High Strangeness: The Manual Has Arrived

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Manual Has Arrived

Hallelujah, the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual has arrived, all 300 pages of it! It's got everything an eager young wannabe UFO field investigator could dream of, right down to the "Animal Mutilation Cases" reporting form!

It's really more of a three-ring binder than an actual book.

I spent some time over the weekend flipping through the Manual, and I have scarcely scratched the surface of its sublime wonders. Of course it seems to be rife with inconsistencies and contradictions, but I've come to expect that, and, in truth, it just adds to the charm. Consider this: on page 31, in the section on Media Policy Guidelines, the up-and-coming UFO Field Investigator is advised not to mention "paranormal or metaphysical" phenomenon when doing media appearances or interviews, because it is "nonproductive." The Manual goes on to say that "...an impression of inextricable ties between UFO research and other esoteric pursuits serves to confuse the audience and erode the UFO researcher's credibility." In other words, I eroded my credibility last week in my radio interview when I fielded a question about the local Wisconsin werewolf, The Beast of Bray Road... Oops.

But if that's the case, why then does the Manual go on, a mere ten pages later, to launch into a UFO sighting categorization scheme that includes this: "AN1 are anomalies with associated entities. This class could include reports of ghosts, yetis, and other instances of cryptozoology as well as elves and spirits."

What the...? I can't talk about a werewolf but I can talk about a yeti?

What if I get called out to investigate a UFO sighting that involves both a werewolf and a yeti? It could happen. I think I saw it in a SyFy Channel Original Movie once.

Basically, I'd be screwed. If I filed an honest and truthful report, my credibility would erode so fast MUFON wouldn't even trust me to run out for coffee and doughnuts. So I would have no choice but to omit any mention of the werewolf and make it all about the yeti, but how could I live with myself then?

I suspect that this may be MUFON's devious little version of the Kobayashi Maru test... Perhaps these MUFON evaluators are more clever than I think... far more clever.

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