Saturday, August 21, 2010
By Steve Hammons
Journalists who have a reputation as solid investigators with open minds, common sense and constructive viewpoints may show excessive arrogance when it comes to unconventional phenomena such as UFOs, advanced human awareness (extrasensory perception) and other leading-edge areas of research.
A case in point is the Aug. 20, 2010, column by David Corn, posted on PoliticsDaily.com, in his “Deep Background” article titled “Where Are All the UFO Photos?”
Corn is Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones magazine and was The Nation magazine’s Washington editor for twenty years. He has written for many major American newspapers, magazines and online platforms.
He begins his article with a common but reportedly erroneous premise – that no legitimate photos have been taken of anomalous objects in the sky.
Corn wrote, “In recent years, the world has exploded with photographic and video equipment. There are about 5 billion cell phones in circulation throughout the world – many, if not most, equipped with still and/or video cameras.”
“And there are millions, if not billions, of easy-to-use video cameras in circulation, as well as billions of still-picture cameras. Essentially, billions of people are able to snap or otherwise shoot the least bit interesting thing that happens at a moment's notice,” Corn wrote.
“So with all this gear in use, I'm wondering, why has no one captured clear and unambiguous evidence of UFOs from outer space? And why have none of the humans abducted by aliens flipped out their Flip video cameras and shot a minute or two of the historic moment – and later uploaded it to YouTube?” he asks.
More in-depth research by Corn, and by any other interested researchers, would strongly indicate that not only have many credible photos of highly unusual objects in the sky been taken, but other factors that may or may not be in the public domain support theories that highly unusual objects in the sky are real.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DENIAL AND ARROGANCE
Corn is the co-author of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War. Is he demonstrating his own hubris now – excessive pride or self-confidence, or arrogance? Or, as a progressive journalist, does he feel a need to be “conservative” on this topic?
In these questions we get to the psychological aspect of the UFO phenomena and other unconventional scientific topics. Denial and a reluctance to think outside of the box can be a real dilemma for journalists, scientists, defense experts and people in many walks of life.
Yet, it is a common trait that is particularly evident in relation to certain unconventional subjects.
Corn continues in his column with the statement, “As each year goes by in our easy-to-record era with no hard video or photographic proof, we have to ponder the possibility (or probability) that there are no UFOs visiting from out there.”
Again, he disregards the many credible photos that are part of the public record and is not taking into consideration photos not in the public domain, going back to World War II aircraft gun-camera photos of unusual “foo fighters.”
Additionally, non-photographic credible witness testimony, a large amount of solid information and many reasonable investigative indications on the subject of UFOs are apparently not taken into account by Corn.
Has he done his research?
He writes, “One key part of the grand swirl was UFOs: Roswell, Area 51, crop circles, cattle mutilations, men in black, abductions, Chariot of the Gods, and the government cover up of all this. Secret government seemed to be the name of the game. And what could be a bigger secret?”
“But nothing undermines conspiracy theorizing better than reporting. And after reporting in Washington for over two decades, I came to the conclusion that the government is generally not capable of mounting extensive and complex, years-long conspiracies that transcend administrations. The bureaucrats are just not that good, and risk-averse political leaders often don't have the guts to do so,” according to Corn.
EFFECTIVE, ACCURATE JOURNALISM
Corn might want to read the new book by respected journalist Leslie Kean, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record. The book is recommended and praised by credible scientists, science journalists and others.
Significant comments about the value of Kean’s book come from Michio Kaku, Ph.D., author of Physics of the Impossible; Rudy Schild, Ph.D., Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Miles O’Brien, former CNN space/science correspondent; Neal Lane, Ph.D., Rice University; former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Don Donderi, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, McGill University (Ret.); John L. Petersen, founder & president of The Arlington Institute; Harold E. Puthoff, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin.
Also weighing in to compliment Kean’s book are Jean-Claude Ribes, Ph.D., Paris Observatory (Ret.); Stuart Appelle, Ph.D., dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, State University of New York, Brockport; Christopher C. Green MD, Ph.D., Harper University Hospital, Wayne State University School of Medicine; and Mark Rodeghier, Ph.D., scientific director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS).
Kean’s thorough professional reporting on this subject far surpasses Corn’s apparent limited mindset on the topic of possible or probable visitation to Earth of other intelligent beings.
If he reads the book, Corn will see that there are many fine details and sensitive elements of the security measures that might have been established around the World War II era to deal with a scenario such as extraterrestrial and/or extra-dimensional visitors to our planet.
If Corn conducts his own more rigorous research using a robust variety of sources and resources, he might shed some of his own hubris and develop a more sophisticated and constructive perspective on this topic.
Psychological denial, ridicule and closed minds are probably not helpful for our human societies on planet Earth when it comes to the subject of visitors from "elsewhere." Now may be the time for further readiness, preparation, acclimation and education for all of us about this significant area of discussion.
It is undoubtedly a complex and sensitive area that has ramifications that could be far-reaching and profound. In fact, the unfolding nature of our understanding about the Universe or multi-verse, and our very consciousness, may be difficult and challenging.
Responsible journalists may want to step up to the plate and exchange denial and hubris for thorough research and greater insight. This is useful not only for journalists themselves, but also for the public who rely on today’s journalism for a legitimate source of information and perspective.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
By Steve Hammons
Two new examinations of the UFO situation may provide increased insight and understanding for much larger audiences.
Journalist Leslie Kean’s book UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record goes on sale Aug. 10, 2010, and is being praised as thorough and professional reporting on this mysterious topic.
The planned feature film Majic Men is based on the research and books of physicist Stanton Friedman and investigator Donald R. Schmitt. Producers Don Most and Bryce Zabel are helping lead this project.
Kean’s book and the Majic Men movie, along with an increasing number of responsible, intelligent and fascinating media explorations of the UFO subject, are sure to improve public awareness and expand our perception of the possibilities involved.
By doing so, our readiness and preparedness to deal with certain possible or probable situations of this kind will be enhanced.
Kean has worked as a journalist for major newspapers and has a rich background in investigative journalism. She has had a longstanding interest in the UFO phenomena, having conducted in-depth research on the subject for a decade or more.
As the book title indicates, she focused on interviews with high-level government officials from the U.S. and other countries as well as the American and international aviation community, military and civilian.
She provides more solid facts that further inform us about something real that is going on regarding UFOs.
The apparent secrecy and security surrounding this mysterious topic presented significant challenges even for an experienced investigative journalist like Kean. Human development, scientific advancement, international relations, national security or even planetary security are reported to be possible elements of this puzzling situation.
Her book description notes that, “Throughout, she presents irrefutable evidence that unknown flying objects – metallic, luminous, and seemingly able to maneuver in ways that defy the laws of physics – actually exist.”
Kean’s book has received praise from scientists, scholars, journalists and others.
Well-known physicist and TV science host Michio Kaku, Ph.D., wrote, "At last, a serious and thoughtful book about this controversial subject. Skeptics and true believers will find a treasure trove of insightful and eye opening information. This book is bound to set the gold standard for UFO research."
Another respected physicist, Harold E. “Hal” Puthoff, Ph.D., said, “In these pages we are confronted head-on by the UFO phenomenon as revealed firsthand by highly credible government officials and military aviation experts. Their credibility and integrity cannot be questioned, and their firsthand observations cannot be ignored.”
He also added, “Leslie Kean provides a challenging analysis and she writes with penetrating depth and insight. The revelations in this book constitute a watershed event in lifting the taboo against rational discourse about this controversial subject.” Puthoff is director of The Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin.
John L. Petersen, founder and president of The Arlington Institute also pointed out that, “In an area of study where there aren’t many, this is a serious book. It is credible, clear, and compelling, without any farfetched jumps in logic and assumption. Leslie Kean not only makes the case for, but calls for, a whole new concrete and realistic perspective on UFOs that has more honesty and integrity than any other that I have read. This is a book for anyone with an open mind.”
Christopher C. “Kit” Green, MD, Ph.D., of Harper University Hospital and Ohio’s Wayne State University School of Medicine, also gave the book a thumbs-up. "Leslie Kean’s astonishing book is the finest piece of investigative journalism ever written on this subject. She has an incomparable ability to ‘give voice’ to a constituency of exceptionally qualified and unbiased first-hand observers. They are not from the fringe, not groupies, and not delusional.”
Green noted, “Rather, they are high-level military, intelligence, aerospace, and government officials who speak with authority while providing reports that document actual, physical craft. Kean’s book represents the first important step toward a new U.S. government openness about UFOs. It brings forward a reality otherwise buried for far too long inside official mystery, and elevates the discourse above that of small-minded public discussions."
MOVIE ON INVESTIGATIONS, INVESTIGATORS
The Majic Men film project is based on the lives of Stanton Friedman and Donald R. Schmitt and their years of research into the so-called Roswell incident and circumstances involved in UFOs.
Schmitt and co-author Thomas J. Carey wrote the book Witness to Roswell, released in 2007 with an update in 2009. Friedman’s book Top Secret/MAJIC was published in 1997 and updated in 2005.
The titles of the book and movie reference an alleged secret group formed by U.S. President Harry Truman following the Roswell incident. The group is rumored to have been called Majestic, Majestic-12, MJ-12, Majestic Agency for Joint Intelligence or, simply MAJIC. There have also been indications of a security clearance level called MAJIC.
Stellar Productions, a southern California production company, has acquired rights to the stories of Friedman’s and Schmitt’s investigations.
According to a July 2, 2010 press release, Bryce Zabel, president and writer/producer at Stellar said, "Our film is about two down-to-Earth guys who are chasing a story that is literally out-of-this-world. Both Friedman and Schmitt are underdog American heroes, men who hate being lied to and will bear almost any burden to get at the truth."
The press release also explains that the film will focus on lives of Schmitt and Friedman “as they continue investigations from the late 1970s to our near-present day, revealing how the original UFO secret was handled. What they discover is an intense five-year-period from the Roswell crash of 1947 through the briefing of President Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.”
“The screenplay for Majic Men will be written by Zabel, winner of the 2008 Writers Guild of America award for the Hallmark miniseries, Pandemic,” according to the press release. “He has written feature film scripts for Warner Bros., Universal, Fox, Disney, and New Line.”
“His work in the UFO field includes creating the NBC drama series, Dark Skies (scheduled for DVD release in January 2011), writing and producing the Sci-Fi Channel original film Official Denial, and working on the development team of the Spielberg series, Taken.”
The press release also noted, “The production team's Don Most, although best-known for his work on the popular sitcom Happy Days, is also a long-time activist in the movement to end UFO secrecy. He recently produced and directed two feature films, Last Best Sunday and Moola.”
Most said, "Majic Men is as much about the investigators as it is the investigation. Audiences are going to find both their hearts and their minds opened when they watch it."
“Stellar Productions may partner with another production company or studio to develop the Majic Men project. Additionally, a new non-fiction book, also titled Majic Men, is expected to coincide with the release of any future film,” according to the press release.
For more information, visit the website of Kean’s book and the Majic Men website.