The Pelican is pleased to note that he has received an Honourable Mention in Tim Printy's excellent SUNlite newsletter: http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/SUNlite1_4.pdf, which derives its inspiration from the Skeptics UFO Newsletter, edited by the late, lamented, kindly old Uncle Phil. This mention consists of brief remarks about The Pelican's discussion of Richard Doty in his previous contribution to this blog. These remarks are indicative of the strange lack of curiosity concerning Doty's activities among American ufologists, and your feathered friend hopes to treat this matter at greater length in one of his future columns.

The main article in this issue of SUNlite is by Peter W. Merlin on physical evidence. Curtis Peebles has written on this theme in Magonia and Merlin has also worked extensively on the recovery of debris from crashed military aircraft, and has been able to prove that attempts to recover all the bits of wreckage are never entirely successful. The relevance of this to UFOs is of course that UFO crash retrieval enthusiasts insist that every scrap of wreckage from crashes of alien craft is always recovered.

Merlin's account of how he tried to convey the results of his investigations to ufologists also gives us (or, at least, The Pelican and his acolytes) further confirmation of the determination of ufologists, at least of the prevailing North American variety, to ignore or deny any evidence which might lead to rational, mundane explanations for UFO events, and to take seriously absurd and implausible claims, and faked documents.

When Merlin had obtained a great deal of data about the crash sites of experimental aircraft, technical details of these aircraft which had eventually been declassified, and bits of wreckage which the search teams had failed to find, his attention was drawn to the online UFO UpDates forum whose members "included a wide cross-section of people including some well-known names in ufology . . . " Starting a new thread "Crash Retrieval: A New Perspective", he gave details of the crash of an A-12 spy plane, near Wendover, Utah, in May 1963, and of his investigation of the crash site many years later.

He then awaited the response, expecting his contribution to start a spirited debate. However, after a month there had not been a single response. It seemed that the crash-retrieval UFO experts just didn't want to know.

Merlin also presented his findings to the 4th Annual UFO Crash Retrieval Conference, in November 2006 at Las Vegas. At the conclusion of his lecture he received "polite applause", and someone later told him that Linda Moulton Howe (she seems to pop up everywhere in American ufology, doesn't she?) suggested that he was "an obvious government agent".

As The Pelican never tires of pointing out, such well-meaning attempts at enlightening the ufological community are a waste of time. They are not interested in reality (at least so far as UFO stories are concerned), they are interested only in a make-believe world in which alien craft fly at will through our atmosphere, sometimes even shooting down military aircraft.

They and the general public have no proof of all this, of course, because the physical proof is kept secret by the US government which is apparently omniscient and omnipotent in matters ufological, but just very powerful, and sometimes prone to error and even failure in many of its other activities. This is, The Pelican supposes, analogous to the Pope being infallible in matters of faith and morals, but not in other matters, such as predictions of horse races and other sporting events (which is perhaps just as well). However, the analogy should not be pressed too far, for as the Monty Python team used to say: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

The point here, of course, is that the ufologists' fantasy world does not even have its own internal logic, unlike most fantasy and science fiction stories. They are happy with their dreams of aliens, their spacecraft and government cover-ups, and will continue to denounce or ignore anything which threatens to destroy their subject's mystique.

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