CAROL PEDERSEN considers that researchers shouldn’t have been surprised by the National Geographic Channel’s recent circle debunking show…
I have just read the headline story ‘National Geographic Channel Misrepresents Circle Research’ and had a few comments.
I did not see this new National Geographic Channel (NGC) television presentation in January 2005, but it sounds similar to the last one they did in 2002. This former show was discussed in my article on your website called ‘National Geographic Channel Denies Television Debunk’ (10-01-2002), which was a warning to all researchers and is in the Swirled News Archive section now. In it the show is described in detail and also the monumental trouble both Doug Rogers and I had in tracking down information on its production at the NGC.
Nancy Talbott's new article lamenting her part in the new NGC production does not give a description of this new show in any detail. But she does say that the show was biased because the producer called the researchers "believers," did not mention the scientists and used hoaxers’ demonstrations instead. Researchers in the crop circle community were very aware of that first NGC show, because of the publicity and how it misrepresented circle research. In the first show the NGC used Halloween farce, comical moderators and hoaxers to discredit crop circle study. Now, forgive my consternation, but I have to say that, given the known negative track record of the NGC regarding presenting crop formations clearly and in a documented fashion, it's hard to understand why any highly visible, well-known and genuinely interested crop circle researcher would still agree to participate in more of their productions. Yet here we have Nancy Talbott, after complaining about them for several paragraphs, saying that she agreed to talk with them and expected "professionalism" from the producers because they were from NGC.
My point is, the highly visible people in the crop circle network, the show people, are not helping the public to view crop circles in an effective and historically accurate way; and they are shooting themselves and the rest of us in the foot, besides helping to undermine the circles phenomenon, by continuing to cooperate with producers such as the NGC have proven to be.
CAROL PEDERSEN, Oregon USA
SWIRLED NEWS EDITOR REPLIES:
As one of the circle researchers included on the NGC show in question, I take Carol’s point, but there is another side to the argument. From a personal point of view, my policy has always been to co-operate with ANYONE wanting comments or interviews, however sceptical they are, because in my experience, if the researchers with the real knowledge don't interact with these programme-makers, then they will go to less-informed people to represent the so-called 'believer' side of things, which can be even more damaging. My policy is that I give honestly and freely of my knowledge in the hope that at least some crumb of truth might make it through the sceptical editing.
I cannot speak for Nancy Talbott, but from a personal perspective, I always expect NOT to be treated fairly, and then I am never disappointed! I went into the NGC show knowing exactly what they were likely to do, and yes I did remember Carol’s review of their previous effort. But if, because of my participation, even just one moment of clarity crept into the show that might alert any discerning viewers to the fact that maybe the hoaxers aren't the complete answer to all this, then I believe my involvement was worth it.