UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Book by Charles Upton

Dear People:

What UFOs are has always been known. If today we think of them as a “mystery,” it is because we are in the habit of concentrating on phenomena, and forgetting to ask about meaning. Investigation of the UFO phenomenon is necessary to our understanding of UFOs, but it is not enough. No matter how much data we amass, unless we understand the nature of the whole universe – material, psychic and spiritual – that data will never lead to finished knowledge.

Cracks in the Great Wall: UFOs and Traditional Metaphysics was written to remedy this lack. Charles Upton has interpreted the findings of UFOlogists Jacques Vallee and John Mack according to the doctrines of French metaphysician René Guénon, with help from Kaballah authority Leo Schaya, Eastern Orthodox priest Seraphim Rose, Christian fantasy writer and popular theologian C.S. Lewis, and “traditionalist” writers Frithjof Schuon and Whitall Perry, thereby producing the most comprehensive theory of UFOs presently available. The author deals with the physical reality, the social significance, the psychic effects and the spiritual meaning of UFOs, also recounting his own small experience of the phenomenon. If we know what the universe is, what a human being is, and what phase of this “cycle of manifestation” we are presently in, then UFOs will no longer be a mystery – they will be a sign.

Are UFOs alien spacecraft? Spirit entities? Human deceptions? What if they were all three? Only traditional metaphysics reveals how these “alternatives” fit together, what UFOs actually are, and what they mean for the human race.

Cracks in the Great Wall:
UFOs and Traditional Metaphysics
by Charles Upton

Sophia Perennis 2005; ISBN 1597310247
Paperback: $18.85 US; ₤12.95 UK
(Trade Cloth also available.)
Order through www.amazon.com. www.barnesdandnoble.com or www.amazon.co.uk

Resellers:
Order through Ingram, Baker & Taylor,
Bertram or Gardner’s
or query Sophia Perennis at
jameswetmore@mac.com

Whither Stanton Friedman?

Stan Friedman appeared (again) on Larry King Friday night, July 18th, in a UFO (of course) segment with Seth Shostak, Bill Nye, and others.

Here’s Stan, holding up his latest book for the cameras and audience:

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Stan wasn’t talking about his book, no one was. He was just getting some camera time.

Yes, Stan has made a living from the UFO mystery, and one of the few ufologists who have.

But Stan has become, more and more, a promoter of goods rather than a promoter of his ideas.

On the King show, Mr. Friedman made pronouncements that flying saucers – that area of the UFO phenomena he prefers – are from outer space and the evidence is overwhelming.

Yet, he didn’t provide, and never does on such shows, supply that evidence, nor even make an attempt to do so.

He pronounces, from on high, like Moses, that flying saucers are extraterrestrial and the data, the evidence, shows that.

Mr. Friedman doesn’t even trot out one sighting that makes his case, and the time allotted to him allows him to do so.

But Stan Friedman needs to sell books, and get booked, for UFO conferences, et cetera.

He needs to supplement his retirement funds apparently, and that has become his cause primare ever increasingly.

His goal may be self-serving and not evil, but it is bad for ufology, in that it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those who want to see objectivity about the enigma and not be subjected to persons who are selling wares or themselves.

We like Stan, even adore him almost, but as the face of ufology – the flying saucer part – he is doing a disservice to the whole UFO panoply by appearing to be a guy who wants to support himself rather than get at the ultimate truth.

God bless you Stan Friedman, but please consider the image of ufology that your promotional appearances create….

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ufology needs a Blue Book mind-set (sort of)

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While the United States Navy remains UFO oriented with an ongoing and above Top Secret program, the Air Force’s UFO program went underground after the Condon Report and the alleged demise of Project Blue Book.

(We assume that Blue Book didn’t get a different incarnation.)

So what can ufologists take from that beleaguered study?

The Air Force’s Blue Book methodology wasn’t flawed but the ultimate conclusions were skewered, for reasons of incompetence or purposeful disinformation, or any number of other reasons (such as an inability to make sense of the flying saucer/UFO sightings the project gathered information on).

Blue Book took, as you know, UFO data and evaluated it, coming to bizarre conclusions in many instances.

But even after trying to flummox followers of the “study,” there ended up being over seven hundred sightings that the Air Force couldn’t explain away, as the Keyhoe argot put it.

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What “ufology” should do – and not with those old, hammered sightings – is gather data from current sightings, and evaluate that data.

No one is doing that.

Sure, MUFON and other UFO organizations are gathering data, scads of it, but no one, and we mean no one is evaluating, using scientific methodologies, any of that data.

Yes, there are extrapolations by a few ufologists (Rudiak, Sparks, Maccabee, et al.) but those extrapolations are discursive and incomplete, by a long shot.

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Blue Book had the right idea; it just wasn’t carried out properly, for reasons cited above.

But the modus was right.

Collect data, collate it (as the robot scientist in the first “Alien” movie had it), and come to a consensus or something more concrete than a consensus.

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Can ufologists or anyone in the UFO community do this? Yes, but do they have the will ans/or stamina to do so?

The new “Blue Book” project would be daunting, surely, but if the UFO mystery is to be solved, it will have to be undertaken.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

UFO Connections

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What is the import of UFO sightings around the same time and in the same areas?

For instance, to hark back to some (in)famous UFO events…

The Maury Island (Tacoma, Washington) sighting and Kenneth Arnold’s archetypal sighting:

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Both took place on June 21, 1947

And just previous to those incidents were two flying saucer sightings:

One in Douglas, Arizona on June 10, 1947 and one in Bisbee, Arizona on June 17,1947

Then there were these sightings:

Williams Field (air base), Arizona (Grand Canyon area) on June 30, 1947

Another at Muroc (now Edwards) Army/Air Force base, California on July 8, 1947

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And Roswell on or about July 8, 1947

We could go on, but taking these historical, popularly known sightings, there seems to be a connection of some kind, circumstantial perhaps, but a connection nonetheless.

(The connections we cite are date and geographical placement.)

We usually ask ufologists to dispense with past events, but data from them might be important in a “corpus” way, as we’ve noted previously.

Current UFO sightings may provide patterns that can show, as fractals do, a kind of sense or logic that underlies their assumed reality.

That is, UFOs have an overt reality – amorphous as it has been – and underlying reality, which lies at the heart of the UFO mystery (perhaps).

This is akin to the underlying reality of quantum, which string theory pretends to attack.

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Patterns in nature can lead to insights of a transcendental kind, which is just where the UFO phenomena (some) may reside.

Sure, mundane and prosaic flying saucer/UFO episodes are rife (even Arnold’s sighting in our mind) and those UFO sightings, the explainable ones (like Socorro, which has a counterpart north of there, in the same time-fame), elicit data that may be relevant.

But it’s the unexplainable sightings where patterns of time, locale, and other attributes (such as color, speed, configuration, et cetera) may be relevant.

There has been superficial research into patterns, but no thorough study or co-ordination of data, even by Vallee (a computer expert).

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If ufologists want to create a “scientific” patina for its research – ufology (a name that has to be scrapped) – it must grapple with the peripheral data that UFO sightings provide (or can).

Or UFO devotees can continue to commiserate about Roswell and other “old” sightings, and let the mystery remain so.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Religion, UFOs, and Bunk

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Michael Heiser engages in some very interesting debates at his UFO Religions site:

http://michaelsheiser.com/UFOReligions/

The thrusts are many but his usual and current nemesis is Monsignor Corrado Balducci.

Balducci, the Vatican’s premiere demonologist, thinks that UFO creatures, even those that allegedly abduct humans, are, perhaps, of a higher nature than us, and more spiritually evolved, thus denigrating the idea in some UFO quarters that abductors and UFO aliens are maligant and/or evil as one blog commentator has it:

Balducci the Individualist

There’s a problem with infusing, continually, religious elements in the UFO debate, and that problem is the mixture of theological myth with ufological myth: UFOs are a phenomenon (or phenomena as we contend) and not a tureen into which every cockeyed hypothesis should be poured.

Religion is itself an amalgam of hopeful theories about God, human life and morality, and an afterlife perhaps.

Ufology is a potpourri of screwed-up and, sometimes, unique conjecture, which doesn’t need one more set of variables based upon the idea that there’s a God (and demons) who have something to do with UFOs.

The only link between UFOs and God, or between ufology and theology, is that God is an unknown and UFOs are an unknown.

That’s it.

Michael Heiser is brilliant and his views follow suit.

He keeps the UFO/religion debate intellectual.

But let a few UFO fanatics or evangelical Christian/Islamic hooples get into the fray and all hell will break loose, and not the Hell of theologians, where the Devil can be accomodated.

Opening the UFO discussion to Christian fundamentalists is akin to Pandora opening her chest of evils, which have afflicted mankind for millennia.

But if you can’t help yourself, go to Michael Heiser’s blog and sites.

You will not be engulfed in nonsense, as is the case elsewhere in the UFO universe when religion gets added to the UFO mystery.