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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 10

Re: Sturrock Report

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 98 12:31:11 PDT
Fwd Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 16:27:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Sturrock Report

> Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 11:16:13 +0100
> To: updates@globalserve.net
> From: John Rimmer <j_rimmer@library.croydon.gov.uk>
> Subject: Sturrock Report

> As Jerry comments, yes I am temporarily off-line and I am having
> to keep up with UpDates via the 'Hundred Last Messages' service
> on a borrowed computer, so my responses are not as fast or
> frequent as I (if no one else) would like!

> I'm sorry if I thought that Jerry et. al. welcomed the Sturrock
> Report as an 'endorsement' of the ETH. However its findings were
> welcomed with whoops of joy by Jerry and the ETHers and with the
> clear implication that it was bad news for the PSH gang - "taken
> it in the chops" in Mr Clark's elegant phrase.

John, you're a good guy, and I want to stress that whatever
disagreement we have, it is not a personal thing.  Okay?

That said, what is the source of your obsession with my
open-mindedness about the ETH? If someone who had never read my
writings were to take as gospel your characterization of them,
he or she would think that I was talking spaceships every time
my mouth opened or my fingers hit the keyboard. In fact, as I
have stated over and over and over again, I consider the ETH
simply a reasonable provisional theory for a certain class of
UFO reports. It is not yet proved, and it is not something I
have nearly the obsession with that you and your friends have
with bashing it or pushing the PSH. I simply do not share your
fascination with final explanations, and so I have written
little about the ETH as such. (The long entry on the ETH and
ufology in the new UFO Encyclopedia is simply a history of its
treatment and evolution as documented in the UFO literature
since Fort.) You can look far and wide, and you will find
nowhere in my writing a personal Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.

For reasons I have written about at length, I consider the PSH a
seriously inadequate approach, and the more I read of it, the
more convinced I am of the correctness of this analysis. What I
am concerned with, however, is not the ETH but such matters as
the history of the UFO phenomenon, the history of ufology, and
the need for the sort of sober scientific study that the
Sturrock panel advocates and that ufology, in its best moments,

I think you are looking at everything through a very narrow
lens. You seem to think I am as committed to a final explanation
as you are. What exasperates me about the PSH (among other
things) is its complacent assumption that we already have all
the important answers, when the reality, to every available
appearance, is quite the opposite.

(What's even more annoying, and sometimes amusing, is the
PSHers' smug certainty that anybody who disagrees with them is
wrong and therefore must be diagnosed. I read recently in
Magonia, for example, that I advocate the ETH because I am
middle class and conformist, characterizations which nspired no
end of hilarity among friends to whom I showed the words.
[Apparently the evidence here is that I have short hair and have
been photographed on occasion in a suit.] Is it any wonder I
don't take seriously PSHers' even more undocumented and obtuse
speculations about the characters and motivations of witnesses?)

The real dispute between us is not between you as PSH advocate
and me as ETH proponent (in that sense you are far more believer
than I); it's between you as somebody who thinks he has the
essential answers and me as somebody who's still out there
looking for them.


Jerry Clark