Amid an air of religious fanaticism, the May 5th revival meeting is about to happen and, if you believe the promoters, the Roswell case will be resurrected. It is their opinion that we will all see the evidence with our own eyes and believe, without question, that we are not alone in the Universe. Unfortunately for the promoters, there are a lot of people that are not convinced this will occur. I seriously doubt that the slides will even be presented in a manner that will allow them to be carefully analyzed by those outside the “inner circle”. There are rules for no cameras being used at the proceedings in Mexico City, which makes me wonder how serious the promoters are when they promise that everybody will be able to see the slides after that date. I envision that they will show the slides for those in the auditorium but they will not be very high resolution and may not be much better than the images we have seen on the web so far. The actual high resolution images are probably going to be safe guarded because, once they are out there, those precious items will be all over the Internet.
My interest in this has more to do with the way the promoters have conducted themselves and their failure to even address some of the most obvious problems with the slides themselves. They have made claims but have yet to provide one shred of evidence to support those claims other than stating the slides speak for themselves. Claims about the Ray’s political connections have been made but not one iota of evidence has been presented. The non-body slides have been floated out there as proof but they have proven nothing other than the fact that these slides show things that any individual living in the era might have experienced. They are not out of the ordinary and appear to have no bearing on the body slides, which may have a possible explanation.
Many of my fellow skeptics have suggested that these slides are probably from a mummy display and there is good reason to sus- pect this. If it weren’t for the head size, this would be considered a normal body of a human child. I am aware of one anthropologist, who saw the blurred version of the slide and responded that it looks like a mummy of some kind based on the way it was laid out. Can the promoters present anthropologists, who will disagree? Based on what we have seen, I doubt they will. They have religiously guarded the slides and have made threats of legal retribution for anyone, who may have copies of them. Apparently, even Stanton Friedman was not trusted enough to be shown any of the images! He was so unimpressed with the evidence that he did see, that he chose not to go to Mexico City and appear for their program.
This failure to inspire UFOlogists is apparently wide-spread based on what I have read. Many have formed the opinion that these slides are “Dead on arrival”. What we know comes from a few sources that have been unable to answer difficult questions on the matter. Anthony Bragalia is exaggerating just about every claim he can make and Adam Dew seems incapable of giving anybody a straight answer about anything. When May 5th is over, will we be better off in the world? Will this be exposed as a case of “mistaken identity”? Will anybody outside the UFO community care?
￼Eleazar Benavides AKA Eli Benjamin fallout
After Paul Kimball “outed” Benavides, Anthony Bragalia e-mailed Paul and myself with the threat of harassing our relatives for publicly revealing the real name for Eli Benjamin. A few days after Kimball exposed the name on his blog, Kevin Randle also revealed his name. This sent Bragalia into another tizzy but, instead of threatening a fellow crashologist, he continued to lash out at Kimball and myself. He even accused Kimball of being responsible for any physical harm that Benavides may suffer in the future:
If harm comes to this man, his blood is on the hands of those like Kimball who try to insert themselves into the slide saga at any cost.
As of May 2015, I am unaware of any harm coming to Benavides. It must be pointed out that Benavides volunteered to appear in several television programs where his face was clearly exposed. If he, and his handlers, did not expect his identity to be “discovered”, they were fooling themselves. Bragalia saw it otherwise and continued to harass me with abusive e-mails. An example is this slur he sent me on March 21st:
You have lied that you worked through the base yearbook to find Mr. Benavides (who has been harassed because of you and whose wife is near death) when you actually obtained his name through my hacked emails.
Bragalia’s accusation that I “lied” in my public statements about providing the year book images is based on what he wants to be- lieve. The truth of the matter is known by those in the “Roswell Slides” Research Group (RSRG). As I stated in Paul Kimball’s blog, I simply provided the image after Kimball revealed the name. Contrary to what Bragalia states, I have never seen any “hacked” e-mails.
Meanwhile, Kimball pointed out that Benavides, appearing as Eli Benjamin, was interviewed in an episode of UFOs declassified. They showed the same yearbook photograph that I had given to Kimball, which seemed odd to me. If he were really a lieutenant during his service, as Dew implied in his video, he would have a photograph somewhere in his new officer’s uniform that he could have provided to the program. Benavides may have had his reasons for not providing photographs of himself in uniform but it had me questioning if he really did serve for more than just a few years.
The answer was resolved when Kevin Randle filed a request for details about his military career. He posted the results of his find and stated that Benavides did serve for twenty years. However, contrary to claims in the Dew video, he never was an officer. Benavides only rose to the rank of E-7, which is a respectable enlisted rank. Kevin Randle’s revelation raised the question, “Why did Dew think Benavides was a lieutenant (LT)?” There are several possibilities:
1. Benavides lied to Dew.
2. Dew simply made it up to give Benavides more credibility.
3. Dew misunderstood military ranks and thought he heard Benavides tell him he was a LT.
4. Somebody else told Dew that Benavides was a LT.
In either case, this is embarrassing for Dew. The worst case is that Dew simply made it up. If that is the case, then we really can’t trust Dew on anything regarding the provenance of the slides. If Benavides lied to Dew, his story loses credibility. If it was one of Benavides’ handlers/promoters (Schmitt and Carey), it demonstrates that they will say anything, even lie, to promote the story of Roswell. They are not to be trusted in anything they say or do. If Dew thought he heard Benavides tell him he was a LT but Benavides did not say this, then Dew was hearing what he wanted to hear. He asked for no evidence of his military rank or just did not research the subject at all. The lies or mistake scenarios makes Dew look incompetent. Like the crashologists he had become involved with, Dew is allowing his beliefs to interfere with evaluating the evidence.
Kodachrome slide film
For decades, Kodachrome was the favorite film of many photographers because of its sharp images and bright colors. I always felt the film was superior to both the Fujichrome and Ektachrome line because of the pleasing images it produced. The only problem with using this film was that it had slow speed and one had to send it away to specific labs for developing. While my col- lection had its share of Kodachrome slides, they only represented about 10% of my entire slide collection between 1977 and1999 for these very reasons. After 1999, I started taking digital photographs and found no use for slide film. A further reduction of my collection happened when I moved and lost several trays of slides that included some nice Kodachromes I had taken between 1978 and 1980. Despite this problem, I did have a few slides that I want to share with my readers so that they might understand some issues associated with using the film.
Kodachrome film and photography basics
The speed of 1947 Kodachrome film seems to have been between a rating of 8 and 16 ASA (now referred to as ISO).1 Different sources give different numbers but it is safe to say that the film was much slower than even the highly cherished Kodachrome 25 used in the heyday of Kodachrome photography. Kodachrome slide film is unique because it is manufactured differently than other slide films and the development process took advantage of that design to create color images that were sharper and of high contrast than slide films like Ektachrome or Fujichrome.
Some old time photographers might remember the “Sunny 16” rule of thumb for photographs. That meant that if you were shoot- ing in bright sunlight, one would set the f-stop on the camera to F-16 and set the shutter to the reciprocal of the speed of the film. With an ASA/ISO rating of about 10, one would use 1/10th of a second exposure time using the old Kodachrome film at F-16 on a bright sunny day. One can see the effects of the films slow speed in this exposure table for Kodachrome daylight film in 19462:
An F-stop of F-16 is an excellent setting to capture a good depth of field. Depth of field is a term used to describe what distances away from the camera will provide a sharp focus. The higher the F-ratio setting, the larger the range of distances from the camera will remain in focus. This image below shows how depth of field will affect focus. I shot this image with a 50mm F4 lens set at a 7-foot distance. The distances to each book is shown and one can see how the words blur as one moves closer to the camera.
There is a major drawback for using high f-stop values in photographs. High f-ratio settings result in less light reaching the film and, as a result, one has to increase the exposure time. This results in a battle between getting the greatest depth of field and a shutter speed that will not produce blurry photographs due to slow shutter speed. I used to try and keep the exposure time at 1/60th of a second or faster but found myself using shutter speeds as low as 1/8th of a second in low light conditions.
We do not know what type of camera was used to take “the Roswell slide” photographs but a common camera used in the 1940s was called the Kodak 35. The lens on this camera was a 50mm F3.5 and setting the focus was essentially done manually by estimating the distance to the subject. An F 3.5 f-stop means that photography in doors was going to be an iffy thing using the slow speed of Kodachrome. Shutter speeds of 1/15th or 1/8th of a second would be required with a wide open lens (F 3.5). My experience was that such shutter speeds usually resulted in photographs that demonstrated “shutter shake”. When one presses down on the shutter button, they would tend to move the camera and it would result in shaky photographs that were blurred.
The following image is a good example of such photography. While I don’t have specifics, I do
know the film was Kodachrome 25 and the subject was the control room at Kennedy Space Cen-
ter in 1977. I also know that the camera was a Pentax K1000 using a 50mm F2.0 lens. The lighting indicates I had the F-stop wide open and the shutter speed was probably 1/8th or 1/15th of a second.
Based on the lighting we see in the “body” photographs, it is no surprise that there is a blur induced by the photographer depressing the shutter and a lack of focus across the entire field due to the small depth of field created by the wide open f-stop.
An item that is important to note is that Kodachrome in the 1940s was a daylight film. The color was “balanced” for using in bright sunlight and not for use in artificial lighting. Using the actual lighting in doors introduced problems with color reproduction. Writing in his book about Kodachrome, Fred Bond states:
Lighting - do not attempt shots with subject illuminated with regular household lamps--their color quality is far out of balance, and ordi- nary bulbs do not provide sufficient volume of light. 4
Eastman Kodak also mentions the problems with artificial lighting:
Ordinary home lighting lamps have little value in color photography because of their low illumination level and yellowish light.5
An excellent example of how lighting can affect the color balance of Kodachrome film can be seen in this image I took of a military model diorama using Kodachrome 64 film. The lighting was a typical room lamp and the yellowish cast causes problems with the color reproduction. There is also this photograph I took of a Venus Occultation by the moon in April of 1987 using Kodachrome 200 film and about a 1/60th second exposure. Note the orange cast of the moon, which was about 8 degrees above the horizon, indicating the film was the cause of the color shift and not atmospherics.
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Like all amateur film photographers, I enjoyed using Kodachrome film over the decades until digital imagery replaced it. Its colors and sharpness were second to none. That being said, the film’s slow speed made it a poor choice for recording fast action, giving large depths of field, and photography in low level lighting. It is these factors that probably affected the quality of the images we will see at the “Roswell slides” demonstration on May 5.
Dating the slides
One of the key pieces of evidence being presented by the Roswell promotion team is that the photographs were taken in the late 1940s around the time of the Roswell event. In his article about the Roswell slides, Anthony Bragalia stated:
To address the question of dating of the slides and the possibility of photographic deception, here is a summation of analysis done by experts from industry and academia:
-The film is manufacture coded (edge code dated) as 1927 or 1947 or 1967
-The protective lacquer used on the film is from the 1930s to 1960, eliminating the year 1927
-The cardboard sleeve used is 1941-1949, eliminating the year 1967 and leaving 1949 as the latest date the film was exposed
By simple process of elimination using these findings, we are left with the year 1947.1
He bases this all on what Robert Shanebrook supposedly told him. We have no direct quotes from Shanebrook on how he dated the year of manufacture but Bragalia states it was using the edge coding. This seems unlikely based on the available information.
According to Adam Dew, only one of the two slides was removed from its mount and that is shown in his film2. The slide appears out of its mount several times (including enlarged on a computer screen) but all we can see is the number “9” on the edges of the film.3 In the 1940s era Kodachrome slides I purchased from ETSY, I found one, out of six, with an edge code and it was pretty obvi- ous. The circle and the triangle after the last “K” in Kodak indicate a year of manufacture as 1946. Compare this to the slide shown in the “Kodachrome” trailer. The edge code should have been visible like the number “9”. Either, Bragalia is wrong about how the film’s manufacture date was determined or Adam Dew was mistaken when he stated that only one slide had been removed from its mount. This kind of conflicting information coming from the slide proponents makes it appear that they either don’t know what they are talking about or are not being truthful when discussing the slides. Without a direct report from the expert, we have to consider Bragalia’s claim to be unsupported by the available evidence.
My experience in dealing with Kodachrome slides from the era was that the edge coding did not appear on each individual slide. In- stead, like the words “Eastman”, “Safety”, or “Kodak”, it was spread along the roll at regular intervals. The 16% success rate I obtained with the six 1940s era slides is consistent with the other slides I had examined from the 1950s (3 out of 20 or 15%). This indicates that the odds are low for dismounting one slide and seeing an edge code. This appears to be the case in slide number “9”. From what we can see in the film, the edge coding is not visible when, assuming there was an edge code, it should have been.
Even if the edge coding is present, it only indicates the year the film was manufactured. The slide mounts can help us determine the range of years when the slides were mounted but that is as far as we can get in dating the exact time of film exposure. If the film was determined to be manufactured in 1947, then there is a window of 1947-1949 based on the slide mount. It could have been exposed in January 1947 or December 1949. Without any specific information on the slide itself (i.e. The subject on the film holding some dated material), one can not draw any other conclusion.
The debut of the Roswell slides
Within the next few days, history is going to be made. Either the entire world will learn that alien beings have visited the earth in 1947 or the world will see a bunch of desperate individuals trying to make money/fame off a slide showing something mundane. We don’t know until we see the slides. That being said, I wanted to address what we do know about the slides and their background.
Whose slides are they anyway?
We are told these slides were all photographed by Bernerd and Hilda Ray. However, there are clues that this may not be exactly true. Photographs appear to come from across the United States and Europe. Did the Rays travel all over the United States for several years or are they a collection of slides taken by multiple individuals showcasing the combined group’s travels? We do know that some of the slides have Hilda’s name on them but do they all have the stamp? In the twenty plus slides revealed to date, only two or three appear to include the Rays. It is hard to establish that the Rays were actually present when the photographs were tak- en. IsitpossiblethatsomeoftheseslideswerefromfriendsorrelativesthatweregiventotheRays?Thismightexplainthemultiple images that came from Kansas, in 1947, when the Rays were supposedly in Midland, Texas or Roswell, New Mexico.
This lack of provenance is something noted by many people, including Kevin Randle. It raises many questions that demonstrate that the actual photographers may or may not have been the Rays. Despite this problem, we are told by the promoters that the Rays took these photographs of an alien that had perished when its spaceship crashed at Roswell.
The Roswell slides?
Since the very beginning of this entire saga, the slides have been linked to Roswell because of the people involved with the story.
Adam Dew has made the claim that he has “never” called them the Roswell slides. Despite his statement that he did not call
them “the Roswell slides”, he went to people like Don Schmitt and Tom Carey, who specialize in Roswell, instead of going to people, with the expertise to determine what the identity of the body might be. This indicates that he had decided the body was alien be- fore he took his next step of promoting the slides. He seems to have now embraced that title because, if one passes one’s mouse over the “Kodachrome” link on his web site, it states that this is a “Documentary about the Roswell slides 1947”! 2 Dew, like many UFO
promoters, is saying one thing to sound impartial to outside observers but doing another thing to promote his beliefs/interests.
After releasing his trailer, Dew noticed that the reception was not as he might have expected. He, along with his fellow promoters, began to denigrate skeptics, who began to question his speculations about the slides.
That is how Adam Dew described all the skeptics, who have been looking at the slides that he allowed to appear briefly in his
trailer. Apparently, he expected everybody to just blindly accept his story without question but that is not how it works.
When somebody makes an exotic claim or suggests that he has evidence to support one, people are going to ask tough questions about that evidence. Not impressed by the evidence presented so far, a group of UFO proponents and UFO skeptics formed up on Facebook. Such a diverse group had a variety of opinions but we all seemed to agree that it was highly unlikely the slides actually showed an alien body.
Paul Kimball created a website for the group with the title of“The Roswell Slides Research Group”(RSRG), which became the informal name of our group. Unfortunately, because of the divergent opinions of many of the group’s members, we had difficulty in agreeing on how to proceed. It was eventually decided that if, and when, the veil of secrecy regarding the slides was lifted, the group would evaluate the evidence and, maybe, produce a report. Meanwhile, we would continue to discuss the evidence and statements pre- sented to date as best we could.
A conspiracy of idiots
Because of all the secrecy, the RSRG’s work had to focus on the materials that were available. We did examine many of the claims made by Adam Dew about the non-body slides and found them to be exaggerated or misleading. Many of these issues had already been identified by other individuals (some not associated with the RSRG) trying to learn more about the slides:
As mentioned in SUNlite 7-2, the photograph of Eisenhower with the strange man taken in June of 1945 was debunked shortly after the Kodachrome trailer was presented. The mysterious man had been identified as Milton Eisenhower. Despite this, Linda Moulton Howe still contends the individual is some man that people can not identify!4
The photograph of the trailer park was from Kansas State University after the war.5
The photograph of the woman in front of the ship was not Mamie Eisenhower, it was not the Queen Mary, and it was not in New York City’s Cunard building. Investigation revealed that this was probably taken in Newport News, Virginia at the Mariner’s museum’s hall of steam. The model appears to be the Imperator/Berengaria.6 There is a similar model of the same ship with smaller smokestacks (they were shortened after the war) in Liverpool, England.7
The Paris photograph was taken in the late 1950s. Several of the cars were not built before 1956-1958.8
The air show photographs were taken in 1948 or later. The yellow midget aircraft was called “Little Bonzo”, which did not fly until 1948.9 The B-36 had a triangle, which indicated it probably was a Carswell AFB B-36 bomber.10 Carswell had the first B-36 bombers in June of 1948 and their tale code involved a large triangle.
The photographs of the dunes, the motorcycle, and the fishermen were all taken in Colorado.
The hunters photograph has not been proven to be full of “important men” that would allow the Rays to photograph an alien body. While some have speculated about the identity of these men, nobody has conclusively identified them. One video sug- gested they might be military personnel from Roswell or Wright-Patterson.11 Others suggested that they were lawyers/politi- cians from Kansas.12 Even if there was a senator or governor in the mix, it is hard to believe that such men had the clearance that allowed them to have access to alien bodies. To me, they looked like a bunch of guys, who enjoyed their recent hunting trip. One thing everyone fails to notice is that neither Bernerd or Hilda are in the photograph. Why take a photograph of a group of important men that you were fortunate enough to know and not be seen in the photograph with them?
The reason these slides were even shown was to present the theory that the Rays were “well connected” to the point they were allowed to secret information. The actual facts about these slides indicated otherwise. Despite the “well connected” theory crum- bling like the Berlin wall, the promoters continued to state that the Rays were allowed to view, and photograph, something that was more secret than the atomic bomb.
Eventually two major theories were implied of how the Rays gained access to the body. The first was because they had some form of expertise to offer and the second was they just knew the right people. While in the presence of the greatest secret in history, one of the Ray’s took their camera out and quickly took two photographs before anybody noticed. The camera was then concealed and the film developed shortly afterwards. While this sounds good to those wanting the slides to show alien bodies, there really are problems that tend to indicate that it was highly unlikely:
According to Roswell legend, the military took great precautions and violated laws in order to confiscate any evidence associ- ated with the Roswell crash. They even went so far as to threaten people with deadly force and intimidate children. With that in mind, how was it possible that the Rays were allowed to view the body since they had no need to know? Bernerd Ray, while a geologist, would have absolutely no expertise at examining an alien body and was not important enough to be allowed to view anything associated with an alien spaceship crash.
If the Rays were allowed to see an alien body, why would they be allowed to carry a camera into the secret area? If the Rays did manage to snap these photographs without anybody noticing, how did the film get to Kodak, be developed, mounted, and sent back to the Rays without anybody in the conspiracy noticing? This part of the theory violates the Roswell legend’s claim that NOBODY was allowed to retain any evidence of the Roswell crash and that the guardians of the secret were closely moni- toring everyone for potential leaks.
With the Roswell story being told on television, and in the media by the early 1980s, why didn’t Hilda Blair Ray step forward with the slides? It seems unlikely that she would be unaware of the Roswell event being publicized since she knew about it and would have interest in the subject. Hilda also could have shared them with friends or family. Instead, she chose to simply throw them in a box without a note indicating what they were. The idea that the military would threaten the Rays is ridiculous when they had already allowed the photographs to be taken and developed.
If the Roswell legend, as told by people like Carey and Schmitt, is true, the Rays would have been locked up, or possibly shot, for taking these pictures. Crashologists can’t have a conspiracy that was so well conceived that every iota of evidence was confiscated and then have the same conspiracy so incompetent that it would allow some low level geologist to take some snapshots of the actual alien without anybody ever noticing.
Despite this problem, the promoters actually believe that this was possible and the Rays managed to pull it off. To promote this theory, Anthony Bragalia stated that Bernerd Ray was so deeply affected by this event that it changed his life.
This author made the discovery that the husband, Bernerd A. Ray, was an Oil Exploration Geologist working the fields in New Mexico and the Permian Basin (which includes the Roswell region) in the 1940s for a company that would later become part of Texaco. In 1947 he was the President of the Texas chapter of the American Institute of Petroleum Geologists, which also at that time ‘folded in’ the State of New Mexico. After 1947, Bernerd became a ‘ghost’ in his profession and did not publish nor appear to be active with the Institute ever again.13
Bragalia’s description of Ray seems rather exaggerated. Ray was the president of the West Texas Geological Society in 1946.14 In 1947, the president was William J. Hilseweck.15 If Ray was the President of the Texas chapter of American Institute of Petroleum Geologists in 1947 (I could not find evidence of this), then his time may have been focused on performing the duties of that position and he would have spent less time in the field. That means he would have been less likely to be in Roswell in July of 1947 or later.
Bragalia’s claim about Ray writing papers appears to be misleading. Not mentioned by Bragalia is that, prior to 1947, he only wrote two papers in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) bulletin and they covered the same subject. The 1942 pa- per was titled, “West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico development in 1941”. 16 It was coauthored by five writers and was only two pages long. The 1943 paper had essentially the same title, “West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico development in 1942”. It was a much longer paper (23 pages) and there was only one other author.17 By 1944, other authors began to write this annual report.18 I did searches in the bibliographies for North American Geology19 between 1940 and 1947 and could not find any papers other than those I just mentioned. As far as publishing papers/articles, Ray was a “ghost” long before 1947.
Despite his minimal effort in writing papers for the AAPG bulletin, Ray was active in the fields of western Texas doing his job in the oil industry. There are several references20 to Ray involved in the drilling and production from oil wells in the 1950s.21
There also seemed to be a transfer of shares in his oil wells to Hilda Blair Ray, or others,22on at least two occassions.23
While four newspaper articles does not present us with the picture of an “active” geologist in the oil industry, it also does not paint a picture of a man who “disappeared” from the in- dustry. One must recognize the fact that the media does not record everything. Oil com- pany records would probably present us with a more accurate picture of Ray’s activities. Such records have not been presented as evidence by Mr. Bragalia to support his claims.
Ray appears to have been quite active with the West Texas Geological Society over the years after serving as president. The Midland Reporter-telegram of June 16, 1976 stated he was a “longtime member” and that, for his participation in the society, was given an honorary lifetime membership.24 If he was trying to disappear, as implied by Bragalia, he would have cut his ties with the Society. The evidence suggests otherwise.
All of this information appears to present us an image of Bernerd Ray that is different than
what Bragalia portrays in his writings. One could easily suggest that Ray did not desire to
waste his time with writing papers and being president of the society, when others were
more than willing to perform that kind of work. Maybe he chose to focus his attention on
getting out into the field and locate sources of oil for production, which was what people
were paying him to do. This appears to be a more plausible theory than Bragalia’s for the lack of his mention in journals. The mystery of Bernerd Ray is only a mystery if one tries to manufacture one.
While the RSRG was starting to discuss the slides, I received more threatening emails from Anthony Bragalia. Somebody had asked Paul Kimball if the group was examining the slides. Mr. Kimball did not say one way or the other and this caught the eye of Bragalia. He told me that if I had the slides he would make sure I suffered for it. He then proceeded to state that I had no moral compass and threatened me with defamation of my character:
Everyone will know how you do your ‘research’ and your reputation –such as it is- will suffer forever and irreparably.
How you can live with yourself is beyond me. You are not ‘scientific’ – what you are doing borders on the criminal and I shall make this known in ways that will make you wish you never heard of the slides.25
I find it interesting that Bragalia accuses me of a crime I did not commit without any evidence. It demonstrated that he was desper- ate and felt he could bluff me into telling him some great secret he desired to know.
Bragalia renewed his threats when Paul Kimball stated on his blog that he personally had access to the slides and would host a free event on May 4th, where people could see them.26 Less than 12 hours after this posting, Bragalia threatened me again. This time he promised legal action even though he had no evidence that I was involved:
If you and Kimball have the slides- as he maintains today on his blog- you are going to be sued. Not only that- I will personally see that you are publicly excoriated for theft and for working with a hacker.
Two lawyers have been engaged on this- and if you indeed do have the slides- you will be charged with theft. What you have done is illegal.
Tom Carey was hacked by cryptolocker and you will then be tied to this easily and your ‘reputation’ such as it is, will be forever marred.
You are part of a theft ring if this is true. Vile.27
At the time of this writing, I had never seen any of these high resolution slides and I was never contacted by any lawyers regarding these alleged thefts. Paul Kimball did not share them with anyone and suggested they were being held in safe keeping. I admit that I was curious and inquired if he did have the slides. His response was cryptic and I concluded that this was an effort on his part to get more information about the slides by provoking the promoters of the slides into commenting about his claim. If that was the case, then Bragalia and Dew bit on the hook as they responded and presented information that was not previously known. Personally, IF I had the slides, I would have shared them in multiple UFO/skeptic forums on the Internet because, in my opinion, it would defuse the entire situation.
Strangely, the slides that were supposedly hacked off Tom Carey’s computer have never appeared on the Internet in any form. Why would hacker go through the effort to get the slides and then not publish the information? It would only take an anonymous post- ing someplace and the slides would be exposed to the public. Since this did not happen, it gives credibility to the theory that the “hacking” was contrived by somebody to give the impression that the government or some evil person wanted to stop publication of the slides.
The idea that the slides had been stolen by somebody was apparently put to rest when Adam Dew, the caretaker of the slides, would state on Paul Kimball’s blog:
There are only three people who’ve ever had possession of full res versions of both slides.28
The limited number of individuals surprised many in the RSRG because it was thought that the slides were being distributed to various experts for analysis. This indicated very few people had those images and the likelihood they were hacked was very low. Shortly after Dew’s statement was made, Anthony Bragalia contradicted him and stated the number of individuals was six.29 Even if it were only six individuals that have been able to view the high resolution images, the question remained, “What were the experts using to read the placard and determine that the body was not a mummy?” Either many people have seen high resolution copies of the slides or a lot of what has been stated about the research of the slides is exaggeration/fabrication. Based on these varied statements, can one really trust anything the slide promoters are saying?
As I had stated in SUNlite 7-2, Bragalia had taken on the personality of a man frantic to protect his interest and, apparently, his rep- utation. In Kevin Randle’s blog, Bragalia wrote:
Despite being publicly berated and even having criminal acts committed against me over all of this, I am in this till I die.30
One can interpret this to mean that Mr. Bragalia will say, or do, just about anything to prevent the slides from being exposed as something other than an alien body. His dedication to “truth and history”31 should read that he is dedicated to HIS version of the truth and HIS version of history. Concerned what the RSRG might produce, Bragalia went so far as to call the group “laughable” 32 because it did not have the actual slides to examine.
In science, as well as history, it is important to have one’s work verified independently. Instead of trying to convince the opposition with facts, “the enforcer” attempted to, once again, defuse any explanations that indicated the body was not an alien by making statements not supported by any evidence.
It’s not a mummy....Dummy!!!
Tony Bragalia launched a pre-emptive strike regarding the possibility that the body was a mummy:33
1. The skin on the body appeared “organic” and not desiccated.
2. The hand in the photograph showed only four digits.
3. The eyes were wide set and twice the size of any human being.
4. The face appears “insect-like” near the jaw and “frog-like” at the top of the skull. Additionally, the chin is very pointy.
5. The limbs are long and thin. According to Bragalia, the image being used by the “anti-sliders” is compressed to the point that the size is not correctly shown.
6. The body is “encased” in a glass container that does not resemble anything used by a museum. He also mentions the Green army blanket that was “hastily cut”. By Bragalia’s observation, it was something that was hastily constructed.
7. The framing of the images indicated they were obtained in a surreptitious manner.
8. The slides were “hidden” from view by being separately packaged in the box of slides.
9. Bernerd Ray was an oil geologist, who worked in the Roswell region in the 1940s. He used Kodachrome in his field work. This means he was near Roswell in 1947 and took these photographs.
10. The testimony of Eleazar Benavides confirmed that this was a photograph of the aliens found at Roswell.
While Bragalia’s claims sound good, we can’t say for sure that his observations are accurate without the slides themselves and any evidence they would use to confirm the other claims. However, we can examine these claims and see if they are correct based on what we know at this point:
1. The skin may appear organic in the photograph but we do not know what kind of lighting was being used to illuminate the body. Kodachrome is a daylight film and the color balance was set for lighting from the noon day sun. It was not designed to be shot indoors. It can present false color balance simply because of the nature of how the film reacted to the lighting. Koda- chrome would tend to shift towards the red/yellow depending on the type of lighting (see my article on page 5). It is interest- ing to note that “Larry” stated he felt the skin was shrunk taught against the body and used the term “dessication” to describe the effects he observed.34 This is the kind of language one might use to describe a mummy.
2. The hand showing only four digits is not a strong argument. There may be a hidden digit that is obscured by the palm of the hand or behind another digit. A mummy can have missing digits simply because they have broken off. Additionally, if the public statements made by some that the image is out of focus/blurry are accurate, one can conclude that this might make two digits merge together and appear as one.
3. We don’t know if the eyes are even visible because of the supposed blurriness of the photographs. The orbit is usually about 4X the size of a human eye. If they are just eye sockets that appear like black eyes in the image, they are going to be larger than a human’s eyes. Bragalia also stated that the eyes were too far apart. I measured the ratio of the height of the skull to the middle of the eye as being under 4:1. The skull appears to be tilted towards the camera giving a higher ratio. Images of skulls I measured had a ratio of about 3.5:1 depending on the skull. This image of an archaic child’s skeleton35 can be used for comparison. Using the image taken from the Dew film is probably going to introduce some errors due to its size, distortions, and foreshortening of the body. While not the same, many of the measurements are similar indicating that the possibility exists that it is a human child.
4. The face and skull of the body may be distorted by the glass case to make it appear odd. Mummies can have distorted skulls and faces simply due to the ravages of time. Additionally, the skulls of some civilizations purposefully distorted the skull at a young age. Anthony Bragalia’s personal observations are biased towards the alien explanation. Like the supporters of the Patterson-Gimlin film, he sees bigfoot instead of considering the possibility that it is a man in an ape suit.
5. Bragalia’ s statement that the arms are too long is not correct based on my measurements. The ratio of the arm to the apparent length of the body, from the shoulders to the feet, appears to be about 0.5. This is not outside the normal for a human skeleton.
6. The glass case does not appear as unusual as Bragalia claims. His description of the blanket is very interesting. He states it was “hastily-cut”.36 There is no logical explanation for why the blanket would be cut for this display. If it were too big, it would be simply folded to fit the body. A more likely explanation is that the cloth beneath the body is very old and the ravages of time had resulted in the rough edges visible in the photograph. This would be consistent with a burial shroud for a mummy.
7. Taking photographs in doors is never easy and the images were probably poorly taken because of the shooting conditions. Using the photographs that were staged outside is not a proper comparison. However, even those photographs demonstrated similar problems. For instance, the Arc de Triomphe image from Paris shows poor framing and is tilted.
8. There is no evidence the slides were actually “hidden” on purpose or that they were separately packaged. This is the interpre- tation of what one person said and was retold by Adam Dew. Was it this way or was it a story told to make the slides appear more credible? Based on what we know, the four hundred slides were nothing more than a disorganized collection placed in a box. Examining the images that have been displayed, it is apparent they were assembled from other sub collections. These slides may have been in an envelope that was found and simply tossed into the box of slides. It is important to note that these slides were not labeled in any way indicating they were anything extraordinary even though Hilda Blair Ray made the effort to label some of the slides with her name!
9. There is no evidence presented to date that Ray ever was physically in the vicinity of Roswell at any point in his career. To say he was there in 1947 is just wild speculation. Most of his work was in southwest Texas. The same can be said for his claim about Ray using Kodachrome in his field work. Bragalia claims that he spoke to somebody, who told him that Kodachrome was used in such work but anecdotes are not evidence. Confirmed sources demonstrating that Bernerd Ray specifically used Kodachrome film in his oil research is what needs to be presented.
10. We do not know if Benavides is telling us the truth or making these stories up. He was shown the images with the precondition- ing that these slides could show the aliens he claimed he saw. Would he have said the same if they showed him an image from the Alien Autopsy film or some other alien body hoax?
Without the actual slides, we can not properly evaluate the evidence and must take Bragalia’s word that he is being accurate in re- porting what is in the slide images. However, there is enough information obtained from the Dew video image that demonstrates his conclusions are biased to support his own personal beliefs and are not objective observations. Undaunted by Bragalia’s verbal barrage, some of the members of the RSRG presented one mummy they felt MIGHT be the source of the image in the slides.
Then again....Maybe it is
As can be expected, the RSRG focused a lot of its time on the figure in the slide. As I stated in SUNlite 7-2, the size of the body seemed smaller than the claimed 3.5-4 foot height claimed by Bragalia, Schmitt, and Carey (Dew states it is 3-4 feet in his video). The dimensions of the supports indicated a body closer to three feet long, which is the size of a child. Focus quickly turned towards child mummies or some other kind of museum display involving the body of a child. A mummy was the most likely choice and several prime suspects surfaced. The biggest suspect was a mummy with the identification of Wistar catalog number 2397.37 It used to reside at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia from 1860 to 1958. The mummy was then moved to the National Museum of Natural History, where it has the identifier NMNH-381235. As one can see in the image above (assembled by Curt Collins), it had some very close resemblances to the body in the photograph:
It had a length of just under three feet
The head had been separated from the body
The head had a bright spot on its forehead
The mummy was displayed on its burial shroud (the possible army blanket)
The mummy’s body was displayed in a similar position as the body in the photograph
The mummy’s physical appearance was similar to the body in the photograph
One eye socket on the mummy was damaged
The abdominal cavity was empty.
Two members of the RSRG contacted Dr. David Hunt, a physical anthropologist at the Smithsonian who had experience with mum- my 2397. He was shown the blurry image of the slide and made the following observations:
The positioning of the body as seen in the boy mummy, and in the ‘alien’ body are what is seen as the common positioning of the body during mummification in Ptolemaic and Greco-Roman period Egypt. The arms along the side,, the head at the angle with the chin on the chest, most all individuals were not eviscerated and the abdomen would be collapsed (not stuffed)and the chest (ribs cage) would be collapsed (not stuffed); the feet would sometimes be positioned ventrally, or sometimes to one side or the other.
So as is seen in the “alien” body, the positioning is highly consistent with the position of the Egyptian boy mummy. If you were to do searches on unwrapped commoner (or lower status) Egyptian mummies from the Ptolemaic or Greco-Roman periods, they all will have that similar position. Thus I feel that even if it is not the same mummy, it is strikingly similar since this was the convention for positioning the body during the cultural practice period.38
Several of Anthony Bragalia’ s arguments were also posed to Dr. Hunt. His response was what one would expect from a professional, who was faced with conclusions made by an individual with no knowledge of the subject:
Two comments, what does the ‘erector-set’ and non-professional setting have to do with his argument....? NMNH has used minimal type supporting systems before for cost savings and as selection by the design artist for their desired effect, so this does not hold.
As you can see in the images, this child did not suffer from hydrocephaly, and child heads are NORMALLY larger than the body proportion of an adult. So this is not an argument.
I have seen three Egyptian child mummies and two adult mummies from this time period (this one being one) where there is separation of the neck vertebrae from the positioning of the head in the chin-down orientation. Damage can occur to the bones and if the body has had a bit of time to decompose (and this often happened) , the head may begin to separate from the body and the embalmers would have to “reunite” the head by means of wooden rod. So there is no argument on this either.39
The team had good reason to suspect that mummy 2397 was the culprit but several of us had our reservations. I felt that it was hard to prove without a clearer image and there were certain aspects of the photograph that suggested 2397 might not be the source. I think the most important thing to take from the research so far are the observations of Dr. Hunt regarding this being typical of what one would see in mummies that were displayed. Is it just a coincidence or can we consider his opinion something important to consider?
Even more disturbing for the slide promoters was the fact that their planned extravaganza alienated them from some in the UFO- logical community. Jaimie Maussan would state that, other than Kevin Randle and Robert Hastings, he never heard of any of these individuals. Tom Carey would state such individuals were “jealous” of the promoters.40 This group of “jealous” UFOlogists included some prominent names that I did not expect. Some were turned off by the manner in which the slides were being presented and others, who had seen enough of the slides to make a personal judgment, felt they were not as compelling as the promoters were stating.
Revolt of the UFOlogists
It is rather unusual to see quite a few UFOlogists react to the Mexico City extravaganza in a negative manner. Robert Hastings wrote a scathing article about the slides, where he referred to them as a “ticking time bomb”.
...that is likely to become one of the most embarrassing missteps in a seven-decade-long effort by ufologists to gather and publicize data pointing to the reality of the UFO phenomenon and its probable extraterrestrial nature....41
He also talked to Tom Carey about the placard. According to Hastings he contacted both Carey and Maussan about deciphering the placard. Carey told him that“not a single word” had been deciphered. Less than a month later, Carey would tell Maussan that enough words had been deciphered by experts that “debunkers” are going to be “disappointed”.42
Hastings would end his article by stating:
I will conclude by predicting, perhaps redundantly, that this affair will end badly for the Roswell Slide promoters. If, as I contend, the body in the slides is the mummy of an Inca child, or some such, then Carey, Schmitt and Maussan will owe the whole world an apology. They should also seriously consider returning whatever money they made as a result of their unfortunate, unfounded and misguided claims.43
Meanwhile, Kevin Randle wrote that he had problems with the research and questioned just about everything to do with the slides. His article about provenance was critical.
Without the important questions of provenance and chain of custody answered, there is no real reason to assume the being on the slides
has anything to do with the Roswell case, or that it is an extraterrestrial creature. This is basically the same stumbling block that so many of us interested in the case have encountered before and there is no reason to assume that anyone outside of the UFO community is going to care about this... and there might not be that many inside who do.44
This brings us to all the other UFOlogists, who Maussan claimed he never heard of before. Frank Warren, of the UFO Chronicles, referred to this as “The Roswell slides fiasco” and expressed skepticism about the slides in several forums:
For the record, there’s no doubt in my mind that the image represents a human cadaver, a child, either a mummy, or a mummified/pre- served pathological specimen. I’m confident that this will be proven to everyone’s satisfaction in short order.45
Alejandro Rojas, of “Open Minds”, was a bit less skeptical and simply stated that
...the most we will have is some interesting pictures. Nothing provable46
Several individuals, who are not unknown in UFOlogy, from MUFON would also chime in with their opinions. Rich Hoffman noted:
Even if you see the film has what looks like an alien, it still could be a fake. How do you qualify it without a body?47
MUFON’s photo expert, Marc D’Antonio, would comment:
... the Roswell slides are going to be promoted and shown first by Jaime Maussan ... Such a move on the part of Carrie (sic) and whoever else will only remove credibility from an already tenuous claim...48
Writing in his blog, Paranormal Way point, Jeff Ritzman commented:
-It’s a non-story as far as what it tells us about the UFO phenomena. It says nothing about the phenomena, and really can’t say anything either. Dead end is a good term.
-It represents a new, depressing turn for UFO inquiry: the presentation of ‘evidence’ that can’t be dis-proven, or proven.
It’s a non-story for this reason alone: a photo of a supposed alien is absurd. There is no benchmark for authentication. Where’s the com- parison? Where’s your yardstick for such a claim? Right. There isn’t one. It’s an utterly, and completely useless discussion from the get-go – and it’s certainly not ‘evidence’.49
In order to drum up support, the Maussan team decided to bring in high powered UFOlogists to speak at the presentation. Not sur- prisingly, Richard Dolan gladly accepted the opportunity to appear on television. However, Stanton Friedman did not and publicly stated:
I could find no convincing information that there is any connection between the slides and Roswell...I don’t want to appear to add legiti- macy by my presence in Mexico City in the absence of serious evidence of the slides being what is being claimed they are.50
What this means is that the Roswell team has failed to convince very many people, outside their inner circle, that the slides show an alien body recovered at Roswell or, for that matter, any other spaceship crash. The desire for secrecy so they can all make some sort of financial gain or notoriety has been their undoing in drumming up support for their cause.
Circling the wagons
Partly because of the UFOlogical revolt, Jaimie Maussan and Tom Carey decided to launch a publicity campaign to protect their interests. Instead of addressing the commentary by UFOlogists, they chose to vilify those proposing possible explanations for the body in the image. They used the tried and true tactic of “Us against them”. That means calling anybody, who suggests that the body is not an alien a “debunker” and that the “debunkers” were trying to stop the event from even happening! Jaimie Maussan would imply that the debunkers were so powerful that, if the slides were not shown in Mexico city, they might not be shown at all:
We are blessed for having this event in Mexico... No one can stop us here.51
Maussan then suggested that skeptics/debunkers were being financed by outside sources to destroy him and the May 5th event:
Well, I’ve been threatened, they’ve told me not to do this, that I’ll be destroyed...They’re very angry that this should be shown, that it’s a fiasco, that it isn’t true, that it’s a hoax...I’m not sure who’s financing these people, if there’s money involved, but they want to destroy the case and keep it from having any significance....52
I am unaware of anybody involved with the RSRG ever receiving a single penny for their efforts. We were doing this all “pro bono” and we were not the ones making money off the slides.
Tom Carey would echo Maussan’s complaint about a conspiracy but concludes the motivation is not money:
....no matter how hard the debunkers try to destroy us and that is what they are trying to do. They are on a seek and destroy mission to take down Roswell, to take down this event, because out of petty jealousy....53
Probably the biggest blow to the Maussan madness was the fact that Stanton Friedman chose not to participate. Don Schmitt stat- ed that it was the “noisy negativists”, who were able to influence Stanton Friedman:
Let it be noted, that even though we accept Stanton Friedman’s reversal regarding the presentation in Mexico, we totally disagree with his reason for that decision. Upon his initial acceptance, Stan was offered an opportunity to be briefed by us and ask whatever questions
he felt necessary. As of this posting he has never accepted that privilege. Failing that, we are left to conclude that the only source of in- formation in making his decision was someone outside of our group. It should also be noted that we were not the ones to label the slides as the “Roswell Slides” or register an Internet domain under that same name. That was done by other individuals who apparently did persuade Stan to pre-judge without knowing all the facts. In the same context, we have never suggested that the slides have anything to do with the Plains of San Agustin or Aztec. On May 5, we will allow the actual slides and the entire battery of scientific analysis weigh in as to the authenticity of this discovery. Regretfully, Stan has allowed the “noisy negativists” influence his better judgement and that he also declined a thorough briefing on the situation from those individuals who extended the invitation in the first place. Unlike true scientific methodology, science by proclamation is not true science...something Stan should know as well or better than most.54
If Schmitt and company really wanted Friedman to come, they would have trusted him and shown him the slides. Instead, their secrecy was their undoing and Friedman was unimpressed with what had been presented to him.
Schmitt’s comment about his group never calling these the “Roswell slides’ is not accurate. Anthony Bragalia has been essentially stating this for over a year and a half. As early as September 2013, Bragalia has been implying that the slides were associated with Roswell.55 While he did not call the “The Roswell slides”, he did start using that term openly in February long before the RSRG web site was developed.56 So, when Schmitt says “we” did not label them as “Roswell slides”, he is not being honest unless “we” means everyone BUT Anthony Bragalia, who has claimed to be part of this “inner circle” of Roswell investigators.
It was not only Bragalia’s writings that indicated these slides were associated with Roswell. In a Maussan Skype conference, Schmitt implied that they were evidence of the Roswell event.57 Maussan has been peddling the idea that the slides showed an alien from Roswell since his original “BeWitness” videos in February!58 To imply that skeptics/debunkers/noisy negativists were the only ones giving them the “Roswell slides” label is nothing more than semantics. Schmitt, in this statement, is employing the same propa- gandist trick Carey and Maussan used. He is trying to vilify those with a differing opinion instead of relying on the strength of his evidence. It makes one wonder if they have their doubts about the outcome of May 5th. On May 6th and beyond, the true verdict will be cast.
Get your popcorn
May 5th is only a few days away. Based on what Adam Dew59 and Anthony Bragalia60 have stated, images and reports will be made available for everyone to examine. However, I have my doubts. Like movie theaters, cameras are not going to be al- lowed at the program, which means the owners of the slides do not want any copies of the slides being made or distributed to protect their financial interests. Once the slides are made available, nobody is going to want to tune into television programs or buy “Kodachrome” DVDs. It will be interesting to see what kind of restrictions they will attempt to employ to prevent the images reaching the Internet. Will the May 5th event be nothing more than a bait and switch, where the high resolution images will not be allowed to be seen? After all the promotion and promises, such a move will result in more negative responses from the UFOlogical and skeptical communities.
I am also skeptical of the promise that extensive reports documenting the research of the group will occur. If they do present anything in writing, it will probably mirror most of the writings we find in the Schmitt/Carey books and Bragalia’s bloggings. A lot of flashy stuff will appear that sounds great but, after closer examination, will probably be anecdotal data, biased interpretation, quoting out of context, or just plain inaccurate information. I am sure that, whatever they produce, it will be closely scrutinized by those in the UFOlogical and skeptical communities.
The power of belief
When the dust settles on the slides, we are going to learn something about human behavior. Bragalia criticizes skeptics for our “interference” in his organization’s “research”. If they did not want people to check up on their claims, they should have kept their mouths shut and let the chips fall on May 5th. Instead, their promotional efforts dared skeptics to prove them wrong.
In my opinion, outside observers probably could not find fault with our skepticism and efforts to discover more. The odds are in our favor that the claims will be shown to be less than convincing. If the evidence is as convincing as the slide promoters state, then they will stand up to scrutiny from outside and the skeptics will have to admit they were wrong. I am not aware of any skeptic, who would not willingly accept the evidence if it is good. The problem remains that what has been presented to date is not very good and it does not look like it will be getting any better.
The opposite will be the case, if the promoters are shown to be wrong in that these slides show an alien body. Outside observers will find fault with the promoters for allowing their beliefs to interfere with critical evaluation of the evidence. Based on their behavior the past three months, the Maussan/Dew organization appeared to d
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