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Rochester man studies UFOs with a historian's tools (Richard Dolan)

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY - 3/17/2005

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Richard Dolan has never seen a UFO. But he believes they are real. Don't roll your eyes. Richard Dolan has never seen a UFO. But he believes they are real. Don't roll your eyes.

Richard Dolan has never seen a UFO. But he believes they are
real. Don't roll your eyes.

Dolan is a historian and researcher by trade. He has never had
any interest in science fiction. If extraterrestrials have
visited Earth, Dolan doesn't claim to know where they've come
from or what they want.

He does believe, though, that the subject is worthy of inquiry.

Dolan, a Brooklyn native, earned a history degree from Alfred
University, studied at Oxford University, and then studied
American Cold War diplomacy at the University of Rochester in
the 1990s. He earned a master's degree in history.

He left academia because he didn't want to spend his life
"begging for adjunct instructorships" He now runs his own
professional resume writing service.

His passion, however, is researching and writing about UFOs. He
has been a contributor to The History Channel, has written
dozens of articles and, in 2000, published Volume One of UFOs
and the National Security State: An Unclassified History. The
book documents global UFO encounters from 1941 to 1973. Just in
those years, he says, the book documents about 250 UFO
encounters involving the military. He is working on a second
volume that would present evidence through the 1990s.

"I have gone from the standard academic track to the fringe" he
says, "and the fringe is the best place to be"

He has collected loads of official documents released to many
researchers over the years through Freedom of Information Act

At first, he says, American intelligence worried that the Soviet
Union might have perfected the technology of extremely high-
speed craft that can stop in midair and turn on a dime. That
turned out not to have been the case, but the reports of
sightings continued for decades.

As every television viewer knows, the government has long
dismissed sightings as mistakes. Either witnesses have mistaken
weather balloons or atmospheric conditions for unusual aircraft
or they are hallucinating.

But when you have trained pilots telling similar stories, you
have to listen, he says. "I would hesitate to use the words
'extraterrestrial spacecraft' in describing these things. This
could well be so =97 but I really try to be less definitive. Call
me picky, but I would simply describe them as military
encounters with unconventional craft that vastly exceed our own

You have to be skeptical of reports, but not closed-minded. So
what's credible?

"I look at a few things. First, a detailed (Freedom of
Information Act) report is something I consider credible" Dolan
says. "A photograph that has gone through extensive analysis" is
also credible.

In fact, he says, people need to be far more open to
possibilities we cannot imagine. Might creatures capable of
traveling vast distances have more sophisticated ways than low-
flying metallic hovercraft to survey the Earth? A reasonable
assumption, he says, but who knows?

In 1994, Dolan kind of stumbled into the field of UFO research,
knowing quite well that most of the world finds the subject
amusing, if not nuts. It doesn't bother him.

He has pursued his material methodically because, as he says in
the introduction to his book, "this topic deserves a respectable

Dolan will speak on "UFOs, National Security and You" from 6 to
8 p.m. Monday, March 28, at Brighton High School. Advance
registration is required. Call (585) 242-5191.

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