When I first became involved in UFOs back in 1992, I had no idea what I was getting into. I say that from two standpoints. From the first position, there is definitely an Anomalistic Observational Phenomenon (AOP) that desperately needs serious scientific study. I have seen and photographed numerous strange craft, the subject of my five other Internet websites. I have even had two classic abduction-type experiences, which were traumatic and physically damaging to my body. From the second position (standpoint), I was not prepared to discover the breadth and depth of involvement of so many amateurs and pseudo-professionals in what is known as the UFO community. This sad state of affairs evolved largely through default out of intentional neglect by mainstream science. Over the past decade I have seen public interest in the UFO phenomenon grow to the extent that Hollywood and Television have capitalized on this surge in popularity in order to milk the public and advertisers out of billions of dollars. Interest in UFOs has increased to the point that this subject is second only to Pornography on the Internet in its popularity, and that should give you a good idea as to how most scientists regard research by UFOlogists and conspiracy mongers.
I have watched as nobodies, self-trained in metaphysics and certainly not trained in any scientific discipline come onto the scene as snake-oil salesmen attempting to reap a harvest of money and/or fame from gullible people through the sale of their books on government conspiracies, Alien experiences (e.g. Communion and Silent Invasion), and UFO hype of every kind. Not all books on this subject fall into the category of a marketing ploy. Some represent honest accounts of personal experiences, such as "Into the fringe" by Dr. Karla Turner, and "Secret vows" by Denise and Bert Twiggs. Conference organizers for UFO and abduction research have been equally unscrupulous in feeding the public poorly researched and/or investigated aspects of these phenomena through their selection of invited guests. Wendell Stephens is a good example of someone who is invited by many conference organizers, but his research is enormously flawed and scientifically ineffectual; his books make great Sci Fi novels, but not much more. And his slide shows have so much questionable content that he qualifies more as an entertainer than as a legitimate researcher.
There are some good investigators out there who have attempted to follow the scientific method closely, such as Linda Moulton Howe, but even they have been reluctant to publicly criticize other investigators who do not demonstrate the same kind of focus she has on collecting valid scientific data. Perhaps part of the reason for this is that if they do criticize others in ufology, they will not be invited to conferences, and then they will not have an opportunity to be as effective in reaching other researchers with their research results (it takes time and a lot of effort to write and publish books). In science all legitimate research is given equal opportunity for being heard at conferences (there is no bias or discrimination, just a strict set of rules to follow), although the amount of time given to each of many speakers necessarily must be limited (15 minutes at scientific conferences compared to 60-90 minutes at UFO conferences). That difference levels the playing field in science and helps to prevent some scientists from becoming favorites or "Stars" of the show. The emphasis is on disseminating and sharing information and not on entertainment and popularity (ratings).
There is no established form of peer review within the UFO community, as there is for mainstream science. This lack of professional critique and discipline amongst believers has allowed all sorts of charlatans and hoaxers to enter the field, from channelers and psychics to metaphysicians to crop-circle makers to pseudo-scientists such as Richard C. Hoagland. Unchecked speculation is rampant within this community, with the majority of people accepting a controversial idea if there are books supporting that idea, or if there are well-known lecturers who proclaim it to be true in a spectacular or redundant manner. Thus, the truth in UFOlogy is not the truth at all, but whatever consensus opinion dictates - and that sometimes changes as radically as the wind depending on occasional new revelations of dubious origin such as the Santilli alien autopsy film. It is this same type of unscientific consensus opinion that led to the persecution of Copernicus and Galileo. It is this same type of concensus opinion that said the world was flat or that man could not fly.
But what is most disturbing about the UFO community is the trend that has emerged to blame any and all branches of the "government" for a perceived Alien/UFO cover-up. The U.S. military, in the interest of National Security, has the duty to protect our sovereignty and the right to keep certain secrets. That's their job. The unmitigated and ridiculous attacks on the U.S. space program have brought the conspiracy mongers dangerously close to causing a civil uprising amongst scientists and engineers, who make up the vast majority of employees at NASA and JPL: Hence the recent venting of steam on radio and the Internet between Robert A.M. Stephens (a NASA contractor) and Art Bell and his cohorts.
When I first became involved in researching and investigating AOP in the field, there were very few scientists actively involved in studying AOP. Some scientists and medical professionals have made their presence known, such as Dr. J. Allen Hynek and Dr. Steven Greer (m.d.), but for the most part the majority of mainstream scientists avoid this subject with a passion. I would not have become so involved if I had not been able to collect so much raw data in the field between 1992 and 1997. But even that is not enough to convince most of my skeptical colleagues in science that I am onto something important. Now, because of more than a decade of growing public interest and pronouncements by leading psychiatrists, such as Dr. John Mack, that people who report seeing UFOs are not psychotic, UFOlogy is viewed today more as a religion or cult by mainstream scientists. It still is viewed as a psychosis by some scientists, but not to the same degree. Because of this change in attitude, there is not as great a stigma associated with taking an interest in the subject. With a shift in attitude and a preponderance of anecdotal data, which continues to grow through daily sightings, slowly more mainstream scientists are becoming tolerant of colleagues who study this phenomenon. And with that tolerance a few more brave scientists are taking a serious interest in the subject - but through the eyes of a scientist.
Another factor which has helped to involve more scientists is the interest by NASA in exploring the planets using robotic probes. As we have become more technologically capable of engineering probes that can be sent great distances in space, the idea that ET could do the same (given that other intelligent life exists out there) has become even more popular than in the past. Good and well-founded theory in science must precede formal investigation, because humans are so prone to belief and subsequent prejudice. Our own advancements have made the concept of a SETV (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Visitors) strategy acceptible to some scientists within the NASA centers. But these visitations need not involve any biological entites. They could be exclusively very advanced mechanical probes capable of analyzing Earth and sending back information to their home world. Robotic exploratory probes from interstellar space are much more acceptable to scientists, given our limited understanding of possible extraterrestrial life forms, than are full blown "Take me to your leader" EBEs (especially ones who speak fluent English or who look like us).
There is also the problem of biological agents of disease, which make contact between ExtraTerrestrial Life (ETL) and humans a potentially lethal factor. That is why NASA has been so concerned about bringing back samples from Mars, which might contain an unknown form of life that could destroy us and/or other forms of life on Earth. Planetary protection and back-contamination of Earth's ecosystems by ETL are very serious concerns. The failure of UFO researchers and abduction researchers to take the biological disease factor seriously (for example, the proposition that hybrid programs could actually exist between ET and humans: Secret Life by Dr. David Jacobs) is yet another reason for the professional rift between science and UFOlogy, which has grown rather than diminished with popular interest in ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (ETI).
Because of the above reasons, and because I am now working with accredited scientists and engineers in the aerospace industry, I have chosen to remove my very speculative thesis called the Cydonia II Report. I have kept only that portion which references scientific data on magnetic anomalies. Until NASA or some other agency can put a team of scientists on Mars in order to validate or disprove the Cydonia "Face" hypothesis, any speculation on my part for a similar set of features on Earth cannot be proven. Logic is not proof. Logic only leads to thesis. If an archaeological site is discovered on Earth via aerial photographs or satellite images, no archaeologist in their right mind would make the types of conclusions Hoagland et al. have made regarding the Cydonia Complex on Mars without first taking an expedition there to verify what they believe they see in the images. Because such an expedition to Mars is perhaps decades away at best, there is no reason why I should contribute to (and therefore fuel) the kinds of indefensible speculation and irresponsible prognostication that currently exist in books and on the Internet regarding ET visitation. Therefore, I have removed my Cydonia II Report until more valid scientific data can be obtained, which clearly supports such a controversial hypothesis. Remember, science is not just the process of discovering new information; it is a process by which theories must be subjected to attempts at falsification in order to test their veracity. And for much of what UFOlogy has put forth as evidence of ET visitation to date, falsification is a push-over, due in part to flawed logic and the use of questionable (i.e. unverifiable) sources of information, such as anecdotes, telepathy, and hypnosis.
For all these reasons, that is why I have changed this website and do not think there is a conspiracy to cover up information regarding ETI by NASA or its contractors.
Bruce Cornet, Ph.D.
Last Update: 6/23/99
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