UFO Conjectures

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Psychotic Underpinnings of Ufology and Its Adherents

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.
Anyone who is a attentive devotee of the UFO topic surely knows or feels that the subject accrues a raft of odd-balls and off-kilter persons, outnumbering those who might be considered “normal” in the psychological sense (per the make-up of the human mean as far as behavior/thinking goes).

While most UFO aficionados remain sheltered by benign indifference and/or neglect by the UFO masses, many (most?) of those who’ve become noted exhibit, palpably, psychotic patterns of behavior and beliefs.

The symptoms of psychosis appear as paranoia generally, with projections of unconscious psyche disturbances applied to the outer reality.

Gray Barker comes to mind, as does John Keel, or even Brinsley Le Pour Trench, among others.

Some UFO abductees seem to fit the bill, but don’t push the UFO agenda directly so one might give them a pass; there is a kind of naiveté about their behavior or actions.

And some Roswellians also exhibited psychotic tendencies, a few ending up dead by suicide as Anthony Bragalia has noted.)
Those temporary bouts of hallucinatory UFO encounters (or real events smudged by external contingencies) are exempt from the epithet of psychosis also.

(The transitory or evanescent nature of such encounters is illuminated in the literature as organic psychosis – sometimes accidental psychosis – and is not considered a whole-reaction but, rather, a part-reaction to external stimuli.)

But it’s that base of paranoidal thinking or warped mental processes which has encrusted the UFO phenomenon with  patina of foolishness or “insanity” I’m writing about.

Talking and writing as if the world is under imminent attack by extraterrestrial/ alien beings or controlled by a nebulous entity – The Trickster – is patently ludicrous, as most rational people see it.

(Religious persons see Evil, or the World’s ills, as the progeneration of the Satan entity, which is topic for another time or place.)

Yet, even moderate and noted UFO personages have resorted to a paranoiac veneer when discussing or warning about UFOs: Donald Keyhoe for one and the erudite Morris K. Jessup who ended up a suicide (or murdered, some say).

As noted in a previous posting here, the internet is awash with loopy UFO stuff, and loopy UFO people, but the material and the people fostering it are inconsequential in the collective psychotic sense. They haven’t determined or controlled the UFO agenda, generally.

It’s the BIG names of the past which have decorated the UFO phenomenon with garlands of maniacal material: Jim Moseley (in a witty/ humorous sense, with psychotic overtones; he created bogus materials like that of Moore/Allingham, covered here before this post),  Ray Palmer (for mercenary ends), and maybe Leonard Stringfield (because his “evidence” always remained just out-of-hand).

Paranoia, the primary ingredient in psychoses, is defined as “gradually developing systematized delusional states, without hallucinations but preservation of intelligence, and with emotional responses and behavior that remain congruous with and appropriate to the persecutory or grandiose delusions.” [Psychiatric Dictionary, op. cit, Page 540]

The cogency of the paranoidal thrusts – in Operation Trojan Horse, for example – allow readers and “normal” people to accept the premises and conclusions.

(Paranoiacs are clever, even inside their unconscious maneuverings.)

UFOs (or flying saucers) started out as observable oddities in the sky (sometimes on the ground).

Because the contemporary appearance of UFOs began at the outset of the Cold War, the phenomenon’s essence was ingrained with a paranoidal overlay, unfortunately.

UFO writers, beset by their own inner demons, exploited the phenomenon, because it bolstered their view of external reality.

We, the followers of UFO stuff, are afflicted by the psychosis, even though we wish not to be or think we are not.

UFO commentary, today, remains psychotically hostage to a few individuals, who shall remain nameless here (for litigious exigencies).

But you know where to find them – not here, generally, but in other UFO venues, with which you are familiar.

You don’t have to remain vigilant. The psychotic façade won’t kill you; it may even make you laugh, although we do know that some of our visitors get nauseated by the onslaught.



  • Rich...ditto...

    You touch on some of the "heavy hitters" of Ufology. Yes, there appears to be a foundation of paranoia for some, yet it further appears to be the obsessive/compulsion element the drives those individuals...they simply can't help or save themselves.

    The same can be seen by the admirer that latches on due to perceived gravitas...the "pied piper" effect. For they tend to validate the perceptions of others. Cognitive/confirmation bias on steroids.

    An nice, and sorely needed, article for those at the Anomalist to digest!

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Thanks, Tim...

    I thought you might like the piece.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • UFology is unique in one respect. In no other paranormal subject that I know of is there this official 'conspiracy/cover-up' idea permeating the subject. It is unique to ufology (unless someone corrects me on this).

    Due of course to the fact that almost from the beginning the USAF and maybe other agencies took an interest in UFOs and began their investigations in it all. It was too serious to ignore, owing to possible national defence considerations.

    Other paranormal phenomena have never attracted official attention, at least certainly to nothing like the same extent.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Certainly the advent of advanced technological warfare was an undercurrent in a great deal of the various paranoiac themes in Ufology when it comes to this projection bias that mirrors a distinct Janus face of absurd, anxious fantasies.
    Extraterrestrials cast in roles as Saviors or Satans and a no man's land in between them and we have the same gods of science who spout this nonsense, among them Stephen Hawking.
    Then again look at the modern history of science that has a very amoral ambivalence to it in the application of it's discoveries.
    I have said many times this projection bias is a mirror projection as much as the concept of a decidedly psychotic Old Testament God who apes human behavior. Nothing new there except the patina of technology.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Jung's take on UFOs is redolent with psychic mischief, but even he misses the point:

    Modern man's metal disruption is not quite unique in essence, only in particulars.

    UFO elaborations, brought on by stress, as with Ezekiel et al., are just as rooted in the psyche as those who are (or were) belabored by Cold War jitters.

    UFOs show up, as they did in ancient times, and observers become disoriented, because of intrinsic inner turmoil, which has nothing or little to do with UFOs per se.

    The UFO instigators I've named or cited namelessly exploit or exploited UFOs because of a psychological need to do so.

    Because they added their own paranoiac spin on their hypotheses or writings, they skewed the topic in ways from which we have not recovered.

    The Roswellian researchers are doing the same, only in ways less psychotic; their machinations are almost worse: they have a ring of certitude....yes, it's false certitude, but still flush with some elements of truth or seeming truth.

    The psychotic projections, Bruce, are endemic to human kind -- Original Sin perhaps....or the result of being bullied by the demi-urge (Yahweh) -- whatever that was or whomever that was.

    The residual psychosis or the early UFO paranoiacs, coupled with their personal demons created what we have at the base of ufology.

    (The Roswell crowd are just exploiters, not nuts, just mercenary and/or desirous of that 15 minutes of fame Warhol offered them.)

    Billy Meier, whom you've mentioned a few times, is only a sad, lonely, mangled man who found some dopey acolytes who need a demi-urgos but only have a malformed Meier to lead them.

    It's more than sad, perhaps...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • The Trickster

    Loki? Since when is 'he' confined to rationality? Is he one of the Gods or Jǫtunn or both? It surely must take an extreme amount of 'cleverness' to trick even the Gods themselves...

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • One of physics heavy hitters, Dr Brain Josephson, brought some common sense into the mysteries of the observer effect, that is, our anticipations and bias changes the result when energy is in transition, from a wave to a more material basis, and what he said was so patently obvious, it surprised me no one had realized an effect behind the effect.
    What he said simply is that our biology through neurology creates the observer effect, whereas previously like many phenomenon, because of the way science dissects phenomenon into disparate bits, like division, we tend to think this or that, has a life of it's own, that bears little relationship to us, or that we, also, as a consequence, are "in control". If there are extraterrestrials that have mastered space time, I suspect they see life bearing planets as goldfish bowls and ours is not that fascinating to the extent we are the objects of intense interest, or to the extent it would create some sort of moral or immoral intervention or a goofy charade. Our isolation in the cosmos and among other creatures here with us with are so called sentience, has bred lunacy after lunacy. These authors are just a generation crop cut from the same cloth. The words perhaps, maybe, possibly, could be, are absent from their vocabulary.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • Bruce,

    Human beings may well be as interesting as ants to any possible ET travelers. But even ants are studied rather in-depth by a very tiny fraction of people, aren't they? I think you make a good argument for why they wouldn't be coming here in droves. But not even a handful of the equivalent alien Entomologists (or Etymologists)?

    Perhaps they've already learned as much as necessary, and only check back from time to time?

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

  • > We, the followers of UFO stuff, are afflicted by the psychosis, even though we wish not to be

    Not me.

    I got here for purely nostalgic reasons. UFOs, Bigfoot, psychic powers, etc., were hot stuff when I was a kid in the '70s. As I grew up and moved out, I put away such childish things and became a hard news junkie (and I haven't lived with a television in 19 years). So imagine my surprise a few years ago when, needing a break from the unceasing misery of 9-11/Iraq/Bush/Great Recession, I perused the paranormal section of my local used bookstore and found David Jacobs! People got abducted after the embarrassing escapades of Whitley Strieber? Idiots were still climbing Ararat looking for Noah's Ark?? People were still writing Bigfoot books in the 2000s??? (To Loren Coleman's credit, I found "Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America" in the Sociology section.) And then I got a huge shock when I went to YouTube and entered "UFO" in the search field.

    But any emotional investment I had in such things was as a kid consumer. The paranormal was mysterious, a little frightening sometimes, yet very remote and not quite real. Looking back, it was harmless entertainment.

    I've stuck with UFOs (mainly abduction lore) because I've spent my adult life trying to figure out why people think the way they do, why they believe the things they do. Until recently, that meant reading psychology, philosophy, religious scholarship, as well as reading up on political and economic ideologies. Ufology fits right in with all this: though there are a few good and honest UFO researchers and commentors, for the most part, ufology it just another partisan pursuit, resistant to fact and reason like any other closely held belief system.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, August 18, 2013  

  • > Psychotic Underpinnings of Ufology and Its Adherents

    As for that: there is a tendency in society to make a hard distinction between normal and psychotic states, as if functional people can't have occasional or compartmentalised delusions. The UFO proponents certainly exploit this error for rhetorical ends, arguing that people have to be sane or crazy, not both, and so competent UFO witnesses have to be interpreted literally ("Interrupted Journey" is littered with various forms of "reliable," "responsible," "intelligent," "precise," "accurate," with "extremely" not far away).

    I am partial to the concept of schizotypy, a term which pops up frequently when I read about dissociation and paranoia. This concept disolves the hard line between normal and unusual thought, recognising that otherwise sane people can also entertain specific delusions.


    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, August 18, 2013  

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