New Mexicans for Science and Reason

UFO Author Dennis Balthaser Caught in Blatant Hypocrisy

by Dave Thomas : nmsrdaveATswcp.com (Help fight SPAM!  Please replace the AT with an @ )

The story began with the publication of the January 2009 edition of Rob McConnell's 'X' Chronicle Newspaper. It ended with UFO author and Roswell proponent Dennis Balthaser coming down hard on me, Dave Thomas, for not checking facts, when in fact it was Balthaser himself who was spreading egregious falsehoods without bothering to verify his claims. Balthaser failed to perform even a cursory examination of his accusations.

On to the details: two stories about the Roswell Crash of 1947 appeared on page 13 of McConnell's internet-based periodical. The first was titled "Roswell Crash of 1947: A Realistic View," and listed no one as author; the second was titled "The Roswell Incident and Project Mogul (Skeptical Inquirer) by Dave Thomas." No date was given for either article's original publication.


Page 13 of the January 2009 edition of Rob McConnell's 'X' Chronicle Newspaper

Balthaser, inspired by the pair of Roswell articles in McConnell's newsletter, published a rant titled "Critics and Debunkers are still at it" on his own website, truthseekeratroswell.com, subtitled "Searching for the Truth (Always Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Remember Anything)." It was quickly picked up and published in the February 2009 news section of the website UfoDigest.com. Balthaser writes

Over the years the 1947 Roswell Incident has had it's [sic] share of critics, skeptics and debunkers, and I've welcomed them in most cases, hopeful that they could offer information that might be beneficial to finally understanding what actually happened near Roswell in 1947. Too many times however the information they present is not factual, and for several years I tried to discuss their points of view with them privately, hoping we could come to an agreement on the information being discussed. I have since then changed my approach and now expose them publicly, as I've done in past editorials about remarks made by Nancy Red Star, Phil Klass, Karl Pflock, James Bond Johnson, and others. The Roswell Incident is hard enough to research without these type individuals continually spreading their beliefs without any verifiable information to support their claims.

Several years ago Dave Thomas did a presentation at the Aztec, NM symposium and during the Q&A time after his presentation, Stanton Friedman and I questioned many of the comments he had made, pretty well destroying his claims.

Based on his article entitled, Roswell Crash of 1947 "A Realistic View", posted in the January, 2009 edition of Rob McConnell's 'X' Chronicle Newspaper, it is neither scientific, reasonable or realistic. The article does not state a date when Thomas wrote it, however if it's his current view of the Roswell Incident, nothing has changed since he did his presentation at Aztec several years ago. This of course is typical, since their agenda is to ridicule and deny the facts presented over the years.

I will quote statements by Dave Thomas in the above 'X' Chronicle article using his initials (DT) to distinguish his remarks from my rebuttal and comments.

(DT) "Roswell, a small town doing a big business feeding the insatiable appetite of UFO enthusiasts, now houses two UFO museums." Roswell has not had two UFO Museum's since 1998, when the one located near the base closed after the 50th anniversary of the Incident..

The article continues with several assertions of incorrect statements; the rancher was "Mack" Brazel, not "Mac"; Dee Proctor was a boy, not a girl; and so on. Balthaser's conclusion:

If Dave Thomas and others insist on discussing the Roswell Incident, they should at least do the research required, or cease referring to themselves as scientific, reasonable or realistic.

Thanks to Stanton Friedman for reviewing my comments.

When I received word of Balthaser's new article from the NM Tech information officer, I found that I didn't even remember most of the statements Balthaser was accusing me of making. I don't know of Rob McConnell or his "'X' Chronicle Newspaper", but I was able to find out who did write the article published in this newsletter. A five-minute Google search of the first six phrases Balthaser was accusing me of originating quickly revealed the actual source a Roswell UFO article by Robert Carroll, from his 'Skeptic's Dictionary' (online at skepdic.com/roswell.html).

Try a few for yourself!

At least Balthaser's final three (DT) comments are from an article that I did indeed write, way back in 1995: 'The Roswell Incident and Project Mogul' by Dave Thomas (Skeptical Inquirer, July/August 1995, www.csicop.org/si/9507/roswell.html).

If Balthaser's point is that skeptics are careless and don't check their facts, then he is a hypocrite of the highest degree. Balthaser couldn't even tell the difference between "Dave Thomas" and "Robert Carroll." Perhaps McConnell should have credited Carroll as author of the first article, and also should have included original publication dates. However, Balthaser simply assumed that I was the author of both articles, and then laid into me for not checking the "facts."

In soccer, this is called an "Own Goal." Balthaser is clearly guilty of "spreading his beliefs without any verifiable information to support his claims." And the episode also reflects very poorly on Stanton Friedman, the industry's top Roswell UFO promoter, for his ineffective "review" of Balthaser's rant. Sadly, things like this happen all too often in the world of UFOlogy.

 

NMSR Site Map