Sunday, October 15, 2006


Uniformed Ufologists

Some UFO groups take themselves very seriously and devise various rules and regulations for the conduct of their members, especially concerning the interviewing of UFO witnesses. These rules can sometimes have unintended consequences, especially in the case of dress codes, which can lead to ridicule or confusion rather than the intended respect.

Some years ago an American group APRO (not the Lorenzens' one) announced that members would wear uniforms when investigating UFO incidents. APRO spokesman Bill Heft said: "The uniforms will consist of a black jacket, with black pants, black shoes and a crisp white shirt. The back of the jacket will identify the wearer as an APRO investigator."

There would also be a shoulder flash on the jacket and investigators would carry picture identification and a pocket badge. Heft said that the uniforms "will show the public that APRO is taking the investigating of UFOs very seriously". The shoulder flashes would show the 'rank' of members within the organisation. When asked if he was inspired by the MIB film, Heft replied that he got the idea from his local fire department.

In recording these interesting details in Magonia (No. 63, May 1998), editor John Rimmer commented: "In fact I quite like the idea of uniforms and 'rank' badges for ufologists (I originally typed 'ufologits' there, which seems somehow appropriate). Obviously the rank of 'Editor' would involve an awful lot of gold braid and flashy badges, but one can scarcely imagine what the splendour of the uniform would be like for 'Supreme Commander' Jim Moseley!"

Of course, some groups merely insist that their investigators should be neatly dressed, but even this can cause problems, as happened in northern England where dress codes were quite strict. For example, members of the Northern Anomalies Research Organisation (NARO) efficiently investigated and explained a multi-witness UFO report, only to become aware that reports were circulating that witnesses had been visited by the MIB. It was eventually realised that these people were simply NARO members wearing their regulation dark suits.

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