Thursday, December 29, 2016

Roswell Recanted?

Well, here is something that is interesting. It seems that an off-hand comment I made about the lack of skepticism in some avenues of UFO research has blown up into a debate on what I said about the Roswell case. It began with Robert Sheaffer making a few comments on his blog, Bad UFOs, which was based on the very nice review that Jerome Clark had published in Fortean Times about my book Roswell in the 21st Century. From that interview, Robert extrapolated a point of view that might not be exactly what I had do say… though the headline in the Fortean Times suggests a recanting of the Roswell case.

On the positive side, for me, it seems to have sparked a debate online and drove a few people to Amazon and other ebook sites which helped sales. I certainly don’t want to do anything to stop the traffic because it is good for me.

But the question being asked about me, but never actually put to me, is if I have abandoned the alien model for the Roswell crash. The short, flip answer is, “Read the book.”

The more lengthy answer is, “Well, sort of.”

The book was meant to be a “cold case” look at the Roswell crash, starting at the beginning and shifting through the mountains of evidence that has been gathered by a number of researchers… all of whom seemed to have a biased opinion from “Yes, it was alien” to “No, it was a Mogul balloon.”

To all of them (which at one time included me with some of them), I say, “I don’t know.”

To quote Jerry Clark, “So what did happen? Here Randle, in conceding a truth so many avoid speaking, will infuriate believers on both sides. There is ‘no real answer,’ he says.”

And there you have it… I go through the whole story, document it as best I can, and in the end, I have to say that the case is built on testimony gathered decades after the fact and that everything we know about memory is that it really is no good when it comes to something like this.

I was going to point out some of the interesting things that I learned by going through all this material, but whatever I say will not be heard by one side or the other because they will be too busy formulating their counter arguments to listen. I did find mistakes such as the Lee Reeves tale of accompanying Dan Dwyer to the crash site that is contradicted by so much testimony and documentation that it shouldn’t even be discussed… and if we want to challenge testimony, Charles Moore provides many examples in his ever shifting tale about Mogul.

To understand my conclusions, however, it is necessary to read the evidence as has been gathered and the mistakes that have been made. This is a mystery that seems to have no solid conclusion except the skeptics will say that it can’t be alien because interstellar flight is impossible to believers who say there are so many witnesses that something alien must have happened.

And to give away just one thing that I learned in the reexamination of all the material was that the Air Force was not originally investigating the case in the 1990s… they were searching for documentation about the crash from all the various agencies that might have had some involvement in the original story.

As I say, it is interesting that much of this has blown up around me without anyone actually asking me anything. I have seen some of the Internet discussion but certainly not all of it. Before it goes much further, I would merely say, “Why not read the book and then we can talk about what it all means.”


  1. I read your book Kevin, and I was at first surprised a bit with the conclusion but then realised I shared the very same, because with every bit of 'evidence' there is something that just about can cancel it out, so in the end my opinion in, quite simply, "I don't know", until I some of that memory metal stuff or otherwise surfaces. But if push came to shove I still would lean towards a mysterious/alien conclusion simply because of the lies purveyed, the mogul inconsistencies, but most of all, the Roswell Report Case Closed tome. To me, this 'Report' reeks of dramatic over-compensation, as well as the arrogance displayed by someone or an organisation that knows it is such a position of power it can toy around with you as it likes. And the clincher is how the line from the FBI telex is removed, the most crucial one of all, for no reason whatsoever they removed that line, with no reason nor apology. Why do that? If there is nothing at all to hide why do something so openly brazen, and why hasn't it been questioned? There is still something more to it in my opinion. You also don't threaten people in a community with death just because a weather balloon fell on a ranch, there are still things that happened that there is just no good reason for them to have happened.

  2. Hi Kevin, I commented here once before but several years ago. I came trying to find an email to contact you more directly about what is being reported as "recanting" only to find this very post, which is helpful. I actually did want to "ask you directly." A podcast interview and/or possible speaking engagement is my line of questioning. Thank you sir!

  3. Kevin,

    In one of your recent interviews on other people's shows about your book (The Paracast for example), I do recall you stating your opinion on Roswell after doing your cold case evaluation. It went something like this (my paraphrasing):

    "I still believe it was alien, but we simply don't have the evidence to prove it, and probably never will, so it's simply time to move on."

    While paraphrased, this seemed to be your answer as I heard it. That's not really a recanting, simply an acknowledgement that it likely will never be solved one way or the other, and that it wasn't Flight 4 given the written records.

    Isn't that correct? To me, that sounds reasonable.

  4. I just read a poorly written article about your Roswell "recant" on Inquistr and was shocked by the assumptions made by the author. I was doubly shocked that he failed to contact you for comment. It is frustrating that people do not go to the source. I figured you would have something to say here on your blog, and was glad to find this entry. I think, once again, you are expressing a grounded, educated opinion, and I especially appreciate your self reflection.

    1. Thanks for that post Alejandro - I couldn't have said it better!

  5. Memories do fade, when they're not life-changing. Many things I once knew I can't recall clearly, anymore. But I'd like to say something about we who have had face-to-face interaction with the humanoids who pilot and live aboard the the ships... WE DON'T FORGET ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED TO US. We remember the things we remembered right after the contacts, as if they happened yesterday. So don't discount we who have had Encounters of the 5th Kind. Any details we knew 60 or 70 years ago are seeded into our minds with a branding iron. Believe me - interaction with those who are not from Earth never ever leave our thoughts and our memories.