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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:25 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
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Bottom line; this is just more nonsense.

I think DrW's comment sums it up. And speaking of nonsense, is someone messing with Wikipedia or is the part I highlighted below factual?
Quote:
Books about Nibley[edit]
Sergeant Nibley, Ph.D.: Memories of an Unlikely Screaming Eagle. A memoir of Nibley's World War II experiences, published in the fall of 2006 by Deseret Book. It is bylined "Hugh Nibley and Alex Nibley," and reflects Nibley's experiences, written and redacted by his son Alex.


Well, it is a venerable Mormon tradition...the scribe must have gotten it wrong. :lol:

From what's emerging from Doc and DrW, I don't think the usual weaseling is going to work here. :wink: The board TBMs are strangely silent. I'm sure they're still occupied with festivities.

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Why is it that we have only ONE picture of Nibley which appears to be his Basic Training photo that all recruits have? Surely a MSG who helped write the INVADE MECUM teaching OFFICERS about WAR, having been on UTAH BEACH and a fighting position in HOLLAND would've managed a few more pictures?

WHERE ARE THE PICTURES ALEX NIBLEY?

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:53 pm 
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Just had a look at the preview of the Nibley book on the Amazon website.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004DNWM56/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

In the opening chapter "The Seeds of War", Nibley says the the story begins in the late 1920s with two zealous young preachers in southern Germany. He then compares himself to Hitler saying that they were both preachers in Germany who were in many ways alike and in some ways could not have been more different.

I kid you not.

The only German language passage I found in the preview excerpt was also nonsense. Nibley writes that the restroom where he claims to have probably run into Hitler was referred to in German as "Wozelbest der Kaiser muss" which he claims is German for, "The place even the Kaiser must go."

This one is also nonsense, but he could be trying to say,
"Wo selbst der Kaiser muss (gehen)."

Again, the word "Wozelbest" is not to be found in any German dictionary and any editor should have caught that.

From the little I have seen, I seriously doubt that the manuscript ever crossed the desk of a competent editor.
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my wife noted that the following constructions would also be correct.

"Wo selbst der Kaiser muss ".

"Wo selbst der Kaiser gehen muss ".

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Last edited by DrW on Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:56 pm 
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I am expecting Bot to weigh in anytime now with a claim to have met Nibley in a bathroom at BYU.

:surprised:

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:02 pm 
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Another tall tale from the book, "SGT Nibley's Amazin' Adventures: You Can't Make This S4it Up.":

https://hughnibleydotnet.wordpress.com/ ... is-heroic/

Forrest Nibley does it again!

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:05 pm 
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DrW wrote:
Just had a look at the preview of the Nibley book on the Amazon website.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004DNWM56/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

In the opening chapter "The Seeds of War", Nibley says the the story begins in the late 1920s with two zealous young preachers in southern Germany. He then compares himself to Hitler saying that they were both preachers in Germany who were in many ways alike and in some ways could not have been more different.

I kid you not.

The only German language passage I found in the preview excerpt was also nonsense. Nibley writes that the restroom where he claims to have probably run into Hitler was referred to in German as "Wozelbest der Kaiser muss" which he claims is German for, "The place even the Kaiser must go."

This one is also nonsense, but he could be trying to say,
"Wo selbst der Kaiser muss (gehen)."

Again, the word "Wozelbest" is not to be found in any German dictionary and any editor should have caught that.

From the little I have seen, I seriously doubt that the manuscript ever crossed the desk of a competent editor.


But-but-but Nibley was a master linguist-- :eek: :eek: :eek:

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:09 pm 
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Oh. Mystery solved. They promoted Forrest Nibley to Master Sergeant while still in training!

https://hughnibleydotnet.wordpress.com/ ... mbus-mood/

Quote:
Camp Ritchie, Oct. 29, and 1943

Dear Mother,

This day ends a strange and eventful furlough. After a couple of days among the Amish in the Pennsylvania Dutch country (the autumn colors were incredibly brilliant) I ended up in New York where a whirlwind courtship culminated in a flat refusal. Hence in a cumulo-nimbus mood to Washington…

I have been made a Master Sergeant and in the great press of affairs take the liberty to saddle you with all my financial affairs on this continent. That means you will receive an allotment of $100 a month plus a war-bond. Such a sum would only embarrass me in the field — as it is I will get $40 a month — and you might find use for it. The enclosed bond was picked up during a drive. I will let you know what and when I can.

It is unbelievable how many people there are in New York with nothing to do but look for something to do. No artist is so bad, no art so bizarre, that it will not command an instantaneous and eager audience. Everyone seems waiting and hoping that something good will show up. This situation is vigorously exploited by the most pitifully ill-equipped performers in every field. They fool nobody, of course, but get by simply on the vast and restless reserve-pool of first-nighters. Perhaps I have not seen enough but to me it appears next to impossible for a good artist to go unnoticed for 36 hours in N.Y. Reid should give it a try — just for the fun of it. A horrible city, but big and lavish. I must rush off now.

Love,

Hugh

Editor’s note from Alex Nibley:

This letter was written shortly before HN shipped overseas from Camp Richie, which was the training facility for Military Intelligence during World War II. The incident HN refers to as the “whirlwind courtship [which] culminated in a flat refusal” was when he proposed to one Anahid Iskian, something he mentioned in other letters he was planning to do. (Hasty marriages as men were about to ship out were common at the time.)

After I wrote Sergeant Nibley Ph.D.: Memories of an Unlikely Screaming Eagle, I heard the other side of the story. The friend who had introduced Hugh to Anahid read Sergeant Nibley Ph.D. told me that after reading about it she had asked Anahid about the incident. Anahid had no recollection that Hugh had made her any offer at all. Apparently whatever proposal he had made was subtle enough or abstruse enough that its target failed to know that it even happened, and Anahid Iskian never married.

This was Hugh’s second attempt at getting married, the first time actually resulting in an engagement in 1941 to a Prussian modern dancer with Nazi sympathies, who also never married.

AN


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:07 am 
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After the debunking of these Nibley stories in the last several posts, I'm beginning to think the Wiki entry stating Nibley's book "reflects Nibley's experiences, written and redacted by his son Alex," is not an error after all!


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:13 am 
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I haven't read this book, but I have read the Nibley biography and almost everything Hugh Nibley wrote (everything before about 2005).

The biography really did make Hugh Nibley look like a Forrest Gump character. It's not only the WWII stuff but also his experiences teaching at Claremont in California before the war, where he knew the wife of James Breasted (a notable and influential Egyptologist who had died after a career at the University of Chicago), went to parties where he met literary figures like Thomas Mann and scientists like Albert Einstein (they were indeed recent emigres and visited California, so it's not impossible). He also knew Robert Redford (but a photograph proves that they met once). None of this is impossible, but I couldn't help wondering why any of it was relevant in the biography of a person who, according to the biography, was a model of Christian humility. The stories of rubbing shoulders with famous people seemed to serve as a contrast to his humility because he supposedly didn't care that he was rubbing shoulders with famous people—then why did he tell his biographer that he used to rub shoulders with famous people? You usually don't advertise the things you don't care about.

My view when I read it was that he imagined his life like he constructed his scholarship: a lot of exaggeration (like his arguments) and name-dropping (like his footnotes). At the very least, this was a person who was born wealthy and well-connected to cultural, business, and political elite—and of course to the elite hierarchy of Mormonism—so he probably always viewed his interactions through that lens. Thus, his one lunch with a Sather Lecturer at Berkeley (Werner Jaeger) when Nibley was a graduate student there is portrayed in the biography as if it were a ritual in an ongoing friendship (unlikely, but not impossible). Anything he did, no matter how trivial, was given a larger-than-life quality in the biography if it had a connection to something great, no matter how thin the connection.

One of the refrains in the biography was the humility of Hugh Nibley, yet in the way his social life was portrayed (and in letters and interviews quoted), I couldn't help but see a concern with social status. The protests of humility were too frequent and too loud to take at face value, and I think they hid a deep but insecure pride that you see reflected, for example, in the constant use of adjectives to describe his teachers: a relatively obscure scholar like William Popper was "the great Semiticist," for example (I saw this phrase used a few times so I looked this guy up and discovered that he had studied under some truly great scholars like Nöldeke and was important for building up the program at Berkeley and had some important publications, but he wasn't James Breasted-level). This is just speculation, but it sure explains a lot about his personality cult (see below). He was born wealthy and connected to elites, but his family lost everything in the depression, so the first third of his life saw the decline of status and privilege.

I think there is a clear difference from Paul Dunn, though. Nibley never did traffic in WWII stories. It's not just that his scholarship had nothing to do with WWII; even his voluminous social criticism contains a great deal of anti-war material without ever mentioning any WWII service. I remember a letter he wrote protesting the Vietnam War that was published in one of the volumes (The Ancient State?), and there was nothing about WWII service, which one would expect to be invoked if you wanted to persuade a conservative campus like BYU that you weren't a commie because you were against the war in Vietnam. I had read probably ten volumes of the collected works before the biography, and the WWII stories there were new to me. The only reference to WWII I can remember was an introduction to one of the Book of Mormon volumes, which was written by someone else, and it wasn't about Nibley's heroism (real or imagined) but about how his war experiences put the importance of the Book of Mormon in focus for him. Unlike Dunn, this wasn't his main shtick or even something that he talked about when he was publicly active.

On the other hand, there is no doubt in my mind that Nibley allowed a personality cult to develop in his later life. Acolytes had been exaggerating a great deal about Nibley (his influence, the quality of his scholarship, his intellectual attainments) that he did little to quell; it created a subculture that certainly didn't encourage accuracy for someone already prone to exaggeration. That culture of exaggeration thrives even now at certain obscure places on the internet where Mormons things are interpreted.

Dr W has certainly shot some holes (sorry, pun-haters) through the stories in this book, but is there any doubt that he was at Utah Beach? If not, do we give a dead guy who lived through a hellish experience some leeway for exaggerating his exploits in his 80s or 90s to one of his kids? Or is this a case where a family member is profiting from the personality cult? I guess what I'm suggesting is that maybe this is a little less obvious than an old man simply inventing war stories for personal gain, and I certainly don't see how it directly implicates Mormonism. In any event, this description of Alex Nibley's "redaction" comports well with the work of the other two Nibleys I've read (Hugh and Martha): great story tellers whose stories are interesting and occasionally beautiful but rarely true.

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:47 am 
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Symmachus,

I think what you're picking up on is a man who exagerrated nearly every aspect of his life, both personal and professional. Whatever his motivation may have been, the facts of the matter is these stories, as they relate to his military service, are utterly ridiculous.

I will be reading the book, so maybe my opinion may change, but I find it incredibly odd that the only two pictures that exist of Hugh Nibley in this context is the one I posted on this thread and his book cover (even that's debatable because there's no telling if the man on the cover is Hugh Nibley, since he looks older and thicker than the boyish looking man in the Basic Training photo). This is especially odd since he supposedly worked for Military Intelligence, where he would've had a bevy of cameras available and most assuredly would've taken dozens of photos of himself doing all sorts of things.

Additionally, in all these fortuitous or asinine stories he relates, why aren't any names shared outside of name-dropping the most famous or powerful? Did he worry that by dropping names of real people his bull ____ would be outed, that he would be verified as an average Schmo? Did he worry that real people who knew him would verify that he wasn't who he said he was?

Look, I'm getting the feeling this dude was a conman. He may've been bright, but he's really giving off that Petersonian vibe of being clever enough to cobble together some bull ____, name drop, elevate his status through implication or travel, but when the rubber meets the road he comes off as an average academic at best. He, like Peterson, appears to have created a protective layer of other academics who have created a turf at BYU and worked in concert to create a sort of mythos around someone who clearly doesn't deserve the following.

I've read through enough of Nibley's stuff to know it's garbage. He had a talent for creating wordy, headache-inducing, crossword puzzle writing, but that doesn't mean it was good, and just because reading anything he wrote was like trudging through quicksand it doesn't mean it was insightful. It was just voluminous. It's name-dropping Gish Gallop in print.

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:55 am 
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You guys are just jealous because he was so great. He and Uctdork who single handedly rescured a planeload of Hostages are true Priesthood heroes whose Faith enabled them to do superHuman things in service to their fellow man.

With God, nothing is impossible. With these guys, nothing makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:14 am 
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Update: Request has been mailed to the National Personnel Resource Center in St. Louis, MO.

So, I have two requests submitted in case you're following this. I usually don't care about stolen valor types, but this assed me out. Maybe it's the hubris. Maybe that he got away with it for so many years. Maybe because I'm a retired Master Sergeant who served in Military Intelligence. I don't know. We'll see!

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:37 am 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Update: Request has been mailed to the National Personnel Resource Center in St. Louis, MO.

So, I have two requests submitted in case you're following this. I usually don't care about stolen valor types, but this assed me out. Maybe it's the hubris. Maybe that he got away with it for so many years. Maybe because I'm a retired Master Sergeant who served in Military Intelligence. I don't know. We'll see!

- Doc


What do you suppose is the turnaround time on that? Just for general purposes, I've got a thing to file that will also go through St. Louis, predicted turnaround time on that is 3-6 months.

So this could take a while...

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:53 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
What do you suppose is the turnaround time on that? Just for general purposes, I've got a thing to file that will also go through St. Louis, predicted turnaround time on that is 3-6 months.

So this could take a while...


From the e-vets link I posted earlier:

Quote:
Response Time:

Response time for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) varies and is dependent upon the complexity of your request, the availability of records and our workload. Please do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed, as it may cause further delays. While the NPRC works actively to respond to each request in a timely fashion, the Center receives approximately 4,000 - 5,000 requests per day. We are responding to requests for separation documents within 10 days about 92% of the time. However, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 Fire, or older records which require extensive search efforts, may take 6 months or more to complete.


This sounds about right, tbh. I'll be sure to post whatever I get, even if they tell me to pound sand.

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:10 pm 
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Here's another Nibleyian faux pas:

https://sites.lib.BYU.edu/nibley/journal/

Quote:
December 17, 1997. I was just in the Ancient Studies office to check with Kent Brown concerning the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. Before I could leave Pat was telling us that yesterday Hugh Nibley told her it was the anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He also told her that as intelligence officer in Order of Battle it was his business to find out what direction the German army was coming. He told the commander what he thought the Germans would do, but the commander would not listen and the American troops were not moved. Consequently, the Germans came straight south in a concentrated counter-offensive, wiping out many of the American troops in this famous battle. The next day the commander told Nibley he had been right. Of course this incident didn’t get into the history books: it was just one more mistake in that war.


There is no such thing as an "intelligence officer in Order of Battle" in the Army. That's literally a nonsense phrase, and I've seen it stated a few times while Googling MSG Nibs.

The order of battle, or in his case, the 'threat order of battle' is simply the S2 or Intel section taking field reports, possible strategic reports, of enemy units on the battlefield, templating them, and the the S2, or Intel OFFICER, would brief the Commander, make recommendations (courses of actions), and then the Commander does his thing.

Enlisted people occasionally brief the Commander, but it'd be highly unusual that a "Master Sergeant" fresh out of training would be briefing a battle commander upon which the Commander would base a decision. Highly. Unusual.

As an aside, a Master Sergeant during the WWII era was basically the highest enlisted rank you could achieve (or First Sausage). They'd most likely do the job Sergeants Major do these day which is more administrative in nature, not tactical.

Also from the same link:

Quote:
Nibley probably learned code language in the Army


No. Well. Unless he miraculously was a Navajo Code Talker, too. This is just an absurd claim for what he was purportedly doing whether it was lone wolfing it out "mapping" enemy lines, or teaching Army Officers about "war" because God knows what front line Officers need to do is be taught by a Master Sergeant about ancient war before they set off to engage the Germans in battle.

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:24 pm 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
What do you suppose is the turnaround time on that? Just for general purposes, I've got a thing to file that will also go through St. Louis, predicted turnaround time on that is 3-6 months.

So this could take a while...


From the e-vets link I posted earlier:

Quote:
Response Time:

Response time for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) varies and is dependent upon the complexity of your request, the availability of records and our workload. Please do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed, as it may cause further delays. While the NPRC works actively to respond to each request in a timely fashion, the Center receives approximately 4,000 - 5,000 requests per day. We are responding to requests for separation documents within 10 days about 92% of the time. However, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 Fire, or older records which require extensive search efforts, may take 6 months or more to complete.


This sounds about right, tbh. I'll be sure to post whatever I get, even if they tell me to pound sand.

- Doc


My file came in 2 parts- a brief one then I paid for every piece of paper they had- very comprehensive. by the way as u know the dd214 discharge will list campaigns and medals. Mine took about 4 months to get to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:33 pm 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Here's another Nibleyian faux pas:

https://sites.lib.BYU.edu/nibley/journal/

Quote:
December 17, 1997. I was just in the Ancient Studies office to check with Kent Brown concerning the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. Before I could leave Pat was telling us that yesterday Hugh Nibley told her it was the anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He also told her that as intelligence officer in Order of Battle it was his business to find out what direction the German army was coming. He told the commander what he thought the Germans would do, but the commander would not listen and the American troops were not moved. Consequently, the Germans came straight south in a concentrated counter-offensive, wiping out many of the American troops in this famous battle. The next day the commander told Nibley he had been right. Of course this incident didn’t get into the history books: it was just one more mistake in that war.


There is no such thing as an "intelligence officer in Order of Battle" in the Army. That's literally a nonsense phrase, and I've seen it stated a few times while Googling MSG Nibs.

The order of battle, or in his case, the 'threat order of battle' is simply the S2 or Intel section taking field reports, possible strategic reports, of enemy units on the battlefield, templating them, and the the S2, or Intel OFFICER, would brief the Commander, make recommendations (courses of actions), and then the Commander does his thing.

Enlisted people occasionally brief the Commander, but it'd be highly unusual that a "Master Sergeant" fresh out of training would be briefing a battle commander upon which the Commander would base a decision. Highly. Unusual.

As an aside, a Master Sergeant during the WWII era was basically the highest enlisted rank you could achieve (or First Sausage). They'd most likely do the job Sergeants Major do these day which is more administrative in nature, not tactical.

Also from the same link:

Quote:
Nibley probably learned code language in the Army


No. Well. Unless he miraculously was a Navajo Code Talker, too. This is just an absurd claim for what he was purportedly doing whether it was lone wolfing it out "mapping" enemy lines, or teaching Army Officers about "war" because God knows what front line Officers need to do is be taught by a Master Sergeant about ancient war before they set off to engage the Germans in battle.

- Doc
This may be quibbling, but the Battle of the Bulge started on December 16th and the Germans initially went west not south. As you point out, the rest of his story is nonsense.


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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:48 pm 
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No one attacks fishermen for their stories. It's not like Brother Nibley set out to replicate Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. Just be glad he did not include an iron seated glider load of footnotes.

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Doc,

Perhaps you or Kairos could enlighten an old sea-going bellhop.

I have never, ever, heard of an enlisted person emerging from induction or basic training (civilian to military) as an MSG, or even an E-5.

Those extra stripes and chevrons worn by top senior enlisted are what junior enlisted and junior officers look for when they need an experienced and hopefully battle hardened leader to get everyone through the tight spots. And HN was far from experienced or battle hardened.

It is my understanding that US Army had a Warrant Officer program in WWII. Why would a 30 + y.o. expert with a Ph.D. and linguistics skills not be attached to the Army as a W- 1 / WO-1?

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Dr. W,

Under the Army Civilian Acquired Skills Program you can come into the Army and be promoted to E-4 when you complete some mandatory trainjng, and in some cases, to E-5 with the CDR's approval (depending how your contract is written).

Aside from the fact that I served most of my career in Army Counterintelligence (I initially came in as an Electronic Warfare Equipment Operator, but moved over to CI) and thus read, studied, and became thoroughly educated in its history where, had a Ph.D. guy came in and became part of the CIC, AND been promoted to MSG right out of training, that would've made him such a legend everyone in CI would've known about him... ESPECIALLY if this legendary CI guy had done what Nibs did. He would've been immortalized here:

https://m.Facebook.com/IntelLibrary/

Never heard of the guy outside of Mormonism.

eta: I should add I'll be attempting to conact the US Intelligence and Security Command's MI History historian to see if we can't get any clarification on MSG Nibley's service.

eta2: I'm going to give the US Army's Intel Center's historian a call, too.

- Doc


Last edited by Doctor CamNC4Me on Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sgt Nibley-another Paul Dunn?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:43 pm 
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WWII may have been different but only battlefield service could see a soldier make e8 jumping a grade or two. Sometimes an e5 sgt might be commissioned to 2lt-usually heroism was involved. For Nibley to advance in a stateside training environment to master sgt in a couple of years puzzles me. If he had had some technical test to pass
to get promoted I could see it happening but that was not usually the requirement. by the way he apparently applied for officer status he states in the book, but it did not come through. Also supposedly he was a master sergeant so I don't understand him being in a pup tent- officers and senior nco's had it better than that usually.


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