Friday, March 14, 2014

MUFON Jumps the Shark | Review of Hangar 1: UFO Files

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Hangar 1 The UFO Files

By Robert Sheaffer
From the Urban Dictionary:

To jump the shark: The precise moment when you know a program, band, actor, politician, or other public figure has taken a turn for the worse, gone downhill, become irreversibly bad, is unredeemable, etc.; the moment you realize decay has set in.
      MUFON, the largest UFO organization in the United States, presents itself as being dedicated to the scientific investigation of UFOs. Its website describes "MUFON's Use of the Scientific Method":
In the reporting and investigation of UFO sightings, MUFON strives to use the scientific method....In order to augment scientific research into the study of the UFO phenomenon, MUFON created a Science Review Board (SRB) in 2012. The SRB consists of 8-9 scientists with backgrounds in electrical engineering, physics, chemistry, geology, biology, computer science, and astronomy.
MUFON has just debuted a TV series on the cable channel H2 (History Channel #2, placing it in the august company of shows like Ancient Aliens and The UFO Hunters), and in it the Scientific Method is nowhere to be seen. The series is called Hangar 1 the UFO Files, where "Hangar 1" is supposed to be the place MUFON's supposedly vast collection of UFO data (or UFO stories) is kept. Since MUFON does not exactly own buildings or anything, and its headquarters keep moving as its directors change, some folks are quite skeptical that there even is such a place as "Hangar 1" (think of that huge storage building at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.)

And what exactly does MUFON serve up from its precious archives? Some of the most preposterous, unsubstantiated stories in the UFO literature. . . .

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