|Recipient of MUFON PA 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. David Jacobs|
Retired historian, author and investigator of alleged alien abduction Dr. David Jacobs will be presented a lifetime achievement award at an upcoming conference conducted by MUFON PA in Philadelphia. Jacobs is also the keynote speaker for the October event. In a bio on his website, Jacobs purports to be "a strong advocate of strict scientific and ethical research methodology," and MUFON purports via its mission statement to be dedicated to "the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity."
Well, I'm always up for some good strict scientific info on UFOs, so hot damn! This outghta be great, right?
I emailed MUFON Executive Director Jan Harzan and MUFON PA State Director John Ventre and asked permission to pose a few questions. For the sake of accuracy and context I will share an August 8 email exchange, rather than summarize it, that subsequently occurred with Ventre. I will then present what I interpret to be significant points of interest.
The Email Exchange
My initial email read as follows:
Hello Gentlemen:Below is John Ventre's reply and the subsequent exchange between the two of us with minor edits for grammar and clarity.
Jack Brewer here from the blog, 'The UFO Trail'.
Would it be okay if I email you a few questions about the upcoming MUFON PA conference in Philadelphia and include your responses in a blog post? I would particularly like to obtain information about the selection process resulting in Dr. David Jacobs as the keynote speaker and recipient of a lifetime achievement award as described in the following link:
Philadelphia Speakers | MUFON PA
Thanks for your consideration,
The UFO Trail
I already answered that question on the UFOinfo forum and don't plan to do that again. There are 3-4 antagonist haters on that site that ruins it for everyone else.
If you are writing an objective article then I will reply.
Thanks for your reply. I'm not familiar with your forum post, but perhaps you will offer responses to the following items at your convenience:
Who was empowered to select Dr. David Jacobs as a recipient of a lifetime achievement award?
What was the criteria used to select a recipient?
Given the MUFON mission statement of dedication to scientific study for the benefit of humanity, would you please explain specifically what methodology employed by Jacobs was identified as scientific? What makes it so?
I select the speakers for our 3 Pa conferences which you can view at www.mufonpa.com. I have read approx. 30 UFO books in the past year as I try to figure out the origin of the Grey abduction phenomena. The only 3 names referenced multiple times in these books are Mack, Vallee and Jacobs. I was surprised that Kathie Marden who heads up MUFON's abduction research was never mentioned. I tried to book Vallee who said he no longer does conferences and Mack is no longer with us. We also try to recognize a veteran in the field with a lifetime achievement award. In the past, we recognized Stanton Friedman, Linda Moulton Howe, Bill Birnes and Travis Walton. We are also recognizing Loren Coleman at our Pitt Conf in Nov. I also don’t theme my Pa conferences and offer a variety of speakers and topics including Bigfoot and the paranormal etc. You also need to know that MUFON states operate fairly independent of HQ so these were my decisions. Jacobs was a pioneer in this field when there were few. Jacobs and Hopkins basically wrote the book on regressive hypnosis and many of their techniques are still used today. For critics who say he had no formal training, I say he has a PhD and there was no formal training in this field when he started. I think Jacobs is highly qualified and I say to the critics that you can view it as an Elia Kazan 1999 Academy Award. You don’t have to like the man or his methods but his contributions to Ufology stand. I for one absolutely agree that the ETs are not here to help. That is Jacobs' message. I have a different view on who they actually are and you can read all about that in my new book, "Case for UFOs" in September. . . . . .
Thanks, John, and I understand that you would obviously be tolerant of Dr. Jacobs' methodology, else you would not have offered him a lifetime achievement award - but that does not address my inquiry about scientific study.
So I would pose the question this way, please:
Did you identify any of Jacobs' methodology as scientific, or did you decide you were not concerned about his lack of practicing scientific study?
Also, would you please offer a quote or two on how you resolve your choice of Jacobs as an award recipient with the Emma Woods scandal?
If helpful, here is a page containing specific quotes and recordings of interactions between Jacobs and Woods during hypnosis:
The UFO Trail: The Woods/Jacobs Tapes and the 'Oral History' Falsehood
Would you please explain, specifically, how you reconcile such statements with presenting a lifetime achievement award from a purportedly scientific research organization?
State conferences do not follow the same criteria as the yearly Symposium. They can be informative, entertaining or instructive. I once had a punk rock band perform a UFO song for us at the end of the conference. I thought it was great. I read Bill Birnes' take on Jacobs and Woods years ago. That’s for the courts to decide, not me. By your logic, we should condemn NASA and the US space program because we recruited NAZI scientists and Wernher von Braun. Not my place. Jacobs has contributed much to the field and is one of the few voices who doesn’t believe abductions are for our benefit and "They" are here to help us. John Wayne and Clint Eastwood were never really great actors but they won academy awards for their body of work.
Be sure to send me a link to your article.
I sincerely do not mean to be overly aggressive on the point of scientific study, John, but you are arguably evading the question.
Did you or did you not consider sound scientific research principles as criteria for potential lifetime achievement award recipients?
Would you please explain your stance on the Emma Woods scandal in relation to bestowing David Jacobs with an award?
Those do not seem like unreasonable questions to me. If you disagree, I am more than willing to quote any explanations you might care to provide as to why the points are not valid or are unreasonable. ...
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