UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Delusional madness or just befouled thinking (about UFOs and everything else)?

I have two books on Paleolithic art, both from The University of Chicago but each with its own interpretation of the motivation or causa existentia of cave art.

What Is Paleolithic Art?: Cave Paintings and the Dawn of Human Creativity by Jean Clottes proposes that such art is shamanistic in origin and motivation.

The Nature of Paleolithic Art by R. Dale Guthrie says this:

“Contrary to popular literature, many Paleolithic works do not seem to bear any obvious imprint of ritual and magic but, rather, express more casual and earthy themes

The majority were done quickly and are contingent and undisciplined, with overlapping, incomplete, and often askew imagery. I found details in which I was originally interested coalescing into unanticipated patterns. There are many unskilled Paleolithic drawings that are rarely reproduced in art books. Forensic work with fossil handprints of the artists greatly changed the way I looked at this art: I found that all ages and both sexes were making art, not just senior male shamans.

My main conclusion is that preserved Paleolithic art, unlike most ‘tribal art,’ is a graphic expression whose articulation we can largely comprehend, and that the perspective of natural history offers an essential dimension to that appreciation; it is the ‘code-breaker.’”

John Clottes is a highly respected prehistorian, now retired but still an advisor to various agencies (in France and elsewhere) involved with the preservation of cave art.

R. Dale Guthrie is a natural historian and paleobiologist. He is also a professor emeritus at the Institute of Arctic Biology at UAF.

I’ll have more, upcoming, about both books and their assessment of Paleolithic art, along with other treatises on cave art in general, as many ufologists and proponents, especially alien astronaut buffs see UFOs and space beings in cave art (as noted in a recent posting here).

But for now, I’m addressing the opposing views of two prominent men in their fields who differ as to an explanation for cave art and its practitioners.

I lean toward Guthrie as I find the shaman explanation wanting.

How did certain persons in primitive tribes become shamans? Who determined their qualities and purpose(s)?

(This is akin to the query “How did men become kings, often with an imprimatur from God or some divine entity or alleged divine counsel”)

Is the shamanistic explanation for cave art delusional or befouled thinking? Not in the cases noted here.

But it is a view held by many academics (including some friends of mine) who think there is shaman magic all over the place, in prehistory and more recently and extant among native Americans, aboriginal tribes of Australia, Maori tribes on New Zealand, Inuit and various African and Indo-Asian cultures.

These same academics think hallucinogenic drugs or natural hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, et cetera) enhance access to mysteries hidden from common consciousness.

Many believers in the extraterrestrial visitation by UFOs (the ETH), while not attuned to hallucinogens, are just as delusional or wrong-thinking as LSD-prone academics.

What causes such errant thinking?

It’s, I contend, a kind of madness – a topic I will further elaborate upon with excerpts from Foucault and Andrew Scull’s book Madness in Civilization

One can’t be precisely psychoanalytic about goofy-thinking by UFO buffs but one can intuit psychotic-prone inclination(s) from internet commentary and “avatar” name use.

The UFO enigma is not going to be solved any time soon – it’s an inherent mystery of all-time(s) it seems.

But rational thinking about UFOs is so absent from the ufological dialogue that the phenomenon (or phenomena) is saddled with, not only it’s inherent puzzle, but the corrupt, banal, and simplistic attempts at solving the conundrum by asinine UFO aficionados (not those who comment or read here, by the way).

More to come…..(I regret to inform you).



  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hessdalen lights, at Tuesday, March 29, 2016  

  • Thanks, Julien...

    The topic(s): cave art, hallucinogens, UFOs, fairy tales, et al. intrigue.

    I have ongoing "debates" at Facebook with "friends" there who are adamant that hallucinogenic materials enhance thought and artistic output, even going so far as to attribute such use to Kant, Shakespeare, and the usual culprits like poet Coleridge.

    My experience with drug-users, in (psychiatric) hospitals and everyday interactions shows a diminished capacity to think coherently or really creatively, some being close friends.

    Oliver Sacks was a drug user who ended up deploring his earlier use of such.

    But I do have to concede that hallucinogens may open one to access to another real reality.

    It's the interpretation that suffers, as I see it.

    Bucke's work on Cosmic Consciousness allows for access to a super-reality without the incorrigible distortion caused by drug use, as was the case with persons such as Thomas Aquinas.

    I like your phraseology -- "The UFO phenomenon ... seems to be a very old 'companion' of ...humanity."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, March 29, 2016  

  • Cave art, petroglyphs, and etc. are intriguing but I also often think they are over analyzed and linked reflexively with the whole shaman thing.

    I tend to believe that much of it is simple graffiti excepting, but perhaps including, the artworks. I liken it to railroad boxcar graffiti where there are artworks, gang sign, and scribbles.

    You would think that there would be more of it found done when cave folk and their children had free time on their hands. Think kids with chalk on the pavement. Just as with our topic, there may be signals amid the greater noise but trying to glean it out after so much time is just sheer projection.

    Integrate cave art

    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Thursday, March 31, 2016  

  • "The UFO phenomenon as it is known today seems to be a very old "companion" of the humanity. It has just morphed into a "modern myth"."

    Correction: The false belief that "UFOs" are a very old companion of humanity is simply part of the modern myth--the most ridiculously paranoid and darkly misanthropic part.

    The misappropriation of art and text before 1896 as evidence of a "UFO" reality is nothing but the fallacy of Presentism. There was no IDEA "UFO" before 1896!

    Where are the "UFO" reports of Galileo, Kepler, Brahe, Newton and Herschel? There are none because the idea "UFO" is a uniquely modern myth.

    Before modern science and aviation, even highly educated people saw a lot of things in the sky they didn't understand--completely natural things we know. To advocate otherwise is to appeal to ignorance.

    There is no science in pseudoscience; and Vallee and Aubeck's gross misrepresentations and outright lying about ancient art and texts is no better than the trashy "ancient astronaut" books written in the 1960s and 70s by Trench and Von Daniken.

    Jason Colavito writes, "Jacques Vallee, whose work I have now read in detail and which I find to fall on a range between utterly incompetent and intentionally fictitious."

    That Vallee still misrepresents Ezekiel's vision of Babylonian cosmology as a literal "flying saucer"--even an "abduction" experience--is enough alone for me to dismiss him as a disingenuous huckster since he most probably knows better.

    And after a lifetime of writing mindlessly speculative, worthless and inconsequential "UFO" books, for Vallee to pretentiously present his "Wonders in the Sky" as "science" is beneath contempt.


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, March 31, 2016  

  • "The UFO phenomenon...."

    What "UFO" phenomenon? The "UFO" psychosocial phenomenon, the popular myth and delusion, you must mean because the word "phenomenon" means something that is apparent to the senses, a physically real thing, a fact in the world that can be studied--not a mere story or catalogue of stories about something that might be but for which there is no real evidence.

    There is no "UFO" phenomenon. There are no real "UFOs" of any kind, there never were. There are only stories.

    Paranormalists habitually redefine words to suit their purposes and twist language to disingenuously pretend that they have defendable arguments when they do not. Repeated misuse of words such as "anomaly" and "phenomenon," talk of "quantum" this and that, and

    historical "paradigms" and personal "realities" are all very good indications that the speaker is a full of baloney. Another paranormalists' trick is equivocation, telling half-truths and using ambiguous phraseology to make a mundane event into a sensational story.

    On skeptical investigation and analysis, "UFO" stories are NEVER what was reported and certainly not what self-styled prevaricating ufoologists have made of them. Paranormalists simply refuse to play by the rules of the scientific method; and this is just part of the reason that

    the pseudoscience of ufoolery has not progressed in over sixty years and why the world has never taken it seriously.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

  • Zoam:

    You over-write the obvious: there is something that provokes an idea -- a kind of archetype, a UFO.

    What one interprets that thing as is the root of your problem with the topic, not the thing itself.

    A weird observation is made. A person notes it. What happens after that is up for grabs.

    Without "stories" we'd have no history or accounting of human life and progression, even if the stories are botched or flawed.

    Half-truths are (somewhat) better than no-truths.

    You keep taking the same tack as those who say The Holocaust never happened.

    And I don't think you want to (or should) do that, right?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

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