High Strangeness: Beating a Dead UFO

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Beating a Dead UFO

So, the other day I did a webcast with noted UFO authority and all-around nice guy Kevin Randle (you can listen to it here), in which we discussed the Roswell Debate I had recently with Don Schmitt. The debate, for those of you new to the story, took place at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference earlier this fall. It was sponsored by well-known UFO and paranormal media outlet KGRA Radio, but after webcasting the debate live, KGRA has decided for reasons known only to them to reneg on their promise to post the debate on their website.

This is a problem to me for two reasons. First is the censorship issue: if you squelch dissenting voices and viewpoints, you're doing your listeners a disservice and keeping them in the dark, the exact opposite of what a media outlet is supposed to do. You're also engaging in what you might call a "cover-up," which I had thought was a dirty word in UFO circles. Second is the professional ethics issue: a big reason I did the debate was so that it could be heard online by an international audience, and by reneging on their promise to post the recording of the show, the people at KGRA have pretty much shafted me and the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. I have a very low tolerance for people who break promises and reneg on deals. It shows a real spinelessness.

An early Xmas present from my wife! From growupawesome.com
So, anyway, Kevin and I had a good conversation on his show. We went over a lot of the content of the debate, and while we didn't agree on everything, we found common ground on a lot of issues and ultimately decided that there wasn't a whole lot more worth saying about Roswell. UFOlogy, I believe, has already moved on.

So it surprised me when, off the air, Kevin and his producer brought up the idea of having me and Schmitty do another Roswell Debate live on Kevin's show. They both thought it was a swell idea, and then they thought it would be even better if we did if for three hours instead of just one. And then they thought it would be an even better idea to have Tom Carey join Don Schmitt's side of the debate. Needless to say, the idea held very little appeal, but I hated to snuff out their enthusiasm, so I told them I wouldn't be able to commit to anything until after my book comes out next May and said we should talk again after that.

Then I thought about it over the holiday and realized that I won't want to talk about it in May any more than I do now. I have absolutely no interest in participating in another Roswell Debate.

Some decisions in life are hard, some are easy. This one was easy. Taking part in another Roswell Debate, I realized, would be a complete waste of my time and energy. Not only would it feel like beating a dead UFO, but it would only serve to legitimize Don Schmitt and his work, by keeping it in the spotlight. That is absolutely the wrong thing to be doing right now.

Also, somewhere along the line, Roswell has just become really, really boring to me...

What's the right thing to be doing right now? For me, it's working on my book. As my editor and I bang out a final draft of the manuscript, I'm also working on selecting photos and illustrations to use in the book, and securing permission from people who own the rights to those images. I thought the whole photo rights thing would be fraught with complications, but it's been amazingly trouble-free, and I am psyched about the images we're going to have in the book!

I had imagined using some great UFO photos, but after going over what there was available I came to the conclusion that UFO photographs pretty much suck, across the board. So, instead, we're using illustrations and artwork connected with some classic cases, and I couldn't be more excited. Where UFOs are concerned, at least, artwork is so much more evocative than photographs... I think it's because photographs represent an attempt to portray the physicality of UFOS, and if there's one thing that UFOs persistently refuse to give up, it's physical proof of their nature and existence. Illustrations, on the other hand, capture more of the psychological nature of UFO sightings. Yes, they're more subjective, but if you're not trying to prove one thing or another that doesn't really matter. Illustrations are about gut feelings, and what could be more interesting than that?


Inception Radio Network said...

I have had both on my show Mark. Kevin is a class act and so is Tom. Debating with Kevin would be perfect. Can't wait for this to happen.


M@r$#@ said...

You've got to go with your gut instinct regarding the "Debate Redux". I think your instinct has worked for you nicely thus far.

Lorin Cutts said...


As the co-founder of KGRA, I am hardly surprised about the situation you describe. You had the gall to call for Richard Dolan's banning from MUFON events following the utterly ridiculous farce that was "Slidegate" in 2015. Do you really expect fair treatment from the cult of Ufology (and KGRA, which is endemic of the cult) after such behavior?

Don Schmitt can garner at least 30 more listeners/bums on seats than you at present... and that is the currency with which all is measured within the cult. Dolan can probably beat you by a hundred. Your treatment and relevance within the cult of mainstream ufology can be measured directly by this yardstick.

Best of luck trying to break the chain and instigate any kind of rational thinking or discussion anyway.

All the best,


Mark UFO'Connell said...

Hi Lorin, thanks for your comment! I know that what you say is true, and I may never be able to do much more than make a few chinks in their armor. I am hoping that things will change after my book comes out next May, backed by the marketing power of HarperCollins. We shall see...

Dave said...

Mark, I did not know you called out Richard Dolan over the Slidegate affair. Kudos to you! Having listened to Dolan on KGRA in the past, it sounds like Race Hobbs and Dolan have a love affair going. Imagine that picture! Small wonder they won't play back your debate.

Best to move on from Roswell. Most of us are tired of hearing the 'R' word mentioned.

Lorin Cutts said...


The fact that you have a serious publisher is a major start. There needs to be more proper books about this subject and far less of the self-published drivel that we've come to expect.

Ufology should also welcome people with differing opinions, those willing to challenge the status quo and those with skills and successes in the real world with open arms. Instead any criticism of the group-think and of those at the top of the (perceived) social strata is met with fierce opposition - exactly as you have outlined.

It's as much about a cottage entertainment industry as it is anything else.

There are some pockets of interest emerging again though so perhaps all is not lost.

All the very best with your book,


Mark UFO'Connell said...

Thanks, Dave and Lorin, I appreciate the support!

Dave said...

Mark, I took the liberty to contact KGRA about the Milwaukee conference. Here is the reply I received...

Hello, Dave...

I understand what debate to which you are referring, however we do only radio, not TV... We have no video of the debate here with KGRA. We did record the debate as it aired and it has replayed on the refeeds here on KGRA...


Race Hobbs
Head of Operations
KGRA Digital Broadcasting

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Well, that's a lot more information than Race has ever given me.

Dave said...

It does seem strange that no one would have bothered to make a video of the proceedings.

purrlgurrl said...

Stick to your guns. Roswell is so over for everyone but some hopeless addicts like Randall et al. As for KGRA and Dolan, many of us value our time too highly to waste it listening to that utter nonsense.

Craig McDaniel said...

Hi Mark,

I listened to your podcast with Kevin Randle. I have been following Kevin for a long time and enjoyed your conversation with him. You touched a subject that caught my ear and this was about thinking outside the box in regard to Roswell and UFO's.

While I don't consider by myself to be a researcher, I do read in depth about connections to the UFO subject. For example I sent Kevin some background on a leading scientist and doctor who was promoted to head up medical research July 1947 at Wright Air Field. His expertise was in high altitude biophysics. Kevin didn't reply back on his blog about it even though I couldn't find it in any of the Roswell-Wright AF material. I say this because there was no other expert I could find in the US let alone at Wright AF that was capable of answering questions about the Roswell aliens. I don't think I was stretching on my analyst.

The second one is a bit of a stretch without documents. But I started to look at Oleg Penkovsky, the GRU officer who spied for the US and GB starting about 10 years ago. Penkovsky was a expert on USSR missiles and had some of the highest security clearances at the time in the early 1960's. I started to think when the CIA and Brits case officers interviewed him, I would think the conversation within the USSR in the mid 50's to early 60's would have come up. There was a ton of talk about UFO could have been from the USSR and I would think the CIA would at least want to hear his thoughts on the subject. If so, these documents would never see the light of day I would imagine but I would bet on it that they exist.

Anyway, I would like to hear your thoughts.


Dave said...

Roswell happened nearly 70 years ago. If it hasn't been resolved by now, it never will be. Speculating on it is just a waste of time.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Hey, Craig, I wish I had some thoughts to offer, but I am not familiar with either of the people you mention.
There is an episode from Dr. Hynek's life in 1962 in which he worked closely with a high-altitude biophysics guy at what was by then Wright-Patterson AFB, but I'm thinking the chances are probably slim that it would be the same person from 1947.
Penkovsky sounds like an interesting character, for sure. Too bad you don't have documents. Have you thought about making a FOIA request? It probably wouldn't reveal much, I suppose, but might give you a few clues?