We are now close to the end of the Australian summer, and it has been a hot one. Folks who say that global warming isn't real, should come and live in Australia. Having said that, friends in Europe and Canada tell me they have been having some very cold spells. 'Global weather changes' would be a better name than 'global warming' I think.
This week's post is early as the family is going away on a well deserved trip out of the city, to the Victorian Central Highlands. I am looking forward to some clear night skies, to remind myself of our place in our galaxy. A small blue dot in a vast universe.
Australian group websites
I have now visited all the Australian UFO group websites which turned up using a browser search. There may be others which I haven't visited. If you know of one please drop a comment in the comments section of this blog. Thank you.
Today's post is designed to answer the question 'If you are the 'person in the street' how do you find out about the UFO subject in Australia?'
After visiting a website, I guess you might decide to go along to one of the monthly meetings held by such groups as UFO Research (Qld) Incorporated (Brisbane); UFO Research (New South Wales) Incorporated (Sydney); or the UFO and Paranormal Research Society of Australia (South-Western Sydney.) However, what if you live in other states, particularly in remote localities?
I looked at the five main Australian UFO websites, and none give figures for how many people go to their monthly meetings. Some do show photographs of these meetings so I could get some idea of numbers. I doubt whether the total number attending regular monthly UFO group meetings across Australia exceeds 250 people. When groups have international speakers doing the circuit of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth the number of people attending a speakers circuit might total around 500. Out of the current Australian population of close to 25 million, this is a very small percentage. Despite what the media portray with numerous items about UFOs being featured quite prominently, the majority of the Australian population doesn't have any real interest in the subject!
It seems to me that the main source of electronic information, after websites, is Facebook. So, over several weeks now I have become a member (under an alias) of around 60 Australian UFO related Facebook pages spread geographically from North Western Australia, through Victoria, to Far North Queensland
I paid nothing to join any of these Facebook pages. I wasn't asked any personal details. I simply asked to join and was never 'knocked back.' The individual Facebook page administrators have no idea who I am; didn't even ask me for verification via an email or telephone call. They have no idea whether or not I am a 'real' person (I am a real person, but as I openly told everyone when I started this blog in 2009, Pauline Wilson is not my real name.) Many Facebook page administrators don't appear to moderate their page, and some of the UFO Facebook page discussions I have read are pretty foul, both in tone and in language.
You didn't know there are at least 60 Australian UFO related Facebook pages?
Here's the list I came up with
Adelaide UFO Sightings; Victorian UFO Action (several pages); Melbourne UFO Sightings; Pilbara UFO & Paranormal; Westall Flying Saucer Incident; Adelaide UFO Sightings; Perth UFO Sightings; MUFON Australia; Australian UFO Sightings; UFO Sightings Australia; UFO Australian Sightings & Abductions; Brisbane UFO Sightings; Tuggerah Lakes UFO Group; Sydney UFO Sightings; Perth UFO Casebook; UFO & Paranormal Research Society of Australia; UFO Research (Qld) Inc; Melbourne UFO Centre; aufornnewsand sightings; UFO-PRSA-Qld; Australian Cosmic Connections Adelaide; Independent Network of UFO Researchers; Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre; UFO Research (NSW) Inc; Perth UFO Informer; Queensland UFO Sightings and Research; UFO Australia; UFO Sightings and Photos; Australian UFO & ET Experiences; Australian UFO & Paranormal Research; Australian Skywatchers & Enthusiasts; UFO Gold Coast; Yarra Ranges UFO Sightings; Sydney UFO Hunters; Adelaide UFO Reporting; South Australian UFO Network; Australian UFO Hunters; High Strangeness Australia - UFOs and all things Paranormal; Central Queensland UFO Investigators; Queensland UFO Society; CE-5 Queensland UFO/ET Contact group; Australian CE-5 Disclosure Project; CE-5 Western Australia; CE-5 South Australia; Australia's CE-5 ET/UFO Contact Group; UFO Sightings Perth to Rockingham and surrounds Western Australia; Australian UFO Action; Mutual UFO Network - Australia/New Zealand; Sydney Australia UFO Sky Watchers; Nightvision UFO Skywatching Australia; Unidentified Australia- UFOs - Ghosts; Australian UFO/Alien Abduction Investigators; UFO East Coast Australia; Western Australia UFO Reports; AUFOG (Australian UFO Group); UFO Believers in Australia; Society of UFO Investigators South Australia; South Australia UFO/Demon Hunters; West Australian UFO and Paranormal Group; Australian UFO Sightings & Information Group; First UFO Sighting in Australia; There are UFOs Over Australia.
I bet there are multiple 'secret' Facebook pages which I couldn't even see, and suspect my list above is also probably incomplete. This doesn't include Facebook pages of individuals UFO researchers.
Why do people post?
My overall impression of spending several mind numbing hours joining and then browsing the above pages, was that there are a few smart people who participate in discussions on these pages. However, they are few and far between. On the other end of the spectrum there are some individuals who exhibit all the signs of having mental health issues. In other words a typical cross section of society.
Why do people post on Australian Facebook UFO pages? After looking at several hundred individual posts/comments I believe there are a number of reasons, including:
a. A poster somewhere else on Facebook seems to reveal a 'new truth' and so a viewer of this material feels the need to share the post with everyone they know.
b. A comment posted by someone else resonates with their personal belief system so they agree with that comment.
c. Someone else's comment (however true) disagrees with their personal belief system so they feel compelled to share their opposing viewpoint.
d. They are bored and decide to post just any old random comment.
e. Other posters are reporting seeing 'UFOs' nightly and so they feel the need to also see 'UFOs' whether or not they actually did.
f. A small number of individuals are taking money for so called 'UFO services' such as getting rid of the grey aliens bothering you. These people are using Facebook to advertise their 'services.' From what I can see these are almost always pseudo-scientific in nature.
g. Others inject made up stories of their 'abduction' by aliens, with absolutely no scientific proof provided.
h. Others genuinely believe that they have actually been abducted by aliens, and seek like minded individuals to compare experiences.
i. A few individuals seem to have genuine desire to take a serious look at the phenomenon and post intelligent questions about 'sightings;' UFO radio shows, new books; famous cases and want to have rational discussions about these topics.
I was really hoping to find somewhere on Facebook where individuals in Australia with a curiosity about the topic could get sensible, accurate and informative data. I found that the Australian Facebook pages which best met my criteria were in fact associated with the main UFO research groups, like UFO Research (Qld) Inc; and UFO Research (New South Wales) Incorporated. Their Facbook pages seemed well moderated, presented me with relatively good material, including details of sightings (except for my usual 'beef' about not following up and analysing these sightings.) However, having said that, the majority of Australian UFO related Facebook pages are full of sharing dubious cgi generated videos; judgmental views on other people's opinions; name calling; and a lack of logical train of thought. In short, to be avoided.
On various 'sightings' pages I found individuals making statements such as, 'It's back in the sky' (no description of which part of the sky); 'did you see a black blob on Friday evening?' (no mention of time, location seen from etc.) Moderators sometimes interposed to ask the poster a few of these questions, but the poster rarely gave any better information the second time round. This makes sightings of these kinds of no value to a researcher like myself.
CE-5 contact pages in general were full of pseudo-scientific terminology; sometimes charged a fee to go on a skywatch; then posted vague results of an evening's viewing. They seem a complete waste of time.
I got the impression from the stated membership sizes of individual Australian UFO Facebook pages- quoted as having between 1 to around 3,000 members - that there are several thousand people - many actually from outside Australia - using these over 60 pages to communicate their random views on the topic - to little overall value. Certainly nothing that increases our knowledge about the UFO phenomenon. Interestingly you see the names of some individuals posting on multiple sites, giving an inflated impression of the total population of people using Australian UFO Facebook pages.
Of any value?
If I were a newcomer to the subject looking for unbiased information, particularly if they have a science background, I think that I would not bother using Australian UFO Facebook pagers for this purpose. I particularly found no evidence of anyone really conducting research to my liking. By research - I mean with sightings; gathering and publishing all the data you can find by interviewing witnesses, including discussing possible hypotheses to account for the sighting; plus for specific topics - eg the 'crash at Roswell' providing both pro and con arguments for the topic.
Perhaps I shouldn't expect to find much value in Australian UFO Facebook pages, as the medium itself, ie Facebook, supports people using it for quick responses which lack depth.
Time to stoke up the family BBQ, put on a steak, and drink away the memories of all that time wasted on looking for intelligent discussions on most of the Australian UFO related Facebook pages.
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