Redefining Consensus Reality: American Media's Coverage of UFOs
It's Paradigm Research Group (PRG) executive director Steve Bassett's job to be optimistic about "the ongoing collapse of the truth embargo on formal acknowledgment of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race."
That's how he put it in his September 30 PRG press release, a reference, in part, to the widespread and uncharacteristically sober mainstream media coverage of Robert Hastings and Robert Sala's September 27 press conference at the National Press Building in Washington, DC.
In case you missed Technorati's coverage of it, the press conference was held to focus media attention on decades of UFO interference with U.S. military nuclear weapons installations. UFO researcher Robert Hastings and former U.S. Air Force Captain Robert Salas organized the conference, which included presentations made by seven former USAF personnel.
Roughly two dozen media representatives attended the press conference, which CNN streamed live.
Like Bassett, we've been pleased with our heretofore UFO-phobic media's straightforward coverage of the press conference, and visitors to PRG's media coverage index will correctly infer that a thaw does seem to be in progress.
Every day, somewhere in the United States, a newspaper or television station files a UFO story of some kind and, judging from PRG's index, such reports are increasing in frequency and integrity.
Signs of sobriety
Ten days prior to the press conference, several domestic media outlets picked up The Guardian's (UK) report that Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno had stated that he'd be willing to baptize an extraterrestrial if asked to do so.
Leslie Kean's new book UFO: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, published in August, earned a slot on the New York Times best seller list while Kean herself made the rounds of the talkshow circuit.
When Rich Dolan and Bryce Zabel's book, A.D. After Disclosure hits the stands this month, we expect it to garner considerable media attention, particularly in light of the popularity of NBC's new disclosure-related series, The Event.
A best-selling non-fiction book, non-news-of-the-weird reportage, and a well-attended press conference. Encouraging signs.
Signs of simplicity
Still, we've yet to see the fourth estate embrace ufology with the discipline it deserves, which is why, in the U.S. at least, their coverage retains an atmosphere of paper-training the puppy. Too many accidents and too much encouragement necessary for minimum compliance.Continued on the next page