I recently received a phone call from Lee Speigel, chief writer of unexplained phenomena for AOLNews.com, and former host of NBC Radio’s “The Edge of Reality,” informing me that an audio album he did in 1975 entitled, “UFOs: The Credibility Factor,” and put on a CD in 2007 by Mr. Speigel, is now being advertised on Amazon.com. as a DVD under the same title, and being credited to a Bill Knell as the “Actor” and “Director.” Mr. Speigel has also advised me that if you read the description Bill Knell has on his DVD, and compare it with the original album notes, not only did Knell steal his audio recording, and album title, he also plagiarized, WORD for WORD, everything Mr. Speigel wrote about the album 36 years ago.
By Dennis Balthaser
I immediately informed Mr. Speigel that he had now become a part of a piracy scheme that Bill Knell (a long time criminal), has been doing for many years.
Bill Knell has been using the Internet to sell researchers and TV producers' copyrighted videos' and DVDs on the subject of Ufology for his own benefit, to the point of changing the titles, stating that he is the actor or director of the films he’s pirating, and offering them for sale, many times at a reduced price, and definitely with a poorer quality than the originals. This is not only a scam against the researchers, but also the victims who have purchased these products; it is blatant copyright infringement and a serious Federal Offense.
Frank Warren (www.theufochronicles.com) made me aware a few years ago that one of my DVDs, titled “The Roswell Incident: Then and Now,” was being offered by Knell on a website entitled Bravenet, [Bravenet was actually the web-host; Knell's web-site at the time was www.theufoguy.org–FW] under the title of “Aliens Among Us: Stunning Secrets About UFOs and Extraterrestrials.”
Aztec Incident Researcher Scott Ramsey also had a film being offered by Knell illegally, which after some detailed investigation by Frank and Scott revealed a list of over 80 researchers and TV producers products were being offered by Knell. Frank, Scott and myself, to make them aware of Knell’s illegal action, personally contacted many of those victims, and we requested that they contact the IC3 (The Internet Crime Complaint Center) which is partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to report these violations. The on-line IC3 form only takes a few minutes to complete and submit --- unfortunately only a handful of those we contacted bothered to do so.
We contacted and complained to FBI offices in North Carolina and Indianapolis, Indiana, Detective Maurice Hobson with the Lebanon Police Department in Lebanon, Indiana where Knell lives and conducts his criminal activities, and other law enforcement agencies. We were able to shut down several of Bill Knell’s websites through our efforts, but it appears he is now using Amazon.com for his continued operation.
Contacting Knell directly is of no value, as he will only give excuses, as he’s done to us, removing the products in question until he feels the pressure is gone, and then they reappear at another site on the Internet.
Rich Rosell of DVD Talk was contacted recently about reviewing one of Knell’s pirated films and his only response was, as a reviewer it wasn’t his place to take sides. Bill Knell deserves no publicity (good or bad reviews), but rather needs to be prosecuted and incarcerated for a long time, since any publicity given to Bill Knell, would be assisting his criminal actions, as Amazon.com is currently doing after being notified by several of us on different occasions.
My Nov. 1, 2009 editorial, “Piracy: A Silent Plague on Ufology”
explains some of what transpired at that time; obviously things haven’t changed, and it’s imperative that those who have been victimized by Bill Knell (researchers, TV producers and the many who have bought poorly reproduced, pirated, illegal DVDs) contact the IC3 and complete the complaint form. The IC3 website can be found at http://www.IC3.gov/
The following list of Bill Knell's potential victims was distributed a few years ago, and it can be assumed that Knell has possibly removed some (or worse), added more. Again it’s imperative if you recognize your name or know anyone on the list contact IC3, so Knell’s illegal operation can be stopped.
Today, Knell’s DVDs are currently on Amazon; do a search for Bill Knell and you will see he is listed as actor or director on many of the DVDs, when he is neither. Bill Knell is a criminal and with your help he can be stopped. If additional information is required, or if you have any questions please feel free to contact any one of us:
Dennis Balthaser: email@example.com
Frank Warren: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Ramsey: email@example.com