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Vale to Pioneers Lee Spiegel and David Perkins

August of 2023 has unfortunately witnessed the departure of two important figures in the fields of UFOlogy and cattle mutilation research.

On August 16th X (formerly Twitter) began to be abuzz with posts informing of the passing of Lee Spiegel: writer, reporter, and the former host of NBC Radio’s “The Edge of Reality.” Spiegel produced and hosted nearly 1,500 programs on unexplained phenomena over an eight-year period at NBC Radio, and previously worked at Westwood One Radio and

But perhaps his greatest contribution to the UFO field was when helped to organize a presentation about UFOs before the United Nations in 1978, at the behest of the government of Grenada.

Unfortunately, nothing ever came out of it, and through the remainder of his life Spiegel kept on making appearances in documentaries and trying to cover the topic for mainstream media, including the Huffington Post. I feel the importance of this yeoman’s work cannot be underestimated, since it paved the way for others who followed in his footsteps (for better or worse) like Leslie Kean and more recently Australian news reporter Ross Coulthart.

I never interacted with Lee personally, out of being able to watch him have a live one-on-one with Jacques Vallee in 2016 at the International UFO conference, where they both reminisced about the 1978 UN event. That brief experience left me with the impression of Spiegel as an old combatant who had been at this uphill battle longer than most of us have been even alive. I also keep thinking in retrospect how Vallee, being part of Bigelow’s BAASS group, was obviously cognizant in some measure on how everything was going to change in the field the next year, after Kean and Blumenthal would release their article on the New York Times; I wonder, did he manage to alert his old colleague about this abrupt sea change, or did he keep it to himself?

In a world in which writing about UFOs probably earned you a fair share of giggles from your co-workers at the water cooler, Spiegel soldiered on because he knew it was important to do so.

The second pioneer we just lost is David Perkins, a pioneer in the field of cattle mutilation research, who began investigating the mystery of the dead cows found by the ranchers of his home in Colorado under very strange circumstances —exsanguinated, with precision cuts on localized areas like the ocular orbits and the genitals— out of personal curiosity; in fact, on his 2-part interview for Greg Bishop’s Radio Misterioso, Perkins jokingly reminisced how when the ‘mutes’ began he and his hippie associates living in a little commune were initially considered to be the prime suspects by the local authorities!

Just like Spiegel became a trailblazer for the likes of Kean and Coulthart, Perkins also became a sort of mentor to several individuals who became prominent personalities in the field of cattle mutilation research, like Linda Mouton Howe and Chris O’Brien. To learn a bit more about this fascinating historic period, we highly recommend you pick a copy of Adam Gorightly’s Saucers, Spooks and Kooks —you should also add to your library Chris O’Brien’s Stalking the Herd, perhaps the definitive tome in cattle mutilation.

It also bears mentioning that Perkins didn’t shy away from trying to find alternative solutions to the ‘mute mystery’ outside the orthodox theories which blame either the US government or beef-loving extraterrestrials, like for example the Gaia theory.

In fact, it was when I wrote an article about Gaia and its possible connection to the UFO phenomenon that I reached out to David, because I was interested in having his expertise weigh in on what I was trying to say. Just like pretty much anyone who interacted with him, I found David to be incredibly kind and generous with his time when ‘vetting’ my article, and for that I will always be grateful.

Descansen en Paz.

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