1. State of UFOlogy today/Goals today?
Contemporary UFOlogy (sometimes derisively labeled UFOOlogy) revolves around one word opportunity. In the two generations since emergence of the old National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, this field of inquiry and political activism has crawled back and forth along the continuum of opportunities won and opportunities lost. In the process, long-term participants have tended to suffer burn-out, and newcomers have tended to bring personal agenda incompatible with the (albeit minimal) progress of the past. The result: frustration, confusion, needless competition, egocentric grandstanding, crass commercialization, and a status quo that begs for change.
On the plus side: UFOlogy need not be the sole province of highly educated scientists, engineers, lawyers, or theologians. The field should continue to welcome seekers, researchers, analysts, and communicators from all walks of life; and thus should remain an eclectic magnet for any creative, rational, intelligent person strong enough (and brave enough) to stick with it over the long haul. The No. 1 goal of any self-respecting UFOlogist should be to build on the progress of the past without endangering it, all the while adhering to sound ethics and to a wholesome sense of intellectual independence. Perhaps we need a formal Code of Conduct for UFOlogists.
As a UFOlogist proceeds to hone his/her UFO-related knowledge, skills, and abilities, (s)he should strive to remain honest, objective, empathic, sincere, responsive, and candid in dealing with UFO witnesses, fellow UFOlogists, academia, and the news media -- all of whom have a stake in the outcome of serious UFO research. If contemporary UFOlogy often can be its own worst enemy, it also has -- through a little introspection and foresight --the capacity for being its own best friend.
As in the past, the UFOlogical Zeitgeist reflects the health, peace, and competence of UFO researchers worldwide, individually and collectively.
2. Future of UFOlogy?
UFOlogy's future lies in the extent of its ability to evaluate and capitalize upon its past and current achievements; to pose the right questions on pressing issues; and to organize its eternally limited resources logically and efficiently toward arriving at timely, comprehensive answers. Mind you, any formally cast Manifesto of UFOlogy should give no appearance of mimicking this droll slogan aimed at a self-perpetuating bureaucracy: "Government is expanding to meet the ever-increasing needs of government." Since our constituency remains the body politic, we have no recourse but to press on with policies, programs, and projects that edify, challenge, inspire, and recruit fellow citizens (especially our youth) to join in this community march toward a solution to the UFO problem.
If post-NICAP UFOlogy has a future for the next generation of researchers, we must continue to let the UFO evidence speak for itself -- at seminars, through updated training literature, via responsible public discourse/demonstrations, and in the trenches of field investigation/reporting/analysis.
3. What can a single individual do?
That person should be willing to publicly declare his/her commitment to support serious UFO research in a spirit of cooperation and volunteerism. Over time (s)he will realize the rewards, however subtle they may be, of that commitment. By taking part in investigations and research, (s)he can strengthen the bonds among fellow researchers and thus help renew their own commitment.
One person with a UFOlogical candle (but with no hidden agenda) can help light the way for others to follow. Contributing funds to UFO-research projects of one's choice can intensify that light by many magnitudes. Every day, we see this process at work -- in political campaigns, in religious movements, in public-service lobbying: and in culture-appreciation programs.
4. Advice for newcomers?
(S)he should check out the available literature most worthy of review -- e.g., the comprehensive, voluminous holdings of UFOlit maintained by the library of Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N. Y. This would include the series of UFO-history booklets compiled by Loren Gross of 690 Gable Drive, Fremont, CA 94538. Also on the review list should be the old NICAP periodicals and special reports (especially The UFO Evidence); the annual symposium proceedings published by the Mutual UFO Network; the periodicals and special reports of the Center for UFO Studies; the various publications produced by the Fund for UFO Research; and selected audio/video tape recordings of UFO related lectures presented by the Eclectic Viewpoint (P. O. Box 802735, Dallas, TX 75380).
Subscribing for some of the better magazines, newsletters, and journals published worldwide will give him/her a firm grasp of the issues, personalities, and trends facing the modern UFOlogist. And, of course, a modem-equipped computer can help launch him/her into the Internet's UFOlogical cyberspace of numerous user groups and worldwide-web home pages.
The newcomer should realize that learning about the UFO subject is like learning about sex: everybody's an expert; the experts tend to disagree; and the more you practice it, the better you'll get at it.
Remember: Since we are studying only UFO reports (and our responses thereto), we may never really learn much about UFOs themselves.
5. What do hard-core UFO sightings represent?
It represents an intrusion of some sort of advanced, alien aerial vehicles into our planetary environs and into our sense of inviolate personhood. If that hard-core evidence of UFO reality (i.e., "some UFOs represent somebody else's spaceships") were to be weighed by a grand jury, I have little doubt that an indictment would be handed down -- an indictment shaming and rebuking the high priests of Scientism and vindicating the investigative reporting of journalist Mort Young (author of UFO: Top Secret, 1967), the pioneering work of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and the call-to-arms of the late "father of anti-UFO secrecy" Donald E. Kehoe.
6. Meaning for mankind?
It poses direct challenges to our scientific assumptions; to the doctrine of our social, academic, political, and religious institutions; to our general view of the universe and its potential; and to our future in coping with wave after wave of tribalism here on planet Earth.
By accepting those challenges -- in thus acknowledging the reality of the UFO presence -- we can begin the journey toward a more enlightened, a more macro-oriented humankind than we have come to expect. In this regard, our leaders have let us down perhaps out of fear that we may wish to develop new leadership from the society represented by the reported UFOs.
7. Government cover-up?
You might want to rephrase the last question as: "What would the government learn it were to read its own UFO-related documents?"
The 50-year-long history of the federal government's involvement in UFO research -- as revealed partly via documentation released under the U. S. Freedom of Information Act -- shows its propensity to privately classify hard-core UFO-sighting reports while publicly down-playing the need to investigate them. Certain federal agencies (and various "compartmented" areas thereof, perhaps totaling fewer than 400 persons) have been juggling the hard stuff so long that it has become a way of life -- a self-perpetuating system that feeds off its own energy of secrecy for secrecy's sake. At this point, breaking this chain of deception may have to depend on a series of whistleblower leaks of smoking-gun material to the public.
8. Hardware/alien bodies in Government hands?
Yes -- if you can accept the sworn/videotaped testimony of certain, uncloseted witnesses to what really went on (and why) near Roswell, N.M., back in July 1947. A similar crash-retrieval case from the annals of military intelligence in early December 1950 near Del Rio, Texas, points to an expanded official UFO-coverup policy of denial/deception/deflection. In July 1983, even a habeas corpus petition filed by me in U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia failed to put a dent in the coverup policy (see the review of it in the June 1984 issue of OMNI magazine). Likewise, this year, a GAO quest for all Roswell-related records fell flat (predictably, since Rep. Schiff should have sought the whereabouts not of the records but of the wreckage/bodies).
Meantime, I'm awaiting a long-overdue response from Sen. Charles S. Robb to my request that he publish in the Congressional Record a "UFO-Coverup Deathbed Confession" form I've designed for prospective whistleblowers in such crash-retrieval cases. (Maybe someone might want to preempt him by keying the form into the Internet?)
9. Most important aspect of UFOlogy today?
How to end the continuing official coverup of what the federal government knows (and when it knew it) about UFO reality.
Once that end occurs, the other pieces to the UFO puzzle would fall into place fairly swiftly and easily. Issues such as UFO-related abduction, livestock mutilation, underground bases, shadow-government collusion between "us" and "them," alien-earthling hybridization programs -- and all the rest of the folkloric baggage currently weighting us down -- could then be confronted more knowledgeably and forthrightly.
The coverup policy seeks to stall UFOlogy in its tracks, to continue to discredit UFO-encounter witnesses, to intimidate prospective whistleblowers, and to confine the ultimate UFOlogical truth to a small group of officials whose agenda can only be surmised. This policy -- as un-American as any anti-civil rights policy -- not only denies our citizens the right to take part in the decision making process of government (and the right to know what/how/why officials have to do with UFO-related information); it also endangers that very process by deceiving the citizenry into thinking that the "UFO problem" poses no problem.
10. Message to CUFON's users?
UFO-minded communicators on the Internet have an opportunity to help UFOlogy move proudly and boldly into the 2lst century. By sending E-mail commentary to their elected leaders, they can help mount (and sustain) the call for accountability of the UFO policymakers in the Executive Branch. Let's lobby for a full-scale, public, congressional probe into the events, principals, and policies surrounding Roswell, Del Rio, Kecksburg, etc. Let's send E-mail notes and faxes to the U.S. attorney general, urging her to empanel a federal grand jury in Albuquerque to investigate and report on what went wrong (and why) during and after Roswell. And let's join our cyber-linked colleagues overseas in a massive call for United Nations action to end the inter-governmental coverup.
Larry W. Bryant, who recently retired from a 36-year career in writing and editing for U. S. Army publications, operates the Washington, D. C., office of the public-interest group Citizens Against UFO Secrecy from his home in Alexandria, Va. A native of Shenandoah, Va., he attended high school and college in southeast Virginia.
"My government career," he says, "paralleled my UFOlogical pursuits, not always amicably. That certainly related to my having filed more UFO-related lawsuits in federal court than has anyone else in the entire universe."
Bryant continues to contribute material to the UFO press and to support such groups as Operation Right to Know in the interest of promoting greater freedom of official UFO information. Since, in his words, "I have no plans to acquire a Komputer," Bryant remains reachable only via mail and telephone.
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