- Editor, New York Post
- Dear Editor,
- The Editor of the New York Post has criticized the Washington
Post for being "taken for a good long ride" by the Society for
Scientific Exploration. The Washington Post publicized the report of a
panel of independent scientists who evaluated UFO sighting evidence and
concluded that because, some sightings were unexplainable, they deserve
further serious study.
- The tone of the editorial indicates that the editor knows
next to nothing about the present understanding of UFO sighting reports,
next to nothing about the history of the subject and next to nothing about
the intense debate continually being carried on within the community of
scientifically oriented UFO investigators.
- The editor asks, why would "actual science professors
put their name to a report like this?" The implied answer is that
these professional scientists are "given to wild fantasies."
The editor presents this idea with certainty, even citing previous examples
of scientists with wild ideas (e.g. Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday) without
stating that he/she had actually talked to any of the UFO panel scientists
to assess their level of "wildness".
- According to the editor, the SSE panel says the reason
UFO sightings have never been taken seriously is fear of ridicule or because
of a government conspiracy. The editor calls this a "big lie."
It is clear from this that the editor really does not understand what has
been going on. The fear of ridicule is real. I was on a call-in talk show
in the Washington, D.C. area and heard Dr. Jay Melosh, one of the panel
scientists and a UFO skeptic, tell the talk show host that for a young
scientist to become publicly interested in studying UFO sightings could
be professional suicide. The implication is that such studies should only
be carrier out by tenured professors or scientists with well established
backgrounds in conventional science. As for the government conspiracy aspect,
it is clear from the historical record, available to anyone including the
editor for review (e.g., the UFO files of Air Force Intelligence released
within the last 12 years, the UFO files of the FBI released 20 years ago
and now on line at www.fbi.gov and the UFO files of the CIA released some
20 years ago) that the US intelligence agencies and the Air Force in particular
took these sightings, especially the ones by Air Force personnel, very
seriously. Furthermore, according to the FBI "X" file (yes, it
includes sighting reports entitled "Security Matter - X"; look
it up in the web documents!) in 1952 Air Force intelligence told the FBI
that 3% of the sightings could not be explained and that the objects reported
in these sightings "may possibly be ships from another planet such
as Mars."(FBI document dated July 29, 1952). On the same day that
AF Intelligence told this to the FBI, in a press conference the AF General
in charge of Intelligence, John Samford, told the American public that
all the sightings were natural phenomena. This sort of contradiction between
what the Air Force would say privately and what it would say publicly has
led to the present state of confusion over just what information the Air
Force uncovered year ago. It is no wonder that the citizens of this country
suspect that they have not been told the whole story.
- The editor correctly points out that UFO sightings have
been "exhaustively invesigated by genuinely openminded people over
and over again." The editor then states that "there is no - repeat,
no - convincing evidence of space aliens visiting the earth in suspiciously
Hollywoodesque flying saucers." I suppose the crux of the matter here
is not "Hollywoodesque" but rather what one accepts as "convincing
evidence." Under ordinary non-UFO conditions multiple witness, daytime
reports of phenomena seen clearly and for considerable time durations (many
seconds to minutes) and perhaps supported by film, video or radar would
be at least mildly convincing to the intelligent person. There are such
UFO sightings (several of which were evaluated by the panel and left unexplained)
for which there seems to be no possibility of misidentification, delusion
or hoax. At the very least these sightings point toward something new,
something unexplained. Some of these sightings also involve descriptions
of objects which seem to be constructed craft of some sort. (Note: Hollywood,
starting in the 1950's, has followed the UFO/saucer sightings with the
creation of "Hollywoodesque" saucers, not the other way around.)
It is certainly true that the field of UFO research is littered with the
hopes, dreams and faulty theories of many people who "want to believe,"
but the hard core of the UFO evidence does not lie within this litter.
If the editor would take time to look beyond the Hollywood glitter and
the tabloid press, the editor would find that the UFO subject is grounded
in much more solid information.
- The value of information is in what you do as a result
of it. One has the option to ignore it or to pusue it. UFO information
is of this sort. Clearly the editor intends to ignore it, which is fine.
However, the editor should apply his/her own criterion of "sweet reason",
leave out "true religion" and not criticize scientists who do
wish to pursue this information in a rigorous manner.
- Yours truly, Dr. Bruce Maccabee
- From UFO Mind website (Not from Bruce)
- Who is Dr. Bruce Maccabee?
- "Dr. Maccabee has been a Research Physicist at the
Naval Surface Weapons Center in Silver Spring, Maryland since 1972. His
work has centered on high power lasers, underwater sound, and the Ballistic
Missile Defense. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the American University
in Washington, D.C. Dr. Maccabee was a member of the National Investigations
Committee on Aerial Phenomena. In 1975, he joined MUFON and was appointed
State Director for Maryland and a Consultant in Photo Analysis and Laser
Physics. In 1979, Dr. Maccabee and other ufologists established the Fund
for UFO Research, where he continues to serve on the national board. His
UFO investigations, include the McMinnville photos of 1950, the Gemini
II astronaut photos, the New Zealand sightings, the Japan Airlines sighting,
the Gulf Breeze case, and others. In 1993, he provided a briefing paper
on UFOs for the President's science advisor. He conducted historical research
and was the first to obtain the "flying disc file" for the FBI."
Response to CSICOP on Trans From Perry Petrakis <firstname.lastname@example.org
- Philip J. Klass CSICOP fellow, Senior
Editor with Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, leading UFO investigator
- "The SSE recommends the creation
of government funded UFO research projects like the one called GEPAN (Groupe
D'Etudes des Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non-identifies), created in 1977 by
France which reported to the highly respected French space agency - CNES.
In 1988, after more than a decade of UFO investigations, GEPAN's budget
was drastically reduced, its mission was refocused to emphasize collecting
reports of reentering satellite debris and meteorites, and its name was
changed to SEPRA (Service d' Expertise desPhenomenes des Rentrees Atmospheriques).
- "During GEPAN's 11-year research
effort, its most impressive UFO case involved a peasant living in Trans-en-Provence
who claimed a strange craft hovered over his yard in broad daylight. GEPAN
strongly endorsed the caseb ased on its investigation into alleged UFO-caused
effects on nearby plants,which GEPAN/SEPRA director Jean-Jacques Velasco
described to the SSE's panel of experts. Velasco did not inform the SSE
panel of scientists that a recent investigation by a pro-UFO French investigator
- Eric Maillot - indicates that the Trans-en-Provence case is a hoax.
- "It is unfortunate that the SSE
did not assemble a more balanced roster of UFO investigators to present
evidence to the panel of scientists. The whole evaluation process appears
suspiciously weighted to one side of the UFO debate."
- The pro's and con's of the SSE panel
may well be "weighted to one side" and may well be questionnable
as to the motives behind the panel meeting. It is a fact that Velasco decided
not to raise questions about the doubts shed on the Trans-en-Provence case
by a handfull of French researchers. It would however be very unfair for
anyone wishing to keep a real scientific approach towards the matter, to
counter balance the SEPRA/GEPAN investigation with the report published
by Maillot and his colleagues. The stance that the Trans-en-Provence case
is considered solved by even the most skeptical French researchers would
definitely be false as would be the opinion that Maillot has anything to
do, even by far, with a "Pro UFO believer". Maillot has spent
these past years trying to solve each and every case falling within his
- As opposed to the SEPRA/GEPAN report
(which may or may not be relevant to the advancement of scientific research
on ufos, that's not the point here), which contains lab analyses and thorough
investigation, the "Maillot report" is based on nothing more
than hearsay, anonymous opinions and speculation mounting up to an intimate
conviction that thecase "could" be explained away. Anything but
- We, at SOS OVNI, are not defending any
particular opinion on the Trans-en-Provence case. It may well have been
a mundane object, it also could have been something else. But until we
are able to oppose real scientific analysis to that which has already been
done by SEPRA/GEPAN and the research labs, we do not allow ourselves to
emit any peremptory assertion as to what it could have been... maybe.
- Perry Petrakis SOS OVNI France