High Strangeness: UFO Dude Ranch

Friday, September 5, 2014

UFO Dude Ranch

I am afraid of boot camps. Every movie I've ever seen that has a boot camp scene only deepens my fear, because I always imagine I'm the poor piece of scum who's being told by my screaming psychopathic CO that I'm a piece of scum. It might be better if I imagined myself as the screaming psycho CO, but probably not much better.

I'm not real fond of the new trend in fitness boot camps, either. Exercising is unpleasant enough without summoning up images of scumbag Army privates and psycho COs.
Even the "Stripes" boot camp scenes scared me! I was glad when Sgt. Hulka turned out to be a softy.

So you can imagine my feelings when I got an email inviting me to MUFON's "Field Investigator Boot Camp" next month in Nowheresville, Arizona.

Pure dread.

Not that they don't try to make the invitation appealing:
MUFON is hosting a Field Investigator's Boot Camp in Wickenburg, AZ.
Are you interested in hands-on training with the best team? Sign up now! Participants will pay for their own travel, hotel and food (except lunch which will be provided). Please book your stay directly with the HOTEL LOS VIAJEROS at www.losviajerosinn.com

Training dates: October 20-24, 2014
Trining site: Cxxxx Mxxxxx Desert Ranch
FREE Transportation from and to the airport

Class is limited to 30 MUFON Certified Field Investigators

Please note: Cancellation in less than 15 days prior to Camp starting will result in NO REFUND. Thank you for understanding.

Lunch will be provided.
Two completely irrelevant things are worth noting here: 1) since the 1940s, Wickenburg has been known as "The Dude Ranch Capital of the U.S."; and 2) Wickenburg is near the Hassayampa River, which figured significantly in "Blood Sport," a bizarre science-fictiony adventure novel that was one of my favorite reads back in high school, and which seems to have developed a cult following over the years. I recommend it.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, boot camp! For only $350 bucks I can spend three days in Arizona getting kicked out of bed at zero dark thirty only to be screamed at and belittled by Sergeant Hulka wannabee MUFON investigators. This is going to help me how? Am I supposed to learn discipline? Am I supposed to lose weight and get in tip-top shape? Am I supposed to have my soul crushed?

How different my reaction might have been had MUFON chosen a different descriptor. If, for instance, I had gotten an email inviting me to a MUFON Field Investigator Retreat, I might consider going. If I had been invited to a MUFON Field Investigator Spa Weekend, I'd already be checking air fares. If I had been invited to a MUFON Field Investigator Burning Man Dude Ranch SXSW Demolition Derby Body Painting Hassayampa River-Diving Reggae Festival ComicCon and Shoot Down a UFO in the Desert Party, I would have landed in Phoenix this morning and would at this moment be off-roading to Wickenburg in a rental Jeep. With my wife at my side. Knowing full well that we were 6 weeks early.

Sometimes it seems I'm the only person in MUFON who can really think big.


Anonymous said...

Did you interview Ted Phillips for your Hynek book?

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Not yet, but I plan to when the time is right.

Anonymous said...

No Hendry and no Phillips...hmmm.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Yes? And your comment is...?