figel, Frederick Meiwald, my father, and I are ALL lying, and that Robert Salas is as honest and golden as the sunrise.”

Communications Between James Carlson and Echo Flight Witness Walt Figel

James continues: “Please keep in mind that ALL of this has been part of the record since last March (2010) at the latest. If you still think I’m lying, it should be very easy to confirm, so do so. I am absolutely sick of people suggesting that I have lied about this matter without once attempting to confirm such slanderous assumptions. Robert Salas, Robert Hastings – even Frank Warren – don’t want an open discussion or dialogue regarding this matter; they want people to think I’m lying!

In fact, Hastings’ commentaries generally start with that assumption! When was the last time someone demanded any affirmations of the degree they’ve demanded of me from someone who claimed they SAW a UFO? I’m willing to bet Hastings has NEVER demanded such a level of proof – I’ll bet he simply accepted their claims without examination. I know for a fact he hasn’t applied any such need for immediate proof to Robert Salas, because if he had, Salas could never have been so inconsistent regarding his own claims – and inconsistency is the single most consistent and common factor characterizing those claims!

Please find attached the complete text of my written communications with COL.(Ret.) Walter Figel, Jr., currently living in Colorado.

I have also included my communications with LTCOL.(Ret.) Frederick Meiwald, the commander of Oscar Flight who Robert Salas insists was with him the day the missiles at Osar Flight supposedly failed as the result of extreme interference by a UFO that emptied the command post of all security personnel during an armed event, and injured one security policeman to such an extent that he required a medical evacuation via helicopter. He asserts as well that he doesn’t believe in UFOs, which is a strange thing to say in light of Salas’ claims that a man under his command was injured and evacuated as a result of said injury by a UFO. In any case, in my final letter to him, I extended my sympathies regarding his mother, and promised not to disturb him again. I haven’t written to him, nor have I heard from him since.”

[Note from author – Oscar Flight witness communications will be published in the blog in the next post. For the sake of brevity, I’ve omitted James’ initial emails to Figel do to their length, but you can read them in their entirety in the forum.]

Walter Figel’s Response to James on Thursday, February 18, 2010:

Thursday, February 18, 2010 8:10 PM

From Walter Figel, Jr. Fri Feb 19 01:10:36 2010

James

First – you are not bothering me at all

Second – you are welcome to call me any time that you would like

Third – Your dad and I always got along and there is no problem between us at all that I am aware of

Fourth – If I can be of any help to you, please ask away

I hope that your dad is well

Home phone [WALT FIGEL’S HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER]

Cell [WALT FIGEL’S PRIMARY CELL TELEPHONE NUMBER]

I am retired from [FORMER EMPLOYER] but I still do some consulting for them

I am home this week

Please feel free to call any time to about 10:00 pm

I am home this evening

I will be home all day Friday except from 11:30-13:30 for a lunch appointment

I will be at my son’s house Sat and out to dinner that evening

Sunday I’ll be in Colorado Springs with the boys for an art exhibit

Monday I fly to Albany

Walt

After publicly reporting the things that he learned on the phone directly from Walt Figel, James found himself under direct attack from Hastings and his supporters. James went back to Walt for some support to defend himself.

Re: Request

Sunday, February 28, 2010 5:14 PMFrom: “James T. Carlson” To: ” Jr.Walter Figel” < [WALT FIGEL’S EMAIL ADDRESS] >

Dear Mr. Figel,

If you don’t have the time or desire to contact me again regarding this matter, please tell me.

Robert Hastings is now stating “As for Col. Walt Figel not confirming what I’ve written, how would you know, given that you have been too cowardly to call him, to hear what he told me directly, despite my pleas that you do so? His comments posted on this thread are verbatim excerpts from my taped conversation with him. As others posting here have previously noted, you are the *only* one who thinks that Figel agrees with your position. Talk about deep denial. (Drew Clueless doesn’t count here, given his 100/1 inaccuracy-to-accuracy ratio when attempting to interpret anything anyone else has posted here.)”

Some kind of response from you would be appreciated, particularly some discussion regarding the issues I asked you about on 2/19, but if you don’t intend to respond, knowing that would be helpful as well.

Thanks in advance.

Most sincerely,

James Carlson

Albuquerque, NM

Unfortunately – James found himself in the middle of a situation that truth-seekers here are RU are accustomed to. Discover the truth, report it with evidence, and come under harsh attack from believers and of course the promoters of false claims. Standard situation – unfortunately, until James came to RU, he was fighting this fight alone.

Walt Figel, understanding this characteristic of the horrid UFO community, Walt responds on March 2 with the following comment (emphasis mine):

I am not a fan of Salas, Hastings, or the whole UFO crowd

I have never seen one and flatly don’t believe they exist at all

I just want you to be clear of my position on UFOs

They make good science fiction – nothing more

I have read both of their books

There are many inaccurate statements and events in the books

I have told them both that

For instance, Oscar flight NEVER had any problems and Salas was NEVER involved in any of them at all just for starters

I think that they are just enjoying the notariety of the situation

Let me know when to call and I will do so tonight

Regards

Walt

About a week later, after once again coming under attack by Hastings and his supporters, James is forced yet again to ask Walt for confirmation regarding some of Hastings more recent claims.

Forwarded Message: Re: telephone conversation

Re: telephone conversation

Thursday, March 11, 2010 3:26 AM

From: “James T. Carlson” To: ” Jr.Walter Figel” < [WALT FIGEL’S EMAIL ADDRESS] >

Dear Col. Figel,

I’ve had a couple of emails from different people today regarding some statements I wrote; specifically RobertHastings wrote them a letter stating the following:

“I re-interviewed Walt Figel on Monday evening. Salas re-interviewed him on Tuesday evening. We have both conversations on audiotape and we are currently transcribing them. We asked Figel to address James Carlson’s interpretation of his statements and position on various things. James will not like what Walt had to say.

Figel has given Salas and me permission to publicize his statements as we see fit. I will post a comprehensive rebuttal to James’ flawed claims in the next few days, providing verbatim excerpts from the conversations. I may even make key portions of the original audio tape available online.”

[snip]

If you would please send me a quick email or telephone me, I would very much appreciate it. I’ve told the above gentlemen what I believe to be the truth, and that the email from Robert Hastings is probably just more of his garbage, but if I’m wrong, I’d like to know, so I can correct my errors. And if my acts got you more involved in a discussion you didn’t want to get further involved with, I am sincerely sorry for that.

Tell me what I can do to fix it, and I promise you I will do so — whatever it is; just tell me how you’d like it done.and that the email from Robert Hastings is probably just more of his garbage, but if I’m wrong, I’d like to know, so I can correct my errors. And if my acts got you more involved in a discussion you didn’t want to get further involved with, I am sincerely sorry for that. Tell me what I can do to fix it, and I promise you I will do so — whatever it is; just tell me how you’d like it done.

Regards,

James Carlson

[PRIVATE INFORMATION DELETED]

Albuquerque, NM

Walt Figel Provides a Full Writeup in Response to Hastings’ and Salas’ Claims

Walt wrote a fantastic response to James – a detailed and full review of the situation and his take on it. In this author’s opinion, Walt’s statement is the final word on the matter, and Hastings and Salas have much to answer for. Walt wrote (emphasis mine):

Re: telephone conversation
Thursday, March 11, 2010 9:03 AM
From Walter Figel, Jr. Thu Mar 11 14:03:27 2010

Re: telephone conversation.eml

James

I guess you must have posted something somewhere that got Hastings attention
He did call and we did speak for a bit, so did Salas.
You should know that both calls were very cordial as was ours.

However, I think you guys have a pissing contest going that I would rather not get in the middle of. I have no vested or financial interests in UFOs and actually not even a passing interest in them. Guess I am different from most people. But, I could really care less about the subject.

I reasserted that I personally never did see a UFO at any time.
I do not personally “believe” that UFOs had anything to do with Echo flight shutting down that year.
I repeated that I never heard about an incident at November or Oscar flight and have no knowledge that they ever happened and that I doubted they did.
That is obviously a personal opinion as I can not prove the negative.

I repeated that Colonel Dick Evans was at the alternate command post at Kilo which is in the same squadron as November and Oscar and he never mentioned anything about a shutdown at either of these two flights.

If it did happen, I personally don’t know anything about it.

One of their books said I had a personal log – I did not.

The only log I ever filled out was the official log that all flights kept and that I do not and never did have a copy of that log. Obviously I can not remember what I wrote that morning.

One of the books says that the flight shut down in “seconds” – that is not an exactly accurate statement.

It obviously took some time for your dad and I to run the appropriate checklists and make all the calls that we had to make to the command post and maintenance. We were near the end of the checklist when the second missile shut down and shortly threafter the rest of them followed suit.

That sequence of events took several minutes not seconds, but that is all a very minor point in fact and doesn’t change the facts of the overall sequence of events that morning.

I told him that when someone mentioned UFOs, I just laughed it off as a joke and assumed someone was just kidding around. I never took it seriously.

I also told them that no one from any UFO office in the Air Force ever interviewed/deriefed your dad and/or me and that I do not remember ever signing any papers about anything.

In fact, I told them that until he mentioned it, I did not even know there was an office that monitored sightings of “UFOs” in the Air Force.

When your dad and I came topside the next day – no one ever said anything about UFOs and there was no “large gathering” of people on site that morning.

There may have been later that afternoon, but I would have no knowledge of that as we were long gone back to the base as usual.

I did not know the targeting office’s name or even know that he was there.

I did say there was a VRSA recording reporting a “Channel 9 – NO GO” reported.
They said that the maintenance crews had no such report at the LF.
I told him that I did not know how the system worked at the missile site so that I do not know if that is possible or not.

I have always maintained that I do not personally believe in UFOs.

I am not convinced that November or Oscar ever happened.

But these are obviously personal opinions and I can not state them as facts or prove them – they are my personal beliefs.

I also believe these statements are accurate.

I also believe that is what I said 2 years ago, but I don’t have recordings.
So my knowledge is very slim and I have no records about anything at all.
In addition, that was 43 years ago and memories fail – especially about things that were not especially important to me at the time.
Today, I can’t remember what time my wedding was and that I assure you is more important to me then and now. And that was in 1971.

So if this is a help, so be it.
But I would rather stay out of any long standing debate about UFOs and leave that to the experts and researchers and those who know or at least truely believe that they know. After all they may be right and proven so some day.

As for me, I’ll just go my way as a skeptic until proven wrong.

As you can see, I cc’d Hastings so that you both have the same piece of paper. I don’t think that there are any inconsistencies in what I said to either of you. If there are, I’m sorry, that is not my intention at all.

Good luck in your pursuits. Stay professional and all will benefit.
Regards to your dad, I wish him well. It’s been many years.

With that said, I hope that this tug of war is over and the three of you can resolve your differences about the whole affair.

Walt

With Walt’s final, well-written words, I close this post.

In the next update, you will have an opportunity to read, for the first time anywhere online (other than our forums), James’ exchange with LTCOL.(Ret.) Frederick Meiwald, the commander of Oscar Flight, regarding Hastings’ and Salas’ claims about the event.

Stay tuned. There’s more to come.



Filed under: UFOlogy,UFOs — Tags: , , , — RyanDube @ 3:18 pm






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