When I said to Stan that there was no evidence of a Del Rio crash, he trotted out his propaganda argument that “Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.”
My immediate reply was, “It is when due diligence has been preformed,” which, of course I had done (and which, of course, sort of attaches a legal term to the argument).
But this whole thing got me to thinking about this “Absence of evidence” line and what it really means. It is the last ditch effort to support a concept, idea, theory, or story that has nothing else to support it. Stan didn’t suggest other sources of evidence for the Del Rio crash, he didn’t offer additional witness testimony, he didn’t produce newspaper articles that talked of some kind of UFO event in the area in the right time frame (which according to Willingham’s various tales was 1948, 1950 or sometime in the mid-1950s). No, he just quoted his line as if that ends the argument.
With that sort of an argument, no rational conclusion can be drawn. It doesn’t matter how much time, effort, or money has been put into an investigation. If you found nothing to support the story, then the fallback position is always, “Absence of evidence...”
Here is where we are with the Del Rio crash. The only witness to ever mention it has invented his military career and if he wasn’t a fighter pilot, then he was not in a position to see the UFO crash. If he wasn’t an Air Force officer, then he was never an Air Force fighter pilot and his story fails on that point.
Yes, Willingham has named other witnesses or potential witnesses, but then all of them are dead (which, coincidentally is the same problem with MJ-12... all the men named were dead before the document appeared). There has been no way to verify this story. We must accept it as Willingham tells it.
The only other reference to this case is in the MJ-12 documents. There are no other witnesses, no newspaper stories (and before you get wound up on that, remember even Roswell was mentioned in the newspapers, as was Las Vegas, Kecksburg, Shag Harbour, and several other suspected and alleged UFO crashes), and there nothing in the Project Blue Book files.
You must remember that if there was no Del Rio crash, yet it was mentioned in MJ-12, it would be the final, fatal blow to the Eisenhower Briefing document. There is no reason to include a hoax in the document, a hoax that wasn’t created until 1968, which, of course, means the author of the Eisenhower document was clairvoyant or the document was created after 1968. With Willingham’s latest date change, the crash didn’t happen until after the 1952 date appended to the Eisenhower Briefing Document, and is just one more suggestion the document is fraudulent.
So, let’s look at this “Absence of evidence” idea. In science, sometimes, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”
Take The Dinosaur Heresies by Robert T. Bakker and published by Zebra Non-fiction in 1986. On page 116, Bakker wrote, “A careful investigation of the quarry made it clear that something was wrong with the deep–lake theory. As a carcass sleuth looks for clues, he or she must be alert for negative evidence; sometimes what’s missing reveals more than what is present. And negative clues were everywhere in Sheep Creek. No fish bones or crocodile bones and almost no turtle remains (only one fragment of shell) were ever fund in the Sheep Creek limestone.”
In other words, “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”
Here’s where we find ourselves today. Robert Willingham is the only source available for the Del Rio crash and he has changed the location, date, number of UFOs, type of aircraft, and a host of other details three times. There is no other source.
Willingham was interviewed by Todd Zechel who was working with William Moore and the Del Rio case appears in The Roswell Incident. (And no, this isn’t a new source, but one that is traceable back to Willingham). It then appears in the MJ–12 papers because everyone thought that Willingham was a retired, high–ranking officer whose word could be trusted. If there was a Del Rio crash in 1948 or 1950 (depending on which version of Willingham’s story you trusted) and it was not included in MJ–12, well that would be evidence of a MJ-12 hoax. No one thought in terms of the Del Rio crash being faked when the MJ–12 papers appeared in the mid–1980s because, it seems, everyone accepted Willingham as authentic.
What evidence is there that something crashed near Del Rio, Texas, at any point in time? There is none. Nothing. The only conclusion to be drawn is that the Del Rio crash is a hoax (a much nicer word than lie) and if that is true, then the Eisenhower Briefing document is a hoax.
Unless, or until, someone can provide any sort of additional and credible evidence of an event near Del Rio, or the El Indio–Guerrero area, there is nothing more to be said. It is a case where “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”