The UFO has been avoided and abandoned by mainstream, elite culture, and this fact has profound consequences for a proper understand of the subject. If the mainstream, elite culture (consisting of the military, business, academic, religious establishments, etc.) actually engaged the UFO like it does most other aspects of human experience, then there would be no need for Oregon MUFON. Ufology would be the province of the academic establishment and the military establishment, and citizens would consult them whenever they had questions about the subject. This, as we all come to know sooner or later, is not the case.
Thus, it is very important for seekers of reliable knowledge about the UFO to understand the sources of UFO information in our culture. When the normal sources of accurate, reliable information about subjects are not available, then you are on your own. If you look into the subject, you soon learn that the UFO has been relegated to the care of a small segment of the overall society. The research-oriented part of this small segment has been very busy over the last 60 years and has developed some good, solid information about UFOs. But at the same time, many other segments of the UFO subculture have been busy, too, and they have developed a lot of misinformation and even disinformation (the intelligence establishment part of our government).
We, at Oregon MUFON, will help you sort this all out. Here is our understanding of the major players in the UFO subculture, and what material contribution, if any, they may have made.
UFO information comes from these main sources:
- UFO witnesses and experiencers. These are people who have seen or experienced a UFO, whether genuine or identifiable, and are simply relating their experiences to anyone who seems seriously interested. Our hat is off to the many witnesses and experiencers who have been brave enough to risk ridicule and rejection in order to get the truth out about their strange and puzzling experiences. We at Oregon MUFON sincerely hope that our society will someday mature enough to accept openly the alien presence within human society and deal with its consequences. Some truths are so big they just take a lot of time to sink in and be assimilated. It appears that the alien presence is another one of these big truths.
- UFO investigators and researchers. UFO investigators and researchers usually belong to MUFON, CUFOS, FUFOR, BUFORA, or some other UFO investigative group. These are the groups that organize and train volunteer investigators from the ranks of the public at large. These trained investigators and researchers in the 60 plus years they've been at it have amassed a large body of provocative evidence. Some of this is found in book form in the UFO literature. Richard Haines' Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind is an excellent example. The best of their books present the most reliable information about UFOs. Budd Hopkins, Raymond Fowler, Richard Haines, Bruce Maccabee, Stanton Friedman, Richard Dolan, and Hilary Evans are examples. See the bibliography on this site.
- Mainstream news media. These are news professionals, the vast majority of whom are ignorant of the UFO knowledge developed within the UFO researcher community. These professionals usually adopt the attitude and tone of condescending skepticism in their treatment of UFOs. A few professionals are U.S. intelligence establishment "assets," which means that when UFO information has to be treated seriously, these professionals try to guide the treatment so that deeper levels of military and government UFO involvement are kept secret. A great book that will clue you in about why you never get the full story from the news media is Terry Hansen's The Missing Times.
- Entertainment media. Movie and documentary directors and producers have been busy since 1950 when the first flying saucer movie was produced (The Flying Saucer). Their efforts have been uneven at best at portraying the UFO facts. Documentaries that stick to the facts are few and always have been produced in close association with the UFO research community. Too often, however, documentary producers have cobbled together something that is more entertainment than education. On the other hand, some reasonably to very good movies have been done. Some are Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Communion, The UFO Incident, Roswell, and Fire in the Sky (only the first half!; the last half is vitiated by the director's lurid imagination!). In the main, the entertainment media has done what the news media have not and that is give the public a generally decent understanding of some parts of the UFO phenomenon. But there is plenty of outright stupidity and silliness such as the Men in Black movies.
- UFO contactees and channelers. UFO "contactees" were people, mostly from the 1950s and 1960s, who believed they had contacted the people who flew the flying saucers and wanted to tell other people about this. George Adamski and Daniel Fry are examples. They wrote books and toured the United States lecturing to the UFO-interested public. Today, the contactees have more or less been replaced by various people who feel they are in intuitive (mediumistic or channeling) contact with the supposed extraterrestrial presence. Examples are Barbara Marciniak and Lisette Larkins. There are many others. The Swiss Billy Meierseems to be a combination of contactee and channeler.
- UFO enthusiasts. These folks are ordinary people from the public who are honestly interested, but don't take the time and spend the energy to sort the wheat from the chaff. Oregon MUFON's website is for researchers and, especially, enthusiasts who want to deepen their knowledge and understanding.
- UFO disinformation professionals. The U.S. intelligence establishment has been engaged in UFO disinformation since the beginning in 1947. Lawrence Tacker, Donald Menzel, Richard Weaver, Richard Doty, and Robert Collins are disinformation professionals. Richard Dolan's UFOs and the National Security State puts these people in context.
- UFO debunkers. UFO debunkers are mostly associated with CSICOP (now renamed to CSI) and other groups of self-appointed cultural "police" who seek to protect an "innocent" and "stupid" public from being "preyed upon" by UFO researchers and "misguided" entertainment media people. Debunkers are destroyers of understanding, not promoters of understanding. They say they want to study UFOs (and the paranormal) scientifically and strictly rationally, but they do not support open, long-term scientific study of the UFO (or the paranormal) by recognized scientific authorities. Here are some prominent debunkers of the past and present: Philip Klass, Donald Menzel, Robert Sheaffer, Michael Shermer, James Oberg, and Kal Korff. To them, a report of a UFO is merely a "claim" to be destroyed and debunked.
- UFO hoaxers. These are mostly male young people or adults who are interested in fooling the public or people who are seriously interested in the phenomenon. They are occasionally affiliated in some way with UFO debunkers.
- UFO cultists. These people are looking for something over and above their ordinary lives that connects them with something beyond themselves. They are not unlike the very religious people among us except that they have chosen a group (UFO cult) whose beliefs are not at all mainstream among religious people. Cultist groups usually believe that UFOs are flying saucers piloted by superior beings who are favorably disposed toward humanity and seek to save humankind from its problems. UFO cultists often join quasi-religious, UFO-centered groups like the older Unarius Society, the Raelians of today, and the older British Aetherius Society. The Heaven's Gate UFO cult suicide tragedy of 1997 shows the possible dangers of any kind of cult activity, whether it is UFO-related or not.