UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nick Redfern reviews what he says is a "significant" book

Click here for Mr. Redfern's review

Roswell’s Bad “Joke”

Debating Roswell often brings out the worst in UFO mavens, but why?

We think the Roswell saga starts to unravel when news media provided this photo of the allegedly misidentified “flying saucer” debris that was originally reported as captured [sic] by the military:


The photo of General Ramey scrutinizing the alleged captured flying disk debris insults the intelligence of everyone.

The photo is saying, This is the stuff that was found near Roswell and thought to be a flying saucer.

Who, in their right mind (Brazel, Marcel, and various Roswell citizens) would have thought that the mishmash of sticks and foil was from an exotic flying craft that destructed in their locale?

The “joke” – seen as a cover-up by UFO aficionados who believe an extraterrestrial craft was discovered near Roswell – was so blatant and silly that news media and other interested persons who saw the display shrugged off the initially fascinating account as a complete observational blunder by some rural hicks, compounded by a military contingent that was totally inept.

The event faded almost immediately, only to be resurrected in the late 1970s and early 1980s by the books inspired by Stanton Friedman’s contact with Jesse Marcel, who convinced Friedman or was convinced by Friedman that the Ramey photos did not picture what he had gathered up, from the so-called debris field left by the crashed flying disk.

From that point on the Roswell incident took off.

But the intellectually insulting photos, of General Ramey with a batch of crummy materials, was the downfall of the Roswell story, in 1947, and still resonate with skeptics to this day: the photos are so bizarre and foolish that they invite the charge of a government cover-up by some or, by others, as a real account of what was found at Roswell and woven into a story of extraterrestrial aliens, expanded by fictions from those seeking notice or a late-in-life legacy that “ufologists” encouraged or helped create.

But it’s the “joke” -- the Ramey photos – that really have offput science and news media, then and now.

Who thought up the “joke” has been grist for Roswell scrutiny for years, but it’s merely a “joke” and should be treated as one, with a great guffaw by thoughtful persons who should really get on with their lives, leaving Roswell for the accumulators of hoaxes that make humans laugh.