Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Roswell Slides and the Mummy's Placard

You would have thought that once the placard in the slide had been read, and once that there was nearly universal acceptance of the translation suggesting that the body in the slide is that of a young boy, the debate would have ended. But this is ufology when nothing is ever ended no matter what the proof might be. It doesn’t matter what can be shown because there are those who won’t believe anything unless it reinforces their own belief structures. Such are the Roswell Slides and the placard. We are now told that it doesn’t matter what the placard says because we have all that “scientific” evidence from all those “authorities” who have examined the body on the slides. They say the body isn’t human and the placard is wrong.

Just days after Don Schmitt had apologized for the fiasco in Mexico City, he was back telling us that the term, Roswell Slides, had been an invention of the skeptics and that neither he nor Tom Carey had ever called them the Roswell Slides… of course, overlooked in that was their attempts to link the slides to Roswell and that much of what was said and published revolved around Roswell. The Kodak expert dated the slides based on the coding, the slide mounts, and other information to the late 1940s, and former USAAF PFC Benavides said the body was like those he saw, so everyone thought of Roswell even if they hadn’t used the term, “Roswell Slides.”

On Jimmy Church’s radio show Friday night, May 29, Schmitt explained some of these things to us. The show and the Don Schmitt segment starting about twenty minutes in can be heard here:


Schmitt suggested that it was strange that they had provided high resolution scans to various experts to look at the writing on the placard and were told that they couldn’t make out even one letter. Schmitt said, “What were they (the Roswell Slides Research Group, among all those others) reading? It was a screen grab.” He said that it was from the event in Mexico City and that the slides hadn’t yet been released. It was taken off the Internet. “And they’re able to read it…and nobody else has been able to read it… How do you explain that?”

Well, I can explain that because what Schmitt said was not exactly right. They all worked from a download of the slide that had been put up on Adam Dew’s website, which was a higher resolution scan than previously available and was posted not long after the May 5 extravaganza. They applied various software to that scan and were able to read the placard with relative ease. It wasn’t just the RSRG but others, unaffiliated with them, in various countries, who also read it and came to the same conclusions. Tony Bragalia and an unnamed colleague in Europe discovered a journal article, published in 1938, which contained nearly the same wording, provided a few additional clues, and the location of the museum… a museum setting that Richard Doble said looked nothing like any of the museum settings he had ever seen but then he was apparently never at Mesa Verde.

Schmitt and Carey had offered the scans to a number of organizations and individuals for their opinions on the placard. Schmitt has said that the Pentagon looked at it but couldn’t make out anything on it, implying that if the government couldn’t read then surely a civilian group wouldn’t be able to do so. Well, that’s not exactly the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Here’s what we know, based on what has been said about this in various forums including this one. In Mexico City, at the May 5 presentation, Schmitt claimed that the slides had been subjected to rigorous testing by experts in the field of photography. According to the newspaper accounts from Mexico City, “Exhaustive investigations by other photographic and medical experts have concluded that the photos are genuine. The experts list presented at the Mexico City event include Dr. David Rudiak, an expert in photographic analysis, Dr. Donald Burleson, a specialist in computer enhancement; Ray Downing, materials expert from the Studio MacBeth, New York; Col Jeffrey Thau associated with the Pentagon’s Photo Interpretation Department, and Prof Rod Slemmons, a former Director of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography.”

David Rudiak is not an expert in photographic analysis, but has experience in attempting to read the Ramey Memo. Because of that, he was asked to look at the placard with the body but was unable to unscramble or deblur the image on the scan he was given.

Colonel Jeffrey Thau is a retired Air Force officer who once had offices at both Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Pentagon. The Photo Interpretation Department had been moved from the Pentagon to Fort Meade, Maryland. Their expertise was not in attempting to read messages on placards in museums that were obscured but in interpreting photo intelligence of various kinds including ground based military facilities and movements. It seems that this failed attempt to read the placard wasn’t actually an attempt by the experts at the Pentagon or Fort Meade, but friends seeing if they could make out anything on the placard as a favor to Colonel Thau. To suggest the Pentagon had attempted to read the message and failed was, at best, hyperbole.

"Light Blasted" Placard.
Or, in other, more precise words, those tasked with reading the placard, were not the experts they were claimed to be. To compound the problem, it is obvious that the scans submitted for the analysis were not the high resolution scans promised and had probably been manipulated to obscure the wording on the placard. The failure was not with those who had attempted to read the placard but with those who provided the original scans for analysis. And this explains why they were unable to do so. It wasn’t until a better quality scan was available and it has a provenance that is traced straight back to Adam Dew that the placard was read.

So, on the one hand, we’re told that they made a concentrated effort to read the placard but failed to do so. On the other hand, now that it has been read, and again, it seems that nearly everyone agrees with what it says, we’re told that they don’t care what the placard says.

Seriously, we’re supposed to buy that. They had suggested that reading the placard was important and that information on it would be critical to understanding exactly what is on the slides. Now that it has been read, we’re told, by Doble that the placard was created as a diversion so that the true nature of the being on display wouldn’t be obvious. He explains that he believed the general population was unprepared to learn there was alien visitation. That was the reason the placard said was created. It was to obscure the truth.

This is spin doctoring at its worst. The placard tells us what is on display. The journal article tells us more about the body. Now, with that information, we’re told that it is unimportant to what is on the slides. This is an indefensible position.

But it gets worse. The actual slides might tell us more. It is my understanding that they were numbered and those numbers were nine and eleven. Where is number ten, and what is shown on that slide? Does it make it clear that the body is a mummy? Is the placard facing the camera so that it can be read without using a computer program to deblur it?


What is unbelievable in this is that there is still an attempt to prove that the body is alien. And when the evidence argues against it, evidence right on the slide, we’re told that the slide promoters don’t care what the placard says meaning they don’t care what the evidence is. They still believe it is an alien because, I suppose, that is what they have to believe. No one wants to be this wrong about something they consider this important, this publically. But sometimes you just have to look at the evidence and realize that you blew it big time.

98 comments:

David Rudiak said...

Kevin wrote:
To compound the problem, it is obvious that the scans submitted for the analysis were not the high resolution scans promised and had probably been manipulated to obscure the wording on the placard. The failure was not with those who had attempted to read the placard but with those who provided the original scans for analysis. And this explains why they were unable to do so. It wasn’t until a better quality scan was available and it has a provenance that is traced straight back to Adam Dew that the placard was read.

This is absolutely not true, at least in my case (and I suspect in other cases). I was provided the EXACT SAME high resolution scan (plus other high resolution scans) that Dew later finally provided on his website. The only difference is Dew's web-provided scan showed the surrounding area, whereas I was provided with only the cropped area of the placard.

The RSRG group immediately after the May 5 event was leaked a much lower resolution version of the placard scan, but still adequate for deblurring purposes. This was BEFORE Dew placed the full resolution scan on his website.

You have your facts scrambled here Kevin.

The higher resolution version of one slide shown at the May 5 event that shows the placard almost whited out had nothing to do with trying to hide what was on the placard (an inane accusation of a cover-up I have seen more than once). Instead it has everything to do with the slides being dark and the brightness greatly enhanced to bring out full slide details. The placard got light blasted or washed out in the process.

I think the failure to deblur the image previously had nothing to do with the scans provided and had everything to do with the blur being complex in nature (both simple focus and two directions of motion blur), which most deblurring software cannot handle (at least the deblurring software I tried). E.g., to handle motion blur, most packages require you hand-set the direction of blur, which wasn't known here, plus having two directions to deal with.

It might have helped had we been provided the high resolution scans of the entire slide, which showed the nature of the motion blur, which was "boomerang-shaped", jerked horizontally right then diagonally upward to the right (or vice versa). This probably resulted in the printed text having a hand-written script-like appearance.

The only deblurring software package so far that has been demonstrated capable of deblurring the placard with its complex blur is SmartDeBlur, which has intelligence capable of honing in on an optimum solution, including dealing with complex motion blur. Even so, most settings I've tried on SmartDeBlur still yield garbage results. With 20-20 hindsight, it is an "easy" problem once you know the right software and somebody feeds you the right settings to use, or you eventually find them with persistent searching.

Ross said...

The missing slide is further evidence that Adam Dew has known from the very beginning exactly what the placard says. Ask yourself why it is Adam Dew took the step of obscuring the placard in the images prior to anyone having deciphered what it says? He claimed to just want to get to the truth of the matter, and yet he went out of his way to frustrate efforts to decipher the placard.

David Rudiak said...

This is spin doctoring at its worst. The placard tells us what is on display. The journal article tells us more about the body. Now, with that information, we’re told that it is unimportant to what is on the slides. This is an indefensible position.

Yes, it is a mummy, but what sort of mummy? Yes, it was excavated in 1896 at Montezuma Castle and later put on display at the museum in Mesa Verda circa 1940 until June 1947.

While that information obviously excludes Roswell, it doesn't tell us the exact nature of the mummy. Would better information that the National Park Service should have show that it is a perfectly normal mummy? Or would it show that there really were anomalies in the skeletal structure, perhaps a highly deformed human? That might explain why various medical/forensic expects thought it deformed or even nonhuman.

That is what I'm interested in and why I am still pursuing this, trying to get better information than what's on the two slides. I'm surprised that most people aren't a little bit curious to learn more. If it turns out to be a perfectly normal body, I am certainly quite happy to leave it at that.

But it gets worse. The actual slides might tell us more. It is my understanding that they were numbered and those numbers were nine and eleven. Where is number ten, and what is shown on that slide? Does it make it clear that the body is a mummy? Is the placard facing the camera so that it can be read without using a computer program to deblur it?

Or it could be as simple or innocent that slide #10 was total garbage and tossed out a long time ago.

I'd be more interested in what the slides before #9 and after #11 showed. If these slides were included in the box of slides and showed other museum exhibits or general Mesa Verde scenes, that would be pretty damning evidence if they were deliberately excluded.

Since this body was on exhibit for probably a decade or more, there must be hundreds if not thousands of photos out there sitting in old photo albums or slide boxes showing the mummy. Those would be helpful as well, if only there were a way of finding some of these.

Paul Kimball said...

you eventually find them with persistent searching.

Umm... after over two years of supposed in depth research and the involvement of super-experts, isn't "persistent searching" the basic minimum standard that should have been expected. After all, our persistent searching took all of two days to find the answer. I have absolutely no problem holding the slides promoters to at least that standard.

David Rudiak said...

Ross wrote:
"Ask yourself why it is Adam Dew took the step of obscuring the placard in the images prior to anyone having deciphered what it says?"

What images did Dew "obscure the placard" in? There is MUCH to criticize in how Dew handled everything, but this one is baseless.

I did not receive an obscured placard 3 years ago. What I received as exactly the same high-resolution placard scan that Dew finally posted to his website after May 5.

The screen-grabbed slide scan from Dew's Kodachrome teaser put on the Internet prior to May 5 was so low-resolution that nothing could have been obtained from the placard. But this wasn't a case of specifically obscuring the placard.

The higher resolution slide shown at the May 5 event then released by Richard Dolan right afterward to Coast-to-Coast (and then placed by Dew on his website) is a very brightened version of the dark slide. As a result, the placard got light-blasted and lost most of the lettering detail. But it was NOT an attempt to obscure the placard. Nobody would have been able to read it anyway because the resolution of the overall slide was insufficient to read the much smaller placard and lettering.

The second slide seen after May 5 (maybe somebody's smartphone photo), at still lower resolution, does not have a light-blasted placard and the fact that there is dark lettering on the placard is very evident. So no attempt there to hide the fact that there is lettering on the placard.

So where was there an attempt to deliberately obscure the placard?

Paul Kimball said...

Kevin wrote (that Schmitt said):

Schmitt said, “What were they (the Roswell Slides Research Group, among all those others) reading? It was a screen grab.” He said that it was from the event in Mexico City and that the slides hadn’t yet been released. It was taken off the Internet. “And they’re able to read it…and nobody else has been able to read it… How do you explain that?”

Simple. We're smarter than they were, we worked harder at it than they did, we had no pre-conceived notions as to what the placard might say, we were open with everyone else on the team, and we had absolutely no vested financial interest in the outcome. Pick one or all of the above.

PK

Lance said...

Kevin,

David is correct in many of the details above about history of the deblur process.

We were given a very nice version of the placard that was first used by Nab Lator to deblur the slides. It was that version that convinced us that we had the solution. Later Adam Dew uploaded the very high resolution version of the thing and we confirmed the earlier results.

The image that Dew uploaded (and presumedly the one that David had) appears to have been manipulated---the levels have been adjusted and it may have been sharpened. I would be willing to bet that it is NOT the original scan. The very nice version we received first is much more neutral, characteristic of a raw scan. And it gets much better results.

David is not correct that no other software can do the deblur. Nab achieved good results in Photoshop CC as well (which, despite what David says above, does work rather like Smart Deblur).

My initial failures to get a good deblur had to do with not understanding how the software worked. Encouraged by Nab's results, I taught myself how to use the software. It was this that allowed me to get consistent results with the software. David would have had better results if he had understood how Smart Deblur worked, which he apparently did not (and still doesn't seem to). I taught myself the basics within an hour. The image isn't any more or less complex that any other for which the software was designed.

You don't have to be fed the settings...the software makes a guess and you refine the results of that guess.

It does take work, however. It doesn't just do the job for you.


Lance













KRandle said...

David, Lance -

I am well aware that they had a good quality copy of the scan right after the Mexico City event, but there was trouble with the provenance. Adam Dew solved that problem when he posted a good quality scan to his web site... So the history here is based on the facts that were available to all about that.

I have been told by others that various quality scans were provided to various people over the years, some that were heavily cropped and others that had been manipulated. The question really is if you are attempting to learn the truth, why are you manipulating the data...

I would also like to know why there doesn't seem to be many who actually saw the slides as opposed to scans of them. It would seem to me, based on what I have been told, that the placard should have been read prior to the events in Mexico.

So, the upshot here is that various people got various quality scans so that the true nature of the body had been obscured. It explains, in part, why the placard was not read earlier.

Don Maor said...

Lance said:
"David is not correct that no other software can do the deblur. Nab achieved good results in Photoshop CC as well (which, despite what David says above, does work rather like Smart Deblur)."

All right, but again, most probably the image version tried by Photoshop CC is the "nice version" received by your group from nobody knows who.

Gene Steinberg said...

The biggest exaggeration of all: The claim that one's Roswell Slides post is their last.

There will never be a final post until there are no more blogs. And then someone will find another way.

Peace,
Gene

Don Maor said...

Paul said:

"After all, our persistent searching took all of two days to find the answer. I have absolutely no problem holding the slides promoters to at least that standard."

We don't have a way to know for sure. Maybe you used 2 days to do the job, maybe more than 2 days. Nobody in the public knows exactly when did you receive the "very nice version" stated by Lance. Maybe you got it after the May 5 fiasco, but maybe you received it the day you "joked" that you already had the images and were going to release them on May 4. We don't know.

Lance said...

Don demonstrates the sort of pure disingenuousness that UFO dullards employee to support their belief:

zero critical thinking if the proposition is in support of Saucer Jesus.

hyper-criticallity if the proposition is disconfirming of their religion.

Fortunately we have a real time record of how things went down with time stamps, etc. on Facebook.

I'm sure we would be happy to allow someone outside the group to take a look if Don's latest kooky conspiracy-addled idea becomes part of the dumb story.

Lance

Lance said...

Don said (with the characteristic lack of evidence that accompanies all of his posts):

"All right, but again, most probably the image version tried by Photoshop CC is the "nice version" received by your group from nobody knows who."

"Most probably" is UFO speak for "I don't know but this is what I want to believe because I am a faithful UFO believer and I have no facts on my side therefore I will just make my facts up. Get ready! Here comes a UFO-fact!"

No, he did it with the Dew image. Not that the fact will give you one moment's pause or stop you from making up your own silly version of reality.


Lance

Steve Sawyer said...

This is also being discussed in the comment thread of Mark O'Connell's "High Strangeness" website, where Schmitt's statements on the "Fade to Black" podcast concerned are also being debated.

I put in my 3.7 cents there, in a two-part comment, so no need to copy them here, but for those curious about this specific "slides" topic, see:

http://www.highstrangenessufo.com/2015/05/human-or-alien-ufo-denial.html

Schmitt goes into fascinating depth during the Jimmy Church podcast in detailing what now appears to be a revisionist stance about the slides imagery, and the reasons that "it's not over."

He's right about that, as Gene S. here humorously notes, but for the wrong reasons.

Curt Collins said...

Don Maor seems to be struggling with when the RSRG got the first version of the placard scan. I can help with that.
It was May 8 at 12:57am CST, shared with our group by José Antonio Caravaca.
There was no hacking involved, just some old-fashioned techniques that involved using the passwords, "please" and "thank you,"

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qhKL7ve3dZM/VWuKjHKql2I/AAAAAAAAGhA/U8o8Rqcr7EY/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2015-05-31%2Bat%2B5.24.47%2BPM.jpg

David Rudiak said...

Kevin wrote:
I have been told by others that various quality scans were provided to various people over the years, some that were heavily cropped and others that had been manipulated. The question really is if you are attempting to learn the truth, why are you manipulating the data...

Have been told by whom? This is nothing but hearsay. Yes, my copies of the placard scan were cropped to show only the placard, but I see no evidence that they were "manipulated" in some fashion (despite Lance's blatherings to the contrary) to deliberately obscure what was there. (I am getting very tired of this accusations with zero evidence to back them up.)

In fact, once I knew people were having success with SmartDeBlur, I got a copy and was very lucky to choose a setting second try that successfully deblurred the all-caps top line on the placard scan I was sent that exactly matched what Dew put up on his website. Thus nothing was being hidden by some imaginary manipulation of the placard image. It was there all the time to be deblurred if done right.

There was more than one scan sent, some, e.g., appearing to have been through different color filters. (No explanation was received detailing how the various scans were done.) Yes, this is a form of "manipulation" of the image, but typical of what would be tried to bring out details, NOT to obscure them.

I would also like to know why there doesn't seem to be many who actually saw the slides as opposed to scans of them. It would seem to me, based on what I have been told, that the placard should have been read prior to the events in Mexico.

Depends on the software used and time devoted to it. I also found that I was lucky to get a good setting second try. Even a slight variation from that setting resulted in garbage results. Now imagine getting the setting wrong from the beginning and trying 20 different variations with bad results. After a while you can get discouraged and conclude that the software isn't going to be successful.

Again 20-20 hindsight that the image CAN be successfully deblurred using the proper software is ever so easy. Knowing that, you keep trying until you succeed in replicating the result.

Reminds me of the story of how Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez spent years trying to figure out how to make two lenses that could slide past one another and get a continuous change in power. Finally he figured it out and decided to show the equations and derivation to one of his grad students. The student said he wanted to figure it out himself, and came back the NEXT DAY with the same solution. The student explained to the humbled Alvarez that he had the advantage of knowing ahead of time that there was a solution. (The student was named Humphrey and he and Alvarez went on to establish Humphrey Instruments.)

Similarly a Manhattan Project physicist (Rabi?) once commented that the only real secret of the A-bomb is that it worked. (Again telling others ahead of time that it could be done.)

So, the upshot here is that various people got various quality scans so that the true nature of the body had been obscured.

Are you speaking of the placard only or the whole slide? I have heard or seen of no concrete evidence that the placard scan quality itself varied from person to person to whom the scans were sent.

It explains, in part, why the placard was not read earlier.

A very good quality whole slide would have better revealed the nature of the complex motion blur. Lacking that information may have contributed to not deblurring the placard ahead of time.

It also helps to know the full context of what the placard text was describing. Knowing it is a museum-like setting rather than something like a secret government lab can change the interpretation of the words even in the absence of deblurring. It certainly helped people read the thing after deblurring, even though most of the text remained very, very hard to read.

Lance said...

Unfortunately David, you seem not to understand the basics of digital imagery. It isn't blathering.

The Adam Dew scan (the same one you have, I think) is much more contrasty than other versions of the image that we have.
Raw scans are never this contrasty. If you don't understand this basic point (and if you can't see it) then all I can say is that you are a mighty fine UFO photo expert.

I am confident that someone added contrast to the Dew placard image and possibly sharpened it. I am not saying this was done for nefarious reasons. I don't know that. AND you have never seen me say that. Some folks change the levels according to taste.

But it wasn't helpful--the Dew image doesn't clean up as well as the less contrasty versions we have. And such manipulation isn't desirable for this purpose--the most neutral scan of the image is best.

Lance





TheDimov said...

I had the tiniest bit of relief when Don apologised. It seemed sincere - he simply got carried away, we can all desperately want to believe something, and although his credibility was utterly shot in my eyes, it at least was something.

With his backtracking now, all I can say is it is totally reprehensible and the man has not even the tiniest shred of integrity. Undoubtedly due to him having to put hands in pockets perhaps at some point he has reverted to full damage control, and perhaps this new, amazing explanation of his is this not out of a desperation to believe but indeed a true invented fiction and if this is the case he is lower than Massau himself, and that really is saying something.

Don Maor said...

Curt Collins wrote:
“Don Maor seems to be struggling with when the RSRG got the first version of the placard scan. I can help with that. It was May 8 at 12:57am CST, shared with our group by José Antonio Caravaca.“

Curt, are you telling me that the group first received the image from Caravaca in May-8th, and that from that image Nablator was able to decipher the placard writing in just a few hours, and that you posted the results of Nablator the same day, May-8th ? Not very credible and not consistent with the “two days” of work mentioned by Kimball.

“There was no hacking involved, just some old-fashioned techniques that involved using the passwords, "please" and "thank you,”

I have never accused you or your group of hacking anyone, and I have never said that the image that you or your group got was obtained via hacking.

Don Maor said...

"No, he did it with the Dew image. Not that the fact will give you one moment's pause or stop you from making up your own silly version of reality."

All right Lancie, you are right in that I can't easily accept your answer, but I would agree that is more reasonable to think that the Nab guy has made tests with all the images available, and all the softwares available, etc, etc...so your answer or my guess are more or less useless at this time.

Anyway, my conspiracist, feeverish and saucerjesueish mind is still asking WHEN were, and WHO, provided the images to the RSSGRSGRSSSRGGR group (was it that way?)

Curt Collins said...

Don Maor, the work wasn't finished at the time I posted the results of the scan. The two days reference is accurate, in that additional efforts were underway on different versions of the scans, by others recruited and from volunteers who independently duplicated the deblurring results.
The picture of the body contains a placard that identifies it as a mummified boy, and that's been proven to be a fact.

KRandle said...

Gene -

I had thought the debate over with the information on the placard being read. I thought it only fair to offer Carey and Schmitt an opportunity to explain what had happened, and I thought that Tom had erred in his statement. I thought Don understood the situation. I did not anticipate what would happen and felt an obligation to provide the new information.

Lance said...

Don Maor continues to embarrass himself.

Yes, that is what happened. The first deblur happened very quickly.

By 2:58 CST Nab had posted some results. "Seriously it's really promising. I think I can actually read a few words in the first line: MADE OF TWO !"

By 8:29 CST he had the great results (particularly on the first line) and those of us in the States started getting up and seeing this.

This was all on the first image.

Then we realized that we had to do the same thing with the Adam Dew image--that went into the evening. And that's why Paul mentioned two days (as an estimate not a pedantic exact figure as anyone but a UFO sycophant would see).

Lance

Brian Bell said...

Had a listen to Schmitt's comments on the radio interview from "Conartists in the Desert" conference - well he sounds like a baffoon who mentions his "apology" in such a way that he says "I offered it just to say it was time to step back and rethink and reexamine it". He clearly recants his original apology based on Carey's continuing claim (as an anthropologist) that "the body is not human". Carey still claims it's an alien.

So now he says these images are going to be put back out there again and as Don claims "another scientific event at a major university" is going to be held for skeptic and believing scientists to present their "best evidence" to refute or confirm this as an alien body.

He claims no matter what he and Carey would have said in Mexico the skeptics would have attempted to "demolish" him and Roswell.

New claims:

- No US scientist would deal with the slides and all but one refused to comment other than to say "you will never get US scientists to admit what this really is".

- So they only dealt with Mexican and Canadian scientists.

- That no one could read the placard then either and he doesn't know how anyone could have read it now because it remains unreadable. Basically saying without using the name that the RSRG's findings are suspect.

Is this guy mentally stable? Seriously? How much are they going to charge for this new upcoming event????

Nitram Ang said...

Don wrote:

"Maybe you used 2 days to do the job, maybe more than 2 days. Nobody in the public knows exactly when did you receive the "very nice version" stated by Lance. Maybe you got it after the May 5 fiasco..."

To be fair to these people Don, they didn't take long compared with the length of time that D & T took - even if they had the slides for a month or two, I would have to agree they did a much better job than the dream team.

Lance responded in unhelpful fashion:

"Don demonstrates the sort of pure disingenuousness that UFO dullards employee to support their belief..."

Maybe we never have been visited Lance and maybe your 100% correct, but go easy.

And Paul Kimball modestly wrote:

"We're smarter than they were, we worked harder at it than they did, we had no pre-conceived notions as to what the placard might say, we were open with everyone else on the team, and we had absolutely no vested financial interest in the outcome. Pick one or all of the above."

1. Wouldn't say you were smarter
2. Maybe you worked more efficiently in a shorter time period.
3. Correct - although I don't think D&T did either...
4. Yes, good point.
5. Yes, although, one day, if they do get their answer, the money will follow...

Regards
Nitram

Don Maor said...

Well Lance and Curt, Paul, if you say so, I congratulate you for the team job. That was a good work.

Tom said...

It began as a hoax. It matriculated as a hoax. It culminated as a hoax in Mexico City. The hoaxers pathetically and pathologically cling to the hoax for self-serving reasons. Anybody that says otherwise either has a vested interest in the hoax or, at best, is a fool. The few who ridiculously cling to this amateurish hoax attempt deserve our scorn.

As Paul Kimball cogently pointed out previously, one must look at not only the money which was generated from the Cinco De Mayo hoax show, but at what the hoaxers expected to be the tail end revenue from this hoax; Books, films, additional speaking gigs with honorariums, and eternal glorification - the evergreen affect.

Hoaxers - you're in an unsurmountable hole, stop digging further. We know that you will never come clean. But know this - All the soap in the world will not remove the stench of this hoax from the delusional reputation which you fantasize of. Forget the faux apologies. Within this realm, you will always be known as hoaxers.

As Jose Antonio Caravaca pointed out to me, the hoaxers are truly "Pathetique".

ufodebunker said...

So long as exists gullible folks who must believe regardless of the facts and those willing to take advantage of them this charade will never end!

David Rudiak said...

The picture of the body contains a placard that identifies it as a mummified boy, and that's been proven to be a fact.

Yes, that's what the placard says, but that doesn't necessarily alone prove it was a boy. I would guess there were remnants of a penis for this statement to have been made back in 1938, but that is just a guess. It certainly wasn't based on DNA testing and highly unlikely to have been based on examination of cells for X/Y chromosomes, which would be very hard to find in such an old body.

Another possibility, e.g., was badly deformed adult. There was a similar debate mentioned in an old 1940 Park Service story on the Mesa Verde mummies over another small body. Some experts thought it was a normal 5 or so year old boy. A few other experts thought it was a deformed adult cretin with a glandular deficiency that left him abnormally short and with abnormal bone structure. The matter was only partly settled by eventual dental x-ray indicating the dentation of a five-year-old. It remained unclear from the story whether or not there were actual abnormalities as some of the experts thought.

http://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/region_111/vol2-1c.htm

The point is even experts with an actual body in front of them to examine can sharply disagree based on external features only. No fraud is necessarily involved if some experts thought the slide mummy was highly abnormal.

Steve Sawyer said...

"It began as a hoax. It matriculated as a hoax. It culminated as a hoax in Mexico City. The hoaxers pathetically and pathologically cling to the hoax for self-serving reasons. Anybody that says otherwise either has a vested interest in the hoax or, at best, is a fool."

Not so fast, Tom. There's a lot of nuance to what happened.

It all depends on specifically who you are referring to, and how or what aspects are defined as a hoax. This situation is not simply a binary "black and white" one -- the long history of how this all came about, and why, is a much more "fine-grained" spectrum of shades of gray than is even now known, although if a couple of the principals who started it all spoke up (and were honest), things would be much clearer, but that's probably a forlorn hope.

Joe Beason and Adam Dew, who remain silent, know more than anyone, and may have intentionally used the "Dream Team" and others (the "scientists" and "experts") as surrogates to promote their efforts, and so I'd surmise they are most responsible, but the three members of the DT, their associates, and some of the "experts" may also have been misled, and combined with a strong "will to believe" and an inherent confirmation bias (and not requiring better source data), may now appear foolish, at least, in retrospect, but what really needs to be done is a "forensic" examination of all the players, who did what when and why, the nature of the photo evidence they were provided over time, and an investigation / timeline / analysis of all the particulars, if possible.

I've been closely following the online details of the "Roswell Slides" saga since early 2013, and this entire affair is much more complex, subtle, and byzantine than you may be presuming.

It's almost akin to a play, and the first and second acts have now unfolded, but there is another, third act to follow. Probably more.

It has been a fascinating, and quite revealing, sociological and anthropological drama that has yet to be fully told, and the "authors" are hiding out in Chicago with their heads down, hoping things will just blow over and people will "move on," but I suspect others will be writing the "final chapters" to this tale over the next few months, and there are a number of other "revelations" that may emerge.

David Rudiak has noted a few of the unresolved issues of concern regarding the versions of the slides provided by others, for example, and the difficulties in deciphering the placard that I find convincing to some degree so far, but there are other, more important matters involved that are still to be determined.

I just wonder what Beason and Dew really thought they were doing, or believed (and why), although venal, amoral greed seems to have been a central motivation, and whether we will see a strange, revisionist "left turn" or "mockumentary" ala the Ray Santilli-inspired "Ant & Dec"-acted "Alien Autopsy" comedy film that came out some years after the "Alien Autopsy" hoax.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_Autopsy_%28film%29 and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_autopsy

I sure hope not, but one never knows with certain people with potentially sociopathic tendencies. I don't think this scandal began as a "social experiment" or psyop as some have suggested, but it could end up as one, if further serious investigation is not done now to put the kibosh on that possibility, and the resultant lessons learned.

Well... one can hope, can't they? 8^}

Curt Collins said...

I almost forgot that Anthony Bragalia made another statement since his apology, too.
In an email to José Antonio Caravaca, AJB makes some accusations of deception against Adam Dew and his silent partner (Joe Beason).
(In Spanish, but site has the Google translator.)
http://caravaca.blogspot.com.es/2015/05/diapositivas-de-roswell-declaracion-de.html

flip said...

@David Rudiak

I've been lurking on these posts out of curiousity. Your comments strike me as odd. Why does it matter where the mummy is now or what it actually looks like? What's your motivation for finding out?

It should have been clear from the start that science-by-press-release would probably be bad science, that the 'experts' involved didn't do due diligence by publishing in peer-reviewed journals (ie. bad science) and that it's possible the 'experts' themselves are just bad scientists.

You seem to want to continue the investigation into the mummy purely to excuse the behaviour of those involved. Ie. "they're not bad people, just mistaken". Which is fine, up to a point. Yes people can be mistaken or misled, but this is clearly a textbook case of how NOT to do science. The task now is not to find out how people could have been mistaken based on possible malformations, but rather to look at the methodology used to come to those conclusions. With confirmation bias left unchecked; no sense of prior plausibility, null hypothesis or Occam's razor; no peer review or transparency; no wider consensus from scientists based on shared data; reliance on bad data; more interest in selling a story than in the truth (at least it seems on Dew's part)... is it any wonder the evidence isn't what they said it was?

If Schmitt now seems to be saying that a public science forum will be done where scientists will submit their findings, and the suggestion that critics should provide evidence it's not alien, then that's another example of their backwards approach to investigation.

"No fraud is necessarily involved if some experts thought the slide mummy was highly abnormal."

You're right. But investigating the mummy further isn't necessary to see why, how and where these 'experts' failed. In all the comments I've read on this at various blogs, it surprises me that no one bothers to make the suggestion that UFO proponents change tactics and use the scientific method and peer review in order to diminish possibilities of bias. That to me says a lot more than any mummy-digging-up could about how things went wrong.

Creating apologetics for those involved only serves to continue to keep UFOlogy in the realm of pseudoscience and fringe research.

-- On a side note, the continued research into the mummy makes you seem insensitive to the wish by the Native Americans and curators to leave the dead be. Which is more important, your curiousity or respect for the dead?

Tom said...

Steve,

Well, I guess since I feel that any rational person can plainly see, without using Smart DeBlur on the placard, that what is shown on the slide is obviously a human mummy in a museum setting. I'm not an anthropologist, but I do have a set of functioning eyes. Point is, for me at least, this is not a case of misidentification, for I believe all parties involved to be at least reasonably intelligent. If one rules out misidentification, what is left? For me, a purposeful obfuscation of the truth.

Lance said...

Flip,

Thanks for the comments above. I agree 100%.

Lance

Neal Foy said...

If I understand what the debunker crowd is saying then there seems to be a little duplicity here. When someone presents a picture of a UFO, alien body, whatever, they say that it isn't good enough, we want to see the real UFO, body etc. Now that there is an outside chance to see the real body of the mummy they are saying the opposite. No need to see the body we already know enough from the picture alone. A very bad picture at that. Something just doesn't add up.

Wouldn't it be better from a scientific standpoint to be 100% sure rather than 99.99% sure?

@Flip , let's not go there with the PC nonsense, archaeologists do this all the time.

cda said...

Whoever said there was an outside chance of seeing the real body? Is he being serious?

You certainly would need to see the real body to have the slightest chance of proving it was an ET, i.e. proving it to the scientific world. You do not need to see the body to establish the object is a mummy (although it helps if you do have the body).

Neal Foy said...

CDA,
David Rudiak appears to think the mummy is in the hands of the NPS, you would have to ask him if he's serious.
I'm glad that you agree that it would be better to have the body, that shows consistency with the idea that more evidence than a picture is needed for proof.

Brian Bell said...

@Neal Foy -

I don't think its that complicated nor are skeptics applying some sort of double standard.

Facts:

- The mummy has been identified as human by past experts and associated with Mesa Verde. It's a child mummy and possibly one with birth defects.

- The placard IS readable despite what Dream Team and friends continue to claim is unreadable. It was read within 24 hours not the 3 years promoters claimed it took but yielded zero results.

- Appologies given have now been oddly recanted in certain ways pointing fingers back at skeptics claiming there is still an outside chance this is an alien (Carey certainly claims this as does Maussan and Rudiak cleary advocates the possibility).

- The owner of the slides has been deceptive to many involved with a motive still unkown but possibly associated with greed and mockery.

- Rudiak claims the NPS is giving him an intentional runaround as means to advocate that they are hiding facts which he believes supports a possible alien body.

If the body was previously identified as human by past archeologists then why do we need a hands on inspection to prove them right or wrong? Should we then demand all mummies worldwide be reexamined under doubt that they might have been purposely or inadvertently misidentified and thus are really aliens?

I think the evidence already speaks for itself.

Neal Foy said...

Brian,

I wouldn't disagree with some of what you said. But it is a fact that scientists have made mistakes in the past. From the beginning I've believed that this whole thing resembled a carnival side show complete with barkers. I wouldn't give it the dignity of calling it a circus because it's that would be an insult to the circus industry.

On the other hand I see no reason not to complete the investigation if at all possible. Pure speculation, but maybe a rare genetic defect could be identified. Wouldn't that be of value to science?

Sorry, but I do see a double standard. If a picture of a disc like craft were to be presented with a placard that said "This is the disc recovered at Roswell" the skeptics would be screaming from the rooftops about a fake and wanting the real disc. To be honest I would want the real disc too. A picture just isn't good enough.

Lance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lance said...

A photo never would have been enough to prove the idiotic premise.

In the real world, Neal, great evidence would be needed to prove the flying saucer fantasy.

There is a basic fallacy that UFO believers suffer with: your unsupported beliefs don't stand on the same ground as prosaic real world explanations for UFO nonsense.

We have endless examples of prosaic causes as the explanations for UFO tales.

We have NO compelling evidence for anything else.

So yes, skeptics (or anyone with a brain) WOULD demand more evidence than a photo of a saucer. But considering the provenance, etc., further evidence isn't required to accept that a mummy labeled as a mummy that looks like a mummy is, in fact, a mummy.

Those two propositions are not equal, although, knowing how believers think, I realize that you imagine that they are. Your UFO world is not the real world.

In order to get the mean old skeptics and the mythical debunkers to come around, you have to knock it out of the park with something convincing in the way of evidence.

This incredibly stupid episode was never gonna do that.

The real insight is that these great "researchers" were so deluded that they actually thought this would mean something even it it hadn't been exposed as an epic fail.

And to now try to find some excuse for the stupidity and ineptness by attributing any value to the doofuses who say that they see a humanoid gecko in that photo, is just piling stupidity upon stupidity.

There is no use pretending that UFO "research" and particularly Roswell "research" is anything other than preconceived and biased wish fulfillment by mostly amateur, inept, foolish and unscientific clods.

David Rudiak said...

flip wrote:

Your comments strike me as odd. Why does it matter where the mummy is now or what it actually looks like? What's your motivation for finding out?

It should have been clear from the start that science-by-press-release would probably be bad science, that the 'experts' involved didn't do due diligence by publishing in peer-reviewed journals (ie. bad science) and that it's possible the 'experts' themselves are just bad scientists.


There may be more to the story. Since I know Tom Carey and Don Schmidt, and personally don't believe they would have knowingly participated in a hoax. So yes, more, better information may at least partially exonerate their actions, or maybe not.

I am trying to do it more scientifically right now instead of investigation by proclamation, a ton of which is happening right now on various blogs, based on nothing more than personal opinion and speculation. "'Science' by press release" is also taking place on the skeptical side, such as, "I'm no expert, but it is instantly obvious to me this is normal human child mummy. Everybody involved with this was obviously out to swindle the public."

People are tempted to make everything black or white, but reality is often more nuanced. By citing another controversial small mummy mentioned in an old 1940 NPS article on the mummies, I was pointing out determination of normal/abnormal can be controversial even when the body is right in front of the experts for examination. One group thought it was a normal five year old, the other an abnormal, deformed adult. Dental X-ray eventually indicated a 5-year-old. Did that make the medical experts thinking deformed adult "hoaxers"? It also wasn't cleared up whether there were indeed skeletal abnormalities. If there were abnormalities, the experts thinking deformed adult may still have been partially right.

Since we now know the actual provenance of the body and who had possession for nearly 80 years (National Park Service), there should be official documentation out there (like old scientific/medical studies of the mummy with hopefully photos, xrays, etc.) that would finally resolve the issue of what the mummy represents, such as normal human child or abnormal human body, maybe even a deformed adult.

Now why people continue to object to finding more information is beyond me. That is what actual scientific investigation is about in the end, isn't it? I am an agnostic and perfectly happy to live with whichever way the evidence turns out.

Paul Kimball said...

There is no "nuance" here. The placard has been clearly deciphered and it's a mummy. End of story. Anything else just allows the perpetrators of this scam (and yes, it was a scam) to continue to milk it (witness, for example, recent statements by Maussan and Schmitt, or people like Strieber and Linda Moulton Howe joining in, always a sure sign that there are still $$ to be made).

Anyone involved with this mess after May 5th should be shunned, and probably branded with a scarlet S for stupid or a C for crooked. For those involved before May 5th, there are varying degrees of culpability I'm sure, but what's the point of trying to really pin it down. There will always be those who think Schmitt is clean as the driven snow, even though he has a long record of being less than forthcoming with the truth. Carey has been his partner for decades. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to draw some basic conclusions from that relationship. There isn't really much one can say to folks like that except "caveat emptor." But trying to pin this all on Dew is a bit much. Yes, he's a culprit, but as I said above, the others either knew, or they should have known, what was going on. Either one is just as bad.

David Rudiak said...

Brian Bell hysterically wrote:
"Rudiak claims the NPS is giving him an intentional runaround as means to advocate that they are hiding facts which he believes supports a possible alien body."

Brian Bell making up things as usual. I never said anything of the sort. The runaround has to do with Native American politics and sensitivities. The contact person giving me the runaround happens to be of Indian heritage and obviously an advocate of Indian rights. To her, asking for more information on the body is being "disrespectful" of the dead.

It also probably has to do with government bureaucrats who simply don't want to be bothered and would rather be doing something else. One way to try to get rid of people is to indeed give them the runaround and hope they get frustrated and finally go away.

It could also legitimately have something to do with the NPS being underfunded and having limited staff and time to do the necessary searches.

I did locate the great grandnephew of S.L. Palmer Sr., the man who originally excavated the body. (Also the great grandson of Richard Wetherill, the discover of the cliff dwellings and chief exploiter of artifacts.) The GG nephew was trying to find out more about the Palmer side of the family. He knew a little about some of the Palmer/Wetherill artifacts, but didn't know anything about the mummy. He did tell me he wasn't surprised by what was happening. Lack of cooperation from the NPS on such issues is the norm, he said.

Jack Brewer said...

Flip, Lance, Paul et al,

Right. Absolutely. The whole pretense from Team Slides essentially hung on making a determination as to whether they were really incompetent investigators that completely ignored the professional research process, or really, REALLY incompetent investigators that completely ignored the professional research process. Attempts to currently clarify the differences leave a great deal to be desired in the way of practicality. Doing so really comes down to trying to rationalize why people conducted themselves in unacceptable manners, from my vantage point.

Neal Foy said...

"There is no use pretending that UFO "research" and particularly Roswell "research" is anything other than preconceived and biased wish fulfillment by mostly amateur, inept, foolish and unscientific clods."

This sounds really foolish, amateurish and unscientific coming from someone who is trying so desperately to prove a negative. Actually that would make the average person believe that you're a few bricks short of a full load. What do you intend to do with those bricks Lance? Maybe you can build a wall to beat your head against.

I'm not an ETer, in fact I'm an ET agnostic. But unlike you I accept the possibility of ET visitation as well as the possibility of no visitation. On UFOs I have no choice, I've seen one up close and personal. None of your psychobabble will convince me otherwise.

cda said...

Let us stop and consider:

Someone comes across two slides showing an unusual human body, maybe a child, maybe a small adult but still human in appearance. These slides are part of a box containing other photos or slides dated to the 1940s.

Tell me this: why should ANYONE suppose the slides depict an extraterrestrial being? Why would such a thought enter his or her head? I suppose the answer lies in the fact that someone got hold of the slides who just happened to know a bit about the Roswell case, and the phony story proceeded from there. It could just as easily have happened with Aztec. Presumably the reason it was linked with Roswell and not Aztec is that the former is far better known than the latter and much more in the public mind (Aztec is hardly known to anyone outside ufology).

Anyway, that is my conclusion. Had the wretched mummy slides turned up in the UK they would, almost certainly, have been linked with a British UFO 'crash', such as Rendlesham. Yes, you may be certain that SOMEONE would have 'discovered' that link, whatever the difference in dates. Such is ufoology.

Great stuff, isn't it?

KRandle said...

CDA -

Your question, about how we moved from slides of a strange looking body to the idea that was alien was a question that I had asked repeatedly in the last several months. I just couldn't understand why you would assume that it was an alien and sort of begin the work at that point. I never received a satisfactory answer to that question.

Even without seeing the slides, I tried to figure out what it could be. Looking at the science fiction in movies in the 1940s, I could find nothing that resembled anything truly alien. The science fiction magazine covers often had bizarre aliens but that was a closed circle with relatively few who read it. All I could think of was a mummy of some kind and asked if that was a possibility. Tom Carey told me in December 2014 that it was not. They had looked at hundreds of mummies and found nothing that matched.

Paul Kimball said...

There are only two reasons why a person would have looked at it and put forward the claim that it was a space alien.

One, that's where the money is.

Two, your will to believe is so strong that your most basic critical faculties no longer function.

I'm not really sure which is worse.

PK

Brian Bell said...

@Rudiak -

You said "There may be more to the story. Since I know Tom Carey and Don Schmidt, and personally don't believe they would have knowingly participated in a hoax."

Your kidding, right?

2013 YouTube video of Schmitt at a major UFO conference - he states clearly that he and Tom purposely lead NGeo TV cable producers and three other UFO investigators to the WRONG Roswell crash site so they wouldn't find anything - he said he lied to them on purpose just to keep them away and to get back at NGeo for their prior stance on Roswell. He laughed at an audience of UFOlogists and believers as he said this thinking himself smug.

Did you hear that? He said he lied to them...means he did it in the past and not so long ago either.

I can only assume if they are friends of yours that you too endorse propagating fake and false information (lying) like the rest of them.

Beginning to think with your effort to prove them innocent in all of this, and with your own involvement in the slides, that you probably bear some responsibility in this hoax as well. Do you?

And if NPS Native American people don't want to answer your ridicous inquiries about the mummy because they state they are offensive to the dead...then why do you persist? Because you think yourself more important? Because you have "rights"? Or because you think it an ALIEN???

TheDimov said...

Good God its a mummy, its in a glass case, there are people looking at it taking photos as one does at a museum, the placard was deciphered, it can even be made out somewhat without any manipulation so WHY on earth flog this dead horse any longer, and concurrently beat up on the spirit of this long dead child? It took half an instant to see it was a mummy - why do you think the "dream team" flocked to Mexico for starters, and why on earth did they show the photo BLUE on the screen?? Why? If its a smoking gun as it is, why the need to change the colour completely - a more "alien" type bluish-greyish perhaps. Because a single glimpse at the thing renders the whole thing redundant and its just plain stupid to take things any further. That is of course unless you are desperately trying to save face, save money, avoid lawsuits, or most likely, all of the above.

Kevin's blog post said quite enough I think.

Tom said...

TheDimov,

Well said. It's useless arguing with these ridiculous Sliders. It's as if Schmitt retracted his apology because somebody (his partner?) told him there was still money which can be made off this fiasco. Unfortunately this is probably true. These people are vultures looking to pick the pockets completely clean of the low-information true believing enthusiasts. So low, so ridiculous, so heinous it boggles the mind.

This episode brought this quote to mind -


"Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

And it is with those words, spoken by Joseph Nye Welch to Senator Joe McCarthy, that a career was over, and along with it an ugly season of confusion and pain upon the American consciousness.

It's about time all those with integrity either in or interested in ufology follow a similar strategy to fight against these barefaced money grubbing fools. Some have already signaled that such a thing is in the air.

Don Maor said...

Brian wrote:
"2013 YouTube video of Schmitt at a major UFO conference"

Put the specific link here Brian.

David Rudiak said...

Brian Bell wrote:
And if NPS Native American people don't want to answer your ridicous inquiries about the mummy because they state they are offensive to the dead...then why do you persist? Because you think yourself more important? Because you have "rights"? Or because you think it an ALIEN

Yes BellTroll. All members of the public have rights to PUBLIC domain government information. It's called the Freedom of Information Act. Heard of it? It doesn't matter if government employees handling the requests think the inquiries are annoying, offensive, stupid, "ridicous", disrespectful, vapid, or anything else. As long as the request for information does not fall under any of the exemptions to the Act (such as national security), you do not have to establish a "need to know". The standard for the last 50 years is the public has a "right to know", since government in a democracy needs to be as transparent as possible.

All I was asking for in the end was what archival information did the NPS have on this mummy? After 3 weeks of asking, I have still been told nothing. That's like asking a librarian what books they have on the shelf on mummies and being told they they don't have to tell me anything because it is disrespectful of the dead people pictured in the book.

But I guess you are just one of those people that thinks the public should just go away if some bureaucrat doesn't want to answer questions, when it is their LEGAL duty to respond to such questions.

And I noticed how you deliberately tried to change the subject after I confronted you on lying about the substance of my remarks. You claimed I was accusing the NPS of engaging in a coverup to hide that they had an alien. You are truly pathetic.

Now everybody else, what difference does it make if I am looking for further information? Am I asking you to spend time doing it? Am I asking to send money to FundMe? How I spend my time does not affect your lives in any way and is also none of your business.

You demand more "scientific" standards of investigation. But when I say I am trying to get more definitive data (like an X-ray or other photos or a scientific journal report), which is part of being "more scientific" (get it?), a bunch of posters here throw a hissy fit.

Brian Bell said...

@Rudiak -

Sure the government is supposed to respond to legitimate inquiry - but what you're asking is really something else. You keep mentioning FOIA as though you filed one - YOU DID NOT.

As I said, no agency is REQUIRED by law to respond to emails, phone calls, or letters addressed to them. It's their choice given time, resources, priorities, and subject of the inquiry. You act as though they are supposed to call you back tomorrow on your cell phone with immediate answers to your questions.

Given that you persist even after the NPS rep said it was encroaching on sacred Native American tradition, you ignore that completely.

You think they're stupid? They know the controversy over this mummy given the recent charade and because you told them about it by your inquiry. They can google you easily. Perhaps what they are saying is this..."that nutcase UFO guy keeps calling and emailing 'cause he thinks this mummy is an alien...another nut case...let him follow official channels...we have better things to do."

Steve Sawyer said...

@Brian:

You really need to calm down, and be more reasonable and less emotionally reactive, IMHO. If you do, you'll be perceived as and actually be more effective, hopefully.

David, as would most people, approached the NPS directly, and initially somewhat informally to see what, if anything, they could tell him about "the mummy."

He may decide to file an FOIA, if it seems appropriate and necessary (looks like it may be, if they still don't want to cooperate or extend basic courtesies about public inquiry of some degree of public interest -- I'm still wondering what happened to the NPS June 1st press release about the mummy, if that's what was in the offing), but my point is that blatantly making angry, ad hominem statements about Rudiak's efforts, motives, sanity, intelligence and intent just seems, to me, well, gosh... sort of counter-productive.

I'd say the same about a few other people commenting here who make generically similar blanket statements or strident claims, from both "debunkers" and "believers," but the little conflict you have going here lately with DR just seems really unnecessary and a tad over the top.

Please, folks, I'm asking all nicely so that further objective discussion and rational debate can proceed, at least for all so inclined. [Sermonette over] 8^}

David Rudiak said...

Brian Bell wrote:
Sure the government is supposed to respond to legitimate inquiry - but what you're asking is really something else. You keep mentioning FOIA as though you filed one - YOU DID NOT.

You're right, no FOIA YET, as I was trying to do this informally (actually trying to be courteous as FOIA places restraints on response times), but if information is not forthcoming as promised then I will be filing an official FOIA.

Given that you persist even after the NPS rep said it was encroaching on sacred Native American tradition, you ignore that completely.

"Sacred Native American tradition", does not apply to government archival material, which is governed by the laws of FOIA, dimwit. What next Brian: Librarians don't allow checking out of books on Native Americans because it violates some "sacred Native American tradition", such as pictures of religious objects or bodies?

"Sacred Native American tradition" applies only to actual physical artifacts under the 1990 Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and even here this is not absolute, leaving open scientific investigation and lack of clear provenance as possible exemptions to the Act. (There are also exemptions for private collections or any collections not receiving Federal funding.) Congress in writing the legislation tried to strike a balance between legitimate scientific investigation and respect of Native American rights.

In fact, there has been prolonged litigation for the last 25 years by museums and other holders of such artifacts about this very aspect of the law. The classic example is "Kennewick Man" found in Washington state, 9000 years old, and of still questioned American Indian heritage:

Wikipedia: "...his anatomical features were quite different from those of modern Native Americans, scientists thought that his relationship to other ancient people was uncertain. The finding of the skeleton triggered a nine-year legal clash between scientists, the U.S. government, and Native American tribes that claim Kennewick Man as one of their ancestors and want the remains returned to them under NAGPRA. In February 2004, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a cultural link between any of the Native American tribes and the Kennewick Man could not be proved because of the age of the remains. Its ruling allowed scientific study of the remains to continue, while the USACE [Army Corp of Engineers] retained custody of the remains..."

No doubt if I contacted the Army Corp and asked them for their archival material on Kennewick Man out of sheer curiosity, Brian Bell thinks they have the right to turn me down for being "disrespectful" of "sacred Native American tradition."

Being "disrespectful" varies a great deal from culture to culture. You can go to Guanajuato Mexico and buy tickets to their famous mummy museum with over a hundred mummies on display, including a fetus and children. We aren't talking mummies thousands or many hundreds of years old, but fairly recently deceased people less than 200 years old (specifically 1833 who died in an epidemic), but too poor to stay interred in a cemetery. The first of these was put on display in 1865 and could easily have been somebody living's spouse, sibling, or parent.

Go to Saint Pauls Cathetral in Rome and there on full public display are the skeletal and mummified remains of over 90 Popes.

Go to the catacombs of Paris and you will see the bones of 6 million former Parisians stacked like cordwood, emptied out of graveyards to make way for the living.

Go to the ossuary of Douaumont in northern France and you can see the bones of some 130,000 soldiers killed in the battle of Verdun only 100 years ago. I bet there are more than a few living person's grandfathers on display there.

Macabre, yes, but "disrespectful"? Depends on the person.

Jeanne Ruppert said...

David Rudiak, I posted this suggestion for you in another comments thread here a few days ago and am reposting it in case it will help you succeed with the Park Service.

In the circumstances of an impending reburial of the mummy shown in the slides it might be advisable to request a hearing by a state administrative procedures court, which could rule on whether the federal law and any state laws corresponding to it actually prohibit the Park Service officials from granting researchers access to the archives at the Mesa Verde museum.

Potentially such a hearing could also lead to an administrative court order to delay the reburial until after a forensic examination of the body can be conducted.

I do recommend consulting an attorney licensed to practice in that state to advise you whether a motion filed with the applicable administrative procedures court is likely to be heard sooner than a motion filed in a civil court.

Good luck.

Good luck.

cda said...

I presume that what David Rudiak is doing, in making enquiries in regard to the mummy in the slides, could have been done long ago by Schmitt, Carey, Adam Dew, Tony Bragalia or indeed anyone else involved in handling these slides in the early days.

Why wasn't it done? You don't need 'experts' in anthropology to file an FOIA request.

Is it because the above people were so besotted by the idea that the slides depicted an alien being that they thought it unnecessary to pursue the matter further?

Or was it the desire to maximize the profits to be gained thereby (as per Paul Kimball's suggestion)?

Next time I come across a photo of an odd, perhaps deformed, looking human in a photograph I shall immediately assume it is of an extraterrestrial that landed on, or crashed to, earth in recent times, have a few unnamed experts examine the photo, then arrange for a large international conference to display it. With maximum publicity, of course. After all the world needs to be told.

Brian Bell said...

"Next time I come across a photo of an odd, perhaps deformed, looking human in a photograph I shall immediately assume it is of an extraterrestrial that landed on, or crashed to, earth in recent times, have a few unnamed experts examine the photo, then arrange for a large international conference to display it."

Indeed...can think of a dozen or so right now that fit that bill....

Brian Bell said...

@Steve Sawyer -

Why are you not holding Rudiak to the same standard?

KRandle said...

Brian -

"2013 YouTube video of Schmitt at a major UFO conference - he states clearly that he and Tom purposely lead NGeo TV cable producers and three other UFO investigators to the WRONG Roswell crash site so they wouldn't find anything - he said he lied to them on purpose just to keep them away and to get back at NGeo for their prior stance on Roswell. He laughed at an audience of UFOlogists and believers as he said this thinking himself smug."

Unless you can post a link to this claim, remove it or I will.

Tony Stark said...

KRandle wrote:

"Brian -

"2013 YouTube video of Schmitt at a major UFO conference - he states clearly that he and Tom purposely lead NGeo TV cable producers and three other UFO investigators to the WRONG Roswell crash site so they wouldn't find anything - he.....

.....Unless you can post a link to this claim, remove it or I will."

Please then, KRandle, either prove or remove this statement I found about Schmitt (along with so many more), OK?:

"I do now understand why some of those at the International UFO Museum in
Roswell thought that I had slandered people. Obviously this is another tale
spread by Schmitt, attacking me. Given the fact that we don't associate
anymore, it is not surprising.

But here is a fact that should be surprising to everyone. While we worked
together, he was telling witnesses and his friends not to speak to me because
I was a government agent who had been planted on him. Nevermine that it was
Schmitt who suggested that I join the Roswell investigation, I had been
planted on him. Here was my friend telling people not to talk to me because I
worked for the government. Why would he do such a thing if he is the
upstanding, honest man that Radcliffe suggests?

In fact, Schmitt has told friends that he doesn't engage in the character
assassination that is so common in the UFO field. Yet what does he think that
his tales to these others represent. He is telling them I'm a government
agent, that I slander and libel people, that I can't be trusted. None of this
is true, but he's out there making the allegations and even when friends of
his are aware of it, somehow it becomes my fault. I really wish they would
think these things through and not let personal loyalties color rational
thought."

http://www.ufomind.com/area51/list/1997/nov/a04-003.shtml

Sauce for the goose, Mr Randle - the odds will be even!

Brian Bell said...

@Tony Stark

Well they aren't really even because Kevin says this is his blog, which it is, and he can remove or delete anything he wishes. So basically the rules, if there are any that are defined, don't apply to him.

I'll find the video, just give me day or so. If not reeve it and I will repost.

Brian Bell said...

@Rudiak and all...

Ok David, this wasn't too hard.

This morning I called the Mesa Verde park director at 9:30 am CST and he returned my call at 11:15 am CST.

I didn't get any run around but maybe I just know what to ask and more strait forward than you.

This is what you asked for. He told me this:

1) FOIA has already been submitted by someone else more than a week ago pertaining to the mummy.

2) NPS, like all agencies, has a FOIA officer that is already researching information for disclosure.

3) Anticipated response time to that FOIA is estimated June 15 or close to it.

4) The mummy is no longer at the Mesa Verde museum but at a different park. It has not been reburied.

5) The mummy was on display about 1937-1938 then removed due to reasons unknown but being researched as stated previously.

6) The placard was produced at the museum and they believe the wording and text, as suggested by those who deciphered it, to be correct. It is a human boy.

7) They believe the image offered to the public had the text on the placard whited out for readons unkown to them. They simply said the text had clearly been whited out on the original image.

8) They do believe the body to be what the placard says it is based on what they know. human not alien.

9) The mummy was not on display long and as a result, since it was moved, they do not have any further info at the Mesa Verde museum - this is why they are researching it further via the FOIA request.

10) Once the FOIA officer has completed the research and gained NPS approval to release what can be released, all inquiries (there have been many by phone and email), will be responded to individually based on the info from the FOIA, but not before.

11) He did ask me to remind everyone, as I said previously, that they do have a park to run and this comes first, and inquiries of this kind are not staffed to handle immediately and take time. He asked me to tell you to be patient.

There...was that hard? How can "a troll like me" get those answers for you in hours of inquiry? Humm....

Don't believe me? Call him yourself or wait till the June 15 or so release of info.





Don Maor said...

Brian Bell said "How can "a troll like me" get those answers for you in hours of inquiry? Humm...."

It seems that trolls do research sometimes, now please get that link from the "2013 YouTube video" about Schmitt, or the "troll" tag will keep alive.

KRandle said...

Tony Stark -

Actually this is my blog and my rules so I decide what is good for the goose. However, you bring up material that is twenty years old while Brian posted a note from Youtube that is two... and the alleged quote is outrageous... all that has been asked is that he provide a link to it...

Now, Max Littell stood in the International UFO Museum and screamed at me that I was only in it (UFO and Roswell research) for the money and that I regularly slandered people. He knew this because Don Schmitt had told him so... He also screamed that I was a writer of fiction which is a complaint that Stan Friedman began making more than twenty years ago and continues to make today. Take a look at "The Jim Ragsdale Story" published by Littell for confirmation of some of this.

I have letters from two different people who knew Don well who told me that he had said that I was a government agent planted on him. He told them and others than I shouldn't be trusted.

You might want to read the posting by Brian Radcliff, defending Don in which some of these allegations and others are raised.

Brian -

Since you can't seem to understand the rules here, I'll give you some of the secrets. Insult me and I remove the post. Slander or Libel people, or come close, I remove the post. Get overly snarky... and you're close with your latest, I remove the post (that one would have been gone, except there is some good information in it). If you ask Lance, he seems to believe that I'm overly critical on the skeptics who post here. Most of the time it is a judgement call and it is my judgement, so the line is somewhat fluid... If you don't like the rules, then you are free to take your business elsewhere. No one asked you here.

The point is that I try to keep it civil but so many of you make that difficult. I don't know what you were taught growing up, but it doesn't seem to be common courtesy.

And I thought that a troll was someone who attempted to hijack postings, moving the topic away from the point... which is what has happened here.

KRandle said...

Mortem Foray -

Sorry... your posts were just too silly to consider.

Lance said...

Hi Kevin,

I think you are pretty fair here. And it is your blog.

I suggest that pro-UFO folks are apt to take something a skeptic says as being more combative than it necessarily is. And their responses sometimes carry a lot of baggage. I am more than willing to give back as good as I get but I do endeavor to not be the one who starts it. Do I fail at that sometimes? Probably.

Remember that more than a few regulars here talk about mythical debunkers, skeptibunkers, pseudo-skeptics, etc. They start out with the premise that any skeptic is a liar who won't consider their sparkling evidence because they are dishonest or disinformation agents or evil in some way. So if you already have that opinion of anyone who questions your UFO mythology, the lack of civility pops up pretty quickly.


Lance




Mortem Foray said...

@ Kevin

No problem, I was just trying to highlight how this is starting to run away from the plain facts, and how fiction can start to take hold in these situations.

Best - Mortem

Brian Bell said...

@Kevin and Don:

"..and the alleged quote is outrageous..."

Well not really. See the link below. I have quoted him verbatim in this text. As I said previously he states he deliberately led National Geographic producers to the wrong site. Maybe you think that isn't lying.. But he was acting as a consultant to the show and probably paid to do so.

My only correction is that this is 2013 not 2014...at the LA MUFON conference he has spoken at many times.

Starts at:

14:16 sec mark

Schmitt begins "giving updates" starting with the National Geographic Channel's Roswell documentary (which he didn't like because it wasn't pro-ET).

Bear in mind he was contacted as an expert consultant on National Geographic's Roswell episode which he references saying..."You also have the UFO Chasers on National Geographic."

Goes on saying. "...when we filmed this documentary...they found debris and a military button..suggesting the military was out there in 1947..."

Says next:

"Well I want to state for the record that we never took them to the correct site....{laughter comes from the audience}....for obvious reasons....every time we worked with them [National Geographic] it's been a hatchet job...so we thought we would show them who was still running the show...and that they [National Geographic] would then turn around and claim that they found something...remnants...and they were not even at the correct site....so this is investigative journalism? If they can't get it right on the site...that they recreate and shoot something afterwards...that's just one example."

So get this straight:

He was approached by National Geographic to be a consultant to a Roswell episode of NGeo's UFO Chasers cable show (Note: Actual name is Chasing UFOs Schmitt got it wrong). That show was hosted by James Fox (ET believer supreme), Ben McGee, and Erin Ryder.

He states that he deliberately mislead them to the wrong site meaning producers and Fox, McGee, and Ryder.

He states they found a military button (it was actually a USAF button) and metallic debris...then laughs it off by criticizing how stupid their journalism is because they couldn't figure out he lied to them about proper location and claims they staged the artifact finding as a result.

Sorry...he lied to them plain and simple and confesses that it was to "show them who is still running the show".

If you ask me directions and I purposely tell you to go 50 miles in the wrong direction with the intention of showing you who is really in charge...that is not simple misdirecting directing...it's premeditated lying.

That's the guy many of you are banking your ET beliefs on.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4P2F0i9yLKk


KRandle said...

Brian -

Of course you misunderstood... the quote is outrageous. I wanted to be sure that it was accurate, given the outrageous nature of it.

I will say, that the button found wouldn't have been from the events of July 1947 because the Air Force didn't exist and if they had known what they were doing, it would have been an Army button... but then who wears a Class "A" uniform into the field at the beginning of July.

But the point was, I wanted those who visit here to have easy access to the quote.

Brian Bell said...

Then just say that please. And yes of course it wasn't from 1947. If I recall having looked at that episode sometime ago, it was a standard dress uniform USAF 15 mm pocket button of modern construction. Of course James Fox, who at times is completely delirious about ET, wouldn't have known any different. He did actually discover it with a metal detector but who knows if it was planted there or not.

cda said...

"That's the guy many of you are banking your ET beliefs on."

Probably not that many bank on Schmitt these days. Remember also that it was Schmitt who rewrote Walter Haut's affidavit for him. I say 'rewrote' because Haut had already written one some years before, totally different from its sequel. Rather a severe case of either change of memory or change of mind. Which is it?

Yes we are off topic and I therefore qualify as a troll of some sort. Sorry.

Nitram Ang said...

Don Maor wrote:

"It seems that trolls do research sometimes, now please get that link from the "2013 YouTube video" about Schmitt, or the "troll" tag will keep alive."

Your wasting your time Don - the "troll" and the "Klass clown" are one and the same - can't be two people so similar in their thought processes posting on this blog.

Regards
Nitram

Lance said...

NItram--Brian posted the link.

I don't agree with a lot of what Brian says but he was right on this.

Just more evidence of what a...

UFO researcher ... Schmitt is.

And CDA is right on the silly Haut story as well.

Lance

cda said...

Nitram:

Did Haut have a severe memory lapse the first time or a sudden 'memory revival' (courtesy of Don Schmitt) the second time? Your opinion could be of value here.

We are on topic after all, as Schmitt was already under discussion.

Alejandro T. Rojas said...

Hey all. I have done a little more work on this by request, even though I think the issue is dead as far as Ufology is concerned. I have contacted the NPS as well.

Here is what I was told after being passed around a bit:
"Alejandro,
We do not have any information that we can share with you concerning the mummified burial for which you requested information.
Todd Bostwick, PhD
Director of Archaeology
Verde Valley Archaeology Center"

I was looking for confirmation that this particular body was reburied by the Pueblo Indians who the Anasazi remains were returned to, but apparently they do not want to share details. Perhaps they are afraid someone will go try to dig them up. Given the shady nature of some of our colleagues in Ufology, their fears are probably warranted.

I have also been in contact with Adam Dew. He assures me he does not believe anyone was attempting to be deceitful, including himself. Given David Rudiak's claim that the image he had was the same high resolution image Adam posted online, there is no evidence otherwise. Like David, I do not think Don or Tom would seek to deceive the public. So far, it appears, as Paul Kimball has eloquently explained, it seems to be a a matter of "your will to believe is so strong that your most basic critical faculties no longer function."

I do not see why finding the body or further images would change anything. We learned in the Greer alien baby debacle that a mummified body can exhibit strange appearing characteristics, but it does not mean they are abnormal. Even if it is an abnormal mummified human, I am not in the field of anthropology or biologic abnormalities, so I will leave that to someone else.

Don told me many months ago that in the end they are just images, so nothing definitive can be determined. The placard ends the mystery, and now we will wade through uncomfortable moments of backpedaling and flip flopping, Jaime doing his thing, like he did with his squirrel monkey, and sycophants fervently defending their heroes. Same old, same old.

Steve Sawyer said...

Brian Bell said...

"@Steve Sawyer -

"Why are you not holding Rudiak to the same standard?"


----------------------------------------------------------------

Actually, Brian, I do. And, I've said so before.

You are just unaware of that, because you haven't been around here that long.

You're kind of a "newcomer" around this particular "corral," attracted by the brouhaha surrounding the slides controversy to comment from a debunking perspective (which is OK, as long as it's civil, and factual), but I've clearly noted in previous comment threads here and elsewhere over the years how some people, including David, have on occasion also made unnecessary ad hominem and counter-productive comments, and as I said above, "from both 'debunkers' and 'believers'" respective viewpoints.

I've been guilty of that myself, at times, and due to certain provocateurs' sniping.

But, I'm now trying to "rise above the fray" and stay focused on the real issues under debate. I just wish others would try to do the same, for the sake of clarity and objectivity, regardless of viewpoint. We can all do better, IMHO.

Brian Bell said...

@ Steve Sawyer -

Ok sounds fine.

In my opinion as a "newcomer" this lot is pretty much entrenched on both sides. These attitudes don't develop over weeks or even a new topic....they develop over decades.

I think very few people here are "middle ground" on any of these issues as they sometimes claim after heated debates or exchanges.

Point is, this blog is dominated by a handful of people who don't care if anyone new comes in because in truth they just want to hear themselves verbally challenge the opposing viewpoints.

This is the problem with UFOlogy...there is no real scientific collegiality, cross collaboration on different viewpoints, or willingness to listen. Certainly no peer review. No doubt why real scientists won't touch the putrid pile with a 500 foot pole.

Paul Kimball said...

there is no real scientific collegiality, cross collaboration on different viewpoints, or willingness to listen. Certainly no peer review.

Not true. We had all of that within the Roswell Slides Research Group... which is why we solved the placard "mystery" in two days.

Terry the Censor said...

The comments are very entertaining but I will address Kevin's post.

> What is unbelievable in this is that there is still an attempt to prove that the body is alien.

The Roswell slides episode has been a fiasco, perhaps even a hoax abetted by the willfully ignorant, from the start. But I have seen much good in the response, mainly the bipartisan doubt. I wrote the following at Mark O'Connell's blog. (I am removing the names in respect of Kevin's concern about libel, but you can go to Mark OC's blog to see names, if you must.)


The Roswell slides scam has been a good test of the epistemic values of UFO personalities. Most acquitted themselves quite admirably, expressing appropriate amounts of doubt from the start, foregoing the usual partisan defensiveness.

Many ardent believers in alien visitation openly criticised the claims and machinations of the sliders before May 5. After the "big reveal," the complaints were nearly universal. After the placard was deblurred, several holdouts changed their opinion in light of this new fact. (All that is pretty darn amazing. It will be interesting to see if this clarity survives this episode.) We are now left with a small but distinct group of slide proponents who fall into the following subgroups:

1) morally indifferent money-grubbing hucksters
2) willfully ignorant opportunists
3) delusional UFO conspiracy dogmatists

Unless these remaining slide proponents produce hard evidence, they can be ignored going forward. We are not obliged to offer them any courtesy or benefit of the doubt.


That said, we've had loads of partisanship in the comments (who doesn't want to have fun?). But this point scoring was usually on side issues, or from overenthusiastic parsing of comments. Mindless support or denial of the sliders' claims was extremely rare on the UFO blogs. (There was, however, extensive nuttiness from the broader fandom on FB and Twitter, but that is what those venues are for.)

Here's what I want to know:

When is MUFON going to report on the Roswell slides debacle? I got the June issue today and there is not a word. The June issue did feature a defence of Bob Lazar, so I have to wonder about MUFON's judgement.

Brian Bell said...

@Terry - Just a guess but I bet MUFON will not address it it all. If so, then only in a minor way. After all, they don't want to upset their members........bad for business.

@Paul - Sure you guys collaborated but look at the response to that collaboration. Initial response was that and you "faked" the placard text...well you didn't...but clearly the Dream Team still thinks so as do a few posters on this blog.

So what you offer is more like "club" collaboration - if you are invited, and we want you, then you can collaborate...otherwise stay out.

That's not the kind of collaboration I am speaking about.

Look how fast Kevin's suggestion of a bipartisan group that might emerge from this episode has died a quick death in just a few short days......unless of course it's being planned in secret by a handful of selected collaborators.

Nitram Ang said...

CDA apologized regarding Walter Haut's affidavit

"Yes we are off topic and I therefore qualify as a troll of some sort. Sorry."

And then less than two hours later, posted:

"We are on topic after all, as Schmitt was already under discussion."

So maybe someone can help with this, "did CDA have a severe memory lapse the first time or a sudden 'memory revival' (courtesy of Lance) the second time?"

Regards
Nitram

flip said...

@Kevin Randle

I hope you won't mind my following comments. Due to time constraints this is the first opportunity I got to respond and boy did the comments fill fast. I apologise for the wall of text and can edit them down if you prefer. New here and not sure of the ettiquette.

@Neal Foy

I wasn't aware that I had made any statement as to whether the slides were 'good enough'. Although yes, you need a body to do DNA tests, morphological tests, etc. However, What I did say is that no scientific methodology has been followed, and this situation is a good example of how easily people can be mistaken when not attempting to control for bias. Sure, go out and find the mummy if you must but it doesn't change the fact that everything that came before it is riddled with holes.

"Wouldn't it be better from a scientific standpoint to be 100% sure rather than 99.99% sure?"


Null hypothesis and prior plausibility suggests that it was unlikely to be alien in the first place. It's not a 'debunker' standpoint, it's a scientific one. Presupposition is another example of pseudoscientific thinking. People keep using "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" for a reason. And it's a fallacy that science is ever 100% sure anyway; just the closest and best explanation that fits most of the data. Subject to revision at anytime.

"@Flip , let's not go there with the PC nonsense, archaeologists do this all the time."

It took me a while to figure out what you were saying here. Not being American, I wasn't familiar with the idea that there may be a repatriation of mummies and when I first read about it I was surprised. I don't have a particular position on it and was mostly just asking for David to explain his motivation more clearly. Having said that, yes, if a group of people - including the curators who've already been asked about the mummy - have stated they want the dead left alone, I'm ok with having ethics in science. More to the point, I'm ok with the idea that grave-robbing is not more important than having the truth.
"But it is a fact that scientists have made mistakes in the past."

This is true. The difference is that the DATA shows that they have been mistaken. Science moves forward not just be acknowledging new evidence, but by requiring that evidence stand up to criticism. The Galileo gambit is great and all, but misses the really large and obvious problem that Galileo had the evidence to change people's minds. In order to prove science made a mistake, you have to have data that does so.

By the way, the electric universe idea was a legitimate hypothesis in its day, and so was aether. Data came along to show they were wrong. So that argument cuts both ways.

flip said...

@Neal Foy

"If a picture of a disc like craft were to be presented with a placard that said "This is the disc recovered at Roswell" the skeptics would be screaming from the rooftops about a fake and wanting the real disc. To be honest I would want the real disc too. A picture just isn't good enough. "

Again, returning to my actual query, I'm not sure what the point is in digging up the mummy when the slides have nowhere near the veracity of 'alien' required. We know mummies exist, there's no need to find one in order to suggest that the slides are more likely to show one than an alien. On the other hand, there's no alien - no matter what you believe, there's no public alien anyone can go look at and study - and so even if you found no match for the mummy that STILL doesn't prove the slides show an alien.

It's just like creationist arguments. Even if you manage to disprove evolution, that does not make "god did it" a reasonable argument without extremely strong evidence to back it up. On the other hand, here we have the rhetorical equivalent of watching bacteria evolve in real-time and yet you want to say "that's not enough evidence to prove the theory of evolution".

Step outside of UFOlogy for a minute and you'll see the exact same problems in all sorts of areas that are considered pseudoscience. When discoveries *are* made, it's by people following the scientific method, sharing data openly, taking criticism and then working to do better, by publishing first and publicising later... etc etc.

I just don't see the point in arguing the minutia of evidence when even the UFO=aliens crowd is screaming about how badly this whole thing was handled. The problem isn't necessarily the evidence or lack of, the problem is with the methodology.

"Pure speculation, but maybe a rare genetic defect could be identified. Wouldn't that be of value to science?"

When I saw Rudiak posit rare genetic defects I was wondering "has he ever seen a mummy?" You're right it's pure speculation, and again ignorant of the null hypothesis. There's no reason to believe it's anything other than a normal mummy, but due to lighting, angle, distance and other issues of photography, the mummy could look odd. Heck it could just look odd because it's a MUMMY. They're weird looking things. And need I remind you that the only person who seems to have seen the actual slides or full-resolution scans, is someone who is not releasing them to the public?

My questions to you: If you're on the side of UFOs=aliens, don't you want absolutely the best evidence possible, presented in the best possible way?

Don't you want it be as water-tight as possible?

Don't you want to be arguing over the evidence and not the personalities of the people involved?**
If so, why aren't you asking those on your side to lift their game and be more responsible in following a methodology that is LEAST LIKELY to create incidents such as this?

** Time and again in these comment threads I see people arguing not over the veracity of the data, but over who is more credible, who has been discredited, who has lied, who 'believes' and who doesn't... I guess when you have no good data all that's left is to argue over the credentials.

flip said...

@David Rudiak

You didn't really answer my question. In fact you just repeated what you'd said previously. All I was looking for was a short one sentence, "My motivation is...".

See my comments to Neal Foy.

"Now why people continue to object to finding more information is beyond me. That is what actual scientific investigation is about in the end, isn't it? I am an agnostic and perfectly happy to live with whichever way the evidence turns out."

I'm not objecting to more information, I'm questioning the benefit/effort ratio. Either way it's still a mummy, and sheds no light on the issue of UFOs, aliens and Roswell. Bad scientists change their hypothesis halfway through data collection: doing so can skew the results as well as the process. Again, you're not going to prove anything about aliens by chasing details all the while ignoring the continued use of terrible methodology.

Your speculation that it offers some sort of hitherto unknown genetic disease more putting the cart before the horse. You've swapped seeing aliens for seeing unique malformations.

From where I sit it seems like you're acting like an apologist, unwilling to let go, shifting the goal posts and unable to move past bad habits. Looking for any gap that allows you to excuse crappy methodology that should have been obvious from the start. You absolutely do not need the body to exonerate anyone.

- Experts misled them. Answer is not to go looking for the body but to question why they trusted someone who suggested the creature was gecko-like alien based on nothing but a photo. All you need to do to exonerate anyone is to consider that confirmation bias got the better of everyone. You don't need to visit Mars to prove that parediolia exists and Bigfoot isn't on the red planet.

- Dream Team believed it was an alien given what they saw for themselves. Answer again is not to go looking for a body, but to question what scans they saw, how good they were etc. I saw the low res ones and I thought it was an odd-looking thing myself. I can easily believe that people who are primed to look for those things, see them.

flip said...

@David Rudiak

I could continue but I would easily create walls of text. The sum of it though is that you can exonerate your colleagues easily by admitting they are not good at avoiding bias. Good scientists have bias too you know, the difference is that they go out of their way to try to diminish its effects. You don't have to be hoaxers or scammers, just put your hands up and say "hey, we screwed up" and look at ways to try to eliminate that bias.

You would stop making yourselves seem pseudoscientific by making systemic changes to how you do your data collection, presentation and feedback. No mummy required to move forward and do better. Just stop excusing the shitty behaviour that flourishes unchecked and stop using unscientific methods.

If you want more information to exonerate people why not question Dew about what he provided and when? Why not look more into the provenance, or the owners of the slides? The only reason I can think of to focus on the mummy now is as apologetics.

"You demand more "scientific" standards of investigation. But when I say I am trying to get more definitive data (like an X-ray or other photos or a scientific journal report), which is part of being "more scientific" (get it?), a bunch of posters here throw a hissy fit."

Yeah, you seem to be missing the point. It's not that you want more data that I have an issue with. It's how it's obtained, presented and reviewed. You can get as much data as you like, but as with the situation here, HOW it is gathered is just as important as the gathering itself. -- Perhaps I've not been clear enough but you seem to be conflating my arguments about methodology with my discussion about mummy-information-finding. However in this case, I am just not sure what the point of collecting more data on a falsified hypothesis is supposed to do.

As for my ethics question, which you pretty much dodged answering, I am happy to leave that aside for the time being to focus on the more substantive issue of methodology.

@Jack Brewer

"Doing so really comes down to trying to rationalize why people conducted themselves in unacceptable manners, from my vantage point."

I agree.

@cda

"I presume that what David Rudiak is doing, in making enquiries in regard to the mummy in the slides, could have been done long ago by Schmitt, Carey, Adam Dew, Tony Bragalia or indeed anyone else involved in handling these slides in the early days."

Agreed.

Don Maor said...

Flip said:
“You would stop making yourselves seem pseudoscientific by making systemic changes to how you do your data collection, presentation and feedback” ,

Thanks Flip for your teaching about science and appropriate scientific methods. However, next time put some little information about your credentials, “real scientific” or not, or a specific field in science, etc.

Yes Flip, the problem is we have several skeptics/debunkers here preaching about science and how unscientific ufology is, but when it comes to credentials, they are not scientists or hard scientists, some of them at best are psychologists or amateur astronomers (which is not much to say, sorry).

David Rudiak said...

Probably nobody reading this thread any more, but oh well, here it goes.

Latest useless press release from National Park Service on the mummy:

"Human remains were a common display item at many National Park Service museums across the Intermountain West. Unfortunately, these remains were often treated as curiosities and many were eventually removed from public display as a gesture of respect for the deceased.

"Because these are Native American human remains, the National Park Service has the legal and ethical obligation to comply with the native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) (Public Law 101-601; 205 U.S.C 30003-3013). Per the agency's responsibilities under NAGRPA, this individual was included in a Notice of Inventory Completion published in the Federal Register on April 1, 2015. National Park Service guidelines state very clearly that access to photographs, drawings, renderings, and casts of NAGPRA items should be restricted and the use of NPS photographs or other documentation of NAGPRA items in publications or on the internet is prohibited.

"Frank McNitt's publication Richard Wetherill-Anasazi: Pioneer Explorer of Southwestern Ruins briefly discusses the S.L. Palmer expedition to Montezuma Castle, including the discovery of this individual. It is important to consider, however, that attitudes toward the treatment of pre contact Native American human remains have changed drastically since the Palmer expedition. With this in mind, the National Park Service now treats human remains recovered from archeological sites with the same respect afforded to all individuals, regardless of when or how they were discovered."

So as I suspected, just like last month's useless press release, "be respectful", we ain't gunna tell you nuttin' useful, in fact are denying access to anything useful, now go away and leave us alone.

But according to Brian Bell, they are fully cooperative and aren't giving the public a runaround. Oh really?

The fact of the matter is, according to NAGPRA (Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990), only the actual PHYSICAL grave related artifacts have highly restricted access, and legitimate scientific research is a possible exemption to even that.

Denying access to accessory documentation of these artifacts is not covered by NAGPRA and in violation of FOIA laws, which give the public complete "right to know" access to government documentation of ALL types unless covered by 9 specific exemptions (such as national security, ongoing legal cases, witness protection, Federal employee privacy rights, etc.), none of which apply here.

It is also ironic if not two-faced, because some of what they claim they are restricted or forbidden to put on the Internet is already on the Internet, including their own website.

Steve Sawyer said...

I think the real point and validity in making the effort that David Rudiak is pursuing is, in ways, purely scientific.

It also has the possible benefit of resolving even more finely the nature of what does obviously appear to be a child mummy of some kind.

Flip seens to cross-advocate science, and prior poor methodologies (granted!), with a request to honor the Indian cultural values ethically inherent in this matter, which if followed, would result in no further "hard" data or direct evidence that is testable and that empirical science demands.

So, if David is able to get things like prior historic documentation of the mummy, transfer records, NPS email exchanges about this matter since it was first raised with them, photographs of the mummy, or potentially even X-rays or a small tissue sample (like a tooth, to do PCR on the residue DNA inside) to do real DNA testing upon, wouldn't that both satisfy the debunkers, agnostics, and believers and their advocates/promoters? I would hope so, but even then there will be continued debate.

But I endorse DR's efforts, think they are objectively and morally sound, and that his motivations to do so are in order to seek the truth, via scientific testing, if possible, and I say what the hell is wrong with that?

Call it "Phase 2" of the re-evaluation of the Roswell Slides by belated but proper techniques and processes. Just what was needed, IMHO.

Now, about Beason and Dew...

Where are the full-frame, with edge codes and perforations also included, highest-resolution, best-possible drum-scanned and unaltered digital copies of the two slides? It's now June 3rd, not May 6th.

Why withhold such if it would better prove your contentions about the slides, like it being an alien mummy? Why no real peer-review?

Why have they still not been released for other kinds of objective and rational re-analyses as a directly-related, parallel kind of evidence also required. And, did the Dream Team get edited, or digitally-manipulated copies from Dew at any time prior to May 5th?

There will always be more questions, and fewer answers, about this affair... it sometimes seems, so more and better answers via DR's efforts seems an appropriate thing to go for, to me. We need hard evidence.

It will interesting to see what the NPS puts out PR-wise on June 15th or so.

The mummy concerned is still apparently not been re-interred as yet, so could at least be rephotographed, in situ, much more clearly and from several angles, even videotaped, and that too would go far in better establishing if the mummy has some unique and anomalous set of genetic or environment mutations or characteristics or not, wouldn't it?

I don't see why the NPS, in order to help settle the controversy even more solidly, should object on any legal grounds.

"This isn't over..."

Oh, not by a long shot.

Steve Sawyer said...

Looks like DR posted his comment above mine while I was composing it, or we "cross-posted," and it's disheartening news to read the NPS's initial response and citations/interpretation of law. I suspect it is incorrect, and could be successfully appealed.

@DR:

"Per the agency's responsibilities under NAGRPA, this individual was included in a Notice of Inventory Completion published in the Federal Register on April 1, 2015. National Park Service guidelines state very clearly that access to photographs, drawings, renderings, and casts of NAGPRA items should be restricted and the use of NPS photographs or other documentation of NAGPRA items in publications or on the internet is prohibited."

Wow, they sure tried to make that definitive: "...in publications or on the internet is prohibited."

Wonder what federal FOIA and precedent says? Looks like another FOIA, and the subsequent need to appeal their likely refusal for access, is in order.

If that's what they require, and even fail to produce anything upon appeal, there are additional means and laws that would apply. There's the penultimate ISOO, for example.

The FAS.org site has more about all this, as does the "Secrecy News" blog site, as far as doing most effective FOIA's, etc.

"The fact of the matter is, according to NAGPRA (Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990), only the actual PHYSICAL grave related artifacts have highly restricted access, and legitimate scientific research is a possible exemption to even that.

"Denying access to accessory documentation of these artifacts is not covered by NAGPRA and in violation of FOIA laws, which give the public complete "right to know" access to government documentation of ALL types unless covered by 9 specific exemptions (such as national security, ongoing legal cases, witness protection, Federal employee privacy rights, etc.), none of which apply here.

"It is also ironic if not two-faced, because some of what they claim they are restricted or forbidden to put on the Internet is already on the Internet, including their own website."


Jeez, I hope you're right, David. Makes me feel a bit better, but it looks like the NPS is going to make you "work for it," which is faintly ridiculous to stall about, given both public interest, scientific interest, and the laws which provide for public access to non-classified government records. I'd note in the FOIA you also want all correspondence via email or otherwise about this mummy and the questions asked about it be released also.

Brian Bell said...

@Rudiak -

"But according to Brian Bell, they are fully cooperative and aren't giving the public a runaround. Oh really?"

It's not a runaround, it's how they are interpreting the law. Just wait for the FOIA results...if it comes up less than sufficient make the formal appeal.

Erickson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erickson said...

@Rudiak - Quoting the NPS press release:

"Because these are Native American human remains, the National Park Service has the legal and ethical obligation to comply with the native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) (Public Law 101-601; 205 U.S.C 30003-3013). Per the agency's responsibilities under NAGRPA, this individual was included in a Notice of Inventory Completion published in the Federal Register on April 1, 2015. National Park Service guidelines state very clearly that access to photographs, drawings, renderings, and casts of NAGPRA items should be restricted and the use of NPS photographs or other documentation of NAGPRA items in publications or on the internet is prohibited."

This made me curious. I do not practice law in any field relating to NAGPRA but the citation to statute and regulations was interesting. In any event, the citation of the Notice of Inventory Completion does not seem to resolve things.

As I understand it, the mummy in question was linked to reports that around 1938, S.L. Palmer gave Mesa Verde the remains of a two year old boy. The only reference to Mr. Palmer in the Notices published on April 1, 2015 concerns other remains:

"Between 1894 and 1896, human remains representing, at minimum, eight individuals were removed from Montezuma Castle in Yavapai County, AZ, by S.L Palmer. In 1971 the remains and funerary objects were donated to Montezuma Castle National Monument by Gaylord L. Palmer. No known individuals were identified. The 14 associated funerary objects are 9 pieces of textile, 1 bowl, 1 wooden bow, 1 arrow, and 2 arrow mainshafts."

As is often the case, the press release raises more questions than answers -- including why the NPS associates the Montezuma Castle and Camp Verde material with the mummy that was reported to be in Mesa Verde. All of this, of course, has far more to do with the NPS than with anything alien.

David Rudiak said...

Erickson wrote:
As is often the case, the press release raises more questions than answers -- including why the NPS associates the Montezuma Castle and Camp Verde material with the mummy that was reported to be in Mesa Verde. All of this, of course, has far more to do with the NPS than with anything alien.

The mummy in question was one of the eight bodies removed from Montezuma Castle from 1894 to 1896, specifically in 1896. It was donated back by S.L. Palmer's son, S.L. Palmer, Jr., with final donations being by grandson Gaylord Palmer in 1971.

You're right that this has far more to do with the NPS than anything alien. Specifically I think far too much political correctness concerning the touchy subject of Indian grave repatriation and reburial.

The cited NAGPRA law of 1990 mentions ONLY physical funerary remains and artifacts and says nothing about protection or restrictions on associated documentation, such as photos or archeological reports or X-rays (which were commonly done on such mummies), which should all be releasable under FOIA. Instead this press release is claiming NAGPRA regulations apply also to documentation, which it most assuredly did not. In fact, the NPS is in violation of FOIA if it continues to deny free access to the archival documentation.

David Rudiak said...

BTW, you can read S.L. (Sidney LaVerne) Palmer Jr's account of the discovery of the mummy here:

https://archive.org/stream/southwesternmonu1940depa#page/62/mode/2up/search/palmer

Relevant part:
The ruins as we first saw it in 1896 appeared to have been thoroughly excavated, however we removed some accumulated rocks and loose material in the rooms but found nothing of interest other than fragments of ears of corn, broken animal bones, charcoal, feathers, and fragments of pottery. We had about decided that excavation was useless when we noticed that the dirt was undisturbed on a small ledge along the outer side of the ruin at the point where the upper ladder now enters. A shallow excavation revealed the burial of a number of bodies. This burial place was in rather an exposed position and had the appearance that part of the original space may have possibly broken away and fallen below.

It was impossible for us to determine just how many bodies were buried in this spot for most of the remains were fragmentary and almost completely decomposed, only those immediately adjacent to the cliff were preserved. There were however probably eight or ten bodies buried here, these were all small and undoubtedly children. There was but one preserved mummy and that was photographed in the exact position that it was found. The depth of the excavation probably did not exceed two or three feet, a good idea of this can be had from the photograph* as the ground under the shovel and at the foot of the mummy had not been disturbed when the picture was taken. Next to the head of the mummy was found a red pottery bowl about eight or nine inches in diameter, fragments of cloth were wrapped about the body and several sticks one of which was intact were laying across the body as shown in photograph.* Also found with the mummy was a well-preserved bow and several reed arrows, these can be seen in the larger photograph of the mummy and the bow is also noticeable in the picture showing the location of the mummy before removal. The dirt that covered the burials contained charcoal and fragments of pottery indicating that I part of it at least was sweepings from the rooms. Some of the material however appeared to have fallen from above, possibly from crumbling walls or thrown there by earlier excavations.

There was no evidence that the burials had ever been disturbed since the bones appeared to be in their original burial position. The pottery bowl was the only one found in the entire burial place and there were no other fragments to indicate that other complete pottery pieces had been buried there.

*Photographs on file at SWNM Headquarters, Coolidge, Arizona.

Seth said...

I've followed the Roswell Slides imbroglio for the past few years and "A Different Perspective" has been one of the main go-to places I visit for information and to catch up on the "news." I'm grateful to Kevin Randle for his often thoughtful blog postings, but also because he allows for spirited (and oft times, off topic) discussion in the comments.

I live here here in Arizona and the overall dismissive attitude of some of commenters for the thoughts and feelings of the American Indian tribes here in the southwest is troubling. National Parks here in Arizona often abut or are completely surrounded by tribal lands. NPS staff work closely with the tribes and many tribal members work for the Park Service. The thoughts, feelings and religious mores of the tribes (especially surrounding the dead) are not "PC nonsense" and perhaps being a little more respectful in requests for information might help to get more information. It certainly wouldn't hurt to better understand the conventions and practices of the tribes here, especially since we're talking about one of their dead.

NAGPRA isn't the only law that limits FOIA requests; there's also NHPA, NEPA, ARPA, and the list goes on. And Exemption 3 to FOIA is exceptionally broad, "Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law." This gives NPS significant wiggle room in their response to FOIA requests.

Here's a link to a document that may be helpful. http://homer.ornl.gov/sesa/environment/guidance/cultural/foia_cultural_resources.pdf Though the document at the link is for the Dept of Energy, the same rules and regulations are being followed by NPS. The document at the link explains in greater depth FOIA and Confidentiality of Cultural Resources.

And consider what's being asked here. "We would like any and all information surrounding a dead child that was exhumed and displayed several decades ago. Someone took a picture of him in the 1940's and it was recently rediscovered. There were people who thought he was a dead alien from the Roswell crash. Now we think he's probably a mummy, but there's a Mexican scientist who thinks he might be evolved from otherworldly gecko-like creatures and so now we want to check for genetic anomalies because..." This is being asked of a culture with some pretty serious religious taboos surrounding how the dead are treated.