Don't Be Caught Dead, The Importance Of The Live UFOlogy Witness Interview
I don’t want to be conspiratorial, but sometimes fiction may be more true to life than fact.
He was born, October 19, 1923, and was a World War II veteran of the Air Force. According to his own admission he flew the first leg of the journey from Eighth Air Force, Roswell to Dallas, Texas. The flight reportedly contained wreckage from the Roswell crash sight. He observed the containers of dry ice and the steam arising above them. His name was Ernest Lloyd Thompson. I attempted to contact him for a first-person interview but, discovered he had passed away on April 13, 2004, in Cottonwood, Arizona. He was a part of the story and may have had a piece of the puzzle to the ultimate truth and authenticity of the story of Roswell. How many other participants in this saga, and other in the recent history of UFOlogy have been missed, afraid to speak out, sworn to secrecy by the government forces but had knowledge of the truth? They may hide behind fiction, or be afraid to voice their secrets. That is why whenever given the chance of the interaction, the interview, to speak to someone that has first-hand observation of a sighting, a landing, or an abduction the experience must be maximized.
In his waning years, Mr. Thompson wrote a story, a work of fiction entitled “The Reward for Initiative.” Interwoven with tips for effective UFOlogy witness interviewing are excerpts from his prose. Don’t let your live witnesses be caught dead, or more importantly, if government truth is revealed from your interviews of witnesses, could it be your back that needs to be watched? .
The truth is the goal, but every interview poses its own specific set of circumstances. Additionally, anyone witnessing a UFO sighting presents special challenges in the normal interviewing process. Some special considerations are: (1) the witness may be involved in a very close encounter and be upset, (2) the witness may be faking a UFO story, (3) the witness may be mentally unstable, or (4) the witness may be an agent provateur from our government.
An ideal situation is to know the UFO witness as a person. You should develop rapport with the witness. A good initial approach is by phone. Begin by putting the witness at ease. With a cooperative UFO witness, asking him or her to write the encounter in the form of a story puts the sighting into a written record and preserves those early impressions.
Memories do not always record details perfectly overtime, and the mind does not like gaps and spaces. Without the UFO witness being consciously aware, there can be a tendency to round out the memories with pseudo-details that the mind thinks will logically fit.
Sometimes you may be able to conduct the interview over the phone, however an initial interview may be held in a convenient location. Even at that point the emotionalism of the event may affect the UFO witness’s ability to relate what has happened. The story may trickle out over a period of time, and in some cases a psychotherapist may become involved to aid the UFO witness in relating their story. Trust is all-important throughout this process.
Prologue: The Story Reward for Initiative is Fiction. All Characters are strictly products of my imagination. An event did occur near Roswell at the approximate date in which the story is set. My fiction uses this to portray dangers not always held in balance by the bureaucratic functions we may not be able to trust.
It is the case that the witness may be faking a UFO report or story. A broad-minded approach is recommended. It has been remarked by some to, “Look at everything, but believe nothing.”
I would hope the common section of our society will maintain an open mind. Ernest L. Thompson
Some corroborating methods that can be used for verification purposes include re-contacting the UFO witness or sighting reporter, and determining whether anyone has reported the same or similar incident. Also, the police or any surrounding airport towers can be collateral contacts. If there is a military base nearby any possible aircraft near the sight at that time can be checked. The local National Weather Service can provide accurate data about the cloud cover and ceiling, wind speed and direction, visibility, temperature, and any atmospheric disturbance near the time of the sighting. You also might want to visit the sight yourself for environmental factors or rule out any man-made sources.
“Go right in, Mam,” he said. She heard the door click shut behind her. There were about a dozen people already in the room. Other than two civilians in black suits, an MP officer and Lt. Col. All of the others were hospital staff that she recognized. Captain Worth, the doctor just off duty in ER held a clipboard, which he stared at with a serious frown puckering his lips. Mercer knew he was concerned about the men in black.
The first priority of any interview must be for the UFO witness to tell their story without intervention, bias, and leads being made through the interviewer’s questioning. Generally questioning the UFO witness will have two major purposes: to elicit the greater descriptive detail from the witness and to reflect critically upon the sighting.
Well I guess we are all here, and though we are under some pressure to get out to the scene they have asked me to tell you people that this is of a high security nature. An aircraft is down out in the desert.
It is informative to ask open-ended questions that encourage the UFO witness to respond at length, and that help guide the narrative rather than holding a question and answer session. Open-ended phrasing such as “tell me about” or “please describe” are examples that can be utilized.
I have no information as to how bad the situation is, but when we get there you will do what is ordered and nothing more. What you see and hear, you will forget. What exactly is meant by that I can’t say, but I have been told that any talk of it afterward will be a criminal offense with the most serious consequences. . . .Unless so ordered you will not venture into the actual crash area. Nor will you discuss the activity with anyone.
To keep the flow of the Ufology interview do not be openly judgmental and never argue with the witness. Try to verify the information in a manner of asking clarifying questions or to probe deeper in order to garner more details. As much as possible the questions should allow the UFO witness the opportunity to proceed as they choose rather than how you choose.
I was picking up these pieces of metal, see, and most it was smooth, but this one chunk had a jagged edge like the blade on a fish knife. Didn’t see that till it was too late. The Sergeant sent me over here. I brung it along so you could see iI’n I’m poisoned. I hear that officer, the one with eagles tell the major that the wreckage could be dangerous. He paused as iodine made him flinch. There are several acres of the stuff and they say there was a body found way up by the bluff. A space ship, they say the biggest piece is up there where the body is.
As listed, sometimes a UFO witness may be mentally unstable. Obviously factual data questions are important, but subjective ones can enrich the interview and discern the mental status of the UFO witness. Some questions to ask include: (1) What did the phenomenon most resemble that would be identifiable? Why does the witness think that what he or she saw was not this? (2) What books, if any, has the witness read on UFOs and do they hold any opinion about their nature or origin? (3) Who has the witness talked to about the experience since it occurred, and how did they react? (4) Why did the witness choose to report the phenomenon to the person or persons to whom he or she did? (5) Does the witness have any objection to his or her name being used in connection to the interview on the sighting. If it is an issue, anonymity is suggested. Over the course of the questioning, the mental stability of the witness can become apparent, especially in getting the facts of the incident.
“I may get myself in deep trouble, but I think we should rush this thing to the base hospital with out delay. It is alive now and must be somehow related to what has happened out there,” Karen said, waiving her arm to the north. “They orderd us not to under any circumstances go over there. Pack the stuff away, Coporal.” She tore the sheet of white paper from the top birth in the ambulance and in large block letter and wrote, Have taken emergency case to Hospital. Signed: Lt Mercer. Then she said to Wesley in a stern and positive voice. “Corporal Lopez, this is a direct order. Take the patient and ambulance back to the base. And hurry.” Before leaving however, they went back to the wash and confirmed the further deterioration and demise of the other being.
Although rare, the UFO witness may be an agent provocateur from our government. It is wise to be prudent. From a practical point of view it is more than useful to have a colleague with you at the interview. With the UFO witness’s permission, this allows the interviewer to actively engage in the questioning, but the other person may sit in the background and take notes and be able to offer a second opinion, or detect facial expressions or slight inflections of the witness’s voice. This could give a clue about how the UFO witness feels about the experience.
Right you are. Your corpse got up and moved and we want to know who dug the place it ended up. Go take a look. . . .you better use a hankie.” Lopez walked slowly to the bank and peered into the five-foot pit.
Good grief, he thought there’s a body down there. He bent to see. . . .to see Karen’s sightless eyes wide with terror staring past the bloody remains of her body. Anger like he had never known boiled inside him as he turned. Leonard and Bob stood side by side, their hat brims hiding faces behind two ugly automatics which blasted rapid bursts of fire. Corporal Lopez was conscious of the first two seconds as more rounds drove him into the pit of total darkness.
Two interviewers could also be a safety precaution. Taking for granted a witness’s reaction or response to a certain event is a dangerous pitfall common among those interviewer’s who have an inside knowledge of the community they are working with. Avoid asking leading questions or putting words in the witness’s mouth.
Good interviewing is critical in the UFOlogy field. The information obtained in the interview are the historical records. By putting the witness at ease and eliciting the story, separates the fiction from the nonfiction. The truth is there, by interviewing carefully and thoughtfully, just don’t be caught dead in your search of it.
Excerpts from “Reward For the Initiative” by Ernest Lloyd Thompson.