Saturday, February 28, 2015

East Coast Paracon 2015

Just an FYI that I'll be speaking at the 2015 East Coast Paracon here in Nova Scotia this coming August. You can get the lowdown at their website. Whilst I was sorely tempted to talk about the Roswell slides, my actual presentation will be about my ghost investigating exploits from my 2009 TV series Ghost Cases, as recounted in my book The Other Side of Truth: The Paranormal, The Art of the Imagination, and The Human Condition.

Hope to see you there!

Paul Kimball

This looks like fun. I should probably attend!

A Reminder of Anthony Bragalia's Hypocrisy

Read here for a reminder about Anthony Bragalia's previous position on the anonymity of elderly alleged Roswell witnesses. The comments section is illuminating as well, as Bragalia happily takes kudos for his work.

A quote:
This author has identified and located Annie Jacobsen’s anonymous source. I have also decided, after much consideration, to “out” him. In this article I will openly name him. I have also contacted him very recently. He reluctantly spoke with me for some time. 
David Rudiak wrote in the comments: "You are to be congratulated for figuring out Jacobsen's source and interviewing him, even though he told you bupkis."

I would expect to see Mr. Rudiak offer the same congratulations here... but I won't hold my breath.

Meanwhile, I trust that everyone can now see Mr. Bragalia for the base and delusional hypocrite that he really is.

Paul Kimball

The Double Standards of Anthony Bragalia (and Roswell researchers in general)

Below is the text of an e-mail just sent to me from Dream Team member and all around nut-case Anthony Bragalia (I have kept the spelling errors and bolding to show you how it looked). Remember, folks, that all I did was publish the name of a witness to a fantasy tale so that people who are less inclined than Bragalia et al to accept every word uttered from someone who confirms their belief system could, should they want to, check this witness out and not have to rely on the Dream Team to filter the information. But for Bragalia, that goes too far.

" Kimball-
How dare you make public the name and location of an elderly man who was a witness to Roswell?
You have no filter- no care for others. This is an old man who does not need this. A pseudonym was used in the Witness book to shield him from unwanted calls.
If he begins to receive phone calls from strangers or visits to his home by strangers- we are calling the police and providing them your name.
Your actions are reprehensible and I swear that I am going to authorities if this man is harassed. Are you mentally ill? What do you not understand about publishing this man’s name and home? Are you trying to incite him? Harm him?
Why do you want to make this man miserable. He is nearing 90- you are really of-the-chain, and I am going to do something about it.
Tony Bragalia"

Apparently it's just fine for Roswell believers (and I use that term very, very loosely) to contact people, and to question them about their claims (and I use the term "question" very, very loosely as well), but not for skeptics to do the same. It's fine for them to demand to know everything, whether it's from the government that is supposedly hiding the truth, or from witnesses that know the truth, but they wish to keep their own secrets for themselves.

Let's remember that Mr. Benavides agreed to appear on Sci Fi Investigates, a network television show. He agreed to appear in Adam Dew's forthcoming film. His identity was known to these people. But they did not want you to know it. It is not as if the man has been hiding away in his house. He's been on television, for crying out loud.

No, this has nothing to do with them wanting to protect a frail old man from the  harassment of evil skeptics. Instead, it has everything to do with the true believers wanting to control the narrative that they are spinning.

An artist's representation of a typical Roswell "researcher," hoarding their secrets.

I suppose I don't blame them. Every time an independent, objective researcher looks into the witness claims out of Roswell, those claims (from Glenn Dennis to Frank Kaufmann to Jim Ragsdale to Gerald Anderson, and all point in between) fall apart. The claims have never withstood close scrutiny. The same kind of sturm and drang was raised when Robert Todd got access to Jesse Marcel's military records, and found discrepancies in his stories about his background. These "researchers" only want you to know their version of the story - a story that is worth a fair bit of money. The one thing they absolutely don't want you to know is the truth. Mr. Bragalia and his fellow travelers want to stifle dissent, and avoid at all costs having their claims cross-examined. They are the very antithesis of true researchers, and are as far away from being honest seekers of the truth as one can get.

Paul Kimball

Friday, February 27, 2015

The "Roswell Slides" Witness

Much has been made by the Dream Teamers of a military witness who confirmed for them that he saw the same body that is depicted in the two "Roswell slides," and that it was at Roswell in 1947 and it was alien.

Here is Adam Dew, the filmmaker behind all of this, talking about the "slides" on WGN 9 News in Chicago. The relevant part is at 4:42 when Dew states, "We did show them to a Roswell military veteran who was on site in 1947 who says he saw bodies and he says that the slides look like what he saw in July of 1947."

In the trailer for his Kodachrome documentary, Dew refers to the witness as a "Lieutenant." At 2:38 Dew states: "And then there's this guy, who was an army lieutenant at Roswell air force base in 1947."

That veteran does indeed exist. A source provided me with the name - Eleazar N. Benavides. He currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you go to Google you can track him down and see a photo of where he lives, which matches the location you see in the film trailer above (apparently interviewing witnesses standing in their driveway is Dew's style).

Thanks to researcher Tim Printy, who is part of an ad hoc, sub rosa group of skeptics who are looking into the slides (of which I am also an associate), here is a photo of a much younger Mr. Benavides in the Roswell base yearbook from 1947.

As you can see, at the time of the Roswell Incident, Benavides was indeed stationed at Roswell, so that much is true, but he was a Private First Class in the 390th Air Service Squadron. He was not, as Dew erroneously claims in the trailer, a Lieutenant.

In fact, he is also not a new "witness." He is the "Pfc. Benjamin" referred to in the book Witness to Roswell by Roswell slides promoters / "Dream Team" members Tom Carey and Donald Schmitt (see. pp. 209 - 217 - "Eli Benjamin" was a pseudonym used by the authors). He can be seen in an episode about Roswell on the short-lived Sci-Fi Investigates series in this clip:

Benavides is repeating the same sort of story that "witnesses" to the "creature" have repeated before. Is he lying, as other "witnesses" like Glenn Dennis were, or did he actually see a body that had been injured somehow, and after all of these years (and no small amount of prodding from Roswell researchers) he has conflated what he saw at some point in the past into the Roswell space aliens narrative? Who knows, although history and hard experience tells us that the former is by far the most likely possibility. The idea that he would be afraid he was going to lose his pension (ergo the pseudonym), but was willing to show his face on national television (and now in Dew's film) seems... well, let's just say that it requires a great deal of "belief suspension" to buy it. But it sure adds to the mysterious and secretive nature of the story that the Roswell myth-makers have used over the years.

Either way, Benavides, aka Benjamin, is the man that the Dream Team is hanging their hats on as a witness to validate the space alien nature of the "Roswell slides." Without him, they just have a couple of slides. Make of that what you will.

Meanwhile, the work of skeptics continues in terms of debunking this con. Perhaps we should schedule a big reveal with the real story... on May 5th.

Paul Kimball 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Latest Trailer for the Dream Team!

Breaking news - I was just sent a super-duper advance look at the next trailer for the Dream Team's My 5th "Roswell Slides" release in Mexico City. What make this interesting is that all of the members are in it.


Paul Kimball 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Walter Haut & Glenn Dennis - The Roswell UFO Museum and Stan Friedman

Stepping away from the "slides" imbroglio for a bit, but remaining with Roswell, here is a clip from an interview I conducted with Glenn Dennis and Walter Haut in 2001 wherein they discuss the Roswell UFO museum and their relationship with Stan Friedman.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Adam Dew - A New Ray Santilli for the 21st Century

Yes, I recognize that by posting this I am helping Dew's viral marketing campaign, but it's all so amusing from a cultural studies perspective that I can't resist. I actually admire his chutzpah. The only question that remains is whether or not the "Dream Team" are actors in the play that is unfolding, or whether they are merely props. 

 Paul Kimball

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Steve Hudgeons of MUFON on the "Roswell Slides"

Steve Hudgeons is the Director of Investigations for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), an organization that is not exactly a paragon of skeptical thinking, as can be seen by the fact that it employs the likes of John Ventre and Roger Marsh in leadership positions (where they serve as de facto public spokespersons), and by the organization's involvement in the ridiculous television series Hangar 1. In short, MUFON is an organization that buys into the extraterrestrial hypothesis hook, line and sinker, no matter how much they might claim to pursue a scientific and objective stance when it comes to looking into UFOs. So while Hudegons might be a more reasonable sort than Ventre or Marsh, it's important to remember that in MUFON reasonableness is a sliding scale... it's like marking on the curve. The point is that Hudgeons is a key leader of an organization that is intellectually and institutionally committed to the notion that space aliens have visited Earth, and that a spaceship crashed near Roswell in 1947. He himself adheres to these beliefs. In short, he is part of the key foundational target market for the purveyors of the Roswell "slides".

Which makes what he wrote about the Roswell "slides" in a series of recent posts on the MUFON Facebook page most interesting:
two items red flag me……one it is “blurred" is looking at the camera........
- not the eyes….the head… pointed toward the camera.....that alone is a dead give away that it is fake to me
- you dont TOUCH an alien body…….unless you are well covered
- you dont pose an alien body for a camera…… photo what you have…as it want a different move the camera
- humans are not….special………a dead alien dont move them around
- a dead alien body will be frozen away out of any sunlight
- if you are of the opinion that this is real…..great…tell me why you think so
- if this is real…..great......
- also of note………look at the mouth…….this mouth is open.........all witnesses of Greys say the mouth is a small slit
- can you show me ONE witness that says the Alien they saw was ready to eat a foot long hotdog?
- Im not saying Aliens in general are non existant …I am saying that IMO this photo is fake
[editor's note - all typos are from the original text]
It is important to note that Hudgeons doesn't say that the slides couldn't represent aliens because there is no evidence that aliens have never visited Earth (which is what a hard-core skeptic might lead off with) - indeed, as is clear from the exchange, he not only believes that aliens have visited Earth, but that they have crashed here, that the government has retrieved their bodies, and that there are procedures and protocols in place for handling those bodies.

In short, here you have a guy who is absolutely committed to the belief that the government is hiding alien bodies from the crash of a spaceship in 1947... and even he doesn't buy the Roswell "slides" story!

For anyone still wondering why the Dream Team hooked up with Jaime Maussan and is taking their dog-and-pony show to Mexico City in May, here is your answer in a nutshell - because they are so far out of the mainstream within pro-ETH, pro-Roswell American ufology that even someone like Steve Hudgeons can see that it's all bogus.

As Bart Simpson would say: "Ay caramba!"

Paul Kimball

Friday, February 13, 2015

BREAKING NEWS - "Roswell Slides" in Shocking Video Footage

A secret source of mine within the NSA just sent this above top secret video clip of one of the aliens from the Roswell slides group - apparently one died in the crash, but his co-pilot survived and was integrated into American society without anyone in the general public knowing it. 


Paul Kimball

"Hacking" the Roswell Slides

My good friend Nick Redfern has a new column written at Mysterious Universe wherein he discusses the alleged hacking episode of the broader Roswell slides story. Nick maintains that it's "impossible" that a Dream Teamers would be involved in the hacking, largely because, he says, they wouldn't hack their own e-mail and then call law enforcement. And yet, I know people who have done exactly that, from first-hand experience.
When I was stationed with the RCMP in northern Cape Breton years ago, we were called to investigate a crime - property destruction - where the owner wanted us to believe that his neighbour had done it. Indeed, many of the indications pointed to the neighbour, with whom the complainant had a long-running feud. The only problem was that unbeknownst to the complainant, the neighbour had an air-tight alibi for the night in question... at which point we started to smell something fishy. Eventually, the complainant admitted he had done it himself to try and get his arch-enemy in trouble.
Stupid? Perhaps. But it happens, particularly when one has a motive and potential reward that they judge outweighs any risk. It's a question of a cost-benefit analysis.
Which brings us back to the "hacking" case with the slides. Nick rightly dismisses the idea of government involvement. Unless you're the truest of true believers, then I'm sure you do as well. His prime suspect is some other UFO researcher. But that strikes me as unlikely. There's no motive, other than the possibility of finding the slides and then... what? Posting them? As soon as that happened, he would identify himself as the hacker, or if someone else did it for him it would be traced back pretty quickly. That would be truly stupid given that the payoff would be so penny ante.
No, the people with motive and opportunity would have been the Dream Teamers, because something like having your e-mail hacked is gold if you're trying to build a con based on a conspiracy narrative, which is what the slides story is really all about at its core. The payoff is potentially huge (that 10,000 seat arena in Mexico City just being the lucrative start). Given that, then someone on the Dream Team - and let's recall that Donald Schmitt has a proven record of underhanded activities, and now they have linked up with one of the most disreputable hucksters out there, Jaime Maussan - could easily have judged it worth any risk.
A report to the FBI might have been an unintended consequence, or maybe it was all part of the plan, to add a little extra juice. Because here's the real truth - unless the hacking involved terrorism or corporate espionage, the FBI was highly unlikely to do anything other than a quick pro forma "investigation" and then move on to more important things... particularly when they realized it was UFO nuts (in their eyes) making the complaint. And that seems to be exactly what happened, at least to me. When I conduct a cost-benefit analysis, the risks are just as low for Dream Teamers as any ufologist (and probably lower), while the rewards are the highest.
My friend Nick? An unwitting part of it all, who is giving the "hackers" even more of what I have no doubt they were after all the time. - publicity. They are no doubt sitting back and saying, "mission accomplished" as they plan their trip to Mexico City.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Roswell Slides - You Decide!

The Roswell slides are out now. Have your say - what do they show! I'll leave the voting open until the end of February. If you pick "something else," please leave a comment with what you think that "something else" might be.

The Roswell slides are:
Pictures of a dead extraterrestrial being from Roswell in 1947
A hoax
Pictures of a human body with some form of physical deformity
Something else (please leave a comment)


Personally, when push came to shove I voted for a hoax, but that's because I think the slides represent a human body with a deformity that the Dream Team are purposefully representing as a dead alien despite knowing better, which to me ultimately makes it a hoax, in a "meta" sense. I look forward to hearing what you think.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, February 07, 2015

2014 Zorgy Awards

After a few years the Zorgy Awards have returned, as Aaron Gulyas joined me and Greg Bishop on Radio Misterioso to discuss the best (mostly) of the paranormal subculture in 2014, and what might be in store for the year to come. You can tune in to the podcast here.

Paul Kimball

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ghost Cases on Amazon Prime

My Ghost Cases co-host Holly Stevens and yours truly at the 2009 Atlantic Film Festival.

And now, a bit of shameless self-promotion. Looks like my old series Ghost Cases is finally available in the United States. It's not the greatest show ever made, but my co-host Holly Stevens and I approached our task with diligence and honest skepticism, and I'm proud of that. Plus, we had a rollicking good time and got paid for it. I call that a "win"!

You can find it here.

Paul Kimball