The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Frank Stalter is trying to tell us (all) something....

Jose Caravaca provides more "evidence" for his Distortion Theory


Jose Antonio Caravaca insists that UFO events are a product of "distortion" by something or someone co-creating with UFO witnesses a scenario that is different from a psychologically induced mental configuration, which is what the RRRGroup feels is the sine qua non of UFO experiences.

To read Senor Caravaca's latest thrust for his developing "theory," click HERE to access his Reynolds Group blog.

JS

Try to remain objective and less self-absorbed


When I post things to this blog (and others), I’m opening the blog to a discussion or discussions relevant to the posting.

I’m attacking ideas. Not people or their character.

I try to follow academic procedure for scrutinizing and challenging ideas that are grist for debate.

Paul Kimball was offended by this from me about him and Nick Redfern, in a comment:

That you and Paul Kimball place so much stock in synchronicity goes to the neurotic, mild form of hubris.

The context was about persons thinking that the gods or the “other” supposedly interacting with humans, and I was suggesting that Nick and Paul were being egocentric in assuming that the outside entity or thing was so enraptured by them that the thing made it a point, to the exclusion of other activity and concerns, to pay attention to their daily lives, providing synchronistic events to wake them up to another reality.

Nick answered my academic accusation graciously and thoughtfully, as usual.

Paul, on the other hand, was defensive, writing that he didn’t put “much stock” in synchronicity and I was mischaracterizing his position about the matter.

Maybe I was, but Paul did, admittedly, provide commentary about synchronicity at his blog, on Facebook, and in a few radio broadcasts.

That may not be “much stock” to him but it is to me.

However, if he wants to dilute my mistaken impression, that’s okay with me. It’s a small matter, a matter of interpretation.

It’s got nothing to do with Paul’s ethics or intelligence or anything to do with him personally.

It was an observation about something he noted, (only?) a few times, nothing more.

His pique seemed unwarranted, to me but, hey, that’s his prerogative: to go after my misperceptions.

I’d rather he would attack the gist of my postings rather than my asides, but the choice is his.

Then we got a note from Bruce Duensing telling us he was out of the campfire circle.

This because I suggested he stay within topic and try to be cogent, succinct in his comments.

Often, I and others have no idea what Bruce is saying or thinking. He’s avidly abstruse, out of brilliance I noted, but he took my suggestion as a personal affront to his cogitation and ideas.

I was merely trying to tell him to be less abstruse.

His clotted prose is often beyond me (and others), over my head perhaps, but not understood regardless.

He shouldn’t take my “editing” proclivities personally.

I merely want an understandable flow of ideas here – without grandstanding or defensive comments because someone is trying to protect their public persona.

This is our, my blog. It’s a minor effort in the great scheme of things, but should be what I want it to be, not what others would like it to be. (They can have or have already their own outlets and blogs.)

More importantly, visitors here can go outside the discussion, but only so far.

This isn’t a free-for-all.

So comment away, attack my stupidities if you need to, but don’t take my petty broadsides personally.

This is a forum for debates about UFOs and attendant matters.

It’s not UFO UpDates where personalities take precedence over ideas.

RR

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Accursed ET/Other Theology of My Friends

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

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I consider Nick Redfern and Jose Caravaca to be “colleagues” (of a kind) and friends, surely.

But when they both associate UFO encounters with an unknown but palpable presence as the instigator of UFOs and UFO events, generally, I am intellectually shocked.

While neither Nick nor Jose thinks that UFOs are vehicles belonging to extraterrestrial visitors – alien entities from outer space -- both do think that a psychically induced something is responsible for UFOs and the encounters that some humans have experienced.

This view, for me, is as tenuous as the ETH position of most ufologists and UFO mavens.

Jung deals with the psychological etiology of UFOs in his book, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (R.F.C. Hull translater) [Princeton University Press, 1978].

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Those who believe that UFOs are, indeed, space vehicles by extraterrestrials are not out on a limb necessarily. Visitors from space is a tenable idea. It’s just the magnitude of UFO sightings over the years that mitigates, for me, ET visitations: too many sightings, too many alleged visits, too improbable (mathematically or practical, as I’ve noted before).

But for all intents and purposes, the outside entity or entities favored by Jose and Nick is as iffy as the idea of God, which, for Nick, is anathema. Nick is an “atheist” or so I thought.

The need to have an external presence involved with humanity has been addressed by many thinkers, mostly about the belief in God, but the belief is applicable to a belief in an external presence and source for UFO events, which has, as Jose and Nick see it (without saying so exactly), god-like attributes

A concise rendition of the reality of God (for some) is found in Edward Glover’s “Freud or Jung?” [Meridian Books, NY, 1956, Page 156 ff.];

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Adler’s view is that God (or the Other) is a combination of Jung’s Self and the idea of God; an archetype.

It’s the God within, not the God without.

The Self, in a fit neurotic imbalance, projects itself on to an entity called God (or the Other, as I see it).

My friends, Nick, Jose, Tony Bragalia, Lance Moody, Paul Kimball, et al., like me, have super-sized egos, otherwise we wouldn’t be pontificating so vividly here and elsewhere.

Extrapolating our egos to create God or, in this instance, a presence outside ourselves is a manifestation of neurotic hubris that is unconscious or semi-conscious.

It’s not serious, like a pathology; it’s merely a neurotic tic or quirk, but does allow for an unscientific position about UFOs that rankle me and others who find the ideas of Vallee, Tonnies, and my two friends to be equivalent to a belief in magic, witchcraft, and other elements of the arcane, and somewhat crazy.

UFOs are either tangible nuts and bolts craft from other reaches of the Universe or Time, as Frank Stalter would have it, or UFOs are the remnants of psychological machinations as yet unexplained or unexplored by qualified neurologists, psychologists (except for Jung), or science generally.

To persist in the idea that UFOs and UFO encounters are the products of an external, psychical or even material presence is a bit far-fetched for me, at the moment.

But I’m open to further discussion and evidence – even evidence that is circumstantial and/or hypothetical.

RR

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Jose Caravaca Challenges the Psychological Hypothesis for UFOs

Jose Antonio Caravaca is developing a "theory" for UFO encounters -- a theory that eschews the psychological thesis we've been presenting here lately.

Jose's hypothesis is labelled "Distortion Theory" or just "Distortion" and he has provided another case, from 1979, in Spain, to bolster his view(s).

Click HERE to access his blog and ongoing conjecture.

Thank you Bruce Duensing (and Parakletos)!


Bruce Duensing provided a video link in a comment for my UFOs: The Tangibility Factor post today [1/5/12].

I found the interviewed witness to be so impressive that I'm placing his link here:

1977 UFO Interview of a 1954 sighting

Her story is remarkable for several reasons, as Bruce discovered and shared with us.

View the video and let us know what you think.

Addenda:

Parakletos has provided some additional material for this posting....

Another YouTube interview of Jessie Roestenberg (the woman) which you can view by clicking HERE

And a rather current photo of her holding a depiction of what she "saw":

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RR

UFOs: The Tangibility Factor


Are UFOs tangible?

While some ufologists, over the years, have compiled accounts of trace elements (indentations in the ground, for example) allegedly left by UFOs, a close examination of such reports leave much to be desired in the way of conclusive evidence.

Our favorite UFO sighting, which didn’t involve a UFO at all – the Zamora/Socorro sighting of 1964 – is a case in point.

The impressions supposedly left by the egg-shaped object Zamora spotted, and he did, indeed, spot an egg-shaped object, are what has always raised doubt in my mind.

Why did this one UFO set-down leave marks in the ground when every other UFO or flying saucer seen on the ground didn’t?

Because Zamora’s UFO was a Hughes Aircraft prototype.

(We like Anthony Bragalia’s prank theory of the Socorro sighting, but it is, for us, a bit flimsy when it comes to scrutinizing all the elements of the sighting as reported by Officer Zamora and details recovered by UFO researchers, even those who muffed their investigations: Hynek, Stanford, et al.)

Jerome Clark, in his 1998 work The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial [Visible Ink Press, Detroit], covers “Close Encounters of the Second Kind” – those UFO sightings where J. Allen Hynek placed UFO sightings that left traces or interacted with the environment [Page 82 ff.]

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Clark admits that the evidence for the trace elements he cites are not incontrovertible as no one really examined the remnants or indicators supposedly left behind by UFO; experts in the kind of forensics needed to study what was claimed as UFO detritus just do not do so, and ufologists are just not have the expertise to perform a scientific or thorough scrutiny of elements said to have been left by or cased by a UFO encounter or sighting.

Clark provided some accounts of tree limbs being snapped off or waters being parted by a UFO, but there are no sightings in his CE-2 listing which left tangible residue behind, residue that could have provided grist for study.

Ronald Story in The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters [New American Library/Penguin NY, 2001] also provides a roster of sightings that include trace elements within the witness accounts: The Flatwoods “landing,” the 1954 Quarouble, France encounter, the Delphos, Kansas trace landing (where a “fairy-ring-like” spot was created).

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[Ronald Story’s book is a must-have, must-read book for UFO aficionados. It covers the UFO waterfront, totally.]

What strikes me is that most of the accounts, almost all of them, in both books cited above contain descriptions of UFO sightings and encounters that are dream-like, oneiric in nature.

Tangible elements are not a part or parcel of UFO sightings, generally or specifically.

The fact, and it is a fact, that almost all UFO cases and accounts are evanescent rather than materialistic is where UFO researchers should muster their investigations.

The neural aspect, which we’ve been touting and which seems to invite counter debate by many, is the key to a UFO explanation I think.

Yes, I like, and always have, the nuts and bolts sobriquet for flying saucers, which became tempered by the term UFO, which has an ephemeral cachet, better suited to the phenomenon.

The more I look at sightings, old and new, the more I am convinced that UFOs are “creatures of the mind” more than creatures from alien galaxies or other worlds of any kind.

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What causes the ephemeral UFO experience is where “ufology” should focus its efforts to explain the phenomenon.

The oneric idea allows for the multiplicity of sightings that are reported.

(Extraterrestrial visitations in the numbers indicated by reported sightings seem improbable; mathematically impractical.)

RR

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Real Cloaking Device?


Click HERE for news story

Kevin Randle's New Book


Anomalist has published Kevin Randle's latest book: Reflections of a UFO Investigator.

Kevin has been around the UFO block as you know, and his journey has enlightened him and his fans.

(We find him in the earliest of UFO magazine pages, and he's aways provided UFO grist of a thoughtful kind.)

Check out Anomalist.com, Amazon.com or any other bookseller you prefer, for a read that will surely edify you about UFOs and a prominent UFO researcher.

RR

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Research, No Research, and UFO Research


Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

UFO Research is oxymoronic, to be generous.

Research, scientific research, or any kind of research operates with, first of all, an overview of the matter or things to be scrutinized – a gestalten observation.

Then, if there are patterns or elements that stand out, the researcher culls the standouts for special attention, a thorough scrutiny perhaps.

I’ve noticed a the tendency, the habit, of most UFO “researchers” to get sidetracked, without a gestalten view of a UFO event, by a side issue or minor aspect of a UFO sighting or event that may or may not be important.

For instance, when I brought up, here, recently, the Aztec/Scully account of an alleged flying saucer crash near Aztec, New Mexico in 1948, the comment section got smuckered by a sidebar involving Silas Newton, a player in the Aztec saga, but a man who has little or nothing to do with the essential story: a crash of a flying saucer near Aztec, from which bodies and the saucer were taken for study by the United States military.

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Newton is said to have concocted the story which Variety reporter Frank Scully took, in toto, and wrote one of the seminal books about flying saucers – Behind the Flying Saucers [1950] – at the outset of the saucer craze.

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But to zero in on Newton as the premise for Scully’s story strays from the research modus; an intense Newton scrutiny takes researchers away from the reported saucer crash to a vetting of a man who was only a part of the Scully book and story.

Surely, a quirky element that shows up in a researchers studied domain needs to be taken aside and seriously deconstructed to see if that quirky element is an essential part of the thing under scrutiny.

But to laminate a quirky element or detail with such encrustations as seen in the Newton commentaries is to miss the forest for the tree.

And then there is Roswell and the Mogul balloon scenario…

Like the Newton “footnote” some UFO aficionados continue to dissect the Mogul explanation by the United States Air Force for the Roswell crash of 1947.

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UFO writer, Kevin Randle regularly opens his blog to a discussion of Mogul and Roswell, which is, for some researchers, what did not happen near Roswell: Mogul is an AF red-herring they contend.

The Mogul balloon hypothesis is a side-bar, but some “researchers” can’t let it go.

The vicissitudes of Roswell place Mogul in a subservient position as far as the event, in totality, is concerned. Mogul balloons don’t provide substance for all the witness accounts and subsequent mythos that has derived from the Roswell incident.

But Mogul is grist, ample grist, for protracted commentary and discussion by Roswell skeptics and Roswell ET die-hards.

Speculating on the Mogul operation takes researchers far from the total Roswell picture, just as concentrating on Silas Newton takes researchers far from the tale of the Aztec crash.

Then there is the 1957 RB-47 event, which is touted by Paul Kimball and others as the “Best” UFO incident, for study and confirmation of the UFO reality, ever.

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But researchers, like Tim Printy, Brad Sparks, and Kimball, have circled their research wagons around the reported radar returns that the RB-47 Air Force crew experienced.

The radar returns are a subtle element in the whole RB-47 account; cold war exigencies, crew psychology (as a totality and individually), mechanical quirks of the aircraft (if any), et cetera, have to be considered before researchers grapple with only one random aspect of the total event: the radar mischief.

UFO “researchers” approaching their subject, then fixating on one subtle, minute irrelevant detail within that event is typical of the UFO mavens modus operandi.

UFO researchers don’t seem to have the wherewithal to take on UFOs in a scientific way.

Go to UFO UpDates for myriad examples where UFO fanatics get hooked on a particular detail of a sighting and pummel that detail until it is so bloodied and broken that it is of no value to anyone, least of all to a real researcher, who might be able to connect it to meaningful patterns in other UFO accounts.

The side-bar researcher makes banal something that might be important. They do this by trivializing details, which they use to show-off or feign expertise, where there is none.

Newton, Mogul, the RB-47 radar, are all without scientific cachet, in the context of the whole that their UFO reference represents.

But scrounging around for meaning in such minutiae is what most UFO researchers do.

And that’s why the UFO mystery remains intact; amateurs and research-pretenders have spoiled the UFO pottage.

(And lest anyone think we are excusing our own side-tracks – the Socorro symbol, for instance -- we’re not. We are as guilty as anyone of getting caught up in a footnote. But, at least, we know that we’re culpable, and do not fool ourselves, or anyone else, that we’re real researchers. We’re as flawed as those we’re excoriating here.)

RR

Monday, January 02, 2012

Jose Caravaca finds another antecedent for a noted UFO encounter


The picture above is a from a 1944 painting by SciFi artist Hannes Bok.

Spanish UFO researcher Jose Antonio Caravaca finds the painting and a poem about the painting to be prescient; the painting anticipates the 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter.

Click HERE to access Senor Caravaca's blog -- The Caravaca Files -- for the association.

More images to support the media influence on UFO observations and encounters


Our friend and colleague, Spanish UFO researcher Jose Antonio Caravaca, in an effort to support my post about the influence of movies and television on alleged UFO encounters (and his developing "Distortion Theory") has provided a plethora of magazine covers from 1915 to the 1960s.

One, above, from 1915, antedates the Wanaque Reservoir intrusions of 1961, covered by Anthony Bragalia at his blog (The Bragalia Files) and here.

I've inserted, at our private UFO web-site, all the covers that Senor Caravaca has provided, in a size that allows you to see the dates and imagery clearly.

Click HERE to access the covers and, as usual, your pertinent comments are welcome.

RR

French UFO Researcher, Gilles Fernandez offers a newsletter about Paul Kimball's "Best" UFO Case: The RB-47 Incident


There has always been some contention about the intriguing 1957 RB-47 "episode" where an Air Force crew interacted with "something" that tagged along its plane, playing with the radar.

French UFO skeptic Gilles Fernandez supports Tim Printy's analysis that dismisses the event, and Gilles provided us with a newsletter (PDF) that presents the counter view to what Brad Sparks, Mr. Kimball, and others extol.

Click HERE to access that newsletter.

(For the RRRGroup, I can say the RB-47 event remains an open question if Paul Kimball, a studious UFO researcher, believes it to be significant and not explainable in prosaic terms; although a Printy/Fernandez dismissal is not to be shrugged off either.)

RR

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Movies and TV have created the UFO phenomenon


Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

While watching The Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy network over New Year holiday weekend, I noticed how the idea of extraterrestrial visitors suffused the series and, as I see it, impacted or influenced the unconscious minds of viewers.

As most of you know, those who’ve had UFO experiences – (somewhat) blasé encounters, abductions, and bizarre interactions (those listed by Jose Caravaca in his Distortion hypothesis) – recount those experiences in ways that mimic scenarios that one finds in movies – Invasion of the Body Snatchers, This Island Earth, et cetera – or television programs – The Outer Limits, said Twilight Zone – and some old radio shows – The Inner Sanctum, for example.

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Colin McGinn’s 2007 Vintage book, The Power of Movies: How Screen and Mind Interact, provides a non-psychologically afflicted approach to the influence that one will find in UFO encounter accounts and reports.

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Although Freud is mentioned, McGinn uses little or no psychobabble to present his views.

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Serious visitors to this blog know (or should) that human kind is subliminally impacted by ads and media presentations, and now images and offerings on YouTube, Facebook, and the internet generally.

Vance Packard, in his 1957 best-seller, The Hidden Persuaders, presented his substantive views on how media (ads in particular) seeped into the societal mind and influenced buying and attitudes that marketing people and companies exploited.

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A Columbo program from 1973 with Robert Culp delved in the how subliminal messages in film and TV ads could influence behavior.

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While Columbo’s airing and Packard’s book insinuates that all classes of people, and in particular, intelligent folks could be influenced as easily as the mentally deficient (and I don’t mean those with inferior brains), those who have lower I.Q.s than the population generally.

But UFO aficionados know that those who’ve reported and report UFO encounters (Hickson and Parker, the Hills, and those noted by Jose Caravaca at his blog, et al.) are not at the top of the intellectually sophisticated file; the encountered are common folks, generally: persons prone to be influenced by social and cultural elements.

When has a MacArthur Grant person experienced a UFO landing, or a Hawking assistant, or one of Einstein’s associates come face to face with UFO occupants?

When has a Tolstoy, or Fitzgerald, or Pynchon type had a UFO encounter?

My point is that persons with lower mental abilities have UFO encounters – and that includes Ezekiel in the Hebrew texts; he was prone to believe in things and people from the skies.

I’m not taking about UFO sightings, per se, here. Many of us have had UFO sightings, but those sightings stop at the observation.

When a UFO sighting triggers an “encounter,” one has to consider the Caravaca “theory” that a kind of oneirism takes place, and this is what McGinn covers in his book (see above).

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We are dealing with something a little more complex than an hallucination, arguably, but something that is palpable enough to be studied or researched by those hoping to get a handle on the meaning of UFOs – those at ground level anyway.

RR