Extraterrestrial Contact and the Future of Humanity
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"There I was just looking at the sky, then I felt something. I don't know. All I know is that I wasn't alone, and for the first time in my life I wasn't scared of nothing, not even dying."

-- Palmer Joss, from the movie "Contact"


Who on Earth is Chris Tannlund
(and why should I trust him with my story)?
Professional Qualifications
I am an author and poet whose short stories, poems, articles, editorials and essays have appeared widely throughout the American small and commercial presses.  I am listed in both the International Science Fiction & Fantasy and Locus author databases on the internet.  In fact, drop my name into just about any search engine out there, and you'll get back as many as thirty writing-related hits.  To sample my writing talents for yourself, visit my free on-line collections:
 
A World In Edgewise: 
13 Sidereal Journeys
(short stories)
Slouching Toward Wonderland: A Pop-Culture 
Poetry Adventure
(a hypertext poetry chapbook)

I also have extensive editorial experience, having served as editor-in-chief or co-editor of numerous publications, including the critically acclaimed Goodwitch Stories Magazine (1994-1995), the now highly collectible The Golden Age of Flying Saucers Newsletter (1997-1998), and the award winning internet poetry journal Tintern Abbey: The On-Line Journal of Contemporary Poetry (1998-1999).

If you would like to sample my UFO/extraterrestrial contact writings, I have begun adding articles from The Golden Age of Flying Saucers Newsletter to the UFOria Research Extraterrestrial Contact Research Database (more on this below).  Look for my name under the category, " Contact Scholarship, Science and Enlightened Speculation ."  New articles and research findings will soon follow.

The Personal Stuff

I was raised in a flying saucer family.  Throughout the late '50s and early '60s many a weekend found my parents packing a picnic lunch and loading the Rambler for their latest saucer-spotting excursion into the clear-skied desert outside their Phoenix, Arizona home.  I was born in Illinois, having traveled in-utero from the high desert, where I was conceived, to the small Midwestern refinery town of Wood River, where I would be born and would spend the first eighteen years of my life.  The grind of raising kids and the ever-smoky Amoco skies soon put an end to my parents' outings (and eventually to their marriage), so I never got to disk-chase with them, but I cut my eye-teeth and took my first steps thrilling to stories of their early adventures -- blazing fireballs turning night into day, a giant cigar-shaped cruiser tottering like balanced scales on a mountaintop, a period of missing time before anyone had ever heard of Budd Hopkins ...  Flying saucer stories were like Bible stories in my family: a bright narrative tapestry of strange encounters with a Mysterious Other, facts that never quite fit mundane experience, the ever-present hint of some deeper meaning lurking behind the details, all mixed with the spine-tingling hope that at any moment IT (whatever IT turned out to be) might drop out of a clear blue sky, make itself finally, unquestionably known , and release us all forever from the confining shackles of ordinary reality...

As a pre-teen, most weekends found me at the local public library with my nose in a book, anxiously tracking down those Elusive Answers to Big Questions we all begin to ask at that age -- Why are we here?  How should I live?  Where do we go when we die?  Considering my heritage, I spent a lot of time digging through the (strangely large for a small town library) UFO/paranormal section, working to somehow pull the wild speculations of the '70s flying saucer flap, the increasingly bizarre reports from the National Enquirer, and my own family history together into a coherent worldview that not only answered the Big Questions, but that might promise a brighter future than did the Watergate nightmare world coming into being around me.

That's when I encountered George Adamski's classic Contactee narrative Inside the Spaceships.  It took me by surprise because, by some strange trick of the Dewey Decimal system, Mr. Adamski's book was not filed in the 001s with the other UFO titles, but with the Aviation and Rocketry books, a section of the library I didn't get around to until Junior High.  I was 12 when I read this work by Americas first and best-known Contactee, and it changed my life in a number of ways -- not all of them good.

On the upside, the book made it clear to me that flying saucers were real, that extraterrestrial/human contact had already begun, that beings from beyond earth were as advanced spiritually as they obviously were technologically, and that if we earthlings could just cast off our greed, violence and hunger for power we could live as they did and join their ranks among the stars.  I encountered the downside when I ran home (remember, I am 12 here), breathless, the book clutched tight in my scrawny fingers, my mind reeling with questions of why we consider UFOs a mystery when so much is already known, why we didn't all treat each other the way these Space Brothers said we should, and most of all, why in the (then) 20 years since the publication of Adamski's book had we not joined the Star Trek-like federation of planets awaiting us just beyond the sky?

"Mom!" I shouted as the screened kitchen door cracked shut behind me like gunfire. "Have you heard of this Adamski Guy?  Do you know what this book says?"  I quickly learned that even those who have themselves held court with the Mysterious Other are not necessarily or automatically freed from their prejudice or suspicion.  My mother didn't believe Adamski.  She said it was a hoax, that I should just forget it.

I most certainly did not "just forget it."  My mother's adult skepticism fell like rocket fuel on the fire my 12 year old imagination.  I redoubled the intensity of my search for Truth, voraciously devouring the works of UFOlogy's greats, from the metaphysical George Adamski to the conspiratorial Donald Keyhoe to the prolific Brad Steiger (whose 1975 classic Gods of Aquarius triggered my first "mystical experience") to the sensationalistic Harold T. Wilkins and the spiritualist George Hunt Williamson, who not only personally witnessed George Adamski's original contact with a Venusian in the California desert, but who eventually established contact of his own via short wave radio (and later by Ouija board and seance') as chronicled in his classic narrative The Saucers Speak.

My search continued unabated for more than two decades, through the Grey Invasion of the '80s ala Whitley Strieber and Budd Hopkins, to the paranoid X-Files '90s and beyond, until I found that I had become, as an adult, a highly-knowledgeable self-styled UFO historian and flying saucer collector,  and eventually, a serious UFO/paranormal researcher, author and editor/publisher, beginning with my creation of The Golden Age of Flying Saucers Newsletter in 1997 -- launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1947 birth of the modern UFO era, when pilot Kenneth Arnold spied a formation of shining objects chasing one another over Washington State's Mount Rainier.  He described the objects as moving across the sky, "... like a saucer would if you skipped it across water...," a phrase newsman Bill Bequette abbreviated into the now-familiar sobriquet Flying Saucers...

1997 was also the 50th anniversary of the now-famous saucer crash and retrieval at Roswell, New Mexico -- an historical marker celebrated with amazing hoopla all over the world, as network television broadcast Ray Santili's Alien Autopsy film, and as about a zillion new books and re-issued classics on the subjects of Roswell, UFO history, and every imaginably related topic flooded the newsstands. The Discovery Channel, TBS, TNT and a host of lesser cable channels devoted entire weeks to airing UFO films and documentaries.  Even the Air Force got in on the act, retracting their 1947 "weather balloon" version of the Roswell event, only to then offer an even more remarkably implausible "explanation" -- the crash of a top secret Project Mogul spy balloon (those darned balloons again), this one conveniently equipped with crash test dummies to explain away longstanding rumors of alien bodies having been seen at (and retrieved from) the crash site...

'97 was a heady year for UFOlogy, and I'm sure my own The Golden Age of Flying Saucers Newsletter registered as little more than an anomalous blip on the radar screen of pop culture against all that background noise.  But for the eighteen months I wrote, edited and published TGAFS, a powerful sense of purpose, deep personal satisfaction and simple happiness permeated my life.  I had found my niche'.  Researching and writing about UFOs and extraterrestrial contact was the perfect outlet for my talents, the ideal synthesis of my childhood passions with my adult-acquired historical expertise and writing skill.

If you have ever published a paper periodical, then you know how wildly expensive a proposition it is, cranking out issue after issue, while funding printing costs, advertising, postage and incidentals out of your own pocket.  No matter how much you love what you're doing, it's a hard financial row to hoe, the #1 reason the vast majority of paper publications fail, even when their content is of the highest quality.  In the face of the economic demands of ordinary life, I eventually had to let TGAFS go.  But I never surrendered that original insight, the taste TGAFS gave me of the excitement and pure pleasure of chronicling the great mysteries, of holding my own court with the Mysterious Other, and of making my personal mark on the field closest to my heart.

Then, in 1998, not long after the final issue of The Golden Age of Flying Saucers went Postal, I finally bought a halfway-decent computer and joined the rest of the world on-line.  The "Information Superhighway" was a true inspiration to me, an "unknown country" of freedom, creativity, and... high quality, very low cost, paper-free publishing!   I immediately began making plans for my return to UFO/paranormal research and journalism.  Face to face with a new computer, a new hi-tech tool (the Internet), and the requirement to think in a whole new way if I was to discover the possibilities inherent in these technologies, I found myself at the low end of a very long learning curve -- "How does the Internet work?"  "What is HTML?"  "What 'Bells and Whistles' (like the UFOria Research Comprehensive Contact Questionnaire e-mail form) are available in Cyberspace for cheap or free?"   It took me a few  years to become proficient in all this, but the end result (so far) of my climb up that technological learning ladder is the website you are now surfing.  I'm proud of it.  UFOria Research has become my personal on-ramp to the "dream road" of the Internet, and to the resurrection of my personal dreams of contact, of devoting myself to the research and study of human communication with extraterrestrials, and of creating a space in which the fruits of that research can be shared freely with others who share my passion.

And as of September, 2002, the "dream road" is expanding into new lanes!  UFOria Research is growing in new directions by extraordinary leaps and bounds, beginning with the September addition to this site of  the new Extraterrestrial Contact Research Database , a comprehensive collection of external links to websites containing  valuable ET contact information, 1947 to the present, as well as internal links to a growing, dedicated database of quality extraterrestrial contact  materials I will keep freely available to UFO researchers into perpetuity.  This is, to my knowledge, the first time that such a comprehensive database, devoted solely to the subject of Human/Extraterrestrial communication, has been compiled anywhere.  Whether you are, yourself, a contactee, a researcher with a special interest in contact-related phenomena, or merely curious, I hope you will find the Extraterrestrial Contact Research Database to be a priceless resource in your quest for truth.  Bookmark www.uforia-research.com and come back often to see what develops!

I hope that in the course of reading this brief introduction, in addition to gaining a personal introduction to me and my work, you have also come to recognize a narrative talent that you just might trust to present your personal story to the world with accuracy, respect and some reasonable measure of journalistic penache'.

If I have in these pages convinced you of my talent and sincerity, then I hope you will now take the leap of faith required to trust me, to carefully peruse the listing on this site of projects currently being researched, and to contact me directly with your story.  Hopefully, it will correspond to one of the topics under consideration.  If not, feel free to contact me anyway, as your story might well be the inspiration for an entirely new avenue of contact research.  No matter what, your story matters!

E-Mail:
tannlund@uforia-research.com
Snail Mail:
Chris Tannlund
26 NE 50th Rd
Lamar,  MO  64759
What on Earth is
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Extraterrestrial Contact
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