High Strangeness: June 2018

Saturday, June 23, 2018

UFO Dreams

I just had a very fun talk last night with Gary & Michael at Night Dreams Radio. Guess what we talked about?

WARNING: This is a full 2 hours of yours truly sharing amazing stories about our "UFO Dad."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

UFOs: Blue Book!

So, there's this new UFO TV series coming on the History Channel called Blue Book, and some lucky people have been getting sneak peeks at the show. I don't know a whole lot about the series, but my guess is that if you love the way the History Channel treats the UFO topic in Ancient Aliens I guess you'll probably love the new Blue Book show. If you're interested in a serious study of the UFO phenomenon, well, forget about the show and read my book.
Would you buy a used UFO from this man?
Sadly, this is what it's like for us UFO buffs. We're so happy to have something -- anything -- new about UFOs on TV that we'll accept whatever Hollywood foists on us and force ourselves to watch it. And I admit I will probably watch the show -- at least I'll sample it. And the whole time I'll be asking myself this:

Would Dr. Hynek be proud of 'Blue Book'?

Now, some readers may remember my close encounter with this show. About a year ago, shortly after my biography of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, The Close Encounters Man, came out, I got a Facebook message from some guy who identified himself as one of the producers on the new Blue Book series. He wondered if I would talk to him about the UFO career of Dr. Hynek documented in my book, and my agent and I decided it would be okay for me to talk to him, but only in vague generalities.

I have to admit, I was flattered that they came to me to learn more about Dr. Hynek, but when I talked with this guy on the phone I was shocked by how dopey and simple-minded his questions were. He was utterly clueless. He obviously knew nothing about Dr. Hynek, and so of course he was trying to do his basic research by talking to me. I shut him down pretty quickly and never heard from him again.

(Side note: shortly after this phone call I discovered that my Evernote account had been hacked. Luckily, most of the research material in the Evernote account involved contact info for people I wanted to interview, so if the hacker was hoping to steal any of my secrets they would have been pretty disappointed.)

So, anyway, now this Blue Book show is ready to go, and I've been super curious to see whether that "producer" who tried to poach materials from me last summer ever figured out what the show should be about.

Well, the news is not good. I just googled "Blue Book" and discovered that the show is not about UFOs or Dr. Hynek at all! It's about used cars! Stranger still, the producers have inexplicably changed Dr. Hynek into a character named "Kelley."

From what little I found on google, it appears that, instead of a UFO investigator, this Kelley character travels around the country for the Air Force appraising used cars. I have no idea why the Air Force would hire a scientist to appraise used cars, but leave it to the History Channel to uncover the most unexpected and fascinating stories about history that never happened.

Now, used UFOs, that I would have believed!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

UFO Lore

Wow, hard to believe it's been a month since I posted anything new here on the blog! The last month has been kind of a blur, what with travel, birthdays, family gatherings and social engagements coming at us in rapid fire, and I just haven't been able to sit down here and hammer out my thoughts at all.

That's not to say I haven't been thinking about UFOs, though. One of the big social engagements this past month involved a multi-day reunion with one of my high school friends, Jxxx, and a pair of my high school teachers, Mxxx and Kxxxx (they're married so they come as a set!), and the big fun of the visit was that these dear friends are all hard-core UFO buffs and together we spent more than a few hours talking about our favorite UFO stories... How often does that happen in life that you get to spend so much time with people you really enjoy talking about something about which you're so passionate? I felt pretty lucky.
Do I know much about the Kecksburg UFO? I sure don't!

To backtrack a bit, Jxxx and became great friends in high school in large part because we were both complete pop culture nerds. We started making epic movies together with my Super-8 camera equipment, mostly for our own enjoyment, and we gained great fame in our school for doing goofy skits and celebrity impersonations during the morning announcements. And people remember this stuff, even 40 years later -- last weekend at a get-together another old high school friend started raving about how much she loved Jxxx's and my morning announcements! Yes, we were that funny.

The two high school teachers, Kxxxx and Mxxx, surprised me last summer when they popped up at one of my book signings. It was great to get re-acquainted with them then, and even greater to spend some quality time with them this month. And guess what? They're complete pop culture geeks, too, something of which I was not fully aware back in the day... But who is fully aware of anything in high school?

So, here I am with these three old friends talking UFOs, and boy did I feel rusty. Because I was the guy who wrote a UFO book, my three friends kept asking me what I thought about this case or that, and man, were they keeping me on my toes. What did I think about Roswell? What about the Phoenix lights? What about the Kecksburg incident?

Of course I had to be honest with them about my feelings about Roswell, and they challenged me on it, which is good, because it forced me to think through my thoughts once again and to articulate them in a way that I though made the most sense. Any opportunity to think about how you present your thoughts and feelings about UFO is a good thing, I believe.

Sometimes I had to slow down and wrack my brain to remember the details of a specific case, and I was reminded of how much UFO lore I don't know off the top of my head.

Part of that is because I've spent so much of the past several years focusing on J. Allen Hynek-centered UFO cases that I just can't keep any more UFO lore in my head. But part of it also because there's just so damned much UFO information out there, so many UFO cases on record, that it's just impossible to keep up with it all. How do we keep it all straight in our heads??

One of the high points of the visiting was when I shared some of the strangest and funniest cases from my days as a MUFON Certified Field Investigator. Someday I really do need to write a book about those experiences.

So, thank you Jxxx, Mxxx and Kxxxx, for reminding me of so many great UFO stories, and for challenging me to rethink some things!