But I do know the routine: this witness, Stan, will be accused of all kinds of motives, he’ll be considered by mainstream media, as well as some ufology insiders, and professional debunkers, guilty till proven innocent.
Guilty of what?
They’ll say he’s hoaxing for fun, hoaxing for profit, or that he’s gullible, or delusional. The usual Big Four Faker Factors.
However this one resolves, I admit that personally, I would not have done it the way Peckman decided to sensationalize it.
But I’m here to help all you rational people take a deep breath …and take a closer look at some historic cases where those who shouted hoax…had ultimately hoaxed their own ‘evidence’. So-called.
Check these three outstanding examples.
1. Portage, Ohio Case, aka The Sound of Silence Is Deafening.
The explanation to this 30-plus year old case turns out to be a real UFO, cloaked; an elaborate government hoax created by a secret agency forcing a local sheriff to withhold crucial evidence from Project Bluebook. Because of this hoax … Police Officers statements were laughed at and they were told they were chasing Venus (through three counties).
By the way, have you even heard of this case on any other blog? Portage would prove, by the police files, how the government lied about having a secret agency to handle UFO cases far and above Project Bluebook. In this incident, the two police officers eventually had to leave their careers, which were damaged beyond repair. When the truth came out, one of the Police Officers (former officer Dale Spaur was in a hospice when they found him) said he was glad it became public and it happened before he died … But did it become public?
Don’t know of any blogger who’s covered this… “One of the good people” cases. I guess too many bloggers are busy bashing witnesses or waiting for that one where they can prove how objective they are to the skeptics.
I found two places where this great update on the famous UFO of Portage Ohio case was highlighted. MUFON Journal where I got the story, and my blog where I continue to follow it:
2. Rowell Flying Saucer Hoax… Or MOGUL Balloon Hoax.
The calculations presented to the scientific community (who never checked) that settled the case toward MOGUL was a “hoax”; the calculations were done as a farce, including having the balloon hovering for hours, ascending and descending (actually acting like an intelligently controlled device):
3. Trent Photos. Not only did the debunkers insinuate the Trents were liars --contrary to what all of the neighbors felt about them-- a dubious “Trent” photo showing a wire implying a device for hanging a fake object was circulated. Slight problem: in the original, real Trent photo, no wire was present. Just recently, another hoax photo was presented by a blog showing a model-size image of the “Trent” saucer…another obvious hoax:
So guess who got the short end of the stick in all these cases? The witnesses.
Harassing phone calls, threats…think about what that would mean in your life: THREATS for coming forward, telling the truth.
Sensationalism can certainly be used to make money. However, we all need to focus on the crucial baseline fact: the presence of sensationalism in a public revelation may have nothing to do with the truth of what the witnesses report. Wedding sensationalism to a case for monetary gain does not mean the subsequent research is faulty, either.
Seems it’s impossible for some UFO researchers to rationally examine what happens in a heavily publicized case.
Is it really so tough to step back for a moment, and logically, rationally consider each element separately: witness, evidence, effect of the public exposure, background research, media portrayal?
We owe every case our best attention.
What’s more, we owe every witness who was brave enough to come forward the opportunity to present their experience with some baseline respect from us.
Are we that self-righteous that even ufologists who already know what it’s like to take a lot of heat from friends, family, and who rarely risk any kind of discussion on these matters in the workplace, or with the people who live next door, that they summarily dismiss either a good witness account or apparent physical evidence because someone somewhere --often not even the witness, but someone in the media upstream-- is poised to gain some kind of profit?
You can go out into the ufology blogosphere or chat among your fellow conference goers, and you will even hear things like IF HE BELIEVED IN IT HIMSELF, WHY DIDN’T HE PUT THE MONEY INTO GETTING WIDER DISTRIBUTION FOR THE VIDEO?
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t publicize or give decent exposure to your experience and evidence.
Here is a clip from the interview:
We forget, too, not everyone can afford to lose a job like the Portage officers, like billionaire tech inventor forced to resign from the company he founded Joe Firmage…
We forget not everyone can afford to invest in consulting experts and pre-vetting evidence before public release. Our own huge international groups can hardly afford the testing of a fraction of such evidence that is available…from genetic testing to simple chemical analysis.
How can we blame individual witnesses --who try not to become partisan, or who are ignorant of our organizations-- for waiting to come forward until the substantial funding for professional public relations campaigns and the battery of laboratory tests has been secured?
I’ve got some ideas about how we can avoid going partisan, or loco, regardless of our basic ufology orientation. Are you ready to take the unpartisan pledge? Come back next Thursday for the challenge!
UFO Media Matters