There are those who had suggested that my opinions on Robert B. Willingham and William A. Rhodes are inconsistent. They wonder why I have suggested that there might still be something to the Rhodes photographs after he was caught without a degree and why I have written off Willingham completely. Why do I believe there might be something to Rhodes and not Willingham’s tale?
The answer is simple. Rhodes’ belief that he had the equivalent to a Ph.D., or that he had received an honorary degree from Columbia University, does not impact his being in Arizona, in his backyard, when the UFO flew over. In other words, we have him in a place where we could expect him to be and the Ph.D. doesn’t alter that.
You can argue, and I would agree, that this episode with the college degree, and the differing versions of how it came to be, suggest that he could spin a tale or two when the mood moved him. It impacts his credibility and if we were in court, such a discrepancy could be used to impeach his testimony. If he would lie about that, what else would he lie about?
But that doesn’t change the fact that he could have been in his backyard when the mysterious object allegedly flew over. Yes, I said allegedly because we could argue that nothing flew over and that the photographs are faked but that doesn’t flow directly from the nonexistent degree.
With Willingham and the Del Rio UFO crash, his story of being an Air Force officer and fighter pilot directly affects his story. If he was not an Air Force officer, then he wasn’t a fighter pilot and he wouldn’t have been in a position to see what he claimed. He could not have been in the cockpit of an Air Force fighter unless he was an Air Force officer.
The high rank he claims, which suggests credibility, works against him if he never achieved that rank. In other words, his lie about being an Air Force colonel directly impacts the validity of his story. He couldn’t have been in a position to see the UFO crash if he was not in the cockpit of the fighter and he couldn’t be in the cockpit unless he was an Air Force officer.
So, Rhodes claim of a Ph.D. is not a disqualification for his story. It impacts his credibility and requires us to take a deeper look at the photographs and what they show. To some, this embellishment is enough to reject Rhodes out of hand. For others, it "beclouds" the issue but doesn’t mean that the photographs are faked.
With Willingham, his claim of high military rank does disqualify his story. If he was not an Air Force officer he wouldn’t have been in the fighter and he wouldn’t have seen the craft. This should be enough for everyone to reject the story, especially since there are no other witnesses, no photographs and no physical evidence. This does mean the story is faked.