Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Robert Scheaffer and National Geographic: Tools of the CIA?

I read Robert Hastings' latest rant on The UFO Chronicles.  It appears that Hastings has blown a gasket concerning Robert Scheaffer's appearance on National Geographic's "Secret History of UFOs".  Scheaffer's tenacity at "debunking" the UFO phenomena may well be a side story to Hasting's angst.   National Geographic has provided two recent UFO themed programs, "Chasing UFOs" and now, "Secret History of UFOs."  Both apparently catering to a separate crowd.  As a disclaimer, I have watched neither program.

Evidently "Chasing UFOs" has been a bomb with both skeptics and UFO proponents alike.  The fact that Hastings had publicly denounced the show was enough for me to figure that the show wasn't worth my time and effort to DVR it.  I recalled seeing trailers for the program and figured it was a possible farce due to the use of "Ghost Hunter" antics and "technology", that is, running around in the dead of night with inferred night vision goggles.  In other words, I'd be  investing an hour's worth of my time that I could never get back.

That Scheaffer would play the part of skeptic should be a no-brainer.  Did Hastings expect anything different?  Yet, with that said, Sheaffer is merely a distraction from the main issue.   It's National Geographic's perceived incestuous relationship with "unknown" government entities and their attempts to discredit Ufology that has Hasting's on the verge (if not already there) of an epileptic convulsion.

Hastings argues that its not unreasonable to assume that Nat Geo may be working with the CIA in an attempt to debunk the UFO phenomena and he goes on to add, "This is not some paranoid fantasy..."  Unfortunately for Hastings this is a text book study in paranoid fantasy.  In Hastings' world anyone who doubts his point of view is systematically labeled a dupe or worst, an agent of the government, ie, the CIA or some other unnamed intelligence service.  Paranoia by itself may not be pathological, but over time...

If you remove National Geographic from the picture, Ufologist still have a plethora of media vehicles to press their point of view.  The History Channel (now History) runs constant reruns of "Ancient Aliens" segments sprinkled with "Nostradamus" and the UFO connection.  Coast to Coast tends to have a steady diet of UFO topics.  Let's not forget the numerous pod casts on-line.  All of these outlets are available, uninterrupted, to general public on a daily basis.  Does this sound like a conspiracy to debunk the UFO phenomena?   

Let's look at the other side of the coin.   I've yet to see skeptics having a prominent role in any of those media outlets mentioned above, in fact, skeptics have been arguing that THEY have been given very little say and time on the subject since the UFO proponent tend to garner most of the face time.  Seriously, is this the CIA conspiracy dutifully at work debunking UFOs?

Originally accessed Robert Hastings article via The UFO Iconoclast(s).


  1. Hastings is just catering to the crowd. I was also on the program and so were a lot of prominent UFO proponents. What bothered the proponents was that the skeptics were allowed to present their case against theirs. There was an equal time thing where the viewer could make up their own mind. That is not what UFO proponents want people to see or hear. Any mention of a potential explanation is immediately considered debunking.
    The real reason the show was presented this way had a lot more to do with the personality of the producer. She was very well informed. She had several UFO books at her disposal (and they weren't debunking books mind you, although I pointed out she needed to add Hendry's book to her collection) with all sorts of notes and markings on them. She did her homework prior to actually conducting the interviews and this showed up in the program. Over a two-three hour period, I was peppered with all sorts of questions on various cases (many of which never made it on the program) in order to obtain information and have it presented for use. The bottom line was that it was the producer who drove the way the program was presented and not the CIA, Sheaffer, or any skeptical organization.
    Hastings can best be described as a paranoid fanatic, who has found a convenient way of making money by speaking about UFOs. He is in the business of selling himself and the idea of a grand government conspiracy. As a result, he is going to say or write anything (no matter if it is true or not) that makes the skeptical opinions appear as nothing more than part of the conspiracy. I am surprised he has not used your and my military backgrounds as a tool to lump us into that conspiracy.

  2. Tim, I remember you telling me awhile ago about being interviewed for this show...somehow I forgot about it. Hopefully I'll be able to watch this segment later with my ON-Demand cable option.

    As far as your analysis of Hastings...I concur.