Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ufology Needs More People Like J. P. Cahn

The kind of personal attacks that I spoke out against yesterday in "The Good & the Bad in Ufology" are nothing new, unfortunately.

One of the most maligned people from the early days of ufology was investigative reporter J. P. Cahn, who broke the Aztec story as a con put together by Silas Newton and Leo Gebauer.

For his fine work, Cahn was attacked over and over again by Frank Scully in the years that followed. Even today, people continue to question his motives (the old "who was he really working for" canard), and attack him personally ("just in it for the fame / fortune," ironically an accusation that, when leveled at ufologists, provokes a howl of outrage).

William Steinman's (inaccurate) description of him as a "journalist of Armenian descent" in UFO Crash at Aztec is about the most tasteless and irrelevant that I have come across.

In truth, Cahn deserves ufology's respect and thanks - posthumously, alas (died in 2004) - for exposing Newton and Gebauer as con artists, and the "Aztec incident" as a fraud. There are plenty of good UFO cases out there, which are often tainted by the scam artists and their hoaxes. Exposing them is vital.

We could use a few more like Cahn today!

Paul Kimball

Note: Royce Myers III, at, follows in Cahn's footsteps admirably, and courageously.

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