High Strangeness: Challenged to a UFO Duel!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Challenged to a UFO Duel!

Hello, readers!

I'm just coming off one of the craziest, busiest weeks -- no, make that months -- of my life and as things finally calm down I have a little time and energy to devote to my favorite blog. My return has been prompted by two incidents that occurred yesterday, both of which got me re-focused like a laser on solving this UFO problem once and for all.

First, I had the good fortune to appear on last night's (September 9, 2015) edition of http://podcastufo.com/ hosted by Martin Willis. Martin is a great host and apparently he lets his guests ramble all they want, because I feel as though I talked pretty much without interruption for two hours. What can I say? It's a gift.

The second occurrence yesterday came as a total shock, completely out of the blue... I have been challenged to a duel! A UFO duel!! A real UFO duel, with sabers and blunderbusses and lots of blood! And for some reason I'm happy about it -- no, not just happy, but ecstatic!

This is what UFOlogy leads to...
Why a duel, you ask? What could bring about such a dramatic development in the otherwise staid and harmonious world of UFOlogy?? Well, I'll tell you... A few months ago I gave a talk at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, and it went over well enough that the organizer of the Conference, Tea Krulos, invited me to come back and talk at next year's event. Of course I said yes! I had a great time and am happy to support a home-grown event that raises awareness of paranormal issues.

It just so happens that another Wisconsin UFO writer gave a talk that day, a mere month after he had been onstage in Mexico City presenting a picture of a mummified young human boy that had been billed as an alien corpse recovered from the alleged Roswell saucer crash event of 1947. It was an interesting talk, to say the least; how do you defend your participation in what many consider the absolute low point of UFOlogy?

So, yesterday I got an email from Tea about next year's Conference, and here's what he had to say:
Hi Mark,
Well, I got an unexpected e-mail. Let me preface this by saying after the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, Mike Huberty (of See You on the Other Side podcast) and I were hanging out and discussing how we would have liked to see a debate between you and Don Schmitt. I forgot the idea after that.
A couple months ago I e-mailed Don, telling him I was open to ideas on his participation in next year's para con. He was busy, and just got back to me a couple days ago. I was surprised to find that his idea for next year's con was that he would like to have an onstage debate with you on the subject of Roswell!
I love the idea. I not only think it's exciting from a publicity angle, but it could be a thought provoking experience for people to learn more than one angle on the subject and ufology in general. In fact, I think a debate on different subjects will become an annual tradition for the con.
I told Don I would ask to see if you are interested. I would find a debate format that would be acceptable to both of you and would get a crew (possibly UWM or Marquette's Debate Team) involved to make sure the debate is run efficiently.
As for dates, I've looked at a few different venues this summer and there are a couple more I'd like to check out before signing a deal. Once that happens, I'll have a definite date, though I'm shooting for either the second or third weekend of October 2016.
Ok, please let me know your thoughts on this! Thanks!
Would I be interested in debating Don Schmitt about Roswell?? Are you effing kidding? It's a dream come true! It's like Christmas in September! It's like winning Powerball and Mega Millions on the same day!

Apparently one of us has besmirched the other, but I'm not sure who. I don't feel particularly besmirched myself, so he must think that I have besmirched him. That would make sense, as just about everyone was besmirching the people who got up on that stage in Mexico City.

Do I want to debate Don Schmitt? Not only do I want to debate him, I want it live-blogged, satellite-beamed and televised around the globe!! You know how Fathom Events shows live events in huge movie theaters? I want that on every flipping IMAX screen in the world!

So, okay, it's not sabers and blunderbusses, and there probably won't be much blood. But it will be exciting, and stimulating, and fun. And, for the record, I haven't actually agreed to do it yet; I have merely expressed my interest. I told Tea that I would need to have a better idea of the format and scope of the debate before committing, but assuming we can work out all the particulars, it's a pretty sure thing I'll be on that stage. (As you may recall, this is precisely the suggestion I made to Jan Harzan, the Intergalactic Director of MUFON, when I suggested he remove Jaime Maussan from the speakers roster at this month's MUFON Symposium... He said it couldn't be done so I said that going forward it might be a good idea to have someone onstage to counter the silly claims of the Mexico City team whenever they're invited to speak at a UFO event).

But what exactly would the two of us debate? Don can't prove that anything happened at Roswell and I can't prove anything didn't happen, so if that's what the debate is about it would end in a stalemate and it would be, frankly, pretty boring. If it's a debate on who knows more about the Roswell case, then Schmitty wins hands down and I concede here and now. I don't know 1/1,000th of the names, dates and places of the Roswell saga that he knows. So, we'll have to address a certain substantive element or elements of the Roswell narrative that can actually be debated in some meaningful way, and at this point I'm not certain what those might be.

But I bet you anything that Don has some ideas...

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