Yes, I know, but this really isn’t about that. It’s about lessons learned and what we all can do to improve the state of UFO research… though at this point it might be a lost cause.
There were two loose groups operating here. One of them was engaged in secrecy and nondisclosure agreements and limited release of information. The other was an international coalition that shared all the information they could and relied on the expertise of their members to get things done. In one case, the story kept building to a climax that was less than accurate (to put it kindly) and the other solved the mystery rapidly. Had the information been shared the fiasco in Mexico could have been avoided.
So, what is the take away on this?
We have the opportunity here to engage in changing the face of the research in the UFO community. We could create a coalition made up of believers and skeptics and try to avoid the rabid ends of the spectrum whether true believers or debunkers. We could work together to share information about cases and attempt to come to a consensus about it. We have seen, in recent years, that better knowledge, better education and access to the World Wide Web, allows us to solve cases that were once puzzling.
Back in July 1947, Major George Garrett, at the urging of his boss, Brigadier General George Schulgen, created a mini Estimate of the Situation. It consisted of some eighteen cases that they found puzzling and asked for assistance in solving them.
In today’s world, some of those cases aren’t particularly puzzling. Solutions have been offered and some of that, I think, are the results of investigators who are no longer overwhelmed by the information. I mean, that assumptions, such as these people seeing something strange in the sky would be able to tell the difference between something truly strange and something mundane, are not being made. We now know that sometimes conditions converge to fool even the most careful and experienced observer.
The point of this is that we have better techniques, we have access to a wide range of information and we can communicate easily with others around the world. It seems to me that a loose coalition of researchers, bringing their expertise to bear on a particular problem or sighting might resolve that sighting in a matter of hours or days and give us some insight into what is happening.
I don’t believe we’d want to create a formal organization simply because that could result in a “corporate” philosophy that would dictate results rather than search of a logical and solid answer. It would have to be made up of people from across the spectrum so that a charge of pandering to a specific belief structure would not be a valid claim. The members of the coalition would ebb and flow with the sightings because sometimes specific expertise would be required and other times it would not.
It would seem that a web site, blog, or Facebook page could be created that would facilitate the communication and where results could be published. The activities of the Roswell Slide Research Group is a good model for the beginnings of this because, once they had the proper material (meaning a good quality scan of the slide) they were open and transparent, providing the information to anyone who cared to look at it. And so it shouldn’t be forgotten, their results were replicated from a half dozen other sources around the world.
This would also provide a forum for peer review, which is something I have advocated for fifteen years. Instead of hiding information behind a veil of secrecy, it is all open to be discussed by those who had knowledge of the situation and of the various disciplines necessary for unraveling the mystery.
And finally, some of the nasty and snarky things that appear in the comments section of this blog and so many others would have to be eliminated. The assumption must be that all of us are searching for the truth and not just to impress our own belief structures on others. Sometimes the answers will be simply and obvious when all the information is available, and sometimes there just might not be an answer. This would be a search for answers whatever those answers might be and not an advocacy for a point of view.