Not in the Manual

‘I got this cool picture bro’ – Not in the Manual

Not in the Manual: Where Humor and High Strangeness Meet

The work of a UFO investigator can be interesting and exciting, but the antics and shenanigans are literally out of this world. Join me as I delve deep into my ridiculous personal experiences and case files dealing with ufologists, paranormal investigators, and witnesses; this is the stuff that’s not in the manual.


The phrase used as the title for this post was actually written in a follow up e-mail that was sent to me by a witness after they reported a UFO sighting via MUFON CMS.

The sighting report was pretty intense; strange lights, blinking, changing color, weird movements that didn’t make sense. He stated it approached him and hovered for a minute or two. He saw it up close, between 100 and 500 feet apparently.

I decided, at the time, to ignore the grammar issues as well as being referred to as “bro.” A picture of a UFO at 100 to 500 feet is amazing! This could be my big case! My potential career writing books, appearing on the History Channel, and giving talks at UFO Congress totally hinged on the “cool picture,” so I double clicked the attachment.

In the half second it took to load, like every UFO investigator, I was hoping for an amazing image of a close-up alien craft with greys peering through the windows waving; I was dreading a close-up image of this person’s genitalia (which happens . . . shockingly).

It was neither.

It was, in simple terms, a yellow dot in a black background.

“That’s it?,” I thought to myself. “A yellow dot?”

It wasn’t even a big dot. It was a small dot, a tiny yellow dot in the night’s sky. I zoomed in hoping for some saving grace, some miracle that would save me the grief of sending an e-mail back with the subject line being, “Not a cool picture bro . . .”

In a few clicks, I was in a retro 8-bit pixelated world. The yellow dot turned into a series of yellowy cubes.

What the hell man? This was supposed to be my Roswell and all I get is a tiny yellow dot in the inky black sky.

Are you in possession of a series of blurry pictures that are supposed to be aliens, or just a bunch of dust particles hovering around that are “orbs,” and are considering sending them off to your local UFO investigator? Let me begin by stating that UFO investigators are generally busy people. We have day jobs, kids, and families that need us. If you are going to submit a photograph or video, it needs to be worth it.

Think to yourself, before you click “Send,” is this image worthy of someone else’s time? Will they be able to use this image to ascertain the nature of the object? Does the image actually provide additional information that would be helpful in an investigation? If your answer is “No” or “I’m not sure,” then don’t send it . . . but if you do, don’t say “it’s cool bro” because it isn’t cool. It sucks.

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