Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wild About Harry (Very)

Some things are better left unsaid. Some secrets are better left unrevealed. But all too frequently time and the opportunity to complement historical references make updates necessary. Okay.

The thing is, I'm sure that some people already know, and they were aware many years ago about this matter's details, but I didn't stay in touch with events, though they surely must have continued to unfold, so all I can do is add one addendum: A name.

In 2000 the NICAP Web site ( posted my article, "Coral Lorenzen and the Ubatuba UFO Fragments." It's still there, and you might wish to read the piece to know what's under discussion here today.

Yes, the article concerned the famous/infamous alleged fragments from a Brazilian UFO. Detailed articles about Ubatuba, and some very scientific literature, are freely available on the Internet, so there was no point in my retelling the story of how things came to be.

Besides, my involvement with the Ubatuba incident was minimal and, though my role in attempting to retrieve a missing fragment for Coral Lorenzen quickly became futile, the real news was Coral herself -- and, particularly, one other player whose identity I have not revealed until now: The late writer Harry Lebelson, probably best known for his UFO-related articles in OMNI Magazine.

Yes, it was Lebelson to whom Coral's husband Jim loaned a rare Ubatuba fragment years ago because Lebelson had a scientist on tap who was going to conduct an analysis. According to Coral Lorenzen, Lebelson discovered that Coral, Jim and associates were looking for him because they wanted that piece back for their own scientific examination, so he contacted Coral and informed her that, indeed, he had returned the Ubatuba fragment to APRO soon after Jim gave it to him in 1979. However, according to Coral when we spoke in May of 1987, "We know better" because she logged all deliveries in by herself, and Lebelson's loaner never came back.

Coral confronted Harry Lebelson about the fragment in 1979 in San Diego, at Hal Starr's "UFO '79" conference, where she continued to insist that he had not returned the piece. In fact, Coral soon learned that Lebelson's scientist actually HAD possessed the Ubatuba fragment, but supposedly gave it to yet another man who worked for a major corporation in or near a small NY town.

And this is where things became dicey, because not only was this final recipient "big on UFOs," but he was also known to have fallen hook, line and sinker for the Billy Meier UFO stories, possibly evoking a complication for APRO.

All in all, there was disagreement between Coral and Jim about Jim releasing the fragment originally, and she even mentioned the late Wendelle Stevens to me, in no way comfortable about his possible relationship to the man believed to be in possession of the Ubatuba piece.

The search became convoluted and I do not know to this day whether the missing fragment was recovered, though another APRO field investigator, residing closer to the location in question, was summoned following my inability to learn anything substantial.

There had been impressive back-and-forth conversations between Lebelson and the Lorenzens about the situation, but Coral only became more infuriated with him. "I debated with Jim," Coral told me. "I said, don't give (the piece) to Lebelson because I don't think he knows what the hell he's doing. Lebelson has never done a damned thing for us. He's a writer. He wants to make a buck off anybody he can." Yes, those were the words Coral used. I have not embellished her sentiments. She remained furious about the missing Ubatuba specimen, and Harry Lebelson seemed the responsible party.

Of course, the Lorenzens and Mr. Lebelson are long departed, so I thought this the best time to reveal Harry as the article's "mystery man," in Coral's own definitive, frustrated words.

WHAT NEXT? There are those who believe events happen in threes. Hmm. A few days ago, a female airline flight attendant went annoyingly and famously newsworthy-bonkers, last week a male pilot allegedly became dangerously disturbed, and. . .well, it's only a matter of time before Incident Number Three occurs. I surmise that somewhere, right now, there's a flight mechanic standing under a jet engine, chanting under his breath, "If man were meant to fly, God would have given him wings instead of constant visions of killer clowns with machetes telling him -- kill them, I command you, kill them all now." So he starts loosening a bolt here, a bolt there, and before you know it there's an aircraft destined for just one last cruise through majestic clouds of deceptive beauty. Damn those killer clowns.

ANOTHER AUTISM UPDATE: Well, things appear to be even more serious than suspected, at least according to a government study from 2008, which now concludes that one in 88 children are diagnosed as autistic by age eight, and boys are five times more likely to be autistic than girls. The study claims an even more dire situation when zeroing in on blacks and Hispanics, settling on a number of one out of 47 children being autistic. Some. . . experts. . .do admit that what used to be called retardation is now called autism in some cases, and screenings have become more concentrated, resulting in more finds. One suspects the researchers are merely discovering much of what already existed as a part of normal society (those considered "slow," for instance), and the fact that they use the important-sounding term, "autism spectrum" indicates a wide divergence of diagnostic controversy. In any case, early attention to the disorder seems to be of considerable benefit. Maybe a significant part of the problem is parents who fail to engage their young children in adequate communication skills early on -- and if you've seen some clueless parents these days, you know what I mean. One wonders if these statistics also apply internationally because, if they do, our species may well be toast within mere decades. With an alleged increase in autism and an established increase in brain tumors, OCD, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, schizophrenia, and a cavalcade of brain-centered diseases and syndromes, it's rather ironic to consider that future wars of mass destruction may come, not from air, land or sea, but literally from our own deteriorating brain tissue. Nevertheless, we should remain both skeptical and curious about the ultimate definition of these newly released numbers, as they continue to rise and fall almost as if by whim. Grant money, grant money, grant money. . .Meantime, I just spent 10 minutes watching two medical/professional apparitions on TV, gushing over their credentials, and after all that trouble neither one could tell us why autism exists. Grant money, grant money, grant money. . .or maybe dramatic brain changes en masse are caused by all those cursed alien visitations. Just KNEW they were up to something. Like those killer clowns, maybe?