Sunday, March 24, 2013

UFO Sightings Debunker Claims UFOs Are Not Real!

On Friday, March 22 I did an internet radio interview with the pro-UFO site Third Phase of Moon, the largest UFO-related channel on Youtube. Some of their videos have been viewed several million times. The interview was broadcast live on, and is now archived on their YouTube channel (below). I had met up with internet radio broadcaster John Ilias at the recent International UFO Congress, who arranged to have me interviewed by Blake Cousins, the owner of that YouTube channel.

Actually, the Third Phase channel does not have a good reputation even among many UFO proponents. A forum on the pro-paranormal Podcast Paracast calls them the "third phase of the moon fraud group." And speaks of  "UFO hoaxer Blake Cousins," suggesting that his goal is to make money from subscriptions to his YouTube channel. Despite my skepticism I was treated very courteously by the Third Phase people.

Also participating in the show was Joe Rodriguez of Los Angeles, a part-time magician and UFO spotter, who has his own UFO-related YouTube Channel. In the process I discovered another Fly UFO video, that Joe had taken, in the video below. In this video he has "bright UFOs," and "Dark UFOs." The "bright UFO" appears to be a white balloon, with something hung below it. It's never in good enough focus to see it clearly. The "dark UFOs," which move so fast that they need to be seen in slow motion, are obviously Fly UFOs, exactly like Leslie Kean's much-hyped Fly UFO video from Chile, and the now-famous Denver Fly UFO videos. (Even Blake Cousins was dismissive of the Denver Fly UFOs.) Now we have the Los Angeles Fly UFO to join them. When I explained this, at first Joe accepted that it was a fly, but later insisted it could not have been.

Blake explained that they had over 600 UFO videos on their website. How could I say they were all fakes (or ordinary objects) if I hadn't analyzed them all? I explained the principle of the 'UFO hierarchy' as developed by Philip J. Klass: don't waste precious time investigating low-value UFO claims. Instead, wait for the UFO proponents themselves to declare which UFO cases are the best, then focus in on those. After all, if the "best" cases, as selected by the UFO proponents themselves, are wobbly, how much less credible must be those cases that even the proponents largely ignore!

Surprisingly, the discussion took a religious turn. Joe said "I'm not a religious person," then went on to cite Bible passages and suggest that UFOs represent the fulfillment of prophecy. (Apparently some of his religious comments were edited out of the broadcast.) I asked him, if he is not a religious person, why does he think that Bible verses tell us anything about the future? Asked about my own religious beliefs, I simply said that I don't have any, and pointed out that each major literate civilization has its own religious writings, and they all contradict each other. Blake mentioned something about what "our Creator" wanted, and I said I didn't believe we were "created," but are here as the result of unguided Darwinian evolution.

The comments being made about my interview are very enlightening! A random sample:
I can't stand listening to debunkers, & am surprised the government is? still using them, & if their not working for the Government & actually believe the dribble they say, then you have 2 excuses 1. Religion or 2. Total Ignorance of Reality, & both indicate some severe Pathology.
Blake: Why didn't you challenge Robert Schaeffer [sic] on his ridiculous assertion that the Phoenix lights were military? flares? He made it sound so matter of fact (it clearly isn't). It was infuriating to listen to him not being challenged on that.
flare drop my ass!! just government trying? to make up excuses
Maybe if that guy had a visit from The grey's he'd hum a different tune! [Yes, probably I would!]
Seriously, the evidence is everywhere. Just like spirits/ghosts. Evidence is key. You also have to see it to believe it. People nowadays who don't believe in spirits/ghosts and especially UFO's? fascinate me, they fascinate me because of how people are still close minded.
The NSA has many agents that? make a living from being a skeptic. One is Phil Plait, the other is Bill Nye the science guy…they got him to manipulate the thoughts of their fans. The only way they could make money from doing this is if they were paid by the NSA…there is no money in it otherwise.
this guys a dummbass i saw a perfect saucer shaped object that took off that? it looked like star track.hes stupid.
he is a moron!? An they are here 24 -7.
It been very enjoyable listing to a paid? US government operative weave the web of propaganda. We all know MOFON [MUFON] is a Government controlled org.
Hey Robert......explain Betty Hill's map (drawn BACKWARDS) from the VISITORS PERSPECTIVE, and the fact that? some of those stars weren't even KNOWN back when she drew that map!!! And the fact that it took YEARS for anyone to recognize that star system (Zeta Reticulum) drawn backwards!! ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE!!! [This guy is obviously not reading!]
And how about the implants that have been removed from people (worldwide) that contain elements NOT KNOWN ON EARTH!!! You fella, are in SERIOUS DENIAL!!! [More to come on this in future postings.]
And I learned some interesting things: in trying to set up a longer future debate on a different internet radio channel, there was a difficulty in finding a UFO proponent willing to debate me! The UFO fabulist Stan Romanek flatly refused. This recalls the situation some years ago, when a number of famous UFO proponents, including J. Allen Hynek and Whitley Strieber, firmly refused to go on any TV or radio show if Klass was participating, and it looks like I am now carrying on that fine tradition. But I also understand that the indomitable Flying Saucer physicist, Stanton T. Friedman, is unafraid to debate. So we will probably see such a debate in the coming weeks. I'm looking forward to this immensely, because Friedman has said so many absurd things over the years that I will greatly enjoy making him eat them.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

UFOs in the Desert, Part 5 (final)

Sunday was the fifth and final day of the 2013 International UFO Congress in Fountain Hills, Arizona, the largest UFO conference in the world. My previous Blog posting covers the fourth day. Here is a link back to the first posting about the conference.   And it looks like I did write a long, five-part report on this Congress, which I earlier said I didn't want to!
Paul Stonehill

Sunday began with Paul Stonehill, who was born in the Soviet Union, speaking on "UFOs of Russia and USSR."He explained that there were all kinds of UFOs in the Russian territories, ancient and modern. UFOs are depicted in ancient rock carvings, and there are "out of place" artifacts in ancient rock strata. The KGB was very interested in UFOs and paranormal phenomena, but Stalin had the records destroyed. Later there was an official Soviet military program for recording and studying UFO reports. In 1982, a UFO almost started World War III by initiating a nuclear missile's launch sequence for 15 minutes. Unlike UFOs in the U.S., which are reported to be peaceful and try to interfere with nuclear-tipped ICBMs, in the USSR UFOs apparently are warlike, and try to launch such missiles.

Stonehill also talked quite a bit about USOs - Unidentified Submersible Objects. Soviet divers have found themselves next to underwater humanoids working on recovering something, wearing no breathing apparatus.
John Greenwald, Jr.

The final speaker was John Greenwald, Jr., who spoke about "A Common Sense Reality Check on the UFO Phenomenon." A television producer and director, Greenwald has filed over 3,000 Freedom of Information requests on the UFO subject. He talked about mostly well-known cases, like Roswell, the 1952 Washington, DC sightings, and the 1976 air and ground sighting in Iran. He spoke about the 1985 Bob White encounter in western Colorado (he said, near Las Vegas). White supposedly recovered a piece that fell from the UFO, and kept it in the trunk of his car for many years. Eventually it was analyzed, and supposedly found to consist of completely unknown material. Greenwald forgot to mention that, according to a 2011 article in Skeptic Magazine, a professional in the steel industry states,
 The object in question is made of accreted grinding residue. It forms in a manner similar to a common stalagmite when metal castings are “cleaned” on large stationary grinders.
But I suppose letting in a few relevant facts might spoil Greenwald's talk.
Karyn Dolan getting ready to play UFO Jeopardy
Immediately after the Greenwald talk, it was time to help test out a new game, UFO Jeopardy. Its rules are exactly the same as regular Jeopardy, but all categories are about UFOs or related subjects. The plan is to have the game ready to be played in public at the next Congress, or elsewhere. Micah Hanks was supposed to play in this round, but was unable to do so because he ended up on a panel at the same time. I was talking with him when that transpired, so he suggested that I take his place. The other two contestants were Greenwald, and Karyn Dolan, the wife of Richard Dolan. I actually ended up winning that round, although all three scores were quite close. I left someone take my place for the next round, and went back to see what was left of the final event on the program, the panel.
UFO Jeopardy with John Greenwald, Jr. (wearing tie) and Karyn Dolan. 

 On the final panel on Sunday Afternoon, "UFOlogy in the 21st Century" were Stanton Friedman, Richard Dolan, and Micah Hanks. Hanks sounded somewhat reasonable when he and I were talking not long before this, but in front of the audience he denounced "skeptibunkers," who propose outrageous explanations for credible UFO cases. Stanton Friedman admonished people not to be afraid to speak out, people will listen to your message. And Dolan worried whether UFO groups are doing enough to reach out to women and minority communities (echoing some of the same concerns certain skeptics have been saying!).

At this point, I packed up and headed off to Tucson, where I stayed a few days as the guest of James McGaha, where we did some astronomy and watched science fiction movies. Then I headed off to Old Tucson Studios, where I was in a group participating in a SteamPunk event, and then finally, home.

But now, a few photos from the UFO Congress, in no particular order:
James from the Future

This man is a time traveler, James from the Future. He says he does not know what year he has come back from, but it is after the New Age or whatever you call it has already occurred, that great Transformation in Consciousness that will be happening any day now. (Many people expected it to occur in 2012, but were disappointed.) James says he does not know why he was sent back, but he thinks it is to act as a historian to make better records about what was happening before the Transformation.
Leda, the "Glamour Queen" of the UFO Conference
This is Leda Beluche, the unofficial "Glamour Queen" and "Social Director" of the UFO Congress. I first met her here the previous year. She makes a lot of friends, and also tries, when possible, to smooth over perceived conflicts and disagreements. Leda realizes, as many others do not, that people can disagree about things but still be friends.

Her claim that she received several cell phone calls from her alien hybrid children, after last year's conference but before this one, attracted a lot of attention, and even some envy, from "experiencers" whose hybrid offspring are apparently less communicative. I'm sure Leda is sincere about this, but I told her somebody must have been playing a joke on her. How could they break into my cell phone calls? Not knowing the circumstances of the calls, I could not say.

Leda was examined for signs of alien activity by Steve Colbern of Alien & Scalpel Research, as she was last year. A photo of the 'open' part of that exam is in Part 3 of this report, in the middle. I am told that the people with Alien & Scalpel were very nervous when they saw me taking pictures. Here is my photo showing the A&S tool box, and examination room.
Alien & Scalpel's tool box, and examination room
Leda says that four "implants" were discovered that were transmitting. Presumably there might have been more that were temporarily switched off. Then she was 'scanned' using some ultra-violet device, and was told she had the most "dye" in her body of anyone at the Congress. I did not know that Aliens were injecting dye into peoples' bodies. Since Colbern sometimes reads this Blog and comments on it, I invite him to explain to us exactly how these discoveries were made.

Leda was quite worried about this "dye" when she related it to me afterward. I told her this was silly, and not to worry about it, as did James McGaha who was also there. She had been told that there was also an 'ancient symbol' on her thigh, and markings that seemed to show the imprint of presumably alien hands around her neck and wrist. She was told to come back for a follow-up examination the first thing next morning. She did, and was told that the "dye" had, thank goodness, disappeared, as had the 'ancient symbol.'  She said that A&S had promised her drawings and photos illustrating their findings, but when I spoke to her on March 18 they still had not yet arrived.
Ben Hansen
Ben Hansen of the SyFy channel's "Fact or Fake" show. He is working with Night Optics USA, a Bushnell company, to promote its night vision devices. He is a very friendly fellow. The night vision skywatch at the conference was free for attendees, but on other occasions Hansen participates in sponsored skywatches that are paid events for the participants.

The author with Dr. Lynne
I also met Dr. Lynne Kitei, the indefatigable crusader for the Phoenix Lights. (If you Google "Phoenix Lights," her website is listed first. It is a cornucopia of questionable UFO claims.). At the Congress she was certainly a force to contend with in her leather outfit and stiletto heels. She came up to me to say hello, asking, "Do you know who I am?" "Certainly, Lynne, I was just looking at your website a little while back." Dr. Lynne, as she is fondly called, is friendly and personable, and certainly fully sincere. When I referred to the "first part" and "second part" of the Phoenix Lights sighting, she corrected me: there was no "first part" or "second part," it was just all UFOs, all night long. Even at sunrise, crews coming into work at Sky Harbor Airport saw a giant UFO a mile in diameter hovering above the airport, but unfortunately no photos were taken, and it didn't turn up on radar. I'm very glad that no aircraft collided with it! Dr. Lynne somehow manages to see more UFOs than just about anyone, in Phoenix or anywhere else, and she does it with panache.

Monday, March 11, 2013

UFOs in the Desert, Part 4

Saturday was the fourth day of the International UFO Congress in Fountain Hills, Arizona, the largest UFO conference in the world. My previous Blog posting covers the third day.  Here is a link back to the first posting about the conference.

Ben McGee
The first speaker on Saturday morning was Ben McGee, speaking on "Galactic Deep Time, Xenoarchaeology, and the case for Physical Artifacts as 'First Contact.'" He is best known as the skeptic guy on National Geographic Channel's dreadful Chasing UFOs which, I am happy to report, will not be renewed for another season. He has his own spaceflight consulting company.

He began by noting that at present, we can only scientifically demonstrate one kind of life: that of earth. But 'extremophile' life abounds on earth, suggesting that life can exist in a wide range of conditions. He described the history of life on earth in terms of "galactic years," the time required for one full rotation of our galaxy (220 million years). Hence "deep time" is important to think about in terms of the prevalence of ETI. Earth has had five major extinction events in the last 2.5 galactic years, and two within the last G.Y. So how long would a civilization last in our galaxy? L, or lifetime, is a term in the famous Drake Equation for estimating ETI, and choosing a longer or shorter value drastically alters the result. Isaac Asimov estimated, using the Drake Equation, that there are only 10 planets in our galaxy now that have advanced civilizations.

If drastic extinction events are common, then an estimated 325 million planets would contain not an actual civilization, but the ruins of one. Hence, Xenoarchaeology, the study of artifacts from extraterrestrial civilizations, which would require different methods than conventional archaeology. He did not explain how we are supposed to get to the places where Xenoarchaeology will be performed, although we may possibly encounter such artifacts in our own solar system, the remains of ancient visitations.

Later in the day I had a chance to speak with Ben (we had already been in contact by email). A woman was excitedly telling him about supposed "orbs" that appear in some of her photos, and he explained to her, with infinite patience, how this was the result of close-up dust particles in the air being illuminated by the flash. I semi-apologized to him for having to write such unkind things about the National Geographic's Chasing UFOs (as did nearly everyone else). He said he was disappointed in the show, too. The show was originally presented to them as a 'sightings investigation' type of program, but different producers took over and made it into a 'ghost hunters' type of loopy action show. I asked him what was he working on now, and he told me about a new series on the Weather Channel called "Forecasting the end," which premieres March 21. It deals with issues in geology, astronomy, and radiation science. It should be interesting.

James Fox
The next speaker was the documentary film director James Fox, who also was one of the regulars on Chasing UFOs (he was "the believer," to Ben's "skeptic.") He describes his work as a UFO documentary film producer (Out of the Blue, I Know What I Saw) as promoting the fulfillment of the public's "right to know" what is going on. "If we can get Michael Shermer to agree that 'structured craft' are real, then we're getting somewhere." This apparently refers to Shermer's unfortunate endorsement of Out Of The Blue as "one of the very best films ever produced on this, one of the most interesting subjects in the history of science." I beg to disagree: it is a totally one-sided Crockumentary. Fox spent a great deal of time talking about and illustrating the news coverage that he has received, and he showed some examples of his "gorilla marketing" of his films (I suspect he meant "guerilla").

Fox explained that he had arranged to interview Buzz Aldrin about the UFOs that supposedly followed him to the moon, but Aldrin backed out at the last minute because he feared losing funding from Paul Allen for SETI. Here is a YouTube video where Fox makes this same claim.

I did not realize that former Arizona governor Fife Symington's belated confession that he, too, saw the big V-shaped UFO of the Phoenix lights, ten years after the fact, was made while Fox was interviewing him. Later I had an opportunity to talk to Fox, and told him that there is good reason to believe that Symington is lying about his me-too sighting. (Symington was, after all, convicted on seven felony counts of fraud, overturned on a technicality, then pardoned by the outgoing President Clinton.) The first UFO event of the evening, the V-shaped lights (actually five Air National Guard A-10s flying in formation from Las Vegas to Tucson; Tim Printy has more about this) occurred from just before 8:00 PM until 8:45. The second event, that Fox agreed was a flare drop from different Air National Guard planes, began at 10:00 and lasted at most ten minutes. I reminded Fox that Symington claimed to have seen news coverage of the lights on TV, then went outside to look. He says he walked down to where the news crews had been filming the lights (the flare drop), and then saw the V-shape fly over, big and mysterious. However, there was no news coverage of the sightings before the planes landed about 8:45, and there could have been nobody filming the "lights" prior to 10:00, because the flares had not yet been dropped. Therefore Symington's claimed sighting occurred after 10:00, probably well after, and hence is an obvious fabrication. "No, he saw it at 8:20. It was 8:20," Fox insisted. "How could he have seen news coverage of this by 8:20?", I asked. "Maybe he heard chatter on the radio or something," Fox said. "How could there have been news crews filming this by 8:20?", I asked? Fox was having no more of this conversation. "Why would Symington have made this up?", another man asked me. "Because of the news coverage it gave him, and feature stories in which he talks about his new business ventures. It would have cost a lot to buy the publicity he got for free by claiming a UFO sighting."

Fox announced that his next UFO Crockumentary project was under way: 701 - The Movie. This, he says, is the number that the government does not want you to know - the number of Blue Book "unknowns." What Fox does not realize is that this number has already shrunk upon further analysis, and is set to shrink still further (see Tim Printy's Sunlite for more details).

Stanton Friedman
The next speaker was the inevitable Stanton T. Friedman, who promised "A New Look at the Cosmos," although very little in his talk was new. The rate of change in his presentation, if any, is glacial. He began talking about scientific mistakes of the past. To Friedman, rejecting UFOs is another of science's great mistakes. He presented the equations of fusion, without working out the actual results of those equations as did Dr. Edward M. Purcell, proving that interstellar travel using nuclear fusion is preposterous.

He termed SETI the "silly effort to investigate." After all, why look all across the cosmos for ETI when they're here right now? Friedman says that as part of a program on a cruise ship he debated two skeptics on the subject of UFOs. Against Seth Shostak, he claims he won the debate according to 58% of the audience, and against Michael Shermer by 80%.

People say that if the government had UFO secrets, they would have leaked out by now. Freidman claims that governments can keep secrets, and for his example he cites the Corona spy satellite program of the early 1960s, that supposedly was unknown until it was declassified in 1995. BZZZZT! Wrong-o, Stanton. In 1971 your good buddy Philip J. Klass, drawing upon what he learned in his work as Senior Avionics Editor at Aviation Leak magazine, wrote Secret Sentries in Space (Random House), which contains a detailed description of the then top-secret classified Corona program, explaining exactly what it is and how it works. Aviation Week magazine was the original Wikileaks. Klass always insisted that, if there were any government secrets about UFOs, he would have picked up on them long ago through his extensive network of sources. Friedman says that at least three out of over 100 supposedly leaked MJ-12 government UFO documents are authentic, meaning he concedes that some energetic hoaxer has produced the other 97%. I say it's 100%. We almost agree.

Interestingly, Friedman did not mention the Fish Map (a supposed extraterrestrial star map sketched by Betty Hill), but did go on about Zeta1 and Zeta2 Reticuli, the supposed home stars of the UFOnauts, according to that map. It was good to see that he seems to have finally capitulated to the facts, and abandoned, at least in part, the famous Fish Map. However, for reasons that make no sense, he still clings to Zeta1 and Zeta2 as stars allegedly being the home base of the UFOnauts. Of course, once you concede that the Fish Map pattern means nothing, then the Zetas mean nothing, as well. So we should applaud Friedman for having taken little baby steps in the direction of truth. Not surprisingly, in view of the above Friedman was not exactly happy to see me.

Here is more bad news for Friedman from astronomers: Far-infrared observations have revealed "A flattened, disk-like structure with a semi-major axis of~ 100 AU in size is detected around zeta^2 Ret. The resolved structure suggests the presence of an eccentric dust ring, which we interpret as an exo-Kuiper belt." Which suggests that there are no planets around Zeta2, or they would have swept away this dust ring through constant collisions with its particles. But wait, there's more: Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 are not Main Sequence stars at all, but sub-dwarf stars, Class VI (Main Sequence stars are Class V). The Fish Map was supposed to exclude all non Main Sequence stars. If you don't understand all these terms, don't worry. It just means that the two Zetas are not really solar-type stars, and should have been excluded from the Fish Map. Goodbye, Zeta Reticuli.
Alain Boudier

The next talk, by Alain Boudier, was potentially the most significant and newsworthy of the entire Congress. It is the only one that promises genuinely new and historically significant information. Boudier said that the 3AF is the most prestigious organization of its kind in France. It is an aerospace organization, not a government body, equivalent to the American AIAA (which had its own flirtation wqith UFOs over forty years ago, and thankfully not since). The UFO report of the 3AF Sigma Commission is set to be released in a few months. Until then, he said, he cannot discuss it, and then he proceeded to do just that.

This report, he promised, will be different than the “official” history of UFOs. It appears that the intent of the report is to push the entire UFO chronology back, before Arnold, to include the World War II era. He talked about foo fighters, the Battle of Los Angeles, and some pre-Arnold sightings in the Pacific before moving on to Roswell, which he accepts as a genuine alien crash.

The report’s conclusions were that the U.S. military made its first UFO crash retrievals in 1941 (by the Navy, off the coast of San Deigo), and on Feb. 26, 1942 (by the Army, in the San Bernardino mountains). Supposedly a document from FDR mentions the retrievals. The U.S. formed an “Interplanetary Phenomena Unit” to manage these retrievals. This allowed the development of otherwise-unknown technology, which he suggested was used to defeat Japan. You heard it right, folks: reverse-engineered alien technology was used to build the atomic bomb.
Alain Boudier and Antonio Huneeus
 A lot of people at the conference seem to have missed this bombshell announcement. Boudier was speaking in French, with Antonio Huneeus translating (who did extremely well considering that his native language was neither French nor English, but Spanish). Still, with the inevitable delays the talk was difficult to listen to, and many people left the auditorium. Based on what Boudier told us, when the 3AF UFO report is finally released, the 3AF will no longer be considered “prestigious,” but a laughingstock.

David Hatcher Childress
The final speaker of Saturday was David Hatcher Childress, whose talk was titled “Tesla, UFOs, and Atlantean Technology.” He was described as a “co-star” of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel, and a “real-life Indiana Jones.” It looked to me like he had the biggest audience of any speaker, which tells you a lot about who is attending this conference.

He started talking about the ancients’ apparent levitation of heavy stones, and the use of power tools. At this point I left, having heard such stuff many times before on Ancient Aliens. I didn’t stay to find out if Tesla stole his discoveries from the Atlanteans, or vice versa.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

UFOs In the Desert, Part 3.

Friday was the third day of the International UFO Congress in Fountain Hills, Arizona, the largest UFO conference in the world. My previous Blog posting covers the second day.  Here is a link back to the first posting about the conference.

Dr. Michael Dennin
The first speaker Friday morning was Dr. Michael Dennin, professor of physics and astronomy at UC Irvine. He explained many basic physics and astronomy concepts to the audience, such as light years, conservation of energy, general relativity, etc. Putting it all together, the prospect of interstellar travel looks pretty implausible for any society, no matter how advanced, so long as it must obey the laws of physics. Given how difficult interstellar travel is, Dennin said it is hard to imagine secret visits.

But he did throw a few bones to the pro-ET crowd, that he admits to be "pure speculation."

1. A "warped highway" might permanently warp the space between objects by putting mass between them. He didn't say how many solar masses this might require.

2. We might find a wormhole. (There is no evidence whatever that wormholes are real vs. merely theoretical, and a lot of good of physics to say they are virtually impossible.)

3. Some societies may become relativistic nomads, and take extremely long interstellar voyages at relatively low speeds. Such voyages would be measured in the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years.

Richard Dolan
Next came UFO author  Richard Dolan, speaking on "UFOs for the 21st Century." He mused about the past twenty years that he has been investigating UFOs. The internet, he says, has raised the noise-to-signal ratio, and he also noted the rise of non-physical, non-ET theories. (I've been investigating UFO claims for over forty years, and I know that non-physical theories were popular back then - Vallee's Passport to Magonia, Jerome Clark, John Keel, etc.) UFO "Disclosure" would truly rock our world.

Dolan managed to bring in just about every loopy idea that has come up in recent years: ancient pyramids, crash retrievals, reverse-engineeered alien technology, a "secret space program," alien hybrids, telepathic alien contact, and mind control. Mention this the next time somebody refers to Dolan as a "conservative UFOlogist." The reason for the UFO cover up, he suggested, is because the secret of the UFOs' alien propulsion system threatens petroleum interests, the same claim that Steven Greer makes in the wild conspiracy movie Thrive.

Are you ready for another 'alien encounters' TV series?

Marc Dantonio
The next speaker was the very interesting Marc Dantonio on "Photo and Video Anomalies: 2013 Update." He is MUFON's chief photo/video analyst, and president of FX models. His company makes UFOs and other implausible things - for TV. Dantonio has upset some people in the UFO field, simply because his investigations of purported UFO photos and videos are so good. As an expert in special effects, it would be extremely difficult for a hoaxer to fool him. As I mentioned in Part 2 concerning the Thursday panel, Huffington Post Weird News reporter Lee Speigel receives many purported UFO photos and videos. He sends the interesting ones to Dantonio, who told Speigel that he had not yet sent over anything that's unidentified.

He showed us photos and videos that show lens flares, aircraft operation, solar balloons, the blinking lights on a vehicle, a reflection on a windshield, blowing snow, a flock of geese, digital skywriting, a butterfly, and views of a tower from Google Earth, directly above it.

Dantonio says that the testimony of the witnesses often does not match the submitted photo or video, so the witnesses often are unwilling to accept his analysis, insisting "I know what I saw!" He resolves the dilemma by explaining that his comments pertain to the photograph, not to the observation. "The purpose is not primarily to debunk the footage, but to illustrate that we must be very hard on the data in order to find the holy grail of UFOlogy." Amen, brother!

This might make it sound like Dantonio is a skeptic, but he is not. He said that about 15 years ago, he had a traumatic encounter event, in which he awoke at night, paralyzed, and was menaced by terrifying creatures. I regret that, when I spoke to him later, I forgot to mention the well-known phenomenon of sleep disorders and hallucinations, which his experience describes to a "T." Wikipedia says, "Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are symptoms commonly experienced during episodes of sleep paralysis." However, we did discuss some other weird science ideas that he suggests make interstellar travel possible, like the Alcubierre Drive, that supposedly moves space out of the way, and pushes it behind the craft. This supposedly would enable us to effectively travel faster than light.

Dr. Roger Leir
Next were Dr. Roger Leir and Steven Colbern, on "Alien Implants: The Tip of the Iceberg." Leir spoke first. He has performed 16 surgeries to remove implants from alleged alien abductees. His Alien & Scalpel Research is incorporated as a 5013c company, and does not charge for any of the surgeries.

Leir described at length some weird events associated with surgery #15. The man had a small puncture wound on the underside of his toe, although this entry point is hardly necessary as aliens can "disassociate matter" and even move through walls. A&S went into full Ghost Hunter mode at the man's house, with radio frequency scanners, magnetometers, and radiation detectors. Many anomalies were discovered, including a magnetic monopole (something sought more eagerly even than unicorns), and magnetized wood and plastic. The man's wife was in a "constant state of denial" about all this.

During the man's surgery, his implant kept moving away from the scalpel. It broke into twelve pieces; one disappeared. 48 hours after their removal, the remaining pieces reassembled themselves.

Steve Colbern examines Leda Beluche  for alien markings at the Alien & Scalpel table.

Steve Colbern talked about the supposed alien implant removed during surgery #15. It is similar in appearance to a meteorite, and consists of carbon fiber nanotubes, a manufactured nanotechnology device of unknown purpose. 32 trace elements were detected, including iridium, and meteoric iron. One magnetic pole of the object is stronger than the other (which I think makes it a magnetic monopole, as well).

Lee Speigel, David H. Childress, Antonio Huneeus, Dr. Michael Dennin

The last session of Friday was a panel on "Ancient Aliens" with David Hatcher Childress, Dr. Michael Dennin, and Open Minds reporter Antonio Huneeus substituting for Jason Martel. If you've watched Ancient Aliens on the History Channel, you've seen Childress many times. He talked about out-of-place artifacts in rock strata millions of years old. But he said that they might have been planted by time travelers. Huneeus suggested that life on earth may have been seeded from space - deliberately. Dr. Dennin cautioned that round objects in the sky seen in old drawings and paintings are simply "generic" shapes. They are not structured, complex shapes - that would be more significant.

In the evening there was a free Skywatch, hosted by Ben Hansen of SyFy's Fact or Faked?, and sponsored by Night Optics USA, a Bushnell company. Their hope was to sell some very expensive night vision equipment to UFO enthusiasts (their products cost thousands of dollars each). I suspect that they were disappointed.

John Rao, the founder of Open Minds, drives his UFO spotting vehicle to the evening skywatch.

The vehicle has two cameras. One is infrared, the other isn't.

I have written before about the new fad for night-vision devices among UFO enthusiasts. Let's just say that many people are using devices they do not understand, and are making incorrect conclusions about what they are seeing. A good pair of binoculars will show you at least as many objects, and at far better resolution, than a night vision device.

The audience watching Night Optics' displays, hoping to see UFOs.
People stood in line for their turn to personally look through the different night vision devices. Meanwhile James McGaha and I had brought our portable telescopes, and offered views of Jupiter, the Pleiades, and the Orion nebula. On the big screen, a satellite or something was briefly noted but nothing of UFOlogical significance was seen all night.

The cameras of the UFO spotting vehicles was pointed to the south. This ATV has been customized with dual cameras in the back. However, I am given to understand that these are not astronomical cameras, but instead are security cameras as are used by the Border Patrol to look for illegal border crossers, and do not have the resolution that is typical of astronomical cameras.

Electronics in the UFO-spotting vehicle. Note "orb" on the screen.
 In the photo you can see the round object that Rao suggested was an "orb." It slowly drifted from left to right across the screen, and he would repeatedly bring it back to the left side again. It was obviously an out-of-focus star image, moving from east to west because the camera does not have celestial tracking to compensate for the rotation of the earth. Orbs don't usually last this long, he remarked, they disappear quickly. I had a green laser pointer, and laid it against the edge of the camera. The beam pointed exactly to Epsilon Canis Majoris (Adhara), a star of magnitude 1.5 (brighter than the stars in the Big Dipper) due south about 25 degrees up. This was his orb. James McGaha came by, and tried to show him how to focus the image. When that was done, the "orb" shrank down to a pinpoint size.