Saturday, September 30, 2006
To which I can only ask - who gives a flying rat's ass? Really. Who cares??
I can see how this kind of stuff can be depressing (uh oh - I'm starting to sound like Mac Tonnies here, but bear with me for a bit), and how it can make one despair, at least a little, about the future of humanity.
Are we that... vapid?
I don't think so.
But it isn't just UFOs - it's all aspects of the paranormal, and science. It's exciting stuff. Why? Because in a world where, more and more, we're told what to do, and what to think - believe me, it isn't as overt as you might imagine it to be - there are still things we don't know. Things we might never know.
For me, the real thrill of life has always been, and always will be, thinking. Questioning. Exploring. Wondering.
I've been asked a lot over the past year or so why I got involved in the UFO phenomenon, and the paranormal - why I'm interested in it. I don't think I've ever really given a satisfactory answer, at least not a pithy one, but here it is:
It's a challenge.
It's an unknown.
Is it the only thing that excites me or challenges me? Of course not - all sorts of things do. But it's definitely one of them.
Which is why I've sunk a bunch of time and money into the New Frontiers Symposium. I hope people come, but at the end of the day I've done it because the various subjects that we'll be talking about interest and challenge me. Is there really any other reason why we as human beings should be doing something?
Carpe diem, folks. Carpe diem.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Paul Kimball (Part 1 of 2) . Perhaps the most controversial BoA : Audio episode yet, the documentary filmmaker and blogger extraordinaire arrives on BoA : Audio to discuss how he got into following Ufology, his film "Stanton T. Friedman is Real", UFO documentaries, and the problems with exopolitics and Ufology in general. Plus Paul previews his 10.14.2006 New Frontiers Symposium. And, of course, tons more.There should be a promo commercial on BOA next week sometime (set to a song by Nazareth, which is absolutely hilarious). Keep an eye... er, ear, out for it.
My favourite quote so far comes from the interview with Robert Zimmerman:
BoT : What makes you want to write or speak about these subjects?The more I hear from Bob, the more I look forward to meeting him, and hearing him speak. He's got vision, which seems to be a rare thing these days.
RZ : I am interested in the idea of exploration, of going where no one has gone before, of tracing a warm line of life in barren dead places. Scientists do this when they discover something new about the universe. Astronauts do it when they go to new places. Engineers do it when they figure out a better way to built something. In every case, their effort enriches human existence. The challenge of pushing the unknown forces us to be better then we are. And as a writer it has been my goal to encourage this effort in the future by telling the stories of how others have done it in the past and present.
Keep an eye out for an interview with Project Blue Book Archive head honcho Will Wise, which should be available this weekend.
Like many, at one time I thought that RCH was the be all and end all of the face on Mars debate which meant–to me, at least–that the whole thing was a bit of a joke. But after looking at the work of people like Stan McDaniel and Mac Tonnies, I’m starting to wonder if there isn’t something to these Mars anomalies. No, not mystical connections to Egypt and a Freemason-NASA-Old Navy-Jose Cuervo cabal of evil but rather the possibility that at sometime someone did inhabit Mars and that they left behind archeological artifacts that are worthy of study. At the very least, we should be heavily pursuing exploration of Mars because it’s Mars! Humanity must move forward or else we’ll stagnate. I want the frontier back, darnit!He hits the nail straight on the head with those last two lines.
Read the whole column here.
UFO sightings demonstrate many of the same aspects of a typical feline laser hunt: mysterious disappearances, "impossible" maneuvers and a predilection for trickery -- the apparent desire to be seen despite (or because of) a technology presumed to be far in advance of our own... According to astrophysicist Jacques Vallee, UFOs are part of a psychosocial conditioning system by which perceived "rewards" are doled out to reconcile for the dearth of irrefutable physical evidence. The phenomenon -- whatever its ultimate nature -- obstinately denies itself, thus enabling the very game it's intent on playing with us. We see that sudden spark of red light; we pounce. This time we'll catch it for sure.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Needless to say, many in ufology were not pleased, and said so publicly (Tim Binnall pops to mind). I listened to the episode, and laughed most of it off, because no-one really takes Hoagland seriously anymore. He's the Steven Greer of the "Face on Mars" crowd, which is a delicious irony that I have no doubt neither of them appreciate.
So, with the recently released European Space Agency photos of Mars that seem to show that there's nothing human, or alien, about the "Face", ufologists could be forgiven a few laughs, even snide remarks, at Hoagland's expense. Karma, as they say, is a bitch.
Perhaps it's not quite time to throw the whole "Face on Mars" thing to the curb just yet. I've never really thought that there was anything to it - it never looked like much of a face to me - but other people, including guys like Mac Tonnies, who I respect, are still intrigued, if not necessarily by the "Face", then by Mars in general, and the possibility that there once could have been life there. While I may not buy the "Face", I also keep an open mind (moreso about past life on Mars).
Because Hoagland is such a controversial figure, and because he's made some pretty outlandish claims, ufology has kept its distance - just as most scientists keep their distance from ufology, because of its more controversial figures and outlandish, unsupported claims.
But just as Steven Greer or Michael Salla don't represent everyone in ufology, neither does Richard Hoagland represent everyone who is interested in the "Face on Mars" (or the prospect of a previous civilization on Mars). There are still good people out there who are worth listening to. As Alfred Lehmberg said in response to Jerry Clark Saturday on UFO Updates - mark this down, folks, because I'm about to agree with Mr. Lehmberg, which may represent one of the signs of the Apocalypse - we still don't know, either about Mars in general, or about the "Face" in particular.
After all, photos are not always conclusive, are they? To those ufologists who say, "well, that's it for the 'Face on Mars', because the photos solve everything" I can only offer two words - Trindade and McMinnville. When you're done debating those photos, and have come to a conclusion that everyone can accept, one way or another, then perhaps you can safely close the book on the "Face on Mars".
In the meantime, just be satisfied with closing the book on Hoagland.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Here's an excerpt:
Keep an eye on the Book of THoTH website for other interviews in the coming days.
BoT: Who are your favourite researchers/writers?
PK: The late Karl Pflock was a friend of mine, and I admired his work and outlook. Brad Sparks is the best researcher of the UFO phenomenon over the past 25 years, hands down. He’s talked to more people, and dug out more material, than anyone else. Robert Todd was also an excellent researcher, although he ticked people off within ufology because he had an abrasive personality. Kevin Randle does good work, and has for years - he keeps an open mind, which is important. David Clarke and Andy Roberts in the United Kingdom have done excellent work over there in digging material out. Mac Tonnies is a bright young guy with a lot of interesting ideas, and a flair for writing. Nick Redfern and Greg Bishop. Stan Friedman for his sheer persistence, although I think he’s gotten some big things wrong over the years, particularly MJ-12. And, last but not least, Jim Moseley, because he’s always seen the humour in it all.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Cattle mutilation investigator shares story
By Janice Poitras
Local cattle mutilation investigator Fern Belzil is set to appear on the well known Space channel in mid-September, but even Belzil has yet to see the documentary that filmmakers began filming nearly one year ago.
"I get asked every day when it’s going to show," says Belzil, about the upcoming documentary. He adds that if there is enough interest, he is considering organizing a public showing of the film in St. Paul.
On Sept. 15 at 8 p.m., Fields of Fear, created by filmmaker Paul Kimball, will be premiering on Space: The Imagination Station.
For the past nine years, Belzil has been investigating suspicious cattle mutilations throughout western Canada. He has even gone as far as Halifax and Vancouver to speak about the topic.
"I don’t fool around," says Belzil about his unique job, "I tell them what it is."
The local investigator lives just minutes away from St. Paul on the same ranch where he and his family used to raise purebred registered Hereford cattle. Belzil’s experience with cattle is what originally got him involved in investigating the mysterious cattle mutilations.
Belzil admits that one thing that certainly separates him from other people in similar fields is that he does not say aliens are the cause of the mutilations. The reason is simply, "because I don’t know. I never lie," he says. He does acknowledge that some of the mutilations have been very strange.
So far, this year Belzil has been called out to five mutilations, although only one has been an authentic case. Just last week he received a call from North Battleford reporting a mutilation and two weeks prior he visited a suspected mutilation in Dewberry.
While the Red Star filmmakers visited Belzil they spent time filming various aspects of the mutilations Belzil investigates. They also filmed the slide-show presentation Belzil shows along with other various activities.
"A lot of (the documentary) is about me," says Belzil. "It’s a little bit about my life."
The mutilation investigator has also been part of a National Geographic film, a Life documentary and he has appeared on Fifth Estate.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I'm often asked the question - how much does the final film resemble the film as I envisioned it when you pitched it to a network, or when I was in the field shooting it? While the answer varies from project to project, it's safe to say that the finished version always looks somewhat different than the way I thought it would in the beginning. Fields of Fear was no exception.
Above you can see notes I made, while in St. Paul just over a year ago, halfway through the Alberta portion of the filming for Fields of Fear. They outline how I envisioned the first 10 minutes or so of the film at that time. If you read them, and then watch the film next Friday, I think you'll see that some of things I was thinking of doing back in 2005 remained more or less the same, but that the overall structure changed significantly, and things were added that I hadn't thought of back then.
I liken the process of making a film to the theory of evolution - all sorts of ideas are there at the beginning of the journey, but only the strongest survive until the end.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
JSC Oral History ProjectYou'll learn more from reading one paragraph of Frank Borman's interview (particularly the paragraph about his supposed UFO sighting, at p. 12-14) than you will from reading all of the stuff written in the past year about Project Serpo combined. It's the difference between fact and fiction, and between real heroes and the fake ones that somebody made up.
Established in 1996, the goal of the NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project (JSC OHP) is to capture history from the individuals who first provided the country and the world with an avenue to space and the moon. Participants include managers, engineers, technicians, doctors, astronauts, and other employees of NASA and aerospace contractors who served in key roles during the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle programs.
These oral histories ensure that the words of these pioneers live on to tell future generations about the excitement and lessons of space exploration. Oral history interviews began in the summer of 1997, and since that time more than 200 individuals have participated in the project.
In conjunction with the NASA JSC Oral History Project, oral history sessions were conducted for the NASA Headquarters History Office: Administrators; NACA; Herstory; Aviatrix Pioneers; Ballistic Missile Development Pioneers.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
The latest is "Ignoring History".
You can read the entire column here.
There is much that "ufologists" choose to ignore... One area of great importance, which virtually all "nuts and bolts" ufologists ignore, is history. They pay lip service to the idea that the "UFO phenomenon" has a past, but just barely. They are aware that people have been seeing strange things in the sky for millenia, but they would rather gloss over that subject, because these phenomena weren't interpreted as extraterrestrials, and they weren't called "UFOs." They were interpreted in the context of the myths and folklore of the era in which they appeared; a comet, for example, was interpreted as a "finger of doom" pointing at the earth, or a "celestial broom," come to sweep the earth clean of good and evil alike...
The phenomena that gave rise to various beliefs way back when stand apart from the interpretations placed upon them; perhaps a prosaic explanation of a certain account suggests itself to the modern mind, perhaps not. Precisely the same is true of "modern" UFO reports. A phenomenon giving rise to the modern ufo report may be utterly mundane in nature, or it may defy all attempts at explanation. The interpretations of these unexplained events, however, are born out of the propensity of human beings to interpret the unknown in terms of myth, of folklore, of the preternatural or supernatural. We are not so terribly different from our forebears.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Of course, I never "repudiated" the film. I changed my mind about MJ-12. There is a difference.
The film is a good and fair representation of Stan Friedman's views about MJ-12, and gives his critics, most notably Karl Pflock, their kick at the can as well. The bonus materials, which I assembled last month, include extra interview segments with Nick Redfern, Karl Pflock, John Greenewald, and Rob Swiatek, as well as a 90 minute lecture by Stan in which he "critiques the MJ-12 critics", from the 2003 Aztec UFO Symposium.
You can purchase the two DVD special edition at UFO TV.
After I made the film, I did more research, and came to the conclusion that MJ-12 is fake (a conclusion shared, I might add, by the vast majority of UFO researchers), but watch the film, and the extras, and then do your own research, and judge for yourself.