The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Friday, August 31, 2012

The soul-killing UFO obsession – or is it an addiction?

soul-kill.jpg

It is so blatant, the addiction – the obsession – that some have with and about the UFO topic, not UFOs, but the topic of UFOs.

That UFOs, as subject matter, have consumed some is obvious, if one has been paying attention to the surfeited material about UFOs just on the world-wide internet.

That marriages, jobs, and lives have been interrupted or set aside by some men and women in the pursuit of the ephemeral UFO phenomenon is palpable and disheartening (to the rational among us).

Gene Steinberg, the Paracast guy, has been under an economic siege of some magnitude, as his many months of pleas for donations from the UFO community indicates.

But yet, Mr. Steinberg will not relinquish his interest in UFOs (per his Paracast endeavors) to get a job, any job, to assuage his financial plight.

UFOs, as he and his family seemingly goes under, remain his primary pursuit, not a job or even a bank robbery. He’s devoted to UFOs come hell or high water.

UFO UpDates Errol Bruce-Knapp has taken money from his sock to keep his UFO list alive. His Toronto life-style may be diminished but his devotion to UFOs is intact and a top priority apparently. (And his socks are severely tattered.)

David Rudiak is so absorbed by Roswell, Socorro, and other iconic UFO events that he has given up a life of reasoned ratiocination to tilt at skeptics and debunkers to the detriment of a sane public persona.

Jerome Clark gave up a good mind, skilled in musical knowledge and early Christian history, to pursue UFOs from an early age. That he regrets his wasted intellectualism is arguable, but a divorce and a pandering obeisance to UFO UpDates tells us something is wrong, somewhere in his life.

Stanton Friedman, a nuclear engineer once, sacrificed all that for his pursuit of the UFO mystery and a life usurped by writing, talking, and immersion in that mystery, side-lining his once-purposeful existence, totally.

You’ve all stumbled across the volcanic effusions of Martin Shough, Ray Dickenson, or Steve Sawyer, men needing to be cathartic with their limited and often useless UFO information.

They puke UFO detritus as if it were their daily bread, and it seems to be.

Even we have given up a late-night sandwich or early morning swim to input something about UFOs online. (But, no, we’re hardly obsessed in the manic sense that those named here are.)

What we’re trying to say here is that, for some, UFOs, as a topic, has assumed their lives, in an obsessional way that is not healthy nor sane.

It’s just an observation on our part but there it is…

19 Comments:

  • I have a tale to tell. It will be brief.

    Many years ago I had a lot to say to the then editor of 'Flying Saucer Review', Gordon Creighton, about his attitude, tone of his writings and general topics in his magazine. A lot was to do with the endless tales of cover-ups and conspiracies. Anyway, I decided to have a go at him.

    I put it into perhaps two letters of criticism. He replied to both in his own way, adding at the end of the second reply that he had known many ufologist friends who had been driven semi-insane by the whole subject. They slowly became deranged and he seriously advised me to consider giving up the subject.

    I think his very words were to the effect that I should retire from ufology and take up something far less demanding like carpentry or gardening. These were his words to me - and remember I am a long way from being an active vocal ufologist. He must have had a great many more vocal friends & acquaintances during his own long association with the subject.

    So there it is: carpentry or gardening. Of course there are other pursuits like bee-keeping, bird watching, fishing and so on.

    But ufology? Just beware - you are risking entering a danger field without parallel.

    Anyway, that is my tale.

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • A nice, succinct, relevant tale, CDA.

    You, like me, and a few others, have placed UFOs in a proper perspective I think.

    UFOs can be a quirky hobby but when they intrude on one's family or spouse, without their complicity, the downside is great.

    Richard Hall was depressed in his late years for having spent so much time on the unrewarding topic of UFOs in lieu of the Civil War, which was, at one time, his intellectual raison d'etre.

    Yet, his contributions to the UFO topic are significant, whereas those mentioned in our blog post have provided nothing of real worth, and I'm including Jerry Clark in that -- he's a great accumulator of UFO tales, but as for any workable hypotheses or ideas about what they may or not be, his efforts have been nil, as I see it.

    And he's given up a lot for such a tepid output as he's produced.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • Rich:

    The problem is that Ufology does become an obsession for many.

    As people who know me well will be aware, I view my research and accompanying writing as a job. I keep job hours.

    Unless I have a deadline or I'm speaking at a gig, I work mon to fri 8 to 5, and then stop. Just like anyone in a normal job.

    Then I do - and have always done - the normal things in life: going out to dinner, a bar, a soccer game, have a week on holiday somewhere, the usual stuff.

    But, sadly, there are people whose lives revolve around Forteana 24/7, or who cannot talk about anything else.

    From a social perspective, that's a very bad thing.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • One can tell the obsessive/compulsive types from the intellectually curious, Nick.

    You are one of the latter, and I like to think I am too, along with CDA, Tony Bragalia, Jose Caravaca, Paul Kimball, PG, Brownie, and a few others.

    The warped UFO people are clustered at various UFO venues: UpDates, Above Top Secret, and other sites.

    We get thoughtful people here, mostly -- Bruce Duensing (whose dense prose is always on point and not locked into a skewed bias about UFOs), Kandinsky, Bob Koford, Gilles Fernandez, et al.

    As far as i can tell, our visitors are discerning about the phenomenon, not absorbed to the point of relinquishing life and/or jobs to wallow, aimlessly, in the UFO muck.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • I have seen people who obsess over Ufology 24/7 and it's not a pretty sight.

    I don't know why this kind of obsession develops, but it certainly does.

    I've also seen it affect people in ghost-hunting and conspiracy research.

    For me, I can't imagine anything worse than spending my nights or weekends pondering on Roswell, or with my head deep into a UFO book.

    As I class what I do as a job (since I work as a freelance writer, of which about 25-30 percent is paranormal writing), it's easy to switch off.

    A life devoted to Ufology with no normal social life is a road to one thing: deranged obsession.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • And speaking of writing, Nick, I received yesterday, for review, your new book: The World's Weirdest Places.

    It's one book that I don't mind getting absorbed in. A scan of the contents offers what will be a pleasurable sojourn in the odd and bizarre.

    RR



    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • Cool! You got that early! LOL. I think pub. date is still a month away or thereabouts.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • Apparently I'm on the reviewers A-list.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • Very good!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • Addictive behavior can be expressed about anything from alcohol or drugs to spending to gambling to over-eating or starving and even to paranormal phenomena. The real problem is an underlying obsessive psychology. And, some neuroscientists would argue, how the brain is hard-wired.

    I suspect for many on your list UFOs were simply a drug of choice, and if it hadn't been UFOs it would have been something else.

    In the end it comes down to some can enjoy sipping a glass or two of wine and then stop. Others are compelled to guzzle till every drop is gone and seek out more.

    We're very lucky we're the sippers, not the guzzlers.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • Yes, PG, we're the sippers. (You made me laugh).

    Serious sippers but still only sippers.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • Rich, I'm glad (relieved?) you haven't included me as an example of your contention. Thanks.

    As I was reading the post, I was thinking of the dedication people have to sport and politics.

    Ufology can be just as addictive as either of them and the level of enthusiasm is what it is.

    We can shout from the side-lines and still those UFOs, politicians and managers of our teams will not toe the line. Bastards.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • K:

    You make a pertinent, valid point: there are other topics and areas of activity where obsession and addiction are actually worse than that found in the UFO field.

    But I'm addicted to ranting, here, about UFOs.

    (I also rant about media at our MediaWatch sites too so I'm an equal-opportunity ranter.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, August 31, 2012  

  • I think it is a toxic cult to many who live in a bubble, a cocoon of perceived safety from more pressing issues.
    There is little risk perceived by them due to pride...by way of self flagellation over gossamer demons. They are led by the nose into losing their personal freedoms of choice.
    A good term is possession by spirits. They haunt to become haunted as the hunter is also the prey. Sucked dry, like vampire victims, they do this bidding by proxy, like a fly in a web. Its sad and it's pointless and they need a good ice cream cone or go smell some roses..


    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, September 01, 2012  

  • UFOs are related to religion, and like religion, they can take over ones lives -- especially if the person has had a personal visionary experience (whatever the mysterious source of that experience may be). All religions come from this same source, I believe, and it is this connection that makes the study of UFOs so fascinating.

    But be careful.

    By Blogger scottc, at Sunday, September 02, 2012  

  • Addicted to UFOs and the Paranormal? Moi? --writes the Red Pill Junkie.

    Yes, it's very easy to have this pastime --and let's face it, for 99% of us, it IS a time-consuming pastime, and nothing more-- gobbling up more and more hours of your schedule, and starting to come into conflict with other aspects of your routine. I'm still trying to find the will power to get up an hour early in the morning so I can go outside and make something to shrink the love-handles protruding out of my shirts. But when you make a habit of going to bed at 2 in the morning because you stayed glued to your laptop reading another blog or watching another Youtube video, it gets really hard to get up from the bed.

    I think this type of behavior is so entrenched to the field because the Paranormal appeals to individuals with a certain type of mentality. ALL of us are in some form or another idealists; we believe ideas and dreams matter in this world, and idealism runs on the passion fuel. A fuel that can let the pistons of your engine all clogged if you don't have a regular check-up ;)

    I think a forewarn about the obsession is wise. Specially in this field, when we sometimes put ourselves in the position of coming in contact with forces we don't even comprehend. We stare into the abyss, and sometimes the abyss stares back.

    As an example of this, I recommend you read this essay, which was part of the first Darklore anthology:

    Hungry Ghosts, by Michael Prescott.

    By Blogger Red Pill Junkie, at Sunday, September 02, 2012  

  • I have to plead guilty to being fascinated with UFOs because of a very early sighting (a multiple persons sighting) when I was a child - that included most of us witnesses experiencing disorientation,amnesia, sunburns in the wrong places, vomiting and conjunctivitis (eyes). Many of us sought medical treatment the next day (or were taken by our parents - who were also sick from the close encounter 'fly over'). Because I've most definitely seen a solid craft that left physical effects which were medically documented, I know they exist. What followed were dreams...bad ones, which I won't go into. I'd found out later that some other people there also experienced bad dreams with the ufo as the main subject.

    One has to have a balancing act though to not become a 'ufo nut'. I sort of intuitively knew not to blurb out to everyone I met about my sighting. Also, because the written materials about ufos (and abductions) are frankly scary, I can't read alot of them at once. It's best to read a ufo book between several 'normal' books. The same with online browsing. I have my ufo-ish blogs I read and also my other blogs of interest - perfume, master gardening and travel.


    In the comments here I think Scottc is on to something - the connection between UFOs and religions.
    Maybe it's an intentional control system from some sort of intelligence we can't comprehend (the Jacques Vallee hypothesis). I doubt it's something so simple as ETs.

    I came across this interesting blurb about people involved in the paranormal and their own sicknesses and/or untimely deaths. Just as we know there have been unusual, untimely deaths in ufology (investigators and witnesses) this seems to happen with people involved in the paranormal as well.

    http://whofortedblog.com/2012/07/15/bad-vibes-dealing-demonic-affect-health-kill-hurt/


    Lou Gentile, who died in his early 40s of cancer, was a longtime outre radio host and investigator who popularized EVP recordings and is said to have spent more than 13,000 hours investigating (outside of his radio program).

    Ryan Buell, who was the rising star of the tv paranormal genre with his Penn State Paranormal and a devote Roman Catholic who'd often use a RC priest in ridding people of negative spirits was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer shortly after Paranormal State was canceled last year. He was only in his late 20s at the time.

    George Lutz, of the Amityville Horror fame, died essentially a broken man at age 59. He tried sueing, unsuccessfully, the production companies, which he claimed made him look like a fool in the series of movies. He maintained to the end, that he didn't lie or hoax anyone.

    From the article: "In a 2009 report presented in New Scientist Magazine, researchers claimed that results of a series of global studies indicated that negative thoughts can have a measurable and verifiable effect on one’s health."

    Perhaps whether it's hanging around ghosts, malevolent spirits, poltergeists....or tracking UFOs, reading horrific alien abduction accounts and so on....it's all basically quite negative. Not the sort of topics that make you feel comfortable....not really life-affirming if one is totally honest with themselves.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger Brownie, at Sunday, September 02, 2012  

  • This just in:

    "Robbie Williams' UFO obsession made him 'weird and fat'"

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/celebrities/robbie-williams-ufo-obsession-made-him-weird-and-fat-168111936.html

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, September 05, 2012  

  • Rihanna use to ufo-watch with her Dad at night back in Barbados growing up. I don't think any harm came of it as she's a successful talented pop star/actress/perfume maker.

    I wonder more about what was behind her Dad's obsession to search the skies at night? Did he have previous sightings? Who knows...

    http://www.azcentral.com/ent/celeb/articles/2012/03/30/20120330rihanna-used-look-ufos-her-dad.html

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger Brownie, at Thursday, September 06, 2012  

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