UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What Current UFO Buffs Don't KNow

We've placed this paper (PDF) online for your edification.

Click HERE to obtain the paper -- to read and absorb.

(A "flying saucer" experiment can be found on Page 8)

RR

18 Comments:

  • Rich, enjoyed the paper. I see that Kepler's use of astrology was mentioned. Kepler, Tycho and other royal astronomers of that time period often supplemented their incomes by indulging in astrology...it was a good money making venture back then.

    Interesting take on correlation studies which has a lot of bearing on ufology both past and present.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, June 06, 2012  

  • And you know, Tim, that Carl Jung was a firm advocate of the efficacy of astrology.

    (He didn't use it to make extra money however.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 06, 2012  

  • Hiya Rich, I remember you posting this one last year; Albrecht Dürer was the flag.

    It's interesting to see the emphasis on how our understanding of the world around us is but one crumbling step away from the next. To extend the metaphor, we stand on solid certainties in one era that become softer underfoot in the next.

    For some people this means a free-for-all is allowable on the basis that certainty is illusory and 'anything goes' on the understanding that they can't be proven wrong. 'If science was wrong once, we can't trust it.'

    I'd say screw them all and their lunatic fringe logic!

    On the other hand, it's worth keeping a critical and open mind so we don't miss the folk on the next step up and get stuck in the past. Some of those guys will stand accused of pseudo-science until 'real' science catches up.

    Easier said than done. I guess we're all thinking we're rational and objective when we're really just clutching at ephemera.

    Occam's rusty blade points to hoax and misinterpretation when dealing with 'saucers.' Psychology and neurology haven't yet alphabetised the records of human perception to the point where they can be held up as a corner-stone of certainty.

    Science, pseudo-science and fringe-science have a little too much overlap in our chosen subject to be able to tease them apart. Some of the obvious BS is blatant...the subtler stuff is what drives the content of this blog.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Wednesday, June 06, 2012  

  • Thanks, Kandinsky, for remembering that we've provided this material earlier.

    (My memory of what we've done previously is almost as flawed as Roswell's old-timers.)

    While frauds and pseudo-science reign in "ufology" and science itself, what is more troublesome for me, is the effort that we and others spend on the old cases --reminiscing -- yet doing nothing innovative to determine what flying saucers were and UFOs are.

    The amount of time and writing spent on Arnold's sighting at UFO UpDates and Randle's blog is almost staggeringly stupid.

    But we've done the same with Socorro and Roswell too, so we shouldn't throw stones (but we do).

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 06, 2012  

  • Rich wrote: "...what is more troublesome for me, is the effort that we and others spend on the old cases..."

    I wouldn't have to spend so much time and effort, if I didn't have to re-invent the wheel on the cases that interest me.

    I may be old in human years, but in ufo years, I'm a toddler. So, I haven't spent decades obsessed with UFOs. I've discovered I cannot depend on those who have.

    The heart of the matter isn't that the cases, like Maury Island or Rhodes, are 65 years old. They're good cases. The "matter" is there has been no development in those 65 years. This leaves our bored teenagers thinking that that is that -- we know it all, and there is really nothing left to do. So, why go over it again and again? It's boring.

    My response is hardly anything has been done the past 65 years and there is everything left to do.

    If those old in ufo-years want to sit on their hoardings like old dragons on their Marie Celest websites. Fine. They become irrelevant. "Former people", as Stalin would say, in ufology.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • Don:

    Like you, I find lacunae when it comes to some delicious "classic" UFO cases.

    That is irritating.

    But fleshing out those old cases won't tell us what UFOs are, however they might tell us what flying saucers were.

    I'll give you that.

    Arnold's sightings and Rhoades' [sic] photographs might be deciphered finally.

    Yet, we are still in the dark about ancient sightings and current, amorphous UFO sightings.

    That's the rub, for me.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • Rich wrote: "But fleshing out those old cases won't tell us what UFOs are, however they might tell us what flying saucers were."

    and

    "Yet, we are still in the dark about ancient sightings and current, amorphous UFO sightings."

    We will remain in the dark because we don't have good data for a sighting, say, in 1500 AD or BC, as we have for some of the '47 saucers. If we had such information, I'd treat the ancient sighting no differently than one from 1947.

    If the goal of the research is to determine what ufos are -- then I am doing something else. I find the obsession with the ufo(s) of a case to be detrimental to the research, at least in modern cases. The proof is: ufology the past 65 years.

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe all the work has been done and I can find it in the catalogs of antiquarian booksellers. Maybe I just don't have the cred to get access to the collections of the Sign Historical Group, and just don't know the right people to get access to Ground Saucer Watch's analysis of some of Rhodes prints. Or maybe it all went into the dumpster.

    Here's a google search:

    "Velma Brown" "Kenneth Arnold"

    After running the search go to the sidebar and click on "tools". Click on "verbatim".

    You will see eight (8) hits. Only one is relevant to UFOs. (I've searched on variations of the names, too. This is the best). The first one, which links to a recent post of mine on Updates, is the only relevant one of the eight. That's it. Consider all the ufo sites out there, active forums, Marie Celeste ufology websites that Google indexes. Not a hint. This comment will be number 9.

    "Velma Brown"? Nobody knows. Nobody cares. Kenneth Arnold, as the cocktail psychoanalysist ufologists have told us was paranoid. Or the victim of that dwarf Dero Ray Palmer and his influencing machine, or was an all American clown.

    What a grind it is.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • Don:

    I have the Fate copies which played up the Arnold sighting, and I have some early, early UFO magazines which I'll scour for Arnold and Rhodes [sic].

    We're in the endgame of moving our offices, so I'll have to scrounge some boxes to get at the material but I'll look for Velma Brown and other pertinent info and pass it along ASAP.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • I don't know of a good way to approach the issue of ancient ufos. Probably through ancient graphics rather than texts because the specialists are only guessing at what was written when they translate, and sometimes the translations conflict with each other.

    I don't think it is a quibble to requre the graphic to represent something flying in the sky in order to classify it as a ufo. People in ancient drawings often wear costumes and masks, including bird or insect masks which to some will appear to be greys or insectoids or reptilians or spacesuits when they are more likely to be the clan's dancers and shamans (although what the dance was about might be worth knowing, if there was some way to find out).

    Most people (including myself) haven't a clue about, say, 16th century symbolism in European paintings, much less a clue about the Sumerian or Egyptian varieties over millennia.

    We should not casually ignore our ignorance.

    ***

    Rich, you referred me once to the 10/78 issue of UFO Report for Hewes' article on the Rhodes photos, and I got a copy of it. His article is about the GSW analysis, and that's what I'd like to find.

    I've also got the first issue of Fate, and have on order a reprint of it (so as not to damage the original) and the second issue. I've some other Palmer UFO magazine material. He was an interesting writer.

    What seems as rare as hen's teeth is Arnold's 1950 self-published pamphlet The Flying Saucer As I Saw It. If you are not familiar with it, I've got a few jpgs of pages from it I can send you. I think it was about 15-20 pages, originally. In it is a letter from Velma Brown. That page I have. I was looking online for some commentary on it and found no reference to her or the letter.

    I did some research and confirmed the autobiographical details in Mrs Brown's letter. I didn't confirm the signature, but that could be done with a bit of effort, and I will if it becomes necessary.

    What Arnold published represents a small part of the evidence he wrote he had. If that evidence is of the same quality as what he did publish, then there is no excuse for anyone thinking he was "paranoid", or under Palmer's influence, or was a clueless small town hick with ego issues.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • Don:

    Don't you have snatches of Arnold's self-published material on your nifty web-site?

    We'd be delighted to send our readers there.

    I agree with you about Arnold; he was no hick but rather sophisticated, despite what Jerry Clark keeps intoning.

    He saw what he saw and firmed up his story as he was able to cogitate on the vision.

    It was startling obviously, and only after the fact did he seem to get a handle on what he was lucky to have seen.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • Rich wrote: "Don't you have snatches of Arnold's self-published material on your nifty web-site?"

    Only the Rhodes photos he was given -- or some of them. Not having the booklet, I don't know if there were more.

    Besides laboring the photo comparisons, I'm writing up the civilian, or ufologist, accounts of the Rhodes case. First stop is Arnold and Palmer. I'll code up a page for the pages from the booklet this weekend, and let you know when they are up.

    One of my goals for foreshadower.net is to provide primary documents, not transcriptions, or citations to other sources, at least for the cases that interest me, especially if they seem to be otherwise unavailable on the web.

    "I agree with you about Arnold; he was no hick but rather sophisticated, despite what Jerry Clark keeps intoning."

    I think Clark's point is more nuanced than that. Arnold was a product of his time and place (as is everyone). Criticizing Arnold for failing to have adhered to today's mores is plain clueless anachronism. Clark touched briefly on class (or just plain clueless snobbery), too -- which is even more emphatic in the way Rhodes was (and is) treated.

    In a response to Martin Shough on Updates, which I guess will show up in a day or two, I refer to what is often forgotten. Arnold in 1952 was not the Arnold of the summer of 1947. In his book, The Coming Of The Saucers, he had to represent himself as he was then. He succeeded well enough that some critics assume Arnold as he described himself in 1947 was the Arnold who wrote the book. It is almost worth it to leave them to it for the entertainment value.

    I agree there is a more to Arnold intellectually than is usually admitted.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • Do you know, Don, of any other sightings, OUTSIDE THE ARNOLD TIME-FRAME, that mimic his sighting?

    I know about the several similar sightings during the period, right before and right after Arnold's sighting, assuming the date of his sighting is settled by the UFO UpDaters.

    But are there any sightings like Arnold's months or years later?

    I know of none that approximate his observation.

    Do you?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, June 07, 2012  

  • Rich wrote: "Do you know, Don, of any other sightings, OUTSIDE THE ARNOLD TIME-FRAME, that mimic his sighting?"

    Arnold quotes Fort about one, "a grouping of "meteors", described as moving slowly and having no trains. They were compared to "a flock of geese" each having the "same velocity and grace of regularity".

    What I find distinctive and puzzling about the Arnold saucers is their skipping,swooping motion, yet they do not wander from their forward motion or lose velocity. It may be the reason PBB concluded the sighting was a mirage. Objects in the atmosphere cannot appear to scintillate or twinkle to our eyes, and that's what Arnold's descriptions imply. I'd require a sighting outside the timeframe to have that quality for it to be said to mimic Arnold's sighting.

    What would you require of a sighting in order for you to say it mimics Arnolds'?

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Friday, June 08, 2012  

  • Don:

    A sighting or sightings that I'd see as replicating Arnold's would have to include several "things" flying in tandem, undulating (perhaps), at the speed that Arnold suggested -- with configurations similar to or the same as the one Arnold drew.

    The pelican "theory" (which we've outlined here, at this blog, a while back) is acceptable to me, and maybe to CDA.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, June 08, 2012  

  • "The pelican "theory" (which we've outlined here, at this blog, a while back) is acceptable to me, and maybe to CDA."

    As long as everyone is satisfied...

    National defense in the air is the USAF's job. It's not mine, so I am not intent on identification. If you permitted it, this discussion would now get hot about minarc this and angular that, and then descend from there into even lower circles of ufo hell.

    Arnold's saucers are unidentified, and, I believe, unidentifiable. I am not offended by this. With a lot of hard work, expenditure of resources, and astounding luck, one might be able to prove pelicans are more than a logical possibility, but it is far more likely one would have dribbled down one's leg years that really ought to have been spent doing something else. Some people who are offended take the more efficient option of just shooting the messenger.

    I can hardly wait to read James Carrion's theory that Arnold was hoaxed.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Friday, June 08, 2012  

  • Yah, Don, someone took over Mount Rainier and created a vision about something that had no precedence.

    The madness goes on...

    You're trying to clean the (Arnold and Rhodes) record, right?

    What do you get for this?

    The satisfaction? The muted glory?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, June 08, 2012  

  • It began with photography, and my suspicion the Rhodes photos had been 'doctored'. Tacoma is a sidebar to Rhodes, thanks to Brown and Davidson.

    When I was a kid in grade school I recall the guidance counsellor commenting on some "inventory" my class had filled out; he thought I might want a career in investigations or as a detective. Maybe I should have become an FBI agent.

    I enjoy the intellectual exercise, solving the jigsaw puzzle.

    My wife says I'm like a terrier who just knows there's a badger at the bottom of the hole I'm digging.

    Apparently, it's bred in the bone.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Friday, June 08, 2012  

  • Don says he can hardly wait to read James Carrion's theory that Arnold was hoaxed [by the USAF or CIA]. Carrion goes further: he claims Roswell & Maury Island were part of this scheme.

    I can hardly wait either, but I fear it will never appear. Carrion is just out to be provocative. If anything does appear it will merely stir the pot yet again (after Nick Redfern over Roswell and that recent Area 51 woman whose name escapes me).

    Yes, pelicans are a better answer for Arnold than a CIA hoax, but not much better.

    We ought to learn lessons from the past but never seem to. Arnold will always be unexplained but as long as UFOs are discussed and disseminated, someone will pop up with a new answer. Except that we are beginning to run out of possibilities.

    Has anyone ever counted the number of Jack the Rippers there have been? Unlike Arnold, there are an almost unlimited number of possible Jacks. And so it goes on, and on.

    Certain things are best left alone as unexplained.

    If Carrion ever does produce the goods, he will be shot down at once. Let's see.

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, June 08, 2012  

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