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My Response to Jim's (June 2003) Criticism of My Rebuttal

 

Response to James Oberg's:
"..... GORDON COOPER'S UFOs"

by Jerry Cohen


Oberg/Cooper rebuttal.1b
continued from 1a (2 of 2)


GORDON COOPER, SECOND HAND ACCOUNTS,
SLANDEROUS STATEMENTS, JAMES McDONALD
AND CLOSED MINDED SKEPTICS
--------------------------------------

re: GORDON COOPER'S GENERAL CREDENTIALS:

Getting back to Gordon Cooper.  Although Cooper was in fact one 
more pilot making a UFO claim(s), as Mr. Oberg noted he was a 
special one indeed;  one who's superior skills, coordination, 
reflexes, senses, intellect for task, etc. finally led to his 
being selected for our space program. He was not your average 
pilot.  A person of Cooper's ability and stature, who had worked 
as hard as he must have to get where he was, certainly would not 
place himself in a position where his judgment, character and 
reputation in general might possibly be compromised unless he felt 
positive about what he had seen.  Cooper was certainly not known 
to be a hallucinator or he would not have been selected for so 
demanding a position.  He had a great familiarity with things 
flying "in the air" as it was part of his job to be familiar with 
such things.


OVERLOOKED IMPORTANT PIECES OF "SOLID" EVIDENCE
FROM COOPER'S STATEMENTS:

With this firmly in mind, we therefore must also note that in 
paragraph seven, Mr. Oberg quotes Cooper as saying

"People have seen flying saucers at close hand
And in many cases they have been verified on
radar.  It is ridiculous for anyone to say that
they're all completely unreal."

J.C.    In the latter portions of my essays, I will present solid, 
certified, documented evidence to show that this statement of 
Cooper's is not only 100% correct but also, in the case of 
radar/visual sightings, some of the most compelling evidence 
confirming both the existence of UFOs and their level of 
technology.
 
      Without getting lost in discussing the pages of proof 
submitted regarding the supposed enhancements to Cooper's 
statements which Mr. Oberg attempted to demonstrate were created 
by other individuals, I will concede that it is human nature for 
people to build upon stories, misquote information, fabricate, 
etc., especially if there is money to be made from same or 
possibly, careers to be made in newspaper journalism.  UFO 
researchers are well aware of this.  However, contrary to what Mr. 
Oberg would have us believe, some professional UFO researchers 
actually do follow a general rule that one must "take with a grain 
of salt" second-hand accounts, sources, etc. relating to UFO 
claimed incidents and, instead concentrate on examining initial 
reports and how they correlate with other reports from the same 
general time period.  (i.e.   Otherwise, one indeed might devote 
inordinate amounts of time on accounts possibly containing 
inaccurate, story-built, unreliable evidence while possibly 
overlooking other solid, verified evidence that one never had time 
left over to find.)


MORE ON SECOND-HAND ACCOUNTS:
This particular researcher, attempting to find "solid" evidence, 
has tried his best to avoid this pitfall.  I normally treat 
delayed response, second-hand books or accounts as "second-hand" 
evidence; material that demands extreme scrutiny and caution in 
its use.   What is important to note here, however, is that if a 
person did accidentally fall into this trap regarding one case (if 
actually proven via solid documentation and the accused accorded a 
fair rebuttal), this does not prove he or she did so intentionally 
and should not automatically refute the entire body of that 
individual's work, especially if he/she had generally been 
considered to be conscientious and generally meticulous in most of 
the rest of his efforts in that area of expertise.  That person's 
research should still be examined on a case by case basis.  One 
mistake should not invalidate that person's entire work otherwise 
Mr. Oberg's own lifetime body of criticism regarding UFOs might 
also thereby be dismissed in total because he spent inordinate 
time discussing these second-hand versions (a "no-no" in itself!) 
without providing adequate solid proof to substantiate the 
entirety of his accusations, some of which verged on slander.


ON THE HUMAN IMPERFECTION OF SCIENTISTS:


Dr. Edward Condon

Likewise, one might be forced to discount the bulk of Dr. Edward 
Condon's previously fine work after many scientists realized the 
conclusions he reached in the Colorado Study were not supported by 
the data
in the Colorado Study itself.  One would also be forced 
to consider a similar indictment concerning members of the 
National Academy of Sciences who endorsed it.  This of course 
would be ludicrous. (This preceding historical highlight will be 
completely discussed in my documented essays)


ON COOPER'S UFOs OVER GERMANY:

Mr. Oberg, himself, goes to great length analyzing what he claims 
are such cases of inaccurate story building from various books and 
sources he mentions in order to point this out to us.
(Unfortunately, omitting solid documentation in certain key places 
that might provide proof of his claims.)  One example occurs in 
his analysis concerning Gordon Cooper's claims of UFOs over
Germany.  He has used supposed "witness" accounts from a dozen or 
so people who responded to him saying they never had the 
experience which Cooper claims to have had, to prove to us that 
Cooper was mistaken in what he says he saw and that

¶ 73 "The popular version of the legend,
placing the action in Germany in 1951,
simply cannot have occurred as Cooper
has described it -- if the vast majority of
the witnesses are to be believed
."
However, what rightly should have been said was "....if the vast 
majority of people who RESPONDED are to be believed."  Readers 
must, in all fairness, realize that since they didn't "see it," 
those individuals cannot be properly referred to as "witnesses."  
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, after studying UFO reports as a prime 
scientific consultant for the Air Force for many years had this to 
say in his "The UFO Experience" Henry Regnery Company
1972.hardcover.Chapter 1.The Laughter of Science.p.9  ¶ 4:

     "some of the very best reports have come from
scientifically trained people.... These reports are
usually rarely published however, because the
person usually requests anonymity."
Therefore, it is certainly not "written in stone" that the people 
who actually witnessed what Cooper says he did would readily come 
forth to talk about it.  In reality, one must totally understand 
the Air Force's position on UFOs, the penalties it imposes on 
those that break the silence, and observe it from Hynek's 
perspective as consultant to the Air Force in order to properly 
determine the true validity of some of Mr. Oberg's data in this 
regard.


COOPER'S ATTEMPT TO RETAIN
THE ACCURACY OF HIS CLAIMS
:

As Mr. Oberg mentioned, Cooper went out of his way to counter 
anyone who attributed statements to him he did not make.

Oberg ¶ 12-16 "Columbia Pictures case", ¶ 17 "In spite
his often involuntary association with such activities
,
the quality of Cooper's testimony has been universally
recognized.  His integrity, intelligence, and technical
competence have never been questioned.", ¶ 30 "In a
1978 letter to me, Cooper stressed 'the non-occurrence
of a sighting on Mercury 9'
"
Although stopping short of saying Cooper lied concerning his 
claimed sightings, it was implied that Cooper exaggerated, his 
memory wasn't accurate, or Cooper was guilty of "story building" 
regarding his accounts.  Since Mr. Oberg, himself, demonstrated 
that Cooper made repeated attempts to keep the accuracy of his 
initial claim in tact, sans extraneous details provided by others, 
it becomes difficult for this reader to accept that Cooper was 
guilty of "story building" in all his accounts. Furthermore, as
previously stated, it is not fair or necessarily accurate to
claim that some of the researchers in question did not carefully
check their sources before printing the body of information they
displayed, without some sort of rebuttal from them.  Unfortunately,
some of the finest of the ones  mentioned are not alive today to
make that rebuttal.  Since expecting the dead to perform this feat
is asking something just slightly beyond the capabilities of even
the most competent, professional researcher, others like myself
will have to do some of it for them, the best we can.


DISAGREEMENT CONCERNING SLANDEROUS STATEMENTS
AND INNUENDO:

Another bone of contention occurs when Hynek is slandered at the 
essay's end with the following statement:
(¶ 76), "But solving the cases was the last thing
the UFO promoters were interested in
. ...."
J.C.    This statement shows a general lack of knowledge 
concerning Dr. Hynek's life, career and motives. It simply
does not lie true with what I and others have personally
researched concerning Hynek over the years. Inadequate
proof has been presented to make so broad an assumption. I
will demonstrate this completely as we proceed in these
essays.
     "People who have used Cooper's stories to 'prove'
the reality of UFOs (respected ufologists such as Frank
Edwards, Leonard Stringfield, J. Allen Hynek, and less
respected ones such as Timothy Beckley) seem to have
neither known nor really cared about the real truth
behind the stories........"
J.C.    This, too, is a blanket statement concerning all the 
individuals mentioned and has certainly not been adequately proven 
concerning any one of them. Also, it has not been proven that 
Cooper was not telling the truth.  Hynek, Stringfield and Edwards 
have passed on and cannot respond to this.  However, Hynek's 
revelations concerning Project Blue Book and my own to-be-
illustrated connection between the cases I will present from 1957 
will certainly demonstrate the possibility, if not probability, 
that Cooper may well have been telling the truth.
     "Their goal evidently was to piggyback on Cooper's
reputation
to further their own ufological careers, not
to take the opportunity to see what Cooper's actual
experiences could teach them about the real UFO
phenomenon. The truth behind Cooper's stories was the
last thing that seemed to interest them."
J.C.    Again, an assumption on the author's part.  Unless one
was there with Gordon Cooper, no one can know what his actual 
experiences were.  I can speak with confidence from my own 
research that Dr. Hynek's work was sincere. The following 
statement attributed to Hynek by Mr. Oberg does not appear
to have been made by a person trying to hide his mistakes.
     "Oberg ¶ 14       Hynek later admitted he had made a
mistake in allowing the newspaper to compile the article
from his previous publications
while paying him a fee for
the use of his name as author -- since he hadn't reviewed
the written material prior to publication. Such are the
perils of UFO journalism."

Being misled by the intentions of a publisher in one instance, if 
the facts are actually as Mr. Oberg has stated, should certainly 
not brand one a general fabricator.   I would hope there would
be others who will rise to Dr. Hynek's defense in this regard.
Dr. James McDonald is certainly due this accord as well.


BRIEFLY REGARDING MCDONALD:

     Oberg ¶ 45    In fact, McDonald had described his
findings on July 29,1968
, during his testimony on UFOs to
a congressional committee. This is the way he described
it: "James D. Bittick and John R. Gettys... were at the
time Askania cameramen on the test range, and spotted
the domed disk UFO just as they reached Askania #4 site
at Edwards, a bit before 8:00 AM that day [JEO: Compare
this with Beckley's account of "after lunch" -- evidently pure
dramatization]. They immediately got into communication
with the range director, Frank E. Baker, and asked if
anyone else was manning an Askania that could be used to
get triangulation shots. Since no other camera operators
were on duty at other sites, Baker told them to fire
manually, and they got a number of shots before the
object moved off into the distance. Bittick estimated
that the object lay about a mile away when they got
off the first shot, though when first seen he put it at no
more than 500 yards off. He and Gettys both said it had a
golden color, looked somewhat like an inverted plate with
a dome on top, and had square holes or panels around the
dome. Gettys thought that the holes were circular, not
square. It was moving away from them, seemed to glow
with its own luminosity, and had a hazy, indistinct halo
around its rim, both mentioned.  The number of shots
taken is uncertain: Gettys thought perhaps thirty. The
object was lost from sight by the time it moved out to
about five miles or so, and they did not see it again....
The photos were shortly taken by base military
authorities and were never seen again by the men. In a
session later that day, Bittick [was] informed that they
had seen a weather balloon distorted by the desert
atmospheric effects."

 
     Oberg ¶ 47    When I told Gettys in 1982 that
McDonald had used his case in congressional testimony,
the UFO witness was pleased but surprised McDonald
had never gotten back to him about the use he'd put his
testimony to. So the pro-UFO people kept some secrets,
too!.

Dr. McDonald brings a recorded, documented case to a congressional 
committee and, Mr. Oberg, because of Air Force statements claiming 
the preceding was a "weather balloon...distorted by the desert 
atmospheric effects" (They couldn't identify it 500 yards away?)
assumes that Dr.McDonald's case is invalid and goes even further,
intimating that McDonald did something devious in bringing the
case to the committee. Additionally, Oberg clearly states that the
witness was pleased that McDonald had done so. Is is possible that
McDonald knew he would be pleased? No, Mr. Oberg feels that
darned McDonald is just trying to be sneaky.
 
Further along, I will provide 1) another case that McDonald 
presented to the various science groups that leaves no doubt as to 
meticulousness of the man and the completeness and honesty of his 
research and 2) that statistics regarding UFOs, derived from the 
Air Force's "Project Blue Book" were, as Hynek put it, "a travesty,"
and additional clear evidence, dating back to at least 1957, that the
Air Force has not been telling us everything they know regarding
UFOs.


ON CLOSED-MINDED SKEPTICS
LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE OF UFOs


Since facts count, it is also important to be aware of the
following:  If a person, not necessarily consciously, does not
want to find evidence of UFOs (or any subject for that matter),
he could spend an eternity finding an infinite number of places
this evidence does NOT exist. He could look in people's homes,
travel to other countries, visit an unimaginable number of
uninhabitable  planets (if he were capable), examine every
"story-built, second-hand account" in existence relating to
that subject, or ask every person that never had that
experience, and certainly find in that multitude of places and
people, proof that the evidence he is telling himself he is
searching for, does not exist.


End: Oberg/Cooper rebuttal.1b
To: O/C rebut.2


A researcher's response to James Oberg's:
"IN SEARCH OF GORDON COOPER'S UFOs"

For documented evidence #1, please see: "Oberg/Cooper rebuttal.2"


Respectfully submitted,
Jerry Cohen

E-mail: rjcohen@li.net
cohenufo@optonline.net

 

Go to:

Rebuttal Table of Contents (hyper-linked)



O/C rebut.1a - Introduction

O/C rebut.1b - Intro. (continued)

O/C rebut.2 - "Skything 1960"

O/C rebut.3a - Hynek, from skeptic to "qualified believer"

O/C rebut.3b - Hynek, from skeptic to ... (continued)

O/C rebut.4a - UFOs, a synopsis of.... history

O/C rebut.4b - UFOs, a synopsis of.... history (continued)

O/C rebut.5a - Hynek takes us inside Blue Book

O/C rebut.5b - Hynek takes us inside..... (continued)

O/C rebut.6 - Who is, and isn't studying the UFO Phenomenon & Why

O/C rebut.7a - Sebago & Stokes

O/C rebut.7b - Kirtland

O/C rebut.7c - Krtlnd conclusion, B. B. & Condon errors, summation

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