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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 3

Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 99 21:39:15 PST
Fwd Date: Sat, 03 Apr 1999 01:08:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate

>Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 17:36:57 +0100
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>From: John Rimmer <magonia@magonia.demon.co.uk>
>Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate

>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>>From: Serge Salvaille <sergesa@connectmmic.net>
>>Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate
>>Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 21:23:24 -0500

>>>Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 15:13:35 -0800 (PST)
>>>From: Scott LeGrand <varelse@best.com>
>>>To: updates@globalserve.net
>>>Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate

Patient and gentle listfolk:

>Of course we're not talking about specific cases, because as has
>been proved over and over again here on UpDates, the ETHers are
>unable to come up with any cases that they are prepared to list
>as evidence for extraterrestrial intervention. Instead we get
>airy-fairy armwaving about the "weight of evidence".

Anybody who reads John's provocative, if remarkably
unpersuasive, magazine Magonia ends up learning a whole lot
about how the UFO phenomenon looks from the viewpoint of the
librarian and the English major -- that, of course, is of some
mild psychosocial interest in itself -- and little of anything
substantive about the body of puzzling cases of which (as here,
once more) John professes never to have heard.

Instead, where we would expect to see real investigation,
research, and cogent analysis, we are treated yet again to the
spectacle of arms waving bravely in defense of a lost cause, the
PSH, which has never taken us anywhere except into that
comfortable psychological, social, and cultural space where we
can still be interested in UFOs yet insulate ourselves from
ridicule from elite opinion by assuring would-be jeerers that we
are not, in truth, heretics at all.  This, in fact, may be the
PSH's dirty little secret: cost-free ufology for those seeking
the cover of a position unthreatening to bourgeois

And yet, curiously, John was kind enough to give a good review
to my UFO Encyclopedia, which is full of solid cases recounted
in detail, along with extensive bibliographic citations for
further reading. Likewise the basic works in the serious UFO
literature, with which John is either unfamiliar or, more
likely, being wholly disingenuous about, relate those great
cases that John so wishes out of existence. And why, given his
shaky intellectual position, shouldn't he?  I mean, whom would
any sensible person trust on, say, the RB-47 case? Brad Sparks
or John Rimmer?  Or the McMinnville case?  Sparks and Bruce
Maccabee, or Peter Rogerson?  The Coyne case?  Jennie Zeidman or
the PSH's favorite debunker, Phil (Ufology Is Tantamount to
Communism) Klass? The patterns in the data?  Mark Cashman or
Martin Kottmeyer?  EM cases? Mark Rodeghier or any Magonian you
can name?  Science and the UFO evidence?  James McDonald and
Michael Sword or the most touchingly devout PSHer you can think

Nothing personal against John, who's a good, bright, and
thoroughly amiable guy (who, at least physically, towers over
all of us), not to mention a living monument to one psychosocial
consequence of the UFO phenomenon.  I do think, though, that he
really ought to get out more. Or, if he insists on staying
inside, he should at least catch up on his homework.


Jerry Clark

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