High Strangeness: Three UFO Phone Calls

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Three UFO Phone Calls

Sometimes I just have to scratch my head at how the world works, the way some small, seemingly insignificant act act can alter the trajectory of your day, your week, even your life...

In the past 24 hours I've had three phone calls related to my UFO writing, all kind of amazing in their own way, that have come about because of some seemingly insignificant thing I said or did at one time. I have to keep some of the content of these phone calls confidential, at least for now, but I want to share with you what I can here, just so it's on the record.

Call #1: A gentleman named Ray Stanford heard my appearance last week on Martin Willis' Podcast UFO, and was excited to hear that I was writing a biography of Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He wanted to talk to me about a time when his work intersected that of Dr. Hynek on the famous 1964 Lonnie Zamora Close Encounter of the Third Kind, and so last night we talked on the phone for about an hour. I was entertained and intrigued by what Mr. Stanford had to tell me about his investigation of the case, and enjoyed his stories of how Dr. Hynek worked when he was out in the field. As for his findings in the Zamora case, a lot of what he told me is recounted in Jerome Clark's "The UFO Encyclopedia," which is reassuring, but I will have to look into it in depth before I can say whether any of it will end up in the book. And there's that crazy mystery of the strange symbol on the side of the UFO... (see picture below) In any case, it's always a huge kick to talk to someone who knew Hynek and who worked a case with him.

Call #2: A documentary filmmaker who attended my talk on MUFON's activities in Wisconsin at the 2015 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference this past June wanted help with some research for a UFO film he hopes to make. In my talk I had told the story of the 1961 Joe Simonton "pancake" CE3K in Eagle River, Wisconsin, and the filmmaker wanted to know if there was enough material there for a documentary. I think there is, and I think this guy can make a pretty entertaining film on the subject, because I really liked his approach to the material. He doesn't have an axe to grind. He isn't interested in proving or disproving the Simonton case. He just thinks it's a fascinating story and it will be fun to make a film about it. He even sent me this link to a great little interview with Mr. Simonton and a disclaimer from Project Blue Book head Maj. Hector Quintanilla!

Call #3: Another gentleman heard me on the Podcast UFO the other night and wanted to tell me about his experiences working for Dr. Hynek at the Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) in the early 1980s. Perhaps because he was only associated with CUFOS for a short time and left in frustration, he was able to give me a slightly less flowery picture of CUFOS' operations than I have heard thus far in my research. In fact, in our talk tonight he dropped a few bombshells that, if they can be corroborated, will add some spice to the final chapters of the book. As he told it, he was a young whippersnapper brought in to help CUFOS bring in more members and, thus, more operating revenue, only to discover that the CUFOS elders were tragically resistant to any and all efforts to save the organization... This and the other stories he told me were kind of sad, a little disappointing, but very human. As with the information from Mr. Stanford, I'm not sure what, if any of this information might end up in the book, but it helps add some pathos to the story I'm trying to tell...

All that in 24 hours... I wish every week was like this!

1 comment:

Tom said...

Just goes to show that you have outgrown Wisconsin, Mark. In fact, you've outgrown the U.S.. You are now an international star.

Next up - you will go Interstellar. When you get to Zeta Reticuli, start your own MUFON group.

And please do not invite Richard Dolan or Don Schmitt to speak there.