PDF’s de Documentos Cedidos Para Publicação e Tradução à Exopolitics Portugal, Cortesia Mr. Peter Robbins, NY, 2010:
On Assignment2: Organised Religion, UFOs and the Impact of Declassification – UFO MATRIX OO
Bio de Mr. Peter Robbins, Relacionada Com a Pesquisa UFO:
Peter Robbins é um dos oradores mais conhecidos e um dos escritores de investigação mais respeitados no mundo, no que diz respeito a um estudo sério dos UFOs. Ele está envolvido no campo há mais de 25 anos como pesquisador, investigador, escritor, professor, activista e autor. Um convidado regular em programas de rádio nos EUA, ele também apareceu como consultor em inúmeros programas de televisão e documentários. É ainda co-autor do best-seller Britânico Left at East Gate: A First-Hand Account of the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident, Its Cover-Up and Investigation.
Robbins já leccionou amplamente, tanto nos EUA como no exterior, incluindo dezenas de palestras por todo o Reino Unido. Estas incluíram conferências locais, nacionais e internacionais, bem como apresentações para diversos grupos de serviço público, seminários, escolas secundárias públicas e privadas, universidades, empresas, bibliotecas, instituições científicas e fundações educacionais.
Os locais de acolhimento incluíram o Cambridge Hospital em Boston (para o staff e convidados especiais da ala psiquiátrica, sob o patrocínio do seu co-fundador, o falecido escritor ganhador do Prémio Pulitzer, professor de psiquiatria de Harvard e psiquiatra clínico Dr. John Mack), Cornell University – Departamento de Sociologia, The Julliard School em Nova Iorque, Universidade de Arkansas, Royal College of Science and Technology, de Londres, Universidade de Hallam, em Sheffield – Reino Unido, Universidade de Cardiff, no País de Gales – Reino Unido, The Summerhill School, em Suffolk – Reino Unido, Main Branch, Philadelphia Free Library, Quinta Conferência Internacional Científica sobre a Vida e o Trabalho do Dr. Wilhelm Reich, Niece – França, Conferência Nacional Anual da Organização UFO do Japão, Tóquio, Conferência Anual do Centro de Zoologia Fortean, Devon – Reino Unido, Leeds: Conferências Internacionais UFO, Reino Unido, Biblioteca Pública de Roswell, Roswell – Novo México, Annual Atlantic Paranormal Society Conference, em Clearwater – Flórida, e um book-tour por 15 cidades do Reino Unido.
Os tópicos de palestra de Robbins incluíram (embora não se limitando a): 1980 – O Incidente OVNI de Rendlesham Forest – Reino Unido; a supressão da informação UFO pelos Governos Americano e Britânico; o poder do ridículo vs. uma verdade muito desconfortável: por que precisamos de levar os UFOs a sério; OVNIs e imagética alienígena na publicidade; os media e os UFOs; stress e estudo de OVNIs; Política, História e Natureza Humana: os bloqueios de estrada incendiários no caminho para a desvelação; James Vincent Forrestal, primeiro Secretário de Defesa Americano e uma perda prematura no sigilo UFO; o Dr. Wilhelm Reich e os OVNIs; o fenómeno da abdução alienígena; mortes controversas dos escritores de investigação fundamentais e os anos 1950: a idade do ouro da literatura ufológica. Robbins tem também realizado workshops e palestras UFO para crianças em Inglaterra.
Os seus inúmeros créditos incluem: Assistente de Pesquisa do Relatório (de 1978) do Secretário-Geral das Nações Unidas “para a criação de um Departamento UFO-related nas Nações Unidas”, Assistente Editorial no “Blue Memorandum” requerido para o debate sobre UFOs de 1980 na House of Lords do Parlamento Britânico, e criador e produtor de “A Questão dos OVNIs”, uma série em seis partes para a Manhattan Public Access Television. De 1999 até 2003, Peter foi colunista “WebWatch” da Revista UFO e tornou-se seu colunista “On Assignment” a partir de 2003 até 2005. Foi Coordenador de Eventos para o “Fenómeno Alien Abduction: um Simpósio” do SCI FI Channel, organizado para promover o lançamento da minissérie de Steven Spielberg “Taken”. Planeou, escreveu e comentou “Ultimate UFO”, um duplo-DVD apresentando um conjunto de filmagens recolhidas e comentários sobre OVNIs, e tem escrito para FATE Magazine, Revista Phenomena, UFO Data Magazine (Reino Unido), The OUR-J Journal of UFO Studies (Japão), e várias outras publicações UFO e sites relacionados. Entrevistas com Robbins e artigos sobre a sua obra têm aparecido em publicações e websites demasiado numerosos para mencionar. Ele é actualmente empregado pelo Município da Cidade de Roswell, Novo México, como Representante para as Relações Públicas, Assessor de Imprensa, Coordenador das Conferências e Consultor sobre questões UFO relacionadas com o Turismo. Robbins serve igualmente como elemento de ligação da Cidade de Roswell com o Gabinete do Governador do Novo México, Bill Richardson.
As suas aparições na televisão incluem “The Early Show”, da CBS, The History Channel “Britain’s Roswell”, “Mistérios Mistérios”, “Good Day New York”, “The O’Reilly Factor”, “People Are Talking” (Philadelphia), “Philly Live”, “The Real Roswell”, National Geographic Channel, Documentário do SCI-FI Channel “UFO Invasion em Rendlesham”, “Inexplicável”, “L’Odyssee De L’Etrange” (França), “Network First: UFO” (Reino Unido), “Paranormal Witness” (Horizon Reino Unido), “Lifetime” (Canadá), bem como programas na Televisão Nacional do Chile, Norwegian National Television, Televisão Franco-Canadiana e numerosas afiliadas da Rede BBC.
Entrevistas de rádio e comentários incluem: “Coast to Coast”, com George Noory (CA), “The Art Bell Show” (NV), “Hieronimus & Company” (Baltimore), “Wake Up USA” (New Orleans), “Sightings On the Radio, com Jeff Rense” (LA), “The James Whale Show ” (Londres), “The Alan Colmes Show” (NYC), “The Laura Lee Show” (Oregon), “Eye To The Sky” (AZ) ; “Beyond Reality” (RI), “Strange” (BBC World Service – Irão), Universidade de Columbia – Rádio (NYC), WBAI-NY “UFO Desk”, “Strange Days Indeed, com Errol Bruce Knapp” (Toronto), “The Jerry Pippin Show”, “UFO’s – Facto, Ficção ou Fantasia?” (BBC World Service), “The James Hunt Hour” (KGNC TX), “Through the Keyhole” (Rochester, NY) e inúmeras afiliadas da BBC Radio.
Alguns Dados Biográficos Extra-UFOs:
Mr. Peter Robbins nasceu em Nova Iorque e cresceu na aldeia de Rockville Centre, Nova Iorque; ele estudou arte, design e teatro na Universidade de Bridgeport, Connecticut, e recebeu o seu BFA em Pintura e História do Cinema pela SVA – School of Visual Arts da Cidade de Nova Iorque. Robbins juntou-se a essa faculdade logo após ter ensinado Pintura na sua Escola de Educação Continuada, por mais de uma dúzia de anos. Ele foi assistente de estúdio do famoso pintor expressionista abstracto Adolph Gotlieb e assistente de estúdio do pintor primitivista Americano William Cply (ortografia correcta). Trabalhou como carpinteiro de molduras durante o boom de renovação do Soho, em Nova Iorque, e serviu nas Faculdades de Artes de St. Anns School em Brooklyn Heights, Nova Iorque, e Oklahoma Council on the Arts.
De 1998 até 2004, Peter foi contratado pela Central Park Media (CPM), uma corporação multimédia, no centro de Manhattan, onde actuou como Director do seu OVNI Media Group e como Account Executive. Sob a sua direcção, a empresa produziu uma linha de títulos de vídeos e DVDs sobre UFOs extremamente respeitada. Em 1999, ele fundou o premiado website UFO City.com. Este destino popular da Internet tornou-se um serviço de notícias UFO tendo Robbins como seu editor-chefe e postou milhares de últimas notícias, relatos, editoriais, colunas e comentários relacionados com OVNIs. Sob a sua égide, organizou, escreveu e dirigiu a “Campanha Watch 2000”, um longo e público esforço de oito meses para que os candidatos Presidenciais Norte-Americanos comentassem sobre o sigilo excessivo que envolve o assunto dos OVNIs. Curioso por natureza e um viajante singular, Peter visitou e trabalhou em quase trinta países.
Robbins é um fotógrafo reconhecido e recebeu discos de ouro e platina pelo seu trabalho de direcção de arte no álbum Blue Oyster Cult – Agents of Fortune. De 1977 a 1987 ele trabalhou em várias posições (empresário de banda, road manager, ilustrador, assessor) para o popular grupo punk de Nova Iorque The Helen Wheels Band. De 1987 até 1995, foi um voluntário treinado em intervenção na crise e supervisor de turno da filial de Nova Iorque dos Samaritanos Internacionais, uma entidade Britânica sem fins lucrativos, com 50 anos de idade, que mantém centros de pronta-assistência e refúgio imediato e hotlines de intervenção na crise, em mais de quarenta países.
Peter foi convidado para participar na New York City’s Mirror Repertory Company (co-fundada por John Strasberg e Geraldine Page) na sua primeira temporada e continua a ser o House Manager da Companhia, bem como a desempenhar esta função para outras Companhias de Teatro Nova-Iorquinas. Foi Assistente de Produção e House Manager para a encenação de 2005 de “H6R3”, a adaptação por Austin Pendleton de Henrique VI e Ricardo III com Dame Lynn Redgrave, e trabalhou como supranumerário (extra) em produções da Metropolitan Opera Company de La Bohème e Aida, com Luciano Pavarotti. Ele teve o privilégio de trabalhar com actores tão notáveis como Geraldine Page, F. Murray Abraham e Anne Jackson (vencedores Óscar), Madeline Sherwood (nomeada Óscar), Tova Feldshua, Steven Weber, Juliet Mills, Glynnis O’Connor, Michael Moriarity, Maxwell Caulfield, Mason Adams, David Crier e Katharine Houghton, entre outros.
Robbins começou a estudar teatro com o actor, director e professor John Strasberg há quase 20 anos e continua a fazer audições para as suas aulas. Ele também foi director-assistente de Strasberg numa produção de The Time of Your Life e director-assistente de Bobby Lewis, co-fundador do Group Theatre, na sua encenação de 1989 de A Gaivota.
Peter é um nova-iorquino, que actualmente faz do seu repouso Ithaca, NY. Ele pode ser contactado pelo e-mail email@example.com. A edição revista e actualizada de À Esquerda em East Gate: Um relato em primeira mão do incidente da Floresta Rendlesham, o seu encobrimento e investigação, por Larry Warren e Peter Robbins, está publicada em Cosimo Books, Nova Iorque, e pode ser encomendada a partir destes, de qualquer recurso de livros on-line, ou directamente ao autor.
Artigo Originalmente Publicado na Revista UFO Magazine EUA (2005) e Gentilmente Cedido Para Publicação e Tradução à Exopolitics Portugal, Cortesia Mr. Peter Robbins, NY, 2010
For the July-August 2005 issue of UFO Magazine
©2005 By Peter Robbins
My Back Pages
In human terms, one of, if not the single most important aspect of UFO investigation has little to do with UFOs per se – it has to do with maintaining confidences. When someone who has had a sighting or an experience – or maintains that they have – shares particulars of it with you that they do not want revealed, you are under a moral obligation to respect their wishes, no matter how tantalizing or significant you feel the information is. An exception to this rule, should you feel you must share it with someone, would be a close professional colleague whose personal ethics and proven respect for the privacy of vulnerable individuals has established him or her as someone who will likewise maintain the confidence. Models for this behavior abound in the professional world of medicine, law and therapeutics. I’ve been more fortunate than most in this respect in having several such colleagues, the most consistent and long-time one being Budd Hopkins. I first met and became friends with Budd within a year of his entry into the field; that was in 1976. I’ve done my best to return this important professional favor, and in my capacity as his assistant throughout many of the intervening years, have been privy to many such confidences, especially in the preparation of his manuscripts for Intruders and Witnessed, all of which have remained with me.
The same principles guided me through the nine years I worked on Left At East Gate with Larry Warren, and much as I may have wished to act otherwise for the sake of additions to our text, certain compelling accounts, interviews, witness statements and evidence were excluded from our manuscript because they were given in confidence. Even so, I must admit to two exceptions, one fully justified, the other being a true error in judgment. The first involved several statements given to Larry and me in an extended interview with the-then recently retired former Deputy Base Commander of R.A.F. Bentwaters, Charles I. Halt, a USAF Lieutenant Colonel at the time of the incidents. The interview, which you read earlier in the book, remains the most extensive ever published with him. I discussed my reasons for including his three off-the-records on pages 411-413 of Left At East Gate and feel Mr. Halt accepted them, even begrudgingly, as Larry and I never heard a word of complaint after the fact; he was sent a copy of the book shortly after its publication in 1997. The other breech of confidence, which I also write about on page 411, was a matter of trusting the wrong person which I very much regret. I will say though that he was the single most unethical author/researcher I have ever met in all my years in this field. Admitting such an error in character judgment is not an easy thing to admit, especially in print, but it is a fact none the less. It is an error I have not repeated since.
But two accounts, both of which date back more than fifteen years now, have remained particularly vivid for me. Since that time I have thought long and hard about how I might someday be able to share at least their basics without compromising either party. Both of the individuals in question had approached me in similar manners following talks I’d given in different parts of this country about England’s Rendlesham Forest UFO incident; this was during the first few years I was working the case. Both individuals were able to validate their accounts for me in no uncertain terms. Neither was looking for money, fame or attention – anything but. What follows is my best attempt to share something of one of these episodes with you while not betraying the trust or identity of the person who shared it with me.
The account was given to me by a man I’ll call ‘Bill.’ I had just completed my slide presentation, and after chatting informally with some of the audience members, was packing up before returning to my motel room. It was then that Bill approached me, introduced himself, gave me his business card, and asked if he could speak with me, in private. Sure, I said. Not in here, he answered, and then asked if I would walk him to his car. Intrigued, I followed him out into the crisp, dark night.
Bill made some small talk as we crossed the parking lot, the far end of which his car was parked. He was both serious and intent, and as we walked told me that he’d enjoyed my talk, and that he had decided to tell me his story as I spoke – on the condition that I agreed not to include it in the book. I told him that I would not. After taking a moment to fully survey the parking lot and make sure that we were truly alone (we were), Bill leaned against his vehicle and began by telling me that he was a former employee of the National Security Agency, which of course peaked my interest several fold. He then gave me a number of particulars relative to joining the Agency which made me feel that he was speaking very much in earnest, and from experience.
Some years earlier, Bill had been stationed at a remote NSA listening post in Turkey. I asked him exactly where in Turkey and he told me. It had been in the Samsun-Ezrum region, not far from the Iranian border. I was somewhat familiar with the area, having driven across it in the early nineteen seventies. I told him that it had reminded me of the surface of the Moon, a characterization he thought most appropriate. Late one winter night while he was on duty at the listening post, a radar operator called his attention to the anomalous radar tracks of several objects coming in from, well, deep space. Other NSA personnel, along with the facility’s supervisor, joined Bill and the technician at the scope, all in full consensus that the unknown’s point of origin was somewhere beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. All assembled continued to watch in amazement, and ultimately some shock, as the unknowns continued their descent until they were not only maneuvering directly over eastern Turkey, but were actually visible to the naked eye of any of them willing to don their parkas and head out into the sub-zero weather; Bill was among those who did. The radar tracks were all recorded (standard operating procedure in such cases), an appropriate entry was made in the listening post’s log, and National Security Agency Headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland was informed via a secured channel. For Bill, the events of the evening were, not surprisingly, unforgettable.
Early the following morning, before Bill and the other personnel who had witnessed and recorded the unknowns went off duty, several ranking NSA personnel appeared on the property, entered the facility and assembled those present. These men asked for, then took possession of the radar recordings and all other records of the previous night’s events. They then told the members of the shift that what they had seen and recorded the previous night had never happened, and that they were never to speak of what they had seen again on pain of being prosecuted under the National Security Act of 1947. And that was it.
Bill left the Agency’s employee some months later and took a job in the private sector with a company not far from the lecture venue. Dumbfounded, I asked if he was absolutely sure that I could not use his account in Left At East Gate. While he did say that I was free to recount the tale to colleagues, without ascribing it to him of course, yes, he was sure, and the account never made it into the book. Some weeks later I wrote to Bill at the address he’d given me to ask if he would reconsider my request under the condition that I wrote up his story in treatment form that could never be traced back to him, even offering to give him final say on the text. He responded politely, but in the negative, and wished Larry and I well in our pursuit of the Bentwaters story. It’s more than fifteen years now since he shared that memory with me as we stood together in that darkened parking lot. I’ve never forgotten it, and expect that now many of you won’t either.
Artigo Originalmente Publicado na Revista UFO Magazine EUA (2005) e Gentilmente Cedido Para Publicação e Tradução à Exopolitics Portugal, Cortesia Mr. Peter Robbins, NY, 2010
Seeing Is Believing: A Review
For UFO Magazine’s “On Assignment” column
By Peter Robbins
Add opening note – postscript re Jennings, my email to him prior to his death
Like many American viewers I had been looking forward for months to seeing the ABC-TV News Special “The UFO Phenomenon – Seeing Is Believing” as there was a chance it might well mark a shift in the cavalier manner in which television usually reports on UFOs. The general rule I apply when a major network announces it has decided to undertake yet another treatment of the subject is to grit your teeth, hope for the best and expect the worst with the outcome usually residing somewhere between the two. In recent years noteworthy exceptions to this rule have been The SCI FI Channel’s well-produced series of documentaries on significant UFO events, including the Kecksburg Pennsylvania case and England’s Rendlesham Forest incident. I certainly have my own share of UFO-related beliefs and personal bias’, but did my best to set them aside in order to write the most objective review I was capable of. Where I am critical of “Seeing Is Believing,” I’ve endeavored to be very specific as to why. The views presented here are my own and are not meant to represent those of the publisher or editors of UFO Magazine.
It was late last summer when I first learned that Peter Jennings, the distinguished long-time anchor of ABC-TV’s “World News Tonight,” would be tackling the subject of UFOs in a Two-Hour Primetime Special. Jennings has earned the respect of millions of American viewers, and with word that his own production company would be producing the special, my serious attention was engaged. Mr. Jennings’ project was being produced as an ABC News Special and that put it is a unique class, one with the promise of some clout and, well, some news value. Over the intervening months I followed the program’s development as well as I was able, through ABC News’ website, postings on the Internet, and conversations with colleagues who were and weren’t being interviewed for the show.
Let me say at the outset that “Seeing Is Believing” needs to be acknowledged for its respectful presentation of witness testimony, its relatively even-handed exploration of a number of significant sightings, maintaining a skeptical view toward selected, UFO-related government policies, and other fine production points as well. Unfortunately such laudatory moments were often countered by deceptive conclusions, and a series of half truths and omissions so central to understanding the true nature of the phenomenon that the show’s potential newsworthyness and educational value were reduced to a bare minimum.
I was pleased to see that the witnesses who appeared on camera were as varied as they were believable, and that all were treated with respect by the writers and interviewers. The show even opened with a note that all of the computer recreations had been developed with the active participation of the witnesses with the final versions approved by them as well. To the best of my knowledge this was something of a media first. Peter Jennings himself seems to have approached the project with an open if skeptical mind, both of which are necessary assets for such an undertaking. But with witness credibility very high, the anchor was obviously impressed, especially with testimony from, “the first responders we rely on – airline pilots, both commercial and military, people who work in the police and I was very struck by the seriousness of the people who believed in this and talk about it.*”
While respect for the witnesses permeated the program (even when their testimony was dismissed as unscientific), it was accompanied by an entrenched attitude toward investigators. Executive Producer TomYellin summed it up in his comments to the Washington Post: “The field has been abandoned to kooks and amateurs, and we felt it was worth looking into.*” NASA scientist Chris McKay expressed the ongoing view of many establishment scientists, namely, I believe there is life out there, but that it hasn’t visited us here. This basic tenant was tempered by some thoughtful remarks from Nevada -based talk show host Art Bell and his wife. A segment on the Phoenix Lights followed.
Witnesses to the 1997 Phoenix Arizona incident observed something huge and dark pass over their area. So had many others. The object was lit up along its leading edge, but the sighting was explained away as conventional aircraft dropping flares. I understand that there were planes in the air that night dropping flares, but that something huge and dark also passed over the area that night; ABC stayed with the flare explanation however. A look at an Illinois sighting followed, but this one featured five articulate witnesses who happened to be police officers. What they had seen passing overhead was massive, triangular and absolutely silent, and there was no explaining this one away.
The next segment was very good. It took in the original 1947 Kenneth Arnold sighting, the highly significant (and TOP SECRET) Twining Memo of September 1947 “The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious”), and a 1948 pilot sighting of a cigar-shaped craft with two rows of windows. It then paid homage to the many courageous civilian and military pilots who had reported thousands of UFOs at the risk of their careers – first class stuff. From here the narrative moved on to the USAF’s SECRET report, “Estimate of the Situation,” which postulated that the unknowns might be extraterrestrial in origin. Washington D.C.’s 1952 radar/visual case was addressed as well, as was Hollywood’s take on the situation.
Project Blue was next up, and that this governmental initiative was primarily a public relations effort. Then on to a capsule history of the project’s resident scientist, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and his transformation from skeptic to believer. Some commentary on the 1968 Minot North Dakota AFB UFO incident followed with some compelling witness testimony. But why had they excluded references to any of the other ranking military UFO incidents? Investigator Bob Salas had been interviewed for the show about the Malmstrom AFB missile shutdown, but a week before broadcast was informed by Assistant Producer Susan Schaefer that the segment would not be appearing on the program. Jim Klotz, Bob’s co-author of Faded Giant, their just-published book about the event, said that Schaefer did not give them a clear reason for this, but did say that the incident lacked features that would make for a good animation. The producer went on to say that she and her co-workers had “fought” to keep the case on the show, but had been overruled by higher-ups. In the same segment we learned that mainstream scientists tend to reject eyewitness testimony – multiple, professional or otherwise – as unreliable. This ‘scientific’ view was underscored with soundbites from SETI pioneer astronomer Dr. Frank Drake and colleagues Dr. Seth Shostak and Dr. Jill Tarter.
Then came the segment on Roswell. It was particularly biased and surprisingly mean-spirited. Poor Roswell has been done to death on TV, so unless you have any new or compelling information to impart about the world’s best-known UFO incident, why bother? Interview footage with the late Jesse Marcel supported by commentary from his son Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr. was as impressive as ever, but apparently not to the producers. In their view, Roswell awareness came about at a time when people were more “willing to buy into conspiracy” which was the real reason for the groundswell of belief in a UFO crash there. Seminal Roswell investigator Stanton T. Friedman and “fellow Roswell promoters” were all tarred with the brush of sensationalism and, in so many words, accused of riding this gravy train for personal gain. This trend, the producers maintained, only increased following the 1995 release of the so-called alien autopsy film and the popularity of the new “X-Files” television show. When all was said and done, “Seeing Is Believing” subscribed to the Air Force version of things: the Roswell UFO had only been a crashed Project Mogul weather balloon and “true believers” had bought into the myth that the Marcels and Friedman and company were responsible for disseminating. The producers chose instead to have Karl Pflock as spokesperson for what really happened in Roswell. Pflock is a former CIA officer who went on to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operation Test and Evaluation. Neither Friedman nor any of the other Roswell investigators were invited to respond in their own or in the case’s defense. I wasn’t at Roswell in July of 1947, nor has my research ever specialized in this area, but I do know a hatchet job when I see one. At the least, ABC News owes Dr. Marcel, his late father and Stanton Friedman, among others, an apology, and it’s a phone call that Mr. Jennings should consider making himself.
It was the segment devoted to the UFO abduction phenomenon however that faired worse than any other. As anyone who has studied the literature can confirm, there is an impressive body of evidence supporting the reality of this unnerving area of study, the lion’s share of which has been generated by the hard work of a handful of ethical, scholarly and dedicated investigators, each of who had invested years of research and field work in their efforts. But if you watched “Seeing Is Believing” (and were unfamiliar with the literature or available case histories) you would have come away thinking there was only one man involved in this field, Budd Hopkins, “painter.” Why no acknowledgement or even mention of any of Hopkins’ distinguished colleagues or associates? Why no mention at all of the massive body of physical and medical evidence supporting the reality of abductions, evidence that was freely made available to the show’s producers. An oversight? Limited time constraints? Poorly mounted researcher arguments or exhibits? I don’t think so.
From what I understand, one of the first people contacted by the producers was David Jacobs. They couldn’t have made a better choice. Dr. Jacobs is a professor of history at Temple University, a noted author, lecturer, and one of the world’s leading authorities on the alien abduction phenomenon. He spoke by phone with producer Justin Weinberg on numerous occasions and was interviewed on camera three separate times, including a lengthy preliminary interview, several hours at ABC’s New York studio, and another day of videotaping at his home in Philadelphia. ABC was given permission to film a hypnotic regressive session (and did) with a woman Dr. Jacobs is currently working with; she had been driving her car when she was taken. Jacobs also made the requisite introductions with abductees who whose accounts were filmed for the show, supplied witness drawings, and the names and contact information for other well-credentialed researchers including UFO scholars Jerome Clark and Dr. Michael Swords (both of whom came off well in their respective soundbites). Professor Jacobs asked for nothing in return except some assurance that none of the individuals involved would be made to “look bad.” He was repeatedly assured that no one would be, but several people were, and one of them was Budd Hopkins. Jacobs’ opinion here is more than a subjective reaction to a close colleague’s having been unfairly represented; it was an observation of fact, as you will see.
Jennings’ producers interviewed Hopkins several times in the months preceding the broadcast. Aware of the media’s predisposition to the subject, the pioneer investigator in the field was careful to make a series of highly specific observations of critical points, all of which underscored the physical reality of UFO abductions and demonstrated the tenuousness of the most popular skeptical theories. All of his comments and observations were recorded on videotape. None of them made it to your television screen. Suggestion is an effective way to plant an impression, and no one needs hypnosis to come under its spell. When you watch or re-watch the Hopkins segment you are given the impression that this “painter” spends a good deal of his time hypnotically “regressing” unsuspecting victims with a sleep paralysis disorder in order to implant false memories of alien abductions in their minds. The reason Hopkins does this? Well, because he “believes” that alien abductions are real (based upon twenty eight years of scrupulous investigation) and the growing number of “abductees” he turns to his way of thinking lend credence to his belief. This insinuation is not only inaccurate; it consciously distorts the truth and embraces the worst kind of journalistic practices.
Hopkins’ noted that in the first twenty years of investigating such claims all of the major abduction cases involved individuals who were outside their homes when they were taken. Not a single one of them said or claimed that they were lying paralyzed in their bedrooms at the time. Despite the fact that they might have been walking, driving, hunting, camping, or in one memorable instance, driving a farm tractor, sleep paralysis was the only explanation offered to viewers. Further, the producers maintained that memories of alleged abductions only emerge under hypnosis, and since hypnosis is “totally unreliable,” all information thus derived had to be discarded. But this argument also proved to be moot: historically, about thirty percent of all abduction reports collected were recalled consciously without any hypnotic intervention what so ever. So much for the ‘fantasy prone’ personality. Sleep paralysis? Impossible. But every bit of this data was eliminated from the final video presentation before airing.
Was their any other suppression of crucial, factual materials or information from Hopkins’ point of view? Yes. ABC interviewers were shown numerous, varied color photographs taken over the years of almost identical scoop mark and straight line-type scars located on abductees bodies, none of which were included in or referred to during “Seeing Is Believing.” Budd had also supplied ABC with photos of physical landing sites, ground traces and other supporting physical evidence, none of which was included or referred to. He also testified that no less than eight practicing psychiatrists and numerous other mental health professionals had met with him about their own UFO abductions. None of this information was deemed program-worthy by the producers.
Instead, we were subjected to two smug scientists summing up the situation for us: There is no physical evidence. It’s all hypnotically induced. Sleep paralysis accounts for all abduction claims. The decision to exclude even a reference to any other abduction researcher or independent body of abduction-related research also lent a certain ‘lone gunman’ aura to Hopkins’ efforts. Where was Dr. David Jacobs? Cut from the show, which he inadvertently learned the day before the broadcast. And then there is the matter of Dr. John Mack.
Unless you’re new to all this, you are likely aware that Dr. John Mack was a respected psychiatrist and a member of the Harvard University faculty. He was the founder of the Psychiatric Clinic at Cambridge Hospital and a Pulitzer Prize winning author. He was also a leading authority on the abduction phenomenon. Dr. Mack, who was tragically killed by a drunken driver in London last September, was interviewed for the show last August 19 at his home in Cambridge MA. It was the last interview he ever recorded and the only one he’d granted to a major television program in many years. Will Bueche, Dr. Mack’s Media Coordinator since 1999, was listening nearby and characterized the interview as excellent. Colleagues of Dr. Mack’s were incredulous to learn that the interview (or any reference to him or to his work) would be excluded from the show. In Bueche’s words, “(we) cannot conceive how a documentary purporting to explore the subject of alien encounters could have been made without the views of the man who was arguably the world’s leading authority on how these encounters affect people’s lives.” Members of the John Mack Institute are currently seeking information on whether the interview footage will be able to be licensed out, or if by their decision ABC has essentially eliminated Dr. Mack’s final words on the subject.
When you are invited to do an interview or commentary for any broadcast treatment of this subject, major or minor, it is understood from the start that the hours or minutes you spend in front of the camera may well not make it to the screen. It’s the nature of the business and you do not take it personally. But the decision to omit any of the footage shot of Dr. Jacobs and/or Dr. Mack, or to even mention either of their names, was a conscious and calculated one on the part of the producers. If they had been honest with themselves (and with us) Mr. Jennings and his associates would have been much better served to just drop their plans for this segment. They had plenty of additional footage for their editors to work with. Instead they decided to sidestep any uncomfortable aspects of a true investigation of the phenomenon and in doing so simply opted to suppress crucially important factual information, evidence and exhibits.
Once again, major media has proven that it is not up to the job of coming to grips with the most (understandably) disturbing aspects of the UFO question, and that is a shame, but not a surprise. Perhaps they’ll get it right someday, but only when better-informed, more courageous network executives are willing to put their jobs on the line and fully back their producers, who are fully backing their reporters in an effort to bring their viewing audience what is arguably the most disturbing news story of all time. In good faith though, none of ABC News’s competitors could have allowed for much more leeway in such a production either. Network news, nor the networks in general, are ready to cover a story of this magnitude yet, and that may simply be a reflection of the true feelings of the population at large, including the almost fifty percent of Americans who believe that UFOs are real. Yes, “Seeing Is Believing” offered viewers some quality moments, but its inability to treat the most noteworthy part of this story honestly should, in this reviewer’s opinion, give Mr. Jennings and his producers more to feel ashamed about than proud of.
* From Charlotte LeFevre’s “Peter Jennings Gives Ufologists A Hand,” from the rense.com website
Note: Visit Richard Dolan’s website http://keyholepublishing.com to read his thoughtful commentary on the show.
Artigo Originalmente Publicado na Revista UFO Magazine EUA (2004) e Gentilmente Cedido Para Publicação e Tradução à Exopolitics Portugal, Cortesia Mr. Peter Robbins, NY, 2010
By Peter Robbins
August – September 2004, UFO Magazine
This columnist’s work appears in print several months after the fact, and when appropriate or possible I try and write in advance of real-time events, on some upcoming UFO-related conference or symposium for example. But even at a time when the unpredictability of world events has a good percentage of the population regularly on edge, I remain confident that as this issue of UFO Magazine hits your newsstand or arrives in your mailbox we are again entering the zenith of presidential campaign season.
The current laundry list of crisis’s and issues facing the next or the continuing president is daunting at best, and that’s as of late June as I complete this column. None of us need reminding that the world can change overnight, or even during the course of a morning. I know most American voters – and shame on you if you’re eligible and do not exercise this privilege in November – will not be considering the matter at hand when they cast their votes, but even so, let me ask you, what priority should be assigned to George Bush or John Kerry’s taking a stand on the issue of excessive secrecy surrounding the subject of UFOs? I am not talking about full-scale disclosure here, just an act of good faith. Yes, it would require some courage in the face of almost guaranteed ridicule, but isn’t courage a quality we look for in our presidential candidates?
Fifty five years and counting since Kenneth Arnold first observed aerial unknows over Washington State our government is no closer than it was the summer of 1947 to making a serious, reasoned, public assessment or airing of this perennially fogged-in topic. Yes, there are more pressing priorities at the moment, but it is time that our presidential candidates wake up to the fact that many Americans take this matter seriously enough to take it into account when we close the curtain on that voting machine. At the least, they need to know that many of their constituents are no longer willing to stand for the silly, dismissive remarks that many in their cadre have so long employed to get a quick laugh, then move on to ‘serious’ questions.
By now we should appreciate that a central component of such knee-jerk responses is fear of ridicule, pure and simple. A candidate caught responding to a question about UFOs is open to being perceived as foolish, or as catering to a fringe group. Well, this group is no longer a ‘fringe.’ Besides, politicians have nothing to loose by stonewalling on such questions, or do they? Taken to the extreme, the very act of asking a candidate a question about UFOs is perceived as something akin to an actual, physical attack. This is not an exaggeration, as the following account makes clear.
During the Michigan primary elections, in February 2000 to be specific, Governor George W. Bush visited the city of Royal Oaks, which happens to be the home town of Mr. John E.L. Tenney. He is co-founder of M.A.I.N., or Michigan Anomalous Information Network (http://mainorg.tripod.com) and has been actively researching the UFO phenomena for about fifteen years now. He is also an ordained minister. On this particular day Governor Bush was scheduled to meet with selected residents at a local restaurant and Reverend Tenny saw this as an ideal opportunity to ask a presidential candidate a question about the UFO phenomena. So, with video camera in hand he drove over to Jimi’s Coney Island early that morning.
The actual crowd had been carefully selected by Bush’s advance people, but identifying himself as a minister, John was included in the group and entered the restaurant. Its interior however offered little space with people crowded everywhere, not to mention the numerous Texas Rangers who were monitoring the crowd. Reverend Tenny decided that his best chance to actually ask the candidate a question would come as Governor Bush left the restaurant. Accordingly, John slipped outside and waited.
At the end of the meeting the governor exited the restaurant and made his way through the cheering crowd. John Tenny worked his way past the masses of camera crews and into the best position he could. As the candidate came toward him, the Reverend pressed his hand into Mr. Bush’s, looked him in the eye and said, ”As a presidential candidate, would you like to issue a statement concerning the American public’s right to access whatever information the United States government currently has available on topic of UFO…..”
With the utterance of those three letters, John Tenny found himself being grabbed by the arm by a Texas Ranger who pulled him from the crowd then turned him around. In the meantime Mr. Bush was pushed onto the waiting van by another Ranger and was gone almost immediately. What was that all about?” Tenney asked the officer, who only looked at the minister, shook his head, then walked away without saying a word.
Approximately around eighty percent of the American public believe our government has information about UFOs that it refuses to release. And while a bit dated now, A 1997 CNN/TIME Magazine poll noted that sixty-four percent of Americans believed that actual beings from other planets have already contacted us. In these respects at the least, government secrecy about UFOs is now a majority issue and one we should be taking advantage of. These views have earned us the right to be acknowledged and respected by our presidential candidates, and ultimately by our President.
As individuals, what can we do to affect the situation? At the least, consider sending the candidate of your choice a simple, well-written letter, postcard, email or fax, or better yet, write both candidates letting them know that Iraq and the economy aside for the moment, you are a constituent who takes the issue of excessive UFO secrecy seriously and would like to know what position they take on the issue.
Make no mistake about it, individuals can make a difference in the exceedingly slow march toward the answers we seek. And whether you see it as an act of courage, curiosity, sense of civic duty, or combination of all three, John Tenney made a difference when he asked George Bush the question he did. The Reverend’s action should serve to remind us that the truth about UFOs is still seen as a literal threat to many who wield power in our government, as well as to those who would like to wield that power. In any case, vote, or don’t dare to complain about the aftermath to any of us.