This story makes me very sad and I wish it was not publicized. But it gives us a lesson about “deathbed confessions”. It also reveals how very desperate the UFO community is to provide “evidence” even when it is embarrassingly awful.
Boyd Bushman spoke with independent aerospace engineer Mark Q. Patterson shortly before his death last August and made some surprising and highly questionable claims about real aliens working at Area 51, faster than light travel and work on anti-gravity technology. The interview was recorded and you can see Mr. Bushman holding his photos up to the video camera. It would seem that Mr. Bushman really believed that he was being truthful. We can all be fooled. Here is the story of a Lockheed Martin engineer that was either too trusting and wanted to do what he thought was right or just making a spectacle for attention. We may never know why he did this.
Most interesting are all the photos, supposedly of UFOs and aliens that he claims his friend took at Area 51, using a camera he provided. In fact, Bushman claimed that his camera was given to the aliens, who obligingly took photos out the window during a UFO trip, then returned his camera (although it’s doubtful that the aliens, traveling so much faster than light, could actually see anything). Weirdest of all is a “spirit photo” that supposedly shows the ghost of an alien that died.
The video interview was popularized by Art Bell and other UFO-themed sites. Though it’s clear that the “evidence” and testimony Bushman presents is totally worthless.
Note! Updated 01 November 2014: The previous video we had embedded here has been taken down for some reason. This is the same video, just a different link.
The alien depicted is fake. (Update: There are many photos and pieces of documentation regarding the model alien used available as a mass marketed prop. This is conclusive evidence that it is fake. Also, one of the UFOs show in the picture comes from here.)
Dr. Stuart Robbins discusses the many reasons to be skeptical of deathbed confessions.
A deathbed confession can also be a way to solidify one’s reputation by using the cultural belief in its veracity to double-down on the claim to increase general belief in it.
The thinking could easily be, “People really believe that people are 100% honest on their deathbed, so I’m going to make sure I go out with a ‘bang’ and make my claims yet again. People who didn’t believe me before might this time because they’ll think I’m telling the truth ’cause I’m about to die.”
That’s why I find this whole deathbed confession thing unconvincing and, perhaps more importantly, not useful: We have no more information than we had before. We have no way to verify any of the information claimed. No way to test or duplicate it. At *best*, we have another person claiming this stuff is real, and while he or she may be proven out with the passage of time, their “confession” contributed absolutely nothing to that advancement.
Guy Chapman tells Doubtful News that in some common law countries, deathbed confessions (dying declarations) have a specific significance that elevates them above mere hearsay, but this is of course scientifically irrelevant.