The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anthony Bragalia challenges Red Baron UFO shoot-down

Anthony Bragalia finds the Red Baron UFO shoot-down story (noted here, by me, below, from Mack Maloney's book, UFOs in Wartime) at the online tabloid, Weekly World News.

The 1999 story derives from Richthofen fellow pilot, Peter Waitzrik, who was 105 years old when he told the story...



Mr. Bragalia doesn't demean the Waitzrik tale because it comes from a very old man but, rather, because The Weekly World News was prone to create bizarre (untrue?) stories, such as this one:


Whether the Weekly World News gathered a made-up story from a Red Baron compatriot or not isn't for me to say.

I like the account, as rendered by Mr. Maloney in his book (Page 15 ff.)

Mr. Bragalia wants the record to be accurate and true. He assumes, sensibly perhaps, that all Weekly World News stories are bogus, and maybe they were (and are -- the tabloid maintains a web presence).

Moreover, Mr. Bragalia assures me that old people (whom I often find to be senile-prone) still maintain adequate mental faculties, and Mr. Bragalia relies on them for his continuing scrutiny of Roswell and Socorro.

If Mr. Bragalia's old witnesses provide valid information, it's possible that Captain Waitzrik's account is valid also.

At least, the Red Baron UFO shoot-down is a juicy UFO tid-bit, true or not, and I'm accepting it, for what it is -- a mythical truth of some kind.

RR

11 Comments:

  • "Creates global shockwaves"?

    Baloney. The story has created no shockwaves anywhere, so why does the "Weekly World News" say it has?

    One test of the veracity of any story in these tabloids is the number of exclamation marks used in the headlines and the text. My own formula is to count the number of exclamation marks, and the more there are, the less reliable the story is. However, most writers can, and do, cut down on their excessive use. Others go berserk with them. !!!!! See?

    Did any seismological equipment measure these shockwaves? What was the Richter scale figure?

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, November 16, 2011  

  • This kind of thing is what makes "ufology" look silly beyond redemption.

    Besides, as every Canadian knows, ace fighter pilot Roy Brown took out Richtofen - or at least that's what the official report said. The truth was a bit more mundane (ground fire), but Brown was still a genuine war hero, never losing a pilot under his command.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, November 16, 2011  

  • Paul, care to elaborate?

    You took us all aside with your Roy Brown paean.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, November 16, 2011  

  • Its reminds me of a strategy for fighting a war of attrition on two fronts. One is the truth, where current theories fall by the wayside, and the other is opposed to simple stupidity. I keep thinking of Rafferty's lyric .."Fools to the right of me.jokers to the left, here I am..stuck in the middle with you"

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, November 16, 2011  

  • Maloney doesn't hide the fact that the Weekly World News is his source. The original story also says that the source, Peter Waitzrik, was 105 years old when he related the story. The book covers an awful lot of ground. Nothing is ever 100 percent.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Wednesday, November 16, 2011  

  • Frank:

    Anthony isn't saying that Mack's citation is errant.

    Tony is saying that the Waitzrik tale is a bogus concoction by the tabloid.

    (It's possible, however, that WWN actually got a real story. That happens sometimes, even for ratty tabloids.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, November 16, 2011  

  • It's like anything else, you have to consider the source and WWN was a pretty dubious one. If I had to bet $1, I'd say Tony is right on this one. That doesn't discredit the entire book. Haines from NARCAP is the source on the Private Walls Korean War story. Haines is well regarded even by staunch skeptics but do I believe it? I'm not convinced but that doesn't mean I don't think it should be in the book.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Wednesday, November 16, 2011  

  • Rich,

    When I'm wrong...

    I thought the gist of it was that Richtofen had been shot down by a UFO. My mistake.

    Of course, I still think the idea that he or anyone else in a by-plane shot down a UFO is equally ridiculous.

    The author sent me a review copy of his book, which was nice of him. It just arrived today - I haven't gotten to it yet, other than to skim through the photos section. It bodes poorly that there are no actual photos of UFO sightings (and no "incredible" photos of anything), despite the promise of such photos on the cover.

    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, November 17, 2011  

  • Paul....

    I was disappointed too, that the "incredible photos" were not as promised.

    But I didn't mention that because it's the publisher's gaffe, not Mack's (the author).

    You know me....I like the Richthofen shoot-down, real or not.

    It makes for a spicy read.

    UFOs are so ephemeral a little embellishment is okay as far as I'm concerned.

    Myth, fairy tales, Paul Bunyan, et al. make for good escapism.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, November 17, 2011  

  • Hi Rich,

    While not singling out Mack Maloney, I will say that I'm getting a little tired of authors (or their defenders) blaming the publisher. The author signed the contract, so if it contained a clause that allows the publisher to misrepresent the material inside, then I blame the author for being so desperate to get a book deal that they would sign anything.

    I've turned down TV contracts and distribution deals where the terms were what I considered to be unfavourable, or gave the distributor / broadcaster the right to unilaterally alter my work. I just won't do that. Any author or producer who does gets what they deserve, and shares in the blame... in my opinion.

    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, November 17, 2011  

  • In this instance, Paul, neither the author nor the publisher committed a publishing mortal sin.

    The book hypes "Incredible Photographs of UFO Sightings" which we know do not exist, and never have....I'm accenting the word "incredible."

    The "sin" is one of embellishment, for which penance would be five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys.

    (Some UFO fans might find the drawings and photos to be incredible, UFO mavens so easily gulled....er, pleased.)

    It's much ado about nothing.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, November 17, 2011  

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