Monday, October 29, 2007

Humanity vs... humanity?

Will the human race eventually divide into two different species, one far more advanced than the other? Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry at the London School of Economics seems to think so (see article here).

While science and technology have the potential to create an ideal habitat for humanity over the next millennium, there is the possibility of a monumental genetic hangover over the subsequent millennia due to an over-reliance on technology reducing our natural capacity to resist disease, or our evolved ability to get along with each other. After that, things could get ugly, with the possible emergence of genetic 'haves' and 'have-nots'.

If you've ever watched the Jerry Springer show, you might be tempted to conclude that the process described in this article has already begun!

Seriously, leaving aside the genetic angle, technology is already rapidly creating an even greater divide within humanity - those who have it and understand how to use it, and those who do not. A divide may be coming - faster than we think - where the former group begin to merge in a meaningful way with their technology, and leave the latter group well behind... at which point the world becomes a vastly different place.

That I-Pod of yours, or that cell phone, or Blackberry, or X-Box 360, or ___________________ (fill in the blank) is taking us further and further away from the rest of the human race, bit by bit, at an ever accelerating rate. I'm not suggesting that we should give them up - rather than slowing ourselves down, we should be working harder to make sure that everyone else keeps up. Most of all, in our rush to have all of the latest gadgets, including those that may become part of our own bodies, we must not forget those who don't have access to them.

The alternative to maintaining an awareness of the growing divide within humanity, and trying to do something about it, is a bleak future for us all.

Paul Kimball

What Would ET Do?

One of the most annoying phrases I hear from Christians comes when they ask the question, in response to some dilemna (whether it's a biggie, like whether or not to go to war, or a small one, like whether or not to buy Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops):

What would Jesus do?

My answer is usually, "what a stupid question to ask".

However, in my current friendly "blog-war" with Mac Tonnies re: alien contact, I'll ask the same question, in a slightly different way, with regard to whether or not humanity is ready for knowledge of ET's presence.

In other words: what would ET do?

Let's assume for the moment that ET exists. Let's further assume that ET is here, and has been for some time. Finally, let's assume that ET is more or less benevolent (and if they weren't, I probably wouldn't be writing this). That's a lot of assumptions (all of which remain unproven to me, but as I said, "let's assume), but they're ones made by the supporters of the ETH as the ETFact, and those who advocate the government come "clean" about ET's presence on Earth.

Given those assumptions, and given the state of affairs vis-a-vis ET (i.e. no public revelation), one can but assume that ET agrees with me. In other words, by not yet revealing themselves publicly for all of the world to see, ET has indicated that, in their view, we're not ready for contact.

Perhaps they have some version of Star Trek's "Prime Directive". Who knows?

What I do know is that they show more common sense, and understanding of the state of affairs on Earth, than the "disclosure" advocates.

Besides, if ET is smart enough to get here, and wise enough that people are willing to pin their hopes for a better future on contact with them, who are we to argue with them when it comes to the question of when that contact should take place?

In other words, if ET is out there, we'll meet them on their terms, when they figure we're ready to do so, and not a moment sooner.

Good for them.

Paul Kimball

Are We Ready for "Contact"?

My good friend Mac Tonnies has responded to my recent post "Truth Embargo? Good" at his blog (read it here).

He writes, in part:

A large part of me is convinced that we need our paradigmatic bars rattled -- and if that means enduring the sociological sea-change likely to occur in the wake of ET "disclosure," I think it's worth the ride.

I understand where he's coming from, but I think on this issue he's naive, and wrong. I replied:


You and others view "contact" through that Western, educated, middle-to-upper class point of view I discussed. The vast majority of the world does not share that point of view, including many in the West. A "contact" event would, in my opinion, be disastrous in the short term, with unpredictable consequences in the long-term. We just aren't ready for it as a species, and it is the height of cultural imperialism and hubris for us to suggest that because some of us may be ready (indeed, may even want that change), the rest of the world is, or at the very least should be forced along for the ride.

If I was in charge, and knew about ET on Earth, and could keep it secret, all the while slowly seeding the technology into society as well as the "knowledge", through the media (i.e. films), I wouldn't hesitate to "cover it up".

I'm pretty sure the Aztecs would have done the same if they could have.
Does anybody really think that the global reaction would be one of universal joy, where people who have hated each other for centuries would suddenly toss down their weapons and embrace each other as brothers and sisters? I don't.

Perhaps the aliens, should they prove to be benevolent, would enforce peace upon the world. They would no doubt have the means to do so, at least in broad strokes. But is that how we really want to solve our problems? And where would that lead us?

How would radical religious zealots (of any faith) react?

Does anyone for a second believe that the established order would just slip away - or is it far more likely that it would further entrench itself, paritcularly if the "contact" event was not a landing, but simply a signal that confirmed what Mac and I already suspect, i.e. that we're not alone?

The one thing I am certain of, as I look around, is that we're not mature enough as a species to face that future, at least not yet.

Maybe, someday, when we grow up and solve our own problems, we'll be ready for admission into the Cosmic Kindergarten. But for now we're still stuck in the crib.

Guys like Mac, and Stan Friedman, and Steven Bassett all mean well. They all want the best, and that's truly admirable. The problem is that when they say they would welcome a landing on the White House lawn, or that they want "disclosure", they are looking to the skies for salvation, when we should be looking to ourselves. We're the problem, but we're also the solution.

To think otherwise is to be no different than the people who have spent two thousand years waiting for the return of Jesus to save us from ourselves.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Truth Embargo? Good!

You often hear pro-ETH UFO researchers in the West state something along the lines of, "It's time to end the cover-up of the ET presence on Earth - it might have made sense 60 years ago, but we're a more mature society now, and we could handle the news". Stan Friedman has said words to that general effect at almost every lecture I've ever heard him give, for example.

I think that they're wrong. I think if we were really faced with certain proof of the existence of ET (like a flying saucer landing on the White House lawn), things would pretty much go to hell in short order. The view that things would be just fine (a few hiccups, perhaps, but we would adjust quickly) is informed by an educated, middle to upper class, very Western way of looking at the world - in other words, guys like Stan. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the planet's population is not educated to the degree someone like Stan is, and they're not members of the middle or upper classes, and they don't live in the relative comfort (both physical and ideological) of postmodernist and largely secular Western society.

The view of people like Stan that we're ready for the knowledge of ET's existence (should ET exist and be here) is also at odds with human history, where every time an advanced society came into contact with a less advanced society, there was chaos, with the end result that the less advanced society suffered greatly as a result of that contact.

I think Stuart Miller, in a recent post at his blog Alien Worlds Magazine, hits upon the more likely outcome. Here is an excerpt:

My opinion is that there would be substantial elements of world wide hysteria which couldn’t be ignored, for it would inevitably impinge on the calmer elements. The most un-endearing quality within the psyche of the human spirit is arrogance. Our world is full of strutting little despots, be it militarily, politically, administratively, the religious realm, or even in our personal lives. People full of their own self importance and power, without humility or empathy, who would seize the opportunity to terrify and manipulate. Martial law in some quarters would be a real possibility. After all, this would be an event of a life time. [Full article here]
Bingo - and as Stuart notes later in the column, this is what would probably happen if we just got a signal from SETI. It would be far worse if ET was actually here, and even worse again if ET was hostile.

Guys like Steven Bassett talk about a "paradigm shift" should the "truth embargo" ever be lifted. They're absolutely right, but for the wrong reasons. They see a sunnier future for humanity - a leap into a brave new world, where we would happily walk hand in hand with our space brothers and sisters, and all would suddenly be fine on Planet Earth.

Like Stuart, I see a different result, because I've spent years studying the world and its people, not as we might like them to be, but as they actually are. If the "government" is really covering up the "truth" about an ET presence here on Earth, I say "good - keep it up". Because as I look around, the truth is that we're not ready for it. We're not even close. And to reveal it now would be as disastrous as it would have been sixty years ago - perhaps more so.

We don't need alien "gods" to come down and solve all of our problems - we need to solve them ourselves. Only then, when all people are capable of seeing the world like Stan Friedman sees it will we be ready for First Contact, with any ET species, either here or "out there".

If ET really does exist, and is smart enough to get here from there, and is as benevolent as some people think, then I'm pretty sure they see things the same way I do, and that's why they choose not to reveal themselves. And if they aren't that benevolent, and resemble more an ET version of Cortez, then eventually we're all screwed, aren't we?

Does this mean that people should stop investigating UFO cases? No. Does it mean people should stop writing and talking about UFOs? Of course not. Because at the moment, the idea of ET UFOs are like the idea of God - maybe they exist, maybe they don't, who can say? You can believe if you want, or not. You can believe in one type of alien, or another, or none at all. You can explore other theories if you want. You can ignore the whole subject, as the vast majority of people do. You can even pretend that you're practising "citizen diplomacy" with aliens if you want. To each their own.

You can even pester the "government" for the "truth", but you'll find that it's a pretty futile slog, because they either don't know the "truth" (which is the far more likely answer, in my opinion), or, if they do and the truth is "ET is here", they aren't going to reveal it, for the reasons outlined above.

Good reasons.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Nazis, neo-Nazis, and UFOs

Lately on UFO Updates there has been an embarrassing thread going on in which the idea that the Nazis may have been involved in UFO research (or something like that) in Antarctica has been floated (based upon some book that's about to come out). This is all rubbish, and I'm not going to dignify the "debate" by providing any more details, other than to note that the people who seem to put any stock in this notion are people who have no - and I mean NO - knowledge or understanding of the history of the period under discussion (if you're really interested, for some reason, you can subscribe to Updates and check them out yourself). Yes, they occasionally get facts right, but history isn't just about dates and facts - it's about understanding what they mean (that's what makes history interesting, and relevant).

Anyway, my point here is to note that the Nazi meme is not a new one in ufology, but it has been a dangerous one, for reasons that many people have pointed out in the past, including Strange Days... Indeed commentator Dave Furlotte (see here). Neo-Nazis like Ernst Zundel have used the UFO subject in the past to lure the most gullible people into their web of hate and lies on the theory that if a person was willing to swallow the kind of bilge that Zundel and others pedaled with regards to Nazi UFOs, then they were identified as prime targets for a far more dangerous kind of bilge, Holocaust denial (anyone who wants a more detailed examination of the Zundel story should pick up a copy of Warren Kinsella's excellent book, Web of Hate; for Zundel and UFOs, see The Nizkor Project's page here).

Does this mean that all people who support the "Nazi bases in Antarctica claims" that pop up now and then are neo-Nazis? Of course not. But their kind of rank stupidity does demonstrate that there are indeed people out there who are simply incapable of separating fact from fiction - people who are so desperate to believe in UFOs as aliens, or whatever, that they will believe virtually anything else. This is just this kind of "believer blindness" that neo-Nazis like Ernst Zundel, or cult leaders like Marshall Applewhite, always count on, something that anyone interested in the study of the UFO subject should always keep in mind.

Paul Kimball

Monday, October 22, 2007

Greg Bishop's UFO Platform

Greg Bishop, 3rd party candidate for the Presidency of the United States, has set out his platform as it relates to the UFO-question. Here it is:

Obviously, the UFO subject is not very high on the list of anyone running for public office, and it never will be, unless the phenomenon itself decides to make it important to the vast majority of the public. Elected officials need to work within the structure of military and security establishments to find out what is going on, how much is known, and what the problem would be exposing this knowledge to the public.

The way to force disclosure, I believe, is to convince those who hold those secrets that it would be in their best interests to release the pertinent information. That
would be a tall order indeed–perhaps nearly impossible. For anyone whose life is the custodianship of secrets within secrets, ad infinitum, an open approach is dead on the launchpad.

No, the proper way to do it would be behind the scenes, assuring the parties involved that no one but yourself and the people hired to speak for you would be responsible for revealing whatever could be revealed. Perhaps a political runaround would be in order, where you placed the information in the hands of a political adversary or even an ally, letting him or her take the heat and/or acclaim. Working on elected officials from the outside certainly isn’t paying any fast dividends.

Because I believe (and this is only a theory) that those in charge of UFO information know little more about the origin or purpose of non-human visitors than the rest of us, I also think that a real “disclosure” is not possible, since those in possession of the story don’t really know what to do with it, except scare the rest of us into submission by leaking wild stories and controlling the rumor mill. Perhaps the best way to look into it is on an individual level–using a “bottom-up” approach, rather than asking for official permission to spout the things we claim to know already.

Most people reading this already believe that the human race has had contact with non-human entities, or at least their effects. Why do we need some “authority” to tell us something we already know, except to provide some needed data points?

I stumbled onto that by writing it. Data points (meaning officially sanctioned, reputation-on-the-line data points) may be a key. If the some of the disclosure people (and many other UFO researchers) push their “we told you so” egos out of the way, perhaps what they should really be asking for (quietly and with little fanfare) is more and better info, and not a release of the “truth” about UFOs. What you are looking for defines what you will find, and how you ask the questions.

I will now take questions from the press.

Well, that makes sense. Greg would get my vote, if I had one, and if I thought "UFO disclosure" was an issue worth devoting any serious political time and energy towards.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Brad Sparks copied me on this post he sent in to Errol Bruce-Knapp at UFO Updates. I think it's worth posting far and wide, so here it is.

Paul Kimball

I suggest naming the category of non-investigated or uninvestigated sightings "NFO's" or Non-investigated Flying Objects (NFO's). This is an indeterminate catchall category for initial incoming sighting reports prior to any Hynek screening or investigation. Most cases will fall into this category and never get reclassified as either IFO's or UFO's. The "NFO" term falls nicely in between IFO and UFO alphabetically which is conceptually where it belongs.

For simplicity I include all conventional explanations within the scope of the term "IFO" including cases where there is no object at all, such as some hallucinations and hoaxes. I don't quibble over hypertechnicalities of the "flying" term, where purists complain that we usually don't know if the object is flying using aerodynamic principles, and celestial bodies are not "flying" at all, etc. The traditional "UFO" term uses the word "flying" and everyone has a rough idea what "UFO" and "IFO" mean and they don't take it so literally. "NFO" nicely and logically alliterates with IFO and UFO so it will suggest the others.

Trying to replace the term "UFO" because of quibbles over the word "flying" will simply lose 99% of the people who have an interest in the UFO subject.

The Hynek screening process is explained in his basic textbook of UFO science, The UFO Experience, published in 1972 and endlessly reprinted in numerous editions ever since. You can buy paperback copies on for less than the cost of shipping so there is no excuse for serious UFO researchers not have it and read it.

No sighting report according to Hynek should get the "UFO" label until after a scientifically competent investigation has eliminated IFO's and other conventional explanations.

Whenever it is unclear what we mean by "UFO" or if there is a possibility of some confusion then simply say UFO Unknowns or "real UFO" or Unexplained UFO's or the like, just as we now do anyway.

With this new terminology the AF Project Blue Book statistics would transform to something like this (these are extremely rough approximations subject to refinement and more thorough statistics after Will Wise's BlueBookArchives can get all the BB files online so a more thorough analysis can finally be done):

NFO's - 10,500 (approx.)
IFO's - 1,500 (approx.)
UFO's - 3,000 (approx.)
Total - 15,000 (approx.)

I am being very conservative on the number of UFO Unknowns, as 20% of the total, whereas it is more likely as McDonald estimated, about 30% to 40% or about 4,500 to 6,000 Unknowns.

UFO's thus outnumber IFO's by at least 2 to 1 when we stop bastardizing the statistics by including non-investigated NFO's. Using Hynek's definition an investigation must be scientifically competent, hence very few BB investigations would qualify in his opinion and in the estimation of McDonald and others who have reviewed BB's work.

Brad Sparks

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Greg Bishop for President

I've been having a friendly little tete-a-tete with Alfred Lehmberg in the comments section to the post Dear God - I'm a Lefty!. The jist of it, at least from my side of the aisle, is that there is a marked lack of bi-partisanship on both sides of the political fence in the United States (and, sadly, in Canada as well these days).

My suggestion is simple - the United States needs a third party along the lines of the United Kingdom's Raving Monster Loony Party.

Now, the obvious candidate for President for such a party in the United States would be Nick Redfern, the king of off-the-wall cryptozoology currently living in that country (apologies to Loren Coleman, but he's from Maine, a state with no electoral clout). Alas, Nick wasn't born in the United States, so he can never be President.

Fear not, intrepid readers, for there is a perfectly good candidate waiting in the wings - Greg Bishop!

Unlike Coleman, Greg is from a state that matters when it comes to the electoral college - California.

Unlike Redfern, Greg is an American citizen, born and bred.

Like both Coleman and Redfern, Greg has spent a fair amount of time studying monsters, and he's certainly hung out with plenty of loons.

Best of all, Greg takes a truly bi-partisan point of view when it comes to all things paranormal. He keeps an open mind, and is willing to listen to all arguments, after which he generally makes an informed decision that, even if you disagree with it, you can still respect it.

Thus do I officially nominate Greg Bishop for President of the United States of America.

Now all we need is a party name, and a running mate, and the campaign can begin in earnest!

Let's start with the running mate...

Who should be nominated as Greg Bishop's running mate for President?
Mac Tonnies
Alfred Lehmberg
Lesley Gunter
Timothy Binnall
Richard Dolan
Jim Marrs
James Moseley
Kenn Thomas
A. J. Gulyas
Royce Myers III
Free polls from

And thus begins a paradigm shift in American politics!

Paul Kimball

Nick Redfern's "Memoirs of a Monster Hunter"

My good friend Nick Redfern has a new book out, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter: A Five Year Journey in Search of the Unknown, that is a must-read for anyone who thinks a paranormal travelogue is a great idea. As always, Nick's breezy writing style engages the reader, and whisks them off to all sorts of strange places where Nick has tried to track down all sorts of strange creatures, from vampires to lake monsters. My favourite section is, of course, Chapter 15, which is about Nick's trip with yours truly and the Redstar crew to Puerto Rico in September, 2005, in search of the legendary chupacabra.

That was an exciting trip, with all sorts of twists and turns, witnesses, weird stories, odd coincidences, and so on (in the book Nick recounts a truly eerie MJ-12 story from his trip to Puerto Rico). As with all of his stories in the book, Nick brings our adventures alive for the reader, and makes it seem as if they were along for the ride.

I sometimes refer to myself as the "Jack Kerouac of the paranormal". If that's the case, then Nick is the "Hunter S. Thompson of the paranormal"... with perhaps a bit of Ernest Hemmingway thrown in for good measure. His writing informs and entertains in a field where authors tend to do one or the other, but rarely manage to do both at the same time (my pals Mac Tonnies and Greg Bishop are also welcome exceptions to this general rule).

In a brief passage in the aforementioned Chapter 15, Nick sums up nicely why he and I do what we do:

"That evening, we met in the bar for an evening of food and revelry... 'Life's never dull in this game, is it?' I asked Paul, in what was really a statement rather than a question. He heartily agreed. We toasted to a continued, productive week, and thanked God that we didn't have to work in the real world of 9-to-5. The conversation then turned to music, beer, gambling, and more, and bloodsucking vampires were forgotten about for the rest of the night."

Nick is one of those guys who gets exactly what Kerouac was talking about when he wrote:

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"
There are plenty of "mad ones" in Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, an engaging journey through the strange world of the paranormal... and the sometimes even stranger world of Nick Redfern. Don't miss it.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2007 Zorgy Award nominations now open!!

Nominations for the 2007 Zorgy Awards are now open (you can see the 2006 results here). You can send your nominations for any of the following categories to Rear Admiral Zorgrot (seen above with Canadian actor Kris Lee McBride at the San Diego Zoo) at

1. Best UFO / paranormal website [Magazine]

2. Best UFO / paranormalwebsite [forums]

3. Best UFO / paranormal website [news summary]

4. Best UFO / paranormal blog

5. Best UFO / paranormal radio show [non-Internet]

6. Best UFO / paranormal "Trouble-Maker"

7. Best UFO Podcast

8. Best UFO / paranormal publication (print)

9. Best UFO / paranormal research website

10. Best Ufologist

11. Best UFO documentary [released in 2007]

12. Best UFO conference

13. Best UFO book [released in 2007]

14. Top UFO story of 2007

15. Top Paranormal story of 2007

16. Best cryptozoologist

17. Best cryptozoology website

Nominations for The Pelicanist of the Year Award and The George Adamski Memorial Award will be determined by Zorgy and yours truly.

Nominations close November 10th - voting will commence soon thereafter, and run until December 31st. This year there will be statues for the winners, and an Internet broadcast awards ceremony!

Vox populi!

Paul Kimball

Peter Gersten interview - Part III

As the interview continues, Gersten talks about The Program and free will.

Paul Kimball

Peter Gersten interview - Part II

My interview with Peter Gersten continues, as he expands on his theory of "The Program" and what its end in 2012 will mean for him.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Peter Gersten interview - Part I

Part I of an interview I conducted with long-time UFO disclosure advocate Peter Gersten (co-founder of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy) in Sedona, Arizona, on 21 September, 2007. In this clip, Peter talks about 2012, and what it means to him.

Paul Kimball

Greg Bishop at the Integratron

Greg Bishop, Kris McBride and I travelled out to Yucca Valley, California, on the 2nd of October to shoot some footage of Giant Rock and the Integratron. Here Greg gives a brief description of what the Integratron was all about.

Paul Kimball

Greg Bishop on UFOs and Ufology

Author Greg Bishop (Project Beta, The Excluded Middle) discusses the state of modern ufology and how the study of the UFO phenomenon should be approached in this clip from an interview I conducted with him in his home in Los Angeles, 6 October 2007.

Paul Kimball