As I sit here at my desk, typing out this article, yet another Jonathon Frakes - Fox TV - UFO special has just aired - *shudders*.
Why do I cringe, as do many others who genuinely care about this topic? It is because of the fact that so much of popular media portrays UFOlogy in the worst possible light. Even when researchers are told they will be given a fair shake to present their work, it is more often than not the case that we fall victim to the final edits, misquotes and the like. What should have been presented ends up to be misconstrued and we are portrayed much like UFO cults and/or the worst possible elements of the fringe.
The topic is further demeaned by the obvious usage of hoaxed photos, cartoonish aliens, and other assorted nonsense.
Plainly many of us are getting fed up and it should be easy to see why!
So what do we do?
In 1990 my brother-in-law and I had a close range sighting in Pickering Ontario. For the both of us this became an epiphany so to speak. We knew we had witnessed something beyond our wildest imagination, yet where could we turn?
Afraid of ridicule we quickly dismissed the options of going to the police etc - perhaps in hindsight we should have. Not having any real interest in ufo’s beforehand we were unaware that there were scientifically minded, non-profit organizations out there to turn to. It would be years later that our report was investigated by MUFON in the US.
This was a good report that unfortunately never went to a Canadian group at the time - as it should have.
So despite my distrust and dislike for the media in general I will use them as perhaps as much as they use us to get the word out, that yes there are places to turn to in Canada that are not made up of crackpots. That we genuinely care about the welfare of those reporting their experiences to us, and that scientific methodology is used to investigate these reports.
However, and despite my occasional involvement with it, I am the first to admit that I am not happy with the quality of information made available to the general public to date.
Why does media sensationalize, trivialize, and so on?
A government plot perhaps - to makes us appear the fools? Well on that note I can add that I tend to stay away from conspiracy theories in general so I am not well-versed in this type of speculation.
I can state that UFOlogy is not the only branch of study that suffers, this is highly apparent with ghosts as well. Just watch one episode of FOX’s World Scariest Places and you’ll see what I mean. Utter Rubbish!
When will a production company have the “guts” to depict the reality of the UFO phenomena as well as other paranormal studies? When will we see this topic treated with some dignity and respect? This is the very least that witnesses of these phenomena deserve. I truly hope that, that day will be soon in coming. The ability to entertain while educating is there. Of this I am again quite certain and I truly believe that those interested in this subject deserve the truth.
In the meantime please refer to our recommended reading list for quality material on this subject especially as it pertains to Canada.