The Unbearable Lightness of UFO Evidence

Hardcore believers in the ET hypothesis might want to pop a Breaking Bad DVD into the machine, because this post will burn your bacon.

I don’t come lightly to this (or anything–it’s personal), but in the wake of my book’s publication (Black Light) I’ve gone on an “evidence kick,” scouring the literature as far back as the 19th century. Yes, weird phenomena were investigated then, bereft of present-day technology, for all the difference that made. Frankly, little has changed in the way things are done, with the same battles between researchers and their beliefs. Jack Brewer at The UFO Trail has a gathering of video featuring the Budd Hopkins/Linda Cortile events that so clearly points out many wrong elements I can only thank him for posting these. Look closely, and you’ll see what I mean.

I write this with some guilt, because part of me wanted to accept that account, but the “facts” simply are too good to be true–as ever. For anyone not seriously involved in either investigation and/or writing about same, it might be hard to understand how quickly such pursuits can exhaust you. While I’m not even close to approaching the level of seriousness and integrity (meaning embarking upon the subject with open eyes and mind no matter where that leads) Jack and other serious investigators employ, I do spend a LOT of my time and resources trying to be. I consider myself one who will always taste what’s offered, and even swallow it–no matter how nasty. I’m often amazed over the time I’ve vaporized reading about (even downloading the letters of) Gray Barker, fellow West Virginian (no, I’m not a native, so don’t paint us all with the same brush), who was either A) A complete Bullshit Artist. B) A part-time Bullshit Artist with literary pretensions (though a pretty skilled writer). Or C) A man hiding genuine interest in the paranormal behind an I’m-too-sophisticated-for-this-nonsense facade, but like the money. And who doesn’t like money?

You are right if you think I’m wasting time by even caring about a man who died in 1984, whose best work probably was finished sometime around 1960. But where lies my fascination? I’m open to suggestions–trust me. I do know part of that fascination comes from realizing only recently (I can be slow) I might actually be playing a small part in ufology originating in WV writers, i.e. Barker, and Andy Colvin (he of the extensive DVD documentary The Mothman’s Photographer, and–at last count–author and/or editor of a LOT of books on Amazon covering Mothman, UFOs, John Keel, Gray Barker, Jessup, Adamski, and much more). That makes three of us, and my hope is that the work matters. Andy, who I met at the 2009 Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, has included a small amount of my writing in his book Return of the Prophecies of Mothman without asking my permission–as well as a blurb by me on the back cover, billed as coming from Forbes, for which website I did ghost-write an article for NYC’s John Kluge. I can’t really bitch about the blurb, even though it didn’t come from the Forbes piece. But Andy has yet to respond to my emails wherein I ask what of my writing was used in his book–simple professional protocol, no? This bothers me, since I wouldn’t dream of using anyone’s material in a book of my own without asking.

Ho hum. And I am pleased Andy saw fit to include me, but do not understand the inexplicable not seeking permission. Frankly, had I done the same, I’d be dreading legal action. But there you go. Got that out.

Regarding the unbearable lightness of UFO evidence, I refer the reader to 99% of YouTube and 98% of Amazon. I do not exclude my own book, save that I think I did a fair job of reporting all sides, excepting my own subjective experiences–whatever they ultimately were. The YouTube videos are so across-the-board blatantly fake, they make Ed Wood (Plan 9 From Outer Space) look like Orson Welles. There are a few worthy of serious scrutiny, and you might have seen one in particular, apparently shot in Japan (clue to a fake?), wherein a guy and his pal pull off the highway to film a gray object peeking from a cloud. The object abruptly spits out fiercely bright orbs that drop behind trees. It looks distressingly real, except no other motorists can be seen pulling over for a look….

We’ve all discovered that the “classic” color shot (and a striking one at that) of a triangular UFO over Belgium was a Styrofoam fake. Ditto for many, many other so-called classics. And the evidence for “alien” abduction always ends up with anecdotes, “implants” that–once removed and analyzed–prove to be terrestrial alloys of mundane atomic composition, or, embarrassingly, organically encrusted fibers extracted from an “abductee’s” penis. The carefully placed video cameras faithfully fail–always–to capture Grays or Reptilians grabbing some poor bastard from his sleep. Hypnotic regression says more about those employing it than their traumatized victims. Projection…archetypes…fantastical manifestation of autonomous complexes… This is Carl Jung 101, people.

The so-called abductees (some of them) have been genuinely traumatized–by what, no one knows. Not even Whitley Strieber, who wrote the scariest goddamned books possible about the subject. I kind of agree with those who refer to him as the Carlos Castenada of ufology–and that’s not an insult. As a most-of-the-time author of novels and short fiction, I have learned more from Whitley Strieber’s prose than I have from many others earning more than he. I LIKE Strieber, and pray I never experience anything near as intense as what happened to him–whatever the hell that was. I don’t think he’s a liar, because he did suffer after publishing Communion, something many of you might argue with. And that’s okay. America’s still a free country–if you can afford it.

In closing, I can say it’s certainly obvious I’m the guy who wants to believe, and has become embittered over the lack of tangible evidence. “Jesus Christ,” you’re saying (with admirable example), “how can you be so naive?”

Easily. I live in the same world as you, full of shams, war, horror, and killer tornadoes. Judge Judy….

Musician Tom Waits was right: “Don’t ya know there ain’t no devil, there’s only God when He’s drunk.”




3 thoughts on “The Unbearable Lightness of UFO Evidence

  1. A nice, honest post.

    UFO buffs need to exhibit a bit more modesty about the quality of their evidence and the certainty of their arguments. Think about it: after 68 years of research, ufology doesn’t have anything as good as the Patterson–Gimlin film — and that might have been a hoax! (If it was a hoax, it was a fabulously executed one.)

    Ufology has to step up its game. Either get better evidence — or better hoaxes.

    > the letters of Gray Barker

    Robert Sheaffer uploaded his corresponce with Barker. It was very entertaining stuff. They constantly mocked the partisan animosity between believers and skeptics. I also enjoyed James Moseley’s book with Karl Pflock and whatever issues of Saucer Smear I have found online.


  2. terrythecensor: What a surprise to see your comment! During my (ufological/paranormal/etc.) Internet travels I see—and read—your intelligent comments on many websites. I do have the Sheaffer/Barker letters and miscellanea. Great stuff, including Barker’s photocopied bits (the KKK kid!) and scribbles. He was apparently even more of a trickster than I thought. Can barely wait to see what comes of the “new” so-called Roswell slides…oh, brother….


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