High Strangeness: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Here I was, all set to write more about Don Schmitt's bizarre presentation last weekend at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, and now I find all the wind has been taken out my sails by the intrepid Jose Antonio Caravaca. And I am grateful for that.

What Mr. Caravaca has done today makes any and all talk about the "Roswell Slides" and their proponents on the "Roswell Dream Team" completely irrelevant. He has unearthed a second slide of the very same mummified boy visible in the original "Roswell Slides," complete with a similar placard identifying the remains as the mummy of a two-year-old child recovered from the Pueblan cliff-dwellings at Montezuma's Castle National Monument in Arizona. You should go take a look here; the new image is a sight worth seeing.

(NOTE: According to Rick Reynolds at UFO Conjecture(s), the new photo was actually discovered by Jorge Peredo. I will seek to clarify this and issue corrections if and when necessary)

It's over. The "smoking gun" of Roswell has become instead the final nail in the coffin. 
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Roswell...

This might explain Schmitt's strangely cautious yet unsurprisingly belligerent talk five short days ago in Milwaukee. Perhaps he had gotten wind of Caravaca's discovery and was attempting to position himself on relatively safe ground. But, of course, that is speculation, and speculation is what gets us all into trouble in UFO world, isn't it?

Ok, I've reconsidered. I will tell you a little about Schmitt's talk after all, because there are things we can learn from it. The talk was filled with whoppers big and small -- that he was "special investigator to Dr. J. Allen Hynek" and that Carl Sagan said on his death bed that "Roswell is still the most important UFO case" and that he wanted Schmitt to use that information -- but you expect that. Beyond that, though, there was an undercurrent to his talk that my wife and I both found extremely disturbing.

Maybe it was the way he branded anyone who doesn't support his specific trademarked version of the Roswell story as a "skeptic."

Maybe it was the way he suggested to the audience that those very same "skeptics" are their enemies.

Maybe it was the way he strung together unconnected thoughts and tried to make them sound like facts: e.g., listing all the many ways the government has been known to lie to us and then using that as "proof" that they are lying to us about Roswell, too.

Maybe it was the way he blatantly mischaracterized the actions of the Roswell Slides Research Group, of which Mr. Caravaca is a member.

Maybe it was the way he angrily announced all of his upcoming Roswell-related projects -- A new book! A new movie! A new archaeological dig! -- as if that somehow proved beyond a doubt that the Roswell story is real.

Maybe it was the way he displayed zero tolerance for the views of any other UFO researcher, or any other critical thinker at all, UFOlogist or not.

Or maybe it was what my wife noticed... She works in academia, so she pays close attention to how scholars, experts and authorities express and pass on knowledge. There are good ways and there are bad ways, and the way Schmitt expressed and passed on knowledge last Saturday night was very bad and very upsetting to her. It was bad because he only pretends to pass on knowledge. "He's in this incredibly privileged position from which he could move the conversation forward, but he doesn't move it forward," she said, "He moves it backwards, and he does it for his own benefit."

I couldn't have put it better myself, not in a million years.

As we were leaving the Conference, she came up with another gem that I really have to share with you. I commented on how relatively drama-free Schmitt's speech was, all things considered, and she said, "Yeah, all the drama was in his hair."


Terry the Censor said...

To keep a false worldview secure, one must limit what psychologists call "reality testing." That is done by cutting oneself off from or discounting more and more of the data from the external world.

For instance, Maussan has been blocking several us on Twitter. At first he answered (though evasively) all my questions, but when asked directly for the number of subscribers to the May 5 pay per view, he ended the discussion. In the realm of opinion (alien or mummy?), he was engaged; in matters of fact (subscriber numbers that technical staff would know too), he isolated himself.

I had thought Schmitt was too cynical to care about such things. After all, he could leave the task of denying reality to his fans.

So what's eating Schmitt?

Mark UFO'Connell said...

At the risk of sounding as conceited as Schmitt, maybe he was touchy because he knew I was there and would be listening closely to everything he said?

He did have his "publicist" at his side the whole time he was at at his table in the vendor's room, and I'm sure she was working hard that day...

Anonymous said...

After Mr. Caravaca posted his clear photo all the BS faded from view. You can clearly see the mummy and read the placard 's writing. The one question I now have is who exactly came up with the idea of a blurred photo and did this person or group of people really think they were going to fool everyone for very long?

Mark UFO'Connell said...

As Aretha Franklin once asked, "Who's zoomin' who?"

There's an ironic phrase in Schmitt & Carey's latest book (yes, I admit, I read it!), a sub head in one of the chapters that reads, "Dr. J. Allen Hynek: Dupe or Accomplice?"

I think it's time to ask the same thing of the Dream Team, don't you?

Tom said...

What’s the difference between the Metepec monkey, an orphan, a prince, and Don Schmitt?

The monkey has a hairy parent, an orphan has nary a parent, a prince is an heir apparent, and Don Schmitt has no hair apparent. Except for that dead rabbit he puts on his dome. I guess he thinks any hare on his head is better than nothing.

purrlgurrl said...

Is it possible that Schmitt, Carey, Maussan, et al, are really US government disinformation agents? After all, the slides circus went a long way toward totally discrediting Roswell for those with an IQ higher than two digits. Future generations of Ufologists are very likely going to avoid Roswell because it has now, finally, been forever tainted, thereby effectively insuring the truth will be concealed forever.

I ask you, could these guys be this era's Richard Doty?

Okay. I'm gonna take my meds now.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

I refuse to believe that, on the grounds that you are giving them too much credit.

Terry the Censor said...

I second Mark, though I might phrase it pedantically:

PG's hypothesis makes sense out of nonsense. That is appealing.

However, I submit PG presupposes the Roswell slides fiasco should make sense. This necessity is unwarranted. She is projecting her own good sense onto an event that exhibited no such positive attributes.

That said, I can't wait for Maussan's forensic experts to weigh in on Schmitt's hair. Since the colour is unnatural for a human his age, I expect the scientists to declare Don to be of non-human origin. Perhaps Bryan Sykes can tell us if Schmitt (or at least his hair) is actually an extinct form of bear.

Jack Brewer said...

I think I'll have to steal one of Mark's lines and discard PG's otherwise intriguing theory on the grounds that I didn't think of it. If it weren't for that, I might could get behind it.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

As usual, my commenters go places I never would have thought of :)