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06/30/2014

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Lee Speigel

Sorry to disappoint, but there is no bitter feud shaping up here. When Jimmy Church first contacted me about the Malibu underwater object, he insisted I call him back that same day because of the"urgency" of the discovery. I did call and I WAS intrigued by the Google Earth images, and decided to look into it and write a story (despite the fact that, after my story was published, Mr. Bill Birnes incorrectly suggested on Jimmy's show that I have to go through a whole special monitored editorial process at Huffington Post in order to get approval to write about certain things).

Throughout the entire process of my looking into this story, an article by Mark Kovar was (and still is) prominently displayed on Jimmy's radio show website. The headline and first sentence completely misleads the readers, and, in my opinion as a writer with a little bit of journalistic integrity, should have included a few important words like "alleged," "reported," "supposedly," etc. But, instead, it just blurts out the idea that this underwater object, is in fact, "a deep underwater base" and that it "appears to be the Holy Grail of UFO/USO researchers that have been looking for it over the last 40 years." That, my friends, is NOT what real investigative journalism is about -- to make blanket statements like that without providing any real evidence to back it up.

During the course of my own research into the underwater object, Jimmy suggested two individuals for me to interview -- a geologist and an Egyptologist -- who, he said would give me excellent quotes and opinions for my story. Jimmy was right about that.

While I was putting the story together, Jimmy and I had quite a bit of contact, and he told me that as soon as it was ready and published, he'd want me to come on his show to talk about it.

On the day that my piece was published, I send it to Jimmy and fully expected him to confirm my appearance on his show. Instead, he emailed me to let me know that he'd be discussing my story on his show later that night...but when he didn't mention that he wanted me to join him, I knew that something wasn't quite right.

Later that evening, I tuned into the show to discover Jimmy talking about how one-sided my article was, that it relied too heavily on the testimony of two of the people (the geologist and Egyptologist, who Jimmy wanted me to interview in the first place), and that my story placed too much emphasis on the idea that the underwater object may simply have a natural geological explanation.

That's not necessarily where I originally thought my research would take me, but as my friend nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman is always saying: "Go where the evidence leads you." Wise words for investigating ANY unexplained phenomena.

It was obvious from the tone of the radio show that Jimmy and his other invited guests were unhappy that my article didn't go in the direction they had hoped it would.

"Go where the evidence leads you."

And don't get me started on listening to Bill Birnes spouting off about the process that I probably go through at Huffington Post in order to get my stories published. He has NO idea what he's talking about, and has NO right to presume anything about me or the organization I work for. He has never met me or ever talked to me. And without getting into specifics here, I know for a fact that Mr. Birnes hasn't always given out accurate information about UFO stories that he's reported on in the past. I repeat: I know this for a fact. So, he has no right to be sounding off on these matters.

As for Jimmy wondering why I interviewed him for my story vs. talking with other more influential members of the UFO "community," that's pretty simple. It didn't matter who I interviewed who may have felt this underwater object is an alleged (see how I correctly use that word?) UFO or alien base. What I found in my research was that there is no definitive evidence of that -- it's more speculation and conjecture, i.e. the fact that there've been many sightings of UFOs/USOs in this area, or that this underwater object seems to be situated in a geographic region that's allegedly within the coordinates of military installations, etc.

Speculation is NOT evidence. Geological research is closer to evidence, and this underwater object was not discovered by Jimmy or the others who were involved with these Google Earth images in the beginning. As my article pointed out, there had already been previous scientific research done about this underwater region -- years ago.

"Go where the evidence leads you."

Also, Mr. Paris, when you paraphrased my views as stemming "from his reserved judgment and mostly agnostic take of the anomaly," like many others, you feel like you have the right to interpret my motives or reasons for saying or writing something. My reputation in this field is strongly based on the notion that I don't offer any judgment about the things I write about -- that's not my job.

My job (despite what I might believe personally) is to gather information from different sources and put that information into cohesive articles that offer different points of view to help readers decide for themselves which way the "evidence" leads them.

That's exactly how I wrote my Malibu underwater object story and I won't apologize to anyone out there who may be unhappy that I didn't more fully support the idea that we're dealing with a UFO-alien base out there in the water.

I went where the evidence took me and I offered it up, I didn't have to get permission from anyone to write it that way, and I never have to wait for editorial approval. The Huffington Post trusts me to write stories based on my years of credibility -- that's why they hired me.

If we all adhere to the mantra of "go where the evidence leads you," this whole UFO-alien issue will be much better off.

James L. Paris

If we all adhere to the mantra of "go where the evidence leads you," this whole UFO-alien issue will be much better off.

You are correct!

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