Michael D. Swords is a retired professor of natural science and environmental studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1962 with a B.S. degree in chemistry, and also holds an M.S. degree from Iowa State University in biochemistry (1965), and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve university (1972).
His major professional involvements were teaching and writing in the areas of general sciences and anomalous phenomena. His teaching centered on human biology, the history and philosophy of science, scientific methodology, and exploring anomalies, of which the UFO phenomenon is a major example. His writings have concentrated mainly on topics in ufology, parapsychology, and cryptozoology, and several have been published by CUFOS as well as the Journal of Scientific Exploration. He has won the University’s Teaching Excellence Award (1978).
Swords has been a member of several professional and civilian societies dedicated to the unraveling of such mysteries as UFOs, including the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE) and the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). He served as a MUFON consultant and was in the same capacity for the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, the International Fortean Organization, and as a member of the advisory panel for the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained. He was for a few years the editor of the CUFOS academic journal, The Journal of UFO Studies.
Swords has given addresses at three MUFON UFO Symposia and has presented materials at the “Abductions” Conferences of TREAT II (VPI, 1990), NCAE (Temple, 1991), the MIT CE4 conference, and the National Science Teachers Association (Phoenix, 1989). He has presented and served as panel moderator at several SSE meetings. He has published two books: Grass Roots UFOs (2005), which explores the fascinating UFO files of former CUFOS treasurer John P. Timmerman; and UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry (2012), co-authored with several other scholars, telling the story of why and how the United States and other governments acted upon the UFO problem as they perceived it.
For several years, Swords hosted a blog, The Big Study, in which can be found his reasoning and the factual and speculative bases for his views on ufology and other scientific anomalies. Over time, he has amassed an archive of resources on anomalous phenomena, including such elements as Ivan T. Sanderson’s materials from the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained, contactee George Hunt WIlliamson’s files, USAF Captain Edward Ruppelt’s files, John Timmerman’s files, and a few other rare or unique print material. He currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.