Thursday, June 22, 2006
UFO researcher Ann Druffel responded to frustrations among researchers that she was refusing to allow researchers access to the Heflin Polaroids. I have copied the full response below...
I wanted to explain again that Dr. Kelson
is writing a second paper on his re-analysis of the Heflin photos,
with expanded information on the enhancement results, besides those
given in the 2000 JSE paper. A scientist has every right to keep
his data to himself until he's finished his work, and this is all
that Dr. Kelson is asking. (By the way, Dr. Kelson's first name
is Eric, not Ed.)
When Bob Wood wrote you that "the original Polaroids are 'in
principle available for research under controlled conditions'"
he meant that after Dr. Kelson is finished with his second paper,
the originals will be available to be viewed at my home. I promised
Rex Heflin that I would preserve them for perpetuity for the use of
the UFO community, so I could not let them out of my own archives,
although they will be available for study, as Bob Wood says, under
All best wishes,
[EMPHASIS AND TEXT COLORING MINE...KK]
Please note the text bolded in red. Ms. Druffel claims that the high resolution scans currently being used by Eric Kelson constitute "...his data". Well, that is certainly so, if he was responsible for the scans.
However, the original photos themselves are not "his data".
Next, note the text bolded in blue. She wont allow the photos to be seen at all until after Kelson's paper is released.
Ms Druffle further claims that she "...promised Rex Heflin that I would preserve them for perpetuity for the use of the UFO community...".
How can refusing to allow access until after the Kelson paper in any way mesh with her promise to Heflin?
How could allowing additional researchers to re-scan the photos in Ms. Druffel's presence in any way violate her supposed promise?
If she feels that allowing other researchers to have access to the photographs before Kelson's reanalysis is complete is somehow counter to the search for truth, I'd be mighty interested in hearing her reasoning on that issue.
Otherwise, I think we can only be left to believe that the search for truth is...for Ms. Druffel...wholly dependent on whose "truth" one is "in search of".
Why should the community have to wait for yet another reanalysis to have access to data which was purportedly "preserved for the use of the community"?
Is Kelson's report more important than getting at the truth?
Will Kelson's report presumably to be the "last word" on the Heflin subject?
Will the Kelson report be for sale?
Guess we'll just have to wait for the steward to address those questions.
What a shame. Maybe Heflin picked the wrong "preserver".
Hmmm...or perhaps he picked the "right" one.
Look at the ESA Smart program, they have only dumped few images from their Moon imaging satellite because the scientists are _still_ processing imagery data/preparing reports.
There does not seem to be any justification of UFO researchers being prevented from doing their own scans of the original Heflin photo.
You are correct that Druffel does not seem to be following Heflin's request. But then, by implication, perhaps she subconsciously agreed to not participate in activities that discredit the Heflin photos, too.
As a side note, I see Paul Kimball takes exception to your Heflin opinions (and desire to get scans and do a re-creation) and has even dumped a link to your blog. Stepped on some toes, even after making the Top Ten List? Hopefully, he just accidently dropped your link and nothing more needs to be read in.
It is disturbing that people are not more encouraging to fellow UFO researchers.
It takes alot of time, money and energy to do this stuff and most of us don't get any money for it. If any one of us want to do a re-creation (or Mexican FLIR video analysis), then I would hope people would either pat us on the back and say "go for it" or not say anything. To be discouraging and dismissive about the activity is ...discouraging and disheartening. Sure we have enough guts to continue, but life is hard enough without having disencouraging folk blowing a stiff wind in your direction.
It goes without saying that any re-creation of _anything_ is not definitive. But any re-creation is one more piece of data (and the better it is done and documented, the better data it is). Also, the value of learning how to analyze, re-create, use logical/rational/ scientific thought are all things that people should encourage.
In summary, for UFO reseach and for most other areas of research/ science I can think of (except obvious ethical areas of bioengineering, nanotechnology, etc), we should not discourage researchers.
Agreed and agreed. I just wish her response didn't raise more questions about the whole Heflin investigation.
It just seems to indicate some kind of "protectiveness" over the whole thing that I find very disturbing, and apparently Martin, Bob and others are feeling the same way.
Perhaps it is time that a review of ALL NICAP "best cases" is in order. Perhaps there is a pattern emerging that could raise an eyebrow or two.
Paul Kimball wasn't even born when I became interested in this decidedly odd field. His latest comments are nothing but a distraction at this point. Apparently his opinions about others depend on the day of the week...or whether they agree with him or not.
On your other point, I fully agree that we should encourage ALL research. Some of us have strengths or resources that others do not.
The best reason I can think of for doing re-creations is to show the very gullible out there how to be more discerning in accepting something as "highly strange". I have several acquaintances who were simply stupefied by the Ed Walters photos until I showed them how easy it was to duplicate the images...down to the light beams and transluscency...with stuff found around the house.
And kids LOVE the whole process.
Discourage researchers...or potential researchers? Ludicrous, IMO.
Thanks as always for writing!
Still, I think it worthy to know the exact agreement Ms.Druffel had with Mr.Heflin and between Ms.Druffel and Dr.Kelson. Not a big deal but interesting.
I may have been hasty in making any assumptions about the agreement, but considering the angst already evident from Bob Shell and Martin Shough, her response seemed a little short on the detail which might have defused the acrimony.
And you would think that in the interest of furthering along this rather increasingly heated debate, she would ge fostering an atmosphere of cooperation above all else.
And if there is some sort of "agreement" between Ms. Druffel and Dr. Kelson, it strikes me as a little disingenuous when we have several able researchers ready and willing to do the analysis at their own expense.
If there is a financial motive in play here, then there's definitely something rotten in Denmark.
More information would be a very good thing.
Also, I like Paul Kimball. He's brash and supremely self-confident. I can relate. :)
But as I have spent the past week being accused of taking someone to task (after being accused by this someone of asserting that 9/11 was God's fault), of saying that any analysis other than re-creations should be stopped (a falsehood), that I am in cahoots with this anonymous poster at UFO Updates (another falsehood), and that the project in which I am engaged is of no value (merely a mistaken assertion).
Paul was involved only in a couple of these, but I am just weary of the drama. I'll stick to blog posting and leave the "discussion" to others for awhile.