UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The May/June 1985 International UFO Reporter


D. Scott Rogo counters, in the May/June 1985 International UFO Reporter, the Lawson “alien abductions are remembrances of the birth trauma” explanation. [Page 4 ff.]

(This is the news story presented a few posts earlier wherein media gave Lawson encomiums he didn’t deserve.)

Rogo’s rebuttal isn’t particularly sharp but does provide a kind of offset to Lawson’s hypothesis.

And hypotheses are the gist of a piece (in that same issue) by Richard Hall: The UFOLink Fallacy

Under the heading “Lessons for Ufology,” Mr. Hall took aim at writers and/or “investigators” who conjoin UFOs with other paranormal phenomena; e.g., Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, cattle mutilations, et cetera.

Hall excoriates such co-mingling.

Moreover, he cites the “loose or nonexistent standards in the field [of “ufology”] – undisciplined, careless, egoistic practitioners who use distorted logic to grind various axes, desire to be ‘someone,’ and…a predilection for a certain belief.” [Page 6]

He writes that ‘What you think may be true, after careful consideration of data, is a hypothesis. It is a starting point for investigation, not a scientific conclusion.” [ibid]

“ 'Linkologists’ as well as ‘ufologists’ must, as the first order of business, determine the true parameters of the problem, weed out false and irrelevant material. Compile carefully investigated case studies and demonstrate their case for a mystery….Excessive theorizing is a major curse of ‘ufology.' “ [Page 7]

Jerome Clark was the Editor of The…UFO Reporter” – published by the Center for UFO Studies.

Mr. Clark included, as per his interest in music and song, a 1716-1717 ballad that hints at a UFO.

And Clark provides a mind-19th Century ballad that also indicates a UFO sighting:

‘Twas on a dark night in Sixty-six
 When  we was layin’ steel

 We seen a flyin’ engine come
 Without no wing or wheel

 It came a-roarin’ in the sky
 With lights along the side…

 And scales like a serpents hide.

[I’d like to know what followed after line 6 where Mr. Clark added the ellipsis.]

Mr. Clark, along with Brad Sparks, also wrote about Phoenix Lights seen, not in the 1990s, but on December 5th, 1948. [Page 10 ff.]

The piece is a must-read for those who have a continuing interest in the recent Phoenix Lights sighting(s).

The article, Part One of Three, was entitled The Southwestern Lights, and as usual for Sparks and Clark, quite detailed.

And exchange about UFOs and IFOs between noted British UFO investigator Jenny Randles and two critics of her views  -- Hobart Baker and Phil Klass – also appears. [Page 7 ff.]

The small publication is fecund with interesting information and insights.

Look for it via Google. It may be online, in toto.



  • International UFO Reporter has somehow managed to avoid finding itself sloshing around the internet...regrettably. I've got a handful of copies and agree that it was pretty good at what it did.

    Last year, I emailed CUFOS to inquire about buying their DVD of pdfs and had no reply. Saved me a $100 and a few hours reading.

    Dick Hall's irritation at people messing up his ufological cutlery-drawer still appears in some places. We can't go having people putting teaspoons with forks now can we? What would the neighbours think?

    At heart, it's tempting to see this cry for purity in ufology as a stern attempt to distance the subject from the wackiness that wants to be its friend. I don't think we can be so certain about what constitutes relevance to ufology. At the same time, if guys like John Keel had their way, at what point would anyone be drawing a line?

    All subjects of study have boundaries - should ufology be any different? It's such a hydra-headed, slippery subject even with strict delineations.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

  • CUFOS is selling a DVD of back issues of this now-defunct publication (ceased publication in March-April 2012). Not sure what issues are encompassed in that DVD. You can check it out on the CUFOS Website - www.cufos.org.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

  • Thanks PG..


    Richard Hall always wanted "ufology" to have a scientific/logical patina.

    He was not to be satisfied and died frustrated by what ufology had become.

    I ended up having lots of empathy for Mr. Hall; he consoled when some UFO UpDates jerks got on my case for varying issues, even though he, Hall, was chagrinned by my obtuse views there.

    That he ended life a pauper while a few old-time UFO guys had made a somewhat cushy living from the phenomenon was sad in a way.

    Mr. Hall, like Jerry Clark, must have also been disturbed by wasting an intellectual life on UFOs; Hall was interested in history -- real history -- much as Clark is interested in music and history too; both men ending up as footnotes in the UFO panoply, unknown to few and forgotten by many more.

    It's a cautious tale for the rest of us.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

  • Every so often, this subject seems to toss in unlikely coincidences. I was listening to an old Strange Days show with Ray Boeche and it’s followed by Dick Hall. The show was recorded only a few years ago and he’s expressing both your thoughts and the sentiments within the article. He says how nonsense like the Bermuda Triangle shouldn’t be a part of ufology and then goes on to say that he hasn’t seen the subject move ‘in any measurable way’ since it began.

    It’s quite saddening that his commitment to the study of UFOs ended the way it did. Or we could look at it in a more positive way and recognise how that same commitment has left him a place in the Hall of Fame. In historical terms, ‘The UFO Evidence’ retains stature in the literature and I’m sure many a writer would envy its success in terms of impact and unit sales. Also, he isn’t in such bad company if we include other historical authors who ended their lives in lonely destitution.

    In that light, maybe we should put aside the sympathy and take his efforts on a broader basis?

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

  • UFOs are such a niche topic, Kandinsky, I'm afraid that Hall and others will remain an arcane footnote for most.

    His UFO Evidence is, as you note, a seminal work which deserves more attention -- even outside the UFO community.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

  • I agree the subject of UFOs keeps expanding to include phenomena that lie outside the definition of "unidentified flying object".

    Even more cryptozoological/mythical phenomena (e.g., Chupacabras, Aswangs, briefly Goatman, as well as Bigfoot) are lumped in with UFOs today than back in Hall's day. Alien abductions (many accounts make no mention of actually seeing a UFO) are a sideshow that took over the center ring. Orbs (barely reported, if at all, in Hall's era) are ubiquitous and seem to have as many meanings assigned to them as there are people writing about them online. Aliens, ghosts, demons, and black-eyed children are now tangled together as one on some sites.

    It's as though UFO has come to mean "unidentified flight of fantasy objects", although some would probably argue that's what it's always meant.

    Maybe it's time for a core of those interested in the subject (you, know the subject of those apparently solid metal objects that resemble highly advanced technology appearing in the skies, on or in the water, or landed) to declare such objects as the only fit purview of Ufology. Bring on the UFO police! LOL.

    Anyway, as for Hall and Clark, they aren't the first to reach an age where looking back their lives might seem a waste . . . and they won't be the last. We all make the choices we make with the information available to us at the time as well as the emotional state we are in when we make them. If they lead to dead ends, well . . . we were drawing on incomplete or bad information and those feelings have long since passed. But, who knew then?

    Besides, the older I get the more I feel that "success" in any endeavor (and we define that almost solely in economic terms in the US) is often much more a matter of luck than judgment, skill, intelligence, or talent. Who you meet along the way and being in the right place at the right time appear to be more important factors for success. Oh yeah, and still in our American “democracy” the color of your skin and the family you were born into have a large role to play in a successful life. But don't expect many "successful" people to ever admit to that publicly.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

  • Yes, PG...

    Proust tells us all about our disastrous life-choices in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 25, 2012  

  • Interesting reading here. To me, it's like the right and left halves of the brain arguing with one another. IMO, a lot of the pot calling the kettle black.

    UFOs are NOT logical or scientific and no matter how hard we want things to turn out for what we perceive as being "best", well, it just doesn't mean a damn thing. Maybe that's what MR. Hall was most saddened by. His own ego and it's false sense of defeat.

    In fact, the more science tells us about observation and reality, the less sense it all makes.

    I'd say some serious scientific paradigm shift "adapt and overcome" is in order.

    UFOs are an EXCELLENT thing. But for Pete's sake, don't sit around with a frown on your puss expecting them to fit in any certain box. Anything that makes us stretch and grow apart from our brain's comfortable ways would seem indicative of the best type of pursuit possible.

    UFOs (and the awesome pursuit thereof) should be like this or that, HOGWASH! What, like in the movies??

    There is a real lesson to be learned here from this great Richard Hall Ufology post. To me it interprets as: Don't declare yourself an "old fogy" by sitting around having a pity party of one. Get with the here and now program and die with your boots on.

    By Blogger Jeff Davis, at Thursday, July 26, 2012  

  • Jeff,

    You're offering the John Wayne "cure"?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, July 26, 2012  

  • Rich,
    More or less the exact opposite. It's all about knowing you don't need a "cure", or need to be a self or otherwise proclaimed hero in order to justify your actions.

    You don't need an answer to the mystery, just the desire and willingness to retain your fascination, rather than stagnating.

    It's about staying inspiration prone, rather than backing yourself in a corner.

    Above all, it's about not turning on yourself. There is no original sin within Ufology.

    By Blogger Jeff Davis, at Thursday, July 26, 2012  

  • So "Rich" _

    ...some other readable International UFO Reporter efforts:




    (FYI - none of the authors are:
    OR...known by initials, 'CDA'AKA'FYI'UFO'BFF'WTF'....

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Sunday, July 29, 2012  

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