Thursday, August 22, 2013

Another Quick View Point About the Oscar Hypnosis Story

It appeared that my last post caused a quiet uproar and ruffled some feathers.  James Carlson misunderstood my position concerning Paul Kimball's revelation that Robert Salas underwent hypnosis to reclaim memories of the Oscar event.  Again, Salas told this to Paul Kimball and Paul had merely had it as an aside of his re-look at the cases presented in the top ten UFO cases listed in a film which he produced.

It's important to add that Paul did not provide the list for the film as he was only the producer. Paul made this clear in other on-line venues.  The importance of the last blog posting was Paul's take on the Malmstrom cases and it should be of no surprise that I would find that of interest regardless of Paul's opinion, but I found it gratifying that he seemed to hold the same opinion as I, as well as others.

Paul had left a good comment on the last post, but chose to delete it while I was in the midst of typing out a reply.  I don't know the reason why, but that's his prerogative to do so and I'll leave it at that.

Back to the Salas hypnosis angle.  Since the psychological angle of UFOs is the main driving force that spurs my interest, the hypnotic angle is of importance for due consideration.  It is potential evidence or another potential piece of a puzzle.  To discard this puzzle piece without critical examination is intellectual dishonesty in my view.  Notice that I use the term "potential" for I've no direct knowledge nor have I seen Kimball's film segment which Salas so states.  I believe, from Paul's deleted comment, that this segment was edited out due to time constraints, but Paul has that edited I seem to recall.

Why is the hypnosis angle of importance?  It simply goes to show his state of mind at a given point in time.  It may also be part of the foundation of confabulatory thinking in which he constructed the UFO scenario and his seeking of validation for his belief.  This may explained why he drew others into the mix both real and imaginary.

Should Salas get a free pass from me based on "recovered memories" via hypnosis?  No, I'm afraid I can't logically and intellectually do that.  The recovery process of regressed memories through hypnosis is highly controversial in its own right, and in some cases, its highly dubious. 

Under what conditions was the hypnotic therapy administered to Salas?  Who did the therapy and when was this accomplished?  These are questions which I've no answer, but are relevant to ask.

I am curious as to which one of the numerous versions that Salas has put forth were the results of hypnosis.  There are quite a few to be considered.  How does his final version which he sealed as official fact via an affidavit compare to the hypnotic induced version?  Lot's of questions regarding that angle.

Regardless of the issue of hypnosis, Salas had researched his case for quite some time even teaming up with researcher Jim Klotz.  He, like I and others, would have discovered that no official/unofficial documents existed to support his claim.  The only documents that Klotz had secured via FOIA was the Echo Flight shutdown...with no mentioning of an Oscar incident. Further, other missile crew members could not support Salas' claims...missiles off alert and UFO reports.  One does not need hypnosis to figure that out.  

Eric Carlson and Walter Figel had on countless times stated that no such incident at Oscar took place.  Salas' crew commander, Fred Meiwald stated in a personal letter to Salas (1996) that he had different memories that were contrary to Salas' claims.

This should have been a wake-up call, but instead Salas has pressed on furthering the cementing of a disjointed confabulation and selling it as reality.  Yet, its reality that should have steered him in the opposite and only logical  direction.  Why he has chosen to do so only he knows.  So while the hypnosis revelation is interesting, it does not change the outcome nor does it redefine the conclusions.


  1. To clarify, Tim - the part about hypnosis was never in the film. I shot two hours of interview footage with Bob back in 2006 - I always shoot way more footage than I know I'll actually need, because until you get in the edit suite you don't know how it will really all fit together. I have literally hundreds of tapes of interviews over the years locked away in storage, most of them obsolete SD Beta and D-Beta tapes because all of the docs I did were made before HD really came to the fore... I haven't looked at them since the films they were shot for were completed.

    But the Salas hypnosis story I do remember well, because my good friend the late Mac Tonnies was along with me on that interview as a camera assistant, and we discussed this revelation at length afterwards on our drive back to LA where we were staying. We both found it concerning, because neither of us had any faith in hypnotically retrieved memories (something about which I've written and spoken in some detail over the years with respect to the so-called "alien abduction" phenomenon), but in the end it just didn't fit the film as it was structured and pre-sold to the network. I make no apologies for that whatsoever.

    As for commenting on it before now, I suppose I could have, but the truth is that I haven't really discussed the Malmstrom case at length when talking about the film because I have never personally considered it to be a particularly good one, or even an interesting one. I have focused most of my personal opinions on the cases I do like, such as the Santa Barbara Channel sighting, Shag Harbour, and the RB47 case. Indeed, if you go to my blog and type "Salas" or "Malmstrom" into the search engine, you'll see that the topic has never really come up for in depth discussion, simply because unlike some people I'm not obsessed by it.

    In the end, I stand by the film because it is what it is. Honestly, people need to take a step back and a deep breath and focus on the fact that no 1 hour documentary is ever going to be anything more than an overview of anything. If people watch the film on YouTube (where it available for free from both of our US distributors) then they can see the presentation of the Malmstrom case that Salas and the ufologists offered, and if it interests them then they can wander off and look further, and at some point they will run across the countervailing POV... including my own. As I've said on almost every radio show and podcast on which I've discussed Best Evidence, all the film was ever intended to was start a conversation.

    Mission accomplished.

    Best regards,

    1. Second last sentence should end "to do was start a conversation."


  2. Paul,

    Thanks for the clarifications. I'm aware that not all are interested in Malmstrom, but it is a fascinating story for me since I was assigned there back in the early 1980s on a 4 year controlled tour. So naturally this caught my interest for both personal and past professional interests. In retrospect, it was the best assignment during my time on active duty.

    The Malmstrom stories have much died down now as compared to a few years ago. But as you know, UFO stories never really die, they simply lie dormant for awhile. I suspect that 10-15 years from now, someone will be rummaging through an old attic in Great Falls and stumble across an old letter or photo with presumptive links to the case invariably starting the cycle over again.

    Paul, thanks very much for your comment as it does put quite a few things in proper perspective.

    Kind Regards,


  3. Hi Tim,

    I should note that I wasn't referring to you when I wrote about people who are obsessed.

    As for Malmstrom dying down, I actually think the opposite is the case. Die-hard UFO buffs on both sides tend to operate in a fish-bowl, where they think their own little realm is the be-all-and-end-all, whether it's Reality Uncovered on the one hand, or Frank Warren's site on the other (to use two examples). The truth is that in the broader culture, none of it really has an impact. What does have an impact, for better or worse, is mainstream media, and here Malmstrom (and all of the missile base cases) is still going strong. Indeed, I was watching the space alien / UFO episode of Joe Rogan's TV show last night, and featured prominently was former Senator Mike Gravel (and others) talking about missile base cases as if they were a proven fact, and Bob Salas and others from Steve Bassett's recent fake hearing on "disclosure" were cited / shown as the evidence. Expect them to be front and center for some time, no matter what anyone in the UFO subculture has to say about it.


  4. Hi Paul,

    I was well aware that it was not intended towards me. I was giving a little background for my interests in both of the cases.

    Yes, the various press club offerings tend to rev things up a bit, but how many people actually buy into these things? Seriously, I have no idea, that's including the lasting impact on a given segment of the population.

    Honestly, all one can do is provide an outlet that shows that there are alternative views concerning Malmstrom...and other cases.