Monday, January 5, 2009

The Return of the Big O

As some of you may have noticed, James Oberg is at it again. I thought I would create yet another new thread to chronicle the latest. It all started up again with this recent post from him:

"Too bad you didn't swing past Belen to ask Ken Johnston for any documentation he ever was a pilot, as your book insists. But that might have been a waste of time.I have now obtained a copy of his official military records, via FOIA. But it's not for purposes of ambush or embarrassment, it's for truth. So let's be civil.Answer me again: Was Johnston EVER a pilot in the military? Did he ever receive any aircraft ratings?Your book says he was. Do you care to show maturity by changing your assessments in light of new evidence?"


I have no reason to ask Ken if he was “ever a pilot, as [my] book insists,” because I know for a fact he was. During his training, he flew T-37’s, T-28’s, T-2J’s, DC-3’s and F-4 Phantom’s. I also know that as a civilian he flew Piper Colts, Cessna 150’s, 172’s, Grumman single engine planes, Piper twin Aztec's and logged hundreds of hours on the Boeing 727, 757, 767, and 747 simulators.
Oh, and he also logged over 3,000 hours in the Lunar Module and the LM simulators, where he taught all of the Apollo astronauts to fly the LM. I'm not sure why NASA would hire him as a flight instructor if he was never "a pilot, as [my] book insists,” but I'll leave it to you to work out the logical contortions of that one.

I notice you aren’t really interested in "the truth" about that…

Nor do you seem interested in the “the truth” about multiple versions of NASA frame 4822, for instance. Or why so many demonstrably different versions of this image exist all. Or why NASA would put what actually appear to be different photos under the same frame number, which just happens to be blacked out in the Apollo catalog.

Nor do you seem interested in telling our readers “the truth” about how long you’ve known Ken, or how many times you’ve contacted him in the past. I mean, we know you have his private email. If you have questions about his record, why don’t you just send him (another) email instead of wasting taxpayer money on an FOIA request?

Try looking in your “Survivor MIR” folder…

Now, if you think something in my book has been mischaracterized or is inaccurate on page 144, then by all means make your case and show me your evidence and I’ll be glad to make a change in the revised edition. I’ve already sat down with the Scientologists and have agreed to make some changes in what I said about L. Ron Hubbard’s time hanging out with Jack Parsons and the JPL crowd. I afford you the same privilege.

But I’m left wondering just what it is about Ken and his story that is so threatening to you and your NASA masters. Could it be that what Ken was ordered to do by his superiors was not just wrong, but illegal? Is that what’s got you so determined to attack Ken, instead of simply making your case to have me correct an error that I might possibly have made?

Just curious.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


JimO said...

And your evidence for any of the aircraft claims is, uh, what exactly? Any images of ratings, stats, certificates? You haven't posted anything about this at all.

The official record showed Ken Johnston, an E-5 (Lance Corporal), enrolled in MARCAD (Marine Air Cadet) training, receiving no completion certificate, and returning to his previous duties at El Toro as an F-4 avionics maintenace tech. He separated from the USMC with that grade and duty.

His service was honorable and competent, and I appreciate his stepping forward -- at a time when large segments of the nation wanted the other side to win. Likewise -- so I can presume -- commendable work on the Apollo program, at NASA, without any need to exaggerate it. The LM 'switch monkeys' were not astronaut instructors, there was an entirely different team for that purpose, and those lunar module flight trainers never needed 'test pilots', they needed avionics testing and maintenance as described in the letters you have posted -- honorable and precision work, no doubt about it. But not exactly as hyped.

Where am I supposed to have met him? I just don't recall at all -- but I met hundreds, even thousands, of people in my duties and recreation at NASA Houston since mid-1975.

I also met lots of people who had served in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, where Ken did creditable and honorable work, I've found out, as a lunar sample shipping clerk. As far as I can tell, the LRL never even HAD a "photographic division", that was an entirely different division in a different building. There's no indication he ever had anyone else working for him.

I've also talked with the head of the "Reformed Baptist Seminary" (or whatever) in Colorado, the organization that Ken got his 'doctor of philosophy' certificate. The guy I talked to even signed that certificate, as posted on your site -- see his name? He told me all about the actual requirements for being mailed such a piece of paper. Academic achievement had nothing to do with it.

Have you found the 'lost lunar archives' that you say Ken donated to his alma mater yet? My information suggests they threw them out decades ago -- all gone. They must not have thought much of them.

It's worth visiting here from time to time just to get the chuckles out of phrases such as "your NASA masters". That says it all, I guess.

JimO said...

Mike: "Try looking in your “Survivor MIR” folder…"

I'm not following you. What's the URL and what should I expect to find?

JimO said...

The original documents, and some comments, can be seen at

Sphinx said...

Hi Mike!
Have you spot this one?


Who turn on the juke-box?


Mike Bara said...

That's great Jim, but I'm still mystified how any of this conflicts with anything in Dark Mission. But then, I remain mystified by your thought processes in general.

JimO said...

Here's more documented evidence arriving soon, that you need to develop excuses to avoid:

Chandrayaan Beams 40,000 Images of Moon Surface

The Chandrayaan has been able to capture images of the lunar surface and get a complete picture of the moon with resolutions of up to five meters. Compare this with earlier missions, which capture images with a 100-meter resolution and that too of a very limited area.

Chandrayan provides pictures of moon's surface

"Though several moon missions were there in the past, no mission had provided pictures and data about the entire surface of the moon. However, Chandrayan-1 is the first mission which will give data on the entire surface," Nair said.

Gary Rea said...

Hmmm...interesting, considering a friend of mine, in a totally unrelated case, has found that you can't obtain someone's service records via a FOIA request. So, basically, Oberg has lied about doing so.

Mike Bara said...

Really? Ok Jim, since I've posted so many of Ken's records, it's your turn. Let's see the FOIA request you filed and the response you got, along with all the documents.