September 7, 2013

Unafraid of alienating themselves

Two Maine men who claim they were abducted by extraterrestrials aren't shy about retelling their stories.

By Matt Byrne mbyrne@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Chuck Foltz, left, and Jim Weiner, both of whom say they were abducted by a UFO in 1976 in Allagash, are among the participants at the “Experiencers Speak” convention.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

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A drawing from a book by Raymond E. Fowler drawn by Chuck Foltz shows an aerial view of the canoe.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Jack Weiner, 61, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and cannot easily travel from his Vermont home, said in a telephone interview Friday that his experience in Allagash refocused his career away from the arts and toward hard science and mathematics. He doesn't care whether people believe his story, he said, and dismisses debunkers as close-minded and sometimes ignorant of the breadth of scientific knowledge.

"They weren't there," Jack Weiner said. "I didn't see them there. If they want to stay ignorant, there's nothing I can do to change them. I know differently from my own experience."

Rak, the fourth member of the canoe party, has been out of contact with the group for more than two decades and could not be located for an interview.

But that does not deter Jim Weiner and Foltz, who are both from the Boston area, from pursuing further study and inquiry into what they believe is a global effort by world governments to systematically conceal from the public the truth about the existence of alien life.

The nay-saying crowd, Weiner said, is a product of some restrictive worldview that cannot possibly fathom that aliens exist.

"What we describe threatens them in some way," said Weiner, who works in information technology at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Be it social, religious or scientific beliefs, he said, "the only way they can maintain a sense of self is by denial or accusation. It's much easier to say, 'Oh, you're making it up,' or, 'Oh, you're crazy,' or, 'You're a fraud.'"

Joe Cambria, who operates the New England UFO Research Organization and a companion hotline for witnesses to report sightings, said he receives a steady stream of calls, the vast majority -- as high as 90 percent -- from hoaxsters and phonies.

"Then that final 10 percent is what's interesting," he said.

Skepticism is a requirement for any serious UFO inquiry, said Cambria, of Wakefield, Mass. He is even skeptical of the use of the word "abduction."

"People are having (internal) experiences," said Cambria, his voice rising.

"But kidnappings? Something's been going on out there, and it's been going on out there since recorded time. We don't have an answer for it, but we continue to study it."

The conference had a sold-out dinner for 60 Friday night, said Hewins, who expects more than 100 people to attend the sessions over the weekend.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at at 791-6303 or at:

mbyrne@pressherald.com

 

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