Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Roswell Exhibit: Conservative Scientists Resort To Ad Hominem Attacks Against Noted Ufologist Stanton Friedman

Roswell Alien
Scientists decline to defend themselves

By Billy Cox
De Void

Editors Note—The very first step in scientific methodology is the “observation of a phenomena”; science dictates an investigation; sad to realize that even when so-called “men of science,” encounter a solution or a result which differs from their preset cognitions, they ”throw science to the wind” and resort to the antics of children in the proverbial sand box! —FW
Billy Cox     It’s a rare thing to see the conceits of establishment science splashed out in the Letters to the Editor. But that’s just what happened over the past week in The Tallahassee Democrat. Check it out:

Since late August, the Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science in Tallahassee has been hosting a Roswell Exhibit. Old news clippings from that 1947 UFO event, audio, space aliens, all that. The display runs through December.

Last weekend, the Museum also sponsored two lectures by Stan Friedman, who helped revive public curiosity in the coverup by turning his research into several books. Florida State University physics prof Dr. Paul Cottle, an otherwise thoughtful guy who helped revise teaching standards in Florida schools, hit the roof and uncorked an ad hominem tirade.

Leading with how his peers had worked hard to protect students from “the threat of pseudoscience undermining scientific literacy in our state,” Cottle labeled Friedman “a well known charlatan,” questioned his credentials as a nuclear physicist, and accused the Museum of undermining efforts to “improve the scientific environment in Tallahassee.”

That sparked a swift riposte from Museum executive director Chucha Barber. Friedman, she wrote, “received B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Chicago in 1956 and 1956. He was employed for 14 years as a nuclear physicist for such companies as GE, GM, Westinghouse, TRW Systems, Aerojet General Nucleonics and McDonnell Douglas.”

Furthermore, “Last I checked, Florida public education was not including beliefs about UFOs among testing standards.” In defending the Museum’s mission, Barber added: “UFOs and dinosaurs attract people of all ages to, we hope, seek truth, learn more and perhaps be entertained while inspired.”

That generated a broadside from Dr. Gregory Boebinger, director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee. Boebinger said Barber’s letter “misses the point” of Cottle’s critique.

“Is the Brogan planning to host future exhibits on palm reading and astrology? Surely,” he wrote, “when a science museum hosts often-debunked pseudoscience, it is not only using ‘a variety of entertaining experiences to attract audiences to science,’ as Ms. Barber contends, but also insidiously endorsing pseudoscience and attracting our children and the public away from science.”

UFOs = palm reading and astrology? Boebinger forgot to add pedophilia.

Anyhow, the best efforts of Cottle and Boebinger went for naught. According to Barber, Friedman lectured to a packed house; people had to be turned away.

“But what troubled me about it,” Barber says, “is that I’ve been in this business for 25 years and I’ve never felt compelled to write a letter to the editor defending my museum experiences. Getting people to think is what we’re supposed to do.”

Barber recalls the spirited debate that unfolded last summer when members of the Museum’s science and arts committees contemplated staging the Roswell Exhibit. “One of the science guys said, ‘This isn’t science,’ and one of the others said, ‘I don’t know why it wouldn’t be science.’ A great dialogue ensued and my board president turned to me and said, ‘We’re gonna host the Roswell Exhibit.’

“The museum doesn’t promote a particular ideology or a point of view on Roswell. But clearly, it creates a lot of emotion, and who’s to say a kid who sees this stuff won’t be motivated to learn more about the universe?”

From his home in New Brunswick, Canada, Friedman is still smarting from Cottle’s attack. “Since when is name-calling a scientist’s appropriate response to something?” he says. “He calls me a charlatan without giving any reason for it, and he labels UFOs a pseudoscience without stating why. It’s science by proclamation.”

Being scientists, no doubt Cottle and Boebinger are familiar with Project Blue Book Special Report #14, in which Air Force analysts determined that roughly 20 percent of their UFO reports were legitimate unknowns by the mid-1950s. And of course they’d read the disturbing 1999 French COMETA Report, presented by the Institute of Higher Studies for National Defense with a foreword by the former chair of the French National Center for Space Studies.

Naturally, being scientists, they had also acquainted themselves with “The UFO Enigma: A New Review of the Physical Evidence,” authored by a team of scientists assembled by Dr. Peter Sturrock, professor emeritus of applied physics at Stanford University.

And, in the rigorous spirit of scientific inquiry, they had probably already reviewed the FAA/National Weather Service radar records of the Stephenville, Tex., UFO incident in January. Surely, they had perfectly logical explanations for why the military refuses to release its own radar records, as well as the uncensored flight logs of the F-16s that pursued the object.

De Void wanted to discuss the pseudoscientific aspects of these and other studies with the offended parties. But Cottle’s e-mail response was terse: “I'm not going to comment further. My letter to the editor was a message to my local community, and I'm going to leave it at that.”

Boebinger didn’t bother to respond at all.


  1. pseudoscience? this is what many scientist outside the secret gov. military industrial complex were told of quantums therefore not taught in public arena protecting the students? while the gov. worked for over 100 yrs. on quantums and many other areas of stolen knowledge.
    yup we have now been protected to death.

  2. LOL, You get 'em Stan! The inventor of the vacuum tube said we would never go to the moon and it was silly to even consider it. But we did.

    I find it offensive that these "scientist" want to ignore hard evidence simply because they don't have the courage to look at it.

    I'm proud to see Stan holding his ground, he is a credit to this science. Yes, science...not pseudo science.

    If we had about 100 more "Stans" we may get further with the research. You go Stan!

  3. How does the author know thta the scientists he is commenting on are conservative?

    I have believed in UFOs since the 50's and I am a conservative.

    The author needs to expand his circle of friends or more honestly assess those he has. I have noticed that the same folks who lambast people over UFOs are the ones who use their science to drown out opposition to Darwinism. Have you looked at the political affiliations of those in some of the recent Darwin arguments?

  4. Tom,

    Thank you for taking the time to make comment.

    The reference to "conservative" was not meant in any "political" sense; it was used with it's "general meaning" in mind.

    The irony is that the description, "conservative scientists" is an oxymoron," (in my view) as it goes against the very core of science itself.

    Finally, the "reality" of the existence of UFOs was put to bed back in the '40's; in fact the term , "UFO" was borne by the Air Force (officially) in 1952; to associate the verb, "believe" with a factual thing is nonsensical. It would be akin to saying, "I have believed in the Empire State Building since the 50's." (No offense intended).



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