September 26, 2010

The Echo Flight UFO Debate Continues


After the last four articles published here at RU covering the witness statements obtained from primary Echo Flight witnesses Walter Figel and Eric Carlson, an already fiery online “debate” grew even more heated.

Apparent supporters of Robert Salas and Robert Hastings began posting statements to our blog stating that RU researchers would never have a chance of catching up to Robert Hasting’s 30+ years of UFO experience – we shouldn’t even try, give it up, game over.

It took RU’s Stephen Broadbent no longer than a few minutes to determine that most of the apparent “supporters” were actually a single person (same IP) posting under various names. That raised a few eyebrows.

The lengths that some grown men go…

Setting aside the drama, one good thing that came out of those comments was another promise that Hastings would produce the mythical “audio tapes” that he’d been promising to publish for many months, which would apparently show that James Carlson and his father are liars. Having already waited for the tapes that were promised over five months ago, no one was holding their breath. So we were pleasantly surprised when we were told that Robert Hastings finally turned up the goods in an article titles “The Echo/Oscar Witch Hunt” at UFO Chronicles.

The Walter Figel Tapes

I’m not certain who the witches are and who exactly is doing the hunting, but one thing is for certain – Robert Hastings and Robert Salas sure don’t want anyone to know what Walter Figel is now saying. I read through Hasting’s recent article very carefully, and his only reference to recent events involved telling readers that James Carlson and Eric Carlson are lying about everything.

He failed to directly respond to Walt Figels more recent comments in 2010, and when James Carlson attempts to reference the comments on the forums that Robert Hastings frequents, James’ posts get deleted. There is certainly a cover-up going on, that’s for sure. Just not the sort of cover up Hastings and Salas would like you to believe.

However, after reading Hasting’s article, I admit to being a bit frustrated with Mr. Figel. Despite his recent comments clarifying the matter to James, it’s clear what he was saying to Hastings and Salas according to those recordings, at least as far back as 1996. After reading Hasting’s article, I decided to contact Walter Figel myself. I did so because Hastings keeps calling James a liar, so I needed something in my hands that would prove one way or another that Figel’s more recent comments about the Echo Flight case were real.

While Hastings failed to produce the promised audio tapes where he and/or Salas supposedly had post-2008 contact with Figel, with claims supposedly proving that James and Eric are now lying – there are still questions that need to be answered. Even though these older recordings don’t prove anything new (except that Hastings most likely does NOT have any more recent interactions with Figel proving anything he’s been claiming about James) – they do require clarification from Figel.

Walter Figel Responds

I wrote an email to Figel and cc’d Eric and James asking Figel, point blank, why he said what he said in those recordings. He responded to me, asking for the link. James responded to his request with the following email, providing Figel with the transcripts.

James wrote:

Robert Salas just published the following transcripts of a conversation he had with you in 1996. He never mentioned anything about your testimony until well after 2002.

Did you actually do this interview, and if so, why is it so different from what you have repeatedly told me, and from what my father has repeatedly claimed?

James ends his email with a comment that makes it very clear to me that he’s not only being as truthful as he can be, but he’s only interested in the truth, and clearing his family name – he has no interest in UFOs or “debunking” the nuclear missile stories found throughout Ufology. He is only interested in the case that his own father was a primary witness to. James continues:

I would very much appreciate some clarity here. I understand that you don’t want to get involved, but you are involved. You can’t get rid of that involvement, not after you’ve basically said that my Dad is a liar. I don’t care what a bunch of wack-jobs waiting for the next flying saucer pick-up have to say about me, because they’ve been doing that for years, but I will not just sit and let them do the same thing to my father.

If you are not willing to fix this — and that means making a cohesive statement of one thing or another, and calling Salas and Hastings and telling them, one way or the other, then please tell me, because this back and forth is ridiculous. These people are telling everybody that I never spoke to you — that I have made the whole thing up from the very beginning. If I am that dissociative, somebody should tell me

Walt finally responded at length to both James and I. He listed the major points that he believes are at issue here. Figel clearly states as of Sept 24th, 2010 – that not only does he believe UFO’s were not involved at Echo Flight, but Figel also reveals some shocking insight into some of Salas’ other claims regarding issues beyond the Echo Flight case. Here is what Figel had to say on the matter.

James,

First – your dad has not lied about anything nor do believe that he is even capable of lying about anything at all. He was, is, and always will be an honorable man. You should remember that always – I will.

Second – Bob Salas was never associated with any shutdown of any missiles at any time in any flight and you can take that to the bank. Just think about this for a split second. He is a person wrapped up in UFOs to the Nth degree. Yet he could not remember he was not at Echo. Then he thought he was at November – wrong again. Then he thought he was at Oscar – wrong again.

Third – There is no record about anything happening at November or Oscar except in people’s minds that are flawed beyond imagination. Salas has created events out of the thin air and can’t get the facts straight even then. My best friend to this day was the flight commander of the 10th SMS at the time. He and I have discussed this silly assertion in the past couple of years – he thinks it is all madeup nonsense for sure. I put both Salas and Hastings in touch with him and he has told them both that an incident at November or Oscar never happened. In addition he was subsequently stationed at Norton AFB where the engineers tested the possible problems. No little green men were responsible.

Fourth – I have always maintained that I do not nor have I ever believed that UFOs exist in any form at any place at any time. I have never seen one or reported that I have seen one. I have always maintained that they had nothing to do with the shutdown of Echo flight in Montana.

Fifth – The event at Malmstrom has a hand written log from me that was turned in just like all the other logs that I wrote over several years. I would think that if I wrote something like that in the log, there would be copies, it would have been classified at the beginning and then released along with the classified SAC messages and base reports. Nothing in that urgent SAC message even hints of UFOs at all and I think that it would if the official logs or telephone calls had referenced that fact.

Sixth – When it happened, neither your dad nor I were “visibly shaken” by the events. It was just another day with a unexpected event in our lives. It was rather underwhelming at the time. No one rushed out to see us, no one made us sign any papers, no one interrogated us for hours on end.

There is no Air Force “cover-up” it just did not happen the way Salas and has portrayed the course of events. I am sorry that you are all caught up in a pissing contest with these people, I really am. They are just not going to let go no matter what you say or do. He has made a 15 year career pandering about the country talking about things he has no knowledge about. I am not at all interested in taking them on – it’s not worth my effort – I have more important things to do with my life. I much rather just stay out of it.

Hopefully, we can move on. I did read about a briefing on the 27th here in DC. I am here in VA about 10 miles away. Interesting. Hopefully this helps you and confirms to you at least that your dad is a straight shooter and does not lie to anyone.

Sincerely,
Walt Figel

While I am still personally not satisfied with the lack of explanation for why he said what he said to Hastings and Salas back in 1996 and 2008 – there is plenty of room for speculation. Maybe the ground crew were joking (he did say he didn’t take them seriously) and Figel was reporting to Hastings and Salas what he thought they wanted to hear – that someone mentioned “UFOs” related to Echo flight.

Maybe he assumed they would report his statements without spinning it to support the reality of UFO’s – which he repeats he does not believe in. Or maybe Figel saw an opportunity to be an “authority” with someone writing a book on the issue, and a chance for a little bit of fame. Who knows at this point. But what is especially revealing is when you look at the points Walter made beyond the simple matter of the recording clips Hastings published.

Witness Walter Figel is Not Invited to the Press Conference

Figel’s following points are rather powerful, I must admit.

-> He confirms James father is an honorable man and has not lied about Echo Flight.
-> He writes: “Bob Salas was never associated with any shutdown of any missiles at any time in any flight and you can take that to the bank.”
-> Walt’s friend, the flight commander of the 10th SMS agrees that the UFO nonsense about Echo Flight is made up – and he apparently told Hastings and Salas that an incident at November or Oscar never happened, yet they’ve never reported that statement to the public.
-> Nothing in the released SAC message (from the declassified documents on the case) contained “even hints of UFOs at all.” Walt maintains that if he’d written anything about UFOs – it would have been reflected there, but it’s not.
-> Walt admits that Eric Carlson’s statement was true that no one made them sign anything, and no one raced out to interrogate them.

Walt’s final statement was probably the most powerful…because he makes such an excellent and revealing point, as he writes:

“I did read about a briefing on the 27th here in DC. I am here in VA about 10 miles away. Interesting.”

Upon seeing this comment, my eyes froze at that line. What an important point.

Yes, indeed, why would Hastings and Salas hold a press conference on the 27th in DC, and not invite Walt Figel, one of their primary and most important witnesses to one of the allegedly largest nuclear missile silo UFO shutdowns in the history of Ufology? Why would they not have retired Lt. Walt Figel standing in front of the cameras admitting that yes, indeed, a UFO was involved at Echo Flight?

At the time of the conference, he is located only 10 miles away, yet they didn’t invite him. I wonder why?



Filed under: UFOlogy,UFOs — Tags: , , , , , — RyanDube @ 2:56 pm






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