The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Waiting for Godot and UFOs

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Samuel Beckett’s “existentialist” play, Waiting for Godot, written in the late 1940s (published in 1952) was a harbinger of the plight of ufologists.

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Vladimir and Estragon, the main characters, like ufologists, represent persons (humanity) waiting for something, in the guise of Godot.

(Some interpret Godot as God but Beckett disabused them of that meaning.)

We think that Beckett was prescient, in that he anticipated the arrival of UFOs at the public level in 1947 and the following years of no answers about where they come from, if they’ll arrive at all, and what they represent.

The Observer (cited by Wikipedia) had this to say:

"By all the known criteria, Waiting for Godot is a dramatic vacuum. It has no plot, no climax, no denouement, no beginning, no middle, no end, it frankly jettisons everything by which we recognize theater, it arrives as it were with no luggage, no passport, nothing to declare, yet it gets through, as might a pilgrim from Mars".[8]

Doesn’t that sum up the UFO problem, the UFO mystery?

In the play, other characters tell Vladimir and Estragon that Godot will arrive sometime but he (or it) never does.

Vladimir and Estragon continue to hope and wait for Godot’s arrival, just as ufologists and UFO devotees hope and wait for UFOs to arrive, tangibly.

The mystery of UFOs is as palpable as the mystery of Godot.

We and real ufologists (plus their minions) sit by the wayside, like Vladimir and Esatragon, accepting the excuses for the UFO delay, hoping that when the UFOs actually arrive, they will be explained or understood, and our waiting for them will not have been in vain.

But we get the feeling that the wait will be interminable and Godot, er the UFOs, will not be arriving any time soon or in a way that satisfies our longing.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jacques Vallee’s Errancy

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Yes, we’re admirers of Jacques Vallee, but he is wrong.

The Vallee hypothesis that UFOs are a control system, altering, encouraging, manipulating humankind, for good or evil does not fly.

History, and the vicissitudes of human activity, from time immemorial show that UFOs have had no effect on civilization, or a negligible effect, one that has only tweaked human activity in the most insignificant way.

(The one UFO event, if it was a UFO event at all, that might have altered society in a propitious or, as some think, malicious way, would be the sighting of a cross by Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century, which made the Roman Catholic Church the “official” religion of the Roman Empire, and ultimately Western civilization.)

When a UFO (or God) led the Hebrews out of Egypt (which some contend is a myth but which we think is a bona fide historical event), the UFO (or God) impacted the Hebrews only, and that in a benign religious sense, not in a revelatory or practical sense. (It didn’t save the Jews from pogroms or the Holocaust.)

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The Nuremberg sighting of the 1561 (which is listed by a documentarian as one the top ten UFO sightings of all time) didn’t alter society, not one iota.

Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type and printing as we know it, a hundred years earlier, had more of an impact on humanity than any UFO before or since.

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Vallee’s contention that UFOs as psychical projections or actual images from a super power or force may be true, but the corollary that such projections or images are meant to further humanity’s mental (even physical) evolution is not borne out by the historical, anthropological, psychological, evidence.

Since 1947, what have UFOs brought to the human table? Nothing but wisps of curiosity by a dedicated band of UFO devotees whose impact on nations, governments, ecological systems, economic philosophies, even military accoutrements has been and remains nil.

When a few French and Italian citizens encountered dwarves in “flying saucers” during the 1950s or the Irish peoples saw the wee people running loose around their farms, what developed from those happenstances, in a way that altered human society and moved it along significantly? Nothing.

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The UFO phenomenon that Vallee addresses may be likened to gnats disturbing a picnic crowd. The phenomenon had been and is without power to change society.

Lee Harvey Oswald, and his co-conspirators, with a few gun shots in 1963changed American (and world) society much more drastically than any UFO sighting ever has.

And if, as Vallee suggests, the change is long-range, what are the UFO generators waiting for? The phenomenon has been around before mankind could talk.

Yes, Vallee may be on to something, but what he’s on to is so petty and ultimately benign it can be ignored, except by those who need a good mystery, no matter how inconsequential, to keep them amused.