I’ve learned that hundreds of UFO enthusiasts will converge in Denver on July
22-25 for the 41st
International UFO symposium. Oh, joy. I don’t want to be unfairly harsh, but
I don’t want Denver to vie with Portland, which I have heard is considered
America’s weirdest city. Frankly, I don’t know if Portland is truly deserving of
such a title, as I have personally never been there. The bottom line is that I
do not want Denver to be considered a Mecca for fringe elements, conspiracy
theorists, or proponents of pseudoscience.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think there is a legitimate field of study here,
just as worthwhile as ghost-hunting, fortune-telling, and phrenology. There is a
genuine phenomenon worth further study. But fear that it has more to do with
abnormal psychology than with alien intelligence.
But more than that, there are some genuinely intelligent and sincere
researchers in all these areas and more. There are UFO enthusiasts I have known
and paranormal researchers here in Denver who deserve respect, but as far as I
am concerned, none of them has any legitimate evidence of alien visitations or
visitors from beyond the grave. I would be foolish to claim that such is
absolutely impossible, but I would be equally foolish to believe that any of the
stories and claims put forth by UFO enthusiasts, ghost hunters or
psychic “researchers” have any validity without any proper evidence.
But who knows? Maybe someday some good evidence will come out, but so far all
we have are easily distorted or even fabricated stories, questionable photos,
misinterpretations of natural or manmade objects or events. There are, however,
a small number of unexplained sightings, photos and videos, but just because
they are currently unexplained does not mean that they represent alien
I will adopt the convention of referring to the more reasonable and rational
investigators into UFO and other pseudo science phenomena as “enthusiasts.”
On the other hand, for those who are unabashed
“the-aliens-are-here-and-I-know-it-cause-I-seen-em” advocates, I will use the
term, “peckerheads” from now on.
Let me clarify my term here a little. I know that “peckerhead” has a certain
meaning in urban slang, and while I suspect that it does indeed apply in many
UFO cases, my definition is a bit different. For my use here, “peckerhead” shall
refer to anyone who knowingly, actively and unashamedly promotes any form of
unsubstantiated pseudoscience, including but not limited to UFOs, Bigfoot,
chupacabra, ghosts, fairies, and various forms of so-called paranormal and
As I indicated above, not all UFO enthusiasts are peckerheads. Not at all. I
am a UFO enthusiast because I find the whole topic interesting and although I
have never seen any evidence that would make me a “true” believer, no one would
be more pleased for a UFO to land on the Whitehouse lawn with a crew of friendly
little green men. NO, by “peckerhead” I refer to those who deliberately spread
the propaganda of pseudoscience, who uncritically accept unsubstantiated claims
as fact, who foster a paranoia and distrust of science, and/or who often distort
or even fabricate reports or evidence to support their positions. They may do
this for monetary profit or just for personal attention and ego. Unfortunately,
there are far too many peckerheads in the world today.
On top of this, certain alien visitation proponents have managed to get an
initiative on the ballot so that Denver voters must decide whether the city will
devote time and resources to a city sanctioned Extraterrestrial Affairs
Commission. The promoters claim that Denver needs to be ready to assure
citizen’s safety in the event that aliens show up. What that means is unclear.
Whether it is to be sure the people of Denver aren’t duped by alien Ponzi
schemes or zapped laser weapons of mass destruction is not known.
In any event, I am banking on the intelligence of Denver’s people to vote
this insanity down. Otherwise I may just have to move to Portland.