For Robert and Gene

In 1953 two U.S. Airforce pilots, Felix E. Moncla and Robert Wilson, vanished while investigating an “unknown” aircraft. The “unknown” had been spotted on ground radar and the two pilots were charged with the task of identifying it. Their plane left Kinross Airforce base in Michigan and subsequently was never seen again. Since that time authors and researchers have written many passages and accounts of what they believe might have happened. Many of these researchers were more than willing to speculate about the incident. Did Moncla and Wilson get beamed aboard a UFO? Did their plane get sucked into another dimension? Did they simply crash into Lake Superior? The list of questions goes on and on.
As a UFO researcher from Michigan I too was interested in the case. By the time I had really started doing research, about 1991, I figured that the Kinross Incident had been covered and discussed enough by other researchers, so for many years I allowed that research to stand unchallenged. It wasn’t the fact that a UFO might be involved that drew me back into the case, it was something far more important.

In 1997 while doing some reading about another UFO incident I noticed that Robert Wilson’s name was misspelled. The author of the book had written it as RR Willson. I let the mistake go  believing it to be a typo and continued my reading. Within minutes I stumbled across another book that mention R.R. Wilson. Being who I am I jumped up and got more books and to my surprise dozens of book erroneously reported Robert L. Wilson as R.R. Wilson. This may not seem like the most exciting story or the most interesting discovery but I believe it is an important one.
Once someone writes something down and places it in the public arena others will copy it. It doesn’t matter if what is written is true or well researched. And over time what is written and copied will be believed by many to be fact. The least we can do, as researchers, is spell a name correctly. Also, a case where two U.S. servicemen vanish, never to be seen again, is enough reason to do some research. The added elements of UFOs, time travel, inter-dimensional kidnapping, etc. may excite the mind but that fact that men vanished while trying to protect their country is more than deserving of our time. All to often UFOlogical or paranormal researchers feel the need to make a case even more “exciting” by adding elements to a case that does not need it. Many times the addition of these new “facts” overwhelm what really happened and, in the race to propose startling claims, pushes the real, known, human element into the background. It’s not enough for two men to have vanished, they need to be yanked from the sky by a UFO. Meanwhile, researchers can’t even get the names of the men right.

Of course the researchers who rush to write a bevy of books or make appearances on TV shows, the ones who scream the loudest are the ones who get the most attention. The people who can get the most viewers or sell the most books are the ones who have the most impact. You would think they would take the most responsible approach. Unfortunately this is usually not true. publishers and TV producers are looking for people who can shock and startle people, and they don’t care if it’s true. I don’t fault publishers or producers for promoting people who do poor research, their job is to sell books and advertising space during TV shows. I fault the researchers who in their race to become known truly do not care about the unknown.

I cannot tell you how many times I have found the believed history behind an allegedly haunted location to be incorrect. How many times I have seen witnesses names misreported. How many times I have found researchers that “add” a little spice to their research for the sole fact of making what is already a fascinating case, “more interesting.” The additions and mistakes are rewritten by others and passed down like the “telephone game” until at last there is so much poorly written and researched “evidence” that untangling what is real and what is not becomes an almost impossible task. When we lose the ability to even accurately report a name we truly have lost ourselves.

Demand better research, demand more common sense, don’t give in to the over hyperbolic claims of people seeking fame and fortune.  Make these demands not only for yourself but for those who no longer have a voice of their own, like Robert Wilson and his friend Gene.

For more information on the Kinross Incident you can visit this page