"Some day before the not too distant future, the truth and the realities of these visitations will be so forcefully imposed upon the minds of Earth people that they will no longer be able to be denied. Of this, I am sure."
A missive to ABC from a viewer unhappy about the recent Peter Jennings: Seeing is Believing UFO special?
Er... not quite. It is an excerpt from an irate letter written from Lucy McGinnis of California to Lincoln O'Brien, a New Mexico publisher, about an article published in O'Brien's newspapers about a UFO hoaxer that Ms. McGinnis knew and in whom she believed.
25 March, 1953.
"Professor" George Adamski.
And yet the letter is eerily similar to the type of comments still espoused by many on the fringes of ufology, who often display a belief system that can only be described as ufological pre-millienialism, ie. "the truth shall be revealed soon."
Disagree with the fringers? Here's what you got back then, again from Ms. McGinnis:
"You had letters from six witnesses as well as from Professor Adamski - yet you ignored them and took false statements from elsewhere. Why? Instead you published that outlandish farce - and you state that your mission is the truth? Do you have neither self respect, nor respect for your fellowman? Do you not believe any one?"
Alas, if only this type of response had been left in the 1950s, like McCarthyism. But, as with the War on Terror, where we seem to have the New McCarthyism, with the Disclosure Movement and Exopolitics we seem to have the 21st century version of Lucy McGinnis. Say something that disagrees with their version of events, and you're part of the problem. Offer evidence that indicates they are wrong, and they ignore it. Point out the fraudsters and con men in our midst, and you must have an ulterior motive.
"Who," the question so often seems to go, "are you really working for?"
This past week, this very question was more or less leveled at Peter Davenport, of the National UFO Reporting Center (see their excellent website at www.nuforc.org) by Dr. Michael Salla, simply because Davenport refuses to agree with him that a series of alleged sightings in the American northwest are worthy of reporting and investigation. Dr. Salla's original post to UFO Updates can be found at:
My pointed response can be found at:
Salla's charges are ridiculous, and, as I point out, go far beyond a civilised discussion of the facts of the case. Again, if you aren't part of the solution, as Dr. Salla sees it, you must be part of the problem. Therefore, goes Salla's unspoken question, "who is Peter Davenport working for?"
I've been on the receiving end of this type of behaviour. A couple of years ago I had a guy in Australia e-mail me a response to some comments I had made on UFO Updates, wherein I questioned Steven Greer's credibility. Suddenly - at least as far as the Aussie was concerned - I was "working for them." He warned me that "the day of truth is coming, and you will be judged then by which side you choose now." There were other barely veiled threats contained in the e-mail. If he had lived any closer than Australia, I might have forwarded the note to the police. As it stands, I laugh it off - although, if I'm ever in Brisbane I'll keep an eye out.
Then there were the two fringers I met last year at the Aztec Symposium. They semed nice enough, if a bit loopy, but when they asked me what I thought of Billy Meier, and I answered honestly (he's either nuts or a crook, or both), they turned on me like a dime. Again - I kid you not - the question was "who are you working for?" As they were a lot closer to me than the Aussie wacko, I politely took my leave of them, and they went on to pestering someone else.
The next day, while I was eating lunch, they sat down next to me and tried to convince me that Meier was for real. I admit that discretion got the better part of my valour, and so I simply nodded as I chowed down on my hot dog and fries while they rambled on. Then, seemingly convinced that they had made a convert, or at least brought me back from the abyss of darkeness (or whatever), they pulled out a little pamphlet which they had written, and in which one could find the names of anybody who is (and in some cases, isn't) anybody in ufology, with their conclusions about them. My favourite was their note for my pal Nick Redfern. He was CIA. Why? Because he always wears black.
I couldn't help myself - I laughed. Nick and I both came of age in the 1980s, when, as the Smiths famously said, you wore "black on the outside because black was how you felt on the inside" (you had to be there). I tried to explain to them that a fashion statement (and Nick is a man who looks good in black) did not a CIA agent make. If so, what did that make Johnny Cash - the head of MJ-12?
Like all zealots, they were singularly unimpressed by anyone who made fun of their beliefs. Fortunately for me, they were peace-loving zealots, and so they simply trundled off to try and convert some other poor sap.
All of this is amusing (in hindsight), but instructive too. There are wackos in ufology. There always have been, and there always will be. Some may mean well (Ms. McGinnis, my two "pals" at Aztec), but others, more ominously, do not (William Cooper). Either way, they are the ones that the debunkers of the UFO phenomenon point to when they want to discredit those who take UFOs seriously. They are the ones to whom Exopolitical Gurus / Swamis / Prophets like Michael Salla and Steven Greer cater these days, to the detriment of those who would see ufology move into the mainstream. They are the ones who screamed the loudest about the ABC Special, because they couldn't see the forest of progress, however incremental, for the trees of their own blinkered belief system.
They are the ones who fall for the likes of William Cooper, Bob Lazar and Philip Corso - just as people like Lucy McGinnis fell for George Adamski five decades ago.
It's sad, but as the French might say:
"ufology? ca plus ca change, ca plus ca memo chose."