Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence

The Federal Judicial Center's Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence is a very interesting look at how the United States federal judiciary has been briefed on scientific evidence.

Of particular interest to paranormal investigators and so-called "proto-scientists" (the term most often bandied about in support of pseudo-scientific paranormal hucksters who claim a lot of evidence, but never deliver the goods) is the section titled "How Science Works", from p. 68 to p. 82, by Dr. David Goodstein (pictured at left), who served as the Vice Provost of the California Institute of Technology from 1988 until 2007.

Dr. Goodstein identified a very useful series of what he termed "myths" and "facts" about science:

“In matters of science,” Galileo wrote, “the authority of thousands is not worth the humble reasoning of one single person.” Doing battle with the Aristotelian professors of his day, Galileo believed that appeal to authority was the enemy of reason. But, contrary to Galileo’s famous remark, the fact is that authority is of fundamental importance to science. If a paper’s author is a famous scientist, I think the paper is probably worth reading. However, an appeal from a scientific wanna-be, asking that his great new discovery be brought to the attention of the scientific world, is almost surely not worth reading (such papers arrive in my office, on the average, about once a week).
The triumph of reason over authority is just one of the many myths about science. Here’s a brief list of others:

Myth: Scientists must have open minds, being ready to discard old ideas in favor of new ones.

Fact: Because science is an adversary process in which each idea deserves the most vigorous possible defense, it is useful for the successful progress of science that scientists tenaciously hang on to their own ideas, even in the face of contrary evidence (and they do, they do).

Myth: Science must be an open book. For example, every new experiment must be described so completely that any other scientist can reproduce it.

Fact: There is a very large component of skill in making cutting-edge experiments work. Often, the only way to import a new technique into a laboratory is to hire someone (usually a postdoctoral fellow) who has already made it work elsewhere. Nevertheless, scientists have a solemn responsibility to describe the methods they use as fully and accurately as possible. And, eventually, the skill will be acquired by enough people to make the new technique commonplace.

Myth: When a new theory comes along, the scientist’s duty is to falsify it.

Fact: When a new theory comes along, the scientist’s instinct is to verify it. When a theory is new, the effect of a decisive experiment that shows it to be wrong is that both the theory and the experiment are quickly forgotten. This result leads to no progress for anyone in the reward system. Only when a theory is well established and widely accepted does it pay off to prove that it’s wrong.

Myth: Real science is easily distinguished from pseudoscience.

Fact: This is what philosophers call the problem of demarcation: One of Popper’s principal motives in proposing his standard of falsifiability was precisely to provide a means of demarcation between real science and impostors. For example, Einstein’s theory of relativity (with which Popper was deeply impressed) made clear predictions that could certainly be falsified if they were not correct. In contrast, Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis (with which Popper was far less impressed) could never be proven wrong. Thus, to Popper, relativity was science but psychoanalysis was not. As I’ve already shown, real scientists don’t do as Popper says they should. But quite aside from that, there is another problem with Popper’s criterion (or indeed any other criterion) for demarcation: Would-be scientists read books too. If it becomes widely accepted (and to some extent it has) that falsifiable predictions are the signature of real science, then pretenders to the throne of science will make falsifiable predictions, too. There is no simple, mechanical criterion for distinguishing real science from something that is not real science. That certainly doesn’t mean, however, that the job can’t be done.

Myth: Scientific theories are just that: theories. All scientific theories are eventually proved wrong and are replaced by other theories.

Fact: The things that science has taught us about how the world works are the most secure elements in all of human knowledge. I must distinguish here between science at the frontiers of knowledge (where by definition we don’t yet understand everything and where theories are indeed vulnerable) and textbook science that is known with great confidence. Matter is made of atoms, DNA transmits the blueprints of organisms from generation to generation, light is an electromagnetic wave; these things are not likely to be proved wrong. The theory of relativity and the theory of evolution are in the same class. They are still called theories for historic reasons only. The satellite navigation system in my car routinely uses the theory of relativity to make calculations accurate enough to tell me exactly where I am and to take me to my destination with unerring precision. It should be said here that the incorrect notion that all theories must eventually be wrong is fundamental to the work of both Popper and Kuhn, and these theorists have been crucial in helping us understand how science works. Thus, their theories, like good scientific theories at the frontiers of knowledge, can be both useful and wrong.

Myth: Scientists are people of uncompromising honesty and integrity.

Fact: They would have to be if Bacon were right about how science works, but he wasn’t. Scientists are rigorously honest where honesty matters most to them: in the reporting of scientific procedures and data in peer-reviewed publications. In all else, they are ordinary mortals like all other ordinary mortals.
Good stuff, understood by all true skeptics, if not by the believers and disbelievers in the paranormal.

Paul Kimball


When Holly Stevens and I were in the United Kingdom in May, 2009, filming four episodes of Ghost Cases, we had the opportunity to work with Steve Mera, Dave Sadler and the rest of the team from the Unknown Phenomena Investigation Association, aka the UPIA. The UPIA investigators employ a skeptical and rationalist approach to the paranormal, but they also keep an open mind about the possibility that our current science might not be able to explain everything about our world. In short, they are looking for answers, not confirmation of an existing belief system. It was a distinct pleasure working with them.

In the two videos below are some outtakes from footage shot for an episode that looked into stories of paranormal activity at the Bridestones, a neolithic burial chamber located outside of Congleton, England (the UPIA website has some great photos here). In the first of these clips, Dave recounts some of the allegedly paranormal activity that has been reported at the Bridestones, including a man who reported "missing time"; in the second, Steve and I wandered out into an adjacent field to discuss the phenomenon known as "earthlights", a possible explanation for many allegedly "paranormal" incidents, from centuries-old tales of fairies and will 'o' the wisps, to modern stories of UFOs. You'll notice the time code at the bottom of the footage, which also gives you an inside look at how material like this is edited together for television.

The earthlights theory is largely attributable to Paul Devereaux - you can read more about it at his site. He writes:

First may I say that I think most UFO reports are the product of (i)misperception of mundane aerial objects whether manmade or astronomical; (ii) mirage effects; (iii) hoax; (iv) psychosocial effects ranging from mental aberration to temporary personal stress conditions affecting a witness’s perception or interpretation of a perception; (v) the occurrence (unawares) in the witness of trance conditions, such as when awaking from or falling into sleep, or when driving, especially at night. Of all these, I’d suggest simple misperception is by far the greatest cause, though I suspect the trance explanation is involved more than we might suppose, especially in the case of reported alien abductions. Having said all that -- as a result of my own experience as well as my own research -- I ALSO think there is a small rump or residue of sighting reports that DO actually relate to genuinely unexplained phenomena. In my opinion, a percentage of this small rump of sightings relates to geophysical or meteorological phenomena that I have termed ‘earth lights’.
For more information on "spooklights" and related phenomena, check out this very good article by Dr. David Clarke. He writes:

Methane exiting from the surface of the marsh would be expected to burn, if ignited, as a flickering, fixed flame, but would hardly move through the air or against a prevailing wind. The marsh gas explanation for spooklights has been superseded by others, some fanciful and others plausible. Popular at the moment is the ‘earthlights’ theory which is a convincing connection between lights and the faulted geology of the regions in which they appear. Although no clear production mechanism has yet been discovered which scientists are entirely happy with, the theory suggests the lights are the product of a build up of electrical charge in areas of geological stress. Rather than being directly caused by earthquakes or tremors, the lights are symptoms of the earth’s internal traumas, springing into life as electrons are slowly released into the air and possibly through the water table as strain waxes and wanes in zones of geological faulting.
You can also find a brief synopsis by the UPIA here.

Paul Kimball

Neil deGrasse Tyson - Alien vs. Human Intelligence

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the almost certain differences between us and any advanced alien / extraterrestrial intelligence we may encounter.

Paul Kimball

Thought du jour - 31.08.10

‎"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense." - Carl Sagan

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thought du jour - 30.08.10

In our rush to have all of the latest gadgets, including those that may become part of our own bodies, we must not forget those who don't have access to them. The alternative to maintaining an awareness of the growing technological divide within humanity, and trying to do something about it, is a bleak future for us all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Field Research" 101 - Interviewing witnesses

Most self-proclaimed UFO / paranormal "field Investigators" have absolutely no training or education in oral research methodology. Not having had this training or education, and yet having gone out into the "field" to conduct "investigations", they presumably don't see the need for it.

They're wrong.

An understanding of oral research methodology is key to being an effective and reliable interviewer of witnesses. A few years ago, I posted several tips and resources on the subject. After reading some posts at the message forums at the Paracast, and listening to some recent episodes at the show, I have been reminded me of the paucity of understanding of true research methodology by "ufologists / paranormal researchers".

I think a refresher course is in order.

Paul Kimball

Oral History Tips

Any paranormal researcher serious about oral history would be well served to begin their preparation with Concordia University's Oral History Tips, which offers a good basic primer on everything from interview guidelines and sample questions to ethics guidelines and tips.

In the meantime, here are some key questions to ask yourself before ever heading out into the "field":

Technique and Adaptive Skills

1. In what ways does the interview show that the interviewer has used skills appropriate to: the interviewee's condition (health, memory, metal alertness, ability to communicate, time schedule, etc.) and the interview location and conditions (disruptions and interruptions, equipment problems, extraneous participants, background noises, etc.)?

2. What evidence is there that the interviewer has: thoroughly explored pertinent lines of thought? followed up on significant clues? Made an effort to identify sources of information? Employed critical challenges when needed? Thoroughly explored the potential of the visual environment, if videotaped?

3. Has the progam/project used recording equipment and media that are appropriate for the purposes of the work and potential nonprint as well as print uses of the material? Are the recordings of the highest appropriate technical quality? How could they be improved?

If videotaped, are lighting, composition, camera work, and sound of the highest appropriate technical quality?

4. In the balance between content and technical quality, is the technical quality good without subordinating the interview process?
These are the kinds of questions that ufologists HAVE to ask themselves before and after conducting interviews.

Interviewing Sins & Useful Advice

From An Archive Approach to Oral History (1978, at. pp. 15 - 16) by David Lance, at the time Keeper of the Department of Sound Records at the Imperial War Museum, some "sins" which interviewers should always avoid:
Interviewing Sins

1. Questions which are unnecessarily too long;

2. Questions which are not clear;

3. Questions, too frequently, which are answerable by "yes" or "no";

4. Combining several questions into one;

5. Interrupting a speaker with a secondary question before he has finished answering the first;

6. Failing to follow-up on a question which has not been fully answered;

7. Seeking, too often, for opinions and attitudes (particularly without establishing any factual basis for them);

8. Missing opportunities for follow-up questions which are "invited" by earlier answers;

9. Not asking for specific examples to illustrate general points which an informant has made; and

10. Jumping to and fro between one subject and another, or one time period and another.
Lance also offered these useful pieces of advice:
Generally, the degree of useful information in a recording is in direct proportion to the amount of interview preparation that has been carried out.

Interviews most conveniently follow a chronological pattern; start at the beginning and work systematically through the period which the particular project is concerned with.
Do not hurry the interview process. The pace of an interview depends mainly on the informant's personal capacity; the length depends on the amount of useful information he has to give. There should be no other personal factors to consider in deciding how much time to devote to each informant.
The purpose of oral history interviewing and recording is to collect interesting and significant information by questioning men and women about their personal experiences within prescribed subject areas. Interviews should be based mainly on activities or events in which informants were directly involved.
And finally, my favourite, which all SETI types and debunkers who think witness testimony is worthless should be forced to read; here, Lance quoted from Sir Basil Liddell-Hart, one of the great historians of the 20th century:

"History should be tested by the personal witness of those who took part in the [events]... The more that any writer of history has himself been... in contact with the makers, the more does he come to see that a history based solely on formal documents is essentially superficial."

Absolutely, one hundred per cent, true. However, in order to accomplish this goal, it is critical to remember that the researcher has to get it right in the field.

Oral History - A Starting Point for Ufologists

A ufologist who wants to interview witnesses owes it to himself, the interviewees, and ufology in general, to familiarise himself with oral research methodology. In "Q & A 101" I touched briefly upon some types of questions, and the general approach used by lawyers to interviewing / questioning witnesses.

The study of history shares much with the legal method, but can differ in some important respects as well. The following sources are excellent starting points for any ufologist genuinely interested in learning the nature of oral research methodology, which is a necessity if they want to have their work taken seriously.

Baum, Willa K. Transcribing and Editing Oral History (Nashville: American Association for State and Local History, 1977).

Davis, Cullom et al. Oral History: From Tape to Type (Chicago: American Library Association, 1977).

Dunaway, David K. and Willa K. Baum, eds., Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology (London: Altamira Press, 1996).

Grele, R. J. Envelopes of Sound: The Art of Oral History 2nd Ed. (Chicago: Precedent Publishers, 1985).

Lance, David. An Archive Approach to Oral History (London: Imperial War Museum, 1978).

McMahan, Eva M. and Kim Lacy Rogers, eds. Interactive Oral History Interviewing (Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994).

Thompson, Paul. The Voice of the Past: Oral History 2nd Ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).

Vansina, Jan. Oral Tradition: A Study in Historical Methodology (London: Routldge & Kegan Paul, 1965).

I offer the following sage words of wisdom from Cullom Davis, Kathryn Back and Kay MacLean, from Oral History: From Tape to Type, at. p. 8:
Collecting oral history requires proficiency in such specialized skills as historical research, equipment operation, and interviewing; it also demands sensitivity, alertness and empathy on the part of the interviewers. Contrary to popular impression, preparation and interviewing can be tedious and tiring work, and sometimes even unproductive. Veteran oral historians have had their share of unsuccessful projects, and a bad interview will always remain a bad interview. Of some consolation (as well as anxiety) is the fact that collecting, if not the totality, is the sine qua non of oral history. Without a taped interview one can never have a transcript or a bound oral history memoir. Collecting is the crucial first stage of oral history and therefore it deserves careful attention and extensive practice by the novice.
Q & A 101

There are a number of methodological problems within ufology. To me, however, the most serious relates to the process of interviewing people who may or may not have something to offer to the study of the UFO phenomenon (these people are often, and incorrectly, as I have pointed out elsewhere, referred to as "witnesses" by ufologists).

There are many different ways to ask a person a question, or a series of questions. There is no one, absolutely correct way to do it - for example, a defense lawyer cross-examining a prosecution witness will often use leading questions, often requiring a simple "yes" or "no" answer, whereas, as a general rule, he is not permitted to use leading questions when examining his own witness (there are, as always, a number of specific exceptions that prove the rule); instead, he would use open-ended questions.

There are reasons for this rule, which can be discerned from an examination of both the types of questions that can be asked, and the effect they can have on the "witness" testimony that is given as a result.

For the purposes of ufology (and borrowing from Legal Interviewing and Counselling by David Binder and Susan Price), here are four basic categories of questions of which ufologists should be aware:

1. Open-ended questions - In general, questions can be classified in terms of the breadth of information that they seek to elicit from the interviewee. At one end of the spectrum are open-ended questions, which allow the interviewee to select the information related to a general subject which he believes is pertinent and relevant. A ufological example might go something like this: "Could you tell me what you observed on the mesa that day?"

2. Leading questions - At the opposite end of the spectrum is the leading question.The structure of this type of question provides all the data which the interviewer believes is pertinent or relevant. The question makes a statement and, in addition, suggests that the interviewee ought to affirm the validity of the statement. A ufological example might go something like this: "You saw a flying saucer on the mesa that day, did you not?"

Between the totally open-ended question at one end of the spectrum, and the absolutely leading question at the other end, there may be an infinite variety in the forms of question. There are, however, two other significant types of questions:

3. The Yes / No Question - These are phrased in such a way that the interviewee can respond with a simple "yes" or "no." A ufological example might be: "Were there police officers on the mesa?"

4. Narrow Questions - Narrow questions both select the general subject matter, and choose which aspect of the subject the interviewer wishes to discuss. In restricting the interviewee to discussing that aspect of the general subject which the interviewer has selected, the interviewer is asking the interviewee to put aside whatever notions he might have as to the importance of information, and adopt instead the priorities of the interviewer. A ufological example might be: "How old were the police officers that you saw?"
As a general rule of thumb, ufological interviewers should begin with, and try to stick to, as much as possible, open-ended questions; narrow questions can be employed to focus in on particular pieces of information for which the interviewer would like further clarification. The goal should be to use these two types of questions to elicit as much information as possible from the interviewee, without distorting the answer.

This last consideration should be paramount. There are many ways in which the type of questions that are asked can influence the accuracy with which interviewees recall and relate information. Here are four of which ufologists should be especially aware:

1. Improper use of leading questions - Assuming the interviewer knows best, the interviewee will often go along with the interviewer's suggestion rather than indicating he does not know the answer, or is unsure of the answer. By an unconscious use of leading questions, the interviewer can unwittingly lead an interviewee into adopting a favourable but ultimately inaccurate view of the event or situation being discussed.

2. Pressuring the interviewee for too much detail - People do not perceive all of the details of any given event; therefore, they cannot usually report precisely everything that occurred. When pressed for too much detail, they will often "fill in" the details they can't remember by taking what they can recall of the event, and then using logic to reconstruct the event by imagining details that would be consistent with the facts that they do remember. This is usually an unconscious process. An interviewer who states in advance what he believes happened, or who asks leading questions, may inadvertently encourage an interviewee to "reconstruct" events to fit in with the interviewer's version.

3. Obtaining conclusions which distort - In some instances, asking a person for a conclusion before obtaining the details on which the conclusion is based can lead to distortion. For example, if the interviewee is first asked, "Do you believe that flying saucers have crashed, and that the government has recovered them?" the person's "yes" or "no" answers may shape his subsequent reporting of a specific alleged crash retrieval case.

4. The use of too many narrow questions - As stated above, the focus of the interview should be to allow the interviewee to tell his story in his words, as fully as he can recall it. Unless he is given this opportunity, which can best be accomplished through open-ended questions, certain facts and details will often not emerge. As a consequence, the story he relates might be more limited than it otherwise would have been.
After all, as Mr. Justice Beck, of the Alberta Court of Appeal, wrote in Maves v. Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company (1913), 14 D.L.R. 70, 73 - 77 (Alta C.A):

"The chief rule of practice relative to the interrogation of witnesses is that which prohibits 'leading questions,' ie. questions which directly or indirectly suggest to the witness the answer he is to give. The rule is, that on material points a party must not lead his own witness... if he were allowed to lead, he might interrogate in such a manner as to exact only so much of the knowledge of the witness as would be favourable to his side, or even put a false gloss upon the whole."

Common sense then; common sense now.

Thought du jour - 29.08.10

As technology allows us to make our world more predictable, we run the risk of losing the wonder that is serendipity.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Scientific Method

As of late there has been a lot of discussion about so-called "proto-scientists" like Ray Stanford at the Paracast discussion forums. Most of it has come from Christopher O'Brien, of "trickster" fame, who has made the statement, on one of the threads there, that:

Ray breaks the mold and re-defines what we know about reality in an impressive fashion in several scientific realms, and he has demonstrated that conventional scientific thinking is woefully inadequate... Ray has impeccably documented his investigative process and IMO he is the most impressive, forward-thinking, seasoned expert we have in this proto-scientific field we grudgingly refer to as ufology. (original post at #48)
Somewhere, my friend Dick Hall is spinning in his grave. You see, the big problem with Stanford (well, one of them), is that he claims to have lots and lots of earth-shattering, ground-breaking evidence - but none of it seems to be available for anyone to have a look at, i.e. meaningful peer review. And it's not like Stanford just found this "evidence" - apparently, he's been accumulating it for decades.

Of course, Stanford is far from unique in this "I have evidence, and will release it soon" bait-and-switch game that goes on amongst the worst self-promoters and charlatans in ufology - Steven Greer takes the cake, with his alien babies and vectored spaceships and so on. But whatever you want to call all of this, you can't call it "science", and you can't blame science for not wanting to have any part of it (well, Stanford and Greer can, and do, but that's all tied up with the Cosmic Watergate and so forth...).

So, I thought it might be useful to remind these guys, should they stop by here, of exactly how the scientific method works. I took a look on the Internet for a good, concise statement, and found one, at a site called Biology4Kids.com. I thought it best to keep things reasonably simple, so that Stanford, and Greer, and their defenders / promoters, could begin to understand at least the basics (hint: key word = "evidence"). So, here we go (original here):

Learning about the scientific method is almost like saying that you are learning how to learn. You see, the scientific method is the way scientists learn and study the world around them. It can be used to study anything from a leaf to a dog to the entire Universe.

The basis of the scientific method is asking questions and then trying to come up with the answers. You could ask, "Why do dogs and cats have hair?" One answer might be that it keeps them warm. BOOM! It's the scientific method in action. (OK, settle down.)

Just about everything starts with a question. Usually, scientists come up with questions by looking at the world around them. "Hey look! What's that?" See that squiggly thing at the end of the sentence? A question has been born.

So you've got a scientist. When scientists see something they don't understand they have some huge urge to answer questions and discover new things. It's just one of those scientist personality traits. The trick is that you have to be able to offer some evidence that confirms every answer you give. If you can't test your answer, other scientists can't test it to see if you were right or not.

As more questions are asked, scientists work hard and come up with a bunch of answers. Then it is time to organize. One of the cool things about science is that other scientists can learn things from what has already been established. They don't have to go out and test everything again and again. That's what makes science special: it builds on what has been learned before.

This process allows the world to advance, evolve, and grow. All of today's advancements are based on the achievements of scientists who already did great work. Think about it this way: you will never have to show that water (H2O) is made up of one oxygen (O) and two hydrogen (H) atoms. Many scientists before you have confirmed that fact. It will be your job as a new scientist to take that knowledge and use it in your new experiments.

Experimental evidence is what makes all of the observations and answers in science valid (truthful or confirmed). The history of evidence and validations show that the original statements were correct and accurate. It sounds like a simple idea, but it is the basis of all science. Statements must be confirmed with loads of evidence. Enough said.

Scientists start with observations and then make a hypothesis (a guess), and then the fun begins. They must then prove their hypothesis with trials and tests that show why their data and results are correct. They must use controls, which are quantitative (based on values and figures, not emotions). Science needs both ideas (the hypothesis) and facts (the quantitative results) to move forward. Scientists can then examine their data and develop newer ideas. This process will lead to more observation and refinement of hypotheses.

There are different terms used to describe scientific ideas based on the amount of confirmed experimental evidence.

- a statement that uses a few observations
- an idea based on observations without experimental evidence
- uses many observations and has loads of experimental evidence
- can be applied to unrelated facts and new relationships
- flexible enough to be modified if new data/evidence introduced
- stands the test of time, often without change
- experimentally confirmed over and over
- can create true predictions for different situations
- has uniformity and is universal

You may also hear about the term "model." A model is a scientific statement that has some experimental validity or is a scientific concept that is only accurate under limited situations. Models do not work or apply under all situations in all environments. They are not universal ideas like a law or theory.
Science isn't the enemy of real UFO research - it's the only reasonable way forward (one should never confuse science with "scientism"). It's self-proclaimed "proto-scientists" like Stanford, and their ardent defenders like O'Brien, who undermine real UFO research, and have done so for decades now. This is the result of their complete lack of understanding of the scientific method, and their concomitant lack of respect for it.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kevin Randle - Improving Ufology

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with Kevin Randle on 9 September, 2001, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real, Kevin discusses frauds within ufology, Steven Greer (whose “disclosure movement” was still relatively new at the time), relations with the media, and whether or not UFO researchers will ever be able to find common cause with each other and present a unified front.

Paul Kimball

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vaughn Rees - The Skeptic Strikes Back

This is a sequence of excerpts from an interview I conducted with skeptic Vaughn Rees of the Center for Inquiry - West in 2001 at the MUFON Symposium in Irvine, California, for the documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real. While I wanted to talk to Vaughn about Stan in particular, we also touched upon a wide range of subjects, including Steven Greer and his Disclosure Movement, the Billy Meier hoax (Rees had a long-running battle with the Meier-ites and Michael Horn in the early 2000s), the nature of skepticism and science, the problems with UFO research, and why people still believe in the paranormal. Unlike past episodes in this series from the 2001 interviews for Stanton T. Friedman is Real, there are no contemporary introductory comments by me - instead, I’ve left some of my questions recorded nine years ago during the interview in the episode.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stanton T. Friedman - Part III (Marcel and Brazel)

In this episode of my ongoing interview series with Stan Friedman, recorded on September 12 and 13, 2001, Stan talks about two of the key witnesses to the Roswell incident, Major Jesse Marcel, and Mack Brazel. Along the way, he also takes a few shots at Karl Pflock, Colonel Richard Weaver, Captain Sheridan Cavitt, and Robert Todd, for reasons which I think are pretty clear, and which I address in my introduction.

Paul Kimball

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stanton Friedman interview - Part II (Kaufmann and Anderson)

In this episode of the ongoing Stan Friedman series, Stan talks about two Roswell “witnesses” who proved to be lying - Frank Kaufmann, who was supported for many years by Kevin Randle, but not Stan, and Gerald Anderson, who was supported by Stan but not Randle. The story of these two researchers, and these two “witnesses”, is emblematic of what Karl Pflock called “the will to believe” when it comes to the Roswell incident.

Paul Kimball

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stanton Friedman interview - Part I (Roswell)

The first in a series of excerpts from a 11 1/2 hour long interview I conducted with Stan Friedman on September 12th and 13th, 2001, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, for the film Stanton T. Friedman is Real.

In this segment, Stan talks about how he discovered the Roswell case, and gives a breakdown of why he thinks it was the crash of two alien spacecraft in 1947.

Paul Kimball

Monday, August 09, 2010

Stan Friedman on CBC's "Switchback" - October, 1984

Digging deep into the video vault for this one - back in 1984, Stan appeared on the CBC children's program Switchback, hosted in Halifax by Stan "The Man" Johnson, to discuss the UFO phenomenon. As you can tell, his focus had not yet completely turned to the Roswell case, let alone MJ-12.

Paul Kimball

P.S. The audio is pretty low. Sorry about that, but the only copy I have of the show is an old VHS tape that has seen better days. Stan was staying with my family, and we taped it on Beta (which is the type of machine my dad bought, back when it was Beta vs. VHS), and then later switched it to VHS.