Sunday, June 21, 2009


I have never seen a mermaid. Lord knows I always wanted to. Blame it on SPLASH. I thought it was possible to fall off a ferry and have a mermaid rescue you. But then I grew up. And even though I was still fascinated, I kept it on the downlow...because, well...people look at you funny when you talk about mermaids. They look at you funny when you talk about Ufo's, Aliens, Bigfoot and Sea Serpents too. But they really, really look at you, cock their head to one side...make a whirling-like finger signal near their temple and roll their eyes. They automatically classify you as 'one of those'.

So...even though one of my childhood fantasies was to PROVE the existence of such cryptids, I didn't discuss this 'dream' with everyone. And now, over at Cryptomundo, it seems a lot of people are delving into the topic. Mostly their just stating their opinions or provoking discussion. It's all good. We need to talk about it. We need to peel off the stigma attached to it. After all, our ancestors talked about mermaids like we talk about celebrities in tabloids.

Same diff.

I grew up hearing tales of mermaids from my grandmother and a host of other people. They never laughed it off as some trick of the eye. They never suggested it was a manatee or any other sea creature easily mistaken for a humanoid with a fish tail. No. Instead they embraced the fact that they saw something extraordinary. That's how it used to be.

But now, you can't believe in mermaids. Why? Because science says they are impossible. Well excuse me, but I seem to remember this thing called evolution that states quite unnervingly (if ya ask me) that land mammals strolled on out of the waters some time ago. Yup. They scampered out of the sea, and their fins turned into legs and they went on their merry way.

Soooo...there seems to be NO contest with this theory. And yet, no one can accept that maybe some mammals just didn't come out of the water and sprout landfaring appendages. Maybe some of them (think aquatic apes), evolved differently. We got accustomed to oxygen this way...and they got accustomed to pulling oxygen out of water. We grew legs to walk on this dry earth with. But they, being of oceanic origins, grew fins. We have aposeable thumbs and they have crab claws, or hooky talons.

I could be more scientific about it, but why should I be? Why should I throw in all of these biological facts just to say one simple thing: If you believe in humanoids in space, then how the frak can you NOT believe in humanoids in the ocean?

We haven't even explored the entirety of the earths seas. And yet, here we are too sure of ourselves, saying what is and isn't there. FOr all we know Megalodons could be chilling down their...or sea serpents that elude us every day because they just really don't like us.

Who knows what is here and what isn't. Far be it for me to argue with anyone on the matter. Especially if I don't have first hand knowledge to back it up. But I will say this: When people see something extraordinary, they talk about it. That's how all these stories evolve. Just because you don't believe it, that doesn't make it any less likely. Or any less fantastic.

Mermaids. Fact or fiction? I'll let you know when I see one.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Credibility in Ufology: Why it matters

No offense to Steven Bassett, but credibility IS an issue in the disclosure process. Infact, (lack of)credibility is what has doomed Ufology, as far as disclosure goes. It's one thing to have credible researchers, asking the big questions. But it's an entirely different ball game when some questionable characters are added to the mix.

Ufology does not garner the respect it deserves. Not until E.B.E.'s hover over a major city and threaten to annihilate a couple million people...not until then will the government turn to its only line of defense: The people who study the phenomena day in and day out.

Ufologists are a rare breed. Intelligent individuals seeking the truth no matter how uncanny. Some of us are very well educated and some are self-taught but highly motivated. We're a mixed bag of characters. Nothing wrong with that.

Look at the Scientific community. Feynman was a showman. But he was a brilliant physicist. And therein lies the dilemma. How to be a credible Ufologist and still be charismatic enough to draw in the numbers; to get the world at large to sit down and pay attention.

What you don't do is let the loons speak for the majority. I'm not speaking about anyone, specifically. But I am pointing out a 'type'. A certain kind of person that has plagued Ufology since its inception. The kind of person who craves attention. The kind of person who wants everyone to embrace their explanations, no questions asked.

Most of the time, their credibility is questionable. They are the very same individuals who make the layperson cringe. They are the reason you can't go one day without someone asking, "So, you still studying UFO's?" And snickering as you try to find a qualitative answer that will remind them that the universe is greater than the mind can fathom, and nothing is left to chance or human perception.

But that doesn't make it any easier to explain why you choose to fight the good fight. It makes it harder. It makes it harder because credibility is everything when you want nothing more than for the world-at-large to respect your work.

Those of us who want answers...we don't wake up in the morning thinking about how many hits our blogs can get, or how many podcasts we can circulate between before our idea of ZOLOFTA THE HORNED REPTILIAN OF ALPHA ZUMEDIA gets mass attention, as our faux entities send us telepathic messages of peace, love, unity and stupidity. Those of us who want answers, wake up...pat ourselves on the back for even making it on so little sleep, before sitting down to write yet another appeal to the masses, to listen and not judge. To understand with an open mind. To appreciate that we aren't doing this for our health, the wealth or some psuedo-celebrity.

We're doing this for the greater good. And we fight hard to give credible answers, credible explanations and credible information. Credibility. It doesn't come in a Happy Meal, no matter what your Alien liaison from Andromeda tells you.

BOA: Audio Season IV


BoA:Audio once again goes global as we welcome Clas Svahn, head of UFO Sweden, for his first-ever American radio interview. We'll be discussing, in amazing detail, the world of Swedish Ufology. We'll find out about some of the key UFO cases in Sweden's rich history such as the 1808 mass UFO sighting, the 1933 phantom lights flap, the famous Gosta Karlsson case, the ghost lights of 1946, the 1958 Domsten close encounter case, Project Argus of the 1970's, the 1984 Minsk case, the 1999 UFO "crash" in Sweden, and many others. Clas will also give us his first hand perspective on the birth & evolution of UFO studies in Sweden, including how Sweden was a major player in the very early days of the modern UFO phenomenon, the reaction of the Swedish military and government to UFOs, how the media coverage of the phenomenon has changed over the years, and what the everyday Swede thinks of UFOs.

Of the many international editions of BoA:Audio, this one surely will rank among the very best. Clas Svahn showcases the world of UFOs in Sweden, a country who's contributions to the history of Ufology have been all-too-often overlooked.

Full Preview: We kick things off with the bio / background on Clas Svahn and find out how he became interested in the UFO phenomenon. Clas talks about UFO Sweden and how they try to stand for a "third way" of UFO research, centered around scientific investigation of the phenomenon. He also details why he feels that this method is the most reasonable way of looking at the UFO issue and most fruitful for actually finding answers.

We then begin looking at some of the most famous UFO cases in Swedish history, beginning with the first documented UFO sighting from 1808. Clas provides tremendous detail on the case which saw an amazing array of strange objects witnesses by a large group of people. Following that, we discuss the "Ghost Flyer" wave over Sweden in 1933, which pre-dates even the Foo Fighter era of modern Ufology. Clas shares insights he gleaned from speaking with people from the Swedish military who were tasked, in the 1930's, with watching for the "ghost flyers." This segues into some discussion on the Foo Fighters of WWII and we get Clas' take on that phenomenon.

Following that, we discuss Sweden's most famous UFO case: the Gosta Karlsson case of 1946. Clas is in a unique position to speak on the event, having written a book on the case with Gosta Karlsson, himself. Clas first provides the basic details of the case, which saw Gosta Karlsson witness a landed UFO, approach the craft, and have some kind of encounter. We find out about the two objects that Gosta claimed to recover from the event, a ring and a rod, which Clas has personally handled and UFO Sweden put on display in 1996, but have since gone missing. Clas gives his honest assessment of the two items, based on his handling of them. We also find out about Gosta's claims of having gotten recipes for medicines from the ETs and how it ended being the foundation for his future pharmaceutical company.

Clas also talks about the book he wrote about the case with Gosta and what makes it different from many books written with first-person UFO witnesses. We get Clas' verdict on the case, as to whether it happened as Gosta said it did or if it was more of a confabulation. We also find out the fate of the purported alien ring & rod, as of today, and why Clas thinks they have become so hard to recover from Gosta's heirs. Clas also talks about the fame that befell Gosta after the case and how it still resonates in Sweden today.

We move on to discuss the 1946 "ghost rockets" flap in Sweden. Clas talks about what was being reported during the wave, what made it unique for the time period, and the overarching trend of objects falling into lakes during the "ghost rockets" flap. He talks about one specific case, which he has thoroughly investigated, from August of 1946 where objects crashed into a lake and the military staged an unsuccessful search for the object. Clas also gives his opinion on military theories of the time that these objects were Russian rockets and also talks about the close working arrangement between Sweden and the US/UK during the ghost rocket flap of 1946.

Once known as the "best UFO picture in Sweden," the Mora Picture from 1952, is our next case to be discussed. Clas explains how, in recent years, UFO Sweden may have figured out what the Mora picture is and how he ended up potentially solving the case. He also explains how the Mora photo exemplifies some of the key tenets of UFO investigation, namely getting all the information as soon as possible following a case. This leads to some discussion on how advancements in celestial computer programs have allowed for a fresh look at many UFO cases and shown that there are more natural reasons for many previous UFO sightings. We also find out about how UFO Sweden's style of thorough investigation has drawn criticism from others in Sweden, who accuse them of being skeptics because they prove classic UFO cases to be prosaic events.

The next case we look at is the 1958 Domsten case, a close encounter that is fairly well known by even American UFO researchers. Clas first provides the details of the case and some of the more interesting facts about the aftermath, including how the witnesses were the first-ever to be put under hypnosis following an encounter. He then details his investigation into the case and the surprising information he has uncovered about the case and witnesses. We also find out what the reaction was, in Swedish Ufology circles, to the results of Clas' investigation into the event.

We then look at the 1965 Erik Einmark case which produced "four extravagant pictures" purportedly of a UFO and Clas gives his take on this event. He explains how there is a connection between this case and Maj. Kehoe, who was in Sweden when the sighting happened.

Following that, we talk about the 1970's Project Argus, which was a quasi-UFO investigation by the military in Sweden. Clas provides some amazing detail on what the project was and who was involved in it. Clas also talks about UFO Sweden's remarkable investigation into Project Argus and what they uncovered. He also explains why he doesn't put much credence into the conventional reasons for the UFO flap that necessitated Project Argus.

Staying within the time frame of Project Argus, we find out if Sweden underwent the "abduction spike" that the US did during that time period. We then move on to the 1980's and talk about a case involving a cigar shaped object crashing into a lake. This segues into some discussion on the repeated reports of objects landing in water in Sweden and we find out what Clas thinks of this interesting trend. This leads to Clas detailing an amazing 1999 UFO crash in Sweden which was witnessed by seven different people over three locations around a lake.

Wrapping up our discussion of famous Swedish UFO cases, we talk about the 1984 Minsk case. Clas also tells us about a 1948 UFO crash witnessed by the Swedish Commander in Chief of their Armed Forces. In light of the preponderance of objects falling into the water, we find out if there are any reports of objects coming out of the water, ala USOs. We also find out if there has been an evolution of UFO shapes in Sweden like there seems to have been here in America. This leads to some discussion on contactees in Sweden and one that Clas has been researching for over two decades.

We also get Clas to speculate on how much of the UFO activity over Sweden can be attributed to their closeness to Russia and their potential testing of experimental craft. We also get his take on the possibilities that the Swedish UFOs are the result of some kind of strategic military alliance between that country and the US / UK. Closing out the specific UFO event discussion, we find out about the "mothership" case which was mentioned by Klas Hager in the original email which inspired this interview.

Looking at other aspects of Swedish Ufology, we start with the history of UFO studies in that country. We begin with the pre-UFO Sweden era, leading up to 1970 and Clas tells us about how and why UFO Sweden ended up being formed. Clas details how UFO Sweden was "very different" in the 1970's when it first began and, has since, undergone a radical change in outlook regarding UFOs. Clas details how Swedish Ufology has become much more open to non-ETH interpretations of the UFO phenomenon in the last few decades. Paying tribute to one of the original Swedish Ufologists, Clas talks about Gosta Rehn. This leads to some discussion on the ETH and Clas shares his critique of American UFO studies and Ufologists.

Next we find out about the working relationship between UFO Sweden and their neighboring counterpart UFO Norway. In turn, Clas talks about the Hedallen Project, the first joint UFO research effort done between two countries' UFO organization. Clas also tells us about some of UFO Sweden's bi-annual UFO projects which reap a wealth of new information from Swedish citizens. He also explains the means by which UFO Sweden accomplishes this remarkable feat every other year. This leads to some discussion on how UFO Sweden has really raised their public profile in the last 20 years to a level of high respectability in the minds of the media and public in Sweden.

In turn, we end up discussing UFO Sweden's unique relationship with the military in that country. Clas explains why UFO Sweden and the Swedish military have formed a strong working agreement. He also details a stunning connection between the two groups and how beneficial it is for UFO Sweden. Staying within the realm of military discussion, Clas speculates on what the military in Sweden really knows about UFOs. We also find out if Sweden has had any document releases like some of the other European countries have had over the last few years and how Sweden differs from those countries with regards to UFO files. We also get Clas' take on the folks in Swedish Ufology who object to UFO Sweden working with the military and claim that there is some form of cover up over there. Wrapping up the government & UFOs discussion, we find out about Anders Gernandt, a Swedish politician who pushed for UFO disclosure in the 1960's.

Looking at another big pillar of Ufology in Sweden, we find out about the Swedish media and how their portrayal of the UFO enigma has changed over the years and decades since the phenomena burst onto the scene. Clas talks about the "giggle factor" which remains in the US but seems to have subsided substantially in Sweden. Clas also reflects on and traces the media coverage of UFOs in Sweden from the 1950's to today. He talks about what caused an explosion of interest in UFOs from the media in the mid-1990's. We also find out what the world of academia in Sweden thinks of UFOs and Clas reveals a surprising area of the academic community there that is taking a "huge interest" in UFOs.

Closing out our discussion on the world of Swedish Ufology, we talk about the mindset and opinions of the general and public and find out from Clas how it has evolved over the last few decades. He also makes some amazingly deep observations about the present world of Ufology, the Internet, and young people.

Wrapping up this massive interview, we discuss UFO Sweden's Archives for UFO Research, the world's largest archive of UFO material in the world. Getting personal, we find out if Clas thinks he'll see an answer to the UFO phenomenon in his lifetime. We also get Clas' advice for researchers who are looking at the UFO enigma. Finishing things up, we find out what's next for Clas Svahn and UFO Sweden.

The Paracast

Gene and David talk to Greg Bishop!

Coming June 14th: BUDD HOPKINS!