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Your Paracast Newsletter — September 5, 2021



Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The Paracast Newsletter
September 5, 2021
www.theparacast.com

UFO Legend Jacques Vallee Talks About a Possible Flying Saucer Crash in New Mexico in 1945 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 special guest cohost Curt Collins present author, astronomer, Internet pioneer and UFO researcher Jacques Vallee. In this episode, Jacques will discuss a controversial book, "Trinity," that he coauthored with Paola Harris. The book's main focus is on a possible UFO crash in 1945 in New Mexico, two years before Roswell, as described by the eyewitnesses, two of which were still living as of the time the book was published. He'll also talk about the database work he did for reclusive hotel magnate Robert Bigelow. Curt also joins Gene in a discussion of the "Voices of the Past," several prominent UFO researchers from New York and environs from the 1950s and 1960s, and their possible influence to the field. Curt covers the mystery and myths of UFOs at his various sites.

Jacques Vallee: https://www.jacquesvallee.net

After The Paracast — Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on September 5: Gene and special guest cohost Curt Collins talk about their impressions of Jacque Vallee's visit, where he discussed the book he cowrote with Paola Harris, "Trinity," about a possible 1945 flying saucer crash in New Mexico. There's also discussion about the Roswell case and Curt's feeling about the legendary episode and whether it really involved a spaceship. Curt's web sites are devoted to both current events in the field and pop culture. One of his sites, The Saucers That Time Forgot, which he runs with Claude Falkstrom, focuses on fascinating stories and fascinating, sometimes eccentric, people — forgotten and otherwise — from the early days of the UFO era.

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: https://www.theparacast.com/forum/. Visit our new online shop for great branded merchandise at: https://www.theparacast.shop/, and check out our new YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheOfficialParacastChannel

MUFON and the $299 Question
By Gene Steinberg

So with all the positive news that’s been published about UFOs in recent years, it’s inevitable there would be hit pieces from time to time. I was thus not surprised to find such a story in the Washington Post, the most mainstream media outlet of all

The article, entitled “The lonely journey of a UFO conspiracy theorist,” pretty much says it all in the first sentence: “All day long, Douglas Wilson had tended to cracked sidewalks and overgrown lawns, but now his shift was over, and he felt exalted as he looked up at the boundless Colorado sky.

Wilson, MUFON’s Director of Investigations, has essentially focused on low-end jobs for decades to leave time for his quest for ET. More precisely, it’s a quest for ET, since no other solution to the phenomenon is mentioned by him. He appears to have no specific scientific or investigative qualifications to be elevated to that function, but he clearly feels empowered, saying, “We’re living paycheck to paycheck, but, by gosh, I’m director of investigations for UFO research in the United States!

Well, actually for one UFO group consisting of a few thousand members, not the entire country. In turn, he’s not only abandoned any other career aspirations but apparently allowed his family to break up as a result

In contrast, the article cites the experience of a former head of research, one Christopher Cogswell, whose degrees include a bachelor’s of science and a PhD in chemical engineering. Well, at least he has the credentials for someone to lead a UFO investigative team

But he evidently soon became jaded with his experience at MUFON. According to the article: “Chris found that what members called scientific research was akin to elaborate playacting. Although MUFON used the language of scientific method, its members, he said, often showed no understanding of research falsifiability — the principle used to pick apart assertions or theories that cannot be tested and disproved. In UFO communities, he said, a lack of evidence is commonly taken as proof that something is being covered up.

Well, not quite. A lack of evidence would also be taken as proof that there’s a lack of evidence

But the most concerning item in the article is also buried in the middle, that “Before long, Chris came to see MUFON as a membership scam aimed at sucking money out of earnest believers. New investigators are required to purchase the manual for $125, including shipping. They are also on the hook for membership dues of about $100 per year.

But the Post got those numbers wrong. The reporter could have verified this information in a minute by checking the site, which they evidently failed to do

Here things have changed of late, and not for the better. At one time, $40-50 would have gotten you a year’s membership. The BASIC level is only slightly more expensive, at $5.89 per month, or $59.88 per year, which gets you a membership card, digital versions of MUFON’s magazine, email updates, and access to the Member’s ONLY section of the website. A printed version of the magazine costs an extra $29.00 per year

But MUFON, in its old age, has gotten greedy. So there are two additional membership levels of various degrees of value

Probably the best deal is a so-called ENHANCED level, at $9.99 per month or $119.88 per year, which adds online access to MUFON.TV, a streaming service that includes its annual symposium, along with an eBook, “UFO Crash Retrievals of the Third Kind” from Michael Schratt

Where MUFON has gone off the rails is with its $299.88 VIP package, where you can’t even sign up for a monthly rate

Maybe it should be renamed KITCHEN SINK, since the deal includes a bunch of semi-useful tchotchkes that include a mouse pad, a travel pillow, a hat, decals, pins and other junk. If you opt to renew a VIP membership, I suppose you get more of the same junk, meaning that your closet will be filled with this stuff after a few years

Sure, the value of the extras may be questionable, but the claim that it’s a “membership scam” is a bit much. It’s not as if they hide what the money is used for

You see, MUFON is a 501 C(3) Non-Profit Organization, meaning you can deduct the fees from your taxes in the U.S. I don’t know about the tax setups in other countries. So they have to explain publicly how the money is used

So a MUFON membership, or donation, covers the salaries of two full-time employees, the Executive Director and Office Director, and one part-time “intern,” the rest receive fees “on-demand.” Money is also needed for its CMS, which will include a database of UFO cases, although the people who provide that data are mostly unpaid volunteers. A mobile laboratory is also being expanded, though having just one for the entire United States would seem quite limiting

As always during MUFON’s 52-year history, the focus is more on collecting rather than researching UFO sightings. Field investigators are not chosen because of their expertise in any particular subject, but on their ability to pay $89 and up for a training program and passing a test

Other than the factual lapses, where I disagree with the Post article is that they are trying to paint a misleading picture of the group. Volunteers are not just fringe characters who have abandoned their jobs and families in search of ET. Credentialed scientists and serious investigators in many fields have also volunteered. And, yes, some have left because of MUFON’s growing penchant to merchandise, or a few episodes involving officials with the organization writing racist screeds on social networks,. But that’s not an accusation of fraud by any means

My problem is that I don’t think anything MUFON is doing helps us advance the cause of UFO research. It’s a lot more than just collecting sightings and storing them in databases. Fortunately, MUFON isn’t the only game in town, and it’s interesting to note that, for the most part, the published reports about the present-day seriousness towards the phenomenon barely mentions the organization

It’s more about the U.S. government taking it seriously, and a growing number of scientists getting involved. The latter is where real progress might be made, so long as we don’t get stuck with the ET-and-nothing-else meme.

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