This is another of those posts that chases footnotes and though it begins with Richard Dolan, he is merely the starting point and this isn’t a criticism of his scholarship… well, maybe a little bit but you’ll understand as we get deeper into this. As an aside, and one that is not directed at Dolan here, I wonder how it is that some lies seem to mean nothing in our world of the UFO and simple mistakes are presented as false claims, and yes, this should become clear later as well.
|Richard Dolan. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.|
Dolan provides a brief summary of the Roswell case in his book, and footnotes many of the comments he makes. He describes for us some of the testimony of Barbara Dugger. Dolan wrote:
Barbara Dugger was the granddaughter of Roswell Sheriff George Wilcox. She claimed that her grandmother, Inez (the wife of George Wilcox), said that after the incident, military police told the Wilcox couple that the entire family would be killed if they ever talked about it. Inez said George Wilcox had gone out to the site, saw a big burned area, debris and “four space beings” with big heads and suits “like silk.” One of the beings was alive. According to Dugger: “if she [Inez] said it happened, it happened.”
I have nothing to object to here. The information provided, is what Dugger told Don Schmitt and me when we interviewed her. It is the footnote that is somewhat annoying. The footnote takes us to Stan Friedman and Don Berliner’s Crash at Corona. There they tell us that I interviewed Miss Barbara Dugger in early 1991. The question is, shouldn’t Dolan have acknowledged the original source of the information, which clearly he knew because that information is in his source. And isn’t the original source, that is the interview that Don and I conducted, a better source than one that quotes me rather than us. Or, in other words, shouldn’t Dolan have referred to our original work rather than the intermediate report of Friedman and Berliner that used us.
Okay, that’s not really egregious. He did provide the information that takes you, eventually, to the original source. And, as we delve into this, we’ll find that Dolan quoted one of the sources he had, though a little research would have revealed the original source which is a better source than those repeating information.
What does this mean?
Dolan describes what Bill Brazel had said, which as you all know was a description of some of the debris he picked up, that his father had been held in Roswell for a number of days and then soldiers had shown up a few days after he had talked about finding the debris while in Corona. Dolan’s account, though short, is fairly accurate. He does misspell Mack Brazel’s name as Mac, but we all did that until Tom Carey learned that it had a “K” at the end. The footnote takes us to Friedman and Berliner again.
|Bill Brazel. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.|
Here's where the problem develops. They wrote, “According to his son, Bill Jr., Mac never felt like he had done anything special.” They then quote from an interview with Bill in some detail. The problem is that neither Friedman nor Berliner were at that interview. It was conducted by Don Schmitt and me on February 19, 1989, in Carrizozo, New Mexico and was recorded on audiotape. The quotes appear in our book, UFO Crash at Roswell and there is no credit nor attribution for the information given by Friedman and Berliner. Dolan would have no way of learning the original source of the interview so the trail ends there… unless, of course, he had access to our book, which is cited in the footnotes in that same section and is mentioned in his bibliography.
And to make it worse, if possible, Friedman alters a portion of the quote for no reason other than to make it fit with his brief structure and to help prop up the failing Gerald Anderson tale. Friedman, quoting us, quoting Brazel, wrote, “I’m almost positive that the officer in charge, his name was Armstrong, a real nice guy.
He had a [black] sergeant with him.”
|Stan Friedman Photo copyright Kevin Randle.|
The trouble is, Brazel never said the sergeant was black, and the tape of the interview proves that he never said it. Later Friedman would claim that Brazel had used a racially charged word to describe the sergeant as a way of alibiing his change to our interview. Once again, I have the original tape and Brazel said nothing like that.
There is another point in which Dolan writes about Roswell, and mentioned the testimony of Robert Smith. Dolan briefly describes crates that had been built to transport some of the wreckage out of Roswell. He specifically mentions Robert Smith, and the footnote takes us back to Friedman and Berliner. There is a long quote from Smith in their book and according to them, “In a 1991 interview, he [Robert Smith] described his involvement.”
That’s a neat piece of writing that implies they were there for the interview without saying anything of the kind. What they don’t say is that Don and I interviewed, on videotape, Robert Smith and neither of them were there. The quotes come from our work with neither credit nor attribution.
These are just a few of the examples and I know what you’re thinking, “What difference does it make now?” Well, first I just came across a statement from Friedman saying that my work can’t be trusted because I write science fiction (as do how many others who also investigate UFOs…), that Anderson was responding to what he thought was an unfair characterization of him as a liar and that I’m an anti-abduction propagandist. But the great irony in all this is that prior to the publication of UFO Crash at Roswell, Friedman wrote a letter to our AVON BOOKS editor, John Douglas on June 11, 1990, and falsely claimed, “if once again there are many factual mistakes, flights of fancy, lifting my research much of which remains unpublished.”
(For those interested, Dick Hall in the May/June 1993 issue of the International UFO Reporter wrote that, “Randle alleged that Friedman and others, apparently acting in concert, had attempted to interfere with publication of the book UFO CRASH AT ROSWELL (then in preparation) by contacting the publisher, AVON BOOKS, making charges of plagiarism and generally impugning Randle’s character and integrity. I asked Randle for documentation, which he provided. I asked Friedman for an explanation and he never replied.”)
What happened here, as evidenced by the footnotes provided by Dolan, and by reading the information in the Friedman and Berliner book, was that they actually lifted the research conducted by Don and me and published it as their own without reference to us. In the wording of the statements… “According to his son, Bill Jr., Mac never felt like he had done anything special,” and “In a 1991 interview, he [Robert Smith] described his involvement,” they have not acknowledged the source of the information, or to use Friedman’s words to the AVON editor, they were “lifting my research …” Ironic isn’t it?
Friedman also talked of “flights of fancy,” which is a way of saying inventing imaginative fictitious scenarios, like suggesting the sergeant who visited Brazel was black for no other reason to make it fit in with the Glenn Dennis nonsense and to prop up Gerald Anderson by suggesting corroboration where none existed.
I was going to continue in this vein because there are many examples of these sorts of attacks on me. I know that while I was serving in Iraq, there were those inside the UFO community who questioned whether or not I was really there. Unlike some who have claimed extensive military service, I can actually prove what I say.
The point here is just that periodically I grow tired of the attacks because I happen to disagree with some of the nonsense being sprouted in the UFO community. The attacks are personal rather than an attempt to refute the evidence and when all else fails, just label me a debunker because we don’t have to deal with the truth of the statements.
And I sometimes wonder why, when we have shown that certain points of view are wrong, horribly wrong and laughably wrong, it seems to make no difference as long as that person has a message that people want to hear. It makes no difference if the message is filled with poor research, bad evidence, leaps of logic that are not justified by the information or who are caught in outright lies, people just ignore that, as long as the message fits into their belief structure. I had always thought that people wanted the truth, but obviously it is only their “truth” they wish to hear and that is why we still have people telling us the alien autopsy is real and some believe MJ-12 authentic. It would seem to me that when the evidence is stacked up, that should end the discussion but in the world of the UFO that never happens.
So, I chased a few footnotes here, saw that Richard Dolan hadn’t done the best job of sourcing his material (and sometimes it simply wasn’t possible for him to do that given the sources he used) and that sometimes the information was correct but those claiming to have done the research had “borrowed” it instead. I think we all now have a different perspective of some of this research and rather than respond to the issues raised here, I’ll bet we’ll all have to hear about my “day job” as a science fiction writer as if that somehow negates the points I’ve made. I just wish the UFO community would hold everyone to the same standards rather than personally attacking those who might have a different perspective.