Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, recently wrote in a The Huffington Post blog that UFOs are "a phenomenon worthy of attention," and I agree. SETI is in the business of searching for signals from intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations, and although Shostak's story continued to highlight some of the wild email correspondence he receives from people convinced that ET is already visiting us, SETI was once viewed as fringe itself. However, devoted scientists worked hard to make their case and in the process have gathered other scientists from multiple disciplines to join in the discussion and research topics related to SETI. Now their work is accepted by the mainstream, so much so that it seems hardly a week goes by without some major media outlet writing about what SETI is up to lately.
I think this is a great model for what needs to happen in the UFO research community, so I am working to make that happen. Just like the brilliant, forward-thinking scientists that helped develop the field of scientific study we now refer to as SETI, there are brilliant, forward-thinking scientists from multiple disciplines who are interested in looking deeper into the UFO mystery. I am gathering some of these academics and members of the mainstream media to take a serious hard look at the phenomena in relation to other space mysteries. This event is called the Cosmic Exploration Conference: Science, UFOs and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life and is being held in Las Vegas in October. I have also launched a Kickstarter project to seek funding to video tape the lectures and post them on YouTube.
The conference includes speakers in the field of astronomy and aerospace to talk about the state of the search for life on other planets, including the current boom in the discovery of planets outside of our solar system possibly capable of harboring life. There will also be professors of psychology, sociology and theology who are experts in examining the effects on society should we find evidence of life on another planet, whether that be microbial or an advanced civilization.
Members of the mainstream media who have taken a serious look at these topics and retired military officers that can speak to how governments have or have not reacted to these topics will also be on hand. This includes retired Major General Wilfried De Brouwer, who, while in the Belgian Air Force, was in charge of the investigation of multiple sightings of strange triangular craft throughout the 1990s.
The Huffington Post blogger Lee Speigel will also be presenting on hearings held at the United Nations in the 1970s on UFOs. Speigel created an audio visual presentation for the U.N. delegates as part of an initiative championed by Sir Eric Gairy of Grenada that resulted in the passing of an official U.N. UFO decision.
Recently U.S News and World Report released a special issue titled "The Mysteries of Space," which among the topics of solar storms and the arms race in space, included a serious look at the UFO phenomenon. I think this is another example that mainstream science and media are ready and willing to pay attention to a sober examination of the UFO question. Famous theoretical physicist Michio Kaku put it well in an ABC special on UFOs when he said, "90 percent of the UFO sightings are probably misidentified and prosaic, however, the other 10 percent beckons further exploration and serious attention from the scientific community, so let their investigations begin."