Cover image for UFOs, JFK, and Elvis : conspiracies you don't have to be crazy to believe
UFOs, JFK, and Elvis : conspiracies you don't have to be crazy to believe
Belzer, Richard.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
ix, 228 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6162 .B385 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6162 .B385 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Veteran comedian and actor Richard Belzer, who plays a detective on the hit TV series Homicide: Life on the Streets' turns his cynical eye and scathing tongue loose in this hilarious yet hard-hitting expose of why conspiracy theories are no laughing matter.'

Author Notes

Richard Belzer is perhaps best known today for his starring role as Detective Munch in the TV police drama Homicide. Before joining Homicide, The Belz was a popular stand-up comedian, a pioneering morning radio host, and an actor in every show business medium from off-broadway to major Hollywood movies. He is a frequent guest on Tonight, Politically Incorrect, The Howard Stern Show, and other major national media.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Belzer, best known for his role as Detective Munch on TV's Homicide, delivers a witty rant in which he proclaims that all the conspiracy theories you've ever heard about the Kennedy assassination are true (even, apparently, the ones that contradict each other) and that UFOs and their occupants are pretty much everywhere. Belzer began his career as a comedian, so it's easy to assume he's just putting the reader on with some of his "over the top" theories (the Nazis were behind the plot to kill Kennedy; "Men in Black" were seen hanging around with Thomas Jefferson), but no, his paranoid perspective seems entirely genuine, if comically expressed. Like his less-waggish fellow conspiracy buffs, he simply wants Americans to know what their government--the shadowy "they" behind most everything--is up to. Only Gerald Posner's book, Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK (1993), gets any kind of refutation; otherwise, Belzer just throws a lot of stuff against the wall. The scary part is that some of it sticks. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

First Mort Sahl, now Richard Belzer. Every now and then a political comedian finds himself obsessed with the murder of John F. KennedyÄand sacrifices the funny in the process. Though this book is categorized as humor, it offers sarcasm but few laughs. And why should it? Belzer, now best known as Detective Munch on TV's Homicide, is serious here. Obsessed with conspiracies, he apparently read a bunch of books (many from fringe publishers) on the subject and decided to share the fruit of his musings. Most concern the assassination, and, indeed, many aspects remain in dispute. But when he declares Gerald Posner's Case Closed "a grossly overstuffed suitcase," Belzer doesn't inspire confidence, and he doesn't offer footnotes so readers can check his sources. The second half of the book relies significantly on conspiracy expert Jim Marrs, author of Alien Agenda. Belzer relates that many people who've consented to alien experimentation have told Marrs they don't consider it a violation. No wonder Belzer says, "I believe that historyÄpast and currentÄis just a collection of accepted lies." He wrote this book, he claims, to inspire us to question authority. Mr. Belzer, tell jokes. Author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Best known for his role as Detective Munch in the TV police drama Homicide, Belzer was originally a stand-up comic. Here he confronts the two biggest conspiracy theories of our time, JFK's assassination and UFOs. Elvis is mentioned only in the context of George Bush's response when asked if there might have been a conspiracy involved in the JFK assassination: "There are some people who still think Elvis is alive." With a deft and entertaining combination of satire and in-your-face facts, Belzer challenges his audience to accept the extent of alleged government cover-ups. The first half of the book on JFK is more interesting than the second half on UFOs, but seasoned conspiracy theorists will find no new revelations in either case. Belzer tries to goad casual skeptics into becoming more passionate about their doubts over "official" explanations such as the Warren Report. Even the veracity of NASA's lunar landings are once again called into question. The bibliography is a welcome and useful addition. Popular fare for public libraries.ÄJoe J. Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One Where Were You on November 22, 1963 I can remember where I was. And I can prove it. I have witnesses. And unlike many of the men and women who inadvertently became witnesses in Dallas that day, my witnesses are still alive.     You see, at the very moment snipers were busy making Jack Kennedy's wish come true (see quote), I was taking aim on a grassy knoll ... behind the gymnasium at Dean Junior College. I was in archery class and I was shooting a bow and arrow. Valerie Palucci was watching me. And I was trying to impress Valerie Palucci's breasts. The rest of Valerie didn't exist for me at that age. Nothing else existed. I always directed all of my communication skills directly to her breasts.     Anyway, it was my turn to shoot, and just as I was pulling the bow back the president of the student body ran out to me and said, "Belz, the president's been shot." My body tensed and I instinctively released the arrow. I'm lucky I didn't hit one of Valerie Palucci's breasts. I guess she's lucky, too.     I also missed the target. Just the same way we all missed the target about who shot JFK. Most of the country worshiped Jack the way I worshiped Valerie Palucci's breasts. They both symbolized our hopes for the future.     In case you have a clear memory of where you were on 11/22/63 but you're a little murky on what else happened that day, here's a clue:     The president of the United States was killed by rifle fire while riding in an open car in broad daylight. It was an event that was witnessed by hundreds but investigated by a panel of seven men, none of whom was anywhere near Dallas that day, and it was decided that Kennedy was assassinated by lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald, who was--among other things--"not an agent of the US Government." (The commission felt compelled to throw that factoid in--not that there was any reason to suspect that Oswald had links to the federal government or anything, but ...) In fact, newly released information in Oswald's "201 File" reveals that he was involved in espionage for the CIA and apparently the FBI.     The FBI reported to the commission that Oswald fired three shots at his target. The first bullet hit the president below the shoulder and penetrated less than the distance of a finger length. The second bullet struck Governor Connally. The third bullet struck the president's head and fragmentized. The commission, however, did not accept all the details of the FBI reports.     Oswald was later shot and killed by another lone nut, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. There was no conspiracy. Case closed. Thank you and good night.     But the case is only closed if you ignore the evidence ... Chapter Two Abraham Zapruder's Day Out Consider the case of Abraham Zapruder, a New York garment center executive, out for a quiet, historic afternoon with his wife. He's got nothing to do--what does a Jew do in Dallas? Get fitted for a ten-gallon yarmulke?--so he and his wife schlep to Dealey Plaza to see the Prez and glom some footage of the youthful JFK and his lovely wife who wouldn't be caught well, dead, in some tacky American schmatta.     So there's Zapruder, trying to add a little pomp and circumstance to the home movie collection so he'll finally have something to compete with cousin Myra's cruise, and what does he get for his trouble? Trouble.     Imagine, poor Zapruder, with his Bell & Howell, standing in a place every one of us has been before: the wrong place at the wrong time ... Zapruder (who sounds a lot like Jackie Mason): Such a beautiful day. I'm glad I've got my comfortable shoes on. Here comes the president. Jackie looks terrific. What a hat. Cut on the bias. I don't know whether to look at her or look at him. Maybe I should start filming. Boy. This is a good angle . Sound of gunshots. Zapruder: What the hell was that? And what is it with the firecrackers? They see three cars and a flag and Goyim can't help themselves. They've got to shoot off firecrackers .     Zapruder couldn't have known that the footage he was shooting with his new 8mm would turn out to be more explosive than any official evidence gathered that day. That's because Abraham Zapruder inadvertently captured twenty-six seconds of objective and incontrovertible proof that all the funny theories about lone gunmen and bizarre ballistics we've been asked to swallow are so much drek.     So what can even the dullest tools in the human shed--though not necessarily the Warren Commission--learn from this film? Among other things: * The first bullet strikes Kennedy as the motorcade is passing a stand of large trees--trees that totally obliterate any line of fire between Kennedy and Oswald's so-called "sniper's nest" in the Book Depository. * The third shot snaps the president's head backward, explodes the back right side of his skull, and pushes him back into his seat--all obvious indications of a frontal assault and rear exit wound. Oswald, believed to have been in a building to the president's rear, would have been incapable of causing such a wound. * Even the man who became the Warren Commission's star witness, pipe fitter Howard Leslie Brennan, did not immediately act on the belief that shots were fired from the Book Depository. Although he later claimed to have actually seen a man firing from the sixth-floor window, he was not looking in that direction immediately after the shooting occurred.     A lot of other evidence stemmed from Zapruder's film. For instance, there was a question--based on the timing of the firing sequences taken from Zapruder's film--as to whether a lone gunman could fire so quickly with accuracy. Marine sharpshooters tried--and failed. Other evidence indicated that policemen on the scene instinctively turned--not toward the Book Depository, but toward Zapruder's position near the grassy knoll. In fact, Zapruder reiterated four times during his testimony that he believed shots came from behind him: on the knoll. But hey, what are we supposed to go by here ... eyewitness testimony? That would be too obvious. Copyright (c) 1999 McBelz Enterprises Inc.. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction, Get a Clue, Babe...p. 1
Prologue. The Origins of My Nightmarep. 5
Part 1. Jfkp. 7
1. Where Were You on November 22, 1963?p. 9
2. Abraham Zapruder's Day Outp. 13
3. The Best Evidence Never Developedp. 17
4. Umbrella Manp. 21
5. Gerald Ford and the Magic Bulletp. 25
6. The Fluke of Earlp. 29
7. What the Warren Commission Foundp. 33
8. Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evilp. 37
9. Take Coverp. 41
10. Secret Servicesp. 45
11. The Case Against Oswaldp. 49
12. The Sniper's Nestp. 55
13. No Smoking Gunp. 61
14. Multiple Lone Nutsp. 67
15. Surreal Motivesp. 73
16. The Usual Suspectsp. 77
17. Who's Who Among the Lesser Potential Assassinsp. 85
18. Trent for President in the Year 2000p. 91
19. No Pain, No Brainp. 95
20. I Could Just Diep. 99
21. Just a Simple Nightclub Owner with a Dreamp. 103
22. A Death Worse Than Fatep. 109
23. The Media and the Murderp. 113
24. Where Do People Get These Strange Ideas, Anyhow?p. 121
Part 2. From Dallas To Marrsp. 125
25. I'm Strictly a She-Male G-Manp. 129
26. Anybody Up There?p. 135
27. How Ten Myths About Aliens and UFOs Equal One Big Liep. 139
Part 3. UFOsp. 151
28. What the Hell Fell?p. 153
29. Hallelujah, It's Raining Spacemen!p. 161
30. Out There or Down Here?p. 165
31. What Do Extraterrestrials Want?p. 171
32. The Men Who Mooned the Worldp. 177
33. I'll See You on the Dark Side of the Moonp. 181
34. Men in Blackp. 187
35. Black Choppersp. 195
36. Face It ... There's a Face on Marsp. 201
37. Embrace Me, You Sweet Embraceable Anthropoidp. 209
38. The End of the Linep. 215
Bibliographyp. 219
Indexp. 225