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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 30

Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 98 08:32:06 PDT
Fwd Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 18:40:38 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

> Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 21:25:46 -0400
> From: The Duke of Mendoza <101653.2205@compuserve.com>
> Subject: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

> With the compliments of the Duke of Mendoza:

> >To: "UFO UpDates - Toronto" <updates@globalserve.net>
> >From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
> >Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
> >Date: Mon, 29 Jun 98 11:39:46 PDT

> >From accounts of the SSE panel's conclusions and recommendations
> given in this and other reports dropping out of the 9th
> cyberdimension into my mailbox, they seem to me entirely
> unexceptionable and indeed welcome. PSH "adherents" are actually
> so loosely affiliated that I have no idea whether (say) John
> Harney or (say) Martin Kottmeyer would concur, even though I
> have been described by Fortean Times as a member of a "magic
> circle" (tee hee) connected with the Psychosocial Conspiracy.
> But I see that the pouting, flame-haired giant Rimmer is not
> about to
> change his trousers at this report either.

PSHers are not, as I had occasion to remark earlier, known to
change their minds, possibly with the sole exception of me,
having been one long ago, before I knew better, at least not
enough to refrain from writing a phenomenally silly proto-PSH
book.  Sigh.

> >The panel was not formed, as I understand it, to study the
> >ETH but to consider the evidence for UFOs as a potentially
> >worthwhile subject of scientific investigation.  Why should it
> >endorse the ETH coming out of the gate?

> I don't know. Why should it? I am merely going by the context in
> which you, Jerry, mentioned the imminent release of the panel's
> findings. There seemed to be some hint that the ETH - which you
> call "hated and dreaded", though I myself neither hate nor dread
> it, though I do find it an unnecessary distraction - was somehow
> relevant. As it turns out, it isn't.

> >None of the
> >panel's findings, which stress the puzzling and unexplained
> >physical dimensions of the phenomenon, is consistent with
> >the Purely Speculative Hypothesis.

> I can't speak for others of PSH leanings (see above), but it's
> always been part of my general PS hypothesis that what are to
> the observer "puzzling and and unexplained" physical events are
> the *most likely* to attach themselves to otherwise unsupported
> beliefs about ET visitors, watchers, what-have-yous. Even if ET
> *were* behind some of these, that fact would not dispose of many
> psychosocial aspects of UFOs and ufology.

A major problem I have with PSH ufology is simply that it's bad
social science.  The psychosocial aspects (as opposed to their
ideologized and fossilized form; see any issue of Magonia) of
ufology have fascinated me for a long time, and much of my
writing is on that subject. The PSH ideologues, unfortunately,
possess a wildly unrealistic sense of the explanatory powers of
psychosocial concepts. I prefer the empiricist approach favored
by the panel and by the hated nuts-and-bolts ufologists.  (Or, as
John Harney calls us, and me in particular, retailers of "lies,
fantasies and pseudo-scientific gobbledygook" and purveyors of
"absurd fantasies," not to mention practitioners of "intellectual

Maybe it's time you turned your keen analytical talents to the
logical. evidential, and rhetorical shortcomings of the PSH


Jerry Clark

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