UFO Conjectures

Sunday, March 12, 2017

UFOs: À la recherche du temps perdu

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.

À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier rendered as Remembrance of Things Past) by Marcel Proust pertains to UFOs and ufology. And here’s how…

My son Josh, the neuroscientist, had a soiree in Ann Arbor Saturday night, for his U of M compatriots, to which I was invited.

I didn’t make an attempt to sneak in a few words about UFOs, during the discussion(s) about mental quirks and some quantum theory, the company composed of psychologists, astrophysicists, neurologists, and a few sports people.

My comments were tied to a remembrance of past notables in music, the arts, the movies, popular culture, and politics.

I made my starting point 1940.

Everyone knew about Adolf Hitler, to some extent anyway. But no one knew much about Franklin Roosevelt, or Eisenhower (except as a WWII general), and very little about Richard Nixon and nothing at all about Nixon’s cronies.

I worked my way into the 1960s, asking first about some early music icons: The Ink Spots, Bill Halley and the Comets, Elvis (that many knew about), and the Beatles (also sort of known).

Now these friends of my son are all millennials, so there’s that.

As for movie stars or radio biggies, very little known, except for a few comments about Swedish director Ingmar Berman and his film The Seventh Seal.

Jack Benny, The Shadow, and Orson Welles not known particularly, although Citizen Kane was acknowledged, but not “Rosebud” or anything substantive about Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast.

I threw out names and significant events from the WWII period that almost everyone knew a snippet or two about, but not to any great extent, and these are Ph.D. people mostly.

A few pitiful comments by me about quantum mechanics were treated politely (as I am Josh’s father, after all) but comments by others went a little too deep for my understanding, mostly dealing with new approaches in quantum theory and applicable methods, for computing and space travel.

Even the noted forerunners of quantum mechanics – Planck, Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, Schrödinger, et al. – were absent in the discussions, just the new wave(s) in quantum physics.

My point?

We, who are UFO buffs – not the younger set but the geezer set and mid-lifers – know everything about UFO events beginning in 1947, everything.

We know the ins and outs and all the machinations, twists and turns, of every UFO sighting and story extant.

Millennials don’t give a fig about UFOs. It’s a determinate termination in conversational settings and social get-togethers.

I didn’t broach the topic Saturday night as the group was a mix of sophisticated types, with only a few Einstein Fellowship people in attendance, all hoping, I’m sure, that I wouldn’t bring up UFOs. I didn’t.

But UFO enthusiasts have a remembrance of things past, even if that past is as elusive to younger people, who care nothing or little about the topic, or anything else that is “past,”

So, like Proust, we ufological types, dote on the past, and try to make it relevant to the present, as Proust’s monumental work attempted to do (and does, in many ways).

That’s something, yes?



  • No offence, but your sons friends sound like uncultured barbarians.

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Sunday, March 12, 2017  

  • Well, they won't see this Paul.....UFOs not a thing in their vocabulary.

    One young woman made reference to poetry, and I brought up Dickinson and Robert Graves. She was the only one with any interest.

    The others knew contemporary things, but my mention of Freud got a laugh, which I expected.

    Nothing about classical music (or opera!) and nothing about Dostoevsky or even James Joyce, just some current writers I had no knowledge of.

    They are quite into their fields of study and current events. (Trump's politics wasn't allowed but I was slightly applauded for saying I was a Bernie Sanders guy. (I surely wasn't going to mention that I was a John Bircher once and liked Joe McCarthy, although I don't think they knew anything about McCarthy.)

    The gathering was for a fellow who got a new job and had a birthday coming. So serious talk wasn't the measure of the evening but I'm convinced these young people don't give a damn about the past, even in their own fields of study. Some were even teachers' assistants, so tough luck for the kids they end up with,

    (And the conversations weren't thick by any means, which took me to a young TV anchor in Fort Wayne, who said, on-air, that he didn't read. That brought a raft of comments from the older folks at my FB page, opprobrium mostly.)

    My son Josh corrects me when I spout neurological nuggets that are not up to speed with today's supposed revelations, Even Oliver Sacks gets short shrift from him and his pals.

    So, there we are....the current generation; smart (intelligent) but dumb.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 13, 2017  

  • A certain Professor Bickerton, speaking to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1926, criticized 'the absurd lengths to which vicious specialization will carry scientists working in thought-tight compartments'.

    Some of your story must be due to this.

    However, speaking of the generations, I've watched a large change in parenting during my lifetime. My parents were poor and uneducated. But they absolutely insisted that all my judgments and decisions were arrived at through application of critical thought. I didn't have to agree with Dad but I absolutely had to cough up a cogent and defensible reason for my stance.

    Can you imagine how much farther ahead the world would be if everybody called 'bullshit' when the facts didn't add up? Furthermore, how do you know if the facts don't add up if you don't have an archive of them readily accessible in your melon?

    The unwillingness to read books, though...That's going to be the death of us.

    By Blogger Vince R. Ditrich, at Monday, March 13, 2017  

  • Was it not this same Prof Bickerton who confidently predicted, and 'proved', we could never leave the earth's gravity and thus reach the moon? It may well have been at the same meeting.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, March 14, 2017  

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