Friday, September 30, 2005

Memory Lane, Part III

After the break-up of Tall Poppies in 1994, drummer Glenn MacCulloch and yours truly formed a new band, which we called Julia's Rain. We added Rob Currie on bass, and Chris MacKenzie on guitars, but it was singer Kelly McKeigan that provided the new band with it's spark, and me with a singer who really brought my songs to life.

We released a well-received E.P., Fiver, in late 1994. The Halifax Daily News wrote:

"Julia's Rain emerged out of the ashes of the popular and ambitious Dartmouth band Tall Poppies, which has already spawned one promising ensemble, The Booming Airplanes. Julia's Rain leans more to electric instrumentation than the acoustically-inclined 'Planes. Kelly McKeigan possesses a rich, haunting voice ripe with regret and melancholy. Guitarists Paul Kimball and Chris MacKenzie construct intriguing textures that sound like retro '60s folk rock crossed with fey '80s and '90s English bands such as The Smiths and Suede. What's most impressive are the songs. There are two killer tunes on Fiver, the kind of songs you hear once and never forget. "Fading" and "Mysterio" are catchy, perfect pop constructions that could be masterpieces in the hands of a good producer. For an initial demo, Fiver is a promising start indeed."

Fiver got us a showcase spot at the 1995 East Coast Music Awards, where we received some serious interest from record companies (and where Kelly appeared on national television - CBC - as an awards presenter). At left is a picture from that showcase which appeared in The Cape Breton Post - from left to right, Glenn on drums, Kelly, yours truly, and Chris in the corner. Glenn and Rob left the band shortly afterwards, but Kelly, Chris and I continued on for another year, until Chris left. Kelly and I added drummer Dave Croft and bassist Mark Winkelman to the line-up, and for another year and a half this was the best version of any band I ever played with (we brought in a never-ending group of lead guitarists over this period, and sometimes even performed as a four person group).

Live, we rocked. Some of the critics...

"Julia's Rain's vocalist blew me away with an amazing voice that fills the room with powerful emotion. They're a great band. I could say more, but I'd just end up gushing. See this band!" - Dalhousie Gazette

"Strong and intense alternative style pop tunes [with] staying power [that] linger in the mind for days after... their balance of modesty and attitude, combined with their very danceable songs, would have almost any audience onside before the night was through." - The Cape Breton Post

"Live, the band rocks. They put on a forceful, convincing set. Several record companies were circling around Julia's Rain - no wonder." The Halifax Daily News [alas, never signed a deal, although I did turn one down once. Long story... PK]

"The band feeds off of McKeigan's energy, and the songs, mostly by Kimball, are superior - engaging and diverse... It was a moody and powerfully moving performance." Metro Backbeat

The high point was the release of our CD Wonderful Broken Silence, in 1995, which we produced ourselves. We brought Glenn back to play drums, and former Tall Poppies member Mike Riley (aka Fat Robot) and Rob Currie played bass. Even Mike Trainor, the second Tall Poppies singer, popped by to play tambourine on one track. Laurence Currie, the best producer on the East Coast, engineered the album.

The critics were, again, very positive:

Chart, the "bible" of the Canadian music scene back then (it may still be the "bible" of the Canadian music scene, but I've been out of the loop since 1998, so I wouldn't know anymore), wrote:

"Julia's Rain could easily appear on the soundtrack to my life. I can imagine hearing a song from wonderful broken silence at a party or at 6:30 a.m. as I drive home while watching the sun rise. It's the late-night musings of a melancholy DJ or the passionate expression of a band that you somehow "get" although it never says anything to the audience or even looks up from its shoes. This Halifax group's follow-up to Fiver is a melodic, thoughtful progression through eight slightly twisted landscapes of sound. "Louder Than Bombs" is definitely the stand-out track. There's genuine emotion in these very radio-oriented pop songs and this EP's mere 34-minute run time leaves me wanting more."

Atlantic Gig, the "bible" of the Atlantic Canadian music scene back then (the mag is no longer around, alas), wrote:

"Julia's Rain cites The Smiths as influences - as well as the Beatles, U2 and REM. They thank Morrissey & Johnny Marr in the "kudos" section of the liner notes to Wonderful Broken Silence. This is fair, as the serious guitar pop of Smiths' classics like The Queen is Dead certainly shares a rhythmic and melodic similarity with Wonderful Broken Silence. There is a melancholy air to Kelly McKeigan's vocals (which can't help but remind me of Natalie Merchant, ex-10,000 Maniac) and a sombre note in Paul Kimball's lyrics. Songs such as "Vampirella" and "Mysterio" create characters that are best described with a line from Fading": 'My mind it mocks me with illusions.'

Wonderful Broken Silence, the band's follow-up to the highly-praised EP Fiver, is rich in texture, as deep as it is high and wide. Acoustic and electric guitars (courtesy of Kimball and Chris MacKenzie) provide the foundation upon which the songs are built, as the mortar of keyboards and the strong rhythm section keep things together. Kelly is the ghost that haunts this disc, emoting as breathing. I've been told her on-stage presence is spooky (in the good sense).

Driving pop for the most part, the disc contains two spectral nuggets. "Vampirella" would be a shuffle if there were any percussion, but is instead made macabre by swelling guitars and effects - again very spooky. The intriguing "Do You Think" features Paul's spoken vocal bouncing around in your headphones over a moaning keyboard and strumming acoustic guitar - 'do you care / or do you just sit back and stare / at problems you could fix / but let other people wear.'

A great album, reminding me of the unrestricted pop of the late 70's and early 80's, Wonderful Broken Silence is a dark room until you draw the curtains - then the scenery's lovely."

After WBS, we shot two music videos, which aired nationally on Much Music (Canada's MTV), and which represented, I guess, the beginning of my film career (my brother Jim, who now works with me as a producer at Redstar Films, even appeared in one, so I guess it marked the beginning of his film career too!). We also made a number of appearances on various television shows, locally and nationally, and played a lot of great gigs. Above is a photo of three of the band members - yours truly, Kelly, and Mark Winkelman - during the video shoot for "Fading."

In February, 1998 we played the last of those great gigs. It was a sold out show here in Halifax during the East Coast Music Awards. We ended with our signature song - "Mysterio" - and received a standing ovation from a crowd that didn't know we would never take the stage again. Afterwards, Tom Wilson, the lead singer from the band Junkhouse, which was hot in Canada at the time, walked up to me as I was packing up my guitar and said (I paraphrase here), "great show - that 'Mysterio' is a great song. I'd love to record that some time."

We didn't intend for that to be our last show - indeed, in the next issue of Chart we were identified as the east coast "band to watch." It just worked out that way, as we had already drifted apart.

However...

Somewhere, here in the office, I stil have the master tapes for notes from underground, the full-length album that we began to record in late 1997 but never finished.

Here's a lyrical excerpt from "Darkest Hour," which I wrote for my fiance, after she had a particularly bad dream:

"The car in your dream / shattered by the side of the road / twisted heap of metal / its story told just moments ago // the driver, young and broken / so frail, dying / a whisper and he's gone // you helpless and alone / a wound inside / afraid of what lies beyond // I wish I could share this dream / and take the hurt away / or at least be the comfort when you awake // It's 3 am, still no sign of light / the darkest hour of the soul / I want to be with you tonight / to give you, to give you, to give you / someone to hold."

Maybe someday Kelly and I will re-unite, wander back into the studio, finish off the album, and then play one final, proper send-off gig?

That would be nice.

Rev. Pete would be well pleased, I think.

Paul Kimball

Fields of Fear Production Stills, Vol. V

Here are a couple of shots with Orlando Pla, the paranormal investigator who served as our local guide while on the Puerto Rico leg of the Fields of Fear shoot. His help was invaluable. He was great to work with!


Above is a shot of Orlando and Nick Redfern in El Yunque, with DOP Findlay Muir (the guy on the ground with the camera).

At left is a shot of Orlando and yours truly, somewhere near Roosevelt Roads (the exact location must remain a secret!!).

We were obviously on the lookout for chupacabras, but we didn't see any.

Lots of little lizards, however!

They were all over the place, which was definitely a cool thing to see for a Maritimer who had never been to a tropical place before.

Speaking of cool... there was none. Whew. Talk about hot!!

Lots of humidity, too, which meant that after Day 1 of shooting, whn I wore jeans to protect me from "critters," I said "screw this," and went with shorts, ticks and mosquitos be damned.

Fortunately, I seem to have avoided dengue fever!

Paul Kimball

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Paul Hellyer - The Big Fish Flops

Poor Paul Hellyer.

He agrees to speak at a UFO / Exopolitics conference (it seems even the organisers weren't quite sure which) in Toronto this past weekend. The news media pick up on it, and, all of a sudden, there he is - Canada's former Minister of National Defence, on the front pages of all the newspapers again.

Well, not the front pages, exactly, but at least he was in the paper, which for Hellyer is all that matters.

He's a somebody again. He's important. A Big Fish.

Sure, a Big Fish in a very, very, small pond - but still, a Big Fish.

For someone like Hellyer, however - a guy who once stood at the pinnacle of the Canadian political system, and then proceeded to flush his once-promising career down the toilet over a period of three decades, to the point where he exists now as little more than the answer to a trivia question ("what idiot put the Canadian navy and air force in army green?") - it isn't the size of the pond that matters anymore, but the size of the fish. Particularly when he's the fish.

Most important to the ETH proponents (and their more radical off-shoots, the True Believers), he was a VIP (sure, that was forty years ago, but they'll take what they can get these days).

He was going to blow the roof off the joint.

He was going to expose secrets.

In the words of one of the event organizers when he introduced Hellyer this past Sunday, "we are here today witnessing history."

As Hellyer's fellow speaker, exopolitics-activist / conspiracy theorist Steven Bassett, wrote:

"The Toronto Symposium will break new ground. It will mark thefirst time in history that any defense minister or secretary of defense of any first world nation (and possibly any nation) will state publicly that he or she is convinced the UFO phenomenon is extraterrestrial in origin." [see http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2005/sep/m23-007.shtml]

And then The Big Fish opened his mouth.

THUD.

See his speech at http://www.checktheevidence.com/video/

Yes, he says, a few UFO reports came across his desk when he was Minister of National Defence (hardly a controversial claim, as I've shown over and over that it was the RCAF that was tasked with investigating UFO sightings until the National Research Council took over in 1968), but he didn't really look at them, because he had more important things to do.

Huh?

More important things to do??

I guess that puts UFOs in perspective.

Someone asked him about Shag Harbour, and the Michalak case, both of which occurred on his watch at the Department of National Defence - and both of which were investigated by the Canadian Armed Forces.

Hadn't heard of them at the time, he said.

A top secret Canadian program to deal with UFOs?

Nope. No mention of it.

But he does believe that UFOs are real, that they are aliens, and that there is a massive government conspiracy. He even believes that they have crashed, and that we have reverse engineered their technology (clever little monkeys that we are).

Oh yeah - re: alien abductions, he stated that: "What crimes have they committed? The aliens may have mutilated a few cattle, and allegedly abducted a few people, but to the best of my knowledge, they have not killed anyone. So - are they really an enemy, or legitimate explorers from afar?"

To Hellyer, the answer is simple - they're our Space Brothers (the central theme of Exopolitics, and, before it, Contactee-ism).

THUD.

And now the backlash has begun... sort of.

John Velez, a leading proponent of the reality of alien abductions (and who claims to have been abducted himself), wrote today at UFO Updates:

"If it had happened to him, and his wife and kids, he'd be whistling that little tune out of the other side of his mouth."

Velez's full comments can be found at: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2005/sep/m28-029.shtml

I don't blame Velez. Frankly, I don't know what to make of the abduction phenomenon, but if I was convinced that it was real, in the "aliens are doing it" sense (as Hellyer obviously does), then I wouldn't say (and I paraphrase here) "hey, they haven't killed anybody, so they can't be all bad, and we certainly shouldn't be building weapons to aim at them, like the evil Americans are doing right now."

Hey, Paul - FYI: if alien abductions ARE real, then it shows that the aliens ARE NOT our pals. Under these circumstances, building weapons against them is exactly what we should be doing.

Other than Velez, however, ufology is being pretty silent about Hellyer now, with the exception of a few, like Eugene Frison, who have been critical. Oh, and the ubiquitous Michael Salla, who views Hellyer's speech as a major event of world shattering significance (see http://www.exopolitics.org/Exo-Comment-38.htm for a good chuckle).

In short, it seems that the Big Fish has become the Big Flop.

Why?

Because they've finally figured out that he doesn't know anything, at least not in an official capacity.

Worse, he's not just another believer. He's an exopolitical, Phil Corso-reading believer.

If you listen to his speech, there can be little doubt of this. Hellyer began by calling Corso's book The Day After Roswell "one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. It is the unimpeachable source of what I am going to say to you today."

THUD.

The sad part is that I think he believes that.

Eek!

No surprise to some of us, but it's come as a major embarrassment for conspiracy theorists.

Why?

Because if anyone in Canada would have known about the Cosmic Watergate, and UFO secrets, and alien bases, etc etc, it would have been the Minister of National Defence in the mid 1960s.

That's what they were all hoping he was going to say, although if they had read his statements prior to the Conference, they would have known better.

Instead, nada. Nothing. "Rien," as they would say in Quebec.

Now, there are four possible explanations for this, three of which, I confidently predict, will be quickly employed by various conspiracists to try and "cover-up" this embarrassment.

First, they'll say, Hellyer lied (watch out, Paul - conspiracists will turn on you faster than you can blink). He knows exactly what went on (and goes on still), but he wouldn't say. Possibly he's a disinformation agent, or something like that.

He is Canada's real "cigarette man" (as opposed to the fictional one, as portrayed by Canadian actor William Davis in the X-Files television series - pictured above).

The second explanation will go in the opposite direction - he knows lots of stuff, but he's scared they'll "rub him out" like they did James Forrestal, or Edward Ruppelt, or James McDonald, or __________ (fill in the blank), so he has to be careful about what he says, and to whom. In short, he's not "cigarette man," but a Canadian ufological Deep Throat / Mr. X.

If those two don't work, or as an alternative, they will go with, "Well, he was kept out of the loop, of course." After all, the conspiracy is very restricted, and very few people are "in the Know" - despite the fact that the conspiracy is also massive. Hey - they never told him! They just fobbed him off with a few UFO reports. He didn't have MJ-12 Top Secret Restricted clearance. And so on.

This is what I call the "Sergeant Schultz" theory, after the Hogan's Heroes character (pictured above) who saw nothing, heard nothing - in short, knew nothing.

Which raises the question:

They told Wilbert Smith, and they didn't tell Paul Hellyer?

Sure.

How much are you willing to pay for that bridge in Brooklyn again?

The third explanation is patently ridiculous, and the first two make no sense. The "he lied" explanation also has the added bonus of making those conspiracists who were all agog about Hellyer before the Conference look like idiots, although, given their mind set, this is the explanation that they might find the most palatable - "hey - we were duped again by the evil conspiracy!" Rather than knock some common sense into them, it will probably feed their peculiar brand of paranoia.

Either way, rest assured that the conspiracists will trot out one of the three explanations noted above (I confidently predict the "he was out of the loop" will be the front-runner) as the real reason behind what Hellyer said, and, more important, what he didn't say.

In the process, they will completely ignore the fact that there is a fourth explanation.

The conspiracists won't like it, but it's the one that makes the most sense.

It's the one that has always made the most sense.

Hellyer didn't know about a conspiracy, and didn't take UFOs terribly seriously while serving as Minister of Defence, because there is no conspiracy (at least, not the one the conspiracists are talking about), and no-one took UFOs as seriously back then as some ufologists now seem to think they did.

They were puzzled by them. They investigated them. That is beyond doubt. But, when they came to the conclusion that most could be explained, but some couldn't, they shrugged their shoulders and said, "well, that's that."

After all, what government would want to admit that there was something going on in the skies that they could not explain?

Besides, there were, as Hellyer stated, more pressing matters to deal with. Problems that they could solve, and that were of real concern to ordinary people (i.e. the voters).

Ergo...

There was no super secret Wilbert Smith research project. After all, Hellyer served as Minister of Transport from September 19, 1967 until April 29, 1969 - surely he would have been informed of Smith's work then?? Of course, if it had been that important, he would have already been informed as Minister of National Defence.

There was no super secret plan to get an alien spacecraft to land in Alberta.

There was nothing that did anything more than arouse Hellyer's - or anyone else's - curiosity.

That's the reality.

Because if there had been more to it than "the UFO phenomenon is real, but we have no idea what it is," then Hellyer would have known. And, unless he's lying now (see explanation #1, above), he would have said something at this "historic opportunity."

But he didn't.

If you happen to be a conspiracist, or Exopolitics type (is there a difference??), that sound you heard, once again, was...

THUD.

For the rest of us, however, that "Thud" is the silver lining in this debacle.

Anyone who takes the study of the UFO phenomenon seriously owes Paul Hellyer a huge "thank you."

He's set the record straight... despite himself, and despite the efforts of those conspiracists and Exopolitical svengalis who fed him the information that he regurgitated on cue last Saturday.

Paul Kimball

P.S. As an aside, here's one of Canada's pre-eminent historians, Dr. Jack Granatstein, on Hellyer's tenure as Minister of National Defence:

"Defence Minister Paul Hellyer also ranks as one of the killers of the Canadian military. The idea of unification was not a bad one. The military should work together. However, Hellyer’s tactics were terrible: changing uniform and rank structures was not necessary to effect unification. Hellyer went too far and killed the Canadian military."

See: http://www.cda-cdai.ca/CDA_GMs/AGM67/granatstein.htm

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fields of Fear Production Stills, Vol. IV

Some more photos from our shoot in Puerto Rico, this time featuring the intrepid Nick "Montezuma" Redfern.

Here we see Nick with Commander Zorgrot.

Now, as regular readers of Zorgrot's blog might be aware, he and Nick have had a... "difficult" relationship since they first met in Aztec, New Mexico in 2003. Lately, however, they have patched things up - although Nick still insists on making fun of poor Zorgrot (Nick has expressed his best wishes that Zorgrot will be recovered safe and sound).

This photo was taken in El Yunque rainforest, at the top of an observation tower from which, in the words of The Who, one could see for "miles and miles." We did not, however, see any chupacabras.

Next we have Nick and ace soundman / 2nd camera operator (and a fine director in his own right) John Rosborough, filming in north-west Puerto Rico at a farm where there was allegedly a chupacabras attack that killed some poor little pigs (actually, they were pretty big, mean-looking pigs).

Mmm... bacon.

This was not too far from a former super secret military base (some of it is apparently still super secret) that somehow involves Vice-President Dick Cheney. Don't ask me how, it just does.

We did see black helicopters on a tarmac, if that means anything.

At least I think they were black. They may have been a darkish green.

Anyway, this was the day where Nick began to feel a bit ill, which just goes to show that one should never have the tuna-fish salad sandwich on a hot day in southern Puerto Rico.

By the end of the trip, Nick was more or less recovered, and was able to finally face off against the dastardly chupacabras, which, conveniently enough, had somehow managed to follow him to the lobby of the Condado Wyndham Hotel & Casino.

You can judge for yourselves who is scarier - Nick, or the chupie.

Alas, Nick had still not learned his lesson from the tuna fish salad sandwich episode, and was determined to sample more of the "local" cuisine.

Mmm... chupacabras...

Paul Kimball

Today's Majic Number is 74

I received the following press release today, which should tell you all you need to know about the current state of ufology:

"Only at Crash Conference
MAJIC EYES ONLY
Earths Encounters With Extraterrestrial Technology

Broomfield CO Tuesday Sept 27, 2005
Those that attend this years UFO Crash Retrieval Conference in Las Vegas at the Embassy Suites will be the first to see read and hear Ryan S. Wood talk about his new 328 page hardback book on Sunday morning. This is another good reason to travel to Las Vegas and attend the 3rd Annual UFO Crash Conference, November 4-6th http://rd.bcentral.com/?ID=3293985&s=102821297. Below is what the book is about.MAJIC EYES ONLY is a landmark synthesis and review of every credible UFO crash retrieval event uncovered worldwide to date. Assembling data from his own research and numerous other investigators, including crash retrieval pioneer Leonard Stringfield, the author presents 74 UFO crashes from 1897 to the present, supported by compelling evidence in the form of official documents, eyewitnesses and in some cases physical evidence. Incidents do vary in quality, evidence, and therefore authenticity. However, any reader who starts from a neutral position will find, by the end of this book, that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that: 1) UFOs have crashed on earth, 2) governments have recovered and exploited these alien technology gifts and 3) most disturbing to a democratic free society, the alien secret is more important than constitutional or individual rights. (http://rd.bcentral.com/?ID=3293986&s=102821297)"

Now, at this point you could be forgiven for rolling your eyes and exclaiming loudly, "oh, for God's sake, when will it ever end."

Here's the thing (and a good clue why no-one takes ufology seriously anymore, including more than a few ufologists): the aliens are supposedly smart enough to travel all the way here from there - even pro-ETH ufologists admit that this would require a pretty advanced civilization, with technological capabilities significantly beyond our own - and yet they get here and then proceed to crash all over the place.

Not once.

Not twice.

Not even a dozen times!

Apparently, as many as 74 times.

As one of my best pals would say, in his charming British way - "talk about over-egging the pudding."

Even NASA has a better record than that.

Heck - even my junior high school rocket club had a better record than that!

What are they flying - spaceships made by Yugo??

Rest assured, folks - if the aliens are this incompetent, then we don't have much to fear from them.

Now, one would expect that these claims would be met with the howls of laughter that they deserve, at least within SERIOUS UFOLOGY (as Jim Moseley calls it).

Umm... actually, the press release includes the following endorsements:

- "Many questions remain in the UFO controversy. Scientists ask how interstellar pilots could survive a trip of hundreds of years while cutting-edge physicists offer speculation of deep space wormholes and the use of zero point energy. For now, we could not do any better than to study MAJIC EYES ONLY and read the accounts of UFO crash retrievals and ponder what a reality that includes diverse intelligent life outside of our planet might mean for us and future generations." - Jim Marrs Author, Crossfire, Alien Agenda, Rule by Secrecy and Inside Job

- "This important book presses against the American governments UFO secrecy lid like steam rising in a pressure cooker. How many more droplets will it take to burst the lid off?" Linda Moulton Howe, Emmy Award-winning TV Producer; Investigative Reporter and Editor of Earthfiles.com

Okay - Linda Moulton Howe has no credibility left, and Jim Marrs never really had any to begin with. They both hail from the "hey, never heard of a conspiracy / crashed flying saucer story that wasn't real" school of "investigative" journalism.

No surprise they would buy 74 possible crashes (I'm just surprised Marrs didn't blame the Illuminati, or Freemasons, or... well, take your pick). Besides, I was talking about SERIOUS UFOLOGY.

Surely no-one in SERIOUS UFOLOGY would endorse this...

Er...

"MAJIC EYES ONLY is the first real attempt to make available to a wide audience a great number of supposed reports of the retrieval by governments of crashed flying saucers. Even if only a small percentage of the noted cases turn out to be true, the implications for the history of mankind are profound." - Stanton T. Friedman

And...

"MAGIC EYES ONLY is unlike any other UFO book ever written. After years of debate about whether or not a hand full of UFO crash cases are real, Ryan Wood has made a breakthrough by looking beyond the popular crashes to find evidence of a whole series of crashes that occurred during the past century. While everyone of the cases may not prove to be of extraterrestrial origin, he has provided a body of technological evidence that strongly suggests that vehicles not made on Earth have crashed here and some of them have been recovered. This is an important book." John F. Schuessler, Mutual UFO Network, Inc., International Director

And...

"MAJIC EYES ONLY used to keep almost everyone from seeing a report, letter,or document. Now, through the nearly exhaustive investigative work of Ryan Wood, some of these same astounding secrets are being made public for the first time. MAJIC EYES ONLY now means something quite different. Highly readable, extraordinarily mind boggling." Dr. Richard F. Haines, Retired Senior Scientist

Umm... guys, you're supposed to be part of the SERIOUS UFOLOGY contingent.

This is the same Ryan Wood who continues to tout the Tim Cooper MJ-12 documents as real, and who last year at the Crash Retrieval Conference delivered a paper titled "Murder and Majestic 12," on the subject of people who had been killed by the government, as determined by a remote viewer (I remember Stan sitting in the audience, rolling his eyes, especially when it came to the James McDonald part). He's a nice guy, works hard, and runs a pretty good conference (at least in terms of entertainment value), but he's simply not a credible ufologist... instead, he's a credulous ufologist.

There is a difference... or at least I thought there was a difference.

74 crashes.

Is this what SERIOUS UFOLOGY has come to - "if only a small percentage of noted cases turn out to be true" reasoning?

Just throw it all at the wall, and see if any of it sticks??

Is this how desperate ufology is to "prove" the crashed saucer theory?

74 crashes.

It's a wonder there's any aliens left to perform those millions of abductions.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fields of Fear Production Stills, Vol. III

Some more photos from the exciting alien - chupacabras - government agents - predators hunting mission that was principal photography for the documentary Fields of Fear (which I'm currently editing).

In the first photo, above, a certain alien explorer and I get as close to a chupacabras as one can without having one's neck bitten (alas, why can't the chupies look like Lauren Hutton from Once Bitten??). This one is taken in El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico, proving that the commercialism of ufology can be found just about anywhere.

Next, director of photography Findlay Muir (he's the guy with the camera) and Canadian animal mutilation investigator Fern Belzil observe / film a Canadian gothic type location just north of St. Paul, Alberta. Alas, no aliens were seen at this - or any other - time.

Finally, here's yours truly actually doing some work in St. Paul. I'm pretty sure the camera was on! I was filming the town of St. Paul, in particular the Smitty's (for you Americans, a chain similar to IHOP), which features on its sign - yes, you guessed it - a glowing flying saucer! There's also a UFO pizza joint, the Galaxy motel (Findlay tells me that they serve a pretty good, if decidedly terrestrial, breakfast), and a rodeo. Of course, the rodeo has nothing to do with aliens, but it was a hoot anyway!

The great thing about the folks in St. Paul is that they happily admit that the alien landing pad (built in 1967) and the subsequent UFO-shaped Chamber of Commerce (early 1990s) were both done as publicity stunts, in order to boost tourism.

All things considered, it definitely beats the Giant Perogie statue in Glendon, which Paul Hellyer did not, so far as I know, show up to help open, as he did in 1967 for the landing pad - proving that a Canadian Liberal will do anything to try and find some votes in Alberta!

Paul Kimball

The Trolls

What is the bizarre looking creature shown at left, you ask?

Well, he is one computer game's version of the mythical troll (Warcraft).

Alas, the Internet - and ufology, as represented on the Internet - are full of these pathetic, malevolent creatures.

What is an "Internet troll" (as opposed to the mythical version).

AOL offers a pretty good definition:

"An Internet "troll" is a person who delights in sowing discord on the Internet. He (and it is usually he) tries to start arguments and upset people.

Trolls see Internet communications services as convenient venues for their bizarre game. For some reason, they don't "get" that they are hurting real people. To them, other Internet users are not quite human but are a kind of digital abstraction. As a result, they feel no sorrow whatsoever for the pain they inflict. Indeed, the greater the suffering they cause, the greater their 'achievement' (as they see it). At the moment, the relative anonymity of the net allows trolls to flourish.

Trolls are utterly impervious to criticism (constructive or otherwise). You cannot negotiate with them; you cannot cause them to feel shame or compassion; you cannot reason with them. They cannot be made to feel remorse. For some reason, trolls do not feel they are bound by the rules of courtesy or social responsibility."

For more see: http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm

AOL's advice - avoid these creatures.

Good advice, if you happen to run across any trolls, either within ufology or without.

Paul Kimball

Monday, September 26, 2005

More Salla Silliness

Hahahahaha...

The latest nonsense from Michael Salla (pictured, more or less, at left).

His original post can be found at: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2005/sep/m26-012.shtml (note: all spelling and grammatical errors are from the original post):

"The whistlebllower data on ETs interested in preventing the destructive use of nuclear weapons is quite extensive. For example, Robert Salas, Robert Jacobs and Col Dedrickson from the Disclosure Project speak about incidents where ETs deactivate nuclear weapons, destroy missiles in flight, etc. Also, the advent of the UFO phenomenon in 1945 after the use of nuclear weapons and their proximity to facilities such as Roswell Army Air Field which had the world's first atomic weapons capacity suggests a very clear ET nuclear relationship. Also, I believe there is persuasive data that President Eisenhower met with a delegation of visiting ETs on February 20, 1954. I've presented the whistleblower data for this at: http://www.exopolitics.org/Study-Paper-8.htm This alleged meeting took place nine days before the Bravo Test of the Hydrogen Bomb on March 1. Was this coincidence or the main reason for the meeting?

Was the relationship between ET visitations and nuclear weapons because the ETS are peaceloving or because the use of nuclear weapons interrupted the propulsion/navigation systems of ETs traveling in the vicinity or visiting the Earth? If the Earth is on a major trade route for ETs who travel through space/time/dimensions, using wormholes, etc., then it can be inferred they are interested in preventing the use of nuclear weapons since these damage their routes. This would be analogous to creating large potholes in a major interstate highway thereby disrupting interstate commerce, travel, etc. So it may be self-interest rather than purely compassion towards humanity that motivates their interest in preventing the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

I don't hold to the thesis that all the ETs visiting Earth are peaceloving, the data doesn't support that. The majority of ET civilizations, however, do appear to be interested in preventing the use of nuclear weapons and in raising human consciousness through a gradual process of UFO sightings, contacts, etc. It appears that such a motivation is not something the controllers of ET related information want the general public to be aware of."

Just when I was getting the Monday blahs, along comes the good Doctor Salla to brighten my day!

God forbid we should be putting nuclear pot-holes in the space-time continuum!

After all, we wouldn't want to get Kang and Kodos angry!

I'll have to get some of whatever Dr. Salla is "imbibing" for my next night out with my pals!

Paul Kimball

The Men Who Invented Flying Saucers

Alas, as much as I'd like to have the market cornered on UFO films, I don't.

Here in Halifax, Mike MacDonald of Roadhouse Films has made a couple of good UFO-related films, including the well-known Shag Harbour Incident, and the less well-known (so far) Northern Lights two-parter, about UFOs in Canada.

You can get more information on these and other films by Mike at:

http://www.roadhousefilms.ca/michaelbio.htm

While Mike and I seem to have the Canadian UFO market cornered, there are always filmmakers eleswhere that are working on UFO-related projects.

For example, here's a documentary mini-series in the works from the United Kingdom that sounds interesting:

"The Men Who Invented Flying Saucers
(A 3 x 1 hour documentary series)
This is the story that blows the lid off the Flying Saucer myth.It demonstrates that everything people believe about this vast, often dark cultural phenomenon can be traced to the actions and beliefs of just nine men.It is not a story of lights in the sky. It does not try to prove wild unsupported theories. It is the definitive untarnished account of how, between 1947 and 1969, UFOs invaded the public psyche. And it is told through the eyes of the people who made it happen. Some in high places. Some in secret. Some who searched for the truth. And some who manipulated it..."

See: http://www.albacommunicationsltd.com/news.htm#flyingSaucer

Hmm... sounds like a film certain to anger ETH proponents, and please (perhaps) Nick Redfern fans.

The point is that there's more than a few serious filmmakers out there willing to take the UFO phenomenon seriously.

Now, whether you agree with or like their films is a different story - as always, it will depend upon your point of view.

Paul Kimball

Blogs Without Borders

Blogs are a wonderful new tool for communication. They are whatever the author wants them to be. Thus, they can be used for serious research and writing, for serious political or social commentary, for just goofing around (or a bit of everything, like mine) - or for anything else that the blogger can think of. For example, I recently came across one by a 16 year old girl that simply listed everything she purchases, which strikes me as a waste of time, but I'm sure it's fascinating to 16 year old girls.

To each, the motto for blogs should go, their own (along with "caveat emptor" for the readers).

However, what we in free and democratic societies take for granted is something that is severely curtailed or denied altogether by the dictatorships of the world.

The National Post, in an editorial today titled "Big brother vs. the blogosphere," comments on this situation:

"In China and Iran... tens of thousands of bloggers are under constant danger of being silenced, if not punished as criminals, by those in power. Beijing in particular has boasted of having 30,000 police monitoring the Internet. Early this year, the Chinese government put a defiant Chinese cyber-dissident in prison for 10 years after Internet provider Yahoo! handed authorities the details they needed to identify him."

If you use Yahoo! and were unaware of this complete sell-out to a totalitarian regime by the company, you might want to consider switching Internet providers.

The Post points out that one group is trying to provide bloggers in these repressive countries with the tools to beat the system - Reporters Without Borders.



As The Post notes:

"Reporters Without Borders, an international non-governmental organization that promotes press freedom, has produced an important publication. The group's new Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents is a guide for people living under oppressive regimes. It provides detailed information about methods they can use to express themselves on the Internet without getting caught by government snoops... Interaction with other democracy-advocates, both across the world and within their own countries, is one of the best ways for freedom fighters to organize themselves and alert others to their plight. Rather than caving in to governments that ruthlessly keep their people in line through Internet censorship, as Yahoo! did, Reporters Without Borders is working to equip people the world over with the capacity to make themselves heard. With such knowledge, the Web may yet prevail over Big Brother."

Exactly so.

The web link to the Reporters Without Borders Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents is:

http://www.rsf.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=542

Reporters without Borders hits the nail on the head when they comment:

"Blogs get people excited. Or else they disturb and worry them. Some people distrust them. Others see them as the vanguard of a new information revolution. Because they allow and encourage ordinary people to speak up, they’re tremendous tools of freedom of expression. Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest. Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles."

Hear, hear!

People in ufology are always nattering on about cover-ups and truth embargos.

They may be right.

They may also be wrong.

Either way, the wonderful thing about our society is that they're free to talk about it until the cows come home.

Perhaps they could also spare a moment to consider a truth embargo that is definitely real, and put a link up on their blogs or websites to the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents.

Some things, after all, are still more important than UFOs.

Paul Kimball

He, B'Stard

Before there was Eric Cartman, or even C. Montgomery Burns, there was the (dis)Honourable Alan B'Stard, British Member of Parliament in the Thatcher era - a man who was so right wing, he made Thatcher look like Tony Benn!

Of course, it was all fun and games, as B'Stard was a fictional character, played with gloriously reckless abandon by actor Rik Mayall for 29 superbly hilarious episodes of The New Statesman between 1987 and 1994 (two of the episodes were specials, outside the regular run of the series itself).

Easily one of the five funniest television series ever produced. Alas, they just don't make them like this anymore - or at least not very many of them.

Personally, I think some enterprising television producer south of the border could have a hit on his hands if he would only do what so many other American producers have done - steal (er... borrow) a great British program concept, and adapt it to the American market.

Think about it - Alan B'Stard as a young Republican congressman.

It would give the West Wing a run for it's money. Heck, one could even have an episode where he delves into the Roswell case, not to find the truth (B'Stard would never be involved in something like that), but rather to try and make a buck from it. Perhaps by claiming to have reverse engineered technology!

Or, perhaps even better, he could displace Steven Bassett as the head of exopolotics, and then make an alliance with all of Michael Salla's alien races.

The comedic possibilities are endless!

More information on one of my all-time favourite evil geniuses can be found at:

www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/n/
newstatesmanthe_7774820.shtml

Paul Kimball

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Fields of Fear Production Stills, Vol. II

Location Soundman / 2nd Camera John Rosborough (of Sea Hunters fame) showing some footage to our latest fans while on location in central Puerto Rico, 8 September 2005.



These girls were instrumental in helping track down the truth about the chupacabras!

Paul Kimball

Friday, September 23, 2005

Caped Avenger Blog

The Caped Avenger has established his own blog to keep track of the ongoing investigation into The Conspiracy.

You can follow events at http://tcareturns.blogspot.com/

Paul Kimball

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fields of Fear Production Stills, Vol. I



On location near El Yunque rain forest two weeks ago, in Puerto Rico, shooting the documentary Fields of Fear. From left to right, yours truly (director), Findlay Muir (director of photography), and John Rosborough (location sound / camera operator). It was HOT and HUMID that day, but we got some great footage!

The photo was taken by producer (and my little brother) Jim Kimball, who did his usual bang-up job of (a) keeping the shoot on schedule and (b) keeping John and I out of jail.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Don't Shoot the Messenger



I read the National Post every day, and always look forward to Andrew Coyne's columns. I might not always agree with him, but he always makes one think. His work is well-argued and therefore challenging, and he is influential here in Canada as a result.

So, when I saw that he had addressed the topic of UFOs today, and in particular Paul Hellyer's appearance at this weekend's Toronto conference with Stan Friedman, Richard Dolan, Paola Harris, and Steven Bassett, I was intrigued.

Here is what Coyne wrote:

"The former Liberal cabinet minister Paul Hellyer, after a long career defending Canadian sovereignty from American incursions, has a new reason to mistrust the United States: UFOs. Specifically, the efforts by successive American governments to conceal from public knowledge the 1947 crash of an alien spacecraft in Roswell, New Mexico.

"I believe that UFOs are real," Mr. Hellyer, who who was second to Pierre Trudeau on the first ballot at the 1968 Liberal leadership convention, told the Canadian Press recently. Later this week, he will speak at a convention of UFO enthusiasts in Toronto. "I'll talk about that a little bit and a bit about the fantastic coverup of the United States government and also a little bit of the fallout from the wreckage." By "fallout" he means the adaptation of technologies found in the Roswell craft in subsequent American technical advances. I'd tell you more, but it's just too risky.

I feel a certain unease in writing this: It is possible that Mr. Hellyer has simply lost his mind, and it's not right to poke fun at a lunatic. On the other hand, who knows any more? What once were classed as psychological disorders are today considered perfectly normal, while behaviour for which one might previously have been held responsible is now just another form of mental illness.

More to the point, what is to distinguish Mr. Hellyer's belief in a massive, decades-long conspiracy by the American government to conceal the existence of alien visitors to planet Earth from, say, Paul William Roberts' belief in a massive, decades-long conspiracy by the American government to create the very Islamist terror network it is now fighting -- not as an accidental "blowback," but as a deliberate strategy to justify more military spending? The first makes you the butt of an oddly-enough piece on the CP wire. The second is worth a three-page, 5,000-word essay in The Globe and Mail. Yet the one has precisely as little plausibility or supporting evidence as the other.

Mind you, give it time. Experience teaches that any theory, no matter how crackpot, can gain a respectful hearing in this country, so long as it asks us to believe the worst about the Americans or their government: Anti-Americanism inoculates even the worst cranks from serious scrutiny. Paul Hellyer may not have much of a following now, but depend upon it, he will be packing them in at the universities before long.

My colleague Jonathan Kay has already detailed the many factual howlers in the Roberts piece, which somehow "got by" the Globe's fact-checkers. But I rather think something else is at work. The piece would have been planned long in advance. Having written several previous pieces for the Globe, Mr. Roberts would be well-known to the editors, as would his views. For example, readers of his latest book, A War Against Truth, will learn, inter alia, that Saddam Hussein killed many fewer Iraqis than the United States, and with more justification: After all, the hundreds of thousands of Saddam's victims were people "who opposed him in some way." And they will learn the real reason for the failure of Saddam's vaunted Special Republican Guard to show up for battle: They were all vaporized, 40,000 of them at one go, by "some kind of hi-tech bomb" detonated in the warren of tunnels under Baghdad.

"Fact-checking," in the circumstances, would seem beside the point. It isn't that Mr. Roberts' piece was, in that fine old journalistic phrase, "too good to check," or that the Globe editors think fact-checking is a tool of imperialism. It's more that it would be, well, gauche -- like the fellow who objects to modern art because it isn't realistic. It may not be true, but it's "true enough." Likewise, when Linda McQuaig explains that the Katrina disaster is a consequence of FEMA having been "privatized," or when Jeremy Clarkson writes feelingly in London's Sun of seeing New Orleans looters blown to bits by helicopter gunships, it isn't true in a conventional, real-world sense. It is rather true in a transcendent, ecstatic sense.

We are dealing not so much with a factual matter, in other words, as a psychological one. There is an undeniable pleasure in tweaking the conventional wisdom: I confess to indulging in it at times myself. But what begins as a harmless contrarianism can progress by stages into full-blown conspiracy-theorizing, of which anti-Americanism is a particularly malignant example. The sufferer experiences the thrill of having "pierced the veil." He has seen through the official lies that have everyone else in their thrall, and every piece of evidence to the contrary merely confirms him in his belief. At the furthest extreme, it emerges as Holocaust denial.

This puts the student of argument in an uncomfortable position. Convention dictates that every opponent should be treated with courtesy, every argument with respect. But what do we do with arguments that are plainly, well, crazy? Reasonable people can differ, of course, but so can unreasonable people, and we do our worthy opponents no honour by lumping them in with our unworthy opponents.

Civilized discussion depends not only on an open-minded readiness to consider other legitimate points of view, but on an equal readiness to exclude the obviously marginal. There is a time and a place to debate whether the Earth goes around the sun or the contrary, but we should have little time to address other matters if we were perpetually revisiting old controversies, or disproving every fantasy. For everyday purposes, we are obliged to exercise some basic judgment: I cannot prove beyond dispute that there are no UFOs, but I am justified by all experience in drawing the inference that there are not.

And, when it comes to the public square, we depend on the gatekeepers -- the editors of our newspapers, the publishers of our books, to exercise that judgment on our behalf. If they fail in that duty, the result is intellectual anarchy, where every opinion, no matter how nonsensical, is of equal validity and every source, no matter how dubious, is of equal authority. Or, if you prefer, contemporary Canada."

The article can be found at: www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=1d63364e-5640-44e0-92fa-e5d7ac2d9152

Ufologists, I have no doubt, will be up in arms at this. "Another example of the biased manistream media," they will cry.

But what else do they expect?

Frankly, Coyne is absolutely right.

In an ongoing discussion with Don Ledger at UFO Updates about the media and UFOs, I wrote today that:

"It's easy to blame the wet behind the ears reporters, as you call them, for all of ufology's ills, but look at it from their perspective. Let's suppose they tune into UFO Updates for a few weeks, and follow the discussions. Yes, they'll see the serious researchers, but they'll also see the likes of Michael Salla, and Adamski defenders (does nothing in ufology ever die??), conspiracy theorists, and attack dogs like Alfred Lehmberg (he also qualifies under the "conspiracy theorist" category). All of whom are placed on an equal footing with the serious researchers, like you."

As I told Don, and anyone else reading, there is such a thing as "nuts by association."

Real science - that which ufology longs to be considered as - doesn't do this. The aforementioned fringers have no place in the serious study of the UFO phenomenon. It's one of the reasons SETI seems respectable when compared to ufology, even though ufology can mount just as much evidence - or more - than SETI does to support its claims to be taken seriously.

"So," I said to Don, "when journalists take the 'hey, it's all a bit nutty approach,' ufology needs to ask itself who is really to blame. The aforementioned people are free to create their own forums, and scream to the wind if they want. But when serious researchers allow them equal billing on their forums - well, you reap what you sow."

Enter Andrew Coyne.

He isn't dismissing the serious study of the UFO phenomenon. He isn't even talking about it.

He's dismissing the wackos. The conspiracy theorists. The kooks and the cranks.

And, by association, ufology in general.

But there's a way to fix this - show some discipline, make the hard choices, and cast the nuts out.

After all, if you had cancer, would you just let it sit, in the hopes that it would go away on its own, or that it was best to just ignore it?

Not unless you were an idiot.

The people that Coyne is talking about (as have I over the past several months) are ufology's cancer. The time has come to let them rant on their own time, and their own dime. Freedom of speech requires you to defend what a person says, no matter how wacked out it is. It doesn't require that you actually provide that person with a forum to say it in.

Besides, they'll always have Jeff Rense's show and website, where they can share equal billing with anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers until the cows come home.

After all, Coyne is really just agreeing with Jerry Clark, who once wrote that if you scratch a conspiracy theorist, you'll find a bigot.

Now, I understand that this isn't a terribly popular point of view within ufology (and I suspect Coyne is about to discover just how vocal the wackos in ufology can be).

But ask yourself this question - if you were a reporter, or a columnist, or a film & television producer or director, looking in on ufology today, would you be inclined to take it seriously?

The fact that any of us do is a testament to the strength of the evidence.

The fact that more of my contemporaries do not is as much ufology's problem as it is theirs.

Let me be clear - Andrew Coyne is not to blame.

He doesn't completely dismiss UFOs (he doesn't believe that they're real, but he also writes, "I cannot prove beyond dispute that there are no UFOs," which indicates that he would be open to evidence that would show that they are real).

Without knowing it, he is instead dismissing modern ufology.

But so long as ufology continues to tolerate the likes of Salla, Bassett, Harris, and Lehmberg within its midst, and provides them an equal footing with the likes of Sturrock, Vallee, Hall, Clark and Sparks, can you blame him?

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Jerry Clark on Conspiracists

I have a great deal of respect for Jerry Clark and all the work he's done over the years with respect to the serious study of the UFO phenomenon (which doesn't mean that I always agree with him, of course). He is one of the most knowledgeable ufologists around today.

When it comes to conspiracy theorism, a topic I have addressed here over the past few months, he is also one of the most sensible. Here, more than anywhere else, we tend to find ourselves on the same page.

The following statement, which Clark wrote in 2002, is as relevant and applicable today as it was then:

"Conspiracy theories are to real-life politics, history, and current events what pornography is to real-life sexuality - in other words, and extremely distant approximation. Both conspiracy theory and pornography, not incidentally, have the effect of discouraging their consumers from becoming responsible, rational adults and finctioning in a real, somplicated world. It's easier, of course, to rant about sinister forces rendering all of us into helpless pawns, and laying all human problems on the machinations of behind-the-scenes, all-powerful plotters, than to participate in civic society, inform oneself, weigh difficult, complex issues and choices, make one's voice heard, and vote as an educated citizen. Besides being just plain crazy, conspiracy theory is an intellectually lazy way out of actually having to think."

[see http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/may/m13-016.shtml]

It should come as no surprise to anyone in ufology that Jerry wrote this in response to the following "statement", by everyone's favourite conspiracy theory wacko, good old King Lemming, or that His Majesty chose to respond in... well, his usual, inimitably incoherent manner:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/may/m14-008.shtml

Jerry followed up with this:

"You are the true conspiracy theorist, Mr. Lehmberg. All conspiracy theorists, without exception, imagine themselves tobe privy to hidden truths denied ordinary people, and they believe that those who scoff at conspiracy theory suffer an "incomprehensible naivete," as opposed to the gimlet- eyed sophistication that surrounds the paranoid in such a warm, cuddly glow. In fact, the conspiracy theorist seeks comfort in ignorance, simplicity, and an imagined order (even if a sinister one), fearing a real world of extraordinary complexity, randomness, and unpredictability, and painted in colors that are often only shades of gray."

[see: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/may/m15-020.shtml]

That pretty much sums it up re: His Majesty, I think.

This is, as always with the King, pretty amusing stuff. He and Clark have had a number of other "disagreements" at Updates, as His Majesty has with just about every other reasonable person over the years (like Josh Goldstein, another eminently sensible UFO guy - see: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/may/m14-009.shtml).

Sometimes I think he does it on purpose, simply because he has nothing better to do.

So, as His Majesty focuses in on me these days (the "Evil" flavour du jour, it seems), I guess I'm in some pretty good historical company.

Anyway, take Clark's statement to heart folks.

It hits the nail square on the head. As Exopolitics gains adherents, and the likes of King Lemming continue to muck up the works, it is also as timely now as it was when he first made it.

Paul Kimball

Monday, September 19, 2005

UFOs in Canada - The "End" [Part I]

The year 1967 was a significant one in terms of UFO sightings. As Dick Hall has written:

"A major wave of UFO sightings occurred in 1967; even by official Air Force figures it was the 4th largest in terms of sightings reported, yet no one talks about it. The special significance of the 1967 wave is that it occurred during the one full year of investigations by the University of Colorado UFO Project, and everyone deferred to the project in looking for "answers." The only answer was the Condon Report. This study analyzes the wave and demonstrates that the Colorado Project had ample case material to investigate during its lifetime, yet failed miserably to accomplish "scientific investigation." At the same time, publicity about the project obscured the sighting wave."

See: http://www.nicap.org/papers/78hall-wave67.htm

Sightings were not confined to the United States, however. There were many sightings north of the border as well, some of which were taken quite seriously by the authorities.

For example, on 24 January, 1968, the Hon. Edward Schreyer, an NDP Member of Parliament, asked the following questions in the House of Commons, about some sightings which had occurred in or near his riding:

"1. With reference to the reported sightings of unidentified flying objects in eastern Manitoba during the months of May and June 1967, how many such reports were received by various departments of the government of Canada and by the Department of National Defence in particular?

2. How many of these reported or alleged sightings were investigated?

3. Will the reports and findings of these investigations be made public?

4. What are the reasons for not making public any such reports now in the possession of the Department of National Defence."

The Hon. Judy LaMarsh, Secretary of State, (see http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/key/bio.asp?lang=E&query=1223&s=F)
answered on behalf of the government:

"1. I am informed by the departments of National Defence and Solicitor General as follows: 1. Four by the Department of National Defence. One by the Department of the Solicitor General. [PK note - the Solicitor General oversees the operations of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police]

2. Two; the other reports did not contain sufficient information and detail to warrant further investigation.

3 and 4. The actual reports received by the Department of National Defence have not been made public as some observers did not wish their names made public; and, in attempting to analyse reports, investigators have commented on the likely accuracy of observations. The descriptions of sightings and the results of investigations are not classified information, however, any persons who send reports to the department do so on their own volition and are not asked to suppress the release of information to any other person or persons. The report in 2 above refers to a sighting on 20 May 1967 by a person in the Falcon Lake area which was widely publicized in the press. The Department of National Defence investigation, which has now been completed, could not explain the sighting. As a result of recent discussions between the Department of National Defence and the National Research Council, reports on sightings received through Canadian armed forces channels will be passed in future to the National Research Council to determine whether there are scientific reasons for further investigation."

As I've said before, it was clear that prior to 1968, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were the main government agencies in Canada that were charged with the investigation of UFO sightings.

It should be noted that asking questions about UFOs in the House of Commons was not a detriment to one's political career - at least not in 1967 - 1968.

For example, Robert Coates, a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament, asked on 18 March, 1968, the following question: "What department or departments have been delegated the responsibility of investigating reports on unidentified flying objects that are brought to the attention of the federal government, and how many such reports were received in the years 1965, 1966, and 1967? Were investigations carried out in each instance, to whom were the reports made, and is the information contained therein confidential or available to the public?" Coates's particular question was tabled, but not his career - he went on to serve in the Mulroney cabinet as Minister of Defence from 1984 until his career was derailed by a scandal that had nothing to do with UFOs in 1985 (see http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/key/bio.asp?lang=E&query=734&s=M)

For his part, Schreyer had already made a number of inquiries about UFO sightings (28 June, 1967; 6 November, 1967; 8 November, 1967). He went on to become Premier of Manitoba (1969 - 1977) and then Governor General of Canada (1979 - 1984), the youngest person to hold that post since 1878. (see http://www.gg.ca/governor_general/history/bios/schreyer_e.asp)

It would be Barry Mather, however, another NDP Member of Parliament, that would bring things to a head in November, 1968 - the last time UFOs would be discussed seriously in the Canadian House of Commons.

To be continued...

Paul Kimball

The Interrupted Journey



It was 44 years ago today that something happened to Betty and Barney Hill on a drive home in New Hampshire.

Many claim it was a UFO abduction. Indeed, it seems to be the abduction case that skeptics have the most difficulty explaining. It is the one that forces me to keep an open mind about what Kevin Randle termed "the abduction enigma."

For the Hill's side of the story, there is no better account than John G. Fuller's The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours 'Aboard a Flying Saucer', which was first published in 1966.

It also contains a quote from Dr. J. Allen Hynek that is still relevant today, whether discussing the Hill case, or any UFO-related case:

"Unidentified flying objects demand serious and immediate scientific attention. I say this at the start so that you are not misled by all the kooks, nuts, and the gullible who have made the subject so difficult to explore rationally. UFOs are a real puzzle. They myth is not put to rest. And the scientific fraternity must now take cognizance of them. We can no longer dismiss this subject."

The book is compelling reading, just as the Hill case is a compelling story.

The mystery of what happened to the Hills that night, long ago, remains unsolved - and it remains important.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Paul meets Hall



As I said on SDI last night, one of the best parts of my work is that I get to meet and interview people whom I admire and respect.

Dick Hall, whom I interviewed on September 11, 2005, in Washington, D.C., is definitely one of those guys. He'll be appearing in our documentary Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases.

Thanks Dick - you're one of the good guys! Anyone interested in the serious study of the UFO phenomenon owes you a huge debt for your decades of work.

Paul Kimball