What about those darn Extraterrestrials?

Y'know, this is more than a tad annoying, and it's not the first time it's happened. If you want to post an article making extraordinary claims, you should -

a) provide extraordinary evidence, and

b) not lock it so you can control what commentary is permissable regarding it

JONATHAN UNDERWOOD: Listen carefully to the first segment because unless you understand that the Colonel's credentials are iron clad you would never believe his amazing story.

http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/what-about-those-darn

You know, your right. About the "never believe" part anyway.

Interesting quote about this guy on the Bad Astronomy forums -

Many people fear obscurity more than ridicule or even death. The fact that you mentioned his name here is all the satisfaction he needs. As Oscar Wilde said: "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

More at -

http://www.ntskeptics.org/1997/1997july/july1997.htm

But of course, like Time magazine and the Pentagon, I'm just wasting ink with all this pesky rationality. The people who believe in the Roswell yarn are only made all the more moist and tingly by official government denials and mainstream media debunkings. Besides, Roswell is like a bad pork chop: the longer you chew on it, the bigger it seems to get. Not only can proponents now add Time magazine to the list of conspirators, but there is always some new element popping up to add to the brew. And the UFO crowd barely had time to dismiss the Time and Pentagon reports before they had a new messiah to hail. It was Phil Corso and his book, The Day After Roswell.

Dateline NBC had the first interview with Corso, a former government official who claims to have taken "a torch" (apparently, those government-issue X-Files flashlights are a recent innovation), pried open a crate (and by the way, where was security when all this was happening?), and seen an alien floating in formaldehyde. He also claims that every modern invention from the transistor to lasers to fiber optics was reverse-engineered from the crashed Roswell UFO (remember, before it crashed we didn't even have flashlights) and that the Reagan-era "Star Wars" program was actually designed to ward off hostile space aliens, which it did (tell it to all those abductees and the entire city of Phoenix, Phil!).

Being a spoilsport, I have to point out that his story, while fascinating in its Lewis Carroll-meets-George Orwell kind of way, also has holes you could drive a military truck carrying a flying saucer through. To begin with, work had been underway on the transistor at Bell Labs for years before the alleged 1947 UFO crash (You know what this means: another UFO must've crashed in the 1930s!). The slow and painstaking development of all of the inventions Corso mentions is well documented (if you don't believe it was a slow evolutionary process, I have a 286 computer in my closet that I'd like to sell you), and most of the people who worked on them are still alive to deny that they figured them out by staring at gizmos from Neptune (although if Corso had claimed Bill Gates was an alien, that I might've believed).

Also, as Tom Mahood points out in his review (search it up on the Internet, another Martian invention), the science in Corso's book is just dreadful. He misstates how stealth technology works, claims UFOs ride "in an electromagnetic wave," which is nonsense right out of 1950's pulp fiction, describes lasers being used for navigational and communications purposes which would be highly inefficient if not impossible, misstates the phrase for which "laser" is an acronym, and on and on. Mahood bluntly concluded that he could go on indefinitely, but he was running out of synonyms for "B.S." And I haven't even mentioned the Foreword, allegedly hoodwinked out of Sen. Strom Thurmond by showing him a 19-page treatment that painted the book as a patriotic memoir about great American military leaders, with no mention of UFOs whatsoever. Or Corso's emphatic claim that he considered sharing this information with a famous mathematician in 1961, even though the mathematician had died in 1957. Or about Corso ending his interview with NBC with an oblique reference to all the other things he could tell them someday about the adventures he'd had with his time machine, which I'm guessing was reverse-engineered from a cuckoo clock.

What is ironic about all this Roswell/Corso hoopla is that while it annoys skeptics like me, it is even more irritating to some of the more serious-minded UFO proponents. Many of them, such as Kent Jeffrey, have gradually come to believe the Roswell Incident is nothing more than a red herring that has started to stink in all that desert heat. They are also expressing fears that Corso's book smells like another "Alien Autopsy" debacle: A wildly profitable media splash followed by a wave of debunking and ridicule that will make everyone remotely connected to the subject look like a dope. For this, they have my sympathy. I certainly wouldn't want to be judged by the crowd of losers I hang out with (just kidding, guys!) And so, we've decided to give them a break and show that not all non-CSICOP UFO researchers are necessarily charlatans and yahoos. We're doing this by running Karl Pflock's response to Stanton Friedman in this issue. Please feel free to copy and distribute it far and wide.

Views: 7

Tags: aliens, conspiracy, hearsay, little green men, roswell, ufo

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Comment by Little Name Atheist on January 7, 2010 at 10:39pm
John D.: Pix or it didn't happen.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on November 21, 2009 at 4:44pm
If one tenth of the siting were actually ET's the Earth would have to be considered an intergalactic tourist trap.

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