The Roswell UFO crash case seems to be a lightning rod for all sorts of hoaxes, many of which have gained international attention. They began almost from the moment that we all learned that something had fallen near Roswell that certainly wasn’t a standard weather balloon. After the publication of The Roswell Incident Bill Moore complained that he had taken the investigation as far as he could and told several people that he was thinking of creating a “Roswell” type document in an attempt to convince the reluctant witnesses to talk. The blueprint for this document and the story of it was laid out in a novel Moore wrote with Bob Pratt that was called Majik. Later the first of the MJ-12 papers ended up in the hands of Moore’s pal Jaime Shandera. When the MJ-12 documents were announced, Pratt thought it was time to “dust off” the novel in an attempt to find a publisher. Apparently Moore wasn’t interested in that idea and that never happened.
We’ve gone over the problems with these mysterious documents time and again, from the lack of provenance to the false information included in them. Except for a few hardcore believers, they are all generally considered to be bogus, from the Eisenhower Briefing Document to the Cutler/Twining memo. Rather than deal with the problems they prefer to debate the issue which is not the best investigative tactic. Nearly everyone believes that the thousands of the pages that have appeared in the last couple of decades are faked by those taking real historic documents and retyping them to insert a clue or two about MJ-12. To this day no one has ever found through FOIA or extensive searches through archival material a single reference to MJ-12 that is not tainted by controversy.
The lone exception seems to be the Cutler/Twining memo, but even the MJ-12 advocates admit that the document was planted in the National Archives. Although we have heard for years that they are very strict at the National Archives checking briefcases and note pads to prevent theft. It is far easier to sneak a single sheet in than it is to take anything out. They also believe the Cutler/Twining is disinformation while I think it is just an extension of the original hoax.
About a decade after this all broke, there was the Alien Autopsy. Here was a case with film of the Roswell events, at least according to the original statements. More than two hours of film was available, according to the first “rumors” and that included footage of President Truman walking the crash site. It was said that the photographer had been left holding all this footage because of some sort of an error in 1947. No one ever asked him for the film so he eventually sold it to a record promoter in England. Those of us with military experience dealing with classified material found the story somewhat implausible. We were told that the cameraman’s name was being withheld because he feared retribution by the government. Of course, had his story been true, those with the proper clearances would have found it simple to learn who he was… and charge him with income tax evasion for failing to disclose the alleged $100,000 he was paid for it.
Of course, it is never a good idea to promote the reality of one controversial claim with another. At one point they were using the MJ-12 documents to underscore the reality of the film. They also showed photographs of the film canisters with the classified markings visible. When it was pointed out that these markings resembled nothing that has ever been used by the US military, those photographs disappeared.
Over time, the claims changed. There weren’t two hours of film; there were some twenty minutes of it. Some of the footage, taken in a tent supposedly erected on the scene for preliminary autopsy was so dark that little could be seen and so bad it couldn’t be used. We were told that they had attempted to reproduce that footage but it was still too dark to use (and here I think of all the documents that Bill Moore retyped because the originals were too blurry to be easily read). Those owning the film were admitting to faking some of it but the other footage, the actual autopsy, filmed in black and white in a room that was brightly lit, was the real thing.
There were problems with this since military autopsies, even in 1947, were filmed in color. There was no one recognizable in the film. There was nothing to suggest where it was taken and more importantly, it seemed that those conducting the autopsy seemed to be a little too cavalier in it. They were not making the sort of record you would expect, especially when you consider this would be a unique biological sample. They were sort of hacking away at the body without the still photographs that you would expect.
All this speculation and wasted time ended when those who had created the alien autopsy came forward and admitted the hoax. Interestingly, this is not good enough for some. They continue to believe that the autopsy is real. I do not understand this reasoning given those who originated it said it was a hoax and provided pictures to prove it. I believe that the discussion should have ended at that point rather than a useless debate on why they were lying about faking the film.
During the 1997 Roswell anniversary, we heard about a piece of debris that had a proper chain of custody, had a provenance, and that the name of the man who had picked it up on the field would be revealed at a special presentation. Because this would be physical evidence that could be taken into a lab and tested, and because it had been taken into a lab for analysis by a scientist who would present his findings, the presentation was well attended. This was the smoking gun that proved the Roswell crash was of an alien craft.
The scientist, Dr. Russell VernonClark who had conducted the analysis, was slipped into Roswell for the presentation and nothing else. If this was an artifact from another planet, as VernonClark claimed, then this was certainly big news. Certainly the biggest at that festival.
VernonClark, during his presentation said, “The atomic mass so differs from that found in known earthly elements, that it is impossible for it to be from Earth.”
That would mean, of course, that it was of extraterrestrial manufacture. It would mean that an alien race had visited Earth and the evidence they left behind was now in the hands of investigators and scientists. VernonClark did not equivocate. He was definite about the meaning of his findings. There is nowhere on Earth that this piece of metal could have been found. It had to come from another world.
Finished with the presentation, he sneaked out the back door and then fled from Roswell in the way that he had arrived. Some say he ran out the back door to a waiting car to get him out of town before anyone could be ask any pointed questions such as who had found the metal and how had it made it into his hands.
There was no back up for the testing presented, although it was alleged that such additional and independent testing had taken place. There was no corroboration for the analysis or the conclusions that had been drawn. It was claimed it had been done but no one involved would say by whom or where or even present the independent lab work.
Other scientists, when contacted by reporters, said that the isotopic ratios described by VernonClark, while not natural, could be produced in any university laboratory. In other words, the artifact didn’t necessarily have to be alien. It could have been manufactured on Earth and in fact that wasn’t all that difficult given the proper lab facilities.
In an article published by the Albuquerque Journal, reporter John Fleck quoted a number of scientists including University of Kentucky chemist Rob Toreki who said, “You can do it here.”
He meant that you could manipulate the isotopic ratios. And VernonClark eventually said the same thing when asked about that. In a telephone conversation with me, he said it could be done so that the isotopic ratios, while not naturally occurring, could be produced in a lab. He added that it was an expensive proposition which is hardly the point. But he also suggested he had been bullied into the presentation. The whole thing was turning into a big mess.
Most importantly, there is no follow up on this. I was in the auditorium when VernonClark made his announcement and I saw the reporters’ reactions. They were very interested in what he had to say, especially when they were promised the information to confirm the chain of custody and the results of additional, independent testing. But none of that ever happened and I saw the reporters’ reaction to that as well. If you are going to make an extraordinary claim, then you had better be prepared to provide the confirming evidence. And when you withhold that and other scientists do not agree with the conclusions you put forward, then you have lost your audience. Yes, the reporters were very interested until they could not corroborate anything about the artifact.
All of this seems to suggest why the news media ignores the newest of the UFO reports out of New Mexico. In the 1980s they were told that there were documents that proved the case and reported this only to learn that the documents were a hoax. In the mid-1990s they were told there was film footage of an autopsy of alien creatures only to have it admitted to be a hoax. The late 1990s they were told that there was metal that couldn’t have been made on Earth picked up on the fields near Roswell only to discover that the metal could have been manufactured on Earth and that none of the supporting evidence was available.
We could always add the alleged witnesses to all these events who were not candid in their tales. Frank Kaufmann sounded good and spun an interesting tale but in the end, he had seen nothing and knew nothing. Gerald Anderson seemed to corroborate the Barney Barnett story but Anderson forged documents and lied about aspects of his tale. Glenn Dennis’ tale of the missing nurse collapsed when no nurse by the name he provided could be found. He then blamed others for that failed corroboration. In other words, there have been many failed claims about the Roswell case which would cause anyone to wonder about all the other information reported. Only those with all the time necessary to unravel all the various threads could be expected to understand the nuances of the case and no reporter (and very few of the rest of the population) could be expected to invest the necessary time to learn the truth. And even if they did, there are various “truths” to be learned out there.
I mention this only to suggest that the less than enthusiastic response by the media and many others is caused by this long and tainted history. I could suggest that it was all part of the strategy to kept the Roswell case hidden, but the truth seems to be that all the competing voices, all the opportunists, all those with their own agendas have complicated the case to the point where it might never be unraveled.
As I look over this, I wonder if anyone else has seen the relation to some of the things going on in the world today. Promises are being made but if the information circulating now is accurate, then the same problems are going to pop up again. But given the history of the Roswell case it is going to be a tough sell for the newest of the revelations especially in light of this history.