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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > Nov/Dec 17 > BECOMING FANTASTIC


Why some people Embellish Their Already Accomplished Lives With Incredible tales

To increase excitement into what is perceived as a normal, uneventful life, some people create their own personal myths of adventure and accomplishment. These are not just exaggerations of real events, and such narratives can be in the realm of the fantastic.

“There is no shortage of stories from impressive people attesting to the reality of UFO technology or extraterrestrial bodies held in secret at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or near Area 51 or elsewhere” (Dolan 2014, 152).

It started with a simple question: Why would otherwise successful, professional people with long, prosperous careers tell wild tales? Why would someone of good reputation, education, and a gainful career embellish their record with incredible adventures? Why would, say, a retired lieutenant colonel with numerous high-level accomplishments in his career, awarded numerous medals and praises from superior officers, why would he upon retirement, start telling people he was part of a team that analyzed the wreckage of a crashed UFO? And why go through the elaboration with painted-in details, citing documents and naming others who were involved? Why would he do this if it were not true?

It seems to me that as someone gains credibility, status, and a reputation, he or she would become less inclined to puff themselves up with fantastic tales. Why risk losing it all by going off the reservation and telling incredible narratives? Why would someone do that?

Philip J. Corso, in my opinion, is someone who had an impressive resume. According to his DA Form 66, he was a U.S. Army battalion commander for a time and Chief of the Foreign Technology Division. He was granted numerous awards and decorations and served in World War II and Korea. He then retired March 1, 1963 (“Phillip J. Corso” 2016). But in 1997, he published The Day After Roswell where he claimed that when he worked with the Foreign Technology Division, not only did he divvy up Russian and German tech to private companies for back engineering, but he also sent out parts of the UFO Roswell crash as well.

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About Skeptical Inquirer

Pizzagate and Beyond: Using Social Research to Understand Conspiracy Legends Becoming Fantastic Why Some People Embellish Their Already Accomplished Lives with Incredible Tales Is Eating Vegetables Truly Safe? An Examination into Contemporary Anti-Vaccination Arguments