Mack Maloney hosts a weekly radio show. He is joined with co-hosts Juan Juan and Commander Cobra to discuss UFOs and other paranormal topics. Special guests add to the entertaining conversation. Mack Maloney’s Military X-Files has enjoyed dedicated audiences and has evolved into one of the Internet’s popular paranormal programs. The new paranormal station, Midnight.FM, has added the show to its programming line-up. Tune in and discover what others have found: Paranormal shows can be lighthearted AND educational.
Pentagon Still Investigating U.F.O.s
This week the Pentagon confirmed that Congress funded researching extraterrestrials and unidentified flying objects (U.F.O.s) from 2007-2012 to the tune of $22 million per year. The U.S. government has always been interested in extraterrestrial life and began funding programs in 1952 with Project Blue Book. The program debunked most sightings; however, 701 cases remain unexplained. Despite media reports, the Pentagon is still investigating U.F.O.s.
Former Senator Harry Reid (D—Nevada) rekindled governmental funding for research in 2007 after talking about the possibility of alien life with former Senator and NASA astronaut John Glenn (D—Ohio). The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program is a secret program chartered for researching and investigating supposed sightings. During 2007-2012, the program funded research at Bigelow Aerospace, where subcontractors researched U.F.O.s and “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Media reports that the government no longer funds research.
However, the program was not truly shuttered. The government still investigates credible sightings by service members. No worries from Senator Reid. He recently tweeted out: The truth is out there. Seriously.
Thom Reed’s U.F.O. Encounters
Thom Reed is a very excitable man. He contradicted my perceptions of what a person with his background acts like. He has embraced his lot in life and has lots to share. It was a pleasure speaking with him.
Thom’s story began in 1969 when he was 6 years old. Thom and his family experienced a lot—A LOT—of extraterrestrial encounters. Articles, testimony, and eye witness reports support Thom’s story. On February 6, 2015, the Great Barrington Historical Society and Museum (MA) officially declared the events as “historically significant.” A permanent exhibit detailing the “off world” experience opens this fall. Please visit Thom’s website for more information: http://www.tomreed.info/home.html.
I’m drawn to this case because of the amount of evidence collected and proffered. Museum staff members are compiling all of the documents for an exhibit. Equally interesting: The records will be housed in a historical society and not a Ufology-themed museum. This act alone helps bring the discussion of alien life into the mainstream. I’m curious to see how the society creates an installation. Will it be kitsch? Sensationalized? Or will the exhibit balance the case with acceptable historical standards?
In a recent Huff/YouGov poll (2013), 50% of Americans believe that alien life exists. Further, 25% believe that aliens have visited Earth. College graduates are more likely to believe in extraterrestrial life. Another survey from National Geographic reported higher numbers (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/06/28/most-americans-believe-government-keeps-ufo-secrets-survey-finds).
Americans believe in the possibility of alien life. The debate focuses on whether or not the aliens’ intentions are hostile.
Hanger 1: The UFO Files
If I ranked my paranormal/unexplained topic interests in numeric order, the listing would be:
- Urban Legends;
- Conspiracy Theories.
However, the UFO topic may move up. Last year a fellow Rotarian presented his evidence about his personal quest for UFO information to my club. He was interesting, and it piqued my interest. The API (Archer Paranormal Investigations) discussed UFOs on our weekly radio show. That really got me thinking. Personal Disclosure Statement: I believe in extraterrestrial life. I’m not sure whether we are as fascinating to them (and cause them to observe us from afar) as we are with them. Personally, I wouldn’t bother. However, when you peruse the Internet, the images are thought-provoking.
When I was a teenager growing up on the water of Southwest Florida I observed a strange unidentifiable object. It was a UFO in a literal sense. I had no idea what it was. That’s not stating that it was an actual extraterrestrial spacecraft hovering over the Intercostal waters. Now I’m hooked and want to know more. So I turned where every able-minded person goes: Television.
Hanger 1: The UFO Files debuted on February 28, 2014. It airs weekly on H2 (one of the various channels for the History Channel) on Fridays at 10 pm. Named for the MUFON facility housing the 70,000+ documents and evidence, the show purports to open the MUFON archives to the American viewing audience. Immediately, any viewer should be suspicious. Television executives whose goals are generating revenue for their networks tailored a TV show to the masses. The show is similar to every other paranormal/conspiracy theory latent enterprise. If you believe everything on the show, then you are one of the fools born every minute = SUCKER!
But that does not mean you should stop watching. You should watch. And question everything! MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, was established on May 31, 1969 by Walt Andrus. He collected a group of UFO hobbyist and formed the Midwest UFO Network, commonly known as MUFON. The geographic focus shifted from the Midwest to international, but the acronym remained the same. The named changed in 1973. MUFON is the largest investigative organization devoted to Ufology. In the 45 years since its inception, MUFON has investigated a ton of cases—enough to fill a “hanger.” The television series is an attempt to disseminate their “findings” to the public.
Hanger 1 is interesting. I actually enjoy it. I’m not bothered by the supposed inconsistencies reported by skeptics or hard-core Ufologists. Again, this is television entertainment. If you disagree with it airing on H2, a History Channel network, then I sure hope you are waiving your banner at the Weather Channel for airing non-weather related shows. Or TLC (The Learning Channel) for the not-so-educational pageants and cheerleading mama dramas. Remember: Networks air television shows that will make them money. Presentation of the “truth” may not always apply. (Nearly every “reality show” comes to mind)
Back to Hanger 1: The re-enactments are minimal; the “evidence” plausible. For me, the show attains its ultimate goal: My interest is further piqued and I want to know more. That’s a rare feat for most network programming.
The Shat is Back!
I adore William Shatner. It’s true. I grew up watching Star Trek re-runs when you could only get 3—yes, 3—TV channels. Shatner has been able to parley the role of Captain James T. Kirk into an enduring career. Not bad for the 80-year-old pitchman. He is a fixture in the paranormal community. And he deserves every bit of kudos he can muster. Shatner’s TV show Weird or What? is a hoot, just like him.
Weird or What? airs on the National Geographic Channel. It delves into “mysteries and strange phenomena.” It also allows Shatner to interject his pithy humor. The episodes vary and run a full gamut of subject-matter. The API (Archer Paranormal Investigations) gals discussed one of the topics on our weekly radio show, Archer Paranormal Radio. The case involved the mysterious disappearance of three fishermen off the Australian coast in 2007. While the final determination is unknown, several theories have been bandied about: 1) They all fell overboard; 2) A giant squid attacked them; and 3) A USO (unidentified sea object) abducted them. This is good television, my friend!
This case is fascinating. The catamaran Kaz II was found drifting 5 days after the party set sail. All were experienced sailors. When officials boarded the boat, nothing seemed amiss—except the missing crew. I don’t think a giant squid attacked them. There would be noticeable signs on the boat. Nor do I believe in USOs. I do, however, believe that a UFO can submerge like a submarine. But a USO? Pass. So what really happened? I don’t think anyone will know. That is unless they pop up out of the blue like Travis Walton. Unfortunately, I think all three men are lost to the sea. But, thanks to Shatner’s show, I learned something: People love to make up their own acronyms. And Shatner ROCKS!
“Kooks” Are Nearing the Majority
Former President Bill Clinton made Internet news when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s TV show and discussed aliens. Specifically Roswell, New Mexico. Although Mr. Clinton discounted claims that aliens were housed at Area 51, he was very receptive to the idea that extraterrestrial life exists. How could it not?
A Selected History
Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, sightings have occurred throughout history. In the Book Ezekiel from the Bible mentions a sighting.
1883: First known photograph taken by Jose Bonilla in Zacatecas, Mexico;
1912: First comment made by a political figure, Winston Churchill;
1947: 1st major sighting where several witnesses describe the crash of an unknown flying craft in Roswell, NM;
1948: Thomas Mantell dies while attempting to intercept UFO;
1952: 2nd major sighting occurs in Washington, D.C.;
1957: 3rd major sighting occurs in Levelland, Texas;
1963: Barney and Betty Hill claim to have been abducted by aliens;
1964: Over 750 cases reported and investigated;
1969: MUFON established;
1973: Abduction of two fishermen from Pascagoula, Mississippi;
1975: Travis Walton abducted by aliens in Arizona and witnessed by his friends.
The common thread is that all of these people claim that little, green men with big eyes abducted them. M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs portrayed them as greenish-grey creatures with large eyes.
What We Know, a.k.a. Facts
The U.S. Air Force coined the term “UFO” in 1952. This term applies to anything in the sky that is unknown—at the time. Admittedly, most people did not have access to information like today. So, most of what was seen back then was unknown. However, there are over 70,000 sightings worldwide each year! Still.
80 million Americans (36%) believe in UFOs;
48% of Americans are receptive to the idea that extraterrestrial life exists;
35% of Americans do not believe at all;
16% of Americans are just not sure;
Democrats believe more than Independents (2nd) and Republicans (3rd). That applies to UFOs and paranormal;
37% of the believers are college graduates;
53% of the believers attended college;
More men (49%) believe than women (48%). Interestingly more women (68%) believe in ghosts than men (52%);
79% of Americans believe the US government is withholding information;
1 in 5 Americans believe in alien abduction;
1 in 7 Americans know someone or personally experienced an encounter of some form;
1 in 10 Americans have personally witnessed a UFO;
3 in 4 Americans believe that aliens have left “signs” of their existence;
1 in 5 Americans believe that Washington, D.C. will be the “landing zone” for an alien encounter. That’s good news for Bill, unless Hilary runs.
Extraterrestrial researchers agree that intelligent life exists in the universe. They’re unsure, however, if it exists in our galaxy. I agree!