Thursday, March 31, 2022

Another 300,000+ pages added : Before UFO Twitter, there was UFO Usenet - a huge collection of largely pointless posts, with a few nuggets of helpful UFO, Area 51 and SETI research

Before current social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, UFO chat took place on:

(1) various emails discussion list and online forums (archives of some of which I have previously uploaded, and permission in relation to some others - such as the Open Minds forum - is currently being sought) and 

(2) on Usenet newsgroups.

Usenet newsgroups involved messages posted within the Usenet system. Such newsgroups were particularly popular in the 1990s and early 2000s, but more recently have lost a lot of ground to Twitter and Facebook. 

Over the years (particularly in the 1990s-2010), there have been many messages on various Usenet groups relating to UFOs, SETI, Area 51 and scepticism. The total number of messages on some relevant groups is measured in hundreds of thousands of posts. 

Frankly, I have never been a fan of Usenet newsgroup discussions of UFOs. They often involve polarised, superficial nonsense. UFO Usenet posts generally lacked original research or critical thought. Those newsgroups also included a lot of spam and irrelevant material. Reading most UFO Usenet messages is a tedious waste of time. But there were some occasional useful nuggets. Also, many posts on Usenet newsgroups included posts to higher quality research or news reports, so searching Usenet posts can sometimes be a useful way of finding other material which cannot now easily be located by other means. So comprehensive UFO research is aided by including Usenet posts in relevant searches.

I have now added to a sample of a few hundred thousand Usenet posts (about 300,000 pages of material) from relevant groups to the online archive. At, say, 500 pages per lever arch files then these 300,000 pages amount to about 600 lever arch files. 

I could probably add, say, another 1 million pages of material relating to UFOs etc from Usenet groups using the same simple techniques (involving using some free software, particularly Thunderbird) but as I mentioned above I've never been much of a fan of Usenet newgroups posts regarding UFOs so will probably only do further work on this particular source if some others were prepared to help with some of the work involved. 

I've added this sample of about 300,000 pages of material in two different formats: html (for ease of browsing online) and PDF copies (for downloading and searching offline).

The current samples of messages are from the following Usenet groups:

(1) alt.alien.research

Currently added approximately 36,600 files (being approximately 62,400 pages)

(2) alt.conspiracy.area51

Currently added approximately 4,300 files (approximately 7,300 pages)

(3) alt.conspiracy.area-51

Currently added approximately 1,000 files (approximately 2,800 pages)

(4) alt.paranet.ufo

Currently added approximately 40,200 files (approximately 58,500 pages)

(5) alt.paranormal.crop-circles

Currently added approximately 61,800 files (approximately 95,200 pages)

(6) alt.sci.seti

Currently added approximately 13,600 files (approximately 23,400 pages)

(7) sci.skeptic

Currently added approximately 51,000 files (estimate approximately 75,000 pages)

Saturday, March 26, 2022

"Alien Chaser" website of Ron Regehr (1990s: UFOs, UERs and UCTs - military satellite systems, Roswell and the Ramey memo)

With Ron Regehr's kind permission, I have made available online a revised copy of his "Alien Chaser" website (USA, 1990s) and also created a set of PDF files containing searchable copies of that material.

Ron's website included material on various UFO incidents and issues, particularly satellite detection of UFOs, the Roswell wreckage and the so-called Ramey memo. That website can now be browsed by clicking HERE or the PDF files can be downloaded from HERE.

Ron Regehr website included the following brief introduction: "By day, he designs top secret military satellite systems, the nation's first line of defense against enemy attacks. Watching the skies, he knows UFOs are here. The astronautical/aeronautical engineer works on the next generation spy satellites, with an insider's knowledge that the US government has suppressed and withheld information about UFOs as the satellite data confirms".  

That background explains Ron Regehr's particular interest in detection of UFOs by satellites.

I have revised 117 dead links in Ron's old website so that those links now point to archived copies of relevant webpages. This was achieved by adapting techniques I developed (and posted about) in relation to my previous uploading of a revised copy of Glenn Campbell's large UFOmind website (USA, 1990s).

Since Ron Regehr stopped updated most pages on his Alien Chaser website in or around October 1999, many of the links were updated up to about 1999. Many of those links are now dead - but it is possible to replace those old links with new links that work.

Basically, Ron's website was maintained until about October 1999 (and was archived by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine) and I was able to download the latest archived version of each webpage and image from that archive by using the wayback_machine_downloader code that I've previously written about. I then:

(1) used the Find in Files function of NotePad++ to temporarily replace each absolute link in that website (by replacing each occurrence of HREF="http with HRREF="http),

(2) replaced all the relative links with new absolute links to the copy of the website I've uploaded to the AFU's website (by replacing each HREF=" with HREF="

(3) I then replaced the temporary absolute links from Step 1 above with new links to archived copies of those webpages in the Wayback Machine's Internet Archive. As I've previously mentioned, adding "51143" after a date in the Wayback Machine's Internet Archive URL results in a link to the archived copy of that webpage nearest to the specified date. So, I have replaced all external links in the Alien Chaser webpages with links to the Wayback Machine's archived nearest to 1 October 1999 using that 51143 trick by using the Find in Files function of NotePad++ to replace every occurrence of HRREF="http:// with HREF="

I'm gradually building up speed using these techniques, so I (or others...) should be able to resurrect many other UFO websites which have ceased to be operational over the last couple of decades (and create searchable PDF copies of the material from those websites).

Friday, March 25, 2022

PDFs : Scans of another 12 UFO books/booklets by Rick Hilberg (USA, active in ufology for the last 60 years...) freely available online as searchable PDFs

Yesterday, I uploaded 10 books/booklets written by veteran ufologist Rick Hilberg (USA, active in ufology for the last 60 years). Another 12 of his books/booklets, which he kindly donated to the AFU in Sweden,  have been scanned by the AFU. I have uploaded them today, so they are now freely available online (with Rick's permission) as searchable PDFs. I hope to upload over another 100,000 pages of UFO material this weekend.

As with Rick's other books/booklets, I have now added searchable copies of these 12 rare publications (with Rick's permission) to the "Books" section of the AFU's website.

These further uploads are:

Hilberg, Rick - Jim Moseley and The Saucer News Years

Hilberg, Rick - Northern Ohio Ufo Casebook

Hilberg, Rick - Rick Hilberg's Book of Weirdology

Hilberg, Rick - Rick Hilberg's Ufomation

Hilberg, Rick - The Best of the Original UFO Magazine

Hilberg, Rick - The Forgotten Flap 1964 - Special Membership Publication #2012-1

Hilberg, Rick - The Forgotten Flap 1964

Hilberg, Rick - The Last Great Flap 1973-1974

Hilberg, Rick - The Saucer Saga

Hilberg, Rick - UFOs in the Late 20th Century

Hilberg, Rick - Weirdology II

Hilberg, Rick and Manak and Easley - Saucer Trek

Thursday, March 24, 2022

10 UFO books/booklets by Rick Hilberg (veteran UFO researcher, USA) added

Rick Hilberg (the veteran ufologist in the USA) has kindly provided the AFU in Sweden with a number of his rare UFO publications. The AFU has helpfully scanned some of these rare publications.

(There aren't many people still active in UFO research and investigation in 2022 that can refer back to a booklet they wrote in 2004 about the 42 years they had spent in ufology by that date, i.e. have now been active in ufology for 60 years. That booklet is one of the items included in the new uploads). 

I have now added searchable copies of 10 of these rare publications (with Rick's permission) to the "Books" section of the AFU's website. These publications are each about 30 to 40 pages long. They are:

Hilberg, Rick - 42 Years A UFO Editor's Retrospective

Hilberg, Rick - A Decade of Flying Saucers 1950-1960

Hilberg, Rick - A Flying Saucer Scrapbook

Hilberg, Rick - A Gray Barker Reader I

Hilberg, Rick - A Gray Barker Reader II

Hilberg, Rick - A Gray Barker Reader III

Hilberg, Rick - A Significant Ufological Year 1966

Hilberg, Rick - A Ufological Snapshot 1980-1981

Hilberg, Rick - Around and About the Saucer World

Hilberg, Rick - FSD Revisited

During the last few years I have already uploaded some of Rick's other material (with his permission) thanks to scanning by the AFU, Barry Greenwood and others. Those previous uploads included many issues of Rick's "UFO Magazine" and a collection of his photos of UFO researchers from the 1950s-1990s (including Hynek, Gray Barker, John Keel, Betty Hill and many others).

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Press articles about Professor John Mack (about 500 clippings) - alien abductions, Harvard controversy and Ariel school incident

Professor John Mack was one of the best known alien abduction researchers. He was also influential (for better or worse...) for contributing to the increasing references to "consciousness" in UFO research and studies of purported alien abductions.

He was recently the subject of Ralph Blumenthal's interesting book "he Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack" (2021).

I have now uploaded a set of about 500 press cuttings relating to John Mack to my online archive.

As some of you know, I'm doing some work in relation to the Ariel school UFO incident in Zimbabwe (1994), which was investigated by Professor John Mack and a few others. Unfortunately, there is not much on that particular incident (which I'll post an item about at some other time) in these cuttings. They do, however, give a good insight into how John Mack and alien abduction research were viewed by the different elements of the media at various stages of his work.

These cuttings include considerable coverage of his work on alien abductions and the controversy at Harvard regarding that work.

The clippings are organised into chronological order (and are, of course, searchable).

I'm grateful to the John E Mack Institute in America - including its helpful representative Will Bueche - (and  other archives, including the AFU in Sweden, and various groups/researchers/witnesses) for giving me access to material about John Mack and the Ariel school incident.

Incidentally, the John E Mack Institute has an interesting Youtube channel with various interviews of, and presentations by, John Mack (including in relation to the Ariel school incident, although sadly some of the videos are edited and do not include some of the clips and videos mentioned in the relevant presentations). Some of them are rather rare and include semi-private presentations to select audiences - in addition to TV interviews.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

"Space Tracks" magazine/bulletin of the US Naval Space Command - searchable PDFs now added to archive

Australian UFO researcher Paul Dean (probably the world's leading UFO researcher on issues/documents relating to North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD)) asked me earlier today about "Space Tracks", a magazine/bulletin published by the United States Naval Space Command.  I've now uploaded searchable PDF copies of 12 issues of "Space Tracks" to the AFU's online archive for Paul and any other interested researchers.

The purpose of the Naval Space Command's "Space Tracks" was to "discuss naval space issues and initiatives, and promote a broader awareness of space support available to the naval warfighter".

It included several references to uncorrelated targets, including mentioning a database of uncorrelated targets ("UCTs") in the January 2000 issue at page 11. (Paul Dean and a few other UFO researchers have written about UCTs in the context of descriptions of unidentified objects in space, e.g. in Paul Dean's "NORAD and the UFO Smokescreen" series of articles).

Incidentally, the Navy Space Command appears to be one of a number of governmental and private entities that have used the abbreviation "UFO" as a three-letter acronym for various other purposes - with that abbreviation often seeming to be a bit of a stretch (sometimes presumably done for comedy value).  "Space Tracks" contains several references to the "Ultra-High Frequency Follow-On" ("UFO") satellite program, e.g. "The UFO satellite program is a critical link in providing global tactical communications for naval forces world-wide" and "Six UFO spacecraft are currently operational on orbit".

(I've given a bit of thought to extending my online archiving work to other space-related magazines and newsletters, not directly related to UFOs, SETI or anomalous phenomena. On balance, I think I'll probably refrain from any such extension. Now that most UFO books, magazines and case files have been scanned, I _really_ want to spend much more of the time I devote to ufology on my own deep dives in certain UFO research areas and new collaborative UFO research projects, rather than having such a significant proportion of that time diverted by organising the digitisation/scanning project. I may even find time to write up some of those deep dives...).

The issues included in this initial batch are:

Space Tracks - 1998 01

Space Tracks - 1998 03 - ADA341588

Space Tracks - 1999 01 - ADA360587

Space Tracks - 1999 03 - ADA361415

Space Tracks - 1999 05 - ADA364242

Space Tracks - 1999 09 - ADA368324

Space Tracks - 2000 01

Space Tracks - 2000 04

Space Tracks - 2000 10

Space Tracks - 2001 04

Space Tracks - 2001 10

Space Tracks - 2002 04 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

PDFs - UFO articles from rare "See" magazine and "Amazing Stories" (USA, 1940s-1950s) - by Kenneth Arnold, Gray Barker, Richard S Shaver, Vincent Gaddis

"Amazing Stories" usually printed, well, stories - as the name might suggest. Some of them related to aliens and monsters, including the well-known "Shaver mystery" stories. However, several issues of "Amazing Stories" also included non-fiction articles - including a special UFO issue (with material written by Kenneth Arnold, Gray Barker and Richard Shaver). Other issues included UFO articles by Vincent Gaddis in June 1947 and editorials by Ray Palmer.

"See" magazine published an article by Gerald Heard in 1951, including the possibility that "our visitors are mapping our magnetic field" (which was one of the various theories suggested in the 1950s linking UFOs with magnetic fields).

Thanks mainly to Russian researcher Mikhail Gershtein, I have now added scans of these items have now been added to the online archive - in the section for UFO articles from mainstream periodicals from the USA.