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Re: UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole - Friedman

From: Stanton Friedman <fsphys.nul>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 10:36:41 -0400
Fwd Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 09:47:11 -0500
Subject: Re: UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole - Friedman

>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 09:30:52 -0600
>Subject: Re: UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole

>>From: Terry W. Colvin <fortean1.nul>
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>,
>>Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 17:51:39 -0700
>>Subject: UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole

>>Source: The Observer - London

>>http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1168923,00.html >

>>March 14, 2004

>>UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole

>>Now you see them...

>>Mark Townsend
>>Sunday March 14, 2004
>>The Observer

>>Andy Roberts, author of UFO books and former magazine
>>contributor, said the public's fascination with mysterious
>>flying objects had faded. 'Ufology is really a thing of the last
>>century. The end of the X-Files series didn't help, and there
>>has been a decline since the televised alien autopsy of the mid-
>>1990s. Basically it was a hobby that broke into the
>>mainstream... Ultimately there was only a hardcore following,'
>>said Roberts.


>This is, of course, sheer twaddle. If history teaches us
>anything, it's that (1) you can always get a credulous
>journalist to repeat nonsense and (2), more important, there is
>no way to extrapolate from ufology's current state what its
>future will be.

>Interest in UFOs was first pronounced dead in August 1947.
>Flying saucers were already being referred to in the past tense
>by the second or third week of the month before.

>As I learned while researching my encyclopedia, UFOs and
>ufologists have been pronounced dead practically since the
>beginning of either. I don't except myself from this
>foolishness. In the October 1983 issue of Fate, in a piece
>titled "Requiem for the UFO Age," I declared that ufology had
>gone the way of the dodo. This was, remember, less than four
>years before it entered yet another boom period. Nonetheless, a
>New York Times reporter phoned me within days of the piece's
>appearance for my "authoritative" word on the death of ufology.
>He listened as avidly and credulously as the Observer reporter

>I was to learn only later how often over history UFOs have been
>pronounced the product of last month, last year, last decade, or
>- now, as witness the pearls of wisdom in the above quote --
> last century.

>Where the question of ufology's vitality or lack of same is
>concerned, many variables are in play. For one example, the
>1958-1964 period, when many deemed ufology a dying enterprise,
>ended with major waves which brought new vitality. Beyond that,
>public attention is fickle, and in recent years there has been
>much to distract it, not the least of it a world that seems to
>grow more dangerous and violent by the day. Moreover, in recent
>years there have been no dramatic breakthroughs or controversies
>to excite outsiders or to draw new people into the field. Still,
>the phenomenon itself is not dead, and as long as it remains,
>the potential for new developments - or at least interesting new
>sightings - remains.

>Dead? Probably not. Sleeping? More likely. And in any event, the
>state of ufology's health at any given moment has nothing to do
>with the questions our subject, whether robust or anemic in
>popular perception, confronts. Ufology or no, those remain.

Certainly Roberts comments are nonsense. One might think that if
Graham Birdsall hadn't died, that UFO magazine would have died
anyway. After all he was just the owner, publisher, editor etc;
no basis given for saying readers had lost interest.

I should note that the formal debate between myself and James
McGaha at Middle Tennessee State University on January 28, had
an overflow crowd with people literally in the aisles. The 2 Hour
video is available at:

POB 958,
ME 04730-0958

US $15

My lecture at London (Ontario) Public Library drew over 300 who
paid $11.each. Last fall at Brevard Community College in
Titusville, FL, there were over 500 who paid $5:00. In December
my lecture "Flying Saucers ARE Real" on the Queen Elizabeth 2,
drew what was described to me by a traveler who had taken many
QE 2 cruises as the largest lecture crowd he had seen on all his

Rumours of the death of ufology have been greatly exaggerated.

Stan Friedman

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