A few months ago, Seth Shostak wrote a piece for the Huffington Post entitled "UFOs: The Trail is Stale" exploring why modern ufology is not delivering "the goods". In other words, why isn't there a modern Roswell incident or Rendlesham Forrest? Where have all the aliens gone? Why are the reports and evidence showing up for modern day cases so...blah.
As some "experts" suggest, maybe it's an E.T. dry-spell. They came, they saw and they left. Some "believers" are suggesting that governments truly know what is going on and the only way to get it out of them is via the "Disclosure Movement". Finally, the "true believers" are saying that they are still here, just hiding among us, telepathically communicating with "chosen" people and maybe even attending UFO conferences...
So what can we glean from Shostak as well as from the evidence out there?
One major factor is that reporting sightings is as easy as filling out an online survey. It is not a long or arduous process involving the writing of actual paper letters, finding the right people and addresses to report to. Google will generally direct you to the MUFON website or one of the other major reporting agencies and a few clicks later, done. I can do it, get it out of the way and move on without dealing with the actual work in making an accurate report. Please see MUFON CMS for excellent examples of two sentence "detailed long reports", lovely grammar and terrific spelling to back up my point.
Due to the ease and sloppiness of reporting, the data collecting agencies like MUFON become massive landfills of data that need to be sifted through to find those rare but truly interesting cases (which are not necessarily aliens...).
It's not that the aliens have "gone away"- it's that we've brought them too close to home. Popular culture has permeated our collective consciousness with images of little grey men and their taller skinny counterparts. We've allowed our fantasy to run amok, and the surest thing about fantasy is that it is better than reality. We want E.T. to be real more than we want to find actual scientific proof of his (its?) existence. Belief and faith is often stronger in our minds than fact- "so long as I believe, it is true."
Does the malaise of modern ufology exists because too many people believe? Do too many people watch alien "documentaries" on History and Discovery Channel, and that has fouled the pool? One thing is certain, we continue to hear about and rehash the same tired old cases. What is the Roswell of the twenty-first century and why haven't we heard about it?
Here is a link to the original article.