The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Addictive Ufologists


What one characteristic is typical of virtually all UFO enthusiasts?

Hoarding, collecting, accumulating UFO material or sightings.

Ufologists just have to get their hands on sightings released by government agencies; that welter of UFO sightings gathered from pilots, military people, and various other members of the population, the general citizenry.

And UFO devotees have to collect the plethora of books about UFOs that show up rather regularly, along with magazines, news-clippings, and web-pages or internet items.

What do UFO mavens or ufologists do with this collection of UFO detritus? Nothing – nothing at all.

They merely hoard it, sometimes giving it a cursory view.

Only a few use the collected material for research or as a supplement to hypothetical ratiocination.

The process of gathering such materials is a kind of addiction, a pathology that is endemic to the subject matter.

It’s not like coin collecting, or stamp collecting or baseball card collecting, which have a monetary value of some kind. It’s just a need to have a pile of stuff related to the UFO phenomenon, as if having it gives the collector a kind of authority just because of the ownership.

The UFO mystery has always attracted people with maladapted personalities.

That, in itself, is a matter for study, but no one with psychiatric or sociologic bona fides gives a good goddam.

And the hoarding is essentially harmless. But there it is…..

N.B. Click here for a news-clip on addiction


13 Comments:

  • This is interesting - and also because there's another side to the coin. Namely, those of us in Ufology that don't hoard!

    More than a few people were appalled to learn that when I moved to the US 11 years ago, and I couldn't afford to have my extensive UFO files and archives shipped over, I advertised them in various UFO mags, and a few items went - such as old files I got from the National Archives in London.

    But, most stuff did not go (I wasn't selling it; I was actually offering it free, but still no takers!), so when it got closer to my emigration date, I simply went to the local recycling place and dumped about 5 filing cabinets-worth of files, thousands and thousands of pages etc.

    A load of people expressed near-outrage that I should do that. But it's no big deal.

    I never really understand the need to keep huge archives - maybe it's a nostalgia thing I don't understand.

    The reason why I didn't care about dumping all those archives, files, interview notes etc, was because I had already used the data in my books and articles - so why clutter the place up with stuff that's already been published?

    That's the same approach I have today: when it's done with and published, throw out the clutter (unless it's a good photo or something, but already-used and published notes, interviews, files etc? Nah).

    I really think part of UFO hoarding it is the nostalgia thing of feeling that having lots of files achieves something.

    For me, though, having to keep lots of files etc would be nothing more than a pain in the neck!

    I'm pleased to say I have a clear-out of case-files about twice or three times a year, and try and keep my UFO stuff to just my book and magazine collection.

    If I write about it in my books, there's no longer any need to keep the original, years-old info cluttering up the place.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • Nick:

    We number you among the few UFO devotees who are normal.

    The "collectors" are abnormal.

    If any of those collectors used the material to establsih an hypothesis, they'd be normal.

    We know Friedman collects everything, but he uses his collection for his research.

    And while CDA is irked by Stan, we put him (Stan) in the "normal" category.

    But others who use links to acquire MoD files, or Brazilian files (and more) just to have them, they are hoarders, who accumulate the listings just to own them -- not to exploit them or use them for research or study.

    They are addictives.

    That said, I'm aghast as the dumping of your collection. Yikes.

    You see, I'm a kind of hoarder myself, but I try to use my collection(s) for rumination.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • Nowadays with so much being on-line, there is far less need for paper hoarding. But it is surprising how soon you can fill up DVDs and hard drives with data.

    You also need a suitable filing system to be able to locate what you want. And in case of disc loss, you need backups. And so on.

    As for hoarding in general, ufologists need not feel guilty. Look at all the unworn clothes and shoes in people's wardrobes & cupboards. Yes I am referring mainly to women!

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • Slight mysogyny, Christopher?

    Tsk, tsk.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • My collection has been packed away in boxes for a decade in the garage along with old lamps, my late son's old toys, saddles, some picture frames and garden pots. Not quite yard sale material, not quite suitable for burning. No longer is any of it not particularly useful. I once opened a box as I had forgotten what was in it. Upon opening it, I had no enthusiasm for doing anything constructive with it, like donating it to some entity, or organizing it. It seemed like what it is, just inert "stuff". When I need more storage space, I imagine it will become an integral part of a landfill.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • Bruce:

    I have almost everything from day one of my existence....yes, day one.

    I am a rabid hoarder, but I don't go forth, into the internet ether, to gather UFO disclosures.

    The value of that UFO stuff is virtually nil, or so it would seem since no one has capitalized on any of it...not Kevin Randle, not Stan Friedman, not Jerry Clark, no one....

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • It's the MUFON syndrome wherein enthusiasts become obsessive accountants of UFO arcana--forever collecting to no end. Never investigation, only tabulation. I have about 15 books dealing with the subject for reference when writing. Several are classic collections published in the 50s, which I value for historic reasons and kitsch. Sometimes I pull the odd tale out to share with readers. Mostly though, my library expands because I have this pipe dream about a paranormal library that would be open to the public. But I would want hundreds of books at that point. But to be profitable in this economy, it would probably have to be part bookstore, part gift shop, part coffee house, and part 30-min oil change center.

    By Blogger Cullan Hudson, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • Yes, Cullan:

    I love the idea of having a collection of books, which I have.

    But I actually use mine, like you, to point visitors here to things that supplement (or seem to) my mental gyrations.

    Yes, I'm addicted, and live somewhat like the monks in that great SciFi book, A Canticle for Leibowitz.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • Nick wrote:

    I simply went to the local recycling place and dumped about 5 filing cabinets-worth of files, thousands and thousands of pages etc.

    Great minds think alike. When I was cleaning out the Redstar offices last December (we moved), I wound up taking just about all of my UFO-related papers and throwing them away. I just couldn't see the point of keeping them.

    As you say, clutter.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz

    One of the best books I've ever read!

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • Another favorite of mine, Paul, is Moorcock's "Behold the Man."

    And thowing away UFO collections provides a kind of catharsis that may keep one from the madness which Nick warns about.

    I have yet to do so....(and madness beckons, everyday).

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

  • LWB Note: I tried to post my lengthy comment here, but it exceeded the allotted space for reader comment. So I invite other readers to peruse the entire comment at my own blog's URL, as follows:
    -- Larry W. Bryant (18 Aug 11)

    http://ufoview.posterous.com/item-2119-dont-burn-ufolit-or-its-owners-at-t

    By OpenID d40ea85a-c978-11e0-ab72-000bcdcb8a73, at Thursday, August 18, 2011  

  • Access Larry Bryant's blog post; he makes a few good points.

    Mr. Bryant is one of the few we single out as "normal" -- using his collecting and collection for his books and research.

    He doesn't just pile up things to pile up things.

    I think Mr. Bryant missed the nuances of my screed.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 18, 2011  

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