UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, May 11, 2012

UFOs: Is the medium the message or is the message the message?

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

What is the difference between a surrealist painting and a UFO witness report?
And what is the difference between a science fiction movie and a UFO witness report?

 What about a science fiction story and a UFO witness report?

Or television programs, past and present, and UFO reports?

A UFO encounter, like that delineated by Spanish UFO researcher, Jose Caravaca, may be seen as a unique, yet bizarre event with extraterrestrial overtones, but is it really that?

What surrealistic paintings, sci-fi movies, books, television shows, dreams, and UFO reports have in common is imagery that comes from the mind of the creators or participants.

The source is irrelevant – the medium, whether via oils, digital processing, word processing, or a report provided by someone who has had a strange confrontation that baffles them.

The message is the thing: the image and its attendant peripheral aspects.

And those things – the imagery and its bolstering aspects – come from the mind of a human being; and that message, while encrusted with irrelevant detritus (memories left over from the past of the artist, the film-maker, the writer, the dreamer, or the “UFO witness”), are what need to be deciphered, unencrypted as it were.

The neurological pathways and etiologies are not important nor are the psychological machinations.

And the Persinger electronic assaults or the sociological assertions can be dismissed also.

It’s the message, not the medium that matters; the message within the medium, whether radar displays, video or photographic captures or an artist’s rendering, is what those who study UFOs need to get at.

UFO “researchers” and their followers are so busy looking for the cause, the source, of UFO sightings and encounters, that they are looking past, ignoring, the message that is being presented.

UFO witnesses, like their creative counterparts in the arts, literary, film worlds, are getting a message, and it’s that message that is shirked by “ufologists.”

When a ghost appears to someone, it’s not “where did that ghost come from” that should be asked but what is the message that is being imparted.

The same is true of UFO sightings and encounters.

Like a surrealistic painting or a dream, what is the message being proffered?



  • Rich, you use the example of surrealistic paintings, does not the message emanate from the painter who is trying to impart a message? Not the painting itself.

    Should not motive be important when deciphering a message?

    I still believe that it may very well lead us to looking at the source causation in the end. Still an interesting area to contemplate.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, May 11, 2012  

  • "What surrealistic paintings, sci-fi movies, books, television shows, dreams, and UFO reports have in common is imagery that comes from the mind of the creators or participants."

    Richie-I think you're missing a key component in the process and that is when the original witness account gets reinterpreted with copious amounts of dramatic license in UFO articles, books, documentaries and so on by writers and doco filmmakers who have their own agendas. Kurosawa's Rashomon is your friend.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Friday, May 11, 2012  

  • One can only wonder if there is a message in all this crazy nonsense. If there is (or are)...it's incoherent to the majority of minds that have been applied to deciphering it over the years/decades/centuries.

    I say 'majority' as the overwhelming torrent of speculation must, on probability alone, have hit a bulls-eye at some point in time.

    Is it all a cacophony of misperceptions intertwined with myth-making and imagination? Limitations of mind filling in the gaps of perception with sci-fi explanations? Old-fashioned radar errors lending weight to the human tendency of embellishment?

    We don't know.

    After such a long time of all this showboating, maybe we should start pointing the fingers at the 'phenomena' for being so utterly absent of coherent meaning?

    Yeah, I'm being flippant (maybe a bit pissed off too), but Helen Keller managed to communicate. If 'something' was pushing a 'message' it's failing badly.

    I don't know if poetry is a useful side-track here. Probably not! Some old dear called Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote about spring and her words may be applicable to the general theme of the post...

    'Life in itself
    Is nothing,
    An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
    It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
    Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.'

    'Life' and 'April' seem interchangeable with 'ufology.'

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Friday, May 11, 2012  

  • Ah, Tim, Frank, and Kandinsky...

    You fellows are part of the message too...it seems.

    While the paintings, Tim, come from the minds of the surrealists, do not the UFO encounters come from the minds of the witnesses?

    (Motive is meaningless when one harkens to surrealism of Dada.)

    Does the message then come from a common source?

    But it's not the source that will resolve the matter. It's the message, which Kandinsky touches on: a baffling, seemingly non-sensible, flawed message.

    We are dealing with a communication that is psychotic in essence, maybe.

    And Frank, Rashomon tells us to beware of the interepretation, and that's my point...the message needs to be deciphered, for its meaning, its truth.

    The "ufologists" have made the message even more obscure.

    But it's the message we should seek to decrypt, and give up our seeking of the source, whether that source is ET, psychological, or contrived.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, May 11, 2012  

  • "You fellows are part of the message too...it seems."

    Oh yes, and you too. When you jump in and blog or even comment, you're in. It's not the fact that you're in, it's how you go about being in that matters. At least that's how I see it.

    The UFO phenomenon covers way to much time and space and too many have jumped in for there to be any common source, certainly not an inherently psychotic one. Psychosis and schizophrenia are pretty serious diseases. If you want to take a closer look at some of the snake oil salesmen in the UFO racket, maybe narcissism or sociopathy would hit the mark a little closer. That would include some witnesses, but by and large, I think people are pretty honest about what they've seen, something in the sky they couldn't ID. The abduction scenarios are a little different and I think that's a different debate entirely.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Friday, May 11, 2012  

  • Frank, while we're all in the mix, we are part of the noise, part of the surrealism.

    There's a signal inside all of this, and it's what we should be trying to discern; not the source, not the narcissism, not the petty eccentricities, not the chicanery, just the signal, the message.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, May 11, 2012  

  • 'We are dealing with a communication that is psychotic in essence, maybe.'

    It's too hard to define isn't it? Every term and turn of phrase has to be equivocated and referenced with caveats. In a way we'll all hem and haw ourselves into pointless abstraction. 'Psychotic.' Sure, why not?

    Sighted objects and radar paints - I tend towards an 'Elsewhere Hypothesis.' I can rationalise that into the 'message' being unusual behaviours dictated by motivations similar to ours. Malevolent, benevolent or ambivalent is anyone's guess.

    All that consciousness-type-stuff like abduction claimants and weird channeling is something else. Whatever the 'message' of that lot is - not good! Seems pretty dark somehow...the Royal Road to mental illness.

    If a lot of it has come from the magician's hat of AFOSI and such-like - the myth-makers - then we're useful idiots; Typhoid Marys spreading their messages to wider society one fool at a time.

    I agree that we're actually part of the problem and the noise. Still, we (anyone connected to the subject) could all pack up and leave it alone. Nothing would change, life would go on and a new population would come in and occupy these social hinterlands.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • Kandinsky wrote: "If a lot of it has come from the magician's hat of AFOSI and such-like - the myth-makers - then we're useful idiots; Typhoid Marys spreading their messages to wider society one fool at a time."

    Yes, except I don't think the myth making was 'made up', an imposture.

    For three years prior to the 1947 Wave, the AF had been imagining its future, a future of guided missiles, orbiting weapons and reconnaissance platforms -- and space ships, a common expression used by the AF and the press in the time between the end of the war and the Wave.

    In 1947, the future they had only begun to imagine, had barely got sketched on their drawing boards were reported by the kind of witnesses they found most reliable -- men just like themselves, backed by radar reports, theodolite readings, motion pictures, and photos.

    I think they were dumbfounded. Somewhere, somehow, the future is now, was the meaning of the message.

    And that was the 'buzz' about the saucers that got communicated to us.



    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • Don:

    "The future is now" message is the overlay, the patina; it's not the real message.

    It's not even sub-text.

    That 1947 and pre-1947 and post-1947 veneer is meaningless in the context of the UFO phenomenon, as it has displayed itself from time immemorial.

    The message is transcendental or gibberish.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • And, Don, I understand your "the future is now" reference.

    But that "message" or mind-set by the military merely confounds the issue.

    (I had to alter my comments to correct the spelling of gibberish; brought to my attention by our guy Josh, a stickler for spelling.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • Kandinsky wrote: "All that consciousness-type-stuff like abduction claimants and weird channeling is something else. Whatever the 'message' of that lot is - not good! Seems pretty dark somehow...the Royal Road to mental illness."

    It was there -- and on-point for saucers -- before nuts 'n bolts (or, considering the presence of space alien crews: Spam In A Can) ufology.

    According to a UP 10/24/46 story, Meade Layne's group in San Diego reported "that space ships from another planet had tried to contact earth" during the meteor shower that followed in the wake of Comet Giacobini-Zinner the previous week. A dozen persons reported seeing a "large and weird object" over the city.

    Layne turned the investigation over to his medium Mark Probert.

    Reminds me of Heavens Gate a bit.

    "Poets are... the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present." – Shelley



    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • I think it's all due to the relationship between information and energy as any first year physics student first learns that energy is information, and I suspect once created , it cannot be destroyed, but rather reconstituted as a sort of genetics that goes from very simple to complex through differentiation, just like the evolution from simple organisms to the water bag writing this.

    I think that it really depends on who is looking as well as how self aware they are, as access is seen through the database of the software in one's head.

    Its really ( to me) a matter of neurobiology, something we know little about, what triggers that open access to a larger network. I suspect it's environmental but of course that's a guess.

    As trained parrots it takes a real whammy or whack in the head to get us off track exponentially, into Borges Library..Some form of high energy field..

    Maybe it's Post Toasties or the BPH in our microwaved macaroni..or a Diet Pepsi. Hee-hee..

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • Don:

    I'm having a hard time linking this to a message, sub rosa, extracurricular, or overt.

    What I'm trying to avoid are presentations of the over-view -- the envelope as it were.

    I'd like to see what is inside the envelope. the message.

    The stamp and the envelope, the image painted, the movements of entities or their actions in a bizarre (UFO) encounter do not matter to me.

    It's the message, hidden amidst all that overlay.

    That's why the Socorro insignia fascinates me.

    If we had a concrete example. not marred by the foolishness of Stanford, the Air Force, or Hynek, we might have a key to the message, a code breaker -- the decoder ring.

    There is a message being imparted, beclouded surely by crazy things, but a message.

    And I want access to that message, without all the laid-upon opinion, wish-fulfillments, interpretations of the Klasses. the Friedmans, the Obergs, the Laynes, the Air Force, or anyone else.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • Why need there be a 'message'?
    People see things, they always have. People have dreams, fantasies, maybe even past lives.

    You are asking too much. There is no message, unless you want there to be.

    Even if ETs exist and are visiting us, there is still no need for a 'message'. Any more than there would be one from us when we eventually visit them (although the late Carl Sagan might disagree).

    You are trying to probe too far into matters. This earth we live on is complicated enough without these external 'messages'. Goddammit, in the time it has taken me to write these words another 1500 mouths to feed have 'arrived' on this planet; and those already here are living longer and longer.

    So unless our visitors have anything positive and really useful to help us I say "Stay away. We don't want your messages."

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, May 12, 2012  

  • This is interesting CDA...

    You posit the idea that the message is from an external, extraterrestrial something-or-other, showing your intrinsic bias in favor of ET (although we all know you eschew the Roswell/ET scenario).

    The message may be eternal, always in place, and some artists, film-makers, writers, UFO witnesses access that message, just as the primitives who drew pictures on cave walls stumbled upon or accessed the message.

    You're looking at the matter simplistically, surprisingly.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • 'And I want access to that message...'

    You'll be wanting to take over the world next!

    In the hope that such a message would be one we could enjoy, I reckon we all want access to that message. On the possibility that such a 'message' was rather disturbing or depressing, I'd still be curious.

    As I see it, we're limited to our own ideas and those of the guys like Don mentioned.

    Vallee went off into the woods in 2010 and tried to antagonise a response from his conception of the phenomena. Nothing happened.

    That's all good for him, but for most of the rest of us, it's plain old head-scratching and seeing which ideas to keep and which ones to throw out.

    Call it absurd, or 'magical-thinking' but it seems like if one solid message/symbol could point the way to the source of all this, a lot more would appear to deflect attention. Conversely, if there came a time when we thought we had the symbol/message scoped...you can guess the rest.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • Difficulties may arise though when it comes to defining 'message'.

    If a kid experiences pain in its arm it may think the message's retribution and wonder what it's done wrong.

    A more sophisticated kid may observe the cause of the pain's a needle and conclude oh these guys're into acupuncture too.

    But the pain may be inadvertent because that's the only way to inject the 'message' - medication.

    What I'm suggesting therefore's the 'message' mightn't be something so conveniently straightforward as a statement but an effect.

    One effect this stuff clearly exerts's fascination.

    There're thousand of people who read blogs like this who regularly tell us it's a complete load o' tosh - THEN WHY THE HELL DO THEY KEEP COMING BACK TO IT!

    Because they're in the same boat as say Jehovah's Witnesses who may think they're knocking on our doors to save our souls but many of whom're actually trying to recover that first heroin-like rush they got when the 'truth' first dawned on them in the face of their now returning lack of certainty.

    But they're also in exactly the same boat as those 'believers' in UFOs Sasquatches and ghosts etc who for some reason [see above - JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES] aren't content just to believe.

    Which brings me to their second effect.

    I remember Nick Redfern circa the Millennium saying words to the effect god forbid I should be writing about Roswell in a decade from now...

    And that's because these things won't allow the mind to rest.

    [Even if Nick proves there was body snatching stuff going on there'll still be the possibility the body snatchers've merely assumed whatever was found must be related to them. Other researchers may've been thinking: flying saucers my arse - a batch of our experimental hallucinogens must've gotten out; other parties: damn they've found the Confederate/Mexican/Yaqui gold we've been searching for for so long; others: they've found the proof the secret stories about our god-like Native American ancestors are true...!].

    Because that's the thing with this stuff even when you get a seemingly perfect story (and here individual predilections and personal credulity levels'll define what's 'perfect') there's always at least one absurd little detail which makes everyone's hair stand on end in sheer mindbending incomprehension (almost as if they're designed to stop us closing our minds in precisely those areas where we most want to).

    And that I suggest's their collective 'message' - we need to stop assuming what we take for reality IS reality and cease believing everything can be somehow encapsulated and set to one side via neat little sets of concepts within concepts as well as endless protocols which only convey the illusion it's us who're in charge.

    Or to put it in the technical language of earlier times: though shalt not worship graven images where graven images stand for what we call and take for facts*.

    *fact - a thing made or established according to the cultural and technological LIMITATIONS of the times.

    By Blogger alanborky, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • Rich wrote: "It's the message, hidden amidst all that overlay.

    That's why the Socorro insignia fascinates me.

    If we had a concrete example. not marred by the foolishness of Stanford, the Air Force, or Hynek, we might have a key to the message, a code breaker -- the decoder ring."

    I don't see why. We do have something "not marred" and it is found in the PBB case files in which we have several drawings made by Zamora at the time in his written statement, as well as several more. Although those drawings have differences, they are obviously versions of the same even though some of the lines might be longer or shorter, and may or may not intersect in different drawings.

    Zamora had a few seconds under trying conditions to see the insignia, and I think he reported as best he could. What I doubt is that he could report its totality. It is likely only parts of it registered.

    The insignia is important, but I do not believe anyone can say of any rendering 'This is what Zamora saw.' It is, however, what he remembered. I don't know what Hynek, the AF, or Stanford have to do with it. Nor do I see much difference between yourself and Stanford, since you both claim an insignia description that is whole and complete.



    By Blogger Don, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • Don:

    You seem to be unfamiliar with the Stanford image (the inverted V with lines through it) created by the Air Force to catch copy cat witnesses.

    That symbol has been proffered by Stanford and others as the real symbol that Zamora saw.

    I stick with the common drawing, as what Zamora saw.

    Don, you should check this blog for all the back-and-forths about this, so you can comment knowledgeably.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • I know you and Stanford have different insignia.

    My point is you both think you have a whole complete thing -- something I find unlikely. That's how you two are the same.



    By Blogger Don, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • I suggest the message is the medium as inferring that this is a form of of non human communication from humanoid like sentient creatures was the subject of a recent post I did on the concept of dogs communicating with rabbits, which is a rough analogy of the difficulties such a concept presents.
    The concept of a quantum plenum of our shared database is a subject for several physicists I keep up with.
    Psychologically, we cannot erase what we are and what we subliminally seek as a quasi religious concept of a monarchical universe in CE encounters, as technological projections of biblical messengers in which we have inserted ourselves as the crown of creation and as absurd as this sounds, millions of individuals are oriented toward the anthropomorphism of being due a message, the anticipation of it,due to the existential blank page in our human encyclopedia.
    What is the envelope is the human sphere seen from without, framed by who is the observer. We are intrinsically incoherent by nature and yet we expect coherency in how we view ourselves and "messages" which is another form of delusion.
    Deconstruction is the other end of the stick in evolution, hence the recombinant genome behind all this , and hence out triggers are forever following us as probing inkblots, whether it is the Gods, Extraterrestrials or The Trickster of Human Nature.
    I wrote a piece some time ago on how truth must be illuminated by lies, a nonfiction illustrated by fictions. This is a very good example of this. There is a truth but it's not the truth we want.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • No, Don...if you've read my comments all over the place, I do NOT think we have access to the real insignia.

    When I talked with Mrs. Zamora in 2005, I asked about Officer Zamora's eyesight...to point out how Rudiak, an optometrist or something, had not considered what exactly happened when Zamora dropped his glasses as the object flew away from him.

    That's another issue.

    Mrs. Zamora told me that Lonnie's eyesight, without his glasses, was not good at all.

    This made me wonder how clearly he saw the insignia.

    I accept, nonetheless, Zamora's rendition over the Stanford-promoted insignia....which is a lot of hooey that has confused the issue.

    Stanford and I are not on the same page about this and to put forth that we are adds to the confusion.

    I'm trying to correct your errant impression.

    You are merely muddying the waters with your cavalier, unthinking opinion.

    And, no, I'm not angry with you, just upset that you don't really have a full grasp of the controversy, in this instance.

    If you've read the newspaper account, online here and elsewhere, about my trip to Socorro in 1964, and my subsequent contact with Mrs. Zamora, you'd know that I have some cachet about the Socorro sighting.

    And the insignia/symbol is significant.

    I and my guys have spent lots of blog/internet space on the matter, which you can find if you look.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, May 13, 2012  

  • If the symbolism used is unique to the recipient (relies on imagery already embedded in the receiver's mind based on personal history and experience), the message would only be decipherable by the recipient. Lacking that personal imagery, the message is gibberish to the rest of us.

    Since many credible witnesses remain baffled by their experiences, they also seem unable to decipher the messages despite personal icons displayed in the encounter. Hardly effective communication, wouldn't you say?

    I see no evidence an intentional message is sent. The witness is simply a bystander describing a baffling experience through his or her personal frame of reference.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, May 14, 2012  

  • PG...

    You raise a philosophical point (something like the bromide about a tree falling in the forest and no one's around, does it make a sound?).

    The percipient (the witness) is merely perceiving or receiving the message. Why or how is not known; did he or she stumble upon it? Do artists (surrealists mostly) come up with their imagery or is it thrust upon them?

    I'll present some views on this from the classic work "Art and Illusion" by Gombrich.

    The message is not unlike the Monolith in Kubrick's "2001."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 14, 2012  

  • Perhaps we simply differ on the definition of 'message'; mine being more literal than yours based on intentional transfer of mutually cognitvely recognized information transferred from sender to receiver.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, May 14, 2012  

  • Yes, PG, we do differ on what message means.

    For me, it's intertwined with a host of things that take it out of the Cartesian realm.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 14, 2012  

  • Very indepth details on above topics in the new book "UFO Conspiracy" by Carmen McLaren
    Well worth the read!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, May 16, 2012  

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