Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Roswell Slides: It's All Over but the Accountability

At this point it doesn't look like there is much left to be learned about the child mummy depicted in the so-called Roswell Slides other than perhaps who knew it and when. Even so, many have convincingly argued that regardless of whether or not those in Adam Dew's inner circle knew the specific identification of the mummy, it is beyond conception that the image should have ever been suspected of depicting an extraterrestrial, much less for such dubious reasons as were so heartily served up. The saga and its piece meal trickle of suppositions and unconfirmed claims indeed stretches one's capacity for giving benefit of the doubt.

The Roswell Slides Research Group (RSRG) quickly put the long touted absurdities to rest when they deciphered the infamous placard within a couple days following the May 5 beWITNESS event. The placard indicated the mummy was a two year old boy and involved in the saga was an S.L. Palmer Jr. Existing doubt then increased of the sincerity of Dew's group, consisting of Tom Carey, Don Schmitt and Anthony Bragalia, due to their ongoing assertions the placard simply could not be read, as well as the fact they literally had years to try to do what it took other researchers just hours to accomplish.

Mummy of two year old boy promoted as an extraterrestrial

Further doubt was cast when Frank Warren of 'The UFO Chronicles' reported Tom Carey and Adam Dew denied Warren access to images of the alleged slides, purposes of which were to attempt to decipher the placard, during the days leading up to beWITNESS. Carey and Dew reportedly opted not to allow Warren opportunities to decipher the placard, even though images were previously provided for analysis to David Rudiak, who recommended in vain that Warren be consulted. Warren would later be among the many researchers who independently confirmed the accuracy of the analysis of the placard as conducted by the RSRG. 

More aspects of the mummy saga quickly fell into place, but beWITNESS promoter Jaime Maussan rejected the data at every turn. Don Schmitt published an apology for his participation in the event, but abruptly retracted it and continued promoting the story of the slides at events such as a MUFON conference in Pittsburgh. Tom Carey similarly rejected the mounting and conclusive evidence of the origin of the mummy, and he and partner Schmitt were enabled to continue spreading their unsupported story at such venues as Jimmy Church's Fade to Black, where they were largely interpreted to have obscured facts and evaded relevant issues. Maussan offered a 5,000 USD cash bounty amid the nonsense for more photos of the mummy in question, which the floundering researchers continued to promote as an alien in spite of no proof whatsoever to support arriving at such an extreme conclusion.

Jorge Peredo seems to have been the first to locate an independent photo of the mummy when he did so about June 9. The image found below was reportedly obtained by Peredo from Picasa, a photo hosting website, and taken in approximately 1957 at a museum. One of the two placards specifically mentions the involvement of S.L. Palmer, directly linking it to the image published by Dew and deciphered by the RSRG.

Image located by Jorge Peredo

Soon afterward, on June 12, researcher Shepherd Johnson obtained copies of numerous documentsincluding a photo of the mummy, from the National Park Service (NPS) via the Freedom of Information Act. The documents also contained an accounting of history of the mummy and its specific relation to S.L. Palmer Jr., as was first indicated in the placard deciphered from the images of the alleged Roswell Slides. 

Those following the saga were not surprised when Maussan once again rejected the evidence presented. He argued the images looked different in appearance while all but completely disregarding the supporting data supplied by the NPS and contained on the placards. 

Image obtained from the National Park Service
by Shepherd Johnson

Anthony Bragalia issued an apology - to the mummy - shortly following the deciphering of the placard. Soon afterward he went to laying the blame of the entire obfuscation of data surrounding the alleged slides at the feet of Adam Dew. Bragalia used the comments section of Kevin Randle's blog to argue his minimal responsibility in the matter while leveling charges against Dew of intentionally misleading him and circulating doctored images.

Some voiced objections to Bragalia's actions, viewing them as attempts to shirk accountability, as he was the most vocal and adamant of his fellow slides promoters throughout the saga. It was not well received in light of the facts that for months Bragalia passionately insisted he be believed that the slides and much of the related circumstances were vetted, and that due diligence had been carried out, yet it is now abundantly clear that obviously could not possibly have been the case. Moreover, after having repeatedly reported that he viewed and examined images himself, and after having demanded that we accept his extraordinary interpretations of the story, a great deal of which continues to remain unsubstantiated, Bragalia proclaimed he was duped. He asserted that the very parties he promoted and demanded we trust were who successfully deceived him. To add insult to injury, Bragalia provided no more evidence for his current assertions about Dew and associates than he did his former, he apparently just desired to be unconditionally believed.

Some, including this writer, argued that Bragalia appeared unable to understand the mistakes he had made in failing to accurately differentiate between fact and supposition. It was also argued that he failed to understand why people object. It could be added that he is highly unlikely to find sympathy, even if he is now correct, among those who warned him all along that he was jumping to premature and irrational conclusions, yet he met those warnings with extremely questionable tactics and digging his heels in even deeper. 

There are indeed a number of questions yet to be conclusively answered about whether the advocates of the Roswell Slides could have possibly been as incompetent and gullible as they appeared, including Richard Dolan, who participated in beWITNESS and incredibly vouched for the integrity of Maussan. It is arguably very doubtful that the saga could have progressed as far as it did without blatant collusion. It is extremely difficult to accept anyone could view those images, with or without documents from the NPS, and not consider the most likely explanation to be a mummy in a museum setting, or, at the least, realize there is no reason whatsoever to assume an alien. 

It is possible that some of the group, such as Bragalia, may have been so gullible they became the victims of a scam themselves. Even if so, they are highly unlikely to find a sympathetic ear among a UFO community that warned them all along to suspend judgment pending verifiable evidence, and they chose to reject those warnings with aggressive and self-righteous contempt. If the rest of us can be expected to figure out how to avoid jumping to unfounded and, in all honesty, idiotic conclusions, so can they.


  1. Yes Jack, yes on all your points. Collusion, yes indeed, Dolan, who has duped many UFO enthusiasts into his false self narrative of being scholarly, endorsed the slides before and after the event in Mexico City. Quite the scholar.

    The tortured attempts to somehow tie the photo to the supposed Roswell incident transparently shows collusion and motive. They knew it was not an alien. They knew it had nothing to do with Roswell. They were indeed setting up a money making scheme involving books, movies and speaking engagements upon the foundation of this fraud.

    Lastly, I find it highly dubious that Bragalia, only hours after the RSRG revealed their deciphering of the placard, sent Kevin Randle information that he "just" discovered regarding the Mesa Verde Museum and NPS documents which established the provenance of the mummy. A little too convenient. A little too fast. I posit that Bragalia had this information long before the placard's deciphering went public. But, he did indeed position himself to be the hero of this saga, either way it turned out.

    Jack, you are one of the very very few that have been suggesting, since the placard's deciphering, that this was a (obvious, imo) pre-planned fraudulent event. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  2. Jack,

    As usual–you have eloquently pierced the fog of The Roswell Slides imbroglio.


  3. Nice recap, Jack! Reading the whole story from beginning to end makes me marvel that all of this skullduggery and foolishness played out over the course of only a few weeks. Amazing.

    I am seriously considering asking my MUFON superiors to remove Jaime Maussan fro the speakers roster for the 2015 MUFON Symposium. If that doesn't work, I might just have to make my way to Irvine, CA this September to hear what Mr. Maussan has to say for himself. I might even heckle him. Anyone want to join me?

  4. Thank you, gentlemen. Your interest and support are appreciated.

  5. "... Dolan, who has duped many UFO enthusiasts into his false self narrative of being scholarly, endorsed the slides before and after the event in Mexico City. Quite the scholar..."

    Huh. Not so sure where the above info. comes from, but this is what I've just gleaned re a quick look-up re Dolan's position on the whole alien slides issue:



    "...I have never presumed that I am in a position to critique the way this has been handled by the people involved. It’s never been my business or concern. Like most others following this, I have held the position that we can better make a decision about everything once the information is available for everyone. Until then, I have not seen the point of supporting or dismissing them -- at least not to excess. In a case like this, I see nothing wrong with (A) arguing the slides are of potential significance and warrant greater study and investigation, and (B) arguing that caution and skepticism remains in order.

    Both positions are reasonable, in my view. Position A is not hard to understand. After all, the so-called Dream Team investigators have stated the preliminary analysis shows the creature in the slides is not a human, not a mummy, not a doll, not an animal, and appears on film stock from 1947. If this turns out to be so, how can that not be of interest?..."

    In reading the above, I'm not getting the impression Dolan was 'endorsing' anything, but more or less, awaiting whatever results may come re further results with testing.

    Personally, I cannot believe the bickering over a couple of slides. They're SLIDES, for pity's sake. For pete's sake, let it go.

    Position B is also valid. Kevin Randle pointed out, even if the slides turn out to be on 1947 film stock, can we really be sure they don’t depict a mummy or dummy? Perhaps a public analysis will enable us to come to such a conclusion, but for that we will have to wait.

  6. Don't know what happened with that last copy/paste...sorry about that. The sentence starting with "Position B...," should have appeared, prior to my own statements.

  7. Mark,

    If MUFON has Maussan on their program now, what does that say about MUFON? Taking him off the program now doesn't change what MUFON fundamentally is. Anyone with a brain knows what Maussan is all about and has known for a long long time. Paull Hellyer is on the program, too!

    MUFON represents the very worst of what UFO "research" has to offer.

    Indeed the ENTIRE symposium program is filled with morons and silly twits.

    One of the other speakers, for instance, self-identifies himself as a "maverick" and touts his Ph.D. (from the esteemed, Bible Believer's Christian College--where an answering machine takes care of incoming calls) as he pretends to do research on biblical stories.

    The "maverick" over and over calls himself Doctor and says he has a doctorate in:

    "Classical, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology" (which is not even listed as an offered degree!).

    The college's "accreditation" comes from Transworld Accrediting Commission International, an entity itself that is listed as unaccredited in a Wikipedia article. And is mentioned here (and elsewhere) specifically as a fake Accrediting agency.


    This took two minutes of research.

    Ironically, getting rid of Massaun may actually DECREASE the collective credibility of the speaker roster!!!


  8. I almost completely agree. But I would give Richard Dolan a second chance. As far as I know he wasn't pushing the slides but was invited by Jaime Maussan to attend the event. I remember when he was on Fade to Black and Jimmy Church Talked about the "under water alien base" off the coast off Malibu, he didn't want to call it that because no research had been done. And more of those situations occurred during the show. He is always all for researching it, like with these slides. And I can imagine he was wrapped in by the people pushing the slides. If Jaime comes with so called experts that claim it can not be human, that's all he knows until someone else says their not.

  9. Dolan said he thought the slides were "compelling" - and if he is to be believed (called into question by co-author Bryce Zabel) did so without actually ever having seen the slides. Like the other slidesters, he also thought nothing of going to an enormously over-hyped, pay per view event, aligning with a known fraudster (Mussan) and was also comfortable enough to be aligning himself with the ridiculous label "The Roswell Slides". If you are OK with this, then that's fine. But I'm calling total bullshit on any further calls from these people for the scientific research of the UFO subject. It's time to practice what you preach. But as those with half a brain know, this isn't about that - it's about selling books, getting marketing exposure and getting gigs at conferences. It's time to demand better. It's time for the bullshit rhetoric to cease and some real work to be done.

  10. The problem I have with minimizing the significance of Dolan's involvement is that if he sincerely did not intentionally turn a blind eye to unsupported claims and questionable theatrics, then he's an idiot. Neither scenario bodes well for the quality of his research.

    Dolan inexplicably vouched for the credibility of Jaime Maussan, while failing to acknowledge that the fantastic claims being put forth by the entire group were premature and unsupported. This, combined with Dolan's past support of various extremely questionable stories and projects, casts tremendous doubt upon his abilities to present accurate information. Particularly at question would be his abilities to accurately untangle the complexities of the intelligence community, as he claims himself competent to explain to the rest of us. I would assert that he is profoundly incapable of such undertakings if he sincerely did not understand the situation he was getting into with the Roswell Slides, while people throughout the UFO community - of all different levels of interest and experience - knew early on that the slides fiasco was built upon unsupported claims and grandstanding. Any way one slices it, Dolan's interpretations of events and information, even if not his motives, are called greatly into question.

    1. Mr. Brewer: you succinctly elucidate the Dolan Dilemma: either he's an uncritical thinker, easily gulled, or he understood the highly dubious nature of what he was lending his name to and did so anyway.

  11. Lorin - couldn't have said it better myself.

    Jack - once again - spot on!

    Dolan's books are full of footnotes. But, these footnotes are simply references to other's references of already published reports. He does ZERO research. None. He simply surfs the net, finds the information which supports his book's thesis, then compiles it into a book. That's fine for a compilation book of UFO encounters, except that's not how he positions either himself or his books.

    Reading one of his books, you begin to see what Dolan’s modus operandi is with regards to his citations of hundreds of UFO events. They come from the research of others.

    His is a tertiary role of compiling sightings from other authors on the subject. But when you look at the citations themselves, they often don’t have any references; they’re dead ends. So it looks like there is a documented, cited source for Dolan’s description when, in fact, there is no such thing.

    He supports hoaxers and aligns himself with frauds. Enough of this guy and his faux-intellectual persona which he has carefully created and encourages his fans to believe in.

  12. Thanks for your interest and comments, everybody.

  13. Some late comments (Little League has taken up a lot of my time recently).

    > stretches one's capacity for giving benefit of the doubt

    Well put.

    > they literally had years to try to do what it took other researchers just hours to accomplish

    Trying to disconfirm evidence is not part of the research protocol of the UFO dogmatist nor of the UFO opportunist.

    > Carey and Dew reportedly opted not to allow Warren opportunities ... provided ... to David Rudiak

    Executive summary: Rudiak can see alien bodies in the Ramey memo, so he can be trusted to follow our lead on Roswell! But Warren's adherence to Roswell dogma is undetermined.

    The irony being that both of these gents were admirably cautious and skeptical about the sliders' claims.

    > Dolan, who has duped many UFO enthusiasts into his false self narrative of being scholarly, endorsed the slides before and after the event in Mexico City. Quite the scholar.

    Not to exculpate Dolan, but I am reminded of something from the actual scholarly world. Hugh Trevor-Roper was consulted about the Hitler diaries and, seemingly hoping against hope that they were real, endorsed them. That turned out quite badly for him.

    I think Dolan and Trevor-Roper both wanted to be attached to these projects, though for careerist reasons only.

    > They knew it was not an alien.

    I have to agree when it comes to the principals. (Perhaps Dolan was just playing along to get along? Or is he a taxicab, taking any fare, regardless of destination?)