UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Frank Scully’s Behind the Flying Saucers: An Inquiry

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Frank Scully’s exposé of an alleged flying disk crash near Aztec, New Mexico in 1948 is dismissed by most UFO cognoscenti, although writer/researcher Scott Ramsey and The UFO Chronicles web-master, Frank Warren, do not dismiss the often ridiculed account by Mr. Scully.

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I have an inordinate affection for the book and its story; it was my first book report for a high school English class – for which I got and A -- and I still find the Scully recounting of the supposed incident to be credible, in many ways.

A precis of the incident can be read by clicking HERE.

That aside, I’d like to ask a question…

On page 43 of the original paperback publication [Popular Library/Henry Holt, Inc., 1950], Scully has the discredited, by some, Silas Newton say that “The Air Force took some film [of the saucer alleged to have crashed near Aztec]…But it [the film] fades in two hours, for reasons of security. A special chemical, got only on license, restores the image for another two hours.”

Has anyone heard of such a film?

Remember this is in the 1948-1950 time-frame.

RR

29 Comments:

  • Afternoon Rich,

    Do we get to see the book report?

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Tuesday, December 27, 2011  

  • I'm hoping Scott Ramsay's Aztec book is going to clear up many of the questions on this weird and convoluted case...

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Tuesday, December 27, 2011  

  • Hahahahaha, Frank...

    It was an oral report in front of the class, and I was good, very good.

    This led to my starting, for academic credit, the school's Flying Saucer Club.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, December 27, 2011  

  • Didn't Steinman and Stevens's 600-plus page book 'clear up' the Aztec affair some years ago?

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, December 28, 2011  

  • Now, now Christopher...

    I didn't want to get into a back-and-forth about the legitimacy of Aztec.

    I only wanted to know if anyone had anything about the photography film that Newton mentioned.

    (Let's not turn this blog into a the kind of blog that Kevin Randle maintains -- one where hash is rehashed, to the point of vomitry.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 28, 2011  

  • Nick,

    In my view, one of the things the Ramsey book will accomplish is to finally quash the notion once and for all that the Aztec Incident was invented by Newton & Ge Bauer.

    Rich,

    Did we have a "Koehler persona" to record your oratory? :>)

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Thursday, December 29, 2011  

  • Frank...

    Only the gods remember my exquisite oratory about Mr. Scully' book, which I still admire, even if it turns out that it's fiction.

    Scully provides an excellent overview of the flying saucer situation in 1950.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 29, 2011  

  • Frank:

    I would agree with you on that. I still don't know what to think about Aztec, but what I do know for certain is that the inclusion of Newton (taking into consideration his scams and schemes etc) certainly did not help the case - ever.

    My view is that I don't rule out the idea that "something" may have happened at Aztec, but I think rather than having a hand in creating the story, Newton - always ready for a new way to make more dollars - simply hijacked the story, saw the dollar-capital it potentially offered, and his involvement began then, rather than actually sowing the seeds of the event.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Thursday, December 29, 2011  

  • Nick,

    You wrote:

    I would agree with you on that. I still don't know what to think about Aztec, but what I do know for certain is that the inclusion of Newton (taking into consideration his scams and schemes etc) certainly did not help the case - ever.

    Silas Mason Newton is the second most fascinating aspect of the Aztec case in my view. I don't say this in his defense, as anyone who has dug into his background can't deny his shenanigans; however, as I (also) wrote earlier , there is so much more to him then just being a lowly conman.

    Moreover, I would also attribute "how people perceive" the Aztec case to JP Cahn; without JP Cahn, there would never have been a trial (at least not one condemning saucer scientists as frauds).

    You wrote:

    My view is that I don't rule out the idea that "something" may have happened at Aztec, but I think rather than having a hand in creating the story, Newton - always ready for a new way to make more dollars - simply hijacked the story, saw the dollar-capital it potentially offered, and his involvement began then, rather than actually sowing the seeds of the event.

    Hmmmm . . . from that standpoint, once could easily replace Newton's name with Scully's, as he was the only one to profit from "the story."

    In the end, as I have been saying for years, regardless of Newton, GeBauer and or Scully . . . in fact they can be removed from the scenario altogether, and what remains is suffient evidence in support of an exotic craft coming down on Hart Canyon rd in the Spring of 1948; being removed by the military and covered up by same.

    Rich,

    A pity, as I would loved to hear your "exquisite oratory" . . ..

    Cheers,
    Frank

    P.S. Nick–your help re the Ramsey book was/is most appreciated.

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Thursday, December 29, 2011  

  • I just did a search on the "Polaroid" process: it was released in 1948. I have to wonder if it was this that the writer was referring to? IIRC the original stuff (which I first saw in the 50s) did tend to fade quickly. The rigamarole about security is likely an interpretation of this.
    Or not?

    DocC

    By Blogger MnDoc, at Thursday, December 29, 2011  

  • Thanks, DocC...

    I think you may have it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 29, 2011  

  • Frank:

    Yeah, Cahn was definitely a key factor too.

    Re my comment about profiting from Aztec: yep, I know Scully was the only one to actually profit, which is why I worded it as follows re Newton, namely that he (quote) "saw the dollar-capital it potentially offered."

    I still stand by that. As a conman (but as you correctly note, much more too), I don't think he doubted the case offered some dollar-return.

    But, that was the point of how I worded it. He recognized the possibility of earning money from it. But actually doing so was a very different matter.

    As you may know, up until the time of his death, Karl Pflock and I were working on a book on Newton's life called "Silas the Magnificent," which would have certainly had Aztec as the major part of the book, but with some highly entertaining material on other capers, some less well known, some previously unknown.

    The book was also going to tell the full (and I do mean full) story of Karl, and his shadowy informant re Newton's early 1970s journal.

    This alone would have been something that would definitely have got people talking!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, December 30, 2011  

  • Nick,

    You wrote:

    Re my comment about profiting from Aztec: yep, I know Scully was the only one to actually profit, which is why I worded it as follows re Newton, namely that he (quote) "saw the dollar-capital it potentially offered."

    I still stand by that. As a conman (but as you correctly note, much more too), I don't think he doubted the case offered some dollar-return.


    The general consensus (which has evolved from Cahn's penscript and his involvement which precipitated the trial) is that Newton and or GeBauer pulled a con, and Scully was duped. The evidence that will be presented in the Ramsey book will clearly prove otherwise.

    Since he (Newton) was only the messenger (as evidence will show) and as Scully put in writing (in BTFS), in playing Devil's advocate–if money was the motive, Newton could have pitched and or arranged profit from the book (as you know Scully first wrote about the event(s) in his variety column)–he did not. He could have pursued the money that the Chronicle offered–he did not. One of the movie studio's wanted to make a movie of Scully's book, Newton could have pressed the issue–he did not.

    After being convicted for fraud, if money was the only object one would presume that Newton would put all of the grief behind him–he did not. In fact he didn't skip a beat, as he attended the very first Flying Saucer (UFO) Convention weeks later. For that matter, out of all the players involved Newton was the only one who would stay involved in Ufology till the end of his life.

    In short, Newton's actions don't fit your profile in my view in this instance.

    You wrote:

    As you may know, up until the time of his death, Karl Pflock and I were working on a book on Newton's life called "Silas the Magnificent," which would have certainly had Aztec as the major part of the book, but with some highly entertaining material on other capers, some less well known, some previously unknown.

    Quite frankly I am enthralled with Newton and have done extensive research on him and it is continuing. I would love to hear more . . ..

    You wrote:

    The book was also going to tell the full (and I do mean full) story of Karl, and his shadowy informant re Newton's early 1970s journal.

    This alone would have been something that would definitely have got people talking!


    Ramsey called Karl on the carpet re the "alleged" diary after one of the Aztec Symposiums; Karl admitted to "never having it" and claimed only to have seen it briefly; he never spoke of it publicly again.

    Moreover, any such hand written document would be very easily authenticated as Newton has a very distinctive handwriting. Additionally, any alleged family member's pedigree could have (and can be) been verified.

    In the end, as Karl realized–this was nothing but hearsay (if that); however, if you have any evidence to suggest otherwise, I always remain open to revise my position if and when new evidence surfaces.

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Friday, December 30, 2011  

  • Frank

    You're making a mountain out of a mole-hill re my statement.

    I am always very, very careful re what I write - anywhere.

    And my words were as follows re Newton and Aztec, namely that he - in my words - "saw the dollar-capital it potentially offered."

    It doesn't matter that Newton didn't ultimately profit from the book or the story.

    In fact, it's irrelevant to my statement!

    My only point was this - one only has to look at Newton's 1940s scams to see that, logically (when one considers what he was up to at that time) hijacking a potentially real UFO for gain would be right in line with certain things he was up to.

    But, back to my point, all I said was that Newton "saw the dollar-capital it potentially offered."

    Again, I'm always careful what I write, and I made no claim (because I have no evidence to support it) that he did profit, significantly or otherwise.

    But, for me - having done extensive research on him with Karl for "Silas the Magnificent" - the potential for money-making would surely have crossed his mind at some point.

    That was the extent of my comment and observation on that matter!

    As for the diary, this was Karl's story to tell, and maybe one day the whole story (which I do know, because it was written up for "Silas the Magnificent") will come out, but it's not my place to do that, for certain reasons relative to the source, not to me or Karl.

    I can tell you, however, that Karl utterly - with 100 percent certainty - verified the handwriting as Newton's.

    You say re the journal: "Karl admitted to 'never having it' and claimed only to have seen it briefly."

    I'm not sure why you mention that, because that is what Karl always said, and quite openly too.

    Yes, you are correct: the source who possessed the journal did not let Karl take it away from him. But, Karl was able to take an example of Newton's handwriting to one of the meets and I can assure you the writing matched.

    It's worth noting that the entire journal (or more correctly, Newton's collection of journals extending decades), reveal a great deal more.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Saturday, December 31, 2011  

  • I just realized I wrote:

    "...the source who possessed the journal did not let Karl take it away from him...."

    It should have read:

    "...the source who possessed the journal did not let Karl take it away WITH him."

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Saturday, December 31, 2011  

  • Afternoon Nick,

    You wrote:

    "You're making a mountain out of a mole-hill re my statement."

    My apologies, as that isn't my intent; I simply disagree with your assessment and was offering points for "my position."

    You wrote:

    " . . .Karl was able to take an example of Newton's handwriting to one of the meets and I can assure you the writing matched."

    Forgive me Nick, however, unless you saw the journal/diary yourself, or there was/is another means of verification–it seems that the only "surety" is that Karl made the statement (that the writing matched).

    Scott Ramsey in 2002 asked Karl–point blank if he compared the writing in the alleged diary to Newton's and Karl said, "he could not find any comparisons to do such a thing."

    I don't want to appear to be picking on Karl, particularity since he's not here to defend himself; however, Scott devotes a chapter to him, and several of his claims about Aztec, including the alleged diary etc.

    I think the bigger issue is that if "written documents" of any kind are to be cited and or used as evidence in support of a theorem or declaration then it needs to be produced for validation. Short of that, then the original claimant needs to be vetted in like manner. If this can't be done, then we're back to hearsay and the weight it carries, or more specifically the lack thereof.

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Saturday, December 31, 2011  

  • Frank:

    You said: "Forgive me Nick, however, unless you saw the journal/diary yourself, or there was/is another means of verification–it seems that the only "surety" is that Karl made the statement (that the writing matched)."

    That's true. And I can't explain why Karl made one statement to me and a different one to Scott.

    But, I can tell you that he absolutely did tell me he had several meets with his source, and that because he wasn't allowed to keep the original, or make photocopies, on the final meet he took along something that displayed Newton's handwriting.

    And Karl has always said this - publicly, and in print!

    For example, turn to page 13 of Karl’s self-published report titled “The Day After Aztec” and you will see in the 7th paragraph down, the following:

    “In November 1998, I obtained from William L. Moore a copy of Newton’s holographic will, which I took with me to what turned out to be my last meeting with my source. The will unquestionably is in Newton’s hand, and while I’m certainly not a handwriting expert, the comparison left no doubt in my mind that he wrote the journal, too.”

    By 2001, Karl had several other extensive examples of Newton's writing, and collectively this material - he told me - matched the journal.

    Finally, you wrote:

    "I think the bigger issue is that if "written documents" of any kind are to be cited and or used as evidence in support of a theorem or declaration then it needs to be produced for validation. Short of that, then the original claimant needs to be vetted in like manner. If this can't be done, then we're back to hearsay and the weight it carries, or more specifically the lack thereof."

    Yep, and it's things like this that always have been, and always will be, Ufology's downfall and lack of advancement.

    Words, stories etc are never enough. We need proof of something, hard undeniable evidence. We've never had that, or if we have it has been open to interpretation, or got lost, or stolen, or "the government" confiscated it, etc etc.

    We need undeniable ET material (body, body-parts, debris etc), or we will never ever do anything other than (a) preach to the converted; (b) be a small body of people; and (c) of occasional interest to the media - which has always been the case, and is in danger of ALWAYS being the case.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • Frank:

    One other thing:

    I don't know if this has any bearing on Karl's comment to Scott (which is a somewhat illogical statement, given that Karl WROTE PUBLICLY about comparing the journal with Newton's own writing in his very own Aztec report!!), but Karl also openly said he was never able to get a professional comparion of the writing, because he was never allowed to keep any examples of the pages.

    Is Scott fully sure Karl said that "he could not find any comparisons to do such a thing"?

    Is it possible that Karl said something like he was not allowed to keep any examples, which prevented someone from doing a comparison? Such as a handwriting expert? I cannot, of course, suggest that as the truth, as I wasn't there when Scott and Karl spoke.

    But, the latter is certainly what he told me. Did Scott tape the interview/conversation?

    Is it possible that Scott's memories were of Karl saying no such comparison had been done, or that Karl may have meant no comparison had been done professionally?

    I cannot fathom why Karl would say something to Scott re not having compared the writing, when he wrote about doing precisely that in his report! And, as we had been in touch since 1998, I absolutely know he had a significant body of Newton's handwriting.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • Nick,

    Happy New Year.

    Am out the door and will respond in toto on my return. FYI: I talked to Scott a few minutes ago, and asked him to comment, so I don't mis-speak on his behalf, and he readily agreed.

    More Later . . .

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • Frank:

    Ok, cool.

    Couple more things - the story about Karl getting the will from Moore is absolutely true.

    I met with Moore a few years back to chat about crashed saucers at his California office.

    And I can confirm that the date of receipt of the will was indeed during the time frame when Karl was meeting with his source - hence why Karl was able to take the will with him to what turned out to be the final meeting.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • Uh, fellows...

    I was merely asking about a photographic film process here.

    I wasn't expecting a lengthy back-and-forth about a footnote to the Aztec episode.

    You can continue...I don't really mind, but when we go off the ranch, I'd hope the trip would be more pithy and "interesting."

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • No, I don't mind if we don't continue. The book idea with Karl began when we first chatted in 1998, and ended around 2005 when his illness progressed. And, since then, in the following 6 years, I have not pursued the matter any further. It's all in the past now, and aside from Karl said to Scott and how it's interpreted, it's water under the bridge.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • Rich,

    My favorite pot stirrer! I find it odd that you of all people would want to "pull the spoon out."

    Moreover the implications re the content as painted by Karl in an "alleged" Newton diary is certainly much more then a "footnote" in the Aztec saga in my view.

    Additionally, the conversation that Karl had with Scott (which took place in front of others) has never been publicized until now, here at the The UFO Iconoclast(s).

    I have no doubt that what Nick is relating re Karl's "statements" to him–is gospel; at the same time, I've worked closely with Scott Ramsey for over 10 years, and to use the old cliché, what he says, you can take to the bank! In that vein, it would seem we have Karl making contradictory statements about this alleged diary, about one of the most noteworthy incidents in UFO history. As a researcher this definitely gets my attention.

    I also feel that my commentary here was most pithy, and equally so for Nick's thoughts. More importantly this element of the Aztec case (and the case in general) is most fascinating . . for me at least.

    In any event–you are the captain of this ship, and I will follow the course you set.

    I feel this needs to be addressed, and I will continue my thoughts in the form of an article over at TUFOC; Nick I look forward to your feedback if you're willing.

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • Frank:

    The Newton diary is a truly esoteric aspect of the Aztec story, and while it is interesting to me and you and Nick and Ramsey, I think others find it -- and have been told so via private e-mails --a needlessly tedious bit that strays from my original topic, which I chastised others for doing.

    I've let it continue and will let it continue, if you like, as you and Nick are two friends, whom I always would cut a lot of slack for.

    But you both have to step back and recognize that other UFO mavens: e.g., Paul Kimball and Josh Sordelet, aren't seduced by the Aztec story, and least of all, what I've indicated is a footnote.

    Since you and Nick have invested so much time and intellectual animus, feel free to go on...but try to come to a denouement, sooner than later, won't you?

    I don't want this to become a simulation of Kevin Randle's often far afield comment sections.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, January 01, 2012  

  • Frank:

    One final thing from me on this (for now LOL):

    You said: "Additionally, the conversation that Karl had with Scott (which took place in front of others) has never been publicized until now, here at the The UFO Iconoclast(s)."

    I don't doubt the conversation at all. But, bear in mind, the statement attributed to Karl is illogical for one simple reason: he published a self-published booklet on Aztec in which he said that he DID compare the writing with a verifiable example of Newton's handwriting, which he acquired from Bill Moore.

    This is all absolutely true. Karl did acquire the will (in 1998), along with other examples of Newton's writings.

    So, even if Karl did tell Scott something different (even though I can't fathom why, when he had published that he HAD compared the writing), the reality is there was a comparison.

    Again, I can only come to one possible conclusion: that Karl said something like - "There was no comparison undertaken." But that he meant a professional comparison.

    Karl told me on many occasions that he was never able to have the diary subjected to a comparison...BY A PROFESSIONAL.

    I do wonder if that's what he meant - not his own brief comparison but a professional, expert analysis and comparison.

    Since Karl is now dead, I don't see any way of taking this "he said this to me-he said that to Scott" debate any further.

    As with Roswell, the only thing to take any potentially significant case further is hard evidence, proof, debris, corpses, etc.

    In one sense, Rich is right: the diary is a minor footnote. On the other hand, it does have the potential to open new doors, but only if we can access the diary. Until then, debate is essentially futile, with the key players (Newton and Karl) dead, and the source of the diary in the shadows.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, January 02, 2012  

  • Rich,

    You wrote:

    The Newton diary is a truly esoteric aspect of the Aztec story, and while it is interesting to me and you and Nick and Ramsey, I think others find it -- and have been told so via private e-mails --a needlessly tedious bit that strays from my original topic . . .

    Again, forgive me Rich; as you mentioned "me," "Ramsey" "your book report" and a link to "a synopsis of the Aztec case," I took your post in a much broader stroke then just the question you posited.

    I didn't see the conversation going outside the umbrella of the subject matter as I perceived above. Moreover, (personally) I see comments in a blog, or for that matter a blog itself, or articles therein like channels on a television; if I'm not interested in "the show," I just turn the station.

    Having researched Aztec as long as I have, as well as working with Scott to bring his book to fruition, and in doing so uncovering so much new information re Aztec, to say I'm enthralled with it–would be an understatement. In that vein, it would be easy for me to (diplomatically) remonstrate till the cows came home. That said, as stated before you are my captain on this ship, and I say aye aye sir!

    On a final note I don't believe there was/is an authentic diary, "written by Newton" in the manner that Karl describes.

    There was/is a journal per se, written in 1950 by Newton, but it certainly wasn't any omission of guilt re a hoax–quite the opposite in fact.

    Additionally, in the course of our research we contacted the attorney (or more accurately his office [still in busienss today]), who was the administrator of Newton's estate, and there was never a mention of a will, holographic or otherwise. Nick do you have a copy of this?

    His estate was sued by 3 people in 1973 and by statute, a "legal notice" publicizing the upcoming sale of Newton's assets was posted in the local paper; again there was "no mention of a will" which of course would have affected and or been paramount in such lawsuit.

    As stated before, Scott devotes an entire chapter to Karl in his upcoming book offering sound refutations to his (Karl's) declarations ala Aztec. I will try to frame my arguments (pertaining to the alleged diary etc) in the form of an article at TUFOC in the very near future; as I have asked Scott to comment on this matter, it will include his direct statements, so there's no confusion. As stated before Nick your "two cents" on the matter would be most welcomed there.

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Monday, January 02, 2012  

  • Frank:

    You are welcome to comment in any way that pleases you here.

    Aztec is an interesting topic, but I didn't expect it to go off on Nick's tangent, which is irrelevant to the real nub of Aztec -- that a flying saucer crashed, and bodies, et cetera were retrieved.

    I think Scully had the story.

    But the essence of the story was getting lost, as I saw it, in a futile back-and-forth as often happens at Kevin Randle's blog, despite his protestations.

    No offense to you.

    You have to defend the Ramsey research, which is striving to get at the truth of the event.

    And that's fine with me.

    And I don't see Newton as a bad guy, not at all...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, January 02, 2012  

  • Rich,

    I took no offense what–so–ever. I understand your position.

    Moreover, I respect everyone's opinion and their right to it . . . no worries.

    Cheers,
    Frank

    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Monday, January 02, 2012  

  • Hi Frank

    Nope, I don't have a copy of the will.

    Karl told me he had the will, that he specifically acquired it in 1998 from Bill Moore (a copy of it, not the original of course), and that he showed the will to his source, compared the handwriting on the will to that of the diary, and that in his (Karl's) opinion, the handwriting matched.

    Then, as you know from his self-published report on Aztec, Karl wrote all the above up as part of that Aztec paper, naming Bill M as the source.

    I should stress that when we began working on the manuscript for the "Silas the Magnificent" book, the work was split several ways.

    I was focusing more on the government files angle of the players in the saga (Newton, Scully, Gebauer etc), and Karl was focusing on the private life of Newton.

    And - arguably on the matter of Newton's private life - Karl played his cards very close to his chest on the diary angle.

    Why, I'm not sure.

    But my speculation would be that because he openly told me several times that he hoped his source would one day surface again, Karl wanted to try and maintain some sort of working relationship with him or her and keep things cordial with them, in the event they surfaced.

    But, I can't fathom why he would go tell Scott he had not compared the will with Newton's handwriting, when he said in his published report that this is exactly what he HAD done, and even named Bill M as the source of the document.

    Given that Karl's paper was available to anyone who wanted to buy it, I consider it highly unlikely he would have named Bill M if it wasn't true.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Tuesday, January 03, 2012  

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