"A few home truths" is a chapter by UK researcher, Jenny Randles, in a book titled "A World History of UFOs," which I found so fascinating when I re-read it recently.
To begin with, Jenny noted that "Today's new brand of star chasers seem every bit as besotted as earlier generations were with the Extra-terrestrial hypothesis..." followed by "...with the mass of conspiracy theory rammed down their throats by TV every day and the huge financial rewards if you promote grays, cover-ups and crashed space trips...there never has been a bigger incentive not to think objectively about UFOs..."
Later, she writes, "...Ufology is such a useful weapon in the TV ratings war, it has become many a producer's personal addiction..."
Finally, "...serious UFO researchers have become an endangered species..."
Much of today's Ufology on television, is simply entertainment. Short snippets of a delightfully vague, out of focus video clips, which have received no investigation.
Many newspaper articles on the subject, even if they start off in a serious vein, often then degenerate into using words such as "ET's," "aliens spaceships;" and denigrate our topic. Rarely is there a serious discussion of the subject.
Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with them! I prefer opinions to be based on an examination of fact based evidence. Perhaps that makes me "old school" but I make no apologies for holding this view.
The above words of Jenny's are as applicable today, as they were when they were written, which was in 1997, 18 years ago!
Jenny came up with a number of "rules" about UFO field investigations:
"If you don't solve at least nine out of ten cases you are doing something wrong."
Based on her own years of investigations she and her associates, were able to find mundane explanations for 90-95% of raw reports.
"The more witnesses there are, the less likely it's really a UFO."
Through 25 years of investigation, Jenny noted that the core "unexplained" cases had an average of 1.5 witnesses. This compared to the average IFO having a larger number between 4 and dozens.
"Never say never."
Jenny found, through trial and error that some IFOs took months, perhaps years, to determine they were the cause of some cases. She felt that just because you places an investigated report into the "unknown" category, that you should not forget that case. That you periodically need to return to these "unknowns" and carry out a cold review analysis, in the light of today's knowledge.
"First hand is the only hand."
Jenny felt that you need to conduct a personal, first hand investigation, and not rely on media or second hand information.
"It's the witness' story, not yours."
Whatever you think the cause of an observation was, the witness may have their own opinion, which may differ from your own interpretation. You deduce your own conclusions, based on the evidence you collect, even if the witness does not agree with your conclusions.
Jenny says, never assume what is on the surface of a case, is all, there is. Be prepared to dig deeper.
My final thoughts:
In my opinion, today's UFOlogists would benefit, from following Jenny Randles six "rules.