High Strangeness: Boast to Boast AM

Friday, May 29, 2015

Boast to Boast AM

You know what's wrong with UFOlogy today?

I've just been listening to a podcast of a popular late night radio show, and I'm seriously bugged... The show is, of course, Coast to Coast AM, hosted by George Noory, and although I'm not a regular subscriber, I'll pay in for a month or so here and there if there's someone I really want to listen to.

Such was the case this week, when I got word that a UFO guy named Robert Perala, who is appearing this weekend at the big-league goof-a-thon called "Contact in the Desert," would be a guest on the show. But that, in and of itself, is not what made me want to tune in to the show. No, I wanted to listen because the promo for Perala's interview said this:
In December 1977, while staying in Lake Tahoe, as a violent lightning storm was taking place, his room was suddenly inhabited by three 8-ft. tall space-suited figures (they closely resembled the photo of an ET figure taken by Jeff Grenshaw in 1973). When he started screaming, he was placed in a blue bubble and the side of the house fell away, and he found himself being transported in a wormhole-like tunnel.
Perala was suddenly in a spherical room facing a glass obelisk, then quickly hurled back, lowered onto his bed. The faces of the ETs were covered by visors, and they had orange antennas. Later, he discovered he was badly sunburned and his body was covered in a honey-like oil. In 1978, he shared his story at a UFO convention, where J. Allen Hynek recorded his testimony, as William Shatner listened in.
That's some pretty stupendous stuff, eh? Not only does the guy have an amazing abduction story to tell, complete with evil astronauts, blue bubbles, wormholes and melting houses, but he had an encounter with two of my heros: Dr. J. Allen Hynek and The Shat! Holy shit! I had to pay in and listen to that!!
OhMyGod! They put you inside a blue bubble? Then they made your house melt??
Why did I have to listen? Because the story immediately struck me as bogus. I can pretty safely say, after researching Hynek's career the past few years, that he strenuously disliked and avoided this kind of story. Maybe Hynek did listen to this Perala guy tell his abduction story, and maybe he did record Perala's "testimony," but that doesn't mean he believed a word of it, or thought it merited an investigation (indeed, Perala moved on pretty quickly from this story without ever telling how it ended... which I found weird in and of itself, because wouldn't anybody milk that moment for all it's worth??).

What really bugged me, though, was how Perala described Hynek. First he said that Hynek was "the founder of Project Blue Book," then a few minutes later he said that Hynek was "the founder -- the father, sort of -- of this whole industry."

Yikes. Wrong on both counts, dude. As most of us know, Hynek was a hired consultant to Project Blue Book, not its founder. And it would have steamed Hynek's shorts to hear himself described as the "founder" or "father" of the UFO industry. There is no escaping the fact that his work played a role in the development of the industry, but as I have written here recently, Hynek himself deplored those who preyed on people's hopes and beliefs to make a quick buck off the UFO phenomenon.

And Noory let both misstatements slide without comment.

And that's what's wrong with UFOlogy today.


Anonymous said...

They call him George 'Snoory' for a reason.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Hahaha, I'll have to remember that!

Terry the Censor said...

Something suspicious about Perala's story. Very little on the Internet about him, all of it recent. He doesn't seem to appear in UFO books.

Did Perala make a report in 1977? Can anyone find a notice for his 1978 talk? Does Hynek have a record of interviewing this guy? Or is Perala building a fictitious background and inserting himself into the UFO scene, so as to broaden the market for his cosmic consciousness books?

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Terry, I've been meaning to look into this but haven't had the time. I've never run across anything in Hynek's archives related to this guy, but I haven't been looking, either.

Terry the Censor said...

> they closely resembled the photo of an ET figure taken by Jeff Grenshaw in 1973

One obvious avenue for investigating this photo is to try to reproduce it. Was this ever done? (I am not asking you to answer this, Mark. It's a question I am releasing into the ether.)

Ufologists rarely follow this simple procedure. It would give us a lot of insight into what happened, both for earnest reports and hoaxes.

(My fantasy: reproducing classic abduction cases! Could be an intriguing reality show, though perhaps costly.)

Mark UFO'Connell said...

That would be a very cool show.