Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Of Friends and Smorgasbords

Hello, folks.

The month of September has slipped by. Much good came of it in my life I am happy to say. Whether it did much to "inspire" blog writing, I cannot tell --- maybe some ideas will bubble up as we walk the path.

A clearly nice thing was the gathering of my UFO researching friends in mid-September. They came from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and Michigan. That is something to contemplate a bit. Each one of us wanted to be there --- genuinely. Friendship and a shared passion. A community of wonderers, explorers in our fashion. ..... and a place to be with one another just to be ourselves with no agenda within nor without.

Above are most of us: Bill Murphy in the yellow hat, and swirling around the circle "deasil" [with the Sun, clockwise], Linda Murphy, Mark O'Connell, Sue Swiatek, Rob Swiatek, Don Schmitt, Steve Purcell, Richard Thieme, the Hero of the Book [Robert Powell], Jan Aldrich, and Eddie Bullard. I and my Kalamazoo UFO buddy, Dave Ford, are the only ones not on that side of the lens. Mark Rodeghier and Jerry Clark, and Barry Greenwood couldn't make it due to other big responsibilities, and SITU saver John Reed had duties with his Mom in upper Michigan at the last moment. My other Kalamazoo UFO buddy, Will Matthews, was recovering from a flu following flying back from Europe, and spared us the experience.

A veritable feast of friendship and a smorgasbord of talents. My guests were so friendly that they even said that the smorgasbord of the picnic feast was good. ... I have my doubts about my hosting skills, but at least I gave it a try.

I mention the names for a reason. We are people trying to do something which is easy and hard at the same time. We are trying to bind together as a true community. That we live far apart makes it hard, but that we like each other and thirst for the mysterious magick which grows in community makes it easier.

UFOlogists tend to be far too insular. Even the good-hearted ones carry their burden essentially alone. Much less Joy occurs than should be... and much less trust and cooperation. There were thirteen of us at the get-together. There could easily have been five more. I hope that this community grows and it will. Bill Chalker, far away in OZ, is already a virtual member, though we all wish we could see him in person. A new fellow has just "joined up" through Jan's good graces and maybe we'll see him next time. I wish that Fran Ridge of the NICAP site could get free time to come one of these weekends too. And there are many other friendly, trusting and sharing people that I hope will become part of this community.

This is important, even though it's difficult to precisely describe why.  That book was important. It would have never happened without the nine names on the cover being a community, plus several others not so "displayed" there. That book is not the only thing which can happen because we stand stronger together than we do apart. As my youth has trickled away, I need friends, encouragement, the feeling that I'm part of something --- our team, our community --- bigger than myself. These wonderful folks will get me to squeeze out what little is left to me, and do so happily.

There is something {anomalous?} about just being with one another, relaxing and sharing a meal. Spontaneous "natural" talk and getting to know each other. That happened all over my driveway, the backyard, the garage that holds Ivan's SITU, the basement which holds my research files. We grew together and just had a rollicking good time.

Where can Eddie Bullard have a one-on-one with Don Schmitt, and with no care whatsoever should Bill Murphy and Richard Thieme join them? .... and "romantically" do it while leaning up against the files containing the "ghost" of Ivan Sanderson? Had Jerry been able to make it, where else could the rest of us be enthralled by he and Eddie being engaged in a Clash of the Titans over whether there were  any "good" 1896 airship cases or not?

And how else could one inspire a very busy group of creative UFOlogists to actually come together [rather joyfully] to envision making a website which would contain the rare and unique treasures of each of our file collections, so that others might share in the information and hopefully be inspired to create on their own UFOlogical insights [or, even better, alongside us]?

These were the Best-of-Times. I'm hoping for many more. I'm hoping that we will create the sharing website. I'm hoping that this community will grow. I'm hoping that some of you will benefit, and maybe even be part of this walk into the mysteries.

Will we really contribute anything? The future will decide. In the meantime, we can at least enjoy ourselves trying.

If not, why are we doing it?

Blessings, friends.


  1. Prof - Great to 'read' you back online! I enjoyed these photos & your report of your ' invisible college' gathering. It looks like some thought-provoking conversation was had by all!

    ~ Susan

    1. thanks sweetheart. As my favorite Faerie Entity, I hope one day you'll show up at one of these affairs.

    2. Awe, Now that would be fantastic, Prof! :-) ~ Susan

  2. Hi Mike, my dear professor, thanks for the virtual feedback. Your atmospheric musing here reminded me all the more of the benefits of these types of gatherings. Maybe one day I'll make it from OZ. My bookish sensibilities noted the hardcovers of the Book. Are they via Patrick? They look good, and would last longer no doubt, so I might try to get some, when I more flushed with funds. A great range of people with diverse views and backgrounds, all together discussing UFO history, sharing and other matters, with UFO history all around them - certainly the best of times. I'll get you one day to embrace Skype for a live, virtual hookup. Best wishes from OZ, Bill

    1. Hi Bill. I have a hardcopy myself now {given graciously by Patrick} and it DOES look nicer and has that booklover's "feel" to it. I know that Amazon sells the hardcover now, and Patrick must too at his Anomalist Books. I think it's something like $36/$37 bucks.

      Someday you're bound to cross the Pacific waters and before you do let us know. We can try to cobble some sort of gathering together. {It would be harder in Michigan if winter, but maybe Robert wouldn't mind us in Texas}.

      As to SKYPE: if my internet service becomes more dependable {and it may already have as I've just changed}, then it will only be a matter of "educating a Palaeolithic Human" and we could do that all the way to OZ.

      Blessings friend.

  3. So glad you're back on the blog and that your September was rewarding - AND for sharing the photos of your get-together :)

  4. Glad you're back and hope to read more posts soon. Hope the break has recharged you a bit!

  5. Steve Purcell , is he the cartoonist who drew 'Sam & Max' ?

    1. If he is, he's "humble" about it.

      Probably WISHES he were though.