posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 01:01 PM
I think McClelland is important because it seems he's been the source of a lot of the 'space UFO' stories that have been appearing for more than 40
years. And as more detailed claims become available and can be checked independently, he's revealed as a very creative reteller -- even originator --
of rumor and gossip.
That can help better validate -- or dispell -- a significant subset of the common 'UFO lore'.
As far as I can tell from my checks with friends and associates at the Cape, Clark really was there for the time periods he claimed, working as a
technician in launch pad fabrication and development. He seems to have been a contract employee of a series of aerospace and service companies -- as
are most space workers, myself included -- but never a direct employee of NASA. What he discovered, as so many of the rest of us did as we got older,
was that short-term contract work does not 'vest' an employee in the company pension fund until ten years of seniority, sometimes more.
And government agencies kept contract costs down by rebidding and awarding many key contracts regularly, often before most people hired for them had
It's entirely possible that Clark, like a lot of others, lost most if not all his 'retirement' benefits because his employment in a succession of
short-term contracts never officially vested him in them. Of my own 22 years at the NASA center in Houston, only about half ever counted towards a
formal pension plan. Such experience is typical for non-Civil-Service workers.
And again, apparently there is no record of Clark ever being a NASA employee directly [nor was I]. His last contract job, working on shuttle ground
processing, was another contractor gig, and apparently he never assumed his official duties because in 1992 he failed a security clearance review. He
was 57, and that was twenty years ago. The 'business card' [SCO Ground Test Astronaut] that he shows on his home page is bogus -- it contains his
Orlando, Florida, personal PO Box address, for example.
How he apparently has been bounced from medicaid, meanwhile, really baffles me, since NASA would have had no authority to interfere with his benefits,
which are purely due to age.
Whenever the stories he attributes to personal conversations with famous people can be checked, they seem connected with published magazine and book
reports from years earlier, that he simply recast as having been told directly to him. I have seen no indication that any of the stories he tells have
ever had independent corroboration, and many are patently preposterous because they conflict with known space engineering practices and capabilities.
What I find objectionable is what I see as his methodology of piggy-backing his own ego on fabrications about real people, many of whom I really do
[or did] know personally, that portrays them as public falsifiers and deceivers [while slipping HIM the real 'inside truth']. Some of them are still
alive, and those who are dead have living loved ones and friends who in many cases are insulted by these falsifications.
Specific examples: it now seems that McClelland is the originator of the Mercury-9 'Gordon Cooper' UFO story, later championed by Frank Edwards and
others, that even Cooper himself -- no stranger to UFO reports -- had to repudiate. In the 1960s and 1970s, through reports to NICAP and other UFO
writers, he seems to have generated many if not most of the fables about 'astronauts and UFOs' that have infested the UFO literature indelibly.