It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

UFO Debunker / Disinformant Philip J. Klass.

page: 1
18
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 07:17 AM
link   

Hendry objected strongly to Klass's modus operandi, which Hendry argued was based on suppressed and distorted evidence, unscientific reasoning, ad hominem attacks, smear campaigns, character assassination, scientific bait and switch tactics, and seemingly refusing to evaluate evidence that conflicted with his preconceptions.



Following on from this (rather good) analysis of the CIA sponsored UFO Robertson Panel, Richard Dolan just released another video featuring researcher Kathleen Marden discussing the antics of debunker / pseudosceptic / disinformant Philip J. Klass.

Some interesting info in there including how Klass was under FBI investigation in his younger years for maintaining a close relationship with a man in the Soviet Embassy - also thought it did a good job of exploring his modus operandi within UFO research and possible agendas behind his active smear campaigns, ad hominem attacks and character assassination attempts.



Disinformation Agent: The Truth About Philip Klass.



In the history of the study of UFOs, Philip J. Klass takes the title as the leading debunker of the subject. For forty years, his name was practically synonymous with the idea of UFO skepticism. He was regularly cited throughout the mainstream media as an authoritative voice on the subject, and his work helped to stifle acceptance about the reality of UFOs. But Kathleen Marden has investigated the background of Philip Klass and found it to be highly questionable. Back in the 1960s, Klass developed a close relationship with a member of the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC and was suspected by the FBI to have been a Soviet asset. What it looks like is that the intelligence community used this against Klass to enlist his services toward full-time UFO debunking efforts. Without a doubt, Klass's knowledge of the UFO subject was superficial, but his relentless smear campaigns and personal attacks against leading UFO researchers more than made up for that. To this day, Klass is lionized by the skeptical community, but in fact has left them with a shameful legacy. Kathleen's research on this subject is highlighted in her recent book, Fact, Fiction and Flying Saucers: The Truth Behind the Misinformation, Distortion, and Derision by Debunkers, Government Agencies, and Conspiracy Conmen, which she co-authored with the late Stanton T. Friedman.



Shame he''s not with us anymore but Stanton Friedman's last book 'Fact, Fiction and Flying Saucers' was co-authored with Kathleen Marden and also contains some great nuggets of info on Klass revealed from the American Philosophical Society Archives.

Here she is discussing the close (and rather curious) connections between Klass, Menzel, Low and Condon.





My own personal feelings are that Klass was the exact opposite of a genuine, open minded sceptic and the way he hounded and derided (lots of) other UFO witnesses, researchers and scientists like Dr James E. Mcdonald (who he mounted an 'extended, concerted campaign' against) was an absolute disgrace.

Seems the USAF also didn't take him very seriously and even the sceptical team of plasma experts on the notoriously agenda based Condon Committee rejected his theories as 'unscientific' - perhaps that's why he eventually abandoned them and just arrogantly assumed that all UFO incidents could be explained as hoaxes or misidents.

Also seems there are quite a few avenues to explore in his connection to the CIA (just like Menzel was in the employ of the NSA).

Philip Klass, an electrical engineer who according to one well respected researcher Jerome Clark, 'was an obsessed crank who contributed little to the UFO debate except noise, strange rhetoric, pseudoscientific speculation, and character assassination'. - what say you ATS?




posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 08:55 AM
link   
a reply to: karl 12

UFO's are real, but people tend to cash in.

Take the late Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who coincidentally forgot that only light can travel as fast as light, anything as heavy as a flying saucer would require infinite mass and infinite energy, not to mention the lethal radiation from cosmic rays.

Then he spoke about what planets they came from, because aliens. people who cash in on the UFO' phenomena are the problem. I saw a brand new mustang on the street-the driver must be american! if i saw someone driving a toyota-the driver must be japanese!

when it comes to researching high strangeness, assumptions do not work, we don't want the money, we want the truth. I saw a UFO once but did I assume it was aliens and try to cash in on morning TV? NO. the U in UFO stands for unidentified.

A good researcher never assumes.

edit on 18-3-2020 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2020 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 08:58 AM
link   
a reply to: karl 12

He was in some ways what we now refer to as a "troll".

I don't like true believers and I don't like the fanatical skeptics. Both groups are grinding weird axes IMO.

Cheers



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 09:16 AM
link   

originally posted by: F2d5thCavv2

I don't like true believers and I don't like the fanatical skeptics. Both groups are grinding weird axes IMO.


Ha no neither do I mate and although Im sure UFOs exist I've absolutely no idea what they are or where they're from (could be from the future for all we know).

Thought Professor Robert Jacob's made some very interesting comments in the video below when he mentions the letters sent to him by Klass (who was citing Chief CIA disinfo leader Bobby Ray Inman as a reference) - also relevant is how Klass sent malicious letters to the University of Maine which resulted in Jacobs losing his job.



See 22:30




Also more info below about Klass and the notorious UFO cynic group CSICOP (although recently they' ve changed their name).


The Debunkers vs. the UFO Menace - Part one

The Debunkers vs. the UFO Menace - Part two


edit on 18-3-2020 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 09:19 AM
link   
a reply to: karl 12


Ha no neither do I mate and although Im sure UFOs exist I've absolutely no idea what they are or where they're from (could be from the future for all we know).


That's about where I am with the topic. Even after decades of reading and thinking about it. Interesting to discuss the incidents; interesting to speculate. But unless the dynamics of encounters change dramatically, "speculation" is pretty much all we'll have.

Cheers



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 09:56 AM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 10:14 AM
link   

originally posted by: F2d5thCavv2

"speculation" is pretty much all we'll have.


Agreed mate but its always fun examining the sociological reaction to the phenomenon - especially when it comes to intelligence agencies attempting to shamelessly manipulate public perceptions.

Following on from the info in the videos, am sure you will have looked into both Robertson and Condon - probably the two most important 'studies' into the UFO subject when it came to forming negative opinions in the public mindset and being instrumental in closing down official U.S. Government UFO investigations..



The Robertson Panel, as it came to be known,, was hampered by men of Page's mindset and thrown off by the highly selective presentation of UFO cases by the CIA, charged one of the attending Air Force officers. "We were double-crossed," commented a Blue Book member. "The CIA (didn't) want to prepare the public - they're trying to bury the subject. Those agents ran the whole show and the scientists followed their lead.



Looks like their 'conclusions' were already arrived at one year before and the spooks were crawling all over it - when it comes to Condon it also looks like many of his final summaries were 'variously misleading, false or inaccurate' and now it turns out the CIA were involved in his research and he was ordered never to admit it.

Documents

If they're all going to this much trouble then it's not really out of the realms of possibility that they'd recruit some electrical engineer shill to help bring the subject into disrepute (especially if they had him over a barrel on espionage charges).


edit on 18-3-2020 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 10:26 AM
link   
Klass was an ass. No speculation, just a fact.



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 11:25 AM
link   
a reply to: spiritualarchitect

He loved you guys too, and still has the last word [grin]:

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF PHILIP J. KLASS
To ufologists who publicly criticize me, ... or who even think unkind thoughts about me in private, I do hereby leave and bequeath:

THE UFO CURSE:
No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today. You will never know any more about what UFOs really are, or where they come from. You will never know any more about what the U.S. Government really knows about UFOs than you know today. As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse.



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 11:51 AM
link   

originally posted by: spiritualarchitect

Klass was an ass.


Very poetic mate -here he is stating that the Cash Landrrum incident (35:35) was a hoax (41:25) - it might be many things but I don't think it was a hoax.



I also remember him on a TV show many years ago openly mocking USAF Officers who witnessed an unidentified flying object (one of them wanted to knock him out).




posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 11:58 AM
link   
a reply to: JimOberg

Yes to me that statement isn't really the product of an objective or reasonable (or stable) mind - did you get to meet him when he was Subcommittee chairman of CSICOP?

What are your thoughts on the video content Jim?



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 12:06 PM
link   
a reply to: karl 12

By way of clarification. I didn't mean the take on Klass is speculation. PK was a tool through-and-through. I was talking about the phenomenon itself when I mentioned speculation.

Yes, there is reality to it all that can be verified with some effort. Investigations, intercepts, etc. by the government/military have been paid for with taxes paid by citizens. Whether many people realize it or not, there is a reality to all this that hits them every time they pay their taxes. Likewise, government intel ops against the UFO movements can sometimes be at least partially documented.

But as to the phenomenal aspects ... we need a LOT more information before any specifics can be known or even confidently assumed. Which is pretty much what you stated in your first comment in reply to mine.

I think we're more or less on the same sheet of music.


Cheers



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 02:16 PM
link   

originally posted by: F2d5thCavv2
a reply to: karl 12

I don't like true believers and I don't like the fanatical skeptics. Both groups are grinding weird axes IMO.


Beautifully put.


I just replied to Ian Ridpath who has made a momentary surprise return to ATS in the current "same old same old cases" thread. He was given a hard time by 'true believers' on ATS some years back and regarded as a 'fanatical sceptic', whereas in fact he was initially excited about the prospect of the Rendlesham Forest case being a genuine ET incident until he began inspecting the details more deeply.

And that's the difference. In other words, he had an open mind to begin with, whereas the fanatical scepticism from the off by someone like Klass was pretty appalling behaviour.

I suspect Klass simply loved the spotlight and adored being hated by UFO proponents - in other words, he was a ufological 'shock-jock'.


Great thread by Karl.


edit on 18-3-2020 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 02:27 PM
link   

originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
Take the late Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who coincidentally forgot that only light can travel as fast as light, anything as heavy as a flying saucer would require infinite mass and infinite energy, not to mention the lethal radiation from cosmic rays.

I always suspected that Friedman held so close to his nuts-and-bolts aliens from space theory because the contacts he had within the military and aerospace industry secretly "confided" to him that was the case with UFOs. However, I also think he might have been targeted for just such disinformation by those people. But he trusted them, and from then on he had extreme confirmation bias and believed every blacked out piece of FOIA paper he found was blacking out proof of outer space aliens. He wasn't interested in the high strangeness aspects, and from what I could tell he simply dismissed them as psychological effects from stress (or whatever).

So in a way, Stan Friedman and Philip Klass were like two sides of the same coin, although with Klass you at least knew what you were getting. Friedman, whether intentionally or not, was more like the magician's lovely assistant who draws your attention away while the magician manipulates the situation. The funny thing, I suppose, is that Klass could have been an even more effective debunker if he hadn't fallen into the habit of mockery instead of reasoned debate. But maybe he just got tired of always saying, "Okay, show me verifiable proof!" That debunks 99 percent of UFO reports right there.



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 03:54 PM
link   

originally posted by: JimOberg
a reply to: spiritualarchitect

He loved you guys too, and still has the last word [grin]:

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF PHILIP J. KLASS
To ufologists who publicly criticize me, ... or who even think unkind thoughts about me in private, I do hereby leave and bequeath:

THE UFO CURSE:
No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today. You will never know any more about what UFOs really are, or where they come from. You will never know any more about what the U.S. Government really knows about UFOs than you know today. As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse.


Proving everyone who think of him as a small and spiteful man, right once again.



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 04:04 PM
link   
I always sensed a degree of cordiality between Friedman and Klass.

They seemed to enjoy the cut and thrust of the debate between each other knowing full well neither would change the others mind. It had become a game between them and they both enjoyed playing their part in it.

Ultimately both are now gone. I do wonder if Stan cursed Phil in his final moments.



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 04:09 PM
link   

originally posted by: Sublant
Proving everyone who think of him as a small and spiteful man, right once again.

Yeah, he might have been those things, but he also wasn't wrong. Probably.

I'm still alive, so it remains to be seen if I will suffer that curse. However, that's what happened to my dad. He was interested in UFOs for decades until he died, and prior to that he expressed disappointment to me that he would never know what the deal was with them. I offered him my opinion, which was that it had "something to do with the way we perceive time," but that's all it was, an opinion. And considering my advancing age, I may never know, either.

As for why he was like that, you probably don't remember how vicious UFO fanatics were toward the guy just for asking hard questions they couldn't answer.



posted on Mar, 18 2020 @ 04:48 PM
link   

originally posted by: ConfusedBrit
… I suspect Klass simply loved the spotlight and adored being hated by UFO proponents - in other words, he was a ufological 'shock-jock'.


I knew him personally, and wouldn't argue with this assessment.

In 1972-1975 I worked at the Washington Navy Yard and met Klass in DC numerous times, also Fred Durant [NASM] and Charles Sheldon II [Congressional Research Service] and Robert Sheaffer.



posted on Mar, 19 2020 @ 12:31 AM
link   
a reply to: F2d5thCavv2

Well said mate and yes I think we are.


Some interesting content here from Major Donald Keyhoe - apparently Klass became an expert on the UFO subject in 3 weeks (well done Philip).



KEYHOE: Well, do you know Klass? 

PRATT: I’ve talked to him on the phone. I’ve never met him in person. 

KEYHOE: Well, I know him and I can tell you this. When I was director of NICAP, he came up there one day and said, “Well, you can close up shop pretty soon because I’ve got all the answers.” And I said, “WHAT?” And he said, “I took three weeks off and I worked it out and I’ve got all of them.” And I thought, “This is a lunatic.” Then he came along with several statements on cases and there wasn’t a damned thing in there that would stand up. And I said, “Look, I’m busy. If you want to write this down and put it in a letter to me or the board of governors, OK, but I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.” Well, he’s a very nasty b•stard



Apparently he was also bragging about receiving unredacted government documents on the 1976 Tehran case but Donald wasn't buying it.

Incidentally Klass thought the object involved was the planet Jupiter.







DID KLASS GET SECRET HELP FROM PENTAGON? 

PRATT: I don’t know except that they went to him first, you know, and figured that was the truth. I do know that he apparently is a good friend of Dave Williamson over at NASA, who had something to do with that decision over there, and on the Tehran case, what really annoys me about – do you remember the Tehran case, September 1976, the two jets over Tehran? 

KEYHOE: Yeah. 

PRATT: OK, a fellow over in Berlin named Charles Huffer, who’s an American teaching school over there, he went after that through the Freedom of Information Act. We had heard there was a government report on that incident. Well, he went after this from last April until August, when they finally released a two and a half page, it’s like a telegram, from Tehran describing the incident. And the Pentagon finally declassified that and released it with several deletions. And later on Klass was bragging to Stan Friedman in a letter that he had a copy of that several weeks BEFORE the thing was declassified and released but he got an UNEXPURGATED version of it. That’s a little annoying that he has access to classified documents that the rest of us don’t have. 

KEYHOE: Right. I don’t know whether that’s true or not because– 

PRATT: He claims this anyway. 

KEYHOE: – I wouldn’t believe a damned word he says . . . 


Conversations with Major Donald Keyhoe





posted on Mar, 19 2020 @ 03:43 AM
link   

originally posted by: ConfusedBrit

..the fanatical scepticism from the off by someone like Klass was pretty appalling behaviour.


Fanatical yes mate - some would even say malicious (although I don't think it his antics had anything to do with genuine scepticism).

Nice conversation here between Hatch, Clarke and Dolan over on UFOUpdates before it got shut down (I really do miss that site) - also some further info and documents at the links below if you're interested in just how vindictive (or motivated by third parties) Klass really was.



Formerly, I held the view that Klass was an honest skeptic, but the letter you found undercuts all that.


Klass was "honest" only in the sense that he was sincere in his phobic rejection of the UFO phenomenon. In my long experience and observation of him, he was not honest in the sense in which honesty is applied to intellectual integrity. I refer Listfolk to my obituary of him in the current issue of CUFOS' International UFO Reporter (pp. 27-28).


>What I see is a secret and mean spirited message intended to damage Stanton Friedman and his efforts, all without his knowledge. What I fear I see is an attempt to poison the waters, so that Stan Friedman and others like him are unable to learn anything. I find that frightening.


This little episode is hardly an isolated one in Klass's career. It is likely, I think, that there are others of which we will learn in due course and no doubt others which will forever remain hidden. There was, of course, the notorious 'ufology is tantamount to Communism' episode.which Klass did not want known. He actually threatened to sue the University of Nebraska when an employee exposed the incident.

Reading the nasty letter concerning Friedman, I was reminded of a comparable incident with Allen Hynek. For years Allen was astronomy consultant to McGraw-Hill, the venerable science and technology publisher. One day, according to an account I had from Allan Hendry not long afterwards, Klass called Hynek's editor and demanded to know why McG-H had a "UFO nut" on its payroll. He encouraged the editor to fire him. The editor was at first taken aback, then amused. As soon as he got Klass off the phone, he called Hynek to recount the bizarre little episode. I doubt that Klass ever knew that Allen knew of it.


link

New Philip Klass Letter Found

Philip Klass and His Letter Writing Campaigns





new topics

top topics



 
18
<<   2 >>

log in

join