Friday, December 31, 2010

More Free Online Books at NICAP

Sometimes I think about the vast quantity of American dollars I spent acquiring UFO books decades ago -- well, until I started reviewing books for various publications, when authors and publishers honored me with free copies -- and I remember a few of the clunkers I purchased, the $10, $15 or $20+ books that would have been overpriced even at ten cents.

If only I could have seen the future, when Francis Ridge and associates responsible for the Web site would take some of the best oldies and worthwhile literary newcomers and put 'em up free of charge for the world to download and read.

They've done it again. We previously mentioned numerous entries already posted, and as dedicated NICAP historians and veteran researchers continue to construct one of the best UFO reference sources on the Internet, at least four newbies have been added. Go to, click on the online books section, and you'll now find the additions shown here.

Dr. Richard F. Haines' 1990 volume regarding strange aerial objects observed by flight personnel and others during the Korean War offers further proof that UFOs, UAOs or whatever we wish to call them are an international phenomenon worthy of scientific scrutiny. The rare 1961 book by Richard Hall and Professor Charles A. Maney was one of the earliest to offer some truly critical scientific thinking about UFOs. Maj. Donald E. Keyhoe's 1953 volume published by Henry Holt & Co. joins his earliest book on the NICAP site (as time goes on, perhaps Keyhoe's Flying Saucer Conspiracy and, his last, Aliens From Space will join the lineup). Completing the online book library at this time is Francis Ridge's 2010 report on the death of pilot Capt. Thomas Mantell during a UFO chase. Drawing upon multiple analyses performed by respected researchers and professionals, the long-presumed balloon explanation is thrown into serious question. Just what did Mantell pursue -- and what happened to facilitate his fatal crash in 1948?

It's a new year, and there are new and old classics to read -- for free -- thanks to Don't miss the most compelling UFO evidence on the Web.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Summer of '76 Memorialized

June 8, 1976 from the National Enquirer. The sub-heading remains far more interesting than the headline itself. UFOs aside, I want to know more about that aquatic rabbit on a mission who attacked Carter's boat on a strange day when carrots apparently weren't enough to quench the appetite of a terrorist bunny.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Replication Illustration

There are so many things I would love to feature here from the past, yet I constantly worry about copyrights and infringing upon other people's hard work without proper credit or compensation. My only defense, of course, is that I make no money whatsoever with any of my blogs, so what I place before readers is done strictly out of respect or concern for historical perspective. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I probably don't.

Some of the most amusing UFO-related cartoons appeared in national magazines of the 1960s and 1970s. Many of those formerly stalwart newsstand dwellers are gone forever, victims of the digital age, high expenses and a diminishing readership.

This cartoon, invoking World War II's evil Hitler, graced a page from November 18, 1967's Saturday Evening Post. Despite its vintage, the artist's theme reminded me instantly of researchers such as Dr. David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins. Each has spent years speaking with alleged UFO abduction victims, and some frightening possibilities regarding alien entities interfering with human reproduction have come to light, as many of you already know (you can read their books).

The cartoon almost seems prophetic in a humorously twisted way, and maybe a little scary to anybody familiar with abductee research.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Season's Geekings

Why say anything if I've little to say? Weather here in the Northeastern U.S. is everything I've never wanted, and for now I'm retreating from blog entries. I wish you all a merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and a great 2011, which you'll have to endure even if you aren't looking forward to its arrival. Will we experience government UFO "disclosure" in the U.S. during 2011? Will Elvis return? Does Judge Crater's mummified corpse administer a star chamber?

And to you Wikileaks geeks -- now that we know more about you -- may you all burn in Cyberhell for possibly compromising the lives of Americans (particularly military members) and America's friends around the globe. Many of you seem much too young and hopelessly idealistic about the world. Anarchy (your failed project here in the states?) might seem fun and sexy for a few days, but eventually all the wrong people usually move in to enslave the very folks who open chaotic portals. You pathetic milksops who lounge behind computer anonymity might dislike or even hate the United States, but this nation remains the world's best hope for hope itself. What you fools HAVE accomplished, to my regret, is to encourage calls for more government control of the Internet -- something that nobody should ever desire.

If you Wikileaks enthusiasts were bold enough to try your antics on, say, the Russians, it probably wouldn't be long before you gutless little weasels would find your cups of gruel, insect food, fecal derivatives or whatever you eat seasoned with just a dash of polonium -- which, like yourselves, is tasteless, yet disastrously effective. Start looking over your shoulders, hacking twits, because surely there are people out there working day and night to meet you under appropriately nasty circumstances one fine day, no matter how far and how deep your reach extends. And your youthful stupidity probably won't save you in a world which seems to be more angry, more hysterical and more paranoid than ever. Or maybe it's just me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wikileaks Unplugged

Though the extent of any "damage" caused by the Wikileaks project remains up for debate, it is rather interesting to be reminded how governments perfectly content with spying on their own people tend to become rabidly exercised once spied back upon. It might even be argued that the Wikileaks drama subverts America's case against alleged U.S. government computer hacker Gary McKinnon to a microscopic affair.

No Wikileaks UFO surprises? Of course not, that stuff would be classified much higher up. Yet, if we've learned anything the past few days, it's (again) that guarded computer communication and cyber security remain giant variables.

So governments lie, we learn. Wow. But some things we just know, don't we, as if by instinct?

Still, outrageous and damning -- and hilarious, and by now perhaps dead in the waters of -- though Wikileaks revelations may be, we hoped that the OBVIOUSLY condemned people currently hiding out whilst casting forth the world's diplomatic manure would live long enough to give us diplomatic impressions of Russia (they just did, according to news reports referencing the "Russian Mafia," "Batman and Robin" and other delights), China and other disturbing entities whose ruthless leaders have long deserved nothing less than a naked unmasking to reveal their cockroach faces. And if said Wikileaks folk have uncovered sufficient information to portray a fair portion of United Nations members as the virtual thugs and rats they are, more power to 'em. Should all of this be accomplished, the United States will look pretty darned good by comparison. The truth hurts, doesn't it? I fear I would make a terrible diplomat in a world where the U.S. has a plethora of enemies pretending to be friends and friends who want us to cure international ills primarily at our expense, in terms of both lives and money.

FROM WIKILEAKS TO WINTER WEEKS: Despite some of my way-back lineage (e.g., Canadian, for starters), I'm not an immense fan of winter's cold, snow and ice here in the U.S., though I do appreciate wintertime's cleansing effects and the unlikely prospect of attacks by anacondas hiding in snowy treetops. That said, I may not be blogging much during the next 2-3 months. Depends upon wha'sup out there in the real world from Dec-Feb. But, as always, if I'm not here the links certainly are, and if you stay in touch with Billy Cox and all the others you'll be well-informed about UFOs and other things that go bright in the night.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

No, THAT '70s Show

You could have lived just about anywhere in the 1970s and heard about interesting, if not downright impressive, UFO sightings. We've explored the seventies often in these pages, and here's another drawing of something strange. The object depicted was seen low in the sky by at least two witnesses in Central New York, and as it slowly cruised overhead it made a repetitive sh-sh-sh noise. The top appeared to have red, blue and yellow lights, while the bottom displayed a white fluorescent light all around. Eventually, the object shot away at fast speed. Witnesses claimed that anything resembling a helicopter was out of the question.

Friday, November 19, 2010


The old couple had read about this sort of thing before, and they stood engulfed in terror as events began to unfold.

Yes, as years passed each had read about encounters with strange beings and situations, and now it was happening to them. The old woman shuddered as alien hands grasping peculiar instruments explored her body, inch by inch. "Why, oh why are you doing this to me?!" she screamed. "Who are you?!"

She thought instantly of Betty Hill, whose account of helplessly enduring a probe from head to toe was horrifying. And now it was her turn.

Her husband, a couple of years older than she but no less frightened, thought immediately of the two fishermen in Pascagoula, Mississippi who claimed to have been examined with a device that looked like a large eye. This time, there was no "eye," but he knew all too well that something incredible, technology he couldn't even imagine, was systematically examining him.

At last, the weird procedures having been completed, the two old people were reunited, and each hugged the other so tightly that no force in the universe would ever separate them again. However, their moment of presumed serenity was shaken as a human-like voice whispered in their ears: "Okay, you're all set. You folks can proceed to your flight," advised the TSA agent, rushing off to scan other airline passengers waiting impatiently in a long line.

Another old couple, stepping forward as security personnel beckoned them on, also remembered reading about this sort of thing before, and they, too, stood engulfed in terror as events began to unfold. One of them remembered reading about the Travis Walton case, when strange beings had descended upon him and. . .

(That's my politically correct Thanksgiving story for all of you intent upon commercial flights this season. In the meantime, the new movie, "Cool It" opens today, I believe, and it should help greatly to dispel all the nonsense the global warming crowd has frightened your children with (e.g., climate change is all our fault). Even one of the higher-ups in this mud puddle has allegedly (finally?) admitted the climate change thing is more about distribution of wealth than real science. Beware, folks, always beware . . . and don't let 'em mess with the Internet, as demons far worse than a "fairness doctrine" are about to rear their ugly heads in Congress, as well as internationally.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Enduring Significance Condensed

As a teenager, exploring books about UFOs fascinated me, but I was also always on the lookout for magazine articles about the subject which had become classics. In March of 1967, I bought a used copy of Reader's Digest from a mail-order place in California.

It was, looking back, $2.50 well spent for the July, 1952 issue. Though sharply abbreviated, RD had taken notice and re-published the all-important article from LIFE Magazine of April 7, 1952 entitled, "Have We Visitors From Space?" LIFE's report (influentially written by H.B. Darrach, Jr., and Robert Ginna and eventually spotlighted briefly in the 1956 documentary motion picture, "U.F.O.") was the culmination of official and public concern over widespread flying saucer reports, including Kenneth Arnold's sighting, and extending to far more dramatic encounters. In addition, the Digest included James R. Aswell's piece, "Flying Saucers -- New in Name Only," which asserted that UFO reports went back to at least the 1800s.

More to the point for me, however, was the RD issue date of July,1952. Though published in June, the cover date of July would coincide with the famous month and year when UFOs were detected on two dramatic occasions, bolstered by radar and visual contact, over Washington, D.C. Just holding this 1952 summer artifact in my hands brings home the realization that the nation, for a time at least, became vitally concerned about the UFO mystery -- as well it should have -- and, as we now know, there were "higher up" conversations about telling the people of official fears that the UFO enigma represented extraterrestrial contact. Instead, lucky us, we got the Robertson (CIA) panel convening in 1953 and enough subsequent information suppression over the decades to keep the public in the dark indefinitely.

But, okay, folks wanted to know about UFOs in 1952. What else was on their minds? Reader's Digest is a reliable time capsule, often reflecting the daily lives and concerns of just plain us.

The July issue held, for instance, author James A. Michener's commentary about a tragic American military loss during the Korean conflict, with RD sure to mention in a footnote that Michener's words, based upon a newspaper account which reached him while visiting Korea, were released to news agencies throughout the U.S. Far East Command.

Another writer advised people to stay rooted in their communities and not to rush off to other places just because the grass always seems greener elsewhere, while yet another warned the country that high taxes cause inflation. Accountant Frank Wilbur Main stated, "Public pressure was largely responsible for holding the tax bill of 1951 to an increase of approximately 5.6 billion dollars, instead of the ten billion dollars requested by President Truman." Pocket change in 2010. The good old days.

"An article a day of enduring significance, in condensed permanent booklet form," was the Digest's slogan of the day, utilizing by 1952 some 35,000 "community representatives" across the nation to sell subscriptions to the little magazine which emphasized family and religion with no apologies.

What else mattered in the July, 1952 issue? There's a piece about actress Greta Garbo with comments from people in high media places who knew her, including comments from the late columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, whose own (untimely) death and reputation attracted controversy among the conspiratorial.

Right out of history, there's motion picture director Elia Kazan, writing about Communism's threat and his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities -- and his testimony subsequently lost him many friends among the, um, Communists basking in the Hollywood community. Counterfeiting of British money by Nazis during WW II made the pages, as did pleas for smaller government and less people on the public dole.

An article on Batista's Cuba. Batista? Wow, that was a long time ago. "Will Batista give Cuba an honest, efficient government -- or another fast shuffle?" asks a blurb atop the page. Hmm. I think I can answer that. Starts with F for Fidel. . .

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Sure, I remember watching his TV show on the old family black and white TV, even though I'm no way Catholic (I watched Liberace's show, too, but don't play the piano or dress in sequins). I believe that actor Martin Sheen borrowed his own name from the Bishop, otherwise he would have remained Martin Estevez (sons and actors Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen are named after. . .well, now you know. . .).

This Reader's Digest issue also questions the wisdom of attempting flood control with dams. They were on to something important there. A report about ion-exchange resins? Oh, water softeners, okay. . .

Kuwait. Wealthy beyond belief thanks to oil. And. . .? What? Butter vs. margarine? That debate was going on even in 1952? Endless. Then there's a piece entitled, "How to Write a Letter," and almost 60 years later I've every confidence that most of those who live almost totally in a world of texting wouldn't know how to write a reasonable letter if instructions regarding its preparation came with microwave instructions.

Surprisingly, even back then there's a piece about natural resources, though exhaustible, that should be converted into inexhaustible resources. Looks good on paper, anyway, and I'm writing this much too late at night to figure out what the author is saying. Then we have a warning about mob rule in NY City. Looks pretty tame in comparison with today's social horrors.

Pre-cooked and frozen foods had recently become important to the U.S. military (particularly the Navy), whose food preparation areas were previously burdened by garbage, bones and other substances difficult to get rid of -- and often a clue to the location of Naval vessels if left behind where enemies could track tell-tale trash.

"Stop Killing Your Husband!" begs another article, condensed from a health magazine. "The typical husband," advises the author, "tends to put on weight as he grows older because he needs less food and often eats more." Like, wow. I guess some things DON'T change after all. Reminds me of that debate about margarine vs. butter.

Making industry more productive by putting the human element into factory work is encouraged in another article, essentially telling management not to make useless jobs seem, um, as useless as they really are. Speaking of jobs you may not like to do, a pearl diver writes of his dangerous encounter with a giant octopus. Beware, diver dude, by 2010 we know there's more intelligence in an octopus than one can comfortably entertain.

Nostalgia? A piece glowing about the benefits provided by the easy availability of hundreds of millions of honeybees in the U.S. stands in sharp contrast to the current day, when bee colonies all over the country mysteriously lose their valued occupants quickly and completely.

As if reverse deja vu by decades, an article near the end of this 1952 issue suggests the Republicans will have a tough time defeating the Democrats. I guess they needed the Tea Party and a witch to run back then, too? Political talk. I am not a Communist. I am not a crook. I am not a witch. I am not gay. One trouble with politics is, there's always more I'm not than I am.

Obviously, people did attempt to enjoy, tolerate or avoid all that life had to offer 60 years ago and, just like today, unfortunately, despite the evidence and despite the furor, intense public interest in UFOs came and went faster than dysentery on a cruise ship. Nevertheless, imagine the tremors felt throughout the faithful Reader's Digest (and LIFE) readership when July, 1952 rolled around, providing even more excitement than the April 7 LIFE Magazine blowout.

(The entire LIFE Magazine article from April 7, 1952 may be read at the site. See link and when accessed use the on-site NICAP search engine.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dr. Carl Jung: Psyched Out

This is an oldie intended primarily for those of you too young to remember oldies.

When this Associated Press photo and blurb began making the rounds, probably in the late fifties or very early sixties (Jung died in 1961) it was referenced by numerous media and UFO research sources. Psychologist Jung, having already written a book about "flying saucers" and attempting to connect reports about the phenomenon to archetypes, eventually started to embrace a far more "alien" explanation. You may be assured that most students of psychology and Dr. Jung are unaware of the famed psychologist's evolvement regarding the UFO issue. Now who's crazy?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Season of the Mask

It's fitting that Halloween and Election Day share such close quarters on the calendar. This Sunday, people of all ages will temporarily escape their true identities and make believe they're something different. On Tuesday, we'll vote nationally for people who likewise wear reality-altering masks for all occasions, every day: Politicians.

Because "change" is again in the wind, I suggest the Democrats and Republicans dispense with the donkey and elephant images and perhaps replace them with, as shown here, a mask-and-gun villain or the giant experimental critter gone wrong from the movie, "Tarantula." Fangs you can believe in.

One thing seems likely: The chances for UFO disclosure may be even less likely in the near future. "Tea Party" candidates, if anything, appear particularly focused upon fiscal responsibility, the Constitution and religious ideals, and their uneasy affiliation with the GOP and nonetheless crucial issues of national defense might effectively sweep the UFO issue under a very thick government rug already rife with neglected subterranean bumps beneath its fibers.

And again we ask -- President Jimmy Carter, where is the truth about UFOs? And John Podesta, hey, weren't you on a mission to reveal the facts about. . .? Didn't we anticipate, once known, that President Bill and Hillary Clinton's UFO interest would eventually result in. . .??? Grant Cameron's Presidential UFO Web site (see link) addresses such questions in detail, and while donkeys and elephants will consume an unfortunately small percentage of American voters next week, the elephant most enduring is that officially unacknowledged two-ton pachyderm reposing comfortably still on the sofa in the living room.

MAYBE THEY DIDN'T PAY THE ELECTRIC BILL? Hot on the heels of Robert Hastings' UFOs & nukes presentation at the National Press Club, here comes Wyoming's Warren Air Force Base this week with news of a "power failure" affecting a battery of nuclear missiles. Move along, folks, nothing to see here. And, after all, it IS almost Halloween. The Warren event was just a kinda sorta routine power loss, one-of-those-things, and hardware was still functional with a backup power system, we are told. And nary an inference about UFOs. None, in fact. Whew. That's reassuring. Then again, if UFOs were involved, how would we know, other than waiting until Hastings' next conference 10 or 20 years from now, when on-site personnel come forward?

Or. . .could the whole thing have been staged to somehow lessen interest in Hastings' press club affair (see, this stuff happens all the time at nuke bases. . .and we don't need UFOs to do it. . .) Good grief, now I sound like a conspiracy fan.

The power failure issue, for me, became secondary to the media's treatment of the story. Early reports stated that the White House had been fully informed at once, but later in the morning today (Wednesday) at least one broadcast alleged that the WH didn't know about the incident until hours or days after the affair. We assume this will all be sorted out quickly, and the public will be issued as much of an explanation as we deserve. Ha. UPDATE: Aha, so it was just a computer problem and not a power failure. Well, I feel a lot better now, how about you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Fish with a Human Face

We so enjoy the experience when Dr. This or Dr. That clears his throat authoritatively, pats multiple diplomas lovingly and announces that life on other planets almost certainly won't resemble us. These, by the way, are the same folks whose egos and education teeter unsteadily, jeopardized by unspoken fears of instant irrelevancy one day if the science wrapped around UFOs becomes apparent.

But it's still Halloween month, UFOs or not-UFOs are showing up all across the skies, darned nearly smiling for the cameras and nobody knows for sure what's going on. At least today I can spotlight a fifties fright film that WASN'T responsible for causing UFO panic in the streets, or making legitimate reports appear fringe sci-fi.

And if the title of this entry led you to believe this is about mermaids, well, sorry to disappoint you. Not exactly a mermaid here. Nevertheless. . .

His aquatically disturbing appearance fascinated theater audiences everywhere, scared teenage girls into their boyfriends' willing arms and undoubtedly, in the preliminary tradition of a future shark named "Jaws," kept a few people from the beach and precipitated water-based hoaxes aplenty. His name? Who needs a name when christened "The Creature From the Black Lagoon?" How can anybody forget your monster designation when you return in a sequel entitled, "The Revenge of the Creature?" How tired can you become of being THE creature by the time producers attempt a surgical conversion to landlubber status for you, as they churn out "The Creature Walks Among Us?"

Scary, yes, but The Creature spawned an attribute missing from current-day digital monster recipes: Pathos. He evoked pity as well as fear, this fishy miscreant whose killings ranked only secondary to the invasion of his watery space by humans intent upon capture, domination and, ultimately, humiliation bent upon surgically forcing him to transform into something he could never be: Us. How could we possibly tame the beast when we are the beast?

True, when all the water dripped off, the cameras stopped rolling and zippers unzipped, there were only men in rubbery monster costumes who portrayed Universal International Pictures' scaly throwback darling of the deep. But until then, lenses -- even 3-D lenses on one thrilling occasion -- painted a picture of horror balanced equitably with a dash of pity.

There was a time less cluttered, you may recall, when movie makers lovingly knew how to create memorable monsters with character, avoiding, for a while at least, vacuous cookie-cutter format slashers possessive of neither heart nor soul.

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO AND OTHER FAULTS IN THE CRUST: During my four reluctant (but highly productive) military years -- that means, essentially, that the draft pursued me and I enlisted -- long ago, one thing keeping me going was an appreciation of freedom of speech in the U.S. Oh yes, speech constraint during one's military time is a valid consideration, when national security is involved. But in daily civilian life, unless one libels or slanders somebody or something, say whatever you like. The First Amendment, as society has noted time and again, particularly serves to protect unpopular speech.

Too bad National Public Radio doesn't get it. I really don't give a flip about Juan Williams, but his statements on Fox-TV should not have resulted in a loss of his job (bulletin -- just hired by Fox at two million a year). You know what? I feel uncomfortable sitting next to people in Muslim garb, too. NO, I wasn't raised that way -- the 9/11 event and follow-up incidents such as the Fort Hood massacre tipped the scales because, hmm, whadoyaknow, terrorist acts routinely have radical Muslims behind them. Unfortunately, those of the Muslim faith don't come equipped like "E.T." with red or green lights glowing in their chest cavities so we can tell who is whom.

Yet, I'm not without compassion. Maybe I'd be willing to travel to the Middle East and form women's diving and synchronized swimming teams for radical Muslim women wearing burkas. Imagine that image on TV? There's nothing like time travel back through the centuries.

I think the Williams thing surfaced especially because he appeared on Fox ("the enemy"). Strange, too, that everybody's fave benefactor George Soros just gave a million bucks to public radio to encourage journalism or something or another. Hmm.

We look around and find, here and there, firings of people in media who express personal views. I've heard that Facebook is discouraging anti-gay comments, doubtless because of recent tragic gay teen suicides. However, again, the First Amendment exists to protect unpopular comments. Me, I'm 110 percent for gay people serving openly in the military, but if somebody wants to condemn the thought in strong terms publicly, go for it. It's your right.

Should NPR be de-funded of government contributions? Maybe. Why shouldn't they stand on their own two feet like commercial networks must? The thing is, we want ALL views of an issue to be heard and protected as free speech, and the less government control in this area the better. The FCC? Representative of what? And Juan Williams -- I believe he just received a crippling overdose of the poison embraced by radicals in media, government and education. It's name is political correctness, it ain't pretty and it's been in our neighborhoods much too long.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Post Hole Digger

Oh cry, cry the wretched literary disparity necessitated by freedom of the press at The Washington Post.

It was a dark and stormy night. No, wait, I think that's been done before. It was the best of times, it was the worst. . .darn, this is so difficult sometimes.

Please be assured, I wish no ill will toward John Kelly, staff writer at the Post, who seemed surprised to receive a wealth of angry mail following his, hmm, rather dismissive piece about Robert Hastings' (nonetheless important) UFOs and nukes presentation before the National Press Club on September 27. In his October 5 article, journalist Kelly sampled a few pieces of mail sent along by folks who thought maybeeeeee he should have attended for other reasons than merely to enjoy the donuts.

So the donuts, like the NPC proceedings, by now have been long swallowed, digested, fermented and, um, dispatched. And Mr. Kelly's report about the affair, ufologically focused though it could have been, will be remembered as a few paragraphs about donuts at some press meeting relative to something or another.

But what a difference a few years make. Instead of lamenting what is, better that I return to those thrilling days of yesteryear and what was. Witness The Washington Post in July, 2007, and, being much too lazy to come up with new verbiage today, I'll quote from a 2007 five-part article I wrote for this blog entitled, "As Weird as it Gets." You can access the series in the search engine above if you wish, but here's the portion regarding the variety of journalistic face I prefer worn at the WP:


most of us slept during the wee small hours of July 26, 2007, oblivious to the routine world of consciousness, a fast-paced drama portrayed to the press in benign terms, yet of perhaps immense significance simply because the public learned of it at all, was playing out over the skies of Maryland, not all that far from the highly restricted air space of the nation's Capitol. While the basics happened to emerge here and there from the deluge of information that confronts newspaper and electronic media editors daily, chances are good that the story escapes you to this very day.

Around 1:00 on that otherwise quiet Friday morning, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado made radar contact with an apparent low, slow-moving aircraft outside of D.C. Unable to establish radio contact with this unidentified target in a post September 11 country that can no longer afford to leisurely ask questions first and shoot later, NORAD immediately scrambled two armed F-16s from the 113th Air National Guard squadron at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington.

We are told that as the jets investigated, the image faded from NORAD radar and the pilots returned to base after seeing nothing in the skies. However, as peculiar stories often tend to do, this one became increasingly mysterious.

WTOP-AM, an all-news radio station in D.C., began getting calls from listeners near Andrews AFB who were not only "shaken from their beds" as the jets took off in a hurry, but claimed to have seen either a bright blue or orange ball of light moving very fast while the jets screamed overhead in pursuit.

By the next morning, reporter Steve Vogel of The Washington Post had sorted out the facts and revealed a few surprises as well for the daily edition. He, like WTOP, spoke with witnesses and was given particularly to quote from one named Renny Rogers of the nearby Maryland suburb of Waldorf. Rogers, whom UFO (unidentified flying object) researchers later learned had actually run in and outside of his house twice as the jets were engaged in an apparent chase, described seeing a "light blue object traveling at a phenomenal rate of speed."

"This Air Force jet was right behind it, chasing it," he added, "but the object was just leaving him in the dust. I told my neighbor, 'I think those jets are chasing a UFO.'" Rogers had already insisted to a WTOP reporter that the object displayed no smoke or trail, no flashing lights, appeared smooth and seemed "eerily silent."

Maj. Douglas Martin of NORAD in Colorado, according to Vogel's report, stated that radar had detected "a track of interest," but fighter pilots observed nothing. "Everything was fine in the sky and they returned home," Martin advised. Maj. Barry Venable, another NORAD spokesman, bluntly told The Washington Post, "There are any number of scenarios, but we don't know what it was."

Other than the Post, media coverage of this incident, intriguing especially because of the official candor involved in even confirming publicly the presence of an unknown on radar that necessitated a military scramble, proved pathetically sparse and the incident received brief mention in a handful of cable news programs and newspapers before disappearing into accounts on various Internet sites.

Nevertheless, the fact that The Washington Post bothered to cover this story at all further authenticated its significance. Incredibly, just a few days before the scramble, WP reporter Peter Carlson had written an astonishingly open-minded look back 50 years ago, when Washington experienced well-documented instances of UFO activity, including reportedly solid radar returns and pursuing pilot visualization. UFO researchers, accustomed to decades of abundant UFO-ridiculing newspaper reports in the U.S., were taken aback that a major U.S. newspaper afforded the subject a thoughtful examination. This writer's brief query to Carlson revealed that his article did elicit a good response from readers.

In an intriguing footnote to Carlson's piece, the July 26 F-16 scramble coincided exactly 50 years to the day with July 26 of 1952, when a major multi-UFO event occurred over the Capitol.


There you have it, readers. Some Washington Post writers alert the public about UFOs, while others judge donuts. Still, I guess writing about refreshments at press club gatherings beats the approach taken by the perpetually snooty New York Times, which chose to offer nothing of substance whatsoever about Hastings' presentation. Maybe they were busy waiting for a bulletin-level pronouncement from SETI, where shocking are-we-alone? news happens all the time, and there's probably not a donut in sight.

BRING "BALLOON BOY" BACK: If some reports are correct about this incident ,all one has to do is release a few balloons in the skies over Manhattan, and the major TV networks and screen crawls lap up the ha-ha-not-really-UFOs feature story like kittens at a milk festival. But give 'em the real thing and they'll sooner do a piece on dust bunnies or Hollywood blah-blah-blah. Unfortunately, the usual suspects (debunkers) may well have a balloon field day with this possible non-event to arbitrarily explain away substantial UFO cases for weeks to come.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Screen vs. Sky

On September 27, my government again had an opportunity to step forward and do the right thing, and the right thing would involve a current high-ranking official representing the U.S. to come forward and say something, anything, to lend support to former military officers daring to tell us the truth at the Hastings/Salas National Press Club affair. Instead, we got stone-cold silence, an attitude firmly entrenched over the decades and always topped off with a disinformation "fact sheet" from the Air Force, a document which exists only because the Colorado UFO "study" fudged, ignored and lied as taxpayers' money was squandered unscientifically to bolster preconceived negative opinions.

Billy Cox (see link), having received for his collection yet another copy of a USAF UFO "fact sheet" denial growing mold since 1969, was informed by Vicki Stein of the Pentagon's Air Force press desk that "This is what our position is. And we're standing by it." Well, excuuuuuuuuuze me, Ms. Stein, but I'll continue to stand by the words of Al Chop, my favorite all-time Pentagon USAF press desk chief, whose 1953 letter on DOD letterhead (reprinted on this blog more than once, use the search engine above and type in Al Chop Henry Holt) essentially assured publisher Henry Holt and Co. that if the maneuvers reported by experienced personnel were correct, the only remaining explanation for UFOs was extraterrestrial intelligence (the "interplanetary answer").

Air Force and government denials at any level do not speak well for us as a free society. If the U.S. can't provide answers about the UFO subject, our government at least must have the integrity to stand behind and support its honorable former and current military personnel. Instead, over and again throughout the years we document accounts of service personnel who experience profound UFO-related events, and they are either warned never to speak of these incidents, or to sign oaths promising non-disclosure, or are intimidated into "believing" that nothing happened at all. Such threats can be most convincing -- but ultimately for what purpose? We must all thank and hold in the highest regard former military personnel who eventually feel they must come forward and display the temerity to tell the people the truth, at least as much of the truth as they know, about UFO events clearly unrelated to human technology or ability.

But -- now you puzzle over the pictures shown here today? Well, it's still October, Halloween month, and since the seriousness of the UFO issue continues to be characteristically superceded by things of lesser substance, why not join in?

I guess we all like a good science fiction movie, but always remember that, during the 1950s, where government sources couldn't make UFO inquiries go away, the motion picture industry could. The unfortunate melding of the UFO subject with the popular genre of science fiction on film was destined to create ridicule on the streets, less pressure on Congress to explore sightings in depth and the need for even more sci-fi and horror movies craved by the public. Invasion of the Saucermen and The Man From Planet X were two fifties favorites at the drive-in and, as you can imagine just from the publicity stills shown here, the atmosphere for sober attention to UFOs wasn't about to improve anytime soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Retrieving the Norm After the Storm

I like October. It's a month when people can at least pretend to be scared when All Hallows Eve rolls around. I think of Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker in October, too, and of a certain October years ago when UFO reports saturated the area where I live.

Folks rightly SHOULD HAVE been frightened last month, when Leslie Kean's astounding UFO book hit The Big Time, and the remarkable efforts of Robert Hastings and Robert Salas brought UFOs and military nuclear missile base involvement to the National Press Club. The excitement peaked and hit a few hopeful spots, but public interest now slides back to economics, politics and sports.

I can only speak for myself, but in another two years or so fifty years will have passed since I became aware of the UFO phenomenon. Even as a high school student, I wrote numerous letters to the editors of area newspapers, spoke publicly and went on radio talk shows (my appearances weren't exactly equivalent to an Edward R. Murrow broadcast, but the incredible Wendy Connors, now retired from UFO research and documentation efforts, converted my old audio tapes to digital format for her vast "Faded Discs" sound archives of olden days, and my squeaky teenage voice will live on in infamy -- or until Byte Monsters from a distant galaxy come to earth and eat everything preserved digitally).

There were lectures at the public school and university level. There was TV. There was a course taught at a college. There were national magazine articles written for small payments in return. There were rewards of public awareness, but there was also intense frustration and the spending of more money than I would ever recover just to keep the UFO evidence out where people could find it. But -- this was important.

And still we wait. For something to happen. Will it? Did it? Dunno. Far easier to go back to TV athletic events and forget the cares few care about anyway.

And monsters? Ha, we got-cher monsters right here. To many folks, UFOs and monsters are all the same, so what the heck? While other younger and/or more informed UFO researchers continue beating their heads against walls of lethargy, officialdom and increasing social dumb-nation, maybe I'll just feature monsters during October. After all, everybody loves monsters, particularly when they become profitable. UFOs? Not profitable. Stuffy science, and no stadiums or scoreboards necessary.

And speaking of frightening things, remember a couple entries ago when we mentioned the proposed NY mosque near Ground Zero? I forgot to warn you of one essential: Mummies.

I can almost guarantee it. If they build that mosque, we'll have worries far exceeding radical Islam, because it won't be two years after its grand opening before mummies will be walking the streets of New York and scaring the population to death, one by one (see photo for just one example of the horrors awaiting us). Now do you understand the implications?

Yes, I know, I know. UFOs have apparently compromised the world's nuclear missile sites, and the U.S. alone counts among its citizens honest active duty and former military personnel willing to risk their reputations and honor to tell a story that must not be dismissed -- but, hell, we have monsters and sports and Hollywood personalities and. . .

Hmm. Speaking of entertainment, what is it with these new TV shows? The Event drove me bonkers from episode #1 when the title character somehow managed to sneak a big ol' handgun onto a commercial flight, a flight watched over by an air marshal, no less. By episode #2, if other viewers weren't ready to pass out while trying to keep track of all the time regressions, I certainly was. And, wow, the visitors look just like us, even down to their winter clothing. I'm sure all of this could lamely be explained, eventually, but I won't be hovering around in anticipation, because I expect a brutal cancellation first.

Werewolves what about werewolves? Sick of 'em yet? ABC-TV's The Gates featured werewolves that look like. . .like wolves. Wait a minute, they ARE wolves, ordinary wolves! Did somebody forget to hire the special effects team? And Vampire Diaries? Vampire Dullaries, dude. As last season concluded, this poorly scripted, yet (not surprisingly) heavily viewed teen TV favorite promised werewolves. What did the CW network deliver? A werewolf that looks like a wolf because it IS a wolf, looking even more ridiculous because somebody obviously messed with its appearance digitally. Couldn't they have at least put a Lon Chaney, Jr. Wolfman mask on it?

Yes, that's entertainment, and cheap fictional thrills and athletic monotony will win out over disturbing UFO incidents in real life every time. Here, let me tell you about a baseball team of mummies playing opposite zombies to huge crowds in Brooklyn. . .

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Edge-ucator

Several months ago, we mentioned that famed science writer (the late) Walter Sullivan, who generally took a firmly skeptical stance about UFOs, opened up a bit years ago and actually wrote something positive about the subject in his New York Times column, when incredible, yet reliable, UFO reports suddenly emerged in great quantity (type his name in the search engine above to access that blog entry). One wonders what stuffy NYT editors thought about this, since the Times has a history of negativity about UFOs, but Sullivan's rare UFO gem sparkled.

The history of UFO research is permeated with professionals at all levels, ardent skeptics who actually take the time to examine the evidence and subsequently experience an intellectual rebirth regarding the issue. Sometimes, the change takes years.

During the late 1970s and early eighties, retired educator Dr. Max Rafferty (deceased in 1982 at age 65, when his car plunged over a dam) wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column dealing primarily with social and political issues, and of course he focused upon educational triumphs and shortcomings. In the sixties, Rafferty was superintendent of schools for all of California, and the experience obviously left him wiser and ready to take on the country's problems -- or, at least, to write about them. Generally conservative in his views, Rafferty often decried the state of public education and government policy. His papers and recorded media were donated to the University of Iowa before his death.

Okay, so I admit it, I didn't read his column regularly, but frequently viewed its headlines in the morning newspaper. But one day in 1979, during the last week of March, I double-took at the words before me in the newspaper's editorial section: RUSSIANS FINALLY SEE OWN UFOS, announced Rafferty's headline. The UFO reference alone wouldn't have bothered me, because this was a time when UFO sightings were getting publicity around the globe, and just weeks previously a news crew from New Zealand filmed a fuzzy light from an airplane, causing international "UFO mania."

However, for Rafferty to tackle this subject, well. . .he had been paying attention.

"Ever since the 'flying saucer' sightings began in the late '40s," he began, "I've been wondering bemusedly why the alleged visitors from outer space never seem to breach the Iron Curtain." Rafferty, like most Americans, hadn't realized or considered the UFO phenomenon's international reach. UFO organizations, especially the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) and its founders Jim and Coral Lorenzen, knew almost instinctively since APRO's inception in 1952 that all nations reported UFOs, and the reports were often disturbingly similar.

After relating familiar and historic boundaries of censorship and secrecy in the (former) Soviet Union, Rafferty noted the Soviets had finally been disclosing information about some 300 UFO reports, including an incident where numerous automobiles stalled just 28 miles west of Moscow.
Rafferty's intrigue centers particularly upon the 1908 explosion of something over Siberia which flattened trees for some 1250 square miles, and comments by Moscow Aviation Institute scientist Felix Zigel to the effect that the precipitant may have been an "extraterrestrial probe" heightened his interest.

Of course, current thinking about the 1908 event brings a comet, meteorites and other theories into the mix, but for Rafferty in 1979 a slight crack in Soviet secrecy leading to commentary about their own UFOs was quite the thing. In this column, Dr. Rafferty closes with a fair question, cloaked in a bantering tone: "Wouldn't you think the Russkies would have admitted the problem long ago -- the way the rest of us did -- and have joined hands and brains with us to come up with an answer? Not the way those birds operate. Sssh! Hush! Huggermugger! Jackassery. . ."

I found the attention focused by Dr. Rafferty, in a gradual manner, upon things out of the ordinary rather interesting, and even wrote him a letter expressing my appreciation that he was at least interested in mentioning the UFO issue. I was a bit surprised to receive a postcard back from him upon which he had written a line or two of gratitude.

Four months later, in July, Rafferty produced another curious column, entitled "Absolute Heresy." This time, he took great care to list things he did not believe. For instance, he did not believe that President Roosevelt "had any more to do with ending the Great Depression than the Tooth Fairy," nor "that the world is running out of oil (Cheap oil, yes, oil as oil, no)." Taking a jab at education, apparently a favorite venture for Dr. Rafferty, he denied that "today's English teachers have mastered English grammar (Oh, some have. But most of them under the age of 40 don't know the difference between a split infinitive and a dangling participle.)."

However, among 16 topics of personal non-belief, number 14 turned to UFOs: "(I don't believe) that flying saucers come from other planets (not in our solar system, that's for sure. And any others are several lifetimes away, at any conceivable speed.)." Yet, I wondered, do "believe" or don't "believe," Dr. Rafferty, but what's the ongoing fascination with the UFO topic by a man perhaps conflicted by a too-educated-to-know-better attitude?

And it got better. Nearly a year and a half later, during the month of November, 1980, Dr. Max Rafferty dared raise questions about psychics in a column entitled, "What Education Fails to Solve." Time and again, the educator had taken the American education system to task, but now he was about to partake of a mystery soup whose contents would shock and horrify teachers everywhere who preferred a nice-and-easy-and-safe educational format.

This time, he revisited a column written several years prior, regarding New Jersey psychic Dorothy Allison. Portraying Allison as a typical housewife and a normal as anybody in person, Rafferty marveled over her accomplishments in assisting NJ law enforcement officers in locating murdered children and adults through her special mental abilities. As Rafferty wrote that column, he claimed Allison had a success rate to date of helping police solve 13 murders and locating more than 50 missing children, all for no monetary gain.

"She doesn't know any other psychics and doesn't particularly want to," Rafferty explained. "She's a perfectly normal housewife. She tells no fortunes. She gazes into no crystal balls. She goes into no trances.

"And yet," puzzles the Ph.D. whose harsh wit consistently held little love for the decline of education in the U.S., "there is the 'power'? How to explain it? As an educator, I'm used to breaking down problems of the mind into component parts. . .Almost always, a pattern begins to form. . .the problem is solved and a remedy emerges. But not in the Strange Case of Dorothy Allison."

Harkening back through peculiarities of human history , Max Rafferty confesses: "Having said all of this, I'm back to square one. The accepted tools of psychology and psychiatry are useless when faced with a Something which ignores all the laws of time and space.

"Can it be, I wonder, that those 'laws' aren't laws at all? Can it be, finally, that we have been arrogantly cocksure about a lot of things of which instead we should have been humbly uncertain? Could darned well be." If only he had lived long enough to see science admit that just maybeeeeee dogs have sorta psychic-like abilities to detect when their owners have left the office and are on the way home.

Eagerly, I anticipated those rare occasions when Rafferty would open up about such things. What a self-contradiction his writing betrayed. The Soviet UFO reports fascinated him, yet he eventually found it necessary to tell his readers he didn't believe UFOs could have an extraterrestrial origin. But now -- psychics? And more self-interrogation regarding "things" about which we may have become "arrogantly cocksure?"

Not a month had passed when Dr. Max ripped another cog off the wheel. A few days before Christmas, 1980 a column entitled, "Science Moving Toward Religion," was born, and the retired educator went on at length about multiple "phenomena." He related the "Big Bang" theory to the Book of Genesis, applauded scientists for assuming an active role in investigations of the Shroud or Turin, took a thoughtful interest in research into "clinically dead persons" who report visions of light and an afterlife, and found it important that evolution was being questioned by a number of scientists who, likewise, were taking another look at creationism.

Obviously, having evolved himself to a perspective not shared by a majority of his fellows, Rafferty suggests that a growing relationship between science and religion might mean that "most if not all of our educational subject matter and basic premises will have to be drastically revised.

"The whole thing is mind-boggling. I repeat: I never thought I'd live to see the day."

Six months later, as the first week of June, 1981 crept in, Rafferty took extreme delight in writing a newspaper piece entitled, "Psychiatrists Are Apt to be Nuttier than the Patients" -- this, from a columnist who previously questioned a substantial portion of psychiatry. Discussing his obligation as education superintendent in California to help rid the system of "nutty" teachers whose diagnoses were confirmed by psychiatrists, Rafferty then goes on to emphasize a new five-year study of U.S. physician deaths conducted by a professor of psychiatry at the University of Southern California.

A focus upon psychiatrists indicated that "psychiatrists are three times more likely to go crazy than you and I are. . .they're twice as apt to commit suicide. . .one out of three shrinks suffers from depression or from other emotional disorders," states Rafferty. Dr. Ferris N. Pitts, a psychiatrist who conducted the project, states, "There's something about the field of psychiatry that attracts many mentally ill doctors."

Apparently, University of California at San Diego professor Charles Rich seconds that (e)motion, taking it a step further: "Psychiatrists who give the argument that it's the job that causes their high suicide and depression rates are making an excuse." That is to say, if we may articulate even more, they were bonkers long before entering the profession.

"I'm intrigued," confesses Rafferty, evidently taking great joy in every word he writes on that day almost 30 years ago. "I was wondering about these birds almost 20 years ago, but I didn't have any research findings to bulwark my hunch back then. . .If those who sit in judgment upon our mental balance are themselves unbalanced, where does that leave us?"

Rafferty continues on to suggest that the causes of mental illness may be far different than suspected, and that it's possible that "Psychiatrists will occupy the same slot in history as phrenologists and witch doctors." Ouch. "I wonder," he concludes, "could we possibly have been so howlingly wrong for so long? Could be."

As September ended, three months later, Max Rafferty was concerning himself with presumed anomalies in photos of Saturn taken by Voyagers I and II, but his main point was that "experts" sometimes tend to avoid that which they can't explain.

A few months later, Max Rafferty would be dead -- as we noted earlier, according to online sources, a drowning victim whose car went over a dam. A highly educated man, who somehow managed to overcome what his cherished degrees and profound experiences told him he should be, instead discovered that we don't know as much as we think. Took him a few years to leap higher and higher , but, by George, he did it, he reached out, way out. Yet, I wonder. What was he thinking about that day, that day destined to be his last?

Monday, September 20, 2010

National Press Club: UFOs and Military Nuclear Encounters

The arrival of two vitally important national UFO publicity events within weeks of one another in the current era is almost unheard of. Yet, quickly following in the footsteps of Leslie Kean's well-received book, UFOs, Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record comes another event certain to give the national media still another opportunity to get out the big guns and tackle what evidence indicates may be the greatest news story ever.

Next Monday, September 27, the National Press Club hosts a meeting in Washington, D.C. conducted by Robert Hastings and Robert Salas regarding UFO appearances at and apparent influence upon nuclear missiles and supposedly secure military bases, activity going back decades and seemingly occurring still.

This is hot stuff, because Hastings and Salas will feature former military officers and enlisted personnel who witnessed things and incidents of which they will speak. This is NOT some slick media flavor-of-the-day gathering -- the news headlines I pulled up to display here date back to 1977 and 1979.

I personally encourage my readers to phone your local newspapers, TV and radio stations to kindly request that they either cover the press conference themselves or prominently feature network or syndicated stories about it.

For further information and a list of speakers, please check sites such as Frank Warren's UFO Chronicles (see link) or Errol Bruce-Knapp's UFO Updates (see Virtually Strange link), which have put various press releases on their Web sites. I was supposed to receive information from the source, but nobody ever sent me anything about the conference (Maybe they tired of too many Roberts?), so I instead happily and confidently refer you to the sites above for an eye-opening description of and names involved in next Monday's highly anticipated proceedings. Best wishes to all participants, and may the disturbing truth finally win out. It all has to do with, you know, that annoying thing called the people's right to know in a free society.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mosquerade Party

About that particular site of a proposed mosque in New York City:

Though established primarily as a Christian nation and rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition, the USA has long been officially tolerant of other faiths. Me, I have problems with people of various Christian denominations (and, yes, Christians have killed their share of people over the centuries) because, instead of bringing immigrants here with brains and skills, "relief organizations" all too often -- with government blessings -- gather up non-assimilating, routinely inbred human detritus, many of whom can't even comprehend how to use a toilet, and inflict them upon our troubled nation, expecting taxpayers to pick up the tab and schools to educate the ineducable as our language suffers and our porous borders become harder to manage. Our culture slips away, ever so slowly.

I understand that Islam is a very old and extensively practiced religion, and this country has always embraced freedom of religion. But parts of Islam are held together with too many explosive bolts, angry little devices consistently intent upon converting or destroying infidels, nonbelievers. There are, literally, no two ways about it. Though many American Muslims have been moderate in their beliefs, those who attend services at various mosques themselves warn that the radical element is becoming more popular, as Islamic youth in the U.S. slip away to train for terror in Pakistan and other "youth-friendly" places. And remember, in Islam, there is no separation of church and state.

An increasing trickle of women who escaped from Islamic countries tell their stories via books and talk shows, and they warn the world about sharia law and cruelty beyond imagination. In 2010, accounts of women treated like animals by cowards and mobs and societies ruled by torture seem so out of place, yet we know. We know. We also know that our incredible young men and women in the armed services lose their lives every month, trying to make a crucial difference in places which, for my money, should just be bombed into infinity with the finest weapons we possess, but WON'T use.

And just who are the "unclean" infidels? I'm not the unclean, Jack, and I'm never going to become a civilization throwback. To me, the unclean is anybody who won't accept a dog or cat into their home solely because their religion arrogantly convinces them of superiority to Creation's other creatures.

If murders at Fort Hood by an extremist Muslim U.S. military officer and the story behind this physician didn't drive specific points home to the common senseless in society, I suppose nothing will. But the truth is, we're nowhere near ready to welcome Islam with open arms because we constantly live in fear that those arms will be blown off with either political or actual IEDs, right here in the USA, and certainly in other countries.

It's a real hoot to see members of the Administration make light of the Islamic threat as they try to play nice with everybody, but I will say without hesitation that if my father and his brothers -- all World War II veterans -- were alive today, they would agree that some politically motivated faces intent upon non-confrontation and appeasement should be slapped. They knew what mattered and when not to walk away from an obvious fight that needed to be fought in an all-out manner.

Keep in mind, extremist Muslims themselves have killed more of their own people throughout history than anybody else, a fact worth mentioning particularly because certain Islamic leaders insist that Americans hold the record. Not true.

Remember -- the U.S. government has warned us time and again that the perpetration of another terrorist action here is only a matter of time. When that happens, it won't matter how practitioners of Islam portray themselves, mosques both built and intended will probably be in extreme jeopardy throughout the country. These continue to be very dangerous times for everybody.

Even France, the last place one might expect, just passed a law almost unanimously (save for one objection) forbidding Muslim women from wearing burkas. The reason should be obvious. The world is waking up and Europe is at least making feeble attempts to curtail certain future disaster as Muslim immigrants produce far more offspring than native cultures. Will we wake up? Yet another cartoonist, this time in the USA, is said to have drawn or prepared to draw an image of the prophet Mohammad, and death threats chased that person into hiding. This should never happen in my country, and if threats, extreme anger and murder are the "benefits" that extremist factions of Islamic immigration have brought to the nation, then we need to weed out these internal factions quickly, whatever it takes, and dispose of them in ways appropriate to their actions.

We welcome religious diversity. But at the same time, there really is no fanatic like a religious fanatic throwback from centuries ago, and oft-proven Trojan horses attired as objects of peace from the Middle East must not be allowed to roam freely within our borders -- and, I'm sorry to say this, but any rational mind can only see the NY mosque as a "victory" mosque. There are too many questions unanswered, and a global history of mosques built upon the lands and religious ruins of the violently conquered, with history and antiquities obliterated in the process.

One may only hope that Islam experiences a dramatic reformation -- which does happen -- and the majority of its followers in remote places reject bloodshed and other conflict.

How does one sort out the radicals from peace-loving practitioners of Islam? That's the dilemma for a country that chose freedom as its foundation, and from everything I've heard from members of strict Islamic nations who escaped and now tell their stories, Islam's accompanying sharia law is absolutely incompatible with our Constitution and freedom of the individual. Currently in the USA, masks of deception assume many forms, sometimes in the most unlikely of places.

Will this, a mosque among many others already in NY, be constructed at the intended location? Probably. Where else would one put a "victory mosque" in NY, if not on or as near "Ground Zero" as possible?

We still have a choice: Close the gates for now, protect the borders, find out who's in the country and deal with them -- or be prepared to happily skip, jump, text and e-mail our way to cultural suicide, oblivious to the danger closing in, one terrifying human birth and one shady immigrant at a time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I? The Jury?

The jury summons arrived weeks ago, and I was dreading the inevitable day. Last week, I finally appeared in person, responding to the detailed invitation that dared to casually use the word, "Welcome!" in the first paragraph. Eight years drifted by since my last jury notification, and I lucked out then because my number never came up.

But this was far, far more concerning because I had been chosen for a grand jury -- five weeks as the member of a captive audience, forced to listen to seemingly endless whines and snorts from junior members of the district attorney's office. Hey, don't bother me, just take whomever you want to indict out back, give 'em the needle and indict them later. Surely, there's something in their past worthy of a prompt execution?

Obligation. Duty to serve. Your civic responsibility. You have been chosen to. . .

Whoa, hold on. Didn't I hear the same words when the Vietnam Era draft stopped by and invited me to a mandatory party I couldn't refuse? Haven't I been here before, same government but different circumstances? What more do you people want out of me?

"The vending machines are over there," offered a department of jurors secretary who unlocked the office door and beckoned me in. I was the first to arrive at this early hour. The only vending machine I desired was one from which I could buy an instant felony, so I could get out of this nightmare.

Other "Welcome to. . ." invitees began to arrive, and eventually we were all escorted into a large room with plenty o' seats, and checked in individually. "Look at this list," one court representative remarked to another afterward, "we've never had so many no-shows."

We had to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It's been a while for me. Did I almost start out with, "Oh, say can you see. . ." before I caught myself and got into step?

A film. Oh, GOD, not a film. But yes, 25-something minutes of CBS-TV's Ed Bradley (wait a minute, Bradley was a good journalist, but how long has he been dead?) and veteran actor Sam Waterston (who only appears dead on TV) explaining New York State's grand jury system. Okay, I get it, okay? I GET IT! Arghhhhhhhhh!

So, I learn that our job basically is to indict, to not indict or to push a case off to some other office. What the hell?! Seems to me, if your case is taking up my time and I have to endure walking and ultimately limping along for several blocks to reach the courthouse from the parking garage, you're on the hook, sorry.

Besides, how could I NOT indict anybody who comes under scrutiny? Better yet, let me decide who in this society deserves my personal indictment. First, I'd indict the so-called high school English teacher who promised my writing would never amount to anything. Okay, maybe she was right, but I'd still opt for indictment.

Then I'd indict Gray Barker, albeit posthumously, for the load of nonsensical UFO books I bought from his publishing company in my teen years. Books full of lies and fantasies written by charlatans don't age well as years go by, trust me. Saucerian Publications, you are served!

How about airline companies? Let's indict them for withholding the truth or flat-out lying about close and sometimes dangerously close encounters with UFOs, and for discouraging or flat-out muzzling their pilots from reporting such strange incidents.

Obviously, I would indict Congress for ignoring significant UFO evidence, available for decades in ample amounts from the meticulous files of competent private UFO investigative organizations and individual researchers -- and from the government itself.

But in stronger terms, I think I could easily go for an indictment of scientists and science-based "debunkers" who shamelessly continue to ignore UFO evidence. Chuckling and walking away, ladies and gentlemen, ain't science.

Regrettably, it's unlikely that I could indict members of the media who have darkened their profession's image for years by ignoring, potentially, the story of a lifetime because freedom of the press consistently allows them to exercise ignorance or to pick and choose stories depending upon. . .upon so many factors.

So I bask in the jury pool, awaiting my fate. The commissioner of jurors calls upon some to come up front, one at a time, and draw seven numbers each from a little rotating cage, numbers which will translate into grand jury members. I'm deliriously pleased-to-serve possible juror number 141. Crime must be rampant, for two grand juries at a time, 23 members per, are being formed, and we're already warned to expect attending jury sessions for about 15 out of 25 days.

The woman who draws first grabs her own number, personally assuring her future, as nervous laughter arises from the crowd, finding humor and a peculiar solace in anything that even sounds like irony. The fun continues. Ultimately, potential jurors are down to maybe 18 or 20, including me.

However, juror number 141 is not called. He is free to go, cast out into the streets for the next eight years, realizing all too well that fantasies of those he wishes to see indicted will never come true. Instead, stupidity, bad judgment, domestic violence and brutal divorces engulfing more than one out of two marriages in the USA will keep the courts occupied for years, even without the assistance of juror number 141.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Beam Scream

The first month of 1985 started off with something of a semi-bang when the Associated Press reported on an interesting UFO story making the rounds in Moscow. As we've often said, don't discount the older cases and, obviously, always remember that the UFO phenomenon is an international enigma.

Though reported by the AP near the end of January, 1985, there's not a firm date of incident available, but it almost certainly occurred within days or weeks of the AP article.

Apparently, pilots and passengers aboard a Soviet (a.k.a. Russian) airliner encountered a distant "star-like" UFO which illuminated the earth below with a bright beam of light. The newspaper, Trud quoted a Soviet scientist who confirmed the case as "undoubtedly abnormal." A domestic Aeroflot flight approaching Minsk encountered "what appeared to be a large, unblinking star (which) suddenly shed a thin ray of light which fell . . .down on the ground" from an astounding altitude estimated to be 25-30 miles.

Again quoting from Trud, the AP added, "Ground control at the time registered splashes on its screens in the same part of air space." Co-pilot Gennady Lazurin, informed initially that radar showed nothing, stated, "Oh, well, they'll be saying we're not normal." (Note: That quote sums up a primary reason why pilots generally abhor reporting encounters officially, as careers and reputations may be jeopardized -- even to this very day, unfortunately, despite some slowly changing attitudes.)

Four crew members advised that they "could see distinctly everything down in the sector of the ground illuminated by the cone-shaped shaft of light -- the houses and the roads."

Things, however, took a very strange turn when the mystery beam suddenly focused on the plane itself. "The pilots," Trud continued, "saw a dazzling white spot surrounded by concentric colored rings," and the UFO then sped toward the airliner "at flashing speed," leaving a greenish cloud in its wake. The object, now at an altitude of 33,000 feet, paced the plane side-by-side and stayed with it for the remainder of the flight ("like an honorary escort," said one of the pilots).

Emphasizing the global nature of UFOs, Soviet National Academy of Sciences member Nikolai Zheltukhin -- also deputy chairman of a state commission on unexplained phenomena -- told Trud that the incident "is indeed of interest, although the commission already knows of similar cases. That the object reversed course instantaneously and reached the ground with a ray of light of unusual intensity from a very high altitude is undoubtedly abnormal. . .The airliner's crew encountered what we call an unidentified flying object."

Of further interest, the AP took a few lines to mention that the (former) Soviet Union established a special air force commission to investigate UFO reports, "but few details of its work have ever been released."

Currently, several nations continue to pop UFO files out of their inner sanctums like jacks-in-the-box. Needless to say, the U.S. isn't yet among them.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Off My Rocker

It can't always be about UFOs. It should be, but it's not. By now we're asking, hmm, didn't Leslie Kean write an outstanding book about something or another recently? One, two, three, impact. Just why is the road to hell paved with good intentions? Oh well, bon voyage, book of excellence, and rest in peace. Next?

You may have noticed, I've become nearly a raging lunatic about the direction of the country. The globalization thing isn't going quite the way we expected, and I don't trust the way my government currently wields power (who does?). I don't know about the Tea Party, but the Republicans and Democrats both smell as fragrant as that "corpse flower," whose rare and pungent odor of death periodically and mysteriously captivates people who fight and claw to experience and savor a smell akin to rotting flesh. Perfect.

So I'm listening to the radio, and some talk show host mentions scientists' findings that firefly populations appear to be diminishing, and that it seems to be related to gradual loss of habitat thanks to human encroachment. And then the moron says, what a shame the fireflies are going away because children should be able to witness their beauty. Of course, the extreme Right radio voice neglects to preface this by explaining that if we stopped producing so many kids in need of homes expanding into firefly territory, we wouldn't have to destroy firefly habitat. Who is going away forever first, fireflies or little brown bat colonies?

Then there's the guy holding Discovery Channel employees hostage last week. Or should I say Dead Guy? Anyway, the media makes much condemnation of his statement that human babies are "parasites." Well, sorry, but every teacher or professor I ever took a health or science course from told us that babies are indeed parasites whilst inside their mothers. Okay, so the rest of his beliefs were a tad, um, unusual, at least give him credit for a basic understanding of human behavior.

Meanwhile, serious theorists around the world ponder our great medical advances in keeping humans alive, and they fear a world where few die off as humans continue producing offspring faster than natural processes (that is, the Grim Reaper) can cope. But not to worry, if the Republicans regain power they'll probably do their best to kill off liberal stem cell research, as they recently did with the help of a sympathetic judge, that we planetary inhabitants might safely return to the benefits of fatal disease and genetic disorders. Goodbye morning-after pill and women's right to choose. Stock in chastity belts can only go up.

A while back, a reader or two took exception to my support of gays in the military, a longtime fact of life in many other countries. Though, even as a military veteran, I can't dissuade those who object based upon things they think they know which they don't know at all (God bless the ignorant, for they keep politics interesting), I do recall reading something years ago where somebody said, isn't it a miracle how God makes lots of little gay babies every day, all around the world? I guess everybody has a purpose among The Faithful, unless one happens to be a homosexual wishing to serve in the U.S. military.

Unfortunately, if/when the Right comes back big time, they'll also be accompanied by hardcore religious figures desirous of putting their own God into everybody's life (remember earlier this year, when some conservatives advised restraint of overzealous religious elements in the party?). Fortunately, though, Stephen Hawking, who just days ago warned us to leave the planet, asserts that God wasn't necessary at all for us to exist, so maybe we can quote his science and set these pompous vocal gas-bags hopelessly adrift. God would approve, I think.

I'm not sure which political party to call a friend when it comes down to the Internet. The Democrats seem rabidly intent upon gaining control of its charms, all in the name of The Public Good, yet the Republicans were all too happy to support former FCC chairman Michael Powell when he ruled more than some wished.

Now that 17 state attorneys-general have shouted down (what is a fascist?) Craig's List (only in Craig's List USA has this happened), which temporarily or forever closed down its personals section, we're even closer to serving the State. The truth is, if the U.S. weren't so populated with the common senseless, the plain stupid and a plethora of politicians looking to run on any agenda they can conjure, the nanny country wouldn't be trying to protect the clueless by blaming the messenger.

No (and I know you're curious), I haven't enlisted the aid of Craig's List, but I've read its entries and one has to border on idiocy not to know what's up. Frankly, for me, long before the Craig's List fiasco, the posting of "sex offender" lists tipped me off not only to hijacking of the Internet by political thugs, but the true arrival of the very future Orwell warned us about.

On a related note, new research confirms that extensive computer and Internet usage seem to affect mental abilities such as concentration and memory recall, so those of us who once marveled over and applauded five-year-olds who effortlessly performed computer functions which made no sense to most adults may have simply encouraged poisoning of minds and brains throughout the land. Result: A nation of eternal children, great at computer games, but sucking at daily life, expecting instant rewards, and patience be damned.

We're all steamed these days, whatever our focus. Maybe we can agree on the need to reduce government size. My vote? The Drug Enforcement Agency has to go, and in turn let's get the borders protected to the max. Programs such as D.A.R.E. plainly aren't working as youth remain curious and influenced by peers. We must question why so many low-level drug users end up in prisons and the answer is usually political. There must be other ways. And while we're ridding the country of overblown forces, say goodbye to the Department of Education and let the states communicate with one another about learning and the options available. Big Bro government in this case needs to go. In the meantime, there's nothing like remaining, um, hopelessly optimistic, just as we do in expectation of UFO facts via government disclosure.