Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Great Roswell Hoaxes

The Roswell UFO crash case seems to be a lightning rod for all sorts of hoaxes, many of which have gained international attention. They began almost from the moment that we all learned that something had fallen near Roswell that certainly wasn’t a standard weather balloon. After the publication of The Roswell Incident Bill Moore complained that he had taken the investigation as far as he could and told several people that he was thinking of creating a “Roswell” type document in an attempt to convince the reluctant witnesses to talk. The blueprint for this document and the story of it was laid out in a novel Moore wrote with Bob Pratt that was called Majik. Later the first of the MJ-12 papers ended up in the hands of Moore’s pal Jaime Shandera. When the MJ-12 documents were announced, Pratt thought it was time to “dust off” the novel in an attempt to find a publisher. Apparently Moore wasn’t interested in that idea and that never happened.

We’ve gone over the problems with these mysterious documents time and again, from the lack of provenance to the false information included in them. Except for a few hardcore believers, they are all generally considered to be bogus, from the Eisenhower Briefing Document to the Cutler/Twining memo. Rather than deal with the problems they prefer to debate the issue which is not the best investigative tactic. Nearly everyone believes that the thousands of the pages that have appeared in the last couple of decades are faked by those taking real historic documents and retyping them to insert a clue or two about MJ-12. To this day no one has ever found through FOIA or extensive searches through archival material a single reference to MJ-12 that is not tainted by controversy.

The lone exception seems to be the Cutler/Twining memo, but even the MJ-12 advocates admit that the document was planted in the National Archives. Although we have heard for years that they are very strict at the National Archives checking briefcases and note pads to prevent theft. It is far easier to sneak a single sheet in than it is to take anything out. They also believe the Cutler/Twining is disinformation while I think it is just an extension of the original hoax.

About a decade after this all broke, there was the Alien Autopsy. Here was a case with film of the Roswell events, at least according to the original statements. More than two hours of film was available, according to the first “rumors” and that included footage of President Truman walking the crash site. It was said that the photographer had been left holding all this footage because of some sort of an error in 1947. No one ever asked him for the film so he eventually sold it to a record promoter in England. Those of us with military experience dealing with classified material found the story somewhat implausible. We were told that the cameraman’s name was being withheld because he feared retribution by the government. Of course, had his story been true, those with the proper clearances would have found it simple to learn who he was… and charge him with income tax evasion for failing to disclose the alleged $100,000 he was paid for it.

Of course, it is never a good idea to promote the reality of one controversial claim with another. At one point they were using the MJ-12 documents to underscore the reality of the film. They also showed photographs of the film canisters with the classified markings visible. When it was pointed out that these markings resembled nothing that has ever been used by the US military, those photographs disappeared.

Over time, the claims changed. There weren’t two hours of film; there were some twenty minutes of it. Some of the footage, taken in a tent supposedly erected on the scene for preliminary autopsy was so dark that little could be seen and so bad it couldn’t be used. We were told that they had attempted to reproduce that footage but it was still too dark to use (and here I think of all the documents that Bill Moore retyped because the originals were too blurry to be easily read). Those owning the film were admitting to faking some of it but the other footage, the actual autopsy, filmed in black and white in a room that was brightly lit, was the real thing.

There were problems with this since military autopsies, even in 1947, were filmed in color. There was no one recognizable in the film. There was nothing to suggest where it was taken and more importantly, it seemed that those conducting the autopsy seemed to be a little too cavalier in it. They were not making the sort of record you would expect, especially when you consider this would be a unique biological sample. They were sort of hacking away at the body without the still photographs that you would expect.

All this speculation and wasted time ended when those who had created the alien autopsy came forward and admitted the hoax. Interestingly, this is not good enough for some. They continue to believe that the autopsy is real. I do not understand this reasoning given those who originated it said it was a hoax and provided pictures to prove it. I believe that the discussion should have ended at that point rather than a useless debate on why they were lying about faking the film.

During the 1997 Roswell anniversary, we heard about a piece of debris that had a proper chain of custody, had a provenance, and that the name of the man who had picked it up on the field would be revealed at a special presentation. Because this would be physical evidence that could be taken into a lab and tested, and because it had been taken into a lab for analysis by a scientist who would present his findings, the presentation was well attended. This was the smoking gun that proved the Roswell crash was of an alien craft. 

The scientist, Dr. Russell VernonClark who had conducted the analysis, was slipped into Roswell for the presentation and nothing else. If this was an artifact from another planet, as VernonClark claimed, then this was certainly big news. Certainly the biggest at that festival.

VernonClark, during his presentation said, “The atomic mass so differs from that found in known earthly elements, that it is impossible for it to be from Earth.”

That would mean, of course, that it was of extraterrestrial manufacture. It would mean that an alien race had visited Earth and the evidence they left behind was now in the hands of investigators and scientists. VernonClark did not equivocate. He was definite about the meaning of his findings. There is nowhere on Earth that this piece of metal could have been found. It had to come from another world.

Finished with the presentation, he sneaked out the back door and then fled from Roswell in the way that he had arrived. Some say he ran out the back door to a waiting car to get him out of town before anyone could be ask any pointed questions such as who had found the metal and how had it made it into his hands.

There was no back up for the testing presented, although it was alleged that such additional and independent testing had taken place. There was no corroboration for the analysis or the conclusions that had been drawn. It was claimed it had been done but no one involved would say by whom or where or even present the independent lab work.

Other scientists, when contacted by reporters, said that the isotopic ratios described by VernonClark, while not natural, could be produced in any university laboratory. In other words, the artifact didn’t necessarily have to be alien. It could have been manufactured on Earth and in fact that wasn’t all that difficult given the proper lab facilities.

In an article published by the Albuquerque Journal, reporter John Fleck quoted a number of scientists including University of Kentucky chemist Rob Toreki who said, “You can do it here.”

He meant that you could manipulate the isotopic ratios. And VernonClark eventually said the same thing when asked about that. In a telephone conversation with me, he said it could be done so that the isotopic ratios, while not naturally occurring, could be produced in a lab. He added that it was an expensive proposition which is hardly the point. But he also suggested he had been bullied into the presentation. The whole thing was turning into a big mess.

Most importantly, there is no follow up on this. I was in the auditorium when VernonClark made his announcement and I saw the reporters’ reactions. They were very interested in what he had to say, especially when they were promised the information to confirm the chain of custody and the results of additional, independent testing. But none of that ever happened and I saw the reporters’ reaction to that as well. If you are going to make an extraordinary claim, then you had better be prepared to provide the confirming evidence. And when you withhold that and other scientists do not agree with the conclusions you put forward, then you have lost your audience. Yes, the reporters were very interested until they could not corroborate anything about the artifact.

All of this seems to suggest why the news media ignores the newest of the UFO reports out of New Mexico. In the 1980s they were told that there were documents that proved the case and reported this only to learn that the documents were a hoax. In the mid-1990s they were told there was film footage of an autopsy of alien creatures only to have it admitted to be a hoax. The late 1990s they were told that there was metal that couldn’t have been made on Earth picked up on the fields near Roswell only to discover that the metal could have been manufactured on Earth and that none of the supporting evidence was available.

We could always add the alleged witnesses to all these events who were not candid in their tales. Frank Kaufmann sounded good and spun an interesting tale but in the end, he had seen nothing and knew nothing. Gerald Anderson seemed to corroborate the Barney Barnett story but Anderson forged documents and lied about aspects of his tale. Glenn Dennis’ tale of the missing nurse collapsed when no nurse by the name he provided could be found. He then blamed others for that failed corroboration. In other words, there have been many failed claims about the Roswell case which would cause anyone to wonder about all the other information reported. Only those with all the time necessary to unravel all the various threads could be expected to understand the nuances of the case and no reporter (and very few of the rest of the population) could be expected to invest the necessary time to learn the truth. And even if they did, there are various “truths” to be learned out there.

I mention this only to suggest that the less than enthusiastic response by the media and many others is caused by this long and tainted history. I could suggest that it was all part of the strategy to kept the Roswell case hidden, but the truth seems to be that all the competing voices, all the opportunists, all those with their own agendas have complicated the case to the point where it might never be unraveled.

As I look over this, I wonder if anyone else has seen the relation to some of the things going on in the world today. Promises are being made but if the information circulating now is accurate, then the same problems are going to pop up again. But given the history of the Roswell case it is going to be a tough sell for the newest of the revelations especially in light of this history.


monsterBL said...

Where does Philip Corso fit into all of this? I know you have said recently that you don't like his story, but why?

starman said...

KDR has stated that nothing Corso said was new. The case for an ET origin for technological breakthroughs of the forties, like the transistor, is weak at best.

cda said...

Yes Kevin, the sun will rise as usual on May 5 and again on May 6. The earth will continus in its rotation about its axis and around the sun. Science will proceed as normal, as if nothing had happened.

Mexico City will carry on the same on May 6 as it did on May 5 (except everyone will be a day older but not necessarily wiser).

Jaime Maussan will have a good laugh at the UFO community for pulling off another of his gimmicks, and making lots of dosh.

Tony Bragalia may, yes may, have finally learned his lesson, namely that Roswell was nothing but hot air (with or without that goddamn balloon).

Carey & Schmitt will sit back and ponder their future (and likely plan another book).

Even you may decide the joke has gone too far regarding Roswell, and prefer instead to concentrate on more useful pursuits.

So be it.

Unknown said...

You wrote:
"those who had created the alien autopsy came forward and admitted the hoax. Interestingly, this is not good enough for some."

This statement isn't correct. Santilli never said that he faked or hoaxed the AA. He said that he "restored" some of the footage. He still insisted that the creature, the old footage, the crash site and the other evidence remained the same.

There isn't any
evidence that the footage was hoaxed. Spyros Melaris, a pathological liar and bankrupt
has convinced some that he created the footage but hasn't produced a scrap of evidence that this is so.
I admit that there isn’t much agreement among ufologists. But all the evidence hasn’t been studied. An example: I’d say that close to 99.9 % of the folks who criticize the Alien Autopsy footage haven’t viewed it in the Beta Cam version, where the footage can be viewed frame by frame. Nor have they taken the time to consider the various versions of the stories told by Ray Santilli, Spyros Melaris, and the other characters. The alien autopsy was a major SNAFU by those who control UFO information. That footage should never have seen the light of day. The UFO community failed to take advantage of the situation and have allowed the AA conversation to be controlled by debunkers and other ignorant folks ever since.

Another example: Both Ray and Spyros said that they cast John Humphery as the surgeon. John is left handed and the surgeon is clearly right handed. There are
many mistakes like this in the AA.
The critics rushed to judgment. The AA needs to be reexamined. It's the most important piece of evidence that the UFO community has ever been handed.

KRandle said...

Ed -

I knew you would prove my point for me by continuing to support the hoax known as Alien Autopsy. You get this one free pass but any other discussion supporting it will be eliminated.

Unknown said...

Mr Randle,

If memory serves weren't you in that special? If I'm remembering correctly how long did it take for you to regret it?

Also, your take on what's going on now has been very interesting so far.

KRandle said...

monsterBL -

My thoughts on Corso have been well publicized on the blog and elsewhere. I find little of his story to be plausible.

Drake -

Yes, I appeared in the documentary of the Alien Autopsy and will noted that I was more critical of it at the time than is evident in that program. The editing left something to be desired but I did not then, nor do I now believe that the Alien Autopsy is anything other than a hoax.

Ed -

My blog and my rules... You do not get a rebuttal.

Unknown said...

Mr Randle,

The way it was edited looked as though criticism was left out.

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

@Edward Gehrman: The Santilli film was absolutely a hoax. Kevin Randle isn't the only person who has quietly spent the past two decades researching this topic, I just don't happen to blog about it every week.

Unknown said...

Object Reporter,
Two decades of research?
And this is all you can come up with? What are you implying with this photo?

I don't expect you to post this, but why not allow for a discussion of the AA and its many unresolved questions somewhere on your blog?
Many of your comments sections run to fifty or sixty comments. What could it hurt if you left one for the AA? I promise to be polite and answer all questions,
if you can keep the assholes off my back. I think there is still a tremendous interest in the AA,
whatever that is worth. Isn't
that what brings visitors to the blog site? Isn't that what you want?

Thanks for allowing the one AA post.
That's a good start. I don't use the Gmail account.

KRandle said...

Ed -

I seen no value in discussing the Alien Autopsy hoax at this time. If i change my mind, I'll be sure to let you know.

Brian B said...

Kevin, as much as I like the work you've done on Roswell over the years, I have to say that you are very cynical about these slides - why? Your first book has "witnesses" that later proved to be liars and exaggerators, but at the time you sold them as "solid truth-tellers" to back your story - and you made $$$ from it. Have you ever recanted to the public your original premise on those who sold themselves to you as honest that weren't, or are you too "sticking to your original story"? I think this deserves an honest answer and shouldn't be "edited or deleted" by you.

KRandle said...

Brian -

Have you not been paying attention? In 1997, in a book (a name that I won't mention so that I can't be accused of doing it for the $$$), I pointed out why I disbelieved both the Jim Ragsdale tale and the Glenn Dennis tale. As soon as I learned that Frank Kaufmann had been less than candid, I insisted to all that his stories should be rejected, announcing that in a special on what was then the Sci Fi Channel (which I can mention because my whole "pay" for that was a one day trip to Albuquerque to film at the convenience of the production company).

I have tried to make honest evaluations of the UFO phenonmena for a long time and because I do not endorse everything nor worry about validating a belief structure that I do not share, you don't see me invited to the various conventions around the world.

So, Brian, had you been paying attention, you would not have had to ask the question... there are many others you might want to ask. I think you can figure out who they are.

John's Space said...

The Corso claims make no sense at all. If UFOs are real space ships from interstellar space (or at least landing craft from them) then they have to come from a technology base that is way more advanced than ours is currently. So take the transistor claim for example. One would think that the electronics in a UFO would have clips (if that is what they use) that were at least as miniaturized as most advanced ones we have currently. So imagine that’s some samples of our state of the art electronics were time warped back to 1947 and given to our top scientists and engineers to learn and reverse engineer. Could they have developed a transistor from study these samples? I think not. Any whatever would be in a UFO would probably be even more advanced.

The reverse engineering myth fails to take into account the vast technological differences between 1940s Earth and any alien civilization capable of crossing interstellar space with the frequency that the UFO phenomena would require.