Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Examining the Tainted Well of UFO Land

Emily Glazer of The Wall Street Journal recently published an article, The Eyes Have It: Marketers Now Track Shoppers' Retinas. Ms. Glazer explained companies are using computers outfitted with retina-tracking cameras and equipped with images of product displays to more thoroughly understand consumer physical responses to marketing strategies. The data obtained is being used to develop product packaging and presentation more conducive to increasing sales.

Why don't consultants just ask shoppers what they look at and like? Because people often don't know and won't say. By and large we are poor and unreliable sources for accurate information.

It has been repeatedly and conclusively demonstrated people will misrepresent their actual thoughts and preferences – if they even remember them - in attempts to fulfill the perceived hopes and expectations of those asking the questions. Suffice it to say that unlike ufology, certain industries such as sales are focused on producing measurable results. In other words, they want to know the truth, not just what people tend to say.

Industries determined to increase their productivity therefore recognize the reality that many reasons account for why people say things other than the statements are accurate. Effective researcher/consultants subsequently adjust their data mining procedures accordingly and as explained by Ms. Glazer.

The UFO community would be well served to take notice, but don't count on any quick improvements. It's not as if we've never been warned witnesses are prone to being influenced by what they perceive researchers want to hear.

The Sky Is Falling

Meanwhile, the apparent popularity of the hit series Falling Skies follows in the footsteps of such productions as Close Encounters and V in further tainting the well of researchers and witnesses for years to come. I understand millions of viewers are regularly tuning in to 'Skies to enthusiastically enjoy a devastating alien invasion and its accompanying carnage and oppression.

Should we seriously think surveys would suggest anything other than people say they believe extraterrestrials are cruising our skies? What would we expect surveys to indicate?

It would actually be truly profound if the population was bombarded by decades of pro-ETH propaganda and did not succumb to the conditioning. That would be something newsworthy to ponder.

The Sky Is Still Falling

Speaking of being waist deep in propaganda... I've heard of Christmas in July, but all these spooks sounding off lately makes it feel like Halloween came early this year. One more time: I don't care what they say, if they don't present conclusive evidence along with their claims, I am not willing to accept them.

On a related note, there are several reasons why the professional research community does not identify witness testimony as particularly relevant or of equal value to other forms of evidence. One of those reasons is as explained above: people conclusively misrepresent what took place a lot of the time. This happens as a result of any number of very common occurrences.

Another reason is because there is often conflicting testimony, and an objective researcher cannot selectively accept certain testimony while disregarding other testimony ('objective' being the key word!). More specifically, conflicting testimonies somewhat cancel out one another, kind of like offsetting penalties in a football game, which puts the researcher back to relying on that which can be independently verified.

Tim Printy did a good job of bringing just such conflicting testimony to our attention surrounding the Roswell saga in his latest edition of SUNlite. You of course don't hear it from biased parties, but Mr. Printy conclusively demonstrated, among other points of interest, that some significant witnesses in the Roswell saga provided statements indicating they completely disagreed with those touting fantastic tales.

To try to make the point as clear as possible: Those who tend to cite witness testimony as reason to suggest aliens and their spacecraft were retrieved at Roswell have an obligation to accuracy to equally factor the conflicting testimony into the equation. I invite taking note of those who fail to do so.

The Publication Review Board

The Central Intelligence Agency has a Publication Review Board, or PRB, charged with reviewing material proposed for publication by current and former personnel, as well as certain other individuals. Material subject to approval includes books and oral presentations as documented in a handbook for reviewers that was approved for public release in 2008. Yes, that means 'tell all' books, lectures at UFO conventions, the ever popular whistle blower interviews and various other means of expression conducted by current and (allegedly) retired spooks actually consist entirely of info approved for your perusal.

To once again try to make a point as clear as possible: If we are hearing it from current or former Agency personnel, it is extremely likely it is approved for our ears. This seems like a good time to once again emphasize that I will not accept anything they say until they present conclusive evidence along with their claims.

Haven't any of those intel guys ever just busted out and said some things they weren't supposed to say, you ask? Yeah, they sure have, or at least it would appear so.

Former covert CIA operative
Valerie Plame Wilson and husband Joe Wilson.
One of the more notable circumstances occurred when I. Lewis Libby, Jr., former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, blew the cover of Valerie Plame Wilson, wife of an ambassador. Ms. Plame Wilson was an undercover CIA operative prior to being outed by Libby. He was convicted in 2007 of various charges stemming from the incident and President Bush subsequently commuted the prison sentence.

More recently, former CIA officer John Kiriakou was indicted in April on charges related to providing classified information to journalists. He is also accused of lying and misrepresenting his activities to the PRB, circumstances that at least appear to be taken seriously. 

The CIA since jumped out here and decided it was time to review the reviewers. In May an internal probe was launched focusing upon the activities of the PRB. The Board is suspected of censoring opinions that frame the Agency in negative contexts rather than limiting its influence to objectively editing classified information from proposed statements.

It seems they have their challenges sorting it all out. One way or another, I'd confidently say that with all this reviewing going on around Langley, it's pretty unlikely any personnel are sashaying up to podiums at UFO conventions or settling into C2C interviews to spill genuine company secrets.

Have I mentioned lately that I will not accept anything they say until they present conclusive evidence along with their claims?

My Views

I suppose every now and then bloggers should offer a bit of clarification concerning their specific perspectives about ufology. I choose to do so at this time in order to assist you in understanding where I am headed with this post.

I have been actively involved with the UFO community for some 20+ years to more and less extents. I am in my late 40's and my interest in Fortean phenomena goes back to childhood.

Like many of us, it seems apparent twists of fate resulted in my extents of interest and involvement. A few choices and incidents here and there forever altered the course of my life.

My subsequent involvement with the UFO community evolved through many capacities and points of view. My current overall perspective is the result of several aspects of my life, as is the case among all of us. My particular choices and resulting path included intentional efforts to learn more about self-improvement, the professional mental health community stances on related issues and practical scientific principles.

I also made intentional efforts to reasonably educate myself in additional areas that I strongly felt most people were failing to adequately take into account while developing their often non-negotiable beliefs. Such areas included the extreme yet rarely discussed relevance of emotional trauma and the significance of the global intelligence community. I attempted to balance such subject matter with my understandings of the many reported sightings, claims of self-described abductees and the vast range of controversial research methods increasingly permeating the field over the decades.

My resulting opinion is that there may indeed be some kind of yet to be more fully understood paranormal phenomena at the core of what became known as ufology. I could not conclusively say one way or the other.

That stated, I am nearly convinced there is virtually no reason whatsoever to even suppose, much less conclude, the phenomena commonly reported has anything at all to do with extraterrestrial visitors. I would go as far as to propose that public opinion of what became known as the UFO phenomenon would have evolved entirely differently – and we would hold much more accurate perspectives about it – had we not been subjected to the debilitating amount of conditioning that has been the case.

I suggest that if we had not been so deeply conditioned to believe in visiting aliens, we would have developed entirely different ideas about that which is being reported. Moreover, I suggest witnesses would commonly develop entirely different interpretations of what they suppose they observed.

Do you agree with those statements? If not, why not?

All of which might give rise to questions related to who is conducting the conditioning and why. Such questions, my fellow fateful UFO Land residents, are why I ever began researching the case of Leah Haley and eventually first contacted her in 2009.

Leah Haley

Early on in my series of posts on the Leah Haley Case I attempted to emphasize the relevance of her questionable treatment as a witness. I felt this was an important aspect of her story and I am of the opinion it should be relevant to virtually all interested parties, regardless of preferred perspectives about alleged alien abduction. I continue to feel that way.

Understandably, the general and prevailing lessons to be learned from Ms. Haley's saga are sometimes overlooked while considering various interesting details of her case. I therefore choose to bring this post to a close by combining the above food for thought with a summary of my interpretation of part of the relevance of Ms. Haley's hike along the UFO trail:

Leah Haley had memories of a childhood sighting involving multiple saucer-shaped objects in the sky, multiple witnesses and apparent short term amnesia. At the recommendation of Budd Hopkins, she contacted the Mutual UFO Network, a public nonprofit corporation dedicated to the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity, for assistance in further understanding her fragmented memories.

This resulted in developing a relationship with John Carpenter, then a social worker, mental health counselor and member of the MUFON board of directors. Mr. Carpenter conducted some 14 regressive hypnosis sessions with Ms. Haley, resulting in her developing beliefs she was regularly kidnapped by both alien and human beings.

Ms. Haley subsequently developed acquaintances with Lieutenant Colonel Donald Ware, USAF, Retired, and Colonel Robert Reid, USAF, Retired, both now former members of the MUFON board of directors. They escorted Ms. Haley on an expedition of Eglin Air Force Base near Pensacola, allegedly in search of the location an alien craft was disabled and grounded by military forces and with her aboard – a tale that arose during the hypnosis sessions.

Yet another MUFON director, Lieutenant Commander Tom Deuley, US Navy, Retired, subsequently commented to The Tampa Tribune-Times on Leah Haley and her perspectives. Mr. Deuley proceeded to tell the 'Trib that he and MUFON were very embarrassed by such people and that he would advise applying some common sense to their testimonies, entirely failing to mention his fellow MUFON board members acted as consultants and guiding forces in her developing her beliefs in the first place.

Ms. Haley eventually decided e-damn-nough already, and started back at the beginning, piecing together her life and experiences while trying to accurately identify the differences between what she knew to be true and what she had been led to believe was true. All of this took place, you will please note (important phrase here), because she sought help with fragmented memories of a childhood event from a tax exempt organization purportedly conducting scientific research and, specifically, from one of the organization's directors who was a mental health counselor.

Here is another important phrase: Leah Haley's story is not particularly unique. It is not an entirely isolated incident by any means.

One more important phrase: The current ufology paradigm remains conducive to producing more Leah Haley-type scenarios.

Important question: What, specifically, are we doing about that?


  1. Great writing as usual, Jack. This is one of my favorite blogs.


    Lance Moody

  2. Jack,
    As always I genuinely find myself inspired by your willingness to stay the UFO trail, as you are convicted to navigate it, while in no way negating a true exploratory mission statement. IMO, your integrity is to be commended.

    I too know for certain something highly unusual is afoot with respect to the phenomena itself, something very real in and of itself. Something that I am convicted to believe is very important to us, but I do not pretend to KNOW that something's defining makeup, let alone profess it's motives.

    Whatever UFOs are, they seem to navigate an environment we only perceive a small part of.

    I feel as you do. That in reality, one of the greatest reasons for the ongoing mystery that the phenomena itself represents, lies in our perceptive conditioning, and ultimately, in an utterly flawed defining premise that UFOs are representative of extraterrestrial space vehicles. I also question the personified notion that UFOs are a phenomena staged by a nonhuman external intelligence who's will it is to meaningfully deceive us to whatever ends that they deem beneficial to us or themselves.

    I believe there is a great deal to learn concerning our own consciousness. Both the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as well as the Double Slit experiment indicate an absolute entrainment of human consciousness. In short, we change whatever we observe simply by observing it, and secondly, the most elemental building blocks relative to matter react specifically and non specifically according to our observation. In other words, reality reacts to us, not just the other way around.

    So, again, just like you have elucidated here so well in this posted UFO Trail article, there is a far broader need for understanding in and of ourselves. Namely our consciousness and how it specifically interacts with the indigenous human environment we commonly call reality. Otherwise, that which is reported as UFO observations, and then subsequently further broken down into finite statistics, may in fact just yield more of those same old endless streams of frustratingly unanswerable questions based on an entirely false premise.

  3. I sincerely appreciate the positive feedback very much. I am honored by your comments. Thanks, guys!

  4. Jack; There aren't any real "UFOs" of any kind and never were.

    "Unidentified" cannot be an identity, there is no thing "UFO".

    There is no "UFO" phenomenon--ET, so-called paranormal, AT or otherwise. There are only insubstantial, inconsequential and completely predisposed reports made within populations affected by a persistent collective delusion, a mass media-manufactured mythology of imaginary airships, saucers, triangles and aliens.

    The use of the terms "Fortean; phenomenon; UFO community; and ufology" are intellectually grating and even stomach wrenching.

    The pseudoscience of ufoolery is history already; make belief in the irrational, antiscientific "UFO" delusion history as well.