UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ufology and Psychologcal Imprinting [Pragung]

How does UFO commentary (and stances) come about or from where do they derive?

That is, what cause precipitates the position(s) of UFO enthusiasts?

Why do David Rudiak and Stanton Fridman believe so vibrantly in the ET hypothesis for UFOs?

Why is Lance Moody or Gilles Fernandez so fervently against such beliefs?

The Times Literary Supplement [August 14, 2015] has a review of a book about Adolf Meyer (a psychologic pathologist – psychiatrist) who once was noted in the field of psychiatry, but eventually had his notoriety subsumed by Sigmund Freud’s ascendancy.

[The book, Pathologist of the Mind: Adolf Meyer and the origins of American psychiatry by S.D. Lamb; John Hopkins University Press, $44.95 was reviewed by Andrew Schull, whose book Madness in Civilization: A cultural history of insanity from the Bible to Freud, from the madhouse to modern medicine should be a must-read for some of you.]

Meyer applied “forensic” approaches when dealing with patients. “Meyer was driven by ‘an obsessional and probably futile search for accuracy’ … ‘the emphasis on recording all phenomenological details’ about the patient’s life history ‘sometimes reached fantastic proportions’ … a tactic which drove ‘recording observation to a stage of the infinite and the absurd in the attempt to cover everything.’” [TLS, Page 12]

Meyer, it seems, wanted to determine what thing or things caused his patients to become as they were: neurotic, psychotic, or just mentally askew.

The things could be minor or traumatic. The Psychiatric Dictionary [Fourth Edition, Hinsie/Campbell, Oxford University Press] describes “Imprinting (called Pragung by the Germans) as “the process by which certain stimuli become capable of eliciting certain ‘innate’ behavior patterns during a critical period of … behavioral development.” [Page 385]

Wilhelm Reich discusses such traits in his book, Character Analysis [Noonday Press/Farrar, Strauss and Company, NY, 1963] as sexually oriented [Pages 149 ff.], but I defer to a less Freudian view here, proposing that Meyer’s approach is the preferable choice when discussing why certain “ufologists” believe as they do (or don’t).

That is, I think some event or causal factor from one’s youth or formative years imprinted itself on the mind of a person which persists to adulthood, allowing them to assume a pattern of thought that is not necessarily logical or intelligent but, rather, the determining result of how they see the world and, in particular, UFOs (for this discussion).

When it comes to the French skeptics (or cynics), one will find their raison d'être in the new book How the French Think by Sudhir Hazareesingh. This book explains how Gilles Fernandez and his tribe of ufological deniers come to believe as they do that UFOs are only a myth or a sociological chimera.

As for Lance Moody and Zoam Chomsky (extreme UFO skeptics) and David Rudiak or Stan Friedman (UFO/ET believers), something happened in their past to cement (imprint) their belief or skeptical systems of thought.

Did, for instance, Lance Moody or Zoam Chomsky once believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny but were dissuaded from their belief by a family member, teacher, or other adult held in esteem by them?

Were the ET believers, such as the many who slink around UFO blogs, encouraged to believe in things fantastic: ghosts, witches, and aliens from outer space, or even the vicissitudes of religion – God, Jesus, Allah, et al.?

Would a Meyer approach to these persons’ childhoods tells us why they believe the way they do, as much of their thinking in not logically based as ufologist extraordinaire Richard Hall once told me.

I don’t think anyone will seek, psychoanalytically, why they believe in UFOs or don’t.

They will continue to spew their beliefs, from within the repressed unconsciousness that has formed their personalities.

And they will stick with their beliefs even unto death, as their “imprints” have made them what they are, as intellectually errant as that may be.



  • Hello Rich,

    Psychoanalysis= A Pseudo-Science from Karl Popper to NeuroScientists.
    Ufology = A Pseudo-Science
    ===> All attempts to use the first to help (or for the rescue) the second then remains pseudoscientific too.

    Well, that's ufology, after all :)



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, September 14, 2015  

  • Psychiatry, Gilles, has become almost totally bogus, but psychoanalysis, in its pure form was even touted by T.S. Eliot.

    Ufology, now I agree is a total rot.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 14, 2015  

  • Ufology is only (imho) a modern myth, Rich... :(

    Consisting mainly by ordinary men telling us extraordinary things and "exciting " individuals who are in a lack of "Religiosity" and needing to be "transcended" by someone or something. That's human, after all

    And such Men (ufologists), as their fans, have not understood how the ordinary can match (and explain) what they offered/are waiting in a complex "I will to believe" retroaction loop...

    Ufologists are people dreaming and sharing extraordinary things, despite they have not really understood how the ordinary can play (and explain ufology as the UFO phenomenon at all).

    Ufology/UFO/Contactees/Abductees are now potentionally explainable by ordinary variables.

    You are watching the last decades of ufology, imho. Enjoy such times ;)

    * Yes, my English sucks * ^^



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, September 14, 2015  

  • Ufology, Gilles, is dead....practitioners just don't know it.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 14, 2015  

  • RR,

    "Ufology...is dead..."? Well, maybe as a term, but UAP consideration -and conjecture- is not.

    As I read this post and thread and the Wargo post, we seem to have gone off into the neverland of questioning the mental stability and predisposition of UAP witnesses and even a Freudian-like questioning of the skeptic's predisposition (disappointed by Santa?), -and then further into even considering of ufology-parapsychology links with suggestions possible manipulation of the collective unconscious. Wow.

    Heck, Wargo even addressed your favorite (drum roll) The Trickster! ;)

    Suggesting a return to rationality here, many UAP witnesses are just asking the question, as I once did, of "Just what the hell was THAT?" Essentially an honest and scientifically valid questioning of something unidentifiable to them seen in the air. That does not imply that little green men are afoot.

    But let us not forget that SETI is still looking/listening and projecting eventual success.

    Skeptics are -generally- on the right track of suggesting the old need for extraordinary evidence but, in plain error, they tend to lump UFO, UAP and ETH together as a single subject.

    There is certainly value in questioning any phenomena. It's OK to dismiss irrational but defining the irrational has its own pitfalls. I tend to think of the Bigfoot folk as irrational...just for a fun example.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Tuesday, September 15, 2015  

  • Bryan, you like me (and a few others) hope against hope that UAPs remain a viable topic for sane persons.

    But that's an iffy hope.

    Nonetheless, I like your stamina with the matter.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, September 15, 2015  

  • I'm not certain the average person knows the difference between a UFO and a UAP. To them, anything flying in the sky that seems odd, even if potentially explainable, remains a UFO which means to them an ET piloted craft. Case in point, many UAPs are likely operational yet classified aircraft with or without exotic propulsion systems. They have nothing to do with ET or the many people who doggedly insist they do.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Wednesday, September 16, 2015  

  • Hi Brian, its Bryan. Sure, UAP doesn't even come in a quick first page Google search.

    I read it first right here as an attempt to separate thoughtful discussion (conjecture!) from the UFO hype and worse. That there are any unknowns is virtually to completely denied by the Null People while there are those of us who believe that there are unknowns -but without a knee jerk ETH conclusion (or any such quick and unwarranted conclusion) -hence conjecture as to, by that very term: unknown(s).

    Having said all that, traveling in the good company of SETI -and now the Hawking's group's upcoming "advanced SETI" -we can reasonably still consider ET (first?) contact amid other forms of UAPs. -Otherwise, wouldn't space "be an awful waste of space"?

    References for the Null People: Clark's Three Laws and Carl Sagan.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Friday, September 18, 2015  

  • "References for the Null People: Clark's Three Laws...."

    My binge-reading wife read a dozen of Clarke's books over a month back in the Seventies. Her report to me: "They're all the same." The phony one-note "ancient aliens are our creators, gods, watchers, myths or whatever" schtick repeated.

    I was studying astronomy, philosophy and cultural history (including evolution, neo-Darwinism and science-fiction) at the time and already knew the old "AA" idea was pseudoarchaeological mumbo-jumbo and a misanthropic fantasy.

    In the late forties Clarke wrote about giant satellites manned by teams of men continuously replacing radio tubes. About the same time, real visionary scientists were inventing the transistor that would make communication satellites a reality. Pulp science-fiction has its place but it's not rocket science. And a real rocket scientist described the geostationary orbit decades before Clarke.

    Clarke's three maxims are worthless. The "impossible" is a rhetorical straw-man.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Saturday, September 19, 2015  

  • "Null People...and Carl Sagan."

    Carl Sagan was one of the founders of Scientific skepticism, whose fundamental tenet is the Null hypothesis: Claims require evidence, and extrordinary claims--especially so-called paranormal claims, the focus of Scientific skepticism--require extraordinary evidence be presented for consideration, otherwise they're rightly dismissed as nonsense. Once such claims fail the evidence test they're finished, they're considered "pseudoscience."

    In logic, probability, and in real-world practical skepticism, the absence of evidence is real evidence of absence. So the entire historical catalogue of evidenceless, utterly inconsequential "UFO" stories aren't simply unproven, they're rightly dismissed as being nothing but the stuff of myth and a social delusion.

    The idea "UFO" has its origin in the known newspaper hoaxes of Airship mania in 1896. And over a century of extraordinary but utterly inconsequential reports without the required extraordinary evidence leaves wishful-thinking believers in the "UFO" myth--the victims of a space-age delusion--appealing to ignorance.

    Too bad.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Saturday, September 19, 2015  

  • Zoam:

    The "null hypothesis" has become an old, meatless bone.

    Give us something new, in your inimitable way.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 19, 2015  

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