I stopped by the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell today to visit the shrine to my brief career as a UFO debunker.
Back in the day, when Roswell was still something of a live item, someone brought what he claimed to be a fragment of the recovered alien spacecraft to the Museum and Research Center. It was an odd bit of metal, strangely colored with swirling patterns – clearly not of this world. But by a bit of luck and some amount of work, I was able to track it to its source – not Aldebaran, but the studio of a jeweler in St. George Utah who made lovely metalwork, strangely colored with swirling patterns. (Sadly, the stories don’t appear to be on the web any more. I’ll try to get them posted again on the paper’s web site.)
On a wall in the museum is the framed fragment, along with copies of my stories laminated for history, and this note characterizing them:
The news stories were written by John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal staff writer. They are based on Fleck’s independent research and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or endorsement of the museum.
So I’m immortalized on a museum wall, even if the “curator’s note” accompanying them is a bit of a backhanded whack.
There is one piece of mine still around from that time period, an opus of an anthropological take on the Roswell Incident at 50. It’s got an interesting passage that’s relevant to the specific wording in the note on the museum wall – its reference to my “independent research”:
Anthropologists Ziegler’s and Saler’s analysis suggests it’s understandable Friedman would present his work as a research endeavor.
The traditions of the UFO subculture require the story be told “in the format of an investigative report,” they write. What it really is, they believe, is “the folk narrative of an embedded culture.”
“Folk narrative.” I like that.
(More history on the fragment here .)