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Re: [ufodiscussion] Skywatch Closes Group List

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  • Regan Power
    Thanks for this informative account of your take on this affair, Bill. I had no idea that any of it had gone on. Putting myself in your position, I can see
    Message 1 of 50 , Sep 1, 2004
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              Thanks for this informative account of your take on this affair, Bill.  I had no idea that any of it had gone on.  Putting myself in your position, I can see your abandonment by the Skywatch VPs at that crucial time left you with with no option but to hand Skywatch over to Jim.  You are not responsible for what he chooses to do with it, of course, but I can understand how sorry you must feel to see what he is doing.  It must be galling to watch the tree that your years of husbandry have grown at least jeopardised, if not demolished, with such seemingly casual disregard for them, too.
              It is nature's way, though, do you not agree?  When a tree has borne its fruit, it withers - at least for a season.  But its fruit falls to the earth and the seeds put forth new shoots, which may grow up into stout trees themselves in time.  The Skywatch-that-was no longer exists and there is a different one standing in its place now.  Although there are probably lessons for all of us to learn from this affair, I believe there can be no going back to the old Skywatch.  I think we must go on without looking back.  Only in this way can we realise the potential for new growth which we carry.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 4:41 PM
      Subject: Re: [ufodiscussion] Skywatch Closes Group List

      Jim Hickman was one of the original VPs of Skywatch International Inc. and was its Director of Communications which involved moderating the skywatch lists.  After a while Cliff Capers also came on as a Director, living only a few miles from Jim, they seemed to get along at first.  At that time a friend of mine, Tom King was posting and was objecting to some of the posts by Jim Hickman.  In a fit of rage, Jim quit Skywatch and Cliff took his place.  By that time Jim and Cliff were fighting. After a while Cliff started to cause some trouble for listers, then his existing disabling medical condition grew worse and he had lapses in his moderations.  Cliff eventually left without informing me and let the skywatch domain name lapse from non-payment and just dropped out of sight.  My other VP also dropped out of sight and did not respond to email. 
      Since I received no support I decided that other interests were drawing me away and I could not afford
      to run Skywatch alone.  By this time Jim Hickman was publishing books and finding favor with
      MUFON and volunteered upon my request to take over Skywatch.  I had no idea that he would
      revert to his volatile behavior and do what he has done.  Hostility toward listers is not going to
      win him any awards and if he so continues may cause the ultimate demise of Skywatch.
      I am sorry to see this happen, but it is now not under my control.  
      Bill Hamilton  
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Jahnets
      Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 7:04 PM
      Subject: RE: [ufodiscussion] Skywatch Closes Group List

      Ah yes it is just as I thought Regan... The pattern...ha ha  Well their time is short so let them rant elsewhere and we don't have to listen to it... They will on the other hand not get any of our info first hand first... I think we have a good intelligent group here that is open to each other foibles and idiosyncrasies, which also has many "in" connections... They will miss us...ha ha

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Regan Power [mailto:soulsearcher_22@...]
      Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 9:18 AM
      To: ufodiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ufodiscussion] Skywatch Closes Group List

              I agree that it seems strange that Skywatch shut down its public information and discussion forums - then re-opened them again.  To my mind it suggests that Jim Hickman, at least, had a hidden agenda.  Let us look at the dots here and consider how they might join up.
              1.  After Jim has taken over as Exec. Director of Skywatch around the middle of the year, he pays little attention to the public lists and makes no serious attempt to moderate them, but periodically announces that he is making some new executive appointment or other.
              2.  Then, in early August during a relatively affable series of exchanges on the Skywatch Discussion [SD] list, in which a seeming newcomer to the list, Dakota Sunrunner, has received a polite rebuff for some of his remarks from me and from one or two other list-members, Jim announces on the [SD] list, apparently out of the blue, that he has received a number of complaints of personal attacks and foul language from "paying members of the group".  Jim declares that he will not tolerate this behaviour and escalates the issue by repeating his warning on the Sky Open [SO] list.
              3.  Puzzled by Jim's announcements, I and some other members of the [SD] list email him with polite queries about it.  Jim responds rudely and dismissively to the individual enquirers by private email, ie. off the list.  We enquirers protest and those of us who do not leave the list voluntarily are summarily banned from it by him.  Jim's parting words to us mostly comprise statements to the effect of, "Get lost, and Good riddance!", but he reserves special invective for me, who he calls a "Freeloader", etc.  When I tell some other members of the [SD] list what I think of Jim's doing this and cc Jim a copy of what I said, he declares that he will sue me "for liable and slander" and, later the same day, emails me a copy of what he claims is the court document registering the file of his suit against me.  (On subsequent checking with the U.S. court-system in Oklahoma, where Jim purports to have filed his suit, this "court document" turns out to be bogus.)
              4.  Citing the problems we have given him as the reason for his doing it, Jim then closes the [SD] list to the public, but retains its existence in Yahoo! Groups with a handful of members.  Then he closes down the S.I.O.T. list too, after Dex suggests that those of us who Jim has kicked off the [SD] list could simply move over to that one.  (It was when Jim saw Dex's creative suggestion that he called Dex an "idiot" and declared that the "group" was not a democracy but was "a private business".)  After a suitable short lapse of time, Jim announces that he has got rid of his problems and that the Skywatch lists are up and running again and open to new members joining them.
              5.  We have recently learned that the re-opened lists are operating under new conditions.  First, although participation in the Skywatch lists is still open, free of charge, to the world-public, access to the post-archives is not.  (Os has informed us that the archives are only accessible to list moderators, although the question remains as to whether there is any practical difference between a "list moderator" and a "paying member of the group".)  Second, apparent newcomer, Dakota Sunrunner, a self-declared "christian", has emerged as a list moderator.  Third, Skywatch has acquired an official "Spiritual Adviser", whose web-site suggests that he is also the head of a well-funded fundamentalist christian organization with a Zionist agenda, called Messiah's Branch.
              6.  Around the time that Jim was closing and re-opening the lists, one of the list members reported receiving a mysterious package anonymously through the mail, which had been addressed to an old UFO-group which he once ran.  The package allegedly contained CDs and papers relating to UFO-sightings and phenomena collected over about a ten-year period.  He asked for advice on what he should do with the package and, according to Os, someone on the list suggested that he give it all to Jim Hickman.
              These, then, are the basic dots which it seems, to me, we need to join up into a coherent picture.  Clearly, Skywatch has undergone a profound change of some kind under Jim's metaphorically bloody hands.  But is he transforming it into his private business, a religious cult, or a front-organization for the Secret Government, or perhaps all three?  Or perhaps, into something else again?  As a provisional hypothesis to be tested against reality, I suggest that we treat it as the worst-case scenario conceived so far, ie. as a combination of all three of the above.  I think doing this should minimise the likelihood of any new surprises in this affair being unpleasant ones.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Rodger
      Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2004 9:30 PM
      Subject: [ufodiscussion] Skywatch Closes Group List

      Does anyone know the REAL reason why Skywatch shut down their free yahoo group list....I know it's now only a fee-based pay only forum, but why did they shut down the free group forum.  Seems quite strange.
    • Becky Escamilla
      Hi Rodger, ...first to the group, and to Rodger, my apologies in addressing some of the posts from Digest #26, August 29, 2004. I m actually barely getting
      Message 50 of 50 , Sep 15, 2004
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        Hi Rodger,

        ...first to the group, and to Rodger, my apologies in addressing
        some of the posts from "Digest #26, August 29, 2004."

        I'm actually "barely" getting through to some of my digests, as I
        get caught up on my e-mail, and unless I'm visiting the group on the
        particular day of a certain post, I actually might and do miss

        At any rate, you may have already received an answer to your
        question, but while I don't know the reason Skywatch shut down, I do
        know that through their "free" yahoo group list, a few days ago, I
        posted there and received the daily digest, containing said post.
        Even though the list isn't posting any archives for public viewing,
        it seems that you can still post there and receive the digest. It's
        a bit tedious, when you can't simply click on "reply," but, if you
        really want to post something, it's possible.

        ...don't know how long that feature will last, but, so far, as of
        yesterday, that portion is still operable.

        - Becky

        --- In ufodiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Rodger" <rodgero@n...> wrote:
        > Does anyone know the REAL reason why Skywatch shut down their free
        yahoo group list....I know it's now only a fee-based pay only forum,
        but why did they shut down the free group forum. Seems quite
        > Rodger
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