Friday, May 06, 2022

'X' Zone Broadcast Network - Dr. Don Donderi

This week, I reached out to Dr. Don Donderi, who has just published a new book on UFOs. He said that it was a sort of primer for those who have become interested in UFOs but have no real knowledge of the subject. It is an introduction to the field and we talked about that for a while. You can, of course, listen to the show here:

And for those who are not easily frightened, or who would rather be watching our discussion than listening to it, you can see it here:

Frankly, I hadn’t realized that Don had been around the field for so long. We did begin with a short discussion of the Roswell case. I, of course, thought it was a topic we should ignore because I’ve covered it on the program more than once. I think Don wanted to engage me in a discussion of the case, but I deflected to points that I thought were more important and would be more interesting to the audience.

I wanted to know when he thought UFOs appeared… meaning when did people begin to notice many things in the sky. That, of course, led to the Great Airship of 1897. I wondered if he had noticed that the airship sightings mirrored the modern era, meaning all the types of UFO sightings we have today were reported at that time. That meant the wave was somewhat predictive of the situation today. I don’t think he understood that the majority of the sightings in 1897 were faked. There were people who approached the crews of the airship and were told all sorts of things. One crew found in Texas said they were on their way to bomb the Spaniards in Cuba. This predictive nature, that came from the hoaxes, is somewhat worrisome to my way of thought, but Don didn’t seem to know much about these sightings other than he seemed to think the majority were legitimate.

The airship that landed in Waterloo, Iowa in 1897, eventually proven to be a hoax.

We did touch of the nature of evidence, or what would be sufficient for most people to accept the idea of alien spacecraft. He believed that there is more than enough including radar sightings which seem to impress him greatly, photographs such as that from McMinnville, Oregon, and, of course, the testimony of so many witnesses. He seemed to be much more receptive of these things that I am. I would like something that leads us to the alien rather than the interpretation of eyewitness testimony that might suggest the alien.

He did mention the cockpit videos that the Navy released (more or less). He thought their pronouncement that they are real meant they were alien. I believe the Navy was just telling us that the recording had been made by the Naval aviators and other sightings were made by Naval personnel. They weren’t saying they were of alien craft, just that the information, the reports, had been made by Naval personnel. Too many have jumped to that conclusion that the Navy confirmed the alien nature of the reports.

We talked about alien abduction and I pointed out that the logistics of the situation were prohibitive. I suggested that by some estimates, more than three million Americans have been abducted and we hadn’t even mentioned people from other countries who claim they were abducted. The numbers are just impossible, especially when you begin to talk about longitudinal studies covering, basically, decades.

He wondered where I had gotten that number, I suppose figuring I had pulled it out of my hip pocket. I mentioned the Roper Poll conducted in the end of the last century. He was quite dismissive of it because he has no idea what the numbers are, but does believe, as David Jacobs does, that the aliens are creating a race of hybrids to take over the planet.

Anyway, as I say, you can listen to all that and decide for yourselves what you think. Next week, I’m going to try something a little different as I fly solo. I’ll be discussing an aspect of the UFO field with visual cut-ins. I’m not sure how well this will work. And in the next weeks I’ll be talking with Philip Mantle and to Michael Shermer. 

1 comment:

Bryan Sentes said...

Not to be too harsh, Donderi seems to fall prey to cognitive dissonance himself, being unable to raise or address the skeptical position in any serious way. The best examples are those instances when he fails to directly answer your questions about the demonstrably false testimony of the Roswell witnesses you yourself investigated or the question you raise about about how the Air Force's (demonstrably false) mogul balloon explanation has been picked up uncritically by various websites, etc. In both cases, his answer went off on a not unrelated tangent, but a tangent nonetheless.

The psychoanalyst would likely pick up on the self-defeating metaphor Donderi used to explain cognitive dissonance: that those resistant to an idea will look for a weak link in a chain of reasoning and seize upon it. Donderi can't even apply his own analogy consistently, because if a weak link breaks, the whole chain _is_ broken!

You patient indulgence of someone so convinced is downright saintly!