Discrediting Witnesses and Researchers
Dennis Balthaser's Editorial for January 2003
Searching For the Truth
(Always Telling the Truth, Means Never Having to Remember Anything)
Discrediting Witnesses and Researchers
Having read many of the discussions on the various UFO email lists recently, I am again bothered with some of the comments being made by a few of those list members about certain witnesses and researchers. If our government and/or military is in fact covering up the Roswell Incident of 1947 as most of us believe they are, those covering it up must sometimes sit in their Washington, D.C. offices and almost be laughing out loud at the way the Ufology community attempts to resolve this research. It appears to me that at times we don't need a government cover-up for the Roswell Incident, since we can't agree about anything related to the event ourselves. We have a major need in the Ufology community to clean up our own act, and I think we should do that by putting an end to the name calling and accusations being thrown around.
I certainly don't condone lying in any sense of the term, but also in certain cases, feel that the accusations against individuals that have been untruthful or embellished their witness accounts are unfair and may be unjustified at times. I've also noticed that in some of these comments, "people" are often being ridiculed ---rather than the data they're presenting. Some of those accused of lying or embellishing their information are being completely ruled out as having any worth at all, and that's where I have a problem. Granted once an individual has been exposed for not telling the truth or embellishing his account, it makes it a lot more difficult to believe anything else they say. Being called a liar is a fairly strong accusation. It seems we sometimes-lose sight of what the bottom line of our research really is, i.e. trying to determine what took place near Roswell in 1947, which to me means "weeding" through the untruths and embellishments in order to arrive at the truth and factual information, without destroying or attacking individuals in the process. Perhaps in some cases it's a personality thing, or a way of drawing attention to one's self, neither one having a place in research in my opinion.
Over the years, I have had indications from certain witnesses that they are not, or have not been completely truthful also, and I admit that it makes my research that more difficult. In most cases however, I won't attack the individual, and until absolutely sure that all information about the person has been exhausted, won't completely rule them out as a witness or a respectable researcher. On the other hand, I have realized that the debunkers and skeptics are the easiest types to deal with. In most cases they haven't done any worthwhile research to begin with, and once publicly exposed crawl back in their hole to re-group. They don't particularly like being exposed for their comments, so that's exactly what I've done when confronted by them.
Yes it drags the research on, but we're researching a subject (in the case of the Roswell Incident), that is already 50 some years old. To rule a witness or researcher completely out because of a lie or embellishment without further investigation is unjustified in many cases. In the case of the researcher, do we ignore the good work and valid information he or she has presented over the years? Do we really know the reason behind the lies or embellishments? Until we do know (and in some cases we may never know), I believe we must continue to do our research. Only when all of the information has surfaced can we truly say the person is not worthy, and in my opinion there are some that do fall into that category.
Over the years I have run into both witnesses and researchers that have embellished their education or their involvement in the Roswell Incident. I have never understood why this is done, because it's easy to check on one's education by contacting the school or university they claimed to have attended. I know in my case, I worked in the civil engineering field for 33 years with the Texas Department of Transportation and 3 years in the U.S. Army prior to that in an engineering battalion, doing QA and QC Inspection. I never say I was a civil engineer because that requires registration in the individual states you work in, and there is a difference between being a civil engineer and working in civil engineering. I have been in the presence of Stanton Friedman when he has been addressed as Doctor Friedman, and he emphatically pointed out to that person that he does not have a doctorate, but rather a Masters Degree. So those wishing to embellish their education or their involvement as witnesses are playing with a time bomb, since they will eventually be exposed.
Two good examples of individuals whose credentials or claims of involvement have not been verified include Bob Lazar of Area 51 fame, and Lt. Col. Corso, co-author of "the Day After Roswell". I would like nothing better than to believe the information these two individuals have presented, however without verification I cannot. Perhaps with more research we will discover that some of their claims were accurate, and then we can decide if any of their information is believable or not, but we don't have to destroy them as individuals in the process. Lazar's claimed education cannot be verified, and Corso supplied no references in his book, nor can many of his claims be verified as accurate.
Many times when requesting information through Freedom of Information Act requests on Roswell military witnesses from the Military Personnel Records Center in St Louis, I am told that a fire allegedly destroyed the individual's records in 1973. Were the files destroyed? Colleges and Universities keep pretty good records of their graduates, and to my knowledge do not respond, that the records were lost or destroyed. On the embellishment side for witnesses, I suppose they want to be more involved than they actually were for ego, greed, notoriety or whatever their reason. Many times the reasons can be revealed through thorough research, by comparing statements made at one time with statements made later, or checking official documents when they are available.
James Bond Johnson, who took the photographs in General Ramey's office in July 1947 while employed by the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper, has definitely changed his involvement over the years, as evidenced in interviews he has done separately with Kevin Randle, David Rudiak and myself on three different occasions. He did take the photographs, but years later he claims more involvement, so even though he has embellished his involvement, the fact remains that he took those photographs that we are so interested in today.
Frank Kaufmann was someone I'd known since 1996 and visited with several times. His claims of involvement in the Roswell Incident are now questioned emphatically as being hoaxed documents that he provided to researchers to read, as well as his accounts of events he was involved in back in July 1947. Did Frank hoax these documents himself, or did someone else create them for him to use? Frank passed away last year so we may never know. Personally I believe he had some involvement, which many other researchers will not agree with because they have written Frank off as totally unreliable.
Jim Ragsdale, who went public in 1995 about his involvement with the Roswell Incident at Boy Scout Mountain, west of Roswell, also passed away a few years ago. Ragsdale's account was changed in two separate affidavits he did, and in his case it may have been for monetary reasons. I would have to see a considerable more amount of information on Ragsdale before I would accept his account of being involved.
Glenn Dennis the mortician in Roswell in 1947 has admitted to giving researchers the wrong name of the missing nurse, and consequently has been tagged by certain researchers as not believable based on that. I've had long conversations with Glenn over the past 6 years, and believe he was involved, but have not been able to determine to what extend.
If I'm wrong in continuing to believe in certain researchers and witnesses, then I'll admit that I was wrong, but in the meantime, I hope that I can continue to do my research without personally attacking anyone, and exhaust all avenues available to me before stating they are not credible or worse that they are liars.
[UFOINFO thanks Dennis Balthaser for granting permission to use this editorial]
Copyright © UFOINFO
Articles are Copyright of the Author or Compiler