UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

David Clarke's unsettling new UFO book: a review from TLS

The Times Literary Supplement for August 14, 2015 offered a review of our British friend David Clarke’s latest book How UFOs Conquered the World: The history of a modern myth.  [Aurum, 320 pp. $28.99].

The reviewer, Jonathan Barnes gives a nod – it’s in the In Brief section of the supplement – to David’s loss of fascination with UFOs as a product of alien/ET visitation.

David, of course, takes the stance that is reflected by skeptics (CDA, Lance Moody, Gilles Fernandez, and Zoam Chomsky) who visit this page now again: UFOs are optical illusions, misperceptions of aircraft or obtuse weather phenomena and Venus, stray balloons, Chinese lanterns, et cetera.

Reviewer Barnes end his short pastiche with David’s view of the UFO story: “Human beings”, [David] writes, rather wistfully and with the air of one who has learnt the truth the hard way, “cannot live without myths.”

David Clarke is an example of an erudite man. But he’s wrong.

Even though UFOs may not be ET-oriented, they are exotic and real, apart from the many “explanations” he proffers.

I’ve seen a few of these strange things and interviewed sensible people who have experienced them also, some close up.

They may not be extraterrestrial craft but they are something more than the belabored list that David offers (and that some of the skeptics offer).

David, like our Brit buddy, Christopher Allan [CDA], is cynical or disappointed that UFOs (and flying saucers) have turned out not to seem ET-related.

But some of us who came to the sightings in our youth, despite growing up not believing any longer that the ubiquitous things flying around our skies for lots of years, even millennia, are alien spaceships, still think UFOs are something that may have created a myth but yet have the core of a reality, from which myth must derive.

RR

7 Comments:

  • Good afternoon

    From the original post:

    "David Clarke is an example of an erudite man. But he’s wrong.

    Even though UFOs may not be ET-oriented, they are exotic and real, apart from the many “explanations” he proffers.

    I’ve seen a few of these strange things and interviewed sensible people who have experienced them also, some close up.

    They may not be extraterrestrial craft but they are something more than the belabored list that David offers (and that some of the skeptics offer)."

    I agree with you. Unfortunately, I never saw myself any puzzling aerial phenomena, but I interviewed as you many people who
    saw very weird things. Personally, I seriously think these are exotic natural phenomena that may prove valuable for science to
    study.

    To the risk of repeating myself, the only way to progress is to start an instrumental observation project as I did myself.
    That requires time and patience. When tangible evidence will be gathered, the situation about the subject will change radically. We will then be able to do proper science. Right now, we just have anecdotal evidence and that doesn't score high
    for doing scientific research.

    I have started this year and I even have identified at least one promising site, but the conflicts with beliefs of a particular MUFON investigator (I will keep his name private) who refused collaboration had forced me to start finding another site. But that's a long story.

    Best regards,

    Jean

    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Monday, August 31, 2015  

  • David's book is excellent.

    In it, he gives example after clear example of cases in which the supposed witnesses and the dogmatic believers (like you and Jean above) are unquestionably mistaken.

    But hang on to the religion anyway.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, August 31, 2015  

  • Lance...

    You UFO atheist, you!

    I luv ya, but Jean and I (and a few others) see the UFO phenomenon, not as ET-oriented, but as a tangible phenomenon....something more concrete, material than a panoply of mythical detritus.

    The "evidence" is overwhelming. And I'm not ruling out hallucinations become tangible.

    The "things" reported are, indeed, as Vallee/Aubeck has it "Wonders in the Sky."

    Don't let us be "dogmatic believers" and let us try to dissuade you from being a "dogmatic unbeliever."

    Either position is hard-headed and "unscientific" (using the word as it originally was meant).

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 31, 2015  

  • For Lance:

    To be honest, I am not a dogmatic believer.

    Through the years, people reported me that weird stuff that apparently occurred repeatedly near their home and then stopped.

    Most of the phenomena observed look like ball lightning but occurred in fair weather at close range. The other are luminous shapes occurring near the ground. These are seen either emerging from the ground or appearing directly in mid air. The luminous shapes may float over the ground, drifting, and then disappear. The spheres float or follow a precise path.
    Sometimes, they are forming on the tip of a tree branch and detach. They disappear by either contracting on themselves , disappearing or exploding, very much like ball lightning.

    These reports are not unique, I have a number of them.

    What is the correct approach ?

    1- To dismiss everything and reject these reports, concluding a priori that the witnesses are in error.

    2- To check their claims by observing myself or with other people on the field, bringing high-end DSLRs and various
    magnetic and EMF detectors. This is the observation project.

    I selected option 2. My working hypothesis is that we are dealing with unknown natural phenomena (let's call them earth lights). I think this is sound scientific practice and not a religious belief.

    Regards,

    Jean

    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Monday, August 31, 2015  

  • As things go, having said this before in other places, the phenomenon is real. I am speaking now of the very small percentage of cases that truly defy all explanation as we know it, yet bear evidence substantial enough to indicate something odd was experienced or seen.

    Everything else prosaic and conventionally known having already been ruled out, that leaves a percentage that is commonly stated to be around 5%.

    While many claim that 5% is exclusively due to a variety of alien visitations, there is at least testimony and circumstantial evidence suggesting 95% of the 5% are in fact "ours" in the sense of human engineered black budget projects in full operational deployment (not testing) using advanced propulsion systems not as difficult to design as die hard ETer's claim.

    That leaves a very small percentage of reports being "something else" to which I personally would attribute to a deceptive intelligence that chooses to manifest itself in bizzare ways often mirroring objects or things already known to us, sometimes from lore or legend, but with a more sinister twist. Ignored by the mainstream ufologists, inbetweeners, anti religious, and skeptics alike, is the clear correlation of observable and often measurable similarities witnessed around ghosts, apparitions, UFO's, demonic possessions, orbs, inter-dimensional portals, hauntings, and the like.

    It's all the same thing manifesting itself in multiple ways with similar aspects all focused on taunting the mind and misdirecting behavior.

    While some could be ET there is no proof of that yet despite the claims. Your government is in the same conundrum as everyone else, they just can't admit that outright for obvious reasons.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Tuesday, September 01, 2015  

  • > The "things" reported are, indeed, as Vallee/Aubeck has it "Wonders in the Sky."

    Jason Colavito has written 26 posts at his blog which demonstrate beyond a doubt that Wonders in the Sky is a shoddily researched book, as far as ancient and medieval sightings go. The authors consistently fail to check original sources or modern scholarly translations, opting for "UFO friendly" versions that are outdated or just plain wrong.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, September 02, 2015  

  • There are dogmatic, fundamentalist believers on both sides of the argument. David Clarke in my book is either a fundamentalist skeptic, and/or "debunker" with an agenda. He never seems to have much of an open mind, and quite regularly dismisses things as lighthouses or squid boats ... regardless of whether the facts say otherwise.

    I have seen things myself that speak to a phenomena of some kind, and I am quite open about this. It is either terrestrial, extra-terrestrial or part of the natural world. There are indeed things that go bump in the night. I am not a "believer". I just know that some things need to be seen to be understood. Belief just doesn't come into it for me.

    Still ... each to his own. Onwards and upwards ...

    By Blogger HJPrice, at Friday, September 11, 2015  

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