UFO Conjectures

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nick Redfern -- to Hell and Back?

Nick Redfern reviews a strange, interesting(?) book.

Click here for Nick's review


  • Yep that'll get UFOlogy taken more seriously..

    By Blogger Armakan, at Friday, March 18, 2011  

  • Beckley? Phhht. Yeah, none for me thanks.

    By Blogger JR, at Friday, March 18, 2011  

  • Armakan:

    Nothing anyone ever does, says or writes about Ufology will ever get the subject taken seriously outside of the UFO research community and those who are interested in it. That may sound harsh, but it's true. It's also realistic, not pessimistic or defeatist.

    The only thing that will (or could) ever get Ufology taken seriously is if the phenomenon reveals itself en-masse.

    It hasn't happened yet, and I don't think it will. And even if the Government is sitting on hard evidence (as opposed to just lots of classified reports that prove nothing), why should they change their stance and release it? That won't happen.

    So, all of us in the field will for the most part forever talk to each other, agree on some things, and disagree on others.

    Aside from those in the community itself, Ufology will only ever attract TV documentary companies, occasional media coverage, and lots of Hollywood films.

    But, if you truly are serious about getting Ufology taken seriously outside of the UFO community, you need to think again. It will not happen. Unless "they" put in an undeniable, worldwide appearance.

    And if that does happen, I guarantee the UFO community will be quickly forgotten, as the mainstream media scrambles to speak with mainstream scientists, Homeland Security and the Government scramble to understand how to deal with it, and the populace looks to professionals with letters after their names for answers.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, March 18, 2011  

  • JR: I'm sure Tim will continue to sleep soundly at night without your die-hard support.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, March 18, 2011  

  • Nothing anyone ever does, says or writes about Ufology will ever get the subject taken seriously outside of the UFO research community and those who are interested in it. That may sound harsh, but it's true. It's also realistic, not pessimistic or defeatist.


    That sums it up nicely. I would only add that if we are dealing with a non-human intelligence of some sort, far more advanced than our own, then nothing that our science could do would be of much use. The more I look at it, the more I think it's a subject for religion / spiritual leaders / our own personal journey to handle, and not science.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Saturday, March 19, 2011  

  • Paul:

    I think the phenomenon is indeed perceived as being linked to religion and spiritual issues - by those who believe in such things.

    In much the same way that the phenomenon is viewed from a scientific perspective by those who believe that's the road to follow.

    And the important thing is that both pathways are born out of belief that the phenomenon is this or that.

    My hope is that, one day, the entire phenomenon will be examined from an entirely belief-free, agenda-free perspective.

    But, sadly, I just don't think it will happen. Demonologists will continue to see demons behind the UFOs. Abduction researchers will continue to see aliens trying to save their dying race by stealing our DNA. Those who subscribe to the time-travel angle, will continue to look for evidence that supports such a scenario, etc etc.

    The biggest problem isn't that people believe in the existence of UFOs - they clearly do exist. The biggest problem is that people create belief-systems to explain what's afoot, before we even have evidence of the true nature of the phenomenon.

    I suppose that's human nature, in general though, to a great degree. It's not just the fault of Ufology. Ufologists are, at the end of the day, people, just like everyone else.

    After all, millions of people believe that after they die they will all be reunited with family and friends, amid masses of fluffy white clouds and endlessly-played harps.

    Fine, if it helps comfort them that death isn't just lights-out. But, that too, is just a belief.

    The Human Race is blighted by belief and by an illogical need to construct belief-systems before the evidence is all in.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, March 21, 2011  

  • Hi Nick,

    I think you missed my point, which was perhaps not made as clearly as it should have been.

    I have come around to thinking that the UFO phenomenon is not really a question for science - we just don't have the tools or knowledge to understand it, if it represents some sort of non-human intelligence (and if it doesn't, then what would be the point?).

    I think it's more amenable to study by folklorists, historians, and so forth, who can pull out themes and commonalities... but in the question of interpretation, in the modern era, that's got to be more about our own personal journeys, and discovery of whatever a non-human intelligence might be, than anything else.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Tuesday, March 22, 2011  

  • Paul:

    Cool, understood. Yep, whole swathes of Ufology think science is the best tool with which to resolve the UFO problem.

    But, the problem is the UFO problem itself - because it very often acts and manifests in ways that are not typical of science.

    To what extent science can supply the answers is debatable, but I will say this:

    I suspect strongly that there is an underlying reason why so many Ufologists like the scientific approach - it makes them feel their work and their views are somehow in keeping with what mainstream science is doing.

    In other words, they feel scholarly, learned, professional etc. It's not just about them using science to find answers. It's partly about trying to improve the image people have of Ufology, and of them.

    There are actually a lot of people in Ufology who are very insecure and apologetic about their UFO beliefs when talking about the subject with people who aren't into it. I've seen them, squirming even on occasion.

    So, using a geiger counter to search for radiation at a landing-site is not just about looking for evidence. It's about instilling in outsiders and peers the notion that: "We're legit, we're serious, we mean business, we are professionals!"

    I went to a conference here in Dallas, Texas (about 3 years ago) and alien abductions were on the agenda in 2 lectures.

    Some guy in the audience had the nerve to say that I would be taken more seriously if, when I gave my lecture, I had worn a suit instead of black skull t-shirt and Doc Martens.

    A suit!! A damn suit!! I had to HIRE a suit when me and Dana got married because I don't even own one! I had to borrow a posh jacket and stupid tie from a friend when I did a week of jury duty back in England about 12 years ago LOL. Anyway, I digress.

    The point is, that my response to Mr. Suit-Fan was that we had just heard a lecture that focused in part on anal-probes.

    I rightly (in my view anyway!) pointed out that if you are talking about such issues (that have of course been endlessly lampooned - South Park etc), then it doesn't matter how many suits you wear! You could wear 50 suits and people outside of Ufology will still laugh like hyenas and roll around in hysterics.

    And the application of science (or, rather, the need of many people in Ufology to say they use science in their investigations), is not solely relative to what science may actually provides us in terms of answers.

    It's also a tool to try and make those insecure ones feel less foolish and embarrassed about what they do, and things like anal-probes and "take me to your leader" style jokes.

    If people took what I consider to be the right approach - do research, don't give a damn about people's opinions of us, and stop obsessing about trying to make a subject filled with complete and utter absurdites look legit - it would be a better approach.

    It doesnt matter how much science is applied to Ufology, the public always wants to know: what about sex with aliens etc etc?

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Tuesday, March 22, 2011  

  • Nick,

    In terms of your analysis of what people within "ufology" think, you're spot on. It's a constant and desperate plea for recognition and acceptance by most of them (there are exceptions), in the same way that fans of an indie band want the mainstream to recognize how brilliant they are. The problem is that as soon as the recognition comes, nobody cares about the original fans... or in the case of "ufologists", nobody will care about them (should the "great secret" ever be revealed). I suppose that's why I think that deep down, they don't really want to find an answer. ;-)

    As for science, I think someday it will know exactly what UFOs are, should they represent a non-human intelligence. But as smarter guys than you and I, such as Michio Kaku, have stated, that day is a long way in the future.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Tuesday, March 22, 2011  

  • Paul:

    Well, if the answer to Ufology does come, and we as a "community" are left out after disclosure occurs, at least it will give me more time to chase Bigfoot!!


    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Tuesday, March 22, 2011  

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