(The following appeared on my desk, ostensibly from Stanley T. Freakman, the UFO conspiracy theorist.)
“I have been asked to say a few words about the flying saucers that are invading our air space and about the government cover-up that has continued since at least the Roswell saucer crash of 1947. The evidence mounts and it’s time for people to become as anti-American government as I am. I urge everyone to buy my books so they can see how, time and again, obvious explanations of UFOs are put forth in an attempt to fool the public.
“Take the 1952 case of the Flatwoods Monster. Early one evening some schoolboys saw a fiery UFO land on a hilltop at Flatwoods, West Virginia. They rushed to the site, joined by other boys, a mother with a flashlight, and a dog. Suddenly they encountered a towering manlike being with shining eyes—an awesome sight. When it glided toward them with a hissing sound they fled and were later clearly frightened and nauseous. The following day skid marks were discovered at the site along with an odd, oil-like deposit. Over the years, the eyewitnesses have become even more clear about what they saw: the concept of it as a living creature has changed to that of a robotic one, for example-proving the effectiveness of memory and the fact that, as I often say, ‘Flying saucers are real!’)
“Of course, there are the usual attempts to debunk the incident. Consider the chief noisy negativist of the case, Joe Nickell. He opines that the UFO was just a meteor and the monster nothing more than a barn owl! And what is his evidence? Simply that a meteor was seen at the time over a three-state area and that the creature’s heart-shaped face, gliding movement, extended claws, and barn-owl-like cry point to a barn owl. As to the skid marks and oil, Nickell says a local man claimed they were from his pickup truck. Doesn’t Nickell realize how suspiciously pat that evidence is? Has he considered for a moment the possibility that the extraterrestrial—with its advanced powers—could have flown under cover of a meteor and used mind-altering rays so it would appear as a familiar creature?
“Ask yourself: could several children, a beautician, and a dog be mistaken? It’s hard to take Nickell seriously when he accounts for the height of the being—at six feet, an enormous owl!—by suggesting it had been perched on a limb! He got that theory from Air Force investigators who visited Flatwoods at the time of the incident. As everybody but Nickell’s kind knows, any idea put out by government types is probably intended to deceive. Mark my words, there are conspirators and conspiracies everywhere, as one can learn from buying my books. Nickell himself is probably a deliberate deceiver. After all, he used to be a professional magician—a trickster, if you get my drift. Why believe anything he says?
“As to my own credentials, I am a Nuclear Physicist, which means I know just about everything of importance. Of course my critics will say I am not really deserving of the title—that I only have a master’s in the field, never troubled to publish, and soon turned to a full-time career selling conspiracy theories. That may be true, but I will try to convince you otherwise. Let’s just use simple logic: since all UFO debunkers are part of the conspiracy to hide the truth, and I am not a UFO debunker, therefore I must be telling the truth. (In logic, I believe, that is called a sillygism.)
“Let me leave you with this: Do your own thinking—after you have read my books, of course, so you will know the truth. Just because document experts, for example, say the ‘MJ-12′ alien-cover-up documents are amateurish forgeries, or because bird experts are persuaded by Nickell’s explanation of the Flatwoods Monster, you don’t have to believe them! You are just as entitled to my opinion as to theirs.”