In the new economy, online services increasingly rely on the generosity of their patrons to continue, mostly because nobody watches or reads ads anymore. In a couple of months’ time, this site will turn eight years old. It is my second website; I have been posting online content since 2001. But as you know, it takes money to maintain a website and to afford to spend the time needed to write, research, and expand the content found here. As we close in on Christmas, I am launching my end of the year fundraising campaign to help me make it possible to deliver the kind of quality content that you have come to expect from this website. I have run this campaign every holiday season since 2014, and each year I have been touched by the generosity of my readers and the exceptional support you have provided to help me keep this site up and running for another year.
This year, I have two options for contributing. You can use the yellow donation button to make a one-time donation to my website, or you can use the orange (burnt sienna?) Patreon button to become a patron with a recurring voluntary subscription in the amount of your choice.
Since I do this every year, I will give you the same pitch from last year: As we approach the holidays, I’d like to put in a pitch for donations to help keep this site running ad-free. At the end of the month, my subscription payments for the premium level services that keep the site ad-free and running smoothly will come due. As most of you know, I don’t make any money off of this website, and I have made the conscious choice to avoid placing advertising on the site, both because it doesn’t make as much money as you’d think and because it makes the user experience significantly worse, which in turn makes the information I provide less effective in reaching audiences. If you can find it in your heart to chip in a few dollars to help offset the costs of my web hosting services, I would be greatly appreciative! As Wikipedia and Firefox like to say, if everyone reading this chipped in just $3 or $5, the fundraising drive would be over instantly!
I know what you’re thinking: Everybody wants money. Look on the bright side, however: I don’t ask for much compared to fringe historians. Scotty Roberts, for example, is asking for $18,000 to print his custom tarot deck. A couple of years ago, Jacques Vallée, a multimillionaire, and Chris Aubeck sought $42,000 to revise and reprint their book Wonders in the Sky. The Daily Grail has put out an open-ended call for funding by selling raffle tickets for a reason similar to my own: to pay for the upkeep and expansion of their website. UFO advocate and rock star Tom DeLonge is selling a trivial amount of stock in his media business for millions of dollars to give himself a minimum $100,000 per year payday with no promise of a return on investment.
At least you know what you are getting when you offer your support here: More of the same!
The alternatives to raising funds via donation are both suboptimal. The first is to follow the subscription model, locking content behind a paywall. Gaia TV does this with their ancient astronaut programs. The upside is that you get paid, but the downside is that the audience exposed to the content is limited to only those people willing to pay, which defeats the purpose of producing content for public consumption in the first place. The second alternative is to take advertising. There are many downsides to this. First, the ads ruin the user experience. Ancient Origins is larded with them, to the point that if I am not using ad-blocking software, my browser will freeze and crash trying to access a page. Second, this gives advertisers enormous power over what can be said. We have seen Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli reduced to fits of rage after YouTube cut off the advertising money train on his anti-Muslim videos, but while he shouldn’t have been surprised since it was an explicit policy in the terms and conditions, he wasn’t wrong that advertisers can run a moneymaking venture into the ground by withdrawing support for controversial material. This encourages anodyne content, especially given that the material I write about directly affects the products put out by large corporations that also control most of the advertising. Finally, no one actually clicks on ads, so the volume of advertising I would need to make significant money would be … unpleasant.
I suppose I could seek out a sponsor, the way that Marzulli takes money from JINGOS urine and vomit stain removal spray, but the downside of that is the need to do promotions for ridiculous products and services. “This program was brought to you by the Eagle Hand-Laundry. Are your eagle’s hands dirty? We'll wash ’em clean!” Most of the offers I’ve gotten for advertising and sponsorship have come from dubious foreign products and services of questionable taste and legality.
As I wrote on my Patreon page, your support helps me to continue my work researching history and providing free access to vital information that will set the historical record straight and take back truth from the fakers who seek to capitalize on lies.
At this time, while you are asking for money to continue attacking those who take paranormal phenomena seriously, I would like to point you and your readers toward an article that is, at the time I'm posting this, on the front page of The New York Times's website. The story is about the secret conspiracy of the US government to study UFO phenomena, even as they lied to the US public, and the world, in saying that the US government had no interest in the subject. In other words, all of those crazy, tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists were right, and you pseudoskeptics were wrong. I posted, a while back, on this website, that Luis Elizondo had already said that, and you people didn't believe him. Now Senator Harry Reid is saying so, as well. Maybe you won't believe him, either, or, maybe, you won't believe that the quotation is correct because people who believe that Ufology should be seen as a serious subject can't get a simple quotation right in reporting on this sort of thing. Oh, well. Read it yourselves, if you want, pseudoskeptics:
12/16/2017 04:21:05 pm
That's not what it is about at all. Harry Reid has long been a believer in UFO phenomena, and he steered money years ago to make a Roswell "crash" exhibit part of the Smithsonian. Now he has been exposed as also steering funding to a five-year Pentagon study that the Pentagon says it didn't want to study UFOs, a study that apparently, turned up nothing. Reid said he directed the money to such projects at the request of a billionaire UFO fanatic, and the money happened to be contracted to--who else?--the same billionaire's company. This isn't a story about UFOs but a story about government waste and special interests, which just happen to overlap with UFOs. Even then, taken at face value, the existence of lights in the sky and an effort to study them proves nothing about the existence of alien spacecraft.
Jason the commie
12/16/2017 06:43:18 pm
FACE IT YOU ARE COMMIE LEFTIST THAT HATES AMERICANS THAT HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS. YOU ARE A HATER AND A BIGOT AND A RACIST!
12/17/2017 08:33:43 am
Hi Jason -
Yeah, that's your opinion, for as misleading as it is. However, the FACT of the matter is that the pseudoskeptic movement, that you ally yourself with, has, repeatedly, over the years, said that it is absurd to think that the US government would run a conspiracy to study UFOs seriously and lie about it to the public. The pseudoskeptic movement has, also, engaged in ridicule of UFO conspiracy theorists, calling them "tin-foil-hat-wearers" and other stuff like that. The "tin-foil-hat-wearers" were right. You were wrong. What was or wasn't found with such a conspiracy is irrelevant to the fact that the conspiracy DID exist - and the fact that you were wrong, and the "tin-foil-hat-wearers" were right about the FACT that such a conspiracy DID exist.
12/17/2017 12:08:46 pm
Mark, I have never once said that aliens don't exist, only that there is no evidence that any have flown here in spaceships. Of course the U.S. government has studied UFO reports; there are thousands of pages of records to that effect, and it would be silly to pretend that such records don't exist. But you can't equate "unidentified aerial vehicle" or UFO with "alien spacecraft. The government might have many reasons to study UFO reports; in the Cold War, they were cover for seeking out Soviet spy planes and satellites. You can't jump to conclusions. Even many ufologists no longer pretend that UFOs are necessarily metal discs from Mars.
12/19/2017 01:50:26 am
The article you reference is interesting, but my view was a bit different from yours. Three senior Senators diverted $22 m of Federal money to a secret project run by a contractor. The contractor was a friend of one of the Senators, and the project was so secret that there was no oversight.
12/16/2017 06:42:23 pm
12/16/2017 07:03:20 pm
Jason, Even though I am to the political right of center , I enjoy your blog immensely. Glad to donate, keep up the good work!
12/16/2017 08:16:53 pm
Done! Thank you for all your insightful work over the past year, and keep up the great work!
12/17/2017 12:29:44 am
Jason is like the last remnant of the moderate and reasonable left. Sure, he tends to look for links between ultra-conservatism and the fringe, without seeing similar left-wing fringe movements, but overall this website is an incredible service.
12/17/2017 09:52:37 am
Patreon is the perfect way to support your Web site continuously. If everbody gives a small amount regularly, you will get all the money you need!
12/17/2017 10:39:51 am
I would like to know your theory of history or life Jason,, as you seem so gung-ho on touching everyones ideas, put forth something that you stand behind?
12/17/2017 12:13:37 pm
"put forth something that you stand behind?"
12/18/2017 01:35:28 pm
What truth Jimbo? why you responding to a question i asked Jason?
12/18/2017 04:03:27 pm
" why you responding to a question i asked Jason? "
12/18/2017 09:35:48 pm
What truth Jimbo? Why you responding to my comment?
12/18/2017 10:20:53 pm
"Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Oliver D Smith
12/27/2017 01:14:42 am
"Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
12/17/2017 12:34:21 pm
Done. Happy holidays Jason, I only wish I could give more. Your work has been valuable to me. As a Park Ranger (historian) I have always been impressed with the work (and the guts it takes) you do. Don't let the haters get you down, they obviously feel threatened by your work, or they wouldn't freak out like some folks have here based on their comments. (we don't see you going to other blogs and insulting posters there, you are very professional).
12/17/2017 09:42:45 pm
seconded... your blogs always lead to more information..
12/17/2017 01:11:51 pm
I will be donating something, but I will use my real name. I dote on this blog, and feel that it does a very valuable service. The search function on this blog is also very valuable. The only think I dislike is Jason's take on UFOs, but even that is acceptable given that this huge topic has been taken over by the lunatic fringe.
12/18/2017 12:30:32 pm
I do not know if Jason Jarrell will gift you with a review copy, or if you'll have to spaned $25:
An Anonymous Nerd
12/18/2017 07:30:55 pm
Sadly I can't give money this time, I have in the past. I must say, though, that it amazes me how many people seem to think they have a personal stake in fringe history and respond to Jason's debunking with such bile.
12/19/2017 04:43:10 pm
Please support this hate blog and make Jason rich.
12/19/2017 05:20:16 pm
Please get along with each other and send me money. I want money.
12/20/2017 12:57:33 pm
I am sorry that you are such a snowflake that you can't handle the subject matter of this blog, and must resort to calling names. What are you nine?
12/21/2017 06:32:40 pm
Denise, about a month ago I made the suggestion that since Henry, whoever or whatever he, she or what it is, be banned from this site. Having read his posting since he started, it is evident that whoever it is has nothing to contribute to the discussion. All he does is troll. I don't know how old he is, my guess is about sixteen, but with a mental age of about five.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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