For the first time in my life I was recently called a ‘relic’ in Ufology. I didn’t know whether or not to be insulted or wear that as a badge of honor. At 47-years old, I don’t think of myself as old, or young. I’m right in the middle, even though I have reached my peak, and am now on the downward trend. I realize that. I think about it every day to be honest. Comes with the anxiety that I’ve been blessed with! But this comment stuck with me because over the last few years, since the creation of the To The Stars Academy on October 11th, 2017, we have seen a major influx in people taking notice and getting into the ‘UFO’ game. Some have brought some great social media skills. Others have strengthened the research community. While others are on a trek to go find them damn aliens no matter the cost or whom we gotta run over!
The new kids on the block, otherwise known as the ‘Young Guns’, have come into the field with their guns blazing. Many following their music hero, Tom DeLonge. Dubbed the ‘Young Guns’ by long time and respected researcher Grant Cameron, this new breed of researcher has taken on all of the familiar UFO heavyweights, showing the old guard that the ‘dinosaur’ era in ufology was about to come to an end. This new group has built an entire social media presence on the subject and run with it. Many have built connections and contacts within the field that have taken years or decades for others to establish. They’re asking the right questions. They’re not afraid to go for the jugular to get answers. They take chances. Sure, there is a large contingent that is extremely pro-TTSA, even after the split. Sure, sometimes they can be naive because many haven’t been burnt in this field before. But for the most part, the work that they are producing is moving the field forward, to the dismay of many of the older generation who aren’t willing to give up their titles in ufology yet.
The ‘old guard’ from the legendary Peter Davenport on down has worked tirelessly for decades to take this story from a conspiracy theory to the public eye. Much has been written, filmed and recorded by these masters of their art, without the fanfare or the notoriety that is/was deserved over the past fifty years. The list of ‘who’s who’ of UFO immortals that still draw the biggest crowds in the conference circuit, from the late Stanton Friedman, to Richard Dolan, Daniel Sheehan, Steven Bassett, Eric Van Daniken, Linda Moulton Howe, and others have paved the way through thick and thin to try and bring truth to the matter that there is something, somewhere out there. They’ve trudged through the insults, laughter, the tinfoil hat jokes from people and the media alike, and they stood tall because they believed in their research and the people who experienced something so supernatural that it defied the odds of common reality. They became the faces of the franchise to use a sports analogy and after years of ridicule and sticking to their guns, many hardened to new comers, new ideas, and a new look at the UFO topic and agenda.
So where has it gone off the rails? I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me personally, I can say what I’ve experienced and observed. I mean with such a unique and common cause, you’d think that both the new and the established researchers would be eager to come together and work towards the ultimate cause, ‘Disclosure’! But alas, right now that’s just a pipe dream. So why is that? For me, there have been a few observations. The first of which is trust. With the older generation of researchers, there’s always seemed to be a guarded silence among them. Many of which, after repeated tries, I still haven’t been able to interview on Spaced Out Radio. They don’t share their sources or care to engage with new people. This may be because the field always sees fly by nighters slip in and out of the limelight so they are more than cautious to get to know someone. There’s also a number of people out there who’ve come into the scene who have no problem stepping on toes in order to build their own name. Many have probably been burnt more than once or twice, so in their estimation there’s no point in sharing information with someone who may be there just to gain their own popularity. The second would be ego. Look who doesn’t like standing on a pedestal? As ACDC’s late singer Bon Scott once sang, “It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n’ roll!” When you reach the big leagues, you want to stay as long as you can. Every career has an expiry date. But there’s something to be said when you’re in demand. When you’re on the front of the conference posters. When you’re signing autographs and posing for pictures. When you’re being called by television companies and documentary film makers. When your stock is on the high, you are wanted by everyone! You’re the rockstar, while everyone else is playing in a tribute band, singing your songs. Frankly you can’t blame the long-timers at all. Many left prominent careers to pursue this world altering subject. They left a steady paycheque, health insurance, retirement funds to take a chance on what they truly believed in, which is the study of UFOs! There are many more aspects to this, of course, but not all are like this. We’ve seen George Knapp take Jeremy Corbell under his wing. We’ve seen Grant Cameron help build names around the community. Lorien Fenton always does her best to bring out the new faces with new research and experiences. Just to name a few.
But the new version of ufologists aren’t without their flaws either. Quick to attack, sometimes in a mob scenario on Twitter isn’t appetizing to read. Not all, but some have publicly doxed other researchers. Some lie about their credentials from science degrees to journalism. Many are willing to dig up any piece of dirt possible to try and ‘cancel’ any credibility that some long time researchers may have. At times there’s very little couth or respect shown back from the new breed, who’s tired of the same message from the same researchers. If you disagree with what they stand for, it’s like putting a K-Mart Blue Light Special light on top of your head because you’re going to get it. Many have multiple profiles on Twitter especially, to make any attack look bigger than what it really is. To many in the older core of researchers, this hasn’t been an attractive way to bridge the gap between the two sides. But for the most part, the newer generation doesn’t care. They’re racking up the points big time, creating relationships with everyone from government scientists to former military members who are gung-ho on establishing this topic as a mainstream phenomenon. Something the veterans have struggled to do over the years. To this more enthusiastic, younger group of researchers, this isn’t about UFO reports or ET Contact. It’s about ‘Disclosure’ or ‘Confirmation’. It’s about the science behind this. They’ve agreed with the separation between UAP and ‘Aliens’. They don’t care whether the old stereotype that once a spy, always a spook is relevant or not! They want the information by any means necessary to get the subject out in the forefront.
So can we bridge the gap? There are people who are trying. For some, this is part of the common goal, to bring both sides together and work along side each other. Sharing information in conjunction with strengthening the entire field. It’s going to take a lot of work, but it’s possible. The trust factor has to increase from the veterans. They have to wake up and realize the next-gen of ufologists aren’t here to screw them over. The young guns need to show a little more respect back, and understand the pavement they now ride on was once a rocky, dangerous, career ending road for some who have given everything from careers to divorce for the belief and love of this subject. People on both sides need to be more honest with themselves. Stop putting themselves on the pedestal before they’ve earned the opportunity to stand on it. But whatever the solution is, it’s still a long road ahead. However now’s not the time to take the foot off the gas pedal. New information is coming out frequently, and we all have to be on the ball for the next big story to drop, whether that’s together or as individuals.