High Strangeness: Friend Or Foe

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Friend Or Foe

Imagine you've been tasked with giving a presentation on a wildly popular and intensely interesting topic. Now imagine you're to give this presentation to a group of people who are not just hanging on your every word but are strongly inclined to believe anything you tell them... Sounds easy so far, right? But here's the catch: Now imagine you have only 30 years to prepare your presentation.

Doesn't seem so easy now, does it?

That's what Retired Air Force dude James Penniston learned the hard way two days ago at the Wisconsin MUFON meeting, held at a community center in Madison, WI. Thirty years ago Penniston was involved in "The Rendlesham Forest Incident," a mass UFO sighting that involved personnel from two US Air Force bases in Britain and is popularly referred to as "Britain's Roswell." Not only was he involved in the incident, he was the officer in charge of base security when the sighting occurred. His job: to determine whether the object was "friend or foe." He was one of the first two people to see the object, but, still not sure if it was friend or foe, he went and touched the damn thing! What kind of crazy MF touches a UFO?

To be fair, Penniston seems like a great guy, and he has an amazing story to tell. He just didn't tell it well that day. Sorry if I sound harsh, but if you've got 30 years to put together a presentation, it should be a rip-snorter, and it wasn't. I could barely understand half of what the man said, and what I could understand was so random, rambling, shambling, disjointed and incoherent that I could barely maintain interest for the nearly three hours he "spoke." Yes, you read that right: three hours. Talk about a "missing time" incident...

But that's not even the worst of it. He brought along his "webmaster," a tech-savvy young A/V hotshot who was in charge of the Powerpoint presentation, but apparently the two men hadn't had much of a chance to rehearse, because as Penniston tried to remember the names of old Air Force colleagues, the A/V guy kept flipping through the images at about 50 slides per minute, not quite enough to induce seizures among us viewers, mind you, but just enough to annoy the living fuck out of us.

There were times when the images stopped flickering by long enough for the webmaster to show us short video clips, but honestly they didn't add much to the presentation either... Maybe it's because they were clips of video made by someone setting up a camcorder in front of a TV screen and videotaping a broadcast off the TV. Uh... have you never heard of the YouTubes? So the video and audio were absolute crap, but hey, at least some of the clips had subtitles... in Arabic.

I bet you think I'm making this up, but I'm not. It was really that terrible. It was so bad I was tempted to go join the drum circle outside the community center.

It's a shame that the presentation was such a wash-out, because the parts of the story I could make out were moderately intriguing. For instance, Penniston says that when he touched the UFO, a sequence of binary code was "downloaded" into his head, and that days afterwards he wrote it all down on 16 pages of paper. Parts of the binary code transmission have been decoded by "binary code experts," but alas, they reveal more or less unintelligible gibberish.

Can you make this out? I didn't think so. It would take a "binary code expert" to tell us what this means.
It wasn't until near the end (at least I think it was near the end; for all I know the presentation is still going on) that Penniston revealed his ultimate plan: he has a new book coming out in February that will finally, at last, explain the UFO phenomenon! He capped this announcement with quite a teaser: the truth, he claimed, will upset and disappoint many of us in the room. I'm not sure why that would be so, because I expect it to be more unintelligible gibberish.

Just the same, I suggest you enjoy the hell out of this blog while you can, because, come February, I may be forced out of the UFO truth business. If what Pennison is pushing is even remotely true, we could all find out in February that the UFOs are being sent here by us... in the future!

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