Steve Erdmann

Copyright, 2017, Steve Erdmann

Permission granted for researchers and journalists to quote brief passages.

This article can also be seen as a December 5, 2017 article in a slightly different format at
Reprinted here with permission 



Part I

Disclosure Mistake

Stanton T. Friedman and Kathleen Marden are two of the remaining individuals who strongly defend the existence of paranormal objects flying in our atmosphere that many believe are extraterrestrial. The authors join together to state the various stages the phenomena has existed in since the 1940s. They also deal with the critics and debunkers of the phenomena and the UFO appearances.

Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden

(Fact, Fiction and Flying Saucers, Stanton T. Friedman, Kathleen Marden, New Page Books, a division of the Career Press, Inc., 12 Parish Drive, Wayne, J.J. 07470,, 1-800-career-1, 2016, 288 pages, $16.99.)

The authors cite information about UFOs that many people are not aware of: there are more than 3,500 UFO observations by civilian and military pilots of “non conventional aircraft”__also seen on radar__with behaviors that crafts from Earth cannot exhibit.

Out of 12,618 sightings recorded by Project Blue Book from 1947 to 1969, Battelle Memorial Institute said in 1955 of the “Project Blue Book Special Report – No. 14” that 21.5 percent of 3,201 reports were unknowns.  Of 308 “excellent” cases, 35 percent were “unknown.”  (pp. 11-17.)

(Unidentified [At the time called “unknown”]was a Unidentified Flying Object [UFO] report apparently containing all pertinent data necessary to suggest a valid hypothesis concerning the cause or explanation of the report but the description of the object or its motion cannot be correlated with any known object or phenomena.)

The authors point out the large-scale research and development programs that were secret for many years, many operating under classified code names, such as Need-to-Know, Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, Top Secret Code-Word Majic, Umbra, or Ultra.

In 1944, Project Manhattan was completely unknown to Senator Harry Truman until 13 days after he became president upon the death of President Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. Then, Truman was given the startling facts, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.

Likewise, when the first atomic bomb test occurred only July 16, 1945, the cover-story was that it was an explosion of a huge ammunition dump.  The wife of General Leslie Groves (Groves was in charge of the Manhattan Project for two years) had no idea at all how the general was involved until she heard it was on the news on August 6, 1945.

Such secrecy also permeated the government UFO projects.


Stanton Friedman is a nuclear physicist who has worked on a variety of advanced, classified systems for major industrial companies, and has investigated high-caliber UFO cases as portrayed in his books Flying Saucers and Science and Top Secret/Majic.

Kathleen Marden is a best-selling author and award-winning UFO researcher and lecturer, portrayed on programs on History, Discovery, Natural Geographic, and  coauthor of  Captured!, The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, as well as other books.

Two separate channels of UFO investigation came about with the closure of Project Blue Book:  One, normal and routine operation of “explaining-away UFO reports,” and, Two, a deeper channel to actually investigate more substantive UFO reports.

“Bolender Memo,” UFAF General Carroll H. Bolender, October 20, 1969, Unidentified Flying Objects,

The Roswell and San Augustin, Aztec UFO crash episodes were both labeled Top Secret and Top Secret Code-word.

The 800 pages of secret UFO material as code-word Top Secret Umbra was eventually released as heavily-redacted with only a few words per page left and not blacked out (pp. 23-24).


The early days of ufology included the spectacular UFO crash around July 8, 1947 on the ranch of Mac Brazel 70 miles west of Roswell, New Mexico.  Intelligence Officer Jesse Marcel of the 509th bomb group, along with Captain Sheridan Cavitt, senior counter intelligence agent, inspected the site and collected samples of the debris from a gorge three-quarter of a mile long. 

Many details on the Roswell crash can be found in the general literature, but the authors highlighted one particular incident that should be noted as indicative of government manipulation. 

Officer Marcel had placed some of the debris on the desk of Brigadier General Roger M. Ramey preceding Marcel walking down the hall to the Map Room to show Ramey the crash site location. When Marcel returned to the Ramey office, the debris had been ‘replaced’ by the remnants of a common weather balloon. This was touted in the press as the final explanation of the UFO.

Marcel, however, was very familiar with the appearance of weather balloons.

Jesse Marcel, Sr. with Balloon Debris


Because of the Roswell Incident and the accompanying “flap” of sightings, the July, 1947 Estimate of the Situation and the September, 1947 Twining Memo, say the authors, these reports led to a secret “AMC Opinion Concerning ‘Flying Disks’” sent to Brigadier General George Schulgren (assistant director of intelligence), demonstrating the Air Force’s deep concern. This activity culminated in a February 11, 1948 Project Sign (Project Saucer) and a Secret and Restricted report of 243 cases concluding the UFOs were probably extraterrestrial craft (pp.29-31).  

The government saw their “disclosure mistake,” renaming Project Sign into Project Grudge during February, 1949, introducing an era of denial and debunking.

In 1952, however, a year of high UFO activity, the Air Force Aerial Technological Intelligence Command (ATIC) received 4,000 reports out of which 1,593 seemed highly unusual with 26.94 percent termed “unknowns.”

This included a small “invasion” over the Washington Capitol.


Also, in 1952 the Washington D.C “invasion” appeared; it seemed to have begun about July 1, 1952 with jets scrambled to reports of UFOs over the nation’s capitol.  Airline crews reported said objects on July 10, 13 and 14.  Radar operators reported scanning the objects, one recorded at 7,000 miles per hour.  F-94 jet pilots reported three targets.  Major C.P. Carlson recorded said UFOs on July 25.  Air traffic Control Radar at Andrews Air Force Base had radar scans of such objects with up to 12 returns between them and also jet pilot radar.  

Two F-94s were scrambled at 11: p.m. At 10:30 p.m. a USAF B-25 was vectored to several targets. Major Dewy Fournet and Lieutenant John Holcomb called the observed objects “several good, solid targets.”  Then a second jet was scrambled, only to have the UFOs disappear. The same thing happened on July 26 in a “creeping appearance” of the UFOs as an F-94 investigated.

On July 27, 1952 more of the same “solid, metallic objects” appeared.

On July 29, 1952, Major General John A. Samford had a press conference where he declared “we have many reports from credible observers of incredible things.” 

General Samford’s Press Conference, DOD, Minutes of Press Conference, July 29, 1952, conf_1952.htm.  


Noted critic and general debunker of UFO phenomena, Dr. Donald Menzel, discarded the Washington D.C flap as “temperature inversions.”

(“This is why inversion layers are called stable air masses. Temperature inversions are a result of other weather conditions in an area. They occur most often when a warm, less dense air mass moves over a dense, cold air mass. … This cold air then pushes under the warmer air rising from the valley, creating the inversion.”  Aug 7, 2017 – Learn About Thermal Inversion – ThoughtCo”)

Taking cues from Menzel, The Civil Aeronautics Administration Technical Development and Evaluation Center (TDEC) said in May 1953 that the Washington, D.C UFOs were “temperature inversions.” 

The authors go into details that obviously belie the “inversion” explanation of the UFO “invasion.”

Dr. Donald Howard Menzel assumed the position of director of the Harvard College Observatory, the Paine Professor of Practical Astronomy, and also Professor of Astrophysics in 1954. Menzel worked previously in Theoretical Astrophysics at the Universities of Iowa, Ohio State and the University of California Lick Observatory.  Surprisingly, he was later identified as a member of the secretive cabal Operation Majestic 12 Committee which was formed to clandestinely investigate UFOS. Menzel was also discovered participating in secret government projects (p. 61).

There was a Cosmic Watergate, say the authors, and Menzel was in the middle of it.


Another ‘turning point’ in ufology seemed to be the Tremonton, Utah movie of July 2, 1952 where Navy Warrant Officer Delbert Clement Newhouse and his wife Norma, witnessed and filmed a dozen or so disk-shaped craft milling about the sky north of Tremonton.

The USAF laboratory at Wright Field and also the U.S Navy’s lab at An Costa, Maryland determined that the objects were “…intelligently controlled vehicles that were not airplanes or birds in flight…defied explanation.”

In the middle of all this, the authors contend that the CIA been secretly monitoring the UFO situation since 1951 and utilizing studies such as the Battelle Memorial Institute’s Machine Indexing System of 1,500 reports since 1947 (of which were 20 percent unknown objects).  This resulted in the CIA Robertson Panel’s Scientific Review Board of January 14, 1953 which eventually led to the August 1953 Air Force Regulation 200-2  (which allowed only ‘positive’ and/as ‘debunked’ identification of UFOs), as well as JANAP 146 and Air Force Memo 55-1 as further censorship.   

Philip Julian Klass entered the UFO debunking scene in 1966.

One major UFO case he attacked was a sighting on September 3, 1965 outside of Exeter, New Hampshire when Norman Muscarello sighted extremely bright red lights along Route 150. Muscarello made a report to the Exeter Police Department,  Patrolman Eugene Bertrand discovered a distressed women who reported to him a huge, silent object with red lights that stopped above her vehicle.

Officer Eugene Bertrand and Muscarello went to the Kensington site and discovered the UFO rising above them as a dark form with blinding lights.  Officer Bertrand drew his gun in defense. Dogs and horses apparently were disturbed in the area and made noises.  Officer David Hunt arrived to see the object depart toward the coast.

The infamous Philip Klass explained the episode away as freak atmospheric electrical phenomena, a ‘plasma’ called ‘ball lightning.’  UFO proponent and researcher Dr. James E. McDonald commented on September 28, 1966 that Klass’s explanation was bogus because ‘ball lightning’ only lasted seconds, didn’t have windows with struts and structures, and certainly didn’t match all the reported details.

Thus entered another classical aspect of UFO debunkers—attacks upon and character assassination of those who opposed critics; this was seen as Klass attacked McDonald whom Klass pursued at every turn.  McDonald eventually committed suicide. The authors give a history of the dreadful attacks by Klass.

Klass attacked several famous UFO cases.  The authors contend with several of his peculiar explanations, as well as Klass’s affinity to and alliance with government skepticism.  The reader can explore these sequences for themselves in reading the book.

One particular case Klass acted upon was the Lonnie Zamora UFO case of April 24, 1964 when patrolman Zamora spied a shiny aluminum-white-like object 12-15 feet big and about 200 yards in the distance.  Zamora said there were two figures in what he mistook for white coveralls, perhaps small children. This was followed by metallic banging sounds, various frequency sounds, and then a load roar as the object took off in a swirl of dust and light blue flame on the underside.  Before the object disappeared, Zamora sighted an “arrow head”-type symbol or similar red insignia on the side of the object.

Art Depiction of Zamora UFO



Army Captain Richard T. Holden and FBI agent D. Arthur Byrnes found irregularly placed smoking vegetation and three smooth, circular marks 4-inches in diameter.  Another UFO report came from a travelling tourist on U.S 85 who said he saw the craft before it landed.  There were no human foot prints or tire tracks (pp.126-134).

Hector Quintanilla of USAF Project Blue Book stated that there was no conventional explanation for the object that Zamora saw or the landing marks that were left behind.

Hector Quintanilla, Project Blue Files, “Studies in Intelligence,” 1961.

Klass suggested a “dust devil” plasma ball, on the one hand, or a “hoax,” on the other.  Menzel also suggested a hoax.  Neither theorist covered the true facts.

Dr. Donald Menzel, right, Philip Klass, left.


Part II

Take Off Your Masks


The Condon Committee


In the government’s scheme to “phase out” Project Blue Book and give the outward appearance that UFOs were of no concern and they were no longer investigating UFOs, General E.B. LeBaill from the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information, Scientific Advisory Board, also called the O’Brien Committee, investigated and recommended contracts with a few universities to investigate in depth certain selected UFO sightings in order to relieve the Air Force of further responsibility and also to determine a final solution to UFOs.

The University of Colorado was selected and Dr. Edward Uhler Condon was picked as it director. Condon had a meritorious background in science, including President for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Washington University chairman of Physics Department.

Condon had acquired a predetermined “bias” early on UFOs, and he often revealed it to the public with statements that clearly seemed prejudicial.

Dick Olive, “Most UFOs Explainable Says Scientist,” Star Gazette [Elmira, N.Y: 1991], Letters, pdf, 5.

Many of the scientists on the Committee likewise carried a prejudice about UFOs.  The ‘Trick Memo’ is quoted at length in Saunders and Harkins’ UFOs? Yes!  (Appendix A, PR 242-244).

Friedman and Marden tell us that Condon’s emphasis was on describing those ‘seeing’ the UFOs rather than ‘examining’ the evidence itself (pp. 100-102).

Captain Edward Ruppelt had been replaced by Captain Charles Hardin who quickly reduced the previous 3 percent “unknowns” (was 20 percent “unknowns” in Blue Book Special Report No. 14 as based on Battelle Memorial Institute findings), and further reduced by the Air Force to 0.14 percent in 1957.

Condon demanded that the only ‘evidence’ he would accept was a physical spaceship or a body of an alien not of this planet (p. 97), though the findings of Roswell and other crashed UFOs were well-beyond his security clearance, such as Secret Code-word Majic, Umbra, or Ultra.


The authors lay out an epic portrayal of UFO cases that have stumped most investigators, and they also outline Phillip Klass’s ventures into some of them, beginning with his joining forces with the negativism of the Condon Committee.  A “KlassAttack” occurred in the Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum sighting of December 29, 1980.


The Cash-Landrum UFO


Image result for The Cash-Landrum UFO


Cash and Landrum, and Colby Landrum, were in trek of a Bingo game and they were searching for Marker Road 1485.  Coming towards them was a diamond-shaped craft belching flames from its underside. The night was about 40-degrees Fahrenheit but the UFO warmed the witness area. The craft gave out shrill beeping noise when it was not shooting flame. They hid Colby under the dashboard for safety.  The witness found the door handle very hot, and then the interior of the auto just as hot. 

The object gave out a burst of flame and departed to the south-west.  Suddenly, helicopters came streaming toward it. The witnesses then made a turn onto Connector Road FM 2100 and again the craft appeared. The witnesses counted about 20 helicopters trailing the object.  Some copters had dual rotors, some had single. Cash claimed to have seen an U.S Air Force insignia on one copter.   

The witnesses were in comparatively good health, but about 9:50 p.m., blisters and swelling began to appear on Betty Cash’s head, face, back and neck as she said she was “burning from the inside out.”  The skin under her ring appeared unaffected. 

On December 30, Cash began to get a blinding headache, extreme weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  On January 8, 1981, she was taken to Parkway Hospital for 12 days. The symptoms made her unrecognizable to other members of her family, and those symptoms included swelling and seeping sores on face and head.

Betty spent 15 more days in the hospital treatment, including examination by ophthalmologist, radiologist, a neurologist, and an EEG for metal poisoning. 

Records of early blood tests disappeared and other medical records did as well.  The hospital checked her for whole-body radiation of a high level. Dr. Brian McClellan discovered non-ionizing radiation, but with an ionizing component: It had been permanent and debilitating with on-going severe headache and nausea, redness of skin, scarring, loss of pigmentation, eye-inflammation, diarrhea, swelling of neck, loss of finger nails, hair loss, weight loss, and fatigue.

Colby Landrum contacted stomach paints, diarrhea, weight loss, eye inflammation, hair loss, tooth decay, anxiety and nightmares. There was temporary photo-sensitivity to the sun. Colby had nightmares and a fear of helicopters.

Betty’s new 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass had multiple electrical problems and the steering wheel’s plastic material fell off in large clumps. Handprints had left permanent identifications on the padded hot dashboard. The windshield had exploded like it was hit with a baseball bat.

The attorney for the family felt that punitive damages went far beyond the $10,000 hospital bills and he filed Law Suite # 11-84-34B in the U.S District Court for Southern District of Texas for 10-million-dollars.  The family eventually lost the suit because the craft and helicopters could not be proven to belong to the government. 

The UFO witnesses cooperated fully with MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) investigator John Schuessler when Schuessler contacted the witnesses in February. 

Schuessler discovered CH-47 copters at Ellington AFB-South Houston. Also, the Dallas Naval AM station Commanding Officer Major Dennis Haire of the 136th Transport Unit at the Air Force Base was aware of eight Chinook helicopters with the Army National Guard, as well as 16 of them in Dallas, and also four Hueys and four 58s assigned to Houston.

Major Haire, however, said that no CH-47s were involved on December 29, 1980.  Twin rotor helicopters were seen at other dates at Fort Hood. CH-47 Chinook helicopters with Army markings were seen at Ellington AFB on December 28, 1982, but nothing was pinpointed to December, 1980.

Later, Police Chief Lammar Walker and his wife claimed to have seen three groups of three Chinook helicopters flying in V-formation within 5 miles of the Ladrum UFO, but Lieutenant Colonel George Sarran of the Army Inspector General’s Office denied such activity (pp. 156-159).

Klass went to extraordinary lengths to obtain the medical records of the witnesses, but was rebuffed on personal privacy issues.  Klass used other ‘tricks’ to get the family’s medical files by claiming he was only interested in some vague “probability ratio” ruse, and again rebuffed when ABC’s That’s Incredible show used a similar prompting on April 1, 1982.

“I will not be a party to this in anyway,” said the doctor.

Letter to Philip Klass from Peter Rank, MD, March 23, 1982, Lass’s Cash-Landrum Files, APS.


Dr. Rank believed some type of radiation was involved, though the precise manner could not be definitely ascertained, or whether the whole body was involved:  ultra-violet, low-energy x-ray or some particular radiation was suspected, but he felt that the symptoms were consistent with exposure to ionizing radiation causing demagogic symptoms and “no healing ulcerative lesions.”

Robert Sheaffer of CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), of which Philip Klass was a guiding member, claimed Betty used UV light to in duce her own injuries, an action related to some form of her portrayed and alleged “Munchausen Syndrome.” 

According to CSI’s charter, the “Committee” maintains a network of people interested in critically examining paranormal, fringe science, and other claims, and in contributing to consumer education; prepares bibliographies of published materials that, supposedly, carefully examines such claims; encourages research by alleged objective and impartial inquiry in areas where it is needed.

Most researchers found Sheaffer’s summation of the Cash-Landrum UFO as slanderous and unscientific. Lieutenant Colonel George Sarran labeled the UFO witnesses as “credible witnesses.”  (p.163)

Billy Cox, from the Florida Sarasota Herald Tribune, travelled to Texas to investigate the case and came away convinced that a “very real and tragic event had occurred.”  Cox appraised Klass as “…a man who had a pathological disregard for the truth.”

Billy Cox, “Klass Act: No Principles,” Sarasota Herald Tribune, February 20, 2012.


The readers will be intrigued by the authors’ equally analytic treatment of other spectacular UFO cases, their particular investigations by proponents and cynics alike, and the growing realization that the anti-UFO factions can’t forever conceal a reality that even the corrupted and criminal thinking of our human ‘elites’ persistently but unsuccessfully continue to try and hide. Such a tacit and quickening realization of reality was encapsulated in the words of culprit Errol Childress to detective Rustin “Rust” Cohle when the sordid confluence of evil, crime and noir crashed about them: “Take off your mask, little priest!”


TRUE DETECTIVE television series:


Steve Erdmann, December, 2017, St. Louis


Artist Depiction of Landrum UFO

Artist's rendition of the Cash Landrum UFO Incident.


Jesse Marcel with Balloon Debris







Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden


Phil Klass and Donald Menzel

Dr. Donald Menzel, left, Philip Klass, right.


Art Depiction of Zamora UFO



Ufo, Cover, Alien, Weird, Spaceship

Founding members of UFO Study Group November 1967 4-24-2017 1;25;37 PM.jpg new

Steve Erdmann – Investigative Journalist -Far Left – 1967


Those wishing to reach Steve Erdmann can reach him at or or through the editor of these magazines. He also has a Facebook Magazine at!/stephen.erdmann1
You can also visit his articles at: – TheDissenter,,,
Alternate Perception Magazine:,

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