Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at

26 Replies to “The Creep Who Came in from the Cold: The Odd Story of Richard French

  1. wow,talk about making stupid remarks.i guess you think mr. frenches work will be documented right something like this:major French went to so and so to debunk a ufo there he beat one witness and conned the rest at the time he had longish hair to throw people off he is registered with the air force as an ufo debunker come on get real.

    1. Hi Wesley,

      Thanks for contributing such intelligent commentary to this thread. Although I must point out (no longer speaking entirely, woefully in jest here) that if we can’t support our argument with facts, we’re doing no good in our inquiry at all.

      That said, allow me to ask you something: by merely presuming, as you have, that French’s “secret” work would be kept off the record, does that in itself constitute “evidence” in your mind? Because last time I checked, the lack of any evidence never served effectively as the answer to a question. Just saying… I also take it you’ve never studied historical research, or for that matter, investigative journalism.

      Ah, but there I go making “stupid remarks” again. I guess I’ll learn to keep my mouth shut eventually, and allow the realm of clean, free, and purely unfounded speculation to rule the proverbial roost. I’ve been thwarted again, it seems.


      1. I’d say that it is highly unlikely that a truly top-secret op would keep records of names. As for “evidence” – that depends on how you interpret the word. In certain situations, the lack of records can constitute evidence. For instance if it can be verified that someone was a USAF officer but there is a lack of records of their assignments while such such records are in place for most other officers that constitutes evidence that something out of the norm took place.

        BTW being snarky doesn’t do the inquiry much good either.

        1. Thanks POV. I agree, and I too dislike snark, which I admit to engaging in here a bit myself… it is one of the more troubling aspects of mainstream skepticism today, in that many feel that in order to articulate a point, they have to be rude. However, I will also say I try to never respond with unwarranted snark. Again, my apologies to all parties here present, and I’ll learn to accept any psychic snark missiles that are directed at me with more humility and grace in the future.

          Now that said, despite whether or not there is record for anything proving an individual’s involvement in what are presumed to be secret projects, we cannot proceed, I maintain, merely by proceeding with the assumption that no records exist for a given subject, operation, individual, etc. I hope that what I’m saying isn’t being misconstrued as saying there must be evidence for such things… while that may not be the case, we can’t know until we look.

          Then there’s the entire bit about “extraordinary claims,” but that’s another argument in itself.

  2. Hey guys, love yr podcasts – I really like the approach you take, the music, the wide range of content, and yr personalities all combine to make it a real pleasure to listen here from the UK.

    I’m of the opinion that wheeling out ‘Military Men’ at these conferences is merely an appeal to authority [in the logical fallacy sense], and that one could argue that Military people are more gullible than civillians, as opposed to less gullible. One could easily, with military resources, create any number of confected situations, with all those dedicated resources and people under oath. Alternatively, they are also more prone to just doing their job, which may well be to spread confusion, an age old military tactic. As we, the population, are the enemy, it should come as no suprise to anyone that one can never trust military folks’ judgements, as they cannot truly trust themselves, as they have been trained to take orders and fit into a very, very potent heirarchy, and they have done this willingly, and for money.
    I say that makes for a less than stable mindset, compared to the rest of us.

    Ps My cat approves of yr recent comments. He’s a Grayling himself.
    I have a question that has been noodling my mind for quite a while; Do people with cats get less abduction experiences / paranormal incidences than people with dogs?

    All the very best,


    1. Re. the cats… I suspect it’s the exact opposite.

      Whitley Strieber had a pair of cats when he had his fateful cabin abduction in the 1980s.

    2. I agree completely with your observation that these retired mid-grade officers are an appeal to authority. The Robert Hastings “nuclear missile” reports, for instance, have been widely debunked by other military men but ufologists seem inclined to believe the handful he’s dug up. Rendlesham’s main witness has been denounced as a virtual con-man by his CO and, yet, his story fits with what ufologists want to believe about space aliens so ufologists fixate on his credentials to the exclusion of more numerous and luminous discrediting sources.

      1. If the ‘con man’ you’re referring to is Larry Warren, then I suggest you read ‘Left at East Gate’, and also listen to what Peter Robbins has to say re. Col. Halt’s allegations. His interview on the Binnall of America podcast is a great place to start:

        It should also be reminded that it was because of Warren that the story became public in the first place.

        1. No, I’m referring to Col. Conrad, Halt’s commanding officer:

          Binnall of America is definitely entertaining, and, while I very much enjoy UFO enthusiast media, as a matter of personal policy I ignore any fact-assuming assertions made by those outlets. The history of poor source verification (see: Phil Imbrogno, etc.) is too rampant to ignore.

          1. My confusion was created because you wrote ‘Rendlesahm’s main witness’ & I’m sure Halt would like to promote himself as such, but IMO his role is secondary when compared to Penniston, Burroughs & Warren.

            BTW It’s very telling how Warren was NEVER mentioned by Clarke in that lengthy article. Also, it’s a shame how he never asked Conrad about Halt’s assertion –as revealed by Robbins & Warren in their book– that the UFO’s lights ‘adversely affected’ the nuclear ordnance kept in the Woodbridge RAF base by the US Air Force.

            Oh, but that’s right! Bringing up the nukes is a big No-No, because they were a major violation to international treaties 😉

  3. Mr. Hanks,

    Thanks for making this information available. As someone who has been interested in Keel’s work a number of years and is currently involved in a re-examination of the Mothman-related events, your article strengthens my belief that though Keel’s research is invaluable, we should definitely question the conclusions he draws with regards to the ultraterrestrials.

  4. You say that Keel was half right. Just what if he is absolutely right? What if French is not human at all? He talks like a human, looks like one, even claims that he has seen UFOs. And still what if he is undercover alien?

    1. What if the ‘French’ Keel talks about was a doppelganger? Same thing happened to Keel himself, as described in the aforementioned Mothman Prophecies.

  5. You know what would be interesting? Someone should go ask French what he thinks about what Keel had to say about him back in ’67… and why he tried to drink the bowl of Jell-O!

  6. I, myself,was very interested in the comments about the two underwater UFO’s and spotting two ET’s working on them underwater, YET, no talk of what they were wearing to combat the elements. Or was there talk that I missed? Can you look into this further?

    1. Good questions.

      Though it seems it’s been a while since witnesses reported little UFOnauts wearing special equipment and/or breathing apparatuses.

  7. At some point it would seem reasonable to discuss why such research on witnesses was not conducted prior to their inclusion in the event and/or how such witnesses came to be included at all. It would also seem reasonable to me that such discussion should take place without it being entirely criticized as biased debunking.

    I suspect, however, that many would say it would not really matter because the CH was clearly never an attempt to provide a moderate and balanced perspective, but to lead viewers to a predetermined – and yet to be substantiated – destination. That considered, the credibility or degree of accuracy of anyone involved is rather beside the point and only serves for conversation and discussion topics.

  8. I don’t believe French’s stories for a moment and see in them the familiar threads of so many other fantasists. When these people create a story, they seem to think that historical figures and familiar locations add credence to it. In many ways they do add believability and, at the least, cause some people to hold some ‘what if’ notion. However, for me, they are the fingerprints of the myth-makers at work.

    So I generally regard these marginal figures as being autonomous and not a part of some official apparatus to add more befuddlement to the field of UFO research and the business of UFO promotion. Loners…

    Off the top of my head, other similar figures would be Bob Dean, ‘Colonel’ Willingham, Doty and even Clifford Stone. Sure, they all have some form of military pedigree, but that isn’t necessarily an assurance of honesty, morality or even sanity is it?

    The ‘fingerprints of the myth-makers’ are seen in the classics like Montauk, Philadephia Experiment and MJ-12 documents; the Holloman AFB landings plot a similar course too.

    If we cast our net even wider, we see these fantasists wearing other people’s war medals and claiming honours. Every year, we see fake doctors and fake pilots in the news. I’ve even met a wedding photographer who claimed to have been part of the team working on the Arpanet and also helped to crack the Enigma machine. Intrinsically, they are lonely on the inside and seek attention and approval.

    A lot of people will believe French’s stories and others will see him as an agent of deception from the powers that be. I can dig that; it’s what makes those who are interested in UFOs so appealing to the fantasists in the first place.

    For a small community I think we are vastly over-represented by the credulous and the overly-tolerant. Just looking at the annual roll-call of UFO conference speakers leaves me cynical. Year in and year out, a shady bunch of long-ago discredited liars and hoaxers are invited back to speak. We don’t do ‘second chances,’ we entertain them in perpetuity and quake at the risk of ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’

  9. Hey, Kandinsky! Nice to see you, too.

    I appreciate your comments. I particularly relate to the final paragraph. I am strongly of the opinion that rather than suspension of judgment, suspension of _attention_ is in order at this point for a high percentage of the perpetual conference staples. Should they ever actually present some of the conclusive evidence they keep claiming to possess, I would revisit the issue.

    If a majority of members of the UFO community call that closed-minded, so be it. The professional research community calls it rational.

  10. @ RPJ

    I take whatever Whitley says with a pinch of salt as he’s a professional story teller. The entire UFO phenom is full of weavers of stories, although I do find his stories enjoyable, and find him amiable as a person. Anyone that combines a take on reality with fictional bookwriting is a candidate for making things up, embellishment, and wholesale narrative creation – it’s their craft . . . similarly, as I point out earlier, anyone who is or has been in the military also has their card marked, as far as being ‘reliable’ goes, by very fact that they were in the mil, and therefore ‘moulded’ and institutionalised to some [farily large] degree.

    So, I would enjoy simple a poll of people who had had ‘experiences’
    do they 1. have a cat 2. a dog 3. no animal at all

    I feel the only way to approach the phenom is to think laterally.
    Surveys such as that might throw up some interesting anomalies.
    Simply asking people to relate what they think happened on a stage or in a hypnotist’s chair is clearly not good enough – if that worked, we’d have gotten to the bottom of it by now, or at least gotten somewhere.

    My approach is that reality is a dream, but that the dream has rules.
    Those rules will apply to all sentient beings, physical or metaphysical.
    Rules apply to ‘stage magicians’, but their skill is to make it appear that those rules do not apply to them. I imagine the same dynamic is at work here, one way or another. Assymetric thinking and deduction is required, and it’s a shame that people tend to believe convincing testimony, much as they would believe any good acting. Why? Most people aren’t actors.

    I always look for the point in the evidence at which ‘belief is suspended’ – you will usually find it’s an appeal to authority, or an amazing co-incidence that simply ‘cannot be’ [like the stage magician choosing your card].

    @ Kandinsky & MetaSkeptic I like yr approaches 🙂
    I enjoyed this page;

    All the best,


    1. Yeah, I like that ‘lateral thinking approach.’ I like to think I use it as well 😉

      Whitley is something of a ‘chicken & the egg’ paradox. Did he become a notable story-teller due to his experiences with the Visitors, or was he deliberately ‘groomed’ for the role of ‘myth creator’?

      And if the latter is true, was this sought so an articulate individual could more easily narrate his interactions with other forms of intelligence –so as to have a greater impact on our culture– or was this conceived as a ‘fail-safe’ mechanism designed to sow uncertainty into his accounts? —“well, we can’t take him seriously because he’s a professional writer.”

      Questions upon questions.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.