Sunday, April 3, 2016

Issue #52 Field Investigator Reports And CMS

In this issue I'd like to cover a topic that I hear a lot of Field Investigator's asking questions about, which is how to write their final report.

Although the MUFON CMS (Case Management System) has all of the information provided by the witness in the form of checked boxes, it is much easier to read an actual written page that has the information from the case in a presentable style. That is why it is important to use either the "Short Form" for most cases, and now "Form 30" for any cases that are rated CAT - 2 and above. This makes it much easier for the SRB (Science Review Board) to review the cases, and for other investigators that are looking for correlating cases to find out the details quickly.

Obviously the "Short Form" will not be as intensive as "Form 30", as you can see below.

Version Of Short Form Found In CMS

As you can see, the short form only contains the basic information about the case. For most of the cases you will get, this is probably the form you will want to use. I myself made a basic "template" of the short form, which I can easily add the required information to, without having to write the whole report from scratch. I just fill in the sections after each category. Below you will see a list of the different case dispositions, and the criteria for deciding if your case fits that description.

Definitions Of Case Dispositions

As you can see, the definitions are pretty cut-and-dried. It should be fairly easy for you to decide exactly how to categorize your report by following these examples. As State Director, there are times when I have to change the disposition of a case, as resolved by the Field Investigator who worked the case. These are the guidelines that I use.

Also important is our Valleé Classification System. Below is a simple chart to help you understand the rating system.

Jacques Valleé's Classification Categories For UFO Sightings

This is the classification system that is used by most UFO investigator's and researchers around the world, and was first developed by Jacques Valleé, and was first called to the publics attention by Steven Spielberg is his classic film, "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind". When Spielberg was first pitching the title to studio executives, they didn't quite understand what it meant, and literally kept asking him, "what does this mean?"...he almost had to go with a different title for the movie!

So what does one use when they have a really good case, such as a CAT - 2 or CAT - 3? The answer is Form 30, which as you can see below, is quite comprehensive.

Form 30 Page 1

Form 30 Page 2

As you can see, the form has little red brackets on it. That is the "macros", which you want to make sure you enable whenever you use the form. The macros make it much easier to complete the form, since all you have to do is click inside the brackets, then enter the information. I have the form saved as a .doc, and whenever I need to use it, I just "Save As" the number of the case it pertains to as it's title, then the original form does not get destroyed in the process. You will want to attach the report to your CMS report in the .doc format as well, that way all users should be able to open it. It also makes it easier to save your reports on computer, rather than printing them out and filing them, which is a lot easier to secure against unwanted persons reading them!

It is very important for all Field Investigator's to remember that we now have to use From 30 for all cases that are rated CAT - 2 and above! It is also important to remember that these cases are more important, and you need to contact your witnesses sooner! All CAT - 3 cases should have some form of witness contact within 24 hours of their filing their report. Time is very critical if we are going to get valuable evidence from the cases.

I hope this helps answer some of the questions that I know Field Investigators, especially new ones, have about the report writing process. Remember, your report is the best representation of the case you investigated, so please try to give it the attention it deserves!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Issue #51 UFO Crash Site Safety Review

Most people I know that investigate UFOs would give their left arm to be the first to arrive on the scene of a UFO crash, however if one is going to respond to an incident of this magnitude, you just can't go rushing in without preparation. There is a long list of people who didn't give UFOs the respect they deserve, and they paid for it with their lives.

While safety is primary, we also want to make sure that we do not contaminate the scene, or handle any evidence improperly. Following some basic rules can preserve the integrity of the sight, and perhaps keep you from making a fatal mistake.

The first thing one should do when arriving at the crash site, before even walking away from your vehicle, is glove up. Some people think that means just putting on a pair of gloves...not true. To properly "glove up", one first puts on one pair of gloves, then pull your sleeves down over the gloves. Next put on a second pair of gloves, but this time fit the glove over the end of your sleeve, then tape around the glove to form a seal with your sleeve. Now you are  properly "gloved up".

The next step is to put on a respirator. You will want to make sure that you are using one with new filters, and that the filters are properly rated to keep out anything that could be potentially harmful. It might seem a little bit extreme, especially if you are somewhere in a warmer climate, but choking to death on an unknown pathogen is probably not very comfortable either. I also prefer a hood as well, since anything airborne might not be too good for the skin either. My personal rule of thumb is: Don't leave anything exposed!

Next item to have out is your geiger counter. Only approach a crash if you have some way of reading the radiation levels! Even then, exercise extreme caution, and anytime you get an unsafe radiation reading, immediately back out and call your State Director, or Chuck Modlin. Do not risk any further contact until you have gear on site that can protect you from any potential radiation.

You are going to want to walk the site then, to survey the area that is involved, and then you will want to use your tape to mark off the area, and to keep people out. Only one (1) person should go into the area at a time. You do not want a lot of people going into and out of the area, possibly contaminating the area, or even tracking evidence out with them. The less people in the area, the better. Make sure to list in your control notes who the person is that is going in the area, and what they do there.

Once the area is marked off, you will want to do a complete radiation survey, then you will want to use your metal detector and do a thorough sweep for any debris that might be evidence. Whenever you get a hit with your detector, you will want to place a flag so you can come back once your grid is set up to excavate the material. Remember to photograph everything, making sure to shoot from the different cardinal directions. Any shots of evidence should be taken from directly overhead, looking straight down, and make sure you have a scale in place for reference.

Being able to think on your feet is vitally important in situations like this. One can't possibly know what they might encounter at the crash site of an alien object. Since we don't know the conditions of their world, what they breathe, eat, drink etc., we don't know how anything even as simple as the atmosphere inside their craft could potentially affect us. Taking precautionary steps beforehand can not only improve your chances of survival, it can also help to ensure that you have a solid case after collecting your evidence.

If you don't rush, you think out the situation beforehand, and remember to follow these simple guidelines, you will greatly improve your chances at a crash site. Remember if at any point you run into something that could be potentially hazardous and you're not sure how to proceed, call your State Director for advice.

I hope this helps reinforce protocols for crash site investigation. Remember to share with all of your friends, and come back for more!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Issue #50 Beyond Investigation

Having some knowledge of different disciplines of science can be a definite bonus when investigating UFOs. However the more one learns about the phenomenon, the more one will tend to wonder if there is more to it than the scientific aspect. After all, even using the most up-to-date scientific methods and knowledge, we are still left with data that is outside of our knowledge base, and without a frame of reference to help us make any sense of it. In other words, if our best science pales in comparison to that of the visitors, then that can only mean that there is still a lot of information that we are merely guessing at, and making assumptions about.

While as investigator's it is important to keep an open mind, it is not unreasonable to come to some conclusions after investigating a subject for a long period of time. After many years of investigation myself, I can safely say that 1) some UFOs are flying saucers, 2) some UFOs are not from this planet, and 3) some UFOs are piloted by entities also not from this planet. Considering that we do not have an exhibit of alien craft and aliens for people to examine themselves, that is a lot to be sure of based on only circumstantial evidence. So what do I base my conclusions on? I would have to say that I have based my conclusions on what I have seen myself, what I have heard and read from other witnesses, and from the paper trail of evidence that has been revealed since the Freedom of Information Act became law.

Nothing beats seeing a UFO for yourself to make you a believer, no matter how skeptical one might be before the sighting. When I saw a mile-long craft cruising overhead no more than 200 feet above me, silently gliding by at around 30 mph, I realized at the time that there was more going on than the general public was aware of. When it all of a sudden stretched into first a line of light, then a pinpoint of light, before shooting off into space, I knew I was witnessing technology way beyond anything known to man.

The most amazing thing to me about the sighting wasn't that I saw a craft from another world, it was the silence in the news the next day. I know there were other witnesses, because when I saw this craft, I was just leaving a major supermarket in southern California, and there were other people reacting to the sighting. There were whistles and shouts from other shoppers who saw it at the time, and the general consensus among the people I heard was that "now the government would have to admit that UFOs were real", and "no way this won't be all over the news!" However it never made the news in any form to my knowledge. Such was the political climate of 1979.

Fortunately times have changed, and serious investigators of UFOs are no longer looked upon as just a bunch of wishful thinkers. Real science has helped us to separate accounts of mistaken identity, from actual UFOs, to the point that an argument can easily be made that the evidence points in the favor of UFOs being a reality. The public perception has changed over time as well, to the point that people who believe in the reality of UFOs outnumber the non-believers by a large margin.

Yet we are still limited by not just our own scientific knowledge when confronted with many of the alien technologies, but also the alien way of thinking. Try as we might, we are human, and we are only aware of our human existence. To think like an alien, no matter what type of alien you wish to compare to, would require that we have one in open communication with us, and as of now, I am unaware of one. My guess is because they would have as much interest in conversation with us as we would have in conversing with a sheep. We just don't seem to be of social interest to them whatsoever. Perhaps it's our primitive ways, or perhaps there's more to it than that. That is a question that possibly can't be answered by science.

I hope this spurs some thought into other avenues of research that might open up new ways of looking at cases for investigators. Be sure to share with all of your friends!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Issue #49 Orbs

Prevalent amongst reports file with MUFON, are the many accounts of orbs, or balls of light. While many of these reports can be easily explained away as drones, Chinese lanterns, military flares, and even in some cases meteors, many of these reports defy explanation.

While some photographic evidence ends up being nothing more than dust or water on the lens, there are also a number of photographs that just can't be explained as easily. This leaves one to wonder; what are they?

I do not personally believe that any of these accounts can be attributed to ball lightning either. Ball lightning is an extremely rare phenomena, and when it does occur, it only lasts for seconds, not minutes as described in some witness accounts.

I am currently investigating a case near Edwards Air Force Base, where the witness reported "feeling" the orb, before actually turning around to look at it. I asked the witness during the interview what she meant by "feel", and the best way she could describe it was "like a calming presence." In the witness' own words, "Standing in my back yard and watching stars, I felt something and looked to my right, and there was a glowing, round object. It hovered about 3 ft. off the ground, and was 8-9 ft. across. Light was diffused and warm." The witness also stated "a feeling of being familiar with it." The witness saw the object take off all of a sudden to the north and ascent to 1,000-2,000 feet, where it stopped, shone a light on the ground then zipped off to the northeast where it again stopped and repeated it's actions.

All of this implies an object under intelligent control, but what it does not lend any evidence to what it could be. It's description rules out Chinese lanterns, flares, and probably drones as well.

MUFON is currently conducting a study to try to determine more about orbs. Any Field Investigator's with any cases involving orbs are encouraged to contact either Cassidy Nicholas, or Erica Lukes with their findings.

I hope this issue helped illuminate the issue of orbs...bad pun, I know. Come back next week for more, and don't forget to share!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Issue #48 Historical Cases

The success of MUFONs hit show on the History Channel, Hangar 1, has led to an increase in sighting reports from time to time, but recently our CMS was hit with an exceedingly large number of cases. When I have to assign 26 cases in one day, I know that something's definitely up. The one thing that stood out the most was the fact that most of these cases were "Historical", which means that they are not recent, but could go back to the '50s and '60s, or even older!

As a Field Investigator it is important to learn how to prioritize your cases. While many of these old historical cases are fascinating, they do not hold the potential information that a new case does. It is more important to get to the witness that just had a sighting while their memory is fresh, instead of someone who is recalling an incident from years past. A rule of thumb in most investigations is that the first 24 hours is the most important. Obviously, we don't get a chance to get to most of our witnesses within that timeframe, but the closer to it you can get, the better.

This does not diminish the validity, or importance of historical cases, but if a witness is just reporting the event a handful of years afterward, a few more days isn't going to hurt the investigation.

Quite a few of the new "Historical" cases that came in I found to be quite fascinating, and the witnesses that I interviewed were extremely credible. One trend that I did notice among these cases, is that most of them are military-related in some fashion. I also found it interesting that in most instances when I asked the witness why they were coming forward with their account after so long, they all answered that Hangar 1 had something to do with it, mainly because they didn't know about MUFON before they saw the show. Also, almost every witness that I talked to said that they'd be very interested to know if anyone else saw what they did.

While a lot of these old cases will be filed away as Information Only, getting as much information as possible about the sighting recorded into the database can help us to correlate cases to find matches on things like dates and locations. 

In conclusion, case triage is important, so get to those fresh cases first while the witness remembers everything clearly, then when you have time you can delve into the historical cases which while being just as important, will only reveal more information by writing FOIA requests, and interviewing any other surviving witnesses if they can be found.

Don't forget to share with all your friends!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Special Issue #3: Issue #47 Roswell - Interview With Denice Marcel

The anniversary of the crash near Roswell, New Mexico sixty-eight years ago is upon us, and soon people from all over the world will be flocking to the small town, in celebration of what is unarguably the most famous UFO case in history.

Thanks to the efforts of researchers like Stanton Friedman, Donald Schmitt, and Thomas Carey, the public has become aware of the crash all those years ago, and the efforts of the government to cover up the facts and institute the highest level of security around the secret since the hydrogen bomb.

Fortunately, the group in charge of the secret back then did not foresee the Freedom of Information Act, or the release of thousands of documents as a result of researchers and investigators inquiries since it became law. As a result we have a few iconic symbols to remember the event by.

One of the most famous would undoubtedly be the banner headlines "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region", as reported on the front page of the Roswell Daily Record. That one sentence let the proverbial cat out of the bag forever. However the image that a majority of the public remembers was actually a staged photo, published with only one purpose: to deceive the American people, and the rest of the world. That image is one of Maj. Jesse Marcel posing with the wreckage of a weather balloon in an issue with the headlines "Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer".

At the time the American public swallowed that story hook, line, and sinker, without question. No one even stopped to consider for an instant that a Maj. in the world's most elite bomber squadron would  never mistake a flying saucer for a weather balloon, something any schoolkid in New Mexico could identify. And so the coverup began.

In recognition of this historic event, The Field Investigator's Toolbox is interviewing Denice Marcel, granddaughter of Maj. Jesse Marcel, and daughter of Jesse Marcel Jr., who has also contributed so much in the field of UFOlogy.

I recently appointed Denice to the position of State Section Director MUFON Los Angeles, and she has so far done a fantastic job of reorganizing the section, and preparing for future meetings. I had a few questions for Denice, and she was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to let me interview her for The Field Investigator's Toolbox.

FIT: Coming from a family so steeped in UFO lore, at what age do you first recall being aware of the subject of UFOs?

Denice: Most people would think it would have been learning about our grandfather's involvement in Roswell, where he had recovered debris from something that crashed in the desert just outside of town. Although he told my brother's and I of his accounts of that event around 1975, prior to this there was a culmination of various discussions that would have led me to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life.

FIT: Did your family openly discuss the topic of UFOs, and if so how was it treated?

Denice: Probably the first occasion that would have triggered a dialogue about UFOs would have been the Pioneer 10 probe which was launched in 1972. I was very young, but I do remember my father being very excited about this because there was a gold-anodized aluminum plaque attached to the probe in case it was ever found by intelligent lifeforms.

Along with that, we would spend several weekends camping and observing the Montana night skies. I remember one night when we were looking through my father's telescope he said something along the lines of; "when we look up at the skies, there very well could be something looking back." So discussing about the possibilities of intelligent life was rather commonplace.

FIT: There has been much controversy over the actual date of the crash near Roswell. As far as you and your family can recall, what was the actual date of the crash?

Denice: The controversy will always loom, and I doubt anyone will ever be able to pinpoint the exact date of the crash. The one date we are sure of is that on July 7th, my grandfather was requested to investigate some unusual debris that was found on the Foster Ranch. Other than that, our family's recollection of the crash would be from stories and newspaper articles, for example, according to The Roswell Daily Record printed on July 9th, 1947, Mac Brazel first discovered the debris on June 14th.

FIT: What was it that actually sparked your interest in the subject of UFOs?

Denice: Since the Marcel name is synonymous with "The Roswell Incident", I would have to say it would be my father and grandfather. After all, both of them held pieces of a UFO.

FIT: Now that you are a MUFON Field Investigator, has your outlook on the field of UFOlogy changed any, and if so, how?

Denice: Becoming a MUFON Field Investigator has only solidified what I have always thought, there needs to be more scientific research applied to the field of UFOlogy. One little funny side-note; I think I started investigating UFOs around the age of nine when my father and brother's witnessed something over the mountaintops where we lived in Montana. I immediately asked them to all draw a picture so we could compare their sightings. I really wish I still had that drawing.

Since my father had to recount his participation in the Roswell event, I realized that memory played a big role. With this in mind I wanted to understand how memories worked, so I decided to study Hypnotherapy. Even though I didn't practice, I did receive my Hypnotherapist Certification from the California Hypnosis Motivation Institute, which is the only such accredited institution in the United States. The timing was perfect because in 1997 I accompanied my father for a hypnosis session in Washington D.C., that Dr. Neil Hibler would conduct on my father over the course of three days. Dr. Hibler was one of the world's leading experts who used hypnotic regression for forensic purposes. The hypnosis sessions solidified everything my father had been conveying over the years.

FIT: As the new State Section Director you've done a stellar job of reorganizing MUFON Los Angeles. What are your plans for MUFON Los Angeles in the future?

Denice: First and foremost to continue to educate the public on the UFO phenomenon and it's potential impact on society. MUFON Los Angeles will hold monthly meetings with guest speakers, featuring scientists, authors, and researchers, along with discussing past and current UFO cases. And hopefully in the future possible skywatching events.

FIT: Your grandfather, Jesse Marcel, is well known for being ordered to pose with the wreckage of a weather balloon, leading the public to believe that it was what was actually recovered from Mac Brazel's ranch. How did that affect your grandfather...

Denice: The photo you are referring to is well known in the Roswell event. My grandfather was ordered by his commanding officers to pose with materials other than what he actually recovered from the debris field. Since the military felt the actual mysterious material could affect the "security of our nation", as an intelligence officer for the 509th bomb group, and being the military man that he was, he did what he was ordered to do. Although he remained silent about the incident, you can see from the expression on his face, it was  his "you've got to be kidding me" look.

FIT: ...and what is your feeling about military personnel that are ordered to fabricate stories to cover up the existence of UFOs?

Denice: I believe we all have the right to know the truth about UFOs. I don't feel our government has the right to fabricate, or cover up evidence of the existence of UFOs. They will always use the excuse that it is for the "security of our nation". I think those days are long gone.

FIT: Would you personally recommend to other military personnel that they come forward with their stories?

Denice: I had the honor of speaking on the Roswell panel alongside my father and brother at the Citizen's Hearing on Disclosure in Washington D.C. in 2013. During these hearings I listened to 37 other researchers, along with military, agency, and political persons of high rank and station testify to six former members of the United States Congress.

The statements that I listened to over the course of five days were very informative, and not only would I recommend other military personnel to come forward with their accounts, I feel it is time that our government comes forward with the truth, and that is; "We are not alone!" After all, when it comes to the Roswell incident, I believe my father and grandfather!!

FIT: The 73rd anniversary of the crash near Roswell is coming up in July, and you will be speaking at the festival in Roswell. What can attendees expect to see in Roswell?

Denice: The Roswell UFO Festival 2015 will be a three day event featuring guest speakers, authors, live entertainment, a parade and a 5K/10K run/walk. This year my brother and I will be lecturing on our experience, and how it has affected out lives. This will the first time I will be going to Roswell without my father, and so a new chapter begins.

End of interview.

And so indeed a new chapter begins for Denice Marcel, and MUFON Los Angeles. Denice has built a new website as well:
where you can find all the latest information about meetings and sightings in the area!

Thanks for spending the time with this special issue. I'd like to dedicate this issue to Jesse Marcel, Jesse Marcel Jr. and to the occupants of that doomed craft all those years ago.  May you all rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Issue #46 Not The Smoking Gun...Again!

The UFO community is all abuzz today with talk of last nights presentation of the purported "alien slides". I would have been remiss to not catch last nights presentation, but fortunately for me I had the presence of mind to find a free link instead of paying the $20. I'm very glad too...otherwise I'd have felt ripped off! Please bear in mind that my following comments are my impressions of the event, and the way it was handled, and what the photos might actually be of. I only have the photos to go by, but then again, that's all anyone else had to go by either!

I was originally interested of course only because of the pre-release of the blurred photo of the slide. The blurred image looked like it might be from what many consider a typical grey alien, and I think the promoters were counting on just that reaction from people. That is why they promoted it the way they did. The public was also led to believe that it was sealed in some kind of preservation chamber, which when finally revealed was simply not the pun intended.

Instead, the "big reveal" showed what appeared to be the mummy of a child in a glass display case such as one would find in any museum. But of course, we've all heard how they just let the public see all the aliens back in '47, and didn't hide anything...right? That must explain the people also in the photograph looking at the "alien", and the other exhibits as if they were common place. And yes, I too would stick either a bear or gorilla's head next to it, because I'm sure the context would be fitting...not! It's more likely part of the exhibit in an natural history museum!

Yes, they showed in their presentation how they were able to date the slides, and how all the film types and processing matched for that era. That doesn't lend one bit of credence to the subject of the picture though. It could just as easily been taken on a trip to Egypt, and mixed in with the rest of the slides. Just because the lady new the Eisenhower's doesn't make it an alien either!

I reviewed quite a few child mummy pictures to compare, and guess what? They all look just like what was presented last night! I think I might have even found the same mummy as represented as an alien, but he is on display in Egypt.

As for all the comments I've read this morning on social media, I can only say that this was the biggest disaster for UFOlogy in years! I have not read any comments that sounded like, "finally the evidence we've been waiting for!", or "Wow, that was the proof I needed!"...instead I'm hearing very negative comments about the "alien", and UFOlogy in general. They said their presentation would forever change UFOlogy...I just hope it hasn't forever made a mockery of the field!

In conclusion, I can only say that I am very disappointed in the whole affair. The way it was presented was nothing more than a glorified dog and pony show, totally lacking any credible scientific evidence. That someone would think "alien" before "museum exhibit" is quite frankly ridiculous, and the public is not as stupid as the promoters of this event had hoped. Yes, we would love to see the real proof, but when we are presented with junk like this, billed as the "real thing", it's no wonder there are so many non-believers. This is why MUFON has such an uphill battle, but we at least stay credible by sticking with the science. When we forgo that, then we will be finished as a credible investigator of UFOs.