The internet is a miracle. It's a bubbly cauldron of wonder full of interesting tidbits to chew on each and every day.
For the UFO community, it's especially wondrous that we have the free and chaotic internet because it allows examination and discussion, and lord knows we need that in this particular twilight endeavor.
One tidbit that has surfaced this week is the vita of researcher and writer Phil Imbrogno. It's looking as if he might have perhaps padded his resume. Lied about his credentials? Made up his past? Did he?
A thread on a forum referencing a former poster on a podcast chat board seems to suggest that he has done just that.
Wait ... did you get all of that? A guy who posts anonymously with a made-up name on the web has made real phone calls and written real letters to various real-life institutions and has determined that Imbrogno is really a faker, a fraud, a confabulator.
So far, Imbrogno has gone missing, and we haven't heard his side of the story. Or, maybe we have ... there's an rant on that same thread by another anonymous avatar claiming to be Phil. It's illiterate and senseless, rambling and incoherent, inchoate and flippant. Folks say it can't be Phil, based on what they know of his published writings.
As an editor, I am not sure. I've handled worse. As a silk-purse maker, I've seen my share of sow's ears in my inbox, so I just don't know. If it's Phil's last mangled word to us, it gives us a lot to think about.
Real researchers will now have to revisit the stories that made up the Imbrogno empire: the Hudson Valley sightings, the ancient caves on the East Coast, and the mysterious case of Dean Fagerstrom, which was the cover story in UFO Magazine back in May of 2008. Every single interview and witness report that Phil has presented will now have to be revisited and re-checked and time is not on our side.
We do have real researchers in this little ghetto. We also have real witnesses, real experiencers, and really interested people looking for real answers to an unimaginable mystery. The regular five-fingered media will not touch this mystery or lift any finger to investigate, so we are basically on our own here.
That's probably why this dumb move on Phil's part smarts so much. I thought he was for real.