NY Post Rebukes Panel
Calling For Serious
UFO Study
From N.Y. Post Online Editorial

"Panel Urges Study of UFO Reports," ran the front-page headline in Monday's Washington Post. According to that Post, an independent scientific review directed by a Stanford physicist said that UFO sightings need serious study. The implication: The UFO industry has now received the intellectual backing of serious scientists.
But the sad fact is that The Washington Post has been taken for a good long ride by one of the more superficially respectable organizations on the lunatic fringe - an association for the sort of credulous academic who overdosed on science fiction as a teen-ager, is a sucker for ESP and Eastern mysticism and is drawn to the kind of crank who claims that Martians built the pyramids.
The source of this extraordinary story was the "Society for Scientific Exploration." The group has put out papers on "Atlantis and the Earth's Shifting Crust," "The Message of the Sphinx," "Reincarnation and ... Birthmarks" and one of our favorites, "Severe Birth Defects Possibly Due to Cursing."
It is all very well to search for explanations for mysterious crop circles or strange lights in the sky. But nowadays UFOs and ESP have replaced demonic possession as a superstitious way of explaining phenomena that are otherwise hard to understand.
Why would actual science professors put their name to a report like this? Well, there are a lot of scientists in the world and, not surprisingly, a small number of them are given to wild fancies. Many truly extraordinary scientists can be completely "out there" when it comes to subjects other than their own area of expertise. Sir Isaac Newton was devoted to alchemy; Michael Faraday, the great theorist of electricity, was a member of an extremely bizarre religious sect. William Shockley, the father of the transistor, believed a lot of racist nonsense about IQ.
But what about The Washington Post? All it would have taken for the newspaper to realize that this announcement did not come from a serious, respected scientific organization was a quick search for the SSE on the Internet ( But maybe something else is going on here. It is very common to hear supposedly educated, rational peopleproclaim their belief in all sorts of wispy magic, from crystal power to astrology to curing AIDS by the laying-on of hands.
One explanation for spreading credulousness among Americans is the deepening ignorance of basic science among members of the liberal professions. Even as our technology becomes more sophisticated, more and more people have no understanding of scientific method or even the kind of basic science behind the internal-combustion engine.
Another explanation is the powerful appeal of New Age claptrap to Baby Boomers who long ago lost the religious and political ideals they grew up with. Such people are prey to all sorts of superstition. Faith in "alternative medicine" - some of it sensible, most of it pure snake oil - is now so common that many people are as likely to trust a popular witch doctor as their MD.
This partly came about because doctors and scientists oversold themselves and their abilities during the '50s and '60s. But just because real scientists cannot explain everything or cure every disease, there is no cause for 20th-century Americans to turn to superstitions like frightened savages in the primeval forest.
The SSE's UFO platform is based on a big lie. That lie is that scientists have never taken UFO claims seriously for fear of ridicule - or because of a government conspiracy right out of "The X-Files." The truth is exactly the opposite. UFO "sightings" have been exhaustively investigated by genuinely open-minded people over and over again.
And despite the successful efforts of the UFO industry to convince millions of people otherwise, there is no - repeat no - credible evidence of space aliens visiting the Earth in suspiciously Hollywoodesque flying saucers. And the case for little green men making landings all over the farm belt in order to kidnap and then have unusual sex with random hicks in pickup trucks is even more ridiculous.
When a sophisticated civilization starts to nourish weird cults and an obsession with magic, it is a sign of a retrogressive sickness that can be fought only with sweet reason and an appeal to true religion, not false idols.


Editor, New York Post
Dear Editor,
The Editor of the New York Post has criticized the Washington Post for being "taken for a good long ride" by the Society for Scientific Exploration. The Washington Post publicized the report of a panel of independent scientists who evaluated UFO sighting evidence and concluded that because, some sightings were unexplainable, they deserve further serious study.
The tone of the editorial indicates that the editor knows next to nothing about the present understanding of UFO sighting reports, next to nothing about the history of the subject and next to nothing about the intense debate continually being carried on within the community of scientifically oriented UFO investigators.
The editor asks, why would "actual science professors put their name to a report like this?" The implied answer is that these professional scientists are "given to wild fantasies." The editor presents this idea with certainty, even citing previous examples of scientists with wild ideas (e.g. Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday) without stating that he/she had actually talked to any of the UFO panel scientists to assess their level of "wildness".
According to the editor, the SSE panel says the reason UFO sightings have never been taken seriously is fear of ridicule or because of a government conspiracy. The editor calls this a "big lie." It is clear from this that the editor really does not understand what has been going on. The fear of ridicule is real. I was on a call-in talk show in the Washington, D.C. area and heard Dr. Jay Melosh, one of the panel scientists and a UFO skeptic, tell the talk show host that for a young scientist to become publicly interested in studying UFO sightings could be professional suicide. The implication is that such studies should only be carrier out by tenured professors or scientists with well established backgrounds in conventional science. As for the government conspiracy aspect, it is clear from the historical record, available to anyone including the editor for review (e.g., the UFO files of Air Force Intelligence released within the last 12 years, the UFO files of the FBI released 20 years ago and now on line at and the UFO files of the CIA released some 20 years ago) that the US intelligence agencies and the Air Force in particular took these sightings, especially the ones by Air Force personnel, very seriously. Furthermore, according to the FBI "X" file (yes, it includes sighting reports entitled "Security Matter - X"; look it up in the web documents!) in 1952 Air Force intelligence told the FBI that 3% of the sightings could not be explained and that the objects reported in these sightings "may possibly be ships from another planet such as Mars."(FBI document dated July 29, 1952). On the same day that AF Intelligence told this to the FBI, in a press conference the AF General in charge of Intelligence, John Samford, told the American public that all the sightings were natural phenomena. This sort of contradiction between what the Air Force would say privately and what it would say publicly has led to the present state of confusion over just what information the Air Force uncovered year ago. It is no wonder that the citizens of this country suspect that they have not been told the whole story.
The editor correctly points out that UFO sightings have been "exhaustively invesigated by genuinely openminded people over and over again." The editor then states that "there is no - repeat, no - convincing evidence of space aliens visiting the earth in suspiciously Hollywoodesque flying saucers." I suppose the crux of the matter here is not "Hollywoodesque" but rather what one accepts as "convincing evidence." Under ordinary non-UFO conditions multiple witness, daytime reports of phenomena seen clearly and for considerable time durations (many seconds to minutes) and perhaps supported by film, video or radar would be at least mildly convincing to the intelligent person. There are such UFO sightings (several of which were evaluated by the panel and left unexplained) for which there seems to be no possibility of misidentification, delusion or hoax. At the very least these sightings point toward something new, something unexplained. Some of these sightings also involve descriptions of objects which seem to be constructed craft of some sort. (Note: Hollywood, starting in the 1950's, has followed the UFO/saucer sightings with the creation of "Hollywoodesque" saucers, not the other way around.) It is certainly true that the field of UFO research is littered with the hopes, dreams and faulty theories of many people who "want to believe," but the hard core of the UFO evidence does not lie within this litter. If the editor would take time to look beyond the Hollywood glitter and the tabloid press, the editor would find that the UFO subject is grounded in much more solid information.
The value of information is in what you do as a result of it. One has the option to ignore it or to pusue it. UFO information is of this sort. Clearly the editor intends to ignore it, which is fine. However, the editor should apply his/her own criterion of "sweet reason", leave out "true religion" and not criticize scientists who do wish to pursue this information in a rigorous manner.
Yours truly, Dr. Bruce Maccabee
From UFO Mind website (Not from Bruce)
Who is Dr. Bruce Maccabee?
"Dr. Maccabee has been a Research Physicist at the Naval Surface Weapons Center in Silver Spring, Maryland since 1972. His work has centered on high power lasers, underwater sound, and the Ballistic Missile Defense. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the American University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Maccabee was a member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. In 1975, he joined MUFON and was appointed State Director for Maryland and a Consultant in Photo Analysis and Laser Physics. In 1979, Dr. Maccabee and other ufologists established the Fund for UFO Research, where he continues to serve on the national board. His UFO investigations, include the McMinnville photos of 1950, the Gemini II astronaut photos, the New Zealand sightings, the Japan Airlines sighting, the Gulf Breeze case, and others. In 1993, he provided a briefing paper on UFOs for the President's science advisor. He conducted historical research and was the first to obtain the "flying disc file" for the FBI."

Sightings HomePage