UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kevin Randle -- UFO researcher? Really?

Here is an excerpt from a piece by Kevin D. Randle in UFO Report magazine, Spring 1975, entitled, Mysterious Clues Left Behind by Flying Saucers (Page 37):

Note the third paragraph, where Randle writes that "The military showed up in strength..."

Where's the substantiation, the citation that proves the military did, indeed, show up?

We have a number of other Randle articles, and many by Jerome Clark, which, in hindsight, indicate some sloppy reportage, and mind-sets that indicate a bias toward believability of accounts by anyone, anywhere when it comes to UFOs.

The questioning mind is absent by those fellows, at least, in their early incarnations as "ufologists."

Even Allen Hynek, who smothered the Mannor and Hillsdale flying saucer sightings in 1966 by attributing them to "swamp gas" fell for the faked 1967 Jaroslav photo seen here:


Hynek said that the "Analysis so far does not show any indication of an obvious hoax." [Flying Saucers Pictorial, 1967, Page 44].

The teenage Jaroslav brothers admitted, not long after, to making the "saucer" and faking the photograph.

Hynek was dismissed by reporters as unreliable after the 1966 "swamp gas" fiasco and he never regained credibility with news media after that episode.

He never regained credibility with us either.

We eschew the so-called noted ufologists because they've proven to be incompetent or just plain wrong, often back-tracking and making excuses for their earlier "nonsense."

One can forgive them, but one can't forget...their blunders and errant "research."



  • During the adult stage of my ufological enchantment, I started out very impressed with a number of the serious researchers. Their judgements regarding incidents and speculations were to be taken as the last word.

    One by one, the list has decreased to a small handful with the Emma Woods/David Jacobs debate resembling a final credibility implosion.

    I guess what really shows itself is human nature and the way we all change over time. Randle and Clark's views and practices aren't the same as they were in the 60s or 70s. Like all of us, they changed as they got older; sometimes better and sometimes worse.

    One thing I've noticed on Randle's blog is that he has admitted to making mistakes and learns from them.

    All that said, it is a clanger of a statement in your extract!

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 29, 2011  

  • Randle, as old age creeps up on him, is confessional, as is Jerry Clark.

    Their legacies, as minute as they are (since those legacies lie within the UFO realm), have become sacrosanct to them, and others.

    Randle has been blogging correctives and adjustments for a while now, and one has to applaud him for that.

    Jerry Clark remains condescending and obnoxiously aloof.

    At any rate, I, as you, Kandinsky, have tempered my enthusiasm for a lot of the past work by those fellows and most early ufologists.

    They, like a lot of us, were swept up in the excitement of flying saucers, once thought to herald visitors from other worlds.

    We have all grown older and smarter, as have UFOs apparently.

    Th excitement wanes but the curiosity does not.

    What are or were those things?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 29, 2011  

  • Like with political candidates, I don't really care much what today's Ufologists said in the mid-70s.

    Come on. That's going onto 40 years ago. I can think of things I said and did at that age and time that make me just cringe today.

    You're really grasping at straws with this post. Slow (UFO) news day? If you want to knit pick what Randle has to say, stick to the stuff he's writing now.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, August 29, 2011  

  • PG:

    The whole post is about credibility, long-standing credibility.

    When a "researcher" makes a blunder or fudges data and information -- whether then or now -- they should be called out.

    There are no sacred cows in the UFO arena, or shouldn't be.

    I know some people sit in adoration
    of the UFO old-guard.

    We do not.

    They've mucked up the topic with their cavalier approach to research and investigation.

    You can sit at the feet of those guys, and adore them but we won't.

    Randle is providing mea culpas of a kind, but when he has old stuff still on the record or extant -- stuff that is flawed -- that stuff needs correcting.

    It's not personal on our part.

    It's a criticism, that we make with the objective of holding the old-guard and the new to a high standard.

    Just as you excoriate me for the post, we do likewise to others, when they err or commit a faux pas.

    As they said in The Godfather films, It's only business...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 29, 2011  

  • Sorry, RRR. I don't agree with your rationale. The post is just over-reaching for a reason to launch a personal attack.

    If you think it adds to your credibility to jump on someone for something he said or wrote 35 years ago, you need to think that through again. Because, actually, you just sound callow and churlish.

    Today's generation of Ufologists generally behave like of gang of pre-teen schoolyard bullies.

    But, that's a symptom of a much larger problem with our society's current values that's led us to where we are today as a nation.

    We now value confrontation and deadly competition (hell, even cooking and fashion design have been turned into spectator blood sports) over respect and appreciation for, more often than not, valid points of view other than our own.

    In every field of endeavor, we now believe there must be a winner and losers who must be crushed into the dust with no mercy. What a sorry and doomed culture we've become.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • PG:

    I'm not being churlish, but I am attacking Randle's research methods over the years.

    And I'm not alone in that.

    Randle continues to bring up his previous "research" and investigations, which are, admittedly, plentiful and often rewarding.

    But if we are to get anywhere with an explanation of the UFO phenomenon, correctives of even the smallest matters have to be made.

    I guess you are a fan of Randle, and Clark, and Friedman.

    And you consider their work, previous and ongoing as evolutionary rather than sealed in stone.

    That's okay with me.

    It's not academic but it's a nice gesture -- that is to consider early mistakes and blunders as impetuous elements of youth.

    My point in the post -- there are several, actually -- was to show that broadsides were made, without citation, which is a bane to scholarship, and rife in the internet world, especially among UFO devotees.

    Randle, at his blog, continues to make generalizations, while a guy like Rudiak suffuses his comments with citations all over the place, often with spin that supports his belief-system and agenda.

    One can take apart or accept Rudiak's contentions; he gives readers something to gnaw on.

    Randle, Clark, et al. are trying to maintain what they see as their legacy, no matter how meager that legacy is (because it's subject to the fringe venue of UFOs).

    And if that's the case, their legacy has to be examined.

    That's the academic way.

    You may hate that, but there it is...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • You talk about Kevin Randle. He may well have discarded much, if not most, of his writings of the 70s. But in the end he is a conspiracist, even if a mild one
    (in comparison to certain others).

    This is because he still insists Roswell was an ET craft. This craft was gathered up by the USAF, along with alien bodies, and is still being held under top secrecy by them.

    Therefore Kevin qualifies as a conspiracist.

    But as a researcher he is still entitled to this view, even if he has discarded a lot of his own evidence of the past.

    We all 'draw the line' somewhere. But that line rises and falls a lot with some researchers over the years.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • I keep trying to make that point, CDA, but some (PG, for example) cut the flawed ufology and ufological research a lot of slack, which is anathema where I come from.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • The problem with this article is that the Randle example isn't research or an investigation. It looks like issue filler, perhaps under the rubric of 'physical trace reports', no doubt next to something like Reports from Brazil or Montana -- as you know, collecting and disseminating ufo reports was the main activity of ufo pubs of the day. Then there's the matter for a writer to get "stage time" while they develop.

    This doesn't disparage the points you are making. Just that, whether they notice it or not, others will sense it to be unfair of you.



    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Yes, Don, I get it that my ongoing postings about the UFO geezers has a patina of unfairness about them.

    But I don't really care.

    Those guys are mean-spirited and disingenuous.

    I've dealt with them for a long time, and I'm no fan.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • I’m not sure what your obsession with me is, and I normally don’t respond to these sorts of things, but I thought I’d do it this time.

    That article is the very first that I ever had published and it came out, originally in Saga’s 1973 UFO Special. I began writing it while still on my first tour of active duty with the Army and finished it after I became a freshman in college which means I was basically a high school graduate at the time.

    Here’s the history. I wrote a generic piece on UFOs and on page seven, in three paragraphs, mentioned some physical evidence. One of the editors, David Elrich, if you must know, wrote back and said they couldn’t use the piece as written but if I could expand those three paragraphs, they’d take a look. So, I did another article that talked about physical evidence.

    Elrich said that I used too much stuff that was well known. They’d like to see some new material, so I called Coral Lorenzen and asked for help. I talked with Toni Page who published The Cross Country News, which was an aviation paper based at Love Field in Dallas. Page always included a UFO story or two in her paper. I looked for other sources of information. And I wrote the new article, mentioning, briefly some of those older cases.

    Elrich said fine, but they’d like a little expansion on the older cases so I put back in the material I took out, and the article was accepted. I suspect now they took it because they were planning on that UFO Special and they needed material. Mine was there.

    It was written in a time and style that was acceptable to the editors. I supplied them with background material to validate what I had written, and the article was heavily edited (which means that some of my clumsy syntax was improved, I learned the difference between affected and effected, and was happy to have the thing accepted (as opposed to excepted).

    So now, nearly forty years later you trot out a couple of paragraphs that don’t meet your standards for citation (and after you published the Stock photographs without mentioning them to be a hoax) and criticize me for this. Well, had you asked, I would have told you the information came from one of Toni Page’s friends who asked to remain nameless, to spare himself the ridicule that often accompanies UFO reports. He talked about the military presence and this was at a time when Blue Book was still in operation. It was not unreasonable to believe that Blue Book was involved.

    This was before Blue Book was declassified so there was no way to verify that the story was sent to them, and frankly, at the time, I doubt I would have contacted them even if the files had been declassified. I do know now that there is no mention of the case in Blue Book, but it would be three years before I had the chance to review Blue Book, and more years before I had a chance to make an indept examination.

    I also know of one case in Iowa in which it was reported that the Air Force investigated with three people and I also know that the Air Force did not. One of the witnesses saw the sticker for Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base on my car and assumed that the Air Force was investigating. It was, in fact two friends and I who were there. They drew a conclusion based on what they saw, but the conclusion was in error.

    So, I tell you the information came from Toni Page, through one of her friends and I had no reason then, nor do I now, to believe the information is inaccurate or fraudulent. In May 1968 the Air Force was investigating UFO sightings. General Arthur Exon told me that he sometimes sent out aircraft on special UFO investigations that weren’t part of the Blue Book operation. This 1968 case seems to be one of those special investigations (and no, I don’t mean to connect Exon to this, only use him to point out that sometimes UFO investigations by the Air Force were not conducted by the Blue Book personnel.)

    If you have a problem with this, well, then it is your problem. I just thought you might be interested in where this little tidbit of information came from.

    By Blogger KRandle, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Thanks, Kevin, for the clarification.

    I know it had to gall you to even respond to my broadside.

    I've tried to acknowledge in my comments here that you've done some reputable work, and you have cachet with most UFO devotees.

    But a lack of citation for such an account is woefully unacademic.

    But you've, as usual, clarified and I'm appreciative.

    Again, thanks....


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Did you not read my message? I was basically a high school graduate who had trained as an Army helicopter pilot. I had just entered college. Of course it was "woefully unacademic."

    The article was not written for an academic journal, but for a commercial magazine that had a particular bias. It was written in the tone and style of the time in which the names of sources were often left out to protect them from the "keepers of the flame."

    I will point out here that Bill Brazel told me that he often received telephone calls early in the morning (2 a.m., 3 a.m.) from people in bars who wanted to know if what he had said was true and if it had been accurately reported.

    That simply means that sometimes we must leave out the sources, but that doesn't mean we don't know who they are.

    But remember one thing. I started the article when I was but 20 and my academic training was high school. And remember the venue in which the article was published. That too dictates how these things are created.

    By Blogger KRandle, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Thanks, Kevin...

    I understand.

    Some of our Einstein Fellows (at U of M) are 19 and 20, one is 16.

    They are nuanced in citations for work they produce.

    It wasn't as lofty 40 years ago.

    My bitching was mainly about what the source was that indicated a military team showed up and scoured the perimeter of the sighting/landing.

    The Editor should have caught that but, as you write, those were lax times in the UFO magazine biz, and I accept your clarification.

    It's water under the bridge as they say, although whomever put the military on to the incident intrigues.

    Left unanswered, compounds the mystery more than it had to be, as you remind readers of your blog.

    Again, thanks for your effort to clarify the issue.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Hi Rich,

    I think you're off base here.

    Kevin is a great researcher. He has a proven record of tracking down facts that no one else managed to uncover.

    However, when it comes to Kevin's interpretation of those facts, I find him wanting.

    Compared to Tony Bragalia, however, Kevin is the height of objectivity.

    Tony finds some amazing data--and he finds it in the thoroughly picked-over realm of famous UFO cases. That makes his finds even more incredible.

    Then he invariably blows all credibility by vastly overstating, misunderstanding, confusing or confabulating his own opinions onto the work.

    It's a sad sight to see.


    By Blogger Lance, at Friday, September 02, 2011  

  • Moi? Off base?

    Lance, you jest....

    Yes, Randle is a good researcher but he destroys that research by, as you note, his glib interpretations.

    Anthony does have a penchant to sensationalize.

    When I get his copy for our blogs and his blog, I have to temper his titles and conclusions. He gets a little excited and goes overboard.

    But he doesn't pretend to be the salvation of ufology as people like Jerry Clark do or as Randle used to.

    Randle is mellowing...

    But back to me being off base...really?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, September 02, 2011  

  • Lance-

    I think that Kevin is a fine researcher as well. He knows that I believe this. And check out his latest book “Crash: When UFOs Fall From the Sky.” You will note that he includes several of my Roswell-related items. And you may not know that Kevin Randle and I have –and continue to- correspond regularly and not publicly. He was the first person I contacted when I found out that the last living Roswell City Fire Fighter from 1947 was still alive and maintained that it was not from this world. Kevin called him as well.

    Now, I do not know why you need to bring me into this or make such disparaging remarks. You run hot and cold- and you have admitted as much. I appreciate your noting that I do make “research finds” that are “amazing.” But I am sorry that you do not agree with their interpretations. You mean that you have never agreed with me ever? You can be so professional in private emails- but then you seem compelled to be a not so nice person when your write these things…

    I have never confabulated my research Lance…that is really going overboard. It is a strong word that basically means “lie” and I think that you should apologize.

    And I do not need you to feel “sad” about me- I know that I do good work and that I do it without seeking anything but truth.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 03, 2011  

  • Dear Tony,

    You really need to understand that this is not personal.

    Confabulation is not intentional. I am not saying that you are lying. I just think that the evidence you find doesn't support the breathless pronouncements you often generate.

    That's what it is all about...being able to semi-scientifically (after all, we are all mostly laypersons, not actual scientists) support your claims. I think some of the stuff you find really does mean something...that it has value as data.

    But (from my perspective) you have to go and ruin things by writing checks that your data can't cash!

    For instance, I couldn't support your Socorro exposure because you didn't prove your case. You found evidence that supported it but wasn't definitive (and some of the stuff seems to be questionable).

    By the way, anything new there?

    So, I'm not being mean, Tony. I'm being a skeptic. I like what you do but I (so far) think you need to use about 500 percent more caution in your claims.



    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, September 03, 2011  

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