After Dr. Avi Loeb announced that the extraterrestrial object that had passed through the solar system was artificial, I had tried to get Dr. Michael Shermer on the program. He asked for time so that he could review the evidence that Loeb had presented and the request was reasonable but other factors intervened. Took a while, but we had a chat about that and many other things. You can listen to the show here:
Shermer didn’t reject the theory that the artifact was manufactured, merely
suggested that other ideas were more likely. Any thinking individual would
Dr, Michael Shermer
have to agree that the artificial nature of the object was the least likely. That doesn’t mean that can’t be artificial, only that there are other explanations that have a greater chance of being accurate.
We also talked about the recent Congressional hearing about UAPs. Again, I think he and I were on the same basic page. I did express the opinion that the lack of knowledge about the Malmstrom AFB encounter in which a flight of ballistic missiles was shut down should have been something that Ronald Moultier and Scott Bray should have known about because it was an issue of national security. I’m not sure that Shermer understood my point.
We did have the same sort of discussion about the Levelland sightings. Now, I know that he wouldn’t have been as familiar with the case as I was, but my questions weren’t really about the details of the case. I didn’t ask, for example, why so many cars were stalled over such a wide area with the witnesses making independent reports. I wanted to attack the Air Force explanation of “ball lightning,” and ask if the skeptical mind shouldn’t have questioned that solution rather than embracing it.
While he brought up the Air Force claim of only three witnesses as explained by Curtis Peeples in his book, Watch the Skies!, even the Air Force file on the case gives us the names of five witnesses whose cars or trucks were stalled. He also brought up the weather, but that point had been refuted by a document in the Air Force files as well. A weather report that came from Roswell (Walker Air Force Base) that had the weather from various stations in the southwest showed that the weather in Lubbock was not overcast and there was no precipitation. I fear that I didn’t make it clear that it was not the weather over Roswell but the weather from Lubbock reported on the teletype message from Roswell. My mistake. And, I didn’t really want to get bogged down in a long discussion of the weather in Lubbock on November 2, 1957. Those who wish to see all that information can look it up in Levelland (link to the left).
Finally, because I had been asked to ask about the Hickson-Parker abduction Pascagoula in 1973, I did. Shermer said that Philip Klass, who never met a UFO sighting he couldn’t debunk, had said there were discrepancies and that Hickson had refused to take a lie detector test.
Well, Klass did say there were discrepancies, but he didn’t say that Hickson had refused to take a lie detector test. He said he refused to take it from a reputable firm, and that might be a justified complaint. However, by coincidence, I found the following just a couple of hours ago:
On the thirty-first of October, a UPI story out of Pascagoula announced that Hickson had been given a lie detector test and the test confirmed he was telling the truth as to what he believed happened. The test was conducted on Tuesday, October 30, in the offices of Pendleton Detectives, Inc., in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pendleton Detectives, Inc., is considered to be a very reliable Firm and the test took two and a half hours to complete. (ABDUCTED! Page 136, paperback edition.
It really comes down to how reliable the detective agency is. And how reliable lie detectors are. Klass, of course, was biased, but then again, so were the Lorenzens.
Next week, Michael Schratt will enter the arena to talk about his book, Dark Files: A Pictorial History of Lost, Forgotten and Obscure UFO Encounters.