Search This Blog


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Could Aliens Buy America?

We Americans live in a beautiful country.  Here in Southern New England we have rolling hills covered in deciduous trees, dotted with middle class homes and large estates.  There are abundant fish in our clean(ish) rivers, places to hike and bike, and sandy beaches with gentle waves.  Further north we have the evergreen-carpeted Adirondack, Green, and White Mountain ranges.  To the west we have nearly every type of topography and geographic features on Earth, all in one country.  We are lucky to live in such a place.

The Beauty of Connecticut
The Beauty of Connecticut

Sometimes I think about how this all came to be.  There were other people living here before our European forefathers established this country.  For the most part, these aboriginal inhabitants did not believe in the concept of land ownership the way we think of it, although they did respect territorial boundaries.  They did not believe in the rule of law, as imposed by a federal government.  Everything was more localized.  Rules applied to your extended family or what we often refer to as a "tribe".  Your land was shared with members of the family and owned by the whole community.  What did these people think when pale-faced men with muskets spoke with them about acquiring some of this land?

Much is said about how the White Man "stole" this land from the Indians.  Yes, that happened; in many places people were forced to pack up and move, under harsh conditions.  With the exception of the Dutch, if a European felt they "discovered" some land they tended to plant a flag on it and it then belonged to them.  But not everyone, everywhere, was like that.  Here in New England, in the earliest days of Colonial America, there were deals.  Land was purchased.  Treaties were signed.  There was an attempt at doing things the right way, whatever that meant.

In my state of Connecticut, there is great pride in the story of the founding of the town of Ridgefield.  Local history expert, Jack Sanders, spoke with me about some men from down the hill in Norwalk and Milford, now known as "The Proprietors."  These men came up to the village of Ramapo and negotiated with a Sachem, Chief Katonah (a.k.a Catoonah).  They paid the Sachem 100 Pounds Sterling for 20,000 acres of his people's land to create my town, Ridgefield.

This got me thinking - what if aliens came down and offered one of our leaders some sum of money to buy some land?

Could Aliens Buy America?

It seems impossible, at first glimpse.  But roll with me on this one.  Sanders tells me there is no historical documentation in the official town records of how Katonah's Ramapoo people felt about their Sachem's sale of their land.  New England Pre-history Archaeologist Lynn-Marie Wieland was able to shed some light on this for me.

Wieland tells me, by the late 1600's the Indians of New England had been completely decimated by disease.  Those who survived had a reckoning of their situation.  They embarked on a long process of consolidating their land holdings.  By this point they had learned the White Man's concept of land ownership and would often sell portions of their lands.  They sat on so much land and there were so few people left on it, it must have seemed like a no-brainer to cut their losses and get some money or goods (guns, coats, tools, etc.) for it. 

Sometimes, Wieland says, they would sell the same piece of land over and over.  I suppose, if you do not believe in our concept of land ownership in the first place this might seem like a funny joke to play on people - kind of like selling someone the Brooklyn Bridge.  More likely though, Wieland says, while the Indians knew they had sold the land, their concept of the deals was more like they were renting the land to the White Man and if the buyers did not continually occupy and improve the land, the Indians would simply reclaim it.

There is no record of how Katonah dispersed his 100 Pounds amongst his people, if at all.  However, history tells us that keeping the money for himself would have been considered unthinkable.  Wieland explains, "among hunter/gatherers, the person most admired is the one who shares his wealth with his community."  The funds were probably distributed in an equitable manner, although no one knows for sure.  Katonah could have kept more for himself or he could have given some hush money to dissenters.  While the cultures of many Indian people were very different from those of their new European neighbors, people are people.  The funds could have been distributed in any manner Katonah saw fit.

Little is recorded indicating whether or not Katonah was even endowed with the authority to make the sale.  However, the deal was signed by several others of his people, along with a few other outside witnesses (John W. DeForest, 1851. History of the Indians of Connecticut from the Earliest Known Period to 1850, Connecticut Historical Society) and Wieland says it was probably authorized by every adult male in Katonah's community.

Chief Katonah was offered, what to him must have seemed like a fortune, to pack up and go elsewhere.  And there was plenty of land available over in what would eventually become the town of Katonah, New York.  (You see what he did, there?)  So why not?

Ridgefield today on left, Wappinger village of Ramapo in 1665 on right.  
Katonah, NY is just west of Cross River.
Much of Rt. 7 from Massachusetts to the Long Island Sound 
was once the Berkshire Path, an Indian foot path.
This begs the question.  If someone of dubious authority can sell the land out from under his people, to "alien" settlers, just 300 years ago, could it happen again?  I say, "dubious authority" because before Europeans came here there were no deeds certifying land ownership.  There were no surveys or maps.  The Indians were able to sell their land because Europeans said so.  We brought our concept of land ownership over here and imposed it upon them.  So could something like that happen again?  Could people from another place come here, make a deal with an authority figure, and boot us off our land?  I think so.

But wait, you say, we have laws against that.  Yes, we have laws against that.  But aliens may not.  I believe that when Chief Katonah stood before his people, laden with silver, at least one of these folks must have stood up and said, in his best John Mulaney voice, "Excuse me, um... Chief... you did wha...?"  There had to be some people who disagreed with the sale.  This is beautiful country.  Some people must have said, "Well, I ain't goin'!" 

You did wha...?
Wieland says yes indeed, some people did stay.  Whether it was because they did not support the sale, or not, is unknown.  Katonah was listed on the deed as being from New York so most of the family or tribe may have already left by then.  But I am imagining a conversation in one home that went something like this:

Husband: Land is sold.  We should start packin' up.
Wife: Why, is someone moving here?  To this very spot?
Husband: Um, this spot?  I don't know.
Wife: OK then, we'll stay until they tell us to leave.
Husband: Well, we should really...
Wife: We'll stay until they tell us to leave!
Husband: Yes, dear.

For the folks who stayed in the new town of Ridgefield after the rest of their Ramapoo people moved west, they would have found that things changed for them pretty quickly.  Suddenly, there were once familiar places which now had fences around them, barring entry.  Old paths were widened to allow horse-drawn carriages to pass while other paths were blocked by houses or fences.  If you came across berries or wild fruit trees you may not be permitted to pick them because they were on someone else's private property.  Hunting was restricted.  "What have they done to my land!" they would have thought.

The Ramapoo who stayed would have found themselves living under the legal jurisdiction of an alien power they did not recognize as theirs.  But like it or not, they were forced to abide by this new rule of law.  What, you do not like it?  Perhaps you would like to put on these shackles and visit the Magistrate with me.  Or perhaps you would like to speak into the barrel of my musket.  I can get the constable or even a militia to help me, if needed.

Could it happen again?

Let us bypass the question of, "Could Aliens Buy America?" and keep it more simple.  Could aliens buy my house?  Why not?  As long as the check clears.  My neighbors would probably be pissed.  They would be like, "Aliens!  There goes the neighborhood."

For Sale signs would go up all over the place.  Pretty soon, more aliens would move in.  Eventually this would become an alien neighborhood.  At least, this is the pattern which has been repeated over and over again when one ethnic group starts to move into another ethnically homogeneous neighborhood, all across America.

Why would it be different if aliens moved here?  Sure, at first it would be novel to live next door to the alien family.  The conversations over the hedgerow would be interesting and thought-provoking.  But once they started to cook their strange-smelling foods, park their old beat-up spaceships on cinder blocks in the back yard, and blast their alien music at all hours of the night, people would bolt.  I am not making this up, it happens time after time, not with aliens, but there is no reason to believe it would be different with them.  People are people.

 The Indians of old Ridgefield

The Indians who sold Ridgefield to the Proprietors are sometimes referred to locally as the Lanape.  Wieland says decedents of these people prefer to be called Ramapoo.  They belonged to the Wappinger Indians who were related to the Lanape.

In total, there were nine transactions which together created the current town as we know it.  Some people stayed in the town, sometimes re-selling the same land more than once.  Others moved on to Katonah, NY with their Sachem.  Others relocated in between, to Lake Kitchawan.

Wikipedia reports that some of these people moved even further west and settled in what are now the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey.  Though, Wieland indicated this may not be true.

Once a certain area became an enclave of alien people, they might be inclined to buy up the whole darned town.  Indeed, if I could afford it, I would not mind owning this town.  It is a nice town.  If you had the ability to travel from there to here, perhaps hundreds of light-years or more, would you come with an empty wallet?  Probably not.  More likely, you would come with some form of currency which the native people would accept and then you would start bargain hunting.

Not too long ago, it was possible for a Westerner to travel to a developing country and pay a paltry sum for all types of native wares, with both parties of the transaction believing they got a great deal.  Indeed, the other day one of my students in a business course I teach told me he recently went home to his native Egypt and pulled out an American one hundred dollar bill in a marketplace.  Shop-keepers closed off the markets so he could shop, undisturbed.  Certainly the same would be true of any transaction conducted with aliens.  They would come with today's equivalent of 100 Pounds Sterling and buy up our land - perhaps the whole town.

After securing a foothold here, aliens would then be free to start making their own rules.  One would think they might adopt our democratic ways and hold a referendum which the people would vote on.  But why would they have to do that when they could simply say, "This is our town, we make our own rules."  That is what the people of Ridgefield did when they bought this land from the Ramapoo.  They did not care what existing rules the Ramapoo had.  They did not care what the Ramapoo's system of rule-making was.  They bought the land and they were going to impose their Common Law system on all people living in it.

It was not just the local town laws which applied either, 300 years ago.  Anyone living in the colony of Connecticut would have been subject to the laws of its governor.  Europeans did not ask the Indians if they wanted this land to be called Connecticut and if they wanted to live under its colonial laws.  They just drew a boundary on a map and said to the Governor, "This is the colony of Connecticut.  Go govern it."  Many of the local Indians and the coastal Algonquians to the east would not discover they were living in someone else's country, under someone else's laws, for decades.

Perhaps, somewhere on another planet, leaders have drawn lines on a map around all of New England and said to one of their people, "This is New Glaxon.  Go rule it."  We could, right at this moment, be living under the jurisdiction of an alien power and not even know it.  Perhaps they have drawn a line around all of North America.

That being the case, what would then stop an alien power from doing what Europeans did to Indians?  I am not saying they would come here and force us off our land and commit genocide - not at first, anyway.  They might just come and try to buy the land, either house by house, or entire towns, states, even countries.  Along the way, we might be exposed to their alien diseases, just like the Indians.

Forget about our existing laws, because aliens would not necessarily recognize them - Europeans did not recognize Indian rules, why would aliens recognize ours?  With that in mind, an alien emissary could feasibly walk into the White House and offer our president, say, one trillion dollars (perhaps in some other currency but still the equivalent of a trillion dollars).  Would the president sell us out for a trillion bucks?  The speculative answer to that question probably depends on which side of the political aisle you stand on.  But suppose he did.

The president of the United States is not endowed with the authority to sell our country to aliens.  There is no land deed that I know of which bestows ownership of the entire country onto any one person.  Also the people living here would not stand for it.  But he could still take the money, either willingly or under duress.  Perhaps they will make him an offer he couldn't refuse.

I made him an offer he couldn't refuse
Or perhaps aliens would first come and (inadvertently or purposely) infect us with alien diseases we cannot fight off, leaving our population decimated and our economy in shambles - like Europeans did to the Indians!  Would our leader want to put in the hard work to rebuild a ruined country, infiltrated and overrun with amok aliens, or would he prefer to cut his losses, take the cash, and move on to greener pastures, like Chief Katonah did.  Depends on the president.

Just to legitimize the deal, the president might offer each of his cabinet members a billion dollars to also sign the deal.  The heads of the opposition party each get five billion, to look the other way.  They all then relocate to the Bahamas or various other hospitable places, and name those places after themselves, à la Katonah, New York.

Once that alien document was signed by all the heads of the country, once the deed to our land was in their long spindly hands, aliens would have the ability to say the deal abides by the terms of their legal system (which unbeknownst to us had been superimposed over our legal system when their maps had been overlaid on our maps).  

At that point, all humans in the country would fall under the rule of the new governor.  What, you do not like it?  Perhaps you would like to put on these shackles and visit the Magistrate with me.  Or perhaps you would like to speak into the barrel of my death ray.  I can get the constable or even a fleet of killer spaceships to help me, if needed.

Enjoying this blog?
Also follow me
If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form on this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Great Conspiracy Conspiracy

Last week I posted my first blog article in a while.  I had taken the summer off from blogging in order to focus on business and also some other writing projects.  The primary reason I am writing again is simply because some time has freed up, with the family all back to school now.  But as a wise old Jedi once said, "There is another."  Another reason, that is.

My mental image of "Book Launching"
Back in June of this year one of my neighbors, Rich Cohen, released his latest book The Last Pirate of New York.   He announced on social media and personal email that he was "launching" his new book.  That brought a couple images to mind.  One was of a book, duct taped to the top of a rocket, hurling into space at 18,000 miles per hour.  The other was something like the video below, but with a book.

Rich is a good guy and is good friends with some of my good friends.   So when he announced he would be hosting a book launching event, I thought it would be nice to go out and help the neighbor down the street celebrate a major accomplishment.  I also had some selfish reasons - being a would-be writer myself, I wanted to pick his brain on a few things.

I marked my calendar for June 6th at 7:00pm.  Unfortunately, I could not make the book reading part of the event because it conflicted with one of my kids' school concerts.  I was disappointed because the first five attendees to Rich's event were promised, "a free Mr. Microphone, which you can use to impress your friends!"

Dumb Stunts

In all sincerity, who does not like to impress their friends?  When I was a kid, the kids in my neighborhood used to build a lot of ramps to jump our bikes off of.  We would gather up whatever scrap wood our dads had lying around in a tool shed, the rafters of a garage, or under a porch, prop them up with a bigger piece of wood, or a log, or cinder block, whatever we could find, and race over them as fast as we could peddle.  We wore no helmets or pads back then and our bikes weighed like 200 pounds.  It is a wonder any of us survived.

Mr. Microphone
Impress your friends!
It only took a few inches of drop to get several feet of air if you went really fast and then picked up your front wheel as you went over.  Sometimes you would land on the back wheel and see how long you could do a wheelie.  Sometimes you crashed, got right up, and did it again.  We would do this for hours.

This one time, my next-door neighbor Jared and I had a little too much idle time on our hands and we "went to town" on a mega ramp.  We built this sucker up to a height of about four feet.  We were barely four feet tall ourselves so I do not know what we were thinking.  But it was a fun challenge to build and we had a good time doing it.  And then?  Well, if you build it they will jump.  Someone had to go off it.  But who would accept such a daring challenge?  I wonder who?

I mentioned in my last article that when I was younger I often had more courage than common sense.  And this is such a case.  I wanted to be the kid that made it off the four-foot ramp.  Kids in the neighborhood would be talking about this for days, maybe weeks.  It would be legendary.  Years later, movies would be based on the event.  I would go down in history.

I probably did not think any of that, at the time.  I just thought it would be fun to jump the ramp.  Maybe people would think I was cool, but that was subordinate to the thrill of flight.  I envisioned myself flying through the air, several feet off the ground and then locking the brakes and skidding to a stop in a cloud of dust.  That would be cool.

Evel Knievel Jumping Snake Canyon
My jump, in my mind
So I rode my Huffy BMX bike with the overstuffed next-generation banana seat, to the end of the long driveway, turned around, and stood astride my ride, looking ahead at my challenge.  I studied the vert and the drop, like The Terminator assessing a threat.  I looked at the spectators standing a little too close to the ramp.  I shouted, "Back up, everybody!"  They did - like all kids when you tell them to get out of the way, they stepped back about two inches.

I adjusted my peddles, certifying the one on the right was poised just ahead of the 12:00 position on the sprocket, for maximum thrust.  I anchored my left foot, mashing the pavement with my Montgomery Wards* sneaker, like I was putting out a cigarette.  I placed my right foot on the peddle, leaned on the handlebars, and went for it.  I stood on the peddles and peddled as hard as I ever had.  I rocked the bike alternately to the left and right, trying to build up enough velocity to clear the landing.  I must have accelerated to at least fifteen miles per hour.  I hit the plywood.  My speed instantly slowed by over fifty percent, as I climbed the insanely steep rise, analogous to a parachute being prematurely deployed.  I got to the end of the ramp and went straight down to the pavement, like a swimmer diving for a hockey puck.

Evel Knievel Crashing into Snake Canyon
My jump, closer to real life
My body was scraped, bruised, and banged up.  Tinned voices echoed in my inner ear.  Blood was everywhere.  As I stood up, before picking the asphalt out of my wounds or looking my bike over for damage, two thoughts came to mind:

1.  I should have picked up the front wheel
2.  That was "totally awesome" (it was the 1980's)

How much fun was that!  I would never again attempt any jump so colossally stupid.  How many times did Evel Knievel jump the Grand Canyon?  Well, zero but he did try to jump the Snake Canyon once.  Just once.  Both images above are from that near fatal stunt.


When Rich promised, "a free Mr. Microphone, which you can use to impress your friends," I was all over that like cheese on a hamburger.  But mis hijos son mi vida.  The concert would take precedence.  I told Rich I would try to make it for part of the reading but would definitely be there for the after party.  With kids a few years ahead of mine, he said, "Great! I know all about those concerts."

My wife and I drove separately to the concert.  She took the kids in the Subaru and I took the bike because when you ride a motorcycle you do it as much as you can, when you can.  It was June, it was warm, it was not raining (for a change) and I wanted to ride.  Also, anytime there is something going on at the school, there is nowhere to park and it is a pain getting out of there.  Bike = Solution. 

The concert was great and I was on my way.  I just missed the reading, though.  People were filing out of the public library when I arrived.  So I rode over to the restaurant where Rich was heading and got a seat at the bar.  Rich arrived around a quarter-after one beer.  I said hi, congratulated him on the new book, chatted for a minute and then let him go greet his wife, other friends, and assorted guests.  It was an interesting cast of characters; everyone seemed to be professional writers, at some point in their lives.  One guy used to write for MacGyver.  He told me about an episode where he came up with the MacGyvering.  It was a fun night.

MacGyver, MacGyvering something
MacGyver, MacGyvering something

Towards the end, I had a conversation with Rich about my own aspirations.  I wanted to pick his brain on how I could get my Close Encounter story out to the public.  I do not want to "impress my friends" à la Evel Knievel / Mr. Microphone.  I just want the world to know, to understand, to believe, we are being visited and to appreciate that we need to prepare for the inevitable Contact which will occur, geologically soon.

The hope was that Rich would point me towards a publisher, agent, production company, anyone who might be interested in my story.  Maybe even he himself would want to write about it.  Or better yet, Rich knows this article on UFOs needs to be written but he does not have the time for it himself and he does not know anyone else with expertise on the subject.  Hey Dave, you know something about UFOs.  Can you take care of this for me?  Sure, dude.  You came to the right person!

That was how I imagined it.  But like my jump over the 4-Footer, the conversation did not go the way I had envisioned.  Rich's only advice was to write about the experience. 

Later on, though, he did write about my experience, himself.  Rich put some thought into our conversation, over the summer.  Maybe it was because he was away from town, on vacation, without the normal distractions of everyday life, which provided him pause for contemplation.  Maybe it was being trapped in a cottage in Maine filled with kids and none of his regular grown-up pals to chit-chat with.  Whatever it was, Rich was inspired to write an article titled, "More UFOs Than Ever Before" for The Paris Review.

Rich Cohen Conspiracy

My first thought was, huh, where did you get that idea?  Then I read the article.  It was well-written and entertaining.  It reminded me of a three-part series I wrote last fall titled, Why are we being visited now.  I then noticed that he wrote another article prior to that, in July, which was reminiscent of my article, Apollo Wha???   Imitation, it seems, is the greatest form of flattery.  Thanks Rich.  I am humbled and honored.

David Marceau, Cool Dude
Me, trying to look like someone in a writing duel
no one cares about because it only exists in my mind
Rich was kind enough to mention his, "neighbor, who runs a blog called I Saw One Too" in the second article.  Thanks for the plug.   (Next time, please add a link, like I just did.)  But he completely dismissed the whole idea of visitation by people who may have evolved a few million years before us by saying, "If we were being visited, I think we’d know, that’s all. I don’t think there’d be any doubt. Hiding it would be like Columbus hiding his 'discovery' of the New World.  Impossible." 

Like, with the infinite number of stars in the Universe, not one of them could possibly have any planets inhabited by people who evolved before us and figured out Physics.  Set your Captain Picard face-plant memes to 'Stun'.

My public response on Rich's Facebook post about the article was, "Your neighbor sounds pretty cool."  But privately I was thinking his neighbor sounds like a crazy person.  You would have to be crazy to believe your own eyes when an enormous spaceship is about a hundred yards from you, right?

Rich is calling his series "Conspiracy," where he "gets to the bottom of it all."  It is his attempt to put his own spin on this hot new UFO Craze - a Point-Counterpoint where people like me write articles demonstrating the shortsightedness of non-believers and Rich replies with a complementary article about why realists are loony-tunes.  OK.  Game on, neighbor.

So here I am, back at the keyboard with a new purpose.  I suppose I owe Rich a beer for the inspiration to write about UFOs again.  I will buy the second round, my friend.


Enjoying this blog?
Also follow me
If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form on this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.

* I thought for sure that Montgomery Ward went out of business like 30 years ago.  I can't believe I found a link to them.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Summer Break from Writing

It has been a while since I have posted - not since sitting down to write, though.  I have been writing a lot, nearly every morning.  I just have not been writing on this blog, for a change.

David Marceau Sailing
Sailing in the Long Island Sound
I was lying in bed at 5:00am this morning, thinking about what I would write today.  Momentum has been building for me to put something up on the blog recently and it seemed now was the time.  I suppose before talking about why I am back I should mention why I took some time off.

  • UFO Therapy
  • The Unidentified Climax
  • Where is this blog going
  • Summer break from writing

UFO Therapy

When I started the blog nearly a year ago it was on the heels of multiple discussions with the folks at TTSA and A&E for possible inclusion in what would eventually become the show Unidentified.  It was a short series on UFO sightings by military personnel, while on duty, which aired on the Discovery Channel.  I was not chosen to be on the first season, I think because they had video evidence from the Nimitz Incident and wanted to follow a narrative associated with it.

Rather than being disappointed about this, I became emboldened to finally start talking about my UFO encounter, while on duty 27 years ago.  I opened up to friends whom I had previously not trusted with the knowledge of this part of me.  I (re)told my family members who had conveniently forgotten about it via dismissal.  And I went Public with this blog about Alien Philosophy and UFO Culture.

It was liberating and it was cathartic.  I am no psychologist but I am pretty sure I had PTSD from the incident.  It was so terrifying, sitting on a bench alone in the woods, holding an unloaded automatic rifle by a large stack of ammunition and explosives, wondering if the enormous alien spaceship hovering by me was going to beam me up or zap me with a death ray or even send some "people" down to check me out.  The few times I would retell this story to my closest inner circle, tears would well up in my eyes.  No matter where I was, I felt transported back there in the woods on the little bench in Gagetown, New Brunswick in August of 1992, filled with more terror than words will ever deliver justice.

Writing about this for the better part of a year has cured me.  Now, it is just another wild story I tell, like the time I got in a motorcycle accident in East L.A. or the first time I skied Tuckerman Ravine.  They are great stories (word) about life-threatening situations but telling these stories never filled me with terror.  They never brought uncontrollable tears to my eyes.  They were just cool stories about a young guy with more courage than common sense, and post-scripted plot twists.

Tuckerman Ravine

Once this albatross had been lifted from my shoulders, the fire to write for therapeutic purposes was doused.  I still write nearly every day.  It is one of my most enjoyable diversions.  I just do not write about aliens and UFOs.  Instead, I have written a lot about being a part-time college professor teaching city kids and more recently I started writing about a series of events that happened in my senior year of high school.  This has been fun but I have begun to miss the subject which initially rekindled or jump-started my writing hobby - this.

The Unidentified Climax

Around the same time I was coming to terms with the fact that I am no longer traumatized by my experience in Gagetown, the series Unidentified finally aired.  This was exhilarating for me because I felt like I had been a part of something groundbreaking.  Even though I was not featured, I had tangential involvement, I was an insider, and this was huge.  The world was finally going to get educated on something I had known for decades; we are being visited.

This was not a show about people in tin-foil hats who chase Yetis and run from demons.  These were what has been described as "sober witnesses."   People with solid reputations and more to lose than gain from coming forward - people like me.  There would be no cheesy re-enactments à la Dateline.  They were going to give the subject the respect it deserves.  I think they hit their mark.  I could pick the show apart if I wanted to but for what purpose?  TTSA had a goal to bring some important stories to the public, they signed on with some excellent producers and they delivered a solid product.  Bravo, TTSA.

Keith Morrison | Dateline
Keith Morrison from Dateline
Being a self-proclaimed insider, I wrote about my experience with Unidentified and what I thought of the show.  I then wrote an insider's review of Unidentified.  This brought me the 15 minutes of fame I anticipated it would.  Thankfully, it was not widespread fame and it really was literally only about 15 minutes.  Fame without fortune is a terrible thing.  But within certain pockets of the UFO Community, my name soon became recognizable, for better or for worse.  I was even interviewed on a UFO podcast out of the UK - more fame without fortune.  This was not the route I wanted to go down.  This was part of the reason I pulled back the reins.  I did not know where this was all going but it did not feel right.  I needed a break to reassess the situation and get my arms around this thing.

Where is this blog going?

The airing of Unidentified was like the climax to everything I had done over the prior year.  Once it was out, there was nothing to build up to again.  On top of that, this blog had evolved into something I was not sure I could sustain.  It started out with me just writing about my thoughts and daily events.  It evolved into philosophic musings on what people on other planets might be like, along with a scientific approach to current events in astrophysics.  From there, I felt like I had to continue to top myself with hard-edged reporting which would garner thousands of page views and hundreds of new Twitter followers.

It did.  But for what?

I run a business.  I have a family.  Both are important to me.  Both deserved more of my attention.  And with the summer break from school, the whole family was home with me.  That was a distraction which took time away from work and from the numerous writing projects I was working on.  Something had to give.  Sorry aliens.

Summer Break from Writing

While I was away from the blog I worked on a lot of things business-wise.  I have been paring down the business, over the past year, because the market has changed significantly and it is not the same environment as when I first started it.  I no longer have full-time employees and I am doing pretty much everything myself except for some of the more advanced bookkeeping.  This back-to-basics approach has yielded nice results and I am happy with the progress I have made.

Roughing it with the kids
Roughing it with the kids

I have also spent a lot of time with the family.  I helped out the coach of my boys' flag football team and took my daughter to her travel softball practices and games, which was often 3-4 days a week.  We went to amusement parks.  We went camping.  We went to the beach.  We had a yard sale - that was a pain in the butt.  Some days, we sat inside and played video games together.  

Corner Bistro, NYC
Site of our first date in NYC
There was no big trip this year but we had some cool day trips including a fun evening out in The City with the kids, to show them where Mrs. M. and I had our first date.  I also took Mrs. M. to Boston, for her first Phish concert.  That was a lot of fun, despite a bit of rain.

There was not a lot of "Me Time" but I did manage to get out on my motorcycle a few times, did a little sailing, and met up with friends for drinks a few times.  I saw a couple free concerts in a nearby park.  All in all, I cannot complain.  It was a pretty good summer.

Summer break from writing
Me & The Missus at Fenway
School is back in session now, here in Connecticut, and I suddenly have slightly more time on my hands.  My next article will detail some subjects I plan to write about over the course of the rest of this calendar year.

Thank you for reading and do indeed keep an eye on the sky.

Enjoying this blog?
Also follow me
If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form on this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The UFO Observer Spectrum

I am relatively new to what I call "The UFO Community."  Prior to being considered for inclusion in Unidentified on the History Channel last summer I wanted nothing to do with UFOs.  I did not know the extent nor the range of people and beliefs in the UFO Community.  I only knew what popular culture disseminates.

A year ago, I thought the UFO Community was entirely comprised of people in tinfoil hats and Tech Nerds.  In my mind, these folks all attended Star Trek conventions and were either extremely intelligent but with no social skills or they were whacked out of their gourds.  While there may be elements of these stereotypes in each category, as a whole it was an unrealistic amalgamation of unrelated traits.  Having this view was no different than forming a prejudicial mental profile of a minority group based on selective traits observed by an outsider.

Now, as a deeply immersed member of The UFO Community I have identified a number of different factions within our community.

  • True Believers
  • UFO Investigators
  • Agnostics
  • Academics
  • UFO Skeptics

UFO Observer Spectrum
The UFO Observer Spectrum
These factions represent categories on a spectrum of belief versus skepticism.  On the one end you have people who believe in UFOs because they are into the Paranormal.  For them UFOs are one of many unusual subjects they believe in like Bigfoots and Telekinesis.  On the other end there are the folks who do not believe in anything which their current cultural, political, or religious-based belief system goes against.  They tend to seek out information which reaffirms these positions rather than trying to educate themselves with new ideas.

In between, you have a lot of people who use Science, Mathematics, and eye-witness accounts, amongst other things, to either confirm or deny visitation by aliens.  The methods used by each of these two middle groups are remarkably similar but the results achieved are much different.  They have different goals and are bound by different parameters.

Lastly, we have the Agnostics.  These are people who don't give a rat's-ass about UFOs.  They go about their lives every day with hardly a thought about what is out there.

I shaped the spectrum like a bell curve in order to demonstrate that the True Believers and the UFO Skeptics are outliers, on the fringes.  Most people are in one of the groups at the top of the bell with the bulk of those being the Agnostics.  The graphic above is not intended to represent a scientifically conducted survey.  Rather it is based on anecdotal evidence gathered over the past year in my interactions with people in and out of the UFO Community.  However, I encourage anyone with Academic credentials to challenge my assertions and either prove or disprove what I am stating here.

This article will introduce each of the categories of UFO Observers.  I will start with the two groups on the ends of the spectrum and then move up to the groups at the center of the spectrum or top of the bell curve.  Like with politics and religion all the evidence in the world will never convince the most devout adherents of the extreme ends of the spectrum, to change their views.  But the folks in the middle can be swayed.  I am one of them.

Note, in this article, when I use the term "UFO" the meaning is specifically "alien spaceships" and not merely an object flying in the air which cannot be identified.

True Believers

The reason I used to believe that True Believers were either nerds or weirdos, was because that was what popular culture showed me.  I was a believer myself and had been ridiculed for telling my true story of a close encounter.  I had been shamed for experiencing a traumatic event, as it were.  The event itself was difficult enough to deal with.  The resulting social ostracization was worse.  I did not want to ever go through that again.  So I distanced myself from those people.  If I was not one of them no one could ever make me feel like an outcast again.

True Believers
True Believers
After months of speaking with TV producers at A&E about my sighting, last year, I warmed up to the idea of dipping my toe into the UFO Community.  Instead, I dove in head first.

I wanted to find out more about the UFO Community.  I still did not consider myself a member of this group.  But I was curious about how many others like me there were, out there.  I wanted to meet and speak with people who had been in similar situations, not "nerds and weirdos" per se but what I would consider "regular guys."  These are the people with social skills and a sense of humor.  They are co-workers, parents of your kids' friends, the next door neighbor.  There had to be more people out there like me, I thought.

I attended my first UFO Conference last October.  Surely, I would find what I was looking for there.  Still, I was nervous.  I felt like I was entering an adult toy store.  I looked over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching or following me in there.  When I had difficulty finding the meeting room in the library I was embarrassed when I had to ask a librarian for directions.  I was afraid she would get on a microphone and announce it to the whole library.  I pictured myself in the pharmacy, buying tampons for my wife and having the cashier get on the horn and announce, "Price check on tampons for the gentleman in the blue," and I'm like, "They're for my wife!  They're for my wife!"

There were four presenters, Linda Zimmerman, Shane Sirois, Paul Eno, and Rosemary Guiley.  The bulk of what the speakers talked about was all-things-supernatural other than UFOs.  This included ghosts, demons, and... what the F is a Hansen Trickster?  They talked about fringe concepts, new to me, like the Multiverse, as if these concepts were proven science.  I was, and still am, not into any those topics.  I do not believe in them because there is no way to scientifically prove their existence.

When the speakers opened the discussion to questions from the audience the conversation went further in the direction of general paranormal activity and pseudoscience.  It was a turn-off for me.  I am not saying that anyone is wrong for believing in these subjects.  I understand that my claim of having had a Close Encounter seems as unbelievable to many people as the Hansen Trickster is to me.  But I know what I saw.  Therefore, maybe people who claim to see paranormal activity know what they saw.  Regardless, I draw a major distinction between general Paranormal and UFOs.  Visits by aliens can be easily explained and substantiated with Science and these other subjects cannot.  I will elaborate more on this, below.

This category of people, the True Believers, are easy prey for conspiracy theorists and cult leaders.  People like Steven Greer, David Wilcock, and Jimmy the "Creek Jumper" So-and-so will blatantly make up unsubstantiated "facts" in an effort to reel in followers.  This allows them to sell books, retreats, and other money-makers.  Some would say they are just trying to make a living.  I can respect that, on the surface, but it hurts the cause of bringing the truth to people by muddying the waters, giving fuel to the Skeptics.  For example, once I hear terms like the "Military Industrial Complex" or talk about the US currently having bases on the moon and on Mars, I tune out.  I suspect most other rational people do too.

UFO Skeptics

On the other end of the spectrum you have the pure UFO Skeptics.  Just as I am skeptical of all forms of general paranormal activity, many people cannot wrap their heads around visits from aliens.

For some, it is a religious conviction that a higher power has put humans on Earth for a purpose and we should not question that.  Many of these people adhere to the belief that Earth is at the center of the Universe and since all the known history of our gods and prophets is here on Earth, there is no room in the narrative for intelligent life on other planets.  Others in this group have a belief that life may exist on other planets in some form but that life is not intelligent.  This position may evolve, over time, as even the current Pope has expressed a belief that there may be intelligent life, somewhere out there.

UFO Skeptics
UFO Skeptics - Am I right or am I right or am I right?
Some Skeptics will say there may be other intelligent life somewhere in the Universe but it does not have the capability of interstellar travel.  The main reason I have heard is, since humans have not created this ability, it is not possible.  We are presumably the most intelligent animals on our planet.  If we cannot do it, no one can.  Right?

Many of these people are as quick to jump on a conspiracy theory as the True Believers but with the opposite point and outcome.  These theories say that the lack of government disclosure about UFOs is proof in itself that they do not exist and any assertion to the contrary is an effort by "The Deep State" or other boogeymen to quell the masses.  None of this is based on any credible reporting by major publications.  That should be a telltale that the information is false but instead, it fuels the imaginations of people who have been led to believe that journalism is controlled by certain political factions and only people who work out of their mom's basement know the real truth.

Still other Skeptics may not have any particular religious beliefs and may not care for politics but they are limited by what they find to be tangible.  Perhaps if a UFO landed in their back yard and took them for a ride they would change their minds.  But then they might just think they had been abducted by humans in alien masks, an assertion I recently heard on a Facebook Page I follow, to try to explain alien abductions.

These same people may also say that their UFO ride was part of some kind of military experiment.  I outright reject any assertions that the capabilities demonstrated by UFOs are part of any military experiments, based on the fact that the ship I saw 27 years ago, while on duty in the US Army Reserves, had the same capabilities as those reported today by Navy pilots but we have not yet seen this technology in use against our adversaries nor have we seen it capitalized on by entrepreneurial business people.  It would have happened by now.  All you need to do is watch any Fail Video and count the number of hoverboard accidents you see.  If someone could build a hoverboard that really hovered, they would be a billionaire over night.  Humans do not possess the ability to hover.  We certainly cannot zip off into space instantaneously.

One would think that with all of the many thousands of eye-witness accounts of UFO Sightings, some of these Skeptics could be swayed.  But they will simply point out that the witnesses have some personality defects, or the videos are grainy, it was just some lights in the sky, or it could have been the proverbial "weather balloon."  Furthermore, a belief is a belief and just like with religion, once someone has taken the leap to be a believer, it is nearly impossible to persuade them to change their line of thought.


Now we get into one of the two categories of people who use scientific principals in the study of UFOs.  These people, The Academics, are typically scientists, university professors, and other educated and intelligent individuals, you know, bookworms, eggheads, poindexters.  These are the folks who should be spending the most time on this subject but they do not.  They have the intellectual capacity, the training, and perhaps even the power to show the world the truth about UFOs.  However, many of these people seem quick to dismiss even the most remote possibility that we are being visited by aliens.

There are three main reasons Academics are unable to accept that we are being visited by intelligent people from other planets.  The first is, this category of skeptics will bind themselves to The Scientific Method or something similar.  The Scientific Method allows for philosophy to be the root of a concept but then the concept must be proven by systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.  In other words, you have to be able to set up a test of the concept and repeat the test over and over.  Poindextering sounds so boring.

That method works great when you are trying to prove that Turtles carry Salmonella.  But it is not as easily applied to proving the existence of other intelligent life forms.  There are no habitable planets in our solar system so we cannot view or visit aliens who happen to be in the neighborhood.  Astronomers have recently discovered potentially habitable planets in other solar systems but they are too far away for us to travel to using the the utterly primitive rocket technology we currently possess.  Our telescopes are not powerful enough to even see these planets, let alone zoom in to their surfaces.  We know the planets are there because we can see them pass in front of their suns during orbit and now we can also see these planets' heat signatures but we cannot devise the tests to prove they are inhabited.  The conclusion, then, is that life on other planets does not exist because we are not able to prove it does.  Scientific Method, dude.

But wait, you say, there are thousands upon thousands of eye-witness accounts of alien visits.  Surely, not all of these people walk around in tin-foil hats, burning sage to ward off evil spirits.  If even one of these witnesses was telling the truth it would be the biggest news in the history of our civilization!  No, they say, "I'm not going to touch that."

The Professor, an Academic
This brings us to the second main reason Academics are unable to accept the existence of UFOs, fear.  People in Scientific Communities lack the courage to risk their reputations by seemingly associating themselves with the True Believers.  Like me, a year ago, Academics view everyone in the UFO Community as a strange sub culture.  In order to advance in their chosen fields, it is crucial to maintain credibility.  In order to maintain credibility you must distance yourself from that which is incredible.  Stories of Hansen Tricksters and Bigfoots are incredible which make the people who tell these stories incredible or not credible, the Academics believe.  UFOs are in that same paranormal category to them, therefore the study of UFOs will damage my credibility, one would say.

Academics are so closed off to exploration of the strange and unusual that they will arrogantly dismiss the very notion of UFO Investigation.  Last fall I read a great article by a brave Academic about how we should take alien visits more seriously.  If you read the subsequent comments you can see how he was then ridiculed by his readers.  The detractors seemed to far outweigh the supporters.  #Sad

The third reason Academics seem to put up roadblocks to UFOlogy is, they are often required to publish the results of their findings and then subject these publications to the Peer Review process.  This is where an Academic or their publisher will call out to other Academics around the world, asking them to read what the first person has produced and try to either prove or refute it.  This is why, when people say things like, "Every reputable scientist in the world believes that Global Climate Change is mad-made," we know it is true because that happened - the findings were published many times by different, independent experts who conducted their own tests and then other people with advanced knowledge of Climatology who were not associated with those who published the findings were invited to either prove or refute the conclusions.

Peer Review worked great for proving the source of Climate Change - not so much with visits from aliens.  The reason is not only because of the difficulty of creating repeatable tests but even more-so because nobody wants to risk their professional reputation by signing their name to the study that was put out for Peer Review, talking about "paranormal activity."  Just like people in the military who report their sightings while on duty (like I did) Academics would be laughed into silence.  I call this Peer Rebuke.  People would look at them funny, afterwards.  They might not get assigned the next big project they deserve.  Career advancement would decelerate.  They may even lose their job.

Fear of Peer Rebuke and the intellectual confines of the Scientific Method are the main factors in the inability of Academics to even consider the study of visitation by aliens, let alone to prove its existence.

Surely, not all Academics are afraid of their own shadows!  There must be some brave people within their ranks.  Indeed there are, and don't call me Surely.  I have blogged before about Avi Loeb, the head of Astronomy at Harvard.  Loeb is one of the few people in Academia willing to stick his neck out, at the risk of having it chopped off by his peers.  However, there is one thing that Loeb and most other Scientists are bound by which they cannot escape:  Physics.  That is to say, they are bounded by their understanding of physics.  But physics ain't over.  Newton was a good start.  Einstein was better.  But there is even more out there.

I had a conversation with a rocket scientist, last fall, and told him the ship I saw must have zipped away faster than the speed of light.  He said that was impossible and then proceeded to school me on Relativity.  Well, yeah, we humans are limited by the knowledge of Relativity but that is only because we have not yet discovered what comes next, in relative terms (as it were).

The ship I saw and the ones documented by the Navy pilots in History Channel's Unidentified were able to break all sorts of known laws of physics.  The fact that they are even able to get here before everyone on their ships dies of old age is a testament to the fact that Physics is a jail cell constricting creative thought.  We need to think beyond the rules, as we know them.  Unfortunately, Academia is serving out its full sentence.

UFO Investigators

Also near the center of the spectrum, alongside the Academics, you have us, UFO Investigators.  We tend to focus on UFOs and stay away from the Paranormal.  We try to approach the study of UFOs from a scientific perspective, just like Academics but there are a few major differences between us.

  1. UFO Investigators start from the fact that: UFOs are real and are piloted by intelligent beings.
  2. Scientific Method is limiting.  People who travel at (or faster than) the speed of light do not permit us to set up repeatable tests.  We need to approach this from a different tack.
  3. The known laws of Physics are limiting.  People on other planets can do things our scientists say is impossible.  We need to think of the impossible and then figure out how to make it possible rather than letting it stymie us.

Philosophizing is encouraged amongst this group as long as it is clear that the philosopher is engaging in creative thought rather than stating a fact, like some of the charlatans who lure in the True Believers.  This free-from speculation allows the individual to think beyond the confines of known Physics without concern for adhering to the Scientific Method nor facing the ridicule of peers.  We have jobs outside of the field of UFOlogy so we do not need to worry as much about attaching our names to our work, however, people in this group may not share their views with everyone they know, due to social fears.

That having been said, despite having looser boundaries than the Academics we still have a respect for Science.  UFOs are thought of as alien spaceships not simply because we believe it to be true.  Rather, we start off by taking the thousands of credible eye-witness accounts and analyzing the performance of the vehicles described versus current human technology.  We have analyzed the likelihood of these vehicles having come from our own solar system or another.  We have applied our own military or civilian experience and made logical conclusions.  Some of us are trained observers.  Most of us are intelligent and rational.

Some of us UFO Investigators have seen UFOs, some have not.  Some of us have had close encounters with alien spaceships.  Others have actually been inside them.  That will sound far-fetched to the Skeptics and Academics but there are too many of these stories for them to all be false.  A man can be sent to the electric chair based on eye-witness testimony.  Yet, thousands of eye-witness accounts of UFOs are dismissed as "weather balloons" or "military experiments" or some other nonsense.  Or, if the stories cannot be dismissed outright then the witnesses are discredited.  You would have to be crazy to tell a story about a UFO sighting, right?

No, not really.  The folks who fall into this category of UFO Investigators tend to be educated and successful.  We have supportive families and respectful friends.  We may or may not attend a church or synagogue.  We have strong social skills.  We may participate in popular culture, even if we say we are above the inane, trite garbage which passes for entertainment.

Those who have never seen a UFO use many of the same scientific principals as Academics to justify the existence of UFOs and intelligent alien visitors.  Others, like myself, who have had sightings will use these scientific principals to help explain why they themselves are rational, level-headed individuals in order to win over the Academics and others who can help spread the word that this is real - people from other planets are visiting us.

UFO Investigators
UFO Investigators Tom DeLonge and Lue Elizondo of TTSA
Some UFO Investigators, like Lue Elizondo and his cohorts at To The Stars Academy (TTSA), are involved, in large part, out of a concern for National Security.  Anyone with the technological capability to get from there to here (wherever "there" is) must certainly possess military capabilities which would make the US arsenal seem like spears and stones by comparison.  That is a problem, not only for national sovereignty but also for life as we know it.  The US military (and the other major powers like Russia, China, England, etc.) should be doing something about this.  We are not.  The United Nations should be involved, while we are at it.

I have felt the same way as the TTSA folks for the past 27 years.  I could never understand why nobody with the power to do anything about this issue cared about my sighting story.  It is bizarre that the US Government is ignoring this.  Even with all the recent press and the Navy's acceptance of UFOs, the other day President Trump just said, "I want them to think whatever they think... people are saying they’re seeing UFOs.  Do I believe it?  Not particularly."  Which category would he belong to?

UFO Agnostics

The final group on the spectrum of UFO Observers is the Agnostics, also known as the "Meh" group.  These are people who rarely, if ever, put an ounce of thought into aliens and UFOs.  If asked about this subject their response would be something along the lines of, "Meh...  I don't know."  These folks could not be bothered by whatever is going on in the sky.  They are too busy looking down at their phones.

Unlike Skeptics who have a firm belief that UFOs are not alien visitors, Agnostics have not formed a firm opinion, one way or the other.  They live in a blissful cloud of ignore-ance towards aliens much as one might react towards a telemarketer.  Do I care that I am over-paying for chimney cleaning?  Yeah, but not enough to listen to a sales pitch by someone with an unintelligible accent and then put in the mental effort to weigh my options.  Make a decision?  Not today, bub.  I am vegging on the couch.  Take me off your list.

UFO Agnostics live for today, driving low-gas-mileage vehicles, throwing McDonald's bags out the window with one hand and texting with the other.  They must steer with their knees - good thing most cars are automatics, these days.

UFO Agnostics
UFO Agnostics
I am mostly joking about these characteristics, of course.  Mostly.  This group represents the bulk of people in the world.  That may sound dismal. But I see it as an opportunity.  Now is the time to speak up about your views on UFOs.  It does not matter which of the above categories you fall into.  What is important is that we have the conversation.

Discussing intelligent alien life and visitations by their spaceships should be as normal as discussing any other current events topic.  You may not like the opinion of the person you are speaking with and they may not like yours.  But have the conversation.

Think about it; where do you fall on the UFO Observer Spectrum?  What do your best friends and family think about that?

Enjoying this blog?
Also follow me
If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form on this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.