UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where’s the UFO tipping point?

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Or have we already missed it.

A conglomerate of data or sightings – in flying saucer argot, a flap – with just one sighting of an inordinate kind (as Cullan Hudson notes) needs to take place in order for a momentous change to occur in the study or understanding of UFOs, flying saucers.

This hasn’t happened recently and probably will not, since UFO sightings of a bona fide kind are on the wane.

But was a tipping point missed in years past? We think it may have been, several times in fact.

1947 was a year of many flying saucer reports; the period 1951/1952 also.

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But no one was prepared, in the early years of the modern UFO era, to understand the import of all the sightings that were taking place, and no one selected that one case which was the clue or tipping point that could explain the flying saucer phenomenon.

Everyone was flummoxed, including the United States Air Force, as evidenced by the failure(s) of Blue Book.

Could any kind of conclusions from previous tipping points be made today? Probably not, since the previous tipping points have been thoroughly scrutinized, although much after the fact.

Some ufologists will contend that other tipping points occurred, and they did. They will also say that current sightings [2007/2008] are high. They are not.

But current UFO sightings are vaporous, and without the attendant manifestations of previous sightings and episodes.

Those manifestations included radar trackings, up-close witness accounts, and an intuitive feeling by the public, media, and militaries that something important, even profound, was happening.

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Some ufologists might take an archeological stab at previous tipping points, or they might look at them forensically, but most of the peripheral data will have been lost.

And that one unique sighting that was a tipping point or the tipping point will continue to remain lost in the UFO detritus that has accumulated over the years.

Opportunities upcoming, as improbable as they may be, should not be missed however.

Preparations for future tipping points, even just one tipping point, need to be in place.

This is where the UFO new-guard can do service, in the cause of explaining or removing the UFO mystery from the unknown category to the known category.

But it will take a real intellectual effort, and there are only a few persons in the present UFO community, or on the fringe of it, who might be able to pull that off.

Let’s hope for the best….

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flying Saucers, UFOs, and Unidentifiable Aerial Phenomena

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A New Yorker piece [Hello, Hal, by John Seabrook, 6/23/08. Page 38 ff.] about computers and the lack of verbal communication with them, had this to day about speech recognition [Page 41]:

“speech-recognition research is heavily dependent on the size of the data sample. Or “corpus” – the sheer volume of speech you work with. The larger your corpus, the more data you can feed to the learning algorithms and the better the guesses [you] can make.”

This applies to UFO research as well.

Skipping the early UFO accounts from before the Christian era, down into the Airships of the 1890s, one can take a look at what the UFO phenomenon has presented from 1947 forward to today [2008].

The first flying saucer reports, starting with Kenneth Arnold’s encounter, indicated that UFOs were tangible, “nuts-and-bolts” craft.

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This was the general perception of UFOs, flying saucers, well into the 1970s, when, as we’ve noted before, UFOs became amorphous lights in the sky pretty much.

Today, UFOs have even lost the quasi-tangibility of lights, appearing as diffuse blobs or anomalous images in the daylight and night-time hours.

The “metallic-like” saucers of the 50s and 60s are nowhere to be seen, or rarely so.

The Tremonton, Utah images filmed by Delbert Newhouse, in 1952, prefigured the raft of later sightings that only consisted of “energized lights” flitting around in the skies.

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(The seemingly substantive, triangular UFOs spotted in Belgium and Illinois or Phoenix are military prototypes in our estimation.)

What has happened is that the UFO phenomenon or, rather, phenomena, has gone from concretized craft to will-o-the-wisp things, with nothing but multiple colors or light intensities to distinguish them from normal aircraft.

This means that data – a corpus – need to be accumulated for serious ufologists to research, in ways that mimic what quantum or theoretical physicists do.

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(Physicists use mathematical models and arcane methodologies to determine what reality or the Universe is made up of. Ufologists need to do the same for the phenomena that intrigues them.)

The change in the configuration of flying saucers may have much to do with what they are, intrinsically.

There is no doubt that flying saucers were once touchable, real artifacts of some kind. Too many persons witnessed them as real objects, of a metallic kind – the stuff that Stanton Friedman makes much of.

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But then UFOs (flying saucers) transmogrified into something not so tangible. Why?

Abductees (experiencers) provide tales of intangible beings and craft in their accounts.

(While we think abduction reports may stem from something other than a bona fide kidnappings, as the Hills and others stated, one much allow for the possibility of the realness of those accounts, some of them at least.)

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Those abduction stories supplement the change in flying saucers from hard objects to immaterial objects.

The UFO corpus for today – the date being accumulated – is that UFOs are more light than anything else.

And this is one path that might prove interesting, if ufologists can get in gear and do something other than redundantly ruminate over past UFO episodes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Plato, the Cave, and UFOs

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From Wikipedia:

“The forms that we see, according to Plato, are not real, but literally mimic the real Forms.

In the Allegory of the cave expressed in Republic they are called the shadows of artificial replicas of real things.”

Are UFOs “forms”?

We think they may be.

And if they are. then what are the real Forms, that which the UFO “forms” are mimicking?

Jacques Vallee, and a few others, have been suggesting all along that UFOs represent another reality, a reality behind the apparent reality.

Even as a chair can be a Plato “form” with the real chair Form residing elsewhere – an “elsewhere” that isn’t exactly defined in philosophy or Jungian psychology (where Plato’s archetypes play an important role) – UFOs can be “forms” but where is the UFO elsewhere, where the real UFO Form may be found?

That is the question that Vallee (or Jung in his book on flying saucers) fails to answer.

Without the source or “elsewhere” of UFOs, it becomes difficult, maybe even impossible, to assess what UFOs really are.

But that’s what ufology needs to do: find the “elsewhere” that houses the UFO phenomenon or phenomena.

This means that philosophical disciplines need to be applied to UFO research and investigation.

While we eshew philosophy at another venue of ours, we think the methodologies of philosophy (and maybe quantum mechanics which is more philosophic than scientific) can be worked to attack the UFO enigma.

It will require effort of a serious kind, which we know ufologists are rarely up to, but that is what it will take to get to the core of the UFO reality.

And we know a few pesons who are up to the task, and prepared to make the mental (maybe physical) pursuit.

We’ll keep you apprised of their progress, if any…

UFOs and The Roswell Virus

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The 1947 Roswell episode has tainted and continues to taint UFO research and scrutiny.

Joseph Capp at UFO Media Matters is obsessed with Roswell, Paul Kimball’s blog has been infected, and Stan Friedman and Kevin Randle have been ill with the Roswell “disease” for many years now.

For some reason, ufologists seem to think that the Roswell incident holds the key to the UFO phenomena, and the 30 year scrutiny – the initial story got shunted aside from 1947 until the late 70s it seems – of Roswell has mined everything that was and is available to mine.

The Ros”well” is dry, and ufologists can’t slake their thirst there, but they are deluded by the Roswell mirage.

It is time to move on, to other aspects of the UFO mystery.

Those aspects may be hidden or subliminal but intense research should be able to ferret out something worthwhile, if something worthwhile is actually there.

Sure, the Roswell story intrigues, in several ways, but it investigation of the imbroglio continue to come up empty.

Human behavior, military snafus, and the will to believe have been spotlighted, but UFOs?

Nothing tangible has turned up….none of the supposed debris, or alien bodies, or photographs of anything weird.

Peripheral materials have surfaced; FBI messages, anecdotal remembrances, Mogul balloons, even death-bed revelations.

But nothing that science or anyone could call “evidence” – not even circumstantial evidence, just hearsay and a flawed newspaper headline.

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It’s time to move on…..really.