UFO Conjectures

Friday, September 07, 2012

UFOs: Living in the past (A nostalgic regression)


My previous posting about obsessional ufology needs a supplement, and it’s this…

While many UFO mavens are addicted, detrimentally, to the study of UFOs, there are many others who, like me, aren’t neurotically connected to the phenomenon but who use UFOs as a nostalgic retreat to a seemingly better, former time.

The clue for this resides in my observation that quite a few of my personal contacts in the UFO field are slavish about songs or music that derives from an earlier period in their lives; they need to showcase old songs or music that reminds them of their youth or, at least, a more desirous time in their former years.

Some of those so inclined include our own Anthony Bragalia, Gilles Fernandez, Frank Stalter, David Biedny, Paul Kimball, and a few others.

These fellows surfeit the internet with their favorite music, and it’s rarely a classical piece or contemporary number. It’s invariably something from the late 1970s or 1980s.

They also, like me, feel a nostalgic reverberation about old UFO sightings: Arnold’s, Roswell, Socorro, RB-47, Rendlesham, or the Hill case.

The Hill case ,and others form the 50s or early 60s resonate with UFO geezers: Stanton Friedman, Jerry Clark, CDA, me.

The earliest  UFO incidents also attract the UFO aficionados, but only insofar as precursors to their later interest in UFOs. (They hardly ever refer to flying saucers. That’s an old person’s sobriquet. UFOs belong to Boomers and newbies.)

The point is that some of us, who aren’t so distilled by UFOs that we’ve given up real life to scratch that obsessional itch, still like the comfy cozy nature of old UFO tales, many of which tickled us when we were teenagers or younger persons.

The need to surround ourselves with music from the past adds to the nostalgic ambiance we seek as middle age or old age creeps up on us.

So, UFOs seem to serve as a side-track for many of us – some more seriously than others, as noted earlier here.

But still, UFOs are the underlying cause of a dereliction to life, as it really is and as it really should be lived.

(Also, why so many uncultured blokes in the UFO community?  Rock music instead of  Beethoven? It’s despairing.)



  • Thanks for providing, again, the answer to the question of why today's younger generations aren't interested in UFOs.

    Ufology = Geezer Nostalgia for those pushing 40 to 100+

    Nick Redfern's wrong. Ufology won't be around in 100 years because the generations now humming 60s, 70s, and 80s music will have long ago croaked by then.

    "Daddy, what was that strange fiery object that crashed near East Troy, Wisconsin?" "Hush, child. It was just Stevie Ray Vaughan."

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, September 07, 2012  

  • Hahahaha, PG...

    You crack me up, and you're perspicacious also.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • I think ufology will still be around in 100 years, although in a different form. As long as people see oddities in the sky ufology will be alive. Who in 1950 would have thought it would still be alive today? Most probably the ET believers assumed that the 'truth' would be realised and admitted long before the end of the 20th century.

    My guess is that, as with astrology, psi phenomena, ancient astronauts and crypto-zoology, ufology will be with us in some form forever. It is likely to become more integrated with other pseudo-science pursuits and may even have another name.

    And no, even by 2100, we shall certainly not be getting any revelation from the authorities of ET visits.

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • As far as retro relevance is concerned, Jethro Tull's "Living In the Past" would have been an apt soundtrack for this post. Old mothballed mysteries have a sort of mind balm effect when taken out of the closet, like a good game of Parcheesi or Monopoly. You can win or you can lose but it doesn't really matter when you have to clean your room, meaning that there is no material award, or real risk to the humdrum "real" life that brackets the game. Personally, I think it's height was in the 60's. Who remembers "Morning of The Magicians"? The UFO monologue in East Rider whose context was reefer? Cue in "Those Were The Days.." What was that singers name? Ah, the luxuries of a failing memory from an old, long ago reformed smart ass fart..who yes, did enjoy and grew up with classical music..Charles Ives among them. It is, as it is practiced.. a wiggy nostalgia trip.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • There's a nostalgia element to UFOs. I remember some of the earliest cases I heard about: Exeter and then later the big flap of the early 70s with the Hickson/Parker case being the most famous . . . at that time.

    Balancing that though is a fact any hack armchair historian should know full well: it can take awhile for the whole truth to come out. People are more willing to talk when their careers are over. Oral histories can be a treasure trove. Documents and papers are released. On their own, they often don't mean much. Viewed in a larger context, they're often very interesting.

    Some folks do hold too tight to their old timey greatest hits though . . . see Socorro.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • Rich:

    I think you are making a mistake here that many in Ufology make. That mistake is not realizing that Ufologists are human first, and Ufologists second.

    You could take a cross-section of any aspect of society, and a significant percentage would still be listening to the music they grew up with.

    Do I do that? Yes. Do I also listen to new music? Yes.

    But, there's nothing at all odd about, or of any significance at all, when it comes to listening to old/older music.

    The fact is that, very often, music that people listened to in their youth, they still like as they get older. That applies to a Ufologist, a cop, a garbage collector, a doctor, or any aspect of society. And yes, a Ufologist!

    So, it's not in anyway significant or relevant to any aspect of Ufology at all.

    No, Purrlgurrl is wrong: Ufology will indeed still be droning on in 100 years from now.

    The reason: whenever a mystery surfaces and develops a following, it never goes away.

    Look at seances in Victorian times: they are still addressed, investigated, researched, written about etc.

    Look at centuries-old reports on fairies from the UK. Books are still being written on that.

    Probably the most enduring supernatural mystery of all: is there life after death

    That goes back, probably, to when we finally became self-aware creatures.

    But, people are still writing about it and researching it today.

    So, why should a mystery that only began 65 years ago not be around in a century, when all the above have lasted for (in some cases) centuries?

    The problem is, though, it will be exactly as it is now: droning on about Roswell, ET-driven etc.

    As for your comments about people being nostalgic and stuck in the past re old cases, such as Rendlesham etc.

    I think the explanation is much simpler: Today, we dont get classic cases like those of 40 or 50 or 60 years ago. No aliens taking soil-samples, radar-visual, UFO landing/occupant cases.

    In other words, in today's Ufology, much of the reason for the focusing on the past is nothing to do with nostalgia. It's because nothing much is going on in the present, so people look at the "good" cases of old to try and get answers.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • Ufologists are human, Nick?

    I beg to differ...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • As we venture into space the focus will be on space anomalies, not UFOs as such. Things like the face on Mars, maybe even a revival of the 'canals'. There will be other strange occurrences, unknown objects in orbit around other planets, strange things on Jupiter, Saturn, maybe even on extra-solar planets.

    These lie far into the future, but will certainly provide food for thought for our descendants.

    These future people will dig up history and discover the UFO era of the late 20th and early 21st centuries and equate it with the new anomalies.

    Astrology? Yes it will still be with us. How about future horoscopes being done for those born on other planets?

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • CDA...

    You are a romantic.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 08, 2012  

  • LOL, given how much I worship Radiohead and Sigur Ros - two musical entities most of my peers don't seem to comprehend or appreciate - it's ironic that I ranked a mention in this piece. Granted, I've been known to post lots of classic rock on my Facebook wall, but that's certainly NOT because it's all I listen to, quite the contrary. I've seen Radiohead more than 20 times in the last 15 years, they're hardly a nostalgia act, and I also tend to like the later stuff even more than the cuts from "OK Computer" and "The Bends".

    All that said, there's nothing like that first Van Halen album - that guitar sound melted our minds when we first heard it, all my guitar wanker friends and I were stunned - and nothing quite gets me going like those two stunning live Deep Purple albums from way back when. Speaking of which, the first two solo Ozzy albums had the magic of Randy Rhodes, I was lucky enough to catch them at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Florida, third row center, holy shit, they don't make 'em like Randy anymore.

    An attachment to the music we grew up with is hardly surprising, or confined to those of us interested in the anomalous. And speaking for myself, I certainly don't obsess over this material, in fact, since leaving my former podcast, I spend very little time reading about this stuff, I'm much more interested in making cool sonic mayhem with my Mac, synths and guitars. :-)

    By Blogger David Biedny, at Friday, September 14, 2012  

  • David...

    You don't strike me as a Moog man, but do seem inclined to prefer sonic mayhem, and other mayhem too.

    Radiohead is exquisite! How could anyone not be affected by those guys?

    What I'm driving at in the posting above is the descent into nostalgia to the detriment of other, practical things, like taking care of one's family....which you do, of course, but some of your colleagues do not. (Need I name them again?)

    It would be nice if someone visiting here noticed that PBS was airing Wagner's Ring cycle this week.

    Damn philistines!


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, September 14, 2012  

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