You might say that I view Robert Sheaffer as the resident skeptic on the program because, while we disagree on many topics, we can discuss those disagreements in a civilized fashion. This week, he and I talked about some of the current topics in the world of the UFO. You can listen to the show here:
In the last few months there has been a discussion about the Travis Walton abduction and we began with that topic. Mike Rogers has said that he was through with Walton, that the story was a hoax, that the UFO sighting was real and that no one saw Walton abducted. Rogers also reversed himself on a number of these points.
Sheaffer and I talked about the story that Philip Klass had offered Steven Pierce ten thousand dollars to say that the story was a hoax. Sheaffer was of the opinion that the original claim had come, not from Pierce, but from Rogers. Sheaffer, who had researched the story in the personal papers of Klass held in an archive, said that he seen a transcript of the first telephone call between Klass and Pierce. This came about after the allegation about the bribe was made in a book. From the transcript, Shaeffer said that it seemed both men had been surprised by the allegation. Sheaffer was certain that no such offer had been made.
I did ask if a tape of the conversation existed, but Sheaffer wasn’t sure. Apparently, there are some tapes in the archive. Sheaffer said that not all that long ago someone had asked for permission to review the material, but was told that the archive was closed and would be for about a year. That, of course, didn’t answer the question. Given the controversy, it would be nice if the tape did exist, but in my experience, I have been accused of altering tapes, editing tapes, and leaving out critical statements when a witness was confronted with words that he or she didn’t like… even when they heard themselves uttering the phrases, they claimed they hadn’t uttered.
Just last week, I talked with a person familiar with the story who said that the offer was made in a Western Union Telegram, which could render the telephone transcript as irrelevant. There seems to be no evidence that Klass had ever used Western Union to make such an offer. That allegation seemed to be stretching the point to breaking.
We did get deep into the weeds about the exact location of the abduction part of the Walton incident with a suggestion, that has been raised by others, the site has been moved so that a fire watch tower could be used to create the light show for those in the truck with Rogers. Of course, Rogers, when I spoke with him didn’t accept the idea.
I also wanted to talk about some skeptics accepting any solution to a sighting no matter how ridiculous that explanation might be. Although I used Levelland as an example, we did talk about the Lubbock Lights. Sheaffer said that an analysis of the photos showed that two of the pictures, when set one on top of the other suggested that the lights had not moved in relation to one another. For those who wish to learn more about that, you can read it here:
I have, in the past, discussed these pictures at length, including my interview with the photographer, Carl Hart, Jr. You can read that posting here:
Sheaffer did mention the Coast Guard pictures taken in 1952. There has been an explanation offered for what caused the lights. Here Sheaffer took up a skeptical argument, meaning that he was skeptical of the explanation.
|The Salem, MA, Coast Guard Picture.|
Finally, we talked about the artifact, either natural or artificial that had passed through the Solar System not all that long ago. I’ve talked with Dr. Loeb about it on this show a couple of times and you can listen to those shows here:
Next week, I’ll be talking to Rob Mercer about his discovery of some of the Project Blue Book files and the fact that he found a complete index with all the names in it. In the publicly released version, all the names had been redacted.