Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Audio conversation with the crew from Open Minds

UFO journalists Jason McClellan, Maureen Elsberry and Alejandro Rojas.

Jason McClellan, Maureen Elsberry and Alejandro Rojas talk with me about their roles as full time UFO journalists at Open Minds. We also dig into some of the challenges of putting on a UFO conference as well. I asked them their thoughts about the divide within the UFO community of researchers and enthusiasts, the divergence between the "love and light" crowd and the "nuts and bolts" crowd. Those might seem strong terms, but there is a whole lotta truth in these caricatures. I really noticed this tension when I was at this years conference as a speaker, my talk was decidedly on the "love and light" side of that divide.

You can get a DVD copy of my talk at the conference HERE.

  one-click audio download HERE  

We talk together for about an hour. At the end I've added about an excerpt from an interview with Richard Dolan that happened in March of this year. The extra clip is about twenty minutes long, and we address some of the same issues that showed up in the opening part of the podcast. This interview with Rich is recommended, linked HERE.

I have some strong opinions of the modern cable TV reality show that is framed as a documentary, it is a form of filmmaking that I find difficult to watch. That said, I'm including an episode of Uncovering Aliens (featuring Maureen Elsberry) that I found to be pretty good. One thing that is interesting (and funny) to me is the "Odd Couple" of Darryl Simms and Steve Jones. Felix and Oscar for the 21st Century.


Red Pill Junkie said...

A very enjoyable round table, Mike.

And let me just say that, as a creator of content myself --being an active collaborator in several websites, predominantly The Daily Grail & Mysterious Universe, I can completely sympathize with the Open Mind team's position in seeking that elusive sweetspot of balance, between science-based stuff that barely intersects with the Fortean world --yet it may be worth linking to for any number of reasons-- and the 'waaay out there' stuff that many media outlets wouldn't dare to touch with a ten-foot pole. IMO more sites should strive to cater to the 'excluded middle'.

That said, I also understand your boredom with the 'lights in the sky' reports, or the Youtube clips showing yet another pixelated disc hovering in some unremarkable sky background. But let's be honest here: Each & every one of us went to our 'UFO porn' phase, in which we couldn't get enough sighting reports & descriptions of the burnt marks in the ground, or the height of the occupants when the portal on the side of the craft opened; and IMO the 'UFO porn' will always be necessary in order to 'lure new blood' into the field. Maybe some 13-year-old kid will read a story of a UFO sighting that happened right next to where he lives, and THAT will pique his interest; and then maybe after reading more sighting reports he'll either get bored with the subject or moved on into more challenging stuff --like abductions, or maybe even channeling.

Where I don't show much patience anymore, is with individuals that after spending year after year involved in the field, show NO sign of changing their preconceptions about the phenomenon. Sorry, Stan...

Because at the end of the day, one should ask oneself: Why am I reading this new UFO book, or attending the UFO conference once again? Is it to reinforce my given opinion about the phenomenon, or to challenge? And we at The Grail or the guys at Open Minds can manage to challenge at least a handful or their visitors, then we've managed to do our job.

Which is why I fully encourage you to go on & write that article for them. If Maureen gets at least 10 angry e-mails complaining about "that crazy owl guy & his nonsense" then mission accomplished! :P

Red Pill Junkie said...

PS: Apologies for the lousy Grammar. Blogger can sometimes be a pain to help you review & edit the comments. I guess I've grown too used to Disqus ;)

The Secret Sun said...

Who exactly is paying the salaries of three full time employees for a site whose traffic is generously described as modest? And if they are interested in all viewpoints why do they delete comments that offer up information that challenges the factual accuracy of some of their articles?

Trish said...

Love Open Minds. Weve done two articles for them, several radio shows. Great people, good journalists into the weird and the strange.

Merlyn's Apprentice said...

It's funny, i have been "an experiencer" (ugh) my entire life yet i never really turn towards the outside world for answers. On the rare occasion i research paranormal phenom i always end up either finding lights in the sky, paranoid conspiracy, evil agenda, or love and light people who know each race and their motives. None of this appeals to me for several reasons. Like minded individuals will understand so i wont explain. Red Pill Junkie nails it when he says we need to find balance. It's very difficult for level headed people like myself to find decent sources of information. At this point i (and i assume other people like me... are there any? ha!) are looking for the right questions, not the right answers. I'll have to check out Open Minds. It sounds like its geared towards "the masses", which is a good thing, but probably won't do much to help this old guy along his strange path.

Merlyn's Apprentice said...

PS: I couldn't agree more with Richard Dolan and Mike. That extra 20 minutes was gold!