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Msnbc.com, Alan Boyle science blog, August 20, 2004:

….Astronomer Phil Plait, who maintains the "Bad Astronomy" Web site, has a similar feeling about reopening the Roswell case.

"The main point, which should not be lost, is that this is yet another pseudoscientifically driven waste of taxpayer money," he said in an e-mail. "What's next? A congressional investigation into the Moon Hoax? A House astrologer? A special Mars probe to investigate Cydonia? Feh."

NBC News space analyst James Oberg, who has written extensively on UFO tales, weighed in with some sorely needed historical perspective:

"In the bad old days of the Cold War, military establishments in the Soviet Union, the United States and elsewhere soon realized that many of their secret aerial operations could be camouflaged by public misperceptions and myths about flying saucers. ... And now, decades after the motivations for the misdirection have faded, and relevant files, memoirs and interviews have come out, it's almost touching that the last remaining holdouts of believers in the bogus stories are the UFO buffs.

"They proclaim their dedication to dispelling 'government cover-ups' — but in cosmic irony, they are among the last defenders of the convenient Cold War cover stories that protected spy balloons, super jets, missiles, space warheads, equipment malfunctions and accidents, crashed satellites and so many other military aerospace activities whose owners wanted to avoid public awareness.

"If so many dedicated people hadn't wasted so much of their lives on the wild space-goose chases, it might even be funny."


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