Opinion- Mystery or hoax: Strange metal boxes and UFOs

By Ted Bonnitt on February 11th, 2012
Opinion- Mystery or hoax:  Strange metal boxes and UFOs
Is this photo of a mysterious metal box on an Oregon beach as good as it gets?
Is this photo of a mysterious metal box on an Oregon beach as good as it gets?

A few days ago, UFOGRID reported on the appearance of strange metal boxes washing up on a remote Oregon state beach.

Only one source, writer Dave Masko, has reported the story, who added that the boxes appeared following several UFO sightings in the vicinity of Bray's Point, OR.

Masko's post was picked up by HULIQ, an internet news service in North Carolina.

Masko wrote that one unnamed witness reported strange sounds emitting from one of the mystery boxes.  Two days later, Masko filed a second report that the boxes could not be budged by tow vehicles.  No evidence was provided that a move was even attempted. 

Today, Masko posted his third article about the boxes, but it was less of a report and more of a complaint letter to the "mainstream" press who have ignored his reporting.

There is no doubt that the mainstream press has a history of smirking at UFO stories, nervously passing them off with self-conscious titters and grins, and playing the obligatory "X-Files" theme music in the background.  If we only had a dollar for every time the tired phrase "The truth is out there" is used in mainstream press UFO news reports.

Mr. Masko may feel slighted by the media, but the fault may be his own.

UFOGRID reported on Masko's post the day it surfaced, despite that no other media source has to date reported on this potentially significant news event.

When Masko posted his follow-up report, there were again few, if any, photos and descriptions of the mystery boxes and the UFO sightings that reportedly proceeded the appearance of the boxes.  

Masko wrote that similar metal boxes appeared in Sri Lanka in the past, according to unattributed, declassified "British government files."   How about attributing a local news story about the Sri Lanka incident, or providing a link to the supposed British intelligence files?  Masko gives the "mainstream press" nothing to go on.

The only attributed source in all three of Masko's articles is Dr. Bill Hanshumaker, a public marine specialist and (Ph.D) doctor of marine science at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR.   Dr. Hanshumaker's one quote is, “I don’t know what they are.” 

Did Dr. Hanshumaker actually see the boxes?   UFOGRID has been unable to reach Dr. Hanshumaker for further substantiation.

The rest of the witnesses quoted in Masko's articles are identified only by single names, like "local UFO “watcher” Errol", and other useless sources for responsible news organizations.  

A few UFO blogs have parroted Masko's story and his unattributed sources, but after nearly a week, no general news outlets have covered a story about alleged UFO witnesses and the hard evidence of 18 metal mystery boxes. That's likely because the evidence is unsubstantiated. 

In his latest post published today, Masko again offers no convincing information about the boxes or his attributed sources, and has not provided detailed photographs of the boxes.  Instead of doing a reporter's leg-work, Masko belly aches about how the press won't pick up his story and even quotes all the lyrics to the "Moody Blues" song, "Question" to point out the failings of the news media.

We are well acquainted with the heretical nature of UFO reporting, and the the reluctance of the mainstream press to report seriously on the topic. And, that's why the bar is raised higher for the UFO reporter.  

If Mr. Masko wants the press to take his story seriously, perhaps he should take his reporting more seriously. Give the news media named sources and photo evidence.  Make us take notice.  Ignoring professional standards invites disinterest from the "mainstream press" that Masko is railing against.   All that has been offered so far is a washed up fish story.

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