That's largely what this blog was about in the first place, and earlier this year I decided to write more extensively on the topic. I can certainly empathize with those who find potential paranormal aspects of the UFO phenomenon interesting, but I reached a point where I was kind of like, "Wow, never mind the aliens and entities, is anybody paying any attention to what those people are doing?!"
So as I hunt and peck my way to the final chapter, I'd like to share a few of my favorite posts here at 'The UFO Trail'. Perhaps that might help new readers get a good idea of what I write about, as well as provide long time readers a review of how we got here. I appreciate you all.
The Ozark Con
In 2012 I attended the annual Ozark UFO Conference. Subsequent blog posts continue today to account for four of the top ten all time most viewed posts, as indicated in the sidebar to the right. By the way, that first line of posts in the sidebar, the ones with images beside the titles, represents the most viewed posts since the blog was launched in 2010. The next group, "Most Viewed Posts This Week," represents the most viewed posts during the previous seven days.
After attending the Ozark Con, I did a three-part post titled, 'The Bizarre World of Doctor David Jacobs: An Interview and Review'. Part One consisted of an interview conducted at the con with Dr. Jacobs, in which his positions were established on alleged alien abductions, supposed ET-human hybrids and related topics. Part Two included summaries of critical review of Jacobs' work previously published by qualified experts. Part Three contained new and exclusive critical review provided by retired engineer and scientist Frank Purcell and microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn.
Obviously, the posts continue to attract web traffic, which would not be particularly significant to me if it were not for the fact the primary sources consistently include search engines. I find that rewarding in that I interpret it to suggest that people seeking legitimate information on the subject matter are directed to posts which the contributors and I composed for just that purpose.
Ironically, however, interviewing David Jacobs was not the main reason I flew to Missouri to drive to Arkansas to meet a speaker at the Ozark Con. Interviewing one of ufology's most popular CIA consultants, Col. John Alexander, was actually the primary reason I went, yet, after agreeing to the interview by email, he declined to be interviewed when I arrived and approached him in person. Nonetheless, I described the circumstances in 'John Alexander, Contradictions and Unanswered Questions', and I felt I presented issues of interest adequately and reasonably. I thought it was a fair, informative and balanced piece.
Since those 2012 interactions with the colonel, I have emailed him on occasion and requested he comment on various issues. Sometimes he directly addresses my questions and sometimes he does not, and I have come to interpret that to be par for the course. Similar experience was gained while composing and exchanging emails with the subjects of such posts as 'Lyn Buchanan: Military Intel and 'Alien Abductee'' and 'The Interesting, Eventful and Incredible Story of Commander C.B. Scott Jones'.
My growing interest in connections between ufology and the intelligence community hit full stride with a series of posts that began with 'Leah Haley on Alien Abduction: "It Doesn't Happen"'. After corresponding with Haley for a couple of years, I drove to Pensacola, Florida one weekend in March of 2011 to interview her extensively. A former rather high profile alleged alien abductee, Leah revised her interpretations of her experiences to conclude that aliens had not been involved whatsoever, and that she was actually the target of covert human experimentation.
|Did I mention|
the Eglin expedition?
Haley's case was substantially mishandled by researchers who represented themselves as qualified to help her, and the story was riddled with issues of exploitation and questions of whether the welfare of the witness/research subject was prioritized. Moreover, the circumstances were not isolated incidents. All of that was apparent and relevant regardless of what it may ultimately have collectively indicated. Exploration of Haley's case, the related issues and the resulting series of posts included 'The Carpenter Affair: For the Record'.
At a point in 2013 in which I felt well on my way to immersion in what can be the tar pit of researching alleged alien abduction, mind control and the associated players, I decided to ask those for guidance who had cannonballed into tar before me. Sharon Weinberger, Nigel Watson and Mark Pilkington graciously fielded my questions for Parts One and Two of a post titled, 'Ethics of Exploring the Fringe'. I am very grateful for the valuable time and attention they shared while offering insights on issues ranging from responsible reporting to state-sponsored deception operations.
I continue today to weigh the contributions they provided when deciding the most appropriate ways to frame stories, interact with witnesses and similar dynamics that are ever relevant when writing about topics in which the author is destined to become the target of passionate criticism. It is simply an inherent part of the process, and here's something I learned: The more accurately you explain what you're finding out, the higher your chances may become of being mistaken as a punching bag by angry and disappointed people who never really got a handle on the meaning of the term, "don't shoot the messenger."
My interest in the Leah Haley case and its related issues of exploitation contributed to my interest in the work of Emma Woods and Carol Rainey, speaking of shooting messengers. I subsequently did an investigative piece titled, 'Security of Budd Hopkins Archive Called into Question, David Jacobs Shares Responsibility'. Just recently was 'MUFON, Sham Inquiry and the Woods/Jacobs Scandal'.
Other investigative efforts that I thought turned out pretty well included Parts One and Two of 'MUFON, Science and Deception'. Another was 'MUFON, GEIPAN and Transparency'. The three posts put the Mutual UFO Network, its activities and the often conflicting statements of its representatives under the microscope.
I thought one of my better posts was 'Psy Ops and Mind Control: Then, Now and the UFO Community'. It was an exploration of the manners ufology and dark, covert aspects of the intelligence community are at times conclusively linked, while at other times just minimal degrees of separation apart.
About three years ago I did a post called 'Open Mic Night', in which I invited several ufology personalities of diverse interests and beliefs to comment on their interpretations of the most constructive directions the genre could take (None of the contributors, by the way, recommended sending a crew to Mexico City to serve up some deceased people's Kodachrome slides as evidence of an alien presence, which raises the value of their stock in and of itself). More recently was 'UFO Community Members Weigh in on Dubious MUFON Speakers', in which I requested comment from select individuals on MUFON booking speakers who promote the Roswell Slides. Also at issue were investigators invited by the organization to speak who promote such lore as the existence of ET-human hybrids, yet those so-called investigators seem to invest much more effort in impeding collection of forensic evidence than facilitating it.
I have more favorite posts but I'll stop there. I like most of the posts, of course. I wrote 'em.
Like many bloggers and writers who devote resources to ufology, this did not have anything to do with livelihood. Not by any stretch. I'm just a guy who was interested in the subject matter, asked around about some topics, and subsequently came to feel I had some things to say about them.
In addition to blogging, I eventually began composing word files about those things with the intention of committing them to book form. Sooner than later I'll upload it to Amazon where you can obtain and read it if you'd like. I'm hopeful it will be considered an informative and interesting effort.
Keep an eye on this blog, find me on Twitter @TheUFOTrail and/or email me to keep informed of progress. Your interest is appreciated. Thank you.