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Re: Ray Stanford, Claimed Alien Contacts, and Credentialing Issues (Part 2 of...

<rest deleted due to the inflammatory nature of the post>

> Surely, to the extent that Stanford's paleontological findings are judged to
>  be
>  scientifically valuable, he should be given due credit.  But the experts
>  award paleontological accolades should be explicit in expressing the
>  purview
>  of any scientific tributes they bestow on Stanford.  Otherwise, they may
>  inadvertently
>  produce "credentialing" that could --  with or without any hypothetical
>  attempts by
>  Stanford to exploit such newfound scientific respectability -- enhance (at
>  least in some eyes) the credibility of his extraordinary claims regarding
>  matters far removed from paleontology.

Well, I am glad to see that other list members have spoken up on Ray's behalf
and that Mary has taken appropriate measures to quash the originator of the
My purpose is not to fan any flames but cast my vote of support for Ray's
_ichnological_ contribution.

As one who has gotten to know Ray personally and to become friends with him;
Let it be said, that if it were not for Ray's gift of seeing things from
another perspective, there would not likely be any new tracks of any kind
known from the Potomac Group of Maryland. In fact, as many of you know, the
fauna of the Potomac (Arundel Clay) are hard enough to come by. Ray's Texan
perspective (viz a viz his Paluxy experience) enabled him to use this
perspective to look in the streams of his new home (Maryland) and quite
luckily stumbled upon an ichnological treasure trove! I have seen these finds
on several occasions at Ray's invitation as have Tom Holtz, Greg Paul, Dave
Weishampel and many others. Ray has also graciously taken some of us to one of
his sites to see the geologic context of the tracks for ourselves where both
Dave and myself found tracks on our own! At that same time, we also were able
to collect pollen samples which may help elucidate the stratigraphic age of
the units of the Potomac Fm and to date the tracks. The results from these
visits have been an enormous help to me personally and to paleontology in
general. Ray has also supported my work, including a second sample collection
by me very recently, whereby I hope to apply stable isotopes to the problem of
correlating the three main units of the Potomac Group within the group and
with contemporaneous Early Cretaceous rocks elsewhere in the country.
Similarly, since Ray has devoted as much time to his "tracking" as I have to
the Arundel dinos (about a DECADE), this makes Ray, THE EXPERT WITH REGARD TO

This of course has no bearing on any of Ray's other interests or beliefs. And
while I do not share in many of these "other interests and/or  beliefs" but I
do not let it detract from our friendship and rapport the fact that Ray is, 1)
Not a fraud WRT Potomac ichnology, 2) wants to see good science done WRT these
tracks, 3) is very open to those who are interested in these tracks, and 4) is
a very nice, outgoing person in general!

We all have our flaws and belief systems. I'll wager there are persons on this
list who may hold other "out of the mainstream" views that Ms Sharpei does not
like. But that's too bad they are entitled to those views as is Ray. I do not
know what motive prompted this person to flame Ray but I suspect it is
personal and it should have been taken off list. 

Ray has literally, single-handedly, brought to light an entirely unknown
dimension of Arundel paleontology to the forefront and quite possibly ranks
with the first discovery of dinosaur fossils in this region over 130 years

Thanks Ray!


Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies