Roswell

Karl T. Pflock. Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe. Prometheus, 2001.

One-time Roswell believer Plfock here produces an honest account of his growing skepticism and a detailed examination of the evidence which led him to change his opinion. He contrasts the various legends that have grown up around the case with what can actually be discovered from contemporary documentation, and demolishes many of the remaining Roswell myths. He shows how the hundreds of witnesses can be whittled down to a very few, and how most of the highly exotic elements in the legend can be traced to little more than a handful of unreliable "witnesses".

He devotes a good deal of space to a careful demolition of the claims of the principle "witness" Frank J Kaufmann, a guy whose stories gained more credibility than they deserved. This was in part because they were spread, as it were, over a number of pseudonyms, so it wasn't immediately obvious that they all came from one source. The various twists and turns of the Glenn Dennis story are examined, and Pflock suggests that Davis's narratives had the ring of truth because they were forged, whether consciously or unconsciously, from a variety of incidents in his life. Pflock also devotes some space to demolishing the claims of "investigator" Donald Schmitt, a Milwaukee postie with a vivid fantasy life. Of course Schmitt is not the first con artist to have taken ufologists in, and unlike some of his predecessors does not appear to have bilked anyone of their life savings.  Pflock comes to the Mogul balloon conclusion, and there can now be no real doubt that the Roswell case is completely solved.

Of course, it has to be said that Pflock has rather missed the boat, his book coming on the heels of those of Korff and Klass, who came to roughly the same conclusions a few years ago. As, however, Pflock is among those who have worked most assiduously to investigate the Roswell story, and still maintains a vestigial faith in the ETH, it will be much harder for the Roswellistas to brush aside his research and conclusions as those of a die hard debunker.  This then should be the final nail in the Roswell coffin, no matter how many more additional bullshitters the true believers bring on. Indeed, though Pflock himself is far too polite to say this, I rather think we should now seriously question that judgment or even the honesty of those who continue to champion the Roswell myth. |PR|


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