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Butch Witkowski: Re-Investigation summary and results

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
Hi - longtime lurker, first-time poster. Anyway, I really hate to be the guy who starts another Butch Witkowski thread, however, the five previous threads are so interlinked it's rather confusing. I'm hoping someone can offer some clarification.

AFAIK, the sequence of events is thus:

1.
At or before the 2009 Pennsylvania MUFON UFO Conference (/youtube]8oQHBXFHPig/), Butch Witkowski says he is a former homicide detective in Pennsylvania. He may have claimed this over a long period of time preceding it.

2. On 31DEC2010 an email is posted to this forum by an admin saying Witkowski has fabricated various aspects of his biography (Been HAD...AGAIN!). The email appears to be a forward of an email from someone called John Bainbridge at "Casualty Consultants" (when I try to Google this, I can't find any web presence for Bainbridge or Casualty Consultants).

3. On 30SEP2011 Witkowski is on Binnall Of America (Podcast Hosting | BOAA623: Butch Witkowski) and doubles-down on his credentials. He says he has retained attorneys who will be filing a lawsuit.

4. Over the next several years there are a smattering of threads here about Witkowski all pointing back to the original thread.

My questions:

1. Am I missing something in this timeline?

2. Has Witkowski ever said what police department, specifically, he claims to have been employed by?

3. Who is John Bainbridge and Casualty Consultants? Why does he have no online footprint?

4. Was there ever a lawsuit, successful cease and desist, or an out of court settlement, or was Butch Witkowski lying about having a team of attorneys? (If answering "no," please clarify if your "no" means "no, because I never heard of it on internet forums" or "no, because I have firsthand knowledge there was not.")

5. Witkowski seems to be a very common name in and around central Pennsylvania (or at least more common than in San Juan Capistrano).
  • The Sigmund Witkowski in the criminal files posted here (which I can also verify at the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas) has a DOB of 1946 ... Witkowski doesn't appear to be 73 or does he (I've never seen him in person)? Is the Sigmund Witkowski in the criminal records (a) a different person named Sigmund Witkowski, (b) Butch Witkowski? I just ordered a copy of the charging forms [unlike the docket sheet, these are not available online] from the Clerk of Courts in Lancaster to hopefully shed some more light on this.
  • I found in a 1976 issue of The Mercury of Pottstown where a story mentions a "Corporal Sigmund Witkowski" of the Caernervon police department. If Witkowski was born in '46 he would have been old enough in 1976 to be a Caernervon police officer. Is the Sigmund Witkowski in that story (a) a different person named Sigmund Witkowski, (b) Butch Witkowski?


8. Is the photo Witkowski floated as "proof" of his police service still online somewhere that one can view? Or, do we have at least have a date and name of the newspaper it appeared in so I can look it up myself?

9. One of the claims debunking Witkowski was that he had lied about his USMC service but I didn't see a document post debunking the USMC claim. Did I miss it?

Thanks a million in advance!!!
 
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Deckland

Skilled Investigator
If my above post didn't come across as sufficiently skeptical, let me clarify that I am highly skeptical of Butch Witkowski. I'm just trying to understand the sequence of events and ultimate disposition a bit better.

I'm an amateur credential torpedo-er but I've only ever done it for personal amusement and have never published anything since it's too hard to be 100% certain you're getting everything right with Ufologists and CTers as you never can even be sure they're using their real names when performing at UFO carnivals. (In fact, I used to be very open to the idea of a UFO presence until I discovered that pretty much everyone's biography I bothered investigating was leaking like the Titanic.) For instance, a certain CTer has claimed he was with the SFPD - I was able to easily debunk that (below) - but how do I know for certain the person identifying himself as "XXXXX Dietrich" isn't just using a stage name for UFO carnivals and his real name isn't Donald Smythe or Ronald Raccoon?

 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
If my above post didn't come across as sufficiently skeptical, let me clarify that I am highly skeptical of Butch Witkowski. I'm just trying to understand the sequence of events and ultimate disposition a bit better.

I'm an amateur credential torpedo-er but I've only ever done it for personal amusement and have never published anything since it's too hard to be 100% certain you're getting everything right with Ufologists and CTers as you never can even be sure they're using their real names when performing at UFO carnivals. (In fact, I used to be very open to the idea of a UFO presence until I discovered that pretty much everyone's biography I bothered investigating was leaking like the Titanic.) For instance, a certain CTer has claimed he was with the SFPD - I was able to easily debunk that (below) - but how do I know for certain the person identifying himself as "XXXXX Dietrich" isn't just using a stage name for UFO carnivals and his real name isn't Donald Smythe or Ronald Raccoon?

I suggest you review the threads posted by our resident expert @Decker: Butch Witkowski BS

For more, do a search for Witkowski by member Decker.
 

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
I suggest you review the threads posted by our resident expert @Decker: Butch Witkowski BS
I did. My nine specific questions aren't answered in those threads which is why I asked them.

However, one post leads to this link (dead now, but retrieved from the Internet Archive): Butch Witkowski: UFO Researcher, MUFON Investigator, and Director of the UFO Research Center of Pennsylvania

The newsletter clipping doesn't appear to be doctored (the claim that was made by Casualty Consultants, unless I'm mistaken) as I can corroborate that a Sigmund Witkowski was employed by Caernervon Township Police from a 1976 issue of The Mercury which I retrieved from newspapers.com. So some clarification is needed:

(a) It is a verifiable fact (see the full page from The Mercury here: https://i.postimg.cc/PdnsW5gY/The-Mercury-Thu-Feb-26-1976.jpg or the file at newspapers.com if you have access: 26 Feb 1976, Page 23 - The Mercury at Newspapers.com) that someone named Sigmund Witkowski was employed by the Caernervon Township Police in February 1976. Is this a different Sigmund Witkowski from Butch "UFO" Witkowski and the latter was simply appropriating the name of an identically named individual? Or did Butch hack into newspapers.com and doctor that issue? Or what is the explanation?

(b) Who is John Bainbridge and Casualty Consultants? Why does he have no online footprint?

(c) What became of the "lawsuit"? Was Witkowski blowing smoke? Or was it successful and that's the reason John Bainbridge and Casualty Consultants disappeared as quickly as they'd appeared?

(d) Where are the OMPF docs that disproves Witkowski's USMC claim?

There are a lot of holes and question marks in Witkowski's story, but there are also a lot of holes and question marks in the anti-Witkowski story, too.
 
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Deckland

Skilled Investigator
So here's where I'm at ...

Claim: Butch Witkowski claims he was an officer in the Caernervon Township Police Department.

Counter-Claim: Butch Witkowski was never a police officer of any kind.

Evidence for Claim:

1. The 26FEB1976 issue of The Mercury, a reputable daily newspaper, references a "Cpl. Sigmund Witkowski" of the Caernervon Township Police Department as having made an arrest the previous day. This issue can be found in unaltered form at newspapers.com.

Evidence for Counter-Claim:

2.In 1996 a Sigmund Witkowksi (DOB 1946) was convicted on ten counts of Theft by Deception.
3.A 2010 letter from the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Training Commission (MPOETC) of Pennsylvania says that Witkowski was never certified "by the MPOETC."

In the absence of some other evidence that is not posted to theparacast.com, the second point evidence does not disprove the first point since the record of criminal convictions occur 20 years after a known date of LE employment. The fact that someone eventually was convicted of a crime does not disprove law enforcement employment prior to the point of conviction. Background checks don't see into the future.

Further, the third point of evidence fails to mention that the MPOETC was only established in June 1974 and did not assume responsibility for certification until 1976, by which point the Sigmund Witkowski mentioned in The Mercury was already an active police officer. Prior to 1976, city police in Penn. were locally trained and those hired before that date were grandfathered in and never had to undergo MPOETC certification ergo the fact he was never certified "by the MPOETC" "he was never a police officer."

Can someone clarify these discrepancies? If someone mentions Witkowski and the ridiculous Todd Sees case to me I want to be able to debunk claims he has made by pointing to a history of dishonesty, but - in absence of some clarification - there are serious questions right now as to the competency of the background inquiry that has been done on him.
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
So here's where I'm at ...

Claim: Butch Witkowski claims he was an officer in the Caernervon Township Police Department.

Counter-Claim: Butch Witkowski was never a police officer of any kind.

Evidence for Claim:

1. The 26FEB1976 issue of The Mercury, a reputable daily newspaper, references a "Cpl. Sigmund Witkowski" of the Caernervon Township Police Department as having made an arrest the previous day. This issue can be found in unaltered form at newspapers.com.

Evidence for Counter-Claim:

2.In 1996 a Sigmund Witkowksi (DOB 1946) was convicted on ten counts of Theft by Deception.
3.A 2010 letter from the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Training Commission (MPOETC) of Pennsylvania says that Witkowski was never certified "by the MPOETC."

In the absence of some other evidence that is not posted to theparacast.com, the second point evidence does not disprove the first point since the record of criminal convictions occur 20 years after a known date of LE employment. The fact that someone eventually was convicted of a crime does not disprove law enforcement employment prior to the point of conviction. Background checks don't see into the future.

Further, the third point of evidence fails to mention that the MPOETC was only established in June 1974 and did not assume responsibility for certification until 1976, by which point the Sigmund Witkowski mentioned in The Mercury was already an active police officer. Prior to 1976, city police in Penn. were locally trained and those hired before that date were grandfathered in and never had to undergo MPOETC certification ergo the fact he was never certified "by the MPOETC" "he was never a police officer."

Can someone clarify these discrepancies? If someone mentions Witkowski and the ridiculous Todd Sees case to me I want to be able to debunk claims he has made by pointing to a history of dishonesty, but - in absence of some clarification - there are serious questions right now as to the competency of the background inquiry that has been done on him.
If you don't trust @Decker's sources, I suppose you could always hire your own. Personally it's not an investigation I care to put any of my own time or energy into. If you get to the bottom of it yourself, by all means let us know.
 

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
If you get to the bottom of it yourself, by all means let us know.
I just did; see above.

Here's the summary in case you don't want to read it:

Witkowski was employed as police officer with an effective start date 1976 or prior. The mysterious "Casualty Consultants" checked the MPOETC which correctly said Witkowski was not certified with them. However, the MPOETC did not begin certifying police in Pennsylvania until 1977.

This doesn't prove the weird mutilation nonsense that Witkowski spins. It only proves the "investigation" into Witkowski was as ham-fisted as Witkowski himself.
 

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
I asked Witkowski to come on the show and answer these questions some years back. But he said no.
I would too, if I were him. It appears he may have piled up (I say "may" as, without a DOB, we can't prove the Sigmund Witkowski in the CCP records is the same as Butch Witkowski) a criminal record in 1995 after he left the police and doesn't want to talk about it. It's probably embarrassing to be convicted on 10 counts of Theft. (Once I get a copy of the charging sheet, which the "investigators" didn't apparently bother to do, I can confirm whether this was Butch Witkowski. For the record, I'm sure it was because the name is too unique, though on the other hand there appear to be many Witkowskis in Berks County - the current fire chief in Caernervon Township has a surname of Witkowski.)

But that's a separate matter of whether he was a police officer. He was.

It looks like everyone screwed up on this one - Witkowski and the Witkowski Watchers.
 
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Deckland

Skilled Investigator
It will be a few weeks before I've obtained charging sheets from Lancaster County and personnel records from Caernavon but, once completed, I'll post this all in a new thread. It's too bad the questionable results of the amateur investigation into Witko have been all we had to go on for the last few years but it's never too late to correct the record. When we try to debunk weird claims by people like Witko we undermine ourselves if we can't even correctly get the right info.

It's weird that a practicing attorney in Penn missed this basic stuff.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
It will be a few weeks before I've obtained charging sheets from Lancaster County and personnel records from Caernavon but, once completed, I'll post this all in a new thread. It's too bad the questionable results of the amateur investigation into Witko have been all we had to go on for the last few years but it's never too late to correct the record. When we try to debunk weird claims by people like Witko we undermine ourselves if we can't even correctly get the right info.

It's weird that a practicing attorney in Penn missed this basic stuff.
Interesting. Thank you for putting in all this effort. Now I'll have to go back and review the claims @Decker has made so I can see where the specific discrepancy exists. To do that it would be very helpful if you would post links to the specific posts on the forum that are in question and another link to any contrary evidence. Otherwise I'd have to comb through it all again and I just don't have the time for that.
 

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
Sure, here:

Decker said:
he NEVER was employed as a Municipal or State Police Officer ANYWHERE in the entire Commonwealth/State of PA
No evidence is given in this post for the claim that "he NEVER was employed as a Municipal or State Police Officer ANYWHERE" [sic]. However, in a different thread (Butch Witkowski just wont go away.) a scan of a letter is posted by trainedobserver which is, purportedly, the source for the claim.

Here is the scan of that letter:

Note that the letter from MPOETC does not say Witkowski was "never a police officer" it only says he was "never a certified police officer under the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission."

This is the critical point.

The MPOETC was established in 1974 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to standardize training for municipal police in Pennsylvania (the MPOETC states this on their own website: MPOETC Home). Prior to this, individual departments trained their own officers. The MPOETC's mandate was to certify officers hired after June 1974. See this article from 12FEB1976 issue of the Pike County Dispatch (full page scanned here for verification: https://i.postimg.cc/M6g2Q5ym/Pike-County-Dispatch-Thu-Feb-12-1976.jpg) -

7174

Therefore, the MPOETC letter to "Jeffrey Hauck" - if properly read - means that either (a) Witkowski was never a municipal police officer in Penn., OR, (2) he was first hired as a police officer before June 18, 1974.

According to the 26FEB1976 issue of The Mercury of Pottstown, Penn. one "Cpl. Sigmund Witkowski" of the Caernervon Police made an arrest the previous day.



There is no standardized rank structure in police, however, it is likely to the point of common sense that if someone were a corporal (instead of a patrolman) he had not been employed for less than 18 months. In other words, in February 1976, he was first employed prior to 18JUN1974 and would never have been certified by the MPOETC but was - nonetheless - a fully commissioned police officer in Pennsylvania.

The onus is now on the amateur sleuths to explain (a) why they limited their search for records to the MPOETC knowing that the MPOETC did not exist at the time Witkowski was first commissioned, (b) why The Mercury refers to a Sigmund Witkowski as a police officer in 1976.

Q&A

Q: We know Butch is a "Jr." Is it possible the Sigmund Witkowski mentioned as a police officer in The Mercury in 1976 was his father?
A: No, that's not possible. According to the Social Security Death Index, Witkowski's father died in 1970. Police departments don't employ dead people, as a general rule.

7175
Q: Who is "Jeffrey Hauck, JD" who did the 2011 investigation into Witkowski?
A: That's not possible for me to answer. According to the website of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (Find an Attorney), there is not an attorney in that state by the name of Jeffrey Hauck:



When I google "Jeffrey Hauck, JD" I find several references to a Jeffrey Hauck, JD who is a private investigator and points to this homepage: Website Disabled. The website, however, is defunct. Perhaps Sarfatti can clarify who Jeffrey Hauck, JD is, where his Juris Doctor is from, and what his PI licensing status is. Update: this appears to be him - Private Investigator Finds Profit in Loss ... it seems he's since relocated to Houston.

Q: So does The Mercury article then prove Witkowski was a police officer?
A: No. It disproves the conclusion of the 2011 investigation ("he was never a police officer"). But, while it establishes to the point of near certainty that he was a police officer, it does not prove it. Maybe there were two Sigmund Witkowskis living in Caernervon (population 4,000) in 1976? Anything's possible. However, I have requested a copy of Caernervon Township's personnel records which will definitively prove what currently seems to be obvious and apparent.

Q: Does that mean Witkowski is a very serious Ufologist and we should trust him?
A: No, because there's no such thing as a serious Ufologist.
 

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Paranormal Novice
I don't have a dog in this hunt. In fact, I care even less than Don Ecker does about who this Witkowski really is, but it seems like this should be pretty easy to sort out. I like Deckland's approach and I'm sure he will get to the bottom of the cop stuff and the rap sheet too, but the military thing sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

  1. Proving he was a Marine should be very easy for Witkowski, if indeed he was.
  2. I've known quite a few Marines in my time, and the challenge implicit in Ecker's statement about Witkowski being tossed out of the Corps after three or four days is NOT one I can imagine any Marine shying away from. Not for a moment. That claim going unchallenged all these years is a big red flag as far as I'm concerned.
  3. Sounds like a job for Kevin Randall. He's awfully good at this sort of thing.
 

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
I intend to look at the USMC stuff, too, as soon as the police stuff is sorted. Right now the only thing we know for certain is that the 2011 investigation was inaccurate. The extent of the inaccuracy has yet to be uncovered. But, from what I've seen so far, I'm guessing it was probably a mixture of truth and complete B.S. My bigger question, as one interested in the sociology of Ufology and the competitive cliques it produces, is: was this incompetence or intent?
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I intend to look at the USMC stuff, too, as soon as the police stuff is sorted. Right now the only thing we know for certain is that the 2011 investigation was inaccurate. The extent of the inaccuracy has yet to be uncovered. But, from what I've seen so far, I'm guessing it was probably a mixture of truth and complete B.S. My bigger question, as one interested in the sociology of Ufology and the competitive cliques it produces, is: was this incompetence or intent?
Okay, but @Decker also said he personally talked with the investigators. Have you?
 

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
Okay, but @Decker also said he personally talked with the investigators. Have you?
"The investigators"? You mean the people who filed a records request with the MPOETC to verify the status of a person commissioned prior to the MPOETC's formation?

LOL, no, obviously I have no intention of doing that.

I'm the investigator now.

But "the investigators" can feel free to step forward and explain (a) why they filed a request with the MPOETC to verify the status of a person commissioned prior to the MPOETC's formation, (b) who "Cpl. Sigmund Witkowski" of the Caernarvon Township Police is, if not Butch Witkowski. I'll be happy to take whatever they have to say under consideration. If they don't want to step forward and explain, I don't care. I have seven different FOIA and PA Sunshine Act requests zipping through the mail right now and that's just the start. Already my investigation is more thorough than that conducted in 2011 and I'm just getting started. Nothing "the investigators" can offer is useful to me.

Hold onto your panties and grab the popcorn, this is gonna be good.

 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Nothing "the investigators" can offer is useful to me ...
How can you be certain whether or not someone can provide useful information without actually contacting them and asking? You could for example verify that they are actual private investigators rather than using scare quotes to imply incompetence. You could point out your findings and ask if they can answer your question or add anything further to what we've seen. Maybe they found more than you think. If they decide not to respond or cooperate, that's on them. But just hand waving their involvement as irrelevant ( when it's not ) doesn't seem very objective.
 
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Deckland

Skilled Investigator
How can you be certain whether or not someone can provide useful information without actually contacting them and asking? You could for example verify that they are actual private investigators rather than using scare quotes to imply incompetence. You could point out your findings and ask if they can answer your question or add anything further to what we've seen. Maybe they found more than you think. If they decide not to respond or cooperate, that's on them. But just hand waving their involvement as irrelevant ( when it's not ) doesn't seem very objective.
I'll be happy to attempt to contact them when the investigation is complete to find out their reason for the gaps I've identified. To do so before then would be premature. But, no, I don't intend on collaborating with them because I don't have any confidence in their ability to conduct an inquiry of this type based on the gaps I've shown in my last five posts. Would Stephen Hawking collaborate with Steven Greer because "he can't be certain Greer doesn't have useful info on quantum physics"?

No, of course not.

This is going to be a thorough and legitimate investigation, not a 20-minute Google search. In other words, it will be a great many weeks or months before it's concluded. In the meantime, I plan to post updates on what I've found, as I have done above. And what I've found thus far (as previously explained) casts great doubt on the veracity of the previous inquiry.

It's easy to say, after I've just demonstrated everything is bunk, "well they just must have had information we don't know about" ... that's a very Ufological response, not that dissimilar to "the government won't acknowledge UFOs, therefore they must be covering up UFOs." The documents stand on their own whether "the investigators" care to comment or not. And the documents, so far, are a full broadside into the 2011 investigation. What remains to be seen is how many more salvos will be fired.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I'll be happy to attempt to contact them when the investigation is complete to find out their reason for the gaps I've identified. To do so before then would be premature. But, no, I don't intend on collaborating with them because I don't have any confidence in their ability to conduct an inquiry of this type based on the gaps I've shown in my last five posts. Would Stephen Hawking collaborate with Steven Greer because "he can't be certain Greer doesn't have useful info on quantum physics"?

No, of course not.
To be fair, the investigators do actually appear to be legitimate private investigators, so the question is more like: Would an investigator in one city collaborate with one in another city, and the answer is "Yes". They routinely do that. But I appreciate your point about getting as many facts as you can before approaching them. Thanks again for all this effort. May I ask was motivated you to take on this task?
 

Deckland

Skilled Investigator
To be fair, the investigators do actually appear to be legitimate private investigators
They appear to be licensed private investigators. There is a difference between being a licensed investigator and a legitimate investigator. If you file a MPOETC request to discover the commissioning status of an LEO commissioned prior to 1974 then I would suggest your legitimacy is open to question.
 


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