Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

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friedrichjansson
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Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by friedrichjansson » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:02 am

Holocaust denial deniers say that holocaust denial requires a conspiracy theory. It's striking, however, how close the arguments of holocaust denial come to those of other kinds of denial, like Roswell denial (i.e. the position that aliens did not land/crash in Roswell). From wikipedia:
Hundreds of people ("witnesses") were interviewed by the various researchers, but critics point out that only a few of these people claimed to have actually seen debris or aliens. Most "witnesses" were repeating the claims of others, and their testimony would be considered hearsay in an American court of law and therefore inadmissible as evidence. Of the 90 people claimed to have been interviewed for The Roswell Incident, the testimony of only 25 appears in the book, and only seven of these people actually saw the debris. Of these, five handled the debris.[52] Pflock, in Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe (2001), makes a similar point about Randle and Schmitt's UFO Crash at Roswell. Approximately 271 people are listed in the book who were "contacted and interviewed" for the book, and this number does not include those who chose to remain anonymous, meaning more than 300 witnesses were interviewed, a figure Pflock said the authors frequently cited.[53] Of these 300-plus individuals, only 41 can be "considered genuine first- or second-hand witnesses to the events in and around Roswell or at the Fort Worth Army Air Field," and only 23 can be "reasonably thought to have seen physical evidence, debris recovered from the Foster Ranch." Of these, only seven have asserted anything suggestive of otherworldly origins for the debris.[53]
Critics also point out that the large variety of claimed crash flights suggests that events that actually spanned years have been incorporated into one single event,[10] and that authors have uncritically embraced anything that suggests aliens, even when the accounts contradict each other. Pflock said, "[T]he case for Roswell is a classic example of the triumph of quantity over quality. The advocates of the crashed-saucer tale [...] simply shovel everything that seems to support their view into the box marked 'Evidence' and say, 'See? Look at all this stuff. We must be right.' Never mind the contradictions. Never mind the lack of independent supporting fact. Never mind the blatant absurdities."[60] Korff suggests there are clear incentives for some people to promote the idea of aliens at Roswell, and that many researchers were not doing competent work: "[The] UFO field is comprised of people who are willing to take advantage of the gullibility of others, especially the paying public. Let's not pull any punches here: The Roswell UFO myth has been very good business for UFO groups, publishers, for Hollywood, the town of Roswell, the media, and UFOlogy [...] [The] number of researchers who employ science and its disciplined methodology is appallingly small."[61]
Sounds a lot like the holocaust field.

So is Roswell denial a conspiracy theory? It doesn't do any good to point to holocaust trials, because all they tell us is who holds political power. Nor is there physical evidence for extermination on anything like the scale alleged. So how can anyone believe in the holocaust while embracing Roswell denial?

rollo the ganger
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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by rollo the ganger » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:11 am

At least there are no laws against Roswell denial, or ruination of one's career or whatever. But ask yourself; if you could write a book on UFO's and make LOTS of money knowing full well the truth of the matter, wouldn't you? People always pass fiction off as truth.

Roberto
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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by Roberto » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:55 pm

friedrichjansson wrote:Holocaust denial deniers say that holocaust denial requires a conspiracy theory. It's striking, however, how close the arguments of holocaust denial come to those of other kinds of denial, like Roswell denial (i.e. the position that aliens did not land/crash in Roswell). From wikipedia:
Hundreds of people ("witnesses") were interviewed by the various researchers, but critics point out that only a few of these people claimed to have actually seen debris or aliens. Most "witnesses" were repeating the claims of others, and their testimony would be considered hearsay in an American court of law and therefore inadmissible as evidence. Of the 90 people claimed to have been interviewed for The Roswell Incident, the testimony of only 25 appears in the book, and only seven of these people actually saw the debris. Of these, five handled the debris.[52] Pflock, in Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe (2001), makes a similar point about Randle and Schmitt's UFO Crash at Roswell. Approximately 271 people are listed in the book who were "contacted and interviewed" for the book, and this number does not include those who chose to remain anonymous, meaning more than 300 witnesses were interviewed, a figure Pflock said the authors frequently cited.[53] Of these 300-plus individuals, only 41 can be "considered genuine first- or second-hand witnesses to the events in and around Roswell or at the Fort Worth Army Air Field," and only 23 can be "reasonably thought to have seen physical evidence, debris recovered from the Foster Ranch." Of these, only seven have asserted anything suggestive of otherworldly origins for the debris.[53]
Critics also point out that the large variety of claimed crash flights suggests that events that actually spanned years have been incorporated into one single event,[10] and that authors have uncritically embraced anything that suggests aliens, even when the accounts contradict each other. Pflock said, "[T]he case for Roswell is a classic example of the triumph of quantity over quality. The advocates of the crashed-saucer tale [...] simply shovel everything that seems to support their view into the box marked 'Evidence' and say, 'See? Look at all this stuff. We must be right.' Never mind the contradictions. Never mind the lack of independent supporting fact. Never mind the blatant absurdities."[60] Korff suggests there are clear incentives for some people to promote the idea of aliens at Roswell, and that many researchers were not doing competent work: "[The] UFO field is comprised of people who are willing to take advantage of the gullibility of others, especially the paying public. Let's not pull any punches here: The Roswell UFO myth has been very good business for UFO groups, publishers, for Hollywood, the town of Roswell, the media, and UFOlogy [...] [The] number of researchers who employ science and its disciplined methodology is appallingly small."[61]
Sounds a lot like the holocaust field.
In FJ's wishful thinking, perhaps. The fallacy of FJ's "Roswell" argument has already been pointed out:
Were those Roswell witnesses interrogated by criminal justice authorities, like witnesses who saw the pyres at the AR camps were interrogated by Soviet, Polish and West German investigators? Not that I know.

Were their testimonies corroborated by the depositions of defendants on trial, like the defendants at the West German trials regarding crimes committed at the AR camps? Also not that I know.

Were their testimonies corroborated by physical evidence, like the evidence of the cremation remains that these pyres left at B, S, and T? Also not that I know.

Were their testimonies related to events that are borne out by both eyewitness and documentary evidence, like the mass killings at the AR camps? Also not that I know.

So FJ's "parallel" is rather far-fetched, to put it politely.


In the Roswell case most testimonies were hearsay, vs. the large number of testimonies provided by eyewitnesses independently of each other about the crimes that FJ denies.

In the Roswell case all testimonies refer to something totally fantastic, whereas testimonies to the crimes that FJ denies refer to plausible real-life events. To be sure, some testimonies contain unrealistic and even absurd claims. But then, so do testimonies of survivors of the Dresden bombing on 13/14 February 1945, who claim with conviction that they saw white phosphorous raining from the sky, the Elbe going in waves meters high, fighter planes chasing refugees at night in the burning city, and other absurd stuff (for details see Götz Bergander, Dresden im Luftkrieg). So how come FJ doesn't deny the Dresden bombing on account of such absurdities?

Testimonies to the crimes that FJ denies are furthermore corroborated by a large body of documentary evidence, by demographic data and by physical evidence, the latter examined mostly by criminal investigators and/or professional archaeologists.
friedrichjansson wrote:So is Roswell denial a conspiracy theory?
No, it's elementary common sense.
friedrichjansson wrote:It doesn't do any good to point to holocaust trials, because all they tell us is who holds political power.
Now that's a conspiracy theory. With no evidence whatsoever to support his notion, FJ postulates that all criminal justice authorities who dealt with the crimes he denies (including those of constitutional states like the US, Great Britain and the German Federal Republic), fabricated or manipulated incriminating evidence, suppressed exculpating evidence, and silenced any form of protest against their nefarious practices, in order to serve "who holds political power". Some cloud-cuckoo-land FJ lives in. Maybe he's projecting the practices of his heroes' Roland Freisler onto the independent courts of democratic states.
friedrichjansson wrote:Nor is there physical evidence for extermination on anything like the scale alleged.
I'll give FJ the benefit of ignorance for now and suggest that he read the HC blogs labeled graves and photographs. When he has done that, he can give us some examples of similar-scale mass crimes that he accepts as factual (I presume he has no problem with the historical record of Soviet mass crimes, for instance). And then he can explain why he thinks physical evidence bears out the scale of the mass crimes he accepts as factual but doesn't remotely ("anything like the scale") bear out the accepted scale of the mass crimes he denies.
friedrichjansson wrote:So how can anyone believe in the holocaust while embracing Roswell denial?
Because of a great many differences between the Roswell phenomenon and the crimes that FJ denies, including but not limited to those mentioned above.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).

friedrichjansson
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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by friedrichjansson » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:20 am

Yet more poor logic from Roberto. First, no-one suggested that Roswell was identical to the holocaust extermination story in all respects. RM points to trials - but the mere fact of trials proves nothing, unless of course RM believes in witchcraft, which was also "proven" by many trials. Is RM a witchcraft denier?

On physical evidence, one only needs to look at the Reinhardt camps, learn how extensive the cremation remains from one body are, and multiply by the alleged number of cremations to see that nothing on the scale alleged was found.

On hearsay versus eyewitnesses, RM is out of his head. The entire basis of the HC argument on the diesel/gasoline issue is that most witnesses were highly indirect and merely passed on hearsay, which directly contradicts the position RM is taking here.

Finally, on degrees of physical evidence in parallel cases, any thinking person would know that these are not parallels at all. The difference is the fact that Germany was defeated in the war, and there was a tremendous political need to "prove" its wickedness. Consequently the search for physical evidence in the case of Germany is non at all parallel to that of the USSR. Perhaps had the USSR lost the war, and had Germany planned its political future on re-educating the USSR's population with proofs of Bolshevik atrocities - then the situation might be somewhat parallel. (Even then it would not be, because no-one claims that atrocities in the USSR occurred in the highly concentrated manner of the German extermination camps. Concentration of operations makes physical evidence much easier to locate.)

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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by Roberto » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:44 pm

friedrichjansson wrote:Yet more poor logic from Roberto. First, no-one suggested that Roswell was identical to the holocaust extermination story in all respects. RM points to trials - but the mere fact of trials proves nothing, unless of course RM believes in witchcraft, which was also "proven" by many trials. Is RM a witchcraft denier?
No, but comparing witchcraft trials with trials before independent courts of democratic countries bound by defendant-friendly procedural rules is one of the silliest "Revisionist" arguments around.
friedrichjansson wrote:On physical evidence, one only needs to look at the Reinhardt camps, learn how extensive the cremation remains from one body are, and multiply by the alleged number of cremations to see that nothing on the scale alleged was found.
Yeah, I guess they made those enormous pits at the supposed "transit camps" for the sake of healthy exercise or the fun of operating excavators, as I noted here. And as to remains found, it's not like anyone had ever excavated those graves and extracted and quantified all human remains contained in there, so the "found" argument is moot. Besides, the amount of human remains found at these camps, largely thanks to the "work" of robbery diggers who projected a lot of remains above the surface, was quite large already, even though it was obviously but a fraction of the total. The crime site investigation reports quoted here and here contain information that allows for a rough estimate, with some assumptions, of the remains found and the number of human bodies they roughly correspond to. Let's see FJ do that estimate.

And of course physical remains at the AR camps (which the Soviets weren't all too interested in - only Jews there, you see, and the Soviets would rather have places whose victims they could present as "peaceful Soviet citizens" or "citizens of various European countries") were but a part of the physical remains left by FJ's heroes throughout their killing sites, largely unburned as can be seen in a great many photographs and film stills collected here and/or read about in related reports such as also quoted here and here.
friedrichjansson wrote:On hearsay versus eyewitnesses, RM is out of his head. The entire basis of the HC argument on the diesel/gasoline issue is that most witnesses were highly indirect and merely passed on hearsay, which directly contradicts the position RM is taking here.
The point is that regarding the crimes committed by FJ's heroes there are a great many direct witnesses (besides indirect witnesses, of course), even if regarding certain details of these crimes (like the engines used for gassing) the knowledgeable insider witnesses are outnumbered by not-so-knowledgeable insider or hearsay witnesses.
friedrichjansson wrote:Finally, on degrees of physical evidence in parallel cases, any thinking person would know that these are not parallels at all. The difference is the fact that Germany was defeated in the war, and there was a tremendous political need to "prove" its wickedness.
No, the difference is that as Germany was defeated in the war, it's crimes were more open to investigation than the crimes of a victorious power.
friedrichjansson wrote:Consequently the search for physical evidence in the case of Germany is non at all parallel to that of the USSR.
Did proof of Nazi crimes at postwar trials essentially consist of physical evidence? Not that I know, although some interesting footage such as discussed here, here and here was included in the prosecution evidence. Prosecution evidence at postwar trials before the IMT and the NMT mostly consisted of documents and eyewitness testimonies. Crime site investigations at former extermination camp sites weren't nearly as thorough as would correspond to an effort to establish the scale of the crime on hand of physical evidence, presumably because it was assumed that this would not be possible (due to this evidence having been mostly reduced to partial remains very difficult to quantify) and other evidence (documentary records, eyewitnesses) had to be used to establish the scale of the crime. And until very recently (as criticized by Caroline Sturdy Colls, IIRC), historical research has considered documentary and eyewitness records sufficient to reconstruct recent events where such records are available, as opposed to ancient events where there's a scarcity of such records and archaeology was thus used earlier for purposes of historical research. What is more, the search for physical evidence in the case of Nazi Germany in the context of historical research has been greatly hampered, as concerns burial sites of Jewish victims, by religious objections against disturbing the peace of the dead (Father Desbois, for instance, found hundreds of killing sites but was allowed to excavated only at one of these sites). So no, the difference in the intensity of search for physical evidence is not as huge as FJ would like to make it, especially as concerns physical evidence to Nazi crimes against Jews.
friedrichjansson wrote:Perhaps had the USSR lost the war, and had Germany planned its political future on re-educating the USSR's population with proofs of Bolshevik atrocities - then the situation might be somewhat parallel. (Even then it would not be, because no-one claims that atrocities in the USSR occurred in the highly concentrated manner of the German extermination camps. Concentration of operations makes physical evidence much easier to locate.)
So the bottom line is that FJ accepts the historical record of Soviet crimes independently of what physical evidence has been found while denying the historical record of Nazi crimes also on grounds of an alleged insufficiency of physical evidence found, if I understood FJ correctly. OK, duly noted.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).

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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by friedrichjansson » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:46 am

RM wrote:
friedrichjansson wrote:Is RM a witchcraft denier?
No
:lol:

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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by Roberto » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:05 pm

friedrichjansson wrote:
RM wrote:
friedrichjansson wrote:Is RM a witchcraft denier?
No
:lol:
Not an inappropriate reply even with FJ's quote-mining, as one can only deny facts.

I note that FJ is reduced to smileys on this issue. OK, case closed.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).

friedrichjansson
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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by friedrichjansson » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:00 am

On the issue of physical evidence, RM is tilting at windmills, as he never actually addresses any argument I've actually made, preferring to address vague indications of arguments which he invented himself and is pleased to attribute to me.

Now, on numbers of witnesses: Roswell is supported by five witnesses who actually handled the alleged alien debris. How many witnesses are there who actually handled the gassing engine, or who actually handled the gassed bodies, at Belzec? How many at Sobibor? How many at Treblinka?

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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by Roberto » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:37 am

friedrichjansson wrote:On the issue of physical evidence, RM is tilting at windmills, as he never actually addresses any argument I've actually made, preferring to address vague indications of arguments which he invented himself and is pleased to attribute to me.
So which of FJ's overwhelming arguments did I supposedly fail to address? List them, please. And also the arguments I am supposed to have falsely attributed to FJ.
friedrichjansson wrote:Now, on numbers of witnesses: Roswell is supported by five witnesses who actually handled the alleged alien debris. How many witnesses are there who actually handled the gassing engine, or who actually handled the gassed bodies, at Belzec? How many at Sobibor? How many at Treblinka?
How about comparing the entire body of Roswell evidence with the entire body of BST evidence (meaning all direct and indirect witnesses as well as documentary and physical evidence, as well as the absence of evidence to alternative scenarios where an abundance of such evidence should be expected? That would be a more proper comparison, quantitatively speaking.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).

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Re: Roswell denial: a conspiracy theory?

Post by friedrichjansson » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:19 am

Roswell debunking also encompasses other arguments of holocaust denial, such as on narrative evolution, the shaping of witness stories by a predetermined core narrative, and the cross-contamination of witness accounts. Wikipedia writes
Other accounts could have been based on memories of recoveries of test dummies, as suggested by the Air Force in their reports. Charles Ziegler argued that the Roswell story has all the hallmarks of a traditional folk narrative. He identified six distinct narratives, and a process of transmission via storytellers with a core story that was created from various witness accounts, and was then shaped and molded by those who carry on the UFO community's tradition. Other "witnesses" were then sought out to expand the core narrative, with those who give accounts not in line with the core beliefs being repudiated or simply omitted by the "gatekeepers."[63][64] Others then retold the narrative in its new form. This whole process would repeat over time.
and
Not only are memories this old of dubious reliability, they were also subject to contamination from other accounts the interviewees may have been exposed to.
This reasoning is similar to that of holocaust deniers.

Let's remember the issue at stake. We are not asking in this thread whether the Reinhardt camps were extermination camps. Rather, we are assessing the validity of RM's argument that a conspiracy would be required to account for the stories told by Reinhardt bystanders years after the events they allegedly witnessed; more generally, we are assessing the argument that holocaust denial is a conspiracy theory and is therefore false. Examining the case of Roswell showed us that holocaust denial is no more a conspiracy theory than are Roswell denial and witchcraft denial, and that RM's argument about bystander accounts being inexplicable without a conspiracy theory is false. That is the topic of this thread. If RM wants to raise other reasons he thinks the Reinhardt camps were extermination camps, he is welcome to do so, but should start his own threads on those topics.

RM only brought up these off-topic questions because he didn't want to answer a simple on-topic question:
friedrichjansson wrote:Now, on numbers of witnesses: Roswell is supported by five witnesses who actually handled the alleged alien debris. How many witnesses are there who actually handled the gassing engine, or who actually handled the gassed bodies, at Belzec? How many at Sobibor? How many at Treblinka?
----

Now, on the matter of physical evidence, I have explained that RM's criticisms do not show any inconsistency in my position, but merely a sensitivity to context when assessing physical evidence. Unless he can produce a more cogent criticism, I consider the matter closed.

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