Monday, November 10, 2008

Feeding the Linkigator

Sometimes the links are the best part of a blog.

Over the past couple of years I've put up numerous scans and imparted considerable information from my old files. Quite honestly, the bulk of what remained from the past has been posted, and if you're new I urge you to go way back and start reading from the very beginning. Unfortunately, a lot of UFO reports of interest acquired from witnesses, particularly in the sixties and seventies, comprised one copy each, were sent off to UFO organizations such as NICAP and APRO, and I've no duplicates on file. For the most part, I didn't want copies laying around as a matter of integrity and security because witnesses often request anonymity. Nevertheless, blogs being what they are, I do believe you've discovered a smidgeon of important UFO history in these pages, obviously from my point of view.

If you've been checking in now and then, you undoubtedly noticed a gradual lengthening of the link list. Actually, I never wanted to include a lot of entries because I firmly believe an abundance of links is equivalent to overkill of ingredients in a food recipe -- yet, many of these complement my blog tremendously and they simply deserve to be available as valuable references. With such a large portion of my blog consumed by links, that section has become a critter unto itself, a virtual "linkigator." Maybe it's time to step back and explain for newer readers what the current list of 19 is all about. So. . .

Blog de Void reflects the writing of award-winning Florida newspaper journalist Billy Cox. While an uncomfortable number of U.S. news sources predictably take the easy way out, dismissing the UFO issue with humor and ridicule as if following a shortsighted mantra, Cox doggedly and consistently follows the UFO truth trail. We older folk who populate the UFO research circuit -- or is that circus? -- must bow in his direction, for Billy Cox is a rarity in his field, a fact both wonderful and sad at the same time. Don't miss his frequent updates.

The Intruders Foundation: Budd Hopkins was on the trail of UFO abductions and abductees long before it was fashionable in some research quarters. His books and articles based upon his work with alleged abduction victims are an important contribution to a very controversial area. Hopkins, like Dr. David M. Jacobs, explores a whole new disturbing aspect quite possibly related to the UFO phenomenon. At the Intruders Foundation, UFOs aren't just lights in the sky.
Jeffrey McGraw is an old friend, and a major love of his life involves writing detective fiction of the "noir" variety. His numerous books are available on the Web and there are more on the way. You'll find no UFOs in his pages, but plenty of crimes and the gumshoe activity favored by fans of this genre.

Kevin Randle is noted for a long history as a UFO researcher and multi-talented book author, associated particularly for delving into the alleged Roswell UFO incident. Randle's blog is frequently updated with essential UFO-related knowledge.

I've only recently added the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) to the link list. The animosity existing in "the old days" between MUFON and Coral Lorenzen (of APRO) is legend, but MUFON has hung in there and currently fills an important place in UFO research.

Robert Remembers: Tribute to a Dog is exactly that. I created a blog over at Word Press and then realized I had nothing to say because all of my entries were directed right here. So, what d'ya do when your blog page goes craving? Why, you do what I did and post pictures of your pets. In my case, to date it's been photos of just my late Pekingese who lived to the age of 17. What I didn't anticipate were the e-mails I received from people who find the site on their own, knowing nothing of my UFO interest. Apparently, the world has a lot of animals lovers, and that's a very good thing. Unfortunately, I don't have the time here to remember all the others in my life, which included numerous other canines, horses, ponies, cats, chameleons, white mice, hamsters and -- of course -- wild critters who always appreciate the food treats but not socialization with humans (a smart move on their part, to be sure!).

The National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP) exists strictly for reports from pilots and aviation personnel. The term, UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon) is preferred at NARCAP because the customary UFO designation sometimes scares away flight personnel witnesses who simply want no association with that term. I highly recommend NARCAP, affiliated with concerned scientists and aviation authorities, and headed up by Dr. Richard F. Haines with the expert assistance of Ted Roe and others.

The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) is long gone, but a fair sample of what NICAP was all about is preserved at its tribute site, coordinated by former NICAP member, investigator and author Francis Ridge. Formed in 1956, NICAP was a successful UFO lobbying organization in Washington, DC, dedicated to waking Congress and the nation up to the implications of the UFO phenomenon. NICAP made no bones about evidence pointing to an interplanetary source for the UFO. I joined as a member in 1964 and remained so until the organization's demise (an agonizing affair with ups and downs) as the 1970s crept into the eighties.

The National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) was Robert Gribble's baby in the sixties and seventies, later re-energized by Peter Davenport. Serving as a major source where the public may report sightings, Davenport has reportedly become frustrated lately (per Blog De Void -- see link) with people who contact his national toll-free number only to leave obscenities or, if reporting a sighting, refuse to take the time to submit a detailed report. Sadly, these are signs of the times in society.

Presidential UFO is the result of Canadian researcher Grant Cameron's discoveries about U.S. presidents' interest in UFOs. Cameron accomplished numerous trips to presidential libraries and other institutions to inaugurate his huge Web site a few years ago, and his is an historical reference of proportions without competition anywhere in the known universe. When you have the time for some in-depth reading, Cameron's superb site is a must.

The Sign Oral History Project site replaces the original Project 1947 site and is fired up by the work of several respected UFO researchers exploring the early U.S. UFO investigations and the personalities involved. Veteran researcher Thomas Tulien oversees this valuable work.

Richard Hall, recently deceased, was the assistant director of NICAP (above) and integral to the preparation of The UFO Evidence, the classic report on UFOs submitted to every member of Congress in 1964. Hall has authored several books on UFOs and boasts an impressive career in other areas. He was my first contact about UFOs in the sixties, and his influence and caution about the integrity of each UFO case on its own merits has remained with me. I don't know how long his Web site will remain, but I'll keep the link up while it is available.

Robert Barrow's Air Force: Yeah, that's me again, 1968-72. Just a few memories about those years, and, as you'll discover, the old chestnut about there being nothing more appealing to some than a man in uniform simply doesn't apply to me (!). Remember, these were the days when the military draft was in effect, so it's not as if many of us intended to become the career types. We merely wanted to get it over with and get out.

Robert Barrow's Tribute to the 1956 Motion Picture, "U.F.O." is my fourth and final blog. In many ways, it's my favorite of the four. The motion picture was a harbinger of things to come, as well as a celluloid document certifying and authenticating the past. Its influence is timeless, its monumental significance to UFO research unquestionable.

The Debris Field is high among the best of sites which link readers to numerous UFO-related and miscellaneous anomaly stories every day. Lesley operates a great site, easily directing readers to intriguing sites and stories with the click of the mouse. Yes, some of the stuff is far-far out there, but just look at the rest of the world these days and attempt to define "normal."

The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS): Created by the Air Force's former chief UFO consultant. The late astronomer Hynek changed from skeptic to UFO proponent and wanted science to take the subject seriously. The publications regularly issued by CUFOS in this regard are gems.

UFO Watchdog is a great little site with "halls of shame" where you can learn a lot about the frauds, charlatans and undesirables whom, unfortunately, are about as standard as filth-encrusted bathroom fixtures in the UFO field. Likewise, praise is offered where deserved.

The Virtually Strange Network, home of UFO Updates, is the brainchild of Canadian Errol Bruce-Knapp, and one of the most reliable sites for updated UFO information on the Internet. Errol provides podcasts of his program, "Strange Days...Indeed!" Expenses now require a subscription fee for what used to be free, but you may find your money very well spent here.