High Strangeness: June 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

UFO Wish List

I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow with my wife Mxxxxx, so this will be my last post for 10 days at least. There are a few things I hope will happen while I'm gone exploring the Rocky Mountains, The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park:
  1. I'll get a new sighting to investigate
  2. A million people will volunteer to join my Million Intruder March
  3. MUFON will issue me an alien detector
  4. The woman I met at the MUFON meeting last weekend in Mxxxxxxxx will write to me to tell me about her experiences onboard a flying saucer 
  5. Disclosure will occur (See Million Intruder March above)
  6. Mxxxxx and I will have a spectacular UFO sighting out west. Turns out there are a lot of sightings in Big Sky country, I guess because the sky is so big out there, and I want to get a piece of the action. Get a load of this photo recently submitted to MUFON from a witness in Wyoming, where we happen to be going:
I'd like to believe this is authentic, but..  There's something fake looking about the antelope.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Disposition of Case #38264

I hate leaving a job undone. Once I start something, I like to finish it. So it's particularly galling that I have just had to classify Case #38264, my first UFO Field Investigation, as "Incomplete."

I'm not looking at it as a failure, though, because I did everything possible to conduct my investigation. It was just my bad luck that the first case assigned to me involved a witness who seemed somewhat reluctant in the first place and then had to deal with a family medical emergency to boot.

And to be honest, there were no aliens or crashed flying saucers or missing time incidents involved in this one, that I know of, so what am I walking away from, really? The sighting was a simple one: Four friends out on a balcony at midnight in downtown Mxxxxxxxx spotted a luminous reddish-orange object that moved across the sky, "randomly becoming darker and brighter." It probably would have taken me longer to get his demographic information than to get all the details of the sighting... Still, I have heard that there are no minor investigations, only minor investigators, and the fact that this case involved four witnesses does give it a fairly high credibility factor, or credfact, so I will try to be tough but fair.
This is, of course, erroneous. The case is nowhere near solved, and may never be solved. I'm just desperate for a positive spin.

I had a chance to talk about this situation with Vxxxx, my State MUFON Director, at last Saturday's meeting, and she had some welcome words of reassurance. She told me that she had a similar case over a year ago -- the witness was just impossible to pin down for an interview and after several attempts she gave up and marked the case "Incomplete." Just recently, that same witness called Vxxxx up out of the blue and wanted to talk about his UFO sighing, a year later!

Did Vxxxx cuss him out and hang up on him, as I might have done? Not at all. Because, unlike me, she knows it's not all about her. Instead, she whipped out her MUFON General Sighting Cases Report Form #1 -- also known as the GSCRF #1 -- what we call the "G-scarf Numero Uno" -- at least I think we do -- at least I do -- and she talked on the phone with the witness for a half hour!

So, to be fair, I'm giving my guy a year. If he calls up and begs me to interview him about his sighting, I will consider it.

Meanwhile, I have asked Vxxxx to assign a new case to me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UFOs on the Radio

Is this how disclosure begins...?

Today I was driving in my car and heard the latest radio commercial for Dos Equis beer, in which a somber-voiced announcer goes down a list of the most interesting traits of "The World's Most Interesting Man"... You know, that's the guy who doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he only drinks Dos Equis.

It's pretty funny stuff::
"Presidents celebrate his birthday..."
"When his beard reaches the perfect length, it stops growing..."
"A full third of his body weight is gravitas..."

And then, the unexpected:
"He can identify UFOs..."

This is huge. It is now officially culturally accepted -- no, more than that, it is now a mark of cultural superiority -- to be cool with UFOs.

Vindication!!

"Stay thirsty" indeed, my friends... Thirsty for the truth!
How soon will other brewers start to mention UFOs in their ads, not as a subject of mockery but as an aspirational signifier? This is going to change everything!


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Big Intrusion

Over the weekend I attended my first Wisconsin MUFON meeting, and not only did I have a great time, I had a brilliant idea, an idea that could change the face of UFOlogy forever, and leave behind quite a mess.

I can't claim complete credit for the idea, however, because it was inspired by something the guest speaker said. So if I play my cards right I can blame the whole mess thing on him, while I take credit for the earth-shakingly cool part. We'll see how that works.

The speaker was Richard Dolan, who has written several popular UFO books published under his own banner, Keyhole Publishing. If you follow the link, you'll see that Dolan's books focus on the government cover-up theme. More to the point, Dolan believes that the governments of the world have all been engaging in a UFO cover-up for decades, and that someday they will come clean and admit to us all that they have known for years that UFOs are spaceships from other worlds and that we have been visited by aliens from those worlds. Perhaps we've even invited them in for tea and cookies.
Richard Dolan, the step-father of the "Million Intruder March."

Anyway, this idea of "Disclosure," the moment when the world's governments spill the beans and we all learn that it's all true, is really a big deal in the UFO world these days, and Dolan has quite a bit to say about it. He even blogs about it here. I admit that he raised some very thought-provoking points in his talk about what might happen to our society A.D. (After Disclosure), and I enjoyed his talk very much. But when he opened the field to questions, I asked him something that has always bothered me about this cover-up/disclosure way of thinking: Why do we expect the world's governments to tell us aliens are real? Isn't it kind of up to the aliens?

He admitted that I made a good point, but then he countered with an excellent point of his own: Sure, it could be up to the aliens, but they haven't done it yet, have they? Why, he reasoned, would the aliens want to announce themselves and cause a global panic? So... until the aliens decide to land on the White House lawn, it's pretty much up to the world's governments to tell us that we are not alone, according to Dolan.

Okay, okay, could be. But then Dolan made an even more interesting point, and that's when I had my bright idea. He said that of the three forces at play in the Disclosure dynamic -- #1: the aliens, #2: the world's power elite, and #3: us, the great, unwashed masses -- he believes that we the masses have the power to make Disclosure happen. "Wackenhut (Security forces) can disperse a few dozen intruders from Area 51," he said, "but I don't think they can disperse a million of us."

That's when the lightbulb went off. Thank you, Richard Dolan. We need to do that thing you just said: We need to organize a "Million Intruder March" on Area 51, and the sooner the better. Why not, I ask you? It's worked for other folks. Indeed, these days it seems to be the only thing that works. If you want to get action on an issue and bring about real change, you pretty much have no choice but to round up a million people who want the same thing you do and then march them off somewhere.

In this case, all one million of us would march to Area 51 and we would intrude, every last one of us. And we would keep on intruding until the government revealed everything! Every crashed saucer. Every alien corpse. Every human-alien hybrid. Every Reese's Pieces. Everything.

Let's do this, people. Write to me here, give me a couple dates in the next year or two when you know you'll be free and let's start planning.

Imagine a crowd this size storming the gates at Area 51. It's the Million Intruder March!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Point Exactly

This is what happens when you "test" military drones in Maryland.

Drone Drone Drone

"Drone"

That's the word of the day here at highstrangenessufo.com, as I watch my pageviews rocket off the charts , largely because so many people are reading the post I wrote back in December about a mysterious flying-saucer-shaped cargo spied on a semi-trailer being hauled through a town in Kansas...

The authorities reassured everyone at the time that the flying-saucer-shaped object under the tarp was not a flying saucer at all; it was merely a flying-saucer-shaped military drone being shipped from where it was built in California to a military base in Maryland for testing. I had my doubts back then, when I realized that two different photos appearing in the press revealed two very different tarp-covered objects were being passed off as the same object, but nothing more ever appeared in the press about it and it was forgotten.

Why, then, would a few hundred people suddenly decide today to look up my blog and read a six-month old post? I've been wondering about it all day, and just figured it out.

It now looks as through that truck never made it to the military base back in December, and has been wandering the highways and byways of America ever since, a kind of a Flying Dutchman of the highway. Last night it was supposedly spotted in Washington, D.C., our nation's capitol.

Here's the "new" photo that's been making waves today:

Yep, that's definitely Washington, D.C. that truck is driving through.
Back in December, I wondered why a truck hauling such a strange cargo a full 3,000 miles from California to Maryland had only been noticed by a few people in Kansas, and it's still a fair question. Apparently the military is now saying that this is a second truck hauling a second drone, but again I ask: How did it get from California to Washington, D.C. without ever being noticed? The easy explanation is that they didn't go through Kansas this time, but that's a little too easy for me.

There are so many things wrong with this story it's hard to know where to begin, but I'll focus on this: If a company in California builds an experimental military drone that is so experimental that they have to truck it 3,000 miles to Maryland to test it, that implies that it is too dangerous to fly it 3,000 miles over the heads of millions of unsuspecting Americans, and that implies to me that it is not ready for its test flight. Put simply: an aircraft that has to be pulled around on a trailer to get from here to there does not, strictly speaking, qualify as an aircraft. But even if it is ready, why not test it in the skies over California, where they have vast, unpopulated deserts? Why test it in the skies over Maryland, where, let's face it, vast, unpopulated deserts are few and far between? The obvious answer is that Maryland does have a vast, unpopulated ocean nearby, but California has an ocean, too, and it's a little vaster than Maryland's.

This is a head-scratcher, all right. All I can think to do is continually do web searches for "drone" all day and every day -- and I suggest you do the same -- until we solve this mystery, and until my page counts hit six or seven digits. Only then can we be truly safe.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Signal To Space

What if the first alien life forms we encounter use a vastly different mode of communication than we do? What if, say, we made contact with an alien race that could only communicate in bursts of 140 characters or less? What if the universe really turned out to be the twitterverse...?

You may think these are silly questions, but you'd be wrong. At least you would be according to The National Geographic Channel, which is about to launch a new summer TV series that promises to make the UFO phenomenon look more ridiculous than ever before.

"Chasing UFOs" is the new show, and it's an apt title, as you can bet that there will be a lot of "chasing" and not a whole lot of "catching." Because if the three supernaturally attractive hosts actually discovered anything, it would be a special, not a series, right?

Anyway, I give NatGeo's marketing people credit for coming up with a pretty clever gimmick with which to launch the show. They have announced an interactive, crowd-sourced something or other called "The WOW! Reply," in which ordinary people like you and me -- well, like you -- can submit tweets to a special account set up by National Geographic, to be sent out into space as a message of greeting to whatever alien civilizations might be listening. Apparently the message will be transmitted into space by the huge radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, pictured here:

That's me at Arecibo, circa 2001. Little did I know then that this massive radio telescope would someday play a part in a massive interactive intergalactic marketing campaign.
I'm a little fuzzy on how it works, but here's the deal: people will be able to write and send tweets (with the #ChasingUFOs hashtag) only on the night of July 29th, the night the show premieres, and the tweets will be held in cryogenic storage or something until mid-August, when they'll be thawed out and sent out into space as a "response" to The WOW! Signal, a short burst of seemingly meaningful information picked up from deep space by earthbound radio antennae back in 1977 and considered by some to be a signal from an alien civilization. Because taking 35 years to reply will really impress those aliens.

Especially when the reply consists of a deluge of nitwit tweets tapped out by hordes of people who you would never, ever, ever, under any circumstances want to be the first human being that aliens make contact with.

Anyway, National Geographic Channel seems determined to go through with it, so I suppose we should prepare for the worst.

In Living Color

It's a funny thing. When I sent MUFON HQ this head shot for my Certified Field Investigator I.D. Badge, they said no go.

This photo does not identify me to MUFON's liking.
They said that people who see the I.D. Badge need to see my eyes, to make sure I'm on the up-and-up. Ok, fine. I sent them a new, less mysterious head shot, and this time HQ approved it, so yay! And, what do you know, I got my MUFON Certified Field Investigator I.D. Badge in the mail today, so double yay!

But even a casual observer will quickly realize that on the new I.D. Badge you still can't see my eyes!

The joke's on you, MUFON: I don't have any eyes!
The casual observer may also notice that there's an unearthly glow emanating from the center of my lofty forehead, and my skin is an odd shade of magenta. I can't account for this. I felt in tip-top shape when the photo was taken.

On the plus side, it's a better picture than the one on my drivers' license.

Here's another funny thing: when I proudly showed this I.D. Badge to my son Cxxxxx, his eyes went straight to the message in the lower left corner of the Badge: "If found, please mail to 262 Wilmer Ave..."

"That's great," he said, "They already think you're going to lose it."

Yep, leave it to MUFON to give its newest recruit a shiv in the back. Well, I'll show them: I'll never lose it. Ever.

And the funny things just keep coming: I just got an email from MUFON HQ that says:
"Dear Mr. O'Connell:
This is just a quick reminder that your membership expires as July 1,2012" 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Survival Home?

If George Lucas will permit me to use his trademark expression, I've got a bad feeling about this...

I contacted Vxxxx, my MUFON State Director, to ask for some suggestions as to how I should pursue my reluctant UFO witness. She recommended that I wait until this Sunday afternoon and give him one last try, then report in with whatever I've got. I'm not sure what's so special about Sunday, but ok, I can deal.

I need a good old MUFON-style group hug and pep talk, so I'm going to the Wisconsin Chapter meeting this Saturday in Milwaukee to hear a talk given by government conspiracy whistleblower Richard Dolan.

I asked Vxxxx if she would be coming to the meeting so we could talk about my little problem, and she replied that she was. In fact, she let it slip that she will be flying home for the meeting. She then mentioned that her husband would not be attending because "he's still working on our survival home."

Uhhh... survival home? That's when I got that George Lucas feeling... What do Vxxxx and her husband think they need to survive? Are they prepping for a specific extinction event, or do they just expect the worst in general and want to be ready for anything?

A typical survival home. This one was built to fend off a zombie attack, but what good will that do you if the aliens get here first?
Or could the survival home have something to do with Richard Dolan, the speaker at this Saturday's meeting? He likes to write books about "Disclosure," the moment when the governments of the world drop the alien contact bombshell on all of us and society collapses. Maybe Dolan has shared some vital information with Vxxxx that made her and her husband decide to build their survival home... What high-security bunker is she flying home from??

This could get interesting...


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spinning My Wheels

This is getting ridiculous. Also sad.

I've made every effort to get on with my first UFO sighting investigation, and it just doesn't come together. I had a short talk with the witness three days ago, but as fate would have it I called him just as he was going out to dinner. He was very nice and apologized for being so hard to reach, and said he was planning to call me in a day or two. But now it's three days later and I haven't heard back from him.

It's been almost a month now and I fear this UFO sighting is close to passing its freshness date. Any moment now the witness will start forgetting things and start doubting the things he does remember. But I don't want to keep pestering the guy and become known as "The Pushy MUFON Field Investigator."

If I don't hear back from this person by tomorrow I will seek counsel with the State MUFON Director. I fear that if I don't right this sinking ship quickly, my career as a MUFON Field Investigator may be over before it's begun. Maybe there's a reason why I still haven't gotten my MUFON Field Investigator I.D. in the mail.

Meanwhile, my daughter Cxxxx came running upstairs the other day to tell me that one of her friends from school had just posted on his Facebook page that he has just seen a UFO over his house. I need to get in touch with that kid...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Bradbury Chronicles

This is one of my most prized possessions...

This week I was reminded of how precious this note is to me when I learned of the death of its author, Ray Bradbury. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Bradbury, one of the world's most acclaimed science fiction and fantasy authors, when I was a student at the University of Southern California in 1980, and it was a huge HUGE thrill. He gave me my first real encouragement as a writer, and I am forever grateful to him for that.

Among Bradbury's long list of celebrated works are "The Martian Chronicles," "Fahrenheit 451," "Something Wicked This Way Comes," and the short story that I'm pretty sure every American kid who ever took a high school English class has read, "The Veldt." You know, the one with the futuristic holographic playroom where the two young kids have created a virtual African veldt and a pride of virtual lions that not so virtually devour their parents? Ah yes... every kid's wish-fulfillment fantasy...

Anyway, when I was at USC, I discovered a legitimate for-credit course on "The History of Entertainment," and signed up immediately. The fact that this course existed was amazing to me, and the fact that I got in and earned college credit for it still amuses me to this day... The course met every Wednesday night at The Variety Club in downtown Los Angeles, and every week the instructor brought in some little-known but truly fantastic show-biz veteran to regale us with stories of their careers. Most were so obscure that I don't remember them, but I do remember a few standouts, like actress Margaret Hamilton, most famous for playing the Wicked Witch in the movie of "The Wizard of Oz," and comedian Dick Wilson, best known as Mr. Whipple, the toilet paper-obsessed grocery store owner from the Charmin toilet paper TV commercials.

Then there was Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite authors and, it turns out, quite the raconteur. I knew that class that week would be amazing, but I wanted to make it even more amazing. So, aspiring conniving writer that I was, I banged out a short science fiction story and resolved to get Ray Bradbury to read it, no matter what. As expected, he gave a fantastic, inspiring talk about his writing and his career and answered unending questions from all of us admiring students. He was wonderful. And afterwards I approached him, story in hand, and asked if he would be willing to read it.

He sighed. He did not want to say yes, but he was too nice to say no. So he found a way out. "Sure," he said, "but you'll have to give me a self-addressed envelope, so I can send it back to you."

Touche!

He thought he had me, and, in truth, he almost did. But I had just gotten something in the mail that day in a big brown mailer, and without giving it any thought I had stuffed the story into that envelope to bring to class. By some twist of fate that I still struggle to understand, whoever had sent that parcel to me in the mail had sealed the envelope with the brass clip, but hadn't licked the adhesive, so the envelope was still perfectly, beautifully, deliciously useable. So, without skipping a beat, I flipped over the envelope to show him the address label and said, "Here you go!"

He gave a little laugh, and told me he'd be glad to read it. I really think he got a kick out of it.

A few days later, I found out that Mr. Bradbury was giving a lecture on campus, and although I missed the lecture I did show up outside the lecture hall just as Bradbury was being mobbed by admiring fans. I don't know what possessed me, but I pushed my way through the crowd and got right in front of Ray and said, "Hi, Mister Bradbury, have you had a chance to read my story yet?"

The crowd gasped. From where I stood I could see that most of them clutched stories in their hands that they were going to ask Ray to read. Again I got the little laugh from Ray, and he said he hadn't read my story yet but he would. Sure enough, a few days later I got the note that you see above in the mail, in that same envelope. And I did submit my story to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. And it got rejected. But it didn't matter. Ray Bradbury had thought it was good enough to submit to a magazine, and that was all that mattered to me.

Thank you, Ray!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's Raining UFOs!

As I prepare to finally conduct my first ever UFO sighting investigation for MUFON, I've been checking out the volume of UFO sighting reports in my area. It has occurred to me that as soon as I successfully complete my first investigation, I will be assigned another, and so it behooves me to know what's going out there, so I have some idea what they might throw at me.

Here's what MUFON's UFO Stalker has going on in southeastern Wisconsin... I don't think I can be accused of exaggerating when I say it's raining UFOs over Wisconsin!

Holy crap, do we get a lot of UFOs over Wisconsin! Could this have been the deciding factor in the recall?
How the hell am I going to keep up with all of this? Really, this is a big job, much bigger than I expected. Luckily, UFO Stalker links up to MUFON's Case Management System, so I can see the disposition of various cases and see how I would have handled them, had they been assigned to me...

My sentimental favorite is the report of a 2009 sighting of an "invisible object seen traveling through the clouds" that came in from the small town where I grew up, Big Bend... See that little UFO in the middle of the picture below? That is literally two blocks from the house where I grew up and where my parents still live! Hey, thanks for keeping me posted on local UFO activity, Mom & Dad. Are we going to have to have that talk again?

I grew up in this little burg, and I had no idea we had UFOs! Damn.
Anyway, the Big Bend encounter was investigated by some dude who seems to be from Florida, and his findings were disappointing to me. First, he gave the witness very low scores on the bizarre Ballaster-Guasp Evaluation system: Information Quality –  50%; Reliability – 38.5%; Strangeness – 28.57%; Certainty – 5.5%! That's a pretty low Certainty score, no matter how you slice it, but then again, the UFO was "invisible," so I guess I have to cut the Investigator some slack there. In the end he found that, "Due to the description of the object as well as the maneuvers, I am closing the case as Unknown - Other."

Closer to home, and in some ways more intriguing, is the report that came in from just 10 miles where I live now. This sighting, which took place last October in the City of Whitewater, involves a person seeing the same lights in the sky for a week, and saying "hope someone can tell what this is."

Whitewater is a University, and, hence, a party, town. Does that fact enter into this unusual UFO sighting report?
This case was investigated by the Wisconsin State MUFON Director and Assistant Director (who also investigated my second UFO sighting last winter), and after much messing around with star charts and a telescope, they determined that the UFO was actually an IFO (Identified Flying Object). "...considering the way the star moved as time elapsed and its placement in the sky, we are quite confident that this is a star in the Bootes Constellation and likely Arcturus," the report concludes.

What do I take away from all this? Wisconsin may have plenty of UFO sightings, but we need more Certainty... 5.5% just will not cut it.




Monday, June 4, 2012

Planetary Objects

There are some pretty cool things in the sky, aside from UFOs. If the sky didn't exist, we would have to invent it, just to put all these cool things up there.

For example, over the weekend my wife and I took out my new telescope to do some stargazing, and saw something that to us was pretty amazing. First we spent a lot of time looking at the moon, and man it has a lot of craters. I mean, they are all over the place. It's a wonder Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin didn't both trip and fall into one!

NASA actually took this picture for me.




But then we turned our telescope to a bright spot about 15 degrees east of the moon, which we knew to be the planet Saturn. Now, this telescope, an Orion XT8 Dobsonian, is still fairly new to us, so we didn't know exactly what to expect. Boy, were we surprised. We were able to see Saturn and its rings and two of its moons very clearly, and my wife was the first to notice that you could actually see the rings' shadows on the surface of the planet!

Thanks again, NASA!
Telescopes rock. Hard to translate the experience into words and pictures, especially when the pictures don't quite look like what we actually saw, but peering through that magic eyepiece and seeing a world that you know is millions of miles away but looks as though you could drive there on less than a tank of gas is a stunning experience... And when you see moons and planets and stars in the telescope, you see them in 3-D. There are dimmer bodies in the background that you couldn't see with your naked eye, and so you have a very vivid perception that the object you are looking at is floating in space and isn't just a bright dot on a flat sky.

And, yeah, when you perceive the universe with such depth and clarity, it's easy to imagine other life out there, possibly looking right back at us.

As cool as that was (and it was pretty damned cool), there will be something else in the sky tomorrow (June 5th) that is supposed to be even more amazing: the transit of Venus.

The planet Venus is damn near the brightest thing in the night sky aside from the moon. But tomorrow it will not appear as a bright light. It will appear as a dark disc crossing in front of the sun, or "transiting." This is one of those rare and mystifying moments when everything in the solar system seems to forget where it belongs for a few hours, and so we have Venus getting between the earth and the sun and making life difficult for everyone. Venus apparently got a little confused in 2004 as well, and will continue do so again and again as long as we continue to let it.

NASA will be webcasting the event live from Mauna Kea, Hawaii tomorrow, which is a pretty transparent ploy to get a whole lot of NASA employees out to Hawaii for a big beach party, but I suppose it has some scientific value as well.

Venus, as viewed from a big beach party in Hawaii.



Friday, June 1, 2012

The Special Box

One of my projects for this weekend is to put together my Official MUFON Field Investigator's Kit. The kit is compose of everything I will need to conduct a UFO investigation, and according to the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual, "it would be advantageous to store these items in a special box, suitcase or briefcase."

I should have put my Kit together long ago, I know, but until last month I didn't really know for sure whether I was going to pass the test and become a Certified MUFON Field Investigator, and, well... I only have one special box and I didn't want to empty it out and put all my MUFON Field Investigator's stuff in it if I wasn't going to be a MUFON Field Investigator.

This special box has been with me a long time.
But now I know, and this weekend I must fill my special box with insect repellant, an inclinometer, a first aid kit (personal use only), a color chart, a disposable polyethylene glove, binoculars (with image stabilization), a digital audio recorder, a calculator, digital and film cameras, a small garden trowel and shovel, a star finder or computer astronomy program...

(You can stop reading and skip to the end if you like. I wouldn't blame you.)

...a knife/Leatherman (multipurpose tool), a string, tarp, tent and stakes (what, no poles?), a magnifying glass, area maps or computer mapping capability, tweezers, clipboard or 3-ring notebook, pencils, pens, permanent markers, flashlight (extra batteries), headlamp, compass (good quality) tape measure (100 foot), ruler, sample containers (ziplock bags), MUFON Questionnaire Forms, MUFON Field Investigator's Manual, MUFON Photo Identification Card (not expired).

I'm still puzzling over "headlamp."

The only headlamps I own are attached to my cars. Pretty firmly, too. Not only do they not fit in my special box, but I've noticed that once you remove them from the car they don't light up anymore. Not even on low beam.

I'm going to have a lot of questions for my State Director at our next meeting...


A Slow Week For UFOs

By now I thought I would have my first UFO sighting investigation under my belt, but forces beyond my control have forced me to change my timetable. The gentleman who reported the sighting has had to deal with a family emergency, so we have had to put off our talk until sometime next week.

He did have a 10-minute window to talk last weekend, but in my judgement 10 minutes was not nearly long enough of a time slot for me to have conducted any meaningful investigative work. It takes me eight or nine minutes alone to gain someone's trust (I've timed it with my wife), so how much could I really have gotten done in one to two minutes? Not much, in my opinion.

So, because one of the special powers bestowed upon me when I became a Certified MUFON Field Investigator is "judgement," I decided to postpone the talk until we can really spend some time going over all the details. Which may be just as well, because I still have not received my MUFON Field Investigator ID badge, or my supplemental ethics training. Or my alien detector.

It takes more than just a baseball cap to be ready to investigate UFO sightings. But not much more.