Monday, May 4, 2015

High Standards More Than Justified for UFO Investigation

As we move on to new highs and lows of what the UFO community will accept as reasonable research methodologies and presentations, let's consider why some of us have become so jaded in our willingness to entertain such proceedings. It's not as if the skepticism is not justified.

Richard Doty laid some heavy deception on Paul Bennewitz and Linda Moulton Howe. Alejandro Rojas at Open Minds has a good summary of what the USAF is and is not willing to acknowledge about Doty's actions.

Then there's Serpo and the MJ-12. The guys over at Reality Uncovered did some pretty good work on those. They thought Doty was linked to Serpo, and Ryan Dube thought John Alexander may have been involved in the distribution of the MJ-12 docs, particularly after interviewing the colonel. 

Speaking of Reality Uncovered, Andy Murray and the rest of that crew did a great job getting to the bottom of the "Source A" hoax. Then there was the drone hoax and the great work contributed by various Internet personalities.

And there was the story about the UFO crash in the Great Lakes that James Carrion bird dogged but the alleged dive company fell off the face of the earth. And the Casselberry, FL alleged crashed UFO case that I pursued, only to establish that anonymous "witnesses" were misrepresenting the circumstances, including submitting a photo to NUFORC that was actually taken in Texas, not Florida, and not a single first hand witness came forward related to the claims on the radio and Internet about a gov-secured crash site.

There's the mid 20th century memos Carrion cited, one that documented FBI agents discussing the likelihood UFOs were intel deceptions and another in which the USAF advised the Bureau that the AF could attach disks together by wire and release them at high altitudes. Carrion has since conclusively demonstrated an element of deception involved in the ghost rocket saga. A 1954 CIA memo suggesting assets in Guatemala fabricate a big UFO story is also interesting.

There's Romanek, Hopkins/Cortile and the ET-human hybrids that Barbara Lamb claims to know but fails to facilitate documentation of their physical conditions. I'd go as far as to confidently suggest abduction cases in which the "investigators" and interested parties exaggerate and misrepresent the circumstances are the rule, not the exception.

There's the iconic photo of the Belgium triangle that apparently wasn't and the corporate UFO hoax perpetrated by a planetarium in Vancouver. And let's not forget the flying saucer that wasn't following Hale-Bopp that involved a bogus photo, an alleged but unnamed astronomer and dubious claims of remote viewing, all propped up on Art Bell's show before being conclusively demonstrated to have been a hoax prior to the Heaven's Gate cult mass suicide.

If conclusive IC involvement in such circumstances is of particular interest, learning more about Project Palladium is a must. It was a joint CIA, NSA and DoD operation that involved projecting false radar paints onto radar screens while simultaneously releasing unusual aerial objects into the paths of what were referred to as the ghost aircraft. Some operations apparently shared many characteristics of rather typically reported UFO sightings by military pilots, including losing radar contact at the point in which the pilot was preparing to fire upon the bogie.

There are lots of hoaxes and deceptions that are interesting and relevant, and the above are just a few. Learn more by searching this blog or, of course, the Internet. There is no shortage of UFO hoaxes and obfuscation, both with and without the intel community. Reasonable skepticism and holding self-proclaimed investigators to high standards when presenting alleged evidence are more than justified.


  1. Excellent piece, Jack. We need to be reminded of the number of hoaxes, deceptions, etc., in ufological history. The "Belgian Triangle" photo STILL is circulated on the Internet, and published in books and magazines as "authentic."

    1. Thanks, Bill! Yes, the genre is so bombarded with hoaxes that verifying info should be considered standard procedure. Objections to the fact-checking process should be considered suspect in itself.

      Another point worthy of consideration is that so much propaganda plays on one's beliefs. The UFO community accepts unsubstantiated claims as generally true in large part to having heard the subject matter repeated so many times, often completely absent any validation whatsoever.

  2. If we are to get to the bottom of the UFO mystery, investigators should use the best police interrogation techniques when interviewing witnesses. They rarely lead witnesses on and often will come up with unexpected results.

    If investigators would use the best interrogation techniques, then they would have much better data to work from. Most people in the field today are so intent on mud-slinging and promoting their own theories and agendas that the data gets left behind. Indeed, much of the data is now from third and even fourth parties, which would never stand up as evidence of anything in a court of law.

    We have to stop chasing aliens, spacecraft, government "cover ups" and rumors of crashed saucers to get back to what is really in front of us: witness reports. Videos and photos are helpful, but the witnesses are the most important aspect of the field and what they describe is essentially all we have. The rest is wild speculation.

    I would suggest throwing out most of the speculation and third- and fourth-party data to start from scratch. Whatever UFOs are, we are no closer to understanding them than we were 65 years ago.

    We could, however, use what we know of phenomenon like the Hessdalen lights, since the best UFO reports appear to describe similar lights. These lights have been investigated and documented using rigorous scientific standards over the past 20 years and researchers could work from there.

    I have the strong felling that the phenomenon is a previously unknown natural phenomenon, like recently discovered thunderstorm sprites and earthquake lights. And like those two, there is no way right now to contain the phenomenon inside a lab to see exactly what it is. But like lightning and other natural phenomenon, scientists have a good grasp of what they are despite not being able to actually contain them for experiments.

  3. The admission of a hoax in the Petit-Rechain photo seems fishy to me.

  4. I have to differ with rroffel about the relevance of police interrogation techniques to investigation of the UFO mystery. Standard interrogation techniques as recommended by, say, Inbau and Reid can easily become psychologically coercive and result in leading witnesses into making false positive statements or even false confessions. There is a fairly robust literature on this point which should be available through your local library's research database. People often seem to talk about evidence for UFOs and related phenomena needing to be "admissible" as if some kind of court case was looming; key witnesses are urged to sign affidavits, as if that means something outside of a legal context. At what point did juridicalism become the implicit metaphor of UFO inquiry?

  5. "Carrion has since conclusively demonstrated an element of deception involved in the ghost rocket saga."
    This not raising the bar. Here we have someone finding one or two documents and announcing that they have discovered what many researchers have known for years. Another case of incomplete research with theories offered without consulting extensive research already done.

  6. The point about interrogation techniques fails to address the fact that eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable - so even if someone is telling the truth as they know it, it doesn't mean that's what actually happened. Perception is often skewed.

    I have followed news about UFOs since I was a child (and saw something with my mother) but there never seems to be any clear evidence of an alien basis to the phenomenon. Hence, I am very skeptical of any reports regarding flying machines from other worlds. In fact, I don't know what it was that my mother and I saw, and I don't know what the strange things were that I have seen since (very sporadically throughout my life). I can't say what they were, because I just.don't.know.

    But I am more likely to go to wordly explanations, because of Occam's Razor. It just annoys me to bits when people automatically think "aliens" whenever they see a light in the sky, or a craft they cannot identify. And it's this kind of knee-jerk reaction that turns many people off from even engaging with the UFO community.

    Anecdotes are not science. It floors me when people can look someone in the eye, and with a straight face, and claim they are an alien hybrid, or know people who are. If they ever had evidence, it got stolen, or MIB took it, or lab results were switched, or (my personal favorite) that the aliens are so good at replicating human DNA that it appears that hybrids have 100% human DNA!

    It's impossible to debate people like this, as they have an answer for everything. And not one shred of evidence for anything they claim. Add that to the egos and infighting, and it's very easy to dismiss it all as nonsense.

    I wish there were a group of rational, scientifically-minded individuals (with actual knowledge of the scientific method and/or legitimate training in investigation) who could go forth and see what, if anything, is out there in terms of real evidence. People who have no agenda, and no axe to grind. People who could have conferences that do not cost hundreds of dollars, are not sponsored by every huckster/lunatic with a book or other merchandise to sell, and that have serious seminars and talks about this subject.

    Ah well, I can dream, can't I?

  7. Thank you! I have come to the conclusion that there is a fair, no great, amount of nonsense being delivered within and to the UFO community. Nutcases abound, dear I say who? A guy in Hawaii tells a gal in Colorado who tells a former Minister of defence from Canada "this and that". Consequently, everyone appears crazy. I wonder if there is even a bar left to raise. I know all of the principal players, mostly on a personal basis. I am left feeling disgusted and frustrated and never wanting to hear or see another thing related to UFO's or Exopolitics or abductions. There has to be a cover-up, as no one community could be so screwed up!!!