High Strangeness: Random UFO Notes

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Random UFO Notes

While I was at the UFO Symposium over the weekend, I was slipped a note by one of the presenters. She was making a documentary film and wanted to interview me for it...
"My project is about the Travis Walton case. Do you know much about J. Allen Hynek's research of the Travis Walton case? Would you like to make some comments about what Hynek thought about the topic and how he was 'required to debunk' most of the cases?"
It just so happens that I know very little about Dr. Hynek's research of the Travis Walton case, so of course I said Yes!

Don't go, Travis!
j/k. I do know a bit about Hynek's thoughts on the Walton case, but not anywhere near enough to be able to make any intelligent or interesting comments about it. Walton's UFO abduction experience took place in 1975, and I simply haven't gotten that far in my research for the Hynek book. So, as much as I love being on camera, I had to tell the documentarian that I would have to pass on the opportunity.

I did think it was interesting, however, that she also wanted to ask me on camera about "How (Hynek) was 'required to debunk' most of the cases." Perhaps that is a challenge I should have taken up, because I don't believe that Hynek was ever "required to debunk" anything. When he did debunk UFO cases, he did so willingly, and when he finally stopped with the debunking the Air Force had pretty much given up on "requiring" him to do anything.

But I make it a rule never to do an interview for a documentary on the spur of the moment. Especially when it's dealing with a potentially thorny subject and I suspect that my views are quite different from those of the interviewer. To be honest, I just made up that rule the moment she slipped me the note, but I feel it is a sound policy that will serve me well over time.

The filmmaker was very nice about it, of course, and I made it up to her by buying her DVD about Barney and Betty Hill and their amazing alien abduction story. Like a lot of people, I've been fascinated by the Hills' "Interrupted Journey" for many years, and I jumped at the chance to listen to their story in their own words. I haven't played the disc yet, but hope to soon.

The Hynek bio that I have written for the new CUFOS website, meanwhile, has hit a bit of a snag. The CUFOS folks have made some edits and additions, which is to be expected, and while I have no problem with the vast majority of their changes, there is one point in particular on which we differ. It involves the infamous 1966 Dexter-Hillsdale case, forever known as the "swamp gas" case to UFO lovers everywhere. After all the research I have done into this matter, I've come to believe that Hynek was 100% correct to say that the two main incidents may well have been swamp gas, and I'll make the case in my book. The CUFOS folks, on the other hand, seem to believe that Hynek should not be cut any slack here.

Now, I want it to please the CUFOS folks, but because my name is going on this thing, I also want to please me. I think it can be done, but maybe not on the first try.

I should mention that the person making this call is someone I have never met, so I have no clue where he's coming from. Reason suggests I tread carefully, but reason has been wrong before.


Saucerspud said...

Stand your ground on the Dexter-Hillside case. Your integrity is one the most important possessions you have.

As for Fire in the Sky, I wish the aliens whisked away D.B. Sweeny to their home planet, never to be seen again. Much like Poochie from the Simpsons.

And I can't resist, "Ssssmoooooooke on the waaatah. Fire in the skyyyy."

Dr. Integraton said...

"Stand your ground on the Dexter-Hillside case. Your integrity is one the most important possessions you have."

Completely agree -- if someone wants you to change something you know and/or believe to be correct, you have to stick with that, unless persuaded by new evidence to change your mind.

Not doing so is something you would end up regretting forever, assuming you have integrity and honesty in the first place, which it seems you do.

Otherwise, you become a hack.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Thanks for the support! I'll be working on the bio sometime over the weekend and I'm sure I'll find a way to make it work.

Bill Chalker said...

HI Mark, keep up the good work on the Hynek book. I look forward to reading it some day. As I've said before if you need help on the Australian angle and I guess my take on him and my stay with him back in 1984 ask away. I did an audio interview back then and we also went together through his Australian visit note book. His notes were not in the league of Jim McDonald's note books, but the tidbits were interesting enough. I was glad I got the opportunity to do that with him. Best wishes from OZ, Bill

Terry the Censor said...

> I've come to believe that Hynek was 100% correct to say that the two main incidents may well have been swamp gas

Ooh, that's interesting. It contradicts the prevailing theodicy that explains the past failures of ufology.

Stick to your guns, Mark.