UFOs: Skeptical Inquiry or Propaganda
Gilles Fernandez has provided some links to material that supports his report, here, meant to crack the Airship 1890s sightings in California.
Gilles has provided an hypothesis or suggestion that the sightings were the result of the cultural/social milieu exacerbated by area newspapers and the planet Venus.
It’s a suggestion or hypothesis that UFO skeptics find worthy of note. And Gilles’ report is acceptable as a possible – possible! – answer to the Airship wave, in California and elsewhere eventually.
But does Gilles’ provide a valid methodology or has he created a bit of skeptical propaganda?
Loading up links that support his view is grist for winning the debate between Airship disbelievers and those who think the Airship sightings consisted of something substantial, whatever that substantiality might be. (Bruce Duensing provided some alternatives to the sightings and Gilles’ explanation also, in his comments to the postings here.)
UFO research (or ufology as the pseudo-scientists have it) lacks a methodology or regimen that uses scientific protocols.
Forensic information is never adduced by those working on UFO sightings, pro or con,
Details that support or eliminate a proposal are skirted with internet links used as buttress one’s view.
That’s not a protocol; it’s a propaganda technique.
If Gilles and his cohorts wish to convince UFO buffs that the Airship wave was the result of a SocioPsychoCultural (whatever that is) milieu, he and they have to provide citations from Sociologists, Psychologists (and Psychiatry), and Anthropological sources that are relevant to California in the 1890s and elsewhere in The United States for Airship sightings ipso facto.
Giving up links from sources that have little or no credentials in any the disciplines I’ve indicated (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology) is propagandistic not academic or scientific methodology.
That’s the problem with Ufology and/or UFO “research.” It doesn’t resort to procedures that inure it with those who use protocols and procedures that are acceptable to science, or even theology and philosophy (where logic reigns, or should, as Richard Hall always demanded).
My evaluation of Gilles’ “explanation,” while containing citations about Venus, the planet, from credible sources along with personal experience of an Airship witness, itself is woefully lacking in scientific methodology.
But I was countering propaganda, not scientific methodology, so a more disciplined account by me was unwarranted or unnecessary, I think.
If Gilles wishes to convince me and others that the Airship wave was a product of a “socio-psycho-cultural” milieu, he will have to do better.
And if those who think the Airship wave consisted of actual ships flying through the air, with a technology not yet determined or in situ, they, too, will have to do better,
Otherwise we are playing at research and investigation, as Bruce Duensing continues to remind us.