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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 5

Re: Area 51 Still Operational

From: "Jerome Clark" <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 98 09:54:48 PDT
Fwd Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 12:13:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Area 51 Still Operational


> Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 21:12:59 +0100
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: John Rimmer <johnr@magonia.demon.co.uk>
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Skywatch: Area 51 Still Operational

> >Subject: UFO UpDate: Re: Skywatch: Area 51 Still Operational
> >From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
> >Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 12:10:24 -0400
> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

> Again, where are these trace cases? Jerome Clark was making great
> deal of noise a while ago about Trans-en-Provence (France) but
> he's gone all quiet about that now that it's been demolished by
> French researchers who were actually on the spot. Now I see
> someone on the Update is trying to resurrect Ubatuba which was
> buried 30 years ago. Do me a favour!

Ubatuba is a weak, hopeless case best forgotten.

Trans-en-Provence, recently attacked by French debunkers citing
anonymous sources and characterizing, in the style of rhetorical
inflation so beloved of their class, the GEPAN investigators as
"true believers," remains an interesting case, yet unresolved,
but judged intriguing and suggestive by a panel of independent
(i.e., nonufologist)  American scientists who looked at the
evidence.  A full statement of these scientists' views on the UFO
phenomenon in general, and the prospects of meaningful scientific
investigation of same, will be released shortly.  It will bear
little resemblance to anything liberal-arts major/literary critic
John Rimmer says here.  Of course it may be that John truly
believes science should be turned over to us English majors.

> >Science on UFOs is moved forward by incremental basic work,
> >founded on good field investigation, not by revelation. And if
> >half the effort spent on the tricksters was spent on real science
> >done on real cases, we'd be getting somewhere.

> I agree. If people were doing REAL research we wouldn't be
> wasting our time on the dear dead extraterrestrial hypothesis.

What silliness.  What (I assume assumed) ignorance. Those who
have done the REAL research, and who were or are also scientists,
have taken the ETH very seriously.  It is the Magonia types who
have sought to reduce UFO study to mere textual analysis and to
broad, sweeping claims devoid of empirical justification (e.g.,
Peter Rogerson's bizarre assertion that abduction stories are
triggered by Americans' supposed deep-seated fear of Hispanic
immigrants).  For a recent example of how REAL research is done,
see Brad Sparks' paper on the RB-47 case, in my The UFO
Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition, pp. 761-90.

I enjoy Magonia, which John edits, because it is fun to read and
full of imaginative notions too bold to wait for mere evidence to
justify them, but it doesn't tell me, or anybody, much about the
UFO phenomenon itself.  Magonia is best read as yet another
example of how a vastly complex, difficult-to-understand
phenomenon at the edges of knowledge is reinvented to meet the
needs, hopes, and fears of those observing and commenting on it.
John and his cohorts, alas, turn a psychosocial lens on everybody
but themselves.  It is not hard to imagine why.

Cheers,

Jerry Clark



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