Saturday, April 15, 2017

'Between the Lies: The Hoax and the Paranormal' - by Jeff Ritzmann (April 12, 2017)

 
Jeff Ritzmann



Photographed Model. Was it real or Meieresque?
But let's look at what effect hoaxes have on people in the field: the discovery of a hoax, and the aftermath of the presentation that the data is demonstrably fake.

The Billy Meier case is a wonderful example, rich with fakery and trickster thematics. Anyone who's known me over the years remembers my close to 2 year involvement in demonstrating what kind of hokum this case is. The operative question is - should I have gone on that long with it?
Of course not.

I found myself quickly at odds with Meier case believers - even long before my public examples of deception within the case. I gave a presentation in the late 90's to a conference in Washington D.C. and during the lecture mentioned that until we 'shelf things like the Billy Meier case, not much is going to be taken seriously by the public at large, much less anyone working in any branch of science'.

After the lecture, I had a contentious encounter in the hotel with a gentleman who held a PhD in physics.

"The only part of your presentation I take issue with is your statement about the Billy Meier case. I've done a lot of looking into that and I'd say you're completely wrong there." he said with a furrowed brow.

"Well I've spent a lot of time on it too. And if you think those photos and films represent anything other than models and simple forced perspective you're dead wrong." I replied.

One of our mutual friends said something like "Bob has a doctorate in physics he's a..." I interrupted to say it was nice to meet him (as I shook his hand), but it didn't change my statement of the case or the evidence. I also went a step further "The difference between your stance and mine on this case is I can conclusively demonstrate and prove mine." (Knowing full well that he couldn't.)

"Bob", tended to get a bit intense as he railed my 'ignorance' and 'fear of the truth' and added "I don't know much about the photos, but the written information of prophecy is solid!"

He didn't know much about the photos? Could this be serious? This is how Meier entered the field's eye - his clear, daylight photos of alleged UFOs. How could someone so obsessed with Meier's prophetic writings (which are also nonsense btw), be blissfully unaware of the volume of alleged UFO photos an film?

This is yet another example of the complete loss of critical thought by accomplished scientists upon entering into the field(s) of the paranormal variety. We've spoken about this effect before here.


In later years I would get into discussions with accomplished meteorological scientist Dr. James Deardorff (another supporter of the Meier case) that were equally as absurd. I would eventually join a Yahoo group devoted to the Meier case, where I would present all matter of photographic demonstrations showing the photos to be faked. I was challenged that if they were simply models on a string, that I should be able to duplicate that easily. So I did. (Left)

The photo was a small model suspended on a string from my deck. Many of the members found the image of the model in the file section of the group and posted asking "when/where did Billy take this photo?" I then reminded them that this was the duplication that was asked for and posted days before. Several (and some prominent) members of the group left, and wrote me privately to say they couldn't believe how fooled they had been.

There are still people from all walks of life and profession that solidly believe the Meier case is the best evidence of UFO contact ever. By many more, it is considered the longest enduring hoax in UFOlogy.

I use this case because it's such a great example of the repeated disconnect from critical thought exhibited when clearly faked (some laughably so) photos are presented as legitimate.

But was my obsession with showing obviously faked photos to be...obviously faked photos, logical? No it wasn't. Taunting, duplication challenges, and sometimes even physical threats from believers only have so much effect - after awhile it just doesn't phase you. The depth and length of my involvement was irrational considering the painfully obvious fabrication of the case and it's 'evidence'.

You become so involved that you completely lose sight of the fact: no one with any critical faculties believes the case anyway. You are killing a mouse with a howitzer. It's overkill in the extreme.

Later with the epiphanies I would learn from George Hansen, I would recognize these patterns of irrational obsession with disproving hoaxes and hoaxers, and accept that such things are to be expected in the paranormal field.


 
Read the full article: The Numinous Den
Jeff Ritzmann: Linkedin