Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Skeptical Look at the 2017 UFO Congress - Part 2

Alejandro Rojas
Conference host Alejandro Rojas delivered his own talk about ETs and Religion. He cited examples of what appear to be discussions of alien beings in various world religions, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Native American beliefs, Mormons, Nation of Islam, Scientology, Raelism, and Heavens Gate. 

He referred to Ted Peters' survey of religious attitudes toward extraterrestrial beings, presented at the UFO Congress in 2014. Practically nobody said that the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligent beings would pose a problem for their religious faith.

Erika Lukes
Erika Lukes, formerly MUFON state director for Utah, is now head of a new group, Unexplained Utah. She said her interest in UFOs began when she had a series of sightings in the Salt Lake Valley. There are many important sightings in Utah, she said, and many top-secret military sites. "All of the ley lines in the world" converge right here in the Mormon Temple. She seemed not to realize that "ley lines" are complete nonsense.

Her best case was apparently the American Airlines 434 radar-visual case, which occurred over Utah on January 14, 2016. Tim Printy looked into it in his E-Zine SUNlite (scroll down to p. 6), and noted that "the radar data is not a match and can not be used as confirmation that the 'bright orange square' was an airborne object." So there was apparently no "flying object" involved, and no radar detection of it.

Now, she believes, UFOs are "the most important subject we will ever deal with." She says that night vision optics are very important in UFO investigation (I disagree, as will be discussed later), as is a device called MADAR III to measure geomagnetic anomalies.

Bob Davis
Dr. Bob Davis serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Research Team of the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE). His talk was, "A Study on Individuals who Report UFO Related Contact Experiences with a Non-Human Intelligent Being."

He found that 83% of those who reported ET contact said that it had changed their lives in a positive way. 95% of them report having "paranormal" experiences. He showed a chart illustrating the "Quantum Hologram (QH) Resonance" theory of consciousness, which includes everything from the Collective Unconscious to Remote Viewing, Telekinesis, Reincarnation, Oneness, Wholeness, all the way to "peace with the universe." UFOs, he explained, have a "psycho-spiritual" dimension. (Here is an interesting interview with Davis.)

Kathleen Marden talked about "Perplexing Phenomena." She has experienced weird phenomena all her life. A UFO landed within 500 feet of her house in 1966 (five years after her aunt Betty Hill was allegedly abducted). After that, weird things began to happen: poltergeist, orbs, "apports" from thin air, "bed walking": the sensation that something is walking across your bed, which she says 65% of "experiencers" report. Also, "shape shifters" and "shadow people." She showed an "actual photograph of shadow entity." Unfortunately, it was dark and shadowy, without detail.
Stanton Freidman with Kathleen Marden at the 2015 UFO Congress
Marden has been receiving reports from a man named Melvon, who works at a small airport. His supposed UFO video, showing an object pulsing and getting larger and smaller, is nothing more than the autofocus of the video camera trying to focus in on a distant light - without success. Melvon has been reporting seeing entities with faces of a man, or a goat. He also reports experiencing "time shifts."  In one such incident, he saw elephants walking across the savannah, at his airport. Actually, he believes the animals to have been wooly mammoths.

Phoenix Lights 20th Anniversary Panel: Dr. Lynne Kitei is now a full-time promoter of the Phoenix Lights. She told how she and others had seen the  famous lights on several other occasions. A mile-wide object was sighted covering Las Vegas. People are seeing triangular craft, and also circular ones. Ten different kinds of craft were seen. One object was eight miles across. She said she is now working on a Phoenix Lights coloring book. Delightful!

UFO expert-on-everything Richard Dolan stated that the Maryland Air National Guard absolutely did not drop flares on the night of March 13, 1997.  Lt. Col. Ed Jones of the Maryland Air National Guard, who piloted one of the four A-10s in the squadron that launched the flares, would disagree.

Jim Mann of Phoenix MUFON said we can't say that the Phoenix Lights were extraterrestrial, only that they were an "anomaly," an unknown. It isn't flares, or airplanes in formation.

James Fox told how he interviewed former Arizona governor Fife Symington, who belatedly "confessed" to having seen the lights ten years earlier, a dramatic reversal of his previous disparagement of the "lights". When Fox was a speaker at the 2013 UFO Congress, I spoke with him and explained why it is obvious that Symington is lying, and simply made up his sighting:
 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.

In 2017, Symington's story has changed again (or more likely, Fox changed it for him). As Fox explained in his own talk later, Symington was listening in on the scanner and heard about the lights. (We don't know that there was any discussion of the first incident on some unspecificed scanner channels, although we can't say that there wasn't. This removes the obvious timeline discrepancy in Symington's first "I saw it" statement, which was that he saw the news reports, and went out to where the news crews had been filming the lights. This would be much too late to see the "triangle.") Symington supposedly drove out to Camelback Mountain, where he saw them.

In response to a question, Fox marvelled at Symington's abrupt change of heart on the subject:
I can't get it out of my mind. Earlier in the day he seemed so adamant, let's get to the bottom of it...it didn't seem like he was joking...let's find out what it was these people have seen, of course at that time not admitting the fact that he too had seen it.

But then that whole shift between that morning and that afternoon... I can't help but wonder, if he must have received a phone call. Something was going on that we're not privy to. So I asked him, did you receive a phone call from somebody? He said no. I don't know man, it's really kind of strange that he would do a 180 from the morning to the afternoon...
What "went on" was simply that Symington had decided to jump on the Phoenix Lights bandwagon, and invent a story about seeing them. Symington is an experienced liar (his conviction was later overturned on a technicality, but before he could be re-tried he was the lucky recipient of one of many undeserved pardons issued by the outgoing President Clinton).

The Registration Desk

Evening Film Festival: The first film was Robert Hasting's UFOs and Nukes, which claimed that UFOs have been menacing U.S. missile sites and taking the missiles off-line. For brevity, I will simply refer the reader to Tim Printy's in-depth critique of it (scroll down to page 7).

The second short film was something called Seek, basically a ten-minute rock video supposedly having something to do with love between a human and an alien.

Next was a full-length film called The Awakening of 12 Strands.
“Awakening of 12 Strands” is a story about ETs (including negative Reptilians), walk-ins, djinn, military, pharmaceuticals, nutrition, alchemy and more. Jasmine, who is the main character, is diagnosed with AIDS. This inspires her to undertake an unusual worldwide journey to awaken souls. The movie covers DNA issues and how Jasmine is effected by the events that unfold.

Think: European directors, symbolism, no obvious plot. The director Sandra Daroy says, "A MOVIE that NEEDS TO be WATCHED at least twice to see all details and clues." I only lasted about twenty minutes.



  1. Replies
    1. Not this time. For one thing, the drinks cost too much at that place to indulge very much.

  2. We almost went again this year (it was good to meet you last year and fun to watch the show unfold), but the cast of characters just did not inspire us.

    I did not think that Ted Roe was going to apologize for actions in regard to Issac Koi, and apparently he did not. Richard Dolan has only proven over the years (and particularly at the Roswell Slides event) that there is no stage too questionable for him. And although UFOs and Cowboys had the potential to be as good as last years Marilyn and JFK presentation, I am not sure that a rehash of Aurora would have lived up to expectation.

    But who knew that Marden would talk about a guy seeing Mammoths walk across his airport or that Yvonne Smith would go on a rant against Trump?

    We decided to use our travel plans to take our investigations elsewhere in the area - from a UFO mural Lowell to White Sands (where Daniel Fry once reported being taken aboard a craft) or the abandoned domes in Casa Grande that are shaped something like a saucer. But I am glad that we can read your reports. Thank you for being there.

    1. @erickson, Cowboys and Aliens was about much more than Aurora. Noe had many cases from news clippings.

    2. Of course Roe didn't say a word about Isaac Koi in his talk. I did ask him, and Erika, "what gives with that?" (separately at first, then later they brought it up together). Both said that they hold no animosity toward Koi, they have grear respect for him, they have no intention of publishing his real name, etc. It occurred to me that this might be what sometimes happens when several hot-headed people interact and clash. I had the thought that perhaps this breach is not beyond repair.

      But then both insisted that a researcher cannot be respected if he hides behind a pseudonym. I raised the objection that a "performer's name", if it is used consistently, is just as good as a legal name. For example, "James 'The Amazing' Randi" was not his name at birth. Suppose we did not know his original name (of course, we do), would it matter? Mention "The Amazing Randi," and everyone knows who he is, what he does, and what he stands for. But I don't think they were buying it.

    3. Pseudonyms are unethical? A research-active British neuroscientist has been highlighting important findings and controversies writing under the name Neuroskeptic. In this piece he provides examples of other legitimate work done under pseudonyms.

  3. It seems that Marden is being "carried away by the fairies," as was Betty Hill in her dotage.

    Here's one of the statements from her website about such things, titled, "THE UFO-PSI CONNECTION IN MY OWN LIFE:


  4. And besides, I wasn't there to help you, eh Roberto?

    1. Yer Grace, I had that same thought as I wrote my reply. But I kept it to myself.


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