High Strangeness: Challenged to a UFO Duel -- Part II

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Challenged to a UFO Duel -- Part II

Much thanks to everyone who has voiced his or her support and/or words of caution regarding the recent challenge to engage in a "Roswell debate" with noted Roswell-head Don Schmitt. Here are choice excerpts from some of my favorite comments...

Reader Tom says:
- Know where the debate is headed before it starts.

Ask yourself before the debate even begins, “how am I most likely to win the debate? How is my opponent most likely to win the debate?” Your goal should always be to place yourself in your opponent's shoes, and then cover the flow accordingly.
Sure looks like a spaceship to me!
I say: This sounds a lot harder than I think it will actually be. You see, I have already survived several close encounters with what I'll call The Don Schmitt Experience. I have seen how he works, what he is willing to do to maintain and protect his cherished narrative and his personal brand, so it won't be hard to anticipate his approach to this debate.

That's not to say that the debate will be easy to win, or that there won't be some damage done along the way; but I have been learning and listening and observing as I go, and the fact is I know a thing or two about the Roswell story. I'd even go so far as to say that I know some things that Don Schmitt probably doesn't know I know...

Anonymous says:
A debate with Schmitt seems to be a waste of precious time. What truly do you think will happen except a big pissing contest?
I say: Fair enough, Anon, but if this debate happens I'm hoping it might set a precedent for the UFO community as a whole to be more questioning of its "leading lights." As my wife, the acadamician, says, as long as the UFO community allows people like those on "The Roswell Dream Team" to create and disseminate knowledge without any checks or balances or even the most rudimentary reality filters, that "knowledge" will never have any true worth.

Anonymous (another or perhaps the same?) says:
 Here's who really ought to debate Schmitt over Roswell: Kevin Randle.
Imagine the fireworks...
I say: Imagine Don Schmitt agreeing to that debate...

Neal Foy says:
 ...It certainly wouldn't hurt to research Kevin's blog. I don't know how you feel about Kevin but he does seem to call a spade a spade and is willing to admit when he was duped. In researching Roswell it's almost certain to trip on a few "truth mines" as I call them. 
I say: You're right. It wouldn't hurt. I read Kevin's blog from time to time, and I usually have my "truth minesweeper" turned on when I do.

Then there's this intriguing thought, part of a very long comment submitted by someone calling him- or herself Hynek's Ghost:
...I suspect this debate will never happen. There was supposed to be a June press conference of "experts" Schmitt promoted a few months ago of those that supposedly still support the slides as being of an alien body, and that never happened.

Also, since you've noted yourself that you're really not that familiar with the myriad of byzantine details regarding the "Roswell incident," do you really think you'd be knowledgeable enough to effectively be able to pick apart Schmitt's statements and arguments in any such proposed debate?

Unless you really did your homework in advance, and immersed yourself in the Roswell mythos (which for various reasons I don't see as probable), Schmitt would likely overwhelm you with details, and that due to your relative lack of knowledge about the voluminous anecdotal Roswell stories that have come out over the past 35 years, it would seem you might appear unprepared and that Schmitt had a legit case, to some audience members that is...
I say: I will be disappointed if the debate never happens, although I can understand why Hynek's Ghost predicts that it won't. And he or she is not wrong to point out that I could never win the debate if it were measured purely on who knows the most about the Roswell mythos. As I mentioned in the last post, if that's all this debate is to be about, I concede here and now.

It's my hope that the debate will be about more than Roswell trivia. I would like the debate to focus on investigational ethics, the propogation of myth disguised as knowledge, the value or lack thereof of deathbed confessions, the ethics of charging people admission to see your "data," the difference between searching for data to explain an unknown phenomenon and deciding at the outset what the phenomenon is and then searching for data to prove that assertion (even the the point of misrepresenting it).

There's a lot we can debate without getting mired down in who the mystery nurse really was and what the Ramey memo really said and what was the mystery cargo on that airplane... But of course I'll be studying up on all that anyway. I have a whole year!

4 comments:

Tom said...

Mark,
Go to this site - this is really (truly) everything you need to know, in addition to your own knowledge of Schmitt & Roswell, to obliterate any credibility which Schmitt is clinging to professionally, personally or academically; in particular as it relates to his dubious (and often conflicting) knowledge of Roswell -

http://www.roswellfiles.com/storytellers/RandleSchmitt.htm

Tom said...

Mark, you've probably already read this, if not, I highly recommend. Also, I'll stop being so damn pedantic. Sorry bout that Chief...

http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/vultures.htm

Neal Foy said...

The biggest problem with Roswell is the lack of facts, heck even the original press release from Haut doesn't exist. Only transcripts and newspaper accounts. So many of the witnesses have given contradictory statements over the years it's difficult to determine any sort of truth. After reading all of KR's blogs along with the comments (yeah, I know, LOL) I've come to the conclusion that the arguments quickly become circular.

Can I suggest that you arrange a duel with Jim Oberg on Kecksberg or Hudson Valley? I had it out with him some time ago on those subjects and managed to rattle him enough that he gave me a week ban from the CNN site. I'm just a nobody but he knew he was losing. I consider it a moral victory.

Mark OC said...

Hey guys, I really appreciate the suggestions and support! Tom, I will study up on the suggested sites and, Neal, I will consider other duels :)

I agree about the circular arguments re: Roswell. I don't see how anything can either be proven or dis-proven, so it'll be interesting to learn what aspect of the myth Mr. Schmitt wants to debate.

I'll keep you posted!