Almost from the point that civilian UFO investigations began, there has been an expressed desire to find evidence of alien visitation. The mere fact that these organizations were looking toward the extraterrestrial does not negate the research they have done. Often scientists have an opinion of how an experiment will conclude, which is one of the reasons for double blind tests. But the gathering of information can be done without the bias of the investigators getting in the way of collecting the data. It is only when data are ignored that the problem arises.
Sort of the corollary to this is the lack of vetting of the witnesses and the information. In the world today it is very easy to check the claimed credentials or backgrounds of witnesses. And too often when the checks fail to produce the verification, then the government is blamed for destroying records to make the witnesses look bad… not creditable.
There are dozens of examples of this. Take Robert Willingham who claimed to have been at the scene of a UFO crash in 1948… or rather in the first, published version of his tale he claimed that. Later it became 1950, which he blamed on a UFO researcher, probably justifiably, and finally in the middle of the 1950s, which he said was the correct date. He claimed to be an Air Force fighter pilot and a retired colonel. Neither of those claims could be verified by military records.
What many people don’t understand is that when someone claims a military career, there is vast documentation for it, from the DD 214, which is a document given to everyone when he or she leaves active duty, to copies of orders, copies of awards and decorations, travel vouchers, photographs and a hundred other pieces of paper to prove the point. Those who are fudging their military service will simply not have those documents, and an investigator will not be able to verify the claim.
When I attempted to verify the validity of the few documents Willingham had supplied, I was unable to do it. In fact, I learned that these documents had been submitted to various authorities for verification by others investigating Willingham’s claims. They were told, and I was told, that the documents had been forged. Rather than accepting this evidence, the investigators accused me of “circling the wagons” and refusing to listen. They didn’t seem to understand that the facts were on my side, but they’d rather believe the guy talking about the UFO crash than the evidence of his fabrication of that event.
This is simply one example of someone who has been caught in embellishing a military career, and thrusting himself into the center of a UFO case… I say himself rather than theirselves, because the vast majority of those doing this are male.
This isn’t limited to witnesses either. Take, as an example, the Spitzbergen Island UFO crash in 1952. This has been proven to be a hoax time and again. The original story was evidentially traced to a newspaper article in Germany and that was about a Soviet-made craft that had crashed. This evolved into a UFO, but it is clear that it never happened, and even if it had, it was a Soviet-made device and not something extraterrestrial.
But here were are in 2013, this case from 1952, is still defended and still used in various reports of UFO crashes. It is used as evidence that the US government is hiding UFO information, but the case is a hoax. It proves nothing about what the US government might be doing or that alien creatures have visited Earth. The origins seem to have been lost to most of those doing research. Once they have what they consider the basic facts, they no longer pursue the information to its ultimate conclusion.
In fact, as mentioned in an earlier post, it is all too often assumed that other researchers have done the original research. I was looking for any UFO reports published in 1947, prior to Kenneth Arnold, that mentioned disk-shaped craft. One that was cited in some of the most credible UFO publications, was of a UFO sighting from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 23, 1947. As noted in that earlier post, it was a sighting actually made in Illinois allegedly on the same day as the Arnold sighting but it was not reported until after Arnold.
The point here is that we wish to elevate UFO research from the swamp we find it in to something that is respected, but we never reject a sighting or witness, even when the evidence is stacked against them. There are those who still endorse the Santilli alien autopsy hoax in the face of overwhelming evidence that Santilli and his friends created it… even though Santilli has said that part of it is a hoax… even though the men involved in creating the alien bodies have demonstrated how it was done… even though the cameraman was never identified, there are those that still argue for its authenticity. How do we make any progress with that sort of attitude?
Oh, it’s not limited to the alien side of the fence. Philip Klass made up solutions and attacked those whose opinions differed from his. We’ve already demonstrated this more than once, but there are those who accept what he claimed without question. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he did solve some sightings and he did provide some good information, but there were times that he was way outside the box but no one dragged him back into it. The skeptics continue to defend some of his practices even when it is demonstrated that he had missed the boat.
Charles Moore, he of Mogul fame, is given a pass by those who believe a balloon fell at Roswell. Evidence that he was less than candid on some of what he claimed is ignored because his solution does away with an alien craft. Never mind that Dr. Crary’s diary tells us there was no full array launch, and never mind that he does describe exactly what was sent aloft (a cluster of balloons with a sonobuoy and not a full array) they will insist that the cluster was Flight No. 4. They simply will not look at the documentation against it. In fact, one skeptic denigrated the 50 year old diary. Let’s ignore the written word from the time if it does not conform to our world view.
There are times when you just have to sit on information. We need a chance to validate it before making it public which is sort of an ancillary point here. Premature release can jeopardize research that is underway. We need the chance to complete the work before commenting on it publically. If we can’t validate it, well, then, we should make that public as well but not until we are sure of the facts. All the information about a specific event should eventually be published, but sometimes it is just too early. Sometimes you need to wait until you know everything about a case. Once you have found the truth, then you should make all the facts public.
We need to raise the quality of our research, regardless of the side we fall on, and we need to accept conclusions that are based on the evidence available and not our opinions of how things should be. We can no longer argue about those cases that are solved and we can no longer accept the solution if it does not fit the facts. We need to elevate our standards and we must follow the evidence. If we can reach that level, then we have made it about halfway to solving the problem.