Johnston's fundamental credibility depends on his status at the time -- a High School graduate in his late 20's who, he claims, was put in charge of all the scientists doing photo archiving work. He was then ordered to purge original images from the archives, so goes the claim.
In a series of credentials-claims, Johnston begins with his pilot status. Here's how Bara recently restated it:
Bara: “I have no reason to ask Ken if he was “ever a pilot, as [my] book insists,” because I know for a fact he was. During his training, he flew T-37’s, T-28’s, T-2J’s, DC-3’s and F-4 Phantom’s. I also know that as a civilian he flew Piper Colts, Cessna 150’s, 172’s, Grumman single engine planes, Piper twin Aztec's and logged hundreds of hours on the Boeing 727, 757, 767, and 747 simulators.
Oh, and he also logged over 3,000 hours in the Lunar Module and the LM simulators, where he taught all of the Apollo astronauts to fly the LM. I'm not sure why NASA would hire him as a flight instructor if he was never "a pilot, as [my] book insists,” but I'll leave it to you to work out the logical contortions of that one.”
But Johnston's military records, obstained via FOIA (see www.stolenvalor.com for how-to), showed Ken Johnston, an E-5 (Lance Corporal), enrolled in MARCAD (Marine Air Cadet) training, receiving no completion certificate, and returning to his previous duties at El Toro as an F-4 avionics maintenace tech. He separated from the USMC with that grade and duty.
His service was honorable and competent, and I appreciate his stepping forward -- at a time when large segments of the nation wanted the other side to win. Likewise -- so I can presume -- commendable work on the Apollo program, at NASA, without any need to exaggerate it. The LM 'switch monkeys' were not astronaut instructors, there was an entirely different team for that purpose, and those lunar module flight trainers never needed 'test pilots', they needed avionics testing and maintenance as described in the letters you have posted -- honorable and precision work, no doubt about it. But not exactly as hyped.
Here's his photo from that FOIA file:
His training summary lists his aviation cadet training as 'incomplete'.
Now, where's any documentation that shows Johnston ever completed any pilot training or certification? Bara refuses to provide it.
I also have talked with lots of people who had served in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, where Ken did creditable and honorable work, I've found out, as a lunar sample shipping clerk. As far as I can tell, the LRL never even HAD a "photographic division", that was an entirely different division in a different building. There's no indication he ever had anyone else working for him. His responsibility there has been exaggerated, I conclude.
I've also talked with the head of the "Reformed Baptist Seminary" (or whatever) in Colorado, the organization that Ken got his 'doctor of philosophy' certificate (the one that is presented as a "PhD in Meta Physics"). The guy I talked to even signed that certificate, as posted on Bara's site -- look at his name. He told me all about the actual requirements for being mailed such a piece of paper. Academic achievement had nothing to do with it.
Johnston seems to be a sweet human being who did honorable service to his country in the military and in the Apollo program, but whose qualifications as a credible expert seem stretched. Those qualifications could be established, even at this late date, by the display of relevant documents. So far, apparently, nothing but bluster and bluff.
Edited by JimOberg, 07 January 2009 - 03:34 PM.