UFOs and The Nature of Reality
Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.
When it comes to UFOs we constantly ask ourselves what is the reality?
But that presupposes that we have a grasp on reality itself, and not just in the realm of UFOs.
What is reality?
Okay, we can’t presume to answer that question in this ratty little blog, or anywhere else for that matter.
However we can approach the topic of reality in a cursory way and see how the philosophical dilemma impacts our interest in UFOs…
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy [Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., & The Free Press, NY, 1967] in Volume One addresses Appearance and Reality (Page 135 ff.) by opening with a statement by Bertrand Russell in his The Problems of Philosophy:
…the distinction between appearance and reality [is] “one of the distinctions that cause the most trouble in philosophy.”
The segment goes on to cite Protagoras (Man is the measure of all things), Plato, Augustine, Kant (The things we intuit are not in themselves what we intuit…as appearances, they cannot exist in themselves, but only in us), Leibniz, et al.
And philosophy, that confusing discipline, has never clarified reality for anyone.
Quantum physics has made matters worse.
Science, is seems, is as confused about reality as are we.
So when it comes to UFO reports, what are we to do with the “reality” that is suggested by those who witness sightings or encounters?
We can only take down what they relate and compare it to data and other information we’ve accrued over the years and hope we get a good approximation of the UFO reality.
The problem is that UFO reality is even more convoluted than practical reality, the reality that confronts our everyday existence.
Persons who see a UFO or have an encounter become, generally, discombobulated; their senses presenting information to their brain that, because of its unique character – the UFO information – the brain has to handle in various ways, which we’ve dealt with here, somewhat, in out neurological outings.
So details get smudged by a person's memory banks and physiological responses.
The cave painting posting by Josh shows reportage that is created under calmer circumstances, as best as primitive life can be said to be calm.
We can state, though, that cave painters would not be, I think, as mentally compromised as modern man is: stress, minds filled with all kinds of media input, and a loss of connection with nature.
Therefore their depictions have an informational purity that may be missing in modern renditions of “fact” or reality as purveyed by witnesses to events.
(I have a slew of papers and sources indicating the flaws endemic to testimony, eyewitness and otherwise, should anyone care to read them.)
Commonsense tells us that observers will, invariably, botch their observations, inadvertently but sometimes purposefully, to avoid ridicule or to enhance their accounts.
I lean toward accepting first-hand accounts of UFO sightings and encounters as veracious, with caveats about memory after a long period, wherein the account is separated by time and subject to the vicissitudes of human memory: extraneous material added by neurological quirks.
But we can assume accounts that are set down almost immediately after a UFO sighting or encounter are tarred only slightly by neurological input that doesn’t pertain.
It’s the similar elements in sightings that makes them reliable, as Jose Caravaca has outlined in the many sightings/encounters he’s researched.
That is, if a detail or element continues to show up, one can assume that the witness rendition has validity.
But is that reality?
We’re back to what constitutes reality. Having similar experiences would normally provide a foothold on reality as Descartes explained.
Yet, when it comes to UFOs, or historical events, or quantum perceptions, everything is up for grabs and reality is an open question -- a chimera likely, far removed from what really is.
And then, when it comes to UFOs, there is the contributing factor of ufological interference: the addition of ineptness, bias, and ego into UFO accounts.
The academic disciplines attributable to other areas of knowledge, as flawed as they may be, are totally missing – totally – when it comes to that instilled charlatanry known as ufology.
So, we’re left with Russell’s assessment: the distinction between appearance and reality (when it comes to UFOs) causes the most trouble.