Thursday, May 30, 2019
Recent UFO reports in 2019
While everyone is all agog over the media interest in five-year-old UFO sightings by US Navy pilots (but not actual reports, only witness testimony), UFO sightings continue to trickle in to reporting agencies.
The start of the week actually began with a flurry, as Elon Musk's Starlink set of 60 satellites was launched by SpaceX, resulting in many good observations of the long line of starlike lights stretched across the sky.
This meant of course that witnesses reporting these IFOs were not making details up nor were fabricating wild stories. The UFOs were seen and identified as IFOs. This adds weight to the view that people reporting UFOs are seeing real objects.
During the course of the week, UFOs were reported at a regular rate. No "Golden Age" of UFOs, nor a "new reality" where governments have declared aliens are in fact visiting Earth.
Just the usual reports of lights in the sky for the most part, and most have possible explanations.
Labels: UFO Canada May 2019
Media furore and UFOs
Labels: UFO Navy pilots TTSA media
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
In Remembrance: Stanton Friedman, 1934-2019
It is with deep sadness that I post about the passing of Stan Friedman. A few people have confirmed that Stan passed away while in Toronto on May 13, 2019.
I first met Stan when he visited Winnipeg in about 1976, during the Charlie Redstar UFO furore. He gave a lecture about UFOs at the University of Manitoba and received a standing ovation. After his talk, we met and exchanged info. Ever since then, we had kept in touch and got together or at least spoke on the phone every year.
Stan stayed with me sometimes when he came to Winnipeg, choosing to sleep on my couch rather than in a nondescript motel room, but mostly to save money.
He was a mentor, a rebel, a challenger, and most of all, a friend.
He had a remarkable career in physics, although he never received his doctorate. In his own words:
I worked my way through five years of college as a busboy in the Catskill Mountains and then as a Union waiter at Windermere East Hotel on the South side of Chicago within walking distance of the University of Chicago. I was anxious to join the real world which I had done in industry where a PhD was not required. First, the General Electric Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Department, near Cincinnati, then Aerojet General Nucleonics near San Francisco on compact nuclear reactors and fusion for space applications, then General Motors Allison Division in Indianapolis on portable nuclear reactors for space systems and the Westinghouse Astronuclear Labs on fission rocket reactors for space applications. I must have set a record for working on cancelled programs.
A very young Stan Friedman visiting Rutgers in 1950.
But of course, he is best known as the "Flying Saucer Physicist."
As a scientist. I have always felt that one wasn’t entitled to a scientific opinion if one hasn’t read the relevant literature. Often over the years In my “Flying Saucers ARE Real” lectures, I discussed five large scale scientific studies and then asked my audiences how many had read each of them. Typically fewer than two per cent had read any. Included were the biggest study ever done for the US Air Force, Project Blue Book Special Report 14, The Congressional Hearings on July 29,1968 (with statements from 12 scientists including Allen Hynek, myself, and Carl Sagan), Allen’s book UFOs: A Scientific Inquiry, Edward Condon’s The Scientific Study of UFOs, and MacDonald's Congressional paper.I had the opportunity on several occasions to sit and talk with him about all things ufological. He agreed to let me record our conversations. Some of these were at UFO and paranormal conferences, where we sat in either his or my hotel room while Donna or someone else filmed us.
The following are links to our informal discussions:
At Minnesota Paracon, I sat down with Stanton Friedman and asked him if there was any question he had never been asked, but wished someone had asked. He replied that no one ever asked him why astronomers are generally down about UFOs and ufology. He explained that astronomers are generally uninformed about ufology and can be arrogant in their dismissiveness. [NB: I'm an astronomer]
I caught up with Stanton Friedman at Minnesota Paracon 2014. He has some words of advice for UFO buffs.
At Minnesota Paracon 2014, I caught up with "the Grandfather of Ufology," Stanton Friedman. It's been only a month or two since his heart attack, and he's 80 years old, so I asked him how that's changed his approach to his UFO research. His answer: he's going to be retiring!
Me and Stan in 2001 when I visited him in his home in Fredericton while filming an episode for the the documentary series Magnificent Obsessions. (Full episode here, my visit to Stan at his home starts at about 17:25)
We were on stage together at the Telus World of Science Expo in Edmonton in 2007.
Donna Lobchuk helping Stan at his table at Telus in 2007.
I may have deliberately set up this photo with me between Stan and Kevin Randle (and Frank) at MUFON 2009 in Denver.
Stan in a typical pose behind his book table, at MUFON 2009.
Travis Walton, me, Donna, and Stan having dinner at Minnesota Paracon.
Stan, Raymond Szymanski and Kathleen Marden at World UFO Congress in 2016.
Donna with Stan at Minnesota Paracon in 2013.
In 2014, his daughter Melissa asked me to do a short video wishing him a happy 80th birthday. I got some friends to help me. Apparently, even Michael Shermer made one.
He will be missed.
Update: CBC reports that Stan died doing what he liked doing; he was returning from a speaking engagement in Columbus, Ohio, and passed suddenly in the Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
Update 2: Paul Kimball's film about Stan is viewable here.
Sunday, May 05, 2019
How many see UFOs? How many report them?
I had posted the latest Canadian UFO Survey results, and was surprised when someone questioned that only ten percent of all witnesses report their experiences.
(Not that he had offered any alternative, just that he doubted the value was correct.)
I realized that most people in ufology these days have likely never seen poll data on UFOs, so I went looking for results from Gallup, Decima, and others.
Of course, I've posted about such things many times, but hey, no one listens to me.
In 2012, I noted:
And them in 1997, MUFON published an article concerning the Ufology Research poll of Canadians about UFOs.
(Yes, there was a time when MUFON liked me.)
So, there are some stats to back up that about ten per cent of the population believe they have seen UFOs, and that only a small percentage of UFO witnesses report them, as one might expect given the climate of ridicule that is still evident.
And one this that came out of that early study was the note that about the same number of people were as likely to report their UFO experience to a UFO group as to not report it at all. But they would rather report it to a government agency.
Maybe the US Navy will be getting some UFO reports, after all.
I would love to do a more rigorous set of polls on this, with cooperation from many UFO groups so that we can get a better sample size and hopefully more refined results.
But that's not likely to happen.
Labels: UFO poll reports witnesses data