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Anthony Mugan

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  1. Hi I would argue that it's extremely unlikely that Corso's book was part of any disinformation operation. My reasons for suggesting that are that when you look back at the history of all this, pretty much all the 'perception management' efforts by the US government and its close allies have been in the opposite direction, towards downplaying the issue and reducing attention on it. Some examples of that include the policies that evolved around press releases in the early period (with much trial and error) but settling by the mid 50's on an approach of only putting out any detail on cases with a reasonable solution. By the second half of the 1950's NICAP was pushing hard for Congressional investigations, and there was a lot of effort put into managing perceptions of important Congressional figures to again downplay the issue and so on. The reasons for that are fairly clear. a) No politician wants to ever admit they don't know everything about everything. Admitting something is going on that we don't really understand is not good optics. b) No official ever wants to tell a politician there is something going on they can't explain in their area of responsibility. It's distinctly career limiting. c) Once the initial worries that this could be something Soviet faded, there remained a real concern that the phenomena could be used to create panic or to swamp 1950's era air defence systems with false targets. That theme runs through the Robertson Panel recommendations and the prior discussions within the CIA. Encouraging a degree of ridicule and making people look a bit stupid for misidentifications, and so discouraging reports, made a lot of sense in reducing 'noise' in the air defense system I could go on... there are some interesting differences in approach once you move away from the English speaking world, but... In that context putting out a sensationalist set of claims by someone like Corso (former Military Secretary to the 5412 Committee, if memory serves) was the exact opposite of downplaying the issue, so it just doesn't fit. I really don't want to speculate as to his true motives, but as the content of the book is largely garbage and he must have known that it doesn't leave too many options. To be honest the intelligence community don't really need to do much to manage the situation....there are enough nutcases and charlatans out there to create quite enough confusion all by themselves.
  2. ps. I read Corso's book years ago. After checking it out I threw it away.
  3. Hi I think Larry Hancock's suggested reading list is a very good start. I'll try to give a few recommendations for the different parts of the subject. a) The Historical context Larry Hancock's 'Unidentified' probably gives the best sense of how the problem was perceived by the military and intelligence community in the USA in the early period 'UFO's and Government' by Michael Swords, Robert Powell et. al. also gives a very good overview of the policy context although many of the case studies presented are really open to conventional explanations In terms of recent developments, Keith Basterfield's blog gives quite a level headed overview of AATIP and all that stuff. b) General Overview I must recommend Ruppelt's 'Report on Unidentified Flying Objects' Although old (1st edition 1956 then a second edition with a fascinatingly different ending) and a bit 'happy' in style it really is essential reading. Ruppelt managed to slip quite a few little gems of information through behind that homespun style which have turned out to be correct such as the Twining memorandum, and a few interesting clues which tie in with later research around connections to the Research and Development Board etc. Jacobs M (2000): 'UFOs and Abduction' gives a wide ranging and balanced series of essays by people from a whole range of perspectives, who were leading thinkers in that time period and gives a very good overview and introduction to different aspects of the problem. Leslie Kean's 'UFO's' gives quite a good basic introduction from a post Blue Book perspective (the photo in there of the alleged Belgium Triangular UFO is now generally accepted to be a hoax, but other than that...). Chapter 27 has a short version of a very important paper by Wendt and Duvall 'Soverignty and the UFO', which is essential reading (the full versions is online if memory serves). c) Technical and scientific aspects Paul Hill's 1995 'Unconventional Flying Objects' is essential reading, although I worry he was largely inductive in his approach and many of the case studies used are less than secure I would also recommend searching online some of the academic papers of Professor Michael Persinger and Dr John Derr on tectonic strain lights and UFOs...certainly not a panacea but part of the picture. There has also been some more recent work (I'd have to check the author) on the correlation between atmospheric plasma associated with the frequency of meteors and incidence of UFO reports. That correlation was first identified, as a purely statistical correlation, in the Condign Report which I would also recommend. The Hessdalen project website is also good on what looks to be a natural atmospheric plasma phenomena that seems to be part of the solution, but not a full solution. The Journal of Scientific Exploration has quite a number of good papers on this topic, although they tend to be less these days. The NARCAP website is quite good if very focused on one angle on this. I highly recommend Martin Shough's work. His RADCAT catalogue is a very impressive analysis of a group of radar visual cases, and his website has quite a few detailed studies and is very objective. The 'UAP Reporting' website has some very good resources, including flow charts for identifying day time and night time misidentifications which I've found very useful in 'sanity checking' many claims. They are a little out of date now (drones etc) and don't cover radar cases, which get quite technical (see Martin Shough's work) nor help with photos and all the problems of CGI etc., but still very useful for older archive cases. e) Official Studies Blue Book Special Report 14 is well worth a read, if you check out the curious use of statistics...they actually more or less proved the opposite of what the wanted to claim. You probably do need to read the Condon Committee Report The Condign Report The Cometa Report (short, but to the point)...there is also a follow up by SIGMA 3AF on that. f) Roswell I'd go with Larry's suggestion but a word of caution, Roswell is a complete dog's breakfast of fantasists, hoaxers, charlatans and bad analysis (including the various official explanations, which actually don't work), and some serious researchers. Bottom line is unidentified debris. It might be very significant or it might be just some random debris. The whole case needs stripping right back to basics and what can be documented, but I certainly don't have the patience for that morass... g) A general word of caution One thing I found over the years is that you can't rely on any claim or alleged fact in Ufology without checking it out for yourself. It is amazing how many famous authors just repeat stories from someone else's book and when you dig back into the primary documents it all falls apart. There is in the end a residue of cases that do represent a real challenge to the analyst and appear to represent a set of observations that appear to represent technological devices of a broadly consistent set of characteristics and patterns of behaviour, but they are actually quite few and far between. The other issue is that in reality not much changes quickly in this subject, which creates a problem for people who write, speak or blog about it. Over the decades there has been a trend towards more sensational claims and much of that is just nonsense put out in order to attract attention. It is a fascinating but also infuriating subject and the watch word is caveat emptor. That trend towards more sensational claims can also be seen on individual cases and as a general rule of thumb the later more sensational claims tend to be either demonstrably false or at best extremely dubious. I will mention one specific case, Rendlesham, which you might find interesting to follow through the timeline on. David Clark's analysis on his website seems to me to provide a full and coherent solution to what must have been a genuinely puzzling sequence of misidentifications at the time...but I'll leave you to consider that case in it's totality and how it get presented, along with the rest of it!. Good luck!
  4. Hi I shall probably not be popular with this, but... One of the things that was quite striking when I first began to study this subject was how none of the theories presented up to that point in time (more than 10 years ago now) worked fully across the full range of data. Quite a few worked for the evidence presented, but hit some awkward little facts when considered more broadly. This was challenging as I thought the physical evidence would be the area that would play to my strengths. Then came Dr D B Thomas 2014 seminal work ‘Hear no Evil’ which is a staggeringly impressive piece of work. There are a few loose ends still In terms of those 6 seconds but in all honesty JFK researchers need to recognise that there should no longer be this internal debate about the basic events of the assassination itself. Five shots, three shooters with the the fatal head shot at z313 from the grassy knoll. Thomas’ work is if the highest academic standard. Any new proposal needs to build on that work and incorporate it in the way in physics new theories build on GR and QED which in turn build on and incorporates classical physics within themselves. As a detail CE399 can’t have hit anything very hard at all.
  5. Hi David Could I play a 'devil's advocate' role here? In reality I am in no way decided on these visa applications, one way or the other. I should be clear that I have no expertise in questioned document analysis so I am just going to ask a few questions and hopefully we can see where it goes... My starting assumptions are that Duran made two copies of the visa application, a top copy that went off to Cuba and a carbon copy that was retained in the Consulate files. She stapled a seperate passport sized photo of the applicant to each copy and got the applicant to sign both copies individually. The WC obtained a copy of the version held in the Consulate files and the HSCA got a copy of the top copy that went to Cuba. In each case each image that we see has gone through several processes. There is a reference to Xeroxing the one from the Consulate and the HSCA photographing the version they saw. Presumably each copy has gone through various processes along the way to publication. Q1. Could the various copying and photographing and printing processes done on the seperate images we see account for the distortions in the typed part of the document? Q2. If you look at CE 2564, the visa application form from the WC report you can see a faint line of black dots in the photo of LHO running slightly diagonally in the upper part of the image, above his head. Could this be a trace of the staple on that photograph (a separate image to the one used in the top copy the HSCA got)? This image is much lighter than the HSCA one which presumably relates to the copying processes done on the different documents. Could this have led to the much fainter image of the staple in CE 2564? https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1141#relPageId=844&tab=page Q3. As the applicant would have had to sign both copies of the application is it possible that the applicant signed the top copy neatly but quickly scribbled his signature on the second copy? Has a specialist in handwriting looked at this at any time? Q4. Is it likely that the top copy got the official stamp but the carbon going into the local file didn't? Q5. As the version which looks most unusual is the WC version, obtained from the Consulate in Mexico, that would require the Cuban government to have co-operated in 'tidying up' the HSCA version at a later date or for the US to have modified the document to create a less than ideal forgery for the WC version in 1964 in a way that runs counter to their basic hypothesis. At first sight that seems the wrong way around for there to be forgery involved or am I missing something? As I say, I'm just trying to play devil's advocate here to test out the possibilities...would actually be quite pleased if I could get to a point were I could 'sign off' on LHO not being physically present in Mexico as it would open the door to tying up the Odio incident, but I'm just not there yet. Regards Anthony
  6. Hi David J Thanks for the info...it's taking me a while to go through and I'm still trying to get my head around it. Can I just check I've got this right? In the post I've quoted above the visa application image on the right is from a photograph taken by HSCA investigators in Cuba from a Cuban government source and has the staple in the photo and fairly genuine looking signature and a Cuban stamp. The one of the left (which looks older???) is the one the WC had and that has the faded photo with no obvious staple, the odd signature and no Cuban stamp?? Is that the right way around or am I getting muddled up here? That is just weird...not at all sure how to interpret that... Anthony
  7. Hi David It is a really interesting question and your work has made me change my mind (from our previous conversation) from assuming Oswald was physically there for at least some of it to being very undecided about it to say the least. Perhaps the key piece of evidence that keeps me agnostic on it is that Cuban visa application photo. That is clearly LHO and I can’t think of a scenario in which Duran wouldn’t spot that wasn’t the person in front of her and hard to see how either the USA could fake it without Cuba leaking the real version at some point in the last half century plus. Do you (or anyone) have a view on that photo? cheers Anthony
  8. Hi Greg If you don't mind I'd prefer not to go too far away from the focus on the original paper at the moment. You raise many interesting topics but they are slightly outside my main focus at the moment and in many cases open to various interpretations...we could end up producing a small (or, well, actually quite a large) book on all that. One very specific point. My take on the sequence of events after 22/11 is basically that apparent links to Castro and to the Russians scared the administration into closing down a serious investigation very quickly, and in the process missing the links to the anti-Castro groups. The exact motivations behind all that are open to debate, of course, but the sequence you alude to, with Hoover initially discussing what seems to be the actual events in Mexico City (more or less...bear in mind their understanding of the facts was evolving in real time and was not the same as we now have from our perspective). An example within that is the voice on the tapes (at least one copy of which we now know existed into 1964) and then that all very quickly reversing direction and that all seems to be part of that process. That could all be entirely honorable, or perhaps not for some individuals - that is one of the big open questions. In terms of the telephone calls I suppose it boils down to the relative weight we place on the primary documentary evidence (or physical evidence in other areas where that exists) which I tend to give a high weighting to and only go away from that if I'm really forced to by other evidence. I suspect we may just have to cordially agree to disagree on the balance of evidence on that specific question. The main thing I'm trying to outline in the paper is a scenario for why the 10th Oct memos were produced which works 'end to end' with the documentary evidence. That takes to me to suggest a link to a CI operation around concern of a 'high level of penetration' of the FBI that was occurring concurrently in Mexico City and it appears to be around the apparent test of LAROB by Bakulin back in July 1963. That may be entirely separate from the assassination conspiracy or it may not be. That's really the key proposal I'm putting forward. Regards Anthony
  9. Hi Greg. I don’t want to get too drawn into pre-62 stuff as that’s not been a recent focus for me, but a few thoughts... I think we can all agree that O’s proficiency in Russian followed a trajectory of roughly: 1957 - next to nothing late 1959 - low to moderate. Early 1961 - good enough to pass as someone from the Baltic states on first meeting Marina. 1963 (and so probably by mid ‘62) - good enough to be a translator, or recommended as such.. In that context it seems clear he must have had plenty of practice speaking Russian, which is not evenly remotely surprising. Would Anna Ziegler have memories, 36-38 years later, of O struggling with Russian? Obviously...particularly in the 1960 time period but even later, perhaps if the conversation was more specialised. If I understand it correctly Mr Ziegler’s (or Zigler? The spelling seems to vary...) was fluent in several languages and O socialised with several people who where language students. It hardly seems strange to me that they would like to practice their English with O, so I have no problem with O speaking in English quite a bit with this group. He obviously wouldn’t be doing that much at work or in other every day situations. That could get you in bother with the authorities, as your friend found out, and impractical as most people wouldn’t have much English. Other than the 1959 hospital incident I’m not aware of Soviet concerns about deception on O’s part around language. His language skills were developing in 59 which might be the answer to that particular incident...struggling to understand but having a good guess at the right answer...although he might also have been worried about what the Soviets were going to do with him and trying to pick things up. It is, however, a one off event and in highly unusual circumstances. In general I see no convincing evidence that O deliberately pretended to be less proficient in Russian than he was beyond the 1959 hospital event, which seems easily understood in prosaic terms. There is no evidence of Soviet concern around anything like that, for example from 1960-62. The very old memories described also make sense in the context of Oswald evolving proficiency and the way memories distort rapidly. In one sense it is always possible that an expert can pretend to be less skilled. In terms of Mexico City we have to ask the question of why on earth would he do that? The reason would have to fit consistently and coherently into the wider context of at least one of O’s life, CIA operations or the conspirators’ plan. I don’t currently see a scenario for O himself doing that which works across the full ‘warp and weft’ of the data...which is why I’ve gone for the impersonation scenario, at least for the phone calls, with very high confidence. cheers Anthony
  10. Hi Greg At the moment I’m more inclined to the view that the author of the 1964 chronology got muddled up. We know that Duran phoned the Russian embassy late on the 27th during ‘Oswsld’s’ third visit that day (probably 5pm to 6pm) to check his claim that the Russians had granted him a visa. I think the 28th Sept date for the caller in broken Russian talking about his address seems fairly well established. Yes, the consulate was close and the broken Russian is to me the most significant issue as the real Oswald was fluent. Feinglass is indeed a psyeudonym for Boris Tarasoff. If you have a look at his 1978 HSCA testimony it does seem to me to resolve the issue around the ‘commentary’ on the transcripts you highlight. Certainly a very complex situation and I’m very open to the possibility the the real Oswald was or wasn’t physically in Mexico City. Cheers Anthony
  11. Hi again Bill The question of if concern over the security of LIENVOY lay behind the 'marked cards' of the 10th October was how I originally got interested in digging into Mexico City as I have always had difficulty with that hypothesis from a practical operational perspective. Let's consider the practicalities... If I were a KGB officer in Mexico City in 1963 I would be working on a standard assumption for all embassies that we could be being bugged at any time, so a desire to test out that possibility is perfectly reasonable. You are right to highlight how sensitive Langley was to any action that might risk exposing LIENVOY and the starting position has to include a possibility that the Soviets picked up on the actions you describe, so we have to consider to possibility of the KGB poison pill carefully. 'Oswald's' visits might have been a reasonable opportunity to test out possible telephone taps by inserting a fake call using the Oswald name and seeing if the Americans reacted to a possible re-re-defector (if that is even a term). To be a practical plan I would need to have a way of detecting the American reaction through a suitably placed source and clear the idea with my superiors (just in case LIENVOY was already blown without my knowing about it and my bosses were already happily passing false intelligence through it, or were otherwise interested in Oswald etc etc.). So whilst the telephone calls seem a bit quick off the mark in terms of getting approval I don't really have a problem with the basic possibility of a Soviet 'poison pill' and I had to consider that scenario. The problem really comes up with what happened next. If this was a Soviet poison pill to detect LIENVOY, the CIA was remarkably co-operative in their reaction to it. Memo's about it went back and forth between Mexico and Langley, with officers from CI, WH3 and SR all getting involved. MEXI were told to inform quite a range of people in the embassy as to the basic fact that 'Oswald' contacted the Soviet embassy and indeed the FBI locally went off and queried all their informants and sub-informants about him during October. Meanwhile Langely was letting a whole host of people, in State, the FBI, the INS and ONI know they were interested in Oswald. If the Soviets had a source in any of these groups and were tracking this to detect US interest in Oswald it should have got back to the KGB (and there would have been no point in planting the poison pill unless you thought you had some way to tell if it had been swallowed). The above actions might be OK if the CIA were not concerned about a Soviet source. As the twin memos of the 10th October are so clearly marked cards that hypothesis is untenable. I can't see a scenario in which the CIA were worried about the security of LIENVOY but in reaction to that planted marked cards that, if they were taken up by the KGB, would confirm to the KGB that they were being tapped in Mexico City if the KGB was actually watching out for that indicator...it just doesn't make any sense. We can also be sure that LIENVOY was not blown. There is a document on the Mary Ferrell site, for example from 1965 describing LIENVOY material being sent back to Langley. That was were I got to about a year ago when I started going back through the whole thing in micro-detail in terms of the activity in Mexico City itself. I wanted to try to find a scenario that worked operationally and initially came to a shortlist of four scenarios, with a fifth emerging later: 1. Oswald acted totally independently (a 'lone nut') but CI/SIG used that event opportunistically. 2. Oswald was brought down to Mexico City as part of an anti-FPCC operation, but then went 'off piste' in trying to get a visa as part of his efforts to go back to the USSR. 3. Oswald was brought down to Mexico as part of a fragmentation effort against the Cubans, again going 'rogue' in terms of the visa request (with thanks to Larry Hancock for the core idea). 4. Oswald was brought to Mexico to be the access asset in an attempt to get Bakulin to defect, after the FBI blocked the use of their assets and the CIA ruled out using LIMOTORs over concern for the future careers of the students, and again went 'rogue'. This was my initial preferred choice, but until recently all of 1-4 remained 'in play' but an awkward little fact discussed below has shifted that view. 5. The proposal I outline in the above paper. All of these apart from option 5 involve the CIA reacting to Oswald opportunistically, but with someone using the phone calls for their own purposes. Only option 5 has the whole thing as a CI/SIG operation. Gradually options 1-4 became less likely. It would take a reasonable sized book to discuss them all in detail but just one really key element is the early modification of his 201 file, prior to the events in Mexico City. That seems to argue strongly that the events there were planned and expected by Egerter. That one little fact means I have moved to proposing a scenario in which this was planned by CI/SIG from the start. As the nature of the marked cards themselves makes it inconcievable to me that the CIA had serious concerns about LIENVOY itself I then needed an scenario in which there was some reason for CI/SIG to want to test out the possibility of a Soviet mole in Mexico City and in ideally most of the State Department, INS, FBI and ONI, but with a concern not based on Oswald himself...and there it was, concern over a 'high level of penetration of the FBI' and concern that Bakulin had tested LAROB with fake information about travelling to San Diego on a German passport. A serious concern on the right timeline involving the right organisations (apart from the ONI) and where Oswald could be set up to provide a reasonable reason for the queries to go out, as long as he could be made to look fairly innocuous. The marked cards weren't unduly rushed, stripped right back to suggest the CIA didn't know much about him and sufficiently vague (in terms of the memo that went to national headquarters) concerning the source (reliable and sensitive) to leave open a humint source as a possibility. A risk, certainly, but a calculated one and for a potential big prize if there was a 'high level of penetration'. Looks like the Soviets and Cubans took the view that 'Oswald' was a provocateur...probably correctly, and didn't react, but that is my current opinion based only on the absence of evidence of any reaction and later statements by some of the witnesses. As always very open to persuasion. The key thing that would alter my opinion as to the range of possible scenarios would be an operational scenario in which it wasn't required to assume CI/SIG were totally incompetent and that then somehow didn't blow LIENVOY by the Soviets somehow not picking up on their poison pill. If there is a reasonable case to be made to avoid the early modification of the 201 that would also be very significant and re-open scenarios 1-4 (and possibly others that other people may be able to think of too). Cheers Anthony
  12. Morning, Bill Thanks for your very helpful challenges...it's important to test these things out really thoroughly. It is very much appreciated. In terms of the Tilton anti-FPCC op, it is probably fair to say we are reading these memos somewhat differently. The key things to me is the timeline and the physical activity itself. In terms of the timeline, by the time Papich drafted this memo on the 18th September Oswald had already obtained his Mexican visa and yet the memo is clear that the CIA are giving consideration to plans against the FPCC rather than actually running an operation. As I think we are both of the view that Oswald's trip to Mexico City was part of an operation (the debate is really on the exact nature of that operation) the planning for it had to pre-date the 17th September by some margin. Decisions had already been made and orders given before the 17th September, so we are need to be looking at planning in early September or even earlier for issues known about at that time. The second aspect to consider is if the actions of the Oswald identity in Mexico City look like an operation to plant deceptive information (not written) regarding the FPCC. 'Oswald' referred to his FPCC membership in his visit to the Cuban consulate but would that be enough? It is hard to see how any damage to the FPCC could be expected to arise from these actions. Whilst the Cubans and Russians were not impressed by Oswald they could hardly be expected to publicise anything damaging to the FPCC and it can not have been a serious attempt to actually get him into Cuba or Russia by the CIA as they would know the correct procedure for that. To be an operation to damage the FPCC there would need to have been some action that would become public that would discredit the FPCC, or fundamentally change Cuban or Russian policy towards the FPCC. None of this became public until after the assassination, and then only very gradually over many years. It doesn't seem logical to me for a planner to assume that strange actions by 'Oswald' or whoever at the consulate and embassy would become public in any way. No one on the Cuban side would factor this information into changing their overall assessment of the FPCC either...it comes across as the actions of a 'lone nut' at first sight, to coin a phrase. A third aspect is if this was all about written material or not. You are quite right to point out the grammatical significance of the 'and' between the 'propaganda' and the 'deceptive'. I do read the memo slightly differently to you in that, whilst 'deceptive information' can be in any format or media, the focus of this is clearly on written materials. That is similar to other fragmentation operations against the FPCC which (and I am going from memory here, which is always a risk before my second cup of tea of the day(!)) used provocative and deceptive letters and mailings to FPCC members to create dissension between different factions. Off memory that was within the USA (FBI led?) and aimed at creating dissension between SWP and CPUSA members, but I may not be remembering the detail. So, in summary. To be an operation targeting the FPCC the planning would have to have been finished before the 17th September and orders issued so the timeline doesn't work. The actions of the Oswald identity in Mexico City would need to be of a type that could plausibly lead to damage to the FPCC, which they were not. I do also read the document as being very focused on written disinformation materials, although that is open to interpretation gramatically. Suspect we may just have to cordially agree to disagree, but that's fine and totally acceptable (and important, actually) in any serious historical discussion. Thanks again and I'll go on to the LIENVOY bit below
  13. Hi Greg In terms of the question as to if the real Oswald was ever in Mexico City physically and then if he did the various visits to the Cuban consulate and Russian embassy, I am just agnostic at the moment. There seems to be quite a reasonable case that can be made for several scenarios and no obvious way at the moment of decisively differentiating between, at least not one I can think of just now! This is a significant open question. In terms of the phone calls though I would argue the situation is much clearer. The original transcripts and Tarasoff's 1978 HSCA testimony makes it pretty clear that the Lee Oswald who identified himself as such in the 1st October call was the same person who called on the 28th September and spoke in broken Russian. That link is on the contemporaneous transcript and Tarasoff doesn't walk it back in his 1978 testimony at all. The transcript ties in very well with the physical activities of the Oswald identity. There are no indications of a second American citizen in contact with the Cubans and Russians in Mexico City in this sort of way on these days and we know the real LHO was in touch with the Soviet embassy in Washington about returning to the USSR. It is all very consistent and neat and tidy with primary documentation and no contra-indicators.
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