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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Primary Sources? Who needs them!

 Hello dear Internet readers it has been quite some time since last we spoke. I had originally planned to come to you today in order to tell you of an interesting alien encounter that I learned about on ATS. However as I researched the topic a bit more I discovered something else that was at once more fascinating and at the same time a bit more disturbing, and also slightly disconcerting if the process is widespread. Now to be fair, it may be that I haven't spent enough time tracking down more info. Perhaps I am misunderstanding what it is that I'm seeing. Or, as I fear, I may be on to something. I don't think I really know the full implications for what it is that I'm going to be discussing. I just know that it doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I'm wrong or I have the wrong impression. If so please feel free to let me know in the comments section! After all I'm only human! (At least I think........)

Our tale begins a few days ago when I was busy at work. And by busy at work I mean to say, busy trying to stay awake at work while to my mind-numbingly boring data entry job. As is my usual custom while on the job, I was busy searching for new UFO/Alien stories. One of the sites I go to far more often than I should is Above Top Secret. I was looking at what they had to say about Bruce Rux. Rux had just recently been on Tim Binnall's Binnall of America podcast. Rux is the author of two UFO books; Hollywood vs. Aliens (which I own and have read) and Architects of the Underworld (which I should be receiving from my wonderful girlfriend Ashley [and no this isn't just a test to see if she reads my blog :)]). So, Rux had been on my mind and I often like to get what I call the “ATS-view” of a topic. When I put Rux's name into ATS's search bar, a number of posts came up. However there was only one that really caught my attention. It was entitled “TheTinfoil Alien”. This had me written all over it. Of course I was envisioning some kind of Shroud of Turin, except instead of Jesus it would be a classic Grey, and instead of being on some kind of cloth it would be tinfoil.

In reality it was an alien encounter account with which I had some familiarity with as I had read about it in Faces of the Visitors, of which I have spoken about in the past. The case in question is called a number of things, but it's typically denoted by the date and location of the sighting. According to Faces of the Visitors, it was called 'The Police Chief Photo'. The sighting took place on October 17, 1973 in Falkville, Alabama, which for those keeping track at home is only 6 days after the Hickson-Parker Abduction took place. The story, which you can read in some detail here, is that Police Chief Jeffrey Greenhaw aged 26 was apparently phoned around 10 pm that a UFO had landed nearby. The following is from the account found on the UFO Casebook site:

This strange account began when Falkville, Alabama police chief Jeff Greenhaw (that is correct, there is no s after the n) received a phone call from an excited lady who said that she had witnessed a "spaceship" land in an open field not far the town proper.
Greenhaw took off like a shot, taking along his trusty Polaroid camera. Dark had fallen several hours earlier, and the police chief was armed for anything. It would be about 10:00 P.M. when he made it to the location of the alleged landing.
After a cursory look around, he found no trace of a spaceship. As Greenhaw continued his search of the area, he was taken aback by the sight of an alien-like creature standing just off the side of the road. The being appeared to be wrapped in aluminum foil as it began to walk toward Greenhaw.
"It looked like his head and neck were kind of made together... he was real bright, something like rubbing mercury on nickel, but just as smooth as glass-different angles give different lighting. I don't believe it was aluminum foil."
The tinfoil alien's movements were very "mechanical" like. An antenna was attached to his head. Though in shock, he managed to snap off four pictures of the odd looking alien. When he flicked on his headlights the alien was obviously frightened, as it began to make its escape.

Luckily(?) Greenhaw had the forethought to snap a photo of the 'entity'. Which can be viewed below. As I was reading this story, I was thinking to myself that this would make a great post on either Forteania or as an article for my Fortean Ramblings column. But before I typed anything up I wanted to do a bit more research in order to see what different versions of the story had to say, or if perhaps there was more to the story. The thread over at ATS originally linked to the version quoted above from UFO Case Book site. At the UFO Casebook site it had the original source as NICAP's website, as the case was originally investigated by NICAP. As many in the field are aware, NICAP was disbanded in 1980 which is about the same time that CUFOS bought all of their old case files. And apparently through some kind of agreement NICAP (the website) is able to post some of the old NICAP (the organization) case files online. One of which is the case in question. So when I looked up the case file on the NICAP website imagine my surprise when I saw the source for the information on the NICAP website. It was the UFO Casebook site.

Definitely, probably not just a guy in a firefighter's suit

So we have the UFO Casebook site referencing the NICAP website as the source of the account, while the NICAP website referenced the UFO Casebook site. This strikes as very strange for some reason. It has caused me to wonder, surprisingly for the first time, how many other accounts are like this. Where the sources are all referencing each other. Which wouldn't be too big a deal, I suppose, if one could easily have access to the original sources. The implications in this are much wider than just Ufology of course. Perhaps other places are simply siting one another as references without anyone actually having the original information. At the end of the day however, I did only do a cursory amount of research. And did it on the Internet no less. I admit it's entirely likely that other, better, sources exist for this account. But as far as what was available online, all I could locate was the self-referential loop of uhh loopiness.

I would like to think that people would do a better job of looking for sources of material before writing about it. But I must admit that I myself have been guilty of this in the past. There has been more than one post on this blog that I haven't done a whole lot of researching on before posting, but for the most part I attempt to find as many sources as I could. Oh and before I forget, apparently the original investigators on the case after doing some investigations pretty much ruled this case a hoax. As it turns out, if one takes a fireman's silvery suit and photographs someone in the dark with a flash on their camera the resulting image strikingly resembles the original alien photo. With that I leave you for now, if I'm wrong for thinking this is weird or unusual be sure to leave me a comment and let me know! Also if you happen to know some better places to find old NICAP files online (because after a fairly thorough Google search I didn't turn anything up) please let me know.


Kandinsky said...

Hiya Tony, you can read the NICAP investigation in issues of the 'The UFO Investigator.' Greenhaw's case is in issues November 73, October 74, January 77 and April 77.

The guy really had a bad time in the aftermath. Divorced, unemployed and his mobile-home burnt down! Rough huh?

Tony Morrill said...

Hey Kandinsky,

Yeah if he hoaxes it as ha been suggested, it certainly didn't pay off as he might have intended it to.

Along thanks for the link and the comment!

Kandinsky said...

NICAP were fairly sure he hoaxed it with help from a friend. The local rumour mill seemed to implicate him. Chances are he was playing a practical joke and it blew up in his face as the publicity got out of hand.

It's a rare blogger who admits to reading ATS! There's some small nuggets of gold buried in the crap over there.

Tony Morrill said...

Well I take ATS like most things on the Internet with a grain of salt. I agree with you, there are some diamonds in the rough at that site.

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