Earlier today I was browsing around Above Top Secret, as is my habit, when I came upon a thread that was started by none other than David Beidny himself. Since he left the Paracast, and it subsequently started going down the drain for the most part, I had thought he was all but out of the Ufological 'field'. Apparently he just got out of the public side of it, rather than just dropping out completely. Anyway back to the thread that he started, it was entitled 'Phil Imbrogno gone from field – he faked his credentials'.
The gist of the thread is that through some background checking Lance Moody has discovered that Phillip J Imbrogno apparently didn't attend MIT like he has claimed a number of times in the past. Imbrogno has been involved in Ufological and Paranormal research now for over 30 years having gotten his start by co-writing a book with J Allen Hynek called Night Seige. The book documents the strange Hudson Valley Sightings of the early 1980's. While Imbrogno definitely isn't a household name, like Stanton Friedman probably is, within the Ufological community he is at least fairly well known.
Most recently he had teamed up with Rosemary Ellen Guiley to write a book called The Vengeful Djinn, where they theorized that potentially some paranormal events may in fact be caused by the Djinn which are creatures from pre-Islamic Arabic religions that were eventually incorporated into Islam.
As of this moment Imbrogno has not said anything publicly one way or another to defend himself or to call the charges utter rubbish. So I am going to reserve my judgment until or unless he responds to the accusations. If true however, I can only say that I am terribly disappointed. Not because this revelation would some how discredit the ufological field (it does a good enough job of that on it's own), but because whatever positive effect he would have had is now nullified. It saddens me that someone like this would allegedly forge documentation or outright lie about their educational background.
Don't misunderstand me, it's not that he couldn't or shouldn't be taken seriously if in fact he doesn't have the degrees. That is not what the issue is here. I realize that some people can only take those with degrees seriously, but I don't think you should ignore someone who may not have a degree from a school. The real issue here would be the fact that he had lied about it for so long.
Really though it shouldn't come as a complete shock to me as this field has a long history of charlatans, liars, and con men. Hopefully Imbrogno will come forward and ultimately set the record straight. Until then I will hold off passing judgment on him. How about you? What are your thoughts on this situation?