Friday, February 06, 2009

Debunkers at it Again

By Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman I hated wasting the money to buy the January/February 2009 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer (Vol . 33, Issue 1) which has for years been trying to debunk all sorts of so called paranormal phenomena . But the cover said: Special Issue “The New UFO Interest: Scientific Appraisals . ” This is an excellent example of false advertising since the appraisals are anything but scientific . SI is published by what is now labeled “The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry”.(CSI Light??) . In actuality, the active writers and “investigators” aren’t skeptics . They are Debunkers doing their best to pull the wool over the eyes of a curious public . They know the answers, so don’t really need to investigate . Proclamation is more their style . Deception is the name of the game . For example, inside the front cover is a very impressive list of about 75 scientists, writers, philosophers, etc including three Nobel Prize winners .Bill Nye Also included on the list is Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”, whose purpose is to Deny . . judging by his Larry King appearances . Unfortunately, most of the highly credentialed people aren’t the ones who write the articles or “Investigate” The dirty work in the trenches is normally done by the debunkers in residence . The primary tools are those of the propagandists such as very selective choice of data, positive and negative name calling, misrepresentation .

Joe NickellListed under Investigative Files is an article “Return to Roswell ” by Dr . Joseph Nickell . Joe’s three degrees are in English and he spent a lot of time as a magician . Not much science there . Of course the stock in trade of magicians is intentional deception with another sterling example being the Amazing Randi . Joe’s been attacking Roswell for over a decade . At the 50th Anniversary celebration in Roswell , I was being interviewed there, and he was in California . We couldn’t see each other, but could hear . He explained Roswell by saying the press release was put out by the PR person from the base to attract attention to himself! Joe didn’t even know Walter Haut’s name . I pointed out that I had known Walter from almost 20 years and that the notion that the PR person for the most elite military organization in the world, the 509th Bomb Group, would put out such a press release without his boss’ blessing was completely absurd . . Of course in SI Joe never mentions the 509th or that it had dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and set off 2 more at Operation Crossroads in the Pacific in 1946 . It is of some interest that Walter Haut was chosen to drop the instrument package during one of those tests, that he had flown over 20 bombing missions as a bombardier over Japan during WW 2 and was quite close to Colonel Blanchard, 509th Commander . Some inexperience!

Apparently Joe had learned nothing from our exchange and stated “On July 8, 1947 , an unauthorized press release from an eager but relatively inexperienced public information officer at New Mexico ’s Roswell Army Air Field propelled the Roswell Incident into history” . It has been known for 30 years that Blanchard ordered (authorized) Walter to put out the release . Walter after years in the far east during WW 2 was hardly just wet behind the ears . Joe even goes on to claim Kenneth Arnold’s sighting 2 weeks earlier may well have been nothing more than mirage effects caused by a temperature inversion . That is as sensible as saying the moon may be made of green cheese . This crazy notion was thoroughly destroyed by Dr . Bruce Maccabee , a physicist . But why let the facts get in the way?

Nickell goes on to say the young officer was reprimanded . He provides no evidence . I and others have asked both Walter and his wife and both denied there was any reprimand . Why would there have been, since Blanchard had ordered the release? Nickell then moves right over to the baseless Project Mogul explanation which has been thoroughly destroyed by Brad Sparks and Dr . David Rudiak and Dr . Jesse Marcel Jr . (Ref . 1) despite the assertions of Dr . Charles Moore who worked on the program .

MogulNickell describes in some detail tests run by Engineer Robert Galganski with the Discovery TV Channel crew and Nickell in attendance . They put up a half size Mogul Balloon Train carrying some radar reflectors and then shot down the balloons showing that the area covered by the debris was much smaller than described by Major Jesse Marcel . Joe was there and doesn’t really buy the test because he notes that Jesse’s estimate, ¾ of a mile long by hundreds of feet wide, was much greater than described by Rancher Mack Brazel in the July 9 Roswell Daily Record article . He quotes that article at length, but somehow never mentions that Brazel was sure what he had found wasn’t balloons . He also fails to mention that testimony from Brazel’s son Bill, neighbor Loretta Proctor, and others all saying that Brazel was brought back into town on July 9 and given a new story to tell the press . Also not noted is that if all there had been was the “bundle about three feet long and 7 or 8 inches thick and the another rubber bundle 18-20” long and 8 inches thick with a total weight of maybe 5 pounds”, it would easily have fit in Brazel’s small truck and there would have been no reason for Marcel and Counter Intelligence Corps Captain Sheridan Cavitt to follow Brazel the long way back to the ranch on July 6 . as they did . Joe, of course, never mentions that the July 8 article, carried all over in Evening papers from Chicago West, said the wreckage was found “last week” . The phony July 9 explanation says found June 14,... hardly last week from July 8 .

Joe also notes that though the news story died almost immediately, but the event continued as the subject of folklore and fakelore.[much provided by Roswell Debunkers] . there emerged amateurishly forged government conspiracy documents” . He has a note saying “The MJ-12 Documents” fooled arch Roswell-conspiracy writer Stanton T . Friedman who has continued to tout the bogus documents (Friedman 1996)” . WRONG Joe. I have done far more detailed investigation (not Nickell style proclamations) to show that the great majority of the MJ-12 documents are indeed fakes.. but that the 4 major ones are solid . As I recall Joe claimed the “Eisenhower Briefing Document” was an obvious fraud because of the comma in the date “ 18 November,1952 ” . As it happens that was one of many date formats in use at the time . I found seven original documents which were used as a basis for phony emulations and was able to dispose of the other objections to the 4 good ones in Ref.. 2, 2005, and a number of papers.. none noted by Nickell of course . Ref . 3 by myself and Don Berliner is also not noted

Robert SheafferRobert Sheaffer also contributed a “historical” overview: “Ufology 2009: A Six Decade Perspective” . Sheaffer clearly shows his disdain for UFO abductions and the rest of the UFO scene . and for the facts as well . Speaking of Betty and Barney Hill: “Under hypnosis, they each told a UFO Abduction story that largely matched Betty’s nightmares (which Barney had heard her repeat many times)” . The comment is nonsense . Barney read Betty’s dreams once, and the notes were put in a drawer . There was no repetition and the comparative analysis of what they said under hypnosis and what was in the dreams is detailed by Betty’s niece Kathleen Marden, in our book “Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experiences” (Ref . 4 ) also not referenced . Sheaffer theorizes a “New Age” vs . “Science Fiction” Ufology . Both are junk science and consistently ignore Occam’s razor (all things being equal, the simplest solution is the best)” . By far the simplest solution to the UFO problem is that the best cases (Multiple witness radar visual, landings etc) involve alien spacecraft . Debunking ufology of the SI variety ignores science all together . He also claims “The FBI investigated the documents [MJ-12] and quickly concluded that the documents were “completely Bogus” .

Majestic Bogus DocNot so . The FBI on its website carries the USAF Colonel Weaver’s set with his hand written comment “BOGUS” . They accepted his word . Sheaffer also claims one document was typed on a typewriter that was not manufactured until “15 years after the date on the document . ” This, too, is nonsense as noted in Ref . 2 on page 227 which quotes Forensic Document Examiner James Black that the typeface preceded the document date by 7 years .

David MorrisonDr . David Morrison, a NASA senior scientist, chimes in in SI with “UFOS and Aliens in Space” . He says “If UFOs are alien spacecraft visiting Earth, then it seems reasonable that evidence of alien civilizations might be seen by astronomers or the radio signals from alien spacecraft might be picked up by the sensitive receivers we use to communicate with our own spacecraft” . Frankly this is absurd . Astronomers (some of whom have indeed seen UFOs) aren’t looking for signals from alien spacecraft which are very likely using techniques about which we are ignorant . Maybe secret NSA listening devices pick up alien signals, but then the NSA doesn’t release info about what signals it receives . They did release 156 pages of UFO related intercepts . All but one or two sentences per page are redacted (whited out) . Another astronomer, Andrew Fraknoi, has a brief piece bemoaning the lack of sightings by even amateur astronomers . There is no mention, of course, of Stanford Astrophysicist Dr . Peter Sturrock’s discussion of astronomer UFO sightings as noted in Ref . 5 .

James McGahaRetired air force major and pilot, James McGaha, also an avid astronomer, with his own observatory, lists 14 areas of astronomical knowledge needed to be a good UFO observer . He, too, has appeared on Larry King attacking ‘unqualified observers” . One hardly needs to be very astronomically knowledgeable to describe the silent slow flight at low altitude of the huge “ Phoenix lights” taking 4 minutes to fly right overhead blotting out the stars as it did so . I can enjoy and benefit from eating various foods without being an expert on the digestion process . He and I tangled in a spirited formal University Debate as can be seen in Ref . 6 .

Dave ThomasAnother SI anti-Roswell article is “Roswell Update: Fading Star?” by Dave Thomas a scientist in New Mexico and President of “New Mexicans for Science and Reason” . Dave has certainly demonstrated his lack of knowledge of both the Roswell and Aztec UFO crash retrieval cases . I am looking forward to a soon to be published book by Scott and Suzanne Ramsey about the Aztec case . Unlike Thomas, they did an enormous amount of serious research .

There are a few other articles as well . Suffice to say that the Skeptical Inquirer provides many examples of the intellectual bankruptcy of the pseudoscience of anti-ufology .

Stan Friedman:


1 . Marcel, Jesse Jr . and Marcel, Linda The Roswell Legacy: The Untold Story of the First Military Officer at the 1947 Crash Site. 2008, New Page Books Div . of Career Press, Franklin Lakes , NJ . Foreword by Stanton T . Friedman

2 . Friedman, Stanton T, TOP SECRET/MAJIC, Marlowe and Company, NY, 2nd Edition 2005, 282 pages . Foreword by Whitley Strieber

3 . Berliner, Don and Friedman, Stanton T . Crash at Corona: The Definitive Study of the Roswell Incident, 2nd Edition, Marlowe and Co . NY 1997

4 . Marden, Kathleen and Friedman, Stanton T . Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience New Page Books Division of Career Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ 2008, 320 pages, 2008 . Foreword by Dr . Bruce Maccabee

5 . Friedman, Stanton T . Flying Saucers and Science 2008, 320pages New Page Books . Div., Career Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ. Forewords by Dr . Edgar Mitchell and Dr . Bruce Maccabee

6. Are Flying Saucers Real? DVD 2hrs. Debate between James Magaha and Stanton T . Friedman, Middle Tennessee State University , Murfreesboro , TN , January 24, 2004

Items 1-6 all available at


  1. Dear Stanton.
    I love every minute of reading this. Where you get your energy at your age I don't know. I am sixty five and if I could be 1 tenth as active as you are I'd be happy.
    It is amazing how they do it. The debunkers have the easiest time of it. It is rather simple. All they have to do is cherry pick formation write a paper or an article and their always right in the mainstream scientific world.
    No per-review no critical analysis just throw something out there that sounds good. We would have lost a long time ago except ,God love them, the UFO witnesses they just keep coming forward courageously saying "I know what I saw".. each time the debunkers have to say mistaken, hoaxer, crazy. These crazy, mistaken people are becoming an massively large group to deny.

    Joe Capp
    UFO Media Matters
    Non-Commercial Blog

  2. Joe,

    Thank you for taking time to make comment!

    Stan's never ending dedication and fervor to Ufology inspires us all.


  3. It is easy to pick holes in the skeptics (or debunkers') arguments. Few skeptics take the time to investigate a case such as Roswell, the Hills, MJ-12 etc as thoroughly as Stan Friedman has. Therefore he can soon find holes in some of their assertions.

    I can find many holes in, or at least reasonable alternative answers to, the assumptions and statements STF makes. Since when does being a nuclear physicist (as he is) enable him to pronounce more authoritatively on UFOs than someone who is versed in English, magic or folklore? Does STF really suppose that having a degree in physics qualifies him as a better 'UFO spokesman' than Joe Nickell? This is the height of arrogance on his part.

    If Stan can show the ufonauts use nuclear fission or fusion to power their craft I will gladly retract my criticism.

    As for the MJ-12 stuff, I can refute nearly everything Stan puts forward in support of them, but then not being a nuclear physicist I am hardly qualified to pronounce on such matters, am I? In any case, it would consume an awful lot of time & space in your forum to do so. It was all done long ago by myself and others anyway. Stan has simply ignored it.

  4. Christopher,

    Stan writes in:

    I challenge CDA or anybody else to refute my refutations of the false arguments he and others have made about the 3 primary MJ-12 documents. These are discussed in TOP SECRET/MAJIC (2nd edition) and in the long four part article at my website . I raise them and demolish them.

    CDA himself had made a typical false claim that Donald Menzel’s involvement in very highly classified activities of the NSA in 1960 was well known. He gave a reference. It mentioned his world war 2 navy activities.. nothing about intelligence activities, cryptography, etc. long post war.

    I don’t need to show that aliens are using nuclear rockets. I have worked on actual fission rockets.. tested more than 40 years ago and have also been involved in a detailed study of fusion rockets which can take us to the stars. Most ancient academics and fossilized physicists and UFO and MJ-12 debunkers know nothing about such systems. Since we only discovered the neutron in 1932, I would expect that there are plenty of civilizations much more advanced than we are using technology about which we know nothing. But if we were willing to spend the money fusion power plants can be built. Most don’t even know that there are nuclear powered aircraft carriers that can operate for 18 years without refueling. Being a nuclear physicist helps in these areas.

    If CDA can show what is wrong with the TF, EBD, and CT memos, please have him do so. I wonder if he has actually done any research, has read the items mentioned or has done his research by proclamation? I listed a number of facts not known before the documents were received. How did a hoaxer know??

    Let us not forget that Phil Klass paid me $1000. for proving he was wrong about such a simple thing as the type face on the CT memo. He did his research by proclamation. Investigation is more appropriate.

    Stan Friedman

  5. I do not propose to go through all of Stan's arguments, as most of what he writes on his website and here has been gone through over & over again, by myself and others, in the years since 1987. He says skeptics never mention certain things that he insists are cast-iron evidence for documents' authenticity. Stan does exactly the same. HE ignores the negative issues he cannot refute.

    The anomaly of the date portion of the Truman memo is easily answerable. Two typewriters were NOT used. Only one was. Here's how this part of the forgery was very probably done. The forger typed the text of the memo and the word "September". His vintage typewriter did not have a working '2' key. The forger thus had to lift the "24, 1947." date from another paper, fortuitously from a genuine Bush memo of the same date, and paste it alongside "September". (The numerics in the date were therefore not typed but transplanted). The reason the forger could not lift the whole date "September 24, 1947" from the Bush memo was due to the letter "t" from this memo having a different typeface to that of the forger's own machine. The broken "2" accounts for the mention of "Majestic Twelve" instead of "Majestic 12" in the Truman memo. (Stan can check the above for himself by examining the paper "The MJ-12 documents: An Analytical Report" by Moore & Shandera (1990). It is a giveaway who the forger(s) are.

    Truman's signature IS identical (to well within reasonable tolerance limits) to that on a genuine Truman document from Oct. 1947. This fact has been pointed out many times but Stan stubbornly refuses to accept it. Another giveaway.

    Re Dr.Menzel, Stan does not consider that the forger put Menzel on the MJ-12 list as a try-on, throwing a challenge to the UFO movement, to see how many suckers would fall for it. Stan says most of Menzel's supersecret 'connections' were unknown before 1985. In fact these so-called 'talents' are largely irrelevant. They are only significant to someone (i.e. Stan) who is already a committed believer in crashed saucers and the 'Cosmic Watergate'. Why on earth should being an expert cryptanalyst and expert on Japanese have any relevance to the Roswell crash? Does Stan believe the aliens wrote their 'messages' in Japanese? Even Menzel's continuous association with the NSA for 30 years means nothing. What in fact did Menzel do - attend their annual dinners maybe? As I say, it only becomes relevant if someone is already a conspiracy-monger, which Stan is. Menzel's 'secret' trips to NM in 1947-48, and Gen.Twining's brief visit in '47, likewise have perfectly simple prosaic answers, but Stan refuses to accept them, or simply ignores them. No, I shall not repeat them ad nauseam!

    Kevin Randle has adequately dealt with the Texas-Mexico border 'crash', another piece of fiction the forger inserted into the MJ-12 papers, having decided that the Plains of San Augustin crash was a bit to risky to include. Stan has conveniently ignored this. And Dr Wescott retracted his original conclusions on the documents in a circular dated June 10, 1988, another fact ignored by Friedman.

    And so on. I shall not repeat everything, as it was all done over 20 years ago. Stan should finally have the courage to admit the obvious truth: ALL the MJ-12 papers are phony and Stan is just plain wrong. The USAF and the GAO have pronounced on them with finality.


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