Thursday, October 19, 2006


Richard Dolan - Scholar or Entertainer?

Recently, on UFO UpDates, Alfred Lehmberg wrote, about Richard Dolan:

I think it's important to remind everyone that Dolan's scholarship is not competently questioned _anywhere_ and it is largely uncontested, moreover... ...Excepted, that is to say, by a few more concerned with the disruption of their personal paradigms than chips falling where they may.

I disagree. Anyone who reads his book UFOs and the National Security State carefully will find that a lot of what he has written is anything but scholarly, especially his reliance on single, unreliable sources and his giving credence to wacko conspiracy theories. For more detailed criticism, read my review, which I wrote shortly after the book was published and is available here.

If Dolan has written any scholarly works, this book is not one of them. It is an example of a book written to provide entertainment rather than reliable information.

I suspect, good Sir, you're just another person not liking where the chips are falling... forget the fish.
>> AVG Blog --
>>> U F O M a g a z i n e --

Some ammo for when the artillery gets directed your way:

"This is a book that ought to be read with a large saltshaker at hand." - Clark

"Although his UFO history is reasonably accurate, I would seriously dispute the 'scholarly' label when it comes to his conspiratorial view of Government secrecy." - Hall

Dick later called Dolan's reasoning "paranoid".


And my own review, back in May 2005 (which ahs since earned me the ire of certain ufological attack dogs):

In this instance, although certainly not others, we are in general agreement.

A caveat, however. Whatever the flaws in his work, I believe Dolan sincerely holds these views. He is not simply an "entertainer", but rather a historian who got a lot of things wrong, and whose conclusions far outreached the available evidence (and perhaps were informed by those same sincere beliefs).

Hey, it happens. No historian is perfect.

Best regards,

Paul Kimball
The url given for Paul Kimball's review of Dolan's book doesn't work. You can find it in his blog archives by clicking here and scrolling down.

Hmm... you seem to be in error, as I've just tried the link (twice) to my review, and it works fine.

The one to Jerry Clark's quote does not, however... it came from late October, 2002, and there seems to be a few days at that time which are no longer available at the Updates archive.

Best regards,

Paul Kimball
I do not doubt Mr. Kimball's good intentions, but I often see this qualification that a given ufologist means well or is sincere. What I don't understand is why this should make any difference whatsoever. If it does, how and why? If it doesn't, why mention it?

The road to hell, eh?
you Sir do not know Richie, I do. he was my best friend as a child in Brentwood new york. Richie even as an 11 year old was very studious and Ethical and was probably the most thought provoking individual I've ever known... over the years we've lost contact but the ethics you display in youth rarely change and I sincerely doubt you know enough about the man to be able to judge his credence I suspect you are as Mr Lehmberg said: "you're just another person not liking where the chips are falling.."you need to know the man to accurately evaluate the judgement he used. but I can say with full assurance that the Richie I knew was about as thorough as anyone...
Come on you guys, we know that when a scholar of Richard's stature appears and rips the lid off the can of worms (or 'Aliens') if his work is good and difficult to fault, the debunkers go for the man not his work.
Same tired old reaction that's been going on for centuries, burn the heretic, especially if he's right.
And Dolan IS right.
All those thousands of us who have had repeated exposure to 'ET' and their mission[?] - are VERY AWARE of their presence, which we do not see as a threat.
That our rulers do see them as a threat is very obvious. I have been a victim of this human knee-jerk response as have many others.
It takes YEARS of research [and experience] to learn how to assess the Flying Saucer material.
I like the way its going.
ET has all the time in the world, we terrestrials however are not so well equipped.
Live Long and Prosper...
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