Challenging Misinformation By Dennis G. Balthaser

Dennis Balthaser's editorial for April 2004

Searching for the Truth

(Always Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Remember Anything)

Challenging Misinformation

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Doing Ufology research is not much different from some of the civil engineering research I did for many years, because as in all research, it is of the utmost importance that information is validated and verified before going public with it. Ufology research, especially concerning topics such as the 1947 Roswell Incident, are difficult to research and investigate for many reasons. Some witnesses who were involved are not willing to share information, while others embellish or elaborate on their involvement for some reason; the government and military catch-all excuse of “national security” and the out right lying they do; and finally, the physical evidence which has not shown up yet (although I’m convinced it’s out there somewhere). So I pay close attention to any information about the Roswell Incident presented whenever I have the opportunity. With several hundred, perhaps thousands of web sites on the internet about the Roswell Incident, it’s a given that most of those sites are comprised of second or third-hand research— knowing the “researcher” has never actually done any research on their own. I suppose that’s all right if the information presented is factual or accurate, but in many cases it’s not.

Unfortunately, many times the general public accepts whatever they are told by whoever tells it. This was the situation with the Roswell Incident for 30 years until the Incident was finally investigated starting in the late 1970s. Fortunately, there is a delete button on computers to get rid of such information, or as in my case, as I’ve done twice before on my website, I have responded publicly in editorials I’ve written: once to a challenge I received from Phil Klass where I had to defend my credibility, and again with James Bond Johnson, when he elaborated on his involvement based on 3 separate interviews he had done.

I assume the politically correct method of challenging misinformation would be privately, however, due to the amount of time that is required to “clear the record” and try to put a stop to it, I have decided to do it in the open. The public deserves accurate information, and serious researchers should be devoting their time to research – not correcting errors and misinformation put out by individuals that have not done the research. This editorial is not a personal attack on these individuals, but rather an attempt on my part to challenge the unverified information being put out. It’s difficult enough to find the truth dealing with the military, government and witnesses, without having to cope with wrong information or misinformation distributed by individuals, so my approach has become one of doing it publicly as I hope to bring attention to it and put an end to at least some of it.

A good example of this is when critics, debunkers and skeptics mistakenly agree to debate Stanton Friedman on the Roswell Incident. Typically they don’t do the required research to be on the same platform with Mr. Friedman, and in a short period of time Mr. Friedman will have presented documentation and factual information that they can’t dispute. As soon as the debate is over, however, they’ll be back to spreading their misinformation to anyone that will listen. It appears to me that sensationalism sells, and this gives these individuals, despite their lack of research, lecture opportunities or the media exposure that they do not deserve.

On many occasions TV documentaries present information that is not factual. They do this, primarily I believe, because the media have not done the required research in the first place, or the information being presented has been altered to fit someone’s specific agenda. Ufological research especially requires credibility: validated testimonies and documentation that can be verified. UFO research is too important from a historical viewpoint, and to important to our future to allow certain individuals to continue to distribute “bogus” information as though it were factual.

Such was the case, when recently, I was asked to be Master of Ceremonies at a UFO symposium where I had the pleasure of introducing 6 guest speakers on a variety of topics from the Aztec crash to crop circles to Native American information. I am not one to buy into everything presented, and really have a difficult time believing everything I’m told – especially when it’s presented as the only possibility based on that individuals belief.

Nancy Red Star was one of the invited speakers, and being interested in what information she would present about Native Americans star knowledge and UFO involvement, I paid extra attention to her presentation. She showed an hour-long video in which she interviewed several Native Americans and for the most part it was of historical value getting some of their experiences on tape.

During part of the video, Nancy was interviewing an elder who said he had been involved in the Roswell Incident in 1947. As she interviewed this gentleman, he spoke of guarding two live aliens recovered from the Roswell crash in 1947, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a year at Area 51. He even said meals were delivered to him so he'd never have to leave his guard position during that time. He described the beings similarly to how others have described them as looking, and he mentioned communicating with them through telepathy.

Two of the areas that I have dedicated my research to for the past 15 or 20 years are Roswell and Area 51, so the gentleman being interviewed by Nancy was talking about topics that I felt I was very familiar with. After she completed her presentation and the floor was opened to questions, I challenged her about the statements the elder had just made on the video. I explained how long I had been researching these two topics, and informed her that this person could not have been guarding 2 live aliens at Area 51 in 1947, and that I believed this was information that should not be included in her video. I explained that Area 51 was not placed into service until 1955 when the CIA was looking for a secret location to test the U-2 spy plane. The U-2 had been developed by Kelly Johnson and when he presented it to the CIA, they felt a more secretive location than Edwards Air Force Base was needed to test it. Consequently, 12 sites were reviewed in the southwestern United States, and the location at Groom Lake, Nevada was chosen. A runway was built, several buildings erected under the fake construction name of “CLJ”, and by 1955 the CIA had its secret base. This of course means that the gentleman being interviewed could not have been at Area 51, 8 years earlier since it didn’t even exist in 1947.

Nancy took exception to my challenge, emphatically stating that I should talk to the gentleman she interviewed— not to her. She missed the whole point, in my opinion, because if she’d done her research she would have known he was not telling the truth and she could have challenged his statements herself or removed his testimony from the presentation. I explained to her that since she was doing the interview on tape and had produced the film, she was responsible for its contents. Those one hundred people in the audience at the symposium, some of whom may have not researched Roswell or Area 51, would not have known the facts if I had not questioned her publicly.

After her presentation several people approached me and thanked me for bringing up the discrepancy after her presentation, however, Nancy voiced her concern to me that I'd challenged her, and she let me know she didn’t appreciate it. My response was that I didn’t appreciate her putting out misinformation, or in this case, unverified information, which turned out to be false. I have the documents to support when Area 51 came into existence; she had nothing other than the gentleman’s remarks, which she never verified. I told Nancy to do her homework before presenting information that is unverified. She refused to be part of a panel discussion later that day with all of the speakers and myself.

Some of us researchers are watching and listening to what is being presented, and in my case I will no longer keep it to myself. The truth is too important.

Dennis G. Balthaser

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