The McConell Transcript (PG)

Compiled and Edited by Daniel Funderburke (MUFON)

Editor’s note: What follows is an abridged transcript of a panel dis­cussion which occurred on July 1st, 1990 at the Pensacola Hilton Hotel in Pensacola, Florida as part of the Mutual UFO Network’s Annual Symposium. MUFON’s symposium theme that year was “UFOs: The Impact of E.T. Contact upon Society.” The panel in question was entitled “Witnesses on Trial: The Suspension of Belief.” In attendance, physicist Prof. Elton R. Lazich (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), psychologist and author Dr. Israel Hovnanian, astronomer Dr. Russell Koonz (Rice University, Houston, TX.), CE2 witness Capt. Clark Warren Payton, USAF, ret., and CE3 witness Ms. Mindy McConell. The moderator was Daniel Funderburke of MUFON.

Extensive footnotes may be found at the end of the document.

(in progress)

LAZICH: Physical evidence is God. It always has been and always will be.

KOONZ: But radar-visual confirmation, as in Payton’s case1, is the next best thing.

LAZICH: No, absolutely not­-

PAYTON: It’s proof, at least a form of­-

LAZICH: Not proof enough. To the scientific community and the public at large, nothing short of an E.T. parking on the lawn of the White House and asking to use the bathroom will ever convince­-

FUNDERBURKE: This is what we’re up against-

LAZICH: Absolutely. And who could blame them? Anything else is essentially taking the witness on their word.

FUNDERBURKE: Which dovetails nicely into our topic.

LAZICH: Glad I could help you out, Dan.


FUNDERBURKE: Want my job?

LAZICH: Not a chance.


FUNDERBURKE: I don’t blame you. Getting back on track, what Professor Lazich has touched on here goes directly to the heart of our struggle as a field of scientific study to be taken seriously. For too long now, many a closeted UFOlogist has plugged away at their theo­ries and researches in private. Disconnected and unable to express their findings – either for or against the existence of extraterrestrial visitation – simply because of the unshakable stigma heaped upon the subject by so-called respectable Science. I’m not talking about the armchair hobbyists with their telescopes and their blurry Polaroids of hand-tossed hubcaps, the men and women I speak of are diligent and respected members of many scientific fields. They are physicists and astronomers, biologists and chemists, anthropologists and psycholo­gists­-

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