UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, October 09, 2015

Ufology creates mass hysteria as UFOs diminish as a viable social topic

Now that Kevin Randle has joined the ranks of those of us who’ve declaimed that UFOs and ufology are dying or dead, the UFO die-hard buffs have increased their obdurate counter promotions.

That is, the dedicated UFO aficionados (believers as some call them) and their skeptical brethren are hawking delirious counter arguments that UFOs and ufology are alive and well and the antithetical remnant, by still arguing with them, are trying mightily to keep the UFO topic on the front burner of their isolated and unimportant milieux.

One sees many attempts to enliven ufology and UFOs by the National Enquirer-like accounts infusing UFO blogs and web-sites.

But the interest in UFOs has decreased to the point of morbidity, even among those who have long stuck with the topic because of their nostalgic longing for their once-enlivened interest in the phenomenon.

After all, one can’t flippantly throw away something one has put so much time and energy into, can one?

The nail was put into the UFO coffin, May 5th 2015, as Mr. Randle notes, and his blog title, The Decline and Fall of Ufology [10/7/15], pounded that nail down tight.

Those of us foolish enough to keep at the topic should see a psychiatrist as our ongoing obsession is pathological, in the extreme.

RR

10 Comments:

  • Just when all the olde time hunters and collectors of UFO sighting data should be having a field day with the plethora of current sightings and disclosures they decide to bury their heads in the sand? What gives? Is the vast amount of new info too daunting and challenging to preconceived notions or are they really unaware of what's currently occurring?

    By Blogger new illuminati, at Saturday, October 10, 2015  

  • Good afternoon,

    "Those of us foolish enough to keep at the topic should see a psychiatrist as our ongoing obsession is pathological, in the extreme."

    But, again, if we return to basics, what is ufology? The study of unidentified flying objects reports.
    We take the raw reports submitted by the public and eliminate the ones that are explainable by known causes.
    Then we are left with a number of residual unexplainable reports. What are they?

    Either they are merely more extreme misidentifications and hoaxes, as some skeptics suggest, or either they may contain
    genuine observations of unknown phenomena. From that, we can start some projects starting from clues obtained by
    the study of these reports, such as a field observation project.

    If we stick to that methodology and admit that these projects may indeed fail, then we are doing proper science. No pathology
    here. Unfortunately, this is not the way "ufology" works these days.

    Best regards,

    Jean

    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Saturday, October 10, 2015  

  • Jean:

    If we could radicalize some of the UFO community, it could revolutionize the study of UFOs, under a new rubric as we've discussed earlier here.

    But it means that (almost) everything up to now has to be scrapped.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 10, 2015  

  • Jeanne wrote:

    "The study of unidentified flying objects reports."

    In my opinion that's what ufology is. A rehash of old reports with Roswell still at the top of the heap because it's the iconic keystone to a crumbling pseudo science that never really applied thinking without complete pro-ET bias.

    I might add that while KR may have written what Rich has referenced, he seemed to ignore his own words focusing more on Kingman incident which wasn't the topic of his blog entry anyway.

    I think he's merely pondering but not admitting anything is dead or dying. Most believers won't listen to reason. They are committed regardless of the evidence (or in their case non-evidence).

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Saturday, October 10, 2015  

  • Yes, Brian, the "study of UFO reports" hasn't been a study at all.

    Ufology has been a cavalier attempt at methodology, one that isn't anywhere near scientific.

    The "methodology" has been and is flippant and biased as you note.

    Even when there has been "evidence," it hasn't been treated as such -- studied scientifically. It have been revered as a raft of anecdotal "proof" for an ET explanation.

    David Rudiak has accumulated mounds of material and evidence from sightings (Roswell in particular) but he then washes it with an obsessive ET bias, making it useless.

    That's what is killing ufology. (The Roswell slide guys were just loony, from the outset.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 10, 2015  

  • Jean says, "The study of unidentified flying objects reports."

    Really "returning to basics," Jean, what Scientific skeptics' think and say is that the entire subject is absurd, is fundamentally flawed, that the mere failure to identify--a negative--cannot be the basis for a positive investigation of identity, and cannot be significant or even very interesting beyond casual conversation. Anybody can see something in the sky they can't identify. See Jim Oberg's 1979, "The Failure of the 'science' of UFOlogy." ufoolery was never anything more than pseudoscience or a metascience at best, a wannabe "science" of interest only to 1950s fanzine boys.

    As Jim, Feynman and RR say, ufoolery has been nothing but a pretense, an act, a phony drama performed by self-styled "investigators" pretending to be scientific in order to sell warehouses full of books and magazines by assuming the "UFO" reality, retelling and enhancing the same anecdotal flying-saucer fairy tales over and over. And all completely without consequence--nothing ever becomes of this of subject.

    Feynman called it Cargo Cult "science" in which the participants imitate the appearance of science but have no idea how science actually works. Or as so many have said before, ufoolery has been nothing but classic pseudoscience because it begins with what would be the conclusion: the false assumption that there is some THING other than what is known to exist in the world in plain sight.

    I've frequently presented this simple thought experiment here: Imagine there were REAL "UFOs" in the sky, not so shy and ephemeral as the modern myth has it, and the two of us could look and say, "What is that? What is that THING in the sky?" And we could see others more distant, so that they were practically everywhere in the sky over the entire earth but no one in the world knew what they were. Absurd, right? If there were REAL "UFOs" that's one way it might be like.

    But of course it's not like that because there are no REAL "UFOs" of any kind--not even one that we might travel to see--as if it were an inexplicable natural wonder. "UFOs," much like ghosts and psychic powers, suffer from the Shyness factor, they never appear to skeptics interested in seeing them, much less appear for scientific examination. They only appear to those entirely predisposed to belief in the myth.

    Once again for everyone, in 1896, a California newspaper hoax created the IDEA of "UFOs" by announcing the imminent arrival of a newfangled "airship" from the East. (How Biblical!) That very night, people in the streets of Sacramento reported seeing its headlight (the planet Venus), hearing its motors and the voices of the crew issuing commands--all on the suggestion of a newspaper story that was a hoax.

    But that hoax contained the IDEA that there was some THING to be seen, the IDEA--the false belief--preceded any purported observation. And once the IDEA--the "UFO" MYTH--was created, for over a century, usually in anticipation of war or other crisis, with some interruptions, people around the world have reported seeing phantom aircraft of nearly every description, in large part continuously stimulated and conditioned by expectations provided by mass communication.

    That's all there ever was to this entire subject. Millions of books and magazines, billions of words, millions of dollars, millions of files, but no THING in all those files. It's all been one big utterly inconsequential wishful fantasy given virtual reality by the human imagination, when it was merely static in the wires.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, October 11, 2015  

  • Dear Zoam,

    "But of course it's not like that because there are no REAL "UFOs" of any kind--not even one that we might travel to see--as if it were an inexplicable natural wonder. "UFOs," much like ghosts and psychic powers, suffer from the Shyness factor, they never appear to skeptics interested in seeing them, much less appear for scientific examination. They only appear to those entirely predisposed to belief in the myth."

    If so, how can you explain these observations?

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=bzwrAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA7&ots=TNC_3ioc1x&dq=Earthquake%20engineering%20and%20hazards%20reduction%20in%20China&hl=fr&pg=PA150#v=onepage&q=Earthquake%20engineering%20and%20hazards%20reduction%20in%20China&f=false

    Go to page 150 of the document at the section "Lights and Outgassing". You can even download the document.

    As you can see, this is not a book about UFOs.

    Technically, these earthquake lights are "Real UFOs" since the mechanism of their formation is unknown.

    My own field of research is rare luminous phenomena. I have no interest in airship sightings, Roswell, etc.

    My goal is to get quantitative evidence of these phenomena by taking quality pictures and videos, spectrums, magnetic
    field measurements, etc.

    A number of sightings of these phenomena are buried into UFO reports. I even investigated two cases this year.
    Hence my interest to the subject.

    I think this is a valid scientific endeavour. You are entitled to disagree. Only time will tell which of us is wrong.

    "Scientific Skepticism" is good, being narrow minded is bad. Researching new atmospheric phenomena is not an absurdity.

    The way the study of UFO reports has been done until now, however, is absurd, and I agree with the term "ufoolery".

    Best regards,

    Jean


    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Sunday, October 11, 2015  

  • Jean; I agree!

    Earthquake lights are a reality; they have little or nothing at all to do with the subject of the popular myth of "unidentified flying objects." If there were no earthquakes lights, people would still make "UFO" reports. In a century of "UFO" reports, merely tangential "earthquake lights" reports account for a tiny fraction of 1% of "UFO" reports; and they were only lumped in with the mass of "UFO" reports because they share a few superficial resemblances. But they were always some other rare special case observations that could never be the stimuli for the great mass of reports of airships, ghost rockets, flyings saucers, or black triangles.

    I know this is part of your hobby, but I was addressing the fundamental failure of the pseudoscience of ufoolery and why the "UFO" myth will never rise to a science--not your specific interest. You seemed to be saying that if we just keep doing what we're doing with the best of scientific intentions and methodology that something might eventually come of it, that is, REAL "UFOs" of some kind. It never will.

    You and I covered this before, I say earthquake lights, ball lightning, plasmas, sprites, elves, fairies, various parhelions, and auroras never were or could be properly referred to as REAL "unidentified flying objects." It's too much of a stretch. Just as lightning, rainbows, meteors, reentering space junk are not REAL "UFOs."

    A REAL "UFO," as I tried to make clear, would be present and persistent, existing but be inexplicable, a thing that could not exist in the world. The IDEA "UFO" is an illogical abstract; the IDEA REAL "UFO" is an absurdity.

    Best, ZO

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Monday, October 12, 2015  

  • Good evening Zoam,

    "You and I covered this before, I say earthquake lights, ball lightning, plasmas, sprites, elves, fairies, various parhelions, and auroras never were or could be properly referred to as REAL "unidentified flying objects." It's too much of a stretch. Just as lightning, rainbows, meteors, reentering space junk are not REAL "UFOs."

    Then we are in agreement! It was just a question of terminology. I wasn't sure about what you were referring as "Real UFOs". I agree that observations of rare natural phenomena are just a tiny fraction of the total of UFO reports. But it is that tiny fraction that interests me.

    Best regards,

    Jean

    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Monday, October 12, 2015  

  • @new illuminati
    > the plethora of current sightings and disclosures

    I speak as someone who spent a few years wading daily through the sludge on youtube and in the MUFON database: "plethora" means "a lot," it does not mean "good" or even "interesting." What I saw were distant ambiguous objects, obvious misidentifications, and hoaxes of varying quality. That was just the best stuff; it sat on top of a huge pile of crazy (just Google "fake planes" for a few thousand examples, or read any report in the MUFON database not featured by Roger Marsh).

    UFO reports are more plentiful these days yet are demonstrably far worse.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, October 18, 2015  

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