Prof. Kevin Knuth presented dubious Ray Stanford UFO-evidence images and claims at the AIAA UAP forum. Why I think that was a big mistake. By Douglas Dean Johnson @ddeanjohnson on Twitter In an article posted today (August 20, 2021) on The Debrief, I was quoted criticizing Prof. Kevin Knuth for including as evidence of exotic technology certain "UFO" images provided by Ray Stanford, in Knuth's August 6, 2021 presentation to a session on UAP at a virtual forum held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Prof. Knuth has made some significant contributions to UAP studies, and I expect he will continue to do so. Regarding his AIAA presentation as a whole, I think there is substantial evidence to support some of Prof. Knuth's key observations. However, in my personal opinion, Prof. Knuth's presentation was significantly marred by his decision to employ purported UFO images from Ray Stanford (whose highly dubious history on UFO-alien-evidence matters Prof. Knuth had previously been advised of), and to use those images (and by extension, the elaborate Stanford stories that go with them) as evidence of, or an illustration of, exotic technologies -- specifically, "plasma sheath," "plasma beam ahead," and perhaps even "warp drive." [UPDATE: December 14, 2021: I recently received an email that reminded me that, while Professor Knuth alone narrated the August 6, 2021 presentation at AIAA that I discuss here, the opening slide also credited Professor Matthew Szydagis, who (like Prof. Knuth) is a distinguished associate professor in the Physics Department at the University at Albany (State University of New York). Prof. Szydagis engages in research on dark matter, among other things. The slide show also had a third author listed, David Mason; Mr. Mason has communicated directly to me that his contribution was limited to providing and authorizing the use of certain FLIR images that were incorporated into the overall presentation, and that he had no involvement with respect to the images provided by Ray Stanford.] The particular Super 8 movie from which the Stanford images were extracted, said to have been made on October 5, 1985, has been (as far as I can tell) under the exclusive control of Ray Stanford since the film was processed in 1985. I do not think that the original film has been forensically examined by anyone with the proper expertise and equipment, and outside of Ray Stanford's cadre of devotees, to determine whether whatever is actually recorded on the little Super 8 frames supports in any degree the multiple extraordinary claims that Stanford has made about the movie, only some of which Prof. Knuth discussed. The October 5, 1985 event, as described in various places by Stanford, involved a parade of 8 or so anomalous craft over Corpus Christi, in broad daylight, including one larger craft spewing smaller craft out of "a solid light tube" ("I got a complete film of this in broad daylight"), another craft suddenly tripling its diameter, etc. If there is contemporary documentation of this event independent of Ray Stanford's accounts, that documentation is not easy to find. I have listened to and read interviews with Stanford and others who have long been excited about this movie, and I find nothing tangible outside of the Stanford account, and the derived and digitally manipulated images. Perhaps such corroborating documentation exists and will yet be made public, although we are talking about an event said to have occurred nearly 36 years ago. More important than witness testimony, however, is the apparent lack of any examination of the original Super 8 film (and, if possible, the camera and lens used) by persons truly independent of Ray Stanford, who have the right equipment and the diverse technical skillsets necessary to evaluate what is actually on the emulsion, and whether it in any degree supports (or at least, does not contradict) the multiple remarkable claims by Stanford and others. In a science-based investigation, that should have been a predicate to any broad public presentation -- not an afterthought. Prof. Knuth acknowledged in The Debrief article that the film had not been "independently vetted," adding, "but that will soon be rectified." Based on Stanford's long history with this sort of thing, color me skeptical. But we'll see. (After an earlier episode in which Prof. Knuth drew back from publicly presenting some Ray Stanford UFO material that he found attractive, Knuth told a writer for the Daily Grail, "As a scientist, I am careful not to present material that is not fully backed-up." Regrettably, at some subsequent point it appears that Prof. Knuth decided to reverse the order -- presentation first, back up later.) (Daily Grail article published June 10, 2021) A reader may ask, "Well, is it not defensible to give the benefit of the doubt to a movie and a story from Ray Stanford, particularly if one advises in advance, as Prof. Knuth did on August 6, that the discussion involved 'imagery [that has] not been independently vetted'"? I think not -- not in these circumstances. Why not? Because over a period now exceeding 60 years, Ray Stanford has been associated with an extraordinary number of wild and unsubstantiated claims regarding UFOs and alien contacts. He is a teller of many stories. In the Ray Stanford museum of claims related to UFOs and aliens, there are many exhibits -- claims discredited, claims quietly abandoned by Stanford, claims repudiated by Stanford, claims Stanford denies he ever made despite recordings and publications showing otherwise, claims that have morphed in untenable ways-- and many, many claims that Stanford has for decades assiduously prevented from being subjected to any technically competent scrutiny by persons outside his influence (as in this case). Some of these matters I have discussed in previous posts on this forum, either under the pen name "Justice Fodor" or, more recently, in my own name. (See this post for some of the backstory, including a summary of my own involvement with Ray Stanford, the Association for the Understanding of Man, and Project Starlight International as a young man, from late 1974 to early 1978.) For today, I'll give you just a once-over-lightly. (I am uploading here audio files and PDFs to support some of the following statements -- I'll not clutter the text by referring to each of these uploads, but please do check them out.) In the 1950s, Stanford wrote a book (Look Up) detailing his purported communications with "space brothers" and associated close UFO encounter. Stanford gave a lecture detailing in dead earnest those purported adventures in 1974. (I was there. I have a recording of it, which I would be happy to provide to good-faith researchers.) During the 1970s, while in his 30s, Stanford purported to "channel" messages from an extraterrestrial named Aramda, of "The Watchers," whom Stanford claimed (in a lecture, not a trance discourse) to have known for 38,000 years. (Check out the uploaded PDF of Aramda's not-so-prophetic advice delivered via Stanford's vocal cords on August 17, 1973, and the uploaded 4-minute audio clip from that discourse.) Stanford in the 1960s and 1970s, up to age 40 at least, also ostensibly "channeled" many other entities, including Jesus Christ. Some (but by no means all) of these discourses were published by the Association for the Understanding of Man (A.U.M.), a nonprofit organization formed mainly to advance the various projects promoted by Stanford's "psychic readings." Several of these projects, including Project Starlight, were said to be of truly world-shaking significance (and in each such script dictated by members of the White Brotherhood and other elevated sources, Ray Stanford was the central figure whose unique talents potentially would advert disasters for mankind). Stanford spent 15 years intermittently promoting construction of a expensive device called the Accelerator, ostensibly "similar to a UFO," that would confer on an occupant various super powers, including capacity for teleportation and physical time travel into the distant past (yes, a literal time machine), about which I've written (and posted documentation) here, and here, and here. In more recent years, Stanford has at least twice told public lies denying this activity, including an interview on Erica Lukes' UFO Classified on March 8, 2019. For good-faith researchers, I would be happy to provide a recording of an entire lecture that Stanford gave on August 24, 1974, titled "Space, Time, Fields, and the Accelerator," for which I was present. My gmail address is my complete name (Douglas Dean Johnson), with dots between the names. The core group associated with Stanford's 1970s "Project Starlight International," billed purely as a hard-data operation for the general public, were guided behind the scenes by Stanford's trance discourses to expect direct contact with visiting aliens, "if you persist." Stanford has made public claims of having had multiple conversations with government officials that I deem quite unlikely to have ever occurred, including a phone conversation in which an Air Force officer promised to scramble fighter jets any time Stanford called to report a UFO; Stanford has also (not surprisingly) repeatedly failed to keep public promises to release purported tape recordings of some of these highly implausible conversations. (There is, in fact, such an unfulfilled Stanford public promise regarding a purported recording of a phone conversation between Stanford and an FAA official, relating to the Oct. 5, 1985 event -- but I will leave that particular claim for another day.) In more recent decades, Stanford has made public claims to have personally taken many movies ("thousands" of frames) and still photos showing UFOs of many types, and in these images Stanford sees (generally, after gross enlargement) many wonderous plasma effects, magnetic fields, space-time distortions, and other exotic things. For example, Stanford has repeatedly asserted (and at least as recently as March 8, 2019) that in 1984 he took a 35 mm still photo that shows an alien pilot, dubbed "Gort," who was "three or three-and-one-half feet tall, and has a bald head and pointed ears," sitting in his alien craft -- shows him so clearly "you can count the fingers on his hand." Moreover, evidence in the very same 35mm photo demonstrates that the alien's craft had traveled "either two-thirds or three-quarters of the speed of light in the atmosphere" while the shutter was open, according to Stanford. Just think of that-- one 35 mm photo containing so much astonishing evidence. Yet for 37 years, Stanford has kept the ostensibly evidence-laden photo of the speedy alien pilot under lock and key. Why do you think that is? Moreover, in recent years, Stanford made public claims to have taken "a wonderful photograph in which...people will be able to see, in broad daylight...the Socorro object [egg-shaped UFO], with its landing gear deployed." A number of Stanford devotees publicly stated they had seen this astonishing image (the "dynamite shack" photo) in private viewings, and that it was just as Stanford said, complete with the highly distinctive landing gear that policeman Lonnie Zamora had described after the famous 1964 incident. Yet these excited claims, which went on for years, did not survive belated examination of the actual negative, which had been improperly cleaned. They had all SEEN the egg-craft with its distinctive landing gear, mind you -- Chris O'Brien, Ben Moss, Martin Willis, and others-- yet, it was all the product of subjectivity, the power of suggestion, and self-delusion. There was no egg-craft, with or without distinctive landing gear. There was nothing there at all. The bottom line: It is my considered judgment that, based on his track record on claims related to UFOs and aliens, Ray Stanford is not a source that a prudent scientist should rely on to provide trustworthy evidence on these matters. Douglas Dean Johnson @ddeanjohnson on Twitter My gmail address is my full name, with dots between the names The full video of Prof. Kevin Knuth's presentation at the August 6, 2021 session on UAP conducted during a virtual forum held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, may be viewed on YouTube here. I have uploaded a PDF file containing a verbatim transcript of the portions of Prof. Knuth's narration that pertained to the four slides that he presented containing or discussing the Ray Stanford material. Screenshots of the slides that were based on or related to the Ray Stanford material appear below in proper order.