Why subscribe?

I don’t know. My productivity is suspect.

But if you’ve gotten this far: When I was a nightowl sports writer, before you were born, I saw something really weird late one evening while walking north along Cocoa Beach. From the corner of my eye, it materialized just south of the launch pads at Kennedy Space Center and appeared to detach itself from a moonless sky. It was just offshore, maybe 45 degrees up, on parallel track, as if it had been waiting. Dark and solid, it began oozing north, a triangular array of three tiny unblinking red lights, to the shhhh of waves and the faint buzz of a tuning fork. Then it dissolved, maybe 10 seconds into the encounter, as if it never existed. It was large, or close, or both, and all I could think was, “Balls!” Two friends were with me. We just looked at each other.

Ten years on, 1989, May 20, a buddy and I were fishing in the Gulf of Mexico out of now-razed accommodations somewhere between Everglades City and Marco Island. The only decent bite of the day started bending the rod and David readied his camera. He took four photos as I reeled in a yellowtail jack. A week or so later, he called from D.C. and said dude, it looks like there’s a flying saucer over your head, then sent me the prints and the negatives to ponder. After six years of pondering, I showed them to a Northrop Grumman engineer who took a closer look and said yeah, I’ve seen this before, there’s something going on in every frame. He was right. Today, the icon in the “Life In Jonestown” logo upstairs is a blow-up of the UFO lifted from that fourth and final print.

Like the fish on my hook, I took the bait.

Journalists are some of the smartest, most rational and most entertaining people I’ve ever met. They’re also some of the most skeptical, particularly when it comes to the squishy goo in the margins. So I learned early on not to talk UFOs unless asked. Fortunately, 12/17 changed all that, and a new generation of aggressive researchers is blazing new trails. But I’m still damaged from being made fun of. [Ed. note: never end a sentence with a preposition]

But why subscribe?

I give up. I’m thinly sourced and don’t break many stories. Back in the day, I employed my old De Void blog at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to pretend I was a media critic because mainstream UFO coverage was stupefying and insipid and somebody had to do it. To honor the worst of the worst, I even created the imaginary Jessica Flores Disembodied Head Award, whose real-life TV blow-dry namesake once covered a UFO conference out west by using Chromakey special effects to make her head soar off like a flying saucer during her sign-off. Really. And although there’s still plenty of lame UAP coverage these days, mercifully, there’s less of it.

The advantage of subscribing, I’m told, is that you’ll get an email notification after every new post goes up. OK. I just don’t know how often I’ll publish, and quality could be a serious issue. But lower your expectations and we should get along just fine.