Aliens Abducted My Common Sense
A Classic UFO Watchdog Article (c) by Royce Myers, III
Endorsing another UFO tall tale, some question Linda Howe's dwindling credibility and the credibility of others trotting down similar paths. Is the 'need to believe' killing common sense, the value of solid evidence, and competent investigation by twisting fallacy into fact?
Just exactly how does an investigative journalist conduct an investigation without investigating the facts? Maybe we should ask Linda Howe. The one time pillar of scientific UFO research seems to have fallen straight off the cracker truck within the last few years, plunging head first from forward fact-based journalist to what some call a sensationalistic hocus pocus promoter who supports cases that appear to fit her views and beliefs of the government having knowledge of extraterrestrial visitation.
Many will recall Howe's previous and much applauded work in the field of animal mutilations, namely her excellent documentary A Strange Harvest. But frankly, Howe's recent work has suffered from a complete lack of credibility as she continually trips over bunk UFO cases she has publicly promoted and appearingly endorsed.
Most recently, Howe was quite taken with the tale of Dan Burisch, the man claiming to be a microbiologist working on a top secret black ops military project involving an alien named J-Rod. Howe wrote several stories for her website about Burisch, personally interviewed Burisch, and made appearances on radio shows addressing the claims of Burisch as being factual, even referring to Burisch as a 'doctor' and 'government whistleblower'.
In a radio interview, Howe was asked if she had verified the background claims of Burisch, specifically Burisch's alleged education. Howe responded by saying she didn't need to see such proof because she believed Burisch was telling the truth due to his sincerity. Well, now everyone knows Burisch's story is an absurd work of bad fiction after the tale was exposed by UFO Magazine. Howe failed to return multiple calls for comment on the findings of UFO Magazine according to its publisher.
How do you make a proclamation without having any hard supporting data? Since when do we substitute sincerity for solid evidence? Some people said Lee Shargel was sincere. Taking sincerity on its face value and having a blatant disregard for the facts or investigation of facts is becoming an all too often favorite past time of those who dare associate their name with the title investigative journalist in the UFO field, let alone those claiming to be UFO researchers/investigators.
Speaking of people claiming the title "investigative journalist" and disregarding the facts, Jaime Maussan climbed aboard the 'Dr.Reed' train claiming the case not only to be authentic, but to have personally verified all the witnesses, to have conducted scientific analysis of evidence, and to have been warned by his alleged government contacts that the case was real and dangerous. Maussan was not alone as many other so-called investigators joined in promoting 'Dr.Reed' including Dan Iaria and Ron Garner among others.
In the end it turned out that 'Dr.Reed' was really a con man named Jonathan Bradley Rutter, Rutter's supposed witnesses were cohorts in the hoax, Maussan couldn't produce his alleged scientific evidence when challenged, and the case came crashing down hard on the 'true believers' championing the bogus case. Dan Iaria was reportedly moved to tears over the story when he met 'Dr.Reed' and Jaime Maussan said that 'Dr.Reed' was sincere. 'Dr.Reed' was apparently so sincere that in the face of mounting evidence and common sense screaming fraud that he was invited to speak three times at the International UFO Congress, once as the keynote speaker.
Linda Howe actually spent hours talking with the bogus 'Dr.Reed' and uber-supporter Dan Iaria at a UFO conference, apparently seven hours. The 'Dr.Reed' case reached heights not obtained by other far more deserving cases, divided the field as to its veracity, and gave UFOlogy a whopping black eye when it was exposed as fraudulent on this website.
Some may recall the tale of Urandir Oliveira, a well known UFO hoaxer and cult leader according to the Brazilian UFO community. Oliveira, who claimed to have been abducted by aliens, paid for Howe's trip to Brazil and secretly flew her in to investigate his claims. Howe reportedly did not contact established Brazilian UFO investigators where the consensus is Oliveira's UFO claims are anything but legitimate.
Oliveira provided Howe with his supposed evidence - some burnt bedding and some rocks. Howe did have the items examined, and the original scientific report concluded there was nothing extraordinary about the evidence. The rocks were found to be moqui marbles, a common rock popular among new age shops.
Howe then sought out other professionals for answers, apparently not satisfied with the original scientific findings in spite of having used the original examiners on other cases without question. According to Howe, the melting of fibers in the burnt bedding observed at a microscopic level could not be reproduced. Those results were indeed reproduced by the original two examiners, the same examiners who found rocks Oliveira said fell from the sky to be nothing more than moqui marbles.
Howe took it a step further by having geologists from a Pennsylvania university examine the stones and Howe apparently took what was said by one geologist completely out of context, making the rocks appear more than they ever were. Howe claimed she had done nothing but science on this case. This is what was said between Coast To Coast AM host George Noory and Linda Howe during a broadcast discussion of the bunk Brazil case:
NOORY: Unbelievable. Absolutely stunning. You know what, that is as historical as I have ever heard. You may be walking around with actual evidence from an unidentified flying object.
HOWE: Yes, I think this case, uh, despite controversy that it never deserved in the first place, I've always felt, you know, you always go for the physical evidence and you see what the science says and you let the science stands for where it leads.
The science done in the first place led Howe down the path of Oliveira's evidence being mundane, but that science apparently didn't appeal to Howe. Why haven't we heard any follow-up on the examination of the stones that Howe was conducting, let alone the rest of the case? Last we heard Howe was having the rocks examined and would report the findings. We haven't heard anything since.
Could it be that Howe paid a visit to the Pennsylvania geologists working on the stones and took the stones with no explanation or further analysis? That's what reportedly happened according to Dr.Art Johnson, one of the Pennsylvania geologists approached by Howe. Dr.Johnson stated he was no longer working on the stones and he believed that Howe "took" the stones.
How about another Howe favorite, the notorious 'Art's Parts' alleged Roswell UFO debris. Howe is still claiming that these pieces of metal are anomalous and levitate when given an electrical charge.
However, a little known report by scientific research technologist Nicholas Reiter made at the request of Howe sheds much light on the mythos surrounding these alleged UFO fragments. Howe asked Reiter if he could reproduce the structure of the material (bismuth and magnesium). The technologist did just that and Howe was unwilling to accept the result because it apparently did not look exactly like the original pieces and was not as thick. Reiter stated in a letter to UFOWATCHDOG.COM, "Given more thickness, I feel confident that I would have pretty well produced the piece given to me by [Linda Moulton Howe]." You can read Reiter's report here.
Is Howe inserting her own theory or belief as to what the UFO phenomenon actually is in some cases she reports, even when findings are mundane regarding something originally thought of as being mysterious?
Enter a case in New York where a deer is found resting in a tree. While the cause of death found by an animal pathologist turned out to be an arrow killing the deer, Howe somehow tried to turn this known event into an encounter with the unknown, making a dizzying leap by somehow trying to connect an older bigfoot report to the original story in which there was absolutely no mention of bigfoot.
So, what is going on? Where is the common sense factor in all of these and other cases that have plagued the UFO field? Are people weaving their own agenda into these stories, or are these repeated cases of poor investigation? Perhaps incompetence? All the above?
Are some 'investigative journalists' willing to turn their own biased beliefs into proof? Are they so wrapped up in frustration at not finding the UFO smoking gun that they'll incorporate their views into the case and make claims based on little or no evidence? Are cases turned into a selling point for books, videos, lectures, and so on? Is common sense dead in the UFO field? You would think so with 'the truth' being DOA so many times its causing a surmounting damage to serious research and competent investigation by lumping every genuine investigator and researcher into a steaming pile with the rest of the UFO idiots out there.
The death of common sense and true investigation begins when people accept any sensational UFO claim based on nothing more than a story, flimsy evidence, and someone's sincerity. We see more and more 'investigators' doing this in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Those in the UFO field are not the only ones guilty of such egregious violations, the skeptics also have more than their fair share of flimflam cases and explanations for dismissing anything that dares to creep out of a tight knit box.
We see these 'investigators' come forward with a UFO case, hype it up, make the media rounds and present a case as astonishing or as the smoking gun, but they have yet to fully investigate it. We later see the case fall apart after someone picks up the pieces of a disjointed investigation and the completed puzzle reveals a case full of lies, inconsistencies, innuendos and complete lack of evidence. Of course, when this happens, the modus operandi of the original investigator is usually one of the following:
All too often a UFO case or story is made public but the investigation is not complete and the public is left with an initial story, an investigator throwing their name around, and little more. The public is left with promises of further scientific analysis on alleged evidence and follow-up report to be issued. How many times have we heard this only to hear nothing ever again? Too many times.
In the cases of Dan Burisch and 'Dr.Reed', the tales continued to be woven without a more thorough check by those making the most noise about the cases. Instead of investing common sense to look into the background of the story, those enamored with the story get caught up in the foreground and claim the story is far too complex. Common sense? Yes, common sense is still applicable to the uncommon and the complex. This is about investigation, not need.
However, I've found all too often that 'need to believe' is the most powerful and dangerous factor in this field. The 'need to believe', where a desire and willingness to believe in and/or promote something is placed ahead of common sense judgement and investigation of the facts. When we begin doing this and not asking or attempting to answer hard questions or hold people accountable, this is when we start to become part of the problem and not part of the solution. This is when we actively engage in spreading disinformation, that hot button word UFO and conspiracy buffs have associated with evil cabals and propaganda machines aimed at silencing another over-used catch-all, 'the truth'.
" They told me I was gullible, and I believed them. " -- Unknown
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