Seeing things: UFOs, ghosts, et cetera
In An Encyclopedia of Occultism: A compendium of information on the occult sciences…by Lewis Spence [University Books, New Hyde Park, NY, 1960]there is this:
Ghost seers: Sir William Hamilton has observed, “however astonishing, it is now proved, beyond all rational doubt, that in certain abnormal states of the nervous organism, perceptions are possible through other than the channels of the senses.” [Page 180 ff., italics mine]
The segment continues with folk-lore about children who are born at certain times of the day [midnight mostly] have the ability to see spirits, ghosts, and other occult apparitions.
That people see things is a given, but are those things a tangible reality or a delusional figment of the mind?
In comments to a proceeding posting here, tulpas are presented as real, created entities, brought about by various means. (The Encyclopedia cited here doesn’t mention tulpas, and I generally eschew the concept.)
Even though the idea, outlined in my post on Koestler’s works, that reality may be created by the cooperation of a brain/mind effort, in certain circumstances, the thesis is not proven, although here are circumstantial elements that seem to offer the possibility.
Yet, is that scientific in methodology? Does it even make common sense?
The appearance of an thing in the sky that is odd, and thus unidentified may be the result of a neuroscience-induced anomaly; that is, a brain glitch.
Or it may be a psychologically induced delusion.
Or it may be something real, in that it often impinges aspects of nature that indicate tangibility.
But where are the artifacts or remnants of those UFOs (or ghosts, or anything paranormal)? They are evanescent, in the extreme: none have been brought to examination except by witness reports or indeterminate evidence – indentations in the ground, radar traces, blurry photos, and shaky testimony.
One has to be skeptical of UFO reports or sightings even though the amassed accounts seem to suggest that something “real” has been observed and sometimes interacted with by humans who, for all intents and purposes, are not insane, in the traditional sense anyway.
What “ufology” or UFO examination needs is a disruptive method of research. (See The New Yorker, June 23rd, 2014, The Disruption Machine, by Jill LePore, Page 30 ff.)
Such a “disruption” would eliminate the past follies of the UFO old-guard, the old researchers who’ve botched the investigation of UFOs (or the categorical UAP if you will) by an Sci-Fi bias.
Do UFOs really exist, as David Rudiak, Anthony Bragalia, et al. insist, but Zoam Chomsky, Gilles Fernandez, and Lance Moody vehemently deny?
We’ll never know if UFOs remain tethered to the past erroneous efforts by UFO devotees.