UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

UFOs and the conflict with personal realities

The research and expected explanation of UFOs (flying saucers) has always been marred or obstacled by researcher bias and entrenchment in subjective realties.

Recent dialogues I’ve had, online, with some of those who continue to delve into the UFO mystery, show me that we’ll never arrive at a reasonable consensus as to what UFOs represent or are.

That is, I keep finding that those who are enamored of the UFO enigma always, and I mean always, really want to impose their subjective realities and belief systems on the phenomenon, to the detriment of objective thinking (or research).

We all are subject to what we’ve been reared to believe or have come to believe during our life-times.

But that often disqualifies us from being objective or scientific when it comes to examining a phenomenon or topic in the current zeitgeist.

Pressing UFO people to be sensible and open-minded doesn’t work, as I’ve experienced it.

I keep getting suggestions as to what UFOs are, supported by egregious reference to belief systems and preferences for various theories or hypotheses that are interesting but still just theories, belief systems, and/or hypotheses.

I’ve often mentioned Edward De Bono’s books and ideologies about how to think, but this has fallen on deaf ears.

Persons locked into modal thinking, refracted by personal exigencies and preferences, are tough to deal with; they are cemented into thought processes by mental glitches or neurotic, even psychotic-like subjectivity.

What causes this erratic subjectivity?

Psychological malfeasances they’ve accumulated over the years or actual neurological malfunctions.

In my UFO journey I’ve come across all kinds of nuts and crank and, currently, suffused with suggestions, in comments here that border on insanity.

Let me exclude such ravishing real thinkers as Eric Wargo or academic Bryan Sentes and creative, investigative reporter Nick Redfern.

These men offer real thought and objectivity.

But Tim Herbert and I see the mental configurations that intrude on the search for a UFO explanation, and these mental configurations are rife in the UFO community, online and off.

Kevin Randle allows, at his blog, an open ended commentary where some of the nuttiness intrudes, although Kevin is becoming more circumspect about who or what can appear in his blog’s comment section. (I applaud his stance.)

Here, I will allow obtuse, erratic commentary if it is creative or humorous, inadvertently so even.

But overall, I have to eschew the nonsense that comes my way and often engulfs the UFO topic everywhere else.

But I am fully aware that much of what I’m getting in the way of commentary or private e-mails is material steeped in wayward thinking or mental disturbance of a minor and sometimes serious kind.

And if many of you think Zoam Chomsky is on my list of nuts, you’d be wrong. His anti-UFO spiels make more sense than anything one might get from David Rudiak, who is a brilliant researcher, besmirched by a belief that ETs are the sole explanation for Roswell and UFOs generally, bereft of any evidence to the contrary.

So, I am not gulled into presenting ideas that come from disturbed minds – except my own – or from persons who don’t really think in a way that bespeaks intellectual acumen.

That may sour some, who believe they are intelligently presenting UFO-speak when, in fact they are offering crumbs of insanity, disguised by posturings of high-readibility and intellectual refinement.

The UFO enigma deserves better, does it not? Zoam?

RR 

10 Comments:

  • Yes Rich, I've a working hypothesis that some of the sensational accountings are either full blown psychopathology or interspersed with the same.

    IMO, visual sightings appear to be brief misdirections of reality with a lack of pathological characteristics...simple misidentification of something briefly seen in the sky.

    One of the most disappointing source of data, has been MUFON, as I've attempted to use a subjective vs objective criteria for data analysis. MUFON's data is crap, but I'll continue my attempts to catalog some of the random samplings of the data.

    I'm still intrigue by the possible influx of neurotransmitters or even temporary decompensation of neurons, ie myelin sheath effects. Cortisol and quick influxes of sodium has been shown to affect visual distortion leading to issues with perception.

    Again, all are personal hypothesis. Which means that I could certainly be off the trail, but I like the scenery none the less.

    I've only come into contact with two or three patients that had full blown delusional qualities that center around "alien" contacts and "alien" induced new aged rationalization of "superior" insight into mankind's future. Such delusional thoughts unravel after taking the thoughts in context to the patient's other irrational thoughts.

    Interesting, one would think that I would have more cases such as this, but it appears to be generational, those born in the 1920s, 30s and 40s do not appear to be engrossed with UFO/ET visitations, so this meme appears lacking in subsequent and late stage delusional thoughts.

    But I persist...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, April 19, 2015  

  • Rich, the elimination of bias in research is a necessary scientific goal and I encourage you to try to do so for UFOs.

    However, you shouldn't be so distressed -- or even surprised -- that "personal realities" do intrude so frequently. People are people. We should always try to improve ourselves and eliminate error, but we need to acknowledge it's not an easy task.

    I just finished listening to a baseball game on the radio. Toronto's pitcher had a perfect game after five innings. The announcer is not a superstitious man, but he knew listeners would cry "jinx!" if he spoke the phrase "perfect game." So he tweeted the info instead, hoping to draw in new listeners who were following the score on their phones. Of course, Twitter flipped out! Even tweeting "perfect game after 5" was still a jinxing action in fans' minds. Shortly after, Manny Machado hit a homer to ruin the perfect game bid, but the radio host's typing was blamed.

    It gets better. Some fans called into the post-game show and suggested various CODE WORDS be used so as to prevent future jinxes!!! I kid you not!

    These were just regular, totally functional people talking and tweeting about baseball. But they earnestly thought BAD MAGIC performed by non-participants could effect the outcome of the game!

    If mere baseball fans can act so irrationally, is it realistic to expect better from UFO buffs?

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Thursday, April 23, 2015  

  • I'm not so sure, Terry, that the baseball fans acted irrationally.

    Sometimes, "magic" works, or backfires.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, April 23, 2015  

  • Hey, if you're going to say things like that, you're just encouraging we commentors to let our "personal realities" run wild!

    Or are you just trying to bait me into having a discussion about UFO epistemology today?

    (So clever!)

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Friday, April 24, 2015  

  • I am exhausted today and I will have little internet access the next three days, so let me suggest this for next week:

    While we wait around for May 5, maybe you could ask a few of your more thoughtful and experienced commentors to write brief position statements about their "UFO reality," or perhaps about their UFO epistemology (preferally prescriptive than descriptive).

    You have tried to present several perspectives yourself (I read your phenomenology post today, despite my acute sleep deprivation). Might be fun and instructive to read and debate an emotionally committed view rather than an intellectual conjecture. Just for a change.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Friday, April 24, 2015  

  • "Hey, I'm back!"

    Rich, As I've said many times, the idea "UFO" -- the second longest running social delusion in history -- certainly deserves the attention of social scientists, and that includes armchair social scientists as well so we are all covered. (g)

    It may be expecting too much of others to be so deep, dynamic and creative in their views on this subject as the committed veteran you are. You're generous to a fault in a landscape where crankiness, cliquishness and back-biting are the old rules. I am happy merely to be welcomed here, to participate and hope to be of service to my friends.

    The Null hypothesis--the fact that there are no real "UFOs"--requires the PSH; if there were real "UFOs" of any kind, the PSH of reports would not be necessary.

    ufoolery is history. Make popular belief in the myth history as well.

    Your Pelican in SoCal, even if there never were any pelicans or swans, meteors or plasmas, saucers or "UFOs" of any kind.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, April 24, 2015  

  • Zoam, You were gone?

    I didn't notice!

    (I kid).

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 24, 2015  

  • "'UFO' epistemology"

    Oh, that is a hoot, Terry! If you have comedy reel for sale, I'd like to buy one.

    And I thought Rich was creative with his "'UFO' phenomenology." But I like it too! The more I read about Husserl's idiosyncratic delusions, the more the two subjects seem strangely complementary. (g)

    That's why I half-seriously suggested Rich might make "UFOs" and the Philosophy of Cosmology a future blog topic. The Templeton Foundation is funding this thinly disguised new-age spiritualist mumbo-jumbo in universities in North America and Britain. Maybe not directly "UFO" related but certainly of interest, even concern, to most of us here, I say.

    I suggest that as a topic and -- truly appropriate to this blog -- a post on an organization called NARCAP that suggests "UFOs" are a danger to aviation! No kidding. I'd like to hear Larry, our resident space engineer, explain how what we only know to be an abstract IDEA can be a physical hazard.

    A search on "'UFO' epistemology" gets me a few definitely kooky results. Like Erik Davis... Hmmm.

    Of what ethereal notions, what whimsies, might such position statements on "'UFO' epistemology" subsist? I cannot wait!
    (vbg)

    On that note and Terry having mentioned Scientology a bit, have you two seen the new HBO documentary "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief?" It's based on the 2013 book of the same. Interesting stuff!

    It's available online.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_Clear_(film)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, April 24, 2015  

  • Yes, Zoam, I've seen the Scientology documentary, and have done a few postings on the so-called "religion" and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

    But then I've done things on Lutheranism, another pseudo-religion and even my own Catholic faith, which has much to answer for.

    Everything is a crock, so UFOs are not alone in that epithet.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 24, 2015  

  • Zoam, it's a serious proposal, though you're right in general that the current state of UFO knowledge-seeking is a joke. There is no science going on now; ufology has been reduced to a curated set of myths. "Doing science" today means complaining about science -- nothing more.

    But I do think many UFO buffs have better epistemic values than the clowns who get invited by MUFON to speak. Look at Friedman: though a trained scientist, most of his schtick is conspiracy mongering and whining about actual scientists and skeptics. Fans love it, but when he tried to do his act on UFO Updates a few years back, blindly touting the Hill case, he got crushed by people such as Martin Shough and Kevin Randle. Friedman, who brags that he's never been beaten in debate by skeptics, made the mistake of debating the informed. And he could not answer their criticisms (literally -- he just stopped responding).

    I'd like UFO buffs to tell us how they know what they know.

    > explain how what we only know to be an abstract IDEA can be a physical hazard

    It's a practical question. But you know proponents will answer with their studies of electrical interference of vehicles, cite pilot and astronaut sightings, claim Roswell crash debris has been hidden, and assert *gulp* that aliens abduct and experiment on humans!

    Without a discussion of how they know these things, they get away with science by anecdote, or my favourite, science by personal revelation.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Friday, April 24, 2015  

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