"The Naked Truth from Open Sources."
Area 51/Nellis Range/TTR/NTS/S-4?/Weird Stuff/Desert Lore
An on-line newsletter.
Issue #16. September 16, 1994
Written, published, copyrighted and totally disavowed by Psychospy.
Direct from the "UFO Capital," Rachel, Nevada.
Area 51/Nellis Range/TTR/NTS/S-4?/Weird Stuff/Desert Lore
An on-line newsletter.
Issue #16. September 16, 1994
We feel guilty and owe our local readers an apology for suggesting in DR#11 that if a major U.S. city had to be nuked by a terrorist group, Las Vegas wouldn't make a bad target. That's not the way we really feel. We only pretend to hate Las Vegas because it is fashionable to do so; in truth it's quite a livable city once you get to know it. Beyond the Strip, Vegas is a modern, efficient metropolis in the Orange County, Calif., mold where it is easy to get things done. The neon jungle can be easily avoided, but when we choose to go there, it offers some of our favorite free entertainment. Although we do not gamble, drink or go to shows, we have always enjoyed the casinos for the insights they offer into human nature. We find it endlessly amusing to wander through the acres of slot machines observing small-brained visitors blow away their hard earned savings on odds that are never in their favor. Nowhere else in the world are the flaws of human perception so obvious and easily studied.
Our warm sentiments for Las Vegas, and subsequent guilt for maligning it, were reawakened by our recent visit to New York City, where we took part in an episode of the Montel Williams talk show. We REALLY hate New York and really wouldn't mind if the Sons and Daughters of Liberty took out Manhattan first. New York illustrates what those small-brained Vegas visitors do with their lives when they go back home. Packed by the millions into an area about the size of the Tikaboo Valley, all personal space and human dignity are taken away and then sold back to people at exorbitant prices. Almost anywhere in the country would be a healthier, more productive place to live; all it takes is a little initiative to get up and go. Like the dumb clucks in front of the slot machines, New Yorkers just sit there and keep dropping in quarters.
Haunting memories of humility and futility came flooding back to us as our plane circled La Guardia airport in the rain waiting for clearance to land. In a previous life we had made this trip many times before, wearing a business suit (We break out in hives just thinking about it.) and carrying a briefcase and umbrella (which, dammit, we had forgotten this time). We were returning now like Crocodile Dundee from the outback, carrying no coat and tie, only our jolly swag. We didn't want to be here, but we had a job to do. A mission. In Times Square, we were scheduled to face the forces of evil--Sean David Morton--in what we expected to be a talk show about Area 51. Sean was the con artist who conducted tours of public land for $99, who passed off 737s as UFOs and who had recently reemerged on the talk show circuit as a Groom Lake expert. We felt that we had to engage the Doctor Reverend Morton now, before he grew bigger and further muddied the waters that we had worked so hard to clear.
The producers of the talk show understood Sean as well as we did, but chose to invite him back anyway. Sean could speak with certainty about UFOs at Area 51, while we were still groping for data and could only ask questions. Sean was there to make extravagant claims, and we were there to shoot him down. The conflict between us would create Entertainment, which is the ultimate aim of the talk show format.
We felt like Donald Trump as we exited the airplane and were met by our driver, holding up a sign with our name on it. He seemed unclear about our destination, however, so we directed him to the Embassy Suites. This was located in one of America's most expensive blocks of real estate, directly fronting Times Square. As we rode the elevator up to the spacious second floor lobby, we tried to estimate the cost of a room here. In Vegas, a bed in a classy joint like this could be had for $45 a night; here, we suspected it was more like $250. We tried not to sound arrogant and Grey Poupon-ish as we introduced ourselves to the desk clerk as a guest of the Montel Williams Show.
Alas, the clerk could find no reservation in our name, and some embarrassed phone calls to the show determined that we were staying not here, but at the Salisbury Hotel, an old "keyhole" establishment wedged between clothing stores about 15 blocks uptown and a corresponding number of notches downscale. Now don't get us wrong: The Salisbury is very "nice." There's no lobby, but comfortable rooms are offered at the reasonable rate of only $110 per night. As Tom Bodett of Motel 6 says on the radio ads, every motel's the same when you're sleep'n. The amenities mattered even less to us on this trip since, in the Crocodile Dundee spirit, we intended only to lay out our swag on the floor and not muss up the pretty bed. Still, the Salisbury was not the Embassy Suites, and the unannounced downgrading of our accommodations could not help but start the wheels of paranoia turning.
From our room, we called Russ Estes in California, who had challenged Sean Morton's credentials in the previous Montel Williams show and was not invited back. He said that the same thing had happened to him: He arrived at the Embassy Suites only to find he had been downgraded to the Edison. "Looks like you're being set up like I was," said Estes. He said that for his show, they put Morton and the pro-UFO crowd in the Embassy Suites, and without notice moved the skeptics and him into the downscale Edison. "You know darn well where Sean is staying tonight," said Estes.
The walls of our room started closing in on us as we practiced our lines. We knew we would have limited time on the air and would have to get out our message early and with no mincing of words. "I've lived near Area 51 for a year and a half and have known Sean Morton and his work even longer, and I can tell you, without reservation, Sean is a charlatan, a fraud and a phony. He'll tell any sort of lie to make himself sound important." But wait, maybe "charlatan" was too big a word for this audience. We had previously considered and rejected "sociopath" as being too upscale, while "victim of Munchausen syndrome" wasn't the proper clinical term. (In diagnostic manuals, this disorder, named after the tall-tale-telling baron, refers to the faking of medical symptoms, not the broader compulsive lying we sought to convey.) How about "a fraud, a phony, a liar and a con man"? That was simple and direct enough for television, but was it too many words?
In a night of fitful sleep, we saw a stream of fevered images. In one scene we are shirtless and bulked up to 250 pounds from years of illegal steroid use. We point our beefy finger directly at the camera and explode in anger: "Sean David Morton, I've taken enough of your lies! You're a fake, a fraud and a phony. This is the grudge match of the century, Sean David Morton, and when you meet Psychospy in the ring, Saturday night, Madison Square Garden, only one of us is going to come out of it alive!"
In other scenes our bravado collapses. The Montel Williams Show has prepared an ambush for us consisting of all our present and former UFO enemies. In addition to Sean, they have flown in conspiracy nutcase and "Old Faithful" promoter Gary Schultz, who, after we challenged his takeover of a Rachel UFO conference, accused us vaguely of child molestation--nonspecific as to time or place. He would no doubt repeat those charges again on the air. Next to him is competing nutcase and "Old Faithful" promoter Erik Beckjord, who shows the audience dramatically enlarged photos of "Old Faithful"--aircraft landing lights to us mortals--and points out hidden alien messages in the big white blob. Fortunately, Beckjord's hatred for Psychospy is tempered only by his violent feuds with Mr. Schultz. Lastly, Montel is sure to welcome Lazar's moronic gatekeeper, "Mr. Nasty" Gene Huff, who will sling his usual creative epithets in our direction: "Prick! Dickhead! Sicko-Spy! Goober! Leach!" (the latter being misspelled as given). Not that we couldn't take on all these dim-wits at once in any arena, but in the resulting fray, Sean Morton would pretend to be the reasonable one and get away scot-free.
We arrived, as requested, about three hours before the 11 am taping. An associate producer briefly showed us the studio and the audience warm-up room, then escorted us to "Green Room Number One," which would be our home until we went on stage. The floorplan reminded us of a miniature Roman Coliseum before a big gladiatorial battle. In the middle was the studio, which is much smaller than it appears on television. Arranged in a sloping, arena-style format are chairs for a small audience--made to look big by camera angle--facing a platform where the guests sit in padded armchairs. Arrayed around the outside of the studio and separated from it by soundproof walls, are a series of "Green Rooms" where the guests are warehoused until they appear. Each Green Room resembles a small living room with green carpeting on the floor and walls and with a sofa and comfortable chairs facing a television set. Our Green Room also contained an impressive assortment of Pepperidge Farm cookies. We were not relaxed enough to eat anything at the time, but we remembered to stuff our traveling bag full of them for later consumption.
Once you enter a Green Room, you are a prisoner there and cannot leave without an escort. If you must go to the bathroom, you have to inform a production assistant carrying a walkie-talkie. After he gets clearance over the radio, he steps into the hallway and furtively looks both ways before beckoning you to follow. He waits for you outside the bathroom, then escorts you back, keeping a constant eye on you to make sure you keep up and do not stray.
In a program that actively seeks on-air conflict, careful management of the Green Rooms is clearly a high priority. Guests who are about to go to war with each other on the show shouldn't be allowed to run into one another in the hallways. In many shows, there will be surprise guests who the others won't be aware of until they are revealed on the air, so the cat mustn't be let out of the bag. In fact, Sean Morton didn't know that we were going to be on the show until we suggested, foolishly, that someone tell him. (Those impulsive ethics are always getting in our way.)
All of this plotting behind the scenes might have heightened our own paranoia had we not been joined in our Green Room by two representatives of sanity, the requisite UFO skeptic and his coach from the New York Area Skeptics. The on-air skeptic was a first- timer like us, but his coach was a veteran of several talk shows and was refreshingly cynical about what we could hope to accomplish. According to him, the skeptics--who Psychospy was clearly classed among--are usually brought on last and are allowed the least amount of airtime. If their arguments are too good and they manage to demolish the principal guests, then the episode can simply be thrown out and never aired. Even when a show airs, it may still be edited, and when time is limited, the skeptic's words are the first to go.
As show time approached, we were visited in our Green Room by a series of specialists. First came the make-up man, who kindly took the sheen off our balding heads. Then came a woman with a clipboard and a man with a video camera. On the clipboard was a form we were asked to sign which said that we wouldn't sue the producers no matter what happened on the show. After signing, we were asked to state our names into the camera and say that we agreed to the terms on the form. Montel himself also stopped in briefly to greet us, and the head producer visited several times to tell us what was happening.
Soon, even in our sound-proofed Green Room, we began to hear the roar of the crowd. Next door, the audience was being "warmed up" for the show, with instructions on when and how to applaud and when to keep quiet. Practicing their loudest and most enthusiastic response, their thunder shook the coliseum walls. The show was about the begin.
On the stage were two women: A young, attractive one, and an older one with dark circles around her eyes that even makeup couldn't hide. They were the abductees, the standard starting point whenever a talk show does UFOs. As far as we were concerned, these two could have come from Central Casting. We had never seen them before, but we had seen people like them on other shows, and we knew most of what they would say before they opened their mouths. The attractive woman recounted how the aliens had paralyzed her in her bed while her boyfriend slept undisturbed beside here. Without her permission, the aliens touched and prodded her naked body, first in gentle, caring ways and then in ways that were not at all pleasant. She felt betrayed by the ruder touches and would never trust the aliens again.
The second woman, with the sunken eyes, said that she had been abducted all of her life by many different kinds of aliens. She had, in fact, killed a number of them. The aliens had implanted tiny fetuses in her body and removed them three weeks later, remarkably developed to the stage of three to four months. The woman knew the fetuses weren't hers, because she previously had a hysterectomy. (This raised snickers among our fellow skeptics, who asked themselves, Where did the woman carry these infants--in her bladder?)
A tape was then shown of Montel's tour of the woman's house in Las Vegas, where he and his crew had visited just before they came to Rachel. The house was filled with geodesic shapes and magical crystals designed to ward off the aliens. The woman slept under a six-foot pyramid with a crystal hanging from the center. To us, it looked like the same contraption Sean Morton is seen meditating under in one of his publicity photographs. We wondered if he had sold it to her.
By the time of the second commercial break, the theme had been set. Watching TV in our Green Room, we knew that this woman would be the star of the show, and Area 51 could be no more than brief diversion.
Again, although we had never met this couple, we knew their basic story before they spoke. We have run into many aliens here in Rachel, like the Ambassador Merlyn Merlin II from Draconis [DR#2] and the very attractive Venus From Venus, whose business card says she does "weddings, exorcisms and alignment healings." Although these beings appear in human form, you know they are aliens because they immediately introduce themselves as such. One young, spacy-eyed woman we once met opened the conversation by asking us where we were from. We said, "Boston," and she said, "No, where are you from Out There?" We had to confess that we didn't know. She said that her name was Willow--just Willow--and that she was from the Pleiades. Pleiadians, she explained, are very peace/love/60s sort of aliens, in contrast to the evil, gray, rectum-coring Reticulans, which Ambassador Merlin claims to represent.
Like the aliens we have known, the couple on the Montel show grew up thinking they were human and did not know the truth until experiencing a revelation. As the woman explained it, a similar mystical event lead her to found the magazine. She said that she saw a holographic vision of Unicus before her. On the show, someone asked, What is Unicus? Unicus, she said, was the magazine. She saw a 3-D vision of the magazine in front of her, so all she had to do was look through the pages to know how to write and design it.
Still sitting in our Green Room, our mind preoccupied with other things, we may have lost touch with the woman's narrative sequence, so we apologize if we don't get her story exactly right. Sometime after the vision, the woman felt an unexplained calling to go to Peru. The next day, it so happened, a brochure arrived in the mail for a tour to Peru, and seeing how this could not be coincidence, she signed up. Through her hotel room window at Lake Titicaca, she saw several alien spacecraft emerge from a cave in a cliff. They split into many craft and then vanished. Somehow, this confirmed her vision and convictions about Unicus.
The man had nothing memorable to add, except that he was also an alien. The two had met at a UFO conference and were immediately drawn to each other by their alienness, but we forget the details.
Then there was another commercial break. The show was now half over. Nothing introduced so far had any stated connection with Area 51. This was a show about aliens and abductees. We remain neutral and do not feel qualified to pass judgment on their claims, no matter how Loony Tunes. Perhaps some abductions are real, but we have often experienced another kind of UFO abuse that is rarely reported to the public: abducted by abductees, which this show clearly was. We realized, now, that our role would be only that of a token skeptic to be brought on at the very end to give the production a thin veneer of respectability.
During Sean's segment, Montel showed the tape of his superficial visit to Rachel and Freedom Ridge, without Sean. Pat and Joe Travis of the Little A-Le-Inn were interviewed outside their establishment, offering their usual unconditional support for everything anyone ever claimed to have seen or experienced. Psychospy, looking hokey in our camouflage fatigues, met Montel in our driveway and showed him the big map on the ceiling of our Research Center. There were some driving scenes, then Montel appeared on Freedom Ridge saying that he had come as promised. Finally, through the window of the Humvee we saw some daring footage of the secret base in the distance.
There was a break for another commercial. The program was winding down now and at last it was our turn. We were escorted from our Green Room and joined the stage with TV newsman George Knapp, meaning that we would each have only microseconds of air time.
When the lights came up again, the camera was still on Sean. Commenting on the tape, he said that he had personally discovered the location Montel had just visited. A lie! He had never even been to Freedom Ridge, let alone discovered it. We wanted to shout, "Liar!" but unfortunately we had not yet been introduced and did not exist as far as the camera was concerned.
Time was running out, and there were still three guests left. George Knapp was introduced first. He had come expecting to talk about Area 51 and the Bob Lazar story, which he had introduced to the world with his KLAS-TV report in 1989. Unfortunately, he had time only for a few short lines. George said something about the charlatans taking over the field, but unfortunately he did not name Sean directly.
Then, at last, Psychospy was introduced. We were asked what brought us to Area 51. We said that we had seen a UFO video tape in which Sean Morton claimed that you could see a dozen UFOs from the Black Mailbox on even a bad night. We said that we came here first to check out this claim but saw only military exercises.
Sean replied immediately, "Unfortunately, Glenn arrived too late," and then he seamlessly took control of the camera. We still feel dazed and aren't sure how it happened, but somehow we dropped the ball and didn't have a chance to respond. With the show drawing to a close, any disagreements between Sean and us seemed futile. Although Sean got more air time than we did, even he wasn't really a player here.
Members of the audience had questions, but only for the sunken- eyed abductee. Someone asked, "You say you killed some aliens. If so, then what happened to the bodies?"
The abductee replied that they had disintegrated instantly.
Someone else asked (off-camera): "How did you kill the aliens?"
The abductee replied, "With a crystal pistol."
We wondered, silently, whether Sean had sold her the crystal pistol.
After a final commercial break, the skeptic came on, making it eight chairs. He was allowed a few token words of objection. There was another question or two from the audience for the abductees and aliens, then Montel proceeded to close the show.
The last thing he did before ending the show was poll each of the guests to ask if they had seen UFOs. We recognized this as our set-up. When the question came to Sean, he said that he had seen UFOs at two locations, including Area 51. When it came to us, we said that we had never seen any UFOs, even when we were on the next ridge over from where Sean was seeing UFOs galore.
We got an applause for that. Our only minor triumph.
Isn't America a wonderful country!
In retrospect, maybe we didn't do so badly. At least we survived with a few shreds of dignity intact. Even if we did not achieve the definitive victory we had hoped for, at least Mr. Morton was kept in check and, aside from his Freedom Ridge discovery, didn't have a chance to spread any new nonsense. In a crunch, we were forced to meet Sean Morton on his own turf. Now, with that encounter ended in a draw, we can bide our time and move the battle to a venue where we feel more comfortable. Slowly, methodically, we'll data him to death.
"You may have gotten away this time, Sean David Morton, but we'll meet again!"
Our mail order arm, Secrecy Oversight Council, will be selling the Ben Rich book as soon as it is available. The price is $24.95 plus $3.50 priority mail postage. Scheduled publication date is Oct. 4, but we are accepting orders now. (Little, Brown, 350 pages, hardcover.)
We have never claimed to fully understand the withdrawal process, owing to its many bureaucratic subprocesses, but after talking with the BLM case officer, here is our understanding of the future steps. Dates are our earliest guess, and further delays are possible anywhere in the process.
Step 1: Release of Environmental Assessment and proposed land use plan amendment (prerequisites for the withdrawal). Notice of proposed amendment published in Federal Register. (Maybe 10/15.)
Step 2: Public is offered a 30-day protest period on land use plan amendment. (Maybe 10/15 through 11/15.)
Step 3: Las Vegas BLM addresses amendment protests.
Step 4: Las Vegas BLM issues record of decision on land use plan amendment, clearing the way for the withdrawal application to proceed. (Maybe December.) Presumably, that decision can be appealed.
Step 5: Las Vegas passes the withdrawal application to the BLM state headquarters in Reno. Reno takes an unknown length of time reviewing application and making a recommendation.
Step 6: Reno passes application to the national BLM director in Washington. National director takes an unknown length of time reviewing application and making a recommendation.
Step 7: National BLM director passes application to Secretary of the Interior, along with a recommendation. Secretary makes decision to approve, reject, delay or consult entrails of sacrificed animals. In the event of an approval, we assume (but are not certain) that the public will be given due warning that the land will be closed, presumably with a notice in the Federal Register.
Judging from the many hurdles still to be crossed, we are not yet making any plans for our Freedom Ridge End-of-the-World Party.
-- G.S. (via email)
-- S.G., Mt. Carmel, PA (via letter)
LAZAR SAUCER. A shipment of the new Lazar Spacecraft plastic model from the Testor Corporation is supposed to arrive at our Research Center by next Thursday. Although we still do not have it in our hands, we can assure our readers, IT EXISTS. The model, that is. You can debate endlessly the veracity of the Lazar story, but at least it is rich enough in technical details to make this model possible. Designer John Andrews, best known for producing the first F-117 model before it was made public, spent many hours with "The Bob" getting the details right. The plastic saucer is 13" in diameter, and the price from us is $25.00 plus $5.50 priority mail postage.
SKEPTIC HISTORY BOOK. Now in stock: Watch the Skies: A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth, by Curtis Peebles. This is a skeptic's history of the UFO movement, offering a plausible, although often superficial, explanation for most of the major publicized UFO events since the 1947 Kenneth Arnold sighting. Anyone who has pursued any of these stories, like Roswell or the Travis Walton case, is bound to find grounds for argument, but it is still interesting to see the flying saucer phenomenon placed into an historical perspective. For example, the Roswell flying saucer announcement came only a few weeks after the widely publicized Arnold "saucer" sighting near Mt. Rainier, strengthening the suggestion that the Roswell officers may have been influenced by that publicity. Anyone seriously interested in UFOs needs to read this sobering book. Available from us for $24.95 plus $3.50 priority mail postage. (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994, 342 pages, hardcover.)
UPCOMING TV SEGMENTS. An Unsolved Mysteries show on UFOs with a segment on Area 51 will air Sunday, Sept. 18 at 8pm. The Montel Williams talk show taped on Aug. 23 will probably be shown Monday, Sept. 19 (time varies by city). (In a demonstration of talk show incest, Montel recently appeared as a guest on the Conan O'Brian talk show, where he promoted his Area 51 show.) The live Larry King special on UFOs, direct from Rachel, Nevada, will air Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8pm ET (5pm PT) on the TNT cable network.
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