Friday, September 21, 2012

Roswell: Another take

I like Nick Redfern.  Let me get that clear from the onset of these proceedings.

I also have not read his book, Body Snatchers In the Desert.  That likewise must be stated.

Why am I writing about it then?  Well, purely because I am intrigued by the concept.  Body Snatchers in the Desert offers an alternative explanation to what happened in Roswell, New Mexico on that fateful day in July, 1947.  As Redfern tells it, the event was not the recovery of a weather balloon, a MOGUL dirigible, or any other such irrational drivel offered up by our government.  It was not, however, anything to do with a UFO either.

It was a conspiracy to hide a top secret experiment.  Redfern's book outlines an event that in several ways is far more disquieting than the idea of a crashed spacecraft and alien bodies.  In Body Snatchers in the Desert, a tale unfolds of Japanese POWs still in U.S. custody after World War II.  These prisoners were all handicapped, disfigured, or sick...and all experimented upon by government-backed scientists.  Deemed expendable, these prisoners were placed inside an experimental test aircraft, a modified version of the Luftwaffe's "flying wing."  The aircraft crashed and viola: the Roswell legend is born.

So what's worse?  Dead aliens or atrocious human rights violations?

This would dovetail with the accounts.  The craft recovered at Roswell was said to be wedge-shaped, not a saucer.  The bodies that were found were thought to be Asian at first, until the features departed from that profile upon closer inspection.  A tidy explanation indeed.

Response to this book was mixed at best.  Redfern gained swift condemnation from several UFO researchers, including Kevin Randle.  Why?  For one thing, I believe that the story departs too much from the pat and accepted (in UFO circles anyway) story of a crashed alien spacecraft.  People are often reluctant to have their established paradigms shifted, even in the paranormal community.  Secondly and most importantly, Redfern appears to rely on a number of anonymous sources for his research.

Anonymous sources are a conundrum that anyone in the field of UFO research faces.  Logically, if something is being kept secret then he or she who divulges such secrets places themselves at serious risk.  You can understand then why someone would not want their names disclosed.  The problem with this of course is that there is no real way to verify the accounts or the data presented.  If these testimonies are the evidence for your claim, then your claim is built on quite shaky ground indeed.  Testimony in itself is not exactly reliable, let alone the anonymous kind.  We need more evidence.

Also if you're going to tell your story, why not make public and strepitous claims?  The attention you'd receive and the likely numerous appearances you'd get on Coast to Coast AM would keep you safe.  The most the government could would be to discredit you with lies about your past.  Then again, that wouldn't be much fun either, would it?

Additionally, the premise presented, while admittedly intriguing, doesn't make much sense.  It's up there with the explanation posited by Annie Jacobsen in her book, Area 51, where there are no aliens involved at all...just Soviet children experimented upon by Josef Mengele and then flown over and crashed to cause a "War of the Worlds" scare in America.  Likewise, long way to go for a cheap payoff.  Her source for this?  I am given to understand that it is also anonymous.

CAUTION: This is not to say that Nick Redfern tried to "pull one over on us."  That does not fit his character or literary pedigree whatsoever.  I am guessing instead that he may have fallen victim to certain individuals who appear sincere and capable on the surface, but are really not much more than yarn-spinners in reality.  Again, my supposition only.

I am still going to read his book.  It might even make a nice bookend piece to The Day After Roswell when I get done with it (review forthcoming shortly).

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