DISINFORMATION – REQUIEM FOR A FUNNY BOX
In May of 1996 I was working at news station KCNR in Salt Lake City. I was a CNN affiliate correspondent and news director at the station. Our station was one of the first to experiment with the CNN/News Hot talk format. Our major competition was the conservative news station KSL 1160 AM in Salt Lake City. KSL’s staff and news team were remarkable and with budgets and staff they always were turning out a superior news product. They were the industry standard and have maintained that lofty position for decades.
We on the other hand had no real budget for an AM radio station. The news staff included me and a freelance Metro Traffic reporter Charlene Spencer. We also utilized some of the talk hosts as reporters. It seemed that we had to try harder because of what we were up against. We really believed we could beat KSL in those days. We were young and naïve and had that killer instinct to win and win bog with our content. Our talk content was top notch and in some areas we felt our news product was often better than KSL’s.
It was the middle of May in 1996 when we received a phone call from the traffic network that there was an emergency that needed to be reported. There was a maniacal driver, that hijacked a school bus and that we needed to warn drivers to stay clear of a police chase. We immediately had all hands on deck and we were reporting round the clock coverage. Were students on board? Was the driver depressed or angry? Was he making demands?
We decided that the only way to find out was to speak with the police about it. Much to our surprise the driver was a 15 year old boy who shot the female bus driver in the leg and took the bus on a joy-ride. He forced all of the students and the driver off the bus before he took off in it. He later crashed the bus into a family room of a house.
I was thinking that we could own this story and sent Rick Emerson, (Rick Taylor) out to find the location where the bus had crashed. Meanwhile I had to file a story and so I kept Rick on the phone to give me details. We did updates on the air and Rick was on the story. He was right in the middle of the action as police surrounded the house and waited for the boy to come out. There was tear gas being fired and even a moment where a man came out of the house with a gun and was wrestled to the ground. He happened to live there and was unfortunately carrying a weapon to defend his turf. I was monitoring KSL to hear how they were covering the story. They had reporters there as well but they were giving short reports in news casts and we went live round the clock with updates on the situation.
It was then that KSL reported that the gunman, the hijacker was in custody. I was stunned. We were reporting that a young boy in a cowboy outfit hijacked a bus. I had a hunch that KSL thought that the man with the gun was the Hijacker and that perhaps the story of the boy was false. I phoned Rick and he said that KSL is reporting that the man that was wrestled to the ground was the hijacker—and not the boy. I told Rick not to leave the scene no matter what. I felt that with all of the witnesses seeing a young boy on the bus in a cowboy suit with a gun – that this whole story about the man with the gun being apprehended was not related to the boy or the bus or the hijacking.
That day I stood by that story.
Even though KSL reported that the suspect was in custody, we kept reporting for at least an hour that the hijacker was not in custody.
Rick was live on the air at the scene and I asked him “Was there a boy in a cowboy’s suit escorted out of the bus away from the debris?” Rick replied that No, he had not seen any boy leaving the house or escorted out by police. As he spoke I heard over the phone a loud pop.
I said ‘What is that?” Rick replied that it came from inside the bus. I got a sick feeling and said on the air “I think that pop you just heard was the boy.”
Rick said that he would keep us posted. Meanwhile the phones lit up on the Martin Davies show. There were irate callers on the air telling us that we were reporting lies, and that KSL reported that the hijacker was in custody and that we were being sensationalists and irresponsible.
Rick called the station and reported that the young man in the cowboy suit was finally found with a gunshot wound. He apparently took his own life. I felt that we as news team did our job that day by standing our ground about a story even the though the other news stations followed the lead of KSL and reported that the gunman was apprehended.
Here is the story that KCNR posted that day and that I contributed to:
Boy dies after hijacking school bus
Driver shot, wounded
May 14, 1996
Web posted at: 1:45 p.m. EDT
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) — A 15-year-old boy — described as a “good kid who’s had some personal tragedies in his life” — shot a bus driver and then led authorities on a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed the bus into a house, apparently killing himself.
There were no others on the bus when it crashed, officials said. The bus driver was treated at a hospital for a minor wound in the leg.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard said half of the 50-foot-long bus was embedded in the wood-frame home.
Kennard had said earlier that two of the boy’s close friends had recently died and “he had apparently had a hard time coping with that.” He said the boy, a middle school student, had no known juvenile crime record.
Police had surrounded the area for three hours as they tried to find out whether the boy was in the house or still in the bus. Tear gas fired into the house and attempts to talk to the boy had gotten no response.
Kennard said SWAT team members finally broke out windows on the bus and found the boy dead in the driver’s seat, secured by a seat belt.
An eyewitness, Sam Mallory, said the incident started when the boy walked up to the woman bus driver as she was making her first stop of the day about 7:15 a.m. in a residential neighborhood.
He was wearing a cowboy hat and gun — said to be a 357 magnum pistol — in a holster, said another witness. When the school bus driver told the boy to give her the gun, said the witness, he told her to get off the bus.
“She laughed,” said Mallory,” and said, ‘Big joke.’ That’s when he pulled out the gun and shot her.” The youth helped the bus driver off the bus and then drove off, Mallory said.
A boy who also had been waiting for the bus said he and about 15 other children fled when the boy fired the shot.
Mallory said he knew the boy and that the youth had given no indication that he was upset or had planned to take the bus.
After a chase down city streets, the boy crashed the bus into the house of a retired sheriff’s deputy, said a Salt Lake County Sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt. Jim Potter.
Potter said that after bus crashed into the house, the man who lived there came out carrying a gun. Deputies, not knowing who he was, wrestled him to the ground. Authorities said the man suffered a shoulder injury, but otherwise, both he and his wife got out of the house safely.
I wanted to add that local radio news powerhouse KSL flubbed the story – but better sense took hold of me. We were correct in the face of the majority telling us that we were wrong, lying, sensationalist, and trying to perpetrate drama for the sake of ratings. KSL also attempted to report that the young boy Justin Allgood died when he crashed the bus. That wasn’t how it happened. We heard the gun go off on the air, after it was reported that the gunman was apprehended.
I was proud of our work, but later decided that it was a hollow victory because it would have made us look unprofessional to gloat about a tragedy.
I learned a big lesson in misinformation that day and learned that all news organizations make mistakes and that getting only part of the story or neglecting the small details can change public opinion or manipulate outcomes. As I moved into the talk show circuit and decided to report fringe stories I had to learn a lot about sniffing out a hoax, misinformation and disinformation.
There are differences between the three and I am actually disheartened at the fact that many people who frequent web blogs dealing in fringe subjects, or conspiracy theories do not understand these concepts.
The difference between Misinformation and disinformation is intent. Sometimes Misinformation can creep into any story and that can happen in any instance where someone does not check their sources or facts. Disinformation is actually intended to mislead anyone from the real story. It doesn’t mean that the event or story isn’t valid; it only means that the person giving the story intentionally distorts the story because of an agenda or some other ulterior motive.
While trying to understand disinformation you must realize that not only are there distorted or outright misleading details given in an account but there is also interesting factoid that are neglected to be told or found, thus making the entire incident unbelievable or confusing.
Those who are not capable of sifting through disinformation will immediately declare a story false or hoaxed even though parts of the story have truth in them and we miss the entire opportunity to find out the real story.
Fabricated details will often point to a hoax, but they do not often mean that a hoax is being perpetrated. It may mean that someone has intended to mislead the observer in order to cover up another more important story. It is a very important weapon that can be used in Information warfare.
Case in point, the so called “UFO Boxes” found on the Oregon coast have been called a “hoax” by many people including local newspapers. However I can tell you that what I sense is disinformation being used to cover up a covert operation. This operation is not related to UFO’s. The intentional disinformation was used to silence anyone who wishes to demonstrate that there is more to the story than an argument over mundane extra-terrestrial calling cards.
As one of the investigators in the so called “UFO Boxes” I can say for the record that stories spun by a man named Dave Masko, were intentional disinformation. They were used to mislead and distract from an even more interesting story.
The third story that I am presenting would seem more plausible if I had definitive proof. So I will in all honesty provide you with a more plausible conspiracy theory. A theory that is just as logical because of the circumstances that have been dismissed by others but are worth noting.
I would like to declare for the record that when I do an investigation I am not looking for what I want to believe, I am not looking at believing what I want to assume. I am just looking at what is. I can theorize based on what I have uncovered and remind everyone that a conspiracy theory, is just that, a theory for consideration and nothing more.
To begin I will state for the record that Bray’s Point and Stone field beach are well known hotbeds for UFO sightings. The area has inspired the likes of Ken Kesey who once spoke of alien groups and gray and distant neighbors. However he was a prankster that may have made it all up. It is however interesting to note that Chris Carter of the X-files used the Oregon coast as a setting for his pilot X-files episode. In the pilot episode a strange tale is told about Vampire alien entities abducting young people and leaving their bodies behind with two cookie cutter type holes in their backs.
The tale begins with a young woman dressed only in a nightgown stumbling through a darkened forest at night. She falls into a small clearing and sees an immense light growing over a nearby hill. As the leaves surrounding her swirl up in a circle around her, a figure approaches from the light and enters into the swirling Vortex.
The figure stands over her as the light engulfs them both.
The encounter and the deaths of several young people in a small Oregon town near the Coast are investigated by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mulder is convinced that vampiric aliens are responsible for abductions and the brutal bloodletting. What they had discovered is that there were three other deaths in the area and that three different examiners had signed off on the death reports that nothing unusual was seen in the autopsy,
Allegedly the case that Carter presented in the original episode of the X-files is based on some truth. It is a truth that has been covered up by authorities about the Oregon coast from south to the Northern most areas near Washington has been cited on numerous occasions to be a hot bed of alien abduction activity and that the X-files case was based on numerous reports of missing persons from Bray’s Point to Wheeler and Warrenton.
Stanley Arthur Fulham, a UFO researcher who died in December of 2010 had an interest in the activity happening along the Oregon coast. He had remarked that there have been reports in the past of strange maelstroms that form in the wooded areas up the coast. The whirlwinds are reported to be warm with red blue and white light that ease the mind and then whisk you away.
The idea of alien abduction in the area is the hardest thing that residents can wrap their head around. Yet, there were many documents released from the FB I and even England’s department of defense that were once classified revealing that the Oregon Coast seems to have a great number of missing person reports during increased sightings of strange lights and unexplained portal openings.
The view that any increase in the number of aliens taking people while in their beds – based on local police and media reports – includes evidence that is sketchy at best. To even suggest such an event, alien or even cult sacrifice is met with all kinds of derision and yet there are so many people that wind up missing and police admit “there’s no real way to know where they are.”
Fulham did claim before he died that the truth about these events would be revealed in 2011. He claimed that activity there would increase and that there would be no doubt that alien visitors would arrive. Their light ships would be seen all along the Pacific coast.
Fulham is most famous in UFO circles for co-authoring the book “Challenges of Change” that predicts UFO contacts and increased sightings in the year “2011.”
He claimed that increased solar activity will reveal that the “watchers” are above us and the strange electromagnetic change will create an atmosphere similar to the mass UFO sightings in Mexico during the late 1990’s.
The British UFO files and also several leaked sources from Julian Assange of Wikileaks actually mentions the Oregon Coast as a place of odd activity, UFO sightings, abductions and Cult ritualism involving human sacrifice.
With all of the folklore associated with this area it would be easy to create a story about UFO’s leaving behind typical boxes. It would be easy to say that the boxes were glowing, and making strange noises. it would be easy to say that the common UFO activity there could be connected to a few boxes that wound up on the beach. But the fact is, there was no UFO connection to the boxes. It was a sensationalist story written by Dave Masko for the “Examiner” and later published on Huliq.
When I first read his stories I sent him a letter asking if he would appear on my show. He did not answer. I then decided to go out to the area with Roger Clooten of Northwest Ghost Recon. I also e-mailed Masko telling him that we were on our way, to call us and set up a meeting place. It was frustrating to conduct an investigation without the guy who first dropped the story.
We set out on our own to ask around the area. The drive was long and winding roads through the rain and high winds were difficult. Undaunted we arrived in Yachats Oregon and stopped at a 76 service station. Roger asked the woman there if she had heard anything about the strange boxes. The woman introduced herself as Marci and said that yes there were boxes and that many people saw them. She believed that the boxes were taken by the state police and possibly a “Military” looking group.
She also had said that the UFO activity in the area is real and that there is a Sky watch group that gathers there to watch the skies.
She said that there were blue arching lights that have been seen out near the ocean and that they were bright. She was far more eager to speak of the UFO’s than the boxes, however she gave a s a number of a local man who had his home in Bray’s point. His name was John Henry Grader. We called him and he met us at Stone field beach just five miles south of the 76 station.
Grader used to be a Mui Thai fighter for the WPKO. He also has posted his phone number and has given his first and last name as a person to contact about matters dealing with the boxes and the UFO activity. When we met him he cm equipped with a sledge hammer ready to bust open any and all boxes that may wash up.
Tide was high and the waves were treacherous at Stone field. The beach was closed; however we walked around the barricades and braved the jagged rocks to do an investigation. What we saw was areas where there was digging and a place where an all seeing eye was carved into the hard sand near the cliff.
As I suspected there were no boxes. There were stories that the boxes were real. There were also stories of police activity and Military helicopters including coast guard activity. While the coast guard activity is normal, Grader and others were saying that the other activity seemed a bit out of the ordinary.
In fact it was even proposed that there were exercises being carried out similar to the drills that were being conducted in Los Angeles.
I had also proposed that the boxes could have been the result of debris from the Japanese earthquake washing up on shore. I want to make it clear that there was NO EVIDENCE linking those boxes to Japan or any of the debris. We even took a drive out to Bray’s point to look over the debris that was there, because someone had stated that a few hinges and something with Japanese writing did wash ashore. Once again on a tip from the locals we came up empty handed.
The next move was to speak with Yachats fire department and other authorities. Frankie Petrick the Yachats fire chief was saying that people were chasing after NOAA buoys and that if there is any military involvement there is no need to worry they have been there to “blow things up” if needed.
We were actually thinking that perhaps she was referring to the infamous Whale that was dynamited on the beach in 1970. However it wasn’t the military that blew up
the whale it was actually the highway department that did that. The Whale story had always been the subject of Urban legend until the story resurfaced and the reporter Paul Linnman wrote a book about his account.
It was a strange comment none the less and Roger and I were satisfied with all of our local testimony. We didn’t find boxes, all we found were more questions.
After returning from the beach I checked my e-mail to find that Masko had answered my e-mails. He said that he wasn’t able to get out to the beach because of an eye infection and that I should keep the faith.
Here are two emails from Masko.
I then received an e-mail to my Gmail account. This account I seldom use. I use it only for business. It was a simple e-mail from someone named fri3nd no. 5 or friend number 5.
This e-mail told me that Masko was a liar and that the boxes were not at all.
I then produced a radio show on the matter and thought that was all I had to do. Then I was contacted by a guy who said he had a software program that he could use to make a speculative guess on what the contents for the boxes might be. The software uses electron optics to create a way to estimate size shape, estimated contents and dimensions involving 2D or 3D, static low-frequency optics. The scientist calling himself QR Bell told the Ground zero audience that it was his opinion that the so called UFO boxes contained some kind of inert contagion sent from an unnamed European country.
Bell told the Ground Zero audience that the contents would not activate unless accompanied with some other component. He used an example of something as simple as maple syrup. The component pathogen or biological element when combined with something as simple as pancake syrup could kill someone and this is why the boxes had to be removed from the beach.
Many Ground zero listeners were not convinced that QR Bell was on the level. I received a facebook posting from Burt Tschache a Computer Scientist about QR Bell and his claims :
“Fascinating shows on the mysterious boxes. As a computer scientist with an interest in Quantum Mechanics, I can attest to a strong possibility of the technology referred to by Q R Bell, existing.
Processes such as he describes were whispered about over 20 years ago in the technology industry. The military always gets the latest technology and is years ahead of the majority of civilian technology. They also have the money to spend.
The process of analysis by reduction of the known is similar to an application of Occam’s Razor: Once you rule out the impossible, what you are left with, no matter how improbable, is the truth. Also, the simplest explanation (including all the known factors) is usually correct.
Using OR as a reference, it is relatively understandable how photographs can be analyzed and the known substances removed leaving a 3D model of what is hidden within the picture. Every known substance has a unique vibrational signature in spectral analysis, so I suspect that is used somewhere in the process of analysis.
Quantum Physics has posited anywhere from 10 – 12 Dimensions, depending upon who you follow. Theoretically, the process QR describes has a sound basis in QP. If one wants to create a 3D model from a 2D photograph, it would need a boundary outside 3D or it would be impossible to create boundless matter. Boundaries are a necessity for life itself to exist, else we would be a nebulous nothing. So, creating 3D from 2D would necessitate the use of 4D as the boundary.
A thought on where they might be:
If the boxes contain what QR says they do (and I have no strong reason to doubt), there is a possibility they might go to the Bio-Weapon storage facility at Hermiston.”
I also received e-mails from journalists covering the story on the coast. Terry Dillman who is the assistant Editor News-Times wrote the following:
“After a scientific and journalistic investigation into Dave Masko’s claims about the mysterious metal boxes on Oregon beaches, we have discovered that they are actually fiberglass-and-wood dock floats that escaped from somewhere –
Possibly part of the flotsam from Japan, although there are no markings to indicate such. Stonefield Beach was closed because it typically is closed this time of year due to storm surges and debris tossed up on shore, as are many Oregon coast beachside parks and recreation sites.
The boxes could easily have washed up at Bray’s Point and stone field, then washed back out with the next high tide. The waterlogged, battered boxes would be heavy and difficult to move on land, and from a distance they look like they could be metal. Closer inspection reveals otherwise.
There is nothing inside them except wood frames, water and any sea creatures they might have accumulated on their journeys. The state police and beach rangers from the Oregon Parks and Rec. Dept. are responsible for keeping an eye on things and checking out anything out of the ordinary, so it’s highly probable they were at Stonefield and elsewhere to follow up on the “metal box” report. The military trucks spotted near Highway 20 were most likely from our local National Guard armory just a few blocks away. One of the helicopters was the Coast Guard bird that makes regular flyovers along the beaches, and we get the occasional military chopper, as well. The skies were not full of military birds, the roadways were not full of military vehicles transporting anything, the beaches were not clogged with “white trucks” and work crews hurrying to scarf up the boxes.
Masko has a well-known reputation for embellishment – and that’s being kind. Outright fabrication is more like it. Take a pinch of truth, a dash of quote from a legitimate source, a dollop of alleged “official response” and a whole lot of BS, and he has a story. In this day and age of YouTube and Facebook and other online infomania, when everyone has a cell phone with video and still photo capabilities, and in an area where folks pay close attention to what happens on their beaches, the dearth of anything from anyone but Masko shows how bogus this was. NOT ONE LEGITIMATE SOURCE – be they local residents, scientists, government or non-government officials – reported seeing any metal boxes or hearing humming or wailing or anything else, except the usual waves and wind and seabirds. None.”
I replied to Dillman
Please allow me to ask the question what scientist in their right mind would investigate a UFO story? I think it was obvious that Masko’s claims are embellishments and after trying to reach him he would only e-mail me and not return my calls.
I am also curious how do we know that the boxes are flotsam from Japan and Dock floats when no one has come forward with one? Also I was told as was a resident of Bray’s point by the police that they were NOAA Buoys. Can you please explain why?
I don’t think that anyone I spoke with claimed that the sky was full of Military birds nor the roads full of Military vehicles, That seems to be an exaggeration . There was only an indication by an “informant” that there was some curious activity around the time of the incident including the police saying that the Military and or the police have “blown stuff up before.” Truckers were also claiming to see boxes on flatbeds that matched the size and shape of the boxes in question.
While I agree that Masko’s story is full of holes (and I have said such) the locals who also claimed that the boxes were real hopefully would know what dock floats look like. Locals agree that strange lights are seen in the skies above the pacific always, even Chris Carter of the X-files and Ken Kesey wrote about Bray’s Point being a hot bed for alien activity. There was also a number of British documents released that mentioned the area as a hot bed for this activity as well.
So I have a deal for you, how about we both admit that we are both incapable of fully putting a period on this mystery. I mean I have resolved this.. that is until your letter 🙂
You and I don’t really know what they are or even if they existed in the first place. We agree that Masko is a liar and that he embellished the whole thing with the UFO twist. We can also conclude that some of the locals are seeing things or wanting to be part of the mass hysteria. That police were giving nebulous explanations when confronted, and that truckers were all hallucinating that flat bed trucks heading to Washington.
Now… with that in mind.
I tend to let elusive mystery remain there, because it will endure a lot longer than you or me. It probably brought more people to the south beaches than before.. I dropped everything to be there and now the Internet is buzzing about it.
Thank you for your letter and I would love to perhaps book you for a show where we debate with perhaps John Grader or another local about what they saw?
I would really love the opportunity — chances are your findings (a.k.a. Logic ) would win in the long run.. and frankly I need a balanced opinion..
What do you say? How about Monday 9PM?
Thank you again and Take care
Ground Zero media
Dillman was more than cordial with his reply but declined an appearance on my show. I am grateful that they didn’t trash my efforts in trying to uncover the mystery. and letting logic come into play.
Then logic flew out the window yet again. I received a call from Roger Clooten saying that John Henry Grader had an unwanted visitor in his home. Someone was at his computer wandering why he was investigating the boxes. Whoever it was left behind a pair of standard military issue sun glasses. This allegedly happened after our visit to his house. Grader had thought that the glasses belonged to me.
I had coincidentally wrapped up a show with Timothy Green Beckley and Claudia Green about the legendary Men in Black or M.I.B’s and the recent sightings of them in Portland, Beaverton and Newberg Oregon.
Days after the M.I.B. show and a week after I had seen an alleged M.I.B. in Portland there was a national news story about 100 senators receiving packages and envelopes with a possible pathogen inside. The pathogen was white powder and the packages and letters were sent from a fictitious address in Portland Oregon, from a group claiming to be “The M.I.B.”
Now after instigating some of the letters it was found that the powder was harmless. However the so called M.I.B. stated that 100 senators will get the letters and only 10 percent will be found to be dangerous.
It just seems very coincidental that all of these things were spoken of on my show and that the powder or pathogen was harmless, however it may turn up deadly. Much like what QR bell estimated was in the so called Mysterious boxes. A contagion or pathogen that is inert, until it is combined with something as innocuous as maple syrup. In reality it doesn’t have to be syrup it could perhaps be cologne, or cigarette smoke, or a breakfast sandwich.
If any of this so called terror by mail happens and succeeds in killing anyone, would it be a false flag? Could we blame it on Al Qaeda, Operatives from Iran or Syria?
All of the coincidental findings and data that you are reading now will not be mainstream. The entire country probably doesn’t even care about M.I.B’s or wild connections to boxes on beaches, anonymous scientists estimating that the contents were probably some ‘virus” or pathogen form Europe. They probably can’t even weigh the odds of tainted letters being sent from Portland Oregon by the M.I.B. especially after some crazy talk show host talked about them days before the event.
This will be a Requiem for silly little boxes and a lesson in Disinformation.
I guess, I will have to live with my crazy theories and never touch this again.
After all, it would be silly to chase after hoax –right?