Monday, May 5, 2008

Debunking in the Darkness: Throwing the Energy Baby out with the UFO Bath Water

Debunkers. You know who you are and, even better, we know who you are. You're the folks who consistently gather before an anxious public every time a UFO sighting occurs because you want to flash your impressive credentials. Because you firmly believe your professional status gives you license -- lacking even the bare minimum of facts about a case -- to tell people they're only seeing meteorites or birds or balloons or clouds or sun dogs or conventional aircraft. Or unconventional conventional aircraft. Your status as self-proclaimed UFO explainers-away feels good, doesn't it?
The evidence never matters, but it surely must feel self-inspiring to tell sighting witnesses they're mistaken, though you have my sympathies because some of you are forced to go to the most absurd of absurd lengths to invent instantaneous explanations. The Big Guns amongst your kind unfairly pursue and destroy witness integrity in order to gain fodder for that next book condemning all things UFO.
Other debunkers, more often than not, appear in the guise of "amateur astronomers," consulted by local media as "experts," invariably turning out to be ill-informed about UFOs and offered before the TV cameras with gloating smirks. Besides, what's an astronomer going to tell us about a UFO they didn't even see, an unlikely event anyway since both professional and amateur astronomers frequently spend hours looking at a teeny-tiny fraction of the sky at any one time? And never mind that UFO history actually shines with accounts by astronomers of their own unexplained sightings.
Yet, UFO encounters continue to be reported by solid, concerned people all over the world, despite the debunkers' efforts.
The trouble is, this debunking claptrap has had an effect -- not on sighting witnesses, and not even on the general public. But a lot of folks in the professional sciences and government, busy with other matters, have bought into the UFO no-no crowd's dogma, unaware of the evidence highly suggestive of substance behind the UFO enigma.
Guess what? There are consequences when debunkers and their negativist colleagues deny science its duty to investigate matters of importance.
Those of us who considered the UFO question very seriously as far back as the sixties -- as did those who preceded us, doubtless, in the fifties and even the forties -- would always marvel at the incredible quantity of energy, some kind of energy, involved routinely with major UFO incidents. In the 1960s, for example, UFOs were observed on occasion to hover over power lines, as if poised to extract the electricity right out of them (with instances of power interruptions or failures reported by area residents at the same time). However, far more impressive were displays of high energy noted by sighting witnesses when multiple car engines and electrical systems would temporarily fail as UFOs approached, or when people experienced weird sensations of burning or tingling on their skin. And the intensity of the lights associated with strange objects was often described as overpowering. Electromagnetic effects of a sort only science fiction novels might conjure were commonplace beginning at least with UFOs reported in the fifties and on, all over the world.
And what constant did many of us, the UFO researchers, try desperately to convey during those frequent occasions when we wrote our members of Congress, other government institutions, universities and a wealth of likely sources about the UFO issue? We said, look, whatever else might be learned about UFOs with a proper scientific investigation, consider the immense benefits of discovering their source of such remarkable energy, the inescapable something that allows these objects to buzz, hum, assume instant speeds tracked on radar at thousands of miles an hour, light up like the sun, explode like fireworks -- only to reorganize their shape within seconds -- and, in essence, to perform amazing feats and maneuvers of flight or some process resembling flight of which we can only dream.
But the skeptics say it's all nonsense. Well, they aren't really skeptics because they aren't skeptical of a damned thing, they just know in their hearts that UFOs are impossible, simply bad fiction in the telling. Skeptics question with open minds, whereas debunkers are rabidly intent upon defeating the UFO issue with derision, distortions, and anything to protect legitimate scientific avenues from getting dirtied up with such improbable foolishness. Anything to keep Congress little more than amused by the subject of UFOs. Anything, by George. By hook or by crook.
So the energy crisis is upon us. It's been lurking for years, of course, but now even the previously unsuspecting, beer-guzzling, TV-hypnotized masses who anticipated absolute safety and excess from cradle to grave are beginning to understand what looms, or what might loom.
Yet, the UFOs continue to astound, whether one calls them UFOs, unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) or sky thingies, and they continue to demonstrate rather interesting powers. What's the source? Do they rely on our own atmosphere to produce high energy levels, or has some form of energy still unknown to us been brought from somewhere else?
Today's visuals include a double-sided NICAP publicity sheet from 1965, plus significant portions of updates issued twice in 1966. And what a potential scientific energy-related gold mine we have in the sample UFO reports listed! Patrolman Lonnie Zamora's UFO ascends with a "roar," leaving imprints and scorched areas in 1964; in Georgia, a motorist encounters a UFO that inflicts a burning sensation on his skin; in New Jersey a round red object descends into the woods and leaves scorch marks and damaged vegetation; in Maryland the Navy tracks two UFOs on radar at speeds approaching 5,000 miles per hour.
In 1965, Japanese airliners chased by an object note electrical equipment interference; the famous Exeter, New Hampshire UFO furor which sired John G. Fuller's book, Incident at Exeter, involves very bright lights of a power source unknown; in Wanaque, New Jersey police and officials observe UFOs over a reservoir (UFOs seen near water sometimes appear to be having some sort of interaction with the substance).
There's overwhelmingly abundant energy involved with them-thar UFOs. We don't know their identity, but one thing's for sure: They have a power source that kicks butt, any butt on the planet. When something strange can fly in, hover and disable billion-dollar military weaponry systems effortlessly and flawlessly, we're not talking about something patched together at your local electronics shop.
Theoretically, if the University of Colorado UFO study had been handled more scientifically, rather than politically with Dr. Edward Condon's self-interests at the forefront, and if congressional hearings had been conducted far more seriously -- and if the debunkers had been excoriated publicly and widely once the media realized in so many instances that their "explanations" were tragically in error -- one wonders if an aggressive scientific UFO project that might have been initiated no later than the sixties could have reached energy milestones by now, boasting of discoveries to rival any breakthrough of centuries past. Whatever UFOs are, their propulsion, speed, sounds, radiated energy and brilliant lights originate from something, somewhere, and finding that special energy treasure might just be vital to our survival as a civilization.
To those who would suggest the governments of the world already operate highly classified projects to determine UFO essentials, we could respond that science in this instance might function so much more efficiently if conducted in the open with public support -- though that requires something akin to disclosure in the first place, of course. The debunkers certainly want none of that.
As energy problems soar, let's all keep a special place in our hearts for the ignorant and the debunkers, for they are often one and the same and proud of it. In the meantime, there's something up there in that sky, flitting in and out of our lives, seemingly utilizing vast powers fit for mythological gods, and tapping into and comprehending that extraordinarily bizarre mystery might be as important to us as free and plentiful energy itself. In the meantime, let's not forget to turn off the archaic lights in the house when we make our twice or thrice-weekly runs to an outmoded gas station, where we fill up our rusting gas tanks with that old-timers' stuff called gasoline. It's no accident that it's called a "fossil" fuel.