We kick things off by getting Nick & Greg's general perspectives on the past year in Ufology and how it seemed like a particularly slow news year, with the exception of mostly unfortunate stories. Nick emparts some wisdom on how to look at these "down years" with proper perspective and Greg reflects on how, in the Internet age, perspectives on time are being altered as well as how the down cycle this year even affected his take on the UFO scene.

We then start looking at some of the big stories of the year in Ufology, moving along chronologically, beginning with the UK Wind Turbine story which was big news in early January of '09. Nick discusses how it reflects a larger problem of the media jumping on a story before it has the chance to be properly investigated and Greg discusses how the early reports of anomalous aerial phenonemon seemed to get brushed aside once the UFO angle of the story was dismissed.

Next we look at two similar stories from 2009: the Danish UFO File Release of late January and the Brazilian UFO File Release of early May. Nick talks about the sort of information found in the reports from Denmark and how they parallel the UFO file releases that have happened elsewhere in the world. He also speculates on what the motivation might be for these UFO file releases and puts forward a more beauracratic reason as opposed to a "disclosure-based" motivation. Greg then theorizes on what is the message that can be inferred from these file dumps with regards to how much the governments know about UFOs.

Following that, we remember famous contactee Howard Menger, who passed away on February 25th. Greg starts by recounting some of the interesting highlights of Menger's life and his story of meeting the "space brothers." Nick goes on to detail how Menger's story is a textbook Contactee case and typifies the "character" aspect of the phenomenon. We also remember UK UFO researcher Tony Dodd, who was a force in the UK UFO scene throughout the 1980's and 90's. Nick details Dodd's history in the UFO field as well as the evolution of the famous UFO Magazine in the UK, which was run by the late Graham Birdsall. This segues into some discussion on what the state of UK UFO studies is in contemporary times.

Next we cover the Morristown, NJ UFO hoax, which happened in January but was proven to be a hoax on April 1st of 2009. Greg discusses how a big story was made out of "fooling Ufology," while MUFON had actually originally dismissed the case as a probable hoax from the beginning. Nick reflects on how the whole story reflects the "gotcha" style of media nowadays. We then cover the Roswell debris press conference from April 30th of 2009, which turned out to be kind of a non-story, despite what sounded remotely promising at first. Greg reflects on the problems surrounding "proving" extraterrestrial origin of metals and other elements found at UFO events.

Disclosure ... and how it was predicted, twice, but never happened is our next topic of discussion as we cover the story which claimed that France was going to disclose the UFO presence on July 14th as well as the more recent November 27th alleged impending disclosure that never happened. Nick puts the stories in perspective by noting how this is a continual phenomenon in the UFO community as has been surfaced numerous times over the years. We also ponder why these stories still surface and gain credence in pockets of Ufology when, clearly, they continually disappoint. Greg astutely observes the paradox of many in the field that they've invested so much of their lives in the UFO phenomenon that they have to keep holding on and believing that the answer is "right around the corner."

Moving into the latter half of 2009, we start by remembering John Keel, who passed away in early July. Greg starts by reflecting on how Keel's influence on the field could be found in his groundbreaking theories as opposed to his research, which was plentiful as well. Greg also talks about how Keel's work influenced him and his research into the UFO field. Nick also reflects on how Keel's work exemplified how the "black and white" explanations for many esoteric mysteries are not quite as simple as they seem. Looking at another passing of an icon of esoterica, we remember Dick Hall, who passed away in July. Greg reflects on Hall's legacy in UFO studies, both positive and negative. Nick observes the generational change in Ufology from "golden age" researchers to modern day students of the UFO phenomenon.

Remember the Google UFO mania of early September? We do and we dissect not just the story but also the reaction by the UFO community to the Google logo change. Greg starts out by detailing how it constitutes what he calls "UFO porn" and also how the Google UFO gives credence to the idea that the paranormal has recovered from its post-911 malaise. Nick details how its important for the UFO research community to both understand and accept that the UFO is a cultural icon now and that, just because it is used in the mainstream, doesn't mean that it has some other "hidden" meaning.

Wrapping up the first half of our discussion on 2009, we cover one of the biggest stories in Ufology for the year: the Socorro UFO hoax allegations. Greg starts by talking about what the motivations may have been for unearthing the Socorro hoax allegations as well as his take on the evidence surrounding a hoax. Nick talks about how the Socorro case is an example of Ufology's reliance on "sacred cows" and how, ultimately, proof of reality or hoax is irrelevant to the "true believers." This leads to a discussion on the passing of key Socorro witness Lonnie Zamora in early November. Greg recounts the battles that Zamora had over the veracity of his story and we reflect on how Zamora represents a different time in Ufology where the key witness became forever linked to their UFO event (ala Kenneth Arnold, et al).

Greg Bishop Bio

Greg Bishop became interested in UFOs at a very early age. He has no idea why. In 1991, he cofounded a magazine entitled The Excluded Middle, for the purpose of educating himself first, and secondly, passing on the info to interested readers. How selfish. TEM was a journal of UFOs, conspiracy research, psychedelia and new science (now online at www.excludedmiddle.com ). "Wake Up Down There!" a collection of articles from the magazine, was published in 2000.

Greg’s writing has appeared the L.A. Weekly, Fortean Times, UFO Magazine and Magical Blend, among others, and in the book-length anthologies "Conspiracy And Cyberculture," "Zen And The Art of Close Encounters," "Kooks," and "You Are Being Lied To." In 2005, his book "Project Beta" was an attempt to set the record straight on the Paul Bennewitz disinfo saga. His third and newest title, "Weird California," was published in March of 2006. His internet show, "Radio Misterioso," can be heard on Sundays from 8-10 PM PST at www.killradio.org. Interviews with fringe-topic researchers and weird music are the usual fare.

When not writing, he can be found in the southwestern deserts of the US or flying his paraglider above vertiginous cliffs and mountains, sometimes with a propeller strapped to his back. Successful bribes include New Mexican cuisine, recordings of “outsider” music, rare contactee books, tickets to baseball games and selected original artwork.

His websites are excludedmiddle.com & ufomystic.com

Nick Redfern Bio

Nick Redfern started his writing career as an eighteen-year-old in 1982 on a British-based music, fashion, and entertainment magazine called "Zero." His interest in UFOs was prompted by his father, who worked on radar with the British Royal Air Force, and who was personally aware of several UFO encounters investigated by the British Government in the 1950s.

Nick is the author of several books on unsolved mysteries and UFOs: "A Covert Agenda;" "The FBI Files;" "Cosmic Crashes;" "Strange Secrets" (with Andy Roberts); "Three Men Seeking Monsters;" "Body Snatchers in the Desert;" "On the Trail of the Saucer Spies;" "Celebrity Secrets;" "Monkey Man;" and "Memoirs of a Monster Hunter". He has written for UFO Magazine; Fortean Times; Fate Magazine; and the British Daily Express newspaper.

Nick has spent weeks chasing the vampire-like Chupacabras in Puerto Rico for the Sci-Fi Channel and Canada's Space Channel; roamed around the old base at Roswell, New Mexico in search of decaying, smelly, alien corpses; tried to conjure up Tulpa-style thought-forms of Bigfoot, lycanthropes, and lake monsters in his home-country of England; and was once less-than-politely turned away from the fringes of Area 51, Nevada by a fat and humorless security guard.

His websites are nickredfern.com & ufomystic.com

topics discussed:
1 hr 47 min
Nick Redfern & Greg Bishop

Part 1 of 2