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Howard Dimsdale

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Howard Dimsdale was a newspaper staff writer. (The X-Files Movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe)

In 1998, he wrote an article that was published with the headline, "Fatal Hanta Virus Outbreak in Northern Texas Contained", on page twenty-four of a newspaper. Special Agent Fox Mulder read the article but was aware that the story was actually a cover for an alien virus and that the article made no mention of himself nor of his FBI partner, Agent Dana Scully, both of whom had recently investigated the alien virus. Alone with Scully, Mulder referred to Dimsdale's article as "an interesting work of fiction." (The X-Files Movie)

Howard Dimsdale was also credited as a staff writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, on an article he wrote that was headlined, "Princeton closes ESP lab after 40 years of paranormal study." In 2008, Mulder cut this article out of the newspaper and pinned it to a wall of his home office. (The X-Files: I Want to Believe)

In reality, Howard Dimsdale was actually a talented screenwriter victimized by the vicious anti-Communist blacklist of the 1950s. Unable to obtain writing assignments after the witch hunts began, he worked for several years in exile in Europe. From 1956 until 1974, he frequently wrote Hollywood movies and episodes of television series in secret, under the pseudonym Arthur Dales. He eventually became a respected writing teacher and mentor at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where, in 1990 and 1991, two of his students, and admirers, were Frank Spotnitz and John Shiban, both of whom would later work extensively on The X-Files. Howard Dimsdale died in August, 1991.
His name not only appears as a byline on the two newspaper articles mentioned above, but was also the inspiration for the naming of the character Mr. Dimsdale in TLG: "Diagnosis: Jimmy". Similarly, Howard Dimsdale's pseudonym inspired the naming of two characters with the moniker Arthur Dales - a retired agent who worked on the X-files in the 1950s and appears in TXF: "Travelers" and "Agua Mala", as well as the character's brother, who features in TXF: "The Unnatural" and, in that episode, claims that their entire family, including their sister and a goldfish, were also named Arthur Dales.

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