Friday, November 21, 2008

Seriously, Don't Be So Damn Serious. Seriously.

Lesley has a great Grey Matters column this week at Binnall of America. “Seriously” addresses the stuffed shirts of UFOlogy; those who think having fun are doing a disservice to UFOlogy. (Just what is "UFOlogy" anyway?)

There are some who just won’t ever get it; that the exploration of the UFO phenomena is for everyone, no one gets to decide who can, and who cannot, join in the UFO mystery chase.

The UFO phenomena is certainly a grassroots, folklore (of the folk type entity) phenomena: while it’s necessary to have all sorts involved, including scientists and nuts and bolts field researchers, etc. to believe that this is the only valid approach is nonsense.

What inspired Lesley to write her column were the recent comments on UFO Updates about the use of the word “Festival” in context of UFO conferences:
Recently on UFO Updates there was a little discussion about the term "UFO Festival." Certain people don't like the word "festival" to be associated with UFOs, the feeling being that this would somehow keep people from taking the subject seriously. They may have been kidding, but there are people who feel that way
The UFO phenomena has always been, at least in modern times, subversive to mainstream society. Its very nature is a huge “bleeeeeeeeech!” in the face of institutions, religions, academia, politics, the media. Dressing up in suits, chiding others for not behaving properly or insisting there be some Official UFO Police are ways to cause divisions, not achieve answers. (at least some of the answers anyway.) Of course, many who advocate for suits and ties, somber tones, UFO Guilds and a UFO etiquette would like this very much. Get rid of the embarrassing riff raff and they can carry on, being coddled and taken seriously (uh huh) by the very institutions that ignore -- and worse -- their UFO quest.

Lesley points out something that I don’t think is pointed out enough; that a lot of people (“the folk”) take UFOs pretty seriously:
I would say that 9 out of 10 people I meet have some belief in ETs or some other intelligence that is not what we would term as a human or Earthling and that may be flying around in the skies. You might not find them posting about it on the Internet or attending a festival or conference, but that doesn't mean that they don't take it seriously or don't believe something strange is going on. Most of them just don't have much extra time to devote to the subject.

The mainstream media may still have a ways to go, certainly academia, politics and science do, but the people are interested. They’re the ones with the experiences (I should say, we’re the ones with experiences; I include myself in that category.)

The purpose of a festival is to have fun of course, but it always serves a cultural need, including one that subverts the mundane. Lesley writes:
By the way, "festival" is a proper term for something like Roswell's annual event. You can call it whatever you want, but it is still a festival. It brings together all kinds of people and all ages and they hopefully have some fun as well as learn a few things. I see nothing at all wrong with that. Frankly, stuffy conferences mostly only attract those that already believe and the people there might take it all very seriously, but I don't see it convincing anyone else that Ufology should be taken seriously.

I hope UFO researcher and author Richard Dolan doesn’t mind my saying this, but both he and Karyn Dolan agreed that the Oregon, McMinnville UFO Festival last May was great. (Richard was the main speaker.) They enjoyed themselves very much, found it relaxing, and yes, fun. This from one of the most serious of UFO researchers when it comes to the work he does.

Speaking for myself, I am very serious about UFOs. This is something I’ve been experiencing my entire life. I have lots of questions about things I’ve experienced. Don’t you think that makes me extremely “serious” -- damn serious -- about this stuff? One way to be “serious” is to maintain personal integrity, and be yourself. If you have a sense of humor, can’t abide suits or pantyhose, or think, like Lesley does, that The Weekly World News is sometimes funny, because that’s who you are, you’d be a liar if you pretended otherwise. Which means you no longer have integrity, and in that case you would’ t be “serious.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On UFO Digest: "A Little Experiment: Pendulums, Aliens and Telepathy

I have an article up at UFO Digest on my personal experience with UFOs and aliens: A Little Experiment: Pendulums, Telepathy and Aliens
Three different times I’ve had the eerie experience of knowing that “they” were in the room with us. Who “they” are, I’m not sure, but a few things I just know to be true are: “they” are related to UFOs, “they” are not human, and yet have a connection to us, and “they” are very much aware of us; far more than we are of them

You might be wondering what Popyeye and Jeep have to do with anything; well, read it and you'll find out!

On UFO Digest: NASA ScO Observed a TALL ET

NASA ScO Observed a TALL ET In the Space Shuttle (1991) by by Clark C. McClelland (ScO)Space Craft Operator
Space Shuttle Fleet, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
I, Clark C. McClelland, former ScO, (Spacecraft Operator) Space Shuttle Fleet, personally observed an 8 to 9-foot tall ET on a LCD 27-inch video monitors while on duty in the Kennedy Space Center, Launch Control Center (LCC).

The ET was standing upright in the Space Shuttle Payload Bay having a discussion with two (2) tethered US NASA Astronauts!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dateline NBC Wants YOU!

If you've seen a UFO, NBC Dateline wants to know. Looks like they want video, not just stories. You can go here to find out more.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

UFO Hunters: "Ditch Diggers?"

Frank Warren reviews UFO Hunters on his blog (UFO Hunters: For Better or Worse) He didn't like the program last season, and he doesn't like it this season, giving it a mark of "C" which is an improvement, he says, over last season.

Warren's entitled to his opinions, of course, as we all are. It's a bit of synchronicity that this review appeared on Warren's blog, because last night I started my own review of UFO Hunters (unfinished) tilted "UFO Hunters: And I'm Not Just Saying That Because . . ." -- meaning, because I write a monthly column for UFO Magazine (Bill Birnes of UFO Hunters is the publisher) I'm not "just saying that" UFO Hunters is a good show; I really do think that, and in fact, think this season is the best yet.

Warren has several reasons why he doesn't think much of UFO Hunters, and while I disagree with him on those, it's his right to think what he does, though I disagree for various reasons that I might address in some other post.

What got me was the following comment by Warren:
One thing that remains this season, which some may accuse me of being too cavil, is the slipshod appearance of the investigators; Ufology in general has an “uphill battle” in regards to being taken seriously, not only with mainstream science, but the media and public in general. “Blue jeans, tee shirts and ball caps” are what a ditch digger “appropriately” wears to work, not an investigative team whose hallmark claims to be “scientific, analytical research” to uncover the mysteries of the UFO phenomenon.

While it bugs me that so many people dress like slobs, at least out here in the west , I'm all for dressing uniquely and in your own style, and thrift store shoppping is both a joy and an art. You don't want to appear unkept, or dirty, but wearing a baseball cap or wool hat per se doesn't make you a slob or give off an air of ineptness.

But let's be pragmatic. The UFO Hunters team do not look like slobs or "ditch diggers" and they're dressed for the occasion: usually cold weather, and having to tramp around in mud, rain, the woods, etc. Does one seriously expect them to wear a suit and tie? Or far worse, a polo shirt? Do we expect investigators to be dressed like geeky golfers or suits when they show up to reenact a sighting at night in the middle of a cow pasture?

There's also this point to be considered: going into rural areas, or even anywhere, really, dressed like an insurance salesman, will often just put people off. If you appear on someone's doorstep dressed in a suit and tie to take someone's UFO report, you're sending the message you're better than they are, you're removed from the situation, and you have a false air of officialdom that a lot of people don't like. That kind of stuffed shirt, faux authoritism discourages trust, not encourages it.

(Personally, I always find myself laughing inwardly a little bit at anyone who wears a suit and tie, unless they're Keith Olbermann.)

I like that the UFO Hunters team dress like average people, and appropriately for occasion, which is walking around often muddy fields, the woods, in the rain, climbing around on equipment, etc.

The subject of UFOs is taken seriously, or not, based on a whole mess of complex reasons, very few of which have to do with how one dresses.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Get out and VOTE! Know your voting rights, and get out and vote!

Is Peter Davenport Pooped?

Billy Cox reports that Peter Davenport, of the NUFORC, might be fed up. Fed up with bozos making prank calls to his hotline, fed up with apparent idiots who can't write a decent UFO report or take five minutes to do so; they'd rather call and tell Davenport about it. He's tired, he's fed up, he's disgusted. He's sick of not getting paid, of getting requests from others who make money by interviewing him. He's furious and tired of the "charlatans" in UFO world.

(I will say that many people are nervous, paranoid, sheepish, embarrassed, scared, etc. and writing down, in their own words, a UFO report is too much for them to deal with. It's not due to a lack of caring that many do not write, either by hand, or in an email, a UFO report. It's an unease, a paranoia, etc. that gets them. They don't want it traced back to them. (Of course, a phone call could be tracked, or tapped . . .) Years ago I didn't respond to a request from an alleged group of, as they described themselves, "ex-military" UFO researchers who wanted me to detail my triangle sighting. I just got an uncomfortable feeling and so, didn't pursue it. It isn't all just ignorant, lazy slobs who are unwilling to write down their UFO sightings.)

Can't blame him. He's been providing a much appreciated service for all of us for years now, and with his own money; so much for all those uber-skeptoids who insist that UFO people are in it for the money.

So, Davenport is fed up with the "American people." Okay. So am I, with a lot of them, for different reasons. That's another story however. I called Davenport once to report a sighting, and what I got was a very rude individual who kept trying to put words in my mouth, and got mad at me because my husband wouldn't come on the phone and talk to him. I also met Davenport at the McMinnville UFO Fest last May, and a more pompous, truly laughable yet highly annoying rude twit I've never come across.

While I don't appreciate being treated so rudely or bored to tears at a panel discussion on UFOs, or, as he would have it, the American Way, which is drilling the oceans for energy sources, Davenport does provide a valuable service we can't lose.

We choose to do what we choose to do for various reasons. I don't think anyone can blame Davenport for his feeling the way he does; I don't. It's too bad there are jerks out there who think making prank calls is funny, or that his work isn't important to the powers that be.

But that's the reality. If Davenport takes a break, or quits outright forever and forever, that'd be a shame. And if he does quit outright forever and ever, maybe someone else will take it up.

It's not all the "American people's fault" however. It's a combination of several factors; his attitude, expectations, the infrastructure, the UFO phenomena itself, and thinking that something like 80% of UFO researchers and witnesses are full of crap. At some point, there is some truth to the philosophy that like attracts like.

Well, despite his pompous arrogance and rah-rah America right wing conservatism, Davenport's done us a good thing.