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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 8

Re:

From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 17:19:24 -0500
Fwd Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 19:39:07 -0500
Subject: Re: 

Dennis....forgive me, but what exactly is your logic?

> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: Dennis <dstacy@texas.net>
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: that ol' Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis


You think some people who believe in the ETH also believe other
things you think are silly. So is this somehow the fault of
anyone who believes the ETH? Or who's merely willing to entertain
it?

Is anyone interested in the ETH now somehow responsible for
denouncing any silliness even remotely associated with it? Is
ufology now expected to work the way white people think
African-American politics should? A black person becomes vocal
about affirmative action and other civil rights issues -- and
suddenly white people ask her to denounce Louis Farrakhan. Is
that the kind of ufological litmus test you have in mind?

And if you don't, what in Zeta Reticuli could your original post
have meant? "Yes, the ETH is fine, but look what it's spawned!"
(I'm paraphrasing.) If you don't mean what I just suggested, what
DO you mean?

> Even something like the Anthropic Principle has a Weak vesion
> and a Strong one, in other words, variations on a theme. If you
> can get orthodox ufology to adopt a conservative ETH (*some* UFOs
> are alien spacecraft), I'm all for you. That's what Stanton
> Friedman, for example, does in public -- but he also associates
> the ETH with a worldwide government coverup, a shadow
> organization known as MJ-12, and plentiful crashes and retrievals
> of alien bodies near Roswell.

Strangely enough, he even thinks he has evidence. Stranger still,
that evidence -- no matter how it holds up in the long run --
isn't ridiculous on its face. He's free to make his arguments
(which, unless I somehow stumbled on a private shipments of Crash
at Corona and Stan's MJ-12 book), he even dares to make in
public.

What exactly is the problem here? Are we all supposed to think
that only a lunatic would believe what Stan does? And that
therefore the ETH is gravely polluted each time he opens his
vociferous mouth?

> All I was pointing out is that it doesn't work that way. Before
> you know it, all sorts of paths are leading into the briar patch,
> each proponent of which believes the evidence for same follows
> "logically" from the fact that we're being visited not just once
> or sporadically, but daily and routinely by extraterrestrials.
> You don't need to play six degrees of Bacon to see that this is
> so. One or two will do just as well in this instance.

No way. Not at all. Silliness. Take Stan Friedman. His MJ-12 and
Roswell work doesn't proceed logically from his embrace of the
ETH. See my remarks above. He thinks he has separate evidence for
MJ-12 and Roswell. You think he's SO dumb that his ETH belief
leaves him open for anything? Why doesn't he believe in jars of
human body parts?

> Mike Davis's article is approximately 75 pages long. I think
> there might be one paragraph in it that contains the word
> extraterrestrial, or maybe as many as three or four. The article
> is about the history and nature of the solar system. UFOs aren't
> on his mind, one way or the other. Branch out and read it. You
> might like it -- or you might not. But at least you would know
> what you are referring to.

Silly me, relying on your summary. I thought your point was to
stress, based on Davis's theorizing, how rare life might be in
this vast universe of ours.

> You should know better, Greg. Sagan may have ended up like a
> Menzel, but he certainly didn't start out as one. Or maybe you've
> forgotten his and Thornton Page's UFOs: A Scientific Debate. If
> so, you can pick up a nice cheap hardback edition of same at your
> local Barnes & Noble. James McDonald got almost 75 pages in same,
> probably his largest exposure to a popular audience. The book was
> the result of a UFO symposium held by the American Association
> for the Advancement of Science, which Sagan was instrumental in
> organizing. There's some dispute as to how instrumental his role
> in saving Blue Book records was, but he certainly wasn't in favor
> of their destruction.

Sagan's own comments in the symposium -- which, oddly enough,
I've read -- strike me as slippery. But then, that's merely my
judgement.

If mainstream science didn't embrace UFOs in the '70s, despite
Hynek and McDonald, what chance do ufologists, however
scientifically conservative, have of bringing science around now?
As I remember the "scientific debate" hosted by Sagan and Page,
the non-believers (if you'll allow me to characterize them that
way) don't really address  the points made by the believers.
That's all too typical of the way science has handled, or not
handled, this problem.

> Similarly, who convinced mainstream science that there was
> nothing to UFOs? After all, if UFOs are as physically prevalent
> as everyone seems to think they are, you would think that enough
> scientists would have seen or been abducted by them now to the
> extent that they wouldn't believe anything the Air Force said, no
> matter what it said. Obviously, not enough of them have yet had a
> personal experience to turn the tide. But who knows? Maybe
> critical mass is just around the corner.

You've got to be kidding. Here we have David Pritchard, one of
the few openly sympathetic scientists, begging me a couple of
years ago not to mention his name in mainstream media, for fear
of getting him in huge trouble with the MIT physics department,
and with his federal grants for mainstream research. More
recently, he told a TV interviewer (who didn't use it in the show
she produced) that the heat from skeptical colleagues was very
hard to bear.

Logic is not the issue here. Mainstream science carries a huge
prejudice against UFOs (and against parapsychology too, for that
matter; see Jeffrey Mishlove's The Roots of Consciousness for
documented chapter and verse). And if you ask me what the problem
really is, I'd say denial. I'd say that, in fact, even if UFOs
turn out to be nothing more than scraps of my long white hair
floating in the breeze. The whole question of alien visits has
our culture in a tizzy. Hardly anyone can face it squarely,
scientists and ufologists both included.

Come to think of it, that also explains the excesses of ufology.
The prospect of alien visits makes us so crazy that lots of
people, attempting to deal with the question, stop making sense.
Although, if you pin me to the wall, I'll take the better
ufologists over the scientists, anytime. Whether or not I agree
with Stan's conclusions on MJ-12, I challenge you to compare
Stan's work on it with SETI astronomer Frank Drake's reasons why
interstellar travel is impossible (and, therefore, aliens will
never visit us). Stan comes off as an apostle of sweet reason,
and Drake, by contrast, as a frightened idiot.

Greg Sandow


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