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

Re: The Case For Humanoids

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 98 15:44:14 PDT
Fwd Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 17:53:12 -0400
Subject: Re: The Case For Humanoids

>Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 22:59:19 +0100
>To: updates@mail.globalserve.net
>From: Mark Pilkington <m.pilkington@virgin.net>
>Subject: The Case For Humanoids

>The P.L.A. Driftwood International Conspiracy Cartel's computer
>is temporarily out of action, so Mark Pilkington has kindly
>agreed to post this on our behalf.

>John Rimmer writes:

>In recent postings on this list, Jerry Clark has made a great
>deal of noise about the work of Michael Swords. Swords argument
>is that any extraterrestrial intelligences which are likely to
>visit earth will be generally humanoid in shape and have similar
>social motivations as humans. For some reason Jerry seems to
>think that this theory is supportive of ETH speculations about
>UFO origins. Dennis Stacy describes being at the 1991 MUFON
>symposium when Swords gave one of his first public expositions
>of his exobiological speculations.

>It is puzzling that Jerry should think that Swords' work is
>either groundbreaking or supportive of the ETH. I attach an
>extract from a short article, "The Case for Humanoids" by
>psycho-social bogeyman John Harney, which was published in MUFOB
>(the earlier name of Magonia) new series no.6, Spring 1977.
>Jerry did receive this magazine at the time, but no doubt it is
>filed away beneath the wealth of other publications which he is
>constantly urging us to read.

This is what Mike Swords says about the case for ETH:

"The ETH is a natural concept to occur to anyone seriously
looking at the UFO phenomenon.... Despite this naturalness, and
perhaps because of it, the ETH finds itself under continuing,
sometimes emotional attack. The attack comes from everywhere:
inside ufology and out, from laypersons and scientists, and even
insidiously in the air as a somewhat undefinable giggle factor.
Because the hypothesis is so naturally arrived at, this negative
environment is intriguing. An essay much larger than this one
should be written to try to analyze that peculiarity. This essay
will try to answer a simpler question: does science support or
oppose the ETH?....

"Of the scientific objections to the ETH, only one survives this
analysis. It is not that current knowledge forbids ETI or its
travel here. As we have seen, current knowledge actually favors
it. It is not that ETI doesn't breathe or look as it ought to.
Those objections, examined carefully, prove pseudoscientific.
And it is not that ETs have not landed on the White House lawn
(or some similarly incontrovertible event). All that is the
musing of speculators inventing behaviors for entities with
agendas about which we know nothing.

"The only worthy objection to the ETH is that there is little or
nothing _upon which to do science_ in a traditional physical-
sciences mode. This is a problem that the Air Force's Project
Blue Book had, the University of Colorado UFO Project had,
ufologists have. It is a real problem but perhaps not an
impossible one. There seems to be a kind of evidence here and
there, difficult to fix and measure but there nevertheless. It
is a hard job. Perhaps it is forgivable that academics do not
want to try. What is not forgivable is their calling upon
alleged impossibles, without science, and with only an intuitive
good feeling to go on. The ETH is not impossible. It may even be
likely. It is at least an open question, and a hypothesis
sufficient to explain ufology's most resistant mysteries." --
from The UFO Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition: The Phenomenon from the
Beginning, pp. 368, 372.

For those interested in Swords' argument in its entirety, along
with its sources in the scientific literature, here is a
bibliography of his writings on the ETH and science:

"The Case for E.T.: Within the Mainstream of Science."
In Walter H. Andrus, Jr., and Richard H. Hall, eds. MUFON
1986 UFO Symposium Proceedings, 18-43.

"The Third Option: How They Got Here, and Why."
International UFO Reporter 12,1 (January/February 1987):

"Science and the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis in Ufology."
Journal of UFO Studies 1 (n.s., 1989): 67-102.

"Modern Biology and the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis."
In Walter H. Andrus, Jr., ed. MUFON 1991 International
UFO Symposium Proceedings, 51-74.

"Does the ETH Make Sense?" International UFO Reporter
17,5 (September/October 1992): 6-8,12.

"Literature Reviews: SETI/ETI and UFOs." Journal of UFO
Studies 5 (n.s., 1994): 141-56.

"Extraterrestrial Hypothesis and Science." In Jerome Clark,
The UFO Book, 188-99, and The UFO Encyclopedia, 2nd
Edition, 368-73.

Jerry Clark