UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Inundated by (UFO) folly

Copyright 2018, InterAmerica, Inc.

I’m overwhelmed, as I suppose many of you are also, by the madness and folly that is rife in the world (and has always been).

But in my UFO excursions, the madness (ignorance?) irks a little more, only because I want the UFO debate to right itself from its heady days of sheer craziness.

But that is unlikely to happen. The madness continues apace, in every segment of the UFO community.

There was a while, a few years ago, when I anticipated a tsunami of good sense and intellectual tides from the intrusions of a few people into the UFO world.

This was when Paul Kimball, Mac Tonnies, Greg Bishop, and Nick Redfern formed a kind of fraternity of besotted intelligence and UFO bonhomie that seemed destined to right the errancy of UFO geezers and the hokum(s) of the past.

Then Mac Tonnies died and Paul Kimball’s UFO interest seemed to die with Mac’s passing.

Today, Paul is absorbed by his non-UFO pursuits, Nick is writing all over the place. And Greg has become a little more sour, about life and some of us who are at the fringe of the UFO world and irritate him.

But that’s not the gist of my pique with the UFO milieu.

I read, on Facebook this day, a piece by a UFO pal (and author) about Roswell once more.

I am so sick of Roswell, but that wasn’t the grind that nicked my sensibilities. It was a comment to the Facebooker’s insert that told me how ingrained ignorance is and remains intact in ufology.

The person commenting wrote that there were so many stories of UFO abductions that they had to be true.

Now I know that the Facebook crowd is a little iffy mentally, but can anyone still think that alien creatures have come to Earth to fiddle with human anatomy and thought for some reason that eludes me?

Advanced beings would have, as someone remarked recently and The Anomalist noted, it seems, incredible means and technology to study human life, and not resort to primitive medicinal procedures that aboriginal peoples would think regressive.

But there it is. One more example of befuddled thinking stewing in a Facebook post, in 2018, when one would hope that we who are interested in UFOs would have evolved away from.

That’s only one thing that got my goat recently. The other is the pastiche of sheer nonsense that a person calling himself or herself Parabunk planted at Kevin Randle’s blog; a rambling almost irrational “explanation” of the alleged 1973 Coyne helicopter encounter.

Kevin, as is his wont, allowed this convoluted, potpourri of foolishness to take hold of his blog, during which, I read today, a fellow replied with even more silliness, in an attempt to appear erudite about tankers, refueling, air speeds, and a lot of other incongruent flotsam.

Lance Moody, once a doyen of skepticism, and who now spends more time on Facebook than in UFO circles, tried to counter the insane filigree that Kevin opened the door to, but had to withdraw when his adversaries indulged in so much irrationality that Lance couldn’t take it anymore. Even his patience with UFO madness has it limits.

That the inmates have taken hold of the UFO asylum once more (or still) is disheartening, and perhaps irreparable.

There was light in the UFO catacombs, not that long ago, but that light has dimmed or gone out, and those of us who continue to hope for a cleansing of the UFO muck and mire are left to ponder what could have been, perhaps.



  • To paraphrase Jacques Vallee, I looked into UFOs and they don’t really interest me anymore, at least not the dominant space alien orthodoxy that underlies ufology. There is almost no serious intellectual or imaginative thinking to be found in the “field”, and other paranormal subjects (including “ghosts”) have far more existential and philosophical interest, without any of the alt-right madness of modern conspiracy culture that has thoroughly infected ufology.

    Mac would have left, too, if he were still here.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, May 16, 2018  

  • Yes, I've been loosely following the comments on Kevin's blog. By the 10th comment one tends to lose interest...for me anyways.

    Now, let's venture into the real world...as we see it...experience it. N. Korea and nukes? Where are the squadrons of UFOs valiantly trying to squash that country's nuclear ambition? Calling Robert Hastings...

    Same goes towards Iran. I know, this is boring geopolitics and not science fiction. Yet, alas no UFO "phenomena" to be found.

    And the world goes about it's business and the earth turns on it's axis.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 16, 2018  

  • "To paraphrase Jacques Vallee, I looked into UFOs and they don’t really interest me anymore".

    Excepted that When you are looking on the cases Vallée pointed himself, or in his books, articles, conferences, lectures, as his best ones, therefore cases he have looking into, you have a different image of him. A very different one. A guy totally childish, if not stupid, soporiphic.

    Anyway, I understand several, including Paul, still quoting that iconic Ufologist :(



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, May 17, 2018  

  • " . . . the alt-right madness of modern conspiracy culture that has thoroughly infected ufology." That's reason enough to turn one's back on UFOs. Couple that with 70-plus years of hot air and nothingness, and what's left but fools, con men, and right-wing conspiracy fantasists.

    I leave you with an example of who populates the UFO community today. There's a small, local UFO group (calls itself UFO1 or some similar nonsense name) I've just discovered meets weekly at my neighborhood diner. I was there when it met last week. The topic of its meeting? Obama's faked birth certificate.

    And you're looking for intelligent UFO discussion.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, May 18, 2018  

  • PG,

    On a somewhat related note, or obscure, take your pick, I recently had to order a duplicate birth certificate form New Mexico. No, I was not born in Roswell, but Clovis. I assume that my situation does not warrant a group of UFO nutters figuring that one out. The only conspiracy to be had is my mother having the foresight of providing my first name, "Thimothy"(SIC)!

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, May 18, 2018  

  • "A guy totally childish, if not stupid, soporiphic."

    Couldn't agree more, Gilles. In over fifty years of following this subject, I've never heard Jacques Vallee utter even one word that shed light on the "UFO" myth and collective delusion, much less some physical phenomenon. If anything, Vallee has been a great obfuscationist, a conspiracy theorist, because that suits his goal--to keep uncritical rubes in the dark and buying his worthless books.

    Great word, "soporific." And perfectly appropriate, sleep inducing. ;-D

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, May 18, 2018  

  • "No, I was not born in Roswell, but Clovis." FUNNEEE!

    And I thought you were a crawdaddy Cajun! ;-D

    Being from SoCal I've spent a lot of time in the Land of Enchantment, while not so much in AZ or Vegas, too hot. NM is high and cool. Always wanted to retire there but the wife, a corporate slave, would never quit. Forty years, no kids, and now she's dead. I guess I'll be a poor SoCal single retiree. (God! I hate that word.)

    Love ya' Tim!

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, May 18, 2018  

  • Zoam, I'm as Cajun as could be. Yes born in NM, Cannon AFB...dad in the AF. Both parents born in Abbeville, La. Grew up in both Louisiana and Texas. Grew up eating gumbo and crawfish. Wife makes a "mean" gumbo...learned from my mother and grandmother.

    And yes, drank Jax and Pearl beer...an acquired taste.

    So sorry about your wife. Mine is still working at LA air force base as a program manager (DoD satellite launches) despite being a retired AF LtCol. I did outrank her once...years ago. We have a five year plan to retire "somewhere" but not in SoCal.

    Rich, sorry about being off topic.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, May 18, 2018  

  • RR,

    Speaking of Parabunk's "refueling plane" refutation of the Coyne incident, isn't that a similar argument made by debunkers of the Exeter incident? What do you think of the Exeter incident and the refueling plane argument in that case?

    I thought these refueling planes operate at a decent altitude, while traveling at airplane-type velocities. Isn't it amazing to think that these refueling planes might still be around, pretending to hover about in near silence and at low altitudes, looking like spaceships and fooling frightened pilots and even police officers with backgrounds in military aircraft maintenance?

    It's downright eerie!

    Kevin G

    By Blogger Unknown, at Saturday, May 19, 2018  

  • Refueling as an explanation for any UFO account, no matter how misperceived, Kevin, is a foolish idea and I'm surprised that my pal, Kevin Randle allowed Parabunk to go on and on with his addled-headed "explanation" for the Coyne encounter.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, May 19, 2018  

  • Kevin G. - You'll find the tanker "explanation" of the Muscarello/Bertrand Exeter incident here: https://www.csicop.org/si/show/exeter_incident_solved_a_classic_ufo_case_forty-five_years_cold

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Saturday, May 19, 2018  

  • "I'm as Cajun as could be."

    Never doubted it for a second, Tim. Thank you for your kind words.

    Best, zo

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • And a perfectly reasonable explanation it is for Exeter.

    Five red lights in sequence at a sixty degree angle on a slow-moving plane. How much more obvious could it be?

    What those who doubt this should remember is that human perception of seemingly extraordinary events is extremely fallible. The mere stories created from their excited nighttime misperceptions don't really stand up in daylight to a nuts-and-bolts tanker plane that uncannily matches their descriptions.

    Believing is Seeing! When entirely predisposed to the "UFO" myth people report "UFOs."

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • ZC and PG...

    James McGaha and Joe Nickell are nutty and glib, facile when it comes to their seeming skeptical research.

    The Exeter sightings may not be interplanetary craft but to try and make them into a misperception of a refueling operation, with as much machination as Jim and Joe do is intellectually pathetic.

    While, admittedly, human beings make mistakes of perception -- something I will be dealing with upcoming -- they (humans) do not misperceive the core reality of that which they are observing; they'll get some details wrong, but not the crux of what their eyes (brain) is perceiving, unless they have neurological damage or physiological eye (vision) failure.

    The link, PG provided, is wimpy, as a skeptical rebuttal of the UFO sighting cited, and unbelievably shallow as an explanation for the witness saw.

    Looking at what McGaha and Nickell provide, comparing it to what the witness provided, who seems more crazy (wrong)?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • "Now, let's venture into the real world...as we see it...experience it. N. Korea and nukes? Where are the squadrons of UFOs valiantly trying to squash that country's nuclear ambition? Calling Robert Hastings..." ;-DDD

    Tim, you're not really asking these wannabe ufxlogists, mere victims of the myth, to be realistic about their childish beliefs, are you? That's Outrageous, I tell you! Ignoring the obvious is rule number one in Saucerland!

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • We're way off topic here.....


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • I hear you.


    I see two elements at work here:

    However skeptical one disposed to the "UFO" myth might be, he routinely accepts and interprets "UFO" reports much more literally than the Scientific skeptic, whose predisposition is doubt and then supported by a critical-thinking process.

    And those same skeptical believers demand a nearly impossible standard of evidence for even the most mundane of "UFO" reports and their explanations. While Scientific skeptics are perfectly satisfied to discover and describe the most plausible real-world stimulus and sequence of events.

    We've seen this played out repeatedly over decades. Usually the lines are pretty well defined and predictable, but sometimes not; and that's part of what makes and keeps discussing these "UFO" reports interesting.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • For me, Zoam...

    It's the perception of UFOs, real or otherwise, that intrigues.

    Why are people so disposed to see UFOs, when they do not exist, as you say?

    Or if they are seeing something (mundane, prosaic) and misinterpreting that observation, inserting elements of the UFO mythos into their observation, why that?

    Physical science is out of the equation. Neurology and, more importantly, psychology and/or sociology come into play.

    Skeptics, of a scientific blend, which you exemplify, can do nothing here, about the UFO madness. It's in the realm of psychosis.

    That a few "maniacs" who follow my pal, Kevin Randle, want to engulf a supposed UFO sighting with refueling adornments and others fall into the trap of assuaging them or supporting their madness (abetting it) is more interesting to me than anything else that is thrown into the skeptical pot.

    I think, as you well know, that UFOs are a tangible phenomenon. What it may be is encumbered by the madness that has attached itself to the "phenomenon" whether that phenomenon is real or not.

    It's the folly, the insanity, of the topic, more than the things (UFOs) that is what we should be dealing with....me setting aside my belief in UFO tangibility to address the psychological malady.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • Rich,

    "Hysteria" appears to play a role in those cases that I intensely looked at over the past few years. Yes, I've tongue and cheeked here on your site, but I devoted two to three years on one case and another two years on another...and made public my work on my blog. And, a form of hysteria lurks in both cases. You know that hysteria comes in many forms and flavors.

    This melds well in the psycho-social theories as initially and loosely advocated by Jung during the beginnings of the Cold War. UFOs tend to be a psychological mathematical problem where one is trying to define an unknown where the UFO is "x" and everyone is trying to solve for "x".

    The problem is made unnecessarily difficult because all the "learned" individuals keep adding stupid psychological constants that muck up the equation...pounding a square peg into a round hole and proclaiming that it fits.

    This leads into your seemingly being upset because one (Parabunk) added into the Coyne equation the "probability" that an aerial refueling mission "solves" the equation. The proposition, on its face, is reasonable, but lacking is definitive proof that such a mission did occur. Kevin Randle rightly concluded that there is no tangible evidence to support that conclusion, but it is a possibility, nothing more.

    Probability vs. possibility tends to lead us all astray at times as we tend to identify and define the two terms as meaning the same.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • Tim:

    That Parabunk got a forum, at Kevin usually enlightening blog, and he (Parabunk) sucked in others, per Kevin's tendency to give an airing to everybody who comments nicely, no matter how mad (insane), is what irks me.

    I'm overly familiar with the Coyne encounter, as are you I bet, and that he and his crew would be, in their mind, accosted by a refueling effort, goes beyond delusion.

    The explanation is the work of a plebeian intellect.

    That's the problem with the UFO topic (ufology): it has been hijacked by loonies whom we all give voice to and have since 1947.

    Parabunk should have been shut down from the get-go. (You know my fascist tendencies when it comes to blog commentary.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, May 20, 2018  

  • For the record, I don't accept the Magaha and Nickell tanker "explanation" for the Exeter incident. A commentor noted a tanker was also given as an explanation for that incident so I was merely pointing any interested and unfamiliar readers to that misguided explanation, not endorsing it.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Tuesday, May 22, 2018  

  • I think we all got that pG.

    I was merely doubling down on the stupidity of Nickell's usual blather.

    After the extended -- and I mean extended stupidity from Parabunk that Kevin let go on too long, I wanted to quell any other refueling explanations for certain UFO sightings, Coyne's being an example of an incident that should not be muddled from such a simplistic, strained litany of foolishness that Parabunk provided.

    You provided a comment that should have put the commentary to rest, but, nope...it went on and still is going on, NASA scientist Larry weighing in with his usual attempts to wow us with his erudition.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 22, 2018  

  • I don't see anything about the Exeter reports of 1965 that is inconsistent with normal operations around Pease AFB. In fact, James McGaha's recognition of the EXACT number, sequence, diagonal attitude, and floating motion of red lights as that of a KC-97 tanker aircraft operating out of Pease matches the initial report so much so that identification should be beyond question to any reasonable person.

    It began with a teenager walking home at 2:AM on a lonely road seeing something he didn't understand and becoming hysterical. He reported what he saw to police who witnessed the very same floating, side to side, diagonal of sequencing red lights. They were mystified as well. In typical fashion, their story hit the newspapers; it became a national story.

    All elements of the stereotypical Small Group Scare inside of the "UFO" delusion.

    >> Think of a "small group scare" as a mini-flap, an isolated, temporary expression of the "UFO" myth; and every culturally supplied "UFO" narrative motif this particular group of people believes about "UFOs" is suddenly summoned forth and projected onto the reported misperception and an alternate fantastic narrative of a series mundane events is created: a "UFO" REPORT.

    >> And then all involved honestly believe and repeat this "UFO" narrative for the rest of their lives! Their brush with a "cosmic mystery," that was nothing but the product of their imaginings inside of the "UFO" social delusion.<<


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, May 23, 2018  

  • And coincidentally from that same page at Kevin's, for RR and PG and their selective suspension of disbelief in the mundane when considering "UFO" reports:

    >> ”Certain people are unwilling to say that they don't know what happened. Some seem compelled to come up with a mundane explanation for every case. ... I'm perfectly content to say I don't know what it was.”

    And that is your right, but it's the same as having no opinion—withdrawing from debate, self excluded and disengaged--when engagement and an opinion is what is being called for because a claim is being made.

    The claim is that this case is an example of a “UFO” report that has verifiable substance to investigate. But, in fact, it falls far short of that, it’s just another “UFO” story: A misperception and scare by one that quickly spreads to his immediate associates and then his community. And in the absence of further exotic stimuli, development stalls, and it resolves itself into inconsequentiality.

    And instead of framing this as a debate between equally viable narratives without resolution, there’s a real-world method by which to positively resolve such a claim: Veracious evidence must be presented to show the claim is true.

    Otherwise, it’s not.

    Fence-sitting is intellectual abdication.


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, May 23, 2018  

  • PG and me, Zoamy, are not disbelieving a mundane report. We're just dismissing Parabunk's addle-headed attempt at an explanation.

    The Coyne encounter could be a case of mass hysteria provoked by a bout with something prosaic, a "folie a several" incident.

    Or it was an actual encounter with an AI drone, from somewhere.

    But it wasn't a refueling episode. That's gilding the lily with dross.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 23, 2018  

  • Yet, is that not the same line of thinking that you bashed "Parabunk"?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 23, 2018  

  • Parabunk's lengthy "explanation" irks me, mostly because it is about a case (UFO encounter) that if explained, takes us nowhere.

    If it's a refueling misperception, there it is. Forget it.

    If it's an actual encounter with a UFO thing, so what? Where do we go with that?

    Either way, it's time ill-spent, and typical ufological folly.

    That's my gripe, Tim.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 23, 2018  

  • Rich; I was speaking of Exeter 1965 and comparing it to Kerman CA 1978. In both cases there is a clear, unambiguous and most plausible explanation, I think.

    I skimmed the posts on Coyne. It appears Mr Moody has it all under control.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, May 24, 2018  

  • I got ya, Zoam...

    Lance nailed it but went soft on Parabunk, because he (Parabunk) is a fellow skeptic, while I see him (Parabunk) as a wannabe.

    That Kevin allowed Parabunk so much space in Kevin's comment section surprises (and baffles) me.

    I would have deleted Parabunk's bunk right off the bat.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, May 24, 2018  

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