|The Nuclear Connection by Richard H. Hall|
|I have been invited to be a regular participant on the Canadian radio program "Strange Days Indeed" (see their website for an audio link), on CFRB, Toronto, Ontario, 1010 AM. Starting in May, 2001 I will be appearing occasionally in the 9:30-10:00 p.m. time slot.|
|See the Debunker's Guidebook by Richard Hall|
Analyzing UFO data and reasoning about it has been extremely controversial due to a number of factors, primarily disagreement about which data are mutually agreed upon as requiring explanation. In this article I attempt to provide a conceptual framework and guide for thinking about and theorizing about UFOs.
On a related issue, various labels and epithets often have been substituted for rational discussion in characterizing our philosophical opponents. No doubt this is due to the frustrations of trying to deal with a complex and unorthodox subject that has little recognition among scientists, the news media, or other important opinion-makers in society. What does it mean to be "pro-UFO" or a "believer"? How apt are the labels "debunker," "scoffer," or "skeptic" as applied to those who disbelieve in UFOs and/or profess strong criticism of the views (not to mention the motives and intelligence) of "believers?"
Interestingly, the ad hominem arguments tend to emanate far more from the "scoffers" than the "believers." Whereas many of us think that Phil Klass, other CSICOP people, and Donald Menzel before them are mistaken in their professed viewpoints, we do not usually attribute evil motives to them.
Before proposing a conceptual scheme as a guide to thinking about and studying UFO sightings, I will attempt to define some terms and also suggest ways to encourage more civil debate of the issues. People see things in the sky (and on the ground) that they cannot explain and term them "UFOs." Although UFO has long since become a synonym for ET spaceship in the popular mind, let us continue to think of it literally as meaning an unexplained flying (sometimes landing) object or phenomenon.
The large majority of such reports turn out to have mundane explanations, including aircraft seen under unusual lighting or weather conditions, rocket or missile launches, and fireball meteors. The percentages of explained versus unexplained are scientifically meaningless, but typically are something like 80% to 20%.The scientific question is: Do the sightings that remain unexplained after careful investigation represent one or more phenomena of potential scientific significance? Should time and money be spent in gathering and analyzing better data in a systematic way?
In past years the U.S. Air Force and most self-styled skeptics have extrapolated from the high percentage of explained cases (sometimes artificially high due to ingrained negative attitudes) to the unexplained cases. "If we had more complete data," their argument went, "we could also explain the rest of the cases. Only insufficient data prevents us from explaining 100% of the reports." Of course, this argument totally ignores the content of the unexplained cases.
How do we determine whether the unexplained cases represent something new and important that deserves some level of priority investigation? By spending time and money to test that hypothesis along with its antithesis! However, those already convinced that there is nothing of scientific interest in UFO reports will see no point in investigating further. Their minds are made up. They see only "noise" and no "signal" in UFO reports. A good term to describe a person who takes this position is Scoffer.
On the other extreme are those who accept practically everything seen in the sky as evidence of extraterrestrial visitation. Scientifically oriented UFO investigators resent being labeled as "believers," which implies an uncritical acceptance of dubious data bordering on slack-jawed faith. A good name for the uncritical ones would be Believer.
Practically everyone else fits somewhere in between these extremes. Although a range of attitudes and approaches is involved, a good general term for people in this central category would be Skeptic. (It probably is a losing battle to suggest this terminology since the term "skeptic" has been pre-empted by the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), but it would be a more accurate use of the term in its historical sense. CSICOP members tend to be either Scoffers or Debunkers.) A neutral alternative might be Investigator, though that would exclude anyone who ventures an opinion on the subject without actually doing some investigation, or reading the serious literature, which also applies to many CSICOP members.
Within the center category of people who have some degree of interest in studying or investigating UFO reports, there are several levels of interest and/or attitude. Some of these I will define as:
Doubter: Tends to think that UFO reports probably have mundane explanations for the most part, but finds the reports interesting and worth studying.
Debunker: Tends to focus on criticizing the foibles of UFO believers and tries to find flaws in hardcore UFO reports.
Advocate: Sees UFO reports as potentially very important and argues for careful scientific study and investigation.
Proponent: Is strongly convinced that UFO reports represent probable other-worldly visitors and focuses on presenting the data in support of that view.
The reader may use his or her imagination in considering real-life examples of each category. These labels should not be used in a pejorative manner. Members of each category can be entirely rational in discussing and debating the issues, and the sooner that is understood the better chance we will have of engaging in a civil give-and-take that will help all of us to gain an approximation of the truth. Facts, logic, and science should be the means of settling disagreements.
That being said, it would be helpful to confine discussions to one of the two following broad hypotheses which can then be further refined:
(1) Nonexistence. UFOs are a collection of mistaken observations based on sociological, psychological, and other human error factors. If true, this should be of great interest to sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists given the worldwide nature of the UFO phenomenon.
(2) Existence. UFOs represent a real unexplained phenomenon. The scientific question then would become: What is the nature of the phenomenon? Is it (a) literally a natural phenomenon, (b) evidence of a secret military weapon system, or (c) evidence of some kind of visitors from elsewhere?
If everyone who considers himself part of the rational center (as opposed to the irrational extremes) were to adopt this approach, it would greatly improve communications and expedite scientific research into UFOs. Neither Scoffers nor Believers have very much positive to contribute to a resolution of the UFO controversy. The rest of us in the center, if we could work together and engage in civil discourse, might succeed in accomplishing something worthwhile. And regardless of the outcome, society would benefit substantially from either debunking "the UFO myth" or establishing it as something very important for once and for all. =================================================================
(Prepared for January 19-21, 2002, "Think Tank" sponsored by Fund for
Abstract. In his chapter of the University of Kansas Press book
UFOs and Abductions, edited by David Jacobs (2000), Don Donderi argues
that the scientific establishment is not well equipped to deal with the
UFO subject, nor is it the only method or procedure used in our society to
establish truth. Other approaches include the methods used by the legal
system and by the military intelligence community. Taking his insights as
a point of departure, I suggest ways in which they could be translated
into a promising new way of calling attention to the serious UFO data.
Primarily I suggest the organization of a National Public Fact-Finding
Commission made up of prominent Americans who would hear presentations of
the data over a period of time, and ultimately issue a report making
recommendations. I discuss how such a Commission might be organized, how
it would operate, and what it might be able to accomplish. Also, I
emphasize that a hypothetical Commission would not be an alternative to (a
substitute for) a more thorough scientific study, but instead a way of
helping to bring about the application of more and better science to UFOs.
Introduction. Having reviewed the various submissions by
attendees, I strongly agree that new initiatives are needed to revitalize
scientifically oriented UFO research and investigation. The non-response
of the scientific establishment, the news media, and government agencies,
as well as the continued lack of or drying up of financial support, leave
us in a crisis situation. "We don't get no respect," nor do we receive
anything approaching adequate funding for even beginning to deal with the
complexities of "the UFO problem." Why should "we" (depends on the meaning
of the word "we") when "we" either embrace or passively co-exist with
kooks, con-men, and New Age mush-brains. Until we who stand for careful,
scientific study of UFOs clearly differentiate ourselves from the
unscientific, and sometimes even anti-scientific, elements it seems highly
doubtful that we will ever get anywhere. They becloud all attempts at
serious, factual discussion of the evidence.
Ongoing good works. To put our meeting in context, I will
briefly review some very worthwhile projects currently underway. This
meeting certainly is a worthwhile effort to seek new approaches. However,
the Fund and the UFO Research Coalition also are engaged in what to me
appears to be the most objective, scientific attempt to capture real-time
data on UFO abduction incidents, and publication of various important
reports. Bob Bigelow's National Institute for Discovery Science has been
aggressively investigating UFO-related incidents, and in the process has
utilized not only scientists, but also such people as retired police
detectives and former members of the military intelligence community, in
keeping with Don Donderi's insights. NARCAP, the pilot-sighting network,
potentially is a very important proactive effort to gather real-time data.
On another front altogether, the Sign Historical Group (along with some
independent investigators) has been exhuming historical documents and
records that shed new light on the early history of UFOs. A new initiative
is underway to gather signatures for a petition to the United Nations
asking for some simple steps to encourage member nations to be open and
forthright about UFOs.
Case Book. I strongly endorse Eddie Bullard's proposal for a
carefully derived "Case Book" of meticulously investigated cases. This
approach was scheduled to be used by the University of Colorado UFO
Project, but was never implemented. Once a Case Book is produced, among
the many uses that it could be put to would be to actively seek dialogue
with members of academic science departments during which the scientists
would first be asked to explain the reasons for their (presumed)
skepticism, and then exposed to the Case Book and asked to sit down across
the table and discuss the Case Book. Similarly, meetings could be sought
with editors of major daily newspapers, science editors, or Members of
Congress, as appropriate or desirable. By this means the focus would
remain where it belongs, on UFO cases rather than on opinion, speculation,
exotic propulsion schemes, and the like.
Fact-Finding Commission. In the context of all these ongoing
efforts, and new proposals, I envision the formation of a nonpartisan
National Public Fact-Finding Commission that would be only one prong of a
multi-pronged attack on the problem. (Part of a "full-court press" to the
basketball-literate amongst us.) What it could provide is a focal point
for public discussion of UFOs as a scientific issue, news coverage because
of the caliber of the people involved and possibly also of individual
cases that, under the circumstances and presented in a new context, strike
a chord that they haven't before, and presumably the Commission meetings
would also stir controversy and attempted rebuttals...all fodder for the
news media and likely to stir up dormant interest in the subject. Perhaps
most important of all, such a Commission could provide a comfortable forum
for important witnesses to speak out when they have not felt able to do so
in the past for fear of ridicule or job loss.
Elements of the Commission:
(1) Commissioners (prominent Americans and public figures from various
professions, including Government, the judiciary, legal profession,
business, politics, science...).
(2) Counselors (to organize and coordinate all presentations to the
Commission, and to vet potential witnesses; candidates for Chief Counsel:
Don Donderi; Mike Swords).
(3) Presenters (well-informed and articulate persons who would make
presentations of specific or collective evidence and data; e.g., Walter
Webb, Jennie Zeidman).
(4) Witnesses (to testify on personal knowledge of specific cases;
e.g., Lt. Col.Coyne; Col. Halt; DIA guy re: Iran case; Delbert Newhouse;
Joachim P. Kuettner; David R. Saunders; Robert Salas, ICBM site missile
The Commission would meet for something like one year to 18 months,
enough time to allow for thorough presentations and discussion of data.
Depending on funding available, it might meet every two months or every
three months. It would be a quasi-judicial proceeding whereby the panel of
Commissioners would listen to presentations of data and study exhibits,
question the presenters, and call for any other witnesses they wish who
might have a different perspective. Commissioners would not comment on a
daily basis unless they wished to do so as individuals. The meetings would
be open and public, with a press gallery and seating for interested
members of the public. Any exhibits presented in the course of testimony
would be available to the public unless the witness required anonymity or
there were other overriding reasons for withholding the information. This
is only a broad outline; many specific details would need to be worked
The stated mission of the Commission would be to hear testimony from
concerned members of the public in regard to their experiences related to
UFO sightings. A major goal would be to clarify the factual evidence as
reported by credible witnesses, and to resolve controversy about the ways
in which human institutions have dealt with the subject, in the national
public interest. Public education would be an important element of it, as
would the setting of an example in regard to witnesses receiving a fair
hearing without ridicule, and full public reporting of the relevant data.
The Commission would not be asked to pass judgment on the “reality” or
nature of UFOs. Their final product would be a report on findings and
recommendations for public policy in regard to future official handling of
UFO reports. What, if anything, should the Government and/or other
institutions of society do to ensure adequate investigation, analysis, and
full public release of UFO sightings reported by credible
What Would It Accomplish?
If the Commissioners were generally perceived as being fair-minded and respected members of society without regard to political party lines, their very willingness to participate would be newsworthy. As the public proceedings progressed, there would be all sorts of news generated by the sessions. Just picture Jennie Zeidman presenting her findings on the 1973 helicopter-UFO encounter in Ohio, and Lt. Col. Coyle appearing as a witness. Never mind that the cases are "old," the mere fact that a panel of respected Americans was listening to the presentation would generate not only news, but new attention to the UFO subject as, after all, possibly being worthy of another look. The Case Book, NARCAP, NIDS, and other initiatives could be pressing forward on parallel tracks, and in some instances could participate in the work of the Commission.
"RUNNING CODE": THE NIGHT THE ALIEN
PROLOGUE. This article originally was drafted as a sample chapter for a proposed book on the 1978 McGuire AFB case. It was hoped that a publishing contract with an advance on royalties would enable me to tie up some important loose ends in my investigation. These included a planned face-to-face meeting with another primary witness living in a distant state and acquiring additional documentation. Despite two promising prospects, no contract was ever obtained.
Although I am well aware that investigation is far from complete, it seemed important to report for the record what I have found out so far. Having met the primary witness on numerous occasions and corresponded with him over many years, I have a full picture of his family background and professional career. Today he has a Masters Degree in Human Relations and a B.S. in Business and Management, both from major universities.
He has cooperated fully, answered all questions, and provided important details as well as leads to additional information. On one occasion when he lived in Virginia, I met with him and his wife and colleagues at their home. On another occasion, Len Stringfield (who requested my help in his investigation and introduced me to the witness) arranged for him to meet with my brother, Bill, and Bruce Maccabee. Later, the witness agreed to the taking of a formal legal deposition which was witnessed by, among others, Don Berliner and Rob Swiatek of the Fund for UFO Research.
This Prologue is necessary in order to make it clear that the witness is a known quantity. At this point there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the report is authentic, and since it literally represents a case of corpus delicti it is of first order importance. The fact that several of the officers involved have denied to other investigators having any knowledge of the incident is not surprising at all under the circumstances. I have long since come to the conclusion that this case is so important and held in such complete secercy that it will take a thorough Congressional investigation to pry loose the full story.
As night wore on into morning, Sgt. Jeff Morse and his Air Force security police partner, Sgt. Mark Larimer, were patrolling their assigned area on the grounds of McGuire AFB, New Jersey, an important Military Airlift Command base that housed combat aircraft and nuclear weapons. As members of the 418th Security Police Squadron, they were responsible for base security and law enforcement.
What started out as a routine--almost boring--11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift assignment gradually took on nightmarish qualities as time passed, and began to resemble something out of the Twilight Zone. By about 1:00 a.m. they had checked the offbase housing areas and the main base, performed some building checks, and were settling in for a peaceful evening. Everything seemed in order. Morse could afford a little time to reflect on how well his chosen career was developing.
Several of his family members had been in law enforcement work, so Morse was carrying on a family tradition. He had been assigned to McGuire for OJT (on-the-job-training) in police work for just over a year, since graduating from Air Force law enforcement school at Lackland AFB, Texas. He had also undergone combat training at Camp Bullis Training Center in San Antonio. The assignment at McGuire was for three years. At age 18, He considered it a privilege to be guarding such an important base.
The night of January 18, 1978, was crisp and clear, the air very cold, windy and dry. The stars were sparkling brightly. A gibbous moon hung in the sky, due to set about 8:00 a.m. The military patrol car, a sedan, had a balky heater, so Morse fiddled with it trying to get it adjusted.
Although he often worked alone, on this night he had a partner from the security police side, Mark Larimer. Morse, whose assignment was general law enforcement, was showing him the ropes about that side of Air Force police work, which was similar to civilian police work but included base security work as well.
The law enforcement and security police wore identical uniforms and insignia. Both were "Blue Berets," Air Force police with formal schooling. They had SECRET clearances and were authorized to carry arms and to make arrests. Their boss, the commander of the security police squadron, was the Air Force equivalent of an Army provost marshal: "chief cop." The main responsibility of the security police was to guard airplanes and nuclear weapons against possible foreign agents or saboteurs.
The radio linking the patrol car with the desk sergeant on duty in the command post was quiet, as it normally was at that time of night in mid-winter. Not much was happening, so Morse decided to show Larimer the procedures involved in guarding base entry points such as the numbered gates. Some time after 1:00 a.m. he radioed into the command post offering to relieve the gate guards for food and rest room breaks.
The desk sergeant checked the logs, then dispatched Morse and Larimer to Gate #5 on the rear side of the base, the one gate in that area near the fence line adjoining Fort Dix. Gate #5 was a little-used gate in a very dark, remote area of the base, a miserable assignment for any self-respecting cop to guard. The guy on duty no doubt would welcome a break.
As they were en route to the gate, the radio suddenly crackled alive. Morse and Larimer heard a tense voice admonish them that sightings of unusual lights in the sky flying in formation had started coming in from scattered locations; that they should be on the alert for anything out of the ordinary. At first they treated the information as a joke, until they stopped the patrol car and got out to look up at the sky to see for themselves what was going on.
High in the sky formations of odd looking bluish-green lights were cavorting over the base. At first Morse and Larimer were shocked by the sight, wondering what they were looking at. It was an intriguing spectacle. They were single lights, not the familiar running lights of aircraft. And they were performing some pretty amazing aerobatics.
The objects continued to fly back and forth, changing formation several times, passing over the base and then turning back for another fly-by. Morse counted 12 distinct objects in a formation headed south to north, and then apparently the same formation of 12 objects returning on a north to south pass. The high level of aerial activity at this time of night, including the formation flights, was totally unprecedented for any type of aircraft they knew about.
Morse noted that the first formation was of two parallel lines of objects, with the individual objects staggered in line. Then two arrow-shaped formations were visible at different angles. The final formation was arrayed in a crescent shape, until the objects abruptly dispersed and flew off in different directions. What sort of aerial "fireworks" were these? After a while they stopped watching the repetitive flights and went back to work, but the sightings continued for a long period of time.
Morse's friend, Bill Cleninger, another sergeant of equal rank, had been assigned dispatch duty as desk sergeant that night. On the radio he sounded somewhat upset, confused, and very excited by the sightings. Part of his responsibility was to prioritize events for response and to issue follow-up assignments, while keeping superior officers informed of what was going on if something out of the ordinary occurred. Right now he had his hands full as the UFO reports continued to pour in, confirmed by personnel in the base control tower.
At approximately 0330 hours, Morse heard the sirens of civilian police vehicles running code (sirens wailing and lights flashing) on the roadway outside the perimeter of the base fence line. In the distance he could see a New Jersey State Police car passing by on Wrightstown-Cookstown Road in hot pursuit, heading in the direction of Fort Dix Army base. Fort Dix bordered on the south-southeast fence line of McGuire AFB, and security personnel of the two bases shared a radio channel to coordinate law enforcement activities.
Following the state police car was a Fort Dix military police patrol, also running "Code 3," lights and sirens. Morse thought this was rather unusual since the Fort Dix MPs ordinarily never left their areas. He speculated that they must have taken a break at the nearby 7-11 store or Ernie's pizza parlor just outside of Gate #1.
At first he and Larimer thought the police activity outside the base could have been something routine, perhaps pursuit of a speeding car from some off-base incident. Fort Dix, as an open base, often attracted traffic violators who sought refuge there while trying to elude pursuit. But then the dispatcher informed him that the New Jersey State Police were attempting to gain entry to the air base at Gate #5, near the secluded rear runway adjoining Fort Dix.
Sgt. Cleninger instructed them to proceed to Gate #5 to assist the state trooper. As they approached the gate, they heard Cleninger communicating on another frequency with the Fort Dix Army dispatcher. Both were talking very excitedly, and trying to speak with an Army MP patrol that was in hot pursuit of something nearby and, apparently, in the process of making contact with the "violators." Then there was something about a shooting.
Arriving at the gate, Morse allowed the state trooper to enter the base, asked him the nature of his mission. The officer replied that he and the Army MP patrol had been chasing an unidentified low-flying object that, whatever it was, was headed in the direction of the southeast fence line. The MP had radioed a description to his base: an oval object giving off a bluish green glow. A sense of urgency and near panic set in when the transmission from the MP was abruptly cut off. They didn't know exactly where he was or what was going on.
Sgt. Cleninger, meanwhile, informed Morse by radio that he was now in contact with the Fort Dix dispatcher by telephone. He instructed Morse to call him on the phone at the gate so he could relay what he had just been told. Over the telephone line, Cleninger told Morse that radio contact had been regained with the Army MP, and it was learned that he had had a close encounter with the unidentified object, and apparently with one of its occupants as well.
The MP said that the object was hovering very close to his vehicle, and that out of nowhere a "thing" (in his words), a being of some sort, had suddenly appeared directly in front of his vehicle. It was about four feet tall, grayish brown in color, with a proportionally large head, long arms, and a slender body. Badly frightened, the MP had panicked and fired five rounds from his .45 caliber pistol into the creature, and one upwards into the object hovering above him.
The object responded by accelerating straight up into the night sky, apparently abandoning the wounded creature. High overhead the object had rejoined the other eleven blue-green objects which were moving slowly, sort of hovering in position. In fact, Morse and his partner had seen a single object joining in with the larger group of objects at high altitude, but they had not seen where it came from.
The frantic MP said that the wounded being had fled toward the McGuire fence line, but they had lost track of it there. Following orders, Morse led the state trooper to the inactive runway near the fence line where they used their headlights and spotlights to search for anything out of the ordinary. This area was only used by the Air National Guard. Several F-4 fighter jets were parked on the flight line, and several munitions storage areas were nearby.
Morse inquired of the desk sergeant, asking what exactly they were looking for. The answer startled him: "Whoever or whatever the MP shot." Since it had fled toward the McGuire fence line, it may have entered the base, he was told. So they were looking for an injured someone or something.
It was getting very late, and the state trooper and Morse drove their separate vehicles along at a crawl, windows down, getting colder and colder, their spotlights searching through the darkness. The state trooper was getting impatient, saying that he was too busy to be playing games and that after they made a pass at searching the fence line and runway he intended to wrap it up. Seeing nothing unusual near the fence line they next headed for the area of the taxiway leading to the active runway.
By now they could see Army personnel on the other side of the fence line using spotlights to search there. There seemed to be a lot of discussion, and a group forming near a particular area of the fence line where the inactive runway made a sharp right turn in an easterly direction. Perhaps they had found the mysterious person or thing, and the thought crossed Morse's mind that after all this trouble they were going to miss out on it.
All of a sudden the two vehicles abruptly braked to a stop, as their headlights revealed a motionless figure lying prone on the cold concrete in the middle of the inactive runway, about 50 feet directly in front of them. There was no sign of how it got over or through the fence. They sat awestruck for a few seconds, then Morse grabbed his microphone and quickly informed the desk sergeant about their discovery.
"What does it look like?," Sgt. Cleninger asked. "It's about 4 feet in length, grayish brown in color, with a fat head and long arms," Morse replied, struggling to come to grips with what he was looking at.
Morse and the trooper got out of their vehicles and were about to approach the body, noticing a pungent, ammonia-like stench in the air. As the trooper and the two security police stood side by side gaping at the body, they asked each other simultaneously, "What the hell is that thing?"
By now it was obvious to Morse that Cleninger, back at security police headquarters, was taking instructions from higher authorities and passing their orders on to him. Before they had ventured much closer to the body, he was instructed to escort the
New Jersey state policeman off the base and to set up an entry control point (ECP).
The trooper protested, but this was now standard military police business: a body had been found on the base within their jurisdiction. All civilians must now leave the area. The point where it lay on the old runway was a crime scene, and it was Morse's duty to secure the area while senior officers and investigators marshaled their forces and made their way to the site.
He retrieved several poles and lengths of rope from the trunk of the patrol car and began to set up a perimeter, instructing his partner, Larimer, to escort the trooper off the base. While setting up the rope standards Morse was joined by two additional security patrols that began to set up a perimeter to the northern side of the controlled area around the "crime scene."
About this time the radio traffic became very intense, almost frantic, and they were ordered to switch to a "secure" channel. To Morse, the channel didn't sound secure. Usually, a secure channel provided a one-to-one link between the investigating officers and the desk sergeant, but in this case it seemed to him that everyone and their grandmother were on the channel all trying to talk at once.
Morse's duty was to relay information to the desk sergeant on what was happening in general, who was showing up at the ECP, and who was asking permission to enter the secure area. Authorized officials had to be separated from curiosity seekers trying to gain entry. But due to the chaotic communications, he had difficulty getting in a word at all.
Individuals who were authorized to enter the controlled area were given a mathematical clearance code by the desk sergeant, assigned by protocol, and acknowledged by a simple sign language between officials and the policeman at the ECP. The code could be as simple as the security policeman holding up three fingers and awaiting a correct response of five fingers by the person requesting entry, to equal the number eight.
This system allowed important personnel to gain faster access than would the cumbersome procedure of checking all IDs and asking for verification of their authorization to enter the area. For security reasons, however, the code would only remain valid for about 30 minutes maximum. It would be continuously changed or upgraded according to the level of security prevailing.
Within 30 minutes of their finding the body, Morse saw a group of about a dozen security police that he first took to be law enforcement "augmentees" arrive in a step van and take charge of the investigation, but that didn't make any sense. The new arrivals did not look or act like augmentees at all, whose normal role would be to back up the regulars. They would have arrived one by one, not in an organized group, and would have been assigned to the perimeter while the regulars conducted the investigation. Furthermore, they were armed with AK-47s and grenade launchers. They weren't the recognizable professional investigators of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) either.
In the Air Force police "augmentee" system, law enforcement police cross-trained on the security police side at times. On this fateful night, Mark Larimer was cross-training as an "augmentee" for regular law enforcement. Law enforcement personnel also conducted investigations, but in the event of a felony or major crime would be pre-empted by the OSI. Organization charts and procedural matters like these would take on new importance to Jeff Morse later on, while trying to understand what he observed that night.
Although the armament of the newly arrived security police might not have been unusual if the senior officers thought some kind of serious base incursion was threatened, heavy weapons were kept in an armory and would not have been readily accessible on such short notice. Morse was armed only with a .38 revolver. On the radio he heard the special group referred to as the "recovery team." He had never encountered them before.
Manning his ECP some distance away, Morse watched as senior officers and emergency personnel arrived on the scene and the recovery team went through a seemingly well-rehearsed procedure. Morse also noticed that they were all senior enlisted men, wearing the chevrons of rank but no patches or insignia that would identify their unit. He wondered what was going on, but was primarily occupied in performing his assigned duty and didn't give that much thought to it at the time.
In the next 24 to 48 hours the "strangeness" level increased, as a number of peculiar events transpired. Only then did Morse began to piece together in his own mind that he must have been involved in something of a truly extraordinary nature. All he knew at the moment was that the body did not appear to be human, but even that did not fully register at first. From 50-75 feet away the body appeared slimy, almost snakelike in texture. Then there was the stench.
The thought occurred that maybe it was one of the homeless persons known to live in the nearby woods. But if so, why all the high level of response? As he stood guard on the perimeter, he saw the base commander, the security police squadron commander, and the OSI commander at the scene. They apparently knew all about the "recovery team," because they watched without interfering as it performed its functions.
EPILOGUE. By morning, Morse and Latham had watched from slightly different perspectives as base clinic personnel sprayed the body with something from a backpack, and the "recovery team" crated it, and forklifted the crate onto an Air Force cargo plane that had arrived from Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. After the plane took off, the other personnel dispersed.
The air police on the scene were debriefed, sworn to secrecy, and shortly afterwards shipped to various bases around the world. Morse was transferred to Guam. Before departure, however, he was subjected to intimidating interrogation at Wright-Patterson AFB by a quartet of men in civilian clothes.While stationed on Guam, shortly before his enlistment was up, Morse heard Len Stringfield talking on Armed Forces Radio about his studies and contacted him. This eventually led to several episodes of threats and intimidation over the years, and when Morse attempted to apply for a position in a Federal law enforcement agency, he found that he was blackballed
The following links are to recommended UFO investigation and research sites that are scholarly and scientific in nature:
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