After the NY Times article on a Pentagon UFO program was published in December 2017, a large number of people over subsequent months became drawn to twitter to discuss this breakthrough news. By 2019 this growing number of people had self-identified as #ufotwitter after earlier taking up the appreciative, characterizing label of “young guns” assigned to them by ufological old-timer Grant Cameron.
Ufotwitter, to put it mildly, is not single-minded on many fronts. It has been that way since day one, especially on the issue of whether or not to trust government insiders and those working with them, like the Tom DeLonge group To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences. A basic interest in discussing the ufo subject is the single-minded basis for #ufotwitter and from that point, clearly defined camps and tribes have staked out their positions.
The full size of #ufotwitter can’t be determined easily. It appears to consist of people with different layers of participation with many lurkers likely. For a possible total #ufotwitter census number, I looked at the number following UFO author Richard Dolan, which was just shy of 50,000.
I figured the best way to get a sense of the dimensions of #ufotwitter was to look at the number of followers for key members of #ufotwitter.
There are some mainstream journalists active in the ufotwitter milieu. While their numbers reflect many followers who are not into ufos , I will start with two accounts:
Bryan Bender, senior national correspondent for Politico: 9,616 followers; and Tyler Rogoway, editor of The War Zone for Time, Inc: 35,700 followers.
For signs of how many are really (most acutely) focused on ufotwitter, 2,314 is a clear number for that. That is how many people have followed Christopher Mellon since he joined Twitter several days ago (after being introduced there by Tom DeLonge).
To truly get a sense of the number most acutely focused on ufotwitter, I looked at the follower numbers for three very different but active presences on ufotwitter, and it does seem that 2 to 3,000 people seems right:
Jack Brewer, a strict advocate for applying rigorous academic/scientific/journalism standards for the field: 1,963 followers.
Christopher Wolford, a retired health care professional and encounter experiencer from Michigan, recently refocused back on ufos after a period of helpful educational early warnings of covid19: 2,725.
Lt. Tim McMillan, a retired cop and now freelance journalist/expat living in Germany (work published in major publications): 3,002.
But there is a higher number of people that adds on or includes those with perhaps a slightly less acute level of participation, but significant nevertheless. For a numerical indicator of that, I looked at the follower numbers for some of our most valued reporters and communicators on ufotwitter. It suggests a range of 5 to 10,000:
Joe Murgia, UFO Joe: 5,016
Bryce Zabel, People Get Ready account: 5,594
Danny Silva, Silva Record: 6,441
Grant Cameron: 7,593
Alejandro Rojas: 10,400
Ryan Robbins, aka UFO Jesus at Post Disclosure World: 10,900
In 2019 I compiled a list of researchers that included many active then on what is now called ufo twitter. Most are still there:
Since that was posted, many have joined the ufotwitter discussion and news-sharing playground. That includes some of the Navy witnesses of the 2004 tic-tac encounters. Most of the people identified on the earlier list remain, tbough some like notably Joshua Cutchin have departed.
While it appears that there is some blocking reaction by those who are offended by someone, most on ufotwitter seem honest, vulnerable, and not so rigid in adhering to their own unique perspective that they shut others out.
To that end, there seems to be a general effort, with notable exceptions, to stay away from the polarized political talk that otherwise dominates twitter overall.
As mentioned earlier, there have been some ferocious battles. Some of the issues:
~~~Government insiders working with TTSA
~~~The Bob Lazar story
~~~The Chris Bledsoe story.
~~~Diana Walsh Pasulka reporting being hacked.
~~~Critiques issued from figures like Jason Colavito, Mick West and Jack Brewer.
~~~The Davis/Wilson notes document.
So somewhat tattered, but persistant, the organism now known as UFO Twitter now keeps on, but with the news from the DOD issuing forth on April 27, now seems really “fired up, ready to go”.
Here are some very active ufotwitter users from a list of people tagged by Akam on May 6 2020 (snapshot therefore for then). Click on his tweet here to see 2 further segments of names:
Update November 28 2020
A couple of months ago Luis Elizondo joined Twitter and seems very responsive and safely apolitical. Chris Mellon remains active and did not stay apolitical, announcing he was one of the Republicans and former National Security officials endorsing Biden. Tom DeLonge went political also, often expressing his horror over Trump’s ways.
The July NY Times story was important but unleashed hilarious drama targeting Joe Murgia who had scooped some of the contents of that story. (The NY Times reporters expressed their anger on that in an interview with Jay of Project Unity, thus sparking the angry mob carrying torches after UFOJoe.)
Drama ensued most recently over Bob McGwier sharing in an interview what he had been shown by folks in the Intel community (a recent photo taken by F18 pilots of a big triangle-shaped craft) and that inadvertantly stepped on an aspect of a story being worked on by Tim McMillan (who forgives Bob, who didnt know what Tim was going to report and no bad intent).
Finally, leading ufo twitterer Danny Silva noted a few months back that my article here was inaccurate (no specifics offered).