Date: Wed May 11 1994 07:52:00 To: All Subj: Kottmeyer calls Mohada UFO - Calling Mohada o

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Date: Wed May 11 1994 07:52:00 From: Sheppard Gordon To: All Subj: Kottmeyer calls Mohada UFO ------------------------------- Calling Mohada of the Galaxies 08/01/86 THE WASHINGTON POST "I am Xiti. I come from Itibi Ra II." Nope. "Call me Qebsfeuf." Buzz off, creep. "My name is Captain Linda-Ray." Totally ridiculous. Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard of an extraterrestrial with a convincing name? Uriel, Zagga of Zakton, Little Bucky, Mohada of the Galaxies, Ponnar of Hatoon- they all sound like refugees from the weaker episodes of "Lost in Space." Who could believe they belong to a fantastically advanced civilization that is capable of zooming across the cosmos? Urban legends can find an audience only among those who will believe them. Obviously, stories of encounters with UFOs have great difficulty in getting a hearing. But in Martin Kottmeyer they've gotten attention of a different sort: He tracks aliens' names as reported in places like UFO Report, Flying Saucer magazine, UFO Review and, of course, The National Enquirer. He's got a list of about 320 of them. "A bunch are pretty geeky. They're names you'd associate with undateable types of people or the class reject," he says. "And many end in o'-Wolco, Zo. It sort of implies that everyone's related to the Marx brothers." Kottmeyer, 32, sees the weird names as a primitive attempt to be creative. "The contactees try to get a name that sounds odd, and yet it just sort of misses the mark," he says. "They sound more silly than alien." Actually, the names are only peripherally involved with his major project, a book called The Schlimazel Factor. The Yiddish title comes from a schlemiel's unlucky brother. To explain as simply as possible: When the schlemiel drops a cup, it's the schlimazel's carpet that gets dumped on. "Everything wrong happens to UFO contactees, or at least that's how they see it," says Kottmeyer, who in real life farms 120 acres of wheat, corn and soybeans in Carlyle, Ill. "Their car breaks down, their appliances malfunction, they lose their keys. And it's the extraterrestrials that are doing this." People who believe they've made contact with UFOs latch on to anything that happens as evidence of alien intervention, says Kottmeyer. And since their perceptions are colored by a mind-set of being a victim-not too many people, remember, believe they've encountered a UFO-they naturally point to things that are turning out badly. Just don't make the mistake of thinking Kottmeyer really believes in Voltra of Venus or Nah-9. "It's just a hobby," he says. "UFO literature is pretty funny to read."

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