In this our very first blog, we wish to take the opportunity to bring some much needed clarity to a few areas and begin sharing more of a personal perspective on the challenges we face concerning detractors, the field of ufology and certain perceptions that need demystifying.
In relation to more recent and any future criticism of the work being presented, we need to make the following points very clear. For the last 3 years, either during presentations, in interviews and on the website, Damien has offered his original footage, photographs and corresponding technical details to any serious researcher or debunker. What we show in the edited videos on YouTube is a shortened version of the longer original recordings that really are the only source for analysis we would have thought. To date, we’ve received two legitimate requests for original footage or photographs and we were delighted to provide it. It’s rather revealing that all disparaging critique appears to come from those who have never requested to view or analyse any original footage, or reached out to ask any questions in general or in relation to witnesses involved in Damien’s case. There’s clearly no interest in being adequately informed in order to investigate anything the way most would expect a serious researcher to do. The source of their motives is crystal clear and the only avenue available to them is to stoop to personal attacks, while quite happily bringing themselves into disrepute.
A crash course in photography…
Damien began his foray into photography during his time in Dunedoo in 2012. This consisted of not only learning how to use various types of recording equipment, but also discovering the numerous ways that the more ordinary objects of our skies can appear on camera. We know of a few very skilled observers in this field, not just of the skies, but also of raw recorded images. The only possible way to gain that kind of knowledge and expertise is to spend many thousands of hours poring over and analysing one’s own work and spending time out in the field.
Damien’s earlier YouTube channel was created in order to document the various strange phenomena he witnessed during his stay in Dunedoo and it also naturally documents the progression and the learning curve in his work. What cannot be avoided is the very valuable and often laborious learning process of analysing recorded images and genuine misidentifications are at times inevitable and should not be considered as an attempt to hoax. This is an important distinction to be understood. We present some of Damien’s earlier material as misidentifications in the hope of being very clear in educating interested parties, how misidentifications can be made by providing examples of our own in presentations and more recently on our YouTube channel and website.
Sometimes in a zealous effort to debunk, there’s the potential to create an atmosphere in which nobody will feel comfortable to share footage or photographs in order to get some kind of feedback. We can all learn from each other whether what we’re sharing is a misidentification or something that is clearly unusual. Aside from that, we hope people can appreciate that claiming to see and experience the phenomenon is one thing. Embarking on an intense technical process of trial and error in an attempt to document and then present said experiences is a totally unique circumstance altogether and it should be appreciated for what it actually is.
We know it’s a little strange…
Understanding why the sightings are so varied and prolific in Damien’s case is something that we assume to be equal to understanding the phenomenon itself. We don’t have the answers, nor are we offering any. We’re going to great lengths and enormous personal challenges to document and share what’s happening even though it has the potential to draw all kinds of doubt and confusion which isn’t at all unexpected. In terms of certain media perception, the assertion that Damien claimed to have the biggest collection of UFO videos in the world attracted some truly entertaining hate mail. In fact Damien’s original statement about his work was misquoted from an interview that’s readily available online. All media attention has been as a result of their interest alone and we risk considerably more than people may realise by putting the material and the story in their hands. We can’t control how it will be interpreted or represented and often the information and material is obscured.
Some might find it staggering to consider that in relation to what we’re presenting, it’s not solely about any individual. It’s more likely that the reality we’re dealing with totally overshadows certain prevailing beliefs in ufology of special people with special claims. It’s what we are presenting and offering in our work that is up for discussion and analysis and nothing else. We expect it to be properly scrutinised and it alone stands mountains high above anything at all we could ever do or offer personally.
Wanna ride in our brand new learjet?
There’s the perception that we’re making money from the work we do when actually, we’re spending money to do the work we do. If anyone believes that this is a great meal ticket or a ride to fame and fortune in our case, they are seriously misinformed. Damien has shared his footage and his insights into the phenomenon free of charge for interviews, local and overseas TV programs, various publications and with every documentary that he’s been involved with. We do not make any kind of living from the work we do. In fact, we purchase our own equipment and we intentionally run an add-free website at our own cost and we elect not to monetise the content that we share on YouTube. Presentations cover petrol costs and sometimes they don’t. Damien presented his work for the last two seasons at Paracon for free excluding accommodation costs. We happily donated footage to the History Channel for the Ancient Aliens episodes and we periodically attend sky-watching events at the request of various groups that are free of charge to everyone.
Even though we’re clearly struggling to negotiate a way to overcome the limitations that prevent us from achieving what we truly hope to achieve, it’s been crucial to Damien from the very beginning that his work is freely available to anyone that is interested. Our deeper motivations and desires are for what we’re experiencing, documenting and presenting to be taken seriously by those that are capable of doing so. We hope that every conscientious choice made in relation to the way that we choose to present this information, is a clear indication of Damien’s utmost integrity and honesty from the moment he committed himself to contributing to this field.
The most important question to keep in mind…
Anyone who has an explanation for this phenomenon is simply taking money and offering their opinions without any credible evidence in return. We’re searching for answers just like everyone else and we don’t assume that the answers, if they come at all, will be to our liking. We’re taking as sane an approach as we can amidst those that proudly declare the phenomenon beyond the need or want for any kind of credible evidence or analysis and instead promote unsubstantiated stories and new age pseudoscientific beliefs. While it’s undeniably true both in our personal experience and in general that there is indeed more to the phenomenon than what we’re seeing and filming, let’s consider that we’re approaching it with a very limited human understanding and it is dangerous territory to be filling in the gaps of our knowledge with unsupported assumptions and beliefs.
We want to encourage everyone to set aside personal biases, hopes and wishes that may be held in relation to this subject and take a more serious, rational and objective approach when researching the phenomenon. Those who stand to make a great deal of money from the many individuals seeking spiritual and existential answers at this time do not support rational critical thinking. Some strands of popular ideology within ufology are often not much different from certain religious concepts combined with new age philosophy that only requires the convenience of belief to validate and sustain its assertions. Others assure us that our supposed alien allies are trying to help humanity, yet no tangible or direct information has yet proved to provide any such world altering changes or assistance.
As a rule of thumb, when researching or listening to the many opinions out there, one should ask this question: What evidence is being provided to substantiate the information that is being presented to me? Keeping this in mind will help greatly in distinguishing between reality and fiction. This phenomenon is not solely philosophical and abstract in nature. It has many qualities that can be adequately studied, rather than sidelined by sceptics and academics who somewhat understandably resist delving more deeply beyond the initial screen of the fanciful claims of fanatics and ufo gurus.
We’ve found it to be true that filming strange things in the sky is clearly not as sensational as the abductee who claims to have repeated sightings of massive mother ships with a cargo of hybrid aliens above their home in suburbia, where incidentally not one photograph or corroborating witness testimony to these events can be found. New age ufology has infiltrated any serious inquiry and swamped it with dubious claims and conspiracy theories and there’s a plethora of differing and outlandish stories out there for the average seeker to have to sift through. It’s disappointing that claims like these are welcomed as gospel truth by believers who quite happily buy the books because seemingly, no evidence is necessary when hearing what one wants to hear.
In retrospect we’re not surprised to have been exposed first hand to the misperception, jealousy, competition, out of control egos, deception, manipulation and money grabbing antics of many in this so called field of study. We’ve witnessed the misinformation and the disinformation and sadly, the plain gullible foolishness at the heart of human interest around this subject. We wonder if it’s not such an unexpected state to be in, considering that together we’re faced with a reality that we’re presently incapable of fully comprehending. To believe otherwise is plain human vanity.
What keeps us going and fuels all that we do is the hope that through our work, we have opened some eyes and minds to this reality and extinguished some of the stigma that’s associated with openly talking about this subject in our society. Rather than trying to appeal to UFO enthusiasts, our focus is on the general public who may or may not have had an unexplained experience of their own or who may just simply be curious as we venture into a new era of scientific understanding and discovery of the universe around us. We wish to bring attention to the actual existence of this barely understood phenomenon, not the conspiracy theories and the alleged government involvement and subsequent surveillance which is of minimal interest to us in comparison.
We’re not at all trying to tell anyone that we’re in contact with aliens, which is unfortunately what attracts the most attention. It’s interesting to note that from the 1950s to the 1970s, many so called contactees who claimed to have contact with extra-terrestrials, also claimed that the alleged aliens originated from planets in our own solar system such as Mars and Venus. As our knowledge of the universe and our surrounding solar systems expanded, so did the stories from such contactees. Today we hear about “beings” from star systems like Sirius, Orion and the Pleiades.
We hope that it’s always been made clear that we don’t speak for the phenomenon or for any group, person or belief system and it’s our own conscience that sets our course. It’s due to the understanding that we’re answering to nobody and no thing but ourselves that we feel obliged to speak freely and with the greatest respect to what we know to be true, even though we do not completely understand the interior workings of the phenomenon. We hold this position until highly substantial evidence points at either an extra-terrestrial or some other definitive hypothesis.
Where are we headed?
If for whatever reason the interaction with the phenomenon ends as mysteriously as it began which is entirely possible, then inevitably that is the only circumstance that could prevent us from the work we’re doing and from sharing the remarkable things we’re witnessing and documenting. We’re satisfied with what we’ve achieved against many very personal odds and we’re intently focused on what we may yet achieve in the future if we’re to continue.
How far have we really come and what have we truly learned so far in ufology? It’s a question we hear so often. No doubt there are many who would agree that this field is more than ready for a new and serious approach to this subject and that is why we push forward into what we can only hope will be new ground. We’re always interested to hear genuine questions and discussion and we welcome feedback in the comment section below. We will moderate any comments as we see fit. Thanks for reading and please consider subscribing to future blogs.
The Team @ AAPI