Below is a report written by Daniel about the polygraph test he took on the Paul Coates TV show called “Confidential File”:
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE LIE DETECTOR
By DANIEL W . FRY
(Published in Saucers, Vol. II, Number 3, September 1954, page 6-8)
THE PROPER TECHNICAL TERM for the instrument commonly called the ‘Lie Detector’ is the Polygraph. I have used the term Lie Detector’ rather than Polygraph, because, an you will see, the Polygraph actually had little or nothing to do with this incident. Perhaps however it would be better if I started at the beginning. On April 4, 1954, at the space Craft Convention, I read to the group assembled there, the account of an experience which I had had with some of our extra-terrestrial friends.
A few days later, I was visited by Mr. Franklin Thomas, the owner of the New Age Publishing Company, who asked permission to publish the information in book form. This was done, and the result is the book called THE WHITE SANDS INCIDENT.”
A few days before the book was released to the public, Mr. William Gilroy, president of the newly founded Saucer Research Foundation, called me and asked if I would be willing to speak at a convention which he was holding at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Hollywood. I agreed, and he thereupon called a press conference on June 1st for the purpose of announcing the convention and of acquainting the press with my story. I was asked if I would be willing to submit to a Polygraph test. I stated that I would be perfectly willing to do so if the operator were completely unbiased and unprejudiced. I realized, of course, that this was practically an impossible requirement, since it would be very difficult to find a person in any trade or profession who did not have some bias upon a question an controversial as this one. A Polygraph test, however, is of absolutely no value if the operator is biased concerning the outcome, since the Polygraph itself does not indicate truth or falsehood, but merely records the physiological reactions of the subject to the psychological stimuli provided by the operator. The translation of the resulting graphs by the operator, into an opinion concerning the subjects veracity is a task so delicate that the result is rather unreliable at best, and if any bias or prejudice is present in the mind of the operator, his opinion will almost invariably be found to follow the direction of that bias.
There was present at the press conference, a young man by the name of Chris Gugas who had had some experience in the operation of the Polygraph, and who had given a demonstration of the instrument’s operation a few weeks before on the Paul Coates T-V Show, Confidential File. It was suggested that I allow him to make a test at some future date, the results of which would be given on Paul Coates program. A few minutes talk with Mr. Gugas made it plain that he was far from unprejudiced concerning the information which I had given out, and I knew that any test which he made of me would be almost certain to result negatively. The press conference ended without any decision an to when or if this ‘test’ should be made.
Several days later Mr. Coates announced in his column in the Daily Mirror, that he had called me, and that I had agreed to undergo the test on the following Sunday on his television program. This, of course, was news to me inasmuch as Mr. Coates had never in his life communicated with me on any subject. In view of this public announcement, I realized that I had no alternative but to go through with it, even though I realized the type of pattern which would be followed on this program.
EARLY SUNDAY MORNING I RECEIVED a telephone call asking me to come to the studio at once for the purpose of taking the test. I arrived at the studio at 10 a.m. and was immediately ushered into a small room in which the operator had set up his equipment. His first act was to ask me to sign a complete release of legal liability stating that I would bring no action for damages, regardless of anything that might be said about me on the program. I signed this, and he then began to explain the equipment which constituted his Polygraph. Since I myself have been engaged for many years in advanced instrumentation work I was already completely familiar with the mechanical and electrical aspects of the instrument. It consisted, briefly, of a three pen recording galvanometer of the ‘Brush Recorder’ type, two low range pressure pickups, and a direct indicative galvanometer.
One of the pressure pickup is strapped to the chest to record the frequency and amplitude of the subjects breathing. The other pickup is strapped to the wrist to record the frequency and amplitude of the heart beat. The base line of the resulting wave form also indicates the blood pressure of the subject at that moment.
The operator now began to ask me a number of questions which were not connected in any way with the subject of the test. He explained that these were only for the purpose of acquainting him with my background, and that the answers would be kept absolutely confidential, that under no circumstances would they ever be released to anyone. I was sufficiently familiar with the procedure involved in the Polygraph tests, to realize that these questions concerning my past life were not ones which would be of any great value in establishing a norm with which the critical questions could be compared. I suspected that, in spite of his solemn assurances of secrecy he actually intended to use these answers in some way on the television program that night. I decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to establish what, in instrumentation is known as a control. This is merely the setting up of an independent reference point from which the value of the test results themselves, can be evaluated. To do this, I gave the operator some truthful answers to his questions concerning my past life, and I gave him some false answers. I wanted to discover for myself whether he actually was able to distinguish between true and false answers. Subsequent events proved conclusively that he could not so distinguish.
DURING THE COURSE OF THE TELEVISION program that night a man was brought before the camera and introduced as a detective who had investigated my past life, and who would now read his findings.
The man then proceeded to read word-for-word the list of answers which I had given to the operator that morning, the true answers and the false answers, stating that these were facts which he had discovered by independent investigation. To give a few instances, he stated that my wife was born in New York, when as a matter of fact she was actually born in Canada and has both a birth certificate and naturalization papers to prove it. Also we were not married in the First Presbyterian Church of Altadena as he stated, but in the Lincoln Avenue Church of Pasadena, and there were a number of people watching the program who had personally attended the wedding ceremony. If the detective had actually spent as much as ten minutes investigating my past life he would inevitably have discovered that the statements which he was reading were false.
At the time I felt that there was no need for me to comment on the program in any way, and I still believe that facts are able to speak for themselves. I would, however like to remind the reader that this television program was simply a show and that the principal aim of a show is, and always has been, simply the amusement and entertainment of the audience. If we consider this program in the light of this fact, no harm will have been done.
Below is a report from the 1955 Saucerian that talks about the same incident:
THE CASE OF DAN FRY
– By Jacqueline Sanders –
THE WHITE SANDS INCIDENT By Daniel W. Fry, 66 pages, Published by The New Age Publishing Co., 1542 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles 26, Calif. $1.50
When THE SAUCERIAN reviewed I RODE A FLYING SAUCER, by George W. Van Tassel, in the February, 1954, issue, it had to be said, with some disappointment, that the author wasn’t so sure he actually took a ride after all, but that “The intelligences that operate the saucers claim I was aboard.” In the case of Dan Fry it isn’t the saucerians who say he took one, but Fry himself, who further adds he rode from White Sands, N.M., to New York City and back in the thing.
The author, who has been employed for the last five years by the Aerojet General Corporation, a leading developer of rocket engines, was at White Sands on the night of July 4, 1950, when a saucer landed near him.
Fry approached it cautiously and after walking around it several times, curiously touched it. Then a voice, seeming to come “out of the air at my side” advised him, “Better not touch the hull, pal, it’s still hot.”
He was rather frightened, to say the least, but the voice assured, “Take it easy, pal, you’re among friends,” then told him to hop in, and soon he was wafted away, at incredible speed, to New York City and back, all in 30 minutes. Fry says he traveled at 35 miles altitude, though they came down as low as 20 miles over New York.
No one accompanied him, since the saucer was being controlled by a mother ship some 900 miles above the earth. During the trip he was told a great many things about the saucerpeople and saucers in general.
The saucerpeople originally came from earth, the voice told him, some 35,000 years ago when two mighty foes clashed and virtually destroyed this planet as a place of habitation. The few who returned became reduced almost to animals — man’s ancestors, we presume.
The saucer Fry rode in was a cargo ship used for carrying air up to the mother ship, so that the saucerians could acclimatize themselves to earth’s atmosphere. But let Fry tell it in his own words, in a letter sent early this year to a SAUCERIAN correspondent:
“I shall be happy to answer the questions you asked pertaining to
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Daniel W. Fry
the pressurization of the craft in which I rode. As you will remember, I explained in the diary that the craft was a cargo carrier and was being used to transport ‘earth air’ to the mother ship for the purpose of accustoming the operators to breathe earth’s atmosphere.
“When the craft first landed it was in an evacuated condition; that is, all the air had been pumped out at the mother ship and the craft was sealed. After the ship landed the filling valve was opened by a remote control mechanism and the ship became full of air. After I had entered and the door was closed, the ship was again air tight so that the pressure inside would remain the same regardless of whether or not there were any air outside the craft. This is the condition which is referred to as the pressurization of high altitude aircraft and merely means that the pressure inside the craft is maintained at or near the original level regardless of the lower pressure outside.
“I learned during the return trip that the air from the main body of the craft was circulated through the small passenger compartment by some means of vents under the seats so that the air in the compartment would not become unduly stuffy or vitiated. Since the cargo craft seldom carried passengers, and since it was designed for comparatively short range operation, no provision find been made for renewing the air over long periods of time.”
Fry first told his astounding narrative at the flying saucer convention held at Giant Rock Airport, Giant Rock, Calif. in early April of this year. Then he published the book, and was fast becoming one of the most famous West Coast saucerpersonalities until the matter of The Lie Detector Test came up.
William H. Gilroy sold deep-freezers before the saucer scare started; then he acted as press agent for Jerome Criswell TV prophet and saucer columnist, but when saucers grew to be as popular as Marilyn Monroe, he set up the Saucer Research Foundation. That is where he ran into Fry, who came to one of the meetings to speak about his experiences.
It is generally agreed on the West Coast, and admitted by Gilroy himself that he is not immune to the love for a fast buck, nor is he a neophyte when it comes to cooking up a good publicity stunt.
So the next thing Gilroy did was to offer a $500 reward to any “saucer-contacter-claimer” who would take a lie detector test to prove the claims. There were no comers until Fry was asked.
“Why sure, why not?” Fry agreed. “I am not afraid of the machine.” On the strength of Fry’s acceptance, Gilroy called a press conference at which about 50 reporters turned up to drink his champagne (I heard that it WAS champagne).
Chris Gouges showed up with the lie detector, technically known as a polygraph.
All the following we have obtained from Gilroy and Fry in personal interviews so it is their side of the tale, but here it is for what it may be worth:
Everyone was eager for the test to be made right then and there, but Gouges said it wouldn’t be fair to the subject, that he would have to prepare control questions and make a series of tests over several hours (The Paul Coates TV show deal was either cooked up then or later, we forgot to check).
THE NEW SAUCER BOOKS 39
So, as the story goes from then, everybody gets to feeling rather good from all the champagne consumed, and Gilroy kids Gouges about his having five hundred bucks riding on the test. Gouges looks at Gilroy and says, “Your boy hasn’t got a chance! ” And this is happening four days before the lie detector test is to be given!
James Peck, Coates’ “program director, right-hand-mand and whipping boy,” walks over to Fry and makes a remark something like, “We are out to show you up; we will crucify you,” and another remark to the effect that “You will have had it, boy, when we get through with you.” According to Fry, a few days later Coates announced in his Daily Mirror column that Fry had agreed to appear the following Sunday on his TV show which was all “news” to Fry since Coates had never talked with him. With the program already announced Fry said he thought the public would feel his story wasn’t true if he didn’t go through with the test, so he agreed. The agreement was made with some apprehension. Since he knew something of the polygraph’s operation, he was convinced that the test would be valid only if the operator was unprejudiced, an attitude he felt, with good reason, Gouges, who was to operate the machine on the program, did not have.
So early Sunday morning Fry went to the studio. The operator explained it was necessary to make preliminary tests with “control questions” so that the test would be valid and asked Fry first to submit to routine questions in order to get it all set up.
But Fry grew suspicious when he was asked a great many personal questions, and decided to give some deliberately fake answers to see what the machine would register, and later he declared that nobody, including the machine knew the difference. During this preliminary test he said he told a little story while hooked up to the machine:
“Two years ago a space ship went secretly to the moon, and brought back 100 lbs. of green cheese which was sold at $1.00 a lb. In a supermarket here by a girl dressed in Oriental costume.”
The little needle went merrily across the graph with no deviation, so the operator tore up the sheet and threw it away!
The climax to all the shennanigans came, according to Fry, in the early part of the TV show when Ben Hartner, a private investigator, was introduced to make a report on what he had found out about Fry’s past life. The man proceeded to read almost word-for-word the list of answers Fry had given to the operator that morning, the false answers along with the true ones! He stated Fry’s wife was born in New York, when she actually was born in Canada, nor were they married in the First Presbyterian Church at Altadena as the detective had it. If the detective had spent as much as 10 minutes actually investigating his past life, Fry is sure he would have known the material he was reading was untrue.
We watched that famous telecast ourselves and will now try to give you a resume. After the investigator had finished, Gouges stated the tests had been going on all day. He had worked four hours that morning, had tried to be very fair. He said fry was “extremely nervous and excited this evening.”
Coates told Fry, “Whatever results — remember, you ASKED FOR IT – abide by agreement.” Fry said, “Yes, I know” (Fry had signed a release of legal liability stating he would bring no action for damages regardless of anything that might be said on the program).
Some of the questions; Were you born in 1908? Yes. Do you have land in Oregon? Yes. Did you see a space ship at White Sands? Yes. Is your story true? Yes, to the best of my knowledge. Do you drink? Occasionally. Did you ride in a space ship? Yes. Have you lied to any of my questions? No.
Gouges said, “Repeat the questions, as Fry is EXTREMELY NERVOUS. So
40 THE SAUCERIAN, NO. 5
they went through it again, with the same answers,
Gouges told us he had a total of 10 charts from that day’s testing, had studied earlier charts for about three hours, and had taken everything into consideration trying to be fair etc. He stated that “In my opinion Mr. Fry HAS BEEN DEFINITELY DECEPTIVE. HE HAS BEEN DECEITFUL TO SOME OF THE CRITICAL QUESTIONS.”
Fry then declared he had never denied the possibility that it was all a hallucination, but that he still believed it was real. He said he was greatly flattered by all the effort, but would let the book decide, and that he felt it would stand on its own merits.
Judging from everything it is still difficult to make any definite conclusions from the lie detector telecast. If, as it is claimed, the polygraph is only 96% accurate, there is always that 4% to worry about!
Regarding that 4%, they say that is not “inaccuracy percentage,” but is due to those persons on whose testimonies they cannot come to any conclusions at all. For instance, there are the Indians. They seem to be so stoic the graph just runs along with no quivers at all: “Full-blooded Indians defy all theories of emotional and galvanic response an which the polygraph is based.” Fry, if he had known this, could at least have claimed to be a “heap big Injun.”
Some of Fry’s group has written to J. Edgar Hoover and received his opinion on polygraphs, so they say. According to these informants Hoover wants nothing to do with these machines. Doesn’t want them around, even for only indicating lines of truth or falsehood.
The program affected the sale of Fry’s book somewhat, but in general most of the people watching the test were in sympathy with Fry, even those who knew nothing about him. Many felt the test had been unfair, that Fry’s nervous condition and general appearance of ill-health could have affected the test. But we quote from Joseph Whitney, consultant psychologist on the subject of polygraph tests: “Emotional excitement may change blood pressure, pulse, or breathing, but the pattern will hold the same flow on the detector’s recording graph. Even if you should be a suspect to a crime and in a state of nervous tension, you would not be handicapped. Your tension would show on the general level of the graph, but only the fluctuations in this level of responding to key questions, would indicate any degree of involvement.”
It would seem to us that if Fry didn’t have the saucer ride, or didn’t BELIEVE he had the ride, he would have found some way out of the test and avoided the program which generally builds its popularity on sensationalism. Fry’s story appears to be one of the many incredible narratives cropping up on the West Coast, which seem quite fantastic and unbelievable but almost convince you when you talk to the tellers of them and find them so gosh-darned convinced (apparently) they are actual experiences.
It is quite evident that SOMETHING funny is going on, either in the skies above or in human minds below. We have not gone into the actual book very thoroughly because you can read that for yourself and we felt the background would be more appropriate, considering the lie detector tests. The book contains a great deal of technical data imparted to Fry by the saucerians along with why they are on earth, when they’re going to land, and the like. If you are a saucerenthusiast, we think the book will be worth the low price asked.
One of the most interesting sidelights to come out of the Fry discussions concerns a Dr. William C. Conway, said to be the organizer and founder of The Greater Redondo Chamber of Commerce, of Redondo Beach, Calif. The saucer in which Fry took the ride, Dr. Conway stated, was operated by a remarkable power plant invented by a John C. Roberts, and inferred that the amazing invention takes energy from the air, then beams it “through the earth as an electro-magnetic beam, without wires or other visible type of transmitter, powering farm-tillage implements, tractors, mills, beats, etc., and the ‘Flying Saucers’ all operated by remote control.”
The modern conclusion by the American National Academy of Sciences on polygraph is that they “do not work, or, more charitably, are easily duped.” (Making windows on men’s souls, July 8th, 2004, The Economist)
Conclusion: The test occurred and the examiner came to a negative result but the polygraph is not reliable. If anybody has footage of the TV show, please let us know.