Monday, April 5, 2010

Goodbye Ufology, Hello Truth

There comes a defining moment in everyone’s life when you must choose to lead or be led, to accept life for what it is or strive for change, however small, in favor of the common good. As I write this on Easter weekend, I contemplate the man whose life we celebrate and his impact on the world. He lead by example, was not afraid to challenge the status quo and his message was pure. What he had to offer was simple, words based on the truth, and as a person that I admire and respect, if I can be one millionth of what he was; I feel that I am on the right path.

There was a time many years ago when I was considering leaving Ufology because I couldn’t make sense of it all. Here was a subject that was still being pursued passionately by intelligent and sober folks many with advanced academic degrees, yet the solution was always out of reach. Surely there must be something to the subject with so many people working on it, I thought. The problem gnawed at me and I decided that I must discover the truth for myself even if it meant sacrificing other things in my life. In a field where wild claims are rampant, I latched on to the only organization that I felt had some reservoir of common sense and reason in its modus operandi – MUFON.

Fortunately, MUFON moved its headquarters to Denver in the year 2000 and I contacted John Schuessler, International Director at the time and offered to volunteer my services. I remember sitting in a cafĂ© across from the MUFON storefront and pointedly asking John “What do you think is really going on?” His answer surprised me. “I don’t know.” Surely, after all of these years of searching and digging, there must be some answers, I thought to myself, and so I became even more intrigued.

As I stared at the rows and rows of file cabinets at MUFON headquarters, I began to wonder if the answers I sought lay inside. I proposed to the MUFON Board to digitize the paper files under what I called the “Pandora Project” and they gave me their blessing and financial backing. I spent hundreds of hours tediously cataloging the files and getting them in order for scanning and the project was completed within the span of a couple of years. I also joined the MUFON Board and helped define MUFON’s new mission statement of the scientific investigation of UFOs for the benefit of humanity.

When John was searching for a successor, I was reluctant to apply, but then I thought about the unique position this would put me in to dedicate my time to the pursuit of the truth. I took on the challenge and the next three years became a roller coaster of insight and discoveries that would change my view forever on why the truth behind UFOs is so elusive.

I also decided to take a unique approach. Poke at the phenomenon and see what pokes back. Not only look for a signal but the absence of one as well because it just as telling. In addition I made the conscious decision to forsake the “inside source”. Coupling all of this with an investigative ethic that was thorough and unrelenting, a clear picture began to emerge.

What I discovered was that the phenomenon is based in deception – of the human kind –and that there is no way ANYONE will understand the real truth unless they are willing to first accept that. No, I am not talking about some grandiose cover-up of alien visitation, but instead the documented manipulation of people and information for purposes that I can only speculate on. How do I unequivocally know this to be true? Well let me lay it out for you in laymen’s terms.

People are easily manipulated because we are all subject to the psychological pressures of ego, biased beliefs and tunnel vision. For example, those that KNOW that earth is being visited by aliens have blinders on and no amount of alternative explanation will convince them otherwise. They are the die hard in the wool believers for whom Ufology serves as a religion to confirm their beliefs that they take on faith. On the other end of the spectrum are the debunkers who must counter every claim with a reason why it can’t be so, without bothering to examine the data or lift a finger in conducting original research of their own.

Whoa! Wait a minute, what about those who don’t take things on faith and actually collect data and conduct investigation? Good question. I decided to examine the data collection and investigative practices in Ufology, and after poring over thousands of historical case files from MUFON, NICAP and APRO investigators in the MUFON archives, what I found, was inconsistent investigation with a total lack of evidentiary standards. I also found a paper trail of disinformation and misinformation that has kept Ufology in check through infighting and red herrings, rabbit holes and elaborate deception operations.

The other thing I found documented in the MUFON archives was the sad history of those UFO investigators who thought they could successfully play the “cover up game” by cultivating their inside sources only to be discredited, manipulated or ego driven to delusion. But it was after conducting six personal investigations that I began to question whether or not ANY of the data sitting in any UFO archive can be relied on.

2006 – The report by a bogus Dive Company of finding the 1953 Kinross UFO – perpetrators unknown and still at large.

2007 – Michael Nelson’s bogus claims of recovering physical evidence related to the 1966 Portage County UFO Chase. Read Nelson’s paper in the 2007 MUFON Symposium Proceedings, then tear it out as none of it is based in fact.

2007 – The California Drones story for which not a single, verifiable beyond reproach, real witness can be found.

2008 – The Stan Romanek claims which are not only unverified by science (despite what he says) but involves the shameful practice of investigators ignoring professional standards by fraternizing and becoming emotionally involved with the subject of their investigation.

2009 – Unsettling information I discovered with Dr. Frank Salisbury about the Skinwalker Ranch that calls into question the validity of experiences described in the book “Hunt for the Skinwalker”.

All of these cases have a common thread: they are based on half-truths, and outright manipulation that predictably draw in the believer but have also drawn in a number of Ufologists into their web of deception. And they all would have gotten away with it too had it not been for those meddling kids, but more about the Scooby Doo analogy later.

As I the picture became clearer, I began to be more vocal about what I had uncovered, much to the displeasure of those perpetrating the deception. At first, I limited myself to publishing my investigations in the MUFON Journal but eventually carried it over to my blog because of the increased reluctance of the MUFON Board to expose some of these perpetrators over concerns of legal liability or funding. But I could not stay silent and let yet more UFO myth be created in an already endless sea of nebulous data.

I decided to dig deeper and rather than focus on the sideshows that would pop up and distract Ufologists by leading us down yet another rabbit hole, I did original research into the early days of the phenomenon. What I found was amazing and is documented in my paper at Realizing that to uncover more information and to prove my theory would require laser like focus and time that I did not have to spare, I made the decision to leave the MUFON International Director position and informed the MUFON Board.

Interestingly I also observed how my original research fell on deaf ears in the UFO community. When I suggested that the holy grail of Ufology, Roswell, could be part of an elaborate intelligence deception operation, not only did I encounter a wave of hostility from the “believers” but a backlash of silence, debunking and dismissal by even those “unbiased” researchers who claim to not stoop to such tactics. Rather than inspire an army of fellow investigators to dig deeper in this unexplored area I felt like Copernicus telling a room full of colleagues how the earth revolved around the sun despite everyone else believing the earth the center of the Universe. Blasphemy! Heresy!

All of this has led me to where I am at today – squarely outside of Ufology – away from the polarized beliefs, the three ring circus of sideshows and illusion acts that has created nothing but a hall of mirrors and dead ends and which has produced no definite answers despite 60 years of accumulated investigation. I feel free and alive with possibilities; being able to pursue the truth through original research and verifiable original documentation, without the constant distractions and noise.

In 1969, Project Blue Book was history and MUFON was founded. The same year, a soon to be popular TV show was started – Scooby Doo, that featured a gang of amateur sleuths solving mysteries and exposing con artists and charlatans who were then apprehended by the authorities. As the perpetrator was being led away in handcuffs, they predictably stated – “and I would have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.” I began to wonder if the gang would have solved any mysteries if the perpetrator and authorities were one and the same. The perpetrator may get caught and exposed but once free to go, could practice their con somewhere else. That in a nutshell is the sad state of Ufology today, humans deceiving humans. If there is a real phenomenon, I have yet to see any evidence of it that would stand under scientific scrutiny. Outside of Ufology, I will pursue peeling away these layers of human deception and exposing them for what they are. If a real phenomenon lies at its core remains to be seen.