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Billy Booth

Making Money on UFOs

By August 18, 2008

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Just a few days ago, I was reading 'Phoenix lights' Spark Variety of Local UFO-related Businesses, which relates the different products and services that have arisen over the years to make a buck riding the shirt tails of the notoriety of the Phoenix Lights case. The author of the article relates to us that Phoenix, Arizona, is only one part of the so-called "golden triangle," the other two being Roswell, New Mexico, and Nevada's Area 51.

In addition to souvenir shops with T-shirts, caps, maps, photographs, and more, there are also the conferences, where anything and everything is offered for sale. Most of these folks are good people, with a few charlatans here and there. They are making a buck on the interesting subject of UFOs. What this is leading to is this: A week or so ago, I saw a comment on a UFO forum that stated, "Any UFO web site that sells T-shirts has sold out." I thought, "Now, wait just a minute."

Everywhere you look are advertisements. Television, magazines, newspapers, and yes, even web sites are full of advertising. People are trying to make money. This is America!

Do you think that the serious nature of the mystery of UFOs should preclude the sites from making money? Does the over abundance of commercialism on a UFO site bother you? If so, speak your mind.

Comments

August 18, 2008 at 3:22 am
(1) scott says:

doesn’t bother me. Capitalism is America. I worry more about those who write books and compromise their intregity as objective UFO authorities. I think it’s easy to get too caught up in it to be objective when you’re offered big bucks to write a book. It’s still OK in my mind, as long as a person can be objective. So I plan to sell some Pheonix light t-shirt on ebay for $20 a pop if anyone’s interested.

August 18, 2008 at 5:13 am
(2) Gadrannanna says:

The feeding of people’s interests and desires is a widespread phenomenon; it probably has been throughout history. It requires time, effort and , possibly, money and therefore has value. Ripping someone off is one thing. Simply providing a service is another. If it’s not your kind of thing, you don’t have to buy it.
And as for what I shall politely call rampant speculation, some of us have a right of free speech and are, therefore, entitled to use it.

August 18, 2008 at 9:07 am
(3) Michael says:

Depends on the motivation of the person offering services. It is a grey area, to be sure. Research requires money. Money dictates research. College professors deal with this all the time. They need funding to stay alive, but funding comes with strings. Its a dangerous world, capitolism. Doubly so in the world of research.

August 18, 2008 at 11:31 am
(4) Eraser says:

If we want serious consideration, attention and brain power on a topic, there are really only two ways to do it. One is to get federal funding (research grant) on the topic after providing compelling evidence of the potential benefit of the study. Well, that’s not going to happen for this topic! The second option is to give it an economy. Allow individuals the opportunity to make a living financially while spending their professional life on the topic, full time instead of relegating the issue to part-time enthusiasts and hobbyists. Sure there will be those who are there merely to peddle their cheap products, but that is the case with all real scientific areas. The only difference is that the UFO issue won’t be validated by main stream science.. not yet.

August 21, 2008 at 4:24 am
(5) Richard says:

I agree with what Eraser said. Serious investigation must be financed. If people want to devote their professional life to the topic they must be able to make a living and we as readers should support them.
Personally I value more the material I pay for than free and in many cases unserious, badly investigated reading.
Commercialism on a UFO site does not bother me at all. There are some great paid sites and they offer excellent information. I have no problem with this at all.
Everyone charges these days for something. UFO researchers must also be able to make a living. At the end proving news and investigating the topic requires time, effort and money, so it’s only natural that they have to be financed.

August 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm
(6) Damien Gorman says:

Hello last week the 24th Aug 2011,,
at 1.30am i was taking my friends and my dog for a walk
i looked up in the sky and what i seen omg
straight away i called my friend he came out
i have 7 videos short ones and one that lasts over 16mins
i dont know what to do for the best,,
im from Londonderry Northern Ireland,, i hope you get intouch soon thanks Damien

August 22, 2008 at 4:50 am
(7) shirley says:

Thank goodness for the researchers and authors
that work hard collecting the data over the
many years from all experiencers. What would
the world know without them. At the end of the day the governments I suspect hold the information and debate it but I still think they do not know the answers ultimately. Commercionlism is a bit over the top sometimes
but it all adds up to being aware of this mystery that is with us.

August 23, 2008 at 8:14 pm
(8) katrina says:

Heck yes it matters! Ok, its one thing when your as big as say Roswell. Its another when you are just some random group making money off the public. What true scientist sells tshirts and coffee mugs? I own a paranormal group. NO GROUP charges for their services or help. Why, because the next thing people will say is that you are only in this feild to make money and fools out of people. If you truly love what your doing as I do, the idea of the citizens giving me a chance to be involved in their cases is a privilege, not a right. I am honored that they alllow me to come in to their homes and conduct research when moat people think Ufologers and paranormal researchers are crack pots. Please dont fuel the fire

August 23, 2008 at 8:28 pm
(9) katrina says:

now if a site has a place where one can donate, if you actually helped that person, they will gladly offer you the donation. I have been offered donations before, and I politely refused. I feel like they are doing me a favor why should they pay for it, I should be paying lol! Get a grant if you can, but to me marketing a product in these types of feilds just seems, I dont know, sleazy. No disrespect, its just my choice and 99 percent of all paranormal groups as well. Besides, what exactly (forgive my ignorance here) do Ufologers have to spend so much money on anyway? It seems that you would be doing much more research at home on the internet than out on a location. Not unless your psychic and KNOW when one shows up. Im sure you take trips out of town do check out flaps, have to buy the same equipment paranormals do, but really as far as being out and about you guys have it alot better than we do because are research is only about ten to twenty percent on internet, with the rest on location, or at the history centers, PLUS the seminars, meetings, and things like that both groups deal with. I dont know, I guess I believe that if you cant afford it then people who need help might not be able to afford your service either. Id rather fit the bill hehe

August 26, 2008 at 3:44 pm
(10) Terry Floyd Johnson says:

People who have the idea of wanting to know more about UFOs, and want to show their appreciation of the field, and who see buying things, and going to conferences, etc., are the ones who may not do the research, but they do hold the belief in extraterrestrials, and one way they show their support is by buying products, which tell the world, they believe.

August 26, 2008 at 5:18 pm
(11) Ann says:

“Capitalism is America”.

Indeed, sorry to say. Everything has a price – even research, which causes all sorts of biases.

In the past there was federal funding for parapsychological (i.e. paranormal) topics and UFOs and the like. Perhaps not a whole lot, but more than today, for sure. But, things started to change around the early 80s (Thank you, Mr. Reagan and the political right). Now, private industry funds scientific research as much, if not more, than federal sources. As a consequence a lot research tends to be bias. As one consequence medical journals began to tell authors to write “conflicts of interest” because some authors’ results were favoring the supporting, funding institution. Money rules! Unfortunately, not too many companies see much profit in studies about UFOs and the paranormal.

August 27, 2008 at 5:23 am
(12) Andy says:

The mystery behind ufo is yet to be discovered and must take time since several people want to go into the research and do not have money to do so.

August 29, 2008 at 11:08 am
(13) Sam B says:

I’m not crazy about the exploitation of UFO incidents such as Roswell, Phoenix, et al. I think that the proliferation of such enterprises can be detrimental to the overall image of the UFO phenomenon and those who have a serious interest in it.

However, at the same time, I don’t see that any kind of limitation on these enterprises is legal or ethical. Any attempt at limiting a private enterprise would immediately get into a situation involving restraint of free trade, and could even raise RICO issues.

Capitalism and free enterprise are the heart and soul of a dynamic economy. So at the end of the day, whether I personally approve or disapprove of the commercialization of UFO’s and ET’s doesn’t matter. People have a right to set up businesses and sell goods and services, and I am not one to infringe on that right.

September 12, 2008 at 3:28 am
(14) 2bsirius says:

If there were any possible validity to exo-planetary life [and it looks as if there may well be] the serious pursuit of the science is too often swallowed up in the sound of these hawkers pushing their wares on a gullible public. A serious book on this subject is “The Biological Universe” by NASA’s chief historian, Richard Dick. There is a long history of belief in other worlds which dates back at least to the ancient Greeks. Unfortunately, we are currently awash in cultural stupidity and superficiality. It’s too much Disney and too little disciplined investigation.

October 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm
(15) deborah says:

I like my T-shirts and gar-bage I buy when I am motivated by the happenings. People won’t buy if they don’t feel the want to!
T-shirts serve to cover your body, better than sending in a donation to “buy” your way to heaven, just my thought. Frankly, when I was in Salem, Mass. I bought T shirts and would have been sad if they were not available. 3 years later I still have it and it makes me remember the great time we had!
So should little green men land in your yard lets see if you don’t print some shirts and mugs of your own! Good Luck !

December 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm
(16) Moe says:

Accepting advertisements or making money off of the UFO subject matter is definitely not unethical.

There are operating costs involved with any website and providing valuable niche content mixed with related products available for purchase is a responsible way of financing the site.

In specific to t-shirts, t-shirts that are on-topic can help raise awareness for their cause. Wearing a UFO shirts is an easy way to open dialogue among peers on the subject…

November 13, 2009 at 9:10 pm
(17) Sleegualk says:

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May 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm
(18) Get Rid Of Stretchmarks says:

I really enjoyed the post. Head’s up – I am running XP with the Chrome dev builds – your site’s images is kinda broken.

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