JREF supporter Michael Streib sent this to me, and I thought it worth sharing:
A couple weeks ago, a relative of mine who embraces all manner of woo emailed me a flyer, a copy of which can be seen here. It announces one of a series of seminars presented by Dr. Stephen Greer, a man who claims to be able to summon extraterrestrials through the use of telepathy. Over the years, this relative and I have gone back and forth repeatedly on the odds of aliens visiting this planet, the need for experimental data, burden of proof, etc. Rather than hash that out again, I decided to approach it from a different angle.
Let's suppose for a moment that Dr. Greer has precisely what he says he has: 100% proof, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of the existence not only of extraterrestrials and their technology, but also the telepathic abilities needed to communicate with them. This knowledge would be the single most important discovery in all of history, revolutionizing the world, accelerating us far beyond what the Scientific Revolution ever did, and bringing about a golden age of mankind. So, what are his options?
1) Tell the authorities. Even assuming some nebulous agency wants to keep the lid on this, "the government" is vast and is not composed of a hive mind, as conspiracy theorists seem to imply. He could tell his Senator, his Representative, his Governor, the mayor, or any one of hundreds of thousands of people who represent "the government" whose career could be advanced or whose sense of altruism could be fulfilled with the release of this knowledge. They can't all be "in on it".
2) Tell the media. Like the government, there is a wide range of avenues open, and "They" can't be successfully intimidating everyone. There are still Woodwards and Bernsteins out there for whom such an exposé would guarantee a Pulitzer Prize, untold riches, and worldwide fame. The headline on the front of The New York Times would eclipse "Dewey Defeats Truman" for all eternity. Finally, the government cover-up would keep every able-bodied reporter in the nation employed for years.
3) Tell private businesses. Go to Ted Turner, Bill Gates, or Richard Branson. Go to Lockheed-Martin, IBM, or GM. Go to the CEO of any one of hundreds of companies that are on the verge of bankruptcy and tell them you can provide technology that will guarantee dominance over the competition for decades or longer.
4) Tell the world. We are rather insular and tend to forget that the U.S. is only one nation among many. Knowledge of otherwordly entities would have worldwide ramifications and should be dealt with on a planetary scale. If the U.S. government, media and private business all turn a blind eye, there are hundreds of thousands of additional outlets across the globe.
5) Tell James Randi. Randi has a standing offer of $1,000,000 to anyone who can prove such a thing. Surely this would go a long way toward solving any financial difficulties this man may have.
So which option did he select? None of them. Instead, he holds seminars for the scientifically illiterate to pay $175 each to attend. Not only is this a singularly ineffective way to get the word out, it is scientifically immoral. Scientists do not charge each other for access to their data, nor do they leave it up to the general public to decide if it is valid. Rather, they write up their research and submit it to a peer-reviewed publication where it can be judged and tested by scientists everywhere.
Ignoring for the moment the validity of his information and considering only how he has chosen to disseminate it, the only conclusion I can come to is that he is either a fraud or exceptionally stupid. You can guess which one I'm leaning towards.
Michael, thank you so much for sharing that with us. Greer's claims simply do not make sense, and you've done an excellent job of showing that his actions don't either.
If you're wondering about the picture in this article, I took that from Greer's site. It is an example of a so-called UFO, however I refer to it as an IFO (Identified Floating Object), as it is very well known to me. In fact, it is in my kitchen: I bought for my kids this summer. You can own one too by following this link.