The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Democratization of Ufology

Do you wonder why some ufologists are so cranky and mean-spirited?

Here’s a clue; a letter in The New Yorker [July 9 & 16, Page 8] from Jon Jeffryes of Madison, Wisconsin:

…archives are a symbol of information elitism – to view those documents you first have to get to [the archives], making…original documents impossible to view for vast numbers of people. Digitization democratizes that information by making it viewable to anyone who can find an open internet connection.

Mr. Jeffryes is referencing an article in the magazine about literary and manuscript archives, but his sentiments apply to ufology, and here’s how…

A few ufologists have, over the years, spent inordinate amounts of time and some monies to get to UFO archives in various venues (Washington D.C., New Mexico, London, et cetera).

The information gleaned was used to create books, to supplement convention appearances, and to create an aura of expertise that the UFO hobbyist didn’t have.

But with much of that archival material now online, and provided by such groups and individuals as Black Vault, Project 1947, NICAP, David Rudiak, Nick Pope, and others, the likes of Stanton Friedman, Kevin Randle, Jerome Clark, et alia have to be non-plussed that their steadfast work over many years has become diminished, and their once lauded expertise – because of that exclusive access to UFO materials – can now be assumed by ufology’s great unwashed masses.

With so much material online – material that was not available just a few years ago to the UFO quidnunc – everyone can now conjecturize about UFO sightings and footnote that conjecturing with actual archival material that relates.

Everyone can now be an expert, and many think they are.

But the UFO old-guard can still maintain a respectable visage, if they come out of their self-created ivory towers and allow a free-wheeling dialogue about UFO issues and information that they used to keep (and still do pretty much) to themselves.

However, this would require a softening of access (to them) and an elimination of hubris that has taken hold of these people – hubris that accumulated because they had information that the rest of us didn’t have, but do now.

UFO stardom no longer exists. The elitists in ufology have been watered down by the internet and the mechanism of blogging. Everyone’s an “expert” nowadays.

This may not be a good thing, but it surely is a lesser evil than having a few self-appointed grandees calling the shots.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Devolution of UFOs

Disregarding the mysterious airships of the 1890s, the World War II “foo fighters” and the 1946 Ghost Rockets over Scandinavia, the “flying saucers” that Kenneth Arnold reported (in 1947) didn’t exhibit any extraordinary characteristics, as he himself thought, initially, that they might be jet aircraft. (See the Project 1947 Arnold statement.)

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George Gorman’s 1948 encounter was with a light similar to the earlier foo fighters.

The 1950 Great Falls. Montana UFOs and Tremonton UFOs (1952) showed nothing out of the ordinary.

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But flying disks immediately thereafter displayed flying traits that seemed a bit beyond what Earth aircraft had developed….seemed to.

The Washington D.C. incidents of 1952 indicated that “flying saucers” were able to out-maneuver whatever airplanes (jets) were extant at the time.

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The various craft of the 1950s reported to land and debark entities didn’t portray any technology considered to be highly advanced, and the abductee reports of the 1960s only identified interior designs that ere Sci-Fi-like; the actually flying of the disks that kidnapped the Hills and others was not particular to the events described.

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The Rendlesham UFO, the RB47 UFO (touted by a few as significant), were prosaic, however the 1976 Tehran disk seemed to flout aerodynamics beyond the Earth airplanes of the time, but that UFO and later sightings stopped short of the right-angle maneuvers and abrupt stops and starts that Donald Keyhoe found interesting.

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In the current time-frame of sightings – the Belgian delta disks, the Phoenix lights, and the O-Hare “cloud” – all operated within the parameters of known aircraft.

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And the panoply of Mexican UFOs display balloon-like traits.

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So UFOs, once thought to represent alien craft with superior technologies have devolved into flying triangles, floating lights, and slow-moving anomalies that wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) concern Earth’s militaries and shouldn’t make ufologists re-gaga themselves as they once did when flying saucers had a curious, other-worldly panache.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Far From the Madding [UFO] Crowd

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To maintain a semblance of rationality – even sanity – one has to eschew UFO web-sites, web-logs (blogs), and the UFO community itself.

The madness that afflicts human beings on occasion is rife in the UFO world.

That’s why science and academe refuse to get embroiled in any discussion of UFOs, flying saucers, or related accoutrements; the topic is hounded by, circumlocuted by, persons who, for all intents and purposes, are not mentally well.

(We name the craziest and sickest at our UFO web-site.)

Anyone outside academia or the scientific community who is interested in UFOs would do well to avoid such UFO sites as rense.com or UFO lists, such as UFO UpDates, where the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

Black Vault is a reputable site to browse but, again, true intellectuals will avoid it, only because of the taint that UFOs get from less credible UFO venues.

Mingling with the UFO crowd has the tendency to infect thoughtful persons, like hysteria does to neurotically inclined individuals; reasonable people become addled by association with the UFO nuts, mainly because UFO maniacs want to destroy reason and scrutiny of their adopted topic out of fear that the whole fraudulent UFO edifice might come crashing down if it’s examined too closely, by serious investigators and researchers of the strange things that occasionally intrude on humankind.

There are thoughtful “ufologists” (as they call themselves) and they too are named at our UFO web-site.

We don’t present a cursory glimpse at the UFO wackos . We actually provide a perusal, with documentation, about many who’ve sneaked into the UFO community only because membership is not scrutinized as it is in proper and legitimate enterprises.

For those who don’t give a fig about whom their associates are, visit every UFO site you can find, and support the ones that you think are worthwhile, but be forewarned: you may come away nuttier than a fruitcake in the process.