UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, September 09, 2013

Howard Menger: An Adamski wannabe

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

Howard Menger was a contactee of the 1950s era, who allegedly took photos of flying saucers in 1956 and wrote this book about his rendezvous with Space Brothers, along the lines of the Adamski tales: 

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Note the photos. They, like the Allingham/Moore and Darbishire photos presented here earlier, mimic the iconic Adamski scout craft photos. 

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This photo even mimics the Allingham/Moore photo supposedly containing the figure of a Martian:

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 Menger eventually recanted his saucer tales, but re-assumed their credibility later on.

 I’m not interested in the hokey contact tale(s) Menger proffered (just as I eschew the Adamski, Allingham/Moore, Angelucci, Fry, et al. contact stories).

And you can read HERE why. 

What I am fascinated by is the non-conspiratorial use of photos and images that duplicate the hoaxed photos of George Adamski. 

Again, I ask, why did others use Adamski’s model for their saucer photos?

Did they think Adamski’s saucers were real?

Theo Paijmans commented at my Allingham/Moore-Darbishire post that he thought the use of Adamski’s photos derived from the ubiquity of Adamski’s photos at the time.

I countered that the flying saucer in The Day the Earth Stood Still was more acceptable as a possible alien craft and was just as prominent in the time-frame as Adamski’s photos were.

Nevertheless, it is odd that people not connected by anything other than a contrivance to bilk people sought to use images of a flying saucer that looks like a Christmas tree ornament or chicken brooder (and any number of other prosaic gadgets).

What accounts for that choice?

RR

A UFO Melange [that’s almost but not quite insane]

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We have descended here into intellectual anarchy.

Jose Caravaca’s Distortion Theory (or hypothesis if you will) has provoked a limited exchange about what it is or isn’t.

Jose’s “theory” doesn’t really address the UFO enigma as most UFO buffs see that enigma.

 Jose’s conjecture conjures with those strange encounters that have a UFO or flying saucer patina, encounters where strange, flying artifacts containing humanoid beings interact with humans.

That is not grist for most UFO mavens, and it surely is dismissed by those who see UFOs as something mysterious but not mysteriously weird.

Gilles Fernandez provokes UFO buffs with his erudite presentation of material that seems to provide a psychological explanation to explain faulty UFO research and reports.

And Gilles is loath to see any possibilities outside those that have a human psychological resonance. (Paranormal mysteries seem to lie outside Gilles interest or concern; a trait that some find disturbing and unique to skeptical reasoning.)

Roswell is on Kevin Randle’s front burner – his blog -- and has attracted the motley crew of Roswellian hobbyists who like to indulge their fetish with the Roswell incident, regurgitating the same old, same old Roswell canards and nonsense.

That esoteric methodologies intrigue Bruce Duensing and has captivated Tim Hebert too comes as no surprise. These guys are looking for a desert phase of UFO information.

But my goal is, as it has always been, to marginalize the UFO geezers who have mucked up the UFO phenomenon with their heady ET constructs and Sci-Fi biases.

You know who they are.

By bringing forth the likes of Paul Kimball, Nick Redfern, Greg Bishop – the middle ground with UFO cachet and credibility – and the younger mind-sets of fellows like Ross Evans and Dominick, I would hope that the UFO topic might bloom anew, shorning itself of the effluvia that it has attracted over the years which persons like PurrlGurrl finds more than distasteful.

But here I am, inputting an egregious and abstruse bunch of postings and comments that have little to do with the core UFO mystery.

I’m working to make amends, and hope to get the subject matter back on track….and may do so with an account of UFO and Roswell (yes, Roswell) materials that have not seen the light of day or have been circulating sub rosa in UFO circles outside the effete venues we are all familiar with.

RR

Gilles Fernandez: A Response to Jose Caravaca's "Distortion Theory" and Ufologists, in general

The SocioPsychological Theory of the UFO phenomenon (we prefer the term Composite Reductionist Theory of the UFO phenomenom - CRT -, see my previous entry) is not only supported by convictions or speculations ("wishful thinking"), but by facts and elements provided by the IFO cases themselves, or, more interestingly, directly induced by experiments - mainly in psychology - in the laboratory, as supported by the corpus of the knowledge of the Human Sciences.

For one part (only) of the SPH/CRT - the complex misinterpretations - cognitive projective transpositions, elaborations and transformations that subjects make when facing a (conventional) stimulus are undeniable.

What do we mean? Facing a conventional object that the observer can’t identify (legitimately) for what it is, some witnesses draw on their own individual knowledge - mental cognitive representations - with elements and details that do not belong to the real stimulus, to give it "a meaning.”

And so, by such cognitive processes, the stimulus becomes "an object of the world," complying with its pre-existing mental representation. It becomes consistent with what we learned of the world (by the culture), so that it conforms to the UFO phenomenon as we have learned it (through Science Fiction, Ufology itself, cinematography, etc.).

Other simpler mechanisms (of the order of human perception are sometimes involved; e.g. aspects highlighted by Gestalt psychology.)

Consider these three examples and the issues they raise to José's theory and Ufology in general.

1) For the drawings of a Soviet spatial reentry, Ufologists explain that some drawings show projective elaborations and transformation of the stimulus in a "craft/vehicle" by some of the witnesses? http://www.jamesoberg.com/10-30-1963_kiev.pdf 

This is an inherent product of Human Perception and projective elaborations/transformations when facing an unidentified object (though conventional).

2) Considering the following Edgar Wunder's experiment, how ufologists (and José Caravaca) explain that some drawings are showing that the stimulus have been "saucerized", some subjects adding windows, self derived propulsion elements, craft-like structures, etc. See part 2 of the following TV show, Galileo Mystery – Ufos:

http://www.myvideo.de/watch/4119949/Galileo_Mystery_Ufos_Teil_3

Wunder's experiment (I hope to replicate it in my University or personally) points out that such projective processes have been made by some of the subjects on ambiguous prosaic stimuli or stimuli of no real meaning. Subjects have, if I may say, "saucerized" the stimulus. Has an external agent interacted in the processes? I doubt it. It seems to be inherent and internal to the Human cognitive processes.

3) As you probably know, in France,  on the 5th of November 1990 there was a UFO wave if we follow the UFO literature. "UFO-Skeptics" explain it by a space reentry.

French Investigator Robert Alessandri has studied a very interesting and particular sample of witnesses: 32 future French Gendarmes have altogether responded to the same stimulus, the space reentry -- the essence being, as you can see, is that they have responded to the SAME thing, altogether. 

It was the day after when their collected written legacy by their instructor shows the different parameters of their testimony, such as the azimuth, dimensions, speed, etc. One will discover HIGH inter-individual differences in the distributions of many of the parameters alleged in the tables or in the text.

How do ufologists explain that? Despite the 32 subjects having witnessed the same stimulus - the space re-entry or an ET craft [sic], how do we obtain such an inter-individual differences, with such variability, among the witnesses or respondents?

http://perso.numericable.fr/~wolf424/univers.ovni/ufologie/cas_d_ecole.html

If José or ufologists are honest, the variability is undeniable, with, sometimes witnesses adding non-existent detail, as "projectors."

So, how can ufologists maintain that if, in the November 5th 1990 testimonies, when a witness indicates an azimuth, or any other detail, that is not compatible with the space re-entry, such subjects can’t have witnessed the re-entry but rather, they have witnessed another exotic thing, "parasitically" attending the space re-entry (as we read in the literature about this famous case in my country).

So, the following hypothesis which evoked in me the title for this little article, is this:

What if the "strange" testimonies we know in the ufology corpus, in general, were only the products and "fruits" of the variability and inter-individual differences, projective elaborations and transformations (of prosaic/conventional objects) of human psychology, when people are facing a (conventional) stimulus they couldn't identify, cases from which ufologists make their "cabbage fat"?

In a similar vein, illustrated by the study of Robert Alessandri, ufologists misinterpret or misunderstand the “extremes" of human descriptions when facing a conventional but odd object, not taking into account the inherent variability of human testimony.

The problem is even more exacerbated when invoking exotic entities.

(We could also add that the investigator/ufologist can herself/himself contaminate/pollute the cases and UFO reports, but that is another story.)..

Gilles Fernandez.