UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Religious Commitment to UFOs: Faith replaces Science

A comment from hallowed UFO researcher The Professor (Michael Swords) to my previous post about the death of ufology and its adherents, examples, for some of us, how UFOs have become a religious-like tenet, with dogma that is faith-based rather than objective.

Bruce Duensing, like us (me particularly) understands that the UFO phenomenon, while worthy of scrutiny, has to be understood in a gestaltian way; that is, UFOs are an interesting topic for myriad hypotheses, yet can only be understood within an intellectual collective, unified totality

But UFOs have become a miasma set upon by charlatans and “believers” rather than cool, objective researchers.

The Professor, like the rest of us in our waning years, hopes to get a handle on the phenomenon, having spent a lot of time and effort, in our short existences, to quell the enigma.

Jerry Clark, Stan Friedman, and a raft of other old persons who contribute and have contributed to the UFO panoply, wish to get a denouement before they pass on from this earthly dominion.

Phil Klass said that the UFO mystery shall outlast us all. And it will apparently.

The Professor is touting a backward look, by one of his young sycophants, about the 1966 Ann Arbor swamp gas fiasco.

Having covered that event for the Detroit NEWS, and a recent follow-up with Ronald Mannor, who saw the “flying saucer” with his father, Frank, I can say that the apparition was real to them, and not an hallucination nor swamp gas. (They knew what swamp gas looked like.)

But, as Mr. Duensing, intuits, what do we have by reconsidering the event?

As noted in my comment back to Michael Swords, we can excoriate J. Allen Hynek for his off-handed “swamp gas” explanation – he was lacerated by the press at the time – but that’s about all that can be said.

What the 1966 sightings in Hillsdale and Ann Arbor/Dexter were of cannot be answered, now, as they could not be answered then.

What is the UFO dogma?

That UFOs are real, and other-worldly.

That may be true, but like the belief in Jesus Christ, the evidence is faith-based.

The great theologians Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Kung have proffered theologic proofs for the Jesus/Christ reality. But even their erudition ends up being cemented in faith not objective reality.

That UFOs and its advocates try similar argumentation, but to no avail for those who stand back and review the UFO materials and witness accounts with an unbiased eye.

Yes, I believe that UFOs, like Jesus/Christ, have a reality. What that reality is remains elusive and unexplained, in one case after over 2000 years.

So trying to get a handle on the UFO riddle has settled into a religious orthodoxy rather than a Newtonian-like inquiry.

Not to understand that will continue the ufological folly.

RR

6 Comments:

  • Because they're absent of any physical evidence that can be analyzed with new, state-of-the-art forensic technology, you're correct that reopening UFO cold cases are exercises in futility. But, revisiting those cases is as much about selling books to a new generation unfamiliar with the old stories and legends as it is about getting to the bottom of their mystery.

    Ufology isn't just a religion, it's also a source of spare change for many, even though it's never been such a reliable cash cow that one could build a career on it (though some have tried and failed).

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Wednesday, November 28, 2012  

  • Yes, PG...

    There is the delusion by some (Gene Steinberg comes to mind) that UFOs will pay the bills and provide practitioners a livelihood.

    UFOs, as I've noted before, are a sickness for a few.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, November 28, 2012  

  • One issue I find is this passive approach tends to become navel gazing that has quite a few psychological tendrils that have absolutely nothing to do with the phenomenon, and then of course there is the existential bone buried deeply in any approach, whether it is material of various forms of gab. One approach that might be feasible is a automated Skywatch system that uses infrared and thermal scanning during the night hours placed in remote locations that has flight paths programmed into it, outfitted with alarms or bookmarks. These could be low altitude tethered platforms. A sort of SETI home computer network that some young person(s) could bootstrap with proprietary software. I think traditional science would say "that's more like a reasonable approach." A good science project rather than the MUFON circus. There are more ideas but really, I think people would rather talk about these sorts of things than do anything about them inasmuch as there are few scientific entrepreneurs in these UFO "religious cults." I posted a piece on the bootstrap home based funding effort of a Telsa Museum. The goal was around 850,000 to secure the Wardenclyff site..they raised 1.3 million...It can be done. Sigh.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, November 29, 2012  

  • Bruce, most who gravitate toward "organized" Ufology (the world of conventions, workshops, publications, membership organizations, consultancies, etc.) have already rejected orthodox science in favor of a starry-eyed mysticism and/or conspiracy paranoia (with a government always the primary perpetrator) that often exists within a mercenary framework.

    What you propose is a perfectly sensible approach (I'd send money to Kickstarter), but Ufology isn't about sensible approaches or science (which confounds many in Ufology so it's rejected out of hand). It's about, as Rich said, a fervent belief that something exists without a single shred of objective, tangible proof that it does.

    These "true believers" don't want scientific proof one way or the other. They want the validation of belonging to a community that shares their world view and beliefs.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Thursday, November 29, 2012  

  • R-cubed:

    So, as I read your posting, I was really surprised that you would expend the effort to single out poor Michael Swords for ridicule.

    I think I know that both Swords and R-cubed live in Michigan (my condolences...); I also know that more nationally famous 'ufologists' such as Stan Friedman will not be seriously taken to task here, perhaps due to his relationship-by-marriage to Paul "Ron Howard" Kimball...

    ..no matter...as I also understand that you will NEVER critique Jacques Vallee.. either because he was the unofficial consultant to the 'genius' Speilberg during 'CE3', or maybe simply because being French is "too cool for UFO school"??

    (...and you have stated tha your animus towards Allen Hynek stems from your interaction with him during the 1960's Michigan 'Swamp Gas' sightings.)

    ..but back to Swords; a glance at his efforts at UFO research simply show a man that is sincerely trying his best, and when you take the measure of a man, what more honorable rating could there be?

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Saturday, December 01, 2012  

  • Ah, KP....

    I happen to like and admire The Professor, Michael Swords.

    But I am forsworn to condemn the obsessional behavior, including my own, of UFO buffs, and most UFO geezers.

    J. Allen Hynek was a gentleman, and skunked (used) by the Air Force.

    He was pilloried after his swamp gas news conference in Detroit in 1966 -- laughed at openly, derisively.

    Jacques Vallee was a recipient of a transcript from me in 1976 that was of a phone call I got from CIA operative Bosco Nedelcovic, who claimed that the Villas Boas episode was a military contrivance.

    (You can read about this in the early postings here and at the RRRGroup blog or in Nick Redfern's Contactees book.)

    Mr. Vallee has been nothing but polite and reserved over the years.

    His views about UFOs and their attendant inhabitants are not objectionable to me. And his academic demeanor is what one expects in the UFO dialogue.

    Stanton Friedman is ufology's premiere spokesperson, even when he's off base, as he is with Roswell, the MJ-12 hoax, and the Hills hallucinatory event.

    Paul Kimball is a friend. He and I have bumped heads many times, but he has always been forthright and discreet about my nuttier actions and comments.

    As for Michigan, I have property in Ann Arbor and South Haven Michigan, a stone's throw from The Professor and Kalamazoo.

    I live elsewhere mostly, but am in Michigan often enough to be counted among the loonies there.

    Michael Swords is, like Jerry Clark and his ilk, an accumulator of UFO data and material.

    Where's his conjectures? Does he have an hypothesis to offer?

    Does it matter?

    UFO geezers, me included, are grist for parody and opprobrium, as we've let the UFO mystery slip away from us but dawdling with peripheral aspects of the enigma, shunning the forensic elements that might provide a clue or and explanation for the damnable things.

    Swords, et al., are more foolish than scientific.

    That galls me.

    I also know that UFOs do not deserve the attention they keep getting from UFO aficionados, many of whom sacrifice their livelihoods and lives (and partners) in search of the chimera that UFOs are.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 01, 2012  

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