The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brainstorming or Group Think?

The current New Yorker [1/30/12] has an article about "brainstorming" and what is needed to provide meaningful thought from groups (and individuals).

The article is by Jonah Lehrer.

It's a must-read for Kevin Randle's "Dream Team" and Chris Aubeck's Magoniax people.

(And we think some of our participants, at this blog, would do well to peruse it.)

Click HERE to access the article, and let us know what you think...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lucius Farish R.I.P.


A. J. Gevaerd of Revista UFO reported at UFO UpDates that our friend, Lucius Farish, died January 26th, 2012.

Lucius was a UFO buff of the highest order, providing us and many others, via his clipping service and personal contact, sightings and information that would have gotten lost in the backwaters of ufology without his dogged accumulation of newspaper and other media items.

He also was a researcher and writer, contributing information about the 1890s airship sightings and UFO events that the rest of us have used to opine or write about.

We will miss him, actually. He was one of the few good guys in the UFO community.

Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and UFOs

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

The great, depressive philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, like other philosophers (Plato, Berkeley, Hume., Kant, Fichte, et al.) thought that reality was built on the world we see (or experience) – phenomena and the world as it really is – noumena.

schopenhauer.jpg

I’m not going to get into a philosophical discourse here, as philosophers are only little less nutty than psychiatrists, but the idea, the thought, that we humans are subject to various realities, at least two, comes into play when we find proposals like that of Vallee and Caravaca about what is going on when UFO encounters take place.

And how does Nietzsche factor into this?

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Nietzsche eschewed religion, science, and philosophy, itself, allowing that we (humans) have explained nothing; such phenomena (as that perceived) is as magical to us now as it was to the most primitive of our species. [Introducing Nietzsche by Gane and Chan, Totem Books, NY, 1998, Page 59]

And Nietzsche’s nihilistic view is applicable to our ongoing discussion about what is happening, really happening, when Caravaca’s “witnesses” have a UFO or UFO-like encounter:

“The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.” [Ibid, Page 35]

Marx is brought into the discussion by Gane and Chan (regarding morality, but applicable for our views here):

marx.jpg

“On the one side we have the events, on the other we have human interpretation of these events (but only one version will be correct).” [Ibid, Page 113]

Schopenhauer’s view that “behind the appearance of [things] lies the reality of my will or desire. This will does not exist like my body in time and space – it is not a physical entity at all, but underlies the whole of animate and inanimate nature throughout the cosmos.” [Ibid, Page 9]

“This timeless, non-physical cosmic force doesn’t lead Schopenhauer to the idea of a god," Gane and Chan write. [Page 9]

Schopenhauer’s “will” underlies his pessimistic take on life, and is the cause of human suffering.

But I think we might posit this underlying non-physical reality as, perhaps, the presence that Caravaca gives to the instigators of his Distortion theory and the events that take place within his hypothesis.

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Nietzsche would have no part in such a conjecture but he would allow us to ruminate upon it, without disparagement or criticism.

Okay, my point, without further Duensing it, is that thoughtful or creative men and women intuit a reality that transcends – Lecome du Nouy -- or sometimes supersedes – the psychological view -- our material, sensed reality.

This reality intersects with people – UFO encounters, ghostly apparitions, et cetera – and does so, not purposefully, as Caravaca or Vallee has it, but “accidentally” or inadvertently, as when some natural phenomenon adjusts one’s senses or neurological mechanisms. [Persinger]

But Nietzsche would offer that Caravaca’s and Vallee’s views can’t be dismissed out of hand.

So we are left to interject our opinions and thoughts as that is what the Ubermensch does.

RR

Thursday, January 26, 2012

UFO UpDates and Magoniax


We sneak into UFO UpDates now and then to see how the lower half lives.

Surprisingly, the site for “list members” – the mantle readers and users of the site like to be known by – has become a link source for newspapers, magazine, and internet sites, losing it’s previous cachet as a source for UFO news and ideas by ufology’s “best and brightest.”

Errol Bruce-Knapp has lost his site’s dominance for unique UFO ideas and news, mostly because most UFO mavens seek more dynamic sites and blogs about UFOs.

UpDates is really old school, using a format that was good for the 1970s but not anywhere near what the trends are for 2012.

UpDates is so over…

Our friend Chris Aubeck allowed us back into his Yahoo sited Magoniax (once Jerry Clark departed), where “members” provide UFO and UFO-like observations from archived sources mostly.

Chris’s forum is a repository more than anything, used by such oldsters as Ray Dickenson and Martin Shough (both are also UpDate “contributors”), who like to gather UFO materials, just to have them.

They don’t do anything, as far as we can tell, with the stuff they collect. They are hoarders.

We’ve touched on this before: the collection of sightings, just to collect then.

What Chris is planning is not known by us, but we hope it’s something more than a litany of old observations that have a UFO patina.

Getting rid of the hoarders and encouraging theoretical UFO hobbyists would go a long way toward cleansing Magoniax and saving UFO UpDates.

The Klingons have arrived

Invisibility is an inevitability for humans but maybe a fait accompli for UFOs.

Click HERE for more....

Nick Redfern on Dr. LaPaz, Fugo Balloons, and Roswell (again)


Nick Redfern may not be obsessed with Roswell but he's darn close to being so.

Click HERE for his latest insert about the troublesome and time-consuming incident.

(Roswell is the Michael Myers of ufology.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Barry Goldwater on UFOs and Roswell?


CDA questioned the Barry Goldwater/Curtis LeMay imbroglio in the linked piece of the previous post here.

Anthony Bragalia found a rare interview about the incident, which you can access by clicking HERE.

Barry Goldwater was a true patriot and great American. (I worked in his 1964 campaign.)

When he said something, one could consider it the absolute truth.

RR

Roswell: The Morphing Metal and More....


Anthony Bragalia, who has been an avid advocate for the idea that the U.S. government and military have been studying the alleged Roswell debris, especially the attributes of the metal found: the so-called morphing metal, that was the major contruction element of the reported crashed flying disk.

Mr. Bragalia stumbled upon a web-site that antedates his conjectures and research and I thought some of you might find the site as intereasting as he and I have.

Click HERE to access the site, and let us know what you think...

RR

Distortion Theory: Jose Caravaca makes a valid point


Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

Jose Caravaca is developing an hypothesis to explain UFO encounters, and he’s tagged it The Distortion Theory.

I find his ideas intriguing, and accept his views – up to the point where he posits an external force or presence as an integral, instigating agent that creates, with the help of UFO witnesses, the various but somewhat similar scenarios that make up the events that we’re all familiar with (and many that we are not familiar with for which he has provided details here and at his blog).

UFO encounters, where entities are observed and often engaged in out-of-the-ordinary activities, are seen, by some, as visitations by extraterrestrial visitors, whose behavior is attributed to alien purposes that we humans just do not understand.

Or the encounters are part of a paranormal reality that has been concomitant with humans since time immemorial and whose behavior is obscure for reasons we just do not understand, and never have.

Some of us think that UFO encounters are neural hallucinations that are made somewhat tangible by actions of the witnesses while they are in a kind of fugue state, whose psychological and/or physiological etiologies are yet to be determined or found.

But Señor Caravaca challenges the neurological explanation by pointing out that the encounters he’s listed and those that are better known (the Hill abduction, for instance) all occur in a kind of dramatic scene that is similar in many ways, across he encounter board.

That is, if a neurological explanation or stimulus were the cause of UFO encounters as we know them, why are they always, or nearly always, along roadways and in rural or semi-rural venues?

Why no neurologically induced encounters at football games, or in restaurants, or the grocery store, or at a corporate picnic or gathering?

The settings for UFO encounters, by and large, are in venues that are sylvan-like, not urban.

The 1966 Ann Arbor/Dexter/Hillsdale sighting by Frank Mannor and that in Hillsdale, Michigan at the same time were in rural settings, swamp areas actually, without entities but with air-borne craft commonly know as a flying disk or flying saucer at that time.

The absence of entities is intriguing in that the setting or staged event was ripe for one of those encounters that Señor Caravaca derives his theory from.

So, flying saucer sightings, even those that contain hovering near-the-ground machines, like the Ann Arbor sighting or the Michalak encounter cited here earlier are removed or have to be from the Distortion theory.

Or do they? Not necessarily. Jose Caravaca’s hypothesis allows for limitations on what occurs during a UFO encounter.

The limitations stem from the inherent limitations that the witness imposes upon the encounter; e.g., a witness with limited exposure to science fiction imagery would have a much less vivid encounter than a witness who had much exposure to science fiction movies, books, magazines, or archetypal forms, such as the Michelin Man that Señor Caravaca so amply displayed in his most recent distortion presentation.

Thus, the Hillsdale College co-eds and farmer Frank Mannor (whom I met when I worked for The Detroit News) would not have as vivid an encounter as would someone who had proximity to things that are science fiction oriented.

But did anyone determine exactly what science fiction materials or materials of an other-worldly nature came into contact with those who have reported their alleged encounters?

The forensics are missing.

So we, and Jose Caravaca, are working with incomplete data and incomplete information.

But Señor Caravaca’s point that UFO encounters have not taken place, spontaneously, in public venues or urban venues, at least not in the numbers that encounters have occurred in rustic settings.

If psychological or neurological stimuli were the cause of UFO encounters, one would expect encounters to occur in places other than where they have generally occurred: pastoral settings mostly.

ET proponents might suggest that extraterrestrials pick arboreal places for their visitations to hide their agenda or presence, for reasons that only they, the alien visitors, know.

I’m troubled by such views, and even by Señor Caravaca’s “others” who, he says, conceive and direct the encounters and purposely select their marks who, as I see it, are often not in the highest I.Q. categories.

But his point that psychological or neurological causes are not selective, as far as we know, is well-taken.

Jacques Vallee’s views are stymied also by a lack of logic or coherency that is endemic to his Magonia selections.

The ETHers are similarly hobbled by the incongruity of their extraterrestrial visitors.

How could an alien culture, able to put together vehicles for interstellar travel, be so silly after they arrive here, engaging in behavior that borders on insanity or, at least, inanity?

Again, we are back to phenomena that are adjuncts to the categorical UFO phenomenon, and no closer to a sensible denouement.

But Jose Caravaca’s Distortion Theory is very interesting, One has to give him that….

RR

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tropic of UFOs?

My Google UFO notification e-mail had a link to the Open Minds site, about author Henry Miller (pictured) and his interest in UFOs.

Mr. Miller wrote Tropic(s) of Cancer and Capricorn as you literati or Seinfeld aficionado types know.

Click HERE for the Open Minds article by Antonio Huneeus.

It's quite interesting...

RR

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brain Waves and UFO Encounters


Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

My foray into the psychology of UFO encounters and Jose Caravaca’s implication of mental interference causing UFO “events” have to be tempered by the findings of neuroscience.

The brain is always awash in interferences, some sensory, some electrical, and some extra-sensory.

There are also other interferences, at the fringe of exploration and understanding that haven’t received the exposure that takes them from the obscure and arcane.

Dr. Michael Persinger has touched on such interferences. (Google him.)

To clarify, I’m linking readers here to this interesting paper…

The Science Behind Holosync® and other Neurotechnologiesby Bill Harris (Director of Centerpointe Rsearch Institute A Revolution Institute) subtitled A Revolution in Neuroscience: Tuning the Brain

Which contains such statements as these:

David Krech, Ph.D., a University of California at Berkeley psychologist, predicted almost twenty-five years ago: “I foresee the day when we shall have the means, and therefore, inevitably, the temptation, to manipulate the behavior and intellectual functioning of all people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.”

There are four categories of brain wave patterns. The most rapid brain wave pattern is that of beta, from about 14 Hz to more than 100 Hz. This is the pattern of normal waking consciousness, and it is associated with concentration, arousal, alertness, and cognition, while at higher levels, beta is associated with anxiety. As we become more relaxed, the brain wave activity slows into the alpha range, from 8 to 13.9 Hz. These are the brain wave patterns of deep relaxation, and of what has been called the twilight state between sleep and waking, while the higher end of alpha represents a more relaxed yet focused state. Slower still are theta waves, between 4 and 7.9 Hz. This is the state of dreaming sleep and also of increased creativity, super-learning, integrative experiences, and increased memory. The slowest brain wave pattern is delta, that of dreamless sleep, below 4 Hz. Generally people are asleep in delta, but there is evidence that it is possible to remain alert in this state—a very deep trance-like, non-physical state.

Other scientists have noted that these slower brain wave patterns are accompanied by deep tranquility, flashes of creative insight, euphoria, intensely focused attention, and enhanced learning abilities. Dr. Lester Fehmi, director of the Princeton Biofeedback Research Institute, has said that hemispheric synchronization represents “the maximum efficiency of information transport through the whole brain” and “[it] is correlated experientially with a union with experience, and ‘into-it-ness.’ Instead of feeling separate and narrow-focused, you tend to feel more into it—that is, unified with the experience, you are the experience—and the scope of your awareness is widened a great deal, so that you’re including many more experiences at the same time. There’s a whole-brain sensory integration going on, and it’s as if you become less selfconscious and you function more intuitively."

Other scientists have noted that these slower brain wave patterns are accompanied by deep tranquility, flashes of creative insight, euphoria, intensely focused attention, and enhanced learning abilities. Dr. Lester Fehmi, director of the Princeton Biofeedback Research Institute, has said that hemispheric synchronization represents “the maximum efficiency of information transport through the whole brain” and “[it] is correlated experientially with a union with experience, and ‘into-it-ness.’ Instead of feeling separate and narrow-focused, you tend to feel more into it—that is, unified with the experience, you are the experience—and the scope of your awareness is widened a great deal, so that you’re including many more experiences at the same time. There’s a whole-brain sensory integration going on, and it’s as if you become less selfconscious and you function more intuitively."

Budzynski and psychobiologist Dr. James McGaugh of the University of California at Irvine have both found that information is also more easily processed and recalled in a theta state. Noted researchers Elmer and Alyce Green, of the Menninger Foundation, have also studied this phenomenon, finding that memories experienced in a theta state “were not like going through a memory in one’s mind but rather like an experience, a reliving.” Individuals producing theta waves also had “new and valid ideas or synthesis of ideas, not primarily by deduction but springing by intuition from unconscious sources.”

As you can see, there is room here to interject such comments, as those above, into most, if not all, of the UFO accounts we (me and Jose Caravaca) have presented recently.

The paper, as you will find, when you access it, is heavy on the electrical aspect of brain interference or manipulation.

What is missing from the UFO accounts that have been gathered by UFO investigators, over the years, are informational needs such as what electrical facilities were close by the sightings they gathered, as well as other pertinent information and data, perhaps.

That is, we are missing important ingredients that are needed to evaluate UFO sightings and encounters properly, even “scientifically.”

We are slipshod in our hypotheses here, not because we wish to be so but because those who have provided UFO accounts have given us emasculated renditions.

Those who’ve garnered UFO tales have been remiss, mightily so, in gathering all the forensic information that one needs to adequately get at an explanation for what really occurred when someone saw a UFO or encountered entities and scenarios that evoke incredulity when we examine UFO reports.

I think that neuroscience is a discipline that can explain many UFO accounts.

As a step in that direction, I invite you to access and thoughtfully read the Harris paper.

Click HERE for the PDF.

RR

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jose Caravaca elaborates on his Distortion Theory

Jose Antonia Caravaca has provided a significant elaboration of his Distortion Theory, using the Michelin Man logo as the prima causa for some UFO and non-UFO events.

This is must-reading for those who've found, thus far, Senor Caravaca's views palatable as an explanation for many, if not all, UFO encounters.

Click HERE to access his blog and latest effort to define his developing "theory."