UFO news today should have scientists and skeptics reaching for pens to circle the date on the calendar to mark a significant change in direction by Kevin Randle, a long-respected expert in the UFO research field as it relates to the Roswell, New Mexico event in 1947. Robert Sheaffer, a skeptic who has written a book titled Bad UFOs: Critical Thinking About UFO Claims, relates that he discovered the turnabout in a book review of Randle’s newest book, Roswell in the 21st Century, in which Randle states that he does not believe that a UFO crashed at Roswell. Sheaffer and Randle appeared together in a radio interview that covers a wide range of subjects on UFO news and is provided below.
Sheaffer provides a detailed account of his interaction with Randle on his site. Sheaffer also points out some of the most controversial ideas that were initially posited by Randle about the UFO that are now irrelevant due to the unreliable witnesses that contributed to them. Among them, and the most controversial, that alien bodies were allegedly recovered at the Roswell UFO crash site has been discarded by Randle.
“So Randle has raised the number of those who lied about seeing alien bodies at Roswell from four to eight, and there never were more than eight. This completely undercuts the need for bizarre ET or non-ET explanations for alleged alien body sightings at Roswell.”
Sheaffer is absolutely correct that if the initial reports of alien bodies being found at a UFO crash have not survived scrutiny, then reports about alien autopsy films, and even the Air Force story about test dummies are all without merit. There is no UFO news if all of the witnesses fail under scrutiny. This also would completely undercut the “Majestic 12” documents that were alleged to have been drafted after the Roswell incident to cover up news of a UFO crash.
This would require Randle to rethink his UFO theory to remain intellectually honest. Imagine a prosecutor, after long preparation for a difficult trial, arrived at the courthouse to discover that under oath, all of his witnesses about one aspect of the crime committed perjury. The news reports would laugh his case away. Obviously, there are no legal issues at stake with this investigation, but how many people were deceived by eight dishonest witnesses, and how can one even take the incident seriously as a UFO investigation, if that is the foundation for a wide swath of the theories surrounding the incident.
But what brings the UFO crash incident into question, even if no bodies were found? A variety of factors, not least of which being common sense, should lead one to revisit the Roswell UFO case after this turnabout. First, the only physical evidence on record was confiscated by the Army Air Force shortly after news spread about a Roswell UFO crash. Outside of people with Top Secret clearance, nobody has any idea what actually was recovered, if anything at all. At that time, the Cold War was ramping up, and for all anyone knows, the Army could have been testing a new weapon, made an error, and then used a “little green men” story to shuffle away with the whole world none wiser. Common sense would lead to that, or some similar hypothesis, if the onion of the UFO news story loses several layers of unreliable testimony leading to a rotten core.
What does this mean for the UFO research community? It means only as much as one weights it with significance. The fact remains that there are several better candidates for the UFO research canon, including the recent news regarding the Rend. That is, Roswell was more defining as a moment in the nation’s consciousness that signaled a shift of imagination away from the horizon and up to the stars.
In that sense, Roswell represents the human imagination making a jump to something previously thought impossible. As a study in folklore, Roswell is invaluable. As a barometer for Ufology in the 21st Century, it’s a warm reminder of how far research has come. Believers and skeptics can agree that the UFO lore that surrounds Roswell stays in the news because it was an event that captured many imaginations.
Randle ranked among the initial believers in the UFO theory and had the courage to debunk his own work. That should open the door for everyone to pause and reconsider eyewitness evidence as a sole platform for a UFO theory. If that happens, skeptics and scientists everywhere will appreciate the courage of his decision to debunk his own UFO theory, even as it undercuts years of hard work on his part. That would be fascinating news in the UFO community.
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