“In sum and all averaged out, it’s safe to say about 37 percent of Americans are just are not very bright.” These were the humble words of Mark Morford, a yoga instructor and columnist for the San Francisco Gate, as well as author of the book The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism. ”Or rather,” he continues, such people could simply be called, in his estimation, “quite shockingly dumb. Perhaps beyond reach. Perhaps beyond hope or redemption. Perhaps beyond caring about anything they have to say in the public sphere ever again. Sorry, Kansas.”
Among the minority of Americans that he calls “shockingly dumb” in his recent SF Gate article, Morford also decides to toss UFO “believers” into the mix, right alongside gun toting far-right conspiracy theorists who live in bunkers and believe in the existence of angels and unicorns.
Before providing any further commentary of my own, I would like to submit for our aforementioned columnist’s review a guide to UFO declassification around the world, which I compiled back in 2009. Even without having been updated since that time, this collection of source material on official interest in the UFO phenomenon around the globe presents an intriguing amount of information for those seeking to determine whether UFOs exist or not. While this cannot (and does not) in any way prove that Earth has been visited by extraterrestrials–something that I argue there is, to date, no proof of anywhere, for that matter–it does show us something that is perhaps just as important: that a few so-called “skeptical” writers out there will almost habitually work off of faulty, misunderstood logical dispositions, like the one that espouses UFOs must be “extraterrestrial spaceships” in the minds of all UFO “believers.” Thus, working off of poorly constructed misunderstandings and gross generalizations like this, which are themselves rooted in pseudo-factual logic, people like Morford are only expressing their inherently biased viewpoints, rather than entering any serious discussion about the nature of a subject like UFO research. And contrary to what Morford has asserted with his latest critique, it is a subject that, in terms of the merit of it’s study, is supported by more than plenty compelling data.
Writing an article the likes of what Morford has penned at his SF Gate blog, being inherently (and unfairly) critical of entire swathes of the population (including all UFO enthusiasts) is of course bound to invite a little criticism of its own. Granted, some of the logical silliness he goes after is justified: for instance, who in the modern day would really believe in unicorns, or that man and dinosaurs walked the Earth together in our ancient past? Also, in scientific terms, we certainly cannot prove the existence of a divine creator. And while it is grossly unfair to call all people of a conservative political philosophy gun-grabbing conspiracy theorists who “believe in angels,” there is even a modicum of (rather biased and stereotypical) truth to some of his ranting in this regard just as well.
The obvious bias being exemplified here requires no public exposition; Morford makes it clear that, in his mind, progressive “elitist” liberals are God’s gift to reason (oh wait, no they aren’t, because apparently “elitists” of Morford’s caliber are exempted from belief in any kind of a god-like creator, whether or not such an intelligence does exist). His rationale for bringing politics into all this in the first place is that, obviously, when one undergoes a greater amount of intellectual development than those in the general populace, then such people, without question, will become more inherently liberal as well. And like so many snarktic, pseudo-intellectual “elitists” out there, it is apparent to Morford that being endowed with a scrutinizing mindset removes all possibility for such things as intelligently-controlled mechanical craft flying around over our heads just as well; if anything, the obvious lack of evidence for such things as UFOs or a “God” goes right over the heads of the “idiot masses” Morford chooses to go after with his commentary.
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what your political disposition is (and this coming from a registered independent, who is largely centrist in his personal political views, having intentionally escaped the right vs left diatribe some time ago). However, to willfully ignore known government studies and other documentation which, fairly and objectively in many instances, catalogues the serious study of such things as unidentified flying objects, and then utilize this ignorant disposition as part of one’s argument against a political ideology that differs from yours is not only illogical; it amounts to ideological stereotyping, scapegoating, and mere pandering to an audience hungry for like-minded pseudo-intellectual “red meat,” cut from the proverbial bone by a modern media that’s already divided enough with its politics. Such dogmatic grandstanding effectively ensures, time and time again, that any reasonable facts that may exist beyond the sphere of the status quo will fall into that radical wasteland that is the middle ground, forever lost amidst the angry lashes and formulaic attacks that diametrically-warring factions on the two extremes will inevitably continue to launch at one another.
Here, Morford succeeds in forever labeling himself not as a “deviant journalist,” nor even a radical progressive “elitist.” He is instead merely a cheerleader, patently managing to avoid the implementation of any real factual basis for his criticisms, rendering his ideologically skewed rants to being of no more actual substance than the rhyming chants of the local junior varsity cheerleading team. “Did you frown at that last paragraph? Was it a terribly elitist and unkind thing to say?” Morford cites in his critique. “Sort of. Probably. But I’m not sure it matters, because none of those people are reading this column right now.” I wonder if, upon reading my present rebuttal, he’d say the same right about now? He asserts, after all, that only the 42% in his minority ever would take the time to read something like this in the first place.
Granted, I can’t say that I liken myself to the 58% of Americans he says won’t read columns like his, preferring instead to watch prime-time reality television and Fox News broadcasts intended for fifth graders. I am, however, someone who argues that there are hard facts underlying the UFO phenomenon (again, for more on this, simply review the international collection of source material I’ve enclosed below this post) that he, like many others, remains woefully unaware of… and I think I speak for most of us in the ufological community when I say I don’t particularly like being culled from a stereotypical swath of the American public that he perceives as being “shockingly dumb,” either.
To wit, I wonder again if Morford, or any other pseudo-intellectuals out there, would even take time to read a blog post like this, or anything else that would challenge their general preconceptions about not just reality itself, but especially those among us who call ourselves UFO researchers? And with that said, below I’ve excerpted the source material from my original 2009 blog post on disclosed UFO documentation, released by governments and other official agencies around the world… may the open minded decide for themselves:
* * * * * * *
France became the first country to release their UFO documents in an e-format available to the masses. In the last 2 decades of the 20th century, France was the only country with officially paid UFO investigators, employed by CNES’s UFO section GEPAN, later known as SEPRA and now as GEIPAN (essentially translating to mean “Group for Studies and Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena”). The CNES website has a page dedicated to their UFO archives, which can be viewed here (NOTE: This page is translated using Google’s translation function. The original text can be viewed here).
Canada also released their UFO files beginning in the mid-2000′s (a tip of the hat to Chris Rutkowski of the Canadian UFO Report for this info). To view these files, visit this link and click “search” in the left hand column. If you don’t know the specific item you’re looking for, or would rather browse by the four branches of the Canadian Government that have performed investigations, simply scroll to the bottom of the page and select one in the dropdown beneath “Browse by Record Group”.
Britain, whose UFO files were released this year (2009), has begun an effort to make their vast collection of files available periodically. The existing files, as well as the most up-to-date additions, can be browsed at National Archives website.
Brazil also joined the ranks of several countries around the world in May of this year, with the Brazilian Government disclosing over 600 new pages of previously classified documents, covering UFO reports and military investigations from 1970 to 1979. They can be downloaded here.
Denmark also released a PDF of their UFO files in 2009, available for download at their website. At the Denmark UFO Archive website, a fascinating photograph of what appears to be a “jellyfish” UFO is shown. The Google translation for this page can be viewed here, or you may view the original text at the official website.
Although news is circulating that Russia’s Navy has just released their UFO documents, no electronic files appear to have been made available as-of-yet. However, by clicking here you can read a transcript of an interview with Boris Blitsky, science correspondent to the program “Voice Of Russia”. It was aired as part of the feature “Science And Engineering In The Commonwealth” during Voice Of Russia’s news broadcast on October 23, 1997. In this interview, Blitsky describes a Ministry of the Interior report of a UFO dating back to December 26, 1830!
But what about the United States? Many keep hoping that Barack Obama will finally push for release of secret UFO documents held by American organizations. However, according to British researcher Nigel Watson, there are already plenty of official US government files regarding UFOs that have been made available to the public, though they are less well known.
Nigel Watson pointed out several of the major UFO archives available on the Internet in Beyond magazine (No 5, April 2007) in his article “Government UFO Files: What do they really believe?”. According to Watson, although the United States of America hasn’t “officially” de-classified a large number of UFO documents, we still offer the most official websites that contain large amounts of UFO documentation. These include sites run by NASA, the FBI, the US Navy, the US Defense Department, the CIA and the National Security Agency. A list of these resources can be found here.
Spain, Chile, and Peru all released their files in 2007 also, and although a variety of informative articles about these releases appear in various places on the web, I haven’t been able to locate them directly. If you should happen to find resources where these de-classified files can be downloaded or viewed otherwise, please email me at email@example.com.
For other selections of de-classified government goodness, check out these resources:
Strange Secrets By Nick Redfern and Andy Roberts
Tin Foil Hat image by HappyWorker via Flickr.