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Stanton Friedman Monthly Report Dec. 1996

TO  :  ALL
From:  The Monthly Report - December 1996 by Stanton Friedman 

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Garbage in....  Garbage Everywhere...!!

WE live in a strange time.  Incredible communications systems exist to spread 
the word rapidly via the Internet, Satellite dishes, fiber optics, WWW pages. 
Unfortunately, besides the obvious advantages of such systems, there are some 
strong negatives as well.  Garbage can be distributed faster and cheaper than 
ever before and almost at the speed of light.  Young people who are more 
computer literate and at an earlier age than we oldsters, begin to believe 
that everything they see on the Internet must be true, and even more of a 
problem, that it represents the total truth about any subject including flying 
saucers, and all sorts of conspiracies.  This is a different sort of problem 
than the rapid dissemination of pornography and hate literature... or the 
smearing of an individual...

The art of critical thinking is being lost in the shuffle.  The need to 
maintain what I have called a ''Gray basket'' until there is enough 
information to reach a rational judgment gets lost in the shuffle.

Comet Hale-Bopp

A case in point is the noise about Comet Hale-Bopp.... which may turn out to 
be the Comet of the Century.  An amateur astronomer using a CCD (Charged 
Couple Device) instead of film to take a picture of the comet showed what 
seemed to be a huge body, 4 times the size of the earth, accompanying the 
comet as it approached the sun.  He made a big noise about his discovery. 
Immediately a group of remote viewers chimed in with a story about intelligent 
life on board this body coming to earth and all hell would break lose here. 
In addition  radio signals were supposedly being picked up from this huge 
and, of course, kept secret.  HUBBLE Telescope pictures were supposedly being 
withheld because they showed this body as well.  These stories reached 
millions via Art Bell's huge radio-land audience and his Web page 
[] and via postings all over the Internet.

A companion that size should be easily seen by the multitude of amateur and 
professional astronomers observing Hale-Bopp.  It is very bright, is dumping 
lots of dust and water in what is apparently its first pass near the sun. 
Since instrumentation is better today than in the past, it is hoped that more 
new information about the formation and behavior of comets and perhaps the 
structure of solar systems will be obtained.  After the observations of the 
many pieces of Shoemaker Levy which impacted in spectacular fashion on 
Jupiter, it was expected that pieces might be observed.

Needless to say there was a backlash to the strange stories from professional
and amateur astronomers who had been observing Hale-Bopp, saying there was no 
companion.  The comet was being observed exactly where orbit predictions said 
it would be, though a large companion should certainly have changed the orbit. 
Hubble pictures of it have been published.  There were others who rushed to 
use their new CCD devices who found a bright ''object''.  Others explained 
that the location of the ''companion'' was that of a particular bright star 
and that the amateur had goofed with his star finder program and missed it.

I contacted Terence Dickinson, Canada's finest astronomy writer, a former 
editor of Astronomy magazine, a newly anointed member of the Order of Canada, 
author of a weekly column in the Toronto Star, Canada's largest circulation 
newspaper, and also, more than 20 years ago, author of ''The Zeta Reticuli 
Incident'' the very controversial report on the Marjorie Fish star model 
research on the Betty Hill Star map.  Terry had had a number of calls from 
people worried about the companion.  He checked with a number of professional 
astronomers and observed and photographed the comet himself.. using film and 
not CCDs.  He noted that there are all kinds of problems with using CCDS if 
the observer doesn't have a lot of practice.  Sort of like there are 
complications with detec-tion of UFOs by radar.  But competent radar operators 
generally become well aware of these.  Terry found no companion either 
visually or on his pictures [].

I am reminded that there was a flurry of concern described in an article by 
artist Alan Hendry that one or both of the stars Zeta I Reticuli or 
Zeta 2 Reticuli was actually a double star, thus throwing out Marjorie Fish's 
exciting work because she had said all the Betty Hill pattern stars were 
single non-variable stars.  Hendry didn't actually communicate with the French 
astronomer, David Bonneau, who had referenced an unpublished comment about the 
supposed duplicity.  When I finally did hear from Bonneau in response to 
direct inquiry, he noted that neither star was a double.  The apparent other 
star was not there but was an artifact produced by the use of a then new 
technique called speckle inter-ferometry to try to reduce the influence of 
atmospheric fluctua-tions on the observation and improve the resolution of the 
tele-scope.  There was even a name given to this problem .. ''Mickey's Ears''. 
One complication in this case was that Zeta l and Zeta 2 Reticuli can only be 
observed from the southern hemisphere.

For those interested in this fascinating and controversial work, I can offer a 
limited number of copies of the original 32 page full color booklet ''The Zeta 
Reticuli Incident'' and a 4 page update (also by Dickinson) for only US 6$ 
postpaid from UFORI, POB 958, Houlton, ME  04730-0958.

To sum up about Hale-Bopp:  Having read many postings about the matter, I am 
satisfied that there is no companion, no threat to earth, no messages being 
sent.  In the words of Ronald Reagan, ''Trust, but verify.''  Have facts 
carefully in hand before opening mouth.  There is a responsibility that goes 
with communicating new and especially threatening notions to the public.

Carl Sagan [].  Rest in peace.

On December 20, the final act was written in the long lasting interplay of the 
public and Carl Sagan, when he succumbed to complications arising from his 
2 year long battle with cancer.  I have very mixed feelings about Carl.  I am 
4 months older than he was and grew up in Linden, New Jersey, right next to 
hometown of Rahway.  We took the same classes in physics and math in the 
Division of Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago from l953-1956. 
After getting my MSc in physics, I left to work in industry on far out, high 
tech classified R and D programs.  He switched to Astronomy and went on to get 
his doctorate.. a good choice since the launch of Sputnik in l957 greatly 
increased the need for astronomers.

Carl has probably done more than any other Earthling to stimulate the public 
to think about space and man's place in the universe.  He often angered other 
scientists by appearing in public and on high profile programs such as Johnny 
Carson (perhaps 25 times) and numerous other TV programs.  His books and the 
TV series COSMOS literally reached hundreds of millions of people world-wide. 
He also had the courage to get involved in areas often thought to be marginal 
such as the controversial theories of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, appearing in a 
major session at an American Association for the Advancement of Science 
Debate.  He was also a speaker at the AAAS session on UFOs in Boston in l969, 
and co-edited the Proceedings as published by Cornell University.  He was one 
of the speakers at the Congressional Hearings on UFOs in July, 1968, and often 
carried the banner of CSICOP with regard to all matter of paranormal areas 
especially UFOs.

I have discussed Carl's strange approach to UFOs in many papers dating back to 
l973.  He had the courage to talk about these fringe areas, but did not always 
do his homework, often making pronouncements, but rarely investigating.  Some 
specific examples with regard to UFOs based on his comments in his last book 
''Demon Haunted World'' are in my debunkers chapter in TOP SECRET/MAJIC.

During my longest ever lecture tour (25 colleges in 35 days in 15 states in 
l973) I spoke at Cornell and had a few moments together with Carl.  He had 
finally read my paper ''Ufology and the Search for ET Life'' and he recognized 
that there were serious differences.  There was no way to arrange for time 
together, so he agreed to come to my lecture and sit quietly.  I took out some 
of my zingers.  I think it was much to his credit that he attended and didn't 
take home court advantage to attack.  We had very slight contact until 20 
later when I was invited by the UFO Group at Cornell to speak there, by their 
advisor, a much younger professor in Carl's department.  Knowing we had been 
classmates, the professor arranged to take me from the airport directly to 
Carl's home for a quiet friendly visit with him and his wife, cookies and 
coffee.  He was too busy to attend the lecture or the two seminars I gave, but 
a few weeks later he sent me a copy of a preliminary article he was preparing 
on UFO abductions for PARADE magazine to which he often provided 
articles. ..asking for comments, omissions etc.  He also sent copies of John 
Mack and others.  I found out later that my 12 page response was apparently 
longest from the UFO community.  (He ignored almost all the advice.)

After the Larry King Area 51 Two hour TNT-TV program on 
Saturday, October 1, l994, where I was live and Carl was on tape, I challenged 
him to a public formal debate on UFOs..  There were 3 letters each back and 
forth.  Mine were long, his were short.  He didn't say no, but he didn't 
agree.  I stopped pushing when I read that he was getting bone marrow 

Many have asked me how Carl could be so negative about UFOs and so positive 
about S.E.T.I.  I don't have a really good answer.  He certainly accepted 
whatever Phil Klass said as gospel.  He had been quite wrong and apparently 
honestly so about other controversial matters such as the nuclear winter that 
would be caused by the oil well fires in Kuwait.  Was he doing disinformation 
for the government taking Donald Menzel's place as a debunker?  Was he 
concerned that he would have to admit he had been wrong in 30 years of UFO 
bashing and SETI encouragement?  If saucers are coming here, who needs radio 

My answer is still ''I don't know''.  I do know that we need more people like 
Carl Sagan willing to kindle the spirit of adventure and stimulate 
especially amongst youngsters, about man's place in the universe.  I don't see 
anyone else on the horizon looming as large.  He will be missed.  A 27 page, 
1993, paper ''S.E.T.I., SAGAN, and Science'' including my review of his 
abduction piece as well as other correspondence between us and my ''Challenge 
to S.E.T.I. Specialists'' is available from UFORI $4.  postpaid.


Another individual posted to Art Bell a very frightening letter claiming he 
had had access to highly classified material at the Vatican Archives, had seen 
some material he wasn't supposed to see, and was on the run  hiding, with his 
family having been already been killed by those trying to silence him. 
Another great story with threatening overtones for mankind.  Of course no 
evidence was presented.  Sounds like a science fiction plot.  WORMWOOD.  These 
stories always take longer to die then to be spread.


My apologies to those who have tried to obtain TSM and been told it was out of 
stock.  Marlowe and Company was slow about getting it to the printer for a 
second printing, so more than 1300 copies are already on back order.  The new 
printing should be done early in January.  Those wanting autographed copies 
can get them from UFORI for $25. postpaid.  There will be German, UK, and 
Australian versions out within a few months.  There have been a number of 
friendly Email and fax comments.  I am still looking for death bed 
Some early history of Area 51 and S-4 pre l955 would also be greatly 
appreciated.  Several MJ-12 research projects are in progress... about the 
Truman signature, the typeface on the Truman-Forrestal memo, and the SPECIAL 
Operating Manual 1.01 about ET wreckage and alien bodies.  Stay tuned.

 - End of File -

Till later, MAC??? / tNATOA / [PRo-iauR]

Next: Stanton Friedman Monthly Report Feb. 1997