UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Where is this film?


  • Rich:

    I tell this entire story in my 2008 book, Science Fiction Secrets. I got hold of FBI and AFOSI files on Conrad, his film, and the full story.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • Nick,

    The one book of yours I don't have.

    (I checked "Space Girl Dead On..."
    hoping it might be excerpted there, but nope...)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • The upshot was that there was no real footage. Conrad (who died an alcoholic in poverty in 82) made the whole thing up about secret UFO footage in Alaska to give publicity to his movie. He was a good self-publicist, but did so in a fashion that backfired.

    But he ended up in big trouble when the government came calling, wanting to see the film.

    The irony I note in my book is that when Conrad made his claims, there actually were real UFO encounters being investigated in Alaska by the Government!

    As Conrad did spend time in Alaska in advance of making the film, I suspect (but have no proof) that he heard some of these real encounters, then incorporated them into his film, alluded to having real Alaskan-based UFO footage to give his movie publicity, and which all led the USAF and FBI check him out.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • Nick:

    For some reason(s), not fully explained, UFOs (flying saucers) were seen (are seen) as an entree to fame, or notoriety if you will.

    No other "paranormal" or Fortean phenomenon has been used so ruthlessly by con-men.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • I kind of draw parallels between Conrad and Silas Newton, arguably one of the "leading" ufological conmen who may have actually heard something about the New Mexico July 1947 weirdness and embroidered on it re Aztec.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • I think Frank Warren might disagree, Nick, re: Silas Newton.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • Yep! But...from 03 to 05, me and Karl Pflock did a lot of research on Newton and pitched a book on the man himself - to be titled "Silas the Magnificent" - to a variety of publishers.

    The chief story would have been Aztec, but we uncovered mountains of material on Newton's other escapades.

    Of course, the whole project came to a halt when Karl got sick, but there was some interesting stuff, that WAS suggestive of Newton knowing certain NM/47 info and seeing capital in it from a money perspective...

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • The point may be that Newton was privy to information that was secret or essential to the flying saucer mystery at the time.

    That he slid, perhaps, to the dark side -- to capitalize on what he knew -- doesn't detract from what he knew, and tried to make public, does it?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • Frankly, I think UFOs only ever meant one thing to Newton (as did oil scams and much more): Money.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • Money is a motivator for many, Nick.

    That isn't evil in itself.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • Greetings Men,

    Back in Newton & Scully's heyday, the former declared he never saw a "Flying Saucer"; this would change towards the end of his life.

    Although it's certainly possible that Newton heard something about Roswell; however, I haven't seen anything to support that.

    His original regurgitation matches declarations of onsite witnesses (ala Aztec), and or collateral witnesses.

    Nick, it's to bad you didn't get to finish the tome on Newton as he was one fascinating character.

    Interesting to note he and a contactee (whose name escapes me) met with eyewitness to the Phoenix Crash," Selman Graves (the latter sought Newton out). http://tinyurl.com/byn2sy

    As to Conrad, he did admit to either the OSI and or the FBI that he "lied." I haven't looked into him so much, and I bow to Nick's more learned position in this instance.

    I did see the film (movie) not to long ago, and I thought I saw that on Hulu . . . although I'm not seeing it there now. Denver Pyle might have dropped that one off his resume years later . . ..


    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Sunday, November 06, 2011  

  • Rich
    Yep, I agree. Having a motivation to earn money (whether from Ufology, working in Walmart, driving a truck or anytghing) isn't evil. We all need to earn money - everyone.

    But Newton was an outright conman who used, conned, and took people of their money.

    In a hypothetical scenario - if someone takes a photo of a real UFO and sells it to the press for $50,000, then good for them, I have no problem.

    I do have a problem with the person who makes a model saucer, hangs it on a thin wire, photographs it, creates a fictitious story behind it, then sells it for money.

    I don't care in the slightest if people make money. But it's the ethics (or lack of) behind how it's done I have issues with.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • I'm considerably looser than you, Nick, about con men and schemes.

    A good con, like those that P.T. Barnum engaged in, can "earn" money and that's okay with me.

    Adamski's scams were interesting enough that what monies he accrued is okay with me too.

    I even think that Bernie Madoff has been prosecuted more than his crimes called for.

    He scammed people who were greedy and trying to become rich using his methods.

    They got stung, so screw 'em.

    Madoff didn't kill anyone, nor did Adamski or Newton.

    So they made a few bucks, in what you see as unethical behavior.

    I don't care. They didn't harm anyone, essentially.

    So I cut them some slack.

    It's the people who pretend to be holier than the rest of us or smarter than the rest of us, but are obvious fools that get my goat.

    I could name them, but you'll find a gaggle of them at UFO UpDates everyday; asses trying to feign a persona of intelligence when, in fact, their pronouncements are just blatantly ignorant.

    Yet, they shouldn't be sent to Hell either, just shunned or made fun of.

    Newton? His "scam" -- if there really was one -- is okay with me.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • But why should someone be fooled into parting with, say, $20 for a book, or $30 for a couple of DVDs, making UFO claims that the author has created out of their own heads?

    They shouldn't.

    We all get taken in now and then by ufological charlatans, but when it involves someone fabricating a UFO story, writing about it in a book, and then selling that book for $20, which a member of the public parts with to buy the book, that's the same as the liar who wrote the book breaking into someone'e house and stealing that person's $20.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • Nick:

    People should be smart enough not to be scammed.

    If someone is scammed, either they are stupid or the scam was so ingenious that it deserves remuneration.

    Caveat emptor.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • Yep, but my point is that the people behind the scams should face the full power of the law. If someone fakes a UFO photo, prints 100 copies and sells them for $20 each, and gullible people get taken in by it, I agree - they are gullible fools.

    But the person behind the scam should be prosecuted and (depending on the size of the scam) fined or jailed.

    That people are gullible or stupid doesn't mean we should allow the hoaxer a free way out, or have a degree of admiration for their actions.

    They're criminals.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • You, Nick, are a harsher taskmaster than I am.

    Faking a UFO photo and selling it to "marks" isn't a crime that I'm concerned with.

    It's crimes where someone takes a life, or molests and abuses children or the helpless, that deserves the whole weight of the law and society's punishment.

    UFOs scammers or paranormal schemers don't attract my ire.

    Adamski made some money with his scams, and I don't care.

    And if someone fakes a UFO photo, as Paul Villa did, and sells them to others, I don't give a good goddam.

    It's the gods we should be railing against, the gods who give cancer to children, or who kill a Steve Jobs a bit earlier than normal.

    Faked UFO pictures or fake UFO stories, sold to the great unwashed, aren't something I'm going to get worked up about.

    You're an ethical guy, honest to a fault.

    That's why I like you.

    I don't like scammers, but I don't excoriate them either.

    They are harmless, in the great scheme of things.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • I agree with all that. But, let's say, hypothetically, someone in your street knocks on your door and says they are looking to get donations from everyone in the town of $20 per person because the guy's wife needs cancer treatment and they can't afford medical insurance.

    You, and everyone else in the street, makes a generous donation, as do sizeable numbers of other people.

    Then it turns out that the woman was fine, and it was a scam to get money.

    Well, the police would rightly prosecute that person for each $20 they swindled out of each person who gave the person money.

    So, here we have a swindler getting $20 off numerous people, who - I'm sure we would all agree - should be prosecuted.

    This should also apply to people taken in by a UFO scam.

    I think where you and I differ, Rich, is that you see a UFO scam as being relatively harmless, and if people fall for it, that's their tough shit for being brainless.

    But I'm sure if you were fleeced in some cancer scam like that above, you would want justice.

    But, at the end of the day - aside from the nature of what's involved in each story - is there really any difference between the 2 scams? I'd say no.

    That, I think, is where we differ.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • Nick:

    First off, I wouldn't give a guy at my door some money for a cancer victim, before I checked out his story.

    And I wouldn't buy a UFO photo or book before I did the same...

    Unless that photo or book was so creative or imaginative, like the Adamski books.

    I used to go to carnivals and pay to see the sideshows, and I always went to see magicians who showed up in town.

    Both were inherent scams, but I knew that, and just enjoyed the scam as an entertainment.

    (I once won a bike at a magic show.)

    When I did a bootleg version of HAIR in Detroit, that was iffy, but I did the show for free and offered it as a freebie to the potential audience.

    (Michael Butler, who owned the rights to the show, shut us down.)

    For me, creative endeavors are often scams....some of Picasso's paintings were so, as were Dali's.

    But are we irate about those scams?


    And Newton's "scam" -- to get back to the topic -- if it was truly a scam, doesn't make me angry.

    It enlightens, in a way, making me wary of other UFO tales -- Roswell, Gulf Breeze, et cetera.

    That's all.

    You're getting a little more upset over a minor rip-off (Newton's?) than I and others are.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • Rich:

    I wouldn't say I'm upset by Newton's actions.

    "Upset" is way too strong a term.

    I'd say UFO scams annoy me because they fog up the field in knowing what to believe and what not to believe. And that's how Ufology has always been and always will be.

    But it's very simple to me: if someone makes money in a way that involves them financially ripping off someone, then prosecute them. Whether it's UFOs or anything.

    But I don't lose sleep or get upset by any of this. Maybe it makes me sigh and roll my eyes now and again, but that's about it lol.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • I agree, Nick...

    It is annoying to get sidetracked by UFO shenanigans but, as you note, that's been going on since 1947.

    And it's going on even now.

    But one just has to sidestep the nonsense and rely on their own abilities to find the truth of things.

    We really don't have time, do we, to spend on the goofballs who inhabit the UFO world.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • Yeah, and there are plenty of those goofballs!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, November 07, 2011  

  • Rich, Nick,

    I agree with Nick wholeheartedly in general and specific to Ufology (re crimes), particularly as the residue of conman Bill Knell remains, and now we have the fraudulent activities of Anthony Sanchez to contend with. Aside from the obvious, as Nick politely states, "UFO scams ... they fog up the field" [of Ufology]....

    Rich, also there is "no good con." "Blaming the victim" in a crime because of the intelligence of the criminal or how well he performed the deed is nonsensical.

    As to the severity of penalties for different crimes–that is a phenomenon unto itself.

    Re Newton: Anyone that has spent time looking into his background, certainly can't label him a saint; however, painting him as "nothing more" then a lowly conman, as has been the status quo since JP Cahn penned his first piece (not to forget the second one which made the first look complimentary) is leaving much off the canvas.

    The simple fact that there are multiple witnesses on record in support of an exotic craft coming down off of Hart Canyon rd, in Aztec, New Mexico in 1948, combined with a military retrieval and post cover-up quashes the ideology that the narrative came from between the ears of one Silas Newton (for a con).

    I would also argue that there is abundant evidence showing that Newton had a sincere interest in Ufology till the day he died.


    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Tuesday, November 08, 2011  

  • Frank:

    Knell is a nobody -- a person we can disregard altogether.

    Whether he should be prosecuted is for the law and society to decide.

    It seems that karma has nailed Knell already.

    That aside, the discussion here started about Newton, and I am not inclined to purge Newton or call him a con-man.

    Yes, he may have tried to capitalize on what he knew, but people in the UFO world do that all the time.

    People are responsible for their own lives. They have to wary, and smart.

    If a con can con, that means the mark allowed that.

    It's when a con-man takes advantage of an innocent person, a vulnerable person, is where one can excoritate or punish such bastards.

    Newton wasn't such a bastard.

    Knell neither. Knell just got away with his crimes because no one was able to put the legal pressure or law enforcement on him in a way that should have stopped him long ago.

    Newton was labelled a con-man to make his revelations seem to be untrue.

    He was vilified to shut him up.

    If someone cons me, and I fall for it, that's my fault.

    If the law don't get him, I will, on my own.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, November 08, 2011  

  • Rich,

    You wrote:

    Knell is a nobody -- a person we can disregard altogether.

    I agree with the sentiment in a proverbial way; however he can't be disregarded because he has left a swath of victims in his path both on the wholesale level via researchers, authors, film-makers etc., and on the retail level by marketing pirated goods to the public.

    I might add, which in part goes to your argument: he was able to get away with his nefarious activities (for decades) because the "majority" of his victims and or people that were cognizant of his ways were apathetic to them. Additionally, I believe we haven't heard the last from Bill Knell (sadly).

    You wrote:

    If a con can con, that means the mark allowed that.

    Like with Newton, the argument is just not that simple. A "Mark" makes decisions based on what he or she believes to be facts as presented by the "Con"; those decisions he or she would not otherwise have made knowing the truth.

    Again, just because a criminal is good at what he or she does–doesn't (and shouldn't) put the onus on the victim

    Admittedly, I tend to "lean" your way re Newton; however, what I have always argued and do so in my chapter on him in the upcoming book on Aztec (shameless plug) by the Ramsey's, "it's just not that simple."

    For an example, there is more written about Newton's golf game collectively in the MSM then anything else. One of the highlights of course was was winning the Colorado Amateur Championship of 1942.

    Through his golfing career he would meet and wed one of the first female sports writers in this country.

    Professionally, in business (oil) he was very successful for "the majority" of years of his life, opposed to the other way around; a pivotal point and major downturn (of course) was after the stigma attached to him–post conviction, and the exposé's penned by Cahn. I might add, there would have never been a trial had it not been for Cahn.

    Newton once wrote to Frank Scully, "I've been rich by any man's standards . . .." This a matter of fact. Again, I say, to label Newton nothing more then a lowly conman, is erroneous, as there are more twist and turns in the life of "Si" Newton then a bag of pretzels.


    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Tuesday, November 08, 2011  

  • Frank:

    I'm sure Knell with get his comeuppance, in this life or the next.

    Newton's reputation, like many who know something about UFOs, has been sullied nefariously.

    Anthony Bragalia will be coming forth with some astounding information (re: Roswell) that shows what happens to people who want to tell the truth, about UFOs.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, November 08, 2011  

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