The May 5 alien mummy fiasco in Mexico City has pretty much played itself out, as researchers Tony Bragalia and Don Schmitt have both issued mea culpas amid spirited discussions.on Kevin Randle’s blog site. But one voice we haven’t heard much from lately is Tom Carey, who used his American University podium in November to announce how the now-discredited “Roswell Slides” constituted “smoking gun” proof that a space alien was killed in the alleged 1947 crash.
Carey’s sell-job leeched attention from three other panelists — author Leslie Kean, National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena founder Richard Haines, and retired USAF Col. Charles Halt — who brought substantially more gravitas to this rare academic exercise on UFOs. In the immediate aftermath, Kean distanced herself from Carey’s presentation on a Facebook post: “I had nothing to do with the Roswell part. Just want to make that clear”
So a fair question might be to ask symposium architect John Weiskopf — the adjunct professor and cinema instructor who asked his honors students to consider the impact of ET themes on popular culture — if he had any regrets about inviting Carey to join the day-long event.
“Mr. Carey surprised attendees and participants alike that evening at a near full capacity event (170 people) with his disclosure,” Weiskopf stated in an email, “but many attendees whom I spoke with afterwards (including my students) said that they were quite skeptical of Tom Carey’s claim. Mr. Carey got what he wanted, his disclosure eclipsed much of the substantial discussions by the other three panelists who have remarkable careers and credibility. The lead teaser for WTOP’s radio coverage the following morning beginning at 6 a.m. contained three points, the most dramatic being Tom Carey’s leak.”
Regrets? Other than news media priorities?
“Tom Carey was, as you say, ‘the odd man’ out, but that was deliberate; that was intended,” Weiskopf went on. “If we present knowledge and experience of the same or identical frequencies, then we are only limiting ourselves.” He preferred instead to reflect on how the course forced his students to stretch, which he says manifested during a session with the speakers before the public event that evening: “It was a remarkable luncheon to watch my honors students question, challenge, and in some cases, retort or refute statements that the panelists made in their books/articles/interviews. In my course during the book discussions, my students were ‘less than kind’ in discusssing Tom Carey’s co-authored book Witness to Roswell. At the luncheon, two students told Mr. Carey face-to-face that they did not like his book nor did they believe it. They told him that his logic and conclusions were faulty.”
Weiskopf said it wasn’t his job to tell the class what to think. “When I taught this course I never colored any book, film, television show or blog with my personal beliefs or what I thought about the extraterrestrial issue, either in general or specifically. I allowed my classroom academic environment to unfold as objectively as possible allowing the students to ‘conclude, be confused or indecisive or become staunch believers’ on their own after examining and evaluating all of the data for 14 weeks.”
Bottom line: “I would hope that other universities and colleges would take the same bold and courageous step that American University did in supporting this extremely important event.”
That depends on their willingness to roll the dice. Looks like the AU students did OK.