For five years I have been hearing people in UFO-related social media criticizing and crying about money.
I posted a meme last year encouraging members of the UFO community to reach out to their regional library systems and request that they add a copy of my book, UFO Sightings Desk Reference, for their collection.
I received a twofold barrage to my suggestion. Some accused me of just trying to sell books. Yet I also heard from people who told me it was “too hard to do that” or that “my local library would never listen to me.”
I suggested printing a copy of the Dec. 16 New York Times Science Magazine UFO article and staple it to a printout of the Amazon listing. I recommended that the library patrons carry these printouts to the library’s information desk and request that the book should be added to their collection. Some did exactly that, while others complained that it was “too hard to do that; can’t we just email it?” I made the point of making it personal. An email request can easily be ignored but being there face-to-face is a different story.
With regards to the folks who think I’m just trying to sell books: We worked for more than 18 months to compile and crunch the data for the book. Yes, of course, I’d like to get paid for the labor of my research work in order to support future research efforts.
Were we trying to sell everyone a copy of the book? No! We were asking the UFO community to reach out to the 125,000 American libraries and make a gesture toward grass-roots disclosure. By getting the best numbers about sightings into public libraries for people to research and share, it would enlighten people to what many in the UFO community already know: This stuff is real and there’s lots of activity.
Yet there were those who insisted that I should post my research on the Internet for everybody for free. I pointed out that the public library was the next best thing.
So let’s talk about groups that make money in the UFO community. The truth is everything costs money. The Gaia TV people have overhead productions costs to produce their programming. MUFON and other organizations that put on conferences and conventions have serious expenses putting on these events. For the organizers, just the upfront deposits to reserve huge convention facilities cost more than most of us make in a couple of months. Then there’s the cost of hiring noted speakers, flying them in and putting them up. It’s a small fortune.
We all know money makes the world go around. While I don’t agree with everything MUFON or Gaia TV or Ancient Aliens does, I do commend their producers for their efforts to grow awareness about the UFO phenomena with the general public.
As for speakers who are supposed to be making a living speaking about UFOs, most speakers I know barely cover their expenses when they attend these events. While some major headliners might get paid big bucks, they usually have added expenses speakers like myself don’t have. Maybe these headliners might break a small profit, but in most cases the fees that convention speakers are paid barely covers any of it.
But back to the point of this article: libraries! If you, as a member of UFO community, want to make a difference in the disclosure effort, then ask your local library to put a copy of my book or some other fine UFO author’s book in their collection. Better yet, donate a copy of whatever book you want them to have as a patron of your local library.