The Roswell Liars
(originally published Nov 2008)
The crash of the extraterrestrial to Earth in 1947 is likely a true event, a fact of history. But like all history, it is clouded with fiction. And the story-telling and mistruths are not always told by those who are covering up the alien reality. In fact, the greatest lies about the Incident are told by those who believe that it really was an ET crash.
Why do people hoax their involvement in Roswell? What makes some seem compelled to insert themselves into the event? Who are the Roswell Liars?
Man has pondered the stars – and whether they are inhabited – since he first gazed the skies. To wonder if there are others in the Universe is perhaps the most fundamental question. It has been asked by all people throughout all ages. By its very nature, such a question evokes deep emotion and opinion. It invites speculation. This "not knowing" is a source of perpetual frustration. Man sends out flying telescopes and manned spaceships to find out. He sets up vast arrays to hear ET. He makes movies about it. That there are Others is our greatest hope. The ultimate question – Is anyone out there? –plays off of our greatest fear. No one wants to be alone.
It is then understandable that there will be those who will use this "yearning for ET" to their advantage. Quenching that yearning will bring out both the sincere and the insincere. Out will come those who are motivated by truth and those who will trick for personal gain.
We have all faked something in our lives. We do so when we cannot offer truth. And there are many who have faked their association with Roswell and its aftermath. This includes people from all walks of life. Station and position in the world has little to do with the desire or ability to fake. Some very intelligent and very prominent people have done so. Those who lie about their Roswell knowledge or involvement have included military officials, intelligence agents and even men of science.
People hoax many things – from literary works to clinical test results. Precisely why they do this is difficult to ascertain. One explanation does not explain the reason for all hoaxes. But personal gain or elevation – without regard for others – is always at the center of such hoaxes.
Money is often a motivator. Before he passed, my grandfather told me that the best advice that he could give me was to always "follow the money". He said that when you do that, the truth will become evident. Some hoaxes are boldly created just for money. Ray Santilli's financier of the hoaxed "Alien Autopsy" film (Volker Speilberg of Austria) privately confessed that though Roswell was likely true, he cared only about making money from it – and doing so at anyone's expense. Santilli himself, not content with all the money that he had made from the film, later even released a tongue-in-cheek "tell all" movie in the UK on the "making of the hoax" for further personal profit.
Lack of self-worth is another reason for devising such hoaxes. Lt. Col. Philip Corso (who dreamt up his Day After Roswell book from imagination) was one such person. He was a man who didn't quite make it. Despite over two decades of service as an Army Officer, Corso was always near to the decision-makers, but never himself a decision-maker. He was photographed with prominent men, but was not one of them. Always around the action, Corso wanted to claim some action of his own later in life. He inserted himself into history. He finally made his mark on it by crafting his story at a time when those he mentioned as also Roswell-involved has passed. Bob Lazar was another example of someone who had great – but unrealized – potential. Dreaming that he was an engineer working on the crashed Roswell craft at Area 51 reflected a young man who wanted to be recognized for great scientific achievement. His early years making rocket cars did not bring him that recognition. But Roswell rockets would.
Pranks for the sheer sake of it is yet another reason people hoax Roswell. We all knew a class clown. Someone who enjoyed having fun by making fun of others. People prank others because they can. They like to take advantage of those who are vulnerable to such a thing. They insinuate their "power" over others in a way that is meaningful only to themselves. They receive enjoyment from deceit because they have nothing real to give. John Lear Jr. is such a person. The rebellious son of an overachieving father, the Junior's achievements were far surpassed by those of the Senior, the inventor of the Lear Jet. John Lear Jr. did not need the money nor the notoriety to tell his Roswell tall tales. He just wanted more fun in his advancing years. An adventurous type, Mr. Lear spun tales of adventure about underground alien bases at Dulce, NM for years. Though he no longer flew CIA missions over the jungles, he could still take flight by spinning stories about aerial discs and Roswell.
Embellishment is still another cause for Roswell lies. Those who may have had a fleeting exposure to the events surrounding the crash sometimes enlarge their roles. Though they may have had some genuine Roswell connection, they feel the need to make their part in it greater than it actually was. They do not themselves know the "whole story". But they know the "core story" to be true, based on their limited personal experience or through what they knew from others who were more involved. So these individuals "build" on their Roswell tales to help "make the case" and to satisfy those who question them by providing needed answers. Roswell "luminaries" such as Frankie Rowe and Glenn Dennis likely fall into this category.
Official disinformation, some say, is used by Intelligence Agents who are sanctioned to "confuse the truth" about Roswell. They maintain that these agents are purposely authorized by their superiors to spread "wild tales" about the event and its aftermath in an effort to make Roswell sound ridiculous. But I do not think this is the case at all. Disinformation is not always used to cover up what is known. Sometimes it is used to "smoke out" what is not known.
Recent discussions with a "minor member" of the notorious "Aviary" reveal that this is precisely the case with original Roswell investigator William "Bill" Moore. Mr. Moore was very active in 1980 in uncovering details about the crash, authoring the first book on the subject. During the course of his investigation, he befriended many scientists and military officers associated with such places as Kirkland AFB and nearby Sandia Labs. Some were intrigued by his investigation. Moore even developed amateurish codenames (using species of birds) as a way to identify these scientists and officers without using their actual names.
During a conversation with Dr. Henry Monteith, a retired 20-year physicist with Sandia, I learned much about this. Dr. Monteith explained that in 1980 a man named Rick Doty, a Special Agent with AFOSI at Kirkland, had begun soliciting people's opinions at the base and at Sandia about Moore's claims about Roswell. Monteith did not trust Doty. He did not think that Doty really "knew" anything himself, but that he was merely trying to find out the truth from others. It seemed as though Doty would do anything to learn the truth, including making up stories to get the real story. Doty's interest was genuine, but his personal knowledge, nil. So he continued with Moore to assemble others to learn what they might know about the Roswell matter.
Over the years, people who Monteith knew began to make speculations and theories about the matter, repeating rumor and unconfirmed stories. These people included other physicists at Sandia such as Robert Collins (who together with Doty wrote Exempt from Disclosure a couple of years ago) and others outside of Sandia, such as Hal Putoff, Kit Green and John Alexander. What became clear in talking to Monteith is this: each "Aviary" member was "smoking out" the other for the truth that they did not themselves possess! Despite their lofty positions in science and military, these people gave fall to the same vulnerabilities that we all do. They played off of each other with their own gullibility, paranoia and distrust. Moore and Doty tried to "fuel" this circle of scientists and officers and "trick" them into revealing more. But it is a "more" that they did not have. Ultimately, the "Aviary" wound up only reflecting and feeding off of itself with each person's personal interests and "takes" on Roswell. They "spun" it in their own ways and applied it to their own future purposes. None really knew the truth, but each wanted to see if any of the others did. Kind of like a poker game. Who has the best hand?
The common denominator found in all hoaxers is a lack of respect for their victims. Hoaxing about Roswell – whatever the motivation – only serves to cast doubt, derision and confusion on the matter. Hoaxes cheat us of reality.
Like the spirits that must be discerned and the false prophets that must be called out, the Witnesses to Roswell must be tested for their truth. And for every person who speaks the truth, there will always be one who does not.