Lately over on UFO Updates a debate has been going on about Wilbert Smith and his (in)famous memo, all started by my blog "Oh Canada - Wilbert Smith & UFOs". David Rudiak has accused me of drawing wild, speculative conclusions that are unsubstantiated by the evidence. Even Stan Friedman got into the act, accusing me of the same thing (albeit in slightly more polite language than that used by Rudiak), and of having a "fertile imagination."
This rankles, perhaps more than it should, for two reasons. First, while both of these guys are bright fellows, they have no training in history or the study of evidence of the kind about which we are debating. I do. Second, and more important, their claims just aren't true - I did use the evidence, as anyone who actually read the blogs would know. Claims to the contrary are, as Stan might say, "false," but that hasn't stopped them from making them. I'm disappointed in both of them, but especially Stan. He should know better.
Still, Stan and I remain pals, and he just sent me something by fax that, because I do care about the evidence, and encourage everyone to look at it all and draw their own conclusions, I will post here.
Wilbert Smith was undoubtedly a good broadcasting engineer, as evidenced by his posthumous receipt of the prestigious Colonel Keith S. Rogers Memorial Engineering Award, which was given to Smith "for dedicated service in the achievement of the Technical Standards in Canadian Broadcasting."
Here is an excerpt from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters in response to an inquiry about the Award:
"The Award... is given not more than once a year to a Canadian who, in the opinion of the appropriate judging committee, has made an important and significant contribution to the development of the technical side of the broadcasting industry. The Committee is made up of distinguished and experienced engineers. Wilbert Smith served himself as a member of that Committee at various times in the past... In the case of Wilbert B. Smith, the Award was made in recognition of a lifetime of dedicated and distinguished service to the advancement of technical knowledge in the Canadian broadcasting industry, the improvement of its techniques, the protection of its interests, of an example of diligence and integrity and in consideration of the universal respect and regard that Wilbert's efforts had earned him throughout the broadcasting industry, in the Government of Canada, and in other areas."
As someone who makes his living in the Canadian broadcast industry, I guess I own Smith a thank you.
Still, what does this prove about Smith's allegedly Top Secret work with UFOs? Nothing. It does enhance his credibility in general, but that has to be offset by the evidence that Stan and David don't want to talk about.
For example, Dr. Omand Solandt's (Chair of the Canadian Defence Research Board) description of Smith as "a bad scientist." Of course, one could be a good engineer and a bad scientist; they are different occupations, after all. It is the scientist aspect that has the most relevance to Smith's supposed work on UFOs, however.
Then there's the fact of Smith's "out there" beliefs about flying saucers and contactees. He was a believer.
These two facts, in reference to his statements about UFOs, are far more relevant to the discussion of the Smith Memo, and Smith's overall credibility regarding the UFO phenomenon, than an engineering award, no matter how well deserved.
After all, MacKenzie King, our longest serving Prime Minister, talked to his dog and his dead mother.
On the subject of government he would be an expert, just as Smith was a broadcast engineering expert.
On the subject of life after death, however, King was just another kook. This is not to say that the subject of life after death is "kooky," but rather to observe that King himself was kooky (if you doubt it, read up on him).
Ditto Wilbert Smith and UFOs. The subject of the UFO phenomenon is not "kooky". Smith was.
If you doubt it, read his writings and speeches at www.presidentialufo.com.
There you'll find the facts that Stan and David don't want to discuss.