High Strangeness: UFO Secrets in Rubbermaid Bins -- Part III

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

UFO Secrets in Rubbermaid Bins -- Part III

Let's say you're doing research on a biography you're writing, and you come across an obscure published interview with the subject of your book. Let's say that, in that interview, the subject of your book states as fact something that takes you completely by surprise because it flies in the face of a story that has been told and repeated over and over again for decades.


What do you do? Do you use that newly-discovered quote in your book, because it sheds new light on your understanding of the subject of your biography, or do you ignore it, reinforce the conventional wisdom and preserve the status quo? Which would you do?

If you choose to ignore the newly-discovered quote, are you being fair to the subject of your book? Are you writing the best account of your subject's life and work that you possibly can?

On the other hand, if you choose to go with the newly-discovered quote, are you being unfair or accusatory in any way to the parties that have repeated the "old" narrative for decades? Are you guilty of insulting those parties if you use that new quote? Are you accusing those parties of being liars? After all, it's not you who uttered the quote; it's the subject of your book who said it. In a published interview. That has been around since 1978. If there's anybody for those parties to be mad at, isn't it the subject of your biography himself for saying the thing in the first place back in 1978 (or perhaps themselves for not protesting the quote when it was first published)?

That's what we've got here. As the researcher and author, you can't retract or apologize for something you didn't say. I doubt any writer or journalist would disagree with that.

Stay tuned: I have to run for now, but when I get back I'm going to post the original interview that started this whole thing...

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