UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, July 09, 2012

Ufological Folly!


A New Yorker piece in the July 2nd issue about Editors and Publishers by John McPhee -- a wonderful piece -- had a paragraph telling what former NY editor William Shawn required his writers to consider when writing a fact piece:

"How do you know?" "How would you know?" "How can you possibly know that?"

Those questions should be at the forefront of everything written about UFOs.

But reading Kevin Randle's take on the recent Roswell Festival, one recognizes that "ufology" no longer is a research process but, rather, has become a vehicle for camaraderie and social interaction: a milieu of false companionship and inane mental stimulation.

The questions posed by William Shawn are not part of the UFO oeuvre, if they ever were.

And that UFO buffs would drag their long-suffering wives to such folly -- as the Roswell Festival or to a Socorro site, as David Rudiak did, is grounds for marital insensitivity, at least.

What fools these mortals be....as Shakespeare notes in his Midsummer Night's Dream.

RR

17 Comments:

  • Actually, Ufology reminds me a lot of high school - with cliques, feuds, the cool kids, the outsiders, etc.

    If fact, come to think of it, maybe all of life is just high school repeated endlessly.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, July 09, 2012  

  • "How do you know?" "How would you know?" "How can you possibly know that?"

    How do they know that what the Daily Record wrote was "announced at noon today" was Walter Haut delivering the press release?

    You have pointed out that no one appears to want to engage with me. That's because I ask those questions. If I were a Roswell skeptic, I would not be shunned. They enjoy batting at each other. If you want Roswell skepticism on the hoof read Printy's latest Sunlite. Printy had no reason not to use the sources he used because the other side, the advocates, use them. What passes for research and analysis is a bitch-fest between believers and debunkers, and thus they have to share the same material and a base-understanding of it. They just interpret the hodge-podge differently. It is nearly all worthless for actual research and analysis.

    The latest Roswell ufologist to not deal with me is Stanton Friedman on Updates in early June this year. It is probably not worth the effort to ask the ones I haven't got to. The pattern is obvious anyway.

    But Rich, what made you such a sourpuss about all this. You have to see the humor in it all.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Monday, July 09, 2012  

  • Don...

    I went through the UpDates nonsense but was consoled by Richard Hall a bit, after he found out that he wrote to me when I signed up for a NICAP membership way back when.

    One of thing that grinds me is that you often point out significant items in the context of the argumentative debate(s) but those items are ignored, as you note, so the confrontational back-and-forths can continue.

    It's a matter of one-upsmanships by the "duelers."

    They don't want truth; they want to score points.

    As PG notes, it is like High School.

    To see a brilliant mind like Rudiak's go to seed just to make a few points against Lance or CDA does make me bitter.

    And Lance baits Rudiak, when Lance could be providing something valuable, as he has done, on occasion.

    But I am bemused too....like Yahweh was with humans, choosing to save Noah who ended up being part of an incestuous intermingling.

    Like Yahweh didn't see that coming?

    It's funny.....just as ufology is.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 09, 2012  

  • Purrlgurrl-

    Which is precisely why I have never attended a UFO conference. High school was a long time ago. And going to one might remind me of a Beatles convention I was forced to go to in college. Oh my. If you thought WalMart was bad...

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Monday, July 09, 2012  

  • Rich wrote: "One of thing that grinds me is that you often point out significant items in the context of the argumentative debate(s) but those items are ignored, as you note, so the confrontational back-and-forths can continue."

    The problem isn't ET; it wouldn't matter if it were something else. The problem is every aspect of a case, such as Roswell, has been characterized and homogenized into a seamless whole by the combatants, so that if I pick at what appears to me to be a loose thread, the fear expressed, afaict, is the whole homogeneity will unravel if it were to be considered. Doesn't matter if they are advocates or skeptics.

    Re Roswell, both the UP and the Washington Post reported that General Ramey viewed the object and said it was 25 foot in diameter made with wood and "covered with a material resembling tinfoil". He said there was no evidence of a power plant and was "flimsy" and could not hold a pilot or bear supersonic speeds. We are informed the army ruled out it was a weather-kite because they didn't use them anymore. Instead they used balloons.

    Why shouldn't I believe General Ramey? Well, he changed his story. But there is no way to mistake a rawin target for a 25 foot "saucer". So, his story is suspect.

    Maybe they changed the story when someone pointed out no one knew anything about 25 foot saucer-like objects. There was always the chance it was a "need to know" thing. So, they changed the story, and to get a rawin in the air, they had to come up with a balloon, too.

    So, why not? It's as good as anything skeptics or advocates come up with.

    I like the 25 foot "saucer" because there is no balloon involved, and I am sick to death of Mogul.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Monday, July 09, 2012  

  • That Ramey story via the Post and the UP fascinates Don, and should lead to serious scrutiny by Roswell-addicts, pro and con.

    But it is, as you know, not to be.

    The argument is cemented by the protagonists and antagonists.

    Their arguments are tattooed on their minds and at Randle's blog.

    Nothing, it seems, can eradicate the tattoos.

    It's perpetual parry and thrust by the same guys, with the same stuff, over and over.

    Pointing this out will not dissuade Lance, Rudiak, or CDA from regurgitating the effluvia, over and over again.

    They are compulsed to deal with their smidgen of Roswell items, even as someone like you offers them interesting tidbits that could take them to new revelations.

    It's maddening -- because it borders on insanity.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • All of this is an end run of pretense, set against what is known of the nature of the relationships being explored between our energetic atmospheric environment and it's biochemical effects on perception via a carbon based human life form in a geomagnetic field, the nature of plasma energy, and perhaps even water molecules as a semi solid conductor, ball lightning, so called "orbs" etc. They are so far adrift from the natural sciences, Ufology has become a nutty cult who have a "special language". Goofy is an apt word.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • Bruce:

    I read Kevin Randle's "raison d'etre" for his Roswell Festival sojourn.

    He thinks he accomplished a few things there....contact with a Travis Walton co-worker, a side-trip to a UFO sighting site, et cetera.

    His account reeks of time-wasting, a return to the nostalgia of the good ol' days of UFO "research."

    It's quite sad that he and Rudiak keep humping long-gone sites (Rudiak at Socorro), hoping to conjure up the ghosts of UFOs past, and the excitement such "ghosts" once had.

    Ufology is moribund and the UFO geezers (the UFO old guard) are like coroners engaged in exhumation.

    It's not only sad, it's pathetic.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • BTW,
    In reading the comments so far, the gist of the conundrum is largely a self referential game regarding the fog of attribution, that largely has no demonstrable provenance except as a propellant, inasmuch as all that is going on at present demonstrates an inability to think in categories other than puffed up gab as "controversy" whose subject is who is more ignorant than the other. It appears to be an inbred battle of the blind leading the blind.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • I'd like to get to the Socorro site one of these days, but in April. I was interested in David's account.

    Anyone in business knows socialization is essential. It doesn't matter what the business is. It could be professional or academic, not just commerce. If you believe a spaceship crashed near enough to Roswell to be noticed there (there being no other reason to have such a festival there), then Roswell is where you want to socialize.

    Since I don't think anything crashed near Roswell and in Chaves County that wasn't a bomber or other aircraft, I would be out of place there. I advised Lance that he should attend the next festival to avoid being so very off-topic when it is discussed on Randle's blog.

    Whenever Kimbler's artifact vicissitudes comes up I always thing of the Red Shirt Guy from Galaxy Quest "Did you guys ever WATCH the show?" Of course, the fragment would disappear in the mail. It's In The Script (IITS).

    Same with Brandon's Roswell Marked Box. Of course you can't tell us what was in it. Why? Because IITS.

    Of course, Frank Kaufman (or Newton's son, nephew, whoever) wouldn't let you photocopy the document. IITS. And, the Colonel wants to be anonymous. IITS.

    It's the 21st century. Think of something else. We've read the script already. Many, many times.

    You would think someone with decades of experience in investigations and research, knowledgeable in the ins and outs of ufology might have said "No! Don't go down into the dark cellar!" -- oh, wait, that's a slasher movie. I meant "No, don't send the alien artifact through the mail! Don't you know what's ITS?"

    But, no.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • Don:

    I was, as newspapers reported, in Socorro in late 1964.

    Nothing then -- aside from a very brief talk with Mrs. Zamora and I guess even less today.

    Even Ray Stanford's foray was too late to be worthwhile actually.

    Socializing or networking at UFO functions is worthless.

    The persons one needs to have access to don't attend such get-togethers.

    UFO conferences have become incestuous orgies of UFO vomitous.

    Real researchers, like Anthony Bragalia, seek out persons who actually have something to impart or were witnesses with standing.

    The UFO geezers just need adulation by sycophants, to assuage their loss of esteem by those of us who've been into UFOs for awhile and have come to recognize their shortcomings and failures.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • Festival socializing is worthless if you are a serious student of ufo cases because most people there will be 'fans', like a Star Trek convention. Socializing is necessary if you are a professional writer with books, articles, tv shows, movies, radio and web interviews. It is how you put food on the table, get medical insurance, and send the kids to college. Kevin Randle and Nick Redfern, for example, are successful writers on the subject(s). It is business, not ufology.

    Such writers might be serious students, but unless they inherited a trust fund, they have to earn their daily bread, and so like me, any serious work they do is on their own time.

    Ufos: Palmer, Scully, Keyhoe (and lesser lights like JP Cahn) were professional writers. Paranormal: Fort, Thayer and Keel were professional writers. Occult: Desmond Leslie and Gerald Heard were professional writers.

    Ufology, ET, paranormal, or otherwise, originated with professional writers.

    Witnesses are worthless unless you also have evidence of what they say they witnessed. I'm not saying they have "false memories" (I love that pc term for 'lying'), but that it just hangs there in a vacuum without evidence of what was witnessed -- and I don't mean more witnesses who are "independent" and "corroborative".

    The resolution of Socorro is very dependent on the immediate location, and the conditions at the time, at least for me, so I was interested in David's account. I don't think it should be treated like a 'festival' thing.

    I try not to confuse the study of the saucers with the 'day at the office' of men and women earning a living writing stuff for the fans.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • I don't begrudge a person making dough to live, but UFOs should not be and shouldn't have been grist for trying to make a living wage.

    The opportunity to exploit the phenomenon is taunting and many have done just that.

    Nick has yet to make a living wage from his UFO writings. It's his journalistic efforts that have kept him afloat.

    While a few have managed to eke a living, even the professionals you cite, Don, are "paupers" in the real world.

    Casting pearls before swine -- UFO writers with acumen (Redfern for one) -- is not ennobling.

    Catering to UFO fans (or mavens) is playing the fool for the great unwashed.

    That's why serious people eschew UFOs....it's a circus, a recreation for the warped masses.

    Even the hoi polloi ignore UFOs.

    UFOs are an element of the fringe without practical or edifying benefit.

    Cure cancer, feed the poor, protect women and children and you're doing something with your life.

    Study UFOs and you are just one more clown in the panoply of silliness.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • "UFOs are an element of the fringe without practical or edifying benefit."

    UFOs, the paranormal, are entertainment. The X-Files writers knew it when they wrote the line for Mulder, "the military, industrial, entertainment complex".

    Look at Google News, UFO category: mostly games, movies, and tv.

    Setting aside their reality, UFO belief, historically, has a political dimension and therefore a place in the cultural and social reality of America. UFO belief is as significant as the anti-communist crusade, the cold war mentality, 1960s counter-culturalism, "Morning in America", 911 and "Terrorism". It is a fundamental feature of the peculiar paranoia that washes over this country in waves since WWII, and actually before then, too.

    It is the anti-establishment, counter-cultural, and paranoid aspects of ufo belief that I find interesting. It is different than, but related to, the reality of ufos. Many ufo writers 'work' this paranoia of their audience.

    Taking on the reality, though, is not so easy, I think. Some who attempted it got crazy from it.

    Looking for solace? Visit Brandy, JZ, or Vyktoria.

    http://www.fatemag.com/category/interviews/

    Now, that's entertainment!


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • Yes, Don, UFOs are bread and circuses.

    The topic (and or reality) of UFOs is a subset to life....a footnote maybe.

    The wash of history is not wetted by UFOs.

    For us "playboys" -- you, me, Duensing, Nick, Bragalia, et al. -- the matter is a plaything.

    Nothing more.

    UFOs keep me from going mad at the sickness of society....that is, until some stupid UFO blokes intrude.

    I'm loath to name them but we shirk their comments here and attempts to be part of our small accumulation of friends.

    (And I would hate to saddled with any of the UFO names for an eternity.

    It would be the 12th circle of Dante's Hell.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • These 'festivals', Roswell or anywhere else, are for the purpose of selling books, videos, magazines, youth revivers, new slimming methods, health fads and so on. And to meet and socialise with friends.

    And that's about it.

    Skeptics should stay away. So should the press and the other media.

    Brandon Chase (or Chase Brandon)? He has seen a box labelled 'Roswell'. Funny, but I once saw a box labelled 'MJ-12'. I've still got it.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

  • CDA:

    I've purchased a box, from one of the Roswell vendors...

    It says Size 8 1/2 on it.

    I'm afraid to open it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 10, 2012  

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