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Your Paracast Newsletter — March 31, 2019

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
March 31, 2019


Explore Scientific Nuts and Bolts UFO Research with Richard Hoffman on The Paracast

The Paracast
is heard Sundays from 3:00 AM until 6:00 AM Central Time on the GCN Radio Network and affiliates around the USA, the Boost Radio Network, the IRN Internet Radio Network, and online across the globe via download and on-demand streaming.

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall feature Richard Hoffman, who has been investigating the UFO phenomena for over 52 years. He first got involved in UFO researcher as a teenager when he was assigned a school paper on the subject. His curiosity resulted in a lifelong pursuit of the truth behind the mystery. Over the years, Rich has explored a number of fascinating UFO cases, some of which he'll describe on this episode. A former State Director and researcher for MUFON, he continues UFO investigations on his own and as an Executive Board Member for the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU).

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: Ufology Society International (USI) - Explore the UFO Phenomenon

Scientific Coalition for Ufology: The SCU

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on March 31: Gene and Randall continue their discussion from the March 31, 2019 episode of The Paracast with Richard Hoffman, Executive Board Member of the Scientific Coalition for Ufology. Topics include using smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, as scientific instruments to conduct research, the negative effects on humans of prolonged space travel, the possible presence of MIB-type individuals trying to shut UFO witnesses up, and the evidence for the Roswell UFO crash.

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: The Paracast Community Forums. Check out our new YouTube channel at: The Official Paracast Channel

Are Large UFO Groups Obsolete?
By Gene Steinberg

There have been lots of UFO clubs organized over the years. In some ways they are organic, meaning they are birthed and, if they do well, they begin to thrive and grow. As with lifeforms, such groups eventually reach middle age or stagnate. The leaders may change, or just become disenchanted with its direction.

Eventually they fold, or become largely irrelevant.

The major UFO groups that were formed in the 1950s included the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), which, after a troubled beginning, was taken over by Major Donald E. Keyhoe and some of his military buddies.

Although the word “Investigations” was part of its name, and it did do research mostly with volunteers, its main goal, according to Keyhoe, was to lobby for Congressional hearings on the subject.

Those hearings occurred in 1968, but not due to NICAP’s efforts. They were largely generated as the result of a major UFO flap in Michigan and elsewhere. NICAP’s goal to end alleged UFO secrecy failed. Instead we had the controversial Condon Report, which was regarded by many as a whitewash of the UFO evidence.

The Air Force used it as an excuse to shutter Project Blue Book, which was largely a PR operation anyway. NICAP fell on hard times, and Keyhoe was ousted reportedly due to incompetent management, particularly when it came to the organization’s finances.

Another major organization of that era was the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), headed by Corel and Jim Lorenzen. From the first, APRO focused on serious research, not lobbying. Unlike NICAP, APRO was more amenable to reports of UFO abductions.

APRO didn’t survive the passing of its founders, and essentially folded in 1988.

But the remnants of APRO were, in a sense, reborn or cloned beginning in 1969, when some disenchanted members got together to form the Midwest UFO Network. It was later renamed as the Mutual UFO Network to encompass a wider focus and worldwide membership.

MUFON remains active and is considered the largest American UFO organization, but it is not without controversy. In recent years, some of its state directors and key researchers have resigned partly over disagreements with its policies. You see, in an effort to grow an apparently stagnant or flagging membership, MUFON has not been above using entertainment with which to generate public interest.

So the 2017 annual MUFON Symposium focused mainly on controversial claims of a secret space program that may or may not have resulted in recent manned flights to the moon and beyond. Held appropriately in Las Vegas, the event featured speakers with questionable credentials and beliefs.

While MUFON’s leadership claimed the weren’t taking sides on the issue, it was clearly focused on gathering a large audience rather than informing the public about genuine UFO cases and theories.

MUFON was also associated with the production of “Hangar 1: The UFO Files,” a reality TV show allegedly based on the group’s cases. But its approach betrayed its alleged factual focus, by presenting questionable evidence altered from the original cases, apparently for their entrainment value.

It lasted two seasons.

Unlike “Hangar 1,” a more recent UFO-oriented TV show, “Project Blue Book,” never pretended to be a documentary. It was clearly historical fiction loosely based on the life and times of Dr. J. Allen Hynek. Genuine cases were fictionalized, although there were references to the original sources at the end of each episode.

The first season garnered middling reviews but decent ratings for a cable TV show, with episodes often landing among the top 10 or top 20 in its ratings. It has been renewed for a second season.

Despite MUFON’s efforts to get itself publicized, it is not at all clear if membership has soared, or that it has made any real progress in solving the UFO enigma. To many, MUFON has become an anachronism, a relic of another time.

Indeed, are large UFO clubs the way to go to support full-scale investigations, or is that need better served by individuals or small groups who focus strictly on actual research rather than simply collecting sightings?

One example of how small numbers of individual researchers can accomplish good things is the result of the Roswell Slides debacle that became the subject of a public event on May 5, 2015 in Mexico City.

Supposedly found by accident in an attic, the slides allegedly depicted the body of a possible alien, with a very superficial — make that nonexistent — connection to the Roswell crash.

But after the public event, it didn’t take long for a small ad hoc group of researchers, dubbed the Roswell Slides Research Group (RSRG), to expose the claim as false. The actual image was revealed to be nothing more than the mummy of a young boy in a case bearing a blurred label. When the label was de-blurred using readily available image enhancing and editing tools, the true origin of the body was revealed.

Indeed, one wonders why those who touted these slides as meaningful evidence of a mummified alien failed to do their research. Left with egg on their faces were two long-time Roswell researchers, Don Schmitt and Tom Carey. Another researcher, Richard Dolan, attended the event but, as he explained to listeners to The Paracast during his appearances on May 10, 2015 and June 28, 2015, he only came there to observe rather than to tout the alleged evidence as genuine.

More recently, The Paracast has featured interviews with some of the members of the board of a small group dubbed the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU). According to the information from its site, SCU “is a think tank of scientists, researchers and professionals stretching across organizations, governments and industries to scientifically and publicly explore unknown anomalous phenomena known around the world as UFOs, USOs, UAPs, OVNIs, etc.”

SCU isn’t collecting dues or publishing or promising a newsletter. Instead, it has posted a few papers focusing on different sightings and evidence.

In a recent public statement, it was announced that “the SCU is currently examining the material released by the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (within the Dept. of Defense as identified in media reports) with the objective to either identify the unknown objects, or add information as to the characteristics of these objects.”

SCU’s focus is on pure research, not evangelizing UFO reality or building memberships. Its small size, therefore, may end up being an advantage when it comes to getting something done, and I will continue to explore its work.

Over the years, The Paracast has featured such SCU affiliate members as James E Clarkson, Marc D’Antonio, Richard Hoffman, Dr. Paul Kingsbury, Dr. Mark Rodeghier, Alejandro Rojas and Chris Rutkowski.

You’ll find listings for the episodes featuring them in our Show Archives at: The Paracast Complete Show Archives Page | The Paracast — The Gold Standard of Paranormal Radio

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