High Strangeness: High UFO Hopes

Friday, February 16, 2018

High UFO Hopes

I’ve been guilty of neglecting my blog for the past few months, and I feel bad about it. There are a couple reasons for my neglect, the most immediate one being that I went through a period of fairly serious burnout on UFOs after my book The Close Encounters Man came out. After five-plus years of total immersion in UFO arcana and the life and times of J. Allen Hynek, I’ve felt the need to get away from it all, so I have!

At least, I’ve tried. The goofy New York Times story in early December about the alleged 2007-2012 Secret Pentagon UFO Study made it pretty difficult to keep UFOs at arm’s length. And the fact that absolutely nothing positive has come of that “bombshell” news and that every day that the To The Stars Academy fails to follow up their bombastic PR with any substance of any kind has, from my perspective, cast a pall over UFOlogy that it really didn’t need.

These days I’m neglecting the blog for a fairly positive reason, however. I’ve been developing a new media project based on some of the material in my book (and some of the material that I just wasn’t able to fit into my book). Five years of research into the UFO field, combined with five years of investigating UFO sightings for MUFON, has a way of filling up a lot of filing cabinets and a lot of thumb drives, and I find myself awash in amazing, astonishing and entertaining – and sometimes downright creepy -- UFO stories that deserve to be told.

Whenever I spend any amount of time going through my old files and revisiting some of my experiences in this field, I am struck by the sheer weight of the material. Strange things have been seen by so many people -- so many things that have startled and terrified and changed the lives of witnesses, left them struggling to find ways to communicate their experiences and their resulting inner tumult, because we just don’t the right kinds of words in our terrestrial vocabularies -- that I just can’t let these stories sit there, untold. It would be criminal.

But how to tell them? That is the question.

I can’t share any details about this project, at least not yet, and it will likely take many months to unfold. All I can tell you for now is that I’m having a blast developing this, and that if it succeeds it may change the way the public looks at UFOs and the people who claim to have seen them. As usual, I have pretty high hopes.

Speaking of weird, creepy UFO encounters, I’ve recently found that I may have been very wrong about a certain creepy UFO story. Fortunately, it’s not a story that I wrote up in my book, but it did come up more than once when I was doing publicity interviews. A couple people asked me what I thought of J. Allen Hynek’s involvement in “The Bennewitz Affair,” which, I admit, threw me for a loop. I wasn’t very familiar with it the first time it came up, so I didn’t feel I could give an informed answer, but I read up on it, and when the question came up again, I was able to give what I thought was a fairly solid reply.

For those of you not aware, Paul Bennewitz lived near some US military bases in New Mexico the 1980s. He reported seeing strange aerial craft in the skies near the bases, then claimed that he was intercepting electronic messages emanating from spaceships. At one point, the story goes, Dr. J. Allen Hynek (my hero) said that he was enlisted to deliver a bogus alien signal receptor to Bennewitz, as part of a government operation to discredit the man.

While aspects of this tale seem strikingly believable, I didn’t buy the part about Hynek’s involvement, for the following reasons:
  • There didn't seem to be much need to discredit Bennewitz, a man who was already regarded as somewhat balmy 
  • I had never found any indication that Hynek was still working for the government in the early 1980s
  • It seemed very much out of character for Hynek to take part in such a cruel enterprise
Well, a UFO researcher who I admire and respect a great deal recently told me that the Bennewitz affair was a "lingering shadow" in Hynek's career, and that it needs to be "re-examined."

Maybe I'm the one to do the re-examination...

Stay tuned!

No comments: