API Case Files Episode 11 now out

In Episode 11, host and API Chief of Investigations Marsha Barnhart guides us through some recent cases and plays some excerpts from her recent conversation with Mark Rodeghier. Paul Carr chimes in with Unidentified Science, this time talking about some astronomical weirdness.

As always, the show notes and audio are available on the API Case Files blog. You can subscribe to API Case Files on iTunes, or wherever fine podcasts are aggregated.

Ufology Today

In the past five years, I have identified an array of noteworthy concerns that I believe have derailed the study of Ufology. Regrettably, these problems have ruined the subject, degrading it to a point at which any discussion regarding UFOs is no longer taken seriously by society:

  • There is a lack of investigative data-sharing among UFO groups and investigators.
  • Most UFO conferences are a joke.
  • The Internet has become a focal point at which people create, store, and disseminate thousands of fake UFO photos and videos, conspiracy theories, and hoaxes.

First, the scope of the problem regarding Ufology is not so much trying to find proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that extraterrestrials exist. Instead, the primary problem crippling Ufology today is that there is no cohesive cooperation among the cadre of UFO groups out there, each claiming to be better than the other. Most, if not all, of the UFO research and investigations groups I have encountered compartmentalize their UFO reports; in almost all cases, they never make public the results of their investigations, thus keeping other UFO investigators from analyzing the reports. For example, while API conducted its UFO investigations, the team found cooperation with other UFO groups was lackluster at best. In most cases, any request for information that might have shaped or moved forward an API investigation were simply ignored by these organizations.

In my opinion, the newer UFO groups, which are slowly evolving, are a threat to established UFO groups. Rather than embracing the newer generation, made up of people who are savvy in the use of emerging technologies, the established UFO groups appear to isolate themselves, which wrecks their credibility. On one occasion, I was offered a leadership position in another UFO group, but the offer was conditional: I would have had to dismantle API. I rejected the offer because I knew API was making a noticeable impact in Ufology. Therefore, I stress that if the UFO community wishes to revive Ufology and bring it back to the worthy subject it once was, this data-sharing issue must be resolved immediately, and cooperation among investigators must solidify.

Second, in the last few decades, UFO conventions and expos have become gathering points at which conspiracy theorists, crypto-zoologists, and pseudo-psychics come together and share information that has no purpose in a Ufology setting. For example, many of the UFO conferences I have attended have been inundated with topics related to Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, chupacabra, Mothman, and even inter-dimensional beings (which contactees claim to have been in direct contact with). At a recent local UFO conference, I observed the following inappropriate events:

  • A vendor attempted to persuade attendees to purchase massage therapy using “magic rocks and crystals.” According to the vendor, the origin of the rocks and crystals was unknown, but he stressed they harnessed an “inter-dimensional power” that could heal people… only, however, if you purchased a therapy session with him.
  • A group of “mind-control psychics” claimed they were in direct contact with inter-dimensional beings. These psychics claimed they could tell people what the inter-dimensional beings were talking about at that very moment—for a price, of course.

At many of these UFO conferences, the main topic continued to center on decades-old events, such as the following:

  • The Kenneth Arnold Sighting of 1947,
  • the Roswell UFO Incident of 1947,
  • and the alleged abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in 1961.

It is beyond my comprehension why these topics continue to choke UFO conferences, given that in the last 70 years hundreds of other worthy UFO incidents have occurred. To salvage these UFO conferences, and more importantly, to attract the newer and younger generation to them, UFO conference organizers must remove the topics that have no business in a UFO setting. Therefore, as we enter the twenty-first century, older UFO incidents must be shelved and more recent UFO news must be expanded upon.

Lastly, modern computer technology has become the chief culprit in creating and disseminating thousands of fake UFO photos and videos. The Internet has become the largest depository of these fake photos and videos. When we couple these two factors together, it becomes obvious that investigators can no longer accept any digital evidence without an extraordinary degree of skepticism. Even worse, the thousands of so-called UFO websites and depositories of alleged UFO photos have attracted an army of arm-chair UFO investigators—many of them come to their own investigative conclusions without even conducting witness interviews or fieldwork. On many UFO and conspiracy websites, skeptics and believers spend more time debating each other than they do in coming together to solve phenomena.

Unfortunately, the lack of data-sharing among UFO groups, cheesy UFO conventions, and swarms of Internet hoaxers and conspiracy theorists have all converged. This convergence has forced most, if not all, literature regarding Ufology to be shelved at the occult section of local bookstores or libraries. Ufology, in short, has been derailed to the point at which science, the U.S. government, and the general public no longer take the topic seriously.

The first step in reviving Ufology for the twenty-first century, in my opinion, must come from within UFO groups. Leaders in the UFO community must be willing to break away from the tradition of compartmentalizing their UFO investigations so that other investigators can incorporate the data into their own investigations.  In the process known as “data fusion,” UFO investigators should be allowed to collect, gather, and analyze as much UFO investigative data as they need. This process will allow each UFO investigator to develop a strategic analytical picture of the phenomena, rather than being held hostage to only researching UFO activity in his or her immediate geographic area.

Second, in a step that is just as important as the first, leaders in the UFO community must refrain from allowing their UFO conventions to be high-jacked by vendors, speakers, and topics that have no purpose in a UFO convention. Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the paranormal, for example, should not be allowed at any UFO convention. Additionally, these UFO conventions should be centered on current and fact-based presentations, not topics that entertain the physics of interstellar travel; inter-dimensional beings; alleged top-secret, anti-gravity propulsion systems; or conspiracy theories regarding alleged U.S. government efforts to reverse-engineer extraterrestrial technology. These topics belong at a science-fiction convention, not at a UFO convention.

Finally, the serious UFO investigator must limit his or her Internet research to credible sources of information and refrain from conducting too much research on conspiracy websites or UFO blogs that lack credibility. The UFO investigator must be willing to set aside the extraterrestrial hypotheses and collect data from a nuts-and-bolts perspective. Much of this investigative data can be derived from the following:

  • witnesses;
  • experts and sources from a variety of scientific, U.S. government, and defense industry fields;
  • in situ research and data collection where the activity is occurring;
  • and data from other credible UFO investigations.

In closing, a convergence of three significant problems has derailed Ufology: a lack of data sharing, cheesy UFO conferences, and the littering of the Internet with hoaxes and conspiracies. There are, in contrast, several opportunities slowly emerging on the horizon that could salvage Ufology. First, the older generation of established Ufologists are slowly fading away, making room for a younger, more advanced generation of investigators capable of reshaping the Ufology landscape. Second, on the other end of the Internet spectrum, innovative UFO groups like API are exploiting the Internet and social media in order to educate the public regarding UFOs and, more importantly, what are not UFOs.  These cyberspace efforts are centered on ensuring future UFO conferences, expos, and forums are not high-jacked by topics that have no bearing on Ufology. As these opportunities slowly converge, I have no doubt the twenty-first century will witness the revival of Ufology.

17-004-AN1 (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

Remain Anonymous: yes

Field Investigation Requested: no

From: Anonymous

Date of Sighting: Monday, March 6th 2017

Time of Sighting: always at night

Duration of Event: always there

Location of UFO: Sioux Falls, SD

Shape of Object: Orb

UFO Report: It looks like a star in the sky but every couple minutes at night orange blueish ring goes around it but it only comes out at night and is always there

Case Disposition: Witness did not request an investigation.

17-001-CE1 (Redwood City, CA)

Remain Anonymous: No

Field Investigation Requested: Yes

From: S.

Date of Sighting: 12/21/2016

Time of Sighting: 8:34 pm

Duration of Event: 40 seconds

Location of UFO: Redwood City, CA  94061

Shape of Object: Fireball

UFO Report: I am what is commonly referred to as a “Contactee” and this sighting was pre-arranged.  Please excuse the expletive at end of video.  I was a bit irritated that They disappeared before I could get a close-up.  The video is very shaky, but the screen shots are cool. Also, I have an implant that can now be removed. (Previous attempts were thwarted.)  Can you hook me up with a reputable UFO research surgeon?  Thank you!

Case Disposition: In process


17-006-AN1 (Dallas, GA)

Remain Anonymous: Yes

Field Investigation Requested: Yes

Date of Sighting: 2016

Time of Sighting: Late evening

Duration of Event: Approximately 10seconds

Location of UFO: Dallas,GA. Usa

Shape of Object: Cigar, Cylinder, Other (Explain Below)

UFO Report: Nothing Reported. 

Case Disposition: Closed.

17-003-CE1 (Anzio, Italy)

Remain Anonymous: no

Field Investigation Requested: yes

From: C.

Date of Sighting: 40  years  ago

Time of Sighting: night   time  clear  night

Duration of Event: th event  repeated  it  self  and  the  fall  out  lasted  year  from  demensional  warps  lasted  and  other  spiritual  things

Location of UFO: 1346  anzio  ccc 95531

Shape of Object: Other (Explain Below)

UFO Report: the  objects  were  golden  just  like  ezeikles  sighting   it  was  a  repeated  sighting  twice  in  one  night  it  went  in  a   rosinbridge  and  this  place  may  be  a  entrance  native  americans  used  during  ceromonys  for  thousands  of  years  and  its  connected  to  are  creator  jehova  the  native  anericans  are  connected  to  this  place  but  may  not  know  of  the  exzact  location  of  their  old  ceromonys  I  could  be  rong  but  my  research  of  the  sightings  and  the  bible  and  their  native  practices  points  to  them  worshiping  god  around  the  same  time  as  moses  was  reining  on  earth.

Case Disposition: No investigation opened. Case too old.

National UFO Reporting Numbers Deceptive

Every year hundreds of thousands of reports of unusual sightings and alleged abductions flood the Internet and social media. Organizations such as the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) inundate the UFO community with reports that thousands of UFOs are being documented each month. If only 1% of these sightings were both reliable and credible, it would appear, on the surface, that at the very least thousands of extraterrestrials are visiting planet Earth. That is not the case.

In 2013 I conducted a comprehensive analysis of approximately 10,000 sightings reported to MUFON. The analysis concluded, first, that the vast majority of these sightings were reported by the average person and almost never by professional or amateur astronomers, who are trained observers and spend inordinate amounts of time observing the sky. Second, more than 85% of these reports were incomplete, contained inaccurate and ambiguous information, and were not properly vetted under a systematic control system. The reliability of most of these reports, therefore, was questionable at best. I suspect that if a proper case control system had been in place and the monthly reporting numbers reflected such a process, perhaps only a few dozen reports per year would be forwarded for investigation. In short, most reports of UFO sightings are unreliable, and the numbers routinely published are deceptive.

From time to time a handful of pilots, military personnel, and police officers did report seeing a UFO. The credibility of these witnesses was taken for granted because of their official titles and/or positions. Unfortunately, however, such reports are too often sensationalized to imply that, because there are no logical explanations for what the officials observed, it must have been an extraterrestrial spacecraft. Regardless of these witnesses’ positions, their reliability can only be established once a thorough Personal Credibility Assessment Investigation on them is completed, which my research found to be rarely conducted.

Plausible Origin of the Grey

13It is alleged that several species of extraterrestrial origin have visited our planet in the past or continue to visit today; and, in some conspiracy claptrap, are walking amongst us in disguise, are collaborating with select government factions, and have even created a human-extraterrestrial hybrid to gradually populate earth with their species.  Why they are here, if that is the case, is beyond the scope of this book–for our purpose is only to investigate whether or not they can exist.

The UFO community claim there are dozens and perhaps hundreds of alleged extraterrestrial species, this book will focus on the most frequently reported in UFO circles. This chapter will shed some light on their characteristics, alleged home plants or star systems, variations of the same species reported, and various witness accounts of reported encounters with these alleged extraterrestrials.

It is important to note, however, that reports of alleged extraterrestrials are predominantly the result of single-witness accounts, hearsay, and hoaxes; and in many cases alleged close encounters from unreliable sources. Moreover, according to the scientific community, academia, and governments throughout the world; and, more importantly, many legitimate UFO organizations, there is no physical proof or evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the following alleged extraterrestrials exist or have ever visited Earth.

The Greys

To date, the most common alleged extraterrestrial reported is the Grey. Around half of all reported alien encounters in the United States, including reports of alleged abductions submitted to the Aerial Phenomenon Investigations Team, were described as the Greys.

Predictably, Greys are depicted as grey-skinned humanoid beings; and having unusually large heads, no hair, large opaque black eyes with no noticeable iris or pupil, small slits for mouths and no discernible ears. In some reported cases of alleged encounters the Greys communicated telepathically and spoke English.[i]

The Greys are purportedly from Zeta Reticuli, a binary star system in the southern constellation of Reticulum. They are frequently associated with the classic “flying saucer”, the UFO wave post The Roswell Incident, and thousands of reported alien abduction claims. The Grey species, remarkably, are so common today that almost any person in modern society could draw a sketch of the alleged extraterrestrial.

12Plausible Origin of the Grey

While reports of the Greys have circulated the UFO and conspiracy theory community for decades, the origin of the Grey is often associated with the 1961 Betty and Barney Hill abduction claim.[ii] Because the media began to report the alleged Greys after the Betty and Barney Hill claim, it is assumed by the UFO community that the Greys are recent phenomena. However, that is not the case. The first appearance of the Greys can be traced as far back as 1891 – decades before the UFO wave of post 1947. Almost 125 years ago, Kenneth Folingsby published a book called Meda: A Tale of the Future.[iii] The book, which came from the author’s visions of the future while in a coma, described “tiny gray men with heads shaped like hot air balloons”.53 Soon after, in 1892, readers were fascinated in what the human species would look like after millions of years of evolution. In 1893, H. G. Wells authored a small article titled The Man of the Year Million in which he speculated what the human race of the year 1,000,000 AD would look like. Wells imagined humans would have no hair, mouth, or nose; and would have an enormous light bulb shaped head and a small body.53

In 1897, H.G. Wells also published The War of the Worlds. The design of the Martians, according to his biography, was a convergence of his research on evolution and pure imagination. He proposed a Martian with an enormous head because they were advanced and a more intelligent race than humans, thus necessitate larger brains.53 Furthermore, according to Wells, the Martians had large eyes, no nose or ears, and very small mouths. He envisioned Martians communicating telepathically to eliminate all misunderstanding when they communicated with each other, which remarkably has been reported by alleged abductees.

In the 1930s and 40s, once again before the UFO wave, the little grey aliens were a solid foundation of many comic books such as Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, and Science Wonder Stories. During this era, comic books were making a large impact in society and many of the tales depicted inside the comic books represented bigheaded little grey “visitors from space”.

[i] Jacobs, David M. “Aliens and Hybrids. “Alien Discussions”. Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference. Cambridge: North Cambridge Press

[ii] Betty and Barney Hill. University of New Hampshire Library.

[iii] A Media History of Gray Aliens.

Alleged Extraterrestrials Still Hard to Find

It is alleged that several species of extraterrestrial origin have visited our planet in the past or continue to visit today. In some conspiracy claptrap they even are said to be walking among us in disguise and collaborating with government factions, having created a human-extraterrestrial hybrid to populate Earth with their species. Why they are here, if that is the case, lies beyond the scope of Aerial Phenomenon’s mission, for our purpose is solely to investigate whether or not they can exist.

The UFO community claims that there are dozens and perhaps hundreds of alleged extraterrestrial species. It is important to note, however, that reports of alleged extraterrestrials are predominantly the result of single-witness accounts, hearsay, and hoaxes. According to the scientific community, academic experts, governments throughout the world, and many legitimate UFO organizations, there is no physical proof or incontrovertible evidence that extraterrestrials exist or have ever visited Earth.

By Antonio Paris

Emotions and Confirmation Bias in Ufology


Rather than applying science and logic to defend the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFO phenomena, the UFO community addresses the issue through emotions and confirmation bias. Ufologists have a predisposition to favor information, no matter how fantastic, that confirms their beliefs or assumptions.  They display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively or when they interpret it in a biased way. This inclination is especially prominent at UFO conferences when emotionally charged stories of alleged alien abductions and government conspiracies are presented. Those who support the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFO phenomena, moreover, tend to interpret ambiguous and anecdotal evidence as supporting their existing position. This is often the result of media sound bites, social media, and UFO organizations’ claims that they are “scientific” entities. When confirmation bias is coupled with pareidolia, apophenia, and illusory correlation, the end result is belief perseverance, which contributes to overconfidence and strengthens beliefs even in the face of contrary evidence. Moreover, belief in the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFO phenomena did not develop into self-validating structures all by themselves. They are the direct result of the UFO community leaders’ often modifying and revising their agenda to conform to the prevailing culture of their memberships. A clear example of this occurred when the UFO community was faced with a serious institutional crisis regarding the U.S. government’s explanation for the 1947 Roswell incident. Rather than accepting the proven fact that the UFO was actually a balloon under the auspices of Project Mogul, the UFO community conveniently resorted to claims of a government coverup.