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Phil Klass: "Skeptics UFO Newsletter" now online (large collection)

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posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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A large collection of the "Skeptics UFO Newsletter" written by Phil Klass is now available online.



Many of you be familiar with the name Phil Klass, one of the best known UFO skeptics.

For those not familiar with him, the Wikipedia page on him begins as follows:




Philip Julian Klass (November 8, 1919 – August 9, 2005) was an American engineer, journalist, and UFO researcher, known for his skepticism regarding UFOs. In the ufological and skeptical communities, Klass tends to inspire strongly polarized appraisals. He has been called the "Sherlock Holmes of UFOlogy".[1] Klass demonstrated "the crusader's zeal for what seems 'right,' regardless of whether it brings popular acclaim," a trait he claimed his father instilled in him.[2] "I've found," said Klass, "that roughly 97, 98 percent of the people who report seeing UFOs are fundamentally intelligent, honest people who have seen something - usually at night, in darkness - that is unfamiliar, that they cannot explain." The rest, he said, were frauds.

Longtime ufologist James W. Moseley illustrated the ambivalence many UFO researchers feel about Klass. On the one hand, Moseley argued that Klass was sincere in his motives and that his work ultimately benefited the field of Ufology. In his memoirs, Moseley contended that, when pressed, most leading ufologists would admit that Klass knew the subject and the people involved and was welcomed, or at least pleasantly tolerated, at UFO meetings.[4] However, Moseley also wrote that he and Klass "have had and continue to have intense doctrinal and factual disagreements, and there are things about Phil's 'style', like his attack on Dr. James E. McDonald, that I do not admire or agree with."[4]


He wrote several influential skeptical UFO book and was very involved in debates regarding the MJ-12 documents and various leading cases.

Klass can be seen in action debating UFOs with Stanton Friedman in the videos below of Nightline with Ted Koppel broadcast in June 1987.





Klass was one of the fouding members (along with various others, including Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and Paul Kurtz) of the skeptical group formerly known as the "Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal" (CSICOP), which was recently renamed "Committee for Skeptical Inquiry" (CSI).

In addition to his various UFO books, Klass wrote numerous issues of a newsletter entitled the "Skeptics UFO Newsletter". He gave CSICOP/CSI permission to put those newsletters on its website and the text of a few issues have been available on that website for several years at the link below:
www.csicop.org...




Now, Luis R. Gonzalez (a Spanish researcher, pictured below) has scanned his almost complete run of xerox copies of Klass' Skeptic UFO Newsletter, and filled the gaps with the help of others. I have produced searchable PDF copies of those newsletters and provided them to CSICOP/CSI.




Barry Karr of CSICOP/CSI has kindly let me know that these searchable PDFs will be made available on the CSICOP/CSI website and in the meantime he has no problem with me making them available to download from the free file storage website at the link below (with the kind permission of CSICOP/CSI, which in turn had previously been granted permission by Phil Klass to make his newsletters available online):
app.box.com...





The cases discussed in the newsletters include quite a few that will be familiar to many of you. However, some of the points made by Klass in relation to those cases may not be as well known.

I've selected a pages below in relation to the Gulf Breeze incident, the Coyne UFO case and MJ-12/Doty simply to illustrate the material included in the newsletters.

Illustration of search results on Richard Doty:


Sample extract on Richard Doty:


Illustration of search results on Coyne UFO case:


Sample extract on Coyne UFO case:


Sample page on Gulf Breeze:


There's lots (and lots...) more in the newsletters.

Each issue can be searched using your favourite PDF reader, or you can search a directory containing the entire collection (with other UFO journals, official UFO documents, UFO books, and other material as well if you like) using the fast free PDF software method I outlined recently in the ATS thread at the link below:
FAST searching of major free online collections of UFO journals (or just browse/download them)

Enjoy.


edit on 7-11-2013 by IsaacKoi because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-11-2013 by IsaacKoi because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 03:51 PM
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Thank you for your diligent work once again Isaac. Searchable pdf files are most useful for research as an awful lot of the information on UFOs is either not available on-line or at least not easily available on-line.

Whatever people think of Klass and his stance on UFOs you should not ignore it.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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mirageman
Thank you for your diligent work once again Isaac.


Thanks mirageman, but I'd like to stress that the scanning of these newsletters was done by Spanish researcher Luis R Gonzalez.



Searchable pdf files are most useful for research as an awful lot of the information on UFOs is either not available on-line or at least not easily available on-line.



Indeed. Until Luis R Gonzalez kindly shared with me his scans of his copy of these newsletters, I had only obtained a few of them.

There are a number of other UFO publications that form an important part of the history of this subject but aren't online and are hard to obtain. I'd like to post scans of quite a few more of those publications, but obtaining permission to do so can be a rather difficult and time consuming exercise...




Whatever people think of Klass and his stance on UFOs you should not ignore it.


I think the quality of debate regarding UFOs would be considerably higher if so many UFO researchers didn't ignore Klass and other skeptics.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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Thanks for the interview links and PDFs. While I was never a fan of Klass' curmudgeonly type of attitude in many of the interviews I've seen over the years, I agree with many of his points.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 06:08 PM
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Klass, while well intentioned, probably did more harm to the skeptical point of view than help. He fell into some of the same traps the UFO believers who he was railing against already inhabited.

That said, these searchable PDFs are gold dust to any serious researcher.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 09:43 PM
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How someone could be both so important to ufology and ultimately inconsequential at the same time never ceases to amaze.

One minute he's brilliant, and the next minute more than willing to spout rather embarrassing nonsense when personally dumbfounded.

Klass was like the Bill Birnes of skepticism. Birnes believes everything, Klass denied all. Go figure.


Yes, however, thank you, Isaac!


edit on 7-11-2013 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 04:59 AM
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JadeStar
(Klass) fell into some of the same traps the UFO believers who he was railing against already inhabited.


If I ever get around to writing a book relating to ufology, this is a point in relation to many UFO skeptics that I'd be stressing...



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 05:38 AM
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Sadly, I don't think Klaas was the right voice to 'represent' the Skeptics camp.
edit on 8-11-2013 by zazzafrazz because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 


Good stuff Isaac and certainly an important part of UFO heritage, I saw your post over on UFOUpdates about the scanning by Luis R Gonzalez and would also like to echo your comments about people putting time and effort into research projects that end up not being shared -great that this (and all the other archives and data you've collated) actually is.

Where to start with someone as polarizing and controversial as 'debunker' Philip Klass? Along with reading through these PDF files I guess his curse (which to me never seemed the product of an objective mind) would be a good place:



"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 deathbed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse"

Philip Klass



Sure his hypothetical plasma theory was an interesting one and although the Condon Committee and the USAF didn't take him very seriously there's no question he played an important role in 20th century UFO research -hope to post back on some of his specific 'debunks' after I've read through the files and as you've already mentioned his activity in certain incidents I'd say other cases like Exeter, Cash Landrum, Socorro, Val Johnson, the SAC Base Flyovers etc.. also deserve a mention. Also thought this description of his 'methods of investigation' by astronomer Allan Hendry deserved a place on your thread:



.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.

This is all part of the Klass method of, as Hendry puts it,"using a truncated version of the information available to him and shaping it to his own ends."
There is no way of winning an argument with him because, even when presented with documented evidence of the incorrectness of his position, Klass seldom concedes he is wrong. Instead he holds fiercely to a position even when it is demonstrably at variance with the facts.


Cheers.
edit on 8-11-2013 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 08:19 AM
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wow i remember him back in the day lol they always trouted him out there ...... nothing to see here its swamp gas/ dead monkeys/ parachutes / ballons.... whatever sounded good ,that man lived in a state of denial so long he payed taxes there lol



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 09:17 AM
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I just want to clarify my own statement here: While Klass certainly deserves much of the criticism that comes his way, he also offered some very important commentary and research on many cases. All of ufology owes him a tip o' the hat, and this offering is a treasure trove. What we don't owe him is blind belief in all of his assertions. He's like anyone else including your own favorite ufologist: Consider what he says but check his work.



edit on 8-11-2013 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 09:33 AM
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The GUT

What we don't owe him is blind belief in all of his assertions.


Well I'd agree there mate but what if those assertions were themselves built on blind belief?


On a serious note I think it is widely accepted he provided some important commentary on certain cases yet I couldn't help nodding my head when reading your Bill Birnes comparison - maybe they were two sides of the same coin and all that.

Don't want to get off topic but shortly before he died Kenny Young made some very relevant comments about sceptical UFO organizations and how 'preconceived notion will lead one into the beggarly depths of belief' - thought it was appropriate as Isaac did mention the 'Committee for Skeptical Inquiry'.





E-book


Cheers.
edit on 9-11-2013 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 09:35 AM
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This is a great resource! Scanning through it, I was stunned at the amount of hoaxes and deception all centered around promoting the Roswell crash story. This has to be a record for a UFO case and possibly any historical event real or otherwise.



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 09:42 AM
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honestly at least he exposed all of hoaxes over the years & yes i will give him credit for keeping ufoligy honest & it is a nice collection to be able to acess



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 09:59 AM
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CardDown
This is a great resource! Scanning through it, I was stunned at the amount of hoaxes and deception all centered around promoting the Roswell crash story. This has to be a record for a UFO case and possibly any historical event real or otherwise.
That's basically my point too: I'm literally fatigued by the folk on both sides of the issue who "lie" to us by either omission or blind belief in their own personal position/bias.

I really do respect IssacKoi and karl 12 because they both bring us some really balanced views and better than average sources. Isaac drives me crazy at times because he's so stoic, but he's very fair. He's skeptical of the Birnes, the skeptics, and the official party line---his critique of Project Condign being an excellent case in point.

Karl seeks out and shares some of the lesser-known but more thourough researchers and has turned me on to some of my new favorites.

So here's my question and I hope it's appropriate here: WHOM--and I ask this to everyone--in your personal opinion, can we trust to be balanced researchers? These days--and after years of personal research--I HATE the "sacred cows" of ufology. I don't wanna spend any more money or time on cases like Roswell or even Rendlesham. I much prefer the lesser known, but also less sensationalized, accounts.


edit on 8-11-2013 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 11:53 AM
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The deeper you dig the more believe "the hoaxes" become and the less believable the attempted debunking becomes. For me its not a question if ufos exist and aliens visiting us, its a question of to what extent and to what purpose.

I am skeptical about the really far fetched stuff like aliens living in underground bases and controlling humans. The only reason I am skeptical despite the evidence is because I cant prove its real and I cant prove its fake either.

Until the federal reserve and two party dictatorship goes, we will NEVER get to the bottom of anything. That is how I feel.



The president is said to have level 17 clearance, way below the top. He only runs for a maximum of 8 years so I guess he cant be trusted with all knowledge. He is given what he needs to know to run the nation...into the ground that is!



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 02:56 PM
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I wonder if this Kass fella will admit to being a humanist or not?





hx



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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CSICOP/CSI has now posted the collection on its website, at:
www.csicop.org...



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 


With respect, Mr Koi, I cannot read all that and even if I did, it wouldn't change anything.

Goldsmiths college in New Cross have the biggest bunch of sceptic's that I know of and they all hail as 'humanists'.

I think there is something sceptical about that if you ask me?



best wishes,

hx


P.S. Am I allowed to say that? 'Best wishes???' I think you know what I am getting at?!?!


If they think that one day I will become an automaton they have another think coming!!



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 06:44 PM
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I can kind of see how dealing with the same kinds of people all the time would tend to wear your patience down to the point where you just want to be mean to them or mock them to get rid of them and their ridiculousness. It's a human response, I guess.

Still, I wouldn't mind having Klass's media representative job. Although I'd try to do it without the acrimony. It used to be that every news program would go out of their way to ensure that both "sides" of the argument were presented. Pro-UFO folks were easy to find, but finding a good, articulate skeptic seemed to be harder, and Klass was always available. I'm available and relatively articulate.

Eh, who has that kind of time?



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