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BoA:Audio welcomes Jack Brewer, creator of the excellent blog The UFO Trail, for a discussion on the current state of UFO and abduction research as well as some of the troubling stories that 'mainstream' ufology ignores. Amongst the areas covered during the conversation are the 'Roswell slides' saga, the sad state of MUFON as the de facto national UFO research organization, and the infamous Carpenter Affair. Additionally, we look at how consumer culture and infotainment have changed UFO research in a negative way, how solving the mystery of UFOs has taken a backseat to promoting UFO lore, and how abduction research has been rendered a veritable wasteland over the last few years. Plus lots and lots more 'big picture' observations concerning ufology, disclosure, the UFO mystery, abductions, and the humans who exist amidst this sea of strangeness.
Altogether it is a thought-provoking edition of BoA:Audio that challenges listeners to think differently about the UFO phenomenon and expect some accountability from those who have declared themselves researchers of the enigma as Jack Brewer takes us down The UFO Trail.
Highlights: We kick things off with the standard bio/background on Jack Brewer and find out how he ended up creating The UFO Trail. Jack muses about the evolution of his interest in the UFO phenomenon and how his opinion on the subject and the folks 'studying' it changed dramatically over the years. Jack also reflects on the two extremes of ufology/abduction research: true believers and stubborn debunkers.
In the interest of the times, we get the lowdown from Jack on the infamous Roswell Slides which have been the scuttlebutt of ufology for the past year or so and are poised to make even more news, for better or worse, in the next few weeks. We learn who may have seen these things as well as the various other 'news' items which have come up about the slides, specifically how some folks behind the Roswell Slides are now trying to disassociate them from Roswell. Jack also reflects on how the rollout of these pictures is really what is dubious and miscalculated.
This segues into some sociological talk about paranormal enthusiasts and how being immersed among the enthusiasts could skew perspectives and judgments. This leads to us talking about Jack's issues with MUFON, beginning with a hilarious tale of MUFON and the French version of the organization, GAIPAN. Jack then delves into his concern that MUFON, as a national body, is not doing scientific research and is more interested in the 'business' of ufology.
Continuing our discussion of MUFON, we ponder the directionless nature of the organization as well as controversies which have erupted surrounding the group over the years. We then have Jack detail the infamous, in old school ufology circles, Carpenter Affair, which saw an abduction researcher allegedly sell his files without the knowledge of his patients. We note that the Carpenter Affair mirrors more recent allegations of abduction researchers sharing files, which turns to discussion of how abuctees or experiencers turn into 'specimens' or profit generators rather than people to overzealous 'researchers.'
Next we discuss the broader challenger facing ufology, where the need to entertain and provide entertainment has overtaken the quest to figure out the phenomenon. This turns to talking about the consumers of UFO information, the UFO 'buffs,' and how they share responsibility for the sorry state of UFO research. We then take a break from the action and submit a question from Sue in the chatroom who asks about any paranormal events in Jack's past and he shares an amazingly weird story.
Our attention then turns to the world of abduction research, reflecting on how it is now a veritable wasteland, and Jack talks about the evolution of his perspective on abduction research, including his dismay over the David Jacobs / Emma Woods scandal. Jumping to a different, but similar, area of interest, we get Jack's skepticism about the Betty and Barney Hill abduction case. This includes some discussion on government intelligence or mind control projects and how they cannot be discounted amongst the theories of what's behind UFOs and abductions.
That aspect of the conversation continues with us discussing how advancing theories of government fabrication of UFO events is either intentionally or subconsciously ignored by 'mainstream' ufology. Jack and Binnall then get wistful and speculate about what the aliens may really be up to and go down a rabbit hole which leads us to talking about how even the discovery of microbial life on another planet may change the face of UFO research.
This leads to us trying to unpack the concept of 'disclosure' and all of the various issues surrounding it, including expecting honesty and efficiency from the government as well as the criticism that ufology can't figure out the phenomenon, so it doesn't deserve to be just given the answer. In turn, we talk about how science has advanced to the point that abduction research, in particular, has been passed by the ability of science to verify it.
Tackling the ETH, we observe how the alien theory has become so entrenched that it has skewed the perspective of even trying to understand the basic UFO phenomenon. We then pivot to talking about the exopolitics movement and how it seems to represent the current face of much of ufology, but also comes with a myriad of problems, including the paradox of asking the government, who they accuse of covering up UFOs, to simply tell them about UFOs now.
Nearing the end of the live show, we talk about how if some of the claims of abduction researchers and abductees are true, then they could be proven by science and, thus, blow the lid off the whole 'cover-up,' so why hasn't that happened yet? We meander into talking about the infamous 1989 Bill Moore MUFON presentation and how that was a whole different era in ufology. Closing out the live show, Jack muses about how we may look back on the ufo mystery as a modern version the Salem Witch Trials.
In the post live show chat, we break the fourth wall by celebrating Jack and The UFO Trail because they are so hardcore that they don't even have a logo! We then find out Jack's forthcoming book and what folks can expect from that. We then return to thinking about the UFO phenomenon and how hard it is to really get a grasp on what is behind the enigma. We also tackle the idea that bad publicity is still publicity, so Jack's blog and program's like BoA should simply ignore abduction research and the scandals which befell it.
Wrapping up the program, we go behind the scenes of The UFO Trail and find out if Jack's received any backlash from the orthodoxy of ufology due to his work. We also consider ufology from a broader perspective and how it may look to outsiders as well as how, at the end of the day, UFO research has had decades to get the job done and has failed. In light of Jack's great work looking at the seedy underbelly of UFO and abduction research, we find out if he's looked at any other paranormal genres. Jack also tells a hilarious story of going to a UFO convention but having more fun at a haunted hotel, and we wrap it up with a little bit more info about the book and the usual fun stuff at the end of the show.