I have been trying to find some time to write blog posts, but it’s been difficult of late. With my livelihood under pressure from ChatGTP and related A.I. programs that are steadily replacing the kind of copywriting that used to be my bread and butter, I’ve been forced to take on less interesting and more time-consuming work to make ends meet, and that leaves me with less time for writing anything that doesn’t pay. Nevertheless, I did want to point out the massive journalistic project the Douglas Dean Johnson undertook to investigate the 1945 so-called “Trinity” extraterrestrial encounter recently publicized in the self-published book Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret by Jacques Vallée and Paola Harris and, according to Vallée and the New York Times, an influence on recent Congressional legislation revising the Pentagon’s remit to include UFO involvement dating back to 1945. In short, Johnson concluded that the old geezers spinning the story are habitual liars and that the story is a bunch of bunk:
I present extensive documentation establishing that all three of the claimed “eyewitness” sources – Baca, Padilla, Brophy-- have propagated lies and/or fantasies that are absolutely fatal to their credibility. Because I have demonstrated, in my opinion, that the three primary sources have all engaged in multiple gross fabrications, it would be folly to attach any credence whatever to any of the oft-conflicting versions of the UFO crash-recovery events that they have described.
That last point, of course, is the same reason Leslie Kean gave for omitting interdimensional space poltergeists from her New York Times stories covering the various boondoggles within the Pentagon investigating UFOs and the paranormal.
I will leave you to read Johnson’s extensive and persuasive investigation for yourself, but I do want to highlight the role of the media in amplifying what nearly anyone with a soupçon of critical thinking should have recognized as implausible. According to Johnson, Vallée invested financial resources into promoting the story, including hiring a publicist. This, in turn, is one reason that the claim appeared on Fox News, in the New York Times, and elsewhere despite the underlying facts not withstanding even cursory research to confirm them.
This is the most damning point of all: No one—not the New York Times, not Fox News (ha!), and not the U.S. Congress—undertook even the most basic fact-checking before tarnishing their own credibility by publicizing the wildly unsupported claims. They used the fig-leaf of attributing them to Vallée to absolve themselves of responsibility and to feed the maw of content and conspiracy with minimal exertion.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.