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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 2

Re: ETH &c

From: Peregrine Mendoza <101653.2205@compuserve.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 17:56:40 -0500
Fwd Date: Sun, 02 Nov 1997 11:14:30 -0500
Subject: Re: ETH &c

The Duke of Mendoza presents his compliments to the List.

>From: clark@canby.mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
>Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 13:18:44 PST
>To: updates@globalserve.net
>Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: ETH &c [was: Questions for Abductees]

>Hard as it may be for you to believe, Duke, I have a life to
>lead and, what's more, paying work to attend to.

I am very sorry to hear that, Jerry. I often forget that others
are less fortunate than myself, subsisting as I do on the meagre
rations left over from what the servants steal from the
container-load of gourmet-style provisions delivered weekly to
Castle Despair by 18-wheeler from Fortnum & Mason; but otherwise
enjoying a vast income, which some are pleased to call unearned,
from the produce of my enormous estates, the sale of the corpses
of "overworked" pe=F3ns to unscrupulous medical schools, and the
interest on my father the late 32nd Duke's awesome investments 
in armaments, pesticides, factory farms, surveillance equipment,
racehorses, and some of the most exclusive bordellos in the
world's most vibrant & cosmopolitan cities. It was most
thoughtless of me.

>If you think I
>am going to write journal- or even book-length responses to you,

No, no, just a few examples of the application of what you call
the traditional scientific method to a UFO sighting or encounter,
and that perhaps even resulted in the scientific scales tipping
in favor of the ETH, will do nicely. I am sure this will still
enable us all to read about the (previously mentioned) repeated
and independently verified experiments that have been conducted
in this respect.

Is that so hard? And I am sure one of your journalistic skill and
capacity for lucid exposition of complex matters could manage a
couple of paragraphs to answer the questions with which I
started, viz: '"In fact". This enquiring mind would appreciate
knowing of what such facts may consist. "Reasonable" in what form
of logic? "Natural" in what sense?'

<snip to set good example>

>I think
>you're just posturing -- and being unamusingly disingenuous.

If you'd spent as much time and energy as you have on your hokey
mind-reading act, you could have answered my questions by now.

>Again, I refer interested
>and open-minded readers to Mike Swords' writings, [etc]

And what are the indifferent and closed-minded supposed to read,
then? O Jerry, how you do sound prim sometimes.

[more snips for Brownie points]

>Please cite where you have said that the ETH, though you reject
>it, is a reasonable hypothesis which a reasonable person, even
>if ultimately mistaken, can hold.

With pleasure. See "Exhibit A" below today's bemusing signature.
True, I don't use your precise words, but I think it fits their
spirit. And if you don't, I shall really start to worry. I'm
already a little concerned by this:

>I've always heard you treat it [Dook: i.e. the ETH],
>with the Ameriphobia that always seems to permeate such
>discourse, as some sort of American disease (e.g., your colorful
>unConvention lecture in 1995; see also David Sivier's
>interesting discussion of your views in the current Magonia).

You sad old bag of bones!  Now it comes hard to pain you with the
cruelty of facts, Jerry, but in 55 minutes of colorful lecturing
I managed to devote fully 12 words - which just took me 5 seconds
to enunciate clearly - to a joke about the widespread American
devotion to the ETH. You may have been so transfixed in your
solemn supersensitivity to this self-generated and pathetic
fiction of my "Ameriphobia" that you didn't hear the people
around you laughing. I dunno - I didn't look in your direction.
But you're really scraping up the ullage if you're trying to
represent that paper as an exercise in anti-Americana. This does
not become you.

As for Sivier's piece - *nowhere* does he even remotely imply
that I am anti-American. He'd be a fool if he did, and he
manifestly is nothing of the kind. He takes me to task for
misrepresenting the 'American Religion', although he seems not to
understand what I (following Harold Bloom) mean by that, and for
being anti-Christian. I think he's wrong, in the context, about
that, too; but I'd certainly commend his article, even to the
closed-minded. So. What Sivier is doing in your sentence above,
except demonstrating your unnerving tendency to misrepresent (see
below), I do not know. Do you?

Your rhetorical trickery here is *really* getting old fast.
And it's possibly tackier than the last time you dragged it out,
suggesting that Stuart Appelle offered a "devastating critique"
of the good Sasquatch's abortion-anxiety hypothesis; which
Appelle does not, any more than he supports the ETH (but perhaps
you didn't say he did). Anyway, you better watch it, coz I'm
writing all this down in a big black book.

>Moreover, if he really does believe the ETH not to be
>outrageous and absurd, why is he even arguing with me?

It's hardly necessary to go that far to argue with you, Jerry,
but it's interesting - shall we say? - that you perceive even the
prospect of disagreement in such extremist terms. Anyway, brace
yourself. Here comes another fact...

I haven't even *begun* to argue with you, you twit. I haven't had
the chance. I've just asked you some questions, which you don't
answer except to tell me to read Mike Swords (without detailed
citations so I can't find the damn' papers) and Ashpole (sans
ISBN), who together appear to amount to "the literature".

[More snips, bucking for this week's class gold star]

>>Which is not to say I won't read your book when it hits these
>>shores (an ISBN would help with our enquiries, BTW) and will
>>very likely enjoy it.

>I enjoy your books, too, though I confess that sometimes it's
>hard to believe they were written by the individual who signs
> Pratincole D. Mockingbird
> Air Drummer.

Yeah, weird, innit. I won't sign myself that again. I almost
never do. How about the ISBN now, please?

best wishes
Poface D. Miserygut ;-)
Poison Dwarf

PS: Speaking of unanswered questions - now you've finished gauging
the temperature of Paul Devereux's collar, and had a nice rant -
how about addressing the substantive issues he raised about lucid
dreaming and abductions?

----start Exhibit A-----------------------------------

        Peter Brookesmith
        "UFO: The Complete Sightings Catalogue"
  ISBN: 0-7137-2518-4

Extracts from:

Many people automatically assume that the term 'UFO' means an
extra-terrestrial craft. But the cases we have described in this
book make it clear that the UFO phenomenon is not so simple or
straightforward that it will bear a single interpretation. There
are nine basic hypotheses to explain UFOs--and all of them may be
true, even if not for all UFOs all the time. How do these
interpretations of the UFO phenomenon stand up to analysis?

        Scientists agree that the chances that we are being
visited by extra-terrestrials are remote. However, there is no
conclusive proof that we are not being observed by an alien
culture, and some aspects of some UFO sightings are consistent
with the 'extra-terrestrial hypothesis' (ETH).

        Good Earthly anthropologists, hoping to find out as much
as possible about another people, will try to do so as
unobtrusively as possible. They will first have learned the local
language, then arrive unceremoniously, keep company with the most
ordinary people and generally stay in the background as much as
possible. They will try to affect the local life as little as
they can, and make no objection even when their hosts' customs
seem repellent or even totally depraved. They are there simply to
gather information. They would be even more careful if they were
examining a highly intelligent life form on another planet. They
would certainly not make direct contact with the alien race until
they were very familiar with the local manners and customs or
until, in turn, a significant proportion of the local population
had been psychologically and emotionally prepared for their

        That may be the significance of the UFO phenomenon today.
If an alien race has been watching the Earth, it seems to have
been doing so for some centuries at least; and it makes sense
that it would wait until we ourselves saw space travel as at
least a possibility before beginning the final phase of preparing
us for an overt announcement of its presence. If that is so, it
does not matter whether close encounters or abductions have
really happened to the victims, only that they think these things
have happened, and that others believe them. Both sets of people
are thus ready to accept the presence of alien entities in space
near us, and will not be shocked by their open arrival.

        All this, however possible, remains speculation. [...]


        Perhaps we share our terrestrial living quarters with an
alien race (or races). As with extra-terrestrial visitors, these
'local' aliens may be trying to introduce themselves to us
gently. It is equally possible that wherever they are from these
creatures are not interested in us at all. As a society we, after
all, have not shown any sustained or organized interest in them:
why should we assume they care about us?

        The 'alien cohabitants hypothesis' has so far no more
evidence to support it than any other proposed origin for UFOs
and their attendant entities. At the same time there is no
reason, either, not to suppose that some UFOs may be 'local' in
origin while others may be extra-terrestrial. [..]

It seems likely that cases in which multiple witnesses encounter
UFOs there is something physically real at work. [...]

Those, then, are the major speculative theories about UFOs. But
of two things we should have no doubt. First, people do see
strange things in the sky, and not all of them can be explained
away as Earthly phenomena. And second, for every ufologist there
is a theory about the origins of UFOs. A cool look at the
evidence suggests that UFOs do not come from any one place, or
represent any single phenomenon.

-------Exhibit A ends-----------------------

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