UFO Conjectures

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Roswell Dismissal

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

Kevin Randle knows how to ramp up visitors to his blog; he places a Roswell title online.

(And our title here will likely bring out the rabid Roswell aficionados also.)

But there is a silver lining in Randle’s egregious pandering.

Effervescent skeptic Lance Moody, along with his distant (British) cohort Christopher Allen, has raised an important (as I see it) idea….premise actually. And it’s this…

In the context of the 1947 flying saucer craze, the idea that saucers were interplanetary craft had not gelled or formed as an explanation for the sightings which were plentiful in the time-frame.

That is, no one knew what flying disks or saucers were, or how they were generated, and from where.

Thus, as Mr. Moody relates this, he sees the so-called Roswell debris as being “flying disk” remnants, but not extraterrestrial scrap (metal or otherwise).

The stuff found by Mac Brazel and gathered by Jesse Marcel was just a pile of debris that may have been the parts of something that had been flitting around the skies, from some unknown source, and with purposes yet to be determined.

The scraps that caused the 1947 stir and continues to stir UFO mavens to this day were mundane, prosaic materials, settled to Earth, and thought by finders to be something esoteric, and provided the sobriquet “flying disk” by Walter Haut in his misconstrued press release.

The things referred to as flying disks or, after Arnold, flying saucers, could have been balloons, sent aloft by the military or a raft of meteorologists (for research) or even feeble spy devices of soviet conspirators in the New Mexico area – and there were many because of the Atomic Bomb tests in that venue.

Flying disks or saucers didn’t have the patina of “interplanetary” in the consensual mind at the time -- military, media, or otherwise.

That ET idea came much later, as Christopher Allen correctly intuits, from the germinating mind of UFO devotees. Stanton Friedman, Kevin Randle, et al.

Also, let me interject that the military, if one accepts the ET crash scenario, wouldn’t have treated the aftermath (the debris) and/or alien bodies so cavalierly, dumping them in a truck or packages for delivery, by airplanes or trucks, to far-flung Army sites for scrutiny.

The materials and creatures would have been examined in situ firstly and then carefully contained for transport to facilities nearby (or afar) for proper and thorough scientific evaluation. The military in 1947 was not as primitive as some would make it.

That the Roswellian quidnuncs seriously think that a Roswell crash, determined to be something from other worlds, would have been handled in the sloppy way that all the evidence and historical records show, is ludicrous.

Mr. Moody’s point and Christopher Allen’s skepticism rests on commonsense, and access to what has been accumulated over the years from the 1947 incident…and it’s an incident, not a full-blown episode with characteristics of science fiction movies and books that were extant shortly thereafter.

Roswell was a case of hysteria, exacerbated by some odd materials found near Roswell, in a time-frame where “flying disks” or “flying saucers” had become the mania of the times.

The manic fervor returned in 1978 or so with the imaginative ruminations of Stan Friedman and some fervid UFO hobbyists. Kevin Randle among them.



  • We all certainly enjoy talking about Roswell!

    I don't know why that is.

    The sad fact is that when you read the stuff the implausibilities start to pile up. Part of my fascination with the story is observing increased proselytizing by the faithful following disconfirmation after disconfirmation.

    Virtually all of Kevin's first two books on Roswell are now agreed to be in error of some kind. They were in large part based upon the testimonies of liars and scumbags.

    Now ALL of the first hand witnesses are discredited. And yet the believers keep on reconstructing the story, trying to make it work.

    It's like a little diorama in a shoebox. You have to look into the box from exactly the right angle or the whole effect falls apart.

    The Roswell faithful get flustered when someone looks behind their fragile concoction and sees the tape and tin foil and balsa wood sticks.


    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • How right you are about how to attract comments!

    Consider the current position:

    Kevin says the dream team will go wherever the evidence takes them. What an astute statement.

    If it 'takes them' to the ET conclusion (for the umpteenth time) it will be completely ignored by science, officialdom, and probably the media as well (boring for them now).

    If it 'takes them' somewhere else (where?) it will severely anger each and every ETHer, of which there are a great many, and create a huge rift in the UFO fraternity.

    A case of heads they lose, tails they lose.

    Which will it be? Any ideas? Yes, we can safely say they will never get any hard evidence. Never.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Lance...

    Roswell consolidates the whole UFO panoply -- liars, ET believers, alien bodies, exotic debris, a bevy of witnesses and odd characters, et cetera.

    It's one-stop shopping for UFO mavens.

    It also attracts collectors of UFO minutiae: Rudiak, Don, et al.

    They like to show others that they are "serious researchers." Roswell provides an ego-boost for them.

    Then there are those who are contemptuous of stupidity: you, CDA, and Gilles Fernandez (from France).

    Roswell offers almost everything for UFO hobbyists, of which you are one, like, me.

    It's a fun source for debate.

    Randle uses it to pump up his blog, trying to accrue numerical leverage for the few items he offers for sale, being as destitute as he must be.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Christopher...

    You are so pessimistic.

    Randle's "Dream Team" may stumble upon the inevitable -- that Roswell was an hysterical moment for a few days, in July 1947, in a backwater area, affecting some hicks and inept military men.

    That will never be publicized by the "Team," as you note, because the Team knows that the Roswell diehards would seek them out and egg their houses.

    It's a no-win/no-win situation; you are absolutely right about that.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Actually, Rich, among those of us who like to discuss UFOs and such, Roswell has faded greatly from its former glory days right around the early 1990s.

    Many UFO enthusiasts have moved on.

    I think it was the increased attention that Kevin brought to the story that essentially doomed it.

    As more and more people looked into the case, its claptrap construction began to show. Some of smarter hard core Roswell faithful even realized the implausibility of the case...I remember talking with Karl Pflock as he made the journey from believer to skeptic.

    Now those who make up the "dream team" are really the vast bulk of those who still try to sell the story. And I'll bet they find less and less interest in their efforts to keep the balls up in the air.


    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Greetings,

    Yeah, nice article Rich imho.
    I devoted long lines in my own 2010 book in order to trie to contextualize the terms "Flying Disk or Saucer" in that 1947 summer and for the contemporans, in order to trie to "take the place and the meanings" of the protagonists. I think many modern investigators made what I called a "semantical anachronism", as if the 1947 Roswell protagonists acted on *Extraterrestrial* debris or have this in minds. I defended this "approach" in Kevin Randle's blog several times by the past.

    So, it legitimaly makes sens for the Roswell DreamTeam investigators that the protagonists CANT have confused sticks, foils, tapes, etc. with *extraterrestrial* debris.

    But the problematic is imho bad exposed: they acted on flying saucers or disks and their contemporan "semes", that is, in short, terms which have not our DIRECT semantical association with E.T.I.
    When you devote a minimal effort to contextualize the terms and the meanings of FS or FD for the 1947 contemporans, you realize that Marcel and Co. acted "legitimaly" and not like "idiots" confusing common material with ETI ones. There are the pro-ETH investigators who are probably confusing and miss interpretating here ?!

    The protagonists never acted with materials they have in mind as coming from outer space! They just faced a legitimated candidat for FS and FD contextualized.

    And a NYU apparatus/cluster, with ML307(b?), the strange tape, in particular, was a good and legitimated candidat for them (contextualized).


    Gilles F.

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Okay, Lance...

    You may find this offputting, but I have to compliment Anthony Bragalia.

    He has uncovered some things that indicate there is something more (about Roswell) than meets the eye.

    Now I grant you, Tony has a tendency to sensationalize his findings, but he's a romantic, and can't help himself.

    From what I've been privy to, and it's not a lot, he has accumulated enough circumstantial evidence for a unique event near Roswell; enough to make a reasonable person sit up and take notice.

    It may turn out to be a confluence of misunderstood things but, at this point, one can't discard what he's found, and he isn't discarding it -- following up in a serious manner.

    Some of the other Team players have also discovered "new" items that forbid a shut-down of their effort(s).

    So, while I (and you, CDA, Gilles, et al.) shake our fingers at the Team, we must hold in abeyance our outright skepticism until the guys present their Roswell solution.

    I believe it will be as I state in my posting (above) but that's just a snarky conjecture.

    It would be nice to clear the UFO air of Roswell, once and for all time...just so we can discuss other obtuse UFO sightings and events which are more intriguing.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Yes, Gilles...

    Context is everthing.

    Rudiak and Don try to bring in the attendant materials and information but they are so set on showing off their pile of accumulated Roswell detritus, they lose credibility.

    They don't offer cogent conjecture; they just offer their own kind of debris.

    They muddle the debate.

    An understanding of the societal mind-sets, at the time (1947), of the Roswell rubes, the military, the media, and the public at large, would allow one to could come to a rational understanding of what happened for a few days in July, 1947.

    That the hysteria went nowhere immediately after those few days goes to the heart of CDA's remorse and skepticism.

    That the hysteria was resurrected by Stan Friedman, Randle, and others should be studied apart from the 1947 hysteria; it's a separate manifestation, only tangentially connected to the 1947 hub-bub.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Hi Rich,

    We are going to have to disagree about ,Tony. While I do like him and admire his effort...he has shown nothing thus far that carries much importance other than sometimes uncovering an interesting historical fact..

    You know, I am starting to think that Dr. Rudiak may have passed Kevin as the foremost authority on Roswell. He has certainly made me mad before (and I, him, I'm sure) but he really does know the material.

    I would love to have a conversation with him in which we both set aside our biases and snarkiness and coherently formed side by side the points for and against the Esoteric and Prosaic scenarios for Roswell using only the existing contemporaneous evidence.


    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • Lance,

    I happen to agree with you about David Rudiak.

    He is a fount of information and erudition too.

    He just gets carried away sometimes, and has to strut.

    (I like a reserved, academic demeanor.)

    The difference, as you see it, I think, is that Rudiak has the steak and Bragalia has the sizzle.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • I'd say Stan Friedman is still the Roswell 'authority' if there be such a thing. But even the ETHers draw the line at certain witnesses and certain events. Trouble is that some ETHers draw different lines from other ETHers. It constitutes a veritable mish-mash.
    (And the skeptics disagree on certain points too).

    Stan was omitted from the team, I presume, because his presence might well have caused friction and early squabbles.

    I too have grave doubts about Tony Bragalia. He is certainly a dedicated man but is far too quick to draw conclusions. False conclusions too. He suffers a bit from entering the fray too late. He relies far too much on ageing 2nd and 3rd hand witnesses and dubious associated 'connections'.

    It is the complete lack of hard evidence that will defeat the dream team. Of course, should Tony perform a miracle and produce some real hardware that stands the test of science, he will likely be world famous. But I can't see that happening. Can you?

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

  • A valid point has been raised. One cannot filter past events through the sociological, cultural, political, or even religious beliefs of today. All testimonies, descriptions, illustrations, etc. of past events must be examined from the perspective of the prevailing belief systems at the time the events took place in order to avoid distorting the facts.

    For events in the far distant past, where we have no record of how people viewed the world, all modern interpretations of the events are suspect (e.g., intepretations of neolithic cave drawings). We simply don't have enough information to draw any substantive conclusions.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Thursday, March 15, 2012  

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