Thursday, August 04, 2016

Free Food and UFOs

A couple of weeks ago I was the speaker for a lunch group that only paid with free food but since that is my favorite kind… free… I accepted, planning to speak about my experiences as a writer and how different things are today. Unfortunately one of the men knew me and my talk turned to UFOs. I provided a quick rundown, but what do you say about UFOs in fifteen minutes?

The first question, or comment, was from some guy, and I couldn’t believe he said it, who claimed that only drunks saw UFOs. I suggested that this was a government myth that began early in the modern history of UFOs and quoted a newspaper headline about UFOs being seen around the country, expect in Kansas, which was a dry state (which, for those of you who grew up when the entire nation was awash in booze, being a dry state meant that alcohol was unavailable) For those who wish to see that statement about the newspaper headline, it follows.

I’m not sure that it did any good because most people have their minds made up and logic will do nothing to dissuade them… and that goes for both sides. The total debunker will not admit that any sighting might not have a mundane solution and the total believer will argue for the unusual nature of a case even when the mundane solution explains all the facts.

I say, without fear of contradiction, that many sober, intelligent, educated people see UFOs. Statistics suggest that the higher the education, the longer the object (or ambiguous stimulus) is in sight, the more likely a mundane explanation will not be found (mainly because they have already attempted to apply those mundane explanations and found them inadequate). This doesn’t mean they saw an alien craft, only that what they saw doesn’t seem to fit into a terrestrial category.

I did mention a couple of sightings that I found particularly strange such as those around Levelland, Texas, and the Washington Nationals (mainly because of the banner headline in the local newspaper about flying saucers swarming over the capital). But I wasn’t really trying to convince anyone, just to suggest that they might not wish to write off everything because of a false idea.

The point was simply that you might wish to reject the idea of alien spacecraft based on any of a number of ideas, but the idea that they were only seen by drunks is simply not viable.


Brice said...

It somehow reminds me when I first got interested in ufos, which was some ten years ago. I would not say I was a debunker at the time but ufos is a subject that was rarely bring on in the country I live (France), moreover some decades ago, and I have never thought seriously one second about it, mostly for that reason I guess. At the time if someone would have talked to me about ufos I would have thought it was only a subject for sci-fi writers! Back when I was a kid I was passionate by planes (even started piloting later but didn't pursue) and I got a book offered by my parents on space and astronomy. There was a page on ufos, and I remember thinking that it was strange but I might also remember it was not presented in a very serious/rigorous way (like pranks or misidentifications, etc...) so I never got interested in the subject for many years and actually it really never crossed my mind. But one day, by pure chance, I happened to listen to a radio show in which a witness was describing his experience with a ufo. His experience and the way he was recollecting it really got me startled and I started thinking Hell, is there really something "serious" here I've not been aware of for so many years? So I started researching the subject and thanks for internet now I was able to learn a lot quite easily. So I went on to read books, etc...

The thing is before that time I had never been presented the subject in a serious way (it was almost never touched upon in the main medias), and having other sphere of interest I never thought about it only that there was nothing serious with it. I have since realized how wrong I was. So the way you're educated, what and how the information is brought to you does shape your mind.

jlmet said...

Kevin, I know it's just a typo toward the end of your second paragraph, but "dry" means no alcohol & "wet" means it's available.

Brian B said...

I'm curious Kevin as to why you would say, "Unfortunately one of the men knew me and my talk turned to UFOs."

Yes the man's statement was dumb, but it's not surprising that somebody would recognize you as an author of UFO related material.

Heck, it was even an opportunity to softly pitch your upcoming Roswell book (given the man's statement).

Well, to my recollection I don't recall a single notable case that involved "drunks". But maybe those were already dismissed by investigators as being bogus.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but even in a "dry" state, would alcohol ever NOT be available by some means? Just sayin' . . .

cda said...

The UK is a wet country and this is almost the expected thing for foreign visitors. But in this case 'wet' has a different meaning. The skies don't rain alcohol here (at least I don't think they do).

Nitram said...

Hi Kevin

The comment about "Kansas being a dry state" is also referred to in the "Roswell Incident" - the made for TV movie which you also had a hand in production.
Possibly that's where the man got "his idea" from?!


KRandle said...

I don't know why this has degenerated into a discussion on how "dry" Kansas was. It was illegal to sell alcohol in Kansas... I don't know if it was illegal to possess it... The surrounding states were not dry so anyone could cross the border and buy booze to take home. The point wasn't that it was dry but the implication was that there were no UFO sightings in Kansas because no one was drunk. Only drunks, fools, men with three teeth and bib overalls reported UFOs.

purrlgurrl said...

Drunk or sober, people see things they can't identify because of their background, experience, and personal knowledge base. The thing they saw might be mundane and terrestrial, but they can't identify it because their above listed personal data banks don't include what they're looking at. That said, some very sober, bright people have seen some pretty weird shit. But that in and of itself doesn't automatically make what they saw aliens in spaceships. What they saw was just weird and unexplainable - end of story.

The biggest problem for those interested in uncovering the objective reality of what unidentifieds might be is that bat shit crazy believers who unquestionably believe the most cuckoo unsubstantiated claims (Obama is a Reptilian) have always made the subject an object of derision. But it seems in the relatively recent past the inmates really have overrun the asylum. I believe beginning with the rise of the alien abduction sub-subculture (another rant for another time).

It now seems like most of Ufology (including organizations purporting to do scientific research) is comprised of people who see extraterrestrial visitation in every Chinese lantern, kite, drone, aircraft landing light, bit of debris shed from the ISS, pigeon on the wing, and escaped mylar balloon.

Oh hell, pass the whiskey. We might as well all be drunk.

Mr. Sweepy said...


As you know, I publish advertising. Advertising itself, tells a short story about a product or company. Some advertising is serious, some may make you laugh or cry. The point is advertising creates emotions for people to remember the brand and product.

The subject of UFO's and all the secondary subjects associated with it create different emotions and feelings with people. Some people what a good laugh about UFO's whether drunk or not. The debunkers are out to kill off the belief any story about a UFO sighing or crash. They don't just laugh at believers, they try to destroy the believe. And of course, you have the drunks who are experts of their own universe.

This is what I explained before. The subject of UFO's is still in the trust building stage. Yes, even after Roswell and 69 years. The subject of trust and UFO's has improved in some ways because of the internet while in other ways, been hurt. Hoaxes, false stories and video is hurt what you are trying to build.

I understand through years of successes and failures how to define and fix the problems. However You and I could not fix the problems on our own. It will take MUFON and others in the UFO industry to work as a team to fix the marketing and advertising issues to build the trust in the UFO believe.

Unknown said...

Craig McDaniel wrote:

"I understand through years of successes and failures how to define and fix the problems. However You and I could not fix the problems on our own. It will take MUFON and others in the UFO industry to work as a team to fix the marketing and advertising issues to build the trust in the UFO believe."

If Mufon hired you to do both still and video campaigns for building trust what image would you portray to a demographic of say 25 to 45 year olds? Would you have a more serious approach something like "Close Encounters" or a lighter "E.T."? Maybe something entirely different?

I realize I'm asking you to work pro bono so I understand if you don't care to answer. I think it's worth some thought though.

Mr. Sweepy said...

Hi Neal,

Thanks for the comment. I am looking at the big picture that includes all. Not just MUFON, Kevin or myself. I started my online business knowing advertising and marketing but very little on create a website. I hired one of the best in the country in database development and others for website development. In short, I evaluated my weaknesses and how do I correct them. This same approach is badly needed in the UFO community.

Yes, it does take money but it also takes a real business plan and goals. For example there are what, 100 or more different websites that dedicated or discuss UFO's. There will be more in the future because there are new people who are interested in the subject. Doesn't mean they will be successful or not. But they will try. Many more will pack their bags and close down their sites. That's business.

But in 2010, my business was ranked on Google Search on the 3 pages. I found a tiny loophole in Google Search Algorithm that allowed extra ranking influence with Press Releases, (PR) stories. We published 2 to 4 stories a month and in 3 months we were ranked first page, first slot in Google Search for our subject. This was out of hundreds of listings. Then a couple of years ago Google got smart to what I was doing and down graded all of the PR stories. During that time I made a lot of money.

However, for UFO, PR stories could be used statically and to target the best new UFO stories demographically into the same markets and state the story originated from and then the bigger cities surrounding. These stories put up on the PR newswires will hit the local newspaper in the demographic areas your approached but also nationwide. These stories will be picked up not just by the newspapers but also Twitter, Google plus, Facebook and the social media. Then the big hits will call to ask about doing following TV stories and videos.

To do this right it will take a new website (that should pay for itself by advertising) designed with daily UFO listing, stories and videos. Then connected to all of social media. Then create a press room for answering questions.

To do this right, I will cost $25,000 to $50,000 and a couple of dedicated marketing savvy people and good techies to manage the website. So when I say more than just MUFON and all, One supersite that really represents the true believers in a professional manner is what is needed.

Last is the goal. Is it to get more people to tell their UFO stories? To find new witnesses to older stories or to collaborate existing stories? To change opinions of the drunks Kevin spoke to into a drunk that says something like "Hell yes Kevin, tell us more?" You decide.

Craig McDaniel, Mr. Sweepy

Unknown said...

Hi Craig,

A little about myself. I.m retired now but worked from 1983 until this year as a Commercial/Advertising photographer. I had worked for other photographers before that and spent some time with NASA. Being old school I was thinking traditional print and broadcast media but you have a much cheaper option. $50k is not much money in that arena.

It looks doable to me but I'll admit that the internet isn't my strong suit. I never even had a website, word of mouth referrals kept me busy enough. As you know the ad game is a mobile society for art buyers.

I think this could be funded in a number of ways, maybe Dan Akroyd, Bob Bigelow or some other well healed individual could be approached. Crowd sourcing?

In any case each story would have to be closely examined by a researcher beyond reproach in the community, preferably more than one. Naturally the debunkers wouldn't care, they would never admit alien visitation is possible if an alien served them lunch.

Mr. Sweepy said...

Hi Neal,

You brought up something that caught my attention. This was newspaper stories about UFO's. I can't not even think of the last time a quality UFO sighting and picture was on the front page of a major newspaper? I was thinking the B&W photograph days. LOL

Seriously I just don't remember. Maybe Phoenix or Belgium? However I have seen local and national TV stories. most of them come from MUFON or the local police. There have been more local stories that deserve greater attention but fizzle out because of the lack of witnesses or pictures.

My thoughts is first more newspaper and a even faster growing online newspapers would hear about the top new UFO sighting on a regular basis, then opinions will increase to wanting more stories. Any new UFO story has to be considered with the greatest care for reasons of quality and respectability. You know fake photo and videos far greater than I do and I see some I would touch. I am sure you would have the ability to spot more than more with your experience.

It is the really solid cases the news world will pick today that they might not 10 or 20 years ago. I believe more and more people believe in the existence of UFO or advanced military aircrafts and would be news worthy. It's a matter of getting the right team, money and commitment to quality that is what is needed.

Personally I would get it started. However I have to many committed with my business, stockholders and members to consider this at this time. We are also been talking with some investors about expanding our stake in the online advertising industry. So my time is pretty limited but I do enjoy taking a few minutes a day to visit Kevin's blog and read the comments.

Unknown said...

Hi Craig;

I don't remember seeing any UFO pictures at all in newspapers, There were some in local papers, Gulf Breeze comes to mind. The cases you mentioned did get coverage on TV, and point to the need for the project you've proposed. The Phoenix case was shown only as the second sighting of what most agree were flares. A lot of people are unaware of the first sighting which is still unknown. I can't be sure but the Belgium photo may have been widely published. Later the photographer claimed it was faked and people I've talked to dismiss the entire Belgian wave as a hoax. WTF? All the police, military and just ordinary people who sighted these craft are ignored.

There may be a back story on the photographer who said he faked the Belgian photo, for one he never was able to reproduce it. From what I heard he stupidly sold the rights to the picture to a third party, that person apparently made money from it. Some have proposed that he was butt hurt from losing money and decided to say it was fake. This illustrates why we license usage for photographs, we never sell the rights to an important picture.

As for identifying fake pictures the major obstacle is the low resolution on the internet coupled with the disgusting jpg format. It's known for being lossy and full of artifacts.

Brian B said...

@ Neal, you wrote:

"In any case each story would have to be closely examined by a researcher beyond reproach in the community, preferably more than one. Naturally the debunkers wouldn't care, they would never admit alien visitation is possible if an alien served them lunch."

Who do you suggest in the ufo community is "beyond reproach"?

Wouldn't it better to have a completely unbiased (as much as possible) neutral party do the primary investigation?

As for your other statement, you might have said:

"Naturally the believers wouldn't care, they would never admit alien visitation isn't possible if the investigative results slapped them in the face."

Unknown said...


Who do you suggest as this neutral party? Shostak? Nope he wants to keep his phoney baloney job. Certainly not your mentor Tim Printy. Who then?

As for your other statement, you might have said:

"Naturally the believers wouldn't care, they would never admit alien visitation isn't possible if the investigative results slapped them in the face."

No Brian, because I know that science doesn't allow for proving a negative, why can't the debunkers get that?

Mr. Sweepy said...


I don't recall any stories about Belgium being a hoax but I will not question this.

When I look at what the newspaper and TV channels are putting out each day, I think a good quality UFO sighting and picture is more news worthy than a lot of the junk news we see today.

I do see news, sports, entertainment across the board is changing. I have seen a big change in the attitude about the possibility of life that exist on other planets compared to 20 or more years ago. The only question is proving that other life has visited Earth.

With that said I think there are dozens of sighting stories each year that are not reported for various reasons. I think with a smart approach and more people have confidence to step forward, there will be more news stories. That's the goal I was referring to.

Terry the Censor said...

[Sorry for the very late response, Kevin, but I missed this item at the time.]

You wrote:

> only drunks saw UFOs. I suggested that this was a government myth

I have to disagree. It's just a jibe, not a myth. And it didn't originate with the government, it's a common reaction. Back during the airship craze, newspaper articles and editorial cartoons frequently suggested alcohol consumption was fuelling the sightings.

Cartoon examples from 1897 can be found on pages 36-37 of UFOs & Alien Contact: Two Centuries of Mystery by Robert E. Bartholomew and George S. Howard (the authors thanked Thomas Bullard for supplying many of the clippings they site in the book). I can't find the images online, unfortunately, but a few of you will have this book.