Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Roswell Slides: The Kodachrome Controversy

Over at Rich Reynolds' UFO Conjecture(s) blog, there is a new guest post from Jose Antonio Caravaca, on the matter of the cardboard Kodak sleeves that hold the slides purporting to show a body from the Roswell crash.

Jose says: "...although the Kodak company ceased production of the aforementioned type of cardboard sleeves in 1949, it does not mean that in any camera store in the United States stopped using them. They would have continued until their inventory of them was exhausted, the switched to the new Kodak sleeves. Therefore, the evidence surrounding the dating of the slides is circumstantial..."

I don't have a solid view on what the slides show (or don't), and like most of us, I'm waiting to see what will be revealed in Mexico next month. But there is something people might find intriguing...

I personally possess numerous, old, cardboard slide covers, one of which contains a photo of a flying saucer, from around 1969. Yes, it's true! Well, in a way it's true.

When I was about 4 or 5, my dad (whose job was a carpenter) made me a wooden flying saucer, about 10 inches wide, and which he painted, added landing gear, and which looked pretty cool! I used to play with it for hours!

One day, my dad and I thought it would be cool to take a photo of the saucer, and so he hung it on a piece of cotton (or string, or whatever, it barely matters now) on the washing-line in the back garden and snapped a shot. He then got it developed and had a slide of it made - mounted in an old Kodak, 1960s-era cardboard sleeve.

Of course, it's important I stress that this was not intended as a hoax, no money was made from it, and it was only shared with family and friends as a bit of fun and nothing else. It was just something made, and photographed, by a father for his very young son.

That's the slide above. And at the end of this post is the photo (you can just see the washing-line on the top right, from which the intergalactic Adamski scout-craft was carefully hung).

What this serves to demonstrate is that having a controversial image housed in a cardboard, Kodak sleeve and from a specific time-frame proves nothing, regardless of its year.

It's what's in the image that is important (or, conversely, isn't important). It's not hard, at all, to get hold of very old cardboard slide frames. Indeed, thanks to my dad, I have a huge collection of old family photos all preserved in 50 and 60 year old cardboard, Kodak frames.

No doubt, some of the more paranoid elements of Ufology might ponder (given the saucer photo, and the decades-old cardboard sleeve) on the possibility that I had a role in the slides issue - which I didn't, of course.

However...if I wanted to, I could easily have a slide made of something weird (or allegedly weird) and insert it in one of those hundreds of old 1960s-era slide covers I possess. Lo and behold, something new appears to be something from the 1960s.

What a thought! The thick plottens...


  1. I suspect the Roswell slides will follow the same predictable path that a lot of "evidence" does...a lot of hype leading up to the big reveal in Mexico, a huge letdown as the slides are either: lost, damaged, stolen, or just copies of the slides (that are of course locked up somewhere for security reasons). Experts and laypeople from different points of view will debate every miniscule aspect of every slide they can, attack and defend the credibility of everyone even tangentially involved, and then there will be numerous books and films produced about the slides.

    At the end of the day, it won't amount to anything at all. Some people will make money from it. Some people will believe the slides are real. Some people will debunk them. People like me, who watch from the sidelines on occasion, just shake our heads and wonder if there is anything really out there to even try to make sense of, or is it all just smoke, mirrors, and hucksters?

  2. Good post, Nick. (I am way behind on my reading, with baseball now here.)

  3. Listening to C2CAM on May 6 was less than convincing. I'll have to listen again, but Dolan seemed allusive and/or defensive in what I could grab on to (I admit I was distracted and will listen to it again to confirm or whatever). Don Schmidt seems like he really wants these to be the real thing, but he is still (less so) skeptical as was Dolan. This whole thing smells like a Jaime Maussan "dog & pony show"money grab. Without some kind of more solid, and hard to refute, scientific evidence to the authenticity and provenance of these "found" slides it just seems like another dis-service to compelling Roswell testimonies such as Jesse Marcell Jr. who I personally find most compelling.