High Strangeness: Chewed Out!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chewed Out!

Well, I've taken some heat for my recent blog in which I griped about the boring UFO cases that have been coming my way in past weeks, and I want to respond to that in two parts:

Part 1: I write this blog to entertain myself and, I hope, a few others along the way. As such, much of what I write here I write in jest. Because there's just so much stuff in the UFO world that's so darned funny. In fact, when I started this project, my aim was to write the world's first UFO blog that didn't take itself the slightest bit seriously, and in that I think I have succeeded. That's not to say I don't take the UFO phenomenon seriously, because I do, and if you read the blog a few times you'll see that. On the other hand, if you want to read a UFO blog that takes itself really really seriously, and is written by a UFO investigator who takes him- or herself really really really seriously, you have some options. A few thousand, in fact.

Part 2: Lighten up. I have a right to get bored with my UFO cases if they amount to the same danged silly lights in the sky over and over again, and if investigating the incidents doesn't produce any more information than the witnesses originally described. Both of those things can make Jack a very dull boy. And I have a right to gripe about the boring aspects of this job from time to time.
Yes, writing this blog can be like this.

On the other side of things, some very fun things have been happening lately...

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Geraldine Sutton Stith, the daughter of "Lucky" Sutton, the man who personally unloaded a few boxes of ammo into the "Little Green Men" of the Kelly-Hopkinsville UFO Invasion, and she was a pleasure to talk to. Geraldine wasn't born in 1955, when the event occurred, but she had good stories to tell about her Dad and how the event changed his life. I feel very fortunate to have this material, and a lot of it will be used in my Hynek book.

Also, today I noticed that Robert Hewitt Wolfe, one of the nice guys I used to work with when I wrote for "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" was doing an "ask me anything" on twitter (@writergeekrhw), and I was happy to see that a few people out there are still fans of the show. "DS9" was kind of the red-headed stepchild of "Star Trek," and was perpetually in the shadow of "The Next Generation," but IMHO it had stronger, more interesting characters, and a better overall narrative arc than "TNG." But that's just my O.

I also had a meeting recently with a film producer who is reading a few sample chapters of my Hynek book, and if he likes my stuff he wants to go out and try to get it set up as a moving picture somewhere out there in Los An-gell-eeze. And the best part is, he's an old friend, so if he doesn't like the book, he'll break it to me gently! And I'll still get it published anyway, so there.

Oh, and I got a mysterious email today from special effects guru Douglas Trumbull who you remember from this post, but I can't figure it out so I think it may be an elaborate special effect email. He said he was sending me a google file, but when I clicked on the attachment nothing appeared... I can't help thinking it's some sort of intelligence test and that only way he'll tell me anything more about his super UFO camera is if I solve the puzzle... Trouble is, I already wrote back telling him I couldn't open it.


Oh well, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!


Remote Observer said...

So, your post begs the question:

Who chewed you out? Someone(s) in the hierarchy of MUFON would be my guess.

No one should begrudge you adding or expressing a sometimes humorous take on ufology (or some of the personalities within it), because a lot of it is sadly hilarious, but I'd suggest you might be a tad more careful about personal comments about individuals in ufology, as many have pretty thin skins, and some of your comments have gotten pretty close to the bone.

I'm thinking about some of your statements, for example, about "the elders" (primarily CUFOS seniors)that you recently met with, and it was not too hard to figure out who you were talking about in a couple cases, despite your frequent use of the "Xxxx" coda to partially disguise actual names.

Perhaps the idea of putting yourself in their shoes, and taking their perspective of how you might feel if someone else said similar things about you should be a guide in future. Word to the wise.

By the way, have you begun to get inklings/info about how Hynek kind of had "sticky fingers" with some of the original PBB files / photos, for his own personal collection, and that ended up at CUFOS? It would seem to me to be a significant part of Hynek's story, or any biography of him, don't you think?

Mark UFO'Connell said...

No, the chewing out came from other readers of the blog! And I am appreciative of the fact that they are reading my blog and care enough to comment. That's actually quite flattering.

And yes, there are a lot of thin-skinned people in UFOlogy, and I have run afoul of a few of them. I have realized that there is no way NOT to tick off these people, so I don't worry about it much. I think it bears repeating that I as offered the opportunity to write the book about Dr. Hynek AFTER the Scientific Director of CUFOS had read my blog and gotten a feel for my approach to the topic...

I have nothing but respect and admiration for the Elders of CUFOS, even if I don't always agree with them. Their vast knowledge and even vaster generosity have overwhelmed me.

Funny that you bring up Hynek's "sticky fingers." There is no way to tell his story without going there. So much of what I'm learning about Hynek flies in the face of the popular conception of him as a timid, cowardly man, and this is a case on point... The guy lifted untold numbers of sensitive documents from the Air Force and got away with it, not for weeks or months or years, but for DECADES... that is not the act of a coward, in my opinion.

Remote Observer said...


I'd also note that there is some question about the provenance of the infamous "Pentacle Memo" from Dr. Howard C. Cross of the Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI was on contract to ATIC/PBB under a sub-project [10073] of Project Stork, and was PBB's scientific consultant for over a decade, and also created what became known as PBB Special Report #14) that was sent to Miles E. Goll of ATIC, along with a few other CC's, and attention to Capt. Ruppelt, head of PBB at the time.

Vallee wrote about discovering an onionskin file copy of the memo, stamped in red ink with "SECRET -- Restricted Information," in Hynek's home files in 1967, in his book Forbidden Science (Vol. 1), when Vallee (with Hynek's permission) was organizing Hynek's home files while Hynek was away visiting in Canada.

CUFOS found another, slightly different version of the memo, also an onionskin copy marked the same, in the files Hynek left for them in CUFOS files, and Mark Rodeghier and Jennie Zeidman wrote an article about all this, which was rather controversial at the time Vallee first documented this affair in his book, due to Vallee's rather contentious opinions about the Pentacle Memo's implications, significance and meaning.

I'd recommend you pick up a copy of Vallee's Forbidden Science (Vol. 1 and 2), as there's quite a bit in those books about Hynek, his personality, and Vallee's periodic frustrations (and affection) for him.

See also: http://www.cufon.org/cufon/pentacle.htm

The Rodeghier/Zeidman article was in the May/June 1993 (Vol. 18, Number 3)edition of CUFOS' International UFO Reporter (IUR). Vallee and CUFOS' Rodeghier and Zeidman came to quite different conclusions about the Pentacle memo.

I guess some might surmise Hynek may have taken the memo copies directly from BMI when he visited Dr. Cross at some point in late 1952. You might want to look into that.