UFO Conjectures

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ufology entering its Dark Ages?

Several UFO enthusiasts (besides me) are speculating that ufology is kaput, down and out.

That isn’t exactly the case but the impression that ufology is dead or dying is palpable.

The “Roswell slides” debacle has created a nadir in UFO interest, for UFO aficionados.

(The public is currently enamored of other things; UFOs never being a serious interest of the hoi polloi.)

I’m noticing a superficial examination of classic UFO cases or sightings. (Kevin Randle’s blog and Frank Warren’s hodgepodge site example that.)

The old exercises of examining UFO events piece by piece – by Bruce Maccabee or Robert Sheaffer – no longer occur, pretty much, by the present UFO curiosity gang.

Facile examinations of UFO sightings, past and present, are rife as one can see by an internet search.

Research of UFOs has always been a sop, employed by persons pretending to be “researchers.”

David Rudiak has delved into UFO accounts (especially Roswell) as rabidly as anyone and has approximated a research methodology, but even he takes a cavalier turn because he starts with the premise that UFOs have an extraterrestrial origination.

That’s not objective or scientific by a long shot, but it’s better than most ruminations cluttering the internet and the venue known as the UFO community.

Ufology is a joke, as French skeptic Gilles Fernandez often intimates.

And when Frank Warren, who has put his life-style fully into UFO hoarding, but now writes that ufology is dead (or dying), the UFO interested should take note.

The “Roswell slides” brouhaha has put a nail in the UFO coffin, one that seems likely to kill ufology for a while..

Yet when Chris Aubeck and Martin Shough see something worthwhile in a old odd aerial event (April 8, 1665, Barhöfft, Sweden/Germany), there is hope that a few of the UFO curious, like Michael Swords, will continue to rake the coals of ufology for embers that might re-ignite the intriguing UFO topic



  • I think it's probably likely that UFO research won't go away, but it may very well shrink significantly - and that would also be seen in terms of conference attendance, books etc too.

    In the 1970s astrology and the Bermuda Triangle were big things. Decades before that it was seances and ectoplasm. Even Crop Circles no longer carry the weight they did in the 1990s.

    I think people will always have a fascination for the "unknown." But, it goes in cycles. It may well be that it's Ufology's turn to go like the dinosaurs. Or, at least, to become very marginalized. But in the bigger scheme of what is called life, let's face it, UFOs aren't that important. Health, life, and a good time are far, far more important than obsessing on what happened on the Foster Ranch in 1947.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, June 26, 2015  

  • Perhaps we should start by omitting the term "ufology" since this appears to be a corrupted attempt to enhance the obsessions with the subject matter.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, June 26, 2015  

  • Personally, I have evolved over the years into ultimately becoming a UFO agnostic. Perusing accounts of UFO events both long past and recent no longer hold my interest. Much more interesting and entertaining are the events and personalities involved in the field. It's like watching a soap opera with real people playing the parts while displaying a wide range of human idiosyncrasies that are at once entertaining and amusing but most of all just sad.

    Many years ago when I first began to study engineering I was lucky enough to run across the words of Walter Brattain, co-inventor of the transistor, who once stated in an interview in the 1970’s “Science can only tell us HOW things happen, never WHY.” This one uniquely profound statement succinctly sums up the difference between real science and mythos. I think anyone involved in the UFO field who wishes to be taken seriously should take this statement to heart and consider its meaning. But, we know that won't happen - the field of ufology is nothing more than a venue for fictional entertainment. We know that only a small amount of serious scientific study has actually been produced from the ufologists who claim to be serious researchers.

    Instead of worrying about the state of ufology, we should look to the real scientists and real physicists doing real science and real physics. This is where we will eventually see real answers and innovations. In fact, we have already seen the results of real scientists doing real science. A group of scientists and engineers spent more than a decade in the late 1930's and early 1940's trying to understand the new field of quantum mechanics. Through endless experiments and postulations a fantastic invention finally emerged in late 1947 - the transistor. There should be shrines in every home erected to these brilliant men. And, in fact, there are - the computer or phone in front of you. That's real science.

    Ultimately, I think ufology has killed itself through a confluence of events. On the one hand you have "ufologists" or paranormal researchers who recount endless stories and myths without any real evidence to back up those claims. On the other hand you have the fairly recent invention of the Internet and search algorithms. If someone becomes interested in the field and decides to perform even a modicum of research on their own, they quickly discover the claims are likely untrue. This process destroys the awe-inspiring nature of the paranormal field and is not a temporary or cyclical condition (with a respectful nod to our friend Mr. Redfern).

    Data and facts are good. More data and more facts are better. Faster, please.

    By Blogger Dennis Pharr, at Saturday, June 27, 2015  

  • I tend to agree Dennis.....


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 27, 2015  

  • Dennis:

    Your 3rd paragraph provides a good example of how the most idiotic ideas can get into ufology and how these ideas can usurp true science. Here are two examples:

    1. Not so long ago a certain ufologist (Anthony Bragalia) tried to foist upon us the idea that nitinol was derived from fragments of the Roswell crashed saucer, and that a respected scientific establishment, the Battelle Institute, had documents & papers indicating this. In other words, nitinol was a product of ET technology, not terrestrial technology.

    2. Another ufologist, Stanton Friedman, at one time (maybe still), proposed the idea that transistors, because they were invented c. 1947, were also the product of captured ET technology, again from the Roswell crashed saucer. Transistors, and maybe even modern silicon chip technology, are not earthly; they are 'back-engineered' from advanced ET craft materials.

    There you have it. The documentation proves conclusively that your 3rd paragraph hits the nail on the head. But you try telling this to certain 'ufologists' and watch their reaction.

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, June 27, 2015  

  • @ cda

    Thanks cda. Yes, that is one of more infuriating fables that seems to have originated from Lieutenant Colonel Corso's book "Day after Roswell". William (Bill) Birnes also continues to repeat the myth although he has modified it somewhat. On an episode of the Paracast a few years ago, he stated that (paraphrasing) 'although we didn't get the concept of the transistor from the crash at Roswell, the scientists at Bell Labs did back-engineer circuitry from the crashed saucer and used that knowledge to perfect the transistor'. He was specifically referring to the methods used to dope the germanium substrate with impurities to make the transistor function better. However, if you do a little research, you'll find that Bell Labs engineers actually filed a patent on the process of doping germanium in....1944. Obviously, this disproves even Mr. Birnes version of the fable.

    By Blogger Dennis Pharr, at Saturday, June 27, 2015  

  • IFOlogy (dunno for ufology) is not in a Dark ages.
    There exist now "new ufologists" having things to say, case(s) to examine, but (sorry) supporting the SPH of the UFO phenomenon (and linked).

    An example?

    UFO & CE-3 & Conventional Stimulus.

    My article (without the amazing help of famous sat-tracker, Ted Molczan this article never had existed) is mentioned today here or there.

    It is a very "rare case" (in my knowledge) where a space-rentry correlates a CE-3 (Close Encounter of the 3rd kind)...

    Space Re-Entry Stimulus as CE-3 Generator: The Example of a December 12 1987 case...

    Hoping your feed-backs, help, critics, etc.

    My very best regards,


    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, June 29, 2015  

  • Concerning the case exhumed by C. Aubeck & M. Shough, a "counter-ton":

    Did UFOs Buzz Stralsund on April 8, 1665? by Jason Colavito



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, June 30, 2015  

  • Any sane person with half a brain eventually comes to realise that the current public field is not conducive to anything other than mediocre entertainment. The latest episode of the Slidesters only confirmed this yet again. I would go as far as to say the current state of public UFO presentation (I won't say research because I don't think there is virtually any being done, at least in the public arena) leads me to believe that it is 99% lies, the crazy ramblings of insane people, people out to get attention they cannot muster in any other way, people out to make a quick buck or simply misguided and deluded nonsense. If I hadn't had my own experiences I'd say it was 100%. So why is that?

    If a field can't police itself, can't possibly fathom why it is laughed at by virtually every other aspect of society, can't keep respectable people like Robert Salas from walking away for fear of ridicule and embarrassment - unless it can really change it is forever going to be the bastion of the tin foil hat brigade and window lickers.

    In what other profession would any of the shenanigans we have recently witnessed be acceptable? Answer - none.

    If a botanist had some alleged slides of a rare species of undiscovered plant would other leading botanists comment on the slides (or the species) without even seeing them? Without any scientific analysis? And when I say scientific analysis, I mean real scientific analysis - you know, like the kind that they call for endlessly in their quest to have the subject taken more seriously by the rest of the world. And if they had behaved in such a misguided and deluded fashion - especially in the aftermath - do you think they would be taken seriously by their peers again?

    Science doesn't have to be the be all and end all of all of this, of course. Philosophy, spirituality, religion, sociology, psychology and many other areas may also yield important results or insights. Yet I don't read, hear or see hardly any of that from the field either.

    So here's to another decade of mediocre entertainment by way of yet more podcasts, net radio, self published books, fantasy based reality TV shows (Hangar 1 et al) and high school level dialogue and drama.

    Few questions will be answered and no real disclosure will occur.

    By Blogger Lorin Cutts, at Friday, July 03, 2015  

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