Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jimmy Church slams Sean David Morton

        Jimmy Church is a four-days-a-week podcaster, and a fairly frequent relief host of Coast-to-Coast AM. As I've written before, I think he's pretty good. His show is called Fade To Black, and many of his guests are the standard pseudoscience mob that this blog exists to mock, and I guess that's who he means when he talks about "our community." Last Monday, he gave his audience a quick update on the fate of Sean David Morton (sentenced that very day to six years in the slammer,) and then editorialized as follows:

18:31: "No matter what you feel about the government, or the IRS—the IRS may be the most evil thing in the history of the known world—and I get that, I understand.. um, but no matter what your feelings are about the feds, and the IRS, if you have a check in your hand for half a million dollars, and you know it ain't your money, you don't cash it. We all know right from wrong. We do. We really, really... if we don't know right from wrong then we shouldn't be out in public. But, if we do know right from wrong, and we have our faculties about us, holding a check for half a million dollars in your hand that you know is not yours—don't cash it. And if you do, that is a decision that you make as an adult. Nobody is forcing you—you make the decision on your own. And he made that decision. The... the complications with the case, and how many charges were there, and... you know, the bottom line is, you don't cash the check. [..?..] Anyway, he got caught. OK? And he and his wife were found guilty. [..?..] He tried to hide the funds—they split it up, and took out $7,000 in cash, kept that, split up the rest of the money, put it in a bunch of different accounts, and [..?..] when the IRS asked for the money back, they said NO. The IRS literally said "we want the money back," and they said "No. come and get us." Well, OK. They did. [...] The bottom line is that they were officially sentenced today and that's it, they're going to prison."

"But, I have been silent on this whole thing. [...] I don't wish prison on anybody—this is a non-violent crime. It's a non-violent crime. And prison sucks. It absolutely sucks. So, I don't wish it on anybody. All I'm saying in this case, is sometimes you bring things onto yourself. You go and cash a check for $500,000 hoping to get away with it, and you don't, well you get caught [and] that's the end of the story. There's a couple of other things about Sean that... that kind of need to be said here. OK, today I went and watched a video on the ConspiraSea Cruise,note 1 actually an excellent video by the way. Ahhm... and well presented. But in this video ..ahhm, Sean is sitting there, and this is what he says publicly out of his own mouth. He says that he went to Stanford, that he went to Oxford, and that he was a doctor. [...] And then he says that he's an award-winning director, and a screen writer. And so, I stopped right there and I did just a little personal investigation on the web, just to check the record, the IMDB things. There's no "award-winning director" of anything anywhere, there's no screenwriting credits of anything. ..... So anyway, but then he said this, in this video that he has the largest internet radio station in the world. Now, hold on a minute here. He's in prison, but you can't say things like that ... Ok, fine, I can't change what people think, but me, I'm a black-and-white numbers guy. ... So it's very easy to go and check out a few things. Where is his web site ranking, for his web site? If it is the No. 1 radio show in the world that means it's quite simply that you have revenue that is God-like. You must have in your driveway seven different color Lamborghinis, one for each day of the week. ... That's what that means, and when he says something like that, that is a crazy thing. So you go and you look up... it's easy to check, go look at his web site, go look at the ranking. I don't know what it is. I don't remember—it's something like 12 million. Know what 12 million ranking world-wide is? It means you have maybe one person a day going to that web site. One. The largest internet radio broadcast in the world. Go and look—who's the network, who's the syndication? It's gotta be somebody BIG. It's got to be a household name. .... You must have 5 million,10 million ... All of the things that he has said about himself—and he's turned around and defrauded the government and then convicted of that—what do we depend on here? And what upsets me with all of this is our community is represented by a guy like that ... claiming screen credits, and the largest show in the world, and it's all B.S. And so for us, [..?..] that's what makes me upset, he's never been a guest on this show, so I have that going for me. But it's everybody else.  And it allows them to go 'Look. This is why that community is crazy, because they're represented by this. It's all ficticious, it's not true.'"

[Examples of real research done by the "alternative" community]

"You know, and I do my best every single day to make sure that we... we have fun with this show, that we're honest with this show—anybody can go and check our numbers. When we say something... Go and check, the numbers are all public, they're all there for the world to see. I am proud of what we have done here. ... And that's our community, and it just kills me that this went down. It's unfortunate that he got caught and he went to prison. Melissa got taken down for the count. I doubt that she would have done any of this if it wasn't for his influence, and now she's spending two years in the federal pen. And if they could go back and do it all differently I'm sure that they would. Now they've got time to go and quite frankly think about this, and how they represented all of us. They lied to us and the rest of the world. And that's it—I've held back from speaking about this, but our community just needs everything that it can to be represented correctly."
        It beats me how Jimmy can protest that Morton was giving his "community" a bad rep for saying things that are totally wrong, when at the same time one of his pet guests is Mike Bara. Bara gets everything wrong.

       From the report on ufowatchdog, what made me giggle was that this "Legal scholar," at his sentencing hearing, declared that he had been mistaken in representing himself at trial, and now requested legal representation. Denied. If he behaves himself (unlikely) we may be seeing SDM again in four years or so. Jimmy Church is dead right about one thing—prison sucks.

Thanks to Stuart Robbins for the audio

====================/ \======================
[1] ''One Week on a Cruise for Conspiracy Theorists - ConspiraSea'' --Youtube. Morton (at 06:16) "I'm a legal scholar.. I host the Number #1 radio show on the Internet"



Monday, September 11, 2017

Mike Bara goes the full delusion

        Yesterday Mike Bara came up with another vlog, eagerly lapped up by his admirers (all four of them), in which he attempted to connect hurricanes Harvey and Irma to the recent eclipse. He also explained that hurricanes are GOOD because they create jobs.

        For data support, he cited perhaps the most unreliable source imaginable—namely, Richard Hoagland's Accutron readingsnote 1 at Coral Castle during the Venus transit of 8th June 2004. Bara said that what was significant about Hoagland's data was that the disturbance created by the transit event continued after the event was over. So, you know, seeking to justify his link between a solar eclipse on 21 August and the formation of Harvey (17 August) and Irma (30 August).

        So is it true that the disturbance persisted? If so, you'd never know it from Hoagland's data which only continue for approximately another hour. Would-be interpreters of Hoagland's data are somewhat thwarted by the facts that (a) he got the time of the transit wrong,note 2 and (b) he has published two different and incompatible traces. First was this one:

credit: Richard Hoagland

        He said fourth contact happened at 07:21 (all times EDT), and the trace continues until approximately 08:20. His second attempt was this:

credit: Richard Hoagland

        Note that both traces show a spike to 364.474 Hz at what Hoagland (wrongly) calls the time of third contact, but then the first version shows three spikes to 360.53, 360.42 and 360.30 Hz respectively. The second version has two following spikes to 360.7 at times that are not the same as those of the first version, and does not even continue until the transit is over at fourth contact.

        So what should we say about Mike Bara's idea that the eclipse was linked to a hurricane that developed four days earlier, and that Hoagland's data support a link between the eclipse and a different hurricane nine days later? Poppycock is the word that comes to mind. Certainly not science.

The magic number
         A second thread that Bara picked up was also Hoagland-based. He told us that both Harvey and Irma developed at a latitude of 19.5°N, and that is the latitude at which "hyperdimensional energy" is permanently available on any spinning sphere such as a planet.note 3

        Well, let's see. Harvey developed from a tropical wave East of the Lesser Antilles. Those islands stretch all the way from Anguilla (18.2°N)  in the North to Grenada (12.07°N) in the South. Irma developed near the Cape Verde Islands (15.06°N). FAIL. Hurricane José is next in line, currently gathering strength at roughly 15°N. FAIL AGAIN.

        Perhaps Mikey believes that merely by passing through that latitude, hurricanes pick up power. In fact, that's the implication of the way he phrased it. Does he think meteorologists and hurricane-trackers would not notice this effect?

        At one point in the vlog, Bara held up a copy of his 2011 book The Choice, saying "I explained the significance of 19.5 in this book." What he actually wrote, in justification of the idea, is that the following planetary features are at 19.5° latitude:
  • Neptune's Great Dark Spot
  • The Great Red Spot of Jupiter
  • The erupting volcanoes of Jupiter's moon Io
  • Olympus Mons on Mars
  • Mauna Kea volcano
        Know how many of those are actually at 19.5? NONE OF THE ABOVE. If he'd written Mauna Loa instead of Mauna Kea he'd have got one right.

        None of the top ten volcanic eruptions in history, and none of the most destructive earthquakes, have been at 19.5°. The case for instantly available energy at that latitude is not merely weak but non-existent.

An actress speaks
          Jennifer Lawrence opines that Irma is nature's payback for electing a chump named Trump. In his vlog, Bara advised JL to "leave the science to the science people". I think he should do exactly that.


Further reading
         Since Mike is a doctrinaire climate change denier, and mocked climate science as "bullshit" in this vlog, here's an antidote.

Scientist Slams Climate Change Deniers In Brilliant Viral Post --Katharine Hayhoe's take-down of people just like Mike Bara who put their faith in pseudoscience.

=====================/ \================
[1] For a briefing on what "Accutron readings" are, see this.

[2] Hoagland reported third contact at 07:03:53, but this table issued by NASA Goddard says it was 07:07:33 at Miami, same longitude as Homestead.

[3] For a derivation of the 19.5 figure, see this blogpost. Simple enough geometry that neither Mike Bara nor Richard Hoagland is capable of.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Mike Bara comments on a former "best pal" who's now a convicted felon and in jail

       For any readers totally unfamiliar with the world of conspiracy, here are briefings on the two personalities involved:
Mike Bara
Sean David Morton

        Mike Bara started a Youtube channel about eight years ago--a mixture of his public utteringsnote 1 and diary-type material spoken straight to camera. He really does have a gift for talking to a video camera in a natural and engaging way--such a pity that most of what he actually says is garbage. Well, lately he seems to  have moved the vlog material to the Book of Farces. Yesterday he posted a vlog of general chit-chat, including this:
"In other news, erm; Sean David Morton was picked up this week ..[??] .er,  I don't know if you guys know who Sean was, but he was a very famous...erm, psychic... guest... big star on Coast to Coast in the 90s. Er, he was a close friend of mine for a few years in the 2000s and early 2010s, and erm, kind-of went down a road I couldn't follow him, and I ended up splitting with he and his wife Melissa, and they both got arrested this week. Sean had skipped out on bail.. er, trial..um.. that he was up for... for various different charges by the Government. Ummm, I'm skeptical of the case against him, from what I understand about it--however, I do know that he invited this upon himself, that he fought everything from a very... um, unfortunate perspective, and he.. you know, he basically made things, erm... [unintelligible] ....and kind of got himself into trouble. And got himself arrested this week. As I understand it the cats are fine. um... Melissa raises Norwegian forest cats. Last time I checked, there were several people coming over to the house to take care of them, to move them to other homes. They will eventually find good homes for all of them--I don't think she'll be getting out of jail any time soon. And, um.. I will say this: I am very resentful of the people who are taking great joy in this. Sean could be a bit of a dick, and he's invited this conflict in his life, um.. and I... you know, I'm... I'm sorry that he chose this path, I think he has probably some lessons that he needs to learn, but I don't take any great joy in, erm... in this happening to him and I don't think anybody else should either. I think it's, er.. I think it's er...er... I think it's an unfortunate thing for um.. he and... and his family and Melissa, and I wish that they both could have found a way to learn their lessons in a different manner. It's really too bad. So. And I'm not going to take any joy over him going to jail, like some people are in the UFO community. Some people in the UFO community are dicks, and that's just the way they are. So. Um.. You know my other comments about that are that... that I think that, again, for me truth is more important than unity. And I don't think that there is unity in the UFO community, there's a lot of rivalry... I think it's unfortunate that some people chose this moment to take it out on Sean. Sean was, er,  probably as well known as Georgio [Tsoukalos] is today. Although he didn't really have a TV gig -- So. It's a shame. Erm..And, you know, I mean, Sean's going to have to deal with what he's going to have to deal with. When I get back to California I'll probably ..??? And I hope that.. I hope he survives. I hope he makes it through his.. er, his jail time. And I would encourage him to... to co-operate. Um.. Take his punishment, and... er, try to move on with his life after this. To me it just shows you.. it just shows me that.. that being in conflict with the world does not gain you anything. I've been in conflict.. all the time, I've been in conflict with people telling everyone how bad Mayweather was going to destroy McGregornote 2 Um, So, you know, it just doesn't ultimately in the long term [...???...]
        At least he did say that SDM brought this upon himself, and that he "could be a bit of a dick," but where, I wondered, was the acknowledgement that Morton and his wife had literally cheated their clients out of millions of dollars? Where was the sense that Morton's astounding legal incompetence and hubris had exacerbated his situation instead of alleviating it? (see prior blogging). If Bara remains, as he says, "skeptical" about the case against Morton, it's because he just doesn't want to know. The blog ufowatchdog has all the deets.

        Sentencing is now set for Sept. 18th at 11AM with an 87 month prison term requested by the prosecution. I freely admit that I'm one of those who is "taking great joy in this." Screw you, Sean, you arrogant bastard--and especially screw you Melissa, with your "I'm not in prison and never will be."note 3

Update 30 August:



        What's the betting the Feds popped a tracer on Melissa's car, that's how they found the crims at Desert Hot Springs so easily?
===================/ \==================
[1] Interestingly, the channel includes a set of four lectures jointly delivered by Bara and Morton in 2012.

[2] Refers to a boxing match dubbed "The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History" which had happened the previous day. Mayweather won by a 10th round TKO.

[3] Comment on a Youtube video, quite quickly deleted. The full text was "Screw you. I'm NOT in prison and never will be. You are a jerk just like ALL MEN!! You lie to women, cheat on them and use them. I hope YOU die a very slow and painful death."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Robert Morningstar: Another busted prediction

James Concannon writes...

        The Great American Eclipse did not disappoint. A spectacular show, happening dead on the predicted times to a fraction of a second. That, of course, is because the predictions were made by science.

So how did pseudo-science do? Abysmally, is the answer.

On April 13th the science dunce Robert Morningstar posted this prediction (edited):
"A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN & MOON CROSSING OVER THE NEW MADRID FAULT ZONE COULD CAUSE EARTHQUAKES DURING & AFTER PASSAGE on August 21st, 2017.  
This is in keeping with my theory that the growing strength of the gravitational forces of Sun and Moon at the moment of a total solar eclipse and their subsidence afterward can trigger earthquakes on both in the area of totality and on the other side of the Earth with [sic; presumably he means within] 36 hours of the event.  
My main concern is that the pinnacle point of totality will occur as the Sun and Moon line up over the New Madrid Fault lines as it passes over Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and points East as it they head toward the South Carolina coast, which is a massive coastal fault zone."
        Robert is an expert in frisbee. He's so totally inexpert in astronomy that he doesn't realize that the gravitational attractions of the Sun and Moon combine once every month, in an event known as New Moon. Do New Moons cause more earthquakes? Well, they certainly didn't this July and August. Here's the data:

10th July: Full Moon

24th July: New Moon

7th August: Full Moon


21st August: New Moon & solar eclipse

        No statistically significant changes in the general seismic pattern are attrributable to the phase of the Moon. The strongest quakes were as follows:

10th July, Full Moon: 4.7 MMS, Mexico
24th July, New Moon: 4.0 MMS, Baja California
7th August, Full Moon: 4.7 MMS, Costa Rica
21st August, New Moon: 4.3 MMS, Costa Rica

        On each of those days there was a smattering of quakes in the continental US of magnitude < 4, including the usual Magnitude ~2 array along the San Andreas fault in California. On the other side of the world, the Himalayas saw three quakes in the 4.5 MMS range. There's nothing whatsoever in this data to suggest a link between New Moons and seismic activity. And bear in mind, lunar perigee occurred on 18th August--another event that pseudoscience likes to spread fear about.

        Thanks to useful articles like this one or this one, and recent discussion on this blog, we now know that the gravitational attraction of the Sun is 160 times more powerful than that of the Moon. However, tidal forces are created by the difference between the pull of gravity on the near side of planet Earth and that on the far side. Since the Sun is 412 times further away from us than the Moon is, the differential is nowhere near as great. In fact, the tidal force generated by the Sun amounts to only 45% that of the Moon.

        The best thing that could happen to Robert Morningstar at this point is that his fans stop paying attention to him. His information is pathetically misleading.

Update: Moving the goalposts
23 August: AM* has now posted this response:
"1. Within the last 24 hours since the tansit of the eclipse, there have been 13 seaquakes (in a rising crescendo") near Puerto Rico and Hispanola..
Although most Americans stopped tracking the eclipse at South Carolina, it did dontinue its track SouthEast into the Atlantic. According to my theory, seaquakes were anticipated, there and on the opposite side of the Earth where the Ring of Fire is "tingling" with activity.
2. On our West Coast, The San Andreas Fault is also percolating with small earthquakes every few hours and the perturburances continue up the coast all the way to Washington State and Vancouver, BC.
3. The Seatle area where "America's Eclipse" began, has experienced 2 small quakes since the transit.
4. On the opposite side of the Earth, where I contend that an eclipse's tectonic effects are usually more pronounced (but delayed in time up to 72 hours), 4 earthquakes have occurred in the 24 hours since the Sun-Moon transit.
5. Earthquakes have shaken the Phillipines (1), Indonesia (2), and have struck as far East as Borneo (1), which had one seaquake off its northeast coast."
         So having specifically cited the continental USA, within 36 hours either side of the eclipse, he now wants us to consider seismic events in the  Phillipines and Indonesia delayed by 72 hours. Even more hilarious, he draws our attention to a swarm of tiny earthquakes up the San Andreas fault--as if there was ever a time when there wasn't such a swarm.

         For info, here are earthquake maps for the ten days 10-19 August--events that by Morningstar's own definition are unrelated to the eclipse. In other terms, they represent "normal conditions." First, The USA and Caribbean region:


Now, the other side of the world:


        These maps prove that ascribing events of magnitude 2,3,4 or 5 in locations like Seattle or The Phillipnes to the effect of the eclipse is ridiculous and fraudulent.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A fugitive from justice pops up on the internet

        Sean David Morton, the self-described "America's psychic," "Legal scholar," and "Ph.D theologian," is on the lam, having failed to appear for sentencing on 19 June 2017 in  Federal District Court, Los Angeles. On 4 April Morton and his wife Melissa were found guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of filing false claims against the United States, and 26 counts of passing false or fictitious financial instruments.

        In a fairly amazing display of chutzpah, Morton showed his face on the net yesterday for a two-hour live interview with Kerry Cassidy, streamed onto her web portal. The background was very different from that before which he appeared when interviewed by Cassidy on June 12th, so he almost certainly wasn't at home, but he looked well settled-in to wherever he was, with the full A-V equipment needed to chat with Cassidy via Skype. However, he didn't look at ease at all-- squirming around in his chair and putting on very false-looking grins.

        I came late to the party, so may have missed important material, but my impression was that SDM was putting on the same old show. Blabbering away at top speed, self-justifying and making outrageous claims of prediction of past events that can never be checked. I honestly couldn't follow much of it (and it was chopped up by Kerry Cassidy's usual technical faults,) but I did get that, speaking of his legal problems, he said he was working on a constitutional law angle, and "all this will be over soon." As far as I heard he didn't have much to say about Melissa, who must be quite busy this week selling up the property in Hermosa Beach. She's up for sentencing on Monday morning and will probably be wearing orange for quite a while. Unless, of course, she "does a flitting" like her husband.

        I'm no legal expert but I'm guessing that Kerry Cassidy has put herself in jeopardy by putting on this show. She may not know exactly where SDM is, but she probably has some information that the District Court would like to get its hands on. If I were the federal marshals, I'd be calling on Kerry with a few questions.

Update:
Sean and Melissa were both re-arrested at a hotel in Desert Hot Springs, California on Monday 21st August.

Update:
On 18th September Sean was sentenced to 6 years in federal jail, Melissa got just 2. In my opinion Melissa got off lightly, considering that she quite clearly had no intention of appearing for sentencing on 21st August.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Another daft prediction that can easily be tested

James Concannon writes...

        I'm looking forward to the total solar eclipse later this month, not only because they're always a treat to behold, but also because I can test Robert Morningstar's prediction that the eclipse will probably trigger serious earthquakes in central USA and on the New Madrid fault. As I wrote last April, Morningstar is such a dunce at planetary astronomy that he doesn't understand that the Moon is at conjunction once every month without causing 'quakes. Lunar conjunctions do indeed create a very slight additional tidal force but there's no extra tidal force associated with a conjunction that causes an eclipse.

        Now a new prediction is making the rounds, promoted by some surprisingly mainstream publications including the London Daily Telegraph. Nibiru is coming!!!! shouts an author and statistician called David Meade. In a book (which I refuse to provide an easy link to,) Meade pinpoints the date of a catastrophic, probably humanity-destroying, collision. It's 23rd September.

        This, of course, is only the latest in a string of such predictions, and it appears to be based on biblical text as opposed to any actual... you know, observation. Meade writes that observation is problematic, since...
"This system is, of course, not aligned with our solar system's ecliptic, but is coming to us from an oblique angle and toward our South Pole. This makes observations difficult, unless you're flying at a high altitude over South America with an excellent camera."
Note: The above is pure poppycock. Observation of objects out of the ecliptic is done every day, there's nothing hard about it at all, as long as you're in the right hemisphere. According to the inventor of Nibiru, Zecharia Sitchin, it's a "giant planet." So if it is now close enough to be only six weeks from impact, it should be easily visible to the naked eye.

        I've got my calendar marked and I'll be watching the skies, on 21 August and 23 September.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Another open letter to Richard Hoagland (re: procrastination)

Dear Mr. Hoagland,

You are fond of saying--especially when you promise something and then don't deliver--"Make no wine before its time." Well, Richard, there's some wine you're supposed to be making that is now SIX MONTHS PAST its time. I refer to your book The Hidden History of Mars: A War In Heaven. Last March you characterized this book as "just recently completed," and you promised a free copy to Club 19.5 members. You also posted this on 24th March:
"Club 19.5 Members!! You've been patient, you've been faithful, and now - the GIFTS will begin! There is a broadcast coming up in the next few days that to even KNOW about you need to be in Club 19.5."
The broadcast you cited was simply another interview with Howard Hughes on talkradio.co.uk. An interview in which you said nothing new at all, but re-iterated the history of the so-called "Face" on Mars, and dropped the names of  Cronkite (3 times,) Roddenberry (twice,) and Sagan (once.) Do you seriously think that knowledge of this up-coming interview was an adequate gift for people who, at that point, had been paying you five bucks a month for NOTHING since October 2016?

It is now August. Where is this book? Where are these gifts? Are you content to be seen as dishonest?

Regards,

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A question about Richard Dolan

        Richard Dolan is the egghead of Ufology. For a start, he has actual academic credentials (M.A. in history from the University of Rochester, 1995.) His books are praised by Amazon readers (unlike those of Mike Bara, for example.) He publishes other authors' books as well as his own. But most important to my way of thinking, he understands the idea that unfalsifiable propositions are not very interesting and form no part of scientific debate. Here he is on the subject of Andrew Basiago, Randy Kramer, and Corey Goode:
"These three individuals have each claimed to have gone to Mars for extended periods of time. That’s explosive enough, of course, but they have also stated that they have engaged in time travel. I met Andy back in 2012 at a conference in Santa Clara, California. I found him to be very personable and intelligent. Of course, that doesn’t mean I believe his story. I don’t believe that he went through a “jumproom” to Mars. I don’t believe that he did these things with a young Barack Obama in the 1980s. And I don’t believe that, as a child, he time travelled back to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, despite the fact that he claimed he was in a photograph depicting it. I realize there are strange things beyond the circumscribed fence of our officially sanctioned reality. But I am not obligated to believe every story that crosses my path, especially those that are obviously self-aggrandising, and particularly those that don’t provide evidence."
::
"My main issue when it comes to Corey Goode (or Andy or Randy Kramer for that matter) isn’t that I “disbelieve” them, per se. Yes, I find their stories to be unlikely. But the real problem has been that none of these people have provided the evidence that an independent investigator needs to make a determination one way or the other. There is a concept in science and philosophy called falsifiability. If something is falsifiable, it doesn’t mean it’s false.  It means you have the ability to test it, to investigate it, to determine whether it is true or false."
        That was from Dolan's blog, dated 16 July. Last Sunday night he was on Coast-to-Coast AM, interviewed by George Knapp, making the same points. The topic came to the front of his mind because he was an invited speaker at the recent MUFONnote 1 Symposium in George Knapp's stamping ground (and Mike Bara's, but restricted to the cocktail bars and strip joints), Las Vegas. He said he was somewhat taken aback to see that he was scheduled to be on a Secret Space Program panel along with Corey Goode, Andrew Basiago, William Tompkins, and Dr. Michael Salla. He said, in fact, that he considered bowing out but finally agreed to go ahead with it. Listening to the interview, my impression was that he regretted agreeing to that panel, and being connected to those posturers by association. He wrote later:
"I want to make this point as clear as I can. My opinions (and yours, for that matter) don’t mean very much. What matters is the evidence that can be brought forward for these stories. I hold it as possible that there is something in these accounts that is true. After all, I believe that radical technology is being withheld from us. I believe the ARV storynote 2 and more. But if a story gives me no chance to confirm or deny its basic claims, then it’s essentially useless to me as a researcher. This is especially so if I cannot even confirm the basics of the person’s alleged career. I’ve said this many times. You can’t be considered a whistleblower if you can’t confirm that you are who you say you are."

Spineless?
        ufowatchdog evidently noticed Dolan's discomfort with that conference gig, too; writing yesterday "Perhaps Dolan could take a lesson from [James] Clarkson and grow a spine along with some integrity." The author (unnamed, but probably Royce Myers) also expressed shock that Dolan was paid to appear.


        I think that's a little harsh, personally. For one thing, there's nothing unusual or venal about conference speakers being paid—How else could Hoagland make a living? And then, I think we should applaud Dolan's measured skepticism on the likes of Basiago and Goode. We may write them off as con-men, but Dolan's approach is more scientific.

Falling Apart
        The main topic of ufowatchdog's piece was the resignation of  former Director James Clarkson from MUFON, in protest of the acceptance of a woman called J.Z. Knight into MUFON's Inner Circle. Knight is quite a piece of work—her excesses make entertaining reading but I'm not sure I'd want to be associated with her either. Clarkson dismisses her as a channeler and cult leader.

        MUFON, and Ufology in general, seem to be fragmenting—riven by the same jealousies and doctrinal differences that notoriously plague extreme left-wing political movements (that's you, Workers Revolutionary Party and Sendera Luminosa.) Good riddance, I say. It does no good for plodders like Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center to record 100 sightings a month (and breathlessly report a selection of them on Coast-to-Coast AM monthly) without any semblance of analysis. Yes, we all know unexplained things are seen in the skies—it's been true for so fucking long that it's reached the point of boredom. As much as Richard Dolan tries to force this topic into the box labeled SCIENCE, I'm afraid that applies to his work, too.

Update:
        On 1st August, the Bad UFOs blog ran an article by Robert Sheaffer titled MUFON unravels. Sheaffer cited the resignation of not just Clarkson but also Rich Hoffman and Nick Redfern, and the removal of John Ventre as State Director for Pennsylvania after Ventre posted a bizarre racist rant on social media. I still say "good riddance."

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[1] Mutual UFO Network, a  US National "investigative body."

[2] Alien Reproduction Vehicle: See this.