UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, August 20, 2010

UFO UpDates still stinks!

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A few years ago, I was a UFO UpDate habitué, but came to rue the time spent visiting the archaically formatted web-site.

The host of UFO UpDates is a codger: Errol Bruce-Knapp. His site is a codger-site, where UFO geezers congregate and ruminate endlessly and nastily about UFOs, (mostly) past and present.

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Also a few years ago, Bruce-Knapp established UpDates as a fee-oriented site. Apparently that effort has proved fruitless as the site is once again free for visitors.

Visitor input is set in a circa 1984 computer format that Facebook and Twitter users would find, as I do, infuriating and off-putting in the extreme.

But the main problem with UpDates is that, by catering to geezers, the content is overwhelmingly curmudgeonly; visitors back-stab and try to one-up each other, and eschew anything approaching diplomatic dialogue.

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This includes UFO “celebs” such as Stanton Friedman and Jerry Clark.

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Friedman is always defending himself against barbs from critics of his UFO work.

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Clark damns and corrects content, while never or rarely addressing UFO sightings per se, even those he has championed in years past when he was a UFO researcher of note.

Clark has become the old-lady celebrity in a rocker at a nursing home for has-beens.

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The other UpDate regulars are either sycophants (kissing the asses of the UFO celebs) or UFO skanks – persons with no real UFO acumen who want to be in the presence of the UFO old-timers who still have cachet among deluded UFO aficionados.

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Yet, UpDates does provide an occasional nugget of UFO gold, and does spur lively, albeit often retrograde, information that UFO newbies might find interesting.

If Bruce-Knapp would bring UpDates into the 21st century, his site might be worth a visit from new, fresh UFO mavens.

But as it is, UpDates is an island populated by the dead or dying of ufology, and it has the smell of decay all over it.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

UFO hoax exposures: too little, too late?

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The rush to expose long-time, classic UFO events as hoaxes is in full swing.

Kevin Randle’s blog is thrashing about with the (in)famous 1958 Trindade Island photos that once were considered by almost all UFO researchers as authentic.

The Heflin photos have been declared fraudulent.

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Roswell is on the cusp of hoax, seen as a misidentified balloon crash by many, and exacerbated by the UFO old-timers who’ve committed themselves to the Roswell extraterrestrial myth and can’t accept their long-time duncery.

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The next UFO episode that will be labeled a hoax is Brentwaters, the 1980 Rendlesham UFO incident.

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A new book about George Adamski -- George Adamski: A Herald for the Space Brothers – is trying to resurrect and revise the stature of the ultimate UFO hoaxer.

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The Socorro/Zamora sighting of 1964 is rife with the patina of hoax. [See Anthony Bragalia’s pieces about the sighting at this blog and others.]

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But UFOs, themselves, are a phenomenal fact. The evidence is overwhelming, and some of us have experienced the phenomenon, first-hand, so we know that it is a real phenomenon, even though we have no idea as to what they are or what they represent.

But the orgy to disclose the plethora of UFO sightings and episodes that are now known to be frauds undermines any attempts by legitimate societal agencies (media, science, academia) to look into the phenomenon.

What serious construct would take on a topic that is rife with fraud or hoaxes? The effort to separate the wheat from the chaff is daunting.

Jerome Clark, who usually gets the rubric as the noted UFO historian, has all but recused himself from the subject, unresting his laurels once in a while only at the UFO gathering place for ufology’s has-beens and quidnuncs: UFO UpDates.

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Kevin Randle is trying mightily to re-connect with sanity by his recent blogified mea cupals for all those UFO and flying saucer accounts he once extolled as authentic but now prove to be fake.

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The “art” of ufology is under attack, by members within it own ranks, joined by the ongoing and overwhelming feeling of serious phenomenal investigators who have always felt that UFOs are a matter for psychiatrists and those who fill their boring, unpro- ductive lives with fantasy and a need to garner attention to themselves.

Some UFO events need further investigation. But the surging efforts of some well-known ufologists to separate themselves from sightings they once touted as real and a proof for extraterrestrial visitation will only muddy the UFO waters again.

And what true UFO aficionado wants that?