We are coming up on the end of the first half of 2020, which has been a very unusual year. We’ve had 125 cases so far, 30 more than are usually reported by this time of the year. However, many of the additional case have been closed as Identified Flying Object (IFO) (see below). We had 35 Unknowns (28%). Of those, 13 (37%) were Category 2 or 3, cases that are more than lights in the sky.
First, Venus was very prominent in the western sky for much of the spring. We have had numerous Venus IFO cases.
The real 500 lb. gorilla in the room is StarLinks, those strings of lights (satellites) crossing the sky in rows in the evening and early morning sky. I have handled quite a number of StarLink cases.
Following a new MUFON HQ procedure, these cases don’t even go out to Field Investigators (FI). If a quick check of GoSatWatch shows a StarLink presence in the area at the time of the sighting, I just close it as an IFO – Man-made, and don’t bother to assign an FI to research it.
We had a couple of interesting events this spring. Out in Ocean Shores we had a pink-ring UFO appear on two consecutive days, in the same location, looking exactly the same.
Early this spring we have three separate cases of a donut-shaped UFO; up in Bothell, down in Vancouver, and lastly over in Ocean Shores. All three reported a metallic donut rotating and moving against the wind. One witness provided a fairly good video of the object. Field Investigator, Walt Beerman, handled all three cases and did a tremendous job running down all sorts of possible potential solutions: balloons, wind turbines, etc. In the end he was able to reject all possible nominal solutions, and close the cases as Unknowns.
Along with these, there have been many very interesting sightings and experiencer cases.
We have added a new Field Investigator trainee, “Fitz” Fitzgerald. Also, we welcome back Zach Royer, who has been away in Europe for much of the past year. He isn’t back yet, due to the problems of international travel during the Covid situation. However, he has already worked a case long distance from Germany.
We have several new Field Investigators in the pipeline that we are working with.
2020 seems to be setting itself up as an unusual year.
“Are UFOs a Science Taboo?” The following June 8, 2020 article written by ‘Greg’, editor of the online site DailyGrail, is a review of Alexander Wendt’s TEDx talk on UFOs. It is an illuminating exploration of why UFOs are a science ‘taboo’.
Towards a Science of UFOs
Alexander Wendt is an American political scientist who is widely recognised as one of the foremost experts on international relations. So, many people would no doubt have been surprised when, at a TEDx Columbus talk in November last year, he spoke on the topic of UFOs
But Wendt has had a long-time interest in ufology – back in 2008 he wrote an academic article combining his ‘orthodox’ knowledge and his thoughts on the more heretical topic of UFOs. And in the recent TEDx talk, he again poses the puzzling question, of why mainstream science does not feel the need to properly investigate the UFO phenomenon:
Human beings are incredibly curious creatures. We will study anything we do not understand if given the possibility. In fact, we are so curious that we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building giant radar telescopes to look for signs of intelligent life around distant stars, for which there’s no evidence whatsoever. But when it comes to UFOs not a cent.
The scientific community has never done any serious sustained systematic study of UFO phenomena and that’s in spite of the fact that if it were found that some UFOs were ETS or extraterrestrials it will be one of the most important events in human history, and yet scientists give us only silence and/or ridicule for people who are UFO believers.
This is because, Wendt says, scientists don’t believe UFOs exist – and so the challenge is to prove that they do.
This must begin, Wendt asserts, by distinguishing firstly what UFOs are – not ET craft, but “an unexplained aerial phenomenon” – and secondly, that only 5-20% of UFO sighting cases don’t have a conventional explanation. It is these latter cases that Wendt focuses on.
From there Wendt runs through a number of pertinent topics: the recently released Navy UFO videos; testimony that some UFOs manoeuvred in a manner inconsistent with our understanding of physics; that we should frame this with an understanding that just over a century ago we thought air travel was impossible, let alone space travel; and that our technology does at least now allow us to perhaps study the phenomenon in new ways (such as a network of high-res ground cameras).
He finishes though, once again, by asking why orthodox science has not investigated the UFO phenomenon in any significant way:
Why is this a taboo at all? Why is it that pilots and scientists – even political scientists – need to worry about their reputations to talk about this issue in public? Why don’t we treat UFOs the way we treat everything else
that we don’t understand, which is the scientists all go rush and try to study it – but in this case the scientists won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole?
I think a clue to this idea of why the taboo exists is in the word taboo itself: because taboos are about fear – cultural fears usually – and I think my suggestion here is that perhaps the reason this taboo is so powerful is that we are afraid subconsciously of what we might find out if we actually opened up the door of science and tried to understand what these phenomena are.
But that leads to my second point and the last thing I’ll say, which is that in my view the first responsibility of academics is to tell the truth – and the truth is we have no idea what UFOs are and no one in a position of power or authority is trying to find out. That should surprise and disturb us all, and I think raises the question of whether the people should try to find out for themselves first instead.
The ironic part is that TED – as they are wont to do – felt worried enough about the topic being discussed alongside their famous brand that they slapped their usual warning/disclaimer on Wendt’s video. As RPJ mentioned in another post here on the Grail from back in February that discussed this particular TEDx talk, “perhaps there’s no greater way to prove the point of Wendt’s argument regarding the cultural stigma imposed on UFOs, than to deem his opinion as ‘unscientific’.”
(If you think TED talks are cutting edge, check out TED’s “Banned” talks that include Graham Hancock, Rupert Sheldrake, and Russell Targ. – Maurene Morgan).
UFOs and ETs in Ancient Art focuses on rock art, figurines, and Medieval woodcuts, paintings, and tapestries that seem to defy explanation. These artifacts may present the best evidence that UFOs are real and Earth has been visited for a very long time. Perhaps a critical, yet open-minded look at ancient art can provide clues to unraveling humanity’s mysterious genetic and cultural origins. –Maurene Morgan
Last May while researching megaliths—massive prehistoric stone structures—I read a review of Graham Hancock’s book entitled Magicians of the Gods in the June 2017 issue of Scientific American (SA).
Michael Shermer’s review, “No, there wasn’t an advanced civilization 12,000 years ago…,” flatly debunked Hancock’s evidence supporting a thesis that a global cataclysm wiped out a now-lost maritime civilization. Curiosity overtook—no—consumed me. Shermer’s review presented a point of view that called into question the very foundation of my own research into humanity’s mysterious genetic and cultural origins. Moreover, Shermer wasn’t alone. Wikipedia dismissed Hancock as a “pseudo-archeologist,” noting that literary and mainstream academic reviewers found the book ludicrous, full of errors, and a “creative fairy tale.” Yet another dismissed him as a “catastrophist pseudo-archeologist.”
Ouch! Keep in mind that Hancock’s international best-selling books have sold over seven million copies and have been translated into 27 languages. Even though Magicians is based in astrophysics, geology, history, archeology, and genetics, The New York Times best-seller list relegated it to the “Religion, Spirituality and Faith” category. In Magicians, Hancock proposes that around 12,800 years ago one or more comets struck the earth, resulting in a global catastrophe that lasted for more than 1,000 years. This is known as the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH).
Survivors of the cataclysm, which Hancock calls the Magicians, travelled around the world in great ships. They settled at key locations, including Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru, and across the Pacific. He claims that evidence for the existence of these socially and technologically advanced maritime civilizations can be seen in numerous unexplained or ‘mis-explained’ megalithic sites found around the world.
First, Shermer adamantly stated that there was ‘no evidence’ of a global cataclysmic event; even though it was being hotly debated among many top scientists. Then, in 2018, an international team of scientists discovered a 19.3-mile-wide impact crater beneath the Greenland ice, and soon after NASA discovered an even bigger crater. While still controversial, these massive craters under Greenland’s ice point to a climate-altering impact around 12,800 years ago—well within the time of humans, and a possible vindication for Hancock.
The following article focuses on Shermer’s primary argument: “That no matter how devastating an impact may have been, there should be evidence of those civilizations, such as writing, metallurgy, tools, even trash. There’s nothing.”
Shermer and the scientists at SA apparently cannot see the forest for the trees because they overlook massive stone structures and complexes found all around the world—many of which appear to defy modern logic. Nor do they seem to grasp the enigma of why our ancient ancestors would even want to construct these mysterious monuments on such an enormous scale, let alone were able to do so. Moreover, Shermer claimed that Neolithic Hunter Gatherers—nomadic people who lived in groups of 10-12, and subsisted chiefly by hunting and fishing, and harvesting wild food—could have constructed massive ancient sites, such as Göbekli Tepe in Turkey.
To date, only about 5% of the 11,500-year-old Göbekli Tepe complex has been excavated. Archeologists state that it may have taken the builders 1,000 years to construct the site, and then another 1,000 years to deliberately cover it up. Could this really be the work of hunter-gatherers?
Moreover, there are 35,000 extant megaliths in Europe alone, ranging from Sweden to the Mediterranean Sea; and 100,000s worldwide—with countless having been deliberately destroyed or repurposed. Many of these sites remain unexplained or inadequately explained.