You don't have the knowledge or skill required to think critically about Frank Close's work. Actually, neither do I. He knows far more about neutrinos than you or I. I could read his papers, I probably have more access to the math than he does. But even I need to take his word for it unless I choose to go back to school and get the specific knowledge in the fields of the Particle Physics.
You have to accept that the masses of neutrons and protons are measured accurately and that the discrepancy between them can be explained by a small, neutral particle. Fermi wasn't doing anything besides positing the idea that there could be such a thing as a small neutral particle to explain that discrepancy, but it just so happens that experimentalists later proved him right by experiment/observation.
Read the book and see for yourself what it says. It says they built what basically amounts to a large chlorine swimming pool deep underground where it wouldn't be subject to interference from above-ground noise. Then they looked for blue flashes of light that indicated the neutrinos were colliding with neutrons in the chlorine nuclei causing them to decay into argon. Indeed, you have to accept the math that equates the blue flash with the amount of energy predicted to emit from the collision. Nevertheless, the basic math and physics of particle collision is understandable to someone with basic high school science, provided they care enough to really think seriously about what they learned in class.
I have done experiments in Physics. I have read papers. I have written papers. If you can't do the math, you can't understand the experiment. It is not even a question.
You are just obsessed with putting yourself above other people and insisting they can't understand anything without doing everything you had to do to get your degree. You're just biased by your own status-attainment efforts.
It would be foolish for you to question his work, when you don't even have the knowledge to properly understand it.
I would like to be the next starting Quarterback for the Patriots... what do you think?
No, that would be different.
Questioning can and should be done. Regarding neutrinos, you could just question whether something else could explain the blue flashes attributed to chlorine-argon decay. Or you could question whether the chlorine wouldn't just spontaneously decay to argon without the neutrinos hitting them. Probably such questions can be resolved by information in the book about the experiments, i.e. that they could somehow predict the natural probability of chlorine-argon decay in the absence of neutrino collision, etc.
Anyway, the point is that it is not impossible to think actively and critically about things you read, whether they are news stories or scientific explanations. The important thing is to be intellectually honest and not get too attached to the point you avoid or deny relevant information/critique.
The only critique you could give me that I wouldn't give consideration to is that I as a whole are wrong, or an idiot, etc. because that wouldn't be something fixable. If you tell me I need to read up on some aspect of quantum mechanics to better understand the chlorine-argon decay process, I could do that and patch the gap in my knowledge; but if you tell me I can't fix stupid, that would just discourage me from doing further research and analysis and that would be a waste of my time/energy.