Sunday, July 24, 2005

I am away on holiday/vacation until August 5th. Yippee!!

Friday, July 22, 2005

F....................acile Nonsense

It is common to criticise the Ufological community when it turns in on itself, as it frequently does, and starts hacking itself to pieces. Frankly however, I love it, and just at this moment, we are having a fabulous time. Battles are being fought on more than one front, the emotional temperature has shot through the roof, and one or two folk are out a' hunting. With knives to plunge deep into other people's backs.

Firstly, it was my turn to have my ass kicked by Paul Kimball over at his blog, in relation to this conference business in Toronto in September. While I have one or two minor issues with what Paul wrote, it is nevertheless interesting to see another viewpoint and to see how someone else has processed what he has read. But, it just goes to show that you can't pigeon hole someone permanently and somebody you had tucked away in your mind as "OK" (me) suddenly starts shooting his mouth off and turns out to have weird ideas, a nasty turn of phrase, and a line of sarcasm that is deeply irritating.

Paul too has had the boot put in very firmly between his two cheeks, but by a master of the art. Masquerading as a dear, sweet elderly lady in ill health, Wendy Connors, who I love dearly and will forgive anything, drove a stake right through Paul's torso by ripping his professional approach asunder while at the same time managing not to name him. This is vitriol at it's sweetest. Only someone who actually takes an interest in Ufology, unlike the rest of us who are consumed with our own agendas, would have failed to recognise who she was talking about. There is no love lost between the two of them. Paul "bottled" it as we say here. He replied to Wendy's comments but not face on. A nod, a wink, a little dig was about all we got. Paul; we want full scale warfare please - bodies, wreckage, machinery.

In the meantime, with all this going on in the background, there are a group of people busy grandly reorganising the future of Ufology. This involves the usual ritual of innovative ideas being placed before "the people" with earnest pleas for action now, if we are to get out of the mess that we are currently in and move forward. The suggestions are pretty flawless and of course are no sooner read than forgotten. No one will do anything because no one ever does. In fairness, it's not that we're lazy or indifferent. It's because we have no money, aren't properly organised, can't agree among ourselves, and no one can sacrifice the time that would inevitably ruin their lives and their relationships that would be needed to implement these schemes. Gosh, we're even busy trying to rename this particular "ology" because after all, that's really important.

Gildas Bourdais is busy in the meantime, trying to hack away at Nick Redfern's new theory on Roswell. It is like watching a man drowning slowly. He keeps coming back but each time he is a little weaker and a little less sure. At the moment he is now treading water. In a shorter while, I expect him to sink.

Sat on the sidelines, watching all this, is a man with a supercilious grin on his face. Of unknown origin and source, is James Smith..............

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

UFO Conference, Toronto, September 25th

I have been engaging in a torrid debate on UFO Updates with Eugene Frison and others about the above mentioned conference. As soon as the PR notice about it hit the boards, in they jumped with both feet, with bland, sweeping, negative declarations about how people shouldn't attend because part of the conference will be about Exopolitics, the greatest evil ever to drop down from the skies to affect Ufology.

As is the way with these types of arguments, both sides weren't really hearing what the other was saying.

Their argument, and I stand to be corrected, was that Exo is such a load of negative, harmful rubbish, that there was a danger that the more naive attending might be drawn into it and become ensnared by the evils it proffers.

My argument was, let people make decisions about it themselves, don't try and dictate to people what they should and shouldn't see and hear. Oh, and may be also, support the conference if not positively, then by at least muting the criticism.

I was profoundly disturbed by the reactions.

Nobody was interested in letting others decide for themselves. Canadians weren't interested in encouraging a fellow countryman to stage a conference by at least offering support. No one was interested in extending any personal kindness to anyone. It was all about the evil of Exo and how it should be crushed.

I said a moment ago I was disturbed. It went deeper than that. Sickened and shocked would be a more appropriate terms. These aren't normal human beings. These are arrogant obsessives, desperate to show how right on they all are towards their colleagues. All towing the official party line, but without thought or intelligent comment. Sheep like herd followers, many without an original idea in their heads,

Surrealistically, and somewhat amusingly, in the background to all this, Michael Salla continued to post in a detached manner about this and that, while the argument about his philosophy went on around him.

I've certainly lost debates or run into a brick wall before, but this time the feeling I am left with is very different. It's a very uncomfortable feeling. One can fundamentally disagree with someone's opinion but still respect and like them. Not this time. I've been appalled by the closed minds, the shallowness, the vacuous content of many of the posts, the sheer lack of depth or weight to some of the replies I received. This from people I thought well of before.

So, what to do? Two alternatives. Retire gracefully or, up the tempo one more notch and see who's got the stamina to continue with it. Hmmmmmmm

Stuart Miller

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fascism And Stupidity In Ufology

That heading would have brought a smile to a face or two of those who have been following my latest displays of subtlety, tact, and self restraint on Updates. But it does raise some interesting questions.

There are a number of people on Updates who have made a massive contribution towards Ufology over the years. They are respected for their achievements and their knowledge. As most of them are elderly, inevitably a few have become grumpy, mean spirited and often cruel in their impatient replies to some. How should they be dealt with?

Is it only right to recognise their careers and their age and out of respect, make an allowance for their behaviour? Or, should those elements be ignored and should responses to them be in keeping with their own style and way of doing things?

I have a nasty feeling that Rich might have one or two strong views on this but if you do read this Rich, try and be as objective as you can. In other words, try to set aside the memories of how you have been treated by some of these folk. Not easy, I grant you. Mind you, I've answered my own question. I recall your responses, which were polite.

There is a fascism in Ufology and frequently, it is the above mentioned folk who are at the forefront of it. Their desire to decide what is right to accept or believe and what isn't, and the manner in which they try to impose their views on others is, quite frankly, sickening. It's bullying by any other name.

It is almost certainly the reason why there are so many people who are members of Updates who choose never to post a message. There's a part of me that says, "Who can blame them" and yet another part of me that thinks they're a bit wimpy. But, their lack of action is at least understandable.

So what's to be done about it? Well, going off and forming the UFO Forum is one tactic but, unlikely though it probably is, they might go and follow you over there. Membership is open to all and anyway, it is rather running away from the problem.

Fight them on the message board? Battle with them? It's a pretty pointless, futile pursuit that gets no one anywhere and just creates further division. So, back to the status quo.

Step around them somewhat gingerly maybe, but should one really have to do that?

It would appear "yes".

So we wait. We wait no doubt for them to be replaced by yet more grumpy people, and the cycle continues.

Of course, we age as well. And as that process develops, there is a suspicion that I too might turn out to be a grumpy old git. Please take me out and shoot me if I ever get anywhere close to being like that.

I've always had what I regard as a realistic view of my own intellectual gravitas. While I have never sat an intelligence test, I have no reason to believe that my IQ is much above average and I recognise my limitations in terms of speed of thought as well as depth. But I'm beginning to have second thoughts. I just cannot believe the incredibly dumb posts that have been aimed at me recently by people I regarded as bright. And therein lies my mistake probably. I am most likely confusing one form of intelligence with, for example, an ability to articulate. Because one is accomplished in one direction doesn't mean that one is gifted in every direction.

But I still can't get over the sheer recent stupidity of both John Rimmer and James Smith. One intimates that getting rid of all UFO conferences may not be a bad thing, while forgetting that once a month, he stages a small scale version in a pub down in Putney in London. And the other speaks of Ufology and Ufologists in the most derisive of generalised and abusive terms, seemingly also forgetting that he is an active participant in the very same activity he has just abused.

I somewhat suspect that Rimmer will strenerously deny that what he does could in any way be called a conference. On that basis, I would strenerously deny that Rimmer could in anyway be called a Ufologist. Trouble is, he'd probably agree.

Stuart Miller

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Where the Working Classes Go

There was a fascinating forum on the web site of Crowded Skies, a UK based site I think, that unfortunately has now been closed down. It got too much for Daz, the webmaster and he pulled the plug.

You didn't have to join anything. You could just compose a message in the box provided and post it. Virtually idiot proof which is why so many idiots used the site. That statement is a bit unfair but the simplicity of use was, shall we say, welcomed by many.

What you got though, because of the set up, was fascinating if you were interested in anthropology and sociology. It became the haven for those disenfranchised or intimidated by Lists such as Updates et al. These people had no voice and Crowded Skies provided an outlet.

The exchanges were fascinating. "Fuck you" was a common rejoinder as was "You're full of shit". Threads were very rarely developed and never had any duration and wild statements along the lines of, "I've got proof" always went unchallenged. No one ever seemed remotely interested in anyone else's ideas or thoughts and the whole pot pourri was amusingly interrupted on a regular basis by desperate posts from Daz asking for the language to be moderated.

Where will these people go now? Who will offer them a voice? Will they disappear back into the Underworld of Ufology, festering away in their frustration and take to disrupting UFO conferences with cries of "There's a Reptilian behind you. Oh no there isn't. Oh yes there is."

Daz should have left them be. What harm were they doing? They seemed to be having fun and no one was really getting hurt.

Stuart Miller
The World Has Turned Upside Down and Back To Front

First we have a book from a believer, Nick Redfern, which kicks away the principle prop of mainstream Ufology in the shape of Roswell, the coat peg from which virtually all is hung.

Then we have arch sceptics turning out work that removes from the sceptical armoury one of the heaviest clubs used to beat Ufologists around the head with, namely that UFO sightings apparently do not increase after the release of a major Ufological based film.

Magonia Supplement No.57

Stop this boys. I'm getting a headache and I'm very confused.

Stuart Miller

Friday, July 15, 2005

Winning the Ufological PR Battle

There has been an interesting debate on Paul Kimball's blog at in response to Seth Shostak's latest pronouncement of the UFO subject - a to and thro between Paul, Owen and Rich. If you stand back and just look at the exchanges between them in their entirety, what you see and feel is what you always see and feel in discussions like that; frustration. Frustration at the fact that Ufology is still stuck in the same quagmire it's been stuck in for the last 50 years and that a new initiative is needed, a new leader maybe, but whatever, something has to be done to get this stupid subject to be taken seriously somewhere by someone.

We do this often. We vent. We rail against "science" for not taking an interest, for being scared to poke its nose in. We demand action. We flail around looking for a direction that can help us move on.

Any call for a collective, unified facade is an absolute waste of time. It's not an invalid suggestion by any means, far from it, and if it could be achieved, it might well achieve the desired affect that we want. But you have to be seriously kidding yourself if you think that any of the personalities in Ufology could even get close for a second to suppressing their own agendas and agreeing a common way forward. It will never happen in a million years.

And when someone brave enough tries to give it a go, what happens? We shoot him down and while he is wriggling on the floor, we dissect him and feed off the carcass for years to come. We have one obvious example to point to and that is Steven Greer.

Now, most of you reading the above line will mutter something like, "Ah but........" meaning Greer is a flawed example. After all, he did this, he said that, he tied Ufology in with other crackpot ideas, he ripped people off, and so on.Anybody that stepped forward as Greer did would attract the same level of intense interest and criticism. It would be different points of contention, different niggles, but unquestionably, that individual would be hacked down in some way and in some manner. That would be an absolute given. So one can hardly be surprised if the next messiah is biding his time and wondering if any effort would even be worth his while.

In Ufology, we criticise, attack, gossip, and bicker about everything and everyone. And why not? We are after all, not aliens but humans and we do what humans do.We're stuck. It will never happen. Well, actually it might but it won't be by any collective action. It will happen through one individual's research, or, possibly, a whistleblower of impeccable background and credentials.

Instead of grinding our dentures in frustration, we would be better off turning our gaze inwards and coming to terms with our own personal limitations. And, becoming comfortable with them. If we really were interested in moving forwards, we would have done that years ago. We're not interested. We enjoy the chase, the fighting and arguing, the personality clashes, the ego bruising, the sniping, the back stabbing, the feelings of self righteousness; in other words, we like having fun. Getting to The End wouldn't be fun. Where would we go after that?

Stuart Miller

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Nick Redfern

What a thoroughly nice man this guy is.

That sentence will drive him mad. He thinks it's funny that most of Ufology sees him that way. He will respond by running off a list of character traits that he regards as negative. And because he has bad thoughts or does bad things, in other words human things, he feels being seen as "nice" is fraudulent.

You can't argue with him on this, which is why I'm going behind his back this way. He's just too modest. He can't take a compliment. The moment you start saying something nice about him to him, he changes the subject.

He is approachable, friendly, generous, principled, honest, and helpful. He cares about people and he has time for them. He cares about animals. He cares for example about what happened to Paul Bennewitz more than I do. While I regard what happened to Mr. Bennewitz as extremely unfortunate, when it comes to the greater good and the number of lives that may well have been saved as a result of counter intelligence activities, then it's a no contest. I don't think Nick totally disregards that line of thought, but his sympathies definitely lie in the direction of the victim.

Likewise with his current book on Roswell. A substantial part of his motivation is about what happened to the victims of Unit 731 who were brought back to the States and who still had to endure the barbaric activities that were planned for them in Japan, but this time under the command of Americans. He is angry and wants justice.

Emotion is hard to find in his writings actually but if you look hard enough for it, it is there. Take the last page of Body Snatchers In The Desert for example. In fact, take the very last sentence of the book. He has phoned the Pentagon to tell them what he has found out. They are indifferent. His concluding line is filled with anger; anger at the way we Ufologists, as members of the public, have been jerked around for the last 50 years. Anger at the injustices done to cover up the fact that the moral division between the American and Japanese military at the end of the war was paper thin. Anger at the lies, the manipulation, the deceit, the dishonesty, and so on.

It's a pleasure to know him. If you want some amusement, next time you speak or write to him, tell him he's OK. And then wait for the reaction.

Stuart Miller

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The London Bombings and Ufology

Firstly, can I again thank everybody who sent messages of goodwill after the recent bombings in London. I was actually very surprised by the volume of messages that came in and was very touched.

I make no apologies for the fact that what follows is going to sound a bit schizophrenic.

What is it these days with UFO Roundup and for that matter, Filers Files? The latest bulletin from Roundup has just come out and the lead item is about the outrage in London. What the feck has that got to do with Ufology? They do manage to twist into it some bizarre connection between the bombings and Jack The Ripper which makes the whole bulletin seem even more ridiculous than usual. But John H, if you're reading this, you're losing your way pal. And the conspiracy stuff is just inane.

I think I'm slightly pissed with the fact that these guys can include material that has nothing to do with Ufology and yet they both managed to totally ignore the biggest Ufological story for some considerable time, namely Nick Redfern's new book on Roswell.

A few days ago on the British site UfologyUK, Robert Rosamund, these days a leading light in BUFORA, was severely chastised by the List moderator Joe McGonagle for criticising him for an extremely parsimonious post about the bombings that Joe had put up. Joe's message was; no references to the atrocity here please, keep it strictly on Ufology. Go elsewhere if you want to express any feelings about the incident. Robert criticised Joe for what he considered was a nasty and unsympathetic post and was placed on moderation immediately because of it.

In terms of the principles involved, I can actually see both points of view. After something as shocking as the events of last Thursday, people are naturally very emotional and distressed and want to express their feelings. Would there have been any harm done if for a day or two, people had talked about what happened, even if it wasn't remotely connected with Ufology? Of course not.

On the other hand, Joe's point was that if the bombings were allowed to sway people away from the principle point of discussion of the List, then the bombers had "won". They were getting the publicity they wanted and were affecting people's lives when it might be better to ignore them as if they were insignificant and incapable of seriously reaching out to us. I can see where he's coming from with that too.

It was clear from Joe's irrational response that he obviously was affected by what happened and his actions towards Robert displayed a high level of emotion. On balance, I would side with Robert on this and I think Joe's response may have been a bit different if he actually lived in London instead of Stoke, 180 miles away.

Joe is prone to these occasional Machiavellian gestures at times and the results can be seen on the List. Of approximately a thousand members, maybe twenty to thirty, if that, actually post.

Elsewhere, the conspiracy crap has started about the bombings and I'm staggered by the crass ineptitude, insensitivity, and just plain utter stupidity of it all. I say to these sad excuses for humanity that are propagating this stuff, for God's sake go get a life. Tell you what guys, try talking to members of the opposite sex. You know, women and things. Oh, you've tried that and that's why you're turning out all this drivel. 'Nough said.

Stuart Miller

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In Defense of UFO Updates

The UFO Forum has kicked off and I wish it the best of luck. I sincerely hope it does well and I can't think of any reason why it shouldn't. I've joined and I'm sure many others will as well.

Part of the reasoning in the minds of the List owners in setting up the Forum is an attempt to wrest control away from Errol Bruce Knapp, the moderator of the UFO Updates List, as the major dominating force for intelligent discussion within the Ufological community. That, it won't do, and it really doesn't take too much of an effort to work out why.

For example, one of the reasons given for a sense of dissatisfaction with Updates is that it all rests in the hands of one man, namely Errol. There is no open posting policy on Updates. Posts are sent in, scrutinised by Errol for formatting and content, and then posted if he feels it is appropriate. That means that some people don't get their messages on to the List for a variety of reasons, and of course that leads to frustration.

I've been there. When I first started on the List, being not only somewhat dense but also bemused by the demands of actually being neat and tidy when composing a message, loads of my posts went awol. Although it irked a bit, I accepted I wasn't getting it right and just pressed on. Eventually, I got there. But some might argue that they are being censored or that Ufological thinking is being fashioned by just one guy.

That last one actually is an odd one. If you listen to Errol's radio shows on 1010 Talk Radio Toronto, you will quickly discover that Errol's own personal views would see him hung, drawn and quartered on UFO Updates if he was an ordinary subscriber. Errol is a believer and believers are generally looked down upon with disdain. What he posts from others does not for one moment necessarily reflect his own personal views. And in fact he tends to screen out some messages that might reflect some or part of his own philosophy simply because they are not in keeping with the range of views his subscriber list expects to see.

He's also partly been pilloried for taking a holiday, which he's doing right now, and as he's away, the List has shut down for a week and a half. That means no voice or outlet for some and as far as most are concerned, the end of intelligent discussion for a few days simply because one guy has frigged off for a bit of peace and quiet. The damn cheek of it! Daring to take a holiday.

Updates can be an intimidating place for some. The big knobs of Ufology are there and they post messages that make cogent points often using words involving more than three syllables. You are in the company of those who are extremely well read and who are obviously in the main, highly intelligent. Sometimes, it goes off and arguments start. Ridiculous to'ing and thro'ing over the most pathetic and vaguest of points. For many, the bear pit arena of Updates is just too much and so they stand on the side lines, raiding the archives and enjoying the sport.

But all of this is part and parcel of the attraction of Updates. The sometimes hit and miss nature as to whether a post you've sent in actually makes it on to the board is part of the thrill. It maintains the standard and creates an air of exclusivity about the place. That is not meant in a snobbish manner and List membership is open to all. But it does mean you have to write well, have a valid point of view, and generally not have the demeanor of an idiot. That's not asking too much but it's a lot more than is asked on virtually every other List going. And that's what makes Updates unique.

Another factor not to be overlooked is the sheer hard work Errol has put in over the years. A List does not become successful overnight. It takes constant monitoring and effort. Errol has done that, at, it must be said, a financial cost to himself in that his dedication to the cause has taken him away from more profitable lines of work.

A nod must also be given in the direction of the Updates archives. Having been going now for some considerable time and having had the very best of the Ufological community as its membership, those archives are a gold mine for anyone attempting serious research. And they didn't appear overnight either.

If I was one of the List owners of the Forum, I wouldn't even attempt to have Updates in my line of fire. It would be a waste of time. My focus would simply be on every other List. I would attempt to make mine different to the others by raising the level of discussion and that will mean hard work on the part of the owners. Material will need to be fed to the List in order to generate debate. Appropriate material at that. It needs to be kept going and it needs an effort to be made. That is within the scope and abilities of the owners. It's up to them.

Stuart Miller

Monday, July 11, 2005

Welcome to UFO Disinfo R

While the name of this site suggests that I might not be overly serious about all this, I wish to reassure you that I am. Not about spreading disinfo within the UFO community because I haven't got any really good stuff at the moment but I am serious about entering into the true spirit of these things which seems to involve a supreme arrogance that others will be interested in your opinions and also because I think I would enjoy slagging people off and generally slating them, which does appear to be the principle objective of these sites.

For example, today we have Kyle King on his site ( severely criticising his pals over at RRG. Kyle has always been wrong footed by Alfred Lehmberg with whom he seems to be slightly obsessed and seems desperate for Alfred to throw his arm around him and to be nice. Alfred I think likes to pick his pals carefully and a lot depends on their philosophy, and Kyle is perhaps just a little too "objective" I would say for Alfred's tastes. The RRG group and Alfred are all tied up in the same posting from Kyle. Well, I suppose it's all good clean fun.

As I swing the target site round I find it rests in the direction of Amy Hebert. I think Amy is a Ufologist but I'm not sure. It may be that in reality she's a pop psychologist as she seems to spend more time in wittering on in this area than virtually any other. Amy is confused. She declares often that all she's interested in is the truth but when it is presented to her, she doesn't like it. She has to see behind it, to see the motivation, the players as she calls them, and so on. She asks lots of questions but doesn't seem to find answers so I guess she's in a permanent state of confusion.

She's also not capable of looking beyond her own belly button.

This is an extract from a message she posted to the British site UfologyUK in connection with the Guardian interview with Gary Mckinnon (Game over,3605,1523143,00.html#article_continue). Gary, you will remember is an English computer buff who the Pentagon have labelled as the biggest military hacker of all time. We breed 'em big here.

"The article makes just about anything American look stupid, barbaric and moronic. Did you notice the negative undertones? Shut down the US military? "Non-Terrestrial Officers"? "Rednecks"?

Uh, reality check."

Reality check indeed dear.

Some of my best friends are American/love the place and the people etc. etc. and while I roll all that stuff out somewhat flippantly, it happens to be true. But it doesn't blind me to its faults, and there are many. Like the little matter for example of capital punishment. Any country, in this day and age, that still carries out this kind of shit is nothing more than a third rate banana republic. Period, as you guys say. Any country that can threaten someone with a potential 70 year prison sentence, as has happened to Gary Mckinnon, is nothing more than a joke. Any country that can elect a leader so blind to the consequences of the environmental impact that his nations' "waste disposal" has on the climate because he' so unashamedly wrapped up in "special interests" and repaying folk who helped get him re-elected don't deserve the franchise. Any country with gun laws like yours Amy is just plan stupid. Any country that has vast numbers of people who live in some religious time lock divorced from reality and who don't even know where New York is let alone such radical concepts as "Europe" or "The Middle East" does not deserve to sit at the international table. And so on.

So a reality check is indeed needed Amy. Indeed.

Stuart Miller