The co-authors of a topselling UFO book are threatening legal action over a recent televised news segment by a CBS affiliate in Albuquerque regarding the famed Roswell [auth] Incident. Ufologists Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt, who wrote the bestseller â€œWitness to Roswell,â€ are accusing defamation after news anchor Larry Barker called them â€œdiscredited UFO believers.â€
â€œI want to file suit,â€ said Carey, who has studied the Roswell Incident since 1991 and has written about 30 published books and articles about the subject. â€œI donâ€™t like being labelled as discredited when thereâ€™s nothing further from the truth. … When I saw that, I thought I was dreaming.â€
Schmitt, likewise, called the news segment a â€œhit piece.â€
â€œReferring to us as discredited without any qualifications and just as a passing remark in that context was trying to discredit our work at the site,â€ Schmitt said.
The news clip in contention aired in early November on KRQEâ€™s â€œLarry Barker Investigates.â€ The segment was about the 2002 archaeology dig performed by the University of New Mexico Archaeology Department at the reported 1947 crash site. Carey and Schmitt assisted with the dig as technical advisors to the projectâ€™s financial backer, the Syfy cable channel.
The news anchor, Barker, also alleged that they did not know the location of the crash site, thus misguiding the excavation and jeopardizing the validity of their scientific methodology.
Barker asked in the news segment: â€œSo how did Schmitt and Carey know a UFO crashed at that exact site? Well, they did not, and neither did UNM.â€
Schmitt calls this assertion a â€œbald face lie.â€
â€œIt was just total fabrication,â€ he said. He added that he interviewed more than 600 witnesses to pinpoint the location to a ranch northwest of town in Corona, and states that he is not the sole source for this information.
The two ufologists, who both at one point worked as special investigators at the Center for UFO Studies in Chicago, say they are considering legal action, but remain dubious over whether they could win such a case.
â€œWeâ€™re public figures â€” people can say anything they want about us,â€ Schmitt said. â€œItâ€™s almost impossible to win a libel or slander suit, especially one against a public figure, a target for anyone who wants to say anything.â€
Barker was not available for comment.