Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Decline and Fall of Ufology

I think that the high point in Ufology was July 1997 when the fiftieth anniversary of the Roswell UFO crash was celebrated. I think that the low point, probably the lowest since June 1947 and Arnold’s sighting was May 5, 2015 when the fiasco of the Not Roswell Slides was presented to the world. This is underscored with many of the UFO documentaries that now populate the cable channel landscape.

The one that I’m thinking of, which I mentioned in another post that will probably annoy most of MUFON and the people in Kingman, Arizona, dealt partially with the
Kingman, Arizona, crash, the MJ-12 SOM 1-01, and a few other ancillary issues. It was the Kingman crash that caught my attention because I have done a great deal of research into this case and frankly, I believe it to be a hoax started by Arthur Stansel.

For those who wish to see an evolution of this case, or rather the evolution in my thinking about it see:




The point here is that Hangar 1 came up with some new information which may or may not have come from Stansel. It was not clear, at least to me, who the source was on this. In this new version, Stansel or someone reported that men in some sort of protective gear had entered the craft. They rushed out, all of them sick and vomiting, which, had I been on the scene would have been frightening. Why were they sick? Have I been contaminated? Is it fatal?

From that point they explained how the disk, whatever it was, had been floated down the Colorado River after retrieval. Kingman is about 90 miles south of Las Vegas and standing between Las Vegas and Kingman is the Hoover Dam. I’m not sure how they got the disc to the river and why they thought this was the best way to recover it, but that’s the claim.

Here’s the point. This case is virtually single witness. There are others who claim to have knowledge of it, but that all comes from hearing the story told by others. And Stansel is not a good witness. His educational background seems to be solid, friends who knew him believed him to be honest, and his assignments put him into the Kingman area, meaning simply he was working north of Las Vegas at the time, so he could have been involved.

But as you can read yourselves in those previous posts, he told a couple of versions of this tale. Some of what he said seems to discredit parts of his story. More importantly, he said that he had lied to the first investigators (who were teenagers with an interest in UFOs) and he said that when he drank, he tended to expand and embellish his stories.

To support the reality of the Kingman crash, they trotted out the SOM 1-01 which is supposed to be the MJ-12 Group Special Operations Manual. Oh, they mentioned frequently that it was controversial, but the language and the tone told us that the controversy was unimportant. The manual contained instructions about the recovery, retrieval and shipping of alien debris. It also suggests that these retrievals be covered by suggesting those in charge say that the debris was from a satellite… but, in 1954, when the manual was created, it didn’t say who had been launching these satellites. This is merely a single example of the flaws that surround the manual.

It struck me as odd that you’d use a controversial manual to support the case for an alien spacecraft crash which is also controversial. The manual arrived in the mail for Don Berliner who himself has said it was a hoax. There is no provenance for it and it violates some of the standards in place in 1954 for such documents. None of this makes any difference to the true believers because they know the manual is authentic.

Finally, to prove their case, they resorted to interviewing Cliff Stone as one of the whistleblowers about alien visitation. You can read about him here:


There is a follow up article about Stone from Dr. Michael Salla, but Stone sinks his own boat with his tales of derring-do in Vietnam. In one of those ridiculous tales he talks about how he would sneak out of the camp, crawling through the wire to engage the enemy on his own. This was a recipe for suicide. Stone served in Vietnam as a clerk and not a combat soldier.

The point is that the episode here was filled with information that was faulty, untrue, fabricated, unverified and unsupported by any facts. It was written in such a way as to suggest that while the authorities might deny it; those at MUFON were telling us all the truth. Just never mind that they had no real evidence for their truth and that their witnesses were less than credible.

And that is why Ufology is in rapid decline. It is not about the research, it is not about finding answers for the unexplained cases and no alien visitation does not answer all the questions… there are many answers.  This is about ratings and making money. When solid evidence for a solution of a case is presented, there are always those out there who will scream cover up, that those offering answers are in the employ of the CIA, the Air Force or even MJ-12 as a way of hiding the truth but these programs often ignore those explanations as they underscore the alien nature of the reports. Alternatives are not offered.

But nothing will change as long as there is an audience for the UFO documentaries that have no truth in them, an audience for speakers who are clearly inventing their tales and people who buy books that do not provide solid information. We are stuck in the dark ages and I don’t see us climbing into the light any time soon.


Oh, for those who can’t deduce what I meant here… Kingman is a hoax and the single first-hand witness said that he lied about the details. The SOM 1-01 manual is a hoax and it provides us with no useful information. Many of the whistleblowers who are invited to tell their tales simply don’t have the credentials they claimed, weren’t in the positions they claimed, or have exaggerated their knowledge. All of this creates the problems for those of us who are more interested in the truth than in validating our own belief structures.

56 comments:

rutkows said...

I agree with your evaluation, Kevin. Ratings are driving UFO-related TV shows. And that's why accuracy and facts aren't good enough of a draw. Sensationalism sells.

And like you point out, it's more than just the UFO docs on TV. It's those on the lecture circuit who talk about direct contact with aliens (blue ones attending UFO conferences a case in point) and proof that the aliens are here already. Some even unabashedly state that they don't need to prove their claims because they know aliens are here. A story told to them by a caller or conference attendee that they had sex with an alien? Good enough!

And as for books that don't provide details or references or solid information... that was from an age before self-publishing and Kindles.

As I've stated in a few other venues, we're in an age of ufological metamodernism, where literally "anything goes."

Unfortunately.

Brian Bell said...

Kevin, as I drive through Central Texas letting my handheld device read me your latest post, I can't help but think you're vacillating between skeptibunker (or whatever) and true believer.

Aside from date, location and a certain river, insert the word Roswell for Kingman and you have basically the same argument that skeptics have been claiming about Roswell and ufology combined. Almost verbatim.

I agree with everything that you stated above.

Simply extend that to Roswell and the story is complete.

Since I know you won't do that, although you believe ufology is dead, what is it that makes you feel Roswell was the real deal?

If ufology is dead, is Roswell to become the final nail in the coffin?

cda said...

Roswell is certainly dead, at least since May 5. Until someone comes up with the vital hard evidence, it will remain dead and never resurrect itself.

As to other cases like Kingman, Aztec or the SOM1-1 (or whatever it is called) you can say whatever you like against its authenticity. Likewise you can say so-and-so never did this or that in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever. The conspiracists always have the response that this person had to falsify certain things because the authorities warned him to cover up the 'great truth' that ETs are visiting earth.

If someone is really X but insists he is Y, if you can irrefutably prove he is not Y someone will reply that X had to say he was Y in order to further preserve the 'great truth'. Simple, isn't it?

Paul Young said...

Brian..."Aside from date, location and a certain river, insert the word Roswell for Kingman and you have basically the same argument that skeptics have been claiming about Roswell and ufology combined. Almost verbatim."


Except that Kingman was more or less a "one witness" story.

Brian Bell said...

Yes CDA you have it right.

The default to serious inquiry and skepticism of UFO events is frequently rebutted with statements like "they were threatened so they never came forward", or "it was confiscated by the military", or "if you've never traveled to UFO Mecca (Roswell), then you couldn't possibly grasp the significance."

These statements are standard vocabulary for believers who can't produce evidence or who fill in the blanks with statements that link one event to the other when things can't be confirmed.

If Ufologists had only approached the subject with statements like "We don't know what it is exactly," or "Some evidence suggests ET, but we can't quite prove it with what we have right now", such an approach may have allowed serious investigations to continue.

Several things have contributed to the decline IMO:

1) The mysterious saucer crashes have also mysteriously stopped. It's been several decades since any substantiated event has produced something to investigate.

2) Former investigators have become charlatans exploiting others for money.

3) New Agers have infiltrated the subject with their magic crystals, healing rocks, cosmic meditations, and other beliefs (check out the vendos at certain UFO conferences).

4) Contactees claim abuductions and telepathic communication confirms we are space brothers with aliens and the saucer pilots simply our creators from outer space.

5) Because some contactees claim aliens are god like creatures, entire cult religions have formed with UFOs being central to their core beliefs. Their arrival is hailed as a second coming; an age of human enlightenment with messianic implications.

6) Conspiracists link anything UFO to a worldwide government conspiracy bent on dominating mankind and withholding the truth about our alien space brothers arrival.

7) Modern UFO reports are filled with hoaxes, CGI drivel, and NASA images of space debris claimed to be alien motherships and visitors from the stars.

8) Without any modern events to investigate, believers have turned to humankind's past to discover evidence there. Hence the fascination with Sitchin and Ancient Astronauts.

9) Rocks and expected geological formations on Mars are interpreted as evidence of a lost alien society complete with glowing orbs, floating spoons, faces, maidens, and even Knights frozen in rock like a body from Pompeii.

Such is the decline of Ufology.

Brian Bell said...

Yes Paul - whether it be one witness or hundreds of so-called witnesses, it's the same story regarding Roswell. Stansel's unsubstantiated claims are the same just multiplied many times over with the Roswell witnesses.

In fact, in a previous post several believers insisted Wilcox was an "unwilling participant" when he was asked to work with the boys at RAAF.

According to Dream Team member Schmitt, he was a willing participant, and actually took a deputy with him to threaten local residents including the parents of Dennis.

The claim says he was a WILLING (not reluctant) participant - an extension of the brutal military. And he threatened physical harm to parents and children.

Obviously some believers have not kept up with their own evolving story line:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akdms3YlGB4

John Steiger said...

Where to begin?

cda: Neither Roswell nor UFOlogy are dead nor even dying, and no coroner be you.

Mr. Bell: You inquire of Dr. Randle - "What is it that makes you feel Roswell was the real deal?" Dr. Randle has authored or coauthored at least seven volumes re: Roswell. Are you literate? Read them and set your closed mind away for a bit.

Mr. Young: Do not follow the lead of these naysayers. These apologists for the government calumny. They will not lead you to the truth.

Ray Palm (Ray X) said...

"It must be true. I saw it on TV."

Brian Bell said...

@ John Steiger:

"Are you literate?"

Actually yes, but thanks for the insult that Kevin will give you a pass on.

You seem to fit nicely into my #6 above with your comments when I state:

6) Conspiracists link anything UFO to a worldwide government conspiracy bent on dominating mankind and withholding the truth about our alien space brothers arrival.

And yes I've read Kevin's books. I've also read how they have quoted the testimony of liars and quacks (at least the older ones), like Anderson, Joyce, Dennis, Kaufmann etc.

Even Kevin claims (now) these characters are not viable witnesses, but like you he defended them to the bitter end chastising skeptic's stating everything they claimed about Roswell was golden.

Maybe it's you who needs to read those books again perhaps? Or, you could take the advice of Nitram and personally go and visit Roswell. I'm pretty certain that will enlighten and expand your understanding to depths beyond the far reaches of Venus, Pleiades, Alpha Centuri, or wherever you claim these (not) aliens are coming from.

By the way, got any physical proof?


Paul Young said...

Brian...with all the seemingly endless time that you have on your hands to put us weird "ETHers" back on the right path, I have to wonder if you are either housebound or are a prison "trustee" whose only friend in the world is your laptop...

However, on occasion, you do make some good points.


1) The mysterious saucer crashes have also mysteriously stopped. It's been several decades since any substantiated event has produced something to investigate.

Maybe they learn from mistakes like any other intelligent people would. They've adapted to whatever made their flying saucers crash? On the other hand, our militaries might have adapted too, and when a flying saucer does come down, they get to it before the local cowboy does...as in at Roswell.

2) Former investigators have become charlatans exploiting others for money.

Seemingly some have. But then again, in all walks of life you get poachers who turn gamekeeper and vice versa.


3) New Agers have infiltrated the subject with their magic crystals, healing rocks, cosmic meditations, and other beliefs (check out the vendos at certain UFO conferences).

They get carried away with all sorts of stuff. The Beatles, The Monkees...anything current. I blame the smoking of pot with these Hippy types. They should stick to good British bitter beer and stout...like me.


4) Contactees claim abuductions and telepathic communication confirms we are space brothers with aliens and the saucer pilots simply our creators from outer space.

You're going back a bit now. Many people have claimed to have been abducted and describe it as a complete different experience as the Adamski/contactee nut jobs.


5) Because some contactees claim aliens are god like creatures, entire cult religions have formed with UFOs being central to their core beliefs. Their arrival is hailed as a second coming; an age of human enlightenment with messianic implications.

Now you're getting all silly. A tiny, tiny minority of people who believe in the ETH also belong to these daft cults. "Heavens Gate" and the like are nowhere near a representation. (and you know it.)

6) Conspiracists link anything UFO to a worldwide government conspiracy bent on dominating mankind and withholding the truth about our alien space brothers arrival.

OK...hands up, you've got me. Until someone can explain to me why WTC7 collapsed...then I remain one of those crazy conspiracy theory dudes.


7) Modern UFO reports are filled with hoaxes, CGI drivel, and NASA images of space debris claimed to be alien motherships and visitors from the stars.

Even you must admit...we've seen some rather odd footage from our various orbiting platforms.

8) Without any modern events to investigate, believers have turned to humankind's past to discover evidence there. Hence the fascination with Sitchin and Ancient Astronauts.

"Chariots of the Gods" was written before Shag Harbour, Bentwaters, the JAL incident...etc. So the "Ancient Astronaut" stuff wasn't written as a stop-gap.


9) Rocks and expected geological formations on Mars are interpreted as evidence of a lost alien society complete with glowing orbs, floating spoons, faces, maidens, and even Knights frozen in rock like a body from Pompeii.

I tend to agree....then again, time will tell.

KRandle said...

Brian -

You make everything about Roswell. This was about Hangar 1 and Kingman.

You make statements that are untrue, half true and mostly true but don't seem to understand the difference. Where have I ever supported the tales told by Anderson? While you and you buddies believed he was lying because he was talking about a UFO crash, I proved it to even some of his biggest supporters with evidence. While you and your buddies believed Kaufmann was lying, again it was those of us on this side of the coin that proved it, outing him as soon as we had the evidence. You are wrong about Joyce. He might have been slightly deluded, but he did produce some of the teletype messages from 1947, he was a reporter/announcer for KGFL, and he alerted us to some of the trouble that would arise from his somewhat checkered background. You and your buddies gathered nothing but sat in the bleachers shouting insults.

So it is not true that I defended some of them to the bitter end, but continued to investigate, providing the information, sources and evidence to prove the case (meaning here that that we on my side of the fence provided the evidence about these people. I mention this so we don't drift off into another argument about semantics, which you seems to enjoy).

But, in this thread, there will be no further discussion of Roswell. If you have a comment about Kingman, the SOM 1-01, or some other aspect of this post, then make it. If you wish to argue Roswell, wait for a return to that topic... and yes, there will be more about Roswell in the future.

Rusty Lingenfelter said...

Not only is UFOlogy in decline, but so is skepticism. Not sure why Brian and the NPE repeat Kevin's article as a criticism, but that seems to be the best they can do.

@Brian, I don't understand why you criticise Kevin for changing his stance based on additional information. Would you applaud him if he stuck to his guns despite information to the contrary?

I am really hoping for a better skeptic. Obviously us fence-sitters aren't objective enough.

I am back to my point that it is well past the time to build a body of knowledge. Gather the very few serious researchers and get on with it.

Don't worry about the skepti-nitwits. They don't pass the reasonable person test.

Brian Bell said...

Rusty -

A "reasonable person" wouldn't believe in something as spectacular as alien races visiting the earth without physical evidence that demonstrates they actually have.

Science may observe something and conjecture, or simply hypothesize without observation. And of course those conjectures and hypotheses are then tested and validated to be true or false. It may take awhile, but scientists eventually prove themselves correct or move on to another hypothesis when their original bears no fruit. Ufologists have done neither. They have not proved it and they have not moved on. What they have done is morphed their hypothesis into factual truth without the evidence.

And that very much is related to the death of Ufology.

Now if ET believers had actually claimed all along that, "we don't know for sure what it is but we still hypothesis it might be aliens" that would be one thing. But statements on this blog clearly indicate people's minds are made up without any scientific evaluation. It's a claim which has yet to be proven.

Now Nitram will state this (Ufology, certain cases, etc) is an ongoing investigation which is the equivalent of saying it's a longitudinal study spanning decades or even hundreds of years. Well even in real scientific studies something physical or tangible is being evaluated and tested.

So if you are a fence sitter who doesn't need any evidence to believe it's true that aliens have arrived, well join the ranks of the believers. You're no longer a fence sitter.

With all of Ufology's attempts to investigate sightings, abductions, photographs, documents, and crash sites, we still don't have any evidence the ET claim has been validated and is true.

We have people's testimonies, thoughts, recollections, observations, and yes some film and photos, but stories aren't physical evidence that can be evaluated by scientific method. Photos present something that can, but even in those cases photos of saucers do not prove that aliens are flying them or that the craft itself is from another world.

Believing in something as momentous as the claim that ET has been here since 1947 or even thousands of years prior, but without physical evidence, is "not reasonable" to most rational people. This is why Ufology is ignored and ridiculed and also dying.

And yet we have plenty who believe that aliens are here just because they or someone else says so. I guess anything that we can't explain in this world must come from outer space.

As I stated, we can't put people's words and stories under a true microscope...but you can put physical evidence under such a test.

But let's not say people who are fence sitters or believers know more than skeptics or somehow apply better conclusions, logic, and rational thought to a phenomenon that has yet to bear any proof that aliens have arrived or were here in the past.

Paul -

Does it matter what I do with my time and is that relevant to Kingman and the death of Ufology?

It's been 68 years...where's the evidence? Isn't that a factor in the decline of Ufology? Or is it that Ufology is advancing without evidence because believers just know it's true and they no longer have to demonstrate it?

Wind Swords said...

I was listening one of the latest Binall of America podcasts and he was discussing the current state of Ufology with Nick Redfern (by the way Kevin, I finally got to hear your interview on Coast to Coast AM that you did recently, good job! You stated your case well (especially about the Air Force investigating UFO's outside of Bluebook), but quick to admit when the evidence was not compelling enough to "get us to ET".). Anyway, Tim Binall sounded very downcast as he described it as "very embarrassing year for Ufology". Nick didn't have and answer or solution to the problem but just stated that the [Not] Roswell Slides event "pissed him off" because it went on for so long and then it was busted in a very short time.

I've had my own little disappointments - I recently tried to listen to a podcast of an interview with a former Florida MUFON director. I thought it would interesting to hear of cases in my adopted state (other than Gulf Breeze). Right off the bat the interviewer stated that former director was also a "contactee" who "channeled" messages from the aliens and "helped" others who were "contactees" to blah, blah, blah --- I turned it off.

Unless something new (like a better resolution of the Ramey memo) comes up, Roswell is a done deal with nothing to move the needle one way or the other. There is no hard evidence to prove anything. If the government is keeping a secret then short of a whistle blower (again with hard evidence), then we will never know what really happened. That includes the possibility that what caused Roswell was a secret project. If Roswell was mundane and prosaic, then there will never be a disclosure from the government or a smoking gun piece of hard evidence of EITHER an ET or a secret project, and the lines drawn between believers and skeptics will remain where they are today.

But there are other UFO cases that still warrant investigation by serious, principled individuals like you Kevin. I would like to see more done in this vein. The Roswell mine is tapped out, it seems to me. But what about the other incidents that Paul mentioned above?

Finally, Kevin if I may be so bold - we who follow your blog and comment here are your "Dream Team". Even the skeptics, because they will keep you from straying too far off the "path". You don't need Schmitt and Carey. You never did. In my humble opinion they disrespected you. They could have brought you in on the [Not] Roswell Slides, even if just to solicit your feedback. It could have saved them much embarrassment and ridicule. It actually makes me angry when I think about it. You were always giving it your best to get to the truth no matter what it was, always cooperating, and they cut you out first chance they got (maybe because you would have said "Hey guys, it looks like a mummy in a museum to me"). It ended up that it was for the best of course, but that didn't make it right. So we are your Dream Team. The believers will support you and encourage you and the skeptics will challenge you and keep you on your toes. And both sides will not disrespect you or use you. Again just my opinion.

Paul Young said...

Brian..."Paul -
Does it matter what I do with my time and is that relevant to Kingman and the death of Ufology?"

I'm just curious as to why you devote SO MUCH of your time to a subject that you KNOW is poppycock. Your angry rhetoric suggests that the whole UFO thing, (and the people who accept an ETH possibility) is beneath you.

As mentioned by KR above, UFOlogists (Kevin probably foremost) have done far more to expose the charlatans than the sceptics ever have.
Tom Mahoo was a "believer" and compelled by Bob Lazaar's story, but he went at him like a dog with a bone in order to dig up as much as he could about his {Lazaar's} education...which did more to damage Lazaar's credibility than the actual telling of the "S4" story itself.
Tim Good did some great work in helping to nail The Assesment.
Jenny Randles was one of the first investigators (may have broke the story) of Bentwaters, but has also been one of that incidents most stringent critics too.
It's much more to their interest to seperate the wheat from the chaff...than it is for an extremely bored, with too much time on their hands, armchair sniper like yourself.

So to get back to your point posted earlier in this thread..
"2) Former investigators have become charlatans exploiting others for money."

Many investigators have been happy to eat humble pie when the evidence tilted against previous information given. I expect the realisation that Kaufmann was a dedicated con-artist was a slap in the face for KR, but he immediately put the record straight.
It's all a part of honest journalism.


cda said...

Kevin:

You requested we stick to Kingman or SOM1-01. My questions:

1. How did SOM1 first get into ufology?
2. In what form did it arrive, i.e. on film or in print?
3. Has anyone any idea who wrote it (whether one person or more than one)?
4. Who are the current principal defenders of this document, i.e. those who accept its contents as genuine? (I know Don Maor who contributes now & again, accepts it, or most of it).

I ask these because we all know about MJ-12 and how it first 'arrived' into ufology.
We seem to know far less about SOM1. For example is there an SOM2 or any follow-up document?

I hesitate to look in Wikipedia.

Brian Bell said...

Paul -

The subject of Kevin's post is "The Decline & Fall of Ufology". That's reason enough to post a comment or two for discussion given his prominent status among the believing community.

Please note it isn't entitled something like, "Revisiting Kingman: One Man's Claim Unproven".

The context of my posts are related to UFOlogy's decline, which isn't just about Kingman but all cases that drive belief in alien visitation.

You stated:

"I'm just curious as to why you devote SO MUCH of your time to a subject that you KNOW is poppycock. Your angry rhetoric suggests that the whole UFO thing, (and the people who accept an ETH possibility) is beneath you."

Equally Paul, why do you spend time endorsing your firm belief in a phenomenon that has yet to be conclusively proven as alien visitation?

By the way, I'm not angry - just making a point. If anything, those points seem to evoke angry responses. Skeptics aren't trying to force you to abandon your undocumented conclusions, we're just pointing out that your conclusions don't bear out any proof they are correct. As for rhetoric, well isn't Ufology dying as a result of rhetoric about alien visitation without any substantiation for the claim?

"..It's all a part of honest journalism."

Yes occasionally, but wouldn't it be nice if Ufology was actually known in the scientific realm for this attribute, or even seen as a leading example with methodology to be emulated and replicated elsewhere?

"...than it is for an extremely bored, with too much time on their hands, armchair sniper like yourself."

I assume this is some sort of insult, or is it that you are now my executive assistant managing my schedule that you could wager such an opinion?

Really Paul, what does it matter if a person posts three things a day or one thing every week based on the subject at hand? Is there a max and min quota of some sort?

And I mean this in jest only...but what's in that beer you're drinking at those lovely pubs?

Jack Brewer said...

Thanks for the post, Kevin. Warrants emphasis, in my opinion:

"But nothing will change as long as there is an audience for the UFO documentaries that have no truth in them, an audience for speakers who are clearly inventing their tales and people who buy books that do not provide solid information."

The consumer indeed shares in the responsibility of the quality, or lack thereof, of research conducted and the resulting material presented. Simply stated, if we support BS, we get more of it. It would be well advised to offer our valued financial support, via buying products, attending events and so on, to individuals and/or organizations who present professionally conducted research, qualifying them as most deserving of our attention and resources.

KRandle said...

CDA -

In response to you:

1. How did SOM1 first get into ufology?

It arrived on 35 mm film. Don Berliner was the recipient.

2. In what form did it arrive, i.e. on film or in print?

On film...

3. Has anyone any idea who wrote it (whether one person or more than one)?

No. It is without provenance.

4. Who are the current principal defenders of this document, i.e. those who accept its contents as genuine? (I know Don Maor who contributes now & again, accepts it, or most of it).

The usual suspects... Stan Friedman, but not Berliner... Bob and Ryan Wood... most the rest of us realize that the document is not authentic.

andycher said...

The decline of Ufology is closely related to the rise of two inter-related sets of arguments.
The first is the 'UFO Phenomenon.' We can define this as anything related to UFOs in any way. It's all part of the phenomenon. Whether the 'evidence' comes from a serious scientific approach or if it comes from photographs of models with the strings still visible, it is all grist for the mill. Too many people study the phenomenon and not the UFO.
The second is the 'Psycho-Social Hypothesis.' Here, we are told that the UFO is a story told by human beings. While some stories may be 'better' than others, they can't escape their psycho-social origins. Over at Magonia, some psycho-social theorists go as far to assert that even the discovery of an actual, formerly unknown, aerial phenomena would not change their certainty that their hypothesis is correct.
These approaches are not scientific in any way. Students of the phenomenon reject logic and include whatever 'evidence' supports their arguments. Usually a 'UFO Phenomenon' thinker can hardly go for a page or two without invoking Adamski (we should also note that the Ancient Astronaut hypothesis got its first widespread publication in Flying Saucers Have Landed which is mostly Desmond Leslie holding forth on the AAs with Adamski's contact a postscript at the end of the book). Psycho-social theorists use conclusions first thinking instead of developing a theory from evidence. 'Stories that people tell' can apply to any form of human interaction, not just UFOs, and, as such, is not really telling us anything. Is water wet? Who knows? We can say that humans say that water is wet. I'll leave this here instead of going on further.
Beyond countering the two arguments discussed above, the biggest advances in ufology may come from access to the evidence. I frequently say to skeptics who demand answers from ufology that the 'U' stands for unidentified. I don't know what they are. However, it may be that what is unidentified to me is identified by others.
UFO crashes seem to have declined radically since the 1950s. Since the 50s, the planet has been ringed with thousands of man-made satellites and observed by a vast array of new technologies. Large amounts of the data gathered by these means is classified. If the UFO is a piloted vehicle, the operators would have to be aware of the increased level of surveillance instituted by human civilization as well as having had another 60 years to improve their technology.
Before Snowden, many people would not have believed the extent of government surveillance programs, but there are hardly any doubters now.
The US operates the Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency but hardly anything is known about it. Wikipedia tells us more about the size of the lobby in their headquarters than anything else. Who is more likely to have the best access to UFO data, you (or me) or the Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency? I am not claiming to know what this agency has in its files, only that, given their classified satellites, radio telescopes and other technologies, they are in a much better position than others to know what is happening in the skies and near reaches of outer space than others.

Andy

Brian Bell said...

SOM1-01

"Stan Friedman..."

Really? Didn't know that.

Well it goes along with his undying support for (some) of the MJ-12 documents too.

Don Maor said...

Kevin said:

"The usual suspects... Stan Friedman, but not Berliner... Bob and Ryan Wood... most the rest of us realize that the document is not authentic.",

Kevin, correction, “most researchers believe, without proof and without really convincing reasons, that the SOM1-01 is false.”

KRandle said...

Don -

Most researchers believe that SOM 1-01 is faked based on the lack of provenance, the anachronisms, violation of classified regulations, and all the missing pieces that it is faked. It is the responsibility of those believing it authentic to prove the case and they have failed to do so.

cda said...

Andy:

You talk about the 'Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency' as if it was a genuine agency. You then say "but hardly anything is known about it". Isn't this strong evidence that no such agency exists? If nobody knows anything about a certain 'agency' or indeed any group of people, is it not very likely that the said agency is fictitious, and that someone has made it up.

I can invent a top secret organisation whenever I want, and give it some publicity on the web. I can describe its purpose and its overall activities. Nobody can disprove me; all the authorities can do is to deny its existence - but that will never convince the believers.

How about the official UK supersecret group known as "The Loch Ness Monster National Intelligence Group"? I am its chairman - which is why I have to use a false name (initials) on this blog.

KRandle said...

CDA =

That agency exists. As I was chasing the agency the Air Force used to attempt to read the Ramey memo, I was referred to this particular agency. That little is known about it is no reason to suggest it doesn't exist. It might suggest that it is something that is classified to some extent, that it is small and does work that does not have wide appeal, or it is the new name of another agency.

Brian Bell said...

The Geospatial Intelligence Agency is a real agency. I know because I have been there and I know several people who work there.

It's location is not classified. It's just a few miles north of Charlottesville, VA. Go north on 29 and turn right and you'ld find it.

Their mission is just an extension of most intelligence agencies such as NSA and the CIA. They monitor and analyze global information of all kinds as a subfunction specialty of larger intelligence agencies.

They moved from a location in Northern Virgina to Charlotteville somewhere in the early 1990's.

Everything they do is ultra classified.

Bruce said...

CDA = It's interesting that a made-up agency has a .mil website. https://www.nga.mil/

Bruce said...

Don Maor --

"Kevin, correction, “most researchers believe, without proof and without really convincing reasons, that the SOM1-01 is false.”"

That the SOM-1 -- a document supposedly from 1954 -- references satellites when the first satellite was not launched until 1957 is enough proof to disregard the document as genuine.

Bruce said...

Kevin -- Do you think the SOM-1 document is a hoax or disinformation?

cda said...

How do we know the GIA actually does anything? Maybe it is simply a substitute name for another, quite different, agency. And again, if nobody, literally nobody, knows what it does (maybe even those who work there are not aware of its true function), what purpose does it serve? Who does it report to in government? Who is its head?

What does this agency actually do in its day-to-day activities?

I have a feeling we are getting nowhere.

Bruce said...

CDA --

They are credited with helping kill Osama Bin Laden.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/the-little-known-agency-that-helped-kill-bin-laden/238454/

KRandle said...

Bruce -

The SOM 1-01 is a hoax and not disinformation. The fall back position on these things seem to be that if it is not authentic, then it must have been created by someone with inside knowledge as disinformation. There is nothing in the manual that wasn't floating around the world of the UFO in the mid-1990s when the thing appeared.

Don Maor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don Maor said...

Blogger Don Maor said...

Bruce said:

"That the SOM-1 -- a document supposedly from 1954 -- references satellites when the first satellite was not launched until 1957 is enough proof to disregard the document as genuine."

Bruce, whithin the SOM1-01 document, there is a control page that indicates that the very page that contained the wording "downed satellites" was revised in the document in August 1955, which a date very close, and a little later, than the time when the USA started their project on satellites. So the situation is not an anachronism, it is more like a synchronism (!).

This is the conclusion of an article by Larry Lemke inside the website of Brian and Robert Wood. http://www.specialoperationsmanual.com/
However, the website was aparently hacked by third parties, because any web browser software strongly advices and even denies access to the website. Call me a conspiracist, but the website started having this kind of problems just a little bit later than the article by Lemke was posted.

Brice said...

I feel the fall of ufology somehow already began in the late 60's when the renowned scientist James Mac Donald failed to bring the scientific community to undertake a serious study of the phenomenon (let's forget the Condon study joke), despite his tremendous efforts.

Along with the disinterest of the scientific community, the primary study of cases by ufologists moved in many other “muddy” areas like trying to obtain information through classified documents by FOIA or citizens initiative, the increase of abduction and crash stories... With the amounts of hoaxes, frauds, liars, debunkers, disinformation, (etc...) today, it seems that UFO reasearchers are now giving away their time trying to sort out valuable informations through an increasing mass of crap.

Beside, some seems to have thrown the towel or just focus on sideways issues which might be interesting in themselves (disinformation operations,...) but ultimately don't really help to understand what ufos are while others are more speculating on exotic theories...

I feel ufology needs to come back to more grounded and solid scientific research, maybe first through private groups or organizations with the collaboration of scientists interested in the phenomenon, if public organizations can't get involved at this time. Until more grounded evidence could be put forward to get an official and real scientific study initiated, I'm afraid ufology might remained stuck in this actual state for some indefinite time.

albert said...

@Brice,
Although I agree with your proposal, I doubt such a project could be handled properly. Serious scientists would -not- involve themselves, unless, perhaps, they could remain anonymous. Even so, who can guarantee anonymity today? If any information about such a project became public, the project would die quickly, and the nutters would flood the media with the usual BS. Since UFOs don't come when you call 'em, data collection would require a vast network of researchers, each of whom needs to be vetted. Expensive equipment and thousands of man-hours will be needed to acquire data. You see why a military/intelligence organization is so much better equipped to handle such a survey:)
.
Scientists have been -no help- at all in regards to the UFO phenomenon. This isn't likely to change in the future.
.
. .. . .. _ _ _

Brice said...

@albert:
I believe it is at least possible set up some automatic detection/measurement devices on specific locations without the need to manage them full time (a bit like what was done in Hessdalen). You could also have volunteered scientists called when something got caught or to investigate a specific case with physical traces. Of course you would need volunteers and competence and it wouldn't be costless but I believe it is possible in some extent, provided funds and personnel could be found. The big issue is about chance to get something really interesting with enough robust data. Would it be impossible to find scientists that wouldn't want to participate in such a project without the requirement of anonymity? I'm not sure, but certainly being associated with the subject of ufos may refrain many to participate even if personally interested. At one point, there was some of this idea with a team of scientists willing to investigate rapidly some cases under a partnership between MUFON and Bigelow, but I think it didn't last because MUFON wasn't happy with Bigelow's demands (don't know much about it)

albert said...

@Brice,
I don't recall posting anything here on this (I have elsewhere), but check out:

http://hunter.pairsite.com/theodolite/

This iPhone app would be perfect for UFO research. With 2 or more units, quite accurate speed, altitude and location calculations can be made. There are millions of iPhones out there already. The only problem is getting folks involved.

My usual disclaimer applies.

. .. . .. _ _ _

Brice said...

@albert
Thanks for the info. :-) In essence, you would be able to triangulate an object with only 2 recordings of the object from 2 different locations, provided items in the backgroung of the recordings(eg landscape, buildings...) would allow you to know the azimuth and height angle of the object, allowing to estimate distance, size and even speed and acceleration if a synchronicity between the two recordings can accurately be found. IMO, the bonus with this app is that you would already have these data (angles) along with the geolocation of the place of the recording, making it easier to do the triangulation. Moreover, these data would still be available to some extent if the recordings would lack reference points in the backgroung, for example if made at night or above sea horizon. There is also the same application for android systems : http://www.androidauthority.com/geocam-app-review-105929/.

It still could'nt be considered scientific data but it sure would give a lot more credence if associated with witness testimonies. A french UFO association named UFO Science (www.ufo-science.com) is currently working toward the conception of a miniature automatic detection station that could also get the spectrum of lights -for more data, one that would be easy to install and not too costly and so that it could be purchased by people interested to set up this kind of equipment. more info here (sorry in french):

http://www.ufo-science.com/wpf/?p=9060
http://www.ufo-science.com/wpf/?p=9251

albert said...

@Brice,
Such data would be orders of magnitude better than anything else available to most citizens:) Also, location data can be correlated with radar data. Distance travelled over time can easily be determined, hence speed. If a speed of 1500 mph is calculated, it would be clear that despite accuracy, an object was travelling very fast, and, if soundless, it's clear that we don't have anything that can do that. RGB information can easily be determined from camera images.

These systems can finally quantify what witness testimony could only have guessed before.

The Android app doesn't even come close to the Theodolite iPhone one.

. .. . .. _ _ _

Erol Faruk said...

To those seeking physical evidence for UFOs you cannot better the Delphos case in my opinion. I happen to be a 'serious scientist' who has actually analysed the ring soil in a university laboratory and concluded that the case is quite genuine and corroborates fully the testimony of its lead witness (Ronald Johnson) as well as those of his parents who also observed the UFO and touched the ring surface shortly after it departed. More information on my findings can be found at this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Compelling-Scientific-Evidence-UFOs-Analysis/dp/150271552X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444811222&sr=8-1&keywords=delphos

Rather than ponder the stale Roswell mystery, critical thinkers could more usefully apply their logic at probing the validity of Delphos and its potential to lead ufology out of its current quagmire.

Brice said...

@albert : I'm not sure wether in mentioning "RGB information" you were relating to the acquisition of a light's sprectrum. To be more precise, I was talking about the decomposition of the light source in its wavelengths. You can get it with a diffraction grating and with proper calibration may obtain other useful informations (nature/chemical composition of the light's source, presence of a magnetic field, temperature...). In the 50's the USAF was already promoving the acquisition of this spectrum.

Looking quickly at the geocam app, it can give enough data (angles and geolocation) to carry out a triangulation. I didn't look in detail of the Teodolite app's features. Did you mean that this app has a lot more than geocam and/or it has other features that would be useful for our purpose (ufos) ? if so which ones?

@Erol Faruk : thank you for the link! I'll check up on it. I wasn't aware at all you wrote a recent book on this case as I seem to recall it is quite an "old" case now. I'm not sure but I may remember Ted Philips was interested/involved in it at some point, but I may be wrong with this.

Regarding Roswell and even if it lacks physical evidence, it somehow bears many interesting documentational/testimonial evidence (and still even some interesting leads) which to me make it interesting and still worthwhile to look onto.

albert said...

@Brice,
You're talking about spectroscopy. iPhones can't do that...yet:)
Most video chips are IR sensitive, and need filters to screen it out. IR would be cool to have.

By all means review the Theodolite specs.
. .. . .. _ _ _

Erol Faruk said...

@Brice - Yes, Ted was involved as he was the main investigator on-site. The case is still highly significant even though quite old now, since both myself and Phyllis Budinger in the States analysed the ring soil thoroughly and confirmed its impregnation with an unusual organic compound. There is still soil material available for a modern laboratory to analyse if the interest (and funding?) was there. So the prospect of unambiguously determining if a UFO was involved is high in this instance. This wouldn't apply to the vast majority of other UFO trace cases since they very rarely involve a deposited substance!

Brice said...

@albert : I don't know about IR spectroscopy, not so sure about it since every object radiate in this bandwith according to its temperature... Now you can easily record the spectrum in the visible bandwith of a light with a camera just by interposing a diffraction grating onto the lens. You just need a filter support in which you insert the diffraction grating (you can certainly have both for less than 50$). Some exist for compact (magnetic) or for reflex cameras...If you're a handyman you can even build a support for a smartphone and record the spectrum in the same way. That may give some very interesting/useful data with an almost insignificant equipement/cost.

Brice said...

Erol ffaruk said :
"There is still soil material available for a modern laboratory to analyse if the interest (and funding?) was there".

That's very good news.

"This wouldn't apply to the vast majority of other UFO trace cases since they very rarely involve a deposited substance!"

Indeed, it's another subject of study well worth pursuing. I know that in France, the GEIPAN used to call at least one scientist (Michel Bounias) to analyse some vegetation samples in some instances where UFOs left physical traces.

andycher said...

Wow! We have to debate the existence of a real government agency, Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency, instead of any actual arguments about UFOs. Too bad my friend who didn't believe in the existence of North Dakota or China (he had never been to either) died a few years back, he'd fit right in.
I'd like cda to answer the question I posed before: who is in a better position to access UFO data, me(standing in for all private citizens) or The Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency.

A

albert said...

@Brice,
That would be a useful adjunct to the iPhone/Theodolite combination, since only the spectrum need be recorded; I/T handles the rest. If you have a capable camera (preferable a cell phone), you could try a diffraction grating (edmundoptics.com has 'em). You'll probably need a slit of some kind to make analysis possible. This might be difficult to accomplish on a cell, as the lens is so small, but would certainly be possible on a digital camera with a decent lens.
. .. . .. _ _ _

Brice said...

@albert : indeed it would. Thanks for your link, actually I'm already equipped with diffraction gratings that I can insert on a filter support which I can stick magnetically on the lens of my camera. It's very easy, you don't need a slit (not so sure what you meant by this), just to “plug” the whole stuff onto the lens before taking the picture/film (but you also need to take another picture of calibrating light with the same zoom setting). You can do the same with a smartphone, but since I don't have one I haven't tried yet. Not sure either I would like to have always with me the diffraction kit, but at least I have it at home so that I can put it on my camera.

albert said...

@Brice,
The idea of a slit is impose sharply defined edges to the image. Spectra from large sources tend to blur and become difficult to analyze. Try it. You can make with 2 safety edge razor blades. Use a black marker to dull the shiny edges. You'll have to experiment to find the optimum distance between the slit and the grating. The whole setup needs to be shielded from ambient light. Be sure you can get (from white light) the whole spectrum from red to violet on your spectrograph. Depending on the kind street lights you have in your area, you can get sodium or mercury lines on your spectrograph. You can do a calibration of your system this way. I don't know if LEDs or lasers can be used for calibration.
. .. . .. _ _ _

Brice said...

@albert: indeed, now I think you don't need one if the light (ufo) is small (ie far) enough, which should be the most common case, just make sure the zoom is set to the minimum. That would be useful if the source of light remains big despite zooming out. Public mercury and sodium lights are very common in my area so they're indeed perfect. I think lasers would work as they are monochromatic, I don't know for leds.

FAdamsXII said...

Wow, really cda? I had to comment because the ignorance here is laughable.

NGA is what they call NIMA nowadays. They make maps. They report to the DNI. They're funded by the DoD.

Its nothing too special really. NRO launches and operates the satellites and NGA makes maps out of the images so people like myself and Captain Randle don't go waltzing into a heavily defended marsh that was dry a week ago before the enemy flooded it. Arguably NRO should take over NGA so taskings stay centralized, but it sort of works how it is.

I hate to inject reality into delusions but someone had to say something.

albert said...

@Brice,
LEDs would work. All you need are the wavelength specs of the LED you're using. Mercury and sodium vapor lamps are excellent for calibration as they give very specific lines. Also try various colors of 'neon' signs. Here's a link that's good for an overview:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectroscope

See the photos at the page bottom for the use of slits. The Web is full of DIY spectrographs. Yes, star-sized objects might be hard to work with, but they would be very difficult to identify anyway:)

Good luck!
. .. . .. _ _ _

Nightshade09 said...

Ufology is in decline for one reason and one reason only and that’s because everyone is fixated on being like the fictional Fox Mulder out to bust ‘The Cover Up’ wide open and thus make name for themselves.

They have forgotten what Ufology started out to be and that was to document the phenomena to gather enough creditable scientifically gathered evidence of the on going phenomena in order to force the mainstream science and media to take the phenomena under serious investigation.

Instead what we have today is whole bunch of Fox Mulder wanna be’s with an endless parade of so called ‘Smoking Gun’ so called evidence.. The so called “Roswell Slides” just the latest manifestation..

The decline is a good thing in my opinion. Let the whole baby collapse! Let everyone lose interest and go on other new agey / conspiracy chasing ..

Then out of ashes Ufology will return its roots. To NICAP, To APRO, To Early MUFON..

albert said...

@Nightshade09,
While I agree with your 'let it die' opinion, I must point out a flaw in your 'Fox Mulder' metaphor. Mulder was driven by strong personal desire* to get the facts; so strong that he often risked his badge in the process. Fame was not his motivation. The Not Roswell Slides fiasco was pure Huckersterism, driven sole by desire for publicity and money. There are some folks in serious research, and some in it for the money. Jaime Maussan might be a better metaphor.
.
If the baby needs to be thrown out with the bathwater, so be it, but the hucksters, like the poor, will always be with us...

Cheers,
..............
* his sisters abduction.
. .. . .. _ _ _

LBP said...

I was the Kingman City Attorney for a few years in the 1990-era. I got to know many of the old-timers, including the prominent family that had owned much of the land in the area for decades. In my nosing around, I never located anyone who had ever even heard of the "Kingman crash."