Ufologists and the Thread of Madness
It’s obvious that there has always been a streak of madness in society and among humans, even from the very beginning of humankind.
Michel Foucault in Madness: The Invention of an Idea [HarperPerennial/ModernThought, NY, 1954/1962/1976], Part II, Madness and Culture deals with shamanistic choices and activity among native American Indian tribes.
Writing about the Zunis, Pueblos, Kwakiutl, Crows, et al., he zeroes in on the Berdaches of the Dakota Indian tribes who gave a religious status to homosexuals as priests and magicians, making them shamans accordingly. [Page 101 ff.]
Now is that madness? Yes, it’s a kind of societal madness, but such “madness” goes back much further than the studies by Durkheim who saw such odd deviance as a “morbid phenomenon.” [ibid]
It’s blatant, for those who pay attention to news media, that today’s society is as primitive, maybe more so, than that of early man, and the madness, while slightly more subtle than what we know from history, is ripe and ongoing: parents careless with their children, racism, indiscriminate murders, entertainments replacing altruistic or meaningful activities, and dozens of other behavioral malfeasances that seem like ignorance but are, indeed, threads of madness.
Both Freud and Jung, and many contemporary psychologists have addressed the issue of today’s psychopathology, but that for another time.
My point is that madness is almost an instinct in mankind. And it permeates the UFO subculture as rampantly as overt society but shows up in subliminal ways.
In ufology, one need only look at the commentary left at UFO blogs, web-sites, or the discussions at conferences and other UFO get-togethers.
The use of non de plumes or avatars by UFO buffs tells us a lot about readers and commentators in the UFO community.
Take a look at one of my favorite blogs – Kevin Randle’s; you’ll see intelligent postings by Mr. Randle, subsumed by inane, seeming ignorant ramblings by his followers, most using avatarial adjuncts. But underneath the ramblings lie indications of psychopathologies: paranoia, wishful thinking, outright deviations from facts and truth, et cetera.
Such carefree madness isn’t confined to Kevin’s blog. It is rampant across the UFO spectrum and not just limited to men, young or old, but also ingrained in women, i.e., Leslie Gunther, PurrlGurrl, among them.
In the desire to make the 1964 Socorro incident an ET (extraterrestrial incursion), UFO buffs have created a fantastic panoply of ifs and buts to make an almost prosaic happening into an alien incursion that is atypical of other supposed UFO events.
The ET premise came about by the “investigation” of one Ray Stanford, an ET believer whose bias has afflicted the Zamora episode to its core, exacerbated by UFO buffs who, to this day, see Police Officer Lonnie Zamora’s unique observation as confirmation that Earth has been visited by an alien species in an egg-shaped craft.
The underlying need to insert alien beings into the muck and mire of human society is as ignorant, er mad, as the idea that gods descended to Earth in its earliest days and communed with men (and women), leaving no discernible evidence or help that would alleviate human ills.
Yet, today, UFO buffs, such as Ben Moss, Anthony Mugan, Neal Foy, and others, see the Socorro incident as resplendent as that of the Old Testament prophets (and madmen).
Of course, UFO madness isn’t as egregious as that being displayed by such insane groups as ISIS, nowadays, or those of lone madmen who shoot innocent people going about their mad pleasures.
But it is madness just the same. And a kind of madness that is insidious in its own ways, replacing logic and intelligent sense with cockeyed ruminations that take us nowhere but closer to a human nervous breakdown, or mental calamity, as Freud warned in Civilization and Its Discontents and Jung in his Civilization in Transition.