UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Is it a UFO ouroboros or karma?

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The UFO phenomenon, still unexplained, in toto, has the amazing ability to rankle humanity and those in the UFO community particularly.

So-called ufologists are back to attacking one another in 2007 just as they did in the 1950s.

What goes around comes around apparently.

The catalyst for the neo-venom is Roswell, which continues to evoke emotions of a diverse kind.

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Those who see Roswell as proof of an extraterrestrial visitation (via a flying saucer crash) are incensed with those who posit alternative scenarios, such as a military mishap, a misinterpreted balloon accident, or a loathsome medical/radiation experiment.

A current brouhaha has David Rudiak, an optometrist by profession and a creative, thorough UFO investigator by choice, pitted against Nick Redfern, a writer and UFO investigator who has provided several alternatives for the Roswell episode, including his most recent “theory’ (in his book, Body Snatchers in the Desert) that the UFO bodies were mentally/physically afflicted Japanese detainees being experimented upon by the U.S. government (using balloon-like aircraft) in New Mexico, June and July 1947.

David Rudiak believes that extraterrestrial beings, in flying saucers, crashed near Roswell in 1947 and the United States government has been covering up the incident since that time.

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Rudiak has mustered much circumstantial evidence, as has UFO celebrity Stanton Friedman (among others).

Redfern has other detractors besides Rudiak but he also has supporters, including the open-minded editor of the UFO e-zine, UFO Review, Stuart Miller, who is no slouch when it comes to the UFO phenomenon.

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The current vituperation, however, is as uncivil as it can get in “ufology” with Rudiak blasting anyone who dares to suggest that Roswell may be anything other than a mal-visitation by aliens from outer space.

Redfern, and the Roswell agnostics, are holding their own but the pro-ET ufologists are getting rabid, as the 60th anniversary of the Roswell incident approaches.

Roswell is not the whole cup of UFO tea many in the UFO community say but for some it is, and Rudiak is one of those who thinks that Roswell is the smoking gun of the UFO mystery.

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That he (Rudiak) can barely contain himself when any other view that the extraterrestrial hypothesis surfaces goes to the heart of why scientists, serious scientists, who have their own dust-ups (string theory for instance) to contend with, ignore UFOs: the dialectical environment is toxic.

But this has how it has always been in UFO circles. The civilized Donald Keyhoe, who also believed in the extraterrestrial explanation and the military stonewalling about UFOs, also met with opprobrium by colleagues who thought UFOs might be something other that alien visitations.

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But the intensity of the present confrontations are unique, in that name-calling and invective are part and parcel of the “discussion” while dialogue and bonhomie have been set aside as each side tries to score points with objective or naïve observers.

(Redfern and Miller remain gentlemen in the scuffle.)

Will the current atmospherics subside any time soon? We hope so. Otherwise pertinent new hypotheses for the UFO enigma may be stifled.

And we wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Transubstantiation and UFOs

The process by which the host, the Eucharist, used for Communion in the Roman Catholic Church changes into the body and blood of Jesus/Christ is called Transubstantiation.

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The change isn’t a metaphorical change but a substantial change, a real change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of the Church’s crucified Son of God.

[Wikipedia's take on Transubstantiation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transubstantiation]

UFOs, those that approximate the look of the host (round or disk-like and white) and represent “real UFOs” (not hoaxed UFOs or military UFOs, or any other kind of UFO that has a prosaic explanation) can convert from visual stimuli to actual, tangible flying craft: the transubstantiation of UFOs.

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The conversion from a wave phenomenon to a particle phenomenon is a quantum event, of course, but there is more to it than that.

The actualization of an evanescent image to a palpable, physical object is not a miracle but unique event brought about by the physical properties of quantum mechanics.

For UFOs, as with any other quantum measurement, the observation brings about the actualization; that is, the observation (or measurement) of a UFO makes it real, changing it from a Jungian or Vallee-defined artifact to a bona fide object, with definite physical properties.

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Just as the bread and wine in a Catholic mass is changed into the body and blood of Christ, which is a physical transformation also, a UFO changes from a perceived but amorphous entity into a object exhibiting physical traits and behavior, but only when it is objectively observed or measured (by eyesight, radar, or film/video).

(The paranormal search for ghosts and spirits, if it follows the same procedures with serious measurement, will also produce results that are concrete or substantial, but only if the measurement is scientifically sound.)

Transubstantiation is a quantum effect. UFOs are quantum manifestations, as we’ve noted here before. To obtain a solution to the UFO enigma, the phenomenon must be addressed in the same way that a quantum event is addressed.

The “incantations” during a Catholic mass bring about Transubstantiation. While incantations won’t produce a UFO (usually), the proper experimental “rites” should, if the observer is truly expert at his or her craft.

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So, ufologists might re-evaluate their procedures, looking to the Church and/or quantum science for guidance.

Then, perhaps, the UFO mystery will be solved, finally.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A little help, please

Our friend Brian Miller found the following photos at http://swapatorium.blogspot.com:

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The photos were provided to Swapatorium by Nick from Square America (http://www.squareamerica.com) who would like more information about the photos (date, locale, etc.) and the circumstances of what appears to be a UFO sighting by the children pictured.

Use the Swapatorium and/or Square America links above to contact Nick directly.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The UFO Curse

When has a flying saucer or UFO (real or not) brought anything but bad repercussions to the person or persons experiencing the thing?

Elijah, in the Hebrew Bible, is taken up “into heaven” by a UFO and never seen again. Ezekiel is visited by a UFO and ended up being assassinated while in Babylonian exile.

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Constantine sees a UFO (a sign of the cross) in the skies during a battle, converts Rome to Christianity, and the world’s religions have been in contention ever since.

Moving forward to our time, there’s the Roswell debacle, which has left no one connected to it unscathed by (bad) rumors and innuendos, including those who weren’t there but who have made it a staple of their careers or life, such as Stanton Friedman, a one-time reputable physicist of sorts and now a pariah in the scientific community.

Frank Scully ruined his journalistic career by glomming on to the Aztec UFO crash, which (real or not) sunk him and the two men (Newton and GeBauer) who provided him the inside information about the episode and were indicted for fraud eventually.

Donald Keyhoe, a retired Marine officer, whose life terminated with no answer to the UFO question and his reputation in disarray and dishonor by those outside the UFO community, died forlorn and disillusioned.

J. Allen Hynek’s astronomical credentials have been totally discredited by his association with UFOs.

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Dick Hall, Hynek’s colleague, lives in near-poverty, without recognition by anyone outside the UFO crowd.

Travis Walton has been scourged as a fraud.

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Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum (in 1980) encountered a UFO and suffered health problems for years afterward, and the loss of jobs also.

Dr. James McDonald, a prominent physicist, committed suicide after a period of opprobrium from those who once respected him but who turned on the Ph.D. when he delved into the UFO mystery.

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Morris K. Jessup, a noted astronomer, also committed suicide after his foray into the UFO enigma.

Ed Ruppelt, head of the Air Force’s Project Bluebook, died of heart attack in 1960 at age 38.

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Air Force Staff Sergeant Charles Moody suffered, allegedly, radiation poisoning after being “abducted” by a UFO in 1975.

Betty and Barney Hill have been excoriated and called hoaxers after their account of a UFO abduction.

Lonnie Zamora, whose Socorro sighting of 1964 is considered on of the best UFO encounters on record – we disagree – has become a recluse, and won’t discuss the incident during these last years of his life.

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Police Officer Herbert Schirmer was or was not abducted by spacemen in a UFO (1967) and ultimately lost his job and wife in the aftermath.

Harvard professor John Mack was vilified by his colleagues when he started to investigate the UFO abduction phenomenon and was killed by a drunk driver in London before his illustrious career was totally ruined by an association with UFOs.

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And look at all the so-called UFO abductees that Dr. Mack (and others) took to heart: they are looked at askance by even their family members, as well as being ostracized by society as a whole.

Bruce Maccabee, a research physicist with credentials in the UFO community has lost some of his cachet because he authenticated the obviously fake Gulf Breeze UFO photos created by Florida building contractor Ed Waters.

Then there are the investigators of UFOs and the phenomenon they represent: Jerome Clark, Kevin Randle, David Rudiak, Nick Redfern, and the myriad other lesser lights of the UFO community. They have been sidelined by the academic and scientific communities, and pushed to the back of the intellectual line because they’ve purportedly subverted their mental acumen to solve the UFO mystery. (They haven’t but society thinks they have.)

Yes, UFOs have not proven to be propitious for those who’ve settled around them. The UFO curse is one that permeates the whole UFO culture, in one way or another – sometimes subtly and sometimes not.

So Dante’s dictum at the beginning of The [Divine] Comedy applies:

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Too many UFO chefs (not chiefs!)

The old saw that too many chefs spoil the broth applies to the UFO kitchen.

Everyone has an opinion nowadays, but in the UFO community everyone thinks they’re an expert. And hypotheses are a thick as a swarm of flies on a cow-pie.

This was the problem when “flying saucers” became mainstream in the 1950s and the situation has worsened exponentially ever since, so that now, in 2007, everyone, and we mean everyone, thinks they have some expertise when it comes to UFOs.

The so-called debunkers (such as Donald Menzel, Phil Klass, The Amazing Randi, and James Oberg) thought, and think to this day, that UFOs are just puff.

The believers (and they are too many to name, but you know who they are) think UFOs are the be-all and end-all of everything that one lives for.

But it’s the “experts” who hold sawy over the UFO phenomenon, and they’ve done a disservice to the enigma, by their inordinate sniping and errant conjectures about the mysterious “things” that have been seen sporadically for thousands of years and very much so in the modern era.

The clutter of nonsense about UFOs have diminished the validity of some conjectural opinions, which are interesting (Jung’s, Keyhoe’s, Vallee’s).

This clutter, from the fringe elements of society and even the fringes of the UFO community, can’t be stomped out. It is exacerbated by UFO web-sites and lists where almost anyone with a view, no matter how nonsensical, gets a hearing….if they play by the fascistic rules of the moderators.

A suggestion by us, at a science-oriented web-site, sponsored by a prestigious science magazine, that some scientists should look at the UFO “evidence,” was met by a “we’ve got better things to think about” and “those UFO nuts make my skin crawl” (among other epithetical remarks).

This categorical distancing is not just from some smug physicists and scientists but from even those who appear to have open minds about things in this world and universe which are strange, even stranger than UFOs.

It’s the “crap” that true UFO experts allow to pass, or which they often even take time to comment about that has produced the stink that pervades the UFO panoply.

Of course there’s no way to curb the nonsense. It’s way too late for that. But perhaps, when the old UFO guard passes, a new crop of “ufologists” may be able to take up the UFO riddle and invest it with some credibility.

Until then, however, don’t hold your breath; just hold your nose.