Out of the closet on UFOs by Richard Thieme

Let me put it to you straight. For 35 years, I have been exploring and investigating UFOs and UFOlogy (both the serious endeavor and the silly speculative fare that fills popular culture) and…well, UFOs are real: They fly, they evince technologies we don’t understand and they have been around for years.

Above all, despite voluminous and overwhelming evidence to support those assertions, to raise this subject as worthy of historical and scientific investigation is to invite ridicule, the shaking of pitying heads, derision and hostility and embarrassed silence.

Still, I persist in believing, as Francis Bacon said in 1620, that if something deserves to exist, it deserves to be known, not rejected out of hand with prejudice. The scientific method, principles of historical analysis and an open mind ask that much.

No subject has been more marginalized and maligned than this topic. By “unidentified flying objects” I mean not the many things commonly mistaken for them — balloons, Venus, sprites, ball lightning, secret craft, etc. — I mean anomalous vehicles that for decades have been well-documented by credible observers (“Credible people have seen incredible things,” said Gen. John Samford, U.S. Air Force chief of intelligence in 1953), to which our government responded with the formulation and execution of policies in light of genuine national security concerns.

I was recently privileged to be included as contributing editor and writer on a team that produced the book, “UFOs and Government: An Historical Inquiry” over five years. The research/writing team was led by Michael Swords, a professor of natural science (now retired) at Western Michigan University and Robert Powell, a nanotechnologist formerly with AMD. The book is regarded as an “exception” to the dreary field by Choice, the journal that recommends works for inclusion in university collections. Choice suggested that all university libraries should have it (to date, 45 have it in their collections, including four in the University of Wisconsin system, as well as many Wisconsin public libraries).

The almost-600 page book is well-grounded with nearly 1,000 citations from government documents and other primary sources so it is “bullet proof.” There is virtually nothing speculative in it. We document the response of governments from the 1940s forward to events they took quite seriously — and which readers, judging on the evidence and data, will take seriously as well.

Out of the closet on UFOs.

Richard Thieme of Fox Point is a writer and professional speaker (www.thiemeworks.com). In addition to “UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry,” he has written “Islands in the Clickstream (2004)” and “Mind Games (2010)” and contributed chapters to several books.

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About anomaly

SMiles Lewis has had a lifelong interest in all things anomalous. An early age proclivity at recalling his nightly dreams as well as several personal experiences with ESP, precognition and dream switching bolstered his interest in the paranormal. Shortly after high-school he joined the local MUFON chapter in Austin, Texas. He would later become a MUFON State Section Director for that group as well as leader of the local UFO Experiencer Support and Study Group. A lover of books, SMiles collected over 1000 titles before founding the non-profit Anomaly Archives that serves as the lending library of the Scientific Anomaly Institute (501c3). For over twenty years he has worked with digital audio, video and other bleeding edge internet technologies. He has published his own print journal (E.L.F. Infested Spaces), edited a local paranormal newspaper (Austin Para Times), maintained a large network of websites (ELFIS.net), organized a national UFO conference (NUFOC-38), spoken to anthropologists about UFOs and parapsychology (Encounters with the Fantastic), hosted (and been a guest on) both terrestrial and webradio talk shows and has been podcasting since before the phrase existed. All these efforts and more have led radio talk show host Robert Larson to describe Miles as a “Gonzo Alt-Media Proprietor and Informationalist.” He is also the LOWFI-Texas State Bureau Chief of The League of Western Fortean Intermediatists. SMiles’ current projects include co-hosting PsiOp-Radio with Mack White as part of the many unique shows airing daily on his ANOMALY RADIO Network. He is active with several local non-profits which includes his service on the board of directors for the Institute for Neuroscience And Consciousness Studies (INACS) and the Scientific Anomaly Institute‘s lending library, the Anomaly Archives. His writings can be found within the Archives of his print journal ELFIS and ANOMALY Magazine. In his day job with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission‘s Talking Book Program he manages a Volunteer Recording Studio and audio duplication department and has been a consultant on two digital audio development documents for the Library of Congress‘ National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
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