I wrote a few days ago about a Blog post that Mufon's international director, James Carrion made at his new Blog, a Blog that only seen its first post a few days ago (17th August 2009) and it's worth noting the first paragraph of his first Blog post as it states that:
“My name is James Carrion and I am the International Director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). MUFON is a scientific research nonprofit organization that studies UFOs for the benefit of humanity through investigation, research and public education.”
But back to my earlier Blog post and the original post by Carrion that referenced the (2007 California) Drones but more specifically it referenced the Open Minds Forum (OMF) and Carrion implied that a couple of administrators may not be all they seem, he wrote:
When I joined the boards, I was treated by the moderators and anonymous membership in the same way I was treated by the Dive Company message board members, in a negative way using disinformation methods of deflection and intimidation. When I pressed my case, I was then kicked off the boards. Now the interesting thing about Open Minds is that the two principles (Admin and Ivo5000) who allegedly co-own it and with whom I have had some interesting email exchanges don't seem to be real people themselves. I could be wrong here but I challenge anyone to investigate this for themself and if you can surface a real resume for either partner, then I will retract my statement.
Carrion has since clarified that by, “Real people” he doesn't mean literally flesh & blood people as he accepts they are and I believe that he also accepts that he has the real names (as supplied) of the two people in question, his main gripe is the refusal of the two people in question to publish or supply him with verifiable (in the real-world) references/contacts/personal history.
It really is that simple, or is it…..
It seems to me that while establishing ‘non-repudiation' is the premise of Carrion's most recent foray there is surely a little more to it than that, and without being privy to any agenda (should one exist) I can only surmise it's due to the earlier altercation at OMF (that Carrion was referencing in his original Blog post that questioned the backgrounds of the two OMF administrators), or more precisely the less than respectful way his requests for information on the Drones and the opportunity to work with Mufon were greeted. As you can probably tell I still believe (whether this is the underlying reason for recent events or not) that Carrion had/has a legitimate argument regarding the way he was treated previously (18 months ago) when he first ventured onto the OMF boards.
Anyway, an OM member (Yex) started a thread at OMF, posted the statement (regarding the two admininstrators) by Carrion and as one would expect the comments came thick & fast with none of them being particularly favourable or reticent in voicing their opinions of Carrion and by direct association Mufon. Then Carrion posted a comment reiterating his request and there quickly followed a pissing contest between Carrion and the OMF staff in which all parties caught a little splash-back and it seems somewhat inevitably that the only hatchet buried was yet again –up to the hilt- in the others back.
And the end result? (Short version!!)
It would appear that since no verifiable authentication (as to the identities of the two administrators in question) was negotiated or offered to Carrion then he as a result he will not be retracting his original statement which questioned the validity of the identities previously presented of the two OMF administrators.
Also, while this drama was unfolding at OMF, Carrion was also offering a commentary (of sorts) on his Blog which referenced/named members at OMF as well as quoting quite extensively from the ongoing discussion there and in fact it's fair to say that several of the Blog posts were an extension of the OMF discourse as Carrion elaborated on what had transpired.
First mention of it was the, ‘Internet Matrix' post which started the ball rolling and Carrion posted to his Blog on August 20th, then this was in turn re-posted to OMF on the 26th August and Carrion posted there on the same day, then during the next two days while Carrion was posting at OMF he made two Blog posts on the 27th August and another three on the 28th August (2009). After stating his case in, “The Internet Matrix” he then posted large chunks of the discussion (ftrom OMF) in, “Wolves in Sheep's Clothing” then to further prove his point and after claiming, “Transparency was the best policy” (at OMF) he published his full CV on his Blog in a post titled, “Am I a Real Person ?”
Carrion also posted his personal history at OMF along with contact details of people who could further confirm what he was stating was fact (referees for his references as it were).
The following information was included:
1983-1987 Signals Intelligence Analyst, United States Army
How to verify my service:
Official military records are stored at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Information about U.S. service personnel is available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Getting the information is not difficult. To make a request, all you have to do is download a form and mail or fax it in - http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/standard-form-180.html Include a cover letter requesting the records under FOIA, and ask for all available releasable information. If the person was never in the military, you'll receive a reply telling you that the center has no record of him or her.
You will need the following information:
Full name: James Patrick Carrion
Branch of Service: US Army
Dates of Service: October 1983 – July 1987
DOB: October 22, 1965 (use in lieu of social security number)
(The ONLY reason I mention this is due to what Carrion himself posted later, details below). Then on the next day Carrion made a Blog post titled, “Into the Lions Den" which he stated that his lucky readers had a rare chance to see, “Disinformation in action” at OMF and also stated that before you headed on over you really should educate yourself, writing:
“I suggest you first print out this article that lists the common ploys used by those practicing disinformation: http://www.whale.to/m/disin.html#Twenty-Five_Rules_of_Disinformation__ and compare it to the posts.”
Which while is an interesting read does seem a little too all-encompassing as several of the ‘ploys' can quite suitably be applied to situations and/or discussions where it is patently obvious that there is nothing untoward going on, for example have a look at the following ‘ploys' as listed at Carrion's' link:
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary 'attack the messenger' ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as 'kooks', 'right-wing', 'liberal', 'left-wing', 'terrorists', 'conspiracy buffs', 'radicals', 'militia', 'racists', 'religious fanatics', 'sexual deviates', and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough 'jargon' and 'minutia' to illustrate you are 'one who knows', and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
Which to be fair, the above, is how it may outwardly appear and indeed be construed when Carrion singled out two administrators of an internet forum (where granted, he was openly treated with hostility almost two years ago) before proceeding to highlight the fact that as their personal backgrounds are not known to him and as they weren't provided at his request it qualifies them as “not real people”. That sounds a little like the (disinformation) ploy of questioning motives, and as for invoking authority, well surely just the title of International Director of Mufon is enough to do that when dealing with people from the UFO community?
This isn't saying that the above is what Carrion's actual intent was but rather that the article linked to seems far too broad, generalising and a little unfair when presented in the context within Carrion framed it, and once recognised and considered as such then somewhat ironically Carrion's own words & actions could equally be viewed as, well for want of a better term, “disinformation”.
Perhaps this was why it was later condensed into just eight simple ‘traits' about which the author (Sweeny) wrote -as an addendum- at the foot of the original article:
Note: There are other ways to attack truth, but these listed are the most common, and others are likely derivatives of these. In the end, you can usually spot the professional disinfo players by one or more of seven (now 8) distinct traits:
And trait #6 (of 8) states:
6) Artificial Emotions. An odd kind of 'artificial' emotionalism and an unusually thick skin -- an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. This likely stems from intelligence community training that , no matter how condemning the evidence, deny everything, and never become emotionally involved or reactive.
And the following is an –edited- excerpt from Carrion's Blog post, “Wolves In Sheeps Clothing” which he starts by saying that he wishes to analyze messages posted at OMF as he intends to point out disinformation tactics then repeatedly states that the important aspect (as he demonstrated) was not to allow yourself to become side-tracked:
“Staying on message with my next post:
See the pattern? Righteous indignation followed by questioning my credibility and motives to put the focus off of the question and back on to the questioner. Now the only way to get past this dance is to stay on message. If you allow yourself to be intimidated or cajoled into dropping your question, then the disinformation tactics have worked.
I am including all of these responses to drive home how important it is to keep stating and restating your question in the face of intimidation and deflection. If you stray even in the least bit, then the disinformation tactics will win out.”
Now again compare & contrast this with #6 of the dreaded disinformation traits:
“an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. This likely stems from intelligence community training that , no matter how condemning the evidence, deny everything, and never become emotionally involved or reactive.”
The OMF thread was originally locked mid-discussion (August 27th) then briefly reopened only to be locked again a day later (August 28th) with the following statement:
“Since the burden of proof for his frivolous accusations is on Mr. Carrion and he refuses to provide any, no progress has been made for 11 pages.
This discussion is going nowhere.
Thread closed permanently.”
A couple of observations if I may…..
I didn't really consider writing anything about this episode for several reasons with the main one being there's no mention of a UFO, in fact I had decided not to write anything about until I saw a post (31st August) over at Frank Warren's Blog called, “A Rebuttal To James Carrion's Article On Stan Romanek” and upon reading it I discovered that one of Mufon's investigators (Chuck Zucowski) had expressed his displeasure regarding another matter which Carrion had posted about on his fledgling Blog (which only celebrated its two week birthday yesterday!! )
“I'm a MUFON Field Investigator as well as a MUFON STAR Investigator, but I'm also an Independent UFO Investigator which includes “non” MUFON investigations. For various reasons, some people prefer not to use MUFON, so people like me are available for them and their needs. (Especially after James's last blog ”feud” with the “Open Minds Forum”.) I guess I'll be getting pretty busy.”
Now let's discuss the “controversial” document, the “alleged Air Force memo” which was found in Stan's mailbox and you acquired without the consent of Stan Romanek. You even stated this yourself, “I subsequently located a copy of the memo from a third party source.” A third party? A third Party? Geeesh… Can you say “Smoking Man”? Again?
James! What the hell! You posted this document through your blog without Stan's consent? Can you say, “MUFON Board of Directors Meeting?”
Now I feel obliged to point out that I actually agree with Carrion's opinion on Romanek and perhaps more importantly is that Carrion was perfectly justified in posting what Chuck has took issue with, my reasoning for this is it was an (alleged) Air Force document and as such was a document that Romanek has no claim to, but my intention is to highlight the medium that Chuck used to voice his opinion, i.e. –originally- his (public) internet Blog. Live by the sword, die by the sword? There does seem to be more dissenters of late as these aren't isolated cases but perhaps it's just more publicised now or as Mufon is relatively transparent in this respect and when coupled with the thriving internet culture of today then perhaps public disagreements are inevitable?
“Like gravity, Karma is so basic we often don't even notice it”
Anyway, in my humble, and admittedly probably uninformed opinion, Carrions recent excursion (read: ‘incursion') to OMF was motivated by the need to back up an unfounded allegation regarding the identities of two owners of an internet-forum who have done nothing wrong as they have never claimed or alleged anything that would require their CV's being posted, and certainly didn't expect the International Director of Mufon to publicly cast aspersions regarding their being ‘real' people with no provocation.
However, I believe their was an underlying reason but before I elaborate a brief history is required.
After the Drone hoax first broke back in May 2007 it cut a definite line through all of the online communities that discussed the Drones in any depth and inevitably divisions occurred. OMF was no exception and had recently introduced the idea of fielding, “Open Minds Research Team(s)” (OMRT) and one of these teams that were introduced was the Drone OMRT, but as practically all of the other members at OMF (yep, Carrion was wrong about OMF being pro-Drone) believed it was a hoax so a lot of the pro-evidence posted was attacked, but I hasten to add as the Drone OMRT consisted of Drone-believers subsequently any discussion/s were heavily stacked in favour of the Drones being a real-world phenomenon. Anyway eventually the Drone OMRT asserted ownership and sulked off with their football tightly tucked under their arm and so the Drone-Research-Team (DRT) was born in late 2007, a collective conceived of conflict, born of indignation, nurtured with indifference and positively bubbling over with self-satisfaction & elitism. I say this due solely to the fact that as well as not allowing people to join their forum who didn’t renounce Drone-scepticism and profess their belief at the church of Drone they often pre-emptively banned known Drone sceptics and/or critics from even viewing their website(s)!!
A collective which was headed by -the then- recently promoted OMF moderator, *Nemo492*(Didier De Plaige) accompanied by the four most vocal pro-Drone OMF members (*10538* - *Tomi01uk* - *elevenaugust* - *Onthefence*). All of whom were openly very critical of Mufon for (surprise, surprise) dismissing the Drones as a hoax, DRT member *10538* after learning who Mufon's investigator was even followed the investigator (Steve Reichmuth) to his own forum to further enforce a Drone reality, well briefly anyway as he was banned fairly quickly. And when Carrion first showed up at OMF it was almost exclusively the DRT who shouted Carrion down and were disrespectful to the point of it being uncomfortable to read.
This incident is what I believe originally made Carrion resentful (for want of a better word) of OMF and it spurred him on to post a message to the (closed) Mufon boards asking if anyone knew of their real identities. I recently went to look for the post and was unable to locate it but it was posted by Carrion using Administrator status and you can click here for a screen-grab of the post in question.
It has also transpired during Carrion's recent sojourn at OMF (August 2009) which resulted in details of private emails being published (with expressed permission) that Carrion had contacted OMF admin back in April 2008 stating the following:
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Carrion" <jcarrion@EDIT>
To: <ivo5000@EDIT>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 10:39 PM
Subject: RE: OM
In addition to libel does Nemo492 as standard practice also engage in copyright law violation? He posted a link in the OM Forum at (SINCE REMOVED) to his own web site at http://ovnis-usa.com/mufon-journal-april-2008-no-480/which contains a copyrighted article from the April MUFON Journal. I don't believe France is outside the realm of US copyright law. I expect that his offending post will be deleted.
MUFON International Director
I only post this so the reader can appreciate how petty it all was it and also to highlight the bad-blood between all involved prior to this recent episode. Also, when Carrion first ventured to OMF it was DRT member *Elevenaugust* who was the worst offender with regrds to just generally disrespecting Carrion & his standing in the UFO community.
But this brings us full circle and my reason for mentioning this is it has recently came to my attention that DRT co-founder *elevenaugust* has popped up at another UFO forum (Alien-UFOs.com) where the intricacies of the Drones aren't really known and after being helpful (critical but helpful) for a few posts he started a thread titled “James Carrion vs Open Minds forum” and posted the following:
Posted by: elevenaugust Aug 28 2009, 06:50 PM
Unbelievable things happens over there!
James carrion, International Director of MUFON, question the rights for UFO forum administrator to be anonymous!
He came, as an ordinary troller, on this UFO forum, to spread disinformation and ask for a complete CV of the forum administrator, like if they were not real people!!
All the details in the concerned forum topic avalaible http://lucianarchy.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=cali1&action=display&thread=6287&page=1.
Please, take the time to read all the concerned topic, it seems to me that this have something to do with every UFO forum as well....
Oh my, is MUFON doing so bad??
He then proceeded to post screen-shots of what DRT co-founder and OMF moderator *Nemo492* posted to his personal (French) Blog back in March 2009, there were two Blog posts in the link he posted and the first was from Nemo reporting on the Examiner article which cited that Mufon had a sponsor (Bigelow) and the second was explained by *elevenaugust* with the following:
“OK, a first-hand information, for you, about the MUFON:
A roughly translation from French of our French blog about the meeting, after the Barcelona exopolitics summit, between Didier dePlaige (aka Nemo492), our French administrator and the bilionnaire John RAO”
And an excerpt of the conversation was as follows (as penned by *Nemo492*):
A man approached, smiling, seeing my badge that we were the few "survivors" of Congress, he was like me a few hours before him before taking his plane. The conversation was initiated with John Rao on his passion for ufology, scientific research, and personal plans.
We came early to speak of MUFON, he thinks it necessary to renovate in depth: "It is an aging organization, poorly structured and financed through membership can no longer allow him to fulfill his role. My team provides infrastructure already its 40th symposium, held in Denver, Colorado, from August 6 to 9 next ... "
I point out that the billionaire Robert Bigelow has pledged its financial support last March ... He corrects this first paragraph: "He was given the money!" (one U.S. agency gave the money to pay it to the MUFON). He added: "Bigelow and its sponsors are not interested in collecting the items for close encounters of the Third Type. It allows the authorities to continue to manage the phenomenon ..."
And *elevenaugust* also offers up a scoop by answering a question regarding OMF & Rao with the following:
And also states that he believes Carrion is well aware of this:
I should perhaps point out at this point that when I tried to access Nemo's Ovnis-USA website I received the following message:
But it's been that way for ages now and in the spirit of ‘full disclosure' (!) I should also mention that my IP address has been banned from viewing the DRT website practically since its inception, yep, you read that right….. These two bastions of truth and free speech don't even like me reading what they post publicly, and they in fact fear it to such an extent that they actively pursue, obtain and instantly ban my IP address at seemingly every opportunity. And when I publicly enquired on OMF as to how their moderator Nemo492 was obtaining my IP address after I'd repeatedly changed it I was banned from there as well, so I guess what I'm trying to say is I have no allegiance to OMF, DRT, Mufon or Carrion, my only pledge -if any- is to the truth (scarce as it may be).
So hopefully if you've managed to wade through my rambling prose you can arrive at your own decision about why Carrrion felt compelled to act as he did recently, and you can do so armed with what I believe are the relevant facts (well, as I found them).
No disinformation, I promise.....