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A few weeks back we noted the passing of Senator Claiborne Pell, and a minor controversy that ensued with back and forth comments between Col. John Alexander and James ‘The Amazing’ Randi. Since then, Herald Tribune journalist Billy Cox (whose articles are nearly always worth checking out) has spoken to John Alexander about Pell’s ‘Senator Oddball’ obituaries:

The line that stuck in Alexander’s craw was this: “Sen. Pell also attended a symposium on UFO abductions.”

“This is actually an ad hominem attack. There’s no context for that statement,” says Alexander from his home in Las Vegas. “Senator Pell was intellectually curious in many areas of phenomenology, and for a politician, he was golden, he was fearless. He didn’t care what people thought.”

Alexander also offered his thoughts on the push for ‘UFO disclosure’ with the new Obama administration (“There’s a vast difference between personal interest and institutional interest… This is not a strong voting issue. The public is interested but ambivalent.”), and whether the topic deserved such a high level of attention:

“UFOs are real. The evidence for things flying all over our skies that aren’t ours is overwhelming,” Alexander says. “And most scientists won’t go near it because they think Condon” – first name Edward, who supervised the Colorado project — “conducted a thorough study, which he did not. We need to make it permissible for scientists to study again, and what Senator Pell went through shows you what happens to a serious person attempts to study it.

“I think this is something a John Podesta could in fact do. He could help to make a formal request to the National Academy of Science to take another look at this thing based on evidence that’s been ignored. But this isn’t going to be easy, because it’s not politically enhancing. And the scientific community doesn’t even want to look at the evidence. They dismiss it a priori.”

In the comments section beneath the article there’s been some further back and forth between Stephen Bassett, Joe Capp and John Alexander.