Overall, this year’s MUFON conferences in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were well organized and better than expected. John Ventre, who is the MUFON State Director for Pennsylvania, invited a wide-range of speakers who managed to successfully entertained both ends of the UFO cult spectrum: believers to skeptics. In the end, there is not much I can report about the conferences other than they were well organized, and more importantly, they were not inundated with the new-age claptrap that have swamped most UFO conference for 2013 (i.e., pseudo-psychics, closed-room forums for abductees, and, or course, alleged TOP SECRET UFO programs leaked at deathbed confessions).
Nevertheless, during these conferences, I did notice several issues that continue to swamp Ufology: Paranoia, lens flares, and pareidolia:
Paranoia: Several of alleged “contactees and abductees” I spoke with claimed they were victims of US government surveillance, harassment, and illegal wiretapping. One alleged contactee claimed he was recently approached by a “black” branch of the National Security Agency in an effort to prepare him, the contactee, for the upcoming gradual release of the top secret exchange program between Serpo, a planet of Zeta Reticuli, and extraterrestrials. Obviously, as former intelligence officer myself, I asked the contactee to elaborate more regarding this meeting with the NSA and he stressed that the NSA threatened him not to disclose the details about the meeting because we, the population, “we not ready”. After spending over 20 years in the intelligence community, and working on several projects with the NSA myself, I am pretty certain that the NSA has no “black” branch focusing on extraterrestrial activities. The NSA, for the most part, has a Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Cyber Security mission in support of national security. Additionally, I spoke with other alleged abductees who claimed the Federal Bureau of Investigation harassed them regarding their alien abductions and that the FBI recently “framed” them on various bogus indictments (non-ET related). Of course, neither of these “victims of US Government harassment” could provide proof to substantiate their claims.
Pareidolia and Lens Flares: Additionally, during both conferences, I was approached by at least 20 different attendees who claimed to have 100% physical proof of UFOs (I want to point out that yes the photos were nonetheless UFOs to each of these attendees). After careful examination, however, I concluded all of the photos were nothing more than a combination of lens flares, pareidolia and natural phenomena. It is in the best interest of upcoming UFO conferences, therefore, that a type of “photo analysis booth” is set up in an effort to review photos of alleged UFOs and, more importantly, to educate the attendees regarding their photos.