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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 12

Re: that ol' Extra Terrestrial Hypothesi

From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 17:01:07 -0500
Fwd Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 17:38:30 -0500
Subject: Re: that ol' Extra Terrestrial Hypothesi

OK, Dennis....I'm starting to understand.

> Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 00:29:32 -0600 (CST)
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: Dennis <dstacy@texas.net> [Dennis Stacy]
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re:

> I never said or suggested that Friedman wasn't entitled to make
> any argument of which he was enamored. What I suggested was that
> Friedman's own passionate advocacy of the ETH might have resulted
> in his being something less than an impartial observer (and
> reporter) of the UFO scene. If you want to accept Friedman's
> books, including his inclusion of Gerald Anderson's long
> discredited Roswell testimony, as reflective of UFO reality and
> the ETH, then I certainly don't want to stand in your way. (And
> obviously couldn't even if I wanted to.)

I think that, here and elsewhere, you're suggesting that the ETH
-- or overenthusiastic belief in it -- can somehow soften our
brains, and compromise our objectivity. Believe the ETH too
uncritically, and next thing you know, you can't tell whether
Gerald Anderson is lying.

I guess that's also what you mean when you say:

>I meant to
> originally point out that the ETH, in and of itself, is fine as
> long as it's constrained or confined to just that -- one theory
> among several. It's when it gets out of hand, simply by its
> original assumption or adoption, and then is used to account for
> everything else associated with UFOs, but as yet unproved
> (advanced alien technology=magic, for example), that I objected
> to. Is this illogical on my part, or am I missing something? I
> didn't think so.

This isn't an unreasonable point. It's possible, in any area of
life or thought, to adopt some unconventional idea, and then --
pleased with yourself, exhilirated by the adventure of it all,
and by your new sense of freedom -- lose all judgement. I suppose
that peoplel in past generations (like my own parents, alas) who
started as fervent social reformers, and ended up believing in
Stalin's communism, are perfect examples of this.

That said, I still want to ask what, exactly, the danger is here
-- believing in the ETH in the first place, or checking your
common sense at the door afterwards? Take my parents. There
simply isn't any direct line from their original belief in social
justice to their embrace of Stalin. Some other element has to
come into play, something that made them vulnerable to communist
lies. After all, plenty of people in their generation were active
in left-wing causes without becoming communists.

Likewise, I'd think, for the ETH. You point to mistakes Stan
Friedman makes. But are they really due to his passion for the
ETH? Richard Hall, I'd think, is also an advocate of the ETH, as
is Jerry Clark. But you'll hardly find two more cautious
ufologists anywhere. And if now you want to point to Stan's air
of certainty about alien visitors, and the vivid way he puts his
arguments, that's just Stan. Maybe you can find, right there, a
personality trait that then leads him to be too enthusiastic
about MJ-12. But that's not the fault of the ETH itself. At most,
it's a warning to the rest of us to be cautious.

You, though, seem to go further than that. You seem to think that
as soon as anyone announces support for the ETH, he or she ought
to issue cautious statements in virtually the same breath, just
in case....well, in case of what? In case anyone suspects that
all ETH proponents automatically believe that aliens like
strawberry ice cream?

Excuse me, Dennis. I'll take my chances. Anyone who hangs out in
ufological circles, or publishes on UFOs, or even writes e-mail
on this list, will eventually paint a full picture of their
views. As I'm sure everyone here knows, I'm willing to accept the
reality of abductions (though I'm well aware that it hasn't been
proved). I don't feel I have to rush, every time I say that, to
assure everyone that I don't believe in poor Corso's stuff.
Eventually, as people read my posts, they'll find out where I
stand.

And as for people outside the UFO world, we'll just have to take
our chances. The deck there -- at least with scientists -- has
been stacked against us for so long that our journey has to go
steeply uphill. Of course, if I found myself in a group of
scientists, talking about UFOs, I'd need to sketch out a summary
of exactly what I was asking them to consider (or, to put it in
Alice in Wonderland terms, how many impossible things --
impossible to them, anyway -- I was asking them to believe before
breakfast). But I hardly think such a caution applies to a post
here.

Which is how all this started. I posted what I thought was a
monumentally innocent message, saying that, on its face, the ETH
was completely reasonable as one reaction to reported UFO
sightings. You then burst out, with great vehemence, saying "yes,
BUT!" And the "but" turns out to be that some people who think
the ETH is reasonable also think that aliens listen to Tibetan
music. What that has to do with my post completely escapes me,
unless you're saying, as I suggested, that somehow belief in the
ETH might rot our minds.

As things stand, I feel like I'm being asked to sign some sort of
loyalty oath. My support of the ETH (which, by the way, I put in
the very mildest terms) is just NOT valid, you seem to be saying,
unless I also raise my right hand and swear that Col. Corso
doesn't know how many fingers the aliens have.

That's why I brought up the Farrakhan analogy. Whenever Farrakhan
does something particularly ghastly, African-Americans who dare
to step out in the political arena are asked to denounce him.
They're all but explicitly told that their support of affirmative
action, let's say, is tainted and suspect unless they'll go out
of their way to publicly label Farrakhan an anti-semite. They, in
their innocence, may never have thought their activism had
anything to do with that. And, strangely, white people are never
subject to the same test. If David Duke, a racist and member of
the Ku Klux Klan, runs for the senate in Louisiana, white
politicians in New York would be outraged if African-Americans
demanded they denounce the man -- or, specifically, that they
MUST go out of their way to denounce him before they can be
considered legitimate.

Dennis -- how would you feel, if I tried to put you in that
position. "Read Mike Davis," you keep telling me. "Fine," I might
answer. "But first -- swear that you don't believe Phil Klass's
nonsense about Soccoro, or Frank Drake's total abandonment of
science in his comments on interstellar travel." Wouldn't you
be...well, surprised, at the very least?

More in another message.

Greg Sandow


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