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Mutual UFO Network 


Judy 2008 

MiMUFON Has 5 New FIs 

Words From the State Director 

Incredible! Just incredible! We have FIVE new 
Field Investigators in Michigan MUFON! Con¬ 
gratulations to Dan Marcelain, Bill and Linda Mur¬ 
phy, and Bob and Jan Richardson on successfully 
passing your Field Investigators exam. Big thanks 
to Gary Golem as well for such stellar skills as Field 
Investigator Trainer. We are seeing many new re¬ 
ports coming in and can use all the investigative 
help we can get. UFOs, look out. Here we come! 

On a related note, I have still yet to hear from some 
State Section Directors (by email, phone, or in per¬ 
son) whether you are interested in continuing in 
your roles. The deadline for responding to 


last month’s direct-mailed request for response was June 30 th . I am assuming that those of 
you who have not responded are selecting to retire your SSD positions and I’ll proceed on 
this assumption, releasing your counties on July 1 st , unless you please tell me otherwise im¬ 
mediately. Thank you. 

Well, the History Channel's UFO Hunters have come and gone. They spent the weekend of 
June 14 & 15 in Grand Haven and Holland. As they were unable to reach police officer Jef¬ 
frey Velthouse or radar operator Jack Bushong (both key witnesses to the big 1994 sighting 
event), the UFO Hunters team greatly scaled back their time here from what they originally 

cantirmed.. J On page 3 

Inside this issue: Page(s) 

UFO acclimation now underway? 4-5 

Photographic Evidence of UAP, does it Exist? 6-7 

Britain Opens Up Secret UFO Files 8-9 

Books Recently Read: Bill Murphy’s Column 10 -11 

The Day the Aliens Landed 12 - 13 

Vatican says aliens could exist 13 

30 Billion Earths? New Estimate of Exoplanets in Our Galaxy 14 

Recent Michigan Sightings 15 

“Truth ... If You Dare UFO Symposium II” Another Resounding Success 16 

From The Editor’s Desk 18 


Mutual UFO Network 



Michigan MUFON 

P.O. Box 8532 
Kentwood, Michigan 


State Director: 

Bill Konkolesky 

Asst. State Director, 
Robert Wagel 
( 269 ) 782-6111 

Asst. State Director, 

Wendy Smith 
( 616 ) 261-0690 

Newsletter Editor/Public 
Relations Director. 
David Twichell 


Gary Golem 

Michigan MUFON 
on the Internet: 

MUFON International 
on the Internet: 

k A 

■ I ■ ■ 

The Michigan MUFON Newsletter is issued for the Mutual UFO Network 
and Members of Michigan MUFON. Articles in this newsletter do not neces¬ 
sarily reflect the official views of the Mutual UFO Network nor its general 
membership. Unless otherwise specified, articles from this newsletter may 
be reprinted in other newsletters. We would appreciate you crediting this 
newsletter as the source, and sending us a copy of your newsletter. 

Thank you. 

MUFON 2008 Annual UFO Symposium 

Doubletree Hotel San Jose, California Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008 - Sunday, Jul. 27, 2008 

2050 Gateway Place 7:00 AM -7:00 PM 

San Jose, CA 95110 

Come listen to our lineup of exciting international speakers including: 

* Don Ledger - Canada * Nick Pope - The United Kingdom * Dr. Anthony Choy - Peru 

* Captain Rodrigo Garrido- Chile * Jeronimo Flores and Victor Camacho - Mexico 

* Farah Yarduzo - Turkey * General Wilfried De Brouwer - Belgium 

Also speaking are: 

* Brian Smith - NASA * Dr. Richard Haines - NARCAP * Ted Roe - NARCAP 

* Leslie Kean * George Knapp * Larry Lemke 

Important: Hotel reservations must be made and paid for separately. 

MUFON’s mission is the scientific systematic collection 
and analysis of UFO / Abduction data, with the ultimate 
goal of learning the origin and nature and purpose of 
the UFO / Abduction phenomenon. 

Alien Abduction 
Experience and Ftesearch 

World’s largest web site on alien abuctions, featuring 
bulletin board support group, experiences and research 

were planning. This included a choice on their behalf not to meet directly with anyone representing MUFON for their 
shoot here. The episode should air sometime in the upcoming fall season of the show and include unrelated sightings 
in neighboring states, as well. 

Also, rather exciting, MUFON is looking seriously into having its own television series, based solely on our own or¬ 
ganization’s cases, and is already in negotiations with a production company to put the show on the Discovery Chan¬ 
nel. Things are still somewhat early in this process and hopefully good things will come of the effort. 

Our proposed MIMUFON September fund-raising event (something of a sequel to Stanton Friedman, last September 
at HFCC) has been shelved due to current lack of adequate venue. An event like this is certainly still a strong possibil¬ 
ity at some point down the road, though, so stay tuned. 

Still scheduled, though, in October, Michigan MUFON will have a vendors table at the Michigan Paranormal Confer¬ 
ence, hosted by the Michigan Ghost Watchers. The conference runs October 18-19 at the Garden City Historical Mu¬ 
seum and details can be found at I will be presenting on ‘UFOs over Michigan’ that Sunday after¬ 
noon at the event, as well. 

Our fall regular meeting dates will be September 14 and November 2, both at Walli’s (speakers TBA). 

In the meantime, there’s still time to consider attending this year’s MUFON International UFO Symposium in sunny 
San Jose, California (July 24-27). This year’s theme for the 39 th annual event is “UFOs - A Worldwide Phenome¬ 
non.” The new MUFON UFO Field Investigator’s Guide will also get released at the event. Details can be found at Becky and I will be attending and we hope to see you there. 

Also, please visit the Illinois MUFON website for details on their August 17 lh “Truth.. .If You Dare 
3” event featuring Stan Friedman, Ted Phillips, and, drum roll please, our own Bill Murphy. 

Don’t forget, Michigan MUFON Newsletter subscribers, if you would prefer to download a printable electronic MI¬ 
MUFON Newsletter to your computer in full color, rather than receive a printed black and white copy in the mail, 
please let our Newsletter Editor David Twichell know and provide him with an email address where he can send you a 
link to download your newsletter off the internet in PDF format. To contact David by email, write to news@mimufon. 

Have a great summer! 

ENGLAND 1783: The scientist Tiberius Cavallo was a witness to a sighting that also stunned Royal guests at 
a celebration to mark the birth of the 15th son of King George 111 and Queen Charlotte! A luminous object appeared 
from beneath a cloud and soon became brilliantly lit before coming to a halt. According To Cavallo’s account of the 
incident: "This strange sphere seemed at first to be pale blue in color, but its luminosity increased and soon it set off 
again towards the east." Even though the sun was shining the object is said to have lit up everything on the ground and 
eventually disappeared with a terrific explosion! 

Mystiques-West Psychic Reading & 
Metaphysical Center. 

36356 Ford Rd. 
Westland, MI 48185 
Local Phone: (734) 729-8019 
Nationwide Toll Free Number: 
1-888-FORTOLD (367-8653) 

July 2008 

Page 3 

UFO acclimation now underway? 

Steve Hammons 
May 15, 2008 

The NBC show "Dateline" and have put out a request to the public to submit photos and videos of UFOs. 

According to the Web site, a show is planned this Sunday, May 18, using photos and videos of UFOs they re¬ 

On the site, the public is asked, "Do you think you have seen a UFO? Tell us about it and you may be featured 
in a future episode of Dateline NBC or on" 

"On Sunday, May 18, Dateline plans to count down TO Close Encounters Caught on Tape,'" according to 

"If you think you've had your own close encounter, submit it here with any photos or videos, and you could be featured on 
Dateline or on Videos and stories should be authentic and not staged. Material may appear on NBC's Dateline broad¬ 
cast and/or Web site. Tell us your story ..." 

This Dateline and call for submission of photos and videos for a show is just another development that has 
raised national and international public awareness about the UFO situation. 

The recent news that the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense (MoD) is releasing more previously secret documents 
about UFOs, with some of the information apparently quite compelling, has been viewed as a positive step by those interested in 
further disclosure about this subject. 

In an article in the Vatican newspaper, the pope's chief astronomer. Father Gabriel Funes, has written an article about intel¬ 
ligent extraterrestrial beings titled "Aliens Are My Brother." Funes is director of the Vatican Observatory and is respected as a sci¬ 
entist who works with other international astronomers, according to published reports. 

These developments further acclimate the public to theories, reports, questions and perspectives about the possible visita¬ 
tion to Earth of intelligent extraterrestrial and/or extra-dimensional beings, as well as other possible emerging phenomena. 


Orienting and informing the public about possible developments in the area of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth has been a 
subject of much speculation and concern in the decades since the end of World War II. 

Journalists and writers, TV and film project producers, government military and intelligence personnel, as well as inter¬ 
ested people in the U.S. and around the world have been exposed to more ideas, theories and rumors about UFOs and ETs over the 

We have been acclimated to the idea that it is possible for our planet to have been visited by intelligent beings from else¬ 
where in space, time and/or other dimensions. 

There may even be indications that disclosure of real information about the UFO situation has been subtly released to the 


■ V 


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Want to show your support for your outstanding Michigan MUFON organization? 

Michigan MUFON T-shirts and sweatshirts are available now! 

=> T-shirts only $13 (M, L, XL) 


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(natural or soft green short sleeve shirt with blue, red, white, & green quality screen 

=> Sweatshirts (natural, same print) Only $18 (M, L, XL) 

Shirts available for purchase at all meetings, 

or email 

or phone (248) 515-9568 to inquire how to order. 


Page 4 


public to further orient, acclimate and prepare Americans and people internationally. 

Recent UFO reports such as those in Stephenville, Texas, and Chicago's O'Hare airport were reported in re¬ 
sponsible and serious ways by many in the news media. 

The most recent incident in Phoenix, reported to be road flares tied to helium balloons and launched by a local 
resident, does little to cast doubt on the 1997 incident in Phoenix when a massive object cruised at low altitude over 
that city's metropolitan "Valley of the Sun" early one evening. 

It was reportedly witnessed by hundreds or thousands of Phoenix residents, including the governor at the time, 
Fife Symington, a former Air Force officer. 

All of these cases, as well as many others, help acclimate not only the general public, but also journalists and 
those in the media. 

When some people interested in this field seek significant disclosure of information possibly held by govern¬ 
mental military and intelligence groups, they have had mixed success. 

Interesting documents and "off the record" information can provide a partial picture of what might be going 
on. At the same time, it could be that significant sensitive and classified reports are "not ready for prime time" and re¬ 
lease to the public. 

Accounts of formal and even official acclimation efforts and programs indicate that a gradual and safe orienta¬ 
tion for the public about a possibly significant UFO and ET situation may be a wise course of action. 


Adjustment to developments such as confirmation that UFOs are related to visitation to Earth by intelligent 
civilizations might be difficult for some people. This would disrupt their world view, possibly causing anxiety. For 
some people, their spiritual beliefs might be impacted in some way. 

In addition, many kinds of natural concerns would arise: Are these visitors friend or foe? Are they here to help 
us or hurt us? What is the role of our governmental and defense organizations? Will human society and civilization 
change in good ways or bad ways? 

This is where safe and intelligent acclimation may be a wiser approach than simply disclosure of too much in¬ 
formation. Of course, in actuality, these two ideas work hand-in-hand. Acclimation is disclosure and disclosure is ac¬ 

Yet, the subtle interactions and distinctions between these two concepts may be worth considering. 

Another element rumored to be in play is the possibility that humans are facing multiple kinds of emerging de¬ 

Different kinds of visitors may be near, including some who are friendly, some hostile and some neutral. In 
cases like this, various intelligence-gathering, liaison and rapport-building, dialogue, negotiation and defensive activi¬ 
ties could be in play. 

Have humans been visited in the ancient past? Were Native American Indians and other cultures exposed to 
anomalous phenomena that may be of interest to us now? 

Are there aspects of our genetics and DNA that may in some ways connect with other unconventional ques¬ 

What are the concepts involved in scientific research into a "unified field" or "zero-point field" that may be an 
underlying layer or force of Nature and the Universe? 

What are the sources of crop circles and what are the messages they seem to contain? 

Additional metaphysical phenomena such as connections with other dimensions, including the afterlife or 
"Heaven" and even beliefs about activities of "angels" could be factors to consider. 

All of these ideas and scenarios pose interesting and fundamental questions about where we have been, where 
we are now and where we are going. 

Being prepared for various kinds of developments or contingencies is usually constructive. Reading between 
the lines of information we come across can also be useful. 

Our roles in any acclimation or disclosure processes underway would seem to include improving our 
"intelligence" in the many meanings of that word - gathering information, interpreting it, sharing it and using it to en¬ 
hance our personal and collective situational awareness. 

Source: American Chronicle, 

Thanks to MiMUFON member Fred Varner for bringing this article to my attention. 

JULY 2008 

Page 5 

Photographic Evidence of UAP, does it Exist? 
And, “Raising the Bar” 

An Essay By Fred R. Varner, (MIMUFON) 

Over the past sixty years proponents of the study of UAP, also known as “believers”, made up largely of a body of people 
who have had some personal experience with UAP, have strove to find some evidence which would convince others to join in re¬ 
search of the phenomenon. Thus far the search has been unfruitful. Early in the study of reports of the UAP especially during the so 
called “flaps” of the fifties it was said that a good photograph would be convincing evidence that the reported phenomena were real, 
not imagined. A common argument made at that time was that; “Automobile accidents occurred at a greater frequency than UAP 
reports and no photographs of automobile accidents in progress exist either; Making the case that an observer with a camera at the 
ready was not present during the limited duration of the UAP event in similarity to the accident event.” At that time no photographs 
of automobile accidents in progress existed. Of course, today there are many films and videos of accidents in progress. There are 
however, very few still photographs. 

Since those days thousands of photographs, films, and videos have surfaced. Yet, not one has been shown, to the satisfac¬ 
tion of all, to represent “evidence.” Not one has even been accepted by any body of experts, or even considered an item of debate 
except among the “believers.” 

Can photographic evidence ever be considered as “evidence”? 

In 2004 NIDS, (The National Institute for Discovery Science), posted on their website an essay by an author whose name 
was withheld because he is a PhD Physicist at a U.S. government lab in Maryland. The essay is titled; “Strategies for Collecting 
Evidence of Intelligent Extra-Terrestrial Activity”, ( 

It is notable that the author of this essay does not mention photographic evidence except in the following context: “The 
accessible evidence centers on animal mutilations, crop circles, and abductions. Thus far, the public and the scientific community 
have been unimpressed by all the analyses of these data. It may be possible that better analyses may be more convincing and they 
should certainly be pursued, but they are no substitute for ETI artifacts and clear photographs ofETIs in action. ” 

Further, the author states, in a section headed, “Radar and Pilot/Trained Observer Sightings.” “We have become so over¬ 
loaded with such reports that they now count as Level III evidence. ” (Level III evidence is defined in the essay as, “Suggestive - 
Sufficient for most people to conclude that further serious study may be justified.”) 

Evidently, the writer does not consider that photographic evidence falls into any of the categories above. 

Is there a good reason for this? And, is it futile for UAP researchers to deal with photographic evidence? 

A strong case can be made that no photographic evidence will ever be accepted based on the following: 

1. Hundreds of still photographs of purported UAP exist produced from the fifties to present on various media including 
black and white, and color film, and digital. (Obvious fakes aside.) 

2. A hand full of purported UAP, were allegedly recorded on moving film cameras. 

3. Hundreds of digital videos exist of purported UAP. 

4. Camera technology, having advanced to digital, has eliminated the likelihood of a double exposure, but has opened the 
possibility of computer enhancement, image insertion, etc. 

5. Image insertion and enhancement will likely become indistinguishable from actual photos. 


Thanks to 
member Linda 
Murphy for 
submitting this 

6. No analysis of any single still film photo has ever been accepted as evidence. 

7. No analysis of any film or digital video has ever been accepted as evidence. 

8. No analysis of the body of the images has ever found any two images alike, some however are strongly similar. 

Regardless of any probability that the body of evidence on hand could contain “evidence” useful to persuade the public or sci¬ 
entific community to consider it, the photographic evidence will be rejected. 

There is low probability that any future photographic evidence will be accepted, even if such photographic evidence is valid. As 
stated by the anonymous writer quoted above, “We have become... overloaded.” 

Given that no photographic evidence will be accepted, and that the past history of UAP research has largely consisted of col¬ 
lecting anecdotal reports, which are scientifically unacceptable, the time has passed to define a new strategy. 

UFO Researcher, Author, Marc Davenport Dies | 

Marc Davenport made the transition from this life to the next on Sunday, 
April 20. Marc was a dedicated seeker of the truth who believed that we 
all had a right to know. He fought for human rights, liberty, justice, and the 
preservation of our planet. He was the author of Dear Mr. President: 100 
Earth-Saving Letters and Visitors From Time: The Secret of the UFOs. 

Marc was married to Leah Ann Haley. 

Marc was deeply grateful for all of his friends and supporters. His wishes 
were that instead of a formal service to mourn his death those who loved 
him would hold private gatherings to celebrate his life. 

The family requests that donations in memory of Marc Davenport be made 
to Covenant Hospice; 5907 Berryhill Road; Milton, FL 32570 or to the In¬ 
ternational UFO Museum and Research Center; 114 N Main Street; Ros¬ 
well, NM 88203. 

Monthly Statistical MUFON Report - for April 2008: 

CMS continues to amass sighting reports from around the globe. In April 2008 there were 490 sightings reported to 
MUFON through CMS. 451 of which were in the United States. 15 of these were in Michigan. Most impressively there were 
23 Landings, Hovering, or Takeoffs reported and 41 Entities observed overall. 

In May 2008 there were 357 sightings, 314 of which were in the United States. 10 of these were in Michigan. Most 
impressively there were 16 Landings, Hovering, or Takeoffs reported and 31 Entities observed overall. 

To review the CMS data yourself go to and click on "UFO Case Files" to 1.) Easily look at the Last 
20 Sightings, or 2.) Do a customized search of the CMS database by date and/or location, or 3.) Logon to CMS for even more 
detailed UFO sighting information about your State and the World. 


Tune in to David Twichell’s one-hour radio talk 
show, “We Are Not Alone” on WHFR, broadcast from 
Henry Ford Community College (89.3 FM). 

Journalist Steve Hammons will guest July 7, 
2008. Stephenville, TX journalist Angelia Joiner will 
guest Aug. 2, 2008 show. 

Tune in on the first Saturday of each month at 
10:00 AM (EST) with a new show each month. 

Out of the area? Go to: 
and click on “tune in now”. The latest shows are now 
archived. Click on “archives of the weekly WHFR 
Forum” and click on the date of the show you wish to hear. 

JULY 2008 

Page 7 

Britain Opens Up Secret UFO Files 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 
Associated Press 

LONDON — The men were air traffic controllers. Experienced, calm professionals. Nobody was drinking. 

What they saw has never been explained. And they were so worried about losing their jobs that they de¬ 
manded their names be kept off the official reports. 

No one, they knew, would believe their claim that an unidentified flying object landed at the airfield they 
were overseeing in the east of England, touched down briefly, then took off again at tremendous speed. 

But that's what they reported happening at four in the afternoon on April 19, 1984, at an unspecified small 
airport near the eastern coast of England. 

Their "Report of Unusual Aerial Phenomenon" is one of more than 1,000 pages of formerly secret UFO 
documents released Wednesday by Britain's National Archives. 

The air traffic controllers, each with more than eight years on the job, describe how they were helping guide 
a small plane to a safe landing on runway 22 when they were distracted by a brightly lit object approaching a differ¬ 
ent runway without clearance. 

"Everyone became aware that the object was unidentified," the report on the incident said. "SATCO 
[codename for a controller with 14 years' experience] reports that the object came in 'at speed,' made a touch and go 
on runway 27, then departed at 'terrific speed' in a 'near vertical' climb.” 

The incident is one of the more credible in the newly public files because it was reported by air traffic con¬ 
trollers, said David Clarke, a UFO expert who has worked with the National Archives on the document release. 

"They were absolutely astonished," he said. "It was a bright, circular object, flashing different colors, and 
after it touched down it disappeared at fantastic speed. The report comes from very qualified people, and it's one of 
the few that remained unexplained." 

He said other incidents were at times reported by aircraft crews whose members also asked to remain anony¬ 
mous because they did not want to jeopardize their careers by seeming to believe in UFOs. 

In one case, the pilot of a commercial plane crossing the Atlantic reported an unidentified object just 1.5 
nautical miles from his wing. He speculated that it might be a meteor or a missile. 

Although there are some unexplained cases, there is no reported instance in which Britain's Ministry of De¬ 
fense found any evidence of alien activity or alien spacecraft, said Clarke, who nonetheless expects conspiracy theo¬ 
ries about a UFO coverup by the British defense establishment to persist. 

"The Ministry of Defense doesn't have any evidence that our defenses were breached by alien craft," he said. 
"They never found one, no bits of one, that's all we can say." 

Clarke said the documents released Wednesday, dealing with the late 1970s and early 1980s, are the first 
batch of a series that will be made public in the next few years. 

The National Archives is releasing the files now because of numerous Freedom of Information requests seek¬ 
ing information about the government's UFO reports. 

Officials said names of many individuals had been blacked out to protect their privacy and the entire files 
had been reviewed to make sure their release did not compromise national security. 

Ministry of Defense officials indicate in the files that UFO reports were only investigated to make sure that 
no enemy aircraft had illegally entered British airspace. This was crucial during the Cold War when Russian planes 
posed an ongoing threat. 

But officials say they did not try to solve the UFO riddles once an enemy attack had been ruled out. 

The vast majority of the reports come from members of the public who see strange things in the sky and 
jump to the conclusion that a UFO is involved even though there is likely a logical scientific explanation for what 
they are observing, experts say. 

"Mostly it's well-intentioned witnesses who are misidentifying things," said Nick Pope, another UFO expert 
who helped the Ministry of Defense investigate the phenomenon. "The most common things are aircraft lights, bright 
stars and planets, satellites, meteors, airships and things like that." 

Page 8 


Some of the reports are fairly easy to explain — and quite possibly influenced by a pint or two of beer. 

This was the case when a number of people leaving a Tunbridge Wells pub at 9:30 at night reported seeing a 
strange craft "with red and green" lights. 

Asked by police where it seemed to be traveling, the pub crawlers said it appeared to be heading for London's Gat- 
wick Airport. 

Case closed. 

It didn't take a scientist to figure out it was a commercial plane making a routine approach. 

Source: http://www.foxnews.eom/story/0,2933,355509,00.html 

Editor’s Note: MUFON’s Dan Wright had a saying: “People don’t get drunk and see UFOs 
then they get drunk!” 

they see UFOs and 

UFO enthusiast chases truth, seat in Congress 

Libertarian plans to seek 1st District seat; claims that outer space phenomenon ignored 

By Thomas Burr 
The Salt Lake Tribune 

WASHINGTON - A typical campaign kickoff doesn't resemble an X-Files convention. Nor is there usually dis¬ 
cussion of UFOs crisscrossing the night sky or of government programs to conceal extraterrestrial technology. 

And most politicians yearning for office avoid banners proclaiming, "It's not about the lights in the sky, but about 
the lies on the ground." 

Joseph Buchman, however, announced his candidacy for the 1st Congressional District of Utah under that banner, 
and his official announcement was book-ended by talk of the news media ignoring signs of extraterrestrial visits and the 
military's blockade of information about outer space visitors. 

"I don't mind being seen as a wacko because to me, the world looks completely wacked," said Buchman, the Lib¬ 
ertarian nominee for the seat of Republican Rep. Rob Bishop. Buchman wore a black tie covered in planets and stars and 
galaxies to the news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. 

It may not be the most politically expedient place to launch a congressional bid for a Utahn, but the Park City resi¬ 
dent pressed on. He called on Congress to revoke any secrecy oaths the government has forced on military personnel or 
private contractors so they can talk openly about what they have seen regarding extraterrestrial activity. 

And he wants Congress to hold open hearings on the subject. 

Many of the speakers at the news conference agreed with Buchman. 

And they also agreed that the mass media was ignoring the signs of extraterrestrial life and that the feds were 
keeping all the details hidden deep in a dark basement. A place "where Mulder and Scully would have to go with their lit¬ 
tle pen lights," added host Stephen Bassett, a one-time congressional candidate in Maryland, referencing the X-Files stars. 

Buchman adds there are other things in his platform for Congress as well. He is not solely running on the UFO- 
conspiracy phenomenon. Buchman calls himself a lifelong Libertarian who has supported the party for more than a quar¬ 
ter century. 

"I'm the Ron Paul of Utah congressional politics," Buchman says, referring to the ex-presidential candidate and 
Texas congressman. 

But even Paul didn’t venture into the realm of extraterrestrial discussions during his campaign. Buchman is rack¬ 
ing up a bit of a reputation as the ET candidate. A recent Park Record story about his candidacy carried the headline, 
"Immigration, Taxes and Little Green Men." 

Buchman couldn't have been happier. "I absolutely loved it," he said. 

tburr @ 

JULY 2008 

Page 9 

Books Recently Read: 

Bill Murphy’s Column 

The following titles mostly deal with the sociology of UFOlogy: with the people who study or are otherwise involved or felt to be 
involved in the field. I’ll deal with the works in descending order of their perceived value: 

The Lure of the Edge: Scientific Passions. Religious Beliefs, and the Pursuit of UFOs , by Brenda Denzler. Berkeley, California: 
University of California Press, 2001, 295 pp. This is one of the best books about UFOlogy by a non-UFOlogist. Denzler’s work is 
meticulously researched, and informed by her own surveys of people attending ufological conventions (including the 1997 MUFON 
International Symposium in Grand Rapids), and interactions with several local UFO groups in the North Carolina area. In my opin¬ 
ion, Denzler’s is a fair and balanced account of the field from the perspective of a religious scholar, and its footnotes allow for an 
amazing amount of profitable further research on the part of the reader. You’ll also get your vocabulary widened, a bit, by reading 
this book. 

UFO Religions , edited by Christopher Partridge. London: Routledge, 2003, 383 pp. This is a collection of essays by different relig¬ 
ion scholars on a wide variety of UFO-related topics, including UFO contactee movements and cults such as Unarius, the Aetherius 
Society, Heaven’s Gate, UFO religions and cargo cults, attitudes towards religion and science in the UFO movement (this article by 
Brenda Denzler), and lung on UFOs. The level of discourse here is high and the articles generally assume some basic familiarity 
with the topics, so this is not by any means an introductory book. While the editor Partridge indicates a general sympathy towards 
the “organized” UFOlogists, the authors mostly concentrate on what many ufologists would consider “fringe” areas of UFOlogy, 
while discounting or at least virtually ignoring that there is a concrete reality to UFOs. However, this is a very worthwhile series of 
articles, providing insight into what one scholarly discipline thinks about UFOlogy. Chapter 12, “Alien Doubts: Reading Abduction 
Narratives Post-apocalyptically”, included insights the author lodi Dean received from her correspondence with the late and much- 
missed David Caywood. 

The Gods Have Landed: New Religions from Other Worlds , edited by James R. Lewis. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York 
Press, 1995, 343 pp. This is another compilation of articles, many on the same topics as the Partridge book. The essayists in The 
Gods Have Landed seem a bit less informed on UFOlogy than those whose work is included in UFO Religions , but their articles are 
still very valuable. It is particularly interesting to compare the Robert W. Balch article in this book on “Bo and Peep’s UFO Cult”, 
written prior to the March 26, 1997 mass-suicide of 39 followers of this cult, with the article in UFO Religions , coming after that 
shocking and terribly sad atrocity, and coincidentally written by the editor of The Gods Have Landed , James R. Lewis. What in it¬ 
self alone would make this book worthwhile is Chapter 10: “The Flying Saucer Contactee Movement, 1950-1994: A Bibliography”, 
by J. Gordon Melton and George M. Eberhart. 

When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World , by Leon 
Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, and Stanley Schacter. New York: Harper & Row, 1964 (original copyright 1956 by the University of 
Minnesota), 253 pp. The author of the article on “Bo and Peep’s UFO Cult” in the Lewis book actually infiltrated Marshall Apple¬ 
white’s group to gain first-hand material for their study. The same procedure was used by the three co-authors of this book, and ad¬ 
ditional hired observers, to surreptitiously study a group centered around a suburban Chicago housewife (named Mrs. Marian Keech 
in this book). Mrs. Keech, a medium of sorts, received messages through automatic writing from one Sananda (also known as Je¬ 
sus), which culminated in a prediction of world destruction on December 21, 1954. Mrs. Keech and her followers, including a sig¬ 
nificant element located in East Lansing, Michigan, were ostensibly promised to be taken up in a flying saucer before this ultimate 
holocaust. As Lewis notes in his UFO Religions article (p. 103): “The scenario predicted in Mrs. Keech’s prophecy is eerily similar 
to that of Heaven’s Gate.” Fortunately, no one died in the Keech debacle, but an M.S.U. professor lost his job and most of the devo¬ 
tees ended up disillusioned and feeling terribly foolish. Festinger’s “underground sociologists” may be criticized for the propriety of 
their methods and the likely contamination of the group they studied by their own actions. The study has also been attacked by the 
author of the next book I will discuss as not affirming the hypothesis that Festinger tried to prove - that, when a group’s most sacred 
beliefs are disconfirmed, they hold on to them more fiercely (for, after all, almost all of the group soon drifted away after the embar¬ 
rassing climax of no pick-up and no end of the world - Mishlove, p. 245). But the Festinger book’s image of “UFO enthusiasts” be¬ 
ing damaged and gullible individuals of low self-esteem looking to the skies for salvation rather “took hold” within the scholarly 
world, and you can see it repeated over and over again in the popular media. 

The PK Man: A True Story of Mind over Matter , by Jeffrey Mishlove. Charlottesville, Virginia: Hampton Roads Publishing Com¬ 
pany, Inc., 2000, 283 pp. One of the strangest individuals to have become enmeshed in the history of UFOlogy was one Ted Owens 
(1920-1987), a man who stated that “Space Intelligences” were attempting to use him as their prophet, and who claimed to be able to 
call down from heaven, in an effort to prove his case, such a variety of natural and human disasters that even Moses would have 

Page 10 


Owens made numerous predictions of disasters from at least 1965 on, but the book’s author, then a graduate student studying to 
be the first American to receive a Ph.D. in parapsychology from a major university, first met the psychic in 1976. Most of the 
book follows the subsequent career of Owens and his interactions with the book’s author, the rest of America, and with his own 
torn psyche. It is a sad, even frightening, story, for author Mishlove believes, and brings out many cases in an effort to prove his 
point, that Owens did indeed possess some amazing, destructive psychic power. Whether this supposed damaging talent was de¬ 
rived from UFO “Sis” (Space Intelligences), the Egyptian power Pyrcre (“Pyramid Creature”), or the Mayan Xtolac, later addi¬ 
tions to Owens’ “paranormal backers”, or, as Mishlove prefers to think, from somewhere within his own human capacity, is a fur¬ 
ther problem. Mishlove’s statistical understanding of chance does not seem strong to me, and even he does not believe that all 
the coincidences Owens claimed proved his power actually were valid. I found the extension of Owens’ talents to subverting the 
Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles football teams particularly tenuous, even without arguing the details of prediction speci¬ 
ficity and confirmation, for fumbles and errant passes are a large part of the game, and really aren’t all as surprising as Mishlove 
seems to think. (However, perhaps an angered psychic could be the one explanation that could account for the Detroit Lions’ 
decades-long ineptitude?) Some of Mishlove’s theorizing about what actually was going on in Owens’ life and career is interest¬ 
ing, and the book is a fast read. A regimen for self-improvement that Owens taught, while seemingly standard New Age stuff, is 
attractive, far more so than the man who claimed, not much in advance of the Challenger disaster, that he and his handlers would 
bring down a Space Shuttle, and many of whose own “demonstrations” involved loss of life. Mishlove’s mention of the website , which contains transcripts of conversations from his public TV series “Thinking Allowed”, is another tangible 
benefit from reading this book. 

UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture , by Gregory L. Reece. London: I.B. Tauris, 2007, 213 pages. This is a 
popular writer’s look at the landscape of UFOlogy. Though it is touted by religious scholars as a handy introduction to the field 
of UFO religions, I felt it somewhat lacking in depth and understanding of the subject - and certainly of the wider ufological field. 
The author’s attempts to be humorous to add spice to a narrative that should itself be interesting as well as serious sometime fall 
flat. The funniest thing I found was an unintentional “typo” on page 57, in which Reece informs us that Rachel, Nevada, is a 
town “not really much more than a trailer park in the middle of the dessert” (wonder whether its residents have weight prob¬ 
lems?). Occasionally Reece gives us insights into his own peculiar religious hang-ups, which I am not completely sure are that 
germane to the study. Although his field of study is worldwide and covers events back to the beginning of the modern UFO era 
(and before), the illustrations in Reece’s book all seem to have been taken from a recent trip to Nevada and California. Many 
“nuts and bolts” UFOlogists will also not appreciate Reece’s essentially lumping them into the same spectrum with ancient astro¬ 
naut believers and contactee religionists. Capsule summaries of the different UFO cults and positions suffer from the very fact 
that, as summaries, they are incomplete and sometimes a bit skewed. However, the book is interesting in its contemporary por¬ 
trayal of UFOlogy and UFOlogists, and could be used - advisedly — as a springboard for further study. 

Visitors: A New Look at UFOs , by Kelly Bell. New York: Universe, Inc., 2007, 203 pp. The front cover of this book touts 
“Should someone ask you to recommend ‘a good book on UFOs,’ this should be the one.” I would take issue with that advertise¬ 
ment. The author “has been researching the arcane (especially the UFO phenomenon) since the early 1970s” (back cover), but 
most of his sources seem to stop at 1990. Many of the references are to general popular books like the Time/Life Mysteries of the 
Unknown series, or, worse, the surpassingly fun but seriously suspect Frank Edwards works. Many of Bell’s examples are re¬ 
worked descriptions of Edwards’ and others’ accounts, with the kind of errors of repetition that John Tenney talked about in his 
March State Meeting presentation. As a result, serious flaws exist in the Bell book. Bob Lazar’s tale is given with no mention 
of the valid questions about his credibility, the Reverend Barry Downing is noted as a physicist, and (what I just did here!), source 
references usually do not tell the reader where in a cited work the material came from. As an example, I had to search through 
the whole of a Frank Edwards book a couple times before I found one particular UFO story buried within its recesses. Bell’s the¬ 
sis seems to be that UFOs may be generally explicable in terms of the Christian revelation, but he also argues, rather confusingly, 
that most of the other theories he trundles out toward the end of the book may have a piece of the explanatory action. Bell seems 
to veer a little too close to the canard that abductees are in league, unwittingly or not, with demonic forces - at least he does not 
seem overtly to condemn those positions. Two appendices by co-author Tim Donovan, on “The ET Role in Earth History” and 
“Saucers Deliberately Crashed”, seem the most original parts of the work, although their thrust is about 180 degrees from the 
very-conservative and rather limited Christian viewpoint Bell espouses. The articles are too brief to represent fully the reasoning 
that may lie behind Donovan’s views, including the novel idea that Christianity was a necessary tool used by the aliens to develop 
humanity after the stifling Roman Empire, but itself became a hindrance to further development, and now has to be cleared away. 
Donovan also suggests that the aliens have deliberately sacrificed some of their saucers and crews to bring humans gradually to 
the realization of their existence, a less culture-rending approach, he thinks, than a massive space demonstration or landing upon 
the White House lawn, near the Houses of Parliament, and St. Peter’s Square. I would argue that there are better books on the 
subject from a religious standpoint, and certainly from a generalist perspective. 

JULY 2008 

Page 11 

The Day the Aliens Landed 

By Stephen Coan 

American film maker Randall Nickerson is currently visiting southern Africa to make a documentary that follows up an 
incident that happened at the Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, in 1994, when 62 children aged between eight and 12 reported 
seeing a UFO and “strange beings” during their morning break. 

Those children are now young adults scattered around the globe. Nickerson is tracking them down and interviewing them 
about the experience. “Their stories have not changed at all,” he says. “Not what you would expect if they had made it all up.” 

So what exactly happened on that day in 1994 at the school in Ruwa just east of Harare? “It was morning break and they 
were out in the school yard playing,” says Nickerson. “They saw one main silver craft that had four others around it,” says Nicker¬ 
son. “It came down on a hill beyond the school yard that was out of bounds. The boundary was the edge of the school yard, then it 
was bush and the hill. 

“They ran to the edge of the school yard to see what this thing was. They saw this small creature walk around on top of 
the craft while another came down to check out the children. He was all in black, with a very tight suit. The children said he had 
big eyes ‘like rugby balls’. 

“The children had direct eye contact with this creature. There seems to have been some kind of communication with the 
children about the state of the world — what we are doing to the planet, the destruction we are causing, although not all the chil¬ 
dren got this message. Some of the children were traumatized, others were excited. The young children were the most traumatized 
as they were at the front of the group. 

“They all went screaming back to the teachers. The teachers didn’t believe them at first. But then they went home and 
told their parents who came to the school and wanted to know what had happened.” 

Soon afterwards the children were asked to draw pictures of what they had seen. “They did this separately. The drawings 
were all the same.” 

A BBC television crew were first on the scene to follow it up. In November 1994, Harvard professor of psychiatry John 
E. Mack visited the school and filmed interviews with the children. He was assisted by South African producer Nicky Carter who 
had already made a short documentary on the subject for the SABC. “I had a half-brother at the school,” she says. “He was off 
sick on the day it happened, but the children told him all about it and he contacted me.” 

Carter has no doubt the children were telling the truth. “When they were interviewed by Mack with all his professional 
skills it was clear they were telling the truth — their voice tone, their body language. They were so consistent, they told their sto¬ 
ries with such conviction. And they spoke about it in their own language. One child recalled being told by the alien that we should 
not be so ‘techknowledged’ — why make up something like that?” 

Mack, a Pulitzer prize winner for his biography of T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) titled A Prince of Our Disorder, 
was a highly respected psychiatrist. However, when he began researching the phenomenon of reported alien abductions, his fellow 
academics looked askance. In 1994, when his book Abduction appeared, a committee was appointed to review Mack’s clinical 
care and investigation of the people who had shared their alien encounters with him. According to the BBC, “It was the first time 
in Harvard’s history that a tenured professor was subjected to such an investigation.” 

After 14 months of inquiry. Harvard issued a statement stating that the dean had “reaffirmed Dr Mack’s academic freedom to 
study what he wishes and to state his opinions without impediment”. 

In 2004, Mack was killed by a drunk driver while he was visiting London to lecture at a T. E. Lawrence conference. 

Mack was guarded in his interpretation of the abduction phenomenon. To one interviewer who said that Mack seemed 
“inclined to take these [abduction] reports at face value”, Mack replied saying: “Face value I wouldn’t say. I take them seriously. I 
don’t have a way to account for them.” 

In a BBC interview he said: “I would never say, yes, there are aliens taking people. [But] I would say there is a compel¬ 
ling powerful phenomenon here that I can’t account for in any other way. Yet I can’t know what it is but it seems to me that it in¬ 
vites a deeper, further inquiry.” 

Nickerson sees himself as taking that inquiry further after being commissioned by the John E. Mack Institute, along with 
producer Dominique Callimanopulos, to make a documentary incorporating the interview footage shot in 1994 with follow-up 
material shot in the present. 

“I want to present the story objectively,” says Nickerson. “To show the original raw material. That’s what initially inter¬ 
ested me about this case. These children all describing seeing the same thing. You can tell they are not lying. But having seen this 
footage I thought: I need to go to this place, to talk to people, I need to investigate it for myself. Did this really happen? 

“The subject has to be approached as scientifically as possible,” he says. “There are questions that we need to ask. It’s a 
case of presenting the evidence just like court.” 

Page 12 


Despite this rigorous approach, isn’t there a danger he will simply encounter those on the “lunatic fringe”? “I have found 
those are the people who have all the answers, but people to whom something like this has really happened don’t. They have mil¬ 
lions of questions. There is a humility about them, they realize it’s not about them.” 

At the beginning of the project Nickerson set about contacting those people who had been among the 62 children who had 
witnessed the sighting. “They are mainly students in Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Britain.” 

Tracking them down hasn’t been that difficult. “They are contacting us because of what we put up on the John E. Mack 
Institute website. What is interesting is that their stories remain the same as in 1994. 

“They were affected profoundly,” says Nickerson. “At the time one girl was told by her parents not to talk about it, that she 
had imagined it all. But then she found other people’s stories on the Internet. She got in touch with them and realized ‘Oh my God, 
that was real’. 

“Others I’ve met never doubted it. They say the experience opened up new horizons for them.” 

Nickerson cites two students who are now studying in the U.S. “Their father said they would never have done that, but af¬ 
ter their experience the children were totally changed, that’s what convinced him that something really happened.” 

Nickerson’s first stop during his visit to southern Africa was Ariel School. “I interviewed teachers and workers who were 
there at the time.” He also came across people from two different schools in the area who had similar sightings on the same day. 

Nickerson is now in South Africa trying to track down those living here who were witnesses on that day. He will be here 
until the end of April following up leads resulting from two radio interviews he has given. 


Vatican says aliens could exist 

By David Willey 
BBC News, Rome 

The Pope's chief astronomer says that life on Mars cannot be ruled out. 

Writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, said intelligent beings created by God 
could exist in outer space. 

Father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, is a respected scientist who collaborates with univer¬ 
sities around the world. 

The search for forms of extraterrestrial life, he says, does not contradict belief in God. 

The official Vatican newspaper headlines his article 'Aliens Are My Brother'. 

'Free from sin' 

Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God. 
And some aliens could even be free from original sin, he speculates. 

Asked about the Catholic Church's condemnation four centuries ago of the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo, 
Father Funes diplomatically says mistakes were made, but it is time to turn the page and look towards the future. 

Science and religion need each other, and many astronomers believe in God, he assures readers. 

To strengthen its scientific credentials, the Vatican is organising a conference next year to mark the 200th anniver¬ 
sary of the birth of the author of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin. 

Story from BBC NEWS: .stm 

Published: 2008/05/13 22:08:27 GMT 

"If I become President, I’ll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available 
to the public, and the scientists. I am convinced that UFOs exist because I've seen one... " 

President Jimmy Carter during his election campaign in May 1976 

July 2008 

PAGE 13 

30 Billion Earths? New Estimate of Exoplanets in Our Galaxy 

By Robert Roy Britt 

Senior Science Writer 

Chances are you haven't spent a whole lot of time wondering how many Jupiter-like planets exist in our galaxy. But Char¬ 
ley Lineweaver has, because it bears on a more important question: How many potentially habitable planets are there? 

New calculations by Lineweaver and Daniel Grether, both of the University of New South Wales in Australia, provide an 
encouraging answer to this question. The researchers expect a flood of Jupiters will be found, perhaps 50 percent more than cur¬ 
rently expected. 

Each such discovery would be significant in the hunt for planets that could harbor life. 

Why? Because much of the evolution of our own solar system, including the formation of Earth, was orchestrated or af¬ 
fected by Jupiter, the largest planet with by far the bulk of the solar system's mass, excepting the Sun, of course. 

"Our solar system is Jupiter and a bunch of junk," as Lineweaver puts it. 

Our protector 

When Jupiter developed, it simply bullied other objects into position or out of existence. Then the mighty gas giant be¬ 
came Earth's protector. 

Though the fledgling Earth was pummeled by asteroids and comets, making it difficult for life to take hold, it could have 
been much worse. Jupiter shielded Earth from an even heavier bombardment of debris that made its way from the outskirts of the 
new system toward its central star. 

That protective role continues. In 1994, Jupiter used its immense gravity to lure comet Shoemaker-Levy into a death 
plunge. Had the comet hit Earth, it would have sterilized much or all of the planet. 

For now, no one knows whether our solar system represents a common method of formation and evolution. In fact, discov¬ 
eries over the past six years seem to indicate otherwise. Most of the roughly 80 planets discovered outside our solar system are 
much more massive than Jupiter. They also orbit perilously close to their host stars, locations that would likely prevent rocky plan¬ 
ets from forming in so-called habitable orbits. 

But experts attribute these findings to the limitations of technology. Smaller planets in more comfortable orbits around 
other stars simply can’t be detected. Yet. 

How many Jupiters? 

All this in mind, Lineweaver and Grether worked out some new calculations for the prevalence of planets that are about 
Jupiter's size at about the same distance from their host stars. The calculations are based on some of the most recent extrasolar 
planet discoveries, in which ever-smaller objects are being detected at ever-greater distances from their host stars. 

So how many Jupiters are out there orbiting Sun-like stars in the Milky Way Galaxy? 

"At least a billion, but probably more like 30 billion," Lineweaver told 

And the math behind that? 

"There are about 300 billion stars in our galaxy. About 10 percent (or 30 billion) are roughly Sun-like," he explained. "At 
least 5 percent (1.5 billion) but possibly as many as 90 percent or 100 percent (about 30 billion) of these have Jupiter-like planets." 

These estimates would vary based on exactly what you call Jupiter-like or Sun-like, Lineweaver said. 

What about Earths? 

The calculations, which are part of a paper that has been submitted to the journal Astrobiology , don't bear directly on 
worlds like our own. But with what's known of planet formation, some speculation is possible. 

"A reasonable guess is the same number of Earths as Jupiters," Lineweaver said. 

That, however, depends heavily on how one defines Earth-like. If one includes rocky planets in general, like Mercury, Ve¬ 
nus and Mars, "then they are probably more common than Jupiters," he said. If, however, you mean rocky planets with liquid water 
at the surface, "then we really can't answer that very well. They may be as common as Jupiters, or they may be much less common." 

Alan Boss, an expert in planetary system formation at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, said the new calculations for 
Jovian twins seem reasonable. Trying then to estimate the number of Earth-like planets requires "a leap of faith, but one which ap¬ 
pears to be plausible," he said. 

"As the veil covering the unseen portions of discovery space is lowered in the next decade, I expect we will find that Jupi- 
ter-like planets are commonplace," said Boss, who was not involved in the new study. "Whether or not that also means Earth-like 
planets are common can only be proven by NASA's Kepler mission." 

Kepler, recently approved to launch in 2006, will monitor 100,000 stars for telltale dips in light indicating an Earth-sized 
planet in an Earth-like orbit has crossed in front of the star. While it would not take photographs, Kepler could provide the first cen¬ 
sus of planets that have the potential to support life. 


Page 14 


Recent Michigan Sightings 

GRAND RAPIDS: Taking my dog out I saw an object like a satellite heading from the western sky northeast on May 24, 
2008, at 11:00 p.m. Suddenly it becomes a huge ball of light then turned very faint. It then changed direction 90 degrees heading 
northwest and faded slowly becoming very dim and disappeared. I went in to get my binoculars and scanning the sky to the west, 
slightly northwest of me was a stationary star like object that blinked red, blue, white green. Even with the naked eye you could see it 
blinking. I watched it about 10 minutes then went inside because of the mosquitos. 

Thanks to Brian Vike, Director of HBCC UFO Research, 

Occurred : April 12, 2008. 22:51 Location: Waterford, MI. Shape: Chevron. Duration: 10 sec. 

Clear night sky, airport traffic in air. One chevron shaped UFO passed above head in SSE direction. UFO was translucent/ 
transparent, like a jellyfish, moving at a fast rate of speed. Edges seemed white or near-white. Height of travel difficult to discern, 
size of craft difficult to discern. Appeared for only 2-3 seconds before UFO disappeared behind tree line and then reappeared briefly 
seconds later far on horizon for 2 more seconds, having turned to a SE direction. Travel was silent as if gliding. Best estimate of 
speed 100-150 MPH. Thanks to NUFORC 

Occurred : April 4, 2008. 21:30. Location: Durand, MI. Duration: 45min. 

04/04/08 object sighted moving from west to east. Approximately 45min duration, arcing to the north while still moving 
towards east. This part is what struck me as strange the craft did a button hook and stopped abruptly as if someone or thing had 
parked it. Witnessed by longtime friend who viewed the same object as I did. Both of us will take a polygraph to confirm sighting is 
authentic. Time was 9:15pm till 10:00pm. The small object was not a satellite. 

Thanks to NUFORC 

Occurred : March, 24, 2008. 21: Location: Hastings, MI. Shape: Triangle. Duration:5 minutes. 

I had gone to the gas station to get a news paper, taco bell, and soda on the trip home; I had seen what was apparently an 
airplane. It became apparent that it was a UFO when it stopped going in its direction and just started to hover. It had a flashing red 
light, and I started to point out of my window to let others see it. This is the 3rd UFO that I have seen in the past 7 days. Oh yes, the 
UFO was totally silent, and flying low. I would say that it could not have been more than 200 feet off the ground. It was approxi¬ 
mately 2 miles north of Hastings, off of M37. It had an almost parallel path to the airport in Hastings when it was moving. When it 
stopped and hovered, my heart sunk. 

Thanks to NUFORC 

June 1, 2008: While sitting on my back patio, approximately 80degrees up from the horizon and to the South West (south 
more than west) sky, I noticed what appeared to be a star like light. If it were dusk or totally dark, I would not have given it a second 
thought. However, at this time of day under a slightly hazy early evening Sunday, it was the only star in the sky which is what got my 
attention. It appeared to change shape in a manor suggesting an oblong section. This could be an illusion due to ice particles and/or 
atmosphere distorting the light that high in the sky. I'm not sure about motion, size or shape as a result. I thought of getting out my 
telescope but I didn't because as I watched it over a few minutes I convinced myself it was indeed a star. I diverted my attention from 
it for about 5 minutes and when I looked up to see if it was still there, it was gone. I used one of my homes window casings as a sta¬ 
tionary point and found that it was slowly drifting toward the west at a pace equal to the night sky stars. This further led to my dis¬ 
missal of it being something atypical. In spite of having the proverbial gut instinct. So, a singular star in the sky at a time of day 
when there should be none, visible for only a few short minutes.. .well who knows? As a second point of reference planes were flying 
over as they frequently do which made it clear that this object (or star) was far higher. I should have pulled out the scope. 

Also, I have noticed on 4 separate occasions in the past 5 years or so a single bright light in the sky (with no discernable 
sound) two years ago over Lake St. Clair late at night near the mouth of the Clinton River at two different times from the north east 
and at a high angle. And at my home last summer in what would be my front yard, again from the North East and high angle; then 
finally last week (mid week) from the Southwest in what would be my back yard and at somewhere between 60 to 70 degrees from 
the horizon. In all instances I was outdoors and it was beyond 11:00pm. I know what planes and helos look like at night as I live 
close to Selfridge Air Base. I have lived in this area most of my life. Could it be a plane or a copter? I can’t say no! But, this light 
does what no plane can do.. .Imagine a powerful hand held spot light about 2 million candle power in the night sky shining down so 
brightly that you can’t help but notice it. Then suddenly it’s as if a dimmer switch went off and it quickly gets smaller and dimmer 
until it is a faint pin point size and then gone, as if it were going straight up. It’s as if you were in a car with one of those auto dim¬ 
mers when it activates! 

Thanks to MUFON CMS. 

JULY 2008 

Page 15 

“Truth ... If You Dare UFO Symposium II” 
Another Resounding Success 

The second collaborative effort between Illinois MUFON and the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies was held on Sunday, June 
22, at the Tinley Park Holiday Inn Convention Center south of Chicago, Illinois. A crowd estimated in the hundreds by the local 
newspaper Southtown Star, and including representatives from Michigan and Indiana MUFON, came to this location, the projected 
site for the 2009 MUFON International Symposium. There they heard historical ufologist and Sci-Fi TV personality Richard Do¬ 
lan give the featured talk on “The Challenges of UFO Disclosure”. Roswell researcher Donald Schmitt initiated the presentations, 
and Illinois State Director Sam Maranto led the third and concluding lecture. As with the first such affair, there was a Speakers’ 
Panel at the conclusion of the individual presentations, materials from the main speakers were available for purchase, and another 
raffle of MUFON and UFO-related materials was held. 

Richard Dolan’s talk was simply the best conference presentation in this writer’s recent memory. Mr. Dolan divided his speech 
into three parts. He first made the case, for those who might be skeptical or know little about the subject, that UFOs were a serious 
matter for the (specifically, U.S.) military, through instancing 15 U.S. government documents that are publicly known, from the 
1947 Twining Memo through 1990 DIA documents on Belgian UFOs. He further averred, and presented more documentary proof 
of his assertion, that the militaries of the U.S. and other countries have chased and apparently continue to chase UFOs. Richard 
then moved to what is a main thread in his thinking: that elements within the U.S. government have found it necessary to “cover up” 
information on UFOs, partly for their own reasons. Some researchers are likely to disagree with Mr. Dolan’s methodology and 
interpretations in this area, but that is assuredly natural for discussion on any historical or current subject. The third part of the Do¬ 
lan presentation covered the implications of a putative alien presence on earth, both for us earthlings and the postulated “Them”. 
While clearly labeled as speculation, this portion was pretty much a tour de force . Hopefully, this extremely effective presentation 
will be available through Illinois MUFON or Mr. Dolan. 

Though recovering from a serious medical procedure that took place since his appearance at “Truth...If You Dare I”, Donald 
Schmitt showed that he retains the same consistent ability to deliver a riveting talk in strong advocacy of the reality of a crash of 
more than a Mogul balloon and crash-test dummies near Roswell, New Mexico, in the summer of 1947. In “Clarity of the Roswell 
Facts vs. the Skeptic Spin” Schmitt insistently bore down on the unlikelihood that elements of the most elite military unit in exis¬ 
tence in 1947 could have mistaken as alien technology what were supposedly just bits of foil, balsa wood, and other balloon materi¬ 
als. Don also contrasted the insistent stories of small and odd bodies in 1947 with the latest (1997) government explanation of full- 
sized anthropomorphic dummies that did not come into existence until five years after the Roswell event. Mr. Schmitt hammered 
home the fact that hundreds of first, second, and third-hand Roswell witnesses found the various and changing explanations of mili¬ 
tary and civilian arm-chair debunkers ludicrous. He contended that talk of “time compression” and other dismissive phrases about 
their stories was insulting in the extreme to the solid citizens who have signed sworn statements to the truth of what they had seen 
and experienced. 

In “Cooper’s Corners: Real Life Encounters” Illinois State Director and “Truth ... If You Dare” prime mover Sam Maranto pro¬ 
vided a fascinating insight into a case-in-progress with video and personal reminiscences by a married couple about a series of ex¬ 
periences centering around their upper Midwest home in 2004. The lights, objects, audio, and other phenomena experienced by 
this family are strongly reminiscent of those encountered at the “Skinwalker Ranch”. During the course of the presentation it was 
clear that, while the couple was doing well now, the ordeal had placed a tremendous strain upon them, and the constant contact with 
and ready assistance from Mr. Maranto likely played an important support role throughout and after this period. Linda and I had 
the opportunity to chat at some length with this couple after the presentation, and they seemed to us to be solid, down-to-earth peo¬ 
ple. Sam mentioned that this fascinating case will eventually be published. 

The next “Truth ... If You Dare” Symposium is scheduled for Sunday, August 17, at the same Tinley Park locale. “Show Me the 
Evidence: The Science of Ufology” will feature UFO trace case expert Ted Phillips as well as Stanton Friedman. Additional 
speakers are making presentations, and a morning training session on the latest UFO case investigation aids is under consideration. 
For more information on this symposium, check out the Illinois MUFON website at 

Editor’s Note: MiMUFON’s Bill Murphy has been asked to make one of the presentations at the August "Truth ... If You 
Dare III" Symposium. 

Page 16 


Police chase UFO over Cardiff 

By Laura Clout 20/06/2008 

A police helicopter crew gave chase to a UFO after it almost collided with their aircraft near a military base. 

The pilot was forced to bank sharply to avoid being hit by the mystery aircraft as the helicopter was returning to the Minis¬ 
try of Defence base of St Athan, near Cardiff. The three crew, who described the UFO as 'flying saucer-shaped', then gave chase, 
getting as far as the North Devon coast before they ran low on fuel, it was reported. 

The police aircraft was hovering at 500ft and waiting clearance to land on June 7, when those onboard spotted the other 
craft hurtling towards them from below. A spokesman for South Wales Police said: "We can confirm the Air Support Unit sighted 
an unusual aircraft. This was reported to the relevant authorities for their investigation." 

It was reported that the aircraft closed in at great speed, aiming straight for the helicopter which swerved sharply. "They 
are convinced it was a UFO. It sounds far-fetched, but they know what they saw." 

The helicopter crew are said to have crossed the Bristol channel in pursuit of the UFO, but lost sight of it and had to turn 
back due to a fuel shortage. 

The sighting comes weeks after the most comprehensive Government files on UFO activity are opened to the public for the 
first time today and they disclose that even air traffic controllers and police officers have seen mysterious craft in the skies over 

The sightings range from incredible tales of little green men visiting the Wirral to corroborated accounts from policemen 
and pilots of Unidentified Flying Objects hovering above towns and cities. 

All were recorded on official forms, held by air bases and police stations, and compiled by the Ministry of Defence be¬ 
tween 1978 and 2002. 

Story from Telegraph News: 

Lt. Col. Lawrence J. Coyne, U.S. Army Reserve helicopter pilot with 3,000 hours of flying time. 

He and other three airmen had a close encounter with a UFO on the night of October 18, 1973, while flying in a U.S. 
Army Bell Huey utility helicopter in the vicinity of Mansfield, Ohio. Lt. Coyne described his experience at a United Nations 
UFO hearing in 1978: 

"With the aircraft under my control, I observed the red-lighted object closing upon the helicopter at the same altitude 
at a high rate of speed. It became apparent a mid-air collision was about to happen unless evasive action was taken. 

"I looked out ahead of the helicopter and observed an aircraft I have never seen before. This craft positioned itself 
directly in front of the moving helicopter. This craft was 50 to 60 feet long with a grey metallic structure. On the front of this 
craft was a large steady bright red light. I could delineate where the red stopped on the structure of this craft because red was 
reflecting off the grey structure. The design of this craft was symmetrical in shape with a prominent aft indentation on the un¬ 
dercarriage. From this portion of the undercarriage, a green light, pyramid-shaped, emerged with the light initially in the trail 
position. This green light then swung 90 degrees, coming directly into the front windshield and lighting up the entire cockpit 
of the aircraft. All colors inside the cabin of the helicopter were absorbed by this green light. That includes the instrument 
panel lights on the aircraft. 

"As a result of my experience, I am convinced this object was real and that these types of incidents should require a 
thorough investigation. It is my own personal opinion that worldwide procedures need to be established to effectively study 
this phenomena through an international cooperative effort. The establishment of a Transponder Code for aircraft flying 
worldwide is needed, to identify to ground controllers that a pilot is indeed experiencing a UFO phenomena and that pilot anxi¬ 
ety can be reduced to provide safe effective flying, knowing he is under radar control." 

(Statement to the Special Political Committee of the United Nations, November 27, 1978.) 

JULY 2008 

Page 17 

From The Editor’s Desk 

David Twichell 



April 2008 Phoenix lights hoax. 

The Paul Trent photo taken on May 11, 
1950 in McMinnville Oregon. 

Hoaxes Hurt UFOlogy 


When it comes to photographic and video evidence of anomalous aerial 
phenomena, there are misidentifications of conventional objects and natural phe¬ 
nomena, actual unconventional objects and then there are outright hoaxes. The 
internet’s popular “” overflows with a hodgepodge of all of the 
above. Separating the wheat from the chaff is a never ending process that always 
results in some so-called “experts” in direct disagreement with some others. The 
UFO cynic will dismiss all evidence as a hoax regardless of its authenticity and 
painstaking analysis. Conversely, a small portion of the public will accept any¬ 
thing that comes down the pike. 

In 2006, Australian filmmaker Chris Kenworthy received a grant from the 
Australian government to produce several hoaxed UFO video clips. The final product 
was a convincing demonstration of how modern photographic technology may be used 
to make nothing at all look like something anomalous and plausible. Ironically, before 
Kenworthy came clean about the ruse, the skeptics marched out their standard explana¬ 
tions of “birds”, “ball lighting”, “Venus” etc. while the serious UFOlogist saw through 
it in record time. The experiment was a lesson to all concerned to carefully scrutinize 
any and all photographic evidence before dubbing it genuine. It also begged the ques¬ 
tion “why would any government sponsor such a project”? 

A gentleman recently had his fifteen minutes of fame (or shame) touting a pic¬ 
ture he claimed was a typical disk-shaped UFO in the center of the frame. The problem 
being that the dark object was also in the center of the sun. Taking a picture of the sun 
will often produce this effect as well as colorful orbs surrounding the star. They are not 
UFOs, angels or the spirit of your late, great Aunt Matilda; it is the camera lens object¬ 
ing to the overwhelming amount of light it is being subjected to. It doesn’t do a lot of 
good for the camera either. Whether this was a hoax or ignorance of photography is a 
matter of debate. 

In April 2008, Phoenix made national press coverage with video of lights 
moving randomly through the night sky. A man later said he saw his neighbor launch 
several helium balloons with flares attached to them from the back porch of his north 
Phoenix home, to which the prankster later confessed. The witness said the balloons 
took off about 8 p.m., right before the mysterious lights were spotted. This latest stunt 
shouldn’t take anything away from the authenticity of the Phoenix Lights incident of 
eleven years ago - but it just might in the minds of many. 

Now, Jeffrey L. Peckman is calling for the creation of an Extraterrestrial Af¬ 
fairs Commission within the city of Denver, Colorado. This in itself might be a vener¬ 
able idea, however it’s based on his highly questionable (if not downright ludicrous) 
video of a bug-eyed alien playing peeping Tom in a third story window of the home of 
an alleged abductee, Stan Romanek. Experts may prove me wrong but it looks like a 
reflection of something from inside the room or a model outside the window. One 
video entrepreneur has already duplicated Mr. Romanek’s video and done a far better 
job of it. Others have spoofed the video as well and displayed their creations on You¬ 

Such cases are far too numerous to mention here but the point is; a skeptical 
public tends to throw the baby out with the bath water when a deliberate hoax grabs its 
attention and is promptly exposed for what it truly is. Deliberate hoaxes give UFOlogy 
a black eye and hamper further study worthy of serious scientific investigation. 

This is the very reason that Stanton Friedman uses only photographs taken in 
the 1950s, when computers and Paint Shop could not have been used to generate them. 
The now-famous Trent photos are a case in point. Even these are still dismissed as 
hoaxes by the voluntarily blind and those who refuse to surrender their self-appointed 
designation as the most intelligent and advanced beings in the universe. 

David Twichell 

MiMUFON Newsletter Editor 

Page 18 


MicbJcjarj MtPOKI ©©onfel!; U©1 

The following people are the State Section Directors for Michigan If you have questions, comments, 
sightings, or any other report, please contact the State Section Director covering your county. 

Bob Wagel, 269-782-6111 
Berien, Cass, Van Buren 

Len Keeney, 517-669-3128 
Lenawee, Washtenaw, Livingston 

Gary Golem, 734-459-7514 
Wayne, Monroe 

Zach Smith, 269-274-1611 

Eaton, Jackson, Ingham, Shiawassee 

John Castle, Home 269/465-3068, Mobile 269/326-0441 

Clinton, Ionia, Montcalm, and Gratiot 

Jon Long, 616-738-3049 
Allegan, Barry 

Bill Konkolesky, 248-515-9568 


Harold Marquardt, 586-463-5553 

Wayne Erickson, 810-364-9938 

Randy Baker, 810-794-3876 
St. Clair 

Wendy Smith, 616-261-0690 
Ottawa, Kent 

Oceana, Mason, Muskegon 
Contact Wendy or Jon Long 

Judy Kulka, 231-599-2594 

Grand Traverse, Leelenau, Kalkaska, Antrim 

Sunny Young, Chief Investigator. 269-352-7917 

Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Van Buren, St. Joseph 

Isabella, Mecosta, Oseola, Clare 

You will note that not all counties are covered with section direc¬ 
tors. In that case you can contact any of the following state offi¬ 

Bill Konkolesky, 248-515-9568 
Michigan State Director 

Bob Wagel, 269-782-6111 

Michigan Assistant State Director, Administration 

Wendy Smith, 616-261-0690 

Michigan Assistant State Director, Treasury 

Bill Konkolesky, 248-515-9568 

Michigan MUFON acting Webmaster 

Dave and Darlene Bleicher, 810-797-5551 

Michigan MUFON Librarians 

David Twichell, 734-675-6335 
Michigan Newsletter Editor 
and Public Relations Director 

Dave Bleicher, (810) 797-5551 

SSD, Genessee & Lapeer 

When possible, contact by e-mail is the best method to 
reach most of the people on this list, but does not preclude 
using the telephone numbers if desirable. If you call please 
be patient as most of the people are not available during 
the daytime hours. When you leave a message, please 
speak clearly and leave you telephone number, city, state, 
and brief message explaining your contact. We will return 
your call at the earliest convenience. 

JULY 2008 

Page 19 

ATTENTION: If you would like to start receiving your newsletter or 
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