UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A UFO Event: Not an atypical UFO account

The  bizarre 1979 Robert Taylor “UFO encounter” has shown up again in internet UFO discussions.

It’s been a favorite of mine, because it is bizarre, and seemingly unique, yet it isn’t unique but a template for explaining other UFO accounts.

Here’s the Wikipedia rendition of the tale:

And here is an explanation in that Wikipedia summary:

“Patricia Hannaford, founder of the Edinburgh University UFO Research Society and a qualified physician advised Campbell on medical aspects of the case. She suggested that Taylor's collapse was an isolated attack of temporal lobe epilepsy, and the fit explained the objects as hallucinations. Symptoms such as Taylor's previous meningitis, his report of a strong smell which nobody else could detect, his headache, dry throat, paralysis of his legs and period of unconsciousness suggested this cause.”

This explanation could apply to many of the ground level UFO reports, and some abduction accounts: the Pascagoula and Travis Walton encounters to name a few.

The problem is, and has always been, the lack of intensive investigation by UFO “researchers” who often just study and recount UFO events superficially, juxtaposed with a bias that is based in the ET hypothesis; that is, flying saucers and UFOs derive from extraterrestrial visitation.

Now there are many UFO accounts that cannot and should not be addressed by a neurological or psychological etiology.

But separating the wheat from the chaff, as it were, could eliminate many UFO reports from the mysterious category, allowing a scrutiny of the truly strange phenomenological sightings, something Blue Book or the Condon study didn’t do and UFO investigators are not doing and never have.

If ufology is dead, and it is, a new approach and sobriquet should surely take into account the ramifications of biology, psychology, neurology, and other disciplines that have been ignored by the amateurs who’ve mucked up most, if not all, UFO accounts in the literature, including that UFO albatross, Roswell.