The … truth … will … be … revealed … November 22 … on … the SCI FI Channel. The cable channel sent a team of archeologists to Roswell, New Mexico, site of the most enduring UFO controversy, to see what they could see:
In an effort to verify once and for all whether a UFO crash-landed in New Mexico more than 50 years ago, the cable TV channel sent a team of archeologists to conduct an in-depth study of the legendary crash site.
And just like the alleged government conspiracy by those who say aliens landed near Roswell, New Mexico, the results of the scientific study are top secret. That is until Nov. 22, when SCI FI airs “The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence,” which will include what network representatives are calling a “smoking gun.”
Until then believers and debunkers will just have to wait, said Bill Doleman, the principal investigator with the University of New Mexico archeology team.
Doleman, along with three other archeologists and six volunteers were hired by the SCI FI Channel to conduct the research, which took place over 10 days last September.
“We found things — some things I still don’t know what they are — but they surprised me,” Doleman said, reiterating his confidentiality agreement with SCI FI. [from Reuters]
I am a bit confused: if in fact a UFO crashed near Roswell, then the government is covering it up. So wouldn’t they have swept the site pretty darn clean in the subsequent 55 years? And if there is something to be found, why would the government allow these people to find it? Maybe the “smoking gun” is a ray gun, in which case I’d be concerned about the smoke.
- The smoking gun is fascinating and compelling. It’s going to raise a lot of questions afterwards,” said Thomas Vitale, a senior vice president of programming at the SCI FI Channel.
….Doleman says his team was directed to use purely scientific methods, such as geophysical prospecting and archeological testing of anomalies, to find any evidence of a crash.
They primarily investigated what is called the “skip site,” the second site of impact where the craft supposedly spewed debris before skipping 17-25 miles away to its final crash site.
“We weren’t out there to bunk or debunk. We were just scientists using scientific methods,” he said.
Along with evidence found at the scene, the “smoking gun evidence sheds light on government truthfulness about this whole event,” Vitale said.
I have to admit they have my attention, although you know as well as I do that if anything really REALLY incriminating was found, we wouldn’t be hearing about it for national security reasons.
What do you think they found??
To counteract some of the more fanciful flights of UFO fancy, consider the words of Jim Oberg, UFO skeptic from a famous debate on the topic:
- J. Allen Hynek says that intergalactic travel is physically impossible, arguing that UFOs could not be craft carrying emissaries from space. Instead he suggests that unidentified flying objects may represent an alternate reality, or even “doors” connecting our universe to some parallel dimension.
I would like to counter that theory with the “null hypothesis,” which holds that we can account for decades of UFO sightings without resorting to extraordinary explanations. Under this hypothesis, put forth by skeptical UFO theoretician Robert Sheaffer, there would still be innumerable UFO reports, including some seemingly unexplainable cases. There would still be hypnotically extracted stories of abductions by flying-saucer beings. There would be close encounters of the first, second, and third kind.
There just wouldn’t be any UFOs.
Proof of this hypothesis lies in a simple thought experiment. Ufologists now claim that of all UFO reports, 90 percent can be explained, while 10 percent are “true” UFOs. But imagine that all true UFOs go away for a period of time, leaving the UFO reports caused by readily explainable misperceptions, pranks, and hoaxes. Since it is unreasonable to expect amateur UFO investigators to solve all such prosaic cases, we would be left with a residue of false UFO cases, indistinguishable from what pro-UFO investigators present as true UFOs. The obvious implication is that the real world doesn’t have real UFOs after all.
Ufologists such as Hynek refute this argument by pointing to the credentials of witnesses. But witnesses need not be drunk, uneducated, myopic, hysterical, or psychotic to succumb to limitations in human perception and memory. In fact studies suggest that the better educated an individual is, the more likely he or she is to fill in the blanks unconsciously.
An excellent example is a set of cases endorsed by Hynek himself. Astronomers in the Caucasus and Volga regions of the U.S.S.R. reported sighting UFOs throughout 1967. The men were actually seeing tests of space-to-Earth orbital thermonuclear warheads, but their reports were interpreted by leading American ufologists as proof that even highly educated people see UFOs. Until pro-UFO researchers grapple with the reality of human perception and self-deception, alternate universes and interdimensional communication are destined to remain hypotheses in search of data.
Maybe alien starfaring civilizations who have mastered the secrets of intergalactic travel are observing our planet. Such beings would, in Arthur C. Clarke’s words, be capable of feats “indistinguishable from magic” and could thus conceal themselves from us. Having done so, they may even now be searching for the identity of the UFO pilots, since they know it isn’t they!
Ooh, cold water smack down. Okay, I’m back to normal again.
Here’s a roundup of Roswell-related books from the 50th anniversary in 1997 by near-neighbor, the Albuquerque Journal:
- The 50th anniversary of the alleged crash at Roswell is nigh upon us and there’s a spate of books on the Roswell Incident and UFOs in general. Coincidence? We think not.
Here are capsule reviews of some books done by the top-secret three-member “Grand Unified Conspiracy and UFO Retrieval Committee of the Order of Men in Tweed.”
“Beyond Roswell” (Marlowe and Co., $24.95) by Michael Hesemann and Philip Mantle.
In one of the few books that sheds any new light on the subject, the authors make a game attempt to fit all the “facts” of the Roswell crash into a new scenario. Backed by government documents and eyewitness interviews, they claim the military actually responded to three different saucer crashes in 1947, from May 31 to Aug. 13 — one near Socorro, one near Roswell, and one near Flagstaff, Ariz. Much material will be new except to fanatics. Its weakness, like most of this genre, is that it sometimes relies on discredited accounts or materials.
“The UFO Invasion” (Prometheus Books, $25.95) edited by Kendrick Frazier, Barry Karr and Joe Nickell.
This could have been the book that made a convincing case for UFO debunkers, but it falls short. Based mostly on reprints of articles from the Skeptical Inquirer, it jumps all over the place, and the lack of coherence hurts as does the choice of some obscure cases. It also contains a large dose of the smugness and close-mindedness not associated with “scientific” inquiry.
“Alien Agenda” (HarperCollins $24) by Jim Marrs.
The Kennedy assassination expert takes on UFOs and government secrecy in a massive review of the recent history of UFOs. Marrs correctly perceives that the belief in UFOs is mainly a matter of mindsets. Marrs’ journalistic credentials give him a leg up on many authors in supporting what he says. He delves into some areas the general public may not be aware of. A plus is his look at the cultural and metaphysical aspects of the phenomenon. He stumbles, however, in spending time defending lost causes like Billy Meiers.
“UFO” (NTC Contemporary Publishing, $22.95) by Charles E. Seller with Joe Meier.
The chapter “Roswell Revisited” is really “Roswell Re-hashed,” taking bits and pieces of the various stories and wedging them into a single narrative. It sheds no new light. If you’re a fan of works that explore the connection between the cosmos and ancient constructions like pyramids, Stonehenge and the plains of Nazca in Peru, however, you’ll find this an enjoyable read.
“Making Contact” (William Morrow $22) edited by Bill Fawcett.
We must admit we have not read this one, but with the avalanche of books out on dating etiquette, we suppose this book was inevitable. The press blurb should allow you to decide whether you want to get it: “”‘Making Contact’… covers the nitty-gritty of establishing a relationship with aliens, including how simple items like coins and string can be used to communicate with aliens, how to perform alien first aid and official U.S. Air Force guidelines for notifying the public.”
“The Official Alien Abductee’s Handbook” (Andrews and McMeel $7.95) by Joe Tripician.
Finally a book about UFOs with a sense of humor. It’s the perfect antidote to “Making Contact.” Any book with a parody song called “Abductee in the U.S.A.,” to the tune of the Sex Pistols’ classic “Anarchy in the U.K.” scores big points.
“Top Secret/MAJIC” (Marlowe and Co. $13.95) by Stanton Friedman.
If you want to read a book about Stanton Friedman, nuclear physicist (as the UFO researcher likes to call himself), this book is for you. If you want to read a book that sheds light on the UFO phenomenon, pass. While the UFO community has largely abandoned a bundle of allegedly top-secret documents about the government’s MJ-12 UFO coverup as a feeble hoax, Friedman remains unrepentant. His tales about himself and his heroism to get at the truth clog up his narrative, especially when the “truth” is the pathetic MJ-12.
“Roswell in Perspective,” by Karl Pflock. (Fund for UFO Research, PO Box 277, Mount Rainier, Md. 20712)
“RiP,” as it’s known to aficionados, is not exactly a book, but it’s one of the best efforts to untangle the Gordian knot of Roswell. Written in 1994 as a report by Placitas’ Pflock, it’s a reasonable, dispassionate sifting of evidence without the agendas that mark work of other Roswell researchers. Its conclusion: The famed debris was a military balloon experiment. And while Pflock left open the possibility that an alien ship crashed in New Mexico back in 1947, he has slammed that door shut since “RiP” was published, concluding that The Roswell Incident was a case of mistaken identity.
More reviews on the site, Pflock’s story is the one I’m buying.
This report in the Skeptic’s Newsletter comes to the same conclusion:
- Independent investigations by two UFO researchers and the U.S. Air Force have discovered what crashed 75 miles north of Roswell, leaving behind unusual debris found by rancher Mac Brazel on June 14, 1947. It was a balloon-borne radar corner reflector that was part of a then-Top Secret Project Mogul designed to use giant, high-flying balloons to detect Soviet nuclear explosions. The first UFOlogist to discover the Project Mogul/Roswell debris connection was Robert G. Todd, Ardmore, Pa., a respected sharp-eyed researcher whose efforts focus on using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain once-classified documents.
More recently, UFOlogist Karl Pflock also discovered the Roswell/ Project Mogul connection. It will be reported in Pflock’s 170-page report on his investigation of the Roswell Incident to be published soon by the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR). Pflock is married to Mary Martinek — a senior member of the staff of New Mexico Congressman Steve Schiff who triggered the current General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation into the Roswell Incident. Pflock recently told a friend: “I’m firmly convinced that something from Project Mogul was involved in the Roswell incident.”
The USAF, which has launched an extensive investigation in response to a GAO request, also recently discovered the Project Mogul/Roswell connection. As part of the USAF’s research effort it has conducted an “electronic search” of several million pages of documents at the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives without finding a singl mention of the Roswell incident or of a UFO or ET bodies at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.