High Strangeness: April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Holy Crap, Four More Days of This??

You know Albert Einstein's old joke about the definition of insanity?

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Yeah, that one. I didn't know Einstein said it, either.

Anyway, it's become newly relevant to me today as I've watched and listened to the live stream of the "Citizen Hearing on Disclosure--Day One." All day long, hour after hour, UFO experts have been making prepared statements to former members of Congress, and then answering questions from said former Congresspeople in the hope that someone besides me is listening. I hope they are too, 'cause this whole thing is lost on me.

Basically, what you have is the same old UFO experts pushing the same old theories and citing the same old classified documents and making the same old accusations against the same old government and expecting things to turn out differently this time.

It ain't working.

And there are four more days of it!

Honestly, I did hold out some hope that there might be some worthwhile moments today -- and there almost was when one of the expert witnesses started talking about an alien propulsion system called "Electromagnetic Gravitics" as if it really existed -- but then the minute I heard the woman in the green beret (!) start talking earnestly about cattle mutilation I knew the whole thing was going to be hopeless. You want to be taken seriously? You don't lead off with cattle mutilations. Because here's the thing: in all the years that people have been theorizing that aliens from space have been mutilating our livestock (and inexplicably leaving the carcasses behind -- in much the same way that they put abductees' pajamas on backwards before dropping them off in the wrong beds) no one has ever been able to produce a scrap of evidence to support the theory. In the same vein, I don't care how many geezers you find who will swear that they held the strange "memory metal" from the crashed Roswell UFO in their own hands, if you can't show me the actual memory metal, just shut up.
If this is what one of the expert witnesses looks like after testifying, imagine the agony on my face after a day of this.
Not that I think that physical proof is necessary to make a convincing case -- for all I know, aliens are mutilating our cattle -- but after pushing these same arguments for years, these people should have had the smarts to bring something new to the table. Especially when it's a massive mahogany table meant to resemble those in a Congressional hearing room. But from what I've seen on Day One, not a single expert thought to freshen up his or her material.

And they haven't even gotten to the Atacama Humanoid yet. This going to be a long week...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

How to Conduct an Abduction Investigation

Well, the Atacama Humanoid is already old news... I just Googled it and the most recent news item is already 4 days old. It's so over.

Now we can move on to more pressing matters, like the fact that I, The Close Encounters KidTM, have just been assigned to investigate yet another CE. This time it's a Close Encounter of the Third kind, and it's such a special case that I have been given MUFON's ALL-NEW Document #PR-0017 detailing How to Conduct an Abduction Investigation!

How much of a BFD is this? This instruction manual was just approved by the MUFON Board of Directors this past January, and it still has red proofing marks on it. If it was any newer it would have a placenta.

And I have it! But I have been warned not to repeat or reproduce any part of it, so that's no fun. I can't tell you anything that's in it... but then again, I think I would be performing a public service to give you just a hint of the wonders that await you inside this document. For instance, I think it's okay to tell you that if you were to ever wake up in a strange bed with your pajamas on backwards, you may have been abducted by aliens. But see, if your life is anything like mine, there are so many reasons you might wake up in a strange bed with your jammies on backwards that it doesn't really feel like I'm giving away any big secrets. But that's really all I can say, so please don't ask me anything more about it.
I was going to show you an amazing illustration from MUFON's all-new alien abduction investigation handbook, but I am legally prohibited from doing so. So here's a dreamlike image of a UFO instead.
I can, however, tell you about the Case that started this whole thing. A woman reported a sighting that took place in 1994, nearly 20 years ago. She reports that she was 4 or 5 at the time,visiting relatives here in Wisconsin, when the incident occurred. She had fallen asleep in the car, and when the family arrived at the relatives' house the parents took her to a quiet bedroom and placed her in a chair so she could continue sleeping... Some time later, she woke up and looked at the window, just five feet away from the chair where she had been sleeping. There was a bright light coming from the window, and she saw "an entity" with its hands on the window sill, looking at her through the window.

Did the little girl scream bloody murder? Nope. The entity's eyes had a "reassuring" look, and she was overcome with a sense of peace and safety, as though the entity was telling her that "everything was going to be okay."

Creepy, right? And, as in so many of these cases, also not creepy. What's interesting is that she does not report anything else. The story has no ending... Does that mean she was abducted? I intend to find out.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An Apparently Severe Form of Dwarfism

Wow. Ever since I blogged about the Atacama Humanoid the other day, my pageviews have gone through the roof! I'm at about 750 today, which is about 600 more than my previous record. I don't know what else to say but, "Thank you, Atacama Humanoid!"

I'm surprised, but it turns out I shouldn't be. News of the little beasty broke a couple weeks ago, while I wasn't paying attention, and it became the most-read item on Huffingtonpost.com for three days, where it generated 4,300 comments -- all of them completely sane -- and then it promptly went on to get 32,000 Facebook "likes." Think about that. A dessicated corpse has more Facebook likes than you do.

So in light of that my 750 pageviews aren't all that impressive, but it still made my day. Until I remembered that I don't charge you all to read this.

Anyway, I promised I would report on any updates, and I always keep my promises. Dr. Steven Greer, the guy who made the film "Sirius" and who went to all this trouble to find out if the Atacama Humanoid -- or "Ata," as it is now lovingly referred to -- is an alien life form has announced the findings of the DNA analysis he had done by a geneticist at a major university that shall remain unnamed. I can now report that the test results are... interesting.

Result #1: Ata was human in every way.

Result #2: Ata was a boy, aged between 6 and 8, when he died.

Okay. Let's take stock here. While it's reassuring to know that the little beasty was not an alien life form sent to earth to destroy us, it's extremely troubling that Dr. Garry Nolan, the geneticist, is claiming that a 6 to 8 year-old human child could be only 6 inches tall. It's "an apparently severe form of dwarfism," says the Doctor in his report.


It's not that he doesn't have evidence to back it up: he's going by "bone density and epiphyseal plate studies" that he says clearly show a "post-birth" age of 6 to 8 years. He even has an itty-bitty, so-cute-you-could-cry 6-inch CT scan to prove it! Just look:
Okay, it's not cute.
Still. I've known a lot of 8 year-olds -- hell, I was one once -- and none of them have ever been less than a foot tall. I think Dr. Nolan has a bit more explaining to do. And I want a second opinion.

But then there's this: the "Sirius" filmmaker now says on one of his websites that "Genetic analysis has revealed it to be definite organic material with a plethora of striking abnormalities so-far unseen in any other life on earth." What the hell does that mean? Is Ata human or not?

And when is someone just going to do the decent thing and give it a proper burial? I mean, my gosh.
Genetic analysis has revealed it to be definite organic material with a plethora of striking abnormalities so-far unseen in any other life on Earth. - See more at: http://siriusdisclosure.com/evidence/atacama-humanoid/#sthash.30lTf0bt.dpuf

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Atacama Humanoid

The big news in UFO-land this week is The Atacama Humanoid, and the story is so bizarre I don't even know where to begin...

Ok, I'll start with the basics. A humanoid is something that resembles a human being. Atacama is a high-altitude desert on the western coast of Chile, and is said to be the driest desert on earth. What do you get when you mix humanoids with dry South American deserts? Turns out you get some extremely high strangeness.

Before I go any further, I should show you what I'm talking about:
The Atacama Humanoid (actual size).
This is The Atacama Humanoid. It's a dried-up, shriveled little beasty that someone discovered somewhere in the Atacama desert around 10 years ago, and it's only 6 inches long! That's right, it would fit in your shoe! It could sleep inside a butter dish! But it can't sleep because it's dead.

That's where the Atacama Desert comes in. It's an awful place. No life exists there, not even microbial life. It's so barren and awful and lifeless that NASA uses it to simulate the surface of Mars when my place isn't available. Even though life doesn't exist there, living things do sometimes wander in and die there from time to time, and when they do they are instantly mummified.

So even though it is very possible and perhaps even likely that the Atacama Humanoid is the mummified remains of an ordinary human fetus that somehow found its way into the desert, the UFO community can't let it go at that. Some enterprising UFO researcher got hold of the story and decided to go all in with it. From what I've read, he crowdsourced funds to travel to Europe, where the little beasty now resides, to retrieve a fragment of bone. He then brought the bone fragment back to the USA, where he had an "Ivy League" university run genetic tests on it...

Which brings you up to date on the whole saga. If you want to learn what the genetic tests uncovered, you're lucky. The UFO researcher has produced a documentary film called "Sirius" about his long quest to uncover the truth about UFOs and about the Atacama Humanoid, and it premieres online tomorrow, Monday, April 22nd, 2013, at yekra.com/sirius.

I might watch it, but I'm not sure, because it costs $9.99 and I have a slight suspicion of anyone who wants to charge me $9.99 so I can learn the truth about alien life and the human race's place in the cosmos. Anyway, it's not like I won't be able to read every detail of the film two days from now on every UFO website in existence. But I am intrigued, especially since I've read some of the promotional copy for the film:

“'Sirius' is a feature length documentary that follows Dr. Steven Greer – an Emergency room doctor turned UFO researcher – as he struggles to disclose top secret information about classified energy & propulsion techniques. Along the way, Dr. Greer investigates new technology and sheds light on criminal and murderous suppression."

"Though he feels the pressure of an imminent assassination attempt, he comes upon an amazing find: a possible ancient E.T. skeleton, 6 inches long, is discovered in the Atacama desert. 

"What they find will completely change the reality of human existence."

That's some big talk right there. Struggles to disclose top secret information? Criminal and murderous suppression? Imminent assassination attempt? Change the reality of human existence? It's like "The DaVinci Code" only completely believable!

If you're reading this blog, it's a safe bet that you won't pay $9.99 to see this movie, because you clearly value moderately entertaining content that doesn't cost anything. So as a service I will tell you what I learn over the following days and weeks as this story develops. If, on the other hand, you are going to spend $9.99 to see the movie, please be kind enough to let me know, because obviously I should be charging you to read this blog.


Oh, I forgot to mention the other mysterious discovery in the Atacama Desert. This one is really hard to believe...
"Hand of the Desert," sculpture by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal, located in the wasteland of the Atacama Desert.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Anthony Ranfone, Where Are You?

I still need to find Anthony Ranfone!

A few months ago I wrote about this fantastic illustration of the Pascagoula, MS, UFO occupants that abducted Charlie Parker and Calvin Hickson back in 1973.

Okay, allegedly abducted... Whatever.

I came across the illustration in the CUFOS files as I was doing research for my book about J. Allen Hynek, and was struck by its beauty and power. I was intrigued by the signature--A. Ranfone, 1973--but, to my frustration, could find nothing about the illustration or the artist in the files I was digging through that day. I came home, wrote about it, and hoped A. Ranfone would appear.

He or she didn't.

Well, on my most recent foray into the CUFOS archives, something quite amazing happened: I came across a letter written by Anthony flipping Ranfone! You can't imagine my excitement upon finding this... I wasn't looking for it, wasn't thinking about it, but suddenly there it was: a full-page, handwritten letter with the name A. Ranfone at the bottom, staring at me from the bottom of a forgotten file. I had found it! No--it had found me! No--we had found each other! No--really, I had found it. Still, exciting!

The letter, dated 5 November 1973, was written by Anthony Ranfone of Alexandria, Virginia, to a Mr. Donald Nixon of NICAP, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, a leading UFO research group back in the day. Apparently someone at NICAP thought that "Aerial Phenomena" was a much classier, more respectable term than UFO, but nothing is more fun to say than "UFO," so I think they kind of blew it there. What would have been wrong with NICUFO?  But I digress. NICAP has been around since October, 1956, and for a great many years it rivalled the U.S. Air Force's Project Blue Book as the most significant UFO research project in the world. But, for reasons I've explained, the name never caught on; a while back many of NICAP's files were absorbed by CUFOS, and today the organization is little more than a website.

Back to the letter.

"Dear Mr. Nixon," it began, "We spoke briefly in October about a drawing of the Pascagoula being seen on the 11th. Enclosed is the illustration of the fellow. I was able to execute this only after gleaning what info I could from newspaper accounts and a recent T.V. interview. An ABC (TV) artist has done one from a description supplied by one of the men involved. Since I was only able to see it for a minute or so -- my drawing may be slightly inaccurate. If it is not in error, please feel free to use it as you wish.

This is the illustration upon which A. Ranfone based his drawing.
"I suggest that in the event future sightings are reported, I be permitted to send you similar renderings in the same format. In time a consistent catalog will develop. I can do the same with past sightings but again I lack sufficient data for precise illustration. Perhaps you can be of assistance in this regard.

"Sincerely, A. Ranfone"

Ever since reading this letter my mind has been swimming with questions: Did A. Ranfone ever produce more illustrations of UFOs and their occupants? Did Donald Nixon ever respond to the letter? Did the consistent catalog of illustrations ever come to be, and if so, where is it now? And, damn it, where is A. Ranfone?

There must be more to the story. I have to believe that Donald Nixon would have written back to A. Ranfone immediately and said. "Yes, please, do more of these, at once!"

I think it needs to be said: Anthony Ranfone is one amazing illustrator, and if there was any justice in the world he would have been working for ABC TV, and not this other guy. A. Ranfone, where are you??? Come forward this instant, and take your place in the pantheon of great UFO occupant illustrators.

I can only hope that someday soon another letter will jump out at me from the CUFOS files and solve the mystery once and for all.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Million of This, a Million of That

The other day I blogged about the upcoming Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, and I was pretty dismissive of the whole thing for reasons you can read about here.

But I'm a big person and I can admit when I'm wrong. And while I'm still essentially right about the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, there is one thing that the people behind this event are doing that I like. I like it because it has the word "million" in it, just like my "Million Intruder March," scheduled for later this year in Nevada. There's just something about a thing consisting of a million things that gives me confidence that we can unravel this whole UFO/Government conspiracy kerfuffle at last.

This nifty side project to the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure is called "Million Fax on Washington." It involves either a million of us faxing the White House's Office of Science and Technology (OST) at 202-266-7454 to demand that the government reveal what it knows about UFOs and extraterrestrial visitors at once, or one guy sending a million faxes to OST, I'm not sure which. I guess it doesn't really matter. A million faxes is a million faxes, no matter who sends them. Somebody's going to notice them.

This whole thing started a while back when a bunch of people petitioned the White House to disclose everything it knows about UFOs, aliens, alien technology and the like, and the White House flatly denied knowing anything. Needless to say, that didn't sit well with a lot of people, who took the denial as proof that the White House is hiding something.

What else could they do, really, but put on a mock Senate hearing and encourage enraged supporters to fire up their fax machines?
This is the facsimile, or "fax," machine at the White House Office of Science and Technology, specially designed to accept a million incoming faxes from ordinary citizens like you and me in less than a day!
Want to take part? I thought you would. Here's what the Million Fax website has to say about what to write in your fax:

In your own words convey the following:
  1. You find the White House response to Disclosure Petition I - Disclosure to be unsatisfactory.
  2. There is substantial evidence pointing to an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race and the White House (OSTP) should examine that evidence,.
  3. The OSTP should send representatives to the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure as part of that examination.
  4. You believe a truth embargo regarding the ET issue has been imposed by the government for decades and this embargo must end now.
  5. You have a need and a right to know the truth of this matter and you can handle that truth.
Why should you do it? The organizers knew you'd ask:
  1. It is time for the people to know the truth about the world they inhabit.
  2. Maintaining the truth embargo has cost a fortune, undermined the social contract, and led to abuses of secrecy and power.
  3. Until this embargo is ended there will be no public access to technologies derived from ET vehicles at a time of mounting economic and environmental challenges. The energy and propulsion physics of the "flying saucer" is needed now.
Well, that's what it's really all about, isn't it? We need the energy and propulsion physics of the "flying saucer" and we need it now. I'll grant you, it would also be nice to know the truth about the world I inhabit, but that seems a bit selfish when what we really need is the energy of the "flying saucer."

Monday, April 15, 2013

UFO Ruckus!

A few days ago I wrote a blog post in which I criticized a UFO twitterfeed for not-so-subtly suggesting that my man, UFO investigator Royale Dr. J. Allen Hynek, had deliberately misled the American public about the UFO phenomenon. Specifically, the tweets referred to the famous 1966 Dexter-Hillsdale sighting in Michigan. Dr. Hynek, at the time a consultant to the U.S. Air Force's Project Blue Book UFO investigation, inspired public ire when he suggested that the UFOs in two of the sightings may have been "swamp gas."

I replied to the tweet in this way: "If you fully research the incident you find Hynek was spot on to say swamp gas may have been the cause. He was NOT wrong!" and then I wrote the aforementioned blog post in which I took the tweeter to task for repeating old news in a way that created an inaccurate picture if Hynek actions and intentions.

The person behind the twitter account responded to me the next day, saying: "May I ask what sources you used to research the incident? Because what I've seen doesn't point anywhere near swamp gas."

Fair enough. I could have easily replied to the request with a whole lot information. What sources did I use? Well, what sources didn't I use? Turns out, Dexter-Hillsdale is one of the most exhaustively documented UFO incidents in history, so there's no end of information available, if you care to look.

Before I could reply, however, I saw that the tweeter had sent me a follow-up message: "Never mind, I read your polemic blog post, and I needless to say I disagree (sic). I find no compelling reasons to 'revere' Hynek."

Well, you win some, you lose some. This person obviously does not share my high regard for Dr. Hynek, and that's ok... Except that, again, this person's dislike seems to be based on information that is entirely inaccurate.

Funny thing is, before I started my research, I agreed with this tweeter. I believed the story that Hynek had deliberately tried to mislead the public at the Air Force's request, and had as a result made a complete boob of himself. But then I researched the incident and found that it's just not true.

This is one witness' depiction of the Dexter-Hillsdale UFO. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone else Hynek interviewed saw something different...
Just to be fair to the tweeter, I will cite one of the sources I used to research the incident: the case report from the Air Force's UFO study program, Project Blue Book, itself. In Hynek's case report, he describes the afternoon he spent interviewing the gentleman he felt was one of the most observant and reliable witnesses in the Dexter-Hillsdale case. This witness had his pilot's license, he was an Air Force veteran, and he was the County Civil Defense coordinator. His testimony carried some weight. And this man told Hynek that when he first saw the floating lights from a quarter-mile away in the Hillsdale College arboretum, he thought they were marsh gas.

Marsh gas. Which is another term for swamp gas.

One of the most credible witnesses of the event told Dr. Hynek that he thought he was looking at swamp gas. Dr. Hynek said at a press conference two days later that it was possible, perhaps even likely, that the witnesses were observing swamp gas, although he couldn't prove that in a court of law. And the press and the public attacked him. The guy who first suggested the swamp gas theory--Mr. Civil Defense himself-- attacked Hynek--over and over again! And, sadly, some people are still repeating the same erroneous claims.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

OMG! Citizen Hearing on Disclosure!

Hang on to your hats, everyone: The world is going to change on April 29th, and nothing will ever be the same again!

This really is quite a big deal. For five full days, from April 29th to May 3rd, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., just two blocks from the White House and 12 blocks from the U.S. Congress, the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure will bring together 30 to 40 UFO experts and witnesses from around the globe to testify before a government panel and "seek out the facts surrounding the most important issue of this or any other time."

"What issue is that?" you ask. Why, nothing less than the U.S. Government's decades-long cover up of "an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race." "If the Congress will not do its job," the organizers say, "the people will."

That's a pretty ambitious goal, but this is a pretty big issue, and after getting absolutely nowhere for 66 years, you wouldn't expect to get to the bottom of things in only three or four days, would you? You need five for sure. With minimal rest breaks.

A press release explains that this is a $600,000 production out on by the aptly-named, Bethesda, MD-based Paradigm Research Group, or PRG. Their website explains that PRG is "Dedicated to ending the government imposed truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race." I wish them all the best with that.

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that this is all they do, so they ought to do it right. And by all appearances, they are pulling out all the stops:
  • The main ballroom of the National Press Club will be configured to resemble a Senate hearing room. There will be press areas, an audience area, witness tables and committee tables.
  • All will conduct themselves in the same manner appropropriate to a Congressional hearing. To the extent possible the protocols for congressional hearings will be followed.  
  • Witnesses will include the top researchers in the world along with government / agency / political persons of rank and station.
Are you picking up on a theme here? PRG is going to an awful lot of trouble and expense to make this event resemble a Congressional hearing. Why? Maybe because the panel before whom the witnesses and experts will be testifying only resembles the United States Congress.

The headline that started it all. Bad move, Air Force.
That's right, all this hoopla is so 30 to 40 UFO experts can "testify" before a panel of former U.S. Congresspersons and Senators. "Former," as in "retired," as in "washed up," as in "no longer in power." You get the picture. Five days of testimony directed at a panel of six people who can't do a damned thing about it. Oh, and this part is almost poetic: the whole thing will be moderated by a former CNN news anchor. "Former," as in... oh, you must it get it by now!

Now, I'm not saying no good will come of this. The event will be seen around the world in many different languages, and it's never a bad thing to get a whole lot of people around the world thinking and talking about UFOs. And there are a quite a few impressive names on the list of witnesses. But at some point that starts to become a negative, too. Take this guy Stanton Friedman, for instance. I've been to one of his presentations, and he's a brilliant, fascinating guy with a strong argument to make. But he's been railing about government disclosure for decades, so is he going to bring anything new to the table? And what about the grandkids of the Air Force major who was the first on the scene at the famed Roswell UFO crash? I'm sure they're great people, but I'm a little foggy on what exactly they can contribute to this conversation besides sweet memories of being bounced on their grandpa's knee.

So, okay, I wish them all well, and to be honest, if there was any way I could be in Washington that week I would be sitting in on every session and hoping for the best. But I find it more than a bit odd that these dedicated truth-seekers believe they can achieve their goals by faking a Congressional hearing.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Still Wrong After 47 Years

This really burns my toast. I subscribe to a twitter feed called something-something-UFO-something that spits out the occasional interesting bit of UFO news. It's often interesting, but tonight it really, really bugged me. Tonight it tweeted some UFO news that is not only 47 years old, but is also completely misleading.

"Astronomer Dr J.Allen Hynek proposed 'swamp gas' as a possible source of the Hillsdale MI 1966 UFO sighting" said the first tweet, with a link to a YouTube video. It was followed moments later by a second tweet that said, "And here is he (Dr Hynek) again years later, admitting that USAF's Project Blue Book had misled the public," again linking to a YouTube video.

See what they're trying to do? By sending these two tweets out one after the other, they're trying to portray Dr. Hynek as having willfully misled the public with his 1966 "swamp gas" theory and then "admitting" to fraud years later.

It's complete rubbish. I've done enough research on the 1966 Hillsdale sighting to know. I've read countless eyewitness accounts as well as Hynek's own case notes and Project Blue Book report, and the man said and did the right thing. He was not trying to mislead anyone. He was being completely honest; his swamp gas theory fit the facts in 1966 and it still does today.
The girls of Hillsdale College, pointing out where they saw their UFO. Eighty-seven witnesses, but Hynek was only allowed to interview two of them, neither of whom ever saw the UFO in the air.
Imagine being ordered to investigate close to a dozen UFO sightings that have taken place over the past two weeks, and being given only 2 1/2 days to do it. Imagine that the media circus makes it next to impossible for you to conduct a thoughtful, thorough investigation. Then imagine this: some sightings have many witnesses; some have only one or two. What's more, many of the sightings display general consistencies, but eyewitness descriptions of the details vary wildly from one another. This is what Hynek was facing when the Air Force sent him to Hillsdale, MI, in March of 1966, and after sizing up the situation he made a fateful decision: He would only investigate the two sightings with the most witnesses, and he would only consider evidence that two or more witnesses agreed on.

Based on those two decisions, and the meager facts they left him with, the swamp gas theory was not at all unreasonable, and may very well have been right. And he never said for a fact that it was swamp gas; he merely said that these two sightings could have been swamp gas, but that he couldn't prove it in a court of law.

So, give my man J. Allen a break, you stupid twitter feed, you. Don't just go off repeating 47 year-old stories that aren't even true, and don't try to besmirch the reputation of a man you should be revering.

And read my Hynek bio when it comes out. Then you'll know. Then you'll know.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pick of the Litter

I'm so proud...

Now that I'm seriously considering self-publishing my book about the career of Dr. J. Allen Hynek as an eBook, I have to start thinking about building a solid online platform. Don't ask me what that means, exactly, because I don't exactly know, but I know it's important.

So why am I proud? Because I just gave birth to a litter of online domains that will provide me with that platform I need so badly.

My new babies are:


Adorable, aren't they? I don't know what kind of domains they'll grow up to be, but for now I'm content to just watch them sleeping in their cradle.
Like many dumb guys, I was under the impression that if you wanted to buy a web domain, you had to do business with Danica Patrick. This is not true, however. There are any number of hot Indy car drivers who will sell you a web domain if you can pony up the cash.
I tried to get my mitts on a few other choice domains, but they were taken. Any domain with "Close Encounters" or "CE-anything-K" in the name has long since been snatched up. I could have gotten j-allen-hynek.com but that seemed way too dash-y.

So, I'm sticking with these three, and over time, when it becomes clear which of them is the Alpha domain, I'll thin the herd and go with my winner. Can't wait!

Monday, April 8, 2013

UFO Fail!

I have learned a few valuable lessons about UFO field investigation: First, don't send a Certified UFO Investigator to do a State Section Director's job. Second, try to to avoid being named State Section Director in the first place, so you don't have to worry about this shit....

I just took a few days off from blogging and UFO field investigation to visit family in Atlanta, but I knew I was leaving an open Close Encounter of the Second Kind case only half investigated... That was causing me a lot of stress before I left town, but I though -- thought -- I had things nailed down at the last minute before I left.

Boy, was I wrong.

To recap: a couple weeks ago I was assigned the case of the luminous, refrigerator-sized UFO that shot across the highway 60 feet ahead of the witness' car and caused the dash lights to flicker. The flickering dash lights constitute "physical effects," making this an official CE2K, which is special. As part of my investigation, I walked around the vehicle with my trusty compass, and found a magnetic anomaly: every time I walked past the drivers door, the compass needle jumped about 30 degrees from north. I made note of it in my report, and then learned from Vxxxx, my State MUFON Director, that I should have videotaped the whole thing for proof, AND I should have drained the engine oil and collected a sterile sample of the oil along with the used oil filter... Oops. Investigation fail number one. 

Vxxxx asked me to go back and investigate the vehicle again but videotape the effects this time, but by then the vehicle was gone... No, it hadn't vanished as a result of the UFO encounter, although in retrospect I wish it had. Trouble was, by the time the witness' dad agreed to let me come back to to the magnetic anomaly retest and collect the oil, I couldn't do it. I had to leave, you know? Vxxxx told me she would do it, but she's still in Arizona. And if you're wondering why the Wisconsin State Director lives in Arizona, you're not alone. Investigation fail number two.
As a FREE bonus to my readers, I am enclosing this handy UFO spotters' guide.

Things were looking grim, until I was finally able to make contact with Kxxx, another Certified UFO Field Investigator in the neighborhood (Editor's note: we're everywhere!), and got his promise that he could go to the witness' house that weekend and do the magnetic anomaly case and take care of the oil change business. What a relief. I was able to leave town knowing that the investigation was in the hands of one of Wisconsin's most experienced investigators.

And now comes the final, spectacular fail. I found out today that Kxxx did not perform the magnetic anomaly retest because -- ahem -- he doesn't own a compass or a video recording device. Did he mention this small detail to me when I asked him to test the car with a compass and record it on video? NO, he did not. He said, "Okay, Mark, I can do that." To his credit, he did collect a motor oil sample and the used oil filter, and sent them to Fxxxxx, the national STAR Team investigator, to have it tested. But he was supposed to send it to Vxxxx first, so he's blown the whole "chain of custody" thing. Regardless, without the magnetic anomaly test, whatever information Fxxxxx is able to extract from the waste oil and filter may be completely meaningless. Which means that this whole affair could turn out to have been all for naught... Investigation fail number three and four.

That's a pretty complete failure in my book. And I'm not blaming it on Vxxxx, Kxxx and Fxxxxx, much as I'd like to. A big part of the breakdown is my fault, and one of the reasons for that was that I was not going to allow a UFO investigation, no matter how important it may be, to interfere with my personal life. And that's probably going to be an issue many, many more times, so I have to decide if it's all worth it. Am I helping the cause, or hurting it?

Unexpectedly deep, eh?