Friday, October 30, 2020

The MUFON Case Management System

The other day, I was looking at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database – the Case Management System (CMS,) and I wondered where it originated? The short version, is that it started when Tomas Karlsson asked MUFON if they needed any programming/database assistance? For the long version, I set out to undertake a little research, mainly using publicly available information; plus communicating with  a variety of individuals. I thank those correspondents for their input. An obvious place to start was to explore old issues of the MUFON Journal. 

http://www.dev.mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/login.pl

MUFON Journals

July 2005 issue, page 2. Director’s Message – John Schuessler.

“MUFON Case Management System (CMS) debuts.

After much hard work and preparation, the new MUFON Case Management System is ready to use. We applaud and extend our thanks to the volunteers who made this possible, Tomas Karlsson, Bob Rawlinson and Jan Harzan are the architects and implementers of the new CMS.

We are pleased with their outstanding product. It can be used to investigate sightings from all sources, so we view that as a way of unifying the work that is being done in the field. We also thank Don Weatherby and Wendy Ban for all the work they did on WUFOD, the predecessor to the CMS, and to James Carrion for the work he is doing on the Pandora Project which converts past MUFON UFO reports from paper to electronic files which will interface with the CMS.

The new CMS Members User Guide has been sent to all State Directors and assistant state directors and is available to download.”

October 2005 issue, page 22 Director’s Message – John Schuessler.

“MUFON Case Management System

The MUFON Case management System is online, operational and maturing rapidly. We are indebted to Jan Harzan, Tomas Karlsson and Bob Rawlinson for bringing the new system from the idea to reality.

We thank Kathy Schuessler for all the hours she works to keep the continually evolving membership database current in the CMS. The team is looking at enhancements and ways to get other organizations to join MUFON in making this a larger and more powerful world-wide system.”

November 2005 issue page 2, Director’s Message – John Schuessler.

“Case Management System clarification.

There has been some confusion about how to view the contents of the MUFON Case Management System (CMS.) It is not necessary to use a password just to view the contents of the CMS. Simply, go to www.mufon.com and click on “UFO Case Files” and then “Latest MUFON reports” and view the reports.

State Directors (SD), Assistant State Directors (ASD) State Section Directors (SSD) and Field Investigators (FI) are granted another level of access to the database so that they may enter and update cases. This level of access is password protected.

When a member is assigned to one of the aforementioned positions, Kathy Schuessler adds their information to the access database, thereby allowing them access to the system."

Oregon MUFON

An article by Keith Rowell, of Oregon MUFON, dated 22 March 2013, announced that MUFON HQ had now added the capability to search the MUFON CMS database, by state.  

 December 2018 issue, page 2, Director’s Message - Jan Harzan.

“Three years in the making and the new CMS front-end is finally ready for prime time. As you know CMS is our Case Management System used to collect UFO sighting reports from the public. It was developed more than 12 years ago, in 2006, and is designed to collect UFO data. It was based on the latest technology at the time and incorporated MySQL as the database manager and the Perl programming language for the logic behind the screens. We also used it to collect related information such as Entity Sightings, Alien Abductions, Animal Mutilations and Crop Circle reports. But it was truly designed to collect UFO reports. This is all changing now

The changes are part of a bigger project that was needed for many reasons. First, more than half the visitors to the MUFON.com website use their mobile phones to look us up and report their UFO sightings to us. The current implementation of CMS doesn’t allow for an easy way to enter a report on one’s phone. In fact, it is downright lousy. To do this right we needed a Responsive Design tool to allow the easy conversion of the data entry screens from platform to platform.

Read that as from your computer to one’s phone or tablet. So regardless of what device one is using it is easy to report a UFO sighting.

The second issue which needed addressing was the ability to report Abduction and Entity cases, especially ones that did not involve a UFO, without having to be presented with UFO sighting screens that are not relevant. With a little magic and a lot of sweat, all of that is changing. Now, when one signs onto MUFON.com and clicks “Report a UFO” the first question that will be asked is “What would you like to report?” One will then be able to click one, two, or three options to report either a UFO, an Abduction or an Entity sighting – or all three if desired.

Depending on what’s selected on the front-end, the question set will be tailored to the type of sighting encounter a person wishes to report.

Big thanks go out to the many people who made this possible. First on the list is Tomas Karlsson, the primary programmer on the project. Also the late Craig Lang for his programming and design work on the front-end, and many others who worked tirelessly to bring this about. Finally, thank-you’s to the following people who helped beta test the site prior to launch: Tom Bowden, Ruben Uriarte, Dinah Lechner, John Gagnon, Tim Martin, Fred Kohler, Jeffrey MacMakin and Ken St. John.

MUFON is about teamwork, and this was a big team effort and one well worth it!”

What is MySQL? 

It is an open source, relational database. SQL is short for Structured Query Language, and is a language used by programmers, both used to control access to the database, and to modify , and pull out data.

What is Perl?

Perl is an open source programming language, created by an individual named Larry Wall

“A history of MUFON”

I then visited the MUFON website, and found “A history of MUFON “article by John Schuessler, which included the following:

“One of the best improvements in MUFON's handling of UFO reports during this era was the development of the computerized Case Management System (CMS). This system was developed by a team headed by Jan Harzan and revolutionized the way UFO reports were handled. It is available for reporting UFO incidents by the public anywhere in the world via the MUFON website (www.mufon.com). As soon as a report hits the CMS, it is automatically dispatched to the Director of Investigations and to the appropriate State Director for action. A rapid-response team has been organized and is used for high value cases. Another value of the CMS is that it is the repository for all UFO cases coming to MUFON and the results of all investigations are plugged back into the CMS as the work progresses. People everywhere are interested in when and where UFO incidents are reported and they may follow this on the MUFON website where they can see a listing of the latest 20 UFO reports at any time. The CMS also automatically alerts the MUFON investigative team when multiple reports appear to indicate something big is going on and that information also goes to the rapid-response teams. The CMS is continually being improved and many more capabilities are being made that will automate more of the CMS functions.”

Radio interview

Jan Harzan was a guest on “UFO Sunday” on 24 April 2020, and part of the show was about the CMS. Here are my notes from that part of the interview:

- Around 2000 developed WUFOD. Developed by a gentleman in Ohio who worked for Lucit (Phonetic) an offshoot of AT&T. Mainframe based.

- Around 2005/2006 Tomas Karlsson, another individual and I developed CMS. Built on MySQL database, very robust and industry standard. Thousands of hours went into development.

- Have own project MAARS – converting paper reports to digital. Kenny Kabrowski (phonetic).

CMS Powerpoint presentation

Someone uploaded a seven slide Powerpoint presentation to SlideServe.com This provides an overview of the system, including information about WUFOD, the forerunner to CMS. 

https://www.slideserve.com/alcina/mufon-case-management-system

Who is Jan Harzan?

In April 1965, when he was ten years old, Harzan and his brother Jeffrey  aged 9, reported a close encounter with a UFO. In 1991, while working for IBM, in a senior executive role, Harzan attended a MUFON meeting in Los Angeles. Then between 1995 and 2013, he was the State Section Director for MUFON Orange County in California. So, the development of the MUFON CMS came while he was in that position, and as Harzan had no formal qualifications in computer programming, I understand he served in a non-technical capacity on the CMS project. Harzan went on to become the Executive Director of MUFON between 2013 and 2020. His formal qualification was a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California - LA.

Who is Tomas Karlsson?

According to his LinkedIn profile, Karlsson is currently employed as a Senior UI Engineer at Verizon Media, in Baltimore, Maryland, where he has worked since September 2014. Prior to that he was employed between April 2013 and May 2014, at Goldstar Learning inc.in Chicago, Illinois. Between December 2012 and March 2014 he worked as a Web Frontend Engineer at iDirect. Hendon, Virginia. From June 2006 to October 2012, he was a Perl/web developer at Alertsite, Somerville, MA. He states, for this latter job, he was a “Perl programmer with focus on modern web applications, ranging from database backend work (MySQL) to HTLM5/javascript/AJAX/Query coding. I am an advocate of open source models.”

Karlsson was educated at the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University and obtained a Masters Degree, Engineering Physics/Applied Physics, 1986-1992.

On his LinkedIn profile, under endorsements, is one from David McDonald, Executive Director for MUFON.

I found a reference to Tomas Karlsson, dated 15 August 2018, where he received a MUFON award “for outstanding service for the implementation of the Mobile version of the MUFON Case Management."

Who is Bob Rawlinson?

I found almost no information on the Internet, about Bob Rawlinson's contribution to the CMS other than what I have already provided. One of my correspondents stated that "Bob really only worked on the data conversion of the old WUFOD cases into the new CMS database." 

Who was the late Craig Raymond Lang?

Lang was a certified hypnotherapist, with a practice in Minneapolis. Earlier, he had completed a degree in computing and electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; plus a masters degree in software engineering at the University of St. Thomas. He was the State Director for Minnesota for MUFON; and the author of two UFO related books, namely “The Cosmic Bridge” and “The Other Side of the Sky.” Sadly, Lang passed away on 19 February 2018. According to Harzan (December 2018) Lang assisted with programming and design work on the front-end of the CMS.

“Making a report.”

I found a section on the MUFON website, titled “Making a report.”

“From a computer system standpoint we store your personal information separate from your case information in such a way that the public can’t see it.”

Once you report a sighting what happens?

“We treat your personal information with respect. Your contact information goes to the State Director where your sighting occurred and to the MUFON Field Investigator assigned to your case.”

“Once you complete the form, click Submit button and your report will be assigned an official MUFON case number and will be sent to the MUFON State or National Director where your sighting occurred for follow-up.”

“If you press the SUBMIT button on your sighting report it is automatically routed to the State or National Director where your sighting took place. The State Director then assigns your case to one of his or her Field Investigators for review and further follow-up as needed. This may, or may not, include a telephone or on-site visit and interview depending on the nature of the report.”

“Each case that is investigated is given a formal case disposition by the MUFON Field Investigator assigned to the case. This is the investigator’s assessment of what the investigation found. The four case dispositions that a case can be marked are UNKNOWN; IFO; Hoax or Insufficient Data.”

“What if I don’t agree with the Field Investigator’s findings?

You, as the witness, may request a case review. To do so, send your statement of why you disagree (one page max) and any facts to back up your statement along with your number, or date of your sighting to hq@mufon.com. Your case will then be reviewed by a committee of three individuals and you will be made aware of their findings. If after this review you do not agree with the finding of the review committee you case may be appealed to the MUFON Science Review Board. The findings of the SRB will be the final word on the disposition of your case.”

“MUFON receives between 500 and 1000 UFO reports a month from all across the globe.”

 Checking the system

I went to the MUFON website and clicked on the "report a sighting" button. This brought up a screen which read “Please read before filing a report! The objects described below have been fully investigated and identified as man-made. If you are reporting a sighting of these objects, please do not continue. STARLINK satellite – read more or continue or cancel report.

I chose to continue. Then a second screen appeared which read: “Please select all that apply to your UFO/ET experience by checking the box below.” There were boxes labelled UFO sighting; Abduction; Entity seen. I chose UFO sighting. This then led me onto the main screen, where I was asked for my contact details and details of the experience. I cancelled out at this stage.

So, a witness generates a report in the CMS by imputing details; a case number is assigned and the sighting goes to a State or National Director who assigns it to a Field Investigator. What does the Field Investigator do? For details about this I turned to the MUFON Field Investigators’ Manual, 2013 edition.

The 308 page manual provides details about the MUFON network; a field investigator’s kit list; media policy; and the ten step investigation process:

1.       Receive the UFO report

2.       Contact and interview the witness

3.       Collection of physical evidence

4.       Recording event measurements

5.       Gather corroborating evidence

6.       Using proper investigative tools

7.       Develop and test your hypothesis

8.       Developing conclusions

9.       Writing the report

10.     Uploading and closing the investigation.

I found that there is an online CMS instruction manual, but this isn’t accessible by the public.

What does a completed investigation report look like? For three examples, click here.

The following image shows the disposition categories for CMS data:

https://mufonfieldinvestigator.blogspot.com/

In summary

So, the witness makes a report via the CMS; it is assigned a case number and routed to the State or National Director, who assigns the investigation to a Field Investigator. This individual researches the case and writes a report and assigns a case disposition; this is reviewed by the State or National Director and the case is closed.

Who can see the case?

If it is one of the latest 20 reports, then  the public can see details of the case, but not the investigation report or the case disposition.

Search the database

On the MUFON website there is a tab “Track UFOs," and one of the options is “search database.” Clicking on this brings up a multiple field screen where you can input variables and search the database. These variables are:

·         Date submitted

·         Date of event

·         Event country

·         Event state (USA)

·         Keyword/phrase

·         Case number

·         Entity

·         Landing observations

·         Shape Color

·         Distance from witness

·         Primary sort method

·         Secondary sort method.

I selected the date range, January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 and for Australia. The resultant screen produced a maximum of 50 reports. I looked at one specific case listed, namely 20 August 2019 at 10.22am. “UFO sighting from plane window on flight from Hobart, Tasmania to Melbourne, Victoria.” Clicking on the VIEW button brought up a “Long description of sighting report,” which read:

“The dark grey orb appeared on the first image of a series of photos when I was trying to capture a rainbow beneath impending storm activity. Photo and support material attached. “

Attached are two MS Word docx documents. I was able to open both of these, see the image taken, details of the flight and camera settings and indeed the witness name appeared there; plus in the second document I could see the seven images taken.

As a member of the public I was not able to see the Field Investigator’s case report, or the final case disposition.

Looking at other cases on the list, there were JPG images available; and MP4 and MOV imagery, plus in some cases the "long description" was quite lengthy. Again though, as a member of the public I was unable to see the Field Investigator’s case report or see a final disposition. Through my experienced eyes, the details one can see, gives you a fairly good idea of what the witness saw, even without a case disposition.

Further information

Later, an overseas correspondent advised me that:

- “WUFOD. ‘World-wide UFO database’ Don Weatherby, Wendy Ban and others in the late 1980’s onwards. Went online about September 2000.

- CMS – Launched in or around July 2005. Replaced WUFOD. Worked on by Tomas Karlsson, Bob Rawlinson and Jan Harzan.

- CMS II (revised.) Tomas Karlsson, Terry Groff and John Jenner…”

Who is Terry Groff?

In the MUFON Field Investigators Manual, there is a section which deals with numeric evaluation of reports. This is said to provide a value "...representing the degree of certainty that the report indeed represents an anomalous event that happened as recorded."

It would appear that Groff assisted in the CMS usage of this certainty index. As early as 2003, Groff' wrote about it. The February 2003 issue of the MUFON journal carried an article by Groff titled "Online Javascript Certainty Index Calculator."

In 2009, Groff became the MUFON Deputy Director of Investigations. Groff's LinkedIn profile says he was MUFON Deputy Director of Investigations from January 2001 to the present. He gives his formal education as Richland Community College, 1984-1985. "None, mathematics, statistics" and under "Tools" lists Javascript.

Who is John Jenner?

In a 2011 article by Dave Bakke, writing about UFOs, Bakke mentions "... is John Jenner, Central Illinois representative for the Mutual UFO Network." John is no longer with MUFON and with his permission, I quote his response to my inquiries:

"I was involved10/2009 to 12/2011. The system was already developed by then and I was just assisting Tomas with enhancements. I was under the impression that Tomas was the developer behind CMS.

I worked with Jan Harzan and Terry Groff from a functional perspective. I do not know Bob Rawlinson or Craig lang. Israel Curiel took over after Tomas and I stopped and he may have done some revamping/rewriting but I'm not sure.

I'm thinking Tomas stopped working on it about the end of 2010 and it was just me for a while then Israel joined. Not 100% sure on the timeline though, just an approximation."

Who is Israel Curiel?

According to a 15 August 2012 article  Curiel was at that time, the MUFON North Carolina Public Relations director, and had been a MUFON Field Investigator since May 2011. Another 2012 article  also adds that he was a data analyst for MUFON North Carolina. A 2014 blog post showed he continued as MUFON North Carolina Public Relations Director through 2014. His current LinkedIn profile makes no mention of MUFON. 

Another correspondent advised:

“CMS server was in Harzan’s house. Ken St. John now works deep in the program and the only one allowed full access other than Jan. Not even the board members have that access. …the server is paid by the budget from the membership and product sales…” 

Ken St John has been the MUFON Chief Operating Officer, since May 2020. 

Additional information

Australian researcher Bill Chalker had some comments about MUFON CMS case number 20706, an event from  Port Jervis, New York, dated 25 November 2009.

The MUFON Journal for January 2010, pages 10 & 22 provide a “Bonus SIP Report” by Richard Lang. It was based on the original case report from Charles Modlin and Vicki LeBlanc.

The incident involved a 41 year old medical professional who was driving alone in a vehicle around midnight.  He encountered a cigar shaped object. He stopped the car at the side of the road and engaged the gear to park. The engine was still running. He heard a continuous low frequency sound.

The object passed over the vehicle. The car’s engine stopped by itself. He tried to use the cell phone but despite being charged, it was inoperative. The witness tried to roll down the automatic window but it malfunctioned. After 2-3 minutes the lights on the object switched off and the car’s engine started by itself. The witness left the area.

MUFON investigators were on the scene within two days. The cell phone was by then working normally. A check for radiation on both the car and at the encounter site revealed none above background readings. A tri-field meter used on the car revealed “Both the electro-static and electro-magnetic fields appear to have been dramatically affected.” A control vehicle was used to compare to the encounter car. All, in all, a significant report.

Chalker, in a blog article dated1 March 2018, discusses this case and points out an anomaly. The publically available MUFON data on the case shows it as a typical “Car stop” case. However, Chuck Modlin, on the Canadian Close Encounter History Channel funded documentary, in 2013, revealed that the event was also an example of a “solid light” case. A previously unknown aspect.

Chalker posed the question “…is whether MUFON publically described a limited account of the case to their membership and to the UFO community, and a more detailed version, incorporating details about “solid light” was communicated to Mr Bigelow’s organisation.”

BAASS involvement with the MUFON CMS

During the Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) era, circa 2009, BAASS paid MUFON for access to the MUFON CMS database. This is well covered in the following articles:

“A tale of three BAASS field investigations.”

“Douglas S. Kurth and the BAASS/MUFON relationship.”

“BAASS wanted to analyse physical evidence.”

“The Pentagon UFO Program’s secret partner.”

“Breaking the silence: AATIP’s secret partner speaks.”

MUFON State Director's Handbook

Someone uploaded a copy of the MUFON State Director's handbook to Scribd This version is the 7th edition, dated 2 April 2018. There are a number of sections relating to the CMS namely:

Section 14.05 - general CMS

Section 22.00 - CMS disposition terminology

Section 40.00 - CMS administrators monitoring of cases, giving details of editing, deleting and monitoring of cases in the CMS. Includes how CMS auto-deletes some cases.

What research is undertaken?

It is one thing to collect sightings data, but another thing is to use it for some worthwhile purpose. I looked to see what I could find on the research side of the CMS. I found two pieces of work by Kristen Ann Winslet:

1. The first was dated 3 January 2010 when Winslet was a MUFON Field Investigator; the State Director for New Jersey and a STAR Team SIP member. It consisted of a memo to the MUFON Board of Directors re MUFON CMS Closed Case Data. Attached to the memo was a set of 84 charts detailing:

- Global Closed Case History by disposition, for the years 2001-2009

-  MUFON CMS Closed Case History for each US state, and various other countries, by disposition 2001-2009.

2. The second was dated 28 February 2018 and provides an Excel spreadsheet with CMS data extracted for the years 2001-2017 with tabs for:

- Charts and covering letter, including most experienced field investigators by disposition; Vallee classification by disposition; closed case history per state; closed case history per country; 

- Resolution by geography

- Cases listed by each field investigator

- Summary of Vallee classification.

Who is Kristen Ann Winslet?

Her LinkedIn profile  states that she was a volunteer MUFON data scientist and field investigator from November 2007 and a research analyst for MUFON since August 2017 to date.

Professionally, she is currently employed in the IT Business Operations, Strategy Planning: IT Portfolio Cost Management for Verizon, since August 2012. At the time of her 2010 paper for MUFON she was employed on Green Energy programs with the Public Service Electric & Gas.

Best cases from CMS

In terms of research, I also found that the MUFON website contains an area "Top MUFON UFO Cases."

Here, can be found the best cases from the CMS for the years 2012-2017, as determined by the MUFON Science Review Board. The link shown for the SRB does not work. 

In conclusion

I would welcome hearing from any blog reader who may be able to provide further details of the MUFON CMS database, and specifically to what research purposes it has been put?

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Task Force of the House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services given briefing on UAP

John Greenewald 

 Recently, U.S. researcher John Greenewald located a US House of Representatives document dated 7 April 2020 which mentions Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.



The House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services submitted a monthly report for March 2020 to the Honorable Zoe Lofgren, Committee on House Administration. The 12 page report is the HR Committee on Armed Services' "Summary of Progress of Specific Studies and Investigations." Page 2 lists details of "Full Committee Progress" and "Subcommittee progress." One of the lines listed states 

"March 11th, the task force met to receive a classified briefing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena."

Note, that even though the item is under the heeding "Full Committee Progress" unlike all the other items which state that "the full committee met," this one states that "the task force met."

Now, the full committee consists of 31 Democrats and 26 Republican membersThere are six permanent sub-committees on the Armed Services Committee, namely:

Tactical Air an Land Forces

Military Personnel

Readiness

Seapower and Projection Forces

Strategic Forces

Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

Each of these sub-committees consists of a number of members from the full committee.

So, what does the reference to a Full Committee Task Force mean?

It means that the Full Committee created a non-permanent Task Force, of a small number of the members of the Full Committee, to look after a specific task. Are there any current or recent Task Forces? Yes, as a recent example, The Future of Defense Task Force released its final report, on 29 September 2020, following the commencement their months-long review, since October 2019. The Task Force consisted of eight member of the Full Committee and was bi-partisan. 

This might imply that there is/was a Full Committee Task Force with a task concerning Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. However, a search of the relevant House of Representatives Armed Services Committee website failed to locate such a Task Force. The only Task Force running on 11 March 2020 was the aforementioned Future of Defense Task Force. Is there anything in its final report about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena? A  search of that document reveals that there is no such reference. The most reasonable conclusion, however, is that the 11 March 2020 classified briefing on unidentified aerial phenomena was indeed given to the Future Of Defense Task Force. Can any blog reader confirm this?

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Project Skylite papers uploaded

 McDonnell Douglas

In a blog post dated 22 September 2020, I had a look at a UFO project undertaken by a group within the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, in the timeframe 1967-1970.

At one point in the post, I quoted from the October 2008 (pp3-8) issue of the MUFON Journal. Author Robert M Wood, wrote:

"The only contact with the government about the Project came towards the end of the spring of 1970 when there was interest expressed by one of the intelligence agencies. This resulted in a draft proposal to "mimic, imitate or duplicate the observables associated with UFOs." We called this potential opportunity Project Skylite, and prepared a good deal of technical information in anticipation of contract work. It never materialized with McDonnell Douglas to my knowledge."

Project Skylite



In that post I mentioned that I had looked for documentation concerning Project Skylite, imagining it to be a continuation, or extension of the 1967-1970 project. But what intelligence agency was involved, and what was their agenda? So, I put a call out to blog readers to see if anyone could assist with further information.

Researcher Louis Taylor responded that not only did he know of the project but that he had some documentation. Louis has kindly scanned 30 pages and uploaded them.


Louis advises that the material was hand written between May and June 1970 by McDonnell Douglas  UFO project employee Paul Wilson. "Paul Wilson did not draft these write-ups as official Douglas draft proposals, at least as far as I can deduce from what I have of his..."

Louis also advised that he had not previously uploaded the documents "...due to their perceived lack of relevance at that time. The focus of this material is the simulation of a UFO incident using weather balloons that carried lights and devices producing ultrasonic noise and magnetic fields...In any case, this material was all about staging a hoax event rather than the study of the phenomenon and its technology."

The 30 pages of documents are hand written, and some are hard to read in part; but they do provide a look at an intriguing project which was apparently of interest to one of the U.S. intelligence agencies in 1970.

In the document titled "Work statement" we read:

"A. Introduction

Assume that at some stage it will be desirable to simulate characteristics either in the air or on the ground. Objective of study is to compare benefits with (?) cost for the simulation."

Click here to read the entire documents. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Wilson/Davis notes - latest data

 Updates 

Since the online publication of the Wilson/Davis notes last year, there has been an outpouring of opinion on the question of the authenticity of these notes. In recent months, a number of researchers have added  pieces of information which speak to this question. I, like many others, have found it difficult to keep up with this flow of additional data. I thought it might be useful to recap what's come forward since June this year, for blog readers.

15 June 2020

Billy Cox, a journalist for the US Sarasota Herald-Tribune  newspaper, wrote an article titled "Eric Who? - the Admiral." Cox interviewed Thomas Wilson for the article., which opened with:

"The admiral at the center of controversial notes describing his inability to access a classified UFO research program says the documents are bogus. Furthermore, he says the alleged author of those notes, physicist Dr. Eric Davis, never interviewed him."

Cox's interviews with Wilson go back as far as 2008. Other individuals who have contacted Wilson have received similar negative statements from Wilson

19 June 2020

In a "Mystery Wire Podcast" Las Vegas journalist George Knapp made a statement. He said he was fairly certain that the notes are:

 "...an accurate representation of a meeting that really did happen...It was typed up not to distribute to the public, but to share with the very tight group of professionals in the NIDS Science Advisory board. Among them was Dr. Edgar Mitchell. It looks like Dr. Edgar Mitchell after he died, his personal papers got into the hands of members of his family , and then dribbled out to the UFO community, and I think this is where this came from."

21 June 2020

US blogger Joe Murgia posted a four part series of articles on the Wilson/Davis notes. Murgia described how he first learnt of the existence of the notes in April 2019. Murgia reached out to Dr. Eric Davis who responded with a "no comment." Davis later made the same "no comment" in response to queries from other researchers. 

The series details Murgia's exploration of a number of aspects of the notes; via comments from Will Miller; Richard Dolan; Giuliano Marinkovic; the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell, and others. The blog series is essential reading for anyone following the saga. Murgia argues that the notes are genuine.

29 June 2020

On a Facebook page, US researcher Christian Lambright drew people's attention to an anomaly in the notes. With Christian's permission I reproduce his words:

"Something odd in the Davis/Wilson documents:

On page 7 is a discussion that mentions Paul Kaminski and Mike Kostelnik. Kostelnik is described as a Brig, General and as being in Kaminski's office at OUSDAT. Kostelnik is also said to be the SAPCO director and a member and executive secretary of the SAP Oversight Committee, among a few other things.

But according to Kostelnik's AF biography (on af.mil) he held the above position(s) from June 1994, through September of 1995, then moved to Air Material Command. In 1997, when Wilson is said to have been talking to these men in Kaminski's office, Kostelnik was  a Vice Commander at Headquarters Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio! 

Furthermore he was not a Brig. General in 1997, having already been promoted to major general in late 1996!

Not to cause problems, but this would seem to deserve an explanation."

Paul Kaminski - source: Wikepedia

 I asked Christian if anyone had been able to satisfactorily resolve this anomaly in the notes, which he pointed out in June 2020? He replied that he had not. He and I would be delighted to hear from any blog reader who may be able to assist with this.  

Back in December 2019, Billy Cox spoke to Kaminski. Kaminski stated "I don't think I knew Admiral Wilson. I don't recall meeting him."

2 July 2020

On the Facebook page of Dave Scott, the host of "Spaced Out Radio" Dr. Bob McGwier made the following comments:

"The most interesting thing that I've read is contemporaneous mail from Thomas Wilson to someone else confirming the meeting and the contents of the meeting BEFORE it was widely distributed."

Later:

"I believe there is sufficient evidence that the meeting was held...I lean toward accepting the meeting and the contents..."

Following these statements I emailed McGwier and posed a series of questions, to which he responded:

Q1. Was the communication from Wilson to someone else, an email, a letter or some other form of communication? Which?

A1. Mail.

Q2. What were the circumstances which allowed you to see this communication?

A2. Happenstance, serendipitous, synchronicity? I was doing work in the intelligence community and a friend been sent the mail. He showed it to me and told me what he thought it meant. I could never forget Admiral Wilson. So this is a personal confidence but did not come from Wilson. I didn't think about it again until this all blew up again.

Q3. You mentioned to Joe that you thought this was in 2004/2005. However, where specifically were you when you saw the communication?

A3. Inside a USG government facility. The person was concerned that the mail might be classified. It may be.

Q4. At the time what were your thoughts upon seeing the contents of the communication?

A4. At that point in time I was a hard nosed scientist acting regularly as an Engineer/MacGayver in the US government and I thought it was probably crap. I put it out of my mind until recently.

Q5. What can you recall about the contents of the communication?

A5. Wilson was complaining about programs dealing with UFOs and crashes that he didn't have access to.

Q6. Do you recall who the recipient of the communication was?

A6. Yes. I do recall. That is what I am protecting for the time being.

18 July 2020

Investigative journalist Giuliano Marinkovic located a reference in an interview with the H+ magazine, published 18 October 2010. In that interview Dr. Mitchell said:

"...another contact of mine, who must remain nameless because he's in classified programs, encountered the Admiral in Las Vegas, where he had been looking for and trying to get into the so-called "strategic access programs" around the UFO incident and had been denied."

22 July 2020

Researcher Chris Jensen alerted Giuliano Marinkovic to similarities between the contents of a 2006 Jacques Vallee novel "Stratagem" and the contents of the Wilson/Davis notes. In a blog post Giuliano lists these similarities and concluded 

"My opinion is that emphasized similarities from "Stratagem" go beyond accidental chance. This could indicate that Vallee probably had his own copy of the Wilson leak at least from 2005, and probably before."

3 October 2020 

On page 7 of the Wilson/Davis notes, there is a statement, attributed to Wilson, which reads "Ran into Bill Perry in May '97 talked about this quietly - he suggested the same thing." (Going through the records groups files.)

In a Youtube video, Twitter user It's [redacted] reports on a response they got from a non-profit operated by former US Secretary of Defense [1994-1997] William J. Perry about the Wilson/Davis notes. It read

"Dr. Perry looked over the document and he does not recall any such meeting as described, nor does he have any memory of a person by that name [referring to Admiral Thomas Wilson.] Although he does admit that it has been many years since and therefore difficult to say whether he would remember if such a meeting had occurred."

7 October 2020

Giuliano Marinkovic listened to 120 hours of radio/podcast interviews with Dr. Edgar Mitchell, looking for a specific quote. he found it on an episode of the radio show titled "We are not alone" which aired on 5 October 2010. Dr. Mitchell says:

"...one of my other colleagues encountered this gentleman, this admiral in Las Vegas, where presumably he was looking into the Special Access Programs...And this admiral was not very happy with the answer that he didn't really have need to know."

A smoking gun? 

What additional information would help us to resolve the authenticity question, i.e. whether or not these notes are an accurate representation of a meeting between Wilson and Davis?

1. A direct statement from Dr. Davis, along the lines of "Yes, there was such a meeting and these are my notes from that meeting" would certainly help. However, based on his previous "no comment," statement, this is unlikely. 

2. A copy of a National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) memo, written by Dr. Davis to members of the NIDS  Science Advisory Board (SAB) along the lines "Guys, attached here is a copy of my notes concerning a recent meeting with Wilson and myself," would be useful. 

Is there such a memo in the currently unreleased papers from the late Dr. Mitchell's UFO files, held by Australian James Rigney? I reached out to James on 10 October 23020, and asked him "...have you heard of, or seen, a memo from Eric Davis attaching the meeting notes, either to select members of the NIDS SAB, or indeed to anyone?"

James kindly replied "I wish I had that document, but alas no, it must have existed. If I had it I would certainly have released it."

Later, in a follow-up email he wrote:

"...it just occurred to me that they may have been distributed at a NIDS meeting, in which case such an introductory memo may not exist. It would be interesting to know when the first NIDS meeting after the the Davis/Wilson meeting occurred...Maybe they called a special meeting to discuss the Notes..."

We may have to wait for the publication of Jacques Vallee's "Forbidden Science: Volume Five," which should cover the 2001 era, to see if Vallee, a member of the NIDS SAB, makes any comments along these lines. 

Resolution

Are we any closer to resolving the question of the authenticity of these notes, i.e. are they an accurate representation of an actual meeting between Wilson and Davis? Some researchers will point out the cons, e.g. that Kaminski's and Perry's comments suggest that at least parts of the notes are not correct, and that Wilson says the notes are not genuine. Others will suggest that the notes have provenance; and were known to at least Vallee, and Mitchell. Still others, read into Davis' "no comment" a belief that this means they are genuine, as Davis did not state that they are not. Others, such as Christian Lambright point out anomalies, which to date have not been resolved. I don't think at this point, that we can categorically say whether the notes are genuine or not. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Mentions of Edgar Mitchell in Jacques Vallee's diaries

 Background

Recently, I was reviewing my blog posts concerning the Wilson/Davis notes. As this set of notes is said to have come from the estate of the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell, I also re-read relevant portions of Jacques Vallee's diaries, which mentioned Mitchell. I realized that I had never chronological read those sections. I then thought that while I was typing them out for myself, there might be some blog readers who would be interested in them. 

[Note: FS and a number refers to Vallee's series of books titled  "Forbidden Science" Volume 2 etc.]

Diary entries

FS2, page 88. 19 August 1971

Vallee was visiting a Madame Mathey in San Francisco.

"A gifted young psychic, the main attraction of the evening, told us of a recent meeting with Dr. Rhine and astronaut Edgar Mitchell (45) at a haunted house."

Note 45 reads:

"Edgar D. Mitchell is a U.S. astronaut (the sixth man on the Moon while serving as the lunar module  pilot during the Apollo 14  flight of February 1971) who ran psychic experiments from space. He went on to be a founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1972."

FS2 page 164. 12 November 1972

Testing of Uri Geller by Hal Puthoff at Stanford Research Institute.

"...Hal and Russell arrive in the company of Geller, New Age researcher Andrija Puharich and their entourage, which included Ed Mitchell."

FS2 page 166. 26 November 1972

Uri Geller performs.

"The SRI team was there...Edgar Mitchell did the introductions, explaining how Puharich "discovered" Uri in Israel, how Geller left the army in 1968, went into show business..."

FS2 page 168. 30 November 1972

On 28 November 1972:

"...they were having dessert when half of a tie pin belonging to Ed Mitchell materialized in Uri's vanilla ice cream. During the afternoon the other half fell behind him in the lab."

FS2 page 204. 22 June 1973

Vallee went to Los Angeles.

"Next I went to see Ed Mitchell and gave him my National Science Foundation report. He liked my idea of conducting psychic experiments using our "Forum" conferencing system, linking various sensitives together. I met his assistant John White."

FS2 page 205. 28 August 1973

"On Sunday Janine and I went to see two movies produced by Edgar Mitchell, followed by a reception at his house in Atherton, with a sparkling pool and impeccable grounds. Mitchell and his friends are researching consciousness, which no two people define in the same way. He seeks the answers in laboratories where trembling plants are said to be influencing other plants, electronics strapped to every leaf."

FS4 page 85. 26 April 1991

"...the Noetics institute continues to amass information about "spontaneous remission," notably the healing of cancer. Bill Harman is still there, as is Edgar Mitchell, who denies ever saying anything about mysterious structures on the moon."

FS4 page 276. 12 November 1995

"The forthcoming Noetics seminar includes a number of people I know...astronaut Edgar Mitchell..."

FS4 page 293. 3 February 1996

Meeting of the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) Science Advisory Board (SAB.)

"Hal told us Ed Mitchell had just attended a Rockefeller-sponsored meeting where individuals with first-hand experiences with UFOs in the government or the military were invited to tell their stories."

FS4 Page 314. 1 June 1996

NIDS SAB meeting.

"The other presentations (one by Edgar Mitchell) also touched on the near-death experience."

FS4 page 349. 11 January 1997

Sixth NIDS SAB meeting.

"...so the only missing members are Ian Stevenson and Ed Mitchell."

FS4 page 368. 3 May 1997

"In the van I had the chance to discuss various theories with Ed Mitchell. He thought there was a change in the UFO phenomenon between the early and late 40's. He believes that there is a secret group, a spinoff from the U.S. government, with access to captured technology. It has reverse-engineered the craft and is busy creating a false threat, to be attributed to "bad aliens," he said, or to satanic forces. But I recall that Ed has been influenced by Steven Greer."

FS4 page 369. 3 May 1997

"Edgar Mitchell (who to my surprise smokes heavily) gave an interesting summary of the Greer briefings on April 8, 9 and 10. Six witnesses spoke before 60 or 70 press people, and representatives from the White House, Congress, the military and the intelligence community."

FS4 Page 391. 17 October 1997

Las Vegas, NIDS SAB meeting.

"This is the tenth Science Board meeting at NIDS. We assembled early in Bob Bigelow's office  as a small task force composed of John Petersen, Kit, Hal, John Alexander, Edgar Mitchell and me."

FS4 page 426 10 October 1998

"NIDS SAB meeting in Las Vegas.

"Kit wasn't here, neither was Ed Mitchell."

FS4 Page 440. 8 January 1999

Las Vegas NIDS SAB meeting.

"Day after scenario.

"Edgar Mitchell pitched in: "At the time we went to the moon, the consensus was that we were alone in the universe. Look how much things have changed!"

The MUFON Case Management System

The other day, I was looking at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database  – the Case Management System (CMS,) and I wondered where it origina...