Monday, August 16, 2010

Only the Messenger

It's funny how history repeats itself, and even funnier when nobody really knows about the first time an event occurs.

For instance, EMP -- electromagnetic pulsation -- receives a fair amount of attention in the news currently, primarily because governments and scientists fear enemies can cripple computers and, indeed, all functions and devices requiring digital communication in a wide area with the proliferation of EM waves.

But anybody with a working knowledge of UFO history realizes that electromagnetic energy -- or something very much like it -- was disabling autos on highways around the world during UFO sightings at least as far back as the 1950's. Did folks read about these incidents in their local newspapers? Sometimes. Area newspapers and radio stations would pick up on the stories, report briefly and then the stories were gone forever -- but generally the press avoided widespread reporting because. . .because ( I hate trying to speculate here). . .probably because the stories seemed unbelievable, though a few carefully measured lines might be good for a laugh. Ironic, really, considering that even barnyard animals reliably appeared to detect errant energy sources, as noted extensively in UFO literature. It's not very comforting to think that the common animal sense of a farm's jackass could exceed editorial judgement at a major newspaper. The news media could and should have done a lot better with the UFO subject since the early days.

Many of you look forward to a time when the U.S. government reveals what may be an incredible file load of information supporting the existence of UFOs as intelligently controlled objects. When and if that day comes, where and how will blame be affixed for years of denial? After all, we're all looking for somebody to hold responsible whenever some long-delayed truth emerges.

The nation's newspapers, once a powerful and untouchable force in keeping the people informed, aren't doing so well anymore. The Internet -- and the almost garden-nourished explosion of ignorance and plain old stupidity, a former term now garnished with fancy-sounding medical diagnoses -- has seen to that. News magazines aren't faring much better, Newsweek having been sold for a dollar a few days ago. Even Time Magazine just sent me an ad in an envelope marked DO NOT BEND with, curiously, nothing bendable inside, begging me to re-subscribe at the special senior citizens' (how dare they!) rate of $20 for 57 issues, while the non-ancient are asked to pay $256.96 at the newsstand, if you can find one. Not only did Time offer $236.96 in savings, they offered to add SIX ADDITIONAL MONTHS absolutely free. My GOD, sounds like those Time people are darned nearly ready to mug victims and sign up unwilling subscribers in the streets. I plan to hold out for a $1.50 deal and a free two-week vacation in Switzerland, enjoying in-flight service in both directions by everybody's fave flight attendant, Steven Slater, current Jet Blue public relations representative-by-default.

But yes, the newspapers are in trouble, the news mags are in jeopardy and commercial TV network news programs continue to lose viewers.

So I'm wondering, if disclosure ever comes and a certain percentage of the public rises up in, not panic, but rage because we've flat-out been lied to by the government for decades, where will that anger be focused? On the government? Maybe momentarily, but how long can a nation's citizens vent their anger at a gigantic faceless government entity whose public officials primarily responsible for the cover-up have mostly retired and died off over the years, or yet hide in a vast bureaucracy? Pointing fingers at the dead is great for about five minutes, but then what? Where do you direct the hostility? Who gets the down-home blame?

Maybe some will look at the media. The most accessible resource is newspaper archives, and among a mountain of history accomplished via the extraordinary efforts of journalism's finest are occasional news or feature articles regarding UFOs. Depending upon the newspaper, some archives will contain well-researched UFO-related pieces, while others reveal a long policy of making light of UFOs and the people who see them. More to the point, however, is editorial policy. Newspaper publishers dictate the standards they wish each edition to follow and practice, and editors must satisfy the publishers by upholding each newspaper's print personality.

The question may be asked one day, why did publisher Jones or editor Smith exhibit a penchant for ridiculing local, national or foreign UFO reports? Why did so many editors on so many editorial pages pen entries showing a complete lack of interest in investigating the UFO issue? How come they made light of witnesses or wasted considerable space quoting supposed debunking "experts" who, as it turned out, didn't know any more about the complexity and gravity of the UFO issue than they -- and, frankly, couldn't have cared less?

Yes, Mr. Editor, alive or long deceased, it's your name on the masthead and your editorial policy when all is said and done. There, in newspaper archives both large and small, is evidence in writing of each editor's and editorial staff's fairness, understanding of the issues and judgement of the evidence. Even the UFO evidence. What will reflect one's editorial legacy? A call for scientific investigation? Or ridicule from the hip?

Of course, it's easy for me to criticize newspapers, because their archives are so popular and essential in a free society -- and, as you know, I frequently quote old newspaper articles and news service reports here on the blog. Newspapers remain integral to our lives and I hope they continue to survive as monuments among the tools which truly helped build the USA and the lives we live. But then there's the rest of the media.

There have been newspaper and magazine editors and publishers who discouraged their reporters from writing about UFOs, but I think such instances are rare. They seem more likely to occur among radio and, particularly, TV media. When, for example (and I encountered this personally in recent years), a local TV news show on a station in some major city doesn't mind offering the occasional feature about psychic squirrels or the like, but its owner or news editor strictly forbids its staff to report about UFOs -- even when a UFO news feature that already aired boosts viewer ratings (a common benefit) -- one has to wonder. With the invention of videotape and now digital media to conquer the age of film reels, TV news archives are probably a little more common than they once were, and obviously their content would reflect editorial and station owner approach to the UFO subject. Naughty or nice?

So we ask: If national UFO disclosure comes tomorrow, which long-term editorial policies will do a newspaper or TV station's historic archives proud? And which will tarnish or destroy a newspaper's reputation? What happens on the national media level? With other nations quickly releasing their own UFO files of one sort or another, and with more information coming to light about airline cases and the incredible Rendlesham Forest/RAF Bentwaters series of events emerging, the press would do well to cut the nonsense, ignore the ever-present pigsty of debunking "authorities" and start reporting the facts with all the seriousness of a traumatic international incident.

FACEBOOK? ME? In response to inquiries, no, though there are apparently people on Facebook who share my name, I'm not a member and find no reason to join. I'm sure Facebook is a final social network site, but since I'm neither particularly social nor enthusiastic about anything with the word, "network" attached to it, I'd be more likely to smear myself with tuna and jump into a dumpster full of starving cats under romantic moonlight at midnight. Now, there's a photo for Facebook.