Saturday, November 9, 2013

FINALLY! All Issues of Klass' "Skeptics UFO Newsletter" (SUN) are On-Line!

Several years ago I pointed out to CSI(COP) that the collection of Klass' influential and significant Skeptics UFO Newsletter (SUN) hosted on their website was incomplete. I was assured that the librarian would get right on it, but that didn't happen.

Then on October 23, 2013 UFO researcher and archivist Isaac Koi posted a plea on the UFO Updates mailing list, noting that
Luis R. Gonzalez (a Spanish researcher) has scanned his almost complete run of xerox copies of Klass' skeptic UFO Newsletter, and filled the gaps with the help of others. Only a small number of issues are currently available online, at the CSICOP website...  Perhaps CSI/CSICOP will give permission for me to share a link to a much more complete collection of SUN, as searchable PDF files, on a free file storage website; and/or (2) CSI/CSICOP may like to make this more complete collection available to download from its own website....I have yet to receive any positive answer to either of the above possibilities or any reasons for refusing the requests... If anyone has a good relationship with CSICOP then perhaps they could have a word with someone there.
As soon as I saw that I put together an email in support of Koi to the appropriate persons, and they began talking. Soon the matter was resolved, I think, to everyone's satisfaction. Koi has uploaded the complete collection of SUN #1 - SUN #76 to on-line storage, with a nice introduction and explanation here. He also links in a two-part YouTube video from 1987 by Ted Koppel interviewing Klass and Stanton Friedman. (You will note, to no one's surprise, that Friedman is given far more time to speak than Klass.)
SUN revealing the Gulf Breeze UFO photo hoax (Isaac Koi)
Soon after that, the full collection of SUNs was posted to the CSI(COP) website. Both of the scans appear to be searchable.

The on-line presence of SUN is a huge boon to serious UFO researchers of all stripes, as Klass was invariably the best-informed skeptical researcher, and the newsletter is filled with information concerning many famous (and less-famous) UFO claims. Klass was a meticulous researcher, and while you may not agree with his conclusions (even I do not agree with Klass 100% of the time), you can be confident that all of the facts he cites are correct and can be substantiated. You can then draw your own conclusions from that. "Write only what you know," Klass admonished me on more than one occasion. Don't state something as a fact unless you know that it is a fact, and can demonstrate it. 

Koi provides some nice examples above of what SUN contains. These searchable files are also a huge boon in making the skeptical viewpoint about UFOs available to interested persons.

I should mention that following in the footsteps of SUN today is Tim Printy's SUNlite, continuing Klass' tradition of meticulous and careful UFO investigation with a skeptic's eye. Tim puts out six issues a year, covering all manner of contemporary UFO claims and controversies.


  1. It's great having all of Klass's work online now. Robert, would you know in which issue he discussed the Rendlesham Forest event? (I don't have the time at the moment to search through them all.) Did he also conclude that the lights were from a bolide?

    1. [[ However, the principal "mysterious light" that Halt and his associates saw almost certainly was identified by British researcher Ian Ridpath thanks to a tape recording made by Halt during portions of his trip into Rendlesham Forest. A copy of Halt's tape was given to a British UFOlogist who in turn sold copies to
      interested researchers and SUN's editor obtained a copy. At several places in Halt's tape a voice describes the light from the UFO suddenly appearing, then getting brighter and brighter, then becoming dimmer and dimmer and finally disappearing only to reappear shortly. The duration of these "cycles" (as best I now recall) was 4.8 seconds. Ridpath discovered that this was the same rotation cycle time as the Orfordness lighthouse-a few miles distant from Halt at the time and at roughly the same bearing as the UFO.....]]

      --Phil Klass writing in SUN #69, Fall 2001

    2. "Of all the questions that need to be answered about the Rendlesham Forest UFO case, the most significant has always been the following: what was the flashing light seen in the forest by the airmen on both nights? This was the first aspect of the case that I addressed once the story appeared in the News of the World in 1983 October, and I was quickly convinced by the suggestion of local forester Vince Thurkettle that it was the Orford Ness lighthouse. Eyewitness evidence that has come to light since then strongly supports this identification. Commonly raised objections to this identification are here examined and found to be invalid." --Ian Ridpath

    3. Zoamchomsky: Yes, I know that many in the skeptics community believe that the Rendlesham event can be attributed to the lighthouse. But I'm skeptical that all of these officers and enlisted men could all be fooled in this manner. I'd like to see other possible explanations, in addition to the lighthouse and meteor hypothesis. If there were actually a craft (and that's still rather dubious), I still think it might have been some sort of Soviet stealth drone, atomic-powered. The markings (if there was a craft and it had markings) were simply some sort of Russian code (to keep the identity of the craft secret). Pure speculation, of course, but at least there is a clear motive: spy on a Western atomic weapons base.

    4. Transpower, you're forgetting that this was not a single incident, but a sequence of incidents occurring over several days. First they saw the meteor. Some went outside, and there they saw the lighthouse. And so on.

    5. "... Soviet stealh drone, atomic powered."

      I am going to pick on this for a moment, but please don't take it personally Transpower.

      One wish that is commonly expressed is for UFOlogists to self-police and double-check each other's work. I feel as though skeptics should be doing the same thing, as I've seen a number of incredibly improbable ideas being pushed. Sometimes, skeptics provide improbable explanations for an event in order to suggest a physical craft was there, possibly to be charitable towards witnesses.

      Suggesting stealth aircraft programs as UFO sighting generators begs the question of why a government would test such craft in a location and manner that would result in dozens of people seeing it. Stealth craft would also not be fitted with such bright and well-defined formations of lights as to make them eye-catching.

      Atomic power plants use fission or fusion to replace combustion as the heat source for a steam cycle. An atomic-powered vehicle would not be that stealthy. Furthermore, there have been ZERO flying vehicles ever powered by an atomic-fired steam prime mover, for obvious reasons.

      Lastly, if the Soviets wanted to look inside a NATO nuclear base, they'd do what they did in every other case: recruit someone on the inside or place a mole inside.

      There is no need to invoke reality-bending black projects to explain Rendlesham or any other sighting. When the true details come out, most UFO sightings are incredibly hum-drum affairs, even from the mouths of the people reporting them.

    6. Thank you, B R-V, that was very well reasoned.

  2. If Klass Act was involved it might have been , or Jupiter, or moonlight on clouds, ice crystals, plasma/ball lightning or that lighthouse off in the distance.
    The personnel must have been mentally ill, on drugs, hallucinating. The radar images must have been false, & the radioactive readings, & those ground indentations must have been "mating" badgers.
    If all else fails, Halt, Penniston & the boys were playing a massive HOAX !!

    All "KLASSic " modus operandi > suppressing & distorting the evidence,un-scientific reasoning, ad hominem attacks, smear campaigns,bait & switch tactics, & basically ignore anything against his preconceptions.

    P. J Klass CURSE > "You will never know anymore about what the US govt
    REALLY knows about Ufo's that you know today"

    Coming from a man who started with General Electric (heavily involved with military contracts) & then editor for "Aviation Week & Space Technology". A man that coined the term "avionics".
    Even Klass, quotes the old " How could the govt keep something secret?". A 1000 people working on "Project Hexagon" ( NRO spy sat.) managed too!
    If this man wasnt working for the govt as a PR editor, then who was?

    His anger at anything to do with the Roswell Crash is a give away. Supplying secret documents(never before seen) to disprove a cover-up is hypocritical knowing his outbursts on the MJ12 papers.
    Whistle blowers are all coming forward near their deathbeds, with info on reverse engineering of downed ufo craft. LED;s, heads up displays, fibre optics. silicon chips, lasers & micro cicuits, stealth.
    These were all fields that Klass was involved in through G.E. & was so highly respected in the aero & space arenas.

    Founder of CSIOP ? Lets look at some more "KLASS Acts"

    * Abused Hynek's credentials> "He wont be for long!"
    *Frederick Valentick Dissapearance> "Must be a drug-runner"
    *Cash/Landrum case> hassled doctors,radioactive symptoms a hoax
    *Nebraska Uni UFO meet>US govt integrity at stake, their communists
    *Letter to NRC Canada> Stanton Friedman is coming, he's a liar,trouble,security issue, blah,blah,blah......

    He placed all his early skepticism on his plasma/ball lightening theory, but this was easily passed as one vague theory explaining another.
    The JAL over Alaska flight was Mars & Jupiter? Then moonlit clouds & ice crystals? Senior pilots grounded> by ridicule.
    I for one believe the revelations by that FAA chap with the cockpit & control tower tapes, radar recordings & how they were all silenced . That is evidence, not the rantings of "it could have, might have, possibly or they were dillusional, on drugs or playing a hoax" in the "KLASSic style"!

    In 1957 , for "Av Wk & Sp Tech" he gave a report on "Counter Measures".This drew attention from the FBI for "unauthorised disclosure of information classified secret". Was he charged , fined, or disciplined for this?
    In todays NSA terror world, he would be looking at 35 yrs, a cell-mate for Manning. I think "Chelsea" would be more "KLASSy" !!

    Sorry Robert, I know he was your idol, but the man is dead. Time to move forward. Extinct dinosaurs like him & Kissinger must be seen for what they really are > hiders of the truth to promote agenda's in the name of national security. The Cold War is over, but all we hear about is Iran's nuclear intentions, Syria's chemical weapons, WMD's in Iraq & those bad, bad , Bad UFO's.

  3. I believe Klass predicted that, just as Donald Menzel's name was put on the MJ-12 list, one day after his death someone would put his (Klass's) name on some super-secret committee that had hard evidence of ETs. This has not happened yet but there is still time.

    The above comments by Deano seem to be a small step in that direction. Someone may yet unearth papers about some highly classified UFO committee with Phil Klass's name printed on it. When that happens, Roswell, Rendlesham, Kecksburg and everything else will explode in a great shower of fireworks and the truth will be out, finally.

    We can only wait and hope.

  4. Since we're on the subject of the Rendlesham incident, may I just point out that the radiation levels recorded at the site were simply background
    The supposedly high radiation readings are just a myth.

  5. That's helpful to know, Ian. Meteorites sometimes do have radioactive isotopes, so I thought that maybe that's the radiation the officers measured, if it wasn't from some atomic power source.

  6. For goodness sake! Step back & take a look at what you are saying & therefore implying.
    A Lt Col , & a Major Sgt, tasked with security of a nuclear weapons airbase, can mistake a distant lighthouse for what they actually saw >UFO's. !!!!!
    Penniston touched it & drew it.
    This cost him his career mind you.

    The real mystery of this case is why the MoD didnt interview the witnessses.
    Nearby HM Prison Hollesly had its record pages removed of the times in question, & there was indentations in a triangle pattern in the ground.

    Even Lord Admiral Peter Hill-Norton, ex chief of MoD, & chairman of Nato, raised his disbelief at the manner the whole affair was investigated, or lack of it. Nothing here, move along..........?

    Nearby, at RAF Woodbridge, the weapons storage area was struck by a light beam fired from an unidentified craft. This story is the same as told by USAF personnel in the states> Salas, Fenstermacher & Dedrickson, about atomic silos being deactivated.
    To skeptics, anyone that works on a nuclear weapons base is a raving lunatic with dillusional tendencies. Thats comforting!

    My uncle was in 617 sqd of Dambusters fame flying Vulcan bombers. Every night they flew towards Moscow with atomics, only to be called home at the last minute.This went on for yrs till replaced by ICBM's.

    In the words of Vice-Admiral R.H. Hillenkoeter( ex CIA), " hide the facts,the Air Force has silenced its personnel"

    Saying what they thought they saw was a distant lighthouse - SERIOUSLY?
    But thats americans for you, Bush Jnr was more interested in "My pet Goat"on the morning of 9/11 .............
    Those hi-jacked planes on NORAD radars must have been anomolies
    But they can force a plane to land in Europe carrying the Bolivian president because they thought Snowden was onboard........

  7. Deano, I agree that it does strain one's credulity to imagine that all those officers and enlisted men could be fooled by a lighthouse. The meteorite hypothesis is, therefore, more credible. On the other hand, Penniston claims that the alleged spacecraft was a time traveling machine--which also strains one's credulity.

    1. Years later, Rendlesham officer Jim Penniston also claimed he telepathically received a binary code message from the UFO.

      The secret code was finally deciphered:


    2. The message Penniston received was actually:



Keep your comments relevant, and keep them civil! That means no personal attacks will be allowed, by anyone, on anyone. Commenters are welcome to disagree with me, or with other comments, but state your arguments using logic, and with a civil tone. Comments in violation of these rules will be deleted, and offenders banned.

Comments should be in English, although quotes from foreign-language sources are fine as long as they're relevant, and you explain them. Anonymous postings are not permitted. If you don't want to use your real name, then make up a name for yourself, and use it consistently.