UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, October 18, 2013

What do we really have (regarding UFOs)?

Nick Redfern dismissed, in a recent post, newer UFO sightings because they lacked the vibrancy of older UFO/flying saucer sightings. And he was right to do so.

Current UFO sightings are mundane and uninteresting, except maybe for those who get excited by an odd light in the sky.

But even with older, classic and/or overworked sightings in UFO lore, what do we have or find by reviewing those Redfernian-desired UFO sightings (or reports)?

In the iconic Kenneth Arnold June 1947 flying saucer sighting we have a pilot seeing nine things flying in a kind of formation; things that could be pelicans (yes), or U.S. Naval Horton-designed prototype jet-aircraft, or, perhaps, extraterrestrial aircraft, and maybe a meteorological phenomenon of a unique sort.

The sighting has been reviewed to the point that it has become ufologically banal.

Then there is Roswell, where an Army press release has created an ongoing event that has become mythical and grist for ongoing research and investigation, even though the incident has been winnowed to the point where little seems left to fact or the imagination.

However, some Roswell devotees (the badgered, ill-named, pummeled Roswell Dream Team) think there is still material to be mined from the alleged July 1947 episode.

But what is there about this event that invites scrutiny, further scrutiny and that of the past?

The Army press release said a flying disk had been recovered by the military. Some balloon debris was proffered by the Army as the found flying disk. The matter was closed as far as the public thought, shortly after the July media brouhaha.

But an intrusion of UFO ET enthusiast Stanton Friedman in 1978 re-invigorated the July 1947 incident and from then until now, Roswell still captures the lion’s share of interest by UFO mavens.


There is little left to chew on when it comes to Roswellian detritus. And new research is bogged down by the lack of substantive new material or information, despite protestations by that sniggering Roswell Dream Team.

Spanish UFO researcher, Jose Antonio Caravaca, has provided a slew of odd UFO events which he maintains are the product of interference by an “external agent” (still not clarified exactly by Senor Caravaca).

The encounters he has listed intrigue and are vibrant, in a way that might enthuse Nick Redfern, but what do we have, really?

Each event gives off the vibrations of hallucinatory episodes, the details providing information that a psychiatrist or neurological theorist would find intriguing and worthy of etiological scrutiny.

The problem, however, with the hallucination scenario derives from the material remnants in Caravacian events; that is, there are often indentations in the soil around the event and environmental disturbances take place which are found after the sighting.

Alien Abductions are palpably mental aberrations, and have been with mankind for millennia; e.g., the incubus/succubus episodes or the “dream-like” abductions rampant in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament).

But there seems to be meat on the abduction stories of Travis Walton or the Hills.

However, abduction tales are on the wane, virtually gone from the UFO arsenal.

That UFO sightings occur daily and rather large numbers, it seems, they no longer excite or bring out the rash of activity that the older flying saucer accounts and UFO sightings brought forth.

So, Nick Redfern’s view that current UFO sightings don’t hold a candle to the older, classic UFO or flying saucer tales is valid on seemingly objective.

Is it time to relegate the phenomenon to the dustbin of curiosity and let it rest there for now (and ever)?

That would be the sane thing to do, but the UFO community is not composed of sane or rational types, but for a few….and even those few still get a twinge of giddiness when a UFO sighting, old or new, pops up on a blog or in the media.

If Oreo cookies are more addictive than cocaine, what can we say about UFOs? That they are the meth of many? Perhaps, a psychiatric cleansing or rehab stint is needed.



  • "Pummeled" Dream Team- hardly! Where do you get such ideas? Tom, Don, Dave and I are very much working together.

    Our work continues and each passing month begets new, supportive information on the reality of Roswell. So much more to come...


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Friday, October 18, 2013  

  • -Anthony...

    You don't think you guys were pummeled?

    Your immunity system is better than most apparently.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 18, 2013  

  • Rich,

    I think there may not be, in the U.S., the kind of ufo sightings that were exciting (as in decades past) because ufo investigators are fewer to be found and/or are inept. Also, and I think this plays big into it, is modern U.S. society's rejection of ufo reports - from the tittering media to the ignorant, judgemental public.

    A recent example in my neck of the woods - Amherst MA. In mid January 2013, some people in this western MA college town observed a ufo and reported it to the police (an action which skeptics & debunkers are always reminding ufo witnesses to do). The call-ins were part of the public accessed reports so they made it to local media stations quickly.

    Some of the people agreed to be briefly interviewed when they were contacted by local reporters. The basic description was of a diamond-shaped, dimly lit object at about 75 to 100 feet over the ground and moving slowly. Nearby Westover Airforce Base claimed nothing on its radar at the time of the sightings and claimed to have no aircraft in flight at the time either. A couple of weeks later Westover backpeddled and said they had a C5 cargo plane up and that's what people probably saw, except the people are familiar with C5s and other big cargo planes out of Westover (including myself) and anything that large and low would not have been able to navigate the hilly terrains in the area.

    The majority of the public's reaction, reported by local news as well as on the online forums of newspapers in MA, was overwhelming ridicule -- making fun of Amherst's ultra-liberal college town reputation...suggesting the witnesses were doped up, hallucinating on magic mushrooms, ate too much granola, tripped in their birkenstocks over their bongs, were hosting Mexican 'aliens' ect.

    The witnesses reported only what they saw and did not accept anymore interviews by local reporters. Their observations were clear and concise and they looked, dressed and sounded like normal Americans. These witnesses never once suggested "aliens" or "ETs". But they did make it clear they knew the difference between what they observed vs. military cargo planes and commercial planes (and copters).

    I've heard, through the verbal grapevine, that these witnesses will *never* report anything like what they saw again to the local police because the poor reporting and ad hominem attacks were obviously not worth it.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there are plenty of ufo sightings (including the bizarre ones of decades past) but we don't have the qualified investigators, journalists and an open-minded public that reserves judgement to receive them for consideration. I think it may be that people have changed to embittered cynical wiseasses, not the UFO enigma.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Friday, October 18, 2013  

  • Yes, Susan...

    The media cynicism has dribbled down to the public; the innocence of the earlier sightings and reports hit the innocence of the public, at that time, so flying saucer sightings were exciting and bizarre at the same time.

    But that said, the Amherst sighting is rather blah....just an odd configuration in the sky, reported in a rather quiet way.

    No one proposed an ET explanation, remaining sensible in their observation and reporting, which tamped down any excitement the UFO should have generated, as they did in the early years of our era.

    That's part of the "problem" or reality: UFOs are presented in moderated ones, but even then get opprobrium from the great unwashed.

    So, here we are, UFO sightings are blah, and the reporting of them also, accompanied by a nasty, cynical public and media.

    It's over, isn't it?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 18, 2013  

  • As a lurker here for a few weeks with no axe to grind, I see too many tired, cynical, and rather sad older generation UFO researchers who indulge in far too much fierce bickering and in-fighting. Having failed to find definitive answers, and presumably considering themselves far too clever to have failed, we are arrogantly told that, "Because I have failed to solve this puzzle, there is no puzzle, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong."

    It is time for some people to step away from this subject, to make room for new blood, and to accept that they have given it their best effort, but have failed nonetheless.

    The UFO phenomenon itself, be it reality or fantasy, exists as an absolute, completely separate from the egos of self appointed investigators. For some people, the time for more humility and less hubris is well overdue.

    By Blogger John East, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • Sharon Hill wrote her thesis on paranormal groups and how they pretend to do science. While her main focus was on ghost hunters (there are so many of these groups), she found commonality among UFO , Bigfoot believers, etc.


    These amateur "researchers" are often sincere but simply lack knowledge and training as to how properly investigate.

    Here at Rich's site we have at least one "researcher" who continually makes a complete fool of himself by interpreting some piece of random data in the most unscientific and silly manner possible. It's not his fault. He is barely literate and like most of the nitwits and dumbasses who pretend to be doctors of Ufology, he isn't trained for anything approaching commptence in scientific methodology.

    UFO believers will never progress their knowledge beyond 1947. That is where things stand today and where they will always stand. And that is why the "theory" (UFOlogy isn't scientific so it's not really a theory) has to sport the most unscientific trademark of all: it cannot be falsified.


    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • As a follow on from my post above, can I just say thank you to whoever allowed it through moderation. Being so critical, I half expected it to never see the light of day.

    It's good to know that UFO Iconoclast(s) as a group is open to comments not particularly complimentary to current researchers in the field.

    By Blogger John East, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • John...

    You made a reasonable, sensible comment.

    We (I) only delete nutty comments.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • i would say that Susan and John East both make good points.

    i've always enjoyed the 'classic' cases, but as a lapsed anthropology student (and high-strangeness experiencer) i like to focus more on the 'big picture', the point where individual stories (whatever their origin in scientific truth) merge and meld and go underground to later re-emerge as common knowledge, standard narratives, myth.

    i would recommend Mike Clelland's podcast interview with Chase Kloetzke about her CE3 in a Tennesse cornfield in May 2010.


    This is a flat-out barnburner of a UFO story - what happens when a (did i mention glamorous) MUFON field investigator of 18 years actually experiences what all the witnesses have been telling everyone all this long time.

    Non-human entity, black triangle, the Oz factor, 'synthetic terror', long term 'ufo fanatic' drops completely off the map, MUFON corruption, shadowy background organization siphoning off the best data, blunt farm mama telling investigator to leave them alone so she can bring her family back together.....and more.

    Chase is a marvelous observer under pressure, Mike an outstanding interviewer. Chase's testimony provides much support to Susan's argument about witnesses and the way in which they are failed by all the various 'agencies' out there, as well as addressing some of the reasons why the scientific investigation isn't being done (except by organizations such as MUgelow, no doubt).

    and, Mr. Reynolds, you'll be happy to hear that Lady Coyotl trots by in the shadows, adding a sense of danger and intrigue to the proceedings.

    From where i sit, fantastically compelling and interesting cases still pop up. steph

    p.s. just adding that in physical anthro and in archaeology we had to study hard sciences - specific ones such as geology and genetics, also just the basic theory and history of science, since you never know what exactly you'll need to use in order to thoroughly investigate an individual archaeological site.

    p.p.s. looking back to the webpage of the Kloetzke interview, i can see i got pretty hot in the comments! and i wouldn't change a word.

    By Blogger tinyjunco, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • Steph...

    One can scour media for current UFO sightings that are vibrant and they'll find a few.

    But as Brownie/Susan notes, media and the public will either make fun of the sighters or downplay the significance of the observation, not giving it the cachet that once enveloped UFO or flying saucer sightings.

    Media and the masses think they are too sophisticated to pay attention to UFO events nowadays.

    Thus, we don't get the hype that we used to when a strange object appeared in the sky (or on the ground).

    UFOs are now a fringe topic, really fringe, and peripheral to our daily lives -- even those of us still enamored of curious things.

    So, one has to go back to old sightings to find "forensic" details which could explain the phenomenon....if the early investigators gathered those details properly.

    No one is gathering anything now.

    UFOs are just a listing for most UFO organizations or hobbyists.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • Hi Rich!

    "No one is gathering anything now."

    there i would have to disagree - again, listen to the interview and you'll hear testimony about the type of trace evidence (some group in) MUFON is preparing to collect.

    IMO, plenty of people are collecting various types of info - hell, look at Mr. Ritzmannand Tylor Kokjohn's Project CORE - the trouble is, they keep all or most of it to themselves. The average Joe or Jane has no access to a nice database of raw data to play around with.

    And i don't think the problem is lack of data, i think it is lack of new questions and frameworks for investigation. For example, I'm fascinated by Carlo Ginsburg's work with unreliable narrators in his work "Ecstasies" and others - the trouble is, i look at the footnotes in the back and not only are they in a language i can't read, i don't even recognize the alphabet characters! needless to say i haven't gotten all that far. (shamefaced, basically mortified emoticon)

    Anyways personally if something doesn't make it to the papers i don't give a hoot. I never got much out of those stories anyways, and at a very young age i was brutally disabused of the notion that 'if it's in the paper it must be true' when the facts of a family friend's tragic death at age 26 were misrepresented (to make an awful death more grisly? we never found out) at huge emotional effect on the mother.

    Just a few paragraphs on page 14 or so of a small market newspaper in the late 1970's, the paper is now long long gone. As is Stephen.

    So no, i have no nostalgia for yellowed clippings. My own cynicism :) i'll take the smell of fresh sulphur and brimstone any day!! steph

    p.s. gotta go sew, Colette's Hawthorne dress is kicking my butt and i want to get it finished this weekend :)

    By Blogger tinyjunco, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • Steph...

    I meant that no one is gathering anything worthwhile or in depth (forensically) nowadays.

    The old gatherers piled lots more info or data in their "reports" but still missed much.

    Today's UFO investigators are even slacker, or inept.

    That's my point.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • Rich,

    The following is an example of the "state" of the UFO researcher:

    Randle puts forth a defense of the current Roswell mess on his site...which depends on one's definition of defense.

    Said defense only garners 14 comments which the overwhelming majority are supportive of Randle.

    Randle then follows up with a "fluff" piece on his site...an alien invasion hypothesis...which appears to move his audience's mindset off of the Roswell issue. Again 14 or so comments on alien invasions. Demonstrating the distraction factor in all of this bull shit drama.

    Randle could have easily wrote a piece on Mogul and further distracted his audience...that subject usually garners 50 plus comments...10 being multi parted Rudiak manifestos...

    Meanwhile, Paul Kimball decides to close his site off to "invite" only due to whatever, which is a shame as I do like Paul's site.

    Randle, based on the above analysis, has thoroughly demonstrated the true UFO phenomena from an investigational standpoint...the true phenomena is the easily distraction of the UFO follower (believer, if you will) who has apparently given Randle and his team a pass.

    That's the state of UFO "research" at this present time.

    And to Nick, congrats on his new book!

    Best regards,

    Tim H.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • Yes, Tim, your evaluation and understanding of the current state of "ufology" is right on point.

    It's saddening, in a way, as to what has happened to the topic and some who find it interesting.

    (By the way, because of a tete-a-tete with Gilles at Facebook, about alien abductions, I'm "forced" to post an item here, upcoming, that addresses that mental aberration. I hope you will participate when I do. Gilles seems enamored of the old hypnogogic/sleep paralysis explanation.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • @Brownie

    > there may not be...ufo sightings that were exciting (as in decades past) because ufo investigators are fewer to be found and/or are inept. Also...modern U.S. society's rejection of ufo reports

    Clearly, you have never been on YouTube. We no longer have to read descriptions of UFOs, we can see the UFOs for ourselves! There are countless thousands of these. I have watched several hundreds of these videos myself -- I even made one! -- and they are total crap.

    What do we see? No structured crafts, no pilots, no impossible maneuvers, no landings. We see balls of light at night, floating dark dots during the day, and glowing contrails at dusk. That's right: no triangles or diamonds or saucers (unless you trust Jaime Maussan, of course).

    UFO reports of up-close craft with classic saucer characterists only occur today when cameras are not present.

    It makes one think!

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • BTW, this is my UFO video, taken on a Greyhound bus riding on the 401 somewhere between Windsor and Toronto. I am running the camera and speaking. My godson, Ted, was six years old at the time. Smart kid.


    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, October 19, 2013  

  • Tim,

    You wrote:

    Paul Kimball decides to close his site off to "invite"

    A correction - The site is not closed off to "invite" - I have closed it completely but retained the material for my own possible use down the road. The first time I did that I mistakenly his the Blogger function that allowed for people to join the site via invite (I think Rich does this for one of his sites), but then corrected it the next day to the "completely private, only the blog author can see it setting" after being deluged overnight by a flood of well-meaning requests for invites.

    I have re-posted a few past articles that I still find interesting or relevant at my own personal website, where I will moderate comments just as fascistically than Rich.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Terry the Censor wrote: " @ Brownie
    Clearly, you have never been on YouTube. We no longer have to read descriptions of UFOs, we can see the UFOs for ourselves! There are countless thousands of these. I have watched several hundreds of these videos myself -- I even made one! -- and they are total crap."
    - - -

    You would be wrong. I've been on YouTube since 2007 and currently subscribe to about 20 channels - none ufo related, save for CoasttoCoast.

    And, I'm not too interested in hoax videos put up by debunkers. They remind me of when I was a little girl when my friend and I would call neighbors to tell them a tornado was coming, thinking we really put one over on them.;-)

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Rich I thought Nick's observations were extremely accurate for what currently passes for Western civilization but if you're bored and willing to root about in Third World press output for instance there's quite a few stories [often picked up by the Anomalist or Graham Hancock's Alternative News Desk] which to me resemble ethnic folklore morphing into the same sort of weirdly detailed yesteryear UFO close encounter cases Nick refers to.

    What I find rather intriguing though's Nick's window of quietude more or less seems to coincide with NASA stopping sending people to another world the Moon [which in Western Astrological terms's the symbolic ruler of the lowest most mundane heaven].

    Then after a two decade or so gap the first planet round another star's discovered in 1995 repudiating the idea stressed in the many texts books I managed to lay me hands on at the time it's likely the only planets in the universe revolve round our sun.

    Finally after another decade the likes of Richard Branson initiate the Commercial Space Age bringing us to the present where such flights're imminent.

    Putting it another way many parents and traditional cultures put their kids and young people through a never ending cycle of first emboldening them with tales of all the wonders to be found in the world outside then terrifying them with tales of what might happen should they allow such things to make them stray too far.

    At a certain stage though another process kicks in where those same parents reverse the psychology an' now warn of all the dangerous consequences which might ensue if they don't explore the possibilities afforded by the outside world emphasising though all the benefits accruable if they do.

    Might Nick's observations then be a result of us say reaching the stage where some hypothetical Cosmic parents/tribal elder equivalents having left off entertaining puppet shows of wonder and horror designed to surreptitiously educate/program us for a given period're now just when some of us're preparing to turn space into a holiday resort/industrial resource alerting the rest of us to the virtuous and vicious implications of their actions with a new series of features beginning with the seeming upsurge in numbers and near misses of meteors?

    Just a thought.

    By Blogger alanborky, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Alan...

    A little obtuse, but intriguing.

    Let's see what Nick has to say, when he gets back from a conference Monday or Tuesday.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • It's hard to imagine how reality challenged one must be to suggest that the crappy UFO videos that permeate YouTube were not put up by silly believers or hoaxers but by debunkers!

    You usually weed out the humorless and hopeless, Rich!


    By Blogger Lance, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Lance, Pull your claws in, dear. You seem to be seething. I was referring mostly to Terry's posted link of his hoaxed video on youtube, which he admitted was "total crap" and his assumption I don't watch youtube.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • @brownie

    You misrepresent my comments completely -- and you know it.

    Your evasion is quite sad to me, as I too am a Brown (that's my last name).

    I expect better from my own kind!

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Oh geesh, this is still going on... Terry, You had posted to me. There didn't seem to be much of anything in your post that had to do with my comment. It just read sarcastic and silly with an opportunity you created to call attention to your youtube video.

    And, Brown is a very common surname in North America. I doubt you and I are kin.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Tuesday, October 22, 2013  

  • Look it was the army that said they had 'a flying disc' not some wild eyed hill billy high on moonshine that's what started all the fuss true or not do you see?

    By Blogger Mark Burley, at Tuesday, December 31, 2013  

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