I've known Ron well over 15 years but I think less than 20. At the height of the Blue Arizona research and flame wars were were on the phone at least an hour every other night comparing notes, what we had found, where to look next, etc. I have talked with him quite a bit.
The best I've heard it put is that Ron does not suffer fools lightly. He has worked in precise, intense fields and is used to precise language. He is also a firm believer in "respect is a two-way street." It's amazing what "please" and "thank you" will get you and how few people will give you an honest version of either.
"Logic is a method of making the wrong decision with confidence" and there are many people here who have thought "logically, this is the right conclusion" but they lack critical understandings of aspects of film, records, procedures, color in general, etc., and quite happily come to the wrong conclusion with confidence.
Ron alluded to but didn't mention names of a few individuals that demanded free copies of his research when news went public the the new model of Arizona at the memorial was 5-S Sea Blue and that he was largely responsible for the research that had lead for Don Pruel and David Martinez (the NPS Ranger in charge of contracting out for the model, etc.) to choose 5-S over 5-D.
When offered the chance to obtain said research at a fee representative of his time and effort, those participants in this forum balked and back out and continued insulting anyone and anything associated with the "Blue Crew." They largely chased him out of these forums and the hobby for a decade. Burn out is a real thing.
Ron didn't 'get to' Don as Jeff accused. He didn't charge any of us for his research - he sent me copies of some of his paper reproductions and a lot of his pull slips from archives for free because he was moving, downsizing, burned out on the subject and not interested in keeping it, and because I said "yes, please" when he asked if I was interested.
If you want your hand held Ron is not the friend for you. If you want a literal straight shooter who will treat you with the respect that you offer but is to the point and will challenge you, he is a great person to have the opportunity to spend time with.
I firmly believe that if Jeff and others had simply given him the time and ability to explain the points he was making instead of immediately jumping to "your statement is wrong and you are wrong," that we'd all be better off. But it could be argued that his blunt answers at times will turn people off and cause them to not be receptive to that and "respond in kind."
Jeff has put in a large amount of time researching the ships in the form of crappy video posted from Critical Past and I'd love to get him to archives and turn him loose on actual archival video and see what he could do. I don't agree with all of his conclusions but he's changed my mind on a couple and I respect what he's been able to do with what he's had access to. I'd like to get everyone to NARA, to be honest, so everyone understands what "we" can and cannot do.
To recapp, some of the accusations about Ron and the past were wrong and he should drop them in the future. But I, for one, am not saying he should shut up (there's a difference between "take a couple of days to step back and reflect" and "shut up). There is only one person that I still have big beef with and it's because he accused me of intentionally lying to deceive other builders, but I'd still work with him to try and help him research and maybe come to a better understanding.