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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 20


From: Sean Jones <tedric@tedric.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 18:55:54 +0000
Fwd Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 22:18:49 -0500
Subject: Re: 

>From: DevereuxP@aol.com [Paul Devereux]
>Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:21:02 -0500 (EST)
>To: updates@globalserve.net
>Subject: Solved Abduction Cases?

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my short irate


>If you subscribe to learned journals of folklore, as I do, you
>will see that bona fide folkorists of an academic bent study the
>most remarkable subject matter. Research subjects range from
>things like belief structures in the internal language of motor
>cycle gangs to motifs within the gossip of modern village
I'm afraid that I do not subscribe to any learned journels of
folklore, so I will have to take your word for it.

>Ufology is now two generations old in its present form,
In my understanding a generation is fifty years, taking it that
"modern" ufology started with Kenneth Arnold, how do you make it
two generations??
> and has
>brought with it patterns of thinking that are hundreds of years
>old. Ufology *is* a community in the conceptual sense, and it
>most certainly does have its traditions. The greatest of these is
>the ET Motif or ETM (inaccurately referred to as the ET
>Hypothesis or ETH).

I beleive that the label ETH is pretty well accepted as "the"
label for the Extra Terrestrial *beliefs*

> It is folklore.

It _could_ become that, if it is allowed to.

> Grays are folklore.

I disagree

>Abductions are folklore.

Folklore is about things that have happened, not things that ARE

>Roswell is folklore.

I disagree. ( although I hate to admit it, I can clearly see why
you feel that way about the Roswell "myth".)

>conspiracies are folklore. Planetoid -sized ET craft accompanying
>a comet seen in the sky is folklore. Etc.,etc., etc.

I disagree to all of the above

>The 1994
>Collins definition is quite applicable.


>But folklore does not mean that nothing ever happened that
>triggered that lore. It just means that stories have developed
>that can actually mask the originating factor, facts can mutate,
>and should not be taken at face value. Take, for example, a
>folktale that states that Old Bill, a train guard who was killed
>in a train accident, can be seen on moonlit nights haunting the
>length of track where he died, carrying his lantern (perhaps
>looking for his severed head or arm). We may have a factual germ
>in that there was a train crash in the vicinity, say, 50 years
>ago. And, perhaps, on moonlit nights, a weird light can be seen
>that at a distance looks like a lantern light. But that wouldn't
>mean there was ever a train guard there called Old Bill, or that
>his ghost haunts the tracks. A story has built up around some
>half-remembered event back in time.

As I recollect, when I studied the legends of King Arthur,
legends tend to based on a grain of fact that somehow grows to
become somewhat more than it was originally. Your ghost STORY
which you use to try and explain folklore is exactly the same
sort of thing. A local LEGEND/STORY. It is not, nor I doubt,
will ever be folklore.

>Ufology is a story we tell ourselves. In the telling, some facts
>will be unearthed. So, to follow the Old Bill story,let us say,
>I go into the reference library and prove that there never was
>an Old Bill. Let's say I also show that the train accident happened
>8 miles way from the place now haunted. Let's further say that,
>I dunno, Mendoza sits out one moonlit night and finds the ghostly
>"lantern" to be a reflection of moonlight off an exposed crystalline
>deposit in a big rock, that seems to weave and flicker behind
>the moving branches of trees? Three things would follow from this
>obtaining of factual data: (1) the piece of folklore did mark
>a real set of events; (2)the set events were not what the piece
>of folklore stated; (3) THE PEOPLE DOWN IN THE NEARBY

Again a local story.

>Let's consider Roswell. Something happened there but we do not
>know what.

True, in the extent that it is not public knowledge exactly what

>We do not know how many times it happened, and whether
>it was really at Roswell or somewhere else in the general region.
>Even if an ET craft did impact at a specific spot, all the other
>stories and beliefs we find in the Roswell literature and debate
>*have* to have been folklore. Anything could have happened at
>Roswell, from an ET craft crashing, to a secret government
>balloon coming down. All we have to deal with is the folklore
>that has arisen around that long-distant event. (Which happened,
>moreover, in an isolated rural community which is the perfect
>breeding ground for folklore.) I repeat, most of the Roswell
>literature *has* to be folklore, whatever the final truth of the
>matter turns out to be.

I'm pretty sure that Stan will not be to happy to hear all of
his work referred to as folklore. In fact I believe he refers to
his work as RESEARCH.

>It is just the same with tales of government conspiracy. We all
>know governments keep secrets - sometimes for sensible reasons,
>other times less reasonably.

Finally, something we do agree on <G>

>(The times when the Secretary of
>State for Defence took tea used to be an official secret in
>Britain!) That knowledge, combined with the frustated belief that
>ET craft have landed and have been captured (frustrated because
>there is no hard evidence, let alone proof of the matter) gives
>the germ that can set off whole sagas of conspiracy theories.

>Even if the ETM is true, it will still be the case that most of
>ufology was storytelling,

?? I don't understand, if uflogy is correct how can it be called
story telling if proved true??

>the stuff of folklore. In ufology, we
>are all up to our armpits in folklore.

I disagree

>You included, Sean - like
>it or lump it.

You are right there I am "up to my armpits" in uflogy. <G>

> That the ufological community is now a virtual
>one in cyberspace,

Something else I disagree with, well at least partially. There
is *a* community in cyberspace but it is not a "real" community
is the true sense of the world, after all is'nt life virtual
enough for you??

>that the folklore has gone electronic,

If I understand your understanding of folklore, then the
internet itself is part of folklore. Correct??

>not change the fact that it is still folklore. Indeed, modern
>communications have exacerbated the process. You only have to
>look at the passing content of this list to see that it is just
>like the superstitious gossip of a rural community. Just look
>at the parade of beliefs, rumours, stories and opinions that can
>be generated about a few moments of video footage, or a short
>film of an alien autopsy! The august experts agree or disagree,
>the believers insist it is true, the infidels insist it is a hoax.
>We rarely get to the true facts of the matter.

If you was given the true facts and/or evidence that all your
theories and etc was totally false and that you have been
wasting all these years just how would you feel Paul?

>And in the few
>cases we do, we find that all was not what it seemed. (The folklorist
>would say: "Precisely!") This is folklore in action, Sean. (Indeed,
>there is a hot Ph.D. dissertation waiting to be written by some
>folklorist on how the internet can  enhance folkloric dynamics.)
>If you think you are dealing with facts all the time in ufology,
>or even most of the time,

My interest in ufology is finding the facts Paul, so how can I

>you are seriously - nay, dangerously
>-  deluding yourself.


>Now, Sean, are *you* listening?

yes thanks

>Best wishes,

And you may have mine, said in the best possible terms.
Whilst I seriously disagree with your beliefs Paul I don't have
an axe to grind with you personally.

        Are you a man or a mouse, come on squeek up!
                       Sean Jones
          reply to--sean@tedric.demon.co.uk
        Reasearch page --http://www.tedric.demon.co.uk/

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