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My Thoughts on the ABC/Jennings' UFO
Copyright 2004 Guy Malone Feb 25, 2005
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"UFOs : Seeing Is Believing" hosted by Peter Jennings
My Thoughts on Jennings' UFO ABC Special?
Well, the word "wow" does come to mind...
Not so much "Wow that was amazing," because it was largely what many reading this already know. But "Wow - all that was on the air!" I'm guessing (but only guessing) that Project Blue Book was still active the last time any valid "news reporting" about UFOs was featured on any of "The Big 3" networks. History Channel and Sci-Fi Channel are one thing, but NO MATTER WHAT Peter Jennings and ABC reported tonight, the most significant factor is that a serious and thought-provoking special on UFOs, showcasing credible witnesses and researchers, finally hit the American airwaves - during prime-time, on a major network, AND was presented as a straight news documentary. This just cannot be understated. Jennings made no effort to prove or debunk anything, but finally presented to the public at least some of the facts and arguments (pro and con) that can be reported on the topic, and isn't that what we've all wanted, for a long, long time?
My quotable quote however, is that "This ABC special hosted by Peter Jennings simply could not have been any more pro-UFO, and still call itself journalism, if it tried. But it *was* journalism..." and that's my point. For the first time in my life I saw honest journalism relating to UFOs on network television. Wow. ABC didn't have to "try" to prove UFOs are real (or not), as the "tip of the iceberg" they did reveal was, in my opinion, more convincing than anything mainstream America has ever seen. The special undoubtedly covered "both sides" fairly I believe, but the facts always seemed to come down on the side of the fence that says, whatever they are - UFOs ARE HERE... the public believes they exist... and the government's explanation for them is historically unsatisfactory. Not to mention deceptive. Yes, the documentary included scientists covering all the best arguments against the UFO hypothesis and the eyewitnesses, the supposed impossibility of space travel, etc, etc, etc... However, ABC's investigative coverage, which revealed that The Air Force's Project Blue Book was never anything more than a concentrated debunking effort was, in a word, exemplary. Decades late perhaps, but this glaring fact of American history finally got the prime-time journalistic butt-kicking it sorely deserved.
The abductee community - if it can or should be addressed separately from the UFO community - came out way ahead tonight as well. Jennings even said that "Reporting the UFO story is incomplete without this facet," a statement long-overdue for the more (ahem) "serious" and scientific among us, whose most compelling form of evidence to-date has always been nothing more than eyewitness testimony in the first place. While sleep paralysis and hypno-suggestion were appropriately included in this documentary, the abduction experience no doubt got the "fairest shake" ever seen on prime-time as well. It's not enough to just report (as Jennings did) that "more than 80 million Americans believe the earth has been visited by extra-terrestrials" and "more than 40 million Americans say they have seen, or know someone who has seen an Unidentified Flying Object," without also including (as Jennings did) the fact that 1 of 5 Americans also believe that abductions are happening. ABC did an admirable job of bringing both the UFO and the Abduction topic to the American table, via the most credible people it could showcase, rather than the most colorful, or most outlandish. Just go to any UFO conference (as Jennings suggested, although I doubt he did) and you'll typically see more news cameras on the man or woman with the glittery outfit and silver make-up, than you'll ever see on the ones with the PhD's.
But... if UFO enthusiasts were the clear winners of this program, who were the losers? Roswell, for starters... or at least it's believers. Just as the best UFO skeptics were given their air-time on this show but came out somehow wanting, the same might be said for Roswell authors Stanton Friedman, Kevin Randall and Don Schmidt. Arguments both for and against the Roswell incident (being alien-related) were presented briefly, but I think anybody watching ABC tonight would have to say that this special ultimately sided with The History Channel's past Roswell special (which also concluded that the Project Mogul view of a top-secret, but altogether man-made event is "the truth"). Disappointing for many, no doubt. Giving Karl Pflock and Project Mogul the last word, and Jennings' use of language like "hallowed ground," "holy grail" and "article of faith" to refer to the Roswell story, even this decidedly pro-UFO documentary let down more than a few people no doubt, ending with Peter Jennings saying (of Roswell believers) that "they cling to a myth." In striking this blow, ABC wins both ways, seemingly maintaining it's journalistic integrity by promoting UFOs as unexplainable by earthly science, yet nonetheless "dissing" Roswell as "the" cornerstone of ufology.
Why? ... perhaps the most responsible efforts at journalism inevitably lead to both conclusions in fact, perhaps not. But there is however, another view of UFOs that can only be referred to as "the excluded middle" which might explain the seeming incongruence. This view also lost out on this show, but only becuase it was not represented (understandable and forgivable, given all that was covered in the time allotted). While neither popularly known about nor financially profitable, a growing number of researchers are beginning to promote the idea that that UFOs are indeed real and beyond conventional explanation, BUT that aliens are not piloting them - or even designing and crashing them for our benefit. Here, I'll simply refer readers to look into this view for themselves via www.manmadeufos.com (a booklist) and www.roswellufocrash.com (a view that takes neither the alien nor the Mogul view of Roswell). What I will say is that those studying these views see a global conspiracy that involves oil, banking, military, mainstream science and conglomerate MEDIA that far surpasses the organization neccessary to cover up extra-terrestrials, if that's "all" that needed to be covered up.
If (and I'm just saying, IF) this view is the most accurate one, then one only needs to remember that in prior decades Walt Disney himself and his mickey mouse company were used by / partnered with the U.S. government to promote the idea of extra-terrestrial life to the American public (just Google it), before the plug was pulled and what we now know as "The UFO Cover-Up" ruled the day, to begin to glimmer WHY Disney-owned ABC *might* have been the first major network to suddenly put UFOs back into the credible, mainstream consciousness. Is ABC in bed with a government higher than our Federal one? is the question I'm posing. If there's anything to this, then perhaps "The American Public" might be included in the loser list as well, as the aftermath of ABC's Jennings report could have more to do with preparing us for something other than "disclosure" (as some might hope) is all that's behind this out-of-nowhere special. It's a big puzzle that for now I'll leave to the most astute researchers and UFO historians to piece together, but not one that should be ignored.
One-world conspiracies left for deeper, darker minds to ponder however, it could well be argued that "sweeps week" is the only reason ABC chose to devote 2-hours to this program. No matter why though - hey, we're all glad they did. What can those of us interested in these topics say negative about a prime-time special that accurately and plainly states that "the UFO phenomenon (is) only a shadow of mainstream science," but then a moment later gives several minutes of airtime to Art Bell? While there are no doubt many, many opinions relating to the origin and nature of UFOs, NONE of them are relevant until people believe that they are real to begin with. For some, ABC's special was merely affirmation of what they already know is true; for others it may be the first time they admit there's something worthy of investigation. But as a result of this special, people are going to talk. They're going to talk about what they've seen, and they're going to share their ideas. And as a result of this special, many of them won't be laughed at. Other people are going to ask questions, and those who have dedicated themselves to finding answers are going to be more in demand. I don't mean to simply say "this is good for business" (although it undoubtedly is), but what I mean is that it's good for the public interest. Very, very good. All views should and will begin to get more airtime, and interested parties will be exposed to more information. Those with questions can use this documentary to take to your government officials, your churches, your educational institutions and your local media outlets and say "Hey - I want answers, and your previous ones haven't been good enough. Are you going to give them to me? Are you going to give us someone who can? Or am I and my money going to have to go somewhere else?" As a result of this special, the general public - not just the UFO community - has won a minor moral victory, and ABC and Jennings deserve our thanks for finally showing some integrity by finally delivering this information to the American public, and especially, for doing it without including 10 minutes of Zelda Zoroastrian in the mix.
By the way, did you catch the "skeptic" who said that the Phoenix lights were flares that Phoenix radar didn't pick up? He then finished his arguments by saying (60 seconds later!) that it was *also* lights from 5 airplanes (that Phoenix radar apparently didn't pick up either?). Like I said, ABC and Jennings didn't even have to try, because for once the debunker on TV actually looked more idiotic than the witnesses. It's a new day.
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