Almost from the moment that Kenneth Arnold’s “flying saucer” (yes, I know he was describing the motion and not the shape) hit the newspapers, this field has been plagued with fakers, liars, charlatans and hoaxers. They have made up their experiences, their expertise, their military service and they have been believed by millions, even when exposed for the frauds they are. Which is, of course, one of the reasons that I have begun to dislike this whole field.
Before the ink was dry on the Arnold report, there were those who had met the alien creatures piloting those interstellar craft, who had ridden in them, or had seen them crash. Some of those tales were so outrageous that they were nearly impossible to believe, but believe them, some did.
In Shreveport, Louisiana, in July 1947, a saucer crashed into the street. It caused such a stir that both the Army and the FBI were involved in the investigation. J. Edgar Hoover even wrote, on a memo later that month about the “La case” in which the Army grabbed the debris and wouldn’t let the FBI look at it. Some later attempted to suggest this little note proved that the Roswell crash was real. But the object found in Shreveport was only about 18 inches in diameter, and was an admitted hoax. And, it was clear that Hoover’s note referred to the Shreveport case and not the Roswell crash. We still have to deal with it long after the truth was learned, even with the documentation available to prove the crash was a hoax.
Worse still is the Aztec UFO crash, which happed in March, 1948. Although there is no documentation to support the case, and it was started by a couple of con men who were peddling something they called a doodlebug that could find mineral deposits, there are those who today defend this as a real UFO crash. The problem is there are no first-hand, credible witnesses to the crash, much of the information about it has been proved to be inaccurate, and the case, which resulted in the bestselling Behind the Flying Saucers has been discredited. While the case was completely rejected by serious researchers first in the early 1950s and later in the mid-1960s, we are still arguing about the authenticity of it today. I have to ask, “Why?”
With the interest in flying saucers growing, there were those who claimed to have made contact with the space brethren. These contactees as they became known, were men, though a few women claimed contact as well, who were provided with messages of hope and peace from the people of Venus, or Mars, or maybe the big interplanetary council on Saturn, though some suggested the travelers were from beyond the Solar System. They offered out of focus photographs and other evidence that had no properties that would prove they were of extraterrestrial origin as proof of their adventures. They made predictions that were often ridiculous, often completely the opposite of what later happened, and then rewrote those predictions to make them more accurate and to seem they, the contactees, were prophets. Even with the lack of evidence, and even with our modern science proving that the surface temperature on Venus is hot enough to melt lead and our exploration of Mars that has failed to find any evidence of advanced life there, people still believe these silly claims. I don’t know why.
In fact, it has gotten worse today with several men claiming to have been involved in an interstellar war fought on Mars and fought with alien allies against other spacefaring races. I was even supposed to have been involved according to one of those tales. I hadn’t been in Iraq as I had thought but had been fighting on Mars. When I returned to Earth, as were all my fellow soldiers and Marines, we were brainwashed into believing we hadn’t been on Mars. Why they were even clever enough to provide us with various souvenirs and photographs proving this… and there are people actually believe this nonsense.
But it is in the last twenty to thirty years that we have been nearly overwhelmed with blatant hoaxes that have divided the field. It might be said this all began with the announcement of a number of government documents that alleged the creation of a super-secret program to exploit the find of alien technology at Roswell. Majestic-Twelve, or as it is commonly known, MJ-12, has been examined carefully, been the subject of extensive research, and held up as proof that the government is hiding the secret of alien visitation and UFO crashes. In all those years of research, in all those archives that have been visited, in all those declassified government files from dozens of formerly high-ranking military officers and government officials that have been searched, there has never been a single document found to support MJ-12. In fact, the original documents have no provenance and that is one of the largest red flags there is, though the supporters of MJ-12’s reality brush off questions about it.
Since that time in 1984 when the documents were mailed, anomalously to UFO researchers, there have been a number of fatal flaws found in them. The first was the improper date format, which told us all that the Eisenhower Briefing Document or EBD as it now called, was not prepared by government officials or military officers, but by someone outside those realms with a knowledge of the Roswell case but no military or government service.
|Stan Friedman, one of the leading promoters of the
MJ-12 Documents. Photo copyright by
While the inaccurate dating format probably isn’t sufficient for everyone to reject the documents as faked, there is additional, larger problems. In the EBD there is a discussion, short though it is, about a UFO crash in the El Indio – Guerrero area of northern Mexico, very close to the Texas border. This case is a hoax started by Robert Willingham in 1968 and co-opted by Todd Zechel in the 1970s. Willingham had originally said that he saw the crash in 1948 while flying Air Force fighters, but Zechel, in his interviews with Willingham, said the date was actually December 6, 1950, a date that appears in the EBD.
On December 6, 1950, there was an alert about something, or some things, heading toward the United States. Within an hour, the alert was canceled when the objects were identified. Willingham, who had gone along with this date for years, told Noe Torres and Ruben Uriarte that the crash couldn’t have happened in December 1950 because he, Willingham, had been in Korea at that time (tangentially, this too is a lie based on his military records as retrieved from NARA in St. Louis). Willingham himself later told me the crash took place in 1954 or 1955, contradicting his own, original statement (published in March 1968, Skylook, the precursor to the MUFON UFO Journal), Zechel’s claim of the date, and the Eisenhower Briefing Document. And if, there was no crash in that area of Mexico, regardless of the date, that would destroy the credibility of the whole document… yet there are those who believe that is not the case. I don’t know why this doesn’t convince people about the truth.
Accompanying the EBD in the data dump, was a note or memo on White House stationery authorizing the creation of what would become MJ-12 and that memo was allegedly signed by President Truman. But the signature was proven to have been lifted from another, authentic document, which has been identified. It was attached to the memo and then copied again to remove the cutlines. It was placed uncharacteristically low on the memo, suggesting that Truman had not actually signed it. More importantly, there are some slight indentations on the cross bar of the “T” in Truman, which suggest that the parts of the letters that had been touching it on the original signature had been removed artificially. In other words, the signature had been cut from the authentic document, placed on the memo, and then photocopied. Neither the original Eisenhower Briefing Document nor the Truman memo have been found, another big indication these two documents are faked, but we still hear arguments about their authenticity.
In the mid-1990s, these faked documents were used as part of a package to prove that the alien autopsy was real. This was a short film that allegedly showed the autopsy of an alien creature found in the Roswell crash. Overlooking the fact that the documents are faked and those using them might not have known that, the
autopsy itself suffered from the same problems as those Eisenhower
documents. There was no provenance for them. Ray Santilli had claimed he bought
the film from a US Army cameraman who was never identified. The actual film of
the alien was never actually seen by anyone. All that we had was a videotape made
from it. As they say, many notorious forgeries have some mechanism to explain
the lack of an original document that would yield a great deal of evidence that
could prove authenticity or reveal the hoax.
|Creating the alien for the Alien Autopsy. Photo
courtesy of Philip Mantle.
But all this is now unnecessary because those who made the film have said they faked it. Photographs of them creating the creatures in their workshop have been published. Drawings made as they designed the creatures have been furnished. Without any evidence, the autopsy is real and a pile of evidence that it is faked, there are still those who claim that it is authentic. They demand that I, and everyone else who knows the autopsy is faked, just need to look at ALL the evidence to show us reality of the film. But it is those supporting that reality who refuse to look at all the evidence.
It seemed that the 1990s were consumed with these various fakes. Research resources that might have been better used, were wasted as we all chased our tails. The US government, or rather the U.S. Air Force, got into the act in their attempt to prove that the Roswell UFO crash was a case of mistaken identity. After a long investigation, they semi-retracted their original statement from 1947 that what was found was a weather balloon, replacing it with another answer. It was a… weather balloon. Oh, this was a somewhat different one that was part of a top-secret plan to spy on the Soviets, so naturally, they had to cover it all up. But now, in the 1990s, they could tell us all the truth about that.
The truth here, however, is that while the ultimate purpose of that balloon project was classified, the activities and experiments being conducted in New Mexico were not. Even the claim that the name, Project Mogul, was classified and unknown to those in New Mexico turned out to be untrue. Documentation, ironically provided by the Air Force, proved that Mogul was not the culprit, but still, today, we have those who refuse to accept this (let the bullying begin again and we can start another round of why the documentation that refutes Mogul as the culprit cannot be trusted).
Not all that long ago we all were surprised to learn that pictures of the alien creature found at Roswell had surfaced in a private slide collection. The slides were the smoking gun and the skeptics would be howling in pain when all was revealed. For more than a year we waited to see the actual slides while being told that the evidence was here, that due diligence in the search for the truth had been made, and experts agreed with the conclusion of alien visitation. Within 48 hours of the big reveal in Mexico City in May, 2016, we learned that the slides showed the remains of an unfortunate child who had died centuries earlier. I outlined all of this at length on this blog in 2016. Just type in Roswell Slides and take a look at the evolution and the destruction of this tale… and there are still those who insist that the slides show an alien creature and somehow all the documentation is in error.
So, why now, go through all this again? Why bring it up? Because we find ourselves making the same mistakes over and over. We attempt to put an end to all these distractions but find ourselves having to repeat the arguments, prove the same points again, and still argue with those who refuse to look at the evidence that goes against them. They don’t want to hear the truth. They just want their belief structures validated. They accuse us (or rather me) of failing to look at the evidence when that is exactly what they do.
Even the most innocuous of remarks is taken as an insult. Not all that long ago I suggested that I didn’t believe the Billy Meier tales of alien contact. I didn’t say it was a hoax at that time, just that I didn’t believe it, offering nothing more about it. I was then the subject of an email attack, I was labeled a coward, told that I refused to look at the evidence, and I couldn’t prove the case was a hoax anyway. Of course, it really doesn’t work that way. Those claiming that Meier is traveling among the stars with his Pleiadean pals were required to prove the case was real, but that didn’t stop them. And yes, I believe this will open up another assault on my character. We live in an age where you just can’t express an opinion without someone taking offense and demanding an apology or attacking you for holding that opinion. In this case that’s not going to happen because it is my opinion and I’ve seen nothing to alter it. Let the second wave of bullying begin.
The real problem here, as demonstrated by the Meier group, as well as several others, is that a small number will cling to one or more of these nonsensical stories, hide the truth and expect us not to ask critical questions. News media find these people in their attempts to be fair, giving them a platform that they do not deserve and by doing this, make all of us look as if we have no ability to discriminate between fantasy and reality. We all get lumped into the tinfoil hat brigade, even as we attempt to provide real evidence that can be independently evaluated and we accept those conclusions that have been found scientifically even if they are not the conclusions we wish to see.
And once we take a stand, based on our evaluation of the evidence, we are attacked as debunkers, members of the CIA, and propagandists who are unable to think for ourselves. These true believers don’t understand that I, and many of my colleagues, do reevaluate the evidence periodically in case something new has been found or the case has been changed in some way. And when we demand evidence, why, it’s just that we can’t see the truth, though the evidence is never offered.
Finally, if the evidence breaks against them, such as that now suggesting that the Atacama Desert mummy is totally human, the immediate reaction is that those doing the research is just junk science. That has become the default setting. Or we are told that the CIA has buried the information and discredited the case to hide the truth. The only truth they will accept is their truth. Belief structure trumps evidence every time.
And we read that a new study completed after five years of work, a new peer review of those DNA results, is going to be launched. Steven Greer is going to select those to make this new study, seemingly unaware that a preselected peer review committee by him isn’t going to prove much of anything. To be effective, the peer review must be made up of those who are disinterested in the subject. It means they have no bias about the outcome, other than to determine if the study is accurate or flawed in some fashion and that the conclusions follow logically from the evidence.
This has been the trouble from the very beginning of the UFO era. If you don’t find the proper conclusion, then you are labeled as a bad person. Skeptics seem unable to say that a specific case is extremely unusual, which is not to say that it proves alien visitation. Believers are unable to say that a specific case they favor has a solid terrestrial explanation. The study of UFOs has become so polarized that neither side wants to give an inch or even just say, “You have an interesting point.” Doesn’t mean you agree, only that you understand the concept.
Although there are some who have quietly taken up this position, too many see it as a debate rather than an investigation that has yet to be finished. There are cases that seem to defy terrestrial explanation but there don’t seem to be any cases that prove alien visitation. I’m not sure why this is something that is so hard to understand. I’m not sure why each side believes it to be the Keeper of the Flame of Truth. There are times when the best you can say is, “I just don’t know…” but no one seems to be able to do that.