Monday, January 10, 2011

Recently read: Witness to Roswell

A few years back, I made a list of things I hoped to resolve before I pass. In my writing life, I wanted to do justice to my Army experience and my traumatic second marriage: and soon thereafter in my novella Baumholder 1961 and short film Deconstructing Sally, I did just that. I also wanted to resolve two historical moments, both controversial, that I'd lived through: the JFK assassination and Roswell. My reading resolved the former some time ago, and I now belong to the "conspiracy" camp. I don't think there's any other explanation that satisfies what we know. And with Roswell, I began leaning to accepting it as something that actually happened -- and this book makes the case for me. Again, no other explanation satisfies what we know.

There are only a few ways to take this book, which puts in one place a huge amount of eye witness, first hand testimony to what happened in the summer of 1947. All these dozens of witnesses could be lying. I doubt it. They all could be hallucinating. I doubt that, too.  So if we take their first hand, direct experience at face value, Roswell in fact was a UFO crash and the government, in fact, knew this, collected the vehicle and debris and also collected bodies from the craft.

Now this is no less mind-boggling than that JFK was murdered in a well-planned conspiracy that included fringe elements of the government. What is astounding to me, having come to believe what I do, is that what I or anybody else believes doesn't seem to matter. So what that a conspiracy killed the president? So what if a craft from beyond our atmosphere crashed in the desert? So what if our government lies to us? So what?

The most impressive document in this book, perhaps, is the one that closes it: a sworn statement by the public information officer who was at the center of everything in 1947 that by plan was not revealed until after his death. Spacecraft, alien bodies, he swears he saw it all in a sworn statement that couldn't be opened until after his death. Now either this guy is telling the truth or he has one hell of a dark sense of humor. Seeing no evidence for the latter in his history, I choose the former and believe him. Roswell happened.

So what?

A few excerpts:
To cut to the chase, the Roswell case offers the best chance that we have at making the case for extraterrestrial visitation by recovering an incontrovertible alien artifact.
Her brother George somberly described to us her demeanor that evening, as she said, “I am never to say another word about what I saw. None of you ever heard me say anything about it,” she chided them.
After seeing a program on TV that featured the Roswell Incident, she at last asked him, “Well, Dear, is it true?” He answered, “Well, I suppose its time I should tell you. I've been meaning to for a long time. It's true.”
Are we to conclude that they are all lying—deceiving their loved ones at the end of their lives? To the surviving families, it remains a feeble, futile exercise at best. And for those few whose true love of family would inevitably outweigh love of country—though it may have taken a lifetime of denial—we strongly maintain that their dying words meet all the criteria for reasonable doubt.
If you've never read a book on Roswell, this is the one to read. A whole lot of people share what they saw. Many have waited over half a century to talk -- because their lives had been threatened if they did talk.

The testimony here is truly mind-boggling. And even moreso, mind-boggling that the national response is ... so what?

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