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CNI News 20.1

 CNI News - Volume 20.1
 July 12, 1996
 Published by the ISCNI News Center
 Editor: Michael Lindemann
 The stories in this edition of CNI News are:
        Research Polarized Around Conflicting Witness Claims
        A Sad Comment On the Perils of Inappropriate Technology
 ISCNI encourages you to respond to stories in CNI News.
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 Center Feedback"
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 The subject matter of CNI News is inherently controversial, and the views and
 opinions reported in the news are not necessarily those of ISCNI or its
 The next edition of CNI News will appear on Friday, July 19.
 Please note: This is the first Friday edition of CNI News, and the first to
 be delivered direct to you by email. From now through the end of September,
 both CNI News and Media Watch will be published every Friday and emailed to
 all ISCNI members and staff.
     Research Polarized Around Conflicting Witness Claims
 By Michael Lindemann
 I visited Roswell, New Mexico, over the July 4th holiday to attend a UFO
 conference. On this, my first visit to the legendary "UFO capital of the
 United States," I discovered that the hottest topic among the assembled
 researchers, including key staffers at Roswell's International UFO Museum,
 centered on the location of "the  other crash site." I learned that there are
 two main contenders in this controversy -- two possible sites separated by
 dozens of miles, each supported by key witnesses, earnest research and
 sensational claims.
 Everyone agrees that strange wreckage was found on the Foster Ranch, some
 seventy miles northwest of Roswell, by then-manager Mac Brazel in early July,
 1947. The location of that site, and the basic narrative concerning the
 discovery, are not in dispute. However, that site yielded no more than scraps
 of metal and other materials, and recent research suggests that at least some
 of that material was probably of human making -- perhaps from the crash of a
 so-called Project Mogul balloon, or perhaps even planted by
 counterintelligence agents to confuse the claim of legitimate alien
 While the Brazel debris field remains significant to the Roswell incident,
 claims of a second site are more significant. For at the alleged second site,
 researchers believe, the military recovered a largely intact flying craft, as
 well as four or more bodies. But many details of this "second site" remain
 mired in uncertainty.
 One of the two main candidates for the second site is on a ranch owned by a
 man named Hub Corn, about 30 miles due north of Roswell, just off Highway 285
 -- up against an arroyo or low cliff face. Researchers Kevin Randle and Don
 Schmitt, co-authors of two books on the Roswell incident, along with forensic
 artist William McDonald, are among the top proponents of this site. They
 claim to have located the exact point where a craft of very unusual design
 came to rest, up against a rock near the lower part of the cliff face.
 Not long from now, the well known model-maker Testors Corporation will
 release a  plastic scale model of a "Roswell alien spacecraft" based on
 research and drawings by William McDonald. This craft looks quite a bit like
 an exotic jet airplane, and not at all like a "flying saucer." McDonald says
 several eyewitnesses have confirmed that this is an accurate depiction of the
 craft found at the Hub Corn ranch, and that its shape and technical
 characteristics prove the U.S. military learned many lessons in aerospace
 design from alien technology.
 But did an alien craft actually land on Hub Corn's ranch? Not according to
 proponents of the other contending crash site, notably Max Littell and other
 key staffers at the Roswell UFO Museum. According to Littell, the real site
 is near the old Pine Lodge in Lincoln National Forest, on the lower northern
 flank of the Capitan Mountains, approximately 53 miles west and north of
 Roswell and about 32 miles south of the Brazel debris field.
 Here again, a very exact place has been found. A specific rock is said to
 have stopped the descending craft in its tracks, causing the rock to split in
 an odd way on impact. This site also shows indications of trees being sheared
 by something coming down from above. There is also testimony of various local
 ranchers and even two nuns that tend to support this site. But the main
 evidence is the testimony of one man, truck driver James Ragsdale, who died
 on July 1, 1995 of cancer, only five days after videotaping an extensive
 statement about his finding of the craft and four bodies at this site.
 Similarly, claims concerning the Hub Corn site rest largely on the  testimony
 of one man, Frank Kaufman. His supporters say Kaufman was a high-ranking
 secret military operative in 1947 and was officially involved in the recovery
 of the craft and bodies. But other people -- notably Glenn Dennis, the
 mortician whose own testimony is the strongest evidence for bodies at Roswell
 -- say that Frank Kaufman's testimony is unreliable. Researcher Karl Pflock
 says he found Kaufman's testimony to be completely unconvincing.
 On the other hand, James Ragsdale was a self-admitted alcoholic who was
 engaged in an illicit affair with a married woman on the night in 1947 when
 they "saw the saucer." Yet, despite this, the manner in which Ragsdale
 finally told his story carried a tone of desperation and pathos that made a
 strong impression on all who heard it, including his grown daughter, Judy
 Ragsdale Lott, who was taken completely by surprise.
 Ragsdale had come to live with Judy in the late stages of his terminal
 illness. She said later that she and her father had gone many times to a
 campground in the forest near Pine Lodge, but he had never told her why this
 particular place held such fascination for him. According to his deathbed
 testimony, Ragsdale and his daughter had often camped on the very spot where
 he had found the alien vehicle in 1947.
 Furthermore, Ragsdale said the married woman he had been with on that fateful
 occasion died a short time later in a suspicious car accident. Both he and
 she had taken samples of wreckage from the site, he said, and she had been
 carrying hers with her on the day of the accident. Her pieces of wreckage
 were not found, however. Then Ragsdale's own house was ransacked, and his
 pieces of wreckage likewise disappeared. From that day on, Ragsdale told his
 daughter, he feared for his life, and for the safety of his family. That was
 the reason he never talked about the alien craft until he was near death.
 After listening intently to proponents of these two competing theories
 regarding a second crash site, I found myself unready to decide who was more
 likely to be correct. Though there is much more detail in each theory than
 I've recorded in this short narrative, there is not a final and decisive
 element recommending one site over the other. Like so much else in the study
 of UFOs, this controversy cannot yet be resolved. However, I do feel that a
 second site was found, and that one or the other of these two sites might be
 the real thing. It is even possible that something real occurred in both
 Will we ever discover, beyond any reasonable doubt, what was really found at
 Roswell, and where? I do remain hopeful. But the last eyewitnesses are dying
 off, and researchers may soon find themselves permanently at a loss for
 further evidence.
 [Finally, it seems, the U.S. mainstream press has noticed that Brazil, one of
 the world's largest countries, is in a total uproar over the claim that its
 military may have captured two or more alien creatures. Though the following
 story from the prestigious Wall Street Journal has a tongue-in-cheek tone
 bordering on derision, it does not entirely dismiss the possibility that
 something remarkable may have happened in Brazil. For balance, see the
 statement from British researcher Graham Birdsall, below. CNI News thanks
 Patricia Welch for forwarding this story.]
 "Tale of Stinky Extraterrestrials Stirs Up UFO Crowd in Brazil"
 by Matt Moffett
 Staff Reporter, Wall Street Journal
 VARGINHA, Brazil -- The incident that made this town a hot spot in the
 intergalactic search for intelligent life started quite innocently. On a
 Saturday afternoon stroll in January, a trio of young women decided to take a
 shortcut home through a vacant lot. In a clump of weeds, the three said, they
 encountered a creature like nothing they had seen before.
 "It wasn't a man or an animal -- it was something different," said one of the
 women, Katia Andrade. The being had oily, brown skin and rubbery limbs, she
 said. Three rounded protrusions sprouted from its oversized head.  Standing
 out in a different way was the creature's odor: One ghastly whiff weakened
 the knees. As for the stranger's demeanor, the women unanimously, if
 tactlessly, agreed: It was "muddle-headed." When the creature wagged its big
 noggin dizzily in their direction, the three women ran off.
 Word of this encounter, spreading rapidly through the coffee bars where
 Varginha's 120,000 inhabitants trade gossip, would soon meld in the public
 imagination with other unusual occurrences: sightings of a strange
 cigar-shaped flying object, a mustering of troops and vehicles at a nearby
 infantry base and a peculiar bustle at the municipal hospital.  Goaded by
 self-styled UFO savants and a ravenous national media, residents rather
 matter-of-factly embraced a stupefying conclusion: Several aliens from a
 wayward space ship had been captured and brutalized by troops from the
 Brazilian army.
 Bristling denials from the military, which once compiled a lengthy record of
 abuses against the terrestrial population, have only served to inflame public
 suspicion. The upshot: The army and the now-famous space aliens find
 themselves locked in a pitched battle for the hearts and minds of this
 provincial community. Doltish and malodorous though these space celebrities
 might be, mere men in uniform are proving no match for the first creatures of
 any kind from Varginha to land on a national magazine cover.
 "For extraterrestrials they may not be much, but they are the biggest thing
 we've ever had in Varginha," says a young woman named Nilda, scanning the
 nighttime sky from a downtown park bench. Had the armed forces not
 interfered, she says, locals might have scrubbed the visitors, taught them
 the language ... in sum ... made something of them. "But they never had a
 chance," Nilda says with a sigh. Her anger at the military's alleged
 inhospitality sparked a tiff with her boyfriend, a private in the infantry.
 The army finds itself besieged on several fronts. A local mystic predicts
 that Varginha will suffer some kind of cataclysm this September as
 retribution for its blitzkrieg on the interplanetary visitors. An
 armed-forces news conference marking "Victory Day" in World War II
 degenerated into a shouting match between a general and a television reporter
 pressing him about the extraterrestrials. An official briefing to debunk UFO
 conspiracies was overshadowed by an auto mechanic's claim to have seen yet
 another weird cylindrical aircraft, a cosmic encounter he re-enacted with the
 aid of an aluminum coffee thermos.
 To some extent the army is paying for past sins.  During an oppressive
 20-year dictatorship ending in 1985, the Brazilian military eliminated any
 number of earthbound political enemies by "disappearing" them. If the army
 was capable of liquidating human beings without a trace, locals ask, why
 couldn't it carry such a "dirty war" to outer space?
 In truth, the current, cash-strapped incarnation of Brazil's army poses
 little threat to anyone, least of all an enemy that might have ray guns.  In
 some training exercises Brazilian troops have been reduced to pointing their
 rifles and shouting "bang" in order to save ammo.
 At the army base near Varginha, an inquiry concerning the extraterrestrials
 is received warily by a private, who turns it over to a sergeant, who then
 passes it along to a major.  From there the matter is sent back down to
 another sergeant, who hands the question over to Capt. Eduardo Calza, the
 outfit's sad-sack spokesman. "You know, I used to get calls about the base
 talent show," he says.
 Capt. Calza says he can't vouch for what the three women saw in January. But
 the activity on the base that fateful weekend, he insists, was anything but
 otherworldly: New inductees to a sergeants' training school went on parade
 and a truck convoy was driven to the repair shop.  Concurrently, at the town
 hospital, trucks delivered new cardiovascular equipment and an ambulance
 dropped off an exhumed corpse -- a human body, officials insist.
 "Sure, tell us another story," says Vitorio Pacaccini, the bearded, effusive
 UFO investigator at the eye of the Varginha storm.  Based upon interviews
 with supposed eyewitnesses, Mr. Pacaccini has pieced together what he
 considers to be a more plausible reconstruction of January's events: A small
 alien craft on an unknown mission over Varginha crashed near the city limits,
 sending its crew of smelly, spaced-out extraterrestrials ambling about the
 town. Subsequently, Mr. Pacaccini maintains, military death squads in
 camouflage fatigues hunted down the visitors, poked and prodded the corpses
 at the municipal hospital, and then shipped them off to parts unknown. "It's
 very straightforward," he says.
 Mr. Pacaccini's brand of hucksterism is characteristic of the frontier
 atmosphere in a town where the architecture is of the Quonset-hut school and
 the newspaper is staffed by a lone reporter. Since the initial sighting, Mr.
 Pacaccini, a longtime UFO buff, has essentially abandoned his job as a
 business consultant to provide one-stop shopping for visiting journalists.
 To date, Brazil's leading television magazine has done three programs here. A
 two-hour nationally televised documentary on Varginha pulled in so many
 viewers on a recent Saturday night that it was repeated in its entirety the
 following weekend. Two of the women who made the initial sighting now demand
 $200 for each interview.
 With an eye toward promoting Varginha, city fathers are thinking of building
 a park in the creature's honor. Deputy Mayor Paulo Vitor Freire says: "We
 would never have imagined that so many international organizations take
 interest in cases like ours."
 Yes Varginha, there is a support group known as Abductees Anonymous and a
 research organization called Operation Right to Know. Stanton Friedman, a
 Canada-based UFO expert, says Varginha has the makings of a "cosmic
 If anything, the case may be suffering from eyewitness overkill. By now there
 have been so many sightings of the creature -- seven at last count -- that it
 is unclear how all of these beings could have fit into the minivan-sized
 spacecraft that was spotted here in January.  "Lots of us get into cars with
 five or six other passengers in them," Mr. Pacaccini retorts, drawing a
 down-to-earth analogy. True, but usually on short trips; seldom when driving
 to another galaxy.
 Mr. Pacaccini's most tantalizing proofs are videotaped statements by two
 young men in civilian clothes who claim to be members of the military detail
 that disposed of the alien visitors. It is impossible to determine the tapes'
 authenticity, however, since Mr.  Pacaccini won't reveal the men's names. He
 says they fear reprisals.
 There is also a troubling lack of physical evidence, unless you count
 descriptions of a paw print seen by one witness. The print is said to
 resemble what a human hand would look like with the palm flat, and a space
 opened up between the ring and pinky fingers and the other three digits. Fans
 of the old Star Trek series may sense a stirring of recognition. It looks
 remarkably like Mr. Spock's Vulcan salute.
 [CNI News thanks James Sutton for forwarding the following text, posted to
 the internet by Graham Birdsall, editor of the British UFO Magazine.]
 As few people have had recent opportunity to qualify the extraordinary claims
 relating to the so-called Varginha case of 20 January 1996, perhaps a few
 words will help those among you who seek some independent comment.
 I had the good fortune to travel to Curitiba, Brazil, and spend a week
 discussing among other topics, the Varginha incident, with Mr. Pacaccini and
 several other leading researchers. Over 50 Brazilian UFO organisations were
 represented at a conference staged in the city between 6 - 9 June, attended
 by the likes of Stanton T. Friedman and John Carpenter.
 Clearly, something of potential significance has occurred, of that there is
 absolutely no doubt whatsoever. The Brazilian investigators have researched
 the case to the best of their ability (which contrary to popular myth is
 considerable) and accrued over 60+ first-hand eyewitness accounts.
 This was only made possible because they moved quicker than the authorities,
 and everyone involved in the case knew everyone else. Nurses, doctors,
 lawyers and significantly, several military personnel are on tape.
 Let no one be under the slightest illusion that this is just another
 sensational story to come from Brazil. It most certainly is not. I was as
 sceptical as everyone else, until I spent hour upon hour listening to people
 who made me privy to some astonishing facts, the likes of which will become
 all apparent as further news begins to break about the incident (and there
 was more than one).
 I've been involved in this subject since 1967, and I can vouch for the
 sincerity and credibility of those Brazilian researchers who have worked
 themselves into the ground to bring this case into the open.
 My opinions are based on what I saw and heard in Brazil. I made a round-trip
 of over 10,000 miles to meet these people, and listen with objectivity
 throughout. I returned to England with an abundance of information, and will
 happily disseminate as much as I can through the pages of UFO Magazine and at
 future lectures.
 Read yet again what Pacaccini has to say about this case [see CNI News of
 June 13] and digest every single word, and then perhaps the magnitude of what
 he and his colleagues have uncovered will strike a chord with those who have
 sat on the fence. This case above all others, is set to explode.
 Graham W. Birdsall
 Editor, UFO Magazine
 Agence France Presse, June 26, 1996
 An unidentified flying object was sighted by two Lithuanian policemen near
 their capital Vilnius, putting the city's entire force on alert, Russian news
 agency Itar-Tass said Wednesday [June 26].
 The policemen say they saw a round, shining object on the main
 Vilnius-Miadininkai route, at around half past midnight 10 kilometres (six
 miles) from the capital city near the village of Nemejis, which was flashing
 and hovered 20 to 30 metres (65-95 feet) above the ground.
 "At the same time, you could hear a strange sound - like electricity
 crackling," they said.
 The policemen approached the UFO after watching it for almost half an hour.
 When they were some fifty metres from it, the object started to move upwards
 and away from them into the air, then accelerated towards Vilnius, Itar-Tass
 quoted the policemen as saying.
 The entire Lithuanian policeforce in the area was subsequently put on alert.
 Van loads of rapid reaction force police and tracker dogs arrived on the
 scene, but the UFO had disappeared.
 Police conducted tests on the area's ground composition, measured the air's
 radiation, and took sound recordings, while the police dogs remained
 unstirred by anything.
 The grass in the area for 10 metres around where the UFO was sighted was
 visibly flattened.
 The Vilnius police chief, Valentinas Ioukhniavitchous, announced on the
 Lithuanian radio on Wednesday that the two policemen who had made the
 sighting were of sound and honest mind, Itar-Tass added.
     A Sad Comment On the Perils of Inappropriate Technology
 [CNI News, after due consideration, has decided to thank Chrys Rodrigue for
 sending this story, which surely ranks among the most bizarre we have seen.]
 ARIZONA -- The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal
 embedded into the side of a cliff rising above the road, at the apex of a
 The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The
 type of car was unidentifiable at the scene.
 The boys in the lab finally figured out what it was, and what had happened.
 It seems that the car's driver had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet
 Assisted Take Off, actually a solid-fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy
 military transport planes an extra push for taking off from short airfields.
  He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long,
 straight stretch of road. Then he attached the JATO unit to his car, jumped
 in, got up some speed, and fired off the JATO.
 The facts as best as could be determined are that the operator of the 1967
 Impala hit JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3 miles from the
 crash site. This was established by the prominent scorched and melted asphalt
 at that location. The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum
 thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of
 350 MPH and continuing at full power for an additional 20-25 seconds.
 The driver, soon to be pilot, most likely would have experienced G-forces
 usually reserved for dog-fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners,
 basically causing him to become insignificant for the remainder of the event.
  However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles
 (15-20) seconds before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes,
 blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then
 becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at
 a height of 125 feet, leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock.
 Most of the driver's remains were not recoverable; however, small fragments
 of bone, teeth and hair were extracted from the crater and fingernail and
 bone shards were removed from a piece of debris believed to be a portion of
 the steering wheel.
 Best as they could determine, he was doing somewhere between 250 and 300 MPH
 (350-420 KPH) when he came to that curve....
 NOTE: Solid-fuel rockets don't have an 'off'... once started, they burn at
 full thrust until the fuel is all gone.
 That guy evidently watched too many Road Runner cartoons.  Or maybe not
 #     #     #

Next: CNI News 20.3