As the first of three presents for the UFO community this Christmas, I would like to share the expert input statement below and the list of
endorsements of it.
The following individuals kindly agreed to my requests to endorse this statement :
Dr Kit Green (formerly of the CIA), Dr Hal Puthoff (of TTSA), Dr Eric Davis, Dr Bruce Maccabee (formerly of the US Navy), Dr Danny Ammon (of
Germany's GEP), Rev Dr Ray Boeche, Dr Irena Scott, Dr Chris Cogswell, Jim Semivan (formerly of the CIA), Jenny Randles, Colonel Charles Halt
(formerly of the US Air Force), Lieutenant Colonel Kevin D Randle (formerly of the US Army), Nick Pope (formerly of the UK Ministry of Defence), Dr
David Clarke, Dr Chris French, Dr Gilles Fernandez, James Oberg (formerly of NASA), Robert Sheaffer, Tim Printy, Lance Moody, Curt Collins, Wendy M.
Grossman (founder of "The Skeptic"), Jan Aldrich, Barry Greenwood, Edoardo Russo (of Italy's CISU), Frank Warren, Chris Rutkowski, Christopher
O'Brien, Richard Doty (formerly of the US Air Force OSI), Dr Mark Rodeghier (of CUFOS), John Schuessler (of MUFON), Tony Eccles (of BUFORA), Mark
Allin (co-owner of the AboveTopSecret website), Rick Hilberg, Paul Dean, Keith Basterfield, Jacques Scornaux (of France's SCEAU-Archives OVNI), Igor
Kalytyuk (of Ukraine), Mikhail Gershtein (of Russia) and Robbie Williams (English pop star).
(BEGIN QUOTE OF EXPERT INPUT STATEMENT)
"We consider that obtaining input from disinterested experts on specific points regarding reports of 'UFOs' is likely to contribute to the study of
relevant physical, historical, psychological and sociological issues. If you are able to help provide such input, we would appreciate you doing
(END QUOTE OF EXPERT INPUT STATEMENT)
Last year, a wide spectrum of the UFO community (including many prominent skeptics as well as UFO researchers) kindly endorsed a similar statement
about the scanning of UFO periodicals and other material. I drafted that scanning statement to help get more permissions/cooperation for the scanning
project I've been helping coordinate.
Quoting that scanning statement (and the list of endorsements of it) when sending permission requests to relevant editors/groups helped raise my
success rate with scanning permission requests for defunct periodicals from about 60% to above 90%. It also helped obtain scans from about 100
different groups / researchers in the last year, most of which have been made freely available online. As a result, it has been possible (with quite a
bit of work by a lot of people...) to get most of the main UFO periodicals from France (e.g. LDLN), Germany (e.g. CENAP Report) and Spain/Catalonia
(e.g. Stendek) shared online as searchable PDFs in recent months - in addition to lots more from the UK, USA and Australia.
Preparing that scanning statement probably has had the best cost / benefit ratio I've achieved within ufology.
So, I've been thinking about proposing one or more other such statements to address some other problems.
One of the main problems I have with some of the bickering within ufology is that certain issues could be settled (or at least argued on a more
informed basis) if more input were obtained from disinterested experts from outside the ufo/skeptic community, e.g. on specific scientific issues.
Some experts have been reluctant to get involved, so a relevant expert input statement _may_ improve the success rate of those seeking such input on
Hence the expert input statement quoted above and my private soliciting of endorsements of that statement.
(I do not think any further endorsements are needed. The list of endorsements is now rather lengthy...).
My success rate when raising queries with experts outside ufology has been running at about 60% during the last few years. If this new expert input
statement has the same sort of impact on success rates as my previous scanning statement, I'll be a happy bunny.
If you use this statement and the list of endorsements of it to try to improve your odds of getting a useful response from an expert outside the UFO
community (which I hope at least some of you do...), I'd be grateful if you could take into consideration when writing relevant requests the fact
that the use of the statement may reflect on me, the individuals that endorsed the expert input statement and the rest of the UFO community. In short,
(1) Be unfailingly polite in any relevant requests;
(2) Do a bit of homework first before writing the request, to focus your requests and avoid wasting the time of the relevant expert. The point is to
seek information or views beyond the material which can easily be found online;
(3) If possible, share the results of your enquiry with the rest of the UFO community so that the quality of current debates may be improved.
Onwards and upwards.