There has been some discussion about those of us who seem to dwell in the past in our UFO research. One of the reasons I live there is because I have been around forever and have data going back decades. To prove this point I have been looking into the case of Carroll Wayne Watts who claimed a contact/abduction that hit the national media in February 1968.
As I have mentioned several times, I was at the Army’s Primary Helicopter Flight School in Mineral Wells, Texas, in March 1968. I wasn’t stationed all that far tiny Loco, Texas, where Watts lived. I was able arrange to meet with Watts on Saturday, March 9, 1968, at his house. I recorded the interview, created a transcript, and I still have the tape. And yes, it hasn’t degraded so that you can still listen to it.
The point, however, as I reviewed the Watts interview and the other material related to the case such as the Project Blue Book file, I found a couple of paragraphs that haven’t really been examined. While it is clear that the Watts tale is a hoax, there was something that Hector Quintanilla, then the chief of Project Blue Book, wrote that is somewhat disturbing. He was describing his involvement in the case and told reporters from Amarillo who called him:
Shortly thereafter two reporters from Amarillo called. Apparently the story leaked and [name redacted but is clearly Watts] had told them that he would have no story for them until he had confirmation of the pictures from me. This, of course, he never got. I told the reporters how I felt, but that they might have a good story of the perpetration of a hoax if they looked into it.
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, then the Air Force consultant to Project Blue Book, said:
If this is a hoax, it is a very, very clever one. In fact, it would be such a clever hoax that it would be almost as interesting as what this farmer claimed has happened to him.
What we see here is a subtle manipulation of the press. The real story isn’t about the UFO, the pictures that Watts had of the object (which the Condon Committee and the Air Force managed to lose), but how the hoax had been perpetrated. This is an attempt to divert attention from Watts and his story of contact with the UFO into that of a clever hoax.
However, the Air Force reports on the sighting which included interviews with Watts and other witnesses ended saying, “Conclusive findings and cause are undetermined.”
As I say, having interviewed Watts myself, I don’t believe the
story. What is
disturbing is that Hynek suggested the better story is how the hoax was
perpetrated, and Quintanilla telling reporters the same thing, that the more
interesting story is how the hoax was perpetrated. Then the Air Force and the
Condon Committee lost the pictures and you have to wonder about just what was
going on behind the scenes in the Air Force and at the University of Colorado.
|The only surviving picture allegedly taken|
In fact, Watts sent me a letter about those pictures, saying that he thought they were safer at the University of Colorado. Guess that didn’t work out so well.
All this suggests a rather cavalier attitude to this sighting in particular and the UFO investigations in general. You have to wonder what they might have found had they actually done what they had been tasked to do, that is, investigate UFOs to learn if there was anything of scientific significance that could be discovered. Instead, they attempted to manipulate the media by telling them to figure out how the hoax was perpetrated… something that neither the media nor the Air Force actually discovered.