Date: Wed Oct 06 1993 17:44:00 To: All Subj: BERLITZ UFO - ( Since Charles Berlitz is a fi

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Date: Wed Oct 06 1993 17:44:00 From: Sheppard Gordon To: All Subj: BERLITZ UFO ------------------------------- ( Since Charles Berlitz is a figure in UFOlogy, I thought that this article on the unsubstantiated, erroneous nature of some of his claims would be of interest. [SG] ) ##### BERLITZ'S FICTIONAL "PYRAMID" -Kendrick Frasier Charles Berlitz, author of THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE, has for some time been claiming to to have discovered an underwater pyramid in the "Bermuda Triangle," some 50 miles off the coast of southern Florida in the Bahamas. This supposed pyramid is claimed to be 540 feet across at the base (although his statements vary), to be man-made, and to be a key to the alleged mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle. In March 1978, Larry Kusche, author of THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE MYSTERY - SOLVED, the book that has been acknowledged by the U.S. Coast Guard, Lloyd's of London and many others as the definitive work on the subject, challenged Berlitz to provide proof of his claim. Kusche showed in his book that Berlitz and others who have promulgated the legend of the Bermuda Triangle get many of the most elementary "facts" incorrect, make little or no effort to verify sources, ignore information that refutes their premises, and rarely, if ever, substantiate any claim or piece of information. In the case of Berlitz's new pyramid claim, Kusche felt the burden of proof should be shifted: "The burden should, for a change, be on Mr. Berlitz to prove that what he says is true, not upon others to show where he has erred." Before issuing his challenge, Kusche discussed the matter with oceanographers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the U.S. Navy, and several other organizations, and established several facts: (1) No such underwater pyramid has been found in previous sonar mappings of the area. (2) Pyramid-shaped sonar tracings like the one Berlitz presented as his sole "proof" are quite common but do not mean that pyramids exist on the ocean floor. (3) If such a thing as an underwater pyramid did exist, it would not be likely to give a pyramid shape on tracing paper because of the compressed scale used by the equipment. Because of Berlitz's lengthy record of consistent inaccuracy, Kusche felt that Berlitz should be encouraged to actually prove his claim and not merely use it for publicity - only to have it quietly shown to be wrong several months later, as has been the case with virtually all of his past revelations. Kusche made arrangements with the Berkshire County Savings Bank in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to act as holder of a challenge account into which he and Berlitz would eavh deposit $10,000. The total account would be awarded to Berlitz if he was able to prove to judges from such organizations as the Archeological Institute of America, the Cousteau Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the American Geophysical Union, the National Geographic Society, or any of several others, that the pyramid actually did exist. However, if Berlitz was unable to prove his claim by September 1, 1979, the award would be given to Kusche. In essence, Kusche was willing to give Berlitz $10,000 (and more important, to admit in public that Berlitz was correct) if Berlitz was merely able to prove that his word was good. Kusche says that since it was obvious the "pyramid" was only a publicity stunt, he did not expect Berlitz to even acknowledge the challenge. But, in fact, Berlitz did acknowledge it when, on April 24, 1978, seven days before the deadline, he informed a vice-president of the bank that he would not accept it. The significance of the exchange is that Berlitz declined the challenge and therefore refused to bear the burden of proof to show that what he said was correct. Kusche feels that the point he was making has been substantiated: "Berlitz was not able to accept the challenge to prove the existence of the alleged pyramid because it is impossible to do so since there is no pyramid. Had Berlitz accepted the challenge, it would have publicly emphasized the fact that he is prone to making sensational, erroneous, unproveable statements. Berlitz has once again misled the public with false information that he can not and will not substantiate. EOF ##### -> Alice4Mac 2.2b2 E QWK Eval:22Apr93 --- Maximus/2 2.01wb MkNet UFOria (Clifton, VA) 703-803-6420 (1:109/369) --- * Origin: Wiltechs Orl, Fl 407.293.3523 ZyXEL16.8k (1:363/184)


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank