In November Jeff Peckman will be presenting a bill to Denver Colorado’s city legislature to form a commission on extraterrestrial investigation. Peckman has been both hailed and jeered for his proposal. Will it prove to be a perfect avenue to open a dialogue about the UFO phenomenon? And will it be able to pull its weight in tax dollars during these rough economic times? What will the commission do? And why Denver Colorado instead of the United Nations or another global organization?
When Peckman appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in June of 2008, it was one of the most surprising fifteen minutes of television of that year. The talk show host which regularly pokes fun at his guests sat down and had a surprisingly candid and relatively sober conversation with his guest about the subject of UFOs and the recently announced Stan Romanek alien film footage. At the time Peckman had just concluded an interview with Larry King about the footage and was looking to open a dialogue about research he had just concluded suggesting the visitation of Earth by some 57 alien races. And while the audience did chuckle at a few of the things he suggested, both Letterman and the Audience seemed at least interested in what Peckman had to say. It was a high profile step in a journey Peckman has been traveling virtually all his life.
The initiative proposed by Peckman has already caused quite a stir amongst believers and skeptics alike. Recently Peckman attempted to deflect a series of claims made by skeptics and proposed voters visit his voter education page. Analysis of the Initiative was submitted by the Denver League of Women Voters and includes several pros and cons claimed by both supporters and those not supporting the bill. Among the pros, the voters say an important sunset clause in Innitiative 300 would allow council members to vote to repeal and disband the commission if it failed to live up to the city’s expectations. This essentially would mean there is little to no risk involved in passing such a bill. Additionally, the commission would investigate the claims of only the most qualified individuals including astronauts, pilots, officers in the military, and those in elected office. All four of the cons essentially cite the lack of guarantees for funding from private donations and a lack of guarantees for results.
Why is Initiative 300 important? In the grand scheme of things, with all the various investigations going on to uncover the UFO phenomenon it seems unlikely that it will change everything, but this isn’t the reason Initiative 300 seems so important. With or without the UFO phenomenon, Initiative 300 is a grassroots effort to move the issue of UFO and other unusual investigations into the hands of local government and away from centralized federal government. As a result people would have to inevitably stop using the term “the government” as the perpetrator of such a conspiracy. And even if the UFO phenomenon were to turn out to be nothing more than a century long form of mass hysteria, it would improve public relations and allow believers a chance to have their faith restored in the will of interested voters.