By Stuart MIllerA series of extracts from the latest edition of Alien Worlds magazine issue 3
The Rich Reynolds interview; Rich just just talking………
AW: You were talking a few moments ago about Stan Friedman, and in terms of the way you paid tribute to the guy, I have no disagreements. But, somewhat belatedly recently, Loren Coleman gave a reboot to a previous blog posting of yours which went the rounds again and caused a stir. I refer to it as the "Kill them all" piece (in which Rich postulated that UFOlogy wouldn´t move on until all the older researchers and observers had died. Although he never said it, there was a sense within the article of him urging them to get on with it – Ed). Stan would be a perfect candidate for that category. He is one of the old guard. He´s been there since the year dot and really, surely, its people like him that you just want to sweep away in order to usher in a new way of thinking and a fresh approach.
RR: Stanton Friedman is like Moses, telling the story until we´ve had enough of it. But he´s a venerable kind of guy and he´s up there in years, in fact not much older than me, but I would hate to see anything happen to him. He is the ballast in the UFO ship. I think he´s wrong about the MJ12 documents and a couple of other things, but he musters enough evidence to keep things alive and you can´t discount him totally. So I´d hate to see him disappear from the scene, but he is going to at some point which may end up being helpful.
There was a debate on a forum recently about the cult of personality in UFOlogy and who could take up the mantle of the movement. You´ve had this problem too. When you start dealing with people other than Stanton Friedman, like Richard Hall or Jerry Clark or Rudiak or a number of other people, they can be so belligerent to outside views that differ from theirs, and I think it´s time to clear that slate.
You have this gorgeous young woman, Brittany Babakioff, who maybe represents a new generation. I have this thing, which I know you hate, that the messengers are so homely that when we see them on the air that we tend to discount the message. She´s so gorgeous that we would tend to discount the message from her. I´d say, "Oh my God, here´s a babe who has something to say" but you´re so taken aback by her beauty, her attractiveness that you discount what she´s saying. You can´t go either way. You can´t have people too ugly or too beautiful.
AW: Rich, it might be too late in life to try to get you to do this but; you need to focus on the words!
RR: I know but I just get so distracted. Somebody recently said that the message has to have the right messenger. As a psychologist I think there is some validity to that. The problem is we don´t have anybody who stands apart from the UFO crowd; there are just a lot of people within the UFO community who feed off from each other.
But from the public standpoint, who is the spokesman for UFOlogy? It used to be Donald Keyhoe who I actually adored, he had personality quirks or whatever but I loved the guy and he was the face of the UFO message. Goofy as he looked, he made the point for us.
AW: A lot of people would say that Stan is that face in the United States.
RR: When you see Stan Friedman, you know he is going to talk about UFOs, and you expect that. But there is a lack of dynamism about Stan and there´s some mystical element there that he just doesn´t have. But I can´t name anybody else who does what he does. I don´t know who´s going to come forward to make the case in the public eye. Who could do this that would be reasonable and sensible and have the austerity and charisma to get the message across?
AW: Why do we need a figurehead?
RR: You think UFOs on their own are valid enough to represent the issue? You don´t think we need a messenger?
AW: Well I wonder if we need a messenger or whether we need a number of competent people that can talk in an articulate manner about the subject.
RR: You know as well as I do that when you get those people together in a room then it can become a cacophony of nonsense. Everybody would be trying to get attention. In the UFO community, that is what everybody does. Everybody wants to be recognised among their peers and they don´t care about the public. The biggest self promoter is Paul Kimball, who I actually like very much. But he´s a self promoter and wants to be recognised. He´s so diverse and has so many things going on, and he doesn´t concentrate just on UFOs necessarily, but he wants to be recognised. Everybody wants to have somebody hang their hat in their doorway so they can be seen as worthwhile, and they don´t give a dam about the public.