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Your Paracast Newsletter — July 8, 2018

Merchandise that’s just out of this world!

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
July 8, 2018

Don Ecker and the Strange Case of Bill Cooper Featured on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and guest cohost J. Randall Murphy present a return visit by the irrepressible Don Ecker, who focuses much of his discussion on the curious case of Milton William Cooper (Bill Cooper), one of the more curious personalities in the UFO field. Cooper’s wild and crazy life came to a tragic end in a 2001 shootout with sheriff deputies in rural Arizona. Don also talks about other eccentric figures in the field, such as Bob Lazar, who claimed to have worked at the legendary Area 51 discusses model and talk show host Candy Jones, who was married to paranormal talk show pioneer Long John Nebel when it was claimed that she once worked as an unwilling CIA courier and sometimes assassin when put into a spell by the CIA, as depicted in the book, “The Control of Candy Jones.”

Dark Matters Radio: Don Ecker's Dark Matters Radio

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on July 8: Gene is joined by special guests Don Ecker and J. Randall Murphy as Gene tells a few anecdotes from the early days of The Paracast. Don offers additional remembrances about the funny and tragic foibles of Bill Cooper, Bob Lazar and other characters. Is Lazar the real deal or just a pretender? The trio wonder who might portray Cooper if a movie is ever made about his life. Ecker also brings up the case of Butch Witkowski, whose phony background was exposed and reported on The Paracast Community Forums.

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The UFO Field: Is it the People or the Objects?
By Gene Steinberg

In one of the most fascinating and often fun episodes of The Paracast, we featured the irrepressible Don Ecker, who told us the along and convoluted story of Milton William Cooper, best known as Bill Cooper.

Cooper was one of the most outrageous people who ever became involved in the UFO field, the Kennedy assassination and other conspiracy theories.

Cooper’s life journey became crazier and crazier until, in 2001, he died in a shootout worthy of an action movie, where he killed a deputy sheriff before he was finally cut down. As I think about it, I can almost visualize a movie whose final scenes depict Cooper being cut down in a glaze of glory.

But he wasn’t the first outrageous figure to garner attention in the field. And such people were, for a time, destined to seem far more important than the mystery of the UFOs themselves.

Now that may appear to be a curious conclusion, but it’s not that the UFO mystery has changed all that much over the years, nor is there is any indication it’ll be solved any time soon.

Regardless of the reality behind the phenomenon, it has attracted some very curious characters over the years, honest or otherwise. In all, perhaps Cooper had a more extreme life than most, and his ending may have been foretold for years by his increasingly irrational behavior.

But it goes to explain why some people find the people in the field more interesting than the objects. Without doubt, if there was solid evidence as to what UFOs are, and not just theories lacking smoking guns, no individual could possibly be as compelling.

Lacking that, let’s look at some the people,

Back in the 1950s, the contactees were surely entertaining, whether you believed them or not. One of the originals, George Adamski, told a fun story, about meeting an extraterrestrial in the California desert that appeared perfectly human. Of course, the story was easily disproven; the photographs of alleged spaceships were very different from others up until that point, but they were also easily explained away as amateurish fakes.

If it’s entertainment you want, certainly the shenanigans of Gray Barker and Jim Moseley were worth talking about. In fact, Adamski was one of the victims of a silly hoax this pair perpetrated one night when they had more than a little too much to drink.

Using government stationary they acquired from a friend, they sent letters to people well known in the UFO field, including Adamski and the leaders of APRO, one of the early serious UFO research organizations.

The letter to Adamski was signed by an R.E. Straith of the “Cultural Exchange Committee,” claiming the nonexistent agency supported the work of the infamous contactee but couldn’t admit it publicly.

Certainly Adamski knew it was a fake, but he did what he had to do that it claim it was genuine. The letter itself was written in Barker’s distinctive style, and it was quickly exposed. But the act of using government stationary for fraudulent purposes nearly got Barker in dutch with the FBI. He was very lucky that a real case wasn’t pursued against him.

Over the years, Barker and Moseley were involved in several notable hoaxes. Yet another was the Lost Creek UFO, a pathetic effort at creating a UFO movie using a model as an alleged spaceship. I suppose some people were taken in, though it never seemed particularly credible to me.

But one of Moseley’s hoaxes turned out to presage a real case, when, in early 1966, he telephoned a police department in a small New Jersey town about seeing a flying saucer. It wasn’t long thereafter when reports arose about a UFO that location, at the Wanaque reservoir.

Some weeks later, Moseley and I, plus several of his fellow travelers, took an evening trip to the reservoir to see what was going on. But all I remember of the episode was that it was freezing and I only wanted to return to Moseley’s big Pontiac and turn on the heater so I could stop shivering.

No doubt it was a crazy coincidence that his hoax was perpetrated around the time of an apparently genuine UFO case. It’s not that Moseley had any mysterious psychic power that I know of. Well, except for that time when he claimed to have taken a deck of cards and accurately guessed the next card, one and over again, until his perfect record was no longer perfect.

It all started when he felt that he didn’t have to guess what the next card would be; he knew! Maybe we all have psychic powers of one sort or another, but very few have the ability to make it happen except on rare occasions.

After Barker died in 1984, Moseley wasn’t quite the hoaxer anymore, but his newsletter, Saucer Smear, served as the medium with which to express his offbeat sense of humor with a mixture of real news on the strange and the unknown.

Now one of the more eccentric characters was a guy who sometimes wore a silly metal-clad helmet to ward off negative vibrations. Known as the “Mystic Barber,” Andy Sinatra plied his regular trade at a shop in Brooklyn, NY, in the East New York section. I’m not sure if he attracted much business from his silly antics, but I never for a moment considered having him cut my hair.

He did once claim to be a cousin, a very distant cousin, to that other Sinatra, but I didn’t bother trying to check out the claim.

Yet another curious character was Alexander McNeil, who easily stood over seven feet tall. No, I don’t recall much about his claims, but he certainly made for a distinctive appearance as the result of his extremely tall and thin frame. One might have half seriously thought of him as an extraterrestrial, but only for a moment.

I’m sure there are probably other very tall contactees out there, but this is the one I recall.

This is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to the very-fascinating characters you used to find in the UFO field. As I said, it often seems as if they are more interesting than the UFOs themselves.

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