It seems my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, has captured the attention of at least one polygraph loyalist inside the U.S. Army. Early this afternoon, someone using the author name, “Keith,” visited the About Bob tab at BobMcCarty.com and left a comment which appears below unedited:
You cleary know alot about various “lie detectors” and this voice stress option really facinates me. Could you by any chance provide me with any cites in the scientific literature for peer reviewed, replicated studies on the accuracy of voice stress? I have found tons of peer reviewed material on polygraph (both pro and con), but I was unable to locate anything peer reviewed and replicated on voice stress.
By using the phrase, lie detector, and trying — while spelling it wrong — to use the word, fascinates, Keith came across as just another ordinary guy feigning interest in the subject matter at hand, right? Not exactly. Something I saw on my WordPress dashboard (i.e., the place where I moderate comments left by readers) told me more about Keith than he might have intended for me to know.
Next to his author name (see graphic below) and to the right of the IP address was the website URL, reverse.ncca.mil, through which his communications with my website had passed [FYI: I blacked out Keith's email address.].
By simply eyeballing the URL, I recognized NCCA.mil as the website of the National Center for Credibility Assessment. Located at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., NCCA is the Department of Defense’s lead agency for all things polygraph and has been — under several different names — for six decades. None of the professionals working at NCCA would use “lie detector” in place of polygraph. After all, polygraph detects deception, not lies — or so they claim.
In response to Keith’s initial comment, and while knowing about his unmentioned affiliation with NCCA, I offered the kind of reply anyone should expect from an author in my shoes:
Read my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. Nearly everything you ever wanted to know on the subject is in the book if, that is, you’re really searching for truth.
And our conversation continued:
KEITH: Thanks Bob, I saw the book listed on Amazon. That is what led me to your site. On contraversal subjects I try to look at the science when I can. If the scientific citations I am looking for are in there, that would be fantastic.
BOB: Yes, it’s all in there, Keith. I hope you and your colleagues at the National Center for Credibility Assessment — yes, it shows up when you leave a comment — learn from it.
KEITH: No problem, Bob. BTW, I am going to buy the book and if you don’t mind, will probably donate it to the NCCA library once I am done with it…
BOB: Sounds good, Keith.
BOB: By the way, is your name Keith Gaines and do you still serve as a polygraph instructor at NCCA?
KEITH: Yes, I am still an instructor here. I have also done a bit of research, to include research into areas other then traditional polygraph testing. I have a strong interest in all areas of credibility assessment. The vehicle for getting there is not important if I can see it works.
Bob, I have looked at quite a bit of the literature on voice stress and I just can’t find anything that meets what is considered traditional replicated scientific tests for accuracy, reliability, etc for voice stress. I agree polygraph is contraversal (okay, an understatement), but at least there exists a fairly significant body of research. Look, I’m not attacking here, I’m just making an observation.
I did buy your book BTW, and I will read it, promise.
I wondered how long it would take before folks like Keith showed up on one of the virtual doorstep of one of my websites. Hopefully, he and others at NCCA will read THE CLAPPER MEMO, comprehend its content, and take steps to do what’s best for our men and women in uniform — especially those facing the threat of “Green-on-Blue” attacks in Afghanistan.
NOTE TO KEITH: Keith, controversial is spelled c-o-n-t-r-o-v-e-r-s-i-a-l.