No UFOs, no remnants of Operation Highjump or Hitler's secret UFO base, nothing. Which is not to say that Antarctica was a disappointment. It was an amazing, uplifting, mind-blowing experience, and even two weeks after returning home I'm still soaking it all in...
The purpose of the trip was getting my 90 year-old dad to Antarctica, his 7th continent. That was my dad's entire bucket list, right there, and now he's done it! And he was nice enough to take me and 4 of my siblings with him, making it the family adventure of a lifetime.
What was best about the trip? Penguins! Seals! Sea lions! Whales! Family time! Icebergs! Abandoned whaling stations! Cruising around inside the caldera of an extinct volcano! Calving glaciers! Tooling around the Antarctic Ocean in Zodiacs!
|Me in Antarctica. Not a single UFO to be seen.|
There were so many stupendous, spectacular natural wonders on display that at least once a day I found myself asking "How is that even possible??"
To be honest, I didn't even look for UFOs. There was already too much natural beauty to see...
Once I got home, I had little time to readjust. Just before leaving on the trip I had accepted a position teaching screenwriting at DePaul University in Chicago, and although I intended to do prep-work for the class while on the trip, of course I didn't. So that left me with a little less than a week to get a class up and running. Fun.
(I am now two classes into the term, and so far, so good! My students are pretty damn sharp.)
Within days of arriving home, my agents concluded the final negotiations for the book contract with HarperCollins, and I am now officially in business. My manuscript is due August 1st, so I have a LOT of work to do...
In the middle of all this, I had a good talk with Txx Kxxxxxx, the organizer of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, to be held next October in Brewtown. Txx wanted to share his ideas on how to conduct the "Roswell debate" to which I've been challenged by Roswell entrepreneur Mr. Donald Schmitt, and I welcomed the opportunity.
You see, it hadn't been clear to me at all what we would actually be debating... Nurse X? The Frank Kaufman papers? The Ramey memo? The Roswell alien autopsy video? The Roswell slides? So many aspects to the story, so many so-called "smoking guns," but what exactly would we be debating? Did the alleged Roswell saucer crash really happen? Well, Don and I could go around in circles arguing about that for days, and in the end nothing would be proven or accomplished. How do you limit it to a real discussion about real things?
I was happy to discover that Txx had the same concerns, and he had a few ideas on how to structure the debate so that it's substantive and meaningful. His suggestions make a lot of sense to me. He proposes one or more of the following:
- What happened at Roswell. Is there proof?
- Is it time for UFOlogy to move on from Roswell?
- What happened with the Roswell slides?
- Roswell research techniques: good or bad?
- Lessons learned, and finding a way forward.
Txx was agreeable to me suggesting some additional possible topics, which I intend to do. I have a few suggestions in mind, but I winder whether you, my readers, have any thoughts on the topic. I bet you do!