updated 3:22 AM EDT, Mar 22, 2016
Wednesday, 20 October 2004 18:51

On Assignment - Ch Ch Changes - UFO Magazine Oct-Nov 2004

In December 1998 a new website, UFOcity.com , went online with little fanfare. Its objective was to make the most grounded and most complete coverage available on all aspects of the UFO question accessible to anyone interested in the subject. Over time its mandate grew to cover related areas of interest such as false ufological claims, developments in space exploration, commercial implant technology, future science, controversies in ancient and prehistory studies, as well as big brother issues. Run something like a daily newspaper, the site was updated five days a week with the latest relevant news and events from every corner of the globe. This July 23 however it posted its final article. It was a particularly reflective day for me. I’ve worked as UFOcity.com’s Editor-In-Chief from its inception to its final day. Moving on from this enjoyable responsibility has given me cause to be grateful to those who helped make the website a reality, and to recall some of our more noteworthy accomplishments.

 

During the five-and-a-half years plus that UFOcity.com was in business it brought our visitors literally thousands of news items, breaking stories, commentaries, editorials, reviews, columns and more than a handful of obituaries. In the year preceding the 2000 Presidential election we contacted every announced candidate or their representatives, both major and minor, to find out if they had any intention of addressing the issue of excessive UFO secrecy if elected. We then updated our visitors on a weekly basis with the candidate’s responses. This campaign started eight months before Election Day with results posted right up until the week we voted.

UFOcity.com even made some news of its own over the years. In 1998 I learning that Nebraska Senator Bob Kerry would be joining New York’s senior Senator Patrick Moynihan at an open forum sponsored by the City College of New York to discuss Moynihan’s new book on excessive government secrecy. I made it my business to be in that audience and was second in line when they began taking questions. Given the excessive secrecy surrounding the subject of UFOs, I asked, would either of you take the lead in sponsoring an initiative to address this question in congress? I was met with numerous critical stares upon uttering those three letters, ‘UFO,’ obviously for debasing the proceedings with a question about such a silly subject. Several very long seconds of silence followed. The moderator, a professor of history at CCNY, broke the silence, “How do you respond, Senator Moynihan? “Yes, I would,” he said unhesitatingly. The moderator’s question to Senator Kerry elicited a somewhat less enthusiastic “yes.” C-Span’s camera’s were rolling the whole time and the exchange was recorded and broadcast to a sizable television audience. The following week Patrick Moynihan announced he would be retiring from the Senate at the end of his current term. Sometime after this Bob Kerry decided that would not be seeking another term either. No, I don’t think my question caused these ranking senators to tender their resignations, or was even a contributing factor in their decisions, but it was an entertaining if momentary fantasy.

On the terrible morning of September 11, 2001, UFOcity.com was reporting everything we could to you from our Midtown Manhattan office, right up until we were forced to vacate the building.

The decision to close down UFOcity.com was not an easy or fun to make, and I hope and trust that our visitors did not read any dark or conspiratorial motives into its cause. The fact was that I had given notice at my job of six years to return to full time writing, research and public speaking. More to the point, I did not own the website, I was just its Editor-In-Chief. UFOcity.com was always the property of my employer, Central Park Media Corporation. It was with their encouragement and support that UFOcity.com came into existence. CPM picked up all of the associated operating fees, never tried to dictate or control content or editorial policy, and never made a cent off the project. UFOcity.com ran at a loss for its five and a half year long life. Pretty impressive, considering that like most companies, this company is in business to make money.

Then there are the people who contributed so much of the content we posted over they years. They ranged from the best-known names in UFO studies to (then) unknown others who received their start on our pages. My sincere thanks go out to all of you.

I was fortunate to have the technical assistance of a cadre of technically savvy individuals without whom we would never have ‘gone to press.’ Thank you Ray Andreassen, Sung Won Choe, Jack Chu, and in particular our Webmaster Henry Lai. It was through the efforts of this fine team of technicians – and writers, reporters, investigators and other contributors that UFOcity.com became the world-class online news source it was.

In the course of five and a half years UFOcity.com became synonymous with quality UFO reporting. This fact became a major factor in our decision to retire the website rather than to look for a buyer who, even with the best of intentions, might not uphold the high journalistic standards we had worked so hard to maintain in our postings. I will miss this job but will always be proud of what we were able to accomplish in our time online. It was an honor to serve as Editor-In-Chief of UFOcity.com and I hope and trust our efforts made a contribution to keeping this most compelling subject squarely in the public eye.