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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jun > Jun 8

Re: Dating Arnold

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 12:41:20 -0500
Archived: Fri, 08 Jun 2012 06:21:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Dating Arnold

>From: Don Ecsedy <don.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2012 14:34:22 -0400 (EDT)
>Subject: Re: Dating Arnold

>>>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
>>>To: post.nul
>>>Date: Sat, 02 Jun 2012 14:41:20 -0600
>>>Subject: Re: Dating Arnold

>>>From: Don Ecsedy<don.nul>
>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto<post.nul>
>>>Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 11:03:15 -0400 (EDT)
>>>Subject: Re: Dating Arnold

>>From: Michael Tarbell<mtarbell.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 10:29:18 -0600
>>Subject: Dating Arnold [was: Flying Saucers - The Greatest Lie Ever Told]

>>>>If you haven't already seen it, I highly recommend the ten-part
>>>>series "The Positively True Story of Kenneth Arnold" at


>>>>which goes into great detail about this and other
>>>>'inconsistencies', including outright fabrications, in the
>>>>Coming of the Saucers version of Arnold's involvement in Maury
>>>>Island affair. And while I suspect most or all of these were due
>>>>to Ray Palmer, I have distinct unease with Arnold's apparent
>>>>complicity in their publication.

>>>After several days of back and forth online comments with the
>>>author of those articles, I came away with the sense the author
>>>has... what's a good word for it?... an ideological distaste for
>>>Arnold which determines his putting the worst possible
>>>interpretation on anything Arnold wrote.

>UFO writers have commented on blogs that editors make changes to
>their books. I've found quotations of Aldrich's 8/14/47 report
>(in which Rhodes is spelled Rhoads all four times it appears) in
>books and articles in which Aldrich's 'Rhoads' was "corrected"
>to 'Rhodes'. Editors and publishers will do that, and in the
>pulp genres back in the day, Palmer was not unique in doing so,
>including rewriting the submitted text, and Arnold would not be
>the first writer to let it pass (and apparently to this day some
>UFO writers will let it pass).

>I'm less interested in questioning Arnold's character than in
>figuring out which parts of the story in the book were made up
>out of the whole cloth by Palmer. I don't think Palmer did so
>for some nefarious purpose, but to make the story more
>suspenseful, mysterious. He doesn't seem to have realized at the
>time how mysterious it already was, and would become. He was
>trying to engage the reader and make the sale. I guess I have a
>less negative opinion of Palmer than is common around here. At
>least, I think I understand his motives. They seem harmless.

Hi, Martin,

I think your assessment is essentially correct, if erring
modestly on the side of the charitable. Palmer's personality
was a complex one. He was not a sinister monster in the Rupert
Murdoch mold (if on a much smaller scale), but he was hardly the
soul of integrity either.

The Fullers often told me (1) that for as long as they knew him,
they could never discern what he genuinely believed about
anything and (2) that nothing seemed to please him more than
putting one over somebody, however trivial or ephemeral the
matter in question.

Palmer had no journalistic training, ambition, or interest. He
loved pumping up both readers' pulses and their numbers. His was
strictly a tabloid/pulp sensibility. He wasn't above exploiting
the delusions of a severely mentally ill individual (Richard
Shaver) for commercial purposes, but he was also personally kind
and charitable to Shaver even after whatever financial advantage
the exploitation yielded Palmer had expired.

In a sense Palmer is one of those individuals about whom any
sentence expressed probably should be appended with an asterisk.
On the other hand, any prose copy that passed through his
editorial hand has to be viewed with some (in other cases much)
suspicion. Palmer wanted to tell the story excitingly.
Accurately was a secondary consideration, if that.

Jerry Clark

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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