No, this isn’t what you think. It was something that I noticed in a Billy Cox column which addressed Tom Carey’s appearance at the American University. Cox was discussing the purpose of the panel discussion and interviewed adjunct professor John Weiskopf who asked his honors students to consider the impact of ET themes
culture. Cox wanted to know if he had any regrets about asking Carey to appear.
That started a discussion about Carey and his revelation about the Roswell
Slides at the discussion and also reminded me of another lecture in front of college
students that was somewhat similar.
|Display in the International Museum and|
Research Center in Roswell.
Some sixty-five years before that, on March 8, 1950, a lecture about flying saucers was held at the University of Denver. This lecture became part of the mythology involved in the Aztec UFO crash and was given by a “mystery man” who was later identified as Silas Newton. Frank Scully, in Behind the Flying Saucers:
The negotiations between the faculty and the spokesman for the lecturer took months to arrange, as the speaker wasn’t keen about being “evaluated,” but when the science students voted 100 per cent to hear the lecturer, he acquiesced. Of these, 80 per cent said, after the lecture, that they were “impressed.” By a show of hands 60 per cent indicated they believed the man knew what he was talking about, that he obviously was a member of the group of scientists he described as having examined space ships which had landed on this earth from, in all likelihood, another planet. More, they believed the mystery man of science had the best answer to the secret propulsion behind these flying saucers and that it was neither combustion nor jet.
William Steinman added a little to this in his UFO Crash at Aztec, published in 1986. He identified the instructor of the class as Francis F. Broman, who taught a basic science course. Steinman wrote that Broman had actually invited George T. Koehler to give the lecture, but Koehler said that his friend knew more about the subject, so it was Newton who gave the talk.
Steinman also mentioned that an intelligence officer had contacted Broman to learn more about the lecture. When Broman said that he hadn’t believed the tale but that he didn’t speak for everyone in the class that seemed to satisfy the officer. The call was terminated.
William E. Jones and Rebecca D. Minshall took up the investigation and reported their findings in the International UFO Reporter for September/October 1991. While they suggest that Steinman had almost everything right about the lecture, they reported that the name of the class, rather than Basic Science was Science and Man.
And they report, “The purpose of the lecture was to provide the students with an assertion against which they could apply the critical thinking methods that Broman was teaching.”
They also noted, “Broman found Newton’s claim about the crashed saucer unconvincing, as did many of those who attended his lecture. Further, Newton failed to live up to an agreement to allow his story to be critiqued using the methods being taught by Broman. As a result of statements made later by Broman about some aspects of the lecture, Broman was reportedly threatened with a lawsuit by the author of a book entitled, About UFOs. The dispute was settled out of court.”
Well, I’m not surprised by the threats of a lawsuit. That seems to be standard operation procedure in the world of the UFO. But the important points here, are the facts about the lecture, including that the professor and the students found Newton’s claims and evidence unconvincing.
So, fast forward 65 years.
Back to the original question. Did he have any regrets about asking Carey to appear? According to Billy Cox:
‘Mr. Carey surprised attendees and participants alike that evening at a near full capacity event (170 people) with his disclosure,’ Weiskopf stated in an email, ‘but many attendees whom I spoke with afterwards (including my students) said that they were quite skeptical of Tom Carey’s claim. Mr. Carey got what he wanted, his disclosure eclipsed much of the substantial discussions by the other three panelists who have remarkable careers and credibility. The lead teaser for WTOP’s radio coverage the following morning beginning at 6 a.m. contained three points, the most dramatic being Tom Carey’s leak.’
Tom Carey was, as you say, ‘the odd man’ out, but that was deliberate; that was intended,” Weiskopf went on. “If we present knowledge and experience of the same or identical frequencies, then we are only limiting ourselves.” He preferred instead to reflect on how the course forced his students to stretch, which he says manifested during a session with the speakers before the public event that evening: “It was a remarkable luncheon to watch my honors students question, challenge, and in some cases, retort or refute statements that the panelists made in their books/articles/interviews. In my course during the book discussions, my students were ‘less than kind’ in discusssing Tom Carey’s co-authored book Witness to Roswell. At the luncheon, two students told Mr. Carey face-to-face that they did not like his book nor did they believe it. They told him that his logic and conclusions were faulty.”
Weiskopf said it wasn’t his job to tell the class what to think. “When I taught this course I never colored any book, film, television show or blog with my personal beliefs or what I thought about the extraterrestrial issue, either in general or specifically. I allowed my classroom academic environment to unfold as objectively as possible allowing the students to ‘conclude, be confused or indecisive or become staunch believers’ on their own after examining and evaluating all of the data for 14 weeks.”
Bottom line: “I would hope that other universities and colleges would take the same bold and courageous step that American University did in supporting this extremely important event.”
The whole article can be seen here:
And here’s my point. Not much has changed in those 65 years. In 1950, the students, according to the best accounts, were not impressed with Newton. The reason was probably the lack of evidence. It was heavy on speculation and if you reject the Aztec crash, then it was heavy on fabrication.
With Tom Carey, the students, according to the best accounts, were not impressed with Tom. The reason was probably the hyperbole of his remarks and the lack of evidence. Of course, today, we know that the major problem is that the source of his information, those slides have been uncovered and that the body shown is not alien.
The real point is that we all need to look at the evidence with a little bit more skepticism, we have to be more diligent in our research, and we have to reject this will to believe. If we don’t, some 65 years from now someone might be writing a similar story (and hey, if I’m around, I’ll do it.)