Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Looking Back Along 'The UFO Trail'

As you read this, it is entirely possible that I am sitting at my laptop, surrounded by coffee cups and protein bar wrappers, writing my way through the homestretch of a forthcoming book. The book is about questionable activities conducted by a variety of (quite human) sources within the UFO community. 

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'

Investigative Posts

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?
I covered significant parts of her story in a series of posts and interpreted there to be several fascinating aspects of the saga. I also felt that some members of the UFO community, while vehemently criticizing Haley's research and interpretations, were consistently missing a glaringly monumental point of the story: Actions and accountability of researchers and organizations involved were at issue no matter what the explanations may have been for her reported perceptions.

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.


  1. For the same reasons that made Mirage Men one of the most triumphant films about the UFO subject of all time, I look forward in earnest to your book. The experts are wildly off course for the most part. Let's focus on what we can and do know and perhaps the reasons why the subject appears to be linked with the intelligence community in the way it is and also the way it affects our culture. This is as much about social and media engineering as it is anything.

    1. You're playing my song. Thanks for your interest!

  2. After all these years of investigation of the phenomenon - scientific or otherwise - we know little or nothing about it. However, we know a great deal about people who have been proclaimed as experts, and we know a story or two. So I agree that the more interesting question is what people are doing, and how people react to what they hear. The state of ufology has more to do with our perceptions than any outside entity. I have appreciated your contributions to this study, your willingness to look deeper at certain people, and look forward to your book.

    1. Thanks! There's something to be said for, as one person put it to me, aiming some attention at people doing the pointing, rather than what they're pointing at.

  3. All of the following is by way of a UFO witness who's playing devil's advocate.

    Ufology has become fixated of late on covert rogue government mind control exercises as an explanation for alien abductions (which, in the interest of full disclosure, I don't buy as being universally true events) . It also has begun sometimes claiming these are part of some larger, nefarious social experiment.

    Frankly, it's very hard to see what the benefit of mind control/social engineering using UFOs/aliens would or could be. After all, this really is a fringe subject, only a relative few have any deep interest in it (and those that do occasionally carry it to insane extremes), and it's difficult to quantify what, if any, large effects such mind control is having other than maybe driving movie box office receipts, TV ratings, book sales, and electronic game revenue.

    I don't think members of the general population have any abiding interest in UFOs/aliens. Rather it seems the subject doesn't cross their minds unless triggered by a big splashy media/entertainment event (say, The Phoenix Lights). Then it briefly becomes a topic of widespread interest only to be quickly replaced by the travails of some celebrity's love life or the drama of what teams will make it to the World Cup or Superbowl.

    Rather, I see danger coming from the blatant manipulation of the world's population to believe it needs and must rely on a host of electronic devices that allow easy back dooring into individual privacy on a scale heretofore unimagined. Big Tech seems likely to be involved in some sort of alliance with the international military/intelligence community.

    Through skillful marketing (what is that other than mind control and social engineering concepts applied in the real world?), Big Tech has turned us into sheep docilely lining up for the next over-priced, non-essential hardware release we've been led to believe we can't live without, as well as made incredibly powerful and influential bazillionnaires of a small handful of entrepreneurs.

    Amazon (a Big Tech player if ever there was one because online retailing is but a piece of its empire) owning The Washington Post concerns me more than unproven mind control/alien abduction allegations. Why? Because this can influence the thinking in one of the world's major power centers and affect political policies/processes and military actions worldwide. That's real mind control, if you ask me.


    Anonymous . . . knock yourself out with this. Smile.

    1. Valid points for consideration, purrlgurrl. I think a variety of demographics have manipulated perception of what came to be known as the UFO phenomenon for a variety of reasons. I'd say such circumstances range from the Seekers as studied by Festinger and deception operations perceived as ghost rocket/UFO phenomena to hypnosis as popularized by Hopkins and other "abductologists," and I think it deserves its share of attention.

      I'd also say it's not a one size fits all situation. There are lots of different explanations for the different reported circumstances, whatever those explanations may ultimately all prove to be.

  4. Jack, I just listened to your THE EXPERIENCE discussion with Jeremy Vaeni, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Like others, I'm looking forward to reading your book. Thanks very much for mentioning my BLACK LIGHT.

  5. I look forward to reading your book with special interest in psyops. We know, for a fact, our government agencies can't be trusted. Citizens are expendable. Though, I do subscribe to a ufo presence that is not human psyops, we've heard and read enough cases where the witnesses believe humans were definitely involved and even running the show. What a truly horrible thing to do to fellow citizens!

    BTW, good you're munching on high-protein bars! Stay away from the granola type bars - full of carbs and very little protein. Take care Jack!

    ~ Susan

  6. Keep up the good work, Jack. You're doing some useful, productive and necessary investigative research, particularly regarding the intelligence agency / psyop angles, so I really do appreciate your efforts.

    1. Thanks! Your support and encouragement is much appreciated.

  7. Keep up the good work and well said. We're all mushrooms kept in the dark and fed shit. �� baa baa!