Since the news broke that one of the UFO cases I investigated had been chosen as one of MUFON's Top Ten cases for 2012, the phone has been ringing off the hook! Trouble is, it's the same guy calling over and over. Seems Milwaukee TV station Channel X wants to do a news segment on the sighting. That's fantastic; it will make my name a household word in southeastern Wisconsin and make more people aware of the great work MUFON does.
|How to get in the Top Ten: draw a sketch like this.|
To me that's the end of the discussion. The woman is grieving, so we thank her for everything she's done so far and leave her in peace. That's how I handled it, and that's what I reported back today to the mighty MUFON PR machine and to the TV news guy.
The mighty MUFON PR machine, I am happy to say, is ok with leaving the witness in peace but trying to do the segment with just me and Robert Powell, but I just got off the phone with the TV news producer, and man is he a jackass. He wants me to call the witness back and basically see how much time she needs to grieve before she's willing to do the news report. "I've got a month I can do this in!" he cheerfully reported to me. I told him again as nicely as I could that I was not going to to call the witness any more, so he tried to get me to give him her phone number and address...
Jack. Ass. What part of "death in the immediate family" do you not understand?
On a happier Top Ten note, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Robert Powell, MUFON Director of Investigations over the weekend at the gathering of the Council of UFO Elders--yes, he is a disembodied brain!--and I was able to ask him how my little old Close Encounter of the 2nd Kind case made it into the Top Ten.
He explained that he and his colleagues first have to go through the 4,000 or so UFO sighting reports that MUFON receives annually, and they eliminate about 3,000 of them right away, usually because there is insufficient information in the initial report and the subsequent investigation. Then they send the 1,000 remaining reports to the scientific screening panel made up of scientists and science majors, and those guys narrow it down to 500, then 100, then 10! The cases that make the cut, Robert explained to me, generally involve multiple witnesses (mine had two!), long time duration (mine lasted 25 seconds!) and proximity of the witnesses to the unidentified object (75 to 100 feet!).
You see what I did there? By pumping Robert for information while his guard was down, I now know exactly what I need to do to grab all ten next year!