High Strangeness: March 2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

UFO Propaganda!

I came across an interesting parallel today concerning the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

Many of my readers will remember the uproar around Annie Jacobsen's 2011 book Area 51, in which she quoted an unnamed source who claimed that the alleged Roswell "saucer crash" and resulting recovery of saucer wreckage and of teeny alien corpses was all a Nazi/Soviet propaganda project pulled off by an unholy partnership between Joseph Stalin and Nazi "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele. According to Jacobsen's story, Mengele made some deformed children look like "aliens," and they were placed in a flying saucer supplied by Stalin and sent to New Mexico in order to scare us Americans to death.

From what I've heard, History Channel's Project Blue Book series used that very same Jacobsen/Mengele/Stalin explanation for Roswell in its 2-part season opener, a very strange creative choice that seems to have alienated a lot of fans. "Alienated," get it?

Here's where the parallel comes in. As part of my quarantine distraction, I re-watched one of my favorite science fiction movies, the 1967 British flick Quatermass and the Pit, released in the US as Five Million Years to Earth. It's a brilliant movie, in my opinion, brimming with fascinating imagery and ideas (even if the film's moderate budget made it hard to fully bring them to life).

The story involves the discovery of a Martian spaceship buried under London, and the subsequent discovery of several perfectly preserved insect-like Martians inside the ship. Or are they Martians? The scientist protagonist of the film, Professor Quatermass, believes they are, but the military man supervising the excavation, Colonel Breen, insists that the strange object with its insectoid occupants is -- get this -- "a propaganda scare" developed by the Nazis in the waning days of World War II. "They sent over an experimental V-weapon in order to produce exactly the effect it has produced," Breen explains rather smugly, "though a little late for their purposes."

Of course Breen's propaganda theory wins out, and when the media are invited into the pit to see the "harmless" object, Quatermass' worst fears are realized. The spaceship comes to life, and London is plunged into chaos and horror.

What does it all mean? Probably nothing, but it sure is interesting to see that Jacobsen's bizarre, laughable Roswell explanation -- which, it must be acknowledged, sold a lot of books, and may have just torpedoed a contemporary TV series -- may have arisen in some odd way from a 53 year-old British science fiction film.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Stay at Home UFOs

Quick quiz:

What's the perfect way to pass the time while staying at home that only costs $1.99 and doesn't put you at any risk of being exposed to COVID-19?

It's pretty cheap as a paperback as well!
Answer: If you click here right now, you can download the Kindle version of The Close Encounters Man; How One Man Made the World Believe in UFOs, my biography of Project Blue Book investigator Dr. J. Allen Hynek, for the low, low price of a buck ninety-nine. If there's a better, cheaper, safer way to pass the time during a pandemic, I haven't heard of it!

UFO people seem to be dealing with stay at home orders by burning up the social media platforms... I know I've been spending more time on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter the past few weeks, and, to my dismay, all I see is constant mentions of:
  • Skinwalker Ranch -- Grand Central Station for undiscriminating paranormal activity; recently granted a trademark, because it's, you know, a product
  • Luiz Elizondo -- can you say "overexposed?"
  • MUFON -- they're not hiding anything, because they got nothin'
  • AATIP -- 2+ years in and we're still waiting for the big reveal
All of which begs the question: Which of these hot topics has brought about any real breakthroughs in our knowledge and understanding of the UFO phenomenon? In my opinion, all these things have brought us is more confusion and obfuscation, and those are two things we don't need more of in the study of UFOs.

Is my book the cure? I'd like to think that in some way it's keeping UFOlogy honest, by upholding the ideals that Dr. Hynek established over his four decades of research. I know for a fact that some people have sought out my book after watching the History Channel's sketchy Project Blue Book series, so apparently the truth still matters to some of us.

So, yeah, download my book. Leslie Kean and Jim Marrs loved it; so will you.