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Richard Dolan - Reply to Critique of My Work

Richard Dolan

Paranormal Novice
Hello to the people at Paracast.

I actually published this as a reply to the previous thread on my work, but due to my inexperience at this forum, I didn't realize it would have been better simply to publish this as a new thread. So, sorry for the repetition, but here you are.

Richard Dolan


Richard Dolan: A Reply to Michael R. Schuyler's Critique of My Work

I suppose I might consider it something of an honor that Michael R. Schuyler has taken it upon himself to write a 15-page critique of my work. I would consider it more so if it were done with a sense of objectivity and professionalism. Unfortunately, in that regard, it misses the mark by a wide margin.

To paraphrase his critique, I might call this “a general systems theory against Richard Dolan.” For although Mr. Schuyler protests that he is confining himself to a critique of my book, he goes far beyond this.

Let me comment on as many specifics as I can, within reason. Early on, Mr. Schuyler criticizes my choice of cases, arguing that they are included with very little discrimination and are little more than rehashing accounts written by others. He cites a case I included from 1984, describing an odd ball of light. Schuyler feels this was an unworthy case, and criticizes my paraphrasing of the MUFON account itself.

Well, in fact, that case was in a section that I titled “Triangles and Balls of Light,” and given in the context of my treatment of the noteworthy Hessdalen phenomenon – which concerned some very strange light phenomena in Norway. The case in question was of interest to me for that reason, and I defend its inclusion in my book. There are, certainly, a number of alternate choices a researcher could have made, and undoubtedly if I were to do the entire book over again, I might well select alternate cases in certain instances. Overall, however, I think my selections are fair and representative. Regarding so-called paraphrasing, Schuyler misrepresents my work. Yes, there are instances where I paraphrased prior descriptions. Throughout, however, I sought to provide the most concise yet complete descriptions I could of every case I handled.

A more serious criticism is Schuyler’s claim of so-called ‘dead-end’ citations. He cites, for example, my use of Greenwood’s and Fawcett’s Clear Intent. He might as well have censored me for using their book at all, as they offer NO proper citations. There are many reproduced documents, certainly, but ... citations? The two authors frequently describe how they obtained their information, but unfortunately did not provide satisfactory source data. That is a problem, for sure.

A researcher is therefore faced with a problem. To use Clear Intent, or not? I elected to use it, as all serious researchers have subsequently done. I find it curious that Schuyler – apparently – would not.

My citations of Richard Hall are misleadingly described by Schuyler. Citations of "Richard Hall" are most typically of the "UFO Evidence," a two-volume collection of reports that Mr. Hall edited. The first volume was published by the organization NICAP, of which Mr. Hall was a long-time leading member, and many of those came directly from NICAP files. He includes these citations as among the so-called “dead end” citations. Really? In what way is using Richard Hall's collection of NICAP records a dead end?

Schuyler writes: “What Dolan has essentially done is summarize sightings reported and summarized by other authors, condensed them a bit, paraphrased the originals (or not, often using the original phrasing verbatim), then woven in some contemporary history surrounded by conspiracy theory. This is a daunting task by itself, but it isn’t exactly original research.”

Well, what I did certainly was a daunting task, I will agree with that. What I tried to do was to create a first-ever history of the period under review (1973-1991). As I should assume Mr. Schuyler would know, no history ever written, certainly not mine, should ever claim to be final. All historical research is a work in progress, mine included. I should hope that other historians of today and the future will correct my work wherever it is needed.

But when Schuyler claims that my work is “not exactly original,” he writes as if I did no independent investigation of these cases. I think that readers have a right to know that this is not true. I conducted direct interviews of dozens of direct participants in this story, often in great detail, frequently obtaining fresh information that existed nowhere else. But the real task was in attempting to consolidate an enormous mass of research into something that made sense – at least, to me. In every case, I had to review cases and events that were of enormous complexity and uncertainty, to find a way to understand them for myself, and to do so in a way that was careful and not sensational – despite Mr. Schuyler’s protestations to the contrary.

For instance, my treatment of several controversial cases: MJ-12, Gulf Breeze, and Bob Lazar. I think it is fair to say that these are among the more contentious and complex. In these and all other instances, my first goal was simply to describe as clearly as possible what actually happened. Sometimes that is difficult enough. Regarding MJ-12, I will quote one of those Amazon reviews that Mr. Schuyler disparages. It is from Brian Parks, someone that serious researchers into MJ-12 certainly do know about:

“A fine example is the way this author has handled the MJ-12 Controversy and related matters. From personal knowledge I can say that Dolan has done an excellent job of presenting these events and personalities in a well summarized form. He accepts the possibility of a very active Counter-Intelligence role in the UFO cover-up while examining this issue. And he presents all of this without jumping to conclusions!”

Well, I suppose Mr. Schuyler does not agree, or maybe he does – he didn’t really comment on my handling of MJ-12. But what I attempted to do with MJ-12, I attempted with every hot-button issue of the period.

Aside from what appear on the surface to be substantial complaints, Mr. Schuyler engages in no small amount of innuendo and even name-calling. Seeing these examples in his critique made me smile, as he complained that it was I who at times engaged in innuendo in the course of my book. But, my goodness, such statements as “to Dolan, there is a conspiracy behind every blade of grass.” Really.

He then (apparently) tries to dismiss the REAL problematic intelligence community connections that do crop up constantly within ufology. Names like John Lear, J. Allen Hynek, Gene Pope, Phillip Klass, Bill Moore, Charles Berlitz. Well, sorry, but these are problematic and do need to be discussed. The fact that Charles Berlitz’s NYT obituary mentioned his decades of work with the Counter Intelligence Corp (CIC) is something I find interesting. Perhaps others do not, and that is their prerogative.

Regarding Klass, I truly wonder what it is that Schuyler is unhappy about. I was the person who found direct evidence of Klass’s underhanded dealings while researching in the Canadian National Archives in Ottawa. I offered the opinion – clearly stated as such – that “the ducks certainly appear to be lining up” in the matter of Klass’s possible work for the U.S. intelligence community.

Regarding Gene Pope and the National Enquirer – something Schuyler spends a great deal of energy discussing – I will agree that there is much more detailed work that is out there. I certainly did rely on Terry Hansen’s work – and several conversations with Terry as well – for my primary ‘take’ on Gene Pope. To me, it does look like Pope worked for U.S. intelligence. At no point, however, do I state definitively that he worked for the CIA. Pope was a man who rubbed elbows with America’s political elite. He was friends with Richard Nixon. Former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird gave the eulogy at his funeral. There is good reason to wonder about Pope’s agenda, and I raise my concerns. I think it is very clear that the reader understands that I do not make the claim definitively. When dealing with the U.S. intelligence community, unfortunately we are seldom in a position to make definitive statements.

This is why, in fact, most academicians do not touch UFOs. Getting to government source material is extremely difficult. One simply cannot plough through old volumes of collections like Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) – which contains a wealth of first hand U.S. State Department records. It’s an unfortunate situation indeed, and in fact this is one of the problems when one is dealing with a cover-up – a point that Mr. Schuyler blithely ignores.

Which means that source material is often going to include information that does not come out of a government archive. I am quite aware that I took a chance on some of the sources included in my book, although Mr. Schuyler grossly misrepresents this aspect of my research. For instance, he cites Sean David Morton. To which I reply – you have got to be kidding me. Morton appears one single time in my book. He was one of several UFO watchers who was involved in publicizing events at Area 51/S4. I obtained his testimony from an interview he gave, featured on a video produced in the early 1990s. I spent exactly one paragraph describing his experience.

Then there is Steven Greer. Once again, Mr. Schuyler seems willfully incapable of understanding my treatment of Greer as a “source.” His fixation on this smacks of no small amount of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and I have seriously begun to wonder whether he is afflicted. I used several testimonies from Steven Greer’s collection, which Greer published under the title of “Disclosure.” Dr. Greer did not write any of those testimonies. I was very clear on this, and no other reader has been incapable of recognizing the distinction between the words of Dr. Greer and those of someone he interviewed. Notwithstanding this, in the few cases that I used testimony from that collection, I presented it with clear qualifications that it was not verified.

There is more I could deal with regarding Mr. Schuyler’s critique, but it just goes on like this. Still, I will say a word or two about Linda Moulton Howe, someone that he goes out of his way more than once to insult. He refers to her as “the Drone Queen” and seems to imply that she is part of “the lunatic fringe.” At one point Mr. Schuyler discusses researchers who have made great contributions to ufology, and those who have contributed nothing. He then states that those who have contributed nothing are in little position to attack those who have contributed. Well, I think this reasoning is weak. But one might use his logic against him in his schoolyard smearing of Linda Moulton Howe, a person who for over three decades has done some of the most demanding investigations of any researcher out there. Any one who does that much work is going to make mistakes. Her contributions, however, have been formidable. What, exactly, have been Mr. Schuyler’s contributions?

Schuyler also seems to complain that I don’t discuss the aliens themselves. Odd, since elsewhere he complains that I draw too many unjustified conclusions. One wonders what would make him happy.

Finally, there are the previous critics of my work. It is perfectly fair to bring these up. Other commentators are entitled to their opinions. Of course, I am allowed to take issue with them! Richard Hall, who wrote the first negative review of my book, was actually “offended” (his words) by how I criticized the Central Intelligence Agency and discussed people like James Forrestal and James McDonald. Mr. Hall, now deceased, was typically described by those who knew him as a “curmudgeon” (I heard this more than once). He did not like my politics, such as they were, and did not like how I wrote about him personally. I did, incidentally, write an extended reply to his review, which was published in the IUR. Dr. Swords, in his turn, borrowed very heavily from Richard Hall, almost to the point of being derivative. Fair enough, that is his choice. The people at Magonia – well, if Mr. Schuyler wants to focus on them as doing the kind of research that he thinks we need, what more can I say?

I am happy to receive any corrections and constructive criticism of my work. That is the only way any of us learns and grows. For the record, I do know that an E-4 is a Corporal, and I thank Mr. Schuyler for pointing out that I made that oversight. It is unfortunate, however, that his critique descends so frequently to name-calling, insults, innuendo, and even smear tactics. That is not true criticism. Sadly, however, it is an all-too-typical tactic taken by certain people. Those who engage in it, as Mr. Schuyler does, diminish their own reputability.

Nevertheless, I certainly would encourage Mr. Schuyler to try his hand at writing an alternative history. Clearly, he is up to the job. I for one would appreciate his contributions to the field, provided that they are made with a serious tone, and not mere name-calling.

Richard M. Dolan
Rochester, New York
Febuary 1, 2010

Tom From Hong Kong

Sleeping with one eye open . . .
I also would like to see Mr. Dolan return to the Paracast. My personal view is that this type of peer review system is exactly what UFOlogy needs. Mr. Dolan was right to respond to Schuyler's note, and it would be great if someone with time could independently cite- and fact-check Schuyler's work.

Let's put academic standards aside: the issue with Schuyler's review is the name-calling, which a well-instructed high school debater would refrain from doing, recognizing that it undercuts his arguments. That being said, peer review is a good thing when done in the right way.


I was saying boo-urns

To add a tiny bit of humor to what is likely to be a very serious thread here. :D

I'm glad Richard came here to defend himself. I think Schuyler is one of the most intelligent posters on this site, but I took issue with the manner he put that review out there. Hopefully this plays out in a civil way. We shall see.


Well, I'm quite happy Richard thinks so much of my work! :D I stand by what I wrote and see no reason to go over it again. It stands as the best consolidation of comments about Dolan's work anywhere. If you've read the review, you know that I cited many oher people's comments as well. Some of them were difficult to find. I spent $100 on the DVD of past IUR issues, for example just to ferret out Hall's review.

I maintain that Dolan's enjoyed a free pass this last decade, kind of like 'Climate Change,' which is now falling apart at the seems. Since Ufology has no established academic set-up, no peer review, no recognized standards of scholarship, and almost no critical reviews, he has been able to avoid the usual process where 'academic' work is scrutinized. I believe my present review of his second volume brings out critical issues and short-comings. I look forward to his third volume.

Further, reviews in Ufology tend to be obscured with the passage of time. There is no organization indexing periodical research, where such reviews tend to be printed, so they wind up as their own dead references, which is what happened to Hall's review. Unless you know it is there, you'll never find it. I aim to change that. My review will be easily available several places on the web so that searches will turn it up. I may very well consolidate these other critiques into a single volume and make that available as well.

Dolan says peer review is a great thing if it is done in 'the right way.' I see no evidence that he knows what that is.


As for the first volume, here's Richard Hall's complete critique of it. Enjoy!

This review is from The International UFO Reporter, Vol. 26:1, Spring, 2001, pp. 13-16, and was written by Richard H. Hall. Copyright © 2001 by CUFOS.

Richard M. Dolan, UFOs and the National Security State. Rochester, N.Y.: Keyhole Publishing, April, 2000. 544p. $27.95.

Subtitled: An Unclassified History, Volume One: 1941—1973,” this book presents a detailed history of the UFO subject from the World War II era through 1973, with a promised second volume to come for the period alter that. The history covers important UFO sightings, sighting waves, and related scientific and political matters, concentrating on the 27 years since 1947. Moreover, it goes deeply into secrecy issues and the government cover-up of UFO information.

Of the 491 pages that constitute the main text, about 55% are devoted to the first 10 years (through 1956), and 28% to the next ten years (through 1965). This emphasis on the early years reflects the depth of coverage given to the origins of the UFO mystery, the history of early Air Force UFO investigations, the major sighting wave of 1952, and growing Central Intelligence Agency involvement, and the arrival on the scene of the National Investigations Committee an Aerial Phenomenon (NICAP). All of these events are thoroughly reported and analyzed.

In his introduction, Dolan lays out his intentions and his thesis explicitly. His intent was to create “a clear, straightforward, historical narrative of the UFO problem, focusing on the national security dimensions.” The three strands of his story, he says, are (1) the UFO reports, (2) the response to these reports by U.S. national security organizations, and (3) “additional activities” by these agencies “that, while not directly UFO-related, still provide important context to the problem, and at times unique insights into connections.”

He goes on to say that the expression National Security State (hereafter NSS) is his shorthand for the military and intelligence communities that constitute “structures of power” in the United States, whose fundamental traits are “secrecy, wealth, independence, power, and duplicity.” His focus throughout is primarily on the CIA and the National Security Agency, secondarily on military intelligence agencies.

This review will discuss how well he has succeeded in accomplishing his stated goals, and how well argued and convincing his interpretations are of NSS activities in relation to UFOs.

Richard Dolan, who has an educational background in history, German, and Soviet studies, and American Cold War diplomacy, brings a unique perspective to the study of UFOs. The scope and comprehensiveness of his research for this book are commendable, and he has produced a historical overview that could be used as a textbook and a focus of discussion. That discussion, however, would quickly scrutinize his often debatable, and sometimes highly questionable interpretations.

Although the author relies heavily on secondary sources (a book by Timothy Good is cited at least 24 times in the first three chapters, and both David Jacobs and Jerry Clark heavily throughout), this mainly reflects an overriding problem of UFO research. No single comprehensive collection of documents and reports exists, and many of the earlier publications are out of print and not easy to locate. The author did use good judgment overall in his citations. Anyone studying the bibliography and footnotes will be steered toward good sources of information. However, several major books and publication that contain important primary source material are not represented.

The author cannot be faulted for failing to consult every significant work on the subject (pretty much an impossibility for anyone), but the point is that a lot of important information that has a direct bearing on the author’s thesis is not taken into account. What this suggests is that perhaps he should have been somewhat more cautious in reaching sweeping conclusions. The history of UFO sightings and related government activities itself has been presented concisely and readably, thus fulfilling one of his main objectives. The coverage is thorough and the accuracy of reporting generally high, and it is enhanced by many astute and insightful comments.

Having been intimately involved in both NICAP and the Colorado UFO Project, I read the chapters about them with great interest. Unfortunately, the author makes several errors in the primary chapter about NICAP (pp. 270-346) and his interpretation of NICAP history is seriously flawed. He open his reporting about NICAP (p. 269) by asserting that the leaders of this new group were unaware that “the CIA was already on board.” Then he describes two former CIA people who were among the Washington, D.C., area doctors, lawyers, scientists, and other professionals who originally organized NICAP, and states (p. 270) that they “covertly influenced the organization throughout its existence.”

This is simply not true. The two gentlemen named were associated with NICAP only for a few months during its organizational period, and never at all when it became operational. By the time Donald Keyhoe took over early in 1957, they were long gone and never heard from again. Their influence therefore, was nonexistent. As of 1957, the NICAP board contained a few military officers, clergymen, and other solid citizens who had no CIA ties whatsoever.

What happened in the declining years of NICAP after publication of the Condon report is another story, when various CIA-connected people were involved (though the charge that Stewart Nixon was one of them is without any factual support that I am aware of). The author here suggests that NICAP’s demise may have been “assisted suicide,” and that is at least a plausible interpretation of the events at that time. However, from 1958 through 1970 I was at the center of NICAP affairs and can emphatically state that there was no CIA (or any other intelligence agency) influence on NICAP during those years.

Both Adm. Hillenkoetter, whose CIA connection was well known and an asset to the organization, and Col. Bryan, whose CIA background was not known at the time, openly supported our goals and expressed a belief in the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs. More importantly for the author’s interpretation, both men were remote from the office and had no influence whatsoever on the day-to-day operations of NICAP.

For some reason the author (though he rightly emphasizes the importance of Keyhoe and James E. McDonald to UFO history) then depicts NICAP as ineffective in 1964 and unable to exploit its opportunities in 1966. He states (p. 362) that The UFO Evidence (1964) “failed utterly” to bring about congressional hearings. In fact, it played an important role and later editions contained strong endorsements by various senators and representatives.

House Majority Leader John McCormack (D-Mass.) requested two copies of the report, one for his Capitol Hill office and one for his state home office. Dozen of federal government agencies (including Department of Defense) and scientific and industrial organizations requested copies. Members of Congress were besieged with requests for hearings. (The correspondence files showing the influence of The UFO Evidence are still in my possession.)

The upsurge in UFO sightings beginning in 1964 helped substantially, but it was NICAP’s ability to gather and exploit this information that helped speed up the agenda, assisted by such valuable allies as James McDonald. Clearly, the pressure applied by NICAP, primarily though is documentary report, was centrally important in bringing about hearings in 1966 and again in 1968.

These inaccuracies or misrepresentations I attribute mainly to the author’s inadequate access to NICAP source material (two major NICAP reports, for example, were not consulted) and his failure to interview the principals, instead relying on secondary sources that were sometimes extremely biased. An example of the latter is his reporting (p. 364) of the analysis by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center of the metallic-appearing sample Ray Stanford obtained in the Socorro, N.M., landing site in 1964.

Based solely on Stanford’s book Socorro ‘Saucer’ in a Pentagon Pantry (1976), he reports that Stanford and “members of NICAP” (it was Stanford and me) carried the sample to Goddard, where, according to Stanford, the true analysis was suppressed and significant findings deliberately covered up. Stanford’s highly inaccurate account of the events is accepted at face value. His account was thoroughly rebutted at the time his book was published, in articles in the MUFON UFO Journal and elsewhere. *

As of September 1967, the author reports (p. 430), “Just recently, for personal reasons, Keyhoe had asked Richard Hall to resign.” This is absolutely untrue. Neither then nor at any other time did Keyhoe ask me to resign. To the contrary, he made a strong effort to persuade me not to resign but I had personal reasons for doing so.

Some errors and misinterpretations are bound to occur in a work of this magnitude. I cannot be as charitable, however, when it comes to the author’s depiction of the impersonally defined National Security State. This I consider to be the weakest and least credible thread of the book.

As someone who has lived most of his adult life in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, this reviewer has had many neighbors, friends, and acquaintances (and a few enemies) who were employees of the intelligence agencies in question. They did not have two heads. They mowed their lawns, walked their dogs, chatted over the back fence, and engaged in neighborly activities just like ordinary human beings. Nowhere in Dolan’s portrayal of the NSS does he mention its role in protecting our country, the professionalism of its employees, nor their straight human qualities.

The NSS tends to come across as a faceless, inhuman, unmitigated evil. As a result of framing the discussion in these terms, the history of UFOs per se tends to be force-fit into a vast conspiracy. To be sure, the CIA in particular has engaged in some strange and sometimes reprehensible antidemocratic activities, but the relevance of that to UFO history is not clear a priori, nor is any convincing connection made here.

While reading the history, I found it very distracting when every few pages another NSS atrocity list was trotted out, giving the impression than an incipient second book about an “evil empire” was about to surface and take over. The charges of mind-control experiments, brainwashing, drug use against people, biological-weapons testing in urban areas, and the like, are sprinkled liberally throughout the book. The extent of such statements cried out for justification as being part of UFO history.

The author’s claim in the introduction that the information provides context for UFO history is questionable at best, except insofar as it provides a general context about the Cold War mentality then in full flower. But no analysis is given about how this mentality might have influenced government reactions to UFOs. Instead, time after time, UFO-history events are interpreted as if they directly resulted from the sinister machinations of the national security apparatus. While this interpretation might be true in some particular instances, it is very strained overall.

The author himself occasionally reports something that tends to undermine the “vast conspiracy” interpretation. For example, as of 1949, he stated (p. 117), “Military and intelligence people continued to discuss what UFO sightings represented, and held different opinions” (i.e.: honest disagreement and uncertainty). Again, he states (p. 30) that in 1958, “The CIA continued to maintain an interest and genuine puzzlement over UFOs.”

In various other places throughout the text his remarks about specific activities often are better qualified, less extreme sounding, and less simplistic than his ultimate generalizations. At one point (p. 360) he even refers to his own interpretation as a “contentious conspiracy theory.” Those more moderate statements, however, take a back seat to his dominant portrayal of an NSS that “manages,” “suppresses,” and “controls” UFO information and public interest in a uniformly heavy-handed manner at every turn. Some selected examples will make the point.

In one instance (pp. 98-99), even while acknowledging that what he is reporting is not related to UFOs, he says that it shows “deception and secrecy increasingly exercised over the press by the American national security apparatus.” Perhaps so, and that might even have some relevance to UFO history, but then it should have been argued more cogently. In the same passage though, he implies that the murder of a CBS journalist who was reporting things the NSS didn’t like about current events in Greece may have been their dirty work, and that “the American media worked obediently according to the wishes of the State Department and intelligence community.”

Unsupported allegations of this often substitute for reasoned argument, {Hall is discussing Dolan blaming the CIA for the murder of a CBS reporter.} A major example of this is what the author has to say about Robert J. Low, project coordinator for the Colorado UFO project. The CIA, he reports (p.112), was attempting in 1949 to build a resistance movement against communism in Albania. One of the people selected for the job was a Robert Low, and the author wonders whether this might have been Robert J. Low of the UFO study. In that context he mentions that Low had been a Navy combat-intelligence officer during World War II (a far cry from CIA-type “spook work”).
Later (p. 402) he reports that Robert J. Low “appears to have performed some serious work for the CIA” in 1949. Then (p. 449) what started out as a question and then became “apparent” is converted to a “probability”: “Considering the probable history of Robert Low as a CIA covert operative in the 1940s…” This sort of reasoning is simply not acceptable. Unless documentary evidence is found of CIA work by Bob Low, weak arguments like this have no place in serious history. Not to mention the seeming implications that attempts to encourage resistance against communism were somehow inherently evil. (p.16)

Most offensive of all to me is the strong suggestion (pp. 120-21) that Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal’s death might have had a UFO connection, in that his alleged knowledge of Roswell made him a threat to the NSS cover-up. Did he jump or was he pushed when he fell to his death at Bethesda Naval Hospital? And (pp. 479-81) that James McDonald may also have been an “assisted suicide” since his vigorous efforts to mount a scientific investigation posed a threat to the NSS. This sort of groundless speculation based on an extreme interpretation of the NSS, although adduced as if it were evidence, is in fact nothing but circular reasoning: Since the NSS is evil, it therefore probably murdered these people.

Forrestal obviously was mentally ill; how could he pose any threat? More importantly, the entire scenario is pure surmise based on no factual evidence whatsoever, and is only a view of the NSS so monolithic as to strain the imagination of anyone who has knowledge or experience of how the federal government actually works.

The author even goes so far as to state (p. 481) that, “No one is in a position to state whether McDonald’s suicide was real or not.” Who is in a better position than his family and closest friends? McDonald was a close personal friend of mine, a frequent house guest and companion. I was deeply distressed by his suicide. A number of his close friends working together made inquiries to get at the truth of the matter.

Jim had just gone through the humiliating experience of being laughed at during the Congressional hearing as described in the book. But that alone was at worst only the final straw; he had taken plenty of criticism and abuse before. More to the point, his longtime marriage was disintegrating, his wife was leaving him, he was under pressure at work to get back to “real science,” and as our inquiries determined he had long suffered from a bipolar disorder. This was the final piece of the puzzle.

Although the disorder in his case normally was manifested in his energetic and spirited investigations, it also made him vulnerable to severe depression. And he had good reasons to be depressed. Evidence was found (too personal to recite here) tha Jim was entirely rational while planning his suicide. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he committed suicide of his own volition. Continued insinuations to the contrary are a disservice to the McDonald family and to the UFO field.

An ultimate expression of the “vast conspiracy: hypothesis (pp. 305-307) bears a close look by analysts, but will not be further discussed here except for its conclusion: The NSS through the use of LSD and other drugs displayed a capability for “disabling individuals as well as large groups.” While admitting that this does not prove a link to alleged activities against UFO people, he continues that their use against soldiers and other innocent parties suggests that “we can assume that they would have had fewer qualms about using such means against irritating pests within the UFO arena.” Proof will never be found, he says. “One is left only with suspicion.”

To paraphrase a famous phrase by Sen. Everett Dirksen: A few assumptions here and suspicions there, and pretty soon you are talking a pretty big conspiracy.

UFOs clearly can be perceived as a threat to national security (better yet, world security), which could well account for a lot of government reactions to them over the years. Clearly too, government secrecy about UFOs is a reality, though it remains highly debatable just how much of what exactly is known. Excessive secrecy and lack of intelligence-agency accountability to the public are legitimate and serious issues bearing on the future of our democracy. They, in fact, tend to breed conspiracy theories among many other adverse effects.

As an author myself, I am mindful of the illegitimate type of book review which, in effect, says: “You didn’t write the book I would have written.” So I recognize the author’s right to his viewpoint and interpretation. However, the “vast conspiracy” interpretation of the NSS, while it may ultimately prove to be correct, is not convincingly argued here. Nor is it the only possible theory or necessarily the best one to help us understand governmental and human reactions to UFO reports.—Richard H. Hall

* Hall is referring to his article in the November, 1976 MUFON Journal “Pentagon Pantry: Is the Cupboard Bare?” (Number 108, pp. 15-18) The article is available here: http://www.theblackvault.com/encyclopedia/documents/MUFON/Journals/1976/November_1976.pdf

Richard Dolan

Paranormal Novice
Thanks to those who have requested me to come back here. Any one who is interested can always email me. I'm easy to find.

By the way, if you are awake, I will be on Coast to Coast AM tonight -- in around 3 hours from now. I even plan to discuss (gasp!) my possible television show. :)

Richard Dolan

---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 PM ----------

Okay, final word from me on this. Schuyler says he spent $100 on the DVD, perhaps he might have posted my own reply to Richard Hall. Oh well.

I can see where this is going. There are only so many hours in my day for this. I wrote my piece. Schuyler is free to do his thing.

Richard Dolan

The Pair of Cats

a.k.a Philip Deane
Okay, final word from me on this. Schuyler says he spent $100 on the DVD, perhaps he might have posted my own reply to Richard Hall. Oh well.

I can see where this is going. There are only so many hours in my day for this. I wrote my piece. Schuyler is free to do his thing.

Richard Dolan

Please can you post your reply To Richard hall for us!


Skilled Investigator
Richard Dolan wrote:

"Nevertheless, I certainly would encourage Mr. Schuyler to try his hand at writing an alternative history. Clearly, he is up to the job. I for one would appreciate his contributions to the field..."

That thought occurred to me too. As I read the review he posted, I was struck by the fact that he should pursue a writing project that could boldly contribute to a field full of lousy writers. I am quite certain Schuyler could follow his passions and create something to bolster the credibility of this very strange topic.
Thanks to those who have requested me to come back here. Any one who is interested can always email me. I'm easy to find.

By the way, if you are awake, I will be on Coast to Coast AM tonight -- in around 3 hours from now. I even plan to discuss (gasp!) my possible television show. :)

Richard Dolan

---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 PM ----------

Okay, final word from me on this. Schuyler says he spent $100 on the DVD, perhaps he might have posted my own reply to Richard Hall. Oh well.

I can see where this is going. There are only so many hours in my day for this. I wrote my piece. Schuyler is free to do his thing.

Richard Dolan

Hi Mr Richard Dolan,

Why don't you both sit down and write a book together ?

Ufology needs academics like both of you and I enjoyed your last interview on C2C Richard and looking forward to the one tonight,
Keep up the good work and just purchased your first vol.



Paranormal Adept
Hi Mr Richard Dolan,

Why don't you both sit down and write a book together ?

Ufology needs academics like both of you and I enjoyed your interview on C2C Richard,
Keep up the good work and just purchased your first vol.


This would end to be the 'odd couple' me thinks . ;)


Skilled Investigator
Richard excellent reply. Why is it that people who experience or write about them are targeted for ridicule- where every word/action is put under a microscope in order to discount their credibility? Most of the time it is by armchair psychiatrists or self proclaimed experts who have never experienced the mind boggling aspects of this field directly?

Richard my hat is off to you for even trying to understand or educate others about ufology. It is a snake pit where you could never ignore everyone- that these self appointed critics don't like or don't believe. There wouldn't be anyone left. Responding is like trying to piss into a tornado... you are going to get soiled even trying.

No wonder most experiencers run and hide... if you see a UFO, no matter if it is at Chicago airport in front of hundreds.. keep your mouth shut or face having your integrity and/or sanity attacked.

Sorry, I haven't read your books, have only read one by Hopkins years ago. I don't need any convincing about the reality of these unexplained phenomena, but I tip my hat to you for your involvement trying to record some of it.

drew hempel

Skilled Investigator
Hi Richard Dolan. Your response is very well-written and thought out. You have corresponded with me before right after your last coasttocoastam interview -- about the black triangles. At that time you stated that you thought the black triangles were military. I had written about my very close encounter with a black triangle -- I saw the craft up close -- as it flew from the horizon, over the neighbor's woods, towards our land, over the hill, tree and our garage. So I could have hit the triangle craft with a rock -- no fuselage, the plasma lights each a different color, a humming noise, slow flight -- an equilateral triangle! Completely equilateral. Yet this amazing craft has been documented at almost instantaneous acceleration. I've done the MUFON searches and there's been half a dozen in my area within the same time frame I saw the craft as well -- a few years before and after. I was told that we live in a "military flight test corridor" by a local journalist who gave me news clippings of a previous mass sighting in my area.

I'm listening to your new coasttocoastam interview right now as I type! haha.

O.K. Richard I have yet to see you consider Tim Ventura's amazing research on the secret military technology that has the propulsion for the black triangles:


I discovered this after rewatching Nick Cook's "Alien History of Planet Earth" documentary which was replayed on cable tonight. Nick Cook also documents that the cattle mutilations are done by the military.

There was a mass sighting of the triangle craft in my area back in 1978 that was investigated by Brad Ayers of J. Allen Hynek's center. A lady had missing time and said she had been abducted up into the craft. There were also cattle mutilations and the rancher moved out. Again I think this is military abductions.

But I also know there are definitely other life forms -- a spirit realm. I've seen dead spirits. I think that plasma balls as globular lightning can follow craft and have more anomalous behaviour and abilities than we know. Also I think that the technology now has spacetime effects, as Tim Ventura has discovered as well. I think all these aspects have combined together in the lines of Christopher O'Brien and George P. Hanen's paranormal trickster angle.

Thanks for your research Richard Dolan and I hope you can comment on Tim Ventura's research as well.

Tom From Hong Kong

Sleeping with one eye open . . .
I just finished listening to today's C2C show with Richard Dolan, and if there is one thing that is certain in this world it is this: George Noory is downright bad as a talk show host. I turned off the radio after Noory's comment about UFO Disclosure being likely if J. Allen Hynek was still alive today. How Premier Radio tolerates that level of play I just don't know.

Other than that it was a fairly standard Richard Dolan interview -- one of the more enjoyable C2C guests.


Nothin' to see here
C2C is an absolute waste of time unless George Knapp is hosting. I do quite enjoy listening when Knapp is hosting though.


It appears we need a little tutorial on what constitutes 'Peer Review.' The only time I mentioned 'Peer Review' in my own review of Dolan's work was when I mentioned that as far as I knew Dolan had never undergone it. That's it. I do not maintain that my own review constitutes 'peer review;' in fact, I deny it. I never said it did.

'Peer Review' takes place prior to publication and most usually involves academic periodical articles. The method is that an article is submitted for publication. An editor removes the authors' names from the submission and sends copies to 'peers' in the subject area who are considered experts in their field, i.e.: Who have earned PhDs and usually have academic appointments in either teaching or research. Without knowing who wrote it, these academicians then rate the work and call 'yay' or 'nay' for publication, sometimes suggesting changes. If the work is approved for publication and actually published, the article has a certain 'cachet' and can be counted in the 'publish or perish' world of gaining tenure as a point in the author's favor. An important point is that neither the reviewers nor the authors know who each other are (at least in theory).

This is a very formal process. The first-named author gets most of the credit. Sometimes the last-named author, when there are several, has contributed nothing to the article at all; he's just allowed his name to be associated with it. This is also where graduate students do most of the work, but the 'author' in charge of them puts his own name on the work. For a PhD, especially, the degree is not awarded; it is conferred upon you. That means you do what your mentor tells you to do.

'Peer Reviewed' works are considered properly vetted. They can be cited by other researchers and form the basis of what is 'accepted science.' A very good example of this can be seen in the current Climategate controversy. The scientists involved make the claim that they (1) do not have to pay attention to so-called 'research' that has not been peer reviewed, and (2) that ALL the IPCCv4 research has been 'peer reviewed' (and therefore sound and 'settled' science.)

The controversy in that case has arisen because it has been shown that the scientists involved, at least a few of them, attempted to influence the process of 'peer review' by interfering in the editorial process and arranging a priori who would review their work. Secondly, the IPCCv4 report has been shown to be riddled with non-peer-reviewed references, including popular magazine articles and articles from green advocacy groups. This tends to lessen the 'settled science' argument used by the advocates of global warming.

That particular issue is being dealt with in depth elsewhere on these forums, but I thought it presented a very good example of the process of peer review and how peer review works.

To return to the heart of the matter, Dolan's two volume work has not been peer reviewed. In this field there is no mechanism for peer review. It is a popular treatment masquerading as a scholarly work. My own 'tinfoil hat' review represents my own findings after having read the book and followed provided references. It also summarizes what others have said about the works, which in many cases is rougher on Dolan than I am.

Quite frankly, I was shocked to discover how poor this work was. I had read the first book in the superficial manner most of us probably have, and I blame myself for that. The use of secondary and even tertiary sources without examining the actual sources themselves is shameful and would never be tolerated in academia. The leaps of logic converting philosophical musings to points of fact are equally astounding. And moving from ten inch red balls of light to worldwide conspiracy makes you reach for the tin foil hat. It's a sad testimony to the field of Ufology that this is the cream of the crop and the best we can muster. No wonder the rest of the world laughs at Ufology and considers anyone involved to be as nutty as a fruitcake.

As to the critics of my criticism, you have actually read the book, right? You have followed a few references to see where they went, including finding a few of those dead ends, right? There are plenty of them so you won't have any trouble finding them accidentally. So your words of wisdom on this are based on facts that you have independently verified for yourselves, right? Well, that's great. I'm glad you have done that. Otherwise I don't see why anyone should pay attention to you. It's kind of like peer review. If you haven't done your homework, how do you know you are right? Upon what facts in the books themselves are you basing your opinion?

I do intend to follow Dolan from this point onwards. I think it would be a shame if the criticism of his work gets once again hidden behind un-indexed periodicals and obscure web sites subject to change and deletion. Never again will there be a situation where anyone can successfully claim that Dolan has never been adequately challenged. He can fuss and fume all he wants, but this is going to be out there, and available for all to see for themselves what the problems with Dolan's scholarship actually are.


Skilled Investigator
By the way, if you are awake, I will be on Coast to Coast AM tonight -- in around 3 hours from now. I even plan to discuss (gasp!) my possible television show. :)

Richard Dolan

---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 PM ----------
I listened to the Coast show last night. It's weird, I did not know what was going to be on, and I retired to night-night, about 10:pm. Automatically awoke a little after midnight, and (psychically?!) turned on my radio.
Lots of luck with your new TV deal, but I have been (only recently) learning a -lot- of negative unhappy truths, about how these investigative reality TV shows, operate. For example, Donna's whistleblowing about the GhostHunters. I am primarily, though, thinking about the media crews, who are in charge of the product's outcome, for the viewers. I talked in another thread, about how my MUFON journal contained a writer's account of when an accompanying media crew, for yet another reality investigative TV show, tried to urge the guy to say, "yep, this artifact is a piece of an alien spaceship."
Don't let them make you appear silly. It will hurt any credibility you would ( I hope? ) wan't to maintain.


Paranormal Maven
Once again, as is par for the course in this 'subject' that cannot be taught , Ufology ..it has turned downright ugly. I applaud Richard Dolan, who has at least TRIED to get some of the information out there and has done monumental work in the two volumes thus far. If he's made mistakes, its because he's human.
I suggest anyone, who has the intellect , and certainly, the time to write a scathing review of the his work, to put your money where your mouth is . Come on, let's see your own attempt . Please !
We would all appreciate more contributions to the field , so how about it ?

Paul Kimball

In this field there is no mechanism for peer review. It is a popular treatment masquerading as a scholarly work.

That may be true in terms of an official mechanism, but there is genuine peer review in the UFO field, at least on occasion. Brad Sparks, for example, prior to submitting his paper on MJ-12 at a recent MUFON Symposium, sent it out to a number of people, including me, with a request to read it, and offer commentary, no matter how brutal. I know - some of my comments were pretty pointed. ;)
Other peer review goes on, but almost always sub rosa.

But in general, you're quite right - "ufology" isn't subject to any real standards, or methodology, which results in a free-for-all. Given the nature of the subject, perhaps that's not such a bad thing. It's more entertainment, at least in the public sphere - the real work generally goes on in private, away from the loonies.