Date: Sat, 23 May 2009 10:40:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rjdurant@aol.com
Subject: Bethune Report
To: nicap@insightbb.com


Fran,
 
Let's experiment with my involvement by using the Graham Bethune North Atlantic case as an example.  I found all my files, and they consist of two large "wallets," each over three inches thick.  I would love to give this material to some interested party, and in fact was thinking about tossing it out before I heard from you.  But in the meantime, I have it here and can use it as a springboard to discuss the case via email, which seems to be what you propose. 
 
I must have met Graham Bethune at least 20 years ago, and almost certainly at one of the twice-yearly UFO conferences held in central New Jersey by a local fellow named Pat Marcattilio, which have been ongoing for at least that long, and feature a few of the ufological "names" and plenty of channelers, phony Indian Chiefs, and so on.  Bethune and I shared the background of Naval Aviation, both of us having earned and worn those Navy "wings of gold," though I only spent six years in uniform, and Graham made it a career, with I think something like 25 years of service.  He was quite rare in the Navy in that he almost exclusively flew transport airplanes, and really did little administrative work, so far as I could gather. 
 
Graham died about two years ago, in case you don't know. 
 
He was handsome and well-dressed, and well-spoken, all of which made him a bit unusual in the milieu of the Marcattilio UFO gatherings.  I got to know him quite well, though our meetings were always at places half way between our homes, due to the distance involved.  Most of our work was done on the telephone.  In sum, Graham found out that I can write tolerably well, and asked me to put his experience on paper.  I was pleased to have the chance, because it seemed that this was an important UFO incident, and Graham appeared to be entirely sincere. 
 
This "job" took far longer than I expected.  Part or maybe most of the problem was that by the time we got around to doing this on a serious basis, Graham had already begun to suffer from what I think was Alzheimer's or dementia, though that is not what killed him.  He had great difficulty, especially in the later years, finishing a thought without going off on tangents.  So my interviews were repeated and repeated, as I was forced to ask the same questions again and again. 
 
I liked the guy, and really enjoyed his flying stories.  He went back to the WW 2 era, when life was a whole lot simpler, and quite a bit of what those pilots did was truly pioneering. 
 
Only a handful of people knew that I had done the "ghost writing" for Graham's publications. 
 
I believe that the final, final version of his story was titled UFO in the North Atlantic, copyrighted 1999.  The copy I have is about three-quarters of an inch thick, bound with plastic spiral binders, and full of illustrations and appendices.  He sold these for $15, but I think lost money on them even at that price.  Though the copyright date is 1999, I know that the final text was not completed until March 2002.  Earlier iterations were less complete, especially with respect to some of the appendices Bethune wanted and which appeared in the final version, such as an entire chapter from Keyhoe's Aliens from Space. 
 
I mention this also because it seems that this case has been discussed at length by your group.  What text are you using for this discussion?  I have attached an MS Word file with my last text, which appears to be the text in the final, final version, and the text we can take as definitive. 
 
This morning I pulled out my copy of the booklet and then the text document, and reviewed it.  What interesting reading it made!  I had forgotten nearly all of the story.  In retrospect, it does seem to hold up quite well.  Had Bethune been the only witness, there would be nothing to this, but there were plenty of others backing him up.  Or so I think.  And I had completely forgotten that I treated in detail the Air Force and the Klass debunking analyses. 
 
Well, do let me know what happens next, dear Francis....
 
Regards to the Group,
 
Bob Durant