I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Peter Strassberg about his book, When Einstein Went to Roswell. The material about Roswell and UFOs was limited with the majority of the book dealing with his theories about astrophysics and gravity. The real problem with the book was the sixty some pages at the back that were MJ-12 documents that had been copied from the Internet and published without critical comment.
|Dr. Peter Strassberg|
About the first thing I learned during the discussion, because I asked about it, was if he had been in contact with Tony Bragalia. Bragalia had published, on his website, the tale of Shirley Wright, who claimed that she had accompanied Einstein to Roswell. Her story and her description of the area does not fit in with Roswell narrative as we know it, which is not to say that she didn’t accompany Einstein somewhere else to see the wrecked saucer and alien bodies. I believe, based on what she said, on her description of the security in place, and several other factors, that her tale is, at best, dubious.
I had wondered what documentation that Strassberg had, or what testimony he had, to corroborate the Einstein story. I learned it was his opinion that the MJ-12 documents he published were legitimate and because of that, the tale of Einstein in Roswell was confirmed. We did talk about the history of MJ-12, but he had no real knowledge of that and seemed somewhat surprised to learn about it. To him, the complexity of the MJ-12 documents and the information included in them, suggested they were authentic. However, if they weren’t authentic, and the evidence proves they are not, then the corroboration of the Einstein tale fails at that point.
He was impressed with the Shirley Wright end of it, she claiming to have accompanied Einstein to Roswell, and he had both read Bragalia’s article and listened to the short audio segments of Wright’s story available on his, Bragalia’s, website. I had the impression that he didn’t understand that I too, had listened to the audio segments, given some of his comments. While I found those audio clips impressive given the detail on them, I also realized there were great areas of contradiction. Having served as an Intelligence Officer in both the Air Force and the Army (and yes, Stan, on active duty), I realized that security was broken several times. Wright seemed to be suggesting that because she held some sort of security clearance, though we don’t know what kind or how high (secret? Top secret?) her clearance was, she was cleared to see and hear all. But even if she held a top secret clearance, that doesn’t mean she was cleared to see and hear everything that had been classified at that level. There is that important “need to know” caveat, and she had no need to know any of this. She even admitted that she had been quartered away from the main party during this trip, which suggests that she wouldn’t have been allowed into the secure areas. And when Einstein was allegedly show the alien craft and the bodies of the flight crew, she had no need to accompany him into the hangar, wherever it might have been.
What all this boiled down to was that Strassberg had thought the documents interesting, but as he said, repeatedly, he couldn’t prove they were real. My thought was that since he was the one presenting them as real in his book, wasn’t he obligated to find out if they were legitimate? A simple google search would have led to some of the criticism of the specific documents he used and that might have altered his opinion. It might not, but he would have had a better perspective on them.
He did say, however, that his book was more for entertainment than serious research, and that he liked to write. He gives the book away to his patience and makes no money on them. His other books were more scientifically oriented and, according to him, dealt with problems in the universe. This little venture into UFOs was something of a departure, though he did say he had an interest in the paranormal.
The problem here was the title of the book. It had very little to do with Roswell and Einstein. Had he explored that claim a little deeper, he might have realized that it was unlikely though if he had found Bragalia’s website, he would have taken that as corroboration. This is obvious because he used that information repeatedly to suggest that the MJ-12 documents were real. Such is the problem with the Internet.
And although I hesitate to mention it, he also accepted the Aztec UFO crash as authentic. As we talked about it, he was aware of Scully’s book, Behind the Flying Saucers, and seemed to know a little about that case. But the tale as he told it matches virtually nothing that has been reported on it. I was surprised he hear Strassberg talk about it as a landing rather than a crash, in fact, insisting that it was a landing rather than a crash. To amplify the difference between the information and what Strassberg was saying, he said that there were survivors. I believe he said that twelve alien beings had been found in cryonic suspension, including a number of infants. In the attempts to resuscitate those individuals, most were lost. One survived for a while and provided all sorts of details about its life and mission.
He seemed to be unaware of the history of Aztec. It matters little here what side you fall on, the information he had doesn’t track with any of it. I don’t believe he was aware of either Steinman’s or Ramsay’s books on the subject. Strassberg struck me as overly naïve on the topic, and I did mention that his book was something of a disserve because of the uncritical nature of it. I suppose I could say, the bad information in it and the reliance of the MJ-12 documents as evidence of the disservice.
In the end, his rallying cry seemed to be that he was not out to prove anything. His mission was to entertain, and to be fair, I had an entertaining hour chatting with him about all this, though not so much in reading his book. Of course, I don’t think I made much of an impression on him. As they say, he just wasn’t that into the topic. For him, UFOs are mildly interesting but not to the point of diving below the surface before committing his thoughts to paper (or should I say to electronic data in his computer).
Oh BTW, the book is not for those who have any knowledge of the UFO field. As Strassberg said, it was more for entertainment and seen as a research tool. In fact, according to the publisher, Full Court Press, they are “For the discerning author: Self publishing with style.” There seems to be no vetting of the information, but then, that is often a problem in the world today.
Thanks Kevin, for taking time to find out whether or not Dr. Strassberg's book is of any value. Sounds like it's pretty much a wash. Too bad it clutters up things with just more useless junk. Like they say, Caveat Emptor.
I could say a lot of negative things about Dr Strassberg's book and (lack of?) research.
Instead, I'll try to find the positive, and that is that Dr Strassberg is a perfect example of why there needs to be a set of research standards within the UFOlogical community. 35+ years after they were foisted onto the public people with little knowledge of the research are still treating the MJ-12 documents as factual. There will be people who read Strassberg's book, not question the content, and hence another 35+ years from now people will STILL be arguing over the MJ-12 documents...only with the added confusion of arguing about whether Einstein visited Roswell.
We will never get to the core truth (or truths) behind the UFO phenomena as long as UFO researchers are their own worst enemies. It's not even a case of two steps forward and one back. It's one step forward and then one back.
"(and yes, Stan, on active duty).."
The late SF?
Yes, it was Stan Friedman. I overheard him asking some people if they knew if I had ever served on active duty as an intelligence officer. I knew that the question he wanted to ask was if I had ever served on extended active duty as an intelligence officer, which is really a moot point. The training was the same for the active forces as for the reserve, but then I had served in both capacities. It was just Friedman's attempt to discredit that segment of my military service... and his lack of understanding of military protocols.