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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 5

The Stephens Affair

From: Jan Aldrich <jan@cyberzone.net>
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 11:44:36 -0800
Fwd Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 16:29:39 -0500
Subject: The Stephens Affair

Today, the ufo field is swept by the "revelation" that Stephens
is a fraud.  Duh!

Several people, including yours truly, pointed out that
Stephens' supposed inside information was bogus.  However,
incredibly what did we get.  "You shouldn't diss Mr. Stephens.
He has only been in the field 70 days.  Cut him some slack."

I really don't care if he had been in the field 70 minutes or 70
years, if he is spinning yarns he is disrespecting ufology.
Then, he should be disrespected by those who want reliable
information about UFOs.   He has disrespected us.

Now Gersten was Stephens' biggest promoter.  All his excuses
about how he was tricked hold no water with me.  Before the
month is out Gersten will pump out at least another 70 posts on
sensational topics in which he has done no more checking than he
did with Stephens.

For the 14 years that Barry Greenwood and Larry Fawcett ran
CAUS, they did try to apply the rules of evidence and carefully
checked and cross-checked most everything they did.  Both, and
later Greenwood, alone, made CAUS' reputation one of
scrupulously scrutinizing the facts.  Gersten ran that
reputation into the ground in less than a year.

Gersten is a lawyer, and at one time his approach to the subject
was one of high standards.  He was responsible for many
important finds.  His stature in the UFO field *was* deservedly
great.  Now every cock and bull story that comes along is out on
the CAUS network in record time.

Lawyers of all people should know how to examine evidence. Here
is a telling statement by Gersten:

"He [Stephens] represented the holy grail in our search for this
'truth' that has eluded us for over 50 years. Unfortunately, his
information was only his opinion at best and a complete
fabrication at worst.  A little knowledge is a dangerous weapon
in the wrong hands.  In Mr. Stephens' hands, we became willing
victims for his expert swordsmanship."

Here is a classic definition of a "mark."  Do I think Gersten is
a mark?  No, but he is a facilitator of marks.  Marks want to
hear these fantastic stories whether they are true or not.  They
run from one sensational claim to the next like drug addicts
looking for another fix.  If a claim is discredited, are they
more careful the next time?  Not on your life! Does that mean
that the purveyor of such frauds will suffer any loss of
credibility.  Never, in fact they will be lionized!

Should anyone stand and point out the holes in the stories; they
are shouted down.

You think not!

Well, look at the abuse Chris Rutkowski took concerning his
objections to the blind acceptance of the "Hale-Bopp object."

If people *really* wanted to learn the facts about UFOs, then
Loren Gross would be a best selling UFO author, and Art Bell
would be looking for work elsewhere.

Jan Aldrich
Project 1947
P. O. Box 391, Canterbury, CT 06331, USA
Telephone: (860) 546-9135

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