UFO Conjectures

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A Defense of Nostalgia


Previously I had posted a broadside about how many UFO mavens are locked into music and remembrances of their past -- an obsessional resort to nostalgic times and events.

Steve Penhollow, the entertainment reporter for Fort Wayne Indiana's morning daily, The Journal Gazette, wrote a defense of nostalgia in the (October 7th) Sunday edition of the paper:


It's a good offset of my perverse view.



  • "No one’s experience of a decade can be used as a template for making sweeping assumptions about everybody’s experience of that decade."
    The only observation I remember coming from Hemmingway was "Man's mistress is nostalgia" and in terms of memory and meaning and a deeper appreciation for innocence in Thomas Wolfe country, I think Loren Eisley said it best, we are all simply homesick. The same longing for innocence seems to be focused on the past as a fixed sort of island thats a refuge from pain, uncertainty and simply not really knowing much, ( again, innocence) with the exception of our foggy own conclusions that are as contingent as the weather. Again I think a great deal of analysis is gossip toward a puzzling sort of continuum. A moving target. To fix it at some point, like a photo, carries with it all thats missing from it's context. We seem to navigate around holes. This is a great reminder of a post that edicts, strict paths, and gravitas is the sort of a joke wherein we don't understand the punchline. This to me is the story of consensus history.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, October 07, 2012  

  • While there is nothing wrong with remembering the past and having good memories, etc, I do think that yearning for times past etc is very, very unhealthy.

    But, that said, I think one of the key reasons that so many UFO researchers live in the past in terms of cases etc, isn't so much nostalgia, it's far more simple: we dont get the "classic" cases today that the researchers of the 50s got.

    Radar/visual; landings; contactes; soil-sampling aliens etc - theyve pretty much all gone.

    So, I think what some might see as UFO nostalgia is actually a case of Ufologists (in terms of cases, but not theories) have very little choice but to focus on the past, because the present is dominated by dodgy YouTube footage, lights in the sky, but no Zamoras, no Pascagoulas, no 1952 DC overflights etc/

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Sunday, October 07, 2012  

  • Nick is right up to a point. For, say, the first 5 years the subject was new. Then it gradually stagnated. Now it is very very stale. It will remain that way until some completely new kind of evidence comes along.

    By Blogger cda, at Sunday, October 07, 2012  

  • Nick
    Your post inadvertently drew me into re-reading Dr Persinger's book "The Weather Matrix and Human Behavior" that blends well with his pioneering study via statistical analysis as to time and location of transient spikes in anomalies. What is behind the disappearance of what you mentioned could be a long termed cycle that requires certain environmental conditions of an energetic nature as Persinger suggests. In this case, his exploration of long term extra solar influences that cycle in the atmosphere. looking for a foundational measurable science of preconditions required for anomalies. Have you read any of his stuff?

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, October 07, 2012  

  • CDA
    I think the faddism of "Ufology" is akin to Spiritualism which peaked around the Civil War, which was also prone to hoaxes, and with the exception of some research in the UK was most famously much later debunked by Houdini. Interestingly, he focused on "experts" the self proclaimed psychics that also in my mind leads to UFO "experts" being largely now debunked with the same comparative lack of any real science being done..Now spiritualism is "hot" again and Ufology "cold"..Nothing has been resolved. I think as others have said, it will resurface in time..whats the saying..everything old is now new again..

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, October 07, 2012  

  • With respect, saying that the subject is "stale" betrays a total lack of imagination. It's akin to Saying that Christianity grew stale within a decade or two after they nailed Jesus to the cross. The interesting stuff lies not in more reports of lights in the sky, or strange encounters, just as the interesting stuff in Christianity hasn't been about reports of miracles. It's about a discussion of what it could all mean, through the use of one's imagination and intellect.

    That's the truth that both the believers and disbelievers have always missed, locked as they are in their perpetual embrace of mutual re-inforcing banality.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Sunday, October 07, 2012  

Post a Comment

<< Home