UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Resident Skeptics (and “believers”)

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.
Kevin Randle’s blog attracts, mostly, the same skeptics that “haunt” this blog: Lance Moody, Christopher Allan [aka CDA], Gilles Fernandez, and sometimes Zoam Chomsky [known in UFO circles as “The Iron Skeptic”].

You know the definition of “skeptic” or “skepticism” so I won’t enter it here, but I do want to point out how I see skepticism applied by these blokes….

Lance Moody is no so much a staunch skeptic as a guy who hates stupidity, illogical and/or ignorant conclusions and hypotheses by UFO buffs. (David Rudiak really irks Lance.)

CDA is, like me, I think – we’re about the same age – a fellow who was thrilled and excited in his youth by flying saucer reports and UFOs, believing them to be the vanguard of an extraterrestrial visitation. But as time went on and CDA matured, he saw no proof of extraterrestrial saucers and the elusive UFO phenomenon merely deepened as an odd mystery. Roswell became an obsession but the goofy research by such UFO dignitaries as Stan Friedman, Kevin Randel (yes), and others offput CDA and he finds the whole Roswell affair to be a bête noire of ineptitude, with the idea that science wouldn’t have kept an alien crash quiet for almost 70 years if one actually happened near Roswell.

Gilles Fernandez, a cognitive psychologist, is squeamish about anything in “ufology:” that smacks of extraterrestrialism. He’s the only skeptic with a serious effort and internet site that addresses, academically mostly, the hodge podge of UFO reports over the years that are flush with errors and errant conclusions. (He gets testy when someone inserts a definitive statement that, on the face of it, is just plain full of merde.)

Zoam Chomsky is anti-UFO all the way: UFOs do not exist, reports are bogus from the get-go and people who believe in UFOs are an ignorant lot who have made UFOs into their “religion.”

Then we have PurrlGurrl [PG] who, like me, has had a UFO sighting/experience. She isn’t anti-UFO but she is anti-Ufology, finding the whole field of UFO study to be replete with charlatans and phonies. (While Gilles finds ufology to be a joke, PG finds it to be a vast wasteland of bullshit.)

Paul Kimball has an open mind about UFOs, thinking the phenomenon is worthy of scant, occasional study and attention, but the phenomenon is a mystery that remains and may remain elusive to human beings.

Nick Redfern uses UFOs as a vehicle for writing books and making a living. He also, like Paul, sees the mystery as intriguing but also elusive to the point that we may never know what UFOs are or
have been, a feeling he also holds for Roswell – an event that is hidden from explanation by the botched investigations of UFO “researchers” over the years and even now.

Frank Stalter is fascinated by some UFO events such as Socorro, which he sees, definitely, as a hoax event in the same way that Anthony Bragalia does. (How he feels about UFOs in general is not clear to me.)

Frank Warren is a UFO addict, like me, collecting and studying UFO reports, past and present, as if they are worthy items for serious study. He is cautious about what UFOs are and what some UFO events have been seen as.)

Dominick is a UFO believer, a fellow who knows his UFO lore and finds most of it to be authentic.

Ross is a fellow who hates UFO persons pussy-footing around with UFO information. (His current aggravations lie with Kevin Randle’s Roswell Dream Team, which Ross thinks is holding back their “new finds.”)

Larry and Lawrence, two distinct personages, are UFO believers, both highly intelligent and well versed in UFO lore and the current status of “ufology.”  (They represent, for me, what UFO buffs should be: well versed in the apparent technologies of the phenomenon and the possibility that UFOs are more than a transient phenomenon.)

Kurt Peters ???????

While I am skeptical about some UFO events (Socorro as an ET incident), I do see Roswell containing the possibility – possibility! – of being an ET accident. Other UFO events I see as weird but bona fide experiences by witnesses are noted at this blog with the proviso that such experiences may be psycho-neurological in nature.

And UFOs are a real phenomenon, tangible in some instances and evanescent in others, but a mystery that is only worthy of hobby-study, the topic not one to get overworked about or stressed out over.

Skeptics who refute the possibility of UFOs altogether seem to me to be persons who have lost the ability to see the poetic-like manifestations of things odd but real which end up in our faces now and then.

Skeptics who eschew possibilities irk, they are closed-minded. They can eschew probabilities but when they say things are impossible, I write them off, even though I give them “air-time” here. (After all I’m not a censorial fascist.)

(Feel free to correct my impressions.)
RR

35 Comments:

  • I was very interested in Socorro 64 four years ago, not so much any more. Of course, I'd like to know the full story about how the hoax was pulled off. My UFO interest now lies in, as before, the Truman years and specifically the founding of the commercial titanium industry and also in the remote viewing program of the 70s/80s and their interest in ET.

    Obviously, I think there's something to it knowing full well there's a ton of crap floating around out there.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Thank you Frank,

    The Truman years....an interesting period, surely.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • It just seems to me the Team Dream quagmire is symptomatic of why UFO evidence is generally so poor; ghettoised researchers, conflicting research goals, and peer review does not occur until after the latest compendium of pabulum has hit the shelves.

    The demands of having to make a living from research materials results in conveyor belt publishing, sensationalising of research, and in the worst cases outright misrepresentation.

    One would have thought in the age of social media and crowdfunding a better way for those interested in such research to patronise it would have been devised.

    Sub silentio, I'd suggest commercial imperatives pertaining to the release of a Team Dream investigation book may at least in part explain why Randle is keeping schtum.

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Oh I know secrets CAN be kept. Plenty were and maybe still are. But these secrets have one thing in common - they are all earthly ones, you know the secrets under the control of the US, UK, Russia or what have you.

    But the ET secrets? Just think if the day after Aztec (sorry I meant Roswell) the ETs decided to crash near Vladivostok. Then in the Sahara, then in the Gobi desert, then in Canada, the Andes, etc.

    Some secret! And we on earth have no control over these ETs either.

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • cda,


    I don't think they 'decided' to crash

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • "I don't think they 'decided' to crash"

    Actually, I would not rule that out.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Frank,


    I don't, but if it was a deliberate act, why?

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • To send a definitive yet ambiguous message . . . . maybe.

    If you think that some UFOs MIGHT be ET, and I do, then you have to accept the fact that it's part of a very long standing protocol to maintain an ambiguous profile on their part. They are the ultimate architects of the interaction, not any government coverup policy.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Those who support the ET hypothesis frequently argue from personal credulity, but the sceptics who lampoon them mostly argue from the corollary position.

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • It occurred to me that the ETs did indeed decide to crash at Roswell, hoping that the USAF would quickly spread the great news.

    When the AF, CIA etc refused to play ball and instead kept it all secret, the ETs had another go at Aztec a few months later. When the US authorities again refused to spread the great news the ETs decided enough was enough and gave up, at least for 32 years or so.

    After this time they had a third go, at Rendlesham. But again the US and UK refused to let the world know. The ETs were furious.

    Perhaps if they ever decide to crash a fourth time they will try somewhere like the White House lawn or Hyde Park in London.

    We can only hope.

    RR: Are we by any chance off topic?

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • It's a holiday here...Labor Day weekend so you can be off topic....but only this one time.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Rich: I don't "use" the UFO subject, since that sounds cynical. I'm very interested in the UFO issue and I write about it (which is a different thing), but I certainly don't earn my living off of writing UFO books (or off of writing any books).

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Sorry Nick...I thought you supplemented your life style by writing about UFOs and other odd things. I didn't know you really liked the topic. (I kid)

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • LOL, I work full-time as a writer, but I'd say around 70 percent of my income (at the very, very least) comes from non-UFO, non-Fortean stuff. I do a lot of feature writing and news stories for Penthouse, and also do a lot of book-based ghost-writing for authors (usually on non-UFO issues), such as one I wrapped not long ago on injuries and deaths from asbestos exposure in the workplace.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Penthouse? Oh my...

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • LOL, as I said most of what I write about has zero to do with anything remotely ufological!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Apparently not....Penthouse!

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • I did once do a feature on paranormal sex (abductions, incubi etc) for Penthouse, which you can find at their website.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • I think I shall pass...such to topics are bad for my heart.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Well, there are full of true UFO in Penthouse!

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • The only discs on display in Penthouse are areola.

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Now we are really off topic, aren't we?

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Rich,

    It's Labour Day, you heathen! :-)

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • I hold to the premise that most UFO encounters fall into a psychological category. Most aerial sightings tend to be misidentifications with some bordering on mental embellishments.

    Please notice that I used the term "most" as there are some cases that baffle.

    I view Roswell as entertainment, but also as an observational vehicle to gauge people's reactions and the application of logical thinking...or not.

    I do try to be open minded, but unfortunately I have not seen anything that truly tantalizes at this point in time.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • One correction: I'm not a UFO "believer"; I'm a UFO experiencer. Belief (either for or against some proposition) is an inferior state of mind reserved for those who don't have any authentic knowledge regarding some phenomenon.

    The "UFO experience" (whether you define it as Hynek did, or otherwise) is a pretty rare phenomenon, and the vast majority of the population have not had it. Therefore popular discourse on the topic is dominated by people who are basically trying to guess about its reality or non-reality based on their beliefs, hunches, gut feelings, or whatever.

    By Blogger Larry, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Sorry Tim that I didn't include you in my listing but I hsve no idea what your stand is...even now. You are an open-to- inquiry guy and not skeptical but not a true believer either, right?

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Larry, not an abductee/experiencer, right?

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Rich,

    No need to be sorry, as I may have been vague in regards to the topics discussed on your blog thought not intentionally.

    I lean on the skeptical side, but I'm open to listening to anyone's argument, that is, as long as it's a coherent argument.

    I don't hold to the ET hypothesis, as I've found nothing to move me in that direction. But, I'm in agreement with Drake (and others) that the probabilities are high that there is other forms of life within our vast universe. I'm also mindful that the only forms of life that we have ascertained, so far, lies solely on our planet.

    I'm rather agnostic towards the UFO phenomena, but in some cases I will call something BS if it looks and smells accordingly.

    It's the psychology angle that intrigues and I believe that in most cases such an angle exists and needs to be explored rather than pushed under the carpet.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • My second comment didn't make any sense once you deleted yours Rich, so I removed it. Now, back to watching the "Let's Have a War" Channel... aka CNN. It all reminds one of just how silly flying saucers really are... and maybe how important they are too.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Rich, I think that it is really inappropriate for you (or for extreme skeptics) to use the term "believers" for someone (such as myself) who holds that SOME UFO reports probably represent something exotic, perhaps even extra-terrestrial. (And if anyone is curious, I would put the Leveland, Texas multiple sightings of November, 1957 in that small group of reports). Contrawise, I could just as easily argue that it is the extreme skeptics who are the real "believers", believing, apparently, that there are NO UFO cases that might represent something extraordinary and that all UFO reports are junk.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Dominick,

    You shouldn't be defensive about the epithet "believer."

    It defines your UFO stance. You should wear it proudly if you think UFOs are authentic.

    I'm a believer myself with agnostic tendencies.

    Skeptics laud their designation, and they shouldn't.

    Being skeptical goes against the Socratic oath to examine everything, with an open-mind.

    Skeptics, generally, shut down possibilities equating them with probabilities, which are iffier propositions.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • I respectively disagree. The word "believer" has distinct religious implications and is almost always associated with "belief" based on FAITH, not reason. Therefore, the term is almost always used by professional skeptics to SMEAR, unfairly, the views of others. (After all in my area, economists who conclude-- based on logic and evidence--that minimum wage laws cause unemployment are never called "believers"! And neither are doctors who associate heart disease with blocked arteries or high blood pressure.) For clarity and fairness, then, I suggest that we either drop the term completely or only apply it to those whose UFO conclusions ARE contrary to the evidence or are exclusively based on (religious) faith.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Saturday, August 31, 2013  

  • Okay, Dominicki...

    You're not a "believer."

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, September 01, 2013  

  • Thanks, Rich, and neither are you!

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, September 01, 2013  

  • I wonder why the debate just isn't being resolved? I guess if there was definative proof then the golden goose would be cooked. As loud as the believers discard the unbelievers and visa-cersa, both discard out-of-hand that there is a technology that could produce empiracle evidence for about $50K. Same technology that the government used in the 50's. They have the evidence. You need to get your own.

    By Blogger RF Investigator, at Friday, June 13, 2014  

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