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)

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