Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chronology of Events – The Empire Strikes Back – Post 2

October 19th, 2007 - Later the same day that James Oberg sent his email to Kay Ferrari, Ferrari called Johnston at his home in New Mexico and, according to Johnston, pressured him to resign his position as a Solar System Ambassador. As stated in Post #1, the reasons Ferrari gave were “serious issues regarding Johnston’s credentials” (as raised by Oberg) and Ken’s so-called “crackpot accusations” against the agency (also pointed out to Ferrari by the links in Oberg’s email).

Of course, Ken has never made any “accusations” of any kind against the agency – he has simply reported honestly on what he saw on several occasions while working as a contractor at the agency.

Ferrari then went on to state that it was Johnston “being quoted [as] criticizing NASA in Hoagland’s new book, ‘Dark Mission,’” that prompted her to ask for Johnston’s resignation from the SSA Program.

Johnston was at first reluctant, but then agreed under pressure from Ferrari to consider resigning. At no time during this initial phone call did he tender his resignation from the SSA program. Later that same night, he appeared on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and described the conversation this way:

Transcript Coast to Coast AM Oct. 19th, 1997:

Ken: The only condition that was given was, you know, you ought to resign. I said “Ok, probably will.”

Again, this does NOT constitute an agreement by Johnston to resign, only to consider resigning.

As the day wore on and after consulting with family and friends, Johnston decided not to resign. He based this on the fact that JPL employees (who were paid by the agency, as opposed to being volunteers like he was) were allowed to express many diverse beliefs, and were even protected specifically from being fired for doing so. He then sent the following email to Ferrari, making clear his intention NOT to resign.

Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 13:47:40 -0700 (PDT) From: "Ken Johnston" Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by yahoo.com. Learn more Subject: SSA Ken Johnston, Sr. To: kay.ferrari@jpl.nasa.gov

Dear Kay Ferrari,

After reflecting on our conversation this morning, I find that I have been placed in an untenable position with regards to the volunteer work that I have done for NASA/JPL over the past 4 years. During that time I have received nothing but the highest regards and reports on my efforts on behalf of JPL and the unmanned planetary program. Why this should be questioned now, based on third-party "hearsay," I fail to understand.

As you mentioned in our conversation, there are people all over NASA and JPL that have "all kinds of beliefs and positions on just about any subject." This fact made me realize that these people are paid employees of NASA and JPL, whereas I am an unpaid volunteer. Considering this position, and my rights of free speech under the FIRST AMENDMENT, I realized there is absolutely no valid reason why I should even consider resigning my position as a Solar System Ambassador. If I did, I would be undermining everything that NASA ultimately says it stands for -- certainly in terms of intellectual freedom to explore the cutting edge of science and the solar system.
Sincerely, Ken Johnston, Sr.

Within a few days of his phone call with and follow up email to Ferrari, Dr. Johnston’s profile had been removed from the JPL Solar System Ambassador page. This prompted Ken to email Kay Ferrari in response:

Ken Johnston (lmpilot@yahoo.com)
Tue 10/23/07 12:06 PM
kay.ferrari@jpl.nasa.gov Kay Ferrari,

I just finished checking our SSA web site and found
that I don't exist any more.

Why was my data pulled?

Is there a grievance procedure?

Where do I start?

I see no reason why I should be punished for what
someone else puts in a book.

Please respond,

Ken Johnston,
SSA New Mexico
Two days later, Ken received the following response from Ferrari:

--- Kay Ferrari wrote: > Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:34:13 -0700> To: Ken Johnston > From: Kay Ferrari > Subject: Re: SSA Data?

Dear Ken,

In the renewal agreement you signed on December 23, 2006, it stated that your volunteer position would be in effect for two years if all parties agree that the arrangement is working satisfactorily. JPL has chosen to accept your original resignation offered on October 19, 2007 and has thereby removed your information from the website.

Kay Ferrari Coordinator

Of course, as we have already established, Ken never “offered” his resignation from the SSA program on October 19th, 2007, or at any other time. Further, he specifically sent Ferrari an email clarifying this position six days previously. Nonetheless, he then received a certified letter from Ferrari and JPL the next day “accepting” this mythical resignation that he never tendered (See Above)

As you can see, the registered letter was mailed October 22nd, 2007, three days after Ken’s phone conversation with Ferrari and his subsequent email sent to her declining to resign – and which she never acknowledged. The termination letter is back dated to make it appear that it was written on October 19th, even though it clearly wasn’t.

Next: A Question of Credentials


Louie said...


I just finished reading "Dark Mission" and found it very interesting and very convincing. I wasn't sure where to put this post, but I would like to hear your comments on the recent JAXA earthrise video at:

Keep up the good work!

IonTruO2 said...

While I must say I could give a darn for this 'static friction' that is filling the Blog, likely a strategic 'filibuster' as someone else mentioned, I would like to make a comment "On Topic" with regards to the theme of the book.

I'm waiting on my copy now from Amazon.ca.

My father was a fighter pilot active with the RCAF through the 1950's. He flew the renowned F86 Sabre as well as the CF-100 which was produced by AVRO in Canada.

What was always an intriguing story, the sudden dissolving and erasing of the (Avro) ARROW project which produced, by 1958, a mach 2 intercepter called the CF-105.

More than a funky fighter craft, I am most intrigued now to consider what "really" motivated that sudden and radical change that eventually took the best of that engineering team straight to the States to create the space program and NASA? What did they know?

Forget the cute AVRO CAR (ufo), ---that ARROW fighter was the cutting edge, with first flight in March 1958.
Under a year later, on February 20th 1959 it was suddenly shut down and eventually approx. 31 Engineers went to the space program in the U.S.

Knowing what are we being shown now, and yes the truth is trickling out like slow water, perhaps there was an urgency greater than the 'so-called' 'space race' against the Soviets?

Nationalism aside, it is interesting to note that few knew that some of the core contributors were from Canada. Even here, it is hardly known by most people let alone properly honoured as it should be at this stage.

from: http://www.avroarrow.org/AvroArrow/Avroengineers.html

" As the Space Task Group's burden was threatening to overwhelm it, the Canadian government unintentionally gave the American space program its luckiest break since Wernher von Braun had surrendered to the Americans ------ The Canadians never gained much public recognition for their contribution to the manned space program, but to the people within the program their contribution was incalculable".

Again, at the link, a mention(with photo) of a reunion in Toronto in 1994 of a few of the guys. Bryan Erb, Stanley Galezowski, Bruce Aikenhead, Owen Maynard, David Ewart and Owen Coons

Multinational efforts abound, sure, but I ask, was there a more pressing mandate to focus all energies toward our gaining space access and orbital ability A.S.A.P.??

Less than ten years later, we were not only orbital capable but we are also on the Moon.

So the ARROW got snipped, as great as it was, but to see engineers like Jim Chamberlin and Owen Maynard leave 'home' unflagged, and contribute in such note worth ways, leaves me feeling a much bigger picture existed than met the eye of those times through to now.

So, speaking of all the static friction about credentials, these guys played big roles!!:

Jim Chamberlin-former designer of the AVRO ARROW went on to design the Gemini spacecraft.
Project Manager
Designer and Project Manager Gemini
Technical Advisor and Troubleshooter for Bob Gilruth, MSC Director (Apollo).
Shuttle concepts

Owen Maynard-NASA Space Task Force, Chief Engineering Designer of the Lunar Landing Module.

While my post here is really just a statement in some measure, I do raise the question of what was known and when?

More than the public version of the space race and the Soviet Union, why were they moving quickly to rally a multinational mix of the finest Engineers?

All I can say, intuitively as a layperson is that impact craters like Barringer and many others including the string of them in northern Quebec that now total in North America alone at about 155, were well known and conclusions drawn, far in advance of the 1960's.

Now, what might give us a leg up, in the grander question of 'species survivability'?
Remnants of former civilizations and advanced technologies of other times?

IonTruO2 said...

louie Thanks for that link! WOW.

Talk about a "Moon with a View!" ;)

how inviting.